LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

133

The Editor,
Sunshine Today
Dear Sir,

I refer to an article, by Jack Warner in issue 80 of the Sun­shine today: TAKE MY ADVICE and take it in a timely manner specifically to the following para­graph:
“Of all people, Dr Rowley should know that if I feel some­thing is bad for my country I will responsibly expose the wrong and support the antithesis for the good of my country and whether he wishes to accept it or not, the fact that the PNM now sits in the seat of power is due to the political destabilisation I caused in 2015. And I did it for the good of our country.” (My emphasis)
I quoted the above to fortify my view, and that of many, that we must do what is good for the country. Therefore, I commend Mr Austin Jack Warner for be­ing an inspiration, a beacon, for us to follow in our quest to do what is good for our country and when we observe what is bad to join and support the antithesis for good.
Permit me to focus attention to what is being referred to as the “Final Bastion” of Democracy, the Judiciary.
Many attorneys do not ap­prove of the tirade of attacks on the Chief Justice, who has to be admired for continuing to do his work as a Justice of Appeal and administrator, lawyers who seem to be unaware that their actions may have dire consequences for the administration of justice.
What appears to be inexcus­able is the fact that a few judges seem to have unlimited access to certain reporters who report whatever is sent to them in me­dia releases or via the abominable “leaked” method.
It is only here in Trinidad & To­bago that the memos and emails sent by a judge to colleagues ap­pear in the media before the re­cipient even sees it. {When the writer of the leaked memo is con­fronted, the response is: “it ain’t me, I don’t know how the reporter got it, I don’t like talking to them etc.”.
Therefore, who is “straying from the truth? The reporter? The judge? Who?? This sort of con­duct is despicable. Consequently, I must ask: Is there a code of eth­ics applicable to judges?
Are judges permitted to give press releases on internal mat­ters? Is a judge allowed to “leak” internal memos and emails to a reporter, for example, a request to the Chief Justice for a meeting?
Of course, he /she can request a meeting but is it right and proper to “leak “the content or vent his or her grouse in a memo or letter to the media?
Many do not think so but they seem to be afraid to voice their views.

Some judges thrive on sensa­tionalism

Many years ago, when a for­mer magistrate received his letter of appointment he was advised as follows: “Be careful and cau­tious be like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion”, and beware of news­paper reporters. Some judges thrive on sensationalism and bac­chanal because they adhere to the view that if asked, they cannot disclose their source of informa­tion. Do not be fooled by that. It seems as though a few judges have press officers, whatever they do or say in court or out of court, on a pulpit, for example, gets into the media the next day. If a judge has a subliminal desire to be a politician then leave the Judiciary and join a political party. If he/she is desirous of being a pastor than leave this judiciary and be a pastor. But a judge should not do both. Let the words of the poet not come to pass when he wrote: “Oh judgment thou art fled to brutish beasts and men have lost their reason” (Shakespeare, Julius Caesar).

A judge should not be beholden to anyone

In my opinion and that of many, I set out briefly the characteristics of a Judge. He/she should be an independent person who enjoys the highest reputation for fair­ness, impartiality and integrity and recognised competence in the field of the law. In exercising his/her independence the judge can­not be involved in politics, direct­ly or indirectly. In other words, the separation of powers must be strictly observed.
A judge should not be behold­en to anyone, relative, friend or member of the media. A judge is required to interpret the law not to make laws. That is the re­sponsibility of the Legislature. In a small country like ours, where everybody knows everybody or maybe related the judge has to live a rather secluded life. If the judge cannot do that and likes in­volvement with the public via so­cial media then the judge should do the Honourable thing and leave the judiciary for what the judge deems “greener pastures”.
Enough said!
Finally, as a patriot and San Fernandian, I hope the new May­or of San Fernando is not self-opinionated, narcissistic, arrogant and loquacious. The Mayor’s of­fice is the flagship of the City and reflects the views of the Council and by extension those of
the citizens.

Kind regards
The Patriot

The Editor,

It is patently clear that the People’s National Movement (PNM) is persistent in its preju­dice to demonise Indo-Trinida­dians (Indians) in this harmo­nious, peaceful, multi-ethnic nation.
This prejudice began in 1956 when the party’s founder and leader, Dr Eric Williams, dis­missively described Hindu schools as “cowsheds.”
Williams also branded Indi­ans as “a recalcitrant and hostile minority” in the wake of his par­ty’s defeat by the Democratic La­bour Party (DLP) led by Bhadase Sagan Maraj in the 1958 federal elections.

Minister of Finance COLM IMBERT


This prejudice persists up to this day – 61 years later – with Minis­ter Rohan Sinanan broad brushing all Indian politicians who are not members of the PNM as “thiefs”.
Ministers Colm Imbert and Jennifer Baptiste-Primus have just followed the mind-set of their party’s founder in their contribu­tion in Parliament on Friday, De­cember 6, 2019.
In speaking about suspected money launderers, Imbert ques­tioned the true source of funds of fishermen and farmers of pump­kin and bhaji. Baptiste-Primus chimed, “And Phooluri.”
Imbert did his trademark cyni­cal grin as the main cat-like-faced character in the children’s storybook How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Why did Imbert and Baptiste-Primus pick on bhaji [Hindi word for spinach] and pholouri [Indian delicacy]?
Is this an ethnic dog whistle to slander Indians? Is this an act of sedition to incite public disorder uttered under the cover of Parlia­mentary privilege?
Why did Imbert and Baptiste-Primus not include vendors of pudding, souse, gyro, pow, corn soup, roasted nuts and benne ball? Not forgetting the burger vendors, especially the one near the Point Lisas Roundabout which Bap­tiste-Primus must have
surely patronised.

Dr Kumar Mahabir

Dear Mr Warner,
I take personal pleasure in the PNM’s defeat in the Local Gov­ernment Elections last Monday. They lied to you in 2015 as they have been lying to the nation for the last four years. In 2015, you asked us to pull our ILP candidate from the St Joseph seat so as to help the PNM Terrence Deyals­ingh win the seat since the num­bers were too close for the PNM’s comfort and we followed you.
You asked us to hold a meet­ing in the St Joseph constituency which we did even though we no longer had any candidate there and you will agree that it was the biggest meeting the ILP ever held in the run-up to the 2015 General Election and what did we get? Nada. Zilch. Zero. Nothing for our efforts. Not an HDC house! Not employment for an ILP mem­ber! Not even a box drain to build!
I waited for four years for this day and I have one more year to wait for karma to really take its toll on Rowley and the PNM. The tragedy as I see it is that the UNC is no better. You just cannot trust these people especially when they get into power. Many of us in the ILP will like to see you back in politics but not with these people or else karma will get at
you too.

Forever an ILP