Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Trinity Cross is no more, Trinidad goes P.C.

Trinidad: A sad day in the history of Trinidad and Tobago as the highest award you can get has to change it name because a few radical leaders decided to spit all over tradition. The name change started here.

The judgment of Justice Peter Jamadar stating that the effects of the Trinity Cross as the highest single award in Trinidad and Tobago for distinguished and outstanding service imposed a disadvantage upon a significant proportion of the population was seen as a battle won during the Indian Arrival Day celebrations yesterday at the Parvati Girls' High School, Penal. Signed by Sat Maharaj, secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Inshan Ishmael, president of the Islamic Relief Centre and Devant Maharaj, president of the Global Organisation for People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), a petition of the constituents of the Hindu and Muslim communities will be presented in Parliament by Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar, calling for a change of the highest national award from "Trinity Cross" to "The Order of Trinidad and Tobago". Delivering the feature address, Opposition Leader Persad-Bissessar said that changing the name from Trinity Cross to "The Order of Trinidad and Tobago" was a battle won by the Maha Sahba. She said she will be presenting the petition in Parliament later this week to continue the battle for equality. The petition indicates that Parliament has been asked to acknowledge the plight of the Hindu and Muslim nationals in its call for immediate steps to implement the recommendations of the August 1997 report of the national awards committee chaired by then Chief Justice Michael De la Bastide and guided by the judgment of Justice Peter Jamadar.
There have been more and more efforts to divide the country along racial and religious lines than ever before by various Muslim and Indian groups along the fringe in the name of multicult and diversity. This is one of the more high profile cases that the opposition party has "won." There is an election coming up so the gutless wonders led by Prime Minister Patrick Manning folded like a cheap suit.
In a statement in the House of Representatives yesterday-one day after the matter was discussed in Cabinet-Manning said that the "anomaly" of the Trinity Cross will be removed. He said this was being done in the wake of a recent High Court ruling which found that the symbol was "indirectly discriminatory against non-Christians." Maha Sabha General Secretary Sat Maharaj had taken the matter to court and yesterday Persad-Bissessar presented a petition in Parliament on behalf of Maharaj asking that the Trinity Cross be replaced as the country's highest award with the Order of Trinidad and Tobago. But minutes later Manning assured: "We shall do it. At the same time, we must not lose this excellent opportunity to examine any other similar situation which has been allowed to persist to the discomfort of any section of the national family." Manning added: "We have reached a defining moment in the history of our country. I am convinced we are on the way to the greater enlightenment and refinement of our civilisation. In the final analysis it will lead us to a better understanding of life and improve our capacity to benefit the dynamic diversity of Trinidad and Tobago."

The new name "The order of Trinidad and Tobago" sounds like a house special in a West Indian restaurant.

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