Independence Parade and Awards Ceremony 2009

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

Independence Day Parade and National Awards Ceremony 2009
Independence Day Parade and National Awards Ceremony 2009

Too Much Human Tragedy
Several weeks after a policeman shot dead his common-law wife and then turned the gun on himself, President George Maxwell Richards has called for improved counselling for members of the Police Service to help them deal with personal and work-related problems.

Honoured for bravery
“I will do it again.” These were the words of Diane Baptiste yesterday, after she received a national award for gallantry for fighting off a gunman in defence of her daughters.

Guptie picks up medal No 4
ENVIRONMENTALIST Narine ‘Guptie’ Lutchmedial created Independence Day history yesterday when for the fourth time he was bestowed a national award.

Jizelle’s dad: Honour heroes before death

Boogsie: Pan dead right now

…wants businessmen to run Pan Trinbago

Panday: National Awards a farce
OPPOSITION Leader Basdeo Panday yesterday could not say whether or not he was invited to several Independence Day events, as members of the Opposition complained that they had not received invitations to the National Awards ceremony and Independence Day parade.

Warner upset Charch left out
Chaguanas West MP, Jack Warner, expressed disgust last night that Kamaluddin Mohammed’s name was left out of the list of persons for this year’s Independence Day awards

2009 National Award recipients

Smaller, shorter Independence parade

…Independence parade cut down

…Mixed reviews for new Independence parade route

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6 thoughts on “Independence Parade and Awards Ceremony 2009”

  1. Funny you should ask that TMn, at TnT’s Independence GAla on August 22, a TiDCO production was shown of TnT. I asked if there were any African Originated people living there. There was mandir after mandir, the tall Murti, the chapel on the sea deya lighting and I swear nothing of the African heritage. An american woman sitting at my table asked where the Black people were . I then went over to the table from which a silent pan show was being used as background. The TIDCO production faded, and we were treated to 2009 Panorama Finals.The former CEO of TIDCO was there as Feature Speaker, and Stalin sang, but had they not put the pan show on, you would have never thought that any of my people were African originated.TIDCO is now defunct, but everyone charged by the government to produce video on TnT MUST produce A MULTI-ETHNIC PORTRAIT. Damned Shame.

  2. I agree.I suspect that the production was created during the UNC tenure in government at a time when the famous Ish Galbaransingh was head of Tidco.Your observation points to one of the most serious flaws in T&T society. Each group is clamouring for recognition and control over how the nation is viewed.It is a multi-ethnic nation and it should be portrayed as such.The people recognize the cosmopolitan nature of the country and are most willing to celebrate and share.

  3. This appeared as a comment in one of the daily newspapers. Interesting reading.
    National awards are not given on a race-based quota system, nor should they be. That being said, the procedures by which awards are handed out are quite unsuitable for a modern democracy.
    The first problem is that nobody except the National Awards Committee knows how persons are chosen for the various medals. Last year, Devant Maharaj, head of the Indo-Trinbago Equality Council and an executive member of the Maha Sabha, had to use the Freedom of Information Act to find out who was nominated and not given awards, as well as who wasn’t nominated and still received medals. So the committee, contrary to the spirit of transparency which should direct a body charged with honouring citizens, tries to hide information at every turn.
    But perhaps such an attitude is inevitable when the committee is headed by a politician. The Prime Minister has veto power over any nomination made by citizens, as well as the authority to put up individuals who nobody else might want but whom he approves. In a more politically sophisticated society, this might not matter, since public opinion would force a prime minister to separate his office from his political position. But we know that our political culture is not so advanced and, on this basis alone, the Prime Minister should not be part of the committee at all. This is a necessary step in creating the perception of impartiality which must be the basis of truly national awards.
    Then there is the matter of the committee itself, which is made up of the Chief Justice, the three chairpersons of the various Commissions, the head of the Civil Service and two members of the public. These last three are chosen by the Prime Minister, and again this is clearly an unsatisfactory basis on which to hand out national awards. Revamping the committee so it is more independent and more representative of civil society would be a progressive step.
    Only after such political reforms can we consider the bureaucratic aspects of the awards: the rules by which the committee accepts or rejects nominations, to what extent they should publicise their deliberations, and clearer definitions of the criteria. If the public is aware of such matters, there would be fewer grounds for complaint and, when dissatisfaction is voiced, the committee should be able to offer reasonable justifications for its decisions.
    It is a pity that the national awards should have become a matter of contention, but such disputes are part and parcel of the evolution of Trinidad and Tobago as a nation. Resolving the various issues are important in this process since, properly executed, the awards will become a device for unity rather than divisiveness.

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