Gerald Aboud

Defended Hunt: Gerald Aboud, Starlite Group CEO.

Following public outrage, another business owner has apologised for controversial Facebook comments following the police killing of George Floyd in the US last week.

CEO of ­Starlite Group Ltd Gerald Aboud took to the company’s Facebook page yesterday to apologise for statements many ­regarded as racist.

This is the second time Aboud has apologised for controversial statements on Facebook.

In June 2018, after being publicly criticised, he said sorry for referring to Indian Arrival Day and Corpus Christi as “two stupid holidays in the middle of the week”.

In his apology yesterday, Aboud stated: “Regarding the public outrage that I am a racist, nothing can be farther than the truth. I support all lives and it is in my nature to do so. One should not judge a person by his opinion on a matter or that he sought to defend someone, but rather by his actions. My actions over my life have shown only equality and fairness, and those who know me will stand by that.

“Starlite has also been a symbol of that ethos, in our efforts to build our community every step of the way.

“When the toll is read and the chips are counted, you will see that Starlite has done a great deal for communities throughout Trinidad. However, no man is perfect, in my haste to defend a friend my comments were seen as aggravating and racist and for that I am sorry. We stand united in support of #blacklivesmatter.”

Hundreds of social media users chastised Aboud and vowed to boycott Starlite.

On Tuesday, Aboud posted a series of comments on his Facebook page in defence of Dianne Tea Shop owner Dianne Hunt, who had earlier posted a photo of a cake, with the words “All Lives Matter” written in chocolate around it.

Hunt later removed the post and apologised, saying she had no idea “All lives matter” was a contradiction to “Black lives matter”.

What he wrote

Aboud then wrote on his Facebook page: “If someone wants to say #alllivesmatter they may have that right to say that. Just like you can say blacklives matter and mean something else they can also say all lives matter and also include to support the black movement. WTF!”

Another post stated: “Racism is one thing and the right to have an opinion is another. If I don’t like Chinese people you can’t force me to like Chinese people. I may have reasons and I am entitled to that.”

“Many people have been oppressed over time and none of it should be tolerated. Black people I will say this, we see your plight and we feel for all of you, we really do, however, what you need to do is rise up from this state of mind, that is all I can say. Every time you go steal a sneakers and do some sh** regardless you make it much worse for yourselves. Killing your people everyday, does black lives matter then? Rise up and work ­towards improvement.”


THERE is a backlog of 7,000 ballistics cases in Trinidad and Tobago.

This climbing backlog is as a result of a shortage of ballistics examiners and lack of space which has resulted in delayed legal proceedings.

Last month, two arms of the Ministry of National Security—the National Forensic Science Centre (NFSC) and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)—collaborated to launch a training programme, entitled Firearm and Toolmark Examiner Training, at the Police Training Academy in St James.

TRINIDAD and Tobago nationals stuck abroad have become so desperate to return home that some have attempted to bribe staff at the Ministry of National Security to get preferential treatment in the exemption process.

Now, National Security Minister Stuart Young is warning that this will not be tolerated and anyone attempting to bribe his/her way back to T&T will be reported to the police.

Young was speaking during the Ministry of Health’s virtual news conference yesterday, where he revealed that ministry staff have been offered bribes.

Political parties can have walkabouts with more than 25 people, but they must be separated into smaller groups.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh gave this advice yesterday, as he urged political parties and candidates to adhere to the public health regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as they embark on their pre-election campaigning.

AS investigations continue to determine who shot Ornella Greaves in Beetham Gardens, more and more cell phone videos are being released on social media sites.

Greaves, a mother of five, who was pregnant when she was killed was shot at about 10 a.m. on June 30 when police officers and Beetham Gardens residents clashed during a violent protest.