Phagwa celebrations

As Trinidad and Tobago confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, live events across the country are being cancelled or postponed.

The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) issued a notice on Thursday that Phagwa celebrations have been cancelled.

SDMS schools were expected to celebrate the Hindu festival of colour on Friday.

Phagwa celebrations carded for recreations grounds on Sunday were also cancelled.

The National Phagwa Council announced the cancellation of its grand Phagwa celebrations at Aranguez Savannah.

The large gatherings involved spraying abeer (a colourful liquid) and smearing people with powder.

The promoter of Everybody Loves Raymond – the concert – announced on Thursday night that the event was postponed.

Rafi Mohammed stated, “After careful consideration we have decided to postpone the concert to a later date....Please hang on to your tickets as we work on a new date with the Centre of Excellence.”

Headliner Raymond Ramnarine said he was not prepared to risk the health and safety of his fans.

In a video post, Ramnarine said, “This Saturday was the day carded for everybody’s favourite concert, ELR. It is very unfortunate, but necessary that we have taken a decision to postpone the concert until further notice. We had discussion with the promoter of the event and we decided to postpone the event. My fans, you all come first and your health is important. As we all know the dreaded coronavirus is present in our region and there is a case in Trinidad and Tobago. It is becoming a global issue and it is very serious. We all know the concert attracts thousands and in closed venues like the Centre of Excellence we cannot risk the safety of our people and I made a decision and contacted the promoter and said safety of people comes first.”


A CENTRAL FAMILY is pleading with National Security Minister Stuart Young to locate and bring back the mother of three girls — including a nursing 16-month-old baby—who was among 160 Venezuelans deported last Saturday.

The appeal has been made ahead of a scheduled court hearing in Port of Spain today.

The children of 33-year-old Kemilis Mendoza, who are now living with Trinidadian Meera Ramlakhan, are “crying non-stop”, the care-giver told the Express yesterday.

A CHILD-TRAFFICKING and illegal adoption ring involving Venezuelan children is active throughout the Caribbean, with Trinidad and Tobago being at the epicentre.

This is stated in a confidential e-mail sent on November 26 addressed to Sandra Flores, head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Trinidad and Tobago, by Dr Cleophas Justine Pierre, partner in the Canadian firm Dunn, Pierre, Barnett and Company Canada Ltd,

People’s National Movement (PNM) stalwart Ferdie Ferreira, 88, and his wife Pearl, 83, saw death when their car got swept away in Macqueripe last Thursday.

One of the men involved in the rescue said he believes an angel of God was present to help them, adding it was nothing short of a miracle.

TWO more people have died as a result of Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health advised yesterday that, “The persons are an elderly female and an elderly male, both with pre-existing medical conditions.”

The additional deaths brought the total local toll to 120 people.

Trinidad and Tobago also recorded 30 new cases of the Covid-19 virus, the ministry’s daily 4 p.m. update stated.

FOLLOWING last week’s controversial “extreme embalming” funeral where the seated body of Che Lewis arrived via procession, the Catholic Archdiocese last Friday reminded of the “dignity” of the body and said parishes will now have to request details ahead of services.

An article in last Friday’s Catholic News quoted parish priests Fr Roger Paponette and Fr Martin Sirju, who said the locally unprecedented ceremony was “offensive” according to the principles of community faith.