Friday, March 25, 2016

Open Letter to Saviour of the Trinity Cross Key Keeper of City Guardian of Demokrissy

The More Things Change: From  Montage of Articles & Columns
on Social and Economic Development
(c) KrisRampersadArchives2016
Dear Father Tony,
Please hear my plea,
To revive the economy
Try that city key
Tho of you and me
Dey making bobolee
And the poor already
Heading to vagrancy
Save this country
We call La Trinity


I may call you that, Dear Father Tony, may I not, although we is not family, we are still part of the Trini famalee and the human famalee, part of the same national journey on the same ship, and I was part of your empire on the media side for most of me journalistic life and that was how some referred to you in revered whispers though others had less reverent terms; and it may be said, ’twas in your empire whence I cut meh journalistic tooth and whence my career was birthed and so you really are meh father in some sense of the word, eh Tony!

Is vexness that have we here yes, with no avenues for constructive and creative discussion and dialogue and debate, doors slam, you get put out, you vex, you become branded as part of the opposition! How many times you see it replayed in domestic and in national strife during your ninety-something years, Dear sagely Father Tony +Sabga?
Everybody vex, vex in this place, ‘though they hiding it behind big big smile and sweet talk, but I doh have to tell you dat. Just like how the contentious politics produce ah set a vex chirren, going off on their own way, mashing up party and forming new ones and voting out this one and that one and the next one to pay de devil or the next monster or canine; just like all them vex and mad and angry chirren/monsters and hoodlums and hooligans in school; we have dem in the media too, pappy yo, getting vex, walking off, starting Independent newspapers to Express themselves and create they own Daily Newsday and making the Guardians of Democracy cut they own standards downsized to tabloid and rag too! 
’Tis true, Father, indeed and in word I have been a prodigal a daughter of Demokrissy. Of this you reminded me the last time we spoke when we literally bumped into each other while I was trying to find the people who say they is people to sort out me car insurance at your ivory tower on Maraval Road, and you hug me and say, ‘Eh Eh, Kris, you abandon me’, and I hug you back and kiss you on your cheek and shake yuh hand and assure you that I hadn’t abandoned you, ‘I thought it was the other way around’  and you promised to fix it and I never hear from you again.
That was a lil while now, eh, some good time after I had returned from other prodigal outburst to AVM Television, later again as a founding daughter of Newsday to head your flagship Sunday Guardian  - which under its previous editor, Therese Mills, the weeklies liked to call the Jamete of St Vincent Street. Abhorrent of meetings, I must say I enjoyed our long private meetings Oh Father of Conglomerates on setting up that new newspaper, The Wire, which died a natural death – maybe it would have lasted a little longer if you didn’t decide you prefer me at the Big One, and then cast out the thought - just like its predecessor the Evening News, because while they might have been serving some needs for the public right to know they couldn’t really serve the bottom line profit line requirements of the empire!
The More Things Change: Montage of Columns
Discover Trinidad & Tobago (c) KrisRampersadArchives2016
’Twas some time, too, after I walk away from the organised institutional journalism mafia a dozen years or so ago, convinced that the future of media was a new type of media, responsive journalism that speak to the people, and although I was not in marketing, leaving a marketing plan and advertising concept to reflect the convergence of print and motion picture that no one wanted to touch then but which I see somebody just dust off and take up because maybe that’s how long it takes corporate giants in small islands to awake from slumber.
Deny me, once, twice, trice, if you wish, Dear Father Tony,  but daughter I am, the DNA proof is before you in this blog which derives its name from one of the last of the ‘C Monologues’ columns – see photo this page. I would be one of the first to admit and give you credit that this blog, Demokrissy is itself one of your offsprings, Dear Father Gate Key Keeper of the City and Guardian of Democracy, for being a child who run off on her own - because she ‘own way’, nah - just as is virtually the whole media of the Triniverse is here today living testimony of the fruit of your noble loin and toil, every one of them whether designer tabloid or rag, but most of dem too neemakaram to admit it.  Not me! I suck the last bit of pre-vatted salt and am ready to admit to the error of my ways!
I reckon my evil wanton ways, now, Father. What a slur that must have been on you, my Father’s goodly name to have those controversial ‘C Monologues’ spread out in the centrefold of the editorial page, shamelessly baring the society’s privates for all to see!
Why couldn’t I understand how justified were the boardroom disciples in crucifying it, calling for it to be constrained in consternation of its contentious content that seemed contemptuous and contradictory of contrived commercial and political constitutions and hence its, and mine, discontinuance which have been otherwise falsely attributed to a Chutney Bacchanal?
Forgive them, Father Tony, as I have forgiven them, for they knew not what they do!
Contrary to popular belief, I heard you understood those monologues’ conterminous connotations and tried to defend its continuation, but to contemplate that would have meant reconfiguring the conglomerate’s constellation so ’twas best to concur ’twas a contaminant of the body politic, rather than recognise it as a concise map of contemporary times. Who have control over what gets into the public minds, eh? Not me, even if I were to zip meh lips fuh the rest of meh life the seeds already planted and we have plenty wire, satire, lateoclocknews, and people clamouring for truth, peace, bread and justice, equity and respect, so I could really happily retire to that spot under the Samaan tree with my friends in Woodford Square.
For your coming to my defenses then, I thank you Dear Father Tony, in the hope that now by my father’s will, will open the minds of those in his many mansions in his kingdom to new plea, My Defences of Peace and for the protection of my hard earned and hard won goodly name in the name of Demokrissy.
Since I am in confessional mode, I admit, Oh Father Tony, to being one of the very few people who perhaps know that the political puppet masters and the bottom line profit pressures have never been your priorities - but the empire’s, just as I am beginning to accept that the long days night of resistance being over, that I am but only a daughter of this island empire set afloat but drowning in its own wasted produce, thoughts, words and actions.
The More Things Change: Montage of Articles & Columns
Resuscitation and Development of City of Port of Spain
(c) KrisRampersadArchives2016
Now, I too am sitting among piles of that garbage that I produced with the Ole Lady of St Vincent Street – otherwise mirrored in such national yellowing and dog-eared chronicles of our times as the Guardian of Democracy – and elsewhere since. I sit among these piles and piles of useless words, thoughts, ideas and actions as a reporter, writer, producer, strategist, advisor, activist, educator: from my newspaper articles and columns and television scripts and manuscript of short stories, films, plays, novels and documentaries, national committee reports and recommendations for more equitable and sustained development to revive Port of Spain and other districts too; to emerge from the ashes of the coup; to rehabilitate delinquent monsters and their parents, trade unionists and leaders of counter political coups; to resurface from the corruption; to regenerate from the environmental bulldozers; to resuscitate from the stifling polluters of people’s conscience – see photos this page. All beaming out headlines that look like they were written today! Static society. Nothing new in the news! The more things change!
In this panorama, I am surveying my options, Dear Father,  if I shouldn’t have left them for the fishmongers to wrap fish as is the erstwhile fate of all news articles or create a big bonfire and burn all of it like some people claiming to be of higher education, who, if they not burning, banning books.
That’s why, I have turned to you, Dear Father, Saviour of the Trinity Cross, Guardian of Demokrissy and Gate Key Keeper of the City; Corporate Conglomerate Magnate. Sitting here, stoned, tarred, nailed to the cross and head bowed with its thorny crown; dis-empired, de-nationed,  dispossessed and de-robed; on the auctioneer’s executioner block, to beg of you Father Tony - you whose rod and staff saved the nation La Trinity from the embarrassing auctioneering of our Trinity Cross outbidding the highest bidder with a lower bid, I am beseeching your mercy to save my head and the honour of La Trinity which has been marked for execution and character assassination in the eternal national chess game of blame, name and shame like every errant monster child of this delinquent tri-headed nation, though one State.
I beseech you, Dear Saviour of the Trinity Cross and Guardian of the City Gates. I had made arrangements to bring these to the feet of the former ill-fated Mayor Tim Kee to try and find a way of resuscitating the city quays and keys and he promised to meet me on a bench in Woodford Square but he had the keys and quays snatched from him and the brand new and youthful Mayor give them quays and keys to you, my wise and sagely Father Tony, and they are now dangling in your pocket and you there wondering what to do with it.
Having fasted for one hundred and forty days as you requested Dear Father Tony – do the math and you would see what I mean – I can see now the error of my ways: that rather than bow to the enticing temptations of the Almighty Dollar, thirty-pieced silverware or corporate promotion, I have followed false prophets of doom and gloom and a devilish path of enlightenment with dirty and false thoughts and beliefs that knowledge and information shall set us free which were planted in my mind by my birth father, a country farmer, who knew only how to live by the sweat of his brow!   
Dear Father Tony, in such a repentant mode, this prodigal daughter crawls to the gateway of the city in which is housed you’re the many minions and mansions of your conglomerate power - passions spent, wings clipped, dreams clouded, picking leftover salt and roti from discarded sohari leaves, beseeching to be folded back into the flock of the lambs who would be sheep rather than be slaughtered.
 You tried to warn me - in those days when we bounced ideas about, towards creating the new tabloid to Wire or rope in errant readers - that a mind or a life mean nothing here; it is only about which company or corporation or constituent you keep, and my hot mouth, the likes of which got other people fired, tell your henchman to keep it, I going ‘plant bhaji’ – and I walked into fields of freedom and boundless knowledge.
 ’Tis true that I worshipped not the one true god, the Almighty Dollar but false gods of knowledge and education and followed my birth father’s advice into paths of enlightenment where there are no cliques, so now I pay the price of the proleteriat, condemned with body and mind left to solitary confinement for trying to resist and defy the tunnels of darkness where and when it would have been easier to grope and cling to the cliques of corporate co-operative masses.
Forgive me, Dear Father Tony for believing that the pursuit of knowledge and happiness should take precedent over the pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. I have erred.
Forgive me for contending that as a messenger of the messiah and a chronicler of social truths that the media has a greater duty to the society than chasing a profit line. I have erred.
Forgive me for wanting the national discourse and national agenda to be about progress and development and not shame and scandal. I have erred.
Forgive me for begging and pleading and battling boardroom decisions for investments in human not just technical capital. You saw, what my idealist’s lenses were too clouded to see: the Judas’ among them humans, when technologies would never have betrayed me. I have erred.
And forgive me for running off and squandering my mind and intellect in pursuit of all of that in spaces that would allow for such errant behaviour, beckoning and welcoming such daring to believe that finally there was an opportunity to turn stone into bread for the hungry, disenfranchised, marginalised and alienated multitudes and for a more equitable and sustainable path to our development – another ill-advised lesson from my dearly departed birth father - when I could have been building and serving your noble empire, Dear Father Tony.
I have erred, Dear Father and Saviour of the Cross and Keeper of the City Keys and Quays and hopefully, Guardian of this Demokrissy.
I return to seek your benevolent mercy and kindness as I had sought in vain the mercy and kindness of the head of those other powerful mansions, the Houses of Parliament.  I must have erred in inviting the former Mayor Tim Kee to join me in Woodford Square to explore some actions that would help the vacantly starring vagrants of the People’s Parliament to utilise their mind, memory and experiences for the edification of all. He had them there keys snatched from him. His successor, the spanking young new Mayor, hand you Tim’s Key, so it look like I back, right there, where I started: dis-possessed, de-nationed, disrobed and disenfranchised, with Demokrissy under threat by a demonic censure mill intent on overpowering the memory of the world with a flood of garbage, and censure on thoughts, words, actions and books lest they be used for higher edification.
So it is as the Saviour of this Cross, La Trinity, I now, in the final analysis, address you, Dear Father Tony Sabga, unpacking these burdens and accumulation of useless knowledge as I prepare to meet my fate, whether it will be as a headless corpse, a mindless lunatic or a disenfranchised and dispossessed inhabitant of Woodford Square – all of which will inevitably tax how you put to use them there city keys, as the Saviour of the Trinity Cross, a Guardian of the Ole Lady of St Vincent Street and her offspring, the errant monster and prodigal daughter, Demokrissy!
Dear and Revered Father Dr Tony, maybe together we could put them city keys to some sustainable use for development of our city and nation, eh?
Kris Rampersad
Your Prodigal Daughter,
Of No Fixed Place of Abode
Soon to be Burgess of Woodford Square.


Update: Dr Anthony Norman Sabga, chairman Emeritus of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies, and one of Trinidad and Tobago's most recognised businessman  died at the age of 94 on May 3, 2017. He was awarded the Order of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the nation's highest award, in 2011. May he rest in peace.
Vagrant's View of Woodford Square, Port of Spain
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@krisramp, @lolleaves @glocalpot #Worldwewantpeople #Demokrissy #LeavesOfLife #CaribbeanLiterarySalon #anthonysabga Trinidadbusiness


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Open Statement Breaking the Silence on UNESCO Matters

Statement by Dr Kris Rampersad on Trinidad and Tobago’s handling of matters related to UNESCO
1.     Summary of main issues and concerns
National Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago with
 National Motto: Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve
This statement follows a series of unsuccessful attempts to access existing democratic mechanism and processes for clarification and to correct the Parliamentary and public records on actions and statements by members of the Government since November 2015 in relation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisations (UNESCO) on activities in which I was legitimately engaged as a citizen and national of Trinidad and Tobago.
This occurred within and around the work of this organisation, UNESCO, devoted to promoting intercultural dialogue, peaceful negotiations and conflict resolution, in an already highly tense international meeting that involved balancing various extreme elements, and in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Paris in November 2015 which put further pressures on the already stressed peace-building systems and which cast a shadow over actions of officials from Trinidad and Tobago and the country’s engagement with its international partners, as well as raised questions about its treatment of nationals.
Returning to private life, my approach to date has been to allow established mechanisms and procedures to address this matter.
However, using the cover of powers, privileges and immunities of Parliament both the Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, the Honourable Lovell Francis in the House of Representatives on January 22, 2016 and the Minister of Education, the Honourable Anthony Garcia in the Senate on January 26, 2016 have distorted the facts with omissions, misalignments and misrepresentations of dates, sequences and chronologies; exhibiting as the line officials on UNESCO matters considerable deficiencies in knowledge and understanding about matters under their jurisdiction and portfolios on the roles and functions of offices, institutions, organisations and persons and processes, procedures and roles, functions and mechanisms and of international and national systems therein. This has cast further confusion over the issues about which I have been asked by various quarters nationally and internationally to clarify.