Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kamal Mohammed denied National Award

Trinidad Guardian Newspaper dated 31/08/09 :

NCIC questions Kamal’s ‘rejection’
Richard Lord
Published: 31 Aug 2009
Richard Lord

President of the National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) Deokinanan Sharma is questioning the method of selection of recipients for national awards. This, as the NCIC’s nominees for awards—former government minister Kamaluddin Mohammed and Justice of the Peace Ackbar Khan—were rejected by the National Awards Committee. Mohammed was one of two nominees for this country’s highest national award—the Order of T&T. When contacted for comment yesterday, Sharma said he was “very disappointed that a man who has done so much for this country has been rejected.”

He said Mohammed served as a councillor, a minister in several PNM governments, “and was called as Mr Caricom for his tremendous work with the regional body.” He said Mohammed was also a president of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and served those country exceedingly well. Sharma said while no one explained the reasons for rejecting a nominee, “something is very wrong about the national awards.” He said the process did not appear to be transparent and questioned whether there was “racial discrimination in the selection of awardees.” He said he did not know what a citizen had to do in this country to be rewarded with its highest award.

In response to another question, Sharma said over the years he noted the racial imbalance in the list of awardees. Secretary general of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Sat Maharaj said yesterday that the awards could no longer be considered to be national, but instead it was the Patrick Manning’s awards. He said the SDMS had decided last year against any further participation in the awards. Maharaj said Mohammed deserved the country’s highest award but should not feel too disappointed by the rejection of his nomination. Mohammed, when contacted, said he had no comment to make on the matter. But a source said family members were very upset over the rejection.

Trinidad Guardian Newspaper dated 01/09/09 :

Kamal’s nephew in shock

Published: 1 Sep 2009

Jamal Mohammed, nephew of former government minister Kamaluddin Mohammed, says he is shocked and dismayed over the omission of his uncle’s name from this year’s Independence Day awards ceremony. Jamal said his uncle was formally nominated to receive the nation’s highest award—the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. As far as Jamal was concerned, the nomination was properly prepared and submitted on time to the relevant committee.

Jamal added, “These national awards have been designed to recognise those citizens of our country who have dedicated their lives in the service of Trinidad and Tobago. “If ever there was someone who deserves a national award—and the highest award, too—it must be Kamaluddin Mohammed. “For over 56 years, more than half of his life, he has dedicated his time to the service of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. “By rejecting his nomination, a number of questions come to mind:

• Was his nomination received and considered by the awards committee?
• If not, why not?
• If his nomination was considered and approved, was it forwarded to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for final approval?
• If not, why not?
• If his nomination was forwarded to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, was it considered?
• If the Prime Minister and his Cabinet received the nomination, what possible rationale could there be to refuse the nomination?
• Is it true that only friends of the Prime Minister and the PNM receive awards?
• Remember 1981? When Dr Williams died, Uncle Kamal was supposed to be appointed Prime Minister, since he was the most-qualified and experienced Member of Parliament at the time.
• Uncle Kamal was not appointed for reasons unknown to all, but understood by all. Was the same rationale that was used in 1981 re-used in 2009 to deny Uncle Kamal his national award?
• What message are we sending to our younger generation? Uncle Kamal has given his life for Trinidad and Tobago, yet his country—Trinidad and Tobago—represented by the Government, the State, Patrick Manning administration refuses to recognise his contribution.
• What else must one do to deserve a national award?

First off let me wish you Trinis out there a Happy Belated Independence. Right...now that the pleasantries are over...time to get down to some business.

Everybody wants to know why Kamal didn't get a National Award and Jamal, his nephew, is in shock. Hear what...lemme break it down for allyuh in real simple terms - RACIAL DISCRIMINATION!

Yes, you heard me, it's outright discrimination against a man of East Indian descent by the current PNM regime. Who vex loss and if yuh don't like it then take it in yuh pipe and smoke it!

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