How a mere 37 Attorneys with East Indian-flavoured Names can Drag their un-loved, Afro-blessed Brother-in-Law Armour right back down with the Creature in the Black Lagoon.

Like the proverbial Julius Caesar who thrice refused the crown before being killed by his colleagues,  Trinidad and Tobago’s  beleaguered newly-appointed AG may have inadvertently cast himself as the tragic star player in a major case of Ethnic Assassination in this highly diverse twin-island Caribbean democratic republic.

Reginald Amour SC – who was recently appointed Attorney General in the  T+T  African-dominated People’s National Movement (PNM) government – is now facing the prospect of being dragged back down into the old, backward  political lagoon by 38  attorneys carrying East-Indian –flavoured names  who  petitioned the Court to have him removed from office.

Of the remaining two in the  full band of 40 petitioners, Wayne Sturge has served as a Senator for the East Indian-dominated United National Congress.

This group comprises One Per Cent of the 4,000 attorneys practising in this country. Twenty five attorneys are required to bring a petition here.

In a cover letter sent on behalf of the group  to  the president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) Sophia Chote SC, attorney Kiel Taklalsingh stated that he and some of his colleagues had taken note of the allegations being made against the Attorney General in the public domain and are of the view that this should be ventilated at a special general meeting.

“Respectfully, these allegations, if left unaddressed, have the potential to erode public confidence in our profession, the administration of justice and the rule of law,” Taklalsingh stated.

Armour was disqualified by a Miami court from being involved in the Piarco International Airport corruption case after it was found there was a conflict of interest as he is now this country’s Attorney General and had also represented two of the defendants, Brian Kuei Tung and Renee Pierre, years ago. Armour also describing himself as a junior attorney in the case, according to the affidavit filed in the Miami court.

This latest move by the band of forty has brought a new twist to the on-going ethnic warfare which has been promulgated in the media and various social transactions over time by persons of East Indian and African descent, the two main ethic groups that make up this most diverse population.  

Apart from the fact that the legal assault on Armour – who himself  also looks a lot like an East Indian – it assumes a special significance because it mashes the heel of what started as  a petty public name-calling  squabble  between Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis  a couple weeks ago.

In response to  Robinson-Regis’ repetition of her middle name (Sushilla) in what some saw as derogatory, Persad-Bissessar asserted she was proud of her name but did not feel the same could be said for  Camille who, she said, had got hers  from her slave master. 

The ethnic jungle fever  heated up to a higher temperature with the intervention of respected  East Indian Attorney Israel Khan SC who, in a letter to the Trinidad Express, called on Kamla to hold her ground. 

“After reading and digesting the historical hatred and bigotry heaped upon our East Indian forefathers, I regained the inner strength from a text entitled Why Should We Be Called ‘Coolies’? by Dr Radica Mahase (based on her PhD thesis first published in 2020), to say now that I fully support Kamla Persad-Bissessar for putting Camille Robinson-Regis in her place for attempting to belittle and shame the East Indian name bestowed upon her by culture and heritage—especially when she, Camille Robinson-Regis, still holds on to her “slave name”, Khan stated.

But unlike his stance with Kamla, Khan is today  advising Armour to resign, given his “impeccable character,” amidst the growing controversy over his conduct in a civil case before a Miami court, Newsday’s Jensen Lavende  reported. 

In a telephone interview Khan said he believed his fellow senior counsel would resign within three weeks.

“Trinidad and Tobago doesn’t have jurisdiction over Reggie committing perjury in the US.

“I believe he is a person of impeccable character and integrity. I have known him for 22 years and there is not a single instance of him being dishonest. I believe he will resign. I think it will be about three weeks before he resigns.”

Armour, 65, in a media statement on June 4, had said the decision by the US judge was “patently wrong.”  Armour appointed his predecessor Faris Al-Rawi – an East Indian with Arab ethnic connections who was named Daniel Seukeran by his Indian  mom – to represent TT in the US matter.

In the mix, meanwhile, PM Dr Keith Rowley, who is well-recognized for his Tobagonian ethnicity, was reported as appointing half-Chinese Energy Minister Stuart Young – who revealed he was called a Chindian at school – to act as Attorney General as needed in this matter.

On Tuesday, the Law Association said it would investigate whether Armour breached the Legal Profession Act with his conduct.

The Opposition is leading the charge for Armour to be removed as AG and/or be disciplined locally and internationally. Barataria MP Saddam Hosein, the political East Indian lamb who might have got his name from the mighty Arab war Lion, filed  a Motion of no confidence in the AG on Monday.

Khan described Armour as his friend, who would have had to give up a lot to accept the position as AG. He added that the entire issue has now become a “political fight,” one which he said Armour might not have accounted for in taking up the position.

In this regard we wish to ask therefore: supposing, we’re only supposing that   Israel Khan’s confident prediction about Reginald Armour is fulfilled, it will then be a question of how the objective,  professional integrity of an argument can be scuttled by hot-and-sweaty, emotional quarrelling based on historical ethnic biases that will never go away.

Which makes the challenge which we all  face as a people to build a strong  nation, so much more formidable. But we Trinis, who have been there and done that, will use this to brace our chests and put our strong shoulders to the wheel as one to forge success for a bright and prosperous future.

After all as we ourselves like to say:

We back broad!

The lawyers who signed petition:

1. Anjanee Seenath

2. Angela Mohammed

3. Taruna Mangroo

4. Kiel Taklalsingh

5. Stefan Ramkissoon

6. Rhea Khan

7. Kavita Ardita Moonasar

8. Patrice J Ayoung Chee

9. Simbhoonath Sawh

10. Natasha Mongroo

11. Andrew K Ramsubeik

12. Wayne D Sturge

13. Ameera F Khan

14. Suneesh Singh

15. Desireé Sankar

16. Rajiv Rickhi

17. Khandace Bharath-Nahous

18. Nisha K Persad

19. Larry Lalla

20. Josi Young

21. Mellisa Sookoo

22. Crystal Singh

23. Jared Jagroo

24. Robert Abdool-Mitchell

25. Ché Mellin Dindial

26. Lester Chariah

27. Roshan Babwah

28. Stephanie Boodram

29. Gina Maharaj

30. Crystal Ramsoorup

31. Sarah Sieunarine

32. René Thomas

33. Narendra Latchman

34. Dave C Persad

35. Lennox Sankersingh

36. Vernalisa Maharaj

37. Arruna Bissessar

38. Kandice Rampersad

39. Rajiv Sochan

40. Ria Ramoutar   

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top