Last update: 13-Dec-2013 12:16 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Pres in surprise visit to slain scholar’s family
President Anthony Carmona yesterday made a surprise visit to the Cunupia home of the family of terrorist victim Ravindra Ramrattan. He is also expected to attend the funeral, which is tentatively set for next Tuesday, barring any delay in bringing the body home today. Moved by the tragedy which led to the killing of this brilliant young man in Kenya, Carmona, who has known the family for more than 20 years, turned up at their doorstep shortly after noon.
He spent close to two hours speaking to Ravindra’s parents, Bisnath and Parbatie Ramrattan, their children and other relatives, telling them they were in his prayers and encouraging them to be strong and trust God.
He reportedly told the family he wanted to visit them before Ravi’s body was flown home, because he knew it would be a terrible time for them afterwards. He is also said to have told the family’s pundit, who was at the home preparing for the funeral, that he was counting on him to give the Ramrattans spiritual strength and advice. Parbatie Ramrattan confirmed the President’s visit yesterday. “I knew he would come,” she said.
“I expected him to pay us a visit, not because he is President, but because I have known him for 33 years and I was looking forward to him coming. “The mere thought of him coming caused me to break down.” She said that the President’s humility and kindness were like that of her late son. “His humility is like my son’s. This is the kind of people we need in this world, humble, caring people.” She described her son’s death as a national tragedy.
Asked how she and her family felt about Carmona’s visit, Mrs Ramrattan replied: “The President is a very, very caring person, so it’s all in order. Almost like he is expected to visit people who have trouble. “I know he cares a lot, that is why he came,” she said. “He spent a good while with us and he was very sad and sympathised with us.”
She said the death of her son at the hands of terrorists during a three-day siege and hostage situation at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, which left over 160 dead, has touched the entire nation, including Carmona. “That is why as President of T&T he decided to visit, because it is a national issue. It is also the kindness of the man.”
Although they did not know each other, Ravindra and Carmona were Presentation College brothers. Ravindra attended the Presentation College in Chaguanas, while Carmona attended the one in San Fernando. Ravindra, 30, winner of an island scholarship and the President’s Medal, was working in Kenya while doing research towards his doctorate in economics. He had gone to the mall with friends last Saturday, when the terrorists launched their deadly attack.
His mother said the body is expected to arrive today and will be collected by a funeral home to prepare for Ravindra’s final farewell under Hindu rites.
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