Last update: 13-Dec-2013 12:16 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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World pays tribute to terrorist victim
British High Commissioner Arthur Snell joined with the Ramrattan family yesterday to celebrate the life of their son Ravindra and to mourn his passing. “On behalf of the British Government, I thank you for all you did for the people of Kenya and the wider world. We will not forget you or your service to humanity,” Snell said at the final farewell for Ramrattan, who was killed in a terrorist attack two weeks ago in Kenya.
Snell said Ravi worked on a British Government-funded programme of development assistance to Kenya, the Financial Sector Deepening Trust, and his work was at the cutting edge of international development. He added: “Our Secretary of State for International Development, the Right Honourable Justine Greening, MP, has personally written to the Ramrattan family to offer her condolences.
“The loss of Ravi’s life, with more than 70 others, in the horrific attacks in Nairobi was a tragedy that seems random, senseless and cruel. The British Government continues to work very closely with the Kenyan authorities to unravel the events and identify those responsible.” Parbatee Ramrattan screamed and stretched out her hands, willing her son to come back to her, as he was whisked away in a white hearse for his final resting place at Waterloo cremation site.
Throughout the three-hour-long ceremony at the family’s Cunupia home, Parbatee Ramrattan, sitting with her husband, Bisnath, President Anthony Carmona and Speaker of the House of Representatives Wade Mark, maintained her composure as the body was prepared for cremation. But as her son was leaving her home for the last time, the pain was too much to bear for her. She broke down in tears and had to be comforted by friends and relatives.
Among the mourners were acting Prime Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal, National Security Minister Gary Griffith and several other Cabinet ministers, as well as Independent Liberal Party leader Jack Warner, Pundit Amar Seepersad told them Ravindra was snatched away by cowards. “What happened there could happen to anyone, any place, T&T is no exception,” he said, directing that last comment to Griffith.
He said in the Hindu religion there were many stories about wars, which were all fought on equality, in terms of qualities and weapons. “Not weapons and bare-handed. If those individuals did not have weapons, Ravi would have challenged any one of them and conquered. Ravi had a black belt in karate and if he had to take on those individuals in Kenya, in hand-to-hand combat, he would have defeated them,” he added.
Seepersad noted Ramrattan’s many accomplishments, sporting and academic, but said what characterised this young man was his humility. “He was loved by all and touched the lives of hundreds of thousands, not only in T&T, but around the world.”
Friends from around the world
Several of Ramrattan’s friends and colleagues travelled from Britain and Kenya to be at the funeral. Trudy Rebert brought condolences and love from all of those who knew him while he was living in London. She said he had friends across the globe, from New Zealand, Singapore, India, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
“One friend referred to him as ‘the Mayor of Goodenough,’ because he was instrumental in bringing many of us together, helping us to forge friendships. He touched the lives of many and enriched every community he was part of. He was taken far too early,” she added.
Representing his friends in Kenya, Sean Smith remarked that while in T&T he was known as the boy who won the President’s Gold Medal, he gave a glimpse of the man he became. He said because Ramrattan’s humility was so great, none of his friends abroad knew he was an island scholar but they all knew how smart he was.
“Ravi has been taken too soon but his death has highlighted how he brought people together. They have been gathered in memorials around the world to remember not just his brilliant mind but the good person, the incredible dancer and the heart and soul of family abroad. “At 30 years, he accomplished more, shared more laughs and impacted more lives than almost anybody would in a lifetime,” Smith said.
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