Board member of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) Jaishima Leladharsingh has been fired for posting racist statements on Facebook.
Leladharsingh, who is also a senior United National Congress (UNC) activist and former marketing manager at the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) on April 12, 2014 referred to Anthony S Mcleod as a “stinking n!gger” on Facebook.
Messages sent via Facebook to Mcleod yesterday for a comment were unsuccessful.
Speaking briefly with the Express yesterday afternoon, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development Dr Bhoe Tewarie under whose portfolio CDA falls, said the posting by Leladharsingh had been under investigation and following its completion, he was asked to resign.
Asked how long the issue was being investigated and why in the interim Leladharsingh was still a member of the CDA board, Tewarie declined to comment and instead referred all his comments to the news release announcing his firing.
Efforts to contact Leladharsingh were unsuccessful.
Following the resignation, Leldharsingh’s Facebook page was on the receiving end of individuals expressing disgust over his statements. Posts left on his page have ridiculed his statements. The last activity on his page was on Monday where he posted pictures of Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine.
Checks by the Express revealed that Leladharsingh’s derogatory remarks on Facebook are not just last April’s. He and several other UNC bloggers have also launched a series of race attacks against Facebook users who oppose the Government.
Several of the posts have also attacked journalists and opposition members.
In one post dated September 15, 2013, Leladharsingh posted in a closed UNC group, “Each member should target at least five individuals and inbox them in persuasion of going to City Hall in protest for answers my pick would be for the N!ggers they pushy enough and gullible it would not take much to sway them it would also enhance the look of the PPG having the African members protesting. But I do need to ask Allan how did you persuade the “impeccable” Kazim Hosein?”
Sources told the Express that only a select group of UNC bloggers have administrative access to this closed group.
Last year, the administrators of this group expressed concern over the leaking of conversations into mainstream Facebook. Sources say the group’s main objective is to attack anyone perceived as being anti-government by using racial slurs and personal attacks.
Sources further told the Express that a relative of a former government minister who was once employed as the minister’s personal assistant has been named as one of the administrators for the closed group.
Efforts to contact the assistant were unsuccessful.
The genesis of the remarks made against Mcleod started following a post on April 11, 2014, written by former prime minister Basdeo Panday.
The post was in reference to comments made by Panday in the media following the death of former prime minister and president Arthur NR Robinson in 2014.
In that interview with the media on April 9, 2014, Panday said though he sympathised with relatives of Robinson on his passing, “I was instrumental in him becoming both prime minister and president. But I think that issue would not be as kind to him, for some of the things he did while in office.”
In his Facebook post two days later, Panday said, “It seems that my response to some journalists from the media who asked me to comment on the passing of Mr ANR Robinson has caused some very interesting comments. But none has accused me of speaking untruths.
“Had I lauded praise on Mr Robinson I would have been accused of hypocrisy, and justifiably so. All I said was that history would not be as kind to Mr Robinson as I had been to him. And when pressed for an explanation of that statement I referred to the 18-18 elections deadlock of 2001.
“I also referred to the breakup of the NAR. In so doing I spoke not an untrue word. Would my critics have preferred that I lied? Some say I should not have said what I said on such an occasion. Is there an occasion for the truth and another reserved for lies. If so, then they must surely have a morality of your own. I only ask that they do not pass it on to their luckless children”.
The Facebook posts
One day after the post was made, Leladharsingh posted: “I’m glad that Robinson is gone forever”.
Mcleod responded: “You would also be gone forever. We all have to go. I can’t believe how big people can be so stupid”.
Leladharsingh then stated, “go f... yourself Mcleod. You bastards will never understand because you never had to fight nor work for anything. I gave my opinion and I don’t care what you f.... parasites think”.
This post by Leladharsingh received “one like” from Bridgie Ramkissoon. Checks on his profile have revealed that Ramkissoon is a medical doctor.
Mcleod’s response to this rant was, “Hahaha u rel funny”.
It was at this point that Leladharsingh stated again, “ and you are a stinking N!gger”
Mcleod brushed aside the comment stating, “you can say what u wat you still have to dead”.
“And you will die as a low class N!gger”, Leladharsingh shot back.
Mcleod responded, “You dnt knw me nor my status and you are so confident abt ur statements. Frm wht I can see is that you hav no class”.
“F... you both, Anthony S Mcleod you are a f.... stinking and low class N!gger”, Leladharsingh wrote.
Panday then intervened and warned Leladharsingh about his conduct stating, “My Dear Jaishima Please do not do anything to exacerbate the racial problem which has been the bane of this society for centuries. Speak your mind without being offensive. Please?”
On December 26, 2014, Leladharsingh also accused the Express of being racist and called for a boycott of the newspaper on Facebook.
Jaishima Leladharsingh's excuse about feeling threatened is weak. He is clearly a racist and his apology at this late point does not change that fact.
There are many others like Jaishima Leladharsingh in positions of power in T&T right now, he was just foolish enough to expose his real views about African people in T&T on facebook.
I am sure that Satnarayan Maharaj is not too happy about losing one of his soldiers from a position of power.
By Carolyn Kissoon Multimedia Desk (T&T Express) Story Created: Mar 18, 2015 at 10:28 AM ECT Jaishima Leladharsingh
Fired board member of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) Jaishima Leladharsingh yesterday apologised for posting racist statements on Facebook.
In a Facebook post at 3.24pm, Leladharsingh wrote that his statement was "inappropriate and uncalled for".
Leladharsingh posted that he was angry and felt threatened by Anthony S Mcleod on Facebook.
He wrote: "I sincerely apologise to the particular individual; for making a statement that was inappropriate and uncalled for. I did it in anger when he told me that I will be dead. At that point I took as a threat. It may not have been, but I acted in rage. I am sorry for the pain and sorrow that I caused to others. I want you all to know that I am truly sorry and i have resigned from the CDA Board of Directors effective immediately."
Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development Dr Bhoe Tewarie said yesterday that Leladharsingh's Facebook posting was under investigation and he was asked to resign.
Leladharsingh's racist rant against Mcleod started following a post by former prime minister Basdeo Panday in April 2014, but he remained as a member of the CDA's Board of Directors until yesterday.
Following Panday's post on the death of former prime minister and president Arthur NR Robinson, Leladharsingh wrote: "I am glad that Robinson is gone forever".
Mcleod responded: "You would also be gone forever. We all have to go. I can't believe how big people can be so stupid."
Leladharsingh responded with expletives and racist remarks. The Express found that Leadharsingh has deleted the content from his Facebook page.