RENO, USA — Hindus have urged Trinidad and Tobago to immediately restore the visa of three Jamaican students who were reportedly denied student permits to study Hinduism in Couva, Trinidad.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement, urged President Paula-Mae Weekes, Prime Minister Keith Rowley, Education Minister Anthony Garcia and National Security Minister Stuart Young to look into the issue, as the Trinidad and Tobago constitution provides for freedom of religious belief/practice/observance, worship and conscience; and prohibits discrimination based on religion.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged The Inter-Religious Organization of Trinidad and Tobago (whose founding task was “speak to the nation on matters of social, moral and religious concern”) and its president, Archbishop Barbara Gray-Burke, to take up this issue.
Zed further urged the Immigration Division of the ministry of national security, which issues student permits, and chief immigration officer, Charmaine Gandhi-Andrews, to help the students to complete the required paperwork/formalities so that their student permits could be renewed and they could stay in the country to pursue their Hinduism studies.
“Trinidad and Tobago should not deprive somebody from religious learning/advancement and should feel delighted as foreigners chose it as an educational destination,” Zed added.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.