“Do not politicise Andrea’s death!”
This warning came yesterday from Andrea Bharatt’s cousin Sally Sooman who called on individuals who plan to wear UNC jerseys tonight at the Red House, Port-of-Spain, where the family is expected to thank the nation for supporting them during their period of grief and sadness, to desist.
“This would be so disrespectful. I am pissed. I don’t want this funeral to be a political tool…the family don’t want it. I can’t deal with that.”
Sooman pleaded with those who have intentions of showing up in yellow jerseys “to respect the family’s wishes”.
“This is the child’s funeral and we asking everyone to wear pink and white. We can live with that. At least one day…don’t show your political side. I don’t want no UNC or PNM…let them put down their t-shirt. This has nothing to do with politics.”
She said the fact that people are gearing up to wear yellow jerseys with the UNC emblem “is an insult to the family.”
The gathering at the Red House, Sooman said will focus on fighting crime.
While Sooman said she cannot stop people from wearing what they wanted she said “good sense should prevail.”
In a telephone interview yesterday, deputy Mayor of Chaguanas Marisa Ramlogan told Guardian Media that these people are not affiliated with the UNC.
“They are separate groups. To say they are UNC-based or anything like that…no! We (UNC) have no imput in that.”
Ramlogan said these individuals are independent groups who are managing themselves.
“We have decided that we will honour Andrea by wearing black or pink or something like that for the funeral. We are not there with the politics of the day. So we are not turning this into any political thing.”
Ramlogan, who visited Sooman yesterday, said the UNC will ask its activists to refrain from wearing their jerseys today. “We are concerned. At the end of the day tomorrow is about Andrea. It’s about justice for her. So we are not into the politics of it, sorry!”
Promising to honour the family’s wishes, Ramlogan said, she had already advised UNC supporters on her Facebook page not to wear any UNC jerseys tonight.
Ramlogan said she would also advise other UNC activists to do the same.