Dr Avinash Sawh, who was heard spewing racist and derogatory statements in a series of voice recordings last Wednesday, has broken his silence.
Sawh apologised profusely in a press conference on Wednesday morning, just hours before the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago (MBTT) is supposed to meet to discuss his conduct.
Sawh read from a four-page prepared statement at the office of his attorney, Martin George.
“For those statements, I deeply and unreservedly apologise. There can be no justification for the statements that I made and I am stepping forth and manning up and I accept full responsibility for the national outcry that those statements have generated and the hurt that has been felt by varying sectors of the national community,” Sawh said.
Sawh also apologised to his former employee, nurse Arielle Figuero, his father, his colleagues, his patients and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
When Guardian Media asked whether it was a coincidence that Sawh was apologising on the same day the MBTT is scheduled to meet, attorney Martin George said he had been in discussions with Sawh for several days, but the timing had nothing to do with the Medical Board meeting.
George said Sawh’s statements were merely a symptom of a greater issue in T&T.
George urged the population to reflect on their own behaviours and use this opportunity as a watershed moment.
He also called on the Government to create a permanent council on race relations.
“We are calling upon the Government to make this a constitutionally enshrined body which will have coercive powers, persuasive powers and powers of sanction, if it is matters like this are investigated and persons are found to have been at fault. We think that we need to ensure that such a permanent council on race relations engages in corrective measures, has training programmes, sensitivity training so persons can understand the impact and the damage caused by such actions,” George said.