In a Media Release on Thursday (13th January 2022), Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Faris Al-Rawi, said he is pleased to inform the public that the Government has taken the decision to grant permission for the holding of open pyre/air cremations for COVID-19 victims.
According to the Attorney General, the decision came following meetings held on Wednesday, together with the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Health, Minister of National Security, Minister of Energy and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and the medical experts at the Ministry of Health, led by the Chief Medical Officer. Reviews were undertaken in respect to the management of the COVID-19 Pandemic during these meetings.
The Media Release notes that the Government took the decision based upon a broad consideration of recent developments and current factors to direct that permission be granted for the holding of open pyre/air cremations for COVID-19 victims.
Accordingly, the Honourable Prime Minister on Wednesday authorized the Attorney General to hold immediate discussions with representatives of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) as the largest representative organization of the Hindu Community, “to inform of the permissions due to current developments and to map out the process by which protocols can be immediately settled in the form of appropriate guidelines for stakeholders involved in open pyre/air cremations.”
In this regard, the Attorney General on Thursday afternoon, “had the pleasure of meeting with His Holiness the Dharmacharya, Pundit Dr. Rampersad Parasram and the SDMS' Legal Advisor, Mr. Dinesh Rambally, at the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs together with the Attorney General's Legal Advisor, Mr. Fyard Hosein SC, to relay developments and to discuss the immediate settling of the necessary protocols and guidelines.”
The Attorney General informed the group of the Chief Medical Officer's caution as to the extreme danger posed by improperly conducted open pyre/air cremations for COVID-19 victims and reminded that it remains difficult to predict the virulence and the vast mutations of the COVID-19 virus. Accordingly, the Attorney General also reminded that the Public Health Regulations, guidelines and protocols, which flow from the Public Health Ordinance, are not static and that the development of same are strictly responsive to and based upon a number of factors, including the expert medical advice that the Government receives at any particular point in time.
The Media Release states that the Dharmacharya, who is himself a past Chief Medical Officer, “has provided immense assistance to the Government in arriving at the current position. Equally, Mr. Rambally as the SDMS' Legal Advisor, has adopted a most conciliatory approach in ventilating the SDMS' position in this matter of the grant of permission for members of the Hindu faith to conduct open pyre/air cremations for COVID-19 victims.”
The Media Release added, “The State has always informed of the constant review of positions taken in respect of the management of the COVID-19 Pandemic and of the need to permit room for decision-making based upon the factors involved in same. In all the circumstances, the Attorney General wishes to express gratitude to the Dharmacharya and the SDMS for the gracious assistance provided in coming to the present position as we move to the immediate settling of the necessary protocols and guidelines which will include the recommendations of the SDMS, which shall be delivered to the Office of the Attorney General.”
In conclusion, the Media Release notes that the Government was not in a position to have come to this decision any sooner, “and remains grateful for patience and understanding in the management of the ravages caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, in which thousands of persons have tragically lost their lives in our beloved country.”
Youthere1 is a website focused on providing useful information, breaking news, entertainment and online shopping in Trinidad and Tobago. Read more about us here.
Copyright © 2022 Youthere1 Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.