Ramphal ‘at home’ in Barbados
By Rickey Singh
was leaving his native Guyana in 1975 to become Secretary General of the
Commonwealth, the former Attorney General and Foreign Minister in the then
Forbes Burnham government, was encouraged by Barbados' then Foreign Minister
and Attorney General, now Sir Henry Forde, to purchase a spot of land and
think of living, eventually in this country.
Now 77, and having distinguished himself and the Caribbean at many international fora, the former Chancellor of the University of the West Indies -- a post he held for 14 years -- and Chairman of the West Indian Commission of the 1990s -- said he welcomed and acted on the advice of "my good friend, Henry".
addition to a range of consultancies, he is part of a team of distinguished
legal experts chosen by the Guyana Government to represent its case in a
maritime boundary dispute with neighbouring Suriname through the process of
the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea -- similar to that between Barbados
and Trinidad and Tobago.
virtual household name within CARICOM, Ramphal would be as well known in
government/political circles in Africa, Asia, North America and Europe as any
of the more outstanding political leaders, technocrats and lawmakers of the
served the Commonwealth as Secretary General for 15 years, he was to spend an
equal number of years in various capacities in the service of the CARICOM
region. These would include his years as UWI Chancellor, Chairman of the West
Indian Commission and head of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM).
among the first three CARICOM nationals to be awarded with the community's
highest honour -- Order of Caribbean Community (OCC), the other two being the
now late William Demas, and the noble laureate Derek Walcott.
entitles its recipients with, among other privileges, permanent residence
anywhere within CARICOM with rights associated with those of its citizens.
has really been constantly moving in and out of Barbados since around 1983.
Here is where members of his close family have been living for some years.
Among them would be his 96-year-old mother; his two sons and his sister.
As a national of CARICOM, the integration movement of which he was among its architects from the inception, Ramphal considers himself to be "with the Caribbean family at large" even as he has now finally settled into living in Barbados permanently.
day, April 21, 2006