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GET UP, GET OUT

By Miranda La Rose Wednesday, January 15 2014

click on pic to zoom in

If ever a man should raise a hand against a woman or hit her, she should get out of that relationship immediately.

This is the plea made by Satnarine Paladee, brother of schoolteacher Dian Paladee, who was killed by her ex-husband Sanjeev Ramberran, who then shot himself to death, a week ago.

Satnarine, speaking yesterday at a memorial service for Dian at Daljit Moosai El Dorado South Hindu School, Tunapuna, where she taught the Standard One class, told teachers, students, parents and invitees to learn from his sister’s violent death.

The prayers (satsang) and readings were led by president of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) Pundit Utam Maharaj and the nine-member SDMS Pundits Parishad (council). Present were Dian’s children Sangeeta and Sanjay, and brothers Don, Dave, Dalai and Dayn. Minister of Food Production and SMDS executive member Devant Maharaj also attended the service. While everyone has to die, Satnarine questioned why his sister, who never had a negative word for anyone, but only words of love and encouragement, had to die a violent death.

Dian would have celebrated her 49th birthday yesterday. She was the daughter of Lal and Shanti Paladee, the owners of Pennywise chain of cosmetics stores. On January 8, she was beaten with a rolling pin and shot once in the head by Ramberran, 44, who then turned the gun on himself. The shooting took place in Ramberran’s apartment at Bedassie Street, St Augustine.

The couple were married for 16 years, but divorced two years ago. Her brothers contend she was a victim of domestic abuse.

In his remarks, Satnarine also appealed to abusive men. “Every man, who may want to raise his hand to hit a woman, please erase that thought out of your head. Put it out of your head. Please walk away. Go drink a glass of water. Go say a prayer. Don’t ever, ever feel it is okay to raise your hand to any woman anywhere, at anytime.”

In a soft tone, he advised women, “if ever a man raises a hand to hit you, get out of that relationship. Don’t ever let nobody ever tell you that it is okay to be in an abusive relationship. They are the fools if they are saying that. Get up and get out. Get to the people who love you.” His sister, he said, was never abused by any of her siblings in any form.

“When we love people,” he said, “we should support them, be able to motivate them and not to let them stay and make mistakes.”

Calling for support for people in abusive relationships, he said, “Get them out of it. Let us as men never ever raise our hands to hit the person we are supposed to protect and to love for the rest of our lives.”

He urged people to remember Dian as someone who shared the gift of love not only among her family, but in the wider community including the school where she taught for 29 years, noting yesterday was also the anniversary of when she began teaching there. As a birthday gift, the Paladee family donated $100,000 to the school on behalf of Dian.

A teacher and the school choir encouraged everyone to sing and clap to a birthday song in an atmosphere that was already charged with a sense of loss and sadness. In a tribute, teacher Shivanie Soogrim described Dian as the diamond among her colleagues.

Always punctual, Dian’s teaching, Soogrim said, was not limited to the curriculum but including extra curricular activities among them managing the choir in which she played the harmonium. A Sai Baba devotee, Dian would preach to students and teachers to “start the day with love. Fill the day with love. End the day with love.” She encouraged students to love, so much so that one day, Soogrim said, Dian showed her a test paper on which one of her students wrote the word “Love” as her middle name. In brief remarks, SDMS general secretary Satnarayan Maharaj said the nation is in “tremendous trouble” and people cannot begin to understand the kind of problems being faced.” Evil is stalking the land,” he said and no one is safe.

Paladee and Ramberran’s deaths were the second murder/suicide for the year. The first was that of Amanda Persad, 22 who was shot to death on January 4, by her boyfriend Shastru Roopnarine, who committed suicide after. Last year on December 7, Jelani Joseph, 17, was burnt to death in Gasparillo by his father Christopher Joseph who killed himself after.

And on November 4, Charmaine Phillip, 50, was stabbed to death in Tobago by her brother Winston Phillip who committed suicide after.

In 2012, three murder/suicides were recorded and in 2011 there were four. In all the cases in which the women were victims, they were either beaten, strangled, stabbed or shot to death by men who were either a son, brother, husband, father or lover.

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