Home / Live Wire / Holy crap! Dirty Harrypersad, Back-pedalling Berkley and child marriage

Holy crap! Dirty Harrypersad, Back-pedalling Berkley and child marriage

You know you probably need something strong to drink when the least controversial bit of an interview is the complete rejection of a woman’s right to an abortion.

Brother Harrypersad Maharaj, head of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO), made it clear in a Power 102 FM interview—in 2016 mind you—that under no circumstances would Trinidad and Tobago’s religious leaders fathom the possibility of giving up the right to marry children as young as 12 or 14 years old.

Photo: Marry you?! Your name is Ro'dey?! Man, get a Blue's Clue eh!
Photo: Marry you?! Your name is Ro’dey?! Man, get a Blue’s Clue eh!

Let me repeat that: while the country is fretting over a soaring murder rate, a crumbling economy and a ludicrously outdated traffic law, the top of the to-do list for “Dirty Harrypersad” and the boys is hanging on to State-sanctioned pedophilia.

In surely one of the greatest ironies of modern time, a country that will arrest a mother for corporal punishment is happy to let the same mother give her daughter away for a hard-back man to make mas.

Allow Mr Live Wire to speak candidly here. If you’re planning your wedding and your bridal registry is at Toys R Us, then you’re sick as $%^&!

But as much as Maharaj has rightfully replaced the Lue Shues as the country’s villain of the week—thoroughly screwed local gymnast Thema Williams is 20 years old, after all—he is not the only religious leader worthy of some e-tomatoes and worse.

Maharaj pointed out that 17 of the IRO’s 25 members came out for their religious meeting, which somehow was allowed to proceed without any police intervention under the anti-gang legislation.

And, according to the IRO boss, all 17 voted unanimously to defend the right of certain religious sects to marry young girls.

Photo: IRO head Harrypersad Maharaj.
Photo: IRO head Harrypersad Maharaj.

(Harrypersad did not say whether dalliances with alter boys or fiddling with photoshop were also on the holy agenda).

Enter Bishop Claude Berkley, head of Trinidad and Tobago’s Anglican Church, to set the record straight.

And, let’s face it, shooting down the right to molest children should have been as easy as fishing with dynamite.

According to the United Nations: “child marriage is a human rights violation… (that lingers only) because of persistent poverty and gender inequality.”

Although, to be fair, the latter insinuation clearly gives Dirty Harrypersad way too much credit.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 stated: “Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.”

And that was even before the 80kph speed limit.

While girlsnotbrides.org—which leaned on passages from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)—suggested that child marriage: affects children’s and women’s rights to health, education, equality, non-discrimination and to live free from violence and exploitation; and when children are bought and sold under the guise of marriage for the purposes of sexual exploitation or when they are trafficked into forced marriages, their cases meet internationally recognised definitions of slavery or slavery-like practices.

Photo: Majed, 25, (left) and his eight year old child bride, Ghana, in Yemen. (Copyright ABC News)
Photo: Majed, 25, (left) and his eight year old child bride, Ghana, in Yemen.
(Copyright ABC News)

So what say ye, Bishop Berkley? Does God love pedophiles?

“Asked if such a decision (to defend the Marriage Act which allows girls as young as 12 and 14 to be married) was unanimous,” stated LoopTT, “the Bishop said it is difficult to get consensus in a matter such as this when you are in a place of contention.”

Eh? Wtf?!

That’s right Bishop Berkley refused to clarify whether or not he voted to allow Maharaj and his merry men free access to our Girls Scouts’ cookies.

“In 2011, there was a national consultation and there were concerns were expressed as to if we were infringing codes we were signatory too,” Berkley told LoopTT, “such as the rights of the child and in that way we are looking at it to see if we are in sync.”

Yes. But, five years later, didn’t your religious body just give those concerns the full R Kelly after-party special?

“We need to decide what our standards are,” said Berkley. “We are a melting pot of peoples and nations and therefore we would have mixed practices but at the same time as one nation we need to decide the level that we operate on.”

Hold up. Tell us more about the child molesters that you are encouraging in our national pelau…

Photo: Eh?
Photo: Eh?

“I am not against the discussion of the role of religion in governing laws,” said Berkley. “In some situations, the practice and culture have changed the mechanisms that allowed the system to work. We need to bring the discussion on and have these hard questions grappled with.”

You are not against the discussion?! That’s your retort when your IRO colleague is talking about grappling with girls who should be watching Phineas and Ferb?!

“What do we as a nation require?” Berkley continued. “Even if there may be a point of not wanting sex education if it was a national policy various groups would have to allow for interventions to bring this in place.

“What we have is everyone talking about my rights but as a nation, the mother of consensus is lacking. We have not agreed on a way forward.

“If that is a national policy in education we have to see how that could be enforced in a place of worship or in school. We have a lot of conversations to happen.”

Photo: Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley. (Courtesy The Caribbean Camera)
Photo: Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley.
(Courtesy The Caribbean Camera)

And at that point, when Bishop Berkley morphed a chat about pedophilia into a discussion on sex education, referendum and State policy on education, Mr Live Wire had a eureka moment.

There might be a logical reason that Dirty Harrypersad is the head of the IRO.

True, he might have an abnormal, criminal obsession with Austin and Ally viewers. But at least he isn’t a bleeding hypocrite.

If back-pedalling from under-fire colleagues, hurdling morals and tossing away shame were Olympic events, Bishop Berkley might have put Usain Bolt to shame in Rio!

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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163 comments

  1. Customs that were made ages ago have no bearing on females today! Men using religion as a front have and continue to trod on women expecting us to sit back and accept their crap laws. There are many valid reasons why a child should Never enter into marriage but these old perverts will not see that so they continue to spew religious doctrine that Men not God made. Shame on you also Barbara, who as a woman should know better!

  2. I am AGAINST child marriage for a multiplicity of reasons, yet I’m unwilling to join the mob that is set on villifying the IRO’s leadership, for the following reasons.
    The Muslim, Hindu & Orisha Marriage Acts were crafted yesteryear to facilitate the cultural and religious values of communities that have traditionally been dominated by males.
    The one indisputable constant about religions is that they vehemently resist change.
    That these senior clergymen are inflexible, doesn’t surprise me any.
    We, as a wider society, should do what is BEST for those minors, using the abundance of research data available to us (that wasn’t available when these Acts were legislated).

  3. I am really disgusted by all of this. These people are sick.

  4. Why religion has no place in the making of Laws. Ofcourse every consultation on anything these idiots come out in their numbers and make noise to have their views heard.

  5. I hope he has a young daughter around 12 to 16 years old, I would like to “date” her, I’m over 50, he should have no objections, should he?

  6. I have not read such an assinine statement for quite a while.

  7. If this guy is convicted, perhaps he and the member sof the IRO can be sent to this place in Florida, it’s a community for sex offenders – http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/18/inside-pervert-park-safe-haven-for-sex-offenders.html?source=TDB&via=FB_Page

  8. Oh of course.
    A first time offender would not be this bold.

  9. According to the IRO if he marries them both all will be well ….. I’ll bet he’s done this before to other people’s kids….

  10. NAKED GIRLS IN VAN
    By Nalinee Seelal Wednesday, May 18 2016

    POLICEMEN recoiled in shock and horror yesterday when they found two intoxicated sisters, aged nine and 14, naked and lying on the seats inside a heavily tinted Nissan Navara van. The 39-yearold driver, found clad only in his underwear and a jersey, was immediately arrested and remains in custody.

    According to reports, at about 10.50 am, a party of officers led by Ag Sgt Ramlogan and including PC Leelum and others were on an exercise when they observed a heavily tinted black Nissan Navara van parked in an abandoned Caroni Ltd cane field near Cedar Hill Estate in Barrackpore. Officers instructed the driver to come out of the vehicle and submit to a search, but he instead started the engine and drove off at high speed. Officers gave chase and the van was intercepted and forced to stop a short distance away. The officers quickly surrounded the van. What they saw inside made them recoil in horror and revulsion. They saw a 14-yearold girl, naked and lying on her back on the front passenger seat which was reclined. On the backseat, also naked and lying down, was a nine-year-old girl. Both children appeared disoriented…
    http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,227937.html

  11. Tanya Carr and Lu Lama, we have to put all threads relating to child marriage or abuse in one of the existing threads now. We have as many as we can handle up at the moment 😉

  12. That’s the link to the interview. The other host’s name is Wendell Stephen

  13. Btw, Richard Ragoobarsingh. I thought it was an excellent interview with Harrypersad by the two host on Power 102 FM.
    Can you post the link to that too Abeo? Sorry for the extra work! Lol

  14. Scotty Ranking

    I’d have to agree with the ending statement of this piece and what it insinuates about the actions of Bishop Berkley in this fiasco. In an issue where there is (supposedly) a clear division between both sides, Berkley has managed to not only find the razor’s edge that is the hypothetical middle ground here but to properly drape himself all over it like a panty print on a over-ample backside!
    Is it any wonder that younger people are turning away from religion? When leaders decide to abandon the forward, progressive march to do the intellectual equivalent of The Running Man Challenge, how do they expect us to respect and follow them. Makes me ashamed of my English Catholic status.

  15. Just in case you feel to contact members of the IRO and ask some questions, here is the contact list
    http://www.iro.co.tt/list-style/

  16. ^^^^^
    Thos happened a month ago eh, but it’s only newsworthy now

  17. All I’m saying is Trinidadian mass disdain for certain topics tend to trend in cycles. I clearly remember this topic being discussed with equal passion during the UNC’s tenure…….nothing changed then because the advocates of child marriages and our legislators understand that Trinidadians are notoriously unfocused.

    Look for stories in the media about pedophilia like it’s a new phenomenon.

  18. Who got bored?? Clearly he hasn’t “met” me.

  19. We haven’t gotten bored Vernal. We are still following and awaiting the court case. Martin Daly has joined the legal team which is certainly a step in the right direction. This matter is by no means passe.

  20. And what if the govt does not bring legislation to amend ?

  21. You want to see what bravery is? TRUE BRAVERY in fighting cultural mores that are WRONG! Look at THIS woman. http://www.inhabitots.com/female-chief-in-malawi-breaks-up-850-child-marriages-and-sends-girls-back-to-school/

  22. These nasty old pedophiles will fight to the end for the right to have sex with little girls. We have to sustain the pressure to have the law changed. These sickos will not give up easily and neither should we!

  23. In forming this little country of a multitude of ethnic groups and religions little girls have been sacrificed on the alter of national cohesion……the result now being that pedophilia has become an enshrined right.

  24. And I am not buying the excuse of, “oh well it is culture” and we do not want to “offend”. Female Genital Mutilation is culture and it is being ACTIVELY challenged and repealed in many African countries.

    All it takes is people STANDING UP!

  25. This is about the Legislative !!!! Do they want to amend the laws ?? Or hide behind the hindu womens group ?

    • I believe the Hindu Women’s Organization have come out against child marriages. It is Sat Maharaj and the IRO who are publicly arguing for it. And of course our legislatures condone it for votes.

    • Really!!! Separation of church and state. In my view it starts with the membership. Does the membership want this particular ‘practice’ within their religion abolished, ? If the majority does, then why the silence for so long? But better late than never, let’s see how genuine the effort to effect change will be, and if the effort will start in the particular ‘camp’ as it should.

  26. When people going to get it through their thick skulls that the religious patriarchy is OKAY with pedophilia. They ALWAYS have been. Their religious institutions are RIFE with it. Their theocratic countries run rampant with it. Once religion became headed up by sexually frustrated, psychopathic, dirty old men what do you expect. Of course they want to condone having soft, innocent, submissive, powerless little victims to abuse.

    It is only GROWN UP PEOPLE SEX LIVES they have a problem with. Is what YOU and ME doing in the privacy of our own homes they have a problem with.

    Consensual sex between unmarried adults of the opposite or same gender, EVIL!
    Gender equality, EVIL!
    Woman having full control of her reproductive health, EVIL.
    Any celebration of ADULT sexuality between ADULTS that is EVIL.

    But sex with children, why, that is oh so pure and lovely right? RIGHT? Nasty, psychopathic pedophiles!

    • Jessica,
      You sound like one an-gry woman today! here’s my suggestion: go on YouTube and find Marvin Gaye. Get yourself some instant healing, sister.

  27. Silence is tantamount to consent, the membership of these various religious organisations who have accepted or at least tolerated this abomination all the way up to the present time, have been silent for a long, long time. This, despite very active and vocal women’s arms on other issues.

  28. “In surely one of the greatest ironies of modern time, a country that will arrest a mother for corporal punishment is happy to let the same mother give her daughter away for a hard-back man to make mas.” lol

  29. The IRO is so confused. They claim to be upholding traditions that have been reformed in all the ancestor countries that this practice came from.

  30. They, successive govts, won’t willlingly take a stance because religion is too closely tied to race in Trinidad and Tobago and race too closely tied to party lines. And shadey party lines equal marginal votes. It’s all petty stupid bullshit. No one want to “offend” and risk alienating votes.

  31. The issue was raised by a member of the audience at a UWI Law Faculty sponsored event. On the panel was the AG, a few lawyers, the head of the Law Faculty, a senior HC Judge, a Child Rights Activists and other “intellectuals”. The questioned was not answered. I felt bad for the guy.

    I was wondering whether the “Holy Books” of these supporters specify that females of a specific age are allowed to get married. Or do they confuse the practice of a bygone time with “Godly” instruction.

    The supporter never fully explained why it is better for a girl to marry at 12 and I am not sure whether they view the woman as being equal in a marriage. Seems a difficult argument that a 12 year old wife could be on the same footing as her 35 year old husband.

    India’s legal age of marriage for females is 18 years and males is 21 years. Their current PM, a Hindu Nationalist has not made any moves to revert back to the “good old days” as far as I know.

  32. I don’t see any government taking a stance on this. Like abortion and LBGT rights, they view it as political suicide and give it lip service at best.

  33. Waffling, maybe. Overly concerned with being politically correct, definitely. Typical response of religious leader that doesn’t want to “offend”, annoyingly so. But I’ll take it, for being at the very least, a discrediting of Harrypersad’s claim that this is a “unanimous” IRO decision. At the very very least.

  34. Very glad you exposed his hypocrisy and attempts at two stepping

  35. Ahhhhh
    My instincts tell me that our sudden disdain for pedophilia will disappear with the apparent novelty of the act, just like how we got bored of Thema, Marisa and the TTGF.

  36. While the Bishop is behind the altar ‘grappling with his ‘hard’ questions’, children are being given away to become sex slaves, to rise early and cook, clean and make a home. this is difficult for an adult, much more for a child.

    The religious heads are using the argument that if a girl gets pregnant, she can be given in marriage so that the child will not be born out of wedlock, but the fact that someone made a mistake with another human being, should you have spend the rest of your life paying for it? As one gets older, the decisions made as a teenager may not be the same decisions of a more mature person, and that is why certain life impacting decisions should be done when one believe that they a mature enough to make that decision.

    First time in my life I have seen grown men fight to have the right to marry children….smh.

  37. I’m having an issue ‘liking’ this article. Smh.

  38. This is F’rey ! Who are the 17 religious bodies who agreed ? What does Rowley and AG have to say ? Shouldn’t a simple majority vote change this law ? Why isn’t a bill placed on the floor right away ? Where is the same outrage which ousted the POS mayor? This issue has me so F’ing pissed off…..

  39. “And, according to the IRO boss, all 17 voted unanimously to defend the right of certain religious sects to marry young girls.”

    All 17?

    Wow…there are quite literally no words…smh

    https://www.change.org/p/country-end-child-marriages-in-trinidad-and-tobago-now?recruiter=15723015&utm_source=petitions_share&utm_medium=copylink Sign the petition please people.

  40. Far too early to drink to process this man’s ‘child rape’ views. Anyone condoning/supporting child marriage is condoning child rape and abuse. There’s just no other way to pretend it isn’t what it is! I never signed up to be part of a society the supports sick and hypocritical leaders like this pretend man! Time for legal and cultural change with the greatest urgency. Protect our children from pedophiles hiding under religion.