PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Journalist Darryl Heeralal was dismissed yesterday after he posted racist remarks on his Facebook page regarding protest action by residents of a poor neighbourhood following a vehicular accident that left four people dead, including a mother and her two daughters, on Sunday.
Police have identified those killed as 27-year-old Hady Paul, and her children eight-year-old Akasha and seven-year-old Shakira. One unidentified person later died in hospital.
Win Communications, which runs a television station here, said that it was "shocked, taken aback and in many ways repulsed by comments" made by the journalist it described as a freelancer.
"Win Communications wants to condemn in the strongest possible way such statements. They in no way reflect the views of this company, its management or any of its employees," the company said in a statement.
According to the Facebook postings attributed to the journalist who said "I make no apologies", there were also calls for citizens to shoot the protesters in the head "and plant cabbage on them".
Win Communications said that the media are charged with a "very sacred responsibility, one that puts the onus on us to represent the views of all the people.
"That responsibility is even deeper in countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, which comprises a mixture of ethnic as well as social groups. Even more than politicians, the media in Trinidad and Tobago must guard jealously the fundamental values that allow us to transcend racism and divisiveness, and champion the cause of togetherness and national unity.