BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
THE BARBADOS-BASED Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) on Monday paid tribute to the veteran Trinidad and Tobago-born journalist, Ainsley Sahai who died over the weekend. He was 75.
"We have lost an outstanding soldier for our cause," CBU General Secretary Patrick Cozier said, adding that the entire regional media community and the CBU that groups media entities across the region "are deeply saddened at the passing of our dear colleague Ainsley Sahai".
He described Sahai as "a gentle and unassuming man" adding that the former editor of the Sunday Express in Trinidad and Tobago, who also served as an executive of the Caribbean Publishing and Broadcasting Association, the CBU, the Caribbean News Agency (CANA), and the Eastern Caribbean Press Council, was "a journalist who sought to pursue the truth, the real story, regardless of impact or consequences, because he believed that this was a professional obligation to the public".
Cozier said, in his later years, Sahai transferred to an executive capacity as the manager of CANA and, in that capacity, "continued to track developments in media, to assist in training workshops to monitor media standards.
Sahai produced a Comparative Study of Media Laws in the CARICOM countries that had been commissioned by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
"When there is freedom of the press, there is light. People evolve and blossom out. People grow and mature. Thoughts can be expressed, and freely at that. Healthy debates can take place, checks and balances can be put in place, thereby ensuring that a democratic society exists," Sahai said in February 2000.
Sahai is survived by his wife and three children.