“My daughter was healthy and strong, she was going on 23 years,” Shirley Ramnarine, 50, yesterday told Newsday in an interview at her home at Tattoo Trace, Valencia.
“I want justice, I have to get it because that was my child, that was my belly. He has to hang, I cannot help that. Everybody belly go boil but not this mother’s own.
“Every time I think about my daughter I feel a pain inside. Nobody knows what is in my heart, but the almighty God knows how I am grieving. So I want justice. That is all that we want.”
Shirley’s comments came as lawyers acting on behalf of Tiwarie prepare to appear before the Port-of-Spain High Court in a bid to stop moves that could see the murder convict hanged in the coming days.
On August 4, 2004, Tiwarie, of Blue Basin Road in Diego Martin, was sentenced to hang for the murder of Ramnarine, his sister-in-law. During a three-week long trial, the jury heard that Ramnarine and her nine-year-old daughter Meena left their home at Blue Basin Road and went to the nearby river for their usual morning bath. Meena left her mother in the water and was returning to the house when she heard her mother scream. The child ran back to the river and saw a man she identified as Tiwarie on top of her mother. Ramnarine, then 23 years old, was found wearing only underwear. She had blood on her hands and was later deemed to have died by drowning.
Ramnarine’s mother yesterday said her daughter had warned that she would die tragically.
“She always tell me she was having a little dispute going on down there,” she said. “She always told me, ‘Mamee, you going to hear I die. They go kill me.’
“I would say, ‘no how they go kill you? Who are they? They can’t take your life. They are not God? They can’t do you that.
“She said, ‘Yes mamee, they will do that.’ She would tell me she and Ronald (Tiwarie) have a little confusion and a little bacchanal you know? A little family ting.”
Shirley, a housewife and mother of seven, yesterday recalled when she first heard the news that her daughter had been murdered.
“When the police got up here they told me. I didn’t believe it. I said, ‘how they could kill she?’ That was my best child. She used to always kiss me up, love me up and now she is gone.
“They carried me in the mortuary to see her. Her mouth was open and she was in nothing but underwear. Even then she still looked so beautiful and pretty. She was nice you know, she was always smiling. But to this day I have no picture of her.”
Asked if she could forgive her daughter’s killer, Shirley said the issue was not for her.
“You can’t ask me for forgiveness. You have to ask the almighty God for that. If you just go just like that and kill my daughter, oh God there must be justice!”
The Mercy Committee is due to meet next Tuesday to determine whether or not Tiwarie should be hanged for the murder of Ramnarine.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Tiwarie have applied to the High Court to seek to prevent the committee from meeting on the grounds that Tiwarie has a pending appeal at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The hearing of that legal challenge will come up tomorrow in the court.
Newsday understands that Attorney General John Jeremie, against whose office the action has been brought, has retained Senior Counsel Russell Martineau to act in the case.
If Tiwarie’s lawyers are unsuccessful, the way will be clear for the Mercy Committee to meet and to issue advice to President George Maxwell Richards on whether or not Tiwarie should become the first man to be hanged in this country since 1999.
Yesterday, Ramnarine’s mother recalled the last time she saw her daughter alive was at a family gathering at her home in Valencia.
“We had a little fete, we bought a little bit to drink and we made a little dance and that was the last time I see my daughter. My daughter gone. She used to visit me and say she will carry me to see her home in Blue Basin. I used to say, ‘Girl one day you will carry me.’ I have not gone to this day,” Shirley said.