Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona says he is upset and distraught at the attempts by someone to sell the country’s highest national award, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT), on the social website, Ebay.
In a statement issued from his office, President Carmona said – “I am very much distraught at the prospect of someone peddling the symbol of our national honour and pride. The Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is not a rag doll that is disposable.”
He said that “this ultimate symbol of our Nation’s pride and honour is sacrosanct.
“The intended sale of the ORTT medal offends one’s sense of patriotism and exposes a raw nerve,” he said, adding that “we must explore our way out of this scenario.
“Maybe the time has come that all persons who are so honoured or their representatives, sign a contract giving the Office of The President (OTP) the first option to buy the medal in the event of intended disposal/sale; or better still, amend the law to absolutely prohibit the sale/disposal of the ORTT medal. We need to create our very own international benchmark as it relates to our ORTT medal.”
Carmona said that the ORTT must become and should be a proud heirloom in the family.
“My humble admonition and entreaty to whoever is responsible for the intended sale of the ORTT medal. You cannot do this to us,” he said.
Media reports say that the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago medal up for sale had been awarded posthumously to trade union leader Adrian Cola Rienzi.
He was one of three people given the award in 2012 . The other two being the late former prime minister George Chambers and Olympic gold medallist (javelin) Keshorn Walcott.
The 18-carat gold medal, packaged with the original award document, signed by President George Maxwell Richards and stamped with the presidential seal, has been offered up for bidding starting at US$25,000.