Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has issued a statement on the passing of the former Prime Minister and President of Trinidad and Tobago A.N.R Robinson, describing him as “a true statesman.” Robinson died earlier today Wednesday April 9 at the private St. Clair medical center in Trinidad where he had been a patient since March 8. He was 87.
According to the Saint Lucian Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, “If, as Alger said, “true statesmanship is the art of changing a nation from what it is into what it ought to be,” then no one can deny H. E. Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson S.C; OCC; TC, the accolade of statesman.
“It is with great sorrow that I have learnt of the passing of the Caribbean’s elder political statesman, former President of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, H. E. Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson. His was a tireless journey in the pursuit of justice and equality for all. In that regard, he was among the strongest advocates for the formation of the International Court of Justice, a role for which he was given due recognition, internationally,” Anthony went on to say.
Saint Lucia had the honour, in July 1998, of hosting the Caribbean Community’s 25th Heads of Government Meeting at which His Excellency was conferred the region’s highest award, the Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC), this in recognition of his sterling contribution to the regional movement.
According to Anthony Robinson is also the only individual to have served as President, Prime Minister and Opposition Leader of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
“As Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency was taken captive during a sitting of the House of Representatives when the Jamaat al Muslimeen attempted to stage a coup in 1990. Even with a gun placed to his head His Excellency refused to surrender and instead, using words which had now become immortalized, called on his country’s armed force “to attack with full force,” Anthony went on to say. “Courage was surely a trait His Excellency possessed in abundance,” he added.
The Saint Lucian prime minister went on to describe A. N. R. Robinson as more than politician, one who initially made his mark in the legal field rising to its highest rank, Senior Counsel. Many an indigent individual benefitted from his pro bono work.
“Trinidad and Tobago and the region have lost a great son, one whose reputation and influence went beyond the narrow confines of local and regional politics and instead reverberated throughout the world,” Anthony said.
“On behalf of the Government and People of Saint Lucia, I extend our deepest condolences to His Excellency’s family and to the Government and People of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
May he rest in peace.”