Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
The University of the West Indies (UWI) has been characterised as a spineless organisation that has been sold out for 30 pieces of silver.
The UWI is the butt of stinging criticisms from members of a group of prominent Jamaicans who assembled at the gate of the institution to protest the removal of Professor Brendan Bain as Director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Chart Network.
Noted Children’s Advocate Betty-Ann Blaine was typically vocal as she charged that UWI had sold out well-thinking Jamaicans for 30 pieces of silver.
With tapes across their mouths to signal muzzling, the young and the old, men and women representing a range of organisations assembled at the gate of the UWI, as a team of police lingered with little to do.
They had to take the tape strips from across their mouth when they were approached by members of the media and they had a lot to say about what they described as the miscarriage of justice being meted out to Bain by the UWI administration.
Declaring that Christian principles were under siege, across the globe and was seeping into Jamaica, Blaine called for the 35 groups which had pressured UWI into letting Bain go, to declare their identities and their motives.
Blaine asserted that Bain has served the UWI as a distinguished member and scholar for many years and should not be treated in this manner.
READ: UWI fires professor amid gay lobby outrage
“University campuses are places where all views contend so who is really behind this [move to fire him] and what is their agenda.”
Added Blaine: “Whose money is it that’s being used to fund the projects of the university what are the groups that have funded the programmes?
What is their agenda and are we going to be sold out for 30 pieces of silver?” Blaine asked.
Shirley Richards, the head of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship described the Caribbean’s premier tertiary institution as spineless.
The team vowed that it will not cease as this appeared to signal the start of the trampling of the rights of well-thinking Jamaicans, particularly Christians who have made sterling contributions to nation-building.
Professor Bain’s termination came after he provided a statement in a high-profile case in Belize, in which a gay man challenged the constitutionality of an 1861 law that criminalises men having sex with men (MSM).
READ: Expert report of Brendan Bain
Some 35 advocacy groups had written to the vice-chancellor of the UWI, Prof E. Nigel Harris, indicating that they had lost confidence in Bain as the head of CHART following his statement in the case.
The UWI says it had become increasingly evident that Bain has lost the confidence and support of a significant sector of the community, which the CHART programme is expected to reach.