All posts by News

Mr. Politician, Sah

By Raffique Shah
January 18, 2021

Raffique ShahThe urgency with which this nation must address the issues that threaten to throw us back into the Stone Age cannot be over-emphasised. We were already in deep trouble when Covid-19 struck with pandemic force in early 2020, sending us reeling from blows to the body, the mind, even the spirit. The energy and petrochemicals sectors faced grim circumstances, the availability of natural gas, the key feedstock of the latter’s operations, being of grave concern, and the markets for their products saturated and dampened.
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Looking Beneath the Surface

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 12, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeViewers around the world were struck by the Trump-inspired mob that stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday. The Boston Globe editorialized: “‘When did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?’ That’s what the reviled monster asks Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s classic novel, but it’s also what the angry mob of thousands who stormed the US Capitol in an insurrection on Wednesday could well ask soon-to-be-former Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional Republicans who fled the House chamber” (January 7).

The US has never dealt fully with the monsters of race and racism that is buried deep within its entrails. The white insurrectionists who invaded the Capitol feared that their positional superiority would be undermined and they would no longer control a republic they had dominated since the republic began.
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America’s shame

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2020

Raffique ShahAs decent Americans try to come to terms with the shameful conduct of their president and his robotic army of white supremacists, dumb nationalists and sundry dissidents of multiple obscure persuasions, billions of people around the world who have suffered at the uneven, prejudiced hands of the world’s greatest power will be inclined to gloat, to celebrate its implosion.
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A More Reflective Society

By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
January 05, 2021

“So Trinidad was and remains a materialist immigrant society, continually growing and changing, never settling into any pattern, always retaining the atmosphere of the camp… [This explains] its special character, its ebullience and irresponsibility… an indifference to virtue as well as to vice.”

—VS Naipaul, The Middle Passage

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 1960 Eric Williams, premier of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), suggested to VS Naipaul, one of our premier writers, that he write a non-fiction book about the West Indies that the T&T government would support financially. Williams assured Naipaul he “could write about any aspect of the region and visit whatever territories [he] wished” to accomplish his objectives.
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Time is unforgiving

By Raffique Shah
January 05, 2021

Raffique ShahFriends, Trinbagonians, countrymen, lend me your attention. I have decided to say here what I believe needs to be said at this perilous time in our nation’s history.

I have no desire to bury my country amidst the ruins of the Covid-19 pandemic and the punishing economic fallouts the virus has dealt us, which added misery to the politically-inflicted wounds. To the contrary, my hope is that many among you will heed my plea from the heart and rally to help save T&T. Let it not be said that in its hour of need, when this country stood at critical crossroads, crying out for help, for direction, that noble and patriotic citizens deserted the sinking ship of state like rats, seeking only to save their wretched lives and the loot they have stolen.
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King Imbert’s Court

By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
December 28, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTrinidad and Tobago became an independent country in 1962 and a republic in 1976, in which the people, through their representatives, were supposed to control their affairs.

Such a political arrangement sounded enticing since it promised to place the country’s destiny in the hands of people they knew, rather than foreigners (white) whom they did not know.
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‘PH’ drivers a necessary nuisance

By Raffique Shah
December 28, 2020

Raffique ShahFor the umpteenth time in past three or more decades, many people in this country that is never short of controversies, engage in sterile debate over an issue that might send people in other countries where there are real problems, into stitches of laughter. What is the hot topic today? “PH drivers”! Pulling bulls. P-H-who? Pulling what?
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Overcoming Education Inequality

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 22, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Sunday 19 distinguished citizens (call them endorsees) recommended that the SEA be replaced since it no longer serves the interest of the students it is supposed to serve (“Replacing the SEA.” They claim that our school system has not extricated itself from its “colonial inheritances in education.” The SEA examination through which we place our students into secondary schools is outmoded. It originated in the UK in 1904, the year Joseph de Suze finished writing Little Folks Trinidad, a pioneering educational work.
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Be Very Afraid

By Raffique Shah
December 22, 2020

Raffique ShahAs we come close to the end of the year 2020, millions of people around the world who believe in God in one form or other will be praying to their deity that nothing cataclysmic happens in the dying days of what is probably the most tumultuous year in our lifetime. Really, after Covid-19 swept through planet Earth with a death-dealing ferocity that numbed the mind, what worse punishment could God conjure to hurl at man to teach him just who is who in the planetary pecking order? How much more adversity can tiny Trinidad and Tobago withstand, caught as it is in the cross-hairs of an economic meltdown multiplied by a migrant crisis that has damaged our reputation as well as strained our resilience?
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The Potency of the Word

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 15, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe savage murder of Ashanti Riley touched many of us. It led us to reflect upon the kind of society we have created and the citizens (social beings) we are cultivating. Ashanti’s murder led the prime minister to talk about “the monsters” we are cultivating within our midst. Phyllis Bruce, another mother whose Black son vanished on March 19, sympathized with Ashanti’s mother in her grief: “Even from one mother to another, I can’t find the words to comfort her. But I would say to her, be strong. Hold on. Keep courage” (Express, December 11).
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