Archive for the 'General T&T' Category

The Ultimate Philistine

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 22, 2019

“Kojo [or Cudjoe] was the Asante name for a boy born on Monday.”

—Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTheodore Lewis is angry that Selwyn Cudjoe has written about a racist white slave holder. He is equally as angry that Bridget Brereton, one of our most distinguished historians, who happens to be a white woman, spoke favorably of my efforts. He writes: Professor Brereton “is an unlikely defender of Cudjoe, given her scathing disavowal of him in her published essay ‘All ah we is not one’ in which she disparages what she calls the ‘African narrative’ of local discourse” (Express, January 12).
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The Democratic Ethic Stopped A Secret Sandals Deal

By Stephen Kangal
January 22, 2019

Stephen KangalThe Sandals debacle is a reflection of our growing maturity as a Nation propelled by a strong interactive Westminster democratic ideal and a Civic Society that is vigilant and untrusting. Poor Project Management Skills as well as a very incompetent and arrogant political leadership and unilateralism contributed to the mismanagement of the Project in getting a discerning public to buy into it.

That is the crux driving the abandonment of the Sandals Resort that was to be constructed in Buccoo on very fragile and pollution-sensitive wetlands.
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Society steeped in corruption

By Raffique Shah
January 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSometime in 2017, I wrote a column in which I counselled Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to refrain from hurling allegations of corruption against ministers and senior officials of the People’s Partnership Government unless or until such time as some them have been charged with serious corruption-related criminal offences.

By then, I had reasoned, most citizens had grown fed up with such allegations being made by parties in power and those in opposition, with no proof produced as they exchanged places every five years from 1986 when the People’s National Movement was first voted out of office after a 30-year grip on power. The average person knew or believed there was rampant corruption involving PNM ministers, and the overwhelming vote they gave the National Alliance for Reconstruction was fuelled by expectations that they would finally see “big sawatees” hauled before the courts in handcuffs, with many of the crooks ending up behind bars like the common criminals they were.
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What Constitutes an Educated Trini?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 15, 2019

PART 1

“The school curriculum is not delivering the quality individuals we need to build the nation.”

—Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA nation always needs a leader who is willing to call it as she sees it. Paula-Mae Weekes, T&T’s president, is not afraid to play that role. Her latest intervention in the island’s political and social discourse occurred on Tuesday when she offered her views on how badly our education system is doing in preparing our citizens for life in the republic.

President Weekes believes the education system has failed in its responsibility to our children and our leaders. She didn’t call it a fraudulent system, but she left her listeners with that impression. The fact that she is an experienced judicial educator and was a fellow at the Commonwealth Juridical Educational Institute lent credence to her observations.
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The Carnival is over

By Raffique Shah
January 09, 2019

Raffique ShahI was pleasantly surprised when the announcement by the National Carnival Commission that it was scrapping the North Stand for this year’s Carnival did not elicit an uproar of objections from stakeholders in the national festival and hordes of party animals whose love for steelband music lasts one day—the National Panorama Semi-Finals.

For all its symbolic representation of the spirit of Carnival, crammed as it was (note tense) with more than its 8,000 maximum capacity, the North Stand was a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money. For close to 50 years, ritually, every January, contractors and hundreds of workers would engage in a frenetic exercise of erecting the facility, only to dismantle it two weeks after Carnival. The cost? Four million dollars.
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The Museum of African American History

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 08, 2019

“The past is all that makes the present coherent.”

— James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was a rainy afternoon in Washington D.C., the Friday after Christmas, when I paid a chance visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture. I had heard so much about this fantastic museum and the attention it has drawn throughout the U.S. (United States) that I did not expect to get a ticket to explore its wonders. I took my chances and was lucky to enter its gates. I didn’t regret it. It was one of the most impressive museums I have ever seen.
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Think small, earn big

By Raffique Shah
January 03, 2019

Raffique ShahI could have begun the New Year by griping about all the negatives of the old, cussing from politicians to crooks for the many woes we citizens face daily, ranging from a record high number of homicides to a seemingly stagnated economy, arguing that the current government is the worst we have had since the indigenous peoples ran things however many centuries ago, blah, blah, blah.
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A Caribbean Hero

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 01, 2019

“Me think he do something for the people. Me think he think back and he see the cries of the people them and he do that.”

—Mona, East Canje, Berbice, Stabroek News

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was an ordinary political moment. The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) of Guyana moved a routine non-confidence motion against David Granger-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU+AFC) when back-bencher Charrandas Persaud (AFC) surprised every member of Guyana’s National Assembly by supporting the motion.
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A most joyful Christmas

By Raffique Shah
December 25, 2018

Raffique ShahIn the spirit of the season, I write today about one of the more memorable Christmas experiences I had—when I returned home days before Christmas in 1966, having spent 27 months in Britain training in the military.

My story has to be viewed in the context of the period, a mere 16 years after the MV Windrush had transported 500-odd West Indian immigrants to work and rebuild post-war Britain. The 70th anniversary of that epic voyage, and the plight today of what is called the Windrush Generation was, coincidentally, the focus of much discussion in 2018.
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A Christmas Gift

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 25, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Sunday last, the Lydian Singers’ concert, “The Gift,” explored “the gifts of Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh…and Music” at its final concert at Queen’s Hall Auditorium. There were many outstanding performances. I was enthralled by Pat Bishop’s practice of blending local and foreign elements and her insistence that our musical forms can achieve standards of excellence that occur in other societies.
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