Category Archives: Parliament

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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A matter of trust

By Raffique Shah
December 14, 2020

Raffique ShahI must admit that as I monitored what was happening in the USA, the shenanigans of outgoing President Donald Trump as he sought first to defy, then later to subvert the electoral process, I all but ignored developments here at home. It was when I saw Afra Raymond, the fiercely independent activist who is also outspoken on issues of national importance, disassemble the controversial Public Procurement Amendment Bill and call on citizens to let their voices be heard, that I switched focus.
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Full statement of PM on covid19

Dr Keith Rowley
March 13, 2020 – newsday.co.tt

Full statement of PM on covid19Madam Speaker, I have been authorised by the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago to make the following statement.

Colleagues, fellow citizens, it is in times like these that we define who we are as a people. We are currently facing two global phenomena that affect us directly and are both largely outside of our realm of control. The first is the widespread presence and deleterious effects of COVID 19, commonly known as the Coronavirus. The second is the serious global disruption in the prices of oil, gas and energy-based products that the international market places are facing and responding to in ways that are, in many instances, unprecedented.
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Budget biggest ‘bag’ thieves lay their hands on

By Raffique Shah
October 07, 2019

Raffique ShahIt is a newspaper commentator’s dilemma—having to write on the Finance Minister’s annual budget presentation, as readers expect him to, both before and after the Appropriation Bill is laid in Parliament. This becomes even more challenging when the package covers the year leading to a general election when the Government, and here I mean any government, engages in distributing largesse like the proverbial “parsad” at “pujas”, throwing goodies at the electorate with the expectation that they will yield votes.
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The Public’s Right to Know

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 20, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAlmost invariably citizens elect a government with the expectation that it will act in their best interest. You allow them (the members of government) to go along their merry way with the tacit assumption that they realize their primary function is to serve rather than to be served; to listen and to respond rather than to impose and to dictate.
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Land Grabbing with Government’s Assistance

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 06, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Tacarigua Welfare and Improvement Council, also known as the Tacarigua Village Council, was established on 23 May 1945. Its first meeting was held at the “Cocoa House” that was built by enslaved Africans in 1837. Vernon Scott, the headmaster of St. Mary’s Anglican School and the person under whom I began my teaching career, was the first president of the Council.
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Dark Memories of a Lynching

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 23, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAn acknowledgement: I am Dr. Keith Rowley’s friend. I consider him a person of impeccable character and integrity, someone who will not willingly tell a lie to save his or any other person’s crime or misdemeanor. Although I have not always agreed with his policies, he is an eminently trustworthy person and possesses the courage to withstand the storms of adverse publicity that seeks to ground his name into the dust.

My friendship with Rowley goes back to twenty-three years ago when he ran for the leadership of the PNM against Patrick Manning. I supported him then as now because of his conviction of purpose, his unflinching ability to speak truth to power, and his principled position that asserted because Manning had lost the General Election he had an obligation to step down as party leader.
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Imbert paints brighter mid-year picture

Economy turning around

By Gail Alexander
May 11, 2018 – guardian.co.tt

Colm ImbertAfter two and a half years of financial adjustment, Government’s now seeing its way.

The economy is turning around, revenue collection is up, the energy sector’s booming and the non-oil sector is also growing, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced yesterday.
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President Erred In Appointing Cuffie a Minister

By Stephen Kangal
April 18, 2018

Stephen KangalIn spite of the surprising level of sensitivity and thin skin displayed by Her Excellency The President Ms Paula Mae-Weekes to public concerns expressed on the Darryl Smith appointment I submit that she should not have acceded immediately to the advice of the Prime Minister and proceeded unwittingly to appoint ailing Maxie Cuffy in a new post as a Minister.
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Peace unto all—at least for the Christmas

By Raffique Shah
December 20, 2017

Raffique ShahIt must have been at the funeral for a military colleague that Brigadier Joseph Theodore, then a minister in the Basdeo Panday administration, pulled me aside for private conversation, which he initiated by brusquely whispering in my ear: “Raf, you couldn’t £$&*g warn me about getting involved in politics?” I laughed, but Joe continued his mini-tirade about the underworld of politics in which one “had to tolerate so much s%$t” in contrast to the military, where order, discipline, rules and regulations reigned supreme, and where, generally, soldiers lived by codes of honour that implied implicit trust in one’s comrades.
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