Monthly Archive for August, 2008

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Continuing racial prejudice cycle

By Suszanna Clarke
Tuesday, August 19 2008

African HairBack when I had decided I had grown tired of having straight hair, I’d cut it all off, leaving just an inch or two of my own naturally curly hair remaining.

I had loved it — the ability to wash it everyday, not having to worry about the wind messing it up and not having to buy any styling products other than a bottle of gel. The reaction of others was different; some loved it, others hated it. It also had the unpredicted benefit of getting rid of an ex who had been hovering hopefully in the background for years. Later he told me the first time he saw it he’d swore I had a male twin. My boyfriend at the time loved it. It reminded him of Maracas. He’d said. All the waves.
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T&T Needs Enriched Public Discourse

By Verna St. Rose Greaves
August 18, 2008

I tasted my blood
At birth
So that I
May not know war:
Ocean of blood show me where you flow
River of bile tell me of your source
I bit my tongue
Before I slept
So that I
Could talk back at death:
Hills of flesh let me know your root
Mountain of bones mould me into ivory

Femi Fatoba – Petals of Thought

ViolenceJuly 19th 2008, I sit in the International Convention Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. I listen intently to the keynote speaker ten year old, university student Anfani Okosun. He speaks to issues of human rights and social justice, about putting an end to human suffering, and preserving the dignity of the person. He challenges us to remember those who perished under bad regimes and the impunity afforded their victimizers. He is scandalized by the usurping of the world’s resources by a few and implores us to work towards the dismantling of oppressive systems and structures. The positive traditions in our histories he says must be used to battle against the enormous challenges we face.
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Who is or was the greatest Olympian ever?

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, August 17th 2008

Beijing Olympics 2008By the time this column is published on Sunday, American swimmer Michael Phelps would more than likely have achieved his goal of winning a record eight gold medals. Mark Spitz, the sole swimmer among an elite club of Olympians who won multiple medals in his career, would also have been in Beijing to see this swimming phenomenon set a new benchmark in the pool.
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Law of Treaties and the EPA

By Kasala Kamara
San Fernando, Trinidad
August 13, 2008

TreatyThe government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and of most other Caricom countries has indicated that it is ready to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). Initialling of the agreement took place on December 16th 2007. Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean need to know the disturbing circumstances surrounding the negotiation and initialling of the agreement in the context of international law i.e. the Law of Treaties.
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The Centre is Not Holding

By Stephen Kangal
August 13, 2008

BridgeThe collapse of the Caroni Bailey Bridge is powerfully symbolic of the pervasive collapse of this society under the weight of the ineptitude of the current Manning Administration. When the centre is not holding together the rest of the country or the periphery is in disarray and slowly disintegrating into managed chaos.
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I don’t like to be hit. What about you?

By Verna St. Rose Greaves
August 11, 2008

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

ViolenceToo many of us as adults believe that the only way we can deal with indiscipline in our children, is to literally beat it out of them. Religious references support our nostalgic recollections of being beaten to demonstrate it’s effectiveness, because after all look how good we turned out.

Stories are told of kneeling on graters holding up two big stones in the hot sun. Or of being ordered to cut the tamarind whip with which you were to be flogged. In the extreme the offending tool of choice a stout leather strap or the urine soaked and stretched penis of a bull; its’ impact so far removed from its’ original intent.
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No New Firearms Laws Needed

By Clarence Toussaint
August 11, 2008

GunThis letter in response to Minister Martin Joseph’s call for harsher gun laws in Trinidad and Tobago.

What do stronger gun ownership laws have to do with criminals trafficking in and using illegally owned firearms? These laws will only affect the law-abiding citizens who’ve applied for firearms permits through the Commissioner of Police (CoP), sometimes having to wait years or decades for the permits process to worm its way through only to be denied (or have already been robbed, murdered, raped or kidnapped!!!)
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Magic of the Olympics

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, August 10th 2008

Beijing Olympics 2008How I look forward to the next three weeks as the magic of the Olympic Games impacts on most people across the world. There’s something about the Games that holds human beings spellbound. It gives us some respite from wars, a lull in crime, relief from politicians, makes us forget our daily woes. What makes the Olympics more appealing than football World Cup is that every country, small and big, can participate in it, if only with one athlete-and six officials! In Beijing this year, a record 205 countries are participating.
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Foreign Policy Challenges Confronting Minister Gopee-Scoon

By Stephen Kangal
August 06, 2008

Paula Gopee-ScoonThere are two major foreign policy challenges that are confronting our relatively new and untested Foreign Minister Gopee-Scoon during the next six months the eventual outcome of which can either boost or bust her hitherto short internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She must take judicious note of the wisdom inherent in the following Latin proverb and act accordingly on recent British undertakings given to her in London. Visa requirements were preceded by negative travel advisories issued by the British.
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Emancipating ourselves

By George Alleyne
Wednesday, August 6 2008

EmancipationThe mental slavery of descendants of slaves, referred to by Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor during his recent State visit, had resulted from a psychological campaign waged by Europeans determined to “establish” the racial “inferiority” of non-Europeans.

Alvin Toffler, the noted thinker, had pointed this out on page 90 of his work, The Third Wave, published in 1990 by Bantam, in which he emphasised that the cultures of colonised countries had been ridiculed. In addition, “….the colonial powers hammered a deep sense of psychological inferiority into the conquered people that stands even today as an obstacle to economic and social development”.
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