Monthly Archive for May, 2009

Of pride and prejudice

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, May 31st 2009

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

Trini PeopleEVERY year, come Carnival or Emancipation Day or Spiritual Baptist Day or Indian Arrival Day, one hears the same refrain: the Government ‘ent give we enough money to celebrate we special day.

Carnival band leaders, who charge mas’ players severely for their flimsy costumes and all-inclusive-wee-wee-enhanced, two-chord-bands, threaten to blank competition sites because the steelband fraternity gets more dollar-support than the NCBA. Steelband leaders grouse about not having enough funds to paint their instruments, far less compensate the people who make music. Baptists shout loud about being discriminated against, and the scores of groups that mark Indian Arrival Day cry our louder: Discrimination!
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President Richards’ address to the nation

May 30, 2009
Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

The address to the nation given by President George Maxwell Richards last night.

President Professor George Maxwell RichardsFellow citizens

It appears that the statement that I made on 15th May, 2009, has been misunderstood. Let me emphasise, therefore, that any lack of clarity was unintentional. It is being said that I did not offer an apology to the nation. May I say that my expression of regret was intended to convey just that – an apology. I have noted that the word “regret” is “used in polite formulas to express apology or sadness”, but if it would give comfort to those who have a different interpretation of the word, I say now that I apologise.
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Manning: Bridgid did the honourable thing

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

Bridgette Annisette-GeorgePrime Minister Patrick Manning’s statement in Parliament yesterday announcing the resignation of Attorney General Bridgid Annisette-George

“Mr Speaker, a few weeks ago, the Honourable Attorney General Senator the Honourable Bridgid Annisette-George approached me, indicating that having regard to the way the investigation in the Clico matter has been going that she anticipated that she could find herself in a conflict of interest situation. We agreed at the time to look at it and to discuss it in the future. Last week we had a chance to do so and she indicated then that her worst fears were coming to pass and that the anticipated conflict of interest situation was imminent.
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No Integrity Commission, no action on Govt

By Andre Bagoo
May 26, 2009 –

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

The Integrity Commission of Trinidad and TobagoWITH NO Integrity Commission in place, complaints made against several Government ministers cannot go forward, officials of the Integrity Commission have advised. Among the matters are complaints brought in relation to: Prime Minister Patrick Manning; Health Minister Jerry Narace; Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Teshiera and Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert.

And with amendments to the Integrity in Public Life Act still in the Senate, the possibility of some of the complaints having to be done again and under the more stringent conditions outlined in the proposed amendments has been raised.
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Curb road carnage with punitive laws

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, May 24th 2009

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog

Vehicular AccidentSOME 30-odd years ago, when the Solomon Hochoy Highway was completed and fully opened to traffic (initially, only one carriageway was built and used), accidents close to the Claxton Bay flyover were not uncommon. Many were fatal, and that at a time when there were fewer than one-third the vehicles we now have using the nation’s roadways. Because accidents close to Claxton Bay happened more frequently than elsewhere, people tried to figure out why this was so.
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Integrity Act must be fair to all

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, May 17th 2009

The Integrity Commission of Trinidad and TobagoFRANKLY, I don’t give a flying fig whether President Max Richards opts to stay in a ski-lodge in the Alps for the entire summer, or he and Mrs Richards rent a castle in Austria, or they drop in on Denis Solomon at his “remote cottage” in north Italy, as he once described it to me. What I resent is every-man-Jack-or-Bas calling on President Max to return home pronto.
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Presidential dictatorship/pappyshow in T&T

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
May 16, 2009

President Professor George Maxwell RichardsThe recent domino-like collapse of the membership of the Integrity Commission brings to the fore the stark reality of the co-existence of dictatorship politics in the Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of the President of T&T.

The fact of the matter is that the decision by President Professor George Maxwell Richards to appoint Jeffery Mac Farlane as a member and co-chairman of the Integrity Commission suggests two things: either the President is totally incompetent in the highest decision-making process in the country or he has overtly exhibited the utmost “arrogance of power” in this regard or both.
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$2.85 for a lime!

By George Alleyne
Wednesday, May 13 2009

LimesIf one is to judge from the relatively high prices for food at supermarkets then Trinidad and Tobago must be the only place on the globe that has not been affected, price wise at least, by the international economic downturn which has seen food prices tumbling worldwide, for example, the United States of America, China, India, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Africa. Nonetheless, the answer must lie, not in complaining, but in starting a kitchen garden in which fruits and vegetables can be grown on a modest scale, or if you have adequate land space then yams, eddoes, carrots, pigeon peas, corn, bananas, ochroes, green figs and dasheen as well as the seasonal sorrel.
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Father, forgive them not…

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, May 10th 2009

The Integrity Commission of Trinidad and Tobago“There is one trait in the character of a leader that above all things, really counts-being straight. No amount of ability, knowledge or cunning can ever make up for not being straight. Once those under him find out that a commander is absolutely straight in all his dealings with them, and free himself from the slightest trait of self-interest they will love him trust him, work for him, follow him-and should the occasion arise, die for him”

—Basilisk Talks on Leadership, extracted from the “little red book” of Sandhurst, Serve to Lead.
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Confession: Integrity Commission fiasco

Fr Henry CharlesChairman of the Integrity Commission Fr Henry Charles last night admitted that he had made a mistake. But he stressed that he had gone public with his error in his last column in the Guardian and had told President George Maxwell Richards about it before his appointment to the commission.
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