Rowley Went To India Looking for Jhandis?

By Stephen Kangal
March 29, 2012

Stephen KangalYears ago T&T’s former HC to India, Mr. Reginald Dumas went visiting the rural villages of the Indian state of Bihar assiduously looking for “jhandis” and found them. Last week another Afro-Tobagonian, Opposition Leader the Hon. Keith Rowley used the occasion of the CPA meeting being held in India to search for the elusive “jhandis” and according to him found none. And this after the PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar just returned from her Indian safari when the question of the rurally remote, sometimes inaccessible villages (pur) of the States of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from which the “girmitiyas” came to T&T bearing their ‘Jahajee bundles” was well-documented.
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Jack Crossing: from Corridor to Caroni

By Tony Fraser
March 28, 2012 –

Jack WarnerAustin “Jack” Warner has made the crossing over the political, ethnic, racial and geographic Rubicon—from the east-west corridor to Caroni—and has done so in spectacular fashion. Without the endorsement of the hierarchy of the United National Congress, indeed, against its wishes, Warner sauntered into the heartland of the UNC to capture the chairmanship of the party and by an extraordinarily wide margin—12,695 to 656 votes.
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Bluefields, Nicaragua

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 27, 2012

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Costeña aircraft that took us to Bluefields on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua landed on a narrow airstrip located on the edge of a lagoon that buffers the land mass from the Caribbean Sea. A narrow lane, a tract traversising a ravine, acted as our path from the aircraft to a tiny building that announced itself as the immigration office. The building was modesty itself. The immigration officer demanded our passport before we entered one of the more neglected parts of the country that reminded me of Trinidad during the 1950s.
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Why is REDjet Grounded

By Darren Joseph
March 26, 2012

Derren JosephI woke up on Saturday 17th March, logged onto my laptop to read in the press that REDjet had suspended operations. The notice on their website read in part:
“Unlike the heavily subsidised airlines that serve the region, REDjet does not receive any assistance. As indicated, REDjet is hopeful that we will be given a small part of the State assistance others receive, as it will allow us to get our recently approved and exciting new routes established and profitable. Once this happens, our shareholders and staff will do their utmost to see that there is no return to high fares and business as usual.”
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Results of UNC Internal Elections

United National CongressCOUDRAY COPS IT
San Fernando Mayor Marlene Coudray has copped a deputy leader position in the United National Congress (UNC) internal elections.

…SHE came, she saw and she conquered!

King Jack
WORKS and Infrastructure Minister Jack Warner’s popularity continues to grow by leaps and bounds within the United National Congress (UNC) as he convincingly beat his closest rival for chairmanship in the party’s internal elections in Saturday, by a whopping 12,000 votes.
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UNC internals: theatre of the absurd

By Raffique Shah
March 25, 2012

Raffique ShahI LEARNED a lesson in political morality — surely an oxymoron — at the politically tender age of 35. It came from the Machiavellian master himself, Basdeo Panday. Panday and I, along with George Weekes, Joe Young and others, had founded the United Labour Front back in 1976, when I was 30 years old. Within two years, Bas would “mash up” the organically integrated dream party when a number of us took what we thought were principled positions on fundamental issues, details of which are well documented.
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Exploring Linkages Between Indian Places and Cultural Spaces in T&T

By Stephen Kangal
March 19, 2012

Stephen KangalIt was culturally fulfilling, timely and enlightening to attend the public presentation of a ground-breaking PH.D dissertation produced by renowned cultural activist, Kathak dance exponent par excellence and former distinguished Permanent Secretary, Dr. Sat Balkaransingh held at NAPA on Wednesday last. The work is entitled, “Trinidad Space Speaking through Indo-Trinidadian Rituals and Festivals” will contribute immensely to cross-cultural understanding beyond the confines of the Indian community of the culturally persistent linkages that exist between ancestral India and its culturally-rich, diasporic community in T&T.
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Focus on substance, not fluff

By Raffique Shah
March 17, 2012

Raffique ShahOVER the past two weeks or so, public attention has focused on two issues, with the concomitant raging debates in the media and online. The first surfaced when it was disclosed in Parliament that the State had met expenses for Prime Minsiter Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s sister to accompany her on official visits to Australia, India and elsewhere. The second pertained to Tobago Affairs Minister Vernella Alleyne-Toppin incurring private expenses on a Government-issued credit card that is intended for use by officials when they travel abroad.
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Watch the playing of gender card, PM

Guardian Editorial
March 16, 2012 –

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar in IndiaLike other women prime ministers elsewhere in the world, Kamla Persad-Bissessar has had to compete in the political arena on equal terms with her male opponents. The was portrayed during the 2010 general election campaign, and has been portrayed since, as being fearless, capable and intellectually superior. On this basis Ms Persad-Bissessar did battle—and won, emphatically. First she defeated the founding father of the UNC, Basdeo Panday, for the party leadership, and then she unseated the incumbent prime minister, Patrick Manning. No special allowances were made for her in any way — if anything, her gender was an advantage.
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Obama’s Dilemma

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 14, 2012

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe announcement that the US, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany plan to reopen negotiations with Iran to solve the controversy around Iran’s nuclear program could not come at a better time for President Barak Obama. It gives him a little wriggle room to circumvent the disingenuousness of the Republicans in this matter.
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