Mystery Church

Newsday Editorial
February 24, 2010 – newsday.co.tt

PM Patrick ManningWE were most disappointed at Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s silence over the controversial church that Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner alleged is being built by the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) in the Heights of Guanapo.

Last Friday in the House of Representatives, Warner made his startling claim which raises crucial questions over the alleged use of public resources for a private venture. He held up a photograph of the construction site, which is reportedly manned by Chinese labourers.

Warner raised the spectre of several improper practices including the possibility that a private church is being built on State lands, is using a contractor acquired in a Government-to-Government contract, and is benefitting from unknown financing. Warner later alleged to reporters that TTEC had been instructed to supply an electrical connection to the church. Warner three times offered to give way to Mr Manning whom he invited to tell what, if anything, he knew of the church, but despite this repeated prompting, Manning stayed silently seated.

Manning’s silence sent very bad signals to the national community who would expect that if he has no knowledge nor vested interest of the church, he would have said so immediately. Conversely the fact that after three promptings, he chose to stay silent, would largely suggest in the minds of many viewers that he is not in a position to deny Warner’s allusions of Manning’s involvement/knowledge in some aspect of the church.

Again, we say Manning should either have just come out and denied the allegations (if they are false), or simply explained what he knew (if they are at least partially true). He did neither.

Further, when Manning spoke in the House debate later, he failed to use the opportunity to clear the air. In fact, in our view his utterances only cast an even darker cloud over his own head.

He vaguely spoke of the biblical “Tree of Good and Evil,” and alleged that Warner was familiar with a “truth, untruth, truth” style of operating. Lamentably, Manning went on to repeat the “monkey on the back” slur that had been used against Mr Warner in the recent UNC internal election campaign, and also told a children’s story where the villain is a monkey.

Manning also made an allegation against UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissesar about allegedly buying a shop in dubious circumstances, a charge she flatly denied. These personal attacks on Mr Warner and Mrs Persad-Bissessar are not just unparliamentary, but were made by Manning at a time when he should instead have been enlightening the population about what if anything he knew of the mysterious church.

It is a very serious issue because it comes after the Uff Commission of Inquiry has unearthed huge apparent squandermania and alleged corruption in State expenditure, which many observers believe the Government is now asking the taxpayer to foot through the Property Tax. Is this church now more of the same, many observers will be asking?

Yesterday’s media reported that so far no-one has admitted any knowledge of who is building the church. Udecott — which oversees the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) — denied knowledge of the church. A woman said to be a spiritual advisor has also vehemently denied any knowledge of the project.

The Ministry of Planning (along with the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation), must say whether the proper permissions have been given by their Town and Country Planning Department. As line Ministry for Udecott, which in turn oversees the SCG, they must also explain how SCG workers, if at all, have found themselves working on a private church.

So what is the truth? A church can’t build itself. The answer cannot be difficult to find. Someone must know and we hope that some light would soon be shed on this matter.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/editorial/0,116267.html

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PM and a seerwoman links in mystery church in Arima revealed
New details have emerged about the mystery church being constructed in the Heights of Guanapo to which Prime Minister Patrick Manning has been linked but about which he remains so silent.

Dick-Forde on Guanapo church: PM isn’t corrupt
Planning, Housing and the Environment Minister Emily Gaynor Dick-Forde has said Prime Minister Patrick Manning will not be engaged in corrupt activities at a controversial church in the Heights of Guanapo because his opponents would have him locked up.

Mystery Over Church Deepens
A surprising twist yesterday emerged in the controversy surrounding the “mystery church” at Heights of Guanapo, Arima, as a housewife alleged that her husband was paid $55,000 in cash several years ago to vacate the plot of land on which the structure is now being built by Chinese contractors Shanghai Construction Group.

5 Responses to “Mystery Church”


  • Well what do you know fellow T&T earthlings, wonders never cease, as the wise ones would usually. Seriously, this matter have me all excited , but not for the same reasons some might think. Let me state for the record that unlike our normally comatose Opposition, and complicit ,sleeping ,corporate media entities , I have absolutely no interest in whether this alleged church cost 20 or 200 million, or if the PM choose to import half of China to build his spiritual house of worship.
    I am simply thrilled that a national leader finally decided to show some love , by going roots on us ,and show some love to one of our Afrocentric bead shaking , kinky head spiritualist princess- so aptly described by TV6 as a Seerwoman.
    I particularly like the name Juliana Pierre Devenish, and if she is from Arima as claimed , that means some more love for one of the much respected, yet neglected original indigenous Carib people that populated this here lands long before the savage Italian Cristobal Colon came to these shores , which eventually led to slave and indentured laborers following. Tragically ,today the offsprings are so busy fighting each other for social and economic crumbs , that they collectively lost sight as to what is important – love for country ,and each other .
    Let’s follow the lead of our illustrious PM and say yes to spiritualism, and no to foreign decadence. Think on this , he could have followed the lead of the once pseudo African Guyanese President Forbes Burnam ,who allowed white racist nut , coke sniffing, Jim Jones into his land to build a church , and a sexual cult commune ,which resulted in the mass murder of thousand of black Guyanese, and African American gullible fools.
    I always wondered about these matters , some folks could fly their flags and burn incense, while sacrificing young family members, and selling their souls to make millions through their questionable gods. Others can push hate , terrorism , and suicidal acts, in praise of their revengeful gods while trying to get to paradise and sleep with imaginary virgins , yet kinky head folks from Haiti to Nigeria , Blue Mountains , and Mattlot, are always scoffed at ,when they indulge in dolls and pins voodoo exercises , goat skin drums ,and blood consumptions long into the nights , and now in our PM’s case ,a private personal consultant with his own seerwoman.
    Now mind you , UNC could empower their women by making them shadow PM’s , why can the PNM not do the same . First he made Hazel his wife as close right hand confidant,then possibly deputy PM ,and probably in the near future his successor , as he exit the political stage , and ride into the sunset as a preacher and do charitable works just like George Bush Jr. and Bill Clinton in big brother America. Reverent Dollar , and Jake watch out ! And they said globalization is a myth.

  • PM denies owning church
    In a statement which left a lot unanswered, Prime Minister Patrick Manning yesterday confirmed the church in Heights of Guanapo, Arima, is being built on State lands.

    Church Not Manning’s
    However, the cornerstone on the church’s construction site states it was put down on December 30, 2005, before permission for the use of State lands was given in 2006. Construction of the church, only began in January of this year and is expected to be completed in July.

    Approval to build rejected
    The mystery church being built at the Heights of Guanapo, Arima , never got approval from the Commissioner of State Lands, nor did it obtain approval for construction from the Town and Country Planning Division, TV6 News reported last night.

    ‘No approval for church’
    CHAIRMAN of the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation, Patricia Mejias, says that her corporation received no plans from the Town and Country Planning Division for the controversial church being constructed in the Heights of Guanapo, Arima, and allegedly linked to Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

    Speaker turns down request to discuss mystery project
    House Speaker Barry Sinanan yesterday turned down a request from Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh to discuss the mystery church in Parliament.

    UDeCOTT: Not our project

    A longtime friend of pastors
    Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s long history with pastors, and a prophetess, dates back 23 years, when a political baptism – the PNM losing 33 to 3 at the polls-led to a religious baptism.

    Rift in church at Guanapo Heights

  • I want to disagree in totality with any view that any PM should be involved in any construction of any church for any religious grouping. And further I would encourage all to do same. Neal, what is this madness about the PM finally showing some love. And for you to not be concerned about the cost or if the PM is involved or not is unfortunate. When the state gets involved in matters of spitituality, all that can be accomplished is claims of discrimination from other groups. Already Sat has made such claims. The state should never get involved in this, I think that there should be separation between church and state. We already have enough problems attributed to church and politics, individually.

  • Corporation moves to stop work on Guanapo church
    The Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation is moving to stop the construction of the controversial church on the Heights of Guanapo that has been linked to Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

    Controversy over church in Heights of Guanapo…
    Energy Minister Conrad Enill could shed no light yesterday on why the cornerstone of the church in the Heights of Guanapo, titled: ‘Light of the Light House of the Lord Jesus Christ’, was laid on December 30, 2005, months before Cabinet approval, which was given in 2006.

    ‘I took it to Cabinet’
    FORMER Agriculture Minister Jarette Narine yesterday revealed he carried an application for the transfer of State lands at Guanapo Heights, Arima, on which a controversial church is now being constructed, to the Prime Minister Patrick Manning-led Cabinet years ago.

    New $3m road leading to church
    A FRESH coat of asphalt yesterday replaced the bumpy dirt track that once led to the controversial church currently under construction at the Heights of Guanapo, Arima.

    Govt grants more lands
    CABINET yesterday approved at least five requests for State lands, Energy Minister Conrad Enill disclosed stating that such applications are not granted blindly.

    PM, Queen to go to church
    AS questions continue to be raised about a controversial church being built in the Heights of Guanapo and his alleged connection to it, Prime Minister Patrick Manning is scheduled to attend a multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 8 with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and other dignitaries.

  • Let me make myself absolutely clear on this subject mmramps. I have absolutely no interest in pointless Trini distractive, rum/bush meat, and roti convoluted politics . You are however free to expend your energies in such affairs my friend since you believe that much political goodwill and fortunes can accrue as a result.
    If the PM wants to use taxpayers precious dollars , and the country’s vast underground , yet depleting resources , to have foreigners construct at 20 million a piece , 200 churches across the 36 constituencies of our nation,in efforts to make our people more spiritual , good for him.
    Should the people that voted for his party , sees no problem with it, while they unlike him and Basdeo ,are experiencing substandard health care, subpar security, and high unemployment, so be it.
    He is in my estimation correct to go full speed ahead in this project , as well as buy 10 more expensive personal jets , purchase about 50 more 2 million dollar Stadium flags, and put about 5000 more rooms to his resident ,since your government in waiting /Opposition failed to address these and similar matters , as they were awaiting shadow Chief Whip uncle Badase Sat Maraj’s updated list of topics to focus on ,as a new Parliamentary talking points.
    You and others won’t loose any sleep when Panday wants to change every Christian national symbol in our nation to assert his people cultural distinctiveness , independence, and or economic dominance ,to ones that reflects his cultural religion, or build only Indo Trini exclusive ,Hindi speaking schools for his voters.
    You see no problem when Islamic crooks and bandits are accepting unknown oil dollars left , right ,and center ,to similarly develop their own local hate-filled equivalent Madrases, including the one that Abu Bker used to influence hundreds of young and desperate Bantustan kids in 1990 to murder innocent -including law enforcement officials -on that fateful day that our democracy took a turn for the worst, and the Opposition leader,his one time deputies as well as then Muslim President were grinning like drunken chimpanzees on their vacation beaches in either South Beach Florida , perhaps Northern Tripoli, or St Georges Grenada.
    You and Curtis can occasionally pontificate about escalating crimes , and wanton corruption , but feel that the costly Privy Council is still the best ,as opposed to the Trini based CCJ that we are subsidizing to the tune of billions yearly with no benefits to our people , as we failed to join as these lifetime obstructionist feels that it might not be racially sensitive enough, or they still take the oath on the Holy Bible.
    I noticed that newly minted Opposition leader Madame Kabela ,took pot shot at future voters in Bantustan territories for choosing to vote the way they did , while silent about UNC ones that similarly got so little as returns for their loyalty and life long support.
    I dare her new Chief Whip and Pit Bull Jack to continually push is weight around , failing to remember that he too ‘has cocoa in the sun,’as his former pal and political bed mate Panday , won’t cease to remind him ,as he in turn languish on the back bench .
    Remind Jack for me that both him and Opposition leader Madame Kamela underestimate Mr. Panday at their own risk.
    In conclusion ,some would argue that ,asking this man Panday to change is evil , divisive , and non progressive ways is almost tantamount to ‘asking a cannibal to change the menu.’
    I wish you luck my friend ,in your quest for encouraging a new culture of political transparency , as well as broad based level playing field economic, and social justice .

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