Kamla: I will not live at La Fantasie

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
By Andre Bagoo
Sunday, May 2 2010

IF MADE Prime Minister, UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar will not live at the official Prime Minister’s Residence at La Fantasie Road, St Ann’s, sources yesterday disclosed as the UNC and PNM continued to put the finishing touches on their manifestos which are expected to be unveiled this week.

Sources close to the UNC Leader yesterday revealed that Persad-Bissessar has privately assured her colleagues that she has no desire to live at the controversial residence and that she would open the facilities up to the public. However, there is as yet no final plan on what form this arrangement would take or what the facilities would be used for.

“She has said she would not want to live there,” a source said. “It would be opened up to the public.”

Word of Persad-Bissessar’s private assurance to top-level UNC members came one day after Prime Minister Patrick Manning hosted a lavish reception for members of the local art fraternity at La Fantasie Road, which is off-limits to the public.
Full Article : newsday.co.tt

46 thoughts on “Kamla: I will not live at La Fantasie”

  1. And they are off!
    The People’s National Movement (PNM) and the United National Congress (UNC)/Congress Of The People (COP) Unity Accord will formally launch their campaigns for the May 24 General Election today; the PNM at 12 noon at their traditional launch pad, Woodford Square, and the UNC/COP two hours later at Mid Centre Mall, Chaguanas.

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    Surprising turnout for UNC in La Horquetta
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    Kamla rises again …three years later
    Almost three years ago, when Kamla Persad-Bissessar was bypassed for the political leadership of the United national Congress, it was at Mid Centre Mall, Chaguanas, that she spoke out, declaring that as a woman, she will never let anyone keep her down.

    Nice lady who wears the political pants

    Suruj asks Ramesh to assist
    The new UNC Coalition candidate for the Tabaquite Constituency Suruj Rambachan, has asked former MP for that constituency Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj to assist him in recapturing that seat in the May 24 general election.

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    Just over a week after he was denied entry into Trinidad and Tobago as an “undesirable alien,” Bernard Campbell is back in the embrace of opposition politicians.

    Martin Daly: Half of 8 q
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    The Valdez and Torry emails
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  2. I personally can care less if our prospective PM Madame Persad-Bissessar , choose to live in the wonderful Beetham Labasse favored by slave byproducts ,or my Siparia buddy ‘big C’s smelly Goat Pen,’ if and when she assumes power come May 25th. I am not worried that she might choose to ignore our alleged corrupt police security officials service, and opt instead for one of our local security gangs to protect her ,over the next four years , or better yet, even emulate the late Mahatma Ghandi , and walk daily bare feet to and from work , and give occasional motivational ‘cumbaya speeches,’ on the steps of the Hall of Justice during periodic fasting sessions ,as that’s her right.
    What instead is important ,both to me, or the millions that entrust their votes to her, is that she carries out the mandate as given ,a result of her manifesto, and keep this alliance together , as a first step towards reconstruction of our nation- non Panday style harking back to 86.
    One such issue of hers , that I particularly endorse, as a law enforcement guru myself , is her stressed that under a UNC-coalition government, “everyone who did the crime will do the time.”
    Such sweet words. Hopefully it’s retroactive back to 1990. It is wonderful to see how the Hart affair have so many in a political frenzy , but it is only the tip of the iceberg, and the people are watching to see how heads roll ,and likely repercussions would ensue when equal , level playing field justice becomes the norm , in a growing democracy , where change we can live with becomes more than a campaign catch phrase. Let’s keep them honest.

  3. Kamla, you so right. You would not live there. You first have to win, you see.

    Imagine a British political leader saying that if he wins, he would move 10 Downing Street to the English Midlands, or an American presidential candidate saying that if he wins he would not live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. What a rejection of the nation’s values that would be!Perhaps you hope to escape the “curse” Bas, your erstwhile friend, allegedly put on the place, what with the murder of one of his security detail by another, and so on.

    Perhaps too,though he is gone from the political scene(for good, we hope), you have adopted his philosophy of “Fig leaf” instead of “knife and fork” people. So sorry you kicked out Mikela though. She has a pretty face, and I am sure she mastered “knife and Fork” while studying in England. You planning to build a timite roof house as party headqquarters?
    And where will you host foreign dignitaries?

  4. “She has said she would not want to live there,” a source said. “It would be opened up to the public.”

    Did she actually say that or is this someone’s invention? I do agree that it’s a bit premature to speculate on prime ministerial living arrangements.If she actually wins,Is she going to move in “reluctantly?” You bet!


  6. No monique , it is more the fact that she perhaps suddenly recognize how foolish, and hypocritical she would appear, since she, and your Uncle Panday were opposed to refurbishing the residence by the PM during his tenure,not because they felt doing so was in the in the interest of the nation , but the fact that they were devoid of an original idea to advance the country, and so opposed for it own sake.

  7. Further notes from an old lady: When we achieved independence in 1962,the governor’s residence was suposed to become a museum. It was opened to the public, who stole things, broke pieces of things off and so on. Then it was closed, refurbished as a proper residence, then re-opened. The Prime Minister was living on MAry Street, behind Whitehall, and the Governor General occupied what later became the Prime minister’s residence,until this new one was built.

    We should teasure our nationlal builings, and use them for the purposes for which they were intended.

    I have no taste for tapia and plaster or burning dried cow dung or charcoal as fuel.I know that is where we came from, but it should not be where we think we are going.

    Kamla has to stop talking emotionl nonsense, and make sense.
    Having lamented the “waste” of this building, opening it to the public would be a horrid.great waste It is inappropriate to try to make that a political issue.
    Anti-Manning is NOT a political manifesto. Even in South Africa, the new rulers took over the traditional residences built at taxpaper’s expense. So too did the new rulers of India and Nigeria, the places we like to think tell us more about ourselves that the English and American models.

    So are people going to ote on the basis of “I ent living dere” Are my people so foolish? Linda at 69.

  8. Linda Edwards, is that you…the educator who writes letters to the newspapers? Maybe because some of the PM’s actions cannot be easily defended this is causing you to be pretty obscene in your commentary.

    Ms. Edwards, you are being very racist and elitist with your reference to “fig leaf” versus “knife and fork” culture as though one is better than the other. How does not wanting to live ostentatiously, especially with the controversy surrounding the massive expenditure on that residence, be equated with a “taste for tapia and plaster or burning dried cow dung or charcoal as fuel.” And why even try to use that in a derogatory sense given that many people live and have lived that way for thousands of years and they are not lesser humans for it. Clearly, based on what you have written here you are a nasty, racist, PNM sycophant.

  9. Hello Everybody,

    firstly I can tell I envied your country and you beautiful people of TnT, and I ve been following a new prime-minister Honorable Mrs. Kamla, congratulations. I do believe she shall win.. because she is really ideal for such a nice people…you are asking who I am? yes I got the change to visit and live very short in TnT and my wife still there…I hope we here as turk people can do the same change otherwise turkish people will be going through for along..

    I greet you all TnT people..

    I hope everything will be perfect with such a nice people of TnT…

    I support Honorable Mrs. Kamla if needed to be I am ready to serve such a nice, honest and very beautiful prime-minister the estimeed.

    I love you TnT and I love you My hatun, I love you San Fernando

  10. Please Kamla stop the nonesense. Imagine Barrack Obama not wanting to live in the White House because it was refurbished under George Bush.
    So does that mean you are going to waste taxpayers money by setting up residence elsewhere ? Or will it come from your own pocket? No I didn’t think so. So waste more of our money to prove a point.
    I am sick of all this.
    Anyway, hopefully we won’t have these issues to deal with on May 25th and you and your bunch of merry men will take your place in the Opposition.

  11. Dear Nubian Sister(sorry, Eubonics is an insult to the educated)I am an historian, and was putting the house situation in order for the newly jumped in who have no sense of history.

    The “fig leaf” and “knife and fork” were PAnday’s classification of Indians in the last election, unless of course, you neither remember anything or read nothing.Chck te newspaper archives. I was referring to his social divisions.

    Throughout history, Barbarians have destroyed national monuments on the grounds that they were wasteful. The most serious and arrogant display was the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and all that that lost.An American soldier rampaging through one of Saddam’spalaces wanted to open a shopping center in it. Obscene.The Brits, no matter what party, would not destroy Stonehenge, nor will the Americans destroy the Mount Rushmore Monument(the heads of great presidents).
    Whether one approved of Manning’s spending that sum on various building projects in Port of Spain or not, and that includes the PM’s Residence, the Diplomatic Center, the new Customs House and others, these are now owned by the people of Trinidad and Tobago. It is where our money went nd the real estate would hold alue if it is used for the purpose , rather thn as an exhibition of something ANTI.Should Mr. MAnning lose the election; or his own seat, while the PNM wins a majorty, there will be a new occupant of the Prime Minister’s residence. It is part of the transfer of power that civilized nations do. For all the acrimony of the American election, Mrs.Laura Bush invited Mrs. Michelle Obama to the White House immediately after the election, so she could get an idea of where she would be living.

    So, with that said, I reiterate that it would be foolish for Mrs Persad- Bissesar to open the residence to the public, so that, inevitably, they will pillage it, ruin it, tear it apart,, steal souvenirs. Less you think this is racist, let me tell you that in 1962, the millioniare wife of a South American Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, stole a crystal ashtray from the newly opened Hilton.Unfortunately, she had had a cocktail too many, so she stumbled on the sloping steps near the shopping plaza in the Hilton, and the ashtray fell, smashing into thousands of little crystalsquares and out of her sash; thoroughly embarassing her husband, the Ambassador.

    As a student of history, educated mostly in Trinidad and Tobago, (UWI)I connect the dots when younger people, claiming to be my sister seem unaware of any dots at all.

    Now will you please, if you choose to respond to this comment specify what is racist about it?

    Racist is often the claim of someone who does not really have a contribution to make to the discussion.

  12. The former historic building that was the Prime Minister’s residence was torn down to make space for this new palace. The ‘historic’ residence was not restored like so many other colonial structures (for those who feel that aspect of our history should be maintained). I do not see any reason that building or site MUST always be used as the Prime Minister’s residence. Certainly, Mr. Manning does not think historical usage MUST be maintained as several years ago he boldly earmarked the Red House as the future Office of the Prime Minister.

    I do not know for certain what Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s real position is on this but if she wins the election and becomes the new Prime Minister, I really hope that that palace could be converted for some wider public usage. If she adopts a more modest lifestyle, that would auger well for her…at least symbolically. That palace cost taxpayers around 200 million dollars and is a true representation of the government’s excessiveness.

    This country does not need leaders acting like European kings and queens. No prime minister here needs a residence costing hundreds of millions of dollars. If Kamla wins the election then her not accepting that La Fantasie residence would be a good way to show the public and her ministers that she is not about being ostentatious or hypocritical by accepting that wastage which many of us, including her, frowned upon. There are many appropriate houses that cost considerably less to build and maintain that can adequately accommodate any head of state.

    For the kind of money spent on that palace it should serve the interest of a whole lot more people in this country than the few who occupy it now.

  13. Heru, the building in which one of Panday’s bodyguards or security detail murdered another was not really old, maybe about forty years. Now The Red House is old, QRC is old, Knowsley, with its beautiful etched glass is old.They are part of our heritage. Should we turn them into dance halls or something? Or begrudge the money to maintain them?

    I do not think the issue of space is the thing here.One acquires more space per person as one moves up the social ladder. Should the renovated Red House become the office of the Prime Minister, he might fnd it difficult to justify so much space for one person’s office.I would rather it remain the seat of government. Is the National Library too big for a library? I am in love with that building, which took so long to replace the old one where people could have fallen through the floor.
    But back to the new PM’s residence. Is that the biggest building in town? I thought the much criticized Performing Arts building was the biggest. So what is her plan for that?.I believe it cost more than the PM’s residence and diplomatic center.

    I think perhaps Ms. Kamla might want to rethink her position on that statement for a lot of reasons, so I would leave her to figure it out.

    As an old thinker, I rememer when the new southern highway was built, and bicycles and donkey/ox/buffalo carts were banned from it. There was a hue and cry from bicyclists and donkey cart owners, but progress had come and fences along the highway kept both at bay.
    Frankly,I love seeing the sight of a smalll boy on top of an enormous heap of grass driving a cart led by a buffalo that can crush in with one stomp. As a matter of fact, having seen that along the old Curepe road leading from Curepe Junction to the CRHighwayin 1984,I memorialized it in one of my novels. Progress however, has moved small boys on carts to obscurity.

    Now, when the new airport was opened(Built under UNC government) there were a lot of problems with it. Sewage leaking into a restaurant, mismatched tiles, that still offend me when I come through. (They look lke a dog with mange.) But the fact is that it was/is an improvement over the old one. Should te PNM, concerned with waste and corruption(Galbaransingh, CArlos and Co.) have decided to abandon the new airport and go back to the old one? That would have been the height of folly. Some say there is a lot of wasted space there too. I do not think so. It is an airport worthy of a country that is going places. Making space for large costumes and such is a good thing. Having modern bathrooms at the airport is a good thing. That I do not have to deplane onto the tarmac is a goood thing. There was waste and corruption, though. Did anyone ever locate the 200 dump trucks that went missing?

    In much the same way, the new Prime Minister’s residence and diplomatic center is a good thing. It is not a waste of space.
    We fussed some ears ago when the London residence of the High Commissioner to the Court of St. JAmes was being renovated. We acted as if the woman then in office was going to take the furnishings, including the pool, with her when she left office.

    We need to grow up, and recognize that all the trappings of the good life are part of us, and part of the cost of doing business on the international scene. The same government that is willing to spend money for early childhood education, right up to the PhD for its young citizens, built a fine new home for its Prime Minister. A hundred years from now, your grandchild could occupy that office.

    Now,I know the business of packing and moving is a bit much. When my late sister’s husband became the head of the Fire Services. she was entitled to move to a fancy house on Lady Chancellor’s Hill. She refused to move in. The house remained vacant during his tenure as Fire Commissioner.
    The Prime Ministership however, is a different matter. Entertaining other heads of state and big business people is part of his business. That cannot well be done in some choky little place. When the magnificent seven around the savann were built, many of us lived in a one room ajoupa, and cooked outside on a chula. Now, these are museum items.Progress.

  14. Dear Linda Edwards,

    I read your letter here related partially to the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan. you are a historian, but, as far as I am concerned that you have no such a matter on historical realities and its backgrounds. You give the opinion on one country and its people – meanwhile, never think I am supporting Taliban and what they have been destroying with a heavy hand, and it is one whom I had to be taken a hostage by them – as barely much as you have been tough by teacher in the classes.

    I am not critizing you, but, if you wish to learn the real stories, what the poor Afghan people in poverty have been suffering for 40 years I can tell many about the Afghanistan realities and send the plenty of pictures (over 10.000) so that you can share these realities with TnT people by writing articles in TnT magazines, newspapers and scientific publications.

    Now, you wonder who I am? I am an expert on AFghanistan who had lived to serve those poor people as a technical project manager and country represnetative for three in the afghan mountains, deserts; but unlike the Us, British troops and other NATO forces involved in ISAF forces, who do use no gunmachines, tanks etc. Becuase I served them by using that people’s native language (dari very similar Persian), I touched, shared with pains and grieves with the extreme pains between death and life in their eyes.

    Accordingly, you are as a historian, please write these stories as for realities if you wish I can share them (through tigin_darxan@hotmail.com)including pictures (over 10.000 and alot of real stories unpublished)with you. Thus, we can not talk without comprehending, and enlighten the people in those realms of Caribbean.

    Best Regards

  15. To create some alternative residence for symbolic reason would be another waste of taxpayers money. In this case what’s done should not be undone. Linda’s reasoning in this case is sound.

  16. Say wah, Kamla WOULDN’T get a chance to live in La Fantasie……although she is fantasizing about being the next PM……she could always live in the cow shed she former boss build in Piarco…..ah wonder if Ferguson and Galbaransingh will make a jail for dat………ah cyar vote for THAT.!!

    1. Finally the people of trinidad and tobago will see
      a new day a chance for new governance under the UNC
      away from the dictatorship of a corrupt misleading
      emperior PATRICK MANNING and his minions

      May 25th 2010 the PNM will be buried…
      LONG LIVE THE UNC……………..
      GOOD BYE PNM……………..

  17. Dear Tigin:
    My friend the Saudi poet Ni’mah Ismail Nawwab keeps me posted on Middle East Matters. I recently, on my last trip home, April 24/May 2, 2010 donated a copy of her book of poetry “The Unfurling” to the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago, in the hope of furthering understanding between people of different cultures.If I need more horrific pictures of What is going on in the Middle East, I can access her picture files,those of friends in the oil business and Al Jazeera.I do not write specifically for the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

    You might want to try writing a piece yourself and sending it to the newspapers here, along with a short statement that makes your story a credible one.Point of view is important, and I would be an observer, second hand. You lived it.

    For eample, early in the war, the western press did a story about an Afghani father who was offering his fourth son for sale. Western values were repelled by that idea, but the father then explained that the infant’s mother had died, and he could not care for him, but by offering him in exchange for money, he was getting funds to feed the other three; and that a couple who ould pay that much for a child would not be likely to let him starve.

    That changed his gesture into AN ACT OF LOVE FOR HIS FOUR SONS. SEE MY POINT?

  18. Irrespective of how one might be tempted to think of the UNC historically, one must not fail to give some credit where it is due ,to the party members for making a bold gesture and throwing their support to Madame P in the past party elections, while voting out Uncle Panday from his exulted position of power.
    Pity the folks of the PNM could not muster up the courage before to do the same.
    Come May 25th , it might be time for them to decide who is their leader , regardless of who should be victorious in the polls. A political life Uncle Manning from 24 to what 63 , along with one’s unelected wife holding two successive cabinet post , while 48 year old popular candidates are considered too old , is what I expect from Queen Elizabeth , King Juan Carlos of Spain, or some similar monarch long past their time, but hey what do I know when I just recently put the paperwork in place to change my citizenship to more progressive St Lucia ,or St Kitts. I however ,still wish our often ‘comatose folks’ well, for “it’s a jungle out there!”

  19. I have not read where anyone mentioned tearing down the structure or building a new Prime Minister’s residence. However, building another cheaper residence could make sense if that palace structure could serve some greater national good, given its cost, size and facilities and if there are no other houses available to the government.

    I never called for the construction of any new prime ministerial residence, neither have I suggested that the Prime Minister should live like a pauper (although the latter could serve some good). The government has access to several very large houses among the many properties that they own and rent, and some of them are underutilized. In the recent past, they made do with less which, in itself, was already grand.

    I could see why PNM, UNC and other opposition members and supporters would want the palace to remain the Prime Minister’s residence.

    There are PNM supports that defended Patrick Manning when he was putting out so much of our tax dollars on that structure. They have committed themselves to defending it so they would stick to that position. Plus, having witnessed the Opposition heap scorn on the expenditure, they would like to berate them (if they win the election and move into the palace) for not only accepting it but enjoying its grandeur. They would also feel if the palace is accepted by the UNC, then the expenditure would be justified.

    Of course, on the Opposition side, there are some who want to see their new Prime Minister (if she wins the election) living large and they feel it would be a perfect slap in the face to Manning for her to move right into ‘his’ recently constructed palace (similar to when Manning moved into the Prime Minister’s residence not too long after Panday renovated it. Sweet revenge perhaps…?) I could see many Opposition members and supporters rather enjoying that.

    Although I understand the different positions on this, I will support whatever could be in the greater national good.

    Again, IF that structure could serve some GREATER national good then I am for that. Our leaders being more modest can set a better example for the country.

  20. Very well then. Now that we have this distraction, feel good,non issuue out of the way,how about a refocus on somethings that we can hold either of our prospective Prime Minister and their respective government to. How about some incentives which mght contribute to jobs stimulation, without only benefiting some desperate foreigner,and can encourage our usually greedy ,selfish,local business community to play a role,due to to help and make a difference ,in terms of investments in this stagnant ,import dependence economy?
    What would ,Human Security’ in our country be like for the majority of citizens ,in terms of health,food,protection of life,useful education,level playing field ,equal rights and justice for all class ,and basic infrastructure ,that ensure a decent quality of life ,in keeping with our vast ,natural ,economic resources?
    Is there a coherent foreign policy ,and immigration plan folks,or are we going to continue the Indian versus African Guyana/Mother India/Black Caribbean/Africa,jig and dance for electorial purposes ,favored by both tribal leaders,historically?
    Does any of them have a clue as to how to restore the necessary hope ,will,and confidence to persevere and succeed,along with an appropite. -often absent-Trini patriotic spirit,which will make citizens believe in themselves again,as oopposed to running to so called great foreign lands,which instead forces too many in actuality, to live like 4th class citizens ,in virtual prisons,but often ashame to admit it?
    3 weeks obviously is insufficent to deal with such matters- Manning is to be blamed forthat,but it’s another story~and since public debates are unknown in our country,perhaps a concerned member of our 4th estate,might be tempted to ask these and similar pertenent questions,if not too busy ,covering salacious , inconsequential matters.
    Sweet T&T we love. You!

  21. There exists in the minds of quite a number of persons in all walks of life in Trinidad and Tobago a kind of backwardness that continues to defy all reason, levelheadedness and common sense.
    I recall Mr. Dookeran in the run up to the 2007 elections announcing that should the COP get in power the Prime Minister’s residence would be sold. Another party said it woud be used as a home for battered women, etc.

    Ms. Edwards, it would take nothing short of a miracle to convince some of the detractors who are now resorting to personal attacks on you to bolster their misguided egos that the Prime Minister is entitled to a residence as a part of his Office. He is the Head of State and his living and working conditions should be comensurate with his position. If the residence is turning out to be inadequate as the former had been, then there was no other option but to rebuild.

    Mr. Manning is not a morocoy–when he demits Office he leaves the residence for the Prime Minister whoever that might be.

    I sometimes jest that should the UNC etc get in power they should demolish all of those buildings/structures which thet continually berated, sink the water taxis, demolish the new overpass and dig up every road and bridge constructed in the last few years.

  22. So Neal wants to”encourage our usually greedy ,selfish,local business community to play a role,due to to help and make a difference ,in terms of investments in this stagnant ,import dependence economy?”
    Here we go again putting up with the inaccuracies, generalizations and unfair name calling by the eternal blogger himself.I have some news for Neal. Small and large local businesses have been the backbone of the economy of T&T.While successive governments have blown large oil and gas revenues, local businessmen have continued to expand , invest and provide real jobs to the citizens. People who invest their hard earned dollars in business ventures contribute also to the diversification of the economy. They take risks and sure they enjoy a good lifestyle.Entrepreneurs are in the profit making business and there is nothing wrong with that.If government would only eliminate the red tape involved in doing business in T&T, business would respond with even greater expansion.To desire a good lifestyle is not “greedy”.To operate an efficient business in not selfish. To improve your profit margin is not a crime, because it leads to expansion and job creation.

  23. Dear Linda Edwards,

    I would like firstly to thank you for replying to memy last message to you. I received your statement that made me satisfied, according to my inferrences you seem to be an intellectual point of view and well educated one. Therefore, I am so honoured to know you. I hope we will be able to keep in touching for further chances to exchange interpretation and views amongst us..

    Best regards,

  24. Eternal educator,eternal optimist am I. If they could only be made to see the broader picture, I tell myself…

    If I ever give up believing that educated discourse can make a difference, readers would know that my soul is dead, and then, it would not really matter what is done with the carcass.
    Serious sociologists may decide that we are not really a country, because we do not have a unified national purpose.
    No matter who wins the British election today, there is a unified national purpose , in that country, for its people. Ways and means may differ. No matter which party wins in the US elections in October, there is a unified purpose about the value of citizenship, and the American dream, including the right to dream of a better life, and to work consistently to achiee that ebnd.

    I see no unified purpose among my people.It seems we have adopted a philosophy of destroy. One cannot work to destroy your neighbor’s house without threatening your own also.Perhaps there is a poverty of the spirit among some people that makes them incapable of feeling that the nation we created from all the fragments brought here by force or in hopes of exploitation, really belongs to all of us, including those, like me, who choose to live abroad.

    A simple analogy: In the subdivision where I live, a piece of trash blows out of someone’s trash bin and sits on a pristine lawn, not the owners, but next door. A third party comes by, picks up the paper and puts it back in the bin. The street remains an avenue of green grass. What would happen to that newspaper page in TnT? How long would it stay littering? By the time the owner gets home, it would be way down the street.
    MAybe a year later, if it had not washed into the drain, someone may organize a “clean up campaign, or some foreign dignitary might be coming, and we’d spruce up the place. We do not yet seem to believe that WE HAVE A RIGHT to clean spruced up places, when its not Christmas, Divali, Eid or Easter.

    We do not seem to think that we have right to buy food in places that look sanitary, where flies are kept out of the glass cases that hold food displays.

    Is this something we could teach in school?

    Now, some hater is going to write something foolish about how trashy New York City is, but that is not true of the nation as a whole.

  25. I would like to congratulate Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her team for the decision to move the residence of the Prime Minister from the fantasy at la Fantasie Road. To occupy this present residence would be to condone a disgraceful ego- trip and waste of public funds.

    White Hall might be a suitably positioned residence for our Prime Minister, although changed by “restoration.” With its roof repaired, marble-paved hall restored, it can be returned to its residential form within six months to become an altogether delightful residence, fitting for the Prime Minister.

    The people want the Red House to remain our legislature. Parliament can be given a better seating plan and meeting rooms made for Parliamentary Committees but Parliament must stay. Much has been made of the need for space, please consider the use of La Fantasie to house the Senate.

    This suggestion is inspired by its proximity to the residence of the President and a recent personal experience. On a visit to France as part of a United States cultural team containing Mayors and a Senator, I was privileged to attend an official lunch in the French Senate. The Senate occupies the Luxembourg Palace which is surrounded by the Luxembourg Public Gardens. It has library, reading room and is open to public tours. There is security but none of the fear/dislike of the public now evident in La Fantasie.

    Our new so-called diplomatic centre, the many private rooms and the several offices, staff quarters, the private chapel and private theatre planned for the PM would then serve a useful purpose of providing space for Senator’s offices and meeting rooms. The very expensive and elaborate landscaping done to serve Manning’s residence could become visually incorporated with an improved Botanical Garden and Queen’s Hall. Public tours might access them. The space of the Community Development facility could be incorporated into the Senate. Also the Community Centre could be moved into lands of the St Ann’s hospital if the long planned and long overdue modernisation and move out of town of the St Ann’s Hospital were to be accomplished.

    “Foreign dignitaries” are the responsibility of the President. They would be entertained in a restored President’s House (with its removed cast iron balconies replaced and many lost Cazabon works replaced) . Our President, the non-political, non-tribal, Head of State and the protector of the Public Services from political interference could have easy conference with our Senate from this location. The Senate’s work of State administration would be separated from its role in legislation and shaping of national policy.

  26. As my dear and wise Granny would say , “Lord put hand , and if you cannot , please put a foot.” In this case ,it is to save us from the likes of the conniving T-Man, and gullible , naive characters such as Claire,who pretends to be intelligent Trinis, but from the evidence is anything but.
    This reminds me , it was Galileo who once said, “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.” Thanks very much T-Man for enlightening me about our local big ,investment businessmen,and risk takers ,who have been providing real jobs for ‘all citizens,’ thus making them “the backbone of our ‘diversified’ economy of T&T.”
    So it is the government that has made the climate so difficult with red tape, that through the decades ,forced our profit oriented entrepreneurs to be less inclined to expand their business here ,huh?
    To think that I was busy here scratching my head , while trying to figure out what transpired at the Hindu Credit Union with millions of hard working Caroni workers pensions ,and other nationals life savings , but now that you’ve laid it out so succinctly ,I finally get the picture , my friend .
    You know ,there are many more learned than myself ,who firmly believe that this seemingly ,corrupt cultural practice is a distinct characteristic , of an extremely large percentage of our selfish, and yes greedy business community , but again I stand corrected, and for this I will now thank you.
    Just for the record , dear folks,I’ve never advocated via any of my eternal blogger” attempts , that anyone should not enjoy the fruits of their labors , and so live a lavish lifestyle, unlike the closet socialist that was recently ousted from power , I have no problem with business getting a profit from their investment , and enjoying it for their benefit and children. However, I have always subscribed to the view that one “should always ‘beware of a man with nothing to loose,’ and that smart business people , should ‘never refuse to give a man a wing, who gave you the bird.’ Who these bird giving people are , might just surprise you , as they tend to cut across manny demographics.
    Let’skeep them honest, shall we? We have an election to win or loose ,depending on one’s perspective.

  27. Hello! This is my first time on this website. I was just scoping through and it just amazes me how you people could make so many comments on such a trifle issue, when the bigger headlines go unnoticed. For instance “road paving problems in Maraval” has 1 comment, “manning must explain” has 1 comment (I thought this would have had the most so far), “PNM 41 candidates” 1 comment, “Take your time Chief Justice Archie”-0 comments, “pensioners unimpressed by increase”-0 comments,”Election 2010:opposition for change”-8 comments but “Kamla: I will not live at La Fantasie”-26 comments. I am not the coordinator of this website but wow! You people really know the priorities of your country. Any article with Kamla seems to be a hit and those with Patrick or anti government is a miss. When will people stop burying their heads in the sand and just admit that the government of the day is doing a lot of bullshit and attempting to fool the people of this country.

    The money used to construct the Prime Minister’s residence could have been used to upgrade our hospitals and I emphasize hospitals because I’m a medical student training there and my sister is a nurse and we can both tell you about the conditions because we’re there every single day and it’s a shame that a country with so much wealth has such terrible facilities. San Fernando and POS General are like abandoned factories. When you walk through some of the wards you feel like you’re in the 70’s. There are a major shortage of beds and the ones that are there are dysfunctional. Imagine nurses have to use disposable pillow cases to do bed baths and pregnant women have no privacy when giving birth. It’s so sickening when you admit and clerk patients that are already so ill and you cant give them the best healthcare possible. It frustrates them even more and that’s the whole problem with this government. Rather than all these expensive projects and fooling with people’s brains around election time,just start with the basic needs of the people first and then we can build from there. It’s like Mr. Manning trying to do A levels before he could write SEA. Imagine he wants to build new hospitals when the existing ones need upgrading first. The PNM has been in power for too long and the current state of our country is not what it should be. I dont know if it’s just me, but I dont see big buildings, palaces, hosting fancy summits, 2 million dollar flags, UDECOTT corruption, secret churches, NAPA, smelters etc as anything near his so called vision 2020 or developed country status. You need to start with “necessities” first before “wants”. He’s squandering money that could be channeled to more important avenues. People deserve more than that.In the end it’s the poor who suffer most.

    So rather than making excuses for everything Mr. manning blatantly does wrong you have to think a bit and put yourself in other people’s shoes and then you’ll realise that he’s moving us in the wrong direction. I guess I made this comment #27!

  28. Ah JAmes,here is # 28. Did you know that a person of indian ancestry in TnT will almost NEVER buy a house previously occupied by a person of African ancestry? Did you know that if both kinds lived next to each other, and the African originated person added a second story, his “naybe” will feel compeled to add a storey and a half? This plays out every day in the countryside of TnT.

    Remember PAnday putting some kind of emblem on the grounds of the Prime Minister’s residece, and saying MAnning would never live there? Hence the need for a new house as residence for the M. Now Kmla is saying shwe wil never live at LA FAntasie- she will not live in a house preiously occupied by an African originated person.

    This is the underlying reason, I think, for many of the comments disgiuised as concern about spending money. Would she order the breaking of all the dishes, as is Hindu custom, when a non-Hindu eats from them, or has this practice gone out with my classmates from many years ago? If any reader never heard about it, it is because you never lived in close proximity, nor ate at their house, or invite them to eat at yours.

    There is more to the issue than you see, son.Yes, the hospitals are a mess.My nephew is a medical doctor, so too are the nephews of two of my very dearest friends. Six of my sisters were/ae nurses. Hospitals are a mess because, of the parallell practice of treating the same patient for money, elsewhere, at the doctor’s private clinic. They are a mess because we do not really believe,as a nation, that we deserve the best health care.

    I was talking with a ninety+ old lady last week, who needed urget care for a cyst that had ruptured. The hospital said they would call her. Fortunately, she knows a renowned doctor personally and she called him, in pain. He sent her with a note to another doctuor who performed the surgery the same day.

    Those who do not know a doctor personally, crapaud smoke your pipe. This has nothing to do with the party in power, but with the people we are.Are we prepared to change, or to continue to lament?

    When Dr. Boucaud tried to get my father to take his hat off because the good doctor was driving by, I was about eight.Nothing has changed in the ensuing sixty one years. More doctors, same attitudes. Its we, the people.

  29. LINDA EDWARDS wrote:
    “Did you know that a person of indian ancestry in TnT will almost NEVER buy a house previously occupied by a person of African ancestry?”
    I am stunned by this comment.In all my time, I have never heard of this in T&T.I know first hand a several Indians who have purchased houses which were rented by people of African descent. I also know from direct experience of several Africans who have purchased houses which were being rented by Indians.Maybe,I am moving in a different circle?
    LINDA EDWARDS also wrote:
    “Now Kamla is saying she will never live at LA FAntasie- she will not live in a house preiously occupied by an African originated person.”
    Kamla Persad Bissesar has never made this statement.I am beginning to question the motives of Ms. Edwards. Spreading false information is indeed very dangerous and could incite the public.If Ms. Edwards is as educated as she frequently reminds us, she should have the good sense to avoid spreading false information. She should also avoid attributing false motives to others without first evaluating the repercussions.
    Ms.Edwards should make an attempt to rise above the scandalous campaigning strategies practised by the politicans of T&T. Or is she intentionally trapped in her prejudice, preventing her from climbing to a higher level.

  30. Linda Edwards, you seem to have an agenda. Pray tell me…on who’s authority do you assess what Indian people will and will not do? Did you go into a seance with Mahatma Ghandi? Do you have a degree in Indian Culture? Even so, have you been interacting with Indians at all? You see I ask these questions of you because your utterances are so inept and far-fetched. This is 2010 Ms. Edwards. Be real, be tolerant and most of all be honest.

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