By Stephen Kangal
August 20, 2008
Dharti Mata’s rich productive plains of Central Trinidad have suffered from yet another devastating blow to its hard earned agri- based patrimony. This follows upon the ill-advised and politically motivated cruel closure of the sugar industry of Caroni Ltd just when enviro-friendly sugar-cane -based ethanol emerged as the lucrative renewable fuel of the future.
Ten thousand citizens were then thrown on the bread line in a grand urban, electoral security generated conspiracy engineered to marginalize and neutralise the Indian vote and kill the influence of their sugar union in one fell swoop.
The severance benefits pittance that these former Caroni workers received were invested in large amounts in the HCU for rainy days. They have now even lost their small retirement nest-egg in another grand conspiracy this time a clear case of Hindu inhumanity being perpetrated against unsuspecting Hindus. Has Hindu unity in the financial services sector been exploited again by another corrupt Hindu leader to hoodwink Hindus and rob them of hard-earned millions while the current State Administration that pretends to act to safeguard all of us looks on with callous and detached indifference?
Central Trinidad united again politically with Panday to return him to Government in 2000. One year later in return he confined and consigned them permanently to Opposition. That was another case of Hindu betrayal.
How can the Manning Administration who inflicted the first “et tu Brute” stab in the backs of these docile and hard-working people could have remained so unpatriotically indifferent for so long while Harnarine’s HCU pillaged and plundered their savings and investments in a most callous, illegal and inhumane dishing out their investments to a small clique? Do the underpinnings of political-ethnic divide transcend caring governance?
Is it not time for the Manning Administration to embark upon an emergency rescue package to rehabilitate and salvage the devastated people of Central Trinidad having regard to the closure of Caroni and the current collapse of the HCU? What is the fate of the 900 innocent employees of the defunct HCU when millions were disbursed to save the employees of BWIA and to prop up the CEPEP and URP voting bank? Is it different strokes for different folks?
What counseling services are being offered by the state to the thousands of depositors of the HCU as well as the former 900 HCU employees who have suffered enormous stress and trauma? Are suicides the only way out for these people or sudden degeneration into diabetes and cardio diseases from the trigger mechanisms provided by the severe and persistent post-traumatic shock disorder syndrome?
The Manning Administration can make an effort to think and act outside of the ethno-political box because these people from Central are human beings. They have a right to access the overflowing national patrimony like the people of St. Vincent and their airport did, to bail themselves out of a most depressing and unjust series of events that have emaciated their present and destroyed future. The national patrimony also belongs to them as well.
Someone must have a heart because human hearts do not beat to the drums of ethnicity, polarisation and partisan politics.