Budget: capture every crook and dodger

By Raffique Shah
October 02, 2018

Raffique ShahI am writing this column before the Minister of Finance delivers his 2018-2019 Budget, and no, Colm Imbert and I are not friends, so I can’t call him on the phone and ask for a few tips on some of the measures he proposes to introduce to restrain the population from open rebellion, especially after his boss, the Prime Minister, declared last week that he will put the ruling People’s National Movement on a general election footing from early next year.
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Reparative Justice

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 01, 2018

When we think of restorative justice we must think of who was harmed and how we make them whole again.

—Marc Lamont Hill, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn November 23, 1850, the San Fernando Gazette announced the death of John Lamont, the second-largest slave owner in the island. It noted: “Mr. Lamont had arrived at the age of 65, the largest part of which he passed in this island [or Trinidad] where he had accumulated a very large fortune, by care, perseverance, and intelligence, accompanied by the strictest integrity, and marked by humor in all his transactions.”
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We are not beggars

By Raffique Shah
September 26, 2018

Raffique ShahKamla Persad-Bissessar’s statement that a possible solution to Petrotrin’s problem might be to import crude oil from Guyana was uninformed—and here I’m being charitable to the Opposition Leader. But nothing she said warranted the barrage of insults hurled at Trinidad and Tobago in a response by one Robert Persaud, who is described as being a former Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment in Guyana.
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Independence Child/Pan Africanist Vision

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 24, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeSeveral years ago Glenda Morean, Trinidad and Tobago’s High Commissioner in London, invited me to attend an intimate luncheon with Ulric Cross and four other people. It was the first time I met Cross, this distinguished man. Although I knew Cross’s reputation as a combat bomber navigator during World War II, my most indelible image of him was that of an ageless being playing a good game of tennis in his eighties.
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US sanctions 2 Trinis over ISIS terrorism

By Carla Bridglal and Jensen La Vende
September 20, 2018 – newsday.co.tt

Trini ISIS fightersTWO Trinidadian men were yesterday sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for suspicion of financing ISIS. This now triggers local authorities to initiate civil proceedings that can see the assets of both men seized.

Emraan Ali, 51, a Syria-based TT-US dual citizen and Eddie Aleong, 34, also known as Ishmael Mohammed, Ishmail Muhammed and Ismail’il Ali, were sanctioned under Executive Order (EO) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
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Enter Gary Griffith: Act One

By Raffique Shah
September 19, 2018

Raffique ShahGary Griffith couldn’t have scripted a better opening act for his entry onto the national stage as the new Commissioner of Police, even if he were the Bard of Cascade or whatever suburb he lives in or comes from.

After six years of play-acting by career police officer Stephen Williams, and amidst much intrigue, controversy and good old Trinidad bacchanal over the selection of a new CoP, which featured principal parts played by politicians of every hue and persuasion, not to add cameos by a significant number among the “extras” in the 1.4 million population, Gary landed the starring role—and what an entry he made.
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Missing Their Mark

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 17, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDr. Keith Rowley and the PNM came through the Petrotrin debate looking much better than Ancil Roget and the OWTU. Moreover, Rowley’s rationality and levelheadedness triumphed over Roget’s tentativeness and impulsiveness. Initially, I thought Rowley and the PNM would have won the battle and lost the war. I am not sure this prediction still holds. It’s a pity though Roget did not outline his refinery-saving proposal before (Express, September 14).

My neighbor, a shop steward of OWTU, has another view of things. He believes the strike was “partially successful. It was supposed to demonstrate to the political leaders that we need to change how we do things and to remind them that the people are still in charge.” “The union,” he said, “used the day to protest the selling of our national assets to foreigners.”
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PNM: Kamla must apologise

By Corey Connelly
September 16, 2018 – newsday.co.tt

Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Keith RowleyUnited National Congress (UNC) political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is likely to pay a hefty political price is she does not apologise to the nation for labelling Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley an Oreo biscuit, outgoing People’s National Movement (PNM) chairman Franklin Khan stated yesterday.
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Day of work and rejection

By Raffique Shah
September 12, 2018

Raffique ShahI was not surprised when the trade unions’ call for the workers of the country to stay at home and observe a day of “rest and reflection” last Friday failed miserably. What was intended to be a general strike by whatever name labour leaders chose to label it, turned out to be a near-unanimous rejection of their insensitivity to the country’s economic crisis. Workers put their own job security and the national interest before the recklessness of a handful of unionists.
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The Tricky Ways of Democracy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 11, 2018

“Democracy will never be supplanted by a republic of experts.”
—Thomas Piketty, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI want to compliment Dr. Keith Rowley for the informative and well-argued address he made to the nation on Sunday about his government’s intention to get rid of the refinery operations of PetroTrin. One may not agree with everything he said or the conclusions he arrived at, but it was courageous of him to share his thinking with the nation.
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