Tag Archive for 'Basdeo Panday'

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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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Jute Matting for Kamla at Delhi Airport

By Stephen Kangal
January 06, 2012

Stephen KangalOur Prime Minister the Hon Kamla P. Bissessar is paying an Official State Visit to India, her ancestral homeland at the latter’s invitation after an interregnum of 15 years, Basdeo Panday being the last to do so. She is also the Chief Guest of the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh at the Annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held in Jaipur from the 7 to 9 January. The PM is accompanied on this official state visit by seven Government Ministers and a public-private sector entourage numbering in excess of 100 participants.
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Play mas with your medals

By Raffique Shah
January 01, 2012

Raffique ShahA FEW weeks ago, Dr Brinsley Samaroo telephoned me. After we exchanged pleasantries, he got down to stating the purpose of his call. House Speaker Wade Mark had asked him to make contact with a number of ex-parliamentarians whom he (Mark) wanted to recognise for their service to Parliament, and, presumably, to country. Brinsley informed me that I was among those selected, and he wanted to inform me and to gather some biographical data from me.
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Degeneration now

By Raffique Shah
December 18, 2011

Raffique ShahYOU would think that two years after he suffered the most severe political flogging in local history, Basdeo Panday would have long ridden off into the sunset, hoisted his grandchildren on his lap and sat back in luxury, enjoying an ex-prime minister’s generous pension and perks. But that’s not Panday’s style. He’s back into active politics…or so he says.
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30 Years and Counting

By Raffique Shah
December 04, 2011

Raffique ShahIT occurred to me recently that I have been writing newspaper columns for 30 years. When I started writing opinion pieces back in 1981, I did not think of it as a career. I was 35 years young, already an ex-soldier who had become notorious during the mutiny of 1970. I was also an ex-MP who had fought fiercely against both Dr Eric Williams and Basdeo Panday, and paid the ultimate political price for having the nerve to cross two crosses that were too heavy to bear.
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Bizarre apology

Newsday Editorial
November 01, 2011 – newsday.co.tt

Patrick ManningWe deliberately did not rush to venture an opinion — or opinions — on Patrick Manning’s media conference and “apology” delivered last Thursday. Indeed, we are still wondering whether the former prime minister was apologising to the PNM or to the nation?

It is difficult to accept, on face value, that this might have been a sincere attempt on his part to clear his conscience. We say this because he explicitly avoided any mention of the wrong developmental decisions, the corruption which dogged his administration (and which he tried to defend stoutly), or the violent crime which flourished, and which he tended to excuse rather than condemn.
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All of T&T Under State of Emergency

State of EmergencyAll of T&T under state of emergency—Minister
The state of emergency, and powers of the security agencies under this, applies to all of T&T and not only the six “hot spot areas”, according to National Security Minister John Sandy. He stressed that yesterday during a media briefing at the Ministry of National Security, Port-of-Spain. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Sunday night announced a “limited state of emergency” and a 9 pm to 5 am curfew in “hot spot” areas. Sandy said there had been a misconception that the state of emergency applies only to the six “hot spot” areas where the 9 pm to 5 am curfew was in force. Sandy said criminal elements who would want to “migrate” from “hot spot” areas to other parts of the country to avoid being nabbed, should be warned that the state of emergency applies all over T&T. He added: “So let it be known that the state of emergency exists in the entire country and the powers given to the police and the military exist in all areas of T&T.”
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Patrick in trouble…again

By Raffique Shah
May 22, 2011

Patrick ManningTHE suspension of ex-prime minister Patrick Manning from the House last week triggered a national debate that is curious, to say the least. I think the penalty imposed on the nation’s longest serving MP was somewhat harsh. But I also hold that Manning is a “harden fella”, not unlike another ex-prime minister, Basdeo Panday, who was also suspended three years ago, but who rushed to Manning’s defence—something I find quite amusing.
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A full circle

By Raffique Shah
April 23, 2011

Raffique ShahFORTY-ONE years ago, almost to the week, tens of thousands of mainly idealistic young people thought we had killed and buried the “race bogey” in this cussed country. We had grown up knowing that race-tension lay beneath the veneer of peaceful co-existence that those in authority had proclaimed. Too often, we had heard the epithets “nigger” and “coolie” bandied about, suggesting that after almost 150 years of living together in this melting pot, our people of different races and cultures were clinging to prejudices of a distant past.
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Race Talk in the House

ParliamentRace Talk in House: Jack, Rowley square off
The People’s Partnership has achieved better ethnic balance in the appointments of boards, Works Minister Jack Warner stated yesterday. He was speaking in the House of Representatives on the motion filed by Dr Keith Rowley, asking the House to reaffirm its collective commitment to the principles of fairness and meritocracy in public affairs in the light of the “reckless and divisive statements” made by the former Police Service Commission chairman Nizam Mohammed.
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