Tag Archive for 'Politics'

We must do, or die like stray dogs

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2017

Raffique ShahIf fantasy could be magically transformed into reality, as Dictator-General of Trinidad and Tobago, I would harness the approximately $10 billion per year that is wasted on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling and put that money to productive use.

But then I’d be a dead dictator before I could even proclaim the prohibitions, since I verily believe that 90-plus per cent of my countrymen smoke, drink alcohol or gamble, and many of them engage in all three vices.
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A decisive year ahead

By Raffique Shah
January 04, 2017

Raffique ShahIF asked what is the number one problem facing the nation as we enter 2017, the overwhelming majority respondents would say violent crimes, especially murders. My beleaguered fellow citizens, having survived another bloody year during which killers showed utter contempt for law and order, see a slide into anarchy looming large.

But I submit that the perilous state of the economy is the biggest threat to national stability, and the Government’s apparent inability to formulate strategies and plans to resuscitate it is the gravest danger the country faces.
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A Brek-UP, Brek-DOWN Society

By Dr. Selwyn Cudjoe
January 01, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWHEN I was a boy I wanted to go to Queen’s Royal College (QRC), not because of its academic standing but because I loved the khaki jackets its cadets wore.

I thought it was cool as I imagined myself in that uniform.

Years later I learned about its academic excellence when Eric Williams returned to Trinidad as one of its most famous graduates.
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Factoring the Costs of FATCA Compliance into the Debate

By Stephen Kangal
December 30, 2016

Stephen KangalIt would appear inevitable that T&T will, in the face of a doomsday scenario, be forced to become FATCA-compliant in the shortest possible time according to the shifting deadlines unilaterally issued by the IRS/Treasury Department. But in quantifying the current and future costs of FATCA compliance one must go beyond the costs to be incurred by individuals, companies, local banks and other financial institutions and the potential loss of their billion-dollar profit margins.
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How FATCA Infringes and Trammels Our Statehood

By Stephen Kangal
December 23, 2016

Stephen KangalThere was a quite visible and audible dearth in the House lacking the requisite international relations expertise to analyze and dissect the internationally illegal imposition of US-domestic FATCA on T&T from a foreign policy/international law perspective.

That important missing dimension, after T&T has been an active international relations participant for 55 years of statehood/UN multilateral diplomacy/foreign policy-making, has tarnished our international image, national pride and reputation.
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Race and Tribal Consciousness

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 18, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI wish to continue the discussion Keith Subero started in his two excellent articles of December 5 and 12. I agreed with many things he said. Some points are worthy of closer examination.

Subero interpreted the UNC’s performance at the local elections as a coming together of “tribal members, anticipating a threat, or an economic opportunity, to make it a moral duty to band together” (“T&T Caught in-Betweenity”).
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Pass the FACTA or Face the US FATWA

By Stephen Kangal
December 16, 2016

Stephen KangalThis simple headline encapsulates in its entirety all the infringements of international law, diplomacy, human rights and acceptable standards of inter-state relations that are impregnated in the modus operandi of the internationalization of the 2010 FACTA Law passed by the US Congress.

It was a tax-collection domestic legislation of the USA. It is now being imposed against several tenets of international relations with the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of unsuspecting T&T via US Treasury/IRS- issued deadlines and threats with the Minister of Finance, Hon. Colm Imbert on bended knees dodging bullets from US aggression.
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Clueless on crime

By Raffique Shah
December 16, 2016

Raffique ShahA tragedy of our time is when we are outraged by the gore of one of the daily dosages of murder, we erupt into a cacophony of protest, condemnation and cries for the return of the hangman, such expressions lasting no longer than the proverbial sno-cone in the midday sun.

I predict that before the dirt settles on Shannon Banfield’s grave, seasonal parang music, alcohol and black cake will numb the senses of all but her loved ones whose pain will, understandably, last forever. And an avalanche of Carnival-related activities will further distract us from the atrocities that are committed daily on the killing fields of Trinidad more than Tobago.
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Speaker George Mishandled and Scuttled the FACTA Debate

By Stephen Kangal
December 10, 2016

Stephen KangalHaving regard to the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of T&T and the consequent urgency of concluding the FACTA debate by gaining the requisite 26 votes in the House on Friday last with the indispensable and exclusive assistance of The Leader of the Opposition I submit that The Honourable Speaker of the House, Madame Ingrid Annisette- George mishandled the earlier proceedings that had the effect of scuttling the substantive FACTA Bill 2016 debate.
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No longer blinded by our eyes

By Dr. Selwyn Cudjoe
December 04, 2016

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe People’s National Movement (PNM) ought to chill; ask what it is doing wrong; recharge its battery; and then take it from there. It lost the local government election and people are losing confidence in its leadership.

This is one situation in which loud talking and grand charging are unlikely to solve the problem at hand. The situation calls for calm, cool and reflective thinking. The election results are clear: The PNM won seven corporations (down from eight in the last elections); the United National Congress (UNC) won six. The PNM and UNC received four seats each in Sangre Grande. PNM lost about 12 seats to the UNC.
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