Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Real People Power

By Raffique Shah
August 16, 2014

Raffique ShahWhat the railroading of the runoff provision in the Constitutional Amendment Bill in Parliament last week showed is that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar will not heed the voices of reason, even if they come from within her own ranks.

Hubris having enveloped her soul, and with an army of sycophants massaging her ego with every word uttered from their mouths, the lady sees in every critic an enemy bent on destroying her. On the eve of her political self-destruction, paranoia has compounded the toxic mix that will hasten her demise.
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Playing with Fire

By Raffique Shah
August 09, 2014

Raffique ShahBy insisting on going ahead with certain constitutional amendments that many, if not most, citizens find objectionable in the extreme, the Government is mischievously playing with fire. Knowingly, the trio of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar are leading the charge of a dark brigade that could well see the society rent asunder by political strife than allow reason to prevail.
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Lead us to temptation

By Raffique Shah
August 02, 2014

Raffique ShahNow, of course, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has to see this sordid affair, five tumultuous years in Government, to its messy end.

Never before in the history of this country, or, indeed, other countries where democratic elections determine who governs, has a ruling party been wracked by the forced resignations or firings or re-assignments of more than thirty officials who held ministerial portfolios or similar high offices, all within one term of office.
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Conduct Unbecoming

By Raffique Shah
July 26, 2014

Raffique ShahWhen elephants fight, the grass gets trampled, says the African proverb. To paraphrase this, when two generals, one captain-turned-minister, and the acting Commissioner of Police lock horns over the contentious issue of soldiers patrolling the streets, a lowly ex-lieutenant should stay far from the heavyweight battle.
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All hands stained with blood

By Raffique Shah
July 20, 2014

Raffique ShahNot surprisingly, they are all pointing “holier than thou” fingers at each other following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that killed close to 300 innocent people.

The Ukrainian government accuses pro-Russian separatists in the area where the tragedy occurred of firing a Russia-supplied missile that brought the passenger plane down. America and much of Europe concur, with blood-curdling calls for the “terrorists” to be brought to justice.
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Thriving off the ghettos

By Raffique Shah
July 13, 2014

Raffique ShahUpon rereading my column last Sunday, I thought I had gone overboard in my effusive endorsement of the army’s direct intervention in the crime “hot spots” of east Port of Spain and neighbouring districts. I realised that I had written in anger, which is never a good idea. So I apologise to readers who might have been alarmed by what seemed to be a call to wipe out gun-toting criminals.
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Army backlash was predictable

By Raffique Shah
July 06, 2014

Raffique ShahIt was only a matter of time before soldiers decided to intervene directly to protect their own, to exact justice if not revenge, against two-bit criminals who dare to attack, to murder, their comrades.

Civil society can shout till it is hoarse about the illegality of the troops imposing a measure of martial law in what have become war zones, they cannot stop the backlash. A few weeks ago I warned the populace, especially the bad boys and their family and community support bases, of this happening.
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Sewer rat snarls

By Raffique Shah
June 29, 2014

Raffique ShahAt the risk of being branded a snarling sewer rat by Senator Camille Robinson-Regis, I return to the issue of pensions for parliamentarians. Following expressions of outrage from a broad cross section of the population, across partisan lines, over the pensions approved unanimously by members of the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister made a mild retreat.
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Heartless Parliamentarians

By Raffique Shah
June 22, 2014

Raffique ShahDisclosure: I am a parliamentary pensioner. I receive the princely sum of $3,000 a month.

In 1976, I was elected Member of Parliament for the Siparia constituency, and I served for five unremarkable years. When I look back at my life, my achievements, my contributions to country, I easily forget those five years.
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Architects of our own demise

By Raffique Shah
June 15, 2014

Raffique ShahI am writing this column knowing that it will not be read by the target audience—young, black and ‘er…unschooled men.

Few if any in this group read anything, least of all newspapers. If they pick up an Express, it would be to watch a photograph of some dead “bredren”, felled by bullets from police or criminal, same difference, and to wonder if they, upon meeting a similar fate, would make a pretty corpse.
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