Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Don’t nail judge to race-cross

By Raffique Shah
May 30, 2017

Raffique ShahFor some time now I have sounded warnings to our tribal leaders, more specifically those in the frontline of the United National Congress, that they are playing with fire by fanning the embers of racial strife that could easily ignite. While we have enjoyed relative harmony in a world wracked by ethnic and religious strife, the absence of war between the two main tribes in this country does not necessarily mean peace.
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Colm created tax confusion

By Raffique Shah
May 23, 2017

Raffique ShahFinance Minister Colm Imbert must shoulder much of the blame for the fiasco that a relatively simple exercise, the submission of information for the valuation of properties across the country, has degenerated into. The overwhelming response by property owners to abide by the law, hence flock the few Valuation Division offices where they could drop off their forms or get help filling them out, should have surprised no one. That the ministry was unprepared for the rush is an indictment against the minister and his senior advisors.
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Punishing Pensioners

By Raffique Shah
April 09, 2017

Raffique ShahMy friend Pablo (not his real name) is on the brink of bankruptcy. In fact, he has been teetering on the edge for six, seven years or so, managing somehow to stave off the banks, which is in itself an achievement, given the heartlessness of the decision-makers at financial institutions. But for a man who has worked hard to afford the little luxuries that many middle-income earners enjoy only in their latter years, he is facing uncertainties over whether he will survive to see his 70th birthday.
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Indian Tribalism

By Raffique Shah
May 19, 2017

Raffique ShahI did a double-take upon reading Freddie Kissoon’s post-May Day column in the Kaieteur News of Guyana. I don’t know Kissoon personally, but I do know that he’s an activist and a writer who is not averse to controversy, who writes as he sees things, damn the consequences.
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The centre must hold

By Raffique Shah
May 06, 2017

Raffique Shah“Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world;

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed; and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity…”

(The Second Coming, William Yeats, Irish poet laureate, 1919)
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Arithmetic lessons for the Finance Minster

By Raffique Shah
April 28, 2017

Raffique ShahTrinidad and Tobago is one cantankerous country-we always quarrelling. In fact, we invariably have several quarrels raging at any point in time over issues or personalities such that we go off on tangents, forgetting who or what was in dispute in the first instance.

It is often said that you cannot please all the people all the time. With respect to Trinis, you cannot please anyone anytime. This characteristic is not to be confused with the proverb, “you can fool all the people some of the time…but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. In this latter regard, you can fool all Trinis all the time: just inform them via email that they have won the jackpot in a lotto they know nothing about, and you can relieve them of a “processing fee”.
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A Challenge for Comrade Roget

By Raffique Shah
April 16, 2017

Raffique ShahLet it be clear that I am not joining any chorus of condemnation of OWTU president-general Ancel Rouget for his remark on bpTT’s decision to have its Angelin gas platform fabricated outside of Trinidad & Tobago, “Take your rig and go!” As a former unionist, I fully understand and accept sloganeering, bravado, and even outrageous statements as legitimate tools of the trade.
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Dillon must win the war—or surrender

By Raffique Shah
April 08, 2017

Raffique ShahIn case you have not noticed, Trinidad and Tobago is gripped by war. Maybe I should rephrase that: there are several wars raging across the country. I wish I could say “civil war”, But there is nothing civil in the barbaric rules of engagement that seem to allow for one side to catch the other off-side and blaze them with bullets, only to have shooters from the home side exact revenge when the opportunity arises.
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Oh, what a country!

By Raffique Shah
April 01, 2017

Raffique ShahPermit me to quote from a column I wrote in June last year. It is the first time I’m taking this liberty, but I feel compelled to so do, and I think readers will understand why as I proceed.

I wrote then, “When constitutionally-independent institutions in the country seem to be collapsing…and when the law proves to be the proverbial ass, then, Trinidad and Tobago, we have a problem…a very serious problem.
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Legalise it!

By Raffique Shah
March 13, 2017

Raffique ShahMany friends, relatives, even family members seem intent on having me “make ah jail” in my winter years: they are pleading with me to use marijuana! It’s not that they want to see me in a ganja-stupor or they will take delight in seeing armed cops swoop down on the geezer and whisk me off to some dank, putrid cell.

No. They want me to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, specifically, to reduce, probably eliminate, the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) with which I have been afflicted for at least five years. Like me, they have watched videos and read of studies and trials conducted by scientists on the use of cannabis in successfully treating PD patients.
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