Tag Archive for 'Raffique Shah'

Which party will right these wrongs?

By Raffique Shah
February 22, 2015

Raffique ShahNow that the Carnival is over, we can expect electioneering to intensify, with a maximum of seven months to go before the general election is held. In fact, the ruling People’s Partnership coalition has grabbed a Carnival spillover, photographs of PNM leader Keith Rowley “wining” with a young Indian woman, as ammunition for use in campaigning.

Since the video and photos surfaced late Carnival Tuesday, the pro-UNC blogs have been hammering away at Rowley, dubbing him a “dirty old man” and worse in the hope that some mud will stick. I don’t think it will. The girl has publicly said she had a great Carnival, wine included, and to those who lambaste her and Rowley, she proclaimed boldly, “I hate racial people.”
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Kaiso, boy!

By Raffique Shah
February 15, 2015

Raffique ShahI waited patiently for Calypso Fiesta, the Mother of all Calypso shows, which featured 41 of the top calypsonians for this year. I did not trust the 20-plus radio stations in the country since those that feature local music kill us with pumping, jarring noises accompanied by voices that all sound hoarse as if the artistes are stricken with sore throats, that they tell me is soca.
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The political executioner strikes…again

By Raffique Shah
February 08, 2015

Raffique ShahI sense that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has cast her political fate to the wind, doing what she thinks she needs to with mere months to go before a general election. I suspect, too, that she no longer heeds her advisers, that she acts of her own accord, and will continue to do so for as long as she remains captain of the badly listing pirogue, the SS UNC-2.
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A wild ride to elections

By Raffique Shah
February 01, 2015

Raffique ShahFor all its bountiful blessings—natural resources that allow us to live reasonably well, a mixture of races that dwell in relative harmony, a people that laugh more easily than they cry—this is a cussed country that moves with consummate ease from one political scandal to another, a society that has grown to accept a level of lawlessness and boorish behaviour that permeate it from top to bottom, from captain to crook.
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Fit for the military

By Raffique Shah
January 25, 2015

Raffique ShahThere are many arguments in favour of extending the compulsory retirement age for members of the armed forces, the strongest being the fact that there are retirees receiving full pension at age 47, many of whom are fit and healthy and can easily work for another 20 years, which most do.
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Talk Raoul, talk history

By Raffique Shah
January 18, 2015

Raffique ShahRaoul Pantin and I never worked together as journalists in the 40-odd years that I knew him. Yet, in some curious ways, our lives and paths intertwined and intersected, particularly during the major political convulsions in the nation’s history.

As products of the same generation, we forged a friendship that allowed us to share experiences of different eras (witness his “Afro” hairstyle in the 1970s and my rebellious profile) even as we at times disagreed on issues. When, last Wednesday, I heard he had passed on, I realised that a phone call I had planned to make early in the New Year would now never happen—a cruel reminder that we had both reached “that age” when one must do what one plans since there may be no tomorrow.
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Medical System a Mess

By Raffique Shah
January 11, 2015

Raffique ShahThe public medical institutions in this country are in crisis. Note well that I did not say the “healthcare system” because while there have been some initiatives in promoting healthy lifestyles and preventative health care, these have not reached the mass of the population.

So we are saddled with a network of district health centres and a handful of hospitals that are charged with diagnosing and treating the sick, but which have failed to fulfil their mandate.
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Killing Us Noisily

By Raffique Shah
January 03, 2015

Raffique ShahEight o’clock Saturday morning and as I start writing this column, all is quiet on my block, suspiciously so. It’s cool and sunny, and I hear birds chirping, see them flying past my windows. Butterflies add a colourful touch to this gift of nature, a peaceful cul-de-sac located mere metres away from a busy, noisy, dusty main road.
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Billboard face to launch a million votes?

By Raffique Shah
December 28, 2014

Raffique ShahIn the spirit of the season, which for me means extra-laid-back, lazy if you will, certainly not busy with chores that people ignore all year only to attack feverishly only at Christmas time, I thought I’d round of the year on a high note even as I lay low.

Really, we cannot be so blighted to have endured yet another year of foul-ups by those on high and lawlessness from top to bottom, crime down but criminals running free, a health system that’s ready for the dreaded Ebola but takes two years to deliver cataract surgery, costly free education that churns out a handful of bright young people but a mass of dumb others—surely, we would be spared worse in the final few days of the year.
Or so I thought.
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Cuba and the USA: the long thaw begins

By Raffique Shah
December 20, 2014

Raffique ShahI confess I was surprised when, last Wednesday, announcements from Washington and Havana confirmed that the United States and Cuba had agreed to restore diplomatic relations and work towards the normalisation of other relations, especially trade and travel between the two countries.

I did not think that President Barack Obama had the fortitude to dismantle a 50-plus-year anachronism that lingered as the last vestige of the Cold War that all but ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
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