Tag Archive for 'T&T Govt'

Greed is killing us not so softly

By Raffique Shah
October 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSome day last week, after I had eaten a very modest lunch, I was snacking on a few locally-manufactured crackers when my wife asked, “You still hungry, nah?” She has noted with unnecessary concern that I eat smaller portions, which I attribute to ageing and my now mostly sedentary lifestyle, the latter imposed on me by my infirmity. I don’t need calories that I won’t burn as I did during my very active pre-Parkinson’s life. That reality notwithstanding, the urge to snack on junk remains undiminished, much to my dismay.
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Consultation Versus Coercion

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 14, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Wednesday evening I attended a consultation at the Tacarigua Community Center that was organized by Susan Corbett, director of Community Development (CD), with the assistance of Terrence Beepath, Senior Project Manager of UDeCOTT, to tell us what CD had in store for us vis-à-vis our proposed community center. We, mere supplicants, were supposed to listen and presumably to acquiesce. We were not supposed to question the bearers of these new gifts.

I raised this issue in this column in June of this year. I reported that in January 1965 the Trinidad Sugar Estates gave ninety-four thousand, six hundred and ten square feet of land to the Tacarigua Welfare and Improvement Council for “a site of a community center.” The first center was built in 1965.
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69 ‘rescued’ from Arouca church

69 rescued from cages at Arouca church
These people both men and women are believed to be victims of “modern day slavery” and “human trafficking” according to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith who spoke to the Guardian Media Limited’s Lead Investigative desk Mark Bassant earlier on Wednesday just outside the Transformed Life Ministry Rehabilitation Centre.
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Budget biggest ‘bag’ thieves lay their hands on

By Raffique Shah
October 07, 2019

Raffique ShahIt is a newspaper commentator’s dilemma—having to write on the Finance Minister’s annual budget presentation, as readers expect him to, both before and after the Appropriation Bill is laid in Parliament. This becomes even more challenging when the package covers the year leading to a general election when the Government, and here I mean any government, engages in distributing largesse like the proverbial “parsad” at “pujas”, throwing goodies at the electorate with the expectation that they will yield votes.
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A Magnificent Breakthrough

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 03, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the early 1970s when Marxist economics was all the rage, several Caribbean graduate students attended to the classes of Jaroslav Vanek, an economist and professor at Cornell University. He was known worldwide for his research on labor-managed economies or what he called “participatory economies.” Yugoslavia’s President Tito (1843-1980) was in power and was following this approach to social and economic development.
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Why not the OWTU?

By Raffique Shah
October 02, 2019

Raffique ShahThe outrage that erupted when Government announced its decision to name the Oilfields Workers Trade Union’s company, Patriotic Energies and Technologies Ltd, as the preferred bidder for the oil refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre (Guaracara Refining Co), you’d swear all Cabinet ministers and the OWTU’s president Ancel Roget and his entire executive are guilty of high treason, and deserve to be hauled into Woodford Square and shot to death with goat-pills.
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Shame and scandal in the HDC

By Raffique Shah
September 26, 2019

Raffique ShahIn the wake of the cancellation of a lopsided, scandalous multi-billion-dollar contract between the Housing Development Corporation and China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company (CGGC) for the construction of 5,000 housing units, it is alarming that no public official has been called to account for the many concessions the Chinese almost escaped with but for the vigilance of the much maligned mass media.
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In Defense of the Prime Minister

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 26, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt is easy to criticize the Prime Minister. I also take my shots when he makes egregious errors. This is why I suggested that he write what he says before he pronounces on national and international issues. His critics also need to be cautious before they condemn his failings.

The government, with all of its shortcomings, has acted responsibly with regard to the Venezuelan refugee crisis. The PM reported with pride, “American politicians commended this country for its position in treating with economic migrants coming to this country.” The politicians appreciate his achievements since they are dealing with a president who has intensified his crackdown on migrants and asylum-seekers.
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Sedition and other Nonsensical Colonial Laws

By Dr Tye Salandy
September 22, 2019

Dr Tye SalandyAs I mentioned in the first article in this three part series, the Sedition Act is not archaic or outdated, but it was an extremely bad law in the first place given its deliberate vagueness, its colonial intentions and the way that it was weaponized against those who resisted the brutal British empire. Critiquing the bill using words such as outdated and archaic gives the impression that it once was a good law, and it is just the passage of time that makes it problematic in the present time. Nothing could be further from the truth, as from its creation in Trinidad and Tobago, the sedition law was a tool of the colonial elite that was used against the public interest.
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Misplaced Philanthropy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 20, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOne cannot help but be amazed by the indigestible piffle that emanates from the mouths of our politicians when they speak about issues concerning the society. We hear their speeches and read their statements, yet we wonder if they understand what they are saying and the implications of their actions.

Take, for example, the prime minister’s response to the concern that most of the students who were selected for the national mentorship program in energy are Indo-Trinidadians. After fierce criticism about this imbalance, he replied with self-evident pride: “I initiated this program by sending out personnel to find our national scholars…trained in areas of expertise useful to the Ministry of Energy. We decided that those who had done extremely well, with first class honors, should be gathered to rebuild the pool of expertise in the ministry and enable the country to cope with the requirements of the energy sector….
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