Tag Archives: T&T Govt

Monsters & Monstrosities

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 15, 2021

“Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

—Toni Morrison, Beloved

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFaris Al-Rawi was in a fighting mood last Monday. He was not afraid to outline the depths to which we, as a people, had descended. Calling on the Opposition to support the Evidence Amendment Bill to deal with the “monsters” who had committed a heinous act against Andrea Bharatt, he declared: “Today, we have an opportunity… to stop monsters.”

Ascending to rhetorical heights, he chastised citizens who were trying to salvage a sliver of their humanity by speaking out against an inhuman strain that had arisen in our society:
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Do not pollute protests with politics

By Raffique Shah
February 15, 2021

Raffique ShahI was wondering how many more candlelight vigils that seemed to be a genuine groundswell of public opinion on violent crimes against women would be staged in the name of abduction and murder victim Andrea Bharatt before two-by-two politicians sought to hijack what they would see as a mass movement they could ride for narrow self-interests, from photo-opportunities and media coverage to the prospect of political power.
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Let them eat ‘old batteries’

By Raffique Shah
January 25, 2021

Raffique ShahIn my column last week, I questioned why the Government thought was necessary to exclude from scrutiny of the relevant authority details of Government to Government contracts. The point I was trying to make is that citizens almost instinctively do not trust politicians, especially when they are in office. Because countries like Trinidad and Tobago have been mired in allegations of corruption on a huge scale that spans different parties in power, suspicions of corruption will cloud every expenditure a government incurs, which leaves little room for getting things done.
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Mr. Politician, Sah

By Raffique Shah
January 18, 2021

Raffique ShahThe urgency with which this nation must address the issues that threaten to throw us back into the Stone Age cannot be over-emphasised. We were already in deep trouble when Covid-19 struck with pandemic force in early 2020, sending us reeling from blows to the body, the mind, even the spirit. The energy and petrochemicals sectors faced grim circumstances, the availability of natural gas, the key feedstock of the latter’s operations, being of grave concern, and the markets for their products saturated and dampened.
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A More Reflective Society

By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
January 05, 2021

“So Trinidad was and remains a materialist immigrant society, continually growing and changing, never settling into any pattern, always retaining the atmosphere of the camp… [This explains] its special character, its ebullience and irresponsibility… an indifference to virtue as well as to vice.”

—VS Naipaul, The Middle Passage

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn 1960 Eric Williams, premier of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), suggested to VS Naipaul, one of our premier writers, that he write a non-fiction book about the West Indies that the T&T government would support financially. Williams assured Naipaul he “could write about any aspect of the region and visit whatever territories [he] wished” to accomplish his objectives.
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Time is unforgiving

By Raffique Shah
January 05, 2021

Raffique ShahFriends, Trinbagonians, countrymen, lend me your attention. I have decided to say here what I believe needs to be said at this perilous time in our nation’s history.

I have no desire to bury my country amidst the ruins of the Covid-19 pandemic and the punishing economic fallouts the virus has dealt us, which added misery to the politically-inflicted wounds. To the contrary, my hope is that many among you will heed my plea from the heart and rally to help save T&T. Let it not be said that in its hour of need, when this country stood at critical crossroads, crying out for help, for direction, that noble and patriotic citizens deserted the sinking ship of state like rats, seeking only to save their wretched lives and the loot they have stolen.
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King Imbert’s Court

By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
December 28, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTrinidad and Tobago became an independent country in 1962 and a republic in 1976, in which the people, through their representatives, were supposed to control their affairs.

Such a political arrangement sounded enticing since it promised to place the country’s destiny in the hands of people they knew, rather than foreigners (white) whom they did not know.
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‘PH’ drivers a necessary nuisance

By Raffique Shah
December 28, 2020

Raffique ShahFor the umpteenth time in past three or more decades, many people in this country that is never short of controversies, engage in sterile debate over an issue that might send people in other countries where there are real problems, into stitches of laughter. What is the hot topic today? “PH drivers”! Pulling bulls. P-H-who? Pulling what?
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A matter of trust

By Raffique Shah
December 14, 2020

Raffique ShahI must admit that as I monitored what was happening in the USA, the shenanigans of outgoing President Donald Trump as he sought first to defy, then later to subvert the electoral process, I all but ignored developments here at home. It was when I saw Afra Raymond, the fiercely independent activist who is also outspoken on issues of national importance, disassemble the controversial Public Procurement Amendment Bill and call on citizens to let their voices be heard, that I switched focus.
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It’s a topsy-turvy world

By Raffique Shah
December 06, 2020
Posted: December 08, 2020

Raffique ShahThe ethnic mix of the Venezuelan population—51 percent are categorised as Mestizo (blend of White/indigenous/Afro), 41 percent European/Middle East /Whites)—ensures that those who are flocking Trinidad more than Tobago are almost exclusively from the first mix. They are the equivalents of the “Reds” in our population, hence they are widely acceptable, and accepted, to Trinis on both sides of our ethnic divide, as well as the “Douglars” in-between.
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