Tag Archive for 'T&T Govt'

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Kamla’s Position on Venezuela Ascended the High Moral Ground

By Stephen Kangal
March 09, 2019

Stephen KangalIn the face of rapidly unfolding political and diplomatic events globally and the current isolation of T&T for its ill-advised decision to recognize unwittingly and side with the internationally denounced illegal and illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro bilaterally while pursuing a contradictory neutrality/ non-interference position at the multilateral Caricom and UN levels, it appears to me that Kamla outwitted Prime Minister Rowley in her strategic support for Interim President Juan Guaido.
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While I Am Here!

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 25, 2019

“Until all races see each other as brothers and sisters and not as competitors or enemies Trinidad and Tobago is not going to move forward.”

—Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI congratulate the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the brave speech on race relations in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) that she delivered on Monday, February 11. While I do not agree totally with the accuracy of her “short history lesson,” thinking in and of the future is much more important than being mired in the commess of the present. Demeaning Persad-Bissessar’s important insights by castigating the probity of her having Malone Hughes, a brother who was charged and fined several times , on her platform does a disservice to a brilliant analysis of our present condition. It reduces a pressing existentialist issue to a misguided rant about non-sense.
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Do not politicise war against crime

By Raffique Shah
February 20, 2019

Raffique ShahBuried in the last paragraph of a document titled “Interim Gang Report 2018”, which was compiled by the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and featured prominently in the last Sunday Express, was one of the main reasons why criminal gangs conduct their savagery with impunity, making a mockery of all attempts by new Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to rein in their murderous rampage.

Said paragraph concludes: “…Extensive co-ordination between the TTPS and the T&T Prisons Service is crucial to expand investigations and gather intelligence to address the growing threat gangs pose to T&T.”
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Montevideo Mechanism Product of Corridor Diplomacy

By Stephen Kangal
February 18, 2019

Stephen KangalThe Chairman of Caricom, St Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Harris described the Montevideo Mechanism as a blue print or framework to process and resolve all political conflicts. However Caricom’s immediate mandate was to deal exclusively with identifying specific proposals/measures/ the way forward for abating and resolving the worsening humanitarian and political crisis in Venezuela via peaceful means.

This so -called peace-making Mechanism contains four theoretical modules that students develop in their conflict resolution classrooms. It is not self-executing and depends on the push and pull intervention by Mexico, Uruguay and Caricom for its fulfillment in Caracas. No word is forthcoming on progress being achieved this front.
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Periscope on upcoming national elections

By Raffique Shah
February 12, 2019

Raffique ShahEven as the crisis in neighbouring Venezuela remains volatile, with the threat of civil war looming large just beyond our horizon, politicians in Trinidad and Tobago are pressing ahead with preparations for their own political wars—local government elections due to be held later this year and a general election before the end of next year.

Elections in Trinidad and Tobago are driven by one core issue: when the People’s National Movement holds power, as it does now, how to remove it from office. Or when it’s out in the wilderness of opposition, how to keep it there. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Venezuelans should thank Rowley, not cuss him

By Raffique Shah
January 30, 2019

Raffique ShahThe Government of Trinidad and Tobago has adopted a correct response to the political crisis in the neighbouring Republic of Venezuela. In conforming with the United Nations charter that member-states will not intervene in the internal affairs of sovereign nations, as Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley explained, T&T has opted instead to join with CARICOM countries to try to persuade the UN to mediate between the warring factions and hopefully diffuse the tension and bring a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
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Venezuelan Crisis is Now Regional In Scope

By Stephen Kangal
January 30, 2019

Stephen KangalIt appears to me that the latest statement issued by Minister Stuart Young deputizing for a missing -in-action Minister of Foreign Affairs on the situation in Venezuela stands on the following three planks:

  1. The UN principle of the Sovereign Equality of States
  2. Non- Interference by T&T in the internal affairs of sovereign state of Venezuela
  3. Non-Intervention militarily but potential mediation in crisis Venezuela
    The first thought that strikes me is that were the international community deterred by the first two above-mentioned pillars in South Africa, the despicable policy of apartheid in South Africa would have been still with us today. Infringements of human, civil and political rights concerns globalize the situation in Venezuela beyond its sovereign/territorial boundaries.

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Sandals saved Rowley

By Raffique Shah
January 23, 2019

Raffique ShahPrime Minister Dr Keith Rowley should thank the principals of Sandals for saving him from a fate worse than death. When the Butch Stewart-owned luxury resorts chain dispatched its CEO to announce its withdrawal from the three billion dollar (or whatever it would have cost) Tobago project, it provided a clean escape from infamy for the PM.
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The Democratic Ethic Stopped A Secret Sandals Deal

By Stephen Kangal
January 22, 2019

Stephen KangalThe Sandals debacle is a reflection of our growing maturity as a Nation propelled by a strong interactive Westminster democratic ideal and a Civic Society that is vigilant and untrusting. Poor Project Management Skills as well as a very incompetent and arrogant political leadership and unilateralism contributed to the mismanagement of the Project in getting a discerning public to buy into it.

That is the crux driving the abandonment of the Sandals Resort that was to be constructed in Buccoo on very fragile and pollution-sensitive wetlands.
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Society steeped in corruption

By Raffique Shah
January 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSometime in 2017, I wrote a column in which I counselled Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to refrain from hurling allegations of corruption against ministers and senior officials of the People’s Partnership Government unless or until such time as some them have been charged with serious corruption-related criminal offences.

By then, I had reasoned, most citizens had grown fed up with such allegations being made by parties in power and those in opposition, with no proof produced as they exchanged places every five years from 1986 when the People’s National Movement was first voted out of office after a 30-year grip on power. The average person knew or believed there was rampant corruption involving PNM ministers, and the overwhelming vote they gave the National Alliance for Reconstruction was fuelled by expectations that they would finally see “big sawatees” hauled before the courts in handcuffs, with many of the crooks ending up behind bars like the common criminals they were.
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