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Not So Senate President Montano!
Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2007

By Stephen Kangal
December 31, 2007

The print media has a critical role to play in hosting the political and institutional memory of T&T that is noted for its traditional forgetfulness. The media must also serve as an archive documenting political position and conduct to deter politicians from manipulating us conveniently at their whims and fancies.

As an Indo-Trinbagonian I have agonised since June 2004 from being ethnically stigmatised by Senate President Danny Montano as being an automatic member of "the natural UNC constituency". He made this allegation during a Senate debate with reference to both the location and the ethnicity of the graduates of the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Technology (TTIT) that was located in Brechin Castle, Couva by the UNC Administration. He pretended not to know where Couva was. He also spoke of "the cane-fields of Caroni" in the most demeaning terms. During that debate Senator Dana Seetahal queried this racist accusation. She pressed Senator Montano to explain his statement without success.

Senator Montano had exulted in dividing T&T along two differing ethnic lines consisting of natural PNM (African) and UNC (Indian) constituencies to score political points.

Now at this season of Yuletide in his Xmas message, Senate President Danny Montano speaks of "...unity among people and wish we would see the similarities between us rather than the differences. We are all brothers and sisters". That is a hypocritical political statement that is being foisted on us by the Senate President. He deceives himself into believing that short-memory Trinbagonians will not remember that Senate statement in which he politically exploited our ethnic differences as stated above.

Senator Montano will act as President of T&T. His political and ethnic branding of all Indo-Trinbagonians including those Indians within the PNM fold in a most negative manner was evidence enough to constitute compelling grounds to disqualify him from assuming the Presidency of the Senate. Will he regard Indians as legitimate and bona fides citizens of T&T during his interface with us while undertaking acting Presidential duties and community visits?

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