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Time to heal, reconcile and conciliate
Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2021

By Stephen Kangal
July 01, 2021

The work and deliberations of the Committee of the Whole on the two Tobago Self Government Bills have been adjourned sine die.

The PMTT has indicated that they may not come back to the House before September and may even lapse by December. This is the low measure of seriousness attributed to Tobago's autonomy after the obscene "gallerying" of Monday, Tuesday and today Wednesday by Rowley and his gang of copy-cat neophytes.

Is it not now possible, mandatory and indeed very responsible during this very planned forced interregnum for the important consultations that were demanded to be held in Trinidad as well as in Tobago could be re-started/ resumed and completed in about a month and the changes submitted via the Opposition or the AG and factored into the Article by Article consideration in the resumed deliberations of the Committee of the Whole when the House is resumed in September after the July-August break?

Is not the granting of self-governance and autonomy to Tobago now a matter of urgent national concern because the THA is in a non-functional bind and the current governance interim arrangements quite undemocratic and perhaps illegal?

Or is it not now eminently compulsory for the Rowley Government to seek to engage the UNC Opposition rather than this premature and quite outlandish decision to remove the Constitutional amending clauses?

Or should not the PMTT and the Leader of the Opposition now meet and sort out the differences of approach so that the parliamentary process for the granting of self-government to Tobago with its Tobago Government ( I do not like the use of the word "Island" because it is equivalent to a ward) can be resumed on the basis of a mutually agreed way forward to allow this matter to be satisfactorily decided and concluded in a harmonious atmosphere for the benefit of all Tobagonians. Posterity demands this.

Time is now no longer limited to the legislators if they were and are indeed quite serious as they say they are about Tobago's right to govern themselves within the unitary statehood of T&T.

During that proposed meeting is it not possible and highly desirable that in the interest of good governance, decency, political maturity and the exacting standards of statesmanship that the granting of self-governance to Tobago should be resumed, transacted and conducted in a non-adversarial setting devoid of attacks and counter-attacks and pure unbridled animosity with an impartial emancipated Speaker presiding?

The conduct and transaction of the political and parliamentary business of our country can rise above non-consensus-building petty politics because the antagonism, pure hate and venom being spewed by the Government with the main culprit being the PMTT and his obscene and recalcitrant Minister of National Security has begun to reverberate, resonate, transmitted into and copied by the COVID-beleaguered and unemployed starving national community.

Since 2015 parliamentary displayed hate is generating and creating waves and more waves of deep wounds., fissures and inter-communal stress that cannot be good for the progressive development of our people who must dwell together in peace, harmony and mutual respect because God has His vineyard here and He is Trinbagonian.

Parliament sets the tone for national peaceful co-existence and inter-communal solidarity and harmony.

We cannot any longer proceed along this rocky and perilously mined national path. There must be a cessation of political hostilities and spite.

That is unbecoming of T&T as quite a literate and politically savvy state.

Some high-level intervention by true patriots and elder statesmen has to be undertaken to rescue T&T from impending armageddon because COVID is creating serious psychological and survival stress and we can do without the fighting and filibustering with a Speaker fanning the flames of this internecine conflagration that can consume those of us left here post-COVID carnage.

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