‘PoS General, an African hospital’

By Sean Douglas
July 18, 2009 – newsday.co.tt


Dr. Tim GopeesinghCARONI East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh alleged an “ethnic cleansing” of Indo-Trinidadian doctors at Port-of-Spain General Hospital (PoSGH), but Leader of Government Business, Colm Imbert, dismissed these charges as “scandalous, false and outrageous.”

The heated exchange shook up a dull debate on the Emergency Ambulance Services and Emergency Medical Personnel Bill 2009 as amended by the Senate.

It began when Gopeesingh pointed out the deficiencies of public hospitals, such as a lack of neurosurgeons, heart-monitoring units, and intensive-care unit beds.

“There are no consultant burns-doctors at all, no consultant plastic-surgeons in San Fernando Hospital, not at Eric Williams, nor Port-of-Spain. Those that were there have left.”

He then made his surprise allegation.

Gopeesingh said, “There has been the issue of ethnic cleansing at Port-of-Spain General Hospital as far as the doctors are concerned. I understand that most of the East Indian doctors have had to leave Port-of-Spain Hospital…I understand that Port-of-Spain Hospital is a virtual African hospital now.”

This provoked an outcry of protest from Government MPs, but Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday muttered, “Racism is killing the country.”

Gopeesingh defensively said, “I’ve been told, I’ve been told.”

He said: “There are over 150 senior doctors who are basically East Indian in nature and they have left the service. They have been forced out of the service.”

He said he expected Health Minister Jerry Narace had been told of the allegations regarding PoSGH. Gopeesingh said, “There is a collaboration between the Medical Chief of Staff and the Administrator for the hospital dealing with this situation.” Speaker Barry Sinanan chided him for irrelevance to the ambulance bill.

Imbert arose minutes later and refuted Gopeesingh’s remarks.

Imbert said, “I am scandalised that the MP could utter such untruths, provocative and controversial untruths in the House without a shred of evidence. I consider it entirely irresponsible in the extreme for an MP to utter these racist statements without a shred of evidence.”

Gopeesingh retorted, “I’ve been told.”

Imbert replied, “It is not so.”

Gopeesingh acquiesed, “Okay.”

Imbert continued, “The ethnic composition of the medical fraternity in Trinidad and Tobago is well known…It’s a fact, the majority are of East Indian descent. I’ll give way to the Member for Caroni East to say it’s not true.”

Imbert said that Gopeesingh, in his allegedly checkered career, had been head of the North West Regional Health Authority and so should know most doctors are East Indian. Imbert corrected “checkered” to “controversial” after the Speaker scolded him.

Gopeesingh interjected to ask if that is why there is alleged affirmative action in the award of scholarships to study at St George’s University, an offshore medical school in Grenada. Imbert said he would not give way to hear such “dotish talk.”

He said 80 percent of University of the West Indies (UWI) graduates are East Indian. “It’s impossible for there to be a majority of African doctors at any hospital in Trinidad and Tobago. They do not exist…I challenge you to prove that is not so.” Imbert said that with the possible exception of Tobago, at most hospitals the majority of doctors were East Indian. “I’ll not let you perpetuate racist falsehoods.”

Gopeesingh interjected, “That’s why you want to run them out.” Imbert refused to give way, saying he was disgusted by Gopeesingh’s remarks.

Imbert said every poor person visiting a public hospital knows the truth, that is that most doctors are East Indian and not subject to ethnic cleansing.

He stormed, “For the member to sink to such a low level, I’m ashamed for him.”

Imbert said the experienced Gopeesingh should know better to question how an amended bill had come to Lower House from the Senate.

“He does not deserve to be in this place.”

Imbert alleged Gopeesingh had misunderstood sections of the bill that even an SEA pupil could comprehend. “I’m ashamed that a member who pretends to have a university qualification cannot understand basic English.”

Sinanan chided Imbert’s claim, saying Gopeesingh does have university qualifications.

Imbert continued to query Gopeesingh’s standing, saying an Accreditation Council must check the authenticity of degrees and the issuing institutions.

Imbert said, “I’m ashamed that someone who is reported to have university qualifications cannot understand basic words.”


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26 thoughts on “‘PoS General, an African hospital’”

  1. ‘Ethnic cleansing’ at PoS hospital—Dr Tim
    Opposition MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh claims there is ethnic cleansing at Port-of-Spain General Hospital, an allegation which Prime Minister Patrick Manning and Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert described as irresponsible in the extreme.

    Race talk embarrasses Warner
    “I want to begin where the last speaker ended,” he said as members of the Government made loud gasps. “Because I feel a bit aggrieved and in some ways embarrassed about all this talk about ethnic cleansing.” As members of the Government benches thumped their desks, Warner continued, “We who are here in Parliament must at all times try to avoid further polarising the society.

    Chief Whip backs Tim

  2. Imbert said, “I am scandalised that the MP could utter such untruths, provocative and controversial untruths in the House without a shred of evidence. I consider it entirely irresponsible in the extreme for an MP to utter these racist statements without a shred of evidence.”

    Gopeesingh retorted, “I’ve been told.”

    Imbert replied, “It is not so.”

    Gopeesingh acquiesed, “Okay.”

    Imbert continued, “The ethnic composition of the medical fraternity in Trinidad and Tobago is well known…It’s a fact, the majority are of East Indian descent. I’ll give way to the Member for Caroni East to say it’s not true.”

    Imbert said that Gopeesingh, in his allegedly checkered career, had been head of the North West Regional Health Authority and so should know most doctors are East Indian. Imbert corrected “checkered” to “controversial” after the Speaker scolded him.

    The thing with these damn racist, is that they launch offensive claims of racism in order to obfuscate theirs. He claims he was told this. This is something that can easily be verified. If there are more East Indian Doctors than there are African Doctors in residence then this comment cleary demonstrates what I have been arguing in here. That some are consumed with a kind of prejudice that will not brook parity between their kind and black people. Gopeesingh probably believes that a mere majoritarian of Indian Doctors amount to too many of the other kind. What a piece of excrement!!!

  3. This kind of unsubstantiated racist remark by a member of Parliament is truly irresponsible and damaging to those who have legitimate cases of discrimination.
    “The thing with these damn racist, is that they launch offensive claims of racism in order to obfuscate theirs. He claims he was told this.”Mr. Daniels sometimes goes overboard, but in this instance he is right on.

  4. “Excrement” is too mild a word to describle the behaviour of Mr. Goppeesingh and those of his elk who, in order to capture public attention remind us how racial they are in all matters. In most
    countries those words are toxic and their utterances can lead to very serious unrest, he knows he can grab attention by making those statements without having to be responsible. One does not have to be a MP or medical professional to know that there are absolutely many more “Indian” than there are “African” health practitioners in T&T, POSGH included. We would much prefer to think of the professionals as “our” doctors but Mr. Gopeesingh have to remind us that Indians are not part of that “we”. Taken to literal conclusions, are we now to go to every courthouse, hospital, public service office and count how many “Africans” there in relation to the amount of “Indians”? His behaviour leaves us to conclude that in order to feel a part of the society we must all resort to counting heads! But I believe that the population at large is much smarter than Mr. Gopeesingh/Panday et al. I am amazed how well the people of T&T interact with each other in spite of racial differences,countries where the word “ethnic cleansing” warrants the appropriate behaviour, Mr. Gopeesingh/Panday et al would have to seriously think of where they go and how they get to where they want to go. That is not the case in T&T. They can walk from parliament into the nearest bar without having to be worried about the effects of “ethnic cleansing”. It is unfortunate that we should have people like Gopeesingh, Panday and Hamid (what’s his name) in the nation’s parliament talking that kind of crap.

  5. It is often said that ‘to the squeaky wheel goes the most oil.’ The commentary by the good doctor might indeed be outlandish some , or appear tribal to others , but never -the -less ,he should be commended for doing what his people elected him to do – look out for their interest.
    It might well be a good lesson for others on opposing sides of the ‘so call divide,’ to finally stand up to be counted , so as to finally earn their exorbitant salaries. It is well known that even with the PNM in power since 1962 , 47 years later there are constituencies of theirs that to this day are without running water, proper roads/drainage , decent schools , basic health care facilities, and ardent fans cower in fear daily at the hands of low life degenerate criminals and thugs that proport to be community leaders, or agents/ henchmen thereof.
    Lets see what wounds might be opened as a result of the Caroni East MP’s strong statement in Parliament. Hmmmm , Africanization of our POS General Hospital , and perhaps an answer to his February 2008 letter on neglected Tobago Scarborough long delayed hospital construction. http://news.bn.gs/article.php?story=20080229141230636&mode=print
    Now we know why Mr. Panday and Manning -unlike us lesser mortals- have little faith in our lofty Health Institutions , and would avoid our various hospitals ‘like the plauge’ -or better yet – death traps that they’ve become , as they , spouses, and entire family, prefer to opt instead for the likes of more professional medical crews from far off pristine places like Cuba , Miami , England, and Scotland.
    I told you folks to start to check the credentials of our numerous fast increasing Cubans and Nigerians immigrant that all claim to be Doctors in efforts to escape their respective countries of birth so as to serve our people. A few months, didn’t I recall that a jilted man attempted suicide , and was pronounced dead at the San Fernando hospital, only to wake up some lengthy time later, and demanded comfort from his once ecstatic wife ,and a drink of Vat 19 Rum?
    Thanks Dr. Tim Gopeesingh for letting the truth be heard . We might not realize by this simple though contentious gesture , how many lives you might have saved. Just recently ,over 2000 Chinese citizens were granted work permits to do construction in job shortaged T&T, what next? I like the doctor am a bit concern , all be it on a different issue.
    Who can we blame if in 2029 substandard Chinese constructed buildings start falling down all over the place, like that Caroni Bridge did recently that killed the crane worker in Central? Remember ,this is not Yankee land and Europe where one can sue the government ,and get billions 200 years from now.
    Talk about an end game! You cannot help but admire the Docs Chutzpah. His is certainly a stroke of genius unrivaled by the likes of American Bobby Fischer, or Russia’s Anatoli Karpov, and Garry Kasparov.
    I love it.

  6. The historian of the bunch says this: Back in 1984-85 a broad based religious coperating group staged a conference on Religion In the Caribbean at the Kpok Hotel. One of the speakers, Dr. Brinsley Samaroo in his speech ,claimed that the East Indians had contributed two religions to Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean, but the Africans had contributed only one, Rastafarianism. I wrote out my comment before making it. In a series of questions I asked him whether Jonas Mohammed Bath, captured into slavery was not a mMslim, and had probably made the Hadj since when some of his followers saw him, they made obeisance to him, and would follow no orders from their masters unless he gave the OK. and had not the group of MAndingoes in the Belmont area, who were Muslims, purchased their freedom, and that of their wives and friends, long before the first Indian Muslim set foot off the FAtel Razac?

    Samaroo was surprised that someone in the audience knew the truth, and would challengre him. He corrected his statement He later accused me of “Cultural Terrorism” when I pointed out that many of the things ascribed to the Indians in TnT were in fact first done by the Africans. That, was in 84-85. After that, I have been very skeptical of any pronounceent by any Trinidadian of Indian descent. If an historian can concoct lies, the others can do damn lies.This Dr. Gopiesing who as had the distinction of having his first two wives murdered, is i the category f Damn Lies Manufacturer.

  7. “After that, I have been very skeptical of any pronouncement by any Trinidadian of Indian descent. If an historian can concoct lies, the others can do damn lies.” ANY? Mrs. Edwards, you live in the Southern USA. You have probably met several racists and liars among the White population but I doubt that you would judge each and every one White person based on this. Yet, this principle of collective guilt applies to East Indians.

  8. Been researching the surname ‘Gopeesingh’ on the net. Seems like tjere are no Gopeesinghs left on India, all searches pointed to T&T. Ah kno allyuh bright and ting
    Give we the score on these Trini Indian names with no Indian roots nah.

  9. Close to a year ago I wrote this blog about an excellent,caring , and respected citizen. It’s worth a read , especially for those that did not get a chance.

    Dr. Wahid Ali an Epitome of true Patriotism

    Posted By: Neal Noray
    Date: 11, August 08, at 7:02 p.m.

    The year was 1981 perhaps August, and without any prompting, preambles, or even real context the speaker blurted out the following in the presence of a then simple twenty year old, just concerned about performing his duty that he was paid to do. “The Indians are an interesting people where ever they migrate to in the world at large outside of their homeland.” “They never enjoy assimilation and the desire to be fully integrated into any society they live.” At the end of the conversation he took his exit into his house, leaving an astounded and sole member that constituted his audience.

    Last Saturday our country lost what I believe was one of its best patriots and most decent citizens, in Dr. Wahid Ali. He was very respected by any who encountered him in any capacity, and I am certain, would be missed by the several whose lives he touched in some simple or tangible way. I for one was, and never fully forgot those profound and unsolicited words he uttered in my presence some 27 years ago.

    It was due in part to his position as President of the Senate around again 1981 that I happened to cross part with the Trinity Cross winner, first President of the Inter-Religious Organization , and distinguished UWI Graduate. Incidentally, it would seem that he was way ahead of his time as well. The records revealed that in 1972 he only accepted the proffered nation’s highest honor The Trinity Cross, when he was promised by then PM Dr. Williams, to eventually start the process to change its name. Meaningful social changes as many of us recognize, often tends to move at a snails pace, and it took legal actions, and much politicization to finally rectify the situation in ‘Rainbow Nation’ at long last.

    In my job back then, I saw daily and clearly up close this amiable, approachable, and unpretentious citizen far away form all the public glare of power trappings. Part of my Civil Service functions was to provide security at his residence. He was always a health advocate and apparently practiced what he preached to his patients long into his golden years when in 2004 at 76 he was attacked by six bandits while doing his early morning exercise walks around the Queens Park Savannah. He would daily place a mat on the ground near by and do his exercise routines, as I and others from time to time observe from a safe distance with some silently curious amusements. There were generally no talking, and the only noise would come from him as he loudly cleared his lungs while lying on his back with his feet upraised performing the routine.

    Looking back today, it might be viewed as a combination of Pilates and Calisthenics with some elements of yoga thrown in for good measure. For both me and others that made the daily trek to his residence, we could almost check and set our timepiece based on the preciseness and regularity of the exercises. For him, one sensed that it a welcome changed from the drudgery of even then acrimonious political routines of the day.

    I never asked him what prompted the comment, or what he meant by it, but as a keen political and social observer, pondered and reflected on it’s meaning throughout the succeeding years in my quest to see if there were any merits in the view point. Whether true or not back then or even now is perhaps irrelevant one would think. Nevertheless, the fact that someone of such a stature would openly make the comment , or could begin a process of serious and critical historical self -reflection and national introspection speaks wonders of him as a human being and national ,concerned about our country and the fate of his people across what was virtually unknown then as ‘the global village.’

    Again, it is our country’s lost that he is no more, for Dr. Whahid Ali was proud of his heritage, and was indeed humble enough to accord the respect to others with differences to him, most would agree. It is a pity that we cannot find many more national political figures of such magnitude, and generally leaders with similar characteristics across the nation. Our country, today’s children and future leaders, could definitely benefit from folks that reflects this rare combination exemplified in the body and spirit of this true patriot with all of the corresponding encompassing noble qualities.

  10. Ravi, “pronouncements” as uused by me, refers specifically to those statements, beloved of the TnT media, made by people like the said Gopiesingh. These people are major adjusters of the truth, like “there was no slavery in India”, there was, and still is according tot the nti Slavery Society. “Hindus are not violent”- tell that to the murdered wives, the muslims whose mosque was destroyed at Anjodha, and the Christians who have been set fire on trains.
    My Indian friends with whom I hold conversations, do not make pronouncements, they talk. Capiche? Pronouncements are distortions designed to create racial strife in TnT. In the Southern USA, I belong to some international organizations, and when one of our members makes an asinine statement, I call them on it, publicly. Others, white people, do also. We are all trying to move humanuity forward.Educated Southerners are trying to put America’s racist past beind them. They elected an Indian governor of Louisiana, and an African-American president. Compare that to the history of Jack Warner’s status in the UNC and the pronouncements of Basdeo Panday.

    Afro-Trinis give themselves hyhenated surnames. Its a fashion.

  11. Neal, perhaps Dr. Wahid Ali is related to Mr. Waj(Wahjid Ali) father of Lazeena and Feroza Ali, who lived in Cumuto, when I was a child.
    Lazeena was my childhood friend.

    Traits like the ones you described, run in families, and are nurtured from early on.

    Of course you know that Muslims are persecuted minority in India, in its poorer areas. They are People of the Book and have more in common with Christians and Jews. Islam went to India during the Munghal invasion, and they established a fine civilization there, that was tolerant of other ethnicities. This according to Amatya Sen in his book The Argumentative Indian.Between the Taj Mahal and the children portrayed in “Slumdog Millioniare” and the problems of Partition, in 1947, there is a lot of history.Dr. Wahid Ali sounds like a fine example of an astete. who lives a frugal life, and has some basic guiding principles that he adheres to.

  12. Gopeesingh refuses to back down on ‘ethnic cleansing’ claim

    Bias Against Indians
    Dr Tim stands firm on ‘ethnic cleansing’ charge at hospital

    Gopeesingh lists 13 in ‘ethnic cleansing’
    Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh is sticking to his claim that there is ethnic cleansing at Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

    Khan: I am a victim of discrimination
    Dr Fuad Khan says he is a victim of discrimination, and he believes “that racism may have had a part to play.”

  13. Mrs.Edwards, many Trinis of East Indian descent are trying to integrate into mainstream Trinbagonian society, to live and work inoffensively as citizens of this country, to be good neighbors to Trinidadians of the African mainstream as well as all other ethnic groups. People like this don’t have a representative with a bully pulpit. Rather, this situation leads to embarrassed silence: embarrassed first by the “leaders” who make racial pronouncements on your supposed behalf, then again by the Africans who understandably resent all East Indians as a collective entity, based on the pronouncements of these “leaders”. You go to work with your head down and minimize casual conversation, expecting that your African colleagues may hold you in scorn as one of Dr. Gopeesingh’s ilk.
    Only a minority of East Indians will be in a position to successfully migrate overseas, and a mass retreat to Tableland and Nariva is unlikely. Two choices remain: continued discord, or the integration of the majority of East Indians as regular Trinis who can live, work and even take part in some Indian cultural activities and hobbies, without offence or inconvenience to African and other Trinis.
    So, please go ahead and call out racism whenever it occurs, but leave a door open for those Trinis of East Indian origin who would wish to walk away from their racially biased “leaders”, dump any ancestral racist baggage, and live as normal Trinis.
    Remember, those East Indians you see in steel bands, in carnival bands, at PNM meetings, at church events, at football matches are not all UNC diehards. Some of us just want to fit in and get along.

  14. I can anticipate the counter-arguments to my last post: that people with East Indian ancestry are locked into a heritage of systematic cruelty, racism and evil that includes wife-burning, caste discrimination and the Black Hole of Calcutta, among other things. That, therefore, any East Indians who are not being overtly nasty are, automatically, being covertly nasty.
    However, I would not consider Europeans, Africans, Chinese, Arabs or anyone else to be the inheritors of an unblemished record of millenia of liberty, equality and fraternity. I am not, however, suggesting that a thread should be started on comparative historical wrongs committed by peoples and nations of various races.

    If an African can accept an individual white person as a non-racist friend, and separate him/her from the horrible heritage of slave trading, the middle passage, colonial massacres, Jim Crow laws, and other racist crimes too numerous to mention, could the same not be possible for an individual east indian?

  15. Ravi Singh sounds like a shameless apologist for his perceived ethnicity-Indian. This blog calls Dr Gopeesingh irresponsible..what about Patrick Manning saying “if it’s true or not don’t say it?” Racism is endemic in this country and is perpetuated mainly by the PNM Afro-Trinidadians, and their creole counterparts.
    That is a REALITY and the Prime Minister is in violation of the Constitution with his blatant discrimination.

  16. You just might be on to something Ms.L, and as usual , I respect your commentaries. It is extremely important that we the socially conscious continue to play a role in ‘keeping the barbarians at the gate .’ If not, heavens help us all , for perhaps the day would come when many of the deceptive rabble rousers would really know what ethnic cleansing, and genocide really means. These clowns do not know what it means to look into the eyes of 12 year old kid that was a commander in an unnamed African army , and told speak to me with respect or else, but first after enquiries as to what tribe you belong before proceeding with the pronouncement. These jokers do not know what it means to be a 16 year old unshaven Tajick Afghanistan , with a AK47 on your shoulder fighting for survival to keep your Mujahadeen President in power , as the Pakistan and Yankeee supported Pastune Taliban lurks with evil intent.
    Three days ago I was talking to a n IT guy from Burundi , who claimed to have a Tutsi mom, and a Hutu father. He indicated to me how confused he was growing up , as he looked Hutu , and tried to co exist in a Tutsi dominated society. I was fortunate to get a true historical lesson as to what real ethnic cleansing and genocide was all about in his country, and Rwanda.
    A couple weeks ago I had a chat with my Buddhist Sinhalese ex military buddy , and listened as he almost jumped for joy at his country Sri Lanka eventual victory over what he considered as evil , destructive Hindu Tamils.
    I cautioned him that his country should exercise caution , in the wake of this halt in fighting as the bigger task lay ahead via constructive reconciliations mechanisms after decades of turmoil ,and historical mistrust. In essence , real ethnic cleansing.
    I’ve listened as Serbs lambaste Muslims, and Armenians do the same against all the other ethnicities that they felt were the problems during the Yugoslavian crisis, yet watch them coexist today and work side to side .
    I’ve conversed with military Nigerians Muslims that tried to justify the heavy handed ,evil ,and discriminatory treatment of Christians from the Delta South of the country that are simply trying to get a piece of the vast economic pie , and got a much better understanding of what ethnic cleansing was.
    Two years ago I read a wonderful book by Nobel Winner and Peace advocate Jimmy Carter, entitled Palestine: Peace not Apartheid , and juxtapose that with recent admissions by some of Israel’s more conscionable soldiers, as to their country’s inhumane barbarism recently , and had a ‘ah ha moment,’ as to what ethnic cleansing and genocide was all about ,as committed by a country the size of New Jersey with the 3rd largest American supported military in the world. http://uspolitics.tribe.net/thread/2eb8db06-8684-4667-bf06-fd739563ec7c
    Those of us in the know wish to place on record for the benefit of this new brand of desperate Indo -Trini Hindu leadership the following: We are fully aware of what you are attempting to do in our country , but rest assured that you are doomed to fail. The people of our country are too sophisticated to fall for that type of stupid, imbecilic ,anachronistic, tribalism, and could care little where you obtained your lofty education. They’ve seen what it has done to other societies, and are fully aware as to who we are – a wonderful mosaic of people that Archbishop Desmond Tutu affectionately referred to as Rainbow Nation. He should know as he fully experienced ethnic cleansing , that benefited even our silent ,and therefore complicit, Indo African friends .
    . Join the line dear friends, as there is only so much you can acquire , by trying to have your cake and eat it simultaneously. Any individual that dares to stand on the grand stage and proclaim that they are the victims of genocide / ethnic cleansing in my country Trinidad and Tobago simply because a few failed to acquire a government post would be laugh at , and viewed as nothing but a comic. http://guardian.co.tt/news/general/2009/07/19/khan-i-am-victim-discrimination
    No behavior is more repulsive as a people that runs continuously to foreign shores and bask in the generosity of these country that accepts them with fine jobs , but are disgusted when their own country do the same by reaching out to others – as is the case with the recent influx of medical and health related folks in Trinidad aka baby America .
    Matters such as genocide , ethnic cleansing and even terrorism are much too serious to be branded around by the likes of selfish , greedy and divisive elites from whatever ilk they emerge.
    Perhaps it’s time to create a new Think Tank forum on obvious non existent Racial / ethnic tolerance, as a backdrop to Peace , Security & Economic /political prosperity.
    In it frank and honest debates can occur so as to educate this and future generations from falling into the trap of hate , and finger pointing when desired goals are not reached. In addition it would preserve the simple embryonic democracy that we are attempting to build , and ensure that a local Hitler , or ID big Dada Amin, with nothing to loose , do not emerge .

  17. Thanks Ravi.One has to fearlessly call out those who would have us live in strife. Instead, I often see a circling of the wagons. I do not hang my head in shame if an African originated person anywhere in the world makes an ass of himself. I impply state, if the need arises, that he is wrong, selfish, opinionated or watever is appropriate. Moving humanity forward does not require you to agree with fools.If office situations, I would not recommend tht you take on the burden of politicl idiots, but interact with others normally.

  18. People like this don’t have a representative with a bully pulpit. Rather, this situation leads to embarrassed silence: embarrassed first by the “leaders” who make racial pronouncements on your supposed behalf, then again by the Africans who understandably resent all East Indians as a collective entity, based on the pronouncements of these “leaders”. You go to work with your head down and minimize casual conversation, expecting that your African colleagues may hold you in scorn as one of Dr. Gopeesingh’s ilk

    It is indeed an indication of how we think that you collectively assign to Africans the behaviour of collective judgment against Indians. Prejudice has always manifested itself in the eyes of the beholder.

    You are making an argument that underhandedly present Indians who do not speak out against prejudice coming from among their group as victims of the both Africans and Indians who are prejudice. In this disingenuous presentation, you achieve the goal of victimhood while conveying a facade empathy and regret. It is too obvious to pass the smell test, sorry.

  19. Just a thought, since we began commenting on this article, perhaps the same number of children have died of starvation and disease in India, as have died in Africa of the same causes. In the Gaza, children’s lives are daily ended because of refusal by Israel to allow free access to medical care, and on the Reservations of the First Americans(mistakenly called Indians)childen are malnourished in the richest country in the world. Yet, here we are, with what my mother called a bellyful argument, indulging in arguments based on one knucklehhead’s ideas, while all around us disaster piles up. Tomorrow we will find out who died in road accidents in TnT today, nd who got killed in some trivial burst of unreasoning anger. Death will take both Indo and Afro Trinis, whoe families will scream in grief and rage. erhaps we should collectively pause, and say a prayer for the place we call home, no matter where we now live. This is my final statement on the issue.

  20. Dear Mr. Daniels
    My embarrassment is real. This IS how I feel. My actual position on this issue is “shameless” to Niala and “disingenous” to you. I don’t want to share the Gopeesingh position with those who back him and his kind. I dread the disapproval and hatred of those who will assume that I share his position. So I should just shut up and mind my business.
    “Underhandedly”, “disingenous”…”too obvious to pass the smell test”–OK. I should have left this topic to those who can handle it.

  21. I equivocate Tim Gopiesingh’s cry of ‘ethnic cleansing’ with Pat Buchanan’s calling Judge Sotomayor a racist. In Pat’s viewpoint even one case of a white man being sacrificed to help a ‘minority’ is discrimination against the white man, even though blacks have a history of hundreds of years of racial discrimination. In Trinidad and Tobago’s society Indians are at the height of just about everything, including the medical profession and here we have an idiot for a politician claiming ‘ethnic cleansing’ (by an African administration … I suppose). Like Pat Buchanan, he too is saying “if any Indian make a claim of discrimination ….so it must be”. Never mind one may not be as qualified as he or she might think they are or one may or may not have a collective experience as another of a different race. The charge is as long as it is denied then it must be that there is discrimination against the Indian. This is a wake up call for the African too. In Trinidad we are too content in non-achievement. Politicians of African descent would rather hide than lend a helping hand to one of his race. Look how many years the PNM has been in power, how many years has the people of Laventille supported the PNM?, Do they have a police station they can depend on or go to when they need one?, do they have a healthcare facility they can go to when they need one?, do they have educational facilities that can help their children get out of the poverty they are in?, have the PNM government helped with the safety and protection of the citizens of Laventille, so as to make them proud to belong to their geographic neighborhood?, has the PNM government given them reason to hope that their children will fare better in the next 5 years?. The answer to these and many other questions is a resounding NO! Dr. Gopiesingh sees the African community in a very vulnerable state and what he is doing is to thrust the sword into the body of an already dying African heart. African should wake up to Gopiesingh’s cry and understand what he is trying to do to their already untenable situation in T&T.

  22. Doctors at heart of Tim’s claim of ethnic cleansing: No real proof
    Three of the 14 senior doctors who Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh said were “forced to take VSEP, have not had their contracts renewed, or were frustrated out” of working at the Port of Spain General Hospital say they have no evidence they were victims of any “ethnic cleansing”

    Doctors leaving, not ethnic cleansing
    Doctors at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital are at a loss over comments made by Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh that ethnic cleansing of Indo-Trinidadian doctors was taking place at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

    Group wants PM to probe race charges
    The Indo-Trinbago Equality Council (ITEC) is calling on Prime Minister Patrick Manning to launch a commission of enquiry into allegations of racial discrimination against East Indian doctors at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

    ..Calls made for enquiry

  23. No ethnic cleansing
    THE North-West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) yesterday “clearly and categorically” refuted statements by MP for Caroni East Dr Tim Gopeesingh that “ethnic cleansing” of doctors was taking place at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital (PoSGH).

    Sawh: I opted for VSEP
    Dr Tim Gopeesingh’s claim of ethnic cleansing at the Port of Spain General Hospital was yesterday questioned by yet another doctor he named as a victim.

    Dr Tim names 9 more ‘victims’
    Claims of ethnic cleansing

    ‘Bypassed’ Fuad Khan backs Gopeesingh

  24. Get ready folks another crisis is looming , and it’s led by Uncle Jack Warner of all people. Here is another case of ethnic cleansing for your investigation Dr Gopeesingh. The United Nations must be called in here, don’t you agree? One of the 1986 political hijackers Rambachan ousted , and Panday next? Talk about Karma!http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161507048
    I am beginning to develop some fondness for Uncle Jack , for it looks like he have more ‘cojones’ than we thought. My advice to him however is to wear his bullet proof vest , sleep with one eye open, and always have a food tester nearby when going on any future power lunches, anywhere in Chaguanas. If he can however survive this , let him know that he can count on my vote, as I would support a progressive politician and leader where ever he can be found.

  25. this man called neal talks about checking Nigerians and cubans who claim to be doctors. i think he is little minded and lest me remind him one out of every 4 black physicians is nigerian. Nigerians come here and are duly registered by the medical board of trinidad and tobago . Mr Neal plaese dont bring your ignorance out in the open in a public forum.

  26. http://www.ted.com/talks/george_ayittey_on_cheetahs_vs_hippos.html
    Be careful okponku , you have enough in Africa to contend with presently . Simply enjoy Sweet T&T aka Rainbow Country , and it’s wonderful hospitality, and stop trying to stir up ‘batchack nest’ as you are doing right now ,because you know not that “the ground you are standing on is holy ground.” What are you attempting to do with this idle boast , antagonize Dr. Tim Gopeesing and his ‘anti ethnic cleansing Federation?’ You do not want to do that my son , for the squeeze of the good Doc and company is worst than a hungry Brazilian Anaconda .
    If you don’t trust me and my views , then ask any Trini you have more confidence in on the historic methodologies of our distant cousins Dr. Goopeesing and friends. When they finish with you, they’ll make that Yoruba, Ibo , Hausa love feast you tribal clans have been involved in since the British unfortunately departed our country , just before you struck black gold from under the ground .
    Remember , if you want to obtain some level of credibility on this board or any likely forum in the future , first be prepared to look inward , do some introspection and call it like you see it. Africa as a continent is heading very quickly to no where , and the sad thing is that Nigeria even with all it’s vast potential- is a leader in this social and political morass ,that sees failed states with it’s characteristic corruption, greed , and drastic Human Right abusiveness at the forefront .
    According to former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, there are some “ 200,000 African scientist in the USA , more than on the entire continent of Africa, and 40,000 African doctorial candidates outside of Africa,” where 890 million people unfortunately must call home. Instead of feeling pride, you should be revolted instead that Nigerians has to depend on Trinidad and Tobago, instead of resource laden and corrupt Nigeria for social and economic survival.
    Cousin okponku , it is your choice to hold some false sense of patriotism for your country , as it remains one of the most corrupt , socially backward , and underachieving countries in the entire world. Just note that my numerous identity uncertain fellow nationals might be enamored by your people’s flamboyancy, and masked insecurity via bombastic eccentricities . I am however an exception to that rule, for I like calling a spade exactly as it is. Why, the lives and overall welfare of my 1.3 million fellow nationals means more to me than some fictitious fantasy like links with mentally unsound , divisive tribal brothers from the motherland. I have even observed that many of our very gullible women even rush in like fools , where angels fear to thread so as to marry a few , and so save them from a life of hell and degradation. To them I say good luck , as many do not know what they do.
    Stay honest , and note that we are watching you and many increasing others , as we still love this country of ours and wish to make it our home one day soon when our wandering days are over.

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