No, Tom, No

By Raffique Shah
October 26, 2014

Raffique ShahPresident Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, to give the man his full handle as Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar never tires of doing, is convinced that my fellow columnists and I are “bulldogs in a ring”, uncouth, devoid of intellect, stuck in the “same ole, same ole” mode, and engaged in self-aggrandisement and worse.

Tom, if I may immediately exercise my lack of couth by invoking a familiarity common among canines, warned graduating university students to never in their professional lives descend into wasteland that commentators like me inhabit. Be the “gush of fresh breeze”, he implored the youngsters, as he summarily dismissed us, dinosaurs all, who are not deserving of the hereafter, far less the here.

Whew! What a tongue-lashing! Tom is a very angry man who has determined that media commentators are at the root of a societal decay that has enveloped Trinidad and Tobago, stifling progress, inducing rot.

I refuse to believe that his venom towards scribes, if not Pharisees, erupted following a fight he jumped into with radio host and comedienne Rachel Price. Since I hardly listen to radio—I tune in only to a few newscasts and occasionally sports coverage—I do not know what Price said that offended the President.

I gather it’s something to do with Mrs Carmona’s attire at a recent function at the United Nations in New York. I saw the photograph in newspapers, and I thought she was somewhat under-dressed for such occasion. But who am I to comment? I live comfortably in shorts, bareback, slipping on a T-shirt or polo only when I have visitors. So both my belly and button are on permanent display in the confines of my shamba.

When the brouhaha between the President and Price became a public issue, it occurred to me that Tom was engaging in a fight he did not need, one that is much like mud-wrestling. Win or lose, he will emerge with slime on his thin skin.

I should add that from the little radio I listen to, I am unimpressed by the levels of discourse, if talk shows can be so categorised, and absolutely disgusted with what passes for music. So I simply switch off. If I’m not listening to CDs of my choice, I tune in to YouTube where there is an almost inexhaustible compilation of world music to suit any mode or mood.

Back to the President’s frontal attack on columnists and commentators: of course he has the right to disagree with all of us, and to pronounce that we produce “tatah” week after week. A writer’s opinion is a very subjective expression. I have repeatedly stated in my space that I expect readers to disagree with me, to criticise me. I hardly ever respond to criticisms, even when I feel they are not justified or they are based on falsehoods.

So the President is entitled to brand us as “bulldogs”, although if I were in his position I would use the more demeaning “pothounds” or “mongrels”.

But while he pokes at the motes in our eyes, he is blinded to the beams and cataracts that impair the vision of those who hold the highest offices in the land. Nepotism, corruption, grand theft from the public purse and abuse of office abound, but Tom stays silent. Tamper with the constitution to facilitate their friends or gain unfair advantage in elections—and Tom utters not a word.

The President’s powers to remain silent on issues that are of national importance are so powerful, they are deafening. But his powers to attack scribes who are forced into service as the voice of the voiceless are loud, if not reasoned or clear. His mission seems to be to shoot the messengers with heavy, presidential artillery, but dismiss the messages as the ranting of a bunch of grumpy old geezers.

No, Tom, no!

Across the board, we scribes have been kind to you, too kind some might argue. Now you condemn us collectively as the root of all evil in the society. It’s just not fair.

You blame us for an absence of intellectual discussion. You did this at the university, the seat of learning in the nation, an institution where politicking overrides reasoning, where the paper chase supersedes learning, where billions of taxpayers’ dollars produce, in the main, half-baked professionals who pursue materialism with unmatched passion, a campus where human compassion has no place.

The majority of graduates before whom you cussed us have no sense of history, of belonging, and, I dare add, patriotism. You called for enlightenment in an area of darkness, if I may paraphrase Vidia Naipaul. Few are the lecturers and students who will put country first, and party and self behind.

No, Tom, no!

We scribes, many of us, are indeed old, maybe even tired of trying to pull the nation together as the politicians tear the races apart for their narrow self-interests. But we have a fierce commitment to continue the fight to make this land a better place for everyone, from President to pauper, transient to permanent.

At the very least, sir, show us some respect.

46 thoughts on “No, Tom, No”

  1. There is some truth in the President’s statements. T&T is one of the few places left where daily newspapers actually sell out.Most major newspapers in major international cities are in financial distress due to a lack of demand.One of the reasons why daily newspapers still have popular appeal in T&T is simply because these publications cater to the mischievous, bacchanal oriented natures of our people.They sensationalize crime and politics, indulging in name calling, generalization, unsupported opinion and political bias. The newspapers in T&T attempt to present a mix of trashy tabloid journalism and legitimate news in order to cater to ego driven, opinionated readers anxious to legitimize their own distorted and bias views as presented by their favored “columnists” in an irresponsible fashion in newspapers. In other words, if they see it in print, it must be true.
    There are far too many “columnists” in T&T offering crap. Where are the objective editors? The fact that so many of them morph into politicians speaks for itself and tells the whole story.

    1. This is an excellent article, too many people in T&T believe in rum shop and street gossip and this is because of the level of illiteracy.
      Some of these columnists and radio hosts should be given a literacy test before employment or return to school to try to improve.

  2. I beg to differ on Shah usual bias. The Prez has every right to stand up for his woman. He was the one chosen to represent this high office with decorum and dignity, not his wife. She should be off limits.

    When Max lead the office he lowered the standard so much, openly parting at carnival time and showing his penchant for alcohol. Yes the media gave Max his space no reference to his wife. This President is no Max and he cannot be bought by foul mouth Price.

    As for what Reema wears it reflects her individual style. She is a woman oozing with self confidence and she is certainly not a conformist. No she does not follow the norm and sometimes that can result in shallow minds such as Price seeking to make some cheap joke or ridicule her.
    The President felt insulted by Price comments about his family and reacted. It is what any normal human being would do, expect Price to milk this one all the way to the bank as she pours scorn on the honorable President, Shah unfortunately following her bad example. No “broughtupsy” is perfect description for such unwarranted attack on a man who will bare his soul for this nation, a true son of this soil. Leave the man family alone!!!

    1. 1. Max “lowered the standard” because he partook in our Trinbagonian culture? Is he human? It’s the same way people believe that I shouldn’t be seen in public with shorts pants and slippers because I’m a Lawyer.

      2. His wife should be off limits? The same way Winnie Mandela, Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton and all the other first ladies throughout the world were off limit? *end sarcasm*

      Look at the way these other first ladies dress… class. Reema is the one dressed as though she’s heading to Brian Lara’s all inclusive… and you have the gall to talk about Max!? No one said anything about conforming… she’s the wife of the President, not a Bollywood belly dancer!

      3. “The President felt insulted”… and?. Do you respond to every insult you’ve received? As Dr. Eric Williams said, “let the jackass bray”… not that I’m calling Rachel a jackass, because I agree with her comments, but some things should just be ignored.

      I expected Carmona to respond… it’s his wife, but I didn’t expect the legal route. He’s a Lawyer, he should know that he has absolutely no grounds here.

      But then again, this government has seen the dumbest Lawyers… all UWI graduates *hint*.

    2. ” The Prez has every right to stand up for his woman. He was the one chosen to represent this high office with decorum and dignity, not his wife. She should be off limits.” Mammooo

      Well I’ll be…., here Otra vez folks, is dis Mayaro lifetime drunkard Mammoo, in all his neo tribal glory, and in the process of talking up his Reema, and her defensive hombre, but still not hesitant to besmirch the character,of a truly independent patriot, and former President,in Uncle Richard, who served his country with dignity, and respect for all , during his tenure.
      Hey mammoo, and don’t we wish more Trini males ,had Pez Cam mindset , ummmmm cohones ….to defend their wives, in such noble fashion, when she is under fire?
      Just think, a business tycoon, heiress ,Vindra Naipaul and …ummmm…daughter …..,might still be alive today, and her fearless husband Rennie, not fall under the DPP microscope, as one of the real bandits , at the higher end of the Xtra Foods , ….food chain.

      Let me see, if I get this correct, especially for you Trinis , who only began following politics in this land , two weeks ago.
      ‘ You allze,’loved the Dancing, Black skin/ White Mask Englishman ,Sir Ellis, because he spoke perfect accented English reminiscent of dat VS Naipaul, our national ingrate , literature hero, and was always dressed in a suit. You guys then cussed ,even the ground he walked on, when he bypassed Deputy PMs. Kamal , and Errol ,and made de bright Accountant Chambers , PM instead, upon de demise of Papa Deffy Eric.
      We instead loved Papa Ellis , because he carried himself about with dignity, and respect for all, and most importantly, was a selfless,true patriot to his death.
      We know most of you , schooled at the feet of de diabolical Sat, and Baz ,secretly despised Uncle Noor , because of his religion. Once again , here was a man who served with dignity, and respect for all, who occasionally chided us , where warranted on matters of national importance, that transcended, hard core/narrow politics.
      You guys adored de Castaria Kid Robbie, when he helped topple the evil PNM, and gave Basedo and his trade Union movement , it’s first take of political power, but ANR quickly fell out of grace, once he , seemingly got swell headed , with his two Tobago seats.
      Now if our very honest,globally adored Statesman ANR, had made that his only crime – including building a deep water port, for his island of birth- he could have been forgiven by de tribe , but he had to go on ,and throw a political bone ,to what he claimed, was the more morally pure , Patrick Manning, and in the process, gave Basedo the middle finger, during a closely held /tied elections result.
      Even de blind could tell, it was Ah wee Bouy way of getting revenge against Baz , and his goons ,for destroying his government.
      The tribe could not stand de best bone in Professor Richard, and why? He loved his Carnival,and every aspect of his T&T culture, was independent, and fearlessly executed his duty.
      The facts remain Mamboo, that unlike your Reema, not one of the wives of our previous Presidents, tried to be Co president.They knew their place in society, and as First ladies.None tried to lecture citizens, about how they should enjoy their national festival – be it Carnival, Hosay,the queen birthday, Halloween, Pagwah, Chutney soca, or Parang.
      What I find most interesting Mamboo, and maybe you , can answer this for us.
      Her Madjesstrick Queen K, went to almost 5000+ foreign trips abroad, since assuming power, yet not once did I see the mug of her husband ,in photo ops, as she, and Uncle Dookie smooze , with foreign dignitaries.
      On a serious note mammoo,’Me think,’ Prez Cam needs to be schooled , on the subtle differences between a henpecked hombre, and one who is an adoring supporter of his mujer, si?
      Oh , and by the way, a n excellent response Cuz Kian. Yours likewise, Jamille Broome.
      You guys , practically hit detail on de head!
      I personally don’t know this Price chick from Jack Rabbit, nor care to.Let the record show that it’s been 2 years since I am driving in my T&T, and in that time , I might have turn on a local station about 3 times .Trust me , it wasn’t to listen to some escapist comedian.
      Maybe I should start .No se!
      Long live de Republic of T&T!

  3. I totally agree with you Mamoo, I wonder if this was a black woman would foul mouth made the same degrading comments .

    1. Please Mulchan, turn your race meter off. Do you really think that Rachael Price or any other critic care about the colour of the skin of the people they pound?

      1. Frontsman like you just arrive from Mars, where were you when the Calypsoians sang attacking the Indians,
        the PNM bred racism to divide and rule. Remember the fifty million PNM slush fund, not one Indian received a cent. How dare you suggest that I turn the race meter off, wake up man and face reality.

        1. Lord have mercy, and why this UNC dominant ,PP government , and their minions , have such a hard on, for folks from Mars?

          Here we have Giffy waiting like a Grande Mapipie, to send back any illegals there , and now this Mullchan questioning, whether our boy Frontsman, is indeed an Earthling, or a rather some terrible Marsorian freak, all because he had de audacity to tell him to turn off his race meter?
          Yeah Mullchan, de PNM under Kamal, Sham,Errol Mahabir, Dr Baboolal, and Ralph Maraj,were a bunch of racist bastards , and it’s for that sole reason , why Indians voters, repeatedly supported them , at the polls , during the 52 years of our independence.
          Oh, I take that back , Africans , stole all 97 , out of the past 100 elections, but fell asleep during the three , your Trade Union party , were victorious in.
          Hey my fellow folks with a conscience, with delusional , gullible , country hating bozos ,like Mullchan Rampi as citizens , who needs enemies, hmmmm?
          Just what de hell dey teaching these young Hindu, and Muslim kids ,in these temples, and Mosques ,across our nation, to make dem so biter, and hateful , towards members of ‘Afro Kinky Head Nation ,’ that are basically Black, and brown , just like they are?
          Then again , a better question might be ,why don’t they have such hatred for their much adored , Caucasian cousins , or rather ,descendants of White Massa, who have historically treated them , with equal contempt, as Africans?
          Europeans came over de Caucus Mountains of your ancestral land, and raped your women, they help divide your South Asian tribes, they abused your people during the Colonial period , be it in Trinidad ,Suriname, Sri Lanka, Guyana, or India,they blatantly discriminate against your folks all across Europe, Australia, and North America today- calling ‘you allzs ,’ some of the vilest names -including terrorist, even when unwarranted, and yet, high praises.
          You folks , along with your East Asian counterparts,would practically do back-flips , to date , and marry one , and yet, Africans are viewed as the evil ones ….unless of course , they have Jack Warner money,can sing and dance like Marcael Montanto, play excellent cricket like Lara, and are willing to toe the triumphalist line , like Errol Mc Cloud,Wade MBA Mark ,Extempo king Gypsy, Dr Baker, Makandal Dagger, and similar Afro – eat ah fooders.
          Well, I know ,that this coward Mullchan ,won’t dare respond to my questions, so maybe, I’ll have to do my own ethnographic research , to find answers.
          Seriously folks , I don’t want my T&T , degenerating into some tribal , conflict zone.
          The thought of Mallchan and misguided , unpatriotic others , running once more, to foreign embassies, pretending to be racially discriminated refuge victims , while in possession of hefty oversees bank accounts, acquired during Afro Trini leadership stewardship, is most terrifying indeed!

          Tell dem for me people…… de man ,or woman, who can make me hate dis land of mine, ain’t born yet!

          Trust me when I say.. Africans , ain’t your enemy Mullchan Rampo , for that despicable creature, is staring right back at you, in your dirty mirror.
          Get a grip, and purge the neo -racist bile from your system! The 30% and rising mixed population in your country, is looking at destructive , divisive characters like yourself, and Papa Sat , with derision!
          Long live de Republic of T&T!

        2. Correction Mulchan, you don’t need to turn off your race meter, you need to re-calibrate it, or get rid of it. You see, every time something is said of a Trini-Indian, its racial. Trini-Indians are demi-gods, or they can do no wrong. How dare the rest of the world criticize a Trini-Indian? Even Kublalsingh is now a racist.

          Eric Williams, George Chambers, ANR, Hudson-Phillips were all subjects of calypsoes, just to name a few. Remember the one about Pamela Nicholson? Now check your passport and see who just arrived from Mars.

          Feel free to list some of the Indian gods who have been attacked in calypso.

          I suppose you have a list of the names and the race of everyone who received a cent of this slush fund. You don’t have to answer this, but who is receiving the ‘slush fund’ now?

        3. By the way Mulchy, what side of the coin would you have been on if Patrick Manning had done the same thing as it relates to Mrs. Manning, and don’t put god out of your thoughts and say that Price would not pound Madam Manning?

          1. Where ignorance bliss it is folly to be wise. You ignorant guys should take off the blinds and remove the chip off your shoulders and face reality, if you understand what I mean.

  4. Before commenting, I had to find this picture to which so much commotion and commentary is all about:

    First Lady Reema Carmona with Mrs Ban Soon-Taek, wife of United Nations General Secretary, Mr Ban Ki-Moon.

    There is no doubt that the President’s wife looked gorgeous in her outfit. She looked sexy, appealing and to some degree fashionable. But this is not what the controversy is about. The controversy is about the wife of the president of a country, attending an official function in the world’s foremost venue for political, international and social discussions and debate – The United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States of America. Wow! what a venue, is this the place for a woman representing 1.3 million people to discuss world affairs, must represent us in attire that is more fitting for a fashion show? Is the venue a fitting place to show the belly buttons of first ladies? One does not have to be a high guru of protocol to accurately answer that it is certainly NOT the thing one would expect. This is not about whether she looks great or not, it is about the appropriateness of her attire. This puts us in a backward position in terms of how well we understand the world of pomp and ceremony. If that were a carnival fete on Carnival Sunday, I don’t think anyone would notice, but at the United Nations? No, no, no my friends of the defense, this is awful and shameful. This is like Michelle Obama wearing a pair of gorgeous jeans at an international women’s conference. Could you imagine what kind of response that would have from the world press? Barack Obama may have to go in hiding at press time, rather than serve pre-protocol letters. The honest truth is we have a government where, in every sector save for one, they put people in office to do their bidding rather than to faithfully serve the people with truth, honesty and professionalism. It is the reason why there are so many faux pas in this administration. It asks and demands it’s appointees to act in the interest of the UNC, the Prime Minister and the administration first, then when there is a fallout, its defenders come out in numbers to rescue, hence, as long as this administration remains in power there will never be accommodation, cohesion and fulfillment of the spirit of Trinidad and Tobago in anything that the government has a hand in. Take for example, our women footballers currently playing their hearts out in the United States with guts and vigor, they proudly wear our national colors marketing our country as they progress in the sport of international football, yet what kind of support did they get from this UNC government, US$500? Is this how this government support the national interest that it wants the outside world to believe it so proudly represent and serve? There is nothing ‘national’ about this administration and there is no national service by the spirit of their performance. This administration is UNC from head to toe. It walks UNC, talks UNC, reads UNC, preaches UNC and administrates UNC. Too much is made of Rachel Price satire of Mrs Carmona, Rachel is a professional comedian, she makes fun of people, thats her job, she is supposed to make us laugh even at the expense of a gorgeous-looking-misplaced-attired-first-lady who chose to expose herself in a attire not fitting for the venue. Calypso and comedy is at the forefront of our art and culture. Most of the 1.3 million people suffer from the lack of good governance anyway, so we depend on a good laugh and lyrical commentary to make our day. Those who chose to serve on a national scene ought to be mindful of that, they serve not for themselves but to represent us, so if they believe that because they serve in high office they should be free from scrutiny, then they should not be serving in any public capacity whatsoever. As a judge, the president served us well because he was well suited for the mission and pomposity of that service. But politics is a different cup of tea and he better be prepared for the fallout from this fiasco. This is a case that he CANNOT win. If his friends in the judiciary gives him a ‘win’, he loses publicly, if he loses legally he still loses publicly. No matter how you look at it – he loses, so he would be smart to drop this thing cold. It was hilarious, listening to a radio station recently where in pre-play commentary on this matter the song chosen was Lord Nelson’s “Stella”. Those familiar with that song know what category of man was appealing to “Stella”. When the president of the country indulges in petty matters like comedian jokes, he is in fact opening the doors to ridicule. It is therefore not surprising that he gets what he deserves. I am sure the public would rather have his comments on Section 34, Emailgate, corruption, Dr. Kublalsingh, FCB, Central Bank and a hosts of other issues than his fight to have a comedienne shut her mouth.

  5. It seems ironic that this sort of petty hypocritical criticism is emanating spuriously from biased individuals who belong to a crime ridden country which is sexually super charged and characterized by vulgarity, immorality,promiscuity,and perpetual “horning”.
    It is also very ironic that the comedic female accuser makes a living by the use of vulgarity,sensationalism,obscenity,and guttural appeal.
    Furthermore, this objective President is within his rights to protect his private turf,but protocol correctly disallows him from specific political commentary on the government’s actions.
    Once again, commentators on this topic are driven by their sordid political and ,yes, racial bias as they wallow in jealousy at the success of a certain sector of our society.

    1. Tman, I know for a fact that you must have your say on this matter and as usual your are exercising democratic right to do so. I have no problem with your choice of words in deriding the personalities of Rachel Price and others because it gives you some kind of self gratification to pontificate about morality. Only problem is, you use morality sporadically, when it suits your purpose to do so. You see no immorality in the use of religion when Kamla use it, you see no immorality when Sat use it, you see no immorality when Devant use it, you see no immorality when the government use its power to push chutney over calypso, but you see immorality with a comedienne trying to get a laugh on the mishaps of the president’s wife (who happens to be…….) fill in the blanks, because you are thinking it. On the subject of laughs, one of the greatest entertainers, a comedian by the name of Russell Peters gives us laughs at a dime a dozen, on the heads of whom? – Indian (especially), African, Jamaican, Chinese, Arab, Canadian, Englishman, white, black, caucasian and everybody take in FUN. Don’t try to impress me or anyone else with your false purity because it is not there. If you are Trinidadian as the rest of us, you have your tastes, likes and dislikes and of course we know you have your preference of race as well (Indian). No one cries you down for that but to denigrate Rachel Price (whom I have no preference to), is hypocrital and absurd. Russell Peters makes it a point to make jokes about all aspects of the Indian and Indian life, not because he hates Indian (because he is in fact Indian), but it is part of his repertoire to make us laugh and one will be ridiculously stupid to fault him for that. TMan, think about something else more pertinent than what you write above to give us something to think about.

      1. This is not about me.I enjoy Price and Peters, but if you follow Russel you would know that he excludes commentary on significant public figures.
        My description is objective. I simply describe a factual state of affairs as it relates to Price and the T&T.
        I cannot be blamed if you, Kian, fail to comprehend the ironic subtleties described above.

        1. TMan, I hate deviating from subject matter but your comments are shifting like sand in the sea, they lack stability of principles and you are shooting words that better describes yourself, but you are pointing them in my direction. Statements like “I cannot be blamed if you, Kian, fail to comprehend the ironic subtleties described above.” I fail to see the “ironic subtleties ” of your statements because your choice of words do not reflect them, as Frontsman pointed out to you, you are lying about your own words. As regards my comprehension, the world of journalism read my blogs and you are the only one who “detects” my lack of comprehension. Let me quote you again “Once again, commentators on this topic are driven by their sordid political and ,yes, racial bias as they wallow in jealousy at the success of a certain sector of our society.” That is an opinionated statement that bears no semblance to reality, because it is empty and meant to satisfy personal gratification. African intelligentsia have in the past always been fooled and disturbed by the charge of being called “racist”, just as you are trying to do now and they succumbed to it. It is a ploy that worked well for the past 52 years and in retrospect the African lost all he had, whilst the accusers gained without having to work hard for it. The African always felt guilty to this charge, so he gave in – and look where it got him!. Well, my dear TMan you are not going to pull that Euro wannabe psycho analytic guilt trip on me by your stupid comment. You can’t stay on topic because you are not learned in the ways of anything outside your tribal instincts, hence the reason we are having this stupid argument. Your cultural instinct is to praise and worship “significant public figures” without even considering whether they are worth the adornment of respect. We understand the need to respect titles but the caveat is to be sure that those to whom it is been paid warrants the salutation. I understand in the age of Kamla and your new found nationality of being ‘Trinidadian’ you all believe that people like me should bow and kiss her feet just because she is the prime minister, whilst I do respect the title and office any salutation given must be earned. The caste system left you with the belief that being prime minister, regardless of principles we should worship the wishes of Kamla and Carmona without validation of premise. We went through that kind of mental suppression during the colonial era and I’d be darned if I allow a wannabe Euro supremist to use rhetorical of words with me.
          Neal’s post at 9.49 am this mormist to try that kind of rhetorical chesof words with me.
          Neal’s post at 9.49 am this morning accurately addressed your silly ploys. Now, back to topic. This whole sordid affair is really a storm in a teacup but what made it significant is the action of the president to seek legal pronouncement of that respect, in so doing he lowered his stature to address comedic commentary by someone who gives jokes for a living. While he made it significant, you are trying placate his folly. You can do that without being insidious and racist. It is one thing to show respect but another to expect subservience on a concept that is foreign. The mentality of this administration is to use the Brahmin concept of authority where, as TMan puts it, no one should challenge “significant public figures”, at the same time they treat us as Dalits and expect us to remain quiet. Most citizens respect governance by statute, but we similarly reject the experimentation of caste expectation with our responses to their style of management of our resources. That style is evident in their agent TMan, who thinks that “this objective President is within his rights to protect his private turf”. Private turf? I thought the job of the president was to be the official representative of Trinidad and Tobago? The problem with these Brahmins, er….. significant public figures, err…..officials is that in order to ‘protect their brahmin authority they have to resort to legal intimidation by way of protocol letters to simple individuals whom they view as threatening to their authority. And this is shameful. TMan represents this kind of thinking and he uses word to camouflage this concept. Officially, it is part of the UNC election strategy to “stretch” the truth and we see it in no lesser person than TMan.

          1. I am so happy that you got all of that off your chest!
            I hope the rest of your day is less stressful.
            In the meantime I will be busy doing some research on the Caste system, Brahmins,Dalits,African intelligentsia,African guilt,African suppression and “the experimentation of the caste system with our resources”.
            And when I am done with that I will examine the “election strategy of the UNC”.

          2. It is refreshing when comments and attitudes “shift”.
            Change and different outlooks are progressive. Repeating the same old tired theories is reactionary and regressive. It represents a restrictive mentality which is not not receptive to progressive , liberal ideas. Your blogs reflect your very narrow views on race, religion and politics. But it is within your rights to repeatedly express your stunted views.T&T is now in a transitional,shifting mode. Mistakes will be made in abundance by all governments.

  6. Sorry TMan, but I think that you need to re-read your comments and see if you are not the one who fail to comprehend something.

    Your comments did not mention “commentary on significant public figures.” You stated, “the comedic female accuser makes a living by the use of vulgarity, sensationalism, obscenity and guttural appeal.” Would you make such negative comments about the PM, Sat or Devant?

    “Sordid political and racial bias, and jealousy.” After re-reading your last paragraph a few times, I have to agree with Kian.

  7. This dress debacle is really a non-issue for me. There are so many more urgent, pressing matters in the national sphere than an alleged fashion faux pas that merit your attention (Hint: Constitutional Run-off, which can irrevocably alter the political landscape in Trinidad and Tobago as we know it).

    Come on President Carmona, you are adding to the ignominy of the past Presentation College students who have occupied the highest offices in this land.

    You should not even have deigned to respond to this trifle.

    1. (Hint: Constitutional Run-off, which can irrevocably alter the political landscape in Trinidad and Tobago as we know it).

      Implicit in your hint is the problem which is at the core of the constant criticism coming from certain quarters in T&T, and that is the inability to accept the reality that the landscape in T&T has already been changed.changed. Kamla has successfully created a more inclusive and tolerant society.The landscape “as you know it” with PNM dominance has been revoked.The criticisms leveled against this government and its representatives are based on fear, fear that the “landscape ” will never return to facilitate and accommodate a few but will now extend to inclusion of all its’ peoples.
      I am confident that even if Rowley is victorious, and there is an excellent chance that he will be,governance in T&T will never be the same. Rowley has already signaled that desire to be more inclusive, in spite of his negativity.

      1. Mr. Tman, I, along with many on this blog and indeed throughout Trinidad and Tobago, were not born yesterday, so save the disingenuous, party-line claptrap for some other gullible soul.

    2. Alleulia!….In Britain some people make fun of The Queen.Prince Charles’wife (Camilla Bowles) was once referred to as Camilla Bowels.Late night comedians (TV)have a field day (fun)with their Presidents and their wives on American television.

      Watch (SNL)Saturday Night Live and it becomes “self explanatory” All comics(USA)have agreed that Barack Obama is the most “difficult President” of whom to make fun.George.W.Bush (a.ka. “dubya”)was their favourite.

      Oprah Winfrey (one of the most powerful women in America)used to be “fodder” for all comedians of “all races” There is no nation on God’s earth who its people make fun of their Presidents and their families as the United States of America.”Their rights to bear arms and free speech” are included in their constitution.

      1. Could not agree more. A simple news-item on clothes and am amazed on how the issue of race came up here. It is a simple case of thin-skinned vs thick- skinned. No body disputes the Prez should not defend his wife but for the fact that the Prez got involved at this level added unnecessary fuel to the fire. He should have had the experience to allow the statement we have grown accustomed to ‘and that is this too shall pass away’. Swordfish, even I got hoodwinked once on a cruise when the cruise director played the tune who let the dogs out when he was referring to Camilla and also with George Bush when he referred to him with Moses putting out the Bush fire.

        1. Loyal Trini “there is something in the mortar besides the pistle” (smile)Jay Leno (former host of the tonight show)delivered “scores” of jokes about George.W.Bush….The following is a classic:George attended a state dinner in London England with Her Majesty,and throughout the evening he continued to refer to her as “Latifah”

  8. Yeah Cuz Kian, take dat me amigo! You aren’t smart enough to appreciate irony, as described above , by de PP Cyber spokesman-since you did not probably attend an elite, Trini High school ,such as QRC, back in de day , when 99% of the teachers were from Massa England, and our glorified Literature Nobelist /national ingrate , in VS Naipaul still had his Trini accent, and better yet ,enjoyed an aloe pie or two , for breakfast ,on Miguel Street.
    Did he say protocol protects El objective Presedente Cameo, from commenting on repeated scandalous, corrupt, activities , not too subtle , discriminatory practices , this regime has dabbled in, but gives him de authority to do so , when it comes to an issue made by an irrelevant comedian, via her radio show?
    What a sick joke, people!
    Then again, not too surprising, coming from bozos, who claimed, that a Jamaican Newspaper editor, was pro PNM , simply because it chided their anti -African people – PP government, for it’s systematic purges, within the public service-where competent , experience staff members,mainly of Afro Trini persuasion, were forced out , then replaced by cronies , party hacks, and even unqualified , tribal cretins-then when- irony of ironies- things go south, all Public Servants get de blame, for trying to stymie current policies, due to past allegiances.
    This overblown blabber about Reema belly button, to me is a dead issue , for as some one said recently, it’s all about the role , and deportment of our 5th President.History would show that India’s first female premier , dressed in similar fashion, and the global community admired her.
    One cannot however be selectively outrage Mr Prez, when self serving , political barbarians, appear to to be over-running de Trini perley gates, or agenda driven , unpatriotic elites ,are using their power , to run roughshod over our basic fundamental, hard won rights -all because, in de name of so called objectivity-you are afraid to bite de owners of hands,the majority of which resembles that of your mujer.
    It does not work that way in our T&T.
    Hey Kian, remind de Euro Canadian wannabe TMan , that when de Faddah of his Nation Baz , was busy trying to be a two bit actor, while studying in London, or thereabout, our Founding Fathers , were ensuring that T&T , was embracing, globally accepted, Human right tenets, and here is one such , that he , his AG, and similar types ,seem to conveniently forget.

    ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights- Article 19.
    If a food columnist claim that in her opinion ,the doubles sold by Mr Khan at UWI corner, or Curepe junction, has too much salt, it ain’t racial bias , because the author of the comment is Chinese , or Scandinavian.
    If another believe that the fish sold. by Mama Chrichlow , at Maracas bay , ain’t Shark, but in fact Catfish, so be it, even if the commentator is a Hispanic Yankee from South Bronx.
    If- in the aftermath of an unsuccessful , contentious ,regional elections by his party- an exalted , influential ,Hindu Priest , with powerful political friends, claimed that all Gonians , are anti -big brother -Trinidad racists, and should be punished, by the regime in power, simply because one insensitive ,political figure called Sandy, in the heat of battle , claimed that ‘we have to halt de Calcutta ships from invading the island ward ,’or some such foolishness,both too should be ignored for their misguided views.
    El Presidente Cameo, did not only try to protect his turf -which is his right, as TMan claimed -via a moderate , yet stern ,verbal response, but is also threatening legal action. That is what is creating this black coffee, in a teacup , reaction , by freedom lovers.
    Thank goodness , both Papa London, and Her Majestick Queen K, are such excellent Chess players, unlike you, ehhhhh TMan?
    Let’s just say, with election season in de air , Russian Garry Kasparow, and Judith Polgar of Hungary, ain’t have nada on dem …..hmmm?,202046.html

    De 29 Hindus living in Tobago , that gave de middle finger to closet dictator Sat Maraj, eventually got their 4 acres of land deed , to build their long over due Temple , so as to worship -in… ummmmmm…my hometown Signall Hill-and Auntie K, is still willing to break bread, or maybe Castara bake,with Tobago political heads, to discuss pertinent issues,of relevance to both twin islands-unlike unmentionable others, of a bygone era.

    Take it easy TMan , for your unpatriotic fang are showing. Serial killers in Winnipeg, Right wing haters taking over Canada politics, and home grown , neo Islamist terrorist seeking to murder your PM , and destroy your adopted country peaceful innocence, our T&T, ain’t looking too bad in comparison, ehhhhhh?
    ‘Where you at ,’ Uncle Rowley? I hope your advisers ain’t misleading you into de erroneous thought ,that de PNM victory come 2015, is a foregone conclusion.
    There are those before, who underestimated our budding Chess Grandmaster PM , to their own peril.
    Anyone heard of Basdeo,Jack Warner , or Manning lately?All dead politically.
    Be forewarned Doc!
    I Luv dis land, Y tu?

  9. When Kamla just started and she made strategic moves that were met with aggressive criticisms, the moves were called “missteps”, a word till this day is used to describe the foolishness that emanates from her administration till this day. In fact, none of those moves were “missteps”, they were ALL intended to effect certain results. Nothing coming out of Whitehall is a mistake.

    1. It is most fascinating that you guys continue to accuse us of having a political agenda, but every time I read your blogs, I can safely make the same accusation.
      Central to the back and forth on this website is that most bloggers have political preferences, but the dominant theme is the inability of PNM people like Kian et al to accept the changing realities of T&T, politically, demographically and socially.These changes may include PNM governments in the future,but with dramatic departure from the past in terms of governance, assimilation and attitude.
      Faced with the fact that even the ethnic population changes are a reality, many diehards persist in nostalgically longing for an Afro dominated society, culturally, and politically.

  10. This guy Tman ,is getting most tiresome ,with all his empty , childish gloating, about tribal successes people.
    Why de hell doesn’t someone bust his bubble , by showing him the undisputed figures , that the majority of his Indo Trini folks , are living under the poverty line, in the same despicable, social state , as their Afro Trini counterparts, and such was due, not solely because of racism , but the destructive actions , of our interlocking ,self serving elites.
    Most Indian voters , with a brain of their own -,while reminiscing, about their great fortunes, under Afro Apeasement agents ,a la Eric Williams, Chambers, Manning , and ANR regimes – have vowed silently , that the last 2010 vote for Kamla , and her political goons/ economic bandits , would be their last, as many have not seen positive changes.
    Hey Tman, there is a reason , your Trade Union party , has never won, two consecutive elections in this country , mi amigo.
    Repeat after me , T&T ,ain’t Guyana.We will quicker see pigs flying across Caroni, and Westmoorings, than accept the Piarco Airport,with the name Basdeo Panday International.
    Well, perhaps , if he did 15 years , for all that thievery , during ‘you allze time!’
    Give this empty , neo triumphalist rhetoric of yours a rest, as it’s boring us all to death.
    Try instead to figure out, why, if PNM is an African party, Indians,along with ever grateful Syrians, Lebanese,Chinese, Europeans, Jews, and even folks from Jupiter, have thrived , while die hard constituents such as Febeau Village Lavantille, still ain’t have running water-a symbol of socio-political neglect of their own? While at it, try and answer , why only a small minority within your tribe, or only those cross tribal folks ,(usually of influence ) who can help enhance -de me me , gime , gime , dog with a bone agenda- usually do well,when progressive voters across our country , extend the olive branch , and vote for your party?
    I luv this land , y tu?

  11. PNM, equality, equity, inclusive, mixed-race, Afro domination,race, racism, racist, discrimination, culture, political, religion, ethnicity, governance, PR, rule, diaspora, ethnic purity, population change, money, finance, riches, ownership, assimilation, power, numbers, preference, balance, racial prejudice, challenge, justice, change,fairness. These words and meanings, by themselves are absolutely harmless until you delve into their usage by our adversaries on the political spectrum. There is a commonality of use that never deviates from their intent to gain political superiority in Trinidad and Tobago. For example, the term ‘mixed-race’ was always there but was used predominantly in social context. Ever since this administration has taken control of government, usage has been advanced to include polling, political and racial cajoling. Fighting for integration or segregation is politically and financially unwise, so the thrust is to use the ‘inclusive’ route to gain majorities. The dictum of usage is to expand the ‘Indian’ meaning to not just racial but one that extends to ethnicity in racial, social and religious terms. In pure social settings this is not profound but the politics encourages this direction with the hope that in so doing their base would be increased. There are different usages to express fear, control, empowerment, victimization, integration and unity.
    The words used to drive the fear is PNM, Afro domination, exclusiveness, culture, crime, family instability, unsafe neighborhoods, upbringings, lack of education, lack of family structure. Control takes on a different tact, which is mostly political and passage of laws. Section 34, the passage of election laws, tinkering with the constitution and other legislative accommodations are meant to change control from anything ‘PNM’ to thee UNC. Victimization is the constant narrative of how the Indian was oppressed by the PNM for most of its political history, that extends to the exodus of Indians to Canada in the early nineties seeking refugee status because the (PNM) government encouraged rape, assault and other non-civilized behavior towards the Indians. Integration and Unity is the persuasive art to show that there should be no reason to fear an Indian government because we are ‘all in this together’, communities that used to be exclusively Afro or Indian are encouraged to ‘live together’. Unity and Equality are the more insidious ones because they carry double meanings. On one hand it is an acknowledgement of our diversity and all they are seeking is fairness of opportunity. On the other hand when such fairness is achieved, they want it to be more pronounced on the side of the Indian. The purveyors of this concept come in the form of Sat, Devant, Ramlogan, Kamla and other prominent ones. When they do something preferential, the excuse is to balance past discrimination and this is what makes it insidious. Sat and Devant use it to say that because they emphasize hinduism and cultural heritage, it is not a reason to scare anyone outside their community, it is just emphasis on culture. It is also used by using the ‘marriage’, ‘engagement’ or whatever name one might choose to use to show unity of purpose in cultural development. Whilst there is some degree of genuineness in this effort, even carnival is used to ‘balance’ the rewards that are given, so there might not be any fairness in this unity. Lastly – Empowerment, in this area there is a huge imbalance of opportunities, fairness, employment, dismissals, resignations, retirements, contracts and other forms of control with a profound preference for the advancement of the hindu. Skill, qualifications, experience and knowledge does not enhance one’s chances to be empowered if you are not Indian because in the view of the Kamla narrative, it is the adjustments to make fair, everything the PNM have done in the past and this is what makes the empowerment agenda so dangerous and racial. In conclusion, you will notice that there is no mention of any form of national development, cohesion, togetherness or national consensus building because there are none. It might be for the distant future but for now it is all about consolidation and building that power base that is necessary to control power. I expect TMan and others to describe this narrative as ‘crap’ because honesty is never their modus operandi, advantage is more likely what they are looking for in all aspects of life in Trinidad and Tobago. Again, this narrative is not in reply to TMan, Mamoo or others of the UNC minded kin. It is meant to inform those who are not suspecting of what we are living in everyday life in Trinidad and Tobago as long as Kamla and the cabal remains in government.

    1. “When they do something preferential, the excuse is to balance past discrimination and this is what makes it insidious”.

      In the United States, Kian, the NAACP calls it “affirmative action” and it is not insidious but justifiable and declarative.

      1. Unfortunately, TMan we are not living in the United States and the experience is vastly dis-similar. Never heard of Jim Crow in Trinidad, never heard of laws against anyone who seek a better living or education, never heard of anyone having to give up the seat in the bus to accommodate one of superior race, never heard of official discrimination on the law books or court of law. So there is absolutely no comparison to the experience in Trinidad. What I do know is that the PNM and Dr. Eric Williams fought the colonials against discrimination, lease agreement on Chaguaramas, exposed the Indians to better and freer education, the Indians were allowed to use the Christian Schools to their leisure, a privilege which they now claim was discriminatory. Under colonialism the marriage of Indians “under bamboo” (a term used to describe ceremonial hindu weddings was not validated by law (they had to go the Warden’s office to legalize them), was discontinued by the PNM. The PNM opened the eyes of the very Indian who are now using every opportunity to invalidate them. Don’t be ungrateful TMan.

  12. Thanks TMan, for acknowledging my description of your government’s policies and validating their biased behavior towards the Africans.

  13. I hesitate to restart the argument on discrimination against Indians in employment in the public service, police force and other branches of government including appointments on state boards. Should we restart the argument on discrimination against Indians in the secret scholarship program? The fact that Indians were “allowed” to go to Christian schools speaks volumes.Should we discuss the isolation and neglect of Indian areas in south Trinidad by the PNM?“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.”(GHANDI)

  14. TMan every time you make a statement you confirm how “out of it” you are, I have no idea of your age, experience or knowledge of Trinidad and Tobago. You seem fixed on so-called discrimination of Indians in Trinidad and Tobago yet you cannot find one statute to justify your claims. Everything that happens in life is for a reason and when those reasons go unexplored all kinds of stories emanate especially when one feels aggrieved. I WILL EXPLAIN ONLY ONCE for you and after that you may continue with your foolish talk of discrimination and I will ignore your stupid stories. I will address (1) the public service, (2) the police force and (3) the state boards. You may accept my explanations or reject them if you wish but you are becoming irritating and stupid on this issue. On the matter of the public service, the fore fathers and masters were our British, Dutch, South African and other European stock. In forming the public service the most educated local people on the island at that time were the Africans,…… yes Africans (it is hard for a today’s racist to understand), I know that is hard for a racist like you to believe, but that is the way it was. The Indians were found mostly in the rural areas and mostly uneducated at that time, unlike the African, they had land and animals to tend to, for which they earned a decent living, the white man used the Africans to fill the ranks of the public service, teaching and other services. The Africans were the only Trinidadians to fight the white man for respect and full independence, no other ethnic group joined in this fight, except for a few disgruntled whites like Cqpt. Cipriani, who was discriminated against in England (he was a white Trinidadian). This is the way it went until Independence. (2) the police force is a different story – for reasons unknown Trinidadians did not like being absorbed into the police force, it was open to the public but Indians wanted nothing to do with public service and worse the police force. The Colonial office, yes TMan, colonial office (ran from England) had to recruit people from Grenada, Barbados, St Vincent and other West Indian islands to make up the bulk of the personnel to occupy the police service. It is only after independence did the Trinidadian get the gall to want to be in the police service, those around carrying number ‘6000’ and up will tell you when the went ‘into barracks’ the majority of instructors were Barbadians or Grenadians, only a few Trinidadians like ‘Kabaka’ were instructors. Maybe the police service appeals to the Indian of today, but history tells us otherwise. (3) As regards state boards, they were made up of the professional class, experienced retired public servants or businessmen, not like now where one only has to be Indian to occupy those offices. You know what? Back then, these institutions were run efficiently, professionally and with success. Not like now where there are unqualified people (even if they show degrees they are unskilled). The police service had a 95% success rate in solving crime and they had no friends.
    They were efficient, professional and skilled in their profession. Education was almost the total domain of the christian church. The majority of the schools were built by the christian church and the government (then) built a few in order to augment the free education to build a professional class in the country. It is in this regard the Canadian Mission (christian) came to the mostly rural areas and set up the Canadian Mission (christian) schools. That is our history, whether you want to hear it or not. You are too occupied with the Indian thing and don’t know anything about this country’s history, before you got here, why you continue to be so ignorant. The African think about Country first, ethnicity after, whereas the Indian think about Indian first, second and last, then uses country conveniently. This, my friend, in a nutshell, is the way it started and the way it was. Now go to Sat Maharaj and let him educate you on the Gita. THIS IS THE END OF MY CONVERSATION WITH YOU ON THIS SUBJECT — period. Take it or leave it. I will not respond to any of your nonsense.

    1. Human Rights Report.


      In 2010, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who is of Indian and Hindu descent, became Trinidad and Tobago’s first female Prime Minister. She heads the People’s Partnership (PP), a five-party coalition that came to power in May 2010 after defeating Patrick Manning and the People’s National Movement (PNM). In the 2010 elections, the People’s Partnership won 29 seats and the PNM 12. During the PNM regime Trinidad and Tobago experienced high rates of crime and public corruption.

      The PNM had previousloy ruled the country for five decades and drew its main base of support from citizens of African origin. Upon coming into office, the new Prime Minister declared that she would make the country a successful multicultural society. And Bissessar has endeavored to create an inclusive government with representation from all ethnic and religious groups, as her cabinet includes a number of ethnic Afro-Caribbean ministers. In contrast, the prior ruling PNM had largely marginalized Hindus and Indians from positions in the government. Moreover, Bissessar’s People’s Partnership won the elections by attracting voters from across the ethnic and racial divide.

      Under previous governments, citizens of Indian and Hindu descent faced widespread discrimination, economic and political marginalization, and were disproportionately targeted for physical violence and harassment. In July 2009, opposition Member of Parliament, Tim Gopeesingh, accussed the PNM government of carrying out a policy of political discrimination, that was specifically targeting Indo-Trinidadians. Similarly, the Indo-Trinbago Equality Councl (ITEC) claimed that there was systematic discrimination against Indo-Trinidadians in the areas of nursing, state housing, military, police, public service, and elsewhere. According to Devant Maharaj of the ITEC, the only field where Indo-Trinidadians were overrepresented was in the medical profession (as doctors) because the field was based on merit and education.

      A recent report further supports the contention that Indo-Trinidadians were underrepresented in most professions and government positions, despite comprising nearly 40% of the population. The report traces the unequal rates of employment opportunities and representation in various areas over several years. It refers to a study from 1970 that showed that: “[O]f the 100 employees of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, 84 were Afro-Trinidadians, 10 were Indo-Trinidadians, 3 were of Chinese descent, 2 were of Portuguese descent, and 1 was white.” This unequal employment situation was further evident in 1989, when statistics showed that of the total number of persons employed in all government organizations, 29% were Indo-Trinidadians. In the police force, Regiment of the Defense Force, Coast Guard, and Port Authority, respectively, the percentage of Indo-Trinidadians was 25%, 5%, 16%, and 6% respectively. At that time, census data indicated that Indo-Trinidadians made up 40.3% of the country’s population, while Afro-Trinidadians comprised 39.6%, thereby demonstrating the wide disparities. The report further found that Indo-Trinidadians reached and surpassed the equity ratio in the areas of medicine and finance, “but that the criteria for employment and advancement in these two areas was clearly technical skill,” supporting the claims of the ITEC.

      There was also pervasive racial tension between the Indian and Afro-Carribean communities. Moreover, Hindus faced restrictions on religious freedom, state preference for Christianity, and inequitable funding of religious activities in comparison to Christians. As an example of the previous government’s institutionalized preference for Christianity, former High Court judge Herbert Volney reportedly claimed that a judge “must know [his] benediction and must be known for [his] piety,” in order to ascend to the Court of Appeal. Incidentally, Judge Volney is now the Minister of Justice in the Bissessar Cabinet.

      Consequently, the election of Bissessar brought optimism and hope for the ethnic Indian and Hindu communities and expectations of a new socio-cultural-political dynamic. In a symbolic and significant gesture, the new leadership gave TT $1 million for the celebration of the Hindu festival, Diwali, which costs nearly TT $15 million. On the other hand, the previous PNM government had provided only TT $10,000. As the new Attorney General Anand Ramlogan stated: “People think of Trinidad as a predominantly African country…We want to rectify this mis-perception. The majority is of Indian descent.” Previously there was “discrimination manifest in subtle ways,” he said, one of which was the allocation of state funding.

      However, the new Prime Minister must also ensure that in redressing previous grievances, her government does not discriminate against non-Indians and/or non-Hindus. Thus far, it appears that Bissessar has not shown state preference for Indians and Hindus and has created an inclusive government.

      Nonetheless, there still remains a high level of mistrust and mutual suspicion between the Indian/Hindu and Afro-Carribean communities. For example, a recent article by Professor Selwyn Cudjoe, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s well-known writers, seems to reflect the continued ambivalence, if not outright hostitility to the citizens of Indian descent in the country. In the article, entitled “Hindu ethics and morality,” Cudjoe questions Hindu morality and ethics itself and effectively instigates ethnic Africans against Indians/Hindus. He writes: “Speak to any non-Indian in Trinidad and Tobago and one is asked the same question: What dese Indians want? It may be an unfair question, a paranoid response, or just the reflection of feelings of anxiety. Yet, there lingers in the minds of many non-Indians that there can be no pleasing Indians in Trinidad and Tobago. Do they yearn for equality or do they seek dominance?”

      Similarly, at the Emancipation Day dinner in 2009, acknowledging the arrival and slavery of people of African descent, Professor Cudjoe warned of “turbulent times” for people of African origin “because they are now a minority in this country… If ethnic trends in voting continue, it is likely that in the next ten years we might see that same pattern that has emerged in Guyana in which the dominant group will hold power in perpetuity.” And in 2006, he claimed, “[A]ll the turmoil that we see in our society today not only represents a relentless struggle on the part of the East Indians to dominate the society; it also suggests that the agents of their group are prepared to utilise any means—be they legal, political, academic or religious—to achieve ethnic dominance.” Professor Cudjoe’s inflammatory rhetoric continues to exacerbate tensions between Trinidad and Tobago’s two largest communities and ignores the widespread discrimination ethnic Indians and Hindus have encountered for several decades.

      After the PP’s election in 2010, there have been indications that the country is still plagued by violent crime, with accusations of corruption, and the mishandling of certain top government appointments. In August 2011, Bissessar declared a state of emergency in an attempt to deal with the surge in violent gang-related activity. In the two months after the emergency was declared, more than 7,000 people were arrested, and large quantities of drugs and weapons were seized. Subsequently, in November, Bissessar alleged that the police had thwarted an assassination attempt on her and members of her cabinet by “criminal elements” in an apparent reprisal against her Government’s declaration of a state of emergency.

      The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean. The country consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and 21 smaller islands. Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the main islands; Tobago is much smaller, comprising about 6% of the total area and 4% of the population.

      Originally settled by Amerindians of South American origin at least 7,000 years ago, Trinidad and Tobago was occupied by Arawakan-speaking and Cariban-speaking peoples at the time of European contact in 1498. A history of slavery and indentured labor has left the country with a population of African, Indian, European, Middle Eastern, Chinese, and mixed-race descent. All these groups have left a significant impact on the country’s national culture.

      Britain consolidated its hold on both islands during the Napoleonic Wars and combined them into the colony of Trinidad and Tobago in 1899. As a result of these colonial struggles, Amerindian, Spanish, French, and English influence are all common in the country. Subsequently, African slaves and Chinese, Portuguese, Indian, and free African indentured laborers arrived to supply labor in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Emigration from Barbados and Lesser Antilles, Venezuela, Syria, and Lebanon also affected the ethnic makeup of the country. Trinidad and Tobago elected for independence in 1962. And in 1976, the country severed its links with the British monarchy and became a republic within the Commonwealth.

      Trinidad and Tobago is a democratic republic. The Head of State is the President and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister. The President is elected by an electoral college consisting of the full membership of both houses of Parliament, while the Prime Minister is appointed by the President.

      Political parties are generally divided along ethnic lines, with the People’s National Movement (PNM) supported primarily by Africans and the United National Congress (UNC) drawing its constituency largely from Indians. In the recent past, there have been three elections in three years contested by these two main, ethnic-based parties. However, support for political parties is not completely polarized along racial lines. In the most recent elections, for example, the PNM fielded Indian candidates for election, while the main financial benefactor of the UNC is an Afro-Trinidadian. The PNM has dominated politics in Trinidad and Tobago for much of the country’s post independence history.

      Dr. Eric Williams, the country’s first Prime Minister and a member of the PNM, referred to Indians as the “recalcitrant minority.” The racial and religious animosity between ethnic Africans (primarily Christian) and Indo-Carribeans (mostly Hindu) was exacerbated over the years and manifested particularly in the media and government. Prominent Hindu leader and Secretary General of the Hindu Maha Sabha, Satnarayan Maharaj, stated in 2006: “This year marks 50 years since Trinidad and Tobago attained the right to internal self-government (1956-2006). Out of this 50-year period an Indian-based political party held power for six years. The People’s National Movement (PNM) ruled for 30 consecutive years without appointing a single Hindu as a government minister. The cry of rural neglect, alienation, marginalization and discrimination affected the political psychology of Indians as they lost hope of ever winning a general election.”

      Maharaj goes on to point out that despite the PNM being in political office since 1956, Afro-Trinidadians continued to agitate for affirmative action and preferential treatment.

      Furthermore, according to the book, The Indian Struggle for Justice and Equality against Black Racism in Trinidad and Tobago (1956-1962), “The 1956 election was won by the PNM headed by Eric Williams on the institution of a resurgent Negro nationalism. Since then, Indians in Trinidad have been subjected to all sorts of humiliations, degradation and ignominy by PNM racialism.”
      Status of Human Rights, 2011

      In the past, Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago faced a multitude of human rights issues, including physical attacks, temple desecration, economic/political discrimination, and the inequitable distribution of government funds. Although conditions are starting to improve under the Bissessar government, Hindus and ethnic Indians continue to confront a number of challenges.

      Moreover, during 2011, the country continued to experience a high rate of crime. According to a UN report, Trinidad and Tobago had the second highest crime rate in the region, after Jamaica. One out of every two persons living in Trinidad and Tobago is fearful of being victimized of violent crime. There were 354 murders committed in 2011, down 27% from the 485 murders recorded the previous year. In addition, there were 3,891 burglaries and break-ins reported, for a monthly average of nearly 325 incidents. And the number of kidnappings during the year was 101.

      Religious Freedom
      The Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago guarantees equal protection under the law and freedom of religion for all citizens. Furthermore, religious groups possess the same rights and obligations as most legal entities, can own land, and hire employees. The Government subsidizes both public and religiously affiliated schools. It also permits religious instruction in public schools, setting aside a time each week when any religious organization with an adherent in the school can provide an instructor. Attendance at these classes is voluntary and the religious groups represented are diverse. Parents may enroll their children in private schools for religious reasons. As a result, there are thriving Hindu, Muslim, and Christian schools. The Government has also established public holidays for every religious group with a large following. In addition, the Government grants financial and technical assistance to various organizations to support religious festivals and celebrations, including Indian Arrival Day. The level of state funding for such activities, however, has been inequitable in the past and generally favored Christian groups.

      Although Hindus were underrepresented in government positions in the past, under the current government, there are Ministers, Members of Parliament, and public figures representing every religious group and denomination and the broad spectrum of religious beliefs in the country. The government also supports the activities of the Inter-Religious Organization (IRO), an interfaith coordinating committee for public outreach, governmental and media relations, and policy implementation. And it provides the prayer leader for several official events, such as the opening of Parliament and the annual court term.

      In response to wariness over past colonial experiences, the government limits the number of foreign missionaries allowed in the country to 30 per denomination at any given time. Moreover, missionaries must meet strict entry standards and cannot remain in the country for more than three years per visit. Additionally, there were no reports of forced religious conversions in the island nation.

      There are over 300 Hindu temples in Trinidad and Tobago. No incidents of vandalism and desecration of Hindu temples were recorded in 2011. The following section, therefore, provides recent examples of discrimination towards Hindu festivals, religious practices, and places of worship.

      In May 2009, students of a nondenominational public school in south Trinidad participated in a voluntary Hindu prayer service. The students planted symbolic flags on the school grounds appealing for success in their examinations. The Ministry of Education ordered school authorities to remove the flags. The decision of the Ministry offended some students and teachers, who belive their individual religious rights were violated and declared that they would boycott classes and stand guard around the symbolic prayer flags. The school principal eventually removed the flags. More than half of the school’s 1,500 student body is Hindu.

      On August 8, 2008, a prominent Hindu temple in Cunupia, a town in central Trinidad, was vandalized and images of sacred Hindu deities were desecrated. There was also a similar incident in 2007 at a different Hindu temple in central Trinidad.

      Although there are several Hindu temples in Trinidad, Hindu temples were non-existent on the small island of Tobago. Until recently, the Tobago House of Assembly refused to allow the Hindu community to construct a mandir (temple) on land purchased on the island. The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) had sought to build a temple in the Carnbee area, where they owned lands, but the Assembly declared that temple construction is prohibited in residential areas. SDMS, however, noted that there was a Christian Church approximately 150 feet away from the land it wanted to build on. They also pointed out that in other residential areas, such as Bethany and Four Roads Bon Accord, churches had been recently built.

      In addition, while refusing to fund a kirtan (Hindu religious concert) on the island, churches on Tobago were funded and the Assembly promoted a Christian gospel concert. Complaints from the Hindu community regarding the overt religious prejudice by the Assembly members had little immediate impact on the Tobago House of Assembly’s discriminatory policies. After a five-year struggle, the first Hindu mandir in Tobago finally began construction in the summer of 2007, with a $250,000 grant from the National Commission for Self Help Limited (NCSH)

      Hindus have also faced challenges with religious festivals, including yearly Diwali celebrations and the annual Ramleela (religious performance in honor of revered Lord Rama). The largest Diwali celebrations are held each year at the Diwali Nagar, Chaguanas, in Trinidad. This event has grown from a modest affair to an international fixture in the Hindu calendar, attracting Hindus from around the world. Each night, over a 14-day period, thousands of Hindus and non-Hindus congregate at this famous location to enjoy and participate in pujas (sacred rituals), concerts, art, craft and social activities. In 2006 and 2007, however, the police refused to provide additional security unless they were paid. During the first few nights when the police stayed away, several vehicles were stolen and vandalized. It was only after protests by Hindus that security was increased.

      Furthermore, in the past, Ramleela festivities were targets of violence. For example, in 2005, vandals desecrated religious items and destroyed tents, props, and fences used in Ramleela celebrations, as well as the sacred jhandi (flag to mark the completion of puja or worship ceremony) at McBean Village, Couva. Consequently, many Hindus were fearful of attending the celebrations at McBean.

      In several other parts of country, Hindus have even been prevented from holding Diwali and Ramleela celebrations. Recently, the head of the Sugarcane Feeds Centre refused permission for workers to hold their annual Diwali celebrations. And in another instance, Hindu police officers were prohibited from celebrating Diwali at their workplaces in South Trinidad.

      Religious discrimination against Hindus has also been an issue in the educational system. Although Hinduism is the second largest religion in Trinidad and Tobago, there were no sixth-form Hindu secondary schools to prepare students for university, while there were eighteen Christian and two Muslim sixth-form facilities. Moreover, an Indian community leader recently alleged, “Certain denominational schools are forcing all students to study the religion of the school, without introducing the appropriate religious instruction for students of other religions…The Ministry of Education needs to correct these discriminatory practices, especially in the denominational school.”

      Furthermore, in many primary and secondary schools and colleges, the religious rights of Hindu students were violated by preventing them from wearing Hindu clothing, rakshas (protective amulet), and other symbols. For instance, in March 2008, Hindu high school students were prohibited from wearing the raksha, “a Hindu religious symbol consisting of a colored string worn on the wrist during the performance of sacred rituals and removed within seven days after the prayers,” and were forced to remove them by school security guards. The Ministry of Education later apologized to the students.

      And in October 2006, an Anglican School in Fyzabad, South Trinidad withdrew permission previously granted to students for celebrating Diwali, despite it being a national holiday. Students were also banned from wearing rakshas.

      General Violence
      Violence directed against Indians and Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago is not uncommon. Indians and Hindus have been subjected to verbal and physical assaults by mobs of non-Indians from neighboring villages and from the northern urban areas of Trinidad where the population is predominantly African. For example, the Hindus of Felicity were recently attacked by Afro-Trinidadians from the adjacent village of Boot Hill. The Hindu residents of Felicity were unable to commute to work and schools after Afro-Trinidadians from Boot Hill blocked the main road with piles of burning debris and broken bottles.

      Institutional Discrimination
      Institutional discrimination against Hindus and Indians in Trinidad and Tobago was rampant until recently and included economic/political discrimination, inequitable distribution of government funds, and prejudice in the education system.

      According to one observer, the “Indo-Trinidadian community is witnessing a ‘shock and awe’ programme with this state-sanctioned policy that directs significant state resources to one ethnic group at the exclusion of other groups. The lowering of qualifications for state employment, house padding, the establishment of the University of Trinidad and Tobago, the elevation of criminal elements to community leaders…are all examples of the programme conceived to push the Indian out of the space that is shared in Trinidad and Tobago.”

      Despite comprising approximately 40% of the population, inhabitants of Indian descent were severely underrepresented in government sectors jobs, including the Protective Services, the Civil Service, State Companies, Statutory Boards and Commission, the High Commissions and Diplomatic Missions, the Central Bank and Board, and executive membership at decision-making levels of the State. This began to slowly change after 2002.

      One report found that Indians were “heavily under-represented, except in areas where merit and technical criteria must prevail, as in the judicial and professional sectors, where Indians were more than adequately represented.” For instance, prior data from the Service Commissions Department indicated that there are only 18 Indians serving as department heads in the nation, compared to 87 non-Indians, and there are no Indians on the executive of the police service or army.

      Additionally, in the Promotional and Advisory Board of the Police, the five members of the promotion board are all of African descent, which in turn affects the promotional prospects of Indians. Moreover, none of the ten Assistant Commissioners of Police or three Deputy Commissioners are of Indian origin. When Nizam Mohammed, a Muslim of Indian descent and chairman of the Police Commission, pointed out these inequities, he was effectively forced out of his position by the People’s Partnership government for fear of losing the support of the Afro-Trinidadian community.

      Similarly, Police Captain Gary Griffith, commenting on the imbalance in the police and security forces stated, “The Police Service should reflect the ethnic composition of the society that they are assigned to protect and serve. There have also been numerous reports of East Indians being rejected by our Defence Force and then reapplying to other foreign armed forces and excelling by leaps and bounds, which means a loss of talent to our nation because of poor selection processes.” As a result of his critical comments, Griffith was compelled to leave his position, just as Nizam Mohammed was. Discrimination against Indians in the police and security services of the country has persisted, despite the election of the Bissessar government.

      In addition to prejudice in the police and security forces, Hindus and Indians have confronted bias in employment opportunities. For instance, High Court judge Maureen Rajnauth Lee recently found that the Education Ministry had discriminated against two Hindu-Indian teachers, Vijesh Mahadeo and Vashti Maharaj, in wrongfully denying them teaching positions. The Education Ministry did not even come to court to challenge the case against them.

      Hindus have also encountered challenges in obtaininig business licenses. For example, a the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha of Trinidad and Tobago (SDMS) was forced to fight a seven year long legal battle to finally acquire a broadcast license for a Hindu radio station, Radio Jaagriti, on 102.7FM. SDMS originally initiated their application in 1999, but the government consistently refused to award the organization a radio license for seven years, while granting another group a radio frequency for its station. On July 4, 2006, SDMS was victorious in its appeal to the Privy Council. In a landmark 19-page judgment, Lord Justice Mance said, that “in light of the exceptional circumstances” of the case, the Privy Council would order Trinidad and Tobago Attorney General John Jeremie to do all that is necessary to ensure that a license is issued forthwith to the Hindu organization. The State was also ordered to pay SDMS’s legal costs for all court proceedings. In September 2009, the decade old discrimination case ended with an award to the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha of almost $3 million. The compensation was ordered in a September 22 order by Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh, who said, “What this case showed was discrimination, plain and simple.”

      Citizens of Hindu and Indian origin were further discriminated against by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the distribution of service awards. Moreover, the highest award for public service, formerly known as the “Trinity Cross,” was “perceived as a manifestation or symptom of what was, in substance if not form, a Christian state that tolerated non-Christians. It was a powerful psychological reminder of the fact that [Hindus] were merely ‘tolerated.’”

      The Maha Saba, a Hindu organization, along with a Muslim group, instituted legal action against the State regarding the use of the title “Trinity Cross.” In reference to the case, Justice Peter Jamadar stated: “This general prohibition against non-discrimination thus prohibits laws that differentiate between people on the basis of their inherent personal characteristics and attributes. Such discrimination undermines the dignity of persons, severely fractures peace and erodes freedom. Courts will not readily allow laws to stand, which have the effect of discriminating on the basis of the stated personal characteristics.” In response to the Court’s decision, the “Trinity Cross” was officially changed to the “Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago” in August 2008.

      Inequitable Distribution of Government Funds
      The previous PNM government often provided preferential treatment to particular ethnic and religious groups in the distribution of public funds. For example, a Joint Select Committee of Parliament meeting, chaired by Independent Senator Parvatee Anmolsingh-Mahabir, found that the National Social Development Programme (NSDP), a State agency, was responsible for explicit discrimination against Hindus, Muslims, Catholics, and Anglicans, while favoring predominantly Afro-Trinidadian Christian denominations. The Indo-Trinbago Equality Council (ITEC) also alleged inequitable treatment in the distribution of land to Hindu religious groups. According to the Indo-Trinbago Equality Council (ITEC), the Tobago House of Assembly allocated land to the Baptist Church in order to build a place of worship and gave $9 million to fund the Gospel Fest, while the Hindu community in Tobago continued to be marginalized.

      In addition, millions of taxpayers’ dollars were spent on St Peter’s Baptist Church, the Jesus Elam Ministries, Febeau Open Bible, Revival Time Assembly, Gospelfest, and other small politically affiliated churches, while Hindu celebrations, such as Ramleela, were denied adequate funding.

      Similarly, the US State Department’s 2009 report on international religious freedom indicated that: “A Hindu group that organizes the celebration of Phagwa (also known as Holi), a joyous celebration that marks the start of the Hindu New Year, complained about the level of government funding it received. The organization objected to the reduction of state funding from approximately $12,500 (TT$75,000) in 2007, to $10,000 (TT$60,000) in 2008, and finally to $800 (TT$5,000) in 2009. The group returned the 2009 grant in protest.”

      Indo-Trinidadians also believed that the allocation of public housing by the National Housing Authority (Home Development Corporation) and the disbursement of compensation following natural disasters, disproportionately benefitted Afro-Trinidadians under the PNM government. For example, $36 million was provided in immediate assistance to flood victims from Port City and Toco, in comparison to south and central farmers (nearly all Hindus), who did not receive any government aid and lost millions in flood damage.
      Violations of Constitution and International Law

      Constitution of Trinidad & Tobago
      Trinidad is a democratic state that “acknowledge[s] the supremacy of God [and] faith in fundamental human rights and freedoms.” Chapter 1 of the Constitution recognizes an individual’s right to “equality before the law” and freedom of religion, thought, and expression. It also guarantees the “freedom of the press,” although it does not expand upon what this freedom entails. Furthermore, the Constitution states that Parliament may not “deprive a person of the right to a fair hearing,” nor deprive a person of the right “to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.” Despite these protections, Hindus have experienced attacks on their places of worship, government sanctioned discrimination, and societal abuse until the formation of the new government in 2010 headed by Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

      International Human Rights Law
      Trinidad and Tobago signed the UN’s International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on June 7, 1967 and ratified it on October 4, 1973. Its accession to the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights took place on December 21, 1978. The Trinidadian government has repeatedly violated these UN Covenants, however, by failing to protect its Hindu and Indian citizens and discriminating against them on ethnic and religious grounds.
      Conclusion and Recommendations

      Despite constitutional protections ensuring “equality before the law” and freedom of religion, Indians and Hindus have faced systematic discrimination and harassment/abuse. With the change in government in 2010 and an Indian/Hindu heading the new government, the conditions of the Indian/Hindu population is improving. However, it is also incumbent upon the government to guarantee fundamental rights and freedoms for all citizens and enforce civil and criminal laws in a uniform manner. Furthermore, Trinidadian leaders should discourage racial and religious stereotypes and hate speech; recognize Hindus and Indians as equal partners in the rule and governance of the nation; and distance themselves from Christian fundamentalist organizations promoting Christianization of the government and hatred against Hindus and Hinduism.

      1. Wow, I guess I should not have put that bit in brackets about the run-off because it has resulted in this revisionist, intellectually dishonest babble.

        One question, my friend Mr. T-Man, and one only. How come there are those of East Indian descent who are generationally wealthy, if my CXC English teacher may allow me the liberty of coining such a phrase? Oh, I get it, they succeeded in spite of the racist African PNM government….Right.

        You wasted a lot of space with your response.

        I will reiterate, more politely this time, please peddle your disingenuous propagandist rhetoric elsewhere. I get the sense no one wants to buy what you want to sell.

  15. I wish someone had asked Tabla head Nizam Mohammed, how de hell Indians were discriminated on by these evil Africans , if historically , they weren’t interested in working in the Police Service, much less , dangerous , less lucrative, law enforcement professions?
    Maybe Uncle Shah, could shed some light on dat social reality, as his dad, nearly committed suicide, when young Raffique told him , he was going yo join that African dominant, T&T army-but only relented , when he informed him , that unlike many of those simi literate Afro national grunts , he instead , would be training, at the British Sandhurst Coup school.
    Wish someone could explain why him, T man , and other selfish, dog with a bone , neo tribal types, aren’t as concern , about failure of Indo Trini businessmen, in hiring folks of African decent , when 90 % or more of their wealth , came about,via the acquisition of state contracts?
    The major part you forgot to add Tman, was that she rode the back of a crooked, African businessman /International Sporting Executive to power, then discard, and promptly demonize him , once he was no longer useful/got too big for his political breeches.
    You omitted the fact that she then embarked on some of the most vile , divisive, non progressive policies , known to the region.
    1.Brought in a clueless , overpaid ,Euro Canadian ,to head the Police Service, who was then forced to oversee an unconstitutional , anti poor African folks , State of Emergency.
    However due in great measure ,to repeated political interference, and micro micro management, was then forced to run back to his Canadian Prairies, like a Mattlot Zandole, as crimes continue to rise , and bogus kidnappings of de tribe ,remained the norm.
    2. Began narrow, short sighted attacks on Caribbean nations , while opening the floodgates to others, closer to de ancestral gene pool.
    3. Halted 4 or more important projects , that could have brought huge returns for T&T, and for what reasons? ‘The other,’ would have gotten the credit.
    Ohhh, no rapid rails, smelter plant , or OVP boats , but pretending to be worried about high unemployment rates, porous borders ,which resulted in making T&T, a breeding ground, for illegal immigrants, drugs , and deadly small arms proliferation,
    Indulged in systematic purges of the public Service, handing out of questionable governmental contracts , to business cronies,and party hacks.
    4 . Under funding national cultural events , such as Parang, Best Village , Tobago Heritage Festivals, and Carnival, while opening the treasury for ….ummm de tribe.
    Still giving the middle finger to Tobago, while attempting to treat it’s citizens, as unnecessary irritants , from Pluto.
    Translation, one decrepit, substandard hospital, and airport ,sub par inter island transportation service ,while simultaneously, attempting to make over crowded /congested Chagurnas ,the nation’s capital.
    Now , if as expected, the proposed, Couva Hospital ain’t completed on time, then same is discarded in a Rowley administration come 2015, would selectively outraged bozos , such as anti ethnic cleanser ,Dr Goopiesing , and Rammy the former Guardian columnist , with the penchant for state paid ,expensive Range Rover , start crying again ?
    Now if Bukina Faso, was much closer to our T&T. , I might be tempted to steal a line from my late, extremely wise, Tobago Granny, and here it is-“when you neighbors house is on fire , wet yours! ”
    Then again , that tragedy won’t occur here, since the party that Uncle Shah helped build , has gone out of it’s way to cuddle our military, led by that Tin pan soldier, turned glorified National Security big wig-even to the point , of almost passing an idiot law , which would have given , soldiers untrained in criminal laws , and police duties , powers of arrest.
    Ummmmmm, maybe to deal with any ugly fall outs, should these misguided, political jokers , decides to cancel Trinis Carnival , or 2015 elections.
    Hey Tman, tell Sat Maraj favorite disciple, that expensive ACP tanks won’t save any of them, when sticky smelly stuff, starts hitting dem fans.
    Repeat after me amigo – ‘beware of a man / woman , with nada to loose!’
    I luv dis land , Y tu?

  16. 1.Brought in a clueless , overpaid ,Euro Canadian ,to head the Police Service, who was then forced to oversee an unconstitutional , anti poor African folks , State of Emergency.(NEAL)

    Gibbs was hired during the Manning administration. He began his service when the PP took office, honoring his contract.

    2. Began narrow, short sighted attacks on Caribbean nations , while opening the floodgates to others, closer to de ancestral gene pool.(NEAL)

    There was no attack on Caribbean nations.The PM simply stated that T&T was not an ATM for the Caribbean. Numerous regional loans to Caribbean countries were forgiven over the years.

    3. No rapid rails, smelter plant , or OVP boats (NEAL)

    The rapid rail project was halted,the smelter plant was cancelled by Manning when the famous Kublalsingh led his protest against it, supported by the UNC. The OVP boats were cancelled when the delivery dates were questionable. They were deemed unsuited for the tasks and the government was refunded handsomely.

    4. The Tobago hospital was finally completed by this administration after years of incompetent handling by the PNM and THA.

    5. No cultural events were underfunded by this administration. As a matter of fact, prize money and funding were increased substantially.

    Once again, this is the sort of misinformation which the PNM and its agents have been disseminating during the PP’s tenure.

  17. Are you referring to me ,as a PNM agent TMan? What folly mi amigo, for you obviously weren’t reading my blogs, which began around 2008.
    Unlike many of you cyber yappers, on this forum-I have no allegiance to any political Party past or present, personality, tribe , country, or specific region.
    I am what you call a globalists, and is more concern about the welfare of all humanity.
    In contrast to you, and many others , I do not regurgitate obscure theories, I know little about, or indulge in feel good , revisionist psyco -babble, when it comes to T&T realities, and or , the world at Large.
    I have lived /worked in the trenches, and saw the results of depraved souls , treatment of ‘the other ‘- especially when they are poor , weak, and powerless.
    Keep blaming the previous regime ,for every misstep of your UNC dominant government.
    As a matter of fact , why not blame them for Ebola , the Ukrainian war, suicide bombing , on the Pakistan/ Indian boarder, Iraq, Afghanistan ,and Syria? While on the subject of blame , maybe you can throw in global warming as well, si?
    At huge cost to us ,your government was quick to abandon the OVP ships, using some of the most ridiculous excuses.The Brazilians , then quickly grabbed them all , and now your leaders are running to the overrated Chinese, for what, they alone know.
    Tell me something however.Were they honoring Gibbs contract , when they eventually kicked him out of town – once he was not prepared to be the PP stooge,and crime fall guy, like his acting successor, Uncle Willo, who will quicker grow wings and fly from Never Dirty Movant, to Barrackpore,before he ever get confirmed in that post, under this regime?
    Yeah, we recognize how quick the current regime can build hospitals , so does that mean the proposed Couva white elephant, would be constructed, in record time ,before the next general elections , to provide better health care too?
    Folks like Sat Maraj, Kabalsing, Lennox Phillip, aka Abu Bkar ,and Ian Alleyne ,all proves why Civil Society are a sick joke in this country, and worst yet, why T&T would remain a backward, underachieving, resource laden fiefdom, where self serving bozos , are the rage.
    These guys all want to be politicians , without even understanding- basic – Politics 101.
    My point on your government schizophrenic approach to immigration , still stands, irrespective of your failed attempts at justifying same.
    ‘No more blank checks,’ but you gave the smelter plant to most favored nation Guyana , as little Berbice , Lyndon ,and GT, are opening up across T&T, from George /Charlotte street , to Buccoo Tobago?
    Led by your boy Griffy , de Tin Pan soldier, turned glorified National Security big wig, your government, ‘have a hard on,’for desperate Jamaicans, but turns a blind eye to the bogus work permits, which facilities the thousands of folks from de ancestral lands , who profess to be here ,to service dem phony Trade expos , Indian High Commissioner warned us about/denounced huh?
    Thanks Ambassador Marlay Mishra ,for giving gullible Trinis , de heads up, on the Trade fair/expos fraudsters, in their quest to sell T&T a bag of cheap , useless goods.

    Hey TMan, one can tell it’s election season otra vez , when your party is going into panic mode since they did nada of substance ,to stem the tide of immigrants, who are seeking a slice of the T&T economic pie.

    Let me guess , what you , and kind are thinking .The 110 thousand plus, that are here , all came , prior to 2010, and every one of them -if their status becomes regularized , so that they can become citizens , with the capacity to vote -all would support the PNM,and not the UNC dominant PP, who likewise facilitated , their normalized transition , si?
    Ain’t this something people, a people , led by de likes of this TMan ,who -starting in 1986-helped tarnish the image of their land of birth , via fake victimhood cries , when they sort Refugee statuses solely in European /North American countries , are today, now leading the plea to put the squeeze on others.

    Luv humanity people!

  18. Nice piece Neal, but don’t be too perturbed by Tman’s quick resort to label you a PNM supporter. You see, for the likes him, people who have been nurtured in thousands of years in how humans should be socially stratified and the genetic privilege of Aryan blood lines, only they are allowed to support a party, and anyone who do not genuflect obsequiously when they are exercise their supreme privilege to define the ground, is a partisan supporter of the opposition.

    In Guyana currently, his ethnic diaspora cell mate was taped boasting of his genetic superiority, confessing to stealing money from the treasury, and bragging about his power and wealth in the apartheid ethnocracy they have created. Although the words and phrases were different, the context was the same that one sees from the Tman and Mamoo. That they are the Brahmins in this majority Caribbean region, and can do what they like. I hope Guyanese wake up and try the bastards before a people’s court, confer upon them the same kind of due process they gave to the 400 or so killed by the army of their generals Roger Khan and Ronald Gajraj, with the same immediacy of sentencing.

    About the one thing I am sure of however, is the sweet taste of justice even when it is served cold. Even when it is delayed. I know that there will come a time when we will see most of Vagabonds that have institutionalized traits and behaviors that we thought had evaporated with the exodus of their European predecessors in jump suits answering for their actions. And when that day comes like many I will sing “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty that we are at last free from the inherited and depraved prejudices brought into Governance by small groups of people who see themselves as the heirs to the slave master’s throne”

  19. “The motive behind criticism often determines its validity. Those who care criticize where necessary. Those who envy criticize the moment they think that they have found a weak spot.”

    Criss Jami

    There is much work to be done, by us all Brother RP-that is if sustainable development is the end game.
    It’s time for those politically savvy among us to work towards building bridges to the future.
    However , I’ll make one final point, that I am certain you’ll agree with , even if you did not have a Tobago Granny.
    Her admonition was: -“Never cut your nose, to spoil your face!”
    Well….., same trip ,… different ship, and so ,a Ecarcas , St James,or Maracas Granny ,will share similar cogent thinking, si?
    Gracias mi Hermano. Regards.

  20. Tom you are really now showing thy true self. It is really raining cats and dogs in Trinidad in every respect. Your human behavior of recent times does not suit the role of our president of the Republic. But Tom why try to brainwash the future leaders? You are really amazing. You have lost your way terribly and stealing from the public purse as well. Wow! are you for real? One wonders as ex judge and this thing about proper dress before the court…you mean you could not offer some kinda advice to the lady. Please step down and let someone we can look up to reign in that post!

  21. ‘Me think ,’we are leaning a bit too hard on El Supremo -Presidente Cameo, Bro JC H.We must be cognizant of de fact that he did not ask for this politically charged , overpaid crap.
    The man was on his way to adjudicate in matters involving criminals ,chiefly from poor underdeveloped countries, as they are force to fight for their existence, when Auntie K, in a fit of desperation,begged him to assume the post. One thing about Auntie K,we can be assured of by now ,is this. She knows how to persuade Judges. First that simi competent, loquacious foreigner ,Volney, and now Cameo.
    However I digress.
    It would seem on the surface , that every time he Cameo ,wishes to make an anti government, morally charged speech, on say ,…blatant corruption, cronyism, nepotism, unequal playing field justice ,social neglect , greed,ministerial abuse of power,or runaway crime , as played out under the Kamla led gang,he has to have it vetted by Senora Cameo, to ensure he does not antagonize any of the brown, neo -triumphalist benefactors.
    The tragic irony mi amigo, is that the general population, was prepared to leave the man to serve out his two terms quietly , just like his predecessors,Ellis, Noor, ANR, and Professor Richard, but no , he had to go and raise ants nest, over some distasteful statement made by an unknown , radio comedian.
    Rumor has it , dat this Price woman got so popular because of her belly button skit,and the over the top , reactions to it, that she is about to join the cast of Saturday Night live , and Comedy Central , in de US.
    In the interim, poor Cameo , he has to answer questions ,left , right, and center , the PP governmental cowards -starting with AG Rammy-refuse to.
    You know how they love to pass de buck.Wanna bet some Afro Trini Public Servant , will get the blame for this financial impropriety, that borders on criminality? Remember Prison Gate , where corrupt legal pals of Rammy, were taking advantage of desperate criminals, and the state?Did he charge that brave , patriotic Solicitor General as yet?

    What exactly is it with these folks , as to why they can never accept responsibility for their actions?
    I am reminded of a certain former disgraced CJ, his corrupt PM pal, and the Chief Magistrate who tried to be a whistle blower.
    Least we forget, let’s give three cheers for a wonderful principal of a Hindu Primary School, who took a stand against racial injustice as practiced by Sat Maraj, against Afro-Kinky head kids , who did him no wrong , and condone by … well , who else, Goopiesing.
    Speaking of which. Was his cutlass wielding son ever charged for his criminal act, before papa shipped him abroad?
    Three cheers to our local Transparency International head guru, Madame King.Just think how much this country , could have advanced , if she was allowed to remain as part of this administration.
    Well…water under de Caroni , or is it St Helena Bridge?
    Call me an idealist , but ….Say yes to equal playing justice, proper stewardship, and transparency in government-all keys to sustainable development, si?
    Let’s wish our president well.
    I luv dis land!

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