Tag Archives: Raffique Shah

What sweet in goat mouth…

By Raffique Shah
August 30, 2009

www.raffiqueshah.com

Caricom LeadersWITH the price of sugar shooting through the roof-at least by that commodity’s standard-there are calls from many quarters for Government to resuscitate the local sugar industry. From the Maha Sabha’s Sat Maharaj to All Trinidad’s Rudy Indarsingh, people are heaping scorn on Government for closing the industry when it did in 2007. They are seeing gold where, not long ago, only trash and spoilt canes stood. Fool’s gold, I say-and I shall produce facts to support my position.
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Executive President, yes…elected by the people

By Raffique Shah
August 23, 2009
www.trinidadandtobagonews.com

Raffique ShahListening to well-informed people, some of them respected intellectuals, argue against a system of government that allows for an executive president, intrigues me. They invariably pursue their arguments using fancy-words-work, but essentially they are little different to the barely-informed masses, who, on the eve of Trinidad and Tobago adopting a republican constitution in 1976, cried “bloody murder” over that minor change in our system of governance.
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If only pan music were the food of love…

By Raffique Shah
August 09, 2009

www.trinidadandtobagonews.com

SteelpanEver so often I wish I can forget the sad state of my country and instead enjoy the luxury my columnist-colleague Keith Smith does. I can see Keith’s eyes “open wide”, blurting out: “Luxury? What luxury? Dis man mad or what?” No, I’m not mad. Over the past week, to use one example, Keith has focused on his community, Laventille, on the tenth anniversary of its pan festival, a feast I enjoyed in its early years, but which, sadly, I have not attended for maybe five years.
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Paranoid Prime Minister

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, August 2nd 2009

www.trinidadandtobagonews.com

PM Patrick ManningI often wonder what grave sins we Trinidadians and Tobagonians have committed to warrant the kinds of politicians we have been saddled with for generations. It’s not that they are the worst in the world, although some people may swear they are. Look at it this way: we could have had really brutal dictators like the monsters who have wreaked untold suffering on billions of people across the planet. Mercifully for us, we have been spared that kind of horror.
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Discrimination, doc, not ‘ethnic cleansing’

By Raffique Shah
July 26, 2009

www.trinidadandtobagonews.com

Dr. Tim GopeesinghON the few occasions I spoke with Dr Tim Gopeesingh, I found him to be an amiable, intelligent person. He is one of the few high-profile members of Basdeo Panday’s parties who are bold enough to actually converse with me. I add this since I’m sure Panday has some unwritten clause in his party’s regulations that deems interaction with this not-so-humble writer “high treason”. But that’s another story. Today I focus on Tim’s injudicious statement about “ethnic cleansing” of Indo-Trinidadian doctors at the Port of Spain General Hospital.
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Super-rich parties, dirt-poor supporters

By Raffique Shah
July 19, 2009

www.trinidadandtobagonews.com

Basdeo PandayWHEN political allies fall out, the mess that hits the fan could be worse than what would occur should a sewage-filled tanker explode in the midst of a $1,000-per-person, all-exclusive fete.

Highfalutin men and women would have faecal matter splattered all over their ultra-expensive party clothes, on their faces and their lobster salads. Those were my first thoughts when I heard Basdeo Panday accuse Jack Warner of failing to account for $30 million in donations to the UNC he (Jack) allegedly received during the 2007 general elections campaign.
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Dawn of a new era

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, July 12th 2009

www.trinidadandtobagonews.com

PNMEVEN as this column appears in print today, there is a “unity rally” being held at Skinner Park in San Fernando. Its promoters have invited people of every political persuasion, even those who do not belong to any party, to attend. The rally, they say, is intended to send a strong message to the Patrick Manning Government that people are fed up with its high-handed form of governance.
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Unity, change and exchange

By Raffique Shah
July 05, 2009

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog
www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/blog

PM Patrick ManningALTHOUGH I can’t afford the luxury of frequent travel abroad that some people do, I understand why they opt to spend time in other countries. It’s not that they don’t love their country, whatever its shortcomings. But they seek escape from the crime wave, look for respite from a runaway government that believes its mandate is to disrespect and disregard lesser mortals, especially those who voted it into power. Most of all, though, I suspect they wish to drown out the cacophony that assaults us from every direction, the ubiquitous call for “all those who oppose the wicked PNM Government to unite to remove Mr Manning from power.”
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Drastic measures our only option

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, June 28th 2009

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog
www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/blog

ArrestedI SENSED the seething rage that simmered behind the genteel persona of Fr Clyde Harvey as he delivered the homily at Tecia Henry’s funeral service last Thursday. Fr Harvey is a priest whose faith and training undoubtedly combine to make him a man of peace. Yet, there he was, for the hundredth time, maybe more, presiding over the last rites for yet another crime victim who had barely known life before it was brutally snatched from her. I don’t know how he and other clerics cope with the tidal-wave of grief and floods of tears that engulf them as the nation drifts into a state of war.
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Powerfully stupid on that smelter

By Raffique Shah
Sunday, June 21st 2009

www.trinidadandtobagonews.com

Aluminum Smelter PlantIN the face of a court ruling against the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) granting a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) to Alutrint, citizens must wonder why the Patrick Manning Government seems intent proceeding with this multi-billion-dollar project. Justice Mira Dean-Armorer declared that the EMA’s decision was “procedurally irregular, irrational and made without regard to consideration of the cumulative impact of the three related projects the power plant, the aluminium complex (and) the port facility.”
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