Tag Archive for 'T&T Govt'

Periscope on local government elections

By Raffique Shah
November 8, 2019

Raffique ShahFour weeks before the local government elections, and nothing tells me that there will be any more excitement than there was on November 28, 2016, when the customary one-third of the one million registered electors bothered to vote (34.34 percent to be precise), with the results being as predictable as the campaign was boring.
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Poisoning Minds and Sickening Bodies

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 5, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was a light drizzle, or so I thought. Two weeks ago I was making my way to City Gate to get a maxi taxi to take me to Tacarigua. The drizzle turned into a downpour and then the deluge started. Like many fellow travelers, I sheltered beneath the canopy of RBT Royal Bank, hoping that the water would drain away quickly.

Minutes turned into an hour as the water poured into Lower Lara Promenade South and the street in front of City Gate turned into a river. After waiting another hour, like other travelers I eased my way southerly towards the western side of City Gate from which I made my way to the Arima maxi stand where I boarded a maxi to Tacarigua.
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We live only once, but…

By Raffique Shah
October 31, 2019

Raffique ShahLast week, as I listened to Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh complain for the umpteenth time about the high percentage of citizens who are literally eating and drinking themselves to chronic, costly lifestyle diseases and early deaths, I thought I needed to return to the topic I focused on in my previous column—food production and consumption.
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Eating ourselves to early deaths

By Raffique Shah
October 23, 2019

Raffique ShahFact: while we the people of Trinidad and Tobago eat much of the foods, fruits, etc, that we produce locally, most of what we consume for sustenance and satisfaction, maybe as much as 80 percent, we do not produce. We import it.

Fiction: if they are given adequate incentives, starting with land tenure and going all the way through tax-free inputs and proper marketing facilities and concessions, the nation’s farmers can feed the population.
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Mobilizing Our Social & Cultural Capital

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 22, 2019

All you guys have done is reference to us getting jobs. I do not want a job. I want change, I want a future….You are ignoring our future….What are you doing to give us a voice?

—Stefan Lander, student, St. Mary’s College

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTo hear Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance, tell it, the 2020 budget has nothing to do with the upcoming local elections or the 2020 general elections. It emanated from the government’s genuine interest in the welfare of our people.

The words had barely come out of Imbert’s mouth when Rohan Sinanan, PNM’s campaign manager, declared: “I am very pleased; I think my job as campaign manager was made significantly easier with a wonderful budget” (Express, October 10).
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Greed is killing us not so softly

By Raffique Shah
October 16, 2019

Raffique ShahSome day last week, after I had eaten a very modest lunch, I was snacking on a few locally-manufactured crackers when my wife asked, “You still hungry, nah?” She has noted with unnecessary concern that I eat smaller portions, which I attribute to ageing and my now mostly sedentary lifestyle, the latter imposed on me by my infirmity. I don’t need calories that I won’t burn as I did during my very active pre-Parkinson’s life. That reality notwithstanding, the urge to snack on junk remains undiminished, much to my dismay.
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Consultation Versus Coercion

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 14, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Wednesday evening I attended a consultation at the Tacarigua Community Center that was organized by Susan Corbett, director of Community Development (CD), with the assistance of Terrence Beepath, Senior Project Manager of UDeCOTT, to tell us what CD had in store for us vis-à-vis our proposed community center. We, mere supplicants, were supposed to listen and presumably to acquiesce. We were not supposed to question the bearers of these new gifts.

I raised this issue in this column in June of this year. I reported that in January 1965 the Trinidad Sugar Estates gave ninety-four thousand, six hundred and ten square feet of land to the Tacarigua Welfare and Improvement Council for “a site of a community center.” The first center was built in 1965.
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69 ‘rescued’ from Arouca church

69 rescued from cages at Arouca church
These people both men and women are believed to be victims of “modern day slavery” and “human trafficking” according to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith who spoke to the Guardian Media Limited’s Lead Investigative desk Mark Bassant earlier on Wednesday just outside the Transformed Life Ministry Rehabilitation Centre.
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Budget biggest ‘bag’ thieves lay their hands on

By Raffique Shah
October 07, 2019

Raffique ShahIt is a newspaper commentator’s dilemma—having to write on the Finance Minister’s annual budget presentation, as readers expect him to, both before and after the Appropriation Bill is laid in Parliament. This becomes even more challenging when the package covers the year leading to a general election when the Government, and here I mean any government, engages in distributing largesse like the proverbial “parsad” at “pujas”, throwing goodies at the electorate with the expectation that they will yield votes.
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A Magnificent Breakthrough

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 03, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the early 1970s when Marxist economics was all the rage, several Caribbean graduate students attended to the classes of Jaroslav Vanek, an economist and professor at Cornell University. He was known worldwide for his research on labor-managed economies or what he called “participatory economies.” Yugoslavia’s President Tito (1843-1980) was in power and was following this approach to social and economic development.
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