It is Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago and our nation is set to celebrate what is an important occasion in our history.
The East Indians who first set foot on these shores in 1845 and their descendants have helped to shape and fashion our nation’s identity. Their influence and contribution to the social, economic and cultural development of Trinidad and Tobago has assisted in no small measure in bringing us to where we are today and will without question, continue to help shape our fortunes in the future.
The words of our national anthem “here every creed and race find an equal place” are a constant reminder and gauge of what being a citizen Trinidad and Tobago means for each and every one of us. We who live in a nation of varied races and religions call this place home. We are accustomed to sharing in the diverse customs and festivals of our forefathers. We appreciate and enjoy the evolutionary mixes in the arts and I dare say the mixes amongst the races and ethnicities It is beautiful. We are beautiful!
We speak proudly of our cosmopolitan nation, which is often described as a ‘melting pot’. This is not a weakness; it is in fact one of our greatest strengths. We all deserve the opportunity to be the best we can be and in so doing, help build a strong and better nation.
It is for this reason that the vast majority of us were so sorely disappointed in the ugliness that reared its head last Friday in a demonstration in front of the Parliament Chamber. However, we can all take comfort in knowing that sentiment such as we saw on those placards remain the view of that misguided minority. We are a people who are happy to work and play side by side with our fellow citizens day in day out. We all strive for what is best for Trinidad and Tobago. We ought to be thankful for what has been bestowed on us and take steps to ensure that we make the most of the potential of what we have inherited.
It is with this in mind that I take this opportunity, on behalf of the People’s National Movement to wish all of us a safe and happy Indian Arrival Day and pray that God continues to bless our nation of many varied races.
Dr Keith Rowley
The only national recovery that could come in the next six years would come only from a PNM Government when the long suffering population votes out the current disaster that now exists.
A recovery is sorely needed but it is because the UNC and its Partners have abused, corrupted mismanaged, stolen and disgraced this nation to the point of collapse and failure in so many areas that the prospect of one more year of this type of Government could be taking us past the point of no return for all of us and our children to come.
This is undoubtedly the worst Government in our nation's history. We do desperately need a national recovery after four intense years of their scandals, their excesses, their greed, incompetence and spitefulness.
However, there is hope for recovery. That will only come under the PNM, so the country needs the Elections NOW!!!
The People's National Movement views with concern, the threat by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to "take out" its Political Leader, Dr. Keith Rowley, ahead of the next general election.
While the PNM would have wished to view the Prime Minister's remarks in the context of the exuberance which she is wont to display while addressing party supporters at Rienzi Complex, the threat by Prime Minister to ""take out the 17 per cent man any day, any time, anyhow," which was directed at Dr. Rowley, cannot be taken lightly given contemporary developments.
The country is aware that, from all reports, no headway has been made in the investigation of the persons responsible for "taking out" Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal, and a police investigation into the e-mailgate issue, where Government Ministers were allegedly discussing "taking out" journalists, have gone nowhere.
When this is added to the series of reports, thus far uncontradicted of a group considered a criminal gang by police, masquerading as a religious organisation, being funded with approximately $1 million a month through the Ministry of Sports, it is enough to give all right thinking persons a reason for pause.
The Group, which according to the newspaper report which has not been refuted, is funded by the Government and has received both house and land from state institutions, has through its own spokesmen, admitted to supporting the United National Congress and working on its behalf.
The PNM has also noted that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport, which funds the organisation, recently fled the country for fear of his life after receiving death threats. While the party is appreciative of the Special Branch protection belatedly offered to the Leader of the Opposition, we find it inconsistent with the Prime Minister's threat to "take out" the PNM leader.
The choice of language is unfortunate and unbecoming of a Prime Minister and head of the National Security Council, especially one presiding over a crime situation where, on a daily basis, persons are being "taken out" with impunity.
The PNM wishes to thank the 20,000 voters who turned out in their numbers last Sunday to give its political leader, Dr Keith Rowley, the largest mandate in an internal election ever enjoyed by a political leader in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.
The overwhelming support for Dr Rowley is even more significant when one considers that voters were constrained by only being allowed one polling station in each constituency, which restricted the ability of members, especially in large constituencies to exercise the opportunity to vote.
The 25 percent voter turnout amounting to approximately 20,000 voters, is also the largest turnout in an internal election for any political party, especially one in opposition like the PNM and where voters are inclined to not show their hand for fear of victimisation by an administration which has shown the ability of fire workers at will based on their political affiliation.
The fact that Dr. Rowley came away with 93 percent of the votes cast is therefore an overwhelming mandate consistent with the national response to the kind of leadership shown by the PNM political leader. Under Dr. Rowley, the PNM has enjoyed similar overwhelming displays of support in the THA election where the result was 12-0 or 100 percent of the electoral districts available, and the Local Government elections where the PNM emerged with almost 70 percent of the council positions awarded in the mixture of first past the post and proportional representation.