Government boasts of transforming T&T into a developed country
by 2020. Until recently, the population was constantly reminded
of this vision through ministerial speeches, media blitzes, talk
I must plead ignorance as to the contents of this plan as I have
not examined its details. However, as an economist I can tell you
that any development strategy worth its weight in salt will commit
much of its efforts on strengthening the private sector and focusing
heavily on the ways in-which the Statethrough its institutional
frameworkcan facilitate growth of this sector. I am assuming
then that Vision 2020 fulfils such a mandate.
there are certain things that lead me to question the validity of
such an assumption. Here I will deal with only one of the many issues.
will agree that Trinidad can now boast of having a world class
international airport. This partly fulfils the conditions necessary
to making this country the transshipment hub of the Caribbean and
South America, a policy objective constantly articulated by this
and past administrations.
is in this context that the Piarco International Airport was expanded
to what it is today. The State can now argue that it has put in
the transportation infrastructure to encourage the hub concept.
would appear that this is as far as the Government can take this
vision as it seems in no hurry to support the kinds of private-sector
investments that surround such facilities worldwide. By this I refer
to hotels, motels, restaurants etc.
is now years after the completion of the airport, yet the Town and
County unit of the State is not granting any building approvals
for the area around the airport.
effect, while the domestic business sector has invested in the surrounding
lands, ready and able to fulfil its mandate as the engine that generates
sustainable growth (new business entities, employment, housing etc),
the State through its bureaucracy has put a spoke in its wheel.
planning officers at Town and Country tell investors of the long
list of pending applications, and the fact that this area is under
governmental review (ongoing since 1996), and must take into consideration
further airport expansion.
What bureaucratic nonsense. When will we need an extended airport?
Are we anywhere near full utilisation with the existing facility?
Are we even at 50 per cent?
am sure the answer is a resounding no. The follow-up report being
why ever did we need such a large facility in the first place, with
the follow-up discussion on maintenance costs, over time etc (already
the female washroom on the ground floor has deteriorated to an embarrassing
situation alone brings home the lack of co-ordination and real commitment
evident in the macromanagement of this country. Let me explain.
the one hand, we have a Minister of Tourism vocalising rhetoric
that encourages the private sector to construct new hotels. He spends
a lot of time in the international arena marketing T&T as an
support of this general positioning, we have a Minister of Sports
busy preparing for Cricket World Cup next year. It is no secret
that the existing infrastructure cannot satisfy accommodation needs
for this event. Already during peak demand periods, eg Carnival,
there is a shortage of hotel rooms.
the other hand, the apparatus of the Planning Ministry seems to
be operating in contradiction to this articulated development drive,
even as the Tourism Development Company offers incentive structures
to hotel developers.
is the sense of tax and other incentives if one cannot get building
approvals? If the situation were less serious, it would be laughable.
If the private sector originated its management systems in like
manner, it would bankrupt itself out of existence.
difference I guess is that the private investor can literally lose
his shirt while mismanagement at the state level has no similar
penalty. Spending of state funds happens without any accountability
to the people whose resources are being expended.
you see, Vision 2020 is mostly talk and we all know talk is cheap.
So, for all its talk of developed-country status by 2020, the focus
is only on mega buildings (further exacerbating traffic congestion
in the nations capital), million-dollar sporting complexes
with no long-term plan re: maintenance costs, super highways and
energy-related industrial development.
my view, the Government needs to start walking the 2020 talk by
refocusing on its role as facilitator, and so co-ordinate its efforts
that the private sector can find it easier to allocate its resources
to generating sustainable employment opportunities in sectors other
than those linked to oil and gas and the likes of URP and Cepep.
Only then can we look with anticipation to the year 2020.
A reader of Aranguez
defence of Benny Hinn
Benny Hinn crusade is back and his detractors have emerged from
the woodwork, including Sat Maharaj, for whom I have a great deal
of respect, as I have for Hinduism which predates Christianity and
equates (time-wise) with Judaism.
if his research on Hinn is limited to HBO and CNNs
sensational documentaries (since retracted) and his dime-a-dozen
DVD, he should seek the truth from other channels.
problem with defending Hinn and Christianity in general is the lack
of awareness by some of the big picturethe heating
up of the spiritual war in the heavenlies between good (God) and
evil (devil), between Christ and the anti-Christ, angels vs demons,
Darwinism vs intelligent design, believers vs atheists and agnostics,
the DaVinci Code vs the Omega Code, and the Da Vinci deception.
emergence of the likes of Harry Potter (witchcraft repackaged) influencing
millions, and the increasing lack of moral absolutes of good and
bad in this 11th hour of mans end-times, betrays general myopia.
short, everything good epitomises God and everything bad reflects
the work of the devil across the board. Today we all have to decide
whose side we are on.
Hinns casting out of demonsthe Bibles message
from Genesis to Revelationsis not unique in time and place
to our speck of dust, T&T. The mission of Christ on Earth was
not only to resist evil at all levels and to redeem us from sin,
but to demonstrate that we too can emulate his good worksmans
divinitythe heart of Hinns and the TBN crusades.
so-called demons Hinn casts out are the demons of everything negativedemons
of sickness, of cancer, of Aids, of poverty.
men accuse him of orchestrating mass healings not in pursuit of
the Almighty, but in pursuit of the almighty dollar, they become
self-appointed advocates of the devil.
is a good man with noble intentions which are being sullied with
unscientific proof to detract from a subject (Christianity)
of which he seems to know very little. How could Hinn be accused
of breaking the law? By assuming that he is an imposter doing it
for the money? Give me a break!
crusades are not funded by the millions he prays with and heals.
Participants are not charged one cent. Indeed, it is very impractical
to pass the hat around to thousands attending the Queens Park
Savannah crusade where the admission is free, and to heal in collusion
with those who themselves admit they are healed.
the implications in countries like India where he administers to
four million people in five days.
the contrary, he pays for everything up front, funded by partners
of Benny Hinn worldwidecorporations, millions of people big
and small, with the help of the regional Pentecostal/ Evangelical
churcheswhich understand their role in the big picture and
are at the vanguard of the battle for mankind, more so than many
who consider themselves holier than thou.
is associated with the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the worlds
largest Christian TV network led by Paul and Jan Crouch, who have
spent billions of dollars in satellite dishes in over 105 countries.
pastors and partners are involved in massively spreading the gospel,
feeding the poor and healing the sick worldwide. They were at the
forefront after the Louisiana and Asia tsunami and other disasters,
even before the governments and NGOs arrived.
know that demonic activity is being accelerated universally, manifested
by the unprecedented number and severity of man-made and natural
disastershurricanes, floods, volcanoes, the Iraqi terrorist
acts, Irans threat of nuclear warand at home murders,
kidnappings and terrorist acts.
are not acts of God but acts of the devil, and are part of the 300
prophesies of the Old and New Testaments which are spot on target,
95 per cent of which have already been fulfilled.
who are condoning evil and attacking good one way or the othergovernments
or individualsare themselves guilty of being the devils
advocates and should wake up and smell the chaos, and hopefully
the scales will fall from their eyes.
has everything to gain and nothing to lose by Benny Hinns
crusade coming to T&T. Give him a break, Sat!
A reader of Westmoorings
plans for Chacon Street
have read with concern a letter from L Maloney of DAbadie
titled Do something about filthy city (May 10).
writer makes a legitimate complaint regarding Chacon Street.
are well aware of the difficult circumstances on Chacon Street between
Queen Street and Independence Square north. For a long time we have
been attempting to engage the authorities regarding Chacon Street.
the assistance of the mayor of Port-of-Spain, Chacon Street has
recently been repaved and its sidewalks upgraded.
have also made repeated representation to T&TEC regarding the
installation of additional street lights because darkness on Chacon
Street is one of the main reasons why our unfortunate homeless settle
have also been recently finalised for a large, modern, upscale development
on this section of Chacon Street, which will include parking, entertainment,
restaurant facilities, and sport and recreational facilities.
have also, with the full backing of the business people on Chacon
Street and with the agreement of the then chief traffic engineer,
attempted to convert that section of Chacon Street from south-bound
to north-bound on a three-month trial basis.
change in traffic direction was intended to relieve congestion on
Independence Square north caused by the Salvatori Building demolition
and also to bring much needed traffic to the street.
proposal has been mysteriously turned down on repeated occasions
by the traffic branch of the police service, which has not given
any reason as to its objections.
by this letter the ACP Traffic or the Commissioner of Police will
finally attempt to join us in our efforts in this regard.
we wish to assure the writer that Chacon Street and all other city
streets are thoroughly washed twice a week at 4 am in a programme
which was initiated by the then Mayor John Rahael and paid for by
some of the downtown merchant community.
we continue to grapple with the challenges facing us, we wish to
assure the writer and the public at large that the temporary difficult
conditions on Chacon Street are not representative of the entire
city and that Chacon Street could soon become one of the most popular
of downtown streets.
Owners & Merchants Association
Diego hillside being ravaged
write to share my thoughts on the environmental catastrophe that
is taking place at the HDCs Victoria Keys construction site
in Diego Martin.
initial idea to ravish a virgin parcel of pristine hillside is obscene
in its core concept and flawed in its economic, social and environmental
fundamentals. Disregarding all primary environmental practices,
the destruction, degradation and depletion of the natural formation
of the hillside continue apace, in spite of the hue and protest
of the owners and beneficiaries of the space.
is the environmental impact study that should accompany this development?
would this development, coupled with the myriad of other developments
that are now under construction along the western peninsular, affect
the area socially?
is the effect on the road network and other services within the
cultures would be imported into the community by the occupiers of
these proposed units when they are completed and the negative or
positive impact of such?
current housing blitz continues apace with a few making all the
decisions for the population. Power and money replace democracy
and consultation, while the electorate is made to feel emasculated
and manipulated with each passing day and with every decision that
someone in power account for the cost of demolishing the hillside
and how would that factor into the final cost of the proposed units?
Or are these units being subsidised to their future owners upon
completion and allocation?
a nation, we continue to create these overlords who ride into positions
of power on the backs of political parties and the electorate. They
are answerable to no one other than the clique which created them
to represent their twisted ideologies and flawed developmental concepts.
we the people must let the perpetrators of democratic disobedience
understand that true power resonates with the populace.
failed to protect teens
investigation has been launched to determine how a photograph of
the 13-year-old jointly accused of little Sean Lukes murder
got on the Internet.
law is clear that images of accused people below 16 years of age
cannot be publicised and so the hunt is on for the culprit.
authorities of this land never cease to amaze me with faux pas after
faux pas. Let me try to assist this hapless investigation by pointing
out a few obvious facts.
live in the computer age and the technology is probably the most
dynamic that mankind has ever known. Consequently, digital cameras
and cellphones with cameras are quite prosaic in T&T.
10-year-old child can take your photograph in public without you
or people around you knowing. The picture may be then easily uploaded
to a computer from where it can be promulgated via e-mail, Web site
or any one of a myriad of programs/software used for communication.
photograph of the teenager in question has been bouncing around
on e-mails for about three weeks now. At this point I am certain
that most citizens have seen the face of the accused.
it does not take a computer nerd, a rocket scientist or a professional
investigator to decipher how the picture got to be where it is.
the fault lies with the security protocol that took the accused
youths to and from the Couva courthouse, as they focused on the
media. Clearly, reporters are not the only ones with cameras.
Better ways to use funds
the people at the Consumer Affairs Division who saw it fit to create
that six-page supplement in the newspaper, you could have just printed
the last page in a handout and forgotten about the rest.
would have spent less money and been more relevant to most of us
who have to face rising prices daily.
you could even have taken the money that it cost to print that supplement
and sent it to some homes to help feed people there. That would
have been value for money.
An insult to true jazz greats
A report on what was advertised as The Plymouth Jazz Festival, one
of our dailies stated that a local performers contribution
ranged from soca to reggae to even hip hop (jazz festival?).
am not one who bets but I am prepared to wager a minute sum that
very few who appeared on stage in Plymouth, if asked, would know
who Ella Fitzgerald, one of the greatest jazz singers of all time,
would not surprise me if the others, when asked, would say that
she was related to the Kennedys.
was most times referred to by the likes of Sinatra, Basie and Ellington
as Lady Ella, as was Sarah Vaughn, another jazz luminary,
known as The Divine Sarah. Never were they ever introduced
as divas, an accolade now loosely handed out to many who dwell in
close harmony with mediocrity.
took place in Tobago was nothing short of an insult to the true
great jazz artistes of an era past. Hip-hop, reggae, soca. Jazz
Rid WI team of Bennett, Best
an insult to persist with this obvious not-up-to-the-task
player that Bennett King is using to mask his own incapability as
a coach. Tino Best is simply a joke on the international cricket
those of you who have short memories, this is the same man who ran
up to bowl at the Queens Park Oval a couple of years ago.
This is the same man who I personally witnessed at Lords in
2004 fall to the challenge by the English players to leggo
a big vup (which he did) when he should have tried to stay
at the wicket to allow Chanderpaul to score his second century of
I say more? Its time to get rid of Best and Bennett. Oh, and
did someone mention that Best couldnt make the Barbados team
Port of Spain