Monday 12th June, 2006

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Racial politics is UNC’s culture

Many commentators often say that racial politics and voting are the culture of our country. It is true, but none of them is prepared to admit that 99.9 per cent of the racial appeal comes from platforms of the UNC, be it in government or in opposition—more so in opposition.

Unfortunately, it will be like this for a long time unless there is a new breed of politicians with a different ideology on politics in the UNC.

It will be extremely difficult for me (as a black man) to ever support the UNC in any election, when the language spoken on most occasions gives the impression that it is a party for Indians, first and foremost, while they speak of unity in a different language. Of which unity do they speak—Indian unity?

Unless they carry their supporters in droves to places like Laventille, Diego Martin and where they do not have a strong support base, they will never speak the same language they speak in Couva and Chaguanas.

It is no accident that their meetings to discuss the jailing of Basdeo Panday and the Chief Justice issue were held in their stronghold. They wickedly and maliciously made it seem that these men were “targeted” because of their race—this in an effort to create an emotional state in the minds of their supporters. Even Ramesh in his “forgive me, I love you” tabanca speech claimed that Naryansingh was also a racial target.

Jack Warner is also foolishly contributing to this nastiness by stating at a recent political meeting: “No one thought that there would be a Chief Justice with a name like Sat Sharma. Your role was to brush-cut grass by the roadside and sell doubles.” Obviously feeding the masses with the type of “food” they will want to consume and pretending he doesn’t know that the Chief Justice was appointed by Patrick Manning.

In a previous meeting following the sentencing of Panday, Warner told his gathering that Indians are being discriminated against in reference to Panday’s jailing, as if Panday being Indian makes him invincible.

Not surprising, Indian Arrival Day celebrations were again used as the platform to preach racial politics. This time it was Kamla’s turn in her new role as Opposition Leader. She did so, following in the shadow of her still beloved leader Panday, who once used this same occasion as Opposition Leader to embarrass the present Prime Minister in the presence of Indian delegates by claiming that certain Indians in the PNM sold out their birth-right for a wig, jacket and tie and a mess of pottage.

The word culture is an extension of the word cult and they both go hand in hand in the UNC because that is the image being portrayed. That is why they continuously “cry wolf,” claiming that they are being discriminated against, marginalised, treated as second-class, under attack. They also remind their followers of the “blood, sweat and tears” of their forefathers.

All this is said before a people who believe, but they surely aren’t saying it for Jack, Wade, Gypsy and the other “disciples” like them in the UNC.

It is a fact that none of this type of language is practised on PNM platforms despite the commentators’ attempt to generalise it as being the political culture of this country. They just don’t have the guts to call a spade a spade and this is why I make absolutely no apology for supporting a political party that is healthy, stable, organised, professional, genuinely united and inclusive of all races.

Garvin Walters


High speed, low service

I was so disappointed with TSTT on June 6. I wanted to set up high-speed Internet access and went into the Arima branch to conduct the transaction after speaking to a TSTT representative over the phone.

The first phase was to test my phone line to see if a connection was possible and I was told a few days later by the TSTT personnel in Arima that it was. So set in motion was a chain of events that led me to nearly scream at the incompetence of the staff.

You know what, my phone line could not take the connection. So after calling me in to pay for the service, collect the modem and then delay the “activation” for 14 days longer than they said it would take, the technical assistant on the phone on June 5 pointed out to me, after I called pissed off that the service was “still” not working, that my house is 39,000 feet away from the nearest exchange whereas in order to achieve a connection my house had to be within 18,000 feet.

I was ready to cuss. So what they were telling me was that an engineer with TSTT, getting paid God knows how much, thought 39,000 was less than 18,000 and subsequently decided I qualified?

The person I spoke to at the branch actually had the nerve to give me attitude when I returned the modem and demanded a refund. And this was what disappointed me. Yes they were wrong. But to be wrong and strong? That was absolutely despicable. I was so let down.

I actually wanted to give our local telecommunications provider the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to believe that I could count on its service. But instead I felt let-down, insulted and disgusted.

Denise Layne

Via e-mail

n UNC hit by ‘spirit lash’?

I see the UNC is calling down fire and brimstone on the Speaker of the House of Representatives over his cautioning of the Leader of the Opposition two Fridays ago.

If I am to understand the UNC clearly, it has expressed “profound horror” at the Speaker’s attempt to “muzzle” the UNC. The Opposition party calls the Speaker an “unapologetic agent of the ruling PNM.”

Is there no end to the UNC trying to make complete fools of the people of this country? All I am left to wonder is if the UNC has been hit by a malevolent “spirit lash” that is making idiots out of big men and women.

Where was the UNC’s failing maco-metre when the nation was expressing “profound horror” at clear attempts by the UNC cabal to destroy the UNC? Where were all these heroic proclamations when the nation started expressing anger over the UNC’s attempts to “muzzle” its own political leader?

And how, pray tell, can the UNC executive dare to condemn anyone as “an agent of the PNM” when the executive recently met to illegally grant membership to Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, who some call the PNM’s chief negotiator?

Perhaps the one sensible thing Basdeo Panday ever said was in 2001 when, in reference to Ramesh, Ralph and Trevor, he told supporters: “They will have to live in the sky.”

Indeed, when the nation becomes fully aware of the real intentions of Ramesh and others, they may all have to seek refuge in the sky because passive as Trinidadians/Tobagonians are, and short memories though we may have, no one will ever forget the wholesale surrender of the UNC executive to the PNM!

Rudy Ramkaran

Via e-mail

Swift justice in Subway robbery

This letter is to recognise the diligent and impressive police work exhibited by the members of the Arima Police Station, and particularly Det Cpl Raymond Emmanuel, in handling the recently publicised robbery that occurred at the Subway Restaurants branch in Arima.

In a time where the police service is easily and often criticised for a variety of reasons, sometimes justified and I am sure at times not, I was left genuinely encouraged and impressed by the tenacity and professionalism shown by Emmanuel in quickly solving the robbery.

What began with a report on a Friday saw the detective relentlessly pursue the matter throughout the next 72 hours to bring it to conclusion in the Arima Magistrate’s Court the following Monday.

Thanks to the police efforts and the decisive rulings of the court, the wheels of justice turned with remarkable swiftness in this instance.

Our company is genuinely grateful to all involved, particularly Emmanuel. Thank you.

David Coelho

Managing director

Subway Restaurants

No religious significance?

If anyone was in doubt as to whether the Trinity Cross was discriminatory or not, one had only to look at the reaction of those so-called Christians to the decision to remove the Trinity Cross as the country’s highest national award.

Some people, playing smart with foolishness, were claiming that the Trinity Cross had no religious significance since the cross pre-dated Christ.

So if there was no religious significance, why would an Anglican priest call its removal a “sin?” Why would another so-called Christian leader protest the removal of “the symbol of my religion?”

Apparently there are Christians and there are followers of Christ.

I sincerely believe that Christ himself would have been one of those clamouring for the removal of the Trinity Cross.

Kurt Seucharan-Fuentes


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