UNC MPs Jack Warner, Vasant Bharath and Ramesh Lawrence
Maharaj will not be at Sundays joint UNC/COP platform
being held by COPs Inshan Ishmael, it was confirmed
Ishmael had planned the event at the Aranguez Savannah as
a joint platform on national issues.
He invited the three front-line UNC MPs to join the platform,
along with COP deputy leader Prakash Ramadhar, former COP
candidate Anand Ramlogan, COPs Anil Roberts, anti-crime
activist Stephen Cadiz and environmentalist Peter Vine.
Ishmael also said in last Fridays exclusive Guardian
story on the matter that he hoped a recent march and Felicity
public meeting with UNC MP Maharaj would be the start of
bigger things to come, such as a possible unification of
the UNC and COP.
He was optimistic of this under Maharajs leadership,
since he said Maharaj was very respected and UNC leader
Basdeo Panday was seen by many in COP as a deterrent to
Ishmael said members of both parties needed to be the ones
who decided the direction of their parties, rather than
the leaders. He later said there were many on both sides
who wanted unity.
Neither Panday nor COP leader Winston Dookeran were to be
at the rally.
Ramesh going away
By yesterday, the three UNC MPs told Ishmael they would
not attend the rally.
Last week, Warner had initially projected that he would
But yesterday, Warners office advised that he would
not be going to the rally.
Bharath, confirming his non-attendance, said: This
rally has taken a political perspective which was not the
original intention and in addition to that, recent press
reports that this appeared to be intended to remove the
UNC leader meant it was not acceptable to me.
therefore had little choice except to stay out.
Maharaj left T&T for the US yesterday, until Friday,
his driver said.
In court yesterday, Maharaj said he would be back in T&T
on the weekend briefly and then would have to leave again
on Mondaythis time to London, until June 17. (See
Ishmael is expected to make a statement on the matter this
afternoon, according to COP officials.
Bas hits the haters
At last Wednesdays UNC national executive meeting,
UNC leader Panday had spoken about Ishmaels recent
initiatives with UNC MPs. He warned against allowing people
to take over the UNC base. Panday alluded to Winston Dookeran
Panday subsequently told the Guardian that simply
going down the same road is not going to bring about
the kind of political unity needed to remove the PNM.
They want me gone
a UNCs chat forum on Yahoo featured comments by a
number of members on Ishmaels effort.
One writer asked why Pandays leadership was hated
Panday replied on the Web sitewithout specifically
naming Ishmael or anyone elsestating the following:
really dont hate me; they envy me. What looks like
hate is really their frustration that overwhelms them because
I wont give them what I havewhich they want
badlyand that is the support of the people, without
which they cannot get political power.
are angry with me because they believe I must hand over
to them the power which comes from the love and trust of
the people. That is what they are always talking aboutanointing
somebody (like Dookeran, I suppose) and riding off into
believe that by doing so they will get the peoples
support, on which they can ride into political power. If
I should hand over to them tomorrow, I would
be the best thing since sliced bread to them.
I have told them over and over that the support and trust
of the people which I enjoy have come from years of struggling
in the trenches with them, eating when they eat and crying
when they cried.
is not something like a cow you can hand over to someone.
So when I refuse to hand over our power-base to them (because
I cant of course), they wish for my death or my incarceration
or both. They believe (wrongly of course) that if I am no
longer on the scene, the people will follow them.
politically naive they are. Dont be angry with them.
Feel sorry instead.
Efforts to contact Panday proved futile yesterday.