Monday 4th August, 2008

Moonilal warns against dependency syndrome
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Afro-Trinidadians have difficulty in extracting themselves from a great dependency syndrome and this prevents achievement of full potential, says Oropouche MP Roodal Moonilal.

Speaking at the first emancipation celebrations in Debe, yesterday, Moonilal said the continent of Africa had produced outstanding individuals, including Nelson Mandela.

However, Moonilal said the greatest challenge facing Afro-Trinidadians was the absence of belief in themselves.

“Our African brothers and sisters need to develop belief in themselves and to begin to rebuild family life, as well as to extract themselves from the great dependency syndrome,” Moonilal said.

Dressed in a brown dashiki and matching headdress, Moonilal honoured several Afro-Trinidadians in his community, including avid sportsman of the Diamond United Sports Club Brian Julien, community workers Shamaine Lewis-Collins and David Barker, and Dr Tia Bennie Ockwee.

Moonilal commended the awardees for contributing to the success of the community.

“It is without doubt that our African brothers and sisters have brought strong cultural heritage and family values which have impacted in the lives of our citizens...Their heritage have not only fulfilled the culture of our land but those internationally and all walks of life,” Moonilal said.

He said although Africans were brought as slaves in bondage and were deprived of basic rights and amenities, they were able to move ahead after making great strides in society.

He said, however, that the Equal Opportunities Act should be implemented to end discrimination against African people.

“Fittingly the Equal Opportunities Act passed by our Government have created a shield for protection to one and all in the division of race and creed,” Moonilal said.

“This passage of this Act contributes significantly in creating a harmonious relationship amongst my fellow African and East Indian brothers and sisters.”

He called on the Government to implement the Equal Opportunities Act to provide it with the necessary human resources and machinery so that people could be better served.