At least two Opposition MPs have openly offered their support to the Government’s call for TT citizens to open their homes to distressed Dominicans in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
However, St Augustine MP Prakash Ramadhar and Caroni Central MP Bhoe Tewarie yesterday insisted it cannot be “an open door policy for all.”
“We cannot empty Dominica from all those who can help in the restoration process because Dominica has a future. We must help them build it,” Ramadhar said in a statement.
Ramadhar, who said he will also make a personal contribution to the cause, made it clear said he had no issue with the Government’s call.
“Of course, we must help our brothers and sisters in their time of need,” he said.
“Dominica having been devastated, it is important for all those who have friends and families or anyone that they know, who wish to open their doors to them, to welcome them and temporarily host them until they can get back on their feet.”
Ramadhar also said it is very important that Dominica be rebuilt.
“To do so we must ensure that those who can, remain in Dominica and we must assist them in every possible way.” Ramadhar said equal attention and support also must be paid to Dominican who wish to stay on the island during the rehabilitation process
“There are many, of course, who wish to live in their homeland, where their entire legacy, their fore parents, their grandparents, their parents, born and grew and helped build Dominica.
“They wish to remain I am sure. We must help them. For those others who wish to have their children born and to grow in their homeland, we must help to build a future for themselves and their children.”
He added: “As a result, it is necessary for us in Trinidad and Tobago to do all we can to assist. To that end I am making a call to all of our constituents of St Augustine to donate food stuff, clothing and more importantly building material as we proceed to assist our brothers and sisters now and into the future. I also call on all of our citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,
“The Inter-Religious Organization, where every church, mosque and temple must be involved; The Supermarket Association, The Hardware Dealers Association, The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association, and The National Petroleum Company to do as much as they can at this point in time to assist.” Ramadhar said he will also make a financial contribution to this effort.
Tewarie applauded the initiative, but called for an immigration policy with clear targets aligned to human resource needs in the context of a sustainable development strategy for TT.
“It is all well and good to be kind and charitable and to others in times of need. This spirit of generosity should be applauded. But we have had a Haitian crisis. We have had for some time and continuing, a Venezuelan crisis, and we now have a Dominican crisis,” wrote on facebook.
The former minister of planning said he had initiated a manpower study based on clear diversification preferences with the IDB.
“I do not know if the Rowley government has supported this initiative. While vie-ke-vie decision making may seem humanitarian in a situation of crisis, proceeding in crisis response mode facilitates arbitrariness and making decisions without wider context, frame work or plan will ultimately result in confusion.
“So as we accept as reasonable, the PMs gesture to the people of Dominica, let us bear in mind that there is urgent need for something more.”