THE PRIME Minister says the United National Congress (UNC) was using race talk and was willing to risk the country’s social stability just to win a local government seat.
Dr Rowley was speaking on Thursday night at a PNM public meeting at St Francois Girls’ College in Belmont, as part of the campaign for the July 16 by-elections for Barataria and Belmont East.
He said the Opposition started “race talk” in El Socorro (which falls in the contested district of Barataria) because they believe at polling station 1405 there were a lot of Muslims, and “that a race talk and race war against the PNM is going to give them the seat. They are prepared to risk the country’s social, religious and ethnic stability to win one local government seat.”
He added: “But I understand their problem – if you lose eight times, you can’t afford a ninth.”
He said the UNC was telling the Muslims in El Socorro that the Anti-Terrorism Act is anti-Muslim and the Government is attacking Muslims, “not that the country needs to prevent people who will hurt us.” Rowley said he was told to be careful what he said for describing the Chaguaramas triple murder as a terrorist act. “If a man with an automatic weapon spray a crowd of innocent people trying to kill somebody, and you end up killing three people, and four almost got killed, and others could have been killed, this indiscriminate killing – isn’t that what terrorism is? Indiscriminate killing of innocent participants, that’s what it is.”
He said there were guns in this country that can shoot many tens of rounds in a matter of seconds.
“So any person who is so disrespectful of life and disregard public places and people who are there going about their business with that weapon in hand could act like a terrorist active in Belgium or in France or in Spain or in London. But in TT the Prime Minister mustn’t say that, because they wouldn’t like it. “Well, if you don’t like it, you could lump it, because I know what it is, and I know that the people of TT will stand with the Government in fighting what is wrong, because we know what is wrong.”
He told PNM Barataria candidate Kimberly Small and Belmont East candidate Nicole Young they represent the best in the political offering in TT.