THE Prime Minister hit the Opposition for allegedly racist remarks and alleged trying to frame him with false claims of sexual assault, speaking at a meeting at El Dorado Community Centre to seek re-election in the upcoming People’s National Movement internal elections.
Dr Keith Rowley contrasted recent remarks by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar against the so-called One Per Cent to her warm salute of the Syrian/Lebanese community at a function in 2012 as a people worthy of emulation (in medicine, law, social development) to create a thriving TT.
“What has changed?” he asked.
He alleged the Opposition wants to return to power by preaching that he dislikes Africans. After the OWTU made an effigy saying he was a roast breadfruit, black outside, white inside, Persad-Bissessar decides to identify him as an Oreo.
“I watched the conversation in the country and all the apologists found it is insensitive but it is not racial. Whenever you are accused in that way, Oreo is the modern, politically-correct way of calling somebody a House N***er.”
Rowley said amid the Oreo debate, Persad-Bissessar had gone further to offend the country’s basic fabric by insulting the so-called One Per Cent and accusing Rowley of helping that group to trap workers in slave labour as “their Oreo.”
He said, “When rape failed, when paedophilia failed, they try the strategy of House N***er.”
Rowley alleged a racial rant against a segment of the population, the One Per Cent, saying, “Where have I favoured them? With what?”
Scoffing at Persad-Bissessar’s claim to have once sent the One Per Cent packing, Rowley said in 2014 a bank owned by that group had been chosen to provide $1 billion in loans to the HDC, followed by a $300 million bridging loan. Likewise, she had once been presented with a $30 million cheque to the Children’s Life Fund from a Caribbean Airlines chairman who was of the group.
He likened Persad-Bissessar’s words against the One Per Cent to Adolf Hitler’s persecution of the Jews.
“Last week was the first time any of my constituents ever came to me and told me they are fearful about their future and their business in TT because they are being identified as ‘the problem’ in TT. Some have told me their children refuse to go out.” He condemned Persad-Bissessar. Scoffing at St Augustine MP Prakash Ramadhar saying the Oreo remark could have been said more sensitively, he scoffed, “How differently could you have called me a House N***er?”
Rowley accused the Opposition of constantly trying to destroy him, to get into office. He claimed a female reporter was paid millions of dollars to allege sexual harassment after she had visited his home for an interview.
“She collected the money at a mall in Valsayn, Valpark Plaza.” Rowley scoffed that the reporter claimed to be so traumatised, she resigned her job. He said his driver’s presence prevented the woman making more serious allegations to ruin his political career, saying, “In the PNM, if you slip you slide.”
“The next thing you know I go to Parliament and my schoolmate with Kamla and Ramlogan in tow comes to accuse me of rape and my father of rape. And of course the stereotype of the angry, oversexed black man is put on the Parliament record.” Hitting the Opposition Leader for cheering the allegations, Rowley said he had only survived that attack because his son’s mother refused to be bribed by another politician to tell a lie.
He scoffed that the OWTU’s plan for Petrotrin “cobbled up in a room last night with two friends” could not surpass all the State’s studies and their conclusions. “The board has told me they’ve not seen anything to change their mind on the decision made by the Government.” He said the OWTU had ignored the key issue of billions lost from Petrotrin. Rowley refuted the idea that TT oil could only go to certain refineries, saying oil is an open business.