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Monday 19 August 2019
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Fishermen protest: No gas, no vote

Fishermen from throughout the country protesting outside parliament yesterday.
Fishermen from throughout the country protesting outside parliament yesterday.

A GROUP of fishermen protested with placards outside Parliament in Port of Spain yesterday over the rise in the price of diesel and the lack of supply of regular gasoline.

“No regular, no vote,” the group said yesterday.

President of the Independent Fishermen Union of TT Robert Sagramsingh told Newsday the hike in the price of diesel and gas and the cessation of a supply regular gasoline was putting fishermen out of business.

He said those protesting yesterday were from Cedros, Bamboo, Chatham, Claxton Bay, Orange Valley, Brickfield, Ortoire Mayaro, Erin and Palo Seco.

Sagramsingh said his boat has been parked up and out of business due to the hike in diesel and the same thing was happening with pirogues.

“We cannot survive.”

He said he did not believe Energy Minister Franklin Khan that the country will not be able to bring back regular gasoline. Khan said in Parliament last week it would be impossible to supply the market with regular gas, at least in the short term, until the refinery becomes operational, hopefully later this year, or next year.

Sagramsingh said the fishermen have been protesting all over the country and the Government is aware of it.

“We have not been shown the courtesy or respect (of a visit), and not one has come and consulted one fisherman.”

He said the fishermen plan to continue protesting until they get a hearing and will continue to “push” and lobby against this Government.

“They have no conscience and no heart. That is the bottom line. They treat the poor people with no respect.”

Khan also said in Parliament after meeting with Agriculture Ministry officials the Energy Ministry will be meeting with fishermen in a matter of weeks.

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