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Thursday 21 March 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Stop the politics of race and division

THE EDITOR: Just over two years ago, I suggested that the PNM government not only open the Children’s Hospital in Couva but name it after Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Many in the PNM did not agree with the suggestion.

My feeling is that we the people of TT must get to the point of maturity where we seek that which is best for our nation, regardless of political affiliation. We need the modern equipment and facilities that are available at the Couva hospital for the benefit of all our people.

Many of our political leaders, regardless of their political affiliation, make positive contributions to our nation. For that reason, more than most, I tend to stay away from making disparaging comments about our political leaders. I condemn in the strongest way attempts to disrespect them.

Dr Keith Rowley is perhaps the recipient of the most despicable character assassination in the history of TT politics. The past administration used the Parliament to make allegations of impropriety and sexual misconduct in a manner that not only disrespected our Parliament but reflected badly on the maturity of our politicians.

Recently, radio talk show hosts and social commentators were suggesting that the calypsonians’ failure to sing negatively about the PNM or its leaders was perhaps a conspiracy to look favourably on the party.

At the time of this writing there are commentaries on social media predicting that Rowley will die at age 69. I wondered what kind of sick minds seek to gain political mileage from such predictions.

Could it be that the calypsonians believe the present administration and leaders are doing a good job and do not warrant negative calypsoes? Whether we agree with them or not is irrelevant.

Rowley, like many of his predecessors, has done many positive things that can be seen by some as good leadership.

In his party he dared to empower the membership through one man, one vote. He personally took responsibility and got involved in procuring a boat for the sea bridge; the management of the renovation of President’s House, Whitehall and the Red House; dared to take on the unions and close down Petrotrin, and in spite of lack of Opposition support approved the hiring of an ex-government minister of the opposing party as Commissioner of Police.

Some may see that as the sign of a strong leader.

I am all for change that is progressive, democratic and fair. I believe that TT is a long way from realising its true potential economically and socially.

I strongly believe that outside of the two major political parties are opportunities for all our people to work together to improve the quality of life for all our citizens.

I believe that through proposing viable alternatives to the politics of race and division we can see the emergence of a better government.

I do not see the path to that goal being one that disparages the characters of our leaders or wishing them ill in any way. I wish Rowley good health and a long, wonderful life.

STEVE ALVAREZ

political leader, DPTT

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