The National Women’s League of the People’s National Movement says there was no corruption or jumping of the queue for the Prime Minister's daughter or the son of the Attorney General who both received exemptions to return to TT.
In a recent statement the league also said it unequivocally condemned the continued assault on the Prime Minister’s character and that of National Security Minister Stuart Young over the exemption process.
The league said the continued and desperate attempt to create a story out of the return of Dr Rowley’s daughter and the Attorney General’s son, “and keep it alive no matter how tenuous the link, is nothing short of obscene and worthy only of dismissal.”
The league reminded that no tantrums were thrown when the UNC’s Princes Town MP Barry Padarath, who left Trinidad on the eve of the total border lockdown in March, was granted an exemption to return in August.
“Surely there were others who had applied for exemptions before him,” the league’s statement said.
It also asked if investigations have been done on those who arrived on the same flight as Dr Sonel Rowley-Stewart, the prime minister’s daughter, or Abraham Al-Rawi, AG Faris Al-Rawi’s son, to discover the date of their applications for exemptions or if anyone, who have received exemptions, are unable to return home.
“Or is this attention only aimed at persons with PNM connections? The Prime Minister’s daughter who is domiciled and working in New York, committed no crime by applying for and receiving the exemption to return home for Christmas.
“She is entitled, like all other holders of TT passports to return to the land of their birth, once they have satisfied all the conditions for so doing. The Attorney General’s son is studying abroad and he, like so many other students, applied for and received an exemption,” the league said in its statement.
It also noted that Minister Young had repeatedly outlined the criteria for granting exemptions, “which the Prime Minister’s daughter, the Attorney General’s son, and more than 9,000 other nationals have satisfied, thus allowing them the opportunity to return home.”
“Stories of persons stranded abroad while admittedly living with their families, along with those of persons who took the personal decision to leave TT during the pandemic and now wish to return home, all make for good human-interest pieces, but the deliberate strategy of singling out the Prime Minister’s daughter and the Attorney General’s son, is both unfair and obscene,” the PNM’s Women’s League said.
“The simple truth is that there is no story there. There is no corruption. There is no jumping of the queue. There is nothing of the sort to even remotely suggest that the names of these two young citizens should be dragged through the press every day,” it said, urging those who believed something went awry with the exemption process to mount a legal challenge.
Rowley-Stewart applied for an exemption on November 4 and arrived in TT on December 16 fron New York. The younger Al-Rawi was granted an exemption and returned to the country on November 13.
Both the PM and the AG have denied favouritism and Young has denied that the repatriation process has been absued.