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Kamla: Massa Day Not Done

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IN her Independence Day message, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar laments that the government was no different from “our colonial oppressors” using archaic laws to torment a political opponent.

She said, “It is the great­est irony that on the oc­ca­sion of our 57th In­de­pen­dence An­niver­sary that our own Gov­ern­ment has been do­ing the same as our colo­nial op­pres­sors by us­ing the ar­cha­ic charge of sedi­tion to tor­ment a po­lit­i­cal op­po­nent. Clear­ly mas­sa day is not done!”

Quoting Dr Mar­tin Luther King, she said, “We all came in on dif­fer­ent ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.”

She said this state­ment rings so true af­ter 57 years of in­de­pen­dence, adding, “we are Trinida­di­ans and To­bag­o­ni­ans; we can­not be and should not try to be any­one else.

“While we must nev­er for­get our an­ces­tral lin­eages, cus­toms and cul­tures, we must strive to build a so­ci­ety that is dis­tinct to our unique cir­cum­stances.”

Referring to Public Services Association President Watson Duke sedition charge arising out of his statements last November when he urged TSTT, TTEC and WASA workers to be prepared to die, she quoted Duke: “This is your be­lief folks, this is your fam­i­ly and I am send­ing the mes­sage clear, let Row­ley them know that the day they come for us in WASA, we are pre­pared to die and the morgue would be pick­ing up peo­ple.”

Persad-Bissessar also quoted PNM MP Fitzger­ald Hinds at a party meeting: “I said to my col­leagues, as a younger par­lia­men­tar­i­an then, I said the UNC is bad­ly wound­ed. We need to fin­ish them out. Kill them dead. I want you to un­der­stand that on No­vem­ber 28, you have the op­por­tu­ni­ty to dri­ve a PNM bal­isi­er deep in­to the hearts of the wicked UNC vam­pires. Take a stake with a bal­isi­er on top and dri­ve it deep with­in their heart and fin­ish them off once and for all.”

The Opposition Leader added, “One speak­er says be pre­pared to die for his union mem­bers while the oth­er in­vokes his sup­port­ers to kill them dead. Which is worse? Yet there was no in­ves­ti­ga­tion, no charge, no protest from the gov­ern­ment for one while the oth­er is be­ing pros­e­cut­ed and per­se­cut­ed.

“What ex­act­ly is the spe­cif­ic cri­te­ria that is be­ing used to de­ter­mine what is free speech and what is sedi­tious af­ter 57 years of in­de­pen­dence? What are the cri­te­ria to de­ter­mine who is charged and who is not? I do my du­ty as Op­po­si­tion leader and ask these ques­tions so as to pro­tect all pa­tri­ot­ic cit­i­zens from run­ning afoul of this ar­cha­ic law and an ever-in­creas­ing op­pres­sive Gov­ern­ment.”

Kamla Persad-Bissessar

She said the stan­dard of liv­ing of our cit­i­zens con­tin­ued to de­crease and “the dreams of many of cit­i­zens are be­ing shat­tered and their true po­ten­tial ig­nored by this Gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to eq­ui­tably ad­dress the needs of the pop­u­la­tion.

“Many of the poli­cies, acts and even in­ac­tion in some cir­cum­stances by this Gov­ern­ment have led to this na­tion’s im­age be­ing tar­nished and the way of life we once knew is con­stant­ly be­ing erod­ed.”

Persad-Bissessar called on the gov­ern­ment to re­mem­ber their con­sti­tu­tion­al re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and sus­pend the modus operan­di of the last four years which has seen them op­er­ate as a gov­ern­ment for “the few and not the many.”

She said, “I call on the gov­ern­ment to be in­spired by the ac­com­plish­ments, dy­namism as well as the world-class tal­ents of our peo­ple and do all in their pow­er to en­sure that each cit­i­zen is em­pow­ered to be part of na­tion-build­ing.”

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