Charles: Balisier House a Symbol of National Shame

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

BALISIER House, the headquarters of the People’s National Movement (PNM), will forever be a symbol of national shame and disgrace in this country.

This was the declaration made by Opposition Member of Parliament for Naparima Rodney Charles as he called for an investigation into the financing of the new building.

He was speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) Monday night forum at the Macaulay Community Centre in Claxton Bay.

Charles began his speech by quoting a Bible scripture Matthew 5:13 which states, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (KJV).

He claimed, “Our beloved Trinidad and Tobago has lost its savour, when its government stands accused of consorting with human traffickers, jovially celebrating friendships and maybe using these things to finance Balisier House. The PNM under Rowley is then forth good for nothing and must be cast out and be trodden under the foot of men. Thus says the scripture.”

Charles said, “Balisier House is the living testimony to PNM opulence and extravagance, whether it be contractors paid inflated sums with surpluses being channelled into constructing Balisier House, whether it is unscrupulous businessmen who would open to feed off the PNM, trough, whether it is unsavoury white collar criminals laundering their ill-gotten gains, ladies and gentlemen, Balisier House shall forever live in infamy in Trinidad and Tobago and all associated with it shall be called to account one day.”

Charles said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley could not expect citizens to believe that the funds being used for the reconstruction came from the sale of raffle tickets at $100 per ticket.

“Where did Babylon (PNM) get the required $50 to $100 million?… Which financiers allegedly donated the ten cars raffled? Who are they?” he asked.

“We call on the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit), we call on the Counter Trafficking Unit, and yes, we call on the Commissioner of Police to simply call in Dr Rowley and get the accounts because there is something rotten in the state of Trinidad and Tobago and in Balisier House.The country is depending on these bodies to act fearlessly and without favour,” Charles said.

The MP also criticized Archbishop Charles Gordon and the International Religious Organisation (IRO) for what he said was making citizens believe that they were at wrong for failures that should solely rest on the PNM Government shoulders.

It was not the first time that UNC members have called for an investigation into the reconstruction of Balisier House as several government ministers have said, the funding will be provided through the party’s fund-raiser initiatives.


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