ON the 57th anniversary of the Independence of Trinidad and Tobago, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says this is no time “to play the blame game.”
In his Independence Day Message, Rowley said as the country faces a number of challenges this was “not the time for citizens to play the blame-game or to dishonestly throw stones at each other.”
He said in other parts of the world, “progressive citizens, rather than pelt stones, are using stones to build paths to a new society.”
Rowley asked that “all work to converting the lows of partisan political rivalries, just as they confront us, into the highs of harmony, mutual respect and a permanent space for moral values.”
He said, while TT has experienced some highs such as the recent signing of an energy memorandum of understanding with Barbados and the success at the Pan American Games, Rowley said there were lows on the national landscape.
Rowley knocked those who were spreading a disappointingly “negative story line that this country was in a state of crisis.”
He said people who spread this message were “doomsters” who only spread stories of “unnecessary bitterness, manufactured social conflict, racial tension, even gleefully predicting our collective failure.”
Rowley said these people “pronounced wrongly” that Government would never take serious action against white collar crime nor progressively pursue the spate of violent crimes in TT.
He recalled recently making comments on the Public Service which were “eagerly misinterpreted, unfortunately.”
Rowley said, “Admittedly, the inherent fault lines running through our body politic are manifested every day in the anger and violence among individuals, families and communities.
“It brings no comfort to remind that crime is now a universal disease, being spread by the culture of drugs, guns and gangs.
“This disease was identified years ago, and attempts were made to isolate Trinidad and Tobago, as much as possible, but sadly, in recent times, our borders were left vulnerable, the results of that culture are what we see reported every day.”
He said, “The 21st century, as it unfolds, is demanding strategic knowledge from both a people and a nation. This then is not the time for citizens to play the blame-game or to dishonestly throw stones at each other.”
Rowley said, “As we consciously review the list of highs and lows, we should also be asking ourselves how can we re-create, change, solve, and invent.
“We must be aware that the Century is now demanding that citizens create their own New Society, in which they both own the change they want, and the future they think is possible. Let us hold hands and step confidently forward with ‘boundless faith’ in a destiny which we can shape.”