PNM Leader Slams UNC Advertisement

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PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley is demanding an apology from Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bisessar for a political advertisement which he said was discriminating against all people of African descent in this country.

General election is on Monday.

Rowley said he was insulted by the ad that he claims is purposely encouraging racial division among citizens.

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“She (Persad-Bissessar) reach now by humiliating black people of this country by picking up destitute black people and portraying them in the worst possible way in a political advertisement. Tonight I want to say to Ms Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the UNC, I am a proud black man in this country and you have offended me,” Rowley said.

Rowley, who was speaking during the last of the People’s National Movement (PNM) campaign meetings on Thursday for the season, demanded the removal of the ads.

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The meeting was held in the constituency of Toco/Sangre Grande.

He said Persad-Bissessar “intended to use race all along as her political armoury.”

He told the UNC leader, “If you want to lead this country, you must apologise.”

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Globally, persons of African descent were associated with monkeys, he said and giving bananas to some-one in an ad indicted to others that they were like monkeys.

“Black footballers walk off the field and people make monkey noises at them and throw bananas at them. In the UNC ad black people were hungry, so you could feed the monkeys bananas. You could go to hell with that. We are better than that in TT. It is not only black people who could produce a hungry child or are at the mercy of others.”
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Speaking about the State of Emergency that was declared in 2011 by the then UNC led administrations, Rowley said black men were arrested because of their skin colour.

“They felt that crime is a black people behavior. That is where that advertisement came from. That is how they see us, that is how they think of us, and we reject it.”

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