Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 14th 2014 Contents A5
Friday, November 14, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar has disagreed with Tobago House
of Assembly Chief Secretary Orville
London that there have been "serious
incursions" by the Tobago Development
Ministry into the THA s autonomy.
Speaking at yesterday s joint press
conference with London at the Mag-
dalena Grand Resort, Tobago, the PM
said she did not endorse his view.
London, who had brought up the issue
at a meeting with her a few weeks ago,
said she asked for examples and he had
compiled a comprehensive report on
London said the PM had said she
would pass it to the Attorney General to
advise on and the THA also would seek
He said he found it a little disturbing
that Government and THA were working
together towards greater self-governing
for Tobago, yet there should be
"unabashed attack on THA s limited
autonomy", via the "incursions."
However, Persad-Bissessar said she
could not endorse his view on the latter
but had asked the AG to see if anyone
was breaching the THA s provisions.
London said at yesterday s joint
THA/Cabinet meeting another area of
dispute was THA representation on state
While the THA wanted that, he said
the PM said it only applied if legally des-
ignated, though he feels the mandate of
certain agencies---WASA, the Port and
Airport Authorities, T&TEC---included
He will present the PM next week
with a list of priority agencies where the
THA feels representation is imperative.
He said the meeting also discussed air
transport, planning, trade and finance
issues and an assurance was received
that the Government would examine
Caribbean Airlines systemic and policy
issues on Tobago, including getting pro-
posals, with THA input, to treat with
regular passengers from Trinidad, visitors
and international passengers.
London said the present ticketing sys-
tem had shortcomings where blocks of
seats were said by agencies to have been
sold when seats were available.
There was also an assurance that work
on the ANR Robinson Airport would be
complete by the end of next year with
improvements in keeping with the
demands of Virgin and other airlines.
The Finance Minister and his THA
counterpart will meet in coming weeks
to finalise arrangements for funding
modes for THA s development.
There is also government support for
a meeting on revitalising Tobago s econ-
omy. Tobago is also getting 25 more buses
and another batch to meet its required
fleet of 40. There are seven buses in
Government and the Tobago House of
Assembly (THA) have progressed on internal
self government for Tobago and must now
determine the substance of new legislation
for this. Chief Secretary Orville London says
the Opposition PNM will support the THA s
stance on this.
A Government/THA accord on the issue
was reached yesterday at a joint Cabinet meet-
ing with the THA executive council at the
Magdalena Grand Resort in Tobago.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said
an assemblyman had told her the meeting was
historic, since it was the first of its kind.
"Despite the inclement weather (in Tobago)
we had a great day, we had a very interesting
successful meeting. Our goals are the same
though we may take different pathways," Per-
sad-Bissessar said on the self government
The PM said she would meet again with the
THA on the issue in January. What has to be
worked out now is the substance of legislation
and if there is agreement by all, she believes
it will move forward "pretty quickly."
London, also signalling the THA had a
foothold on the pathway to self-government,
said, "It was very heartening for all of us to
sit as representatives of T&T to discuss busi-
ness. I must commend all participants on the
quality of discussions, the camaraderie, col-
laboration and co-operation existing in the
He added, "Two major issues were discussed
and I m comforted by what has come out of
the discussions. On the first, internal self gov-
ernment for Tobago, central Government reit-
erated commitment to the concept.
"The Prime Minister said she will discuss
with the Cabinet my recommendation that all
parties come together and have a united front
in Tobago and the same thing should happen
at the national level (on this).
"I hope soon there will be an agreement for
representatives of all in Tobago---THA and cen-
tral Government---both Government and oppo-
sition---to have the type of talks that will bring;
satisfactory conclusion to this longstanding
London said he hoped the promises would
be realised based on what happened in coming
weeks and months.
"We won t place political agendas before
Tobago development. The PM has also made
that commitment. I hope this is a signal we ve
reached a new phase between Government
and the THA," London said.
Saying self-government could only be
achieved by parliamentary legislation, he said:
"If we continue to walk the talk, and we ve
made a very public commitment, to walk the
talk where this is concerned, therefore I don t
see either of us being able to back out of this."
Persad Bissessar, endorsing his comments
on the self-government issue, said Cabinet
will deliberate to see how the parties can move
"We may have had our differences along
the way, but we all have the same vision and
purpose to improve the quality of life of
Trinidad and Tobago and once we keep to that
purpose we can work together," she said.
Saying a new bill would require a special
majority vote for passage, the PM said even
if the PP Government agreed with the THA
or other Tobago parties on the issue, if the
Opposition PNM didn t agree, as they did on
the last occasion the bill was presented, it
could not be made law.
"So Mr London is correct in saying we all
have to work together to make it happen (and)
we ve demonstrated that," she said.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar
has said that general elections are not
"around the corner."
"There is no early election, it's not around
the corner," she said following a meeting
with the Tobago House of Assembly.
"There is no early, round the corner
elections. It'll be called when
Three men, including a solider and a police
constable, appeared before Senior Magistrate
Indrani Cedeno in the Arima Magistrates
Court yesterday charged with kidnapping,
robbery, and misbehaviour in public office.
Constable Andre Joseph, who was last
assigned to the Eastern Divisional Task Force,
was charged with misbehaviour in public office,
while Rod Willis and soldier Orrin Branch were
charged with stealing over $50,000 and elec-
tronics from a Valencia businessman on Sep-
Branch and Willis also were charged with
issuing two forged documents, obtaining
$50,000 under false pretences and attempting
to obtain $75,000 under false pretences.
The duo also were charged with kidnapping
the businessman and stealing his Nissan Navar-
ra, valued at $200,000.
The three are scheduled to re-appear before
a Sangre Grande Magistrate today.
PM disagrees with
London's claims but...
AG to look
Cop, solider in court on criminal charges
Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Orville London, second from left, joins Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in prayer before lunch
during yesterday's meeting between the Government and the THA at the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, Tobago. Others in photo, from left, are
Minister of Finance Larry Howai and Minister of Labour Errol McLeod. PHOTO COURTESY OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
'NO EARLY ELECTION'
THA, PP make progress on self-governance
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