Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 26th 2015 Contents ROADBLOCK MOTION DENIED
Thursday, March 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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While the United National Congress
(UNC) brought out many supporters
around the Parliament for yesterday s no-
confidence motion debate against Oppo-
sition PNM Leader Dr Keith Rowley, the
PNM specifically instructed constituencies
not to send people, PNM general secretary
Ashton Ford said.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar,
at the UNC s Monday Night Forum, had
called on supporters to come out and sup-
port the party by their presence around the
Parliament during the debate.
Obeying the PM s request, supporters in
yellow UNC T-shirts were visible around
Port-of-Spain from as early as 11 am yes-
terday. But only one man in a red jersey
leaned against the barriers outside the Par-
liament around 1.15 pm and he said he was
not part of a PNM support plan.
Ford said the PNM had given "strict
instructions" for party units not to send
people, "because we didn t want any clash
between PNM and UNC or others outside
the Parliament. Anyone who goes there
from the PNM is going on their own, not
on party sanction."
Other PNM officials noted that during a
protest last year involving PNM supporters,
labour and others, someone in a red jer-
sey---like PNMites wear---had been arrested
for holding up a placard with racist state-
ments. The party disassociated itself from
the placard bearer. That man later pointed
out he was homeless and had been paid to
bear the placard outside the Parliament.
PNM officials said the party didn t want a
repeat of any such "set up" again.
Numerous UNC supporters from various
constituencies had gathered around the Par-
liament precincts by 1 pm, yesterday, sitting
along the sea walls of the Waterfront Com-
plex, gathering in the Breakfast Shed area
and nearby. Some also sat or lounged around
at the Brian Lara Promenade s west end.
They held up signs, including "Respect
Women, Rowley!" and "Hide Your Children
Persad-Bissessar, clad in a flowing silver
African-styled gown and towering silver
headdress, arrived at 1 pm, got out of her
car and walked along the barricades, greeting
the eager, enthusiastic supporters and shak-
ing hands with them. As she approached,
many of the women among them jubilantly
yelled, "God Bless the Prime Minister."
Trailing her and shaking hands also were
MPs Stacy Roopnarine, Ramona Ramdial,
Fuad Khan, Chandresh Sharma, Stephen
Cadiz, Glenn Ramadharsingh and Devant
Maharaj. Former PNM stalwart Twiggy was
literally on the PM s side, since she was on
the side of the barriers that the PM s
entourage was on.
"Foolishness and a waste of time."
That was how People s National Movement MP
Colm Imbert dismissed government s no-confidence
motion against Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
during yesterday s debate on the motion. Imbert was
replying to People s Partnership (PP) House Leader
Dr Roodal Moonilal s piloting of the motion in Par-
Imbert later had to withdraw the word "foolish"
on House Speaker Wade Mark s request because it
was deemed unparliamentary language.
Imbert said Moonilal s statement was childish and
the Parliament was wasting time on the motion while
important matters such as Monday s gridlock needed
to be examined.
He dismissed Moonilal s points about Rowley on
issues dating back to 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009,
saying they were all in the past and Rowley wasn t
Opposition Leader then. He said Rowley was exon-
erated in the Landate and Uff enquiries, and the One
Woodbrook Place Apartment project---where Rowley
was said to have acquired an apartment---was initiated
under the then UNC government.
Imbert said that such motions were not done save
in Australia in 1912. He read out records of the Aus-
tralian Parliament from 1912, when he said the Speaker
then threw out such a motion, deeming it frivolous
and out of order. He said, "That was Speaker."
When PP MPs accused him of casting aspersions
on House Speaker Mark, and Mark queried if Imbert
was challenging the motion which he d approved for
debate, Imbert denied he was casting aspersions on
He said: "I m talking about the precedent of the
motion, I m not casting aspersions on you (Mark)...I m
talking about all of you, is the Government playing
Imbert then said it was the Prime Minister who
had nominated David West to head the Police Com-
plaints Authority and the PP had "manipulated facts"
to say Rowley had. Throughout Imbert s contribution
he appealed to Mark to get PP MPs---especially the
Prime Minister---to be quiet while he spoke. (GA)
Prime-time CNC3 television
programme Crime Watch is
back from today with host Ian
Alleyne live in studio.
The programme has been off
the air since last week Monday
with only pre-recorded shows
airing from 6 pm to 7 pm.
Giving a reason for this,
Guardian Media Ltd managing
director Lisa Agard said during
the last week there had been
intense negotiations on a new
contract between Alleyne, his
attorney Larry Lalla, CNC3 gen-
eral manager Nicholas Sabga
Agard explained that during
the negotiations several out-
standing issues were also
In the end, Crime Watch s
two-year contract, which expires
on April 10, 2015, was renewed
for another two years and will
take effect from April 11.
"We are delighted to have Ian
remain as part of the CNC3
family. We firmly believe that
the development of local content
is a critical success factor in
making local television relevant
in an age where video on
demand is widely in use," Agard
"Ian brings a unique style and
intense programme that is
deeply grounded in the issues
that affect the lives of the people
of T&T. For that reason, we
thought it important that there
is that channel for such issues
to be ventilated."
Sabga noted that Alleyne
played an important role in soci-
ety and the station was happy
to renew the deal for the number
one programme on the 6 - 7 pm
"Signing marks the brand and
faith we have in the brand of
Crime Watch. Crime Watch
continues to grow and we are
pleased to grow with it," Sabga
Alleyne, when contacted, said
he was happy and looking for-
ward to continuing what he had
started with his show.
"It is not alleged, it is a fact
that Ian Alleyne and Crime
Watch is back!" he said. (RD)
PNM support stays away
UNC out in full force for Rowley motion
Roxanne Sealey pleads with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, her MP, for a home,
outside the Parliament Building where UNC supporters gathered for yesterday's no-
confidence motion against Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Crime Watch back today
Imbert: Waste of time
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday
that Monday's simultaneous police roadblocks were
an illegal use of power and authority by police now
engaged in wage negotiations.
He did so in proposing a motion to be debated in
Parliament on the action by police. He said there was
the likelihood that the police would repeat the
events of Monday, which would see the collapse of
the national security system of T&T.
Rowley said the motion was urgently required,
since executive members of the police association
had said the road blocks were previously scheduled.
He said anything like this, short of in a state of
emergency, was an abrogation of authority and
abuse of power by the state's agents, making the
national security system vulnerable to abuse.
He voiced concern about the situation exposing
issues within the national security system, Special
Branch, National Operations Centre, SSA and
National Security Council, adding if the situation
recurred it would result in huge losses, leaving
thousands stranded again. House Speaker Wade
Mark said the motion didn't qualify under Standing
Order 17, under which it was filed, but could be
refiled under another standing order.
People's Partnership (PP) House
leader Roodal Moonilal said he was
pleased at the UNC turnout. He said the
lack of PNM supporters was a sign of
doubt that the party could muster more
than a "handful of people" for such
occasions. He said the PNM had
previously used some labour sector
numbers in previous events and that
effort had also failed.
Inside the Parliament the only sign of
PNM red was among the female PNM
MPs---except for MP Paula Gopee-Scoon
who was in black---and executive officer
Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, as well as
several PNM senators. A number of PP
officials and activists attended. Some
walked out when PNM MP Colm Imbert
began to speak.
Of the PP's 26 MPs, 23 were present.
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