Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 2nd 2015 Contents RICHARD LORD
Former head of the public service Reginald Dumas
says Minister in the Ministry of the People and
Social Development, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, must
resign immediately or be fired by Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar for her statements about
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley s past.
And Public Administration Minister Carolyn Seep-
ersad-Bachan said the former Tobago Development
Minister was wrong to make the statement about
rape in Parliament last week Wednesday, during
debate on a government-sponsored motion of no
confidence in Rowley. Alleyne-Toppin said in Par-
liament last week that Rowley
(who was not in the Chamber
at the time) was born after his
mother was raped and as a
result he became an "aggres-
sive" and "arrogant" person.
She also claimed Rowley had
raped a woman who conceived
a son for him.
That woman, Roselyn
Alleyne, has since denied those
claims in a video which was
shown at a PNM press confer-
ence at Balisier House last week.
Alleyne-Toppin last Thursday
offered a partial apology for her
comments, but stood her
ground on some aspects, saying
Rowley had questions to answer. She remained defiant
and challenged the content of a media report in which
Roselyn Alleyne denied her claims.
Dumas said Alleyne-Toppin must "do the honourable
thing and resign or be removed by the Prime Minister."
He said she had "demeaned herself, the Parliament,
Tobago and T&T and has scandalised herself."
He said she did so as an MP, parent, woman and
"Alleyne-Toppin must go and must go at once,
failing which she must be removed by the Prime Min-
Seepersad-Bachan said Toppin s statement "was
not appropriate, it was wrong. The text of the statement
Seepersad-Bachan said although the minister apol-
ogised for her comments in Parliament about Rowley,
"We must wait and see (what happens next)."
She said MPs "must be mindful about what we use
the Parliament for and what is the purpose of the
Parliament," adding this forum was "not to get into
personal lives." She said the Congress of the People
stood against "using the Parliament s privilege to attack
people in their personal lives, especially those who
are not present in the Parliament."
Seepersad-Bachan said an MP should not speak
about someone s mother in that manner in the Par-
liament because the individual could not defend her-
Saying she was not in the chamber last week
Wednesday, Seepersad-Bachan added: "We have to
draw the line as to what we are using the Parliament
for, that is, for the people s business."
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, April 2, 2015
The Young Women s Christian Associ-
ation of T&T has strongly condemned
statements made by Minister in the Min-
istry of the People and Social Development
Vernella Alleyne-Toppin in which she said
in Parliament last Wednesday that Oppo-
sition Leader Dr Keith Rowley was a child
In a statement yesterday the organisation
said it was appalled, disappointed and sad-
dened by the unsubstantiated claims laid
before the Parliament and under cover of
It said it viewed Alleyne-Toppin s state-
ments as malicious, reckless and insensitive
particularly as they have brought innocent
women into an arena not of their making.
"We all have enshrined basic human
rights, not the least of which is the right to
privacy and respect and protection against
interference with one s family and against
attacks on our honour and reputation.
"The forum chosen to lay these allegations
completely removed the ability or possibility
of at least one of the supposed victims to
respond in kind," the statement said.
It said in a region where efforts were
continuously being made to address
issues surrounding sexual and domestic
violence it was incomprehensible that a
female MP would so stoop to score cheap
political points as to make remarks akin
to rumour and gossip.
"The YWCATT feels strongly that such
an act trivialises the heinous nature of the
crimes alleged and further victimises the
"As we continue to move forward in our
service to our nation, the YWCA of T&T
calls on all citizens to stand together, support
each other and root out victimisation of any
kind," the statement said.
It also urged citizens to create empowering
environments for all, especially the victims
and families of gender-based violence.
"Let us raise our collective awareness of
the seriousness of the issues of gender-
based violence and human rights so that
the prospect of their violation will not arise
in this manner," the YWCATT added.
Toppin, Minister in
the Ministry of the
People and Social
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