Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 31st 2015 Contents Economist Winston Dookeran, Foreign Affairs Minister.
Former labour leader Errol McLeod, Minister of Labour.
Monday, August 31, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley is calling on
citizens to put their political differences aside to
help improve T&T. In his Independence Day mes-
sage, the PNM leadern urged citizens to work togeth-
er to restore good governance.
"I have seen too many for too long sitting on the
sidelines, numbed by the constant political rancour
and harbouring disappointment and anger. For too
long, too many people have left it all up to the Gov-
ernment ... But I say to you now, don t get angry.
Get active. Get involved and build your community.
Build your businesses. Build yourselves and your
lives; and in doing so, build your country," he said
Rowley said citizens need to play a larger role in
assisting the Government in dealing with the economic
problems associated with current low energy prices.
Referring to several periods of economic downturn
in T&T s history, he noted that the country was only
able to recover through the "grit and tenacity" of
"When our peace and victory was in doubt, when
our circumstances were at their worst, we held fast
and did our best. And as one, we prevailed. Together
we aspired with boundless faith and together we
achieved," Rowley said.
"I believe that once we pull together, all interest
groups: business and industry, social networks, Labour,
NGOs and faith-based organisations and Government,
we could unlock the potential of what is, a sleeping
giant that is T&T," he said.
PM: We are
richer for our
Trinidad and Tobago is a "model to the world as
a diverse nation of people of many origins who
have been able to forge an enduring unity", Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said in her Inde-
pendence Day Message to the nation.
She said all T&T nationals at home and abroad
can can be very proud of the country s achievements,
development and influence as an independent nation.
"We are richer for our diversity and differences
and we are stronger as a nation because of the har-
mony which exists. Today is a day for all our people
whatever their race, background or location," she
"The responsibility is on us all to remain true to
the founding principles of our nation. The challenge
to us is to ensure an even better future for our children.
"We can be very proud of the performance of our
economy, our education system, our healthcare, our
infrastructure and our provision of homes. We can
also be proud of our achievements in sports, through
cricket, football, boxing, and athletics. But let us
make the most of what we have and move forward
to a better tomorrow.
"Let us all work to continue the progress made
since independence and to secure an even better
future for Trinidad and Tobago."
Two politicians and members of the
People s Partnership (PP) governing coali-
tion are receiving T&T s highest national
award this year. Economist Winston Dook-
eran, the Foreign Affairs Minister and for-
mer labour leader Errol McLeod, who cur-
rently serves as Minister of Labour, will
receive the Order of the Republic of T&T
for outstanding service to the country.
Dookeran s award is for distinguished
contributions in economics, while McLeod s
award is for outstanding service in trade
unionism and industrial relations, according
to a Government release yesterday.
Dookeran, originally from Rio Claro, is
the former political leader the Congress of
the People (COP) which he co-founded in
2006. With a degree in economics and
maths at the University of Manitoba, Canada
and an Msc in Economics at the London
School of Economics, University of London,
UK, he has had a dinstinguished academic
career, with many publications on devel-
opmental economics in the Caribbean. He
lectured for 15 years at UWI on economics.
In 1981 Dookeran contested the con-
stituency of Chaguanas as a candidate of
the United Labour Front, and won. In 1986,
when the ULF merged with other parties
to form the National Alliance for Recon-
struction (NAR), Dookeran again ran for the
Chaguanas seat and won. Under the NAR
he became a Cabinet minister, a minister
of planning, and NAR deputy political leader.
He acted as prime minister on several occa-
sions, including during the 1990 attempted
coup when prime minister ANR Robinson
was taken hostage. He lost his seat in the
Dookeran has been a senior economist
at the United Nations Economic Commis-
sion for Latin America and the Caribbean.
He was also a member of the executive
board of the Inter-American Development
Bank and the governor of the Caribbean
Development Bank. He was Governor of
the Central Bank of T&T from 1997-2002.
In 2002 he joined the United National Con-
gress (UNC) and won the St Augustine con-
stituency. In October 2005 Dookeran suc-
ceeded Basdeo Panday as leader of the UNC.
By 2006 he had formed his own political
party, the COP, which would eventually join
the PP alliance.
Errol McLeod, from La Romain, San Fer-
nando, began his career begain in the oil
business in the 1960s when he joined the
Texaco Apprenticeship Training Scheme.
He went on to work for the Pointe-a-Pierre
refinery in many positions, including as an
electrician and refinery operator. McLeod
became a member of the Oilfield Workers
Trade Union (OWTU) in the 1970s, rising
to become its president general in 1987, until
he retired in 2008.
He was a founding member of the United
Labour Front in the mid-70s, when mainly
black oil workers, mainly Indian sugarcane
farmers and members of the Transport and
Industrial Workers Union tried to form a
multi-racial alliance of diverse interests
under the name of the ULF. The ULF
became a formal political party in 1976 "to
unite the working class as a class for political
struggle..." McLeod was elected MP for
Oropouche on the ULF ticket in the 1976
elections. Despite its intentions to become
a multi-racial party, the ULF became the
successor to the Democratic Labour Party,
and came to represent largely Indian inter-
McLeod was political leader of the Move-
ment for Social Justice (MSJ), a labour party
that formed in early 2010. He resigned as
MSJ leader in January 2012 to focus on his
duties as Minister of Labour and MP for
Order of the Republic
for Dookeran, McLeod
Dookeran's award is for
distinguished contributions in
economics, while McLeod's award is
for outstanding service in trade
unionism and industrial relations,
according to a Government release
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