Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 20th 2015 Contents Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Unveiling a statue of Dr Mervyn Dymally, the
renowned Cedros-born, United States congress-
man, President Anthony Carmona on Saturday
called on citizens to follow Dymally s lead and
never forget their roots.
Speaking at a function at Dymally's home
town in Bonasse, Cedros, Carmona urged par-
ents to tell their children about Dymally.
Saying Dymally never took poverty as a
defence mechanism, Carmona said: "Dymal-
ly never forgot to help others after he edu-
cated himself. He never denied his
"He was never ashamed of where he
came from. Vocally he was about the
Caribbean region even though he was a
man unpopular at that time, he triumphed
with the upliftment of the Caribbean and
its relations with the US where trade and
investments were concerned.
"Serving in the US
House of Representatives,
Dymally worked assiduously
to develop a strong Caribbean
immigrant community in
New York," Carmona said.
Quoting Dymally who
once said: "I do not seek to
be popular. I seek to be right,"
Carmona noted that for too
long authority figures
have focused on pop-
ularity and support.
"We have often experienced in the past
many instances of decisions being tailored to
fit this agenda. Decisions should never be
made in the interest of popularity but simply
by what is right and what is required and what
serves the best interest of our people and our
country," Carmona said.
Saying many monuments have already been built in
Dymally's honour in the USA, Carmona said T&T was
a bit late in honouring this legendary stalwart who ded-
icated his life to uplifting Caribbean peo-
"He must be a reminder to our children
who are in school to persevere regardless
of your situation on that road to success.
It matters not where you come from.
What matters is your character, your
heart and the human resilience that
State officials who stole from the Treasury
should be investigated by external forensic
auditors and be punished if found guilty.
So said political leader of the Movement for
Social Justice David Abdulah during a press
conference at the party's headquarters, San
Fernando, on Sunday.
Abdulah, whose party was once a part of
the People's Partnership coalition government
but withdrew in 2012 following allegations
of corruption, said he was deeply disturbed
by the revelations made during the budget
He added: What was said in terms of
the debt at WASA, the government's
own debt of a huge overdraft of $9 billion
at the end of September, the issues at Edu-
cational Facilities Company Ltd and other State
enterprises; all of these examples are deeply dis-
turbing and it cannot in our view remain political
points. We need to ensure that any wrong doing
at the level of serious fraud and white collar crime
"We would like the Government to make a
clear statement of policy about how it intends
to pursue this issue with respect to mismanage-
ment of the country's resources and waste of
taxpayers money by the last government.
"We would like to know that there is a
clear policy to establish forensic investi-
gations by competent independent forensic
auditors so that the evidence can be fer-
reted out. We would like to know that
special prosecutors, perhaps if necessary,
are appointed to focus specially on this
issue of white-collar crime and misbe-
haviour in public office."
Saying the T&T Police Service did not
have the resources to investigate and pros-
ecute former state officials, Abdulah said
external auditors were necessary.
"We cannot have Beetham Wastewater
(treatment plant) remaining as it is. These mat-
ters must be fully investigated and if nothing
was done wrong then these persons names have
to be cleared. If something was done wrong
then the wrong-doers must be brought to jus-
tice," he said.
He also vowed to oppose any austerity meas-
ures that would affect the poor. While he
acknowledged that Government has to put aus-
terity measures in place, Abdulah said it was
important that the poor working class not be
made to face the brunt of adjustments.
"The burden cannot fall on the backs of min-
imum wage earners, ordinary working people,
farmers and small business people who are
already facing the increase of NIS, Green Fund
Levy and Business Levy.
"We will oppose any austerity measures which
will adversely affect them. At the same time we
want closure on outstanding issues like Section
34, Prisongate and Life Sport," Abdulah said.
He also reiterated that there must be no selling
of state assets to bring down the Budget deficit.
"We want to have the Government focus on
how to address what is clearly a difficult eco-
nomic situation and a difficult fiscal situation.
"Our position is there must be no further
sale of state assets, no selling of the crown
jewels, no privatisation, any of the state assets,
those must not be sold. Those belong to all the
people of T&T," Abdulah added. (RS)
Dr Mervyn Dymally
MORE ON DYMALLY
Dymally was born in Cedros. He
attended the Cedros Government
Primary school, St Benedict's College and Naparima
College before migrating to the US in 1946. He was the
first Trinidadian to serve California as a state senator
and lieutenant governor.
He became a leader in the Los Angeles area's
ascendant African-American political establishment in
the early 1960s. He was elected to Congress in 1980.
During his career, Dymally worked to improve
education and access to health care for his largely
working-class, minority constituents.
In Washington, he chaired the Congressional Black
Caucus and served on the House Foreign Affairs
Committee. He focused on issues involving US relations
with African nations, supported sanctions against
South Africa and worked on other international human
rights issues. He died on October 7 at Los Angeles at
the age of 86.
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