Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2015 Contents A5
October 25, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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The birthplace of the United
National Congress (UNC)---the
historical Rienzi Complex---is now
home to a new political party. The
National Solidarity Assembly
(NSA), launched yesterday at the
UNC base, is made up of mem-
bers of the All Trinidad General
Workers Union (ATGWU) and ex-
The party, led by ATGWU head
Nirvan Maharaj, is a breakaway
faction of the UNC, but as the
Rienzi Complex is owned by the
union it has first preference for its
"The UNC can continue to rent
here but it is strictly a landlord/ten-
ant relationship and as long as they
honour that agreement they can
continue to stay," Maharaj told the
Sunday Guardian in an interview
after the party launch.
Maharaj, who spoke last at yes-
terday s launch, said the NSA would
challenge the UNC in the upcoming
Local Government elections.
Maharaj blasted both UNC
leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and
his predecessor Rudy Indarsingh
for using the ex-Caroni workers to
get into office and then turning
their backs on them soon after
"The UNC betrayed their people.
The believe they have a divine right
to my vote just because I look like
them and that is not true," Maharaj
He said Persad-Bissessar did not
even show up at Rienzi after the
election loss on September 7 and
that proved to the supporters that
she was only interested in "using"
them for votes but did not care
He said the former government
gave away lands earmarked for
Caroni workers to their "friends"
who owned companies and then
said that there were no more lands
for the ex-Caroni workers.
"Now that they lost elections,
they are telling us to come back
home . Come back home to what?
You cannot take those words and
go to the supermarket," Maharaj
told the substantial gathering.
Maharaj said the same condem-
nation the ATGWU had levelled
against the PNM after 2007 was
the same level of condemnation
they were now levelling at the
"They use race to pit us against
each other so that when we are so
busy fighting each other on the
ground we do not see the failings
of our leaders," he said.
Maharaj said as many as 6,000
ex-Caroni workers were still await-
ing the lands promised to them
and cited the 2007 Deyalsingh
judgement which granted the for-
mer sugar workers the legal rights
to the lands which were politically
promised to them in 2003.
But now, some 12 years later, the
ATGWU is pushing back.
"Today is a glorious day because
united we are going to tell the PNM
(People s National Movement) and
the UNC that enough is enough,"
In a subsequent interview,
Maharaj said he had no thoughts
on the UNC s internal elections
but had already visited 13 elec-
torates under the NSA banner.
"I have divorced myself from the
UNC, so internal elections is their
business. It is going to be difficult
and daunting to start this political
challenge but we are ready for it,"
Persad-Bissessar launched her
campaign for internal elections
yesterday in Penal. Indarsingh did
not return calls to his mobile
New political party
takes over Rienzi
...UNC just renting complex
Political leader of the National Solidarity Assembly, Nirvan Maharaj, greets ex-Caroni workers during the
party's launch at Rienzi Complex, Couva, yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
CHARLES KONG SOO
Acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams says there is no
serial killer at large in Tobago.
He was speaking to reporters after
the T&T Police Service s graduation
ceremony for Special Reserve Police
of Batch 1 2015, at the Police Academy,
St James Barracks, yesterday.
In the aftermath of the murder of
British national Richard Wheeler, 73,
and his Trinidadian wife, Grace, 67, at
their home in Tobago on October 20,
Williams was asked if there was a serial
killer in Tobago as there were certain
similarities among four incidents and
murders involving foreign nationals.
Williams said, "I am not seeing any
similarity by way of looking at it as a
"We re conducting an investigation
into the last two killings in Tobago;
that investigation is on.
"Coming out of the investigation
there will be clear determinations
whether there are any linkages to any
other crimes that have occurred in
Tobago over time.
"It would be irresponsible of me to
speak about the linkages to any other
murders that would have occurred in
Tobago over the last few years."
He said he would be effectively guid-
ed as the investigation unfolded by the
who was responsible for leading the
Williams said it was not necessarily
correct to say that mainly British
nationals were being targeted, since
there were other persons that had been
killed in Tobago who were not British
citizens. He said there was a British
couple, Peter and Murium Green, who
were severely injured in Tobago in 2009
and were still alive.
When Williams was asked what
assurance could the T&T Police Service
give to foreigners seeing these murders
on the news who might think twice
about visiting Tobago, he said the serv-
ice had increased its presence in Toba-
go.He said he recently sent 16 officers
from the last batch of recruits and
would continue to staff Tobago. There
will also be a special tourist-oriented
policing training programme in
November. (See Page A7)
CoP: No serial killer in Tobago
Despite the UNC losing the last five
elections they contested, Opposition
Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar got
a fresh mandate from party members
to seek re-election as their political
Launching her campaign at the Shiva
Boys Hindu College in Penal, yesterday,
Persad-Bissessar was endorsed by sev-
eral opposition MPs, including Dr Suruj
Rambachan, Dr Lackram Bodoe, Dr
David Lee, Rodney Charles and Barry
Padarath. Also showing their support
were several former ministers and cur-
rent chairmen and councillors of
Persad-Bissessar revealed that many
members urged her to postpone the
internal elections until next year, but
she wanted to get a new executive to
help rebuild the party as they moved
to form the next government.
With the elections on December 5,
she said she was looking for fresh faces
in the new executive as she promised
many changes, including in the attitude
of the party.
"I give you my every commitment
that I will use every nerve in my body
to ensure that the UNC is fully geared
and prepared to move into a new era
of servant-based leadership. I give you
the commitment as well, we will look
into how we can work on this servant-
based leadership era and that we must
continue to fight and advocate the
issues that impact upon people because
we want a people-centred govern-
ment," Persad-Bissessar said.
She also appealed to members and
candidates not to destroy the party by
launching personal attacks against each
other during their respective cam-
"Anybody who is supporting me,
campaigning with me, today I warn
you I will not tolerate any attacks
against any opponent that will work
to undermine and mash up the UNC.
We are still one UNC family."
She announced that nomination day
was on November 20 where forms
would be available at Rienzi Complex,
Couva. She added that an independent
elections committee would be formed
to ensure a fair election.
Persad-Bissessar also called on
members to stand with the Opposition
as it battled the Government in Par-
liament over the proposed property
tax and revenue authority. She called
on National Security Minister Edmund
Dillon to reveal the PNM s crime-fight-
ing plans and appealed to Education
Minister Anthony Garcia to continue
the laptop distribution to Form One
secondary school students.
Kamla launches re-election campaign
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