Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 31st 2018 Contents A18
Saturday, March 31, 2018
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he Dr Rowley-led Gov-
ernment has earned
the record that it has
consistently failed to
act on national issues.
Just as US President
Donald Trump touted the Mexico
Border Wall, the PNM Government
has continued to tout the “Great
Wall of China” around the Judici-
ary. This is proving disastrous for
the integrity and confidence in the
At the time of writing, I have
only seen the article “CJ confided
to Thomas-Felix: Hounded for
Homes” in the Trinidad Express
dated March 26, 2018. This article
speaks of conversation(s) between
Chief Justice Ivor Archie and In-
dustrial Court President Deborah
Thomas-Felix via a series of text
and/or whatsapp messages during
December 2014. CJ Archie appar-
ently vented frustrations over sev-
eral persons who were conned by
his convicted friend, Kern Romero
who was “hounding” him for hous-
ing from the HDC.
If what is reported is in fact true,
then many questions arise. What
kind of “friendship” did CJ Archie
have with his friend Kern Romero
that would result in any person
being able to “hound” him for hous-
ing? Was the head of an independ-
ent Judiciary subjected to influence
of any kind as a result of his rela-
tionship with Kern Romero? Was
the “hounding” limited to housing?
The discussion continues as to
whether Ms Deborah Thomas-Felix
was aware of these matters. If she
was, and shared these types of com-
munication(s) with the CJ, could we
reasonably begin to believe that
she was not aware that the CJ had
named her as his “supervisor” in
pursuing Labour and/or Human
Rights studies? If the article of
26/03/18 is in fact true, why didn’t
CJ Archie and/or Deborah Thom-
as-Felix make a report to the police?
Questions loom large as to ex-
actly how much did the CJ buckle
under the constant “hounding.”
Next come the alleged role, if any,
did a prominent lawyer play in the
I wish to remind the Honourable
Prime Minister and the Govern-
ment, the Honourable Chief Justice
and Her Honour Ms Deborah Thom-
as-Felix that these matters strike at
the very heart of independence of
the Judiciary and the confidence of
our high Office-holders.
y recent col-
to the per-
seemed to be extending to each
other. It appeared that former Pres-
ident Carmona extended a “bligh”
to CJ Archie while the Prime Minis-
ter and the Attorney General con-
tinuously fortified the “Great Wall
of China” to the benefit of a few.
During the last few days, we have
heard unconfirmed statements
to the effect that the Minister of
National Security is before the US
Courts being accused of allegedly
“defrauding” one Neville Piper, an
elderly man. Up to the time of writ-
ing this column, there have been no
reported decision of the matter in
the media nor have there been any
statement from the Prime Minister
as to factual details. My take on the
matter is not whether the Minister
of National Security is guilty or not
found guilty or pending a trial.
The issues to be addressed are
whether the Minister informed the
Cabinet of the particular case, and
if so, to whom. Why was the Prime
Minister silent on the matter, if he
was in fact informed? How many
times was the Minister required
to fly to New York whilst he was a
Minister? Did he declare such trips
as being personal in nature or in
the pursuance of his functions as a
Minister? Who paid for any of these
trips? Were there drastic increases
in the levels of crimes when the
Minister was out of the country at-
tending to his personal defence in
the case before the US courts?
Since 2015, we appear to be
headed down a tragic slope. Whilst
some high office-holders continue
to “play the fool,” ordinary citizens
are experiencing severe hardships.
Entitlement to a perk or “term” of
Office is one thing, exercising your
discretion to utilise such perks
when your country is suffering is
We are still none the wiser as far as the confusion
over T&T’s position at the Organisation of American
States regarding Dominica’s fees.
It seems that, after all, the nation was in favour of
waiving the fees for the hurricane-ravaged Caricom
partner. Somehow, though, it ended up against it
when the matter was debated at the OAS.
This needs proper probing. Not because of the
shameful position of being effectively alone in an
effort to help a fellow Caribbean nation but, above
all, because an efficient diplomatic service can only
exist if there is a clear understanding between the
Government and its representatives overseas.
In this case, either someone here in T&T gave the
mission in Washington the wrong briefing or our
representatives there made a monumental mistake.
Either way, someone ought to be held accountable
for this mess and fast.
Unfortunately, though, this Government’s track
record is quite poor when it comes to holding their
own to account. Don’t hold your breath.
Following the time of introspection and penitence
for Lent and the marking of Christ’s Crucifixion,
Christians now prepare for Easter Sunday,
celebrating Jesus’ resurrection and life as a whole.
It will be a good moment for us all to pause and
consider what we can do to celebrate and preserve
life in a country rapidly becoming numb to violence,
death. At times it feels like as if the nation as whole
has lost its moral compass.
Perhaps all of us, Christians or not, should take this
extended time with the family to consider at least
one pledge to help us become a more peaceful and
respectful society, one act at a time.
With the 30th of March falling on Good Friday, today
instead we celebrate an important part of our rich
religious tapestry, the Spiritual Baptists and their
unique mix of Christianity and African religion.
Their journey is also a reflection of the complex
and unique way Trinidad and Tobago was populated,
with the Baptist faith reaching our shores thanks to
the Merikins, the former American slaves who settled
in Trinidad after fighting with the British forces in the
War of 1812.
The Shouters also endured persecution, banned
from practising the religion for most of the first half
of the 20th century.
We wish Spiritual Baptists a happy day, marking
their faith and their unique history in Trinidad
A diplomatic mess
Customers purchase provision along Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain on Thursday. Provision along with fish are the
main ingredients for a tradition Good Friday meal in T&T.
PICTURE KERWIN PIERRE
Invoke Section 137 now!
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