Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 3rd 2013 Contents A5
Saturday, August 3, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
senator Anthony Vieira said Pres-
ident Anthony Carmona has
called on him to serve and he
intends to do his best.
"I feel it s an honour and a priv-
ilege. I think we are in very chal-
lenging times internationally. The
whole world is facing an interesting
period and making a contribution
to nation-building now is very
important," Vieira said at yester-
day s ceremonial opening of Par-
Vieira was one of four new Inde-
pendent senators named by Car-
mona ahead of yesterday s new
Speaking to the T&T Guardian,
Vieira said some of the things he
is passionate about were the envi-
ronment, land use planning, food
security and agriculture. Another
new face, Daniel Small, said his
appointment was a tremendous
honour, but a challenge too.
"Most of my career has been in
the Ministry of Energy," he said.
"I have been involved in national
service so it is not something that
is necessarily new to me. But
national service on this level, where
I am going to be articulating com-
ments and views that affect
national government policy, is a
He added: "It s a challenge, but
one I am looking forward to. The
confidence the President has
shown in me by putting me in this
position speaks volumes. All I need
Ian Roach too said he was elated
and humbled by the confidence
the President had shown in him
by appointing him a senator.
Roach, who is wheelchair-bound
said: "I hope that I will be able to
bring something refreshing to the
Independent bench in the Senate.
"Given my present difficulties
as a disabled individual, I hope to
be a voice for people such as me,
who have all forms of disability."
Roach said he also hoped to
bring his wealth of experience as
an international attorney to the
"I have worked in South Africa
for a long time with President
Mandela and his first Cabinet, and
I hope I can bring that experience
to my stint as a senator here."
He said, however, that he
believes senators should be rotated
and others should be given the
opportunity to make a contribu-
"I don t see myself as being
there forever," he said.
Leader of the Opposition People s
National Movement (PNM) Dr Keith
Rowley is describing yesterday s
address by President Anthony Car-
mona as a "tongue-lashing."
Rowley was interviewed by reporters
after the President s first address to
"It was a tongue-lashing that was
not all together unwarranted," Rowley
said, adding that President Carmona s
advice was very timely.
He said the President was taking
parliamentarians to task "for not meas-
uring up," and former president Arthur
NR Robinson had made a similar state-
ment years ago. Rowley insisted par-
liamentarians should take note of the
"Things are falling apart in this coun-
try, there is effectively no law enforce-
ment and there is general misconduct,"
On the President s call for an 8 am
start of Parliament sittings, Rowley said
he was not in support of that, and Par-
liament should begin at 10 am and end
at 5pm. Rowley also said there should
be more frequent sittings and MPs
should be paid higher salaries.
He said in previous years the legis-
lators were managing a "$300 million
budget on a one-day-a-week Parlia-
ment. We are now managing a $60 bil-
lon budget on a half-day Parliament."
He repeated an earlier call for the
speaking time of MPs to be reduced
from 45 minutes to 30, with a 15-minute
Rowley said he was very concerned
about the call by Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar for the Parliament to
enforce the Anti-Gang Act, as that was
not the responsibility of the Parliament.
The Parliament does not enforce law,
but makes it, he said, and it was the
responsibility of the Government to
enforce the law.
The enforcement of the Anti-Gang
Act, he said, did not require the involve-
ment of Parliament in any way, and
the PM s comment "was not anything
to be excited about."
Commenting on the violence in east
Port-of-Spain earlier this week, Rowley
said he was "appalled that police would
have gone to Duncan Street and
engaged in the exchange of gunfire with
the people on the street and nobody
That was "a serious breakdown of
law and order," he said.
Asked about the return of Chaguanas
West MP Jack Warner, Rowley said,
"He put himself out and he brought
Also speaking with the media was
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar,
who said the Government would look
at the possibility of an early start to
"It is something that we ll have to
discuss to see if it can be accommo-
dated," she added.
She said leadership meetings on the
upcoming local government elections
will be convened shortly, but no date
for the elections had been set. MPs
have been meeting to determine the
way forward after Monday s Chaguanas
West by-election defeat, the PM said.
She also said there was no date as
yet for the 2014 national budget.
Persad-Bissessar apologised for her
non-attendance at Emancipation Day
celebrations on Thursday, saying she
had been advised that she should rest
on that day.
"I do apologise for not being there,"
she said. (RL)
Minutes after Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar welcomed
him as the new MP for Chaguanas
West at yesterday s ceremonial
opening of Parliament, Jack
Warner said he had "some con-
cerns still" about her sincerity.
In an interview after the Par-
liament was adjourned to a date to
be fixed, Warner told reporters he
was not convinced that the PM
had freed herself from the clutches
of the United National Congress
However, Warner said that he
wanted to make no comment on
"what she said or did not say at
He said he would support or not
support government legislation on
a case-by-case basis and his sup-
port, or lack of it, would be deter-
mined by its impact on the people
of Chaguanas West.
Warner said he was deserving of
returning to Parliament as Chagua-
nas West MP because he defeated
the entire Government apparatus
in the campaign and also won in
all 51 polling divisions.
"That was unprecedented," he
He said the government MPs
were "bitter and vindictive" and
he was prepared for any attempt
to intimidate him.
Warner, who was boasting of
successes in the Government s
crime-fighting measures three
months ago while he was national
security minister, had a change of
He said the measures were not
working and crime was increasing,
but he would be prepared to share
ideas with new National Security
Minister Emmanuel George to help
address the crime problem.
"We are not in the correct direc-
tion. Crime is on the rise," Warner
He said his new party, the Inde-
pendent Liberal Party, would launch
its local government campaign next
Friday in Tunapuna. No date has
yet been announced for the polls,
which are due by October.
He said the ILP would be going
all out to win the Chaguanas,
Tunapuna and Sangre Grande cor-
porations, and at a strategy meeting
this weekend, the ILP may decide
to contest other corporations.
He said he welcomed being
greeted by Community Develop-
ment Minister Winston Peters,
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan and
St Joseph MP Herbert Volney as
he returned to Parliament.
"They are my friends," Warner
Warner was greeted by other
government ministers, including
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan,
whom he described as "a sham."
"I didn t take them seriously.
Some of them couldn t look me in
the eye," he said, adding that he
had told Ramlogan he was disap-
pointed in him.
"The AG has failed me. He and
I have been friends for 25 years and
you don t throw away friendship
on the altar of politics just to win
a seat," Warner said.
"What he has said of me, my
Chaguanas West family, are things
that are unpardonable."
Warner also refused to shake the
hands of COP leader, Legal Affairs
Minister Prakash Ramadhar.
He said he was also blanking the
reception at Parliament after the
ceremony to have a "private drink"
with Peters, Khan and Volney, who
were his friends "through good
times and bad."
"That s why we are going for our
own private drink at the Hyatt and
not upstairs, because I can t drink
with people who don t like me and
people who I don t like."
Warner said the address by Pres-
ident Anthony Carmona was the
best he had ever heard by a pres-
ident and all the people of his con-
stituency should have a copy of
that speech at their homes.
New senators ready
for big challenge
MP Donna Cox
opening of the
of the Tenth
Some couldn't look me in eye
Jack dispels kudos from ex-UNC colleagues:
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