Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 8th 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 8, 2013
Outgoing Port-of-Spain mayor
Louis Lee Sing says he is not the only
one with concerns with respect to the
People s National Movement (PNM)
In a phone interview with the T&T
Guardian yesterday Lee Sing said, like
him, many shared their concerns over
Dr Keith Rowley s leadership of the
Reports on Monday said there was
a challenge for the leadership by Senator
Pennelope Beckles and Lee Sing, who
vented issues with the PNM leadership
on an i95.5 FM radio programme.
He said: "I cannot, as it were, not
be concerned about a party where my
political leader has not visited the 41
constituencies in an organised and con-
sistent way after he has been in the
job for four years.
"I can t, as it were, not be very vocal
when I, as a member of the legislative
group... the last meeting I went to was
in February and the one before that
was in September and it isn t because
I didn t want to go to the meeting.
"Those are the meetings that were
convened, so there are fundamental
challenges in our party which everybody
wants to remain silent on."
Beckles on Wednesday, in media
reports, was quoted as supporting the
"duly elected leader" of the party.
"If and when the time comes that
the party posts are vacant and I feel
there is enough encouragement and
support and my chances are good I
will give consideration," she said.
Lee Sing, when asked if he planned
to challenge Rowley for the political
leadership of the party, said his plans
were to ensure the PNM be returned
He said he repeatedly raised his issues
at the General Council level and the
minutes were "replete" with issues
raised by him.
Lee Sing, when asked if he would
support Rowley, said: "I am prepared
to support the political leadership of
He said since he joined the party at
14 he has been very vocal and that he
was not seeking to "overthrow"
"I believe Dr Rowley feels it is Lee
Sing just talking a lot of nonsense," he
He said there were two ways to look
at the situation: People could conclude
he was wrong in his interpretation and
assessment, or people could conclude
the advisers of Rowley were wrong in
their interpretation and assessment.
Only time would tell, he added.
Comparing Rowley s leadership style
with that of former PNM leader Patrick
Manning, Lee Sing said there were
many times he did not agree with Man-
ning "but no one took offence. It did
not create schisms. We continued to
He said he did not "have much dia-
logue" with Rowley.
"We cannot as leaders take the posi-
tion that we will not speak to people
because they are not listening to us. It
is our responsibility to find the mech-
anisms to encourage people to hear
what we are saying," he added.
Rowley was quoted on Tuesday as
saying: "We have amended the con-
stitution of the People s National Move-
ment to put in place a one-man, one-
vote system that offers every member
of the party an opportunity to fully
participate in the internal election
process for all posts in the PNM as and
when they become due.
"When I began my campaign to ask
members of the PNM to vote to change
its election structure it was with a view
to re-energising the PNM and chal-
lenging conventions that many felt
were outdated and excluded members
from reaching the highest levels in the
"I am proud that young members
have now been presented with this
opportunity and I trust that all party
members will focus on the job at hand.
"However at this time the party is
squarely focused on the upcoming local
government elections when the PNM
will campaign vigorously and we expect
a good result and will continue to offer
Trinidadians and Tobagonians a safe
port in the storm of instability that is
sweeping the country. "
Mayor Lee Sing
Chief Alagba Agba-Yegun, centre, commemorates ancestors of the steelpan at the site of 1949 peace talks
which ended the war between various steelbands and the eventual establishment of Pan Trinbago during
a ceremony at the Multi-Purpose Complex, St Paul Street, East Dry River, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. From
right are trustee of Pan Trinbago's Allan Augustus, president of Pan Trinibago Keith Diaz, past president
Roy Augustus, past president Melville Bryan and secretary of Pan Trinbago Richard Forteau.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
"We are all called to build a big
account with our Lord by giving
charity," said Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar in her Eid
message to the nation.
The Prime Minister spoke of
charitable acts as "goodly loans"
which will have to be repaid by
Adopting the speech of the
Islamic community, Persad-Bisses-
sar highlighted that Eid ul-Fitr in
Trinidad and Tobago was a period
of happiness that "Inshallah (God
willing) the fast would have been
She congratulated those who
were able to keep the fast and who
observed extra acts of worship.
She also said that the Eid ul-Fitr
"message of unity, brotherhood,
peace and forgiveness" was becom-
ing a reality in Trinidad and Tobago
and called them the "values and
ideals to which we must all recom-
As we grew older, said the Prime
Minister, we realised that material
achievements were separable and
"Through these celebrations we
are ever more united as a people.
Our ongoing strength lies in our
inimitable diversity," she added.
As the celebration of the festival
commences, she hoped "Allah will
guide and protect us all, so that we
will be pleased to meet Him on that
day and He will be well pleased to
Persad-Bissessar prayed the
Muslim community would be
showered with the "blessings of
peace, prosperity and happiness."
"As you have decorated your out-
ward personalities with beautiful
garments, in accordance with the
Qur an, know that your soul is now
also decorated," she added.
PM's Eid message:
Social Development Minister
Glenn Ramadharsingh said yes-
terday he was not surprised by
Lyndira Oudit s resignation from
the United National Congress
(UNC) on Monday or that she has
joined the Independent Liberal
"I know she had always had good
relations with Mr Warner and I
expect she may be more comfort-
able assisting where she is," Ramad-
harsingh said while addressing
reporters after a graduation function
at San Fernando City Hall.
Ramadharsingh said Oudit s
decision to change parties was typ-
ical of a post-election period.
"But these things will happen.
An election result will cause persons
to move," he added.
Oudit resigned from the UNC
on Monday and accepted interim
ILP leader Jack Warner s invitation
to join the ILP on Monday night.
Yesterday, Ramadharsingh said
people had different agendas and
interests. He said many have also
chosen to stay in order to build,
rebuild and reconnect.
"When you have a change in the
political system, people sometimes
want to take advantage of that for
their own purposes or pursuits.
Nothing is wrong with that," he
said, adding that was the beauty
of a democratic society, the right
Ramadharsingh said, however,
he did not expect any other mem-
bers of the UNC to walk over to
"Not at all. In fact, people are
now assessing their work and look-
ing at ways to improve," he said of
the party s approach, looking ahead.
He said that was the general
feedback the party got from its
With respect to the possible
reshuffling of the Cabinet, Ramad-
harsingh said it was possible and
it was the Prime Minister s prerog-
ative. He said when it came to his
portfolio, he wanted to keep it.
"I usually don t like to move
because I love what I do. So that s
all I can tell you," he added.
When asked to address the pos-
sible perception that the party was
falling apart, he said: "Not at all.
UNC is one of two major political
parties in this country. It has formed
the government twice and it can
do it again."
He added that yesterday s
national executive and parliamen-
tary arm meetings were to facilitate
dialogue. "Conversation leads to
conversion," he added.
When asked for an update on
his defamation lawsuit against
Warner, Ramadharsingh said Warn-
er had failed to answer questions
and issues posed to him in the pre-
action protocol letter.
"He s (Warner) saying he is pre-
pared to go to court. So my lawyers
will continue to advise."
Charitable acts are goodly loans
Glenn on Oudit's departure:
where she is now
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