Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 16th 2013 Contents A41
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
October 14th, 2013
The following is the full statement released by the TTDC, on the cancelled
Local Government Elections 2013 Leaders' Debate.
The Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission (TTDC) has decided that there will be no Leaders' Debate
on Tuesday 15th October. It is unfortunate that Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar has chosen to delegate her
responsibility to take part in the Leaders' Debate as the Leader of the People's Partnership.
Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar did email the TTDC identifying Mr Prakash Ramadhar as the representative
for the People's Partnership. The TTDC responded to Mrs Persad-Bissessar's October 8th email
correspondence, via email, stating that: "this second debate is a LEADERS' debate, i.e. only the
LEADER of the People's Partnership qualifies to debate. No substitutes are permitted, as we have to
ensure that we treat all parties equally and abide by the same rules." No decision was forthcoming from
Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar thereafter, until the public release on October 13th by the Office of Prime
Minister on the subject.
The TTDC wishes to advise that our decision to cancel the Leaders' Debate is in no way influenced by
the Chamber or any members of the Business Community. The TTDC made this decision based on our
established rules for the Leaders' Debate which were communicated in no uncertain terms to the parties.
We must be able to stand by our rules, as we represent the public interest. The public expected that there
would have been a debate with the Leaders.
We are, therefore, indeed surprised at this unique interpretation of the rules in spite of the communication
It is a sad day for democracy in Trinidad and Tobago when the efforts to have open and independent
debate among the Leaders of the Political Parties/Coalition are thwarted by the action of one group.
We respectfully refer Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar to her letter on May 12th, 2010 as then Leader of the
Opposition UNC to the TTDC, from which we quote: "Hopefully in the future whenever... a leader ...puts
the nation's interest ahead of his or her own, the country will finally have the benefit of a national
THE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO DEBATES COMMISSION
LOS ANGELES---A marine science instructor snor-
keling off the Southern California coast spotted
something out of a fantasy novel: the silvery carcass
of an 18-foot-long (5-metre-long), serpent-like
Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Insti-
tute (CIMI) needed more than 15 helpers to drag the
giant sea creature to shore on Sunday.
Staffers at the institute are calling it the discovery
of a lifetime.
"We ve never seen a fish this big," said Mark
Waddington, senior captain of the Tole Mour, CIMI s
sail training ship.
"The last oarfish we saw was three feet long."
Because oarfish dive more than 3,000 feet (914
metres) deep, sightings of the creatures are rare and
they are largely unstudied, according to CIMI.
The obscure fish apparently died of natural causes.
Tissue samples and video footage were sent to be
studied by biologists at the University of California,
Santana spotted something shimmering about 30
feet (9 metres) deep while snorkeling during a staff
trip in Toyon Bay at Santa Catalina Island.
"She said, I have to drag this thing out of here or
nobody will believe me, " Waddington said.
After she dragged the carcass by the tail for more
than 75 feet (23 metres), staffers waded in and helped
her bring it to shore.
The carcass was on display yesterday for students
studying at CIMI. It will be buried in the sand until
it decomposes and then its skeleton will be reconstituted
for display, Waddington said.
The oarfish, which can grow to more than 50 feet
(15 metres), is a deep-water pelagic fish---the longest
bony fish in the world, according to CIMI. They are
likely responsible for sea serpent legends throughout
SAN DIEGO---Disgraced former San Diego Mayor
Bob Filner, driven from office by allegations of
sexual harassment, was yesterday charged with
felony false imprisonment and two counts of mis-
The felony count alleges false imprisonment "by
violence, fraud, menace and deceit" but does not
elaborate on the circumstances. The three victims
were not identified.
Filner, 71, resigned in late August, succumbing to
intense pressure after at least 17 women brought lurid
sexual harassment allegations against the former ten-
term congressman. He had been on the job less than
nine months into a four-year term and was San
Diego s first Democratic mayor in 20 years.
San Diego County sheriff s investigators had been
interviewing Filner s accusers and said they would
deliver their findings to the attorney general s office
for possible prosecution. The state attorney general s
office also said it was launching its own investiga-
Filner s former communications director, Irene
McCormack Jackson, was the first woman to go
public with allegations against Filner and filed a
lawsuit against the mayor and the city, claiming her
ex-boss asked her to work without panties, demanded
kisses, told her he wanted to see her naked and
dragged her in a headlock while whispering in her
ear.All nine city council members as well as fellow
Democrats called upon Filner to resign. A recall effort
also was launched as more allegations surfaced.
But in a defiant farewell speech, Filner said he was
the victim of a lynch mob and believed he would be
vindicated if due process was allowed to run its
charged with 3 crimes
The crew from Tole Mour and Catalina Island Marine Institute instructors show off an 18-foot-long oarfish that was found in the
waters of Toyon Bay on Santa Catalina Island, California, on Sunday. AP PHOTO
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