Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 23rd 2013 Contents Foreign Affairs
Dookeran says there
is no row between
Jamaican and T&T
over the deportation
on Wednesday of 13
Responding to a
note passed to him
in Parliament yester-
day, Dookeran said
the Foreign Affairs
Ministry had pro-
on the issue to the
of Jamaica in
Trinidad detailing the situation.
"I have spoken to the Minister of Foreign
Affairs of Jamaica who has also indicated that
there is no travel advisory by Jamaica regarding
travelling to T&T. There s no row between the
countries," Dookeran said, adding he will be in
further touch with his Jamaican counterpart.
This comes even after Jamaicans voiced strong
concern over the matter through the media.
In an article in the Jamaican Observer yesterday,
the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ)
called on Caricom Governments to quickly
address the issue "by initiating urgent dialogue
and consultations to prevent the further dete-
rioration in Caricom relations which can result."
The article also quoted the organisation as
saying: "Aspects of the Treaty of Chaguaramas,
in particular how it is being interpreted and
implemented, must also be urgently addressed."
A representative of the Jamaican Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, in a phone
interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, said
it was expected to issue a further statement on
the matter on Monday. Caricom said yesterday
the secretariat could not comment on the matter
because it did not have any official information.
Jamaicans voiced strong opinions on sites
which carried the story, some of them saying
they will not visit T&T.
On the Jamaican Gleaner site, which ran the
story, titled Denied, one said he had no intention
to visit either Trinidad or Barbados and that he
made it a point to boycott T&T s products.
He said Jamaica must start taking action and
send a signal that enough was enough. Several
called for a boycott of T&T products.
One asked: "Looking at this situation from
another angle, why should we go to a country
where we are surely not welcome? We should
simply do the same to them, regardless of the
implications and bring this to an abrupt end."
On the Jamaican Observer the comments were
Another said: "There is crime and violence in
Trinidad, yet we don t treat them like that. There
is more crime and violence coming out of Latin
America, I doubt they would be treated like that.
"It s time we call it what it is, it s jealously.
Small-minded untrained island people with a
serious lack of intelligence.
"Trinidad is not known for great customer
service. They have a primitive way of thinking.
Add that with the competitiveness and jealousy
they have for our culture and that s what you
get. The government doesn t have forward-
Another accused Trinbagonians of having
xenophobia, a fear of foreigners.
Some attributed the recent developments to
the murder of 29-year-old Trinidadian Keron
Martin Fraser in Jamaica.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, November 23, 2013
Armed with a mission to "restore the
UNC to its pristine glory," ousted leader
and former prime minister Basdeo Panday
may contest a post on the executive in the
party s internal elections next January.
"Yes I will, if I can be assured the voting
process will not be rigged and will be free,
fair and open. The elections are usually
rigged," Panday told the T&T Guardian yes-
terday. "If I decide to contest the elections,
it will be to return the party to its pristine
glory," he added.
He made the disclosure on the TBC Radio
Network s Aakash Vani morning talk show,
Panchayat, this week and later to the T&T
Panday was responding to questions about
rumours he planned to contest the post of
UNC chairman with a slate supported by
Vasant Bharath, Trade and Industry Min-
He did not give a direct answer but only
confirmed he would contest the elections
if he was sure the process was fair.
There have also been unconfirmed
rumours about a possible alliance between
Panday and the Independent Liberal Party
(ILP) led by Jack Warner.
Asked about that, Panday skirted the
issue, saying it was not a question of an
alliance, since he was advocating for change
in the political system.
Referring to a system of proportional rep-
resentation under a reformed Constitution,
"There will be no need for a coalition.
The ILP will put up their candidates and
get their seats and the other parties will do
Panday s revelations come in the wake
of losses by the UNC in four elections this
year, the pullout from the coalition govern-
ment of the Movement for Social Justice
(MSJ), rifts in the Congress of the People
(COP) and the resignation of former UNC
chairman Warner, who formed his own rival
Asked if he foresaw any further break-
aways from the People s Partnership Gov-
ernment, Panday said no "because those
who are there do not want to lose any ben-
Bharath could not be reached and the
T&T Guardian was informed he was out of
UNC deputy leader Dr Roodal Moonilal,
who is reportedly contesting the position
again in the upcoming elections, was asked
how he felt about Panday returning to the
UNC and to politics and if the party would
"He has not left the political arena. He
never left the UNC. So it is not a question
of accepting him or not," he said.
Panday, told that lately he has been seen
in discussions with politicians he once had
public disagreements with, and asked if he
was rallying the old guard to make a political
comeback to the UNC s frontline, also said:
"I have never left the political arena."
He has begun an advocacy campaign for
constitutional reform and has already invited
ILP leader Warner to talks.
He said he planned to invite former UNC
attorney general Ramesh Maharaj, who broke
away from the party and formed Team Unity,
and Trevor Sudama, who also resigned.
Former UNC minister John Humphrey is
also on Panday s list as well as COP leader
Prakash Ramadhar and MSJ leader David
"I am interviewing all without favour,
malice or ill will. I am really concerned
about constitutional reform," he said.
During their first meeting recently after
almost five years, Warner called on Panday
to return to active politics.
Warner, in 2008, announced he was on
a mission to oust Panday as UNC leader
and succeeded in 2010 when he was replaced
by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Panday said as he never left the political
arena, there was no question of coming
He added: "I had given up on electoral
politics but I am still involved in politics,
in trying to make a better quality of life for
"I invited Warner (to the constitution
reform talks) because he and others are peo-
ple who are involved in the political sys-
Asked his thoughts on the future of the
ILP, Panday said a third party could not
survive under the two-party political sys-
He dismissed the Government s intro-
duction of proportional representation in
the local government elections process as
just a "device for some other purpose. It
was a device to nominate aldermen after
ILP interim chairman Robin Montano,
asked if the party would accept Panday if
he decided to return to active politics, said:
"The answer is yes, most certainly. His
knowledge and experience as a statesman
would be most beneficial to anybody."
Panday looks at return
to UNC frontline
row with Jamaica
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