Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2013 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The row between T&T and Jamaica
has heightened as Jamaicans have
launched a Facebook campaign calling
for citizens to boycott goods from
T&T. The campaign is also urging
Jamaicans to stay away from T&T s
Carnival celebrations next year.
The issue has sparked international
concern as it was the major topic of
discussion yesterday on a New York
radio programme, Caribbean Corner,
hosted by former T&T radio personality
So worrying has the situation become
that former foreign affairs minister and
current Point Fortin MP, Paula Gopee-
Scoon, yesterday called on Prime Min-
ister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to "imme-
diately take charge."
The situation developed last Tuesday
after 13 Jamaicans claimed they were
unjustly deported from T&T.
The group charged it was a breach
of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas
and a mark of disrespect to the
Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which,
in a landmark case involving Shanique
Myrie against the Barbadian Govern-
ment, ruled that where a Caricom
national was refused entry into a mem-
ber state that national should be allowed
to consult an attorney or consular official
or to contact a family member.
The issue sparked widespread debate
in Jamaica last week. It continued yes-
terday in the Jamaica Gleaner, where
an article highlighted the campaign,
titled "Boycott all products made in
T&T. Jamaicans let us unite for a cause",
initiated by rural primary schoolteacher
Kesreen Green Dillon.
The campaign was launched last week
amid mounting allegations that Caricom
neighbours have been flouting the free-
movement provisions of the Treaty of
Chaguaramas by blocking Jamaicans
from entering their country.
"With support growing, there are
suggestions that Jamaicans should also
boycott the famed Carnival in Trinidad,
even as a list is being compiled of all
Trinidadian products sold in Jamaica,"
the Gleaner said.
Green Dillon told the Gleaner: "I am
tired of seeing Trinidad and Barbados
treat other member states, especially
Jamaica, like second-rate citizens.
"The patty war is fresh in my mind
and the number of Jamaicans turned
back from their shores annually."
She also accused T&T of being "any-
thing but neighbourly," adding it was
time Jamaicans sent a strong message
that "enough is enough."
The Gleaner said her sentiments were
supported by Karl Samuda, opposition
spokesman on industry and commerce,
who was quoted as saying:
"This action makes a mockery of the
spirit of the Treaty of Chaguaramas and
the Trinidadians must be roundly chas-
tised for the attitude that they have
adopted with respect to Jamaica and
Jamaicans in particular."
The T&T Guardian tried several times
yesterday to reach Sharon Saunders,
Jamaica s High Commissioner to T&T,
but on each occasion was told she was
in a meeting. Saunders did not return
Saying the latest twist has created a
strained relationship between T&T and
Jamaica "for the time being," Gopee-
Scoon said it seemed the major problem
was communication and the lack of
information on the guidelines for the
Caribbean Single Market and Economy
"I am quite certain that, generally,
guidelines regarding the CSME have
been lacking for some time because
people are not familiar with the travel
arrangements and that need to be clar-
ified," Gopee-Scoon said.
Saying the situation could have sig-
nificant potential to do great damage,
Gopee-Scoon said it could also result
in negative implications for jobs, as
Jamaica was the largest market in the
She believed the wrongdoing was on
T&T s part and it was therefore up to
it to make amends.
Bishop, who also expressed concern,
said he wrote to T&T s Foreign Affairs
Ministry last Friday for clarification of
A copy of the letter, which was sent
to the T&T Guardian, said: "As you will
appreciate this issue is causing great
consternation in the NY West Indian
"There is, I believe, a great deal of
misinformation that begs immediate
redress and clarity. I am optimistic that
you can join us, via telephone, and
inform our listeners as this vital issue
begs urgent elucidation."
Up to late yesterday, Bishop said he
was yet to receive a response from the
On the radio programme, Bishop also
interviewed Dr Una Clarke, the first
Caribbean-born woman elected to the
New York City s legislature, who also
spoke about her concerns.
In a clip of the interview, which was
also obtained by the T&T Guardian,
Clarke said she was angry about the
"If you are a part of the region...
Caricom... all of the agreements we
have made for free movement for
nationals from nation to nation, I think
that anybody who comes with appro-
priate documents should be allowed to
land, Clarke said.
for goods and
Anti-T&T campaign on Facebook..
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