Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 10th 2014 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, January 10, 2014
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
will open the T&T Embassy in China when
she visits the state early this year.
China s Ambassador to T&T Huang
Xingyuan said this at a press conference
yesterday at the Chinese Embassy in St Clair.
Persad-Bissessar was scheduled to visit
China last November, on the invitation of
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who visited
this country last May.
During the visit both countries agreed to
facilitate high level delegations and cultural
exchanges to build on economic and diplo-
Persad-Bissessar s visit to China will be
the first by a Prime Minister of this country
in 40 years.
Huang said the visit would further enhance
bilateral ties between the two countries.
He said this year would also mark the
40th anniversary of diplomatic relations
between China and T&T and celebrations
would be held in both countries.
Last year, Persad-Bissessar said the T&T
Embassy in China would promote T&T s
creative industries through cultural
exchanges, training seminars and cultural
Discussions at last year s meeting also
looked at the possibility of China and
Trinidad and Tobago co-hosting an annual
Caribbean Music Festival in Beijing, which
could become a signature event for promot-
ing Asian/Caribbean cultural exchanges.
"In 2014, China and T&T will make a
joint effort to further enhance mutual high-
level communication and substantial co-
operation in fields such as infrastructure
and energy and explore opportunities of co-
operation in agriculture, communication
and green energy," Huang said.
CASANDRA THOMPSON -- FORBES
The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has taken
the Attorney General and the central government
The lawsuit is in response to the decision by the
National Reforestation and Watershed Rehabilitation
Programme (NRWRP), under the Ministry of the
Environment and Water Resources, to terminate the
services of 100 employees in August 2012 and appoint
a private contractors to undertake the programme.
The announcement of the court proceedings was
made by former secretary of the Division of Agri-
culture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environ-
ment councillor Gary Melville, during Wednesday s
post-Executive Council news conference.
Melville said when the services of the three com-
munity-based groups in Tobago East, namely Argyle,
Belle Garden and Speyside, were terminated with
effect from August 17, 2012, the central government
was in contravention of the THA Act.
"The central government would have brought in
a system where they would have fired the community
groups we used as contractors in the reforestation
programme and would have replaced them with pri-
vate contractors...the assembly would have considered
that to be in violation of the Tobago House of Assem-
bly Act of 1996 which puts forestry under the Fifth
Schedule," he said.
"We would have also been in the process at that
time of developing our own reforestation programme
to take care of the total Tobago watershed and forest
environment and we would have sought funding
from the Green Fund to treat with that project, that
was also denied and therefore we would have launched
a legal challenge to the Government in terms of taking
the Attorney General to court."
Melville said the case was heard on Tuesday at
the Scarborough High Court and the outcome of the
matter is pending.
"I don t know what the outcome is going to be,
but I just wanted the Tobago public to know that we
would have pursued with that in an attempt to seek
to maintain the responsibilities given to the THA for
policy formulation under the Fifth Schedule for a
number of areas including forestry," he said.
The programme was established in 2003 with a
mandate to increase the rate of forest regeneration
with an aim to mitigate the worsening of the envi-
Traditionally the NRWRP worked through com-
munity groups to meet the needs to repair, preserve
and protect the nation s forests, watersheds, wetlands,
flora and fauna.
The polar vortex---an area of low pres-
sure which originated over the North
Pole and has caused record low temper-
atures over Canada and the United
States---can potentially lead to chilly
nights in T&T.
This was confirmed by Shakeer Baig,
chief meteorologist at the T&T Meteor-
ological Office, in an interview with the
In the US, the polar vortex has now
spread to the south and midwest, pushing
temperatures across all 50 states to sub-
zero figures. That includes Hawaii, which
recorded -7°C on Mauna Kea, a dormant
Baig said temperatures as low as -50°C
have been recorded in the US since the
polar vortex started.
He explained how this phenomenon
could affect temperatures in T&T.
He said: "This very cold air exists behind
a frontal system or a cold front. The cold
front has moved off and it is now near
Bermuda. A lot of these fronts span a very
large area. "We have instances where part
of the tail end of the frontal system has
moved through the Caribbean area. If this
happens, some of the cold air will make
its way over the Caribbean region. When
a situation like this occurs, we experience
cold temperatures, and particularly the
areas of northern Trinidad will experience
very cool night-time temperatures."
Baig said this scenario has already played
out once before, but could not predict
whether it would occur again.
Ambassador of the People's Republic of China Xingyuan Huang, right, addresses members of the
media at a press conference at the Embassy of China in St Clair yesterday. At left is interpreter Li Bo,
Attaché, Embassy of the People's Republic of China. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
PM opens T&T Embassy
in China early this year
Met Office: Region open to chilly nights
THA sues over fired
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