Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2014 Contents A9
January 19, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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The People s National Move-
ment may announce the date
for its internal elections after
its next general council meeting
on Saturday. Party dissidents
have been lashing out at leader
Dr Keith Rowley for witholding
the date of the elections while
mobilising his own constituen-
Sources said the group has
been complaining that Rowley
and his supporters have been
hitting the streets already, leav-
ing them to scramble from
behind whenever he does
announce the date for elections.
But Rowley dismissed the lack
of information to other internal
groups as "nonsense" and
denied that he was hiding the
date of the elections from the
party membership. Rowley said
it was now up to the party s
general council to make that
"I announced this election
since December 2, 2012. It is
just for the general council to
approve the specifics now, the
date and the schedule of events,"
The Sunday Guardian under-
stands that while all eyes
remained fixed on a possible
clash for leadership between
Rowley and former senator
Penelope Beckles, a third person
has thrown his hat in the ring.
Sources with knowledge of
the unfolding situation said they
would not name names until
Rowley announces the date, plus
they are afraid of negative inter-
nal comments and victimisation.
However, the source said the
person was well known in the
lash out at Rowley
...announce internal elections date
Beckles and Fitzgerald Hinds
were both removed from the
Senate last month and replaced
by Camille Robinson-Regis and
former Chaguanas West
candidate Avinash Singh.
Former PNM senator Terrence
Deyalsingh was also replaced
by TV anchor Diane Baldeo-
Chadeesingh after he won the
St Joseph by-election.
Tertiary Education Minister
Fazal Karim says the 20 to 25 per
cent stipend increase for trainees
of the On-The-Job Training (OJT)
programme is not a ploy by the
People s Partnership Government
to sweeten voters for the 2015
"I want to categorically deny
this...If it were an election ploy,
we would have brought the
increases in January 2015 or in the
2014/2015 budget presentation
instead, rather than now," Karim
said on Friday.
The last time trainees, some of
whom work at private businesses,
received a stipend hike was in
2009, Karim said.
Karim said the rise in payments
would be fully absorbed by the
OJT programme and not the pri-
vate-sector training provider.
The increase takes effect on April
1. The new payments, Karim said,
would cost taxpayers an additional
$33 million for 8,000 trainees.
Approximately $274 million was
budgeted for the 2014 programme.
On Thursday, Cabinet approved
the stipend which was announced
by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar at the launch of the OJT
Karim said trainees in the global
programme would benefit from
travel abroad: "It would be overseas
exposure for local trainees."
He justified the increase as an
incentive and to help trainees with
cost of living allowances.
The increases range from $500
to $1,200 monthly, in four levels.
Trainees in levels three and four
who previously received $5,000
and $6,000 will now collect $6,250
and $7,200; they will now be
required to pay taxes.
Karim said complaints of late
payments to trainees have proven
to be "fictitious and mischievous."
He said trainees who are not
paid on time should write to him
directly at the ministry.
$33m to increase
...No election ploy says Karim
Detectives may have to utilise
fingerprint trace to identify the
body of the man murdered in
Claxton Bay, on Friday.
Up to yesterday, no one came
forward to identify his body.
The man, described as being of
East Indian descent and brown
complexion, was dressed in a blue
long-sleeved shirt, black pants and
Police said he was gunned down
around 11.20 am at TCL Recreation
A man was seen running away
shortly after the shooting, but no
one was arrested up to late yes-
The man had no wallet or jew-
elry in his possession.
Police believe he was murdered
after a business deal went sour.
The body is at the Forensic Sci-
ence Centre, Port-of-Spain.
Meanwhile, no one has been
arrested in connection with the
murder of Rio Claro gardener
Abass Mohammed, whose decom-
posing body was found on Thurs-
day close to where he planted.
A foul stench and a flock of cor-
beaux hovering near Mohammed s
home at Pinder Trace, led a passer-
by to his body.
Insp George and Sgt Doodhai of
the Rio Claro Police Station are
Police yet to identify man killed in Claxton Bay
CHARLES KONG SOO
Arima businessman Balliram
Maharaj is calling for the late
former South African president
Nelson Mandela s teachings to
be put in practice to reduce the
nation s burgeoning crime.
He said crime must stop, 32
murders in 18 days was enough.
Maharaj said crime was every-
body s business, and we should
do our best to help reduce the
escalating violence and murders
In a release, Maharaj said, "In
the spirit of the late Mandela,
let us seek to move T&T forward
and put country first, setting
politics and other matters aside."
He said this was a call for gov-
ernment officials, opposition
members and other political
parties, haters, NGOs, IROs and
government workers to put their
pettiness aside and to seek to
make positive and constructive
contributions on the many mat-
ters that were holding back the
country. Maharaj called for cit-
izens to change their way of
thinking, support issues or law
to assist the country, and stop
making unfair statements only
for the purpose of opposing.
A list of some of the burning
issues which needed to be
Driving under the influence
Revisiting the Caricom
trade and other agreements
Upgrading the NIB regula-
tions and benefits
Shortage of labour, free
movement of people under a
Food security on items T&T
cannot produce now or in the
near future, such as wheat,
sugar, dairy products, meats,
rice, corn, peas and beans, etc
Reducing crime, increasing
Adopt Mandela's teachings to help curb crime
Dr Keith Rowley
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