Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 15th 2014 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, July 15, 2014
The recent decision by MPs to
award themselves an enhanced pen-
sion increase has been referred to as
an act which demonstrates that
democracy in T&T is just a fallacy.
Managing director of the Lloyd Best
Institute of the West Indies Sunity
Maharaj made the statement during
the fourth distinguished jurist lecture
at the Convocation Hall, Hall of Justice,
Hosted by the T&T Judicial Educa-
tion Institute, the theme for this year
is "The Yin and Yang of Common-
wealth Caribbean Social Democracy:
Change for Stability and Progress."
them Senate President Timothy Hamel-
Smith and Chief Justice Ivor Archie---
Maharaj said democracy was a concept
that was tailored by the powers that
be, to suit their own needs. She said
the decision by government to disregard
the feelings of the population did not
indicate ethics or democracy at work.
"Where 1.3 million people say no, in
a social democracy, everyone has a say,"
The Senate has deferred debate on
the proposed pension legislation to a
Senate committee and will come up
for further debate later this month.
There has been a chorus of criticism
over the decision of Parliament to award
MPs a significant pension increase.
Maharaj suggested that education
was needed to help develop a greater
awareness among the population,
adding that this would enhance their
consciousness and increase participation
in the democratic process.
Another panellist, Fr Clyde Harvey,
said the education process had failed
young people. He said reform of the
current system was needed, as young
people were not being equipped with
the necessary skills to become produc-
tive contributors, which meant they
were takers and not givers.
He also expressed concern with the
number of talk show programmes in
T&T, as it was dangerous when "opin-
ions become facts and facts become
truth" without evidence.
Proclaiming the age of social media
as being responsible for changing rela-
tionship dynamics, Independent Sen-
ator Anthony Vieira said a democratic
parliament should be built on the tenets
of transparency, accessibility, account-
ability, integrity and effective leader-
"The Internet is the new town hall."
He said the widespread accessibility
to knowledge via social media had
changed the way people live, work and
interact with each other. Vieira said
wise people were not using aggression
or force to resolve conflicts.
Responding to the suggestions and
recommendations from the panel, Dr
Leighton Jackson said greater equality
and generosity of spirit was needed to
achieve a balanced society.
Referring to freedom fighter and for-
mer South African president Nelson
Mandela s teachings, Jackson said for-
giveness and tolerance taught accept-
ance---something which young people
CHARLES KONG SOO
Interim vice-president of the All
T&T Apiculture Corporation Society
Ltd (ATTAC), Bede Rajahram says
imported honey has the potential to
affect the health of consumers, dec-
imate the local bee population, create
food shortages and cause higher food
He was speaking at the beekeepers
petition signing table against Gov-
ernment s move to import honey at
the San Antonio Green Market, Saddle
Road, Upper Santa Cruz, on Satur-
"If they allow the importation of
honey, it will also affect the actual
population who re going to consume
the product because imported honey
is laced with different pesticides and
heavy metals and it becomes a danger
to the average person as well," he said.
"It is a very serious problem that
is going to affect the population,
besides the pesticides, if the diseases
reach here, they re going to wipe out
the bee population. Many of the foods
we eat are due to bee pollination."
The ripple effect would be an
increase in food prices.
He said there was also the danger
of cross-pollination with genetically
modified plants. Local honey, he said,
was free of pesticides and disease car-
He said if foreign honey was allowed
to enter the country, and the local bee
population was attacked by different
bacteria and fungi, beekeepers will
have to resort to using chemicals on
their hives to save their bees and the
honey they produce will no longer be
Rajahram said the group met with
Food Production Minister Devant
Maharaj last Friday to discuss the
importation of honey but was directed
to other ministries such as the Trade,
Health and Environment.
MPs proposed pension increase
Beekeepers issue warning
Imported honey can lead
to higher food prices
Justice of Appeal Peter Jamadar speaks at the fourth distinguished jurist lecture entitled The Yin and Yang of
Commonwealth Caribbean Social Democracy Change For Stability and Progress at the Hall of Justice on
Friday. Also in the photo are, from left, Ria Mohammed-Davidson, Independent Senator Anthony Vieira,
managing director of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies Sunity Maharaj and Fr Clyde Harvey.
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