Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Where is “king” Stuart Young getting his power to prevent citizens from returning to their homeland?

The question has been posed by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, as she noted that Young has mockingly been called “king” and “majesty” for behaving like he is vested with the power to grant entry and exit to the nation’s borders.

Speaking at a United National Congress (UNC) virtual meeting on Monday, she said she has no problem with the relatives of Government members returning, but every citizen must have that chance and the system must be fair to all.

She called on National Security Minister Young to answer where he gets the power and authority to prevent citi­zens from returning.

“It cannot be that a policy favours some. Where do you get the power from?

“Under which law do you get the jurisdiction and the power from to prevent a citizen from returning to Trinidad and Tobago?” she asked.

She said power is not in the Immigration Act, the Public Health Act or the Quarantine Act.

“Which statute in this country gives this one man the power to refuse citizens to come back home... show me where in law,” she said.

She noted when citi­zens raise cases in the court, exemptions are granted to them so there are no full judgments.

“Are you operating illegally by using the fear of death from blocking people?” she asked.

She criticised the lack of compassion for stranded nationals, as she noted Caribbean counties such as Barbados and Jamaica have open borders and stringent Covid policies.

Nationals landing?

The former Prime Minister further questioned whether citizens are flying into Trinidad without exemptions and allowed to enter because of their connections.

“Is it true now that once they get onto an aircraft with no exemption, once they land here, they will be let in? Because the law is very clear. You cannot deny the right of entry to a citizen who lands here,” she said.

“I’m being told people are coming on flights without the exemption and once they land you cannot send them back because they are citizens,” she added.

She also called on Young to answer why access to the computer systems at Immigration which contain flight information have been restricted.

Persad-Bissessar said after the flight manifest of Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez was leaked last year, she was told that immediately after, access to the systems was restricted to three or four junior people.

“Who is coming that we don’t know about?” she asked.


Attorneys are demanding that National Security Minister Stuart Young immediately remove his “arbitrary, illegal and unlawful poli­cy regarding entry to citizens into their beloved homeland, Trinidad and Tobago”.

The demand is made in a legal letter to Young and co­pied to Health Mini­ster Terrence Deyal­singh on behalf of 74-year-old pensioner Radhikar Ramoutar, who has been stranded in Canada since March 2020.

The former Petrotrin refinery is on the market again.

For the second time in three months, the Government has rejec­ted an offer by Patriotic Energies and Technologies, the company owned by the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), to acquire the Pointe-a-Pierre based refinery.

It follows 14 months of negotiations between both parties, with the liens (debt) of the assets being the sticking point.

THE board of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) met in emergency session on the “insistence” of the Health Minister on Monday afternoon and ordered an immediate audit of all outpatient clinic appointments.

The action comes on the heels of a Sunday Express expose which revealed a barrage of patient complaints over long delays for appointments and treatments and serious shortcomings in the primary health care system.

We were misled.

That was the position advanced by Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget yesterday following a decision taken by Cabinet to reject the bid by the OWTU-owned Patriotic Energies and Technologies Ltd for the acquisition of the former Petrotrin refinery assets.

It’s hardly the grand entrance Joe Biden might have dreamed of. The US president-elect arrived in the nation’s capital yesterday, ready to assume power as the nation reels from the coronavirus pandemic, soaring unemployment and grave concerns about more violence as he prepares to take the oath of office.