On this the 43rd anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago becoming a Republic and just coming from celebrating 57 years of Independence nothing has changed but to thank the Father of the Nation Dr Eric Williams for giving us as a nation true Independence.

While as a nation we can be proud of the strides that we have made. Can we be proud of our murder toll which is nearing 400, quality lives being lost, can we be proud of our economy and say we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? Can we be proud of the behaviour of our nation’s school children and their unruly and indiscipline behaviour inside and out side of the classroom? Can we be satisfied with the conduct of our teachers and their behaviour towards our children? Can we be as a people be proud of our nation as we celebrate Republic day.

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Public confidence in any government is not helped when the family of a senior government minister is the beneficiary of State contacts. In the case of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, contracts to his relatives run to over $20 million a year for the rental of property, according to an exclusive Sunday Express report. Put in context, this works out to 8.5 per cent of the State’s annual bill for the rental of private property.

I wish to thank the endorsers of the statement on the “Education of Children of African Origin” articles that appeared in this paper recently. The statement rightly raised several issues of inequality in access to quality education in T&T, by black children (among others).

Every employee in Trinidad and Tobago, regardless of if they work in the public or private sector, is entitled by law to certain rights.

I have been working with the United Nations on Violence against the Women/Gender-Based Violence for the past ten years in Africa, the Arab world, and Eastern Europe. And in Trinidad and Tobago we have had one of those recent uproars over the killing of women and the search for causes. And the primary cause stares us in the face.

The state of existence as a tribalist is when one is living with a distinctive characteristic so as to be identified with a particular identifiable distinctive group. This status quo surfaces to facilitate the tribal member who is excessively loyal to his own group. 

LISTENING to President Paula-Mae Weekes’s address on the reopening of the Red House, even the most sceptical among us could not help but be impressed, indeed be moved, by her departure on the role she was expected to play and the sentiments she was expected to express as head of officialdom, to be a spokesperson for the people on the ground pointing to their “hurt” and the inability of the leadership to address this hurt.