Clint Chan Tack
FORMER UNC MP Dr Surujrattan Rambachan took both the PNM and his former UNC colleagues to task for dividing TT along several different lines.
In a media release, Rambachan said regardless of whether people support the PNM or the UNC “we as the affected people need to wake up to our reality.
“This country cannot continue to be sliced up into north, south and central, into Indians and Africans and Syrians, into one per cent and 99 per cent.”
He claimed this is happening and “there are one per centers amongst all the races in this country.”
Against this background, Rambachan said, “We cannot move forward as one people.”
He asked where is the unity in Parliament which works in the interest of people who elected government and opposition MPs.
“The battering of each other has become the way of life in the Parliament and the interest of the people goes by the wayside.”
Rambachan alleged that Parliament is now being used as a forum to score political points while the people’s issues are ignored.
“The middle ground that has to be found by the opposing parties is not being sought and, if sought, the arrogance of one side and the stubbornness of the other denies the middle ground.”
He observed statements such as “alligators in the murky lagoon” and “the Calcutta ship” stigmatise south Trinidad and Tobago.
In what appeared to be a reference to last year’s general election campaign, Rambachan said, “Nasty images of yellow bananas sliced up the political space even further.”
He also claimed that political talk shows broadcast via the electronic media play their part in making people unconsciously hate and fight each other, weakening the national virtue of tolerance.
While he expected to be criticised for his comments, Rambachan said he was pleased that as local government minister in the former PP government he had a good working relationship with the heads of all local government corporations.
He agreed with UNC founder Basdeo Panday about the need for constitutional reform, but Rambachan asked, “What aspects of the Constitution needs to be reformed? What is the new model for a country that is as divided as ours?”
Saying that the battle for a better country will be won or lost in the minds and hearts of people, Rambachan said, “It’s hard work to convince anyone that a different experience is possible if the courage to reject the old politics is not forthcoming.”
He warned that if TT’s leaders fail to provide this leadership, that leadership will come from the people.”