(T&T GUARDIAN) — The People’s National Movement (PNM) has passed a resolution calling on Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to issue an unconditional apology to the people of T&T for referring to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as an “Oreo”.
During his last media conference as party chairman following the PNM’s General Council Meeting at Balisier House yesterday, Franklin Khan stressed, “I want to make it clear, not an apology to Dr Rowley but an apology to the nation. The party considers it racist, derogatory, vile, and unbecoming of a national leader in a society like T&T.”
Claiming that “spin doctors” could put whatever spin they wanted to on it, Khan said, “At a minimum, we are calling for an apology to the nation of T&T.”
Referring to the lines in the national anthem which read “Here every creed and race find an equal place,” Khan added, “With all our challenges as a country, we pride ourselves as one of the most stable, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural democracies on the earth.”
Persad-Bissessar has come under fire in some quarters for referring to Rowley as an “Oreo” during the United National Congress’ Monday Night Forum in Pointe-a-Pierre on September 10.
There are mixed opinions from members of the public as some believe the statement was racist and intended to create division in the society, while others have taken to social media advising Rowley to ignore the jibe and move on.
No timeline has been set for Persad-Bissessar to apologise. Khan said, “We cannot do her anything punitively but she will pay a price for it.”
During last Monday’s meeting, Persad-Bissessar claimed the one per cent “Owns Keith Christopher Rowley.”
On Thursday, Persad-Bissessar refused to apologise, insisting there was nothing racist in her statements.
Contacted last evening, she said, “I have already issued a statement on this matter and I have nothing further to say on it.”
La Brea, Point residents told to grasp opportunities from dry-dock facilities
Government is urging residents in La Brea and Point Fortin to grasp the opportunities that will come their way from the dry-dock facility that is to be constructed in the coming months.
Revealing the matter was discussed at length during the PNM’s General Council Meeting, Khan advised, “Do not let a minority of residents disrupt it.”
Khan said La Brea was famous for its’ “industrial unrest” resulting in major investors in the energy sector being scared off.
He said, “We are calling, from a party’s point of view, on the La Brea constituency to monitor these developments and seek to communicate with the residents the positive nature of projects like these and the long-term positive effects on the south-west peninsula.”
Khan said T&T needed to market itself as a prime location for direct foreign investment and capital injection.
He said it was only with such capital injection that an economy could grow and turn around.
He warned, “If we do not get these types of major capital injection, our potential for economic growth will be very dim.”
Claiming that during the last three years Government had been putting things in place to ensure that major diversification projects got underway which would benefit T&T in the long term.
Joking that, “The oil and gas were going good,” Khan appealed to people to welcome the development with both hands.
Asked to comment on social media posts and claims in the public domain that the project was not above board, Khan said, “China Harbour is one of the world’s largest construction firms in terms of marine facilities.”