Trinidad: PNM wants Kamla to apologise for calling PM Rowley ‘Oreo’

Trinidad: PNM wants Kamla to apologise for calling PM Rowley ‘Oreo’
Kamla (left) and Rowley

(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.”


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