Monday, January 22, 2018

Kamla heavily criticised for relief aid comments

PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has been criticised by online commentators around the world for saying aid will only be given to Caribbean countries affected by Tropical Storm Tomas if it benefits Trinidad and Tobago.

On Monday, the Prime Minister said the country stood ready to assist Caricom neighbours but stipulated that aid would only come after discussions with Cabinet as well as the Opposition Leader, and must in some measure benefit the country.

"We will have to look at ways in which we would be able to assist. But you would recall my comments earlier this year, when I said there must some way in which Trinidad and Tobago would also benefit," she said.

"So if we are giving assistance with housing for example...then we may be able to use Trinidad and Tobago builders and companies, so that whatever money or assistance is given redounds back in some measure to the people of Trinidad and Tobago."

By Wednesday, groups called "Boycott Trinidad" and "Boycott on goods made in Trinidad" had been created on social networking site Facebook, calling for a total boycott of all Trinidad and Tobago manufactured products.

On the Facebook group "Boycott Trinidad", which had seven members up to press time yesterday, one member wrote: "Trinidad is being selfish and until they change their attitude there should be a boycott by the region".

On Twitter, "Trinidad Boycott" was a trendy topic with many of the comments indicating that "In times of disaster we should all be our brother's keeper, disaster can strike anywhere, anytime...Trinidad & Tobago PM was way out of line".