Commentaries

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Commentaries

A Divali wish

Another Divali has arrived, bringing with it the eternal hope that light will spread over the land and dispel every area of darkness. Brought to the Caribbean by indentured Hindus from India, Divali’s popularity has spread exponentially since being declared a public holiday in 1966. Today, it enjoys broad national acceptance with communities all over the country coming together in celebration, both religious and secular. Divali’s theme of light triumphant over darkness resonates with everyone with a universality and inclusivity that make it accessible to all. Read More »

The Chinese-Trinidadian narrative

In my last column, about Fr de Verteuil’s new book on the Jews in Trinidad, I mentioned that the smaller ethnic minorities in T&T were beginning to develop their own narratives of their past. This includes the Chinese-descended community. This process really began with the celebration of the bicentenary of Chinese arrival in 2006. (Just under 200 Chinese men were brought here in 1806, part of efforts to find new sources of plantation labour with the impending British abolition of their transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans.) Read More »

Making sense of the news

One of the things I make my business is to read “the news’’. I read mostly the local news and what is called “world news’’. For some time now, I find I don’t particularly like to read it in hard copy; I prefer to read it online—on a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. I find it very convenient. Scrolling and swiping are faster and easier than page-turning; visibility is sharper; I have ready access to complementary audio and video clips; I can find articles far more easily; I can copy and paste; Read More »

Cudjoe’s cokey eye

When you “cokey eye’’ you don’t see clearly. Prof Selwyn Cudjoe, like many Caribbean intellectuals, refuses to see Cuba in totality. I have acknowledged that Cuba has an impressive health and education system but I maintain it constitutes suppression of the human spirit if you are qualified in medicine and other fields but are not allowed to express yourself freely, especially if your views run contrary to Castro’s dictatorship; it is terrible oppression if you don’t enjoy democratic rights like ownership of property, freedom of political association and artistic and journalistic liberty. Read More »

Hunger strike stirs query: Is it for real?

More than five weeks since his pledge of abstaining from food and water for a cause, Wayne Kublalsingh’s death-defying mission appears to be heading for some kind of climax. The cause of calling attention to the Mon Desir/Debe highway segment, and the Government’s intractability, if not bad faith, has certainly been advanced so far, however, to no concrete result. Read More »

Unpleasant T&T/J’ca tango

there’s an ominous warning from National Security Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Gary Griffith that he has had more than enough of thousands of illegals — mostly Jamaicans and Guyanese — piling up here to the detriment of the citizens of this nation. Read More »

Ralph Maraj’s myopia

RECENTLY, I had a lively debate with Ralph Maraj on Cuba and its successes on i95 FM Showdown programme. Mr Maraj insisted that nothing good could come out of Cuba because Cuba has failed as a socialist society and there is “no freedom in that country”. Read More »

The Divali light that unites

The following is an address delivered by Israel Khan, SC at the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority ’s 2014 Divali celebration at the House of Angostura. Read More »

New airbridge era coming?

Hopes for a bright new day in the operation of the troubled Tobago and Trinidad airbridge have been encouraged following apparently productive encounters arranged by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) with executives of Caribbean Airlines (CAL). Such hopes have been raised many times before, however. Read More »

Looking for a leader in the Caribbean

It takes a strong leader to sit up and take notice when the tides of public opinion are turning. Often the idea of real change can be concerning to politicians. However, in Trinidad and Tobago people are crying out for their rights to be recognised, as a whole section of society suffers continued discrimination and abuse. Will the leaders listen to their calls? Read More »

‘They go kill we’

With their twists and turns on the San Fernando to Point Fortin highway, politics and power seekers “go kill we’’, to use the words of Nixon on I95.5 FM. Let’s examine it. Read More »

A highway for the people

To respond to every statement made in the media opens you up to the criticism that your skin is too thin and you have way too much spare time on your hands. On the other hand, ignoring it can have disastrous consequences as the failure to correct same is held up as evidence that it is the truth. I am therefore compelled to pen this letter to respond to a letter titled “Doubting Ralph” by Dr Kublalsingh’s friend and supporter Dr Terrence Soodeen. Read More »

Endowing business with purpose

On Friday night, Michael Mansoor and the late Raymond Dieffenthaller joined the elite ranks of business personalities to be honoured by the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce for their contribution to the development of the national business landscape. As with almost everyone who has been inducted into the Chamber’s Hall of Fame, these two men stand out for the hard work, intelligence, courage and determination that carried them from the humble circumstances into which they were born, to the stellar heights of business leadership. Read More »

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