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Even China calling for transparency

According to The New York Times (November 12), in September China mandated that all government agencies make public all environmental impact assessments by posting them on the Internet, with a description of what the government planned to do about them.

Moreover, in recognition of the increasing problem of protests, no major projects would be launched in future without a separate "social risk" evaluation (assessment of community sentiment).

Yet in democratic T&T it seems that a social activist has to undertake a hunger strike in order to focus the state's attention on the need for detailed impact assessments and transparency and openness in deciding the net utility of infrastructural projects.

We are certain that no one in Trinidad and Tobago feels comfortable with the idea of an activist starving himself outside the office of the country's Prime Minister because his request for a technical review has been denied.

We expect therefore that a compromise will be worked out.

We hope that the Prime Minister/others in Government will opt to demonstrate leadership strength through conciliation.

(Dr) J Wagner

New York

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