Ground rules for T'dad-Tobago talks
THIS is in response to two recent Express editorials on Tobago's "relationship with Trinidad". The editorials are clearly Trinidadian editorials, written by Trinidadians, from a Trinidadian viewpoint.
I would like to take the opportunity to point out to my fellow Trinidadians that Tobago is not a part of Trinidad. Tobago, like Trinidad, is an island. Indeed, the Constitution states, at the beginning, that (1) The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago shall be a sovereign democratic state, and Trinidad and Tobago shall comprise the Island of Trinidad, the Island of Tobago ... including the seabed and subsoil situated beneath the territorial sea and continental shelf of Trinidad and Tobago ...
Indeed, Tobago, like Grenada, like Barbados, like Dominica, like St Lucia, is an island, with an island government, except that the island government of Tobago, the Tobago House of Assembly, is circumscribed by the T&T Constitution.
Any deliberation or negotiation on the ongoing relationship between the island of Tobago and the island of Trinidad has to begin with a definition and delineation of the island of Tobago and of the island of Trinidad. And any such deliberation or negotiation has to be framed within the context of some federal type of arrangement.
And finally, any deliberation or negotiation has to take place between the legally constituted and democratically elected island government of Tobago, the Tobago House of Assembly, and the legally constituted and democratically elected central government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Any other approach would be provocative to the island of Tobago, and confrontational and counterproductive to the body politic of Trinidad and Tobago.
And in any event, to borrow from the rapsonian, d people of Tobago would not be takin dat so!