Tobago House of Assembly (tha) Chief Secretary Orville London has said current discussions among political leaders on full autonomy for Tobago are not about “political gimmickry”.
“I think this is a time for all to realise this might be the last real opportunity we have to do it right and to do it in such a way that the objectives are achieved. So I am making an appeal to all Tobagonians, whether politicians or not, to join in this particular process,” London told reporters at last week’s post-Executive Council nes briefing at Calder Hall Administrative Complex, Scarborough.
London said at the end of the exercise it would belong to no single individual or to no single party and that individualism will be subsumed in this collective desire to achieve a common goal.
The Chief Secretary said the consultation schedule will start on June 2 at 10 a.m. at the Mt Irvine Bay Hotel, where parliamentary and THA representatives have been invited to participate.
He said at 4.30 p.m. on that same day and venue political figures who have contributed over the years have also been invited to discuss the issue.
Following these two meeting the leaders will meet between June 3 and 25 with 12 sectors representing the business community, construction industry, tourism and allied industries, professional organisations and unions, financial institutions, faith based organisations, arts and culture, youth and sports, farmers and fisherfolk and community-based organisations.
The next phase will include conferences on each Sunday in July in the east, north, central and southwest Tobago, a statement from the THA said.
A meeting will be held in Trinidad with all interested organisations and individuals.
“Of course we are sending a special invitation to Tobagonians living in Trinidad to attend and participate in the process. We are trying to be as non-partisan, non-political as possible. Of course that is challenging when you are dealing with a significant number of politicians,” he said.
London said, except for the first two meetings, all others will be chaired by independent people and the various political leaders will be given an opportunity to make statements.
“All of this is to try to bring everybody on board in this very important exercise,” he said.