Max: Money taking toll on civilisation in T&T
Are we civilised?
This question was asked last night by President George Maxwell Richards in his Independence Day address which was delivered on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Independence of Trinidad and Tobago at the National Multicultural Extravaganza and Re-Enactment of the 1962 Independence at Woodford Square, Port of Spain.
Richards, who lauded the nation for its many accomplishments over the past 50 years, said new money and modernity have taken their toll on proper style and civilisation in this country.
"We have become modern, but are we civilised? Without intending to steal our joy, I am constrained to warn that we are nurturing generations of children who are allowed not to take responsibility for their actions. We are making too much room for nonthinkers, who take the easy, clever way out, once patronage, in any form, is available. We deserve much better."
Richards said citizens of this country must ask themselves whether they were living up to the expectations of those who had fought for the freedom of this nation.
"Our answers must bear the hallmark of honesty, as we take responsibility for who we have become. Moreover, we must be committed to integrity, in every aspect, not least integrity of our word," he said.
Richards said the country could start by granting the promised constitutional reform to Tobago, which should not still be an issue in 2012.
"Let us remind ourselves that a nation divided cannot stand and, while water separates our two islands, broken promises should not. We made a promise to Tobago, a long time ago and, as Eric Williams said in Parliament with the joining of our two islands, administratively, one form of neglect was exchanged for another.
"This is one of the major areas of brokenness that we can fix and must fix, if we are to proceed with dignity and vigour, in unity, over the next 50 years. Unity in diversity is only one, though very important, aspect of our national character. Unity of purpose is critical."
See Page 30 for the
President's full address