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Moonilal: the UNC welcomes probe into racist placards

By CAROLYN KISSOON carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

United National Congress (UNC) deputy political leader and Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal has accused the People's National Movement (PNM) of attempting to distract the population by casting blame on the UNC for a racist placard demonstration last Friday.

Moonilal said in a telephone interview today that the UNC would welcome a probe into the racists slogans.

But acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams should find out why the organisers of the march turned a blind eye on the racist placards during the march, he said.

Moonilal was responding to Rowley's claims that the "heinous act" was orchestrated by the UNC as an attempt to distract from its poor performance as a government and also to garner support for the general election due next year.

He said, "It is a classic case of pelting a stone back in the air and running back into the house and when the stone land on the roof you will scream who did that. Dr Rowley is trying to distract attention from the fact that the PNM led march attracted very racist and obscene placards and incited hate."

Moonilal said there were other persons in the march who raised the issue of racism in an obscene manner.

"It is not the first time this has happened. This has happened before and it will happen again. It is in keeping with his Calcutta ship philosophy listed from the Tobago elections," he said.

Rowley held a news conference at the Office of the Opposition Leader, Charles Street, Port-of-Spain on Tuesday. He said the Commissioner of Police must launch an investigation into the issue of people bearing placards with racists slogans as it is a breach of the Sedition Act and threatens this country's social stability.

But Moonilal advised that the commissioner begin his investigation at Balisier House, the headquarters of the PNM.

"And the commissioner will also have to ask those organisers of the demonstration whether or not they saw it because they turned a blind eye to placard bearing protesters in their own march. They have to ask them whether they saw it and what action Dr Rowley and the PNM took to excise those obscene placards from their demonstration," he said.
Moonilal said there were also placards in the demonstration bordering on religious bigotry.
On Friday, the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) held a mass demonstration through the streets of Port-of-Spain entitled "It's time to take a stand for Trinidad and Tobago."
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