Sunday, February 25, 2018

PM: Anil’s fate rests in LifeSport audit

The results of an audit into the LifeSport programme would determine whether any action would be taken against Sport Minister Anil Roberts, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said yesterday.

Persad-Bissessar said the final report would also determine the future of the programme.

Speaking to the media following an Indian Arrival Day celebration in Debe, Persad Bissessar said, “No action has been taken at this time because we await the audit that is being undertaken. And according to the results of that audit, then we will make a decision with respect to LifeSport programme.”

Asked whether she had taken a decision on the video showing a man resembling a Government minister partying with ganja and women, first shown by TV6 and now circulating on social media, Per­sad-Bissessar again said she had no comments to make.

Persad-Bissessar said Rob­erts was meeting with the political leader of the Congress of the People (COP).

“Minister Roberts is meeting with his leader of his party, and I am sure he will give us some feedback,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar, Sanatan

Dharma Maha Sabha sec­re­ta­ry general Sat Maharaj,

Speak­er of the House of Rep-

­­resentatives Wade Mark, Oropouche West MP Stacy Roopnarine and other Gov­ern­­ment ministers joined in a parade along the streets of Debe, in commemoration of the 169th anniversary of the arrival of indentured labourers to these shores.

The parade ended at Par­va­ti Girls’ College, Debe, where a programme was held to mark the occasion.

Persad-Bissessar said citizens need to return to the values practised by the East Indian forefathers, which created the foundation for strong family and community bonds.

“Today, there is a general belief that much of the violence, anger and anti-social be­haviour that we witness in our country stems from a breakdown of family values, of irresponsibility by parents and lack of respect from young people for their elders.

“But if we know these are the problems, then we already have the answers to many of the negative behaviours around us.

“Today, we need to go back to these simple, powerful ideals of our forefathers where home and family are the primary source of nurtu­ring you, our child­ren, to become responsible, caring adults, committed to community and country, and where the community collectively reinforces our family values,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said Indian Arrival Day was a time to reflect on the years of hard labour, discrimination and indignity the indentured labourers endured when they arrived in Trinidad.

“Many wanted to return to India, some did return at the end of their period of indentureship. But so many more chose to stay and to make this strange new land their home, and in that way, they sowed the seeds for the diverse multicultural society which is our home now, Trinidad and Tobago,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar reminded the hundreds of school children gathered about the panchayaat system, a council of elders who mediated disputes, resolved conflicts and at times administered justice.

“The system proved the mo­ral compass which gave di­rection to the community and, in particular, offered our younger generation a template for decent living,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said her goal was to provide a proper education system from early childhood to university. She said two new Maha Sabha schools, which were promised

14 years ago, would be opened in the new school year.

Persad-Bissessar said all secondary school pupils would be outfitted with laptops while tertiary-level students would be given compu­ter tablet devices.

“We understand the value of laying a solid foundation upon which our children may grow and prosper. Let us re­commit to build an atmo­s­phere of peace, friendship and harmony amongst all citizens of Trinidad and Toba­go,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said her Government was also committed to completing the Solo­-

mon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin. “We will build this highway and complete it, right down to Point Fortin. In another month, we will begin from the Point Fortin side, coming back to meet us here in Debe,” she said.