Port of Spain
The passion, interest and dialogue elicited by Government’s proposals for constitutional reform have been unprecedented, clearly negating the view that citizens were lukewarm on matters of national governance, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has said.
“Rather, what has been so strongly demonstrated is that we truly are the deserving inheritors of the courage, will and fierce determination that brought our ancestors out of bondage into the light of freedom,” she said in her Independence message to the nation yesterday.
Her message followed passage of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014 in the Senate late Thursday night.
She said: “Certainly there will always be dissenting voices on issues of political reform, economic thrust or social policy. The mechanics of the democratic principle allow for reasoned debate and a multiplicity of views, fellow citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.”
She said as citizens of an independent, democratic nation “we have the responsibility to ensure that in the practise of our democracy, each and every citizen holds the right to determine how they are governed and by whom”.
“We cannot allow fear and intimidation to impede the progress of our nation,” she added.
Independence means stepping out of our comfort zone, she said. It allows an opportunity to embrace change.
“As a nation, our creativity, innovativeness and enterprising spirit have brought us much recognition and acclaim. I have no doubt that our stories of success will continue to be born out of our resolve, determination, and unity of vision. Each sector of our community has a role to play in the sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago. Individually and collectively the contribution, service and sacrifice of each of us will support and sustain the well-being of our country.”
Persad-Bissessar added: “As a Government we have sought to develop and implement measures which provide an enabling environment for local and foreign business and investment.
“As a nation, we have the skills, intellect and talent to achieve every goal and task that we set ourselves.
“In 2014, it is not business as usual. My government understands that expectations are high among our citizenry in all aspects of national life. Areas of health, personal and national security, governance, job and wealth creation all dominate the national psyche.”