PM urges citizens to do their part to move nation forward
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has called on citizens to take individual action in ensuring the future development of the country but assured that Government would play its part.
In an address to the nation on the 50th Anniversary of Independence, Persad-Bissessar said citizens should take the opportunity to go beyond the country's achievements and envision the future of Trinidad and Tobago.
"We are at a critical juncture in the history of our nation. Fifty years of Independence have gone. I ask you what will be our legacy over the next 50 years? How will we be judged by our children's children? Will we be found lacking? Or will we be heralded as the visionaries who did what was necessary for the future of the next generation?
"I urge you, fellow citizens, seize this opportunity for progress. You are living in an exciting new chapter and it's in your power to carry our twin-island nation forward as a pioneer in our region. We must continue to build our sense of patriotism and nationhood," she said.
Persad-Bissessar said everyone has expectations for the future of the country but there must be continuous work for the changes sought.
"We must all work together, the public and private sectors, labour, civil society, communities, and individuals, to fulfill the collective aspirations of our people.
"The responsibility lies within each of us as Trinbagonians, to take the future into our hands and play our own part in taking Trinidad and Tobago forward. This is how we will bring about positive growth in our nation. "
She said her vision for the country was one of equitable wealth distribution and further development of the nation but questioned the purpose of development of the nation without values.
"What is the purpose of a society in which the landscape appears to be more modern but there is an absence of values? I intend to pursue specific ways to begin a transformation of our society.
She said the character education programme launched by the Ministry of Education was one way the government would begin instilling values at an early age and Cabinet would be examining a formal parenting programme based on successful international models, to start the change that is needed.
Persad-Bissessar said Government would soon reveal a new phase of development as never before seen in the region as it moved toward future development of the country.
"It will cover the most ambitious infrastructural and financial investment programme ever launched in Trinidad and Tobago, one that will become a beacon in the region. This is not a time for complacency but for progressively redoubling efforts to ensure that no one is left behind," she said.
She added that it was time for a more mature politics no longer defined by religion, race or geographical place or partisan interest.
"Just as the society was ready to embrace progress in 1962, now 50 years on, we the people of Trinidad and Tobago are ready to advance our democracy and inclusiveness.
"We are ready to welcome a new era — an era which sees Trinidad and Tobago moving forward as a dynamic, trail-blazing nation in our region and around the world. We must be determined and unflagging in our efforts to uphold the legacy left to us by Dr Eric Williams and Dr Rudranath Capildeo in 1962," she said.
Read the full text of the Prime Minister's message on www.trinidadexpress.com