Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley will meet today with members of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM), the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and other civil organisations at 4 p.m. to discuss the Section 34 fiasco and other issues facing the country.
At a People's National Movement (PNM) meeting at Five Rivers Junction, Arouca on Wednesday night, Rowley disclosed that he wrote to union leaders and other groups on September 19 inviting them to meet with the Opposition.
He congratulated MSJ head David Abdulah; president of the Banking Insurance General Workers Union (BIGWU), Vincent Cabrera; and Dr Kirk Meighoo, leader of Democratic National Alliance (DNA) for joining the march from the Red House to President's House where he (Rowley) delivered a petition to acting President Timothy Hamel-Smith which called on the Prime Minister to revoke the appointments of former Justice Minister Herbert Volney and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
"I want to congratulate Mr Abdulah tonight for coming and standing up with us because he is a leader of a political party and we put Trinidad and Tobago first. I want to congratulate Mr Cabrera who is also a PNM critic but put Trinidad and Tobago first. There was Kirk Meighoo of the DNA, there was the second in command of TTUTA, they were all there and there were NGOs like Fixin T&T," said Rowley.
Rowley said he received several responses to his September 19 letter of invitation and made particular reference to a response from Ancel Roget, on behalf of the JTUM.
Rowley read the letter which stated that the JTUM had called for the removal of Volney and Ramlogan and also for the head of National Security Minister Jack Warner for his disrespectful attacks on Dean Colin Sampson.
Warner had attacked Sampson saying that he turned a house of God to the Balisier House when he (Sampson) at a ceremony to mark the opening of the law term at the Trinity Cathedral raised concern over the Section 34 fiasco and the threat to the country's well being.
In its letter to Rowley, JTUM stated that it was unhappy with the Prime Minister's move to fire Volney.
"We remain unimpressed and dissatisfied with the Prime Minister's response which sought only to craft and engineer an escape avenue for the Attorney General. We stand firm that the Attorney General is culpable and must be dismissed and further maintain our call for the removal of the Minister of National Security," stated JTUM's response to Rowley.
"We are clear in our statement last week that should the Prime Minister fail to remove these three Ministers within 48 hours then the JTUM stands ready to join forces in a broad based national front to determine the necessary mass actions towards this objective" the letter added.
"Since that time has expired it is now imminent that action must be taken. Given this Government's arrogant and dismissive approach we firmly believe that it only through a broad based national front the current crisis can be confronted," stated the letter.
"Any weak, divided or separated response will fail miserably and will only strengthen the Government's hand to continue their injustice against the people of Trinidad and Tobago," it continued.
Roget stated that the meeting with Rowley was in keeping with the JTUM's broad based national front approach as the unions sought to mount a series of collective mass actions "in defence of our democracy and to advance the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago".
At the meeting, Rowley also took issue with Warner's attack on Sampson and also the move by the president of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) Harrypersad Maharaj to counter Sampson's expressed concerns by saying that mediation was the best option to deal with issues and not through protest action or firing anyone.
Rowley said he wrote to Maharaj also inviting him to meet with the Opposition but he may not get a response.
"I want to tell the head of the IRO tonight, it is not the intention of the PNM or the decent people of Trinidad and Tobago to mediate anything with crooks and criminals," said Rowley.