OPPOSITION Senator Faris Al-Rawi yesterday described claims by Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha secretary-general Sat Maharaj of a biased national development policy implemented over time by the People’s National Movement (PNM) as being “dangerously divisive”.
Al-Rawi, the PNM’s public relations officer, criticised Maharaj for his statements and said they were out of place.
Speaking at his organi-
sation’s Indian Arrival Day celebrations in Debe on Fri-
day, Maharaj said for the
past 50 years, all major de-
velopments have taken place north of the Caroni River.
“And every time an effort is made to develop the rest of Trinidad and Tobago, there is an outcry. But what is south of the Caroni River? All the oil wells that produce the wealth, the Pitch Lake. So all the wealth from Central and South must go to develop only the North. That is the philosophy of Eric Williams and the PNM,” Maharaj said.
Speaking to the Sunday Express, Al-Rawi said Maharaj’s statements about the PNM were “regrettable” and wrong.
“It is regrettable that Mr Maharaj should, as a leader of a particular section of Trinidadian society, choose to make very divisive statements which in our view does not reflect the facts of
the development of Trinidad and Tobago,” Al-Rawi said.
He invited Maharaj to visit several developments encouraged by the PNM throughout the country.
“The PNM, as the longest serving political party in this country, pioneered industrial development throughout Trinidad and Tobago, which sparked growth in the economy and resulted in serious improvement of value of real estate, certainly, south of the Caroni, to use Mr Maharaj’s words,” Al-Rawi said.
“We would invite him to visit the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, which is
certainly not in north Trinidad; we invite him to visit the estates in La Brea and Mayaro which are certainly not in north Trinidad. We invite him to witness the powerhouse that San Fernando is in pioneering the energy sector, certainly not in north Trinidad
“We invite him to visit the thousands of houses built everywhere other than in north Trinidad, and we invite him to reflect upon the legislation brought by the PNM, including, in particular, the Education Bill, Caroni (1975) Bill and the
Industrial Stabilisation Act, which as the grandson of Lionel Seukeran can cer-
tainly say the PNM piloted to the benefit of all citi-
zens of Trinidad and Toba-
go and, in particular, the children of indentured servants,” he said.
“Mr Maharaj’s revision-
ism is a clawback to ana-
chronistic politics and is dangerously divisive,” Al-Rawi added.
“The PNM, under Dr Keith Rowley, is interested in the development of all of Trinidad and Tobago as Dr Rowley’s advocacy of rural development and a national translocation policy with local government reform, to name a few, clearly demonstrates,” he said.