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Sat being divisive

Al-Rawi slams claims of biased national policy by PNM:

By By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

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. 

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