ON the occasion of Trinidad and Tobago's 36th anniversary of Republic Day, leader of the People's National Movement Dr Keith Rowley says the country is going through a "demoralising and testing period" and is calling on citizens to bind together in unity and love.
"To add to the imposition, our leaders, rather than humble themselves and magnanimously honour their sacred oath to promote and defend the public interest, hasten uncaringly to exercise the preference of championing the evils of misbehaviour in and out of public office to a degree which defies wisdom, decorum, decency and understanding," he said.
Rowley said it was incumbent upon citizens to take stock of the developments which were "engulfing and embattling us".
"As a matter of urgent priority, such soul-searching becomes imperative when those in whose care we put our trust and those of our children make light of celebrating and rewarding graft and corruption," he said.
Rowley added too that at a time like this, the nation owes a deep debt of gratitude to those vigilant professionals who work in the mass media. "These are the men and women who legitimise the doctrine that 'the price of freedom is eternal vigilance'. The role of the mass media in protecting us citizens from the excesses and indiscretions of unworthy leaders cannot be undervalued. In these contemporary times, the role and responsibility of the mass media must never be over emphasised.
"We express deep appreciation to our journalists for their stick-to-itiveness and dedication to duty," he said.