Monday, December 3, 2012

Warner slams Dookeran for backing COP financier ahead of government

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar Saturday
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told the Express newspaper Sunday she was not referrring to Winston Dookeran in her speech at a congress of her party on Saturday when she said "the electorate will chew and spit out" individuals and political groups who betray the trust that has been placed in the People's Partnership. 

Speaking at a congress of the United National Congress Persad-Bissessar said it has not always been an easy task keeping the coalition together.

Here is what she said: 

“We are one – We sink or float together. Let us not be deluded.

"For those within the Partnership who think otherwise and would wish to go it on their own, let me also confirm that the electorate will chew and spit out such individuals or political groups who are seen to be betraying the trust that has been placed in the Partnership.

"This is why sometimes contrary to your own desires as members of the UNC, I have borne the pains of insults, the stress of threats and sometimes what amounts to blackmail of my leadership.

"It has not been easy to be Leader of the Partnership but with the strength I derive from you, with the promise I have made to make life better for you and your children, with the knowledge of how much faith and trust you have in me, with the vision for a secure and prosperous future for all, I persevere for you and for my country, our country.

"I will never abandon the dream of 2010 and will never abandon you my political family."

The Express said it sent a text to the PM asking whether she was speaking about Dookeran. It said it received a one-word reply: "NO".

However, the paper got more than one word from UNC chairman Jack Warner, who accused Dookeran of putting COP financiers ahead of the government of which he is a part. 

Dookeran issued a release last week from Santo Domingo where he was attending a Cariforum in which he stated that the Prime Minister should show "compassion" and meet with Wayne Kublalsingh, who is on a hunger strike outside the office of the Prime Minister.

Dookeran said: "In all aspects of public policy, there must be compassion and compromise and Trinidad and Tobago must not be seen in the eyes of the international community as a decadent society." The Prime Minister stated Dookeran did not have all the latest information on the matter at the time he made the statement.

Kublalsingh, who is the leader of the Highway Reroute Movement, wants the government to stop construction of one section of the highway to Point Fortin. 

Works Minister Emmanuel George is meeting with the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) to discuss a proposal the council sent to the PM seeking to have government establish an independent review team to report on the highway issue. A technical committee has already prepared a report, which Kublalsingh and his group have rejected.

Warner told the Express, "I know that the Kublalsingh family are financial supporters of the COP with millions of dollars through EIL (Electrical Industries Ltd)." 
Kublalsingh's brother, Hayden, is a director at EIL. He has been acting as  a spokesperson for his brother. 

Warner said the Kublalsingh family's support for COP "does not give Dookeran the right to make a statement contrary to the Prime Minister's while he was miles away and not full briefed on the situation...No Government can run this way."

Hayden admitted to the Express that he supports the COP but added that the issue of party funding is not relevant to the highway matter.

The Express said COP's chair Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, who initially said she stood behind Dookeran's statement, refused to comment on the matter on Sunday when approached by the paper. The Express said COP leader Prakash Ramadhar also refused to comment on the issue. "I will not be making a statement at this time," it quoted Ramadhar as saying.

The paper said when it asked if Seepersad-Bachan would say anything on the issue, Ramadhar said, "No one is authorised to say anything."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai