Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kamla tells Tobago London and the PNM want to keep them in servitude and bondage

Kamla Persad-Bissessar at a TOP rally in Market Square, Scarborough, Tobago - Friday 18th January.
Through their actions, Mr. (Orville) London and his crew have put Tobago at risk, they have put our nation of Trinidad and Tobago at risk

The matter involves a claim against the State of Trinidad and Tobago for the damages and compensation amounting to in excess of USD 30 Million (TTD 200 Million) or thereabouts by certain UK investors that arose out of the alleged unlawful/illegal action of the Tobago House of Assembly in not granting a Licence to them under the provision of the Financial Investment Act to acquire an 184-acre estate known as the Culloden estate in Tobago.

The investors allege the following:

  1. Acting through 2 companies, 1 registered in St. Lucia, the other in Trinidad under the Culloden Reef tag; - commencing in 2005/06 they entered into an agreements for the acquisition of the 184-acre Culloden estate in Tobago for the establishment of a five star hotel. The project was dependent upon the acquisition of the 184 acre Culloden Estate upon which the hotel and resort with ancillary and associated facilities were to be constructed
  2. The investor companies made applications for approvals to the relevant State agencies for the necessary licenses and approvals. Among these was an application for the grant of a Licence required under the provisions of the Financial Investment Act for the acquisition of the Culloden estate
  3. The Tobago House of Assembly has the responsibility for processing and approving applications for the grant of the said Licenses. At the request of the PNM Tobago Leader Orville London in 2006, the Ministry of Finance under the PNM, invoked an existing clause of the Foreign Investment Act of 1990 to pass legislation to impose on Tobago a land licensing regime for all land investments in Tobago by foreign nationals. The Order was dated 16th Feb 2007 and it is Legal Notice No 53 of 2007
  4. The application was submitted in February 2007. Despite several meetings and encouragement of certain officials at the Tobago House of Assembly (including the Chief Secretary), no written response has been received by the investor companies to date in response to the application
  5. Consequently the bid to acquire the Culloden estate has floundered and the investors have been put to substantial loss and damage.
The investors argue that their bid to acquire the Culloden estate was frustrated by the Tobago House of Assembly that has disclosed a private interest in the acquisition of the said estate for its own purposes.

In support of this argument they allege further that the Tobago House of Assembly has since paid down a 10 per cent deposit for the acquisition of the Culloden Estate - the closure of the sale to the Tobago House of Assembly has been delayed by a pending High Court Action. 
The investors are now inclined to the view that they are the victims of a planned policy to block the acquisition of ‘Tobago’ land by foreigners.

The investors assert that the action of the Tobago House of Assembly is a breach of the by the State of Trinidad and Tobago of its material obligations under the provisions of Bilateral Investment Treaty that it executed with the United Kingdom.

They contend that they have been treated unfairly and unlawfully and discriminated against.

They seek compensation for the losses incurred in the aborted transaction that they state to estimate conservatively in the region of USD 30 million.

The Investors have advanced certain valuations and calculation by reputable international financial agencies to support the quantum claimed. The Investors decry that certain potential spin-off benefits to Tobago in employments and the development of ancillary industries have also been lost.

Notwithstanding the damage it may do to the country’s international repute and or the effect of future foreign investment from the UK and Europe into Tobago the thwarted investors threaten unless this matter is resolved expeditiously and their claim satisfactorily settled to initiate International Arbitration proceedings against the State pursuant to the BIT.

Through their actions, Mr. London and his crew have put Tobago at risk, they have put our nation of Trinidad and Tobago at risk.

These UK investors are now bringing a claim against Trinidad and Tobago for losses up to $200 Million Dollars.

So we may end up in a position where instead of them being able to come and invest their millions to help build and develop our island, they were frustrated in their Application and instead they are now claiming from Trinidad and Tobago, loss of profits up to $200 Million Dollars.

You see my brothers and sisters, these UK investors were coming to build a luxury 5 star eco-tourism resort in Tobago.

There is at present no 5 star resort in Tobago.

Even Trinidad has no 5 star resort so these investors were coming to put Tobago at the pinnacle, at the apex, at the TOP.

But we now have a man called Ashworth who by Monday will definitely, will definitely put you on TOP.

This 5 star resort was to have luxury villas, condominiums and guest cottages.

They had plans to enter into agreements with the poultry farmers in Tobago, the dairy farmers in Tobago the fishermen in Tobago to buy their produce and fish and to build a fishing depot and a cold storage facility.

They were going to invest in the vegetable and crop farms and build them up and modernize them because they wanted to serve all locally grown and produced food to their guests.

So the farmers would have benefited, the fishermen, the taxi drivers would have had more jobs, the tour operators would have had more trips.

The dive shops, the reef boats would have been filled with tourists and Tobagonians would have back to earning money from tourism as they did in the boom days before Orville stopped it, doing so as strong, independent people who don’t have to depend on the THA for “ah wuk”.

But Orville and the PNM don’t like that, they don’t want to see Tobagonians as strong financially independent people.

They would rather you have to come to them begging and scraping, looking for a ten days, looking for a CEPEP “wuk”, begging ‘a bread” every day.

You know it is said that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life.

They don’t want to feed you for life.

They want you to have to come back to them everyday, begging and asking to see your party card before they would give you a job or a little “wuk” and they hold you to ransom for it.

They have practised, spite, malice and vindictiveness in their destruction of Tobago. They have crashed the economy and made paupers out of people, they have broken the spirit of the land.

But fear not my brothers and sisters, they cannot break your spirits, they cannot break your will and determination and your desire for a better day.

Your time of deliverance is at hand.

The Israelites wandered for forty years in the desert before they saw salvation and Tobagonians have had 12 years in the wilderness.

Don’t make it 16.

Put an end to your suffering. Make that change for the better.

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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