Wednesday, January 9, 2013

PNM candidate apologises for racist comment; party denies running a racist campaign

Hilton Sandy has offered an apology for racist remarks he made at a political meeting of the People's National Movement (PNM) oN Sunday.

The PNM candidate for Roxborough/Delaford in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election Hilton Sandy stated at the meeting that if Tobagonians don't vote for the PNM, East Indians would move to Tobago and take over.

A ship from Calcutta is waiting to sail to Tobago pending the outcome of the election, he said.

In an official release he said he was "unfortunately overwhelmed by the exuberant atmosphere and erred by referencing what has been perceived as a racial statement. To all who have been offended by this statement I offer my sincerest apologies." 

Sandy added, "During my years in the service of the public I have always been inspired and guided by the founding principles of the movement to which I belong that said that we are a mobilisation of all the forces in the community, cutting across race and religion, class and colour, with emphasis on united action by all the people in the common cause." 

On Monday, PNM Leader Keith Rowley said Sandy should apologise. Rowley told reporters Sandy's comments were not representative of the PNM.

"It was unfortunate that Mr Sandy would make that kind of reference to some song, it was unnecessary and whatever implications it had, he should apologise for it and it forms no part of the PNM campaign."

Rowley denied that the PNM is running a racist campaign in Tobago. He said, "I know many people would jump to grab at it to prove that the PNM is running a racial campaign, we certainly are not, the people of Tobago subscribe to the principles of the national anthem, every creed and race must find an equal place."

Rowley also denied reports that both he and THA chief secretary Orville London cheered Sandy when he made the comment, "That's an absolute untruth," he said.

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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