Thursday, January 10, 2013

PNM stands with Sandy; Maha Sabha wants PNM to state its policy on discrimination

Hilton Sandy
The People’s National Movement (PNM) is ignoring the call from the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) for Hilton Sandy to withdraw from the January 21 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election because of his racist anti-Indian statement. 

PNM chairman Franklin Khan told the media Wednesday the party has dealt with the matter adequately, noting that Sandy has made a public apology. Khan said withdrawing from the campaign is not an option. 

He reiterated what the PNM said before - that Sandy's comments do not form a part of the PNM’s policy and in no way reflects the PNM’s position.

Khan added that PNM leader Keith Rowley has addressed the matter "by stating that he spoke to Sandy as early as possible about it, causing his subsequent apology.” 

Archbishop Harris

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Port-of-Spain Joseph Harris has called on all politicians to refrain from making racial statements during the election campaign. Harris said it's a sad day “when politicians have to use racial innuendoes and even racial picong to try to score points or win votes.”

He added, “Even if it was a mistake, (it) was totally unacceptable. It should never have been said.”

And the Maha Sabha has called on the PNM to make an unequivocal and definitive condemnation of Sandy’s comment about a "Calcutta ship" coming to Tobago if the PNM were to lose the January 21 election.

In a media release Wednesday, Secretary General Satnarayan Maharaj said Sandy’s statement is “divisive, racist and incendiary.” He added that his organisation is “deeply saddened but not surprised by the lukewarm response of Dr Rowley, who distanced himself from the statement and indicated that Sandy misspoke.”

Maharaj said the PNM leader must say what his response would have been if a UNC candidate had said on the platform “that if the PNM should win the election, that a boat from the Congo would arrive in Trinidad.”

The Hindu leader said he wants Rowley to clearly articulate the PNM’s policy on discrimination. He also suggested that Sandy should “step down from the election as tangible proof that the PNM has "delinked its party’s philosophy from discrimination against Indians."

Another voice of condemnation is that of Jack Warner, the chairman of the United National Congress (UNC). He told local media Sandy’s comment was a sad day for politics in T&T.

In a media release Warner said a harmonious society such as ours has "no space or time for such divisive and racist remarks".

He added, "It is truly a sad day in the politics of this country that those who would aspire to be leaders of our multicultural, multi-ethnic society could see the world around them through such jaundiced and prejudiced eyes.”

Head of the Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat Association (ASJA) Yacoub Ali said: “The religion of Islam does not discriminate on race or colour and we hope that the harmony with which we have existed for decades will continue to be such that there will be peace and tranquillity in both Trinidad and Tobago.”

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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