Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rowley endorsed Sandy's racist comment; condemnation was attempt at damage control

File: Keith Rowley - "I ask you to support Hilton Sandy and send him the THA. Let him bring his experience to guide the youngsters who would put him there.”
Keith Rowley has stated that the racist statement made by Hilton Sandy does not reflect the policy of the People's National Movement (PNM). He and the head of the Tobago arm of the PNM, Orville London, are distancing themselves from the "Calcutta ship" anti-Indian comment made by Sandy last week.

On Wednesday the party insisted that it was content to leave Sandy as a candidate in the January 21 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election, noting that Sandy's apology was sufficient.

But the question that remains is whether the PNM is genuine about its position and whether Rowley's reaction in denouncing the statement was not just an attempt at damage control after the deed was done.

Commentators have asked why Rowley did not immediately censure Sandy at the meeting on Friday when Sandy made the statement on a political platform in the presence of both Rowley and London. Rowley spoke moments after Sandy concluded his speech.  

The Guardian Media has reported that it obtained an audio recording of the meeting in which Rowley endorsed Sandy. 

The Guardian quoted Rowley's statement following Sandy's speech: "And of course the tireless Hilton Sandy, he knows what it is to serve. He represented the PNM for decades. 

"He has done a fantastic job in improving the community of Roxborough/Delaford, and he still has energy, that drive, that desire and I ask you to support Hilton Sandy and send him back there. Send him back to the THA.

“Let him bring his experience to guide the youngsters who would put him there.” 

Tobago Organisation of the People leader Ashworth Jack told reporters on Wednesday Sandy must withdraw from the election. “Mr Sandy has no place in public life,” he said.

He insisted that such a racist statement was "a very calculated statement designed to create a kind of mischief that the PNM has been pushing for the last couple of months."

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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