Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chandresh stands up for Jack in CNC3 interview

Transport Minister and MP for Fyzabad, Chandresh Sharma, appeared on the CNC 3 Early Morning show Wednesday. And Host Hema Ramkissoon questioned the minister abouthis cabinet colleague, Jack Warner.

JYOTI has received a partial transcript from the show and has published it below:

Hema Ramkissoon: How the Minister duped FIFA, CONCACAF into believing that they owned $144 million Centre of Excellence - The great deceptions stories continue to plague this administration. Stories as it relates to the Minister of National Security, his involvement in FIFA and the legacy that continues to haunt this Government. He is the Chairman of a party that you are part of Minister.

Minister Sharma: You know, when Jack Warner is reported outside of Trinidad and Tobago by the British press or the American press, both print and electronic, they describe him as a black man as they will describe President Barack Obama as a first black President. In the same way, Jack’s fault is that he’s black, he’s enormously successful and he’s very boldfaced.

Hema Ramkissoon: You think all of this is relating to his ethnicity and his race?
Minister Sharma: Well it adds to it. Because what is Jack’s fault? He has been enormously successful. He has travelled to one hundred and seventy-five countries of the world, has met world leaders including President Nelson Mandela, including President Barack Obama, he has touched the lives of many people. He has taken the smallest country to the great football arena, so he has done very well.
File: Jack Warner with President Obama in the Oval Office
In Trinidad and Tobago he’s a hero, he’s a doer. Now, certainly based on the newspaper reports, there are stories for which we do not know, newspapers all over the world have been known to carry stories that are not accurate all the time. So at this point in time Jack Warner is a Member of the Cabinet, he has met all the legal requirements to be appointed a Member, he’s appointed by His Excellency the President. So that, there’s no question about his qualification to be a Cabinet Member, certainly newspapers and their stories but whenever the truth comes out, (inaudible).

Hema Ramkissoon: Some say that this Government has put themselves in a very precarious situation, an uncomfortable position for the citizens of this country by continuing to embrace the Minister of National Security because the stories continue, everyday there’s a new story. Every week there’s a new scandal, all relating to his life in FIFA which predated his political appointment.

Minister Sharma: Jack Warner business to the people of Trinidad and Tobago is in two or three capacities; one as the Member of Parliament for Chaguanas West, where he’s perhaps one of the best Members of Parliament that has passed through the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago in terms of being a people’s person, in terms of delivery of goods and services and being close to the persons who have elected him to office.

Secondly he’s a Minister of Government, as Minister of Works and Transport, where he was previously, there’s no record by any other Minister in the last fifty-plus years of Cabinet rule in this country, based on the performance of Jack Warner as the Minister of Works and Transport as it was then. As Minister of National Security, he has been extremely well.

Hema Ramkissoon: Is he untouchable? Many seem to think that the Government ..

Minister Sharma: No person is untouchable. But what do you want from a Minister when it’s the Minister of Transport or the Minister of National Security? You want him to deliver, you want him to make sure he adds value. Has Jack Warner been adding value? The answer is yes. What are his faults really? Jack is known to speak frankly, he’s known to say it as it is and people don’t like that.

Hema Ramkissoon: As a Cabinet Minister, does it not worry you; the image of this country when you see that the FBI is investigating a Minister’s son?

Minister Sharma: I think, you know, what is more important is that the unemployment is below five percent, that every single family in this country can have food on their tables every day, that everybody who’s looking for work, yesterday I was at my constituency office I saw the average maybe one-hundred plus persons, maybe ten, fifteen were looking for jobs, I’m sure we’re going to find them jobs.

Hema Ramkissoon: Why do you think people continue to label Minister Warner as a liability to the Government? Yet you say that all of these stories have no thread of truth in it.

Minister Sharma: People in opposition to Government first tried to discredit the Honourable Prime Minister then they went after Jack Warner and they’re still going after Jack Warner and they have gone after Anil Roberts and they will go after others, they try to weaken. 

Mr. Manning made that very clear, you know, he said it in Parliament. He said when we were trying to prepare for the elections, we went after the head, the Head of the People’s Partnership was seen as Kamla Persad-Bissessar so they went. They got nasty, they got personal. They going after Jack, they going to get very nasty. They went after Anil and they will go after, they went after Winston Dookeran, they went after our guy in Tobago. So you will find that kind of thing, the opposition..

Hema Ramkissoon: So you think all of this is fueled by the PNM?

Minister Sharma: A large amount of it.

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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