Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Guest commentary: PM Kamla is greatest asset to T&T at home and abroad

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar with her Canadian host PM Stephen Harper in Ottawa  - April 25, 2013
Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar continues to raise her profile and that of Trinidad and Tobago as a respected leader on the international scene.

This despite the continued utterances of Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley who continues to predict that Mrs Persad Bissessar’s handling of domestic political issues are “detrimental to the interests of TT.” 

Rowley claims that he fears the United States will implement “unpleasant actions" after fresh allegations of corruption against the Trinidad and Tobago government. He has continually made serious allegations (just that… allegations) about the Prime Minister’s handling of the country’s national security without any evidence. 

Every pronouncement coming from the PNM has the words “corrupt” attached to it, yet no one has been able to provide any streak of evidence to support their “claim”

But what was the rationale for Rowley making these wild and reckless statements about the Prime Minister and her Government? Rowley and the impotent PNM continue to attempt to score cheap political points by attempting to undermine our duly elected Government on the international arena.

Over the past six weeks, Rowley and the PNM intensified their reckless behavior even as the the Prime Minister was visiting the UN and OAS, followed by an official visit to Canada.

Well, if Rowley thought he could embarrass Mrs Persad Bissessar with the Americans and Canadians, he was in store for a very rude awakening.

His and the PNM’s mantra about the US Administration shunning the Prime Minister surely backfired. The PM was warmly welcomed in Washington by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to discuss ongoing bilateral issues including matters affecting Trinidad and Tobago and the region. The Prime Minister urged the U.S. Government to do more to assist Caribbean countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, in the fight against the illegal drug trade.

The Prime Minister was also addressed the “America-Africa Business Forum” on America and Africa: The Decade Ahead. Her visit also included a meeting the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, to discuss issues relating to Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Region.

It has been agreed that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will host the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum in October 2014 with the theme: The Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness, Powering Innovation. 

The American Competitiveness Forum (ACF) is the Western Hemisphere’s preeminent event for government and business leaders to discuss innovative methods to achieve economic competitiveness and promote innovation in the Americas.

And to show the continued respect that Washington has for the Persad Bissessar’s Administration, US Vice President Joe Biden will visit Trinidad at the end of the month to hold talks with the Prime Minister on collaborating with the US on a number of areas. 

This visit is truly record breaking and illustrates the strengthening of diplomatic relations with the US government. It shows how important strong relations with Trinidad is to the US for the Vice President to personally visit. More importantly, it occurred without the need to host two international summits at a cost of hundreds of millions to taxpayers.

Prime Minister Persad Bissessar's visit to Canada was an event that earned her the respect of the Canadian people and the global community.

She received a welcome to the Canadian capital comprising full military honours and a 19-gun salute as hundreds of T&T's national flag fluttered alongside Canada's to signal equality and respect for the Prime Minister and Trinidad and Tobago.
PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar inspects a Canadian Guard of Honour in Ottawa -  April 25, 2013
Her host, Prime Minister Stephen Harper invited Persad Bissessar and her delegation to join him on Royal Canadian Air Force 1 for a flight from Ottawa to Toronto. The aircraft is usually reserved for flying the Queen, Governor General, The Prime Minister of Canada, and other high-ranking government officials and foreign dignitaries.

Both Prime Ministers hosted a reception in Toronto on April 25, 2013, attended by more than 600 guests including members of our diaspora, business executives from both countries, Senators, Members of Parliament.

Earlier that same day the two leaders announced the signing of MoUs in trade, security and education. In addition they announced that Canada and Trinidad and Tobago will co-host a CARICOM Public-Private Partnerships Seminar and business-to-business meetings in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago later this year. 

It would bring together representatives from government, the private sector, international financial institutions and multilateral development banks from Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, the broader CARICOM and international community to share best practices in this field and how they can be applied further in their jurisdictions.

So Dr Rowley, the PNMs efforts to undermined Kamla Persad Bissessar on the international arena has certainly failed.

It is clear that our Prime Minister is a person of character, one of the region’s most influential and respected leader. 

To quote the Hon Prime Minister, “Time and circumstances have allowed many factors, including the divisiveness of some politicians, to keep us apart. But to go forward, we must go back. We need to rekindle those values, those strengths as a nation and as a people… And we must do so as one people with one goal."


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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