Thursday, September 5, 2013

PM Kamla offers an olive branch to all opposition parties; pledges to work harder and connect with the people

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar: " I hold out an olive branch to all opposition groups to work with me in making a difference to the very nation they aspire to lead."
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Thursday offered an olive branch to all opposition parties in Trinidad and Tobago to work together to build the country.

In a media briefing during which she announced a cabinet realignment, Persad-Bissessar said, "Let the process of collaboration replace that of confrontation..Let us sit and eat at the same table even as we recognise the divergent views of each other."  

She said now is time for leaders of all parties to work together for the common good because the future of the country is more important than political considerations.

"If I had my will, I would form a national government comprised of all groups," she said, noting that "our coalition government happens to be the closest ideal to that pursuit."

Persad-Bissessar told the media political considerations alone would not be her guide. "It matters less to me whether decisions taken in your interest are inimical to my own political future," she said. "Let history judge me as being a 
leader who loved you more than she did pursuit of office. This is my solemn oath to you," she added. 

"And in this regard, I hold out an olive branch to all opposition groups to work with me in making a difference to the very nation they aspire to lead. In this regard, there will be no losers, only the country wins, only the people benefit. 

"It is not idealistic, ironically, it is quite the opposite, it is the only practical solution to the challenges we face. When we unite, the combined power of our resources are unbeatable. 

"Trinidad and Tobago has been blessed with so many natural resources and gifted with such talented, inspiring people. All that has kept us back is the lack of common purpose, the discipline required, the coming together of all our resources to make this work for the benefit of all." 

The Prime Minister said in the past three years her government has achieved much but acknowledged that it failed to communicate effectively with the people. 

"We have failed in some quarters in selling our message, in informing you adequately of all that has been positively taking place," she said. She also stated that her government has failed in connection to the people. "We have also failed to spend enough time among you all sharing ideas and learning from you, whether you support the government or not," she said, adding that is going to change. 

"Starting today and as promised, I have taken stock of the performances in my Government over time, examined where more needs to be done and who is 
best suited to perform in what area in order to accelerate the speed of delivery to meet the
expectations of the public." 

She said the realignment of her cabinet is intended to do just that. "This ushers in a new era of my Government. I can assure you that no one will escape scrutiny of his or her performance and satisfaction of the public interest. 

"This is lift off time, the launch of the most aggressive development and progressive period of governance in our nation's history. 

"The groundwork has been laid, the foundation is there, now the transformation you elected us to achieve will occur and will do so at breathtaking pace."

However, the prime minister pledged that she would take into consideration the views of the people. "We will achieve it with you. We will embrace every group in this country...we will not always agree on method but we will always mutually, respectfully agree to engage each other." 

In her appeal for political cooperation, Persad-Bissessar asked, "
If Mandela persuaded forgiveness and unity for the good of South Africa, if Gandhi demonstrated the power of non violence in India, if Martin Luther King could have birthed a dream for a different America why can't Daaga, Ramadhar, Rowley, Warner, London, Kamla or any other embrace the same noble aspirations for the good of all who follow us?" 
Perzsad-Bissessar acknowledge that while the 2010 refrain of “We will rise” still resonates deeply among the people it has been dulled "by the cries of crime imperfect health care sector and the demand for more jobs." But she primed that her government will rise to conquer these odds and meet these challenges. 

"The revolution you won cannot overcome everything within just three years. It is impossible to
turn around decades of neglect in just three years. But it is not impossible for us to demand that more be done. 

"In fact, it is an urgent requirement that your government delivers more. 
"We accepted the job of national restoration and while everything is not in place, I can assure you my heart is in the right place. 

"I care more for the welfare of my country and your well being than I do anything in this world. And I will stop at nothing to ensure that you see a Trinidad and Tobago that is on the rise again. 

"Let not your hearts be troubled as the welfare or Trinidad and Tobago is in capable hands, your
economy that wobbled on the brink of disaster when we took office has been stabilised even as the world economy totters, there has been record reduction in inflation, social programmes have been expanded, even crime which remains a huge challenge has gone from X to Y and development is no longer centred just in the city and north of the island but touches the most remote and rural of areas that were hitherto sorely neglected.

The prime minister said her government must work harder to deliver. "If 18 hours a day isn't enough for us to deliver then we shall have to give 20, find a
way to power nap to recharge and deliver, deliver, deliver. 

"No excuses. No explanations. Just execution beyond the call of duty. That is our mantra now. 

"I thank you for the belief in a dream we forged together, a dream which is still possible," she 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