|Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar received a copy of the book FAR FROM THE MOUNTAIN|
from the author, Jai Parasram, at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday.
(Photo by Nicholas Ramjass, courtesty Office of the Prime Minister)
The book, which has been published by PARIA PUBLISHING, is a series of notes and commentaries written by Mr. Parasram covering the period 2007 to 2012, ending at the 50th anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago.
According to the author, who is a Trinidadian-Canadian journalist and political communications and media consultant, the intention in writing these commentaries was to stay in touch with Trinidad and Tobago and offer his personal views on how he saw his home country develop.
“The result is a collection that is neither a history book nor an academic text. It is the work of a journalist who tries to shed light on and seeks to explain some of the issues during a critically important period in Trinidad & Tobago’s political development between 2007 and 2012,” wrote the author in the Preface to the book.
“This series of news items, columns and commentaries reflect my thoughts and views on how I saw my country struggle, stumble and then make positive steps as it tried to move forward under a government that, for the first time in the country’s history, represents people from every stratum in the society, regardless of class, social standing, ethnicity or religious belief.
“The period covered in these pages saw the consolidation of power by the People’s National Movement (PNM) under Patrick Manning following his ascension to office by presidential decree in 2001, the near-death experience of the United National Congress (UNC); the conflicts within the party that once governed the country; the birth of the Congress of the People (COP); the selfless struggle by a dedicated few to revive the UNC and finally the rise of Kamla Persad-Bissessar to lead the party and the country…
“My hope is that you will find material here to generate a national conversation on where we are today and where are heading as we continue our journey past the first 50 years since we pulled down the Union Jack and hoisted our own national flag with a pledge to create a new state forged from the “Love of Liberty” where each of us would “find an equal place.
“I thought of calling this “A political lime” because in a sense that is what it is – and honest, from-the-heart conversation tinged with my own bias as I responded to the daily events and the changing political fortunes. I have to confess that it pained me to write some of what you find in these pages but I felt a patriotic obligation to write down my thoughts for posterity.”
In a Foreword Dr. Hamid Ghany wrote, “Much has been said and written about this period of the political history of Trinidad and Tobago, but this story is told through the eyes of a person whose journalistic and political instincts can intimately describe the political rise of Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Academics, journalists and activists of all political persuasions will find this book to be meticulously compiled, yet easy to read as they can relate to its subjects and objects.”
And Publisher Gerard Besson wrote, “What attracted us particularly to this manuscript was the “witness to history” format.
“Jai’s epistles accompany an important period of change in Trinidad and Tobago’s political history. On an almost month-by-month basis, he summarises and annotates events surrounding the emergence of Kamla Persad-Bissessar as prime minister of the country.
“Jai, ever the master storyteller, weaves facts of the past that are easily forgotten in the urgency of the present into an overall narrative that makes them memorable and logical. And the savvy political strategist also shimmers through these pages. Jai takes position and does not spare with ammunition, so reader, be prepared for numerous volleys!”
FAR FROM THE MOUNTAIN was launched in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday 10, November, 2013. It’s available online at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble and at local bookstores.