Thursday, December 12, 2013

Letter: Kamla showed highest level of statemanship in South Africa trip to honour Mandela

Dear Editor,

I am continually amazed at the depths that our nationals will descend to criticize our Prime Minister, while looking on and reading at the utmost respect and high esteem she is held and regarded by leaders of the international community.

 PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar with India's SONIA GANDHI. 
Below, with her Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper

The events surrounding her attendance the memorial service for former South Africa President and international icon Nelson Mandela is a classic example.

The Prime Minister had to make hasty arrangements to travel to Johannesburg, and the only way to get there on time was to charter a CAL aircraft.

Then, as a true Statesman, she invited other leaders of the region to travel with her (at no cost), a united region headed by its sitting chairman. But what singled out Kamla Persad Bissessar from other leaders around the world, was her gracious and noble invitation (without any strings attached) to the Leader of Opposition, Dr. Keith Rowley (and Mrs Rowley), a man who has led the assault against her and her Government, in and out of Parliament under our adversarial system of Westminster governance, a man who has filed motions of no-confidence against her in Parliament.

Kamla Persad Bissessar actions show she recognizes that Trinidad and Tobago’s international stature means more to her than our internal partisan politics. Her actions in this scenario shows that she is a politically mature leader who recognizes when it is that partisan politics must be cast aside against national issues. She has publicly commented that she was following Mandela's long walk to freedom, "many times I have put aside personal feeling and seen the greater good.”

Dr Rowley was not just a member of the Trinidad and Tobago delegation; he was always invited to be standing next to the Prime Minister and indeed, when presented with the choice of one person to accompany her to the view the remains of Mr Mandela, in another show of national unity, she immediately chose Dr Keith Rowley to accompany her to the public viewing of the body. 

It was perhaps Rowley’s first “walk” among world leaders, and Kamla Persad Bissessar did this without seeking out any considerations from Dr Rowley. In fact, she is quoted in the media as expressing her gratitude to Rowley for accepting her invitation.

What is indeed very disappointing are those narrow-minded individuals and certain sections of the media who search out for non-issues to criticize the Prime Minister. Would you believe her attire, a traditional African one is an issue? 

Here is a lady, the leader of the “rainbow republic” (as enunciated by South African Bishop Desmond Tutu) wearing the traditional wear of African women, at a solemn African event, being criticized for her choice of an African wardrobe.

One needs to reflect upon the Prime Minister’s decision to name a Caribbean Airlines 767 Airliner after Mr Mandela, a decision that I am sure will earn Trinidad and Tobago the highest commendation and respect.

Kamla Persad Bissessar’s international stature and respect have been earned and she has demonstrated what national unity is to all. I also compliment Dr Rowley who has been equally impressive by his respect to his Prime Minister on this occasion, standing by her side and representing Trinidad and Tobago.

Capil Bissoon | Brampton Ontario Canada

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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