PNM hits back at Minority Leader for 'race card' comments
The PNM Tobago Council officials were in a fiery mood on Tuesday as they launched a scathing attack on the TOP leader Ashworth Jack and his organisation.
They were speaking during a media briefng held last Tuesday at its Scarborough headquarters.
The PNM Council representatives, Tobago Party Chairman Neil Wilson, Tobago East Chairman Wendell Berkely, Tobago West Chairman Stanford Callender and PRO Denise Tsoi-A-Fatt all sought to clarify the Tobago PNM position on a number of issues.
It was the well groomed Tsoi-A-Fatt who threw the opening salvos when she condemned the recent assertion by TOP leader Ashworth Jack who accused the PNM of using race politics.
Tsoi-A-Fatt described Jack's statement as "deliberately misleading and downright malicious." The Tobago PNM PRO noted that "all right-thinking Tobagonians will be aware that over the past 15 months since the UNC-led coalition took over the reins of Government, the PNM Administration in the THA and the Tobago PNM Council have been focused on protecting the autonomy of THA."
She cited blatant efforts to disrespect the Tobago institution, Tobago leaders and Tobago people as part of the attack from the Central Government.
Tsoi-A-Fatt chided the TOP leader for cowering in the THA and not giving support to the PNM on matters concerning the Senior Citizens Grant, the plight of the fishermen and the blatant attack on the THA.
The PNM PRO reminded the media that "It was the THA which was in control of Health and Carnival. These have been two contentious areas between the THA and Central Government recently, and the PNM PRO wanted to know if "it is racial politics when persons elected by Tobagonians to protect their interests and enhance their lives raise these critical issues." She reminded all present that the PNM was "now standing up for the very issues which ANR Robinson, Hochoy Charles and Lennox Denoon stood up for and no one branded their politics as racial."
Tobago East PNM Chairman Wendell Berkely congratulated the Orville London-led THA for introducing the fast ferries, the cargo boat, the 600 million dollars power plant at Cove, the acquisition of Pigeon Point, Little Tobago and a number of estates.
Berkely, a former THA Assistant Culture Secretary also mentioned the 17 health centres built by the THA and the construction of the Shaw Park Sports Complex, the Mt Irvine Fisheries, the Buccoo Integrated Facility, the Mt Grace Pavilion and a number of hard courts in different parts of the island. He also mentioned more to come for the PNM THA such as community works at Louis D'Or, Belle Garden, Charlotteville, John Dial, Mt Irvine, Mt Pleasant, Betsy's Hope and Calder Hall.
Berkely also noted that the problems faced by the mega projects were now over and rapid progress is being made where these projects are concerned.
Chairman of the Tobago West PNM Council Stanford Callender recalled his time as a PNM representative on the Tobago County Council in 1977 and said he appreciated and respected the struggles of Robinson and others to get the THA established. He bashed the TOP and its association with the UNC-led Partnership Government.
"Jack and the UNC are trying to disrupt the THA," he said. He also predicted that Jack would get all the same bad experiences which Charles and Robinson got from associating with the UNC. "Do not give up your fight for what is right," the former government minister added.
Meanwhile, Tobago Council Chairman Neil Wilson announced the plans of the Tobago PNM.
The long serving and calculated Wilson announced that on September 1st, walkabouts will begin. On September 11, there will be a 'Feeling The Pain' meeting at Signal Hill Comprehensive School with main speaker Fitzgerald Hinds and Orville London and testimonies from those who are feeling the pain.
On September 24 there will be the Tobago West Family Day and September 25 Tobago East Family Day.