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Has Tobago's time finally come?

The response by the THA Chief Secretary to the contents of the Green Paper on constitutional reform as it relates to the THA which was prepared by the Government was expected. We believe that this question will be one of the central features in the lead up to the next THA Elections.

Surely, we expect Mr. London to defend the proposals of the John Prince Committee which were propelled by the THA.

The proposals contained with the John Prince report were gathered from a number of sessions around Tobago. While one could argue that the views contained in the John Prince document does not represent a wide consensus from the people of Tobago, Mr. London and his Party members could still argue that people in Tobago do have some impact in the document.

Some may disagree with the approach by Mr. London and his team in submitting their proposals to the Government. This was the problem when the matter came up for debate in the THA with the THA Minority opposition refusing to participate claiming that the approach by the PNM was not legal.

On the other hand, the Peoples' Partnership Government had promised in their election manifesto, their intention to give Tobago the long-awaited exclusive Internal Self Government. To its credit, the Government has come forward with a Green Paper for the proposed constitutional changes to grant more autonomy for Tobago.

In his condemnation of the Green Paper, the Chief Secretary has called on Tobagonians to reject the contents of the document. In a clever political move he has projected the view that what is at stake is not merely a PNM position but an issue for all Tobagonians. In his present political predicament without his party controlling the reign of government, Mr. London has no choice but to attempt to take control of the Tobago struggle.

We do expect his political adversaries to try to bunk Mr. London's claim to lead the Tobago struggle given their history in the forefront of the fight for Tobago's autonomy. They would also point to the PNM history of opposing a better deal for Tobago. We do believe there must be a coming together of minds on this issue despite the obvious political divide.

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Anonymous said on Wednesday, Mar 28 at 11:48 AM

Once Tobago has its boundaries in place,then they are definetly on there way to victory.Unfortunately Trinidad is all too well aware that Tobagonians are very much competent in running their own affairs that anxiety sleeps with them on a daily basis.What is Trinidad afraid of.Why the hold up.

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Anonymous said on Sunday, Mar 25 at 10:43 PM

Tobagos time has not only cpme ,but passed, you are on the slippery slope to no where , have a good trip

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RJ said on Wednesday, Mar 21 at 2:44 PM

WHAT SELF HELP STRUCTURS DOES TOBAGO HAVE AT PRESENT? DOES IT HAVE INDUSTRIES, ITS'OWN SECURITY,OIL REFINERY ect? WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET THESE ESSENTIALS to be able to self govern??

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the virginian said on Wednesday, Mar 21 at 2:03 PM

Hey 'Limer,no harm done,what's the occasional typo among bloggers?We got your message and know what was intended.

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citylimer said on Wednesday, Mar 21 at 11:47 AM

correction - DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS NOT DEVINE -

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the virginian said on Tuesday, Mar 20 at 6:29 PM

Citylimer,thanks a million.What you've so meaningfully articulated not only has been very informative but also makes a whole lot of sense.That's why I like to seriously engage you even when we vehemently disagree.Somtimes our disagreements seem to yield more enlightenment than our agreements.Take care. Continue to lean forward Tobago and good luck.

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citylimer said on Tuesday, Mar 20 at 4:58 PM

Virginian - I agree that that there is significant daylight between the ideology and philosophy between the T/dad ruling party and the current THA. Reason the current THA has Tobago at heart. The PP/UNC has there own agenda of dominance and the expansion of their gentrfied base - gentrification - into Tobago to continue the economic monopolization of the whole country. The TOP in Tobago will sell their mother for 30 pieces of silver just to gain control of the THA at all cost. People of Tobago DO NOT BE LED DOWN A SLIPPERY SLOPE WHERE THER IS NO RETURN. OPEN YOUR EYES. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

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citylimer said on Tuesday, Mar 20 at 4:41 PM

PART 2 - Case in point is the joint development of the Oil and Gas reserves which lies along the borders of T&T and Venezuela i.e the LORAN - MANETEE FIELD and other plans are being put in place for Agreements to unitize other border fields by way of Bilateral Agreements. FISHING - AS PER UN - EQUITY IS also the operative word. OVERLAPPING of boundaries are to be settled bY mutual Agreements reference fishstock numbers and over fishings,licensing and registration of boats quotas,types of gears age size of fish to be caught etc. so as to maintain sustainable development and to avoid over fishing. There is a rule of LAW which must be adhered to. TOBAGO is not asking for everything within the EEZ which is closest to its shore. ONLY AN EQUITABLE SHARE ACCORDING TO INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE UN CONVENTION ON THE EEZ. IS THIS TOO MUCH IF SO ITS COLONIALIZATION ALL OVER AGAIN NOT AUTONOMY. BUT SMOKE AND MIRRORS. As a layman this is my take on the issue.

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citylimer said on Tuesday, Mar 20 at 4:20 PM

Virginian- very good question. Teritorrial Waters extends is 12 nautical miles (NM) and Economic Exclusive Zones( EEZ) are 200NM. UN Covention states that under the convention in the EEZ the Costal Stae shall have due regard to the rights and duties othe States and shall act in a manner compatible with the provisions of this Convention.Should there be a CONFLICT OF INTEREST the conflict should be resolved on the basis of EQUITY.AUTONOMY - is thE right of an Island-TOBAGO-to govern its affairs within the context of Unitary State. AUTONOMY dictates that there should not be the devine right of kings i.e Trinidad is the king and Tobago the servant.OVERLAP of boundaries - generally any point within an overlapping area -EEZ- DEFAULTS TO THE NEAREST STATE/ISLAND which is AUTONOMOUS.Thus OIL,GAS FISH RESERVES closest to Tobago within the Zone belongs to Tobago.Thus Tobago's GDP contribution increases and so must be it's share of the budget to 8% and not 6.9%.

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the virginian said on Monday, Mar 19 at 7:22 PM

Citylimer,that 200-nautical miles EEZ issue is going to be a gorilla in the room,I think.I don't know,so I'm asking:what are the distances,as the crow flies,from the northeastern Venezuelan coast,the southern coasts of Barbados and Grenada and just about all of Trinidad's coastline to the coast of Tobago?If any overlaps,which I think they are,how would they be reconciled?Any ideas? Finally,my off-shore view,as long as the central government has significant involvement in matters of Tobago,regardless of Tobago's governing fiat,there will be unsettling problems especially when there's significant daylight between the ideology and philosophy of central government and the Tobago body.Mark my word. Good luck Tobago.

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citylimer said on Monday, Mar 19 at 12:28 PM

SUPERMAN YOU ARE RIGHT ON THE BUTTON. AUTONOMY - means self Government within Unitary State in the Trinidad and Tobago context. Not smoke and mirrors in a illusory form - seeming to be true but actually false. The THA whether PNM or otherwise should be in charge of Tobago's Administration except for the 11 specific existing national funtions. The functions of the THA should not be diminished by relinquishing any current duties to the Central Government. TOBAGO is not a MUNICIPAL CORPORATION IT IS AN ISLAND surrounded by water thus the UN's 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone should apply. Thus the Oil,Gas and Fishing reserves will redound to the benefit of Tobago and Trinidad. Thus a 8% and not 6.9% share of the budget is justified. Development in Tobago is expensive given the logistis involved. Also for democtacy to prevail any potential for voter padding should be eliminated thus 4yrs residency is applicable and not 3 months vacationers who will distort the process.

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Anonymous said on Monday, Mar 19 at 12:09 PM

All articles are very dissapointing, more than a slip showing, I call it selective journalism , give the reader the true news on Tobago , starting with the murders you so ignore or choose not to print,

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Desuperman said on Saturday, Mar 17 at 8:47 PM

"coming together of minds" AGAIN?? D Wasn't that the approach taken when Ashworth and his colleagues were part of the THA team who would have met with Dr. John Prince? What more "meeting of minds" do we need? Clearly, both sides are holding on to there own belief of what is "full autonomy". I find it disturbing that this Editorial by the Tobago News is giving "credit to the Government for "coming forward with a Green Paper for the proposed constitutional cnahges to grant more autonomy(???)for Tobago. The Green Paper doesn't give us a budgetary allocation as the John Prince's, it doesn't give us more nautical miles around and it still has a three month period for a non resident to be eligible to vote in Tobago. So what about that gives the PP any credit? Come on Tobago News, your "slip" is showing and it is a very disappointing article.

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