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Making Tobago equal to Trinidad

Monday, June 11, 2018

The decades-long efforts to achieve equality of status between Tobago and Trinidad reached a high point with stakeholder consultations with the Joint Select Committee on constitutional changes.

The stakeholders’ contributions raised critical questions and submitted ideas for consideration in fashioning the final bill. Among the contributors was Dr Vanus James who challenged the committee to define equality.

He complimented the committee on its effort since he regretted that none of the Tobago Houses of Assembly since 1980 had provided this kind of forum.

It was revealing to hear of the longer-term prospect of Tobago becoming self-sufficient and able to contribute to the national budget rather than relying on the annual contribution from central government.

What is evident is that Tobago must derive equal benefits to become self-sufficient from the proceeds tourism and national diversification.

The central government must still retain responsibility for delivering “on those capital producing sectors, as Dr James suggests. Another contributor cautioned that the final bill should not retain any elements that may eventually drive a wedge between the two islands, a concern that we share.

Let there be peace

Tomorrow’s summit in Singapore of the Presidents of the United States of America and North Korea raises the possibility of a peace deal to end the nuclear threats against the South, Japan, the Philippines and other Far Eastern interests. The two leaders, who have traded the harshest of taunts and threats, are due to come face to face, with the whole world watching anxiously.

June 25th would be sixty-eight years since the start of the Korean War when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War.

The world community can only hope that tomorrow’s summit leads to substantial steps to end the war and reduce the tension raised when the leaders of the USA and North Korea traded threats.

West Indies winning again

“We Win!” was the cry across the Caribbean as our cricket team wrapped up the first test of the Sri Lanka tour after lunch on the final day. It is a rare instance of victory that has eluded the regional side at home and on tour.

We have become so accustomed to our team losing that even die-hard supporters muted their response to this success. The reason is in the history of performance by the side. So while we celebrate the performances of Dowrich and Chase and the renewed pace attack, fans go on to St Lucia with their hopes for further victory stuck at yellow on the traffic light.


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