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Dear Editor: Kamla dragging T&T through the mud; whose interest is former PM serving?!

“[…] Kamla Persad-Bissessar gleefully opines that T&T faces immense embarrassment and scrutiny from news media and international agencies over the horrific death of a migrant baby… How pathetic! 

“[…] The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and the editor of the Express can defend themselves from the false narratives proffered by Persad-Bissessar. However, the individual Coast Guard officer does not have that option although they as a group put their lives at risk in the performance of their duties on our behalf…”

The following Letter to the Editor, which discusses former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s continuing refusal to apologise for accusing the T&T Coast Guard of murdering Venezuelan infant boy Yaelvis Santoyo Sarabia, was submitted to Wired868 by Louis Williams of Freeman Road, St Augustine:

Photo: Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar ips up the Speaker’s guidelines during an extraordinary sitting of the House on Thursday 21 October 2021.
(Copyright Office of the Parliament 2021)

I am aghast that, notwithstanding the intervening period of time since Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar made her reckless, contemptuous and disgraceful statement convicting our Coast Guard of murdering a baby on an illegal migrant vessel, she has not had the decency to apologise to the Coast Guard and, indeed, the nation for her mis-step.

She has had time to reflect, consult with her advisers, issue a new media release, and a letter to the editor of the T&T Express but still no apology. I take it she stands by her original statement.

In fact, she has continued to offer false narratives and drag our country through the mud. I will adumbrate below a few of the statements attributed to her and published by the Express over the last few days.

She has asserted that ‘… it is expecting too much from the PNM Government to think that infants being killed on our borders matter’ (emphasis added).

Persad-Bissessar reminded us that, in 2019, a migrant ship carrying over 30 persons capsized in the Gulf of Paria with only nine survivors being found. How the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is responsible for this tragic event, I do not know.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, Air Guard and Regiment officers on parade.
(Copyright T&T Defence Force)

Persad-Bissessar gleefully opines that Trinidad and Tobago faces immense embarrassment and scrutiny from news media and international agencies over the horrific death of a migrant baby.

Persad-Bissessar blames the Government for the failure to effectively manage (sea) border control. However, this is the same individual who, when she was prime minister of T&T, chided her immediate predecessor, Patrick Manning, for what she regarded as his obsession with the idea of acquiring offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).

She indicated that there was no need for OPVs as ‘the country is not at war out in the seas. The country is at war on the ground in our streets and in the towns and within Trinidad and Tobago’. [from an article by Rhonda Krystal Rambally in the T&T Guardian of 30 September 2010].

How pathetic! What ineptitude from Persad-Bissessar. Her lack of foresight and understanding of the importance of border control has cost the country immensely as we have been swamped with illegal guns, arms and ammunition, drugs, assassins and other migrants, etc, in the intervening period until the recent acquisition of the appropriate vessels by the current administration.

Photo: A Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard vessel cuts through coastal waters.
(Copyright Pridenews.ca)

But she tried to stop that too.

Persad-Bissessar, I am confident, knows that the international news media view with scepticism any statement made by government officials in what they regard as Third World countries or banana republics. In the legal profession in the UK, the equivalent of our senior counsel (SC) is queen’s counsel (QC).

Such a title-holder is usually a highly regarded individual of impeccable character, whose integrity and honesty are above reproach. Accordingly, the news media are much more likely to trust what is stated by a QC than even its own prime minister and are likely to treat our SCs similarly.

In this regard, therefore, what Persad-Bissessar is doing can result in significant damage to the image and reputation of her country of birth.

What a patriot!

Photo: UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar (centre) joins activist Victor Roberts in a ‘March for Democracy’ on 27 November 2021, as part of protests against the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
(via UNC)

The Prime Minister of T&T and the editor of the Express can defend themselves from the false narratives proffered by Persad-Bissessar. However, the individual Coast Guard officer does not have that option although they as a group put their lives at risk in the performance of their duties on our behalf.

Surely, as a former prime minister, Persad-Bissessar knows that. So what is her motivation? Your guess is as good as mine.

One impact of all this misadventure is the undermining of the authority of the Coast Guard, leading to the negative effect on the morale of such officers and a diminution of the service in the perception of the general public, both locally and internationally.

I wonder whose interest that serves. Again, your guess is as good as mine.

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One comment

  1. There is a segment of this society who will see nothing wrong with her behaviour and may harbour a similar mindset. We can destroy it because we have the ‘resources’ to build it back and ‘build it better’.
    Others see them for what they are, A VERY UNPATRIOTIC AND DISHONEST BUNCH.