On this day we mark the passing of a man who has truly achieved the dream of living a fulfilling life.
Dr. Eric Eustace Williams was born on 25 September 1911 and died on 29 March 1981 but his legacy will continue to live on as the Father of our Nation, Trinidad and Tobago. In the memory of Dr. Eric Williams there is hope, pride, discipline, humility, strength, power and purpose. To know this man, is to know that nothing in life is impossible to achieve.
Dr. Eric Williams was leader of the Nation from 1956 - 1981 and this earned him the title "Father of the Nation". He was our country's first Chief Minister, first Premier and first Prime Minister. Dr. Eric Williams was responsible for creating and leading a National Movement of People, credited with the development of Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Williams presided over our country's movement from Colonialism to Independence and Republican status.
This movement is the Peoples National Movement (PNM) which proudly stands today as the genesis, the current and the future of politics in Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Eric Williams advocated and nurtured the PNM Constitution which continues to be copied by other political parties across the region. The creation of a Women's League and the grooming of young politicians in the Youth League are some of the components which distinguished the PNM as a model institution. The PNM celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year and continues to grow stronger and more relevant even as so many other political parties have come and gone.
This National Scholar and Caribbean Historian used his intellect to fight against racism and to educate everyone who was willing to listen. Dr. Williams took the opportunity as Prime Minister to emphasize the importance of Education, making it free and available to all citizens and coined the timeless phrase "the future of the Nation is in the children's school bags". His autobiography "Inward Hunger" describes his struggles through his academic pursuits, "I was severely handicapped in my research by my lack of money.... I was turned down everywhere I tried ... and could not ignore the racial factor involved".
Regardless of his struggles Dr. Eric Williams was able to return to Trinidad and Tobago and "put down his bucket" in the place of his birth. In his famous speech at Woodford Square, he renamed the park "The University of Woodford Square''. He used this venue to give public lectures on world history, particularly in the context of Slavery and the Caribbean. His book Capitalism and Slavery is recorded as a globally recognized contribution to Caribbean history and the economics of slavery as a unique perspective.
The achievements and legacy of Dr. Williams are too far and wide to summarize in any one article.
At a time when our country is experiencing some challenging circumstances, we look towards the legacy of Dr. Eric Williams and his achievements as an inspiration to guide our journey. The Peoples National Movement is not just a political party in the narrow sense of the word but it was created as a National Movement for all, cutting across race, ethnicity, colour, class and creed.
Dr. Eric Williams was succeeded by Mr. George Chambers, Mr. Patrick Manning and now Dr. Keith Rowley holds the reigns of Leadership and is taking the Peoples National Movement forward. Let us honour the contribution of the Father of our great Nation and "Let's do this together" Trinidad and Tobago!
"Whatever the challenge that faces you, from whatever quarter, place always first that national interest and the national cause. The strength of the Nation depends on the strength of its citizens." Dr. Eric Williams, Independence Day address on August 31st 1962 Rest In Peace Dr. Eric Eustace Williams, yours is a timeless memory which we will continue to honour!
Public Relations Officer
Peoples National Movement
The public needs to know if Princes Town MP Barry Padarath has misrepresented the Parliament's position and the Clark of the House by misleading the public into believing he can simply payback the $10,000.00 monthly salaries paid to his relative. He has breached the Parliamentary code and the Integrity in Public Life Act as a result by hiring his relative to work in his constituency office.
Mr Padarath is quoted as saying “I also contacted the Clerk of the House on the matter and informed the Parliament I’ll be returning the salary which was paid to the person each month, so the total I’m repaying is about $60,000,”
There is no law abiding society that allows offenders to independently determine their own judgement. Barry Padarath did not enquire of the Clerk but 'informed' the Parliament that he 'will' give them back the money and said 'I am repaying'.
MP Padarath has to come clean on this ridiculous offer to pay back the $60,000.00 as he claims and not mislead the population into thinking the Clerk of the House accepted the offer and his breach is resolved.
If this offer was accepted then the question would then be asked, was this option offered to others?
It must be noted that such codes establish the guidelines for matters of integrity in the public's interest.
MP Padarath seems to totally miss the principle involved and seeks to trivialize the issue.
MP Padarath's political leader has also refused to take a stand on his breach of the parliamentary code since Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar herself leads from in front. Mrs Persad-Bissessar is pleading ignorance and refuses to take action regarding her own breach of the code by having not one but two relatives employed at her constituency office.
MP Barry Padarath come forward, clear up your statement as it is misleading and involves the Clerk of the House and the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Peoples National Movement
The People's National Movement (PNM) extends warm and heartfelt greetings to all Women on this International Women's Day (IWD) 2016.
IWD began in the early 1900's and was created out of a struggle for women's rights particularly with regards to equal status and equal pay. This saw 15,000 women march in the streets of New York in 1908 demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
Trinidad and Tobago marks this IWD day by celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women all over the world.
We recognize that our world is a better place because of the contributions of our women. Our Women add strength, beauty, courage, nurturing, leadership, passion, support, creativity, innovation and so much more to our daily lives.
In the PNM we lead by example, ensuring that in our organization opportunities are equally available to everyone. Our Women's league led by Mrs. Camille Robinson-Regis continues to be the brigade that represents the backbone of the PNM.
Our political leader and Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Keith Rowley drives this philosophy on a National level as we continue to recognize the limitless contributions made by the women in our society. In this regard The Gender Affairs and Child Development Division in the Office of the Prime Minister established by Dr. Rowley receive the government's full support.
The PNM takes this opportunity to reaffirm our 'Pledge of Parity' in keeping with the IWD 2016 theme. We know that there is still much work to be done both nationally and globally in advancing equality, this is a journey we will take together.
Happy International Women's Day 2016 from Peoples National Movement!
Public Relations Officer
Let me start by saying the guidelines that govern the staffing of offices for Members of Parliament apply to everyone. It is therefore wild and hypocritical for the Honorable Member of Parliament for Siparia Mrs Kamla Persad Bissesser to campaign for the removal of Marlene Mc Donald based on evidence in the public domain and then try to defend herself for breaching the very same code.
Prime Minister Dr the Honorable Keith Rowley acted based on an informed, measured, fair and reasonable standpoint with the removal of Marlene Mc Donald in light of her breach of the parliamentary code. It must also be noted that these actions are in keeping with his commitments on the campaign trail.
Mrs Persad Bissesser came out on Saturday admitting that her niece is currently employed at her constituency office and has been there for 20 years. In a weak attempt to mount a defence she has said that the act was amended in September 2015.
It must be noted that according to the Parliamentary code Members of Parliament have the sole responsibility for choosing the persons employed at their constituency office.
As an Attorney SC and Parliamentary Legislator, Mrs Persad Bissesser has a responsibility to uphold and practice the law. This is further amplified, especially with a parliamentary code that she has collective responsibility for enacting.
It is therefore clear that Mrs Persad Bissesser has consciously neglected the Parliamentary code and the Integrity in public life act by continuing to employ a close relative to date at her office.
At a time when citizens and in particular our youth population look to our society for role models we cannot have the perception that the rules only apply to some.
Mrs Kamla Persad Bissesser, do the honorable thing and resign!
Peoples National Movement
The Women’s league of the People’s National Movement celebrates all women on this International Women’s Day March 8, 2016 and commits to take action to accelerate gender parity through the theme ‘Pledge For Parity’. In commemorating International Women’s Day, we join with the rest of the world in remembrance of the global social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women over the past decades.
Under this government, women’s overall participation in national leadership and decision making has increased exponentially. Our administration remains committed to ensuring that the equal rights of men and women guaranteed under the 1976 Republican Constitution remain intact. According to our National Policy on Gender, the status of women in Trinidad and Tobago compares favourably to many developing nations. In fact, it is evident that women’s political participation within this government far exceeds that of other political parties and international benchmarks.
The Women’s League recognises that much has been done towards achieving gender parity, and we proudly congratulate the women of Trinidad and Tobago; women who have proven success is not dream but a destiny. Globally we have made an impact over the past 50 years. We have seen a steady increase in the number of women attaining tertiary education levels and we have seen women entering the realm of politics, business, science, technology and the arts.
We can boast of our own Lady Vice Chairman who was the first female to ever be appointed Minister of Planning and Development; accomplishments in Science and Technology with the likes of Maxine Williams who is the Global Head of Diversity at Facebook; we can speak of Dr. Camille Alleyne, an Aerospace Engineer, who is currently a PhD Assistant Program Scientist for the International Space Station and works with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In entrepreneurship we have women like Astrida Saunders and Lesley-Ann Jurawan who are female pioneers in the cocoa industry and in the arts, we have been blessed with the talents of the late Pat Bishop and modern textile artist Lisa Faye Sarjeant-Gonzales.
The Women’s League encourages everyone in Trinidad and Tobago all women and men to pledge to take concrete steps towards ensuring that our women and girls continue to achieve their goals, that there is gender-balanced leadership, that we respect and value our cultural and racial differences, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures and root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity ensuring the advancement of our women and girls.