Trinidad and Tobago celebrates 55 years of independence


As Trinidad and Tobago celebrated 55 years of independence on August 31, 2017, Prime Minister Keith Rowley urged the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to stay “’focused and fearless’” as the nation seeks to implement progressive strategies and policies.” Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said that, in spite of a “sense of hopelessness in the country,” Trinidadians “are capable of greatness in every area.” President Anthony Carmona made a plea for protecting the diverse flora and fauna of the twin island country. See more from The Daily Observer here:

On Thursday, in his address to mark the 55 years of political independence from Great Britain, Rowley said that in order to continue on the path of growth and development –“we the people are mandated to foster a strong patriotism as well as our own capacity to take full advantage of opportunities through clear focus, grit and determination.”

“Despite our challenges, I believe that Trinidad and Tobago continues to live up to the promise and potential we demonstrated in 1962 and we can ill-afford to falter now. We must strengthen our democratic institutions and implement policies that are tailored to our specific conditions and developmental objectives. In so doing, we will increase our chances of success exponentially.”

The Prime Minister made reference to the success of the country’s athletes at the recently concluded World Championships in London.

“Fellow citizens, perhaps there is no better message that I can share with you on this Independence Day, than the words of our athletes. I noted the remarks of the young men as they spoke to the media after their races. When asked about their achievements, the young men described themselves as being “focused and fearless”. They declared that they had “made up their minds” and that, “our country can achieve if we work together”.

“I believe that we are a winning team of capable, enlightened citizens. Let us come together as a winning team,” he said. “Our nation’s motto says it best: together we aspire, together we achieve. I implore you to re-commit to these words daily as we build a better nation.”

In his message, President Anthony Carmona said the diversity of the twin island republic is its strength. The president urged special acclaim for one of the country’s national symbols – the Scarlet Ibis as well as the athletes. “In this regard, I make a clarion call to protect our national flora and fauna, especially our national birds. One such beautiful symbol is the Scarlet Ibis in flight or nesting on the mangrove trees of the Caroni Swamp. There must be no compromise in our fight to protect the Scarlet Ibis.” His words came after three men recently appeared before a Chaguanas magistrate charged with poaching the national bird.

Carmona also paid tribute to athletes who represent the nation. [. . .]

For her part opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Trinidad and Tobago is in a state of crisis. The former Prime Minister said “there is a sense of hopelessness in the country” and attributed this to “another sharp decline in our economy”. However in spite of all of these negatives, Persad-Bissessar says the citizens “are capable of greatness in every area.” [. . .]

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