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General Discussion / Tropical Storm Warning - Oct 29 2010
« on: October 29, 2010, 03:27:33 PM »

Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Office
Date: Friday 29th of October 2010

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is placing Trinidad and Tobago under a Tropical Storm
Warning as of 3:00pm today, Friday, October 29, 2010.
Simultaneously, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services is placing Grenada and
its dependencies under Tropical Storm Warning. A Tropical Storm Warning means that Trinidad and
Tobago, Grenada and its dependencies can expect Tropical Storm conditions within 36 hours.

Tropical Storm Tomas formed at 3:00pm today with center located near 10.9ºN latitude 56.8ºW
longitude or about 350 kilometers east of Tobago.
Tropical Storm Tomas is moving to the west-northwest at about 24 to 32 km/hr. Tomas is
expected to continue on this general track over the next 24 to 48 hours during which it is
forecast to intensify as environmental conditions are conducive for strengthening.
Maximum sustained winds are near 75km/hr with higher gusts. Tropical Storm force winds extend
outwards up to 50 km mainly to the southwest and southeast quadrants. Minimum central pressure is

Tobago, Trinidad, particularly Northern Trinidad, Grenada and its dependencies will therefore be
mostly exposed to Tropical Storm conditions from about midnight tonight.
Tomas is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 75 to 100mm or possibly 125 to
150 mm over Tobago, Northern Trinidad, Grenada and its dependencies. South and Central Trinidad
could experience 25 to 75mm in some locations. Sea conditions are also anticipated to become
very disturbed and adversely affect marine and coastline interests.
Citizens and all concerned are advised to closely follow the directions and advise of their Disaster
Emergency Managers at this time. Adopt all necessary measures to preserve life and property.
Repeating Tropical Storm Tomas 3:00pm position: 10.9ºN latitude 56.8ºW longitude or about 350
kilometers east of Tobago. The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services will issue another bulletin at 6:00pm later today. Please refer to the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services website,, for further details and stay tuned to your regular broadcast media.

E. Sampson

General Discussion / Earthquake
« on: March 24, 2009, 07:44:32 PM »

It just had one ent?

General Discussion / Integrity Commission Members Resign
« on: February 07, 2009, 09:56:19 PM »
Integrity Commission members resign
Rowley: Decent thing to do
Published: February 5th, 2009

Keith Rowley

In the aftermath of a demoralising court defeat to former government minister Dr Keith Rowley on Tuesday, the four members of the Integrity Commission submitted their resignations to President George Maxwell Richards yesterday morning. Richards, who accepted the resignations, is now searching among qualified nationals for five new Commissioners to fill the vacancies left by sudden departure of John Martin, chairman, Justice Monica Barnes, deputy chairman, Peter Clarke, and Vindar Dean-Maharaj. The fifth Commissioner, Brian Nicholson, died last year and was never replaced.
Rowley, who called for the members of the Commission to resign, said last night that he was not surprised that they had done so. “It was the only decent thing to do; that was to be expected. A finding of misfeasance in public office is a very serious matter, especially when it comes from the Integrity Commission, a body established under the constitution to preserve a high level of integrity. They really had no choice.” “This was not the first time that the Commission has found itself in trouble. Very early into my matter, very prominent persons were calling on them to resign. It is a sad thing for this to happen. There was no pleasure in seeing that.”
Martin, Nicholson, Barnes and Clarke were appointed Commissioners on August 24, 2006, for a three-year period. Dean-Maharaj’s appointment took effect on September 1, 2006. They came into office weeks after the last meeting of the Commission (August 7, 2006), which took the decision to submit a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to have Rowley investigated over the Landate project in Tobago, without telling the then minister he was being investigated. In a statement issued yesterday, Martin said, “The members of the Integrity Commission have given consideration to the judgment of the High Court, dated 3rd February, 2009, in the proceedings commenced by Dr Keith Rowley.
“The members of the Commission accept and recognise that the Commission acted wrongly by failing to give Dr Rowley a full opportunity to be heard. While we consider that the Commission acted in good faith, we recognise that the Commission must respect the court’s decision. In the circumstances, all of the members of the Commission have decided to resign. “We have met today with his Excellency, the President, and have informed him of our decision. My fellow Commissioners and I wish to express our deep regret and sincere apologies to his Excellency, the President, to Dr Keith Rowley, and to the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” Martin added. On Tuesday, Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee, presiding in the Port-of-Spain High Court, awarded Rowley more than $100,000 in damages, interest and costs against the Integrity Commission, which pursued the controversial Landate project in Tobago.
The judge ruled that the Commission acted in bad faith in relation to Rowley, and was guilty of the tort of misfeasance in public office. She also found on the facts that there was an unfair abuse of power on the part of the commission in leading Rowley and his wife, Sharon, to believe that the investigations in relation to Landate were ongoing and that Mrs Rowley had a continuing obligation to provide information to the Commission. After the court judgment, Rowley called on members of the Commission to demit office. On Wednesday, members of the Commission met in an emergency meeting and decided to tender their resignations to the President, just six months short of the completion of their term. This is the first time that an entire independent commission has resigned in the aftermath of controversy.

Members who resigned:

John C Martin, Chairman
Martin is a Chartered Accountant with over 36 years experience. He is currently director of Allied Hotels Limited, Furness Trinidad Limited, Trinidad Building & Loan Association and Furness Anchorage General Insurance Limited. He has also served as President of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Justice Monica Barnes
Barnes is a retired Supreme Court Judge. She was Chairman of the Tax Appeal Board and before that, Chief Parliamentary Counsel. She has been a member of several key Commissions including the Law Reform Commission and the Caricom Company Law Task Force.

Peter Clarke
Clarke is a Financial Consultant. He is a director of a number of companies, including the General Building and Loan Association, Allied Hotels Limited and the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange, a member of the UWI Development and Endowment Fund and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain Finance Council.

Vindar Dean-Maharaj
Dean-Maharaj is a Chartered Accountant. He is a full-time member of the Tax Appeal Board.

General Discussion / Coat of Arms
« on: November 27, 2008, 02:00:01 PM »

Philbert steps in on illegal use of Coat of Arms
Darryl Heeralal Investigative Desk

Thursday, November 27th 2008
Trinidad Express

Flashback: August 2008. Members of Prime Minister Patrick Manning's security detail stand guard as he alights from the vehicle bearing the Coat of Arms at President House, St Ann's, for the National Awards ceremony. -Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert is investigating who is liable for the illegal use of the coat of arms on one of the Prime Minister's vehicles.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Philbert said, "The Act is clear. The Commissioner of Police has given advice to the law."

The Express understands that instructions have been given to have the Mercedes Benz parked at the Prime Minister's residence until the matter is sorted out.

Those instructions reportedly came following a story in this week's Sunday Express.

The Act Philbert is referring to is the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act Chapter 48:50, which governs the registration of vehicles (See table at side).

The Act states that only the President has the legal authority to use the coat of arms on official vehicles.

One of the Prime Minister's cars, a Mercedes Benz S500, registered as PBM 1, carries the silver coat of arms on the number plate.

Philbert said that the police are now investigating who has legal responsibility for managing the Prime Minister's fleet of vehicles.

The Express understands that the Prime Minister's Office is responsible for managing the vehicles, in terms of their registration and the paying of insurance policies, and that the Prime Minister himself must sign off on any decisions taken.

Police recently embarked on an exercise to clamp down on motorists who used the European Union symbol on their number plates, as part of their zero tolerance against crime.

With regard to insurance issues, because the Benz does not carry the legally-required registration plates, insurance for the vehicle is null and void.

A board member of the Association of Trinidad and Tobago Insurance Companies (ATTIC) said that while fleet insurance may be issued in this case, each vehicle in the fleet must carry its own insurance registration certificate.

The board member added that it is the legal requirement for each certificate of insurance to bear the vehicle's individual make, model and licence registration number.

The board member further said that if the registration number on the insurance certificate does not correspond with the plates on the car the law is breached and insurance becomes null and void.

Football / Keane recalls Yorke via text message.
« on: September 08, 2008, 09:30:52 PM »
'Warriors’ aim to bounce back in Windy City.
...Keane recalls Yorke via text message.
T&T Guardian Reports.

Trinidad and Tobago’s national footballers had their first training session under rainy conditions at the Toyota Park Training Pitch yesterday and spirits were on the rise again as they look ahead to tomorrow’s 2010 World Cup Qualifying match against United States at Toyota Park.

T&T will have the services of defender Makan Hislop following his one match suspension but influential midfielder Dwight Yorke who captained the team in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Guatemala did not travel to Chicago and will not play on Wednesday.

Yorke met with Maturana on Saturday night after the match and indicated that he wanted to avoid any conflict with his team manager at Sunderland Roy Keane, saying that it was best if injury be given as the reason.

However, while admitting he held a high amount of respect for Sunderland manager Keane, Yorke did inform the T&T management team that the Irish man had ordered his recall via a text message. It is understood that Keane wanted the player back in Sunderland before Thursday in order for selection for Saturdays Premiership clash away to Wigan Athletic.

Keane however made no request for Carlos Edwards’ early return. Edwards travels back to Sunderland on Thursday following the encounter with the USA a night earlier.

Defender Avery John is also out on a double yellow cards suspension. Making a return is Aklie Edwards from a four-match suspension to fill that void in the left back position.

“We will play our game as we intend to, that is to be positive and attempt to get the three points. No game is easy and circumstances change but you have to be ready and we will do our best to be ready for Wednesday,” Maturana said.

“Nothing is a guarantee in football but I believe that we can achieve anything once we go about it in the right way. This we will try to do especially after a disappointing end with Guatemala on Saturday,” he added.

T&T midfielder Keon Daniel, scorer of three goals in T&T’s past two qualifying matches, said the “Soca Warriors” are not counting out the possibility of leaving Chicago with something to show on the points table.

“I think we were disappointed with the way the game ended on Saturday but the spirit isn’t down in the camp. As a matter of fact the guys are all feeling good and I feel we can pull something off on Wednesday. It’s going to be hard but the gap is closing and Wednesday will be a nice way to show it” Daniel said.

“My performance so far has been down to hard work and belief and I think I can say the same for the rest of the team. I don’t usually take shots from the outside but the coach has had me doing it a lot in training and I’m starting to believe more in myself. I got the ball, looked up and saw the chance and I went for it,” he explained.

Tomorrow’s game will be televised live on ESPN and former T&T goalkeeper Shaka Hislop is part of the commentary team. The match will also be broadcasted live on Radio 105FM and I95.5FM.

T&T Squad in Chicago:

Marvin Phillip (W Connection), Jan Michael Williams (Ferencvaros), Keyeno Thomas (Joe Public), Julius James (Toronto FC), Dennis Lawrence (Swansea City), Carlos Edwards (Sunderland), Cyd Gray (Clico San Juan Jabloteh), Keon Daniel (United Petrotrin), Andre Toussaint (W Connection), Jason Scotland (Swansea), Cornell Glen (unattached), Anthony Wolfe (North East Stars), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Clyde Leon (W Connection), Osei Telesford (Puerto Rico Islanders), Kerry Baptiste (Joe Public), Akeil Guevera (North East Stars), Gyasi Joyce (Caledonia AIA), Makan Hislop (United Petrotrin), Aklie Edwards (Defence Force).

Due to the heavy afternoon into evening rainfall, T&T's training session at the Toyota Park Training Pitch was called off and the team used an indoor hall at the Chicago Marriott Hotel. They work out for 90 minutes. T&T will train at the official match venue, Toyota Park, on Tuesday night.

Football / Thread for the T&T U-17 Women vs Costa Rica (20-Jul-2008).
« on: July 20, 2008, 03:02:00 PM »
As usual, any updates/scores, shout-outs, reports, predictions, views, etc, on the T&T vs Costa Rica World Cup Qualifying game (Jul, 20) at Marvin Lee Stadium from 6:00pm will be posted here, this way, we can maintain the message board and not make it look too scrappy with un-necessary or related headlines and postings on game day.
For the internet users, you can follow the game at:
To be updated

To be updated

Possible Online Streams.
To be updated

General Discussion / BLACK OUT
« on: April 09, 2008, 08:18:45 PM »
The whole North West Penninsula from West Mall into Diego and into Carenage was in darkness up until about 20 mins ago (I think). Some places still to get back on but should be up by now.

Unconfirmed that it was some issue all the way down in Pt Lisas that they were trying to resolve since earlier today.
Peak Load time is around when it went...7:30ish

Look like Bmobile and Flow manage to keep their service up.

CA expands to Fort Lauderdale

Saturday, April 5 2008
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday

CARIBBEAN AIRLINES (CA) yesterday announced that it is expanding its service to Florida with the addition of four weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale. The new route will be launched on May 22, offering additional service to South Florida.

CA is the only carrier servicing both Miami and Fort Lauderdale International Airport from Trinidad.

“The new network expansion will allow CA to better cover South Florida and offers more options and flexibility to customers. In addition to the new four weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale, the airline continues to offer daily service to Miami’s newest facility, Terminal J,” it said. CA recently announced that it will start operating three daily flights to New York City on July 1 and will offer nine flights per week to Toronto, Canada from April 15.

General Discussion / Gangs News Thread
« on: February 24, 2008, 10:54:57 AM »
Life in Picton
Ira Mathur
Trinidad Guardian
Sunday 24th February, 2008

This is part two of a first-person account from a Picton resident, “Andy,” based on an interview.

“I grew up with a single parent, without supervision, absent teachers. Most of us in Picton didn’t get past primary or secondary school.

“There are ten gangs in my small area of Picton, with about 30 members each, some as young as 13. There is plenty pressure to join. A relative even put a gun to my head to join.

“They will shoot you, walk away and not think twice. Gangs give them rank in a world where they can’t earn anything past minimum wage like I do with a regular job.

“They feel better to have people afraid of you than pity you for being illiterate and poor.

“They claim to be Muslims. They are setting up makeshift mosques in communities. One time I was considering accepting Islam.

“I look at Muslims in my area. Muslims shooting Muslims, murdering Muslims. They ask you to join in a way that is more like a threat.

“I ask myself ‘if these people claim to be serving Allah in the respectable manner that they speak of, why they would threaten another brother?’

“If I choose to be a Christian, don’t I have that freedom?

“Men come up to men, tell them: ‘Come over.’ They go in the mosque with rubber slippers and come out in full Muslim garb, with money and guns: AKs, 380s, 357s as gangsters.

“They become somebody. But inside, they are illiterate little boys.

“The gang leaders have the knowledge. One or two have up to seven O-level passes. They use knowledge on those who will be dependent on them.

“They go to URP head office, get the contract. They call four or five gangs. Put down your name for ten days in the office where they are operating.

“Everybody signs the sheet. The contractor will say: ‘You foreman, you checker,’ you this or that. They are running ghost gangs, register, but no work is being done.

“They don’t even come out. When the fortnight comes, the contractor meets you by the bank and you hand him your money, because you didn’t work for it.

“If he feels to give you a $100 he will give a $100. If you grumble you will end up in a grave.

“The army and police presence is totally ineffective. The timing is off. Police like to gallery, roll in with their new SUVs, to ‘lock down’ a community for six or eight hours.

“They leave at about two or three in the morning, and we are back to square one. As the police pass, the gang members come out.

“Two, three in the morning you hear ‘boom, boom, boom.’

“Do the police come back by five am and try to keep the peace till the next day? No. They will drive past, breeze through.

“On their way out they would pick up a man smoking a joint. By the rough manner they handle him you would swear he is the most dangerous criminal; that he has the biggest guns.

“These guys they held last week are not involved in criminal activity. They didn’t hold the murderers, bandits or kidnappers, nor the drug dealers or the gun toters.

“They haven’t solved a single crime. The police want these people to kill out one another. One less to hunt.

“The situation is worsening; crimes are not being solved not just in Laventille, but throughout the country.

“You are not hearing of arrests. You are hearing about witnesses being shot dead.

“After that, Martin Joseph tells us he ‘underestimated crime’ and he was re-appointed National Security Minister for that.

“You say you are a caring government, and what you care about is getting rich. The people in power are eagerly playing with the money, while poor people are being run out of their slums because of guns and gangs.”

Next week: The anatomy of a gang.

General Discussion / T&T mourns loss of Keith Sobion 1952 - 2008
« on: February 15, 2008, 02:20:33 PM »

T&T Mourns Former AG Keith Sobion

Trinidad & Tobago Newsday
Friday, February 15 2008

Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean has lost another brilliant son, former attorney general Keith Sobion, who died in Jamaica yesterday.

Sobion was admitted to the University Hospital Jamaica last week when he fell seriously ill following a dental procedure his son Darian told the Jamaica Gleaner.

However, his condition deteriorated yesterday and Sobion passed away at the hospital at about 10 am. He was 56.

His wife Judith was with him in Jamaica. He had three children. One of his sons, attorney and rising local artist Justin, who was in Trinidad is reported to have flown to Jamaica yesterday.

Sobion’s former Cabinet, legal and academic colleagues yesterday expressed shock at his passing and hailed him as a brilliant lawyer, a gifted teacher and a man devoted to family.

Trade and Industry Minister Dr Keith Rowley could barely find the words to describe his rich friendship with Sobion.

“I am in shock. Just in absolute shock and for all the reports I was getting that he was on the mend,” he said, pausing before he continued.

“This is terrible, terrible news. He was always a good person. Sensible, bright, willing, fun to be with, fun-loving and yet serious,” Rowley said.

Sobion, who was the principal of the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica at the time of his death, also received praise from Caricom Secretary General Dr Edwin Carrington

Carrington said Sobion made Trinidad and Tobago and the Caricom region richer for his stellar contributions in the legal field, and singled out his work on the formation of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The Jamaican legal fraternity also commended the work Sobion had done in the region.

The Jamaica Gleaner reported that president of the Jamaica Bar Association John Leiba spoke highly of him.

“His experience in terms of procedure, especially on matters of government was invaluable. It is a great loss,” Leiba told the newspaper.

Former attorney general under the NAR administration Anthony Smart, who Sobion succeeded in 1991, when the PNM returned to power, yesterday recalled their days as classmates at the Hugh Wooding Law School.

“He topped his graduating class in 1975. We knew each other and now his children know my brother’s children and mine, so there is continuity of the friendship through the next generation,” Smart said.

Another change in governments, this time in 1995, saw Sobion passing the AG’s baton to Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the first woman to hold this post when the UNC rose to power. Sobion personally escorted Persad-Bissessar to her office then, a moment which local media captured. She had been his student at law school.

“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mr Sobion. I knew him as a tutor at law school. He was very kind and very helpful to us coming into the profession. I commend him for his service to the country which he served as attorney general,” Persad-Bissessar said yesterday.

Sobion became principal of the Norman Manley Law School in 1996, nearly a year after the PNM lost the 1995 general election. He served as the PNM Ortoire/Mayaro MP between 1991 and 1995, before losing his seat to the UNC’s Razack Ali.

Government yesterday said the country’s High Commissioner to Jamaica Yvonne Gittens-Joseph, visited Sobion on Wednesday.

“Even from his hospital bed he spoke of his professional commitments and future projects,” Foreign Affairs Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said in a statement yesterday.

She described Sobion as an avowed patriot who distinguished himself academically and “brought intellectual rigour” to the performance of his job as AG.


Football greats honour ‘Gally’

Saturday, February 9 2008
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday

SOME of the football greats of Trinidad and Tobago are expected to turn out at the Aranjuez Savannah to honour ex- Strike Squad coach Everald “Gally” Cummings.

The footballers for tomorrow’s match arranged by Blackpool Football Club of Mount Lambert timed to kick off 4.30 pm.

Among those expected to turn out are ex-national captain Sedley Joseph, current TTFF technical director Lincoln “Tiger” Phillip, Alvin Corneal, Wilfred “Bound to Score” Cave, ex- Member of Parliament Eddie Hart, Ken Hodge and Vernon “Sam” Sadaphal and brother Ellis “Beatle” Sadaphal.

Also to be honoured at the match are Blackpool stalwarts Kenny Rosemin, Roy Joseph, Trevor Hospedales and Leroy Harper.

The fixture marks the memorial to Rajah, Toyo and Roger, while special honour will be paid to Julie Hope and Patricia Rosemin.

Teams will be led by Cummings and Corneal.

The Cummings team will come from: Sedley Joseph, Lincoln Phillip, Jan Steadman, Stephen Gomez, Vernon Sadaphal, Pat Alexis, Trevor Hospedales, Kelly Harper, Ian Jones, Ken Hodge, Leslie Joseph, Arthur Douglas, Deter Joseph, Junior Gomez.

And the Corneal squad: Wilfred Cave, Ellis Sadphal, Eddie Hart, Douglas St Hill, Roy Joseph, Winfield St Hill, Leroy Harper, Stephen Ditzen, Sydney Francis, MacDonbald Canterbury, Kenny Rosemin, Allan Williams, Ludrick Harper, Carlton Downer.

General Discussion / Who is this fool?
« on: February 02, 2008, 09:05:26 PM »

TSTT CEO apologises over awkward e-mail
Trinidad Guardian
Saturday 2nd February, 2008

Issue of the e-mail

    *E-mail ridiculed employee
    *Worker queried absence of Carnival T-shirts.


Who is this fool?

That was the response of Roberto Peon chief executive officer of Telecommunications Services of T&T (TSTT) to an e-mail from one of the company’s secretaries complaining that TSTT had not printed and distributed Carnival T-shirts to the employees as was customary.

Peon yesterday apologised to the employee and the staff for what he admitted was an inappropriate reply.

Peon said he felt “strongly against” the culture of “entitlement” that persisted among some TSTT employees.

The e-mail that sparked the response was sent to TSTT’s vice president—human resources Edgehill Messiah and copied to Peon.

The secretary said, “I am appalled by the fact that Carnival 2008 has come and no T-shirts were distributed to the staff of TSTT.” She also complained that the company had distributed t-shirts, bandanas, and hats, among other things, to people who attended the bmobile-sponsored concerts at Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, over the past five days, but TSTT staff had got nothing.

She said the company had not even informed staff there would be no T-shirts.

Upon receiving the e-mail, Peon wrote his response and reportedly tried to forward the e-mail to another manager. However, he mistakenly sent his reply to the original sender.

Peon wrote a personal letter of apology to the secretary involved.

It read, “I can honestly say that the e-mail was not intended to reflect upon you in a personal way, but displayed frustration with some of the entitlement issues that keep coming up, especially when we have so many challenges facing us as a company. In fact, with all that is going on right now in our external battles with many parties, my response would likely have been the same even if it was someone from our executive team who had sent me something of that nature.”

In a separate message to employees, Peon reminded staff of the need to focus on customers first.

He said, “Everything we receive, whether its salary, bonuses, T-shirts, bandanas, uniforms, long service awards—everything is possible only to the extent that our customers perceive that we are worthy to be their service provider. We must understand that we do not have any inalienable rights to anything. It can all be gone tomorrow if our customers decide so.”

Meanwhile, sources from a garment compnay told the Guardian that it would cost about $73,220 to supply T-shirts to a company with approximately 2,700 employees (roughly the number of workers at TSTT)

Football / Police banned from Football?
« on: January 23, 2008, 02:39:10 PM »
Trinidad Guardian
Wednesday 23rd January, 2008
An arresting dilemma in sports

Commissioner Trevor Paul...has banned police officers from taking part in sporting activities.

With crime spiraling out of control the nation demanded that the Commissioner of Police (COP) act. Well act he did, under siege on many fronts the police chief cancelled special leave for officers involved in sporting activity. Police officers involved in sport came face to face with the harsh reality; You are being paid to do police work.

Even if in my view the COP erred in making such a blanket decision. “Truth be” told police officers are paid by the taxpayers to protect and serve. When I heard the news last Friday; I could not contemplate what would possess an avid sportsman to make such a decision.

A former president of the Over de Hill Boys and one time chairman of the Police football section, Commissioner Paul journeyed to Germany in 2006 for this country’s historic appearance in the Fifa World Cup final.

During the Colonial era, sport was considered recreation and leisure and one had to be able to afford to participate. Sport was not for the working class. Commissioner Paul’s decision not unsurprisingly created a furor. I maybe overstating things, as not too many outside of sport seemed agitated. But please be sympathetic to the ruffled feathers among the sport fraternity. Maybe it is the old “chip on the shoulder” syndrome and battle scars from centuries of neglect and false dawns.

I tried looking at things from the Commissioner’s point of view, not that he needs me to, my motives were more selfish. I did not want to walk around for the whole day angry. So I sought to rationalise away his reported decision. It seemed so reflective of how our parents and adults operated. When they caught you doing something wrong you would be banished from sporting activity and play.

Those who are more familiar with the Police chief credit him for not being a mean spirited person so it should not be hard to conclude that he was simply doing his best given the available resources and knowledge at his disposal.

Putting aside emotion and replacing it with stone cold logic it was not hard to reposition the suspension of Police sporting activity in a different context. Crime is out of control so what would you have Paul do?

He has to crush the crime scourge by any means necessary. Reminding all Police officers of why they signed up in the police service seems a good way to start or so the supporters of the move will have us believe.

There is a local saying, “You only miss the water when the well runs dry”.

Should the Police sports club curtail all activity it will be a sad day as it may well mark the end of an era. For years Police had been an integral part of the sporting landscape of T&T fielding teams in many disciplines.

Fundamental questions that may arise are would police officers be allowed to join clubs of their own choosing and will they be permitted to play during their off days.

What about those who are called to the national team. Is it that talented sportsmen and women should forego going into the Police Service for fear that they will never be able to fulfill their full potential?

The more we give it thought the more we may realise that this is an important juncture in the history of sport in T&T.

Hidden in plain sight is the fact that for many a year participation in sporting and cultural activity gave the public and communities an occasion to connect and interact with the police service.

Over the last decade the T&T Olympic Committee has accelerated its advocacy in an effort to accelerate the integration of sport into the fabric and culture of T&T society. Some have questioned and denied the need for such a mission.

There is the school of thought that says crime, education, national security and health are bread and butter issues sport is not.

Commissioner Paul’s decision should serve as a wake up call. More importantly, it presents an opportunity to question and discuss the country’s value system regarding sport.

General Discussion / Clitoral Cream
« on: October 24, 2007, 03:58:30 PM »

Advertizing for sale on TV...all up on Gayelle all hours of the day.   :rotfl:

General Discussion / COP standing firm for T&T Elections
« on: October 10, 2007, 10:14:37 AM »
Mr. Arthur Joseph Winston Augustine
Laventille West
Dr. Sharon-Ann Gopaul Mc Nicol


Political Leader - Winston Dookeran

Deputy Political Leader - Wendy Lue Yuen

Deputy Political Leader - Rawatee Sharma-Maharaj

Deputy Political Leader - Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan

Chairman - Roy Augustus

Deputy Chairman - Hulsie Bhaggan

General Secretary - Kama Maharaj

Secretary, Finance - Dr Anirudh Mahabir

Secretary, Field Operations, Membership & Mobilization - Kenny Lue Chee Lip

Secretary, Education & Research - Clyde Weatherhead

Secretary, Public Relations - Nicole Dyer

Secretary, Communications - Paula Morgan

Secretary, Elections & Voter Registration - Dr Navi Muradali

Chairperson, Youth Congress - Valini Pundit

Chairperson, Women’s Forum - Indra Narinesingh

North Regional Representatives - Joe Pires, Jamal Mohammed, Karen Bart-Alexander

Central Regional Representatives - Manohar Ramsaran, Nancy Baksh

South Regional Representatives - Govindra Roopnarine, Dindial Maharaj, Gabriela Reyes

Tobago Regional Representatives - Hewlett Waldron

Party Administrator - Hayden Kublalsingh


MP, Caroni East (Chair) - Honourable Ganga Singh

MP, St Augustine - Honourable Winston Dookeran

MP, St Joseph - Honourable Gerald Yetming

MP, Chaguanas - Honourable Manohar Ramsaran

MP, Pointe-a-Pierre - Honourable Gillian Lucky

Football / T&T Sports Programs Showing 7:30pm Sundays- online
« on: September 30, 2007, 05:41:10 PM »
T&T sports programs online Sundays at 7:30pm

Spalk on Gayelle TV

Sports Fans on WinTV

General Discussion / T&T Election Date - Monday November 5th 2007
« on: September 28, 2007, 01:05:14 PM »

T&T Election Date - Monday November 5th 2007

Announced in Parliament today. 

Nomination Day is October 21st.

Trini sues New York for $63M

Monday, September 17 2007
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday

NEW YORK: A Trinidadian who was acquitted of molesting an eight-year-old schoolgirl in Brooklyn, has sued the City of New York for US $10 million (TT$63 million) in damages.

Francis Evelyn, a caretaker, once walked proud, worked hard and looked forward to a peaceful retirement. Now he’s too scared to go out his front door.

Five months after his face was broadcast worldwide as an accused child rapist, Evelyn, 58, can’t sleep. He can’t stop the tears. He can’t wipe away the nightmare of being arrested, jailed and wrongly accused.

Berated by cops, taunted by Rikers Island inmates, and branded in his native Trinidad, the dignified, law-abiding immigrant has filed a US $10 million claim against the city for ruining his life by believing a troubled child with a history of lying.

“Before, I walked the street happy-go-lucky,” Evelyn told the New York Daily News at his East Flatbush home on Saturday. “Now, you see the eyes. People you don’t know approach you. You don’t know what they’re coming with. It could be bad. I’m scared like hell of being out there!”

Evelyn was cleaning the halls of Public School 91 in Wingate on March 19, just as he had done for nearly 20 years, when cops dragged him out in handcuffs.

An eight-year-old girl claimed that for weeks he repeatedly molested her in a basement bathroom.

The school’s respected principal, Solomon Long, was suspended for failing to report other allegations by the girl, which he believed to be unfounded. Long was later reinstated.

Evelyn was paraded before television cameras and spent two days at Rikers before prosecutors - in a nearly unprecedented move - rushed to a night judge to drop the charges.

The child, who also wrongly accused her father of rape, had no signs of physical assault, and initially identified her alleged assailant as bald and white. Evelyn is black.

He said cops grilled him for hours, lying about fake DNA tests to try to force a confession, and offering to cut him a short prison term instead of life if he admitted guilt.

Thrown into a jail cell with seasoned criminals, Evelyn stood with his back to a wall all night, praying, as fellow inmates greeted each other and unabashedly used an open toilet.

He was strip-searched and left to sleep on a bare mattress in a filthy cell wearing only a “Pampers,” and paraded past inmates who screamed, “Hey, Pops! You raped my sister! I’m going to cut your throat! Don’t let me catch you in the shower! We gonna shank you!”

When he was finally freed, Evelyn said, a cursing Correction officer refused to give back $84 cash he had handed over, then released him with a $4 Metro Card.

Not until he was back in Brooklyn did he see his face displayed on front pages. “I was stunned,” he said. He said he walked miles with his head under his shirt.

“I didn’t want anybody to recognise me!” said Evelyn. “I can’t go out on the street without having to answer questions. Some people said, ‘Hey, you’re the guy who raped the eight-year-old.’ I said, ‘I never raped nobody!’”

Although he can return to PS91, Evelyn’s body shakes when he goes near the building. He has been living off vacation time and 57 sick days.

“I had two more years to retire,” he said. “After you work all that time, all that sacrifice, it comes to this? I want to get over this!” he said. “I don’t want those charges just to be sealed. I want it to be washed away! I want an apology. Come on. Clear my name!”

Evelyn’s daughter, Ria, who just returned from serving in Iraq, said each summer her younger brother, now 14, looked forward to spending time with his dad.

“How do you explain to your little brother that your father was arrested for attacking a little girl?” she said. Evelyn put his head in his hands and broke into racking sobs. “Daddy, it’s okay,” she said. “Take a tissue!”

Then, turning away from him, she asked, “How’s $10 million going to fix that?”

Praying for Obama…to lose
Trinidad Guardian
Thursday 6th September, 2007

The instability in the Middle East caused by the US invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 has contributed to the doubling of oil prices in the last four years.

Let’s recall that world oil prices in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 peaked at $37.87 on March 12 (Nymex, spot).

The presence of US troops in Iraq has caused an uprising against the occupation forces leading to massive and continuous vandalism of oil infrastructure and the inability of the occupation forces to maintain a high standard of oil field management.

The US occupation of Iraq, then, has resulted in the country’s oil production being suppressed in effect.

An article in the May 2007 edition of the Christian Science Monitor indicated that in the first quarter of 2007 Iraqi crude oil production averaged 1.95 million barrels per day, which was a significant reduction from “its decades-old pumping record of 3.7 billion barrels a day – a level at which Iraq might become a vital source of oil for thirsty world markets.”

"I think they are years away from being a reliable 4-million-barrel-a-day producer," the magazine quoted Frank Verrastro, director and senior fellow in the energy program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as saying.

It’s felt that the only way that Iraq will return to or surpass its pre-war oil production would be for companies to spend billions of dollars on desperately needed upgrades and improvements on the oil field infrastructure.

Such investment is highly unlikely in the absence of democracy and the IMF-style rules of engagement for capital which worked in T&T in the late eighties.

What’s also clear is that peace, stability and democratic government in Iraq followed by IMF-type reforms to the economy (including privatisation, fiscal restraint and an open capital account) could lead to the capture of Iraq’s oil reserves by the large foreign multinational companies and a sharp increase in production there over time.

A report done for the Congressional Research Service stated that with 115 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, Iraq has the world’s second-largest endowment of oil in the world, amounting to 11 per cent of the global total.

According to the report, “Only 17 of 80 oil fields have been developed; the most significant are Kirkuk in the north and Rumaila in the south. There has been virtually no exploration for many years, suggesting that Iraq may have much more oil than currently estimated.

“Iraq also has significant proven natural gas reserves; virtually all are undeveloped.

“As a point of reference, Saudi Arabia, at 260 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, has the largest reserve base and can produce as much as 10.5 million barrels per day (mbd).”

So the question for T&T today is this: Is it in our national interest that Iraq have a democratically-elected government, a western-style free market capitalist system and national consensus on how the oil revenues should be divided up among the Sunnis, Shias, Kurds and others?

Might I suggest that democracy, capitalism and a national consensus on sharing oil revenues in Iraq (or even the signal that these elements are possible) would probably send oil prices back down to US$9 a barrel and may lead to a whole new province in natural gas production.

Do we here in T&T want US$9 oil and US$100 a tonne ammonia or would we prefer our oil at US$74 a barrel and our ammonia at US$300?

Speaking for myself, I would admit to preferring my oil at US$74, my ammonia at US$300 and my natural gas at US$7.50 per unit, thank you very much.

While I mourn and deeply regret the fact that the invasion of Iraq by President Bush and his neo-cons has been responsible for thousands of deaths and made the lives of Iraqis a living hell, there is very little that I can do about it.

The bottomline is that Bush in Iraq is good for the price of oil which (along with Chinese demand for all non-renewable commodities) is pushing up the price of T&T’s main exports of natural gas, ammonia, methanol and iron and steel.

So, in a real sense, the bonanza of US dollars that has flowed into T&T in the last six years has been partly due to the fact that the US invasion of Iraq has gone so badly. There is a direct link, then, between what is happening in Iraq and China and “free” tertiary education, subsidised gasoline, houses and inter-island transport in T&T.

And while one mourns and regrets the tragedy of Iraq, it is not a tragedy of our making. It is, however, from which T&T profit.

Which brings us back to the provocative headline at the top of this piece.

In a sense, both President Bush’s totally unjustified and illegal invasion of Iraq and his failure to achieve his objectives in Iraq (cheap oil, a stable government and cheap oil) have been good good for the T&T economy.

Would T&T’s national interest be served by a future US President who withdraws American troops from Iraq and manages to install an administration that promotes democracy, peace, capitalism and an equitable distribution of that country’s oil and gas revenues?

Given the way that question is framed, the answer must be no.

In my view, Barack Obama is the US candidate running for the presidency who is most likely to achieve a diplomatic settlement of the Iraq war and the replacement of the US-backed regime there by one that would be more representative of the country and committed to peace, democracy and capitalism.

It is Obama who has said that “No military surge no matter how brilliantly performed can succeed without political reconciliation and a surge of diplomacy in Iraq and the region.”

It is Obama who has argued that “one reason to stop fighting the wrong war is so that we can fight the right war against terrorism and extremism.”

It is Obama who posited that having invaded Iraq, the US had a national security interest in making certain that Iraq was stable.

“If not,” he argues, “not only are we going to have a humanitarian crisis, we are also going to have a huge national security problem on our hands-because, ironically, it has become a hotbed of terrorists as a consequence, in part, of our incursion there.”

If you had the opportunity to vote for the US President, as thousands of people born here do, would you be able to look past Obama’s race and vote for a US President who would promote and support T&T’s national interest?

And if we are being invited to look past someone’s race or gender in T&T, why shouldn’t those of us who have the opportunity do the same in the US?

General Discussion / In season....
« on: August 14, 2007, 08:57:01 AM »

Avocado hadda be in season now cuz is $0.99 in Florida   :wavetowel:

Warrants out for Machel, Mr Slaughter over stabbing
Denyse Renne

Trinidad Express
Friday, July 6th 2007

Arrest warrants were being prepared yesterday for soca stars Machel Montano and Derek Perreira (Mr Slaughter), following a stabbing incident on Carnival Tuesday last year.

The warrants were being prepared by officers of the Woodbrook Police Station and charges of wounding with intent are expected to be laid against Montano and Perreira.

Both singers have been accused of stabbing San Fernando resident Joel White with a bottle on February 28,2006, outside a nightclub on Cipriani Boulevard.

White, of Mon Repos, left for Singapore on Wednesday night where he boarded a flight to Malaysia. He is accompanying a group of Trinidadian dancers.

Efforts to contact Montano and his mother Liz were unsuccessful.

Montano is currently on $50,000 bail after being charged with a series of offences arising out of an April 26 incident at the Zen nightclub in Port of Spain.

It is alleged that on April 26, 2007 at Keate Street, Port of Spain, Montano along with Kernel Roberts, Joel "Zan" Fezeck and Rodney LeBlanc assaulted Brandis Browne, occasioning actual bodily harm.

The other charge is that Montano along with Le Blanc, Roberts and Fezeck assaulted Russell Pollonais.

The other charge against Montano, states that on April 26 he used "obscene language to annoyance of other persons".

Fezeck is currently on $50,000 bail, while Roberts has been granted $25,000 and Le Blanc $30,000 bail.

Their matter is expected to start in August.

Cricket Anyone / WIPA vs. WICB on Zimbabwe Tour - who is right?
« on: June 26, 2007, 09:42:58 PM »

I have only briefly looked at the news about this but it is of great significance if West Indies decide to withdraw from a tour of Zimbabwe a la England.

Was there discussion about it or did both sides just throw their steadfast opinions at each other?

This is bigger than cricket and I will be interested to see the details about this so post any relevant articles/opinions/facts.

Football / Gold Cup 2007 Final USA vs. Mexico
« on: June 24, 2007, 12:25:41 PM »
United States vs Mexico
CONCACAF Gold Cup/Copa Oro - Final

Sun Jun 24 03:00PM Eastern
Length: 2 hr     LIVE

TV Listings

GolTV Canada

Rogers Sportsnet - ALL REGIONS - Canada


FOX Soccer Channel (FSC) - US

Football / What is it with sports administrators?
« on: June 20, 2007, 09:55:52 AM »

What is it with sports administrators?
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday
Wednesday, June 20 2007

THE EDITOR: What is it with sports administrators that they can so successfully shoot themselves in the foot and not even blink! In West Indies cricket, in local football, in boxing, in hockey we see the same phenomenon - a total disregard for the fans, whether television or match attendees.

Cricket fans want to see the best cricketers bat, bowl, and field; football fans want to see the best footballers “beats” a man, score goals, and pull off brilliant saves; hockey fans want to see the same; boxing fans want to see good evenly matched boxers defend themselves in the ring.

What the fans do not want and do not pay for is self-centred administrators making bad decisions. Fans are the lifeblood of sport. When will the administrators get it? In cricket what the fans want for now is to see Lara bat! In football what the fans want to see is the best footballers represent us! One concession – out of evil cometh good – new stars may be born!



General Discussion / SPORTT split on funding for PM's son
« on: June 19, 2007, 12:01:48 PM »

SPORTT split on PM’s son

By Irene Medina
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday
Tuesday, June 19 2007

Brian Manning’s $9M proposal for funding to run a professional basketball league has been handed to the Sports Ministry for final approval before it goes to Cabinet, which is headed by his father Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

But while the Sports Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary Ashwyn Creed and chairman of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) Gerard Ferreira confirmed that Brian Manning’s plan is one step closer to going before Cabinet, the situation has caused some dissension within SPORTT. Several SPORTT members want to know when did the SPORTT Board approve the Brian Manning plan.

Some officials told Newsday that the proposal was to have come before the Board last week, but the meeting was postponed to tomorrow.

But yesterday Creed confirmed that the proposal is already in the hands of the Sports Ministry for Cabinet to approve. “It has already been handed in to the Ministry”, but, he said, “there are certain areas that need to be revisited before any approach can be made to the Cabinet.”

Creed said once these areas are attended too the proposal will be sent to Cabinet.

Newsday has learnt that a business plan which is supposed to accompany the proposal was not attached.

The issue of funding for the PM’s son’s basketball league was first raised about two weeks ago in the Senate, by UNC Senator Wade Mark. Ferreira at the time slammed Mark’s “irresponsible” statements, saying that no approval for funding had been given by the Board.

But yesterday Ferreira said there was no need for the Board to meet tomorrow, since the “SPORTT company had already approved the proposal in principle and sent it on to the Ministry.”

He said this took place last week Monday, “so there was nothing else to discuss Wednesday.”

All requests for funding must be made through and approved by SPORTT which was launched in 2004, under the aegis of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs to assist in the development of ten sporting disciplines which include basketball, cricket, hockey, netball, swimming, athletics, cycling and volleyball.

Yesterday, officials at SPORTT were questioning how come the proposal by the 23-year-old Manning to run his National Professional Basketball League (NPBL) was approved when, as far as they were aware, the Board had not met.

Asked about this latest development yesterday, Manning said, “I have no idea what is happening.” He said nobody has said anything to him about the status of the proposal.

But, responding the Creed’s claim that the proposal needed to be “revisited” Manning said “as far as I know I have satisfied every requirement, submitted everything as requested but I have not heard anything from anyone.”

Sources at the Sports Ministry say the current situation is causing concern.

Manning has played basketball at school, community and zonal levels, including the Super Ten tournament and represented TT at the national Under 23 level.

Manning, who also has an undergraduate degree in information systems management with a minor in business studies and a MBA in marketing and international business, says he is “challenging anyone to point out someone, more managerially qualified than I am in local basketball.”

Other Sports / Ames tied for third ahead of Final Day of US Open
« on: June 16, 2007, 09:06:13 PM »
1—   Aaron Baddeley   +2   3:00 p ET   -   72   70   70   -   212
2—   Tiger Woods   +4   3:00 p ET   -   71   74   69   -   214
T3—   Stephen Ames   +5   2:50 p ET   -   73   69   73   -   215
T3—   Paul Casey   +5   2:50 p ET   -   77   66   72   -   215
T3—   Justin Rose   +5   2:40 p ET   -   71   71   73   -   215
T3—   Bubba Watson   +5

Environment lobby must not get the upper hand, says PM
By Ian Gooding
Trinidad Guardian
Saturday 16th June, 2007

PM Patrick Manning flanked by Professor Ken Julien (left) and Khalid Hassanali, president of eTECK at the second eTeck Alignment Seminar held at the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel yesterday Photo: Ian Gooding

Prime Minister Patrick Manning yesterday sounded a warning that if the country made the error of allowing the environmental lobby to get the upper hand over the development of the nation, then all development would grind to a halt.

But he gave the assurance that the Government was not going to allow that to happen and that it would stand its ground that the decisions it has taken will take the nation to developed nation status by 2020.

Manning was the feature speaker at the second eTeck Alignment Seminar held at the ballroom of the Hilton Trinidad yesterday.

Speaking without a prepared speech, Manning recounted to the audience how he learned from the defeat the PNM suffered at the hands of the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) in 1986 which led to him becoming opposition leader, for which he said he was unprepared.

His experience as opposition leader caused him to predict the collapse of the NAR and prepared himself to resume office, Manning told the conference.

Reflecting on the economic policies of the NAR, Manning said when oil prices fell to US$9 a barrel in 1986, the Government took away COLA from public servants and then further cut their salaries by ten per cent.

Given the circumstances of the collapse of oil prices, Manning said his solution would have been to devalue the TT dollar and spread the burden across the nation.

Manning said a leader must have a vision which the country can buy into, and eTeck (Evolving Technologies and Enterprise Development Co Ltd) was one of the pillars on which that vision to diversify the country away from oil and gas into a “modern industrial state” was based.

The future, he said, would see an economy based around the production of steel sheets, aluminium, ethylene, polypropylene, modern ports and the development of the Port-of-Spain waterfront, which would involve the “relocation of the National Flour Mills.”

He also spoke about the redevelopment of the Laventille area, a new fishing port in Moruga, and new port at Sea Lots.

Also on the cards for the local economy would be a completely new highway system which would take drivers from one place to the furthest point in two hours for the most; joint ventures with businesses in Caricom, a completely new drainage system throughout the country in ten years; an air, land and sea attack on drug traffickers with the help of fast, armed boats and helicopters.

Professor Kenneth Julien, chairman of eTeck, identified a number of major challenges citizens will have to overcome if the country was to achieve developed country status by 2020.

Among the challenges Julien identified were the failure to share information, the deep-seated fear of looking for different ways of doing things and not seeing the large number of opportunites that were opening up.

He said that while many positive things were being done in health and education, the image of the country in the media and on the Internet did not reflect these things. He also called for a one-stop shop for education so that people could get information all all aspects of the country from one location.
©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

Football / Gold Cup on YouTube
« on: June 11, 2007, 05:30:12 PM »

Hell of a lot of videos....they like 50mins long recapping the games and giving analysis.

Talked about the impasse in the segment for T&T vs El Salvador

General Discussion / Geologists say Trinidad penninsulas sinking
« on: June 03, 2007, 01:00:31 AM »
T&T's north-west coast going down
Kristy Ramnarine
Trinidad Express
Sunday, June 3rd 2007

gulf of paria: A close-up view of the north-west coast of Trinidad in Westmoorings recently.

The north-west coast of Trinidad along the Gulf of Paria is sinking because of movement in the earth's faults.

Dr John Webber of Grand Valley State University Allendale in Michigan, who has been scientifically studying Trinidad and Tobago's landscape, said the movement of the active faults around Trinidad causes stretching in the Gulf of Paria.

"Our work deals with looking at the landscapes in Trinidad (both qualitatively and quantitatively) and from it trying to read the signal of vertical ground motion," he told the Express yesterday.

"The landscape shows that north-west Trinidad is going down relative to north-east Trinidad. We're not sure how far south past the Central Range we can take this. And we don't have any rates yet."

Recently Dr John Agard, Chairman of the Environmental Management Authority, said the south-west coast of Trinidad in the area of Cedros is sinking. He attributed his statement to the rise in sea levels around Trinidad.

Dr Webber's initial qualitative "read" was presented in, Occasional Papers of the Geological Institute of Hungary, volume 204 entitled: "Neotectonics in the Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies segments of the Caribbean-South American plate boundary." He has done quantitative work that supports the initial model with Professor John Ritter of Wittenberg University Ohio.

"There is a cause for the relative ground motion that we infer that makes good geologic sense," Webber explained.

"This gives us confidence that we may be onto something reasonable. The active sliding fault in Venezuela is north of where the Global Positioning System (GPS) tells us the active sliding fault in Trinidad is. These two faults must connect so that the Caribbean plate can slide eastward past the South American plate at the 2cm/yr we measure using GPS.

"We and others propose that this connection occurs across the Gulf of Paria, which is low-lying and filled with a thick pile of young sediments. And can be thought of in a simple way as a hole in the ground that keeps widening and deepening as the plates move by one another. Geologists call this sort of geometric configuration/connection a pull-apart basin."

He added Death Valley in California is a well-known example of what is taking place in Trinidad.

"You can make a model of this by cutting a piece of paper along the two active faults and one edge of the Gulf of Paria and sliding the top half of the paper (the Caribbean plate) to the right (eastward). You will see the Gulf pull-apart open up and widen.

"Our work shows that the landscapes on both the Trinidad and Venezuelan sides look like they are sinking as mirror images into the Gulf. We will present this work and lead a field trip showing people these features at the upcoming Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago's Fourth Geological Conference from June 17-22. Interested parties should come along and see what we see and hear what we think it means," he said.

At the opening ceremony of third EMA workshop, which dealt with climate change issues, Dr Agard said: "Sea levels is likely to continue to rise on average during the century around the islands in the Caribbean Sea.

"For Trinidad it is rising about 1.3 mm per year in the north coast and on average about 1.6 mm in the South West Coast which seems impossible for a small island. How can be have different sea level rise on different coasts?

"Well, it suggests that the South West Coast is sinking. Of course you know down on the Cedros end there is a lot of erosion and of course we have a large petroleum industry, so extraction of oil and gas from underground will have some subsidence."

As scientists continue their research into the matter, it is left to be seen whether movement in the earth's plates is also the cause for the sinking of south-west Trinidad.

General Discussion / Is religion good for us?
« on: June 01, 2007, 03:28:11 PM »

Is religion good for us?
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday
Friday, June 1 2007

If VS Naipaul had attended St Mary’s College instead of QRC, he might not have won a Nobel Prize. At least, not if he had become a Catholic.

“Consistently, studies have reported that social scientists are among the least religious, most often with overrepresentation of ‘nones’ or Jews (who are highly secularised), together with some liberal Protestants but a paucity of Catholics,” writes psychologist Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi in an essay in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (available at The Reader’s Bookshop). Something in the Catholic creed, it seems, ensures that faith trumps reason.

Among the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the largest single group (33 percent) identified themselves as having no religious affiliation. Of a sample of 696 Nobel laureates, Beit-Hallahmi found that 51 percent could not even be classified by religious affiliation, while most of the remaining 49 percent could not be slotted into any particular denomination. “Eminence in natural and social sciences (and even in literature) is clearly tied to a personal distance from religion,” Beit-Hallahmi concludes.

An obvious question arises, however: if religiosity is correlated with lower intellectual capability, how is it that the denominational schools in Trinidad and Tobago produce the top-performing students? The short answer is, they don’t. It is class, not religion, which accounts for the success of the “prestige” schools. A survey by Professor Ramesh Deosaran found that, in these schools, 51 percent of the students were middle-class, 31 percent were upper-class, and a mere 18 percent lower-class.

Nonetheless, many people believe that religion is a crucial part of ensuring that young people are both academically successful and well-behaved. But a paper by Deosaran and Derek Chadee in Crime, Delinquency and Justice — A Caribbean Reader (available at the UWI bookshop) shows that a religious background does not prevent high-risk youths from getting into trouble.

Their survey of juvenile homes, revealed that 35 percent of the inmates were Catholic, 15 percent Baptist, 11 percent Pentecostal, ten percent Seventh Day Adventist, nine percent Anglican, six percent Hindu, four percent Muslim, and seven percent had no religion.

Even so, the Congress of the People (COP), which recently revealed their plan to make religion instruction mandatory in all schools, reflects a widespread belief in saying, “The teaching of comparative religion will...lead to greater harmony and understanding in our society.” But this would be so only if such teaching reduced religious belief. Beit-Hallahmi writes, “Since the 1940s, numerous studies in the United States have...shown that the more religious are less tolerant. Jews and the irreligious are the most tolerant.” That means that inculcating religion in children could very likely undermine the societal harmony we so like to boast about.

The COP also claims that “all religions teach morality, ethics, truthfulness and sound values.”

However, sociologist Phil Zuckerman in his survey of countries in the Cambridge Companion, writes, “The nations with the highest homicide rates are all highly religious nations with minimal or statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism, while nations with the lowest homicide rates tend to be highly secular nations with high levels of atheism.” This holds true for the Caribbean, where 91 percent of Trinbagonians, 97 percent of Jamaicans, and 99 percent of Haitians are religious.

Additionally, religion does not seem especially efficacious in changing people’s behaviour. UWI researcher Ian Ramdhanie, in his paper in A Caribbean Reader, looked at how likely convicted criminals were to commit further offences after serving their sentences. Analysed by religion, Islam was the least effective, with 65 percent of Muslims being recidivists. Next in ineffectuality were Seventh Day Adventists at 59 percent, followed closely by Jehovah Witnesses at 58 percent. All the other denominations had a failure rate of 50 percent or more.

Ramdhanie’s statistics also show that religious groups were over-represented in prison as compared to the general populace: 29 percent of the inmates were Catholics as compared to 26 percent outside; Baptists had the worst ratio, at 14 percent to 0.2 percent; Muslims were represented twice as much in prison as in the wider populace: 12 percent against six percent; Seventh Day Adventists were seven percent against five percent; and Jehovah Witnesses one percent against 0.6 percent. Anglicans and Pentecostals were equitably represented at nine and six percent respectively, but only Hindus (13 percent against 22 percent) and Presbyterians (one percent against three percent) were under-represented in the nation’s jails.

So the COP’s plan to force children to have religious instruction is not a genuine policy plan, but a political ploy designed to woo Catholic votes away from the PNM and Hindu votes away from the UNC. In so doing, the COP shows that its “new politics” is no different from the old politics of those two parties. Which, in a sense, is okay — a political party has to attract as many interest groups as it can. But when politicians try to exploit the nation’s children to that end, a line must be drawn. So the COP will not be getting my vote: but neither will the seer woman nor the singer of the Hanuman chalisa.

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