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Dominica no political football!

Published: 
Thursday, September 28, 2017

At the outset, I want to signal that no matter how many attacks are levelled my way, they will not serve to distract the citizenry from the ferry scandal or the fake oil scandal.

The people of our country are just plain fed up and attempted distractions of “race” and “xenophobia” will not cut it at this time. Finance Minister Colm Imbert better come good with the budget next Monday or else all hell will break loose!

I was hoping that at the time of writing this article, I would have been able to say how many people from Dominica, the Ministers of Government were prepared to take into their homes. To lead by example would mean nothing less than taking an entire family.

Amidst all the talk of “xenophobia” and “race,” I am yet to hear supporters of the Government like David Abdulah indicate just how many people he is taking into his home.

Regrettably, not one single person, not the President, not Franklin Khan, not Stuart Young, not a single Minister has led the way.

There are some people fighting over which group is receiving more publicity.

Is this where we have reached? Before any local calls for assistance as well as the belated actions of the Prime Minister when he called for us to open our pots, organisations with which I am associated, had already despatched more than two truckloads of relief items to the destitute citizens of Dominica.

It is beyond me as to why racial and xenophobic persons would assist in such an altruistic manner.

The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha’s schools have been overcrowded over the years in trying to accommodate our children, whether Hindu or not and irrespective of race.

To curb the overcrowding issues, I personally, have called on the Minister of Education to release many of our schools, allow them to be opened and the SDMS would fund them.

To date, there has been a deafening silence! Four Primary Schools, two Secondary Schools and four completed Early Child Care Centres remain at the mercy of the Ministry of Education. If the SDMS appears to be unwilling to take in Dominican kids at this time, it is only on account of lack of space in the existing schools and the government’s failure to assist with new ones.

Trinidad and Tobago’s borders have been breached on numerous occasions in the past. It cannot be disputed that we have a large number of foreigners from different countries (including Venezuelans, Jamaicans and Guyanese) living here contrary to our laws. This is a serious issue. In a situation where our health sector is in shambles, crime is spiralling out of control, a major problem being our police force to citizenry ratio is too small. Unemployment is on the increase, social welfare programmes have been cut off, and VAT has increased on all food items.

Are we not entitled to question and disagree with the open door policy being implemented at this time?

Whist we weep and lament for Dominica and other ravaged countries, we must be sensible about how we can meaningfully assist them.

It would be far better to assist our neighbours in rebuilding their homes and communities as opposed to taking them away from the process by bringing them here. Assisting the Dominican youths is certainly worthy of consideration but obviously subject to our own limitations.

In conclusion, the entire region may benefit in the long term, if people would stop playing pure politics and labelling those who disagree with them as “racist” and “xenophobic.”

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