Narine: It’s a cowardly act
Minister calls on political parties and organisations to avoid using race and religion in the run-up to the general election. BY COREY CONNELLY
Political parties, organisations and individuals opposed to the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) are being urged to desist from using race and religion to divide T&T in the run-up to this year’s general election.
Making the appeal yesterday, Agriculture Minister Jarrette Narine said such action could prove detrimental to the impending polls.
The minister’s call came in the wake of Friday’s vandalism of the Siewdass Sadhu Shiva Mandir—also known as the Temple in the Sea—in Waterloo, Carapichaima.
“I have been listening over the last two days, and the Opposition parties in T&T have been trying to make a lot of political mileage out of this,” Narine told a news conference at the Ministry of Agriculture’s headquarters in St Clair, Port-of-Spain.
“This is an election year, and I am appealing to these people who have tried to divide this country by race.
“And now they have not succeeded, they are trying through religion.
“I am appealing to them that this could be detrimental to the upcoming general election and to the people of T&T.”
Narine, who became a member of the PNM in 1963, said he was involved actively in politics for the past 25 years, and had never been discriminated against by the party.
Delivering the Government’s official response to the incident, Narine said:
“It is unfortunate, and the Government and everyone in the PNM would like to condemn this action taken by—I would call them cowardly people—who had gone to the mandir and desecrated it.”
He told reporters the PNM felt that, based on statements made in the media, “sufficient facts were not coming out, in that we were being made the scapegoats for it (vandalism).”
In fact, Narine stressed that it was the PNM that had reconstructed the mandir during its 1991-1995 tenure, at a cost of $1.5 million.
The minister said after the mandir was rebuilt, a committee was established. It comprised former Speaker of the House of Representatives Occah Seepaul, members of the the Sadhu family, among others.
However, Narine said by the time the monument was completed, the PNM administration had taken “a political decision at that time not to open it, since it was close to a general election.
“However, after the election it was opened. I was invited. I chose to sing a bhajan instead of giving a speech.
“Mr (Basdeo) Panday was then the Prime Minister of T&T, but the mandir was built long before he came into office.”
The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, the UNC Alliance and the Congress of the People have all condemned the incident.
Police: No evidence of political link
At the weekly Police Service news conference yesterday, Commissioner of Police Trevor Paul said the police had “not unearthed any evidence” to suggest the attack was “politically linked.”
He said, “This matter will be thoroughly investigated” in order to bring those responsible to justice.
They said they had found fingerprints at the scene and were trying to match them.
Would somebody call Jamette Narine and tell em to mind he fockin buisness.
Who the fock say the PNM was responsible for the incident?
What we would say however, based on the signals that you PNM fockers have been sending over the las 5 years will certainly urge your supporters into fockin dotishness like that. The discrimination of Indians in the Civil Service is plain as daylight for all to see particularly after their successes in the High Court of T&T.
Point #2 is that all yuh duncee fockin head Prime Minister attempting to turn Trinidad into ah fockin Christian State. Check his actions over the last couple of years. He play big pappy wid Benny Hinn and the man end up calling him ah cont. He always quotes from the Bible like he is some fockin pastor and even went to the extent to say that he wants to preach after he fock Trinidad real good. These days he want to ban casinos. All of ah sudden after he son loss $500.000.00 in ah casino he want to shut dem dong. The fockers who mash up the people mandir had something to say about the "blood of Christ."
Hear the next lying focking Police Commissioner. How the fock he know that it though ha no political link. He just said that they got some fingerprints and they were trying to match them. But this mudder cont could come to the conclusion that he know it had no political link.