T&T PM said that the UNC would not negotiate with criminals

Dear Editor,

General Elections are not due in Trinidad until 2015 but following on the poor showing of the Indian-based UNC at local government elections earlier this week, Mr Vishnu Bisram seems to be suffering from a full-blown panic attack and has commenced the beating of his well-known tribal drums. In a letter published in your paper (SN, Oct. 26, 2013) Mr Bisram says the following: “ … But the UNC says it wants nothing to do with the ILP. The ILP cannot be ignored … The UNC will have to find an accommodation with ILP or else its electoral prospects in 2015 will be very dim, … The UNC should not dismiss the ILP completely. Politicians should not be overwhelmingly obsessed with form”.

Mr Bisram clearly is aware that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is on record as publicly declaring that the Party which she leads “wants nothing” to do with Jack Warner or the ILP. In fact the reason underlying her position is more pointed than Vishnu Bisram seems comfortable in addressing and in the aforesaid letter chooses to describe Jack Warner as “charismatic”. What PM Kamla has said when asked about an alliance with the ILP (Warner) on the issue of the Chaguanas borough, is that “the UNC would not negotiate with criminals”. Local Government Minister Suruj  Rambachan is quoted in the Trinidad Express newspaper of Oct 25, 2013 as responding to this very question by saying that the Prime Minister`s statement –above- stands.

While I am unaware as to if Mr Jack Warner has been convicted of any crime I have to assume that the Trinidad PM knows what she is saying. It suggests to me that she is not “overwhelmingly obsessed with form (power)” but rather with principles. Mr Bisram`s advice to her and her Party is quite the opposite. I wonder why Ms Persad-Bissessar would or should listen to Vishnu Bisram and moreover what drives Bisram to offer this gratuitous advice to the UNC? I look forward to being educated by him.

Yours faithfully,

Ronald Bulkan