Like Rip van Winkle of yore, the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) finally woke up and evidently discovered that “things na regulah” in the area of national life in which they’ve collected billions of taxpayers’ dollars to deal with: ETHNIC RELATIONS! The thing is, Rip was one solitary individual on his own, and maybe we can understand him falling asleep at the wheel. But more than a dozen representatives of every group in the country you can possibly think about – ethnic, racial, sex, age, business, Labourers, etc, etc? Nah! How could none of them not notice that over the past three years – and especially the five months after elections – the nation descended slowly and inexorably into ethnic hell?
The ERC is a constitutional commission that was launched after all (ethnic) hell broke loose when the PNC refused to accept the 1997 elections, and folks of one ethnicity deemed to be PPP supporters had the bejesus beaten out of them by persons deemed to be PNC supporters. Some buildings were torched, persons kidnapped and killed to complete the creation of what is normally called “mayhem”. But rather than labelling what happened “political violence”, it was called “ethnic violence” and PRESTO, the ERC was launched in 2003 when the violence was centred in Buxton.
Now, one of the ERC’s TWENTY- FOUR mandates is to “Identify and analyse factors inhibiting the attainment of harmonious relations between ethnic groups, particularly barriers to the participation of any ethnic group in social, economic, commercial, financial, cultural and political endeavours; and recommend to the National Assembly or other relevant Public or Private Sector bodies how these factors should be overcome”. So only Now they’ve discovered this?
To its credit, however, between 2003 and 2011, the PNC refused to cooperate, and then finally, just before the General Elections, Robert Corbin, then leader of the PNC, filed an injunction against the ERC that was the nail in the coffin. In 2018, Granger, however, decided to resuscitate the body and appoint his old friend Bishop Smith (remember the Chief Guest at the latter’s birthday bash at the Princess?) to the Chair. Explaining why we haven’t heard head nor hair from them since.
Anyhow, the ERC has just announced it’s launching a virtual “national conversation” on how to improve ethnic relations. Can we say better late than never? Or is it a matter of locking the ethnic stable gate after the ethnic horse has bolted?
Call your Eyewitness jaded, but he thinks this is just a back door move by the PNC to get power-sharing on the agenda. He believes that the deck will be stacked for those pushing that PNC line.
Which will be presented to the National Assembly for debate.
Once again, like a bad penny, Larry’s turned up. Remember him, Larry Singh? Birds of a feather…but while they flock together, they do feed at different troughs. Larry Singh was the PNC campaign financier who rented space at the Sidewalk Cafe to sell guns. But he suddenly ended up with such a sweetheart deal he didn’t just get the contract for a Pharma-warehouse, but up-front payments to purchase the bottom house for the warehouse! Larry S (let’s call him this) ended up with a cool $250 million from the scam, and George Norton took the fall!
Well, it’s just been revealed that Larry S has been sued by the Govt for non-delivery of $369M worth of weapons to the GDF. This is something else, isn’t it? Is this what the PNC under Granger boasted about when they demanded the GDF must be re-equipped? Was no institution spared from the PNC’s plunder and looting?
…for Granger to weasel out
No PNC local legal journeyman was willing to step up to the crease to bat and save Granger’s blushes.
So the Trini shill Jeremie once again was made the sacrificial lamb to literally PLEAD with Justice George!