Disturbing, [and] rooted in ignorance and divisiveness.
That’s how Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles described Sat Maharaj’s depiction of Tobago in a recent video recording.
In a statement earlier today, Charles said Maharaj’s comments were “ill-timed”, “over-generalising” and “showing a palpable lack of understanding and appreciation” of this country’s history.
“Given the recent occurrence of another video containing racist rantings being circulated on social media, I would think that the responsible thing to do as leaders in this country, is work towards racial unity and cohesion,” the Chief Secretary said.
“We have all seen what severe circumstances of racial disharmony and disunity have bred in places such as Rwanda and South Africa. We must ask ourselves, is that what we want for Trinidad and Tobago?”
Charles found it “highly disturbing” that Maharaj showed no awareness that Tobagonians pay taxes “and contribute to the national economy”.
He said Tobago’s businesses also contribute to the economy through commercial exchanges with businesses from Trinidad in various sectors, as well as retail sales.
The Chief Secretary is encouraging Tobagonians to use the “negativity thrown at them” to build themselves up, instead of being distracted or derailed by it.
“We have a history of being strong, proud, hard workers, and that’s the heritage we must endeavour to reclaim,” he stated.
“Let us be our brother’s keeper and hold each other accountable to being the best employees we can be, the best parents we can be, the best students we can be, the best entrepreneurs we can be.”
Charles said his administration is committed to ensuring that Tobago, and its residents, reach their full potential in every sphere of society.