Chief Secretary Orville London is calling on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to give some comfort to the people of Tobago with respect to her government’s position on resuming discussions and the process that would lead to full internal self government for the island in the shortest possible time.
He said he wanted to place on public record once again his concern for the silence emanating from the Central Government on the issue of self government for Tobago after the THA election in January.
“Before the THA election it was a major topic and one would have thought that the election was fought primarily on this one issue,” London told Thursday’s post Executive Council media briefing.
London recalled that before the election all the parties had one thing in common and that was internal self government for Tobago and therefore he found it quite disconcerting that despite several overtures made to the Central Government, in person and by written correspondence there was no indication that it intended to give any priority to the issue.
This issue of internal self government for Tobago was one of the issues raised by London when he met the Prime Minister on February 22.
The Chief Secretary added: “I want the people of Tobago to be on notice that they have to do whatever is necessary to alert the Central Government to their concern and to elicit from the Central Government some kind of positive response with respect to this very important issue.
“We cannot allow it to become intertwine with the whole issue of the Constitutional Reform discussion. We in Tobago are supportive of the Constitutional Reform discussion but we in Tobago cannot afford for this issue which has engaged our attention for the past 50 years and on which we have been focusing for at least the past four years, we cannot allow these discussions to be overshadowed by the Constitutional Reform discussion. Those Constitutional Reform discussions have taken place and are taking place and we support them,” London said.
London said he wanted to reiterate his call to Tobagonians to participate fully in the Constitutional Reform discussion because all aspects of the constitution concerned Tobagonians and they must make their commitment.