THA Chief Secretary Orville London has again written Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar requesting a meeting to discuss the “critical issue of Internal Self-Government for Tobago”.
In his letter to the prime minister dated last Thursday (May 24 2012) London recalled that by correspondence dated December 15, 2011, he had forwarded copies of Draft Bills which represented “a consensus of the views and recommendations on the Review of the Tobago House of Assembly Act and relevant Amendments to the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago.”
London said at that time, he had also requested “an urgent meeting with you, hopefully within the next two (2) weeks, to discuss all the implications, in greater detail.”
The Tobago Chief Secretary noted that since then, communication between the THA and the Central Government has had to be channelled through the Attorney General and said he regretted to inform her that the situation had become “confusing and untenable”.
“As you are aware, subsequent to the transmission of the Bills to the Prime Minister for the consideration of her Cabinet, and despite my protestations, the Law Reform Commission, on instructions of the Attorney General, released for public comment, a Green Paper which included a Draft Bill to amend the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago to enhance the Internal Self-Government of Tobago. That action has created a situation in which the people of Tobago and the rest of the country are now being asked to respond to two (2) separate Bills, on the same issue of Internal Self-Government for Tobago,” London said.
In his letter, London reiterated the sentiments expressed in his previous correspondence when he stated that “a satisfactory resolution to this issue is critical to the relationship between the two (2) islands and, I am convinced that we have a responsibility to collaborate in advancing the present process”. He added: “If we do not collaborate in leading the process at this time, the efforts of thousands of Tobagonians, over many years, could be frustrated.”
London said in those circumstances, he was confident that the Prime Minister would find it possible to hold urgent discussions with him at a time and place convenient to her.