The Prime Minister’s three-member Committee on the Public Consultations on the Green Paper on Internal Self-Government for Tobago has promised to consider the two THA Bills as part of its deliberations.
Chairman of the Committee Dr Hamid Ghany told this to THA Chief Secretary Orville London in a letter dated July 24 2012.
London had submitted to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Chairman of the Law Reform Commission Samraj Harripaul and Dr Ghany, copies of the two Bills, a petition entitled “Tobago Voice Must be Heard – a People’s Motion and copies of the almost 6,000 signatures of Tobagonians showing support for the petition. The documents were accompanied by a covering letter dated July 18 2012 giving details of the procedure used to arrive at the Bills and the petition. The Chief Secretary also provided the Assembly’s position on the Green Paper published for public comment by the Office of the Attorney General.
While he received no acknowledgement from the Prime Minister and the Attorney General, Harripaul responded by informing London that the Attorney General already had copies of the Bills.
Ghany thanked London for his letter and said: “My colleagues and I on the Committee for the Public Consultations on the Green Paper on Internal Self-Government for Tobago have noted your letter and its enclosures. We shall consider your submission in relation to the Green Paper together with all the other submissions that we received. Thank you for your kind consideration and for engaging our process.”
The two Bills entitled: “An Act to amend the Constitution to provide the entrenchment of certain provisions relating to the Tobago House of Assembly and related matters”; and “An Act to repeal and replace the Tobago House of Assembly Act Chapter 25:03, to provide for the re-establishment of the Tobago House of Assembly, to prescribe its powers and functions” were drafted by former Attorney General Russell Martineau SC after a THA Working Committee had met with Tobagonians in 41 communities across the island and three consultations hosted by Martineau.
The Prime Minister’s Committee also included Tobago-born attorneys Christlyn Moore of the Attorney General’s Office and Martin George.
London said it would be interesting to see how the Attorney General handled this development since he had refused to publish the two THA Bills as a Green Paper for public comment.