Letter to Prime Minister

Tobago House of Assembly.
THA Chief Secretary Orville London has written Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the process for the granting of internal self-governance to Tobago and other issues which can lead to “the promotion of harmony in the affairs of Trinidad and Tobago”.

The two last met on February 22 2013 when it was agreed to the scheduling of quarterly “non-crisis” meetings between the Prime Minister and himself.

The agenda for that meeting included a review of the process for the granting of internal self-governance to Tobago; review of the relationship between Ministers of Government and Secretaries in the Assembly; funding for the housing programme in Tobago; THA representation on relevant national boards and committees; quarterly “non-crisis meetings between the Prime Minister and himself; and central government collaboration in the revitalisation of the Tobago economy.

London recalled in his letter that most of these issues, including the most critical and urgent matter of internal self-governance for Tobago remained unresolved. In the circumstances, he said he was requesting the urgent meeting.

The Chief Secretary said at the weekly post Executive Council media briefing on Wednesday (22nd May 2013) that he was very concerned with the recent statement by the Prime Minister that the Tobago Bill before Parliament will lapse when it was prorogued. He said she then added that there was a Constitution Reform Commission which had overtaken the Tobago Bill.

London said this made him very concerned that she must be aware that she was replacing a predictable outcome with an outcome that was highly unpredictable. He added: “What the Prime Minister is asking us to do is to allow a Tobago House of Assembly process which started six or seven years ago and even if there was some areas of disagreement shortly before the election but I think there was a commitment on both sides that they were supportive of internal self-government for Tobago and therefore it strikes me as being disingenuous to come to this point where we are actually having it intertwined.”

London said: “I am hoping that the Prime Minister would do us a favour and have this meeting urgently.”

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