Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles has referred to a video recording of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha’s, Secretary-General, Satnarayan Maharaj, as disturbing and rooted in ignorance and divisiveness.
Chief Secretary Charles says, “Apart from being over-generalizing and showing a palpable lack of understanding and appreciation of the history of the two islands, I find the comments of Mr. Satnarayan Maharaj particularly ill-timed. 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. 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?”
Chief Secretary Charles says it is highly disturbing that Mr. Maharaj does not seem to be aware that all employed persons in Tobago pay taxes and therefore contribute to the national economy of Trinidad and Tobago. Additionally, the Chief Secretary notes that Tobago businesses further contribute to the economy, as they engage in commercial exchanges with Trinidad businesses of various sectors and subsequently retail goods in Tobago.
However, Mr. Charles emphatically states, “I want Tobagonians to use every negativity thrown at them to build themselves up and become better and greater citizens. Tobagonians ought not to become distracted or derailed. We have a history of being strong, proud, hard-workers and that’s the heritage we must endeavour to reclaim. 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.”
Chief Secretary Charles says that his administration is committed to ensuring that Tobago and its residents reach their full potential, as the island works harmoniously to build capacity and unity in every sphere of the society. The Chief Secretary further states, “Now more than ever as a country, we must hold true to the words of our National Anthem, “Side by side we stand. Islands of the blue Caribbean sea”.