Caribbean News Round – up

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Muslim leader urges young men to not leave T&T for ISIS adventures

muslim leader[Trinidad Express] – Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat Association (ASJA) president general, Yacoob Ali, has appealed to young Muslim men in Trinidad and Tobago to think twice before leaving their homes to travel to “unknown territories”.

Ali was responding to a video released by the Islamic State in Syria featuring four fighters from Trinidad and Tobago calling on other Muslims to emigrate to the caliphate and fight.

He said it was unfortunate so many young men felt the need leave their homes and loved ones behind. “I would say it is unfortunate because you are leaving to go to something unknown. Think twice, for the sake of your loved ones and families in Trinidad. Don’t go on these experiment adventures,” he said.

 

Kamla ‘sorry’ for election loss

kamla-1[Trinidad Newsday] -FORMER Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar has taken full responsibility for the People’s Partnership (PP) defeat in the September 7 General Election.

Persad-Bissessar, now Opposition Leader, made her unequivocal apology when she addressed Divali celebrations at the Divali Nagar in Charlieville, Chaguanas on Thursday night.

“I apologise for whatever might have been our shortcomings, but I also commit not to abandon the cause for which we have stood together from 2010 onwards,” the former prime minister told her audience.

However, while apologising for the PP’s electoral defeat to the People’s National Movement (PNM), Persad- Bissessar said there was still hope, referring to the United National Congress (UNC) election petitions which are currently before the Court of Appeal.

“I share in your disappointment and deeply so. Notice, I say the elections declared lost, since those matters are still before the courts,” she said. On Wednesday, Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Justice of Appeal Allan Mendonca, reserved their decision on whether a High Court Judge should have granted permission on September 18, to present the petitions which seek to have the results in six constituencies declared null and void by the courts.

Saying she is committed to defending the rights of people and continue to fight for equality of treatment for cultural equity and a crime-free country, Persad-Bissessar said, “I make this commitment in light of reports of a deteriorating social situation marked by increase in crime, loss of jobs and cut-backs with supplies and productivity.”

She reiterated her claim of threats looming in the form of cuts in social services While observing that she was standing on a highly religious setting, Persad-Bissessar apologised for being political. However she added what is the use of religion if it does not inspire us to work for the betterment of society?

“I am motivated by the concept of selfless services which is a cornerstone of religion and of our religion where Seva (service), Diya (compassion) and Prema (love), satyam (truth) and Dharma (ethics).” Persad-Bissessar, who is standing for re-election as UNC political leader in the party’s internal elections on December 5, referred to the Bhagwad Gita (Holy Hindu texts), as she called on UNC members to be wise in choosing a leader.

“In surveying battlefield, Arjuna saw his uncles and cousins on both sides of the battlefield. He told Lord Krishna, and I quote, ‘I grow weak, I tremble, my mouth is dry. I cannot fight my own kinsmen.

“Lord Krishna adviced Arjuna that the duty to society takes precedence over one’s own son. If it means that you must oppose members of your own family who have chosen the wrong path, righteousness and preservation of society demand that at those times, you fight your kinsman’,” Persad-Bissessar said.

Making no direct reference to Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal, who is challenging her for the UNC leadership, or any other UNC member who has criticised her for the PP’s defeat, the former prime minister said, “Today some of us have to do battle with our kinsman as Arjuna.

I would ask you to give me your support as we fight for equity to give a better quality of life as we work towards a better TT.

“I say again this is the kind of morality we find that is spread across the entire Hindu scriptures.” She later commended organisers from the early pioneers like Dr Hans Hanoomansingh and Dr Rampersad Parasram for insisting on a religious theme starting with the first Nagar in 1986. Parasram is one of the members of an elections committee appointed by the UNC National Executive to oversee the party’s internal polls.

 

Jamaica surpasses IMF targets

Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chairman, Richard Byles
Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chairman, Richard Byles

[Caribbean 360] – Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chairman, Richard Byles, says Jamaica has surpassed the quantitative targets for the July to September quarter under the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

As such, he said the country is expected pass the 10thquarterly review with the IMF team, currently underway. Byles said the targets for the primary fiscal balance and Net International Reserves (NIR) were exceeded as at the end of September.

The Government recorded a primary fiscal balance of J$50.8 billion (US$425 million), which was J$10.8 billion (US$90 million) more than budgeted, while the NIR stood at J$2.44 billion (US$20 million), which was J$1 billion (US$8.4 million) above target.

Byles said the figures are “very safe margins” in these “critical quantitative targets.”

“So it seems to us (EPOC) that…Jamaica will meet the most important IMF targets for the 10th quarterly review. The IMF team is in Jamaica, now, and they will be conducting that review over the next week or so. But it looks, to me, as if we will pass, because those quantitative performance criteria have been met quite handsomely,” he said.

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