PIOs urged to fight bias in Trinidad
Oppn leader KP Bissessar has called upon Indians, Africans and Chinese to join hands to fight the political discrimination in the country.india Updated: May 31, 2006 13:19 IST
The opposition leader in Trinidad and Tobago has called upon the people of Indian origin (PIO) to raise their voices against the discrimination faced by them in the country.
Speaking at the Indian Arrival Day celebrations at Chaguanas near here last weekend, Leader of Opposition Kamla Persad Bissessar called upon Indians as well as Africans and Chinese to join hands to fight the political discrimination in the country.
Trinidad and Tobago is celebrating the 161st anniversary of the arrival of Indians. It was on May 30, 1845, that the first batch of Indians arrived in the country to work as indentured labourers in sugar plantations.
Indian diaspora comprises 40 per cent of this Caribbean nation's population of around one million.
"We cannot be silent. We must become impatient with any and all forms of discrimination.
We must use the institutions of the court to find justice, even as we seek to reform the existing political culture and institutions," media reports quoted Bissessar as telling the gathering.
She also praised her predecessor and former Indo-Trinidadian Prime Minister Basdeo Pandey for the Equal Opportunity legislation, which came into force in 2000.
The law sought to constitute an Equal Opportunity Commission and an Equal Opportunity Tribunal in the country.
Bissessar also urged the PIO community to exercise caution in their behaviour so as to stay away from the problems of HIV/AIDS and drug addiction.
In his message on the occasion, Prime Minister Patrick Manning said that living in peace and harmony and acknowledging interdependence was the greatest lesson the country learnt from the struggles of those who came from outside.
President George Maxwell Richards in his message said, "There is no chance that the stamp of our East Indian ancestors will be erased from the national psyche."