Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has extended an olive branch to all opposition groups in T&T. Speaking at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing in St Clair, she said: “We will embrace every group in this country. “Through our diverse opinions and dreams we will not always agree on method but we will always mutually, respectfully agree to engage each other. “I will not be guided merely by political considerations.
“It matters less to me whether decisions taken in your interest are inimical to my own political future. Let history judge me as being a leader who loved you more than she did pursuit of office. “And in this regard, I hold out an olive branch to all opposition groups to work with me in making a difference to the very nation they aspire to lead. In this regard, there will be no losers, only the country wins, only the people benefit,” she added.
She said it was “the only practical solution to the challenges we face.” The PM said: “When we unite, the combined power of our resources are unbeatable. The only choice the country has is for everyone to be in this together for the greater good of all. “This isn’t the time for posturing, for fanning fires of discontent, to destroy, or for irresponsibility, this is the time for true leaders at all levels of society to emerge and take their rightful place.”
Noting how differences dissolved when T&T scored victories at international sporting events, she said: “It is time to reclaim that spirit. It is time for balisier, rising sun, circles, cane stalk and refinery, fist, tree and any other political symbols to be overwhelmed by national aspirations symbolised through the scarlet ibis and the flag.” She said if she had her will she would form a national government comprised of all groups.
Of her olive branch invitation, the PM added: “Let the process of collaboration replace that of confrontation. Let open hands replace clenched fists. Let us embrace opposite views rather than wrestle against them. Let us sit and eat at the same table even as we recognise the divergent views of each other.
“If Mandela persuaded forgiveness and unity for the good of South Africa, if Gandhi demonstrated the power of non-violence in India, if Martin Luther King could have birthed a dream for a different America, why can’t Daaga, Ramadhar, Rowley, Warner, London, Kamla, or any other, embrace the same noble aspirations for the good of all who follow us?”
The PM said she was aware critics would “scramble to condemn this initiative of inclusion across all boundaries” but said she was “determined to present its immense potential to the national community.” She said she was heartened by the Opposition Leader’s response to hold talks with Government to deal with crime.