Trinidad and Tobago keen to host mini Indian diaspora meet
Jan 12, 2012
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar Sunday invited Indian investments in her country, assuring all possible help and said the Caribbean nation was keen to host a mini Indian diaspora meet.
"Consideration should be given for holding a Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in our country," said Bissessar, who is the chief guest at 10th annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) diaspora meet.
Urging Indian entrepreneurs to increase investment in her country, she said Trinidad and Tobago provided an excellent opportunity for Indian entrepreneurs and investors to set up manufacturing and service industries.
"We are committed to programme of diversification and are offering attractive incentives to investors," said Bissessar, the first female prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
She said Trinidad and Tobago as a gate way to America and has a number of trade agreements which will allow for market access into the Central and Latin American markets.
"For those of us who may be unaware to Trinidad and Tobago, we are the world's number one exporter of methanol and at times urea," she said.
Trinidad and Tobago PM in India from Thursday
Port of Spain/New Delhi, Jan 5, 2011: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar will be in India on a 10-day state visit beginning Thursday, during which she will be the chief guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) diaspora conclave in Jaipur Jan 7-9.
This is the first visit by Trinidad and Tobago head of state in 15 years, according to the Indian ministry of external affairs.
Persad Bissessar, who traces her roots to India, will be in this country at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. She will be accompanied by her spouse, Gregory Bissessar.
The Trinidad and Tobago prime minister will be leading a high-level ministerial and business delegation as the country moves to finalise Memorandas of Understanding (MoUs) in the areas of energy, agriculture, education, medicine, information and communication technology, fashion, film production and animation.
Her delegation will include the ministers for energy, foreign affairs and communications, trade and industry, food production, lands and marine affairs, science, technology and tertiary education and public utilities, as also members of the business community.
Besides Delhi and Jaipur, Persad Bissessar will also go to Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Kolkata, Mumbai, apart from visiting her ancestral village in Buxar district of Bihar, an Indian ministry of external affairs release said.
As the chief guest at the 10th PBD, she will be the first woman head of government in the diaspora and the first dignitary of Trinidad and Tobago to be conferred such a privilege.
Relations between India and Trinidad and Tobago are "time-tested" and based on "strong historical and cultural linkages", the ministry release said.
During their talks, Persad Bissessar and Manmohan Singh will cover various bilateral issues, as also regional and international issues of mutual interest. She will also pay a courtesy call on President Pratibha Patil.
The visit is expected to provide an opportunity to the two nations to further consolidate and expand their mutually beneficial relations, the release added.
Themed 'Trinidad and Tobago-India 2012: Partnering for Diversification, Innovation and Investment', the visit is set to engage several private and public sector companies and agencies in discussions. The objective is to attract investment and technical co-operation to Trinidad and Tobago.
It aims to capitalise on Trinidad and Tobago's favourable investment climate and ideal geographic position as a gateway to the Caribbean, Latin American and European markets.
Ahead of leaving for India, Persad Bissessar said in Port of Spain: "The bonds of friendship, our intertwined history due to the excellent diplomatic and cultural relations already enjoyed between the countries, have created a solid foundation."
"On this, we may develop stronger, more resilient and concrete trade and investment ties for the mutual benefit of both the countries' citizens."
The Trinidad and Tobago prime minister left for India Tuesday and will reach India Thursday. She will be in India till Jan 14 and return home Jan 16.
Trinidad and Tobago PM chief guest at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
Port-of-Spain, Oct 27, 2011: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar will be the chief guest at India's annual diaspora conclave early next year that will see the participation of over 1,500 delegates from across the globe.
The 10th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) will be held in Jaipur Jan 7-9, 2012.
During an address at an annual exposition, called Diwali Nagar, in this Trinidad and Tobago capital, Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra said that it was "a great honour to host Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar, more so as she is the only woman leader in the Indian diaspora".
The theme of PBD 2012 will be "Global Indian-Inclusive Growth". Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to inaugurate the event Jan 8, 2012 and Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will deliver the valedictory address and confer Pravasi Bhartiya Samman awards Jan 9.
The Indian diaspora is the second largest expatriate community in the world after the Chinese.
Mishra said Trinidad and Tobago has established an international reputation in the celebration of Diwali and many other countries having Indian diaspora have emulated it.
He said that Indian culture was strong here.
Of this Caribbean island nation's population of 1.3 million, around 44 percent are of Indian descent. Their forefathers were brought here between 1845 and 1917 to work on sugar plantations.....IANS/NRIpress.com
Emergency was necessary, says Trinidad and Tobago PM
Port of Spain, Sep 8, 2011
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who is of Indian origin, has said the decision to impose a state of emergency was necessary to protect innocent lives in the Caribbean nation.
The emergency announced Aug 21 includes a 9 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew in major cities and towns. It was imposed after violence left 11 people dead.
Persad-Bissessar said Wednesday the past two weeks have been a time of "great challenge and sacrifice".
"But this testing period has also been one of great hope and confirmation that together our nation can reclaim the peace, tranquility and safety we once enjoyed," she said.
"The decision to impose a state of emergency was not an easy one and there was much deliberation upon it. In the end, after extensive consultations with members of the Cabinet and the National Security Council I took the only decision any responsible leader would under those circumstances."
"Based upon the intelligence available, we had to respond definitively to protect the lives of innocent men, women and children," she said.........
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar will be the chief guest at the 10th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD).
Over 1,500 delegates to attend Indian diaspora conclave in 2012
New Delhi, Aug 26, 2011: Over 1,500 delegates from across the globe are likely to participate in India's annual diaspora conclave to be held in Jaipur Jan 7-9, 2012, Vayalar Ravi, minister of overseas Indian affairs and civil aviation, said Friday.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar will be the chief guest at the 10th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD).
The theme of PBD 2012 will be "Global Indian-Inclusive Growth".
"We are expecting more number of participants in the PBD 2012. Over 1,500 delegates are likely to participate," Ravi said at a press conference here.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to inaugurate the event Jan 8, 2012 and President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will deliver the valedictory address and confer Pravasi Bhartiya Samman awards Jan 9.
Ravi said the event would provide an excellent opportunity to connect with 27-million strong Indian diaspora spread over 150 countries across the world.
The Indian diaspora is the second largest expatriate community in the world after the Chinese. "The expatriate community plays an important role in the growth and development of the country. Our aim is to encourage them to play an even greater role," the minister said.
The PBD 2012 will be organised by the ministry of overseas Indian affairs in partnership with government of Rajasthan. The Confederation of Indian Industry is the institutional partner of the event.
The three-day event will be held at Marriott hotel in Rajasthan's capital Jaipur, popularly called pink city.
"The event will help the people from norther part of the country, especially Rajasthan, to reconnect with diaspora and go abroad and find jobs," Ravi said.
Ravi pointed out that increasingly large number of people from norther part of the country were going abroad, especially to the Gulf countries, to find gainful employment. .....NRIpress.com//IANS
Indian-origin grandmother is Trinidad and Tobago's first woman PM
Port-of-Spain, May 25, 2010:
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, whose forefather came here from India as an indentured labourer, has been elected the first woman prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago after the political alliance led by her emerged victorious and ended the ruling party's 43 years in power.
Persad-Bissessar's People's Partnership won 29 out of the 41 parliamentary seats in the elections held Monday. She is expected to be sworn in as prime minister Tuesday evening by President George Maxwell Richards.
A former Spanish colony, Trinidad and Tobago is located in southern Carribean. It is mainly made up of two major islands - Trinidad and Tobago - and covers over 5,120 sq km.
Fortyfour percent of the country's 1.3 million population is of Indian origin.
Persad-Bissessar, 58, a grandmother of two and a devout Hindu, said: "I am grateful for the immense support from women and women's groups across the country and to the extent that this helps to break the barriers so many competent women face.
"I celebrate this victory on their behalf. But the picture is much larger than any single group and those very women would be the first to acknowledge that."
Outgoing Prime Minister Patrick Manning conceded defeat after being in power since 2002.
Persad-Bissessar, who was born April 22, 1952, was a topper in law school and did her masters in business administration and diploma in education from the University of the West Indies. She was the first woman attorney general and also served as minister of legal affairs as well as minister of education.
Her forefather was among the 148,000 Indian labourers who were brought here between 1845 and 1917 to work on sugar and cocoa plantations.
Persad-Bissessar, who has represented her Siparia constituency for 15 years, had held the reins of power during the absence of then prime minister Basdeo Panday.
She has become the first woman to lead any political party in oil-rich Trinidad and Tobago. Her meteoric rise began Jan 24 last year when she successfully challenged her mentor, Basdeo Panday, for the leadership of the United National Congress which he had founded 20 years ago.
Prime Minister Patrick Manning broke with tradition and dissolved the 41-seat parliament April and called for general elections May 24, some 30 months before it was due constitutionally.
For the first time since independence in August 1962, a coalition of four other parties joined to confront the ruling People's National Movement which has been in power for 43 years.
The five parties are Persad-Bissessar's United National Congress, Congress of the People (COP), the National Joint Action Committee, Tobago Organization of Peoples, and the Movement for Social Change.
These parties came under the banner of the "People's Partnership", with each party maintaining its own symbol on the ballot paper.
The election was fought on several issues including massive corruption in all sectors of the national economy, the lack of medical facilities, a total breakdown in the infrastructural capacity and the mismanagement of the nation. Rising crime with over 3,000 people being murdered over the last eight years was also an issue.
COP chief Winston Dookeran said: "Everyone who wants a change, wants a better Trinidad and Tobago is welcome in the People's Partnership".
"Today, we begin the business of government as we build a partnership of interests on a wide of range of national issues-safety and security, economic development, justice and the well-being of our citizens, and introduce a new face of governance for our beloved country." .....NRIpress.com//IANS
Ahead of Trinidad polls, Indian-origin politician threatened
Port-of-Spain, May 9:
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, an Indian-origin woman who leads a coalition that seems poised to win snap elections in Trinidad and Tobago, has been threatened with assassination, police said.
An anonymous telephone call was made to Persad-Bissessar's Rienzi Complex office Wednesday evening. Apparently, the would-be killers have been offered around US$1 million for the assignment.
This is the first time any political leader has been threatened with death. The police are not taking it lightly and have ordered round-the-clock intensive security to Persad-Bissessar, who heads the United National Congress (UNC).
Police said they were "taking the threat seriously and investigating it. It seems to be a real threat after discussions with the UNC official who received the call".
Persad-Bissessar's forefathers were among the over 148,000 labourers who came from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between 1845 and 1917 to work on the sugar plantations in Trinidad and Tobago.
Persad-Bissessar continues to gain national momentum. A poll by the University of the West Indies Psychological Department and commissioned by the Trinidad Guardian shows she leads the electoral race with 51 percent. Outgoing Prime Minister Patrick Manning has only 13 percent support.
The elections are due May 24.
Manning called for national elections, which are constitutionally due by November 2012, some 30 months early.
Persad-Bissessar, an attorney-at-law, unseated flamboyant and charismatic Basdeo Panday, who had been at the helm of opposition politics since 1976.
Panday served as prime minister between 1995 and 2001. This is the first time he will miss an election.
The coalition of parties is made up of the United National Congress (UNC); Congress of the People (COP) led by former deputy prime minister Winston Dookeran; Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) led by Errol Mcleod; National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) led by Makandal Daaga, who led this country's first revolution to ignite "black consciousness"; and the Tobago Organisation of People(TOP) led by Ashworth Jack.
Persad-Bissessar has been getting endorsements from several of the major trade unions, social and women's groups.
On Thursday, A.N.R. Robinson, who served as prime minister and president at different times, publicly endorsed her as the next prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, which became independent from Britain in August 1962.
Leader of the Congress of the People, Dookeran told a mass political meeting that "the time has come for political, social and economic change in oil-rich Trinidad and Tobago".
He referred to both former opposition leader Basdeo Panday and Manning as two gatekeepers, accusing them of "stifling the progress and freedom of the 1.3 million people".
"This is the time for the people to decide their political future. This is the 21st century and the government is keeping the populace in a backward syndrome," Dookeran said.
Persad-Bissessar has visited India on several occasions, principally to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and to take part in meetings of the Commonwealth parliamentary associations.
She met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting here in November.
(News By IANS)