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Slow boating

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Everyone is entitled to some time off and relaxation, even prime ministers. However, it’s odd to hear that only recently the Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, took possession of the report into what happened to T&T’s position on Dominica’s request to have the Organisation of American States’ fees waived.

This should be a simple report: when/how/who decided on Trinidad and Tobago’s position and the communication of the decision to the relevant representatives. It shouldn’t need a week, even accounting for a long weekend, between commissioning, delivering and the PM’s deliberations.

The more cynical amongst us will prefer to think that the PM is stalling on purpose, hoping the storm will pass. This newspaper sincerely hopes this is not the case. And it won’t forget, either.

The ugly…

The recent images showing people sitting on turtles nesting on our shores are simply appalling. Even discounting for ignorance (and, sadly, we do witness a lot of that), it is difficult to understand why someone thinks it is wise to sit on a leatherback turtle when she is trying to head back to the sea after laying eggs on the beach.

The leatherbacks have been coming to these shores, every year, for longer than people have been living on the island. Let’s make sure this continues to be the case and generations to come can enjoy this incredible natural occurrence. More than that, let’s actively take steps to make them even more welcome by avoiding disturbing their nesting places.

It makes moral and financial sense. Apart from being the right thing, the spectacle of the turtles nesting and then the hatching of the eggs is a big attraction that, if respectfully managed, can bring tourists and additional revenues to our country.

…and the good

Praise is due to the campers and Corporation workers responsible for keeping the scenic northeast coast clean after the Easter break. This is the way to treat our country: enjoying the beautiful spots but leaving them as clean as you found them.

In Brazil’s 2014 football World Cup, Japan’s supporters became the attraction when they were seen collecting the garbage from the stands after their matches. And for a basic reason: it’s always right to leave a public space just as you found it.

It’s a pity that the behaviour of the northeast coast visitors remains the exception. But there’s hope, one public holiday and one location at a time.


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