Wednesday, 18 November 2015

TnT Monitor's Response To Capil Bissoon 's "PNM Witch Hunting"

Reproduced from Caribbean News Now!
Commentary: The witch hunt continues

By Capil Bissoon

The witch hunt continues.

Mark my words, within twelve months people will be marching up and down the streets in Trinidad and Tobago as a critical mass develops of those fired because of this characteristic People’s National Movement (PNM) witch hunt.

Prime Minister Keith Rowley gave reassuring, but deceptive words of reassurance two months ago that he would be a prime minister of all. No one had to fear losing his/her job on the basis of the fact that they were not PNM, he said.

That raised false hopes that at last we had matured. Every creed, political persuasion and race would find an equal place.

But Dr Rowley’s pronouncement was uncharacteristic of the PNM, which had always seen Trinidad and Tobago as PNM country and everybody else, including those who came on the Calcutta Ship (and I am using this as a political construct), must “get to hell out of here”.

The People’s Partnership government took months appointing ambassadors and state boards, leaving PNM appointees in place. After its September 7 victory, the PNM immediately began firing left, right and centre, bringing back prominent “has beens” to show that they are in charge and it’s PNM business as usual.

So from day one, we had former independent senator Helen Drayton wielding her Jimmy Bain style big stick at CNMG and GISL. And Malcolm Jones and Ken Julien are back.

When they sent home 80 or so Tobagonians, the PNM explained it was only because their contracts had expired.

Well, tell that to Junior Calliste, Black Stalin's nephew, who was recently fired from his URP management position in the southland. Tell that to all the other managers whose contracts were summarily terminated over the last few days. Every day, people are losing their jobs because they were, or suspected to be PPG supporters.

Last week my contract was terminated, no notice, no reason, just “your services are no longer required”. That is their right. The government is entitled to do whatever it wants. I will do what I have to do.

But it is increasingly clear that the PNM still sees itself as the Mighty Sparrow crooned years ago as "politically strong", the "real boss in Town" and when it talks "no damn dog bark… Who not with me is my enemy and ‘dust’ will be their destiny."

What is strange is that our major so-called independent institutions appear complicit in denying that hundreds, perhaps thousands of citizens have gone on the breadline since September.

When the frustration ultimately manifests itself on our streets, they would act surprised, even repeating PNM excuses that it was "waste, mismanagement and corruption" that caused these fired citizens to be on the breadline.

To-date, everything is based on allegations that becomes fact in our bacchanal society, which is what the PNM wants and thrives on. If the PNM is aware of corruption, then jail somebody or for heaven's sakes just shut up and get on with the people’s business, which includes providing quality jobs for all.

Our country is too interconnected to prevent PNM people from ultimately feeling the effects of this well-orchestrated witch hunt.

If someone's contract comes to an end, there is a legitimate expectation that it should be renewed. One cannot simply get away by saying that the contract has come to an end. There are mouths to feed and hungry bellies to fill – citizens will go hungry.

While all of this is happening, the PNM is getting a pass from an opposition which is caught up in a leadership battle to determine who will lead the party after December 5. In the process, some in the UNC are more concerned with destroying one another rather than seeing the big picture of having the strength and unity to confront and defeat the PNM.

So we have hired guns on all sides leading a murderous onslaught that will ultimately assist the PNM. I am told that within the UNC the greatest enemy is not the PNM but "friends".

Where will this leave the UNC? Whoever wins will face a protracted struggle to unite the contending forces and after the bitter internal warfare, the young professional class of the UNC base would likely lose interest while the PNM rides roughshod over the country and everybody who does not subscribe to their agenda.

The starting point for all engaged in the current UNC battle for control is for all to recognize that those they oppose are not the enemy but equal members of one family and only a strong and united opposition can fight back and keep the PNM in check.

Capil Bissoon is a Trini-Canadian looking on at Trinidad and Tobago politics from a distance

Originally published in the&
Republished with permission.

Indeed, we are puzzled by Mr. Capil Bissoon's thinking. The conclusions he has arrived at with regards to the corrective actions being pursued by the newly elected PNM government tell us quite clearly that his "Trini-Canadian view of Trinidad and Tobago's politics from a distance" lacks the objectivity, enlightenment but most of all the integrity that we "ordinary stay at home" Trinis normally look for in the views of the more fortunate expatriate Trini community, blessed as most of them are, like Mr. Bissoon is, with higher education.

Mr. Bissoon's commentaries over time reveal that his support for the UNC in the year 2015 is no more rational or any less tribal than the blind support and apparatchik type loyalty his uneducated cane-cutting forefathers pledged to the DLP in the 1960s and throughout its many subsequent (ULF/Club88/UNC) incarnations.

Obviously, neither that higher education nor exposure to first world living and and first world thinking has broadened or influenced his take on the country's evolving politics. Mr. Bissoon gives renewed meaning to the old saying that if you send a donkey to school all you end up with is an educated jackass. But if ever there was a biased political dinosaur it would be Capil Bissoon.

Now, exactly what "witch hunt" is Mr. Bissoon referring to? And who is the witch being hunted? If the PNM government were truly engaged in witch hunting, it would not have to search or hunt very far as both Estate Drive in Philippine, and Rienzi Complex on the Macbean Stretch in Couva (the home and office respectively of the UNC's facilitator of prosperity and ill-gotten  wealth) are well within its reach, or for that matter, well within the reach of any police constable.

But, there is a mind boggling disconnect in the logic that informed Mr. Bissoon's latest anti PNM rant in that he focuses entirely on PNM's actions but completely ignores the precipitating factors for such actions, namely the gross misbehaviour in office of the government led by Ms. Persad-Bissessar. How can Mr. Bissoon equate attempts to ascertain through the country's legitimate investigative institutions and agencies the alleged wrongdoings of the former government with witch hunting?

Is the new government expected to just "jail people" without first determining the facts as Mr. Bissoon provocatively suggests? Or should it simply close its eyes, "shut up and get on with the people's business" allowing to escape those who it is alleged siphoned billions of taxpayer dollars and the country's patrimony into the private coffers of UNC cronies and party hacks?

NO! There must be impartial investigations guided by the rule of law as well as the rules of natural justice. By the way, where is Krishna Persad of SIS notoriety today? He was the UNC' most favoured contractor. It has been reported that he left the country in the immediate aftermath of the UNC's defeat at the polls and is yet to return.

In the eyes of some 400,000 citizens Mrs. Persad-Bissessar did not head a government; she led a "grabberment" of crooks and thieves, all "man-Jack" grabbing for themselves not only as much as they could grab but much more than they could carry. The last three months leading up to the general election provided the opportunity to "finish teefing what dey didn't have chance to teef before", all of it under the watchful, condoning and protective eyes of their political leader.

The fact that the Partnership still garnered 300,000 plus votes tells this writer that Trini-Hindus, those hard core grassroot supporters of the UNC subscribe to a different set of values and codes of ethical conduct than the rest of the population. It sets them apart in a manner that does not bode well for the moral/ethical fabric of our society, our young people in particular. It is no secret. Their hard core supporters tell you openly, "WE KNOW DEY DOES TIEF, WE KNOW DEY CORRUPT BUT DEM IS INDIAN SO WE STILL VOTING FOR DEM". And that is the same mentality with which Mr. Bissoon seems to be blighted.

End Of that disgusting story.

Mr. Bissoon also takes issue with the fact that workers whose contracts ended were allowed to go home, and others whose contracts were still in force are being terminated. He cites the termination of his own contract with no reason being given as evidence of PNM bad mind.


In the first place there can be no legitimate expectation that one's contract would be renewed. Government employment contracts are designed to give so such expectation or entitlement. That's the whole idea behind contract employment: the contract is for a specific period and when that time is up you "haul ass" and go home unless you indicate in writing your desire and willingness to be reemployed in the position. In that case you still "haul ass", go home and re-apply for the position. One can hope that one's contract would be renewed but it remains the right of the employer to so determine.

In cases where employment contracts were hurriedly entered into by an outgoing administration and people employed on the eve of a general election as was so unprincipledly done by Mrs. Persad-Bissessar's agents, the new government is entitled to, in fact it would be foolish of them not to, terminate or refuse to renew such contracts. And in other cases where contracts were not hurriedly entered into but enjoyed some historical tenure as Mr. Bissoon's contract (I would guess) was, it is again the right and prerogative of the employer to determine whether such an individual should remain in its employ, taking many factors into consideration, most crucially, depending on the nature of the position, the individual's known political affiliation.

No goverment worth its salt should allow itself to be saddled with individuals who may not be fully supportive of its policies and programmes. And for someone like Mr. Bissoon whose political indentureship and prostitution to the UNC is common knowledge in every political whore house from the banks of the Caroni across the Kala Pani to the Port of Calcutta, the termination of his employment was a "fait accompli" from the moment the election date was announced. He should have spared himself the ignominy of being terminated and taken the moral high ground by resigning in dignity.

But like he ent know nutten bout dignity and principle. Peeple ike he does hold on to the door frame kicking and screaming when yuh trying to close de door in dey face.

Mrs. Persad-Bissessar's government employed a significant number of individuals with bogus credentials putting them in top key positions and paying them exorbitant salaries. Some have come to light, many others have not, but will in time after thorough investigation.

Even as this piece is being written a number of unscrupulous practices engaged in by her administration are being unearthed. They are nothing short of scandalous. From the printing and backdating of contracts and invoices, and other supporting documents to the shredding of other damning documents, an ugly picture of the true nature of Mrs. Persad-Bissesar's rule is now emerging. That so much crookednes and blatant corruption could have prevailed under her watch without her knowledge is absolutely unbelievable. It tells us one of two things: she was either hopelessly incompetent or hopelessly stupid. There is a third possibility, nay probability, but we will leave that there for now. Let the investigations proceed.

Incidentally, we hold no brief for the PNM. Very little has been said here in support of the new government save and except its right to govern and to correct wrongs in Society's best interest. We have never been supporters of the PNM; many times we have described them as the greatest blight to have ever descended on this country; we simply wait to see whether this Rowley led administration will distinguish itself from those of his predecessors.

In the meantime Mrs. Persad-Bissessar is being challenged for the leadership of the UNC by none other than those who drank most at the trough. All of a sudden they have come to the realization that the party needs to be rebranded, its image changed. It begs the question: WHY?

Maybe Mr. Bissoon can enlighten us.


  1. We just came across this post written by one Nigel Mahabir of Toronto. It says a lot about Mr. Capil Bissoon. No wonder he was so unceremoniously terminated. By the new government.

    "Is the Toronto Arm of the UNC still operational? And if so what is its influence in theunder the current People’s Partnership regime? These are some of the questions being asked by some of the members of the Trinidad and Tobago diaspora here in the GTA.

    Several prominent members of the community have been wondering about the qualifications (or rather lack of) possessed by some new appointees to the Consulate, These businessmen, who wish to remain anonymous, only seek accountability and transparency in what they see as an abuse of power and privilege by the current High Commissioner Mr Philip Buxo, and several high ranking members of the PP.

    It is alleged that several HR practices were overlooked in the hiring of Mr Capil Bissoon, to a position within the new Sheppard Avenue consulate. Mr Bissoon, a former car salesman, having had several jobs at Raceway and other auto dealerships within the GTA, was also a former Public Relations Officer in the Toronto arm of the UNC. Is Mr Bissoon the Media Relations Officer of the embassy? Was his former post as PRO sufficient experience for his current position? Was his position a result of the right qualifications or the result of the right party alliances of former UNC colleagues?

    Those questions being asked by businessmen involved directly with the T&T community. It is also alleged Mr Bissoon has made several enemies within the embassy itself, with his demeanor and actions demoralising staff whose appointments were not politically inclined. These individuals who have earned their posts based on merit, allegedly have to bow to the political clout of Mr Bissoon or face potential dismissal.

    It is alleged that Mr Bissoon got a former colleague fired with just correspondence to public servant contacts in Trinidad. The circumstances surrounding her being recalled from her post, and the perceived lack of performance of Mr Bissoon is a matter of interest to many. Some answers are required of Mr Philip Buxo, the High Commissioner, as to why such a member of staff is allowed to carry on in such an alleged malicious manner.

    The latest news is that Capil Bissoon is insinuating that a local businessman wanted the job to remodel the Consul General building and that, this businessman has a spy at the Consul General’s office. When this newspaper spoke to the local businessman, he was surprised and shocked at this news and stated that he does not owned a Construction company and what will be his agenda to have a spy there. He also stated that this is how michevious and wicked this man are to make these statements.

    Some are also questioning the security and confidentailty of peoples personal information as Mr. Bisson has access to this information.

    Some other questions will be asked of Mr Buxo in the coming weeks, like why there is a lack of funding for T&T-related events in the GTA? Is there a policy for the PS to no longer support Indo-Caribbean entertainment? And are there reliable sources of financial accountability? We pose these questions and await answers.

    Posted by Nigel Mahabir at 8:52 AM"

  2. "">

    Always refer to him as Rowley, not Dr Keith Rowley.

    This is one of the recommendations contained in an e-mail sent by United National Congress (UNC) strategist Rodney Charles to a number of UNC operatives, in which a “full-scale attack” on People’s National Movement (PNM) leader Keith Rowley from May 19, “the morning after his expected landslide victory” in the PNM internal elections, was to be launched.

    The e-mail was revealed by PNM senator Camille Robinson-Regis at a public meeting in the Croisee on Thursday night.

    She said people whose “uncle, tantie, nenen have all kind of false papers” were talking about not calling Rowley, “who have geniune papers”, by the title “doctor”.

    The e-mail, a copy of which was provided to the Express, was dated May 16, 2014.

    “We absolutely need to bring down his polling ratings. We are therefore asking you (and all our supporters), in whatever way you can, to be part of that attack,” the e-mail stated.

    “Try also to have short sound bites that speak to his negatives. His name should be side by side with the negative, eg Rowley is unfit to lead. He is too arrogant. He does not entertain views different from his.”

    Said Robinson-Regis, “Haven’t we heard this before?”

    Among the persons to whom the e-mail was addressed were ministers Suruj Rambachan and Vasant Bharath, UNC general secretary and adviser in the Office of the Prime Minister Dave Tancoo, other advisers in the Prime Minister’s office, including Shem Baldeosingh, Housing Development Corporation (HDC) chairman Rabindra Moonan and former T&T high commissioner to Canada Philip Buxo.

    Robinson-Regis pointed out that Express columnist Capil Bissoon was one of the persons to whom the e-mail was sent.

    “We understand he is a member of the strategy committee of the UNC, but the Express presents him as an independent columnist. And every week without fail, he writes demonising our political leader. I understand he lives in Canada and is employed at the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission there,” said Robinson-Regis, a former High Commissioner to Canada.

    She said the e-mail was also sent to Jai Parasram, a Sunday Guardian columnist.

    Robinson-Regis said the e-mail was addressed to former high commissioner to the United Kingdom Garvin Nicholas, who has returned, while “our business is left unattended in the United Kingdom with no High Commissioner there”.

    Robinson-Regis noted Charles said the central themes of the party’s attack should be that Rowley is unfit to lead, that he had articulated no policies to deal with the country’s myraid challenges.

    “Let us in our various and even separate ways do what we have to do to start putting KR (Keith Rowley) on the defensive. He has shown himself unable to weather sustained attacks,” Charles stated.

    Robinson-Regis said this was a crazy statement because it was so untrue.

    Charles also stated that when Rowley becomes angry, he in effect became a “raging bull”. Charles added that Rowley led “a mutiny” in a party characterised by strict internal discipline.

    “We propose three weeks of attacks that will factor in the union march and our anniversary celebrations. After this we will test his polling figures to see which resonates and what changes we need to make,” said the UNC e-mail.

    “They better start making changes now,” Robinson-Regis stated, adding Rowley had shown himself capable of dealing with all attacks against him.

  3. Did Mr. Bissoon really expect his contract to be renewed or to remain in the employ of the High Commission? And did he really need an explanation when He was terminated?


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