CATEGORY | PSA News | All News Items

Watson Duke is not happy with the way the Prime Minister has allowed this country’s Independence Day to be remembered after 59 years. 

On a short live stream broadcast using Facebook around midday yesterday, the Public Services Association(PSA)President, who also leads the Progressive Democratic Patriots(PDP) made his position clear on various issues affecting citizens that drew him to that state of mind. 

Duke said: “As I think about what our current vicissitudes are, I cannot say to anyone, honestly and truly, Happy Independence Day, because there is not much to be happy about at this point in time. We cannot be happy as long as our education system is one for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated must continue to operate at home.”

He said that it was unfair that a student should be victimized just because they are unvaccinated when they are uninfected by the Covid-19 virus. 

Duke was referring to the Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley’s announcement at the media conference which Rowley hosted last Saturday, and where he stated that starting from October 1 only vaccinated students will have the option to return to face-to-face classes. 

Duke likened that issue and the government’s continued state of emergency that hinders freedom of movement and group assembling to old colonial laws that prevented African slaves from congregating, especially after daylight hours. 

He also pointed out that even the movement of air transportation between the islands is presently restricted. “ The planes that are coming to Tobago travel only three times per day.” He said that does not seem like the independence this country has struggled for. 

PM Retreat to Tobago

Meanwhile, Duke questioned the timing of the extended State of Emergency and the curfew that was imposed on citizens right on the dawn of Independence Day, and the fact that the Prime Minister chose this particular time to hold a three-day retreat with his government in Tobago. He said, “At least he could have fooled us, he could have tricked us, and let us think for a second that we were really independent.” He noted that while there was no Independence Day parade or persons’ ability to relax or go to the beach, the Prime Minister was instead the one relaxing in Tobago. 

Duke however predicted that it was for these reasons that the Peoples National Movement will lose the upcoming Tobago House of Assembly(THA) elections. 

At the Prime Minister’s last media conference on Saturday, he ended by saying: “Vaccinate to operate, vaccinate to educate and educate to vaccinate.”