PM apologises for reaction to aid comment

In an interview with Jamaica’s RJR News on Monday evening, Persad-Bissessar said, “I do apologise that my statements have been taken in this regard. I remain committed to the regional integration movement and to our Caricom brothers and sisters.”

The Prime Minister said this country is currently preparing to send emergency aid supplies to Haiti but the logistics were proving to be difficult. Persad-Bissessar reiterated that when she spoke about sending aid to Caricom countries affected by natural disasters it was with the view that Trinidad and Tobago (TT) would benefit in some small measure from the provision of that aid.

Responding to calls in Jamaica for a boycott of TT products, Persad-Bissessar said these sentiments were cause for concern but she understood why the Jamaican people made these calls.

“I know the people of Jamaica, like any other sovereign people, they are entitled to freedom of expression and freedom of speech and I do not feel that I should intervene directly with the voice of the persons who were (calling for a boycott of Trinidadian products).

“But of course it is a cause for concern (as) my comments were perceived as most insensitive and perhaps they were also angry and incensed at the words which I do apologise for,” she stated.

After a tour of Tobago on October 24 to assess damage caused by feeder bands during the passage of Tropical Storm Tomas, which as a hurricane devastated St Vincent and St Lucia, Persad-Bissessar said TT would assist affected islands with relief supplies. She noted, however, that in terms of long term aid to help rebuild islands, economies should result in benefits to TT through the use of local skilled labourers.


"PM apologises for reaction to aid comment"

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