President Weekes espouses new social, political manifesto for TT
Newly-elected President Paula-Mae Weekes has just espoused a new manifesto—social and political—for the people of Trinidad and Tobago which must be seriously manifested in the operations of our governance. She is the sixth and first woman to serve as President and Commander of the Armed Forces of this nation since our Independence in August 1962.
Not often, if any at all, does the people of Trinidad and Tobago have had such inspiring and aspiring words coming from a leader. Her words are reminiscent of the ones so graciously uttered by the late U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy at his inauguration on January 20, 1961 when he called on the America people : “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do your country”.
She feared no one, and the populace hopes that when she gets to her Presidential Desk she lives by her words, or to put in a more philosophical tone like Mahatma Gandhi, whose his life was his message. Hear her speaking, “telling us that T&T is currently close to the point of no return…crime, corruption, racism, a dismal public service and an ineffective judicial system --- other problems are so thick on the ground…:if we are not there already…a failed state however defined”.
President Weekes you are a courageous person, more so a woman, and we must all salute you. Her reference to the, “Hindu community which expresses the most visible manifestation with rows of deyas shining on the darkest night to symbolize the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness” as quite appropriate and demonstrates that Hinduism remains one of the most powerful, strong ,relevant and major religions of all humankind as she calls on the national populace to join with her in ushering a new light in public service.
“Be a light in your home, instill discipline, model your behavior, practice honesty and politeness, or in your school pay more attention to the lesson than to your phone, protect the vulnerable , respect those in authority, be a light in your community, care for your environment, be tolerant to of views, beliefs and practices of others, re-imagine and re-engineer the village that it takes to raise today’s children today, you can be a light in your work place, get to work on time, actually do work while you are there and go the extra mile if need be.”
Photo : Paras Ramoutar
These thoughts could well be added to the preamble to our Republican Constitution and her speech should ornament all public and civic and corporate noticeboards, educational institutions, and equally as well, in our Parliament and in all offices of our politicians. It was a wakeup call to every single national in our country, most of all our leaders at all levels of the ladder.
President Weekes’ speech may all have its genesis when our two leaders then Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams and Leader of the Opposition, Dr Rudranath Capildeo addressed the nation’s first Parliament on August 31, 1962 embracing the new era of nationhood.
President Weekes call resonates the one made by Saint Theresa of Kolkata search to respond to, “ a call within the call”. Her thoughts on society, politics and leadership may well be sourced from Artistotle’s insight that life must focus, ‘not only what is to be done, but rather the doing of it’.
Dr Albert Schweitzer’s health care work in the jungle of Africa, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King , have all offered values that must be ingrained in our being in the 21st century in our politics, character and achievement s.
To sum it up, President Weekes holds high hopes and expectations for our small, cosmopolitan nation as she has committed to work with the national populace from the ground to really embark on the never ending task of national development and nation building to totally improve the quality of life in society at large, and that her integrity remains transparent and that her contribution remains profound and enduring in our nation.
Let us all light this new light Trinidad and Tobago so badly needs at this moment in our history and as members of the total humanity under God, by whatever name your call him. GO IN PEACE AND START THIS NEW TREK, NEW PATHWAY FOR THIS GENERATION AND THE ONES TO COME.