PM- People find a way to make negatives out of everything

Al­though T&T is fac­ing a dif­fi­cult pe­ri­od fol­low­ing dev­as­tat­ing flood­ing last week­end, Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley ad­mits he felt com­pelled to turn down help from Cari­com coun­tries be­cause “we have been cop­ing …. and cop­ing very well.”

Row­ley said he said noth­ing wrong by not ac­cept­ing help from our Caribbean neigh­bours.

At a sod turning ceremony for the new Diego Martin health centre yesterday morning, Dr Rowley said it was sad that at a time when the national spirit rose higher than expected, some people found a way to dim our light.

As he cel­e­brat­ed his 69th birth­day with smiles, an up­beat Row­ley said as cit­i­zens we con­tin­ue to pull our­selves down when we should be putting our­selves up.

“Peo­ple in this coun­try mis­er­able yuh know… can­tan­ker­ous … to the ex­tent that some­times they miss the flow­ers and they miss the gen­tle breeze.”

“They can find the way, if given a chance, to make negatives out of every possible thing. So I take the opportunity now to clarify a couple of things for the benefit of the national community.”

Row­ley not­ed that sev­er­al Caribbean prime min­is­ters had con­tact­ed him on Mon­day to ex­press their con­cern for the peo­ple of T&T. But he said when his Cari­com col­leagues called to of­fer help, it wasn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly im­plied or meant that they would hand the coun­try a cheque.

“What is wrong with us? When my Caricom colleagues, all of whom, from Suriname to Jamaica, called to commiserate with us and they said well if you need help we here, it is like somebody saying to you, ‘how you do’ and you start reading out your medical condition and the last visit to the doctor. These are not questions that require an answer. It wasn’t meant that they were going to hand us a cheque. It meant they were acknowledging we were in difficulty and they were standing with us firstly in spirit and secondly if physically they could contribute then they would,” Rowley said.

“There is an is­sue now that we were of­fered help from our Cari­com ter­ri­to­ries and the Prime Min­is­ter turned it down,” he said.

He said it was very easy for people to criticise.

Rowley said many people told him how close they came to death.

“It happened so quickly to those in the buildings but then people say the Coast Guard and army weren’t there.”

He said while there was very little that could have been done to prevent the flooding, as his government moved forward it would learn from the experience.

“Let us not pull ourselves down.

“As we go forward, let us be grateful as a people.”

Row­ley said the coun­try has to give thanks that hav­ing faced a 6.9 mag­ni­tude earth­quake in Au­gust and the re­cent floods, “Trinidad and To­ba­go can re­port that we lost no life and no limb.”

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