The PNM regime under Prime Minister Patrick Manning is afraid of the sweeping changes taking place in the opposition forces, says Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the UNC leader. Persad-Bissessar addressed hundreds of supporters at the Rienzi Complex car park on Saturday, at a fete to celebrate her victory in the UNC's internal election which took place on January 24. She said Manning would now try to divide the population by polarising the people and creating "ethnic insecurities" so he could rule in his own interest. Persad-Bissessar said the Manning regime had sought to create a life of comfort for the Prime Minister and those around him, during the recent oil boom, but in the same vein the economy and social services were collapsing. She said the January 24 victory signalled to the gathering of forces to start a revolution of the people that would see the "beginning of the end of the Manning maladministration."
Persad-Bissessar said never before had T&T been in a state of crisis for leadership to restore a sense of peace, stability and progress to the country. She said while the political tide may be turning she does not expect easy sailing as the nation moves towards breaking down the barriers of the elements that separate the people of T&T from uniting. She said the UNC now plans to reach out to all groups as they march forward. Sporting a blue sling to support her damaged shoulder, Persad-Bissessar arrived at the venue around 8.50 pm. By this time, one-third of the car park had been filled with supporters, most of whom were middle-aged women waving flags. Persad-Bissessar and her husband were greeted by UNC chairman Jack Warner, the Chaguanas West MP, and a barrage of security personnel who encircled the politicians.
LEFT: ?Chaguanas West MP, Jack Warner, has his hands full at the victory fete at Rienzi Complex, on Saturday night.
She was greeted with the usual fanfare before she spoke and was even greeted as "Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar" by MCs David Law and Kadijah Ameen. Most of the artistes who appeared on stage paid tribute to the new UNC boss in song. Miami based singer, Cafidia Stewart, sang Wind Beneath My Wings and her own composition Kamla is Number 1. Persad-Bissessar, who seemed touched by the smooth voice of the Miami-based singer, joined Stewart for the performance. Denyse Plummer dished out a barrage of songs that including Kamla is Boss, version of Plummer's classic Woman is Boss. Also appearing were the Original De Fosto, Winston "Gypsy" Peters, the Mayaro MP, JMC Triveni, Hunter and several dance items, including a fusion of African and Indian styles of dance performed by the Barataria Folk Performers and the Malick Indian dancers. The crowd at the free event was estimated to be around 4000 by the time the show finished around 2.30am yesterday.