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Bring the unity home

Monday, December 16, 2013

Photographs of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley over the last week from Pretoria, South Africa, have prompted mixed opinions. The party leaders were in South Africa to observe the celebrations and memorial service for South African icon Nelson Mandela as part of a contingent that included other interest groups from T&T and Caricom leaders. The questions arose, as they inevitably do in the face of such a bold and unprecedented move. 


Was Dr Rowley showing weakness in this unusual alignment of interests? Was the Prime Minister demonstrating unusual cunning and guile in luring Dr Rowley along on the trip? Perhaps the simplest answer might be that in a situation of unusual international concern and gravity, both leaders set aside their differences to honour a man who sacrificed a great deal more in the service of his country. 



“We all witnessed a significant and promising demonstration of solidarity in the world,” Ms Persad-Bissessar said in an address to the media on her return. “Even at his passing, President Mandela still manages to bring disparate entities together and inspire opposing interests to acknowledge that they share common values.”


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