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Sat calls for Tobago boycott, says Indo-Trinidadians not welcome there
The leader of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) wants independence for Tobago. Speaking with the Sunday Guardian, Sat Maharaj, secretary general of the SDMS, said Tobago should fend for itself and stop being a drain on the treasury.
Maharaj said billions of dollars were being spent in Tobago to benefit a handful of the national population. Maharaj said he wants the Government to stop subsidising the cost of the fast-ferry service and the airbridge service to Tobago. He said millions of dollars were being spent to send tourists from Trinidad to Tobago. “Let everyone pay the full cost to travel,” he stated.
Maharaj said the Government cannot continue to help pay for joyrides between the islands. Maharaj said he saw no relevance in maintaining a unitary state of Trinidad and Tobago since the Indo-Trinidadian population, which makes up 42 percent of the national population, did not feel welcome in Tobago.
Maharaj claimed that Trinidadians were generally ill-treated by Tobagonians when on business or vacation on the island. He said Indians are now feeling alienated and are refusing to go to Tobago since the “Calcutta ship” comments by THA executive member Hilton Sandy.
The Maha Sabha leader also claimed that Tobagonians had always rejected Indians and Hindus, in particular. Citing an example, he said the SDMS had purchased land in Tobago for the construction of a temple at Carnbee over five years ago but the THA had refused to grant permission for construction even though there was a Christian church in the area.
He said the THA also promised to grant a half acre of land at Signal Hill to the various Indian organisations on the island. However, the THA came up with an excuse at the last minute and reneged on its promise. “Calcutta ship can’t land, but one from the Congo can,” Maharaj commented.
Maharaj said until Tobago gets independence he wanted everyone to boycott Tobago. Maharaj said Trinidadians could enjoy themselves vacationing elsewhere. In the meantime, he suspected that the THA would move to patch things up and save face by giving “curry favour” to one of the three Indo-based organisations on the island.
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