Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Main hindrance to growth may be ourselves—Carmona
President Anthony Carmona has asked the population to consider what use the country has made of its 51 years of independence. Echoing the words of the country’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams, who asked in a radio speech, “What use will you make of your independence?” Carmona also posed several questions to the nation in his first official Independence Day speech.
“In what ways are we better off now than we were before we became self-governing? Notwithstanding the many achievements of our citizens, however, who are we as a nation? Have we, as a nation, been true to our watchwords of discipline, production and tolerance?What characterises us as a people? What do we stand for? What do we bring to the Commonwealth of Nations?”
Few, he said, would argue that the country has produced outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves, both in T&T and abroad. Carmona said the country’s colonial master is no longer a hindrance to its growth and development and that its main hindrance may be itself. “The central issue of 51 years ago, the pursuit of our nation’s independence, is not the central issue today,” he said.
“After half a century of self-governance, the colonial master is no longer a formidable hindrance to our growth and development as a people and as a nation. Our main hindrance may well be ourselves. “The self-determination which we won in 1962 must now be coupled with a recognition of the importance of every citizen to the fulfilment of our nation’s destiny and to its continued growth and development.”
He recalled the feelings of “pride, joy, optimism and atmosphere of excitement,” when he was nine years old, of the week-long celebrations to mark the country’s gaining its independence. The nation and individuals, he said, must accept the challenge to affirm the national pledge, written by Marjorie Padmore.
He said the lines of the pledge, which calls for countrymen to work together, despite creed and race, for the greater happiness, honour and glory of the country, should be an “imperative and standard” which governs the lives of citizens of T&T.
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