Chief Secretary in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Orville London says Prime Minister Kamla Persad�Bissessar's visit to Tobago today to distribute laptops is "insensitive and insulting" to the THA. London, who spoke at a press conference last Thursday, said the laptops were a "new resource" and the THA wanted to implement a committee to ensure "smooth transition" when the laptops arrived. "At the last press conference, I indicated my concern that there was no definite date when we in Tobago could know that the laptops will arrive for the various schools," London said.
"I didn't do this out of spite or anything like that...I did it because I made the point that if we knew when the laptops were coming we would be in a better position to plan."
Saying he wanted a "process of collaboration," London added: "We wanted to put ourselves in a position where the children can utilise the laptops or we can help to nurture the environment in which the utilisation of the laptops can be maximised." He said he requested information from the permanent secretary in the Education Ministry regarding the distribution of laptops to Tobago but got no response.
London said no one from the THA at the executive level nor the technical level was informed about today's distribution. "What is the signal you send to us in Tobago and the THA about the respect of the institution and the respect for the process that must be respected and the relationship that must be followed between the THA and the Central Government and any ministry in the country?" he said.
"What is happening here is that you are telling us that listen, you do not have to speak to us even in matters over which we have control." Saying he did not want to "come between the children and their laptops," London, however, said he would not allow the THA to be "abused." "This is a time of celebration...This a time for the young people to savour the moment and I do not believe that it is reasonable for anybody for whatever motive to also use this as a time to insult the THA," he said.