Nirvan Maharaj, President General of the All Trinidad General Workers Trade Union, and Political Leader of the National Solidarity Assembly, is calling on the Estate Management Business Development Company (EMBD) and by extension the Government, to cease and desist from possible spurious and frivolous civil action against Dr Roodal Moonilal and several contractors, and instead give to the ex-Caroni workers what is due to them for over fourteen years.
Maharaj issued a press release on the matter. He stated:
“It is a travesty of colossal proportion that the EMBD can find millions of dollars to engage in legal action but cannot find any money to complete the sites that are due to ex-Caroni workers as part of their VESEP package. In fact no residential sites have been given out for almost two years and over four thousand ex-Caroni workers are still waiting for their legal entitlement but monies are being spent by the EMBD for what is now seemingly a political witch hunt.
“More so in light of the legal views expressed by Senior Counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj on the legal basis for the purported Civil Action by EMBD.
“The EMBD cannot and must not allow itself to be used a pawn in the cut and thrust of the political games being played, merely for political expediency. It must instead focus on its mandate of developing the sites due to ex-Caroni workers.
“The EMBD must answer to the ex-Caroni workers and the National Community about what has happened to the sites it was supposed to develop, including: Caroni Savannah Road, Roopsingh Road, Exchange 2A,2B AND 3A, Waterloo, La Romaine, Picton 1, Petite Morne 2, Petite Morne2A, Petite Morne3A, Cedar Hill 2A, Picton 3, Hermitage to name some.
“The EMBD must also answer what has happened to the applicants for housing lots under the Land or the Landless programme and whether these applicants have been discarded, and how is it possible that 300 new applicants under the Aided Self Help Programme can get housing lots on sites developed for ex-Caroni workers but the workers themselves who are due plots on these sites as part of their VESEP package cannot get their own lots.
“Is there a deliberate and orchestrated plan by the government to deny the Ex- Caroni workers the lands that are due to them and steal from them their legacy in favour of PNM Party supporters and financers?
“Are the ex-Caroni workers being made to suffer under the political games being played by the present government administration?