South Mayor under pressure …”REGRELLO REGRETS”

Spread the word

More often than not, politicians open their mouths and say the most stupid of things.

It is called Foot in Mouth Disease.”

Ask Junia Regrello, the Mayor of San Fernando. He vex that SAPA was named after the late Indian artist, Sundar Popo, and not calypsonian, Stalin.

The latest to condemn the Mayor was Pun­dit Satyanand Ma­haraj, who ac­cused him of mak­ing a racist call.

Ma­haraj called on Re­grel­lo to apol­o­gize as the In­di­an com­mu­ni­ty felt hurt, in­sult­ed, up­set and un­set­tled by his state­ment.

How­ev­er, Re­grel­lo be­lieves Ma­haraj, like a few oth­ers, were latch­ing on to his state­ment to fu­el their own agen­da.

Hear him, “My wife is mixed, I am mixed and my el­dest son is mar­ried to a woman who is half In­di­an.”

He ex­plained that his pitch for the Dr Leroy Cal­liste au­di­to­ri­um was more pro­found, as Cal­liste was born in the heart of San Fer­nan­do and has rep­re­sent­ed the re­gion at every lev­el. Popo, he said, was a na­tive of Mon­key Town, Bar­rack­pore.

But Ma­haraj said it was up­set­ting to know that if the Re­grel­lo had his way the Sun­dar Popo name would be wiped from the cul­tur­al land­scape of T&T. He said this was a re­flec­tion of the Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment’s view of the con­tri­bu­tion by the “In­di­an” pop­u­la­tion.

“Af­ter years of be­ing ac­cused of dis­crim­i­na­tion against the In­di­an pop­u­la­tion, noth­ing seems to have changed in the par­ty that touts it­self as a na­tion­al par­ty,” Ma­haraj said.

“Lit­tle or no In­di­ans in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of HDC homes, In­di­an lec­tur­ers at UTT fired and lit­tle or no In­do-cul­tur­al ac­tiv­i­ties at State func­tions. The racist call of the May­or is yet an­oth­er in­ci­dent of the PNM pan­der­ing to its eth­nic base at the ex­pense of na­tion­al uni­ty, ap­pre­ci­a­tion and tol­er­ance.

“We can on­ly hope we do not have to wait for a week for an apol­o­gy, as in the case of the last PNM act of dis­crim­i­na­tion, the now in­fa­mous Sari Skit, as I now al­so call up­on the may­or to apol­o­gise for his in­sen­si­tive state­ment.”

In defending himself, Regrello stated, “May I re­peat that I nev­er ad­vo­cat­ed a name change of the fa­cil­i­ty and would strong­ly rec­om­mend that the space re­mains un­der its cur­rent name. For the record, what I said was that if I was the MP for the area when it was built and the rec­om­men­da­tion from me for the name of the venue was the Dr Leroy Cal­liste Au­di­to­ri­um. I went fur­ther to say that I am cog­nizant of the tremen­dous con­tri­bu­tion made by Mr Popo but this was more pro­found than that.

“The re­al is­sue here is for prop­er recog­ni­tion to be giv­en to Stal­in be­fore it is too late. It is high time that we as a peo­ple stop see­ing all that is in front of us through the lens of eth­nic­i­ty. If they had named it af­ter Ras Kom­man­da, who is of African de­scent and from San Fer­nan­do, my views would have been the same.”


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