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Sinanan denies ethnic cleansing claims

Published: 
Monday, May 21, 2018
Rohan Sinanan

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan has denied claims of ethnic cleansing of T&T’s East Indian community via the property tax.

He did so in response to questions from reporters when he attended the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha’s (SDMS) Indian Arrival Day dinner at the Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain, on Saturday night.

Prof Dilip Dan, head of the Department of Clinical Sciences at The UWI, who was honoured at the event, had referred to ethnic cleansing and claims that the reintroduced property tax targeted East Indian when he spoke at the function.

However, Sinanan said ethnic cleansing had no place in T&T and was not a factor in any of Government’s decisions. He added that traditionally East Indians have always been comfortable paying property taxes.

In his address, in which he focused on ethical leadership, Professor Dan said although the majority of T&T’s scholars are of East Indian origin, they make up only 18 per cent of corporate T&T and major Government posts are not proportionately obtainable by that ethnic group.

He also said most cases of racial prejudice had been adjudicated by the courts and pointed out that Radio and TV Jagriti, media outlets operated by the SDMS, had faced many legal battles.

SDMS Secretary General Satnarayan Maharaj said the organisation’s schools, which had once been described as cow sheds, are now the prefered schools in the country.

He said Lakshmi College had been called a “see through” college because at one time its administrators couldn’t afford doors and windows but had broken every record in the Caribbean for three consecutive years by winning the President’s medal.

Maharaj added that SDMS schools will not close down due to a lack of Government funding because they are self reliant and raise their own funds.

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