Tuesday 25 July, 2017

WATCH: Opposition Leader speaks at Couva Children's Hospital

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar spoke to hundreds of peaceful demonstrators in Couva on Friday, commending protesters for their tenacity in joining the demonstration.

She is also asking for the contents of a report done by the Welch Committee to be shared with the public.

"Because we have this demonstration of our concern about the non-opening of the hospital, I'm reading in the newspaper I'm seeing a report that the hospital must be used....we said on Monday 'let us gather' and then the power of the people took over."

"How much did it cost to prepare that report? Who were the persons who sat on that committee? Provide a public copy, make it available to the people of Trinidad and Tobago," she said.

Cries of "PNM must go! Call the election now!" were heard across the Preysal Recreation Ground in Couva from the large crowd which gathered on Friday. 

UNC Deputy leader Dr Rai Ragbir says the peaceful demonstration is the response of citizens to the property tax and what he says are other unfair measures.

“We need to take a stand and say enough is enough. We’re pushing God-fearing people to a point…it will stop one day because there are no jobs to go to, we do not have enough to feed our families. In May children are writing exams, after that there are no jobs for them. Over 25,000 people have lost their jobs up to this point," he said.

He also criticised Finance Minister Colm Imbert's comments that people are in favour of the property tax.

“It's not nice when the Finance Minister says ‘people want to pay property tax’.  You are putting people into a scared mode, they do not know what to do.”

“Two years of governance and they have not kicked off any major projects at all," he said, adding that the recently opened Brian Lara Cricket academy was completed and opened without the requisite approvals. 

Also present were several UNC MPs, councillors and members of local regional corporations.