PORT-OF-SPAIN: The Indian diaspora in Trinidad and Tobago is concerned over a plan mooted by three Caribbean prime ministers to form a political union, fearing domination by Blacks.
Trinidad and Tobago PM Patrick Manning has proposed a political union with his two counterparts in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Greandines, all led by Black-dominated governments. Protesting the move, leaders of Opposition United National Congress led by ex-PM Basdeo Panday feel if the plan comes into effect, it could spell “political disaster and extinction” for a return by Indian leadership to the corridors of power.
“The plan will allow Blacks in both countries to come and settle here. This would give them rights to own property and to vote in elections to ensure a Black-dominated government here,” Panday, who was Trinidad and Tobago PM from 1995-01, said.
Trinidad and Tobago’s population consists of 44% each of the two dominant ethnic groups—East Indians and Africans.
According to a study by Donna F. Gaymes of the University of West Indies, Indians “have been virtually wiped out off the map” in St. Vincent and Greandines. The report said of the 150,000 people, only 5% were East Indians, and that they “receive majority of racism and prejudice mainly from Blacks”.