|Chief Secretary Orville London|
The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) will not participate in the national consultation on constitutional reform at this point in time, says THA Chief Secretary Orville London.
In a release to the press, London stated that he informed Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar and the members of the Constitution Reform Commission of this during a 50-minute meeting yesterday at his Calder Hall office in Scarborough.
“We recognise that it is a very important exercise and, of course, we pledge the commitment of the Tobago House of Assembly and the people of Tobago...recognising that, however, just as the central government, the Tobago House of Assembly is not going to have a formal position on any of the issues at this point in time,” stated London.
The Assembly, he said, will encourage the people of Tobago as the people of the country to become as involved as possible in what was going to be an exercise that can have very far reaching effects.
“We did indicate to the Minister that we are very clear that the issue of internal self-government for Tobago is one that should not be embroiled in this particular process,” said London.
He said the Assembly had gone a long way and felt that should there be some separation it would have a chance of a successful conclusion in the short term and bring closure to that.
London added that this might be a catalyst or might also send some signal as to how the other aspect of constitutional reform can in fact be achieved.
He noted that members of his team—Deputy Chief Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine and Senior State Counsel Alvin Pascal—were able to share a number of recommendations and suggestions.
“We are satisfied that members of the committee are committed to gleaning the views of the people of Tobago and Trinidad and of course ensuring that forms the basis for their recommendations on constitutional reform,” London said.