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25 acres of land for indigenous people

By RALPH BANWARIE Thursday, March 7 2013

AFTER 20 long years of waiting, the Carib Community of Arima has been given 25 acres of land in Blanchisseuse. Carib Chief Ricardo Bharath, said the granting of the land by the People’s Partnership Government, to the indigenous people of Trinidad and Tobago, “is a good and noble gesture.”

However, he reiterated that this granting of land ought not be considered a “gift”, but rather a “just due” to the “first people of this nation.” Most of the land, he said, belong to the “first people”, but over the years no one has stood up to fight for the rights for the land which was eventually sold.

According to Bharath, the land is located next to what he was told will be a parcel of land to be developed into a gated community. Bharath said the first people are not seeking redress and all they were asking for was space to develop and preserve their culture and way of life.

The Carib Chief said he is happy to know that the first people are now getting some recognition and hopes this will not stop with just the granting of land. He thanked all who were instrumental in having the land acquisition successfully completed.

Attending a brief ceremony on the land yestereday Minister of National Diversity Clifton De Coteau, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister Rodger Samuel, Arima Mayor Ghassan Youseph, chairman of the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation Khadijah Ameen, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Diversity Senator Embau Moheni, that Ministry’s Acting Permanent Secretary Jacinta Bailey-Sobers and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism Vel Lewis.

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