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posted 15 May 2017, 06:23 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 15 May 2017, 06:28 ]
The following statement was issued by Haig Community United on 2017/05/13. It was signed by Eugene A. Reynald, Secretary/Director, Haig Community United

Image result for TRINIDAD GUAVE ROAD FARMERS1. This Press release is issued by Haig Community United (HCU) and relates to its High Court Action seeking justice in its claims to lands at Guave Road in Chaguaramas and compensation resulting from acts of genocide committed against its members by the CDA (Chaguaramas Development Authority).

2. At the invitation of the State, on the 10th May 2017 three representatives of HCU went to the offices of the CDA to discuss a settlement agreement relative to the High Court action HCU brought against the CDA. HCU is on record in the Court as representing the farmers in the HCA.

3. We listened for a while and then had to intervene in order to understand the direction in which the meeting was being taken. When it became clear that the organisers had an agenda that was completely different to the one they communicated to us, we took our leave…but not before explaining in some detail why we were doing so.

4. We went to the meeting in good faith – despite the fact that it was called in defiance of a process of Arbitration advised on by Justice Seepersad at the last Court Hearing of the 7th March 2017 and supported by both the CDA and HCU.

5. We at HCU recommended Arbitration more than one year ago and made arrangements for having a retired Judge (one of repute and agreed to by Justice Seepersad and representatives of the State and CDA) to be the Arbitrator. We at HCU also went to the extent of drafting an Arbitration Agreement to initiate the process but persons at the highest levels of Government who we know, chose - even then, to defy our efforts to initiate the Court recommended Arbitration process.

6. On the day after the aborted meeting we submitted a six page letter to all the parties involved. Among the recipients were Stuart Young, Faris Al Rawi and Dr. Keith Rowley. The letter recorded what took place - particularly the fact it was all set up and proceeded with in defiance of what the State, HCU and Justice Seepersad agreed to.

7. We further advise as follows:

a. The Guave Road farmers (GRF) are the only occupants on lands at Chaguaramas who have a legal claim to ownership of lands in the Peninsular. All other occupants are lessees of the CDA and most of these got their leases by way of nepotism/cronyism or some preferential arrangement.

b. Despite these rights the GRF have been subjected to genocidal assaults by Tewarie and Danny Solomon during the UNC Regime and are now getting similar treatment with clear signs that this could quite easily escalate to genocidal ones.

c. The Government is refusing to compensate the farmers for the loss and expense they suffered - and are still suffering - as a result of such acts of genocide. In a naked attempt at coercion and blackmail the Government is also making vague promises of land to the farmers but only if the farmers give up their legal rights regarding compensation.

The Government unashamedly hold to these positions despite the fact that they know the genocidal acts of the State were illegal and that the farmers currently have employees of CDA in Court on criminal charges related to these illegal acts of genocide.
Image result for TRINIDAD GUAVE ROAD FARMERSIn effect the Government is being oppressive, cruel and knowingly wasteful of public funds in pursuing an illegal course of action against farmers from whom they have taken everything (four have died since this started) leaving them with little option but to fight.

d. To summarise: our claims for compensation are based on facts which were not denied by the UNC (United National Congress) nor are they today denied by the CDA – neither in Court or elsewhere.

The refusal to pay our claims for compensation is “argued for” on the basis of bullying, coercion and tyranny only by those in Cabinet. It is not supported by a single affidavit or reasoned argument put forward by Cabinet or its Attorneys Michael Quamina and Douglas Mendes. And you can bet your life that the real villains in all of this will not come forward…but will continue to hide behind hit men who posture as Attorneys.

e. This recent experience and on-going tyranny by the State has told us that we at HCU will not get fair and just treatment from the majority of those eight or so Ministers – including Rowley and Young, who in May 2015 marched with us from West Mall to Chaguaramas in support of our claims.

f. Our Members have mandated us to continue insisting that Cabinet follows the Law, the recommendations of Justice Seepersad and what the CDA and the State agreed to in Court before Justice Seepersad. With the exercise of a little integrity and intelligence, this process can deliver on Justice within one month and save the public considerable legal and other costs.

g. There is benefit and Justice to all citizens – and not just a few, if the aforementioned is agreed to. We therefore seek the support of all fair minded, patriotic and intelligent citizens in our struggle to have Cabinet observe the Law by firstly correcting their past breaches of it and thereafter ensuring they observe it in going forward.