Padarath says he has no regrets, after speeches banned by Radio and TV Jaagriti

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Padarath says he has no regrets, after speeches banned by Radio and TV Jaagriti

Opposition MP, Barry Padarath is questioning why the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) did not take action when the Prime Minister used offensive language, but yet targeted him.

He made the comment in an Express interview, following news that Radio and TV Jaagriti (Central Broadcasting Services Limited), took a decision to not broadcast speeches he made, after TATT raised red flags over his use of what it deemed to be insulting language.

Padarth, during a recent public meeting, used the term “lazy son of a bi—” to describe Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

The company said it has sought legal advice on whe­ther any steps should be taken in relation to TATT, as well as its continued business relationship with the United National Congress (UNC).

Padarath, according to the Express, said he was repeating the words used by trade unionist Ancel Roget for Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. He went on to slam TATT’s “hypocrisy” as he noted they took no action when Rowley used insulting and profane language against Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Managing director of Cen­­­­­­tral Broadcasting Servi­ces Ltd (CBSL) Vijay Maharaj wrote to UNC chairman Peter Kanhai, via letter dated May 19, 2023, citing concerns over Padarath’s repeated use of insulting and obscene language.

The letter stated that CBSL (Radio and TV Jaagriti) received “numerous complaints” from the public over Padarath’s speech at a UNC meeting on May 15.

The letter noted that this was not the first time Pada­rath used these words as it noted that on December 5, 2022, Padarath repeatedly used the words “lazy son of a bi..” during a UNC meeting which was broadcast on Radio and TV Jaagriti.

The letter stated that on this occasion, TATT drew Pa­darath’s comments to CBSL’s attention, and on March 2, 2023, TATT issued a written warning to CBSL.

“According to TATT, the repeti­tive use of the term ‘son of a bit..’ was inappropriate as it can be considered as offen­­sive language, especially when broadcast at a time when children might be listening,” stated the letter.

The letter stated that Pada­rath went on to repeat the statement “lazy son of a bit..” on May 15 at a public meeting.

CBSL stated that they received “overwhelming complaints” from viewers and listeners, ranging from parents, teachers, religious branches and religious leaders, that Padarath’s statements are “insulting”, “coarse”, “offen­sive” and “obscene”.

“We are in the process of obtaining legal advice as to what steps, if any, should be taken in relation to TATT and/or our continued business relationship with the UNC,” CBSL stated.

“In the meantime, having regard to what is clearly MP Padarath’s pattern of em­ploying insulting and abusive comments, we are constrained to advise that with immediate effect, CBSL will not broadcast any further/ future speeches of MP Pada­rath. Notwithstanding our reservation as stated above, should you desire that CBSL broadcast any future UNC event, we will be cutting any coverage of MP Padarath,” stated the letter.

“We hasten to add that there is another option available to the party which is to consider broadcasting your programmes with another sta­tion,” CBSL added.

Noting the decision came after careful thought, CBSL stated:

“We have not only ta­ken the offensiveness of MP Padarath’s language into account but also the length of our business relationship. At the end of the day CBSL has standards and we intend to upkeep same. Our programmes including UNC Meetings are streamed on Jaagriti Facebook Page.”

Padarath said Rowley has said the most disgusting, profane things about Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the double standards and hypocrisy in this country amazes me. Not a word from TATT and other groups when Rowley referred to Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s behaviour as jammetry and spoke about ‘cyat’, ‘sucking at the nipples’,” he said.

“I simply quoted what Roget had to say about Rowley. No regrets. Why was this not an issue when Roget said it? Let us not forget that TATT is appointed by the Government, and this Government is intent on suppressing the democracy and voices of the people,” Padarath said.