Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Friday’s announcement of a new process for citizens to apply for exemptions, is a clear admission by the Minister of National Security that he has failed the people of TT with his poorly-conceived exemption process.
In a statement to media, she said Young should be ashamed that for over ten months he abdicated his constitutional responsibilities to TT nationals by failing to implement a proper mechanism to repatriate citizens wishing to return home.
“For ten months the Minister neglected the cries of innocent citizens, leaving them in turmoil due to his ‘politics before people’ approach.”
She said TT’s borders were closed in March to prevent the rampant spread of covid19 in the country. “Since then, thousands of nationals have applied for exemptions and have returned home, but many are still seeking to be allowed in.
Saying the threat from the virus facing TT was the same today as it was ten months ago, she said the Government should have had a proper plan and a transparent and fair system in place.
“The question on everyone’s minds is simply, ‘Why did it take Minister Young ten months to introduce this new process?’”
Persad-Bissessar said, during that time he left thousands of nationals on their own preventing them from returning home.
“Furthermore, this new application process does not address the root cause of the problem. Citizens were not having problems in applying, but in getting an exemption because it still depends on him as minister.
“This Government has shown scant care for our citizens stranded abroad, many of whom have been struggling to survive on depleted resources.”
Persad-Bissessar said, on Wednesday the Opposition “will hold Stuart Young accountable on behalf of the thousands of citizens whose lives have been ruined by his negligence.”