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Count mayor out

Louis Lee Sing.

PORT OF SPAIN — The bad blood between Port of Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing and National Security Minister Jack Warner has “forced” Lee Sing to turn down government’s invitation to deliver the welcoming address at tomorrow’s Independence celebrations in Woodford Square, Port of Spain.

The event titled “Celebrate Together where it all started” involves a multicultural extravaganza and a re-enactment of the 1962 flag-raising ceremony when Trinidad and Tobago became independent. It is scheduled to take place from 5:30 p.m., going into early Friday morning.

Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie had invited Lee Sing, in whose borough the event is taking place, to deliver the welcoming address at the ceremony. Tewarie’s letter of invitation, dated August 17, preceded the breakdown in relations between Lee Sing and Warner, arising out of a meeting with gang leaders and others, including a representative of the Government.

Warner had characterised Lee Sing’s involvement as an attempt by the mayor to set him up, charging the plot was hatched in Balisier House, an allegation which Lee Sing strenuously denied.

Lee Sing, piqued over that encounter, responded with an angry rejection to government’s invitation.

In a letter dated August 27 to Tewarie, he stated: “It is unthinkable that I could believe that there was something I could describe as decency within your government. The recent statement by your Minister of National Security, to wit that I sought to ‘entrap him into attending a meeting with gang leaders’, suggests to me that very much to the contrary I have been duped.”

Lee Sing’s letter also indicated that he was personally affronted by the scrapping of the west Port of Spain traffic plan without consultation.

“Further, the very ad hoc decision taken to rescind the west Port of Spain traffic plan without any consultation with the Office of the Mayor of Port of Spain further suggests to me that I must now be very mindful of my relationship with your Government”, the letter stated.

Lee Sing said in this regard, he had given consideration to Tewarie’s request, and “in the circumstances, I am forced to withdraw, given that I do not believe that I share anything of value in common with your Government”.

The tone of Tewarie’s response was extremely polite. “Your letter of today’s date is duly noted. I regret your decision but I appreciate the fact that you informed me beforehand. My sincere best wishes for a happy Independence.” (Express)

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