Press Releases (282)

Today, on the 54th anniversary of our independence from Great Britain I want to wish everyone the very best for Independence Day.

Today is a day when we celebrate the triumph of our ancestors and offer thanks so that our nation would continue to enjoy the democracy and freedoms that our leaders have preserved.

It is a day to reflect on the journey thus far and remember patriots like Dr. Eric Williams and Dr. Rudranath Capildeo who put partisan politics aside in favour of accepting the sovereignty for which both of them campaigned on behalf of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

By their simple act of nationalism, they ended colonialism and set us on a path of becoming a nation dedicated to its pledge of a love of liberty where every creed and race would find an equal place.

Moreover, when we pulled down the Union Jack to replace it with our own national flag, all our leaders of the day – secular and religious – stood together to proclaim a new nation, rooted in freedom and democracy that would take its equal place in the global family.

Our independence must not be taken lightly. The journey to where we are today did not begin at Marlborough House. It started with the indigenous survivors of colonial genocide, and continued with the African survivors of Trans-Atlantic slavery, and the Chinese, Indian and others who survived indentureship. All of them across our history remain the heroes who helped build what we have today.

History does record those nameless patriots whose labour and sacrifice prepared the foundation for our independence.

That is why when we celebrate our independence, we remember that we as a nation exist not because of our history, but in spite of our history.

Independence is a promise and an aspiration. It is a promise that out of the ashes of colonial degradation, we would rise as nation charged with the responsibility to look after one another in sisterhood and brotherhood, and the fatherhood of God.

Independence is a promise that the wealth and beauty of our islands and the oceans that embrace our land would be cared for so that our grandchildren would live better lives than those who came from foreign lands generations ago to plant the seed to build the nation we have today.

Independence is an aspiration, encoded in our creed: “Together We Aspire; Together we Achieve”.

As an aspiration, it is clear that we have only just begun our journey towards building of a safe, sustainable, equitable, and just society.

Therefore, my fellow citizens, let us see independence as a gauntlet toss, from our ancestors all the way to our children. Our ancestors took us as far as they could; today the task is left to us to remember the promise of independence and work tirelessly towards that noble end.

We must be vigilant and never left partisanship and a quest for control of the state become more important than the welfare of citizens, especially those who are less fortunate.

We must protect our sisters and brothers and those less privileged so that each of us would always remain free to enjoy the bounties of our state in a just and democratic society.

Our task must be to keep Trinidad and Tobago as a unified nation. And in doing so we must constantly remind ourselves of the need for a continuous state of rethinking and reshaping our state to face the ever-changing challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

We must challenge ourselves, and our leaders, to achieve bigger hopes and dreams.

Happy Independence to all and may God bless our nation!


Kamla Persad-Bissessar



My fellow citizens,
By any measure, today should be regarded as a very significant and special day for each of us in Trinidad and Tobago.
Over the past few months, since assuming the responsibility of Prime Minister, you would have heard me speak about the importance of knowing and understanding our country’s history. Trinidad and Tobago’s passage from Colonial rule to Independence fifty-four (54) years ago represented a political watershed in our country’s history.
While not wholly embraced by some members of the population, who initially expressed misgivings about the idea that Trinidadians and Tobagonians would be in complete charge of the affairs of the country, there was nonetheless an excitement and a sense of pride when the Union Jack was lowered for the last time at midnight on the 30th August 1962 and the national flag of Trinidad and Tobago was raised.
I am certain if we could transpose ourselves back to that momentous occasion we too would feel all those mixed emotions.
On 31st August 1962, our Nation’s first Prime Minister, Dr Eric Williams, in a radio broadcast to a new, democratic Nation stated, “The first responsibility that devolves upon you is the protection and promotion of your democracy. Democracy means more, much more, than the right to vote and one vote for every man and every woman of the prescribed age. Democracy means recognition of the rights of others… Democracy means responsibility of the Government to its citizens, the protection of the citizens from the exercise of arbitrary power and the violation of human freedoms and individual rights. Democracy means freedom of worship for all and the subordination of the right of any race to the overriding right of the human race”.
Fifty-four years later we must ask ourselves, how have we used our independence?
Yes we may be considered an economically buoyant and a politically stable country. We generally enjoy excellent bi-lateral relations with our CARICOM, Latin American and International neighbours and partners. But have we really matured as a people? As individuals, on our journey to adulthood we often crave independence. We wish to free ourselves from the dictates of parents, guardians, supervisors. But as we mature we realize that with independence comes great responsibility, hope and expectation.
We are responsible for our actions, the consequences of our decisions and more importantly, to achieve our goals we need to work with and through others. So too as a sovereign nation, independence demands a clear vision for our developmental path while remaining cognizant of local, regional and international trends.
The celebration of our country’s 54th Independence Anniversary comes at a challenging time when international developments are seriously impacting our national economy. We are all aware of the fall in oil and gas prices, the resources upon which our country is heavily dependent for needed revenue.
We find ourselves at a crucial point in our development when we are being asked to make some tough choices. But I always feel assured of the strength of our people to navigate these turbulent waters. Our capacity for innovation, our understanding of international events, our creativity and our characteristic sense of humour will triumph over any adversity we may face. I have faith in our ability to rise to the task of building a better Trinidad and Tobago.
Our aim now, both as residents and non-resident nationals, should be to build on our achievements to enable our country to remain on a steady path of sustainable development. We have a great deal of challenging work ahead of us but nothing worth achieving may be attained without dedication and hard work.
We have a very bright future ahead of us. Of this I am certain. We will tackle our challenges head on, together. We have to take care of every aspect of this country…our political and democratic institutions, our physical environment, and most of all we have to take care of each other. Trinidad and Tobago is my home, it is your home and we all have a responsibility to protect, to cherish and to make this country the kind of home of which we can all be proud.
I wish you all a very Happy Independence.
May God continue to bless you and your family and may God Bless our Nation.

National Awardees 2016

The following is the list of National Awardees as supplied by the Office of the President: 


Fifty-four years as an Independent Nation, is indeed cause for celebration but also a necessary time for critical reflection and introspection. On this Independence Day, we ought to engage a deeper appreciation of who we are as a Nation, what we have, where we need to go and what must be done to fully realise the aspirations of our burgeoning democracy. The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has always been a Nation of immeasurable potential.

His Worship the Mayor Alderman Haji Kazim Hosein, Aldermen and Councillors of the San Fernando City Council wish to inform the public that there will be a fireworks display on San Fernando Hill on Wednesday 31 August, 2016 at 8:30 pm to celebrate our nation’s 54th year of Independence.

Following yesterday's (Thursday 25th August, 2016) meeting of Cabinet, the Prime Minister, Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley, issued instructions to have the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) re-assigned from the Ministry of Public Utilities to the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government.

The Chairman of NGC, Gerry C. Brooks, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Mark Loquan, as the new President of The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC), effective September 01, 2016.

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) hosted its fourth annual EnviroCamp during the months of July and August 2016.

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