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PUBLISHED: Aug 31, 2014 6:50pm

Aug 31 a significant date for Trinidad and Tobago, too


Rajina Dhillon

As Malaysia celebrates its Independence Day on Aug 31, twin island country off South America, Trinidad and Tobago, also turns 52 today after gaining independence from the British in 1962.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31, 2014:

As Malaysia celebrates its 57th year of Independence today, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago also happen to share the same Independence day.

Today, the twin island country off South America turned 52 and was also once colonised by Great Britain until gaining independence in 1962.

According to Caribbeanlifenews, the country’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams was the architect of their independence, who served the country from 1956 until his death in 1981.

He was regarded as “The Father of the Nation” and also played a role in making Trinidad and Tobago a republic in 1976.

They celebrated their first Independence Day in 1962 with week-long festivities and events, with the presence of the Queen’s representative, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, who read the message by Queen Elizabeth II, in which she relinquished her role.

In later years, the celebration was held in the form of military-style parades held at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain and in Scarborough, Tobago.

The online news site also noted that the country’s independence celebration this year would be all the more historic as Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is working towards implementing a constitutional reform.

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“If there are quarters which say there’s restriction on expression of opinions and views, the RoS can provide empirical evidence that the registered organisations are proof that the government gives such freedom. There is freedom of speech and movement; you can be as vociferous as you want so long as you do not threaten public order. Go on and gather as many members as you want so long as you do not touch on sensitive matters and violate the law, including the Sedition Act.”

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi saying the government has never restricted freedom of speech, pointing out that 116,000 organisations were registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).


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