UNC councillor: My family is now being threatened

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Samuel Sankar –

UNC councillor for Kelly Village/Warrenville Samuel Sankar said while he has received threats of hate crimes and attacks on his family via social media following his attendance at a local government meeting on Tuesday, he maintained he had done the right thing by attending.

On Wednesday evening, he said he had not yet communicated with the party’s leadership, although the party’s chairman had reached out to him.

“Outside of that, there are comments coming in, there are comments on social media, some disrespectful, some encouraging, some people expressing themselves and different views.

“It’s a democracy. It’s a democratic process in terms of what we do. The party is a democratic party and you have a right to your opinion.

“I think when it comes to hate crimes and disrespecting people’s families, I have a problem with that, and those are the challenges we have.

Calling it disrespectful, Sankar wondered why people would want to resort to threatening his family.

“Talking about treason, do they understand what they’re saying? I’m disappointed in the people who are inciting those things.

“I’m disappointed in certain MPs who spread that narrative in certain quarters against me – the narrative coming out of social media. There’s a programme that comes out there and people just lambasting, totally disrespectful, and they don’t even understand why and who it is, like sheep, misled.”

Sankar said he had received many positive responses, both locally and internationally, as Newsday’s headline which said ‘My People Come First’ had made waves.

“I’ve had good responses from my electoral district coming out of that meeting on Tuesday. It is positive.

“I’m getting messages from all over, Michigan, throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, sending messages. My people come first and I stand with that. I’m here to serve people. I was selected, and this is not meant to discredit anyone.

“I’m not disrespecting and cursing people and defying people. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.”

Sankar said if he did not get the desired response from the meeting, he would be attending the Prime Minister’s conversations to ensure he was able to speak to him directly.

“I went to meet the Prime Minister at this meeting and I didn’t get to talk to him. If the burgesses do not benefit coming out of that meeting, I’m looking to attend the conversations and I will ask direct questions, respectful questions.

“‘Prime Minister this is my challenge, how can you help me? How can you help the burgesses of Kelly Village/Warrenville?’

“I’m standing by that. I’m going all out so that my burgesses and the people who I serve get the goods and services from the government that they take taxes for.”

He said going to the top was the only way to get help.

“Burning tires isn’t helping me, and giving out hampers when people whole fridge and washing machine gone and hoping the State could fund it.

“No, that’s wrong. Fix it now, don’t try to give me social services after. If you clean the drains and plant things, the place could be nice. We could welcome visitors here, we could increase and make a contribution to the national economy.”

Sankar said he thought his burgesses would benefit following his attendance at the meeting, with meaningful contribution and work being done in the district.

“I want to follow up on those issues and drill down in a particular way. I need help, as I said. I did ask the Local Government Minister those questions and I said I need help in my electoral district – roads, infrastructure, drainage, parks and recreation, sanitation.

“We have challenges through all the districts in terms of services to distribute to our burgesses.”