Aug 27, 2011

Curfew in Trinidad and Tobago


It is clear that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago government instituted the State of Emergency to deal with the proliferation of criminal activities and the recent rise in homicides in the country. For too long this malaise that has crippled the society and kept families hidden behind gated homes with burglar proofing has gone on without real action. Well the situation has changed and people are upset. I have stated before that Trinidadians are a bunch of people that 'yuh just cyar please'.

This government will be damned for doing and already we have seen claims of racism with verbal mischief coming from the Port of Spain Mayor who stated that the laws were intended to deal with "black hen chickens". This is clearly a reference to people of African origin as compared to people of East Indian origin. Racism and race politics is still alive and kicking in Trinidad. The PP government is seen as an Indian government as compared to the PNM which is seen as the grassroots party and party of the people of African origin. Nothing much has changed.

In the PNM we have Dr. Amery Brown challenging the Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar "to explain how certain clauses of the state of emergency regulations relate to crime rather than the current industrial climate". The quote comes from an article published in the Guardian online media page and can be read in its entirety here: Amery Brown Challenge! In other words Dr.Brown is stating that the State of Emergency was really called to stop the labor movement from shutting down the country. However, in Newsday we have another scenario that is also interesting to note.

The following quoted passages are from the Trinidad Newsday and here we have a differing view regarding the need for the State of Emergency. Of course it is up to you to  determine is this is all trickery to achieve the their goal (government's plan to rid the country of crime or protect themselves from protesting union members) or if the statements are factual. The quote come from the Newsday article entitled: US Raises Alarm.
"Highly-placed security sources told Newsday the Prime Minister was told large quantities of cocaine were entering this country from Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil and for transhipment to the US. Some of the drugs were also been trafficked locally among gangs.

The Prime Minister was also advised by US intelligence agencies that TT needed to deal swiftly with the illegal trafficking because the country was nearing a crisis as guns were being smuggled into communities to gangs fighting over drug turfs, resulting in persons being killed. There was also concern about the trafficking of drugs to the US. Newsday understands officials from the US Department of Homeland Security. On Wednesday, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan admitted that this country was able to avert a national crisis with the declaration of a state of emergency but he declined to give further details.

He said emergency measures came after the recent seizure of $22 million in cocaine but warned that the operation had deeper implications, and had averted further trafficking of an estimated $100 million in illegal narcotics." 

Whatever you or the rest of the country may think the rationale for the State of Emergency is or was at the time of implementation the fact remains that the people of Trinidad and Tobago have been on a self imposed State of Emergency for many years now. Crime is rampant and something needed to be done to put a stop to the wanton disregard for the rule of law in the country. This State of Emergency, in my view, was long overdue. I grew up in Trinidad when we left our homes open and went to the local grocery store or parlor and a neighbor "would throw an eye" on the house until you return. I did not grow up in the country that most people live in today. Almost every home looks like a prison with wrought iron burglar proofing on every window and door. This is a shame that hard working people have to spend so much money to build their homes then convert them to virtual prisons to protect their family while they sleep.

Those of you who want to bring race politics into the mix must really ask yourselves what you really want for the future of Trinidad and Tobago. Do you want peace or do you want much of the same to continue? Think about it...

Here is a new curfew song for your listening pleasure. If you don't like it let us know but if you do pass the link on to your friends.

 
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