Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 3rd 2015 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, September 3, 2015
Faced with criticisms that
human trafficking, gun smug-
gling and drug dealing have
flourished under her watch,
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar is promising to put
up a better fight against trans-
Atlantic crimes if she gets a
second term in office.
Speaking at a political rally at
Palmiste Park on Tuesday night,
Persad-Bissessar vowed to lock
down T&T s porous borders and
implement better offshore
patrols if given a second chance.
Saying the UNC was born out
of struggle, the PM promised to
always protect the poor during
difficult times by providing equal
opportunity for all.
She said the PP had already
made in-roads in the fight
against crime, having reduced
serious crime by 48 per cent.
"In 2010 we promised to deal
with crime. We said we will put
GPS in every police vehicle. That
is signed, sealed and delivered!
We said we will put up CCTV
cameras and some criminals are
behind bars today because of
this. We have boosted patrols,
provided better resources for the
Highway Patrol Unit, Rapid
Response Unit and others," Per-
She also added that T&T cur-
rently had its lowest crime rate
in 31 years.
"This is good but we have
more to do. We ask you to give
us a mandate for another five
years. Last week I went to the
Coast Guard and commissioned
six new ships to lock down our
borders to fight drugs, guns and
human trafficking," Persad-
She vowed to diversify the
economy and provide more sus-
"We will grow the manufac-
turing sector for exports to bring
more revenue and grow more
sustainable jobs. We will grow
the services sector with jobs and
create revenue to help us with
the downturn of oil and gas,"
She said diversification would
take place in tourism; finance;
food sustainability; maritime;
energy services; information,
communication and technology
(ICT); and the creative indus-
"In each of these we will grow
the economy by creating more
jobs in every one of the sectors
I mentioned," Persad-Bissessar
said. She warned that if the
PNM got into office, citizens
would be strangled by the prop-
"They are talking about cut-
ting social programmes, raising
taxes and implementing prop-
erty tax," Persad-Bissessar said.
She noted that if she received
another term in office, first-year
university students and primary
school students would get free
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar greets Minister of Housing Dr Roodal Moonilal during a People's
Partnership meeting at Palmiste Park, San Fernando, on Tuesday night. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Parents and teachers of the TML Pri-
mary School in San Fernando are ask-
ing the Prime Minister to grant them
two leases, one for a building adjacent
to the school and the other for a play-
The school s Parent Teachers Asso-
ciation (PTA) met with Kamla Persad-
Bissessar at the school on Tuesday
evening and put forward their requests.
The PTA is also asking Persad-Bisses-
sar to have the Ministry of Education
reconsider the placement of an Early
Childhood Care and Education centre
in a space the school currently uses as
a car park.
However, while Persad-Bissessar said
she would look into the issues, she
declined to make any concrete promises
to the PTA. "We would have to look into
it, but six days before election it is impos-
sible to make it happen and I will not
fool you that I will run tomorrow and
do it," she said. "It will be wrong of me
and improper as well, but we will cer-
tainly keep it in mind.
"I m sorry you didn t come to me
before because we may have been able
to accommodate you."
Persad-Bissessar said given the school s
track record of success in the Secondary
Assessment Examination (SEA), her Gov-
ernment would not hesitate to assist
"It s never too late. I was here before
for SEA results. I remember the school
did exceedingly well so whatever way
we can partner to assist you we will."
On the construction of the ECCE cen-
tre, Persad-Bissessar urged the parents
to reconsider their position.
"On the ECC school I don t have the
details but it seems as though you don t
want it while many people want an ECC
centre, so that is an unusual state of
One of the main concerns of San Fernandians
is the proposed timeframe for the development
of the San Fernando Waterfront Project.
Questions posed to Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar at her town hall meeting at Naparima
College, San Fernando, on Tuesday night reflected
this concern, as Persad-Bissessar was asked if the
timeframes could be revisited by her administration.
Reporters were not allowed into the meeting and
were told these arrangements were made so there
would be no disturbances to the meeting, which
was being carried live on television. Instead, a room
with a speaker and a television was provided in
the top storey of the auditorium to accommodate
During the meeting one woman asked Persad-
Bissessar to shorten the period for the refurbishment
of buildings along the waterfront.
"My question is on the waterfront. What we
have learned is that the refurbishment of the old
railway building will not happen for another five
years and the vagrancy problem cannot be addressed
until there is legislation which can take years," said
the woman, who was not identified. "When you
are leading the next administration next week would
it be possible to revisit some of these timeframes
and could we anticipate the accelerated development
we have come to enjoy for the last five years?"
However, Persad-Bissessar said while the time-
frame could be revisited, the people of San Fernando
would have to prioritise their needs.
"We need to listen and then lead and our priorities
would have to be governed by you telling us what
you need first here, second here and so on and
knowing fully well we cannot do every project that
you ask for," said Persad-Bissessar. "Therefore, you
will have to help prioritise and tell us what you
want first, second and third."
She urged the audience, however, not to spend
too much time revisiting the project as they would
get paralysis by analysis.
"I always listen and then I try to do what you
ask for. We will revisit those based on what you
say, but let us not spend too much time revisiting
because we have been revisiting and revisiting and
the projects do not happen. The waterfront project
has been going on for many years. Let us not have
paralysis by analysis."
Another San Fernando resident asked Persad-
Bissessar what her Government planned to do
about those who polluted the Cipero River.
"I live on the banks of the Cipero River and there
are serious oil deposits that are coming down the
river over the years. I can now see the impact it
will have on the waterfront and the development
itself," the woman said. "What do you plan about
people polluting our rivers?"
Persad-Bissessar responded, "As you know I am
committed to the Green Economy and it is about
empowering the Environmental Management
Authority (EMA) to do more work and better work,
to deal with pollution issues in more depth and
The woman also asked about the People s Part-
nership plan for Skinners Park, describing it as an
"About Skinners Park I would ask you to speak
to your candidate Razia (Ahmed), and to check the
manifesto---we do have plans in the areas of sports.
We have a great plan for upgrading recreational
facilities and grounds across the country, because
I do believe that sports is the way to go in dealing
with the issues of crime, to help bring greater self
dignity and also helping to bring in revenue and
Skinners Park will be one of those that we will take
opportunity for all
tell PM to complete
TML Primary asks PM
for leases to property
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