Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 17th 2015 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Soldiers are expected to complete
repairs to two homes which were
damaged by a low-flying Air Guard
helicopter in Carenage by next week.
The incident occurred place on
November 5 as the chopper tracked an
oil spill offshore.
The craft s powerful downdraft top-
pled a brick wall under construction
and also ripped off galvanize sheeting
on a neighbouring house.
Members of the Regiment 1st Engi-
neer Battalion spent last week cleaning
up rubble, began reconstruction of the
collapsed walls of one house and
intended to replace the roof on the
The Defence Force subsequently
accepted responsibility for the damage,
days after media reports surfaced ques-
tioning the identity of the helicopter.
Public Affairs Officer of the Defence
Force, Major Al Alexander, said on Sun-
day work began the day after the inci-
dent when engineers went to the homes
to do an estimate.
Alexander did not give a cost but
said the soldiers would work on the
roof of resident Roger Deosaran in order
to ensure he and his three children had
They would then begin fixing the
wall belonging to another resident.
"We have one engineer, some arti-
sans and security there every day and
we will continue work until both houses
are complete," Alexander said.
On Sunday, another resident, iden-
tified only as Mr Castanada, said he
was happy to see the soldiers at his
home everyday doing work.
"They come every day. I am not
there all the time because I go to work
but you can see them working hard.
They have been very helpful so far and
I am grateful," he added.
In response to the support from the
Defence Force, Castanada said last Fri-
day it was a bitter sweet moment for
He said although he was happy for
the support extended by Chief of
Defence Staff Major General Kenrick
Maharaj and was grateful to see that
repair work had begun, he was in a
solemn mood as he was mourning the
death of his long time friend and neigh-
bour Gary Knowles, who perished by
fire on November 12 in an abandoned
boathouse he called home.
After helicopter damage...
Soldiers begin to fix two Carenage homes
Soldiers from the 1st Engineer Battalion, from left,
Privates Keon Bosland, Darrem Abraham and
Francis George lay bricks at the Marsha Maynard's
family home on the Western Main Road, Carenage,
on Saturday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Supporters and candidates on the
slate of Vasant Bharath s Team
Reconnect threw punches at Dr
Roodal Moonilal and Kamla Persad-
Bissessar, two contenders vying for
the post of leader in the United
National Congress (UNC) internal
elections, accusing them of destroy-
ing the party in the last five years.
The attacks were made on Saturday
at the Couva South Hall where
Bharath launched his Team Reconnect
slate to a small crowd of UNC activists
and supporters. Bharath is also vying
for the post of leader.
Former director of communications
in the ministry of foreign affairs
Gideon Hanoomansingh said while
his attendance could be interpreted
as a "betrayal" it was about taking
the UNC forward.
Hanoomansingh who was part of
several delegations that travelled
abroad with Persad-Bissessar while
she served as prime minister and filed
television reports, was harsh in his
He said Persad-Bissessar and
Moonilal had "both failed the UNC"
and the party needed "fresh courage"
to chart a new way forward.
His first jab came when he spoke
about Persad-Bissessar, who he said
could go down in "the Guinness Book
of World Records for firing 11 min-
isters in one five-year term."
Those decisions, Hanoomansingh
said, could have hinged on two things
"not doing proper due diligence or
being a poor judge of character.
What message is communicated
when we hire an important person
as a Cabinet member and then fire
He described the two opponents
as a "grandmother whose time has
come and gone... the other a child.
Leadership is not for the faint-heart-
Hanoomansingh said the 2015 gen-
eral election was based on "personality
reigned supreme over party and poli-
For too long the party was on auto
pilot and had lost its way."
He said the UNC has to rescue itself
from its worst enemies.
"The 2010 general election victory
was a one-off affair as the stars were
aligned then," Hanoomansingh said.
Addressing supporters, Ralph
Henry, Team Reconnect north/west
regional co-ordinator, said he cried
and became angry when he saw how
"weak and hollow the UNC had
become. The UNC today is a shell.
Many of us are ashamed to say that
we are UNC."
He said the party did nothing to
pull itself together in the last five
years, nor change its strategy for the
2015 general election.
Henry said the national executive
choose "friends and family" before
party members. He described Per-
sad-Bissessar and Moonilal as "one
of the same."
Team Reconnect deputy political
leader and former minister in the
ministry of works and transport Stacy
Roopnarine said the UNC cannot
continue to do the same things over
and over and expect a different out-
Blows for Kamla, Rudy
from Vasant's platform
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