Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 19th 2016 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, February 19, 2016
Energy minister discloses -
Six activists hit
'dotish' radio talk
Six activists are responding to crit-
icism from hosts of a radio pro-
gramme who have allegedly used their
air time this week to bash feminism.
In an open letter to the hosts of radio
station i95.5fm s afternoon drive, the
six activists defended the work of fem-
inists in the country.
The letter was signed by Jacquie
Burgess, Merle Hodge, Sheila Ramper-
sad, Attillah Springer, Eintou Springer
and Verna St Rose Greaves.
The women said feminists had
worked hard on public awareness of
gender issues, legislation, counselling
centres and shelter.
The letter said it was decades of
public awareness work by women
activists, impacting on people s think-
ing as well as on public policy, that led
to "gentlemen in the studio having the
consciousness that you do today about
domestic violence and (hopefully) other
"Don t take it for granted or assume
that this consciousness has always been
part of the society s thinking," it added.
They said the hosts were freely
insulting the women who demonstrated
to demand former Port-of-Spain
Mayor Raymond Tim Kee s resigna-
Tim Kee resigned days after the
Last week activists and supporters
protested outside City Hall to demand
Tim Kee s resignation following the
then mayor s victim blaming state-
ments in relation to the death of a
Japanese national who had participated
in T&T s Carnival celebrations.
According to the letter, the radio
hosts criticised the silence of activist
Hazel Brown and questioned feminists
failure to protest over a domestic vio-
lence case and the death of a Moruga
"Your discourse betrays a great hazi-
ness about women s activism in
Trinidad and Tobago.
"As media practitioners speaking
from an influential public platform, it
is your responsibility to be informed
before you speak.
"It is the most dotish thing to hear
talk show hosts using up precious air
time to foam at the mouth about who
should be saying what on which issue,
and cussing them for not doing so,"
the letter added.
It said shelters and counselling cen-
tres have been set up by NGOs, mostly
through the activism of women, for
people affected by family violence.
It also gave credit to activists for the
existence of certain institutions, such
as the Rape Crisis Society; the Police
Child Protection Unit; the Police Victim
and Witness Support Unit; the Family
Court; the UWI Institute for Gender
and Development Studies; the Ministry
of Gender and Child Development and
the Children s Authority.
The group said activists did not often
make use of the street demonstration
strategy "but when we find it necessary,
"We, not you, will determine that.
Please, let us decide for ourselves how
we are going to use the energy and the
minimal resources that we have. Don t
dictate to us."
Energy Minister Nicole
Olivierre says all but one of the
137 service stations in this country
are operating illegally and the
state will give operators of these
businesses six months to regu-
larise their status.
Speaking at yesterday s official
opening of the NP St Christopher s
Service Station on Wrightson Road,
Port-of-Spain, the minister said
the situation was one for serious
"For the past five years service
stations have been allowed to oper-
ate without valid retail marketing
licences. Right now as I stand here,
I can say without fear or contra-
diction that of the 137 service sta-
tions currently operating in T&T,
this St Christopher Taxi Cab Co-
Operative Service Station is the
only one that is operating with a
valid retail marketing licence," she
"The fact that all of other service
stations are operating without a
licence is an untenable situation
which has been allowed to con-
tinue for far too long. Today s cer-
emony signals that the situation
will persist no more. This govern-
ment has begun to bring to an end
this undesirable and unsafe state
of affairs. As minister, I will ensure
that this sector operates according
to the clearly defined rules and
regulations which are applicable
Olivierre said before the approval
given recently to the NP St
Christopher Service Station, the
last time a licence---which has a
life of one year---was issued to a
local service station was in Feb-
ruary 2010 under the Patrick Man-
ning-led PNM government.
"The ministry is aggressively
seeking to bring all service stations
under the regulations and is work-
ing with the individual service sta-
tion owners, and the operators NP
and Petrotrin, as well as, the petro-
leum dealers association to ensure
full compliance," she said.
"The Ministry of Energy and
Energy Industries has given careful
consideration to our role in the
management and regulation of the
petroleum sector. The umbrella
legislation governing the petroleum
sector is the Petroleum Act 1969
Chapter 62:01. The regulations
which govern petroleum operations
were developed under Section 29
of the Act and provide for inter
alia the granting of a marketing
licence with respect of the conduct
of retail transactions at petro filled
Energy Minister Nicole Olivierre fills up a tank yesterday's official opening of the
NP St Christopher's Service Station on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO:
137 gas stations
Investigate Alleyne's arrest---Ramesar
Given criticism from some quarters of the arrest
of CNC3's Crime Watch host, Ian Alleyne, a trans-
parent investigation ought to be launched and its
findings released to the public.
That was the view of the T&T Police Service Social
and Welfare Association president, Anand Ramesar,
during a telephone interview with Guardian Media
Not wanting to comment directly on allegations
of whether excessive force was used during Alleyne s
arrest, Ramesar explained that within the Use of
Force Policy of the TTPS one should be guided by
what threat faced the officer.
"I think the Police Service must respond to that
concern and must investigate the matter and carry
out a transparent investigation and lay it out to the
public, the outcome, and then make a decision on
the matter," Ramesar said.
The TTPS Public Information Officer, Michael
Pierre, during a media briefing on Wednesday said
the TTPS would not be launching an investigation
into the incident.
Alleyne on Tuesday night was charged for using
annoying language, resisting arrest and obstruction
of a police officer in the execution of his duty by
Alexander following an incident at the home of
Chaguanas car dealer Sheron Sukhdeo.
When asked about the Beyond the Tape programme
which Alexander hosts, Ramesar said it was approved
by the acting Commissioner of Police, Stephen
Williams, for the sole purpose of using a public per-
spective relations to show the public how the Police
Service performed its duties.
"In the end, what is needed to be achieved is the
improved image of the Police Service, improved con-
fidence of the public," Ramesar added.
He, however, admitted that the association was
yet to see an assessment of the programme.
"Coming from the membership there appears that
the lines are blurred in whether or not it is a ratings
programme, one that has a substantive TV 6 agenda
as opposed to a police agenda, geared towards improv-
ing the Police Service. For us, that is where the conflict
lies," Ramesar said.
"The programme itself we do not object to but it
should be a programme solely constructed around
policing and police agenda and there should be no
conflict in relation to that," he added.
A letter, dated February 18, sent to acting
Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams by
Alleyne's attorney, Gerald Ramdeen, stated that
from the video footage of the incident there
was a prima facie case of assault and battery,
misconduct in public office, doing an act tending
to pervert the course of public justice and
bringing the Police Service into disrepute.
Ramdeen asked Williams, in the letter, to
indicate specific details on who made the
decision to not to conduct an investigation into
It added: "When was this determination
made, what was the material considered in the
making of this decision and what were the
material considerations that were taken into
account in the making of this decision?
"Further, of even more concern to my client is
the fact that a determination was made that
there should be no investigation into this
matter without even an interview being
conducted with my client.
"Commissioner, I have proceeded to advise
my client on the basis that what was stated at
the police press conference was accurate. If it
was not, I expect that this would be corrected
in the shortest possible time by an urgent reply
to this correspondence," the letter stated.
Ramdeen, in the letter, said he believed the
situation could undermine not only the public's
confidence in the Police Service but also the
rule of law to which all members of society
LEGAL LETTER TO ACTING COP
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