Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 12th 2016 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, May 12, 2016
The majority of members of the Inter-Reli-
gious Organisation (IRO) are "totally against"
abortion which has been a topic of much dis-
cussion within recent week, especially in light
of the Zika virus.
The IRO s president, Brother Harrypersad Maharaj,
said the issue was at the fore of a meeting on Monday
afternoon at which several other pertinent topics
Describing the talks as fruitful, Maharaj said about
75 per cent of members turned up at the meeting
following which a unanimous decision was taken not
to support the call to legalise abortion.
"There would be members who would want to
give their personal view....some of them said if the
fetus is developing in the fallopian tube then the
mother s life is in danger.
"But the general consensus is against abortion,"
On the call from Roman Catholic Archbishop
Joseph Harris, who is seeking to free prisoners who
have been in jail longer than the maximum term,
Maharaj said the IRO was also against that.
Instead, Maharaj said justice must be done via the
"But the process must be speeder so these matters
could be dealt with in a timely manner," Maharaj urged.
This year has been declared the "Jubilee Year of
Mercy" by Pope Francis and it is in this context that
Harris is seeking presidential pardon for some incar-
cerated on remand.
Regarding the appeal for child marriages to be out-
lawed in this country Maharaj said the Government
should not try to influence the religious doctrine and
culture of the various religions.
"We do not consider it a question of child marriage.
These are laws which were enshrined by each of
these various religions and have its values and therefore
the State should not try to interfere with that," Maharaj
IRO 'totally against' abortion
In the Hindu religion, he said, the legal age to be
married was 16, Christians 14 and Muslims 12.
Saying that such unions were under parental con-
sent, Maharaj said parents would therefore still play
a role in their children s upbringing.
But pressed whether it was wrong for a child to
be forced into marriage rather that chose a partner
of his or her choice upon becoming an adult, Maharaj
said: "So when they decide to get married---which
is exactly what is happening today--- many divorce
after six months.
"In ancient times, you didn t have that. Even
though it was an arranged marriage, the marriage
last until they die. Today, there are selecting their
own people, according to their own choice, and we
are having more divorce than marriage."
Also discussed was insufficient funding from the
Government to the various religious organisations.
He said oftentimes the Government solicit support
from such groups but monies were not forthcom-
"You cannot want milk from a cow and doh feed
it grass. You cannot say we are not going to assist
religious organisations and yet everytime you have a
problem they are the people you are going to for help.
"These organisations hold the country together
in terms of moral and spiritual values," Maharaj
...president of the IRO
Gulf View residents have welcomed new arrange-
ments by San Fernando Mayor Kazim Hosein to
tackle traffic congestion in the city.
Spurred on by complaints from residents and com-
muters about the congestion along the Gulf View Link
Road, Hosein has partnered with the Gulf City Mall
to resolve the problem.
The collaborative effort is expected to begin later
this month and should be completed within four to
six weeks. When completed, there will be parking
restrictions and wrecking of vehicles breaking the law,
Hosein told a stakeholders meeting on Monday at the
mall s corporate office.
"The new traffic solution for the Gulf View Link
Road is the first phase of the new traffic management
plan for the city," Hosein said, explaining the idea
stemmed from a series of public consultations in mid-
He said the road, initially built for use by residents
in the private development but later made a public
thoroughfare, was identified as one of the priority
areas to be tackled because of the tremendous suffering
it has caused residents in the upscale area.
The proliferation of taxi and PH drivers has not
helped. Hosein said the mall s management had com-
mitted to providing a dedicated taxi area and parking
"This measure would return the north-bound traffic
to two lanes instead of the current situation where
one lane is used for taxi parking."
Hosein said barriers will be introduced to prevent
the traffic caused by drivers currently making U-turns
across the lanes of north- and south-bound traffic.
New traffic plan
for Gulf View
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