Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 26th 2016 Contents A5
Thursday, May 26, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The International Women s Resource Net-
work (IWRN) strongly condemns any form of
abuse meted out to young girls and women in
an attempt to bring about solutions.
The network made the statement yesterday
in the wake of the circulation of a recent video
on social media highlighting the abuse of a men-
tally challenged young woman.
On Tuesday, a video surfaced on Facebook
showing the victim being beaten by a young
woman. She was kicked and slapped several
times in the video which has since gone viral.
Another woman, who was filming the video,
was heard in the background questioning the
victim about stealing and also promising to beat
A second video surfaced yesterday, this time
with the nineteen-year-old victim relating an
incident where she was beaten with a stone and
leather belt and also robbed.
In the video, which also touched on the most
recent attack against her, the victim said she
was taken to an orange field where she was
beaten and robbed. She also said that some of
her personal items were taken from her and
thrown in a drain.
The T&T Guardian was told that the victim
has the mental capacity of a child and that she
had previously lived at a home for people with
special needs but had to leave when she turned
18. The incident occurred in Freeport.
The IWRN was established primarily to provide
support services and mechanisms for young
girls and women in local, regional and interna-
tional communities who are affected by domestic
violence, HIV-Aids and other abusive-type sit-
Its board of directors comprises a group of
professional women, including certified transition
life coaches, career management coaches, psy-
chologists, communications and graphic con-
sultants and overall change agents who, through
their work, positively impact the lives of young
girls and women on a daily basis.
Individuals wishing to obtain assistance or
counselling can call the IWRN s crisis hotline
attack on mentally
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has
accused Independent Senators of "organ-
ising themselves as a political party" to
obstruct Government progress on the
recent Strategic Services Agency (amend-
Rowley did so at yesterday s weekly post-
Cabinet media conference, where he also
took issue with recent statements by Inde-
pendent bench elder Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir.
The PM said Government had gone to
Parliament to amend the SSA Bill to give
security agencies a better vantage point to
respond to the criminal elements and "...we
have Independent Senators who are free to
be independent but organising themselves
as a political party in the Parliament to
obstruct the Government s progress."
He said, however, that if Government got
one vote from the Independent bench the
Bill was well and duly passed. He noted that
two Independents voted with Government
and "we are very happy for the support."
But Rowley said what happened with the
Independents won t distract Government.
"We will bring bills to Parliament and
make our case and expect citizens will either
stand with us or will see us doing what they
don t support... in so far as the Government
has gone to Parliament and passed the leg-
islation with the expected majority, we expect
such a majority will be respected at every
level and Government won t be impeded
...in providing citizens with safety."
On Government s privileges motion against
temporary UNC Senator Gerald Ramdeen
and claims that Independent Senator
Mahabir had said any motion "should have
come" from the Independent bench as the
issue involved temporary Independent Justin
Junkere, the PM said the Senate s Standing
Orders state any member could raise a
motion of privileges if they thought privileges
have been interfered with.
"It s not for Senator Mahabir to tell Gov-
ernment Senators what they should and
shouldn t do. If a Government Senator sees
the privileges of the House has been inter-
fered with or been threatened and there s
a matter of privileges to be raised in the
interest of preserving the Senate s privileges,
then I don t know where an Independent
Senator would have got it from, to say it
should have been done by any particular
He said if Independents were inclined to
raise that as an issue, he would have expected
Mahabir would have been in the forefront
of filing the motion.
Rowley said the Bill had been passed for
two weeks and Government now expected
it to be assented to by the President. Until
that was done, he said Cabinet could not
proclaim it and "Parliament s work remains
He said he trusted that the advice of those
who were "defeated and asking the President
not to assent would not be taken serious-
Rowley wary of Independent collusion to block SSA Bill
Government doesn t have information
that the particular recent message of a
threat of an "ISIS" attack on malls is real,
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said yes-
terday. But real or otherwise, Rowley said
it has the potential to destabilise the coun-
try.The PM, head of the National Security
Council, spoke on the issue at yesterday s
post-Cabinet media conference, where he
was asked about the voice messages recently
circulated on social media.
These audio clips have warned of the
threat of an ISIS attack on local malls
between today and Sunday. Security forces
have been on high alert investigating this.
On whether the source of the message
had been identified, Rowley said the State
had some capacity for that but he didn t
know if that capacity could deal with a
source. He said what was known was that
it had not been determined that it was some-
thing "that has an origin we can identify as
He added that Government also knew
there were elements and entities whose
interests would be served if T&T was desta-
"And we take all threats seriously and we
take careful note of all who want to destabilise
us," Rowley said.
He declined to discuss security arrange-
ments, personnel or stations, save "...to say
we disregard no threat and will put T&T on
a position to respond."
The PM said Government also was not
considering a state of emergency since that
was tried and failed. He said it provided
short respite and damaged the economy
irreparably. However, he said, the security
sector was stepping up its game against the
He said T&T was well served in involve-
ments with UK/US partners on training and
arrangements to improve security but he
said there were concerns on some areas of
T&T s ability to handle and share information
with the metropolitan countries---and that
was a concern to T&T which was being
He said the "blood bath" once associated
with Laventille/East PoS was now coming
from every quarter, including Tobago, and
also warned of people who had committed
murder being in the national community.
Rowley said that could not be allowed to
continue and that started with a better
response "from those whose job it is to deal
with criminal elements."
Rowley reiterated that the problem in T&T
"is the ineffectiveness of security services
to respond to criminal elements, largely due
to lack of pertinent information.
He said if they did not have information,
detection levels would be low and those
services would be "leaping in the dark" if
starved for information. He promoted the
amended Strategic Services Agency Bill as
a solution addressing more serious crimes,
not spying, and once in law would "make
security services less blind."
The PM said a lot of firearms, including
automatic weapons, were believed to be
coming in from South America.
In the face of a crime wave that was not
abating, he said Government had concerns
about this unending supply and porous
Also, he said the simmering situation in
Venezuela could exacerbate that. He said
Monday s T&T-Venezuela talks included
tightening borders and Monday s meeting
of Security Ministers of both countries would
hopefully put T&T in a better position to
confront its security issues.
Also addressing the ISIS threat yesterday,
Randy Seepersad, of UWI s Criminology
Division, said the messages should be taken
seriously as he had sources who were
"knowledgeable about these things."
He claimed ISIS had a recruiting arm in
T&T and training was taking place to send
people "across" but refused to give details.
He said it was not necessarily that the
messages may result in action, "but one
couldn t fully predict and precautions had
to be taken."
He said while ISIS and other groups don t
have the kind of political issues with T&T
as they did with other states, it did not seem
logical for T&T to be a target but added the
messages should still be taken seriously.
Govt taking ISIS
Policemen attached to the Guard and Emergency Branch walk through Gulf City Mall, La
Romaine, yesterday after security forces were put on high alert in the wake of audio
threat claiming ISIS may target malls across the country over the weekend.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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