Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 14th 2016 Contents A12
December 14 - 2016
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Time to Unite
Any request for
come together at
this time seems
even obscene. After
all, the island is in the middle of a
vitriolic political campaign seeking
to wrest control of the Tobago House
of Assembly from the ruling People's
However, that clarion call is pre-
cisely what the Tobago Division of the
Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of
Industry, has made by inviting all
business people, civil society and other
interest groups to unite.
Moreover, that request has become
even more urgent and necessary in
light of the most recent incidents of
brash gun-related robberies in
well-populated areas. The fact that
crimes are being committed in daylight
in full glare of shoppers speaks vol-
umes of the almost fearless nature of
For instance, the attempted robbery
at a hardware occurred in the evening
and the bandits proceeded to rob a
hair accessories store in the heart of
Scarborough. Last weekend, two
supermarkets in the village of Black-
rock were robbed within minutes of
Thus, the Chamber's assertive call
for a collaborative approach seeking
solutions to the crime problem and
restoring "some degree of dignity and
serenity to Tobago" must be heeded
This does not mean that election-
eering must cease. Instead, it simply
calls for a more level-headed and
collective approach so that the crim-
inal elements do not exploit our vul-
nerability while we focus on the Toba-
go House of Assembly election.
It's important to realise therefore
that political freedom - the right to
campaign for whom we please - is
Secretary for Community Development and Culture, Den-
ise Tsoifatt-Angus during the re-commissioning of GNV
Place, Scarborough, which will serve as a hub of activity
showcasing Tobago's culture.
part of our democracy and so
too is the right to be informed
and get involved.
And of course, the right of
freedom of movement is also
enshrined as part of a democra-
cy. Currently, our freedoms are
being curtailed by the criminal
elements and it cannot be allowed
to continue in our small space.
Additionally, the role of law
enforcement agencies as part of
the call for unity is crucial. Theirs
is a role of protection, offering
comfort and peace of mind.
Therefore, the security agen-
cy's press briefing early this week
will bring little comfort unless it
is followed by tangible action on
the agency's part.
So far, the general population
has raised concerns about the
law enforcement's role and
informed speculators are casting
aspersions on their capacity to
deal effectively with the problem.
However, regardless of the
actions of business owners, civil
society and special interest
groups, until the criminals are
caught and brought to justice all
actions will come to naught.
So although we are in the mid-
dle of an election campaign, we
must all come together to fight
crime in whatever way we can.
After all, criminals do not ask
for your party card just before
robbing or killing you.
Local artistes 'lock arms' for murder victims
Dozens of concerned citizens, including
artistes such as Mavis John, Kees Dieffen-
thaller, Teresa Awai, Anya Ayoung-Chee
and Danielle Jones-Hunte, turned up at
Nelson Mandela Park, Port-of-Spain, on
Sunday, to "lock arms" in a show of soli-
darity for murder victims and their families.
While the group, which has been dubbed
Arm-in-Arm, is not headed by a singular
person, those responsible for organising the
mid-morning event said it was "to give a
voice to those who have been silenced."
Born out of public outrage over the mur-
der of Republic Bank employee Shannon
Banfield, the initiative attracted a wide
cross-section of people, which included
people from as young as one, to a retired
attorney over the age of 90. One mother
said she was now determined to become her
neighbour's keeper. Upset over the state of
crime in the country, the woman said: "It
has been going on now for way too long and
it is getting progressively worse."
Admitting she was considering emigrating
as a result, the woman said she was hoping
to make the perpetrators of these crimes sit
up and realise the disregard for human life
that was being displayed each time someone
"Something is wrong with people. We lack
love, we lack compassion and we need to be
united," she said, adding, "We are ready to
represent whatever small portion of T&T
that is ready to stand up and speak up. Peo-
ple are afraid to do that because they have
lost faith in the system."
Miniature wooden crosses---which were
said to be symbolic of those who had passed---
were presented to members of the gathering
and later hammered into the ground along-
side newspaper clippings of murders that
had occurred during the year.
Holding hands as they sang Let There Be
Peace on Earth, people were later invited to
place flowers near the crosses as they closed
ranks and gathered in a tight circle during
which time they commiserated about past
Also joining the group were members of
a football team who had been engaged in a
friendly match at the Park, as they agreed
the initiative was "too important not to lend
our voice to it."
Entertainer Mavis John said she was com-
pelled to support it as a mother and grand-
mother who was filled with a range of emo-
tions over the general crime situation.
She said, "T&T is ours and we have to
take care of it. We have to make changes."
Local fashion designer Anya Ayoung-Chee,
praised those who heeded the call to come
out and demonstrate solidarity as she said,
"We have a situation that is completely out
of control. Not just violence against women,
but violence in general is growing. This is a
signal that people care and a signal that
people want change."
Calling for continuous, deliberate and
ongoing action, Ayoung-Chee said while
some deaths may be given more attention
than others, "every life matters."
Dr Karen Polson-Edwards, acting director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Umslophagaas Job, administrator in the Division of Tourism and Transportation,
and Frederica Brooks-Adams, the director of Tourism, share a moment during the opening of the Tourism Health and Safety Symposium at the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute
recently. Photo courtesy Department of Information, Office of the Chief Secretary
"This project tells the story of
our people, it is a bridge between
Tobago and our visitors."
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