Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 3rd 2017 Contents viewpoint A19
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Stop pleading with criminals, enforce the law
As we begin this new year I wish the people
in authority and the general public would real-
ise that they need to stop lamenting and
pleading with criminals to stop crime and in-
stead insist that the police enforce the laws
and actually do the job for which they are
We have descended into this dismal abyss
because the criminal elements are thriving in
this environment of lawlessness. The first
thing shown in foreign news is closed circuit
television footage of various crimes and the
perpetrator's face. Why aren't we using this
resource? Will citizens here feel confident that
they can trust the police to identify the person
without putting their own life at risk?
Drivers break traffic lights and drive reck-
lessly on the roads because they are allowed
to. You can drive from Arima to San Fernando
and not see one patrol car; at least not moni-
toring the traffic.
Law abiding citizens are being denied basic
rights to liberty, security and enjoyment of
property. Many average citizens have been
victims of crime or have a relative or friend
with a similar experience.
Quite frankly, even at 40 I have made peace
with my creator because the lives of good,
hard-working citizens have no value. It is illegal
for me to carry a pepper spray in my bag but
children can play and pose with high-powered
The threat is omnipresent. My fear is being
killed in a home invasion, robbery while out
during the day, kidnapping, reckless driving on
the road or in a fire at my house because the
burglar proof makes it a virtual jail and a chal-
lenge to get out in an emergency.
Even if none of these eventualities occur,
the fear and constant stress we are always
subjected to take a physical toll on the body
and increases the likelihood of some illnesses.
We cannot even sleep in peace at night.
People who still say Trinidad is a paradise
must be comparing us to Syria or Iran and
must not have not been to a country where
there is law and order. Our paradise days are
long gone; some people have turned it into
hell. If we want a paradise we have to visit To-
This is not living and enjoying life, this is ex-
isting and constantly trying to just stay alive.
If people are still in doubt they should read the
travel advisories from the United Kingdom,
Canada and the United States. In the Gazette's
review for 2016 we are ranked No.7 of coun-
tries with the highest crime rates in the world.
We are paying and training an army to de-
fend us in the event of an international threat
but the reality is we are under siege domesti-
cally and not utilising these personnel effec-
tively. The irony is the armed forces will
actually come up with and execute a plan for
masqueraders to wine and fete safely on Car-
nival Monday and Tuesday but what about
the other 363 days in the year?
To conclude, I acknowledge the futility of
this letter: this topic has been and will con-
tinue to be exhausted. The time for talk has
long gone. Change will only come when the
laws are enforced. Criminals cannot roam free
while we live in fear. They must be detained,
prosecuted and punished.
Who will break
Once again, the OWTU seeks to commandeer its
pound of flesh from a decelerating and devastated
economy, plunging price of oil/gas, escalating unem-
ployment, gas shortage, billion-dollar debt-ridden
Petrotrin the employer, dwindling forex life-line and
a 92 per cent reduction in the Exchequer's take from
the energy sector exacerbated by an unprecedented
seven per cent decline in GDP in the last quarter.
It is on record that Petrotrin employs a labour
force that is ten times what is required to run a re-
finery operation of its size---political worker padding.
The OWTU has been holding T&T to ransom since
Independence and inflicting enormous punishment
on the people of this country by its devastating
striking strategy with no respite in the offing.
Additionally, the rest of the people do not get any
returns from its largest State-oil company harvest-
ing the nation's energy patrimony for the exclusive
benefit of the members of the OWTU commanding
astronomical wages but with disappearing markets
in the Caribbean.
The late Patrick Manning sought to break this
OWTU stranglehold on T&T when he established the
Caroni Liquid Fuel Facility near to the Caroni Crema-
tion Site at a cost of $1.5bn but without commis-
sioning the requisite feasibility study.
He intended to introduce a private sector man-
agement/operation of this fuel depot away from NP
and therefore without any industrial strike opportu-
nity for the OWTU to shut it down to leverage wage
To date the facility is non-operational. It has been
assigned to NP. Workers are represented by OWTU
again. The facility is deteriorating daily.
Except for the above facility and an occasional
Defence Force interventionist fuel delivery contin-
gency plan, no serious attempt has been made to in-
sulate the hapless, victimised and besieged
population from the insidious and callous visitings
and vicissitudes of the OWTU. It is as if The Exche-
quer owes a perennial debt to the militant OWTU to
satisfy their demands first and foremost. The rest
of us just have to wait.
TCL was able to break the backs of the OWTU re-
cently when the cement supply was disrupted. Who
will do the same to the insensitive, war-like, inhu-
mane and exploitive oil workers strike squad for the
sake of all of us, and bring this sordid saga to an
Can the union
survive a strike?
The OWTU is threatening to shut
down Petrotrin from tomorrow. Is this
a case of flexing one's muscles? Why
not before Christmas or New Year's?
Convenient time isn't it? After all the
The WTI crude oil price is $53.72
BRENT crude oil is $56.13 USD.
T&T'S crude fetches a much lower
The workers involved are among
the highest paid, highly political yet
least productive in the country.
At this present time zero-zero-zero
is all that is available. Plain talk bad
manners. Are you going to riot? T&T
needs to be put first. Many workers
have been sent home. Do you care
only about yourselves?
There is panic buying at the gas st-
stions. Whatever you buy will finish
one day. Storing gas at home is not
advised. It is toxic and highly flamma-
ble. The gas station owners after cry-
ing about small profits must be
laughing all the way to all the banks.
Can the union members survive a
strike? Have adequate measures be
put in place? The protective services
must be utilised effectively.
Strike if you must. Do what you
have to. No pappyshow and mama-
Just a gentle reminder---Carnival is
March 27 and 28, 2017.
We will overcome some day.
Thousands in same position, even worse
Mr Roget, President of the OWTU, is saying
there has not been any salary adjustments at
Petrotrin for six years.
Well, I would like to welcome him to the
club. There are others out there in similar situ-
ations where there were no salary adjust-
ments. Some have retired for years and are
still awaiting compensation packages. Others
sent home at short notice not knowing where
the next meal was coming from.
Mr Roget, at least those at Petrotrin still
have a bread and some butter. There are
those out here who do not have either.
To make matters worse, OWTU is asking
for an 18 per cent increase for the period
These people have to be jokers, non-caring
and very irresponsible for doing this. Where
are they living?
The facts concerning Petrotrin's present po-
sition are there---the country is in a recession,
how can this be afforded?
Also, I would like Mr Roget to be mindful of
other workers in organisations who pay their
dues to OWTU and are in similar situations.
What about that aggressiveness for them
also? I wonder why Petrotrin is so high on the
agenda. Mr Roget needs to be thankful, de-
spite the down turn in oil prices the workers
still have jobs which also pay well presently.
I do hope the President of OWTU will re-
think this action and as a responsible citizen,
see about the country and not just his small
environment. I also take this opportunity to
wish him a Merry Christmas and a bright and
prosperous New Year.
Revelers brave pack ice as they participate in the annual New Year polar bear dip in
Charlottetown Harbour on Prince Edward Island, Canada on Sunday. High winds pushed the ice
against the shore forcing swimmers to improvise. AP PHOTO
POLAR BEAR DIP
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