Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 3rd 2017 Contents are rare and not the norm. The real
problem with the situation was
child abuse by adults and early sex-
ual initiation of female children.
Tewarie noted a 2004 World
Bank report which stated the Car-
ibbean was the only place where
sexual initiation of females hap-
pened at the earliest ages. "It's a
persistent problem that doesn't
go away and escalates. But the
legislation doesn't address this
issue," he said.
He said few are getting married
at 18 anymore since two -thirds of
female UWI students for instance,
want to focus on their education.
Other people postpone marriage
as they feel it interferes with their
freedom and self-actualisation.
"One in three marriages end in
divorce. But the legislation doesn't
address that, or abortions, domes-
tic violence or family disintegra-
Tewarie said there are challeng-
es to the future of marriage and
the family, especially considering
the brutalisation of women by,
"unthinking men in this society"
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STORIES BY GAIL ALEXANDER
The Government should allow
marriage at age 16 with parental
consent and judicial scrutiny, says
Opposition MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie.
Tewarie made the recommendation
during yesterday's Parliament debate on
proposed legislation to allow marriage
at 18 and to outlaw child marriages.
Tewarie said the Opposition support-
ed the marriage age of 18.
"I'm against child marriages, forced
marriages and the interfering with un-
derage girls by big men," he added.
But he said there were still issues to
be addressed including clarification
from the Attorney General on why the
legislation was changed from requiring
a special-majority vote to requiring a
simple majority vote.
He also noted the legislation didn't
deal with all types of marriages such as
gay, lesbian or transgender marriages
which are part of today's reality.
Tewarie noted appeals by the Hin-
du Women's Organisation (HWO)and
Islamic Ladies' Social and Cultural
organisation for the marriage age to
be 16 with parental supervision and
judicial scrutiny. HWO also suggested
that where females are 16, the male's
age should be no more than 19 years.
Listing countries from Japan and Ja-
maica to Barbados and Belgium which
have a marriage age of 16, Tewarie called
on the Government to show sensitivity
and flexibility in the public interest.
He said he wasn't in favour of a Chris-
tian state, Hindu state, Islamic state
or Jewish or any religious state, "This
(TT) is a society of religious minorities,
everybody is a minority. This isn't a
majoritarian state, so we have to be sen-
sitive and harmonise and live together."
Tewarie said child marriages in T&T
AG on cargo scanners for ports:
They'll be ready after
radiation factor sorted
Cargo scanners for T&T's ports
will be operationalised after a main-
tenance agreement and operating
procedures---to address the radi-
ation factor with scanners---have
been settled, says Attorney General
Al-Rawi gave the update, responding
to queries in Parliament yesterday from
Opposition MP Vidya Guyadeen-Go-
She had asked about National Securi-
ty Minister Edmund Dillon's statement
on Thursday that there were legal issues
to be ironed out, concerning mobile
scanners to be used by Customs and
Excise officers at the port.
Dillon spoke about the matter fol-
lowing Wednesday's discovery of three
AK -47 assault rifles and ammunition
in a barrel of dog food, originating from
Canada. It was found at the El Socorro
bond of Piarco Air Services. Dillon said
mobile scanners have been obtained for
all ports starting with Port-of-Spain
and Pt Lisas, but the AG was working
out some "legal issues" with this.
Yesterday Al- Rawi explained: "The
scanners are to be operationalised after
the maintenance agreement and stand-
ard operating procedures have been
settled. They're on the cusp of being
settled. There are discussions going on
with the local agent, the foreign provid-
ers, Customs and (AG's) office."
Al- Rawi said a need for caution is
being exercised in consultation with
the unions in question ".....because
of the radiation factor that goes along
with the scanners.
"So it's out of caution, to ensure that
the maintenance and safety aspects are
properly dealt with."
Some scanners in Internet ads are
reported to provide "mobile high-res-
olution, high-throughput radiation
scanning of cargo containers."
Al-Rawi said he was hoping to have
the discussions next week. "We're look-
ing to deal with alacrity. We wish to put
it forward as quickly as possible. Once
we sign that maintenance agreement,
we'll be in safe order," Al-Rawi said.
Yesterday, the Opposition also asked
Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe to
state the next step in the impasse be-
tween her ministry, the Tourism De-
velopment Company (TDC) and the
Communication Workers Union after
the Industrial Court's ruled all parties
should discuss the TDC issue. CWU
had objected to TDC's closure and filed
a complaint with the court regarding
severance of workers.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert, how-
ever, answered the question for Cudjoe
Imbert said that after talks, it was
agreed the parties "would go away and
hold further discussions to see whether
they can meet and treat with this matter.
On another query Imbert acknowl-
edged there are "issues" concerning a
projected deficit between NIS contribu-
tions, earnings and payment to benefi-
ciaries, "It's a matter we're addressing,"
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh,
replying for absent Education Minis-
ter Anthony Garcia, said the Education
Ministry is examining the statement by
the Principals Association of Special
Needs Schools that no schools have
been paid since the start of the aca-
UNC MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh said that
had conflicted with Garcia's claim that
two schools received payment.
Deyalsingh, who said it was a very se-
rious issue, assured the matter is "being
dealt with " and that Garcia would speak
to all stakeholders.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Mo-
ses also said the Government hasn't
directed T&T's representative at the
Organisation of American States to
call for member states to have the OAS
president removed, following the Prime
Minister's call for this.
Central MP Bhoe Tewerie makes his contribution during the
Miscellaneous Provisions (Marriage) Bill, 2016 in parliament yesterday.
PHOTO: KERWIN PIERRE
Bhoe: Allow marriage at 16 with consent
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