Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 12th 2013 Contents It is with hope and despair
that I have noted public
comment on the violence
among teenagers in our schools.
Many callers, both men and
women, to the public talk
shows have observed that such
violence is perpetrated mostly
by children from single-parent
homes, in particular fatherless
homes. This is an astute as well
as timely observation. Astute
because this observation can be
validated by psycho-sociological
research, and timely because
Sunday is Father s Day.
I am hopeful because finally
the public is getting it right.
They are waking up to the fact
that the absence of an involved
father in the life of a child
wreaks havoc in his or her psy-
che, creating, in many cases, a
broken and scarred adult. For
example, in the US 85 per cent
of youths in prison, 71 per cent
of teenage pregnancies, 80 per
cent of rapists, and 63 per cent
of youth suicides come from
fatherless homes (I could not
get any statistics locally).
I despair, however, that none
of the callers referred to one of
the major causes of fatherless-
ness. This cause is our
approach, as a nation, to the
issue of physical child custody.
For the uninformed, after the
rupture of a spousal relation-
ship when the question of child
custody comes to the fore, it is
settled through the judicial sys-
tem by the practice of what is
termed Care and Control.
One parent, known as the
custodial parent, is given the
power of control over the
child. In the majority of the
cases, this goes to the mother.
I cannot give the exact figure
because, for obvious reasons,
the law courts in T&T do not
keep these statistics by gen-
Few individuals can handle
power objectively. Rather, this
power of Care and Control is
used as a weapon to exact
revenge or some other benefit
from the non-custodial parent.
To paraphrase, the father is x-
ed out of his child s life. He is
given only basic pay-per-view
access as one would have to a
cable channel or a petting zoo.
Then, the mother pats herself
on the back and society praises
her for being able to rear her
child single-handedly, accusing
the father of being deadbeat.
Anyone who has studied histo-
ry could see the analogy
between the breaking of a slave
and the breaking of a father.
Many just give up; some
become alcoholics; some "lock
off" to save their sanity; and
others commit suicide.
What we need to fix this and
much of the sub-sequential ills
of society is a level and just
approach to child custody, an
approach which really puts the
best interest of the child as the
priority as obtains in Australia,
Belgium and other truly devel-
oped nations ie a system of
shared parenting, co-parenting
or equal parenting. It goes by
many different names, but it
allows the child equal access to
both parents. After all,
shouldn t the child s interest be
Happy Father s Day to all,
especially to those whose chil-
dren have been involuntarily
swept from their lives. May
God give you the strength to go
on. May he also bless the
beasts and the children.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
NAVIGATIONAL WARNING 018/13
TRINIDAD - GULF-OF-PARIA
Pipeline operations in progress by tug Michael M and barge Winston B will
continue until 31st December, 2013.
(1) 600 - Metre lengths of pipeline diameter 2" to 14" will be towed between
061 - 29.43 W
in the San Fernando bay area and the main Soldado Marine Oilfields area.
(2) Pipelines will be laid along the line joining
061 - 55-45 W
061 - 55.81 W
A wide berth and caution is advised
4th April, 2013
Director Maritime Services
Maritime Services Division
Ministry of Transport 0522065
Association of T&T
A JUST APPROACH
TO CHILD CUSTODY
The Ministry of Transport has
published an ad that it is the law to
have your vehicle inspected and
that failure to do so would cost
I inspected my car last year and
they did not have stickers available,
so I walked away with a sheet of
paper. This ad will only cause chaos
and a mad rush to inspection sta-
tions and eventually (if there is ade-
quate stock of stickers in the first
place) stickers will run out.
Why not plan the notice and say
registration numbers from PAA to
PBA should be inspected in the next
month, then PBB to PBZ in the next
two months and so on until all vehi-
cles have had the chance to get
their vehicles in good working con-
dition and then the usual road
blocks and consequent traffic jams
can start? To just put this ad is ut-
terly irresponsible. Not to mention
the penalty cost. That is more than
most people's monthly pensions.
Get real please, PP Government.
We know you only have two more
years to prove that you can make a
difference but geez, put your brain
in gear before opening your mouths.
Do you need to suddenly fill the
Treasury by charging citizens
C M Thomson
The word calypso is a noun that, ac-
cording to the Concise Oxford Diction-
ary, "is a kind of West Indian music or
song in syncopated African rhythm,
typically with words improvised on a
Ben Cohen, of Ben and Gerry ice
cream, used the word calypso as an ad-
jective--- "calypso time"---when he ad-
dressed the audience at the opening
ceremony of the Trade and Investment
Forum at the Trinidad Hilton Hotel.
Subsequently, an explanation may have
been offered to the foreigners in the
audience who no doubt would have ac-
quainted themselves with the diction-
ary meaning of the word.
I shudder to think what that explana-
tion might have been. I remember well
the negative context in which the term
"calypso cricket" was coined by a rival
and former WI fast bowler and its sub-
sequent usage by cricketing commen-
tators, especially those from Australia.
Minister Vasant Bharath repeated
the terminology used by Mr Cohen as if
accepting and understanding the con-
text in which "calypso" was used! He
did not take the opportunity to offer a
timely correction regarding the cultural
value of calypso to our nation.
If a negative connotation of the word
calypso is allowed to find its way in the
English language and West Indian lexi-
con, then our cultural base would im-
mediately become undesirable. In fact,
it could mean the end of any political
aspirations of calypsonians!
I sincerely hope that the Minister of
Arts and Multiculturalism---white hat or
not---who was in attendance at the
opening session of the forum will either
ask Mr Bharath to diplomatically cor-
rect Mr Cohen or will do so himself.
Laying claim to
I must make mention of yet another
blatant case of lawlessness and possi-
ble corruption in our blessed country.
There is an establishment on Crystal
Stream in Petit Valley whose owner
has seen it fit to cover the sidewalk in
front of the establishment, furnish it
and effectively has claimed it as his
own property, forcing pedestrians to
walk around, in the road if you please,
as the sidewalk is no longer available.
Who is this boldfaced person who,
evidently, has strong connections either
in the police service, Government or re-
gional corporation, or whoever this ju-
risdiction falls under? How can this be
allowed? And this in the wake of cer-
tain bars on Ariapita Avenue being re-
fused licence renewals because their
patrons converge on the sidewalks,
among other reasons.
The establishment, being a popular
one, attracts so many patrons that
some of the lawless ones park in front
of residents' gates causing them to
have to remain indoors even in the case
of an emergency, as was the case with
one resident two weeks ago. Where is
the police and wrecker service when
you need them? I am calling on the rele-
vant authority to look into this matter
Steve A Johnson
again for IOC status
Now that karate has lost its bid for
IOC recognition, the T&T Karate Union
can stop leading its members astray.
Karate will never be an Olympic sport
simply because the WKF is built on
very shaky foundation and we all know
how that will end up. Oh no, it fell seven
times before. Karate was rejected
seven times for IOC recognition as a
Again, I hope the sport ministry will
now look at the all inclusion/sharing
policy of the T&T Karate Federation and
accept it is the best way to go. There is
no need to re-invent the wheel.
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