Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 25th 2013 Contents news
August 25, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Scores of Laventille residents
mobbed interim leader of the Inde-
pendent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warn-
er, demanding jobs, housing, tee-shirts
and money during his walkabout in the
Children lined the street shouting:
"We love Jack" as the Chaguanas West
MP, accompanied by several ILP officials
walked the streets, stopping to talk with
residents along the way, while some
party activists handed out t-shirts from
At John John, a man sat on a bucket
holding a placard bearing the words,
"Jack is de boss."
Heavily armed police officers kept
watch as Warner s team made its way
from the Tokyo Panyard at the bottom
of Picton Street to Pump Trace, Laven-
tille. One resident, Helen Henry, said
she was excited by Warner s promises
to build a better life for the people.
"He is the only one who can help us.
I have a house I am fighting to build
and I want some help," she said.
Another resident, Shenice Innis, said:
"Jack is the only man with the money
to help us. That is why we want to vote
Ex-national footballer Travis Mulraine
said Warner understood the plight of
the people. "I believe he can bring mean-
ingful change and he can create sus-
tainable employment for the people
Warner said he was shocked by the
squalid conditions in the community.
"Never in my life have I see a country
that has benefitted from so much oil
revenue and yet people have to live like
"There is so much poverty and less
than a mile away is so much wealth. All
those tall buildings that are dotting the
sky and people are living here in squalor.
I am shocked at what I am seeing here
He added: "There is no time for croc-
odile tears, no time for rhetoric, it is
time for action. People want better
homes and jobs."
Warner said the ILP will set up a polit-
ical base in Laventille as well as home-
work centres where people can get train-
ing. He said he will also lobby for a
Former Senate President Lyndira Oudit
who resigned her post to join the ILP,
said she hoped to bring about a cultural
transformation in Laventille.
"This is what the ILP is about. It is
not about giving a handout, it is about
changing the minds of the people. This
is the vision that we want for the coun-
try. This is what the people want, they
want Jack. He is a man of performance."
ILP s interim deputy political leader
Anna Deonarine-Rampersad, the party s
cultural change represented a break in
"tribal crapaud, tribal politics."
"This is a wave sweeping the country.
No matter what the PNM or the UNC
does to try to divide the people and keep
them in that vicious cycle, it will not
work because of the maturity of the
people of T&T," Deonarine-Rampersad
Late, in response to questions from
reports Warner says nothing will come
out of a police probe into allegations
that he tried to bribe officials of the
Caribbean Football Union (CFU) last
Police have concluded investigations
and a file has been submitted to Director
of Police Prosecutions Roger Gaspard.
Asked whether he was worried about
the probe, Warner responded: "Out of
zero comes zero and out of nothing will
come nothing so why are you worried?
You cannot pursue anything out of this."
Commenting on crime talks between
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
and Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley,
Warner said: " I have never seen Rowley
smile so much, even in his campaign.
For both of them, the ILP is the enemy
now so to them, the enemy of my
enemy is my friend."
Laventille mob Jack From Page A1
Commissioner of Prisons, Martin Martinez, con-
firmed the programme had been suspended but
couldn t say why.
"After an evaluation of the programme by the
prison executive and the Ministry of Justice, directives
were given to cease the programme until further
notice," he said.
Asked when the programme would be restarted,
Martinez said: "I can t say. The work is being done
by the Ministry of Justice and they would be able
to give a time frame."
In response to questions via text message, Justice
Minister Christlyn Moore said: "Drug treatment pro-
grammes in the prison have not stopped, but all
prison programmes are being audited to assure quality
to measure outcomes."
Meanwhile, the Drug Treatment Court in San Fer-
nando, a pilot project launched in September 2012,
is ineffective and does not capture the range of crim-
inals who are victims of drug abuse, the Sunday
Guardian was told. A well-placed source explained
the process at the drug court: "When people come
to the court, they are given a mandate to attend Nar-
cotics Anonymous meetings.
"They are given a form which must be stamped
at the meeting to show the court they have attended
and that s it, they stamp and go---it s not very effective
in treating addiction as a disease, so many people
go into relapse."
Asked to comment on these findings, Bhaggan
said a better option was to place drug users in a res-
idential programme, since this provided a long-term
solution. However, she said, there weren t sufficient
facilities to provide this treatment nationwide.
"Rehabilitation centres are under-resourced and
the Government isn t very helpful.
"It costs about $120,000 per month to run New
Life Ministries. We receive a subvention of $45,000
per month which we have been begging the Ministry
of Health to increase for years."
Saying New Life Ministries is always under financial
burden, Bhaggan added: "Many addicts can t afford
treatment, but we can t turn them away."
Bhaggan said the drug court did not provide a
wide enough net to capture the variety of criminals
involved in substance abuse, and in-prison rehabil-
itation had the answer.
"Sixty per cent of crimes are driven by people in
drug-related activities. The problem we are seeing
in east Port-of-Spain is also related to substance
In calling for prison reform programmes to be
"beefed-up," she said every prison should have a
drug treatment programme.
Special "half-way" houses were also needed to
prevent users from relapsing when they were released
from prison, she added.
"These are transitional houses where a two-year
programme would be conducted by professionals.
Young people in Laventille run behind a van from which Independent Liberal Party
T-shirts were being distributed during a walkabout in the area yesterday by the
party's interim political leader Jack Warner. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
$120,000 a month
to run rehab project
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