Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 16th 2013 Contents After three previous similar attacks,
two-month-old Andre Feroze
Mowlah died last weekend after he was
slammed to the ground with such force
that he died of a crushed skull.
A relative confessed to the infanticide
under police questioning.
But what of the first three incidents?
Two days after the child was born, the
baby s mother, Diana Ramsaroop said, the
man had thrown the baby onto grassy
Ms Ramsaroop is a security guard and
presumably trained to notice dangerous
behaviour. Yet she allowed the abuse to
continue over the next few weeks of the
newborn s life, while the man repeated his
erratic behaviour, tossing the child to the
ground twice more.
On Sunday, after an argument, it hap-
pened again. Baby Andre never stood a
At so many stages, an intervention
could and should have been made to save
this tiny baby.
From the very first time the child was
thrown into grass and emerged miracu-
lously unhurt, his mother s first responsi-
bility was to safeguard her child.
Doctors inspecting the body of the child
at the Point Fortin Area Hospital immedi-
ately suspected foul play and notified the
police, but this seems to have been the
first time they had seen the baby since
Ms Ramsaroop had a responsibility to
raise a red flag with the authorities from
the very first instance of endangerment,
but did she know what to do?
Although her job is to secure premises
and people s personal safety, she didn t
seem to be able to conceive of any way to
engage with national social services net-
works or how to access the type of advice
and support that might have saved the
life of her child.
Point Fortin mayor Clyde Paul has also
said the mother herself was a victim of
People in such a situation are not mere-
ly unwilling but unable to admit the reali-
ty. Denial and minimising the facts are
the only way they can endure. Abuse is a
horribly widespread but little understood
phenomenon, and the psychological dam-
age it inflicts is as disabling as the physi-
Those who have never been victims find
its effects hard to imagine, and wonder
why those afflicted do not simply speak
out, say no, fight back or walk away.
If they could, they would.
The deeply saddening death of Andre
Mowlah should trigger a more organised
and focused response from government
bodies and NGOs specialising in early
child care on what is clearly a disconnect
between making children and raising
Do private doctors notify social workers
or the police when children come for
treatment with suspicious bruises?
Are the mechanisms of child support
and abuse monitoring clearly understood
by the people they are designed to serve?
The death of this infant, who had no
chance to experience the world beyond
violent abuse by someone who should
have protected him from harm, should be
a wakeup call to the officials who should
have been in place to stop the madness
that led to his death.
Innocent children shouldn t die in such
a disturbingly casual manner. It s clear
that there must be a more effective bridge
between these services and those who are
most vulnerable if other innocents are to
be saved from potentially mortal dangers.
T&T must better its response to child abuse
People in such a situation are not merely unwilling but unable to admit the reality Denial and min-
imising the facts are the only way they can endure. The deeply saddening death of Andre Mowlah
should trigger a more or organised and focused response from government bodies and NGOs specialis-
ing in early child care on what is clearly a disconnect between making children and raising them.
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Red tape or regulation? The two
things are very different and the dis-
tinction between them matters. No
one is in favour of red tape. That
there is too much of it is hardwired
into the very words.
Regulation is different. Unlike red
tape, regulation is not inherently one
thing or the other. Some is good.
Some is bad. Most is a mix of both.
There is nothing wrong with a de-
bate about regulation. But there will
always be the suspicion that a debate
framed in terms of red tape is partly
a smokescreen covering an attempt
to sweep away good regulation as
well as bad.
Yesterday s British government re-
port on EU red tape is a case in point.
Since no one is in favour of red tape,
the business taskforce s demands to
slash the EU variety may seem at
face value to be mere common sense.
Once you start to dig down into the
detail of the report, on the other
hand, things get a lot more problem-
The issues raised are less about red
tape than about where to strike a
balance between the economic in-
terests of employers and the security
interests of employees.
There is legitimate debate to be had
in all of the regulated areas ad-
dressed in the report---health and
safety, data protection, non-finan-
cial reporting, apprenticeships,
pregnant workers, working time and
---The Guardian (UK)
Sound Off: EU regulation---red lines for red tape
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