Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2013 Contents Me ent no lawyer. Let me say
that frankomen before some-
body come and say "Lisa say,"
as if I is some kind of Caricom legal
expert. No, I s just a ordinary person
watching what going on and throwing
in my two cents.
I s not no seer-woman neither, and
is just a coincidence that I use the
last two weeks of this column to talk
about Caricom and Caribbean citi-
zenship, using the speech Dr Alissa
Trotz give at UWI to open the Insti-
tute of Gender and Development
Studies 20th anniversary conference.
Well, coincidence or chance, on
November 19 T&T come and throw
out 13 Jamaicans who land at Piarco
Airport and it looking like the start
of a international incident. Up to
yesterday morning I reading on my
Jamaican friend Facebook wall, "I
don t know if I ll be allowed to talk
to you after tonight. I am sad. So
blessings, and go with god.
I know is joke he making; at least,
I hope is joke he making, because it
Trini friends because of some misun-
derstanding and bureaucratic bad-
When the story break last week I
was thinking about the Caribbean
Court of Justice (CCJ) and the ruling
it make on the Myrie vs Barbados
case what Dr Trotz was talking about
in she speech.
A Jamaican woman, Shanique
Myrie, get detain and search and
deported from Barbados---and she sue
Barbados and win. The Jamaica
Gleaner say, in a article on October
4, "The court declared that the Bar-
bados government breached Myrie s
right to enter the country under (...)
the revised treaty of Chaguaramas."
Because is so I stop---or is idle I
idle---I went and look up the Treaty
of Chaguaramas to find out what it
say and whether the Myrie case apply
to we, too. Under article 45 regarding
"Movement of Community Nationals",
it say: Member States commit them-
selves to the goal of free movement
of their nationals within the Commu-
It seem to me that T&T, as a sig-
natory to the Treaty of Chaguaramas
and a Caricom founding member,
also bound to respect the CCJ ruling
in the Myrie case. And if that is true,
then them 13 Jamaicans we throw out
the other day not only could sue we,
but could win.
My Jamaican friend was using the
hashtag #Trinidadboycott to signify
that is not he alone contemplating
this drastic action, but that it have a
whole movement on the Internet
right now for Jamaicans to boycott
A Jamaican lady identify a set of
products: Bermudez, Sunshine Snacks
and Fruta on the list, and anybody
who ever shop in a Jamaican grocery
go tell you that them is not the only
T&T brands that go feel the pinch if
Jamaica boycott we for truth.
Another Gleaner article on Sunday
gone say, "Jamaica imports approxi-
mately US $132 million worth of
goods from T&T, without fuel, and
approximately US $700 million inclu-
sive of fuel."
Seven hundred and ninety-two mil-
lion TT dollars? That is plenty corn
curls and Chubby. Don t even talk
about the oil and gas.
Before the situation get out of
hand, I begging for the Minister of
Trade and the Minister of Foreign
Affairs and the Minister of National
Security to sit down and work out a
proper, comprehensive statement and
policy about where we stand on Cari-
com freedom of movement and trade.
We have the treaty and the CCJ
precedent, but like the people in
Immigration didn t get the memo
about free movement.
Unless them 13 people was crimi-
nals, prostitutes, pimps, gays, imbe-
ciles and other prohibited classes of
persons (according to we own lovely
immigration laws), we was bound to
let them in the country, it seem to
Again, me ent no lawyer and I
could very well be wrong. After all,
we ratify the UN Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimi-
nation Against Women (Cedaw) but
still woman getting licks, chop, and
set on fire and the State seem to
shrug that off, even though they does
say prevention of domestic violence is
a priority; and pregnant woman dying
all the time and we not doing noth-
ing about the ridiculous maternal
For T&T, I feel, Cedaw is a sugges-
tion, not a legal obligation.
Maybe the Treaty of Chaguaramas
is a suggestion too, and we not legal-
ly bound by it. If that is the case, we
should come out and say so, and see
what Bermudez and Associated
Brands and SM Jaleel and them so
have to say about that.
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Breathalyser slows down drunk driving,
but...Trinis yet to change culture
The breathalyser is failing to have the desired
effect because of the way it is applied and the lax
way drunk drivers are punished. Breathalysers
should not be used at random at road blocks unless
there is evidence that a driver has been drinking; the
smell of their breath is the usual indicator.
Every police vehicle should carry a stock of
breathalyser kits. Every driver involved in any road
traffic accident should be breathalysed at the scene
and, if they fail it, should be arrested and taken
straight to a police station to provide a blood
sample. Each police station should have a local
doctor on call for this purpose. If a driver is unable
to take the breathalyser owing to injury a blood
sample should be taken either at the scene by a
doctor, or in the ambulance by paramedics, failing
which it should be taken immediately on arrival at a
hospital or medical facility.
If the blood sample proves they were over the
limit the courts should be required to apply a
mandatory automatic loss of driving permit for 12
months in addition to an appropriate fine for the
first offence with no exceptions or special pleadings
allowed. Two years' loss of permit plus double the
fine for their second offence and five years plus
huge fine for their third. If they offend again after
that they should be banned from driving for life.
Drivers who refuse to provide a breath or blood
sample should be treated as if they had failed them.
These measures may seem harsh but if they were
strictly applied they would soon bring down the
number of alcoholrelated accidents and fatalities.
Tacarigua residents get TPRC action:
Sportt project halted
We need more open spaces. We badly need
savannahs in the east. Development doesn't mean
that you build anywhere you see trees.
Why mustn't our children grow up using world-
class facilities? Are we to be satisfied with open
spaces where not even a toilet is available?
LISA ALLEN AGOSTINI
A CARICOM CONUNDRUM
signatory to the Treaty of
Chaguaramas and a Caricom
founding member, also bound to
respect the CCJ ruling in the
Myrie case. And if that is true,
then them 13 Jamaicans we
throw out the other day not only
could sue we, but could win.
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