Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 3rd 2013 Contents A25
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Eternal rest grant unto Keyana,
Sean, Jacob, Amy, Akiel and all
the other innocent, beautiful lit-
tle children who were murdered of
late in our country. Grant unto their
souls O Lord and let perpetual light
shine upon them, may they all rest in
As a mother and a human being
my mind just cannot understand or
grasp the reality of what has befallen
this little innocent child of God. The
demonic "thing" that snuffed the life
out of Keyana so violently is beyond
words and description. It simply is
not human. It cannot be.
We must pray and pray hard and
loud for our families, our people, our
country and our world, as there is
much evil about and around us,
waiting to pounce and destroy what
is good, and there is good.
The absolute passion and grave plea
that former minister Verna St Rose-
Greaves demonstrated in our Parlia-
ment yesterday is understood and
indicative of the real pain, anger and
frustration that we all feel and are
made to feel, as we see our nation s
innocent children ravaged and mur-
dered mercilessly time and time
What do we do? Do we forget and
move on? How many more children
must be murdered before things
change. There are too many scarred
The Children s Authority has been
rendered a toothless pit bull for too
long, as legislation has been partly
proclaimed under various acts, while
full proclamation is sadly long, long
overdue. Certainly this must be a pri-
ority. Why has it not been made a
Each day children are being abused
in every way behind closed doors; in
children s homes, institutions and
elsewhere. But my question is, can
the Children s Authority really control
all domestic child abuse?
It is a known fact and a common
sight to see small, one-bedroom
shacks in rural areas housing families
of six, eight or sometimes ten people,
most being children; this is certainly
a recipe for communal abuse.
In my humble view this is a differ-
ent problem altogether. The authori-
ties and others must take this more
seriously and find ways to alleviate
this major problem.
Children from all over the country,
in their own homes, in upscale areas,
rural areas and neighbourhoods like
yours and mine are often victims of
Predators should also be marked in
communities where they live. Social
services need proper training,
resources and the manpower to do
their jobs effectively.
Childline, a vessel of hope for
abused women and children, is crying
out for significant funding and man-
power in order to do their work more
effectively; they truly care and can
make a difference.
It is a complex issue; lack of family
values, poverty, lack of spiritual/reli-
gious instruction in the schools and
at home and little or no fear of/for
the law. But most of all, Government
must be more serious about the wel-
fare of ALL of our children. There
should be no politics when it comes
to protecting our nation s children.
I remember growing up as a child;
rich or poor, people had respect for
one another, respect for life and
respect for the law. Children freely
walked the neighbourhoods.
What has happened? Perhaps we
can learn from the past.
We need more Vernas.
Simone de la Bastide
Apart from the dilapidated
Magnificent Seven, has any-
one seen the appalling condition
of the historic statue and foun-
tain (dated 1866) in Woodford
Square? It is in a disgraceful
state of neglect---filthy, peeling
paint, barricaded with a rusty old
chain. What an embarrassment
when visitors see the total disre-
gard for maintaining what should
be preserved and cherished.
Is it that we are too busy
erecting unnecessary billboards
to notice the things that are cry-
ing out for attention? If and
when the statue is ever refur-
bished, hopefully it will be
painted in a milder, more genteel
colour, in keeping with the era it
represents, and not the garish
red and green it is now.
There has been significant public outcry over the
last two weeks in light of the hideous incidence of
child murders, most recently that of six-year-old
Some commentators have put the blame for these
children's deaths squarely on the shoulders of the
Prime Minister. It should be known that the Prime
Minister cannot stop people from engaging in any ac-
tion, criminal or otherwise.
However, she has the authority through the rele-
vant governmental ministries to bring legislation to
Parliament in hopes of establishing deterrents to po-
I truly hate politicising a sensitive issue such as
this, but I think it is necessary to remind the public of
the actions of the opposition PNM with regard to leg-
islation brought to the Parliament in an effort to pre-
vent incidences such as this. In 2011, the Prime Minis-
ter and her government brought the Capital Offences
Constitution Amendment Bill (the Hanging Bill), here
the PNM refused to support it.
Then again in 2013, the Defence Amendment Bill,
where again they refused to support its passing!
Without consensus in the House, critical legislation
like those mentioned above cannot be successfully
implemented or realised at all.
As many reports have stated, crime is not a gov-
ernment issue, rather it is a social problem. The gov-
ernmental institutions can only do so much, with the
agreement of the opposition, of course. But, let us
look beyond the politics, and attempt to formulate a
substantive relationship between the government
and civil society to intervene in this chronic situation.
Cherrise De Souza
NEEDS MORE PRIORITY
Woodford Square remains in sordid state
Consensus needed in Parliament to curb crime
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