Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 4th 2013 Contents A5
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The State needs to continue the work
started by former gender, child and youth
development minister Verna St Rose-
Greaves, says Women Working for Social
In a release yesterday, the group said St
Rose-Greaves was well on her way to get-
ting serious measures implemented as
"Among the measures she had begun
to put in place were a national child registry
to record and track the lives of children,
and a system of community social workers,
nurses, policemen and educators. These
were to be part of new support systems
that would be an integral part of each
community," said the release.
"They would work with communities,
drawing on the leadership and wisdom in
the community, because it is the people
of the community who best understand
their needs, and can predict and prevent
untenable and destructive situations in
The group expressed support for St
Rose-Greaves after her outburst in Par-
liament last Friday on the country s failure
to protect its children.
"Though unorthodox, the methods by
which Verna St Rose-Greaves chooses to
highlight the plight of children, few but
the most cold-hearted would fail to relate
to her despair and passion," the group said.
"This is clearly a woman who knows
what institutional frameworks are needed
to address this regular slaughter of inno-
cents and the surrounding issue of our
country s abysmally inadequate provision
The group called for parenting education
and questioned the disciplinary methods
used by parents toward their children.
"Delivering blows to a child s body is
seen as a right of parents, caregivers and
teachers. When it comes to our treatment
of children, we need to make a cultural
"How many people feel they were just
trying to discipline the child? How many
young people just fall into parenting, with
only support for childbirth, but none for
WorkingWomen said children could not
be protected and devalued at the same
Police are investigating two murders
which took place on Monday night and
According to police reports, 21-year-
old Joel Sutton was shot dead at Marble
Lane, D Abadie, around 9.15 pm on Mon-
day. Investigators said Sutton, of Maloney
Gardens, died on the scene.
Residents reportedly heard loud explo-
sions and upon checking found him dead.
In the second killing police were called
to Sankar Ali Trace, Valencia, after a man
found the partially burnt body of a man
under some coconut branches.
Police said around 11.30 am yesterday
they received a telephone call informing
them of the discovery.
murders in East
started by Verna
Hours after the lawyer rep-
resenting the suspect in Keyana
Cumberbatch s murder issued
a public appeal for help to buy
his client s asthma medicine, a
pharmacist stepped foward and
offered to fill the prescription.
The suspect s attorney Fareed
Ali said he was contacted
around noon yesterday by phar-
macist Ernest Sankar, who
responded to a report on the
public appeal in the T&T
He said he had also been con-
tacted on social networking site
Facebook by several people who
were willing to make donations.
Ali took the suspect s pre-
scription to Sankar s Family
Care Pharmacy, Dinsley Junc-
tion, Tacarigua, yesterday after-
noon and was given the med-
ication, valued at $1,154.
Ali was expected to visit the
suspect at the La Horquetta
Police Station late yesterday to
deliver the medical supplies.
In a telephone interview, Ali
said he was delighted Sankar
had stepped forward despite his
client s public image as a sus-
pect in the child s murder.
"Mr Sankar has demonstrated
that in T&T there are still open-
minded people who have faith
in the justice system," Ali said.
He also thanked the T&t
Guardian for publishing his plea.
"Without the report in the
T&T Guardian we would not
have found Sankar and my client
would still be suffering without
his medication," Ali said.
Contacted yesterday, Sankar
said he felt compelled to answer
after reading the report.
"I took an oath as a pharma-
cist. He (the suspect) is a human
being in need of medication, so
I decided to help," Sankar said.
Asked if he was not deterred
by the suspect s link to the
child s murder, Sankar said:
"The law says he is innocent
until proven guilty. If he is
guilty, a judge, jury and God will
deal with him."
gets his medicine
Pharmacist responds to public appeal
KALIFA CLYNE AND
Several of the 16 people named
by Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar as members of the
Child Abuse Task Force were
uncertain of their appointments
up to yesterday evening.
Some named members insisted
nothing had been confirmed.
The task force, which has
already come under criticism from
Opposition MP Amery Browne,
was initiated in response to the
murder of six-year-old Keyana
It also follows an emotional out-
burst by former gender minister
Verna St Rose-Greaves in the
Lower House on the Parliament s
failure to proclaim the Children
Act in the Lower House.
Several members of the task
force, expressed confusion that
their names were disclosed to the
Manager of Mental Health at
the Ministry of Health, Trudy
Rouse, said she was not sure
whether or not a task force had
been officially set up.
"I agreed to go to a meeting to
discuss the opportunity but I can-
not say that I confirmed or accept-
ed an appointment," Rouse said.
"I confirmed my attendance to
Gregory Sloane-Seale, who finds
himself on his second such task
force, after serving on the Child
Protection Task Force initiated after
the death of eight-year-old Daniel
Guerra in 2011, said he had agreed
to Friday s meeting.
He added: "I have not been
appointed yet. I agreed to go to
the meeting. I need to see a terms
of reference and to discuss exactly
what it would be that we are
"The last task force I was on
had recommendations and an
action plan and that needs to be
Former Independent Senator
and human rights activist Diana
Mahabir-Wyatt, who initially
denied that she had been con-
tacted for the position, will lead
the 16-member task force, which
will be mandated to report on its
findings in six weeks.
The task force will meet for the
first time on Friday to discuss,
among other things, its terms of
reference and the official appoint-
ment of members.
Mahabir-Wyatt heads Child Task Force
Task force members
• Diana Mahabir-Wyatt,
management expert ---
• Clifton De Coteau, Minister of
Gender, Child and Youth
• Raziah Ahmed, junior minister
of Gender, Child and Youth
• Sandra Jones, permanent
secretary, Ministry of Gender,
Child and Youth Development.
• Anna Maria Mora,
• Stephanie Daly, SC, chairman
of the board of directors of the
• Hazel Brown, special envoy on
women and girls.
• Brenda Gopeesingh, special
envoy on women and girls.
• Gregory Sloane-Seale,
Citizens Security Programme.
• Zena Ramatali, president,
National Parent Teachers'
• Pastor Clive Dottin, of the
Seventh Day Adventist Church.
•Kathy Bharrathsingh, manager
of Student Support Services,
Ministry of Education.
• Angela Edwards, chief
technical officer, Ministry of the
People and Social
• Trudy Rouse, manager of
Mental Health, Ministry of
• Rondall Feeles, president,
Single Fathers' Association of
• Margaret Sampson-Browne,
retired assistant commissioner
• Hazel Thompson-Ahye,
attorney, mediator, educator
and child rights advocate.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Housing Minister Dr
Roodal Moonilal pose for a photograph with recipients of new homes
during yesterday's distribution of homes at Cypress Hills, Union Hall,
San Fernando. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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