Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 25th 2013 Contents B1
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A member of Russian
punk band Pussy Riot has
called for foreign countries
to boycott February s Win-
ter Olympics, hours after
she was freed from jail.
dismissed the amnesty law
that set her free, saying it
was a "cosmetic measure."
She and band-mate
Maria Alyokhina, who was
also freed, said the prison
system needed wider re-
form and promised to con-
action. They were jailed in
2012 after singing a protest
song in a Moscow cathedral.
The act was seen as blas-
phemous by many Rus-
sians, and was condemned
by the Orthodox Church.
But their conviction for
"hooliganism motivated by
religious hatred" was criti-
cised by rights groups, anti-
government activists and
The amnesty passed last
week aimed to free some
Both Pussy Riot members
said their anti-government
stance had not softened,
and both promised to form a
human-rights group to
fight for prison reform.
Diego Martin was hit hard in
September this year, as flood
waters ravaged homes and dis-
placed families, with many losing
almost all of their belongings.
The T&T Guardian looked into
how a few residents have recovered,
if at all. Will Christmas be Christ-
mas for families who lost almost
all their possessions a few months
Lincoln Ellis is still hoping to
get approved for an HDC house
"I m keeping my fingers crossed,"
Ellis lives in a sparsely furnished
house on St Lucien Road with his
wife, son, daughter, son-in-law,
and grandson. It is the same house
which was flooded in September s
rains. The T&T Guardian visited
their home and found three beds,
two of which were pushed together
for the family to share, a small stove
and refrigerator, and a couch which
was completely covered with
There was no television and their
washing machine worked some-
times, Lincoln s wife Claire Ellis
"Everything was under water,"
she recalled, as she pointed out how
high the water had risen.
It was not the first time floods
had invaded every corner of their
home, Lincoln said. Because of this
ongoing issue, he was holding off
on refurbishing efforts, as he did
not want to spend money on fur-
niture or appliances, which could
potentially be destroyed again next
"I don t want to buy anything.
When rain fall again that will be
wasting money," he said.
Ellis, who said he is "quiet for
the hour," is simply hopeful, and
wanted his eight-year-old son Jere-
my and two-year-old grandson
Adam to have a good Christmas.
"I want to make sure my children
have things. I ll put up a Christmas
tree for them. No matter what hap-
pen to me, they have to be happy."
When asked if he would accept
help from the public while waiting
for word from the Ministry of
Housing, Ellis declined. He said he
could not take anything from any-
one in good conscience, knowing
it might all be lost again for the
"That will be more hurtful than
anything else," he said. "I don t
want to waste people s generosity.
I prefer someone else get it."
Mason Street resident
Stephanie Wilson is hopeful
about Christmas this year
"It s shaping up good so far," she
said while at work in downtown
Port-of-Spain, taking a few minutes
She said her six-member family,
(five adults and a toddler) was living
in the same house that was flooded
three months ago. Speaking to the
T&T Guardian about how life has
been since the flood which
destroyed all their appliances and
furniture, she said it was a strug-
"Things are shaping up slowly."
Wilson said she was only recently
able to afford a new fridge, to
replace one that was given to them
"on loan." They still do not have a
washing machine, but said her sister
picked up their dirty laundry that
needed to be washed.
"It looking a lot better than how
it was a few weeks ago."
The family has put up a Christ-
mas tree and is hopeful for the new
year. Her three-year-old niece will
be the only one receiving gifts this
year, she said.
While the Wilsons stayed put,
another family had to be evacuated
and moved to a new home in east
Trinidad. The seven-member Fran-
cois family was awoken by life-
threatening waters early on Friday,
September 13, and had to make a
The unrelenting floods destroyed
all their furniture, appliances, and
clothes at their Covigne Road home,
where they lived for eight years.
Pussy Riot in Olympics boycott call
looks on as his
Ellis shows how high
flood water rose in
their home in
family is hoping to
get approval for a
house from the HDC.
Continues on Page B2
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