Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 20th 2014 Contents A33
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Apple and Google have re-
moved games from their app
stores in which users per-
formed cosmetic surgery.
Plastic Surgery for Barbie
is no longer available on the
App Store and Google Play
has taken down its version,
known only as Plastic Sur-
The free game, which was
labelled as suitable for chil-
dren aged nine and over, in-
volved making incisions with
a scalpel and performing li-
The description on Google
described the overweight girl
in the game as "ugly."
After performing a variety
of procedures on the girl, she
is revealed as a much thinner
version of her former self
and users can compare her
body before and after the
Although Apple has re-
moved Plastic Surgery for
Barbie, a game called Plastic
Surgery for Barbara is still
available on the App Store.
The graphics and premise
are almost identical, al-
though the app still available
is listed as being suitable for
people aged 12 and over.
In a statement, former
British Association of Aes-
thetic Plastic Surgeons
(Baaps) president Nigel Mer-
cer described the Plastic
Surgery for Barbie app as
"sexist and disturbing.
Plastic surgery app game aimed at children taken down
KALIFA SARAH CLYNE
These words might be considered
near-blasphemous by the thousands
of people who take part in or benefit
from the national festival.
But in recent weeks, there have
been repeated calls to cancel it.
Most of these calls are the result
of a quickly escalating murder rate,
which seemed to spiral out of control
at the beginning of the year, with
26 murders recorded by the 14th
day in the new year.
But is cancelling Carnival a rea-
sonable tactic for dealing with
crime? And could cancelling a fes-
tival that hundreds of thousands of
people depend on for different needs
possibly cause more harm than
Carnival has been a part of the
fabric of this country for more than
100 years, and many people believe
it has united races, classes and over-
come even language barriers because
of its inclusivity.
In 2011, chairman of the Nation-
al Carnival Commission Kenny De
Silva estimated that a minimum of
120,000 people played mas. Since
then dozens of new mas bands have
made entries into the festival.
The only time the festival has ever
been close to being cancelled was
in 1972, because of a polio outbreak.
The Government cancelled all public
events. But the people were not hav-
ing it. Cancel Carnival? Never!
Instead the festival was postponed
to the rainy month of May.
What would be the point of
cancelling the season?
People who support calls for can-
celling Carnival argue that it s an
unnecessary distraction that stops
people from being conscious and
Businessman Dale Ramirez posted
on the social network Facebook that
he would scrap Carnival if it meant
getting a handle on the crime sit-
"Our armed forces should be
policing the hell out of our neigh-
bourhoods not leaning on the scaf-
folding at fetes. Ministers and law-
men should be too busy to head to
ONE fete, two fete, three fete any
fete. I welcome that!" Ramirez post-
ed.While Ramirez admitted in a dis-
cussion on his Facebook page that
he wasn t aware of a direct link
between Carnival and murders, he
argued that a "sober society" had
a much better chance at pinpointing
the problem and attacking it.
"I also see Carnival as the buffer
that distracts the population away
from the crisis we re in. With a Car-
nival season always around the cor-
ner there is no chance of a revolu-
tion. No chance of our people
waking up and realising we re in the
worst shape we ve ever been; no
chance for meaningful change."
Ramirez is not the only one. Jerene
Smith, a 30-year-old social worker,
said she didn t understand why
criminals were being rewarded with
a Carnival season.
"Don t we have more important
things to worry about than feteing?
Does Government even see that
people are afraid to leave their
homes? Threatening to bring back
hanging is clearly not a deterrent.
Hit them where it hurts."
If cancelling Carnival is a potential
measure for decreasing crime, then
an important question needs to be
What is the current relationship
between crime and Carnival?
Empirical data suggests that in
recent years, serious crimes, specif-
ically murders, decrease during the
month of Carnival.
Statistics from the T&T police
show that in 2008, when Carnival
was held in early February, that
month had the lowest number of
murders for the year, and recorded
less than 50 per cent of the 57 mur-
ders in July, the month with the
highest recorded number of mur-
The trend repeated itself in March
of 2009 after a late February Car-
nival, and February of 2010 and 2011
also showed decreases in murders,
although the lowest months for
murders in 2011 were between Sep-
tember and November.
Significantly, the months of Sep-
tember to November 2011 were dur-
ing the state of emergency which
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar declared in August that
Both National Security Minister
Gary Griffith and the acting Com-
missioner of Police Stephen Williams
agree there are fewer murders at
this time of year.
Continues on Page A36
How would Trinidadians cope if Carnival was
cancelled? The experts say another level of
chaos may ensue. PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
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