Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 10th 2014 Contents A32
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PP members Nizam Baksh and
Devant Maharaj made studied
efforts yesterday in Parliament
to underscore Government s moves
to provide recreation grounds and
fishing centres for various areas---
and how this wasn t done by the
On Thursday Finance Minister
Larry Howai also underscored the
positive rating received in April
from Moody s for Government s
As well Government might seek
to highlight its achievements since
its performance on the anti-crime
thrust has come under just as glar-
ing a spotlight, up to yesterday in
PNM MP Terrence Deyalsingh
asked the questions which plagued
thousands since 12.05 am Sunday
and the assassination of state pros-
ecutor Dana Seetahal: what s
become of PP s 2010 platform
promise to bring T&T s top problem
under control and its 120-day crime
Deyalsingh provided negative
answers via Attorney General Anand
Ramlogan s statements from 2011---
in piloting legislation---which con-
firmed continuing problems.
And Seetahal, a leading legal light
in trying to deal with the problem,
now snuffed out by it. Assuming
icon status as a warrior for justice
which may have inevitably con-
tributed to her end.
As T&T turned a corner last Sun-
day, the messages sent by the
killing of a judicial official---dark
irony that the messenger in this
case indeed, was shot---hold myriad
The criminal justice system will
have to heed. Seek out and tighten
loopholes which have allowed this
The public has heeded. If such a
one as the brilliant, fearless, gun-
packing, karateka, legal luminary---
then certainly anyone.
State intelligence systems, ailing
for decades and further mired by
expertise flooding T&T from some
US deportees, need reworking. That
includes beyond National Security
Minister Gary Griffith s frequent
"extemporing" on issues.
Seetahal s murder in the capital
bearing all hallmarks of a highly
professional execution came after
various announcements on forma-
tion of teams, systems and policies
of all types to assist law enforce-
It s now difficult to buy the AG s
recent statement that wire-tapping
legislation concerning criminal ele-
ments was producing results. Or
Griffith s statement that the jury "is
still out" on whether security agen-
cies intelligence networks failed.
Obviously they did. Worse case sce-
nario, little exists---correspondent to
gang warfare and growing murder
rates---judging from belated state
appeals for information.
Alarms about shifts in the crimi-
nal plain and that T&T was moving
to Mexico status had been sounded.
Not just via warfare between the
two main players in what is known
to be T&T s highly profitable gang
business sector, featuring in some
quarters, one-stop shops for drugs,
guns and ammo, plus cash conduits
to fund and "process" flows, experts
No one has been arrested for the
August 2013 "hit" on attorney Wes-
ley Debideen. Similar to the report-
ed attack on Seetahal, a gunman
drew alongside his vehicle and fired.
The Sentinel robbery two months
after, involved another mobile "hit"
plus disturbingly professional fea-
tures including weighting of the
Seetahal s assassination, another
mobile hit, occurred as she neared
home, similar to former Attorney
General Selwyn Richardson, assassi-
nated in 1995 entering his driveway.
And still unsolved.
Further sad irony of her murder
was her role in the case of another
Vindra Naipaul Coolman---fuelling
theories surrounding Seetahal s
death. Her work, usually high pro-
file was indeed contentious judging
from reported hit-list inclusion and
death threats in 2005 and 2010.
Apart from high local connec-
tions, Seetahal was well established
enough to have helped (according to
the AG) organise last week s Plea
Bargaining forum hosted by the US
Embassy. Whether her death
stemmed from something she was
working on or about to, it has cast
Government into post-9/11 mode
which birthed US Homeland Secu-
rity systems such as colour alerts,
Government is adopting.
Seetahal s murder is now the
biggest blot on Government s page,
weeks before PP s fourth anniver-
sary. In a pre-general election year.
Amid rumbling, coalescing Opposi-
It remains to unfold how well the
forces that can, will heed President
Anthony Carmona s casket-side
appeal at Seetahal s funeral, for MPs
to deal with the crime issue. And if
they ll set the example to prompt
citizens to try and live up to a fall-
en warrior s huge legacy.
The funeral of Dana Seetahal
was nothing short of a State
funeral, save the pomp and
pageantry of the parade of uni-
formed officers and the last post.
She deserved it, nevertheless.
Although she enjoyed the com-
pany of friends and relatives
when it suited her, she was a pri-
vate person, humble and down to
earth and for that and her many
accomplishments the memory of
her life will inspire generations to
However, her funeral will be re-
membered as the day this country
made the worst blunder in na-
tional security in its history. We
are lucky that we do not have ter-
rorists here, or if we have, they
were not alert.
I ask the question, why did the
funeral attract the President of
the Republic, the Prime Minister,
the Chief Justice, the President of
the Senate, the Minister of Na-
tional Security and the Attorney
General, all at one time seated in
the same place? This is definitely
not proper protocol and it shows
that we do not have a proper in-
telligence unit to safeguard our
country and our government offi-
cials at all times, and for that I am
We have to be more careful.
Recently in the daily newspa-
pers there were articles con-
cerning the removal of derelict
vehicles in San Fernando. The ex-
ercise was an initiative of the San
Fernando City Corporation,
headed by Mayor Kazim Hosein.
The articles were accompanied
by photos of cars being hoisted
onto a truck to be towed away to
a landfill where they were to be
crushed. Apparently, the owners
were served notices to have these
derelicts removed as they have
been sitting at the side of the
road for over a year. Those own-
ers who did not comply with the
Mayor's request had their vehicles
removed and they were billed for
the job of doing so.
On this note, I would like to
point out to the relevant authori-
ties that there is an abandoned
vehicle on Regents Drive West in
Westmoorings. The dilapidated
Mercedes Benz vehicle has not
moved once since its arrival over a
The owner of the vehicle has
reportedly been asked by many
A FALLEN WARRIOR...
neighbours to have it re-
moved. To date, no at-
tempt has been made to
comply with the request.
The vehicle continues to
be an eyesore and a public
health issue. This aban-
doned vehicle is putting
our neighbourhood at risk.
As far as I am aware,
the law states that "a ve-
hicle that appears to be
abandoned and does not
have a current inspection"
can be "deemed a derelict
to a public health inspec-
tor." However, all at-
tempts to have the local
Regional Health Authority
and the Diego Martin Re-
gional Corporation step in
and deal with this matter
matters such as this?
order to have situations
like this resolved?
A misstep by security services
Remove abandoned vehicle in Westmoorings
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