Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 23rd 2014 Contents A16
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, May 23, 2014
As a video which purported to show a
Government Minister rolling a marijuana
cigarette in a hotel room continue to
make the rounds yesterday, some
members of the public were questioning
whether it was not only genuine but why
it had suddenly propped up now.
Some, in forwarding a conspiracy
theory, suggested the video was old,
could not be verified and there was no
hard evidence to make any of it stand up
in a court of law. Following is an article
published on March 16 which
documented some of the proceedings of
the Parliament session the day before.
People s National Movement MP Mar-
lene McDonald silenced the usually talk-
ative Government MP Anil Roberts in
Parliament yesterday when she dropped
several sharp references to "Spanish"
and "Room 201" in Roberts s direction.
McDonald was delivering a fiery con-
tribution in yesterday s debate on legis-
lation to precept soldiers for the anti-
crime fight, when Roberts appeared to
McDonald shot back: "I doh need no
clap! When I learn to speak Spanish I ll
go and talk to him, I ll go to Room 201."
The Parliament chamber rang with a
loud chorus of "Oh!"
Calling for the bill to be withdrawn,
McDonald said the Government should
have further consultation and then return
it. Describing the bill as "a half-picked
duck," McDonald said the Government
was ill-advised and didn t understand its
She expressed concern that the Police
Complaints Authority might not have
jurisdiction over complaints concerning
soldiers and the latter, claiming immunity,
might be free to commit abuses of people
or property and there would be no redress
for citizens. She said during the 2011 state
of emergency, the army picked up many
people from depressed areas like Duncan
Street, Beetham, Laventille and Sea Lots.
McDonald said the legislation could
set the stage for a "showdown" between
police and soldiers. She queried who
would control the police. "Ramesh," some
PP MPs murmured. McDonald asked why
there was "reluctance" to give control to
the Police Commissioner. She claimed
the bill might be the first step to insti-
tutionalise the involvement of military
She said the Government s move to
amend a segment and give the Chief of
Defence Staff supervisory power, rather
than the National Security Minister, was
still wrong, since the CDS reported to
Seven weeks after pastor Vishnu "Kitty"
Lutchmansingh remains were found in the
ruins of his burnt out home, official DNA
results have confirmed his death.
Yesterday, Lutchmansingh s wife Tricia
was called to the Forensic Science Centre
to claim his remains after pathologist Dr
Hughvon des Vignes confirmed that he died
from smoke inhalation.
Lutchmansingh s sister Leela Janitan said
the family can now get some closure as his
funeral is being planned for 2 pm on Monday
at Belgrove s Funeral Home and Cremato-
rium, San Fernando.
Speaking via telephone, Janitan said, "He
didn t die from the gunshot, that was an
old injury. He died in the fire. I feel that
when his car crashed on the iron, he probably
got a lashed somewhere. They said he set
the fire in the kitchen and he fell in the
hallway. His gun was under his chest when
he fell and that is how they found him. I
believe it was a heart attack that killed him
because he had heart problems and he
always used to get short breaths like he was
On March 31, Lutchmansingh, 54, the
founder of Faith Sanctuary Family Ministries
in Cunupia, went to a parcel of family land along David Toby Trace, Chin Chin Road,
Cunupia where after an argument with his
brother 44-year-old brother Kishan. Reports
stated that Lutchmansingh shot Kishan
before ramming his Nissan Wingroad station
wagon into his nephew Timothy Janitan.
He then returned to his Las Lomas, Savary
Extension Road, Las Lomas No 1, where he
crashed the vehicle into a ditch. Lutch-
mansingh then went inside his wooden sin-
gle storey house and set it on fire.
Skepticism arose a week later after des
Vignes had originally surmised that Lutch-
mansingh died from a single shot wound
to the back. This led to police opting for
DNA analysis at a UK laboratory to deter-
mine whether the remains found in the
house was in fact Lutchmansingh s. The
officers believed it was impossible for some-
one to shoot themselves in the back, how-
ever, medical reports showed that it was an
old injury from a hunting accident.
Lutchmansingh was no stranger to con-
troversy as he was indicted in a $50 million
embezzlement scam. He was granted $4
million bail at the San Fernando Magistrate
Court after appearing on 87 fraud charges,
including a charge that he defrauded
Nutrimix CEO Shaheed Mohammed.
Lutchmansingh is alleged to have falsely
stated to Mohammed that he (Lutchmans-
ingh) was the beneficiary of 271 billion
pounds sterling in the will of an American
billionaire, Buford B Keaton.
Marlene keeps Anil quiet
Pastor Kitty's burnt
Vishnu "Kitty" Lutchmansingh.
Security operations at the country s two air-
ports will grind to a halt next week if Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Transport
Minister Stephen Cadiz fail to address health
and safety issues raised by security officers.
Second vice-president of the Estate Police
Association (EPA), Emmanuel Henry has called
on Persad-Bissessar to address the matter in her
capacity as chairman of the National Security
Henry warned that the safety of the travelling
public would be under threat if their concerns
are not addressed within seven days.
Surrounded by more than 100 officers as he
spoke to reporters at the Piarco International
Airport yesterday, Henry said there were numerous
issues affecting over 400 members, at both the
Piarco and ANR Robinson airport in Tobago.
Among the issues highlighted are stalled wage
negotiations, adverse working conditions, faulty
equipment and a failed job evaluation.
Henry revealed that although the EPA has
written to the board on several occasions request-
ing improved working conditions, nothing has
He said during the rainy season, the male and
female dormitories are affected by flood waters,
which often encourages snakes, scorpions and
Adding that the nearby drain would overflow,
Henry said these concerns were expressed to the
management since last year.
He said with this year s rainy season looming,
the authority was yet to rectify the matter.
"These issues are affecting the health and
safety of our workers," Henry stated.
On the issue of faulty equipment, Henry said
officers were being forced to use sub-standard
gun holsters, from which ammunition was being
ejected and lost.
He revealed that a senior officer remains on
suspension without pay after he lost a magazine
containing seven rounds of ammunition.
"The risk of these officers losing their firearms,
it could end up in the hands of the criminals,"
Henry said, "We have called on them and they
have taken us for granted."
Henry urged National Security Minister Gary
Griffith to intervene in the matter.
"If they are not provided with the proper tools
an equipment, we will have to treat with it accord-
ingly," Henry warned.
Quoting from the Occupational Safety and
Health Act, Henry said employers had a duty of
care to provide a safe place of work, as well as
proper tools and equipment for all employees.
He said in the absence of these conditions,
employees were entitled to withhold their services
"as they cannot perform their duties when they
come to work if they continue to be exposed to
all kinds of hazardous ills."
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