Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 25th 2014 Contents A30
letters on sunday
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 25, 2014
Squatting camps have become eye-
sores all over Trinidad and since the
authorities are turning a blind eye to
this cancer in our land; soon squatters
will become a law unto themselves.
It is bad enough to see shanties in the
hills, but when they are around houses
for which the home owners had to go
through all the proper and legal chan-
nels before they could build, while
squatters can just erect their structures
without any authorisation, then it just
shows a lack of any will on the part of
those who have to regulate housing.
In Alta Gracia, Maracas there is a vir-
tual village in plain sight overlooking
houses, and absolutely no one in
authority seems to give a hoot. In fact,
a cesspit was built on the land of a legal
landowner, who it seems now can t
build or even sell the land if he wanted,
just because of this eyesore.
Not only is squatting an eyesore, but
some squatters can "own" as much land
as they want for free, since these struc-
tures are just thrown up; should any
calamity take place, then these illegals
would want Government to help them,
which means legal home owners and
taxpayers would have to assist.
Come on, authorities do your job:
stop squatting. Don t just give letters of
comfort, as you are just encouraging
T&T is really in a state of hot mess right now.
The DPP charges the grandfather of the baby
who was left in the car for manslaughter. Everyone
can see that it was clearly an accident, not only on
the grandfather's part but also on the parents' and
babysitter's. I can understand if it was negligence;
Why not charge the real criminals who commit
murders and robberies? In most cases we see that
when they are released, they soon end back up in
jail, and it's a cycle.
The Government can only put the relevant legis-
lation and resources in place; for instance, the bail
bill 2014 and new police cars and police station up-
However, are the police performing their jobs
well enough? Criminals who should get charged for
real crimes usually get away scot-free. I agree with
Dr Rowley's statements that people have no faith
in the police service which is not performing. A cur-
rent example is that no one has been charged with
the assassination of Dana Seetahal SC, a person
who fought for justice.
People of T&T really need to wake up and realise
the state we are in, before it really gets worse.
I listened to the call that journalist Dominic
Kalipersad placed to the Honourable Prime Minis-
ter and it has left me shocked. Never before have I
seen an office like this being disrespected in this
You could have your views, you could have your
loyalties, you could have your ulterior motives, but
all this must take a back seat and certain offices
must be given the respect that is required. You
need to separate the person from the office. You
may not like the person that holds the office, but
at the end of the day, that person represents the
office and all the required protocols must be ob-
I ask, could Mr Kalipersad pull that stunt with
President Obama or another first world leader and
still be calling himself a journalist? And where is
MATT in this matter, or Fixin' TnT or all the other
so-called good governance groups? Is it that it is
only bad once the Government does it and every-
thing else is above board once it works in your
You can't disrespect our leaders in this manner. I
wonder how Williams, Manning, Robinson or Pan-
day would have dealt with Kalipersad?
The recent apology of Herbert Volney and
his acceptance of full blame in the Section 34
controversy has sparked debate on whether it
was authentic or not. I too wondered about
this fact. I did some research and found that
Southern Oregon University professor and
published author in this field, Edwin Battis-
tella, says there are four features that are
usually present in a solid mea culpa:
• Being able to actually say out loud what
you did wrong, because that shows some
level of moral understanding and awareness.
• Being specific and taking ownership with
your language (eg, "I'm sorry I smashed your
car window with a bat" versus "Sorry you're
upset that your window got blown out.")
• Indicating that the apology is leading
somewhere, like to better behaviour in the fu-
• Not making excuses
This is a part of what Volney said: "One
must never be too big to admit when one has
faulted in life and I accept the responsibility
for what I said. It was unfortunate, incorrect,
not malicious but it could have affected per-
sons in a way it was not intended. Let me
make it abundantly clear to all that I take full
responsibility for Section 34."
He also said given his background in the
criminal justice system as a former prosecu-
tor and High Court judge, he was the "one
who not only helped to calibrate Section 34
and to bring it about, but also to have it
amended in the Senate during the course of
the debates and also to have it at the time
when it was proclaimed."
It would appear that looking at the list out-
lined by the expert to verify whether the mea
culpa was authentic or not, all the conditions
are satisfied. People could swing it however
which way they want for their political gain,
but the truth is what it is.
The Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills
Training (MTEST) has embarked on a new skill
database to ease the fuss when searching for
skilled vocational workers.
Where is the database for measuring bankers,
insurance brokers, medical practitioners, account-
ants, media people, advertising agencies, lawyers
and the honesty of judges and politicians?
Is it that they've only got a way to measure
labourers? The big-name professions need rating
for standardisation, so the public can get away
from the rip-off services they, too, often render.
A reliable real-time government data site show-
ing government expenditure on media ads and
propaganda infomercials would be useful.
STOP THE LAND-GRABBING SQUATTERS
Volney apology could be genuine
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Union members taking part in the Joint Trade Union Movement's May 23 march through the streets of Port-of-Spain.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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