Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 29th 2014 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, May 29, 2014
6.1000 6.2587 6.4465
5.5038 5.7935 6.1121
9.9710 10.4958 11.0626
8.1029 8.5294 8.9985
****** 0.0615 0.0652
2.1102 2.2937 2.4543
* 2.5662 ****** 3.2690
for MAY 28th 2014
The mother of a 13-year-old schoolgirl
who gave birth to a baby boy on May 21 at
the San Fernando General Hospital has
decided to keep the baby.
The girl became pregnant after she was
allegedly raped by her sister s boyfriend.
The matter was reported to the Princes
Town police in January and the alleged rapist,
25, was arrested and charged for the offence.
The matter is pending in the Princes Town
Magistrate s Court.
Relatives of the girl told the T&T Guardian
that prior to her delivery her mother was
contemplating giving up the unborn child
However, when she saw the baby for the
first time she decided to keep him even
though several couples had expressed an
interest in adopting him.
Because of her advanced state of pregnancy,
the girl, who was attending primary school,
was unable to write her Secondary Entrance
Assessment (SEA) examination on May 8.
Her relatives said based on her continuous
assessment performance, the Ministry of
Education has agreed to place her in a sec-
ondary school rather than allow her to go
through the rigours of the examination again.
The child and her family, including her
sister, have been receiving counselling. ---
keep son of
FIRE IN THE KITCHEN
A fire officer douses a section of the Red Cross Building, Fitzblackman Drive, Woodbrook, after containing a fire which destroyed the
kitchen on Tuesday night. PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
Months after Parliament defeated a bill
to give soldiers the powers of arrest, the
association representing police officers is
once more rejecting Chief of Defence Staff
Major General Kenrick Maharaj call for leg-
islative support for this initiative.
However, Attorney General Anand Ram-
logan, who piloted the Miscellaneous Provi-
sions (Defence and Police Complaints) Act
2013, welcomed Maharaj s call for greater
powers for soldiers and said that vindicated
In a telephone interview from New York,
USA, where he is attending an international
conference, the Attorney General said, "it is
refreshing to hear the Chief of Defence Staff
speak about the new strategic role for the
"His call for greater legal powers echoes
the sentiments I expressed when I piloted
this bill and I therefore welcome the belated
breaking of his silence.
"It vindicates my position and stance that
this is, in fact, a long overdue and much
needed legislative intervention whose time
Speaking at the Prayer Plus Finding Solu-
tions to Crime meeting of heads of the Chris-
tian Faith at Trinidad Hilton on Tuesday,
Maharaj said the Defence Force did not enjoy
the primacy of law enforcement or the author-
ity to arrest but it is something it would con-
tinue to engage.
He also said with the Police Service being
stretched, the Defence Force at some point
would have to contemplate the idea and notion
of being able to do independent operations."
President of the Police Social Welfare Asso-
ciation Inspector Anand Ramesar said, mem-
bers of the Police Service were totally against
such a move.
Ramesar said it was clear that the Chief
of Defence Staff did not understand the role
of the army in a democratic society. He said
the soldiers and police have worked together
in the past and coming out of that there was
a clear understanding that there is no role
for any member of the Defence Force to play
in relation to exercising powers of arrest.
"We are clear the role of the police must
be separate from the army and the police
must remain impartial at all times."
However, Ramlogan said: "I remain of the
firm view that the Soldier/Police Bill which
was defeated, is a necessary measure in our
society. This was an excellent policy initiative
by the Government which the Opposition
did not support on the basis that soldiers are
trained to kill and people fear them."
He said when he piloted the bill, he thought
he would have garnered Opposition and Inde-
pendent Senators support "because bandits
are not aiming for your elbows and ankles.
They are shooting to kill and the fact that
they will fear soldiers with limited powers,
is for me, a good thing."
He referred to the state of emergency
imposed by his government two years ago
and noted that soldiers were vested with
police powers within that period.
"And none of the anticipated excesses of
power occured. Ironically, there are numerous
allegations of police brutality and there is
much room for improvement in our polic-
Continuing his advocacy for soldiers to be
vested with increased powers, Ramlogan said:
"Soldiers are extremely disciplined and well
trained and we trust them with our youths
in the Civilian Conservation Corp, in the
national mentorship programme, Cadets and
now Life Sport. So why pedal mischevious
fear and paint then as killing machines."
"We need all hands on deck if we are to
win the fight against crime," he added.
Division still over
soldiers' arrest powers
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