Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 27th 2014 Contents A5
Friday, June 27, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
JENSEN LA VENDE
Acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams yesterday set-
tled concerns his men were at
war with Laventille.
Speaking at the police weekly
press briefing, Williams said while
the police were unrelenting in their
pursuit against criminals they were
not at war with the community.
He said: "The TTPS has not
launched any war with the Laven-
tille community. In fact, the TTPS
continues to work extensively with
the people of Laventille towards
improving the lives of the people
within the Laventille community.
"The TTPS considers the major-
ity of persons living in the broad
Laventille community to be law-
abiding citizens and in that context,
we would not consider the issue
of launching any war against the
"One needs to understand there
are criminal elements within the
Laventille community. Those per-
sons are in the minority.
"It is critical for the Police Serv-
ice to be tough on those individuals
because they are causing hurt and
pain of the citizens of the broad
Laventille community and the cit-
izens of this country. They are
impacting in a negative way by
way of their actions."
Williams s comment contrasted
to those of the North Eastern-
Division Task Force and vice-pres-
ident of the Police Social and Wel-
fare Association, Insp Roger
Alexander, who last Sunday said
the police would launch an "all-
out war" in Laventille after threats
were made against the police.
The threats came from Kerwin
Rodriguez, whose brother Kishawn
Daniel, 19, was killed by police on
Saturday at Desperlie Crescent,
Reacting angrily to his brother s
death, Rodriguez had reportedly
said police and their families would
feel it, adding that police had to
"sign out" for their guns while
residents of the area did not have
to do so.
Residents also protested the
killing, burning debris and blocking
roadways in the community.
The 58-year-old brother of
Pluck Shop Association head,
Imam Rasheed Karim, was
stabbed to death while attempting
to collect rent from his brother s
tenant on Wednesday night.
Police said around 10.10 pm,
Banette Azim, of Azim Avenue,
Cacandee Road, Felicity, went to
Karim s apartment building, which
is located near his home, to collect
the outstanding rent.
Azim reportedly got into an
argument with the tenant and the
man drew a kitchen knife and
stabbed him several times. The
man then ran away.
Azim, a former employee at the
Eric Williams Medical Sciences
Complex, Mt Hope, was taken to
the Chaguanas Health Facility but
was pronounced dead on arrival.
Police had not arrested the sus-
pect up to late yesterday.
Senior Supt Johnny Abraham
and Sgt Jitendra Tooleram visited
the scene and are continuing inves-
The murder toll stood at 210 up
to last evening.
Acting CoP tries to calm tensions...
We're not at war
Tenant kills man seeking to collect rent
More than 100 medical graduates
of the University of the West Indies
St Augustine and Mona Campuses
have refused to sign internship con-
tracts offered to them by the Min-
istry of Health, saying the new con-
ditions are unreasonable and unfair.
The T&T Guardian spoke to some
students, who chose to remain
"When we started medical school
we were told the internship is one
year. Someone called the ministry
and they told us we have two options:
Either we become a locum, or sign
a two-year contract, and that this
was based on directives from the
minister," one of them explained."
Another student said about 11
graduates had accepted the offer and
signed the contracts. However, the
majority of students refused to sign.
Saying graduates only became
aware of the changes on Monday,
another student added: "Even up to
our oath-taking ceremony two weeks
ago, we understood that it s one year,
and now we have suddenly been told
that it s two years and that we are
not starting on July 1."
Students were told, unofficially,
that the new measures were being
put in place to develop more com-
petent young doctors.
The students said their post-grad-
uate training would also be negatively
affected and they were yet to receive
official word from anyone on the
As Fuad ups medical internship
time without notice...
UWI grads refuse
to sign contracts
Prof Samuel Ramsewak, Dean of the
Faculty of Medical Sciences, has come
out in defence of his students.
Saying he was yet to receive any
official correspondence about the
change, Ramsewak said: "As far as I am
aware, the internship period for a
graduate is one year. I have not been
notified officially about any other
Confirming that internships each year
begin on July 1, he added: "I find it odd
that we have reached this stage and no
formal notification has been issued."
Ramsewak said dialogue was needed
on the issue before any changes were
Ramsewak said measures had to be
put in place before a two-year internship
DEAN AT LOSS, BACKS STUDENTS
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan
confirmed yesterday that his
ministry has moved to change the
internship period from one year to
Citing a string of mishaps in the
public health service, Khan said after
investigations, management had
come to the conclusion that young
doctors, particularly interns, needed
"I know I am dropping it harshly
and people would be upset but
sometimes you have to take the bull
by the horn because there are just
too many problems. I could do
nothing and walk away, but
something has to be done," Khan
"As it is right now, one year is not
enough. They need more training in
areas like critical care, resuscitation,
anesthesiology and ICU care," he
He said internships would begin on
August 1 and graduates would
function temporarily as locums until
then. Khan added that after year
one, interns would receive a salary
increase. He said he was also
thinking about changing the
regulations that allowed full
registration after internship.
He said: "In this country, after one
year of rotations a doctor is free to
go into private practice. In the UK
and other developed countries this
"I am thinking to stop full
registration after one year and
replace it with temporary
registration for three or four years,
so they wouldn't be able to go into
Khan said he would also be
targeting consultants who worked
part-time at public hospitals.
"I am going to form a position for
full-time consultants. They will be
paid a higher salary but once they
have signed on as full-time they
would not be allowed to go into
private practice and would be
available for teaching also.
"And we are going to start a
system whereby house officers and
interns would be allowed to grade
the consultants and we would
remove them if they don't perform
well, just as is the case in the UK
and US and other developed
Saying he was open to dialogue on
the issue, Ramsewak was hesitant
to accept Khan's explanation.
He said: "I think it is wrong to say
that mishaps are related to the
quality of interns, unless there is
evidence to support that.
"As far as I know, our interns
perform exceedingly well and the
Ministry of Health has not written
any official complaints. We need to
see the evidence that justifies the
changes and if we get the evidence
we would adjust to suit."
But he said he agreed with Khan
on hiring full-time consultants.
MINISTER: MORE CHANGES COMING
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams responds to a
question from a member of the media during the weekly police press
briefing yesterday at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain.
PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
Two days after his initial statement,
however, Rodriguez apologised but
the apology was neither accepted or
rejected by Alexander, who said he
was there to do a job which did not
include negotiating with criminals.
Responding to that directly
yesterday, Williams said: "It has been
reported that Inspector Alexander
talked about head-on meeting with
the criminals. That has to do with a
situation of the Police Service not
taking a position to retreat.
"Criminals cannot have the upper
hand on innocent citizens in this land.
The reason you have a Police Service
is for us to be out there providing the
level of security, the protection that is
necessary for the law-abiding citizens
to function within a democracy."
He added: "The Police Service will
continue to confront any criminal
anywhere across T&T. That's the
position of the organisation and we
are not retreating from that.
"Beyond that, the Police Service
recognises that it is not a war we are
creating with anyone, we are pursuing
our lawful functions. The TTPS will
continue to pursue those individuals
with a clear intention to prosecute
them with any of the criminal
offences that they may commit but
there is no war."
Williams said the police had
partnered with the community to rid
it of those involved in criminal activity.
He said a call from youths in St
Barb's led to the creation of "Youths
For a Better Tomorrow" programme,
which started in April with 60 people
and now has 78. He said youth clubs
were also being expanded and going
into different parts of Laventille.
"We believe if we work in
partnership with the law-abiding
citizens of Laventille, we can see some
transformation of the community,
from one which has been over the
years heavily built around violence,
young people losing their lives as they
enter into their teens and their 20s.
That must stop.
"These young people can be so
productive for our country if there is
some intervention and the Police
Service is taking leadership on such an
intervention," Williams said.
POLICE OFFERING OPTIONS
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