Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 4th 2014 Contents A5
Friday, July 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The police were called out yes-
terday to the Ministry of Sport
following a bomb scare which
sent employees scampering to
Confirmation of the bomb threat
on the ministry s Abercromby
Street Port-of-Spain, main office
came from acting Commissioner
of Police Stephen Williams.
He said: "The Ministry of Sport
had a bomb scare from the per-
sonnel at the ministry. I was in
fact contacted. I made arrange-
ments for bomb technicians to visit
"We also got in contact with
Fire Services and the Guard and
Emergency Branch who visited the
Upon checking, Williams said,
the scare turned out to be a hoax.
"It was a bomb scare without
merit. We have dealt with that
matter," he added.
Williams said he was notified
by the ministry s acting permanent
secretary Ian Radman about the
T&T Guardian photographer
Michael Bruce and reporter Shaliza
Hassanali were at the ministry
speaking to Life Sport programme
director Cornelius Price when the
ministry received the threat around
11.30 am and had to evacuate the
While the building was being
evacuated there was also talk that
three Life Sport programme mem-
bers had stormed the building
demanding payments for their
services. Ministry officials said that
too was a hoax.
A source at the ministry said
yesterday s incident took place
while the ministry was instituting
a new security plan for its building
During the interview, Price
received a call on his cellphone
and left the conference room in a
hurry. He returned seconds later
saying: "Guys we have to vacate
the building immediately... the
building is under threat."
On reaching the ground floor,
Price, after speaking to security
officers, said he heard "it was a
After employees and members
of the public left the building, the
ministry s main door was locked
and the side gate leading to the
car park was chained.
Price said later that because of
the negative publicity Life Sport
had been receiving in the last few
weeks, people were "getting carried
away with the atmosphere." He
said he was happy that everyone
in the building came out safe.
A stern message to "get her gov-
ernment right" was sent to Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar by
Fuad Abu Bakr, son of the leader of
the Jamaat Al Muslimeen Imam
Yasin Abu Bakr.
However, he said he was speaking
as a citizen of T&T.
He added: "Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar should seize this
opportunity and positive wind. Steer
in the right directions. Join with us.
Weed out the bad apples.
"Even if you are involved, correct
yourself. Reflect and pray. Do what
is right and don t take the wrong
advice from people.
"Don t let them lead you against
the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
There are real issues that we are fac-
ing. You need to change the course
of action that is currently being taken
by your government."
Speaking from his office on the
Jamaat s premises on Mucurapo Road,
St James, Bakr sought to clear the
air on two messages that were sent
from his cellphone, via social network
Whats App, during the pre-dawn
hours of yesterday.
The messages, he said, were only
Step One in what was to come in the
The first message read: "We apol-
ogise to the general public for the
inconvenience. Action against the
injustice in our society starts today.
"Walking round-and-round has
been ignored. It is time for a people
who talk too much and take too much
to act. Act now and ensure a better
tomorrow. Our leaders will listen if
we make them listen. Message from
the JAM. Please pass on."
The second message said: "A gov-
ernment must listen to the people.
For too long there has been an outcry
by the population of Trinidad and
Tobago, an outcry that has been
falling on deaf ears.
"The country s spending is more
than it has ever been in history. Yet
"The East-West Corridor has been
starved while favored contractors,
friends and family, ministers and their
co-conspirators rape the Treasury.
"Meanwhile in the life of the ordi-
nary man, crime is at an all-time
high. The police are killing and abus-
ing youth in the depressed commu-
"Salaries for parliamentarians are
being increased while public servants
have to strike for wages and better
conditions. The time has come to
pause reflect and change. Please for-
This month, July 27, is the 24th
anniversary of the 1990 attempted
coup which was led by Imam Yasin
When asked if these messages were
strategically sent out in the same
month of the coup s anniversary, Bakr
"That is a part of the history of
Trinidad and Tobago. The society
now is different but yet very similar
as it was then.
"How we deal with the issues as
a people, that s yet to be written.
"The attack of the poor, the cat-
egorisation of people as criminals,
setting up the police and army against
people by giving them the green light
to kill, this has reached epic propor-
tions, something needs to give.
"We have seen the most draconian
laws. We have seen a state of emer-
gency which is yet to be justified
"People arrested in droves, held
without charge and then subsequently
released. Ridiculous actions tran-
"It lends towards that problem and
yet, they, the government, are
untouchable, nothing could be done.
They are insensitive towards the pop-
ulation and once they are in power
they would do just as they would
"These people are still in Parlia-
ment passing laws to increase their
pay, adding insult to injury. It has
got to stop, it has too," he replied.
Bakr also sought to give an assur-
ance that there was no threat of a
coup or any uprising of any sort.
He said: "Certainly not from me,
not at all. I want to warn the people,
not only assure them, that we need
to deal with these issues in a real way
now because this has been the highest
recorded spending in the government
of Trinidad and Tobago."
The messages triggered many
rumours of bomb threats in and
However, commander of the
National Operations Centre, Garvin
Heerah denied that.
He said: "There are no threats to
any state or other infrastructure, gov-
ernment or otherwise, and the
National Operations Centre rejects
as nonsense and mischief-mongering
any and all rumours to that effect."
National Security Minister Gary
Griffith, in a release, reassured that
"the diligent and hardworking mem-
bers of the Trinidad and Tobago
Police Service, the Trinidad and Toba-
go Defence Force and all of the other
arms of State security stand ready to
defend the nation with the highest
degree of professionalism, patriotism
The release read: "In response to
the latest attempt to destabilise the
smooth operation of the State through
misleading rumours of instability,
especially via the abuse of channels
of communication on the social
media, the Minister of National Secu-
rity Gary Griffith again advises the
national public that at any time, now
and in future, they should be guided
by faith in the mechanisms of nation-
al security and not by panic and
Message to PM from Bakr's son:
Fix your act
Bomb scare at Sport Ministry
JENSEN LA VENDE
National Security Minister Gary
Griffith said yesterday he was
concerned about reports made
that members of the media had
been threatened by soldiers who
patrolled the St Paul Street, Port-
of-Spain, area following the mur-
der of Lance Corporal Kayode
In a telephone interview yester-
day Griffith said if what happened
was indeed true he apologised,
adding that it would not happen
Griffith said he would speak with
the Chief of Defence Staff Major
Gen Kenrick Maharaj to get further
information on the deployment of
the soldiers in the area. Griffith
said the media was not the enemy
and the soldiers ought to know
He said around the world the
rule regarding the murder of a
member of the protective services
was that if you touched one you
have touched all and the heavy
presence of soldiers in the com-
munity was not irregular or isolated
He added that the law must do
what was needed to suppress crim-
inal activity and the patrols by sol-
diers without the assistance of
police was not illegal.
Yesterday masked members of
the Regiment, claiming to be mem-
bers of a special operations unit,
were again deployed in east Port-
of-Spain and again have been
accused of beating residents.
One masked officer is alleged to
have pointed a loaded high-pow-
ered rifle at CNC3 reporter Samuel
Mc Knight and told him if he was
to record them he would be dealt
The solders were at St Paul
Street when the media was called
following reports of abuse.
When McKnight and his cam-
eraman arrived they were told not
to record the officers. Residents
claim shortly before the media
arrived the officers had assaulted
The regiment officers were also
seen patrolling McKai Lands, Bel-
mont, yesterday following protest
action by residents who demanded
better roads, water, streetlights and
The soldiers told the T&T
Guardian if the Prime Minister was
not going to do anything about the
gangs in the country they would.
They were seen questioning
young men in the area about the
whereabouts of a man identified
as "Diamond". The soldiers were
heard telling one of the young men
that he would return later in the
evening for him.
Speaking with the T&T
Guardian yesterday residents said
they were thankful that the officers
were there as they provided some
level of safety but were upset that
the officers were assaulting them.
The residents said Thomas was
killed by his own neighbours who
they said used to benefit from him
bringing guns, ammunition and
camouflage uniforms for them.
That claim, however, was not
supported by police attached to
the nearby Besson Street Police
Station who said they never had
cause to suspect the 32-year-old
father of eight of any wrongdoing.
Griffith apologises as...
Soldiers on patrol
A resident of St Paul Street, Port-of-Spain, looks on as soldiers patrol
the area yesterday following the murder of Lance Corporal Kayode
Thomas on Sunday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Links Archive July 3rd 2014 July 5th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page