Leader Basdeo Panday addresses a gathering at the UNCs
Monday Night Forum at St Helena Hindu School.
Government will get no support from the Opposition to pass
the police reform bills unless there is constitutional reform,
UNC leader Basdeo Panday has said.
He made the comment during the partys Monday Night Forum
at St Helena Hindu School.
Panday told the packed crowd the police bills were dangerous
and sought to place too much power in the hands of the government,
without the necessary controls to prevent abuse.
they want you to do is give them your vote to pass a law that
perpetuates the discrimination in the Police Service,
of you who say we should support the police reform Acts, I
want to ask you one question: yuh read it? The answer is no.
Those people from some one of the chambers, DOMA, whatever
it is, they read it? They know what it has in it?
they want that Act because they want to perpetuate the discrimination
that is taking place in this country.
Panday said with the resources of the State readily available,
government was still unable to curb crime.
government is floating in money. Its enjoying an oil
and gas boom. Why cant it solve crime? Why cant
it solve poverty? Why cant it solve unemployment? Why?
in money, swimming in money. They have spent over $60 billion
since they came to power some 30 months ago, yet the police
do not have the physical equipment to fight crime and they
continue to live in inhumane conditions.
He said if the police were given permission to march, he would
march with them.
Panday queried the sense of a gas boom or an aluminium smelter,
if you, or your child or wife is likely to be kidnapped
or murdered any time?
He said the economy was not booming for the 10,000 retrenched
Caroni (1975) Ltd workers, victims of crime and the growing
body of the poor.
Recent international statistics showed people in T&T were
getting poorer, he said, and economic growth over the past
two years had been paralleled by growth in crime and poverty.
more revenue the PNM gets their hands on, the more crime rises.
Thats a strange thing, he said.
say crime is bred from poverty, but the country getting tonnes
and tonnes of money and crime is rising because the population
is not benefiting from that money. The only people benefiting
from the boom are those who get the CEPEP contracts.
Panday also criticised Prime Minister Patrick Manning for
not allowing police to use the $65 million worth of spying
equipment imported from Israel last year.
He said the surveillance equipment was lodged at the PMs
residence and was being used to spy on the Opposition and
certain PNM party members.
(Keith) Rowley, if yuh think yuh safe, yuh lie, he added.
Panday said Manning probably feared the police might misuse
the equipment to spy on him, or use it in the way the diplomatic
pouches were used to commit their own crimes.
He said government had broken its social contract to protect
the people and the time had come for citizens to defend themselves.
He slammed National Security Minister Martin Joseph, saying
he was misleading the population by saying all was well and
crime was only a blip on the radar.