Saturday 1st January, 2005

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Airport car park not safe

It was with great interest and sadness that I noted that several people lost their cars at the Divali Nagar site. They were parked on the road and anticipated police protection of their vehicles.

I wish however to bring a warning notice to the members of the public who park their cars at the public car park at the airport. All visitors to the airport must use the car park. There is no other legal place to park.

On September 21, I parked my vehicle around 12.30 pm at the car park and proceeded to Tobago. I carefully chose the spot, to be opposite to the chair under the tree on the eastern side of the car park where the “security guards” often sit.

When I returned to my car at 8 pm, the four wheel-caps were missing. On complaining to the manager of the park and the security co-ordinator of the airport, they were as dismayed as I was.

Further investigation and a report to the area police station revealed that this was not an isolated occurrence.

On trying to get compensation for my loss, I received a letter signed by the corporate secretary of the authority reminding me of the “disclaimer... prominently displayed... at the entrance of the car park.”

So public, be warned! The compulsory car park may in the end cost you more than the $5 an hour. Taxi to the airport! Get dropped and picked up by a friend! The presence of “security guards” does not guarantee that your car will not be tampered with.

Enjoy the season.

Garthlyn Pilgrim


Mayaro benefits from bpTT funds

I HAVE been noticing over the years the tremendous financial contribution Amoco, now bpTT, has been making towards social and voluntary organisations, and providing basic and essential amenities in Mayaro.

In December the company opened a $12.5 million privately-funded public education facility which will serve as the nucleus for university education in the Mayaro area. bpTT has recognised the intrinsic importance of


An educated citizenry is one of the greatest assets of any country.

In addition, the chairman and chief executive officer of bpTT said that the Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise Development (MIPED) will offer loans for faster business growth and to encourage enterprise.

Mayaro residents should be thanking their lucky stars for this super generous corporate citizen.

I wish bpTT every success in all its operations. May the company continue to develop, grow and expand so that it will be in a better financial position to continue to assist the less fortunate.

I fervently wish and pray that the recipients of loans will prudently manage their


Harry PT Charlie

Princes Town

Send Cepep to help Asia victims

The dynamics of international relations dictate that we assist the countries devastated by the cataclysmic tsunamis in South Asia. At least five of the countries are members of the Commonwealth to which Trinidad


Manning wants to project an image of a benign, altruistic leader so he should immediately mobolise Cepep to head to India and Sri Lanka, etc.

India, by the way, has gievn T&T a lot of assistance over the last few years.

Go Manning, go! Go Cepep, go!

Judy Bissesar

South Oropouche

They cannot stop health campaign

As we begin the year 2005, and as I continue my campaign for improved public healthcare, the following must be noted:

The Prime Minister created a commission of inquiry into the health service due to persistent complaints.

The public sector poll showed that the greatest dissatisfaction was the public health service.

The Ansa-McAl survey showed that the public believes that doctors are not delivering the level of healthcare that they should (you cannot build a skyscraper using scaffolding).

For the last five years, I have campaigned to bring the health sector into the spotlight. Together with the San Fernando Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA) and the Medical Professionals Association of T&T (MPATT), the majority of the members of the public are now aware of the dismal state of the health service being delivered by the Ministry of Health and the Regional Health Authorities (RHA).

Unfortunately, we have many detractors who criticise the healthcare workers. One such detractor stood up in Parliament and called doctors “mercenaries.” He later said he was not aware of the conditions of the health services but was willing to tour the facilities. He even tried to retract his statement.

Then there are the columnists. Donna Yawching got fed up, lost hope and decided to leave T&T, I understand. Kelvin Baldeosingh should note the above headlines, for I was speaking the truth while you were writing filth. And the other columnists, who never even ventured into the public health facilities but chose to criticise people who decided to highlight the shortcomings.

And one must not forget the reporters who believe that their job is to sit behind a chair with a telephone and write stories, be they true or false. And worse yet, the radio stations who only want a sound “bite” to add credibility to their story. I will forever remember the young man who claimed ignorance about the relationship between Watergate and the power of the media.

A small bit of credit must be given to Shelly Dass for her three-part series on conditions within the San Fernando General Hospital. But it must be noted that it was done after she was appalled at the conditions whilst visiting a relative. If she had not visited a relative, there would have been no investigative story.

It is a known fact that the people who criticise me and my colleagues are people who never even ventured into a public health facility. They may have never used the facilities.

Let it be known that government ministers, including the Prime Minister, seek their healthcare in foreign countries. Wonder why?

It is rather comical to hear retired doctors, now popularly called “senior doctors,” openly criticising the present doctors for demanding improved standards of healthcare delivery.

Some of these “senior doctors” now want an opportunity to guide the present doctors, in other words, shut them up. One wonders what they were doing during their 25 and more years of service or non-service.

And despite the detractors and others, especially the senatorial one, I continue to highlight the pitfalls of the public health service. The poor and the downtrodden who use the service are supportive of my campaign.

And so I will continue.

Season’s greetings and a brighter New Year 2005.

Philip Ayoung-Chee

[email protected]

The Sheriff

They called him Sheriff.

He had no gun. Just a stick; no book, no pen,

but you couldn’t drop your defence.

He was quick to draw the line

between mistake and offence;

he had no time to show pretence.

And so he got his name;

walking the streets of Port-of-Spain.

Breaking up games of wappie,

even at nights,

challenging real bad men for a fight.

Of course, after he had read

to them their rights.

Beneath the facade of his smile,

was a tear he had buried,

long ago in his childhood.

In a city, he would then call,

“A town without pity.”

“You have to be ready,”

he would say

“Upholding the law is your duty.”

Today Sheriff is not alive

to tell his tale to this country,

Where to drop your defence, now,

could be the end.

Where life is so cheap,

You could call it, the creeps.

Where on many days,

you wonder,

what is next around the corner.

In the present,

in these tense times now,

I write these lines,

without pretence.

Where anger is the trigger of a gun,

where guns can become

grenades and bombs.

And I think about Sheriff.

Long before his fame spread

in and around Port-of-Spain,

the movies had begun.

In those days it was really

more about fun.

Joseph Cummings





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