Govt playing Jekyll and Hyde
am not as astonished as I am appalled by the Dr Jekyll/Mr
Hyde approach used by the Patrick Manning administration.
It is so glaring, even the blind could see that this Government
used a sledgehammer on Bamboo residents but took the troubles
of the victims of the Peoples Mall fire upon its shoulders.
The taxpaying residents of Bamboo No 2 were protesting for
a pavement and improved access to their district when a battalion
of battle-ready police descended on the district ready for
a repeat of the October 6, 2003, assault in Chaguanas.
Where were this eagerness and enthusiasm to fight crime when
Pixie Lakhan was missing or when Kallicharan Maharaj was kidnapped?
The police could summon enough resources to arrest and beat
three little boys for throwing tyres, the police helicopter
could work an entire night looking for a container fallen
on the highway, but they couldnt go into the Matura
forest to look for a kidnap victim.
And then the final blow: Rennie Dumas deems the protest a
threat to the State. A pavement protest comprising two
tents, some old tyres and a handful of merchants was threatening
to the State?
And then he tries to pull the rug from under the protest with
Town and Country restrictions on land assessments and building
Has the minister done the same with the Peoples Mall?
Has anyone asked for BIR assessments for mall vendors, security
of tenure, National Insurance and Health Surcharge records?
How are they going to establish who were legitimate vendors?
By PNM party card?
Did the Government do an assessment of the Breakfast Shed
before it came up with pay-off figures beyond ones wildest
imagination? How come farmers get $41 for $40,000 in flood
losses, but a new building is ordered for the Peoples
I just hope that this nation has the inner strength to pray
for the revelation of equity and parity to prevail on this
Shocking show by West Indies
once impregnable fortress of WI cricket, Kensington Oval,
Barbados, was again decimated by the enemy.
I find it shocking that this side, minus three top players,
racked up 545-5 in the first Test in Guyana, bowled out the
South Africans for 188 in the first innings and, two Tests
later, we have lost the series.
In the post-match commentary, when asked by Ian Bishop what
was the problem, Tony Cozier replied glumly, I cant
put a finger on it.
On the field, a choking captain Chanderpaul was trying to
explain to Michael Holding the reasons for the capitulation
(166 off 54 overs).
While I must give credit to the robotic Andre Nel for his
decisive haul of ten wickets, the WI are seriously lacking
mental toughness and discipline.
During the Vice-Chancellor festival match at UWI, I asked
Makhaya Ntini what was the plan for Brian Lara. He cooly replied,
We have a plan for 11 players.
Now that we have lost the series and our pride, I would like
to see some changes for the final Test in Antigua. Gayle,
Ryan Hinds, King, Browne should be replaced by Ganga or Devon
Smith, Dwayne Smith, Dave Mohammed and Baugh or Ramdhin respectively.
I can only say to selectors Carew, Greenidge, Butts, Bennett
King and technical consultant Sobers that we cannot do any
of sex offenders good idea
my deep sympathy to the Lakhan family at the lost of their
16-year-old daughter Radha Pixie Lakhan, who was brutally
murdered by a man in her neighbourhood, after she went missing
in late March.
Second, I totally agreed with the views expressed by her sister,
Matie. She said that it is time for the Government to establish
a national sex offenders registry. With the technologies
available today, it would be easy to monitor these sexual
In many jurisdictions in the US, sex offenders are required
to wear ankle bracelets that are monitored using global positioning
satellites. They are also required to notify their probation
officers or other court officials as to their whereabouts
(where they are living), so that people can be alerted when
they move into a neighbourhood.
This is a Web-based program and anyone with a computer can
go on-line and check to see if a sexual predator is living
in their neighbourhood. This gives people control over who
is living near to them and their children.
Instead of spending millions of dollars on questionable military
hardware to fight against whom I dont know, the Government
should be investing in these types of technologies that can
bring about immediate results in helping to reduce crime and
give the public that all-important sense of security.
Consultation with any stateFlorida for onecan
help the Government set up such a programme. It is time to
look out for the innocent children, even it means stepping
on the rights of others.
Considering this is T&T, and not the US, I am sure that
there will be a need for changes in our laws to make this
registry and monitoring by law enforcement agents possible.
It is something that will take political fortitude on the
part of the Government and Opposition, if it is to be done
and to be successful.
This is an effort that even the UNC should be 100 per cent
behind. We all have children and want them to be safe from
these sexual predators. It will definitely help bring some
peace of mind to law-abiding citizens who are rightfully concerned
about the safety of their children.
Doing this will also help move the nation towards its goal
of First World status by 2020. Keeping ever mindful that some
things just cant wait that long. Ask the Lakhan family!
C James, Sr
Mistake not to choose African
must admit to a feeling of disappointment when I heard of
Cardinal Ratzingers election as pope. Not that I have
anything against himhe is a very learned theologian
and may well prove to be a great pope.
But I feel that by not electing an African the church lost
a precious opportunity to make a dramatic statement against
racial prejudice and also an opportunity to apologise for
never, to my knowledge, having protested against the enslavement
of millions of Africans and their transportation to the Americas.
And there was, in my opinion, an ideal candidate in the person
of Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria. He has long experience of working
in the Curia, in the department for inter-religious dialogue
and every year wrote a friendly letter to Muslims, among others.
As former Archbishop of Onitsha, Nigeria, he would have been
well aware of the constant tension between the Christian south
and the Muslim north.
I feel that the church has once again lost a golden opportunity,
and one that may not return for a very long time. Sad.
Enduring faith of RC cardinals
cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church are for the most part
men who are well into their seventies. The Europeans would
have experienced the horrors of World War II.
The cardinals of Latin America, Africa and Asia would have
come to adulthood in the midst of the upheavals that continue
to plague their homelands to this day. All this in addition
to their personal tragedies and challenges that are a part
of the human condition.
And yet in spite of all this, their faith has grown and endured.