Saturday 31st December, 2005

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We have lost respect for life

“WAR is death’s feast.” How true are the words of George Herbert in our society today.

The criminals have declared war—on us. We live in and feel threatened by their viciousness and disregard of the right of other people to life and comfort.

The newspapers are bombarding us daily with a blitzkrieg of reports of various killings, and when the investigating officers are up against a wall we are left to come to our own conclusions. I refer to the US citizen who disappeared a few months ago and the heinous capture of a young boy in Moruga before that.

What a preposterous situation we face when these heartless crimes can be done in our country and the criminals are free to walk among us.

We are given the report of six murders being committed in a 24-hour period and we wonder if this blood lust will ever decrease. How in the name of all that is sacred can human life be reduced to the shallow threat of “your money or your life?” This is ridiculous.

A young man stops to purchase a box of chips, he is accosted by other youths and loses his life in an attack by these cruel and amoral desperadoes. What a savage, primordial world we live in?

We have lost respect for human life. We do not believe that human life is special and that a higher form of life is in control, watching our behaviour and will repay us in like manner for our wicked deeds. We are brought to the level of savage animals who kill for the sense of power it gives.

This is the season of traditional goodwill, a time when we go around expressing gentle thoughts and best wishes to our friends but one does not know if the kind thoughts are genuine.

What a dread world we are threatened with, if the savage law of the rule of the claw prevails. Who knows if the extra effort you make to look clean and to present yourself in the best possible appearance would not draw attention to the wrong people.

In the name of all that we grew up to view as sacred and holy, I beg you to hold on to what you have held holy and keep on the right track. It is the early training of our youth that keeps on the right side of the law.

In this world of selfish motives it may seem right to pick up on the helpless but even the most helpless may turn into a fierce lion when pushed to far. That point is fast approaching.

It is to be hoped that the late signal being released by the UNC (although with reservation) of co-operation with the large national body will somehow work to the benefit of us all. Yet I fear it is too little, too late.

Still, I close with wishes for a better new year than the year when wealth accumulated and the people of this country decayed.

I hope that those whose privilege it is to lead the people (all off them) to better and safer pasture take on the duties seriously and do just that.

George Damien


Crackdown on use of fireworks

Last year over the Christmas/New Year season there was a significant reduction in the illegal use of fireworks.

It is essential that this trend continue, if all of us—particularly animals, the very old and the very young—are to enjoy a peaceful new year.

On Christmas Eve, Christmas night and, to some extent, on the nights preceding these, several areas were plagued by the noise of firecrackers and occasional larger fireworks.

In the Stephens Road, Maraval and Glencoe/Shorelands areas the noise was sufficient to keep residents awake. No doubt, residents of other areas can testify to the problems in their neighbourhoods.

Dogs, whose hearing is much more sensitive than ours, are particularly vulnerable to the problems caused by fireworks.

The Animal Welfare Network (AWN) would like to remind dog owners to ensure that their pets are secured, preferably indoors, and that dogs wear collars with ID tags.

Temporary IDs can be made, using key-ring tags with contact names/numbers written on slips inserted into the tags.

An article in another paper wrote about the sale of fireworks from a stall in a flea market in Port of Spain.

Last year, the police charged several persons with improper storage and sale of fireworks and it is hoped that they will again be alert to situations such as that mentioned above. There should be no proliferation of stalls selling fireworks by the roadside.

There is a real possibility of a major accident caused by the improper use of fireworks.

Every year, the newspapers report serious accidents occurring in various countries—the most recent one being in Guatemala last week.

It would only take one stray, lit firework falling into a stock of fireworks, either at a stall or in a neighbour’s yard, to cause serious injury and destruction of property.

The AWN encourages people to report illegal fireworks to the police and insist that they act.

Do it for the animals.

Patricia A Green

The Animal Welfare Network, Committee

Will 2006 be any different?

AS WE reflect on the year that was 2005, it was not that happy.

Crime, criminal activity, kidnapping, murders were the headlines over the past 365 days. The murder rate reached 382. What will the year 2006 bring?

Even though sophisticated equipment was brought in, the blimp and the eye in the sky, criminal activity continued.

The year witnessed a series of bombings in downtown Port-of-Spain and an isolated incident on the Western Main Rd, St James.

Four bombings over a three-month period or should I say devices (not bombs). In the first bombing it was reported that 14 people were injured, one seriously injured after loosing a leg.

In the other three bombings, no injuries.

Citizens are living in constant fear. The criminal elements have citizens uneasy and uncomfortable.

When newspapers take to the streets to interview citizens, the topic of concern is always crime.

The Government has promised a reduction in crime, but when?

As the year 2005 ends and we approach another year can we expect to see results on reducing crime?

Will citizens have to continuously live in fear? Will the criminally minded get away scot-free?

Questions only the national security minister can answer. Will the Government calm the fears of citizens?

Ken Smith


Airship will not reduce crime

I am no expert on crime but, as an ordinary citizen, I fail to see how an airship in the air can help to reduce serious crimes in Trinidad.

There are numerous policemen and armed regiment working on the ground where the criminal are and so far they have made little impact on reducing the rate of murders and other crimes.

It looks to me like someone in the Government has been taken for a ride and another large amount of public money is being squandered.

I wish to predict that escalating rise in crime and the murder rate will be much higher in 2006. The airship will merely be a blimp in the sky.

GA Marques

[email protected]

January 1 should be day of prayer

I SERIOUSLY wonder when our leaders and senior administrators will get the message that the problem of crime might well be more of a spiritual rather than socio-economic or political dimension.

In other words, are we now paying for some sins we have committed, or is it that our sins are filtering down spiritually from the top to the bottom of our national community for one reason or the other?

The killing and kidnapping continue because it is an annoyance to speak of the above to the divinely disconnected perched at the top.

In like manner, several letter writers in favour of the above, including myself, continue to waste time and writing resources on the topic.

For the last ten to 15 years, I have been trying to impress upon our ministers of education the need to return to spirituality in the schools of the nation, even with the forever-present challenge of ecumenism. They never tend to understand or care about what the ordinary man in the street would view as elementary logic.

Even several members of the Inter Religious Organisation seem to be at a loss at this suggestion.

And now, in order to save face, we are on to a most golden opportunity we seem not yet to behold.

There are now two holidays to start the new year on a more positive note. Can we not now use the first one as a complete day of prayer for the nation and the second to do all other things?

Remember our hope is in God not in the police or army whose main role is to try to apprehend the culprit only after the crime has been committed.

Remember, too, that according to popular belief, with the number six at the end, 2006 could be far worse than 2005.

Jack Harrington

Santa Cruz

Dangerous intersection

I would like to warn motorists about a dangerous intersection at the corner of First Street and Third Avenue, Barataria.

There are no stop signs to warn drivers on the minor road and the painted line on the road has almost disappeared. As such, drivers on the minor road are often unaware that they are approaching an intersection and must stop.

Numerous accidents have happened in the past. I have reported this to the Ministry of Works and Transport, but nothing has been done so far.

So please be on the look out.

If anyone in the ministry is reading this and can do something about it, please do before a major accident happens.

Kabron Henry

San Juan


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