New parties not the way forward
read recently where a reader suggested that marches for
peace and action were useless and that urgent political
action was needed.
While I agree that only political will can resolve this
truly horrible crime situation T&T now finds itself
in, I disagree that forming new political parties is the
way forward. It has to do with our collective psyche. A
people get the leadership it deserves.
T&T is divided along race lines and therefore a government
will seek votes along those lines. In order for any government
to have any meaningful impact on changing the police service
and legal system, including the Constitution, it must have
a majority. This will never happen if the country remains
polarised. And some say that its the politicians who
divide us but that is false.
Now I see that nouveau riche politicians are forming political
parties based on ideas, talk and assumed intellectual prowess.
This approach is doomed to fail.
Firstly, because you cannot come from Westmoorings and never
cross the lighthouse and hope to relate to the communities
in Caroni, Laventille, Toco, Tobago and Mayaro.
Secondly, politics around the world is based on a voting
base. What is the voting base of those new guys?
OK, maybe Panday in his younger days was a union man and
representative of the people. Although this is clearly no
longer the case, at least he can try to convince people
that he once belonged to and was representative of his voter
Thirdly, new political parties are welcomed surely, but
understand that any new blood is just that, blood. Newbies
will become sacrificial lambs to the slaughter should their
promises not be met. And lets face it, reducing the
kind of criminality T&T now faces will take a lot longer
than just five years.
The culture of our country is not very educated. We wish
to sweep things under the carpet rather than deal with the
problem head-on, hence the enormity of the problem that
now faces us.
It requires an entire overhaul of the way we think, act
and relate to each other to bring about any meaningful social
and political change. This is usually an organic achievement,
with a society realising its breaking point often violently.
Ours is an immature, petulant nation willing to sacrifice
long-term hard work for quick fixes. One example is peoples
perception that hanging will quickly solve what years of
police, legal, anti-corruption and social programmes have
Some believe that an almighty overpass/interchange will
ease traffic congestion as opposed to reducing the number
of cars and providing a basic, integrated public transportation
system that people have confidence in and will therefore
leave their cars at home.
For us all life and politics are transient and disposable.
We have a lot of growing up to do.
No laptops for students at UTT
PNM Government is leaving no stone unturned in its quest
to convert the technical institutes to the University of
T&T (UTT). I guess since election year is most likely
next year, it would like to have this under its belt.
I recently received a brochure from UTT outlining courses
it is offering. A note at the bottom says:
should be noted that all students entering the BSc programmes
will be required to buy their own laptop computer: UTT is
negotiating a special option for purchase from a supplier
of suitable laptop computers, with the required software,
and various purchase options will be available to the students
for this purchase.
Two things about this bother me:
* At UWI its not compulsory to own a laptop computer
for any course.
* The fact that arrangements are being made to purchase
from a supplier raises much concern about kickbacks as we
are accustomed to in T&T.
Another major concern with UTT is the simple fact that it
has three semesters. No university worldwide has three semesters.
At UWI, there are two semesters, one from September to December
and the other from January to June. There is a third semester
which is, in fact, not really a third semester for those
who fail courses and are repeating. The major problem associated
with this three-semester system is the burn-out of students.
I have looked very closely at the UTT and came to the conclusion
that it is designed to give away degrees to underqualified
students. Sooner or later the employers would realise this
when they compare the UWI graduate with the UTT graduate.
But say what, there are always government agencies. For
decades the PNM has employed the unemployable, given them
scholarships to qualify for their posts. Just check out
WASA, T&TEC and TSTT.
Top cop must lead by example
again we have a police commissioner who continues to belittle
and insult the intelligence and integrity of the people
by the steps taken against the officers involved in the
report of Sean Lukes disappearance.
In so-called developed, civilised societies the first step
is to remove the officers from the station where the incident
occurred, either by putting them on leave or on office duty,
away from the public, while the investigation is on-going.
Was this the step taken by the police authorities? Are those
police officers that were informed of the disciplinary action
to be taken against them, if any, still working and taking
reports at that station?
The people of this country have a democratic right to be
informed and be assured that this is not the case. We have
not heard the police commissioner make such a statement,
which should have been his first step. We call upon the
police commissioner not to continue failing to take the
first step in basic procedures.
We also call upon the commissioner to respect the people
and the society that he had long ago sworn to protect and
serve. The people demand this respect.
Set the example, Mr Commissioner, for your officers to follow.
Maybe if you show true respect to the people, your officers
will follow your lead. This goes for the politicians as
well and all other leaders.
Tell the people, Mr Commissioner, if those cops are still
working at the Couva Police Station. The people demand to
know and have a democratic right to know. No more secrecy,
we call for open government, we call for transparency.
Peoples Liberation Movement
Sound Your Horn For Car Pooling
nation is in a big traffic jam
is kayos on every street
Every sidewalk is like a parkin lot
every Trini owns a fleet.
Each family member owns a car
No space; on the pavement dey park
traffic laws are being abused.
The traffic situation is gettin worse
an drivin we up a wall
Tank full ah gas, buh yuh car eh movin,
is like de whole nation stall.
More super hiway is not de answer
We are suffering from gas brain
So is more foreign-used an local abused
an is back to square one again.
On every lane, on every track an hiway
theres a gridlock every morn
De car pool system jes need a push
say yes! And sound yuh horn.
Customs House not ready yet?
WOULD like to know what is happening to the new Customs
House in Port-of-Spain.
I was informed that the building was supposed to be completed
by March 31, at a cost of $100 million. As I pass by I notice
that construction is incomplete.
Can somebody tell me when this building will be completed
and if there is any cost overrun?
Retired Customs Officer
campers not welcomed
THIS IS a letter to all past and future beach campers who
came and are planning to come to Salibia Beach, Toco, on
weekends, and especially Carnival and Easter periods.
First, I invite all previous campers to this beach to see
for themselves the hard work that Cepep and URP employees
performed to restore our beach to its natural beauty.
This is the way you met our beach before Carnival. This
is not the way you left it on Ash Wednesday to go back to
your beautiful villages and towns.
Campers, from now on there will be no camping on the main
beach areas that are being maintained by Cepep and URP.
There will be a marked-off area where you may be allowed
to dirty and leave in a state that you will meet on the
next occasion you make your camping expedition to Salibia.
We are fed-up with this type of behaviour from our citizens
who should know that cleanliness is next to godliness.
We will be protecting our beach from now on.
With the assistance of our district police, health authorities,
village council, community groups of Toco, our Member of
Parliament and our local councillor, we will see that you
campers keep our Toco clean and beautiful in the future.
Mario Eco Company Ltd (Cepep)
surrenders its independence
With the horrible, sadistic murder of Sean Luke, the chorus
of blame and answer has again begun. Blame: poor policing,
government inaction, society, bad parenting etc. Answer:
prayer, church, better policing, government action etc.
None offers any real explanation or solution.
Little Seans gruesome death, sad to say, was a tragedy
waiting to happen. The greater crime is the reaction of
the authorities: it took the involvement of the US Embassy
to spur the police to serious action.
Doesnt that say something about how we have squandered
our independence? That we have come to care so little about
our own people that only foreign intervention can get results?
Given self-determination, we have chosen to relinquish it.
Ours is a basically a lawless society in which no one wants
to take responsibility for anything. And we like it sountil
someone has to pay the piper.