sympathy, but equality
admire Dana Seetahals attempt to highlight the need
for equal treatment for our nations disabled persons,
however she is not alone in the misunderstanding of the
issue. In insisting that the supermarket in question enforce
the parking rules, she inadvertently displays the lack
of regard for the physically disabled.
The supermarket and its employees are there to make money
and it is not their job to police and somehow reinforce
and educate its customers on the need to keep the designated
parking spaces for those in wheelchairs, etc.
The fact is that people, indeed stupid people, park discourteously
in a space not for them. You cannot police or legislate
to enforce common sense. The additional fact that parking
in a disabled spot might actually be cruel and potentially
damaging to the disabled is totally lost on members of
Ms Seetahal exposes the problem but the solution she suggests
is untenable. You cannot place a police-person on every
street corner to look for each and every infringement
of stupidity or criminality.
What can be done to ensure Trinis follow the rules? They
must want to follow the rules, they must understand the
necessity for specialised parking spaces, they must understand
that equality means elevating some to the equal status
of others by introducing special measures.
This is a question of human rights and equality, curse
words for some because of the miseducation meted out by
so-called human rights lawyers in this country.
Only when Trinis understand and recognise the need to
obey rules will they do so willingly, it is not a question
of enforcement its about education and sensitivity training
for all in an immature society.
If the law does not take disability rights then why should
citizens? I believe the population is beginning to realise
that there are minorities within minorities in T&T,
and they do not need sympathy or protection, they require
equality. There is a simple lesson in this, for example
in Europe at traffic lights there are loud, audible beeps
or clicks that tell the blind it is safe to cross the
street. So you may think why should the Government spend
extra money on a small minority for such special treatment?
Well the answer is simple, the blind should be able to
cross the street with the same independence, dignity and
safety as the rest of us. It is not a question of money
it is a question of equality.
When you take care of those minorities within minorities
then you take rights seriously and then the wider population
benefits from having a higher expectation of standards
for all, by inclusion and teaching our children about
what equality really means. This stems from our ancient
and inadequate laws, especially the laughable human rights
section of our constitution, which some lawyers are so
proud to take advantage of.
Learn more about equality and human rights, then you will
understand as will everyone why they shouldnt park
in a parking space that is not for them even if there
are no other spaces available.
can profit from bush
you were asked what natural resources we have in Trinidad
your answer would most likely be gas, oil and asphalt.
But there is another natural resource growing right under
our noses and believe it or not it is just being dumped
I am referring to that valuable commodity we call bush.
At the slightest sign of rain it comes bursting forth.
This Government has established the make-work programme
called Cepep whose primary job it is to cut and remove
this bush. But what do they do with this bush?
If we had an Agricultural Ministry with any foresight
it would give consideration to establishing a composting
plant whereby this natural resource could be turned into
The compost would then be sold to the farmers at a reasonable
price so they could augment their soil with vital nutrients
thereby encouraging healthier crops. Healthy crops mean
hardier more resistant crops thereby reducing the need
for chemical controllers, thereby reducing the price of
Should there be an excessive amount of compost it could
be marketed elsewhere, after all it is a big world in
which we live.
Finally, if we do the math we would see that cost of cutting
the bush less no return revenue equals a total loss. Compared
with, cost of cutting the bush less revenue received from
sale of compost equals a much better bottom line.
firms must secure their workers
took the death of little Amy Annamunthodo for attention
to be paid to the inept social welfare system that governs
our country. I cannot fathom the reason why this physically
abused child was continually returned to her family, even
though all evidence pointed to the fact that the little
girl was clearly at risk in her home environment.
It is of little wonder then, that it took the death of
security guard Manmohan Ramdhan for scrutiny to be placed
on the improper procedures at security companies.
It has been revealed that the security firm had violated
regulations by dispatching two officers to do a cash-pick-up
without a proper vehicle. This is just one act of overt
violation, but what about the general practice of security
firms sacrificing their employees safety by more
Recently, while at a pharmacy in San Fernando, I observed
a member of a particular security company informing the
on-duty security guard that he would have to travel home,
since the company could not drop him. The elderly security
guard, who looked very fatigued, was given a paltry $20,
which could barely cover his travel expenses, and found
himself having to travel from San Fernando to Barrackpore
in the night in inclement weather.
Is this how these security firms show their concern for
their employees? Is it worth a mans life to let
him travel home at 12 am just to save a few dollars in
Given the crime situation in our country, one would think
that these men and women who endanger their lives every
day would have better working conditions. It seems though,
that the lure of profits, no matter the cost, is accountable
for such blatant exploitation.
In our society, we tend to stereotype not only people,
but also occupations. Generally security work is thought
of as menial and security guards as either less than human
or super human. These individuals endure untold hardship,
they work double shifts, sometimes they are inadequately
garbed for their own protection, they stand on their feet
for more than eight hours at a time and tolerate the scant
courtesy of members of the public and of proprietors.
Yet these individuals will still open a door for you and
bid you good day.
You would think these security firms would understand
the immense responsibility they have for their employees
safety, since their line of work essentially hinges upon
the protection oflife! Sadly, this isnt reflected
in their actions.
As it stands, I can only hope the relevant authorities
would now be more vigilant of these companies and their
UWI, St Augustine
side of the bridge, Russel?
listened in amazement to Senior Counsel Israel Khan's
criticisms about the recent vote by the Law Association,
in favour of obtaining external, independent legal advice
and whether AG John Jeremie had committed a contempt of
court in his address to the nation. Khan attributed the
overwhelming majority vote in favour of such action to
the fact that lawyers south of the Caroni bridge
came to vote like sheep. As Anand Ramlogan quite
rightly asked, Are they not equal members of the
same Law Association who are entitled to vote?
Mr Khans candid reaction shows why Indians feel
alienated and marginalised. Khan clearly endorses the
view held by the Port-of-Spain elite, that they are second-class
citizens, who must contend themselves with paying their
dues to the Law Association and taxes to the State, but
must know their place in society.
If lawyers from South were the only ones who voted in
support of this measure because they have a political
agenda, the converse must be equally true of their counterparts
from North of the Caroni bridge.
Is it then people like Russel Martineau have relocated
Rochard Road, Penal
body must say why
Government is quick to talk about the fact that nobody
is above the law, when it comes to the controversy
involving the Chief Justice. I agree with those sentiments
but wish to ask whether the law should not be applied
I cannot understand why the Telecommunications Authority
dragged its feet, for well over a year, on the complaints
of Gopios president, Devant Maharaj, against Louis
Lee Sings radio station.
The advertisement calling upon the Chief Justice to resign
is scandalous and outrageous to say the least. It certainly
makes a mockery of the presumption of innocence.
The radio talk show host, who was also the subject of
complaint, is well-known for his shocking, inflammatory
and provocative statements, that tend to incite and stir-up
religious and racial hatred against the Indo-Trinidadian
The Telecommunications Authority owes the public an explanation
as to why it refused to investigate Gopio's complaint.
Is Gopio not entitled to make a complaint, or is it that
Lee Sing is above the law since the PNM is in power?
for Grants metaphor
Grants recent column (SG, July 23) in which he questions
the behaviour of AG John Jeremie is a metaphor for one
of the major illnesses afflicting the country: the unbelievable
gracelessness of so many of those who wield power.
Jeremie ought to know that publicly challenging a High
Court injunction is arguably being in contempt of the
Court. Maybe he was absent from classes the day when that
topic was discussed. Or, still yet, he might be thinking
that as AG he is exempt from following legal procedures,
which in essence would place him above the law,
something of which the CJ is being accused.
provides good info
last weeks Sunday Guardian on the Internet, restored
my faith in our democracy and its preservation. Indeed,
you are our Guardian of Democracy.
I note your responsible treatment of the present crisis
with the Chief Justice, the Executive and the Police and
more so, the debate on our Constitution in relation thereto.
May I express my appreciation for the information you
continue to provide.
In this regard, I suggest to those who do not normally
read the Commentary Section, to have a read of the present
articles by Dr Hamid Ghany, Mr Lennox Grant and Mr Anand
Ramlogan. These will surely allow for enlightened and
informed opinions by all on this grave crisis at present.