Wednesday 4th May, 2008

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Not the time for naked politics

I read with great interest the May 27 editorial of the Guardian dealing with the situation in Felicity and the brutal murder of a young businessman.

I live in Felicity and wish to say that not only was he a businessman but he was a strong community builder and a community team player. He sacrificed his best skills, time and resources for the people of Felicity, especially the Divali committees.

It is for these reasons that the people of Felicity are angry. Their space has been invaded. The killing of Nicky, as he was called, is a killing of many young men all at once in the village.

I also marched and saw the naked politicking of Deputy Mayor Orlando Nagessar who seemed to forget that a child of the village was killed and instead saw it as an opportunity to advance his personal politics. In this regard I must agree with your editorial:

“While it was generous of the acting mayor to support his constituents, he may wish to take a second look at just what he is supporting and getting involved with.”

Nagessar was clearly not concerned about the pain of the family. He was concerned about the spotlight. So too was Rasheed Karim, a Muslim cleric.

On the night of May 25, Hulsie Bhaggan and Inshan Ishmael seemed to care how much support and goodwill they could engender for COP (for whom I voted) rather than truly identifying with the pains of the family and the fears of the community.

As a Felicitian I reject (and so too do other Felicitians) this naked politics of the deputy mayor and Karim, especially when the march started on the evening of May 24.

I saw the visit of both Jack Warner and Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj to the deceased’s home but I saw real concern and not how much they can get their pictures in the newspapers.

I also heard Karim accusing the mayor, Dr Rambachan and others for not being in Felicity to support the family. I happened to be at the family’s home on the Sunday afternoon when Mayor Rambachan arrived and met with the family.

I wish to urge Nagessar as a fellow Presbyterian who worships with him at the same St Charles Church on Caroni Savannah Road to stop such naked politicking.

To my brother Imam Karim, this is a challenge for you to provide a leadership that secures the community and the people of Felicity. That would serve the name of Nicky much better than the facade which we witnessed that Saturday evening.

And to Sister Hulsie Bhaggan: what were you all about reminding the people of how much you marched with them against crime etc some years ago? Can you not be genuine and display real empathy for the family and the community rather than seek votes from the unfortunate death of a good man?

Family Member

(name given)


Afraid to walk Trinidad streets

I am a student of Bishop Anstey High School and I think the crime situation is out of control. I am afraid to walk the streets of Trinidad and I am even afraid to go to the shop right down the road.

I am 14 years old, the same age of the “little girl” who was kidnapped. Could you imagine what her family went through? No family should have to go through that.

There are enough police officers and if there is not enough vehicles for them, then Prime Minister Manning should stop wasting taxpayers’ money on making life better for himself and try to make our country a better place.

Kimberly Singh

Belmont, PoS

Those High Food Prices

The price of food locally is rising sharply.

This has attracted comments from the government ministry,

Indicating that legislation will be considered if necessary

To establish control on food prices in the country.

Supermarket traders were warned about their illegal exploitation

Of the consumers by imposing certain purchasing conditions

To buy desired quantities of rice and flour

That they wished to purchase as a customer.

The traders who escalated their product prices unreasonably

Were also strongly criticised by the government authority.

There was no material cost increases to justify

Cost of their products being raised so high.

The general public should now have no doubt

About what the retail business is all about.

Merchants and traders are out to make money

And have no qualms about milking the society.

They increase the prices without any moral justification

Other than making more money from their operation.

They operate the philosophy of a laissez-faire society

Where consumers determine the price of a commodity

By deciding the price that they will pay

To buy any product they want that day.

The masses of working people do not understand

The trader business tricks of supply and demand.

And options they have to exercise and control

Their finances when purchasing goods to be sold.

Some people will buy goods at any price,

But workers may have to make a sacrifice.

When the commodity is something that they need,

They become the victims of the traders’ greed.

Lifestyle changes is something people should consider

To avoid being consumed by the inflation monster.

You don’t have to eat meat every day

Consider other choices and let the meat stay.

Meat and fish will deteriorate if not sold

Traders must sell it to achieve their goal.

If prices are high you just don’t buy

The traders will soon recognise the reasons why.

They must sell their goods to make money

And will have to price the goods reasonably.

Develop the option of consumer co-operative activity

For membership to control their food prices effectively.

Using the co-operative philosophy provides an effective solution

To reduce the crippling social effects of inflation.

Leslie C Lewis


Why make kids resit CXC exams?

Unbelievable! Amazing! Are the parents of 20,000 students just going to stand idly by and allow their teenagers to be traumatised by being made to resit two very important CXC subjects, English and mathematics, without raising any sort of protest on their children’s behalf? The majority of whom are already terrorised by anything concerning mathematics?

What was the Ministry of Education doing? The cancellation of CAPE occurred May 11 after confirmed reports of a leak. The CXC math and English exams took place on May 20 and 21, before which the ministry knew the security had been breached.

Why didn’t the minister stop the CXC exams and immediately start an investigation instead of allowing 20,000 children to go through this trauma? Wouldn’t it have been wiser to stop the exams for a week or two rather than this debacle that is now taking place?

So now that the exams have been completed, has anybody found out the percentage of students who purchased these math and English papers? Was it more than 50 per cent or was it just ten per cent, five per cent or even one per cent of the total number?

Just remember that if it were merely 200 to 500 students, this would be the one and only time that they would obtain a Grade 1 in those subjects, and in the future would be no better off in jobs or further studies involving those two subjects. So why the resit?

The cheaters are really the only people who will be harmed by having cheated. Those who were top of the line are always going to succeed in math and English, without cheating.

Please, Minister Le Gendre, these children, who you claim are the reason you wake up every day yet you blithely agree to this horrible solution, don’t need your “crocodile” tears. They have the real tears of their parents and grandparents.

Angela Pidduck


Great care at Tobago hospital

THIS is to acknowledge the excellent service received at the Scarborough General Hospital on May 23.

My father fell extremely ill while on vacation in Tobago. Unaware of any private institution on the island, I had no choice but to rush him to the hospital.

The moment we entered Casualty, we were sent inside and they immediately began checking his blood pressure and vital signs. He was hooked up to drips and given several injections to stabilise his condition. Blood samples were taken and he was sent for an X-ray. A short while later an ECG was done.

All this was done within two hours of arriving at the hospital. The doctor informed us that the blood tests were sent to the lab and that things usually work a little slower in Tobago than in Trinidad so we should have some patience.

Finally, the blood tests came back around midday, a diagnosis was made and my father was subsequently treated for his condition.

I personally thank Dr Henry and all the nurses of Casualty who were on call that day for the excellent service that was given to my father and also the consultant that was on call.

I believe both Dr Henry and the consultant are Nigerian doctors and I must admit that they went above and beyond the call of duty to treat my father, given the circumstances and conditions under which they work.

Things seem to be working better at Scarborough than at the Mt Hope of PoS hospitals.

Shiva Rogers

St Augustine

Advice for a football adviser

I HAVE some advice for the T&T Football Federation’s (TTFF) special adviser, Jack Warner and coach Francisco Maturana.

I want to tell these goodly gentlemen that they could kiss World Cup 2010 (South Africa) goodbye if they don’t play the pros. It was glaring during the match England vs T&T match that the Soca Warriors have plenty worries.

“Maturana’s Babes” were totally out of their depth. As a matter of fact I make bold to say they were lost at sea.

The match itself was “mush.” For England it was a stroll in the park.

The match showed that international football is all about professionalism. There’s no room for experiment. You’ve got to go at your opponent with all guns (pros) blazing.

Someone should tell Maturana in Spanish that he’s got to think pro—not Pro League—when it comes to team selection.

All the footballers in the TTFF’s “football jail” should be released forthwith. What has Brent Sancho, Chris Birchall, Denzil Theobald, and others done but stand up for their share of a reported £13 million.

There’s little time for Maturana to get his act right or the vengeance of moko will again fall on the TTFF and its special adviser’s head.

Keith Anderson

Belmont, PoS


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