Monday 22nd September, 2008

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Mr Pres, ask Khan to recuse himself

I reject President Maxwell Richards’ argument that Israel Khan cannot be removed from the commission of enquiry into the construction sector and Udecott. He could have kindly asked Khan to recuse himself from the commission, having declared his support for the ruling party. 

No legal institution in any part of the world will tolerate such abuse of “acceptable best practices.”

No wonder why we are on the slippery slope to becoming a “failed state,” Mr President, as you so correctly stated a few months ago.

Bramha Persad

Via e-mail

Proper parenting the answer to crime

How can we be so naive and foolish? No confidence in the Prime Minister because of a high crime rate? I am no PNMite but which government in T&T has been able to reduce the crime rate? I feel even the current and other governments have naively believed that they could stop crime.

I will continue to say “fence the cliff!” This upsurge in criminal activity needs our urgent attention. No government can solve the problem of crime. We the citizens are the ones who must take a stand and do our part.

Crime begins in our homes. Proper parenting is the solution. We need to intensify our drive for parenting homes. We need to “train” our children effectively. We need a clear standard for child rearing. We need to instil proper values. If that slips we need to pump money into and fully equip programmes like the churches, youth camps, Mypart, CCC, the Cadet Force etc.

Pumping more money into the police, army, prison and blimps and not into child and youth development is as foolish as “placing an ambulance down in the valley” when we could simply “fence the cliff.”

T&T, let’s do our part and stop looking for a scapegoat. Fence the cliff!

Rodney Brown

Youth worker

President right to put his foot down

President Richards said he is unable to revoke the appointment of Israel Khan as a member of the commission of enquiry.

I am glad the President put his foot down and put an end to these childish games for which Jack Warner has become famous. Over the past few years it seems to me that Warner has become a sore loser and confusion-maker, rather than a champion of the people.

The President was right when he told Warner: “You may wish to direct your concerns elsewhere.” Maybe he should try Roy Keane!

Delana Fo-Wong

Via e-mail

Great agriculture plan by minister

With the increasing rise in food prices, I was pleasantly surprised to read that the Minister of Agriculture was going to lobby for land for the graduates of the Youth Apprenticeship Programme in Agriculture.

I think it is great that the Government is encouraging the youths to engage in agriculture, thereby adding to national development by making ourselves more self-sufficient.

It is time we as a country come to a realisation that we can sustain ourselves and I applaud Minister Piggott and his ministry for the good work. Keep it up!

Ria Perkins-Swanson

Via e-mail

Jack and Patrick very much alike

Based on all that I have heard in the last few years, I have a picture of our Prime Minister as someone who knows everything, takes no advice, is arrogant, couldn’t care less about what anyone says about him, feels himself to be a demi-god, and surrounds himself with “yes” men.

Similarly, my picture of Jack Warner is pretty much as I have described above. My conclusion is that Patrick is to politics what Jack is to football. So much alike.

Peter Charles

Santa Cruz

There’s a way out for abuse victims

We reiterate that spousal abuse has reached an all-time high in this country. Citizens for a Better T&T (CBTT) has been highlighting for years that many homes are war zones and that family violence is getting worse.

Among the perpetrators are politicians, lawyers, doctors, counsellors, engineers, teachers, and other professional men and women. What is shocking is that many of these educated citizens act like beasts in their homes but behave like saints on the outside.

There is a perception that educated people are able to handle problems in relationships better than the average man. We need to change this perception because this is not so.

Serious emphasis must be placed on good family values if we wish to have our children become exemplary fathers and mothers in the future. Maybe the University of the West Indies can consider adding more elective courses on family life.

It’s a criminal act to physically abuse one’s spouse. We should preach this message with greater frequency to children from an early age since there are so many people out there who believe that it’s their right to own and abuse their spouse.

Spousal abuse has a serious effect on victims, yet many keep quiet to try and save their marriage or to prevent further abuse. Perpetrators need urgent help themselves because their violent acts, in most instances, are a reflection of their past upbringing.

More people are confessing that they feel imprisoned and unsafe in their homes, yet they continue to protect the perpetrators. Some victims also confess to still being in love with their abusive partners even though they suffer great physical and psychological pain. This is indeed sad and heartbreaking.

We are far from winning the war against domestic violence even though there are people and groups trying to put a dent on this serious social ill. It seems we have to wage a relentless battle against violence in the home and begin in earnest to point out to victims that there is a way out of the violence.

The perpetrators with a history of domestic abuse must be exposed, especially if they refuse to seek help.

Harrack Balramsingh

CBTT, La Romaine


Copy of letter sent to Caribbean Airlines:

I was scheduled to fly on CA’s Flight 483 on August 25 at 9.35 pm from Trinidad to Georgetown. I arrived at Piarco via my connection at 7.43 pm. I proceeded through the established protocol and cleared Customs and Immigration along with other passengers bound for Guyana on the same flight.

As a first-time visitor to Trinidad, I queued at the nearest line marked Caribbean Airlines. After not being acknowledged, I asked the clerk if I could approach. She looked at my printed itinerary and said she could not assist and pointed me to the line at the farthest end of the terminal.

I again queued and awaited service. At 8.20 pm the clerk told me that the flight was closed because I was too late for check-in. I of course pleaded with her that I was pressed to get to Guyana and that I was not familiar with Trinidad. The clerk then pointed me to another young woman who just wasted more time to the same result.

In the middle of my dilemma, other passengers on the same flight, who arrived at the same clerk just five minutes before me, informed me that the flight was delayed and that they would not be leaving until after 11 pm—but they were on the flight. At no time since my arrival did anyone page me regarding the flight nor announce that the flight was closed.

I pleaded and even asked for assistance with locating something to eat and a place to stay but no one responded. In the end, I slept in the airport and barely got on as a standby on Flight 425 the next morning. A male supervisor was able to assist me and I extend my thanks to him.

In an earlier conversation with a passenger who was able to fly to Guyana aboard Flight 483 on August 25, I learned that an earlier flight along the same route had been delayed and passengers had to be shifted to Flight 483. This is information which should have been disclosed to me instead of just bumping me off and leaving me stranded.

In the above circumstances, the usual practice would be that if customers are inconvenienced, airlines provide lodging and meal(s). I was severely inconvenienced in relation to my plans in Guyana and having to sleep in the airport, which is an unsettling experience in a strange country.

Further, the lack of courtesy and professionalism by your August 25 evening staff convinced me that I should never fly on Caribbean Airlines nor visit Trinidad ever again.

I walked away from that experience with my health and strength and I am glad to be able to express my thoughts on the situation. I hope that your company will take the initiative to properly train your staff to assist customers.

This letter is also copied to your Ministry of Tourism who also needs to consider this situation seriously. Your staff severely dimmed my first impression of your country.

I have also copied this to my local Department of Tourism because it is imperative that our country’s frontline staff is trained so that customers are not treated in similar manner.

I hope that you will take the necessary steps to correct your customer service issues.

Linette Rabsatt,

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Come on, fix those pavements in PoS

I commend the Government for repairing pavements throughout the country. However, shouldn’t it have started in Port-of-Spain by now? It is the capital of the country and most people traverse it including foreigners, so what is the hold up?

I am aware of many cases where people have twisted ankles, fallen into manholes, broken bones, busted toes and even damaged their brand-name shoes on the rubble they call pavements in Port-of-Spain. And don’t even talk about high-heeled shoes in the city. After two days my aunt from Europe began wearing sneakers.

I wonder if it is possible to sue the Government for all these ailments caused by these decrepit structures? I believe we should look into that.

I also believe that any payout to people seeking compensation would be enormous compared to the price of new, higher, pavements.

Think about it.

Losie Leid

Via e-mail

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