Under siege

Newsday Editorial
Nov ember 27, 2017 – newsday.co.tt

ViolenceA boy killed at a birthday party. A pundit killed at home after prayers. A priest robbed at a church. A girl raped at school. A doubles vendor killed getting ready for work. Two men shot at a gas station. Thousands of commuters at the mercy of a handful of Beetham residents.

Criminals do not discriminate.

In a perverse fulfilment of our national anthem, every creed and race is today under attack. What is the cause? There are many opinions, few solutions.

Some say crime is due to socio-economics. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley last week linked frustration among Beetham residents to “difficult times” in the local economy. Poverty, unemployment, poor education may have caused a breakdown of law and order.

Yet, how do we explain lower murder rates during the 1980s when our economy was in deep crisis? How do we account for lower murder rates in bygone decades when an older generation of citizens did not enjoy the standard of living enjoyed today?

Perhaps those who say crime is a matter of values have the proper diagnosis. People have become inhumane, they say.

Criminals have thrown out the sanctity of human life. It is now expected that a victim will comply with a criminal’s demands and must then beg for their life. Resistance is futile.

But how do we explain the fact that most people resident in hotspot neighbourhoods deplore the violence they see around them? Beetham residents are ashamed over last week’s developments.

Does the situation in our prisons have an impact? There is the belief that conditions there radicalise people on remand. Charged people, whether innocent or not, endure delays, poor physical conditions and violence. The role of deportees is also believed to be relevant. Still, not each crime will have a link to prison.

Many argue guns are at the heart of the matter and call for tougher legal restrictions.

However, criminals are already using guns obtained through unauthorised means.

Others, like former senior superintendent Johnny Abraham, think guns are the solution and that we should empower people to protect themselves.

It is time for a new dialogue on crime. This dialogue must be premised on facts. It should not be inflected by politics. Nor should it be purely academic.

The tired rhetoric of enforcing the law to the fullest extent, of an all-out assault on criminals is not working.

Profound social intervention is required.

Today, citizens are fearful of going about their daily business.

If we do not act urgently we will remain under siege.

Source: http://newsday.co.tt/2017/11/27/under-siege/

11 Responses to “Under siege”


  • WELL WRITTEN. But writing a column with great statements are Not Enough. In other large countries there are somewhat accountability’s. Ie, folks report Crime, Groups band together and confront wrong doings, with 90% success. People watch other folks Property, because if they Dont, they will be next. Law enforcement KNOW who they are working for, who is paying their wage So they act/ React quickly, Or they get Fired. many OVERREACT.And the people SPEAK LOUD.{Problem}—Trini people, Dont care, if its Not them. Same ones who are in better positions, and so call Educated, Say GIMMI, GIMMI,GIMMI. ALSO. SO WHERE ARE THE examples? Until, Governments enforce the laws, with TOUGH LOVE. And WE ALL GET SOME backbones, AND DISCIPLINE. And some Balance in our thinking, And STOP DEMANDING to get this/That from your little/no Tax Dollars. then we may see some light

  • The break down of the family is to blame. Children are being raised without a father in the home, mother may be there but the children are not being raised ethically, morally or with integrity and respect for other people’s property. From 2,3,4,5 years old a child should be taught to respect authority, peoples property and human life. When they grow up they will be ashamed to sell drugs to another human being, rob them, chop them, or shoot them and take their life.

  • Lets take a journey, when one is “UNDER SIEGE”, seeking cover is the first thing that comes to mind. Now, these are some of the wording of T&T’ national anthem. “FORGE FROM THE LOVE OF LIBERTY, IN THE FIRES OF HOPE AND PRAYER, WITH BOUNDLESS FAITH IN OUR DESTINY,WE SOLEMNLY DECLARE, SIDE BY SIDE WE STAND”. Does any of this makes any sense? how can a Nation forge its destiny, while hogging another countries mass media? what boundless faith does Trinidad have in its Destiny, while importing 90% of everything used or eaten? show me an ethnic group standing side by side. The last 30yrs of Trinidad’ history have been one lacking in values, a young man or woman born in that life span, have been bombarded with all the umimaginables beyond one wildest dreams, Trinidad’ mayhem, is directly related to the media of the USA. A child born in Trinidad, is immune to the code of ethics of Murder, Rape, Fraud, and all the immoralities, that captivates his attention, the video games he plays on a daily basis, is all crime oriented, Women, have become debased objects right in our eyes, all because of the American media, Millions in foreign exchange, leave the shores of T&T, the price for Cable TV. The Internet/Social media, have taken it a step deeper into darkness that presently engulfs Trinidad. These are the prerequisites for being “UNDER SIEGE”. Cause and Effects, we tend not to relate to, But Gov’t and all of its institutions, have played a part and continue to create the environment for Trinidad’ Criminal down fall. When the people are calling for peace and justice, and the powers are calling for LAW and ORDER, if the powers are searched, all the reasons for Trinidad’ MAYHEM, will be uncovered.

  • This is an Afro-Trni issue, mostly. Afro_trini devouring their own. Yes there is corruptions in gov’t,business, etc. But the govt does not have the money to “bribe” the downtrodden with project wuk. The budget is peg at 50 dollars a barrel of oil. And it will be like that until the price of oil go back. Whenever that will be, we don’t know. So Afro-Trinis as usually is left with the short end of the stick. All the other ethnic group are helping their own. What we Afro_trinis doing. We killing we own.Sad! Rasta city, muslims, east pos. Allyuh real pathetic. I talking to the males. real pathetic.

    • Great Name} But Talking without thinking is a MISSTEP,And foolish. One have to ask, when one is saying the other Groups is helping each other. LOOK around , WHAT DO we have.? Any Large Business, Any large restaurants. Any Large Trucking Business,Any Large Factory’s We have {LARGE MOUTHS} So where are the examples for our Children to be proud off. We have Carnival, play for Years. Hey LOOK, ALL the other Groups, OWN the TRUCKS/MUSIC/BARS/SIGNS. The
      Businessre, our Culture/Talents —WHAT WE OWN? The buying public. We /STARTED, STEEL BANDS,Make the tunes, running around saying, She/he is better.? Who run the Business? Transportation, re, movement, World Highlight/exposier? How then we are left with short end? There are no one to really look up too,Saying that is ours. The other Groups, and children have. We Talk a lot, saying NOTHING. Hey, we have Gifts. But,NO Discipline. Only gimme, gimme.—- Stop,look around,Get serious.Think, Re, tool.

  • For the first time in many years I have seen so many blogs, truly reflecting our conditional state in Trinidad and Tobago. What this means is that our foundational watch words were always meant to be just passing fancy and not words that truly apply to our national aspirations. Whatever happened to “Discipline, Production and Tolerance”?. What happened to “Where every creed and race have an equal place”?. Whatever happened to “National Pride”?. Whatever happened to “Together we Aspire, together we Achieve”?.

    National watch words are NEVER meant to be fancy statements just for making ceremonial speeches. They should be “doing” words that set aspirational goals meant to be enshrined in our policies and way of life. Which of our policies have in its instructional definitions any of these watch words?. What we truly reflect is a “wannabe” nation, that is always mimicking cultural traits that are not indigenous to our way of life and practical living conditions. Any wonder why our national dish is “KFC”?

    • Yes, Maybe everyone in T&T is SLEEPING. iF WE STAY SLEEPING, And and keeping COMPLAINING, We may get a stroke of the Brain.– Anyone looking.— KFC/Burger king/and all the FAST FOODS that is eaten, and folks get HOOKED on,so we then LOOSE our National Dishes slowly. where dose the Money goes? Why do this small country have a high rate of Diabetes.Blood pressure,Over weight, by so many Young folks.Plus. Why do Most everyone behave so {STUPID/OUT OF CONTROL?, with NO MANNERS, Its the–FOOD, Fill with so many Chemicals. Again, the Folks who is making the Money Is WHO?? And what do these people contribute to the the this Country. The County’s watch words dont mean anything, if the people in the country DONT CARE. ONE have to Care about self and Country, for it to be reflected,and pass on.

      • Breds, that is exactly what I am saying. Afro-Trinis have no major buisness of significance. They have to depend on govt. and the same parasite orligarchy for employment. I listen to a guy in Beetham demanding that the govt give them jobs. The MEN in Beetham can’t form their own organization to move forward. What the heck. Right now we Afro-Trini men need a new head on our bodies. We destroying we own. Like I said. the OTHER various ethnic groups are doing things amount themselves to rise above the wave. What we Afros are doing is pulling ourselves down. Ah man from Bethem can’t go up Laventille. They go kill him. This is what we Black people have become. Predetors??? Lord Help US.

  • Allyuh go back and sleep yes, the red and ready in charge. Only thing is with money being a problem things will get worst. The thieves are getting smarter, disabling alarms, poisoning dogs, and carting away goods. Yes we can blame the socio economic situation, certainly it will bring comfort.

  • The editorial miss one of the key reasons for the breakdown in law and order in TT. These matters are the reasons criminals doing whatever they want in TT:
    -Failed justice system, (travelling and not looking after the management of the judges, cases, bad appointments etc. Individuals in remand over several years. Justice delayed, justice denied.
    -The most senior members of the judiciary having a grand time at the expense of the citizens of TT.
    -A Prime Minister and Attorney General who wash their hands of the administration of justice in TT.
    -Crooked lawyers, policemen and others in the justice system who benefit greatly from crime.
    -Criminals know that they would not be caught and given swift justice.
    – Politicians who would sell the soul of the country rather than make it a better place to live. They cannot wait to get their hands on the public purse.
    -Trinidad is a failed state and people who are responsible; opposition and government alike should be ashamed to show their faces in public.

    • No Government is ashamed to show their faces, because the People who they Govern, are NO BETTER. NO ONE is standing up, or helping, or behaving in ways that will tell any Governments WE ARE HOLDING YOU ACCOUNTABLE. Instead, One party comes in, Give away Gifts to every Man jack and their brother/Sister. Other Party takes over, then Everyone is an Expert, —Gimmi this Gimmi That. They should Do this, Do that,buy THAT.Fit this, Looking at the Big picture. Everyone seem confuse. or Dont have the In tress, to be involve. Maybe is because there are No Giveaways?? —–But, on the sideline, Calling shots, and saying its Them? Funny, Everyone is the Government?

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