PM Declares “Limited State of Emergency”

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has Announced a “Limited State of Emergency” in Crime Hotspots from Midnight

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-BissessarThe PM said that this decision was made “after much deliberation with the National Security Council and members of the Cabinet,” and that the current crime spree must end.

The limited state of emergency is part of a plan using the police and army in response to the “spate of murders over the past few days”.

The Prime Minister said she will meet with the Opposition in an attempt to deal with crime.

UPDATE: August 22, 2011

The Prime Minister’s Statement Relating to the Limited State of Emergency

The entire nation has been rocked with the recent tragic news of the spate of murders over the past few days. The situation has reached proportions which the government must respond to in the most definitive manner possible. I am advised that one of the causations for the spike in murders is ironically linked to the success by the police in the discovery of large drug hauls with values in excess of twenty million dollars in just one raid. These large sums of money simply do not disappear from the drug trade without consequences and in some of the cases now occurring, this is the result.

The question though isn’t just what is causing it but how do we deal with it?

As you know, we have deployed more financial and human resources than any government in recent time in dealing with the scourge of crime and until this recent upsurge the nation had been encouraged by the decline shown by year to years statistics. But a problem of this nature that has been the result of years of neglect will not disappear overnight and we reassess day by day each strategy deployed and how effective it is in achieving short term and long term objectives in reducing crime.

But the current crime spree dictates that more must be done and stronger action has to be employed now. The situation cannot continue like this without a response commensurate with the wanton acts of violence and lawlessness; it must be a response as well that will halt the current spike in gang activity and crime in general in the shortest possible time.

After much deliberation with the National Security Council and members of the Cabinet it has been agreed that the government consider the imposition of a limited state of emergency in hot spots across the country. Such a consideration must of course have the agreement of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency, George Maxwell Richards and I will be meeting with him to discuss this matter.

The limited state of emergency will allow us to achieve a number of things in relation to crime reduction which would not be prudent for me to disclose in advance of the action taken. We are aware that such a decision will have an impact on the daily lives of innocent, law abiding citizens in these areas but I feel confident that they will recognise and appreciate the need to protect them and bring the current crime surge affecting them under control.

We have the will to tackle the crime problem in Trinidad and Tobago and the commitment to place every resource at our disposal towards waging and winning this war on crime.

We will succeed. The nation will not be held to ransom by marauding groups of thugs bent on creating havoc on our society. The limited state of emergency in hot spots across Trinidad and Tobago is merely part of a larger aggressive reaction response by the government.

As these measures are being deployed using both out police and military we ask all citizens to bear with the inconveniences that may arise from time to time. This is in everyone’s interest.

In fact, I intend to hold discussions with the Leader of the Opposition to seek his party’s support with certain legislative matters in Parliament. Trinidad and Tobago comes first. Nothing is more important than the right of each citizen to be protected and to enjoy a life of peace and tranquility.

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PM declares limited state of emergency
In an open declaration of war on crime, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has announced the institution of a limited state of emergency in several areas deemed as crime hot spots, effective as off midnight last night.

State Of Emergency
PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar last night declared a limited State of Emergency in “hot spots” across the country which took effect from midnight. Persad-Bissessar did not say where the State of Emergency’s regulations would apply or when they would cease, saying she would give more details today. However sources indicated that it should apply in several areas across the country.

Rowley: Govt in panic mode

Rowley: They ‘cut a sorry sight’
Asked if he agreed with the implementation of the limited state of emergency, Opposition Leader Keith Rowley said: “I don’t know what it means. It is limited to what, and to where.”

President’s proclamation

11 killed since Thursday

16 Responses to “PM Declares “Limited State of Emergency””


  • One of the things that would really help and reduce crimes is to place POLICE AND ARMY POST in all areas where criminals make their EXITS. For example, if there was a Police post by Phillipine junction near Palmiste, The criminals that killed the guard there last week would have think twice before the hold up the place and they would have been in jail the same time.

    • I TOTALY AGREE WITH WHAT U SAID MAKES ALOT OF SENSE BIT THOSE IT MATTER WHEN D POLICE GO DO THE CRIME & PASS RIGHT THERE THO

  • My belief is that the state of emergency wont work. How long are the protective forces going to infringe the freedom of law abiding citizens? To catch according to the govt a handful of criminals. It reaally dosent make any sense. After the state of emergency is lifted, what measures are being put in place to ensure that the place is relatively safe? Then whatever is beiing put in place should have been put in place first before making people go home by 9’O clock.

    I wonder if the labour unions will stop their strke action now???

    Hmm lots to think about.

  • Davis Michael Emille

    Criminal elements in any society are a result of the failure of key institutions(KI) in that society. These (KI)are those which nurture and shape the lives of each and every individual born in the said society. So first of all, can we name these (KI)? I believe we can. 1). The homes or Family. 2). The School. 3). The Religeous Institutions. I have often heard it said that the most troubling of problems often have solutions to them so close to the issue but the simplicity of the solution confounds the mind of the assigned solutionists. We do not have a problem of crime. Crime is one of the symtoms of the deeper rooted problem of de-humanization of select groups individuals in society to the financial and social benefit of THE FEW. If my discription of the problem so far is confusing to anyone, I will patiently outline with clarity why I believe this to be so however I am sure that we are not that simple-minded. If the cost of living increases by 3% every year, after 10yrs there would be an increase of 30% of the cost of goods and services. How can any hard working individual who has not had a salary adjustment in accordance with the 30% increase in cost of living continue to maintain a family and live above the poverty level? Is this not a formula for discontent when ones full day’s work effort can not produce a living wage to care for ones needs? False theology has imprisoned the generations of many in society. Education generated by interest groups loyal to THE FEW whos only desire is to creat employees loyal to them will never liberate a nation through education. They continue to mentally enslave. Parents impacted by false theology and mis-education can not produce the opposite of who they are. The shame of it all is that I am yet to see the leader who will courageously rise up and without fear of finincal and political ruin, speak truth to power. The solution will demand an humongus effort and painful years of rebuilding of our nation. I am willing to not only speak truth to power but be the first to say I will stand up for what is right. Years of preparation will not go to waste. We can make a difference, TOGETHER.

    • Davis Michael Emille,
      I hear your voice. When times become increasingly difficult, those who have nothing, or close to nothing, will avail themselves of every opportunity to simply take what they need, by whatever means possible. Without some mechanism for the equitable re-distribution of wealth of a society — when times are good, poverty, substance abuse, mental illness will continue to increase as social problems.
      In your view, is the lawlessness and civil disorder which is occurring in T&T now a result of hard times generally? Is this a case of people who have nothing left to lose, ‘losing it’?

  • Maybe we all should wait until the opposition gives some input and see what decisions will be made,before we come to any conclusions.A problem such as this requires a lot of planning,implementation,and time,so be patient people.

  • The Prime Minister and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago are responsible to ensure us, citizens that Law and Order shall prevail in our nation. Therefore,she has the duty to declare a Limited State of Emergency with the advice of the National Security Council when violence and crime are at such peak.

    The criminal elements in our country do not have any respect for Law nor Order and should be dealt with seriously.

    Bring back the “Cat” and use it in Woodford Square.

  • They need to setup the proper people to monitor these entry points where shipments of fruits and other merchandise are coming into the country way of sea transport. This is where most of the drugs and guns come in.

  • Are we on a state of emergency or a curfew??? Nevertheless while I am for such action taken by the Prime Minister, I am against some of the powers given to the armed forces such as having access to citizens homes without a warrant. This should be somewhat reconsidered to an extent level…
    This is an invasion to the rights of citizens as well as their homes…

  • It’s about time some action is taken to reduce the crime in this country.First they need to patrol the borders and this is where the money should be spent,start deporting illegal immigrants it’s not that difficult to get done,our government needs to get serious on these issues.Stop honoring the wishes of other countries and accepting criminal deportees into our society. Drugs and guns are entering the country by means of our borders,why don’t we have an effective coast guard patrolling our waters. Kamla you can talk around this situation all you want and not be serious about it and the crime situation will become too big for anyone to fix.Visas should be something to consider before allowing visitors in the country.Spend the money wisely on worthy issuses. Many tourist destinations require a visa and tourism is booming in these countries. Trust me it will be money well spent. Good luck to the people of this country and God help u all.

  • Most crime is committed in broad daylight, just MyTheory.

    • Yes my theory. You are on to something here, and just might be correct. For example ,the Basdeo Panday airport corruption scandal, as well as the now famous Hindu Federal Credit Union banditry , that saw gullible , poor , mainly Caroni workers fleeced of their hard own dollars, after being inveigled by Queen K’s pal, a la tribalist, head guru in chief ,Sat Maharaj, to invest , took place in broad daylight , right before everyone’s eyes. Oh sorry My Theory, as the only crimes you bozos ,are concerned with ending any time soon ,is Blue color crimes, committed by typical , low end ,illiterates, from parts Central ,ElSecorro, Los Bajos, Chickland, Caranege, Morvant,and Lavantille, yes? We know , the ones who could not afford Rbig time lawyers Rammy Logon aka COP pit bull, Israel Khan , and Fitzgerald Hinds, and Ramesh Lawrence Maraj. What a travesty, and waste of energy , this political distraction, to benefit the gullible. Can one ever love this country again?

  • This state of emergency is based on a lie. Therefore its ultimate end will be failure.

    What is the lie? It is that crime — most of it drug related — can be addressed without going after the king pins.

    The trouble in this society is that the king pins are “untouchable”. They are also the respectable-seeming businessmen. For these criminal untouchables also need to operate legitimate businesses to provide plausible cover (or a money laundry) for the ill-gotten gains due to drug- and gun-running. Not only that, they buy protection by funding political parties (note plural).

    Therefore, a policeman or journalist with any sense of self-preservation will learn quickly to steer well clear of the untouchables. Many receive offers they can’t refuse — silver or lead — mafioso style. Their silence thereafter is assured.

    It is a shameful state of affairs. The society is held hostage to all appearances by street-level thugs. But the deeper, and not so well hidden reality, is that we are as a society held hostage by the untouchables who occupy the top rungs of the society.

    Therefore, to the extent this state of emergency focuses its effort on street-level crime, it is proceeding on the basis of a lie.

    It will not succeed in stopping either the drugs or the guns flowing freely into these shores — some for trans-shipment, some for the local market. And the entire society will suffer the attendant gang-related crime and its knock-on effects in terms of generalized lawlessness and anomie.

    What can we do?

    First we must realize and accept that the government will do nothing; it is beholden to the untouchables. And if the government can do nothing, then likewise the police.

    The present very well paid foreign police commissioner can be fired by the government at will, even on a whim. Therefore, unless he is either very brave or very stupid, he will understand clearly where are the no-go areas. Likely he hob-nobs socially with the untouchables. If not, his political bosses will communicate to him, subtly or otherwise, the “facts of life” as it were.

    This means it is only by the direct exercise of people power that any change will be made to this state of affairs. It might take a revolt of the middle class — the last bastion of any rectitude in the society — to right these wrongs. Ordinary middle-class women banging pots and pans have been known to bring down a shamefully corrupt government … was it Panama or Chile? That would be the soft option.

    A harder option may involve out-and-out insurrection by forces such as were unleashed in 1970 and 1990. One hopes that that does not come to pass.

    But we are living in an age when the old corrupt order — Babylon system in all its manifestations, and its motive premise of riches through theft and exploitation — is being exposed for what it is. We are the generation whose prophetic mission it is to usher out Babylon system and usher in, at long last, God’s kingdom on earth.

    That kingdom is no longer beyond the horizon. It is on the horizon, and approaching swiftly. Babylon system will indeed come to its final flower — dictatorship out in the open — as its last hurrah before finally being overthrown:

    Revelation 13:5-8
    5And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. … 7And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb …

    T&T is very much part of Babylon system. And this state of emergency may very well set the stage for a local dictatorship as part of the global dictatorship that Babylon system will assert.

    I am here to say, as a servant of Yahweh, that the 42-month countdown has already begun. We are therefore now in that “time of trouble such as never was” (Daniel 12:1). Worldwide.

    All will bow down to the Beast of Babylon system, except those “written in the book of life”. It is therefore time to choose sides: either you become a minion of the Beast, by default or otherwise, or you become a servant of the Most High God Yahweh, in defiance of Babylon system, and “even unto death” (Revelation 2:10).

    The scriptural irony is that those who are faithful even unto death are the ones who will have eternal life. The ones who submit to Babylon system are the ones who, after the resurrection, will taste of the second death (Revelation 21:8), and will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

    But I digress. The point is that there is no easy way into the kingdom of God on earth. Many are called, but few are chosen. And those who are chosen must be faithful and true (Revelation 17:14). The fearful, and unbelieving, will not make it (Revelation 21:8).

    So there will come a time when we will have to stand up, in defiance of the powers-that-be, who control Babylon system, and soon to do so out in the open.

    In the context of T&T, the controllers of Babylon system are also the lords of drugs and guns, and it may well be that their overthrow will require overt action by an enraged citizenry. Certainly we cannot count on a captured government to do it.

    So the ultimate end of the state of emergency will be failure under its terms: crime will continue unabated.

    It may however succeed in ushering in an overt dictatorship under Babylon system.

    The choice then will be stark. Either become a minion of the Beast, with silence or acquiescence one way of making that choice. Or, resist with all the might and light and the speaking of truth to power that may be mustered.

    That is the choice that Yahweh will require us to make. In that choice, the fearful will fall by default to the Beast. Selah.

    Shalom.

  • The maxim, “crime does not pay” is derived from an American radio drama series so-titled, and staged between WWI and WWII.

    It was staged during, but not before the rise of the institutional gangs, or the syndicated gangs in the US: Irish, Italian, Jewish, Irish, Germans, etc.

    These gangs, like the Japanese Yakuza became part of the backbone to American industrialization and Wall Street banking. They, assisted by financiers invented off-shore banking and money-laundering, practices that ccontinued up into the 1990s when the US, inundated by drug money–some of these stacked to the ceiling in FloridA warehouses were even beinbg eaten by rats passed laws–

    The Yakuzza, after World War II when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, became the backbone funding the Japanese auto industry.

    African-American gangs are the only ones that have not been economically instituted into the US economy. They began in the mid-19th century when African-Americans after the defeat of gains made after the Civil war.

    These gains, especially implemented by possibly the greatest American president, Ulysses Grant, the General who defeated the slave-owning south and by his land-grant and military training of African-American soldiery–the highest ranks occupied then by African-Americans in American socciety and institutions were in General Greant’s military–assisted in the elections of more African-Americans to political power than any other period in US history.

    The dis-empowerment of African Americans occurred unbder reconstruction. The single-most effective method used by white Americans to effect this was lynching.

    Lynching is usually associated with white pen*s envy since most of the Black people lynched were male and had their genitals cut off and later used as purses and such.

    However, lynchinbg effectively forced African-Americanss off the lands they now occupied, especially in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennesse and even as far north as Pennsylvania.

    Yes, land has always been at the basis of crime.

    Today as during the period between the mid-19th century and the World wars, territory was this basis: Land control! Crime has also always needed a fall guy. Today, any community that can be accused en masse of being criminal and hot spotty, is in essence being accused of being vulnrrable and marginilised.

    Crime is never to be countenenced. However, its conceit is in being able to hide the hand that throws the stone.

    Moreover, while territory was the raison d’etre for gangs and their emergence and/or disappearance, this policy was the official basis for the 1985 Berlin Conference during which European countries ane empires; the British, French, German, Belgium, etc., carved up Africa like a cake.

    Then was developed internationally legal and military policies under such terms as “Spheres of Influence”.

    It was the legal basis before the UN’s Security Council’s sanctioning the US invasion of Grenada, and its continuing basis for embargoing Cuba.

    The anti-theses of the areas under Spheres of Influence,are the Metropoles.

    Does T&T have examples of these divergent enclaves? For sure, and the definition of each is not merely having a propensity for criminal activity, but which of these, for example Morvant verssus Westmoorings can be more easily put under lockdown and now SOE.

    But Crime, like chickens, does eventually come home to roost. It creates ‘gated and segregated’ communities and communities where despite lavish lifestyles and frequent-flyer points, every home is more detention center tghan home, bolted under lock and keys, guarded by dogs larger than ponies, and tries this to rest, not peacefully, but behind bars!

    Even those who are the top lieutenants also suffer from other forms of criminality.

    For example, the increases on obesity, of diabetes, cholesterol … even dengue are symptoms of larger problems and crises.

    For example, the foods today eaten wholesale like bananas are also the results of criminal enterprise. Initially food conglomerates like Dole (owned by the American presidenbtial contender family) destroyed indigenous communities in spheres of influence like Ecuador to grow what they then genetically engineered and which are now endangered species to be used by consumers, from the poor to the rich who finally have two optiions: to die either from starvation, or from poisoning.

    This lockdown or the SOE in T&T is not the last.

    This is part of the symptoms of systemic failure. The leaders act as if the solutions to these challenges are policy-driven.

    Systemic crises require system-based solutions.

    Therefore, the most accurate definition of the policies of the PP government, and by previous ones is their systemic failure.

    They fail because these politicians, the gophers of the ruling classes, believe that the same kind of thinking that creaated these crises, will be the same type of thinking that will also solve them.

    T&T, now approaching its 50th anniversary of ‘Independence’ belongs to somebody’s sphere of influence, a web of influences that most likely run from Wall Street through Colombia’s cocaine factories, through intermediary re-fuelling points like Guaya and Carenage, through Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic to the sordid, dangerous streets of Chicago and back to Wall Street.

    And does so under the surveillance planes able, from five miles high, to detect read the VIN and license plate on a Cadillac in Westmoorings or a Peugeot in Federation Park

  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs on a television interview said that after reading the blogs about the state of emergency, that 95% of the population were in favor of it. That is certainly not the impression I am getting here.
    It has been a fiasco from the very beginning when the PM announced a “limited state of emergency”. Is there such a thing? The term limited was meant to convey the curfew times and areas so affected. Please correct me if I am wrong. The AG in his now infamous interview with Dominic Kalipersad seeked to defend the PM’s lack of command of the english language by sarcastically remarking that the entire population understood what was meant with the exception of Mr. Kalipersad. Newsflash, not everyone understood and sarcasm is the LOWEST form of wit. I would like to know why these politicians always feel they can speak for me.
    In a “developed” country with accountability there would have been a flood of letters demanding his resignation after such a show of arrogance.
    They have now reeled in COP Gibbs by having him announce that he made a faux pas when he said that the curfew extended to the entire twin state. The Justice Minister has now stated that 15 days is too short a time to achieve their objective and at least another 3 months under a SOE is needed. With the extended powers of the “protective” services this is a worrisome thought.
    As already said before, is this measure really going to solve anything. We are being fed information daily about the “successes” of the operation and the PM has boasted that there has not been a single (gang related) murder since the SOE…is that really so surprising. The US administration at one point of the Vietnam conflict sought to justify their presence and effectiveness there by mandating the army to supply a body count of NVA and Vietcong killed
    How many convictions are they going to get in the end? Are the real sources going to be brought to justice?
    I am all for retaking our country but one has to wonder if there’s not more in the pestle than the mortar.

    • Today’s editorial in The Trinidad Guardian echoes the questions I put forward as to how effective the exercise will eventually be.
      “Surely, while the separation has to be made between the enforcement of the emergency and the conviction of people, it cannot be that large numbers of people are simply roped in during a period of emergency and then it is found that there was no good reason for such people being deprived of their liberty. And this is remembering that during this period of emergency the law enforcement officers are required to have little justification for arresting and detaining people. If when the time comes for a full assessment of the emergency the number of convictions in relation to total arrests is not taken into consideration, then the Government would have simply carried out a public relations exercise that would have caused considerable distress to the national community without realising lasting rewards in return.”

      http://www.guardian.co.tt/editorial/2011/08/27/gauging-effectiveness-emergency

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