Category Archives: Crime in T&T

They stole the soul of the nation

By Raffique Shah
February 26, 2024

Raffique ShahMany of my readers who know of my health challenges, who have noted my not-infrequent absence from this space, added the proverbial two-and-two together and came up with 22. Wrong answer. Watching each other with a strong element of conspiracy my readers worked feverishly (they thought they were on a timeline!).

They engaged in conversations aplenty. My spies reported that further discussions held in camera resulted in innovative journalism, but like all who have followed my chequered careers in my near-80 years on earth, they quickly resolved their differences, demanded communication time with me, and… well, here is the fruit of the first such exploration.
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A Quest for Truth

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 20, 2024

“A Quest for Truth” was delivered on Monday Night February 19, 2024, at the UNC’s forum on crime.

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, leader of the UNC, other members of the panel, distinguished members of the UNC, ladies and gentlemen and those who are present at the Chaguanas Borough Council and those who are following on radio or television.

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target that no one else can see.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer

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Rowley cannot solve our crime problem

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 23, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeKeith Rowley and his Government will not solve our growing crime problem for the simple reason that Rowley has become a part of the problem rather than part of a solution. He is much too arrogant, indecisive, ill-disciplined and un-inspirational to lead such a vital national effort.

First. He says that Trinidad and Tobago is a violent society, but exempts himself from that national condition. If his description is true, we are all infected with that virus. However, Rowley is mistaken in one regard. He feels that only physical violence matters. He does not realise that verbal violence—a product of the same society of which he is a part—is as bad as physical violence and may be the precursor to physical violence. Rowley practises verbal violence against the nation each day.
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Parkinson’s patients mission

By Raffique Shah
January 23, 2024

Raffique ShahEleven years ago, when I first reported that I was diagnosed by several doctors with Parkinson’s disease, I thought I knew then much about this neurodegenerative condition for which there was no cure. Back then, the only persons I knew who had PD were actor Michael J Fox, my boxing idol Muhammad Ali, and my political guru of sorts, CLR James.
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Irrational exuberance

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 08, 2024

Pain, fear, nausea, benumb our sensibilities.
Not sure how many of us will live to see tomorrow’s light,
Not confident our country will remain a coherent whole
After we leave this earth and our politicians depart this life in ignominy.

—Author’s poem

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn January 1, 2024, Prime Minister Keith Rowley offered a disappointing New Year’s greeting to his nation. It is as though he were speaking about another country at another moment of time; sounding as someone out of touch with the existentialist realities of his society.
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Return to good manners

By Raffique Shah
December 04, 2023

Raffique ShahIf the crime situation were worse than it is today—and that is hard to imagine—one can easily see the bulk of the population reduced to spasms of laughter as we watch politicians, police and public officers offer lame excuses for us being in a virtual stage of siege, imposed by the criminals in the country who are the only people who seem to have some control over their turf.

For example, the daily dosage of murders appears to be under the total control of gangsters, with the police incapable of doing anything to decrease the numbers. The wider population, held spellbound by the ease with which crime has become almost an industry, offer a mishmash of solutions every Monday morning on media shows. Before the week is over their prognoses become irrelevant. They must once again dip into their magic boxes to churn out some new tricks for the next week.
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Oh Palestine

By Raffique Shah
November 28, 2023

Raffique ShahCloistered as we are in our tiny space in the wide world, Trinidad and Tobago often resorts to grandiose statements to appear to be playing critical roles in global affairs. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, except you can delude yourself into believing your inflated ego and end up being the butt of many a barb in social circuits you have breached by false pretences.

I am not suggesting here the Dr Keith Rowley administration is guilty of dereliction of duty in international affairs, that it has missed out on important interventions that might have brought us more than goodwill. Au contraire, I believe Dr Rowley has grasped opportunities as they arose, and created others where none seemed to exist.
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Crime and rewards

By Raffique Shah
November 21, 2023

Raffique ShahI thought, not hard and for long, I need add, but for long enough to determine, well, if Police Commissioner Erla Christopher could fire the first round of heavy artillery that had the effect of jolting her audience into full alert, which is not normally associated with this “Commish”, or most of her predecessors, coming to think of it, and even better for the sake of argument or a bout of Trini “bacchanal” one Sandhurst-trained Gary Griffith, who responded with a “spray” of machine gun fire that rivalled the ongoing attacks on The Gaza…
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Allow Palestinians to breathe

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 31, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen 85-year-old Israeli citizen Yocheved Lifshitz was released after spending 16 days as a Hamas hostage, she commented: “They didn’t break my ribs, but it hurt a lot, making it difficult to breathe.”

“Hamas,” she said, “took good care of the wounded,” referring to one person whose arm and legs were injured during their kidnapping (FT, October 25).
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Bloody Tuesday

By Raffique Shah
October 03, 2023

PART 2

Raffique ShahRamdwar (Dennis) shouted, “Gas!”

Gas, meaning CS: Crowd Dispersal Gas commonly known as “tear gas”.

The police wasted no time. It was like the proverbial “dog whistle”. Every “ranker”, Randy Burroughs and his “Flying” squad were there, as well as a large contingent of recruits, pounced on the peaceful workers and farmers raining blows with riot staffs, which were thick and heavy. Many bones were fractured on that day.
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