State of Confusion

By Raffique Shah
August 27, 2011

Raffique Shah“GUILTY as charged, sah!” I declare before the court of public opinion. I hasten to add, as most felons do, “But I need to explain, boss.” Yes, I was foremost among persons who felt that serious crimes had long passed the point of tolerance, that law-abiding citizens were living in a state of siege, and if a state of emergency was required to restore some semblance of order in the society, then bring it on.

But in so doing, I all but mapped out a strategy for the imposition of draconian measures. I wrote from as far back as 2003 that law enforcement agencies first needed to have proper intelligence reports on the highest-level criminals who have reduced this country to the sorry state it had reached. Sure, they must necessarily target the young gunmen who, armed with what the police often describe as “high powered guns” (ordinary pistols, rifles and sub-machine guns), commit the most heinous robberies, murders and gangland executions.

These two-by-two louts, however, do not import such weapons. One does not take a pirogue to Colombia, seek out Pablo, thrust some “blue notes” into his hands, and say, “Chief, ah want two kilos of pure-white and ah dozen Glocks!” You’d be dead before you get close to Pablo, Juan or whoever runs a cartel in cocaine-country.

Given that an estimated 300 tonnes of cocaine is “traded” every year, any offer to buy less than, say, 100 kilos, would be deemed an insult. And the guns that invariably accompany cocaine trafficking come in large numbers; not a Glock or S&W here, an HK MP5 there. Bulk-buying is the name of that game. Only people who have millions of US dollars are capable of tapping into such sources.

So that while picking up Atibo and Carter from Nelson Street, and Khalid and Dominic from Bagatelle, might mean four cold-blooded killers off the streets, “Messrs Big” remain at large to find other jackasses to continue the lucrative trade in guns and drugs. From what I have seen thus far (I’m writing this on Friday morning), the prison-pirogue is filled with “fry-dries”; a handful of weapons has been seized (including a “pookney” whose owner must be ashamed to claim it!), and these are of little comfort to citizens who want law and order restored.

Most of all, there is a state of confusion that manifests itself daily during the State of Emergency. When the Prime Minister first alerted the nation to this drastic measure, she deemed it “limited”. We have since clarified that: the Emergency is national in scope. The curfew is what is limited to certain districts.

I would have expected, when the PM addressed the nation, she might have said: “…As I speak to you, 46 gang leaders (she turns to Minister Sandy, whispers, then returns to the mike)…make that 55, have been picked up by the police and are currently detained in prison.”

You do not say the Emergency would become effective in 12 or 24 hours! Keith Rowley had it right when he said Government had lost the element of surprise—surprisingly so, since she has so many military advisers around her.

The confusion had only begun. What prompted the timing of the declaration remains a mystery. AG Ramlogan and Minister John Sandy hinted that some kind of mayhem and mass murders were about to happen, hence the pre-emptive strike. The population does not need details. Surely, though, we expect to learn that the perpetrators of such intended action are under arrest and are charged with serious offences.

Then there was the saga of the missing Commissioner of Police, Dwayne Gibbs. Initially, nobody seemed to know where he was (one minister said Canada). The PSC threatened serious disciplinary action against him, and the AG said he would leave that issue for the PSC to deal with. Me? I thought if Gibbs left the country without informing the authorities, then he must be a mad man. He certainly does not look like a St Ann’s outpatient.

Turned out that Cabinet, no less, had approved Gibbs’ attendance at a conference in Brazil. Was that a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing? But worse was in the pipeline. AG Ramlogan comes across as someone who always wanted to act out his Western fantasies, John Wayne- style, riding a horse or whatever, and spouting “gun talk”.

After the ministerial team announced postponement of the Independence fireworks, he chirped: “The only fireworks we want to see and hear must be between the army, the police and the bandits!”

With the State of Emergency in effect, Ramlogan is in his element. Every day he gets a chance to brandish his mouth, issuing a threat here, a warning there…until Dominic Kallipersad reduced him to television fodder.

If the AG is guilty of “playing himself” during the Emergency, what can I say about Minister Herbert Volney? Now, here’s a real-life St Ann’s in-patient who has escaped the walls of the mad house. “Anyone caught breaking the curfew will be shot on sight!” the madman bawled, as he “lahay” on a wall. People who did not know better started peeing their pants. Others laughed ’til they peed.

Seriously, I have no problem with the government’s declaration of an emergency if, at the end of the week or month or even six months, so many real criminals are stashed away in prison, law-abiding citizens feel a sense of relief.

But with so much confusion surrounding its declaration and implementation, I have my doubts.

38 thoughts on “State of Confusion”

  1. Can a government unilaterally declare a State of Emergency at any time and then proceed to do anything it wishes under the law?

    Are there any safeguards at a time like this?

  2. I am in agreement with this article , Mr.Big the ” businessman ” is never targeted only the little fools on the ground that finds he has a ” high powered ” weapon in his possession and feels empowered to let everyone know who is boss on his street .
    This SoE is only intended for the public to look the other way for a while while more serious things take place behind their backs and lies told to their faces if they ever found out .
    I am shaving my money for a well protected front row seat with drinks and peanuts for the day that AG Ramlogan or Minister Herbert Volney gets the chance to act as PM , then you can talk about cowboy mass .

  3. “The confusion had only begun. What prompted the timing of the declaration remains a mystery”
    As a former military man I am disappointed by Raff little rant. This action was in the planning stages for several months. It is not something that just happen because the Prime Minister say so. It may appear so but my insiders tell me the government has been monitoring gangs and gang activities for several months. They had the intelligence and PM just acted as soon as the gangs started to kill off innocent citizens. I always thought that Raff would side with the government seeing he is a victim of crime, but can the leopard change his spots??? NO. One an insurgent always an insurgent.

  4. I took a breather from the madness of the land, but the madness got worse.
    I think the SOE was declared to prevent the unions from marching together and becoming a catalyst for people’s anger, disappoitment and frustration.Why else would we need an entire stadium to convert into an emergency jail. Is this the final flame of intimidation in a dying democracy?
    We will remember afterwards, standing among the ashes; that the
    country we love(d) was one of interracial marriages, Catholics called Mohammed, and dark skinned men who could be brothers to Fu Man Chu.
    We would remember the killings that went on despite the State of Emergency- one can murder quite effectively in the daylight, and we will remember that despite many pointing the way, the assault on crime seemed to target young men in dreadlocks.(Has MP Fitzgerald Hinds cut his hair for his own safety yet?)while the big financiers of The PArty were untouched, and apparently quietly rewrded.We will remember the treat to with-hold advertising, that forced newspapers to toe the line. Its ads that kep papers in business,
    And we will remember the suspicion serious people have, that Ms. Kamla, realizing her inability to govern these fractious people, including the ones in her own party, decides on a deathwish, a sucide mission, to push all the buttons and imolate herself, suttee-like, on a pyre called Trinidad and Tobago.
    Phoenix-like the land of the Trinity may re-emerge from the conflagration, but I seriously doubt it.
    I weep for who we wer, for the hopes dashed, and replaced by invective, for community destroyed on the altar of greed an racial animus.

    1. Linda wrote “And we will remember the suspicion serious people have, that Ms. Kamla, realizing her inability to govern these fractious people, including the ones in her own party, decides on a deathwish, a sucide mission, to push all the buttons and imolate herself, suttee-like, on a pyre called Trinidad and Tobago”

      This is the most stupid statement I have read in a long time. Linda I am sure seniality is setting in for you. Make sure and take your geritol. I am expecting more of this rant from you. What out world another crazy one is born.

      1. You probably missed secondary school so you have no comprehension of figurative language. I find it hard to talk to the unlettered.

  5. I agree with Raffique, one would expect that there would have been some element of surprise if as Mamoo says this S.O.E. is based on credible intelligence and was being planned for months. It seems to me that just like the PP it was hastily thrown together. That being said I wish this Govt. success in all its endeavors and especially this one, for the sake of Trinbago. But this exercise can only be deemed successful if the DRUG WHOLESALERS are apprehended and prosecuted. It seems to me so far, that only the little leaguers are being detained. We know that these RETAILERS (gang leaders) may be big in their own enclaves but they are grunts fighting for scraps from their masters’ tables. In the grand scheme of things they are expendable and easily replaceable. The AG referred to these neophytes as big fish, which to me is an indication that the captains of the narco-enterprises are not being targeted. If we are to win this war our efforts must be aimed at the wholesalers and not just at the retailers.
    Nuff Said.

    1. Derick wrote “It seems to me that just like the PP it was hastily thrown together..”
      As I write close to 800 arrested. You cannot just wake up one day and decide you going to call a state of emergency. You need proper/clear intelligence, you must know where the criminals are before you could arrest them. You cannot just go and kick down doors and claim you looking for criminals.

  6. A stroke of genius – the timing of curfew- give it a few weeks, people before allyou start braying. The braying started with treasonous Cudjoe followed by Israelite and other trouble makers here that what’s happening in the Mid-east and England – could happen in TT. As if the unemployment rate suddenly escalated after Manning. They have been trying their utmost to incite the same riots and looting in TT like treasonous Raff’s 1970’s rev to destabilize the current govt. Now all ah them vex – including Raff that the rioting which was supposed to ignite from the Moruga fiasco – has been nipped in the bud. So do we prefer the protection of the police or the threat of thugs?
    Hey what’s the murder count over the last week? Maybe prison has spared a lot of their lives (and some of ours also).
    Those same ‘brayers’ – including Raff criticised Kamla for doing nothing about crime. When she does take drastic measures to combat our major problem, it’s now becoming racist. Damned if she doesn’t, and damned if she does!

    1. Quoting Ramjit Gopaul:

      The braying started with treasonous Cudjoe followed by Israelite and other trouble makers here that what’s happening in the Mid-east and England – could happen in TT. … They have been trying their utmost to incite the same riots and looting in TT…

      Treason? Incitement to riot? These are capital crimes.

      And to be perceived to be a “trouble maker” may get one locked up, without charge, during a declared “state of emergency”. Is that what you seek?

      It seems evident that this government is beholden to the criminal drug barons that are the real cause of the crime that plagues this society. Otherwise we would see a parade of arrestees who show some sign that they have the financial capacity to move TT$800 million worth of drugs at a time, using, among other modalities, fancy long-haul yachts to do so. (That was the size of one shipment on the yacht “Le Flibuste”, tracked from Chaguaramas by British and Spanish authorities, and intercepted near Europe.)

      The stream of street-level peewats that we are treated to, arrested under this SOE, some fancifully described as “big fish”, is worthy only of derision.

      Am I a “trouble maker” for expressing this opinion? Is it an act of treason? Does it amount to incitement to riot?

      As a servant of Yahweh, I cannot be surprised at these charges, baseless and scurrilous though they are. Many, much better than I, have been similarly charged, and paid the ultimate price. Yeshua (Jesus) for one. Not to mention countless martyrs called to be faithful even unto death.

      I do not seek martyrdom. But I can assure Ramjit Gopaul and all others of his ilk that the first death holds no horrors for me. It is the second death, that after the resurrection, that should scare us (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 2:11, 20:6).

      It is the fear of Yahweh, rather than fear of this government that should guide our action.

      I will continue with my charge to give a prophetic and scriptural view on this site and elsewhere. I remain undaunted and undeterred.

      And if I read Prof. Cudjoe right, I fully expect that he too will continue to speak truth as he sees it, honestly and forthrightly … the misguided likes of Ramjit Gopaul notwithstanding.


    2. @Ramjit Gopaul you said Hey what’s the murder count over the last week? Maybe prison has spared a lot of their lives (and some of ours also).

      Boasting about no killings in a S.O.E is like boasting about losing weight during famine……….lets see what happens after its lifted……..

  7. What we ares seeing all over the world, is the unrest of political discontent. It is manifesting itself in such places as India, where the government arrested a legislator for fasting against corruption, in Bahrain, where their version of the Arab Spring is brutally suppressed, in Chile where thousands of students, joined with others, are protesting in the streets, in Greece, London, Londonderry-where numerous police crs were set on fire, and Israel where thousandsare camped out i the streets protesting the lack of housing and jobs. So, if there is the fer of a “London style Riot” here, then the party in power is afraid that our people would join the rest of the world. Right? Would the state of emergency therefore last until all the young men seeking jobs, have jobs, until all the unions stop asking for more than five percent, because the price gougers who create extra costs to charge people have decided to become honest citizens, until the big yatch owners who get into drug shipments become born again Christians and decide to lead a good and upright life?

    Christ will come first, I think.

    1. Linda wrote “So, if there is the fer of a “London style Riot” here, then the party in power is afraid that our people would join the rest of the world. Right”

      The London style riots was conducted by white and black youths whose rebellion to government authority is frightening. The government for their part started arresting almost immediately and charging for the destruction of property. It was an attack on the business class, the same people who are paying taxes to care of some of these mobsters. That level of attack was possible because of a poorly managed economy and high rate of unemployment.

      You see Linda while you and Dr. Cudjoe advocate for the same here, my feeling is that it would not be possible given the current climate. Here as you both use these mediums to incite, might I remind you that it is against the law to incite violence. Sadly the PNM brainwashing of you and Cudjoe has not worn off and you both seems to be living in the 1960s.

      That is what happens when you have a serious disconnect with current realities. My advice for you be careful what you wish for…

  8. I read wwith interest all the blogs on the various mediums and while 87% of what is written is crap and amusement on this blog there is a decided path in which arguments are dispensed. One can safely say where people like TMan, Ramjit, Mamoo et al will write – in defense of this government. It does not matter what the issue is, as long as it involves matters of governance then who is not in agreement with the government must be some kind of PNM operative. I find this kind of blogging to be dishonest. You make your point all you want, support the actions of your govt all you want but do not deny anyone else to see things otherwise, without attributing political (or party) affilation. Sometimes I think we loose sight of the seriousness of a SOE. It is the most authoritative a government can get in having its way to do what it wants on the population at large witout regard to party affiliation. Because it is so serious, we the citizens must raed and understand the directives and wording emanating from the the officials whgose job it is to clarify and inform of us of the objectives for which its actions were intended. It is quite clear, given its many versions and reiterations by the PM, President, AG, Nat Sec Minister and others that this action was not carefully planned. When you consider the main enforcer of a SOE who is the CoP, was not even in the country at the time of the issuance of the orders, intelligent minds must wonder why this must be so. When ‘spins’ do not clarify but make matters we must wonder “why are we doing this?”. Our democratic rights do allow us to question what our government is doing if we do not fully understand motives.

    1. I am in agreement with your observation about political affiliation with respect to decisions made by the government.Also,to be classified as a first world country…please people dis continue “all this hogwash” about race.

  9. To reiterate “the contributors to this blog as well as the author have my respect,attention,and admiration.” Sometimes,I present an argument to my most ardent critic (myself)and somehow try to disect my point of view.Here is my recent argument which deals with supply and demand:”There are about six billion people on the earth,and for our discussion 1/3 of them are smokers(2 billion)what happens should 20% of smokers quit?

    The demand(price)of cigarettes will decrease drastically.This reduction will reduce employment within the tobacco industry and their affiliates.The supply of tobacco products will also decrease.It can also be argued that such actions will increase longevity;and a decline in the amount of health practitioners.

    This is simply a hypothesis.However,apply this to the current situation in TnT.A minute percentage of the consumers,and owners of guns decide(heck,this is useless!).Embrace the path of “passive resistance” as taught by Mahatma Gandhi.Inform your employers of your intention to pursue an education;and explore the available avenues to become teachers,politicians,etc.The entire world will shower praises,blessings,and prayers upon the island nation of TnT.Every good deed deserves a try.

  10. It is always nice to sit in the comfort of our homes and offices to read others people’s opinions and ideas but it is also nice to read and hear things said that challenge our own imaginations. There are those who write to read their own thoughts and opinions which either supports the govt or denigrate those who oppose. Such blogs do not enhance conversations but rather serves to give numerical counts on how the govt stands with the population. We need to tittle the imaginations of thoswe who think like us and challenge the retort of those who oppose. Linda, for example present salient arguments that one can ponder on and respond to with some degree of thoughtfullness. TMan, has the ability to do the same but there are times when he falls into the category of those who feel that because criticism is laid it somehow diminishes support for the administration. For example, there is the case of the little who is critical of the PM. Most of the reporting on this matter tend to support the view that the PM is a victim and somehow this child is a perpetrator who should be harnessed into subverting her ideas. The truth is we should be encouraging the expressions of thoughts and then dissecting prevailing views so that wwe can form a consencious on how people feel on matters affecting us all. The fact that the social media forum allows comfort to these views shouyld be welcomed and not challenged. It is an outlet and we should encourage our young people to feel free to be as open as possible.

    1. “The truth is we should be encouraging the expressions of thoughts and then dissecting prevailing views so that wwe can form a consencious on how people feel on matters affecting us all. The fact that the social media forum allows comfort to these views shouyld be welcomed and not challenged. It is an outlet and we should encourage our young people to feel free to be as open as possible” (KIAN)

      Kian, did you see this video in question?
      If you did ,I am sure your response would be different. I totally agree with your statement above; however, this video made by a teenager goes beyond simply expressing one’s views. It could be considered “freedom of expression”, but how far can one go when expressing oneself?
      This girl made violent threats, vulgar accusations, used racist, hate language,in a quite detailed message characterised by obscene language. And her MP, Amery Brown had the audacity to claim that she is traumatised by the experience, and somehow attributes blame to the AG for pursuing her and demanding that she turn herself in!
      The PM’s reaction was overly generous, suggesting that she is a child, and should be forgiven. The PM’s reaction once again may not have been properly thought out. Kamla should have refused to discuss the matter with the media and allow the police investigation and the DPP’s investigation to run their course.Adults in any society should openly express their disapproval of teenagers who behave in this manner.When members of parliament and other prominent figures in society express their tolerance of crimes like this , it sends the wrong signals to the youths.This is a teachable moment.

      1. Kian said,”The fact that the social media forum allows comfort to these views shouyld be welcomed and not challenged. It is an outlet and we should encourage our young people to feel free to be as open as possible.” Excellent point ‘my brothaz.’
        A couple moons ago, when 25 year old , post Tethron, attempted coup phnom, Uncle Shah, landed his first media gig ,as Pat Chokolongo’s pit bull, along with fake Rasta , newsman ,Keith Shepered , they used every opportunity to only lament about any problem- imaginable- as it applied to , oh so suffering , Indo Trinis , via the Bomb, Blast, and T&T , mirror.
        It should be noted , that there was no similar forum to highlight the obvious plights, of Afrikan Trini folks across the nation.
        Fast forward to 2011, and with the exception of social media , the situation remains the same.
        Immoral souls would use both their economic , and political clout, to purposely , stymy any long fought for, and attained ,Human Rights, mainly of the other,under the guise of selective security, then when a few low end characters, such as a petulant 14 year old reacts , by -‘what ever means necessary’-they in turn, run to the media, to look for solace, or milk the situation, in typical politically driven , opportunistic fashion.
        Tell them kian , that this is what democracy entails. Freedom to speak one’s mind ,on any subject , in any manner , one deemed fit- outside of course of making false claims of genocide, as a high end MP , which is tantamount to crying fire in a crowded room.
        I do not have a problem with any assertion made by juveniles, neither do I care to see the video of a 14 year old.
        I want to see Queen K , and her PP party, low caste empowerment plan, job creation agenda, long over due land distribution program, and most importantly, equal playing field justice initiatives.
        I say enough with the politics of distraction, and cares little for the mule braying mantras from the party card carrying ,T- man ,or fellow neo tribal fan , mamboo ,and the likes.
        I say, get to the real source of crimes, and again, quit blaming victims, for all the ills of your country T-Man , while enjoying fast depleting spoils, obtained at the expense of ‘our dear red man, genocidal victims , of Canada- your new homeland.

      2. TMan, let me make it clear my position is not to defend the character or behaviour of the 14-year old but I am defending her right in a democracy to speak truth as she sees it. Based on all that I have read (I did not see the video), her language was not pretty nor did it do service to those in a similar situation. As a people Trinidadians like to know that their children “have manners” and a majority of the thousand or so blogs expressed that sentiment. Some of the blogs expressed as much hate as they are accusing her of spreading. But many saw themselves as superior to her. Whilst the blogs attacked her context, very few took the time to examine the validity of her frustratin. Because she is powerless, it is foolhardy to say she is racist. She cannot exercise any kind of authgority to execute thge frustrations she expressed. Many of those criticising her knows that there is no way she canexecute any kind of action that can amount to anything. What we do know is that there are many people who feel they way she does (without the harsh language) but feel powerless to do anything about it. The PM IS NOT a vicvtim. She is a politician who enjoys the power of holding the highest office in the land and as such is subject to the support and opposition that a democracy allows. if anything, this is an argument that the PM will win because her political of lending a hand to the little girl is smart and winninhg politics. Again, this is a situation where she can exercise power and can use it any way she wants to. She can follow the advise of the hundreds who want blood or she can follow her instincts which tells her that this is an opportunity to reachg out to a young person who is lost in a world of confusion that m8ight be too big ofr her. Eith way the PM has the power and this littler girl has none.

  11. For my fifty-one years of public education, I taught chidren of every race; so did my sister, now passed on, so did my aunt, who worked in such places like Penal and Los Bajos- which name I never heard until she went there to work. So when I see young uns like Mamoo and others trying to put me in a basket of their own ceation, and hurling what they think are nasty names like “old” and such, they contribute my laugh for the day. It is obvious that none of them benefitted from teaching and education of the sort we got, and gave. I sometimes despair that there may be no younger people to whom we greyheads can pass the torch, and then I read Dexter and Kian, and have hope.
    In the name of God, I say I have enough. I do not need to work ever again, but thre is not a day that I wonder if the poor people of our land, have work and enough to eat.
    I once pointed out that the worth of the oil and gas in our soil and subsoil, would make every TNT citizen a millioniare, but it is obvious that those at the top are concerned with lining their pockets, and those of their friends, exactly as it has always been.It would seem to be the appropriate role of third world goernments- to take care of theirs, their extended family. Then we shift musical chairs, and others get a turn. And those who are born there, and live there, are limited in what they can do, when “the government” is the biggest employer, with lucrative contracts to give out. The government sometimes annoints a few tokens fom the other side, to appease the voters, but every time you think that change is coming, change has been made, get in your car and drive through the countyside. The ostentatious rich in loud houses(in colours of marsala and baigan) live right next to the people in shacks. It was so in 1969, ’89 and 2009. The younger generation will have to forget politics of the past and pesent if things are to change, The question is how does one go about changing that?
    Meanwhile, I note for the record that a State of Emergency has existed in Syria for fifty years,(the government may soon get tired of shooting its citizens in the street, but the people are not tired of dying, the dead are replaced next protest) for Egypt, it was forty years, and for Libya the same. In South Africa it existed until aparthied was overthrown.
    States of Emergency are modern forms of trying to stifle dissent, by creating extradorinary powers for the people in power, over and above the constitution. Then those in power fall in love with not having to consult anyone, and you have a Syria, Libya, Egypt and Pakistan, as well as Burma/Myanmar, where one woman has been under house arrest, for winning an election, for twenty years.
    So, I ask of the heavens, the ancestors, the thinking young people, where are we going with this?
    I keep lighting a candle daily, for Trinidad and Tobago. Desmond Tutu asked us to do so for South Africa, in 1987 when he visited, and I have adopted it for my country also.

  12. By the way, all of this is overshadowing the outstanding achievement of Kelly-Ann Baptiste who captured bronze in the women’s 100m finals at the 13th IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea, yesterday.

    1. Don’t worry, T- Man , we will get excited when a certain second generation Canadian wins the next Toronto Marathon, or gold in the 800 ,& 400 , 2012 Summer Olympics. You will obviously remind us , about her fine genes, good training by papa T- Man, and such.
      Our nation’s government, will have you both leading a celebratory parade, or even do a Nickita Maharaj deal , and stage a $5 US million dollar concert on ‘you alls’ behalf, even while Dooke will claim we run out of money.
      I’ve told you more progressive guys repeatedly, that you should waste absolutely no time whatsoever , in trying to defend your positions,to historically ungrateful,socially selfish , culturally depraved, European adoring ,immoral barbarians, that hate the other ,but especially if they happen to be Afrikans.
      Asking some folks such as mammoo, and T- man to change, is tantamount to asking a cannibal ,to change the menu. It just ain’t happening, as it’s their nature.
      May our country survive any , who attempt to turn back the tide of socio- political development- paltry as it might be to date.

  13. Well, where should I start,congrats to K.A.Baptiste.If all of T&T can follow her example and become more positive and achievement oriented we would be a much better country and a less crime ridden one. Let me say that I am disappointed with the racial overtones now pervading our discussions and probably our society in general. We should have moved way beyond this point by now,ethic groups cannot afford to be rivals in our small country and in fact will do much more to advance our nation by working together for the good of our country. Remember K.A.Baptiste did not win that medal for either Afro or Indo-Trinis but for Trinbago. It seems as though our discussions have migrated many miles away from Raffique’s original point,with which I agree, that is,that if the SOE do not disrupt the flow of drugs into and out of this country by by apprehending the WHOLESALERS of the narco trade, then it can be deemed a failure. Do you agree and why?
    Now let me address some other juicy morsels. 1) Linda, do you really believe the SOE was to prevent the unions from marching? Come now, unions have been marching in this blessed land since Butler,no Govt can stop that,just as no Govt can stop the Carnival. The SOE wil have to be permanent and that will be a very brave and repressive Govt in this freedom loving land. The people of T&T will not tolerate that and marching will become a daily occurrence then. . Now, I must admit that the timing of the SOE looks very suspicious and convenient but we have to trust our Govt while being very vigilant about our freedom. It was intimated that they received actionable intelligence which necessitated urgent action so lets be patient and see the results before we come to conclusions. Unions can march after in safety from the criminals. 2)In my opinion trying to equate what happened in England and elsewhere with what is happening in T&T is errant, although there may be route causes of neglect, unemployment and miss education as well as a festering feelings of exclusion, of us against them. But to me what is happening in T&T is greed driven crime instead of a social movement for change. Daaga’s revolution and Raffique’s revolt of the 1970’s were cries for a more open and inclusive society, but the adjustments were not made and the structures were not put in place to create such. I am no psychologist but I believe our youth are experiencing deep psychological trauma stemming from a lack of a positive historical self. Their history has not been properly alluded to and included in our education system. This to me is the missing ingredient in the psychological make-up of Afro-centric youth in the western hemisphere. This lack of perspective among the general population also allows them to look at people of African decent as less than. We need to correct this anomaly.3)Mamoo you should be more respectful of Linda although you disagree with her. Now Mamoo, our intelligence gathering should let us know who are the criminals and their modus operandi before we declare a SOE, and we should have systems in place to nab them in the first few hours. 4)Swordfish I like your analysis it makes sense. 5)Kian and TMan I cannot help but agree with both of you, free expression of ones thoughts must be encouraged and indeed social media makes those thoughts more widely available to the public than any time in the world’s history,that to me is wonderful and powerful. The ancient Nubians & Egyptians who carved their thoughts in stone and wrote on papyrus for posterity, the Chinese of the T’ang Dynasty (618-906 AD), the printers of the Diamond Sutra (868 AD)and the Koreans of 1241 who printed books using movable type must all be smiling in their perspective Nirvanas. However every action has an equal and opposite reaction (the laws of Karma)and with great freedom and power comes grave responsibility, the young lady in question did not exercise responsibility while taking advantage of her freedom to express her thoughts in the most public of mediums. Now I am no lawyer and therefore do not know if she broke any laws but to my mind the behavior of the AG is at best arrogant and borders on being reprehensible. However the PM as chief mother of this nation is acting appropriately and admirably. Incidentally we have no way of knowing if they are playing good cop and bad cop in this matter. We must remember though, that the young lady in question is a child, who was brave enough to express her thoughts, crude as they may have been and that’s commendable, I see potential there Linda, so do not despair.

    Nuff Said

  14. Good, and an eighten year old Male from Grenada, just blew away the competition in the men’s 400 M. Grenada’s first medal EVER!Well spoken and humble, a joy to watch, but temporary joy, tempering despair.

  15. Mamoo, where and when have I advocated a London Style unrest in TnT? I caution you to watch what you say about me. I’ll tell you why. In the 1960’s I was a young whipper snapper of a college teacher, who stated that Eric William’s book”Capitalism and Slavery” was too difficult for the average college student to understand, and it was perhaps on the required reading, becuse of who wrote it. The principal of my school, scared to not celebrate this book, branded me a “communist”. It hurt. I hurt, but I left it to my ancestors, as my mother always advised. He died a few years after I moved beyond his reach, then his son died, then his daughter died. NO offspring came from that evil seed.Between the children of my mother and father, our children, and grands and great grands we number more than seventy. His name may be remembered, but his seed was wasted. Mean while my name is honored in many places.

    Fair warning. Do not wash your tongue on people who have done you no harm, it comes back tenfold.

    1. Linda wrote “Fair warning. Do not wash your tongue on people who have done you no harm, it comes back tenfold.”
      Again using this medium to threaten me. Let me say Linda

      I have had a lot of people threaten me in my lifetime.
      (1) I was around 22 in Port of Spain, two young thugs came up to me wanting money. I told them no. They followed me and attack me. In less than 30 seconds those two broke the world record for speed as they ran away from me. You don’t touch mamoo skin and get away. When they look at my face they knew they were messing with the wrong man. I did not hit them…
      (2) This drunk decided to cuss me upside/down. I did nothing to him to incur such wrath. I said nothing but let it go. Two weeks later I met him, his face smashed and teeth broken he looked ugly as sin. He never uttered a sware word to me ever again.
      (3) This manager cause me to leave the job because he gave me a really hard time. I went to the boss and quit. Sometime later he hurt his back and quit also. He decide to start a business, someone stole all his clothing items. Later again I saw him limping turn out he got involved in an accident…. The company called my back rehired me and increase my pay.

      I know about vengence it belongs to the Almighty. So those who mess with the mamoo knew it was not a very good idea to do so…

    2. Linda –“Between the children of my mother and father, our children, and grands and great grands we number more than seventy”

      Just counting my immediate family brothers/sisters and their spouses, nephews/niece. We are 23 souls. If I were to count cousins and their children and uncles and aunties I am sure we are more than a 100 because my mother came from a family of 9.

  16. One can safely say where people like TMan, Ramjit, Mamoo et al will write – in defense of this government.

    I do not expect Pat Buchannan, David Duke, sundry members of the Aryan Supremacy clan to be influenced by anything other than their race. Therefore, the positions of their their ethnic and symbiotic Aryan Kin in the Caribbean do not surprise me. Regardless of whether they live in Guyana, Fiji or T&T, these “abwe time now” inheritors of the world’s first state institutionalzed racist system are culturally predisposed to do what they do.

    Where on the earth do people like these lead any nation of diverse peoples without the presence of discrimination and marginalization. It is what they do, as natural as walking and talking. The sooner we become comfortable with this reality and allow it to influence our perspective and analysis, the further down the line will we be in becoming a unitarian collective. What do you think would have heppened to us if they represented 80% of the Caribbean population and we 30% or less. We spend too much damn time reasoning with these racist, rather than just making it plain and telling them like it is.

  17. Linda I like your writing. You seem to have done some of your homework and passed your exams. You seem to be a good soul and your love of religion and country is commendable.

    But before you comment on world politics, you snhould try to understand the relations of power in the world. Why is NATO and their fiends so gung-ho about attacking Lybia? A good friend of South Africa during the time of Apatheid? Why were The american hawks so eager to destroy Afghnistan and Iraq over something called 9/11and WMD?( Where is Shah when we need him?)
    Try to see where the real power is and how the powerful is always there to rape the weak.That is all we should be concerned about hopefully do something aboutit.

    Taking sides at this time leads nowhere and leaves our country open to the real vultures.

    Like you i dont agree with the SoE but is there something better?

    There are good people everywhere in T&T who don’t live in grand houses?

  18. If you knew my handle on the Guardian of London, and other progressive papers, you would see my sniping comments at those willing to ‘HELP” Libya by wasting its resources, to which they think they are entitled. Please do not patronize me, Fred, I have been at this a long time. I was one of the fist to insist that no repatriation of the alleged “lockerbie Bomber” should take place, then CNN got hold of the story, and did a piece on him, dying in bed with an oxygen tube in his mouth. I was one of the first who critized Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s medic at large, for broadcasting from the tagedy of the 2004 tsunami, while in a suit, among severely injured people. I told them I did not want to see another picture of his well dressed, smiling face, when my friend was too busy as a surgeon, to respond to my e-mails of encouragement. Sure enough, two hours later, he was still in his white shirt, but with sleeves rolled up, helping. I was one of the first in print to call for an impartial commission of inquiry into the riots in London, while David Cameron was saying, no need, we know what happened. He shifted his position, didn’t he?
    I am so totally aware of world politics, and because I work for no one but myself, no one can squeeze me into submission, or into changing my position without compelling evidence.I do not advertize. I am not selling anyting. Ideas are free.
    Do not be distracted by the fact that I am older. I am also wiser, and in a better position to connect the dots. And to he who thinks that I threatened him. I do not such thing. I can only tell you what fate has befallen those who set out to harm me by word or deed. It works best when I do nothing whatsoever.I invited you to re-examine your statements, despite your prism of prejudice, but you failed to see the point. I do not know what poison some people suckled on, in place of mother’s milk.I was not getting into a pissing contest with you about family size, just pointing out how he, who tried to harm me by words, had his “seed” wiped out. In the beginning, was the word…

  19. Raffique Shah please continue to publish articles which engender the articulate responses about”State of Confusion.”On this the 49th anniversary of TnT’s independence.The opinions about your article have prompted me to daydream:”What if all these respondents formed a political coalition”?


  20. You are right Raffique: the AG’s ” gun talk” shows that he is not only stunted growthwise but also intellectually.

    As for the SOE, I do trust Sandy but definitely not Kamla and the PP: they are users and manipulators.And while the SOE might be the right move to stem the wanton violence and murder,it seems to be so badly planned that I’m beginning to question whether the end results will be worth it.

    How many of the Bosses are in custody?

  21. That has been going on for years,I remember when I was back home one sunday morning back in the “80’s” Clive Sealey was the police commissioner having breakfast at the Trinidad Yacht club at Brown’s restaurant and Sabga and his relatives pull in on their cabin cruiser with all that shit no custom check for them and walked right past Sealey like is fish they had on the cart.

  22. Yes when I just moved to Westmoorings by the Sea, The landscape behind me was bare, only land fill, and there was the long black limo flashing out to sea…..the police car passed by and did nothing…but we knew what was happening….the more things change the more they remain the same. The big fish is still doing the deals behind closed doors. Killing a few scrunting youths (with a ole timer or two) do not make a difference in a SOE. The SOE is there to woo votes …nothing more.

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