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Shooting the messengers

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Two cases of abuse against children this week have once again got the population talking about whether this country is truly serious about the protection of minors. One was a case of physical and mental abuse against a teenager while the other was sexual abuse against a minor. However, it was a dressing down by both the T&T Police Service and the Children’s Authority over the public’s decision to use social media to expose the cases which ended up becoming a main talking point.

The TTPS warned the public that the release of sexually explicit videos via the internet, especially of minors, could land them in trouble with the law. The authority meanwhile advised against releasing videos which reveal victims’ identities since this could cause trauma to them in future.

But in all this both bodies also seem to have overlooked the fact that individuals used this medium due to frustration over the same authorities’ lethargy in dealing with complaints about these and similar cases. Indeed, both bodies were said to have visited the teen victim’s home but he still remained there until a video exposed the situation, forcing the authority to return to rescue him. While discretion is advisable in such instances, it may be a case of the authorities shooting the messengers.

Let’s get tourism product right

Kudos must go out to the Ministry of Tourism for its efforts to boost tourist arrivals via cruise ship tours to this county. If the figures released by the ministry are correct, the arrival of a record 8,600 visitors on two cruise liners over two days this week is certainly a promising sign. With official statistics also forecasting a 130 per cent increase in visitor arrivals for the season, this could represent a significant boost in foreign revenue earnings.

However, it is what the ministry does once these tourists land here which will make the difference as far as sustaining the current effort and building economic diversification the country needs to survive going forward. This means liaising with all the stakeholders to ensure the visitors thoroughly enjoy their stay here and also pass the word on. We must get it right all round if this effort is to bear the fruits we ultimately seek.

Celebrate kaiso at Skinner Park

Some 40 calypsonians will be heading to Skinner Park today for Calypso Fiesta, the traditional semi-final round of the National Calypso Monarch competition. At a time when one calypso tent is being forced to close its doors after 50 years due to lack of support, let’s go out and support this aspect of our culture.


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