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Well said Kamla

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Kudos to Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for not being drawn into recent efforts to politicise tomorrow’s Indian Arrival Day celebrations.

The UNC political leader did not descend into the arena after her invitation to the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha’s Indian Arrival activities was withdrawn by that Hindu religious body’s outspoken secretary general Sat Maharaj.

Instead, keeping well above the fray, Mrs Persad-Bissessar rejected any notion of boycotts and urged members of her party to participate in any of the commemorative activities they had planned to attend for the public holiday.

In so doing, she has helped to maintain the stature and importance of this very important national observance which, this year, marks the 173rd anniversary of the arrival of the first East Indian indentured labourers in T&T.

On that first Indian Arrival, May 30, 1845, the labourers who disembarked from the Fatel Razak at the Port-of-Spain harbour came from diverse religious and social backgrounds—Hindus, Muslims and followers of other faiths—and since then they have contributed to the colourful cosmopolitan society that is T&T.

With her level-headed response to Mr Maharaj’s angry statements, which he made during a television broadcast last Friday, Mrs Persad-Bissessar successfully defused an escalating controversy that had at its core Hindu-Muslim relations and freedom of religion.

She also helped keep the contributing issue—the dispute over a hijab-wearing OJT being banned from a Maha Sabha school—in proper perspective

Enforce those laws

Now that the Anti-Gang Act has been proclaimed, becoming the latest crime-fighting legislation in the state’s arsenal, the focus needs to be on firm and consistent enforcement.

This is the one bit of legislation that crime fighters and security experts unanimously agreed was critical for empowering the T&T Police Service to crack down on the gang culture that drives the ever-increasing wave of violent crime sweeping across the country.

Now that it is fully in place, law enforcement officers should start going after the gangsters and taking them before the courts to be tried and convicted for crimes ranging from murder to kidnapping, robbery and a series of drug and weapons offences.

There was a tough battle to get these laws through Parliament, particularly with Opposition only reluctantly giving support so the special majority could be reached for passage.

Now comes the real test—effectively applying this law against the criminals who have managed, for the most part, to evade the country’s law and order systems.

Well done Soca Princesses

T&T’s women’s football team advanced to the final Concacaf playoff series of the Caribbean Women’s World Cup Qualifiers with an emphatic 13-0 victory over Grenada on Sunday.

Congratulations to them and may they now get the support they need to achieve their World Cup dream going forward!


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