What next for the Soca Warriors?
I suppose that the answer to that question is more complicated than losing a football match or even a regional tournament.
Concerned about the various crises in the country, a senior member of the clergy is hoping that the meeting between Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar would not just be a pappyshow.
Speaking at the Rapid Fire Kidz Foundation’s 5th anniversary dinner at Omardeen’s Hall in San Fernando on Saturday night, outspoken Presbyterian Reverend Daniel Teelucksingh, a former Independent Senator, touched on several issues, including the crisis in the judiciary, violence against children and tomorrow’s meeting between Rowley and Persad-Bissessar.
The agenda includes issues relating to parliamentary matters, but Persad-Bissessar said she will be raising issues relating to crime, jobs and economy, although Rowley has said he could have discussions about crime under the anti-gang legislation heading, but the two other issues were not on the agenda.
Teelucksingh said he was happy the two political opponents were meeting, but noted there had been similar initiatives in the past and nothing came of them.
“They have had all kind of big talk whether in the Hyatt or in this building, they had all kind of talk of meeting issues, dealing with issues in the country and it ended as a grand pappyshow. I hope that wouldn’t happen in 2017. We want to talk about national issues and then there is a deadlock, the same old deadlock.”
Saying that political hostilities between the estates had been a curse on this nation, Teelucksingh said: “I like that conversation between the two estates, between the Prime Minister and his group and the opposition and her group. I hope they don’t go in the Parliament and have the meeting. They have to go somewhere else. The agenda has to be different and the tone has to be different. There must be a different spirit, different from the one that pervades.”
He said commoners were suffering because of the bad leadership in the judiciary, executive and legislature.
Touching on the turmoil in the judiciary, Teelucksingh said: “Those 53 unfinished cases still remain a nightmare for the fellas in the courts and also for the law makers. That has been at the centre of the whole issue of the problems in the judiciary.”
He said there needs to be a panchayat of all the different sectors, including judges, magistrates, the law association and all attorneys, of the third estate to talk about their roles and responsibilities, as any implosion in the judiciary will affect the society.
Commending the Foundation on the good work they were doing with children, Teelucksingh said T&T has the most amount of child rights and protection laws in the Caribbean, but too many children continue to be abused, maimed, ill-treated and murdered.
“Do you know that that in T&T our household pets are more comfortable than hundreds of children.”
Alluding to the murders of 13-year-old Videsh Subar, Sean Luke and 16-year-old Waterloo Secondary pupil Jesse Beephan who was beaten to death, Teelucksingh said, “I believe that Trinidad is a dangerous place for children, there is no doubt about it. I have only selected three illustrations to tell you that the child’s playground in T&T is like a war zone, a war zone somewhere in the middle east area or so.”
Saying the death of Kendall “Sausage” Garcia, a suspect in Subar’s murder, was an act of God. Garcia was killed by police in a shootout last week.
He reminded those who are “criminally minded” that there is a “higher justice.”
Although the Foundation has undertaken several projects and events since its inception, president Kevin Ratiram, an attorney, said their work has only just begun. He cautioned the evil elements that good people of T&T will fight tooth and nail to make the country a safe place again.
And for the first time, two members Charlene Kalloo and Bisram Ramdatt received the Executive Member of the Year award. Rural and Local Development Minister Kazim Hosein also attended the function.