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Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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Work to change Guyana relations

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 7:06am

The politely co-operative relationship that this county has had with Guyana fundamentally changed after the discovery of a significant Guyanese resource of petrochemicals, estimated in October 2021 by ExxonMobil to be more than ten billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Bundled with discoveries in Suriname's adjoining waters, the joint fields might prove to be the last major mega-basin find for oil and gas, dramatically changing the fortunes of both nations.

It's time for the relationship between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago to evolve.

Guyana's President, Dr Mohammed Irfaan Ali, is already planning to use the revenue bonanza to create a diversified economy, using strategies that benefit from his country's experiences with decades of resource extraction, which created dangerous and destructive swaths of pollution through poorly regulated mining and logging in the interior of the country.

In the midst of this evolution from economic underdog to petroleum superpower, Guyana's people have not forgotten the snubs of the past: from the casual but official dismissal of the plight of in-transit Guyanese passengers who were routinely required to undergo security rescreening, to the recent lapse by First Citizens Bank in March, when the bank neglected to tell Guyana's Central Bank that it was buying Scotiabank's assets in the country. Since First Citizens does not have a licence to operate in Guyana, the announcement in the TT press raised both eyebrows and ire.

The TT energy sector has been actively courting Guyana’s government since the oil discovery, yet a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on energy co-operation between TT and Guyana signed in 2019 went a year without action.

Why did it take an outcry from the Georgetown Chamber of Industry and Commerce to begin mobilising thinking at the highest levels of governance about improving trade and capacity-building between TT and Guyana?

Why did Dr Amery Browne choose to respond to the admittedly intemperate comments by Guyana's Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo about TT by describing them as "arrogant, hostile and xenophobic”?

Dr Ali is approaching the potential windfall with a commonsense appreciation of its place in Guyana's history and the overall arc of the global energy sector. He is talking about improving food production, sustainable forestry and refreshing the approach to mining the country's mineral reserves.

Guyana's president is looking to the Caribbean region for opportunities and partners, but TT cannot assume that because we are next door we are favoured. Far from it.

There is much in the TT experience in petroleum extraction that might inform the Guyanese experience, both in our successes and failures, but moving forward clearly demands greater sensitivity and empathy with Guyana than it has experienced from this country previously.

Guyana has a sovereign right to choose its trade and business partners. TT has more to do to make itself an attractive alternative.

The post Work to change Guyana relations appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

East Indians must write family life stories

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 7:06am

SURUJRATTAN RAMBACHAN Once again Indian Arrival Day has come with its flurry of speeches and cultural expositions celebrating the ancestral heritage, remembering the good old days which the large majority of us never experienced. The descriptions of the lives of our ancestors by historians bring tears to the eyes. But for many East Indians, Indian Arrival Day has little or no significance mainly because, particularly as East Indians we have not shared as widely as we need to the significance of the ancestral experiences and the lessons and values imparted by them to us. We have indeed beyond a shadow of doubt benefitted in no small way from the foundations they laid, be those foundations economic, social, cultural, religious or familial. No matter how small their contribution might be perceived to be, let it never be disregarded for it is upon those foundations that we have built and prospered. Too often the contribution of our ancestors is measured by wealth and property. How many of us realise that it is the subtle inculcation of traditional values which is the greater inheritance from our ancestors? We the descendants of our ancestors have learnt the value of entrepreneurship and the economic independence that it creates. There are those in society who point to the success of East Indians and assume that they had some fortuitous advantage. Maybe that is so in a couple of cases but the majority of success stories among East Indians involve thrift, savings, sacrifice, hard work, determination in the face of obstacles and courage to stay the course. Resignation to fate has never been in the “DNA” of the East Indians. While accepting the theory of karma East Indians accept the results but not as fatalistic. They are rarely overwhelmed by them. They move on, quickly picking up the pieces and moving forward without losing sight of their vision for a better life for themselves but more so for their children and families. Despite the dominance of the single family unit, the ideology of the extended family has not been lost to them. We are today better off as East Indians because of our inherited values. This we must celebrate as we mark another Indian Arrival Day. Our ancestors arrived only with their faith and hope in their hearts. Imagine the following. They came with small bundles of clothing, maybe some religious texts but with hope. They started with no material wealth. But yet today their children and grandchildren live in luxurious homes drive the best cars and are part of the professional elite and government. From ajoupas to marble-tiled houses, from bull carts to luxury vehicles, they have arrived. None of this was possible without the foundations laid by our ancestors who first arrived in 1845. We thank them, we pray that their souls find eternal peace. Ours is now a duty to bequeath to the future a society much richer in values as much as we must also bequeath the conditions for prosperity and a better quality of life. If I have but one suggestion to make it is this. East Indians must start writing their family life stories. There is much to learn from our ancestral history but equally there is a lot to be inspired about through the lives of the descendants. And while I am at it, the greatest story that can ever be told in the context of our Indian Arrival Day has for me to be the story of Siewdass Sadhu who built the temple in the sea at Waterloo. I hope a movie will someday be made of this man’s life and doings. It will be a great moment when the big screen could reveal this story. Have a thoughtful Indian Arrival Day!

The post East Indians must write family life stories appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Politics without integrity

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 7:06am

If only our elections were rationally based on political credibility and integrity, the state of our young democracy would be much healthier. That is, if only the ethnic roots in our adversarial politics were not so divisively embedded.

But then that too is democracy – identity and the constitutional freedom to choose.

Let’s take the current example – the continuing debate over the 1997 and 2021 reports on our children’s homes.

There are specific dates, government action or inaction recorded, authoritative declarations, witness statements, etc, but each element is noticeably, in fact, inevitably subjected to varying perceptions of motives and political prejudice.

Why?

Now I don’t see this as necessarily malicious, but as a historical feature of our politics of ethnic insecurity, a feature often cooled either through a political majority or judicial decision.

In fact, that is how the issues surrounding our children’s homes would likely be settled. Hence the necessity of having a credible, independent judiciary and the Constitution (especially section 13, which says that all our laws should be reasonably justifiable “in a society that has proper respect for the rights and freedoms of the individual”).

Credibility is defined as “a person or statement being believable or worthy of belief.”

But what we consider “worthy of belief” is often mentally screened. Now, I am not trying to be difficult, but we hear what the PNM is saying, what the UNC is saying and even what the PDP, the MSJ, the PEP and the NTA are saying about the children’s homes. Not all the same things.

What helps build political credibility is the extent to which the politician or political party demonstrates integrity. The first cousin of credibility, integrity is defined as “moral uprightness; honesty, wholeness, soundness.”

Look around to see which politician or party has integrity or not, and then judge whether that politician or party is “worthy of belief and trust” or not.

Or will ethnicity determine that? Former PM Basdeo Panday was pragmatic: “Politics has its own morality.” Pressed by the adversarial ethnicity, there seems a moral level above which our politics cannot go.

You see, it takes sacrifice, sometimes great personal sacrifice, to acquire integrity as a politician or party. A party member may have to resign. A leader may have to fire a party member or speak the truth and lose the election.

All this means that our party politics is not likely to get much better. We will have to learn to live with it, like the virus.

Letter-writer Steve Alvarez asked “Who will save the society?” Dr Errol Benjamin condemned “shamelessness and hypocrisy” in our politics. From Cedros, Michelle Dymally Davis, obviously angry, wrote: “We have reached the point that we are eerily silent to the continued corrupt politics that is accepted as governance while politicians continue to live outlandish lifestyles. Blind loyalty,” she claimed.

While the Constitution and several of our state institutions do require reform, it is often too easy to place all blame for state inefficiency, incompetence and corruption there.

In fact, much of the inefficiency and corruption arise because of character blemishes such as greed, political arrogance and abuse of our democratic freedoms.

It seems both the political system and personal character weave a tangled web of corruption. It is easier to change the former than the latter. In fact, it is said, to test the real character of a man, give him power, the political aphrodisiac.

To help deal with such character challenges, in early times Plato advocated “philosopher kings,” rulers who neither need nor crave any personal riches or status but are disposed to serving citizens honestly and fairly. However, this and the stratified society he advocated were attacked for being “anti-democratic” and elitist. Everybody did not have “an equal opportunity,” etc – which today leaves us wondering whether democracy has the seeds of its own destruction.

The point in all this is that while our constitutional democracy provides basic freedoms and wide discretion for politicians, these have been widely and continuously abused. So citizens’ expectations for a higher level of ethical and moral conduct in our party politics may well meet with disappointment.

How can a political culture change itself?

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Say it ain’t so

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 7:06am

People say things. All the time, often for no better reason than to banish silence, people say things.

One of the things people really like to say is sayings. Old words of wisdom that few ever question, allegedly wise saws, even (and these are my favourites) sayings that have become so mangled over time they no longer mean what they were supposed to.

I’m engaged in an entirely one-sided conversation with many of these sayings – let’s agree to lump them all into the category of sayings – with the hope that if I roll them around long enough, they’ll answer.

[Note to reader: it’s not necessarily that I don’t know the origin or historic setting of the saying, it’s that their use as conversation fillers distresses me. It’s very personal. I won’t pretend otherwise.]

[Note to my editor: please don’t remove my note to the reader, it’s all I’ve got to justify the small rant that is this week’s column.]

Here’s what I have issues with.

“It’s a piece of cake” to refer to something easily done.

I write about cake a lot. Probably more than you’d expect from a column that is interested in mental health and the way we think as individuals and a society. This is because I think cake is wonderful.

The saying is deeply, deeply offensive to me because, generally, when someone says it, they are not in any manner giving me any cake of any kind. I think it cruel to pretend or even refer to cake if none is coming.

For the love of all that’s holy, just say the thing is easy. Stop your cake lies.

Also, some things are not easy.

“Time longer than twine.” Yes, yes, I believe we will find this to be true. If we had all the time in the world – a concept vaguely known as infinity – and we had all the twine in the world, I believe time would win.

This saying, besieging me to be more patient, has the opposite effect.

Why? Because I don’t think twine and time are measured in the same way. My hostility to this saying knows no bounds. Is there a scientific process by which we can measure the length of time and twine using the same or comparable units?

Also, sometimes it’s hard to be patient.

“There are other fish in the sea.”

Well, I just bet there are! But you know what, the reason we’re having this discussion in the first place is because that is the particular fish in which I was interested.

What good befalls me if there be others? More. Bigger. Nicer. Fishier. No good, I say. If I wanted other fish, I would have used a net or some other large thing with which to catch an array of fish. And further, the way things are going these days – pollution, over-fishing et al – how can I be sure there are others?

I understand I’m meant to not dwell on missed opportunities but really, dragging innocent fish into this is too much. I feel for the fish. They don’t want to be caught at all, whether they are the right fish or the other fish.

Also, be it thing, chance or person, if you really wanted something, it can take a while to see beyond your desire.

“You can’t push a rope.”

I beg to differ. I can too push a rope. Why, every time someone asks me to bring them some rope, do I pick up a great big scratchy bundle in my arms? No indeed. I just shove it along the ground with my foot. Or with the help of a nice stick.

I don’t know anyone who keeps their rope lying around in a straight line. Rope gets coiled up. Making it easy prey for them as would push it.

Why would I want to push a rope? If you have got to the point where you find yourself thinking that there’s a rope out there just waiting for you to try to push it, you have bigger problems than this idiom.

A thankless task? A pointless task? Lots of talk about ropes being for pulling, not pushing, and then parlaying that into a whole lot of leadership talk? I can’t with these ropes.

Also, sometimes even when a thing looks wrong-way-round to others, maybe you see something they don’t.

In closing, after one time is two time. Which is a great relief to all of us who can’t count much higher than that.

Remember to talk to your doctor or therapist if you want to know more about what you read here. In many cases, there’s no single solution or diagnosis to a mental health concern. Many people suffer from more than one condition.

The post Say it ain’t so appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Hockey festival resumes weekend in Woodbrook

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:54am

THE TT Hockey Board Indoor Festival 2022 will continue this weekend at the Woodbrook Youth Facility from 10.30 am, on Saturday. Action continues on Sunday from 10am. Matches in the open women’s, open men’s and masters category will take place. The open men’s division will feature pool A and B. Police A, Paragon, Queen’s Park A and Defence Force will play in pool A while Pool B includes Police B, Malvern, Queen’s Park B and Notre Dame. In the women’s division, Police, Paragon, Ventures, Checkers and Magnolia are some of the teams competing. Magnolia have been one of the top teams in the division. Only three teams will play in the masters category comprising Notre Dame, Police and Queen’s Park.

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Privy Council’s retrograde step

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:54am

LAST NOVEMBER, when the Privy Council heard arguments on the legality of the mandatory death penalty for murder, there was a moment that told us everything we need to know about the implications of the case.

Lawyers argued judges should be free to impose a sentence that matches a criminal’s degree of culpability. They should not be forced to apply a punishment widely acknowledged to be inappropriate.

The State, however, argued the law was set in stone because of the Constitution’s “savings clause.” It is for the Parliament and not the court to change this, they argued.

Lord Stephens, one of the law lords hearing the appeal, asked state attorney Fyard Hosein, SC: “Is there a reason why there should be a continuation of a cruel and inhumane punishment?”

Mr Hosein replied, “My Lord, my answer to that is that it is a matter of legislative choice.”

The judges sided with Mr Hosein on Monday. Not only did they declare the mandatory death penalty valid law, they rejected the notion that the savings clause could be invalidated or modified.

Said the court: “The 1976 Constitution has allocated to Parliament, as the democratic organ of government, the task of reforming and updating the law.”

The implications of this decision extend far beyond death row. Its logic suggests that if Parliament wishes to pass an unjust or inhumane law, so be it. There is nothing a court can do if foul laws are left on the statute books. Human rights be damned.

But what, then, is the role of the court?

In ruling as it has in the case of Chandler vs The State, the Privy Council has buried its head in the sand. Long used to its special status as the pre-eminent arbiter of jurisprudential reasoning in the Commonwealth, it saw fit to ignore the chorus of learned jurists all over the Caribbean and elsewhere who have voiced disquiet over colonial-era legal provisions that enact profound injustices.

It ignored, for instance, the Caribbean Court of Justice’s 2018 ruling in the case of McEwan vs the Attorney General of Guyana, in which the court found fault with the savings clause of that nation and held: “Law and society are dynamic, not static. A constitution must be read as a whole.”

Instead of following Commonwealth precedent, the London-based judges appeared to turn to the approach favoured by their brothers and sisters across the pond at the US Supreme Court where, only a few weeks ago, a leaked draft opinion on a pending abortion case stridently argued against judges interpreting laws in the name of liberty.

The UK judges are right – the TT legislature must act. It must act to abolish the Privy Council.

Fyard Hosein, SC

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Is fiscal Santa moving to Tobago?

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:54am

THE EDITOR: How some people stop so? The minute the Minister of Finance announces in the Mid-Year Budget Review that TT made a surplus instead of a deficit, the Tobago Business Chamber begins salivating. I am no fancy economist but I would not call a surplus of $1.98 billion instead of a deficit of $5.7 billion an occasion to get unduly excited.

We are in a global Russian invasion of Ukraine, a financial straitjacket, in the middle of a pandemic, and chamber president and attorney Martin George starts giving out financial advice.

How was Imbert able to predict that TT is rolling in extra money? Could Colm Imbert be wrong? Any number of economists could say that the minister is playing dolly-house financing. He is used to people casting aspersions. Why start on the Finance Minister? Why the old talk about Imbert should not have increased fuel prices? Why make suggestions about a VAT-free zone for Tobago people?

How many citizens apart from George actually comprise the Tobago Business Chamber?

George thinks a VAT-free zone will encourage Trinidadians to choose Tobago as the island in which to retire. How many retirees did he have in mind? Two thousand, 5,000, 10,000, or more? Where could you put so many extra families to live in Tobago? In high-rise apartments? Many retirees living comfortably in Trinidad in their oversized luxury homes may decide that Tobago is only for short-stay holidays. As fantastically beautiful as Tobago might be, nothing happens over there. Well, practically nothing. Goat racing is not carded for every week.

So, where will the acres of space be found to build thousands of holiday homes? Where would the staff be found to care for these new homes? Would Trinidadian retirees have to walk with their own daily helpers? How many Tobagonians will be free to cook, house and clean swimming pools?

And, importantly, what about the bacchanal with Trinidad business people also wanting to discuss a VAT-free zone?

Is fiscal Santa Clause planning to leave Trinidad and retire to VAT-free-zone Tobago?

Just asking.

LYNETTE JOSEPH

Diego Martin

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Police rock homes with loud music

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:54am

THE EDITOR: I am disappointment with the acting Commissioner of Police and the head of the Traffic Branch office at Don Miguel Road Extension in San Juan.

On May 14, this arm of the police service hosted a Family Day on its compound. Promptly at noon the blaring and outrageous sound of music started rocking the entire neighbourhood and this went on until 7.45 pm. Many homeowners complained that their doors and windows were vibrating because of the level of the music.

Calls to the branch’s office requesting the music be turned down were obviously futile. There was absolutely no consideration for the elderly, sick and children (special needs included) of the area.

How can an event like this be held in an area where there are residences? Wouldn't it have been better to hold the event in an open space with little or no houses nearby?

I ask the people who authorised this Family Day to be more considerate and mindful to avoid a recurrence in the future.

Come on, TTPS, your role is to protect and serve, not to inconvenience law-abiding citizens in the comfort of their homes.

SUMINTRA SAMAROO

via e-mail

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Hot weather meals

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:54am

The incredible hot weather these days has pushed me further and further from the kitchen. I’m sure I am not alone. I try to cook quick and tasty meals on these excruciatingly hot days so I look to easy one-dish meals or to eggs for a quick omelette or frittata. Bean salads, grilled fish buljohls or seafood salads require less cooking time, incorporate vegetables, can be refrigerated and enjoyed with some wholesome delicious bread or provisions. They taste even better the next day so make up some extras and save your energy for cooler chores! Don’t forget to enjoy some sorbet for the perfect refreshing end. Feel good black eye pea and quinoa salad [caption id="attachment_955875" align="alignnone" width="720"] Black eye pea and quinoa salad - Wendy Rahamut[/caption] 1 cup quinoa 1 cup black eyed peas, cooked and drained 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 small red onion, finely chopped, or less if you prefer 1 tsp ground coriander ½ tsp roasted geera 1 tsp sea salt 2 tbs red wine vinegar ¼ cup olive oil 1 cup chopped fresh parsley Wash the quinoa well in a sieve, place into a medium-sized saucepan. Add one cup water and bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes, cool. Combine quinoa with peas, red pepper, onion, coriander, and geera. Stir well, now add salt, vinegar and olive oil. Toss to combine, sprinkle on parsley and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 Potato and rosemary frittata [caption id="attachment_955877" align="alignnone" width="1024"] -[/caption] 2 tbs olive oil 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 small onion, chopped 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 6 eggs, beaten with salt and pepper ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 tbs chopped rosemary Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan, Add garlic and onion, sauté until fragrant, add potatoes and stir. Add a small amount of water, lower heat and cover. Cook for about 6 minutes until potatoes are cooked. Remove from pan. Add a little more oil, heat pan and then pour in eggs. Disturb with a wooden spoon or fork just until mixture sets. Preheat oven grill or broiler. Spread potato mixture over the top. Sprinkle on rosemary and Parmesan. Place under broiler, watch carefully and remove when puffed and golden, about 5 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4 Grilled shrimp, corn and black bean salad Dressing: ¼ cup fresh lime juice ¾ cup olive oil 4 tbs chopped fresh cilantro or chadon beni 1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped 1 tsp minced garlic 1 tbs ground geera or cumin 1 tsp good quality chilli powder Salad: 3 cups chopped, seeded tomatoes 2 cups cooked black beans 1 cup chopped chives ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro or chadon beni ¾ cup chopped red onion or ½ cup chopped white onion ½ cup corn niblets 6 cups torn lettuce or watercress 1½ lb fresh shrimp cleaned and deveined Make the dressing by combining lime juice with olive oil, pepper, garlic, geera, chili powder and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Marinate shrimp in ¼-cup dressing. In a large salad bowl combine lettuce, black beans, corn, chives, onion, tomatoes, and cilantro. Preheat grill or barbecue and grill shrimp for about 3 to 5 minutes until opaque and pink. Toss salad with just enough dressing to coat adding more if desired, On a large platter arrange lettuce mixture, place grilled shrimp on top. Serves 4 Smoked fish buljohl 2 lbs fresh fish fillets, grilled 1 tsp minced chives ½ tsp ground allspice salt and black pepper 1 tsp minced garlic 1 tbs olive oil 1 large onion, thinly sliced 1 pimento pepper, chopped 1 large tomato chopped 2 eggs hard boiled 2 tbs chopped chadon beni or cilantro Preheat broiler. Marinate fish in chives, allspice, salt, black pepper and garlic and olive oil. Pan grill for about 4 mins per side. Remove and flake gently with a fork, place in a large bowl. In a non-stick sauté pan, heat 2 tbs olive oil and sauté onion and pepper for only one minute. Remove and add to fish, add tomatoes, and toss. Season with salt if needed. Place fish onto platter, decorate with lettuce and egg wedges. Season with salt and pepper Sprinkle on chadon beni or cilantro Serves 4 to 6 Pina colada sorbet 14 ozs pineapple chunks, fresh ½ cup coconut milk, fresh ⅓ cup granulated sugar ⅓ cup water 1 tbsp lime juice ¼ cup dark rum Place sugar and water into a small saucepan, stir to dissolve and bring to a boil just until sugar melts, one minute, remove and cool, refrigerate until cold. Place pineapple and coconut milk into the bowl of a food processor, process just until pineapple has been crushed into small pieces, remove and refrigerate. Combine pineapple and coconut mixture with cold sugar syrup; stir in rum and lime juice. Pour mixture into a 9-inch x 5-inch baking tin, freeze until firm about 4 to 6 hours. Remove from freezer and process in a blender or food processor until smooth but not thawed. Place in a covered container and freeze. Makes about 4½ cups or serves 8-9 persons. Serves 2

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Red Force facing defeat against Leeward Hurricanes

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:49am

TT Red Force are staring defeat heading into the final day of their West Indies Four-Day Championship match against Leeward Islands Hurricanes.

Red Force closed day three on 143/6 in pursuit of an improbable 459 runs for victory at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex, on Friday.

The massive target was set early in the second session following an impressive attacking display of batting by the Hurricanes, led by Devon Thomas.

Similar to the first innings, the Red Force top order struggled with the trio of Tion Webster, Jeremy Solozano and Darren Bravo failing to reach double figures for the second time in the match.

Solozano was first caught for four at second slip by Kieran Powell off pacer Sheno Berridge, before Webster was caught in the slips by Terence Warde to give pacer Jeremiah Louis the scalp as Red Force slumped to 10/2.

Bravo and Jason Mohammed added 40 runs for the third wicket, but the former only contributed two off a painstaking 42 deliveries before being dismissed by Louis.

Bravo, who has been dropped by the West Indies for upcoming tours, scored seven in the first innings.

Mohammed took the attack to the Hurricanes with a flurry of fours, especially against left-arm pacer Colin Archibald, but was next to go to leave Red Force 53/4.

Mohammed scored 36 off 53 balls, including eight fours.

Joshua Da Silva and Yannic Cariah showed some resistance and took Red Force to 100 without any further loss.

However, with no change to the score Da Silva was given leg before for 27, attempting to sweep off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall. Akeal Hosein was then bowled by Cornwall as Leewards began sniffing victory. However, Cariah and Bryan Charles survived the remaining overs.

Cariah is 36 not out off 101 balls and Charles is six not out.

Louis is the pick of the bowlers for Hurricanes with 3/26 in ten overs and Cornwall has 2/13 in 14 overs.

Earlier in the day, Hurricanes only needed a little more than one session to score over 200 runs.

Resuming day three on 23 without loss in their second innings, Hurricanes declared 35 minutes into the second session on 241/7 in 47.1 overs. It was a mammoth lead of 458 runs.

Thomas played a knock that would have been impressive even if it was a T20 contest as he struck five fours in his innings of 84 off 53 deliveries.

It was an extraordinary display of batting as he utilised the late cut on many occasions.

Thomas also demonstrated his power hitting with six sixes.

Powell, who scored 139 in the first innings, was on course for another century before being brilliantly run out.

Thomas played another late cut and Hosein, fielding at short third man, showed his athleticism by diving to collect the ball and with a direct hit ran out Powell.

He cracked six fours and three sixes in his innings of 83 off 96 balls.

It was 225/4 when Thomas’s brutal innings ended when he fell to leg-spinner Cariah.

A few quick wickets fell before the declaration as the Hurricanes tried to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Cariah took 3/33 in four overs and Hosein grabbed 2/64 in 12 overs.

The match resumes at 10 am, on Saturday.

SUMMARISED SCORES:

LEEWARD ISLANDS HURRICANES 357 – Kieran Powell 139, Amir Jangoo 58; Jayden Seales 5/49 and 241/7 dec – Devon Thomas 84, Kieran Powell 83; Yannic Cariah 3/33, Akeal Hosein 2/64 vs TT RED FORCE 140 – Joshua Da Silva 65, Bryan Charles 25; Jeremiah Louis 4/32, Colin Archibald 4/27 and 143/6 – Y Cariah 36 not out, Jason Mohammed 36; J Louis 3/26, Rahkeem Cornwall 2/13.

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

NAAA boss expects ‘competitive’ relay festival on Sunday

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:49am

DAVID SCARLETT ATHLETICS fans can enjoy some "competitive" relay action on Sunday at the Republic Bank NAAA Relay Festival, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, from 1 pm. Trinidad and Tobago has a rich tradition and good record in relay events at major international competitions. At the 2008 Beijing Olynpics, TT were retroactively awarded gold in the men’s 4x100m. Team TTO also won gold at the 2017 IAAF World Championships (men's 4x400) in London and the 2019 World Relays (men’s 4x400) in Yokohama. Recently, the national Carifta team won five relay medals in Jamaica – boys under-17 4x100m (silver), boys under-17 4x400m (silver), boys under-20 4x400m (silver), girls under-17 4x100m (bronze), girls under-20 4x100m (bronze). Unlike previous relay festivals, this year’s competition will be not contested by clubs, but by zones. Clubs registered under the NAAA have been assigned to zones based on their geographic locations: North/West, North/East, South/Central and Tobago. Each zone will field two teams to fill all eight lanes on the track. In an interview with Newsday on Friday, president of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) George Commissiong explained the reason for the switch from a club-based system to a zone-based system. “We made this change to create competitive balance. Generally, people enjoy a sporting event where they can’t predict the winners,” he said. “Clubs tend to specialise. For example, Abilene (Wildcats) produces most of the quarter-milers (in the country). So, in the men’s 4x400m, almost anyone can bet that they (Abilene) will win the race.” Commissiong believes that the new zonal system will allow more athletes will be able to participate and will change the relationship of athletes from being competitive to being collaborative. He said this will augur well for national development. “Rival clubs will now have to co-operate and work as one.” Co-ordinators and assistant co-ordinators were appointed to each zone to manage the selection process for athletes to compete. Commissiong said that some zones conducted trials while others selected athletes based on their performances for the year so far. It is not prohibited or illegal for all four athletes on a team to be from the same club. However, an athlete is restricted to just three events. The competition will be based on a point system. First place will be awarded eight points; second place - seven points; third place - six points; fourth place – five points; fifth place – four points; sixth place – three points; seventh place – two points and eighth place will earn one point. The champions will be determined by the total number of points earned by a zone. There will be also invitational events including a men’s 4x100m and a women’s 4x100m for the protective services (Police, Fire, Prison, Defence Force, Coast Guard, Air Guard) and the Trinidad and Tobago masters teams. Patrons can expect to see Darrel Brown, Emmanuel Callender and Chevron Simpson back on the track. An open men’s 1500m is scheduled as well. Commissiong said it has been a challenge to get athletics back on track. “Most of the work included securing and preparing the venue since nothing was done over the past two years. Some of the lines needed to be repainted, particularly the finish line, as the photo-finish camera would not be able to detect the lines if they were dull. "We also had to ensure that all staff – umpires, starters, registration officers – were prepared as we have 400 athletes participating, as well as the spectators who may be attending. This is the biggest event of the year.” Commissiong is excited to see the athletes in action. “The junior athletes have been excellent this year. Based on their performances, I think the two-year break may have been beneficial for them, as athletes who may have been injured had the time to rest and recover. They have been excited to compete and that has manifested itself by their consistent high standards for the year so far.” Commissiong added, “the under-20 athletes were required to meet the Carifta, Pan-American and World standards, and most of them did just that. It seems like they came back with a high level of determination… and the Junior Championships hasn’t even reached yet!” He said the NAAA is keen to help the under-20 athletes transition to senior level as many usually struggle to compete against professional athletes when they advance past the junior stage. He said TT's foreign-based athletes are succeeding at the collegiate level and believes their local-based counterparts can follow suit. In action on Sunday will be Olympian Jonathan Farinha and his twin Nathan Farinha, Shaniqua Bascombe, Troy Llanos, Shakeem McKay, Revell Webster, Kaiyin Morris, Kayleigh Forde, Khareem Solomon, Tyrell Springer, Kirdell McIntosh, Janae DeGannes, Kamaria Durant and Kyah La-Fortune.

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Opposition senators cry foul during finance bill debate

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:49am

TWO opposition senators claimed their contributions in a debate on the variation of Appropriation (Financial Year 2022) Bill, 2022, in the Senate on Friday, were being restricted.

In his contribution, Opposition Senator Damian Lyder claimed Government offered nothing meaningful to the population in the bill. "The Government has not been proactive." As a businessman, Lyder said he recently had to beg a commercial bank for a paltry sum of foreign exchange to conduct a simple matter.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert objected on several occasions about matters being raised by Lyder which were not relevant to the debate or had been raised by senators before him. Senate Vice-President Dr Muhammad Yunnus Ibrahim upheld Imbert's objections. Ibrahim also advised Lyder that some of his comments were also raised by members of his own bench before him.

He rejected Lyder's appeal for additional speaking time. Ibrahim advised him to use his remaining time wisely rather than using it, merely to make objections.

Lyder complained that government and independent senators were being given greater latitude in their contributions compared to opposition senators. Imbert questioned whether the Opposition was challenging a ruling of a presiding officer. He reminded senators this was a contempt of Parliament.

Lyder eventually ended his contribution. Opposition Senator Wade Mark later reiterated Lyder's claims about opposition senators' contributions being restricted in the debate.

"We cannot continue with this abuse of the standing orders."

Referring to the Senate's standing orders, Ibrahim told Mark there was no basis for such an allegation.

Later in the sitting, Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture Nigel De Freitas said the Opposition had no one to blame but themselves if they were being irrelevant.

"Elevate your content."

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Senators show disgust for child abuse at children's homes

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:49am

INDEPENDENT Senator Dr Maria Dillon-Remy expressed her disgust about reports of children in residential care institutions being abused. She did so in her contribution to debate on the Variation of Appropriation) (Financial Year 2022) Bill, 2022, in the Senate on Friday.

Opposition Senator David Nakhid and Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh expressed similar sentiments in their respective contributions later in the debate.

Dillon-Remy said her disgust was based on a video on social media which allegedly showed abuse at a children's home as well as child abuse allegations contained in the 1997 Sabga Task Force report and in a December 2021 report of a committee chaired by retired Appeal Court Justice Judith Jones.

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy laid the Jones committee report in Parliament last month.

Dillon-Remy lamented that instances like these seemed to be the norm rather than the exception.

"I am sickened by the thought of the wrongs that are being committed against wards of state, innocent and precious children."

While the bill allocates a sum of $22 million for improved management at the Children's Authority, Dillon-Remy said the authority needs more resources to improve investigations into instances of alleged abuse.

She was concerned the authority might not be efficiently monitoring what was happening in children's homes.

"I make a call for more to be done by the Children's Authority as the overseer of these homes and more importantly as the overseer of our nation's children."

Dillon-Remy added that her call extended to parents as well.

"I am making this point because I was a part of the start-up for the Children's Authority."

The authority was created through legislation passed in 1999 by the then UNC government.

She said, "I remember us trying to put things in place to ensure that children would be adequately cared for."

Senate Vice-President Dr Muhammad Yunus Ibrahim empathised with Dillon-Remy. He said the issue was "extremely relevant to current ongoings of matters in Trinidad and Tobago." However, Ibrahim suggested to Dillon-Remy that her comments did not tie in directly with the bill and she could expand further on them when the Senate debates sexual offences legislation at a later date. Dillon-Remy agreed with him.

Nakhid said the abuse of children in Trinidad and Tobago is unpalatable. He believed there should be an audit of the Children's Authority while further examinations of the Jones report is done. "We should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time."

Varma observed, "You have (children's) homes who are asking us to put money to them."

He said, "We have to tell those homes, 25 years ago to now, we see the same problems reoccurring."

He said children's homes have to show tangible proof that they are taking steps to prevent child abuse under their roofs. These homes, Varma continued, must also show they can maintain proper boundaries between adults and children.

He suggested that greater funding be given to the authority to address current and future challenges.

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PADF launches Pan to the Poet video series

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:49am

The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) will launch a three-part video series titled Pan to the Poet as part of its I am Here: Borders of Hope campaign.

The video series launching on May 21 features three pairs of poets highlighting topics related to interactions and relationships between Venezuelan migrants and locals through spoken word poetry.

The campaign, an initiative of the PADF, was created to encourage and facilitate informed discussions about migration and its impact on migrants and their host communities, a media release said.

The poets came up with the ideas for their pieces during workshops facilitated by Kamilah Morain, deputy director of PADF in TT and the First Citizens National Poetry Slam (FCNPS) 2021 winner, Derron Sandy. Sandy is also the artistic director of the 2 Cents Movement.

“The workshops provided participants with a safe space to interrogate and explore in depth the prevailing discourse on and perceptions of migrants and migration in TT," Morain said in the release. "Participants were encouraged to reflect on their lived experiences, this served as the point of departure to critically engage with key concepts underpinning the current conversations on migration and to form their own opinions on the subject.”

After the workshops, each pair developed its poem and performance with Sandy’s guidance.

Samuel Negrin and Mishael Henry will be featured in the first video on May 21. Samuel is a Venezuelan migrant who came to Trinidad six years ago. Mishael was born in Venezuela and migrated to Trinidad as a toddler and has known no other home.

They refer to each other as “hermanos” (which means brothers in Spanish), and they hope that the series positively impacts the way in which locals develop and nurture their relationships with Venezuelan migrants.

Sandy, who directed the video series said, “Pan to the Poets is a unique and exciting collaboration and another critical step for spoken word poetry in TT.”

The following videos will feature Melyssa Rosillo and Ronaldo Mohammed, and then Renessa John and Paola Silva.

Anyone interested in watching the video series can follow the I am Here: Borders of Hope campaign on Facebook and Instagram (@iamherebordersofhop) and Twitter (@BordersHope) or e-mail bordersofhope@gmail.com.

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Hagley to bring his fusion to North Coast Jazz

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:49am

Musician Adan Hagley loves to fuse jazz with calypso, soca, Latin and funk rhythms and his love for a wide range of music helps him to create a unique sound. Hagley will perform at the North Coast Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 28 at the Solomon Hochoy Ground, Blanchisseuse. The three-day festival will pay tribute to Lord Nelson and will feature film, music and a J'Ouvert parade. Hagley, who is pianist, arranger, composer, producer and educator, is a 2013 graduate of Berklee College of Music with a music degree in contemporary writing and production. He is passionate about creating and is very much into film and dabbles in almost anything related to the creative arts. He continues to work on finding a middle ground – creating jazz music but bridging the gap between jazz lovers and everyone else by fusing the genre with others for a more universally palatable sound. Hagley formed his own band in 2017 to perform his original compositions and arrangements. The band has performed at a number of festivals including Point Fortin Jazz, North Coast Jazz and Jazz Artists on the Greens. He also released his first album, Insomnia, in 2019. A seven-track album, it has been described as a "a musical study of TT's indigenous sounds expressed through jazz." As a film composer, Hagley's work was featured in Flying the Coup, a short film by Ryan Lee, which won the People's Choice Award at the TT Film Festival. Dynamic pannist Johann Chuckaree is also on the North Coast Jazz and Heritage Festival cast. A sharp, all-round musician and entrepreneur, Chuckaree plays the tenor pan with Phase II Pan Groove and has toured with the band also. He has collaborated with the legendary Len “Boogsie” Sharpe; played alongside Ray Holman, performed in Indiana, New York, Texas, California, London, and Germany and alongside Trini-born Grammy award-winning artiste Heather Headley at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in 2011. He has also performed at most major event locally. [caption id="attachment_955869" align="alignnone" width="723"] Johann Chuckaree will perform at the North Coast Jazz and Heritage Festival, Solomon Hochoy Ground, Blanchisseuse. -[/caption] Chuckaree’s love for music started when he began playing the pan at age four. In 2003, he joined Phase II Pan Groove and there he learned from the members, including arranger Sharpe. He has also attained Grade 8 Certificate of Distinction in pan from the Creative Arts Centre, University of the West Indies (UWI). He has been featured on CDs with Sharpe and David Rudder and has released two of his own CDs to date, A Sweet Touch of Christmas and In De Yard. He plays the piano and drums but pan remains his first love. At 18, he released his first album, A Sweet Touch of Christmas, with instrumental covers of Christmas music. He then started composing his own music and in 2012 released the album, In De Yard, a compilation of original music and covers, with a live traditional band. In 2015, he released Soca Meets Pan, with instrumental covers of popular soca songs. Chuckaree will show off his musical versatility on May 28 at the North Coast Jazz and Heritage Festival at the festival grounds, Sir Solomon Hochoy Park, Blanchisseuse. Also listed to perform are Michelle Sylvester, LeAndra, Sharon Phillips, Freetown Collective, Reuel Lynch, Mista Vybe, and Dean Williams. [caption id="attachment_955853" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Gospel singer Michelle Sylvester is on the cast of the North Coast Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 28 at the Solomon Hochoy Ground, Blanchisseuse. - Photo courtesy Michelle Sylvester[/caption] The three-day festival opens on May 27 with a free film night featuring Bazodee which stars Machael Montano. The festival pays tribute tribute to calypsonian Lord Nelson. Following the main event on May 28, a J'Ouvert will take place from 2 am featuring Phase II and DJ music.  

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Simpson, Sturge golden at TT masters championship

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:49am

DAVID SCARLETT THE Trinidad and Tobago Masters Track and Field Championship returned after two years on Friday as many of the nation’s senior athletes competed for honours. The event was facilitated by the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Masters Athletes (TTAMA) in preparation for the World Masters Athletics Championship set to take place in June. President of the TTAMA, Alexander Smith, told Newsday that the meet was a “massive success” and “all objectives were achieved.” He added that many of the competing athletes surpassed the World Masters Championships qualifying standards in their performances. Chevon Simpson won the 60m and 100m in the Men’s 30-39 with Rondell Paul finishing second in both events. Michelle Sturge dominated the women’s short sprints, winning both the 60m and 100m. Full results for all events will be published in Sunday’s newspaper.

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Child warrior

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:48am

Culture Matters

DARA E HEALY

THE VOICES of children are calling out to us, through time and space. Behind every report of abuse is the true story of a child seeking validation and love. Floating through the silence in our society are the spirits of those who abused their power and position of authority to crush innocent voices.

In another video released this week, a little girl fought back, biting and resisting a woman three times her size. The child refused to give up, even as other adults simply looked on at the abuse happening in front of them.

It hurts.

Cruelty is of course part of our collective history. This history has in many ways determined how we engage with each other now. Abusive behaviour has permeated our social interactions for so long, we have normalised negative attitudes and practices.

From another perspective, our talent for relentless teasing is part of our charm. We have the ability to discover humour in even the most traumatic of scenarios. But “all skin teeth is not laugh,” so violence, discrimination, racism and other forms of dysfunction all simmer below the surface of our harmonious nation.

But historical trauma is not the full story of why we take advantage of children and why it has become a generational problem. Yes, they are physically smaller and extremely vulnerable because they are solely dependent on us for survival.

But instinctively, the relationship between a child and mother or family is one of love and protection. We see this in the animal kingdom as well. So how does abusive behaviour enter into the equation? The explanation may be traced to another major factor – parenting.

A startling statistic from the World Health Organization (WHO) notes that, globally, some “three in four children, or 300 million children, aged two-four, regularly suffer physical punishment and/or psychological violence at the hands of parents and caregivers.” WHO also points out that a “child who is abused is more likely to abuse others as an adult so that violence is passed down from one generation to the next.”

In TT, given our rather fluid interpretation of harmless teasing or “picong” and tough love, is it that we do not recognise when we have crossed the line into abuse? Or have we normalised abuse in our families to the extent that we now see such behaviour as part of our culture?

In the 15th century a British cleric declared that “children should be seen and not heard.” Actually, in the old English version it translates to young women in particular who should be quiet and well-behaved. This parenting myth survived across the centuries and even cultures. I certainly recall adults in my grandmother’s generation having this view.

The myth of children knowing their place twisted into increasingly more aggressive rules, all designed to subjugate children and practically deny them their rights as human beings.

Children could be made to work or look after siblings instead of going to school, because of the idea that they must obey and fulfil their duty to the parents. That sense of duty to the parent is another reason why children are subjected to sexual abuse by those closest to them.

Thus, in families where open communication and sharing are not part of the rhythm of the home, when children begin to speak up or hold different opinions they are seen as disrespectful and problematic. We have witnessed this dynamic on countless occasions during our work in schools. As artists, we establish two-way communication or a sharing of ideas based on concepts in the specific play, dance or piece of music.

The fact that the arts create a positive response in the brain is key to understanding why performance-based interventions are successful. However, because the general approach to education is founded on the passing of information from an authority figure to someone inferior (the child or young adult), there is an inevitable breakdown in communication, the adult loses the ability to “control” the child and difficulties arise.

I am glad that little girl fought back, but I am afraid for her. You see, in our society asserting yourself is considered to be the wrong choice. We are taught to be obedient, to suppress our personalities and to conform.

I am not yet finished with these thoughts, so perhaps more on this next week.

In the meantime, I pray that little girl and others will be saved from abuse. Do not let them break her spirit, let her be heard. Our society needs her.

Dara E Healy is a performance artist and founder of the Indigenous Creative Arts Network – ICAN

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Kimani honoured at his funeral in Point Fortin

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:47am

Wearing t-shirts with the image of two-year-old Kimani Emmanuel Francis, also called Mani, scores of mourners bade farewell in his hometown, Point Fortin, on Friday.

The tiny coffin carrying his body was taken to the Bethel Pentecostal Tabernacle at Morris Street on Friday at around 2 pm. The congregation then sang the hymn, Jesus Loves The Little Children.

The top of the closed coffin was decorated with images of the toddler and characters from the popular children-based YouTube channel, Cocomelon.

Church member Ajamu Kibwe wrote a poem titled Kimani in the toddler's honour.

"Kimani, Kimani come to me. It's time to leave this family. Kimani, Kimani follow my voice. Don't you stop by any house. Kimani, Kimani no one will know. The time has come for you to go," Kibwe said.

"Kimani, Kimani, your work is done. Just for you, I made a crown."

Kimani would have turned three on September 23. He lived with his mother, Kimberly Charles, 22, and other relatives at Tenth Street Extension in Techier Village. His father, Emmanuel Francis, lives in Guapo.

On May 9, the toddler wandered away from his family's home, barefoot and wearing only a disposable diaper.

His disappearance led to a massive search which included members of the protective services and civilians, including Point Fortin MP Kennedy Richards Jr, mayor Saleema Thomas, and councillor for Techier/Guapo Lyndon Harris.

The next day, his body was found in the Guapo River.

An autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre in St James found his death was due to asphyxia consistent with drowning. On Monday, the family had a second autopsy done privately. Newsday learnt they are awaiting the findings.

The police are also investigating possible negligence in the death and have interviewed several people.

Via the poem, Kibwe knocked people who cast blame, adding they did not consider the parents' pain. He also praised "all those who came," adding that, in time to come, they would receive their gain.

Bishop Emroy Sampson and evangelist Christon Nicholas officiated.

In his sermon, Nicholas said that society seems to focus on females and often neglects the males.

"Our young boys are crying out just like the young ladies. We must place focus on our young men."

He said many young men are killing one another. Nicholas added that many have also rejected the moral principles of the church. He said when people drift away from Christ, it leads to chaos.

He warned that there is an enemy after young men.

"Behind it all, the Devil at work. He seeks to kill, steal and destroy our young men. If we do not try to help them, the nation would continue to go down. That is why we need Jesus is important. He is the only person who can stand before Satan and defeat him," Nicholas said.

The evangelist said "the enemy" knows the young men have great abilities, and that is why he is targeting them.

During the funeral, Kimani's parents sat next to each other. As it ended and the body was being taken out of the church, his mother broke down in tears and relatives consoled her.

Kimani's body was be taken to the Brighton Cato Cemetery in Gonzales Village, on the outskirts of the borough.

Investigations are ongoing.

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Cox: Fraudulent practices at Social Development Ministry being dealt with

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:47am

ACTION is expected to be taken against 12 people involved in fraudulent practices at the Social Development and Family Service Ministry.

This disclosure was made by Social Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox in her contribution to debate on the Variation of Appropriation) (Financial Year 2022) Bill 2022 in the Senate on Friday.

She recalled speaking about fraud at her ministry being investigated by the Financial Investigation Bureau, the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau and the Fraud Squad, in her contribution to the budget debate in the House of Representatives last October.

"In fact, in the preceding 12 months before my address, there had been a 241 per cent increase in the number of reports to the TTPS (TT Police Service), with the majority of cases involving senior citizens' pensions."

Cox said investigations were ongoing, and some at a "very sensitive stage." She added that 12 people will "soon be interrogated by the police with a view to arresting and laying charges against specific individuals."

Cox said ghost beneficiaries had been identified on the payroll and names have been sent to the police for investigation.

Since the names of these people were removed from the ministry's payroll, none of them have come forward to ask to be reinstated.

She said ongoing collaboration with the Fraud Squad "will serve to treat with the issue of fraudulent encashment of cheques from what may possibly be organised crime."

Additional action is being taken to ensure social welfare relief reaches the people it is intended for.

Cox said, "The ministry has been able to remove 12,010 pensioners from the system."

Some 7,554 are dead, but had not been previously removed.

Approximately $94 million had been issued to them.

Through a memorandum of understanding with the Immigration Division, she continued, the ministry will remove 5,000 people who are living abroad but still receiving a senior citizens pension grant.

Cox was confident that an allocation of $389,073,000 in the bill will help the ministry to meet its commitments to senior citizens to the end of the fiscal year.

Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh welcomed initiatives that would protect senior citizens against any fraudulent activity, saying, "Every dollar taken from senior citizens is a crime."

Deyalsingh said he had heard of instances of pensioners' younger relatives trying to steal money from them.

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A call for action

Sab, 21/05/2022 - 7:47am

THE EDITOR: At some point, Trinidad’s population must state with a universal outcry that enough is enough. If seeing the story of a ten-year-old boy shot dead on the cover of the daily paper fails to cause outrage, then what will?

Trinidad does not have a database on the ethnicity of these young men who are committing these crimes, but anecdotally it appears they are uneducated young men of African descent. These young men are the products of a failed school system, and currently there is no appetite in Trinidad to hold their teachers and administrators accountable.

Churches, community organisations and the business community have a responsibility to advocate for these children.

Christian churches worship a leader who was born to a single mother and spent his life in marginalised communities. It is in those communities that he developed a philosophy aimed at uplifting the downtrodden.

By working in these communities churches can instil young children with the belief that with the correct choices and hard work, they can become productive members of their communities and that education is the ladder that takes them out of their present environments.

Churches can begin by converting some of their real estate into after-school and weekend centres. These after-school centres can provide homework assistance to students who require academic support and have no one at home to assist them.

A prerequisite for success at the SEA exam is private lessons. How are students whose parents cannot afford to pay for extra lessons be expected to compete with their more affluent peers?

Churches can recruit retired teachers to volunteer to provide lessons to students who need additional tutoring but can’t afford it. Additionally, churches can begin instilling in these youths the values of hard work, self-respect and the belief that they can be successful members of their communities.

Musicians can volunteer to teach the students to sing and can help develop choirs; artists can volunteer to teach art classes; actors can direct and present short student-run plays. Business owners and philanthropists can become participants in the programme by providing both financial and nonfinancial support. They can provide financial support to fund trips to places that will expand the participants’ view of their county, such as Parliament or President’s House.

Saving the next generation of children who reside in low-income communities will require deep, broad and lasting commitments from all Trinidadians. It is time that helping these children moves from rhetoric to action.

CHARLES M HOSTEN

Professor of Chemistry

Howard University

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