Today is Friday 25th July, 2014. This is the Round Up.
**A CASE FOR DPP: PM to lay LifeSport audit in Parliament today
"The Express understands several senior officials from the Ministry of Sport have been identified in the report for misuse of public funds, misbehaviour in public office and con-spiracy to defraud the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago."
While we knew this before, I’m glad for the confirmation.
"[Prime Minister Kamla] Persad-Bissessar said the decision to lay the report in Parliament was in keeping with transparency and accountability to the people of Trinidad and Tobago."
No, that’s the transparency part. Accountability will be the part where people take account for what has occurred in the programme, and people are asked to fall on their swords for this mess.
"It should be recalled that within days of reports of possible irregularities in the programme published in the media, the Prime Minister took steps…"
As for this garbage, if the media is correct, this is the *third* audit into the LifeSport programme, with issues cited in the two previous. Thus, had the media not reported on the alleged irregularities, LifeSport would have continued pumping millions of dollars into the hands of people doing little productive?
And finally, Kamsie, if Larry sent you this report on Tuesday, it took you a full day to decide to send it to Parliament? And how come we ent see a letter of resignation from Anil yet?
**PM: ‘I’ve dealt with it’
But then, if you can’t get on the phone since last week when Anil and Gary started their sniping, and tell both to keep their backsides quiet re Red Steel, I ent expect that you’d be able to ask anybody for anything resembling even an apology, far less a resignation letter.
**Dookeran on claims of visa restrictions for citizens: T&T, British govt working out issues
"[Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran] conceded there was a matter of contention between the British government and Trinidad and Tobago in the area of security… to satisfy the British authorities that we do not pose a security risk in any way, form or fashion… we believe that we are well on the way to resolving all of the issues that have been raised…"
What issues? What security risks? And what, pray, has Trinidad and Tobago done at all in the last few years to positively impact security in a areas that would be of specific interest a foreign power?
Immigration is in a torrid mess. Airport security had been up in arms up to recently. And a Laventille lockdown does little to impact crime in the rest of the country. By the Guardian count, the murder toll now stands at 248 with another body found in Fyzabad and a shooting in Moruga.
We’re yet to hear anything definitive coming out of the juice tin cocaine haul, other than word from a Brit that the coke started its journey to the US from the UK.
And the latest secret crime initiative seems to be people in Ministry of National Security-issued red shirts stalking our homes after dark like bandits.
What could we possibly say to the British - having pulled out of a major contract with one of their companies and taking them to arbitration to get money - to assuage them about security?
"What may have happened in 1990 that took five or six days to quell, well, rest assured, it will be dealt with in an hour…"
And thus Griffith, with bombast, minimises everything he said before that sentence, trivialises the events of 1990, and again takes a stab at the Defence Force’s commanders in those days, led by former Chief of Defence Staff Ret. Maj. General Ralph Brown for whom he seems to be toting hard. See http://ift.tt/1zXXlJ6.
More and more, Gary’s bravado makes him look very small. And we hope and pray that nobody takes him up on his very, very idle boast.
Agreed on the statement made by Imam Yasin Abu Bakr not being a threat to national security.
I’m not so hip to the notion that the Police are ready to handle anything that comes up.
There are high-powered weapons here that have not been found.
There are persons of questionable character who will have been very well trained before being bounced from the local military.
There are certainly deportees from the United States here who would have learned a lot in gang culture there, and as of right now, we have no indication that we who they are.
The nation’s “hot spots” - all of them unplanned developments in hills and valleys - are literal labyrinths.
The Parliament is on the waterfront, accessible via the Gulf of Paria, is situated next to the country’s highly-rated hotel.
But at least Ag. CoP Williams’ speech was far more diplomatic and less daring than the Minister of National Security.
Some steadiness may have come for him from being informed that he is approved for a further extension of his acting appointment.
And in the mean time, Griffith should be ashamed - if the notion wouldn’t be sure to go over his swollen head - that somebody named Abu Bakr is more level than he is at a time like this.
**State appeals ruling on Invader’s Bay project
From the article, “The State has appealed the decision of High Court judge Justice Frank Seepersad, ordering Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie to release information to the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) on the $5.5 billion development at Invader’s Bay in Port of Spain.”
What. Is. There. To. Hide?
**Verna wants to sue State over abuses
I got nuthin’.
…in the gut, in his home which is not in Laventille.
And two very different stories are carried by the three newspapers. It makes one wonder whether the details provided to the press in one paper had impact on the allegation that Police ignored reports made to them about threats to the deceased’s family’s lives.
**‘PH’ taxi driver was burnt alive
Moruga “PH” taxi driver and lorryman Francis Sampson, who was murdered in his car, was alive when it was set on fire by his killer or killers on Wednesday near his home.
He was reported to be looking forward to retirement next April.
Police suspect Sampson may have been an innocent victim of drug dealers who use the Moruga beach as a transhipment port for narcotics.
Note the syntax. The article does not say “used to use”, “may be using”, or “suspected of using”.
Again, this man was not held in nor is he from Laventille.
Kudoes though to the Central Division which has been doing well under the supervision of Senior Superintendent Johnny Abraham, in spite of the behaviour and utterances of his superiors.
**Communities under siege
Persons supporting the military’s action in Laventille would be mindful of the following in its entirety:
"Some residents of Laventille who claim they are targeted by the soldiers say they welcome them but not the beatings and searching of homes as the automatic-gun-toting, mask-wearing regiment officers go about their work."
**Laventille residents on men in green: We sleeping good
As re the unsustainability of the military operation, there is also this very simple statement from a woman who returned to the St. Paul Street area to reopen a business she is saying she had previously closed:
"As soon as them gone, I gone."
And then there is this:
"People who get beat up give attitude and the army not taking that. They trained a different way. They not making friends with you. The police does try and fight down small talk, not the soldiers. Who would have a problem is the gangs. Monkey know what tree to climb. If the soldiers getting the job done, let them stay."
For me, I am all for a peaceful existence for the residents of East Port of Spain. But this is a military occupation which cannot continue forever. Further, at some point, people will become inured to the presence of soldiers and the reported beatings.
Beyond a police camp for children, we have heard little about any programs in place or to be put in place to ensure that persons do not return to criminal activity after the Army leaves the area.
And with the Minister of National Security having stated previously that there will be nothing for criminal elements, what are the fellas who are those “elements” supposed to do to get right?
LifeSport, murders all over the country with a detection rate that is abysmal to say the least, the Army hunting citizens for reasons no one can say, the Minister of Labour has a union leader in court, Bhoe Tewarie refusing to give information on the granting of valuable state land to a business entity, the State chooking the congregants of a former insurrectionist, OSH issues in buildings occupied by public servants all over the country, and what does Kamsie come to the table with?
Oil, flour and rice. Again.
Nutritional risks? Diabetes, heart and circulatory complications, and beri beri.
Gift? There is no gift that the Prime Minister can give to the country because it is our money -whether tax dollars or earned revenue - that she is spending to pay for it.
For those with room in their fridges to store bulk, the list of discounted products is in the article.
**$30m to be spent on pay rise for health workers
This story needs more meat, including additional information on the current state, and how this “investment” is to be operationalised.
**Councillor’s defamation suit settled… Warner must pay $262,000
One would hope that Faaiq hasn’t spent this money before he got it. If the TTFF matter is anything to go by re Jack’s complying with orders of the Court, the youth might be waiting a while for his money.
**Govt to invest $320m in Carnival industry
Is this 320 million dollars extra? Or does this include the money already spent by the State on Carnival every year, including the reported 11 million to put up and take down the North Stand?
As for the objective of the Carnival Industry Development Programme, it sounds very, very buzzwordy.
To me, before we start spending a cent, the “Carnival Industry” needs to be properly defined.
Do we even know what a Carnival industry is? Can we properly define “Carnival” as a productive enterprise?
With the stated intent to raise the industry’s growth rate to 5%, does this imply a comparable increase in government subventions and grants to continue to support Carnival organisations and events?
Why does stakeholder collaboration and study have to cost the country 320 million dollars?
With a well established Carnival Arts Department at the University of the West Indies seeming ignored in all this, I fear that the government is over-thinking the problem of Carnival and doing that in a very, very costly manner.
**‘Refusing to work is not industrial action’
Understory: [Senior counsel Douglas Mendes]… raised questions as to [Chief Inspector at the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) Gaekwad] Ramoutar’s credibility, stating that Ramoutar did not meet the minimum qualifications necessary for the position of Chief Inspector. The position requires a degree in Occupational Safety and Health but Ramoutar holds a degree in Environmental Management.
**Sport Round Up
Congratulations to young Machel Cedenio who not only took gold but obliterated the field in the Men’s 400 metre event at the IAAF World Junior Championships yesterday evening. He completed the race in a personal best time of 45.14 seconds.
At the Caribbean Premier League yesterday, the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel captain, Dwayne Bravo pulled off some last ball heroics slogging a six with six runs required to win their match against the Guyana Amazon Warriors in a nail-biting affair, with the Bravo brothers - Darren and Dwayne - putting up 131 runs to make a chase at the Guyanese total.
At the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Trinidad and Tobago’s most positive result came from our netball ladies who beat Barbados in their first preliminary match by 38 to 37.
It would appear though that they have lost their second preliminary match to South Africa, 56-40. By the match stats, despite shooting more accurately than the opponents, we had far fewer shots overall.
The ladies next face Wales who have gone down 36-63 and 25-65 to Australia and England respectively. //