Thursday, December 14, 2017

LifeSport ‘votes’ may make no difference

If it is to be assumed that the LifeSport programme was intended to supply important votes for the Partnership Government, do not count your chickens as yet.

Being scattered between various communities, the LifeSporters will make little difference to the number of Partnership voters in the various areas. Assuming that everyone will not have a valid Trinidad and Tobago identity card will translate to no evidence about these individuals at the Elections and Boundaries Commission and they will not be on the voters lists.

It is unfair to believe that every single one of these young people are criminals. Like in Laventille, Morvant, Beetham and Barrackpore, not every resident is a bandit or gang member. So, how do we ‘sanitise’ LifeSport? It will depend on how much of their privacy they are willing to give to the State in order to be ‘regularised’ and become eligible for earning more money than the present $1,500.

If you have no ‘cocoa in the sun’ each LifeSport member should be fingerprinted and documented. In exchange a special identity card can be issued and each participant given their own bank account and withdrawal card as was done for CEPEP workers under the People’s National Movement (PNM). At the end of an ‘unblemished’ five years and being monitored by the Ministry of National Security, an ordinary identity card can be awarded. In addition, children born to LifeSport members should be given automatic status as nationals of Trinidad and Tobago. It is grossly unfair that children born in Trinidad and Tobago are not attending school. Education is the way out of poverty and an inevitable life of crime.

It is evident that whichever government is in power come 2015, must curb illegal immigration. All undocumented persons who have been living in Trinidad and Tobago should be given the opportunity to legalise their lives and be issued identity cards. If we give free visa entry to China, India and Nigeria, the social framework of Trinidad and Tobago will collapse.

The Partnership Government now finds itself unhappily associated as well as ‘tarnished’ with allegations of condoning criminality. Even criminals deserve a last chance. This is Trinidad and Tobago and we know about giving people last chances. But bear in mind that if given five years to prove their sincerity the LifeSporters or any other undocumented ‘aliens’, will be unable to vote in the general elections of 2015. All political parties should be in agreement and appreciate that the above suggestions must not be political. It is meant as a logical step in measuring and eliminating rampant crime.

Lynette Joseph

via e-mail