Saturday, December 16, 2017

T&T on the brink

 I am writing this letter as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago to say I believe this country is approaching social crisis mode. 

The crime situation is spiralling and clearly out of hand as the minister of national security, even with both police and military, is not making the progress needed to catch criminals and put the country at ease. Meanwhile, we are expe-­riencing wave after wave of protest action by the various workers’ unions. The society just seems too uneasy at present and the Government is failing to provide the citizens of this country with the type of leadership and governance that is expected for us to produce, progress and rise. 

This Government has raised expectations so high that the unrealistic nature of its campaign promises are now clearly evident. Four years ago, the partners in the Partnership promised they would put a handle on the crime situation in three months, settle labour disputes in three months and diversify and turn around the economy. Of course, any logical person would know this could not be achieved in any sustainable manner in such a short space of time, but the population gave this Government a chance.

To date, we have seen a State of Emergency, joint patrols, request for help from other law enforcement jurisdictions and, still, the crime situation is not under control. Also, we are plagued by protests from workers, unions and contractors. It pains me to mention Dana Seetahal as an example because she was one of our finest, but after offering a $1m reward to now a $3.5m reward, we are still not in a position to solve her murder.

It is clear the crime situa­tion is not isolated and because of this, it seems to be cheap politics the Government cancelled the offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) but is now appearing desperate by asking countries to purchase similar vessels to protect our borders. Then, we are hearing of the well-funded LifeSport programme with allegations of criminal activity. We can only hope this is not the case. 

How did we get here? Imagine the police and army are facing criminals who are returning fire with high-powered weapons and innocent citizens are becoming victims of gun violence. We, as citizens, have no choice but to get involved in the fight to return our country to a safe place. Sad to say, but our minister of national security may have bitten off more than he can chew. 

At this rate, I am looking forward to elections sooner than later and hope the next government will be capable of leading this country forward because in my view, we are stagnant and some may even say regressing. 

Ronald Huggins

St Joseph