The nation is angry and needs healing, Dean Knolly Clarke said yesterday.
Officiating at the funeral service of slain Republic Bank Exodus band member Ronald "Panam" Clarke yesterday, the religious minister, who also lost a family member to murder, told band members who declared their anger over the murder of Clarke that although they are angry over their loss, they should not seek to take revenge.
"I am still angry, we are all angry. Look at what is happening in Port of Spain today (referring to the mass demonstration in Port of Spain yesterday by thousands of trade union members). We are a nation of angry people.
"What people are feeling is oppression. It is a wake-up call to a nation that needs healing, a nation that needs transformation," he said.
Clarke told those gathered in mourning at the Tunapuna headquarters of the steel band that there are two types of anger—a righteous type and a type that seeks vengeance.
"The anger we have is the righteous type that seeks justice, that the perpetrators of these crimes would be found. Not only this one, but throughout the nation.
"But the other type of anger, which speaks of vigilante groups, to take vengeance, vengeance is not ours. Vengeance is the Lord's and God is a just God. He is a sovereign God and in His justness justice will be served," Clarke said.
He said law enforcement agencies must not measure crime by statistics or a decrease in murders because this does not comfort the family members who have lost loved ones.
"In a real sense, it is an insult to us (who have lost loved ones to murder)."
The slain panman was remembered by relatives, friends and community members as a giving, dedicated, family man who loved the environment almost as much as he loved pan.
Desmond Waithe, musical director of Republic Bank Exodus, who also spoke at the funeral service, said: "The fact is apart from losing two other band members through criminal acts, Ronald is the second to go by the way of the bullet. This must not continue in our country. The senseless acts of barbarism must stop.
"Governments, whoever they are, must stop politicking crime... failure to do so will cause law-abiding citizens to react. Vigilante groups will rise in an attempt to take back our country or to take revenge for loved ones lost. We beg you, please do not push us in that direction," Waithe said.