Thursday, December 14, 2017

PM promises safe Carnival

PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has assured citizens and visitors that all systems would be activated to ensure a safe Carnival season.

Persad-Bissessar said her Government would put all measures in place to provide security to foreigners arriving to participate in Carnival activities.

She was speaking to reporters following a cheque distribution ceremony at the Animal Alive sanctuary at Ralph Narine Trace, South Oropouche, yesterday. Persad-Bissessar was accompanied by Minister of Food Production Devant Maharaj and Tourism Minister Chandresh Sharma.

“We will do all that we can as a State to ensure the safety and security of citizens as well as visitors. We have had really good Carnivals over the years. We are trying to put everything in place to ensure safety and security,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said she does not expect the recent upsurge in serious crimes and murders to cause a reduction in visitors. “We have seen over years with escalation in crime it did not deter the visitors.

“Hundreds of thousands came in last year. I give the assurance that we will put all mechanisms in place to ensure safety and security for visitors and citizens as we lead into Carnival season,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said she was concerned about the spike in murders. She said every murder was a concern, whether it was a criminal killing a criminal or a law-abiding citizen.

“I will not share a view that one is different from the other,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said she was not certain whether the Opposition would allow for the resumption of hangings, as a deterrent to crime.

She said Attorney General Anand Ramlogan was meeting with a team from the Opposition on the issue of crime.

“The matter of (hanging) was brought to Parliament and the Opposition refused to give their support to the bill to allow for expeditious hangings. It depends on the parliamentary support on whether that would see the light of day again. The Attorney General has been meeting with a team from the Opposition. I expect that would be one of the items discussed along with other pieces of legislation,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said Government was also working on upgrading the Forensic Science Centre in St James. “There is more work to be done and certainly we can improve by using DNA and other forms of evidence in trials,” she said.

Jowelle De Souza, animal activist, said she was pleased with the $25,000 cheque presented by the Ministry of Food Production. “I was really happy and couldn’t believe it. I can’t believe this Government really came through for us,” she said.

De Souza said the animal sanctuary incurs an annual expenditure of over $1 million.

—with reporting by

Innis Francis