National Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday blasted the People's National Movement (PNM) for "politicising" the current ceasefire and lowered murder rate in Laventille. While Warner confirmed that there was a higher police and army presence in the hotspot, he denied that residents were under any curfew or State of Emergency.
"We have soldiers and police in the area. I am hearing some foolish talk that there is a State of Emergency or enforced emergency and tomorrow will talk about that in Parliament," he said. Warner made the statements while speaking to reporters outside Mount St Benedict yesterday.
He said he was "sickened" by PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley and the rest of the party.
"Because everything for them is politics and therefore they would love to see death in Laventille. Nothing would give them greater joy than to see people fall by the pits in Laventille," Warner said.
Warner questioned what would prompt the PNM Member for Parliament for the Laventille West, Nileung Hypolite to say that a murder Beetham last week, actually happened in Laventille. On Friday, during the budget debate, Hypolite said Beetham Estate formed part of his constituency and that the public was being misinformed about the ceasefire in the area.
"I have never heard such lunacy. An MP is telling people a murder from the Beetham happened in Laventille and you are the MP, you trying to denigrate your own constituency," Warner said, referring to the shooting death of 23-year-old Ziggy Harewood of Beetham Gardens last week.
"That is the mentality of the PNM, it is a sick party and a sick leadership," he said.
Warner is expected to make his budget contribution as the debate continues today. He promised to "deal with Rowley" then.
"I have to go after him and expose him for the fraud that he is," he said.
Warner and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar attended the afternoon service to celebrate 100 years of Benedictine presence in the country. Persad-Bissessar also handed over a $2 million cheque to Abbot John Perreira to go toward the restoration works at the Cathedral in Port of Spain. See Page 20