Sunday, 11 December 2011

Capital Punishment - For or Against?

This post is not pretty.
I am tired, so tired of the crime in this country. 
Less than a week of the Sate of Emergency being lifted, I learned from the tv news this evening that the husband of a friend of mine was murdered in his own home yesterday in broad daylight. The rest of the family were tied up and beaten. I'm not an advocate of capital punishment but I am seriously beginning to wonder if I have the right attitude. Add to that another couple I know well who live in the same area, being attacked by intruders whilst sleeping at 2am even though the downstairs of their home is burglar proofed. I have attended too many funerals of people I know who have lost their lives brutally and some I couldn't attend because it was too overwhelming.

God help this country where life has become so cheap, where we allow criminals to rule and literally get away with murder, where school children carry knives, where innocent people are losing their lives, where people believe the world owes them a living so take instead of earn, where corruption is rife, where we live behind barbed wire, burglar bars and gated communities with guards at the gates, where rapes are every day occurrences, where one doesn't feel safe in an open car park and where people who care and those who are affected are crying for justice and getting no answers.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Bee's Blog: Part of my Job

Bee's Blog: Part of my Job: EVANGELIZATION FIRST ‘A NEW WAY AHEAD’ On the 10 September 2011. 88 volunteers of the Evangelization Commission gathered under a...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Repost of Simone Leid - The WomenSpeak Project

OUTRAGED! Rape of a Child is NOT Entertainment!

On 25th October, 2011, the local television program “Crime Watch” which airs on TV6 at 6pm in Trinidad and Tobago, aired video footage of a 13 year old girl being beaten and raped. The host of Crime Watch, also had the child’s mother on set and asked her questions about how she felt on hearing the cries of her daughter as she is being raped by several men on the video.
I cannot sit idly by and merely shake my head at this abomination. That the rape of a child is aired on a television show that is notorious for sensationalizing, and packaging criminal activity and trauma of victims as entertainment, signals that we have reached an all new level of barbarianism.
In a country where the cries of a child being raped can be aired at prime time, and then again at night, and again the next day, and again the next night - is it any wonder that we are a country whose rates of murder of women by domestic partners and rape are amongst the highest in the world?
For if we can reduce someone to a sound-bite, a headline, a statistic, then it becomes easier for us to forget they are human beings. They become ‘the other’, ‘a number’, ‘not one of us’. And when we are fed violence as entertainment, we become desensitized to the chopping, the burning, the raping. Suddenly a woman who is ‘just’ battered is no big deal.
WomenSpeak was created to give these ‘statistics’ a human face. To give women the opportunity to tell their stories of abuse, harassment, discrimination, in their own words. To encourage every man and woman in the region to take responsibility for sharing the message that discrimination against women is a disease that is rotting us from the inside out. That we stand as Caribbean men and women, boys and girls who believe in the dignity of all human beings. And we DEMAND higher standards of decency, empathy and justice for women and girls.
We each have a voice. Let us use it. If we are fed up of the exploitation, denigration and dehumanization of our women, men  and children, please exercise your conscience and let the Telecommunication Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, Crime Watch and TV6 and its affiliates know what you think of it’s degrading ratings ploys; of this violence perpetrated by the local media upon it’s citizens.
For my part, I want Crime Watch OFF THE AIR. PERIOD.
Below are contact numbers and links
Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago  (click link for complaint form)
#5 Eighth Avenue Extension, Off Twelfth Street, Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago.
Phone : 1-868-675-8288
35 Independence Square , Port of Spain, Trinidad, WI
Telephone 1-868-627-8806
Trinidad Express Newspapers 
35-37 Independence Square, Port of Spain, Trinidad, WI
Hott 93 Office
#5 Rosalino Street, Woodbrook
Port Of Spain, Trinidad, W.I.
Phone: (868).625.8426, (868).623.7605
Fax: (868).624.3234
 Simone Leid - The WomenSpeak Project

Learn more about the WomenSpeak Project’s Mission and Objectives here
and here

Friday, 2 September 2011

State of Emergency Update Trinidad & Tobago

State of Emergency in Trinidad & Tobago Update


Port of Spain. Over the last 24 hours, a total of one hundred and sixty seven persons [167] were arrested. Of the total arrests within the 24 hour period, twenty seven [27] were gang related, one [1] homicide, thirty five [35] drug related, two [2] persons were arrested for firearm related charges, fifty nine [59] persons were arrested for outstanding warrants, five [5] were arrested for breach of curfew, twenty two [22] were arrested for traffic offences, with ninety six [96] tickets issued and thirteen [13] persons were arrested for other serious offences. Three [3] others were arrested for other offences. One firearm and fifteen rounds of ammunition were also seized.

To date, a total of one thousand, one hundred and forty three [1143] persons have been arrested, with three hundred and sixty six [366] arrests related to gangs, two hundred and sixteen [216] related to drug offences, two hundred and twenty eight [228] related to outstanding warrants, one hundred and eighty one [181] related to other serious offences, eighty two [82] related to breach of curfew, and thirty [30] related to homicide.

Additionally, the Coast Guard acting on intelligence seized a vessel with two (2) male Trinidadians along with two (2) male Jamaicans and confiscated a quantity of cocaine with a street value of $3.2 million dollars on board the vessel.

Issued by the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications
State of Emergency [SOE] Communications

Of course there's much more going on as well and we will know later today whether or not the curfew times have been changed.

This came about not just because of a much needed  major crackdown on  crime and the drug shipments coming into and through this country but because a plan to assassinate the Prime Minister and the Attorney General was uncovered.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

State of Emergency in Trinidad & Tobago. Day 3

I just cannot share my feelings on this at the moment as there are so many unanswered questions.  

These are some of the rules and regulations during a State of Emergency:
  • The State of Emergency grants special powers to the police and military:
  • Search and seizure powers will not require a search warrant;
  • Military to have power to arrest and detain before transfer to the police;
  • Police can arrest and detain for up to 24 hours after which a magistrate, or assistant superintendent (or higher), will be able to add an extra 7 days;
  • No bail for those arrested during the State of Emergency;
  • Courts no longer will have the power to grant bail.
It is strongly advised you to respect the curfew in the affected areas and to comply with directives issued by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, military and police units.. Travel times might be affected by these measures, so ensure you have sufficient time to reach your destination before curfew

This is the advisory from the British High Commission.

  • On 21 August 2011, a Limited State of Emergency was called into effect by the Prime Minister. There is a curfew in place for designated "hotspots" in Trinidad from 21:00 to 05:00 local time. Although the State of Emergency extends to Tobago, the island has no designated "hotspots" and is not affected by the curfew. We strongly advise you to respect the curfew in the affected areas and to comply with directives issued by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, military and police units.  

  • You should be aware that there are high levels of violent crime, especially shootings and  kidnappings. British nationals have been victims of violent attacks, particularly in Tobago where law enforcement is weak.

  • 38 British nationals required consular assistance in Trinidad and Tobago in the period April 2010 - March 2011.

  • Believe me, living in the tropics, is not all it's cracked up to be!

    Monday, 22 August 2011

    State of Emergency

    A limited State of Emergency has been put into place in this twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. I don't have time to write about it now but this is how CNN reported it.  They say a 'partial state of emergency' when in effect, the whole island is being shut down..

    Authorities impose curfews on Trinidad and Tobago

    By the CNN Wire Staff
    August 22, 2011 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
    Port Of Spain, Trinidad (CNN) -- A partial state of emergency was imposed Monday on crime hotspots across Trinidad and Tobago, and the government said it will enforce curfews in certain areas to curb the spiraling rate of drug-related murders in the Caribbean islands.

    This weekend alone, 11 people were fatally shot, bringing the total for the year so far to 264, authorities said.

    Speaking to the media, Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who took office 16 months ago said her national security advisers believe the discovery and seizure of large amounts of cocaine this past week may be responsible for the untenable situation.

    She said, "We will search them out and bring them to swift justice," noting that her government will not allow a handful of thugs to hold ransom the majority of law abiding citizens of Trinidad and Tobago which celebrates its 49th year of independence on August 31
    Journalist Gideon Hanoomansingh contributed to this

    Monday, 15 August 2011

    London Burning

    London Burning

    I posted this on Bee's Blog whereas really it should be here on Bee Up Front and Serious but I doubt that anyone will read it here.  Maybe no one will read it over there either but I need to get  this out of my system.

    Last week was a terrible time in my homeland and although I wasn't there I followed the events on the news stations and in the British press.  I called friends to ensure they were safe but their reassurances did not calm my turmoil.   My stomach has now stopped churning and I'm a little less disturbed than I was a few days ago.  Funny how one may be away from what's going on but still be affected by it.

    The entire episode has made me very, very angry. angry for many reasons but most of all, angry at the total breakdown of a society and the lawlessness which those with an ounce of integrity, should have seen coming.

    I am sick to death of hearing about Human Rights. Sick to death of hearing the excuses being given for the torching, rioting and looting that went on in London, its environs and other cities last week.  There are no excuses. I don't care whether you are black, white,  pink, yellow, jobless, disenfranchised, from a one parent family, a drop out, a primary school teacher, mentally or physically challenged, a casualty of the last Labour Government or of the fifteen month old Conservative government. I am sick to death of hearing that it's a 'culture thing', of whites trying to be black, of music and television being a major influential in the lives of our young people.

    Tell me, how can anyone condone the words of a 17year old girl, drinking her looted wine from a bottle, telling the BBC interviewer that they were doing this to get at the rich and to let the police know that they can do anything they want?

    I have always said that discipline starts in the home. Children need boundaries and they need to be taught right from wrong.  Whilst there were some things that I would not have put my head on a block for  in favour of my children as they were growing up, I certainly would put my head on a block for both of them where the events of last week are concerned.  I know that they would never have entered into such mayhem.  How to I know? Because from very early o'clock they were taught right from wrong and that one has to be accountable for things unacceptable to society. You do the crime, you pay the time.  I am sick of hearing parents say that they are not responsible for the behaviour of their children as one woman said yesterday after her son was caught on camera and has been charged.  She now faces possible eviction from her government apartment because of a 1985 law which in a nutshell, stipulates that anyone with a history of criminality, or by association (i.e. family member) is not entitled to live in a state owned property.  I understand fully that she was not the one who looted, was caught and charged and possibly faces a prison sentence but I have a problem when she hits the national media saying that her human rights are being violated. 

    Maybe now is the time to make an example of people.  Maybe now is the time for people to take back their country - from the thugs, the hooligans, from every Tom. Dick and Harry who decides to land on Britain's shores and use it as a bolt hole.  Maybe now is the time to become more discerning where social welfare is concerned and maybe now is the time to stop handing everything to people, on a plate.  Maybe now is the time to institute a system as near as dammit it to compulsory National Service, to hold parents accountable for the children's misbehaviour, to bring back Teachers Training Colleges, to put Heads instead of principals back into schools,  to put morning assemblies with prayers back into schools, to put Matrons back into hospitals, to put pride back into a country where every Briton no matter where they originated from, can live in peace and harmony knowing they are safe.

    I am sharing here photos of the London Daily Mail which show the less hostile events of last week.

    Photographs taken from the London Mail

    Could you sleep easy knowing that your child, husband or any relative had taken part in this?  One mother who saw her daughter who had excelled at school, who held various athletic records, had modelled and was to be an Ambassador at the London Olympics 2012, on television committing the crime of looting, turned her in saying that she didn't love her any less, that it was a hard decision but it was the right one to make.

    I only hope that when David Cameron said the following today, he meant it.:

    'Tear up the sentencing guidelines and jail EVERY looter'

    • Two thirds of 1,179 defendants remanded in custody

    Sunday, 31 July 2011

    Emancipation Day 2011 Trinidad & Tobago

    Emancipation Day 2011

    Tomorrow, 1 August is Emancipation Day in Trinidad and Tobago.  On 1 August 1985 Trinidad and Tobago became the first country in the world to declare a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery.  I am not going to go into all the political 'hoo hah', the in-fighting and the various arguments that go on in this country whenever national events such as this one happens.  I am however going to share a little of black history for those who may be interested in what I would describe as the worst kind of exploitation that has ever taken place. I have researched various historical documents on this subject so acknowledgment is due to their authors.

    Captured Slaves
    The history of the New World since Columbus re-discovered it, is one of conquest, pillage, exploitation and forced migration of people.

    The Triangular Trade

    Slavery existed in Africa before the arrival of the Europeans. However they were treated much more kindly than they would come to be treated by the Europeans. Slavery in many African societies was a temporary state, usually occurring as punishment for a crime or to pay off a debt. With the arrival of Europeans however, the face of slavery was changed forever. Slavery became an organized business. English slave ships would arrive on the West coast of Africa with a
    cargo of guns, alcohol, goods, beads and trinkets. These would be traded with the Africans in exchange for slaves. To assure a steady supply of slaves for the colonies, African tribes were encouraged by the Europeans to raid other tribes and capture their people. These captives would be bound in iron neck rings and linked together with chains and forced to march to the coast, where they would be housed in barracoons (holding pens) in unhealthy conditions, until a slave ship arrived. The captain of the slave ship would then choose the slaves he wanted and exchange them for the goods he had brought. Usually young, strong healthy slaves were selected, and more men than women were chosen. The slave captain would then sail with his human cargo across the Atlantic to the colonies in North America and the Caribbean. This three-step process in the slave trade – slave ships sailing from Europe to Africa and then to the Caribbean – was called the Triangular Trade. The trip from Europe to Africa was called the Outward Passage, the trip from Africa to the Americas was called the Middle Passage and the trip from the Americas to Europe in which cargoes of rum, sugar, tobacco and other produce bought with the proceeds of slave sales were shipped was called The Inward Passage.

    The Middle Passage

    The Middle Passage was the stage of the triangular trade in which millions of people from Africa were taken to the New World as part of the  Atlantic slave trade.  The Middle Passage was a horrendous ordeal for the Africans.
    Men were crammed below decks in handcuffs and leg irons. Women and children were not chained and were housed in separate quarters from the men. All however, were treated with brutality. Slave captains packed the ships to capacity with human cargo. The journey lasted anywhere from six weeks to three months depending on the weather and the distance to be covered. In good weather slaves were allowed on deck twice a day for exercise. Below deck living conditions were appalling.  There were no washroom  facilities and slaves had to relieve themselves were they were. Many suffered from seasickness, dysentery and small pox. By the time they reached their destination many were ill and weak, and some died on board. In addition to the appalling physical conditions, there was also the mental stress. Many Africans became despondent and threw themselves overboard. Those who were rescued were beaten for trying to escape.

    For more than three centuries
    millions of people were forcibly transported from their homes in Africa, across the perilous Atlantic Ocean to the New World, where they were forced to labour on sugar plantations for the rest of their lives. This enslavement  of a people continued until events in Europe changed the fortunes of the West Indian and North American colonies. Humanitarians started questioning the validity of slavery, there was competition from beet sugar producers in Europe, and the advent of the Industrial Revolution spawned the rise of a new group of influential men in the British Parliament who believed that slavery was no longer economically viable.

    From 1770s onward,
    several influential pressure groups arose in England and France calling for an end to the slave trade and slavery. They became known as abolitionists. These abolitionists were religious humanitarians (Quakers, Methodists, Evangelical Anglicans, Baptists and Moravians), intellectuals, workers and a few former slaves. They mobilised popular opinion, using mass meetings and petitions. The most notable of the abolitionists were Granville Sharp, William Wilberforce, John Wesley and Thomas Buxton. In addition to the abolitionists, an economist Adam Smith argued that free labour was cheaper than slave labour which he showed to be uneconomic.

    In France and England
    the ideas of  the Enlightenment
    and the French and American Revolutions also helped to fuel the demands to end slavery.There was of course fierce opposition to the abolitionists. British planters, ship owners, merchants and bankers were in favour of continuing slavery. Their argument was that slavery was economically essential to Britain and her colonies.  

    Over time the abolitionists’ campaign gained momentum. William Wilberforce made several attempts to introduce a bill in parliament outlawing the slave trade. Finally in 1807 the Abolition Act was passed abolishing the slave trade. The law became operational on 1 January 1808. The abolitionists hoped that by ending the slave trade no more slaves would be coming from Africa and therefore slavery would gradually come to an end, but this was not the case. The planters continued to use slave labour on their estates.
    When it became apparent that slavery was not going to end, the abolitionists tried another strategy that was meant to make the life of the slaves less unbearable. It was called the Amelioration policy. Under this policy or law, female slaves were not to be flogged and slaves were not allowed to work on Sundays. Slaves were also to be allowed to give evidence in court as long as a Christian minister could vouch for the slave's understanding of what an oath meant. The Amerilioration laws met with a lot of opposition, and when it became obvious that they would not be enforced, the abolitionists decided to try for the abolition of slavery. It took another twenty seven years after the abolition of the slave trade, before slavery itself was abolished.

    In 1833 Thomas Buxton presented The Emancipation Bill in the British Parliament. The Act was passed and came into effect on 1 August 1834. On that day, thousands of slaves in the British West Indies became free men and women.

    How the declaration was published in Britain

    Guardian UK 

    Throughout the British dominions the sun no longer rises on the slave.  Yesterday was the day from which the emancipation of all our slave population commences: and we trust the great change by which they are elevated to the rank of freeman will be found to have passed into effect in the manner most accordant with the benevolent spirit in which it was decreed, most consistent with the  interests of those who benefit it was primarily intended, and most calculated to put an end to the apprehensions under which it was hardly to be expected that the planters could fail  to labour as the moment of its consummation approaches.  we shall await anxiously the arrivals from the West Indies that will bring advices to a date subsequent to the present time.   

    It's not a very pretty picture is it?