Opposition Leader and Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on government to stop politicising the issue of crime and meet with her to discuss anti-crime strategies.
Speaking after the funeral of murdered schoolboy Joshua Andrews yesterday, Persad-Bissessar urged government to act in the best interest of the nation’s children and act now in preventing crime. “I think we have reached murder number 30. By the time I reached home over the weekend it hit 30. Therefore it is really at a crucial time where we ask the government to stop grandstanding and ask them – I have reached out in good faith – and I’m asking for a meeting and have no response to my letter to work on the legislative agenda to protect citizens’ rights.”
Asked her reason for attending the funeral, she said she was deeply concerned over Andrews’ murder and the heinous nature of the crime demanded swift action from those in authority. She urged citizens to band together to present a united front against crime and criminals.
“I am a mother, I am a grandmother, I am a parent. It is a painful thing when a child dies before a parent. In the scheme of God’s work it is not natural for a child to be murdered or snuffed out. As a parent I am here today, not for politics and as a parent my heart goes out to this family and these young children. It is a painful day as parents when we see the lives of our young ones be snuffed out. Let us, TT, work together and do something.”
Speaking to mourners, Minister of Education Anthony Garcia said while he was deeply saddened by Joshua’s death, he called on his peers to live their lives to the fullest and pursue their dreams passionately. Recalling the murders of schoolboys Denilson Smith and Mark Richards, Garcia said his ministry was involved in a new campaign aimed at engaging schools through peer counselling.
“I am reminded that a child is a gift from God and the loss of a child must not be taken lightly. When we find that one of us has gone too soon, we must take stock of ourselves. I’m also reminded that in the midst of life there is death, and I want to appeal to students to live your life in such a way that you are always ready for such an occasion. We never know when our end will come and we must live our life in such a way. It matters not how a man dies but how he lives, and Joshua lived a life full of love.”