‘New camps will be torn down’
By SASHA HARRINANAN Saturday, June 30 2012
NATIONAL Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday warned members of the highway reroute movement that construction of any new camp site in the path of the under-construction Point Fortin to San Fernando Highway, will be demolished within 24 hours.
Warner said he would not be apologetic if the need arises to demolish another protest site.
“Any camp, house, shed, whatever, that is put on the right-of-way of the highway shall be demolished and let the chips fall where they fall. I am not running a popularity campaign. My obligation is to the Prime Minister of this country, who has asked me to bring back this country to a level of sanity and we have to do that,” Warner declared.
The ‘rerouters’ have been campaigning against construction of the Debe and Mon Desir sections of the highway, saying an alternate route would be cheaper while avoiding destruction of homes and wetlands.
Earlier in the week, a camp erected a month ago in Debe was demolished by soldiers. Members have vowed to build new protest camps. Asked if the protestors would be allowed to rebuild a camp once it does not lie in the path of the highway, Warner said, “that has nothing to do with me.”
“There are squatters all over the country and if they want to be another bunch so be it. I am not going after squatters at this point, nobody has asked me to do that, but they’ve asked me to clear the right-of-way for the highway and that shall be cleared. Nobody, nobody shall be allowed to build anything on the right-of-way of the highway,” Warner declared.
Noting that as National Security Minister he has been charged by Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar with taking back the country from criminals, Warner called on all law-abiding citizens to help him do so.
“There are groups in this country that want to sponsor lawlessness, want to create lawlessness, in a sense they thrive on lawlessness.
Whether it’s in the form of illegal occupiers of land or otherwise, they thrive on that and we cannot afford in any way at all, to have a lawless society.
“I ask all of those people who are in favour of law and order, to join with this Government, the Ministry of National Security, my minister (Minister in the National Security Ministry Collin Partap) and myself, to save this country,” Warner said.
Asked his thought on non-elected members of the Congress of the People (COP) criticising him for last Wednesday’s demolition of the protestors’ camp, Warner said that the vast majority elected persons and Cabinet members are, “fully supportive of what was done”.
“If there are one or two persons who do not agree with what we do, we have to accept this. This is what democracy is about. I am not unhappy because they have not seen what I have seen or seen the light,” Warner said.