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Friday 17 August 2018
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Kamla on show-of-force walkabout: ‘Keep walking’

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar surrounded by opposition MP's and councillors speaking to reporters after the funeral service for Eric Ganesh, which took place at St. Charles Village Princes Town. PHOTO BY ANIL RAMPERSAD.

THE DAY after National Security Minister Edmund Dillon led a walkabout in Laventille aimed at sending a message to criminals that state security agencies are in charge, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar today sent a message to government: "Keep walking."

"This is not how you will solve the crime. The Government has no concept, no idea, no plan on how to deal with crime. Crime has to be dealt with in a holistic manner," she told reporters after the funeral of Eric Ganesh.

Persad-Bissessar said under the PNM government, over 1,200 people had died because of crime, and months ago she had called for joint patrols.

But yesterday the officials walked "up and down" as if the government had a plan to solve the crime.

She said: "He has a new plan? What is new in this plan? We eagerly wait. The time has come to say enough is enough. We must get them out of office at the earliest opportunity, legally and politically. They cannot do the job. Get out, get out."

Among those taking part in yesterday’s walkabout were acting CoP Stephen Williams, Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds and Chief of Defence Staff Commodore Hayden Pritchard. The walkabout came on the heels of a "hit list" of Rasta City gang members which began circulating on Wednesday on social media. The list sparked rumours of an impending bloody showdown with the rival Unruly ISIS gang.

Persad-Bissessar called on the prime minister to say something about the crime situation, accusing him and his colleagues of being busy writing letters to newspapers.

"Why don’t they just do their jobs. Prime Minister, why don’t you just do your job? You told us you were in charge. You said you were the one to deal with all the problems in the country. And today, so many sons and daughters have died."

She said the opposition has made several proposals to deal with crime but government refuses to accept them. Instead, the government dismantled a lot of the programmes implemented under her watch as prime minister between 2010 and 2015.

Persad-Bissessar referred to this government as the "most wicked and corrupt" this country has ever had.

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