CLINT CHAN TACK
MOMENTS before National Security Minister Edmund Dillon was taken to task in Parliament as the subject of an Opposition-led no confidence motion, protestors lay on the ground outside the Parliament building to portray the number of citizens murdered under his watch.
The pavement in front of Tower D at the Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre was littered with “bodies” as the protestors called the nation and its leaders to attention on the fact that crime is rampant and murders rising. Each protestor wore a white T-shirt which displayed a number that signified a murder victim. Dillon and Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi listened to the protestors before going into Tower D. Jenny Nicholas told them, “It is not about the parties. The country is washed in blood.” Opposition parliamentarians including Princes Town MP Barry Padarath and Senators Khadijah Ameen and Saddam Hosein also spoke to the protestors.
Nicholas declared that Dillon had “failed us miserably.” She told Dillon and Al-Rawi when politicians “reach on top, you forget the people on the bottom.” Nicholas and others demanded Dillon’s resignation. Devon Thomas said the group was not supporting any political party. “I am here to stand up for the people who are unwilling to stand up for themselves right now,” he declared.
He said all the protestors represent, “somebody who has been slain” and instead of waking up to greet the new day, many people instead try to “find out who got murdered last night.” Opening debate on the motion, Naparima MP Rodney Charles charged that Dillon, “has failed our country.” Saying there were 14 murders in his constituency, including that of 19-year old Eric Ganesh earlier this month, Charles claimed 1,062 men and 118 women have been murdered under Dillon’s watch.
According to Charles, the witness protection programme has collapsed and the police could not help women who receive protection orders from the court. He claimed there were 211 criminal gangs and 2,458 gang members in TT. Charles accused Government of trying to buy fast ferries and a Coast Guard vessel while there is no money was given to fund the Military-Led Academic Training Academy (MILAT).