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Wednesday 16 October 2019
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PM: We are not a failed state

Dr Keith Rowley
Dr Keith Rowley

The country is by no means a failed state. That was the statement the Prime Minister gave to i95.5FM on their morning talk show yesterday when asked about the Sunday Guardian's editorial.

Yesterday, in a three page editorial that took up the front page as well as pages four and five of the paper, the Sunday Guardian highlighted specific crime events such as Marlene McDonald's arrest, the killing of seven fishermen from Carli Bay, the murder of alleged drug lord Vaughn "Sandman" Mieres, former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan being charged by the police and daily social media videos depicting crime.

The editorial had a bar graph of the murders over a nine year period from 2010 to 2019, and it described the country as being a hair's breadth away from being a failed state with parts of the country resembling "narco-states where drug cartels, not the government, call the shots."

Dr Rowley, in response, said: "We have serious challenges like many countries in the world, whatever challenges there are, we are required to meet it on a daily and hourly basis... There are problems with crime in TT that is a major challenge for the government and the people and we will face it. We will never concede that we are a failed state because we have not been able to deal with our circumstances."

He said putting instances including the arrest of a minister, and the killing of a drug lord, and people being thrown overboard in the sea as a failed state of TT is to sell the country short.

Addressing the idea that crime tends to rise under the People's National Movement (PNM) Rowley said, "If it was the PNM that caused crime in the country, then the PNM is in the US and other countries that have a crime problem."

To handle the crime problem, Rowley said the PNM did what the Opposition did not do when they were in government, which was to appoint a commissioner of police. The current government appointed Garry Griffith to the position in 2018.

"I am sure if you were observing, in policing our country, an invigorated police service that is more effective when dealing with criminal activity. It is something we are working towards. We are doing that and working from strength to strength."

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