POLITICAL leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah said the public cannot continue to remain silent about the murder of two children who escaped a Children’s Authority safe-house last week.
He was speaking at a press conference at the party’s headquarters on Lord Street, San Fernando, on Monday.
Last week, five teenaged boys escaped from the safe-house in Valsayn, but two 15-year-olds –Antonio Francois and Semion Daniel – were gunned down in Laventille days later.
The authority’s director Nichola Harvey-Mitchell had said there was a “security lapse” at that centre.
But, she maintained that the authority did not “fail” the boys.
She had also said while the authority wants to do a better job, it is unable to because of limited resources.
Abdulah said there has been no public outcry since the incident and he believes those who were on duty at the time should be held accountable.
“We cannot deal with violence in a one-sided way. We cannot as a society get – quite correctly – upset and angry and very mobilised against violence against girls and women (only) and then not get angry and upset when young boys who were in the care of a state-run institution were able to escape.
“Explanations are not sufficient. We cannot simply say, ‘It happened and we’re sorry.’”
On the authority’s claims of limited resources, he said, “If that is the case, then we as a society must say to the Government we are concerned about the number of children who are not able to get the kind of care and protection that they need. (We must demand) much more support for the Children’s Authority to ensure thatinstitution is able to properly fulfil its responsibilities under the law.”