People's Roundtable to announce crime summit

Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah -
Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah -

THE People's Roundtable hinted on Monday that one of its first public actions will be a summit on crime.

The roundtable, which comprises 13 civil society organisations, will provide more details about the proposed summit and other matters at a news conference at the Royal Hotel, San Fernando at 10.30 am on Tuesday.

The roundtable is chaired by Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah.

In a statement on Monday, Abdulah said when the roundtable was formed on October 24, "our participating member organisations had identified issues that are of national concern but...we had not yet prioritised the issues for our intervention."

Over the last month, he said, the roundtable held several meetings to finalise its first actions.

The first action of the roundtable, according to Abdulah's statement, was defined as "a civil society-crime summit."

When it was launched in October, Abdulah said the roundtable “will be focused on the interest of the ordinary men and women in our society, the voiceless and those who, in the eyes of the powerful, do not count.”

Abdulah said the roundtable is open to all NGOs, community-based organisations (CBOs) and other civil-society organisations which share a commitment to the “public interest, the common good and a better life for all.”

The announcement comes against the background of stalled crime talks between the Government and the Opposition.

At a news conference on November 20, the Prime Minister said the Opposition was not serious about accepting the Government's invitation to hold bipartisan crime talks because itsaw the current crime rate as helpful to its chances of winning the next general election.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has criticised Dr Rowley for not leading the Government's team to those talks.

That team is chaired by Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC.

Other members are Energy Minister Stuart Young, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales, Housing Minister Camille Robinson-Regis and Tourism, Culture and the Arts Minister Randall Mitchell.

On November 13, UNC chairman Davendranath Tancoo said the Opposition was awaiting a reply from Rowley as to whether or not he would attend the talks.

Tancoo added that based on Rowley's response, the UNC would select its team for the discussions.

On the same day, criminologists Prof Ramesh Deosaran and Darius Figuera slammed both Government and the Opposition for continuing to pursue petty political agendas while refusing to co-operate to bring crime under control.

Roundtable member organisations: Disabled People’s International TT Chapter

Farmers’ Union

Guave Road Farmers’ Association

Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women

Sou Sou Lands Co-Operative

All Mansions of Rastafari

Artists Coalition

Joint Trade Union Movement

Single Fathers’ Association

Students’ Guild, Cipriani College of Labour and Co-Operative Studies

Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association

Tobago CivilNET

Trinidad Youth Council



"People’s Roundtable to announce crime summit"

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