Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"They (the Opposition) want you to live in fear", Kamla tells supporters at Barataria meeting

Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Monday accused the opposition People's National Movement (PNM) of rejecting the Defence Amendment Bill because they are not serious about fighting crime and want to keep people living in fear.

Speaking at a political meeting in Barataria, the PM and political leader of the United National Congress said the opposition refused to support legislation because it did not suit their agenda.

She said it is a pattern that the PNM under Keith Rowley has followed since the new government took office in 2010. And she called on citizens to question the role of the opposition in Parliament.

"You elect representatives to seek your interest, not their own," she said. "
Parliament is the place where YOUR views must be represented, where we as your elected representatives must fight to protect YOUR interests, not ours. 

"If that is what our legislature represents, then we must examine the role of the PNM Opposition."

She charged that the PNM's performance shows that the people's interest is subordinate to the party's and declared that the track record of the PNM Opposition is "shameful!"

She said, "Ask Donna Cox, Marlene Mac Donald and the others why they prefer to let criminals walk free instead of supporting legislation that would bring down crime...not one of them can show you that she or he has any better suggestion for helping in the war against crime."

The PM charged that the opposition has no ideas on how to fight crime and prefer to let the criminals "run wild and do as they please while you and I and our children live in fear". 

She cited the PNM's role in the Capital Punishment Bill. "You wanted to hang the killers; they said they wanted to hang them too but when it was time to walk the talk; when it was time to stand up for YOU, they betrayed you and voted against the hanging bill.

"They need to protect the killers from the hangman’s noose so the criminals will get a message that the State cannot do anything to the vicious killers who roam our land."

She promised that the government would take the Capital Punishment Bill to Parliament again and challenged the PNM to support it this time.

She said the opposition has noting to offer the people except "negative, useless propaganda." She said all they have done is called "our soldiers killing machines when these men and women are fighting to protect you from criminals who are the real killing machines".

She cited letters to the media from residents of Laventille who have praised soldiers for bringing peace and law and order to their community.

She urged Rowley to visit citizens like Marvin Williams of Laventille who wrote to Newsday to say “Before the patrols started, you would hear gunshots all through the night but now, it is quiet.”

"These are not my words… It is Marvin’s as quoted in today’s newspaper. So I think that before the PNM stands against us they should go and see that this is what the people want.

"I want Marvin Williams to know that I read everything he had to say and I want to thank him for letting us know that things are in fact getting better.

"The Defence Amendment Bill, that will make it possible for the police and soldiers to continue keeping the Williams family safe, is now before the Senate and there too the six PNM members are refusing to listen to the voice of the people and vote for a bill that would make all of our communities safer.

"They are not listening to YOU; they have never listened to YOU.

"We know that crime is eating away at our society so we must fight back with full force.

"We want to make changes so that you can walk the streets again without FEAR; so you can have your play grounds back, so you can go to your pan yards and events… and pujas, midnight mass and parties without fear.

They have been fighting against every crime fighting initiative of this government initiative designed to take the gang leaders and criminals down, ask yourself who the Opposition PNM really represent."

The PM also spoke about another person from Laventille - Desiree Young, mother of three little daughters who wrote the media to say thanks to the soldiers she can now sleep.

"And in that letter, Desiree was pleading with our Senators to pass the Defence Amendment Bill...She said the soldiers were not killing machines, but honest, polite and courteous.

"That’s from a lady who lives in an area that some people have called the KILLING FIELDS… now the killing are being stopped and she can sleep in peace… all because of the partnership of SOLDIERS and police working together hand in hand.

"And the PNM is telling you these soldiers are killing machines waiting to pounce on innocent civilians. What utter rubbish!"

The PM assured the people of Laventille and others everywhere not to worry or be afraid. "We will win this war against criminals and then you can sleep soundly."

She said some people cannot appreciate what the average citizens feels about crime. "You know some people have the luxury of security guards outside their homes. They don’t experience what Desiree has experienced...The majority of people are not shielded behind gates and security guards. 

"They have to face life, hoping they won’t be the next victim – they are the people who make this country work. They live in Laventille, Digeo Martin, Debe, D’Abadie…In Tobago and Couva … in places where the PNM doesn’t know exists in this country … and right here in Barataria."

You reminded people that when the Senate adjourned the debate on the defence bill the opposition was "celebrating the fact that they may have prevented us from getting soldiers to protect you".

She said, "That reveals their real agenda, which is to look the other way and let criminals run free so that you would have to live in fear. Never forget... that they knew who Mr Big was but never took him down.

"That they met with gang leaders and elevated criminals to community leader status.
That tells you their political interests are more important than your safety and security." 

She explained why the government adjourned the debate. "I am here to tell you that this decision was taken because we believe in consultation …we believe that we must listen to what you are saying, what the legislators are concerned about.

"And we will go back to the Senate… I believe that good sense will prevail and our independent senators – who represent you – would heed your concerns and they will stand up for YOU...

"And then, with our soldiers as part of our security forces, we would launch an assault on crime and take back our communities."

She reminded everyone that her government is committed to delivery for ALL the people. "It doesn’t matter where you live; it doesn't matter how you worship or the colour of your skin or the colour of your hair. It doesn’t matter which party you support. 

"My Government represents every citizen of Trinidad and Tobago…..yes, including those in the PNM. We are one! she declared. For us in the PEOPLE’s PARTNERSHIP it will never be any other way. 

"The PNM and its divisive politics have deformed our country for too long. We are one … and will always be ONE PEOPLE with ONE DESTINY."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai