Tuesday, January 14, 2014

PNM playing politics with crime (Express story)

Reproduced unedited from the TRINIDAD EXPRESS. You can read the original story by clicking this link:

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan claimed yesterday that the Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) lacked political will to fight crime and there was the view that this was a coded message to people to “mash up the place”.

Ramlogan was a guest on CNMG’s First Up morning programme, with host Paul Richards, where he criticised the Opposition for not supporting the Bail Bill and the Government’s anti-crime measures.

“I want to make the point—the PNM will not support any crime-fighting measure here in this country, because they, as far as they are concerned, they are banking their political fortunes on the crime rate getting worse,” said Ramlogan.

Richards then asked whether the AG was suggesting or stating that the PNM was playing politics with crime.

Said Ramlogan:

“They absolutely are, that is why they are not supporting the bail amendment, and rasing spurious arguments about its constitutionality when they did the same thing with the ‘strikes and you are out’, that is why they voted down the death penalty bill we brought to Parliament.”

He went on to say that the PNM’s political fortunes were linked to the crime rate.

“In fact, in some quarters, Paul, on the ground, I don’t believe it, but on the ground, people are saying that it is as if the PNM has sent a message to their troops on the ground...well, look, mash up the place,” said Ramlogan.

Richards replied: “Well, that’s a very strong statement, that’s suggesting that the PNM has connection with some irreverent activities and irreverent individuals who may be committing crimes.”

Ramlogan said: “Well, it’s a bit like Abu Bakr saying ‘don’t loot’,” during the 1990 attempted coup.

The Express later contacted Ramlogan by phone and asked him to clarify his statements, which he said were made in the context of the lack of political will on the part of the PNM in supporting crime-fighting legislation.

“They have a responsibility to their constituents and to the country to make their presence felt on the crime and work with the Government to ensure crime is reduced in those areas, but you can only see them at the funerals for dignitaries...they have virtually abandoned those vulnerable communities and use them for when it is politically convenient...it is in that context I said there are some on the ground who feel that the PNM had turned their back on the people as if to send a coded signal to mash up the place,” said Ramlogan.

The PNM, he said, says one thing and does another.

He said the Opposition had indicated that they would support the death penalty but voted against it.

Ramlogan added that the PNM also refused to support the Bail Amendment Bill, which refused bail based on one strike, when they were the ones who introduced the three strikes and no bail system.

He added that the Opposition refused to support the bill to give soldiers police powers on the grounds that they were trained to kill.

“As if the bandits are aiming for people’s shoulders and toes...their actions betray their words.

“When last have you seen a PNM MP attend a wedding, wake or funeral and sit down and talk to the youths to tell them to change because they can become a better citizen. They are virtually absent from their constituencies as if they have condemned it as a killing field or graveyard,” he added.

“Their silence and absence from their own constituencies can easily be misinterpreted as political encouragement or, worse yet, dereliction of duty,” said Ramlogan.

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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