Unfit to be a PNM: The Compliment of a Lifetime

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We all have friends on the other side (the PNM) and family in my case as do most of us but I rarely engage them on political matters but when we do clash, we clash and we hit hard. I rarely engage them because I believe I have an unfair advantage given that they did not study politics; most people did not.

Furthermore, most people have little knowledge of history, politics and policy.   This is my daily life, in teaching, writing, reading and researching – my job, whether I work as a teacher, journalist, editor, lecturer, blogger and consultant.   So to engage my family or friends and most people about politics, the playing field simply is not even.   I would be a total fool trying to perform a surgery, working on a drilling rig or developing a vaccine for Ebola.

So while we all may vote, I vote and study voting behavior. While we all may read the newspapers, I read the Hansard record of Parliament, at times for hours. Additionally, the comparative aspects of the political culture and all its facets is always present for me so this too makes it difficult to engage in real policy based conversation based on the social constructions and present realities created by the history makers themselves – the political actors in present day Trinidad and Tobago compared to a 200 year plus democracy like the United States.

All democracies evolve but nevertheless, “all politics is local,” so when these clashes take place, with my one PNM friend in particular, from my vantage point it is all comedy, nothing but comedy and most of conversations end when I tell him, “come out of that cult.”

While I wish I could post the actual text of my conversation with my big boy PNM friend, I will not in order to protect his identity but the narrative is a tale of satire of what transpired.   Outside of my family, if one should get into the head of a PNM to understand their cultish mentality, their flawed concept of leadership and the ultimate disaster that will befall us all if we elect Keith Rowley as Prime Minister, I have a complete case study of PNM modus operandi by getting into this person’s head.

The PNM has transcended political party status; they are a cult with a caste system. Members are indoctrinated in the name of party discipline; there is a stratified elitist structure; there is blind loyalty for little to no representation; there is failed and repressive leadership; there is an eerie feel of racial nationalism evident in statements like Calcutta along with their multiple attempts to topple the government while trying to make us believe that England gave us Independence in May 2010 and the People’s Partnership under the leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is the first post independence government.

The PNM has failed its people.   They do not deserve a quick return to government after five years especially with their current leader, the master of misinformation and the minister of the misguided.

“We built this country,” in one of the favorite lines a PNM uses when engaged in political debate.   I have heard it from that babbling and bitter old man Fitzgerald from La Brea during his contributions in Parliament and I also heard it from my PNM big boy as if it is some holy mantra they are taught during the process of selling their souls till death to the PNM that will prevail, another of the stale and tasteless lines.   Simply put it, while they continue the use and repeat their cultish mantras the current government will continue to deliver to people of Trinidad and Tobago.

The two hospitals (Port of Spain, San Fernando) and the old hospital at Fort King George in Tobago were left by England. The ideas and promise of new hospitals were perhaps PNM ideas, but yet under several oil booms they failed to deliver.   They have failed in healthcare, yet they claimed to have “built this country.” A Children’s Hospital with a Burn Center, plans for the Point Fortin Hospital are underway, the addition to the San Fernando General Hospital, the completion of the Scarborough Hospital are just the beginning the of the record of the People’s Partnership on healthcare.

Should we remind you of the nursing academy where hundreds of nurses and healthcare workers are being trained that will boost healthcare capacity delivery to all citizens including specialty areas such as oncology.     Can we trust the PNM and their abysmal record to continue to meet the current and future healthcare need of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago?

They maintained what was left by England and while they built the intangible institutions of the state (the systems all countries have such as education, courts, policing, military, infrastructure, etc), were built under PNM governance for all its citizens this does not give them a right to rule and cause chaos when they are out of government.     This is where that eerie sense of racial nationalism emerges that ultimately jumps out in statements like the now infamous Calcutta.

A very straightforward individual once told me about someone’s capacity to destroy a small city.   To a degree it was proven though a city was not destroyed.   This is what will transpire should we elect Keith Rowley Prime Minister.   Their modus operandi whether political leader or party group leader is the same and a major trait of that leadership is the ability to destroy.   Let us not put our country in the hands of Keith Rowley nor the PNM in charge of the treasury.

The PNM has no vision for the future of Trinidad and Tobago. Its current leadership is beyond ineffective to outright comical but as funny as the politics on the other side can look whether using fake emails, playing with spent shells, and doing something as creative as changing the 2 to a 3 on Manning’s rejected Vision 2020 and calling it Vision 2030, they must think we are blind, in addition to being dumb, deaf and dotish.

In an effort to be insulting but what turned out to be the biggest compliment I ever got from my PNM big boy friend he told me, “that should stay where I am, I am unfit to be a PNM.”   This after he told me that I am being too harsh, “we are friends,” but that it just the truth hurting and the occasional salt I pour into his wounds when I tell him that racism can never prevail over the truth.

I don’t intend on winning this battle with him or with anyone who took the PNM till ah dead blood oath during some cult ceremony in ballizay house.   Some things only come by prayer and fasting and there are certain things that just don’t make my prayer list nor will I starve myself trying to cast out a dumb demon from a shackled PNMite when the most you can get out of them are three mantras and nothing above hooligan and wajang behavior while cussing Kamla.

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Shubh Divali

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The Festival of Lights will shine brightly and light up the dark night of our land as we celebrate Divali, a festival celebrated by Hindus worldwide.   Given our multicultural heritage, this festival has graced the shores of Trinidad and Tobago since the arrival of our East Indian Brothers and Sisters and lit up dark October or November nights based on the lunar calendar.

As part of our rich heritage and culture, this celebration of universal principles and values is a national celebration and it is with the spirit of understanding and respect for equality in the public space of all creeds we wish our national Hindu community and all nationals by extension, Shubh Divali.

The universal principles of this festive time are lessons from which we all can learn. The ideas that light triumphs over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance are timeless, eternal, and powerful concepts.   So much is captured those concepts that will be philosophized by the sages throughout the ages to come and those that have passed.

How do these concepts apply to our current national state of affairs? This is not an attempt to mix up religion in the national politics, according to Swami Achuthananda, “In India, the religion is the culture and the culture is the religion. You cannot learn one without understanding the other.”   This has instructive purposes for Trinidad and Tobago.

While we are not in India, we live among and work and lime among the descendants of India and our national ideals promote equality of races and creeds. To this end knowledge of the culturally and religious traditions of our neighbors, friends, co-workers, teachers, Members of Parliament, Cabinet Members, Prime Minister and the twenty five percent of our population who are Hindus promotes national harmony, continued diversity and tolerance.

These are the value questions festivals like these promotes because they are when they embedded culturally and ethically.   When pitted against the rough and tough national politics and picong life of Trinbago, these universal messages must resonate with us and actively promoted by our leaders and those in government must support them because they are the philosophical underpinnings our of our national ideals.

Our values should be the basis for our votes, not our phenotypes and genotypes.   The political progressiveness of our current government is disbanding these archaic ideas and creating a climate where people, without regards to race and religion are served by the state without any form of discrimination.   The dark spaces of our politics must be illuminated by light and this can be best demonstrated by accurate knowledge of what is happening in our country.

Our stance on issue such as crime, family values, the less fortunate, educational, national development, and greater equity in the distribution of national resources and a vision of shared prosperity among the all citizens are the deeper meaning behind decisions making and issues of governance.

As members of our national community celebrate this auspicious time may the many blessings of this season of togetherness, family, wealth, charity, happiness, peace and prosperity fill our homes, communities and our country.   May the light illuminate our paths as we continue to grow as a nation.

Shubh Divali.

Jamaicans Living Under the Shadows in Trinidad and Tobago

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The issue of immigration is always a tough one and no one wants to open a Pandora box just because of the sensitive nature of the topic.   Therefore it is essential that when dealing with the topic of immigration all attempts be made to use language that does not marginalize and or stigmatize groups of people. Most of us know persons who have migrated, whether to the United States, Canada or England the concept of migration resonates with all of us.

Despite this never-ending era of global integration and the movement of people, all countries must remember their obligations, first and foremost to their citizens.   Guaranteed assurances that the human and civil rights of nationals from other countries who reside within their borders are respected and protected.   Within CARICOM there are rules that govern the movement of nationals between member states and it is important that all countries adhere to these rules.   However, with immigration, all countries have “push factors” and “pull factors” and while these factors determine who moves where, all governments must deal with the presence of other nationals from wherever.

Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have enjoyed a harmonious relationship that existed before the independence of both nations.   In fact, both nations gained their independence the same year, merely days apart.   Jamaica has a larger population than Trinidad and Tobago, approximately 3 million, compared to T&T’s 1.3 million. There are perhaps more similarities than there are differences, but Jamaica does not have oil money Trinidad and Tobago has been dependent upon and most of its foreign exchange is earned from tourism.

As regional partners there is no doubt that we currently need each other and will continue to need each other. It is imperative that measures be taken to facilitate the movement and migration between both countries and special consideration given to the natural pull on the resources of the host country.

We can only address this present concern from the perspective of Trinidad and Tobago.   Recently, 13 Jamaicans were deported from Trinidad and Tobago and it has raised some concerns in both countries.

According to Minister of National Security Gary Griffith, “It is to be noted that at this present time, there are more than 19,000 Jamaicans in Trinidad and Tobago who have entered at legitimate ports of entry, but who have remained illegally and cannot be accounted for.” He further stated, “that these people are dependent on State resources such as education and health care, may be employed and are not subject to taxes, which amounts to a loss of revenue of over TT$1 billion per annum.”

Clearly there are “pull factors” that Trinidad and Tobago has that causes these individuals stay. The Jamaican government should produce similar numbers of Trinidad and Tobago nationals residing in Jamaica “under the shadows” who benefit from the state resources while residing in the country “illegally.”   Producing these numbers should not be for the purpose of going tit-for-tat, but just for the sake of knowing and identifying patterns and ultimately determining reasons for migration.     Are the skilled workers? Are they unskilled workers? How do they and how can they contribute to the national economy of the host nation while still meeting their personal reasons that prompted migration.

In regards to the use of language and the sensitivity needed when dealing with immigration, the concept of being “illegal” and living “under the shadows” is one we must be careful with and use another terms to categorize these individuals that is “humanizing.” The same exists in the United States whereby the language used to describe immigrants has a dehumanizing connotation including the use of the term “alien.” Human beings are not illegal neither are they aliens and a more appropriate term such as “undocumented immigrants” is becoming the language used to refer to those whose immigration status currently violates the law governing immigration of the host country.   For example, the term “alien” was even removed from what we commonly know as “green cards.”

The government does not have the time or resources to round up 19,000 Jamaicans to deport them back to Jamaica. Access to education would not being denied to children in the primary and secondary schools neither would healthcare being denied to those who are sick at the public hospitals.   Given this, efforts must be taken to bring these people out of shadows so they can be contributors towards our national economy and to better facilitate the reasons they choose to stay in Trinidad and Tobago.

At the same token, every government must be mindful that its first obligation is towards its citizens.   This must remain true in developed nations, developing nations and even those nations those countries that are underdeveloped.   Our borders must continue to remain open that facilitate the movement of people keeping in mind that this problem will not go away.   People will overstay their time in an effort to create a better life for themselves and their families.   This is the basic issue of immigration.     It is a policy issue that requires innovative measures in the most humane and diplomatic manner.

Ideally, immigration issues would be easily resolved if everyone followed the law. In fact, there would be no issue, but this is wishful and illogical thinking because immigration is a good thing because of what immigrants contribute to the host country.   On a policy dimension this relationship must be a symbiotic relationship as opposed to a one directional relationship that burdens the host nation.

Among our regional neighbors, Jamaica is probably the country with the largest number of immigrants to Trinidad and Tobago because of the size of its population, unlike Guyana, who population is less than 800,000.     It is a numbers game and while the Jamaican case stands out as it relates to Trinidad and Tobago, every immigrant “under the shadow” but often in plain sight is a cost to the host nation, but measures can be implemented to change this where everyone benefits and no one is marginalized or stigmatized.

We are stronger as a region when we are integrated.   According to Jamaican officials, the Minister of National Security Gary Griffith should “refrain from continuing to muddy the integration waters,” and further described the Minister’s statements as “hostile and disrespectful and merits the strongest response from our government.”   This rhetoric must be toned down because it will get us nowhere and with all respect the Minister of National Security has a job to do.

 

We encourage greater dialogue between both nations.   There are more than enough areas where we can benefit from each other through the movement of our respective peoples and create a symbiotic immigration policy that includes the collection of taxes so everyone’s stay is earned.

 

  

 

The end is near, or is it?

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If he survives, this upcoming week would mark the 4th week of Dr. Kublalsingh’s hunger strike.   On Sunday, the 26th day of his hunger strike he was hospitalized and according to reports he will be kept overnight for observation.   It is time that good sense on the part of Dr. Kublalsingh and his followers of the High Re-Route Movement prevail and bring the hunger strike to an end and efforts taken to save his life.

One might argue that Dr. Kublalsingh is fighting for what he believes in. According to Peter Minshell, our preeminent mas man, he compared Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh to the great Mahatma Gandhi.   Minshall recently played the lord of light and took time to berate the Honorable Prime Minister calling her the Princess of Darkness. Despite the fact that she sent a delegation from the Inter-Religious Organization to meet with Dr. Kublalsingh to urge him to save his life, the delegated was rebuffed and he intends on continuing his hunger strike even if death comes knocking on his door.

The antics of Dr. Kublalsingh are attempts to play on the nation’s emotions.   While he has every right to fight for a cause he believes in, what this man is trying to do is to hold the Government to ransom.   This is not how governments operate and this government must not give into Dr. Kublalsingh, his followers and those who wish to rally around his cause for the sake of political mileage.     This man is making a choice of his own free will not to eat or drink. As the clock ticks away the country sits and wait for what would be the unfortunate news that a human life was lost, we have to acknowledge that this was own doing and not the responsibility of the government.

There is no doubt that he has made his way into the history books but one must understand the tone and vibes of a country. Most, will consider him a fool. The fact that he is engaging on this hunger strike alone with support from some prominent voices including the Roman Catholic Archbishop, Peter Minshell and those who wait to capitalize on his death out of political bitterness towards the current government, it is they who should be held accountable for his death. They have failed to advise him on the path of life and allowed him to pursue his death.

Given that much of what goes on in Trinidad is for show, this is perhaps the biggest one we have witnessed so far.   To compare a man who wishes to delay development to the people of the South to that of Mahatma Gandhi who liberated the Indian subcontinent and millions of people from British colonization is beyond silly.   Let Minshall stick to making mas and stop playing di ass and or the lord of light.   This is theatre and pure theatrics and perhaps the lord of light he played last Friday is the light that is now calling Kublalsingh to his demise.

While we expect uproar should Dr. Kublalsingh make his transition the government must stay its course.   Efforts to engage the Highway Re-route Movement will prove futile and useless.   The temperance of our country is not one of patience but we must allow due process prevail.   We are all aware of the facts regarding the highway and though we all may not agree we must do what is in the best interest of the majority and the people of South Trinidad. Kublalsingh has made this about Kublalsingh but the thousands who reside in South Trinidad who need this highway to improve the quality of the lives should be who and what this is about.

So while we cannot be crass about the potential loss of a human life because even in writing we understand the sanctity of life, this concept of is alien to Dr. Kublalsingh and those who supports his cause as he drifts into arms of death. May God have mercy on his soul in this life and the next.

 

Political Leader or Political Slave Driver

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No one knows what will happen tomorrow. We can only deal with the present based on our knowledge and experience of the past and make decisions based on preferred outcomes of the future.   After a more than week of the absence of the Prime Minister in Trinidad and Tobago the Opposition Leader had an opportunity to command the narrative on national issues and demonstrate his capacity as prime minister.   We have seen enough, the record is there and Trinidad and Tobago we must not make the mistake to elect Dr. Keith Rowley as Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

This is not even about the PNM anymore. This is about a dangerous man on a quest for power. Based on past knowledge, his current actions and no vision of a preferred future for our country that will build on the nation’s diversity, foster greater inclusiveness and create bridges of tolerance and understanding among the citizens from all walks of life; this man is a clear and present danger.   After boasting about being the longest standing political party in the nation is Dr. Keith Rowley the best the PNM can offer, not only to Trinidad and Tobago but also to the world.

I have many friends and family who are supporters of the People’s National Movement.  I come from a PNM extended family so this is not about PNM people, but I cannot lose my voice which is more important than my vote and remain silent. My duty is to inform and educate and I am not going to stay silent about the dangerous leadership of their political leader Dr. Keith Rowley and what will happen to Trinidad and Tobago should we elect this man Prime Minister on both the national and international level as it relates to our development status, regional leadership and global integration in a borderless world.

Keith Rowley is all about Keith Rowley and Keith Rowley does not care about you.

Being one of the longest serving parliamentarians is an easy job especially if you have done nothing significant. The man could not even build a fish market in his constituency.   Where is the shame of this man?   This man deserve a beating worse than what Kunta Kinte received in the movie Roots; not for himself being a slave, but for keeping people in a form of political bondage and economic marginalization. Keith Rowley is political slave driver, not even the owner of the plantation, but because the real owners (the financiers) are absent (and does not have a voter base) he occupies the big house and does so through the use of aggression and verbal violence.   We must keep him confined to his political plantation or we must encourage those in bondage under his oppressive reign to runaway.

Before you dismiss this as propaganda, let us examine a quote of the Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire who wrote Pedagogy of Oppressed.   According to Freire, “As long as the oppressed remain unaware of the causes of their condition, they fatalistically accept their exploitation.” Fatalistically refers to death as the only escape.   How similar is this to the saying we all know: “ah PNM till a ded.”

If death is your only escape from political bondage and economic marginalization by a slave driver that looks just like you and he is not even the owner of the said plantation the consequences for those of us who live in freedom and recognize the exploitation of the oppressed will be worse.   Let us not go to sleep like some waiting on deliverance by death but let us be assured that the sun will rise tomorrow and the light will shine and illuminate the dark areas of our land, our minds and penetrate more so the minds of those who refuse to open their eyes.

Our nation and the institutions of our state must take precedence over the interest of one man and those who sit under his oppressive rule and poorly advise him that makes him look like a continuous fool. After a police station was attacked by criminal elements the failure of the Opposition Leader to visit the Besson Street Police Station in a stance of solidarity with the police officers of our nation, is a foreshadowing of his policies.  While our police service still has a long way to go by getting rid of the rouge elements within their ranks and solving dangerous crime, Dr. Keith Rowley has undermined our police service officers time and time again not only by his words, but by his recent actions this week playing with spent ammunition shells.

We are at crossroads Trinidad and Tobago. We are on the verge of perpetual darkness under the leadership of Dr. Keith Rowley as Prime Minister.   While we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, we can be assured that the sun will rise tomorrow and that seeds of hope are were planted and watered through the visionary leadership of the Honourable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar both at home and abroad. We must line up our vision and voice behind the leadership of our current prime minister because there is no alternative and failure to do so will usher in a period of darkness, but let us be courageous and engage the politics of light.

Though we may be scattered abroad our hearts and minds are very connected to Trinidad and Tobago.   The principles rooted in our founding as a relatively young democracy are principles that we can share with the world, including the United States: every creed and race find an equal place, discipline, tolerance and production.

We cannot share Dr. Keith Rowley with the world.

What is a KRISIS?

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The easiest answer to that question will be Keith Rowley as Prime Minister in 2015 given the fact the Honourable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar declared her support for against terrorism while at the United Nations in New York last week.   The leadership of the PM last week at the UN must be commended and again she has demonstrated her suitability for leading Trinidad and Tobago for a second term.   ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) will still be a factor next year and a continued threat to the peace and security of the civilized world.

Let us ask another question: Who would you rather represent Trinidad and Tobago during the 2015 UN General Assembly? Kamla or Keith? Our answer is resoundingly Kamla.   Here is why. She has drawn a defining line on concrete that demonstrates our support for international action against terrorism and terrorist fighters who might seek to return to their homeland to launch possible attacks.

This was a strong and significant stance for a small island developing state.   This will have an impact on the wider region through CARICOM and steps should be taken to ensure that small island developing states have the necessary legislation in place to prevent returning nationals with connections to ISIS and other known terrorist organizations.   Furthermore legislative mechanisms must be in place to prevent terrorists and their financiers from using our banks to move monies to support their deadly actions.

Dr. Keith Rowley’s criticism of the PM stance has officially disqualified him from ever gracing the platform of the United Nations to address world leaders and by extension the world. This is evidence of a distorted worldview that not only embraces radical extremism and fundamentalism but it is becoming the defining philosophy and ideology of the PNM under the leadership of Dr. Rowley. Will the UN be the scene as it has in the past of the chants of madmen in the likes of former Libyan ruler Colonel Gaddafi or former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? What rapport will Dr. Rowley cultivate with world leaders who have taken a decisive stance against terrorism?

Under the leadership of Dr. Rowley the PNM has blazed the trail defining itself as right-wing neo-nationalist party.   The failure to condemn global terrorism by the political leader they have taken on a new position of isolationist. This is a dangerous and threatening development that will marginalize Trinidad and Tobago should Dr. Rowley become Prime Minister.     The world rejected ideology of this nature and underpinning when Germany was defeated during World War II, which led to the establishment of the United Nations.   Should Dr. Rowley ever have the opportunity to address the United Nations General Assembly he will undermine the very existence of that institution.     This will be a krisis for Trinidad and Tobago with the initials of Keith Rowley all over it. We cannot allow this to happen. It will be consequential because we don’t know what his intentions.   Neutrality against global terrorism is not an option for a developing state, regardless of its location, geographic size and population.

All nations know their capacity but nations must seek to stand of the right side of history.   What are the economic consequences and implications of an isolationist foreign policy?   Divestment is just a beginning.   Will the Northern Range become the next hideout for terrorists like mountains and caves of Afghanistan?

Let us bring it closer to home.   The gangs and open warfare in our country evident by the actions of some individuals last Thursday night was an open attack against the state.   In other words, it is terrorism.   Anytime people are terrified, it is a form of terrorism and ironically Dr. Rowley has failed to condemn this. The people of Laventille and environs, the strongholds of the PNM live under the daily threat of terrorism.   This is not only because of guns and bullets but the vicious cycle of psychological terrorism that threatens the little they may have because of policies that were perpetuated by the PNM since the founding of our nation in 1962.

The conditions are ripe for the type of terrorism that blows up buildings and bring down airplanes or use them as weapons of destruction.   Disenfranchised young men with guns that create with them a false sense of empowerment whereby they terrify their neighbors and brazen enough to attack the state.     This was the script for 1990. It must never happen again.

We repeat: This is evidence of a distorted worldview that not only embraces radical extremism and fundamentalism but it is becoming the defining philosophy of the PNM under the leadership of Dr. Rowley.

He is out of touch and we must ask, “what kinda outta timing ting that is?”

He is wrong for Trinidad and Tobago.

He is leading a significant part of the population, many of whom are good people, many of whom are my family members but unable to understand international politics, out of now fault of their own.

As one talk show host said, “they are lost in a wilderness darker than sin.”

Let us take heed and reject this.

Dr Keith Rowley is a KRISIS.

Or is he part of ISIS?

3 for 1: PM on ISIS, Kublalsingh continues to starve & Bullets on Besson Street

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I have no clue where to begin but the intention is to kill a few birds with one stone.   While I could have addressed all three issues in three separate pieces, time does not permit today. We will address the PM on the international stage at the UN, the continued hunger strike of Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh and the events at the Besson Street Police Station on Thursday night as it relates to the fight against crime in Trinidad and Tobago.

Much of the PM’s time was spent at the United Nations 69th General Assembly at the annual converging of world leaders in New York City.     Most notably was the PM stance against global terrorism as the world responds to the international threat of ISIS.   The PM addressed the Security Council and acted as a co-sponsor to the unanimously agreed up resolution brought by the United States President Barack Obama against foreign terrorist fighters.

As a small island developing state Trinidad and Tobago may not have the manpower or capacity to send tomahawk missiles to blow up ISIS terrorists camps, but the fight against terrorism is a borderless global fight.   The financial and funding networks required to move money globally to fund terrorist operations is an example of one thing small states can do.   Ensuring appropriate legislation to prosecute those who fund and channel money to terrorist and terrorist organizations and mechanisms for intelligence collection and sharing between states are factors that must be taken into consideration and small states can lead this charge.

So while Trinidad and Tobago won’t be bombing ISIS measures to ensure that the state does not condone terrorism co-sponsorship was as step in right direction. There are even reports that nationals (upwards of 50) of Trinidad and Tobago are fighting with ISIS in Syria. The awareness factor is a strong international stance to do the right thing while supporting measures that are in the what is in the best interest for humanity.

Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh continues his hunger strike with hopes that he will remain alive before the Prime Minister returns to Trinidad and Tobago.   This man has a death wish and must come to the realization before his impending demise due to his failure to eat that the highway will be built. There will be no re-routing and his shortsighted belief that his possibly death will be on the hands of the PM and her government.

This public relations stunt as so evidently realized by Kublalsingh’s desire to fly to New York to meet with the PM during her trip to the United Nations is but one example of why he should stop and find a new cause.     This behavior should not be condoned and Dr. Kublalsingh must stop his antics whether they involve sending “tires of shame” to the PM’s residence or starving himself for public attention. Should he consider himself fit enough to provide some measure of spiritual leadership for Trinidad and Tobago perhaps he should fast (which is different from a hunger strike) to get a revelation on strategies for fighting crime.

Lastly, as a nation we need a come to Jesus moment when dealing with crime. If you are not supporting criminals then neutrality is not an option when tackling crime. There should be no politics involved in fighting crime in the same way there should be no politics when dealing with terrorism.   However, in Trinidad and Tobago crime has major political overtones and historical implications.   We know the hotspots and where they are located.   For some reason there is connection between the hotspots and areas that are historically represented by a political party. While we would want to believe that this is more accidental than systematic, it is not.

Who in their right minds conducts a drive by shooting on a police station with high-powered assault rifles like what happened on Thursday night at the Besson Street Police station. Uhhmm, terrorists! They might not be as diabolical as ISIS but they are just as deadly. When they attack those responsible for keeping us safe it is evidence that there is a breakdown in the system somewhere but these answers are not easy to find nor are these problems easy to solve.   However, when it is necessary they must feel the full force of the state. Yes there are concerns about the police shootings and rouge police officers but this small minority cannot dominate the narrative nor should they marginalize and negatively alter the perception of the public of police officers and soldiers of Trinidad and Tobago, the majority of whom are decent and hardworking.

The plight of these hotspot communities must be heard but we as a nation, and they as residents must be must be honest to comprehensively deal with it.   There must first be an understanding that the state cannot be threatened nor put under unnecessary pressure to accommodate the criminal element.   The majority of the residents in these communities are law-abiding citizens who live in a space occupied by the criminal element that wants to be in control. The state must not tolerate this and all efforts to squash it must be utilized.