Wednesday, August 24, 2011

State of Emergency Trinidad & Tobago Day 3

I just cannot share my feelings on this at the moment as there are so many unanswered questions.  

These are some of the rules and regulations during a State of Emergency:
  • The State of Emergency grants special powers to the police and military:
  • Search and seizure powers will not require a search warrant;
  • Military to have power to arrest and detain before transfer to the police;
  • Police can arrest and detain for up to 24 hours after which a magistrate, or assistant superintendent (or higher), will be able to add an extra 7 days;
  • No bail for those arrested during the State of Emergency;
  • Courts no longer will have the power to grant bail.
It is strongly advised you to respect the curfew in the affected areas and to comply with directives issued by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, military and police units.. Travel times might be affected by these measures, so ensure you have sufficient time to reach your destination before curfew
This is the advisory from the British High Commission.

  • On 21 August 2011, a Limited State of Emergency was called into effect by the Prime Minister. There is a curfew in place for designated "hotspots" in Trinidad from 21:00 to 05:00 local time. Although the State of Emergency extends to Tobago, the island has no designated "hotspots" and is not affected by the curfew. We strongly advise you to respect the curfew in the affected areas and to comply with directives issued by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, military and police units.  
  • You should be aware that there are high levels of violent crime, especially shootings and kidnappings. British nationals have been victims of violent attacks, particularly in Tobago where law enforcement is weak.
  • 38 British nationals required consular assistance in Trinidad and Tobago in the period April 2010 - March 2011.
  • There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. 
    Believe me, living in the tropics is not all that it's cracked up to be!

Monday, August 22, 2011

State of Emergency

A limited State of Emergency has been put into place in this twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. I don't have time to write about it now but this is how CNN reported it.

They say a 'partial state of emergency' when in effect, the whole island is being shut down..

Authorities impose curfews on Trinidad and Tobago

By the CNN Wire Staff
August 22, 2011 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
Port Of Spain, Trinidad (CNN) -- A partial state of emergency was imposed Monday on crime hotspots across Trinidad and Tobago, and the government said it will enforce curfews in certain areas to curb the spiraling rate of drug-related murders in the Caribbean islands.
This weekend alone, 11 people were fatally shot, bringing the total for the year so far to 264, authorities said.

Speaking to the media, Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who took office 16 months ago said her national security advisers believe the discovery and seizure of large amounts of cocaine this past week may be responsible for the untenable situation.
She said, "We will search them out and bring them to swift justice," noting that her government will not allow a handful of thugs to hold ransom the majority of law abiding citizens of Trinidad and Tobago which celebrates its 49th year of independence on August 31.

Journalist Gideon Hanoomansingh contributed to this

Monday, August 15, 2011

London Burning

This blog should really go up on Bee Up Front and Serious but I doubt that anyone will read it there.  Maybe no one will read it here either but I need to get  this out of my system.

Last week was a terrible time in my homeland and although I wasn't there I followed the events on the news stations and in the British press.  I called friends to ensure they were safe but their reassurances did not calm my turmoil.   My stomach has now stopped churning and I'm a little less disturbed than I was a few days ago.  Funny how one may be away from what's going on but still be affected by it.

The entire episode has made me very, very angry. angry for many reasons but most of all, angry at the total breakdown of a society and the lawlessness which those with an ounce of integrity, should have seen coming.

I am sick to death of hearing about Human Rights. Sick to death of hearing the excuses being given for the torching, rioting and looting that went on in London, its environs and other cities last week.  There are no excuses. I don't care whether you are black, white,  pink, yellow, jobless, disenfranchised, from a one parent family, a drop out, a primary school teacher, mentally or physically challenged, a casualty of the last Labour Government or of the fifteen month old Conservative government. I am sick to death of hearing that it's a 'culture thing', of whites trying to be black, of music and television being a major influential in the lives of our young people.

Tell me, how can anyone condone the words of a 17year old girl, drinking her looted wine from a bottle, telling the BBC interviewer that they were doing this to get at the rich and to let the police know that they can do anything they want?

I have always said that discipline starts in the home. Children need boundaries and they need to be taught right from wrong.  Whilst there were some things that I would not have put my head on a block for  in favour of my children as they were growing up, I certainly would put my head on a block for both of them where the events of last week are concerned.  I know that they would never have entered into such mayhem.  How to I know? Because from very early o'clock they were taught right from wrong and that one has to be accountable for things unacceptable to society. You do the crime, you pay the time.  I am sick of hearing parents say that they are not responsible for the behaviour of their children as one woman said yesterday after her son was caught on camera and has been charged.  She now faces possible eviction from her government apartment because of a 1985 law which in a nutshell, stipulates that anyone with a history of criminality, or by association (i.e. family member) is not entitled to live in a state owned property.  I understand fully that she was not the one who looted, was caught and charged and possibly faces a prison sentence but I have a problem when she hits the national media saying that her human rights are being violated. 

Maybe now is the time to make an example of people.  Maybe now is the time for people to take back their country - from the thugs, the hooligans, from every Tom. Dick and Harry who decides to land on Britain's shores and use it as a bolt hole.  Maybe now is the time to become more discerning where social welfare is concerned and maybe now is the time to stop handing everything to people, on a plate.  Maybe now is the time to institute a system as near as dammit it to compulsory National Service, to hold parents accountable for the children's misbehaviour, to bring back Teachers Training Colleges, to put Heads instead of principals back into schools,  to put morning assemblies with prayers back into schools, to put Matrons back into hospitals, to put pride back into a country where every Briton no matter where they originated from, can live in peace and harmony knowing they are safe.

I am sharing here photos of the London Daily Mail which show the less hostile events of last week.

Photographs taken from the London Mail

Could you sleep easy knowing that your child, husband or any relative had taken part in this?  One mother who saw her daughter who had excelled at school, who held various athletic records, had modelled and was to be an Ambassador at the London Olympics 2012, on television committing the crime of looting, turned her in saying that she didn't love her any less, that it was a hard decision but it was the right one to make. 

I only hope that when David Cameron said the following today, he meant it.:

'Tear up the sentencing guidelines and jail EVERY looter'

  • Two thirds of 1,179 defendants remanded in custody

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Childhood Sweethearts


 Summer Evening, Edward Hopper, 1947
Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales

They had known each other forever. 

Ever since she could remember he had always been there. Long, hot summers had been spent swimming in the lake, barefoot in the river, tree climbing in the woods, picnicking in the fields behind the house, sneaking into her mother's kitchen and pocketing freshly baked cookies being left to cool and sharing packed lunches at school.  In the winter months the snow balls fights, the carrot on the snowman's face, trick or treating, the sledging over the small hills  behind his house,  the ice skating on the frozen pond where they fished in the summer.

The school years, the teenage angst, the college years, the football team, the cheer leading,  friendship turning to love, the break ups, the reconciliations  and then a war.  She promised she would wait and she was there when he came home. 

A year since his homecoming. Families and friends waited with excitement for an announcement from the childhood sweethearts.

A summer evening and he was eager to talk about spending the rest of their lives together.  She could not look him in the eye so she stared down at her shoes.  How was she ever going to be able to tell him that the life she was carrying in her womb, was not his?

Barbara M Lake ©
August 2011
Trinidad West Indies

Tuesday, August 2, 2011



 Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales
A long straight dusty road
Mile after mile of nothing
Except flat land
As far as the eye can see

No t junctions or side roads
To break the monotony
Of driving through
The parched hardened land

A stifling hot afternoon
Not even a hint of breeze
To help cool
Even with all windows down

A dot in the far distance
Looms larger as the
Miles go by
At last a place of refuge

Dozing man on the stoop
A slow turning turbine
Creaks in pain
Breaking the total silence

Barbara Lake ©
August 2011
Trinidad  WI
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...