UNC poster

damaged: A UNC poster located along the Gulf Link Road,

La Romaine, is alleged to have been vandalised on Wednesday night.

United National Congress (UNC) San Fernando West candidate Sean Sobers’ sub-office in Gulf View was yesterday vandalised with campaign posters and banners being torn and removed.

Sobers told the Express the vandalism, which he considers an open attack on the campaign, was not an isola­ted incident. Many of the party’s signage and posters have been removed, defaced or damaged in the past two weeks, he said. However, yesterday’s attack was the first of its kind.

“This is part of a series of vandalisms that has been ongoing for the last week. A lot of the banners throughout the constituency were torn down. This is the first open attack and criminal action against one of our sub-offi­ces.

“We are going to report the matter to the TTPS (T&T Police Service) because I am very fearful for the safety of the volunteers who work out of that office. As a young person getting into politics, this is not something that I would ever endorse. It is really shocking,” he said.

The UNC’s small container office, which is being temporarily used by volunteers, is located on the premises of a resident. UNC zoning offi­cer Villiana Ramoutarsingh was contacted by this resident yesterday and informed that several of the posters were torn and left on the grounds.

“This morning, I got to the sub-office and the entire front was lined with banners to give us some privacy within the office. This morning, they took down and ripped down everything and went with the banners this time; they went with the banners, broke off the wood and left. At 6.a.m.

“I got a message from the residents’ group that they suspect the banners were torn down; they could see them on the ground. When I got to the office, I could not believe what I saw,” she said.

Ramoutarsingh said approximately 30 similar incidents have occurred. “It is a constant, ongoing set of vandalisms. Everyday so far, they have taken down at least 23 of our banners. It is extremely sickening. I am really tired of this now. We lost about 23 banners, the small ones that are on tie.

“This time, there were five that covered the front of the whole property, about 100 feet long. I would say about 30 times because the banners at TML were damaged this morning as well. I would say they could be replaced, but at this late stage, I’m not sure if it makes any sense.

“On election day, it would have given us some privacy. I am extremely upset about it. It costs money and time and effort, and it’s so close to elections. We were targeted and it shows that there is some desperation among the vandals with regard to this candidate. I didn’t hear of anything happening to any other party. We would not want to retaliate any party in that manner because that is not good politics,” she said.

She added: “What I would have liked is for the oppo­sing candidates to have sent a message to their supporters that this kind of vandalism is wrong and should not be condoned.”

Democratic process

Sobers said political expres­sion remains part of the democratic process. He however noted members of the current administration have yet to condemn such actions against UNC candidates, with similar incidents having happened in Chaguanas East and Toco/Sangre Grande.

He feels the events were po­litically motivated, adding such actions were not con­­doned by his campaign against any other party or politician.

“At the end of the day, elections in Trinidad and Tobago is a democratic process. It is supposed to be free and fair, and everyone has the right to express themselves politically.

“I would want to enquire because this has been happening for some time, and not just in San Fernando. It has happened to Mayor Mohit in Chaguanas and in Toco/Sangre Grande to our candidate there. I am not hearing anybody from the Government condemning the actions of these vandals.

“I am not hearing anything from them, but they are quick to say things about the UNC. This is an open attack. I suspect it was politically motivated. I don’t have any evi­dence to the contrary. Why else would it be happening; we are in that season and elections are on Monday.

“What I want the public to be aware of is that we have never taken and we will never endorse anyone taking actions like this against any political party. This is not what we were about,” he said.

Faris condemns

all vandalism

Contacted for comment, PNM candidate for San Fernando West Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said all acts of vandalism are to be condemned.

“Any vandalism is to be condemned. I too am awaiting Sobers’ condemnation of all my signage and posters, etc. Whilst I condemn this behaviour, I would not put it past my opponents to have done this to themselves, the same way they have hung up a sign saying another vandalised poster,” said Al-Rawi.

The PNM’s candidate for Pointe-a-Pierre, Daniel Dookie, said his campaign was also the victim of vandals, with buntings and posters being ripped down and graffiti being smeared in parts of the constituency.

He said: “I am very disappointed in their actions and the hanging of their banners and flags on T&TEC poles. However, I am not surprised as I know they are running scared.”


THE Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force military uniform is one which is quite distinctive, and what was shown in a video recording and photo by the Sunday Express yesterday, is not military attire.

So says retired Major General Ralph Brown in an interview with the Express yesterday.

Brown was responding to questions from the Express about the procedure used by the military, when choosing soldiers to assist the T&T Police Service, in exercises and the attire of these soldiers.

IT was a soldier, not a policeman.

And an investigation will be launched to determine whether the member of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) committed any criminal act following the release of video footage showing an officer secretly pocketing an envelope during a raid in La Horquetta last week where $22 million in cash was seized from Drugs Sou Sou (DSS).

A captain and the majority of the crew on board the oil and chemical tanker Star Balboa have contracted the Covid-19 virus.

Attorneys are claiming that local law enforcement infected the crew as scores of them have been on board conducting searches of the ship for narcotics. However, to date nothing has been found.

THE National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) has announced a nine-night television and social media event to replace this year’s Divali Nagar.

Divali Nagar 2020 was cancelled due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Yaadein, the virtual event, will begin on November 5 and continue until the night before Divali, the Hindu festival of lights.

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal will not be vying for leadership of the United National Congress (UNC) when internal elections are held.

Vasant Bharath is however likely to challenge incumbent political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar as he said he will be considering throwing his hat in the ring.

UNC leadership and national executive elections are due by November 2020.

No official date has been set yet.