Cipriani statue

PAINTED OVER: Sherwin Mason of the Engineering Department at the Port of Spain City Corporation paints over explicit graffiti on the base of the Cipriani statue yesterday on Independence Square, Port of Spain. Looking on are Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez, centre, and Anthony Boneo, works supervisor at the city corporation.

Protesters took their anger out on both the Commissioner of Police and a deceased labour leader and politician yesterday.

An unidentified protester painted the words “F--k Gary” on all sides of the base of the statue of politician Arthur Andrew Cipriani (1875-1945) at the Brian Lara Promenade in Port of Spain.

The graffiti seemed to be directed towards Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.

It followed several hours of sometimes violent clashes between protesters and police across Port of Spain and parts of the East-West Corridor and at Corinth Hills in Pleasantville on Tuesday.

Not long after the statue was defaced, Mayor of Port of Spain Joel Martinez said workers were sent to the site to paint over the profanity on the base.

Martinez said he was present at the scene.

He said when the crew had completed painting the statue, police accompanying him and his crew were instructed to respond to a report of debris blocking George Street.

A Sangre Grande woman looking on at the paint job yesterday was asked how she felt about the protests in Port of Spain.

She did not want to be identified but said she was grateful to the Police Service for its handling of protesters in Beetham Gardens and Sea Lots on Tuesday.

She said the police did a good job getting protesters to stop long enough for commuters to get in and out of Port of Spain safely.


Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries Clarence Rambha­rat has written to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith requesting an investigation into a possible “criminal conspiracy” involving two senior public officers in the granting of several tenancies for State lands.

In a letter dated November 3, 2020, Rambharat asked Griffith to have the matters referred to the Fraud Squad.

“I have no comment to make. It is going to be war this time.”

That was the response of a senior Government official suspected of being involved in “criminal conspiracy” involving the granting of several tenancies for State land.

Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries Clarence Rambharat has written to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith asking for a probe into the matter.

The lead scientist monitoring the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano, Prof Richard Robertson, said yesterday he expects the current explosive eruptions to be bigger than what occurred in 1979.

Robertson said that overnight the seismic tremors that have been ongoing at the volcano generated energetic venting, and that the size of the tremor peaked between 8 p.m. and midnight on Friday, and slowly declined over the next few hours.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has criticised Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for what he called her attempts to politicise his Covid-19 diagnosis.

In a statement yesterday, Rowley stressed that he had no symptoms of the virus during a news conference on March 27 nor when he attended a parliamentary sitting the day before.