Dear Editor

I think more than enough time has passed for us to discuss national issues based on appreciating the facts, rather than just promoting divisiveness and ignorance.

Over and over again I am seeing references to the Drugs Sou Sou and a sou sou itself, tied to the concept of a pyramid scheme.

Sou sous have existed in this country for decades, and in everything I have read, the clamp down on criminals are based on their involvements in pyramid schemes.

At no point do I recall the Police or the Government attempting to put pressure on persons running and participating in sou sous; the focus has been pyramid schemes and there is a big difference.

A sou sou is generally run among persons known to each other and is not now, or has ever been a profit making arrangement. It simply provides an avenue for persons to pool their money in a sort of savings, and what they receive is the sum total of what they contributed.

Not Rowley, not Griffith, not oversight organisations…no one has condemned this kind of arrangement.

That means this issue of “the small man” being taken advantage of is an argument built on a total misunderstanding.

Unless of course, people would rather go all in for some shady promise of put $10 and get back $1,000, without any protection and an enforcement of the law.

This is effectively what a pyramid scheme is; it relies on continuous recruitment and contributions, and promises returns that will not be found in legitimate financial and lending institutions.

What I’m beginning to think exists is a deliberate attempt to misinform by somehow relaying to the population that the police crackdown on pyramid schemes is a crackdown on the ordinary, village based sou sou.

In a time such as the present, where our every waking moment presents new, unthinkable challenges that are taxing us to the hilt, we really do not need to add more burden on our own shoulders by creating issues out of absolutely nothing.

The Police, the State, the Public Service, everyone has more than their fair share to do so let’s just focus on getting on with it and stop this incessant nonsense and misinformation!

And in this regard, the Police deserves commendation for the swift manner in which they are cracking down on the real perpetrators trying to punish “the small man” – the criminals!

Kience Joseph


THE effort that has been put by the Ministry of Health in managing the Covid-19 pandemic now needs to be put into fixing the national public health system.

In responding to the global pandemic, the Government and public health managers have shown that when required they can summon the will, skill and resources to confront a major public health challenge. Yet, they seem chronically unable to address the health system’s basic needs.

IN one of her recent speeches, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said she had been attending meetings on the Estimates. That was a stark reminder that even while dealing with the Covid-19 virus, the business of governance still has to go on and Cabinet still does much business apart from managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Your recent editorials around the coronavirus have been both thoughtful and appropriate.

The policy of allowing international travel only with a ministerial exemption is inequitable and unsustainable. Clearly a new policy based on vaccination, tests and quarantines is badly needed to allow the airport to reopen.

Some few of us appear to lack the same amount of care for the lives of Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) and Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) children as expressed for the plight of young Venezuelan illegals.

I would like to express my gratitude to Judy Kublalsingh for her column “Hypocritical Democrats” in the Express on Thursday (Page 13). Amidst the cheap rhetoric masquerading as political analysis, it was refreshing to see such level-headed discourse from someone among the local intelligentsia.

Please have pity on our doctors and nurses (our heroes). Over the past few months I have been speaking to two friends, one a doctor, the other a nurse. In each case on enquiring about “how they were doing?”, their response invariably was, “Tired!”

I write this in the context of numerous reports of breaches of the Covid-19 Health Regulations, especially the non-wearing of masks and the urge to gather at fetes.