IT always escapes my logic, both from a practical sense and a political sense as to why the Opposition chooses to adopt as its strategy, the non-support of anti-crime bills.

I would think it’s just good politics to be hard on crime.

Their list of objections is a long one, ranging from previous Anti-Gang bills, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Anti-Money Laundering bills, Gun Control bills and many others which the Commissioner of Police himself has pleaded for.

By our own observation and experience, gang activity runs rampant in this country and is linked to guns, drugs, human trafficking and a long list of other crimes which plague our citizens.

Further, our number one benchmark for crime–the murder rate –is directly linked in a large way to gang activity; just look at the statistics.

So, it is definitely good policy and strategy to target the heart of criminality, gangs and gang activity.

From this perspective, it still eludes as to why the Opposition, after introducing this Bill and passing it as law in their term, using it in anti-crime measures, cannot see the merit in extending this critical piece of legislation.

Further, another government is denied using this critical tool in its crime fighting arsenal.

Worse yet, persons charged under this Act and still in the legal system may have just gotten a literal, “get out of jail free” card.

I understand in the cut and thrust of politics there are certain posturing which must take place but crime is not an issue to play politics with. This is the number one issue plaguing citizens and every element in a carefully put together crime fighting plan is critical and serves its purpose. For me it’s a travesty to see the Anti-Gang law expire. While us citizens register our extreme disappointment, I’m sure champagne will be popping and Hennessey pouring as gangsters celebrate.

Vyash Nandlal



Carnival pores now raising up. Driven in part by the regret of pockets not filling, there are calls to do something to mark the spot normally occupied by the Carnival season.

But Sekon Sta (Nesta Boxill) is smarter than all of those who are belatedly rushing into the headlines. In the words of Sparrow, “Ah wish I coulda go and shake he han”. I might invite him to change his name to First Sta, in recognition of being the first to re-jig a Carnival product for pandemic times.

The judgment delivered by Justice Frank Seepersad on Wednesday in favour of this newspaper, its editor-in-chief and publishing company underscores the urgent need for strengthening legislative protection of press freedom and journalistic sources.

Tribalism has dominated the politics of Trinidad and Tobago since self-government, with our two major political parties having their support bases in the two major races in the country.

Last Thursday, in his response to a letter written by 23 Afro-Trinbagonians about the placement of black pupils in our secondary schools, Kamal Persad, coordinator of the Indian Review Committee, responded: “It is clear the under-performance of Afro-children in the education system is still at the top of the black agenda. Accordingly, these 23 persons of African descent adopted an unmistakable black race position.” (Express, January 14).

The urgency with which this nation must address the issues that threaten to throw us back into the Stone Age cannot be over-emphasised.

We were already in deep trouble when Covid-19 struck with pandemic force in early 2020, sending us reeling from blows to the body, the mind, even the spirit. The energy and petrochemicals sectors faced grim circumstances, the availability of natural gas, the key feedstock of the latter’s operations, being of grave concern, and the markets for their products saturated and dampened.

Some say that in our diversification thrust we should choose distribution and sales of products/services made by others, as opposed to manufacturing. The justification for this is that such companies are among the highest earners in the world, and that Trinidad and Tobago is too small to compete globally in manufacturing.