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Saturday 15 August, 2020

Opposition MP: Rowley can't give any country crime-fighting advice

Oropouche West MP Vidia Gayadeen-Gopeesingh is condemning Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for what she described as his refusal to roll out a feasible anti-crime plan and labelled his comments at a press conference in Barbados "embarrassing".

A journalist in Barbados asked Dr Rowley what advice he would give to the country to treat with crime and he reportedly said, "The peo­ple from T&T will raise their eyebrows at you ask­ing me for ad­vice in crime-fight­ing. The only thing I will say though is that the level of violence in society is a feature in the modern world.”

Still, Gayadween-Gopeesingh slammed the Prime Minister questioning whether he has any authority to speak on solutions to crime. She said his government is responsible for the exponential growth in murders, robberies and elderly abuse over the past four years and further questioned whether Dr Rowley spent enough time in Trinidad and Tobago to witness what citizens experience daily "to stand by such nonsensical pronouncements."

The UNC MP also criticised the Rowley regime's style of governance. 

"Dr Rowley’s desperation to hold on to the reins of power is showing, given the fact that his government has failed to perform in every conceivable sector and the population no longer believes that he can lead this country. It is common knowledge that the Prime Minister has always disregarded foreign intervention in national security matters, for instance, his churlish approach to foreign advice on the Venezuelan situation, so his attempt to impress the Barbadians is laughable," she said.

This comment was made although Dr Rowley mentioned to Barbadian reporters that an international expert will be coming to Trinidad and Tobago to speak about crime and violence as a public health issue.

However, she took issue with the fact that the expert was external.

“Further to that, he has ostracized local experts who spent time conducting valuable research on crime and law enforcement. It has been almost two years since Professor Ramesh Deosaran presented the 600 page report on the police manpower audit. To date, the only notable change is the appointment of a Commissioner of Police. Dr Selwyn Ryan did considerable research on crime among youths, why hasn’t he been contacted. We have the experts and they have conducted the research then why not engage these reputable individuals to come up with solutions since they are both based here and understand our culture?”

Gayadeen-Gopeesingh accused Dr Rowley of attempting to downplay the situation adding that it cannot be compared to Barbados.

“The level of heinous crimes that occur in Trinidad and Tobago is incomparable, trying to put both countries in the same light is totally ridiculous.”

Dr Rowley was speaking at a conference in Barbados on Saturday after his counterpart Mia Mottley signed a memorandum of understanding as it relates to new gas and oil wells being discovered between their territories.

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