Opposition: Warner must apologise
By Sasha Harrinanan Wednesday, October 10 2012
The People’s National Movement (PNM) has condemned yesterday’s announcement by National Security Minister Jack Warner that the Opposition party is to blame for a murder in Laventille, yesterday, after 28 days of no killings in the community.
The party also objects to Warner’s decision to instruct the police not to release figures on murders.
Stephon Morris was gunned down in Laventille early yesterday morning, prompting Warner’s outcry that the Opposition was to blame because it did not support Government’s anti-crime measures.
In response, PNM MP for Laventille West NiLeung Hypolite called on Warner to apologise.
“Jack Warner needs to apologise to the PNM. We have always publicly stated and continue to state that we are totally against crime. And we continue to make that statement openly. We also say that anything put in place to deal with crime we will support. The gentleman who got killed did not live in Laventille so if that is the case, how is this a PNM murder?”
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley could not be reached for comment. However on his twitter account, a brief statement said, “does Jack Warner ever listen to himself?” Followed by the hash tag “chronic-foot-in-mouth”.
PNM Public Relations Officer (PRO) Faris Al-Rawi said the party was shocked by Warner’s statements.
“It is with shock, horror and disgust that we have noted the statement made by Minister Warner that there should be a ban on the release of information pertaining to murders.”
Al-Rawi said he had no doubts that Warner’s comments stood in defiance of good public policy and what was required of him as a senior public official.
“They are irresponsible not only because they are vague, deceptive and childish, but more particularly, because they are an insult to the nation to which Minister Warner owes a duty. He has effectively said he is not providing any more statistics on murders in this country,” Al-Rawi declared.
He argued that Warner’s stated intentions were in contradiction to the Police Service’s 21st Century Policing initiative, “which includes more interaction and communication with the media.”
This initiative was implemented by former Commissioner of Police, Canadian Dwayne Gibbs, who resigned after mounting pressure from Government, the Opposition and other quarters of society.
Al-Rawi said Warner’s decision was “a clear indication that Minister Warner seems intent on controlling the Police Service. We must therefore stand united against what appears to be an intrusion on the independence and separation of the Police Service.”
He also told Newsday the National Security Minister’s “attempt to stifle the true statistics in TT very much resembles his Government’s failure to provide information from the Central Statistical Office (CSO).”
“Contrary to PNM days, the CSO has been unable to publish unemployment or inflation statistics, or any other meaningful economic data, since the People’s Partnership has come into office,” Al-Rawi stated.