Sir David: TT society changed after 1990
Friday, March 14 2014
THINGS Trinidad and Tobago society changed markedly after the year 1990, Sir David Simmons, the chairman of the enquiry into the events of July 1990, said yesterday as he expressed the view that his report should be made public saying it contains lessons for the country.
In an interview with Newsday, Sir David gave a personal impression of Trinidad and Tobago post-1990, saying crime, violence and people’s attitudes changed after that year.
“My wife and I used to come to Trinidad every year for Carnival and we would go to the tents and pre-Carnival events,” Sir David disclosed. “But after 1990, everything changed. Trinidad really changed. In the succeeding years I noticed a definite change in the quality of life; one’s sense of security, safety and comfort.”
Simmons said he was in the country on a regular basis almost every month between 2002 to 2005 in relation to preparation for the start of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
“Even then, I was noticing the increased violence and attitudinal changes, increased gun crimes and drug crime,” Sir David said. He would not, however, go so far as to link the violent events of 1990 to this larger social shift or to rule out a link. “This is an area where I really think there is a lot of fertile ground for sociological research,” he said. Sir David and the commissioners yesterday handed over their report to President Anthony Carmona at the Office of the President, St Ann’s. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is expected to present the report to Parliament today. Asked if the report would be made public, Sir David expressed the opinion that it should be.
Sir David said the report was not hamstrung by the failure of Jamaat Al Muslimeen leader Abu Bakr to testify. “We got it all,” Sir David said. “Because fortunately a lot of people from that period are still with us. And there were many affidavits sworn for all of the court cases that had been heard.”