TT living in fear
By STACY MOORE Wednesday, May 7 2014
THE head of one of the country’s business chambers yesterday said crime continues to be a major problem for the business sector and citizens including businessmen continue to live in fear of being victims of crime.
Addressing the launch of the Sugar to Energy Festival at the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber headquarters at Campden Road, Couva, President Lily Lela Herai declared, “crime continues to be a major concern, problem and drawback for our country. We all continue to live in fear for our children and ourselves, not only on the streets but in our schools and homes.”
She made the observation on the backdrop of the weekend assassination of prominent attorney and former Independent Senator Dana Seetahal. “Today we mourn the loss of one of our country’s most prominent citizens, Dana Seetahal,” Herai said.
Herai noted that as a country, “we continue to advocate for a proactive approach in the fight against crime and call for more security and protective measures.”
Herai’s views were echoed by Southern Businessmen Association (SBA) president Daphne Bartlett, who in an interview with Newsday said the assassination would influence the freedom of expression as persons would now be hesitant to air their views on matters of national importance.
“People would now be scared and more than a little concerned about their lives,” Bartlett said, adding that members of the business organisation who lived through the 1990 attempted coup, had remarked about the similarities within the country in terms of deep seated fear, between the attempted coup and Seetahal’s assassination.
“The same type of fear that pervaded society during the attempted coup has now sprung up with Ms Seetahal’s murder and again this has to do with the type of weapons used and even the timing of her death,” Bartlet said. “We used to think we lived in a democratic country but it seems this is no longer the case.”
Speaking on the Sugar to Energy Festival, Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed announced that $500,000 was being donated to the festival. Hadeed said that such festivals should be encouraged in the country as it would help to bring communities together.
“It is important that communities come together. And this should be the first of a series of similar type festivals.” The Sugar to Energy Festival will commence on June 6 and ends on June 8.