Although the crowd for J’Ouvert seems to be smaller than previous years, Port-of-Spain’s Mayor Joel Martinez said he expected the crowd to get bigger over the two days of Carnival.
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NOC and DOMA in security talks
The murder of Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal, which remains unsolved to date, was at the fore of discussions during a question and answer session hosted by the National Operations Centre (NOC) and the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) at Knowsley building, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Doma’s president Gregory Aboud said it was 68 days since Seetahal was killed on May 4 and to date her killers remained at large. He said: “We didn’t come here to talk about burglaries and robbery and breaking into stores. “The country has far more serious problems than the situation involving businesses which are being broken into from the rooftops.”
Aboud added Seetahal’s murder was a tremendous blow as she was instrumental in making the country safe. He said: “A State prosecutor was murdered in this country 68 days ago and no resolution has come from that and her life was not more important than the life of anybody else who was murdered. We have had murders up until today. “But the reason her murder is so crucial to all of us and to the interest of the citizens is because she was a plank or a pillar by the mechanism by which we were going to make our country safe.” He described Seetahal’s killing as “beautiful life” snuffed out and the loss of a person who could have intervened on the behalf of citizens. “This meeting has a much greater interest to all of us in the downtown Port-of-Spain area. We are concerned about the future of Port-of-Spain but we are very concerned about the future of our country, ” he added.
He said the organisation was not pretending that crime was not taking place at all levels of the society, adding that there were “all kinds of people that should be in handcuffs.” He added: “We are in favour of those who break the law to face the consequences at all levels of the society. This is not to say that we don’t understand the threats that exist everywhere. “We are on the streets of Port-of-Spain and we represent a very keen view about what is taking place in the country.”
Concern for East Port-of-Spain residents
Saying residents of east Port-of-Spain had been the focus of recent attention Aboud added: “But this was also because of the view that you think the rest of the country has of you.” He said the majority of residents in that area represented customers and were employed in the city. He added: “It is a fallacy that we do not hire the people that tell us they are from Piccadilly. The majority of the people that work in Port-of-Spain come from Port-of-Spain and we are concerned about you. “We are concerned that you do the right thing and we are concerned that you are not taken advantage of. “We are not in favour of you stoning police and firetrucks and T&TEC personnel that come to work in your district but by the same token we are not in favour of you being brutalised either,” Aboud said.