You are here
Fixin’ T&T rejects Defence bill
Non-governmental organisation Fixin’ T&T, headed by Kirk Waithe, is saying no to the Government’s plan to amend the Defence (Amendment) Bill. If approved, the bill will give members of the Defence Force the same powers, authorities, privileges and immunities given by law to members of the Police Service.
However, in a release yesterday via social network Facebook, the group called on all Congress of the People parliamentarians and all Independent Senators to categorically reject the move, which it describes as “insanity.” “It is dangerous, undemocratic and reckless with the potential to legitimise many of the illegal acts and constitutional breaches that occurred during the 2011 state of emergency.
“No politician must ever be afforded the power to have any type of control over any individual, unit or organisation vested with the powers of arrest,” it said. It said if the bill is passed, for the first time outside of a public emergency, the army, under the control and direction of a government minister, will have the power of arrest, detention, search and seizure, anytime and anywhere without any accountability.
It said in accordance with the current Defence Act, the role of the Defence Force is in the defence of T&T and any such other duties as may be prescribed by the Defence Council, and is therefore accepted that where there is an insurrection against the Republic of T&T, or there exists a state of public emergency, units of the Defence Force are empowered to act. It said the bill must not be supported in any form or fashion.
“If there is a desire or need for any army personnel to engage in police work, those officers must sever ties with the army and apply to become a member of the T&T Police Service under the exclusive direction and purview of the Commissioner of Police,” it said. The group has submitted an application to the T&T Police Service to hold a march outside Parliament on Wednesday from 1.30 pm to midnight, the day debate on the bill is scheduled to resume.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.