Last update: 10-Dec-2013 1:42 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Death penalty high on agenda
Crime remains the Government’s number one priority. So said Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Tuesday night, hours ahead of today’s talks on crime between the Government and Opposition teams. Speaking with reporters after commissioning lights at the Morne Diablo Recreation Ground, Penal, Persad-Bissessar said while crime was something the People’s Partnership inherited, it was moving to reduce the rate.
She admitted her Government continued to be concerned that “we are not moving fast enough to bring down crime.” While she said the police must be acknowledged and thanked for reducing serious crimes by 34 per cent, Persad-Bissessar said: “The murder rate continues to be very, very high. “We will continue to put all our heads together, all our hearts together, all our minds together in that fight against crime. It remains the number one priority for my government.”
She said the resumption of hangings would be among the top issues up for today’s discussion, the second instalment of talks on crime, which began last Thursday. She said discussions on the death penalty would be tabled today. “Many in the country, indeed, from polling done, the majority of citizens seem to be in favour of the death penalty. We go into the talks with an open mind and that is one of the issues on the table for discussion,” she added.
Last week, Persad-Bissessar, Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley and their respective teams met at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, for the first round of talks, which were held at the request of the Opposition. On Tuesday night, Persad-Bissessar said: “I am very heartened by the move by the Opposition to join with the Government in the way forward in the fight against crime.”
The Government and Opposition teams are expected to meet at 3.30 pm at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre. Persad-Bissessar said the Government team would review the proposals submitted by the Opposition. The Prime Minister declined to comment much on the killing of attorney Dr Wesley Debideen, who was gunned down as he sat in his car at Grand Bazaar, Valsayn, on Tuesday. She said she did not have any information about the shooting.
She added: “I am very saddened to hear about this. Whether it is a person in authority or not, any life that we have lost is a tragedy and a pain.” Commenting on the fatal mauling of Maraval grandmother Lillian Bunsee, the PM said while the Dog Control Act had been passed, amendments were still to be made and the Attorney General had advised her he would try to bring them as fast as possible.
On Tuesday the Dr Eric Williams Memorial Committee suggested Independence Day should be renamed in honour of Williams. Persad-Bissessar said it was the first time she had heard it. She said: “We will have to put it to Cabinet for discussion. It cannot be a unilateral thought.”
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.