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Be part of a good gang, says Weekes

Published: 
Sunday, June 10, 2018
President Paula-Mae Weekes listens attentively to questions raised by residents of Sea Lots community on Friday night.

If you must be part of a gang, be part of a gang that does good things, President Paula-Mae Weekes has urged.

Weekes made the statement on Friday night as she visited the Sea Lots area as part of the Laventille Nights initiative organised by radio station I95.5fm.

“A gang is a group of people, and there are gangs that can do good things, so maybe if you change gang from the four letter word meaning only bad things, that call for anti-gang legislation, into gangs that do good things, gangs that do projects, gangs that help each other and the young ones coming after, then you could have made some useful contribution to the society and helped to change Sea Lots, or at least change the reputation of Sea Lots to something that is more hopeful for those people who live here and the community and country in general,” Weekes said.

Weekes spoke to the crowd, which comprised mostly young people, at Sea Lots on Friday night.

She told of being born in Belmont, spending the first four years of her life at Newtown and eventually moving to Petit Valley.

Weekes said when she sat A-Levels at Bishops Anstey High School she did the combination of history, economics, and French.

“A lot of my schooling was about having a good, fun time and I did but what I would be proof of is you could have a lot of fun and do a lot of work as well. You can enjoy your school days to the max and still put in the work that is necessary,” Weekes said.

Eventually Weekes went on to study law at the University of the West Indies.

Weekes said she was not particularly interested in being a lawyer but she wanted to choose a career path where she could be self-employed.

She urged children to read at every opportunity.

“I will say to all the children here whether you like it or you don’t like it read, go to the public library, join the library ask your parents to get you a book, get books anywhere you can get them and it does not matter what type of book it is, it could be a comic book because from a book you can learn a lot of things that you might not be able to do or to see, or to experience yourself but you can learn about them and books give you an idea of what is out there, what you can do one day so please read at every opportunity.”

‘T&T Pres has a very limited role or no role at all’

Weekes said citizens need to understand exactly what the position of the president entails.

“I think people need to understand what the president can and cannot do under our Constitution because there are presidents in many different countries and because of our exposure to the American experience a lot of people in Trinidad and Tobago hear president and assume the president here can do things like the president of the United States. Not so,” she said.

“So under our Constitution our president has a very limited role or no role at all in the provision of resources directly to citizens, so the President can’t say to WASA give the people water in a particular area, the president does not call up a minister of government and say what are you doing about crime, those are things for the executive in our system so the president, some people describe it as a ceremonial role, some people say that the president has no power, I think that depends on what your understanding of power is,” Weekes said.

She said she will have to agree that the president has little or no power.

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