Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Lenten period. It also signifies the end of the Merry Monarch’s reign and is a farewell to this country’s beloved Carnival season.
While for Christians Lent is a significant religious observance and a prelude to one of the most important times on the Christian calendar, it is also a time for reflection and repentance. But most of all it is a time of renewal—which the entire country, regardless of religious persuasion can practice and work towards.
Now that Carnival week 2020 is history, employees from both the public and private sectors can recommit themselves to work again and find a renewed energy to embody the watchwords of discipline and production.
Although the Carnival week absenteeism has become par for course, the toll it takes on productivity cannot be dismissed. But with the festivities out of the way employees can now refocus on getting the job done, efficiently and effectively. So too can our politicians.
With this country off the FATF grey list, all politicians can reacquaint themselves with other serious pieces of legislation and bills which require bipartisan support and approval. As well as critical national issues which ought to be brought before the Parliament for swift action.
Chief among them domestic violence.
Although the T&T Police Service has done yeoman work in creating a unit to deal with gender-based violence and has been sensitising its officers in ways to treat domestic violence victims appropriately, it is time for decisive action from politicians.
This year has seen an uptick in domestic-related murders, with women being savagely murdered.
Public condemnation of gender-based violence is no longer good enough and the nation’s politicians on both sides of the political divide must work together to ensure effective laws are in place to end this worrying scourge.
And while strong laws are needed, everyone must play their part in upholding them and ensuring justice is done.
It has become almost customary for Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to issue media statements, questioning why accused offenders held with high powered weapons are being given bail and released back onto the streets.
Although the independence of the Judiciary should be impenetrable, those who have a say in how justice is administered ought not be blind to the realities of this country’s crime situation.
The Commissioner has his work to do and must find strategies and implement measures to eliminate or temper the criminal elements.
But every citizen, every officer holder ought to play a role as well in the fight against crime and recommit themselves to observing the sanctity of human life and preventing dark forces from running this country afoul.
The country can do well this Lenten season, to not only get back on track but move forward with renewed vigour and hope for a better tomorrow.