In the not too distant past, there was an occasion when "community leaders" were called to talks with government officials to end gang violence. That meeting took place at a Port-of-Spain hotel.
The fact that such a meeting was held was controversial in itself, and the fact that the T&T Police Service is now on red alert in response to the latest outbreak of gang warfare attests to the failure of that effort.
By their very nature, overtures in a quest for peace with known underworld operatives reeks of compromise, and that is never a healthy thing. There ought not to even be the slightest hint of a meeting of minds with the criminals, deceptively referred to as businessman and community leaders, who are behind the bloodshed, violence and social breakdown in this country.
The business enterprises of gang leaders, even when conducted under a thin veneer of actual commercial activity, are covers for illicit activities of all kinds, from assassinations to kidnappings, drugs and arms trafficking, conducted in an atmosphere of fear, violence and ruthless exploitation.
It is not by chance that members of gangs were up to a few days ago engaged in full-fledged warfare. Their peace pact has triggered by the spate of police raids, community lockdowns and the detention of suspected gang leaders.
Over the years and months that the criminals had the upper hand, brazenly executing their rivals and showing no remorse for their reign of terror, they had no interest in peace.
In any case, true peace and security are only possible when law enforcement and the criminal justice system operates consistently and effectively for the arrests and convictions of the violent lawbreakers in our midst.
There can be no compromise with the criminals.
Carnival in full flight
With the National Panorama semi-finals taking place today and tomorrow at the Queen's Park Savannah, it is safe to say that the 2019 Carnival season is now in full flight.
Officially, the reign of the Merry Monarch does not begin until 4 am on Carnival Monday with the proclamation by the Port-of-Spain mayor at the start of the J'Ouvert celebrations. However, the venue that is the Mecca for all things Carnival will be in full use from today, with various competitions scheduled over the coming two and a half weeks, culminating with the two-day Parade of the Bands.
Here's hoping for a safe and successful Carnival, filled with all the colour, revelry and energy that sets this festival apart from pre-Lenten events held in other parts of the world.