Dr Keith Rowley recently condemned Security Minister, Gary Griffith for saying the police are engaged in a war against criminals. Rowley was off target. In describing the Minister’s comments as “dangerous talk”, the Opposition Leader again missed the boat, just to score cheap political points.
Griffith’s remarks are positive. They reflect the refreshingly sensible approach pursued by Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s administration to encourage communities to take responsibility for lifting this nation. The challenges facing us in a rapidly-changing world cannot be met by the government alone; nor if hostile elements prevail. This is no time for indecision! No time for backpedalling! Only unwavering commitment will guarantee survival!
Yet, it’d be careless to ignore that conditions exist in hotspot areas which deny many residents the chance to live in dignity. In that scenario, it’s difficult to maintain peace, even when the war is won. Peace is more than a ceasefire. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights underlines how only a peace founded on respect for inherent human rights and dignity can endure. PNM never grasped this! Therefore, hotspot areas remained undeveloped while PNM ruled, despite its rhetoric, despite the unshakeable support it commanded in these areas.
It also explains why Rowley declared war on Kamla although she took up the challenge to correct this grave injustice. It was her government, not PNM’s, which strengthened social welfare programmes and introduced universal secondary education, laptops for schoolchildren and the Children’s Life Fund. These initiatives have benefitted many single parents. For the first time many of them now believe their child’s dreams are attainable no matter what. So, for the sake of every mother living in these hotspot zones who risks her safety each day shepherding her child to and from school, the war must be engaged to cripple PNM’s philosophy as well.
That’s why Trinidad and Tobago looked to Kamla Persad-Bissessar in 2010. And expects her to continue as Prime Minister beyond 2015.