UNC calls for clarification on new ‘shutdown’ army powers
The United National Congress has taken note of the new measures announced by the Government regarding a two week shutdown of the country’s non-essential services in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease.
The party urges all citizens to be responsible and comply with these new measures, since they are critical in our collective national effort to fight the Covid-19 crisis.
The UNC wishes to assure all citizens that the respective Regional Corporations which we hold will take all measures possible to continue providing its services, once they fall under the Government’s newly defined ‘essential services’. We will continue with our mandate to put people at the center of all our initiatives.
The party is also asking the National Security Minister to clarify the new regulations that would govern the announced joint Police/Army patrols, especially regarding his statement that failure to comply with their directives could result in persons facing a six month jail term and/or $50,000 fine.
The UNC commends Opposition Leader, the Honourable Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP for Siparia, for championing the call for this very necessary shutdown, following the Government’s announcement that nearly 20,000 recent returning nationals were at risk of contracting and/or spreading the Covid-19 to the wider population.
The Opposition Leader, in recognizing the severe threat this posed to our nation’s health and social stability, immediately lobbied for this move to protect citizens.
It is essential that even in the midst of this crisis, everyone adheres to the rule of law- especially those in power.
The UNC will continue to stand for transparency and accountability, and we encourage everyone to stand with us, as this is the role of a responsible citizen. We should never allow fear to rob us of our humanity or lead us to surrender our democratic and constitutional rights.
The UNC recognizes that at such a unique time in our world and national history, when citizens’ livelihoods, lifestyles and very lives are under threat, citizens would naturally suffer from collective anxiety and panic.
This state of collective vulnerability makes it easy for ANY Government to abuse its power. Any effort to do so, however, would amount to a serious and illegal subversion of our Constitution and democracy.
In this regard, the UNC wishes to stress that it will do all in its power to ensure that the cherished rights of our citizens are guarded and protected at all costs.
The UNC will also be updating the citizens through its various social media platforms, as well as its respective office channels via virtual means, as to its ongoing work and services during this shutdown, in keeping with its profound commitment to national service and people centered development.