Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar is urging the board of Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College to reconsider their decision to deny OJT Nafisah Nakhid the opportunity to train there and she is also...
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Validating illegality and the erosion of democratic society
Following independence some 56 years ago, we have systematically eroded the very basis on which our independence is founded in that:
• Squatting, despite being an illegal activity, has been “regularised” seemingly with no thought given to consequences. As far as I am aware, there has been no growth in land mass and no possibility seems to be on the horizon.
• Similarly, governments have repeatedly capitulated to persons who illegally build structures and later are prioritised for access to government housing. It is factual that by convention citizens are entitled to “shelter.” This right does not equate to a house and certainly does not absolve the individual of some personal responsibility in this matter.
• Transportation in private vehicles has been permitted under the guise of assisting and facilitating the jobless. However, the problem to be addressed remains that of a public transportation policy.
• Vending within the city and other prohibited areas have been allowed on the basis that the lawbreakers are engaging in a legitimate activity to support their families. This cannot supersede the burgess’ right to enjoyment of property and the orderly conduct of business.
• Homeless persons ie vagrants are somehow entitled to “live” on our sidewalks to the detriment of the wider society. Their legitimate right to freedom can never be preferentially respected over and above the freedom of the majority, whose respect for law and order compels them to respect laws that have been put in place for the overall good.
• Legitimisation of public pollution in our common spaces (parks, streams, eco-spaces, heritage areas) has become acceptable on our special occasion celebrations, but clearly, responsibility for their maintenance is but a reasonable corollary.
These actions have all unwittingly contributed to our current state in which we can no longer hold that we are a country that has respect for law and order. There is no doubt that there is now a breakdown of our Constitution and left unchecked will inexorably lead to a failed state.
There is a clear need to demonstrate a resolve that our laws and the Constitution be upheld, Government must cease vacillation in the face of our unions, certain irresponsible individuals and those with partisan interest. Despite vociferous protests, the Constitution and the laws must be resolutely respected. Failure to do so must be repelled within the full provisions of the law.
Samuel B Howard
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