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Homegrown terror

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Police Service’s announcement of an apparent plot to disrupt Carnival activities may have taken many citizens by surprise. While the language used by police brass was very diplomatic, it would be hard to fathom anything else other than a terrorist act while the revelry was in full swing was being planned. If this is the case, and the police certainly avoided those direct questions from the media, T&T now has to face a stark reality—terrorist groups outside our shores have converted locals to their radical way of thinking.

We had already been put on alert by the National Security Minister that some nationals had gone to Syria to join the Islamic State. A local terror cell is an unfortunate but ultimate by-product of such activity and if the current police intelligence is accurate, we must now accept it is embedded here.

The question now is how do the Minister of National Security, Attorney General and the security forces respond to this challenge?

Time for PATT shake-up

The inconvenience which hundreds of sea bridge passengers are facing over this Carnival weekend, with the pulling of the T&T Express from service, is completely unacceptable. This is because the certification issue facing the vessel is but one in a litany of errors by the Port Authority of T&T (PATT) management on handling of the service. And it is one that was completely avoidable had they been ensuring the ageing vessels got their scheduled dry docking appointments.

Apart from the public inconvenience, the situation is putting additional burden on Caribbean Airlines, and saddling Government with an expenditure not catered for. We sincerely hope CAL will be able to safely get travellers to their destinations with as little hassle as possible over the period.

We expect that the arrival of the Galleons Passage next month cannot come soon enough for the Tobago-based stakeholders in particular who are suffering through this sea bridge debacle. But if the status quo at PATT remains we fear it will be more of the same. Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan must do all in his power to fix it or make way for someone who can.

Enjoy Carnival; stay safe

Weeks of preparation by mas bands and individuals will soon be on full display when the Merry Monarch rules the streets on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

This newspaper hopes all involved in the festivities will have a happy Carnival. Having said that, we also want to warn them against indulging in excess and also to remember to ensure they stay safe at all times.


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