by Vernon Khelawan
Many people are asking: What is happening to our beautiful country? They also ask where is it headed? The answer to these questions is quite simple. A total absence of love for fellow man.
You don’t believe me? Then tell me why there’s so much corruption in almost all aspects of life in the country? You must pass money for almost every service you need. Meanwhile the perpetrators slink away to either use or abuse their ill-gotten gains.
Take what happened at Piarco last Sunday. Hundreds of incoming passengers, locals and tourists, some, after four or five hours in the air were forced to wait another four hours at the airport because only two immigration officers out of 15 were working. Before they took their action, they must have known that in such a secure area there is no water or food, seating for the aged and disabled and limited toilet facilities. They were in fact held hostage.
Every time there are road protests like burning tyres and garbage, it is a waste of police and firemen’s time and who suffers? The innocent commuters. And that is because the public is forced to draw attention to their problems. Then there are the ‘sanitation engineers’ who leave rubbish because it is not bagged, or leave branches behind or drain refuse is put on the shoulder, when it is known there is no truck coming to cart it away. More ills.
It is public knowledge that many citizens contribute to the problem and not the solution by ignoring the laws – driving on the shoulder; driving drunk; not observing the speed limit and a myriad of other unlawful actions like littering our streets and water courses with plastic bottles, Styrofoam food containers and cardboard drink containers.
Meanwhile, our elected representatives are ‘kicksin in Parliament’, behaving like a bunch of little children, each side blaming the other for the wrongs. After more than two years in charge, the government without any laudable achievements under its belt, blames the other side, and the opposition blames the government. And so it goes…like a game of hide and seek and the country is no better off after the scapegoating.
It is these kinds of things, or lack thereof that caused Justice Frank Seepersad to change his judicial robes to those of a preacher and call for a ‘revolution’ in Trinidad and Tobago but insisted it must be one of non-violence. The judge said, “I speak not of a revolution that involves violence, masses of weapons, but a revolution of thought, attitude and interaction.”
He said that in this land corruption or perception of corruption seem to define us. Referring to the tax evader in the country the judge said, “It seems that we chose to disregard Jesus’ call to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. There is no room for compromise when it comes to honesty. There are no shades of grey and we need a revolution of truthfulness, candour and honesty.”
Justice Seepersad said when looked at objectively, reflection would reveal that things are not right but awry and said, “Crime is out of control, families are fractured, divisiveness defines us and hope is fleeting. We are at crossroads and we cannot continue on our current path.”
It would be remiss of me not to commiserate with Justice Malcolm Holdip on the loss of his beloved wife Dianne. She served faithfully as a lay minister at St John the Baptist Church, St Augustine and in Mt Lambert. Condolences to Malcolm and their children Jarryd, Arielle and Yannick. Our prayers are with you.