OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has questioned whether the Carnival terror plot was a charade and a distraction.
“I have to wonder like others have wondered whether this whole charade that played out…over the Carnival period whether it was just to distract your mind from all the wrongs in this country,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar was speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) public meeting at the Don Miguel Hindu School on Monday night.
Persad-Bissessar made it clear she does not support terrorism as she criticised the Government’s “targetting” of the Islamic community.
“We must never let them get away with targetting the Islamic brotherhood in Trinidad and Tobago,” she said.
In a news conference post Carnival, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the terrorist threat was real and not a joke.
“There are some people who believe that this is a joke and people who believe that this is personal persecution. Claims of religious and ethnic persecution hold no water. If you engage in criminal conduct you are subject to monitoring and intervention by security services,” he had said.
The Prime Minister had also said that there was no persecution of anyone in Trinidad and Tobago, but there would be “resolute prosecution” of those who seek to damage the peace and good order.
Persad-Bissessar said not every Muslim is a terrorist.
“I do not support terrorism in any form none of us here do but our brethren will tell us that their faith and their teachings in Islam are for peace and brotherhood,” she said.
However she said in everything there is good and not so good.
“There are those who will be extremists and we must cut the extremists down, those are the real terrorists but not every person of the Islamic faith is a terrorist and not every terrorist is of islamic faith,” she added.
She pointed out that TV6 Morning Edition host Fazeer Mohammed had spoken about law enforcement going into a person’s home with a lot of commotion and it turned out it was the wrong house.
She said while law enforcement will do their best, we have to guard against abuses of power from law enforcement.
Persad-Bissessar said there are many good policemen but also many corrupt ones.
Two and a half years sunset clause
The former prime minister said this was why the Opposition has emphasised the need for a sunset clause in the Anti Gang bill.
She said it is important because you cannot give law enforcement that great amount of power for a long time.
She said the UNC proposed a two year sunset clause so the Parliament can scrutinise how it worked.
The Government wanted a five year sunset clause.
Persad-Bissessar said the Opposition is willing to compromise to a two and a half year sunset clause.
She called on the Government to return the Anti Gang bill.
“Given the runaway crime, let’s cut it in half, compromise halfway… if you’re serious that this Bill is going to solve crime, take two and a half years and we will support you,” she said.
Source: Trinidad Express http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20180226/news/kamla-was-carnival-terror-plot-a-charade