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Unholy act

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The killing of Pundit Sunil Ragbirsingh at his home in Arouca over the weekend has left those in and outside the Hindu community in a state of shock.

It’s true that every violent death ought to leave us in shock—and over the past weekend alone, another murder took place in Champs Fleurs, a man was killed in Diego Martin (with two more injured) and two men were left fighting for their lives in an incident in Morvant. They join the ever growing list of those murdered or critically wounded on a daily basis.

However, from time to time, some violent acts seem to strike a chord. Sometimes it is because of the victim, or the location or the manner of the crime. This is one of them.

Pundit Ragbirsingh was returning home after having conducted three prayers during the day. He wasn’t having fun, fuelled by alcohol. He wasn’t picking up a fight with anyone. He was praying with his fellow devotees before going back home, where he was murdered.

The reasons for the crime will only be fully known when the police complete their enquiries and, hopefully, the perpetrators will be identified and brought to justice.

A lot harder will be to find a way to bring these constant and senseless killings to an end. Until then, and on a daily basis, we go on further damaging the already frail fabric of our society.

Dukedom extended

The law of unintended consequences, by the look of it, also apply to those tasked with upholding the law themselves.

By suspending this Monday’s PSA elections over matters raised by one of the candidates, High Court judge Justice Seepersad also gave current PSA president Watson Duke a bit more time in the role. His call was sensible.

In practice, though, Mr Duke is now handed more time running the organisation and in election mode, with ever more populist and unrealistic demands for its members. His latest demand is for a $10,000 immediate payment to all public workers, no questions asked.

We expect the Government to treat this latest demand for what it is: a blatant piece of electioneering with no sense of reality. After all, unlike Mr Duke’s fiefdom, we live in a more real world, one that now sees our government borrowing money to be able to pay its workers current wages, even before one-off payments.

A welcome Baron

This newspaper echoes Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon’s formal welcome to Baron Foods to Trinidad and Tobago as the company opened a new plant in Chaguanas, providing much appreciated jobs to 50 people.

Baron Foods hails from St Lucia and has been expanding its production base to Grenada and now Trinidad, with a firm eye on the Caribbean and global markets. In times of limited forex, another exporter is always welcome.

New investors like Baron Foods bring more than just a few more jobs and much needed forex.

Every new job created by new businesses has a positive ripple effect. The chain of suppliers and support service providers required for production and export goes on adding jobs, tax receipts and many other benefits to all. That’s a good recipe worth bottling and sharing.


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