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This must stop

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Once again, the story seems to repeat itself. A woman endures an abusive relationship and ends up dead. In the case of the 25-year-old Arisa Vana David, to make it even more tragic, her two young children may have been witnesses to her death, allegedly at the hands of her partner.

Although we must all accept there is no easy or quick solution available, the Government must treat gender-based violence as an emergency and immediately implement a plan, with clearly defined actions.

A good place to start is at school: for boys to learn that they do not own anyone to the point they think they can kill a current or former partner; for girls to learn what to look for in a partner, to learn about signs of potential violence and to also know where to get help if the relationship turns abusive.

At the same time, more resources must be put into the services available to deal with allegations of abuse and for the protection to those under threat. Unless the system in place is considered robust and credible by those who need it, many will risk living under threat for fear of being even more exposed if they report the abuse.

No country will be completely free of gender-based violence but many can and do have better policies and systems to mitigate against that. We can and we must do the same, urgently.

Road to nowhere

Tourism is supposed a key driver in the Government’s diversification plan—and a justification for projects like the upgrade of Chaguaramas’ golf course. Following the closure of the road to Maracas due to a landslide, perhaps we must take one step back and fix the basics of our infrastructure before we get excited about a tourism bonanza.

You do not need a degree in engineering to see the parlous state of our major routes, with crumbling guard rails, potholes and bare hills on the verge of collapsing. Hardly postcard material good enough to attract tourists and their money.

Be presidential

The UNC ought to consider carefully the Prime Minister’s invitation to discuss the presidential election. Actually, both UNC and PNM ought to consider the moment with due care.

Especially at these difficult times, the country not only needs the right person to replace President Anthony Carmona but also a show of political maturity by the two parties, putting the needs of the country above party politics.


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