State of Emergency in T&T Essay

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Criminal activities and gang war fare have been brewing in T&T. Rivers of blood flooded the streets of our sweet T&T, approximately 3 or more murders a day. The honourable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar declared a state of emergency and curfew on August 21. It was announced as a limited state of emergency which targeted only labelled ‘hot spots’ in T&T but then it became nationwide. This was declared without proper definition, consideration and involvement of the President, who the proceedings were sent to the following day and of which he approved. What is a state of emergency? “A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale for suspending rights and freedoms.” Persad-Bissessar stated “the state of emergency will give military personnel powers to search and seize and powers to arrest.” She said nothing more important to ensure a life of peace and tranquillity except she asked citizens to “bear with inconveniences that may arise” But why all of a sudden call a state of emergency? The last time a State of emergency was declared was in 1970 Black Power Revolution & July 27 - August 1, 1990 in the attempted state coup by the Jamaat Al Muslimeen against the NAR government of the then Prime Minister A.N.R Robinson. What is the reason for the current SOE? Similar to the 1990 coup I am still unsure. I could clearly recall the police commissioner Dwayne Gibbs stating two weeks prior to the declaration that crime was under control, so why call a state of emergency? Hmmm sounds fishy to me. Rumours had circulated that a trailer of guns and ammunition being transported to the national defence force have been

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