In taking extraordinary steps to invoke a limited state of emergency, the Trinidad & Tobago government has chosen to take the fight to criminals, says the twin-island republic High Commissioner in Canada Philip Buxo.
The drastic measures were taken in six areas in Trinidad as a result of a sharp spike in violent criminal activity and murders.
“Citizens of Trinidad & Tobago and other neighbouring countries have supported and welcomed the government’s strategy which today is reaping very positive results,” Buxo said at last Sunday’s “We Ting” celebration at Queen’s Park to mark the country’s 49th independence anniversary. “This short inconvenience will undoubtedly be a positive investment for T & T at the local and international level.”
T & T celebrated its independence on August 31.
Despite the surge in violent crime, Buxo said the Caribbean country has many things to be proud of in its nearly five decades as an independent nation. He pointed to the steelpan which originated in T & T and is the only new instrument to be invented and accepted in the world in the 20th century.
“We have shown the world the creativity of using a discarded old oil drum and the serenity of the melody emitted through innovation,” he said. “We are proud of our independence, our democratic values and our high standards…As a country, we have achieved excellence and will continue to do so with strong results.”
Buxo said he will be seeking the support of the Diaspora as T & T prepares to celebrate its golden anniversary next year.
“We will work closely with the Canadian High Commission in Port-of-Spain as we will also be commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relations with Canada,” he said.
T & T enjoy a longstanding relationship with Canada which covers a wide range of sectors, including education, health, energy and financial services. A full-time Trade Commissioner was appointed to Port-of-Spain in 1938 and official diplomatic relations were established shortly after the twin-island republic achieved independence in 1962. The Canadian High Commission opened in Port-of-Spain that same year and the first High Commissioner was accredited a year later.
Prior to the start of the celebrations, the audience observed a minute’s silence to mark the passing of Official Opposition leader Jack Layton.
Buxo also offered condolences to the New Democratic Party (NDP) which Layton led for eight years.
“He will be remembered for his sterling service to Canada and for steering the NDP to becoming the Official Opposition,” said T & T’s top diplomat in Canada. “We will continue to remember him and his family in our prayers.”