State of Emergency to be extended

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has announced that the State of Emergency will be extended throughout Trinidad and Tobago, with reduced curfew hours. However, it is not known how much longer it will be in place.

“We are considering and indeed we will extend the State of Emergency to a further period. We have not decided the length of that time but we continue to monitor it,” Persad-Bissessar said on Monday.

“What we want to do is also reconsider the curfew hours, as I have been advised by my national security teams and joint forces. We would want to take their advice in terms of reducing the curfew hours so that there could be more normal business, but at the same time allow the protective services to do their job within the curfew hours and the State of Emergency throughout the land.”

The existing curfew hours are 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Persad-Bissessar assured citizens there was a plan in place to deal with any acts of revenge from criminals at the end of the State of Emergency.

“We have plans in place to deal with that after the State of Emergency. But first we go to Parliament on Friday (tomorrow) to debate the statement of the President which was the rationale given for the State of Emergency,” she said.

It will be during that debate that the government will seek to have the State of Emergency extended.

The Prime Minister said it was significant that there were no killings since the measures were adopted.

“That is a major, major breakthrough in the fight against crime,” she said. “I want to give you the assurance as your Member of Parliament and of course as your Prime Minister that we will continue to do all that we can in this fight against crime. It is a very hard time for all of us but it is also a very good time for all of us because we can sleep safer in our beds when the night comes.”

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