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TIME TO FUNCTION AS A REPUBLIC
T&T is a republic, which means supreme power rests in all the citizens because we are entitled to vote to elect leaders who are responsible for representing us. Republic Day is about taking a glimpse of our future as a nation. It means that all of us as citizens of this nation are to assume responsibility for their own actions as the price of freedom. It is very difficult to admit that the problem of crime starts with the citizens. Crime is usually used by politicians to gain power by saying that rising crime is a sign that the Government in power has failed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Government has a huge role to play in protecting the citizenry from the criminal elements and this role must not be taken lightly, but the reality is that the problem of crime starts with ourselves. Too many of us are negative reactors and this includes me. We are comfortable doing almost anything to defend our so-called territory, even if it means taking the extreme measure of hiring hitmen to kill those who have angered you while infringing on the boundaries of others. As a republic nation, we must take responsibility for our shortcomings, for example, leaving the cricket stadium full of litter after the Caribbean Premier League final between the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) and Guyana Amazon Warriors. It was our responsibility to clean up our mess just like the Japanese did after every game in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Of Football. We are responsible for our own demise. Sadly, in T&T if someone accidentally scratches your vehicle in the mall, steps on your toes in the supermarket or drives too slowly for our liking, too many of us are ready to kill.
The number of home invaders, kidnappers, car thieves, murderers, purse snatchers, arson attacks, fraudulent police officers and politicians is growing at an alarming rate. Despite the many policies and plans implemented by those in authority, no additional resources are needed by the criminal justice system in order to accomplish a reduction in the crime rate in T&T. Past governments found it easy enough to spend money, but difficult to spend it productively.
The number of serious crimes known to the police has made a quantum leap and victimisation surveys show many crimes are not even reported to the police. This is the current state of affairs in T&T. In order to defeat crime, the citizens of T&T must step up to report and give all the information they possess about serious crimes such as murders and kidnappings.
While for Independence day we celebrated the birth of the nation and the people who brought the freedom, Republic Day celebrates our State and people who maintain the government. Independence Day is about remembering the past. Republic Day is about taking a glimpse of our future. The future will be bright if we begin functioning as a republic again.
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