Can Cook, Must Cook

The food adventures of Franka P, a Trinidadian journalist living in London, UK. I'll write about my forays into all types of food and cooking, particularly Caribbean food. I'll also review books and recipes by the leading food writers and talk about the issues making headlines in the gastronomic world.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Save Our Society

Last weekend, I was bristling with the joys of blogging about Trini food, the delights of Breadfruit Oildown and the evocative descriptions by my friends about their food memories in what must have seemed to be an idyllic time in Trinidad and Tobago.
Unfortunately, in the last week Trinbagonians all over the world were shocked and saddened to the core at the grisly murder of six-year-old Sean Luke in Couva.
Over the years, we've seen some horrible murders in Trinidad, but none like this case of a child being buggered to death by a cane stick.
I am so dismayed by the situation in Trinidad that I feel compelled to say something about it on this blog.

Crime has escalated in our twin-island nation in recent years with a record number of murders and kidnappings in 2005. The amazing thing about this is that kidnappings didn't even happen in Trinidad until about three years ago.
To those of us living abroad, reading the Trinidad newspapers is like having a daily dose of "Today's Crime", since it seems that nothing else is happening there.
Some people, including high ranking politicians and security officials have tried to play down the crime situation by saying that many of the murders are gang related and restricted to certain parts of the country. But when you visit Trinidad, people are always talking about the high crime rate, and I can sense there's underlying anger and tension.
Now there's nothing that the police could have done to prevent this shocking crime, because the alleged killers, aged 13 and 16 had a plan to harm this poor child. But their tardy response to the family's concerns about their missing child was appalling.
How do people begin to feel secure if the police aren't taking things seriously?
The worst thing about this is the sense of powerlessness that Trinidadians have. We have people in positions of power, but they aren't leaders. The Prime Minister and his lot are more concerned with short term policy measures that will win votes but they aren't thinking ahead and looking to stabilise the nation for the future. No one is saying how they can deal with the crime, or the causes of crime and the silence is deafening.
I would love to return to my homeland but the situation there is making me doubtful. The unfortunate thing is that there are many of us out here who want go back home to make a difference but now we're thinking twice about it.

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