AN advisory warning members of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) not to use the Picadilly/East Dry River Route out of Port-of-Spain is being criticised by the head of the Emancipation Support Committee.
On Thursday DOMA told its members that there were “verifiable reports” of gunfire in the area but both the police service and National Security Minister Stuart Young distanced themselves from such reports.
At the opening ceremony of the Lidji Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village, at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Sunday, head of the committee Kafra Kambon said, “It had no visible basis because the police came out and said no such thing was happening and I asked myself is it coincidental that such an advisory was put out on the eve of Emancipation,”
Kambon said the Emancipation Day parade on August 1 usually starts at the Treasury Building on Independence Square and go up to East Port-of-Spain and goes by the bridge and no one has ever interfered with the route.
He added, “So if we shift the parade from going all the way in the east there where will it pass, where their shops are located.”
Dealing with the issue of crime in the country, Kambon said a catalyst to the problem was the negative reporting and stereotypes attributed to places such as the Beetham and Laventille.
Kambon said, “Now when problems develop in areas like that and inter-generationally they get worse because people are being denied formal education, people are feeling a sense of exclusion from the society in which they were born, you are bound to get problems, you are bound to get violence and the problem would get worse from generation to generation.”