PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley has suggested that the not only the Sedition Act but all old laws should be looked at.
Speaking at the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s Independence Day function at the Police Administration building on Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain, Rowley said, “The biggest conversation in Trinidad and Tobago today is how old the Sedition Act is.
“And it’s time to get rid of it. Well then if that is how we approach it, we might as well go with the whole basket.
“Let’s get rid of the Trespass Act, that’s kind of old too. Let’s get rid of the act for murder and crime. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of the act which speaks to common assault, which dates way back to the days of King John and the Magna Carta.”
Public Services Association President Watson Duke has been charged with sedition for comments he made last November in relation to jobs at TTEC, TSTT and WASA.
Duke appeared in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court on Friday and was granted $250,000 bail.
Since then there has been much public debate on whether the Sedition Act, which was passed in 1920, is outdated and should be revamped to cater to freedom of speech as enshrined in the Constitution.
Rowley said, “I don’t want to get involved in the proceedings of the innards of the court, but as the population is excited about getting rid of the Sedition Act, I want to ask citizens, is it the act itself that is the problem?
“Or is it alright for a citizen-head of one sector of the country – to make disparaging and damaging statements of another sector because ‘it’s my right and freedom to do so?’ And is it my right to say that if I lose my job, the end result would be X, Y, Z?’’