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IRO takes stand infight against crime

Published: 
Monday, June 25, 2018
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President of the IRO Barbara Burke greets Bro Harrypersad Maharaj at the annual general meeting on Saturday. Photo by:SHASTRI BOODAN

Religious leaders must begin work to take back communities from criminal elements.

This call came from Bishop Dave Alleyne at the annual general meeting of the Inter-Religious Organisation on Saturday.

The meeting took place at the Chaguanas Borough Corporation’s Administrative Complex at Cumberbatch Street.

Alleyne said “More and more of our communities are becoming unlivable and I say it is because of the failing of religious organisations. Why are we allowing that? Are we so caught up in our own little world and our own little doctrines and our own little misgivings or PR (public relations) that we are not getting into the trenches and doing enough that our young men and women are moving into violence?

“wwIt happened under our watch. Where do criminals come from? From homes and who influence homes, the religious organisations. We are responsible for the moral and spiritual development of our nation, of our nation’s youth.”

Leo Powell, chairman of Powell Enterprises, said the IRO should start going back to its founding philosophies. Powell said the upheavals facilitated in 1970, by the Black Power Movement, gave young people then a voice through which they communicated their frustrations with their leaders of the day.

“Can our generation rise to the occasion to address the violence, criminality and fear in this country in this moment? Our young people are calling out to us for help and we are not listening. In this moral struggle for the hearts and minds of our young, what are we doing to heed their pleas?” he asked.

Powell said T&T has the potential for greatness but had gone down a wrong path.

“Instead, I see people divided by race, creed and political disposition and far separated from the values of our national anthem. I see our geographical location being used to traffic drugs and with that put guns in the hands of our young people. Instead, I see parents struggling to make ends meet in a society where everything is expensive and people turn to crime and corruption to keep up impressions of success. But most of all, I see a vacuum within the divide, a light within the tunnel, that can and must be filed by a new generation of leaders, starting with the religious organisations,” he added.

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