Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trespassing Prime Minister


The incident reported in the media on Tuesday regarding Prime Minister Patrick Manning, his security detail and an 81 year old pensioner has raised some serious issues regarding the protection of citizen’s rights and property, and their insulation from the political directorate. The gentleman made it quite clear to Mr. Manning that he did not want him on his property, he was quoted as telling Mr. Manning ‘You’re not welcomed here I want nothing to do with you’. Mr. Manning then proceeds to ignore the admonition of the property owner and decides to ‘brush’ pass him onto his property which then caused the gentleman to take hold of Mr. Manning by the shoulders telling him “You didn’t hear what I say? You’re not welcome here!”

At this point Mr. Manning’s security detail sprung into action to separate the two and proceeded to tell the owner of the property “You cannot do that, you cannot touch the Prime Minister!”, to which the pensioner appropriately responded “You have to be mad this is my house!” When I read this news article and saw the clipping on the evening news, chills ran down my spine and it should have the same effect on you. If this incident isn’t a clear example and more proof that our politicians are clearly out of control then I do not know what is. What right does the Prime Minister have to trespass on the private property of citizens of this country? Is Patrick Manning above the law? When a Prime Minister acts with such scant regard for the laws of the land is it any wonder that the police officers of this country also feel they have the right to enter people’s property unannounced and without the express authority of the owners or necessary court sanctioned warrants?

Can this pensioner, I or any other citizen of this country simply enter Mr. Manning’s Diplomatic centre at whim, even if security personnel tell us we can’t enter? What was even more surprising is that one of Mr. Manning’s security detail reportedly admonished the pensioner telling him ‘You lucky, you cannot touch the Prime Minister….no matter what you are not supposed to touch the Prime Minister” , at which point the pensioner again declared in astonishment “You must be mad this is my house!” Rightly so, the only explanation that could be given for Mr. Manning and his security detail is that they are in fact mad. What does the security detail mean no matter what you are not supposed to touch the Prime Minister? Ironically the same security detail did not admonish any other individuals who chose to ‘touch’ the Prime Minister by shaking his hand. It reminds me of a couple years ago I had to face a visibly upset member of Mr. Manning’s detail glowering at me because I refused to wind my glass down to shake the Prime Minister’s hand while stuck in traffic.

According to the laws of the land if someone trespasses and invades your home aren’t you permitted within the law to defend yourself and property? I saw the clipping on the evening news; Mr. Manning virtually brushed aside the gentleman on his own property! Do citizens not have the right to defend themselves and their property in this country anymore? Since when because a person is Prime Minister they can enter the private homes of citizens at whim, whenever they feel like without the property owner’s permission? The security detail then proceeded to stay on the pensioner’s property after Mr. Manning left further compounding the illegal trespassing of private property of a citizen of our democratic Republic. Perhaps Mr. Philbert or whomsoever is in charge of the Prime Minister’s detail should have some legal workshops with the PM’s security detail so they won’t come across as being so totally ignorant to the laws of our land.

For instance the pensioner explicitly told the Prime Minister to not enter his premises, the Prime Minister in his usual arrogant manner ignored the gentleman and proceeded to break the laws of our Democratic Republic by entering the man’s property. Not only was this illegal it was also unnecessary harassment and provocation of a citizen of our country, it was an abuse and invasion of the pensioner’s private property and the pensioner therefore had every right to seek to remove Mr. Manning and defend his property even if it means removing Mr. Manning physically. The person whom the security detail should have admonished was Mr. Manning, he should have pulled the PM aside and politely advise him that even though he is the Prime Minister, he is still subject to the laws and bound by the constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and therefore it would be an illegal act to enter this pensioner’s property as he has so explicitly indicated he does not want you on his property.

If the Prime Minister can brazenly disregard the citizens of this country and enter our homes whenever he feels like then something is terribly wrong in our country. Fellow citizens, do not take this incident lightly, pay close attention to the actions of our politicians. Something terribly ugly has happened to our political system, we now live in a country where our public servants act as Kings and Lords over us believing they can say whatever they want to us, not account to us for their actions and now enter the sanctity of our homes without our permission. I would really appreciate if Mr. Maharaj, Garvin Nicholas, Gillian Lucky or some other legal luminary within our country pay this pensioner a visit pro bono and see what legal course he can take considering the Prime Minister and his security detail’s illegal trespassing on his property as well as being unnecessarily threatened and harassed by the Prime Minister’s security detail because he sought to defend his home. I’m calling on my fellow citizens, wake up! Arise from your slumber! Our democratic rights and freedoms are under severe attack, we are losing this country everyday to the arrogance of our politicians and pretty soon one day we will get up one morning and realize we are prisoners in our own country. ©

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