Both Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Leader of the Opposition, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, have condemned the attack on Roman Catholic priest, Fr Clyde Harvey, on Monday.
Speaking at a United National Congress (UNC) meeting at the St Helena Hindu School Monday night, Persad-Bissessar condemned the attack on Harvey who was tied up and robbed by three men who threatened to kill him while at the St Martin de Porres RC Church, Gonzales, on Monday morning.
She told supporters, “We condemn that brutal attack in a church against Father Harvey. It just shows the state of lawlessness in this country.”
Persad-Bissessar said there were different types of attacks, those with the guns and those with words through verbal abuse.
In a statement on Monday afternoon, Rowley said the attack by able-bodied, gun-toting men sadly represents the worst that exists within our communities.
“Notwithstanding what difficulties one may be facing in life there are limits beneath which the human form should not sink.
“Unfortunately, there are people who have chosen criminal conduct as a way of life and such persons, regardless of their circumstances, should be condemned in the strongest terms, as I so do now.
“These miscreants have parents and I hope that somewhere in this country today there are a few parents who are hanging their heads in shame as they reflect in private as to what more they might have done to prevent any of our citizens from behaving in this despicable way”.
On another hot topic, the former Prime Minister said the Opposition has always supported that the legal age for marriage must be 18 but various religious bodies had the right to be heard and express their points of view.
She added, “I condemn the Prime Minister and any of his Government Ministers for making attacks that are unwarranted against religious leaders in our country.”
She said the Government was “hell bent on a road to dictatorship”.
She said,”I have seen demonstrated from the Government the most heinous, the most untenable kinds of positions about freedom and democracy in Trinidad and Tobago as demonstrated in their behaviour and their comments in the debate of the Marriage bill and outside,” she said.
“I condemn any attack on any religious leader, it could be Sat Maharaj from the Maha Sabha, it could be SWAHA, the Anglican church, the Catholic church, the Presbyterian church, the masjids,” she said.
She also revealed that documents are being collected on a Government Minister who ran up an $85,000 bill to attend the jazz festival.
She said more will be revealed on this.