In his Christmas Day message to the country, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, says every available resource and avenue will be used to combat the increasing crime problem in Trinidad and Tobago.
On a day when he released his message, three persons were gunned down in Cunupia.
Rowley added, “Much like previous years, the issues associated with addressing crime and national security have remained in the forefront.
The complexity of these issues is such that no one action would totally reverse the scourge but this Government is steadfast in its resolve to bring about the stability and security that the people of this nation deserve. Every resource and avenue that are available to us will be explored and utilized in the pursuit of these national objectives.”
The following is Rowley’s Christmas Message:
Fellow Citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
On behalf of my family and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, I extend warm and sincere Christmas greetings to the Christian and the wider national community. On this day, it is my fervent hope that the optimism and goodwill that characterise the Christmas season will serve to inspire the people of our blessed nation as we approach the New Year.
In the celebration of this joyous occasion, we recognise that it is our diverse cultural heritage which has given us a sense of national pride and purpose that enable us to observe Christmas in a very unique way, with our own traditions.
Above all else, we are also reminded that the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ is cause for both joy and sober reflection. We remember the unshakeable faith of Mary and Joseph in the promises of God, even as they encountered numerous challenges along their journey. The child that was brought forth in such unusual circumstances was a testament of their conviction and has remained as a symbol of peace, love and generosity across the world for over 2000 years.
In reflecting on the past year, there have been countless instances in which these virtues of selflessness and compassion were found to be present in our national community. In one such example, despite prevailing economic difficulties, many citizens came forward and contributed to efforts in alleviating the suffering of our regional neighbours caused by the forces of nature. Much like the widow whose meagre offering was considered by Christ to be of great value, I am confident that even the smallest contribution to that effort would have been of great significance to the lives of those who were desperately in need.
I ask that throughout the remainder of this year and as we go forward, that we continue to foster the spirit of generosity and goodwill in our families and in our communities and encourage all citizens to remember those less fortunate than ourselves.
Much like previous years, the issues associated with addressing crime and national security have remained in the forefront. The complexity of these issues is such that no one action would totally reverse the scourge but this Government is steadfast in its resolve to bring about the stability and security that the people of this nation deserve. Every resource and avenue that are available to us will be explored and utilized in the pursuit of these national objectives. In this season of thanksgiving, it is an opportune time for each and every one of us acknowledge and thank those men and women who on a daily basis put their lives on the line to keep us safe from the harm that could most certainly overcome us from the criminal element which reside in our country. We must also thank the families who support and sustain as we keep them always in our prayers.
Moreover, though this is indeed a season of optimism and celebration, I know that many people in our national community are experiencing challenges of one kind or another. I am however confident, that as we implement our strategies in the year ahead, there will be improvement in the fundamental areas of our economy as well as other areas of national life.
As we approach 2018, let us also be guided by the understanding that our capacity for productivity and progress is most assured when we are able to operate as a united national community. It is my sincere hope that every Trinidadian and Tobagonian will carefully reflect on the significance of cooperation in the pursuit of a stable and prosperous country. Although we have indeed experienced many difficulties as a nation, there are many reasons for us to be optimistic about our future.
The Christmas season therefore offers us the opportunity to adopt the spirit of hope for a better future. Let us be encouraged by the values of optimism and selflessness demonstrated by Christ during his ministry on the earth.
With all sincerity and warmth of heart, my family and I convey our best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas and for a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
May God continue to bless us all.”