Dookeran: TT hasn’t learnt sufficiently from 1990 insurrection

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Dookeran: TT hasn’t learnt sufficiently from 1990 insurrection

As the nation observes the 33rd anniversary of the July 27, 1990 attempted coup, former Planning Minister for the then National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) Winston Dookeran, says T&T has not learned sufficiently from the events.

Dookeran, who was among those taken hostage in the Red House on that day, said he can still recall every minute of the ordeal. “I’ll never forget it, it is with me always.”

The coup attempt was orchestrated by Jamaat al Muslimeen leader, Yasin Abu Bakr, who along with a group of insurgents, fire bombed the TTPS headquarters on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain. Forty-two of them stormed the Red House, taking Prime Minister ANR Robinson and most of his Cabinet hostage, as well as other people.

Bakr also led 72 other insurgents, taking hostages at TTT.

The ordeal last for six days and in the aftermath, 24 people were killed and many others injured, before the muslimeen surrendered.

Dookeran, in a GML interview, said to date, “My impression is that we haven’t learned sufficiently from the events of 1990—from the point of view of security lapses that may have occurred at the time and whether they’ve been properly and transparently corrected, and from the point of view of sociological implications of that event in the psyche of our people with respect to issues of high treason.”

He added, “The permissiveness of the society to events of this nature is still very tolerant and, to some extent, hasn’t been addressed in the national arena.”

Dookeran said it also has not been learned that it was an historical moment in which several victims died.

He said all these matters are linked to the issue of political sensitivity, political accountability and political management.

He felt obviously there has been fall-out in society and discharge of democracy.

Dookeran said the minimum that can be done is to “unearth the Commission of Enquiry report on the event and even though in my view it didn’t cover the issues I raised or other critical matters, there are still several recommendations which didn’t see the light of day”.

The event is expected be marked by the Parliament today.