Acting Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds says that he is embarrassed that his comments about the missing fishermen were viewed as “callous” and “insensitive”. Yesterday, Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial accused Hinds of stating that the government’s security patrol would have intervened in the rescue of the missing fishermen if there was a request by families of the murdered and still-missing fishermen. Ramdial also states the Minister alleges that since there was no Member of Parliament for Couva in government, there was no need for a government representative to go to the wake or funeral.
Speaking on CNC3’s programme Morning Brew this morning, Hinds strongly disagreed with Ramdial’s statements. He said he knew first-hand what the families of the missing fishermen were experiencing since he has dealt with much pain and bloodshed in his own constituency. Hinds who is the MP for Laventille West said that he empathized with the families and hoped that the missing fishermen would be returned soon. In trying to clarify his comments, he said that many representatives of what he considered the “government apparatus” had already responded to assist the families in finding the missing fishermen. Government apparatus in this instance are services belonging to the government such as members of the coast guard, the police service, social services and workers, and emergency services. He added that what may have been misconstrued by Ramdial, was his comment that the Minister of National Security would have shown up if he was requested by the fishermen, to chart a way forward for the future. If that request was made, he would attend a meeting. But he said the Security Minister, Stuart Young, “cannot be everywhere at once”, adding that he was informed of the situation but is out of the country.
As Acting Security Minister Hinds says he has “no difficulty” in visiting the fishermen’s families but worries about the effect Ramdial’s comments may have had on the situation.