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Griffith probes party at Five Islands Water Park, slams ‘hypocrisy’ of Deyalsingh and CMO

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith vowed to conduct enquiries into a party at Five Islands Water Park, after a video showed persons dancing at the west Trinidad venue on Sunday 26 July.

The video was shot from outside the Water Park and appeared to show more than 25 persons at the event.

Wired868 tried unsuccessfully to contact management at Five Islands for comment.

“It was brought to my attention and I am now liaising with the ACP of the North-West division to verify if the police was aware of this,” Griffith told Wired868, “and if any laws or regulations were being breached and why wasn’t it stopped.

“I am sure the CMO should have a  greater concern about this than an eleven a side football tournament.”

Griffith, who officially called off his Commissioner Cup’s youth football tournament today, has repeatedly criticised Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram and Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh for refusing to back the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) competition and advising parents not to participate.

At a press conference today, Griffith suggested that Deyalsingh and Dr Parasram have been avoiding him.

“The minister of health spoke today and said communication is the key,” said Griffith. “It is very interesting that the minister of health has stated this because for a few days now I’ve asked the minister of health to contact me and he said he is busy. For several days now, we have asked to meet the CMO and he has refused to meet with the commissioner of police.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (centre) accompanies lawmen on a TTPS exercise.
(via TTPS)

“One would think that, in a situation like this, the minister of health and the chief medical officer would see it fit that the commissioner of police should be at the forefront of the people for them to communicate with on a regular basis—because I’m the person who has to enforce laws and persuade in policies.

“[…] Rather than persons trying to make things personal, I would ask the minister of health to take his own advice [on communication]… The reason we need to know is because at the Police Service we are here to enforce laws and we are also here to persuade in policies.”

Even as Griffith pledged that the TTPS ‘would automatically take the recommendation from the chief medical officer and the minister of health’, he criticised the decision from both men who warned against all youth sport before September.

Further, he said that critics of his stance ‘misunderstood my point’—which is a perceived lack of consistency from the Ministry of Health bigwigs.

“In the same way that every single day we have heard the concern not to have a sporting tournament,” said Griffith, “there is less risk for a sporting tournament than having over 1,000 children in Maracas Beach on a Sunday. But I have not heard that same concern [about children at the beach] from the CMO and the minister of health.

Photo: Children enjoy the facilities at the Five Islands Water Park.
(via Five Islands Water Park)

“I have not heard the concern from the minister of health and the CMO about several hundred children being in a water park or in a cinema, where the air would be circulating.

“[…] That is not democracy that is hypocrisy.”

This morning, Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) general secretary Azaad Khan asked school teams to stop training by order of its executive committee, which is now headed by interim president Phillip Fraser.

“The executive committee of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) is recommending that all football training immediately cease,” stated the SSFL release. “This recommendation is based on the advice of the minister of health and the chief medical officer.”

Today, the Tacarigua Presbyterian Primary School was closed after a SEA student was listed as a primary contact of the country’s 148th novel coronavirus case.

Last week, the Maraval RC Primary School was closed after a SEA student also tested positive for Covid-19.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. Yaaaaaawn…