Several men of Bamboo Village light candles at a mural showing several femicide and gender-based violence victims in T&T over the past few months, during a vigil held there on Tuesday 9 February 2021. (Image courtesy RENÉ NANAN)
SHASTRI BOODAN

Chaguanas West MP, Dinesh Rambally, has said he does not want to run the risk of politicizing any struggle for justice by the people.

The MP was responding to comments in the public domain that many politicians have refrained from participating in the current series of candlelight vigils and protest demonstrations by citizens, to highlight the issues of gender-based violence and femicide in this country.

In expressing condolences to Andrea Bharatt’s family, MP Rambally said:

“We are all too aware of the citizenry’s collective expression of hurt and suffering, and they are crying out and demanding justice.  It is their right so to do.  I have seen innumerable men, women and children calling out for a safer T&T.  Some are even calling for greater action to be taken by their Parliamentarians.”

He added: “I support these persons and join in their chorus.  I share their pain.  But I have not physically appeared at any of these vigils out of respect for their collective expression, and for fear that my appearance may unnecessarily politicize their efforts and become a platform for unjustified and unfortunate attacks from detractors of this great movement.”

The wave of national vigils and demonstrations have occurred in the wake of the kidnapping and death of Andrea Bharatt, who was kidnapped on January 29th, and her remains found in the Heights of Aripo some six days later, on February 4th.

More vigils and demonstrations are expected to continue throughout the month of February, across the country.

Several men of Bamboo Village light candles at a mural showing several femicide and gender-based violence victims in T&T over the past few months, during a vigil held there on Tuesday 9 February 2021. (Image courtesy RENÉ NANAN)