Trinidad and Tobago triumphed over dark forces in 1990.
That lesson has been carried over the years since the July 27, 1990 insurrection. In a solemn ceremony yesterday, the Presiding Officers of the Parliament laid wreaths at the Cenotaph, Knox Street, Port-of-Spain, to commemorate the country’s triumph over the 1990 insurrection – the attack on the country’s democracy 30 years ago by the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen. The ceremony took place at 6 pm, the time at which the attack was launched.
Senate President Christine Kangaloo and House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George paid their respects to those who lost their lives during the insurrection, a siege ended on August 1, 1990.
On the evening of Friday, July 27 1990, members of the Jamaat bombed Police Headquarters on St Vincent Street using a wired vehicle. They also stormed the Parliament when the House of Representatives was in session. Another Jamaat team did the same at the TTT station on Maraval Road.
Hostages, including then Prime Minister Arthur N. R. Robinson were held in the Red House and others, including journalists, at TTT. Robinson was shot in the lower right leg when he ordered the country’s military forces to attack with full force. But T&T’s security forces took control of the situation and the Jammat was eventually taken down.
Among those whose lives were lost in service were: Leo Des Vignes, MP for Diego Martin Central; Loraine Caballero, Clerical Officer, Office of the Parliament; Roger George, Assistant Superintendent of Police, TTPS; Solomon McLeod, Special Reserve Police Officer; Arthur Guiseppi, Customs and Excise Officer and former Police Officer; Malcolm Basanta, Estate Police Officer; George Francis, Chauffeur and Mervyn Teague, Government Broadcasting Unit Employee.
Yesterday evening, Parliament’s presiding officers filed out of the Parliament escorted by uniformed security corps to the Cenotaph location on Knox Street. It was the first ceremony at the Cenotaph, which is part of several new areas created during the restoration of the Red House. Prayers were said by Parliament staff members, followed by the playing of the “Last Post” by a bugler from the T&T Police Service. A minute of silence was observed.
Approximately 30 people were killed in the 1990 failed coup attempt. Port-of-Spain businesses were burnt and looted – but PoS and T&T recovered and has moved on.