Everything should be done to ensure that "fundamental and destructive elements" are not allowed to attack the people of this country in the future.
This advice comes from former prime minister and president Arthur NR Robinson, days before the 20th anniversary of the bloody July 1990 attempted coup. In an interview yesterday, Robinson said such people must be "controlled and if possible got rid off." Robinson said it was very important that the mistakes which led to the coup be learnt by those in authority.
He said every effort should be made to ensure there was no repeat of such an attack on the democracy of T&T. Robinson, who was shot while being held hostage in the Parliament during the attempted coup, said the commission of enquiry was long overdue. He said the decision to set up the public inquiry was a personal triumph for NAR member Wendell Eversley, who had been calling for it for several years.
Robinson said Eversley did it in the national interest and should be given a national award. "He is a national hero, in my view," he added. Robinson said the 1990 coup attempt was of "major historical importance" to the people of T&T, as it was the most traumatic event in the country's history. Robinson said it was necessary for several questions to be answered and the inquiry should provide the answers.
"It is absolutely necessary to show the facts on how such a daring and foolish group could burst into the Parliament while in session." He said the enquiry would also explain how arms could have been brought into the country and hidden and used for the attack with the security forces knowing about them. Some 24 nationals, including two police officers and MP for Diego Martin Central Leo Des Vignes, were killed during the incident.