Port of Spain is Open for Business

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DOMA Says Warnings and Advisories Doing “Untold and Serious Harm” to the Country

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (GUARDIAN) — The Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) on Monday responded to various warnings and advisories about safety and security from diplomatic missions with a statement announcing that Port-of-Spain is open for business.

The group said the haziness of the warnings and advisories had left citizens in a state of doubt which is doing “untold and serious harm” to the country.

“Regionally and internationally we are gaining a reputation of being a nation in collapse based on warnings that are not supported by evidence or facts,” Doma said.

“The unfortunate incident in east Port-of-Spain on Monday February 19 has been added to the “mix” of previous advisories to create a new toxicity to the image of our country and its capital. We understand the high standard to which foreign missions are held regarding the safety and well-being of their citizens, but we also feel constrained to respectfully defend the image of our country.”

The group, which re-stated its support for agencies fighting against all forms of extremism, expressed concern that accountability has been absent from recent threat warning in T&T.
The statement continued: “We do not want to endanger the progress of sensitive investigations, but we also do not want to worsen the gloom that is engulfing the outlook of a majority of our people in all strata and in all classes in our country. This gloom about Trinidad and Tobago is spreading quickly among the investment community both local and foreign and is making itself felt in many areas of our economy.

“Asking us to ‘get real’ about our inquiries concerning recent threat warnings can be respectfully answered by us asking various commentators to uphold our right to know and to decide for ourselves as to how to protect ourselves and our families and how to judge conditions in our country.”

In underscoring that the nation’s capital is open for business, Doma cited the example of Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez who led a clean up in person in the aftermath of the chaos of February 19.

“We are actively dealing with issues related to security, parking, homelessness and we are making progress, albeit in small steps but progress nonetheless,” Doma said. – (www.guardian.co.tt/)

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