Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar said that, “we know that in 1990 firearms were brought into this country to service the intent of the insurgents. Today we are plague with a proliferation of firearms and ammunitions in Trinidad and Tobago”.
She said that these are some of the reasons why her government thought it was appropriate to have this inquiry into what most Trinidadians and Tobagonians call the “1990 coup”.
The Prime Minister also confirmed on Friday, (23rd July), that her government has also decided to auction off 11 properties owned by the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen. She said that this is in line with a Privy Council ruling that allowed the government to sell the properties to pay for damages caused by the Muslim group to government buildings during the failed coup.
The Abu Baka has however described the government’s decision as a ploy to eliminate his group, but he said that he has friends in the government who would stand up for him and not allow this that to happen. Among those named as his friends was Jack Warner, who only recently acted as Prime Minister, while Mrs. Persad-Bissessar attended the C ARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in early July.
The Prime Minister said that her government is also taking seriously, a threat by one of Baka’s followers that they would continue the coup attempt if the properties are sold.
The auction of the properties will take place, ironically, on Tuesday 27th July, the 20th Anniversary of the failed coup attempt.
The parliament in 1990 was held hostage for six days before negotiations between the Muslin group, led by Yasin Abu Baka and the government resulted in an amnesty, allowing the coup leaders and supporters to walk free of criminal trial.