1,200 Caribbean troopers to guard Commonwealth meet

Port-of-Spain, Nov 15 (Inditop.com) About 1,200 Carribean troopers along with local security personnel will maintain a hawk-eye vigil during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in this Trinidad and Tobago capital Nov 27-29, a minister said, adding 9/11 has “changed the security landscape for heads of states”.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lead a strong delegation to the meeting. He will be joined by 51 other leaders from Commonwealth nations.

Trade and Industry Minister Mariano Browne told the media that the government was making significant efforts to ensure the safety of all delegates.

Browne said that about 1,200 regional troopers sourced from Caribbean governments will supplement the local security forces. The troopers will come from Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and the Bahamas.

The Caribbean troopers had also been part of the security force for the Summit of the Americas that was attended by US President Barack Obama and 32 of his counterparts from Organisation of American States earlier this year.

“Whether we like it or not, 2001 (9/11) has changed the security landscape for heads of states and we are not going to relax on our security,” Browne said, adding that approximately $40 million would be spent on arrangements for the CHOGM.

The “red zone” areas for the summit will include the National Centre for the Performing Arts adjacent to the six-mile Queen’s Park Savannah. The official opening ceremony Nov 27 will take place at the centre.

The conference will then shift to the newly-constructed Hyatt Regency Hotel located on the downtown waterfront.