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Friday, October 3, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 02ND OCTOBER, 2014
Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar yesterday post-
poned the $.5 million buyout
of leave for Assistant Commis-
sioner of Police Wayne Dick in
the wake of issues raised by
acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams and the
Police Service Social and Wel-
Speaking at the post-Cabinet
press conference at the San Fer-
nando Teaching Hospital, Per-
sad-Bissessar, who returned
from her visit to the United
Nations in New York to meet a
furore brewing over the decision,
taken in her absence at a Cab-
inet meeting chaired by then
acting Prime Minister Errol
McLeod, said she had deferred
Dick s planned buyout to a sub-
committee of Cabinet.
She said the issue got her
attention while she was abroad,
adding it "has been referred to
the Finance and General Pur-
poses Committee of the Cabinet
where it will be reviewed."
In an immediate response last
night, president of the social
welfare body, Insp Anand
Ramesar, welcomed the PM s
decision. He said the planned
buyout was cause for concern
because it was done behind
He also said the issue meant
the Government was interfering
in the operations of the police
Asked if the association was
given any reason for the planned
buyout, Ramesar said:
"The information that the
association is getting is that
Dick is in charge and is the lead
person in the investigation with
the Dana Seetahal murder case.
It was suggested that he is a
person who has special training
and they need to keep him.
"That particular reasoning
or justification is not one which
we agree with. The membership
does not feel that it is his role
in the Seetahal investigation
which led to Government
wanting to buy out his leave,
he cannot be replaced, and the
other reason given is flawed."
The Prime Minister s deci-
sion to review the buyout,
Ramesar said, was necessary
at this time to prevent further
demoralisation in the Police
"The latest development
suggests that the repercussions
are very unhealthy for the
Police Service," he added.
He admitted it was not
uncommon for government to
buy out paid vacation leave for
"This has happened in the
past but the buyout of leave
must be dependent on justifi-
cation. One of the most impor-
tant considerations is that it
must be done on the recom-
mendation of the Commission-
er of Police.
"In fact, the strategic plan of
the commissioner is to ensure
there is succession and promo-
tion for hardworking police offi-
cers and this particular buyout
does nothing more than paralyse
the current strategic plan of the
commissioner," Ramesar said.
He also said he had heard
that Dick was related to a senior
PM defers $.5m Dick leave buyout
Ramesar said the association
held a meeting with its members
on Monday to discuss the matter.
At the time, he said, they had
set a date of October 13 for the
matter to be reversed and, if not,
they would take the matter to the
High Court by way of a judicial
Two weeks ago, Cabinet
decided to purchase Dick's leave.
Sources said yesterday that
McLeod facilitated the move, via a
Cabinet note, which was prepared
by the Ministry of National
However, when Griffith took the
issue to Cabinet last Thursday,
Williams' recommendation was
Efforts to contact Williams for
comment were unsuccessful
yesterday as calls to his phone
But in an interview with the
T&T Guardian on Wednesday,
Williams made it clear that during
a meeting with National Security
Minister Gary Griffith before the
Cabinet met on the issue last
week, he made it clear he was not
in support of the buyout move.
"Clearly, this decision taken by
Cabinet undermines the
administration of the Police
Service," Williams said then,
adding he had still not been
officially told by Government of
the final decision on Dick.
He added: "I would not
recommend the leave of any of
the executive team be bought out.
There are many eligible persons
who can fill that position."
RUMBLING IN THE RANKS
T&T would have faced international pressure if
it had not joined with 90 other countries to co-
sponsor a resolution aimed at tackling global ter-
rorism, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
She said so as she defended her decision not to
consult with Caricom before signing the resolution
at the meeting of the UN Security Council, chaired
by United States President Barack Obama at UN
headquarters, New York, last week.
Saying "there was limited time for that kind of
discussion," Persad-Bissessar noted the co-sponsorship
resolution was also signed by Jamaica.
She added: "Jamaica has co-sponsored the res-
olution as well and what happened is after we arrived
in New York, it was brought to our attention that
the US was putting forward that resolution. There
was limited time for that kind of discussion.
"However, when it was brought to my attention
I had discussions with the Secretary General and
ambassador to Caricom to speak to other Caricom
heads to the way forward for Caricom with respect
She also said that many Heads of State in Caricom
were not present at the time.
However, she said Government would continue to
engage Caricom partners to get involved in the fight
She denied claims by Chaguanas West MP Jack
Warner that she had opened T&T to terrorism by
co-sponsoring the resolution, saying T&T and other
nations were already under the radar of global ter-
"We were always open to terrorism. The terrorists
in the entire network have spread their tentacles
throughout places you would never believe. Terrorist
activity is borderless. I think we were already opened
up for possible terrorist threats.
"To not be active in our commitment to fight ter-
rorists would have opened up T&T to serious inter-
national pressure. T&T would have been seen as a
haven for terrorists if we did not come out and support
the fight. We would have become a haven for the
very terrorist elements we seek to protect our citizens
from," she added.
The PM also said discussions were being held to
review military strategies.
"We have discussed with US the issue of decom-
missioned ships. We need to send our teams to look
at these warships to assess the conditions they are
in and whether it would require refurbishment and
whether it is feasible," she said.
Asked whether there will be legislative changes to
support this move, Persad-Bissessar said the legislative
framework was already in place.
"Legislative changes will be required for the co-
sponsoring. Advanced passenger information is already
in place as law.
"Not too long ago we dealt with fingerprinting at
our ports of entry. Recently, we passed laws dealing
with anti-money laundering and we continue to
strengthen those laws to deal with money laundering,
the financing of narco-trafficking, illegal arms and
ammunition," she said.
She added, however, that the administrative frame-
work now had to be strengthened.
PM defends her
Models pose for
launch of the
From left are
Rinell De Leon,
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