Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 31st 2015 Contents UNQUESTIONABLY TALENTED
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, January 31, 2015
PNM MP Paula Gopee-Scoon was
light-heartedly chatting with PP s
Winston Peters in Parliament yes-
terday. PNM s Keith Rowley was also
smiling happily, looking unworried,
speaking to colleague Amery Browne.
Possible topic: "You have to find a
new Attorney General now," PNM s
lower bench MPs quipped to the PP
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar (and AG Anand Ramlogan) weren t
present yesterday. But witnessing it
was National Security Minster Gary
Griffith now also at the centre of the
matter concerning police probe of the
AG on witness-tampering allegations
by Police Complaints Authority direc-
tor David West.
Griffith who said he hadn t spoken
to police yet, told T&T Guardian: "I
stand for principle..."
The PM held no meeting with either
minister yesterday. But PP officials are
expecting a decision on the AG s future
based on the fact the issue is a police
matter beyond mere "talk." They said
the issue wasn t discussed at Thurs-
day s Cabinet, but another meeting of
certain ministers also occurred.
How the south-central based PP
finds its way out of the West chal-
lenge, involving no less than one of the
Cabinet s two cornerstones remains to
unfold. Ramlogan---by virtue of post---
would have to resign in the face of the
probe and Griffith s future is also
questionable, considering recent
Months from general elections, Gov-
ernment s bind is acute, magnifying
PP s target-status for detractors (as
protestors outside Parliament demon-
strated yesterday), with parallel issues
dogging the seat of Parliament with
House Speaker Wade Mark. Also par-
ticularly, since other PP officials have
demitted (or were fired) in similar cir-
cumstances from Mary King onwards.
In the election climate, she has less
room on allegations concerning key
figures, Government s legal adviser and
PNM s political guns will also be
"loaded" with the resignations of for-
mer minister Eric Williams and
Franklin Khan in 2005 (though
Williams initially refused to) after
criminal allegations. Persad-Bissessar
had read the Dhansook accusations in
Parliament then. Now her AG has bro-
ken ground as the first, under police
probe, politicos say.
The COP didn t assist management
either since leader Prakash Ramadhar s
efforts afforded West an opportunity to
reinforce PCA s independence, lending
to perception of political interference.
Nor did COP call for Ramlogan s resig-
nation as it s done before for others.
T&T Guardian confirmed former
PCA director Gillian Lucky---who
resigned---recommended West for the
Ramlogan who s has been PP s public
defence and political whipping boy on
many issues, fended off allegations and
repeated resignation calls. Til now.
The West issue which followed Ram-
logan s one-up in the Emailgate judg-
ment, was spun by PP as political con-
spiracy. It remains to unfold how much
of a palace coup may also be involved
if the situation pits Ramlogan against
West s witness statement, done for
Rowley s side in the defamation case
concerning the AG---another aspect
where implications are expected---may
cast him in a certain light. Delay in
reporting the alleged situation also
fuelled queries including why the post
was accepted after alleged discourse
since it might have left one duty-
bound to report it ASAP and stand
In a 2011 news report on FIU legisla-
tion debate Ramlogan accused the for-
mer PNM government of making an
unsuitable appointment of FIU director
in the person of West, that the
appointment represented a "glaring"
conflict of interest. A 2013 report
noted West as a defence attorney
promising "there would be bacchanal"
if Doreen Alexander-Durity was extra-
dited as Ramlogan had done.
Police say the probe is highest prior-
ity since it was "very serious."
Whether it would conclude in a week,
they said the CAL issue with ACP
Peter Reyes took a month.
The boon has afforded PNM a politi-
cal comfort zone in which to confront
San Fernando East and Arima nomi-
nees. Sando East party groups meet
Tuesday to decide among seven
including latest Malika Blair, former
councillor. There s certain a support
still for incumbent Patrick Manning,
officials added. Randall Mitchell, who
was on the team that formulated Row-
ley s one-man, one-vote plan is
expected to get the nod, it s under-
From 28 of Arima s 33 groups, offi-
cials there said Pennelope Beckles has
large support with lesser nominations
for Anthony Garcia and Ian Forde.
The office established under the constitution to
uphold law and justice is for the first time oc-
cupied by a man who is the subject of a criminal
investigation. The Attorney General Mr Anand
Ramlogan has found himself in a position that no
respectable occupant would continue to serve
under in light of what the office represents.
Country has to be a major consideration when
any high office holder puts forward themselves to
serve. It is therefore inconceivable that Mr Ramlo-
gan has not submitted his resignation as a matter
of principle given the magnitude and circum-
stances of the allegations of bribery and obstruc-
tion of an ongoing investigation.
There are many considerations and viewpoints
that can be exhausted under the circumstances,
however, our values are what defines us as indi-
viduals. The ethical and exemplary thing to do as
the holder of the second highest office in the Par-
liament is to recuse oneself at least until one's
name is cleared. It would therefore appear to the
public that Mr Ramlogan may be holding on to of-
fice as his sanctuary of protection which would be
highly unfortunate if true.
David West, however, has to be complimented
as I agree to an extent with political analyst Dr
Ragoonath when he said politicians do not have a
history of doing the right thing. Dr Rowley is one
politician however who in my humble view can be
credited with doing the right thing when he ex-
posed wrongdoing within his own party while in
government in the interest of the public.
What actually gives validity to the allegations is
that Mr West was seemingly calculating enough
to gather the necessary evidence of time and date
of phone calls to trace content and may have even
more to reveal. All things being considered he was
responsible and prudent enough to not remove his
On a global scale T&T has been saddled with
enough negative international stories from the
murder rate to the Section 34 scandal, and all this
while our corruption perception rating gets worse
every year. Our country is in a genuine leadership
crisis and the direct ripple effect of that is the
negative influence on the younger generation.
I think calling the general election now is an op-
portunity to allow the system to purge itself of
the heavy concentration of ills plaguing our nation.
We have fiscal, social, business and broad eco-
nomic issues to attend to which will determine
how we spend our Independence day, Republic
Day, Christmas, Divali, Eid and New Year celebra-
tions etc, along with our day-to-day activities over
the upcoming years.
Marcia Henville, words could change what has
happened to you, but as your soul is finally at
rest and as your body becomes one with the
earth, may the seeds you planted grow and bear
fruit. May your children rise up to carry the torch
you lit with your fiery spirit; stand for truth, jus-
tice, fairness and be that voice for the voiceless al-
Domestic violence is one of the many ills that
plague our society and the world at large. Many
women are victims, some don't survive. Fear and
silence rule their lives behind closed doors; be it
physical or psychological abuse, the effect is the
same. It's cancerous.
Know you are not alone, there's always some-
one you can turn to or call for help. Do not stay in
a toxic relationship; do not tell yourself it's going
to get better, it's not. If a man or woman hits you,
he/she is an abuser and they will do it again.
Do not let anyone belittle you, that's not love, it
never was. Reach out, speak out, run if you have
to and don't look back.
Your life is important; you are important and
you deserve to live. You deserve joy, happiness
Fly free, soar, Marcia Henville.
PP'S WEST CHALLENGE,
AG FUTURE IN BALANCE
A group of
poses for a
at the Duke
AG has to do the ethical thing
Fly free, soar, Marcia
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