Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 5th 2015 Contents A5
Thursday, February 5, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
House Speaker Wade Mark
is expected to lead parliamen-
tary delegations to Cuba and
Australia later this month.
Sources said Cabinet had
approved the $.5 million travel-
ling budget for both events.
The respective delegations will
visit the National Assembly of
People's Power in Havana and
the Parliament in Australia and
meet with parliamentary officials
in both countries to discuss par-
liamentary procedures and relat-
The visits are being described
as parliamentary exchanges,
The first trip to Cuba runs
from February 10 to 16 and
apart from Mark, Minister of
National Diversity and Social
Integration Rodger Samuel
and Opposition Senator
Lester Henry are also expect-
ed to attend.
The second trip is scheduled
to Australia from February 19 to
27 and will include Mark, Minister
in the Ministry of the People and
Social Development Vernella
Alleyne-Toppin and Opposition
Senator Lester Henry. Sources say
an Independent Senator is also
expected to be in each delegation.
Both Opposition Leader Dr
Keith Rowley and the MP for
Chaguanas West Jack Warner
have called on Mark not to leave
the country in the wake of con-
cerns over his decision to rely on
a court document submitted by
Finance Minister Larry Howai to
stop the debate on a private
motion of no confidence in Howai
on January 23 filed by Warner.
Mark claimed he mistook a
court stamp for an official doc-
ument from the Judiciary and
apologised for his error.
Guardian Media Ltd managing director Lisa Agard looks on as soca star Machel Montano signs a contract
that makes GML's television station, CNC3, and T&T Guardian official partners for Machel Monday on
February 9 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. The signing took place at GML's boardroom, St Vincent Street,
Port-of-Spain, last night. Montano later gave an exclusive interview to CNC3 and premiered his latest
video, On My Way. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
In the face of an impending criminal
complaint to be filed by fired national
security minister Gary Griffith, gov-
ernment s chief public relations con-
sultant Ernie Ross has changed his
tune and is now confirming he did
meet with Griffith and his wife at his
St Clair office last Thursday.
That meeting, which took place hours
after Police Complaints Authority (PCA)
director David West filed a criminal
complaint against former attorney gen-
eral Anand Ramlogan, was first made
public by Griffith and had been stoutly
denied by Ross and Communication
Minister Vasant Bharath.
Griffith, who has been identified as
a critical witness in support of West's
complaint, had threatened to tell all
about the details of what took place at
that meeting. The former minister said
then his wife, Nicole Dyer-Griffith,
chair of the Congress of the People,
and Bharath were present at that meet-
Ross denied Bharath was part of the
meeting and the minister also said he
was not present.
Details of those discussions have now
formed part of Griffith's report to the
police. The police will now have to
determine whether Ross' intervention
amounted to an attempt to pervert the
course of justice by reportedly advising
Griffith to withdraw his witness state-
ment in support of West.
On Sunday, just hours before Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar made
her fourth Cabinet reshuffle in as many
years, Bharath sent out a statement
condemning Griffith for accusing Cab-
inet members of attempting to influence
him to back off from supporting West.
Griffith shot back, saying he had
never made such a claim and Bharath
never consulted him before sending
out the statement.
In an interview on Tuesday, Ross,
when questioned aboaut the meeting
denied it ever took place and said the
matter was now in the hands of his
But yesterday, Ross in a telephone
interview admitted he met with Griffith
and Dyer-Griffith on Thursday, just as
Griffith had originally stated.
He said he sat in that meeting in an
"informal" role but denied Bharath was
a part of it.
Ross has a full-page advertisement
in today's newspaper in a bid to "set
the record straight."
In that release, Ross said he "con-
vened the meeting as a media adviser"
to the former minister of national secu-
The ad stated: "As is proper, the for-
mer minister Mr Griffith and his wife,
Ms Nicole Dyer-Griffith, were both
advised at the onset of the meeting
and during the session that the dis-
cussions were entirely in their interest
and there was no attempt to change
the veracity of statements.
"At all times the purpose of the
meeting was to prepare the minister
for scrutiny of the media, public and
Ross said the role he played was sim-
ilar to what he had done on previous
occasions with many other Cabinet
ministers, advising them as issues arose.
The matter of Ross' alleged involve-
ment in possible criminal conduct, was
raised yesterday by journalists in Guyana
with the Foreign Affairs Minister Car-
Rodrigues-Birkett told Guyana media
Ross would have to explain the back-
ground to the situation to her, according
to two Guyanese reporters.
Ross, a Guyanese national, is the
honorary consul general to T&T.
Ross yesterday produced a press
statement from Rodrigues-Birkett's
ministry saying he had provided the
requested information and that her
ministry "reposes its confidence" in
"As Honorary Consul General, Ross
is permitted to function in other capac-
ities," the release said.
Ross changes tune:
I had talks
Mark heads group to Cuba, Australia
Congress of the People (COP)
chair Nicole Dyer-Griffith has
accused her political leader
Prakash Ramadhar of being "sex-
ist" after he described her as being
emotional in the wake of her hus-
band s firing on Monday by the
Dyer-Griffith yesterday baulked
at the term and the fact that
Ramadhar referred to her by her
first name when speaking to the
media on Tuesday.
Her initial comments after the
Cabinet reshuffle, which also axed
Timothy Hamel-Smith as Senate
President, was that the party had
to revisit its position as a coalition
member of the Government.
On Tuesday, Ramadhar was
reported as saying that in being
fair to "Nicole," he could "only
imagine the emotions she would
have felt because the decisions
which were taken in relation to her
husband, and to be fair to her I
think she spoke in her personal
Ramadhar, the Legal Affairs Min-
ister, who was given the additional
portfolio as Justice Minister, said
then the party was in full support
of the PM's decision to fire Griffith
Ramlogan is accused of attempt-
ing to get David West, director of
the PCA, to withdraw his witness
statement in a defamation lawsuit
supporting Opposition Leader Dr
Keith Rowley in exchange for the
PCA post and West confided in
Griffith about it.
Dyer-Griffith said yesterday that
if those statements made by
Ramadhar were true she "emphat-
ically condemn the tone and tenor
Dyer-Griffith said the attribution
of "her emotions", was further
compounded by the referring to
me as "Nicole".
"Now, notwithstanding, the
political leader and I having what
could have been described as a
friendship, I have never in any of
my public utterances referred to
him as Prakash'. I have maintained
the tone and tenor of his role and
standing," she said.
She said her statements to the
media revolved around the removal
of her husband, former national
security minister Gary Griffith, and
the removal of Senate President
COP member Timothy Hamel-
Smith, "which only serves to
underscore a wider and deeper
sense of loss for the COP."
She said if Ramadhar did make
those statements then he could be
accused of bordering on "chau-
vinistic, sexist and meaning to
Ramadhar did not respond to
calls to his mobile.
Nicole on Ramadhar's comment:
It was a sexist statement
Links Archive February 4th 2015 February 6th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page