Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 29th 2015 Contents A5
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
State-owned Caribbean New Media
Group (CNMG) is set to host a leadership
exchange tomorrow but it is unlikely that
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley will
So far, the only person who has confirmed
attendance for the July 30 is Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who has refused
to engage in a national debate hosted by
the T&T Debates Commission (TTDC)
unless the commission agrees to accede to
several demands, which include the power
to reject the moderator, members of an
anonymous panel and the production team,
including the technical director.
The TTDC has fixed August 20 and 27
for the leaders debate and said the show
would go on with the parties who are
desirous of participating in its event.
In an interview yesterday, Rowley said
he would not participate in a debate with
Persad-Bissessar as he has had no corre-
spondence from her.
"The Prime Minister speaks for herself
when she says she is ready for a debate with
me. She and I are in no conversation for a
debate. That is as much as I am prepared
to say on that," Rowley told the T&T
Asked whether he would be participating
in the debate hosted by the TTDC, Rowley
said: "We have a commitment to the
Debates Commission on the conditions that
they have laid down and we have given our
position on that."
He declined to answer any more ques-
tions. Previously, however, Rowley had said
he would participate in a leaders debate,
as prescribed in the stipulations discussed
with them by the TTDC, once it was staged
after nomination day (August 17).
Also contacted yesterday, CNMG CEO
Ken Ali said letters had been sent to Rowley
inviting him to participate in the debate
scheduled to take place from 8 pm and will
be carried live on CTV and Talk City 91.1
He said the debate would be 90 minutes
long and the Prime Minister had confirmed
Ali noted that CNMG decided to host
the event after the TTDC cancelled a pro-
visional booking to host the national lead-
ership debate at CNMG s studios.
"On July 15, 2015, CNMG wrote to Per-
sad-Bissessar, as leader of the PP, and Row-
ley, leader of the PNM, inviting them to
participate in a leadership debate.
"On that date, CNMG also wrote to the
heads of TV6 and CNC3, inviting their par-
ticipation in a joint event, and proposing
that the debate be moderated by the pre-
senters of the three respective morning tel-
evision talk shows," Ali said.
He said while Persad-Bissessar responded
on July 17, accepting CNMG s invitation,
Rowley has never responded to the invitation
Ali said while there had been meetings
with representatives of TV6 and CNC3,
they had not confirmed whether or not
they would be participating.
Promising the debate would be "a fair
and balanced discussion aimed at airing the
major national issues," Ali said he remained
hopeful Rowley would be part of it.
"The invitation remains open for his par-
ticipation," Ali said.
Efforts to contact the PM s negotiator for
the leaders debate, Larry Lalla, were unsuc-
cessful yesterday as calls to his cellular
phone went unanswered.
Commenting on the invitation for input
by the other media houses from CNMG
yesterday, interim Guardian Media Limited
managing director Grenfell Kissoon said at
the invitation of Ali, the three TV heads,
T&T Publishers and Broadcasters Associ-
ation president Daren Lee-Singh and Media
Association of T&T representatives
Francesca Hawkins and Sheila Rampersad
held a meeting with Ali at the Hyatt
Regency, Port-of-Spain, last week. The
Debates Commission was also invited but
did not attend.
"A Q&A was proposed but it was then
agreed that the TTPBA would look at
whether there should be such an event and
should there be a subsequent decision on
whether to proceed in that manner, MATT
could come up a proposal and select mod-
erators," Kissoon said.
Kissoon said, however, that there had
been no further communication with Ali
and CNMG on the matter since then.
"That is where we left it," Kissoon said.
A Moruga man was murdered as he slept yesterday
in what police say could have been another reprisal
killing in the area.
Dead is Narsingh Ramlochan of Fifth Company,
Police sources say Ramlochan, a "PH" driver, was
also a driver for Antrez and Kendall Khan and Victor
Marcano, the three men who were released recently
from jail after a murder charge against them collapsed.
They were charged with the 2012 New Year s Day
drive-by murder of Marcus Cooper.
However, since the matter was dismissed at the
Princes Town Magistrates Court on May 27, police
and residents have been bracing for reprisal killings.
Reports indicate that around 9.30 am Ramlochan s
brother went to his home and called out to him but
got no response. He entered the house, where he found
his brother s body, lying on the bed. Ramlochan
appeared to have been shot in the head.
Police say the father of one was well known to them
as he had eight charges pending arising out of a
shooting at a Subway outlet at La Romain on March
23, 2011. He had also spent time in jail for stealing a
car and possession of drugs.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian yesterday, Inspector
Don Gajadhar, said patrols have been beefed up in
Moruga and St Mary s Village since the first reprisal
murder took place after the Khan brothers and Marcano
were released from jail.
On July 6, Moruga Composite School student, Tylon
Dyer, 18, of Petit Café, Indian Walk Road, was shot
dead while in his father s welding shop. Dyer was
Marcano s younger brother.
On July 13, Akiel Thomas, a cousin of the Khan
brothers died from gunshot injuries he sustained two
days before. He was shot and left at the side of the
road in Penal to die by a gunman.
Gajadhar said Senior Supt Irwin Hackshaw, ASP
Ali Mohammed and himself have been co-ordinating
patrols in the area in an effort to keep gun violence
He said Task Force teams also have been installed
in the area to counter the slew of murders.
The latest killing has taken the murder toll to 238
for the year. The toll for the corresponding period
last year stood at 252.
PM set to 'debate' alone
Rowley yet to confirm CNMG's invitation
Murder linked to reprisal killings
Ex-convict shot in bed
Family and neighbours not talking
When the T&T Guardian visited the home yesterday,
dozens of neighbours and family members gathered to
watch as undertakers removed Ramlochan's body from
the house. Family members shied away from the camera
and declined to speak, with one woman saying: "We don't
want this in the papers, so we eh telling yuh nothing."
Neighbours were likewise reluctant to speak, with one
woman exclaiming loudly as she was approached: "We
don't know nothing and we ent see nothing. We never
see what happen. People does get kill for that."
However, one young man did say Ramlochan had
recently been released from prison.
"Only recently he come out of jail, I can't remember
what he was lock up for though," said the man, who
asked not to be identified. "He was a quiet person
though. Since he come out he never interfere with
anybody," he said.
Supporters of the PNM during the party's presentation of its southern and central candidates at Harris Promenade, San Fernando,
last night. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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