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The payment comes following an arbitration
matter that had been settled with UK-based BAE
since last November.
Ramlogan admitted that the members of the
PP Government, when in Opposition, had criticised
the OPV agreement.
However, he said, it was a misrepresentation
that the Government had cancelled the OPV con-
tract, which was entered into the previous PNM
administration, in a willy nilly manner. The AG
said all the experts said that three OPVs were too
many and the money could be put to better use,
adding their objection was based on solid and
On assuming office, the Government, Ramlogan
said, was still committed to honouring the agree-
ment and was making the required payments for
the three OPVs.
"The reason that matter landed up in arbitration
had nothing to do with the Government pulling
the plug willy-nilly or else we would not have
been paid $1.4 billion by BAE," he told legislators.
"The reason that was done is because there
was a defect in the firing capability of the offshore
patrol vessels," he said.
He said the defect was in the first vessel con-
structed and when the second was constructed
the defect in the first was not resolved.
He said he visited the company and sought
answers about the defective vessel. The company,
he said, could not give any guarantee and encour-
aged the Government to accept the vessels at a
reduced price. He said if the vessels did not have
the specific capability there was no point in having
The minister said the termination of the contract
"was justified and in the interest of T&T and that
is why we didn t have to pay any money. We got
The contract was entered into with BAE Systems
in April 2007 for the acquisition of three OPVs
at a cost of TT$1.5 billion.
The PP Government cancelled the contract by
reason of BAE default on September 17, 2010.
Among the reasons given for the cancellation were
the delays in the delivery of the vessels and tech-
In announcing the cancellation of the contract
in 2010, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
had announced that with a contract of this size
and importance, and with major delays then
announced in BAE s delivery obligations and the
issues that persisted, it was incumbent that they
re-evaluated the contract.
The BAE, the PM had noted then, made pro-
posals that the Government take delivery of the
defective vessels despite the fact that the combat
system defects would prejudice the operational
capabilities of the vessels. She added that though
the Government believed in cancelling the contract,
it was still exercising contractual rights expressly
negotiated and agreed with BAE.
Thursday, September 26, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The death of T&T scholarship winner
Ravindra Ramrattan during the recent ter-
rorist attack at a mall in Kenya was another
example of the consequences of the illicit
arms flow across borders, Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar told the United
Nations General Assembly yesterday.
Persad-Bissessar spoke about Ramrattan s
death as she urged world leaders to ratify the
UN s small arms treaty during her address
to leaders at the 68th session of the United
Nations General Assembly in New York.
Ramrattan, a President s Medal winner,
had been working for the World Bank in
Nairobi since 2011. He was among an esti-
mated 72 people killed when members of
the Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate Al
Shabaab group stormed the Westgate Mall
in Nairobi. Some 175 people were also wound-
ed during the attack. Victims also hailed
from the UK, France, India, Ghana, Australia,
China, Peru and New Zealand.
Yesterday, a spokesman from the PM s
office said Ramrattan s body was scheduled
to be brought back to T&T tomorrow via a
Caribbean Airlines flight from London, after
it is airlifted there from Nairobi.
Persad-Bissessar, also Caricom chairman,
in a wide-ranging address to UN members
yesterday, said Caricom members were sup-
porters of the Arms Trade Treaty, agreed to
in March, which they had already signed and
She said: "In the light of our experiences
and challenges with the impact of crime,
violence and the illicit trade in small arms
and light weapons, on our development
efforts; we would encourage all States which
have not as yet done so, to sign and ratify
the ATT so that it may come into force at
the earliest opportunity."
She added, "In fact, one of our brilliant
young citizens, Mr Ravindra Ramrattan, a
former President s Gold Medalist for academic
excellence, was killed last Saturday in the
terrorist attack on Westgate mall in Nairobi.
He no doubt fell victim to illegal
guns and other weapons in the hands of
"His death is merely one more example
of the consequences of the illicit cross border
flows of small arms and light weapons which,
in the Caricom context, and indeed in many
regions of the world, are our weapons of
Persad-Bissessar also underscored the
Caribbean s grave concern with the escalating
humanitarian crisis in Syria. She reiterated
regional calls for the situation to be resolved
through dialogue, and not through the use
of any measures which would violate inter-
"T&T also submits if there is prima facie
evidence that individuals committed war
crimes within the jurisdiction of the Inter-
national Criminal Court (ICC), during this
protracted conflict, steps should be taken to
bring those individuals to justice."
Persad-Bissessar, however, expressed con-
cern about the Millenium Development Goals
programme which UN leaders launched in
2000, which was aimed at achieving targets
on matters from poverty alleviation to envi-
ronmental sustainability. She said progress
had been uneven.
"I am proud to report T&T has made
tremendous strides in achieving the goals,
and in some cases has surpassed them. Nev-
ertheless, a number of countries are not on
track to realise any of the targets," Persad-
Saying current approaches would not
advance that agenda by 2015, the PM said
transformative change at the national, regional
and international levels was required. She
said high level meetings on the situation
must "underscore that we must go beyond
business as usual."
The PM highlighted Caricom s concern
about small highly indebted middle income
Caricom states, she said, were now appeal-
ing to the international community to support
the call for the immediate review of the nar-
row criteria used by multilateral financial
institutions and an early review of the eco-
nomic and financial situation of graduated
small highly indebted middle-income coun-
She also reiterated Caricom s call for the
US embargo against Cuba to be lifted "sooner
rather than later."
Kamla salutes slain scholar in speech
PM urges UN to
ratify arms treaty
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP, hands over the documents ratifying the
Arms Trade Treaty to Michael Serpa Soares, Under Secretary-General for Legal Affairs at
the United Nations. At left is Minister of Foreign Affairs. The handover took place
yesterday at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Continued from Page 1
AG: BAE payout
will help in fight
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