Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 27th 2014 Contents A5
Thursday, March 27, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Vice-chairman of the Siparia
Regional Corporation, Chanardaye
Ramadharsingh, yesterday refused
to comment on the revocation of
her son Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh s
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar announced the decision
to fire Ramadharsingh, via a press
statement, on Tuesday, following
allegations of his misconduct aboard
a domestic flight from Tobago on
Yesterday, his mother, who is also
councillor for Otaheite/Rousillac,
was noticeably absent from a func-
tion at the corporation attended by
Tourism Minister Chandresh Shar-
ma and officials in the tourism
Corporation chairman Leo Dood-
nath said she had asked to be
excused when the media asked
about her whereabouts.
The T&T Guardian caught up
with Ramadharsingh s mother at
her home at Ramadharsingh
Avenue, Rousillac, shortly after-
But when asked to comment on
her son s dismissal, she said:
"Excuse me, I am not up for any
interview. I have nothing to say."
In an interview with the T&T
Guardian at the function earlier,
however, Sharma said the Prime
Minister s action, as painful as it
may have been, was in keeping with
best practice under the Westminster
He was optimistic Ramadharsingh
would bounce back.
Noting that Ramadharsingh had
degrees in veterinary medicine and
law, he said: "He is loving and caring
and has appeal. He ran a very good
ministry. So I am sure the doors are
Sharma recalled he might have
introduced Ramadharsingh to pol-
He said after the death of Ramad-
harsingh s father, he had suggested
that Ramadharsingh should follow
in his father s footsteps. His father
had served as a local government
representative in the Siparia cor-
poration, he said.
"I think he (Ramadharsingh) was
then the youngest councillor ever
elected," he added.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar was right to fire former
minister of the people and social
development Dr Glenn Ramadhars-
ingh for disorderly behaviour while
on board a domestic flight from
Tobago to Trinidad on March 16.
In fact, political analysts said the
PM had no choice but to get rid of
Ramadharsingh, based on the fact
he violated the principles of integrity
and public trust.
Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL)
flight attendant Ronelle Laidlow, 25,
filed a complaint that during an
incident on a flight from Tobago
Ramadharsingh s hand touched her
breast when he reached for her ID
badge, which was pinned to her
blouse, and threatened to have her
Two official reports were made
by Laidlow, one to the security
department of the Airports Author-
ity of T&T (AATT) and the other to
the Piarco police sub-station.
Ramadharsingh had apologised
for his behaviour, saying he was suf-
fering from "severe fatigue," but
denied touching Laidlow or threat-
ening to have her fired.
Yesterday, political analyst Dr
Winford James said it was a justi-
fiable decision, especially on the
basis of "no compromise on integri-
ty, no allowance for arrogance, no
room for violation of mutual
respect," as Persad-Bissessar said
on Tuesday in a release she issued
on her decision.
He added: "I agree with the Prime
Minister that an example must be
set, especially given the fact of the
dwindling political fortunes of her
"So this sent a message that we
still stand for something... we still
stand for integrity."
He said it appeared that while on
the flight, Ramadharsingh s ego may
have been "bruised in some way."
"The point is he used a set of
words and it s how you use your
words and how your words are
received, especially in a public space.
"We also have to look at what
kind of mood he was in. If you sit
next to the exit you have to put your
bags in the overhead compartment,"
James said Laidlow had no reason
to mistreat Ramadharsingh, adding
she was merely carrying out her
"I think I have travelled to Tobago
more frequently than Mr Ramad-
harsingh and the flight attendants
have always been very courteous.
"It is clear this kind of misbe-
haviour on Mr Ramadharsingh s part
was too much. There is a line that
you should not cross and he sought
to cross that line," James added.
However, Ramadharsingh s firing
could also be an indication that Per-
sad-Bissessar was wary of the fact
that a general election was next year
and she was left with little choice
but to put her foot down.
"I thought the Prime Minister
acted properly, given the issue of
values and integrity but this was
how she should have been acting
from the onset. I am wondering if
it is too little, too late," James said.
Political analyst Mukesh Basdeo,
who also agreed with the Prime
Minister s firing of Ramadharsingh,
said that was an instance where Per-
sad-Bissessar had shown leader-
On whether she may have been
too harsh, given the fact that
Ramadharsingh was touted as one
of the hardest working ministers,
Basdeo said it could have been a
difficult decision to make.
He added: "The Prime Minister
acted independently. She examined
the reports presented to her and her
statement on the matter clearly
"But in the public s interest, when
you weigh it against the performance
of Ramadharsingh, the Prime Min-
ister was within her right to preserve
the integrity of her government."
Glenn helped the needy
Random interviews of employees
of the Ministry of the People and
Social Development yesterday
showed some believed Ramadhars-
ingh was a polite minister who
helped the poor.
The employees also said they were
surprised when they learned of the
incident involving Ramadharsingh.
"He was a good minister in the
sense that he helped many people.
He was polite... always saying morn-
ing," one employee, who did not
want to be identified, said.
Another employee, who agreed,
described Ramadharsingh as "a good
Political analysts on Glenn's firing:
PM's hands were tied
Mom refuses to comment on dismissal
Leah Smith, programme co-ordinator US Television, left, and Carleen Krug, regional, manager US Television, greet
Tourism Minister Chandresh Sharma at a function to discuss tourism within the Siparia community at the Siparia
Regional Corporation, yesterday. The two are in T&T working on a documentary on tourism in Trinidad.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
While Government ministers
said yesterday they were sad-
dened by the sacking of their col-
league, Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh,
they supported Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar s deci-
"It was unfortunate but the
Prime Minister did what she had
to do," was the one-line comment
from Labour Minister Errol Mc
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston
Dookeran said it was a political
matter and after assessing the sit-
uation, Persad-Bissessar made a
political judgment. He said while
he supported her decision, he was
saddened by the minister s depar-
"Ramadharsingh was indeed
one of the most vibrant and effec-
tive ministers and I feel very sad
that he is no longer discharging
that function," he added.
Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, junior
minister in Ramadharsingh s for-
mer ministry, the Ministry of the
People and Social Development,
said she too was saddened by his
dismissal as he was a good min-
ister to work with and she had
enjoyed her working relationship
But she too said she supported
Persad-Bissessar s decision to fire
Works and Infrastructure Min-
ister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan
said Ramadharsingh was "a very
good minister who took a new
ministry and developed it to the
benefit of a lot of citizens."
Saying he did not know who
was to be Ramadharsingh s suc-
cessor, Rambachan said he was
sure the PM would appoint some-
one to ensure continuity.
Rambachan said, however, the
PM showed she was an independ-
ent woman who was not being
influenced by any cabal as was
being claimed by opponents of
the Government. He said people
were subject to moral and human
"In this case, Ramadharsingh
has had a human lapse and he has
paid the price," Rambachan said.
Chaguanas West MP Jack
Warner, who was sacked from the
Cabinet last year, said he shed no
tears for Ramadharsingh, as the
Prime Minister had made the cor-
rect decision and his only concern
was why she took so long to dis-
Warner added there were other
ministers who were guilty of worse
things than what Ramadharsingh
did and they were still in the Cab-
inet. (See Pages A5 and A10)
does from now until May 2015
would be for a political reason,"
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