Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 28th 2014 Contents A5
Friday, March 28, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Sacked government minister Dr Glenn Ramad-
harsingh is expected to occupy a new seat in Par-
liament when it meets this afternoon.
It will be the first sitting since he was sacked on
Sources said up to yesterday preparations were
being finalised for the new seating arrangements to
be effected today.
He is expected to be relegated to the government
backbench as he no longer holds a ministerial port-
Ramadharsingh said yesterday he remained loyal
and fully committed to Prime Minister Kamla Per-
Persad-Bissessar asked the President to revoke
Ramadharsingh s Cabinet appointment after he
allegedly behaved inappropriately towards a Caribbean
Airlines flight attendant while returning home from
Tobago days earlier.
The incident is still being investigated by police.
Ramadharsingh sounded upbeat in his conversation
with the T&T Guardian yesterday. He did not want
to comment in detail about his dismissal. He stressed
his continued support for "the Prime Minister, the
Government and the partnership.
"I am okay," he said.
Ramadharsingh has not been to his former office
since Tuesday and was not at his constituency office
Many of his former Cabinet colleagues have
expressed sadness over his premature departure but
have also said the action of the Prime Minister in
removing him was the right thing to do.
Supporters of Ramadharsingh are expected to
protest against his sacking outside Parliament today
but sources close to him said yesterday he was not
in favour of the move.
The protest is expected to take place simultaneously
with a protest mounted by Opposition leader Dr
Keith Rowley and PNM supporters against the Gov-
ernment. See Page A8
Vice-chairman of the Congress of the People (COP)
Nicole Dyer-Griffith, yesterday joined the chorus of
support for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar s
decision to dismiss people and social development
minister Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh.
Dyer-Griffith issued a release on the sacking yes-
Persad-Bissessar has assumed the portfolio pending
the appointment of a new minister.
According to Dyer-Griffith, Persad-Bissessar s initial
appointment of Ramadharsingh was not a decision
that should be questioned.
She said so in the wake of a comment by Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley that the former minister should
not have been in Cabinet in the first place.
But Dyer-Griffith said Ramadharsingh s record as a
minister spoke for itself.
"What the Prime Minister should be held accountable
for is any action or lack thereof on any serious allegation
made. An allegation was made, an investigation was
done and a decision was taken.
"This is the kind of leadership we promised and this
is the kind of responsive and accountable governance
that we will hope to see continue," Dyer-Griffith said.
She wished Persad-Bissessar well in assuming the
portfolio pending the appointment of a suitable replace-
PM's firing of Glenn
New seat for
sacked MP in
Despite the sacking of former people
and social development minister Dr Glenn
Ramadharsingh being reported interna-
tionally, members of his Caroni Central
constituency have labelled him as one of
the hardest working ministers.
When the T&T Guardian visited Freeport
and surrounding areas on Wednesday
evening, many of them had mixed views
on whether he should have been dismissed.
Some threw their support behind Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Biasses decision
to ask President Anthony Carmona to
revoke Ramadharsingh ministerial appoint-
Meanwhile, others called on the PM to
reinstate him due to his performance as
ABC News, News UK24, Malaysian news
agency, Bernama, Hong Kong newspaper,
The Standard and several other regional
media outlets have published articles on
the dismissal and his alleged assault of
Caribbean Airline flight attendant Ronelle
Ramdharsingh was not at his main con-
stituency office in Freeport and staff there
said he had not turned up for the day.
While polling constituents opinion,
some were reluctant to share their views
in fear it would reach back to the MP, while
others did not want their names printed
in the newspaper.
However, along Mission Road, Keith
Raphael regretted the loss of another Cab-
inet member but said he respected the
PM s ruling.
He said: "He is one of the hardest work-
ing ministers around but we have to abide
by the Prime Minister s ruling.
"There should have been a bit more
investigation and she should not have done
it so promptly because it is only he and
the lady who really know about that inci-
"Everybody is saying this and that but
it was between both of them. It is a big
loss to the country because it was right
around Trinidad he worked, not only in
his constituency alone."
Meanwhile, pensioner Azidool Ogeer,
who was sitting outside his home, said
Ramadharsingh should have been allowed
to keep office due to his performance as
a minister. He said Ramadharsingh never
showed favouritism and the incident was
"I thought they should not have dis-
missed him because in my knowledge, he
is the best-working MP that they have
throughout the island.
"The portfolio he was carrying, it was
big and he worked very generously for
everybody. He never said, well you are an
Indian and you are an African and I will
not help you because you are and African. "
He said it was also a mistake on the
Prime Minster s behalf to dismiss him and
she should consider reinstating him as
But for the women, the MP s action was
totally unacceptable, especially for the
portfolio he held.
Anita Julian and Agnes Joseph, who were
along Arena Road, said they were not sur-
prised by the PM s decision and fully sup-
"I think it was a good decision because
from time-to-time, you were hearing that
this minister has been playing himself and
it was just a matter of power. It was not
just one incident, this was just the final
straw." Julian said.
"With his background, the kinds of
things we were hearing all the time, it was
just a matter of time.
"I support the Prime Minister. Here was
a Minister of the People and Social Devel-
opment and he was so disrespectful to a
woman who was only executing her job.
Come on," Joseph said.
Limers at Tom s Bar further along Arena
Road all supported the Prime Minister s
Kelvin Sankar, a Canadian national and
regular visitor said: "You have to practise
what you preach.
"I can give him kudos for what he has
done in this area but you can t be stepping
out of bounds not because you are a min-
"You should be there to assist the people
because you have a high-ranking portfo-
lio."Construction labourer Glen Cyrus had
strong words, saying: "As he came off the
plane he should have been fired. A man
with that character, I would not even think
about doing that woman that kind of stu-
"The average small man on the ground
is not doing that. How you could be a
minister and doing things like that?"
Fenton Bhagwandeen said: "My view is
that if he did touch the woman, she had
a right to fire him."
He added, however: "Glenn is a good
man. He was a working minister, a man
you could have gone to see. I will vote for
him again but I don t think she will put
him back up again."
was a hard worker
Construction worker Glen Cyrus outside
Tom's Bar along Arena Road, Freeport
agrees with Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar's decision to fire People
and Social Development Minister Dr
Azidool Ogeer wants Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to
reinstate sacked people and social development minister Dr
Fenton Bhagwandeen says he will vote for Dr Glenn
Ramadharsingh again. PHOTOS: KEVON FELMINE
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