Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 8th 2014 Contents A5
June 8, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
As the Congress of the People (COP)
quickens its pace towards leadership
elections at the end of the month, the
party s membership and the media were
treated to an impromptu debate among
the four contenders.
The group, speaking with reporters at
the party s Operations Centre in Char-
lieville yesterday, fielded questions from
journalists that left political leader Prakash
Ramadhar defending his actions as party
head over the past three years.
While he was not directly challenged,
each contender---current chairman Car-
olyn Seepersad-Bachan, deputy political
leader Lincoln Douglas and party member
Rufus Foster---said the COP needed to
return to the political strength it had in
While Seepersad-Bachan and Ramad-
har both agreed that coalition politics was
"here to stay," Foster, in response to ques-
tions on the COP s continued commit-
ment to the coalition, said he was open
to "other partnerships."
"As far as I am concerned if your poli-
cies and your ideas, mission and vision
that we have as a party is not meshing
well with our present partner, then I have
absolutely no problem with the general
membership to move on and seek other
partners," Foster said.
Douglas also disagreed with both Seep-
ersad-Bachan and Ramadhar.
"Well I don t see that anything is here
to stay. The role of leader is to evaluate
the times that you are living in and make
wise decisions, to mobilise, inform and
educate your people so that they could
follow a clear vision," he said.
Ramadhar did say that it was time that
a "renegotiation" take place within the
coalition. He also questioned why others
were so ready to kill the coalition rela-
tionship without doing anything to
strengthen the party s own internal oper-
Ramadhar said, "As bad as many of
the things are" within the PP, the COP
would continue to fix the political machin-
ery that they helped to create.
Ramadhar dismissed the idea of a coali-
tion with any other party, saying that
other political groups do not support the
same values that the COP does, including
the need for Constitutional reform, pro-
curement legislation and axing the prop-
erty tax. (RS)
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Housing Minister and Leader of Govern-
ment business, Dr Roodal Moonilal, has
increased his Internet security to stop hackers
from accessing private and sensitive e-mails.
Within a matter of days, a leaked audio
recording of a government minister describing
Cabinet colleagues as "rats" and an e-mail cor-
respondence detailing political strategy both
surfaced in the public domain.
Moonilal does not think those two incidents
are isolated, but rather evidence of People s
National Movement (PNM)-led "Nazi-type
"It disturbs me that a minister cannot even
offer a critical view in private without Gestapo
interception by the PNM," Moonilal said in an
e-mail exchange with the Sunday Guardian.
He said insulting remarks made on the audio
recording were already sorted out and "put to
He said the PNM infiltration of private e-
mails was triggering a "national hysteria" and
was a sign of the Opposition s desperation.
"It is a hunger for power at all cost. But the
creation of this Gestapo society poses a threat
to our democracy and liberal values. The PNM
operatives are back to the bad old days of pre-
2010," he said.
Moonilal also described high-tech changes
at the ministry designed to keep out tech savvy
hackers. He said he has spoken to both his local
IT experts and a specialist cyber-crime unit
out of the United States.
"I do intend to strengthen firewall capacity
and use simultaneous locking devices and white
list applications to stop such further attacks,"
"In a bid to keep the PNM and Rowley from
getting their paws on my confidential infor-
mation which includes national security infor-
mation, I have also ordered new state-of-the-
art software applications for virus barriers that
Rowley may have used," he said.
Moonilal said if all else fails, he may have to
trust local mail carrier, TTPost, with his impor-
Lady vice chairman of the People s National
Movement (PNM) Camille Robinson-Regis
says the party has no e-mail hackers.
"We are not a party that has condoned or
been interested in doing anything illegal to get
information. But, I will point out to you that
just as the UNC did when they were in oppo-
sition, and even now, once we get information
that we verify we will use that information."
Robinson-Regis said people must not feel
"the PNM is in a fight with its hands behind
She spoke yesterday at a press conference
following the party s National Women s League
meeting at Balisier House, Port-of-Spain.
On Thursday, at a public meeting, Robin-
son-Regis read out e-mails allegedly between
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and
UNC activist Phillip Alexander, pitching an
idea for a show to raise Government s profile
on CNMG, while a second e-mail sent from
an address apparently belonging to UNC cam-
paign manager Rodney Charles called for a
full-scale sustained attack on PNM leader
Robinson-Regis said the issue that should
be of concern to the public was the content
of the e-mails which showed that plans were
afoot to demonise and disrespect Rowley and
make the PNM look like racists, which they
No hackers in PNM---Camille
Moonilal beefs up
Chairman of the
Dr Lackram Bodoe ,left,
gives Minister of Housing
and Urban Development
Dr Roodal Moonilal,
centre, and Minister of
Tertiary Education and
Skills Training Fazal
Karim, right, a tour of the
Anatomy and Physiology
Lab of the San Fernando
Teaching Hospital at
Chacery Lane during their
visit on Friday. Looking on
is Chief Executive Officer
of SWRHA Anil Gosine.
(See Page A8)
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Read! Watch! Ca$h!
race heats up
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