Last update: 28-Jul-2014 1:32 am
Monday, July 28, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ramesh at ILP meeting: Govt provoking state of emergency
Former UNC attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj says the Government is provoking the population into creating a state of emergency.
“They want a reason to postpone the election and the only thing to stop a general election is a state of emergency. So they are creating a fight with criminals to create a state of emergency.”
Maharaj was addressing a small gathering at a public meeting held by Citizens’ Platform for Change (CPC) at St Margaret’s Junction, Claxton Bay, on Thursday night.
He was introduced to “give his thoughts on the evils of the pension bill.”
Speaking on crime, however, he referred to what he called the ongoing war between the National Security Ministry and Laventille residents who have been protesting police killings.
National Security Minister Gary Griffith vowed to fight fire with fire, while head of the North Eastern Division Task Force Insp Roger Alexander, declaring it was out-and-out war, said the police were shot at when patrolling the area.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar also promised to unleash the dogs of war, a quote from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
The CPC was launched in May by the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) and has been quietly holding public meetings all over T&T.
ILP founder Jack Warner, recently elected chairman, and new leader Lyndira Oudit addressed the crowd.
Maharaj, who has been speaking at the meetings, said he was a sad and grieving man because the Government did not love the people.
Moving to the Pension Bill, passed recently in the Lower House with the support of both Government and Opposition MPs, he noted it was passed without a review by the Salaries Review Commission.
“But the only way that bill could be passed is if the SRC passes it.
“Otherwise, they would be overthrowing the Constitution,” he argued.
Maharaj challenged the Government to hold a referendum on the matter and to bring to Parliament, instead, legislation on the right to recall non-performing MPs.
He attacked the PNM, UNC, the Congress of the People (COP) and the media.
“So many journalists have gone to the Government,” he claimed.
Warner to reveal more on rats
In his first public address as ILP chairman, Warner replayed a taped telephone conversation in which a man said to be Communications Minister Gerald Hadeed described the people around Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as rats. In the conversation over a year ago, the man said: “The woman is not a bad woman but she is not listening.”
Hadeed was not a government minister at the time. Warner said Hadeed called him around that time and told him to have faith.
“I have faith, Gerry,” he said. ” That’s why I am here. I could have been in Sao Paulo, Brazil (where the World Cup is being held).”
He said the rats referred to were not “Camille’s rats,” which he would deal with it in his Sunshine newspaper.
PNM Senator Camille Robinson-Regis said rats were coming out of their holes, in reference to people who were protesting the Pension Bill giving MPs exorbitant pensions.
“These are the rats of cronyism, nepotism, corruption,” Warner explained. He said he was the one who put Persad-Bissessar where she was, adding: “The rats were not there at the time. They were on the other side, but they saw the cheese.”
Warner said he was a tomcat. “Rats are afraid of tomcats. I was a tomcat.”
He said no one could say any contractor was given any kickback during his tenure as a minister, and in fact, he was the best performing one, too.
“All for $1,” he reminded.
Warner lashed out at the media, saying there were only two newspapers in the country you could rely on, and his weekly Sunshine was one of them. He urged people to speak out against corruption in the Government.
“If you have to lose a contract, lose it. If you have to lose a promotion, lose it. You won’t starve.”