Following is the full statement released by former Prime Minister Patrick Manning announcing his decision to decline the nomination for the Order of the Republic:...
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Ministry yet to look at Colombia boats
A National Security Ministry team is yet to visit Colombia to look at its naval assets with the intention of buying new Offshore Patrol Vessels (Opts), says Attorney General Anana Ramlogan. On November 16 Ramlogan announced in Parliament the National Security Ministry team was “actively collaborating with the Government of Colombia to undertake a site visit to review naval assets.
“It is expected that the outcome of this visit will better position the Ministry of National Security to forge ahead in the acquisition of additional assets in support of the Maritime Wall initiative,” Ramlogan had said then. Asked yesterday what kind of boats the Government planned to buy from Colombia, from whom, for how much and how far the process has reached, the AG replied: “I have no comment to make.”
After a pause, he added: “The team has to go and visit first.” As for the other questions, Ramlogan said it was all a matter for the National Security Minister. “I defer all questions to the Ministry of National Security,” he added. Two weeks ago, the AG announced the State’s victory over BAE Systems in the OPV arbitration settlement.
Denying there was any truth in a T&T Guardian report that the Government may have been involved in a secret deal with the same BAE Systems over the leasing of second-hand boats, Ramlogan said T&T was seeking a venture with the Government of Colombia to protect T&T’s maritime borders. Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has since said Colombia was not the solution, it was the problem.