Don’t disadvantage the poor and middle class.
That was the Opposition’s appeal to Government yesterday on the eve of today’s 2017 budget delivery.
Positions of power carry the responsibility to be mindful of what one says, how it is said and to verify the facts, says animal behaviourist Kristel Marie Ramnath. Ramnath spoke yesterday after Attorney General Anand Ramlogan apologised in the Senate for last Friday’s incidents where he reportedly made remarks about her and PNM MP Terrence Deyalsingh. This prompted the Opposition PNM to walk out. Ramlogan’s remarks were reportedly made during last Friday’s debate of the Dog Control Bill.
He said the media misrepresented the issue and his remarks were just “good political picong.” He said he had used the term “ex-girlfriend” and had apologised the same day. Ramlogan also apologised again before members at Tuesday’s Senate session. Yesterday, however, Ramnath said: “An apology has not been addressed to me so I cannot comment on that.
“But it is my opinion that with positions of power and influence comes the responsibility to be a little more mindful of what you say, how you say it and where you say it and to verify the facts before you speak.” After the issue broke, Ramnath sent a letter to the T&T Guardian editor on what she described as unfounded allegations against her. She said during the first reading of the bill on February 7 she was cited as one of the sources for the addition of 16 breeds to the schedule of Class A dogs in the bill.
She said: “However, I was never consulted on these breeds and I wrote to both the Government and the Opposition clarifying this fact and requesting that this genuine — I believe — mistake be rectified at the second reading. “This correspondence was included in Mr Deyalsingh’s contribution to the debate on the 14th of February 2014. “Please note I have never met or spoken with this gentleman and so I want to publicly apologise for any embarrassment this situation may have indirectly caused.”
Ramnath said a February 19 letter to the editor which her brother Keron wrote on the issue was his opinions and not hers. Keron Ramnath had said he was disgusted by Ramlogan’s remarks last Friday which he deemed “not only personally degrading but also professionally damaging.” He said Ramlogan “was able to make such derogatory remarks and then mask them as political picong also reflects on the sunken state of our society. “
He added: “I second the proposal that Mr Ramlogan make a formal apology to the injured parties and make charitable contributions to the charities of their choice. “And then I suggest he resign his Cabinet post and his seat as he has shown he is not worthy to be a leader of society.”