“Trinidad and Tobago,” I patiently repeated for the second time.
“What?” She frustratingly retorted.
Convenor of the Roundtable Group David Abdulah says Sunday’s killing of special state prosecutor Dana Seetahal, SC, was another reason why citizens should take to the streets on May 23 to protest the lack of good governance. The public march is being organised by the Roundtable, which includes the Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM), the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), several trade unions and non-governmental organisations.
The Roundtable met at the Ambassador Hotel, St James, on Monday and issued a statement yesterday, saying the group recognised “the continuous collapse of the State, attacks on our democratic institutions by this Government, the high level of crime and violence and the unprecedented level of corruption as a serious threat to our stability, development and governance.”
The statement said the most recent example in which good governance was undermined was Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s appointment of Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to investigate himself with respect to very serious allegations made by the former solicitor general and supported by statements by a senior judicial officer in a court judgment.
Abdulah said Persad-Bissessar’s “refusal to establish an independent investigation shows that she is willing to protect the Attorney General and defend wrongdoing.” Former solicitor general Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell resigned months after sending a letter to the PM about alleged collusion between lawyers in the AG’s office and the prison authorities in several court matters. The PM referred the letter to Ramlogan, who said it was investigated and he had found no wrongdoing.
Abdulah also said the meeting discussed Seetahal’s “disturbing and horrific assassination.” The statement said the “bold and brazen attack on the institutions of the State and public figures has catapulted the country into an unprecedented position whereby the State can no longer protect its public officials.”
Abdulah said: “This is the disturbing progression of a situation which has been developing for a number of years where witnesses in criminal trials have been killed; gang violence has continued unabated and fuelled by partisan interventions; major drug trafficking has gone unpunished; and white-collar crime, including money laundering, has seen not a single arrest, far less conviction.”