Former Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj yesterday slammed the silence of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the inflammatory comments of chairman of the Police Service Commission Nizam Mohammed, even as he has described those statements as "extremely provocative," "offensive" and "border on sedition." Mohammed said on Friday that there were not enough East Indians in the upper echelons of the Police Service. "These statements, to a person like me of East Indian descent, are offensive and I am sure would be regarded as offensive to all right thinking persons of T&T, regardless of their ethnic origin," he said in a release yesterday.
Mohammed's statements, he said, represented an agenda that future appointments and promotions of the Police Service Commission would be based on ethnicity and ethnic disposition and not on merit.
Futhermore, Maharaj condemned Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's "deafening silence" and her "inaction on these dangerous statements which impact adversely on racial harmony and national unity." "I am surprised that the Prime Minister has not taken immediate action as political head of the Government to publicly call for the removal of Mr Nizam Mohammed as chairman of the Police Service Commission," he said.
Maharaj said it was the Prime Minister's duty to seek an audience with President George Maxwell Richards, with a request to revoke Mohammed's appointment under Section 126 (4) of the constitution.
"The neglect and or omission of the Prime Minister to have acted on this matter since last Friday may give the impression that the statements made by the chairman of the Police Service Commission reflect the present agenda of her Government," he said. He called on Persad-Bissessar to account to the country on her Government's intention with regard to "bodies in Trinidad and Tobago which do not have an "ethnic balance."
The Prime Minister, said Maharaj, had a duty to recognise that continued inaction on her part as Prime Minister to "correct the political evils which have occurred under her administration in the last ten months would continue to damage and destroy the future of our country." He noted that in countries such as Guyana, Fiji and some African nations, when such similar statements were made by people in public offices, national unity was obstructed. Maharaj sent a copy of his release to the Prime Minister and the President.