Friday, September 21, 2012

Commentary: Kamla shows leadership, maintains her pledge to lead with Integrity

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Government of T&T photo
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the people Thursday night in her frank report to the nation on what transpired with respect to the proclamation of section 34 the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011.

It is a style of leadership that makes her stand apart from her predecessor who 
showed disdain for citizens and not only ignored wrongdoing, but encouraged it.

Kamla showed that she is the other side of the coin: a progressive leader who has the courage to seize the opportunity to change things for the better. Under her leadership it would not be business as usual.

It's not the first time she has demonstrated this strength and it won't be the last. Which is her her political longevity is guaranteed and why those who are allied to her must clearly understand that they must shape up or ship out.

The Prime Minister had choices. She could have said "Sorry we messed up but Herbert Volney is one of us so he stays". She could have done the same thing with Mary King or Vernella Alleyne Toppin or the others whom she handed marching orders since taking office. 

That's what Patrick Manning would have done. Do you remember he even wanted to appoint Calder Hart to head the Integrity Commission?

Leadership comes from integrity; there is no other way to lead. Kamla has shown that she understands that leadership is about responsibility. She didn't step aside; she didn't evade the problem. And by taking decisive, clinical action she created trust and a renewed commitment to citizens in every stratum of society.

She presented an unambiguous record of the chronology, made it clear that Minister of Legal Affairs Prakash Ramadhar was not the one who erred when he presided over the Legislative Review Committee, explained the separation of powers in the governing structure, outlined why she had to act in the manner that she did and offered a sincere apology to citizens.

You will continue to hear the voices of condemnation. Rowley and the others would demand more. But that's OK. We live in a free and democratic country and we would never agree on everything. However we must agree on this: good governance means accepting responsibility and maintaining integrity above everything else. And that what this leader has shown over and over again!

When Kamla appointed her first cabinet she had some words of advice for them:

Today, one of them has lost the privilege of serving the people because he did not heed the warning and because he was not true to his oath of office to objectively and accurately present a case to cabinet.

The Prime Minister stated, "The Hon Minister of Justice had a duty to faithfully and accurately represent the position and views of the Honorable Chief Justice and the DPP. He failed to do so and the cabinet relied and acted on his assurances in good faith. His failure to do so is a serious misrepresentation and amounts to material non-disclosure of relevant facts to the Cabinet which effectively prevented it from making an informed decision."

The people of Trinidad & Tobago demanded leadership when they removed Patrick Manning and the PNM. Kamla is providing it; she is a leader because she has shown that through her actions she can inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.

Jai Parasram | 21 September 2012

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai