Thursday, December 6, 2012

AG Ramlogan stands up for PM; calls attack on her character vicious and vile

"This kind of gutter politics...shall fail...because it is based on rumour and lies." AG Anand Ramlogan
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan on Thursday issued a statement condemning what he called "the vindictive, vicious and vile attack" against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar by former Minister Verna St. Rose Greaves. 

"That this assault on the character of the Prime Minister was launched months after she was fired from the cabinet underscores the revengeful and spiteful nature of it. 

"Why did Verna remain silent about these imaginary problems when she was comfortably ensconced as a member of the cabinet at the behest of the Prime Minister?" Ramlogan asked. "Why did she not resign and go public then? Could it be because the Prime Minister stood beside her in the face of intense criticism over her handling of the disastrous Cheryl Miller affair?"

Ramlogan said he has had the "pleasure" of working with Persad-Bissessar both in opposition and government and in cases where she provided excellent legal advice as an Attorney-at-Law. 

He noted that he has interacted with her as the MP for Siparia when she lobbies and advocates for the betterment of her constituents. And now he has the honour to serve as the Attorney General in her cabinet. "Having worked with many other leaders in the past, Mrs Persad-Bissessar is second to none," he said.

"There is no truth to the defamatory allegations about her personal life. She is certainly not the subject of blackmail by any government minister," the AG said.

"The Prime Minister leads with a firm hand but compassionate heart without fear or favour to anyone in the Cabinet. The fact that she has had the courage to fire several Ministers for reasons that may include non-performance and under-performance bears testimony to this," he added.

He stated that the PM has served her constituents and the people of this country with distinction and dedication for 25 years and that she is a hardworking woman of substance and virtue. 

"She is a strong, competent and visionary leader, with a deep commitment to the betterment of Trinidad and Tobago. Her passion and patriotism are matched only by her determination and humility. 

"There are many who can testify to her capacity for arduous work, as her working hours often stretch into 16-hour days," he said.

"It is a sad day when a woman who once championed the cause of women in politics can join the bandwagon of men who took cheap potshots at the first female PM. 

"This is not the first time the PM has faced such spiteful and scurrilous personal attacks: Mr Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj and Basdeo Panday said worse during the internal elections of the UNC. This kind of gutter politics that relies on personal vilification is a strategy that failed then; and it shall fail now because it is based on rumour and lies," Ramlogan declared.

"As the country's first female Prime Minister Mrs Persad-Bissessar has been subjected to extraordinary scrutiny: her personal life has been under intense scrutiny as many search for faults, the public microscope has focused on the cost of her private residence, her relationship with her sister, her clothes and even her shoes. 

"None of the male national leaders who preceded her were subjected to this kind of rigorous scrutiny. Indeed, the media and activists kept a respectful distance away from their personal lives. No one, for example, would have dared to ask Sir Ellis Clarke, or Basdeo Panday if they had a "substance abuse" problem.

"It is often said that opponents only resort to attacking one’s personal life when they have failed on the issues. As a political leader, Mrs. Persad-Bissessar has been the proverbial fish in the glass bowl. 

"I am extremely proud of the fact that the Prime Minister has been able to withstand such rigorous public examination. Thus far, every fishing expedition launched to sully her character has returned empty-handed. 

"She has persevered in the face of the most intense pressure and I have no doubt her leadership will emerge stronger and better leader in the face of this unwarranted and unjustified malicious personal attack."

Journalists confronted Persad-Bissessar about the matter Wednesday. She told them: "I have no such problem and nothing further to say with respect to that." The PM added, "I served my country well. I have nothing to be afraid of. I have nothing to be ashamed of and absolutely no substance abuse." 

She said people are entitled to their opinion and noted that some of the negative remarks about her are intended to destabilise her government.

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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