Friday, April 5, 2013

Government willing to listen and make adjustments on defence bill

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has contacted the legal adviser to the Defence Force and asked that he convene a committee of legal advisers from the Police Service and Defence Force to start drafting the Standing Orders (Code of Conduct) so the Code of Conduct would come with the bill to give special powers to soldiers.

Ramlogan has also said he would be speaking to the Independent Senators during the period when debate on the measure has been suspended to learn what issues they have with the legislation. Debate will resume on April 23.

“We remain willing to listen and do not see our role as adversial,” the AG said on Thursday. Ramlogan also expressed a willingness to include the suggestion of Independent Senator Elton Prescott the words “duties and responsibilities”.

The AG said, “We have listened very attentively to the contributions made by all our colleagues in the Senate. To the extent there are suggestions and proposals, we remain open to suasion and receptive to any good ideas.”
However he said there were several contradictory statements made about the bill. One example, he said, was a statement by Senator Prescott said the Bill was unneccessary because soldiers already have the power to arrest. He cited another where a senator called soldiers "killing machines", and the senator suggested that if soldiers have additional powers they can go on a rampage.

Ramlogan said a lot of what has been said in the debate is incorrect and requires clarification and Government will provide “illumination” on these matters.

The Attorney General took issue with the statement by retired Major General Ralph Brown that he (Ramlogan) said soldiers were idle. Ramlogan reiterated that he said it is impractical to have the army "on standby, standing idle, waiting for something to happen that may never happen".

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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