Sunday, December 8, 2013

No victimisation at NY consulate: Ramgoolam

T&T CG in NY
Nan Ramgoolam
The Express newspaper reported on Sunday that staff at the T&T consulate have complained about victimisation and are asking Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to intervene. 

In a story in its Sunday edition headlined "NY consulate staff claim victimisation" by Political Editor Ria Taitt the Express stated: "...some staff members (categorised as A2 workers) are not getting their A2 visas renewed and are finding themselves forced out of employment at the Trinidad and Tobago diplomatic office."

The Express story said "the new policy was recommended by the Consul General Nan Ramgoolam" and added that it is politically motivated. 

The Express story is based on unnamed sources and has no reference to any conversation with Ramgoolam. However another story on the issues quotes the CG as stating that there is no victimisation.

The paper quoted Ramgoolam as saying that it was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that advised the CG to stop hiring people on A4 visas and that it was also the ministry that recommended that the issue of the A2 visa be referred to the authorised government agency for its opinion.

The Express quoted Ramgoolam as saying: 
“In fact, the issue of the A2 visa was raised with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since May 2013 when the Consulate General submitted its 2011-2012 Annual Report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which it identified the perceived anomaly of the hiring of locally recruited staff on A2 visas. 

"On June 19, 2013 a senior technical officer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs telephoned the senior technical officer at the Consulate General in New York and indicated that hiring persons on A2 visas at the Consulate General should cease. Further, the officer from Port of Spain indicated that the Consulate General should only constitute two categories of staff, that is home-based staff and locally recruited staff.”
Ramgoolam confirmed that there is no victimisation or political interference at the New York office and also referred JYOTI to a Newsday story published in June this year that raised the matter of political influence in hiring at the New York office during a previous administration.

In that aricle by Andre Bagoo titled "Blessings from Balisier House" Bagoo quoted a letter from a former Foreign Minister, Knowlston Gift, to the Consul General at the time.

The letter stated:

“Dear Consul General, 

This is a follow-up to previous conversations regarding the employment of Mr Terrence Gregory Lewis at the Consulate General, New York...

“Mr Lewis’ recommendation for employment at the Consulate General comes with the blessing of the hierarchy at Balisier House.” 

The story also gave details of employment and visa issues raised in correspondence between Ramgoolam and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Margaret Parillon.

Bagoo's story stated: "A July 2012 report sent to Parillon by current Consul General Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam — which has been obtained by Sunday Newsday — states that of the eight persons whose terms of contract had come to an end last year, three did not fulfill the normal requirements for eligibility for work in the US."
Read the two stories:
Blessings from Balisier House

No comments:

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