The expulsion of Ramjattan is reminiscent of that of Rai
Stabroek News
February 26, 2004

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Dear Editor,

The expulsion of Khemraj Ramjattan from the PPP is reminiscent of the expulsion of the celebrated intellect and nationalist Balram Singh Rai from a party which continues to work "in devious ways."

The party is so bereft of innovation and creativity that it is using its outmoded armamentarium of the sixties to wage hostility against Ramjattan. It deludes itself that the Americans are gullible and do not have the capacity to understand the machinations of neophytes and opportunists. The Americans have however emphatically telegraphed their revulsion at Jagdeo's utterances by revoking visas which in diplomatic parlance is a most vocal rejection of governmental posturing that there is not a shred of evidence.

The Guyanese public have a right to know that had Rai not been expelled and had the Jagans taken the advice of Rai and Ramsahoye the PPP would not have been in the wilderness for 28 years. Had Cheddi Jagan listened to Fenton Ramsahoye rather than exhibiting a complex for Duncan Sandys who took a Fourth at Oxford, the arbitration in favour of Burnham and d'Aguiar which was conceptualised to steer Jagan into the political wilderness would not have taken place. The reality is that Burnham, a man of intellect, was more fearful of Rai and Ramsahoye than he was of Jagan who, to the detriment of his followers, repeatedly flaunted his lack of nimbleness of intellect.

Ramjattan whose name was accepted by the electorate but whose rejection by the PPP is an indictment of the pliant participants rather than a criticism of Ramjattan, must fight the machinations of the PPP to expel him from Parliament. They have no such mandate and they should not be allowed to abuse Parliament and bring further disgrace to this country.

Ramjattan must however extricate himself from his ill-conceived and misplaced attachment to the PPP and come to the realisation that neither the PPP nor the PNC or a union of those who have misruled us since independence can ever take us to the promised land. He and genuine nationalists who are willing to put country above self should see themselves as the nucleus of a non-ethnic national movement which will restrain from abuse that member of the duopoly that secures the Presidency in the tribal voting called an election.

I have heard rumours of individuals aspiring to becoming members of the inner bar. Regrettably, not one of the names mentioned has earned the requisite distinction for the conferment. It is against the traditions of the profession to apply for silk (SC) without being invited to do so. The invitation is offered to a lawyer when the head of the judiciary feels that elevation is justified based on the conduct, suitability, erudition and scholarship of that practitioner.

As a young doctor during a visit to Guyana, Mr Burnham invited me to the Residence to inform me that he had decided to confer silk on my brother. The then Chancellor then told Fenton Ramsahoye that his admission to the inner bar was long overdue and invited him to apply. What all this means is that we have made a mockery of a noble custom and tradition by politicising and debasing it. The judiciary maintained a deafening silence and pretence while the political directorate usurped its mandate. The judiciary abdicated its responsibility of deciding who was most deserving of the conferment of silk and reversed the tradition by awaiting political directives.

The relevance of this is that Ramjattan, one of the ablest of juniors and currently the President of the Bar Association will never be afforded an opportunity to take silk under our odious system of governance with its appearance of separation of powers but the reality of an incestuous relationship.

Since we have demonstrated an inability to understand and respect those customs and traditions which are the genesis of these awards and since successive governments have made a mockery of noble institutions the judiciary should distance itself from this pantomime until we have an administration which is demonstrably honourable, qualified and equipped to govern us.

Yours faithfully,

Walter Ramsahoye