The initial decision was to merely reprimand Mr Ramjattan
March 11, 2004
I seek one final opportunity to clarify a few issues raised by Mr Ramjattan in his article on Saturday last captioned "What an outrage."
He said President Jagdeo "loudly burst out" the accusation that he (Mr Ramjattan) will convey information to the US Embassy. This is the first time that this new dimension of shouting is being added to the many allegations which have been made by Mr Ramjattan. The reason is obvious. If the President "loudly burst out" then everybody must have heard and Mr Ramjattan must be speaking the truth. Mr Ramjattan is clearly grasping at manufactured straws in the face of the unanimous support of the Central Committee (except for Mr Moses Nagamootoo) exposing the falsity of his version of the facts. Contrary to Mr Ramjattan's assertion, President Jagdeo contributed to the discussion in measured tones.
Mr Ramjattan alleged that at the Executive meeting of February 6, it was agreed that there should be no discussion with the press of the issues including those which arose at the Central Committee meeting of January 31. This is not accurate. It is advanced in order to justify Mr Ramjattan's statement to the press after he received a letter extending the hand of reconciliation. While we were meeting upstairs in Freedom House, the press was downstairs obviously awaiting a comment on the outcome of the meeting that was going on, not on the meeting of January 31, which had already been leaked to the press and was extensively reported. They were awaiting news of whether Mr Ramjattan was expelled which had been speculated about in the press. At the conclusion of the meeting, since a decision was postponed, we all agreed with almost no discussion that no one should speak to the press. The events of January 31 did not arise for discussion or comment at any time during that meeting.
But Mr Ramjattan gave himself away in his statement of February 11. If he felt he was justified in making the statement insisting that President Jagdeo had accused him of taking information to the US Embassy, why did he say that he will not allow Party rules to "crib" him in responding? Was this not an admission that he knew that he was being in breach of Party rules? If he knew that he was justified in making the statement, why did he not say so instead of expressing contempt for Party rules? And of the greatest importance, why did he not put up this defence at the meeting of February 13. He made absolutely no mention of this alleged agreement on February 6 that events of January 31 would not be discussed with the press.
In any event, even assuming that such an agreement was made, false information was deliberately leaked to the Stabroek News about what President Jagdeo is alleged to have said on January 31. The PPP had a right to defend itself and President Jagdeo.
Finally, before I wrote that a Director would lose his/her position if he/she criticises the company, I sought legal opinion. I was told that in most companies the rules provide that directors have a right to dismiss fellow directors between annual general meetings. Even if I am wrong, the rules of the PPP, approved at a Congress, provided for the Executive Committee to discipline members and even to expel them. There is an appeal to the Central Committee and then to the Congress. Mr Ramjattan was lawfully and properly expelled on the basis of rules, which he subscribed to and accepted. He made no attempt to offer amendments to these rules at the last Congress when his Group proposed amendments to other rules, which he defended. Mr Ramjattan's suggestion that only Congress has the power to expel a member is contrary to the rules of the PPP and to common sense. For example, if a member commits an offence against the rules immediately after a Congress, Mr Ramjattan's version of the rules would mean that the member cannot be expelled for three years because the Congress is held once every three years. This would clearly be untenable.
The campaign of vilification against the PPP by Mr Ramjattan and his few supporters, including editorial writers of the Stabroek News, chooses to ignore one of the central facts of this entire matter - the initial decision to merely reprimand Mr Ramjattan. He invited his own expulsion by thumbing his nose at our attempt to bring the matter to an end in a fraternal manner.
Donald Ramotar, M.P.