Ramadhar: Irresponsible to waste police resources to investigate Friday's Couva protest

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 16:15

COP MP Prakash Ramadhar believes such an investigation is a waste of police time and serves to intimidate citizens for speaking out against the government.

Ramadhar who was present at the demonstration has written to the National Security Minister to express his disappointment over the investigation

"I write with reference to the matter at caption pursuant to the public interest, the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and to further seek the interest of those patriotic citizens who lawfully elected to voice and/or demonstrate their dissent to your government’s prioritization of a multi-million dollar tsunami shelter being currently utilized for cricket matches, in preference to a much needed children’s health facility.

It has come to my attention through various media reports that it is your stated intention to utilize the already scarce and currently depleting state resources to conduct an investigation into certain protest action which occurred on the 12th May 2017, in the vicinity of the aforementioned facility.

Whilst I will readily accept that it is entirely within your remit to determine how you deploy and utilize the scarce and precious resources of the Ministry of National Security, you would no doubt agree with me that serious crime has become a scourge to this nation resulting in widespread fear and in trepidation amongst law abiding citizens.

This widespread feeling of fear amongst the citizenry of the Republic has a serious deleterious effect on the social and economic fabric of this country. I implore you to bear this in mind before using what little resources are available to you to terrorize, harass, and intimidate law abiding citizens exercising their constitutional rights and freedoms rather than to use these resources to bring about some measure of relief from the clear and present danger which the tsunami of serious crime poses to the social and economic welfare of the public.

Firstly, as you would no doubt be aware, the Ministry of National Security has no power in law, statutory or otherwise, to conduct investigations of the genre which you have stated. It seems that as the Minister of National Security you are either unaware or ill-advised as to your role and/or powers and I call upon you to take legal advice in this regard.

In any event, it is deeply disconcerting that that you would take a decision to deploy any investigatory resources towards a matter where citizens of this country decide to demonstrate their opposition to a clearly ill-conceived policy and use of public funds.

It is clear that your decision to investigate is nothing more than an attempt to use the resources of the state to intimidate citizens of this country who have the courage to voice their dissatisfaction with your abysmal government policies.

Given your descent into dictatorship by the use of state resources to intimidate law abiding citizens, I wish to inform you that I was present during the alleged protest action and I now stand ready and willing to attend any purported investigation being conducted by your offices, in the company of my lawyers Mr. Jagdeo Singh and Kiel Taklalsingh, and participate in same.

Rest assured that as a lawyer of 30 years in practice and having entered the arena of public service, I refuse to be swayed in my duty to serve my constituents and the larger population of Trinidad and Tobago and stand ready to challenge this unlawful, oppressive and dictatorial action by your office.

I am particularly concerned that this is another small measure of a far greater scheme to utilize law enforcement to threaten, cajole, harass, intimidate and suppress the people of this country from criticising and or exercising their legitimate right to protect and to hold government accountable by legitimate mean. I wish to make pellucid plain that I shall not stand idly by whilst you seek to use the resources of the state to trample upon the ordinary right of the men and women of this country.

In this regard, I reiterate that I stand ready and willing to resist the genesis of this reign of terror being perpetrated by your office.

I look forward to your most urgent reply and reiterate that I shall make myself available to meet at any place at any time to be interviewed in connection with this investigation."