Prakash: Partap firing unfortunate
By Sasha Harrinanan Wednesday, August 29 2012
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School supplies: Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar poses with three children after distributing school supplies to them at the St Augustine Mult...
Legal Affairs Minister and Congress of the People Political Leader, Prakash Ramadhar says it was “very unfortunate that a decent and good human being” like Collin Partap ended up in a situation which led to his being fired from his post as Minister in the Ministry of National Security.
However, Ramadhar made it clear Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar “acted responsibly” on Monday when she instructed the President to revoke Partap’s ministerial appointment with immediate effect.
“It is very unfortunate that a person like Collin found himself in circumstances like these, in that he is a very decent and good human being, and a very good minister. However we arrived at this point though, I think the Prime Minister acted responsibly because we as ministers must set the right example. Ministers are exemplars in society and we must conduct ourselves in a professional manner at all times,” Ramadhar stated.
At about 5 am on Sunday, Partap called Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, asking him to meet Partap at the Belmont Police Station to help sort a reportedly confrontational situation with police officers.
However in a statement issued Monday afternoon, National Security Minister Jack Warner said his ministry had “conducted its own investigations which reveal that there was no evidence of any confrontational situation between the then Minister Partap and any police officer and as such the then Minister’s request for the presence of the Acting Commissioner of Police was deemed injudicious, unnecessary and inappropriate.”
Responding to questions about Partap’s decision to call Williams, Ramadhar yesterday said, “the calling of the (Acting) CoP to the Belmont police station was ill-conceived and wrong. When the minister called for the Commissioner, it placed Mr Williams in a difficult circumstance. Without knowing more, I would say Mr Williams acted appropriately to go to there to ascertain what was really happening.”
In terms of Partap’s apparent use of an official vehicle, complete with blue flashing lights usually found on law enforcement vehicles, the Legal Affairs Minister said without knowing the facts, “it would be wrong of me to comment on that.”
Ramadhar was speaking with Newsday yesterday afternoon following the second annual School Book Drive hosted by his St Augustine constituency office. The event, which provides stationery supplies to 150 primary school students in Ramadhar’s constituency, took place at the St Augustine Multi-Purpose Community Facility, St John’s Road, St Augustine. Each bag had copy books, note books, pens, pencils, sharpener, eraser and ruler.
This year, Ramadhar requested that a children’s novel be included in the packages. He requested one of three series - Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, The Hardy Boys or an Enid Blyton novel.