Attorney for the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) Dinesh Rambally has challenged the Telecommunications Authority (TATT) to produce the reported tape of late SDMS secretary general Satnarayan Maharaj ill-speaking Tobagonians.
He was speaking at an SDMS media conference held at the Lakshmi Girls' Hindu College, St Augustine to discuss Justice Frank Seepersad's striking down of section 3 and 4 of the Sedition Act.
Maharaj filed the challenge last May last year on behalf of his television and radio station, Jaagriti and the parent company – Central Broadcasting Services Ltd, after a raid by police allegedly on the hunt for the very same tapes. The search happened days after a video clip of Maharaj making disparaging comments about Tobagonians went viral on social media. He described Tobagonians as lazy people, more interested in racing crabs and goats and targeting white women to rob and rape them.
The SDMS representatives were asked whether the body would apologise for Maharaj's remarks despite the ruling. Rambally replied, "to date TATT has not yet identified the date on which those statements were supposedly made nor have they identified the particular tape which they can produce and show us exactly what the comments were. That is on the record.
"So we challenge anybody at this time to produce that tape and let us have it. And when we have it we will take advice as the case may be and if apologies are forthcoming then maybe we will consider it."
Rambally reiterated up to to this time nothing has been produced, the date has not been identified and no clip has been identified by TATT when the statements were allegedly made. He reported the date identified by the court in the proceedings there was no such programme in which Maharaj appeared. "So that is the position of the Maha Sabha at this point in time."
Earlier in the media conference SDMS president general Krishna Rambally said that Maharaj felt he needed to fight to legally challenge the sedition laws and after he died his son Vijay took up the fight. "The victory achieved last Monday was not for Sat Maharaj or the Maha Sabha but for the people of TT. He would have the victory be no other way."