My funny friend and other funny stories about my country
The prosecutor in the just concluded treason case, Mr. Vic Puran, has been a friend since our early twenties. We were student contemporaries at UG in the early seventies. At UG, I was a WPA activist while Puran was the head of the youth arm (PYO) of the PPP on campus.
Mr. Puran defected to the PNC while still a student. He became personal assistant to Prime Minister Forbes Burnham while I became a close comrade of Walter Rodney.
Puran’s affair with the PNC Government did not last long. Prime Minister Burnham later became President and Puran was put in charge of the remigration desk at OP. He was arrested and held at Eve Leary on the order of President Burnham for alleged illegal transactions involving duty free cars (remember Nirmal Rekha in 2004?).
Mr. Puran was not charged and left Government service to take up a job at a spare parts store on Russell Street owned by Mr. Rahaman, the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Movement, led by Llewellyn John. One can say then that Puran had moved from the PPP to the PNC to the PDM.
In the nineties, Mr. Puran formed his own political party which included our mutual friend from UG student days, attorney Emily Dodson. All this time, Puran and I remained friends. I wished him well in his new political career.
Over the years, Puran moved into business. He exports fruits, has fish ponds and owns a large hotel on Pere Street. Recently he bought an entire square in Tiger Bay including the famous Foreman Shoe Shop operated by Michael Carrington of the Alliance for Change. Carrington moved out. He chose not to take my advice of taking Puran to court to get time to vacate. The AFC has top quality lawyers.
Puran gave an interview with demerarawaves.com in which he said the Tiger Bay investment is with him and 29 of his relatives. Wow! What a big family venture, perhaps one of the most unique in the world in terms of number of members. I think it is my right to say if I believe what Puran said.
It was while Puran was on his Tiger Bay site last week that I drove up and in front of his face asked him why he wanted to send the treason accused to their death. He smiled and asked me if I saw the evidence, I looked at him with expansive eyes of colossal contempt and drove off. Not for a moment did I believe that the treason accused were guilty.
Puran is about to hear from me again. He told the press that President Ramotar is a good man and citizens need to help him. Looks like Puran’s journey to find a political party in which to settle down is finally over. A letter is being sent off to Puran. This citizen here would like to help President Ramotar, so I am asking Puran to arrange a meeting with the President (or should that be De Donald) so I can offer my service.
I hope to accede to the President’s requests of what he would like me to do. I in turn would insist that Mr. Ramotar immediately extend television signals to Linden; change the composition of the UG Council to reflect professionals at work; investigate corruption beginning with a comprehensive probe into the reign of Mr. Jagdeo; seek a detailed account of the personal resources of Minister Irfaan Ali; completely overhaul the Chronicle. I would be quite happy to serve as its editor without pay.
These are just few of my basket of “goods” I will present to De Donald.
There were other funny stories that made the news last week. Priya Manickchand asked the Speaker to let the record show that the House dissociates itself from remarks (innocent in this writer’s estimation) made by Moses Nagamootoo, that could be interpreted as his practice of child abuse. The Speaker rightfully rejected her request. But wasn’t it under her Ministry of Human Services that one of the most controversial state employees was put on the Rights of the Child Commission? And where was this lady when Varshnie Singh complained about Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo?
I end with a hilarious incident. I was in deep conversation with the assistant to Mayor Green at City Hall when Malcolm Harripaul, my good friend, and personal assistant to Opposition Leader, David Granger, rang to tell me that he was being denied entry into Parliament to listen to the budget debate because his shirt was deemed to be too red by security officials.
I didn’t know that there were sartorial colour criteria for entering Parliament.