Ramkarran supportive of int’l component for Linden Inquiry
Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran has for the first time, in a brief exclusive interview with this publication, weighed in on what he calls the tragic shooting to death of three Lindeners on July 18.
Ramkarran extended his condolences to the families of the victims and indicated that he is fully supportive of an Independent Commission of Inquiry.
Asked about some of the terms and conditions being requested as it relates to the inquiry, Ramkarran says that he is fully supportive of an international component to be attached to the panel when constituted.
He was adamant however that he would not fully support the Alliance for Change (AFC)’s position for the Commission to be exclusively overseas staffed.
Ramkarran noted that he is cognizant of the fact that the Government and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) are close to agreeing on the terms and conditions for the probe, and urges that this be done in a swift manner.
The Senior Counsel asserted that it would be in the best interest of all to have a full determination of what transpired on that fateful day.
Asked about the calls for Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee to resign, given his role at the administrative helm of the Guyana Police Force, whose ranks are being implicated, Ramkarran told this publication that he has not addressed his mind to that issue.
The probe currently hinges on consensus among the stakeholders, namely APNU, AFC, Govt. and the Regional Administration.
Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes who has been tasked with the negotiations for the party which he has recently been elected Chairman, on Sunday told this publication that the AFC’s position is not ‘uncompromising.’
He is however adamant about the international components of the inquiry.
Hughes reiterated that the party is of the opinion that competent, impartial personnel are not available in Guyana.
He said that certainly the party will not have confidence in the local police expertise as it relates to ballistics and crowd control.
Hughes pointed, too, to the crowd control and human rights aspects of the inquiry and stressed that the AFC has no faith in the local personnel.
He noted that the Attorney General’s pronouncement in the House on the draft Terms of Reference was void of any international component.
On Thursday, last, AG Anil Nandlall announced what he called the agreed terms of Reference for the probe, but this was met with immediate condemnation from the Alliance for Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
Moses Nagamootoo, the newly elected Vice Chairman of the AFC, had immediately informed the Speaker that Nandlall was being misleading when he announced what he called the “agreed ToRs.”
APNU’s Leader Brigadier (ret.) David Granger also objected to the announcement, calling it a dangerous practice to have purported ‘consensual’ agreements being prepared in isolation.
The Linden fallout has already triggered a successful ‘no confidence motion’ against Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee, but the Government has indicated that nothing compels adherence.
The ruling party has since indicated that it “stands solidly behind Rohee.”
The party has since denounced the recent “no confidence” motion which it says was improperly tabled and passed in the National Assembly.