…police arrest one
The law offices of Attorney-at-Law Khemraj Ramjattan, who is also the Chairman of the Alliance For Change, was yesterday the scene of a bizarre picketing exercise by a group of about a dozen.
The primary chant by the small but vociferous gathering was, “we want back we duty-free concession.”
The chant was apparently referring to a car that Ramjattan had purchased and allegedly sold it before the stipulated time – a charge which the AFC Chairman has emphatically dismissed as a falsehood.
The protest action was strange given that most of the persons questioned by this newspaper hadn’t a clue about what exactly they were protesting about and what was the objective of the protest.
The questions were being diverted to a nameless organizer, who the protestors said had already left and was au fait with the issue, and from whom they received their information.
One of the protestors who identified himself as Jemel Semple told this newspaper that they were not representing an official group but, “we are just concerned Guyanese about what’s going on about Mr Ramjattan.”
When asked what prompted the action, Semple said that “is some things that we heard and we decided to come out and picket about it that’s all.”
As it relates to what the group was hoping to achieve though the protest action, Semple said that there was nothing in particular.
When asked why the protestors chose the issue of an allegation as it relates to a duty-free car purchase, Semple said “there is a lot more…this backtracking…this scam and so and so…there is a lot more.”
One of the protestors was even arrested after the police realized that they were not wearing any armbands. He was reportedly the person leading the activity.
In an invited comment, Ramjattan dubbed the activity “part and parcel of the fear and smear campaign by the ruling party that is directed to opposition leaders that are making an impact and denting the propaganda of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic”.
He said that his party leadership has started a process of group formations all across the country and because of the momentum that is being accelerated, “they (PPP/C) are going to go on this campaign of fear and smear to counter.”
According to Ramjattan, the PPP/C has ‘out of the blue’ said that the Royal Mounted Police of Canada investigated him for backtracking. “I am totally unaware of all of that…I want to mention that I have my visa to Canada, Britain and America…many of them in the PPP and in Cabinet don’t have that.”
Ramjattan said he has already cleared that issue with a letter that he had cause to have published in the newspapers. He said that given the disciplined position that the AFC has taken in that they would not be out demonstrating and bringing violence to the streets, it has impacted well with the professional and middle class, “and the PPP don’t like that, they want to provoke the opposition to get into the streets so that they could bear them on NCN as to how they are creating havoc.”
Ramjattan also stated that he was reliably informed, based on a source that the placards were prepared at Freedom House and the protestors were paid by two senior PPP officials to carry out the exercise.
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