Jul 02, 2016 News
Following statements by Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, at a press conference, that the botched grenade attack on Kaieteur news could have been orchestrated by the Government and Publisher Glenn Lall, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, took the former President to task.
Ramjattan likened Jagdeo’s behavior to Donald Trump, a United States Presidential hopeful who has made several controversial statements at public fora, which have been heavily criticized by many political commentators and observers as being divisive.
Pointing to the loss of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) support base and the unrelenting criticism which Jagdeo faces from former PPP officials like himself and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Ramjattan said that vexation and frustration have pushed the Opposition Leader over the edge.
“Jagdeo is an idiot. He is very vexed that some (like me) have criticized him. One who never bought (into his propaganda) and left (the party) and who he had to expel. Another is Moses Nagamootoo. And one is a newspaper called Kaieteur News, which has been criticizing him.”
“So he is going to do everything to talk nonsense and make ridiculous statements,” Ramjattan stated. “Quite frankly he is behaving like (Donald) Trump right now.”
The attack occurred on June 4. As staffers and friends of Kaieteur News congregated for the wake of late senior crime reporter and Sunday Editor, Dale Andrews, someone in a passing car threw a live fragmentation grenade that landed near the vehicle, a Lexus.
The government had immediately condemned the attack, calling it an act of “domestic terrorism”.
Former President Donald Ramotar had also expressed condemnation. During a press conference on June 23, however, Jagdeo called on the Police to investigate Mr. Lall, Minister Ramjattan and the Prime Minister.
“This could be done by Glenn Lall, Nagamootoo and Ramjattan because they have a conspiracy to taint (Minister Joseph) Harmon’s character,” Jagdeo, President from 1999 to 2011, claimed. He had even gone as far as to speculate that the Publisher planned the attack to “get attention.”
When asked about his thoughts on the statements made against him by Jagdeo, Kaieteur News Publisher Glenn Lall had said, “Jagdeo’s only place in this country is behind bars. Further, during Jagdeo’s presidency, a grenade was thrown at the Kaieteur News press in Eccles. I have nothing else to say.”
It will not be the first time that Jagdeo has been flagged for making controversial public statements. While he was campaigning for his party for the 2015 General and Regional Elections, he reportedly made statements at Babu Jaan which earned him a private criminal charge of racial incitement.
Both Ramjattan and Nagamootoo are former PPP party members, with Nagamootoo, one of the party’s early members. Their interactions with the top officials of the party, such as Jagdeo, have always been tense.
Ramjattan, who was a PPP Parliamentarian at the time of his expulsion from the party in 2004, had been critical of the party executives. He had called for an inquiry into reports of links between former Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj and death squads, just one month before he was forced out.
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