PPP attacks former Speaker – Ralph Ramkarran Replies!

PPP attacks former Speaker

…he never raised corruption during Presidential bid—says statement
Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

JULY 21, 2013 | BY  |   The ruling party On July 20, went on the offensive against outspoken, former Central Executive Member and party stalwart Ralph Ramkarran, questioning the timing of accusations of corruption in Government.
The statement by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) comes just two weeks before the party’s all important first National Congress in five years. The choosing of new leaders will be one of the highpoints of the party which took power in 1992 but failed to secure a Parliamentary majority for the first time in its reign, in the 2011 elections.

Ramkarran, a prominent lawyer who served as Speaker of the National Assembly for two terms and was set to return following the 2011 elections, lost that position to Raphael Trotman, an opposition-nominated candidate.   

He resigned last year June from the party, a few weeks after penning a critical note on corruption. Ramkarran has since been writing on his website, conversationtree.gy, penning among others, one piece entitled “The Kleptocratic Republic of Guyana” in which he accused the government of corruption.

Ramkarran and his family have been around for decades in the party’s hierarchy.
He has been with the party since 1962, becoming a Central Committee member in 1974 and a member of the Central Executive in 1975. He had left Guyana in 1972 to pursue further studies overseas.
His father, Boysie Ramkarran, was a founder member of the PPP, having been a member of the Public Affairs Committee, the forerunner of the PPP.  Ramkarran was one of two persons in the upper level of the party who never worked with government and is a principal figure in Cameron and Shepherd Law Firm.
Recently the party accused Ramkarran and others of attempting to influence the upcoming congress by their writings in the press.
Yesterday, the PPP in hitting back at the former senior party official pointed out that Ramkarran had made a bid to become the Presidential Candidate of the party in the 2011 elections…the same party he is now accusing of corruption.
“His profound vitriol against leaders of the PPP makes one wonder why was this not exposed when he was one such leader and contesting for the Presidency in 2011.  Why was this aspect of his moral position not revealed during his bid for the Presidential candidacy?  In fact, why would one want to be a presidential candidate for a party he has now described in such disparaging terms and accused of such dastardly acts?”
The PPP also wondered what would have happened had Ramkarran won the Presidency.
“One can draw no other conclusion as to wonder whether we would have had to wait at least another five years of silence had he won the Party 2011 Presidential Candidate nomination, and possibly the Presidency, for the disclosures he is now making.”

A relevant Ramkarran
The statement said that since his departure from active politics and from the ranks of the leadership of the governing PPP/C, Ramkarran has done his utmost to remain relevant.
Making it clear that Ramkarran is “all pretence”, the party said that in 1997, “after unacceptable revelations he was not selected as the Party’s Presidential Candidate. Subsequently, the party recognized and spoke appreciatively of his fortitude in returning to active leadership after that personal reversal. He also played a significant role in the constitution reform exercise, (1999 – 2001).”
The party accused Ramkarran of being ambitious and showing this as early as 2006. “From 2006 to 2011, as Speaker, his ambitions resurfaced and were clearly enunciated — he was again aspiring to be the next President of Guyana and publicly strove to show that he was unique and different from other PPP members, definitely from its leadership of the PPP/C Administration and the PPP leadership. In February 2011, his bid for the PPP presidential candidacy was again lost.”
At no point in time did Ramkarran, in his bid to become Presidential Candidate of the party, raise the issue of corruption, the PPP said.
“In fact, corruption of Government and party officials was not featured in the issues he was going to address were he to be elected as the President.”
Despite not being elected Speaker in January last year, “the PPP and the PPP/C administration stood by him and exposed the opportunism of the opposition parties. The PPP leadership did not waiver in its support for him. However, his end (departure) was inexplicable as it was sudden.”
The statement said that one day, at an executive meeting, feigning great intolerance, he walked out and resigned.
“His resignation was re-affirmed as efforts by party leaders to reverse the outcome were rudely rebuffed. Mr. Ramkarran now has discovered that he has so much to share about his experiences and knowledge about the PPP and Government.
“Not unexpectedly, he portrays himself as a wronged person in order to justify his efforts at leaking dreadful secrets of his political past.  Unfortunately, Mr. Ramkarran has become his own worst enemy.
“Since his veneer has been lifted, the PPP is certain that he will use the ample time he has on his hands, to regale Guyana with some more high points of his long association with the PPP.  So we shall anticipate more of his recent disclosures with interest.”


THE PPP HAS GROWN TIRED – by Ralph Ramkarran

JULY 23, 2013 | BY  | FILED UNDER LETTERS – by Ralph Ramkarran


The long anticipated statement by the PPP in response to what I have been writing is a disappointment. Instead of dealing with the issues which I have highlighted, which are of great concern to the people of Guyana and members and supporters of the PPP, it has chosen the well-worn path of personal abuse. The leadership of the PPP has lost its will, its creative and dynamic impulses and the capacity of constructive discourse. It is suffering from incumbency fatigue. It has grown tired.

I am not the PPP’s problem. I am only the messenger. Since the PPP chooses to attack the messenger, rather than deal with the message, all the Guyanese electorate can look forward to in the future, is more of the political chaos that now prevails.

This was demonstrated by the recent fiasco in Parliament and petulance over the local government and hydro legislation which amply exposes their continuing and abysmal incapacity and failure to deal with issues of national importance. The PPP is the Government. The Government was elected to deliver services and programmes, not to gain one-upmanship, make excuses and hurl epithets about the Opposition’s behaviour.
Now for some of the issues raised.

If my departure was as “inexplicable as it was sudden” and “feigning great intolerance” I walked out and resigned, the PPP should explain the statement set out below by Ms. Gail Teixeira prefaced with an attached note that says – “please find attached my mea culpa letter which I drafted over the weekend……I will have no hesitation in saying, once it will not exacerbate the situation, that I have no objection to it being shared with Comrade Ralph -:”
“Dear Ralph, the June 30 2012 Executive committee meeting will go down in our party annals as a painful and emotional one……I regret that my remarks offended you and I apologized then and I apologize in this letter again to you…..I understand how frustrated you are about many
Doesn’t “annals” mean historical records? Isn’t Ms. Teixeira saying that the meeting at which I was kicked out was one of the most painful and emotional in the Party’s history? Doesn’t an acknowledgement that I was frustrated about many issues contradict the assertion that my departure was inexplicable or sudden or that I feigned great intolerance? If not, the public awaits the PPP’s analysis of what Ms. Teixeira meant.
Ms. Teixeira sent a hard copy of the letter two or three weeks after the event. It was declined, being too little, too late and tainted with insincerity. That is what the PPP refers to as a “rude rejection” of an apology.
Based on any rational understanding of what Ms. Teixeira meant, it can only be concluded that when the PPP talked about “inexplicable,” “sudden” and “feigning,” it was lying. The public, Party members and supporters can therefore safely assume that there is much else in its statement that it is lying about. The tactics of abuse and lies are now well-honed weapons in the armory of the PPP. The public could not have forgotten that less than two weeks ago I exposed a false attempt to accuse me of being responsible for the amendment to the Procurement Bill to remove Cabinet no objection.

In relation to the “unacceptable revelations,” for which the PPP had to dip sixteen years, as far back as 1997, into its “annals”, I invite the PPP to inform the public as follows: what were the unacceptable revelations, who made them, what was the evidence produced in support of them, were the “unacceptable revelations” investigated, was I found guilty and if so, what sanctions were imposed? If this information in its entirety is published, I publicly declare that I will forego legal proceedings for defamation, in the event that the revelations are defamatory.

If the PPP has difficulty recalling the 1997 meeting with exactitude, I have virtually verbatim notes of the meeting and would be willing to share them. If the PPP refuses, then the only conclusion would be that this is a cowardly attempt to smear me with the same type of lies exposed above, from events as far back as sixteen years ago, which involved a fierce, desperate and eventually successful effort to defeat the nomination of me by Mrs. Janet Jagan as the presidential candidate which she was persuaded to take herself against her better judgment. That full story remains to be told and I will tell it.

I am accused of not raising the issue of corruption in my internal Party statement advocating my candidacy for the presidential nomination, the whole process of which was a charade designed to glorify and to disguise a fait accompli. The PPP clearly forgot my 2010 article published in the Mirror and Chronicle calling for additional steps to deal with corruption. It was probably because most of the leadership do not read the Mirror and Chronicle that I wasn’t kicked out then.

How can an accusation of silence on the issue of corruption stand scrutiny when I was literally kicked out of the PPP because I raised the issue? And how can such an accusation be sustained when in late 2010 or early 2011 in an interview on Plain Talk, which was widely publicised, I said that dealing with corruption would be my number one priority, if I received the Party’s nomination and was elected?

In addition, the atmosphere of intolerance from the early 2000s, and especially after 2006, was so pronounced that no one, and that means no one, including Mrs. Jagan who was publicly ridiculed by then President Jagdeo, who attempted to denigrate her as a private citizen when she criticised the withdrawal of government ads to Stabroek News, dared to raise any criticism or negative issue unless one was prepared for a tongue-lashing. Several comrades courageously raised the issue of corruption again and again but were always overwhelmed by hostility or the next best thing – silence.

This was not the only reason. The leadership cabal ensured that the issue of corruption was taken off the Party’s agenda. In response to the growing cancer of corruption and public criticism, the PPP established an Anti-Corruption Committee shortly after the 2001 elections, led by Mrs. Janet Jagan. Its first act was to investigate an allegation of corruption against a senior Party organizer. He was found guilty.

The General Secretary, Mr. Donald Ramotar, now President, adamantly refused to dismiss him or to take any other disciplinary steps against him. Mrs. Jagan refused to convene the Anti-Corruption Committee again until disciplinary steps were taken against the organiser. None was ever taken. The Anti-Corruption Committee never met again. The organizer has since been promoted. On many occasions questions were publicly asked about this committee. This is the explanation of why it became defunct.

The post-Cheddi Jagan PPP does not now have, nor has ever had, any intention of dealing with corruption, either in its ranks or anywhere else. If what I say is not true, then let President Ramotar who in December 2009, said that he was upset with the non-establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) (KN July 12 “A major Flip-Flop”), without making any qualification about Cabinet no objection, prove me wrong by fulfilling his implied promise to establish the PPC. I will join with the rest of the country in hailing his self-extrication from his straitjacket and assertion of his independence.

The Party leadership is destroying the PPP and tarnishing its great image and ideals which thousands of dedicated comrades have given much to sustain. It has driven and is driving many comrades away in circumstances which are deeply painful, which I will fully reveal in my article next week.
Instead of sharing responsibility for governance with the Opposition, it is handing the country over in its entirety to the Opposition on a platter. It should consider steps which will bring back those comrades, retrieve its stature of the past and the respect and esteem in which it has once been held by people everywhere. Unless it does so, it will soon be out of office, still spitting and
sputtering abuse against the messengers and everyone else, except itself!
Ralph Ramkarran

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  • cecil  On 07/23/2013 at 8:41 pm

    Tell it like it is call spade a spade Cheddi Jagan,Boysie R, Jacobs ,Chandisingh.and Janet must be turning over in their grave

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