Dr Suruj Rambachan fires back at AG over statement on Opposition walkout

Saturday, June 11, 2016 - 20:00

Opposition member of Parliament, Dr Suruj Rambachan says the statements by Attorney General Faris Al Rawi in relation to the Opposition's walkout of Parliament on Friday, is what he calls PNM contempt.

Dr Rambachan says it is "hollow and disrespectful" is the PNM's "disrespect" for the safety of citizens.

The folllowing is a statement issued by Dr Rambachan:

"To describe the walkout by the Opposition as AG Faris Al Wari has suggested as being “hollow and disrespectful” shows the utter contempt which the PNM continues to have for the people of TT. It is clear that the “we are in charge“ statement is the new philosophy of the arrogant and contemptuous PNM and that the “people (we) must deal with that” attitude is now entrenched in the modus operandi of the PNM.

What is hollow and disrespectful Mr AG is the disrespect by the Rowley led PNM for the safety of citizens in the face of one of the most violent periods in our nation’s history where the value for life is at the lowest. What is disrespectful is the lack of attention by the PNM to alleviating the fear of the people as they go about their daily lives and are robbed, raped, maimed and murdered. While the AG and his family as well as high PNM officials enjoy state protection, the ordinary citizen is left to “ketch.”

What is disrespectful is the continued refusal by the Speaker to allow debate on matters of urgent public importance brought by an Opposition which represents 340,000 voters and more when you consider their families. There are PNM members who also want this debate in Parliament and who have been part of the lobby to the Opposition to file these motions."

SEE ALSO: AG calls Opposition walkout "hollow and disrespectful"

"Our role as an Opposition is to courageously bring to the attention of an increasingly arrogant and disrespectful government the real concerns of the people. As an Opposition we must not fail in our duty to the people. The role of the Speaker is to allow fair debate and never to in any way allow perceptions to be formed that the Speaker is protecting Government or Opposition. To fail to allow debate which will cause the government to lay bare its plans for crime will be to fail the very principles for which a Parliament exists and for which democratic elections are held and people vote. And I make this statement with no intention of malice to the Speaker or disrespect for the Office of Speaker.

Tell us Mr Al Wari, whether it is hollow and disrespectful to want to debate crimes against seventy and eighty year old grandmothers who have been raped and robbed. Tell us whether it is disrespectful and hollow to want to debate on behalf of families who have to see the headless bodies of their loved ones at the forensic science center? Tell us whether it is hollow and disrespectful to want to debate the failure of government to move expeditiously on applications to the Children’s Life Fund as children die while waiting for a response.

You may wish to distract the minds of a few by your insinuations but the people are well aware of your PNM government’s failure to deal with the crisis of crime that now haunts this land and it is very disrespectful of you and even contemptuous when you have ignored them as you have done by your callous comment."

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