T&T lawyer heats up Democrat House
February 25, 2005
T&T lawyer heats up Democrat House

Feature speaker at the New Democratic Party’s 29th Annual Convention Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj came prepared last Sunday, to cast aspersions on the way Caribbean nations are governed.

Addressing the issue of what he called a crisis in governance, he warned that there comes a time when it becomes too late to address actions leading to a dictatorship. {{more}}

And clearly targeting Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, he told the NDP convention to rapturous applause: “Your Prime Minister know I have never allowed Government to silence me. So I come to protect the right of the people.”

He charged that “Prime ministers use power to manipulate the Speakers of the House.” When the Speaker, he charged, “eases up the government, that is injuring the rights of the people.”

The former human rights advocate and attorney general of Trinidad and Tobago said that people must stand up for their rights. And, taking another dig at Prime Minister Gonsalves, he said: “Whenever a Prime Minister tells his people that no matter what they do in court ‘I go give you hell’, that is a sign of a dictator.”

He chided Dr. Gonsalves for calling members of the media chattering nabobs and for saying that he has a perfect middle finger in response to criticisms of his use of the obscene gesture.

Said Maharaj: “Some Prime Ministers have very large egos and forget decency and diplomacy.” He therefore advised the NDP faithful that when they “put finger in ink, you are defending the rights of children and grandchildren.”

The Trinidadian politician also addressed the issue of wiretapping which he said he opposed when it came before him as Attorney General. The media too came in for mention as he said that Prime Ministers intimidate journalists because newspapers depend on government for advertising. He said there is need for a free and independent media though he paid tribute to journalists because “some of their bosses are not strong enough to stand up to prime ministers.”

He ended his address by reminding his audience that they have the power to effect change.