6 Feb 2011

They must be still wishing…

The more we hear of this Reshmi Ramnarine episode, the more Kamla Persad-Bissessar is looking the fool and likely the person who instructed others to act to ensure that this appointment took place. I’ll get to the why later.

What we know so far (broken down as the sequence happened and which has all been well documented/well referenced in this blog and newspapers):

  • Julie Browne (Deputy Director, SIA) was instructed to recommend Ramnarine for the job. Ramnarine was 22 places junior to Browne in the hierarchy of the SSA/SSI. So instead of moving into the top spot herself, as is likely in most organisations, Browne defied what I know of human nature (What I know, eh) and put up a junior unqualified person to leapfrog over herself. Would she do this without being instructed to do so? Does that make sense to you?
  • Browne “went outside of her remit to make the nomination, submitted her nomination to the Prime Minister and not her line minister, failed to conduct standard security checks and permitted an embellished resume to go forward.”
  • Ramnarine verbally confirmed to Browne that she (Ramnarine) somehow acquired a degree. No checks were made and this was revealed to be a lie. There was no real vetting process, just the recommendation of Browne. Why no recommendation was asked from Trevor Ganpat, the other SIA Deputy Director, we may never know.
  • Part of the embellished CV claims a “senior position, that of acting Chief of Telecom Technology in the Ministry of National Security.” When and where this appointment took place, we don’t know.
  • Ramnarine was appointed. When ‘de mark buss’ an ad hoc note was rushed through Cabinet with the embellished CV attached. (Note 92)
  • Several persons at Cabinet including Sandy, Minister of National Security, were taken by surprise.
  • The note was “pushed through on the recommendation of the Prime Minister herself.”
  • After being ‘outed’, Ramnarine hung on for 9 days, but then quit in disgrace. She has allegedly fled the country.
  • The PP Government stoutly defended the appointment, until 2 days ago when the prime minister acknowledged ‘missteps’ and that ‘the buck stops with her’. No apology, nor explanation has been forthcoming since neither of those positions adopted can be seen as either an apology or an explanation. And my standards are waaaay below the Captain’s.

My speculations as to the why Kamla is looking to be the culprit who instructed others in this mess:

  • Ramnarine has been with an agency that has been revealed to be secretly tapping phones and acquiring data on people secretly (including the PM before she was the PM) for many years. The file on the PM and her family may be quite thick, not to mention juicy. Ramnarine may well have been privy to things better held in the closet. This may have been her reward for zipped lips.
  • Newspaper articles have hinted (though not openly said) that Ramnarine is a ‘special’ friend of Sasha Mohammed who is one of the PM’s main advisers. She may well have influenced the PM to appoint her friend in the post.
  • Ramnarine has been hinted as the person who ‘blew the whistle’ on the SIA secretly tapping phones and monitoring people. This might have been her ‘reward’.

There’s a nigger in the woodpile here.

Certainly no one knew or expected that this backlash to be so big, or messy. To me, this is a good sign. It tells me that the people of Trinidad and Tobago have been slapped in the face (by the previous regime) and are waking up. They are willing to tolerate less shitting around from their leaders and those in authority. They are making themselves aware of the issues that affect their lives. Like a sleeping giant, the people are now revelling in their own power, and calling for answers when previously a blind eye would have sufficed.