first_imgDear Editor,The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, once said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.”Another section of the media, on September 1, quotes Attorney General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister, the Hon Basil Williams as saying, “Nandlall will be placed before the Privileges Committee” for “lying” in the National Assembly. It is unclear whether the learned AG is oblivious to the mounting pressure to send one of his own colleagues to the Committee of Privileges for a much more serious offence, or he is under the illusion that he can use this utterance as a threat to deter and dissuade the PPP/C from pursuing their demands that Public Health Minister, the Hon Dr George Norton, be sanctioned by the National Assembly over the Bond gate fiasco.Editor, I’m not implying here that Minister Basil Williams is a fool, far from it. But he does make a fool of himself sometimes when it is clear that, as Attorney General, he appears to not always understand certain sections of the law, and is often the recipient of a classroom lecture by the former AG, Anil Nandlall during debates in Parliament and in the media.So whether he’s aware of it or not, the AG now makes it difficult for himself, the Speaker of the National Assembly and his Parliamentary colleagues to not support a PPP/C resolution to place Dr Norton before the Committee of Privileges when Parliament resumes. To do otherwise would be seen by all Guyanese at home and in the diaspora as hypocritical at best.According to Williams, the PPP/C Member of Parliament, Anil Nandlall “lied” in the National Assembly when he informed the House that “Former President, Donald Ramotar had met with the wife of Walter Rodney in the United States, and that she had requested the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into her husband’s death be held without the involvement of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) and the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR).”The PPP/C’s Motion to adopt the recommendations of the Rodney Commission of Inquiry was debated in the National Assembly on August 4, where Nandlall is alleged to have made the statement quoted above. The AG had an opportunity and the votes during the following sitting of the House on August 8, to send Nandlall to the Committee of Privileges if indeed he was convinced and had evidence to prove that Nandlall “lied”. He chose not to do so. And so, his desire to sanction Nandlall at a time when Dr Norton is called upon to account for misleading the National Assembly, must be seen as a childish ‘tit for tat’ reaction in support of his APNU colleague, and indeed a smoke screen designed to shift the daily outrage aimed at the APNU/AFC Administration vis-a-vis the pharmaceutical storage bond fiasco and other scandalous revelations.Considering the AG is so anxious of sending a PPP Parliamentarian to be sanctioned by the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges, was he not lying to the nation when he insisted in an article on August 22, that on April 8, 2016, “Government had not yet finalised a settlement with BK”, knowing fully well that according to Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, the US$5.7M settlement was hammered out since the year before?And shouldn’t Williams himself go before the Committee for deliberately lying to Parliament by insisting that the US$5.7 million given to Brian Tiwarie in relation to the Haags Bosch dumpsite was to settle a US$10 million lawsuit which Williams knew was never part of any court action?Shouldn’t the Finance Minister, the Winston Jordon be sent to the Committee of Privileges for denying rice farmers the $23B he claimed had been set aside in his 2015 National Budget presentation to pay rice farmers following disclosures that the PetroCaribe Fund was empty? Wasn’t this lying to the National Assembly?And shouldn’t Minister Raphael Trotman and Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo also face the Committee for misleading the House when they accused the former administration of mismanaging the nation’s forest reserves?And who should face the Committee of Privileges for misleading the nation on the Durban Park 50th Anniversary project when we were first told that it would not cost taxpayers a single cent, then subsequently the public was told it would cost $150 million, and when the supplementary budget was recently tabled in Parliament, we now know that it cost the Guyanese taxpayers $400 million to construct the Durban Park project.Editor, after reading the merits of his contention I am left to wonder whether the Attorney General was present in New York during the discussion that former President Donald Ramotar had with the Rodney Family.How could he have known what was what Ms Rodney said to President Ramotar, regardless of whether she may have given evidence to the CoI to the contrary.Is he prepared to bring Ms Rodney to Guyana to testify before the Parliamentary Committee? Basil Williams is our Attorney General, but Basil Williams is no Anil Nandlall. I fear if he pursues this vindictive course of action, he will only present yet another opportunity for Nandlall to embarrass him as he does almost weekly in the media.Sincerely,Harry Gill, MPlast_img

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