Chris Ram resigns from Govt post

first_img…says Granger’s blatant violations must be of grave concern to allAttorney-at-Law, eminent Chartered Accountant and vocal social activist Christopher Ram has resigned from his position on Government’s negotiating team for the establishment of a Law School in Guyana.The move by Ram comes a day after another distinguished Guyanese, Major General (rtd) Joseph Singh also resigned from all of his Government posts.Many have since speculated that the move was in retaliation to President David Granger’s snobbish rejection of the nominees for the position of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) submitted by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.Major General (rtd) Singh confirmed his resignation on Wednesday and on Thursday, Ram in a public missive said his resignation was “in support of the heroic and exemplary decision by Major General (Ret’d) Joe Singh to resign from all Government-related posts.”According to Ram, “I am today (Thursday) informing the Attorney General, Mr Basil Williams of my withdrawal from membership of the Planning Committee and de facto leader of the Guyana negotiating team for the establishment of the JOF Haynes Law School.The outspoken activist – critical of both the People’s Progressive Party/Civic and now the coalition Government – Ram in his strongly worded statement said, “While I remain committed to serving my country, I make the clear distinction between Guyana and the Government.”He is of the conviction “the blatant disregard by the Granger Administration for the Constitution, the courts, the principles of good governance and for social cohesion, is a matter which should be of grave concern to all of us who claim respect and love of country.”According to Ram, “Given that the Constitution deems me a fit and proper person makes President Granger’s assessment of me of no import… Indeed, I am fortified in my conviction that his decision is entirely wrong and unconstitutional.”He used the occasion to quip also, “If the truth be told, Mr Williams has been so impressed with my contribution that he asked for my CV to recommend me for a national award… I declined, saying my service was for country, for neither award nor reward.”Ram’s resignation from his Government position is seen as another crippling blow to the David Granger Administration as the fallout continues over the unilateral appointment of Justice (rtd) James Patterson on Thursday last, by the Head of State – in the process ignoring the 18 nominees that were submitted by the Opposition Leader.Singh, a former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), at the time of tendering his resignation was serving as a Special Adviser to President David Granger.Singh, when contacted by <<>>, declined to detail the exact reasons behind his resignation, but noted that he did not wish to continue in the position.“I submitted my request to the Ministry of the Presidency. I told them that I do not wish to continue my contract beyond the one-month mandatory notice that I have to give,” he related, when contacted.“So I’ve given that notice, that one-month notice, during which time I will ensure my portfolio responsibilities are properly handed over,” Singh, also a former Chairman of GECOM and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, said.Since the resignation of Dr Steve Surujbally last year, there has been an intense search for the next GECOM Chairman. As per the Constitution, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had submitted three lists of six nominees each to the President.Major General Singh, who has held several positions over the years, including Guyana Telephone Telegraph Chief Executive Officer (CEO), was included on the third list of nominees submitted on August 25. The other nominees were Attorneys Teni Housty and Sanjeev Datadin, vocal conservationist Annette Arjune-Martins, Onesi La Fleur and Krishnadatt Persaud.But that list was ultimately rejected by President Granger and on Thursday, October 19, retired Justice James Patterson was sworn in as GECOM Chairman. Patterson was not nominated on any of the three lists and since his unilateral appointment; there has been a crescendo of criticism.A number of individuals and organisations spanning a wide cross-section of society have soundly criticised and condemned the President’s unilateral decision, including the Guyana Bar Association; the Berbice Bar Association; the Private Sector Commission; the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry.Criticism has also come from the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) and members of the Diaspora. In addition, the political Opposition filed a legal challenge in the courts on Monday, seeking to revoke Patterson’s appointment.last_img read more

Around Whittier

first_imgSalazar said Martinez was arrested as he was getting into a pickup. Officers found a replica of a .25-caliber handgun in his pocket and two cell phones, she added. `Fiesta Patrias’ to be held Sept. 15 WHITTIER – The Friends of Pio Pico will hold the annual “Fiesta Patrias,” the celebration of Mexican independence, from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 15 at Pio Pico State Historic State Park, 6003 Pioneer Blvd. The celebration also will include an art fair. Roberto Garza will portray Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of California. There also will be adobe brick making, traditional bread baking, old-fashioned children’s games and guided tours of the adobe ranch house. Entertainment will be provided by Mariachi Herencia de Mexico and SPIRITT Family Services – Folklorico de Colores. For information, call Maggie Valdivia at (562) 335-2314 or Kristen Perry at (562) 695-1217, Ext. 102. 9/11 documentary screening set WHITTIER – The Whittier Area Peace and Justice Coalition will present a free screening of “911: Press for Truth,” a documentary about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 7056 Washington Ave. Free refreshments will be provided. For information, call (562) 587-6270 or (562) 698-9154. Application starts for lunch program SANTA FE SPRINGS – Little Lake City School District is providing free and reduced-priced meals to qualifying students in the district for 2007-08. The district office, 10515 S. Pioneer Blvd., and schools have a copy of the policy for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. Household size and income will be considered to determine if a child is eligible for the program. Children whose family receives food stamp, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (KinGAP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits are automatically eligible regardless of family income. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, those interested must complete an application and return it to the Nutrition Services Office or the cafeteria manager at each school. Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year. There is a separate application for a foster child, based solely on the child’s income. Applications are available at the district office and at schools. For more information, call (562) 868-8241, ext. 256. – From staff reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – Officers arrested a parolee Monday night after he allegedly robbed three people of cell phones and a pack of cigarettes. Paul Martinez, 50, of Victorville was booked on suspicion of armed robbery and was being held without bail at Whittier Jail. He will be arraigned today at Whittier Court. The robberies happened in Whittier and Santa Fe Springs. The first victim was sitting in a car in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven at 8438 Santa Fe Springs Road about 9 p.m. Monday when a man brandished a handgun and demanded money, according to Whittier police spokeswoman Officer Diana Salazar. She said the robber got away with two cell phones. The victim gave police a description of the robber and the getaway vehicle, a maroon Ford Ranger. A robber also struck in the parking lot of the Food 4 Less at 7810 Norwalk Blvd. in Santa Fe Springs. He robbed a second victim of a pack of cigarettes but took nothing from a third victim, Salazar said. She said there could be a fourth victim. A witness saw the robbery in the Food 4 Less parking lot and called police. Officers suspected it was the same man because of the similar description from the previous robbery, she said. last_img