October 21, 2020

Kamla fires minister for disorderly conduct on Caribbean Airlines flight


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images-Caribbean-Ramdharsingh_trinidad_928653705From Caribbean360

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday March 26, 2014, CMC – Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar Tuesday night announced that she had dismissed her Minister of the People and Social Development, Dr. Glen Ramadharsingh, following his disorderly conduct on board a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) domestic flight from Tobago to Trinidad earlier this month.

“As I have always said, regardless of the consequences, I remain resolved to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. My decisions in the past demonstrate this consistency regardless of whether you are in my Cabinet or not. No one is exempt from the measure of value based leadership.

“In the circumstances,I have advised the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, , Justice Anthony Carmona, to revoke the appointment of the Honourable Minister of the People, Dr Glen Ramadharsingh,” she said in a brief statement.

Ramadharsingh has acknowledged that his alleged behaviour was due to “fatigue” and denied reports that he was intoxicated when he refused to follow orders given by flight attendant, Ronelle Laidlow.

Laidlow, 25, in a report made to the police and the Airports Authority security, said that the minister’s hand touched her breast when he reached for her identification badge which was pinned to her blouse.

Ramadharsingh, however, denied claims he had any physical interaction with the flight attendant, denying also that he had threatened to have her dismissed over the incident.

Ramadharsingh blamed his “fatigue” on sporting activities, political campaigning as well as visiting family members.

Ramadharsingh said he had since given an “unreserved apology” to Laidlow over the incident.

Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams has confirmed that an investigation has been launched into the incident while . Keith Rowley said Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar now has to show whether she is consistent in the way she acts towards her ministers.

Earlier this week, the  secretary general of the largest Hindu organization here, the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), , said Ramadharsingh had become an “embarrassment, a liability” and “a poor role model” and should resign or be fired.

Prime Minister Persad Bissessar, who had been out of the country at the time of the incident,  said that on her return she had asked the minister and the relevant authorities to submit a report on the incident.

“Having read these reports and after meeting with the Minister I have arrived at a decision on the way forward.

“All my considerations are character driven. I hold no brief for any man or woman save the greater public interest. I am always aware of the higher expectation upon which this government was elected and the immense responsibility each of us has to uphold public trust in all we do every single day of our lives. It is not a responsibility we can choose to have one day and lose the next,” she said.

Prime Minister Persad Bissessar who has since coming to office in May 2010, has removed from her Cabinet more than seven ministers, said “no man, nor woman for that matter, has been allowed nor will be permitted to deviate from the very principles upon which we were elected by the people into office.

“I know there will be arguments put forward by some as to what was condoned in the past administration to allow for continuity but I disagree. There must be no compromise on integrity, no allowance for arrogance, no room for violation of mutual respect; there will be no sacrifice of our values on the altar of political expediency.

“Regardless of whether the decisions I take hurt me politically or not, I have the strength and courage and independence of mind to measure every tough decision on the basis of what is right and just,” she said, insisting that she remains “resolved to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

“My decisions in the past demonstrate this consistency regardless of whether you are in my Cabinet or not. No one is exempt from the measure of value based leadership,” she added.

PHOTO: Dr. Glen Ramadharsingh telling reporters he had not touched the flight attendant.

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/trinidad_tobago_news/1107349.html?utm_source=Caribbean360+Newsletters&utm_campaign=de9741af09-Vol_9_Issue_061_News3_26_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_350247989a-de9741af09-39393477#ixzz2x5H1RBms

See related story

Eyewitness on plane: I was scared for flight attendant

From Trinidad Express

One of the passengers aboard Caribbean Airlines flight 1519 in which Minister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh was a passenger said yesterday she felt afraid for the flight attendant.

“The only reason some passengers didn’t physically tote him from the plane  is because he is a minister and you know how politics is in this country,” the eyewitness said.

Speaking with the Express at her Couva home yesterday afternoon on the condition of anonymity, the 42-year old woman, who is employed  with a  national security agency, said she was returning from Tobago and witnessed with “disgust” the “unprofessional and nasty” way Ramadharsingh conducted himself on board the flight.

As proof that she was present in the plane, the woman showed the Express her boarding pass, as well as her identification cards.

“I was seated, as you can see, (pointing at the pass)  in the vicinity of  seat 15,” the eyewitness said. Ramadharsingh, she said was “a couple of seats away” from her.

“The flight attendants were so helpful and professional. When the melee started, I was shocked. A couple of people on board begged the minister to behave. Even a female near him tried to pacify him,”  the eyewitness said.

“But he continued speaking loudly and getting on as though he was home and yelling at a child. He …. seemed to be really out of it.

“I was disgusted. The woman spoke to him in a professional manner and I was stunned that he wasn’t complying with such basic instructions as sit down or secure your items,” the eyewitness said.”Imagine a flight attendant telling you these things and you are saying no. That’s madness,”  she said.

Adding that she has flown to several countries on work-related activities, the eyewitness said: “If this behaviour had happened in another country, guess what they call that?…a security breach”.

“The lady tried really hard to explain to the minister to move his bag to the opposite side of where he was seated and he refused.

“He was adamant that one, he will not move his bag and two, he wouldn’t switch seats and move away from the emergency exit,” she said.

After some time, the minister seemed to have settled down and the plane took off, the eyewitness said.

“As I was disembarking, there was a keepback at the exit and I saw some people pulling the minister away from the flight attendant whom the minister was arguing with.

“They were telling him ‘come on, come on let’s go’,” the eyewitness said.

Adding that she heard the minister say “your days are numbered”, the eyewitness said: “I became afraid for her due to his close proximity”.

“He eventually left and I saw the attendant pick up the phone inside the plane,” the eyewitness said.

For more on this story go to:


See also iNews Cayman related story published March 24 2014 “Senior cop probing case [against T&T Minister]” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/senior-cop-probing-case-against-tt-minister/


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