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Trinidad & Tobago: Not “Moving On” from Section 34

The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago advised earlier this week that the country should “move on” from the Section 34 debacle; contrary to his request, thousands of citizens marched against the betrayal of trust and bloggers are refusing to let the issue go.

aka_lol retorted:

Despite countless wishes and prayers from Anand, Hubert and Jack the population will not be moving on from Section 34 simply because this trio are the ones who should be moving on. What these politicians don’t realize or what they fear is that Section 34 is like a ham bone, the more you boil it the better the soup taste.

Quoting Friedrich Nietzsche ["I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you"], the blogger continued:

What is now a thick plot in public’s mind is that this Government never intended to move the country forward but to help criminals get a better grip around the people’s necks and balls. And speaking of balls, if the Prime Minister doesn’t act with…haste on this matter then the population will understand why criminals are held in such high esteem by the Government and why we must be very afraid of every action by this ruling force.

Plain Talk added:

Make no mistake, this whole Section 34 fiasco was not just a cluster-screw-up of epic proportions nor ‘novel-esque’ fiction brought to life, but a real tale of seedy conspiracy involving men of ill repute who, besides having multiples of matters before local courts for bid rigging and corruption are also wanted internationally to answer questions relating to money laundering. How this comes to be associated with Ministers of government and an alleged attempt to pervert the course of justice using the nation's legislature and some of the highest Offices in the land is destined to make for some gripping reading and I daresay we are in for quite a ride before we get to the back of this book.

The blogger, Phillip Alexander, also focused attention on the inadequate response of the government to the controversy:

Caught in arguably the most ignoble of pursuits and instead of simply coming straight with the people they swore to serve impartially and fair, the AG and crew seem to have opted instead for accelerating out of the skid by adding arrogance and bluster to the already swirling mass of conjecture that has many of the citizens of this country spitting mad…the Attorney General straddled the nation's Parliament…and went off on a righteous misdirecting tirade seemingly bent on putting the whole Section 34 matter if not at the feet of the opposition then at least on the entire Parliament itself in an attempt to make the matter go away…

Alexander also had questions for the Minister of Justice:

Did he really expect to throw a cat among the pigeons and that things would proceed quietly? Why aren't his stories adding up? Who else was in the loop? Was the Prime Minister involved? What exactly did she know and when? The irony in all of this is that the same people who were treated with such scant respect may have the final say, and I daresay should not contemplate judgement or attach consequence until we have learned the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Meanwhile, The Eternal Pantomime dedicated an entire post to reminding people how the Minister of Justice “entered local politics” – one local newspaper suggested that he may “have been making arrangements for his entry into politics while he was still on the Bench”:

It appears that his appearance as a political candidate caused problems and concerns for many in the legal fraternity. Volney in a 24-hr time frame resigned from the judiciary and showed up at Rienzi Complex for a candidacy screening the same afternoon….and the UNC, that party with firm ethical and moral resolve embraced Volney as a candidate.

The blogger, Rhoda Bharath, continued:

For the last 2.5 years I thought Volney a colossal waste of time. Wondered why this Ministry of Justice had been created. Then last week, Anand Ramlogan and Herbert Volney’s appointments began to make sense. Ramlogan, who during the Manning era had portrayed himself as the people’s champion in his weekly newspaper columns, all of a sudden, seemed less enraptured with helping the people and more tied up doing nothing. The AG, it turns out, would be Volney’s chief assistant in getting the Bill piloted through both the Lower and Upper Houses. It seems that for all Volney’s loose cannon behaviour since the campaign trail, here is a man who understands our judicial system so well that he figured out precisely how to dismantle a decade-long case by the state against a group of persons with just one clause…

She made a link between the would-be effects of the Piarco defendants walking free and the country's attempted coup in 1990:

The country, I suspect, would have gone into melt down mode or just become completely catatonic…you see, what a lot of politicians just aren’t getting is that Ish, Steve and the Gang walking free is actually akin to the Muslimeen 114 walking free. The nation went into shock after that verdict, and then it went into a social decline.

The post also called for the resignation of both the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General:

It is pretty apparent to everyone that is Kamla and them pass the bill…and it looks like they passed the bill to aid the legal cases of the Piarco Perps. There seems to be no other reason for enacting Clause 34 so soon.

The evidence is stacked up:

1. We know that Volney piloted the Bill with the help of Ramlogan.

2. We know that Volney presented one version of Section 34 to the Lower House and a different version to the Upper House with the help of Ramlogan

3. We know that Volney promised to implement all structures and frameworks before proclaiming the Bill and then reneged on that promise to Parliament.

4. We know that Volney requested that the Bill be proclaimed and then the Cabinet met and in a cloak-and-dagger fashion had the Bill proclaimed by the president while the population was distracted with Independence celebrations.

In short, members of Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s Government appear to have conspired to hoodwink the population of Trinidad and Tobago

If Volney and Ramlogan don’t go…then the Parliament should be dissolved!

Plain Talk summed up the entire situation this way:

It appears that the only thing that we know with absolute clarity and certainty beyond a shadow of a doubt at this point in time is that the people of this country are held in the highest contempt by at least the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice if not the entire United National Congress and their co-conspirators in government.

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