Dear Editor,Pradoville is back in the news, and the contentious nature of the issue aside, what I found interesting is the timing of the latest update from a unit that falls under the Ministry of the Presidency, which houses the President and the Prime Minister. I say interesting because of the visible pattern in the last 12 months.President Granger and Opposition Leader Jagdeo met on July 19th, 2018, and on July 22nd, 2018 we had the Pradoville issue resurfacing in sections of the media under the caption ‘SOCU completes Pradoville 2 file, charges ready to be laid’.Backtrack to January 3rd, 2018, when the two men met. Again, two days later, on January 5th, 2018, you had SOCU and Pradoville back in the news, this time under an article captioned ‘Sittlington to return as Mentor/Advisor to SOCU’, which talked about a foreigner continuing his work to ensure that there are convictions in the cases being addressed by SOCU.Even more interesting was that the news of Sittlington’s return not only came two days after the Granger-Jagdeo meeting, but it came EIGHT MONTHS after Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan asked for him to return to SOCU. Was it planned timing?A third case is seen after the Granger-Jagdeo meeting on October 19th, 2017. After that meeting, on November 28th, 2017, there was an article under the caption ‘Pradoville Two probe…Assessor moves in to value properties’.Again we saw this pattern with the June 12th, 2017 meeting, and the article that same month under the caption ‘Suspected Pradoville ‘schemers’ closer to climbing court step’.Editor, I have spent some time to detail these four examples to demonstrate that what we are seeing is a pattern.That said, the question that must be asked, given the major focus of the July 19th, 2018 meeting between Granger and Jagdeo (the likelihood of Government and Opposition talks) is: Is there a move to sabotage Government and Opposition talks?Secondly, is it the President’s office behind this move? Or is it the Prime Minister’s office?In my view, it seems more likely that it may be the Prime Minister’s office. You only have to look at the big picture to see why.If the Opposition, the PPP, and APNU engage, the AFC becomes more irrelevant. Their relevance is diminished because they are not among the political players dealing with moving political dialogue forward; the AFC has no seat at the table. If the PPP and APNU engage and reach agreement on issues, what use is the AFC serving? They have no constituency. Isn’t this reason enough to want to sabotage the Government and Opposition talks to make sure that the AFC remains somewhat relevant?Editor, with all that said, I want to say that the question “Is there a move to sabotage Government and Opposition talks?” is an important one, particularly given the gravity of having Government and Opposition engage.Regards,Attiya Baksh
Labourer Clifford Rodney of Lot 19 Savannah Park, New Amsterdam appeared last Friday before Senior City Magistrate Leron Daly on a charge of attempting to commit a felony.He pleaded not guilty to the charge, which stated that on April 25, 2018, he gained forceful entry into VJ’s Fashions, the Avenue of the Republic business premises of Albert Ramlakhan, with intent to burgle same.Objecting to Rodney being placed on bail, the prosecutor told the court that on the day in question, Ramlakhan secured his place of business at 16:00h and left. He subsequently received a phone call from a security guard, who related that the accused was breaking into the building, but he was able to apprehend him.The Police were summoned and the accused was arrested and charged.Magistrate Daly placed Rodney on $100,000 bail, and ordered that he return to court on May 18, 2018 for statements in relation to his matter.