Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Being one of the persons whose name was called in Parliament some 10 days ago as one of the citizens whose telephone conversations and e mails were tapped and spied on, you will undoubtedly appreciate that I had more than just a passing interest in the debate on the new wiretapping legislation that began in the House of Representatives on Friday last. I was particularly interested when I heard that former Prime Minister Manning was going to speak and as a result I made it my business to tune into Channel 11 (the Parliament channel on TV) in order to hear for myself exactly what this man had to say.

My "flabber" was completely "gasted" however, when I realised after a little while that the former Prime Minister had absolutely no intention of dealing with the very serious issue of the terrible breach of the rights of all those individuals who had been spied on so callously and illegally. Instead, the man spent some time in justifying the existance of the SIA and the history of how it was originally set up during the Panday regime. (In this regard he seemed to be making the extremely questionable argument that as Panday had started the spying, his regime should not be blamed for continuing it!).

Assuming (though certainly not accepting) that everything that Patrick Manning said about the history of the SIA was true, he never touched even lightly on the illegal spying on citizens by his regime. Instead, he succeeded in pulling the wool over a rather gullible press by producing large glossy photographs of Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar's new home under construction for the last 8 years or so, and making the terribly outrageous suggestion that not only did it cost a fantastic amount of money ($150 million), but that the Prime Minister had financed this palatial mansion from contributions of Drug Lords! And the press fell for it!

Speaking for myself (and many others who have expressed similar sentiments to me) I do not for one minute believe any of the outrageous allegations of Patrick Manning as regards Mrs. Persad-Bissessar's new home. I do not believe that it cost any where near $150 million or even 10 per cent of this sum. I do not believe that Mrs. Persad-Bissessar has ever had any dealings with any Drug Lords, much less taken money from any of them. I consider Manning's allegations as scandalous in the extreme and extremely dangerous in that it appears that he is prepared to say and do anything that might take attention away from his own terrible actions. This is awful, and quite frankly beneath the dignity of a former Prime Minister. He ought to be ashamed of himself.

The wiretapping scandal is outrageous. Ramesh Deosaran was right when he said that it was more dangerous than the 1990 coup attempt because of its insidious and secretive nature. The persons responsible should be made to pay ... and pay dearly. There is a great suspicion that Manning himself was involved in the spying. After all, just about every name on the list (including mine) were persons who either opposed and continued to oppose Manning, or who at some time or the other had opposed him. There was absolutely no justification for spying on those persons on the list.

Mrs. Persad-Bissessar has caused a pre-action protocol letter to be written to Manning for his terrible and defamatory remarks about her. Good! I hope that she sues him for every penny that he has got. I will sue him too ...as soon as I get the evidence that will stand up in Court that proves that he caused my phones to be tapped.

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