Port of Spain March 26 (IANS/CMC) Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has dismissed her Indian-origin Minister for People and Social Development Glen Ramadharsingh for his disorderly conduct on board a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) domestic flight.
“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,” Persad-Bissessar, herself a person of Indian origin, said in a statement Tuesday night.
“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.
She said has advised President Anthony Carmona to revoke the appointment of the Ramadharsingh.
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, during the flight from Tobago to Trinidad earlier this moonth.
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.
He blamed his “fatigue” on sporting activities, political campaigning as well as visiting family members.
The minister 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 Opposition Leader Keith Rowley said Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar now has to show whether she was consistent in the way she acted towards her ministers.
Earlier this week, Sat Maharaj, 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,” she said.
Since coming to office in May 2010, Persad-Bissessar has has removed from her cabinet more than seven ministers.