Wednesday, November 28, 2007



Recent reports have been carried prominently in the media to the effect that a Minister of the PPP/C Administration – Mr. Kellawan Lall, MP, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development - was involved in a brawl with a man, one Joseph Doodnauth, in a rum shop at Montrose, on the East Coast of Demerara, on Sunday, 18th November 2007, during which the said Minister allegedly struck down the man with his vehicle and, while his victim was lying on the roadway, fired several shots at him at close range.

The People’s National Congress Reform condemns this latest example of the lawless and unseemly behaviour of yet another member of the PPP/C Administration. In any law abiding Jurisdiction, self respect and the rules of public decency would have demanded the voluntary or requested resignation of this Minister. Instead, the Government’s spin Doctor has set out to publicly downplay and, by implication, condone the behaviour of this Minister.

This incident is further evidence that the Rule of Law in Guyana is being disregarded and eroded, especially since, it has been reported that this matter has been settled out of court, presumably as a result of political intervention, even though the matter is supposedly engaging the attention of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Taking cognisance of the publicly available information on this matter, the PNCR believes that the Minister concerned should certainly step down or be made to step down while the Director of Public Prosecutions conducts the necessary investigations to determine what charges should be brought against him.

The PNCR is not of the view that the settlement out of court should prevent the law from taking its course. Should this happen, then the Rule of Law in Guyana will continue to be seriously undermined, leaving the wider society with the perception that there are different laws for the poor and powerless in contrast to what applies for the rich and/or powerful.

It is ironic that, at the very moment when the PPP/C Administration has shouted from the roof tops that the use of weapons is spiralling out of control, one of its own Ministers should be engaged in such a lawless public act, involving his wanton and illegal use of a gun, in a manner which could have caused the death of the individual who he attacked.

If the Ministers of the Government cannot conduct themselves in a lawful manner then they are setting the worse possible example for the rest of the society and should not be invested with Ministerial responsibilities.


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