Says He Was Provoked by ‘Totally Out of Place and Wholly Unwarranted’ Line of Questioning
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said he did not intend to abuse or show any form of hostility to the media as he apologised for his offensive remarks to journalists who had sought an interview with him on Wednesday.
In a letter to the President of the Guyana Press Association (GPA), Nazima Raghubir, who had earlier called on Ramjattan to apologise over his remarks, the Public Security Minister said, “I humbly apologise to you, your Press Association, Mr. Dennis Chabrol and all media workers for what transpired on February 28, 2018.”
But he said that the contents of the GPA letter to him calling for the apology were not entirely accurate.
The GPA had said it condemns “in the strongest possible terms the verbal attacks on its Executive Member Mr Denis Chabrol and fellow journalists…” noting that the journalists were abused by Ramjattan as they sought an interview with him on an issue involving the outgoing police commissioner, Seelall Persaud.
Ramjattan, according to video recording of the events, declined to comment on a matter regarding outgoing Police Comissioner Seelall Persaud. He told a journalist he had no time and place to be asking such a question. (It was after a farewell parade for Persaud had concluded). After he was asked why he was “dodging” the issue, he got irritated and raised his voice. As he was walking away, Chabrol kept asking him a question to which he remarked, “Man you could haul yuh ass.”
In his apology, Ramjattan said in retrospect he should not have expressed his feelings on the matter to Chabrol as he did.
“I intended him no abuse nor hostility by that expletive. From now on I assure you he will not hear anything from me of that sort. Probably, not anything at all!” Ramjattan said, adding that he was provoked after he indicated several times to Chabrol that he will not make any public comments about the commissioner of police at the farewell parade.
He believes that being questioned on the matter was “totally out of place and wholly unwarranted”.
Raghubir in acknowledging the minister’s apology noted that Chabrol remains one of “our most respected members and journalists.”
“We remain committed to ensuring that our members are treated with respect while they too understand and apply that respect during their functions,” she said. – CMC