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Commission of Inquiry day three
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By Milton Coy
St. George's Grenada (La Baye News) Day 3 of the Inquiry focused on two witnesses. Two Permanent Secretaries, Timothy Antoine Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Nordica MCIntrye a former Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As the Inquiry continues there seemed to be increased interest by nationals, as most Grenadians are glued to their television and radio sets, trying to capture the very latest. It is indeed a public issue and the previous two days revealed some important information about the operational procedures within Government Ministries.
Stanley Charles joins me again for an analysis of day 3.

Question: Standley, What pattern, if any, do you see emerging during the Inquiry so far?

Answer: Grenadians are learning how governments are supposed to work. They are perhaps also learning the importance about obeying laws and why it is so critical to follow governance.

Question: You have seen the witnesses on the stand, as a senior public servant do you believe McIntyre represented the general  modus operandi of how civil servants in this country function?

Answer: What I think is clear if you are following the Inquiry, is that there are serious questions of competence to be asked in regard to senior public officers. Again, I think if you look at the Inquiry, the Inquiry is trying to extract how a government should work, not how it works in practice. There are former ministers who are on the record, who are claiming, that  nearly everything that end up in cabinet during their period in office was oral submissions. And its naive to believe,  if you study the history of Grenada, that any one at any level, follows procdures or law.

Question: What do you mean?

Answer: In the Grenada context, which ministry, which civil servant can dare to interview a potential diplomat? But of course, the law said it has to be done. The law also said that prisoners have to be rehabilitated and the Governor General can release on prisoner on 'licence', similarly to a pardon. Is that ever practice?

Question: Are you saying that looking at the function and practice of civil servants in Grenada,as being revealed during this Inquiry, does not explain the point at issue of the allegations under review.

Answer: That is why the terms of reference of any Inquiry must always be clear. It is quite obvious where the Inquiry is going. The civil servants by their perceive incompetence comprises the integrity of the Prime Minister's office, by allowing a 'con-man' to pay for the Prime Minister's trip.

Question: Could they (civil servants) have stopped it, even if it is not a practice?

Answer: In Grenada a politician is 'perceived' to be above the law. One just has to look at the facts, not just what I say. Obviously the civil servants failed to do their job.

Question: Another witness, Timothy seemed to have had some valuable contributions by explaining the role of the Ministry of Finance.  How do you see his contributions.

Answer: All they had to do was to call the ministry to get the information. What contributions he made? He came there to cover for the Prime Minister. And he did a splendid job.

Question: What is your take on the way the Commissioner handles the procedimgs.

Answer: I have already answered that in a previous interview. There are no standards in Grenada. What do you expect me to expect?

Question: Obviously Stanley, the results of Inquiry will certainly have strong recommendations for the improvements of these important areas of functions. Is that sufficient, that is, just recommendations?

Answer: Go and look and the 'Value for Money' study and see if any thing was implemented. As a black man, go to any caribbean island and see if you can get though the green line. The Caribbean, and let me speak of Grenada, I am in Grenada, is made up of different levels of people. Those who run the country and have higher learning - their mentality is either European, American or Canadian, and for all intent and purposes, that is their place of abode. The people who vote, who need a job, who need health care, who need universal education - they live in the Caribbean. You started by saying about people are glued to their televisions, ask the ordinary man if he cares?

Question: On day 2, Stanley, the opposition was denied full particaption and legal representation during the Inquiry. Could that affect the outcome?

Answer: My friend, when the horses are in the stall, you cannot go and raise objections.

Question: Is it a case of they were too late.

Answer: In my younger days, some people were obviously quite smart and had no 'street' sense, we used to call them 'wankers'.

Question: Mr. Michael Baptiste, a former Leader of the Opposition, in fact he was the leader of the Opposition during the period under review, made an intervention on day one. Do you think he has any interesting revelations, based on his claims that he said in Parliament on January 12th 2001 about a conversation he had with Reistener, while en-transit at Gatwick International airport in London?

Answer: Michael Baptiste is a politician who understands the theatre of political war. His collateral damage to the Prime Minister or the government can be significant. However, since the Inquiry is founded in law, he would indeed enjoy the greatest gauge.

Question: How much of all whats taking place within the Inquiry will be transmitted to the society as a whole, and in the interest of 'justice', in whatever form, will be 'seen to be done'?

Answer: My friend the concept of justice must be impartial because its blind, it must be seen to be done. If you are the owners of a Trinidadian company, or people whose lands the government has bought with compulsory orders or you have any court ruling against the government, it would be interesting to find out what is your position about the lawmakers' attitude towards law, since the practice in Grenada in recent years has been for the government, is to ignore the 'ruling' of the courts in any matter it loses.

Question: Finally What should we anticipate?

Answer: I think the Grenadian people have an answer. They say the 'same khaki pants'. Let me say this, it is important to understand Grenadian and Grenadian mentality. Sir Eric Gairy owned Grenada. Maurice Bishop owned Grenada. Blaize and Brathwaite and the rest occupied without understanding ownership. Keith Mitchell, he has gone a step further, he owns the very air you breathe.

Carib News Now is dedicated to providing news and daily updates to its customers. Now, Caribbean people where ever you maybe have an opportunity to let your voices be heard as well as share your experiences with the world. E-Mail: editor@caribnewsnow.com
NB: No part of the content on this site should be used without the written permission of the publisher. Copyright 2005, all rights reserved.

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