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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
My friend, when the horses are in the stall, you cannot go and raise objections.
Question: Is it a case of they were
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
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.