Ramkarran must use this opportunity to make demands on the leadership of the PPP for changes in the constitution
Ralph Ramkarran’s resignation on June 30 is not surprising for many of us who reached great heights in the PPP and were finally pushed out.
I have been extremely publicly critical of my elder comrade and family friend, Ralph Ramkarran.
My recent criticism, on Demerara Waves website and in Stabroek News on Mr Ramkarran, was about his public statement about pervasive corruption, which was first published in the PPP Mirror and subsequently reported on by Stabroek News.
The space would not allow me to go into any detail about the resignation of Ralph Ramkarran. My last three hours of very private discussion in July last year was very interesting and educational. It further revealed the inner workings of the PPP – as an ossified Stalinist outfit, not suitable for the 21st century. It would not be wise to say more about our private talk – especially at this time – because I think Mr Ramkarran should re-consider his re-entry following the call by the PPP leadership not to leave the party.
I totally disagree with AFC Chairman Ramjattan’s assertion that Mr Ramkarran will most surely “be quitting politics.” He would like him to join the AFC. But why should he join the Alliance For Change and not the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)? Mr Ramjattan likes to play sectarian politics.
Ralph Ramkarran is much more serious a political activist than people think. Mr Ramkarran would agree that he has not been the grass-roots person, unlike people like me, but he made a level of sacrifice for the ordinary people, as did his father. He had a role to play and he did – to a large extent. Mr Ramkarran, the eldest son of a worker, Mr Boysie Ramkarran, a veteran Trade Unionist and former President of the country’s biggest Trade Union, the Agricultural and General Workers Union, (GAWU), was steeled in struggles.
Mr Ralph Ramkarran has been the only person that I know of, who has been recalled by the PPP just after he resigned. There are thousands of us – former activists of the PPP over half a century, who were vilified and condemned for daring to challenge the highly undemocratic operations of the PPP Party. Mr Ramkarran must use this grand opportunity to make huge demands on the sterile leadership of the PPP for a complete change in the Stalinist constitution of the PPP, which will allow open, unrestricted debates and discussions and the fullest involvement of the ordinary members. The membership played no role in the selection of Donald Ramotar as PPP presidential candidate, as the PNC did.
Mr Ramkarran must demand the setting up of a special commission in the PPP to achieve a national unity government, an aspiration of Dr Cheddi Jagan and Mr Boysie Ramkarran, a founding member of the PPP, which will involve the two main parties in Parliament, mass organisations and civic society.
Ralph Ramkarran cannot walk away from 50 years of struggle and that of his indomitable father, Uncle Boysie. History will not forgive him. I hope he can prove all the doubters wrong.