Delivering the General Secretary’s report at the PPP’s 30th Congress yesterday, President Donald Ramotar blistered former party stalwarts Ralph Ramkarran and Moses Nagamootoo and also launched a scathing attack on Stabroek News.
Wading into Ramkarran and Nagamootoo at the JC Chandisingh Secondary School, Ramotar argued that both men benefitted
from the party for years but their jealousy and rejection at previous congresses led them to abandon the party in a “flurry of lies”.
After nearly 50 years with the party, Ramkarran left it last year after clashes over his concern that there was deep-seated corruption in the country. Nagamootoo exited the party after disagreements and joined up with the Alliance for Change shortly before the 2011 general elections.
Ramotar told the Port Mourant gathering that he always knew Nagamootoo was a man with a flawed character who had a penchant for opportunism.
He then moved on to Ramkarran. Noting that Ramkarran does not have any dealings formally with any opposition party, Ramotar stated that it might be a matter of time before this was to happen. He said that he often questioned how two such senior party members could stray and so vehemently oppose a party that they served for years.
He did not delve into the criticisms of the party by the two men. He instead chose to characterise criticism of the party as internal and external forces threatening the party’s existence.
Ramotar then turned his attention to the media. He stated that Stabroek News was an enemy of the party. He added that Stabroek News continuously focused on corruption allegations and that “good journalism had sold out.”
The President said that Stabroek News’ formation was at the hands of a colonial sympathizer and as a result the newspaper’s main objective was to target the PPP/C. He said that the PPP/C government was in the way of Stabroek News’ agenda in promoting a more colonial ideal.
Ramotar further argued that both Stabroek News and Kaieteur News, were exploiters of “racial and class hate”. He told Congress members that there was a need to be vigilant against the media. He said that the party’s propaganda/public relations had a difficult job with the encroachment of “hostile media”.
The president contended that “lies and slander” have cost the party and members had to work on becoming more conscious on social media sites to spread the word of the party. He said that the party members themselves had to become more open with media operatives but only those who have the party’s best interests at heart. He also said that the party had to become more internationally organized.
Ramotar also charged that the opposition has used Stabroek News to promote a political agenda.
While denouncing the independent dailies, the President did however state that political and ideological work was an area where more effort was needed from party members. He said that the party would always be aware and ready for any change in the political arena. While calling out the independent dailies for perpetuating “lies”, he acknowledged that the party has not done enough work.
While the President slipped into the Congress venue, former President Bharrat Jagdeo was greeted with generous applause. Even when the President spoke about the former president’s contributions, the JC Chandisingh Secondary School burst into applause, demonstrating that Jagdeo was still a party favourite.
Executive member and Minister of Natural Resources Robert Persaud was pushed into the limelight prior to the General Secretary reading his report. He explained today’s breakdown of the various workshops and which members would be chairing each prior to all the issues being brought to the attention of the plenary tomorrow.