GPA not satisfied with Ramjattan’s apology to media

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Following his ‘Haul yuh ass’ comment to veteran journalist, Denis Chabrol, Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan has apologised for his behaviour but did so with an explanation, noting that he was provoked.

Ramjattan’s apology comes after the Guyana Press Association (GPA), of which Chabrol is an executive member, wrote him about his hostile behaviour towards the media at the conclusion of the farewell parade of the outgoing Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud, who is currently embroiled in a firearm license scandal.

Ramjattan, who is also a Vice President, was pressed by reporters to state whether the application for Persaud’s firearm licences was at his desk for approval or through the Firearm licensing board.

In response to the question, Ramjattan told Mr Chabrol: “haul yuh ass”.

In his apology, Ramjattan said, “As regards the other comment, ‘haul you ass’, which indeed was directed to Dennis Chabrol alone, as I was nearing my vehicle, again I am very sorry. I indeed plea in mitigation that I was very much provoked into it after several times over indicating to him I will not make any public comments about the Commissioner at the Commissioner’s farewell parade.

Denis Chabrol [News Room photo]
“I still believe notwithstanding my reluctance to do so,  his questioning me on me that score was totally out of place and wholly unwarranted.  But I suppose the Press is always right.

“And so I humbly apologise to you, your Press Association, Mr Dennis Chabrol and all Media workers for what transpired on February 28, 2018.”

Chabrol had also reported that earlier, the Public Security Minister used expletive language towards him in a telephone conversation.

In response to this, Ramjattan said: “In retrospect I am of the opinion that, firstly, I should not have expressed my feelings on matters to Mr. Dennis Chabrol as I did.  I always thought that he was adult enough to accept my unvarnished language especially when in a private telephone conversation.

“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!”

Meanwhile, the GPA, in response to Ramjattan, said that it does not accept the apology.

“The Guyana Press Association acknowledges receipt of your response to our letter dated March 1st 2018. We are not completely satisfied with your response since Mr Denis 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,” the GPA said in its response.

An official letter of complaint has since been sent to President David Granger by the GPA.

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