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NAGEERGATE: Pres. Ramotar reprimands Health Minister

Sherlena Nageer (with finger pointing) questions Health Minister Dr. Bheri Ramsaran.

Under intense public pressure as the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) heads into the tightest election ever, President Donald Ramotar has strongly reprimanded the Minister of Health Dr. Bheri Ramsaran following revelation of statements he uttered during and following a public confrontation with a protesting citizen from Georgetown in Berbice.

“The statements and behaviour of the Minister do not reflect the high-standards I have set for Ministerial conduct nor the public’s expectations of an office holder. It is outright disrespectful and improper. I intend to have further discussions with the Minister on this matter,” the Guyanese leader was quoted as saying by the Government Information Agency (GINA).

Ramsaran has been on heard on a recording calling rights activist, Sherlena Nageer, a “a little piece of shit,” considered that he should have “slapped her for the fun of it” and got a number of his “women to strip her.”  At that time she had persistently asked the Health Minister what he had been doing outside the Whim Magistrates’ Court, Corentyne for a hearing of a private criminal charge of uttering racially divisive remarks by Former President Bharrat Jagdeo while many mothers and babies have been dying.

After a grudging public apology on the basis that Nageer had provoked him, the Health Minister was heard in another recording to Regional Health Officers suggesting that Nageer was a “miscreant” who was not only rabid but probably suffering from rabies.

His second outburst followed a strong condemnation by the PPPC’s Prime Ministerial Candidate, Elisabeth Harper. She has not said anything publicly on the matter so far.

The PPP’s women’s arm, the Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO), has also heaped scorn on the Health Minister but no organisation or personality associated with the ruling party or the government has called for his resignation. “WPO’s disappointment stems from the fact that Dr. Ramsarran is a hardworking individual who was schooled in a political environment to respect women’s equality.

Dr. Ramsarran is known for his support for women’s empowerment and has always been prepared to provide assistance to women especially those who are medically challenged,”

WPO is therefore dismayed that he allowed himself to react to provocation without giving considerations to his manner of speech; his reaction was unacceptable,”  said that organisation.

Top American and British diplomats here have also expressed grave concern at Ramsaran’s utterances.