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PPP reprimands Minister for ‘strip and slap’ statements, …activist to give statement to CID

Rights activist, Sherlena Nageer (second from left) on a picket line at Office of the President.

by Zena Henry

Despite claiming days earlier that the incident between Health Minister Bheri Ramsaran and social activist, Sherlina Nageer was “blown out of proportion” the People’s Progressive Party/Civic said Monday, April 27, that it has reprimanded its party candidate for statements he made.

During an exchange with the Minister and the female activist, who challenged him on his performance as Health Minister, he is heard on tape telling her to F-Off, calling her a little piece of shit and considering slapping her “just for fun” and having his women “strip” her.

At the party’s weekly press briefing at Freedom House, its General Secretary Clement Rohee said that “We have sanctioned the comrade.” When the matter was revisited by reporters, he said that, “he (Minister) was spoken to very seriously.” While President Donald Ramotar had promised also to have further discussions with the embattled Minister, Rohee reminded that the issue of removing him is left with the President.

Various sectors, including the Private Sector Commission (PSC) have demanded the resignation of the Ramsaran who is no stranger to nasty public run-ins. Minister Rohee did not state however the type of corrective action taken against the party member.

Meanwhile, Nageer was set to visit the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Monday afternoon to make a formal complaint and give the police a detailed statement of what transpired. Speaking to reporters Monday during continuous protest action outside of the Office of the President (OP) Nageer said that the Minister should resign since what he said exhibition of who he is. “It’s not just me alone he would speak to anyone like this. It seems he would treat anyone else the same way.”

The activist was supported by several of her colleagues who yelled, “No to stripping and slapping,” “Bheri must go,” and “No apology accepted.”  Nageer said she was also seeking legal advice on the way forward and expects the police to act on the matter involving the minister.

While the PPP has accused the “opposition media” for blowing up the “unfortunate” incident, Minister Ramsaran is being slammed for two recordings; another that was made even after he had apologise for his first set of statements.

Foreign envoys here have also slammed the Minister stating that in their country, he would have been dealt with.

The Minister was at Whim, in Berbice protesting a court case brought against former President Bharrat Jagdeo by Attorney Christopher Ram when he had the encounter with the activist. Ram wanted to hold Jagdeo culpable for racially charged statements being made during his campaign rallies.