Last Updated on Saturday, 2 May 2015, 14:12 by GxMediaDays after President Donald Ramotar relieved Health Minister Dr. Bheri Ramsaran of his duties because he verbally abused a female rights activist, the Guyanese leader believes that his “very kind” long-time political comrade was “entrapped” and “provoked.”
In a preview of this week’s edition of I-Radio’s Hard Talk, the President said he was sorry for the plight that Ramsaran, a political fighter and human rights advocate, found himself.
“While I did what I had to do, I still feel sorry for him in a way because it was clear he was set up and it was a deliberate attempt to set him up, to frame him up, probably they know of his temperament and they played on that,” said Ramotar.
In a letter to the privately-owned Stabroek News on Friday, Dr. Tulsi Dyal Singh said he believed that Dr. Ramsaran has the capacity to redeem himself but he should be subjected to psychiatric evaluation. “I believe that the Medical Council of Guyana should require him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and be treated if necessary; and secondly, for him to have his surgical techniques refreshed as the Council deems appropriate,” said Dr. Singh who praised Dr. Ramsaran as a very competent surgeon.
Under mounting pressure from inside and outside the incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) for Ramsaran to resign or be fired ahead of the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections, he was relieved of his duties. It is unclear whether he is now a minister without portfolio and member of cabinet.
Asked why it took him so long to get rid of Ramsaran from the Health Ministry and after a second recording had surfaced, the President said he did not want to fire anyone by cellular phone because it would not have been the decent thing to do. He also said Ramsaran told him that the second recording was taken out of context but he believed that the issue had taken on a life of its own partly due to the work of “opposition media.”
Ramsaran told rights activist Sherlina Nageer last month outside the Whim Magistrates’ Court to F-Off and called her a “little piece of shit” after she had repeatedly questioned his presence there for a court case involving former President Bharrat Jagdeo when he should have been paying attention to maternal and child mortality. He was heard on an audio recording telling someone that he had considered slapping her for the fun of it and would get his women to strip Nageer.
Top Western diplomats, the Women and Gender Equality Commission, lawyers associations, the PPP, its Prime Ministerial candidate, the political opposition and other interest groups and individuals