Thursday, February 22, 2018

‘Govt is out of control’

‘Skippy’ heckled at meeting


SURROUNDED: Barrington “Skippy” Thomas, who is the former adviser to fired minister of the people Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, is surrounded by hecklers as he speaks at a meeting where he promised to “tell all” at the Himalaya Club, Barataria, on Thursday night. Thomas was forced to stop the meeting for a time due to the presence of the hecklers. See Page 7. –Photo: ANISTO ALVES

Mark Fraser

BEDLAM reigned at the Himalaya Club, Barataria, on Thursday night as hecklers, who seemed to be Government supporters stormed a public meeting where Barrington “Skippy” Thomas, the sacked adviser to former minister of the people Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh promised to “tell all.”

The meeting began promptly at 8 p.m. with an audience that included Independent Liberal Party leader, Jack Warner, Movement for Social Justice leader, David Abdulah and former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence-Maharaj.

As Thomas mounted the stage and prepared to read from a text, the heckling began.

In fact, it seemed that those opposed to Thomas comprised half of the crowed present as they first remained at the back facing the stage with shouts of, “No Skippy no!”

Some of the placards read, “Skippy the new King Corbeaux,” while others can’t be reproduced here.

As the chants continued, Thomas continued reading from his text.

He spoke about wanting to tell the truth about the present Government and described the hecklers as Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) workers who had no choice but to show up at his meeting last night.

“The People’s Partnership is out of control,” said Thomas.

He called the names of some of his former colleagues describing some of them as incompetent and alcoholics. He listed a number of projects that were supposed to be initiated by the Ministry of the People but which never got off the ground.

He claimed that after Dr Ramadharsingh was sacked from his portfolio, the doors leading to his (Skippy’s) office were changed and his cellular phone disconnected. He said that he spoke to the Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar asking if he had been fired and she told him that she had no such instruction. He said he attempted to meet with her following that, but conversation was impossible.

He even said that a minister who is currently alleged to be in a sex scandal had wanted to have a private discussion with him, “but if I did only know what he was about, I would have never had that meeting,” said Thomas. By around 8.30 p.m. the unopposed hecklers stormed the front of the meeting following which they mounted the stage and surrounded Thomas as he spoke. Uniformed police who were at the meeting did not stop the protesters, but kept watch on the proceedings.

“I am not perturbed by this demonstration because it’s the same people who will be mobilised for the Prime Minister,” he said.

It seemed that the hecklers emboldened him even more as he shouted, “if allyuh think I’m going to stay silent for a CEPEP contract look back allyuh damn contract,” as he withdrew a piece of paper from his pocket which he then tore up.

“I can be silent no more,” he said, “because tonight I refuse to remain silent whether they send a carload of ‘jaggabats’ or 50 bus-load I will not stay silent,” he said.

He asked why would the Prime Minister, take over a ministry. “And you hardly go to work. You are always out of the country and here you have time to mobilise hooligans,” Skippy alleged.