Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has accused Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of being guilty of dereliction of duty in a matter involving allegations against a member of her Cabinet and investigations by United States authorities.
"Tonight, I call on the Prime Minister to act on the matter and speak to the country in an honest and open manner, or you demit the office you are holding right now," Rowley said at a People's National Movement (PNM) public meeting at Princes Royal Park, Arima, on Tuesday night.
He said there are people in Cabinet whose business partners are the subjects of interest of foreign governments, with respect to serious criminal conduct, but the Prime Minister has no interest in this matter.
"You are guilty of dereliction of duty," said Rowley, adding it was bad enough to have a Minister of National Security "who saw nothing, heard nothing, knows nothing", but the Prime Minister, too, had now joined the bandwagon and "will do nothing".
He accused the Prime Minister of engaging in an uncomfortable cover-up, in what might be serious issues which ought to be known to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
According to Rowley, the Minister of National Security "is an umbrella of all kinds of allegations" and questioned whether the Prime Minister was aware of her role as chairman of the National Security Council.
"It is to find out where there are risks to this country, not to just take action against assassination of self alone but the assassination of the whole country.
"Once the allegation came into the public domain, and I am not here taking any position on Daryan Warner's situation, the Prime Minister has a duty to find out what is the substance behind it.
"We hope for the young man's sake, there is nothing to the allegation and that it will work out, but if on the other hand, there is basis for the allegation and it is found that the US interest is not passing, then the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago...has a duty and she has the resources to find out."
According to Rowley: "We are a sovereign nation, we hold a seat on the United Nations, we held a seat on the Security Council from time to time...we are a serious country, and if a member of our Cabinet has connections to a person where there are allegations floating all around the world about criminal conduct...it is irresponsible of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago to turn a blind eye and pretend she doesn't know what is going on."
He said he was not asking Persad-Bissessar to condemn the young man nor asking her to take unfounded allegations.
"What I am asking her to do is to use the sovereignty of this country and the respect we have in the US and get our ambassador to ask the State Department what is going on with your minister and his appendages."
Rowley said he would be the most surprised person in the world if any government approaches another government in that situation and either government says, "I don't know, I am not talking to you." • See Page 17