victory: Kamla Persad-Bissessar

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...Kamla 'proud' of Anand

By Anna Ramdass
By anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday expressed pride in Attorney General Anand Ramlogan for his role in the success of the settlement of the of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) arbitration process with shipbuilder British Aerospace Engineering (BAE) which resulted in the payment of $1.382 billion to the State.

"I am proud and satisfied that this matter has been amicably resolved and wish to pay tribute to the Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan, for his dedication and commitment to this matter."

The Prime Minister joined in the chorus of praises for Ramlogan as on Saturday National Security Minister Jack Warner also issued a release stating that Ramlogan's success in the settlement was a form of vindication as many have called for his (Ramlogan's) removal.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister not only sent the message that her confidence in Ramlogan remained strong but also said that the OPV settlement was one where the nation can "feel duly proud".

"Today, I feel vindicated by the decision I took, as we have been able to repel a $700 million claim against our country and emerge victorious with a settlement of $1.4 billion," said Persad-Bissessar.

She said that while many appear to be "shell shocked" by the positive result— her Government was not.

"There is no 'secret deal', or hidden, undisclosed, future cost or supplemental agreement; the $1.4 billion represents full and final settlement without the government having to pay any money to BAE," she added.

The Prime Minister said that the settlement will allow the Government to repay the OPV loan and also provide a surplus $340 million which can be utilised for the benefit and upliftment of our people.

"This isn't a political victory; it is an undeniably positive result for every citizen," said Persad-Bissessar as she expressed thanks to members of the Defence Force and her Cabinet.

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