Ramkarran criticises SARA’s seizure of Enmore NDC computers

first_img– says SARA must “deploy its vast powers wisely”Commenting on the recent passage of the controversial State Assets Recovery Bill 2017, Former Speaker of the National Assembly and long-standing legal professional, Ralph Ramkarran, has said the Bill is a valuable additions to the AML/CFT Act in the battle against corruption, and the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) has the potential to become successful if it gets support from the public, and if it utilises its enormous powers prudently.Referring to the incident wherein officials of the SARU and the E-Government Project Execution Unit seized 15 computers from the Enmore/Hope Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Ramkarran said: “To obtain this (support from the public), it (SARA) must deploy its vast powers wisely, and not overreach by pouncing with a carload of officers to seize a dozen second-hand unserviceable computers in Opposition strongholds, like third-rate policemen going after seasoned bandits.”Ramkarran made these observations in his weekly blog, ‘Conversation Tree.’According to the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, it had become aware of a plot by the NDC to sell the computers, which were donated to the NDC by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF); but the NDC has said there was no such plot, and nothing clandestine or unlawful was intended. According to the NDC, the computers are outdated and most of them were malfunctioning. As a result, a decision was taken by the NDC that these computers should be sold, if possible, and replaced by the NDC with a new batch, so that the community can continue to benefit from their use.Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph RamkarranConcerns have also been raised by the Guyana Human Rights Association about the appointment of the director and deputy director of SARA being ring-fenced from “partisan politics, but Ramkarran has stressed that SARA “needs to transform itself from an agency given to highly-charged verbal confrontations with politicians to a professionally led and managed agency.”Now that the Bill has been passed in Parliament, the new mandate for SARA will be to recover unlawfully acquired state assets from public officers past and present through civil proceedings, in consonance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.SARA’s function will also include investigating whether state property was obtained through unlawful conduct involving a public official or any other person, and the tracing and identifying of property wherever situated, suspected to be state property obtained from unlawful conduct involving a public official or any other person.Director of SARA, Professor Clive ThomasThe bill is a civil recovery and civil remedy bill, which means it is non-conviction based. However, the bill makes provisions for the director of the SARA to initiate criminal proceedings if, or when, the need arises.There are also provisions in the bill for the establishment of a State Assets Recovery Fund, which will see SARA utilising 25 percent while the remaining 75 percent will go into the Consolidated Fund.The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has expressed concerns about this legislation setting the stage for the creation of a parallel justice system. The PPP has said the Bill would create an environment that encourages the violation of individuals’ constitutional rights and undermine the rule of law, since it has conferred on a sole individual – the Director of SARA – who currently is Professor Clive Thomas, powers that are ten times greater than those of the Guyana Police Force (GPF)According to the Opposition, the Bill would create a series of new offences, the SARA Director has been vested with unparalleled powers to investigate the newly-created offences, and persons could be rid of their properties without ever being charged with a crime.The PPP and other groups plan to file legal proceedings to disallow the setting up of this agency.last_img read more

Sunderland transfer latest: Big Sam eyeing Marseille man

first_img Alaixys Romao [right] in action for Marseille Sunderland are interested in Marseille midfielder Alaixys Romao, according to reports in France.The Black Cats have endured a tough start to 2016, conceding nine goals in their last three matches.Sam Allardyce is on the lookout for reinforcements and he has been alerted to 32-year-old midfield anchorman Romao.The Togo international has the offer of a two-year contract extension at the Ligue 1 side available to him, as well as offers from Toulouse and Al-Alhi.But Sunderland hope to tempt him to the Premier League ahead of a tough run of fixtures against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United in the first half of February. 1last_img read more


first_imgSinn Fein Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the budget’s cut to the Single Parent Tax Credit is unfair and out-of tune with modern Ireland. Deputy Doherty said Sinn Fein is opposed to the unfair cutting of the Single Parent Tax Credit.“This is an unfair move and is out-of-tune with the needs of modern Ireland. Pearse Doherty“This move will ultimately affect the children of separated parents as one of their parents will now have less to provide for their children’s needs.“This move sends out a message to separated fathers in particular that their care- giving is not equally respected by the State. That is an unacceptable message for a government to send out and could be viewed as favouring one parent over another.“Sinn Féin will oppose this cut in the Finance Bill and I call upon Minister Noonan to look again at this proposal and to exam its impact on equality and on the children of separated parents.”    TAX CUTS UNFAIR FOR SINGLE PARENTS – DOHERTY was last modified: October 21st, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Pearse Dohertysingle parent familiestax cutslast_img read more