Chairman of the Privileges Committee, Speaker Barry Sinanan,
is maintaining a no comment stance on statements
by Housing Minister Dr Keith Rowley on two issues arising
out of the report into last Septembers alleged tea room
The 188-page report, entitled First report of the Committee
of Privileges of the House of Representatives (2004-2005)
session, on allegations of breach of privilege arising out
of an incident that occurred in the Members Lounge on
September 15, 2004, was distributed to MPs and reporters during
last Fridays sitting of Parliament.
During a news conference at the Ministry of Housing on South
Quay, Port-of-Spain, on Monday, Rowley told reporters that
while he was impressed by the level of detail in the report,
he disagreed with the committees view that there were
no grounds for contempt in the alleged incident.
He also said the fact that he was called a racist by Fyzabad
MP Chandresh Sharma, with whom he had the alleged altercation,
was taken lightly by the committee.
found that, by evidence tendered, that Sharma did, in fact,
abuse me by calling me a racist, Rowley had told reporters.
suprisingly enough, the committee of Parliament glossed over
that as no big thing.
Sinanan declined comment on both issues yesterday.
PNM committee members, Public Utilities Minister Penelope
Beckles, Deputy Speaker Hedwige Bureaux and Health Minister
John Rahael could not be reached for comment, as calls to
their cellphones went unanswered.
At the briefing, Rowley, the Diego Martin West MP, also questioned
the conduct of three policemen who had taken statements on
He said he would soon call on the Police Complaints Authority
and Police Commissioner Trevor Paul to investigate the officers.
Contacted on his cellphone, Paul, who is out of the country,
said: I would have liked to hear the words from Dr Rowley
himself, because what appears in the newspapers is sometimes