By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Incumbent President, Donald Ramotar has admitted to a recording of him calling an Aishalton teacher stupid, who had heckled him during a meeting in December 2014.
During his debut appearance on the radio programme, ‘Hard Talk’ aired on 90.1 Love FM on Sunday, May 03, the President was questioned extensively on the issue by host, Chris Chapwanya.
The President admitted to making the remarks almost five months after the recording was released and at a time when the Office of the President had stated that it will seek to authenticate the integrity of the recording.
In the recording, President Ramotar defended former President, Bharrat Jagdeo by responding to the teacher, John Adams who heckled him during a meeting in the Amerindian village.
Adams raised concerns about the former President and Ramotar could be heard telling him: “You don’t know anything about Jagdeo; if he been here, he might have slap you, cause you stupid”. The incident occurred on December 03, 2014
When questioned by Chapwanya, the President revealed “I didn’t say that exactly…I was responding to a heckle…I was speaking and responding to someone who heckled me and I said to him, you don’t know anything about Jagdeo; all you’re doing is parroting what you heard. You don’t know anything about him… what I was trying to tell him guard yourself against propaganda like that; that is in essence what I was trying to say, I didn’t put it in those words.”
Chapwanya then asked: “Did you use the word slap?” In response, the President said: “I probably did. I said…it was just off the cuff I was speaking at a public meeting and someone heckled and I responded…The President is a human being too you know.”
When asked if he regrets using those words, Ramotar said: “If I had the chance to think about it, maybe I wouldn’t have said it to him but…don’t you think too that it was a bit disrespectful for him to be heckling me while I was speaking?”
The incumbent President then dismissed the issue by noting that it is “petty.”
“To me that’s so petty and it gives you an idea of what goes on in our society, the kind of pettiness that takes place in our society that is blown way out of proportion.”
Meanwhile, the teacher had later claimed that one of the President’s Guard slapped him after the meeting; however the Director of Public Prosecutions has since advised that no charges be made against the Presidential Guard.