President Jagdeo’s Suspension Of CNS 6 Abuse Of Power And Violation Of Rights

Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress

The decision by President Jagdeo to suspend Mr. Sharma’s CNS 6 comes as no surprise to the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC). We were reliably informed some months back that a decision was taken within the political hierarchy to silence this station in the run up to elections to contain its exposure of injustices and prevent the opposition from getting their messages out. Mr. Anthony Vieira’s May 4th commentary was an excuse, not the cause for Jagdeo’s decision, which is the most vicious form of Machiavellian politics of the end justifying the means.

The charge brought against Mr. Sharma and the guilt pronounced by President Jagdeo is a flagrant disregard for the course of justice for it is still to be proven by the court of this land that Mr. Vieira’s statement constitute libel and in the instance where such is considered bad taste to President Jagdeo he must know that in this diverse society this is not a yard stick for his action. The question therefore remains: ‘has it been established that a crime was committed and does the punishment fit the crime?’

It is no accident President Jagdeo made himself Minister of Information. For he thinks he has immunity to violate the sacred right to freedom of expression by abusing Article 182 Constitution which grants the president protection from civil and criminal prosecution for acts committed during the stewardship in office when in fact he is violating his Oath of Office to serve the people, respect their rights and uphold the law without fear, favour or ill will. The PPP must hear from us for. They must be held accountable. They must know enough is enough.

GTUC calls on workers to recognize that all are involved and all will be consumed-be you employed, self employed, retired, looking for work, or employer. The unjustified act of putting scores of workers out of work is similar to the injustices face by bauxite workers, public servants, sugar workers, city council workers and workers everywhere…it is a clear message from the PPP that they have no regard for the people.

The decision of the president that will cause 30 workers to go on the breadline when translated in an average household of five (mother, father and three children as measured by the trade union) it means the livelihood and well being of 150 persons will be affected and those of many others who rely on their purchasing power. Mr. Sharma and his household will also be affected. Persons have to eat, pay their rent and mortgages, children to send to school, and other daily expenses. Today I spoke with a very distraught female employee of Mr. Sharma who will be laid off, has five children to provide for, and doesn’t know where to turn for help.

This act of crippling a legitimate employer who is participating in alleviating poverty by providing jobs, when unemployment is high and the poor and dispossessed growing in numbers must be of concern.

The trade union comrades are reminded they have a social, economic and political responsibility to the community within which they operate and are urged to speak out and not abrogate their responsibility because politics is about people and people’s development which include respecting their right and upholding the rule of law.

This is open war being waged by the PPP on the gatekeepers of democracy and if we are looking towards enshrining democracy then the role of the media is crucial in this regard. Where other media have been fearful Mr. Sharma has demonstrated fearlessness and a pursuit for social justice by exposing injustices throughout this country, wherever it exists, regardless of whom it affects. Society must today stand behind him since in more than one way he has been our voice. Those who also rely on media advertisement to ensure the success of their business must also raise their voices since none is spared.

As social beings our existence and development are greatly informed by our ability to freely express ideas within the confined of just laws. It is time therefore for people to stand up and take measure to ensure the media landscape is accessible for every actor in this political process. And the NCN which is state-owned and funded by the people must be able to give expression to the voices of all the people.

The voices of the poor, powerless, aggrieved, underprivileged and dissent must not be silent.  Today the GTUC calls on the opposition, civil society and all progressive forces to speak out and speak up, to come out against these injustices and arrest this atrocity committed against the people.

The church which is seen as society’s moral compass up until 1992 played a visible role in educating and advancing the rights of citizens. Their current visible absence from the national conversation to ensure the realization of this held belief is seen as an abrogation of their moral responsibility even more so that they offer prayers for the president and this government as they transgress the rights of their flock.

The religious bodies and opposition political leaders are reminded that as they speak of peace, the price for peace is justice and together we must be prepared to pay this price.

There are some who are prepared to fight these injustices and the GTUC urges everyone to get on board so we can collectively rid the society of the few who are oppressing the masses, for tomorrow will be too late.

0 thoughts on “President Jagdeo’s Suspension Of CNS 6 Abuse Of Power And Violation Of Rights

  1. HOW is it an abuse of Power ?
    WHY not a use of Power ?
    DONT Caribbean Leaders have unlimited Power given them by the people to do whatever they like especially if Party supporters demand and support it never mind how offensive ????????
    IS this true or not ??

  2. your article suggests shades of burnhamism all over again.two wrongs do not make a right, mr lewis but where was your voice and the voice of the GTUC when the poor, powerless, underprivileged and dissent was crushed under the banner of mr burnham and his cronies or were you one of them?

    • @balance

      Does it matter what happened then and more about what is happening now?

      Like you stated two wrongs don’t make a right.

      Why would you attach ROK who continue to make personal sacrifices representing the people?

      Did he lean on the blog and Facebook during the last FTC Hearing?

      Did he not participate (BANGO)?

  3. david, who is ROK? please do not misrepresent me. i have never made reference to ROK in my comments if my memory serves me correctly. moreover, i do not attack bloggers, i only try to bring balance to unfair comments.

  4. The question needs to be asked of the local and regional media. If the same had occurred in Jamaica or T&T it would be the lead stories. Why have we become so numb to what is happening in Guyana?

    Don’t rely on Rickey Singh to highlight this matter. He has shown over and over again that he will not attack those from his race.

  5. Did not either Bishop Coleridge or Bishop Parry said that the black slaves had no souls, and therefore should be part of the Anglican church ? Haven’t we a monument in the north dedicated to both of these gentlemen?

  6. balance if we have been following what happens accross the caribbean we would know that lewis was one of those who took on burnham and hoyte. he is one of the few who can speak. when he was against hoyte jagan had him in his corner. but race polotics in guyana is uncanny and if you are black then you are a pnc and cannot be critical of the indian party.neither if you are an indian can you be critical of the black party. so it is a sad dilemna in guyana look at ricky singh who lives here has he ever really spoken about the wrong happening in guyana. it is sad but guyana’s problem can only be resolved by the death of one race. so let god decide that situation since nothing of sense would be listened to.

    • Why do we always measure success in economic terms?

      There is an interesting RACE case where Freddie Kissoon and Jagdeo are at it.

  7. trenton i get the impression that both sides fuel the race card for their own ends but having lived in a mixed race village in guyana. i did not experience any subtle,direct or indirect hostility on the part of the significant indian mix in the village. matter of fact , i was rather surprised at the interaction. yes, there appears to be obvious bias in the articles written by mr singh against the PNC but there was a time when the PNC propagandised paramountcy of the party and entertained no criticism either and so should not cry wolf, wolf. i have to admit that i have seen remarkable developmental progress in guyana during the term of office of mr jagdeo.

  8. Guyana Trades Union Congress

    Statement delivered at vigil at CNS6

    October 3, 2011

    Today we face clear and present danger to whom we are as a people and where we want to go as a nation with the intensified effort of government and PPP to silence us. Language- spoken, written or signed, relay face to face, through mass media or other information communication technology- gives meaning to our existence as social being and becomes crucial to our survival. And if this is being denied us then we lose our meaning for existence. The PPP and government are intensifying their efforts to muzzle us, to have us walking around in our homeland like zombies, our lips sealed. There is a growing sub-culture of political gangsterism and racial tribalism wherein to achieve these ends the system of governance, social relations and development are being sacrificed with a vengeance by the oppressive behaviour of President Jagdeo, the PPP and their cohorts. Our nation is under siege. Guyana is under siege, not from external forces, but from forces within our midst who have been given the privilege of our votes and are paid by all tax payers to govern.

    The time has come for us to stop and think if we, as a nation, and a people, can survive this brutal onslaught and destruction. The answer must be a resounding no. We can take no more of the PPP Machiavellian politics! No more of PPP brutality and ruthlessness! No more PPP marginalization and cronyism! No more of PPP occupying every iota of social space and imposing themselves upon this nation! We can take no more PPP associated narco– militarization and silencing of dissenters and those who expose their tyranny!  

    People like Freddie Kissoon, Raymond Gaskin, boy with middle finger, Mark Benschop, and so many others must not be battered, have their lives threatened, imprisoned and subjected to unfair laws for verbally and non verbally rejecting the PPP. We can take no more of the PPP lies and rape of our tax payers’ dollars and investment in narco relationships that create buoyancy for our economy! We can take no more of orchestrated conflict in our society and creation of racial divides when we are all heading down the pathway of a PPP created hell! We can take no more undermining of free media which is the bedrock of a democratic society and which in a real democracy maintains checks and balances on government! We cannot and we must not take more of the fear that stalks this land of ours – the fear that paralyses us and silences us - The fear of joining hands in unity across the divide to render support and solidarity to our oppressed brothers and sisters regardless of race, class, colour, creed and even political association.

    Brothers and sisters, the country that gave us birth, our mother country is ailing. Guyana cries and we the children of this land must rescue our motherland from the clutches of the PPP before we lose the ability to do so. Hijacked by rouge elements in and out of government, law and order is under siege. There has been the extermination of citizens with the instigation of government officials who without the requisite authority have apportioned guilt. White collar crime has intensified and is no longer being frowned upon. The Auditor General Reports continue to confirm the misuse and abuse of taxpayers’ monies. Racial and political discrimination and corruption are rampant and widespread. The Constitution is violated with impunity. The government manipulates regions and towns, restructuring our country’s demography for its own political and self-serving agenda. They then allot or deny resources in accordance to how they feel each geographic area will give or deny them support.

    The future of our youth is threatened. The unemployed are being given non-productive and anti-social task such as hired guns, cajoled to political party or state sponsored functions for financial crumbs, sports paraphernalia or to drown their hopelessness and despair in liquor, song and dance. Every year thousands of students are not completing high school and little or nothing is done to arrest this decline. Nurses, teachers, other professionals, and skilled workers are migrating en mass. University graduates cannot find jobs commensurate with their skills and they too are forced to migrate. Our seniors fear for their future as they express fears over the absence of social services granted the elderly in other societies, the sustainability of NIS, the CLICO fallout, increasing utilities bills and basic food prices which make an already small pension worthless.

    Only today the NIS reported figures showing that in 2010 the scheme paid out 500 million more than it took in. NIS, our safety net, is crumbling before our eyes under a PPP run administration. This is not a partisan issue brothers and sisters. It concerns every single one of us from the cane cutter to the bauxite worker; from the teacher to the nurse; from the clerk to the sanitation worker and office assistant; from the fireman to the policeman and soldier; from the current worker to the prospective work; from the pensioner to those who will be looking forward to a pension. Remember, Jagdeo’s pension is secured and huge. WE CAN TAKE NO MORE! WE MUST TAKE NO MORE OF PPP MISMANAGEMENT OF OUR NATION, OUR RESOURCES, OUR SOCIAL STRUCTURES AND OUR ECONOMY. We must unite and stop this monster… Jagdeo, Ramotar, and their cabal believe that it is their turn now to have their share of the wealth of this nation.

    We must no longer fear, feel hopeless and trapped for ours is a destiny to mould and the power lies with us. 

    Brothers and sisters there is a cardinal principle accepted in every civilized society, that elected officials to public office will operate within the parameters of the laws and constitution to realise a just and equitable society. Current global politics is driven not by money and arms but by sound moral and political principles. The democratic order of the world, as articulated by the United Nations, CARICOM and ILO speaks to upholding the equality of all in an environment that is just and fair.

    In an address by U.S Vice President Joe Biden to the Conference of the Americas “A New Day for Partnership in the Americas,” we were reminded that:

    “Consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter we must also focus on building and encouraging strong democracies, where basic fairness, social equality, and a deep respect for human rights and the rule of law are the guiding principles of everything we do. Democracy is about more than elections; it’s about strong, transparent governance and a thriving civil society. It is also about addressing as effectively as possible the challenges of poverty, inequality and social exclusion” (March 27, 2009).


    Guyana is a member of these bodies and our Constitution guarantees these rights, freedoms and structures, yet we see a party and government flagrantly disregarding them. These principles and aspirations continue to elude us as many are forced to flee THE LAND OF THEIR BIRTH to achieve PEACE AND HARMONY in another’s man country. We are robbed of our most valued resource as our people flee by the thousands. Those who remain must stop the tyrants who foster an environment of abuse, child abuse, domestic violence and other forms of abuse by government functionaries, denial, racial hatred and intolerance. 

    We must identify and reject those who are deployed in our midst to sow the seeds of discord on behalf of the government, the agent provocateurs, house slaves, Judas Iscariots, and those who suddenly find them to be “the best thing next to slice bread” worthy to be partnered with, join or praise. Shame on these hypocrites who will sell their soul to the devil knowing fully well they themselves will be consumed by the devil eventually.Today the spirit of Yohance Douglas, hundreds of murdered alleged criminals, members of the business community brutally murdered and robbed must be turning in their graves. The brother-in-law and family of Minister Sash Sawh know that Roger Khan was behind his murder and we all know who sheltered, aided and abetted Roger Khan. How can anyone in their right senses join and advocate for a party that ushered in an era of bloodshed in this nation? How more despotic must we get? How many more must die and suffer before we cringe in disgust when we hear the names Jagdeo, Ramtaur and that of the PPP? Shame on those who will stoop for anything, be it contracts, jobs, cocktail invitations or associations.

    They and this government have lost the moral authority, the right to be respected and to govern this nation.

    The PPP’s policy of feeding society doses of dancehall, wine down slackness, which apart from  being the most vulgar abuse of our state resources, targets the poor, the unemployed and unprivileged. This culture of instant gratification and transiency must be resisted. We must not allow ourselves, nor our youth to lime, wine and dine with our oppressors, to be feed their poison.  Partying has become the new opium fed the people. The government ensures the vulnerable are feed constant doses. Leading government and party officials imbibe themselves also and wine down with those they are deliberately denying.

    Our country has seriously veered off the path of human decency and development and we must change course. WE MUST CHANGE COURSE NOW! We have to get back to the path that sees nation building and personal development as a responsibility of all, in an environment that respect the rights of all, and which safeguards our land from forces, both internal and external, that seek to destroy us.  

    We need time out from the PPP holding the reins of government. Let them come to their senses out of government and learn that we the people will not tolerate any government trampling on our rights, abusing and misusing the resources that belong to all of us equally. If we fail to deny the PPP they will continue to deny us and brothers and sisters, it will get worse.

    The denial of Sharma’s right to broadcast and flippancy is a violation of not only his right and the rights of the over 30 workers and their families but the right of every Guyanese. This is serious and it must be arrested. While for the PPP it is important to silence us for they will be no dissent to their inhumane and regressive behaviours, for us is imperative we resist same since or action or inaction will determine where we be zombies or human beings. Already it is the denial of broadcasting licenses, suspension of licenses, withholding advertisements, threats of de-recognition for unions, withdrawing subventions, refusal to respect elected leaders, tachaios, starving communities of funding and development, denial of jobs and demonization of opponents – just  to name a few. I say NO MORE! NO MORE PPP OPPRESSION! NO MORE JAGDEO RAMOTAUR PARTNERSHIP OF EVIL.

    In closing I want to say, they must be running scared, peering into their looking glasses and stirring their evil concoctions, engineering to see how they can take advantage of our gathering  her to create fear among us. Do not be surprised if tomorrow or tonight they burn buildings and assault Indians. They may even burn down their own for such is the nature of the beast.  We know their modus operandi so we must be prepared and not be fooled in submission or continued support of PPP lawlessness. Of Jagdeo’s evil, of Ramotaur supporting role of evil and lawlessness.

    We must fear no more and we must not be silenced or subdued by any political party that seeks our vote to be in power. We must raise our voices in unity against our common enemy and say to the PPP that their term in office will not be renewed. The PPP must take time out for five years at least.  

    And we can only do this by resisting efforts to silence us, regardless of which form it takes and to whomever it affects. Let us go into the highways and by-ways and help others to understand the threat we all face and why we must resist it and end it by letting the PPP have time out for the next five years.

    Lincoln B Lewis

Leave a comment, join the discussion.