BU has a lot of admiration for Freddie Kissoon. If one has to define a Caribbean journalist this man is over-qualified. We reproduce his recent column for the family.
August 19, 2012 | By KNews | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon
My security situation has become so bad I think it may be wise not to state on what day this week, I will visit the hospital to take a brain scan. Gerhard Ramsaroop insists that as early as possible I should take a brain scan. I didn’t think of it until Gerhard kept telling me to check for blood clots. My attacker did concentrate on my head and dealt me several cuffs right on my skull. I will take that test this week.
Life is really unpredictable. I got attacked on Thursday morning and just days before, on Sunday, August 12, my column was titled, “I am pleading with my country to protect me.” This was after I received a letter from Mr. Khurshid Sattaur requesting that I pay taxes on money I earn from writing these columns. How ironic life can be. You make a plea for help and days after you are victimized again.
Interestingly, someone came up to me the Monday morning and reminded me that in that very Sunday column I omitted details of some other events connected with the violations of my rights. It was unbelievable that I could have left out some interesting dimensions of what is taking place with me in my country. Juan Edghill ( I will never, ever recognize him as a Bishop of any church) filed an affidavit in court a few months ago asking a High Court judge to commit me to prison for contempt of court.
Mr. Edghill’s lawyer who drafted the affidavit was Mr. Ashton Chase. What was amazing was Mr. Chase’s acceptance that if found guilty, I would have to go to prison. Many lawyers told me that the affidavit could have been worded in such a way that the court was simply being asked to find me guilty of contempt and the judge would decide the penalty – either fine, reprimand or jail. But no! The affidavit specifically requested that I be committed to prison.
While sitting next to Tacuma Ogunseye in the Red Thread-sponsored vigil last Friday evening, I told him that I was shocked that someone like Ashton Chase could have composed such a court document. This is a man who belonged to the nationalist movement and participated in anti-colonial activities. Did the colonial governor try back then to jail him? He did not.
In 1998, I met Chase at a wedding ceremony in a church on Duncan Street and refused to shake his hand when he turned to speak to me. At the time he was the Chairman of the Board of what is now named Republic Bank. My student was horribly mistreated by the Bank and I sought Chase’s intervention since he was supposed to have built up a reputation as a labour lawyer that fights cases of violations at the work place.
Chase did not intervene despite assurance to me he would. I guess one day, Chase and I will meet again (though not after 9 pm; I am not venturing out in the night again).
How could I not remember in that Sunday column about the lawsuit that then President Jagdeo brought against me and which continues in the morning of September 7. Then I forgot to repeat the story of the unlit bulb in front of my home. I mentioned this in my column before. On the Railway Embankment from Sheriff Street onwards, going east, the only street lamp not working is the one right outside my home. On Thursday night I went up to Buxton to speak at the WPA meeting and I researched it again.
Do not take my word for it. Please check it out yourself. From Sheriff Street onwards on the Railway Embankment, the only lamp limping along without life is the one directly outside my home. My neighbours to my right and to my left, have working bulbs. Do you think this is accidental or part of the pattern of obsession?
When Scott Griffen of the International Press Institute interviewed me on the income tax issue and the attack last Thursday, he wanted to know what I thought of all of this. My automatic response is that someone high up on the ladder of State power has an obsession with me. But could it be more than one person? Gail Teixeira spoke fanatically at the UG Council meeting demanding my dismissal. She got it. Bharrat Jagdeo sued me for libel. Juan Edghill wanted me to go to prison. Robeson Benn’s Ministry refused to cut the grass outside my home, now we have the street light infamy.
In a published Reuters story on Guyana by Brian Ellsworth (Dec 15, 2011), the following line appears in the story, “Ramotar describes Kissoon as a sick man.” At the very first meeting (the only one so far) Operation Rescue UG had with Education Minister, Priya Manickchand in May this year, the Minister warned the group (she was rebuffed) about its association with me.
So could it be an obsession with Freddie Kissoon by the entire cabal? I leave readers to answer that. In the meantime, I may take up the suggestion of having four bodyguards.