Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Chronicle
(Aired 28 November 2002)

   Our state owned newspaper the Chronicle has been drifting in a sea of ignorance for long enough.

   On the 28th of November 2002 the Chronicle published nine letters ostensibly from members of the public.

   One of these letters attacked me and was captioned Learn Tony Learn, so I have decided to crucify the entire Chronicle newspaper for it. I have decided to call this commentary learn Chronicle learn.

   Now Ladies and Gentlemen to perform a crucifixion you have to establish that the entity to be crucified has broken the law.

   So lets start there, in the high court of Justice in Trinidad case number 4782 of 1982 in the matter of Mr. Surujattan Ramchan and the Trinidad and Tobago Television Company limited and the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, Ramchand, on behalf of the opposition parties in parliament, sued the state owned Trinidad and Tobago Television station for operating that STATE owned entity in a biased and unconstitutional manner because, he complained, that the then government in power the PNM was operating the TTT as if it was owned by the party in power and not by the state. We won't go into the entire case, I will leave that to the legal eagles, but at the end of this case it was established within the legal jurisprudence of Trinidad, that state owned media does not mean party or government in power owned media.      

   So the judgment was that if the party or government in power for example has 20 seats and the opposition has 18 seats then the opposition should get 18 minutes when the government in power gets 20 minutes. The same principle holds good for state owned newspapers, if the PPP holds 34 seats in the parliament and gets 34 lines of coverage in the Chronicle, then the opposition in this country which holds 31 seats in the parliament must get 31 lines of coverage. The opposition parties and other ethnic groups have every right to expect that they will have access to the state owned media in proportion to the allocation of their seats in the parliament. It is a legitimate expectation and the Trinidad case in 1982 establishes this for all time.

   So the chronicle is guilty of denying the opposition their legal right to have their side of any matter aired in the state owned newspaper and by denying them that expectation the Chronicle is breaking the law.

   So I now sentence them to be crucified.

   How far has this obnoxious rag fallen into the abyss of ignorance and stupidity? Well let us examine the letters that they published in their issue of 28th November 2002. There were nine letters in that newspaper on that date, these letters were supposed to come from a cross section of our people's views. Ladies and gentlemen YOU determine if it was representative of those views.

    Letter number one is from one Ramesh Singh telling us that the civil servants have received more under this government than any previous government, it is a letter riddled with inaccuracies, rhetoric and contortions that only the great Houdini can match.

   Letter number 2 is telling us that Lorrie Alexander has a twisted mind. Good for you Lorrie if the Chronicle considers that you have a twisted mind, given their track record, take a bow.

   Letter number three is from someone called Leslie Bonne he tells us that we must choose wisely with regards to tourism and that someone called Ms Dennison is attacking him for his grammar, I surmise that Leslie wrote a letter on our tourism industry but the letter he wrote was riddled with bad grammar and Dennison with some degree of mischief and irony told him so.   

  His reply to her was that since she is so knowledgeable in Grammar then she should offer solutions to the Educational system. This masterpiece of illogic I will leave to these two people, but we do not have a tourist industry in this country and we never will, the people who have invested in this industry are, all to all intents and purposes, bankrupt. Our tourist industry is visualized as Eco tourism and is concentrated on the Linden highway and the Essequibo, anyone who has tried to get past the Parika vendors on Saturday and Sunday blocking up the highway going to the resorts in the Essequibo, and has to traverse that atrocity they call a road between Parika and Rod en Rust will immediately realize that, crime aside, the Ministry of Tourism is a waste of time. The resorts on the highway have bankrupted their owners before 2001, Emerald Towers for example.  

   Letter number four tells us that the Kaiteur news fills in for the New Nation, let me understand this, Mr. Davindra Sooklall, you are saying that the law is not being violated when the Chronicle publishes the nonsense you are writing and anyone who holds a different view is anti government and pro PNC  as if it is some sort of crime? Surely you cannot be serious. Surely you believe in freedom of association which is guaranteed by this country's constitution.

  Letter number five tells us that like Brook Benton's song, "its just a matter of time" it is authored by one Anne Ragubir, well Anne I don't know if the PPP will ever attract one serious investment in this country that will benefit the Guyanese people, but I sincerely hope that we do not end up with another GP&L. however as you say it's just a matter of time, let's wait for the British company to take over our water system and let's see what new madness we will have to tolerate next.

   Letter number six is the offending learn Tony Learn one, the huge pile of diatribe contained in this letter by the "the historian" would give Mr. Gajraj indigestion, after telling us all sorts of nonsense about 1799 and that the Berbice and the Suriname counties were both British and what the arrangements were between them, the wars they had, the times the counties changed hands etc. he then concedes that this aspect of the border dispute can easily be resolved at the international court, since there are international rules that apply with respect to joint boundary rivers, well fool, why prejudice any meaningful case we may have at the International Court by going to the Surinamese, cup in hand, begging for a handout on behalf of the Corentyne fishermen in 1997. It was a dangerous precedent, a masterpiece of diplomatic stupidity and so is your letter. And I said that Mr. Cement Rohee committed this faux pas not Mr. Insanally.

  Letter number seven tells us that the PPP/C is doing a better job, this funnily enough is the one letter that I agree with, yes indeed they are doing a better job of ruining this nation than the PNC ever did.   

   Letter number eight is the usual garbage written by John Da silva who told us in 1999 that ESBI was offering us a good deal, thereby calling into question his complete lack of capacity to deal with the realities of the world and sees nothing further than the end of his nose, it is hardly a proper advertisement for his family's business which makes spectacles. Did you fall into the lens grinding machine at Modern Optical John? I do believe that you did, since you are continuously making a spectacle of yourself. I access you as credibility zero, ability none and content nonexistent.

   Letter number nine tells us that Stanley Ming serves as an eye opener; the author of this letter Albert David tells us is that Stanley Ming is making a profit as a merchant by being aligned to the PNC rather then being aligned to the PPP who are in power. Where do you live Albert? in Swaziland, Timbuktu, Mars perhaps?  Ming has lost big time by being against the PPP and if you do not realize that, "open your eyes wider". Of course there is no Albert David or Davindra Sooklall or Bonner, much less a Leslie Bonner listed in the 2002-3 telephone book, who exactly do you think that you are fooling Editor? You are receiving letters from phantoms? Maybe they are members of this alleged Phantom gang.    

   These are the nine letters in the Chronicle of 28 November 2002. All castigating the opposition and anyone who support them, all half truths and lies, most of them propaganda perpetrated by authors who cannot be verified, where are the views of the 48% of the Guyanese that own this newspaper? Understand why we have so many problems in this country now Editor? You are denying 48% of the owners of that newspaper any say whatsoever in it.

  The editorial in this issue is even funnier, it tells us that mini busses are blowing their horns outside of the Law Courts and disturbing the procedures of that august body, how very profound and searching a matter this is, however let us play this shallow, ridiculous game, the last time I checked Editor, it was this government that made that spot an area for minibuses but it is still illegal for anyone to honk their horns there, the law says so, but if the Traffic Chief and the police cannot do their jobs. Go to the Phantom gang you are getting letters from and who have cleaned up the terrorists for the police and the army and ask them to shoot any mini bus driver that dares to blow his horn there, but they must use a silencer.

   Ladies and gentlemen I must cast some blame on the opposition they must go to the courts and demand time, in all state owned media GBC, GTV and the Chronicle, in keeping with their parliamentary allocation, it is more important and necessary and productive than all the marching. And most importantly it is their legal right to ask for it and it can solve many of the problems of their supporters.