Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Abuse of Power
(Aired 28 January 2005)

   On the evening of Saturday 22nd of January 2005, 11 police officers swooped down on the business premises of C.N. Sharma armed with weapons and a warrant issued by some PPP hack who happens to be a Justice of the peace named Mohamed Hussein of Goed Fortuin Housing Scheme, West Bank, Demerara giving them permission to illegally enter Sharma's premises for which he should be held accountable, I will not even begin to speculate why they had to come all the way to Goed Fortuin Village in the West Demerara to get this Search Warrant for a matter happening in Robb street, Georgetown, anyway, we are convinced that they illegally entered on to Sharma's premises so whatever they did constitutes theft and trespass, in addition they illegally seized his equipment and they also caused damage to his property. Now the police officer who lead this force to seize Sharma's equipment is non other than Superintendent Balram Persaud, now Persaud should be aware of the consequences of abuse of power, since he was previously charged by the PNC regime for Treason and was jailed for several years awaiting trial.

   This force of illegal trespassers also included Val Mickey Singh of the NFMU now it was this same little upstart who came to VCT's studio and with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the police and illegally seized FM equipment from my premises for which I will be suing this Mickey mouse, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Home affairs for damages, 108 million dollars worth of damages. But it seems that he has a propensity for trespass.   

    But let's examine this case and lay bare the facts for the public to see how far the executive in this country have sunk into the realm of lawless and anarchy.

    The current laws governing broadcasting in this country which resulted from the Hoyte/Jagdeo dialog established an Advisory Committee on Broadcasting the ACB. This Committee comprising one member nominated by the PNC, one member nominated by the PPP and one member nominated by the Private Sector Commission, was supposed to be an impartial body since it was bipartisan in composition and it was supposed to advise the subject Minister [in this case Sam Hinds] which among the Broadcasters were breaking the regulations and what action was to be taken. Nowhere is it written that Hinds [acting alone without the advisory Committee on Broadcasting recommending to him that a certain action is to be taken against any broadcaster] has the power to act alone, in fact the law which is a modification of the wireless telegraphy regulations is very specific Hinds has no power to take anyone off the air without the ACB recommending it and this only after some form of consultation/hearing with the offending broadcaster.

    So Mr. Sam Hinds, not an indecent man, but too easily led to break the law by Freedom House broke the law by sending the NFMU to disconnect and seize equipment from C.N. Sharma and that Mickey Mouse we have in charge of our NFMU also broke the Law since nowhere is it written in the law that the NFMU can seize any equipment from a licensed broadcaster. So he trespassed on Sharma's premises and destroyed the man's property and there is visible evidence to prove it i.e. that wire and screws were cut to remove parts of Sharma's transmitter.

   Furthermore the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting is no longer in place since the PNC has withdrawn their nominee to the body and they have objected to the appointment of Carlton James which I have told you before was riddled with irregularities since there was massive interference by the executive in his nomination.

    There is no question that Sam Hinds broke the law, but the law he broke cost us a lot and he should respect what had to happen in this country for this law to be put in our statutes the enormous price we had to pay as a nation.

     Before and after the 2001 elections there was wide spread unrest in this country, since after the 1997 elections the PNC were marching and committing acts of civil disobedience and in the process the economy was being destroyed, to stop this madness and to settle its differences with Hoyte and the PNC, the PPP signed what is known as the Herdmanston Accord by which a process of reforming the constitution would begin and elections would be held in 2001 one year earlier than the constitutional date.

    Additionally after the 2001 elections President Jagdeo invited Hoyte to a series of talks which was described as "the dialog"

   This country paid a high price for this dialog and this Constitutional reform process to start, there was massive damage to the economy and to private businesses before the PPP finally decided to sit down and discuss their difference with the PNC, that is how the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting and the laws which established it came to be, but it was supposed to be an interim body until the Broadcasting Authority came into existence.    

    The PPP have refused to produce any Broadcast Authority Bill which even remotely approaches what the Bi partisan Board on Broadcasting or the dialog envisaged or recommended, what they produced like all of its predecessors was a document is riddled with political and ministerial interference. A Bill to control not regulate Broadcasting.

    Now ladies and gentlemen we can't keep going back to more marching and disturbances every time the PPP acts in bad faith and breaks some agreement they made with the PNC, but that is exactly what is happening, almost all the ground gained in the marching and disruption is being eroded by the PPP which can lead to more marching and disruption. The constitution reform has yielded nothing, the Procurement Commission has not been put in place, the Parliamentary commissions that visualised cooperation between the PPP and the PNC in Parliament have not been implemented and those that have been put in place their effectiveness has been compromised by subversive actions by Mr Jagdeo, Mr. Luncheon and Freedom House.

    The situation with the appointment of Judges which I outlined in my previous commentary earlier this week on the "Legal System" is a good example.

    All of this is a recipe for disaster, I see it with great clarity, and there will be serious consequences if the nonsense going on now does not stop. Mr Corbin has been very tolerant, perhaps too tolerant perhaps has not been leader long enough to mobilise the supporters of the PNC to daily action, but there is danger in this, since this country has a history of our people taking and taking and taking and taking until one day things go completely out of hand with disastrous consequences.

    We do not have a culture of fighting day by day to keep the ground we earned in previous battles, and maintain a daily struggle to ensure that our democratic rights are maintained such as I am doing here in these commentaries or such as Sharma is doing, however crudely he may be doing it.

    Our people let things slide until it becomes unbearable and try to recoup it all in one big violent upheaval. But that is not the way; there is only disaster along that road. I am not trying to cause trouble ladies and gentlemen, I am trying to prevent it, and I am asking for good sense to prevail.

    So I am calling on the PPP to stop the lawlessness they are perpetrating on the people of this country. Implement all agreements made with the PNC after the upheavals of the past forced you to do so, or face more upheavals.

         I do not see any other way out of this mess we are in.