Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

Updates!

Receive email notices when a commentary is uploaded. Join our mailing list.

E-Mail Address:

View Article

Jagdeo's Statements
(Aired 17 May 2005)

  Over and over again I have told you that the PPP have reached the stage where they no longer have any regard for the law. And that they are committing gross acts of lawlessness, daily, to cover their incompetence and corrupt practices.

    I told you that in the Trinidad Cement case Dr. Luncheon made totally unnecessary comments on the matter whilst it was still before the judge, and that I considered this an attempt to tell this acting judge that the government wanted these investments and that he had better watch how he ruled. On the 13th of May 2005 the President of this nation made two statements both of which can have very serious consequences for the well being of this nation, in one statement he said that the Bar Association was not going to muzzle him and that he as President could say whatever he wanted on any matter before our courts and no one, not even the Bar Association, can censure him.   

   This statement tells us clearly that any pretence we may have held to have a government which cherished the rule of law is now dead.

   We are all waiting on the legal system, I have a constitutional matter in the court on the FM matter for nearly 4 years and the acting Judge is fearful of giving his decision in this matter since it would affect his career, so if Jagdeo is waiting for the sluggish judicial system to move he has only himself to blame, he wants to control the courts by having all the judges acting and not giving them a proper salary? Then he must live with the consequences. Where is Gonsalves Sabola? Where is Churaman? Where is Trotman? All of these Guyanese judges, and I can name a dozen more, are on the bench around the Caribbean if Jagdeo would pay them they would be here where we need them.

   In 2000, the budget of this nation was 63 billion dollars and the allocation to the Supreme Court from this amount was 479 million, in 2005 the budget for this nation was 80 billion and the allocation to the Supreme Court was 503 million. Now I have already said that I am putting away all pretence that Kowlessar is the Minister of Finance in this country, Jagdeo is Finance Minister, and so I am firmly placing all financial blunders going on in this country at his feet. In 5 years whilst our budget has increased from 63 billion to 80 billion i.e. a 27% increase, the money allocated to our supreme court has only risen to 500 million from 479 million i.e. 4 %.

    Now I have a right to criticise our legal system especially since I told this nation in my commentary "Judicial System" aired since November 2001 that the two British judges Baker and Lewis sent here at some considerable expense of the British Government had told us, that, as it should function in the real world we do not have a judicial system. Did Mr. Jagdeo rush in to correct the situation? No he did not! He continued to starve the Supreme Court of money to correct the numerous problems it faces on a daily basis, he did so either deliberately or through inexperience both of which are equally unforgivable. I can complain, I have earned that right but since Mr. Jagdeo has only now awoken to the fact that his lack of allocation of funds to the judiciary has rendered the legal system impotent, he is the last person who should complain or is he expecting special treatment because he is the President? Well Mr. Jagdeo must understand that justice is supposed to be blind and peasant or president should get the same treatment under the law. So he must now reap the result of his own ignorance or maliciousness and stand in line like the rest of us.

    On the same day at the same press briefing Mr. Jagdeo removed his left foot from his mouth and inserted his right foot in it by telling us that a good man [Gajraj] was maligned by the PNC-R and the International Community. And that now, after months of hedging, ducking and hiding he wants the mother of all inquiries started.

   He even accuses the diplomatic community of distorting the situation in Guyana and being openly incompetent in how they were representing the situation in this country to their principals in their respective native lands.  

    I will leave you to decide if Mr. Jagdeo is losing it.

     But what concerns me is the fact that the people who Mr. Jagdeo were cussing up were important members of the free world. Now even though his government has been the most corrupt and incompetent one in the region, these members of the free world have still been forgiving him debts 1.4 billion US and lending him huge amounts of money, over 600 million US since 1992 so he has to be completely insane to be telling them off like this, publicly.

   This is how Mr. Jagdeo's government operates and I want the local representatives of the European Union to verify if what I am saying is not the absolute truth.

    Around 7 years ago according to the Lome IV protocol agreement, 4.5 million Euros was allocated to the CBU and to CANA to integrate the Caribbean as far as communications was concerned. This money was supposed to set up earth stations in Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica and link the Caribbean islands with microwave and cable, so that each evening there would be regional newscasts telling us what happened that very day in Trinidad, Jamaica, St. Kitts, i.e. anywhere in the Caribbean.

   Now this lame duck organisation Caricom, had undertaken to ensure that the necessary transmit licenses were going to be available from the governments of various territories within Caricom, especially those which had monopolies in telecommunications for the operation of these earth stations, since a lot of them including Guyana had telecommunication monopolies which held the uplink of signals to satellite rights and they were holding on to it fiercely, but since this had to do with regional news and not real telecommunications it would not interfere with their economic operations.

    Now I was a director of the CBU at the time and so I was aware of what was going on from within, i.e. I had inside information if you understand the concept.

   This Lome IV agreement took a long time to get going and is still essentially in the set up phase, anyway as part of the equation CANA and the CBU merged to make a new entity the Caribbean Media Corporation which would handle all the economic activities of both the CBU and CANA.  

   So the CMC sent a representative to Guyana to consult with the local members to decide at which local entity they would set up this uplink which will take local news and other productions provided by the members and other interested parties to the rest of the Caribbean and to New York.

    The local members [all of them] prompted by some public relations work by me, decided to suggest that the uplink should be at the VCT studios in Quamina Street, they were dead against this uplink being situated in the NCN compound in homestretch Ave. controlled by the repressive PPP regime, a situation which can only mean that the sending of video from Guyana to the Caribbean will be monopolised by the government, needless to say that the PNCR or any opposition news or views whatever or any news condemning the government will not get through the system, which is what we wanted to avoid at all costs.

   Recently I was advised by Mr. Max Mc Kay that the uplink would be located in the NCN compound at Homestretch Ave. Horrified I called the Caribbean Media Corporation [CMC] and I asked them why this was so, I was told that Mr. Sam Hinds had told the CMC that if this facility was not located in homestretch Ave. the NFMU will not give them a license to uplink. i.e. He used threats to force them to put it at Homestretch Ave.

   I am calling on the European Union which was the organisation which gave the Lome IV grant money to look into this matter and to stop it; the local members of the CBU prefer not to have this uplink in Guyana, than to have it controlled by the PPP government, GINA and NCN. We consider this to be an infringement to our right to free speech.