I am a businessman, a television Broadcaster;
I make my living through the advertising of private business enterprise, when
the private companies are in financial trouble I lose revenue since they
advertise very little.
Whatever else I may be, I am not a
Whatever else I may do, I hardly attack
private business, since I see my function as looking at the larger picture of
public officials on behalf of all Guyanese in the entire country, and expose the
functioning/non-functioning of the government on behalf of all of you and not
just those who advertise with me.
Recently I have seen the private sector
commission decrying the pronouncements of one Ronald Waddel on television, and
the Guyana Private Sector Commission has begun a crusade against bad journalism
on television by invoking the now defunct Advisory Committee on Broadcasting.
Normally any private sector organisation
in a state which is openly inviting private investment should condemn such
wrongdoing particularly the kind of wrongdoing which leads to civil disorder,
since it would be bad for the country if violence erupts and damage to private
property results, with the inevitable loss of revenue to the business community,
but the Private Sector Commission in this country has over looked every single
unfair event that led to the outpourings of a person like Waddle, and they do
not have the moral right to say one word on any matter of lawlessness and
disruption since this Private Sector Commission stood by in silence and allowed
the following atrocities to be committed against the afro Guyanese people in this
They did not act when a person alleged
to be nominated by them was appointed to the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting,
and when asked they could not produce any minutes of any meeting that met to
appoint this member of the ACB, they did not consult even one Private Broadcaster,
one member of any Church or Religious organisation in this country, they did
not call a single representative of any Non Governmental Organisation to
consult on who they should nominate, which is what they should have done,
President Jagdeo called the then Chairman of the Private sector Commission and instructed
him to appoint a certain person and without doing the things I have outlined
above he did. So in an advisory committee on Broadcasting which was supposed to
have one person appointed by Jagdeo, one by Hoyte and one by civil society, the
Guyana Private Sector Commission mutilated the process and Jagdeo ended up in
control of the ACB having nominated two of the ACB's three members.
The Private sector Commission stood by
and allowed betrayals in the dialog process to pass. Without regard to the
consequences of their silence.
They stood by and allowed essential
elements contained in the constitution reform process to remain unimplemented
which has led to more lawlessness by the Government, the Procurement Commission
is one example, this Private Sector Commission stood silently by and allowed
friends and family of people at Freedom House to get all of the contracts
whilst those singled out for persecution for supporting other political
organisations were persecuted with impunity by the PPP.
They stood by silently and watched whilst
the PPP systematically mutilated the economic base of any organisation/business/enterprise
which was capable of rendering financial help to the opposition in this nation,
in doing so they denied the opposition forces the tools to mobilise themselves
thereby entrenching the PPP further.
In my case it was approaches from people
in the PPP, to members of the business community not to advertise on my channel
since we were outspoken about the corruption, and ineptness of the government.
They stood by and allowed other members
of the private sector to be victimised and harassed by the government whilst
serving the selfish interest of the inner core members of the Private Sector
They stood by in silence and have made
no public statement about the importance of appointing Claudette Singh or any
one else for that matter as Chief Justice, and this nation has been without a
Chief Justice for nearly 4 months.
Over and over again I have told you
about the importance of the rule of law in this country or any other country,
without it you cannot have good business or good Governance, it is what is
missing in this same matter with Waddle and his statements, since this matter
should have been before a judge already if Waddle was guilty of inciting to riot
as the Private Sector Commission and the Government claim.
Is the private sector Commission asking
for a better rule of law? no of course not, they seek to invoke a defunct
instrument the ACB which no longer exists, since the PNC has removed their nominee
to this committee and in addition I am reliably informed that the member nominated
to the ACB by the private Sector Commission itself, has left and is now working
with CARICOM, they are carrying out an agenda which is not in keeping with what
a Private Sector Commission should be doing and I will not insult you by telling
you whose agenda they are carrying out, ladies and gentlemen you already know!!
This same Private Sector Commission
stood by in silence and watched the systematic mutilation of this country's
legitimate business sector which used to pay 75% of the taxes in 1992 to one
which pays only 50% today. They stood by in silence and watched as legitimate
private businessmen and women were displaced and bankrupted by money launderers
and drug dealers.
They stood by in silence when the
business men closed their businesses in protest less than three years ago against
the crime situation within the society, and they were aware that the PPP were
calling up these same small businesses that were protesting and were
threatening them that if they did not open their doors they will be victimised
by the revenue authority at customs and at the Internal revenue Department,
i.e. they knew that their fellow members of the private sector were being threatened
and did nothing, ladies and gentlemen I am saying that the Private Sector
Commission knew about these threats, I want the Private Sector Commission to call
me a liar, I dare you and I will call the names of your members who told me
that they knew and did nothing.
This same Private Sector Commission
praised Mr. Jagdeo and his government for carrying out Operation Stiletto which
committed millions of this country's taxpayer dollars to mobilise both the army
and the police and estranged one of the most militant Villages in the country,
to get one wanted man, no ammunition, no weapons and no terrorists, and would
more aptly be labelled operation butter knife than stiletto, the actions of the
Government, in this raiding of Buxton were divisive, condemned by the Guyana
Human rights Organisation and by me, our Private sector Commission however said
it was a great achievement.
Having said all of the above I will say
this, no person who incites to riot has any right of access to the airwaves to
do so, we do not seem to learn anything in this country since it was right
there at Channel 9 in 2001 that public feeling overtook good sense and
galvanised the Indo Guyanese population to vote for the PPP, because of the
nonsense that passed for journalism/talk shows on that channel, which
frightened even me, much less a poor Indian man living at Eccles.