Tony Vieira's Comments
22 October 2017

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Private Sector Commission
(Aired 4 November 2005)

    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 hypocrite.

    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 nation.

    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 Commission.  

   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.