Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Casting Pearls before Swine
(Aired 18 July 2006)

      In June 2001 I commenced broadcasting an FM radio signal in this country, it was a challenge to the governments monopoly in radio, a situation which was ruled against by the UK's Privy Council in the Observer matter from Antigua a few years before, it was a case which was exactly like my own, what the lawyers call a tailor made precedent, and was the only case presented as evidence in my matter in court which lasted one day. In the Observer case The Lester Bird then PM of Antigua refused to allow "Observer Publications" to have an FM license since Bird wanted a monopoly in radio for his government, the Observer people then put the FM signal on the air, and challenged Bird to do something about it, so Bird forcibly seized the people's equipment and took them off the air, and the matter ended up in the Privy council in the UK. In that case the Privy Council ruled that the government of Antigua by holding a monopoly in any mass media to itself, committed a blatant violation to the very concept of free speech as defined by the International Human rights Covenant which this country and Antigua were signatories to, in addition Antigua and Guyana both have freedom of speech articles enshrined in their constitutions. The Privy Council ordered Bird to give the people a license, awarded damages and demanded a return of all equipment seized.

   I was the one who started the first Television broadcast in this country in 1983, so when the PPP came to power they found 4 or 5 TV stations on the air, but as is usual with the devious and sinister PPP they did not like the ethnic and political composition of the then owners, so they contrived to allow anyone who wanted a TV license to get on the air, to mutilate the earnings of those of us then on the air, they however had an unspoken policy of only allowing persons supportive to the PPP ownership in the new TV stations, in fact Asgar Ally had put in his 1994 budget that the license fee for TV was to be 1 million dollars per year but he never formalised it by gazette so it never actually became law, and none of us ever paid it, but new channels began to appear almost monthly on the air and the only afro Guyanese who dared to open a TV channel during this period was one Godfrey Washington owner of channel 2, the PPP sent the NFMU to seize his equipment, forced him to pay this illegal 1 million dollars and generally gave him hell, but channels 65 which is owned by the PPP itself, 69, 102, 42, all went on the air without problems, so the escalation in TV under the PPP was deliberate but selective and unfair, they however never allowed anyone to broadcast radio, that was their sacred Calf and they held on to it for dear life.

    So we come back to my initiating an FM broadcast in this country in 2001 June. I initiated that broadcast as a direct challenge to the monopoly of radio in this country and predictably the police came here to Versailles in August 2001 and asked me if I was broadcasting a radio signal and I told them that I was, they then initiated legal proceedings against me, as was their right, and as we expected they charged me and put me in front of the Magistrate at Vreed-en-Hoop on the 9th November 2001. I want you to note this date the 9th November 2001.

   Since my lawyer informed the Magistrate that I was about to file a constitutional motion in the supreme court alleging that the PPP were denying me the right to freedom of speech by not giving me this radio license the Magistrate decided to hold his decision and not close me down, pending the outcome of the constitutional motion I would file against the PPP in the Supreme Court. On the 27th of November, 18 days after I appeared before the Magistrate one Valmikki Singh from the National Frequency Management Unit illegally entered my premises at Versailles with a dozen police officers and removed this FM equipment I was using to broadcast with a warrant signed by a Justice of the Peace.

   In other words 18 days after this matter ended up before the courts and was engaging the attention of a magistrate and shortly the Supreme Court itself, Mickey Mouse broke the law and walked into and seized my property illegally, supported only by a document signed by a Justice of the Peace. It was the most flagrant disregard for due process I have ever heard of in this country but they got what they wanted since notwithstanding my feeling of being violated by this trespass, I decided to rely on the judicial system for recourse, none was forthcoming. This matter was heard and concluded in the Supreme Court in 2003 and the judge, an acting Judge up to this day, is yet to render his decision, it's been 3 years and I cannot have a decision which I can take to the Appeal court or the CCJ. And the reason why I cannot get this decision is that this judge is afraid to render his decision since it can have a profound effect on his acting situation as a judge and his career. So much for democracy.

    It is not so much that Mickey Mouse violated my privacy, trespassed and illegally seized my equipment that bothered me, it is the fact that he enjoyed doing it, so on the 14th June in a commentary I did I referred to him as "that criminal from the NFMU an arrogant little twerp who enjoys walking into peoples property and seizing their equipment". Now ladies and gentlemen it was this same Mickey Mouse who took such pleasure seizing Sharma's equipment in 2005.

   As a result of this statement which is the only weapon I now have since the legal system and the police have completely failed me, the media monitoring unit had this to say about my remark about the mouse, quote "that whilst it does not directly relate to the 2006 General and Regional Elections in any way, it is certainly unethical, distasteful and unprofessional and not in keeping with acceptable journalistic practices". Now this is written by one Tim Neal a man with years of service and experience at the BBC and according to British standards I suppose that it may be so, but given the background to this matter and the fact that I cannot get justice in Guyana I will continue to use what weapons I have in my arsenal to attack this mouse when ever I want. If the mouse does not like it, them please, be my guest and sue me! You dig Mr. Neal?

    Recently it was alleged that channel 4 in Georgetown was interfering with channel 2 and the owner of channel 2 Mr. Washington told the nation on television in The Evening News that he has been reporting this interference for over a year without any action from this same mouse and the NFMU, however two years ago the owner of channel 4 told me that he was being harassed because his channel was interfering with channel 11 GTV and that the NFMU was threatening to close him down. Conclusion: this Mouse is executing a PPP agenda alone, and is not serving the interests of the Private media as he is supposed to do, and he is enjoying it.

    So now I come back to Tim Neal, now this gentleman, and he is a gentlemen and I am not being facetious about it, comes here and want us in the media to behave like the media at the BBC, forgetting, perhaps conveniently, that the BBC and its owners have recourse to a proper legal system unlike us who must defend ourselves against executive lawlessness in our own way, since the biggest criminals in the country are the PPP itself. They spent 14 years making me this angry and now they are getting this Tim Neal to try to force me to behave, whilst they are still breaking every law possible to arrive at a rigged and unfair election! well it is not going to fly, when the PPP stops breaking the law in this country and when I can go to a court and get justice, I will behave like the civilised people in the UK who have a functioning justice system, because if this is the wild west then I am Roy Rogers and Jagdeo is Jessie James and his cabinet are the Dalton gang!

   This is not the UK Mr. Neal, there is no rule of law here in fact whatever rule of law exists it is there to protect corrupt politicians and the executive lawlessness they perpetrate on us daily, how can you possibly, as a reasonable man, ask me to behave like mother Theresa?

   Neal also alleges that I made this statement on June 9th quote "Mr. Steve Surujbally and GECOM seem hell bent on taking us to civil war and genocide. The deception, the shenanigans and manipulations are monumental; no words can adequately describe it. No one is that incompetent, and so one is inevitably led to believe that it is deliberate"

   Neal says that this statement in effect accuses GECOM and its chairman of a deliberate policy, of frustrating the transparency of the 2006 elections, well duhhh Tim, you think?

   As if to reinforce what I have been saying I read the following in a letter from Eusi Kwayana in the 14th July 2006 Stabroek News captioned "the dispute over our electoral legislation is not new; we have wasted five years" in it Mr. Kwayana makes this allegation quote "I am reading with shame and alarm a report suggesting that our electoral legislation and administration have been shamelessly mismanaged". Eusi continues this way "on top of this criminal negligence, it seems that those with the final coercive power to impose something to be called a fair and free election are opposed to approaching the courts for a judicial ruling on the issues that have been seen as dividing the two sides"

  This is what I have been saying all along if verification of residency will lead to peaceful elections and prosperity for Guyana then the PPP are being criminally negligent in not agreeing to it, for the purpose of maintaining the peace alone. They have not, and the chairman of GECOM also has not discharged his mandate diligently, leaving me to ask the question again, "why is that?"