Guyana Chronicle hatch-job on Jagdeo a shameless attempt to influence the CCJ third-term decision

first_imgDear Editor,In the Chronicle’s editorial of June 22, the editor proceeded to do a hatch-job on the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo. Not content with what Khemraj Ramjattan, Basil Williams and others have been pontificating that the CCJ will rule against Jagdeo, it appears that the government is shamelessly using the Guyana Chronicle to make a last-ditch effort to adversely influence the third term decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which will be announced on Tuesday. In any event, even if the CCJ disallows a third term, Bharrat Jagdeo will remain the Party’s General Secretary to ensure a PPP victory at the polls in 2020, and will play an active role in the next government.The irony is, that after more than three (3) years into this APNU/AFC Administration, the People’s Progressive Party is still being blamed for everything that goes wrong in Guyana.During the run-up to the 2015 general and regional elections, Guyanese were asked to vote for the Coalition because they will fix everything that was wrong with the country. The APNU/AFC campaigned on getting rid of corruption; restoring accountability and transparency. They promised to improve the economy and to create jobs for our young people. They also promised to reduce crime and to get rid of the drug trade. But most importantly, they promised every Guyanese the “good life”. They have failed miserably.In his address to the National Assembly almost two years ago, President Granger said his government “entered a depressing financial landscape in May 2015… Economic mismanagement was accompanied by huge debts for unpaid international obligations and court judgements.” He added that the absence of a policy to provide employment opportunities for youth and to reduce extreme poverty and the failure to energise the manufacturing sector helped to weaken the economy (Guyana Times, October 14, 2016).But compared to the bankrupt economy the PPP inherited from his party, the PNC in 1992, the APNU+AFC inherited US$670 million (G$134 Billion) in Foreign Exchange Reserves from the PPP/C in May of 2015 (source: theGlobalEconomy.com). This amount is in addition to the approximately $150 Billions this government inherited in recurring revenues and the $35 Billion from semi-autonomous agencies. In addition, Granger inherited an economy with the lowest debt payment in the entire Caribbean with only 4 percent as compared to 153 percent of revenue that went to service foreign debt in 1992.The new government inherited an economy that was growing on an average of 4.5 percent for the preceding eight years.Our President was being less than truthful in his address when he claimed to have inherited a “depressing financial landscape”. For in fact, the APNU/AFC inherited a buoyant economy; good international reserves; a big revenue base; small debt-servicing; and an inflow of foreign direct investments of about US$400 million a year with ExonMobile spending hundreds of millions already; and from the two new gold mines that have already started large scale production. The APNU/AFC coalition is yet to attract a single foreign investor.The economic crisis facing the nation and all Guyanese has nothing to do with the PPP, it is the economic mismanagement of the Granger Administration, led by a runaway spending that is responsible.In his campaign speech to the people of Berbice, Khemraj Ramjattan said, “The propaganda you are hearing that the APNU/AFC coalition is going to ground both industries (rice and sugar) to the dirt is all lies. We are not going to in any way, close the sugar industry.” Now that the APNU/AFC government has indeed closed four sugar estates putting an estimated 12,000 sugar workers and their families on the bread-line, the Chronicle editorial shamelessly blames Jagdeo for causing the “demise” of GUYSUCO.The Guyana Chronicle editorial made reference to an article that appeared earlier in the Kaieteur News, accusing Jagdeo of evading media questions “as to sums of money that oil companies had paid to the state for oil-exploration activities, prior to 2015.” The editorial asks, “How can Jagdeo still refer to the $18MU.S. signing bonus, as among his “bigger concerns’’ when this government has already accounted for such sum? In typical Jagdeo evasive style, he deprecates the sums paid to his former administration, inferring that they are small sums in comparison. Again, Jagdeo should be reminded that accountability is about every sum, of any amount, that is paid into the state’s coffers, and that includes the sums paid to the PPP/C under his stewardship, by those oil and gas companies as reported.”Well, the US$18 million is still not deposited in the consolidated funds, and senior government ministers denied receiving it for over a year until the lie was exposed. In comparison, Bharrat Jagdeo made it clear that every cent of the estimated US$100,000 his government received as licensing fees from the oil companies, was accounted for, and this information could be found at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission. The Guyana Chronicle should stop parroting the government’s propaganda and do some investigative journalism to determine the facts before publication.Was the PPP responsible for the 50%-100% pay raise President Granger approved for his Ministers? Did the PPP increase the amount of Government Ministers from 17 under the Ramotar Administration to the 26 Ministers now in government?Was the PPP responsible for setting up new ministries at an enormous financial burden to the Guyanese taxpayers? And could anyone in their right mind hold the PPP responsible for the astronomical amounts of $500,000 and $1.5 million that this government pays to accommodate Ministers? And what about the $12.5 million it’s costing taxpayers every month to rent a drug bond from a PNC financier? Remember, had it not been for the PPP, these APNU/AFC scandals and corruptions would never be known to the Guyanese people. So much for transparency and accountability.But this “blame Jagdeo and the PPP” syndrome is not only propagated by the government, it is aided and abetted by a few Jagdeo-haters, the likes of Dr. David Hinds; Dr Eric Phillips; Lincoln Lewis; Freddie Kissoon; and Adam Harris. All of whom have their own ax to grind with the former President and the People’s Progressive Party.You would never hear them giving credit to Jagdeo and the PPP for all the good they have done for Guyana and the Guyanese people.David Hinds and Eric Philips were both cut from the same bolt of cloth. They are only interested in the welfare of certain Guyanese, and brands the PPP as a racist party. Adam Harris is frustrated and feels betrayed by the many failures of the incompetent government he supports. Yet he can hardly write a critical editorial of this government without some comparison to the PPP/C that suggests the PPP/C may have done the same thing or worst. And the Dem Boys Seh column in the Kaieteur News can hardly mention Jagdeo’s name without the words “that scamp” preceding it.Lincoln Lewis is a known Jagdeo-hater. His venom came about years ago when he took a personal loan of over US20,000 from the bauxite company Omai, to buy a car at the time he, as head of the bauxite union, was representing the interest of the bauxite workers at Linden. When his duty free concession for the car was cancelled, he blamed it on Jagdeo who was at the Ministry of Finance at that time.Everyone knows Freddie Kissoon has his own selfish motive for hating Jagdeo and the PPP. He blames the PPP for his dismissal at UG. But the truth is, at the time of his dismissal, he had passed the age of retirement, and never published anything of substance to keep his job, a basic requirement of an academic.Kissoon also blames the PPP for the “dismissal” of his wife from Go-Invest. In fact, Freddie’s wife served well into the Jagdeo tenure, and took an early retirement from her government job with full honours and gratuities after that agency was restructured.Freddie Kissoon despises former President Bharrat Jagdeo for revoking his privilege from swimming at the Castellani swimming pool. But this was only done after it was discovered that Kissoon was using the venue to eavesdrop on the conversations of other pool guests, and was using the information he was getting clandestinely to write his Freddie Kissoon columns in the Kaieteur News.Some time ago, Kissoon complained that after a meeting with the former President to discuss getting duty-free concession for a car, Jagdeo was so harsh with him that he lost his sight temporarily when he went out on the road.But despite his known hatred for Jagdeo, Freddie Kissoon always had access to the former President: In the swimming pool at Castellani, and in his office to ask for duty-free concession. I wonder how much access he has now with a President he helped put in office.No one mentions about the positive things the PPP has done to bring about economic growth and prosperity in Guyana from a bankrupt nation in 1992, but the “blame Jagdeo and the PPP” syndrome continues.Jagdeo was accused of giving away land to the owner of the Two-Brothers gas station. That is, until the businessman Shiraz Ali himself refuted this claim as preposterous, as he was never friendly with the PPP Administration given his well-known support of the People’s National Congress (PNC) long before Jagdeo even held a ministerial position.Jagdeo was accused of giving away 11 radio licences to “family, friends and cronies of the PPP”, but no one mentions the names of the others that were given radio licenses.Jagdeo again was accused of giving away all of Guyana’s forest and off-shore oil blocks until those too were proven to be lies. Yet no one in the government has the decency to apologise to the Leader of the Opposition.It is time that the Granger Administration accept responsibility for the management of our nation. They can no longer blame Bharrat Jagdeo nor the PPP for their incompetence, ineptitude, and the sufferings of the Guyanese people. They are in government now. Whatever needs fixing, they must fix it now before their remaining two years run out.Sincerely,HARRY GILLPPP/C Member of Parliamentlast_img read more

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