Region Ten must apply for TV licence

–Teixeira says agreement misinterpreted

Government yesterday maintained that the Region 10 administration would have to apply for a television licence like any other entity, although it has agreed in principle to allow the region to repossess a channel for usage there.

“The agreement of August 22 said that government would facilitate, that the region would apply for a TV station… The agreement said that government will facilitate in accordance with the law,” said Presidential Advisor Gail Teixeira, who was filling in for Dr Roger Luncheon at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing. She was at the time responding to questions pertaining to an update into the delay of the ownership of the Region 10 television station.

“Their view is that, as expressed by Mr Norton, they have submitted their application but they don’t feel they have to deal with the National Broadcasting Authority. The agreement is with government and the government must give them the licence. We say we don’t give licences. There is an authority by law that gives licences,” she expounded.
Several efforts to contact Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon and former PNC member Aubrey Norton, who helped broker the agreement, proved futile.

Former PNCR Member of Parliament and past owner of Vieira Communications Channel 28 Anthony Vieira has criticised the delay in granting the region a licence, saying that government seems to be backpedalling on the commitment it made to the Region Ten administration, the opposition and the people of Linden with regard to the television station for the region. Vieira said the expected transfer of equipment including a dish and a transmitter necessary for the operation of the television station was 120 days late.

David Granger

“The agreement between the government and Region 10 on August 21 states that the dish and transmitter that were given to the Linden community will be given to the Region 10 Regional Democratic Council; that the dish and transmitter should be transferred to the region within 14 days of the signing of this agreement; that it was agreed that Region 10 will apply for a broadcasting licence and the government will facilitate the granting of that licence in keeping with the law,” he said, in a letter published in Thursday’s edition of the Stabroek News.
Vieira said the dish and transmitter had not been handed over as promised as at December 17, when it stated that it would have been done 14 days after the signing. “The expected transfer was never made and Lindeners were instead instructed to apply to the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) for the licence to operate…,” he said.

Teixeira said there was perhaps some misinterpretation of the document by the region’s administration and stressed that government never promised to give a licence but to turn over transmission equipment owned by former Bauxite Company, Green Construction, which it has already done.

Gail Teixeira

She said the regional officials have now included a dish and transmitter belonging to NCN in that agreement, but that was never a part of government’s obligations.

“Subsequent to that agreement, there have been issues of whether the transmitter for NCN was a part of the whole thing. In the agreement, we said that the transmitter and the dish belonging to Green Construction is to be handed over to the region and that was done. …There is a transmitter there. But it seems as if they are saying they want the transmitter which is NCN’s… so there is now an issue of interpretation. But clearly we said Green Construction,” she explained.

Further, she explained that ownership of the land where the dish and transmitter were located became another issue. “The new issue that has been raised is that you can’t remove the transmitter and the dish physically, therefore the land that it’s on should belong to Region Ten television… We said that this matter was never raised in the discussions leading to the agreement… Could you please clarify this and say exactly what you mean… We have asked them to document,” she said.

Opposition Leader David Granger feels that government is being “petty” and trivialising the issue in an attempt to stall Region 10 from gaining ownership of a television station. “We feel that what was written was satisfactory and we did not feel any additional application was needed. We don’t see the reason for this dogmatic insistence and I don’t see why government has taken up this strange and stubborn position,” he said.

“It is apparent that government is trying to worm its way out of its commitment… The idea was for the people of Linden to have their own station and exercise their rights that is freedom of information. We are not talking about a foreign country; it’s your own people. Why they would be so petty is beyond me,” he said.

However Teixeira said that so far talks between the two sides have been amicable and government was looking forward to honouring its obligations.

“The discussions are not hostile. The mood is not as charged as prior to August 22… We want to keep meeting.
We want to keep talking and we are allowing that.  Where there are these areas that we have a completely different  view than the Region 10, and the interpretation and what the language of the August 22 agreement said, we are willing to say come let’s clarify this to keep an open door; to allow the two sides to keep talking,” she added.

More in Local News

Shane Dowrich

Dowrich shines but Windies battling to avoid defeat

NORTH SOUND, Antigua,  CMC – Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich struck his second half-century in only his third Test but West Indies were staring at a possible innings defeat after being forced to follow-on by India, on the second day of the opening Test here Saturday.

default placeholder

Suspect confessed to murder of Herstelling manager – Police

The Guyana Police Force today said that the suspect in the murder of Herstelling, East Bank Demerara, resident Terry Lackhan has confessed.

Indrawattie Chandradeo and her two remaining sons and her only daughter in tears at their home yesterday

Two men, teen boy found shot to death at Mibicuri Creek

By Bebi Oosman   The bodies of two men and a teenage boy, bearing gunshot wounds, were discovered yesterday at Mibicuri Creek, Black Bush Polder and police had one person in custody up to late last night facing questions about their shocking deaths.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and contractors checking out the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) booth at the procurement symposium for new entrant contractors, which was held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre yesterday. (Minister of Public Infrastructure photo)

Patterson underlines need for transparency in public procurement

Speaking at a symposium for new and existing contractors, Minister of Public Infrastructure (MPI) David Patterson yesterday stressed the need for transparency in the huge public procurement sector and added that distrust in the system has to be dispelled.

default placeholder

Granger says evidence of dereliction needed for Lawrence’s removal

Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence would be removed from office once evidence is presented supporting her dereliction of duty, according to President David Granger, who has lauded her for her work so far.

Dr Madhu Singh (at right) with the team of doctors during the press conference

Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital saves heart patient given 48 hours to live

Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital Inc recently performed its first ever pericardiectomy on a 27-year-old patient who had been given 48 hours to live while hospitalised at another institution.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: