The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has hit out at a Stabroek News editorial saying it was a brazen attempt by the newspaper to tarnish the character and successes of the former Bharrat Jagdeo administration.
“It was under the Jagdeo-led PPP/C administration that Guyana initiated a plethora of socio-economic projects that have irrevocably laid the foundation to set into motion, the transformative process that is so evident throughout our country,” the PPP said in a statement yesterday. “The reality is that Guyana has been placed on the relevant pathway to economic development since, development projects under the Jagdeo administration continue to impact positively on the daily lives of its citizens,” it emphasized.
The editorial ‘Pass this Bill’ addressed the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/ CFT) (Amendment) Bill and said that it is time that it is passed by the National Assembly.
According to the PPP, the editorial sought to poison the minds of its readers with “smut and street talk” about the former President. It referred to a statement that “History will undoubtedly record the period of the Jagdeo governance from 2003 to 2011 as one of the darkest and replete with the most egregious crimes……” and said that such statements and pronouncements by a newspaper are highly inaccurate, mischievous and a far cry from the truth.
According to the PPP, the “darkest” period referred to by Stabroek News was triggered by the February 23, 2002 Mash Day jail break and the beginning of a reign of terror in Guyana by criminals. The statement said that it was during that period that the criminal gang of Rondell “Fineman” Rawlins attacked innocent Guyanese, shot and killed 11 law-abiding citizens including babies at Lusignan, 12 innocent Guyanese in Bartica and 13 miners who were working to make an honest living at Lindo Creek, in the Berbice River.
The statement said that Stabroek News has again embarked on an “exercise of misinformation and a distortion of history not to mention its efforts at besmirching” the Jagdeo/PPP Administration.
The PPP said that if Stabroek News wants to write about history “recording the darkest and most egregious crimes,” then it must refer to the assassination of Walter Rodney in 1980, the killing of two innocent Guyanese at # 63 Village during the 1973 elections and the terror that was unleashed in Guyana by the Burnham dictatorship under the threat that “our steel is sharper.” It also cited the 1978 Referendum to “vote for the House and kill the Mouse” and the murder of Father Darke by House of Israel thugs.
“Moreover, the Stabroek News must prove beyond reasonable doubt that during the 2003 to 2011 period; “rampant money laundering and financing of terrorism was evident around that time.” Rather than engaging in scandalous and vexatious allegations, the Stabroek News must come clean and provide the evidence in its pages,” the statement said.
It added that the party would like to know who, in the view of the Stabroek News will do the “careful examination” of why there was “failure across the board to detect those these activities” i.e. “rampant money laundering and financial terrorism.”
“The PPP is of the view that this milking of juicy gossip by the Stabroek News is nothing more than a (ruse) for witch hunting and a license for the opposition media to continue targeting Bharrat Jagdeo. This objective (is) clear for all to see,” the statement said.
The PPP asserted that it was Jagdeo’s administration that brought an end to the reign of the “Fineman Gang” and immediately after, embarked on national consultations aimed at reforming the Guyana Police Force. “Further, it was the Jagdeo administration that led Guyana through five consecutive years of economic growth, while the rest of the world was reeling from global recession,” the statement said.
It declared that it was this vision that resulted in Guyana rising from a state that was once the “eye pass” among its sister CARICOM Member States, where Guyanese were painfully disrespected, and the country made a virtual pariah in the international community, to one that is now lauded by all the multilateral financial agencies for exercising responsible fiscal management of the economy.
“The Jagdeo administration must be credited with the many successes in Guyana in the areas of public health, inclusive of four state of the art diagnostic centres, and new in-patient facilities at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation,” the PPP said while citing other achievements such as the construction of schools and infrastructure such as the National Stadium and the Guyana International Conference Centre, among others. The PPP also pointed to the One Laptop per family programme as well as the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, among others.
“In the view of the PPP, the Jagdeo-led PPP government must be commended for the many wise initiatives taken with regards to Guyana’s development thrust. What better testimony is there for all to see given Guyana’s seventh consecutive year of economic growth, which is continuing under Donald Ramotar’s administration,” the statement said.
“The so-called “dark period” to which the Stabroek News referred could only be described as a political petard in the hands of the editors of Stabroek News and their controllers in the opposition,” the PPP added.