Firstly, I would like to congratulate Mrs. Janet Jagan for taking a correct and principled stand in denouncing the government’s decision to withdraw or restrict its advertisements in the Stabroek News. It shows that whatever criticism can be levelled against her, the former President understands the importance of a free press in the development of our fledgling democracy. I would like to urge former President Jagan to use whatever clout and influence she can bring to bear on President Jagdeo and his colleagues to reverse this decision and restore the system of fair distribution of advertisements to all of the newspapers.
When the President announced some years ago that he was acquiring the Toolsie Persaud Ltd Water street property I thought then and I still do now that President Jagdeo and his lieutenants were practising some form of vindictive politics and were using the itinerant vendor issue to get at that company and its chairman .
Unfortunately ,there was very little done or said by the private sector to condemn this action and it sent a signal that the Government could act with impunity against persons or companies with whom they had a grudge .
People must remember the story of Ten Little Indians and how they were individually manipulated until there were none left. Many of our so called businessmen and leaders I am advised even told the President that he was doing the right thing.
In Trinidad and other Caricom territories business people stand together in their issues with the authorities so much so that these governments have respect for business people and their representatives.
In Guyana this is definitely not the case and we see the proverbial crabs in a barrel scenario. Remember united we stand and divided we fall.
I know that in the Stabroek News issue the GMA and some other institutions have voiced their concerns but more needs to be done by the entire private sector to ensure that the Government does not unduly interfere with private enterprise and the right to the freedom of expression.
Keep the fight going ,this is an important issue and the battle for restoration of equitable distribution of government ads must be won.
(name and address supplied)