Look at exactly what is going on here: the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry with assets of $51BN has asked the police force to go after a little blog with a revenue of zero and a readership in the hundreds.
If I was to have gone into Stabroek Market and screamed over and over the same allegations more people would have heard them in five minutes than would have ever read them on this site. Would the police try to stop me? Would any one pay attention? Rumours swirl around this city every day, many die a natural death when proven wrong, some actually are true and become news. Is Living Guyana any more culpable than those who daily deal in gossip, who pass on word of a drug deal gone bad, a scandal at a bank? And while we’re at it, at what point does a blog become more than a web log of thoughts and gossip and become a reliable news source? Living
Guyana recently claimed that kindergarten children were having orgasms from a certain new brand of ice cream. It was a joke by the way.
It’s just this time this blog has pissed off the wrong people, thehigh and mighty, the Untouchables. And what have they done? Instead of issuing a press release, swiftly debunking the rumour, they have decided to get heavy. They have directed the police force of this country to come after an individual with criminal charges, yes criminal charges, for something they have written. That is truly a shameful day for freedom of expression in Guyana.
And this is a clear case of intimidation and smacks of utter paranoia. Is GBTI’s reputation so fragile that it can’t withstand one ill informed report on one blog?
This is not the first time GBTI has decided to play hardball: over the years they have taken issue with newspapers including Stabroek News for any little negative coverage, including the most innocuous headlines.
But this incident goes to a bigger point about Guyana, a society where no one is held accountable for anything, ever. Where information that is routinely public in other countries is withheld. Where rainfall data is considered top secret, where inflation figures were delib no matter how distasteful, crass and plain wrong and most importantly anonymously. People might question that last part but it is better to speak one’s mind anonymously than have to stay silent while all around you see the absurd injustices and corruption of a society in fatal decline.
The blog has been shut down but another will take its place.
Name and address provided