The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) says that President Bharrat Jagdeo’s recent suspension of CNS Channel 6 is an attempt to prevent the opposition parties from getting their messages out in the run-up to elections and to contain the exposures of injustices in the society.
The union, in a release yesterday, also described the suspension of the station as “an abuse of power and violation of rights” and urged Guyanese to “raise their voices” against the PPP/C regime.
“The decision by President Jagdeo to suspend Mr. Sharma’s CNS 6 comes as no surprise to the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC),” the release said. According to the union, it had been reliably informed some months back that a decision was taken within the political hierarchy to silence CNS Channel 6 in the run-up to elections to contain its exposure of injustices and prevent the opposition from getting their messages out. “Mr. Anthony Vieira’s May 4th commentary was an excuse, not the cause for Jagdeo’s decision, which is the most vicious form of Machiavellian politics of the end justifying the means,” the union said.
The union said that in the instance where something is considered “bad taste to President Jagdeo he must know that in this diverse society this is not a yardstick for his action.”
“The question therefore remains: ‘has it been established that a crime was committed and does the punishment fit the crime?’” the union added.
The union also pointed to the impact the move will have on Sharma’s 30 employees. “This act of crippling a legitimate employer who is participating in alleviating poverty by providing jobs, when unemployment is high and the poor and dispossessed growing in numbers must be of concern,” he said. The GTUC said that the “unjustified act of putting scores of workers out of work is similar to the injustices faced by bauxite workers, public servants, sugar workers, city council workers and workers everywhere… it is a clear message from the PPP that they have no regard for the people.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Hamilton Green also criticized the government’s move against CNS Channel 6 and expressed the hope that this will inspire civil society to action. Describing the act as “reprehensible” he said that this is the latest in a series of such acts by the government against the media.