SN has created a new role for itself

Dear Editor,  

I refer to the analysis of ‘The Tantalizer’ in SN titled ‘The spin doctor keeps his place.’  The quotes below, which hopefully do not represent your new agenda, create unease, hinting at future approaches regarding an interpretation about the 2011 mandate and your new role hereafter. Perhaps this analysis is just an individual’s opinion and does not reflect SN’s official position. Who knows? You can understand why it may create an impression (unjustified?) that SN has seemingly  become a kind of superimposed substitute interlocutory for Guyanese regardless of how they voted.  Your reassurance and clarification will be most welcome.

Why this sudden unhappiness with President Ramotar’s retention of Dr Roger Luncheon?  There seems to be delight in noting “the funny thing is that …  Doctor [Luncheon], has now become too old and too predictable to fool anybody anymore [and]  he continues to trundle away, bowling the same line and length and being met with broad bats and dour defences. It doesn’t help.”   Help “who,” if one may be so bold as to ask?

Is SN so displeased with Dr Luncheon’s performance as to seek his demotion since you think that now  “perhaps it will take the media to force President Ramotar’s hand.”  Force! Against an old man?

One cannot accuse you of being unclear when you affirm that “the media are the batting side and it is they who must decide just how to deal with Luncheon.” Really SN? That would make you prosecutor, judge, jury and….!  What input in our fledgling democracy, if any, does the  Guyanese public contribute in this public trial or match? Drunk sporting spectators in the stand, uncaring citizens or managers of “their” team? In which game anywhere, perchance, does the batsman select his bowler, umpire or wicketkeeper?

Mr A Rodrigues of Canada  writing in SN on December 19 and titled  ‘A sign of what is to come?’ mirrors all Guyana’s relief that “in  a few days to Christmas [President] Donald [Ramotar] brought to us… suspension and investigation of Henry [Greene], charges against Kwame  [McCoy] while [Odinga] Lumumba’s fate is to be decided.

“If this is a sign of what is to come, then surely Guyana is on the path to finally receiving justice and fairness…” Mr Rodrigues further commends and encourages President Ramotar that “this is good batting so far, excellent shots even though there were bad balls begging to be hit. Remember the hallmark of a good batsman is that he ‘destroys bad balls without mercy.’

“So continue batting; the bowling is mediocre, there are many bad balls and how you dispatch them will be the ultimate test of how good you are.”

So who is actually batting? With both Mr Rodrigues touting  President Ramotar as batting and with SN now claiming to be also batting perchance you are on the same team on either wicket? Or does SN feel we are at two different games and matches and hence in two different worlds? Why would SN want to divide us now more than ever?  The media has tremendous responsibilities for stability, debate and development, as you well know.

Few can fail to note the significant departure, as Mr Rodrigues has pointed out, in President Ramotar’s style. In retaining the experienced Dr Luncheon as his right-hand man one must acknowledge that the good doctor is perhaps the most powerful man in Guyana apart from the President, and his astuteness is what guides the new President. Dr Luncheon to his credit has even managed to retain the confidence of all Guyana’s last three Presidents. A sterling achievement indeed. Who can deny that Dr Luncheon’s incorruptability, humility, modesty, simplicity, down-to-earth unassuming personality and approachability are all refreshing qualities which mirror similar characteristics in the late Jagans. How significantly different is President Ramotar’s modus operandi from Dr Luncheon to require his termination? Without any doubt Dr Luncheon’s authenticity as a PPP stalwart remains unblemished and undisputed.

All have been aware of Dr Luncheon’s responsibilities and performance over the last 20 years and few have had cause to find fault with him to seek his head. Why now? Is SN unable to reconcile the truth about the illegality of APNU’s protest march and “what Dr Luncheon is actually saying [in] that the decision to use …. the rubber bullets had nothing to do with the orderliness or otherwise of the protestors during that particular demonstration but was taken “in the context of the type of protest actions that occurred before?”

Public safety rests absolutely with the police and the government of the day, not the media. The media can condone breaking the law and are free to say so, but that would still make it illegal regardless. Any government is subjected to censure in a democracy; same for the media. But the irresponsible media cannot be electorally removed in any democracy. How must they be held accountable and be censured when they err in Guyana’s present fragile democracy?

The possibility exists that he may be replaced by an unscrupulous young con. And it could very well be, you know who! God have mercy. This cannot be what SN seeks for us.  If you had suggested that Dr Luncheon get a full-time assistant (Ms Gail Teixeira or Mr Navin Chandarpal or whomever) it would have shown you as more compassionate. Then when time takes its course Dr Luncheon will bring relief to himself and others.
SN is too sensible to condone an illegal march or beating up an old man who fools no one. Guyana needs all its experienced statesmen for these sensitive times. Ahhh, SN, you can be disappointing sometimes.

Yours faithfully,
Sultan Mohamed

Editor’s note

1. The column ‘The Tantalizer’ which appears regularly in our internet edition and occasionally in our print edition is, as its names suggests, intended to have a satirical flavour. As in the case of all our other feature columns it reflects the views of the author alone and is not the “official position” of this newspaper. We refer Mr Mohamed to our editorials should he be interested in our stance on a given issue.

2. Contrary to Mr Mohamed’s assertions, we did not condone the “illegal march,” although we did condemn the use of rubber bullets on unarmed protestors who did not represent a threat at the time.   

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