The article appearing in the sports section of your Wednesday issue headlined ‘Anandjit says not his signature on document submitted to Parliamentary Select Committee’ and prominently featuring photos of Mr Anandjit and myself refers. It is totally outrageous that a supposedly responsible newspaper such as SN would hasten to print such a defamatory article without first exercising some basic journalistic ethics and principles. They say that a picture speaks a thousand words and these photos and the article are ample justification of this.
Firstly, I must express my utter disappointment with this rather unbalanced and unprofessional article which did not even reveal the name of its author or reporter.
Secondly, there was absolutely no contact made with me or any attempt made by any SN reporter regarding the statements contained in this article. In view of the totally unethical, irresponsible and biased article, I am compelled to respond to this malicious witchhunt against me, both personally and professionally.
Please be advised of the following:
1. I was not invited to make submissions to the Special Select Committee of Parliament, but rather the entity, the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB), was invited to make submissions. The letter of invitation from Dr Frank Anthony, as head of the Select committee, was sent to my Church Street office address.
2. In addition, I did not make any voluntary submissions to the Select Committee of Parliament resulting from the newspaper ads as is being insinuated by the Clerk of the National Assembly’s letter. The submission was made out in the name of the Demerara Cricket Board pursuant to the direct invitation from Dr Anthony.
3. Further, the Clerk of the National Assembly is somewhat confused as there is no faction of the Guyana Cricket Board nor did the Select Committee invite the GCB to make any submission on the voter allocation issue of the DCB.
4. The Select Committee was investigating the voter allocation issue surrounding the Demerara Cricket Board. In the process of compiling our submission, it was necessary for us to conduct detailed research of files and documents going back several years, which were not very easily available. We even had to request an extension from the Select Committee to complete our submission, which submission was eventually made on 26th April 2013. The DCB was then invited by the Select Committee to make its oral presentation on May 13th 2013 and this DCB delegation of 4 Executives and our Administrator was led by its President.
5. I became Secretary of the DCB in January 2009 and President of the DCB in January 2011. The document that is alleged to have been forged was submitted to the DCB some time in 2008.
6. During the process of accumulating the requisite documents for this submission, we had to consult and communicate with current and previous Executive Committee members of the DCB. Some documents relating to competitions played during my tenure at the DCB were obtained from the files of the current and previous Competitions Committees of the DCB from as far back as 6 years ago. These fixtures were necessary to establish and determine the allocated voting delegates at general meetings of the DCB. I cannot and will not comment on the genesis of these documents, but I can state, quite categorically, that none of these documents was constructed by myself or any other DCB executive/officer who assisted in the preparation of our submission to the parliamentary select committee.
7. Pursuant to the letter from the Clerk of the National Assembly, this matter is currently being investigated by the Guyana Police Force. The investigating officer has made contact with me and I have since communicated with him on numerous occasions in the past week or so and have fully cooperated with this investigation. I am aware that the GPF is currently awaiting the return from overseas of the said former Executive of the DCB who hails from the East Coast of Demerara and is an executive member of the East Coast Cricket Board, and is the person alleged to have handed over the document to the DCB. One of the other senior officers on the East Coast Board has bluntly refused to provide a statement to the GPF.
8. The document containing Mr Anandjit’s signature, that is alleged to have been forged, was handed over to the DCB by the Competitions Committee of the DCB from those years. The Competitions Committee member was quite adamant that the said document was submitted to him by the abovementioned Executive Committee member of the East Coast Cricket Board and he has since provided a written statement in this regard to the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
9. The DCB would like to urge the GPF to conduct a complete and thorough investigation of this alleged forgery, including but not limited to obtaining handwriting samples from all the parties involved, and then having their handwriting expert determine his final conclusion based on the samples obtained. We also urge all the parties involved to fully cooperate with the GPF in its investigation and we eagerly await the public announcement of the final report from the GPF on this matter.
We encourage all media personnel to exercise true journalistic ethics and principles whilst refraining from casting aspersions on anyone before the investigation is concluded.
Editor’s note: Stabroek News regrets any aspersions cast on Mr Singh as a result of not making it clear from the outset that the submission was made by the DCB and not Mr Singh.