Why hasn’t Stabroek News carried Mr Ram’s letter?

Dear Editor,

In its June 11th edition, SN carried an `Apology’ on page 3, which reads in part, “Stabroek News is now in receipt of correspondence showing that the basis of these implications is erroneous.”  Hence an apology was made to Mr. Ron Webster relative to the manner of his obtaining shares of Caribbean Container Inc. as identified in the Sunday Stabroek Business Page column of May 5, 2013.

Since this matter (Business Page coverage and “Apology”) was presented in Stabroek News, I was most surprised to read “Ron Webster acquired 85.31% in CCI for G$300,000 –and no money paid” (KN June 30).  Repeat, most surprised, and not a little troubled.  Why is this latest development-clearly a response to the Apology-in KN and not in SN?  Why not SN first?  What is going on here?

Given my own background elsewhere, and my continuing exposure to the ways of Guyana, my antennae is grasping for a signal.  Did Christopher Ram, source of the offending Business Page article of May 5th approach SN first with his supporting facts to clear the air and render the “Apology” untimely and unnecessary?  If he did, was Christopher Ram stonewalled in his efforts by SN to reveal said underlying facts?  And did such action by SN compel him to seek articulation (indeed ventilation) through KN?

More troublingly, why would SN (apart from libel concerns), if it were approached with these damning revelations, be reluctant to publish Mr. Ram’s reply, as presented, and now in disturbing detail in KN?  As an aside, I am wont to believe that SN knows full well that truth is a complete and unconditional defence to any claims of libel.  In some jurisdictions, it is considered an absolute privilege.  The question remains, if the reason for not publishing Mr. Ram’s response is not concerns about libel, then what?  And why?  I hesitated at first to venture into the murky world of local cabals, but I must confess that I did….  I don’t like where I find myself.  For Mr. Ram to go to KN simply does not make any sense.

Like I said earlier, I find all of this more than strange.  Troubling is a better word.  Perhaps, either Mr. Ram or SN would care to enlighten us, and put things to rest.

Yours faithfully,
GHK Lall

Editor’s note: The letter cited by Mr Lall was submitted by Mr Ram to SN following the publication of the apology. Since the apology had been crafted on the advice of the company’s lawyers, Mr Ram’s letter was submitted to them for legal vetting.

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