When it comes to protection of our territory no stone should be left unturned

Dear Editor,

I am indeed pleased to read the news report published in the December 16 edition of your newspaper headlined ‘Police were wrong to enter Parliament Chamber,’ attributed to acting Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine.

I feel vindicated having been ‘attacked’ by so many on social media and elsewhere for expressing similar sentiments, including in a letter published last Monday in your newspaper.

On another topical issue, that of the government’s handling of the ExxonMobil signing bonus, I expressed the view in your letter column last Tuesday that the government bungled the handling of this matter. But I argued that there should be no problem with the decision not to make a public announcement about the payment and its deposit into a special account at the Bank of Guyana as well as the purpose for which it is intended to be used, since these are all tied up in a complex international architecture of arrangements which could negatively impact our case on the Venezuela controversy, when or if there is one before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

I have gleaned from news reports and social media commentary that many people are still criticizing the coalition government for not publicly announcing the receipt of a signing bonus, and for the funds not being deposited into the Consolidated Fund. While the government’s approach could have been different, as I outlined in my earlier letter, I would hope that the Guyanese population would understand that when it comes to the protection of our territorial and maritime space and the resources therein, no stone should be left unturned, and this includes withholding public announcements which would jeopardize our cause.

There is much talk about violation of laws and the Constitution regarding this issue. But should we fail to strategically handle our efforts to protect our land and maritime economic zone we may well face the possibility of having to rewrite our laws and the Constitution to reflect a nation that is reduced to three eighths of its current size, a significantly reduced population or the fleeing of Guyanese ‘refugees’ into what is left of Guyana (losing their homes, land, businesses in the process) and loss of significant natural resources including our oil reserves. Is this what we want as a people? I would think not.

Now, President David Granger has said if any laws are broken by handling this issue the way his government did, it will be corrected. Great. Case closed. However, we as a people should seek to understand that from time to time situations like this would arise that require a certain degree of confidentiality in Guyana’s best interest. The media can play a critical role here.

Investigative journalism is required; listen to the CIA Director’s testimony to the US Congress earlier this year on the alleged Russian hacking of the US elections; interview Venezuelan exiles in the US who vow to return and take control of their country; do some in-depth investigation.

Minister Winston Jordan says the media in Guyana is lazy. Prove him wrong.

Yours faithfully,

Wesley Kirton

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