The Cheddi Jagan Research Centre (CJRC) has accused the government of deliberately frustrating its work, after the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) failed to deliver on time an order of commemorative stamps to honour the 100th birth anniversary of the late President, Dr Cheddi Jagan.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Centre registered its disappointment, calling the action “an assault on the legacy” of the late President whose 100th birth anniversary is being observed today.
It was noted that the stamps were scheduled to be launched on Tuesday, and that the Centre had been given all assurances by the GPOC, as well as by Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes that they would have been available by then.
Last month, Minister Hughes announced that the GPOC would be issuing a commemorative stamp to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the birth of the late president.
She had related that the stamps were being produced and designed by the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation (IGPC), located in New Jersey, USA and which has a longstanding relationship with the GPOC.
“We find it strange that what should have been a routine transaction between the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre and the Guyana Post Office Corporation has now been politically interfered with. The CJRC had an agreement with the Guyana Post Office to print 400 First Day Covers and, as requested, we made a deposit of $200,000. We were able to finalize the Stamp specimen and the First Day Cover,” the release stated.
According to the statement, when contact was made with the Post Office, the Centre was advised to get in touch with the Ministry of the Presidency in relation to the matter. Similar advice was given to this newspaper by Minister Hughes, who yesterday asked that the National Awards Committee or the Ministry of the Presidency be contacted for further information. Stabroek News was unable to make contact with any relevant authority on the matter last evening.
“The Cheddi Jagan Research Centre views this move by the administration as a deliberate attempt to frustrate the work of the Centre, especially when seen against the background of attempts by the Granger administration to seize the Red House, which as you are aware, is now before the Court,” the Centre concluded in its statement.
Meanwhile, PPP/C Member of Parliament and former Chairman of the GPOC, Juan Edghill, in a statement of his own, accused the government of micromanaging and attempting to “stifle the political legacy” of those outside of their cabal.
The aforementioned was one of several points presented by Edghill on the matter, which he stated were made clear by these recent developments.
Edghill opined that the actions of the GPOC: spoke to “hypocrisy” as relates to its calls for “national unity” and “social cohesion”; demonstrates that the management and administration of the GPOC cannot act “without approval from the PNC-dominated government”; showcases the “depth and dictatorial attitude” of the PNC in its bid to “stifle the political legacy of anyone outside of that cabal”; highlighted what Edghill described as “control freakism”, as he concluded that “all other players are nothing but mere decorations in the room/Coalition”; and showed the “disrespect” the government is prepared to mete out to the GPOC’s appointed board and Minister Hughes.
“As a former Chairman of the Board of GPOC, maybe one of the longest serving Chairmen, it is unprecedented for a client, in this instance the CJRC, to be referred to the Ministry of the Presidency for explanations or other information as it relates to this unfulfilled transaction between the corporation and a client…This is nothing short of a full and open display of petty, partisan politics influencing a business transaction that could be [considered] purely an administrative matter…” Edghill stated.