I don’t believe Mr. Ramkarran
You can take away people’s physical rights but you cannot dissolve their right to think. Inherent in natural law is the individual’s right to accept or reject what they are told. Many commentators have openly said that they didn’t believe the testimony of Rupert Murdoch, last week, when he said that he never asked or gained favours from ruling politicians and he never interfered with the practice of journalism in his media houses. I don’t believe him either.
I simply don’t believe the story of Ralph Ramkarran that the Executive Committee (15 members) and the Central Committee (35) disagreed with the Government’s withdrawal of advertisements from the Stabroek News, but the decision was not carried out by the State. Mr. Ramkarran’s explanation has more holes than a basket and he would have to elegantly fill those holes with intellectual silicone if he is to be believed.
Let us get all the dimensions right before we assault this tale, and that is what it is, a tale (remember the famous quote about a tale from Shakespeare). The two committees rejected the restriction on SN; the State did not carry out the decision of the ruling party; that the ruling party does not practice paramountcy of the party; extraneous matters (Ramkarran’s words) got in the way and a letter he prepared for publication in the Mirror explaining why the withdrawal was wrong was never published.
My rebuttal. It is doubtful that Kaieteur News, Stabroek News, and Moses Nagamootoo would not have known that the two pillars at the top of the PPP hierarchy passed a motion to ask the President to remove the restriction. We are talking about thirty-five persons from all over Guyana, some of whom know Moses very well.
Even if Moses knew and didn’t want to go public, he would have shared the information. This is a tiny populated society and such a large group as the PPP’s central committee would have had to have a leak. But let us assume there was no leak; let us move to weakness number two.
Mr. Ramkarram introduced a confusing colour on his canvas that spoiled the art work. There are two actors – party and government. Mr. Ramkarran introduced a third entity, the Mirror newspaper. Here is where Mr. Ramkarran’s car breaks down. At the time, Mrs. Jagan had given up on the editorship of the Mirror. The editorial directors were Prem Misir, Donald Ramotar and David De Groot, the latter editing the paper.
It was in the Mirror that Mrs. Jagan first penned her judgement on Mr. Jagdeo’s edict against SN.
According to Mr. Ramkarran, his intended letter never got published because of “extraneous matters”. What has the work of the Mirror got to do with party and government? The party agreed, but the government never carried out what the party wanted. Mr. Ramkarran then composed a reason why the SN ban should be lifted and was going to have the Mirror carry it. What Mr. Ramkarran needs to tell us is what he means by “extraneous matters” that led to the dormancy of the letter.
At the time, the Mirror was under the control of the party. Why would the Mirror not carry a letter by a senior, dominant person like Ramkarran? After all, the very paper published Mrs. Jagan’s views on the very subject. In order for his story to stand up, Mr. Ramkarran has to elongate on the Mirror angle in his tale. To do so, he will have to describe these “extraneous matters”. All readers would be interested to know what intervened to stop that letter, because it takes a second to send the article via the internet to Mr. De Groot and another second to use the phone to order him to carry it.
Mr. Ramkarran contradicts himself. He wrote in SN yesterday that the party made a decision after “extensive discussion” and called upon the Government to desist. Yet Mr. Ramkarran tells us that; “a conclusion to the discussion was sidetracked by extraneous matters and the letter was not published.”
There is a gaping hole here that Mr. Ramkarran has to account for. On the one hand, the party made a decision and called for the restoration, then we are told the confabulation was not concluded and his letter was not published.
Finally, Mr. Ramkarran explained that the party didn’t insist because it does not practice paramountcy over the State. Yet, Ramkarran had to (and has to) know that at least one top official at the Mirror was being paid by GINA. So what is your take on this tale?