Jagdeo to meet with CLICO policy holders
Teaching Service Commission sworn in
The saga of media personnel being refused from Office of the President continued yesterday with Kwame McCoy overruling an order to the security, by Dr Roger Luncheon, to permit entry to all reporters at the gate and who were seeking entry.
McCoy is insisting that reporters should only be admitted if they possess a press pass issued by the Guyana Information Agency (GINA).
Recent weeks have seen the Security at OP denying entry to reporters, including BBC correspondent Colin Smith, who is without a GINA pass.
Yesterday, those refused entry were Nazima Raghubir and Victor Vanvield of Prime News. Kaieteur News’ Editor-in-Chief Adam Harris who does not have a GINA pass was allowed entry along with another Kaieteur News reporter. This reporter also did not have a GINA pass.
A week ago Kaieteur News reporter Gary Eleazar was refused entry while Editor-in-Chief Adam Harris was ordered to leave the Credentials Room at Office of the President for not having GINA passes.
Yesterday however, after a phone call was received in the Security Office, the staffers there were told to allow Harris and one photographer to enter Office of the President. This publication has adopted the stance that it will not be using the Press passes issued by GINA for any of its reporters or senior staff to gain admission to press events.
Harris noted that late last week he was informed by Mc Coy that a Press Pass was being prepared for him. Subsequently, a GINA pass arrived at Kaieteur News bearing an image that was clearly not Harris’s. However, the pass bore Harris’s name and the signatures of Head of GINA, Neaz Subhan, and Commissioner of Police Henry Greene.
Harris noted that Mc Coy claimed that he was unaware of any such document being issued.
Harris said on the matter that if this is true then the pass currently sitting on his desk brings into question the integrity and security behind the issuance of the GINA passes that OP is insisting on so strenuously. He noted that it cheapens the instrument and makes a mockery of it.
After the incident last week, President of the Guyana Press Association, Gordon Moseley, expressed his ‘disappointment at the actions of Office of the President’. He said that ID documents such as the BBC or GPA Press Passes, or press passes issued by any accredited media organisation, such as the Caribbean Media Association, should be allowed.
Moseley defended the GPA’s efforts to resolve the issue by pointing out that scheduled meetings with the Press Unit of Office of the President were cancelled by persons in that office including Information Liaison Officer for the President Kwame McCoy.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, commented on the matter last week saying that the Office of the President will not surrender accreditation to any firm or entity other than GINA.
He defended the actions of his office by saying that he suspected that the practice of the state identifying and certifying media operatives who would then be granted access to the state institutions, organs and offices was probably one that prevails everywhere.
Yesterday’s event that the press was attempting to cover was the swearing in of a new Teaching Service Commission. Signing the oaths of Office before the President were Mohammed Khan, Chandrawattie Leila Ramson, Alan Munroe, Anoopwattie Vereen, Roopnarine Tiwari, Conrad Kendall and Maydha Persaud.
In 2007 after having lapsed for three years, a new commission was sworn in. Earlier this year that Commission was dissolved, and after a recess of some two and a half months the new Commission was sworn in.
After the swearing in ceremony, President Jagdeo commented on the liquidation of CLICO.
He noted that the buildings and other assets of CLICO will be re-advertised for sale to generate the funds needed to reimburse the more than 10,000 affected policy holders of the failed insurance giant.
The President noted that if the bids were not commensurate with the book value of the assets, especially the buildings, the Government might have to intervene and purchase them itself in order to ensure that the resources are available for the policy holders.
He is to meet with the CLICO policy holders on Thursday at the National Cultural Centre at 15:00 hours.
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