The highlighting of an appallingly petty move by the relevant authorities has apparently brought them to their senses, as drainage and irrigation workers returned early yesterday morning to clear the section of the trench that they had inexplicably missed, in front of the home of columnist Freddie Kissoon.
The exercise, which otherwise had gone relatively unnoticed, did have its fair share of attention yesterday, as passersby stopped to observe the goings-on and give their opinions on the issue.
Many expressed that Mr. Kissoon’s unrelenting criticism of the administration had led to this vindictive response.
However, a senior official of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), who deemed the many reports on the matter as “nonsense”, rejected this notion.
According to the party’s General Secretary, Donald Ramotar, he spoke to the foreman of the clearing exercise yesterday on the report that was carried in this newspaper and the official denied that he even knew that Kissoon lived there.
“I think that it is nonsense to say that Freddie Kissoon’s home was bypassed.”
As a matter of fact, the Parliamentarian said, there were no instructions to skip the area in front of Kissoon’s home, located on the Railway Embankment, East Coast Demerara.
On Wednesday, workers preparing for the upcoming UNASUR meeting that Guyana is hosting this month-end, cleared the waterway from the UG access road to just before the CARICOM headquarters, but left a large patch of duckweed in front of Kissoon’s home.
The outspoken columnist described it as a clear act of discrimination.
Yesterday, President of Guyana Press Association, Gordon Moseley, in a comment on the incident, said that he hopes that it is just a mistake or a lack of judgment.
“I hope that Guyana has not become that petty as a nation.” Many drivers had stopped Wednesday to stare in disbelief at the scene.
According to Kissoon, workers told him that they had been contracted to clean the canal, located immediately south of the embankment. They also said that they were ordered not to clear the trench in front of Kissoon’s home.
Asked to explain this, Works Minister, Robeson Benn, on Wednesday said that there were two teams clearing the canal and they were working from the two extremities. He said that when they called it a day they had reached the section of the canal outside Kissoon’s home.
Minister Benn had said that anyone who concluded that Kissoon was being targeted is promoting a conspiracy theory. He said that there was nothing to the non-clearance of the section of canal outside Kissoon’s home. “Don’t jump to conclusions. Everything will be cleared by tomorrow (yesterday)”.
He said that the government would not be so petty and any evidence of this is merely coincidental.
Kissoon is adamant that it was a clear case of spite by government authorities and a direct attack on the sensibilities of Guyanese where one citizen has been attacked because he dared to speak out.
It was only a few months ago that Kissoon was attacked during a visit to a supermarket on Robb Street. At that time, the columnist was about to enter his vehicle when a man threw faeces on him. His attacker then escaped in a waiting car.
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