The Alliance For Change yesterday condemned the political machinations of the National Communications Network’s (NCN) administration, as reflected in the recent decision taken not to air the Party’s New Year message just after midnight on January 1, 2011.
As before, when similar decisions were taken to deny the AFC the right to access the state’s television, incredulous excuses were once again provided, the party said in a statement released to the media.
“This latest assault on the people’s constitutional right to access information and to form opinions of their own follows a series of similar situations where the AFC was not allowed to air its message on the Guyanese tax funded television and radio stations in Georgetown and Linden…
“This raises serious issues of fairness, equal access to the state’s resources, political intimidation, and suffocation. More particularly, it brings into sharp focus, the lack of a functioning democracy; even as autocratic characteristics daily become clearly defined and recognizable,” the party said.
It posited that where a parliamentary party is repeatedly shut out of the state run television and radio, it says something about the presence of a healthy democracy and makes a clear statement about the manner in which the state’s resources are going to be used and abused by the ruling party in the upcoming elections.
The party called on President Bharrat Jagdeo, as the statutory authority for broadcast issues, “to state why his government continues to discriminate against the AFC and other opposition parties in denying them a voice in the state-owned print and electronic media?”
The AFC said that it will continue to agitate for equity and an end to state lawlessness, and promises, when in government, to liberalize the state media by reviewing the role of GINA and the NCN, and setting transparent standards for the processing of licenses for the ownership, operation and management of radio and television stations and newspapers.”
The party said that it is its fundamental position that Media must be a tool to advance a nation and not to keep it underdeveloped as we see today.
“The people of Guyana are asked to take notice of the continuous stifling of free speech and opinion, and to prepare to make the right turn in 2011 by supporting the AFC’s quest for a free society by voting for change at the upcoming elections.”
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