For a long time now, we here in Guyana have endured crises in all, (without exception) of the professional services.
Whether it is engineering, teaching, electronic repair, interior decoration etc, we have seen tremendous shortage of skills, journalism is no exception. Last week I wrote an article titled, “I know why the Government did away with prescriptive rights” in which one paragraph (yes one paragraph) was devoted to the squatters opposite where I live.
That paragraph nowhere stated that I interviewed the squatters. That paragraph nowhere stated that Government sent eviction notices to the people.
All the section of that column did was to state that now that there is an end to prescriptive rights, these people will be moved.
The Kaieteur News sent reporters to talk to the squatters.
I don’t know what questions were asked but from the story carried in KN yesterday, we read about, “we never spoke to Kissoon,” “no notices were served to us.” I repeat nowhere in my original commentary on these squatters did I stated I interviewed them and there was never any mentioned of eviction notices
For those interested in my position in that column, it is quite simple. Now that there is an abolition of prescriptive rights these people will have to move. I stand by this opinion. In my original outlay, I used the words, “I suspect there was a move…” I did not say I know or there is. I said “I suspect.”
I was with Adam Harris and the camera man from Prime News. One of the squatters told us that when he applied for lights, he was told they cannot get it because they are not entitled to be on the land and would have to move some day. That day has now come with the removal of prescriptive rights.
As I wrote above, the way the KN journalist spoke to the squatters, it doesn’t seem that these squatters were told that they have to move.
Further I don’t believe KN told the squatters that the issue arose over the Bill in Parliament last week. I don’t believe these people know what happened in Parliament.
In fact, my opinion yesterday’s story in KN may have given these people a false hope.
I will suggest to KN management that we go back to these squatters and interview them with other journalists from Prime News, Stabroek News, Capitol News, Mr. Chabrol from demerarawaves.com and Mr. Benschop from guyanaoberversnews.org and me of course.
I challenge KN management that the responses will be different. And naturally so because the questions will be differently put. This is an open challenge. Let us see what some people are made of. I never back down from a challenge.
Editor’s note: Mr Kissoon was there when Editor Adam Harris met with the residents. He heard the questions asked and he did not object at all.
KN sticks with its story and reprints the column that led to the news item.
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