Oct 08, 2011 News
…says they are now pawns in the game of politics
Managing Director of CNS TV 6, Savitree Sharma, yesterday accused Head of State Bharrat Jagdeo of twisting the truth to suit his own motives. She said that she was commenting on what transpired at Office of the President when she and her husband were informed of the four-month suspension.
Mrs Sharma told media operatives yesterday, that what is even more reprehensible and appalling is the fact that the statements made by the President at his most recent press briefing in relation to the four-month ban on CNS TV 6 are now constantly being re-broadcast in what she called an attempt to hoodwink.
Jagdeo is on record telling media operatives that it was Savitree Sharma who requested the four-month ban but this, Savitree Sharma says, is being taken out of context and being presented with its own spin by the President.
She said that for the past 19 years she has seen the current administration paint her husband black but she does not intend for the same persecution to befall her.
Mrs Sharma insists that at the time they attended the meeting with the president they were not under the impression that they were there to bargain or even discuss a suspension. She added that at worst they thought a fine would have sufficed.
She told media operatives that what is being peddled by Jagdeo is not the entire truth and that the president was insistent that they be suspended for eight months.
“We were told that he had decided on eight months….We didn’t go to bargain.”
Mrs Sharma said that at the time of the meeting with the President she saw his unmoving demeanor and an apparent veiled hatred for them. She added that she sought to explain that they could not afford to be off of the air for eight months and listed among other things a $2M monthly payment to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) stemming from the previous suspension.
She said that after an hour of back and forth between the President and themselves and he seemed to be un-moved she asked him, “Why not four months?”
Mrs Sharma repeated that at no time was she aware that the she was there to bargain on the penalty or beg for a sentence or else they would have prepared differently.
The Sharmas say that they believe that the sanction by the Head of State is wrong, unfair, unjust and that they are being made pawns in a political game.
They also opine that the actions by the President can possibly see them being punished twice should the court rule against them in relation to the lawsuit filed by Bishop Juan Edghill. The woman also pointed to what the suspension would mean should the court dismiss the lawsuit.
Edghill filed the lawsuit following comments aired by Anthony Vieira. The Sharmas said that the commentary was inadvertently aired and there were several apologies issued.
Savitree Sharma says that it is appalling to see that the President is now on television parading the notion that it was she who requested the four-month penalty.
She said that she is not sure if the President can remember what exactly transpired during that meeting at Office of the President or that it is his communication skills that is lacking, which is causing the message to be relayed in such a skewed manner.
Mrs Sharma insists that the President, intentionally or not, is twisting the truth to suit himself and that her staff is now collateral damage in the affair while the remainder of Guyana is at a loss as it relates to the inability to access the programmes that were aired.
Speaking to the proposal that President Jagdeo had said was made by Mrs Sharma to pull a programme involving Ramon Gaskin and Christopher Ram, the Television Station manager says that again her words were misrepresented.
Mrs Sharma said that recently while on an overseas trip to New York she received a telephone call from the Labour Minister Manzoor Nadir who indicated to her that the president wanted to speak with her in relation to programming on the Television station.
She said that following an hour long conversation with the president she was still at a loss to determine what he wanted but said that to the best of her knowledge the only programme on air at the time that he could have had an issue with was the one with Ram and Gaskin.
Savitree said that this was her belief, given that she was sure that her husband had toned down commentaries.
Mrs Sharma told media operatives that she indicated to her husband the contents of the conversation with the President and there was the suggestion to pull the programme in the interest of the business.
Meanwhile, in another bit of what Mrs Sharma called dishonesty emanating from the Office of the President was in reference to the mysterious document that accompanied the invitation for a meeting with the President.
Sharma told media operatives that the document is a well researched one and dates back to as early as the year 2000.
His wife subsequently pointed to a report which to date has not been rejected by the Office of the President which quotes the President’s Information Liaison Officer Kwame McCoy as saying that he was unsure of the contents of the lengthy document sent to Sharma.
Mrs Sharma says that there is no way that Mc Coy could believe that a one-page letter in the form of an invitation could be construed as a lengthy document.
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