Feb 08, 2012 Letters
I stand in solidarity with Mr. Freddie Kissoon, as he and many Guyanese, react with justifiable revulsion, against the unwarranted refusal to renew his contract as a lecturer at the University of Guyana.
Was the Mr. Kissoon ever called by those who decided on this course of action, to answer any charges of breach of the terms of his contract, or for non-or poor performance of his teaching obligations, or for gross misconduct incompatible with his status as lecturer? Have his students revolted against him? Did the Professor fail to take required procedural steps for renewal of his contract?
What the public knows as a fact is that Freddie Kissoon has been a passionate social and political activist, member/supporter of political organizations which have been relentlessly attacked by regimes in power, and in recent times has been unyielding in his exposure and denunciation of malpractices by functionaries occupying public offices all over the land and a protagonist of fundamental ideas of propriety, integrity and fairness.
Freddie Kissoon as a columnist grievously annoys many by his probing journalism and is feared by many who wield power. He has stood up against those whom he feels have misgoverned and have abused power.
We have quite a history of employers, in business and in government, resorting to the ultimate act of intimidation and terror, against working people, by threatening to fire or firing them, for advancing workers’ rights and for acts that are considered destabilizing and disruptive.
Let’s not permit this to continue.
The University of Guyana is a very important place, where the seeds for flourishing of the intellect and ideas, are being sown. Since its establishment politicians have kept a close watch, guarding against “subversive ideas”.
As great as the issue of the unfairness and injustice to Kissoon in his personal tragedy, is the protection of the right to stand up and speak out, the freedom to publish ideas widely and in all forms, and freedom of our teachers not merely to teach students, and to consolidate greatness and effectiveness of the institutions of learning but also to become part of the dynamic of social progress and advancement of all people.
Not only do I ask for the reinstatement of Freddie Kissoon but I wish to raise for critical reconsideration the presence, role and qualifications of politicians and political appointees in the administration of the University of Guyana.
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