Sep 05, 2012 News
– Pictures of home of former British PM Tony Blair and former US President George Bush available on-line….Security breach?
The reaction to the publication by Kaieteur News of aerial photographs of the home of former President Bharrat Jagdeo is grossly exaggerated, according to people involved in security measures. Local political leaders also echoed this view.
They were reacting to a statement issued by the Government Information News Agency (GINA), yesterday. The statement read inter alia, “The publication of aerial photographs of former president Bharrat (sic) Jagdeo’s house and surroundings by the Kaieteur News constitutes a serious breach of security, according to a senior police official who when contacted today, said that such a move was unprecedented and totally uncalled for.”
GINA did not, strangely enough, name the police officer.
One political leader said that there have been six presidents before Jagdeo and none of them even considered photographing their homes a breach or a challenge for security.
“In fact, all of them lived in full public view along busy thoroughfares. Desmond Hoyte lived in close proximity to Bourda Market and the Jagans lived in unpretentious quarters in Bel Air Village.”
Even photos of homes belonging to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US President George Bush are accessible on-line.
GINA described the photograph as “the offending publication” but stopped short of identifying the parties who are offended.
The government agency said that a senior police official contended that “such photographs could serve to embolden those who have ulterior motives.”
GINA posited that as a former Head of State, Bharrat Jagdeo should be afforded the respect that comes with the office and the security implications arising from such an esteemed position. No previous president ever considered the kind of security implications that the government agency ascribes to Jagdeo, the politician said.
“The decision to publish the photographs which indicate the lay of the land of the compound is a security breach and the motive to take such action must be considered… Dignitaries and other high officials are protected by the state and such actions can be compromised by those who claim to act in the name of press freedom,” GINA said.
“The decision taken by the media should be condemned in the strongest terms and the possibility of legal sanctions should also be considered,” GINA attributed to a senior rank.
One legal professional, asked to comment on the call for legal redress, said that someone is daydreaming.
The lawyer also described statements by Member of the National Commission on Law and Order (NCLO), Captain Gerry Gouveia, as idiotic and puerile.
According to GINA, Gouveia said, “It virtually compromises our former President’s personal security, because what you are actually doing there is exposing the perimeters of his personal residence to all kinds of reconnaissance and scrutiny.”
A politician said that Gouveia is merely doing what he does best, “kowtow to Jagdeo and his sycophants”.
GINA even went out of their way to interview a few persons in the street, in a clear defense of the former president, whose acquisition of a two-acre plot of land and subsequent construction of a sprawling home came under severe criticisms.
Over the weekend, during a series of corruption debates on the state-owned National Communication Networks, Chairman of the Alliance For Change, Nigel Hughes, raised questions over the home and said that Jagdeo acquired more wealth than any other president of Guyana.
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