Mar 22, 2013 News
Premised on the notion of “if you don’t stand up for something you will fall for anything,” staffers of this publication yesterday took to the streets in protesting mode to further express concerns about the recently publicised unfair distribution of radio licences.
Led by Publisher, Mr Glenn Lall, the peaceful demonstration which commenced shortly after 10:00 hours, and lasted approximately two hours, attracted the support of several passersby and equally concerned citizens.
Strategically positioned in front of the 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown offices, the KN staffers were soon joined by several other representatives from private media entities including Editor-In-Chief of Capitol News, Mr Enrico Woolford, and Mr Charles Griffith of HBTV Channel Nine.
Private individuals were also in solidarity and did not fail to voice their concerns as well during the activity which soon attracted the attention of the Guyana Police Force who sought to ensure that the flow of traffic was not impeded.
The vibrant exercise saw protesters expressing disgust over former President Bharrat Jagdeo’s unfair manner of distributing radio licences.
In articulating his frustration over the process, Lall, who had in fact applied several years ago for a radio licence, disclosed that the protest action was intended to deliver a clear message of awareness to those who really care about this nation, about the direction in which it is heading.
“I initiated this demonstration because my constitutional right, with respect to radio and TV licences, has been violated. To put it in a nutshell…I am insulted,” Lall emphatically stated.
He stressed that the action was prompted by revelations in the National Assembly by the Prime Minister, of various inexplicable allotments of radio and television licences by Jagdeo, days before he demitted office in 2011. Although attempts were previously made to ascertain to whom these licences were granted, there were efforts to treat the state of affairs as a “state secret,” Lall categorically asserted.
He pointed out that it took one and a half years before the truth surfaced, and this only came about after moves by the opposition to demand answers in the National Assembly. “Only then this nation, including myself, became aware of who were granted and what was granted. Like myself and other media owners you also may be at a loss having heard the names and companies that were granted. The Mirror and Guyana Times newspapers were each granted five radio channels while Kaieteur and the Stabroek News, the two leading independent newspaper entities, were told to reapply if they are still interested. Could you believe this? How could any sane person justify this?” Lall asked.
Insisting that due process was clearly not followed, Lall turned his attention to the fact that entities who have not been in the business for any significant period of time were readily granted licences in front of the likes of Channel Two, Six, Seven, Nine and Thirteen, all of which were in business for as long as television has been in Guyana.
“Something is definitely wrong in this country. They are leading us up a gum tree and taking us for granted. What do we do next? What do you think the people of this country expect of us as media owners? To sit and take it? No way! Are we to sit and watch a handful of persons take over and influence our lives and those of our children? I don’t think so. I will not,” the Kaieteur News publisher stated categorically.
Lall then directed his ire to the fact that cable licences were granted to two of the former President’s close friends, Vishok Persaud and Brian Yong. He sought to explain that with a cable licence an individual or company could in fact “take over the phone industry and facilitate many television and radio channels even as it offers wireless internet services”. However, Lall made clear his conviction on that issue by stressing that all is not as it seems and people should be cognizant of this.
“Do you really believe that Vishok (Persaud) and Brian Yong are the owners of those two cable licences? No. Like Mr Omkar Lochan, they are just fronts for former and present government officials.”
E-Networks, operated by Persaud, had reportedly started business the same month it was handed a cable licence and Yong started setting up a similar business, two years prior to when he obtained his licence.
“Does that tell you a story? This situation was planned well in advance and executed to perfection. It is discriminatory when you can give so much to your friends, family and party officials and disregard us who have been in this business for almost 20 years,” a passionate Lall affirmed.
“The whole process can be regarded as nothing more than an orchestrated plot by Jagdeo to control the county’s airwaves with the primary aim of putting independent media houses out of business. If my colleagues wither or flatten out, I am one who will stand up for what is rightfully mine. Kaieteur News will go to the length and breadth of this country to fight this injustice,” said Lall who concluded that “they have not been fair to us because they are afraid of just and fearless people.”
The only savior of Guyana.
Oct 03, 2023SYDNEY, Australia – Hayley Matthews led the West Indies Women’s cricket team to a record-breaking victory by orchestrating the highest run chase in women’s T20 international...
Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.