– “I was shocked at what he said and expressed to him how offended and disappointed I was at his remarks” – Manickchand
The deafening silence of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Members of Parliament on issues that came out of the recorded conversation between Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and a Kaieteur News reporter, has finally been broken.
The Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand is actually the first government official to comment on the immorality of the utterances made by Nandlall in the recorded conversation.
Nandlall was heard saying that there are plans afoot to kill “innocent people” working at Kaieteur News in reaction to the many exposing stories the paper has been carrying. He was also heard admitting that he took taxpayers’ money and utilized it on his personal needs. Very disturbingly as well, the Attorney General, in the recording referred to a female Kaieteur News reporter as a “lil thing” and advocated that his uncle, Kamal Mangal got an opportunity to “f**K de girl.”
Manickchand, who was conferred an Honorary Doctoral Degree by Lesley University for her outstanding work in advocating for social justice and gender equality, finally spoke yesterday on the things Nandlall said about the female reporter.
In an invited comment, Manickchand told Kaieteur News that “what Nandlall said was crude and disrespectful and flies in the face of the environment that we (the government) are trying to establish and foster in Guyana.”
The Minister said that that environment is one where women should be treated as equals and celebrated for their worth in the development of Guyana and “not seen as chattel for men to use.”
The Minister said that she was shocked at the things Nandlall said and noted that she expressed to him how offended and disappointed she was at his remarks.
Manickchand said that she expects her colleague to do some soul searching.
However, she claimed that Nandlall was “deeply remorseful and apologized. I believe too he has issued a statement where he said he has the deepest respect for women and I would urge that he live the rest of his life evidencing this claim.”
The Minister went on to say that she finds it very hypocritical that Kaieteur News would seek her comments on this matter “when not so long ago this newspaper blatantly called a female public officer, with whom the newspaper seems to have a problem, a whore, in their pages.”
“This is the kind of harmful, backward environment that a newspaper should never harbour and promote as it could well set the tone for the way our men treat our women,” Manickchand noted.
The Minister said that she had called on this newspaper to apologize and retract their vile commentary. “I am still waiting on that apology and retraction.”
The Attorney General has had a noticeable part to play in the ‘Because we care campaign’, which falls under Manickchand’s Ministry.
The campaign involves the distribution of $10,000 to each child in the public school system.
This newspaper has never called any female, Guyanese or otherwise, a “whore” in its history of publication. We challenge Minister Manickchand to produce the sentence or the paragraph where the word ‘whore’ was used. We await her response.
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