Jan 18, 2016 News
– calls for intervention of Press Association
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has responded strongly to an article in the Sunday, January 17th edition of the Guyana Times titled “Nagamootoo stripped of all line responsibilities”. Describing the article as “malicious, wicked and utterly false”, the OPM took the media outfit to task yesterday.
Calling on the reading public to be aware of a campaign by the outfit to peddle “lies, falsehoods, mischief and untruths”, OPM Press Secretary Imran Khan disputed that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had in fact been “stripped of all line responsibility”.
In a statement, Khan stated that the media outfit deliberately misrepresented what was said by President David Granger.
In Granger‘s first address to the National Assembly on Thursday, January 14, he had announced that the Ministry of the Presidency had been reconfigured to combine the offices of the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ministers of State, Citizenship and Social Cohesion.
He had stated that this combination would enhance governance, in particular through the Office of the Prime Minister, as he manages the government’s business and legislative agenda in the National Assembly.
The OPM stated that the Ramroop media group is operating “with an unmistakable agenda that is politically directed”. Nor did it spare Guyana Times’ affiliates, noting that “Citizen’s Report, the internet news website, and the Freedom House operated radio station also form part of this media cabal.”
“It is now beyond doubt that the primary purpose of Guyana Times is to function purely as a PPP propaganda rag in conjunction with TVG, and other media appendages, such as the recently acquired I’News website, and other outfits owned and operated by Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, who, it is well known, shares a close personal relationship with Opposition Leader (Bharrat) Jagdeo.”
“OPM calls on all Guyanese to be aware of the campaign being executed by the Ramroop media group against the Coalition Government, particularly the Indo-Guyanese members and specifically Prime Minister and First Vice President, Moses Nagamootoo.”
OPM noted that Minister of Natural Resource, Raphael Trotman, had previously held the Governance portfolio but has formally handed over all matters relating to Governance to the Prime Minister. The office noted that transfer of Governance staff to OPM has also been completed.
“Further, His Excellency, President Granger, was clear and deliberate in his presentation to Parliament that Prime Minister Nagamootoo’s portfolio has been expanded and includes Leader of Government business in the National Assembly, Public Information, Constitutional Reform, Governance, coordinating functions with ministries involved with domestic (affairs) and Cabinet co-chair.”
It also called on the Guyana Press Association (GPA) to take note of “this clearly decipherable trend of abuse of media for the purposes of political attacks, spreading misinformation, falsehoods and exciting the populace.”
It is not the first time that Guyana Times has found itself in hot water with Government for publishing inaccurate headlines and articles. During the final episode for 2015 of ‘the Public Interest’, Kaieteur News journalist Mondale Smith had asked the President whether a time would come when those who committed past atrocities would be truly held accountable.
In response, Granger had said that evidence first must be established before criminal charges and prosecution could follow. He had also stated that persons could not be assumed guilty on the basis of newspaper articles.
Following the airing, however, Guyana Times had printed an article with the headline “No evidence of corruption against PPP/C – President Granger.” This headline had been at odds with the actual content of the article published in the newspaper and Government wasted no time in calling for a retraction, which saw the outfit backing down and apologizing.
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