Transparency Institute of Guyana (TIGI) has published a letter on me in the Sunday edition of the Stabroek News. The statement is deliberately opaque. The reader would not know what the issues are. I will offer selected quotes from the missive to highlight TIGI’s dishonesty. Quote 1: “TIGI sent out four letters during the five months (of) the elections… three of those letters were published by his (Kissoon) own newspaper.”
My charge against TIGI and the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) is that during those five months of one of the most brutal attempts at the depraved possession of illegal power, they refused to condemn these heinous acts never before seen in any democratic country world-wide. I hope Guyanese both at home and abroad disassociate themselves permanently from these two opportunistic organizations which showed no shame in subtle support for APNU+AFC’s violent deportment at a time when Guyana needed patriotic citizens to protect its democracy.
It is quite deliberate that the signatory, Alfred Bhulai, cited four letters with absolutely no links so one could peruse the contents of those notes. Quote 2: “Mr. Kissoon seems to bear a grudge against TIGI because we exposed his false assumptions in a matter, where he wanted to make news out of TIGI’s apparent lack of enough activism to satisfy him.”
It is pathetic that TIGI can reduce my love of country and desire for transparency and good governance with an ulterior motive at what was taking place at UG. Since TIGI chose to hide the details of my ‘ulterior motive,” I will be transparent, and fulfill my obligation to society by letting the public know what this “ulterior motive is about.”
I have been in a relation with UG as a student for four years and a lecturer for 26 years. During those three decades, TIGI head, Dr. Troy Thomas, wasn’t even in high school. During those three decades I had been sued for libel by three sitting Vice Chancellors. I say in my UG experience, the largest threat to transparent and accountable governance was during the tenure of then Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ivelaw Griffith, who was a close friend of President Granger.
Under Dr. Griffith not only was there authoritarian power but UG never spent money so lavishly and wastefully. Dr. Griffith held the first and only inauguration ceremony for a Vice Chancellor, the cost of which ran into dozens of millions; each invitation was costly to print. At one of the statutory meetings of the UG Council, which is the legal boss of the Vice Chancellor, the UG administration refused to disclose Dr. Griffith’s monthly salary.
In the midst of these cascading insanities, Dr. Thomas was head of an organization with the word “transparency” in its name. So I did a column calling on TIGI to hold Dr. Griffith accountable. In his response carried in letter form in this newspaper, Dr. Thomas took the position that to comment on the situation at UG with Dr. Griffith would be a conflict of interest since he works at UG and he had to protect the name of TIGI’s parent company in Europe.
To this day, I cannot see how condemning unaccountable, opaque governance at UG by TIGI would have put Dr. Thomas in a conflict of interest. The decent, honest and commonsensical thing was for Dr. Thomas to recuse himself from TIGI’s action against Dr. Griffith. But this is Guyana where TIGI, GHRA and others like them continue their hypocrisy unabated.
It is going on to three weeks since David Granger and Joe Harmon went to Region Five and used unambiguous language of incitement and Guyana came close to national ethnic clashes. This columnist was told that in Bath Settlement, some groups were already in overdrive to retaliate when certain PPP leaders acted quickly and instilled rationality in them.
How can any women’s right group, human rights groups and organizations like TIGI remain silent after what Harmon and Granger did? In every country, civil society and political organizations do not allow what Granger and Harmon did to pass without condemnation. My mind goes back to an incident involving then PPP Minister, Dr. Bheri Ramsarran, who threatened social activist, Sherlina Najeer.
There was a national outcry over this isolated incident. Recently, controversy swirled over an incident involving Ruel Johnson and a former female lover. People openly used their names to condemn Ramsarran and Johnson but these very names have shamelessly refused to call out Granger and Harmon. Quote 3: “TIGI has much work to do and few are willing to do it in a civilized way.” Well, in life humans put different meaning to the same word. If one cannot reject what Granger and Harmon did, such silent people are uncivilized.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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