Kaieteur News – I am fed up with Mr. Ramkarran writing to Kaieteur News and apologies printed for fear of libel over a period of 23 years. I was relieved when I read his letter on me in Monday’s Kaieteur News and there was no threat of libel.
I am typing this column at 5:42 AM and will send the draft to five, yes five, lawyers that I interact with, for them to clear it of any libelous content. Once it is published, then they cleared me.
When Mr. Ramkarran formed A New and United Guyana (ANUG), and contested the presidency, I thought that he would be more open to criticism. I complained to Mr. Kian Jabour, the General Secretary of ANUG about Mr. Ramkarran. We were walking on the lawns on NCN and I brought up the subject.
I complained to Mr. Jonathan Yearwood about Mr. Ramkarran. Yearwood, I regard as a fierce, independent voice. I met him in Gitfland Mall. At the time he was in the leadership of ANUG. More than 15 year ago, I complained to someone close to Mr. Ramkarran about Mr. Ramkarran’s attitude to me. That was Gino Persaud who is now a High Court Judge.
I made a mistake in October last year and wrote that Mr. Ramkarran had sued me for libel. It was not a malicious fiction given the context and context explains everything. Mr. Ramkarran wrote a virulent denunciation. The hidden intention was clear. I was wrong so I did apologise to avoid libel.
But I was only slightly wrong and Mr. Ramkarran could have pointed out the slight mistake. Here is the context. In 1999, Mr. Ramkarran threatened libel. Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan persuaded him to desist.
He wanted a published apology and a sum to be given to charity. I can’t remember the sum but I think it was $600, 000 but I may be wrong. Mr. Glenn Lall complied with Mr. Ramkarran’s requests. The Editor at the time was Mr. Nills Campbell.
Mr. Ramkarran sent the apology to Mr. Campbell and Campbell published without me seeing the apology. From that day, I refused to be on good terms with Campbell. He did an egregious thing as an editor. I should have composed the apology with him editing it. The apology for libeling Mr. Ramkarran turned out to be a libel against me. From that day, I never saw Mr. Ramkarran in a positive light. I say after 23 years, Mr. Ramkarran owes me an apology for the contents of his composition.
One important notice readers must digest. I never named Ramkarran in the column. I simply referred to the “evil committee at Freedom House.” Mr. Ramkarran notified Kaieteur News in his letter that since he is part of the committee then by extension he was evil. Readers need to know in the column I said I expected better from Mr. Ramkarran. So in fact, I singled him out for positive comment.
Mr. Lall was out of the country and when he returned I showed him the apology and complained bitterly against Mr. Campbell. Mr. Lall in my presence told Campbell he should not have carried such a retraction.
From that incident in 1999 unto this day, I have penned all the retractions myself that have been demanded by people. The different editors from, 1999 to this day, have not changed anything.
Since 1999, Mr. Ramkarran has written KN about particular columns in which his name was mentioned and apologies were offered to avoid libel even though in one instance, I refused to apologise because I had proof in the form of a letter Mr. Ramkarran wrote the University of Guyana.
I ask readers to ponder words of KN’s anonymous columnist, Peeping Tom and the title of the column, “No offence meant.” In response to an analysis on Mr. Ramkarran, he/she wrote last week (August 12), the following words: “Glenn Lall has said that particular column is being accused of launching a ‘nasty’ attack on Ralph Ramkarran. I have re-read the column and can find nothing which constitutes a ‘nasty’ attack on the learned gentleman. I also have found nothing vicious about the column. But if anyone’s feelings were hurt by the column, I am truly remorseful. If anyone was offended then I also express my regrets.”
If you are intelligent, then you would read between the lines and easily grasp what happened. In his reply to me on Monday in this newspaper, Mr. Ramkarran wrote this of me: “… making false and libelous allegations many years ago in accordance with your usual modus operandi of lying about and degrading others and never letting up on your nefarious efforts, even now.” If I say those very words about Mr. Ramkarran, an instant libel writ will follow.
(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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