November 29, 2014

Guyanese Americans lobby for support, immigration reform

Dear Editor,

A week ago, President Obama issued a Presidential decree that would allow ‘undocumented’ (illegal) immigrants who have been living in the US for more than five years to apply for temporary work permits. Only those living in the US prior to 2010 will be eligible.

Thousands of Guyanese would benefit from the decree and not surprisingly almost every Guyanese I interviewed, indeed almost every immigrant in America, welcomes the Presidential act viewing it as a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas gift.

A few of us have been persistently advocating for such an act or a law granting amnesty since under the Bush Presidency. I attended numerous rallies in support of immigration reform and wrote several articles on the subject.

Guyanese Chuck Mohan (a true champion of progressive causes) was seen at numerous rallies, in fact virtually all of them that were held in the city. My fellow columnists Dhanpaul Narine, Tara Singh and Felicia Persaud wrote in favor of reform.

Vishnu Mahadeo and Chuck were at the Randall Islands rally a few years back joining Progressives calling for immigration reform.  Vishnu and a car load of Guyanese from Richmond Hill drove from New York to Washington to lobby members of Congress to act on reform. Letters were sent to the President.

The President had promised reform during his candidacy and we backed him. I was out on the campaign trail for him in 2008 and 2012 and made phone calls through my teachers’ union over weeks convincing people to vote for him. So naturally we are pleased with the Presidential order although we would have preferred comprehensive reform and amnesty.

Under Obama’s Executive Order, eligible illegal immigrants will have to file an application, pass background checks (not accused of or committed criminal offenses), and pay a fee plus taxes.  The work permit will be for three years.  It is not clear what will happen after the permit expires.  But it is likely to be extended as happened with previous order.

The eligible applicants will not have a path to citizenship, but will be eligible for family sponsorship for green cards. Potential presidential candidates have lined up behind their party’s position. Hillary Clinton is supporting President Obama’s order while Jeb Bush, from the “Good Old Party” of the Republicans, is opposed to it.

After his Presidential announcement, House Republican Speaker John Boehner has charged the President with acting “like a king or emperor.” Boehner claims the presidential decision poisons the atmosphere for collaboration on legislative issues.

The Republicans will control Congress from January and the President needs their votes to pass bills. Boehner said the Presidential decree will prevent Republican legislators and Obama from working together on a comprehensive immigration policy.

If the Republicans were serious about passing a bill to clean up the immigration mess, they would have done so already.  They had several opportunities over the last decade since under Bush Jr.  The Republicans are engaged in a delaying tactic to kill immigration reform because it would benefit so many minorities – over 90 percent of the estimated five million are minorities.

There is contention about whether the President has the power to issue such an order (or decree); previous Presidents have done it. Republicans say they would challenge the order in court. But because the Republicans would not want to offend minorities (Hispanics and Asians, in particular), potential recruits to the Republican Party, and who the party needs to win the next Presidential election, they may not go to court.

 The Republicans say they will take actions to block the President’s initiative. They are also threatening a possible shut down of the Government and withholding funding, but the President does not need funding for bureaucrats to carry out the order.

Besides, shutting down the Government will hurt the Republicans as such action did in the past; the Republicans have learned from those mistakes. The Republicans are also talking of impeaching the President for taking action that they feel violates the Constitution.

But they are not likely to go down that road because the Constitution allows the President to issue Executive Orders just like how the Guyana Constitution allows the President to prorogue Parliament; previous Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, Sr and Ronald Reagan all took executive actions on immigration reform.

In fact, cooperation between the White House and Congress may result from the decree. So instead of killing immigration reform, the Presidential decree may very well impel the republicans to pass a bill on comprehensive immigration reform.

A bill was passed in the Senate and has been languishing in the House for 15 months.  Previous bills were killed by Republicans who had controlled the Legislature.  If the Republicans act on immigration reform, they could pick up enough support in swing states to win the next Presidential election.

Polls favour immigration reform. As of now, Hillary Clinton is in the lead to win the Democratic nomination as well as defeat any Republican contender. The nomination contest is thirteen months away and the general election 23 months away.

Supporters of the bill say the Executive decree will add over US$200 billion to the coffers and it will help to weed out the unwantedand keep families together – goals of the Republicans.

Besides, America has been built by immigrants and allowing deserving illegals to stay in the US is the right thing. Guyanese and other immigrants are watching the Republicans move as they they support the President on reform.

Yours truly,

Vishnu Bisram

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The PNC methods of instilling fear have not changed

Dear Editor,

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is not surprised at Opposition Leader David Granger’s recent statements that, if he and his Party were to become the Administration, he would punish persons “who have been alleged to have committed illegal or criminal acts”.

The PPP/C is quite certain that Mr Granger is referring to persons in the PPP/C Administrations, past and present, who he and his Opposition colleagues allege to have committed wrongdoings.

The Party notes too that Mr Granger is fixated on immediate past President Bharrat Jagdeo, and Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh.  What is glaring from a recent interview (as reported in the SN on November 21) is that Mr Granger indicated he will go on a witch hunt, and through his lynch mob, would throw due process out the window.

This warning and threat the PPP/C takes seriously as this is not the first time the leaders of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Perople’s National Congress (PNC) have issued such threats to Guyanese who have given yeoman service to Guyana and most recently, against potential investors.

Only on November 10, Granger’s and APNU’s shadow Finance Minister Carl Greenidge issued serious threats to Indian and Chinese businesses in an effort to frighten investors.

Such threats not only put investments for job creation at risk, but clearly expose the hypocritical nature of the PNC. It must be recalled that during the last electoral campaign, leaders of that Party articulated position to attract investors and accused the Government of not doing enough to encourage foreign investments.

These irresponsible sentiments expressed are further demonstrative of the PNC’s inability to change and its engrained proclivity to fool Guyanese.

Both Mr Granger and Mr Greenidge are not only using their positions to whip up xenophobic hysteria, but are signaling that if ever they were to become the Administration, they would unleash vengeance against anyone they perceive to be associated with the PPP/C and the PPP/C Administration.

Given the history of that Party, these threats can only be seen as tantamount to the Demerara River flowing red with blood should the APNU and PNC come to power.

Clearly, the PNC methods of instilling fear have not changed. These threats were not confined to what was already alluded to, but extended by PNC bloggers who have called on local businesses to put up signs that the PPP/C must go.

Failure by these businesses to comply with the PNC threats would result in a boycott which that Party would advocate. This can only be seen as blatant extortion by a political Party which claims to have the interest of people at heart; again another example of wanton hypocrisy.

 Unlike Mr Granger and APNU’s stance of punishment without due process, when the PPP/C came to office in 1992, it demonstrated a profound sense of responsibility and called for unity, national healing and reconciliation.

The PPP/C could have chose the path of recrimination but we chose to harness the talents and abilities of all and give people the opportunity to feel part of the positive change that the PPP/C victory ushered in with the dawn of a new era.

Undoubtedly, under the PNC, many crimes were committed, including rigged elections, murders, racial discrimination, etc.

The PPP/C reminds all Guyanese to listen and look closely at the utterances coming from the Opposition camps.  These utterances are once again exposing the true and old colours of the PNC.

 

Submitted by PPP/C

Freedom House

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Several Police ranks responded to help man drowning in canal

Dear Editor,

 The Guyana Police Force is responding to an article published in KN on November 27, under the headline, “Police offer no help to drowning man – La Penitence residents say”.

The Guyana Police Force wishes to clarify that at about 18:40h on November 26, a female resident of the East La Penitence Squatting Area reported to the Police at the East La Penitence Police Station that an unidentified man of East Indian descent was in the canal south of the station and shouting for “help”.

Several Police ranks including a Subordinate Officer responded. With the use of flashlights, as it was dark, and assistance from residents of the community who were met at the scene, the Police made efforts to locate the man in the canal.

However, their efforts were unsuccessful, even though a member of the community also went into the canal and carried out a search.

The body of the so far unidentified was recovered in the canal at about 07:00h on November 28, and is at the Lyken Funeral Parlour. Investigations are in progress.

Sincerely,

Ivelaw Whittaker

Public Relations and

Press Officer 

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What criteria does IACHR use when dealing with complaints?

Dear Editor,

It comes as no surprise to me, that the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) would prematurely issue precautionary measures to the Government of Guyana over the impugned recording that was attributed to the Attorney General (AG), even before the Government was given the opportunity to be heard.

It also comes as no surprise that the request for precautionary measures was facilitated by Mr. Christopher Ram who happens to be one of the attorneys-at-law representing Kaieteur News. In a quest to perpetually have on their front page scandalous and misinformed news about the Attorney General to placate their agenda the Kaieteur News has been enlisting the help of international bodies known for their partiality.

The IACHR should state what are the criteria and principles by which they are guided when dealing with a complaint, because it is obviously not in keeping with recognized concerns of fairness, due process and natural justice.

I say this because the IACHR has said definitively based only on the information that was provided to them by the lawyer for Kaieteur News, that among other things the “Kaieteur News journal are in a serious and urgent situation since their lives and personal integrity face imminent risk of irreparable harm… In the present situation, the Commission considers that the requirement of seriousness is met, in light of the alleged threat expressed against the lives and personal integrity of the Kaieteur News personnel, within the framework of their right to freedom of expression.”

For a Commission to make such reckless assertions without examining the information from both sides is as I said not surprising, since it was this same body that made such a misinformed decision before.

In the 2012 Linden shooting, it was the same IACHR that came out with a similar, impulsive and capricious statement holding the Guyana Police Force (GPF) responsible for the shooting. This premature finding of theirs which was obviously made without hearing the other side, contrary to the rules of natural Justice, was later debunked by an International Commission of Inquiry that could not connect the shooting to the GPF after hearing the facts of the case objectively.

The same position is being adopted here. It begs the question, whose interests is the IACHR representing? I am forced to ask the question especially, since the AG’s public statement that he made concerning the impugned recording was ignored completely.

Had they been truly impartial as they claim they would’ve factored in the AG’s public statement, where he claimed the he was having a private informal conversation with a long standing acquaintance whom he trusted, but unbeknownst to him the conversation was taped, distorted and released publicly without his permission.

The IACHR should know about the severity with which the privacy of one’s communication is protected. It is protected by the US Constitution, the UN Convention and Charter on Human Rights, in addition to the Canadian and OAS Charters. However, not a word about the invasion of privacy and breach of trust was ever spoken by the IACHR despite the seriousness of its nature. Which civilized system of law or legal system would condone such conduct, which system of journalistic ethics will find such conduct acceptable?

Additionally, I would like to know which Principle of Law, Country of Law or System of Law did the IACHR apply to determine that threats were made by the Attorney General, on the impugned recording, to the lives of any person attached to the Kaieteur News?

I recall in his public statement the Attorney General said “I wish to state clearly and unequivocally, that I am unaware of any planned violence or extra-judicial sanction against any individual, journalist   or any newspaper. Indeed, in my own case I have filed legal proceedings and have every confidence in our judicial system to conduct a fair and open hearing and to deliver justice at the end.”

Unless the IACHR can address these issues, I would advise the Government, the people of Guyana and indeed, the entire region to disregard the statements emanating from this body which is supposed to be impartial.

 

Yours sincerely,

Faruk Mohamed  

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The public should not be made to answer questions about UG’s convocation

Dear Editor,

I noted a letter in SN of November 25 in which Leon Suseran questioned the validity of UG’s 2014 Convocation.

He posed the question thus: “Is it correct that the University’s Act and Statutes state that it is only the Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor’s duty to confer on the graduands at a convocation ceremony their respective diplomas, certificates, associate degrees and degrees?” (sic).

I am not sure that the Editor of a newspaper or the public at large is the authority to whom such a question should be posed.

Mr Suseran could have avoided me the task of writing this letter; the public the doubt about the University’s action; and the graduates any uncertainty about their status, had he in fact read the Act and Statutes of the University or simply called the University to acquaint himself with the facts.

The facts are:

(1) “Subject to these Statutes, the Academic Board shall have the following powers: (c) to award Degrees (other than Honorary Degrees) Diplomas, Certificates and other distinctions.” (Statute 15(2) (c) University of Guyana Act and Statutes.)

(2) “(i) The Principal and Vice-Chancellor shall be the academic and executive head of the University… in the absence of the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor, he shall perform the functions of Chancellor.” (Section 7, University of Guyana (Amendment) Act 1977.)

All for Mr Suseram’s edification and the public’s confidence in the University’s conduct of its business.

Editor, courtesies of the University, you are relieved of the task of researching and answering the question.

Yours sincerely,

Vincent Alexander

Registrar

University of Guyana

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The PNC, when in Government, punished Amerindians

Dear Editor,

I received information from concerned Amerindian elders of the Rupununi that a PNC/APNU supporter (name given) of Aishalton village in South Rupununi is planning to mischievously and unjustifiably use the Amerindian Land-Titling issue as a political and elections bargaining chip against the PPP/C Government for the next General Elections.

But it seems that the individual has a wicked agenda since the PPP/C Government’s Amerindian Land-Titling (ALT) project is already in its implementation phase, which is keenly monitored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

According to information received, the individual is trying to tell some village Toshaos (Chiefs) that they must only vote for the PPP/C Government if large and extensive acres of land, that amount to some 1.4 hectares, is given en bloc to Amerindian villages and vommunities of South and South Central Rupununi.

The Amerindian elders of the Rupununi are demanding clarification on this matter since the individual, who is not a Toshao wants to be a commander over the village residents and their lands, and they are getting frightened.

The elders have also pointed out that they are not in support of this individual’s political agenda for the PNC/APNU, since that party, when in Government prior to 1992 punished, neglected and abandoned the Amerindian peoples of Guyana.

The elders also said that they also will not be recognizing the AFC as well, since that party along with the PNC/APNU voted against the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) in Parliament, and now Amerindian villages and communities cannot receive badly needed funds for their development projects, including their presidential grants to assist community and village development.

The elders also advised that the individual, who is not a village Toshao, had a meeting in the Karaudanau and Aishalton villages on November 20 and 21, where he fooled residents on the ALT issues which caused one Toshao to walk out from the meeting.

The elders were however angry that another Toshao was entertaining the lies by the individual and they will warn him to desist in the future.

I advised the elders not to accept lies on ALT matters, since the PPP/C Government fully respects and upholds the rights of Indigenous peoples to their lands which are sacred.

The current ALT project implemented by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs will effectively address demarcation and extensions according to the laws of Guyana. So this individual is carrying out a wicked political agenda for the Opposition.

The elders felt deeply relieved and promised to pass the message around to villages and communities as well as to provide me with further updates.

Yours sincerely

Peter Persaud

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Guyanese Americans giving thanks this weekend

Dear Editor,

During this long weekend beginning Thursday, Guyanese Americans, like other Americans, are observing the traditional Thanksgiving celebration with family reunions.

They use the occasion for helping the poor and less fortunate and praying for their good fortunes. Guyanese have good reason to give thanks to America which has been welcoming them for over fifty years.

Since their arrival in the US, Guyanese have been successful at not only attaining high levels of achievement in various fields and acquiring their own homes and vehicles, but they are also sharing their earnings with the poorer sections of American society.

This is their way of giving thanks for their success in the US that opened its doors to them during the period of the ethnic dictatorship.  And as they do with all other festivals, Guyanese Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving festival in their own way with their own food cuisine and drinks as indeed all ethnic groups do in America.

Thanksgiving Day is a historical celebration in the US going back to the early 1600s since the early settlement of North America by Europeans.  It is a national holiday with schools and businesses closed for an extended four day weekend.

The festival grew out of the harvest celebrations of England and is celebrated in the Fall, the end of harvest in the Southern US.  The early English immigrants introduced it in the US, giving thanks for the harvest and the blessings of the past year.

Every wave of immigrants, including recent arrivals like Guyanese, has joined in the celebration by adding their own ethnic flavour giving thanks (with charities and prayers) and to the traditional cuisine (baked turkey), music, drinks and entertainment.

Guyanese have good reason to give thanks to America.  They have ‘made it’ in America, living a much higher standard of life here than in the Caribbean with many having their own homes and cars and possessing post-secondary education.

Once they land in the US, they shed the lackadaisical attitude of life in Guyana and quickly become hard working. Many even work at two or more jobs to purchase a home (vehicle, etc) or to send remittances to families back home. They are prized for their work ethic and for their contributions to the state coffers. They contribute a lot more in taxes than in the benefits they receive in America.

Guyanese, like other groups, view Thanksgiving as an occasion for family reunion and big dinners.  Relatives normally take turn hosting lunch/dinner over a four-day period from Thursday to Sunday.

The Thanksgiving dinner normally includes the traditional baked or roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, sweet yams, corn, cranberry jelly, and salad (including sugar beets) with wine and other hard liquor.

They normally supplement the meals with their own traditional ethnic dishes including dhal puri, pachounie, phulourie, bara, fried rice, chowmein, and fried channa as snacks and their favorite drinks – mauby and sorrel for the children and lots of good Caribbean rum for the adults.

For desert, there is black cake, pumkin pie, sweet potato pie and Indo-Caribbeans throw in rasmalai, and gulab jamoon, etc.  And it is not unusual for them to substitute the turkey with curried duck, chicken, mutton, and goat, etc.

All religious denominations observe Thanksgiving, including Muslims and Hindus. And giving is part of their culture. They donate food to shelters and or host dinners for the unfortunate. Christian churches also host dinners for the poor and homeless.

Although a small community, Guyanese nationals give a lot during Thanksgiving.  Many use the Thanksgiving occasion to give generously to the charities of their choice, including the Red Cross and the American Cancer Institute in addition to their local mandir, masjid and church.  Others send money to friends and relatives back home.

To give thanks, some bake turkeys and cakes which are donated to homeless shelters.  Feeding the homeless has become an annual ritual.  Others donate foods at pantries and offer services giving out food to the poor.  Their assistance helps to ease social problems such as hunger, poverty and homelessness in the city.

Thanksgiving Day is usually celebrated with the largest parade in the nation on Fifth Avenue.  The parade normally features all kinds of magnificent floats and balloons of cartoon characters and a host of Hollywood celebrities and sports stars. It normally attracts a large number of Guyanese. But most people tend to be glued to the television sets which will carry live broadcasts of the parade.

By observing the festival, Guyanese are participating in a mainstream American celebration in the same manner that they celebrate their own traditional festivals such as Phagwah, Deepavalli, Eid, Qurbani, Christmas, etc.

They rightly give thanks for the progress they have made in America, the land that has given them the opportunity to realize their dreams. In so doing, they share their skills, talents, wealth and resources in making America a better place to live.

It must be known to the American society that Guyanese are generous in sharing their wealth and giving back to the society to which they owe their success.  They are very thankful for being in America.

 

Sincerely,

Vishnu Bisram

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Implied threat of political blackmail from Granger

Dear Editor,

Mr Granger wants the Police and Army to exercise constraint against peaceful picketers, which is understandable provided they remain peaceful.

Experience however has shown that it is a legitimate expectation for protestors to block roads, loot, burn, assault and sexually molest East Indians, evidenced more recently at Linden and Agricola, and currently playing out at Ferguson.

Now, Lurlene Nestor, a diehard PNC, who made some scathing criticisms against mothers who protested against CN Sharma for sexual molestation, wants businesses to boycott the PPP/C Administration, or else.

This is an implied threat amounting to political blackmail and a prelude of what to expect from protestors.

Businesses should take every precaution, including close circuit security cameras, to record and identify protestors in order to debunk claims of PPP/C infiltration, the usual tripe already indicated by Mr Ramjatan, an active participant in the Agricola protest.

Ms Nestor should ask her comrades to pin those slogans on their rear ends and gyrate down Regent and Water Streets in keeping with their culture during PNC protests in the days of yore.

And, to add some colour, Ramjatan, Nagamootooo, Freddie, Ram and all those Indians supporting APNU should send their wives and daughters to do shopping downtown when the protestors are in full swing.

Who knows, they may benefit from some of the loot and at the same time be exhilarated through some free fondling.

Yours truly,

D Singh

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Partisan political aversion cannot render what is not criminally unlawful a crime

Dear Editor,

I refer to a KN article on November 6, under the headlione, “The world is watching Police investigation – APNU”.

That part of the article in relation to “investigation” is reported to have been stated by Joseph Harmon, Attorney-at-Law and General Secretary of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

I hold no belief for the Attorney General. I am not a member of any political party and even through the language used by the Attorney General leaves much to be desired, as a practising Attorney-at-Law I think it is my duty to the public to give my opinion on what is and what is not a “threat” for the purposes of the law.

At Common Law in England which was received in British Guiana (now Guyana), there is no offence of threatening language or threatening behaviour. The use of a threat in England amounts to the offence of “assault” if certain elements are present.

For an assault to be committed in England there must be some act done or words spoken by the person accused. There cannot be an assault by omission in England.

To constitute an assault in England a threat must be issued by the accused to the victim and the victim must apprehend immediate and unlawful personal violence:

It follows, on the assumption that a threat was issued by the Attorney General (an assumption which cannot be validly made), it amounts to a threat that someone may do harm some time in the future and therefore cannot amount to an assault at Common Law: Stevens -v- Myers (1830) 4 C and P 349. Further, the Attorney General did not say he would do any harm.

Since an assault is any act or words by which a person intentionally causes another to apprehend immediate and unlawful personal violence it cannot be committed on a person if that act or the words are not done or communicated to that other person directly.

Guyana’s Criminal Law does not recognize the offence of “battery”. In England “battery” is an offence. Instead, under Guyana two principal criminal statutes, chapter 8:01 and 8:02, the offence of assault is only committed where there is a physical contact, however slight, by the assailant upon the victim.

In Guyana the equivalent to the English assault is threatening language or threatening behaviour by virtue Section 141 (a) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act, Chapter 8:02. Threatening behaviour does not arise in Nandlall’s case.

It is obvious that for the offence of threatening language to be committed under sub section (a) there must be proof which would satisfy the ingredients of the offence of assault in England.

In other words the threat must be communicated to the person threatened directly and in his presence and not through a third person, in this case the reporter. It is clear that no threat was issued to Glenn Lall directly.

Additionally, as far as threatening language is concerned, the sub-section creates two distinct offences; firstly threatening language with intent to provoke someone to commit a breach of the peace and secondly threatening language whereby a breach of the peace may be occasioned.

My opinion is there cannot be a “provoking” unless the threat is issued to another in a “face to face” situation, neither can a breach of the peace be occasioned unless the threat is similarly issued. A threat to A through B does not amount to an offence.

In the circumstances, there could be no allegation that an offence was committed by the Attorney General that the police should investigate nor can the Attorney General be questioned by the police since no offence is alleged to have been committed by him.

It is note-worthy that a person “invited” by the police to   accompany them to a station is under no obligation to do so.

The Police can take a person to the station only by arresting him. For an arrest to be made, certain conditions, which do not exist in the instant situation, must be present. Otherwise, the arrest would be illegal.

No amount of partisan political aversion can render what is not criminally unlawful a crime, or, more particularly, an ominous warning of a criminal threat.

Those who are interested are referred to R v Zwicker [1938] 1 DLR. 461, Bryan v Robinson [1960] 1 WLR 506 and Kendall v Khan (1979) 26 WLR 433.

Sincerely,

Murseline Bacchus

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Is the IACHR promulgating natural justice or ‘bush laws’?

Dear Editor,
The Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has said that the Government of Guyana should protect KN and staff and investigate Attorney General Anil Nandall.
In fact, the newspaper published verbatim the statement made by the IACHR in addition to their article. The statement was issued based on a complaint and request for “precautionary measures” that was lodged by one of KN’s Lawyers Christopher Ram over the impugned and manipulated recording of the Attorney General, which was incidentally, tapped and published.
According to the IACHR, it granted its precautionary measures “after analyzing the factual and legal arguments put forth by (Ram), the commission considers that the information presented demonstrates prima facie that the members of KN are in a serious and urgent situation since their lives and personal integrity face an imminent risk of irreparable harm”.
Amazingly, the IACHR has issued a statement outlining a prima facie finding based only on the complaint that was made by Mr Ram. I find it quite perplexing that such a body which should for all intents and purposes be neutral would make such a pronouncement before giving the other side a hearing, or even a chance to respond.
Does this body which places human rights at its apex not subscribe to the fundamental principles/rules of natural justice, or do they subscribe to ‘bush laws’?
The body realizing its bias and, in what appears as an attempt to seem neutral, outlined towards the end of its statement that it is requesting a report within 15 days from the Government since “the present precautionary measures have been granted without having previously requested information from the State, the Commission will review this decision once it receives reports from both parties”.
Well, if the “Commission will review the decision once it receives reports from both parties”, why did it not wait until a report was given from the Government’s side before issuing its precautionary measures?
The answer is simple and has nothing to do with urgency. The IACHR has taken a biased position and released its precautionary measures at the behest of KN through its lawyer.
The proof to substantiate this is also within the statement made by the IACHR where the body said that “the request for precautionary measures is presented in favour of the members of KN, who are identified in the communications presented to the IACHR”.
This was not captured in the article done by KN for obvious reasons. More disconcerting, is that IACHR armed only with information that was provided by the lawyers of KN formed a definitive pronouncement that indeed threats were made to the lives of journalists attached to KN.
I have listened to the impugned recording between the Attorney General and the reporter and I would like to know on what basis did the IACHR come to the conclusion that “alleged threats” were made by Mr Nandlall that would place the lives of KN staff in danger or “irreparable harm”.
All the Attorney General did was highlight that such an eventuality could occur, if the KN continues its unabated practices of unethical journalism aimed at tarnishing the character of persons. I am not a lawyer, but my colleagues who are, have expressed that there is no basis for such a definitive conclusion to be made, even if it is alleged.
It would seem that the IACHR has taken a one-sided position and with the premature issuance of its precautionary measures without garnering the input from the state, the body has solidified its bias despite now requesting a report from the other party involved.
One would’ve thought that the IACHR would’ve have investigated the journalistic malpractice of Kaieteur News which for the most part is aimed at the character assassination of persons who the publisher of the news outfit is not in congruence with.
After all, that is a human rights violation.

Yours truly,
Richard Mendoza

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