Wednesday, 19 June 2013
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|Opposition MPs no show on broad-based TV panel discussions|
|Thursday, 31 May 2012 21:25|
…state media encouraged to keep trying
THE reports available to Cabinet about public reception of the recent television programmes with broad-based panels justify the efforts of the state media to continue the initiative, Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon said yesterday. Speaking at his weekly post-Cabinet presser at the Office of the President, Luncheon, observed that it was unfortunate that the programmes failed to attract opposition panellists.
Luncheon said MP Carl Greenidge did not show up for Minister Ashni Singh’s programme; MP Amna Ali did not show up for Minsister Priya Manickchand’s programme, and neither did MP Basil Williams show up for the Attorney General’s programme.
“The administration has encouraged the state media not to be discouraged, to redouble their efforts, and to continue to make the initiative a regular feature on the airwaves, and hopefully, with a principled and regular involvement of members of the opposition,” Luncheon said.
Just recently, Minister Manickchand called for members of parliament to cooperate with government to move the education sector forward, observing that the Administration cannot do it alone.
During her 2012 Budget debate presentation, she reminded the National Assembly of the many occasions on which a hand was offered to the opposition to work together with the government, but it was slapped away.
She chided the opposition for degrading several projects, when indeed they are the ones guilty of non-cooperation on many of the same projects they now disparage.
According to the minister, A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU’s) Member of Parliament, Jennifer Wade was offered an opportunity to speak at the launch of the Legal Aid Service in Berbice, but never showed up to the event despite giving her assurance that she would have participated in the occasion.
“We were waiting for the Honourable Member, she never showed up…but, during the programme, colleagues of the Honourable Member came with placards outside of the event launch. How is that for working together?” she queried.
Similar action was portrayed by APNU MP Amna Ally when she was offered to give her input on the corporal punishment panel discussion, but failed to show up.
In a similar vein, after several intense weeks of attacks on the administration and the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Alliance for Change’s (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan and Moses Nagamootoo failed to turn up in the studios of the National Communications Network (NCN) for a face-to-face debate on the issues.
The panel consisted of Chief Executive Officer of NICIL, Winston Brassington; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh; Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon; Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram; and publisher of the Kaieteur News, Glenn Lall, along with Editor- in-Chief, Adam Harris.
The panel discussion took place without the AFC and focused on the recent public debates on NICIL, its functions and mode of operation.
Meanwhile, the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) noted with great concern the “deliberate” absence of Ramjattan and Nagamootoo from the nationally televised debate on the operations of NICIL.
“Their refusal to substantiate their wild accusations regarding corruption as part of a sustained misinformation campaign over the past few years against the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and successive People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Governments was not entirely unexpected, as the PPP and government have always maintained a high level of transparency and accountability which could be publicly scrutinized,” the PYO said in a statement yesterday.
The PYO said it wished to remind the opposition that it has an equal responsibility to be accountable to the people of Guyana for its actions, particularly since its “deliberate misinformation” has hurt the national interest of the country and eroded present and future gains of all Guyanese.
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