Cancellation of Chronicle columnists a blow to democracy – WPA
The Working People’s Alliance (WPA), a small faction of the ruling Coalition Government, Wednesday afternoon said it was concerned that the columns of David Hinds – one of its executive members – and labour rights giant Lincoln Lewis was discontinued by the state-owned and Government controlled, Guyana Chronicle.
The Party said the cancellation of the columns of Hinds and Lewis is a blow to democracy, press freedom and the independence of the state-owned media.
“The silencing of democratic voices in the ranks of the masses – given the history of dictatorial governance by previous administrations, only served to undermine economic and social development and is a blatant assault on the struggle to promote justice.
“We condemn this retrogressive step and view it as an abuse of the authority vested in those who are mandated to oversee the running of this important state asset and an assault on the fundamental rights of these two citizens to have and to express views of their own on matters of national importance,” the WPA stated.
According to the WPA, the Guyana Chronicle is the property of the Guyanese people and not the property of public bureaucrats, politicians or political parties.
The Party said that while the Chronicle, as state media promotes Government policies and developmental initiatives, it is equally expected to carry unhindered the views of the people within the confines of the law whether those views are diametrically opposed to those of the Government of the day. It added that the state media is also expected to express the uncensored views of the political opposition.
“The intellectual authors of this retrogressive, senseless, and political dogmatism whether they reside in the cabinet, Government or outside of those institutions, have exposed the APNU+ AFC coalition to public ridicule of the worst kind and have given the PPP/C ammunition to aid its campaign of painting the Government as being dictatorial and of betraying commitments to the people made in its election manifesto,” the WPA stated.