NY Times article harmful to investment, tourism- PSC

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Guyana’s leading umbrella private sector organisation has written the New York Times expressing its dissatisfaction with an article which has already received widespread criticisms from locals.

Chairman (ag) of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Deodat Indar says the intention of the correspondence is to have some remedial action taken.

He suggested to News Room the publication of a new article that is closer to the truth than Clifford Krauss’ description of “dirt roads”, “villages that sit on stilts”, and “dugout canoes”.

According to Mr Indar, the New York Times article damages Guyana’s international image and has a great potential to harm its investment climate and tourism sector.

“It is just not encouraging,” he said.

In the letter, which was released to the media Friday morning, the Commission expressed that the author’s most egregious depiction is that university graduates here have HIV, are involved in crime or commit suicide.

“The most vexing, if not harmful, misrepresentation however, is Mr. Krauss’ definitive statement that our college educated youths who opt to remain in Guyana experience high rates of HIV infection. On what basis, based on whose statistics, does he make such a statement?” the PSC penned.

The Commission said it is “unfortunate” that in exposing Guyana to his readership, Mr Krauss did not see it “fit and proper” to mention that the country is home to the internationally famous Kaieteur Falls and the St. George’s Cathedral.

Though the letter to the New York Times did not propose the idea of having a new article published, the PSC extended an invitation for dialogue with its publishers.

Mr Indar hopes that if the offer is accepted, the suggestion will be made at the appropriate forum.

Guyana’s outrage over the article attracted international attention with the BBC compiling a report on the matter.

On the other hand, there are those who agreed with the article. Gabriel Lall, a prominent letter writer, posited that “Guyanese are terrorised by inconvenient truths.”

Krauss himself defended his article amid the mounting criticisms, posting on Twitter “…my piece was in no way derogatory toward the people of Guyana. Beautiful people, beautiful country. Problems, of course. And many, many Guyanese viewed my piece for what it was: critical but balanced journalism.”

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