Guyana Press Association Calls For Apology From Jagan

Hardbeatnews, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mon. Feb. 27, 2006: Members of the Guyana Press Association want an apology from Unity Party leader, Dr Cheddi ‘Joey’ Jagan over allegations that he threatened to “slap” a newspaper columnist.

Jagan allegedly made the threat against Kaieteur News columnist, Freddie Kisson, at a recent book signing in Georgetown. The apparent remark was reportedly stirred by Kisson’s column, that stated, “Jagan in power was worse than Jagan in opposition.”

Jagan, Jr., allegedly stated at the book launch of ‘ Against the Grain: Balram Singh Rai and the Politics of Guyana, that if Kissoon were present at the event he would have slapped him.

The GPA, in a statement Friday, said “For Dr Jagan to threaten to slap Mr. Kissoon for his views, is to open the floodgates for anyone to attack a media worker who holds a differing point of view.”

And they urged him to apologize for his outburst and to retract his statement. “We would also ask him to desist from threatening any media worker,” the release stated.

GPA officials added, “Mr Kissoon’s views are sacrosanct as are Dr Jagan’s who often spoke scathingly about many people, not least among them the hierarchy of the PPP (the ruling People’s Progressive Party).”

The organization also stated that the threat by Jagan is troubling especially “since it comes so soon after the execution of Ronald Waddell,” the former TV talk show host.

“Many people did not agree with Waddell’s views but as we have said before we saw no reason for his views as the reason for his execution. Media workers must be given the right to express opinions within context and with the responsibility that go with it,” the GPA statement added. –