Former President Jagdeo has become a target for Kaieteur News

Georgetown, GINA, February 28, 2014

 

The Government Information Agency (GINA) has noted the recent report published by the Kaieteur News relative to the illness of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, and can only describe same as yet another prime example of this publishing house’s continuously known obsession with this outstanding Guyanese leader, who has become a target for personal vilification and scurrilous attacks.

In a captioned article on February 24, 2014,”Jagdeo air dashed to Florida”, Kaieteur News again gave another abysmal display of unethical and unprofessional journalism, with its inevitable strategy of misrepresentation, and attempt at misleading. This is best described as insensitive and inhumane, to report on the   illness of someone, and at the same time attacking their character.

As in the case of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, the Kaieteur News has demonstrated gross disrespect for his condition, while subtly attacking his stewardship as   the paper in the said article mentioned that the President was mired in controversial projects.

Decency would have dictated a courteous get well, from any professional publication that understands the meaning of protocol, and what ethical reporting is all about. Instead, the publishing house has chosen a most delicate period for another lurid display of dishonesty in its attempt at  misleading the public into believing that the four projects mentioned are all that the Jagdeo administration has ever implemented with regards Guyana’s development. In essence, what this private, daily print has attempted to do, is to narrow the former president’s contribution to Guyana’s internationally lauded economic success.

In keeping with the mandate of the PPP/C-led administration to modernize Guyana and provide a better life for its people, Jagdeo’s tenure saw an unfolding of a plethora of socio-economic projects that   have irrevocably laid the platform for, thereby setting into motion, the transformative process that is so evident throughout Guyana. Led by this visionary former President, Guyana rose from a State that was once the ‘eye pass’ among its sister CARICOM island member States, where Guyanese were painfully disrespected, and the country a virtual pariah in the international community, to one that has been lauded by all the multilateral financial agencies, basking in their fulsome praises for what they have all described as responsible fiscal management of the local economy by the PPP/C government.

The attack by the Kaieteur News on the former President is not only  akin to the greatest disservice that could ever have been done to a leader who must be credited for his selfless devotion to making Guyana what it is today – a middle income state, but a demonstration of the publisher’s  relentless personal vendetta. In toto, the remake of Guyana must be credited in many ways to President Jagdeo, and the following projects stand as a monument to his  vision for a modern State, underpinned by the Information Technological revolution that is emerging in all spheres of national life:

 

*The  gradual modernization of the country’s  state health system that has resulted in  the building of infrastructure  such as hospitals, inclusive of four state of the art diagnostic centres, new in-patient  facilities at the Georgetown Public Hospital  Corporation, newly established departments for cardiology and kidney surgical procedures and dialysis, cancer treatment, burns, diabetic foot treatment, health centres, and numerous training programmes for  post-graduate medicine and upgrade of medical skills.

 

*The construction of numerous schools, upgrade of teacher training that now includes teachers from the Hinterland; and, other programmes, notably the free uniform and school feeding initiatives, and the Hinterland Scholarship Programme that have resulted in an improved delivery of education throughout the nation’s classrooms.

*The University of Guyana, Tain Campus

*The Hinterland Development programmes that are transforming the Hinterland communities into self-sustaining socio-economical units.

* The National Stadium

*The National Aquatic Centre

*The Guyana International Conference Centre

*The re-building of Guyana’s international image

*The realization of the dream of the Berbice Bridge

*The upgrade of major roadways, culverts and bridges

*The fibre optic cable project that is intended to revolutionize the telecommunications sector

*The innovative programme of distributing 90,000 laptops to low income families, coupled with the installation of a computer laboratory in every school.

*The internationally acclaimed Low Carbon Development Strategy with its accent on development of a green economy, and its development components for Amerindian communities.

*The on-going  Cheddi Jagan  International Airport Expansion Project

*The Amaila Falls Hydro Project, that when actualized will completely transform Guyana, both socially and economically.

* The proposed Specialty Hospital

 

A pivotal factor that has been indisputably responsible for the sustained economic development and growth of Guyana has been the prudent management of its fiscal affairs that has been concomitant with its socio-economic development policies. This astute policy has been responsible for the insulation of Guyana from the severe economic consequences of the international financial meltdown, which effects are still evident, both regionally and internationally.

Only recently, the President of the Caribbean Development Bank(CDB), Dr William Warren Smith had this to say: “Guyana is a good example of a country that has done some of the right things …They have come a very, very long distance in terms of their fiscal situation. They have been responsible in terms of addressing it…Generally; there is a lot of vibrancy in the Guyanese economy. Just by casual observation, one can see that there is a lot of construction that is taking place in the country…you can almost see the country changing in front of your eyes, and so is just a casual indication of the extent to which economic activity is vibrant and buoyant in that country”.

Obviously, this is an independent assessment of the nation’s economic growth and development. Such comments could have only been made, because of the numerous growth and development initiatives of the former President over time and which has continued under the astute stewardship of President Donald Ramotar.

No country that is serious about advancing its development process to modernization status will implement miniscule programmes of a piecemeal nature, for such will not usher in the development socio-economic revolution necessary for the qualitative changes in the lives of its citizens. The highly successful housing programme which has afforded tens of thousands of Guyanese of all strata, affordable homes is a perfect signpost of life changing projects that has characterized the changing socio-economic landscape of Guyanese.

Therefore, this further explains why groundbreaking projects such as the Amaila Falls Hydro-electric project, the Marriot Hotel project, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport project and the Skeldon Modernisation project have been undertaken. Objective analyses of each of these monumental undertakings, relevant to the nation’s development needs, will explain their entire relevance towards the changes necessary:   first, for  making the country self-sufficient in energy supply, that will encourage further domestic investment particularly  for industrialisation, manufacturing and value added products; secondly, for improving Guyana’s hospitality sector  as a  genuine locale  for tourists; thirdly, as a destination that has been attracting increased tourist arrivals, hosting  international conferences, attracting other larger airlines since Guyana can become  a hub for flights to Africa and Asia; and, for  safeguarding the future of one  of Guyana’s major foreign exchange earners, while concomitantly ensuring the employment security of the thousands that  participate in its daily production.

Of course, there have been challenges with the Skeldon project, but that does not categorise such as a ‘failure’, as is being touted by the Kaieteur News especially. In fact, it must be emphasised that while many sugar producing countries were forced to close their sugar factories, President Jagdeo and the PPP-led government rose to the challenge of the Skeldon Project, thereby ensuring the continuation of the economic livelihood of the thousands who depend on the industry.

It begs the question as to why should such interventions, with their tremendous transformative potential, that when realised will forever change the lives of its beneficiaries and upgrade the country’s economic standing, be constantly derided by the Kaieteur News.

No government, that  is as responsible as the PPP/C, and  has  taken its mandate of providing an improved quality of  life for its citizens, irrespective of party  support, seriously, will conceive, plan, negotiate for loans/grants, then execute such projects for mere grandiose. It must be emphasized, that governments are rated for their individual competence and ability to govern, among other factors, by how well they understand the development imperatives of their respective states, especially with regards planning and funding for projects.

The reality is that Guyana has been found to be on the right pathway to economic development, because its development projects are impacting positively on, and daily changing the lives of, its citizens. The former Bharrat Jagdeo-led PPP government must therefore, be warmly commended for its many wise initiatives taken with regards Guyana’s development thrust. And what better testimony is there than its recorded seventh consecutive year of economic growth.

In continuing to examine this, another putrid presentation by this publishing house, one is forced to make an observation on its narrow-mindedness, and frenzied dedication to its daily, political vendetta.

Former Deputy Speaker and APNU’s senior MP, Ms. Deborah Backer’s illness had been covered by this very newspaper; but,  never had any mention been made of her ties  with  her husband  who had been at the helm when  the Globe Trust Bank collapsed and ruined so many hundreds of account holders. Juxtapose this with the report on the former President, and one will discern the haste to defame.

In one of its jaundiced paragraphs   mention is made   of the cost of Jagdeo’s medical treatment. This is the kind of convenient and narrow minded culture that has been the publishing modus operandi of his newspaper.

The Kaieteur News must be reminded that the PPP/C Government is on record for covering all the expenses of the former PNC/R leader Robert Corbin, when he was flown to the United States, for urgent medical treatment. Government never disclosed Corbin’s bill, and neither did Kaieteur News endeavour to seek the amount. Yet, the paper has expediently stated what it believes to be the cost of the former President’s medical cost.

So much has been written about the well known proclivity of the Kaieteur News to use its media for the unedifying, and slanderous programme of misrepresentation, culture of misleading, and vilification of state functionaries. It’s an orchestrated strategy that spearheads its on-going political vendetta with an administration, which tolerance must be applauded for its overwhelming patience. One would have expected a maturity and respect for an occasion such as the illness of a former Head-of State. Instead, it has been met with another show of journalism that belongs to the pits.

Finally, one can judge the vision and soundness of these and other projects that have been conceived and set in motion by the former President Jagdeo administration, by the fact of their seamless transition to, and continuation by, the President Donald Ramotar administration. No amount of misrepresentation or misleading by the likes of unprofessional media, inclusive of the Kaieteur News, will ever be able to refute what is already known and accepted, that Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo is the architect of the modern Guyana.

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