Government of Guyana will issue commemorative stamps for former Presidents -Stabroek News and Guyana Times articles seem to be aimed at stirring up strife 

Georgetown, Guyana – (March 26, 2018) The Government of Guyana has no intention of ‘scrapping’ or ‘scuttling’ the issuance of commemorative stamps.  Despite a release by the Ministry of the Presidency on March 23, 2018, where it was stated that “The Government of Guyana will announce shortly national symbols to celebrate the life and work of former Presidents of Guyana, H.E. Raymond Arthur Chung, OE and H.E. Cheddi Jagan, OE, within the context of set criteria for honouring eminent Guyanese”, the Stabroek News on March 24 erroneously stated in an article headlined “Planned Cheddi Jagan centennial stamps scrapped” that “The Ministry of the Presidency appears to have scuttled an arrangement between the Ministry of Public Telecommunications and the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre (CJRC) for the production of stamps commemorating the centenary of the birth of late President Cheddi Jagan.”

The Guyana Times also carried a similar misrepresentation in an article on the same date headlined “Ministry of the Presidency scraps commemorative stamps”, stating that “The Ministry of the Presidency has scrapped the commemorative stamps project that was initiated by the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre (CJRC) to celebrate Dr Cheddi Jagan’s birth centenary.”

While both articles quoted the MOTP release assertion where “President Granger said that there is no objection to honouring the life and legacy of  Dr. Jagan, who he described as “one of the founders of the Guyanese nation”, but added that Cabinet is of the view that there should be equity in the printing of such commemorative stamps, which are national symbols”, the headlines and lead paragraphs of the articles seemed aimed at stirring up strife and creating controversy.

The Ministry of the Presidency reasserts that commemorative stamps, which are national symbols, must adhere to national criteria and must not be used for private, partisan or political messages, but ought to be used for national purposes. The Government has stated clearly and has iterated its decision to ensure that the stamps will be distributed within that context.

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