Breaking: Guyana Chronicle's Board divided on "No Lewis, No Hinds" as vote keeps them kicked out.

BREAKING: Guyana Chronicle’s Board divided on ‘No Lewis, No Hinds’ as columnists; slim majority vote keeps them out


GTUC General Secretary Lincoln Lewis

The Board of the Guyana National Newspapers Limited- publishers of the state-owned Guyana Chronicle- on Tuesday emerged from a five-hour long meeting deeply divided on the decision to knock off two columnists who are highly critical of the coalition-led government, multiple sources confirmed.

Demerara Waves Online News was told that Directors Ruel Johnson,  Bert Wilkinson, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley and Karen Davis supported the reinstatement of Political Science Professor, David Hinds and veteran trade unionist, Lincoln Lewis because “the credibility of the newspaper was at stake”.

In the end, by a majority vote of five, a decision was taken that Hinds and Lewis must not return in keeping with a decision communicated to them last week by  Editor-in-Chief Nigel Williams. Sources said Wilkinson did not vote as he walked out of the meeting before the issue was officially put to the vote.

The other five board members, including Chairwoman of the Board, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, who last week said she would not support the violation of press freedom, backed to decision not to reinstate the columnists. Chandan-Edmond is a Ministry of the Presidency functionary and supporter of the Alliance For Change (AFC).

Other board members are Allan Fraser, Hackeem Khan, Sherod Duncan, Kavita Cherbole-Alli, and Hilbert Foster.

Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Professor David Hinds and Guyana Chronicle Board member Sherod Duncan.

Last week, the columnists were officially notified by Williams that their columns would no longer be published in the newspaper  “following discussions at the highest level of the company in keeping with policy directions.” However, Chairman of the Board, Attorney-at-Law, Geeta Chandan-Edmond distanced herself and the board from the decision to remove the columnists from the newspapers.

Sources on Monday, however, said that the hiring and firing of columnists was in keeping with the Editor-in-Chief’s job description.  Asked whether the newspaper was not worried that it was intolerant of dissenting views and criticisms, the source informed that “I don’t think we could walk back at this point,” the source said.

The source sought to justify the majority decision of the Board to back the Editor-in-Chief’s move against Hinds and Lewis by reiterating that the Guyana Chronicle was “re-branding” and “would like to focus on new areas which require specialist interventions at this time.”

Chairwoman of the WPA, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley (left) and other party executive members Dr. David Hinds and Tacuma Ogunseye.

Already, Hinds and Lewis- known as outspoken and critical supporters of the APNU+AFC coalition- have condemned the decision to remove them, saying that it amounts to political interference and continued intolerance by all political parties to criticism.

Hinds and Sarabo-Halley are executive members of the Working People’s Alliance which is a constituent party of the People’s National Congress Reform-dominated A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

Wilkinson is a veteran independent journalist, Duncan and Johnson are  AFC supporters. However, Johnson has maintained that the columnists should not have been removed.

Karen Davis is a long-time public affairs practitioner and university journalism lecturer.

Original Post

Termination interpreted as an act of suppression


Dear Editor,
It is public knowledge that my contract with the State-owned Guyana National Newspaper Limited (GNNL) for the column “Eye on Guyana with Lincoln Lewis” was terminated. This did not come as a surprise to me for recent developments suggested that the powers that be were not comfortable with my points of view, particularly those that sought to hold them accountable as a caring representative, inclusionary Government that is just and fair.
Let me state upfront as a trade unionist I understand it is the right of any employer to terminate a contract. What bothers me most is not the mere termination of the contract which is within their right to so do; it is the insidious nature of the act that suggests that Guyana is not moving forward. This termination is interpreted by me as an act of suppression in the State-owned newspaper that is responsible to the people of Guyana, but continues to see Government moving to manage and control.
It is time for change where every citizen and group, regardless of political affiliation, be given un-biased access and coverage in the people’s organ. A strong and astute government functioning democratically should have the ability to counter views and create an environment of public education and gain support for their programmes, which will only happen if people see these as progressive and beneficial to them. In reality this Government’s weakness is its inability to avoid public consternation on basic matters and requirements that speak to good governance. In fact, many in this government are thin-skinned and petty.
In this information/communication era the Government should be mindful that they cannot stop the people’s desire for transparency, inclusion and accountability which international expectations and relations are built on. It is backward and counter-productive to want to do otherwise.
Society expects successive governments to do better than its predecessor because it is based on discontent with the predecessor that the incumbent would have gained power. State media, fundamental rights and freedoms suppression are some of the things the people expressed their discontent with prior to May 2015. These must not now continue under this Administration and they must know they will not have our silence or support. Many supporters and well-wishers are being done an injustice and rightfully feel dissatisfied.
For two years I have written the Sunday column “Eye on Guyana with Lincoln Lewis.” In my lifetime as a trade unionist I have discharged of my duties without fear or favour through successive governments and oppositions. I have held all and sundry accountable. I will not stop now. The termination of this column will not still my interest or activism- it will not still my voice, for as long as they are politicians, leaders or anyone whose action threatens society’s well-being that is conducive to labour’s survival they shall hear from me. My eye remains focused on Guyana.
This opportunity is taken to thank the many who have supported my column throughout the years and those who offered valued advice, including those who have expressing concern for the implications to society and development.
It would be naïve to think that the Editor-in-Chief Nigel Williams unilaterally disposed of myself and David Hinds as columnists in the State newspaper. Hopefully he will not be made the fall guy for adhering to what is evidently political interference.

Lincoln Lewis

No critics allowed


Dear Editor,
Lincoln Lewis and David Hinds are the two latest casualties of the behemoth regime of David Granger. If I may, for starters give a sarcastic gesture in saying kudos to The President for doing this, should have dropped them long before now. My reason for making that statement is that these two have indeed lost their relevance to Granger and to society hence, they rightly deserve the humiliation issued to them. And the one who could have done the evil deed in the best way possible was their good friend and party comrade David Granger. Again, I say to him a job well done.
The first named gentleman, who is supposedly a labour representative has somehow forgotten his role as advocate championing the rights of workers against the excesses of the government. He certainly had his duties and obligations all mixed up and contorted. He was most urgently engaged in everything else other than things labour, simply put, he is an active public relations agent for Granger. So urgent matters for the benefit of the workers he was most reticent. What he has been, in the truest sense is a stooge for the present regime. He has been a politician dolling up to the PNC/APNU for a long time now doing their work publishing every act of injustice, trampling on the rights of most of the hardworking people of this country as much else.
Now, that “actor” role seems to have hit a snag when Lewis obviously stepped out of his league and assumed an image that he would become an independent thinker. Wrong move sir! Because, the moment he stepped out of that blind submissive role and became assertive he was promptly fired. This is the sad mistake Lewis made and a hard fall awaited him.
The other gentleman Dr David Hinds happens to be a political scientist. As such he should have had the acme or clearest mountain top knowledge into the workings of the political landscape that is called Guyana. He is also a grassroots person, having fought in the trenches for the restoration of democracy in our country. A member of a once vibrant and esteemed political party The Working People’s Alliance, so there are many accolades to his name. However, in recent times he has been suffering from bouts of amnesia, the sort that makes him totally reject his primary role of being honest and forthcoming with the people as against being “politically correct.” He unashamedly took up the position of a PNC apologist churning out dozens of articles glorifying the political party that he once abhorred. What brought him to such low estate is anybody’s guess, that is, trying desperately to stay in a marriage of convenience.
Well, apparently, he too got tired of that servile role and decided to make a few comments outside of the box and again this did not sit well with the Government.
He was only being accommodated until the opportune time to strike. There was bound to be a backlash of some kind. Even before this, Granger has flexed his political muscle in the dismissal of his party colleague Dr Roopnarine. Even when he returned Granger reluctantly reinstated him, he relegated him to a political nobody in this Coalition of sorts.
Finally, the David Hinds and Lincoln Lewis’ ought to know that they are all relics of the past, persons who should be relegated to the shameful dustbins of this country’s history.

Neil Adams

yuji22 posted:

They were used and abused by the PNC. Moses and Ramjattan are next in line for a good kick.

Karma in action !!!

Why dont you shut or make an informed comment. The PPP did the same Wilkinson. among others suffered similarly by the PPP. Jagdeo even kicked reporters out of his press conference and permanently banned one. They used this news outlet as their personal party rag for 23 years! The PPP or the PNC have not shown they can learn or grow and become better. One or the other  makes no difference. They remain on all metrics that matters; two of the same

Too bad the Chronicle Board has supported the termination of Hinds and Lewis. Somewhere down the line it will cost APNU+AFC support. But it's bewildering why APNU affiliate WPA tekking licks and more licks, starting with the castration of Rupert Rupnarain.

D2, it was the Namakaram Crabdaag and the PNC who told the Guyanese people that Govt does not belong in TV and Newspaper and they voted ONE (1) Guy Dollar for the entities AND they swear/promised that if they win that those entities will be sold. Should I go on?

Ganger is the ultimate dictator. Dictators eliminate anyone critical of their administration, muzzle free speech, elect a head of the Election commission not in accordance with the constitution and eventually rule with an iron fist.

Straight from Burnham's playbook.

Those have not witnessed dictatorships, will gladly swallow the Granger Jim Jones cool aid.

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