June 30 2019


Dear Editor,

I commend those media houses that saw the importance in taking time to provide pertinent background information to Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo’s claim that the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission, within recent months, has engaged in acts of impropriety in land distribution, favouring the African community. 

This kind of reporting helps the society where the media must no longer be satisfied to regurgitate claims made by leaders but also to provide information to substantiate or invalidate such claims. The media has a role as the fourth estate to bring society to a level of understanding where truth and integrity prevail. This is particularly so in a diverse society such as ours, bombarded by constant distortion, political division and ethnic tension.

We are living in challenging times, moreso since the passage of the no-confidence vote, and in an era of unprecedented dis-information, lies and distortion.  Where the Leader of the Opposition sought to lead the nation into believing his claims, evidence did not hold such claims true.

Thanks to persons like Charles Ceres who saw the importance of publicly defending his honour and in so doing set the record straight, the media for taking a closer look, and Lands and Survey Commissioner Trevor Benn for presenting data, the nation can be enlightened.

Evidence shows some of these lands were taken away during the PPP/C administration, which the aggrieved challenged in the court, the court has ruled, and the PPP/C administration refused to respect the court’s rulings. In other cases, lands were approved during the PPP/C administration but the titles never granted until during the stewardship of Benn. These are further evidence of that administration’s consistent effort at marginalisation of the African community in all areas.

We will have endless problems in this society where there is cherry-picking of the laws, the court’s rulings and whose rights are respected or transgressed. We are living in a tense period and if not managed, with truth, civility and decency playing important roles, there can be clashes. Some damage have been done to the reputation of people.

The Leader of the Opposition had to know what he was doing at that Thursday press conference. He had to have known the consequences of his conduct on a nation conditioned to believe whatever its leaders say or the media report, is correct. That he set out to do this and also said he will inform the international community of his fictitious claims is troubling. As President, he would have condemned the Leader of the Opposition mischaracterising the working and functions of a state institution and seeking to bring into disrepute a country based on distortion, which is an act of grave un-patriotism. 

The development of this nation is dependent on us evolving to the stage of questioning and demanding that evidence be provided, for this is integral to us as a people moving forward together in peace and harmony. We have to hold elected leaders and public officials accountable. It is only through accountability they will treat us with respect and manage our affairs prudently.

Yours faithfully,

Lincoln Lewis