In the face of widespread criticism of the state-owned Guyana National Newspapers Limited’s (GNNL’s) decision to discontinue publication of articles from columnists Dr. David Hinds and Trade Unionist Lincoln Lewis, Government Spokesperson, State Minister Joseph Harmon, on Thursday denied that any directive had been issued from the Executive level of Government to discontinue the columns of the two commentators, who have been outspokenly critical of the Coalition Administration.He has directed questions regarding the source of the decision to the Board of theDr David HindsGuyana National Newspapers Limited (GNNL).That board held a meeting on Saturday, and in a statement issued thereafter, said a decision was taken to refer the issue to a fully constituted board, which was scheduled to meet last Tuesday, during which a policy decision on the general direction of the content of the paper would be determined.However, asked whether there was, in regard to these columnists’ writings, any political discomfort on part of Government or sections of the administration, Minister Harmon said, “I won’t be able to say. You know we’ve always encouraged freedom of the press, free expressions and so on. So, certainly, from my part, I‘ve never had a discomfort. In fact, I welcome those types of criticisms, because (they make) you better and stronger; and I’ve, on so many occasions, responded to them.”Further probed as to whether there was any discomfort from his colleagues in theTrade unionist Lincoln LewisExecutive, the State Minister added, “I can’t say about that, because it was never a matter of policy discussed. There may have been some persons who might have been uncomfortable, but I cannot say specifically whether there’re persons who were actually at discomfort about it.”Questioned as to whether the Executive would, without interfering with the autonomy of the newspaper, suggest that the publication of articles from the columnists be restored, the Government’s spokesman outlined that that decision is a matter for the Board and Management of the Chronicle newspapers.The Guyana Press Association (GPA) had, last week, also expressed concerns over the Chronicle’s decision to end its relationship with the two columnists.“The GPA finds it puzzling that after two and a half years of featuring columns and editorials by the two experts in their own right…, the newspaper decided to discontinue publishing their columns,” a statement from the body said.That statement went on to outline that the right to freedom of expression is enshrined in the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Article 146:1, which states: “Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression; that is to say, freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, and freedom from interference with his correspondence.”The GPA has accordingly called on the Chronicle’s Editor-in-Chief, the Board of Directors, and by extension the Government, to revisit the decision with the aim of reinstating the views of these columnists, in keeping with the Guyana Chronicle’s motto – “the Nation’s Newspaper”.
Lough Anna in Glenties.Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has said that he is hopeful that a resolution can be found to the on-going controversy surrounding plans by Irish Water to decommission Lough Anna.Deputy Doherty, who has urged both the Minister and the utility company to reconsider the proposals, made his comments ahead of a planned meeting today in Lifford at which Irish Water is expected to make an announcement over the future of the Glenties water supply – including plans for Lough Anna.Deputy Pearse DohertyDeputy Doherty said “The local community here felt that Irish water’s proposals to reconfigure the area’s public water supply and service the region using an alternative public water source – which they felt would be of an inferior quality – was not in the best interest of the people here and therefore launched an impressive campaign against the plans.” “Back in July when I first became aware of this matter I immediately wrote to Minister Alan Kelly in which I urged him to intervene in Irish Water’s plans which would have seen the closure of the much beloved natural spring lake, Lough Anna.”“Following this correspondence, and given the huge level of public opposition to these proposals, the Minister agreed to re-exam the plans and requested that the company report back to him and provide updates to myself before any formal decision to proceed be made.”The Donegal TD said he now understood that Irish Water has since revisited their original proposals and that a review of the plan has been carried out by the company.“I have now received confirmation from Irish Water that they are to hold a briefing session concerning the Glenties water supply this Monday in Donegal County Council offices and that an update on the future of Lough Anna will also be given at this meeting.” “I of course welcome this development and I am very hopeful that an appropriate solution will be announced on Monday which I would expect will see the retention and upgrading of Lough Anna as a public water source.”“My party colleague Cllr Marie-Therese Gallagher, who has been working alongside myself and the local community regarding this issue, is to attend tomorrow’s briefing session where we will also be calling for Irish Water to give a commitment that any plans to improve water quality in the region will also include the upgrading of the water supply to Fintown which has unfairly experienced poor quality supply for years now.”“While I reiterate that I am very hopeful that we will hear good news tomorrow regarding the future of the region’s water network, I cannot praise enough local communities around Glenties who’ve stood up and fought a very impressive campaign to save Lough Anna.”DECISION ON GLENTIES WATER SUPPLY DUE TODAY was last modified: November 30th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Deputy Pearse DohertyGlentiesLough Anna