Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Brigadier David Granger has blamed President Donald Ramotar for the financial crisis said to be affecting the Government Information Agency (GINA). The President, under the current People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration, has executive and ministerial responsibility for the state-controlled Agency. Brigadier Granger expressed sympathy with staff members who said that they had not been paid and called on President Ramotar to act decisively to resolve the crisis.
Brigadier Granger, over sixteen months ago in April 2012, had made a formal complaint to the Speaker of the National Assembly about GINA’s warped coverage of official events and matters taking place in the Assembly. He pointed out then that GINA’s reportage had been offensive, prejudicial and, in some cases, abusive to members of the opposition. The Speaker acknowledged to the House that he received the letter which he forwarded to the Head of GINA requesting a response.
Brigadier Granger, nine months ago in December 2012, had compiled a 133-page dossier comprising dozens of articles published by GINA entitled ‘The Executive War on the Legislative Branch.’ The dossier cited reports – between the 11th January 2012 and 30th November 2012 – containing incendiary language and expressing opinions which impaired collaboration between the executive and legislative branches and impeded the work of the National Assembly.
Brigadier Granger, over three months ago in June this year had advised GINA employees who had written to him, to write to President Donald Ramotar instead. They claimed that they had not been paid since April because of the cut on the 2013 budgetary allocation to that Agency
Brigadier Granger maintains that the crisis at GINA has been caused entirely by the dangerous propaganda policy of the PPP/C administration. He admitted that A Partnership for National Unity was disinclined to support the restoration of full funding to GINA unless the Agency demonstrated its readiness to report public events in an objective way. Brigadier Granger pointed out that GINA could not expect state funding unless it performs duties to the state as a whole rather than to the People’s Progressive Party.
Brigadier Granger iterated his advice to GINA’s staff members to direct their complaints and protests to the President of Guyana who has the responsibility for public information. He called on President Ramotar to restructure GINA and allow the journalists there to report news in a balanced manner.