Forestry Head objects to scandal – mongering reports

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Dear Editor,

Commissioner of Forest, James Singh.
Commissioner of Forest, James Singh.

It has become clear that the Kaieteur News has embarked on a campaign geared towards tarnishing the image and credibility of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) by employing low-level tactics based on rumours, misinformation and slander.

At its press conference held on August 18, 2014, GFC effectively responded to several media reports regarding the operations of the forestry sector, the enforcement of regulations and granting of permits to companies operating in the sector. The Kaieteur News’ smear campaign and unethical journalistic practices were now exposed as a result of it being made clear that GFC, as mandated by law, was fully enforcing regulations and was not in any way facilitating sinister activities by any company.

Recognising that there were no basis for the false reports, the Kaieteur News, now joined by the Stabroek News and Capitol News, have resorted to levelling malicious personal attacks on me, as Commissioner, as well as the hard-working staff of the GFC. I have since had my Attorneys dispatch a warning letter to Capitol News advising them to cease further publishing these grossly inaccurate reports and demanding that an apology is forthcoming.

It appears as if the Kaieteur News and Stabroek News are in a breathless race to outdo each other in this mischief journalism campaign.

The GFC has also noted with grave concern the criminal attack on its Company Secretary, damage of property and the theft of a laptop computer containing highly confidential information related to the Commission. We see as no coincidence, the criminal attack, which closely followed the well-orchestrated slander campaign being carried out by some sections of the media.

We will not feed nor be baited by the perverse appetite of individuals and organizations masquerading as journalists and responsible media houses by responding to every absurd and patently incorrect report.

The GFC stands ready to work with all stakeholders in an atmosphere of transparency, professionalism and mutual respect and will continue to engage responsible and fair sections of the media who have no hidden and vindictive agenda.

 

Regards,

Mr, James Singh

Commissioner of Forests

August 24, 2014

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