Press body “concerned” over decision to fire Hinds, Lewis as columnists

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…hopes decision could be reversed

The Guyana Press Association (GPA) today (Wednesday) expressed concern over the decision of the State-owned Guyana Chronicle to terminate the services of two columnists- one of whom is a member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) – a party within the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

WPA Executive Dr David Hinds

Executive Member of the WPA, Dr David Hinds and veteran trade union activist, Lincoln Lewis received letters recently informing them that their services with the State newspaper had been terminated with their final working day being March 12, 2018.

Both letters were signed by the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Nigel Williams.

“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 that the newspaper decided to discontinue publishing their columns,” the press body said in a statement.

Trade Unionist Lincoln Lewis

Of recent, both former columnists have been very critical of the Administration and this is suspected to have been the main reason behind their termination.

Both Hinds and Lewis have since condemned the decision to fire them, saying that it amounts to political interference by the APNU/AFC Coalition Government. They have also slammed the Government for being petty and vindictive and not willing to tolerate dissenting views.  

“There are more pressing problems to be addressed and solved than to worry about the columns by Hinds and Lewis. We have been down this road from 1966 and I thought with this Government we had turned the corner. But apparently, we have not–this Government seems determined to go the unkind and ugly way of those before it,” Hinds was quoted in the media as saying. 

The GPA pointed out today 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.””

Against this backdrop, the entity expressed hope that the Editor-in-Chief, the Board of Directors and by extension the Government revisit their action and re-instate the columnists in keeping with the motto of the Guyana Chronicle, “the Nation’s Newspaper.” (Ramona Luthi)

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