Friday, April 22, 2011

The future of this newspaper is at stake

(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 22 April 2011)  

I spoke with the publisher of Kaieteur News (KN), Glenn Lall, several weeks ago about the fact that I believed there were forces that wanted to shut this newspaper down. After I spoke to him about this, I sent him an email containing several links to printed material that contained malicious statements about the newspaper.

Since then, there has been an escalation in this obvious campaign to discredit this newspaper all around the nation. There was even a flyer distributed in Berbice saying this newspaper was “anti-Guyana” and creating division in the nation.

This campaign against KN, Glenn Lall and Freddie Kissoon has been incessant for weeks now without letting up and includes verbal assaults. I believe the forces behind this assault on KN made a deliberate decision to do whatever it takes to bring this newspaper down once and for all.

However, the more they would tell people not to read this newspaper, the more people would read it to find out why they should not read it. Their plan was backfiring and they needed a more effective strategy to get rid of KN. It is my opinion that when these malicious forces realised their plan was not working, they then came up with an idea to divide and conquer – after all, this is one of the most effective ways to defeat an enemy.

It can be quite clear to anyone who reads this newspaper that division has been wrought in this otherwise harmonious newspaper.

A fracture in the relationship between the publisher and the lead columnist has put this newspaper in a precarious position. The sniping remarks here and there have not gone unnoticed by the readers. I am afraid that if these two individuals cannot find a way to make peace with each other, it may cause a serious problem for the future of the newspaper.

This would be playing right into the hands of those malicious forces that want to see the end of Kaieteur News. When I told Glenn that I felt there was a campaign afoot to bring down this newspaper, he asked me how I thought they could possibly do such a thing.

Well, this division is exactly how they can to do it, and if Glenn and Freddie choose to turn a blind eye to what is really going on, those malicious forces will win.

When Freddie and I had an email exchange a couple weeks ago, that was a private exchange, and after a long face-to-face talk we both know now that neither of us released that exchange. Which means someone got into one of our email accounts and sent that exchange to Glenn. I have since taken extra precautions to secure my email account and suggested to Freddie that he do the same.

Freddie and I have made amends and have returned to a cordial friendship. However, the relationship between Glenn and Freddie obviously continues to simmer and it is for this reason that I fear for the future of this newspaper. I can see those behind this scheme to cause division snickering and hoping for that final event that causes everything to collapse. Who knows, they may even be planning that final event themselves.

There are those who would love to see this newspaper collapse. And they would love to see the end of KN’s Freddie Kissoon column. There have been many attempts to bring KN down, including trying to get readers to stop buying this newspaper via propaganda, verbal assaults and even flyer distribution. There have also been attempts to weaken the newspaper financially by pulling government ads and insisting private companies do not advertise in KN.

All of these and many more schemes have failed, but this divide and conquer plot seems like it could actually work – and I am worried. Will the publisher allow this plot to destroy his newspaper to succeed? There are many who are patiently waiting for his ruin. They have set a net before his feet and cannot wait for the final part of the trap to ensnare him so they can rejoice in his destruction.

Sometimes, enemies can look like friends. At other times, friends can look like enemies. This is especially true in Guyanese politics. It is a wise person who can discern between the two, but there are some clear telltale signs to help the process.

A friend is the one who has been with you every step of the way, through the good times and the bad.
A friend accepts you for who you are – the good and bad parts of you.

Anyone who abandons you is not a friend. Anyone who endangers your promising future for his or her own selfish ambitions is not a friend. Anyone who would sit by and allow others to do you harm without rising to your defence is not a friend.

There are some who would embrace you as a brother or sister, while they have a knife in their hands to stab you in the back. Run from these malevolent forces. Run far and fast.

I truly believe the ongoing success of this newspaper will be decided within the next few weeks. It is my hope that eyes are opened and evil schemes are halted before it is too late. Guyana needs this newspaper and it would be a shame to see those malicious forces finally find a way to bring its destruction. It would be a travesty if they actually win.

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