first_imgDear Editor,I had tuned into the live broadcast of APNU/AFC’s press event. I hesitate to use the word ‘conference’, as it seemed to have been held in a mini-rally format. That this party event was being broadcast by the Department of Public Information was no surprise; what was astonishing, however, was the absence of representation from the WPA, JFAP and NFA parties, who are supposedly still members of APNU.Given that the reason for this event was to demonstrate the solidity of the Coalition, it raised more questions than answers.The mistreatment of members of the press at this event has been well catalogued in the complaint released by the Guyana Press Association, which prompted a response from the APNU/AFC public relations machine, which stated, “The APNU does not condone nor endorse any conduct that serves to intimidate and hinder duties of media workers.”Editor, what nonsense! The leaders of APNU/AFC sat there behind their enormous name tags and watched silently, and in some cases nodded in agreement as their bussed in supporters abused the media. This is not remedied by press releases; “actions speak louder than words” is a truism that has withstood the test of time.This intimidation and hostility is not new behaviour for APNU; it is the norm. How many ‘counter-protests’ have we seen since the APNU+AFC Administration came into office? There is video footage of Presidential hopeful PNC Chairperson Volda Lawrence pelting a glass (and hitting) Jason Abdullah as he peacefully protested outside of the Red House. There is video evidence of PNC supporters hurling abuse at retrenched sugar workers who were forced to protest for severance pay being unlawfully withheld.I urge the press corps to earn respect by walking out of any event at which they are so abused in the future.Editor, I will not delve into the substance of the mini-rally, as there was little. The voodoo mathematics of 8000 votes out of a total of 208,000 being equivalent to 10 per cent did provide a clue as to why our nation has moved from an $11 billion surplus to $56 billion deficit in little more than three years.That the ‘fearless’ coalition cowardly absented itself from work at the National Assembly later in the day came as no surprise; the false bravado fooled no one but itself.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more