Jagan’s 100th birth anniversary– but says stamps will be issued only once they conform to standardsGovernment is holding out that it will issue the commemorative stamps in honour of late former President Dr. Cheddi Jagan, once the stamps adhere to equity and the national criteria for such symbols.The stamps that were prohibited from being issuedAccording to a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency, stamps are national symbols, and they “must not be used for private, partisan or political messages.”Despite the fact that the stamps were supposed to be issued on a particular date to commemorate Jagan’s anniversary and were not, the Government, in its statement, denied scrapping the issuance of the stamps.“The Government of Guyana has no intention of ‘scrapping’ or ‘scuttling’ the issuance of commemorative stamps. The Ministry of the Presidency reasserts that commemorative stamps, which are national symbols, must adhere to national criteria, and must not be used for private, partisan or political messages.”President David GrangerGovernment’s message continued: the stamps “ought to be used for national purposes. The Government has stated clearly and has iterated its decision to ensure that the stamps will be distributed within that context.”The Ministry of the Presidency (MotP) has lashed out at the Guyana Times and the Stabroek News, claiming that the newspapers’ articles “seemed aimed at stirring up strife and creating controversy.”The MotP has reiterated previous statements made that national symbols will be announced shortly for both former presidents Jagan and Arthur Chung.CJRCThis publication had reported statements from the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre (CJRC) which were critical of the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) for failing to deliver on its commitment to make the collection of stamps available for Dr Jagan’s birth centenary last week.In a statement on Wednesday last, the CJRC blasted Government for the deliberate attempt to disturb the activities planned on Tuesday to launch the stamps. According to CJRC, this should have been a routine transaction…rather than a politically interfered one, and it views this as a measured attempt to hinder the work of the Centre amidst the controversy over Red House.Former Attorney General Anil NandlallThe CJRC highlighted that despite being given assurance by the GPOC and Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes that the collection would be made available, the CJRC was told by the Guyana Post Office Corporation that the Office of the President should be contacted in this regard.Former Chairman of the Board of GPOC, Juan Edghill, said it is unprecedented for a client, in this instance the CJRC, to be referred to the Ministry of the Presidency for explanations or other information as it relates to this unfulfilled transaction between the Corporation and a client.“This is nothing short of a full and open display of petty, partisan politics influencing a business transaction that could be considered purely an administrative matter,” Edghill noted on Wednesday.The CJRC had also reflected this as an “action of assault” against the late President of Guyana, who made significant contributions towards the development of the nation.No authorityFormer Attorney General Anil Nandlall, one of the most resounding voices against the Government’s move, has contended that the process should not have been politicised by the Ministry of the Presidency in the first place.In a statement issued on Sunday, Nandlall stressed that GPOC is a statutory body corporate. He pointed out that, by law, it is managed by a Board of Directors and possesses its own personnel. Hence, he chalked the Ministry of the Presidency’s actions to an exhibition of authoritarianism.“(GPOC) can attract liabilities, own assets and hire its own employees. It is not a department of the Government, but an agency of the state. It must now be inexorably clear that the GPOC is not a Government department. It is not part of the Government. Therefore, its policies and activities are not to be dictated by or interfered with, by the Government. Likewise, its employees are not employees of the Government,” Nandlall stated.“They are not public servants. Therefore, they are not subject to Government’s supervision or control. It must also be unequivocally clear that any attempt by the Government, including the President, to interfere with the day-to-day activities and operations of the GPOC and its staff would be unlawful, clear executive lawlessness, and abuse of power.”Nandlall noted that it was the CJRCI that entered into a contract with the GPOC to produce and issue the stamps. He related that after a seven-month-long discussion, the CJRC paid GPOC a 50 per cent deposit.“Although it was absolutely unnecessary, I am informed that the transaction received the positive imprimatur of the subject Minister. Yet, on the day in question, the GPOC failed to deliver the stamps. They directed CJRCI to make contact with the Ministry of the Presidency. Based upon the legal authorities to which I have referred, the Ministry of the Presidency has absolutely no authority in this matter.“The Ministry of the Presidency, in a statement, essentially admitted that (it has) prohibited GPOC from issuing the stamps. Clearly, the Ministry of the Presidency has acted ultra vires and has unlawfully usurped the functional responsibility of an independent statutory body corporate. It has also exposed the GPOC to civil liabilities for breach of its contract with CJRCI.”
Ray Stubbs was joined by Tony Evans and Matt Hughes to cast their eyes over the main sporting stories.They look over the latest Premier League action as Leicester City go five points clear at the top of the table following Tottenham and Arsenal’s 2-2 draw in the north London derby at White Hart Lane.