Home Letters This columnist is “a pathetic peddler of perversity”
In a previous letter written 3 years ago, I wrote, “For the readers of Kaieteur News to truly understand the mindset of columnist Freddie Kissoon, it is necessary for me to repeat the definition of a word that I believe accurately describes this writer. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the word ‘pompous’ as: “Having or showing the attitude of people who speak and behave in a very formal and serious way because they believe that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people.”
In his column on Monday, Kissoon referred to me as “someone named Harry Gill who seems to have a faulty memory when he writes his daily missives.” This conveys the impression that Kissoon is not too familiar with who I am, when in fact he does for many years. So, for the benefit of the newspaper columnist, let me refresh his memory. I am of Portuguese decent, and a former critic of the Jagdeo Administration who allowed myself to be suckered-in by the anti-PPP rhetoric of the online Mark Benchop radio while living in New York. I have since had reasons to regret my own actions, and I am now a proud member of the PPP cabal. I am the same patriotic son of the soil who returned home and never relinquished my Guyanese citizenship despite living legally in the greatest country God has ever created for over 23 years. I’m the same person that sent US$100 via Western Union to Freddie Kissoon after he made a public appeal in his column for donations to build of a home in Linden for a woman whose house in Buxton had been set afire. To date, Freddie has never acknowledged receiving the money, nor has he ever thanked me for sending it. But I’m the same Harry Gill who Freddie once wrote that I had no right to be critical of anything that goes on in Guyana because I lived in the diaspora. And yes Freddie, I am the same person with whom you have had so many battles with in the pages of the newspapers. Perhaps you may recall the hilarious headlines of some of those articles you wrote: “Harry Gill’s hariolation on a bennettitaceous performance in Guyana” (KN Feb. 05, 20111): “Harry’s harengiform and Harry’s harengula” (Feb 16, 2011); “Is Mr. Gill a gillyganpus?” (March 20, 2011); and from me, “Berbicians are better off today and Freddie knows it.” (March 12, 2011); and “Freddie Kissoon’s mind is as unkempt as his appearance” (March 12, 2011). The last caption is still relevant today.
My point is Editor, by referring to me as “someone named Harry Gill”, Kissoon is being fraudulent, and this is the same level of fraud that permeates his columns.
Admittedly, I rarely agree with Kissoon, but I have always respected his constitutional right to free speech. Unfortunately, it has cost him dearly. He blames the PPP for the feces that was thrown in his face; the termination of his contract as a lecturer at the University of Guyana; and the dismissal of his wife from her state job at Go-Invest. Although the PPP has repeatedly denied these allegations, his ongoing personal vendetta against the PPP and its leader, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, is fueled by much hate and his selfish desire to seek vengeance at all cost.
Just a few days ago, Freddie admitted that he campaigned against the PPP, not for the AFC. He wrote, “This columnist here is very disappointed with the nature and performance of the two parties in power – the APNU and the AFC. But I will devote energy and passion to see that the PPP is not returned to power in 2020 and in the future.” He is determined to do so, even as the Guyanese people continues to suffer under the APNU+AFC coalition he helped to get elected.
Kissoon’s behaviour is becoming more hyperactive with each column he writes, and he has now become a pathetic peddler of perversity.
in his last Monday’s column entitled, “They administered Guyana as if it was their personal property” (KN, Sept 04, 2017), Kissoon went into some detail about a piece of land that once housed a ministry, and after that ministry had moved and the derelict building torn down, the land was sold to a “small businessman” during the privatization policy of the late President Hoyte. He wrote, “A very close friend of President Jagdeo had properties in the same street and thought that the asset was state land because a famous ministry once stood there. This presidential friend in 2014 decided to fence the land. An employee of the small businessman saw the land being fenced and alerted his boss. The small businessman turned up and enquired who gave the orders to work on his property. The crew reported back to the presidential friend what happened and that was the end of that.” And incredibly, he added, “If the land was governmental asset, then the presidential friend simply would have taken it over and then gotten the legal transfer. Surely, there must be other similar incidents in which this rich presidential friend got state properties in identical fashion. There is an important question to think about – was he the only presidential friend that operated in such oligarchic ways?
This columnist has been told that such factual tales are being pursued by SARA and that SARA has found that one presidential friend has 42 properties in Georgetown alone.”
Kissoon has always been vague in his columns, citing some reason that prevents him from naming names. And when he does, the person is already dead and is in no position to confirm nor contradict his story. But in the interest of full disclosure and the truth, Freddie Kissoon must answer the following questions, and he must not hide under the guise that he cannot publish this information for fear of a libel suit. For it is common knowledge now that justification and the truth are complete defenses to defamation.
If he is telling the truth, he should have no fear of being sued.
Freddie Kissoon must now tell the nation the location of the property he has written about. He must name the “small businessman” and the name of the person who was “a very close friend of President Jagdeo”. Kissoon must also name the “presidential friend” that has 42 properties in Georgetown, the locations of these properties, and the name of the President to which he refers. Kissoon must also provide some evidence that these 42 properties were obtained illegally.
The nation also needs to know on what basis is SARA disclosing evidence of its investigations to Freddie Kissoon. If this is indeed happening, then SARA is guilty of providing information to political hacks of the Administration for the purpose of witch-hunting, an accusation long made by my colleagues in the Opposition.
On the other hand, if SARA did not share this information with the newspaper columnist, I expect SARA to denounce the allegations made by Kissoon.
By any standard, Kissoon is a radical. His extraneous views are self-serving and are dangerous to the peace and stability of our nation that needs to heal.
I have restrained myself from responding to the filth that is spewed by Kissoon in some of his columns. But every now and then, Guyanese need to be reminded of Freddie’s political agenda, his personal vendetta, and the danger he poses of poisoning the minds of those who read his columns.
PPP/C Member of