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As government continues to face more flak over the controversial granting of several radio licences by former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, to mainly friends and party supporters, days before he left office in 2011, there is emerging evidence that several prominent persons and at least one state-controlled educational facility were sidelined.Indications are that the University of Guyana was overlooked. So were veteran broadcasters, Hugh Cholmondeley and Vic Insanally, longstanding media workers. Cholmondeley is father of Cathy Hughes, an executive of the Alliance For Change, an opposition party that has seven seats in the National Assembly. He has since died.Radio licences’ debate: From left is moderator, Dale Andrews; Journalist Enrico Woolford, and AFC Parliamentarians Cathy Hughes and Khemraj Ramjattan.Insanally runs a major advertising company and has spent years in the radio business. UG reportedly wanted the licence to train students.The University was given a radio by the United Nations to facilitate training in the Communications Department. For a short while prior to the floods of 2005, the University actually operated a radio station, with a limited range. That is no longer the case because it now has no licence to facilitate the training of broadcasters.These disclosures were made Friday by Enrico Woolford,Authentic Carolina Panthers Jersey, one of Guyana’s more experienced broadcasters, whose application also did not see a positive outcome in 2011.Woolford was among a panel of speakers taking live calls on HBTV Channel Nine on the radio licences’ issue.Also there were Cathy Hughes and AFC’s Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan. The programme was hosted by Dale Andrews, a senior editor/journalist at Kaieteur News with experience in both broadcast and print media.According to Ramjattan, there are simultaneous moves underway to have the administration suspend the licences. Already there are two separate court cases filed by the independent Kaieteur News and Capitol News, a television news broadcast controlled by Woolford.Another one is being prepared.At the Parliamentary level, moves are underway to amend the Broadcast Act of 2011 which was passed under the Bharrat Jagdeo administration.Already, the granting of the licences has come under heavy fire from the local media association. The regional and international bodies are now monitoring the situation.A number of media owners and executives, including Kaieteur News’ Publisher, Glenn Lall and HBTV’s Noel Blackman and Charles Griffith have been meeting with US Representatives to bring more awareness to the issue.Government has defended Jagdeo’s decision to grant those licences,Wholesale Jerseys, saying he did nothing wrong and merely used his discretion. However,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, there were immediate questions as to what process Jagdeo used in assessing the applications that were on file.Days before the November 2011 Presidential elections, Jagdeo issued 11 radio licences, despite a longstanding political agreement that no new ones would be granted until new legislation and a Broadcasting Authority to assess applications and monitor the process was established.The new legislation was passed in September 2011. Weeks later,Wholesale China Jerseys, Jagdeo went ahead and secretly issued the licences. The matter only came to light after questions were asked by the media.It was not until last year that the authority was established.Still, more shocking revelations were made earlier this year when Cathy Hughes,Authentic Baltimore Ravens Jersey, an AFC Parliamentarian demanded details of the licences in the National Assembly.The answers by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds in the National Assembly were what prompted the widespread condemnation that followed.Not only did Jagdeo grant his best friend, Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, a newcomer, a radio licence; he also issued permission to his party’s newspaper, The Mirror. Permission to broadcast was also given to Omkar Lochan, a Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources. That Ministry is headed by Robert Persaud, a nephew-in-law of Jagdeo. Persaud’s sister, Ruth Baljit, reportedly a US-based citizen, is a shareholder of the company granted that licence. The three were also issued five frequencies each which gave them countrywide coverage. Notably, the other “successful” applicants,Cheap Jerseys From China, including singer Rudy Grant, and businessman, Alfro Alphonso, were only issued one each.The state-owned National Communications Network was also issued several frequencies.The questions did not die there. One of the persons also receiving a licence was Maxwell Thom, who is facing financial problems. This was a strange one as one of the requirements for the radio licence is for the applicant to show good financial standing to fund the operations of a station.Not only were independent media houses like Kaieteur News and Stabroek News sidelined, so too were CNS Channel 6, RBS Channel 13, WRHM Channel 7, GWTV2 and a host of established media houses.Also angering the snubbed media houses is the makeup of the Broadcasting Authority, which is filled with Members of Parliament for the government party and others closely aligned.
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