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Trade Unionist Lincoln Lewis has pulled his Sunday column, “Eye on Guyana” from the Kaieteur News, citing a restriction on his freedom of speech and the promotion of falsehoods.
Lewis said the newspaper of late have sought to subvert those views that are not in consonance with its way of thinking, which to him is against the principles of free speech. In a statement issued on his Facebook page on Sunday, Lewis stated that from henceforth, his weekly column will be published on his Facebook page for re-publishing by newspapers if they opt to do so. Lewis’ “Eye on Guyana” was first taken up by Kaieteur News in 2018. “I am no longer, in good conscience to my pride, dignity, beliefs in free speech, freedoms and love of Guyana able to continue the “Eye on Guyana” column in Kaieteur News,” Lewis stated, adding: “I find it difficult to satisfy this obligation with the censorship imposed that contradicts the principles that I have fought for all my adult life; principles that dictate the fundamentals of right and wrong, good and bad, evil and righteous. Unfortunately, we are witnessing situations where right is wrong, and wrong is right, depending on who says what to whom, when, where and how. Laws are no longer given preeminence, and those who disagree revel in being disagreeable. The environment has become toxic, strained and too polarised.”
The trade unionist said that making the decision was not easy, as it comes at a time when he believes that his voice is most important to Guyana. However, he said that he has watched the Kaieteur News, in recent times, “evolve from being at the pinnacle of media diversity, to one that is more partisan- aligned with an apparent strangulation on said (diverse) views.”
He stated plainly: “I can no longer be comfortable in an environment where such public acrimony is being encouraged. The principle of free speech is not only being transgressed, but being used to promote falsity, justify linguistic dehumanisation of some by some, hate and intolerance, not to build bridges. Having dedicated my public life to the fight of upholding universally acceptable principles, Rights and the Rule of Law, I cannot sacrifice the pursuit of same, even in these trying times when some are being rendered voiceless.” In parting ways with newspaper, Lewis wished its Publisher, Glen Lall, all the best, and expressed his hope that the newspaper would successfully embark on a pathway towards balance and mainstream journalistic standards. He also expressed appreciation for the working relationship he shared with staff there with whom he has interacted over the years.