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Guyana Chronicle’s board distances self from decision to discontinue David Hinds, Lincoln Lewis columns

Professor David Hinds.

The Board of the Guyana National Newspapers Limited (GNNL) had nothing to do with the decision to inform Professor David Hinds and Trade Unionist Lincoln Lewis that their columns would no longer be published in the state-owned Guyana Chronicle, Board Chairwoman Geeta Chandan-Edmond said.

Reacting to a Demerara Waves news report earlier Friday in which the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Nigel Williams was quoted as telling one of the columnists that the decision to stop publishing his column was  taken at the “highest level of the company in keeping with policy directions”, the Board Chairwoman distanced herself, colleague board directors and management from that decision.

“The highest level would be the board and there was no such discussion with the board,” Chandan-Edmond, an Attorney-at-Law by profession, told Demerara Waves Online News. She said only four of the directors attended a board sub-committee meeting on Tuesday last. Recalling that she had received a message on Wednesday, she said she had thought it was sub-committee recommendation to be dispatched to the full board for discussions and a vote.

“What Nigel has in his letter is not accurate,” she stressed. “This is not a Board decision. This is Nigel Williams; this doesn’t involve management,” she said. “I don’t want to be accused of stifling press freedom. This is not what I stand for,” she added.

GTUC General Secretary Lincoln Lewis

Asked if Williams would now be instructed to inform Professor Hinds and Mr. Lewis that their works would continue to be published, the Board Chairwoman said an emergency board meeting has since been called for next week Tuesday  to discuss the issue.

Chandan-Edmond said the issue of whether the columnists’ contributions should not be published anymore had not been communicated to her.

Hinds and Lewis have already criticised the decision, as communicated by the Editor-in-Chief and reported here saying that they had expected the cancellation of their opinion contributions to the Guyana Chronicle because in the past a number of them had not been published.

Though supporters of the APNU+AFC coalition-led administration, Hinds and Lewis often criticise the government harshly and caution about the implications for their political future.