Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has stated that her government stands by press freedom and she was not aware of political interference of any kind which may have led employees of the Guardian newspaper to resign their jobs.
Mrs. Persad-Bissessar yesterday expressed surprise when questioned by reporters on this latest development…
During a walkabout at Munroe Road, Cunupia, the Prime Minister told reporters their questions were the first time she was made aware of such an issue taking place…
Mrs. Persad-Bissessar then immediately made it clear that she never interfered in the media’s business.
“I have not spoken to anyone at the Guardian, either board members or reporters at the Guardian. I speak to the reporters from time to time when you (interview me), when you ask me questions. I’ve had no conversations with anyone and therefore there’s no interference from the Partnership and certainly from the UNC as far as I’m aware,” she said.
Questioned on her government’s position on freedom of the press, she said: “I’ve spoken repeatedly and you will realise I’ve never ever attacked the media even when you attack me sometimes and I don’t mean it in a bad way. I’ve never, ever in my 28 years in public life, you could check my history and my record, I have never interfered with freedom of the press and indeed we went so far, my government recently moved a part of the criminal libel law against journalists and reporters. I remain committed to freedom of the press and with respect to what happened at the Guardian, I really don’t know, I can’t say, but I do know I spoke to no one at the Guardian.”
Mrs. Persad-Bissessar stressed that there was no political interference with respect to the resignations at the Guardian.
She said that some were of the view that the media scrutinised her government more than previous administrations but she personally did not think so.