Freddie Kissoon is “politically nasty”

first_imgDear Editor,I pen this letter in response to Frederick Kissoon’s column that was published in Kaieteur News on Friday, July 13, 2018, captioned, “One of the deadly sins of this country”. Subsequent to its publication, I spent some time contemplating whether I should reply or ignore Kissoon, given his unrepentant attitude on the false and malicious accusations he made against me, which resulted in me having to sue him some years ago.In his column, Kissoon decried what he sees as civil society officials and politicians objecting to, and being subjected to, public criticisms, and the many times he was sued for libel. He named me and other persons as being guilty of what he described as “One of the deadly sins of this country”.While I don’t intend to challenge Kissoon on his thesis of what constitute “deadly sins” in Guyana, I will not allow him to get away with his self-serving, self-righteous position when he claimed to be a victim of unwarranted lawsuit for libel.In my case, I took him to court not in pursuit of money or to silence his public criticism. Instead, I did so to give Kissoon the opportunity to produce, for the benefit of the nation, the evidence/information which he claimed to have obtained, which he said linked me to a secret meeting with gunmen in Buxton.Equally important is that what transpired at the time must be seen in the context of the deadly killing spree in the country, and the fact that Kissoon’s false accusation against me was contained in one of a series of articles which he was commissioned to do for the PPP for a price.Those articles were published in the state-owned Guyana Chronicle. This forced me to conclude that Kissoon had become a willing agent of the state, and was involved in a conspiracy to do me harm, politically and otherwise. It is only in Kissoon’s warped mind that his hostile and nasty attacks on me were not matters to be tested in a court of law.Kissoon has the habit, when it suits his purpose, to pretend that he doesn’t know right from wrong; and, as usual, he seeks to hide under deception, and opportunistically invokes generalisation in order to cover his nakedness. In this instance, he sought to give the impression that all libel suits against him were in the category of unwarranted acts, and were the actions of persons who disliked being criticised. As far as Kisson is concerned, none of those cases was justified outside his self-serving construct.It is public knowledge that he and I, over the years, have had numerous exchanges in the letter columns of the newspapers, and many of those polemics were not friendly. On every occasion that I was forced to engage Kissoon, it was as a result of his vile attacks on me for something I had written, or that he claimed I had done. None of those matters, except for the one mentioned above, ever reached the courts.I submit here that Kissoon at times behaves like the proverbial “school bully”, who picks a fight but doesn’t want to feel the pain from the encounter.My position has been, and continues to be, that political activists, including me, must be subjected to public criticisms. I have, on many occasions in the past, publicly defended citizens’ right to freedom of expression, whether or not I agreed with their position. I have also defended my detractors’ right to criticise me; my only concern is that, after they have done so, my right to respond to them is upheld. The record will show that I stand firmly by this conviction.I, however, believe that in public polemics, there must be limits. Very often, Freddie Kissoon, more than any other writer/commentator in Guyana, crosses the “line” and deliberately commits libel.It is my strongly held belief — and I therefore submit that, in my case, he has been, and continues to be, politically nasty, and in the process has set out to have me jailed or killed. In Kissoon’s crooked politics, that is fair game once he is the offender, but when he becomes the victim, he shouts and screams.Yours sincerely,Tacuma Ogunseyelast_img