Information and Press Liaison to President Donald Ramotar has told State media managers that no worker attached to any of the state media houses is allowed to attend a US Embassy reception being hosted on Thursday night to welcome new US Embassy Public Affairs Officer, Robert Adelson.
During a meeting with State Media managers, McKoy said they have all been banned from attending the cocktail reception and should make it clear to all the employees of their media houses, that they too have been blocked from attending the event.
Several staffers at the State owned National Communications Network and the Guyana Chronicle expressed shock over the ban and one state media worker said he is still trying to figure out the reason behind the decision. The employee who asked that his identity be withheld told News Source that he does not understand why members of the state media are being dragged into whatever problem the Government or the President’s Information Liaison still has with the US Embassy.
When contacted on Thursday afternoon, McKoy told News Source he was in a meeting and too busy to answer questions.
It is unclear whether the decision to ban the state media from attending the reception came from the President who is also the Minister of Information.
The US Embassy dispatched invitations for the event to Media managers and senior media operatives of the various media houses across Guyana.
The reception is being hosted at the Official Residence of the US Ambassador to Guyana. The last time a reception was held at the residence, Education Minister Priya Manickchand fired off a “feral blast” on the outgoing US Ambassador Brent Hardt.
She was booed at the reception and strongly criticised for her remarks which were made in her capacity as Acting Foreign Affairs Minister. Her remarks reflected the position of the Government of Guyana as was later explained by the Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon.
After News Source published the story above, McKoy changed his mind and told state media workers they are now free to attend US Embassy function.
He contacted News Source just after the story was published and wanted to know the source of our information about his decision to initially ban the state media from attending the reception. While refusing to confirm or deny the move to ban the state media from attending the function, McKoy said by reporting the story News Source was being “anti government”
Filed: 4th September, 2014