Sharma Pulls Plug On Ram and Gaskin Programme
With President Bharrat Jagdeo still to decide what actions he will take against CNS TV 6 following recommendations from the advisory committee on broadcasting, it now appears as though the owners of the TV station are being extra cautious with the programmes aired on the station and what is said on those programmes.
Over the weekend, CN Sharma wrote the producers of the Keeping Them Honest talk show hosted by Attorney Christopher Ram and Civil Society activist and commentator Raymond Gaskin informing them that with immediate effect he was pulling the plug on their Wednesday night programme. Sharma said his decision was based on a conversation with the relevant authorities. He did not say who those authorities were. In pulling the plug on the programme, Sharma is saying no thanks to the 120,000 per month he was receiving for airtime. Programme host Christopher Ram said it is clear that there may have been some intimidation and threats thrown at the CNS TV station owner.
The two are in discussions with at least 2 other local TV stations to see the possibility of the programme returning to the airwaves. The talk show focused heavily on constitutional matters and highlighted wrongs done by the administration showcasing several breaches of the law. The programme producers are convinced that the government is not one of their fans but they do not intend to let the move by Sharma silence them.
What is interesting is that although Sharma said he was contacted by the relevant authorities, the advisory committee on broadcasting may not have had any problem with the programme and the alleged threats to Sharma to shut him down completely unless the ram and gaskin programme was pulled may have come from a much higher source.
Ram and Gaskin have informed the international community about the move which they see as a way of blocking the public from access to certain information. A number of ambassadors diplomatic representatives sat in on today’s briefing.