Oversight Committee shifts stance on media presence

Stabroek News
January 27, 2000

The Oversight Committee yesterday agreed to open its plenary sessions to the media, rescinding its earlier intention not to do so, which it had signalled at its first meeting on January 14.

It also agreed that it would make available its confirmed minutes to the media for purposes of research as well as issue press releases on various matters as it deemed necessary.

The meetings of the five task forces generating the drafts on the recommendations will be closed to the press. However, these drafts would have to be approved by the committee as a whole and the press would then have access to them.

The reversal was brought about by the persuasive advocacy of the Alliance of Guyana representative, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, which swayed Dr Leslie Ramsammy and a lessening of the strength with which Dr Roger Luncheon uttered the views he expressed at the last meeting. He explained that since that meeting he had spoken with members of the media and some of his colleagues. Drs Ramsammy and Luncheon are two of the representatives of the PPP on the committee. The other representative is Minister of Information, Moses Nagamootoo, who chairs the committee.

Leader of The United Force, Manzoor Nadir, held fast to the view that the press should not be excluded. Vincent Alexander of the PNC, who last week had leaned towards excluding the press, did not participate in the discussions.

The issue was the first of the agenda items considered by the committee. Other items which were to be considered by the committee last night were the terms of reference of the legal advisory committee, presentation of the time-bound plan, consideration of the timetables for the five task forces and their composition.

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