TCI News

Letter to the Editor: Freedom of Expressions, Reboot

#TurkandCaicosIslands, February 20, 2020 — Submitted by Jamell Robinson Six months have now passed since ‘Expressions’, the people’s radio talk show – on the People’s Radio Station, Radio Turks and Caicos, was suspended indefinitely for a thorough review. Back then, it was said that the review was to “ensure that the objectives of the programme are being met and that the delivery and content are consistent with the tone and messages of a developing and civil society.” One can opine that the outcome of this fake thorough review, which has yet to be published, is that ‘Expressions’ will continue to be suspended until after General Elections are over and done with.

How am I confident in drawing this conclusion, you ask?  Well, ‘Expressions’ has been replaced by the PDM Government’s propaganda talk show ‘TCIG Speaks on RTC’in the Monday and Friday slots where Expressions’ used to be. The only reason they don’t also have the Wednesday slot is that’s when Cabinet is held. What’s most absurd about this show and makes it entirely problematic, is that not only are government ministers interviewed, but no call ins are allowed. This blatant display of propaganda needs to end now. We the people must boycott this show. In fact, this programme should not be aired.  There are many avenues in which the government can tout its so called successes. Unfortunately, the use of a government channel with a public servant as host, propagandizing to the public is not one!

Simply put, this government has abused its powers in relation to the editorial independence of Radio Turks and Caicos. Section 8 of the Radio Turks and Caicos Ordinance clearly states that “No Minister may give a direction to the Board, Radio Turks and Caicos, or any director, officer or staff of Radio Turks and Caicos, in respect to:

a)      A particular programme of a particular allegation or a particular complaint;

c)       Programme standards

It’s clear in the hierarchy of Governance that only the Governor at this point can intervene to right this blatant and illegal wrongdoing.

An excerpt from section 13(1) of the TCI Constitution states: “No person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of expression, and includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive and impart (to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) ideas and information without interference, and freedom from interference with his or her correspondence or other means of communication.”

I close with a quote from a famous soon to be infamous TCI Politician, “Stay awake TCI and hold your Government into account. Do not ever lose your voice. Any Government that wants its people to remain silent is bound to fail!!’’ Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Honorable Premier, we are woke and we will hold your government to account!

Stay Blessed TCI

Jamell Robinson, PNP At Large Candidate

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