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– opposition demands truthPM Sam HindsFacing tough questions, Government yesterday made an about turn,Cheap Authentic Jerseys, retracting earlier statements and insisting that China Central Television (CCTV) does not need a licence to operate in Guyana; because it is utilizing a channel assigned to the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN).According to Prime Minister,NFL Jerseys Cheap, Samuel Hinds, NCN is merely relaying a feed.But the Parliamentary opposition, Alliance For Change (AFC) and A Partnership For National Unity (APNU), both dismissed the explanations as being from a totally “confused” government that is now seeking to correct a gross mistake.Since the Chinese state-owned television started to broadcast less than two weeks ago on Channel 27/Cable 78,China Jerseys Wholesale, the whole issue of the granting of television and radio licences has sparked a hot debate with questions especially over the procedures followed.With the formation of statutory Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) recently, that body has been requesting fresh applications to be submitted. Previously, the National Frequency and Management Unit (NFMU) would grant application for frequencies. With a number of applicants facing a further delay in the processing, the entire issue has been sharply drawn into the spotlight.Initially, Government said that the licence was as a result of an agreement done way back before the Jagdeo presidency. However, government later said it was checking back its record to determine what transpired in the lead up to CCTV taking the air.Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, had suggested that the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) would have handled the transaction.Yesterday, in explaining CCTV’s presence in Guyana, Hinds acknowledged that questions were posed in the National Assembly by AFC Member of Parliament, Cathy Hughes, recently on licensing and were to be answered by Thursday. He also noted that APNU’s Joe Harmon had attempted to raise similar questions, but was disallowed by the Speaker as it was thought they were similar to Hughes’s.He also made reference to statements of media personality, Kit Nascimento, who has been speaking and writing about the dangerous precedent being set and about Government breaking its own laws.No licenceAFC’s Cathy Hughes“Well, Kit can put his concerns to rest:  they arise from incorrect assumptions,” the PM said.“CCTV has no licence to broadcast in Guyana.  The licensed broadcaster, National Communications Network (NCN) Inc., is relaying CCTV programmes for 18 hours or more, on one of its assigned channels.  This situation is very much similar to that which obtained when Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) programmes used to be relayed on one of the terrestrial television channels in Guyana. “Hinds made it clear that when TBN-relayed broadcast programmes were discontinued, it was not on the basis of TBN being a foreign programme, but rather over a dispute over who had the rights to the television channel.He said that CCTV is not broadcasting in Guyana – “it is not licensed and needs no licence.  NCN is relaying a feed from CCTV, as other TV stations relay satellite-feeds of their choice, including CNNI, BBC, NBC, CBS, and CCTV…”The PM also argued that many are not aware that NCN for a number of years, has been airing CCTV content, in addition to CNN, BBC, NBC, CBS, HBO, Al Jazeera, and Russian programmes. It is a fact also that CCTV programmes are available on various cable packages in the U.S.A. and in most countries in the world.“I, therefore, hope that it is now clear that CCTV is not, in itself, a licensed operator in Guyana.  CCTV programmes are no more foreign propaganda than any other foreign-originated programmes relayed in Guyana, whether direct to a home-receiver from a satellite, like DIREC-TV or FOX, or a re-broadcast by a licensed, terrestrial (on-the-ground) broadcaster.”The official said that the issue of CCTV coming here came up during discussions of the Guyana-China Joint Commission.“This mutual desire was eventually formalized in an Agreement between the Governments of Guyana and China, in 2004.  Under that agreement, China Radio and Television Corporation (CCTV) provides, to NCN, receiving and transmitting facilities which then become the property of NCN, after which, in negotiations on specific terms,Adidas Hockey Jerseys Cheap, NCN would re-broadcast specific programmes of CCTV over one of its (NCN’S) assigned channels.”Hinds said it is a business arrangement of NCN, not unlike the arrangement under which TBN was relayed in Guyana.“At that time, Channel 29/Cable 80 was earmarked to NCN for part-use in re-broadcasting CCTV programmes, but when the Learning Channel came along in early 2011, NCN began utilizing that previously earmarked Channel for the Learning Channel.  Consequently, in 2012, when the re-broadcasts were to begin, Channel 27/Cable 78 was instead assigned as a substitute.”But both Harmon and Hughes were dismissive of the “excuse” by the PM.Suspending NCNAPNU’s Joe Harmon“This is clearly a defence by the government in damage control mode and clearly shows an inept administration which has been unable to properly handle the affairs of this government.”Harmon said that his APNU was standing by the statements of Dr. Roger Luncheon, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, who recently said that instructions were given for NFMU to issue a frequency.The MP also said that his recent questions to the National Assembly which were disallowed were based on the Broadcast Act which said that licencees have to be Guyanese or CARICOM citizens.Regarding the statements by the PM that the CCTV deal was a business one with NCN, Harmon was convinced that the statements of government are clearly confusing as the entity does not have the authority to grant frequencies…rather that is the job of the NFMU.The MP said his party is now studying the issue to determine whether NCN as a licence holder may have breached the broadcast regulations.“We will be moving to even have NCN’s licence suspended if it is found that they breached the Broadcast Act by giving out this channel.”According to AFC’s Hughes, from what Government is saying, it is clear that it gave itself three channels. “I am horrified that the state took it to grant itself three channels. The fact is, when NCN was allocated the channels, the conditions would have made it clear what they were for.”She too said that the government’s story kept changing.First,Cheap Jerseys Wholesale, it was NCN’s head,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, Michael Gordon, who said that the entity’s responsibility to CCTV had to do with sanitary and maintenance. “Now we are hearing that they are broadcasting. What is the truth? We have Transport Minister Benn, Mr. Gordon, the Prime Minister, and Dr. Luncheon all saying different things…what is the truth?”
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