The University of Guyana Council should rescind its decision on Freddie Kissoon
By STABROEK STAFF | 4 COMMENTS | LETTERS | THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2012
At elections the people vote for leaders to run the affairs of the nation in the interest of every citizen. The electorate entrusts that power to the individuals whom they expect will make their lives better. When it is observed that those entrusted with that power are using it just to amass wealth for themselves and their associates – building Prado 1 and Prado 2 – whilst the majority of the people are suffering due to lack of essential social amenities and the rise in crime, then people with conscience will rise up and challenge these charlatans’ unconscionable behaviour.
Freddie (Kissoon) has been one of these voices of conscience exposing and challenging all forms of devious behaviour by those in power. They obviously dislike him for his struggle for fairness and justice at all levels in our country. So it is only the simple minded who will accept the reason being put forward by the PPP/C-choked up University Council, and the government.
In 1982 the then University of Guyana Council voted not to renew my contract and that of Mike McCormack. I learnt that the University Vice Chancellor, Professor Dennis Irvine, asked the council to give the reason for the decision, whether it was academic—to which the council gave a negative reply. Dr Irvine asked that it be “minuted“ that the decision not to renew my contract was not based on my academic performance and the next day he wrote me a letter of recommendation in case I was looking for another job. It was rumoured that the reason was because I was a member of the WPA. After some protests, the University Council changed its mind and I was privileged to continue serving at the University of Guyana until August 2004.
The irony is that some of those who protested at my dismissal on political grounds in 1982 are now in power and using the same weapons as their predecessor to remove Freddie Kissoon. This makes one wonder—thirty years later—where is the change?
In 2012, with the wave of demand for political and social justice for the masses sweeping everywhere, Guyanese are too intelligent to remain mired down by the ignorant and outdated policy of party allegiance alone and nothing else. Mr Kissoon’s case is the first test of what can be expected from the new government. We must refuse to accept wrongful dismissal anywhere. The University Council can and must rescind its decision on Freddie Kissoon.
The cycle of abuse of power and victimization must stop. It is totally out of place in the world we live in today.
Former President of the
University of Guyana Workers Union