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JANUARY 25, 2012. VOL 5, NO 108

Patrick Manning stable after stroke It was Hazel Manning who noticed that her husband, Patrick Manning did not appear well, and called a doctor for advice late Monday January 23. The former Prime Minister and People’s National Movement Member of Parliament for San Fernando East was unable to stand, and his speech was slurred. The doctor advised that the Mannings seek emergency treatment. Manning was taken by ambulance from his home at Sumadh Gardens, Vistabella, San Fernando, and arrived at the San Fernando General Hospital at around 10 p.m.. See page 3

T&T Government wants $2.7B more Government will seek Parliament’s approval for over $2.7 billion in increases which were recorded as expenditure incurred in the last fiscal year. A bill seeking retrospective legislative approval for the increases was debated on Monday January 23, ahead of a planned special sitting of the Senate next Monday. Results still pending. See page 3

18 Chutney Soca Monarch finalists revealed The producers of the 2012 Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch have decided to include 3 additional contestants in the Grand Final, to ensure that the 3 Guyanese contestants displace none of the contestants in Trinidad & Tobago. Finalists include, Adesh Samaroo, KI, Heeralal Rampartap and Soca Elvis See page 12


TOP STORIES

Patrick Manning stable after stroke Former prime minister Patrick Man-

ning remains warded in a stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital after he suffered, what his son Brian Manning described as “a mild stroke” on Monday night. The younger Manning called on the nation to keep his father in its prayers. Manning who is the longest serving Member of Parliament, with service of 40 years, is the Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) Member of Parliament for San Fernando East. His constituents last night held a candlelight vigil inclusive of prayers for his recovery. Manning fell ill on Monday night at his Sumadh Gardens, Vistabella home. He remains warded in stable condition at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Hospital under tight security. Reporters were told that Manning suffered an embolism which is a blood clot in the brain which led to the stroke. “It is a wait and see situation right now. And really we thank the country for their prayers and all the other wellwishers. We hope that those prayers continue,” Brian Manning said. Speaking outside the hospital, Manning’s wife Hazel, said that her husband is “doing very well”. She said that her husband is conscious and attentive. Her son said: “Our family is a strong one and we are prepared for whatever may happen. But we are very optimistic...the doctors are very optimistic. He is in fantastic health, he has really been taking care of himself. I say he is in a very good place to have a full recovery.” Brian also added that he

Hazel Manning, centre, wife of San Fernando East MP Patrick Manning, leaves the San Fernando General Hospital along with their two sons, Brian, left, and David (right) (Photo: Trevor Watson)

did not know where reports surfaced that Cuban doctors were en route to Trinidad to attend to his father , saying that the local doctors have been doing a fantastic job. Manning’s medical team includes head of the Department of Medicine, Dr Kamta Ramcharan along with cardiologists and other specialist doctors. PNM and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, the party’s PRO Faris Al Rawi, former PNM culture minister Joan Yuille-Williams, former PNM health minister Jerry Narace and other PNM MPs visited the hospital to offer their support to Manning. Some of the well-wishers, even those from the PNM were not allowed to see Manning. “Right now, my father is not seeing any visitors. I know a lot of people mean well but his doctors have asked that he not take any visitors and we are going to adhere to that. He is resting comfortably, he is not in a critical situation right now,” Brian said.

Government wants $2.7B more Government will seek Parliament’s approval for over $2.7 billion in increases which were recorded as expenditure incurred in the last fiscal year. A bill seeking retrospective legislative approval for the increases was Monday, ahead of a planned special sitting of the Senate next Monday. The legislation, which is entitled “The Finance (Supplementation and Variation of Appropriation) (Financial Year 2011) Bill 2012” is expected to be subject to a full debate in the House of Representatives where whips have already placed MPs on notice. The purpose of the bill is to supplement and vary appropriations which had already been approved in Parliament in relation to the fiscal year 2011. In particular, the legislation seeks to approve increases totalling $3.2 billion which were incurred over 12 heads of expenditure. At the same time, the bill seeks authorisation to apply surpluses of $526 million, recorded over 13 heads of expenditure, against the increases, for a net increase in appropriation of $2.7 billion. The bill is to be tabled by Finance Minister Winston Dookeran at today’s sitting of Parliament, which begins at 1.30pm, at the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre. After tabling the bill, Dookeran is expected to move that the bill be taken later during the sitting.

Winston Dookeran

The Finance Minister will outline the main areas where increased expenditure (above the allocated and approved amounts) were recorded. These, totalling $3.2 billion, included: Finance ($1,102,070,300); Works and Transport ($714,605,126); Works and Infrastructure ($534,496,669); Foreign Affairs and Communications ($277,583,761); Transport ($250,898,205); Sport ($125,986,167); Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs ($99,707,808); Planning and the Economy ($62,815,171); Gender, Youth and Child Development ($50,537,200); Housing and the Environment ($5,667,941); National Security ($3,395,400); and Trade and Industry ($863,600).

CARIBBEAN XPRESS

“He is in stable condition , he is being monitored and he is being tested. A lot of ridiculous statements are being made right now,” Brian said as he warned that only what comes out of the public relations department of the San Fernando East Constituency should be regarded as truth. Brian’s brother David was also present, but did not speak to reporters instead shaking hands with several persons outside the hospital before he went to see his father. Chairman of the South-West Regional Health Authority Dr Lackram Bodoe said: “I want to confirm Mr Patrick Manning was admitted to the SFGH last night and following a visit he appears stable at the moment. He said Manning came through the Accident and Emergency Department sometime after 10 pm on Monday. “All I can say is that tests are still being performed and his condition remains stable. Tests are being performed to determine the cause of his admission. At this point in time I am not at liberty to reveal any details of his diagnosis” He said that Manning was “actually conscious and responding.” In a statement, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar extended her “heartfelt concern” for Manning and joined the nation in prayer for his speedy and full recovery. “I have advised the Minister of Heath to make available to our former prime minister every resource necessary that may be required to ensure Mr Manning is well looked after,” said Persad-Bissessar. “I know he is possessed of the strength of character and indomitable

spirit that will help him through this health challenge and feel confident that he will resume his duty of national service.” Rowley who dropped in during the afternoon period joined the chorus of calls to pray for Manning. Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, told reporters outside the hospital: “Like everyone else in the country, we are keeping our fingers crossed. We will be calling for all the prayers and asking God for guidance and intervention in getting him well.” Rowley was not allowed to see Manning. He said he was not disappointed. “I expected that there were special circumstances so I came just in case I would have been able to go in. I came at the first appropriate moment,” Rowley said. Former prime minister and UNC leader Basdeo Panday and his daughter Mickela surprised many, including Manning himself, when they too showed up. Panday told reporters that while he and Manning had been political foes, this did not stop them from being friends. “I will tell you, he (Manning) seemed a bit surprised when I showed up,” a smiling Panday said. “When I heard he was ill I thought I would come and visit him. I spoke to the family and asked if it was permissible that I do so and they agreed. I came and I saw him and I am very sorry. I do hope that he will recover rather quickly and I told him that.” His daughter Mickela echoed similar sentiments.

These funds were issued out of the Consolidated Fund, a measure that requires approval. At the same time, there were several heads of expenditure which recorded spending less than allocated amounts (surpluses). These, totalling $526 million, included the following areas: Foreign Affairs ($259,267,200); Sport and Youth Affairs ($148,101,867); Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs ($52,706,812); People and Social Development ($15,569,851); Science, Technology and Tertiary Education ($12,931,100); Office of the Prime Minister ($8,406,161); Labour, Small and Micro-Enterprise Development ($6,651,100); Public Administration ($4,805,800); Justice ($3,395,400); Community Development ($2,306,949); Legal Affairs ($1,236,400); Education ($1,080,600). The changes all relate to the Budget for the year up to September 30, 2011. The Budget for the year 2011 was initially projected as a $49 billion package with a deficit of $7.7 billion. The increases for which approval is today sought represent almost six percent of the original 2011 Budget. In relation to the $54 billion Budget for the year 2012, which was presented by Dookeran three months ago, the first report of the Finance Committee

of Parliament, a powerful and secret bi- partisan committee of the House of Representatives, is expected to be tabled in Parliament today. That report deals with proposals for the supplementation and variation of the 2012 appropriation. The tabling of a supplementation and variation bill after the wrap of the previous fiscal year is not unprecedented. Almost exactly one year ago, on January 21, 2011, President George Maxwell-Richards assented a similar bill which varied the appropriation for the year 2010. That bill sought to approve increases amounting to $1.1 billion. A few months later, another supplementary appropriation for $1.7 billion was also approved. The 2010 Budget had been initially projected at $44 billion (with a deficit of $7.8 billion). The later increases represented roughly 6.3 percent of original planned expenditure. In January 2009, a similar appropriation was passed for $1 billion in relation to the 2008 Budget, That budget was initially projected at $42.2 billion. The January 2009 increase represented 2.3 percent of the total budget.

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JANUARY 25, 2012


EDITORIAL

Kamla setting women back

Letter from the Publisher

“Instead of the iron fist in a velvet glove we were promised on the hustings, we are treated to sash wearing, truck-bed riding, magazine posing, beauty queen behavior while the country is circling the drain. I pointed out during the campaign that she offered nothing of substance then, and sadly she offers nothing of substance now. You CANNOT run a country on platitudes and photo ops, regardless of what the fashion magazines say. It simply does not work that way. The people are sick to death of the ‘drunk on the party line’ talking heads who simply regurgitate cultic drivel for points and props and are desperate for something like calm, cohesive and sensible governance.

I am sure many of you listening and reading about T&T PM Kamla Persad Bissessar’s trip to India would have formulated an opinion. I am sure some of you may have considered that there’s nothing wrong with her going to India and then there are some of you that join the number of us who looks at this trip as another waste of money. This is another one of Auntie Kamla’s many trips where it seems that she has to travel with an entourage of people.

“Kamla Persad-Bissessar may not fully understand that being the first female Prime Minister comes with tremendous responsibility; Her moment in the sun is ‘pregnant’ with the aspirations of every woman behind her, desperate to be seen as equals in the male-dominated world of top level politics and not just as sidekicks and bag holders. It is not too late to save her legacy, but it is almost too late. Only Kamla knows the truth here, and while she may have little control over what she was, she still has the final say in who she allows herself to be, now and in the future. Having kicked open the door to what was formerly a man’s world, it would be tragically ironic if her actions and her legacy shuts it hard against other deserving women of substance in the future.”

I was going through the article below written by Maxie Cuffie on this India trip and would agree with Nirvan Balkissoon her that here’s another thoughless act by this PP government who continues to Government in a manner that former Prime Minister Patrick Manning was accused of. I am also saddened by the news of Mr. Manning’s illness and I pray that he has a speedy full recovery.

I wrote the above in an article entitled ‘Vagina Politics’ in 2010 and chose to revisit it in 2012 to see what, if anything, had changed. Has the condition of women and women issues in society improved two years into the term of this country’s first female Prime Minister? One could be excused for expecting that by now the Cabinet, the Senate and every manner of institution and available appointment would be populated by strong women of substance and character but sadly, the complete opposite is true. Appearing not to care about the seemingly ‘unimportant’ things like precedents and conventions, our Prime Minister has done an even poorer job of securing women’s issues to date than her male counterparts before her and may well have set women in leadership back decades by her example. In a country whose cup literally runneth over with many, many extremely creative, supremely qualified and talented women in all spheres of artistic, intellectual and other pursuits who are capable of leading at the highest level it is a shame that whatever male-driven insecurities surround her are being allowed to prosper. In place of the anticipated elevation of women on her watch our culture is instead rampant with the marginalisation of women as sex objects and the relegation of that gender to trivial pursuits with little or no regard to any other contribution they may want to make. The rise in overtly sexist and demeaning positions from some religious quarters where women and their issues are concerned is very telling as to the ‘mood’ in society, and in corporate T&T the message seems to be you may have an MBA but you better have cleavage if you want to advance. All things being equal and under normal circumstances she is legally entitled to at least a further three years in her current term, and if a day is a long time in politics, then three years is sufficient time for her to undo the damage she herself is doing. Not even men want to live in an exclusively man’s world as it is a dirty, confrontational, greedy and abrasive place. I would go so far as to say women make us men better, and if that is the case then we could use their help at the highest levels where, sadly, left to our own devices, we have made a terrible mess. Kamla needs to set the tone for society to follow and a good place to start would be by insisting on a 50-50 division of Ministries among men and women in her Cabinet and the inclusion of a women’s agenda. These two things alone would have a huge and positive impact on where we as a nation go from here, and would go a long way to securing her a legacy worthy of this country’s first female Prime Minister. By: Phillip Edward Alexander

The views expressed in this article do not neccessarily reflect the views of this newspaper

It is not surprising that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has taken a quarter of her Cabinet and scores of State sector executives on a trip to India without any strategic planning for what we hope to achieve or any cost-benefit analysis of the last trip undertaken 15 years ago. If any of this has taken place, it has not been shared with the taxpaying public, which is paying a high price for this overseas frolic. The large contingent appears to comprise anyone willing to commit his organisation to paying the exorbitant airfare and accommodation costs with the most desired outcome appearing to be success in signing a memorandum of understanding. Has anyone looked back at the number of memoranda signed during the 1997 State visit and what has become of them and why? Our failure to prepare while expecting, or promising fantastic returns is simply a replay of what transpired with the state of emergency, the assassination plot and the other on-going misadventures which suggest an administration hopelessly short of management and leadership talent. And for all the talk of the invitation being touted as a special honour to PersadBissessar, we know it is now customary for the most senior State official of Indian descent in Trinidad and Tobago to be invited for the biennial Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Thus far these have included former PNM chairmen Dr. Linda Baboolal and Dr. Lenny Saith (who went in their capacities as President of the Senate and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister respectively), as well as former PM Basdeo Panday. As the only head of government on this year’s invitation list, Persad-Bissessar is automatically the chief guest, yet another honour for a peripatetic Prime Minister intent on trotting the globe on the flawed assumption that is how investment decisions are won. A glance back to 15 years ago would have been enlightening. When Panday made his Sate visit to India in 1997 he was accompanied by a large contingent of businesspeople from the state and private sector. All we have to show from that adventure was the shipment of rice which went bad after being lost at sea. The cargo, much of which spoilt by the time it got here, was uncharitably christened ‘dog rice’ by the Opposition PNM at the time. The fallout from that experience, however, was millions of dollars lost by the State-controlled National Flour Mills, which has never recovered from the debacle. Its shareholders and the taxpayers paid a heavy price for the investment decision too heavily influenced by emotional considerations. Is there anything in place to ensure we do not make the same mistakes? It is instructive to note that for all the talk of finding new suppliers in India, the local private sector is not heavily represented on this trip. Unlike the predominantly State-sector officials along for this taxpayer-funded jaunt, Panday’s India trip was conducted in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce and included then Chamber president Michael Arneaud. Still, in terms of encouraging major investment, that visit came to naught. The PM appears to be starting over afresh with a new set of prime ministerial hangers on journeying to the sub-continent to exchange platitudes and extol the benefits of investment decisions that will never come. The truth is, Trinidad and Tobago is in no position to compete in the Indian market for anything beyond the oil and gas which we possess in depleting quantities. And while the PM has made it quite clear that she is in search of investment from India, her hosts have consistently reminded Persad-Bissessar and their other guests that the purpose of the biennial Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is to attract investment to India from the large non-resident Indian diaspora. If history is any guide, as far as Trinidad and Tobago is concerned, the most likely outcome may be mutual disappointment.

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JANUARY 25, 2012


COMMENTARY/COMMUNITY

Conservative MP’s Taxpayer-Funded Survey insults Indo-Canadians TORONTO—A Conservative MP should apologize and reimburse taxpayers after mailing out an ill-informed survey that insulted many of his IndoCanadian constituents, said Liberal Multiculturalism critic Jim Karygiannis. He was referring to a publicly-funded “ten percenter” mailing that is landing in Mississauga East-Cooksville mailboxes this week, in which local MP, Wladyslaw Lizon, surveys constituents on the primary language spoken in their home and which included “Indian” as a possible language response. Mr. Karygiannis noted that there are 22 recognized regional languages in India, none of which is called “Indian.”

“It is amazing to me that an MP representing such an ethnically-diverse riding would be so ill-informed. This is like asking someone if they speak “Canadian” or “Mexican,” said Mr. Karygiannis. “As an immigrant himself, one would have thought Mr. Lizon would take the time to learn about the diverse backgrounds of his constituents and acquaint himself with at least the most basic facts about their countries of origin.” Mr. Karygiannis added that the survey was doubly insulting since it was printed and mailed out using the tax dollars of Mr. Lizon’s own constituents. He called on Mr. Lizon to apologize to

Dear Editor, Last night I attended a function at the Consul General office in Toronto, which was held to welcome the new Consul General to Toronto. The function had about 75 people, some of the people I have never seen before at any function and some were known to me. I understood after speaking with serveral people that some of the Consul General’s family and friends came in from the USA for the function. I also notice a number of people from the same organization attended while only the President of FOTT Friends of Trinidad and Tobago was present. When I asked the President of FOTT where his other guys are, he stated that he received a call from the Consul general office informing him that only one member of FOTT can attend the function. I have to ask then, “why is FOTT being single out and only being ask to have one attendee while other groups have more than one, I noticed at least four people from the same group attending.” One has to wonder if the nonsense that exist in T&T with family and friends will continue here in Toronto with this new Consul general and her staff. During Mr. Michael Lashley’s term as Consul General I have never heard of a group being restricted to having one member and the wifes’ were not being invited. Many had anticipated that the Consul General office will be used as a means of vindictiveness against some group and Community leaders since the hiring of a certain event cordinator, and it seems that maybe the case here. I comment the Caribbean Xpress newspaper for always being impartial and bold enough to carry the real story and the unlying factors affecting our community. Regards, Dedicated reader

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those he had offended and reimburse Canadians for the cost of the mailing. Imran Mian, president of the Mississauga East-Cooksville Liberal Association, added his own comments: “As a former Co-Chair of the South Asian Advisory Council with the United Way of Peel, I would like to inform Mr. Lizon that there is no such language as “Indian.” India is a big country and it has many languages including Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Tamil and Gujrati. If you are going to survey your constituents so that you can best represent them as you claim in your mailout, please first take the time to educate yourself about them.”

Mr. Karygiannis noted that this insensitive survey seems to be a return to the early days of the new Conservative Party, recalling an incident in 2004 when Stephen Harper sent a letter wishing a happy India Republic Day to the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres – an aboriginal organization. “Mr. Lizon can’t even claim he was trying to find out how many of his constituents speak aboriginal languages – since they don’t speak “Indian” either,” concluded Mr. Karygiannis, noting that there are at least 65 distinct aboriginal languages and dialects spoken in Canada.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! SEND US YOUR COMMENTS/FEEDBACK/QUESTIONS INFO@CARIBBEANXPRESS.CA Caribbean Xpress is not responsible for the contents of the comments and they do not represent the views of this newspaper. Dear Caribbean Xpress I would like to share part of this letter that was send to the Consulate General for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago: I wish to refer to your E-Mail to me dated Tuesday 17th January 2012. In spite of your explanation given that only one (1) invitation was issue per organization, it has been brought to my attention that quite a number of invitations were issued to various organizations, and it is my information,that both Trinidad and Tobago Fifty Plus and Seniors Association, and also Zoomers Association had at least Four (4) Members each from these Organizations who were present. I take a very strong view of your explanation and the manner that you took against our Organisation THE FRIENDS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (FOTT). May I bring to your notice, that (FOTT) is a very serious and Professional Organisation,it is a non-profit organization registered in the Province of Ontario. FOTT Objectives are , 1. Develop and implement A plan to Facilitate The Needs Of Trinidad and Tobago Nationals Living In Canada (and To A Certain Extent Assist Nationals Living In Trinidad.) 2. Communicate The Needs Of Trinidad And Tobago Nationals In Canada. 3. Collaborate With Both Canadian And Trinidad And Tobago Governments on the Needs Of Trinidad and Tobago Nationals. 4. Inform And Provide Information to Trinidad And Tobago Natinals. 5. Creating A Loud And Clear Voice To Facilitate The Needs Of Trinidad And Tobago In Canada. As you are aware that the Hon. Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago has just return from India and have indicated that the drinks and parties should stop now and it is time to get down to serious work. In that vein I am in full support of the Hon. Prime Minister and I would be writing to the new Consul General to have an URGENT meeting with the Board of Directors of FOTT who she has not met as yet for some unknown reason, in order to bring to her attention the many problems our Nationals here in Canada are facing one of which, is lack of communication between our national and her department and the vast amount of outstanding T&T Pass Ports that has already been approve and they cannot collect them to-gether with other issues. I also want to inform you that I am in constant contact with Mr. Nelson of your office almost on a daily basis with many nationals who were having promlems with thier outstanding documents and I must congrulate him, for his excellent work he has done as I was able so far to get all those problems that I have brought to his attention solve for the benifit of our nationals. A very urgent acknowledgement and written reply is expected. Best Regards, Board of Director & Public Relations Officer, FOTT Farouk Hydal

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JANUARY 25, 2012


TRINIDAD NEWS

Tsunami of crime has to stop Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-

sar on January 21 reinforced Government’s commitment to enforcing the death penalty, saying they must do all they can to stop the current “tsunami of crime that has hit Trinidad and Tobago”. Delivering the feature address at the opening of the two-day National Security Policy Workshop at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain yesterday, Persad-Bissessar said: “My Government and I remain committed to the people of this nation and will spare no effort to protect them. We shall continue in our efforts to facilitate the re-implementation of the death penalty so that we might both punish the guilty and deter the would-be offenders.” Persad-Bissessar’s statement came mere days after a call by Minister of Works and Infrastructure, Jack Warner, for the reintroduction of the death penalty in light of the murders of three Felicity fishermen. Warner made the call at the funerals of the men, Kasinath Ramsaran, 31, of Cacandee Road, Felicity; his brother Ravi, 26, of the same address; and Pream Squires, 45 of Maharaj Street, Chaguanas, last week, even as their relatives also urged Government to

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, right, is presented with a bouquet of flowers by Richard Downie, director of the US Centre for Hemispheric Studies, at the opening of the two-day National Security Policy Workshop.

bring back the hangmen in the face of the spiralling crime and surging murder rate. The three men went missing after leaving home on January 10 to go on a fishing expedition. Their bodies were found floating in the Gulf of Paria three days later. Two men have since been charged in connection with the murders. Referring specifically to these murders, Persad-Bissessar said such an act was indicative of the fact that

PM: China visit under consideration Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-

sar has said she will “give very favourable consideration” to an invitation to pay a state visit to China. The invitation was extended on Monday January 23 by Chinese Ambassador Yang Youming. “We have visited Brazil, we have visited India and yes we see China is next, so we will favourably consider your kind invitation,” she told Ming during a reception at the Diplomatic Centre. Both spoke during a reception hosted by Persad-Bissessar to mark the start of the Chinese new year of the Dragon on Monday. Attending the function were the leaders of the T&T’s seven Chinese associations. In his address Youming noted increasing trade between China and T&T totalling TT $2.5 billion in 2011. Saying there is growing interest in building closer ties, Youming said the Chinese vice premier, who visited T&T recently, was very satisfied with his visit. Youming said the business communities of each state are explor

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, centre, greets Chinese Ambassador Yang Youming at the head table during a reception (PHOTO: Andy Hypolite)

ing opportunities in tourism, oil and gas and asphalt. Noting that 2012, the year of the Dragon, represents good luck and strength, Youming said his country had every reason to place high hopes on the growing T&T-China relationship this year. He said China looked forward to strengthening mutual ties with T&T and to having more high-level T&T officials visit China in 2012. “It is our sincere hope the Prime

crime was not limited to on land alone anymore and that “ruthless gangs are now carrying out their nefarious criminal activities on the high seas”. Claiming Government has been “attempting to address this tsunami of crime that has hit Trinidad and Tobago”, Persad-Bissessar said their efforts to eradicate crime included the introduction of various bills, including the Constitution Amendment Capital Offences Bill, 2011, which required a special majority of votes to be passed in the parliament. She said although the bill was not successful after the Opposition refused to support it, her Government remained committed to pursuing all avenues open to it in the fight against crime. “This Government is committed to utilising all its resources and bringing the full weight of the law down on those involved in criminal activity,” Persad-Bissessar told those gathered. The workshop, which is being conducted in collaboration with the US Centre for Hemispheric Studies, is intended to influence the National Security Policy’s alignment with the 2012-2017 Ministry of National Security Strategic Plan for combating

crime. Also addressing the gathering yesterday, National Security Minister, Brigadier John Sandy, reminded the heads of local law enforcement agencies that an integrated approach was necessary to fight crime. Sandy, however, said local agencies required regional and international partnerships in order to fight crime. Stating that “there was no quick fix to the crime problem”, Sandy revealed that his ministry was employing a multi-dimensional approach of suppression, prevention, intervention and rehabilitation in order to bring crime under control. Admitting that more sustainable and systematic plans were necessary to fight crime, Sandy said short-term measures were being implemented. He said these will complement the long-term plans that are being formulated by the Government. US Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Beatrice Welters, welcomed the gathering of US and local law enforcement officials, saying their collaboration to achieve local and regional national security goals would reap benefits in the coming months and years.

Minister will be able to lead a delegation on an official visit to China,” he said. Youming said the Chinese Government would provide a preferential loan for construction of a children’s hospital in T&T. A $40 million Chinese grant to T&T would also be used to promote bilateral trade. China would also facilitate cultural exchanges, assist with the opening of a T&T embassy in Beijing and was examining the possibility of opening a Confucius centre in T&T. On the invitation to visit China, Persad-Bissessar said: “May I thank you very much for the offer of a state visit to China and may I say we’ll give very favourable consideration to your invitation to visit China.” Noting the emerging economies of big countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, PersadBissessar said: “We have visited Brazil, we have visited India and yes we see China is next so we will favourably consider your kind invitation.” Persad-Bissessar said the world is not an island and her government could

not take T&T forward “if we continue to sit at home and wait for people to come to us. We need to go out there and market and brand T&T.” She said T&T owed China a debt of gratitude for co-operation on various levels. Persad-Bissessar said she was told the Year of the Dragon was lucky for anyone starting a business or instituting a new project. “According to Chinese philosophy we may expect that this year may witness an easing up of the economic downturn and a kickstart of the economy much needed in T&T. We wait to see the results of this dragon year, but I truly believe T&T, for the most part, is moving in the right direction. “Yes we face challenges, but as the Chinese saying goes, ‘May you live in interesting times’. If there were no challenges, life would be very boring.” Persad-Bissessar said part of China’s $40 million grant would be used to assist every community, including to discourage persons from crime.

19 arrested for drunk driving after fetes Police officers armed with breath-

alysers were out in full force outside Carnival fetes over the weekend, arresting 19 persons for driving under the influence of alcohol. They will all appear in the San Fernando Magistrates’ today to answer the charge of being in control of a vehicle whilst their alcohol content exceeded the legal limit of 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath. Two Carnival fetes targeted by police officers in the south were the “X-perience” all inclusive fete held on San Fernando Hill, and the “Aqua Soca” fete at Skinner Park. While two

bus-loads of police officers guarded the party on the hill on Friday night which some 5,000 plus party-goers attended, a contingent of police officers waited along the roadway for the fete to end. The police exercises were spearheaded by Senior Superintendent of Police, Deodath Dulalchan, and included Corporals Vijay Ramdhanie, Mc Intosh, PC Harripersad and WPC James. The fete promoters provided parking at the foot of the hill and at about 3.50 am, motorists began leaving the venue, got into their cars and drove

CARIBBEAN XPRESS

off. Police officers were waiting on both ends of the exists on Circular Road. Several of the motorists were subjected to field sobriety tests, 16 of them failed and were taken to the San Fernando Police Station, where Ramdhanie, who is one of the officers trained and designated to conduct further tests, performed Evidential Road Breath tests. One motorist had a reading of 107 microgrammes per 100 milliliters of breath. All 16 were charged under the Breathalyser Act and were granted their own bail of $15,000.

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At the “Aqua Soca” fete, a similar exercise was conducted outside Skinner Park, and according to the police report, three persons were charged. In an appeal to party-goers attending fetes, senior police officers said incidents of fatal accidents were high during the Carnival season and drivers should take along a designated driver. The police report in respect of the Skinner Park exercise, stated that a motorist told police officers he had brought along a designated driver who they found asleep in the back seat of the car.

JANUARY 25, 2012


TRINIDAD NEWS

Senator: ‘Conspiracy of silence’ in TT

Independent Senator Dr Rolph Balgobin said there is a “conspiracy of silence” and capacity for self-deception in the country which is preventing meaningful national development. Speaking during debate on the Finance Bill 2012 in the Senate on Wednesday, Balgobin observed, “Our capacity for self deception is significant and we almost always get caught up looking at the wrong thing.” He said because of this, the opportunity to interrogate the Government on the real issues of the day is lost. “I watched this country contort itself

$1M mistake

The Government has paid sacked

director of the Special Anti Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT) Brig Peter Joseph $1 million for his wrongful dismissal. The matter was raised by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley at his bi-monthly press conference at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, Charles Street, Port of Spain, who stated the Prime Minister’s unfounded claims of spying laid against Joseph had cost taxpayers “over $1 million”. Sources said that Joseph, who had sued the State in January last year, has already received his cheque from the State. Joseph who is out of the country could not be reached for comment. Rowley said: “It was the Prime Minister herself who in a fit of pique and righteous indignation told the country that SAUTT was spying on her and in retaliation she summarily dismissed

development project where concerns have been raised about the tendering process for that project. “As a citizen, I am of the view that cannot stand,” he said. Balgobin said the medium term policy framework advanced by Government “is not a plan” and expressed concern the term “sustainable economy” has become “a diagnostic label.”

about whether a Prime Minister should

drive a Porsche or not,” Balgobin said. Saying these issues do not answer the question of “where do we take our economy,” Balgobin said, he was also concerned nowhere in the national conversation was about the tragic fire in Trou Macaque, “did we explain how as a society we are capable of producing a human being that could set fire to a room, on the fifth floor of a building, knowing that women and children are inside.” He said rather than focusing on trivial issues, attention should be paid to issues such as the Invaders Bay

Brigadier Peter Joseph as head of the Special Anti Crime Unit. “Subsequent to that Brigadier Joseph who was embarrassed because he is a highly professional officer, who came to SAUTT with a distinguished career from the Defence Force, and having a Prime Minister so portray him was very hurtful to him, his family and all those who knew him. He has taken issue with the Prime Minister’s position, the Prime Minister has been unable to defend her position. “She could provide no evidence that this was going on. And in the end the Government had to pay well over a million dollars to Brigadier Joseph for wrongful dismissal where his entire contract had to be paid for. “And the Government is attempting to swear him to secrecy—that he mustn’t tell the country what happened. But since it is public money, we would file a question and ask the

Government which is not sworn to secrecy, what was the final payment it made to Brigadier Joseph for his wrongful dismissal so that people in Trinidad and Tobago could see the effect of the reckless action of the Prime Minister of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.” Joseph, a highly distinguished and decorated officer, was sacked publicly when Prime Minister Kamla PersadBisssessar announced his termination on September 20, 2010, moments before she departed Piarco Airport to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Prime Minister stated then that Joseph was fired in order to facilitate SAUTT’s restructuring and reorganisation. But the action came amidst reports the Government had believed that SAUTT had spied on the Prime Minister and others while she was in

Opposition, a charge which Joseph felt constrained to deny. In fact, Joseph had stated he had written to Persad-Bissessar “to personally assure her and the people of Trinidad and Tobago that SAUTT never ‘spied’ on her or on any Member of Parliament”. “We gather criminal intelligence to support our work, but our resources are solely used to target criminals. We do not, and have never, used our resources to ‘spy’ on any Member of Parliament or any other law abiding citizen,” Joseph stated on September 21, 2010 in a press release. But on the same day Cabinet took the decision to dismiss him. One month later—in October 2010—the Prime Minister disclosed in the Parliament that it was the Security Intelligence Agency, a spy unit under the Strategic Services Agency, which had been illegally spying on citizens.

noon, with supporter Shelly Ann Singh saying she arrived at 3 p.m to show her support. Singh, 32, said the performance of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was “very good”, and the people of Diamond Village, San Fernando, now had pipe-borne water. Ramoutar Jagroop, 56, said he came by bus from Fyzabad. The Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) worker said “Kamla’s performance could not have been any better”. The leaders of the coalition parties

of the People’s Partnership attended the celebrations. The party’s chairman, Jack Warner, who last week complained he was not invited to the celebrations, told supporters the party was stronger than ever. People’s Partnership coalition leader Makandal Daaga said the Government was not Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar alone, and all had a part to play in the governance of the country.

Transport Minister Devant Maharaj, centre, with AMT president Eon Hewitt and Route 2 Maxi Taxi president Linus Phillip during the launch of Route 2 Maxi Taxi’s ‘excellence in Service’

Party time in Rienzi The United National Congress (UNC)

feted its supporters with song and dance on January 24 at the second anniversary celebrations commemorating the second anniversary of the election of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as political leader of the UNC. The celebrations were held at the party’s Rienzi Complex, Couva, headquarters. Around 8 p.m., Persad-Bissessar, dressed in yellow, was escorted on stage to the sounds of calypsonian Denyse Plummer who sang her hit

“Woman Is Boss”, with the chorus adapted to say “Kamla is Boss”. PM Persad-Bissessar chipped on stage and waved a Trinidad and Tobago flag while Plummer exclaimed her trademark “What ees dees!”. Plummer said, in reference to the twoyear celebration: “Two years; we going for 100.” She then proceeded to sing what she said was Persad-Bissessar’s favourite song by Celine Dion, “I’m Alive”. A clearly moved Persad-Bissessar sang every line. Plummer then sang “Nah Leaving”. People began gathering from after-

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JANUARY 25, 2012


GUYANA NEWS

EU to fund $615M hydro system at Kato In its efforts to promote the use of sus-

tainable and climate friendly energy, the European Union [EU] recently approved a project for the development of a Micro-Hydropower System on the Chiung River, Kato in Region Eight, Guyana. In a statement, the EU said the financing agreement for the project has since been dispatched by the EU delegation in Guyana to the Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh who acts as the National Authorising Officer [NAO] for the EU funded programmes in Guyana. A public signing ceremony to officially launch the project is expected to follow in the near future between the NAO and the head of delegation of the European Union in Guyana. The total cost of the project is pegged at €2,455,797 (approximately G$615 million) with the EU contributing €1,841,848 (G$460 million) under

The waterfalls on the Chiung River, Region Eight which is expected to power the hydro system that is being funded by the European Union

the 10th European Development Fund [EDF] while the Guyana government will contribute €613,949 (G$154 million).

As part of the government’s broader hinterland electrification programme, the system will comprise a 330 kilowatt micro-hydropower station with its primary energy source being the 36metre head waterfall in the Chiung River, in the vicinity of Kato village. Sufficient generating capacity for electrical services are to be provided to a secondary school complex to be constructed by the Ministry of Education, existing government buildings such as the nursery/primary schools, the guest house, the police outpost, medical facilities, school dormitories and to also facilitate agro processing and commercial farming. Furthermore, the system will provide electricity to Paramakatoi through a 16 km transmission line which forms part of the intervention. It is expected that the government will fast track the construction of the

President meets with Sithe Global officials

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sithe Global, Bruce Wrobel, and Senior Vice-Presidents, James McGowan and Brian Kubeck on January 23 met with President Donald Ramotar for the first time since he took Office, to discuss the way forward with regards to the Amaila Falls Hydro Project (AFHP). Wrobel, in a brief comment, said that the Guyanese Head of State showed very strong support for the project, and that his company is very encouraged by the steps that are being taken to see the completion of the access road so that construction of the hydro can commence in a few months. The Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, the brainchild of the former President Bharrat Jagdeo, will catalyse a seismic shift in the energy infrastructure of Guyana, in the environment for doing business and in the quality of

President Donald Ramotar, Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh and Chief Executive Officer, National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington meeting with Chief Executive Officer, Sithe Global, Bruce Wrobel, and Senior Vice-Presidents, Development, James McGowan and Brian Kubeck

life in Guyana. In July 2010, the Guyana Government signed off a loan to build the project and formalise the cooperation

A golf course in the making?

between the Guyana Power and Light Company, Sithe Global, China Development Bank and China Railway First Group Company Limited. This project will materialise the largest investment ever made in Guyana, with more than 2,000 jobs being created during the construction phase, moreso, when completed, it is expected that it will result in annual savings amounting to US$135M on the national fossil fuel import bill, generate more than 150MW of power from a renewable source, and reduce the cost of power to the final consumer, thereby improving the investment environment, reducing the cost of living, attracting investment, and creating more jobs. It is also expected to transform Guyana from a country that is completely dependent on fossil fuel sources for electric energy to a country that

and completely closed, bringing a breath of fresh air to the residents of North East La Penitence and other contigious communities. Residents have expressed kudos for a great job done by contractors, Puran Brothers Disposal Inc. In their estimation, the emerging fresh green mound, pleasing to the eye, has literally taken on the appearance of a golf course from a distance. The Georgetown City Constabulary did not have enough manpower to

prevent waste-pickers from entering the now closed Le Repentir landfill. City Public Health Officer, Bizuayehu Jeffrey could not say whether the Le Repentir landfill has been affecting the health of nearby residents. She said research would have to be conducted to determine the extent to which residents’ health was affected. Nearby residents have complained bitterly about rodent, fly and cockroach infestation in addition to the stench and smoke due to occasional fires.

CARIBBEAN XPRESS

utilises only renewable sources for the national power grid, along with the establishment of a prototype for future hydropower projects, whether to meet expanded domestic demand or for the export market. The AFHP consists of a hydropower dam built at the junction of the Amaila and Kuribrong rivers. The electricity will be generated by specially-designed and purpose built turbines and deliver substations in Linden and Sophia, by new 270KV long and 230KV high voltage transmission lines. It includes a new 67km access road, part of which was built by Synergy Holdings before its contract was terminated for failing to honour one of the terms of its completion agreement. These new roads, along with some upgrades, will facilitate movement of the equipment that will be used to build and operate the facility.

Banks DIH to open $21M Sports Bar at Starbroek Square by Mashramani The local beverage giant Banks DIH

Le Repentir landfill has been finally

secondary school facility, which is a pre-condition for the investment to be made. The secondary school is foreseen to be the main electricity consumer and as such, forms the basis for feasibility of the investment. Head of Delegation of the European Union in Guyana, Ambassador Robert Kopecký remarked: “he anticipates the speedy commencement of the construction phase of the system and hopes that the construction deadlines can be achieved without any major hiccups”. He further emphasised that, “the project embodies initiatives under the Low Carbon Development Strategy [LCDS], while expressing hope that similar sustainable energy uses could be employed especially for the hinterland regions”. The construction phase is expected to begin in February 2013 and be completed by February 2015.

Limited is gearing up to embark on the establishment of a new $21 million Sports Bar at Stabroek Square, which will undoubtedly give downtown Georgetown a major boost in its image. Banks DIH Chairman and Managing Director, Clifford Reis, made this announcement on Saturday while addressing the shareholders and guests present at the company’s 56th Annual General Meeting. According to Reis, this venture forms part of the company’s efforts to institute a transformation in quality and standards offered to customers, while simultaneously targeting the younger generation of patrons. He explained that the Board of Directors took the decision to transform Demico House, located at Stabroek Square, into a more attractive and appealing establishment. “It was an old bar… The outside of the building cannot be altered

PAGE 9

because it is one of the buildings earmarked by the National Trust, but the inside of the building will be transformed, and we expect it to be launched in time for Mashramani,” Reis said. The money earmarked for this venture also caters for refurbishing Demico House and Hotel, all in keeping with the company’s theme: “The Next Level”. Reis pointed out that, in addition to achieving ISO 22000-225 compliance by the end of this year, the company also proposes to ensure Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 220 Certification. The Chairman noted that there are plans underway to improve not only the service, but the quality of products offered at Banks outlets. Testimony to this commitment is the fact that the ISO officers visit the establishments every day to ensure standards are met.

JANUARY 25, 2012


JAMAICA NEWS

Equip members of Parliament to succeed Last week, the country witnessed the

swearing in of 63 members of parliament (MPs) in a ceremony which left family members, friends and supporters beaming with pride. Getting into Gordon House is their reward for campaigning and convincing voters that they would do a good job of representing their interests. Jamaicans have already made it clear that they are prepared to hold their parliamentary representatives accountable, and the number of former MPs discarded by the electorate in the December 29, 2011 general election underlines the fact that voters will mark hard. But is it fair to send these political representatives to Gordon House without the tools they need to perform, and can we really hold them accountable when we know some of them are ill-equipped? The Gleaner Council has already declared its support for proper job descriptions for MPs and now the Council is urging Jamaicans to start the debate on how we are going to equip the parliamentary representatives in the light of the financial challenges the country faces. If any Jamaican had any doubt

about the tight fiscal space the country is operating in, those should have been erased last week when new Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips announced that the soon-to-be-tabled supplementary estimates for this fiscal year will reflect further cuts in government spending. Against that background any suggestion for increased spending on political representatives is usually met with a ‘NO’, even before reasoned debate takes place. But the Gleaner Council is concerned that 63 MPs, and in particular the 20 first-timers, are being asked to provide effective representation and some of them do not have the tools they need. The Constitution empowers MPs primarily to “make laws for the peace, order and good government of Jamaica”. Importantly, the Constitution requires the Cabinet to be collectively responsible to Parliament, and this requires MPs to play an oversight role in holding Cabinet ministers collectively responsible for the “general direction and control of the Government of Jamaica”. The Gleaner Council has already ar-

gued that the job of the MP should be: 1) Making legislation based on consultation with constituents 2) Oversight of the Cabinet - regardless of political persuasion the MP must hold the executive accountable. 3) Representation - championing the interests of the people in Parliament and facilitating the people’s voices to be directly heard through participatory governance arrangements. No more should Jamaicans accept that MPs take over the roles of government ministries and agencies by providing for constituents’ need for food, clothing, shelter, work, burial benefits, treats, everything from birth to death. To keep the MPs honest, Jamaica must be prepared to provide them with the tools that will enable them to function in a transparent, non-partisan manner. These tools will allow for improvement, not only in the party-aligned constituencies and communities, but across the highways and byways of our island. Jamaica must first provide guidance for the MPs, particularly the newcomers, and established entities, including academia and the media, must get

JEEP hit by controversy before going on road The Government’s Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) was plunged into a fresh round of controversy January 23 after the Opposition said it was no more than a rebranding of an existing programme initiated by the previous Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Administration. “It is clear that JEEP, as announced, is misleading the public that the Government has created 700 new jobs when in fact this programme was already in train,” Opposition spokesman on transport and works Karl Samuda said in a news release. According to Samuda, the Ministry of Finance had initiated a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), following upon which a memorandum of understanding was signed on December 5 last year by the Ministry of Transport and Works, National Works Agency (NWA) and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to implement a

comprehensive road maintenance programme on the northern coastal highway from Negril to Port Antonio. “Participating in the signing were the then minister of transport and works, Shahine Robinson; the acting head of NSWMA, Colonel Allan Douglas; and Earl Patterson, [acting] CEO of the NWA,” Samuda said. “ The MOU is the second of two to bush, clean and beautify the north coast corridors under the direct supervision of the NSWMA,” he added. Samuda issued his news release after state minister in the Ministry of Transport and Works Richard Azan was reported by the electronic media as saying that the JEEP would be supervised by the NSWMA and that the work would include bushing and beautification of the north coast highway from Negril to Port Antonio. Azan also said the programme was being funded by the IDB. That was confirmed last night by Senator Sandrea Falconer,

Free health stays No policy rollback, says Minister

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller

Dr Fenton Ferguson

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has been insisting that the no-user fee programme, initiated by the former JLP administration under Bruce Golding, should remain in place. He warned that it would be a retrograde step to abolish the programme.

CARIBBEAN XPRESS

PNP’s annual conference in Kingston. At the time, the Bruce Golding-led Government described it as no more than a return to the ‘crash programme’ work implemented by the PNP Government of the 1970s, which provided short-term employment but which critics said paid people for little or no work. The then Government had also raised questions about the source of the funding for the programme. During the election campaign, the PNP refused to give details of the programme, saying that it did not want the then ruling Jamaica Labour Party to steal the idea. However, the party subsequently announced in its election manifesto that it would fund the emergency employment programme with money redirected from the controversial Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP) as well as from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

Portia throws job challenge to businesses

The country’s limping health sector is

under the microscope. After raising a mountain of complaints about the ill effects of the no-user-fee policy that was implemented by the former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) government, the new People’s National Party administration say it has no early plans to abolish it. Instead, Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson said that more weight will have to be put on the primary healthcare system (for example, smaller community clinics) to ease the burden on the public hospitals that have been buckling under the pressure of the nouser-fee policy.

the minister with responsibility for information. On Sunday, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller had announced an incremental roll-out of the JEEP, saying that the first phase of the controversial programme would create 700 jobs in seven parishes beginning tomorrow. “Seven parishes we will be starting where 700 persons will shortly be put to work,” Simpson Miller told the first meeting of the People’s National Party’s (PNP’s) National Executive Council since the December 29, 2011 general election, in which the party was returned to power. “When we talk about JEEP, we are not joking about it, and the other ministries and ministers are working to ensure that as soon as we can, the other areas of the JEEP will be unveiled,” she said. Simpson Miller and the PNP had taken heavy flak after she announced the programme last September at the

involved. The Gleaner Council believes that while it is important for the MPs to ensure that they familiarise themselves with the Constitution and the legislative guidelines for good governance, they should not be left solely to read, digest and to ‘pick up’ as they go along the experience curve. Instead, the training programme must by systemic and planned. New members of Parliament Arnaldo Brown Desmond McKenzie Paul Buchanan Julian Robinson Andre Hylton Damion Crawford Denise Daley Andrew wheatly Dr Linvale Bloomfield Dr Winston Green Joylan Silvera Dr Dayton Campbell Keith Walford Patrick Atkinson Lloyd B. Smith Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams Mikael Phillips Raymond Pryce Hugh Buchanan Richard Parchment

on January 18 challenged businesses to each employ at least one currently unemployed but qualified Jamaican. “This is one simple challenge to all business leaders,” she said, while speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for LASCO’s new factory at White Marl in St Catherine. “Let us call it ‘Jamaica Employ’ and let us advance this partnership for our national development. We could immediately reduce unemployment by 40,000 over the short term, and I am sure, as Jamaicans, we can,” she stated. In noting that the only way to create jobs was to help support businesses that create jobs, the prime minis-

PAGE 10

ter promised that any business that provides employment for the currently unemployed would see their efforts rewarded when they conduct business with the Government. As part of their election promise, the People’s National Party (PNP) had promised much-needed jobs for Jamaicans under its Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme. Since it was announced in the months leading up to the general election, which the PNP won by a two-to-one margin, Jamaicans have been waiting to hear details of the programme and the strategy behind providing these jobs.

JANUARY 25, 2012


CHUTNEY SOCA MONARCH COVERAGE

18 finalists to compete at the Grand Final of the CSM The Producers of the 2012 Lotto Plus

ana will be decided on Sunday 29th

January at the Guyana Chutney Soca Monarch being held in Georgetown, Guyana The semi final round was held at the Rienzi Complex on Saturday 21st January. 43 contestants appeared on stage. The Finalists are as follows – HEERALAL RAMPARTAP RESHMA RAMLAL ADESH SAMAROO RAGGA - NY ARTI BUTKOON

Chutney Soca Monarch have included a host of local entertainers for the Grand Final. It will be a night of spectacular performances in one of the most expensive productions for Carnival 2K12. The opening will be spellbinding, heartwarming, uplifting and would leave patrons begging for more.

The list of entertainers include – RAVI B & KARMA DESTRA & ATLANTIC ANIL BHEEM & THE BMRZ STALIN ELLA ANDALL JW & BLAZE KERWYN DU BOIS SATNARINE RAGOO SAVITA SINGH

THE PREMALA DANCE ACADEMY THE SHIV SHAKTI DANCE CO Jay Sean originally carded to appear at the Grand Finals is unable to get out of previous engagements related to the Grammy Awards weekend of activities on the weekend of the 12th February in Los Angeles. Although the producers tried to work around very tight travel schedules, his man-

Ravi B to perform, NOT compete

Ravi Bissambhar said he had no plans to compete this year. Ravi B said his decision to not enter competitions this year was not based on last year’s incident when he lost to $2 million winner Rikki Jai. Bissambhar was later charged with inciting a crowd to throw missiles at

the event, and the case is pending in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court. Bissambhar, who has been invited to compete at the rival 2012 National Carnival Chutney Soca Monarch Competition of Trinidad and Tobago, said he has “moved on” since the incident. He said he is not interested in any competition this year because he has seen the effect it had on his band, Karma. He said the band had been hired to play at 43 events this season, and “my concern is taking the band to a higher level”. Bissambhar said, “I am not planning to take part in any competition this year. Last year, I focused too much time on competitions. I plan to spend more time with the band (Karma), so it would become a better entity.” Bissambhar said he recorded four songs for the season— “Grannie”, “Licence to Wine”, “She Don’t Wah Meh Go” and “Horning”.

Rikki Jai: “I’m Ready”

Reigning Chutney Soca Monarch Rikki Jai (Samraj Jaimungal) paid tribute to the late Sundar Popo in word and song on Friday January 20 and admitted to having started his career with a soca song “deliberately—in order to change society’s perception of the Indian man”. Jaimungal was addressing a capacity crowd at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, during his performance at a fund-rais-

ing concert entitled, “Vintage Fuh So 7” staged by the Holy Name Convent Past Pupils’ Association (HNCPPA). He said: “In those days, you couldn’t hear an Indian man singing soca. Anytime you heard an Indian man is ‘ahhhhhhhaaaaaahhhaaaaaahhhhh!’ And that was nice...and people enjoyed all the movies on a Sunday with lovers hiding behind the trees and stuff, but I wanted to change the perception and someone told me: If you don’t try to effect change, change will never come. So, I’m happy to have contributed to the change, so that now fellas like Ravi B and Raymond Ramnarine and others having a time in Trinidad with no problems. But before me, there was a little guy from Barrackpore named Sundar Popo and I was taught that we should always show respect and pay tribute to those who came before us...”

short time. We are asking (Peters) and Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar for $2 million to help with the event. He (Peters) can put someone on the committee to manage the money.” Ramlal said the competition will serve as an alternative competition for chutney soca artistes who did not make the cut at the show put on by Southex promoter George Singh, who has moved his Chutney Soca Monarch to the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain after many years hosting the show at Skinner Park, San Fernando. Ramlal said he heeded the cries of Atherly who made a call last week for elected politicians to join hands and protest for the return of the competi-

tion. Ramlal said the foundation had three weeks to plan the gig. Ramlal said a prize structure for the 15 finalists would be known shortly. He said San Fernando is the home of Chutney and called on business owners to help fund the event. Ramlal said the organising committee of the new show agreed not to have the competition based on a “text to vote” system which will be used by the George Singh production. He dismissed the “text to vote” system as unfair, and said a conventional score sheets system would be used. Ramlal said artistes who wish to enter the competition can drop off a copy of their music for screening at Atherly’s by the Park, Cipero Street, San Fernando.

Chutney Soca Monarch have decided to include 3 additional contestants in the Grand Final, to ensure that the 3 Guyanese contestants displace none of the contestants in Trinidad & Tobago. Therefore 18 artistes will compete on Saturday 11th February at the Queens Park Oval which include Rikki Jai who will be defending his crown at the Grand Final. The three contestants from Guy

Adesh Samaroo - CSM finalist

Entertainment line up at the Grand Final The Producers of the 2012 Lotto Plus

OMADATH MAHARAJ KENNETH SUPERSAD SOCA ELVIS NIGEL SALICKRAM RIKKI JAI (DEFENDING) KI PERSAD RICK RAMOUTAR LALCHAN HUNTER BABWAH SALLY SAGRAM B MOBILE WILD CARD – SASSY RAMOUTAR - NY

agement team decided it was too risky and it was eventually decided to forego the performance. The Producers of the 2K12 Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch have supplemented with local Caribbean acts. The night will belong to and focus on the contestants that will compete for the major title in the Chutney Soca industry.

2nd CSM announce for San Fernando “Carnival ChutneySoca Monarch” Carnival music lovers have an alter-

native to the National Chutney Soca Monarch competition which has been moved from San Fernando to Port of Spain this year. In response to the decision to relocate one of the season’s biggest competitions, the National Chutney Foundation on Monday announced the hosting of the 2012 National Carnival Chutney Soca Monarch competition of Trinidad and Tobago, to be held at Skinner Park, San Fernando, on February 18. The cover charge for the show is $50. The new competition was announced during a press briefing on Monday hosted by former San Fernando mayor Ian Atherly and Vijay Ramlal, a former president and now

Former San Fernando mayor Ian Atherly, left, and Vijay Ramlal at the press briefing on (Photo: Innis Francis)

Consultant Developer of the National Chutney Foundation at Atherly’s by the Park, San Fernando. Ramlal said the competition will cost an estimated $3.5 million. He called on the Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston Peters to make a commitment by funding $2 million. Ramlal said: “We are looking at $3.5 million to host the show in this

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JANUARY 25, 2012


TRINIDAD CARNIVAL COVERAGE

Ravi B jumpstarts Carnival 2012 with major performance and new music On Saturday January 14th Chutney

Soca superstar Ravi Bissambhar kicked off Carnival 2K12 with the musical extravaganza titled ‘Ravi B Saturday’ at the brand new Maracas Nightclub in La Romaine. For this event Ravi shared the stage with T&T’s finest performers and Holland-based Chutney sensation Ashni who made her return local soil after a 9 year absence. The energetic frontman of the band Karma has also gained serious momentum heading into the 2012 season with the release of his three latest tracks “Doh Want Meh Go”, “Horning

Meh” and “Granny”. Still riding high on the success of previous hits such as “Cya Come”, “Dularie Nanny” and the ever popular “Ah Drinka”, the former Chutney Soca Monarch has once again collaborated with famed producer Big Rich as well as young hit-maker 1st Klase to create these new Carnival 2012 smashes. These latest releases which have already been igniting airwaves and receiving positive attention on major entertainment websites and social media are on their way to becoming party anthems for the music loving masses. Produced by Big Rich, the infec-

Kerwin rules the Fetes for C2K12 From this opening refrain to the

emphatic chorus statement, “I’z ah bacchanalist”, audiences everywhere can’t help but to be captivated and energised by the unique voice, flow and delivery of Toronto-based producer, singer, songwriter, Kerwin DuBois. While his single “Bacchanalist” voiced on the Antilles Riddim has risen to the forefront, it’s his production and songwriting credits that are most enviable. From Destra’s “Baddist” to Bunji’s “Runaway”, Patrice’s “I am Soca”, Kes’ “Wotless” and “Ah Ting” of 2011, along with Machel’s “Illegal”, Farmer Nappy’s “Pavement”, “Breathless” by Blaxx, all the way back to Shal’s “Gyal Farm” in 2008 and beyond, DuBois has infiltrated and infected the masses with his signature sound and bubby production values. “Carnival 2012 so far has been a balanced, vibrant year for all who have been contributing to the art,” he opined. “Yet again, the Groovy songs have completely dominated the atmosphere so I expect a great season for myself and a great season of fun and

Kerwin DuBois

good times for all the true lovers and supporters of soca music. The fetes and the mas will definitely be memorable for each and every one in 2012.” With such a formidable repertoire, we had to ask him what inspires his creative process. “The environment in general and my immediate surroundings inspire me,” he revealed. “Time and place is very important in the initial creative writing

Carnival week schedule

Saturday February 18th, 2012 * Kiddies Carnival - Queens Park Savannah - 11am * National Panorama Finals - Queens Park Savannah, POS - 7pm Sunday February 19th, 2012 * Breakfast parties and all-inclusive fetes Monday February 20th, 2012 * J’Ouvert (4am) * Parade of the Bands * Carnival Jump Up - Hilton Hotel (Lady Young Rd, Port of Spain) * Monday Night Mas - Paramin Hill

Tuesday February 21st, 2012 * Parade of the Bands - Judging points @ Adam Smith Square, Piccadilly on the Greens, Queen’s Park South * Pan Trinbago Pan on the Road - Victoria Square and Downtown POS * Pan Trinbago Las’ Lap - Western

Wednesday February 23rd, 2012 * Beach Lime - Maracas Bay, Las Cuevas, Blanchisseuse Bay * Wild Meat Cool Down - Balandra Bay * Ash Wed Boatride - Treasure Queen (Pier 2, Chaguaramas) * Annual Ash Wednesday River Lime De Freitas Ranch, Valencia * Annual Lagniappe - De Nu Pub (The Mas Camp), Woodbrook - 9pm Friday February 25th, 2012 * Alternative Comedy Fest - Guaracara Park, Point-A-Pierre * Deja Vu - Valsayn

CARIBBEAN XPRESS

rather than the alcohol-centric themes of past tunes. The singer, songwriter, musical arranger and radio announcer also he revealed plans to release a new album soon entitled “Licence To Wine” which will feature his 2012 material as well as his most recent hit songs. Ravi also hinted of a soon to come, out of the box music video for one of his singles plus some mind-blowing developments for his band Karma in the new year.

stages. Ideas are formulated through serenity and vision and then everything else falls into place. Sometimes one element comes before the next depending upon my mood at the time. Some days it will be the music first inspiring the lyrics or concept and others it will be vice versa.” After more than a decade networking with the top acts in the industry, it was no surprise that DuBois was called to ride the ever popular, Antilles Riddim, but being a producer himself, it was somewhat unusual for him to record the song on another producer’s riddim. “Kasey sent the riddim to me and at first I was a bit iffy about it,” said DuBois, “because I realise sometimes with riddims it’s a chance taken due to the number of songs/artistes featured on it – which could sometimes lead to preference by the mass public, which then leads to disappointment within yourself. So I took up the offer of going on it, which was actually my first ever Riddim outside of my own Productions. I started off recording another song on it – which

I wasn’t happy with, so I never moved from behind the mic and within three hours ‘Bacchanalist’ was created. No pen, no paper. Just an enclosed vibe between myself, the headphones, the mic and my vision of what being a Bacchanalist is all about.” For DuBois, the success of the song is a validation of his personal and professional vision for the industry and the music which fuels it, but perhaps more importantly, it’s a vision that has been embraced and is being shared by the general population. “I never lose sight of my foundation and where I come from,” he enthused. “My roots are continuously buried in Trinidad. I always stay in line to the fad and the swag, the way of life, the changes, the lingo and everything that rotates in Trinidad and everywhere that Caribbean entities dwell. I try my best to tap into the systems and minds of people. I try to always slowly become a part of what they might like, what triggers off reactions within them to either wine or jump or wave or just feel good about themselves.”

Lil’ Bitts up to Mischief

Main Rd, St James

Saturday February 26th, 2012 * Tobago Last Lap All-Inclusive * Alternative Comedy Fest - Jean Pierre Complex

tious “Doh Want Meh Go” puts a fun, light-hearted twist on the marriage scenario while the groovy “Horning Meh” deals with the issue of infidelity in relationships. The dance-infused, power-chutney “Granny” was produced by 1st Klase and is set to be a true crowd pleaser during Karma’s live performances. Ravi B shared that in anticipation of 2012 he wanted to concentrate on creating high quality music which focussed on topics to which everybody (both men and women) could relate. He plans to highlight everyday life subject matters through his music

Lil’ Bitts stopped being the baby of the bunch a long time ago and though she remains quite petite she is big in the soca arena and is expanding her horizons beyond the studio and the stage. Bitts is now getting into the business side of music, having recently established her own entertainment services company, Go 4wd Entertainment alongside her brother, Sherrard Churche who has for some years now

PAGE 13

composed for and managed Bitts. As for Bitts’ music for Carnival 2012, she has already released, “Mischief” composed by her brother and produced by Roberts. There is an accompanying video coming soon and Bitts said it will be very funny. Her other release thus far is, “Ketching It,” which was also produced by Roberts on what is called the Coca Cola Riddem. Done as a promotional tool for the soft drink company this riddem features other artistes including, Benjai and Screws. Bitts has also gathered her fans creating a following called Bitts Army which consists of 12 diehard fans who go wherever she is performing. The army has created a Facebook page as well as a Twitter account to help promote her music and Go 4wd. She is still pursuing her associate degree in Performing Arts and Music at COSTATT.

JANUARY 25, 2012


ENTERTAINMENT

18 make Guyana’s Carib Soca Monarch Semi-Finals Get ready for some major high

energy, competitive soca action the competition makes its return with a collective, cash prizes purse of about $4M. The winner gets $1.5M take home as opposed to the $1M previously announced. All told there were 33 but that list is now narrowed down to 18 singers. Four former calypso monarchs, a three times Soca monarch, a reigning Banks Groovy Soca monarch, a comedic dancer, several new faces and a big singer’s son are set to create the soca mash music pulse competitively on February 4 in Linden. This comes after a one year hiatus and is anticipated to be the most supported for the energy and entertainment that is often the heart beat of the National Republic Festival. Expressing surprise at the number

Semi-finalists

of entries submitted Public Relations Officer Darshanie Yussu and event coordinator Nigel Worrel dubbed the shortlist as the best of the best and said that this year’s winner will be representing Guyana at the 2013 International Soca Monarch. Three times soca monarch Adrian dutchin is back in the competition as is the Reigning Banks Groovy Soca

monarch Jumo ‘Rubber waist’ Primo singing ‘I am a Guyanese’ and ‘One people’ respectively. They are all part of the Kross kolors Head Hunters crew that also includes three times road March queen Melissa Vanilla Roberts. She’s coming with ‘Rage.’ Those who competed before are Beverly Smith known as Little B. The others are Roger Bowen (Roger B), Barbados based Pier Dasilva, Atiola Peters and lone duo Roger Hassell and Colin Boyce combined. Another semi-finalist is comedic dancer turn singer Ivelaw Campbel aka Granny Ivelaw. Big Red is not in the competition but her son Jonathan King is and he wants to tell the soca lovers to ‘hold me tight’ in his bid to better his mother’s second place performance. Christine McKoy aka Chris T is tak-

ing her first shot at the title and hopes to win the first prize with her reminder that ‘we Guyanese,’ and Dexter Lovel aka ‘Dexter D’ is ready to remind all that its ‘Soca Morning.’ Other new names to the competition are Dwayne Semple and George Abrams called King Shepherd and Anthony and they are singing ‘wine up on i’ and ‘Wine Attack’ respectively. The semi final is scheduled for February 4, 2012 at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground in Linden. This stage of the competition will see six contestants being eliminated with those remaining advancing to the final on the 18th February, 2012 at the National Park where they will be joined by the reigning monarch Orlando Johashen for a night of riveting competitive entertainment.

Bunji, Fay Ann out of Soca Monarch race Hits & Jams are ready for Mashramani

Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons-Alva-

rez announced their decision to bow out of the International Soca Monarch 2012 last Friday January 13 with a post on their Facebook page. They confirmed the Facebook post by announcing to fans at Fire Fete that their focus lay elsewhere. Immediately social media users started searching for reasons why soca’s power couple would call it quits. One social media user made this guess: “No more $2

million so no more Fay Ann and Bunji boy. Well look at ting (thing).” Both artistes have been entering the competition for several years and have six Soca Monarch titles between them, including Fay Ann’s double win of Groovy and Power Soca categories in 2009. Another online fan speculated that it may have had something to do with the “Machel incident” last year. Maybe it’s a ploy or maybe they are just fed up of the bacchanal that is Carnival. Well, at this point only they know the true reason, but if it is the latter, the phrase that applies best may be: “Yuh cyah play mas if yuh ‘fraid powder”. One thing for sure they will be missed in this year’s line up, especially considering that in my personal opinion (feel free to disagree) this is the most “Bunji-like” I’ve seen Mr Garlin in years.“

Iwer George is ready for Machel Trinidad’s three-time Soca Monarch

Neil “Iwer” George is looking forward to some intense competition in the upcoming rounds of the contest - from everyone but the Reigning Monarch Machel Montano. Iwer George has said he doesn’t believe the contest is only between Montano and himself. He said: “It is unfair for anyone to say that the race is between Machel and myself because everyone knows

Iwer George

I’m going to beat him very bad. There are several good songs out there, so I

The season of Soca, revelry and

are in store for lucky ladies. On Wednesday, February 22nd the hottest artiste in the Barbados Soca circle Lil Rick, will take the stage at the ‘Jones and Wuk up Wednesday’ party to perform several of his chart-topping hits such as the ‘Go Dung’, ‘Jones and Wuk up’ and ‘Work’ all of which are currently at the top of every possible Caribbean music chart. On Mash day, the HJ Mash band will take to the streets decked out in brilliant costumes to take part in the annual ‘Mash-day Float Parade’. Costumes are currently being prepared and will be available to the public soon. The curtains will finally close on the HJ Mash Camp events on February 25th at the ‘Insomnia’ party which is strictly for die hard partygoers and insomniacs.

don’t think he’s my only competition at all, cause he has already lost.” Referring sarcastically to his controversial defeat last year as “a new high for entertainment”, George said the price for that decision had already been paid by those responsible for it. “Nowhere else in the world can an entertainer who is booed in a contest go on to win just so,” he said. “If an artiste performs at The Apollo and is booed, his or her career usually

doesn’t go much further after that, but somehow we managed to set a new standard for entertainment in our forum. We cannot ignore the Gospel, which clearly states that the voice of the people is the voice of God. So they did their thing last year and end up paying a very high price, so I know that can’t happen again this year.”

celebration is here again and the customary Mashramani festivities have already begun with five weeks of back to back events. All HJ Mash Camp parties will be held at the fabulous Tower Poolside, the first of which begins with the sizzling ‘6.30 in jeans’ Soca Jeans party featuring Barbadian Soca Star Skinny Fabulous on February 4th. On the 11th the Tower Poolside will gleam under amazing décor and special lighting at the HJ ‘Wotless in White’ party which the Mash camp team is insisting will be an event unlike any other ever witnessed in Guyana. On the 18th, the following Saturday, all females will be admitted free of charge to the ‘Ladies First’ party, an event dedicated to women. The décor and atmosphere will ‘scream’ femininity and lots of free gifts and surprises

GET YOUR BUSINESS NOTICED! CONSIDER PRINT ADVERTISING WITH THE CARIBBEAN XPRESS. CONTACT US FOR OUR RATES! 905-362-0320

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PAGE 14

JANUARY 25, 2012


ISLAND NEWS

Charges dropped against mom charged with killing her two children

Director of Public Prosecutions in Dominica Gene Pestaina is defending his decision to discontinue a murder case against Sarah Lyn Augustine 22, who last year was charged with killing her two young children. Pestaina told the local press that he made the decision based on compelling evidence from a court appointed psychiatrist who found that she suffered from post partum depression. The same doctor also found that Sarah Lyn was competent to face trial. According to Pestaina, he weighed the potential of a trial that would most likely find Sarah Lyn guilty and sen

Baby Sophia and her sister Rachel.

-tence her to jail against the possibility of her receiving quality psychiatric

treatment. Pestaina noted that Dominica was

unable to provide the kind of medical assistance that was required in that case. However, he observed that the Canadian authorities had offered to assist with medical treatment. The offer of help from the Canadians weighed heavily in his decision. Sarah Lyn is also a Canadian citizen and has since left Dominica for medical treatment in that country. On September 16, 2010 Police say that Sarah Lyn brutally stabbed her two children two month old Sophia and five year old Rachael to death in their homes in the coastal town of Mahaut.

Bahamas Prime Minister hoping for a reversal in tourism sector fortunes The annual Caribbean Hotel Tourism

Association Marketplace (CHTAM) opened in the Bahamas on Sunday January 22 with the host Prime Minister hoping that 2012 will see a reversal in the downward trend in the tourism sector in recent years due to the ongoing global economic and financial crisis. “We believe that early signs of improvement are evident. In The Bahamas, we saw a robust uptick in arrivals since November last. By a number of measures, this past December was particularly good for the 14 major Nassau and Paradise Island hotels,” Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham told the delegates attending the event. Ingraham said that for the second consecutive year since the “great recession” room occupancies, average daily rates and room rates were up last year. “Perhaps most encouraging has been that visitors are spending longer periods with us and reporting

improved levels of customer satisfaction,” he said, adding that “some of this is the result, we believe, of aggressive action to revamp our product during the slowdown so as to be better prepared to benefit from the recovery as it occurs”. He said The Bahamas is focusing upon ensuring “our readiness for the inevitable global economic recovery as it occurs. “ Our economy is therefore the beneficiary of the most comprehensive upgrade and expansion in our history,” he said, noting the US$410 million re development of the Lynden Pindling International Airport. He said the country was also developing other infrastructure like roads as well as the installation of underground utility corridors meant to significantly improve the quality and reliability of critical utilities – water, electricity and communications. “Our infrastructural improvement campaign has had a double benefit.

We are putting in place critical infrastructure that will have long term value. Secondly, we are creating employment and business opportunities during recessionary times. This has off-set some of the fall-off in private sector activity.” Ingraham also spoke of his governments’ liberalisation of the telecommunication sector, multi-million dollar investments in the tourism sector and informed the conference that “ additional public and private sector investments are coming together to spur on the revitalization of our historic City of Nassau. “Our harbour has been deepened facilitating the berthing in Nassau harbour of the largest passenger cruise ships travelling the seas today,” he said, adding that the US$52 million used to dredge the harbour has already been repaid in just two years. “And, the incremental spending by new cruise passengers alone exceeds US$40 million per year. “

He told the estimated 679 representatives of ‘supplier’ companies; hotels, attractions, destination management companies, tourism groups and transportation companies that the re-development projects were being undertaken through a strong partnership between the public and private sectors. “We have a renewed appreciation for this partnership; and the trend of rebranding hotel associations as hotel and tourism associations hints at a new-found appreciation for wider partnerships beyond hotels and throughout the region. “Our private-public sector collaboration is further reflected in the new Tourism Centre scheduled to be formally opened in short order,” he said. The Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association (CHTA) is this year observing the 30th anniversary of Caribbean Marketplace.

disasters and climate change,” he explained. In the area of prosperity, Hague said that the core task of both regions was to create new opportunities for trade, investment and innovation in their respective economies. In this regard, he stated that he would consider pushing for greater representation of the Region’s interests in the G20. “I’d like to see the UK, as well as other partners represented here today such as Canada, the EU and the US, ensuring that the particular challenges of this Region are taken into account,” he stated, according to the release. The UK Foreign Secretary also said that his government would continue to work with the Caribbean to tackle drugs and violent crime, which affects both the UK and the Caribbean. With regard to climate change, Hague applauded the Caribbean for the crucial role it had played “in focusing the attention of the international community on the existential threat posed by climate change to small island states,” and expressed hope that the Caribbean would continue excellent cooperation on this issue. The Foreign Secretary also expressed an interest in fostering closer collaboration in the area of foreign policy noting that several political and

governance issues have had serious impact on global stability and prosperity. He singled out Iran and Syria and the Falklands, asserting that as a matter of principle a country should have the right to determine its own future. The meeting, which began on Friday evening ended Sunday with the release of a 31-point action plan. The plan outlines four major areas of cooperation: economic resilience, security, climate change and sustainable development and foreign policy. The UK committed to support the efforts of the Caribbean in improving their food security through efficient production and distribution measures. The UK has also agreed to re-open dialogue on issues relating to the Air Passenger Duty (APD) which is threatening the Caribbean’s tourism sector. The UK agreed that in the spirit of cooperation and in the context of the importance of tourism to the economic development of the Caribbean, it will continue dialogue with a view to assisting the region in mitigating any deleterious effects that the application of the tax may have on its economies. The Foreign Ministers also agreed to develop effective coordination mechanisms to help advance the fight against drugs and international crime. In this regard, a UK-Caribbean Exper-

tise Exchange Mechanism to promote best practices on security issues across the region will be established. They have also agreed to greater intelligence sharing in the fight against drug trafficking, and targeting the proceeds of crime and supporting the Caribbean to engage more effectively with the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). Further, the ministers agreed to establish, in full collaboration with the US, a regional network of landbased law enforcement units trained and equipped to a common standard. These units would provide a fully interoperable regional resource to conduct land based surveillance and interdiction operations. The partners have committed to work together to strengthen the criminal justice systems in countries, including through the establishment of national prosecution services, modernisation of laws of evidence to include forensics and best practice on gathering evidence from suspects and witnesses. The UK and the Caribbean will work with the Common-wealth Legislative Drafting Programme to assist with the development of criminal procedure/ justice in the region.

UK to funnel 75M pounds sterling to Caribbean projects The United Kingdom plans to put 75

million pounds sterling over a fouryear period into development projects in the Caribbean, the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague told Caribbean Foreign Ministers on Saturday January 21. Speaking at the Opening Plenary of the 7th UK-Caribbean Forum held in St. Georges, Grenada over the weekend, Hague said that the investment represented a considerable increase on previous aid budgets and signaled the UK’s strong commitment to the region, a release from the CARICOM Secretariat stated. “We are one of the few nations in the world that is maintaining its international development commitments at a time of financial difficulty. We will stick to our pledge to raise our aid to 0.7 of GNI, and you will find us a reliable partner,” said Hague, according to a transcript of his remarks. The minister outlined four areas – prosperity, security, climate change and foreign policy – for which the funds will be allocated and for which the UK was seeking greater cooperation with the Caribbean. “The programme focuses on economic growth and jobs, improving security and fighting corruption and combating the threat from natural

CARIBBEAN XPRESS

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JANUARY 25, 2012


KIDS KORNER

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SPORTS

T&T brush Jamaica aside to retain Caribbean Twenty20 title included two sixes and a four, came With the equation growing more difExplosive batting led by Dwayne

Bravo and Kieron Pollard followed by crippling bowling coasted Trinidad and Tobago to their second straight Caribbean Twenty20 title on Sunday January 22 with a crushing 63-run victory over Jamaica. Bravo smashed four fours and three sixes in the top score of 49 from 43 balls and Pollard was just himself, slamming one four and four sixes, three in the final over from Krishmar Santokie, supporting with 39 not out from 13 balls, as T&T posted a challenging 168 for five from their allocation of 20 overs in the Grand Final at Kensington Oval. Before a near capacity crowd, Trinidad and Tobago’s bits and pieces bowling attack never allowed Jamaica’s typically free-scoring batsmen room to shake the shackles free and restricted the double-crown regional champions to 105 for five in their 20 overs. It was the second time T&T defeated Jamaica in a regional T20 final and avenged their loss in the Regional Super50 final last October in Guyana, preventing Jamaica from becoming Triple Crown champions. This was also the first major tournament that Trinidad and Tobago have won under new captain Denesh Ramdin, following the controversial resignation of long-standing skipper Daren Ganga. The biggest prize for T&T, however,

ficult with each passing delivery, Trinidad and Tobago began to take things a little easier and Carlton Baugh Jr indulged himself, crashing five fours and two sixes to finish with the top score of 39 not out from 23 balls, putting on 48 unbroken for the sixth wicket with Shawn Findlay, not out on 17. Earlier, it was Bravo and Pollard who enjoyed themselves to rescue T&T after they wobbled to 65 for four in the 12th over. Openers Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath gave the defending champions a rousing start, putting on 35 for the first wicket. Simmons was caught behind off Odean Brown for 19 top-edging a cut before Andre Russell added the valuable wicket of Darren Bravo, also caught behind for seven, leaving T&T 42 for two in the seventh over. This brought the elder Bravo to the crease and he started confidently, steering Brown to third man for four and hooking Russell to deep backward square leg for another boundary. Barath got himself in a tangle and was stumped off Brown for 21 before captain Ramdin was bowled trying to cut to leave the Trinidad and Tobago innings at the crossroads. The elder Bravo found in Sunil Narine a stable ally and they put on 42 for the fifth wicket to assert T&T’s dominance. When Narine’s cameo of 22, which

to an end, caught at third man off Jamaica captain Dave Bernard Jr in the 16th over, Trinidad and Tobago were 107 for five. Enter Pollard, but he played second fiddle to Dwayne Bravo, whose pyrotechnics continued with a six pulled over mid-wicket and a sliced drive to third man for four off successive balls from left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cotterrell, and a trademark back drive over extra over off Santokie in the following over. In between, Pollard was dropped on two, when Marlon Samuels muffed a skier at deep mid-wicket off Santokie in the 17th over. Bravo was caught at long-off in the penultimate over off Cotterrell before the Jamaica left-arm fast bowler was suspended from bowling for delivering a second beamer which Pollard smashed baseball style back over his head for his first six. The last over was pure mayhem with Pollard putting the left-arm medium-fast bowling of Santokie in its true perspective with talismanic batting. He got two from the first ball, struck the second for four over mid-off and launched the next three deliveries for six between long-off and long-on before ending the rampage with another deuce.

rienced that feeling (from the outside) and it brought a certain level of pride to me as a player.” T&T, under Ramdin, retained their title–won in 2011 under Ganga–with a comprehensive 63-run victory over Jamaica in the final at Kensington Oval. Ganga, whose resignation from the captaincy after nine years was belat-

edly shrouded in controversy, was not a part of the national squad for the tournament played in Antigua/Barbuda and Barbados. Asked if he felt any regret as he watched the team lift the trophy, Ganga replied: “Obviously, every single Trinidad and Tobago player would love to be there at the end lifting a trophy for Trinidad and Tobago...it’s a natural part of every sports person to want to receive that glory. But, at the same time, I recognised that I had my limitations because of my injury and it was important for Trinidad and Tobago to have other players continue all the systems we have built.” Since the end of the Champions League campaign in India last October, Ganga has been suffering with a back complaint that has seen him visit two specialists. He has been cleared of serious injury by the doctors and said: “For the last week or so since I came back from my responsibilities as a sports ambassador in India, I’ve been batting in the nets, I’ve been taking my

occasional jogs and working within a pain-free limitation.” He is expected to get a final word on playing again today. Ganga has not been included in any of the national trial matches in preparation for the start of the Regional Four-Day competition, which begins next Friday. However, he said: “The long and short of it is we are waiting on Dr (Anil) Gopeesingh and his recommendations and the chairman (of TTCB selectors, Dudnath Ramkessoon) has indicated his willingness to include me in preparation and training for the new season. Only time and fitness is going to determine my participation.” The ex-skipper again stated his desire to keep playing for T&T. “I’ve always told myself that before I end playing cricket, rather than lead, I would love to contribute as a player and support the next leader of Trinidad and Tobago’s cricket and that is exactly what I want to do.”

Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. “We played them already this year. They’ve been playing great football recently.” It’s familiar territory for Tom Brady and the Patriots (15-3), who are playing in the Super Bowl for the fifth time in 11 years. “Being in this situation is a great moment,” Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork said. “You have to cherish this

moment.” It’s the Patriots’ first appearance since Manning and the Giants (127) upset New England’s pursuit of perfection in 2008. Back then, New England was a 12-point favorite, but New York’s defense battered Brady, and Manning connected with Plaxico Burress on a late touchdown to win the Giants’ third Super Bowl. That TD came, of course, a few mo-

ments after one of the biggest plays in playoff history: Manning escaped the grasp of a few Patriots defenders and found David Tyree, who put New York in scoring position by pinning the football against his helmet for a jawdropping catch. New England hopes to avoid that sort of drama this time around. Unless it goes in the Patriots’ favor, as it did in the AFC title game.

T&T all-rounder Dwayne Bravo hits this delivery from Jamaica captain Dave Bernard Jr for six during Sunday night’s Caribbean T20 final at Kensington Oval in Barbados. (Photo courtesy WICB/Randy Brooks)

is a third trip to the lucrative Champions League T20 later this year in India, where they will face the world’s best T20 franchises. Trinidad and Tobago set back Jamaica early in the chase when Nkrumah Bonner backed up too far, failed to get a response from fellow opener Danza Hyatt and was run out for four in the third over. Samuel Badree inflicted more pain when he bowled West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels for a two-ball duck with a perfectly-pitched googly in the fifth over. T&T continued to tighten their grip and reduced the Jamaicans to 57 for five in the 14th over and never allowed them to stage a fightback.

Ex-T&T skipper excited by Caribbean Twenty20 victory “Seeing the accomplishments of Denesh Ramdin and the rest of the team (there) was a level of pride and excitement that I’ve never experienced before.” Watching the team he led as recently as three months ago on TV did not diminish Daren Ganga’s appreciation for what Trinidad and Tobago achieved at the 2012 Caribbean T20 tournament, which ended on Sunday in Barbados. “Here it was, I was in a position taking in a bird’s-eye view of everything we have built and every system we have put in place in T20 cricket, and to see a structure work and to see the dominance of our style of play and the manner in which we play Twenty/20 cricket proves to me that all the standards we set ourselves really and truly have given us the benchmark that is comparable to world standards,” Ganga said “All credit must go to the players, the captain, the technical team for being able to execute, which is the most critical thing in any cricket match. It was the first time I’ve expe

T&T captain Denesh Ramdin, centre, with Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, right, and T&T Cricket Board president Azim Bassarath during a welcome reception for the national team in the VIP Lounge at Piarco International Airport (Photo: Ishmael Salandy)

Pats-Giants in Super Bowl again, 4 years later Four years after New York stunned

previously undefeated New England, the Patriots and Giants are going at it again at the Super Bowl. New England, which lost to New York 24-20 in early November, opened as a 3-point favorite for the Feb. 5 game. The Patriots have won 10 straight, with their last loss being to — you guessed it — the Giants. “We know they’re a great team,”

CARIBBEAN XPRESS

PAGE 17

JANUARY 25, 2012


YOUTH CONNECTION

Exam time: How to have fun while studying Believe it or not, you can have fun

studying! Here are some tips to get you started 1- Use music. Put some music that doesn’t have lyrics or words. Listen to it while you study. Skip this step if you are easily distracted by music. 2- Keep snacks close. Get together some healthy snacks to nibble on as you study. Try not to have ones with lots of calories as you’re not moving much while studying. It is often effective if you use snacks as a form of treat for yourself every time you complete a part of the work. 3- Create an excellent study area. This is really important. You must feel like you “own” your little study space, whether it be a corner, a den or a whole room. Even if space is tight, you can arrange with family that a certain space is yours for study at certain hours, no matter what. Decorate your spot with favorite things but, try not to make your study area too distracting. The less clutter in your study area, the better. 4- Get groovy stationery & desk gear. Your supplies can encourage you to study. 5- Get a pet to encourage you! If you have a household friend, such as a cat or a fish, you can have them around you as you study. 6- Take breaks. Frequent, short breaks are better for you and your thinking processes than infrequent, long breaks. Set an alarm on your computer or on a clock to go off every half hour and go for a stretch, get a coffee or milkshake.

7- If you are doing word problems in math, change the problem to make it more interesting or even a bit silly. 8- If you like music, create a short song about the general points of what you’re studying. 9- Make flash cards. The best site on the internet to make flashcards on is Quizlet. When making your flashcards, always do the term in capital letters and the definition in lowercase letters. Using different handwriting, colors, and decorating your flashcards will help you remember them. 10- If you are reading your textbook, use funny accents or weird voices. 11- Use mnemonic devices. For example, the 5 great lakes = HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior) However, make them creative so that you can easily remember them. 12- Make small posters that you can hang up around you room or around your house. Decorate them and draw pictures. On the night before the test or quiz, present and explain them to your family. 13- Grab a friend that is goofy but can be serious and create a skit. This works especially well for Social Studies and Language Arts (Enact the ending or one of the key points to whatever book you’re reading). 19- Pretend you’re a teacher and create a test or quiz that you can take yourself or make your older sibling(s) and/or parent(s) take. 20- Try a change of scenery Pack up your textbook, notes and binder and try heading to your local coffee shop or library.

CARIBBEAN XPRESS

GREETINGS

Happy 22nd birthday to AIMEE BALKISSOON the editor of the Caribbean Xpress! With love coming from your parents Nirvan and Sarah, sister Kellie, brothers Ryan and Anil and all of your friends and family.

Happy birthday to MEENA We hope you have a great birthday with lots of love and many more to come. From your loving husband Vick, daughters Andrea and Felicia, son and daughter in law Bryan and Faneeza.

Happy birthday to ANDREA Wishing you all the best in the future. From your loving Mom and dad Meena and Vick, sister and brother Felicia and Bryan, and sister in law Faneeza.

Happy birthday to FELICIA SANICHAR From Mom Meena , Dad Vick, Sister Andrea, Brother Bryan and Faneeza. Enjoy your wonderful day, love and kisses.

Happy birthday to VISHAL “SNOOPDAS” SAMRAJ With love coming from your wife Anuradha, parents, sister, in-laws and all of your friends and family.

Happy birthday to SHAUN “DJ 2TOUCH” Keep up the great work and all the best. With love coming from all of your friends and family.

If you would like to add a greeting for FREE email a picture and a greeting to info@caribbeanxpress.ca PAGE 18 JANUARY 25, 2012


BUSINESS/FINANCIAL

Young entrepenuer Richard Ram-

suchit at age of 23 started a brand and has made Genesis a known name in the local automotive industry. Genesis Auto Detailing launched in September of 2010 in Brampton, Ontario.

Richard has been in the detailing business since 14, running his fathers detailing business with 4 dealerships and 7 employees. Growing up in family businesses is with insight and experience is what makes his shop stand out. Richard has worked on every day family cars to high end vehicles and exotics. In April of 2011, Genesis teamed up with SLC Productions to hold a car show at Carleton University in Ottawa, home to over 25,000 students. Ever

since that day Genesis Auto Detailing has been appearing at many car shows, quoted as the “detailing guy”. His clientele has ranged from Rogers, Bacardi, DHL, Peel Police, City of Brampton, and several local dealerships and body shops. Services range from interior shampoo, waxing, window tinting, polishing, engine cleaning and hand washing. Many people are starting to know the name and the shop, especially on of their mottos: “Giving you the maximum quality with an affordable price in these hard times.” In 2012 they launched our 4th and executive detailing package “ Platinum Package” including a couple of premium services. Genesis is at a well established location and they are looking to expand in 2012 to Missisauga and north Brampton, as well as expanding their

current location. New renovations to the shop are set begin in February along with a new website. Genesis has participated in many car shows in the GTA in 2011, and are hoping to hold a show in Brampton for summer 2012. Genesis ran a charity toy drive for Christmas with the Peel Police and Salvation Army. They also do monthly contributions to Sick Kids. Genesis and Richard are looking to give back this year with a couple more charity car washes and food drives. With the repeat clientele and much word of mouth, this year will take it to newer heights. In 2012 Genesis plans to launch a merchandise line with promotional products like t-shirts, hats, mugs, pens etc. You can contact Genesis at 905463-2288, www.CleanMyCarNow.com

RIM’s future isn’t with BlackBerry

RIM Headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario

Research In Motion finally pulled the trigger Sunday January 22, with the BlackBerry maker announcing that coCEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie were stepping down. Chief operating officer Thorsten Heins is the new CEO while board member Barbara Stymiest takes over as chair. As the saying goes, it’s too little too late. While investors and analysts alike have been hankering for a change in leadership at RIM for some time now, Heins isn’t exactly the new blood they were hoping for. The German native, who has 20 years of experience at electronics conglomerate Siemens, has been with RIM for the past four years. While the BlackBerry maker rose to great heights under Lazaridis and Balsillie—at one point it was Canada’s most valuable company—they also oversaw its tremendous fall from grace over the past few years, a spiral that went into overdrive in 2011. Having someone who The Globe and Mail says is their hand-picked successor at the helm isn’t exactly much of a change. Stymiest, the well-respected director who has been pegged for the chairperson’s role for a while now, has also been with the company since 2007. Investors looking for fresh opinions and directions aren’t likely to get it from the new leaders. Heins even said as much—“There’s no need for me to shake this company up or turn it upside down,” he said. Many observers would beg to differ. Despite the company’s hyperbole about its 75 million customers,

the sun is quickly setting on RIM in smartphones. Not only are iPhone and Android carving up the market, Microsoft—in conjunction with Nokia—is poised for a comeback. The two partners were the stars of the Consumer Electronics Show a few weeks ago, with the likes of Wired and The New York Times proclaiming both to be “cool” again thanks to the strong showing of the latest Windows Phones. Microsoft has yet to translate its newfound hipness into actual sales, but it does have some significant long-term advantages over rivals. Not only do the company’s phones look and feel very different from the others, Microsoft can also take advantage of its huge PC and Xbox install bases to do things the others can’t. And lastly, there’s Microsoft’s biggest advantage: it has mountains upon mountains of cash to burn. It can keep hammering at the smartphone market until it finally gets its share. As I said in my CES wrap-up, a resurgent Microsoft can only be bad news for RIM. In a four-way race between Apple, Google, Microsoft and RIM, it’s pretty clear who the minnow is. Perhaps that’s why some people continue to hold out hope for the BlackBerry maker—while it was once the top dog, it’s now thoroughly the underdog. If Heins really does want to save RIM, he’ll have to do the exact opposite of what he says he’s going to—he needs to turn the company upside down. RIM’s best shot might be to pull an IBM; get out of the hardware business entirely and focus on selling software and services. The company’s most valuable assets right now are its software, servers and security. Focusing on its strengths and licensing those assets to rivals could be a smart way forward. Staying the course and trying to fight the big three of U.S. technology? That’s just downright suicidal.

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PAGE 19

JANUARY 25, 2012


TAX SEASON

Tax hike coming for 2012 If you feel a hand grabbing at your

wallet, calling the cops won’t do any good because it’s the federal government picking your pocket. It’s that time of year again when tax collectors at the Canada Revenue Agency, at the behest of their political masters, siphon more from the pay stubs of Canadians while giving corporations a New Year’s bonus. The New Year’s Day hike will see employers and employees pay more into employment insurance and the Canada Pension Plan for a combined total of $306 a year in additional pay-

roll taxes for working stiffs, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Employees will see an increase in the EI rate to 1.83% from 1.78%, an increase in the EI maximum insurable earnings to $45,900 from $44,200 and an increase in the CPP maximum pensionable earnings to $50,100 from $48,300. That works out to $142 more for workers. On the employer side, businesses will pay 2.56% in EI rates -- up from 2.46% -- and corresponding increases in maximum EI and CPP amounts for

a total of $164. The CPP increase is based on inflation and adjusted annually. The EI increase amounts to a nickel per $100 of insurable earnings for workers and seven cents per $100 dollars for employers. It could have been higher had Finance Minister Jim Flaherty carried through with a proposal from a handpicked government body that called for three times the EI rate hike that goes into effect Monday. “Payroll taxes are going up because the federal government has yet to

tackle our broken EI program,” said Greg Thomas, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s executive director. A spokesman for Flaherty said the maximum CPP benefit will increase by $320 next year to $11,840 under the changes. Things are likely only to get worse in 2012 as the government looks to find annual savings of $4 billion in the next few years to meet its floating target to erase the deficit, which is forecast to be $31 billion through next year.

Families need to have all receipts handy to take full advantage of deductions one of the biggest challenges for families with children at tax time can be locating all of the pesky receipts they’ve stashed away over the year, hoping to claim credits and deductions. “Keeping receipts, it’s the big deal,” said Cleo Hamel, senior tax analyst with H&R Block Canada. “Do you have an envelope? Do you have a box? As they come in, you just throw them in there,” Hamel said from Calgary. But she cautioned that it has to be a receipt that says “Paid,” and not just a bill or Visa credit card statement. The kids’ swimming lessons, afterschool care and the expense of teethstraightening braces, all qualify as deductions. But parents aren’t always sure what to claim. A recent RBC survey suggested that four of every 10 parents with children under the age of 12 weren’t taking full advantage of tax savings available to them. RBC Investment and retirement planner Patricia Domingo said deductions like summer camps can get overlooked by parents due to the “every-

day busy schedules of families.” The poll also found that 51 per cent of those surveyed didn’t have registered education savings plans for their children, but most of these parents would like to contribute to this plan. Even putting aside a small amount can lessen the cost down the road, Domingo said from Toronto. “The goal doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” she said. “Sometimes that’s how families tend to view it. They feel that the goal is perhaps not attainable at the time, so they shelve it.” Registered education savings plan contributions for post-secondary education are not tax deductible, although no tax is paid on any RESP gains until the money is withdrawn and even then that is usually done at the tax rate of the student, whose income is generally low enough that the withdrawals are essentially tax free. The federal government matches RESP contributions by 20 per cent up to annual maximum of $500 or $7,200 over the life of a plan. Additional federal grants are available for lower income families. Hamel said parents can forget to

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claim medical expenses, such as glasses, that may not be covered fully or at all by their employer health insurance plans. “It’s still costs out of your pocket.” There’s also a disability tax credit for parents or children who qualify, she said. And there’s the basic child tax credit of $2,089 per child under 18. Hamel said it works out to $313 in tax savings per child and either parent can claim it, but she recommends couples do their returns before applying it to see who can benefit the most from it. “See what position you and your spouse are sitting at.” As well, there’s the children’s fitness credit of a maximum of $500 per child in qualifying sporting activities. Parents and students who use the public transit system for work and school can claim their passes. KPMG’s Paul Woolford advises people to make sure they file an income tax return to be able to get all of the credits to which they’re entitled, even if there’s no tax owing. “They all get held up until you file,” said Woolford, tax partner at KPMG

PAGE 20

Enterprise in Toronto. Woolford said couples should make sure they’re shifting income where possible to the partner who has the lowest taxable earnings. “So as a whole, the family pays less tax. So that’s a saving.” Those with businesses need to remember they can claim family members who work for them as deductions, he said. “So when you are preparing your tax return, make sure you look at the schedule that lists them all and make sure, ideally, you’re not scrambling at the last minute,” Woolford said. Hamel said with the economic downturn, some families who have experienced job loss may be entitled to credits they haven’t previously received. “There might be some people who file their tax returns this year who in the past have never received the GST or the child tax benefit who might be surprised to actually qualify for it this year.”

JANUARY 25, 2012


LIFESTYLE

Stress, emotional eating and weight the palatability of these foods may afBy: Dr. George I. Traitses Keeping a healthy weight—and

especially losing weight—is not easy for many reasons says Dr. George Traitses. For one, easy access to extremely tasty high-calorie foods pushes many to overeat. Living with stress—a common source of negative emotions— also makes it difficult to keep healthy habits. In fact, according to www. webmd.com, up to 75 percent of overeating is driven by emotions. Stress in particular has the power to push people toward overeating and other unhealthy behaviors. Research shows that stress forces people— particularly those who usually restrain their eating—to eat more and to choose high-fat foods over healthier ones. The high-calorie foods serve as self-medication, producing a relief from negative emotions. Of course, the relief is only temporary—the effect of chocolate, for example, disappears after only three minutes, according to studies. However, because the food or beverage reduces a negative emotion, even temporarily, we tend to turn to it again next time we experience the same emotion. Not all food works, though. When sad, disappointed, irritable or anxious, we don’t crave carrots or celery. Instead, we turn to ice cream, chips, cookies or chocolate. Research shows

fect brain chemistry. Yet, food only numbs the feelings—without resolving underlying causes. And, by adding inches to our waistlines, we also pile guilt onto the mix. Become Aware of Your Habits The first step to conquering emotional eating is identifying your bad habits. Do you find yourself eating when you are not really hungry or when you are in a certain mood? The next step is to pinpoint the triggers. Some emotional eating is caused by negative emotions—being bored, irritated, upset or stressed out. Certain thinking patterns, such as “I had a bad day at work; let me treat myself” or “I am overweight already, so what harm will one cookie do?” also push people to overeat. And unhealthy behavior patterns, such as stocking the pantry with tempting and unhealthy food, can also contribute to the problem. To establish your patterns of emotional eating, write down the foods you eat and the accompanying feelings and thoughts. Record: • the times you eat and drink • the types and quantities of foods and beverages • your hunger rating (on a scale of 0 to 10) • situations preceding eating and any notable emotions. Forming Healthy Habits

Marriage vs. happiness study

Good news for commitment-phobes:

A new study found getting married won’t make you any happier than just living with your guy. For the study, researchers from Cornell followed 2,737 single men and women—896 of whom got hitched or moved in with a partner during the study. Over the next six years, they were polled on happiness, health, and how much they socialized with friends and family.

Researchers found that all couples had a honeymoon period right after they got married or moved in together—they were happier and less depressed than those who stayed single. But eventually, both the married couples and cohabitators had less contact with their friends and family than single people, which can definitely put a dent in your social life. The study also found that couples who just lived together had bigger leaps in happiness and more self-esteem than they did when they were living alone. Married couples also were happier than before, but didn’t get the same big boost. The study didn’t delve into why, exactly, this was, but scientists guessed it had something to do with feeling like you have more personal freedom and less obligations when you don’t have a ring on your finger. The takeaway? If your mom is pressuring you to tie the knot with your live-in man, point out that you’re happier and more confident with the status quo. When the time is right for both of you, you’ll make a move.

HEY COOKS! EVER WANTED TO BE A CHEF? DO YOU LOVE BEING IN THE KITCHEN? SHARE YOUR LOVE OF COOKING WITH OUR READERS BY SENDING IN YOUR RECIPES FOR OUR “WEEKLY RECIPE” SECTION! info@caribbeanxpress.ca CARIBBEAN XPRESS

Depending on the triggers, your strategy will differ. For some, learning to recognize the physical hunger may be needed. Ask yourself, “What exactly would feel good in my body now? Is it something hot, cold, sweet, crunchy or mushy?” Narrow the food down without judging it good or bad. Learn to trust your body. Those with unhealthy thinking patterns need help to identify the patterns and “refashion” the thinking. For example, instead of deciding that an extra cookie won’t matter, you may say to yourself, “I’m trying to keep a healthy weight—so the cookie may make a difference. Why don’t I eat something healthier?” While it may sound forced in the beginning, over time you can change the way you think. If you use food as a reward, a stress reliever or a distraction, try brainstorming and developing a list of healthier, non-food-related coping activities, such as reading, doing Sudoku, exercising, breathing techniques, or meditation or massage. Keep a written list of the most effective coping activities handy—to turn to in times of intense emotions, when it may be hard to think clearly. Maintaining Motivation As with any other habit, emotional eating takes motivation, time and practice to break. Get support from your doctor of chiropractic and other health care providers you visit. Find what will inspire you to form

healthy habits. For many people, appearance, health and well-being serve as meaningful motivators—but they may need to be spelled out into practical terms, such as an outfit you want to wear, a health problem you want to avoid or an activity you want to do. Take some time to verbalize it in detail. Your doctor of chiropractic can help you find specific foods and techniques that will help you—and give you detailed homework. Once you start a new program, remind yourself about your reasons to keep weight off to help yourself stay on track. Reducing Stress The following strategies can also help lessen the effects of stress on your health and improve stress tolerance: • Think positively to lessen the negative effects of stress on your health. • Get out and enjoy nature. • Try aromatherapy, or smelling the essential oils of plants, to unwind after a stressful day. • Relax with a cup of tea. • Laugh it off. Humor relieves stress and anxiety and prevents depression, helping put your troubles in perspective. • Build a support system to help you cope with stressful events. • Listen to music. • Try meditation to calm your mind. • Get a massage. • Give exercise a shot to relieve stress and get into good physical shape.

Weekly Recipe: Pholourie

Pholourie are little balls of split pea flour - fried and served with a thin sweet chutney sauce (usually mango or tamarind). It is mostly popular in Trinidad. Enjoy! Ingredients - 2 cups split peas powder - 1/2 cup flour - 1 clove garlic, finely minced/puréed - 1/2 teaspoon salt - black pepper - 1 teaspoon saffron powder or 2 tsp curry powder - 2 teaspoons baking powder - oil for deep frying Directions 1. Mix split peas powder with all

PAGE 21

ingredients except water. 2. Add enough water to make a thick batter. Let rest for 1 hour. 3. Heat oil in heavy pot. 4. Drop batter, a teaspoon at a time into the hot oil, and let cook until puffed and golden brown. 5. Serve with a thin fruit chutney sauce or a peppery tamarind sauce. 6. You can make a great sauce by combining equal parts mango chutney and water and pureeing them with 1 clove of garlic. ---------------------------------------------Courtesy trinigourmet.com

JANUARY 25, 2012


RELIGION

Does Islamic finance have a place in Canada? Around $900 billion in assets across

the globe are managed by Islamic banks that operate according to sharia, an interpretation of Islamic law. In recent years, so-called Islamic finance has been growing at a rate of 15-20 per cent a year, and proved remarkably resilient to the financial crisis. Proponents of the relatively new sector point to its back-to-basics financial structures, which have made it popular with a number of non-Mulsim clients who have little appetite for risk. Critics, though, say the restrictions it comes with–prohibitions, for example, on paying interest and investing in anything that involves porn, pork or booze–are archaic and unworkable. Canada, with its 1.3 million Muslims, has lagged behind countries like the U.K. and the U.S. in embracing shariacompliant financial products. None of the country’s big banks currently offer sharia-compliant services, though some smaller players do. Torontobased UM Financial Inc., which issued home mortgages conforming to Islamic law, filed for bankruptcy last year, leaving 170 Muslim borrowers in limbo, and opening a legal can of worms. Is the firm’s failure evidence that Canada should steer clear of Islamic finance; or proof that the country needs more of it–i.e. that the banks and policymakers need to bring the practice into the mainstream, with tighter rules and better oversight? We asked the experts to chime in. Tarek Fatah is the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, a liberalminded grassroots organization. He is also the author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic lllusion of an Islamic State, among other works. Walid Hejazi is associate professor of international business at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, where he is currently teaching an MBA course on Islamic finance. What is Islamic finance? Fatah: In the words of one New York

Muslim banker, Islamic finance is little more than “a $300 billion deception.” According to Muhammad Saleem, former president and CEO of Park Avenue Bank, “Islamic banks do not practise what they preach: they all charge interest, but disguised in Islamic garb.” In fact, Islamic finance is just one more front in the worldwide Islamist movement’s attempt to depict all things Western as essentially inimical to Islam. Hejazi: Islamic Finance allows individuals or companies to invest in conformity with the principles of Islam. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, though, Islamic finance has been extending its appeal to a wide range of clients–regardless of religion–because it relies on rather conservative and low-risk banking practices. It is critical to emphasize that shariacompliant or Islamic financial products can be made available to anyone–not just Muslims. There are five key elements that must be avoided in Islamic finance: interest (riba); speculation (maisir); uncertainty (gharar); unjust enrichment/unfair exploitation; and unethical purpose. I will focus on the most well-known–and, I would argue, the least understood–dimension of Islamic finance: the ban on interest. Should Canada embrace Islamic finance? Hejazi: It is in the interest of Canadians to embrace Islamic finance, both on the retail and the commercial side. Perhaps more important, though, is the commercial side. As my research has documented, Canada needs more foreign investment and our country has been slipping behind in terms of its attractiveness to foreign investors. Now, the Gulf region has a tremendous amount of excess liquidity–upwards of a trillion dollars! However, investors from that region often require their investments be sharia-compliant. The Rotman School, in conjunction with Deloitte, Bennet Jones, Torys,

Man sentenced in anti-Obama arson of black church A white man who admitted to helping

burn down a mostly black church to protest against Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president was sentenced on Wednesday January 18 to four-and-a-half years in prison. The November 2008 arson fire came hours after presidential election results were announced, and destroyed the nearly finished Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield, Massachusetts, about 90 miles west of Boston. Authorities said three white Springfield friends - Thomas Gleason, Michael Jacques and Benjamin Haskell - were motivated by racial resentment when they doused the building with gasoline and torched it. No worshipers were inside at the time, but some firefighters were injured battling the blaze. Judge Michael Ponsor in U.S. District Court sentenced Gleason, 24, to

54 months in federal prison for his role in the hate crime, followed by three years of parole. Gleason pleaded guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to violate civil rights, religious property damage because of race, and damage to religious property by use of fire, according to the lead prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Smyth. “This was a horrific crime - unexplainable, in fact - with horrific motives,” Smyth told the court. In court, Gleason apologized for what he called an “incredibly stupid” act and for the “pain and frustration” it caused the church’s community and to his own family. The two other men charged in the arson have already been sentenced for their roles in the crime. Jacques, 27, was ordered jailed for 14 years, while Haskell, 25, received a 9-year term.

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and King and Spalding have developed case studies in which we looked at whether sharia-compliant financial structures would be more costly than conventional ones in the context of three major Canadian projects. Our analysis found that the costs associated with a sharia financing structure were similar to those of the conventional financing structure. Having a capability within Canada to undertake these transactions will make Canada more attractive to foreign investment, and this will help grow the economy and enhance the prosperity of all Canadians. Fatah: Canadian banks and financial institutions are already flirting with the idea. Can we blame them? Who wouldn’t want gullible consumers who demand zero interest on their deposits but are willing to pay more on their monthly mortgage payments, all in the name of Islam and avoiding eternal hellfire. Islamists are lining up with such icons of global capitalism as Citibank NA, HSBC Holdings PLC, and Barclays PLC, which have all endorsed sharia banking and started offering Islamic financing products to a vulnerable Muslim population. Promoting these products, of course, are a number of prominent Muslim corporate lawyers and bankers. This push from Muslim banking executives working inside the corporate world has had some success. While the Royal Bank of Canada didn’t find enough market interest for a sharia finance product it tested a few years ago, other Canadian banks are smelling easy pickings and lining up to wear the Islamic mantle. Scotiabank and Toronto-Dominion Bank have been quietly considering whether to start offering sharia-compliant products as part of the big banks’ strategy to reach out to a growing “immigrant population,” a politically correct way of labeling Muslims. Suppose mainstream Canadian

institutions started offering Islamic financial instruments, making them widely available throughout the country. How would this affect, if at all, the integration of Canada’s Muslim minority? Fatah: The question assumes there is one Muslim community. I suggest there are many and they will react in different manner. My cursory study of the clients of now-bankrupt mortgage lender UM Financial shows that the company appeals mostly to customers from the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent and Caucasian converts to Islam, with Arab-Canadians and IranianCanadians virtually absent. Thus the integration of Canada’s Muslims into the rest of society has very little to do with the success or failure of Islamic banking; it has everything to do with the failed policies of multiculturalism that encourage segregation and make it difficult to propagate Canadian values that have crystallized over 400 years of Western civilization and are the core of who we are as a country. Charlatans attempting to squeeze money out of an already marginalized minority community should be an affront to all of us—Muslim and nonMuslim alike. Hejazi: If the mainstream financial institutions offered sharia-compliant financial instruments, such as mortgages, savings accounts, mutual funds, and so on, this would go a long way towards integrating conservative Muslims into mainstream financial markets and keeping our financial system strong and sound. At present sharia-compliant financial securities are not available in the mainstream; hence conservative Muslims who feel they must use sharia-complaint financial instruments are forced to deal with smaller, less well-known, less wellfunded, and likely less well-managed financial institutions. Providing these Muslim-Canadians with this option does not come with any negatives.

Randhawa Law Office Immigration Real Estate

Criminal Law Civil Law Notarization & Affidavits

Gursharnjit Singh Randhawa Barrister & Solicitor

Phone : (905) 819-1119 Fax: (905) 819-1120 randylawoffice@gmail.com 1965 Britannia Road West. Suite # 208 Mississauga, ON, L5M 4Y4

PAGE 22

JANUARY 25, 2012


COMMUNITY/CLASSIFIEDS

CLASSIFIEDS

EVENT LISTINGS

SERVICES

Stan’s Appliance Repair Repair to all makes and models of appliances: Fridges, Stoves, Washers, Dryers, etc. Over 15 years of experience in the industry. Call Stan: 905-781-3390

DJ, Sound & Lighting rentals for any occasion Installations, Set-up, Delivery available Daily, Weekly, Monthly rates

416-648-1136

Saturday February 4, 2012 Casino Rama bus trip FOTT Friends of Trinidad & Tobago is organizing a Casino Rama bus trip. Bus leaves at 12pm from The Centre (6765 Invader Crescent, Mississauga). Cost: $10 - which will be refunded by Casino Rama - can be used to gamble or a dinner voucher Limited spots available. Book your seats at 647-606-1060 Friday February 10, 2012 Upscale Events, Tricky Promo and more presents the 2nd annual Love Dem - All Ages Valentines Dinner & Dance @ The Centre (6765 Invader Crescent, Mississauga) Sold out in 2011 - over 1000 people expected Toronto’s #1 djs all under 1 roof: Tricky, Heatwave, 2touch, Crystal Vibez, Prime Djs: Dice, Kevin, Kidd Chris, JR & Dj A+, Showtime, Dj Lime, O.N.E., DNR, Mistah Stunna, Smash Ent: Royal Star & Explosion, Modern Ent, Dj Reflex, Silver Star Sound, Dj Ray, CBL, Dj AC. Hosted by: Ameer B, Chatterbox, Imran, Mc Suggamon Celebrating over 30 birthdays on this night! Live dance performance by Quicksz for all the ladies Sound & lighting by: Creative Candy Entertainment Dress code: couples/take - red, pink and singles - black, white Only 200 early bird tickets available! Dance only - 2 for $15 Dinner & dance - $25. Regular tickets: Dance - $20, Dinner & dance - $30 For tickets or more information: 416-919-5770 bbm 231eb517 ticketgateway.com

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Advertise in our “CLASSIFIEDS” or “EVENT LISTINGS” for as low as $10!

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PAGE 23

JANUARY 25, 2012


25jan12  

Patrick Manning stable after stroke The producers of the 2012 Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch have decided to include 3 additional contestan...

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