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WEEK ENDING AUGUST 10, 2018

NO.006

US$5,000

per household proposed – as Guyana prepares to draw down oil money in

2020

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“No evidential basis”

for cash payouts President Granger

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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

US$5,000 per household – as Guyana prepares to proposed draw down oil money in 2020 By Ariana Gordon

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RECOMMENDATION has been made for the Government of Guyana, when it starts production and receives its net inflow of revenue, to make cash transfers annually to every household in the country. “I believe that some portion of the net cash flow from oil should be dedicated to be given as cash transfers to every single household in this country. Whether it is US$5000 per year or whatever it works out at, we can put the figure together – there must be a mechanism in place to ensure every single household and by extension every single person would see the benefits of oil and gas in terms of cash or cheque received in their accounts,” said economist Professor Clive Thomas. Professor Thomas was at the time addressing residents of Buxton, East Coast Demerara and other stakeholders at the Eusi Kwayana Emancipation Symposium, held at the Friendship Primary School. Professor Thomas posited that there can be no better spender of resources than a person in need. “Nobody can tell you how to spend money better than you can yourself. As an expression to that person, I believe there must be developed a cash-transfer programme of some significance that makes sure that when all is said and done, out of the national pie, a certain permitted amount of resources are transferred to the masses. That is an absolute minimum of what I was saying, the national debate is removing that further and further from reality,” he told those gathered at the forum organised by the Buxton First of August Movement and themed, “The Coming Oil and Gas Economy: Prospects for Empowering the Poor and Revitalizing the Village Economy.” Professor Thomas, who was among three panellists, Attorney Nigel Hughes and Project Officer, Ministry of Natural Resources, Mariscia Charles, made it clear that despite the views of some, he does not believe giving cash transfers to persons “is a waste of resources”. He noted that such a recommendation would be frowned upon by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. MOST EFFECTIVE MEANS

Professor Clive Thomas (Samuel Maughn photo)

Attorney Nigel Hughes (Samuel Maughn photo)

taking political action to direct policies of the state,” Thomas stated, while emphasising that “We are not in a position to just leave it to the government, or any government. I would never leave it to the government to solve the problems of the poor and powerless. You have to take the action; you have to make them feel that you want this as a strategic option.” He chided critics who do not believe in such a vision and noted that had it not been for such an opportunity to speak at the Friendship Primary School, he would not have got a chance to express such a point of view. At the conclusion of Thomas’ presentation, chairperson to the proceedings, Dr. David Hinds, suggested that there be detailed discussions on the subject and how such an initiative can benefit communities such as Buxton. “It is not the money in our hands, but what we will do with it,” Dr. Hinds reminded. His view was supported by attorney Nigel Hughes who believes that there needs to be data to support such a recommendation. He noted that generations have changed over time and in his view, the goals and aspirations of communities are not necessarily the same. “My fear is that if we start to talk about giving people

From left to right: Mariscia Charles, Project Officer Ministry of Natural Resources; Attorney Nigel Hughes; Economist, Professor Clive Thomas; and political commentator, Dr. David Hinds (Samuel Maughn photo)

“If you look at the evidence, cash transfers are the single most effective means of combating poverty,” he stated, while acknowledging that there is a risk involved. As such, he noted that there must be careful planning if such is to be implemented by the government. “There is a risk that the politicians might steal it but there is no certainty about that,” he opined, while noting that positions must be taken in favour of the poor and powerless. He called on the administration to put mechanisms in place to ensure that the masses benefit and not the middle-class, which has already started benefiting from oil-related opportunities. This benefit he said can improve access to education, and better health care. “We want more benefits across Guyana. The poor and powerless would never be able to change their status without

cash, we opening the doors to politicians to say I can give you more cash than the next one and we end up with a ridiculous campaign of people being irresponsible about development, because it becomes a competition on who can give more,” Hughes stated. He pointed to the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration. He noted that there used to be lots of concerns with the hope of “placating parts of our society”. “That is going to happen at a higher level.” UNFORTUNATE STATISTIC The attorney pointed to what he described as an “unfortunate statistic” where whenever there is a big concert here, “pickpockets and robberies increase dramatically leading up to the concert.”

“We are living in a different social era with different commitments and views on development,” he stated, as he gave commendations to Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Libya’s former leader. He said when Gadhafi took power, during his first 10 years in office, there was a rise in the level of education, and the country became debt-free. He said the level of literacy increased to 95 per cent and health care there was second to none, giving Libya a first world country status. Hughes made it clear that Guyana needs a similar model, where the essentials are provided across the board to citizens, even as he called for sensible discussions on the issue and not “hot air” as is published in the national newspapers. He believes that every discussion needs to have a data factor, so that citizens are not “dazzled by the fantastic promises that are going to come from the political pulpit unrelated to reality and economics of sustainability and that is a dangerous place. “We’d be running down the road voting for who’s giving us more money without any thought about how they’re going to pay… and when they get in they will pay themselves and we get none,” he added. In addressing the concerns raised by not only Hughes but attendees, Professor Thomas made it clear that each transfer must be conditional, while noting that there are many ways the mechanism can be employed. NOT MAD SCIENCE “It is not mad science,” he declared, while noting that “the key ingredient is that it creates the choice in the hands of the people.” He said “people are not stupid… their own lives are the own well-being…you’d have to be an idiot to believe that somebody would come and tell you they are going to give you $1M every day and you must vote for them. Everybody is going to laugh.” Professor Thomas who has published many articles in the local media on Guyana’s new found natural resource, noted that the change in the current generation was brought about by the current social and cultural environment. “It is not as if I am asking for all the oil wealth to go to cash transfer; I am saying take a percentage, take two per cent, four per cent, five percent -- have a limit – and build into it a recognition that if the price of oil goes down, the percentage remains the same --- so the limit of exposure is predetermined so that you don’t run the risk of creating a fiscal crisis,” he stated. Meanwhile, Thomas noted that the sudden-wealth or lottery syndrome where persons encounter lots of money, but struggle to maintain same as a risk but prefers to be optimistic. “It is not as if there are no risks… I am not claiming that cooing for cash transfers means people might not spend it on consumption or wastage, but I am saying they would better conserve it than any other outside agencies-- local or central government,” the professor added. “They are not going to just take it and sit back and consume and wait for a cheque… So it is a gamble that I am taking, but historical experience has been on my side,” he stated. Presentations were also made by the two other panellists, Hughes and Charles.


Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

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“No evidential basis”

for cash payouts P

RESIDENT David Granger on Thursday said there is “no evidential basis” for the suggested cash payout to households from the expected oil and gas revenues. Economist, Dr. Clive Thomas speaking at a recent forum said the government should consider annual cash transfers of $1Million (US$5000) to poor households. However, President Granger said he has not received a formal proposal from Dr. Thomas in this regard. “I have not considered that proposal, it is outside of the recommendations of the Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Natural Resources Fund and I don’t know that there is a precedent for it.” The Head of State reminded of the quintet of ministers and the newly appointed Head of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe, are advising him on matters related to the sector. On Wednesday, during the 96th Sitting of the National Assembly, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan laid the Government’s ‘Green’ paper on the Natural Resources Fund for consideration by the

President Granger

House. It is expected that before the year ends, legislation will be enacted that will see the prudent management of the petroleum resources. The ‘Green’ paper presents preliminary proposals which are expected to stimulate discussions. It also details specific issues and possible courses of action in terms of policy and legislation. It also elaborates on the necessity of the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund. Jordan later told reporters that he embraced the public debate on direct cash transfers to citizens after Guyana begins oil production in March 2020. Jordan said if such an approach were to be adopted, then extreme caution must be employed, a view shared by Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman. He said over the years, there have been such transfers which targeted education. He pointed to the national school-feeding programmes and the uniform vouchers that students in the public school system receive. “I must admit to you, I would have a difficulty if Cabinet were to agree to it and in

the implementation it wasn’t properly structured,” said the finance minister, who noted that rather than giving citizens US$5000 as hypothetically suggested by economist, Professor Clive Thomas last Sunday in Buxton, issues within critical sectors should be examined. “Why not look at issues such as education, health, youth programmes, small businesses … teaching a man to fish and then he could do it for a lifetime, rather

than giving him a fish when he could only feed himself for a short while,” Jordan suggested, while noting that the matter has not yet reached the level of Cabinet. Trotman for his part said too that the public discourse on the subject is timely, as Guyana has within its reserves more than 4B barrels of oil equivalent. “For 50 years Guyanese have been told about their potential and what they are entitled to, we have seen that

potential around us. This and future governments have a duty to spread oil wealth in a responsible way to as many Guyanese as possible. The AFC supports any initiative that spreads the wealth transparently and equally not just for some, but to ensure that every citizen in all 10 regions get an equal say in how this money is spent and they get a share of it,” Trotman said, noting that he would make such a representation to cabinet.

GUYANA PARTICIPATES IN OAS SPECIAL MEETING

TO COMMEMORATE THE FIRST INTER-AMERICAN WEEK FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE AMERICAS

Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, His Excellency Dr. Riyad Insanally

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n August 9, 2018, Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Riyad Insanally led Guyana’s Delegation to a Special Meeting of the OAS Permanent Council as part of the commemoration of the First Inter-American Week for Indigenous Peoples, on August 6-10, 2018. The delegation also consisted of Mrs. Lesley Dowridge-Collins, Deputy Chief of Mission and Mr. Jason Fields, Alternate Representative. The purpose of the week’s activities and the Special Meeting, in particular, was to recognize the contributions made by Indigenous Peoples across the Hemisphere and to promote dialogue on forward-looking policies regarding the

protection of their rights and the advancement of their social inclusion in the Americas. In his remarks to the Permanent Council, Ambassador Insanally highlighted the fact that Guyana is home to nine indigenous nations, who make up about 10-11 percent of the population and “occupy a special place in our country’s rich tapestry”. In this respect, he informed the meeting of some of the measures the Government of Guyana is taking in order to improve the socio-economic conditions of the First Peoples, through allocations in the National Budget to key sectors, such as health, education, housing, infrastructure and youth enterprise training, with a dedicated Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs charged with keeping their special interests in the mainstream of national policy and planning. The Ambassador also made specific reference, among other things, to the Ministry’s indigenous language revival programme; the establishment of the Amerindian Land Titling Project Management Unit and the Grievance Redress Mechanism; the key role anticipated

for the Indigenous Peoples, as “the traditional guardians of our environment”, in the rolling out of the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS); the process of developing and implementing a 10-year Village Improvement Plan, focused on incorporating indigenous communities into environmental management and development, in line with their knowledge and traditional practices; and President David Granger’s commitment to increasing the subvention for the work of the Toshaos, at the 12th Annual National Toshaos Conference, last month. In conclusion, Ambassador Insanally stated that the Government of Guyana highly values the role played by Indigenous Peoples in Guyana’s national development efforts, adding, “whilst we rightly celebrate our indigenous heritage, we should also be considering anew how we balance traditionalist views of our Indigenous Peoples with their own desire to be fully integrated into the socio-economic, cultural and political life of our country. After all, they are the people who started Guyana.”


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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

CONTEMPT AND COMMOTION

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S a journalist, I had covered proceedings in the National Assembly for over 20 years (1971-1992), and, except for very rare occasions, I never witnessed what today passes off as “Opposition”: Constant cuss-down, commotion and crude contempt. Under the leadership of Cheddi Jagan, opposition politics was responsible, constructive and, yes, educational. The public gallery could expect an intellectual treat. Heckling was refined to a calm and fine art that was deployed with surgical effect, especially during the years when Prime Minister Forbes Burnham and opposition front-bencher “Boysie” Ramkarran, traded wits. Then, even the usually sharp, affable but incisive “Odo” could be floored by an unrelenting “Boysie,” while the latter was on his feet. Once, Ramkarran and Speaker Sase Narain were exchanging banter over an inscription on the gate of a building on Camp Street that had housed the Ministry of National Mobilisation. They were disputing whether, in Hindi, “chodi” or “chudai ghar” (one of which seemed obscene) fitted the description. Burnham sauntered into the House and heckled: “Boysie, I know more jokes than you!” Ramkarran calmly responded: “Yes, I agree.” And he slowly pointed in the direction of the ministers on the government front benches, and added: “Because it is you who appointed all of them!” BEST REPARTEE It was the best repartee that I have ever heard when there was an exchange of sensible teasing as part of the political culture, even at a tense time. On another occasion, after someone from the government side had stated loosely that we should have laws like those in a named Middle East state, where the hands of thieves were chopped off, Ramkarran

quickly quipped: “Yes, I agree; but Guyana could have the only parliament in the world where the entire front benches would have ministers without hands!” Forbes would look straight across the aisle at Cheddi and smilingly tease, “Hello Snow Top”, a reference to Cheddi’s crop of gray hair. Or he would, on occasion, hold out his hand and, slowly swirling an imaginary glass of cognac, say, “Cheddi, you have to learn how to live the good life!” Guyana lost that witty Burnham when he exited the National Assembly to become Executive President. And Parliament was never the same without Cheddi Jagan, who, according to one writer, unenviably commanded facts and figures that he would impart to the House on a wide array of political and ideological topics. PALE SHADE The current opposition is a pale shade of that period. Debates now quickly descend into hate speeches; the finesse and the humour have evaporated. Heckling is a babble of

boisterous noises. This brings me to the more recent incident where an opposition MP was named to appear before the Privileges Committee for publicly attacking the office of the Speaker. I moved the motion to send the matter to the investigating committee after House Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland, mentioned that the MP had imputed bias and partisanship. On July 30, 2018, opposition MP Harry Gill, in a letter published in the Stabroek News, wrote inter alia: “We’re all getting a bit tired of the double standards” of the Speaker, whom he impertinently invited to look at videos on social media “to see how biased he appears.” He went on to accuse the Speaker of being “unjust”, and showing partisanship and discrimination to “prevent bad news from reaching the media” in order to protect the government from losing office. FREE EXPRESSION The opposition claimed that the MP was merely indulging in freedom of expression. My response is that he could claim that right if he had spoken in the National Assembly, where he could be protected by unqualified privilege. But he went outside the protective walls of parliament into an arena where free speech is not absolute, but is subject to exceptions such as defamation for libel and slander. Had the attacks per se been against the person of the Speaker, I would expect litigation for causing the learned and honourable gentleman loss of reputation. But the attacks were against the Office of the Speaker, the integrity of Parliament, and the sanctity of the constitution, under whose authority the Office of Speaker is established. Under the Standing Orders, the decisions of the Speaker, like those of a judge, once made, cannot be questioned or disobeyed except by a motion to this effect. The courts are guided by case laws that say that the orders of a court cannot be disobeyed unless they are withdrawn or discharged; disobedience attracts sanction for contempt. A litigant (or lawyer) who has disobeyed an order would normally not be heard until and unless he/she purged his/her contempt. Instead of helping to purge the contempt, I read that another opposition MP has publicly pleaded justification for the allegations made by his embattled colleague, saying that what Gill said was the truth. The opposition newspaper, Guyana Times, compounded the contempt by publishing an undisguised calumny against the Speaker: “The man certainly holds himself above the law!” And in between unpatriotically describing Guyana as a “shithole country,” known for what it vulgarly describe as “shitholeness”, it falsely and wickedly asserted that a new principle is being pushed about the “Sovereignty of the Speaker!!” BREACH OF PRIVILEGE Those contemptuous opposition outbursts do not help, but could put Harry into what was described in a Caribbean calypso as “de piggery”, or parliamentary purgatory. It shows not only senseless arrogance, but crass contempt for our country and our democratic symbols and institutions. Some years ago, Canadian House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer, had sent a memo to MPs, warning that if they publicly question his impartiality, “you could find yourself on the wrong side of a breach of privilege complaint.” Specific reference was made to allegations of bias against the Speaker, which is punishable for breach of privilege. Last year, as we were ringing in the season of Christmas, opposition MP Juan Edghill was suspended from the NationTURN TO PAGE

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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

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Understanding Energy...

Guarding against the ‘Dutch Disease’

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UCH has been made of the “Dutch Disease” in discussions of Guyanese oil developments lately. It’s become a warning siren about the dangers of creating an economy that relies too heavily on oil. There is certainly some truth to that, but Dutch Disease is a complex economic concept that needs to be explained and examined rather than just tossed around casually, since economists themselves are far from united on just what it means for countries. The term “Dutch Disease” was coined in the 1970s to describe a falloff in the Dutch manufacturing industry that coincided with a rise in Dutch natural gas production after major discoveries in the 1950s. The idea was that huge influxes of cash from fossil fuels had increased the value of the Dutch Guilder (the country’s pre-Euro currency), to the extent that companies in other sectors like agriculture and manufacturing were having trouble exporting their products, because a high- value currency made them too expensive for consumers in other countries. Economists and the media were also troubled to see that unemployment had increased, and that investment in non-gas

sectors had declined. But it’s easy to see why economists are hesitant to describe this series of issues as an inevitable impact of oil-and-gas production. For one thing, the 1970s was a time of global economic instability, and many industrialised countries, including the U.S., Britain, and France, saw their manufacturing sectors decline as well during this time. The shock to the Dutch economy also didn’t last long. Today, the Netherlands is the second largest agricultural exporter in the world despite its tiny size, and is a global hub for trade, shipping, and finance, while its gas industry remains strong. Overall, exports have rebounded to become more than 80 per cent of the Dutch gross domestic product (GDP), and gas plays a relatively minor role in that. In many ways, an examination of the “Dutch Disease” reflects how important good governance and smart economic policy is when it comes to oil and gas. To mitigate the “Dutch Disease”, economists have found that the key is to use resource revenue in a responsible way, by saving it in an internationally invested fund with a diverse mix of currencies that will keep wealth safe for future generations;

finance efforts to “even out” the impacts of major drops in oil prices; and give a country’s Central Bank the necessary financial leverage to manage their currency’s value. Slow and steady is the key. Revenues from resource extraction can be invested, but they shouldn’t be scattered wildly. They need to be invested in projects that increase the economic well-being of the country, and the economy as a whole. Yes, other industries will be navigating a new environment after oil, but oil revenues can and should be invested to help those industries adapt and compete more effectively. Part of what went wrong in the Netherlands was that investment was happening, but successive governments chose to make those investments mostly in oil and gas, while other industries were neglected. Paradoxically, the oil revenues themselves are the ticket to avoiding that trap and diversifying the economy. The more oil revenues are invested in sustainable longterm public goals like infrastructure (ports and roads), healthcare (hospitals), and education (schools), the more opportunity all industries will have to thrive. That’s what countries like Malaysia

have successfully done; they took oil money and invested in other sectors like technology and manufacturing to grow their whole economy. Meanwhile, they set themselves up for the future, setting aside a sovereign wealth fund and a development fund and putting money into research and education to build a strong foundation for future industries and businesses. In the end, the Dutch took a similar route: They invested in high-tech manufacturing and agriculture, cutting-edge research universities and the financial sector, becoming a global centre for all three. As the country that gave the “Dutch Disease” its name demonstrates, economic dangers are not economic destiny. With proper financial management, conservative spending and smart investments in human capital and diverse industries, Guyana can learn from the mistakes of countries which came before it. Oil alone is not a goal; the goal is a wealthy and diversified economy that serves all Guyanese, and a government able to provide them with a better education, better healthcare, and better opportunities, for today’s generation and future ones. Managed carefully, oil will help us get there.

Public servants could receive non-salary benefits – says minister of state

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INISTER of State Joseph Harmon said the Government is working to include non-salary benefits for public servants as part of the ongoing discussion to increase wages and salaries in the sector. These deliberations are being made with the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), Harmon said on Sunday. “We are engaging the Public Service Union. I can’t say specifically where those talks are now but certainly on the last time we engaged on salaries we were also looking at non-salary benefits as well. And those issues, I believe, are still on the table to be determined. “When you look at salary, you’re looking at salaries and benefits. It’s not just one element, it’s an entire package and that is what we’re saying to them: don’t just separate the

salary from the non-salary benefits. Because if in fact you’re working for $1,000 a day and then I am able to subsidise some of your expenses for which you have to spend that $1,000 then, in fact, that adds to the $1,000 that you’re getting. And these are some of the discussions we were having with the GPSU,” he said. Recently, GPSU President Patrick Yarde had criticised the Government for “deep-seated issues” with regards to the welfare of workers which he said are yet to be addressed. He noted that although the Government inherited some of the present “baggage” from the previous administration, it will not forget public servants. “We love our public servants. Our public servants are the people who actually keep the engine of the Government going because

Minister of State Joseph Harmon speaking on the inclusion of non-salary benefits for public servants in the near future (Samuel Maughn photo)

without public servants you have no Government. So, we understand that very clearly and we will not do anything to damage or harm the interest of the people who have to work for us. It makes no sense.

“So I want to say that we at the level of the Government will continue to work with the unions, we will continue to work with the workers to find solutions that are in the interest of the workers,” he said.


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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

Cutting wastage

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HE Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations two years ago drew attention to the National Agricultural Research & Extension Institute (NAREI)’s report that Guyana loses up to 23 per cent of the cassava it produces, and that 30 per cent of our fruits are dumped. This sampling of wastage in our society when hunger and poverty around the world persist ought to serve as a declaration of the country’s potential, should these resources be properly harnessed. Right here there are persons who go to bed without a meal and live in poverty, when, evidently, it ought not to be so. What NAREI’s figures are telling us is that there exists an underlying deficit that ought to addressed, particularly in the areas of capacity for storage, distribution and markets. President David Granger and some of his ministers have also routinely called on Guyanese to buy and consume local products. Sensitisation is key here in cultivating taste, pride in producing and consuming local, creating employment and economic opportunities for self and fellow Guyanese, and the value of playing a role in reducing poverty and hunger. Resurgent focus on local foods, admittedly, has left

Guyana somewhat behind in several instances. In addition to technology (that is, research and development), the appreciation of local products has diminished. Rectifying both requires investment, monetarily and culturally. A process of education could include empowering producers and vendors with packaging techniques to make their products attractive, in addition to avoiding or minimising damage. Preservation and presentation techniques should also aim at putting the country at a competitive advantage in the global market. At the self-sufficiency level, production of fresh foods enhances the nation’s developmental thrust, assists the people’s desire for a healthy lifestyle, and reaching for the aspiration of breadbasket status in the Caribbean. But such achievements are not without challenges. In the 21st Century where, globally, the benefits of organic and fresh foods are being pursued for health benefits, it is still not unusual to see Guyanese shying away from our local products. Some have come to associate using such products with poverty. Such conditioning matters not that imported foods, most of which are processed, are not only unhealthy but diverting needed foreign exchange that can be directed to pressing local issues requiring attention for

development. Recognition by the government that there needs to be collective effort to arrest the trend of not being favourably disposed to local products and turning it around is well taken. Where acknowledgement is given that the government has to create the enabling environment for production and consumption to thrive, there are some areas that readily come to mind. The government can look at providing institutional strengthening to NAREI through increased financial investment that will facilitate intensified research, and attract the brightest of minds through employment or exchange programmes. There is also utility in examining local market surveys to understand perception, production and consumption patterns, requirement to get the goods to the marketplace, storage facilities and availability, and other relevant factors. In penetrating the international market, the government could utilise its overseas missions, whereby commercial units can be set up to monitor economic activities, including preferential tastes in the host countries. Guyana and Guyanese can achieve what the President has been calling on them to do. But doing so requires commitment to the ideals.

‘Goldfields’ willing to find jobs – for laid-off sugar workers Dear Editor,

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KILLED employees recently laid off from GuySuCo’s closed or downsized estates were given the opportunity to turn their technical training towards employment in the mining sector, as Guyana Goldfields Inc./AGM Inc. (“the Company”) conducted a five-day recruitment exercise recently. The recruitment team endeavoured to secure the services of these employees in a continuation of the Company’s commitment to hire skilled Guyanese workers from any area to boost the efficiency of the mining operations. This was also in recognition of the fact that many of these employees who were recently laid off were graduates of the sugar industry’s training centre, and possess many years of experience in much-needed skill areas. The recruitment was done in communities close to various sugar estates that have been either closed or downsized, in-

cluding on Saturday last at Corriverton, and on Sunday at the J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School at Rose Hall. Interviews were also completed on Monday at the Canje Secondary School, and on Tuesday at the Enmore Community Centre. On Wednesday, the same opportunities were offered at Wales on the West Bank Demerara for persons to be employed as positions become open. AGM Inc.’s Human Resources team led the exercise, supported by personnel from the various departments scouting for these technical talents, including the Mines, Mill, Maintenance workshops, and Security and Camp Services. The prospective employees were told that this exercise was held to refresh and update the Company’s skills database, so that they could be considered for employment in currently existing vacancies, as well as for any job openings that may subsequently arise, especially in the face of the Company’s expansion plans. Residents of these areas turned out in huge numbers, eagerly seeking information on the Company’s operations, which was provided in a short briefing by Mr. Benny, as well as the opportunity to secure a job. While over 30 persons participated

in the on-the-spot interviews at Corriverton, over 200 persons were present in Canje and Berbice, and an additional 200 persons at Enmore to vie for these job opportunities. The team focussed on interviewing persons with specific skillsets, including heavy-duty mechanics, auto mechanics, welders, electricians and auto-electricians etc. Several persons were also interviewed for possible employment in the hospitality sector of the operations as well. AGM Inc. looks forward to building a long and sustainable partnership with these new members of our work team, as we continue to provide a first-class work environment and opportunity for employment to personnel from across all regions of Guyana. A similar outreach exercise is expected to be completed in Linden on Monday, August 20. To obtain more information on this outreach, please contact: AGM HR Division at 238 Thomas Street, North Cummingsburg, Georgetown,Guyana. Regards Guyana Goldfields Inc./AGM Inc.


Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

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The Krauss dilemma Dear Editor,

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ECENTLY, the NY Times’ Clifford Krauss travelled to Guyana. Many Guyanese applauded the move, thinking that he was there to bat for the country. Far from it, Krauss was there simply to mark his spot at the wicket the way a batsman does when he is about to bat. Right now, he is surveying the field. Put another way, Krauss went to Guyana to thread the needle; which is to say, he was looking for a way to spin a narrative that people would latch onto. And the only reason he decided to go there is because Exxon has been showing so much success. This could get bad for Guyana in the future, and here is how. If Exxon continues to be successful discovering well after well, then Krauss and his backers would look for a pretext and stitch Guyana into a straight-jacket, for their convenience, and through machination hijack the country’s petroleum pursuit. It is true that Krauss is just a journalist, but many reporters are pawns working hand-in-glove with the government and

Time ripe for a Chanderpaul benefit match Dear Sir,

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E have read that the University of the West Indies’ St. Augustine Campus will give Guyana’s cricket legend and former West Indies Test Captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul an Honorary Doctor of Law this coming October. This is a remarkable recognition for this young man’s contributions to the world for sportsmanship. This Guyanese gentleman represented the West Indies Cricket Tests for 21 years during which time he made 11,867 runs at an average

private enterprises for a price. Bear in mind that it is the NY Times that was caught red-handed canoodling with Hillary in the last US election. And, just recently, the paper stood solidly behind Sarah Jeong, a newly-minted editor with numerous racially incendiary tweets to her name. But the paper has its reasons, however ironic, just as Krauss and the people behind him have their own slanted reasons for wanting to go and paint Guyana in a corner. It is basic psychology: If you beat up on someone and constantly portray him worst off than he really is, sooner or later that individual would come to believe it. From that point onward, controlling and manipulating the target is a cakewalk. It is no doubt that Krauss and his ilk are up to the same game. Put Guyana down and then march right into the pie itself, using one of the “three paved highways”. It seems that the Guyanese who are celebrating Krauss have a short memory. Remember the days when the CIA actively worked to destabilise Guyana. Many seem to forget that entire “cloak and dagger” period, spanning decades, when Guyana teetered on the edge, engineered by operatives hell bent on sowing seeds of distrust and mayhem; never mind the welfare of Guyanese, many of whom had to run helter-skelter, forced to migrate overseas. And when you think of it, these dark days could plausibly come back. With the US riding a wave of populist nationalism, Guyana might not seem important. For now! But given that

China is creeping into every nook and cranny in the hemisphere, even in big, bold ways such its $50M space station in Argentina’s Patagonia region (“China’s Long, Quiet Push Into Latin America, NY Times, 7/29/18), things could change in a flash. It is exactly this kind of thrust that would force the hand of the US to re-enter and expressly counter the outstretched but far- reaching tentacles of Beijing. Guyana’s strategic position is unrivaled and could prove crucial if the chess game gets too one-sided for the US to live with. And thus, this is just one of the ways it could begin to unfold. Someone like Krauss shows up and begins the process. Soon, Guyana is virtually nailed to a cross, crisscrossed by people who are out to hoist the country on a stake, while they make it their religion to tell you about “pie in the sky”, which, incidentally, fits in with the mantra that Guyana is not ready. Guyana does not need a pen-and-paper specialist. If the country needs professional opinion, it should seek out and hire an expert. I believe that the President is on the right track by making history and education priorities in his administration. The great philosopher, George Santayana, nailed it with this quote: Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. Regards Ram Narine

of 51.37 runs. No Guyanese cricketer has achieved this feat, yet the W.I. Cricket Board, in their haste and bias, never gave him the recognition he deserved in a tangible manner such as a Benefit Farewell Match. In view of the foregoing, WE DEMAND THAT YOUR BOARD ARRANGE A BENEFIT MATCH FOR THIS ILLUSTRIOUS SON OF GUYANA WITHOUT DELAY. Guyanese in the Diaspora are watching on. Regards Wilfred Mahadeo Pretam Chandra

President Burnham being interviewed by Sharon Marshall, Reporter for CBC Television for Barbados transmission, 5 July 1983.


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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

Guyanese filmmaker’s

Solomon Dasko selected for the 2018 Newark International Film Festival

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HE director’s cut for Solomon Dasko, a film by New York- based Guyanese cinematographer Yaphet Jackman, has been chosen to be part of the 2018 Newark International Film Festival. The film was chosen from among more than 1,000 submissions from 80 countries and adds to a list of other festivals that it has been featured since its production. These include the Timehri, the Reel Independent Film Extravaganza and the Orlando Urban Film Festivals. Speaking with The Buzz, Jackman said that he is very excited with his most recent accomplishment as this particu-

lar event, though relatively new, is one that has been gaining increasing popularity since its inception. “It is based in Newark, New Jersey and they have in a very short space of time attracted very big names and very big films. I have actually worked with the Iron Bound Studios a couple years now so this is the first time I have ever submitted to them. I was encouraged to submit and I got in. It’s pretty exciting,” he said. Jackman stated that he has eyes on bigger festivals but is currently testing the waters with his short film in order to prepare for them.

In the meantime, the film maker still has some projects that he is working on including his film Daisy which he started work on last year. “With Daisy, I am three quarter way through post production… I think I am closer to a very finished product and will try to complete that by the end of this year,” he said. He added, too, that he is looking to work on a “long overdue” piece on the diaspora. “I think that it is only right seeing that I have been touting myself as a Caribbean cinematographer and director that I should work on a diasporic story to kind of bridge the life I have grown to come accustomed to in the west versus what I have known in Guyana,” he said. According to its website, the Newark International Film Festival is a three-day festival which will showcase the breadth of the film industry including screenings at a number of cultural anchor institutions and outdoor screenings (weather permitting), stunt exhibitions, pitch opportunities and auditions for TV and film, acting, directing, producing and crowd funding workshops, and much more. The NIFF is the first international film festival hosted in Newark. A main feature of the NIFF will be the Hannibal Goodwin Award for Innovation in Filmmaking in homage to Hannibal Goodwin, the Episcopal priest who invented celluloid film 1887 in Newark, NJ.


14Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

GUYANA CHRONICLE Wednesday, July 18, 20189

Elections have FOR YOUR E consequences The Slavery Abolition Act OF 1833 dehumanised Africans

VERY time August 1st is upon us, audiences are regaled by speeches and presentations about the end of chattel slavery in the English-speaking Caribbean. Some of these sermons border on praise for the Emancipation Act as the repository for the high morality of British policy-making on this issue. This is simply ‘DUH (that) (not) principles positive that outcome; in other not the case is -- nah the racist undergirded the me business’ is a famous cases, it could be negative. Slavery Abolition Act should not be hidden from history. phrase in ourofeveryNumerous Onused the night July 31st, 1834, theissues slaves associgathered day conversations. When ated with the of across the muddy plantation yards in arrogance great fanfare we make this remark, it government in Guyana in to dance the night away in anticipation of the grand means we have zero inthe past have disappeared, announcement. It was well whispered and discussed terest inthe an slave issue.barracks that because the decision across chattelofslavery in the of EnIt is sad when this the masses at the last elecglish-speaking Caribbean would come to an end on Auphrase is 1834. applied tions to demonstrate their gust 1st, Whowhile can blame them, the mere suggestion describing our attitude to power at the ballot box. that you would no longer have to endure what was the public The pos-in the history Further,ofsome ominous most advocacy. inhumane existence mankind, ought ture of ‘Duh is nah me things with life-and-death to spark unbridled joy. However, unbeknownst to them, business’ is what to implications longer when the sun came led up across the Caribbeanare onno August 1st what is arguably the worst around due to the results of 1834, the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which received time forAssent governance in 28th, the 1833 last polls. The simpleon Royal on August and commenced Guyana’s modern history, pleasure of government August 1st, 1834, was another stark reminder of the low experienced 1999critics and reporters regard andbetween contempt in which they were held bydrivtheir 2015. Governance reached ing with their windows ‘enlightened masters.’ its nadir during period down or citizens subjecting Firstly, the this Emancipation Act of 1833 only activated when the holders of power their leaders to the freedom of slaves under the age of six, complete those who declared withsix unrivalled ridiculeapprentices on social media, were above were considered of three pomposity, ‘we have the no longer come withyears fatalof distinct categories. They were subjected to four ethnic numbers’. On May repercussions, because of free labour, in the same slave-like conditions that exist11th, 2015, Guyanese our last monumental exered in the colonies. The legislation essentially demanded demonstrated elections cise of ourbut collective franthat you no that longer call them slaves, their dastardly have serious implications. chise. It is only those who existence remained with all the essence of slavery intact. InThis thislaw case, there was a were in the trenches during was in the true spirit of what Wilberforce stated in his writing in 1807, ‘It would be wrong to emancipate the slaves. To grant freedom to them immediately would

be to insure not only their master’s ruin, but their own’. The general mindset was that these beneath human creatures could not take care of themselves and needed humans to shepherd them through civilisation, this recurring theme was glaring in this Act of 1833. Secondly, added to this and equally egregious was this ofSection destructive the period fact that XXIV ofous thismechanisms, Act stated: is a forand vindictive government mal process youat ‘And whereas, towards compensatingby thewhich Persons would appreciate the danmake a decision. When present entitled to the Services of the Slaves to be mangers of going thefree Cheddi youofcut razzle umitted andtoset by virtue thisthrough Act forthe the Loss Jagan International Airport and dazzle of campaigning of such Services, His Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal toSubjects fulfil an overseas obligaand Britain all the and shining fan-in the Commons of Great Ireland tion as an anti-government fares, it is a wise choice Parliament assembled have resolved to give and grant to activist and having to of face to make canSterling;’ affect His Majesty the Sum Twenty Millionwhich Pounds the dreaded possibility from what your children (http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1833/act/73/enofacted/en/print.html) having drugs planted will carry in their lunch in your luggage.the These kits to whether your counTranslation, slave owners were compensated simple fears are no more try gets a bad reputation for the loss of slaves and the slaves received nothing. due to the wise choice in the international The great hoax was the belief that this act of thearena. British made by Guyanese. of democraParliament was thisThese saving This gracepractice and some gesture of consequences beDuring cy has in in place humanity. Far cannot from this. thebeen debate the since British underestimated, especialthe 17th century. It is the House of Commons on this legislation, arguments were lymade in light the fact that receive results the May 11thfor thatofslaves cannot anyofcompensation most of theofpersons who have 400 years free labour in the2015 mostelections inhumanethat conditions, were custodians of the bad erased the shame of Guybecause property cannot receive property compensation. state 1999-2015, ana having a reputation of The between Emancipation Act promoted and upheld the racist have gone nowhere, they being a drug-filled banana ideal that black people were not humans. Further, by are the ones in the people republic with little lawover and a forcing 800,waiting 000 enslaved to work for free electoral wings to once order. It is due to our last four-year period, the Apprenticeship System facilitated again reign down terror on vote-casting that we have the population. seen an unprecedented Added to this, an elec- crackdown on the drug tion, besides its conspicu- empire in Guyana and the concomitant positive effects that come along with dealing condignly with this scourge. The average Guyanese party-goer can al Assembly after he was FROM PAGE 4 named for gross disorderly now remark: ‘Is a long behaviour. On that occasion, after he had indulged in irrelevant and tedious repetition, he was ordered to take his seat. He blatantly disobeyed the order of the Speaker. What ensued afterwards was the most shameful episode, where opposition MPs who staged a sit-in, shouted “Rape! Rape!” and alleged that the police had assaulted a female colleague. The previous month, there was another disorderly display when the PPP tried to shut down an address to Parliament by President David Granger. Many said it was a “day of infamy” as opposition members unfurled placards in the House, clearly to “devide” the nation. POLITE ENGAGEMENT Speaker Scotland may appear to be gentle, which is why there have been such sporadic disorderly conduct in the National Assembly. But he would act whenever attempts are made to impugn and undermine the Office of the Speaker. I was told that the Speaker in Trinidad “don’t mek fun.” Three opposition leaders -- Patrick Manning, Keith Rowley and Basdeo Panday -- were suspended in 2011, 2015 and 2008, respectively. Panday was sent home for using a laptop in the House without the permission of the Speaker! In Jamaica, there was a petition for the suspension of an MP who had referred to his colleagues as “garbage.” In Guyana, when opposition MP Edghill last year referred to members of the staff of the Office of the Prime Minister as “parasites”, he walked away in elation that no sanctions would visit him. It is time that we condemn this type of cavalier opposition behaviour and instead engage politely in our National Assembly as elected representatives of our people. When Parliament resumes in October, I expect, as Leader of Government in the House, to see full respect for the Office of the Speaker and Parliament.

ATTENTION ! By Ronald Austin Jr.

time me ain’t ofsee is the argument that politithe payment 27people million pounds by the slaves to their shooting up in parties’. cians are out of touch with former slave masters. The Emancipation Act forced the This is due to the issues that impact thefor lives slaves to pay 50fact per that cent of the compensation the Guyanese made loss a decision of young people. slave masters’ of property. (Beckles: 2014)On the to elect an incorruptible other hand,ofthere is the valThirdly, this action by the House Commons was contestation The that framers if polPresident who for ofidgradualism. guided by thestands principle refuse tosoaddress law and that ordergradual and cannot argued freedomiticians was necessary, they enyouradjustment issues, it is you to who besured enticed overtures the by lawthe had an eight-year period full must recognised delve into since advocacy offreedom. the drug Even empire. Again, though England 1772 your go and address those issues.of that safety ‘…in a when case ofyou so odious a nature as the condition out to have(Mansfield: a good time is aEmancipation crime againstAct your slaves…’ 1772),It the still can be traced right back fellow enough citizens to allow insisted that slaves weretonot human to receive full electoral decision-making. riseexpected of the destructive freedom. Full freedom was the legally until 1841. Be that as1838, it may, glob- came stateabout by not August 1st, freedom duehaving to the an factI.D that althe voter apathy is working. at its Card refusingtotoargue get up system was not I shallorcontinue that highest percentage. on1833 national to the Slavery AbolitionThe Act of waselections no legalday instruyouth remain the most vote. as Notsome getting involved ment that is worthy to be hailed philanthropic passive is too detrimental. postureglobal -- thevoter devilblock; was in the details. It is a good time to this is a universal trend. In July 2010, 75% of eligible remind ourselves of the voters between ages 18-30 wise words of William chose not to participate in Lyon Mckenzie King, the US midterm elections. ‘Where [there] is little or The question is: who is to no public opinion, there be blamed for low voter is likely to be bad govturnout by youths global- ernment, which sooner or ly? Politicians or young later becomes autocratic people? On one hand, there government.’


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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

Burnham remembered as visionary …President recommits to his efforts in achieving economic independence

FORMER President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham was remembered as a visionary on the occasion of his 33rd death anniversary, where President David Granger recommitted to the late leader’s vision of economic independence for Guyana. A wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Mausoleum at the Seven Ponds in the Botanical Gardens, where the former President was laid to rest. Here, President Granger detailed many of the efforts taken by Burnham to free the country from economic dependence. Granger stressed, “Political independence ended 300 years of colonial rule in Guyana [but] it did not bring economic independence.” He continued to explain that economic independence required eradicating poverty, eliminating inequalities, expanding employment, empowering the poor and reshaping the education system. And as he said, these were tenets that Burnham strived for. He reminded that Burnham forged ahead to give free education to all through the establishment of community high schools, technical institutes, multilateral institutions and even Guyana’s

university. This according to him was all in an attempt to provide the best education to the post-independence

The late President’s tomb decorated with wreaths (Delano Williams photo)

President David Granger being escorted by PNCR Chairman, Basil Williams, Vice Chairperson, Volda Lawrence and Treasurer, Ronald Bulkan (Delano Williams photo)

generation and to foster self-reliance, to stimulate economic independence and to generate employment. The promotion of

A section of the dignitaries gathered at the wreath-laying ceremony (Delano Williams photo)

agro-processing and small and medium enterprises was tapped to empower poor households and to boost village economies. “The leader’s policy of economic

independence, resulted in the expansion and renovation of aerodromes, bridges, highways and stellings to ensure greater access to markets and to boost riverine rural and

hinterland agro production,” Granger noted as well. This policy also formed the basis for establishing utilities to previously unserved communities and to improve the

productivity and quality of people’s lives. Cognisant of the efforts made and their impact, President Granger affirmed: “We recommit to continuing his efforts to achieve his goals of economic independence which he pursued so passionately.” Adding to Granger’s remarks was Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams who said, “LFS Burnham was a colossus of a man from the day that he was born to his death.” Williams stressed that Burnham was indeed a visionary and detailed his distinctive policies and programmes, some of which were designed to protect the fragile economy, dependent upon exporting raw materials from extortion from the multilateral corporations of the industrial economy. Burnham’s ‘Feed, Clothe and House’ policy alongside his strides in reforming education and laying the foundation for social cohesion were other notable policies. And Williams also reminded, “Burnham banned canned items and refined wheat flour [and] encouraged the Guyanese population to eat what they had planted: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and buy local.” This was done due to keep diabetes and hypertension in check, according to the minister. Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham served as Prime Minister of Guyana from 1964 and as President from 1980 until the time of his death in 1985 at age 62. He was a lawyer, a politician, a fierce freedom fighter and a father of six children. The event was attended by other ministers of the government, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as representatives from the 10 administrative regions.


Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

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Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman (centre) shares a photograph with the new batch of youth of the Youth in Natural Resources Apprenticeship Programme 2018, along with other collaborators (Delano Williams photo)

‘Fall in love with your country’ – Min. Trotman urges new natural resources apprentices AS THE newest batch of teens prepares to embark on the Youth in Natural Resources Apprenticeship Programme 2018, they were charged by Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman to develop a love and appreciation for their environment. This was the message at the Pegasus Hotel on Monday where 26 youth between the ages of 14 and 18, from all 10 administrative regions gathered for the opening ceremony of the programme. The initiative, the brainchild of Trotman, began in 2017 and gives the youth the opportunity to participate in natural resources-related activities and skills training, within the local mining and extractive sectors. To facilitate the cause, the Ministry works in collaboration with its corporate business partners, other ministries and non-governmental groups, through its Corporate Social Responsibility Framework. The youth will visit the locations of Guyana’s extractive sectors; receive hands-on-training on the ministry’s office operations; participate in community activities and green energy practices; observe forestry operations and much more, all from August 6 to 30. Giving the charge to the attending teens, Trotman spoke of the accomplishments of the previous batch and of his hope for even better to be experienced by those now joining. “This is a vision of mine to involve young people in the natural resources sector of Guyana…essentially, it is my hope that you fall in love with your country. Those of us

who live in Georgetown we believe that Guyana is about a narrow strip of land, but those of you who live in the hinterland would know that the real beauty of Guyana is not only the coast but also the hinterland, the savannah, the mountains, the waterways, the animals. So we want you to love your country, to experience your country,” he told the students. However, experiencing the beauty of nature is only part of the programme’s initiative, as Trotman said that it will also help the youth to balance an appreciation for mining, forestry and the need to respect people and the environment. “The other thing is that you must see the natural resources sector and view it as a worthy endeavour…it just has to be done correctly, it has to be done in a way that you respect the people who live in the hinterland. You respect that they live there, that they use the water that you are using for mining and therefore we should not pollute it, and when you pass through their villages you should treat them with respect and not prey on them or take advantage of them,” Trotman said. Amidst his call, he urged the students to see the value of professions such as engineers, foresters and environmentalists which are needed to ensure that the country’s remains on the right track. “Amongst you are the future of Guyana and I don’t mean to say that lightly… you are literally the future and I want you, as I said, to fall in love with your country and fall in love with each other and to understand that the people who live in the hinterland, who live on the

coast, those who work in the mines or those who work at the forest station, each of us has an important and equal place in the development of this country. No one is better or lesser than the other, always remember that amongst yourself,” he insisted. During the opening ceremony the incoming youth, which were selected based on their passion for the environment and other criteria, introduced themselves to the audience telling of their ea-

gerness to begin the journey. Meanwhile, four of the teens from the previous group told stories of their exciting experiences last year, and gave words of advice to the new batch on how they can be resilient enough to experience the same. “We realised that the Ministry of Natural Resources is indeed an important sector in Guyana…the fun part was the trips into the interior,” said past team member Noel Sookhai, as he told of their

trip to Kumaka, Iwokrama, the Aurora gold mines and Turtle Mountain where they met villagers, hiked, saw wild animals and learned new information. “The pictures can only say so much and tell so much but when you’re there fully, and actually see what it’s like, it’s even more breathtaking.” Another, Jahni Williamson, encouraged: “Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know anything pertaining to what the repre-

sentatives are explaining to you. Speak up, ask questions, you’re going to learn from them and you’re going to gain new experiences.” Trotman took the opportunity at the ceremony to inform the youth and parents present that the ministry is willing to assist youth who may be interested in joining institutions, such as the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) to continue their interest in the environment.

Guyana closer to digitised Government …e-Government experts from Estonia here to guide Digital Governance Roadmap

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WO experts from ture and the wellbeing of the eGovernance our citizenry who stand to Academy (eGA) of benefit tremendously from Estonia have returned to digitised government and Guyana on a second visit public services, commerce, as part of the first phase manufacturing and social in a project to develop life. the Action Plan for the “There’s a growing creation of a Digital Govawareness and understandernance Roadmap. ing of Guyana’s efforts to The experts on Monensure that all aspects of day paid a courtesy call life, including Governon Public Telecommuniment, are computerised cations Minister, Cathy and inter-connected. The Hughes, accompanied by Minister, Cathy Hughes, accompanied by Head of biggest challenge for us as Head of the National Data the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), a country was sourcing the Management Authority Mr. Floyd Levi in discussion with the experts Dr. best international skills to (NDMA), Mr. Floyd Levi. Arvo Ott, Chairman of the Management Board of guide us in the crafting of Their mission on this sec- the eGA, and Project Manager, Tonis Mae this Roadmap,” she said. ond intervention is to meet “Now we are well on the separately with Cabinet members and Ott, Chairman of the Management way,” she stated. Estonia stands tall Technical Officers in key agencies Board of the eGA, and Project Man- in the world as one of the leaders in including the Police and Fire services ager, Tonis Mae. They spoke briefly Digitised Government solutions, and and the Attorney General’s Chambers, about the best ways to harmonise the their experts are sharing their highly as part of the research and fact finding various ICT projects being implement- lauded skills with Guyana. EGA trains phase, a release from the ministry ed in Guyana, and to retrofit these ini- and advises leaders and stakeholders in tiatives into the national ICT Strategy. using ICT to improve Government’s stated. Minister Hughes expressed great efficiency, and build open societies. The visiting Estonians are Dr. Arvo optimism for Guyana’s economic fu-


#SNAPSHOTS

12

Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

MINISTER TROTMAN REMAINS MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES - ENJOYS THE CONFIDENCE OF THE HEAD OF STATE The Ministry of the Presidency condemns as false, malicious and inaccurate, an article carried in the August 10, 2018 edition of the Stabroek News, headlined, “Trotman no longer Minister of Natural Resources,” which states that “With effect from August 1st, Raphael Trotman is no longer the Minister of Natural Resources following the establishment of the Department of Energy.”

The two islanders procured by the Government of Guyana for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, earlier this evening.

''The Commission’s independent status can contribute to enhancing public trust in the Force, to boosting the morale of officers and to the ensuring the efficacy of law enforcement" - H.E. David Granger at the swearing-in ceremony of members of the Police Service Commission.

SHIV CHANDERPAUL TO RECEIVE HONORARY DOCTORATE FROM UWI SHIVNARINE Chanderpaul, the second most prolific Test cricketer in Windies history, is to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) St. Augustine campus later this year.

THE days of concealing security sector mistakes and misdeeds are over, the Guyana Police Force officers will be held accountable for the consequences of their actions and the instructions they issue to their subordinates. This assertion was made by President David Granger during his address to members of the newly appointment Police Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday at State House. Those appointed to the constitutional body are: retired assistant commissioners Paul Slowe, Clinton Conway, Vesta Adams and Claire Jarvis along with Public Service Commission Chairman, Attorney Michael Sommersal.


Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

COPS TO GET DASHCAMS

PUT DOWN YOUR GUNS

PUT down the guns and turn away from a life of crime. This was the plea yesterday by residents of Boys Lane, D’Abadie, to warring gangs in their neighbourhood.

Law enforcement officers on the beat here are to be given dashcams as part of an overall re-equipping of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) to help it function more effectively, Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson has said. “We are committed as a Government to equipping the Force with modern technology such as smart phones, tablets, computers and dashcams, [and] to expanding the use of CCTV cameras in high traffic areas to improve your ability to detect crime and enforce law and order,” Hinkson said during a meeting at police headquarters yesterday with Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith, Deputy Commissioner Erwin Boyce, and other senior members of the RBPF.

HOLNESS SUSPENDS NO-SLEEVELESS POLICY

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has ordered the suspension of the practice by ministries, departments, and agencies to prohibit persons wearing sleeveless attire from entering government buildings. In a statement this afternoon, Holness said Cabinet has taken note of the concerns expressed by members of the public, especially women, about being denied access to facilities because of their sleeveless attire.

BUSINESSMAN OUT ON BAIL IN ALLEDGED UNDERAGE SEX CASE A popular businessman accused of having sex with two 13-year-old girls is to return to court for committal on November 7. This is when he is expected to be told whether he will face trial in the High Court before a judge and jury. Specifically, the man is facing two counts of the crime Unlawful Sexual Intercourse.

EARTHQUAKE IN ROSEAU Acting Disaster Coordinator, Fitzroy Pascal, has revealed that an earthquake occurred today in the Roseau area. In a statement made to media, this afternoon, Pascal said that the quake occurred at 15.33 North, 61.30 West or South-East of Roseau. “Preliminary information from the Seismic Research Centre in Trinidad indicates that an earthquake occurred at 1:15pm today,” he stated.

LESS ACTIVE HURRICANE SEASON PREDICTED, HURRICANE CENTER ADVISES ‘USE CAUTION’

Two US organizations are cautioning everyone living in hurricane-prone areas to use caution and be prepared as the season enters its peak months, but at the same time announced that ocean and the atmospheric conditions are conspiring to produce a less active Atlantic hurricane season than initially predicted in May.

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Department of Public Information

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INFOHUB RECAP - July 26 - Aug 1

Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

$7B World Bank loan for Finance sector

RECAP

PM pledges support for Constitutional Education Project

July 26th - Aug 1st

@dpiguyana

President commits to holding LGEs regularly

President David Granger has recommitted government to holding local government elections when it is constitutionally due. The Head of State delivering the feature address at the first-ever National Conference of Local Democratic Organs at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal said “As long as I am president we are going to have local government elections when they are constitutionally due...I’ll find the money to make sure that we have Local Government Elections. Democracy is expensive, but the alternative is worse,” President Granger said. President Granger noted that this government, consistent with its constitutional mandate, restored local democracy on March 18, 2016 after an absence of about two decades. Recently, the Minister of Communities has announced that elections will be held again on November 12, 2018. 

Two more radio stations to hit the airwaves

Historic MOU signed under “Belt and Road Initiative"

The government will prioritise transforming Guyana’s infrastructural landscape using funding from China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge and Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Cui Jainchun, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) within the framework of China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, more commonly referred to as the Belt and Road Initiative. The signing was done at the Chinese embassy in the presence of President David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Ministers of Government. The MOU makes provision for cooperation in the areas of policy coordination, facilities connectivity, trade and investment, finance and integration, and people to people interaction. Guyana is the first South American country to cooperate with China under its Belt and Road Initiative. The massive trade and infrastructure investment project entails cooperation between China and more than 70 countries. 

Over $66M generated from CDP hinterland projects Two newly licensed radio stations are expected to go on air by the end of August and December 2018, respectively. These are Brutal Communications Incorporated of Brutal Track Records and Blackman & Sons Incorporated. During a follow-up visit by the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority's (GNBA) Chairman, Leslie Sobers stated that stations were given until the end of July to have their operations fully established. Sobers said the purpose of these visits is to ensure that the agencies are working towards a state of readiness and that the frequencies issued are not hoarded. 

The sum of $66,038,967 has been recorded from successful businesses implemented under the Community Development Plans (CDP) project as part of the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF). This was disclosed by Mildred Akpan, Team Leader, Amerindian Development Fund (ADF). Akpan explained that while this income is nowhere close to the $1.2Billion invested in the project, the amount reflects a portion of the 159 communities who received full disbursement of $730, 351,945 Million. The Amerindian Development Fund was established to provide support for the socio-economic development and environmental enhancement of Indigenous communities via the implementation of Community Development Plans. Each of the 186 communities, who qualified for the project were eligible

Guyana is now the beneficiary of an approximate seven-billion-dollar Development Policy Credit (US$35M) following the signing of an agreement between Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan and World Bank Senior Country Director, Pierre Nadji. Minister Jordan said the loan will support the country’s finance sector. The development policy credit provides financing on the basis of the actions which Guyana has already undertaken with regard to Financial and Fiscal Stability, including the passage of critical legislation to ensure same. 

Speaker of the House upbraids PPP MP for breach of privilege

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo pledged financial, technical and logistical support for the University of Guyana’s Constitutional Education Project. Following a meeting with the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning and International Engagement, Dr. Barbara Reynolds, the Prime Minister said the initiative has his office’s full support. One of the main components of the university’s project recommends a nation-wide public education campaign led by the University of Guyana with civil society’s involvement. The survey would gauge the levels of knowledge and understanding of the Constitution and constitutional reform, while also identifying key areas for reform. The project will offer space and platforms for citizens dialogue and consensus building on Constitutional issues that touch on a wide range of topics of national interest ahead of the next National Elections due in 2020. Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo also donated from his extensive book collection to the university. 

Critical paediatriccare unit opens

Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland has warned the House that allegations of impartiality by the Speaker can be treated as a breach of privilege and may be punished in accordance with the Standing Orders. The Speaker, at the 95th sitting of the National Assembly referred to a letter published in the dailies by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Harry Gill which has made imputations against the Speaker of the House in his personal and professional capacities. The Speaker said MP Gill could have moved a motion as provided for in the Standing Orders, instead he proceeded to make public his discontent. This sort of the behaviour, Dr. Scotland cautioned, is “totally impermissible” in the House. He noted that this is the second occasion in two years where such disregard for the House has been displayed by MPs. The Speaker believes that silence by previous speakers may have emboldened MP Gill. Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo emphasised the need for appropriate measures to ensure that there is no continuation of this behaviour in the National Assembly. 

The Paediatric Critical Care Unit (PICU) at the Georgetown Public Hospital was officially declared open by the Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence. The unit has been in the pipeline for almost three years but was fast-tracked after visits were made by the minister and the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Social Services. The 16-bed High Dependency and Intensive Care Unit will serve critically ill children under the age of thirteen and will periodically house congenital heart diseases patients, regardless of age, who underwent surgical procedures compliments of the International Children’s Heart Foundation. Dr. Rodrigo Soto, Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon of the International Children Heart Foundation (ICHF), said the critical care unit is the first of its kind in Guyana. He added this will pave the way for an expanded PICU which will come into existence in late 2019. 


INFOHUB RECAP - July 26 - Aug 1

Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

‘Emancipate yourself economically’ President Granger

Guyana commemorated the 180th anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery, President David Granger urged Guyanese to pursue ‘economic emancipation’, which he said will become the gateway, not only to a better quality of life, but to a greater country. Economic emancipation, he said, is built on four pillars, namely education, employment, enterprise and empowerment. The president kicked off his Emancipation activities at the 8th of May Movement’s ‘Cultural Night’ at the Beterverwagting (BV)/ Quamina Primary School on Tuesday the next day he was at the Number 53/ Union Village, where the Government of Guyana in collaboration with the Berbice Association of African Groups hosted the 2018 Emancipation Day celebrations. There, he handed over 25 bicycles for students to attend school. 

77 alleged TIP victims rescued for 2018 A total of seventy-seven (77) alleged victims of Trafficking In Persons (TIP) were rescued for the period January 05 - July 03, 2018. These victims were provided with the necessary psychosocial support by the Ministry of Social Protection. Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally, said that 60 of the 77 victims were placed in protective care, while some were assisted with job placements, educational and training opportunities along with judicial support when necessary. In May alone, eight of sixteen young ladies (14 Venezuelans, one Cuban and one from the Dominican Republic) were rescued during a raid executed by the Guyana Police Force (GPF). 

@dpiguyana

Govt addressing influx of Venezuelans

As the crisis in neighbouring Venezuela continues, hundreds of migrants are crossing the borders into Guyana’s territory seeking relief from the economic hardship. Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, during a visit to Mabaruma, Region One stated that “it is not Government’s intent to send back Venezuelans.” According to the minister, Venezuelans who have entered Guyana through legal ports of entry or by other illegal means will be registered so that government can compile a record. During the registration process, migrants will have to provide basic information such as their names, date of birth and the names of the persons who will be accommodating them. This information will be used to keep track of migrants in the event that they relocate to another part of the country. While in Region One, Winston Felix, along with representatives from the representatives from the Civil Defense Commission (CDC), the Ministry of Health and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) begun distributing food and sanitation hampers to the Venezuelan migrants. 

Multimillion$$ Wismar Early Childhood Centre employing residents

Eight residents of One Mile, Wismar and neighbouring communities of Linden are to be employed at the recently commissioned Early Childhood Development Centre. The centre is one of six early childhood pilot projects co-funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government and implemented by Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). It will provide care and educational services to 45 children under the age of five. Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, in brief remarks at the commissioning, said the facility will be of immense value to the community, making it possible for parents, especially mothers to seek employment and increase their household incomes. The construction of the One Mile ECDC commenced on September 4, 2017 and was completed on March 16, 2018. The centre was built at a cost of $39,483,782 by Faldhari Singh and Son Contracting Services, and the Design and Supervision consultant for the project was E&A Consultants. The 3,200 square foot facility will accommodate infants to school-agers, eight caregivers/teachers and an administrator. 

34 Lindeners soon to be homeowners Thirty-four Lindeners who have prequalified for housing units are now one step closer to receiving the keys to their homes to be constructed shortly. The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) will construct 60 single housing units before the end of 2018 in Amelia’s Ward, Linden. The project’s first phase will entail the construction of 20 single flat housing units and 14 single elevated housing units. These cost $5.3Million and $6.3Million, respectively. For the single flat units, $5.2Million will be expended on the actual structure while $100,000.00 will cover the cost of the lot. For the single elevated housing units, $6.2Million will be spent on constructing the house and $100,000.00 will go towards the lot. 

Works on Linden/ Ituni/Kwakwani road begin

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson inspected and confirmed that ongoing maintenance works have commenced on the Linden/Ituni/Kwakwani road. Earlier in May, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s (GGMC) awarded six road contracts valued over $650Million to several contractors for the maintenance of the Rockstone-Mabura, Kurupukari/ Annai/Lethem and the Linden/Ituni/Kwakwani roads. However, the projects were delayed due to intense rainfall that made the road impassable. Minister Patterson said the original plan was to have the work commence earlier since piles of laterite were stockpiled since 2017 so that the contractor would be able to address maintenance issues immediately. 

More locals to work with Edison Chouest Offshore More Guyanese are expected to be employed by Edison Chouest Offshore as the company aims to soon open its local company ‘G (Guyanese) Boats’ in Georgetown. This was disclosed by the company’s Business Development Manager, Daniel LaFont, who was at the time speaking on the sidelines of the El Dorado Offshore training session for Guyanese mariners. The 40 seamen were being instructed in occupational safety for jobs in the offshore oil and gas industry. Some 53 Guyanese are currently working on the Edison Chouest vessels. LaFont noted the company currently has nine vessels supplying ExxonMobil operations. With the rise and development of the oil and gas sector, local companies have been working towards improving and raising the standards within their operations. 

Department of Public Information

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$140M for resilience-building in Agri sector

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved some $140Million (US$697, 183) for Guyana’s second Readiness Support for the agriculture sector. Head, Office of Climate Change (OCC), Janelle Christian said approval was received by the country’s National Designated Authority (NDA), Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, in June. According to Christian, approval of this funding is a testimony to Guyana’s continued engagement with the GCF, which started two years ago. She explained that the idea for funding for the Agriculture sector was first advanced during a regional workshop hosted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN/FAO) in May 2017 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. A proposal was then put forward for the Adaptation and Resilience Building in Guyana’s Agriculture sector. 

Transfer of NICIL properties to Kwakwani utility being examined The government is pursuing the transfer of some National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) properties now being maintained by the Kwakwani Utility Incorporated (KUI). KUI falls under the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s Hinterland Electricity Company Incorporated (HECI) which is a subsidiary of NICIL. It is responsible for electricity distribution, as well as water and sewage disposal in Kwakwani. On a visit to Kwakwani, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson met with KUI’s General Manager, Fitzhubert McPherson and board members to discuss issues affecting the company and to share his 2019 plans for the community. Challenges with fuel acquisition, the poor performance of newly installed generator sets and the need for restructuring of the board were among issues discussed. Further, McPherson also bemoaned the problems encountered with NICIL properties, noting that KUI employees are looking after NICIL properties but the company is getting no returns. He recommended that instead of leaving the properties to deteriorate they could be rented to earn some income. Minister Patterson assured the board members that that issue will be addressed immediately. 


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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018


Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

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26 more land Perseverance turn-key houses – through new, ‘transparent’ selection process By Gabriella Chapman

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WENTY-six prequalified applicants were on Thursday selected by way of a lottery draw to be allocated housing units at the Perseverance Housing Scheme on the East Bank of Demerara. The draw was done at the Head Office of the Central Housing and Planning Authority, where Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Ms. Valarie Adams-Yearwood stated that the process is a new and transparent way of selecting beneficiaries for the housing units. She explained that in the past, selection was done internally by management, after which those selected would have been notified.

This time around, however, the names of all those who would have been prequalified by the banks and the New Building Society were placed in a bag and persons were invited to pull one, lottery-style. The names that were pulled from the bag represent those who would be given houses in the area. “I would have done this in Linden two weeks ago, and that was the pilot,” Minister Adams-Yearwood said. “And I think that the public felt very happy that they were involved in the selection process; and it also adds to the transparency.” The units are two and three-bedroom flat houses, but they have not been completed as yet. Minister Adams-Year-

wood explained that it was the banks which asked that the CPHA go ahead and do their selection so they can start the mortgage process and be ready to make disbursement when the houses are done. She also added that this is the strategy that will be employed throughout the rest of the housing process, so that no one can accuse the ministry of selecting friends and family. Minister explained that it is also important to note that they cannot satisfy everyone wanting a house, because the demand far surpasses what they are capable of providing. She, however, has high hopes that with the oil find, they will be able to do more. “You are to note that we cannot satisfy everyone who would have applied for these

housing units. For instance, we built 60 elevated concrete houses, and we had over 130 persons prequalified. So we cannot satisfy the demand as is,” she said. “However, we are projecting that as the oil money comes and more monies are made available to us, we’ll be able to build more units in a more rapid pace because it seems as though the demand now is for housing units rather than a house lot.” Minister Adams-Yearwood further noted that the CHPA will be exploring ways in which to build houses that are affordable, since most of the persons wanting house lots are those who would find it difficult to be qualified by banking institutions. In addition to the 26 units disbursed on Thursday, the Minister said that she is happy to announce that they

are constructing two disability units in keeping with her budget 2018 promise to the House, and Guyana’s committment to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “We are working with the Disabilities Commission firstly to design the buildings to ensure that it is appropriate and suitable,” Minister Minister Adams-Yearwood said. “We had them visit the project to see how it’s coming, and if it is to their satisfaction. They will also assist us in identifying the two beneficiaries. And that’s just the start. I’m committing to every housing project that we’re doing in the future, and they cater for persons with disabilities. And I think that’s a very nice note for us.” The names of the beneficiaries of the two- bedroom

houses are: Christopher Hodge and Jasmine Benjamin-Hodge; Dwayne Andrews; Nalissa Mathoo; Trimaine Sampson; Sunnara Osborne; Ayanna Fontanelle and Randolph Reid; Danielle Campbell-Lowe and Paul Lowe; Nekisha Prince; Rochelle Peters; Monifa Carmichael; Erica and Victor Harrinandan; and Carolina Deochand. Those for the three-bedroom houses are: Marlon Parris; Vernella Rutherford and Clement Bair; Monique Nelson; Sharmaine Yarde; Oneil and Carlotte Atkins; Ijeoma Opara; Rawleston Kennedy; Nalini Locke; Rosalind Perreira-Scott; Leanna Damond; Mel and Dale Williams; Matthew Morian; Pansy and Joseph Armstrong; and Anita Denny. The two-bedroom houses are worth G$6.5M, and the three-bedroom one G$9M.

The head table at yesterday’s WPA press conference, from left, Randolph Williams, Dr. Clive Thomas, Tabitha Sarabo, Dr. David Hinds, and Tacuma Ogunseye

Prof. Thomas defends cash transfer proposal

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ESPONDING to criticisms that a direct cash transfer to citizens from the oil wealth will negatively impact Guyana’s economy, Economist Professor, Clive Thomas called it an insult. He maintained that though there may be exceptions, that does not represent the majority outcome. “The assumption that people will misspend the money and go to rum shops and have parties and smoke ganja, I think that’s an insult to the working people,” Dr. Thomas established. “We’ll find some people who’ll do that but in the generality, most poor people want to get out of poverty and they know best the means in which they can try to do that.” Dr. Thomas made the rebuttal at a press conference of the Working People Alliance (WPA) party, where they endorsed Dr. Thomas’ proposal for cash transfers as the party’s official stance. The party noted that they will “dedicate their

efforts as a party to pursue this programme within the APNU-AFC coalition and among the broad masses of Guyanese people”. Backed by WPA Executive members Dr. David Hinds, Randolph Williams, Tacuma Ogunseye and Tabitha Sarabo, Dr. Thomas maintained that a proposal for cash transfer would be the best route for Guyana. “We have to make people, poor people, ordinary people the centre of our priorities. And it’s an insult to say that a teacher, if you give a teacher a cash advance that teacher would go home and throw back. Majority of people in this country are not stupid, and this is about creating opportunities for people,” Dr. Hinds noted. Moreover, rather than creating a welfare state, he maintained that it would empower the poor. “What I’m seeking to do with the proposal is to empower the poor people by giving them cash income that they can work on the schemes

and the plans that they themselves have for moving themselves out of poverty, and not rely on the government saying we’ll give you this school or this lunch basket,” he explained. “We are trying to find a direct means of giving income to the poor and powerless in this country.” Dr. Thomas pointed out that while other schemes such as tax reduction incentives may be well thought plans, they may not necessarily ensure that the benefits trickle down to the poorest of Guyana’s citizens. “Most of them do not pay income taxes now, less than half of these persons pay income. So it’s no point giving out tax relief, that only benefits those that are in the middle sector or those at the top,” he indicated. “I’m saying we cannot rely on arbitrary indicators, although they may be effective for some systems, those are not sufficient. Because a significant portion of poverty lies among people who are not paying

taxes. Look at the Amerindian community, some of them don’t even get monetary income.” Dr. Hinds also pointed out that the suggestion of cash transfers is not meant to replace other programmes that could be aimed to help alleviate the burden on Guyana’s poor. “We know that the Finance Minister said that we must spend money on schools and so forth we are, of course, in favour of that, but it’s not one or the other it’s all of them, cash transfers is just a part of it. We are coming at this from a standpoint of humanity,” Hinds said. Dr. Hinds recorded his surprise that the programme has seen much resistance, especially by those who have championed the cause of the poor. “The WPA would like to call the nation’s attention to all those who have historically paid lip service to the poor and now when you have a proposal to lift the poor they run searching in every corner

to find a reason why you can’t,” Hinds said. “Now is a first opportunity that we get to find ways and means to ensure we lift them out of poverty. Our view is that if we solve the problem of poverty it will be a big way in solving a lot of the national problems. Because poverty is holding back countries like Guyana so we feel poverty alleviation must be a priority.” However the party maintained that going forward the decision of how to use the nations looming oil wealth to help the nations citizens should be made following intense discourse with the ordinary people. “What we’re trying to emphasize is that we’re taking it to the people. We do have plans to go into communities and speak directly to the people and have them understand what it is we are trying to propose and bringing it back to the government with the hopes that they use it,” Sarabo said.


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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

Guyana’s Zena Bland takes First Runner-Up at

Miss United Nations Pageant P AGEANT veteran Zena Bland was at it again this month and last Saturday copped the First Runner-Up spot in the Miss United Nations 2018 pageant, held in Kingston, Jamaica. The 26-year-old UK-based Guyanese finished behind Miss United Nations Asia, Khuahhish Sharma, a fitness instructor and Bland was both shocked and honoured by the placement and the chance to represent her country. “Overall I feel very proud and accomplished to have represented my beautiful country Guyana on the international stage,” Bland commented in an exclusive interview with The Buzz. “I enjoyed the sister and brotherhood of the pageant the most; meeting men and women from across the globe; learning their cultures; tasting their national dishes and seeing their wonderful traditional wear. I feel like I’ve had a mini trip around the world and I’m more of a rounded individual now.” Held annually since 2010, the Miss United Nations pageant is one that came into being with the objective of identifying and showcasing “the world’s best tourism-cause ambassadors; those who have the skills, talents and personalities best suited to promote their respective countries in furtherance of tourism, international goodwill and cultural harmony.” It is also aimed at supporting environmental protection via strategised programmes and features both queen and king sections. For the women, the pageant entailed cultural wear, high fashion wear, evening wear and two interview categories, that the delegates were evaluated and promoted based on. For

Bland, it was the evening wear segment that really gave her an opportunity to sparkle, thanks to the massive preparation and work she got to put in. “For me, evening wear was the easiest segment. After receiving catwalk coaching from Alicia Bess in Guyana and Reuben Joseph in London, I walked confidently and was able to shine inside and out,” Bland said. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. “The interview segments were challenging because I didn’t expect them. I wouldn’t say they were difficult because I am always my authentic self. The challenging part was overcoming my anxiety because I know how important the interviews are,” she explained. This was Bland’s fourth time competing in a pageant. Starting in 2012, she was a Miss Guyana UK contestant, taking First Runner-Up. In 2014, she competed again in the pageant and went on to take the title. In 2016, she tried her hand at the Miss Universe Guyana pageant, finishing third runner-up. And while she was considering hanging up her sash and leaving her pageant days behind her after this Miss United Nations, as fate would have it, the offers are still coming in. “Initially Miss United Nations 2018 was my last pageant. However, following my performance on coronation night, one of the judges approached me and asked if I would be interested in representing Guyana in another international pageant. This is still to be confirmed,” she stated.

Guyana’s Zena Bland finished First Runner-up at the Miss United Nations 2018 pageant

ExxonMobil’s third drillship headed to Guyana basin

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XXONMOBIL has added a third drillship to its Guyana basin with the Noble Tom Madden to join the Stena Carron as the oil major ramps up exploration activities. The announcement came by way of Noble Corporation’s second-quarter report, which stated: “Following the close of the second quarter, the drillship Noble Tom Madden was awarded a contract for work offshore Guyana, which includes two firm wells, plus three optional wells. Re-activation of the rig from its warm-stacked status has begun, with the contract expected to commence in October 2018.” The Noble Tom Madden is currently moored in an area in the Gulf of Mexico, just south of New Orleans where rigs not in use are stored. With a lot of capacity in the industry, many drill ships are currently warm-stacked or cold-stacked, awaiting contracts. This will be Noble’s second rig under contract to ExxonMobil in the Guyana basin. The Noble Bob Douglas is currently developing the Liza 1 Field for production with first-oil expected by early 2020. ExxonMobil says it has 19 targets to drill in what has become a world-class oil field. To date, ExxonMobil has made eight discoveries out of 10 wells drilled. They are as follows: Liza, Payara, Liza deep, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger and Pacora. The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres) and located approximately 120 miles (193 kilometres) offshore Guyana. Total reserves to date now stand at 4B barrels. Oil production is planned to begin in early 2020, with revenues for the country to

begin being used for development projects soon after. Local operator ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) is operator of the Stabroek Block, holding a 45 per cent interest. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Pe-

ExxonMobil’s third drillship, Noble Tom Madden

troleum Guyana Limited holds 25 percent interest. Noble is a leading offshore drilling contractor for the oil-and-gas industry. The company owns and operates one of the most modern, versatile and technically advanced fleets in the offshore drilling industry. Noble

performs, through its subsidiaries, contract drilling services with a fleet of 24 offshore drilling units, consisting of 12 drill ships and semisubmersibles and 12 jackups, focused largely on ultra-deep water and high-specification jackup drilling opportunities in both established and emerging regions worldwide.


Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

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You are not a big fan of secrets because you always pick up information that is being withheld without always knowing what it is you are sensing. You are acutely attuned to the world around you and need to be certain that no one is playing you for a fool now. Honesty and loyalty issues might surface as you delve deeper into questioning someones motives. Innocence dies when people lie. But trust is an option. Ernest Hemingway said, The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.

Rich biodiversity discovered in the Upper Berbice region – area never before studied by biologists

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HE rich biological diversity of Guyana continues to be on the radar of local and international researchers, and in this regard, World Wildlife Fund Guianas and Global Wildlife Conservation announced the completion of the third Biological Assessment Team (BAT) survey and publication. The Upper Berbice region-- characterised by dense forests that were once deemed impenetrable, is a mystery no more. This publication unveils the abundant biodiversity and

exceptional beauty that this unique region has to offer. This time, the team of researchers, which consists of expert field biologists, taxonomists, students and local community research counterparts, studied two sites with distinct environmental characteristics located within the Upper Berbice region of Guyana in September and October, 2014; this region had never before been studied by biologists. Michael Gordon, Communications Offi-

Some of the species discovered

The team of surveyors

cer of World Wildlife Fund Inc. Guyana Office, stated that the publication is significant to Guyana because not only does it feature the rich species diversity of the Upper Berbice region, but provides relevant agencies with data which can inform conservation management strategies for the region. He added that it also opens doors for further research and can prove Copies of the Third Biological Assessment Team (BAT) to be very beneficial to survey publication academic institutions, since the report is the Dr. Leeanne Alonso, in her presentation, first of its kind for the Upper Berbice stated that no large-scale logging or mining region. was being done in the Upper Berbice River The BAT survey report highlights region at the time of the survey, but the exthat in the surveyed region, myriad spe- tractive industries are displaying an increased cies of flora and fauna, many of which interest in this region today, so it is crucial were recorded for the first time in Guy- that stringent measures are taken by the ana, were revealed. These include 16 plus relevant agencies to monitor, prohibit and aquatic beetles, nine odonates, nine ants, regulate any activities that may compromise three plus fishes, one crab and one bat. the integrity of this biodiversity-rich region. Some of the species in these categories The third BAT survey report was are likely new to science but further anal- launched on July 31, 2018, at the Cara ysis is needed to confirm this. Lodge in Georgetown and was made possible The pristine forests of this region through the collaboration of WWF-Guianas support scores of magnificent wildlife and Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC). species including the jaguar, anteater, WWF-Guianas is part of one of the black caiman, and a multitude of exqui- world’s leading conservation organisations site odonates that serve as indicators of with a mission to stop the degradation of the environment’s health. the earth’s natural environment and to build Among the species of conservation a future in which humans live in harmony concern documented during the BAT sur- with nature. The Guyana office is involved vey are the yellow footed tortoise, tapir, in a plurality of site-specific objectives, giant anteater, red-faced spider monkey, often in partnership with civil society organto name a few. isations and government institutions. These range from the protection and management of ecological landscapes, to educational and awareness campaigns on climate change and conservation. Learn more at http://www.wwfguianas.org/ GWC preserves the diversity of life on earth by protecting wildlands, conserving wildlife, and supporting local guardians. They maximize their impact through scientific research, biodiversity exploration, habitat preservation, endangered species protection, and environmental leadership development. Learn more at http://globalwildlife. org


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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

Life in Tapakuma An undiscovered gem

The beautiful village of Tapakuma/St Densy

By Indrawattie Natram WAKING up to the symphony of chirping birds, buzzing bees and splashing waves from the nearby black water canal is a norm for those living in the indigenous community of St Densy/Tapakuma in Region Two. This community can be accessed by boat or by a rough trail from the Anna Regina public road. It takes approximately 45 minutes with a vehicle to enter this beautiful sun-kissed community. Travelling through the same road that leads to the Lake Mainstay resort, one would notice the giant trees that surround the area. About 20 minutes along the road, you will come across a sign that reads, “This way to Tapakuma”, which signals the beginning of an unforgettable trip. The ride is not for the faint at heart and is much like the ride you would experience on the speedboat, if you are coming across the rough waters on the Essequibo River from the City of Georgetown. But if you are a nature lover then most of your time will be spent zooming in on The black water beach that is usually filled with youngsters in the evening

the beautiful flora and fauna that line every inch of your journey. The magnificent scenery of forest, sand and black water will serenade your vision, encouraging you to explore more. Welcoming you to the community is a ‘kissing bridge’ and, on many occasions, some of the village boys that are usually seen fishing for “Wabri”- a type of fish that lives in the savannah. The community, which will soon be included under the Region’s Tri-lake experience tourism package, is known for its cassava biscuits, cassava bread, bird watching and animal spotting opportunities, as well as the Tapakuma Lake and the Paray Creek waterfall. According to the toshao of the community, Aubry Fredericks, the community in two months’ time will be opening its guest house to accommodate more visitors. He said that the area has many tourist hotspots and as a toshao, it is his vision to develop the area making it more attractive for tourism. Currently, the area has a lake, but beach access is a challenge. However, visitors can

fish, enjoy bird watching and even plunge in the natural therapeutic black water, which is a popular component of the ‘Guyanese experience’, he said. The toshao, is however hoping that the hilltop road leading to his community will be fixed to allow easier access to the area. He said that the road is creating challenges and, thereby, hindering tourism. He also informed the Pepperpot Magazine that the regional administration will be spending some $11 million to rehabilitate/upgrade the hilltop road which will open countless opportunities for 400 residents in the community. According to 73-year-old Charles Fredericks, life in Tapakuma is a modest one. The man said that he grew up in the community and he appreciates living there. He is into farming but noted that the village economy is declining due to the lack of wood species. Another resident, Dona Roberts said it is her desire to see the community develop into TURN TO PAGE

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A villager with his Wabri catch


Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018 one that thrives on tourism since the lumber business is becoming unprofitable. Roberts said that the women in the rural community are eager to venture into the cottage industry, but finances are limited. “Many of the women in this community are unemployed. I would like if we can do something, so we can earn,” Roberts FROM PAGE

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said. Another female Loren Roberts said that the cassava processing factory in the community is providing employment for the community but at the moment, finding a suitable market, as well as packaging, is a major challenge. She said that proper packaging is required for the cassava bread and biscuits in an effort for it to remain competitive on the market. Apart from

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that she enjoys living in the community explaining its peaceful and close to nature. “We are at peace here, close to nature. We wake up, do our chores then in the evening we go catch fish and then take a dip in the black water canal. We enjoy it in here and we will be happy if others want to come experience that,” Roberts said.

The area where the children usually play during the day

Tapakuma/St Densy

The area approaching the kissing bridge

An elder in the village, 73-year-old Charles Federicks


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Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

UNICEF plugs $6.2M

to help fleeing Venezuelans T

…funds to aid in shelter, water, sanitation

HE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is collaborating with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) to provide US$30,000 in much needed relief supplies to Regions 1, 7, and 9 to help Venezuelans who have crossed the borders in search of food and shelter. In a joint statement to the media Friday, the partners said the CDC with support from UNICEF will preposition relief supplies to enhance the capacity of the said regions to provide basic assistance to those in need as the influx of Venezuelans here increases. Relief supplies for Shelter, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene are being procured within Guyana to the value of US $30,000 (GY $ 6,226,562). “The CDC will deploy the relief supplies within the coming weeks to the Regional Administrations for storage and distribution. The relief supplies would benefit an estimated sixty families per region with a total number of persons benefitting esti-

mated at 900,” the statement said. In partnership with UNICEF, the CDC remains committed to building Guyana’s disaster risk management capabilities through stakeholder engagement. Meanwhile, earlier this week government disclosed that it is in the process of establishing a homestead settlement area for the 260 confirmed Venezuelans, who are occupying areas in Barima-Waini (Region One. According to the Ministry of the Presidency’s Public Information and Press Services Unit, Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix at the conclusion of the third multi-agency coordinating committee meeting

said the resettlement area will allow the Venezuelans to be self-reliant. “It is intended that we [will] develop something like a homestead where families are accumulated and eventually we can move them into cash crop farming. We can encourage that so that in the first instance they can feed themselves and if they have surpluses they can sell. We are looking at crops for their sustenance and their immediate needs. Once you get that... going then the next thing is to guide them into areas in which they can sustain themselves. The immediate outcome is that we want to see them properly settled and they must be able to sustain themselves…,” he

said. The economic turmoil facing Venezuela has resulted, in the past few months, in many Venezuelans seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Many are in search of food and housing. The minister noted that the agencies on the committee will continue to play their roles in lending whatever assistance is necessary to those in Region One while assessing the migration of Venezuelans into Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven). “In the meantime, the Ministry of Health is continuing its vaccination [efforts]… [The Department of Immigration is continuing the reg-

istration and support work… The Police [are] also following through with the support work to this committee. So, all agencies, locally, are locked into this committee to provide services and support for the Venezuelans in Guyana. We are also exploring the situation in Region Seven [in order] to find out where [the Venezuelans] are and what numbers we have to [cater for],” Felix stated. The multi-agency coordinating committee has also been working alongside the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Human Rights’ Council (UNHRC) to determine areas of collaboration and support. Rather than criminalise the Venezuelans, Minister Felix said that the Committee and by extension, the Government, have chosen to respond to the situation in a humane manner, with concern for the safety, health, and accommodation of the migrants.

$18M in scholarship grants to combat domestic violence

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N the fight to eradicate domestic violence in Guyana, the American University of Peace Studies is donating G$10 million that will allow 200 persons across the country to participate in a sixmonth Training of Trainers Programme for the prevention of abuse and conflict in relationships, what they believe will lead to a significant decline in domestic violence. Dr. Eton Simon, Chief Executive Officer of the American University of Peace Studies, stated that the programme is very comprehensive and it covers all aspects of transformation that any human being can embrace to bring about the shift in consciousness and train others to do the same. He believes that mind and consciousness are the root causes of our behaviour and having

a new conscious awakening will bring us to the realisation of who we really are. The six-month programme is designed to bring about that new conscious awakening that will assist participants in making better decisions. Dr. Eton shared that this will be done by conducting research and outreach programmes and studying the mind, as he believes that everything starts in the mind. The American University of Peace Studies, a Higher Learning Life Skills Based Educational Institution, was established to promote Life Skills teachings to serve as a means to empower people in challenging situations to acquire knowledge, and to develop attitudes and skills, which support the adoption of healthy behaviours.

It was established in April 2002, and has attained status from the National Accreditation Council for operating an educational institution in Guyana under the provisions of the Accreditation Act of 2004. The institution believes education is one of the key defences against conflict, violence, abnormal behaviour, HIV/AIDS and ethnic discrimination. A critical response to these challenging issues is to ensure access to compulsory Life Skills Based Education must be considered part of a quality education.

Its programmes serve as useful tools to assist humanity in making decisions and taking positive actions to change behaviours and environments to promote health and safety, and to create a more peaceful world. Persons eligible for the scholarship grants are those 18 and above, who have the urge and the desire to make a difference in society. Interested persons can make contact with the university on 592 231-1284 on or before August 15, 2018, to indicate their interest in accessing the grants to participate in the training.


Guyana Chronicle New York Edition week ending August 10, 2018

23

Brand new CPL

trophy up for grabs

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ORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – The winners of this year’s 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will walk away with a brand new trophy. The sleek and modern design, which integrates the colourful and dynamic Hero CPL logo with a cut-

ting-edge look, was designed by Ryan McClean of Ryan McClean Silver and was officially unveiled on Monday at the Queen’s Park Oval. Chief executive officer (CEO) of the Hero CPL Damien O’Donohoe said he was especially pleased with the finished product. “We just want to show-

case our new trophy which we’re very proud of. We had a top silversmith working on this for about six months and we think it’s first class,” he said. Speaking about the vision behind the trophy McClean said: “I designed the trophy after spending time looking at the Hero CPL

logo. I wanted to try and tie the two things together. The logo, just like Hero CPL, is dynamic and colourful and I felt the trophy should mirror this. The swirls from the logo holding a cricket ball seemed a perfect fit to reflect what Hero CPL represents – the perfect synergy of carnival and cricket.”

Captain of the Trinbago Knight Riders Dwayne Bravo was also present at the unveiling and said he hoped to be the first to lift the new trophy. “It’s a pleasure for me to be standing here next to this nice trophy. Hopefully, I’ll be the first captain to lift it again this year. CPL is a

very good tournament, it’s one of the most successful tournaments in the world, one of the most anticipated tournaments in the world,” Bravo said. The tournament gets underway today at the Queen’s Park Oval when the Knight Riders take on the St Lucia Stars.

Shimron Hetmyer

TRUMPS Chris Gayle in big-hitters’ contest

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himron Hetmyer’s rapid half-century backed up the good work of the bowlers as Guyana Amazon Warriors beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in their opening

game. Trinbago Knight Riders, the defending champions, set the ball rolling in the Caribbean Premier League 2018 with a 100-run win over St Lucia Stars in the first game, and Guyana joined them at the top of the table by beating the Patriots by six wickets in the second match on Thursday, 9 August. Asked to bat first, the Patriots scored 146/5, Chris Gayle scoring more than half those runs with 86 in 65 balls. But Guyana had their own big-hitter in charge, Shimron Hetmyer smashing an unbeaten 79 to take them to 148/4 with 21 balls to spare. The dew was the big factor in the second innings, with the spinners finding it difficult to grip the ball and the nature of the pitch changing slightly. "The dew just worked for me with the pace some of the guys bowled at and it helped the pitch as well for batting," said local boy Hetmyer after the match. The Guyana chase didn’t start too well, with Sheldon Cottrell (2/21) and Sandeep Lamichhane (2/12) taking out Luke Ronchi and Chadwick Walton respectively. Though Shoaib Malik, the captain, and Jason Mohammed didn’t score too many either, Hetmyer had the chase under control. Chris Green, the Australian all-rounder, gave him good

support with an unbeaten 25 off 23 balls, and Hetmyer blazed away. His run against Bangladesh – 86 and 18 in the second Test and 52, 125 and 30 in the ODIs – continued as he hit nine fours and four sixes to take Guyana home with lots to spare. Guyana Amazon Warriors started their campaign with a win Guyana Amazon Warriors started their campaign with a win "It wasn't that hard in the middle but I kept losing a few partners," the youngster said. "When Green came out, I told him to stick around and take it from there even if we needed a few big shots towards the end." Earlier, it was Gayle calling the shots. Having been in decent touch in the lead-up to the CPL, scoring 40, 29 and 73 in the one-day international series against Bangladesh at home in July, he carried forward that form, starting the Patriots innings with a glance for four off Sohail Tanvir. But the innings slowed down after that. Evin Lewis was dismissed cheaply, and though Gayle found the boundary a couple more times, the Patriots only got to 32/1 after the Powerplay. Gayle batted till the penultimate over before falling to Imran Tahir, but the next highest contribution was 15, hit by the Australia duo of Tom Cooper and Ben Cutting. Keemo Paul was the standout Guyana bowler, returning 2/16. Chris Gayle started the tournament well with a 65-ball

86 Chris Gayle started the tournament well with a 65-ball 86 "I have the advantage of having played ODIs here to know how the pitch would behave," said Gayle, acknowledging that conditions were tricky. "They didn't give me a lot of free deliveries as well to get away. The target was to get 150-160 first and then take it from there. "In the bowling, despite getting two early wickets, we gave away too many easy scoring opportunities. And then the dew came in and made it difficult, which we always knew would [happen] in Guyana. "[But] this is the first game for us and I can't fault the boys for the effort. Some of the guys are playing for the first time and, like I said, our CPL starts only in the second game."


NEW CPL TROPHY…

Brand new CPL trophy up for grabs

Guyana Chronicle International Edtion E-Paper 08-10-2018  
Guyana Chronicle International Edtion E-Paper 08-10-2018