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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

PRESERVING OUR AFRICAN GUYANESE HERITAGE IS CRITICAL TO FORMULATING A GENUINE NATONAL IDENTITY “...it would seem that all the problems which man faces on the subject of man can be reduced to this one question: ‘Have I not, because of what I have not done or failed to do, contributed to an impoverishment of human reality?’”

WHO REALLY WERE THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE TO SETTLE IN THE AMERICAS...IN GUYANA? Barakara Village is a predominantly African Guyanese community on the Canje River

Toward the African Revolution;

in Region Six, located about 140 miles from the Canje Bridge; the residents, descendants

Frantz Fanon

of enslaved Africans, are still logging, working at tobacco, cane, rice, cacao and coffee

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confess to being obsessed with the idea of Caribbean/Guyanese Identity, especially as it affects mine – specifically, the African Guyanese community’s identity. We need to know the fullness of our story – I need to know all of who I am. This inter-

est, by no means new, has been heightened to a state of preoccupation...a compelling curiosity...provoked by the deafening silence surrounding the subject of –

cultivation, as did their ancestors in this formerly vibrant maroon settlement first populated in the 1800s. A year ago, in April 2015, a few months before the clean-up Georgetown campaign began, not long before our national elections anticipating the “change” we all longed for, the following was included in my conceptual notes re an ideal future under new ► Continued on page III

STARING INTO THE FUTURE OF THEIR CARIBBEAN/GUYANESE IDENTITY – CHILDREN OF BARAKARA VILLAGE, DESCENDANTS OF MAROONS.


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 ► From page II

as Guyana and Suriname, still have large Maroon populations living in the forests. Recently, many of them moved to cities and towns as the process of urbanization accelerates.”

administration – “At this juncture in Guyana’s history, as we prepare our era of unity epitomized by the APNU/AFC COALITION, we should recognize the need, first to clean up our front yard, the City Georgetown… all of Guyana’s peoples should feel a sense of commitment… –

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beside their individual domestic environs, each group belonging to Guy-

ana’s cultural mosaic must also clean up the spaces that commemorate and cel-

Describing ‘Types Of Maroons’ – “A typical maroon community in the early stage usually consists of three different types of people. Most of them were slaves who ran away right after they got off the ships. They refused to accept the reality of being a slave and often tried to find ways to go back to Africa.

ebrate the memory of their ancestors (an African Guyanese symbolic space for

The second group were unskilled slaves who had been working on planta-

example, is represented by the Parade Ground and The Promenade Gardens

tions for a while. Those slaves were usually somewhat adjusted to the slave

COURTNEY CRUM EWING’S SQUARE)

system but had been abused by the plantation owners, with brutality exces-

essential to, and following on all this is the need in future, to respect

individual as well as groups’ right to clearly define and express the meaning of their identity and historical experience –

we should neither usurp historical space nor distort/rewrite facts in an

attempt at ascendancy; lest we naturally end up with a flawed and overall inaccurate record of our collective Guyanese history – revisionist history –

we must prepare the fallow soil of our children’s minds for broadcasting

seeds which sprout visionary ideas inscribed on new horizons in education. –

Therefore, our moribund educational institutions and those who lead

serve and inform them – historians, scholars tutors teachers academics parents all, must set out to remake their image as facilitators of a decadent system.

sive even when compared to the normal standards. Others run away when they were being sold suddenly to a new owner.” The last group of maroons were usually skilled slaves with particularly strong ideals against the slave system. Otherwise, they could have chosen the easier way out by blending in with the locals. In his ‘Maroon Challenges to the Slave Regime’ Alvin Thompson’ states: “Maroons challenged the system in at least three specific ways: ideologically, organizationally and militarily. Ideologically, desertion was a clear expression of Maroon rejection of the slavery system and the control of their lives by the enslavers. Organizationally, through the establishment of often viable administrative and political systems (settlements that ranged from a few dozen to several thousand persons) they demonstrated that they were able to develop meaningful alternatives to the slavery system. The fact that many of these communities lasted for several decades indicates their

also, we must be able to clearly see ourselves, in that vision of a better

viability and attractiveness to would-be deserters. Militarily, the Maroons

future in which we encourage our children also, to vision themselves while we

demonstrated their ability not only to defend their polities but also to attack

pursue creative ways of TEACHING THE CHILDREN TO THINK and most import-

plantation and other settlements, destroying several of them, forcing the en-

ant: USES OF THE IMAGINATION.”

slavers to spend large sums of money to counter such attacks, and limiting

the spread of the plantations geographically in several instances...” ...am delighted to hear that plans are moving ahead for Barakara Village (not Baracara Island) to be designated a Guyana heritage site – as it should be....can’t help wondering though, where else in the Guyana forests we’ll find old maroon settlements; there should be more interest in locating and identifying them. According to information released by the Press and Publicity Unit, Ministry of the Presidency, “Barakarians are proud to celebrate their identity as an ancient village, but they are no less proud to be part of Guyana’s national identity”. If Barakara residents are as proud of their heritage as they claim to be, they should be prepared to claim ownership of their birthright as an essential African dynamic in the shaping of our Guyanese national identity...they should become proactive in the presentation of the maroon culture of their ancestors as a feature of Guyana’s Cultural Tourism Product. ...my obsession can be attributed to almost two unbroken decades spent in my Yukuriba Heights environment, musing and receiving messages from maroon forest spirits – ancestors who are still with us here and will be when the truth of their story is depicted by artists along The Maroon Sculpture Trail we’re creating, in celebration of the Maroons of the Americas. Who really were/are the Maroons of the Americas? In a history of Maroons, the Wikipedia internet site relies heavily on Richard Price’s 1973 publication: Maroon Societies; Rebel Slave Societies in the Americas, and states (inaccurately sometimes) inter alia – “Maroons (from the Latin American Spanish word cimarrón: “feral animal, fugitive, runaway”) were Africans who escaped from slavery in the Americas and formed independent settlements. The term can also be applied to their descendants. The Maroons created their own independent communities which in some cases have survived for centuries and until recently remained separate from mainstream society. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Maroon communities began to disappear as forests were razed, although some countries, such

Read also, Alvin Thompson’s Flight to Freedom: African Runaways and Maroons in the Americas, University of the West Indies Press. In conclusion, it seems to me that our failure to engage in dialectic leading to a resolution of this issue of Guyana’s first people, contributes significantly to a national “impoverishment of human reality”.

Next week, facts supporting claims that the African presence in Guyana predates that of Amerindians; facts contained in a four part series on African Guyanese History. These introductory booklets, compiled by Eric Phillips and Jonathan Adams, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Guyana Reparations Committee are entitled: In The Beginning, Africa Before Slavery, The African Guyanese Holocaust, and The African Guyanese Reparations Claim; a 5th booklet is entitled: Crisis in the African Guyanese Community.


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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

Caribbean Linked IV set for August

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he organizers of the annual Caribbean Linked Artist Residency Program recently announced the participating artists of their fourth installation scheduled for Ateliers ’89 in Oranjestad, Aruba this August. Through the generous support of the Mondriaan Fund, the Prince Claus Fund and Stichting DOEN, the organizers have, yet again, successfully upheld their mandate to provide opportunities for creative persons to nurture their individual practices while simultaneously strengthening their connections across the region. Ten practitioners from the English, French, Spanish and Dutch Caribbean will convene to share cultures, produce a series of work and mount an exhibition at the end of the three-week residency program. This year’s participants include Laura de Vogel (Aruba), Nowé Harris-Smith (The Bahamas), Simon Tatum (The Cayman Islands), visiting master artist Humberto Diaz (Cuba), Travis Geertruida (Curacao), Dominique Hunter (Guyana), Tessa Mars (Haïti), Oneika Russell (Jamaica) and Frances Gallardo (Puerto Rico). U.S. Virgin Islands native and co-founder of Moko Magazine, David Knight Jr. will be this year’s writer in residence while visiting artists Robin de Vogel (Aruba) and Katherine Kennedy (Barbados) will be providing additional administrative support. Associate Curator at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) Maria Elena Ortiz, has also been secured as this year’s specially invited curator in what is expected to be an exciting program. About Caribbean Linked Caribbean Linked is an artist residency programme that was developed by a group of regional partners (ARC Magazine, The Fresh Milk Art Platform Barbados and Ateliers ’89) to provide a much-needed space for building awareness across

disparate creative communities of the Caribbean and to connect emerging artists in an attempt to bridge cultural gaps across the region. The focus of the residency programme is to provide sustainable development, encourage regional integration and the critical education of younger artists, writers, critics and creative activists. New relationships are, therefore, continuously fostered with the much larger community as they work towards the holistic development of the creative industries within the Caribbean territories. In addition to narrowing the gaps in cultural differences and revealing similarities between each territory, Caribbean Linked “functions as an act of resistance against failing political and resolute nationalistic systems.” Issues of collective futures are brought to the surface as they examine workable models for the sustainability of local and intra-regional creative communities. Theirs is an initiative that has successfully moved past “brainstorming sessions” to a clear and definite model for integration and free movement in a region where individual governments have called for these but have failed to provide even the most basic support systems that could facilitate the needs of creative practitioners. About the Caribbean Linked partners ARC Magazine is a non-profit print and online publication and social platform that offers a critical space for contemporary artists to present their work while fostering and developing critical dialogues and opportunities for crucial points of exchange. ARC is the go-to resource for information about contemporary practices, exhibitions, partnerships, and opportunities occurring in the Caribbean region and its diasporas. The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. is a non-profit, artist-led, interdisciplinary organization that promotes social, economic, and environmental stewardship through creative engagement with so-

ciety. Fresh Milk is a constantly evolving “cultural lab” that attempts to connect creative disciplines, generations of creative practitioners, as well as linguistic territories in the Caribbean. The art platform functions as a space for contemporary individuals to discuss ideas and share works through local and international residencies, lectures, screenings, workshops, exhibitions, projects etc. Ateliers ’89 is a foundation that offers Arubans and creative practitioners from the Caribbean region the opportunity to participate in a variety of specialized workshops facilitated by established local and international artists. Ateliers ’89 works closely with a number of art academies in the Netherlands in an attempt to encourage a smooth transition to any Dutch art academy their students may wish to join. The Mondriaan Fund is a state financed cultural funding organization that resulted after the merger of the Mondriaan Foundation and the Fonds BKVB. The organization encourages innovation and excellence in creative fields by supporting outstanding artists, cultural heritage and art organizations and projects in the Netherlands, and promoting contemporary art from the Netherlands abroad. Stichting DOEN provides support for individuals and organizations that take the lead in the field of sustainable, cultural and social innovation for creative, socially inclusive and “green” societies. Annually, DOEN offers financial support to over two hundred creative initiatives by providing subsidies, loans and guarantees. The Prince Claus Fund supports artists, cultural organizations and critical thinkers in situations where freedom of expression is restricted by conflict, poverty, repression, marginalization or taboos. Since 1996, the Fund has supported more than 2500 cultural initiatives, granted Prince Claus Awards to 184 outstanding cultural achievers and provided first aid to cultural heritage in over 160 emergency situations.


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

V

1965, Court of Appeal negatived Magistrate & Full Court rulings

Mother fought child support case to Court of Appeal

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mother, seeking maintenance from the putative father of her child was induced by the father not to attend court and to rely on an oral agreement for the payment of $10 per month, which he dishonored. The effect was that neither of them attended court on the day of hearing, causing the Magistrate to dismiss the summons. The mother, Nora Williams, instituted new proceedings against putative father, Sedial Persaud, claiming $110, representing 11 months payment for the child as per agreement, but the Magistrate dismissed the claim as illegal and unenforceable. The woman appealed to the Full Court, which upheld the magistrate’s decision. She then resorted to the highest Court in the land - the Guyana Court of Appeal – which court was constituted by Chancellor E. V. Luckhoo & Justices of Appeal Persaud and Victor Crane. The Appellate Court found that the agreement was enforceable and valid and set aside the decisions of the Magistrate and the Full Court. The appellant was granted the sum claimed as well as costs for the courts below and the Court of Appeal. The facts of the case disclosed that on the 9th October, 1964, the appellant gave birth to a child, of whom she alleged that the respondent Sedial Persaud was the father. On her application, a summons was issued and served on the respondent requiring him to attend court on the 1st April, 1965. On that day, he denied paternity, and the matter was adjourned to the 29th April. Neither party appeared on that date, as the respondent had asked her to settle the matter and promised to give her $10.00 per month “for the child”. The Magistrate struck out the summons for non-appearance. On the 6th May 1965, the parties entered into a written agreement purporting to record what they had orally agreed to. In the agreement, the respondent agreed to pay to the appellant on or before the twentieth of each month a sum of $10.00 per month, “from the month of May 1965 to assist her to maintain one of her children.” The appellant, in turn, pledged and agreed that “as long as this amount is paid to her she will not proceed by way of Court for its recovery”. However, nowhere in agreement was it stated that it was because of the oral agreement that the parties did not appear at court on the 29th April. Despite frequent demands by the appellant, no money was paid by the respondent under the agreement, and in April, 1966, she instituted proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court for $110.00, representing payments for 11 months under the agreement. The defence was a denial of the indebtedness and in the alternative a plea that the agreement was void and/or illegal and/or enforceable. Only the appellant gave evidence. The Magistrate dismissed the claim and on appeal and the Full Court upheld his (the Magistrate’s) decision. On further appeal to the Court of Appeal, that court held:-

(i) an agreement between a mother and putative father of her child for its support in consideration for a forbearing to continue affiliation proceedings is recognized by the law , as valid and enforceable; (ii) the fact that no consideration was expressly stated in the agreement is no bar to a successful suit , if there is evidence of a collateral oral agreement which embodies consideration; (iii) collateral agreement apart, there is nothing to prevent the court from looking at the history of the transaction which led to the making of the document for the purpose of determining whether there is consideration; (iv) from the evidence the appellant refrained from attending court on the 29th April , to proceed with her cause because of the respondent’s promise, and this constituted sufficient consideration; (v) the fact that her forbearance preceded the agree-

ment did not constitute it a part consideration., The appeal was allowed. Attorney-at-law, M. S.E. Brotherson represented the appellant while Doctor F.W.H. Ramsahoye appeared for the respondent. In delivering his judgment, Chancellor Luckhoo said, “The appellant, a single woman (whom I shall refer to as ‘the promisee,’) gave birth to a bastard child “Seenauth” on the 9th October, 1964. “She alleged that the respondent (whom I shall refer to as ‘the promisor), was the father of that child, and made application on oath on the 4th of March, 1965, for a summons to be served on him to appear before the magistrate to answer her complaint (he having contributed to the support of the said child within 12 months next after birth) as provided for under section 3 of the Bastardy Ordinance, Chapter 40. “The promisor was duly summoned to appear before the magistrate touching the premises on the 1st April, 1965, when paternity was denied and the matter was put down for the 29th April, 1965. “The promisee did not attend court on the 29th April, 1965, as she ought to have done , for the reason that the promisor had asked her “to settle the matter”, and promised to give her $10 per month “for the child”, When the matter was called up before the magistrate on that day, both parties were absent, no doubt in compliance with the oral agreement reached , and the matter was struck out by the magistrate.

By George Barclay “On the 6th May, both parties entered into an agreement in writing which purported to record what was orally agreed upon., “That agreement showed that the promisor had agreed to pay to the promisee ‘the sum of $10 per month commencing from the month of May 1965 to assist her to maintain one of her children.’ Further, it was stipulated that ‘this amount must be paid on or before the 20th day of each month’ and the promisee specifically agreed to accept the said sum from the promisor and further agreed and pledged ‘that as long as this amount is paid to her she will not proceed by way of court for its recovery.’ “But it was not there stated that the non-appearance of the parties at court on the 29th April was because of an oral agreement to contribute specified sum for the support of the child. “The promisor paid no money under this written agreement despite demands made by the promisee, who consequently in April 1966 sued him for $110 under that agreement being the sum due for the months of June, 1965 to March, 1966, 11 months at $10 per month. “The defence on this claim before the magistrate was a general denial of indebtedness. In the alternative it was said that if an agreement was entered into as alleged “such agreement is void and/or unenforceable”. “The promisee gave evidence in the course of which she tendered the agreement and, by consent, a certified copy of the case jacket in the bastardy proceedings accompanied by her application on oath. She testified that the child mentioned in the document is the child mentioned in the affidavit ., Under cross-examination she denied the suggestion put to her that the agreement was made because the promisor was “sorry” for her as she had nine children to maintain. She also denied another suggestion that she had summoned the promisor” as he had some worth”. “Her simple and straightforward evidence remained unchallenged, as the promisor led no evidence, and no objection was taken to any of the evidence which she had led. “The magistrate dismissed the claim for reasons, which I find nebulous and almost incomprehensible. “On appeal to the Full Court, it was contended on behalf of the promisee that the written agreement “ was a binding enforceable contract,” and for the promisor the document did not disclose any consideration, and if it did, such consideration was past consideration”, Chancellor Luckhoo explained. In giving judgment for the appellant, the Chancellor also noted that the Full Court had given no reason or advanced any authority in support of its conclusion in upholding the decision of the magistrate. Other judges of the Court of appeal concurred with the judgment of the Chancellor.


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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

By Subraj Singh

Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns To understand Khaled Hosseini’s success as a writer, we only need to know that he was once a medical doctor who gave up that career path after the widespread critical acclaim and bestselling status of his immensely popular debut novel, The Kite Runner. Yes, in the modern age of science and with an emphasis on STEM subjects in schools, Hosseini quit his job as a doctor to pursue his passion for writing. Of course, he’s not the only doctor to become a successful writer. Other examples include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Anton Chekhov. However, Hosseini may be the most well-known of all the doctor-turned-authors to the contemporary reading audience. His second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, had a difficult task, being the work that came after the phenomenon that was The Kite Runner, but, in short, it managed to become as much of a success as Hosseini’s first novel was. The book focuses on two Afghan women, with Miriam’s story being told first. Her life as an illegitimate child, born into poverty, prohibited from living with her wealthy father, and then later forced into an arranged marriage to an abusive husband all form crucial aspects to her storyline and offer a nice parallel to the novel’s other central female character, Laila. Laila, born decades after Mariam, is first presented as a smart and willful schoolgirl, with many friends, born in a comfortable home, with a close relationship with her father. In short, Miriam and Laila are really worlds apart, despite living on the same street in Kabul. How the stories of the women come together and intertwine forms the rest of Hosseini’s wonderful and woeful tale. Hosseini obviously loves Afghanistan and its people, and he uses his characters and the events in their lives to reveal his own desires and views on the country and everything it has experienced. There is also the sense that he is reclaiming or reshaping the gaze of the Westerner on Afghanistan by peeling back the layers of the city and showing that there is much more to it than that which meets the Western eye. While there is gloom, abuse, and war in Hosseini’s Afghanistan, he also offers to us a world where women, before the rise of the Taliban, could walk freely without having to wear burqahs, in a world of cinemas, education for women, and premarital sex. He also does include many features from the recent history of the country and the novel is rampant with instances of death, misogyny and explosions. Perhaps, if I had a single criticism of the book it would be that until the end it is an extremely sad piece of work and can be quite difficult to read because of the instances of such

(Bloomsbury UK, 2007) intense sorrow. However, therein lies Hosseini’s gift as a writer, as he is able to make the reader feel the plight of all his characters and by forcing us to absorb the emotions of his characters, he ensures that we remain emotionally drained, scene after scene, until to have a reprieve at the moment when we begin to feel we cannot endure it anymore, which makes the reprieve from the sorrow all the more prized and appreciated. The women of Hosseini’s Afghanistan have suffered and their stories are really mirrors for the harrowing stories of women all over the world, even here in Guyana.


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

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Bullying “Being bullied is not a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up; it has serious long-term consequences. It is important for schools, health services and other agencies to work together to reduce bullying and the adverse effects related to it.” - Dr. Wolke Hello Everyone, I hope this week has treated you well. Today I would like to talk about bullying, which most of us see, experience or even do on a daily basis. It is very harmful to our mental health and yet still so prominent. Bullying does not happen only to children in a classroom- it happens to people of all ages, gender, ethnicities and statuses. So, what is bullying? This occurs when an individual tires to overpower, influence, intimidate or force someone into doing something; it is always unwanted, repeated and can be physical, verbal or emotional. Bullying/ harassment usually occurs when an individual recognises an imbalance of power- both physical and social. It can happen anywhere - in school, in the workplace, prisons, in neighbourhoods and even at home. It can involve one on one bullying or can happen by a group. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing. Overall, there are many times of bullying. 1. Physical. This involves hurting a person or their possessions, for example, a physical attack such as hitting, pushing etc. or breaking someone’s belongings, destroying someone’s property, stealing etc. Bullying does not usually begin with the physical, but rather evolves to it from emotional and verbal abuse. Men are more likely than women to conduct physical bullying. 2. Verbal such as threats, teasing/name calling etc. This is the most common type of bullying and has longer- lasting effects than any other type. 3. Social. This includes purposely excluding someone, spreading rumors, cyber-bullying etc. Cyber-bullying involves any kind of technological device and therefore includes phone calls, texts, emails or social networking sites such as Facebook

or Instagram. Cyber bullying is the type I see most of all. For younger generations, it is the most undetected as there is usually a lack of parental supervision on social media. Also, one can pose as someone else or be completely anonymous and therefore can display any amount of cruelty possible. Women are more likely than men to conduct verbal and social bullying. Why does bullying happen? Many studies have shown that jealously, envy and resentment are the main causes of bullying. It’s surprising but bullies usually have low self-esteem themselves which forces them to want others to also feel low. By demeaning others, a bully feels empowered. People who experience symptoms of depression, poor academic performance, high aggression and personality disorders are also more likely than the average person to become a bully. Bullying is also a cycle. Many people bully because they, themselves are being bullied elsewhere. A child from an abusive household is more likely to be a bully. They are likely to take this out on other people which is called Psychological projection. Bullying also happens when the victim is different from the majority. For example, there is disability bullying which usually occurs when the individual is visibly disabled such as wheel-chairs or physical deformity. However, it can also happen to those with mental issues such as learning disabilities. There is also sexual orientation bullying – also known as gay bashing. Unfortunately, this is very common in Guyana and leads to many murders and suicides. What can bulling/harassment cause? Bullying has a lasting effect on a person’s mental health. A victim of bullying more often than not feels depressed, weak, negative, isolated, lonely and lacks self-esteem and courage. They are usually afraid and unwilling to attend school or work. This results in poor academic performance,

high stress levels, anxiety and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities which causes further depression, isolation, psychological trauma, social exclusion, aggression/rage and self-hatred. Individuals who are bullied are also more likely to have trouble eating and sleeping, use drugs and alcohol as well as consider suicide. On the other side of the scale, bullying can also cause a victim to become very violent. Research on the adolescent years of famous serial killers report consistent bullying. Believe it or not, bullying also harms the bully. Sure, it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who intentionally hurts other people but the truth is, bullies also have long-lasting emotional problems. They have trouble relating to their peers as they are initially unpleasant and cruel –which causes them to not have many friends in the first place. Bullies are also a great risk for alcohol and drug abuse, violence and school drop -out. What to do when you are being bullied/harassed? As always, prevention is the best route. Hold seminars/ campaigns and educate individuals on the harms of bullying. Also, step up and say something! Observers play a major role in bullying as well. Bullying can occur in an isolated place yes, but typically it happens when other people are around as the bully mostly needs an audience. There are many reasons why bystanders choose not to get involved such a fear that they may be the next target or believing it to be none of their business. The truth is – bystanders themselves are also more likely to have depression, use alcohol and other drugs and skip school out of fear. Observing without intervening is harmful to everyone. How many of us do this without even noticing or simply thinking it is harmless. We need to pay attention to our behaviour and how it affects others (and ourselves). It is so prominent that I truly believe that if you are not being bullied, you’re probably the bully and you probably don’t even know it. Pay attention to your words!

Thanks for reading! Please continue to write in to caitlinvieira@gmail.com and let me know what you would like to talk about. OR come see me at Woodlands Hospital Outpatient Department. For issues with alcohol/ drug abuse: Mondays at 4:30pm. For general mental health issues: Wednesdays at 4:30pm.

Say Yes to Life and No to Drugs! Always!


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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

A visit to the National Museum

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By Francis Quamina Farrier he National Museum on Company Path opposite the General Post office in downtown Georgetown is small as museums go. In fact, it is a tiny museum. But size does not matter when quality is on the platter. There is so much, and of such a wide variety, for the visitor to munch on when one visits the Guyana's National Museum. It is one

sparkling little diamond of a museum which we can all take pride in. That institution has a collection of materials which spans decades as well as variety, and it has attracted generations of Guyanese as well as visitors from over-seas over the decades. This museum had its foundations laid way back in the mid-1800s, and there has been growth even in the face of some setbacks, including fires; the worst being the great fire of 1945, when the museum suffered much loss. However, in time,

those responsible for the running of this great National Institution, dedicated as they were, did all that was in their power, to get it back up-andrunning in the face of such blazing set-backs. So, here it is today, some 175 years after it was first established. Records reveal that the first gift to the Museum project back in 1844, was a donation of fifty wood samples from the well-known European Sir Robert Schomburg. On reflection, Guyanese should wonder why this gentleman has not been granted a posthumous National Award for all the work he has done for the preservation of so much of the history of British Guiana/Guyana, which we now have access to. The fact that he was knighted by the British Monarch should in no way prevent us

The Austin Rolls Royce Princess Motorcar PR1 used by Guyana’s first Prime Minister, Mr. Forbes Burnham from also honouring him with a Guyana National Award. It is not too late. The British honoured Sir Shridath Ramphal with a Knighthood, and we the citizens of the Republic of Guyana did the right thing by also bestowing a high National Award on that great son-of-the-soil. During this Jubilee season, the National Museum has mounted a special exhibition and visitors have more than doubled during the months of April and May 2016. My understanding is that there has been over fifteen hundred visitors each week, up from about six hundred, over the past two months. This big increase seems in no way to be getting back to the average any time soon. Among the items now on display at the museum are some of the simple things which Guyanese used on a daily basis in colonial times. They include morter and pestle, pressing comb, flat iron, charcoal iron, mud fireside, clay boblette, milk can, manicole broom, sling shot, rubber ban chain, coconut grater, scooter and a host of others. Every nation which has self-respect, respects its past - the good, the bad and the ugly - and ► Continued on page IX


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 â–ş From

page VIII

preserves them so that current generations will have a clearer knowledge of what their ancestors did, and how they did it. In our own lifetime, we witnessed the removal of the Ruimveldt

Independence Arch, which was done to facilitate the widening of the Ruimveldt Public Road. Those responsible for its removal told the Nation that it would have been reassembled as soon as the road works were completed; that was over fifteen years ago,

and no one can say where the Ruimveldt Independence Arch is, at this time. A new Independence Arch was recently constructed at the entrance to the city of Georgetown, at the Eccles/Agricola border. The previous Ruimveldt Independence Arch seems to be lost

The giant sloth reaches from top to bottom of the Mega T Room

to us forever, and it also seems that no one will be held responsible for its disappearance. That is totally unacceptable, and no laughing matter. There are other historic tragedies of two pieces of works which have disappeared from the face of Guyana; the bust of Englishman, the Rev. John Smith, which was stolen from its base in the compound of the Smith's Congregational church on Brick-

IX dam in Georgetown many years ago; also the statue of a woman which was located on a pedestal at the entrance to the National Museum; it was allegedly demolished by a person of unsound mind, some years ago. What is of concern, is that no effort was apparently made, to peace that statue together again, if that was at all possible. Maybe, like Humpty Dumpty,

"all the King's horses and all the King's men, could not put that statue back together again." Meanwhile, many persons of unsound mind, still roam the city of Georgetown, and sometimes destroy valuable property, with impunity. Many who are going to the National Museâ–ş Continued on page X


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A visit to the National Museum

Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 â–ş From page IX

um at this Jubilee time are students; from Kindergarten to College. Many are also Guyanese who are visiting from over-seas, for the Jubilee celebrations. There is also a marked increase in the number of foreign visitors to the museum. This I have observed for myself, having paid three visits to the museum during the past four weeks. There is so much to see, and the Staffers are always willing and ready to give advice and information when requested. Many of the artefacts which are on display, have been there for well over fifty years; for example, the Pork-knocker has been on display since I was in my pre-teens; and that was over sixty years ago. There are miniature versions of some of the well-known Transport and Harbours Department Ferry boats, which have long gone out of service, the MV Querriman being the most popular. Also on display is the vehicle, PR1, which was used by Prime Minister Dr. Ptolemy Reid, during his tenure in high political office. It would be impossible for me to say exactly how many times I have visited our very impressive little National Museum over the years, but I have to admit that even in my very youthful years, I have always found it interesting; even intriguing. It is very important for governments, and even private establishments and individuals, to establish museums. Present generations need to be able to see some of the past, whether they are statues, carvings, sculpting, paintings, photographs, skeletons or artefacts. The older generations need to be able to go to a place where things of the past are on display in a formal way, and which help to bring back memories of past existences.; be they pleasant or not. Our National Museum is such a place. Do yourself a favour and make a visit during this Jubilee season. You will be happy you did.


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

XI

Disguising wrinkles and laugh lines I 've received another request on how to cover smile lines and nasolabial folds. It's all in your skin care regimen. There are no words to emphasize the importance of a good consistent skin care routine. Wrinkles, fine lines, smile lines, and all other imperfections/flaws come with age and experience; if you take care of yourself from a young age or choose not to have any semblance of a life there will be little to no flaws. However, everyone faces their daily dose of trials and tribulations, and our flesh pays for it. As a result, we must do our best to combat such problems. With each awakening, we have a responsibility to take care of the body, but only if we want to be in good shape. If it's your prerogative to look a hot mess...by all means it's your life. Maintenance is the key to keeping your health in line. It's consistency over flash. Don't wait until wrinkles appear to try and eliminate them. It's supposed to be combatted early. As the old adage goes "Prevention is better than cure!" The good news is that it's never too late to start...because avoiding it will only make the situation worse. The answer is in the moisturizers you use - put down the fancy makeup brush, the colour corrector, the concealer tricks, the highlighting pens, the montage of makeup tutorials on YouTube. Everybody just calm down! Never underestimate the power of a good moisturizer. Your skin care products are the ones you should be splurging on, instead of buying fancy makeup brands, go for elite skin care brands. The outcome when you prep your skin with the right moisturizer and serum is always better. Using heavy amounts of makeup, even the costly type, matters not. I've seen all kinds of crazy videos on this specific topic...all showing people how to cover-up and not makeup. Avoid covering with too much product. This is a reoccurring problem especially with many online tutorials. You have to be careful

with whom you seek counsel. The face is the first thing people see and it leaves a lasting impression. Deciphering what's real is a difficult task. But no worries, this column is here to wipe away your woes. • Does your makeup crack when you smile?

Applying cake foundation or cream concealer and stick bases will cause cracking. It's that lack of moisture that's the root of the problem. The matte look doesn't combat oiliness; it has its place and it generally shouldn't be applied every day. This will cause more oiliness to the skin. It's the body's effort to hydrate itself. When using foundations, go for the textures that are liquid. Liquid foundations don't give the most coverage, but it's the best makeup to use, especially in the tropics. • How do you apply your products? The best way to apply the product is to gently swipe a small synthetic brush along the crevices, then blend with a damp sponge, pressing gently. This motion will help the product to be compressed into the skin while the sponge absorbs excess product. With a fluffy powder brush, apply powder tapping gently onto skin. In thin layers, apply more as desired. • Do you look older after applying makeup? Unless it's your intention to look a decade older, perhaps on stage, for theatrical purposes or in film...aging makeup can be a good thing. But for most of us we want a more refined jubilant youthful glow. No oiliness, greasy, cracked up makeup - any anti-aging eye creams or anti-wrinkle creams for the face like Mary Kay's Volu-Firm Eye Renewal Cream. • Do you rush the process? Makeup is supposed to be applied in small layers, gradually at a time. Just like a painting, or sculpture or anything that starts from scratch. Patience is most important. Rome was not built in a day. Some clients like to ask: "So Kerry, how long will this take?" The response is always "about an hour." Yes we're all busy, but if you want to look movie star ready it will take effort, diligence, and time. Follow the techniques; stop trying to skip steps. It's better to apply it right the first time than have to fix mistakes along the way. I too am a victim of this dilemma. As much as I love makeup, even as a makeup artist, I'd rather not get up an hour earlier...but the result makes it worth it. And the process of applying makeup gives one a feel of accomplishment. But first get a skincare routine.


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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

From Coolie Bai to Buffiana - Mystic celebrates being Guyanese in music

By Ravin Singh Is basically a Guyanese kinda ting man, yuh know? About the niceness Guyana got to offer,” he says in the most genuine Guyanese accent when asked about his latest song Buffiana. The song has been penetrating the local airwaves since its release two weeks ago and I had the privilege of sharing studio space for an interview with the composer, Romeo Nermal, more popularly known as Mystic. Almost immediately he offers me the lone chair available in the studio, and occupies a corner of the floor with his back supported by the wooden wall. He played with a reel of insulation tape as he awaited the start of the interview, intermittently asking the owner of the studio to give him the tape to use on a ball to play cricket – a sport he’s an avid player and fan of. His humility, which could be blindly deciphered, spoke volumes, given his achievements on the international stage. It was difficult coming to grips with the fact that such an established artiste was refusing to see himself as superior within the domain of human interaction. Despite this, I maintained my composure, quizzing him on what lead to the development of his latest masterpiece after “Coolie bai.” Maintaining a moderate tone, Mystic speaks passionately of this new song which has been viewed and shared thousands of times on the world’s most popular social media platform – Facebook. He reveals that he started thinking about an idea for the song while in the “backdam” at Black Bush Polder a few months ago. “I was doing work and so and just coming up with lyrics in my head but I didn’t put it into a song or anything,” the young writer says. Subsequently, he travelled to Georgetown where DP (Darrell Pugsley’s) studio is located, to start developing the song with producer, Darrell Pugsley. The song was launched just about two weeks ago at the height of Guyana’s Jubilee Celebrations. Egged on by others, he decided on a song of “humour” which spoke of some aspect of Guyana’s uniqueness, and hence the idea of “Buffiana” came about. Buffiana is a Guyanese word used to describe a person whose parents are Amerindian and Afro-Guyanese. Remarkably candid and confident in his response as to what the song promotes, the artiste says it speaks of a Buffiana Guyanese girl who mesmerizes men with her astonishing features and idiosyncratic dance moves – or as Guyanese say “the way she whine.” The song is considered a “Choka song” he says, reasoning that it is neither chutney nor soca, but rather a fusion of the two regionally-popular genres. Though produced by Pugsley, who Mystic credits favourably for a “fantastic job,” the song was entirely written by him. “I wrote the song,” the young singer notes, adding that even though he writes all of his songs, the nature of music allows for the producer to add a line or recommend an adjustment to some parts of a song to make its lyrics more “compact.” Without being questioned, Mystic goes on to detail

his style of writing which sets him apart from other local artistes. He explains that his style of writing is always geared to incorporate the use of the Guyanese vernacular, which helps him to maintain his identity as both a person and an artiste. Extremely conscious and knowledgeable of the dynamics of the music industry, he immediately interrupts himself to point out that his style of writing, which has evidently garnered much support both locally an internationally, is not superior to any other local artiste. He notes thought that when these artistes travel abroad to perform, it is then they realise how important their identity as a performer really is. “They realise they have to be Guyanese to stand out when they’re abroad. When they here [home], their mind

“The idea of Mystic is just someone who is into music and loves farming. That’s who I would tell people Mystic is. I could do a show at the Stadium and the next day you could find me in the backdam planting rice; that’s just who I am. People would say ‘boy you travelling and all these things and planting rice’ but the truth is, it’s not a big deal for me. I don’t see my music career as anything to ‘big-up’ myself about.” – Mystic usually set on foreign but once they get there, is then they realise that support comes from overseas-based Guyanese. And that is something I realized even before I started travelling; that I have to be a Guyanese first and adjust the music to suit our culture, not the other way ‘round.” And this was exactly what he did with Buffiana; skillfully incorporating the names of villages across Guyana, and indirectly selling the highlights of those villages. But the song actually promotes more than that. In fact, the song sells an idealistic image of Guyanese women, which the writer acknowledges, is likely to attract critics. “The thing about my music is that I don’t sing for one particular group. I sing for everybody. So, today I might release a song for the youths, and next week I might release another for ► Continued on page XIII


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 ► From page XII matured people. So in a way like that I will always have critics cause one group might like this song, but not the other” he says. Then he pauses temporarily, and confidently expresses that this does not hinder his career, since people can only be critical of you when they’re following your work. Mystic goes on to describe the reaction he has received from fans thus far, laughing lightly as he says that their first reaction is that the song is a funny one. “That was the sole idea though, to add some ‘skin teeth’ or ‘laff’ as we Guyanese would say,” he adds. Realising the nationalistic approach he employed in composing his songs, which has, without doubt been a struggle in the music industry in Guyana, I was curious to know if this he genuinely believes this is the kind of music Guyanese, particularly youths, want to hear. And if this was indeed so, if more local artistes should adopt this style. Almost instantly he responds in the affirmative, reasoning that Guyanese at home are not the only one who follow the music of local artistes. He goes on to explain that Guyanese in the diaspora long for this kind of music – which gives them an identity - and are willing to support it. “Is not that you have to do Guyanese songs your whole career. But when you’re an upcoming artiste, you have to know where your fan base is and attract those people first. And right now it’s not only at home, it’s in the diaspora as well, so you have to be smart,” he says. He goes on to justify this reasoning by explaining that when regional artistes are performing in the US or Canada, there is usually a group of people from that artiste’s home country which supports them. Seemingly passionate about this topic, he goes on to state that “if you got a Guyanese artiste who going and perform in foreign, and he sounding like a Trinidadian or a Bajan, now the po’ Guyanese people won’t have anybody to represent them. They won’t have somebody going on stage and saying ‘wam deh banna’ or ‘wa gine on budday’ so they would obviously feel left out.” He continues that even if there is a lack of appreciation for local music, once it’s “good music” people will be inclined to listen to it and it will get the recognition it deserves. He speaks authoritatively though, which makes the conversation much more interesting. Having released popular hit “Coolie bai” which, even to this day is one of Guyana’s theme song, Mystic was able to perform this song both regionally and internationally, which aided in the development of his career. At this point I shift his attention from the prospects of the music industry and what sells, to who Mystic is as a person and what lead to the engineering of this regionally recognized artiste. Proud of his heritage, he explains that he was born in Black Bush Polder on the Corentyne where he spent some amount of years before leaving for Georgetown. During his childhood, he remembers singing in Sunday School and among friends and cousins when they were playing together in the backdam. “When I was very small and my cousins and friends would come for us to play in the backdam, we would usually end up singing together and so. And I would always want to out-sing all of them,” he said while laughing. “I’d always try to pull more notes than them and interestingly I used to do it.” Once in the city, he attended Central High School while living with his mother - Sarah Moseley in Sophia. Though he didn’t dwell much on it, he reveals that his father passed away when he was just five years old. During the time spent at his mother’s, he notes that his love for music spiked, and he began seriously considering it as a career. The young singer goes on to reveal that while in school, he was not very talkative, and would resort to expressing himself on paper, through poetry. This eventually evolved as he would listen to music and try to structure his poems in the form of songs. He jocularly recalls while in High School, a song competition was being promoted and he was very much interested. However, one of the requirements of the competition was that the song had to be recorded at a studio. Not being exposed to the music industry, the soon-to-be star travelled to Matt’s Record Bar – an establishment which merely sells already recorded music - to do his recording. “When I reach deh them men seh ‘nah’; we don’t do recording here pardna.” He was then directed to Vision Sounds studio. We both laugh and at that point I observed how homour had consumed his being to the point where it was inevitable for it to be reflected in his music – as is the case with Buffiana. He continues to detail how he had arrived at this point, crediting his success to determination, strong will and remarkable support from family and friends. Failing to omit the presence of God in his life, he says “the father has blessed me tremendously and I am very much thankful.” But Mystic is not only about music. I would learn that this recognized artiste, who had performed in more than three continents, including Europe, is also a rice farmer.

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“In my late teens I went back to Berbice and got into farming. I used to do construction work at one point in time but music and farming is what I love.” I sat there speechless, my thoughts slowly drifting away from what he was actually saying at that point in time. How many artistes of his caliber do you know who is likely to remain a rice farmer while touring multiple continents to feed the musical appetite of thousands of fans? It was a reflective and astonishing moment. Not surprising though, his jovial spirit faded temporarily, and his humility attracted the interest of my cameraman who was sitting idly by on his phone, six feet away. “The idea of Mystic is just someone who is into music and loves farming. That’s who I would tell people Mystic is. I could do a show at the Stadium and the next day you could find me in the backdam planting rice; that’s just who I am. People would say ‘boy you travelling and all these things and planting rice’ but the truth is, it’s not a big deal for me. I don’t see my music career as anything to ‘big-up’ myself about,” he humbly shares. The artiste goes on to share another experience where someone went as far as to ask him why he was still living in Guyana. Laughing again, he recalls telling them that Guyana is the land of his birth and he will always find freedom and peace of mind here; not in another man’s country. Time constraints were imposing. And the interview was nearing its end. But he was determined to offer advice to upcoming musicians and young people in Guyana. “Just find your identity as a singer or a musician. When the whole world is going in one direction with music, having your unique style will make you stand out,” he says, adding that even if the music industry appears to be struggling, once good music is produced, people will subscribe and gravitate to it. In similar fashion to regional counterpart ‘Popcaan,’ who, in a recent interview expressed his desire to see more Jamaicans travel the world to acknowledge the bigger picture of life, Mystic says being Guyanese is what sets us apart from the world, and what sells us and our culture. “So I’d just want the youths to know that they should feel proud about being Guyanese and I want encourage them to find what they are good at and build on it. “Everybody different in their own way and somebody might be good at dancing while I might be good at singing, and we got to appreciate that and build on it. “And we would find that we would start appreciating people more and having more love for our fellow Guyanese. Cause that is the ideal vision, that is what we want see; everybody live as one people, in one nation, with one destiny.”


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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

PAINTING AND TROPICAL CULTURE (Part 2)

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By Terence Roberts

ecause light, sunlight (which assists growth in nature, and remains in the colours of the sky, flowers, leaves, water etc.) is a major element in planet earth's life, it became a central value within the work of leading modern painters in the early 20th century. Matisse spent a lot of his time in Nice on the French Riviera, Morocco, the South Seas, even Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. His canvasses shocked with their areas of blank unpainted space, their raw, direct, un-academic application of colour, shape, and line. His huge colorful “cut-out” collages did the same, and a tropical element reigned, as in his large abstract masterpiece collages Memories of Oceania. Raoul Dufy, born on the French Riviera, was the same. Dufy's amazing, swift, childish looking, but highly skilful paintings of beaches, ships, waves, birds, horses, people, flowers, musical instruments, nudes from the Caribbean and India as well, are definitely affected by warm tropical everyday sensations of pleasure on earth. It is not a touristic happiness provided by a travel agency's holiday in the sun, but the preservation of an earthly gift put on and paper and canvas for contemplation. Whereas meticulous realistic paintings and drawings with definite outlines, careful paint application,

etc, became more suited or successful as illustration or commercial advertisements, the full creative effect of tropical light on the other hand, included glare which erased areas of sight, revealing the nature of reality as an expanded synthesis of light, colour, shape, and movement in space. This was not what came to be known as Impressionism in painting, however. Miro, for example, from Barcelona and the sun struck Mediterranean island of Majorca, became the second outstanding hard-working modern Spanish painter after Picasso. He made his famous breakthrough (which elevated him from being a poor homeless refugee) painting in a white-washed foul coop which was his first humble home in Paris. They were a startling series of gouaches subtly connected to the ingenious non-Western rock art of North and South America called petroglyphs. Such art was left for centuries in the dusty stark hot wild terrain of the continents. But Miro's modern paintings are not copies of these petroglyphs; if they were they would have little new value derived from what the Native Indians had already done; rather the significance of these original indigenous signs of artistry referring to animals, planets, plants, hallucigenic visions, and the galaxy, became an influence on Miro's extended style of black lines bearing colourful indefinite shapes and spots like dust. The stark white backgrounds of most of Miro's

Terrence Roberts works preserve not only tropical brightness, but carry the unfinished evolving identity of his paintings into a productive contingency, which is the antithesis of pre-determined control. There is the famous story of a sensitive buyer who visited Miro's sun-filled Majorca studio, and, while they were drinking coffee, contemplated one large interesting spot of brown on bare white canvas which excited him in the overall painting; he asked Miro how he had found such a fascinating brown, and Miro said one morning he was drinking coffee looking down at the work when his hand shook, spilling coffee on his canvas, and he left it there because it was a perfect act of painting. The painting sold instantly for an enormous sum to the art lover. Leading examples of modern European painters, like Klee, Picasso, Dufy, Miro, with Mediterranean and tropical influences on their works, inspired emerging North American abstract painters to discover and cherish tropical cultural qualities within their own continent. The Americans did not have to look further than their vast continent, where certain States reflected their original Indigenous artefacts and customs. Pollock, Newman, Clifford Still, Rothko, Gottlieb, Pousette-Dart helped American abstract painting climb to world fame after World War 2, and were all influenced by the dust drawings, petroglyphs, buckskin designs, feathers, blankets, pottery, and cosmic ecological concepts of American indigenous culture, From Joan Miro’s Constellations

► Continued on page XV


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 â–ş From page XIV with its large dose of sun-struck fertility. Richard Diebenkorn created an entire unique oeuvre of stunning architectural abstract paintings with his California coast Ocean View works. De Kooning, a runaway from Holland to New York, never gave up the sensual fleshy influence of Rubens and Jordaens. His baroque brushstrokes are loaded with creative light picked up from naked flesh, mud, flowers, surf, sand, grass, all penetrated by sunlight. Helen Frankenthaler surged above most female abstract painters because of her ability to make paintings combining femininity with an inner light from the senses, where sensitive feeling becomes an outer landscape of flowing colours: pink, lilac, carmine, orange, blue, evoking corporeal stains, soap suds, garments, flow-

ers, even blood; her elongated blowing shapes are insubstantial like a whiff of perfume. It is a subtle balancing act where small intimate things are blown up and seep with tropical values from inside nature: seashells, the beach, ocean, clouds, mountains, the sky; in short, the elements find their influence as natural color and light. In Canada, a handful of important modernist painters emerged under the awareness that the very Northern frigid environment produced a desire for the opposite tropical warmth in art. Canadian cities began to be crowded with immigrants bringing hot influential cuisine and 'exotic' music from the East, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, etc. In Toronto, Jack Bush painted some of the most vibrant Canadian paintings ever, under influences which juxtaposed bright

and subdued colours in amazing clear rhythmic bands and spots, inspired by things as simple as a ripe strawberry, chopsticks, Indigenous totems, Swing jazz, etc. Gordon Rayner journeyed to the Amazon which inspired large abstract paintings bursting with lush tropical colors and shapes. But it was David Bolduc who in Toronto quietly became one of the most unique cosmopolitan Canadian/North American abstract painters. Bolduc's stunning enigmatic canvases are centered by ambiguous designs made by drawing with paint squeezed straight from the tube. These bright designs are surrounded by backgrounds of fairly monochromatic activity evoking the tropical jungle, buckskin, 'exotic' fabrics, even 'primitive' tribal body painting, etc. It is their shocking juxtaposition of opposites which

mesmerizes the viewer. Bolduc, whose serious ambition was to continue where Picasso, Matisse, Klee and Malevich left off, succeeded brilliantly, no doubt inspired also by his yearly sojourns in far off tropical places like Morocco, Casablanca, Spain, Portugal, Afghanistan, India, China, Central & South America. However, it is Canada's greatest and most renowned modern painter, Jean-Paul Riopelle, w h o f l e d p ro v i n c i a l

XV Quebec for New York then Paris at the beginning of the 1950s, and rose to become a legendary and flamboyant painter of super-human breath-taking accomplishment. Riopelle's paintings stand alone in bringing to staggering fulfilment the deep cosmic and fertile energy produced by natural light. He mastered the palette knife and trowel to produce a concentrated kaleidoscope of colour, line, and shape

rooted in the full spectrum of an Indigenous culture he was racially part of. It is his relationship to such a primal culture of the Americas which his painterly light associated with the tropics. But Riopelle never emphasized his indigenous blood much; obviously, since he wanted to be judged by his work, since painters are not good or famous because of their ethnicity or cultural ancestry, but on how good they paint.


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Tobacco control legislation could be in force by year-end

Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

CONSUMER

CONCERNS:

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n May 31, World No Tobacco Day was commemorated worldwide. The Guyana Consumers Association has been calling for many years now for the Tobacco Control Legislation and during the tenure of Dr Leslie Ramsammy, as Minister of Health, there was a great deal of activity in this direction. Dr Ramsammy is one of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable advocates of tobacco control in the Region and Consumerism throughout the Caribbean had enjoyed his support on the issue. Tobacco use is one of the greatest health afflictions of PAT DIAL modern life and in the Developed Countries, Governments and NGO's have been assiduously battling against it by the use of Legislation, Education and the Law Courts. Their efforts have been successful and to-day tobacco use in the Developed World has declined and continues to deâ–ş Continued on page XVII


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 â–ş From page XVI cline. The tobacco companies now find their profits in the Developed World are also declining and so are now focusing their main marketing activities in the Developing Countries. Four years ago, the United States Food and Drug Administration published a list of 93 harmful or potentially harmful chemicals found in the use of tobacco products and in tobacco smoke. These chemicals, when ingested or inhaled over time, cause serious diseases which are life-threatening and greatly impair health. Such diseases include heart diseases of many types; breathing and respiratory diseases including chronic airway obstruction; lung cancer and cancer of the mouth and lips and pharynx; leukaemia; kidney and unrinary organs; liver and stomach ailments. Smokers and other users of tobacco products do not realize they are being afflicted with such diseases since they develop gradually and when they do realize it, it is sometimes irreversible or too late. Ailments caused by tobacco use are not only distressing to individual sufferers but are also a social burden in that worker productivity is reduced and added costs are imposed on the health services. It is often these social burdens which stimulate many governments to act against tobacco use by legislation and other measures since they realize that what is gained by tobacco revenues is far outweighed by the social and financial costs caused by tobacco use. Most of the main Caribbean countries have now gotten modern tobacco legislation in place. For many years now, Guyana has had such legislation in draft but for one reason or another, such draft legislation was never passed into Law. It does seem that now at last, this legislation will be in the Statute Books by year-end. We understand that little or no changes have been made to the original draft which forbade smoking in enclosed places and public transport and public places; banning tobacco promotion and sponsorship; banning cigarette-selling to and by minors; and ensuring that cigarette packages carry clear warning pictures on 50% of their surface. It has also been recommended that taxes on tobacco products be increased. We understand that the Trinidad and Tobago legislation is stronger. There is also a CARICOM standard in force in several CARICOM states. This standard has a large number of warning photographs which cigarette packages must carry on 50% of their surface. In Guyana, we are about to adopt the standard as a mandatory national standard and it is hoped that this will be effectuated very soon.

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Since all cigarettes and tobacco products products sold locally are produced abroad in jurisdictions where graphic warnings on packages are already mandatory, the local distributors should have very light expenses in changing to boxes and packages with graphic warnings. Five or six years ago, DEMTOCO, the main local distributor, estimated that the change-over to packages with graphic warnings would have cost US $1.2m and would have negatively affected their profitability in any one year. Today, the situation is different, and DEMTOCO is prepared for all eventualities. About two years ago, the then Regional Director, Ms Cavil de Zavala, who presided at the Annual General Meeting of the Company, when asked by a shareholder how the Company would deal with these attacks on the Tobacco Industry and on the Company's profitability, replied that such attacks were world-wide and had been going on for some time but that the Tobacco Industry and her Company have developed ways of meeting all such challenges. Though the Guyana Consumers Association, as the major consumer advocate in the country, feels that the draft bill could be strengthened, the Association thinks it preferable that bill, after debate, should be passed into Law, rather than to risk further delay in the search for perfection.


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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

Do I extract or not?

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ecause a toothache patient is a scheduling problem for some dentists, a popular solution is to prescribe pain killers and an antibiotic to fight the suspected infection. However, this is not the correct approach for many reasons. The pain of an infected tooth is difficult to relieve even with a narcotic pain-killing drug. The antibiotic takes days to reach the infected tissue and will only delay proper treatment while allowing for a more serious infection that involves supporting bone.

Only a few minutes are required to anaesthetize, open, and drain an infected tooth. Once pulpal drainage has been established, pressure that creates extreme pain is immediately relieved, pain stops, and the infection drains and does not spread into supporting bone. If root canal therapy with a post and crown cannot be afforded, the best approach would be an extraction. The pain of a typical tooth infection is the result of pressure build-up of the gaseous and liquid by-products of the infection. Those by-products when forced through the apex or small opening at the tip of the root, and into the

supporting bone, cause an abscess. Sometimes, Mother Nature intervenes and quite slowly furnishes drainage. This done by establishing a fistulous tract, generally referred to by patients as a “gum boil”. It forms in response to an infection at the base of a tooth’s root. An equally tiny drain develops at the tooth’s root and passes through supporting bone of the tooth and soft gum tissue. The process takes time, Dr. BERTRAND but that is how our immune R. STUART, DDS. system provides drainage of an infected tooth. Once an infected tooth has been successfully treated by root canal, the fistulous tract will heal, closed by the body’s immune system. The infected tooth offers value, restoration by root canal, post, and crown provides permanence, function and cosmetics; taking everything into consideration this is the least costly solution. On the other hand, a lost tooth could result in far more expensive solutions. Failure to replace any viable permanent tooth within two months after it has been extraction will lead to dental migration. That is, the adjacent ones will slowly move to close or expand the vacant space left by the lost tooth. In addition, there could be extrusion into the space by the antagonist (the opposite one). In both cases, proper replacement by any means becomes impossible. For children mainly, a special apparatus called a space maintainer is placed to prevent the unfortunate situation from occurring. If adequate space to replace a lost tooth or perhaps various teeth is present there still would be problems. If the patient could afford an implant, he or she must have at least three hundred thousand Guyana dollars at hand. With proper osteo-integration (when the jaw bone unites closely with the metal root), etc., completion of an implant takes months. I do not believe in immediate loading implants because studies show they are deficient. A fixed prosthesis in the form of a crown and bridge involves the irreversible destruction of the two adjacent crowns just to replace the artificial tooth. Incidentally, in my opinion a Maryland bridge is less cruel and reversible. Here again this is an expensive venture. However, a removable denture (commonly called a plate), which is much cheaper, can be unacceptable to many. Finally, loss of teeth may result in the patient requiring corrective treatment in the form of orthodontics (braces). Treatment is very protracted and can cost around a million Guyana dollars. So, the fear and anxiety of having one or more extractions done should be within the consideration of the potential mutilation as well as the implications of proper correction.


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

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Why the SASOD Film Festival Is Important

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By Subraj Singh

he Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) and their annual Film Festival have become important societal emblems in the fight for LGBT rights. This year’s festival, subtitled “Painting the Spectrum 12”, runs until June 30th and is hosted at the Dutch Bottle Café. This particular festival has, in a sense, entered the consciousness of open-minded Guyanese and serves this year, as it has been doing for over a decade, to bring together that group of people who by their very presence at the festival serves as a reminder that not everyone in the country is blind to the blatant discrimination meted out to members of the

A section of the audience at the Opening Night of this year’s Film Festival Photo by Ulelli Verbeke, SASOD Guyana) LGBT community, and that there are those among us who can recognize the value of a LGBT-themed film festival. Firstly, the film festival, at its core, is an artistic presentation (film is art) that is open to the public and is free of charge. Art has always been at the forefront of many great revolutions. An example from local history would be the poetry of Martin Carter. The point of the comparison is to show that art is an important tool in times of social crises and it has the power to combat many ills in our society, including homophobia. Yes, homophobia is a major social ill that has no place in a contemporary society that wants to move forward with the rest of the sane world. Film, as a visual medium, offers the viewer a visceral way of experiencing the LGBT experience. For example, if a gay character in one of the films is physically attacked by homophobic characters then the audience witnesses that event in a way that is most often designed to ensure they feel the impact of what is being done. The actors have to express hate and pain, blood will be seen, the sound effects bring the “thuds” of punching and kicking to life, with the overall effect being one where the attack created is as real as possible so the audience can be lulled into that space where, for just a moment, they become unaware of the fact that what they are seeing is fiction. Such is the power of film. By offering audiences direct and realistic presentations of discrimination, the art of film can Chile’s Ambassador to Guyana, Claudio Rojas make people aware of the pain Rachel, on the Opening Night of the Festival suffered by the LGBT commuPhoto by Ulelli Verbeke, SASOD Guyana) nity in such attacks. In the same manner, moments showing the tenderness and emotions present in LGBT relationships (in the kiss of a pair of lesbians or the way gay men hold hands, for example), the films would be highlighting the core struggle of all LGBT people: simply wanting to be with the person they love, which, when presented onscreen with good actors and directors removes the idea of any possible threat that a skeptical audience might believe they need to expect from LGBT couples. Sometimes, as seen in the film, The Kids are All Right, which was a part of the festival a few years ago, movies can simply show an audience how LGBT people are not so different from heterosexual people at all. We all make mistakes, family is important to all of us, and we all love and want to be loved deeply. In short, by choosing film as a method with which to combat discrimination and sensitize the public about LGBT people, SASOD has really made a clever choice by choosing that artistic mechanism as one of the tools with which to achieve its goals.

Another important role of SASOD’s Film Festival is the way in which it serves as a meeting space for all sorts of people. The attendees of the festival form a spectrum themselves and people from all walks of life converge to see the films every year. With this multitude of personalities comes a range of ideas and opinions that sometimes contradict each other. However, this is a good thing, since one of the aims of the festival is to stimulate conversation and to foster a discussion among the audience members, which in turn serves to dispel myths about the LGBT community and clear up misconceptions people may have, while at the same time affording people who are outside of the community to glean better insight and a deeper understanding of the lives of LGBT people in the hopes of having this understanding lead to a mindset that is supportive of LGBT people. Discussions at the festival allow persons to bring their own experiences to the local conversation. Diplomats may compare the intolerance for LGBT people in Guyana to the way sexual minorities are treated in their own home countries. A transgender person may seek to explain why it is more difficult for him or her to secure employment as compared to other people in the LGBT spectrum who do not face the same difficulties. A young university student might bemoan the fact that Guyana is one of the few countries in the world to still criminalize homosexuality. There might even be one or two persons who seek to explain why they cannot support the LGBT “lifestyle.” Overall, the festival is really a catalyst for important discussions and is one of the few forums that are able to draw such a range of people every year. For LGBT people themselves, the festival matters because it is one of those rare places in Guyana where members of the community can get together without the fear of being attacked or chastised. There is a special sort of comfort that granted to LGBT people when they attend the SASOD Film Festival because it is a place where people, regardless of gender, are allowed to be themselves. It is a sanctuary that, for one month every year, allows members of the LGBT section of Guyanese society to come together and celebrate, if not anything else, the existence of a vibrant body of LGBT people in Guyana and all their supporters. Furthermore, because of this, the festival can be quite empowering to the LGBT members of it audience, not only because it offers them films where LGBT people are represented and, therefore, ensures that local LGBT people get to see presentations of people like themselves who often overcome barriers such as abuse and discrimination, but also because the environment is one where LGBT persons are allowed to feel accepted and are allowed to be, and to be a part of something important.

Co-Chairperson of SASOD, Joel Simpson, interacting with guests on Opening Night (Photo by Ulelli Verbeke, SASOD Guyana)


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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

US Naval Academy star

Czerda Frank

returns home

Midshipman, Czerda Frank

O

By Alva Solomon

As this publication had reported, Frank stunned the US Naval Academy and indeed the GDF when he n May 27, as patriotism levels sim- emerged winner of the 2013 NRA Free Pistol Individual mered among Guyanese, the Golden Championship, in the Intercollegiate Pistol ChampiArrowhead fluttered in the wind at onships at Fort Benning, Georgia, making way for the the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, academy to take the team title. Maryland and young midshipman Frank indeed put Guyana on the map once more and Czerda Frank had his own reasons to feel patriotic. indelibly etched his name in the annals of history, as Frank, who was on scholarship from the Guyana being one of the few young men of colour to have taken Defence Force (GDF) as an Officer Cadet, graduated the prestigious accolade. that day with a BSc in General Engineering from the Those Championships were held in March 2013. The prestigious military institution, a moment which he said following year, again he excelled in the sport, this time, he would cherish, given its timing. emerging top scorer for the Navy Pistol team at the NRA “My mother was getting all emotional when she Intercollegiate Pistol Sectionals held in Fort Benning in saw the flag (Golden Arrowhead) flying and for me I February that year. felt a sense of pride,” the Participating in the 21-year-old he said. Back Sectionals were four home in Guyana, there Colleges: The Citadel; was much chatter among The US Naval Acadehis friends and relatives my; College of Southern about the Golden Jubilee Maryland (CSM) and the celebrations and for young University Of Virginia Frank, at one point he (UVA). preferred being in Guyana Midshipman Frank to celebrate this country’s shot in three disciplines, 50th Independence anninamely: Standard Pistol; versary. Free Pistol and Air Pistol, “I actually wished I emerged with the followwas there than at my own ing scores: Standard: 554; graduation,” he told the Air 569 and Free Pistol Guyana Chronicle during 523. a recent interview. U n d o u b t e d l y, t h e At age 17, the former NRA’s challenge to “be Queen’s College student the best” in order to opted to become an Offi“stand amongst the best” cer Cadet in the GDF and Frank was also exposed to flight training as part must have resonated powhe was admitted to the of the naval academy's summer training program erfully in the mind and Standard Officer Cadet physique of the young Training Course #45 at the GDF Officer Cadet, who Ulric Pilgrim Training School at Base Camp Stephen- was determined to do just that. son, Timehri on the basis of academic qualifications and He told this publication that after settling in at the performance at the interview. academy, he received emails on various sports in which Frank left these shores in 2013 to further his studies he can participate. He said that he chose pistol shooting at the military academy, having stood out among schol- but unfortunately, he missed the trial deadlines. Luck arship applicants. Recounting his time at the naval acad- was on his side, however, and after he spoke to the team emy, he said that initially, the transitioning process was coach to somehow assist him in being a part of the team, challenging. He said the strict class times and the general a spot was eventually opened for him. settings coupled with sport and the military aspect of the He said he moved up the competitive table during programme were feats he overcame. the season and it was this movement which led to While the young man’s aim at the academy was to him excelling at the championship events. He served pursue academics, it was his knack for pistol shooting as President of the International Pistol Club and in which led to him excelling in the sport, while imprinting his name in the records at the academy. ► Contiuned on page XXII

At the range: Frank takes aim while competing in an NRA Intercollegiate Nationals match


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

XXI

Frank (front row , second left) poses with 14 other international students who also participated in studies there while he read for his degree.

Winners: Frank, centre , stands among other colleagues of the academy’s pistol team at NRA Intercollegiate Nationals


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US Naval Academy star

Czerda Frank ► From centre pages

his senior year, he was captain of the pistol team at the academy. Of the 1076 students on roster, he felt proud being one of 15 foreigners who performed well during his stay there. In the military aspect of his stay at Maryland, Frank was exposed to overseas stints in naval environments where he gained first-hand experience on the practical aspect of naval life. He travelled to Spain, Bulgaria and

Greece where he was able to gain much experience on naval ships in those countries. Of course there is no place like home and being in Guyana at Christmas was a “must-happen” event while he read for his degree, and as he deemed the occasion, “Christmas is the best thing in Guyana”. Back home after completing his studies, Frank is awaiting his moment to be commissioned into the GDF, a transition which he is looking forward to, though nervous but excited. To this end he said that

Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 he will be entering the realities of military life here and his “hope is to be able to do much good “as he can, while effecting positive contributions at the same time. Frank’s moments of glory could not be celebrated by him alone. He has always received support from his mother, Mrs Dionne Frank, the Head of Department of Sociology at the University of Guyana and his father, senior air traffic controller at the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Courtney Frank. His parents and his two siblings, Chelsea and Curtly, were always connected to him, literally. The Franks created a WhatsApp group chat, citing communication as being vital since the young man’s siblings are also pursuing academic studies in other parts of the world; being in touch is important in the closely-knitted family. On graduation day on May 27, they were all in attendance and in one emotional social media post, the young man’s mother noted the significance of the Golden Arrowhead fluttering among others at the academy, a symbol of an achievement attained by both her son and the country.

All in the family: Czerda’s family members were always by his side , even at his graduation. At left is his father , Courtney, while his mother Dionne Frank stands third from left


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

Mulching and gardening We previously looked at three simple steps in establishing a home garden. Mulching is an important practice that home gardeners/ farmers can use to their benefits.

WHAT IS MULCHING? Mulching is a simple and advantageous gardening practice used to enrich soils. It is used to retain soil moisture, protect plant roots from extremes in temperature, reduce weed growth, and protect the soil from erosion by wind and water. Simply put, mulch is a layer of either organic or inorganic materials (at least 5 to 7cm thick) placed on top of the soil. Organic materials that can be used for mulching include plant residues such as straw, leaves and dried grass; peat, wood in the form of sawdust, wood chips, wood bark and shavings; and animal manure. Organic mulch should be placed around plants and trees, taking care not to let it â–şContinued on page XXV

Dried grass mulch used during a ginger trial at NAREI


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 â—„ From page XXIV touch the stem as this can cause rot. These are generally applied after the crop is well established. The decomposition of organic materials adds nutrients to the soil for plant uptake. Plastic is the most common inorganic material used for mulching. If available, biodegradable materials are preferred. Plastic mulches should be applied before the crop is planted and removed at the end of the growing season. The plastic edges must be covered with soil to prevent the plastic from blowing away. Once the plastic has been laid, holes are then made where the seeds are to be planted in soil. This could also be done for transplants. An added feature of using plastic mulch is that it could be combined with drip irrigation. If the systems are available, this could be combined with drip irrigation. If the systems are available this could also include the injection of fertilizer. ADVANTAGES OF MULCHING There are many advantages to be garnered from mulching: Weed control: Mulches generally help to control weeds. However, some weeds and grasses usually grow through most organic mulches. Even with the use of clear plastic some amount of weed growth occurs due to light penetration. Nonetheless, black plastic prevents light penetration and as such is better for controlling weed growth. Moisture Retention: Mulch greatly delays the loss of moisture from the soil. As a result, a more uniform soil moisture regime is maintained and irrigation frequency may be reduced. Irrigation is still needed for mulched crops so that the soil under the mulch does not dry out excessively. A combination of drip irrigation with mulching is therefore recommended. Reduction of fertilizer leaching: Under mulching, there is a reduction in fertilizer losses due to leaching. Fertilizers are used more efficiently and the potential exists for reduced fertilizer inputs. However, this effect can be negated by over-watering or flooding. Improving soil structure: The mulch acts as a barrier to the pounding action of rainfall. Thus, soil compaction and crusting are prevented. The soil therefore remains loose with good aeration for root growth and development. Disease control: Mulches help to keep the fruit from coming into contact with the soil where diseases are located. For vine crops, the mulch serves as a protective barrier between the soil and fruit to reduce rot and keep the fruit cleaner. Mulches also reduce rain-splashed deposits of soil and disease organisms for other crops such as tomatoes and Boulanger. DISADVANTAGES OF MULCHING There are some disadvantages of mulching which should be highlighted. There is the need for the purchase or construction of specialized equipment for laying the plastic and planting through the mulch. Further, the added expense of purchasing the mulch increases production costs and discourages its use. An additional disadvantage with the use of mulches is removal and disposal. Since most mulches are not degradable they must be removed from the field after the cropping season.

Plastic mulch being used at a pepper farm in Laluni

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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

Dubai says opens world's first functioning 3D-printed office (Reuters) Dubai has opened what it said was the world's first functioning 3D-printed office building, part of a drive by the Gulf's main tourism and business hub to develop technology that cuts costs and saves time.

The printers - used industrially and also on a smaller scale to make digitally designed, three-dimensional objects from plastic - have not been used much for building. This one used a special mixture of cement, a Dubai

government statement said, and reliability tests were done in Britain and China. The one-storey prototype building, with floorspace of about 250 square meters (2,700 square feet), used a 20-

foot (6-metre)by 120-foot by 40-foot printer, the government said. "This is the first 3D-printed building in the world, and it's not just a building, it has fully functional offices and staff," the United Arab

Emirates Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Mohamed Al Gergawi, said. "We believe this is just the beginning. The world will change," he said. The arc-shaped office, built in 17 days and costing

about $140,000, will be the temporary headquarters of Dubai Future Foundation - the company behind the project - is in the center of the city, near the Dubai International Financial Center.


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

XXVII

Matthew’s Ridge’s

Nikita Innis among few female aircraft technicians

Nikita Innis

F

By Akola Thompson

opportunity to work around planes. She would later acquire her License withrom humble beginnings in the out type rating, Airframe and Power plant community of Matthew’s Ridge, (A & C License Issued by the Guyana Civil Barima Waini, Region one, 26 Aviation Authority), an accomplishment that year old Nikita Inniss has bested Nikita is up to this day, very proud of. the odds set out against her and Now living in Diamond on the East Bank has become one of the very few female air- Demerara, Nikita has been working as a techcraft technicians in the country. nician at the local airline, Air Service Limited, Childhood, said Nikita, was basically “fun from the age of 22. filled days” as she was a very active child Despite working in a male dominated proand took part in every activity she could such fession, Nikita insists that while she knows as schools and church concerts along with many women have had bad experiences with school sports, as she was an athlete. Games male chauvinism, she has been lucky to essuch as cricket, circle tennis, war-break and cape that. “If it were to occur I would choose hopscotch are all games, which bring back to let my work and my abilities transcend any find memories of playing with her brother attempt to lower my self-esteem however,” and friends. she said. Teenage years saw her becoming an active Despite her love for her job however, dancer and camper. She attended the National Nikita said that like many, she has faced School of Dance for many chala year and then conlenges but tinued at the Mysshe has never tique Dance Group allowed the for three years. challenges to Camping, she said, get the best was mainly through of her. “I use a group she was a the challengpart of, the President es to get the Youth Award of Guybest of me, I ana (PYARG). use them as a Nikita said that motivation.” as a child, she always C o m envisioned herself as menting upon either being a future the level of doctor, teacher or pie n c o u r a g elot as those were the ment girls in most potent needs in technical arher community and eas receive, she felt the desire to Nikita opined give back to a space Nikita Innis at work that there is which has made her definitely into a respectable, something contented woman of integrity. being done to encourage girls into areas such She said that while her childhood dreams as engineering. “When I attended the engiof being a doctor or pilot were not realized, neering school there weren’t many girls, in she believes she has somewhat partially ful- fact, I was the only female in my batch, but filled her dream as without maintenance “we there were a few in the other batches.” wouldn’t be able to get goods and services to Currently, there are more than 14 remote areas.” girls attending the engineering school, Despite her plans and best intentions something that Nikita holds as “a major however, fate took Nikita in another direction improvement.” as she was given the opportunity by a combiCompared to ten or five years ago, said nation of people to study engineering and she Nikita, the progress of gender equality has decided to “take the leap of faith and join the certainly quickened its pace as more and more aeronautical engineering school.” women are being employed in areas that were “Engineering was nowhere on my list,” and in many ways still are considered to be she admitted as her mind was focused on the “male jobs,” such as engineering, construcpilot school, “ I went in for information on tion and masonry. “Many more women are the engineering school after my aunt’s urging, holding managerial positions in major compawhile there the principal persuaded me to nies and there has been much more emphasis take an aptitude test. A week later I got a call on female empowerment, which according to saying I passed and that I could bring in my surveys, has resulted in much more women necessary credentials.” being qualified and employed than men.” While she was proud of her accomplishTo young women out there, said Nikita, ment, it was on her father’s urging that Nikita “the sky is the limit- our greatest weakness decided that she should study engineering, lies in giving up. The most certain way to as while it was not flying, she would get the succeed is always try just one more time.”


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Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

40 years as an educator…

Vera Sampson-Naughton urges teachers to love what they do

“In my time, I ensured that I had a relationship with the parent. I visited homes. I called in parents. So you develop that kind of relationship. I don’t know what’s happening now in the schools. I am not sure that some of the teachers really and truly want to be teachers.”

A

By Telesha Ramnarine t a time when it was difficult for children to get a secondary education, having to pay a hefty $30 per term, Vera Lynette Sampson-Naughton was fortunate enough to win herself a scholarship for two years, and then her caring mother took care of the fees for the rest of the years. For this and other reasons, Ms. Naughton took her education seriously and as a result spent nearly 40

years in Guyana’s education system. She started at St. Stephen’s Primary and completed her secondary education at Chatham’s High which later became Alleyne’s High on Regent Street. Sacrifices had to be made for Ms. Naughton to write her subjects at the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Examinations. It was already a struggle for the family to pay the fees, and when ► Contiuned on page XXIX


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 ► From page XXVIII it came time for the exams, her mother, Clarice (now deceased), had to pawn two gold bracelets to get enough money. “My brother worked as a seaman on a ship that took bauxite to Canada and whatever money he gave to my mother, she ensured that my school fees were paid. In those days, $30 was a lot of money and if you didn’t pay the fees, you had to go home. The principal would read out the names of students who didn’t pay in front of the entire class. I am quite fortunate to say that mom ensured that from whatever she got, my fees were paid.” Ms. Naughton will forever be grateful to her mom whose first husband died and left her with three children, and whose second husband (Ms. Naughton’s dad) also died and left her with the children. “She did a very good job at being mother and father. She gave whatever she could afford to give. She ensured we had our three square meals. But she was a disciplinarian.” ACADEMIC BACKGROUND After completing her secondary education, Ms. Naughton returned to teach at the same St. Stephen’s Primary School that she had earlier attended before being transferred to St. Mary’s Roman Catholic School. Before long, she attended Teacher’s Training College. “I was always aiming for higher heights. It wasn’t good enough to just be working as an ordinary teacher.” Not yet satisfied, Ms. Naughton attended the Government Technical Institute where she did a course in what is now a Diploma in Commerce. “They called it a Certificate in Business Studies and I was able to pass with a credit.” She then pressed on to the Critchlow Labour College where she did a one year Industrial Relations and Social Studies Programme. “There, I was the runner up for the best student and I was able to get the Jackson Cup.” Further, she went to the University of Guyana and was able to obtain the Bachelors of Education. “I majored in administration. My goal was to get the Doctorate but I gave way for education for my son.” From a very young age, Ms. Naughton felt that education was important in life. “I always felt education was the key. I realized very early that if you had education and tried to climb the ladder, you would succeed and would earn respect from others. For me, respect is not demanded.” A GOOD TEACHER Growing up, Ms. Naughton always wanted to become a teacher. “I have no regrets starting to teach. I have graduated from teaching children to teaching adults and have now moved away from classroom teaching.” In 1977, she was asked to go into the Ministry of Education to do what is now called the Work Study Programme. She then worked as the Regional Education Officer in Region

Three and retired as Senior education officer at Ministry of Education responsible for work study. Currently, she is the Director/Coordinator of the modernization programme at the Public Service Cooperative Credit Union and is also responsible for training staff and members of the union. She also sits on the boards of GTI and Guyana Industrial Training Center (GITC), and is the Education Officer of the Public Service Union. Recently, she has been appointed the trustee of Eye Care Guyana. Ms. Naughton also does part time work with the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDC), an arm of UG. Explaining why she never left the education system, Ms. Naughton explained: “For some people, it’s just for the remuneration. For me, it’s the satisfaction of those little minds absorbing what you teach them.” But she cannot understand what is happening in the education system today. “In my time, I ensured that I had a relationship with the parent. I visited homes. I called in parents. So you develop that kind of relationship. I don’t know what’s

XXIX happening now in the schools. I am not sure that some of the teachers really and truly want to be teachers.” Ms. Naughton is a strong advocate for corporal punishment in schools. “I got lashes, I am not dead. Once you don’t flog a child to harm that child, it is alright for me. I wasn’t doing this to harm them. I was doing it to help them be disciplined and make a contribution to society. I only wanted the best for my students because I loved them. If the child didn’t learn, the teacher didn’t teach. That’s my philosophy. So even if I had to buy sweets, biscuits, as encouragement, I flogged for indiscipline, rudeness, for being an upstart. I couldn’t handle that.” Ms. Naughton said it is necessary for teachers to know their students. “Get to know the child. You need to find the time for this if you really want to make an impression on them. And you don’t talk evil things of the teacher in the presence of the child,” she advises. Ms. Naughton’s son is Sherwyn, a foreign services officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and her two cherished granddaughters are Azaria and Samara.


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Protect Earth, Restore Land, Engage People”

T

he United Nations General Assembly in 1994 (General Assembly Resolution A/ RES/49/115), declared June 17 as the "World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought" to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification. Ever since the declaration referred to above, Country Parties to the Convention, including Guyana, have been observing June 17 as a day of great significance with dissemination of important messages to mark the occasion. The World Day to Combat Desertification is a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation at all levels. Guyana ratified the UNCCD on September 24, 1997 and in 2006, developed a National Action Plan (NAP) which provided a “guiding framework for all actions to promote Sustainable Land Management and Combat Land Degradation”. Guyana, in March 2016, with financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implementation assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), successfully prepared an Aligned Nation Action Plan to the UNCCD Ten- Year Strategy (2008-2018). The overarching goal of the Aligned NAP is to facilitate strengthening and mainstreaming of land degradation issues into national policy and planning, as well as, be useful in accessing funds/ budgetary support for priority actions and future projects identified within the document” To date, Guyana has met all its obligations under UNCCD In the Message from the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Monique Barbut, of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Slogan adopted this year by the Convention is: “Protect Earth, Restore Land, Engage People” This slogan essentially calls for solidarity among Country Parties to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). “There is

no greater issue than land in the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals that touches everyone. From the food we eat to the clothes we wear and the houses in which we live,-all stem from land resources. In order to leave no one behind, as proclaimed in the new Sustainable Development Goals, achieving Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN), needs to be in the forefront to meet our requirements and develop sustainability.” It is important to note that, “Land Degradation is the reduction or loss of land productivity and quality”. The causes of land degradation are: • • • • • •

Improper Farming Practices. Population Pressure. Improper Mining Practices Salt Water Intrusion. Natural Occurrences (e.g. Heavy Rainfall, Wild Fires and Drought). Deforestation.

The impacts of Land Degradation are Severe! “When land is degraded, livelihoods, habitats, population health, and biodiversity are threatened” To ameliorate these impacts, it is important to adopt a Land Degradation Neutrality Programme Essentially, Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) focuses on two components, namely 1. Sustainable Land Management, and 2. Restoration of Degraded Lands. According to World Business Council for Sustainable Development in the article: Land Degradation Neutrality-A Business Perspective, “Land that is managed sustainably is an important asset for economic growth and social prosperity. However, with one-fourth of the world’s usable land being degraded, resulting in an economic loss of around US$40 billion every year, land degradation is a major challenge facing the ► Contiuned on page XXXI


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016 ► From page XXX world today� Guyana, in its efforts to actively pursue Land

Degradation Neutrality, has indicated its willingness to participate in

the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Programme organized by the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Conven-

tion to Combat Desertification. Guyana is also due to be represented at a Workshop to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which will focus on LDN Target Setting , as a major step in pursuing the LDN Initiative Once the LDN targets are set, which will be on a voluntary basis, Guyana will be well on

XXXI its way to pursuing the principles of sustainable land management and land restoration. The Programme which will be designed for achievement of the Targets will have to be efficiently and effectively implemented and carefully monitored On this the World

Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD), we wish to call on all land users to adopt the principles of Land Degradation Neutrality and thus contribute to the achievement of Target 15.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. (Contributed by Ministry of the Presidency)


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U.S. prison inmate can sue over removal of marbles from penis (Reuters) A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a lawsuit in which a West Virginia inmate accused state prison officials of invading his privacy by surgically removing marbles he had implanted in his penis. By a 3-0 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Adrian King could pursue claims that officials at Huttonsville Correctional Center illegally threatened him into consenting to the June 2013 surgery, or risk being segregated from other inmates and lose his eligibility for parole. Circuit Judge Roger Gregory found "overwhelming evidence" that the intrusion was unreasonable, despite the asserted need by prison officials to police the security threat posed by inmates carrying contraband within their bodies. "The interest in bodily integrity involves the most personal and deep-rooted expectations of privacy, and here, the nature of the surgery itself, surgery into King's penis, counsels against reasonableness," Gregory wrote for the Richmond, Virginia-based appeals court. King had the marbles implanted in and tattoos drawn on his penis in late 2008, prior to his incarceration, during a "body modification" craze. He said the surgery left his penis with tingling and numbness, and pain when it is touched or when it rains, snows or gets cold. King said the surgery also resulted in mental and emotional anguish, saying that prison officials call him "Marble Man" and ask when searching him where his marbles are, and that gay inmates approach him because of how staff gossip about him. Tuesday's decision restores claims that King's Fourth Amendment right against illegal searches and seizures, Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment, and 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection, were violated. It reversed much of a February 2015 ruling by Chief Judge Gina Groh of the federal court in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and returned the case to her for further proceedings. King is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Lawyers for the prison officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for King did not immediately respond to similar requests. The appeals court upheld the dismissal of claims against some defendants, including Commissioner Jim Rubenstein of the West Virginia Division of Corrections. The case is King v Rubinstein et al, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 15-6382.


Chronicle Pepperpot June 12, 2016

In mapping eclipses, world's first computer maybe also told fortunes (Reuters) A 2,000-year-old astronomical calculator used by ancient Greeks to chart the movement of the sun, moon and planets may also have had another purpose - fortune telling, say researchers. Heralded as the world's first computer, the Antikythera Mechanism is a system of intricate bronze gears dating to around 60 BC, used by ancient Greeks to track solar and lunar eclipses. It was retrieved from a shipwreck discovered off the Greek island of Antikythera in 1901. While researchers had previously focused on its internal mechanisms, a decades-long study is now attempting to decode minute inscriptions on the remaining fragments of its outer surfaces. "It confirms that the mechanism displayed planets as well as showing the position of the sun and the moon in the sky," said Mike Edmunds, an astrophysics professor from the University of Cardiff in Wales who is part of the research project team. But in creating heaven's mirror, its ancient engineers may have also given in to a less scientific urge - man's perpetual curiosity about what the future holds. Edmunds, who has worked on the project for about 12 years, said decoding of the inscriptions also threw up an interesting nugget - the color of a forthcoming eclipse. "We are not quite sure how to interpret this, to be fair, but it could hark back to suggestions that the color of an eclipse was some sort of omen or signal. Certain colors might be better for what's coming than other colors," he told a presentation in Athens. "If that is so, and we are interpreting that correctly, this is the first instance we have in the mechanism of any real mention of astrology rather than astronomy," he said. Nonetheless, the overriding objective of the mechanism was astronomical and not astrological, he said. "The texts were meant to help the viewer to understand what was the meaning of all the different points and dials, what it would teach them about the cosmos that they lived in ... and about how, through cycles of time this related to their lives," said Alexander Jones, a history professor at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York. NOT UNIQUE Researchers say the device was probably made on the island of Rhodes and do not think it was unique. It's only unique in the sense that it is the only one ever found. Slight variations in the inscriptions point to at least two people being involved in that, and there could have been more people making its gears. "You get the idea that this perhaps came from a small workshop rather than one individual," said Edmunds. More than a dozen pieces of classical literature, stretched over a period from about 300 BC to 500 AD, make references to devices such as that found at Antikythera, he said. The calculator could add, multiply, divide and subtract. It was also able to align the number of lunar months with years and display where the sun and the moon were in the zodiac. It did contain certain imperfections, but yielded a clear snapshot of the astronomical knowledge at the time, said Jones. "If you looked in the sky you would still see the body that the mechanism was showing, roughly, in the place of the mechanism, but it would not be very exact." But it is unclear what happened for that technology to have been lost. Its mechanical complexity would be unrivalled for at least another 1,000 years until the appearance of medieval clocks in European cathedrals.

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No need to be overly critical: Bombay high court to censors on 'Udta Punjab' row (Times of India) Taking a line that many filmmakers pushed in the past, the Bombay high court pointed out to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) that it was a body that was meant to certify films and not censor them. The court made the observation at a hearing on cuts the CBFC, widely referred to as 'censor board', was attempting to impose on the film 'Udta Punjab'. The court will pass orders on the case on

June 13, four days before the film's scheduled release. 'Udta Punjab' is a film about the rampant drug problem in Punjab. It stars Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh, and is directed by Abhishek Chaubey. The court also took a shot at the censor board's attempt to sanitize films. "In this age, only those movies having a strong content and script line do well and just using expletives will not work for the movie, and hence the CBFC need not be overly critical," the Bombay high court observed on Friday. The court directly addressed the row over the blacking out of all references to Punjab in the film. It defended the right of filmmakers to take critical lines, not just against places but also persons. "From every dialogue and scene of the film if reference to Punjab will have to be deleted then the crux of the film will be lost. If the idea of the maker is to be critical of a place or person then that place or person will have to be shown," said a division bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi, adding that directness sometimes helps open eyes. The judges also said the film was not "made with a view to malign the state or its people". The court also pressed the CBFC to ban the whole film if it glorified the use of drugs, instead of taking the essence out of the film through censorious cuts. The court also effectively blocked the CBFC's attempts to snip expletives from the final version of the movie. "Today's generation is very direct open and more mature. No film runs because of the use of cuss words... Let the public decide whether they want to see the movie or not. Use of expletives will not take the movie anywhere. Today's generation is not going to be impressed with all this," the judges said. The filmmakers however have told the court that they would are willing to cut a scene which shows Shahid Kapoor, one of the stars of the film, urinating on a stage in front of a crowd. They also said they were ready to carry disclaimers along with scenes that featured expletives in the dialogue, saying they didn't support the use of cuss words. The row over 'Udta Punjab' escalated after the CBFC asked for a number of cuts in the film. The movie's co-producer, Anurag Kashyap, had hit back and found support from a A-list crowd. In a press conference on Wednesday, they had called for the sacking of CBFC chief Pahalaj Nihalani.

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Priyanka Chopra furious over church’s refusal to bury her grandmother (Indian Express) Priyanka Chopra’s granny’s last wish remained unfulfilled as the Church, where she was baptised, did not allow her burial and the actress terms it to be “awful.” “The act of church was awful. But we should not concentrate on it. Rather we should look that we lost a family member,” said Priyanka Chopra, speaking to ANI in Patna. The authorities at the Kumarakom Parish in Kerala refused to let the burial of Mary John Akhouri take place as she was married to a Hindu. Sponsored: Avail attractive trading plans online at Sharekhan Hence the 33-year-old actress’ grandmother had to be buried in an unkept graveyard in Kerala on Sunday.


Ed Sheeran faces $20 million copyright lawsuit over

'Photograph'

(Reuters) Two California-based musicians are suing British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran for $20 million over his hit song "Photograph," which they claim bears a similar structure to one of their songs, according to court documents filed on Wednesday. The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed by Martin Harrington, a songwriter and producer, and Thomas Leonard, a songwriter signed to Harrington's company HaloSongs, in federal court in the Central District of California. The two musicians allege Sheeran's ballad "Photograph," released as a single in 2015, has the same musical composition to their song "Amazing," which they said they wrote in 2009. Other named defendants include Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid, credited as a co-writer of "Photograph," as well as units of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Warner Music Group and its subsidiary, Atlantic Recording Corporation. Representatives for Sheeran, McDaid, Sony Music, Warner Music and Atlantic did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment on Wednesday. Harrington and Leonard are seeking a jury trial and damages in excess of $20 million, as well as royalties from the song. In documents that include musical note comparison and

chord breakdowns of the two songs, Harrington and Leonard claim the chorus of Sheeran's "Photograph" shares 39 identical notes with "Amazing," saying the similarities are "instantly recognizable to the ordinary observer." The documents say that "Photograph" has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide, and most recently was featured prominently in romantic drama movie "Me Before You," released last week, as well as trailers for the film. Grammy-winning Sheeran, 25, has become one of UK's top-selling artists in the past two years, and has written and co-written tracks for artists such as One Ed Sheeran accepts the award for Song of the Year for ''Thinking Out Loud'' at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Direction, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. "Photograph" was the fifth single from Sheeran's Angeles, California February 15, 2016 breakout 2014 album "x" (pronounced 'multiply'). The lawsuit says Sheeran had called the song "the one that will on YouTube, while Sheeran's music video for "Photograph" has 208 million YouTube views. change (his), kind of, career path." The lawsuit against Sheeran comes after the family Harrington and Leonard's song "Amazing" was adapted of late soul singer Marvin Gaye successfully sued R&B into a single of the same name for British singer Matt Cardle, recording artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams the 2010 winner of the UK's "The X Factor" reality singing for copyright infringement last year over their hit single competition. "Blurred Lines," winning a $7.4 million judgment. Cardle's "Amazing" to date has just over 1 million views

Richard Gere speaks out for the homeless as he presents his latest film 'Time Out of Mind' in Rome Actor Richard Gere spoke out about the plight of the homeless at a news conference in Rome before a screening of his new film, "Time out of Mind," in which the actor disguises himself as a homeless man and is almost unrecognizable. "The thing that heals people is not money and it is not governments. It is people heal people. It is people who care about each other and look each other in the eye, you want to hear their story and people who want to hear your story. And these human connections is what heals us , certainly emotionally, psychologically but even physically that's the beginning of healing us in all ways, " Gere said at a screening held at a Christian charity and peace group. While part of the film is about his attempts to reconcile with an estranged daughter, much of the story is simply uninterrupted takes of Gere begging for change, scrounging for food or struggling to navigate the bureaucracy for something as common as an identity document.

'Independence Day: Resurgence' not a sequel, says director The aliens may be back but film director Roland Emmerich says his new movie "Independence Day: Resurgence" is too different from the 1996 blockbuster sci-fi adventure to be considered a sequel. Emmerich directed the original "Independence Day", whose cast members Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Judd Hirsch return in this movie alongside new additions such as Liam Hemsworth. "It is now 20 years later since the world has been rebuilt and it has tried to get prepared for a new attack; there is a new generation however, many of the old guard are back as well," Emmerich told reporters about the film in Berlin on Thursday. "It is rather a continuation than a sequel because sequels you do after two or three years, and often it is not that different. I think this film is very different from the first." "Independence Day: Resurgence" hits cinemas worldwide from June 22.

U.S. actor Richard Gere (C) arrives to attend a news conference to present his movie "Time Out of Mind" in the soup kitchen run by the Sant'Egidio Christian community in Rome, Italy June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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