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Kaieteur News

Monday April 01, 2013

GEA staffers blame top-level corruption for fuel smuggling surge Staffers of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) yesterday stepped up their accusations against top level officials who they claim are aiding and abetting fuel smugglers. “The administration is not advocating for policies that would clamp down on smugglers,” one staffer told Kaieteur News. Continuing with allegations that they voiced on Saturday, some staffers alleged that field officers are restricted to certain areas in their investigations and are told by seniors who and where they must search. They claim that they are not given the go-ahead to penetrate certain known smugglers and in other cases, charges are not brought against perpetrators. Workers alleged that when the names of major companies are called, especially government affiliated firms or persons, “no permission is given to infiltrate these cases.”

Workers cited various connections between named agency officials and state officials deeming it a conflict of interest. “When you have a (named) worker with an agency such as this, whose (named) boyfriend is involved in logging and you have top officials with businesses in sectors that require fuel, it is not hard to wonder why real action is not being taken to fight the issue,” a senior field officer suggested. Staffers argued that the named officer acted as field operations coordinator for some time, but was never subjected to a polygraph test, although the section was pegged for testing. An official in the fuel marking area was also bypassed, in addition to an analyst although, “these are crucial areas that must be looked at if corruption is to be tackled.” An officer reported that, last year “We went to the East Coast and a smuggler asked ‘wha yall doing here. I pay off

yall boss last night.’” “Whether it is true or not, these people must be tested to maintain the integrity of their positions and the firm,” the officer said. Kaieteur News was further told that attempts are also being made to frustrate staffers into functioning inefficiently. “When people applied for the position of Analytical Inspector at the GEA, they were enticed by the salary that was paid back in 2004, but little did they know that that would have been their permanent income over the next several years.” Staffers said that after the passing of the previous CEO Joseph O’Lall, the situation has not been the same. “He was a man of action. He would pick up a team and do surveillance and even visit sites randomly but he was dismissed for reasons still unknown.” “The post of Analytical Inspector sounds fancy but young and unsuspecting

persons are confronted again and again by hostile fuel smugglers. There were times that some were hospitalized after being stung by dozens of Africanized bees. Men armed with cutlasses and some with guns were a regular sight for the Inspectors, some were

17:00 pm work time; but inspectors are forced to include weekends and Holidays when applying for annual leave, while officials have instructed that Inspectors complete ten hours of work before they become eligible to claim meal allowance of $750.”

“When you have a worker whose boyfriend is involved in logging and you have top officials with businesses in sectors that require fuel, it is not hard to wonder why no real action is being taken to fight the issue…” - GEA field officer even harassed in remote areas with no contact with the outside world. “Day by day, Inspectors are being put at risk without an allowance other than the $4M life insurance policy if one were to die while on duty. The employment contracts stipulate a Monday to Friday from 08:00 am to

Since the disappearance of former Field Operation Coordinator Levoy Taljit, who went missing December last, staffers say, “Inspectors are under the supervision of (individual identified) who, based on instructions from (name given), steers the Inspectors to work in particular geographical areas, restricting work only in

Berbice, East Coast, East Bank, West Bank, West Coast and Essequibo Island.” The Inspectors said they visit and take samples of legal sites/locations only and it has now gotten to the stage where business entities and residences storing fuel are feeling pestered by having the GEA officials visit each day. The GEA Linden base was burnt during the recent protest, so staffers are placed under a tent with no form of security for themselves or the machine used to test the fuel. “If they truly wanted to fight the illegal fuel trade they would fight for legislations to be put in place to tackle the issue, but it’s like they putting policies in place to make sure that their smuggling friends get a free reign. In the meantime they polygraph us small staff, but they must show us the results when we fail the test and we will show them where the corruption is.”

Monday April 01, 2013

Kaieteur News

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Letters... Where your views make the news... Letters... Where your views make the news

Those holding political office should not abuse the system for personal gains DEAR EDITOR, It is most unfortunate for Guyanese to know that the regime has been stained not only by corruption at every level of governance that has gone unchecked for more than a decade but also drug trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking, police killings and brutality, rogue cops, human rights abuses of every kind and lack of transparency in public procurement. These are but a few of the ills that continue to plague our green land of Guyana and the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal has done very little so far to curb them. In fact, I contend that the granting of radio, TV and cable licenses by Jagdeo during his last weeks in office to his friends, relatives and his political party has made it fertile for most if not all of these ills to continue to progress. Despite Mr. Ramotar’s posturing at Babu John and elsewhere, his regime has not charged a single official for

corruption or any wrongdoing for that matter. It is true that instead of firing those who were caught in corrupt practices (two senior officials at NCN), the regime has embarked on a mission to deceive the public by dismissing those who report the corrupt practice. This bizarre approach shows that the cabal has lost its ability to think and function rationally and logically because of mental degeneration. What is even more unfortunate is the fact that some in the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal regard holding political office as an opportunity to enrich themselves, their family, friends and the corporate donors to whom they are beholden. These political hacks have not only continued to abuse the system for personal gains but they have also deluded themselves that by giving their service to their country for which they are being well paid that they are

entitled to unlimited privileges. As such, they do not see anything wrong with placing their family and friends in advantageous positions for the highest paid jobs and for receiving lucrative contracts from the government. They do not see anything wrong to use the taxpayers’ money to benefit themselves, relatives and friends or to spend it to build the Marriott Hotel without the people’s approval. They do not see anything wrong with the fact that corruption is widespread in all levels of government from top to bottom. They do not see anything wrong that 95 percent of all heads of government agencies/ corporations are staffed by one ethnic group. They do not see anything wrong with giving seniors a meager pension of $10,000 (now $12,500) per month while paying the former president the huge sum of $3 million per month.

The present PPP is in a worse position than the 1985-1992 PNC DEAR EDITOR, By the mid 1980’s the efficient rigging machinery of the PNC, in its totality, had virtually disintegrated. Many of the functionaries had either migrated, died or had become so disillusioned with the sad outcome of the failed Burnham/PNC promises that they largely walked away from the PNC. Of course the Great Kabaka had died an inglorious death in his own death trap, The Public Hospital Georgetown. And by this time the International Community, especially the American Administration of President Bush, was also calling for Certifiable Free and Fair Elections in Guyana. Due to the clamour of Guyanese voices, both at home and in the diaspora, Hoyte was forced to accede to the demands of the opposition for “Electoral Reforms” and International Observers were accredited. During the October 1992 General and Regional Elections, the remaining scattered remnants of the formidable PNC rigging machinery tried desperately to practice some known shenanigans. They huffed and puffed but thanks to Elections Commissioner Rudy Collins and the Carter Center, headed by President Carter, the results prevailed and Cheddi Jagan became President. Upon coming to power, Cheddi Jagan said that the PPP/C won with just over 200 party groups and several party structures

functioning around the country. In addition, by and large, Guyanese were tired of the machinations of the PNC and genuinely wanted change. Since that Epoch making change twenty years ago, the nation has experienced many changes and once again finds itself at the door step of another anticipated change in political direction and control. This time around, Guyanese are perplexed, vexed, upset that in making change in 1992 they thought that they were making a good change for the better, once and for all. But alas, they have been betrayed. Cheddi died in mid-stream and left no succession plan in place, and in the ensuing drama, power was seized first by his American born Wife, Janet. S i n c e t h e n t o n o w the country has been reeling .That is well documented daily in the Guyana Press from scandal to scandal. After the inconclusivity of the last General Elections in 2011, the country has had the unfortunate experience of a “Plurality Party in Government”. Now there are serious speculations as to the possibility of a Snap Elections being called by President Ramotar. The present PPP is in a worse position than the PNC in 1985-1992 period vis a vis its preparedness to hold and win a free and fair elections: 1. The population demographics are no longer

in its favour. 2. Since Cheddi Jagan’s demise, the succeeding PPP Presidents and their cabinets have been embroiled with a plethora of bribery and corruption charges, allegations, mismanagement, maladministration. 3. The PPP has abandoned the tried and tested methodologies of the Jagans and are woefully d i s i n t e g r a t e d organisationally with the party groups not functioning and the former staunch supporters not willing to bring home the votes in the wards and villages. 4. In addition, the PPP/C has splintered badly since 1992 with serious resignations at the top, both in the Party and Government. 5. Donald Ramotar is not charismatic. In fact he is lackluster and only interested in his full term in office. 6. The people can’t accommodate additional taxation. 7. Guyanese by and large are fed up with the mechinations of the PPP/C and want them out of the way. 8. Large chunks of the “Old Guard” have migrated and the young turks are in it for the kill. So the million dollar question is who and what will shake the trees to secure the votes necessary to return the unpopular, incompetent Guyanese oligarchic, self aggrandising PPP/C Cabal in its hour of greatest need. Not the Guyanese “Poor and the Needy”. Lionel Peters

They do not see anything wrong with building Taj Mahals while the poor mothers and children of Plastic City cannot afford a proper shelter or even a meal. And finally, they do not see anything wrong with giving billions of dollars in contracts to Chinese contractors who refuse to hire Guyanese workers. Is this regime for real? I urged the people to stand up for their rights and put an end to the 20 plus years of this dictatorial PPP cabal. I acknowledge that every political system has been affected by corruption of some sort—known in common parlance as the politics of cronyism. However, this does not mean that Guyanese should accept it. Those holding political offices should not abuse the system for personal financial gains at a time when most Guyanese are worst off today than they were twenty years ago when the PPP came to office. Inflation and the lack of jobs, especially for the youths, with decent living wages have taken their toll on them for the past decade and there is no end in sight. The cabal is determined to oppress youths, the workers of Guyana, and the people.

Cronyism has reached a new level of depravity in Guyana where some in the Jagdeo/Ramotar regime are being appointed to senior government positions with no regard for qualifications or pertinent experience. Although I admit that this is not a crime, it is nonetheless corruption, and I do not believe or expect the cabal will take the necessary steps to clean it up anytime soon. In fact, they are encouraging it by placing their ardent supporters in senior positions without the necessary qualifications or experience. For example, UG is perhaps is the only university we know that have non-academic and nonintellectuals and PPP hacks on its Council, the highest decision making body of the institution. Simply put, the cabal is not interested in reducing or ending corruption because it is alleged that they are the principal beneficiaries of it. My recommendation is that there should be an audit by a bipartisan committee of Parliament of the individuals in such positions, and anyone being appointed from outside the Civil Service or the Diplomatic Corps to a senior position in the

government should have to pass the scrutiny of a parliamentary committee, as is the practice of the Congress of the United States to ensure that candidates’ qualifications and experience match the terms of reference of the position they are selected for or appointed to by the Jagdeo/Ramotar Cabal. I am asking the majority opposition to stop burying their heads in the sand and to expose those appointed to senior government positions by the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal without the necessary qualifications and experience to function efficiently and effectively. The opposition must make sure that these appointees declare their assets prior to, and at the end of their term. They must also be required to declare to the tax authorities (GRA) their income and the source of any large deposits made during their tenure. The opposition must undertake this task in order to help reduce corruption for the sake of the masses because the time has come for those holding political positions to stop abusing the system for personal financial gains. Name withheld

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Kaieteur News

Monday April 01, 2013

Letters... Where your views make the news... Letters... Where your views make the news

Kissoon’s charges of Indian wealth is bogus and without foundation DEAR EDITOR, Exposed in court as a space cadet, Freddie Kissoon does himself no good in enhancing his credibility by his analysis of Guyana’s economic development entirely in terms of blacks versus Indians. Why do Indians merit such discriminating scrutiny? Can their numbers, success, culture or all of the above be seen as threatening? With Indians and black Guyanese consisting of about 43 and 33 percent respectively, the other 24 percent of the population made up of Amerindians, Chinese,

Portuguese and mixed races should count for something. For Kissoon they do not matter. Either Kissoon feels they are no threat because they own nothing, or they are irrelevant because of their racial origins. In the KN of 3/10/13 titled ‘The ethnic supremacists are going to maul Bhagwan over his admission” Kissoon advances the laughable opinion that Indians incredibly own between 90 to 99 percent of Guyana’s economy. Where’s the evidence? Kissoon points to construction, banking, and

commerce, ownership of private lands, the import export business, luxury cars and living mostly in concrete houses. If some black people are visibly wealthy does it mean all black people are also wealthy? This fantasy which Kissoon’s promotes that Indians, alone, are the engine exclusively responsible for developing Guyana economically is most untenable as it is bizarre. Why would Kissoon deny Guyana’s other races with excellent abilities to do the same? Obviously, he is totally wrong as only a miniscule

percentage of the total Indian population is “successful” by visibility. Since it is a given that Indians are about 43 percent of Guyana’s population, wouldn’t they also be suffering more than others? The visible success of a few cannot mask the impoverishment of all Indians! It is common knowledge that the majority of black people are gainfully employed and very comfortable in the armed forces and civil service with superior retirement and government benefits. Shouldn’t this be logically

equalised to level the floor for everyone because it is taxpayer funded? It would seem that the more Kissoon writes on behalf of black people the more he can only make things bad for them. Acquiesce in any future, let’s say, sharing of Guyana’s wealth by race evaluation will automatically find 43 percent going to Indians, 33 per percent awarded to black people with the rest proportionally left to the deserving 24 percent giving us a grand total of 100 per cent. Without working at all, this will guarantee all races with wealth, prosperity and the pursuit to happiness! Please. Can anyone help clarify one grave problem? Under which race category will Kissoon qualify to get his share? Kissoon has never failed to remind us how ashamed he is to be “a black skinned”

Indian making him proudly Africanised! His wide brush which paints that 99 per cent of Guyana’s Indian population is all wealthy can only be a total illusion. What habitually escapes his radar are the many black people and others who also own concrete houses and expensive cars by their better paying public sector jobs. Of course the majority of blacks are also poor exactly like the rest of the entire Guyanese population in spite of the PNC ruling for 28 years. Kissoon’s distortions can only be aiming by his obvious statistical manipulation to incite animosity and enmity amongst Guyanese. Obviously he has been totally out of touch, nurtured at his cushy air conditioned 30 years UG job from which he found it so difficult to retire as required. Vassan Ramracha

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Kaieteur News

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Kwakwani NDC contributes Woman drops dead outside home to victims of fires A 63-year-old fish vendor who was described as an alcoholic was found dead in the front yard of her home yesterday morning. Maharani Thanderjit, called “Mala” of Lot 136 Main Street Cumberland lives in the one flat modest house with her reputed husband David Felix 55 a security guard. Her two children live elsewhere.

Residents described Thanderjit, who sells fish in the area, as an alcoholic. She would usually remain at home while her husband goes out to work as was the case yesterday. According to neighbours she was seen doing chores in the yard. The body was discovered at around 07:30 hrs by a youth who was passing the area.

The police were informed and cops from the Reliance Police Station race to the scene where they found the motionless body of the woman lying on the ground. Sources said that the body bore no marks of violence. The body is at the New Amsterdam Hospital Mortuary awaiting a postmortem examination.

Fire victim Annette Lindie (centre) receives a financial package from a member of the NDC. In a continuous effort to improve the quality of the lives of persons living in their neighborhood, the Kwakwani community developers group yesterday made a small but notable contribution to two families, who suffered losses due to fires. Kwakwani is a community located approximately 60 miles on the outskirts of Linden in Region Ten. The community has a populace of at least 5,000 persons. According to the head of the group, Carl Liverpool, the contribution was made possible through a fund raising activity.

He said that the board which comprises of fifteen persons, who are also members of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), hosted a calypso show. “We would usually have these fundraisers and whatever money we collect will go towards a cause that will benefit people living in Kwakwani, in this case two families that are basically homeless”. “The first fire destroyed the home of Donald Lindie who was living with his wife and child. Six days later, this incident was followed by another fire that occurred at

the home of Annette Lindie, a single mother with two children. Although the donations are not much it’s a start because we plan to volunteer in helping these persons to rebuild their homes and lives in whatever way we can.”Liverpool explained. Liverpool said that many sectors of the community have received assistance from the NDC. “We assist in all kinds of ways. We have built and repaired school furniture and done and will continue to do anything that will positively impact the lives of those living in Kwakwani.”

Fire victim Donald Lindie receives a donation from another NDC official.

A crowd outside the couple’s home.

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Monday April 01, 2013

Monday April 01, 2013

Kaieteur News

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CUTTING THE BUDGET IS A MISPLACED STRATEGY APNU’s openness to talks on the 2013 Budget is a welcome development. There will have to be talks if the Budget is to be passed and APNU must appreciate that the government prefers to table the Budget and then negotiate rather than negotiate first and then table the Budget. This approach actually strengthens the hand of the opposition and allows it, as was the case last year, to wrest considerable concessions from the government. What spoiled the proceedings last year was the stance adopted by the Alliance for Change. APNU led itself into a trap last year when it opted at the twelfth hour to join forces with the AFC who complained that they were being left out of the Budget talks. APNU brought the AFC to the bargaining table and while they were seemingly joining ranks, the AFC was undercutting APNU’s support in Linden. This caused APNU to panic, and not reach an agreement with the government. The result

was tragedy in Linden. This year the AFC is again threatening to cut the Budget – a power it does not possess. APNU seems once again to be allowing itself to be tugged along by the tail by the AFC. APNU is joining with the AFC in contending that it does have the power to cut the Budget. If this approach continues, both of the opposition parties will fall into the noose set by the government. The government knows that APNU and the AFC will suffer a political backlash from the public if the parties attempt deep cuts to the Budget. The government has pushed the Budget to the $200 B mark in order to offset any cuts that are likely to be attempted. Even if the opposition chops $40 B this time, it will not affect the government’s spending priorities because the government can effectively achieve economic growth with under $150B. But any cuts in excess of $20B will be fodder for an anti- opposition propaganda assault by the government, as was done last

year when the opposition was labeled as anti- development, vindictive and seeking to put workers out of their jobs. Cutting the Budget is a misplaced strategy because the government will go to the courts and have the cuts restored. And even if the cuts are not restored, the government can still spend in excess of what was appropriated and find cover in the law and there is nothing that the opposition can do about it afterwards. The better strategy would be to negotiate concessions from the government. But in this regard, APNU needs to appreciate that it is acting from a different class interest from that of the AFC. As such, APNU is not likely to be on the same page with the AFC when it comes to what needs to be negotiated. There is still time of course for both parties to come with a common proposals but the experience would advise that it would be much better if APNU determines what it wants and allow the AFC to decide whether it will support these positions.

Dem boys seh

Jagdeo want tek Plaisance playground now Years ago dem had a tower at Sparendaam fuh help wid de radio signal. That tower been deh fuh years and dem boat coming in to Georgetown use to use that tower as a kind of beacon. Some of dem same boat in de daytime use to use de Chateau Margot chimney. When Jagdeo decide that he need a beachfront mansion he pick de Plaisance Seawall. But dem had a tower suh he had to find a way fuh move de tower. He come up wid a flimsy excuse and he get de people at Ogle to agree wid he. He claim how de tower deh in de path of dem plane wha flying in and out of Ogle. Plane been flying in and out of Ogle fuh more than he lifetime and de tower never trouble dem. But Jagdeo get

big and he want de land suh all of a sudden de tower in de way. Dem move de tower quietly and put it at Parfaite on de West Demerara. Jagdeo get de land fuh he and he kavakamites dem. Dem all build dem beachfront mansion and rename de place Pradoville 2. Dem got a playground in front. That playground been there for more than he Mooma and Daady lifetime. If dem boys ain’t lie it gone past 100 years. Jagdeo want that playground too suh he complain that when people play pun de ground dem disturbing he from getting he rest. He move in like if he Mooma mek him deh and de people who been deh all dem lifetime suddenly ain’t belong

there anymore. He come up wid another scam fuh get rid of de people once and for all. He decide that he gun put up a tower pun de ground not too far from wheh de first one been. That was de one that he remove. He now telling de people this one is fuh egovernance fuh calm dem. But de people read he like a book. Dem know wheh he coming from. He want tek over de playground fuh he and he kavakamite children. How come this tower ain’t deh in de flight path. That is wha de Plaisance people want fuh know. No wonder de contractor pack up and gone, yesterday. Talk half.

APNU therefore has to undertake a deep analysis of the Budget. Unfortunately, the analyses conducted on the Budget have left much to be desired. It is hard to fathom what was meant by the description of the Budget being “bland”. Sex can be bland but can a Budget be bland? It is also hard to understand how the Budget can be seen as a continuing circus. These sorts of positions really do a disservice to those who advance them and if this is the posture that is being adopted it is hard to see how useful proposals can be offered during any negotiations between the government and the opposition. Other analyses on the Budget, as they often are each year, amount to more description and explanation. No one for example has seen through the tax measures that were announced by the government. This may be a useful starting point for the opposition parties as they seek a compromise with the government to allow for the safe passage of the Budget. The Budget offers a threshold on property tax for individuals of $40M. This

means that no property tax is payable on property worth forty million or less. Has the opposition asked itself why the threshold was set so high? Which poor person in Guyana owns property worth $40M? Which poor person in fact owns property to the value of the existing threshold of $7.5 M? So why is the government proposing this change in the threshold? Is it because a number of government officials and their friends and cronies have recently constructed mansions and would benefit from not having to pay property tax or pay at a greatly reduced sum? How about the opposition asking that the threshold be reduced to $10M rather than $30M so that the poor and ordinary citizen can be the prime beneficiaries and not the nouveau rich and middle class, some of whom are also within the opposition camp? Also why is the government proposing to offer interest relief for mortgages up to $30M? Why $30M? Which poor person can afford to take a mortgage for anything more than $10M? So why is the working class PPPC proposing interest relief on mortgages up to a $30M ceiling? Is it so that

some of the friends of the government who have built splendid properties can write off from their taxes a significant portion of their interest payments on the loans they have taken to build these expensive properties? These are the issues that APNU should be concerned about, not about cutting the Budget. It should negotiate lower ceilings so that what may seem to benefit the poor does not benefit the rich more. This however requires that APNU decide where it stands. Does it stand with the working class or does it stand, like the AFC, with the middle class? And will it be prepared to break ranks with the AFC in having these thresholds reduced so that the middle class does not benefit more than the poorer classes. Will it be willing to reduce the thresholds this considering that some of the leaders in the opposition camp also stand to benefit from the proposed high tax thresholds?

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Kaieteur News

Monday April 01, 2013

Historical review of the Mining Town - Part Five By Enid Joaquin At a recent media conference in Linden, IMC Chairman Orrin Gordon in his presentation on the State of the Linden Community, said that one year after President Donald Ramotar had promised to have a board established for LEN’s management, nothing has been done. In the meanwhile Linden remains in limbo! CHANGES AND PROMISES Linden has been a community of changes over the years- changing names, changing managements, changing economy and changing landscape. While not all of the changes have been good, there are some changes that people have come to embrace, like the Blue lakes, which were mining pits that filled with water. Dotting the landscape across the mining Town, these lakes have gained popularity over the years, to the extent that a few persons have touted their development as tourist resorts. While on the other hand, certain stakeholders are demanding that there be land reclamation, and that the bauxite company refill the pits after mining, so that these areas could be later developed for housing, farming etc. Promises are next in line, as these have been so prolific and their execution so few and sometimes nonexistent, that Lindeners have become almost cynical, when it comes to promises of anything that would benefit the community. But there are three ‘promises’ that Lindeners cannot wait to see materialize – the resuscitation of the old Alumina Plant, the opening up of the transshipment facility at Christianburg, and the establishment of the community’s private television station. TRANSSHIPMENT FACILITY Already in the fourth year of the projected five years to complete works on this facility, works are yet to commence on the wharf itself. Works on this Container Wharf facility and Transshipment terminal would commence after a fact finding mission to Boa Vista by LEAP and GNIC officials in 2007, to determine the feasibility of shipping cargo from Brazil through Guyana. The project idea was based on the completion of the Takatu Bridge, and the expected increase in traffic along the Linden/Lethem corridor.

Another of the man-made ‘lakes’

LEAP would later plug some $63M for the initial works like land clearing, fencing, construction of a general office and a security block. GNIC was meanwhile expected to invest some US$3.4M to purchase equipment, and for cadastral and topographical surveys for the construction of the wharf itself. Upon completion the facility is expected to employ some fifty persons. But apart from the cargo from Brazil that is expected to utilize the facility, there would be some amount of domestic shipping involved. It was projected by major stakeholders within the community that persons in the logging industry would utilize the facility to barge their logs to Georgetown and further afield. This mode of shipping logs was the primary means of transporting them in the earlier days, when logging was the dominant economic venture. However with the opening up of the Linden/ Soesdyke Highway, this activity was somewhat curtailed, until it became virtually nonexistent. Only a few loggers currently use the waterway to ship their logs, while the majority uses the Highway. But of recent years there have been many calls for the discontinuation of this method of transporting lumber, as many of the accidents on the Linden/ Soesdyke highway have been attributable to logging trucks. Only last week, the latest victim of such an accident, Leon ’Junior’ Barrett was interred at the Christianburg cemetery. Ironically, Barrett was one of the most vociferous persons condemning the truck owners for traversing

One of the famous ‘blue lakes the highway, especially at nights and endangering the lives of commuters. His funeral attracted a mammoth crowd of persons of all walks of life, including leader of the Opposition David Granger. ALUMINA PLANT RESUSCITATION However, despite all that happens or fails to happen, in this mining Town, it is the old Alumina Plant resuscitation that most Lindeners cannot wait to see materialize. The Alumina Plant has long been an integral part of Linden’s history, both in its working and dormant state. During the days that it produced Alumina, hundreds were employed there. Today it sits as a majestic landmark and reminder of the days when Linden prospered.

But this colossal structure had engendered the removal of several residents living in the Spieghtland/Kara Kara area, most of whom had relocated to areas such as Rainbow city, and other communities in close proximity. It is therefore then natural that residents who currently occupy the area on the Plant’s periphery, to view its resuscitation with some amount of trepidation. For one thing, they are afraid that they too, might be forced to relocate. For many such an option, would be hard- given the time and money spent on establishing their properties. But then again some would be happy for the employment opportunities that the resuscitation would bring.

JULY 18 TRAGEDY Lindeners had warned that if Government’s proposed electricity increases for the community was not withdrawn, they would protest by shutting the Town down for five days. This is exactly what happened, after no withdrawal was forthcoming. But no one had envisaged that at the end of the very first day of protest, on July eighteenth, three men would be shot dead. Several persons were also shot and injured. This turn of events would further exacerbate the situation, with the result that the unrest would stretch into a month. Lindeners of course felt that the protest action was justified, as the proposed electricity increase was ‘unconscionable’ and ‘punishment’ for a

community of rampant unemployment, and not much to show in terms of economic development. Following the July eighteenth shootings, and subsequent burning of several buildings, the joint services would be deployed to the Town where they set up camps at strategic locations. The controversial water cannon was also sent to disperse crowds and get people off the streets, but it never served its purpose. And the soldiers, with the aid of a bulldozer, began the arduous task of clearing debris from blocked streets. But they certainly had their work cut out, for no sooner had they cleared the roads, the people blocked them again. Getting into, out of and (Continued on page 21)

Monday April 01, 2013

Kaieteur News

Ansa Mcal denies ethanol project scrapped By Latoya Giles Senior officials from beverage giant Ansa McAL have brushed off rumors that they had aborted plans for setting up an ethanol plant in Guyana, while expressing the firm’s commitment to the project. Kaieteur News was told that the company is still awaiting a report on the feasibility study. Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy in an invited comment told Kaieteur News that the company had done studies at a proposed area, but officials from the firm had indicated that it was not suitable for the purpose. Ramsammy said that the company had then requested an alternative site, which was

in the savannah region. The Minister noted that the company was doing a feasibility study there, which started approximately six months ago. President Donald Ramotar had lauded Ansa McAL Trading Limited for its investment in the local economy and the company’s proposal to set up an ethanol plant in Guyana. The head of state had said that such a facility will complement the infrastructure development taking place here. Mr. Ramotar was at the time speaking at Ansa McAl’s 20th anniversary celebration, where he pointed out that the investment climate in Guyana is encouraging, given the enabling environment Government has created over

the years. Chairman and C-E-O of Ansa McAL group of companies Anthony Sabaga says the company is conducting a feasibility study for a bio-fuel project in Guyana. The Chief Executive Officer of the company pointed out that the value of the study is over US $300M. “We envisage a sugar cane plantation cultivated to produce a minimum 2,000,000 metric tonnes of high sucrose sugar cane per year and produce 40,000,000 gallons of ethanol and approximately 175,000 metric tonnes of raw sugar,” Sabaga had stated. Sabaga stressed that the investment project would propel Guyana’s Economic Development significantly.

Berbice Bridge Company distributes kites to children The Berbice River Bridge Incorporated (BRBI) recently feted over thirty needy children and donated a quantity of kites to them in the spirit of Easter. The party and donation ceremony was held on the Western end of the Berbice River Bridge company’s offices at D’Edward Village, West Bank Berbice. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BRBI, Mr. Omadat Samaroo stated that the company is not the only one that wants to extract monies from the general public but is one that is a good corporate friend to the entire country, especially children and the initiative was aimed at giving back to the community. He touted the company’s recent involvement in horse- racing on the Corentyne as well.

Mr. Samaroo presenting this little one with her kite The children were also educated about the significance of Easter by a pastor who graced the occasion. After the formal programme, the children

received their snack- bags as well as kites, much to the anxious looks on their expectant faces. They also shared their plans for Easter Monday.

Employees of the Bridge company distributing kites and goodies to the kids

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More donations for Fort Wellington Station Management Committee project

Monday April 01, 2013

Govt. seeks to continue its orgy of corruption, - Carl Greenidge By Abena Rockcliffe

Secretary Arjune Singh hands over some of the utensils including the gas stove to station Sergeant Kwesi Gravesande in the presence of Assistant Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan and other members of the GPF More items have been handed over to the members of the Fort Wellington Station Management committee who recently successfully completed the construction of a canteen and recreational facility in the compound of the station. The facility was built at the cost of over $2.2M. The members of the

committee are Chairman Cecil Ramdat, Secretary Arjune Singh, Treasurer Gyan Totaram; the assistant secretary treasurer is Fazal Habibulla, while the committee members are Dorothy Peters, Thakoor Persaud and Khemraj. Assistant Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan, Chief Inspector Gregory Springer,

inspector Dennis Stephens and Station Sergeant Kwesi Gravesande are the ex officio members. Residents Tajeram Persaud called “Chase” donated the refrigerator; Nezamudeen Mohamed called “Nezo” don a t e d t h e g a s stove while Shano Seenarine donated the Television.

Although a Bill was passed to amend the constitution in order to facilitate the financial independence of several agencies that deal with fundamental rights, no lump sum allocations in this area were reflected in this year’s budget. At the end of a fiery debate that the Bill attracted, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs emphatically told the House that he would have advised President Donald Ramotar not to assent to the Bill. A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)’s shadow Minister of Finance Carl Greenidge, who piloted the Bill, expressed disappointments that lump sum allocations weren’t provided in the Budget so as to make those agencies independent. The agencies listed in the Bill to become “independent” are the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Judicial Service Commission, the Public Service Commission, the Police Service Commission, the Teaching Service Commission, the Public Service Appellate Tribunal, the Public Procurement Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Guyana Elections Commission. Greenidge said that in keeping with the ‘arrogance’ of the budget, the Minister did not see it fit to provide lump sum allocations to the courts and some other similar agencies, even though Article 222 A provides for all rights giving agency be financed independently. The joint parliamentary

opposition’s argument was that if the government no longer controls the purse strings of the listed agencies, then no longer will it hold domain or any authority over those agencies, thus the agencies will become impartial. However, the government’s unwavering position as it relates to the Bill was that the administration has never been one to directly try to control or impose authority over any of the agencies and as such, sees no need to amend the constitution just to facilitate what the opposition is seeking to do, “as such we will not support this bill.” Greenidge had affirmed that the agencies are important for protecting public servants and the possibility of government action against them. These are important entities constitutionally, he emphasized. At a press conference last week, Greenidge said that the lacking of lump sum provisions is a means for the government to continue having its orgy of corruption and irregularities that characterize it “these things need to be addressed.” Yesterday, he explained that if these allocations were provided, representatives from the agencies won’t need to consult with the Minister of Finance for each activity for approval. “As it is, the agencies present estimates to the Minister; he then cuts as he likes and after it is approved by parliament and somebody at any individual agency upsets the government, he can choose not to disburse the money, disburse it slowly or wait until

Former Minister of Finance, Carl Greenidge the end of the year; that’s what we wanted to avoid.” Greenidge cited the case of former Attorney General Dr Doodnauth Singh whose benefits were withheld as a result of a problem he had with former President Bharrat Jagdeo. He also pointed out the case of former Justice Jainarine Singh who had ruled that the government compensate the owner of Toucan Suites after police and soldiers destroyed the building to get to seasoned criminal Linden ‘Blackie’ London. Also cited was the Major General (Ret’d) Norman McLean who recently sued the government for $7.9M in gratuity which he is owed for the past 22 years. During the debate for the passing Bill, leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan noted that “this government put them (the specified agencies) as budget agencies because they love money and it is a way for them to exercise their control-freakism.” He said that when the government controls the purse strings, it controls the actions of the agencies.

Bus-struck boy remains on life support machine

Six-year-old Jaheim King who was struck down on Tuesday by a minibus in Mabaruma, Region One is still in a critical condition and remains hooked to a ventilator. The lad who has been a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for the past six days sustained head injuries and doctors at the facility are constantly monitoring his condition. On Tuesday last, little King was standing near to his uncle’s yard when he was struck down by a minibus heading towards Hosororo. Eyewitnesses said he was flung several yards away from

The injured lad (in white jersey) with a relative the point of impact. He was picked up by an uncle and was rushed to the

Mabaruma Regional Hospital before being air-dashed to the city. Yesterday at the GPHC, the lad’s father, Edwin King could not say much about his son’s condition, “They have him sleeping so I don’t know but sometimes he would move his feet and so.” The father of seven who is an ambulance driver at Mabaruma Regional Hospital has been in Georgetown since the accident and he is now wondering whether or not he will be jobless when he returns home. Kaieteur News understands that the driver of the minibus which struck down the lad has been sent on station bail.

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It could be worse

My friends in one of the smaller Caribbean countries in which I do the occasional consulting, told me a story about a former Deputy Prime Minister that had me laughing all the way to my computer. This is a gentleman who, it is said, always responded to any report you gave him, even really bad news, by saying, “It could be worse.” He was known to people in the country as “Speedy Gonzales” after the hyperactive mouse in the cartoons. It seems that the goodly Deputy was with his deputy (who happened to be someone else’s wife) in the home, even more important the bedroom, of that someone else. While they were enjoying what Othello refers to as the “beast with two backs” the key turned in the latch and it was not Iago but the cuckolded husband. It is claimed, and legend has it, that the gentleman was quicker on the draw than any other politician in history. He grabbed his clothes, went through the window, slid down a drainpipe and when he hit the ground was fully clothed. When a close confidante asked the Deputy

about the incident, he replied, “It could have been worse.” Aghast, his friend asked, “What could be worse than that?” The Deputy replied with a smile, “Well, suppose there was no drainpipe there?” When the Deputy was serving as what is appropriately called the Minister of Home Affairs, sometimes known as the Ministry of National Security, the Commissioner of Police came to him with a truly horrendous story. His men had received an emergency call from one of the posh villas in the hills and when they walked in they found the nude bodies of a man and a woman in the bedroom. They had been shot to death. When they went to the living room, they found the body of a man with a gun at his side. “No doubt about it,” the Inspector in charge told the sergeant, “This was a double murder and suicide. This man came home and found his wife in bed with somebody else and shot them both. Then he shot himself.” “True,” the sergeant said, “but I bet when the Minister hears about it he will say ‘It

could have been worse’.” “That can’t happen,” the Inspector replied. “There is nothing worse than this. Let’s tell the Commissioner so he could tell the Minister and see how he reacts to it.” After hearing all the details from the Commissioner, the Deputy Prime Minister said, as expected, “It could have been worse.” In such a small place with so few crimes, the Commissioner could not envisage anything worse and said to the Deputy, “But Minister, three people dead. What could be worse?” The Minister smiled knowingly, “You know the man you found dead on the bedroom floor? If the husband had come home yesterday, that would have been me.” I have a friend like that and last Saturday morning called him in Trinidad to tell him about my harrowing adventures two nights before when I took a LIAT flight from Antigua to go to Barbados and then connect with a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) flight to Trinidad and from there leave on another flight to Guyana.

The LIAT flight took off almost an hour late. It was supposed to stop briefly in Dominica and then head for Barbados giving me enough time to go through immigration, take my bag off the carousel, walk the long route to the CAL desk and get on the flight. When we left Dominica, the flight attendant told us we were headed for Barbados and then, several minutes after, told us we were heading for St Lucia to take up baggage that had been left behind there. By the time I arrived in Barbados, I knew that I was doomed. However, I eventually made the flight thanks to a LIAT attendant named Olivia and her colleagues Shadron, Francia and Caroline. As I recounted what I went through, arriving at my Guyana hotel at three in the morning, my friend said the dreaded words, “It could have been worse.” I expostulated, “Don’t come to me with that nonsense. How you mean it could have been worse.” He chuckled, “Well given the financial state of LIAT and the dictatorial way the new CEO is behaving, they could

have charged you for the St Lucia leg of the flight.” There is a story about some senior citizens in a nursing home in Florida who were sitting around talking about their aches and pains. “My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,” said one. An old man in a corner said, “It could have been worse.” They ignored him and another senior complained, “I know what you mean. My cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee.” The old man in the corner grumbled, “It could have been worse.” Again nobody paid attention to him and a third senior continued, “I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck.” The old man muttered but nobody took him on and one old lady contributed, “My blood pressure pills make me dizzy.” When the old man said, “It could have been worse” all the others pounced on him. “What could be worse you old grump?” they asked. “Well,” he replied, “at

least we can still drive.” I heard one in Guyana that has me laughing any time I think of it. Two ladies were sitting on a bench next to me when a man joined them. One of the ladies was complaining about how difficult it was to find work. She commented, “The only wuck dey have is to cook and waash, cook and waash.” The man replied, “It could be worse.” “How you mean it could be worse? What worse than duh?” “Well,” he replied drily, “it could be cook, waash and lash.” After laughing heartily, the lady replied, “I too old for the lashing but they have worse than that.” The others asked, “What worse than cook, waash and lash?” “The starch and the iron,” the lady responded with a knowing smile. *Tony Deyal was last seen saying that while Thomas Jefferson was guilty of forcing his slaves to cook and wash, he also used the lash, which in one sense is a whip but in Guyana means “sexual intercourse.”

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Monday April 01, 2013

President declares Bartica Regatta open Reggae sensations Jah Cure and Dwayne Stephenson were two of several visitors from overseas who greeted President Donald Ramotar at the crowded Bartica Beach front as the annual Easter holiday Regatta got underway today. “The Cure” as he is otherwise known, was the highlight of a packed show last evening at the Bartica community centre ground entitled ’The Reggae Regatta Splash’ organised as part of the widely publicised weekend spectacle. Today’s main event, speedboat racing, was officially opened by President Ramotar who brought greetings on behalf of the Guyana Government while addressing patrons from the main pavilion. He was accompanied by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, Chairman of Region

Powerboat racing in action at the Bartica Regatta Seven Gordon Bradford, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Leader David Granger and others. Activities continue this evening with the regatta beauty pageant and tomorrow with more boat racing. Easter day which is being celebrated today, kites

of all shapes and sizes will dot the open skies as a symbolic representation of Christ’s resurrection. The Bartica regatta is widely regarded as a very important activity on Guyana’s tourism calendar, attracting thousands from across the country. The other

is the Rupununi Rodeo in Lethem and kite flying on the Number 63 Beach on Easter Monday. The Regatta, according to President Ramotar, also fosters a reunion of Barticians as many from the riverain communities also attend this annual event. He humbly

President Donald Ramotar and Opposition Leader David Granger greet each other at the event declined several invitations to go jet-skiing while meeting and greeting the competitors of this year’s races, but was patient with several requests for photo opportunities. Among them was the family of the late boat racer Monty

Belle whose memory they kept alive with t-shirts bearing his name and photograph. Belle died last August in a freak accident while participating in the Lake Mainstay Regatta. (A GINA feature)

GCAA honours outstanding aviation sector contributors The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has honoured long serving aviators, pioneers/ entrepreneurs, and those that have made significant contributions to aviation but have passed on. Special awards of long service were given to Malcolm Chan-a-Sue, Col. Ret., Egbert Field, Col. Ret., Charles Hudson, George Loye, Godfrey Charles Archer, Margaret Chan-ASue, Jennifer Debarros, Major Patrick Nichols, Captain Lloyd Marshall – the longest serving pilot, and Fazal Khan, Ahmad Mazahar Ali, Bill Mohaboob, and Michael Charles – the only pilot in his group that remained in Guyana. Michael Correia, Mohamed Ali, Kayman Sankar, Ronald Reece, Edgar Phillips (posthumously) – the first Director of the Civil Aviation Authority, Air Services Ltd., training school and the Art Williams and H. Wendt training school, were also honoured as the pioneers and entrepreneurs

Minister Benn is joined by the pioneers/entrepreneurs of aviation, long serving aviators and those who made significant contributions to the industry in the aviation sector. Special acknowledgement was also given to Aubrey Alexander, Paula McAdam –

the longest serving staff in the GCAA, and the first female air traffic control officer – Zulfikar Mohamed – the

current Director of the GCAA – Jeffrey Murray (Reds), Jeffery Pierre, Chitrani Heeralall and M.S. Khan.

During the award ceremony and dinner which was held at Princess Hotel and culminated the celebrations for the 100 years of aviation in Guyana, honour was also given to those pilots, engineers and flight operators who have passed on, but have made significant contributions to the aviation sector . Those persons’ contributions have made a great difference in the industry, and have also set the stage for greater things to come. Some of these include George Schmidt, Henry Fitt, Robert Roberts, Guy Spence, Michael Chan-A-Sue,

Maykhan Sharma, Clement Sur, Gary Peterkin, Eon Fraites, Vickram Nandan, Paul Gittens and Krishna Sankar. The GCAA also launched ‘Reflections’ a colourful and informative magazine that captures the achievements of the aviation industry over the last 100 years. The commemorative magazine contains articles and pictures about various aspects of flights in Guyana. During March, the GCAA staged several thrilling and exciting activities in observance of 100 years of aviation in Guyana. These include the re-enactment of the first flight on Homestretch Avenue, the sky show done by the Brazilian Smoke Squadron, career talks at 40 schools, exhibitions at the Ogle and Timehri airports, launch of flight club and the turning of the sod for the new GCAA head office and the CJIA expansion project. In 1913, the first flight occurred in Guyana, and from that time to now overwhelming developments have been seen in the aviation industry. Most noticeable are the many airstrips spread throughout the country, proliferation of private operators, training and continuous investments made towards the development of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the Ogle Airport. The inaugural flight which was undertaken by a German-American man took off from the then Canon race course which is now Bel Air Park and flew around the city. (a GINA feature)

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Two visually impaired children with big dreams By Enid Joaquin Shivannie Featherstone is twelve years old. She is the only child for her mother, Suzanne Featherstone, who dotes on her. Shivannie is visually impaired so her mother has to take her to and from school every day. Ms. Featherstone does not work because of her daughter’s condition. “It s a sacrifice, but I don’t mind as I want the best for Shivannie because she is very brilliant. She recently wrote the common entrance (National Grade Six Assessment ) exams and I know she will do really well because she has been working very hard.” But it has been tough for Suzanne Featherstone who is a single parent. “Every day I spend at least two thousand dollars just to take her to school and my only means of support is my father. I try my best but many days I can’t send her to school, because I can’t afford to, but I teach her a lot at home, and the teachers are really good with these children.” Shivannie lives with her mother at Amelia’s Ward but goes to school at Wismar. She attends the Wismar Hill Primary school, the only learning institution in Linden with a unit for the visually impaired. According to her mother, Shivannie was born with cataracts in both eyes and had surgeries for her condition at the age of two and three. She subsequently went to Cuba at the age of six for other corrective surgery. In class, teachers have to read for the visually impaired child. She is expected to have laser surgery to have her vision corrected, but her mother Suzanne says she would have to seek financial help as she has no money for the procedure. This hard-working twelve year old, is however unperturbed, and quite excited as she cannot wait for the results of the SSEE examination to come out. Asked which Secondary School she would prefer to go to she confides, ‘I would like to go to St Roses, because I think they have a unit there for the visually impaired, she whispers. RELON SUMNER Relon Sumner also recently wrote the grade six examinations and like Shivannie is visually impaired, and attends the Wismar Hill Primary with his younger brother Roell, who

Shivannie Featherstone with her mother, Suzanne Featherstone

Relon Sumner with his mother Ronella Jarvis and younger brother is also visually impaired. But where Shivannie has low vision in both eyes, Relon only last month became blind in one eye. His teacher has to read to him too, so that he could do his assignments. For Relon and his brother Roell, going to school is challenging because the school is almost two miles away from their home. They live at Christianburg and their mother cannot afford to engage the services of a taxi for them, so they have to walk every day. Their daily trek to and from school involves climbing a hill, in terrain that’s difficult even for the well sighted. Apart from the tedious trip back and forth, they are sometimes bullied by other children. Their mother Ronella Jarvis is sad and angry that her children have to put up with this type of bullying, particularly from older pupils. She is appealing to those in authority to do something to help the visually impaired children, whose parents often cannot afford taxi fares for them to attend school. Ronella said that Relon was observed to have an eye

problem since he was in nursery school. She said that his condition was diagnosed as Congenital Toxoplasmosis, after he became blind in his left eye last month. She said that she was reliably informed that the disease comes from cats, and admitted that the children loved to play with cats and dogs as toddlers. She pointed out that even though she was told that Relon’s condition cannot be reversed, she is not giving up. But she will need financial assistance for any corrective medical procedure. Both parents of these special children were high in praise of the teachers of the low vision unit of the Wismar Hill primary School, for all the support they gave to them. One of the teachers, Shellon Swaving, described Shivannie Featherstone as a very brilliant child, with a lot of potential, while pointing out that Relon Sumner is also an above average student, considering his condition. There are presently twelve visually impaired children attending the Wismar Hill primary School.

We are life savers, you should be one too! Donate blood today!!!

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NIS one percent increase to ‘Peacemaker’ chopped in face help with expenditures The one percent increase on contributions to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) being instituted from June 1 will translate to about $890M additional revenue for the entity annually. This amount is expected to help the entity offset its monthly expenditure of about $1B. NIS’s Chairman, Dr. Roger Luncheon related that the expenditure of the scheme had to be controlled because of NIS falling revenue. To meet monthly expendituresprimarily benefit paymentsthe entity is forced to take money from the NIS fund, which is in an account in the Bank of Guyana. The account reportedly contains $30B. According to Dr. Luncheon, over the years NIS collects a surplus but the Administration is forced to go into that surplus to sustain its monthly deficit. He indicated that the preservation of the NIS fund is worrying. Minister of Finance, Dr.

- Dr. Luncheon Ashni Singh, while presenting the Budget to the National Assembly on March 25, announced the anticipated increase for the NIS. “Government will meet both the employer’s and the employee’s share of the increase in contribution payable with respect to employed persons whose income is not more than $50,000 per month. This initiative will cost the Government approximately $215 million per annum and will benefit some 58,300 contributors,” he said. Dr. Singh related that NIS will focus on advancing administrative improvements, reducing cost of operations, establishing systems for more effective management of the beneficiary database, and reducing the incidence of incomplete contributor records.

He added that during 2013, NIS will ensure that every contributor is supplied with a statement of contributions on record to ensure verification and reconciliation of all contributors. In addition, NIS will actively explore options for increasing compliance and widening coverage especially among the self employed population. Dr. Singh added that for some time, actuarial recommendations have been before the Administrators of the Scheme. The dilemma has been the balance that needs to be struck between addressing the deficiencies of the Scheme while minimizing the impact on workers and their employers. “Although there is no doubt that administrative measures might help to improve the financial position of the Scheme, these could not possibly remedy in fullness the structural deficiency”, he added.

First Lady keeps promise to female prisoners

Mrs. Ramotar speaking to the prisoners before handing over the items First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar fulfilled a promise made to the female prisoners of the New Amsterdam Prisons when she donated a quantity of equipment during a visit to the facility on Monday. A karaoke machine, a flat- screen television set, several fans, etc were among the items donated by the First Lady through various business entities in Georgetown, including Reaz Khan Trading and China Trading. Mrs. Ramotar had visited the facility on International Women’s Day (March 8) where she served the prisoners lunch and donated gifts too to the prisoners’ salon group. “We promised these [items] when we were here the last time—we saw that they were fanning and we got the message”, she stated with a little laugh.

Her son, Alexi Ramotar, she stated, was the donor of the karaoke system, “because I spoke about the talent, he said, it was better that he give the karaoke machine so that they can improve themselves”. “These items are given so that the women here can make their lives more comfortable, while they are here so that they can reflect on their lives and when they come out from this institution, they can be at least better women”, Mrs. Ramotar added. Officer-in-Charge of the N/ A Prisons, Mr. Linden Cornette expressed thanks on behalf of himself and the female prisoners. “I want to thank you for this most timely gesture, because at this moment when we are going towards correction, the equipment here is relevant to correction”. He added, too,

that the equipment donated will assist in eradicating some sense of “boredom” amongst the female prisoners, especially those not participating in any form of labour or exercise around the prison. He also expressed thanks to the donors. He stated that at the moment, “apprehension is one of the main concerns among prisoners generally...they can talk to you one on one, but with an audience, there is an apprehension, particularly with this set—a karaoke set will bring out more boldness and remove the apprehension”. After the handing- over, several female prisoners showcased their talent by reciting dramatic poetry and singing songs, and were warmly greeted with hugs by the First Lady.

Shilendra Sookhai, 21, was chopped in the face during a dispute at Kwakwani Park, upper Berbice last Thursday. Sookhai told Kaieteur News yesterday that he was wounded after “peacefully” defending a friend. The injured man alleged that he and some friends were hanging out at “the Park View” at around 02:00 hrs when a man stormed into the place threatening to kill Sookhai’s friend, claiming that the man had interfered with him. Sookhai explained that all he said to the man was that it could not have been his friend “Akeem”, since they were both together at the same place for hours. The man added that less than a second later, he was chopped to the right side of the face. After undergoing emergency surgery, Sookhai was left with a deep scar

An injured Shilendra Sookhai running from his left ear to his left eye. It is still unclear at this point whether his vision was affected. The assailant and another man were reportedly taken into police custody, pending

charges. Meanwhile, relatives of Sookhai told Kaieteur News that the attacker’s family has made attempts at a financial settlement, since the attacker has a similar matter in the courts.

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Christians usher in Easter celebrations Christians marked the end of the 40- day period of fasting and alms-giving yesterday by celebrating their most important festival—Easter Sunday. But celebrations began late Saturday night when hundreds flocked churches for midnight Mass. In New Amsterdam, Monsignor Terrence Montrose and his parishioners entered a darkened church shortly after 22:00 hrs with just candles to give light, symbolic to the awaiting of the new day, Easter Sunday. After several Biblical readings and singing in a darkened church, the lights were finally turned on, bells started to ring, decorations put back and joyful singing as midnight drew, marking the start of Easter. Monsignor Terrence Montrose, in his Easter message stated that everyone is given a second chance in Easter “to put our life right with God”. “God sent His Son in spite of ourselves, sinfulness and our going astray. He has sent His Son to die for us and He has given us a second

A priest blesses the Easter candle and holy water during Easter Mass chance”. He added that everyone at this time is invited “to experience the darkness of sin and death and then to move into the light”. The Church, he noted,

encourages everyone to move from the darkness of sin and death into life and light. God, he added, is inviting everyone, to take seriously; the second chance He has given us.

Historical review of the... (From page 10) through Linden became a challenge, with the situation necessitating the introduction of a shuttle system, for those from interior locations who were forced to pass through the Town. Lindeners also had to endure a similar situation to get to Georgetown. In all instances this proved more costly to hapless commuters. During this period several buildings would be burnt, including the One Mile Primary, the building which housed the Linden Salvation Council, and another, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter day Saints on the Winifred Gaskin Highway, and the Region 10 Agriculture Office on Burnham Drive, Wismar. On the Mackenzie shore, all except one of the old Linmine offices were burnt and the Guyana Revenue Authority was reduced to a shell. The burnt Linmine offices housed the Linmine Secretariat and the Linden Care foundation, among others. There would follow the blame game, with the police blaming the people and the people blaming the police for the conflagrations. To date no one has been held culpable. The Linden protests were called off after several meetings between Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon and Government officials,

which ended with Government deciding to withhold the tariff increases, and return the satellite dish, among other things. CONSTANT The one thing that has remained constant in Linden over the years are the sirens which blow at five thirty, ten to seven, seven and then four thirty in the afternoons. The siren blasts remind workers of the times to get ready for work, break for lunch and then depart at the end of the working day. There are also relics of the past that serve as constant reminders of what had been, such as the bauxite ore cars languishing in the old railroad yard, which were used in the not too distant past to haul bauxite to the plant at Mackenzie. Today they repose dormant- silent as the grave; no more monotonous cadence as they clatter along the railway, hauling their heavy burden of ore.

Nearby stands the last vestiges of an era lost, the lone building that escaped the inferno that consumed its sisters almost a year ago, standing behind the blackened concrete shell of what once was the GRA office. It’s a sad reflection of the Casuarina Drive of old, where the old Linmine offices dominated the landscapetheir myriad lights bidding a silent welcome to travel weary commuters at nights, whether coming home or passing through the Town. People had stood and watched awestruck as fire swept through the buildings, which had huddled close together. Today the area resembles a deserted war zone, with only the blackened and rusting refuse telling the tale of what once was……….. But Lindeners are a resilient and innovative people who are prepared to struggle and fight to recreate a Town that they can be justly proud of.

Christians gather in a darkened church on Holy Saturday night to await Easter Sunday He urged everyone to start anew, to love and to serve God. “No need to remember all that happened in the past…God is inviting all of us, from today, to make our lives one that will live for him”, he said.

New Christians and converts are also baptized at Easter celebrations. Today, Easter Monday, will mark the more secular celebration of Easter when Guyanese from all walks of life will participate in the much-

anticipated kit e - f l y i n g activity with their families and friends. Huge gatherings are also anticipated at the Georgetown Seawall, Bartica, Lethem, and of course, the Number 63 Beach in Berbice.

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12:30hrs. The Young and the Restless 13:30hrs. The Bold and the Beautiful 14:00hrs. The Talk 15:00hrs. Without a Trace 16:00hrs. Criminal Minds 17:00hrs. Charmed 18:00hrs. World News 18:30hrs. Nightly News 19:00hrs. Greetings and Announcements 20:30hrs. Rules of Engagement 21:00hrs. Movie: Hop 23:00hrs. Sign Off NTN CHANNEL 18/ CABLE 69 05:00hrs - Sign on with the Mahamrtunjaya Mantra 05:15hrs - Meditation 05:30hrs - Queenstown Masjid Presents Quran This

Morning 06:00hrs - R. Gossai General Store Presents Shiva Bhajans 06:15hrs - Jettoo’s Lumber Yard Presents Shiva Bhajans 0 6 : 3 0 h r s - M u n eshwar Limited Presents Shiva Bhajans 06:45hrs - Double Standard Taxi Presents Shiva Bhajans 07:00hrs - RRT Enterprise Presents Shiva Bhajans 07:15hrs - M & M Snackette Presents Raja Yoga Discourses 07:30hrs - Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital Inc Presents Shiva Bhajans 07:45hrs - The Family of The Late Leila & David Persaud Presents Shiva Bhajans 08:00hrs - Timehri Maha Kali Shakti Devi Mandir Presents Shiva Bhajans

Monday April 01, 2013

08:15hrs - NTN This Morning Live with Reyaz Husein 09:30hrs - Indian Soap - Rab Se Sohna Isshq 10:00hrs - Indian Soap - Pavitra Rishta 10:30hrs - Indian Soap:- Punar Viivaah 11:00hrs - Greatest Heroes & Legends of the Bible - The Garden of Eden 12:00hrs - DVD Movie:JESUS AND HIS TIMES - His Birth & Ministry 14:00hrs - DVD Movie:JESUS AND HIS TIMES - His Final Days & Resurrection

15:00hrs - DVD - IN SEARCH OF EASTER 16:00hrs - Drying Tears Live with Pastor Edson 16:30hrs - India’s Best Dramebaaz 17:30hrs - Ganesh Parts Presents - BHAGAVAD GITA ( Discourses in English) Serial 18:00hrs - Birthday Greetings / Anniversary / Congratulations / Death Announcements & In Memoriam 18:30hrs - HARE KRISHNA TODAY

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Monday April 01, 2013 ARIES (March 21 - April 19): You're entering a vibrant time in your life, which means it's a great time to begin exploring a new hobby, interest or career opportunity. ******************* TAURUS (April 20 - May 20): Today you should spend your time seeking out real world examples of innovative ideas or new philosophical concepts. An art museum could be the perfect place for this -- or perhaps a matinee showing of a particularly arty foreign film. ****************** GEMINI (May 21 - June 20): The new concerns you have about your career aren't going away any time soon, so you have to deal with them like the intelligent person you are. ******************** CANCER (June 21 - July 22): When was the last time you did a selfish thing? You have been so selfless, lately, that people think you're in some gold start competition or something! Well, today all of your giving is going to start to impact your emotions -- it almost feels like you don't have any time for yourself. ********************* LEO (July 23 - Aug. 22): There could be an awful lot of distractions around you today. Some will be fun, like a spontaneous celebration or an unexpected visitor -- but some could be annoying, like a complaining coworker or hyperactive friend. ******************* VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22): Unlike yesterday, today is a very good time to initiate a project you may have been wanting to start for a while. The universe is sending you a lot of positive energy, which all but ensures a positive outcome. ********************* LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22): Go out exploring, today, and you are bound to find a

few pleasant surprises. Whether you just take a walk around the block or you book a flight to some faraway country, there are new people and places for you to get to know better. ********************* SCORPIO (Oct. 23 Nov. 21): You can't ever anticipate how other people will react, but today that is especially true. There is a high probability that someone, at some time, will overreact -- including you. ******************** SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 Dec. 21): Touch base with a blue friend today -- they appreciate your kind words more than you could imagine. Your friendship means so much to them, and right now it's one of the few bright spots in their life. .********************* CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 Jan. 19): You're smart enough to know that life is not fair, so if things don't go your way today, put things in perspective. You have to retain your balance between being practical and being idealistic, and roll up your sleeves and get ready to work -- either toward accepting what is going on, or at changing it to be more to your liking. ******************** AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 Feb. 18): Make sure you dress in an outfit that will let you be comfortable at work and at play. This is going to be an expansive day, full of friends and big opportunities to have a lot of fun. ********************* PISCE S ( F e b . 1 9 March 20): Today, you need to pay attention to the one person who is doing their darndest to avoid you! Emails go unanswered, phone calls are never returned. They either did something they don't want to tell you about, or are afraid you already know about it!

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U.S. F-22 stealth jets join South Senate group resolves key issues on Korea drills amid saber-rattling immigration reform: lawmakers WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea yesterday to join military drills aimed at underscoring the U.S. commitment to defend Seoul in the face of an intensifying campaign of threats from North Korea. The advanced, radar-evading F-22 Raptors were deployed to Osan Air Base, the main U.S. Air Force base in South Korea, from Japan to support ongoing bilateral exercises, the U.S. military command in South Korea said in a statement that urged North Korea to restrain itself. “(North Korea) will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which will only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia,” the statement said. Saber-rattling on the Korean peninsula drew a plea for peace from Pope Francis, who in his first Easter Sunday address called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula. “Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow,” he said, speaking in Italian. Tensions have been high since the North’s young new leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered a nuclear weapons test in February, breaching U.N. sanctions and ignoring warnings from North Korea’s closest ally, China, not to do so. That test, North Korea’s third since 2006, drew further U.N. and bilateral sanctions designed to pressure the impoverished North to stop its nuclear weapons program. Pyongyang responded to the new steps by ratcheting up warnings and threats of war.

North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea, but Seoul and its ally the United States played down the statement from the official KCNA news agency as the latest in a stream of tough talk from Pyongyang. In a rare U.S. show of force aimed at North Korea, the United States on Thursday flew two radar-evading B-2 Spirit bombers on practice runs over South Korea. On Friday, Kim signed an order putting the North’s missile units on standby to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the stealth bomber flights. The F-22 jets will take part in the annual U.S.-South Korea Foal Eagle military drills, which are designed to sharpen the allies’ readiness to defend the South from an attack by North Korea, the U.S. military said. The U.S. military did not say how many of the planes were flown to South Korea from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. The statement described Sunday’s deployment as part of routine shifts of air power among bases in the Western Pacific that U.S. forces have been conducting since 2004. Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted the top Japanese government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, as condemning Pyongyang for “aggressive provocation” after Kim’s ruling party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, identified U.S. military bases in Japan as targets for attack. The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war since a truce that ended their 1950-53 conflict. Despite its threats, few people see any indication Pyongyang will risk a near-certain defeat by re-starting full-scale war.

U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (2nd L) (D-NY), John McCain (L) (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R) (R-AZ) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) hold a news conference. REUTERS/Samantha Sais WA S H I N G T O N (Reuters) - With U.S. business and labor now in agreement, a bipartisan group of senators has resolved all major issues in a pending deal to overhaul the U.S. immigration system and aims to unveil it after Congress reconvenes in the second week of April, key lawmakers said yesterday. The lawmakers said that while there was no final deal yet, they hope and even expect there to be one soon after the measure is put into legislative language so all eight senators in the group can review it. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest U.S. business group, and the AFL-CIO, the largest labor federation, reached an elusive agreement on a guest-worker program on Friday, clearing the way for the writing of a full bill. The bill will include an earned pathway to U.S. citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, bolstered border security and ways for business to meet the need for both high-skilled and lowskilled workers. “With the agreement between business and labor, every major policy issue has been resolved,” said Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and a member of the so-called Gang of Eight, which has four Democrats and four Republicans. “We’ve all agreed that we’re not going to come to a final agreement until we see draft legislative language and we agree on that,” Schumer told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” But Schumer added: “I don’t think any of us expect there to be problems.” Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, another member of the group, also appeared on “Meet the Press,” and said: “We’re committed to this if we can get the language right.” Republican Senator

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another member of the group, said: “I think we’ve got a deal.” “There are a few details yet,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “But conceptually we have an agreement between business and labor, between ourselves that has to be drafted. It will be rolled out this week.” Graham voiced confidence that the bill would eventually be approved by the Democratic-led Senate and Republican-led House of Representatives - provided President Barack Obama, as expected, actively rallies support for it. The Gang of Eight had initially planned to have a bill by the end of March but now plans to unveil it in the week of April 8, when Congress returns from a two-week recess. Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, another member of the Gang of Eight and a potential 2016 White House contender, said the senators had made “substantial progress” on a deal, but were not yet finished. “I’m encouraged by reports of an agreement between business groups and unions on the issue of guest workers. However, reports that the bipartisan group of eight senators have agreed on a legislative proposal are premature,” Rubio said in a statement issued by his office. Still, Rubio said: “I believe we will be able to agree on a legislative proposal that modernizes our legal immigration system, improves border security and enforcement and allows those here illegally to earn the chance to one day apply for permanent residency contingent upon certain triggers being met.” Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, made it clear that he expects a lengthy legislative process.

“We will need a healthy public debate that includes committee hearings and the opportunity for other senators to improve our legislation with their own amendments,” he said. Republicans have complained that a pathway toward U.S. citizenship would amount to “amnesty” and attract even more undocumented immigrants into the United States. But members of the Gang of Eight have voiced confidence that the “earned pathway” toward citizenship that they drafted, which includes a requirement that immigrants pay a fine, pay back taxes and learn English, will attract Republican support. “I hope that we can pull some Republicans our way. I think a number of them are with us already,” Flake said. Schumer served as a mediator in a conference call on Friday between the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, and the president of the AFLCIO, Richard Trumka, a source said. A guest-worker program has been a major stumbling block to the Gang of Eight, which has been working to try to reach a deal since December. The thorny issue has derailed other immigration-reform efforts over the years. Labor unions have argued against such a program, worrying that a flood of lowwage immigrant laborers would take away jobs from Americans. The agreement covers pay levels for lowskilled workers and provides labor protections for American workers. A new “W visa” would be created for employers to petition for foreign workers in lesser-skilled, nonseasonal non-agricultural occupations. This could include jobs in hospitality, janitorial, retail, construction and others.

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Palestinian leader clamps down on critics HUSSAN, West Bank (AP) — Mahmoud Abbas’ government in the West Bank is getting tougher with critics, interrogating, prosecuting and even jailing several journalists and bloggers in recent months for allegedly “defaming” the Westernbacked Palestinian leader. Rights activists say the legal hassles are meant to silence dissent and that the campaign is intensifying despite promises to the contrary by Abbas. Targets of the crackdown include supporters of Abbas’ political rival — the Islamic militant Hamas — and political independents who have written about alleged nepotism and abuse of power in Abbas’ Palestinian Authority. Abbas’ aides insist the Palestinian leader opposes any curb on expression. They blame overzealous prosecutors and security officials, but government critics say Abbas could easily halt the clampdown. Abbas’ foreign backers, who view him as key to delivering any future peace deal with Israel and maintaining quiet in the West

Bank, have said little in public about the issue. Instead, during a visit to the West Bank in late March, President Barack Obama showered Abbas and his security forces with praise for their efforts to prevent militant attacks on Israel. The new tactic of taking journalists and bloggers to court has invited speculation about timing and motive. Some say Abbas and his inner circle are lashing out at critics because they feel increasingly vulnerable politically. Others suggest the 78-year-old Abbas is either an old-school Arab politician not used to criticism or an outof-touch leader getting bad advice. Such insecurities are rooted in the political split of 2007, when Hamas seized the Gaza Strip from Abbas. Since then, Hamas has been going after sympathizers of Abbas’ Fatah movement in Gaza, while Abbas’ security forces have tried to dismantle the Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank to prevent a similar takeover there. Reconciliation efforts have failed, and both sides

are entrenched in their respective territories. The split has prevented new elections, meaning Abbas has already overstayed his term as president by four years, weakening his claim to lead. His troubles are compounded by a cash crisis in his foreign aid-dependent government and lack of progress toward his main objective of negotiating terms of a Palestinian state with Israel. There have been waves of crackdowns on political rivals, particularly Hamas, since the Palestinian Authority was established two decades ago, as part of interim peace deals with Israel. However, Palestinian journalists say they are increasingly being targeted. Ahead of Obama’s March 21 meeting with Abbas, 18 Palestinian journalists were told that they would not be allowed to enter the president’s compound to cover the event. Veteran reporters were among those denied accreditation apparently for being perceived as politically

hostile to the Palestinian Authority. Khraishi said that in talks with the journalists’ union, political advisers and security officials blamed each other for banning an unprecedented number of journalists from covering Obama. Tayeb Abdel Rahim, an Abbas adviser who dealt with the issue, did not return phone messages Sunday. Two recent court rulings have drawn more attention to the clampdown on free speech. On Thursday, an appeals court in the West Bank upheld a one-year prison term for Mamdooh Hamamreh for “defaming” Abbas. Hamamreh allegedly posted a photo montage on his Facebook page in September 2010 that showed Abbas next to that of a TV villain. A caption read: “They’re alike in all ways.” The villain in the TV drama collaborated with French colonial rule in Syria. Hamamreh, a Hamas activist in his college years, denies having posted the photos. He said he spent 53 days in interrogation, missing the birth of his son and was

Mahmoud Abbas banned from seeing his lawyer for the first 20 days. After his release on bail, his trial and an appeal dragged on for more than two years. Abbas pardoned him hours after the appeals court decision Thursday, and Hamamreh was released later that day. Nimer Hamad, an Abbas adviser, said the Palestinian leader hadn’t pushed for Hamamreh to be prosecuted. Hamamreh said he believes the main point was to deter him and others from speaking out, and that he will stay clear of any potential trouble in his work.

On the same day as Hamamreh’s verdict, another court in the northern town of Salfit sentenced a blogger, Anas Ismail, to six months for “liking” three Facebook posts critical of the Ministry of Telecommunications and the minister himself. Ismail, 30, said he was jailed for 17 days of interrogation in February and convicted and sentenced Thursday for “insulting a minister.” The judge allowed him to appeal immediately, meaning he is staying out of prison for now. He later posted on his Facebook page: “For a ‘tag,’ you get one year. For a ‘like,’ you get six months, for a ‘share’ you get a suspended sentence. A comment invites the biggest disaster.” A Palestinian advocacy group, MADA, said it counted 238 violations of the rights of Palestinian journalists last year, including detentions, travel bans and the closing of media outlets. MADA said that of those, 70 percent, or 164, were committed by Israel and the rest in equal measure by the two rival Palestinian governments.

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Pope makes Easter pleas for world peace VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis marked Christianity’s most joyous day with a passionate plea for world peace, celebrating his first Easter Sunday as pontiff in the enthusiastic company of more than 250,000 people who overflowed from St. Peter’s Square. With eloquent words in his Easter message, Francis lamented enduring conflicts in the Middle East, on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere and remembered the world’s neediest people. With physical gestures, he illustrated the personal, down-to-earth caring he brings as a pastor to this new papacy — cradling a disabled child held out to him in the crowd and delightedly accepting a surprise gift thrust at him. Francis shared in his flock’s exuberance as they celebrated Christianity’s core belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead following crucifixion. After Mass in flower-bedecked St. Peter’s Square, he stepped aboard an open-topped white popemobile for a cheerful spin through pathways in the joyous crowd, kissing babies, smiling constantly and

patting children on the head. One admirer of both the pope and his favorite soccer team from his Argentine homeland, Saints of San Lorenzo, insisted that Francis take a team jersey he was waving at the pontiff — “take it, go ahead, take it,” the man seemed to be telling the pope. Finally, a delighted Francis obliged, briefly holding up the shirt, and the crowd roared in approval. He handed the shirt to an aide in the front seat, and the popemobile continued its whirl through the square. In a poignant moment, Francis cradled and kissed a physically disabled boy passed to him from the crowd. The child worked hard to make one of his arms hug the pope back, then succeeded, smiling in satisfaction as the pope patiently waited for the boy to give his greeting. Francis has repeatedly put concern for the poor and suffering at the center of his messages, and he pursued his promotion of the causes of peace and social justice in the Easter speech he delivered from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica,

the same vantage point above the square where he was introduced to the world as the first Latin American pope on March 13. The Roman Catholic leader aimed his Easter greetings at “every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons.” Francis prayed that Jesus would inspire people to “change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace.” As popes before him have, he urged Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks and end a conflict that “has lasted all too long.” And, in reflecting on the two-year-old Syrian crisis, Francis asked, “How much suffering must there still be before a political solution” can be found? The pope also expressed desire for a “spirit of reconciliation” on the Korean peninsula, where North Korea says it has entered “a state of war” with South Korea. He also decried warfare and terrorism in Africa, as well as what he called the 21st century’s most extensive form of slavery: human trafficking. The first pontiff to come from the Jesuits, an order with

special concern for the poor, and the first pope to name himself after St. Francis, a medieval figure who renounced wealth to preach to the down-and-out, Francis lamented that the world is “still divided by greed looking for easy gain.” Earlier, wearing creamcolored vestments, Francis celebrated Mass on the esplanade in front of the basilica at an altar set up under a white canopy. He frequently bowed his head as if in silent reflection. Francis seems to bring good weather to Rome. As has happened on several of the other first public outdoor appearances of his fledgling papacy, huge throngs defied forecasts of heavy rain to turn out. They were rewarded by dry skies and some bursts of sun through clouds. Vatican officials said by midceremony, 250,000 people had come to the square, and thousands of others, including last-minute Romans, flocked to the square just in time to catch his blessing at the end. The square was a panoply of floral color. Chilly winter has postponed the blossoming of many flowers. Yellow forsythia and white lilies shone, along with bursts of lavender and pink, from potted azalea, rhododendron, wisteria and other plants. Francis thanked florists from the Netherlands for donating the flowers. He also advised people to let love transform their lives, or as he put it, “let those desert places in our hearts bloom.” The Vatican had prepared a list of brief Easter greetings in 65 languages, but Francis didn’t read them. The Vatican didn’t say why not, but has said that the new pope, at least for now, feels at ease using Italian, the everyday

Pope Francis hugs a child after celebrating his first Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, yesterday. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) language of the Holy See. Francis also has stressed his role as a pastor to his flock, and, as Bishop of Rome, Italian would be his language. The pontiff improvised his parting words to the crowd. He repeated his Easter greeting to those “who have come from all over the world to this square at the heart of Christianity” as well as to those “linked by modern technology,” a reference to TV and radio coverage as well as social media. Francis added that he was especially remembering “the weakest and the neediest” and praying that all of humanity be guided along “the paths of justice, love and peace.” In another departure from Easter tradition, Francis won’t be heading for some post-holiday relaxation at the Vatican’s summer palace in Castel Gandolfo, in the hills southeast of Rome. That

retreat is already occupied by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who went there in the last hours of his papacy on Feb. 28. Benedict became the first pope in 600 years to resign from the position, and eventually is to move back to the Vatican, after a convent there is readied for him. Francis so far has declined to move into Benedict’s former apartment in the Apostolic Palace, into the rooms whose studio overlooks St. Peter’s Square. He is still in the Vatican hotel where earlier this month he was staying along with other cardinals participating in the secret conclave to choose Benedict’s successor. While Francis has just begun to make his mark on the church, it is plain he has little desire to embrace much of the pomp customarily associated with the office.

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Caribbean nations search for oil amid spill fears KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — The turquoise waters that have long brought treasure seekers to the Caribbean now are drawing a new kind of explorer as countries across the region increasingly open their seas to oil exploration. From the Bahamas and Cuba down to Aruba and Suriname, international oil companies are lining up to locate potentially rich offshore deposits in the Caribbean. The countries hope drilling could lead to a black-gold bonanza, easing demand for imported oil and diversifying their economies. It’s a longstanding dream for many. As the Dominican songwriter Juan Luis Guerra once sang, “If petroleum sprang from here, oh but there would be light and hope.” So far, the twin-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago is the only major hydrocarbons producer in the Caribbean, and its waters are crowded with offshore platforms. The country sits just about seven miles (11 kilometers) off the coast of Venezuela, which has the world’s largest proven oil reserves. It’s pushing hard

into deep-water drilling and has signed productionsharing contracts with British oil company BP for new exploration blocks. A growing number of other Caribbean nations are also authorizing or at least aggressively pursuing offshore exploration. The Bahamas recently announced it would try offshore exploratory drilling and said it should have enough information by late 2014 to decide whether it can move forward with production. A voter referendum would first have to decide the matter. Bahamas Petroleum Company CEO Simon Potter said a rig will drill to subsea depths of roughly 22,000 feet (6,705 meters) in some 1,600 feet (488 meters) of water adjacent to Cuba’s offshore territory. Barbados and Jamaica have also been seeking well exploration in their seas, while the Anglo-Dutch group Shell announced in December it was preparing to sink its third offshore well in nearby French Guiana, an overseas French department, with other companies also exploring in deep waters

there. “What once was a trickle is fast becoming a stream in the Caribbean, with new announcements of expanding deep-water exploration lease offerings and drilling permits being issued,” said Lee Hunt, a Houston-based consultant who retired last year as the longtime president of the International Association of Drilling Contractors. The push for exploration has been fed partly by worries that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s nearly twoyear-long cancer fight and March 5 death would affect a Venezuelan aid program called PetroCaribe that sells petroleum to 17 Caribbean countries on preferential terms. PetroCaribe provided $14 billion worth of Venezuelan oil to the region last year, with Cuba being the principal beneficiary. Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro hasn’t said he would stop the aid, but his challenger in April 14 elections, Gov. Henrique Capriles, has pledged to cut off subsidized oil to Cuba and reevaluate the PetroCaribe program if elected. Keeping the oil flowing is

In this Sept. 5, 2005 file photo, the refinery of the state-owned Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd., PETROTRIN, is shown in Pointe-a-Pierre, on the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad & Tobago. (AP Photo/Shirley Bahadur, File) crucial. Caribbean countries generate nearly all their power from imported oil although the region is blessed with solar, wind and other alternative energy opportunities. Nonetheless, many people across the region fear their famed clear water, fringing reefs and white-sand beaches could end up a casualty to any future oil boom, threatening the tourism bonanza that many countries already depend on. Even with the possibility of a windfall still distant, regional officials have begun to discuss how they would cooperate in the event of a major accident, such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “First, we have to prevent any kind of spill. And second, if something happens, we have to make sure everyone is working together,” said Ernesto Soberon Guzman, the Cuban ambassador to the Bahamas, during regional talks about oil spill preparedness in the Bahamaian capital of Nassau this month. Ocean currents practically assure that a big spill in one Caribbean nation would significantly affect neighbors, possibly even the U.S. East Coast. Many Gulf communities are still recovering from the

Deepwater Horizon accident, the country’s largest offshore oil spill. “If oil rises to the surface and gets to the surface currents, it would start flowing towards our waters and our shores,” said Capt. John Slaughter, chief of planning, readiness, and response for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Miami-based 7th District. “We’re going to take every action we can to prevent that from happening.” Adding to complications, the overall Caribbean region, with the exception of Trinidad & Tobago, is still an uncertain frontier for offshore oil and gas, said Jorge R. Pinon, a Latin America and Caribbean energy expert at the University of Texas in Austin.Cuba, for example, authorized exploratory drilling for ultra-deep deposits estimated to hold 5 billion to 9 billion barrels of oil, but its dreams were put on hold last year when three initial exploratory wells were unsuccessful and the massive platform that drilled them sailed away, with no scheduled return date. “Lots of work remains to be done in seismic studies to really understand the complexity of the region’s geology and to see if the possibility of commercial

hydrocarbon reservoirs exists,” Pinon said. Such doubts, however, have mostly been cast aside in the face of oil prices topping $100 a barrel. And Caribbean governments are trying hard to lure more oil companies to take the expensive gamble of dispatching offshore drilling rigs, which can cost up to $500,000 per day to operate. In Guyana and Suriname, officials are busy licensing deals and offering concessions in a longignored basin the U.S. Geological Survey last year estimated to have “significant undiscovered conventional oil potential.” Exploratory drilling in deep waters has already begun off Guyana, where last year an international consortium moved to cap a high-pressure well at a subsea depth of 16,000 feet (4,876) meters over safety concerns. Several oil companies still believe the area is promising, and Spanish energy company Repsol and the U.K.’s Tullow Oil PLC are negotiating new licenses, according to Guyana Natural Resources Minister Robert Persaud. Exploratory wells also were sunk last year in waters off the Caribbean coast of Colombia. “I can tell you now that the basin is getting very, very crowded. But we have some unused blocks to give,” Persaud said. With so many countries hoping to strike it rich, Hunt forecasts interest by major oil companies only will be growing. “The Caribbean is no longer kind of the forgotten basin,” he said. “I think it is going to become a prominent player in deep-water drilling.”

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PM says US authorities not yet providing information on Warner issue PORT OF Spain, Trinidad – CMC – Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, under pressure to dismiss her National Security Minister Austin “Jack” Warner amid allegations that he may be implicated in a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe involving soccer’s global governing body, said Saturday she still had no official information from the United States on the matter. “I am committed to upholding the high ethical standards which the public legitimately and rightly expects of my Government, but I am equally mindful that the commitment to the rule of law requires balance and respect for the presumption of innocence,” she said in a statement. “As Head of the Government, I would make an informed decision in this matter once the facts are established,” she added. Reuters News Service in an exclusive report Wednesday said that an FBI probe into alleged corruption in international soccer has recently intensified after investigators persuaded a key party to be a cooperating witness, U.S. law enforcement sources said.Reuters quoted the sources as saying that Daryan Warner, the son of the National Security Minister and former FIFA vicepresident is assisting the probe, but could not say who might be charged, or when. “While the exact scope of the investigation is not clear, among the matters under scrutiny are two previously reported allegations involving Jack Warner, who is currently national security minister in his native Trinidad and

Tobago. “The deepening of the probe indicates that a succession of corruption scandals involving FIFA and other international soccer bodies in the past few years may continue to cast a cloud over the sport for some time,” Reuters reported. The international news agency said that Warner has not been charged with any wrongdoing and that since 2011, the FBI has been examining more than US$500,000 in payments made by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) over the past 20 years to an offshore company headed by top U.S. soccer official Chuck Blazer. But Prime Minister Persad Bissessar, who had earlier indicated that she would not rely on published reports in the media, but would seek to get “official corroboration of the information” said to date the efforts of her administration had not been fruitful. She said she had instructed Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran “to pursue the matter via the established diplomatic channels to obtain the relevant facts and seek clarification on the reported allegations. “I further directed the Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan, to write his counterpart, the US Attorney General, Eric Holder Jr., directly to seek his personal intervention in the matter so that there can be official confirmation of the facts and circumstances surrounding this the alleged investigation. “Unfortunately, whilst there has been great diplomatic cooperation,

Kamla Persad Bissessar and “Jack” Warner attempts to elicit further information and clarification have thus far not been successful.” Prime Minister Persad Bissessar said it would be premature “if not prejudicial for me to act without any official clarification or confirmation from the US Authorities on this controversial and sensitive matter”. This is not the first time that Prime Minister Persad Bissessar has sought to tread carefully in international football matters involving Warner, the former head of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). In 2011, she stood by her embattled senior cabinet minister, when he was temporarily suspended by

Antigua’s Vere Bird Jr. dies ST JOHN’S, Antigua CMC – Vere Bird Jr, the elder brother of former prime minister Lester Bird, has died. He was 76. Bird, the first son of the island’s first prime minister Vere Cornwall Bird, died of an apparent heart attack at the Joey John’s clinic yesterday. Bird, an attorney, entered politics in 1981 and served as minister of agriculture, as well as minister of aviation, information and public service. He also served as chairman of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP). As Public Works and Communications he oversaw the reconstruction of the V C Bird International Airport, which was the subject of controversy after it was discovered that he had granted a contract for the construction of a new runway

Vere Bird Jr. to a company in which he was a shareholder. He was later fired after a scandal in which Israeli weapons sold to Antigua and Barbuda, were found in the hands of the Medellin cartel, Colombian drug smugglers, and a report by Sir Louis

Blom-Cooper recommended that he be prohibited from holding public office again. But despite that report, Bird returned to government in 1996 serving as minister of science, technology and communications and after the 1999 general election he served as minister of trade, industry, agriculture, lands and fisheries. The ALP lost the general election in 2004, and five years later Bird, six other senior ALP members, including his brother, was arrested for participating in an unauthorised May Day rally. The seven politicians were found guilty of public order offences, although the trial was delayed following a seizure suffered by Bird. He suffered two more seizures in 2010, after the completion of the trial.

FIFA, while allegations of bribery against him were being investigated. But since the Reuters report was published here, the main opposition People’s National Movement (PNM),

which has been calling for Warner ’s dismissal, intensified the call with Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley saying he would like to see how long the prime minister would continue to

shield the embattled minister. “The Prime Minister has been appearing to bury her head in the sand, pretending not to know what is going on so as not to have to take the firm decisions required in this situation. And she does not care if the country’s image is damaged, if the authority of the Cabinet is eroded or if the people’s interests in this country is destroyed,” Rowley said. The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), a former partner in the coalition People’s Partnership government, also called for Warner’s dismissal. “We are now in a very embarrassing situation as a nation as having the minister responsible for national security allegedly being investigated by the State agencies of another country and this will obviously have very significant implications for Trinidad and Tobago,” said MSJ leader David Abdulah. He called on the prime minister “to take action urgently and immediately.”

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Kaieteur News

Monday April 01, 2013

CAL mum on alleged bankruptcy Bajans call to curb crime

Trinidad Express Caribbean Airlines (CAL) is reportedly facing what amounts to more than TT$500 million in debt, but in response to an article printed in a weekly publication which alleged that CAL is bankrupt and its board has been attempting to borrow more than TT$100 million from the Government to pay its staff and suppliers, CAL’s corporate communications manager Clint Williams said he could not speak specifically to the article. “We prefer not to discuss any specific aspect of the report that we have seen in the media at this time.

“CAL is currently in a stabilisation and transformation initiative and our short- and medium-term goals will see us rationalising cost and driving revenues towards more self-sustaining and profitable operation…the initiative has been developed with full partnership from the board and personnel from the Ministry of Finance,” Williams added. “And at this time we prefer not to comment on specifics of the internal activities, simply to say that the industry demands greater operational productivity and we are moving in that

direction.” Quoting from a Jamaican news agency, the local news report further stated that CAL has already fired employees in Jamaica whose contracts came to an end last week and was now weighing its options with regards to Jamaica operations, including a call centre which employs 90 people. In 2011 when CAL merged with Air Jamaica, CAL took over what were deemed the profitable routes held by Air Jamaica and those operations are now said to be running at a loss, according to the weekly news publication.

‘Mothers accepting hush cash to end daughters rape cases’

Barbados Nation – Mothers have been accepting payments, some as high as B$10 000, to end court cases against men charged with raping their daughters. Former Juvenile Court Magistrate Faith Marshall-Harris made the charge last Wednesday night during a town hall meeting at the Christ Church Foundation School, where she presented some of her recommendations for the upgrading of laws

relating to children, women and families. She expressed disgust at the practice and reported that she had already spoken to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Charles Leacock, QC, about it. “I hear the going rate is B$10 000,” the UNICEF Children’s Champion told the gathering that included president of the National Organisation of Women, Marilyn Rice-Bowen.

before it’s too late

Taxi-drivers at Holetown, St James, discussing crimes against tourists. Barbados Nation Government is being urged to wrestle with the issue of crime against visitors before it harms tourism, a critical, foreign exchange-earning industry. The call has come from people who provide products and services directly to tourists, including taxidrivers, jewellery sellers and chair renters – all concerned about recent attacks in which tourists have been robbed of jewellery and even shot. Some told the SUNDAY SUN this past week, particularly since the shooting of a British couple, they have been hearing more tourists voice their concerns about crime in Barbados. At the taxi stand in Holetown, St James, taxidriver Ryan Marshall said: “Yesterday, I bring down two tourists that come off from Virgin Atlantic and when them get into the vehicle, the first thing them ask me is if the people who rob and shoot the tourist get lock up yet. I tell them yes and they start to talk about how they hear about it at home. He called for the authorities to move swiftly to put measures in place to

control crimes against tourists. “From the way things looking now, this could cause serious damages to this island’s tourism product. And I know what I saying because I out here dealing with these tourists almost every day,” he added. A female vendor in Holetown, who requested anonymity, was in agreement. She said that in the past couple of weeks she had noticed a slight increase in sales of her beaded and shell jewellery. “Them [saying that they can’t wear them gold in Barbados anymore, so them buying these cheap jewellery that make from shells and beads,” she pointed out. “I think what these robbers doing is bad and them making tourism in Barbados look bad and them making we look bad. A tourist even say that the crime against tourists making the country look bad.” On Thunder Bay Beach in Weston, St James, Vagn Johnson, who has been renting tourists beach chairs for the past five years, admitted: “The tourists saying that the people at the hotel telling them that them

ain’t supposed to wear no gold and them ain’t supposed to go in no isolated places.” He added: But . . . nobody can’t rob no tourist ’bout here. I tell them that anything happen, just come here and tell me. I tell them that anybody come and harass them, to come here and let me know. “This is a long beach and if they go in certain areas we can’t see them or what going on. So I does tell them to stop ’bout here with the chairs so that I could see them. It is my business so I got to look out for the tourists.” In Speightstown, St Peter, a group of tourists was at Reefers and Wreckers Scuba Diving Shop, preparing for a dive. When asked how they felt about their overall safety on the island, they all said they felt quite fine. Englishman Dan Beadle said that through the British media he had heard about the two tourists who were recently shot in broad daylight in Bridgetown. “But that is just a one-off [incident], ain’t it?” he responded. “I feel safe in Barbados. The people here are friendly and everybody is nice.”

Trinidad Express - The United States Department of Justice says a federal grand jury in Macon, Georgia, USA, has returned an 18-count indictment alleging that a Trinidadborn couple, who owned and operated a tax preparation business, “conspired to defraud the United States by preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns”. The Justice Department charged that the “fraudulent

tax returns” prepared and filed by Natashia and Detrick Tucker “illegally claimed inflated tax refunds for their clients”. The Tuckers tax preparation business, called T&T Express, is located in Pine Mountain, Georgia, the department said. The indictment also charges both of the Tuckers with specific counts of “aiding the filing of false tax returns, including Natashia Tucker’s personal returns”.

The Tuckers were arrested and made their initial appearances in court. If convicted of the conspiracy charge, the Justice Department said Natashia and Detrick Tucker could each face a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment. In addition, the department said they face a maximum of three years in jail for each count of conviction for aiding the filing of false tax returns. (CMC)

Trinidadian couple indicted on tax crimes in Georgia

Monday April 01, 2013

Kaieteur News

Animal Kingdom triumphs in Dubai World Cup DUBAI (Reuters) - Animal Kingdom, ridden by Joel Rosario, held off a late charge by Red Cadeaux to win the $10 million Dubai World Cup by a comfortable two lengths at odds of 11-2 at Meydan on Saturday. Red Cadeaux, ridden by Gerald Mosse, finished second nearly five lengths clear of Ryan Moore on Planteur who, like last year, came home third in the world’s richest horse race. Animal Kingdom, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner trained by Englishman Graham Motion, held close to the pace for most of the 10 furlong race, taking over the lead from top U.S. mare Royal Delta in the final turn to give America victory. “It’s a tremendous horse. It’s unbelievable,” Rosario, who made his move 2-1/2 half furlongs out, said after the race on the synthetic track. “To win the World Cup - it’s

Animal Kingdom wins world's richest race. (Reuters)

great.” “He broke well today and he put himself close to the pace and took himself where he wanted to be. In the turn for home he was like look around where is my competition so that was awesome,” Rosario added after the race. The five-year old chestnut, owned by Arrowfield Stud and Team Valor, ended a three-year drought for U.S.-bred runners in the final race of the night at the opulent Meydan course. “He reminded me very much of the (Kentucky) Derby today the way he ran, it was the same kind of run he made home he just seemed so confident,” Motion said. Red Cadeaux, trained by Briton Ed Dunlop, was priced at 28-1 and Planteur, recently bought by a member of the Qatari royal family, was a 101 shot.

Asked about the prospects of running Animal Kingdom at Royal Ascot this year, John Messara, one of the owners, said: “There are risks and logistics involved.” “So we need to sit down (with a) cool mind tomorrow and have a bit of chat about it with (Team Valor CEO) Barry (Irwin) and Graham (Motion as to) where we go and what the risks and rewards are,” he said. Double Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic winner Royal Delta, 4-1 favorite and ridden by U.S. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, faded in the home stretch to finish 10th after leading for much of the race. Last year’s Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso, owned by the Godolphin operation of Dubai ruler and United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, was pulled out of the race earlier on Saturday.

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AFS Shipping T\20 cricket in Wakenaam

Sans Souci Jaguars, Good Success through to final Sans Souci Jaguars and Good Success have secured their places in the final of the AFS Shipping Twenty\20 cricket competition after recording victories in their respective semi final matches played yesterday at the Wakenaam Community Centre ground. In the first semi final, Sans Souci Jaguars defeated Maria’s Pleasure by 14 runs. The Jaguars batted first and scored 138 all out in 20 overs. Gladwin Henry and Kevon Hendricks made 21 each with two fours and two sixes respectively as Lenard Lewis, Bernard Lewis and Marsh Singh claimed 2 wickets each. Maria’s Pleasure in reply

were bowled out for 124 in 20 overs. Bernard Lewis led with 41 (2x4, 4x6) and Kennard Lewis supported with 23 (4x4). Dellon Osborne captured 3-15, Zameer Zaman 219 and Tamesh Charittar 2-21. In the second semi, Good Success overcame Zeelandia by 7 wickets. Zeelandia were routed for 110 in 19.5 overs batting first. Navishaul Pooran stroked 31(3x4,1x6) as Nazeer Mohamed who recently gained selection on the Guyana Teachers Union team to participate in the Les Harris tournament in St. Lucia took 2-15 and Imran Khan 226. Good Success responded with 114-3 in 17.2 overs. Wazeer Mohamed top scored

with 47 not out which contained four fours while Khan chipped in with 37 (2x4,3x6) and Mohamed 10 made not out. Meanwhile, in the last preliminary round game played at the said venue, Good Success got the better of Noitgedacht by 1 wicket. Noitgedacht took first strike and made 105 all out in 19. 4 overs. Hassan Mohamed made 23; Imran Khan picked up 3-12, Wazir Khan 3-15 and Chandrika Ragnauth 2-12. Good Success replied with 106-9 in 19.1 overs with Shoaib Namaz scoring 21 and Jaggernauth Manbodh 18; Anthony Osborne grabbed 4-17 and Hassan Mohamed 2-14.

FIFA warn South Africa government against interference JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - FIFA have written to the South African government warning them against a judicial inquiry into the recent football match-fixing scandals, saying the matter should rather be handled by the country’s football association. Several of South Africa’s warm-ups before they hosted the 2010 World Cup were found to have been fixed, which led to the brief suspension of senior South African Football Association (SAFA) officials, including its president Kirsten Nematandani. South Africa’s Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) recommended a judicial commission of inquiry but FIFA warned them of possible consequences should the government be seen to be intervening in football matters. South Africa’s sports minister Fikile Mbalula told local media he would travel to FIFA headquarters in Zurich next week to discuss the issue with world football’s governing body. “SASCOC have made a recommendation to us that we must go ahead with a judicial commission of inquiry into the matter,” Mbalula said.

“Match-fixing is about fraud, corruption and mismanagement. There is a rule of law in South Africa. Where there are suspicions, they must be investigated. SAFA must understand that you can’t be a referee and player at the same time,” he said. SAFA vice president Danny Jordaan told Reuters his organisation had already asked police to investigate the matter. Nematandani and four other top officials were briefly suspended following the handing over in December by FIFA to SAFA of a 500page investigation into the activities of Wilson Raj Perumal and his Football 4U organisation. But within a month their suspension was lifted on procedural grounds. FIFA found the results of pre-World Cup warm-up matches against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala in the weeks leading up the 2010 finals were fixed. Allegations of match-fixing were first revealed in the South African press in July 2011 year but SAFA did not immediately act, only raising the issue once FIFA had incorporated the country into a wider investigation into Perumal’s activities.

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Kaieteur News

Monday April 01, 2013

Guyana start well in Suriname Int’l Easter Badminton tournament

Members of the Guyana team that are involved in the Suriname tournament. The National 18-Member Junior Team attending the Suriname International Easter Tournament at the Walter Amo Sports Hall saw the Guyanese players making a good start to proceedings there on Saturday. They are competing in the Under-11 Boys Doubles, Under-13 Boys Singles, Under-1 Boys & Girls Singles & Doubles, Under-19 Mixed

Doubles and Open B Mixed Doubles. Several Guyanese players reached the Semi-finals which were to be played yesterday. Among them are: Priyanna Ramdhani & Narayan Ramdhani in Singles & Mixed Doubles, Ambika Ramraj & Jea Ramsammy in Singles. In results from the matches played: Under-13 Boys Singles Round Two: Elan Rahaman lost to top seed Danny Chen: 21-7, 21-2 Under-13 Girls Singles Round One: Priyanna Ramdhani defeated Tyara Tjokrodikromo: 21-15, 21-12 Under-13 Girls Singles Round Two: Priyanna Ramdhani defeated Nazeeya Oemar: 2110, 21-6 Under-13, Girls Singles Quarter-Finals: Priyanna Ramdhani defeated Chasita Soemodipoero: 21-4, 21-0 Under-17 Boys Singles Round One: Armand Ramdhani lost to Joao Troenokromo: 21-14, 2114 Joshua Singh lost to Arvind Nannanpanday: 213, 21-4 Hemraj Beharry lost to Patrick Vigelandzoon: 21-9, 21-10 Omari Joseph lost to Mitch Nai Chung Tong: 2112, 21-12 Jonathan Mangra was given a W/O Narayan Ramdhani 2nd seed was given a Bye Jonathan Persaud was given a W/O Under-17 Boys Singles

Round Two: Narayan Ramdhani defeated Damian Chin Sie Jen: 21-5, 21-3 Jonathan Mangra defeated Sjarief Djabar: 21-17, 21-13 Jonathan Persaud lost to Danzel Sweet: 21-9, 21-3 Under-17 Boys Singles Quarter-Finals: Narayan Ramdhani defeated Danzel Sweet: 21-9, 21-17 Jonathan Mangra lost to Kevin Zou: 21-11, 21-16 Under-17 Girls Singles Round One: Nadine Jairam defeated Tessa Courtar: 21-17, 21-7 Arian Kayume defeated Selena Jaman: 21-8, 21-7 Ambika Ramraj defeated Zoue Hooghart: 21-18, 21-16 Crystal Dey got a Bye Jea Ramsammy was

given a W/O Under-17 Girls Singles Second Round: Nadine Jairam defeated Yuan Yuan Yang: 21-14, 21-14 Jea Ramsammy defeated Kajol Sidhoe: 21-13, 21-8 Ambika Ramraj defeated Yong QI Huang: 21-15, 21-12 Arian Kayume lost to S.Lindveld: 21-9, 21-13 Crystal Dey lost to MaryAnn Zhong: 21-15, 21-13 Under-17 Girls Singles Quarter-Finals: Jea Ramsammy defeated Viviane Chen: 21-18, 21-18 Ambika Ramraj defeated A. Paragsingh: 21-19, 21-15 Under-19 Mixed Doubles Quarter-Finals: Narayan Ramdhani & Priyanna Ramdhani defeated Patrick Vigelandzoon & Sherifa Jameson: 21-18, 18-21, 21-13.

Volleyball extravaganza on today at No 63 Beach All is set action at the popular No63 Beach, Corentyne, Berbice today when the Berbice Volleyball Association (BVA) 2vs2 extravaganza which is sponsored by Ansa McAl, under its Tropical Rhythms Fruit Juices brand, is staged. All the top teams in Berbice are expected to be a part of the action, while a number of clubs from Demerara has also indicated an interest in being a part of the day’s programme. Among the clubs slated to take part are Port Mourant Training Centre, Port Mourant Jaguars, Rollers, Vikings, Defenders, Three Door Strikers, Falcons, Eaglets among others. The teams are expected to have multiple entries with as much as five teams from one club. The tourney will be played on a “Luck of the Draw Knock- Out” basis using multiple courts that will be set up in the vicinity of the Ansa Mc Al Benab on the #63 Beach. The first, second and third place winners will receive trophies and cash incentives. The action is scheduled to begin at 10:00 hrs. The company has pledged to make the event an annual affair.

Monday April 01, 2013

Kaieteur News

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Could the Mexico money ‘Guinness Greatest of the Streets’Futsal Competition Defending champs TLC Russians be near South Beach? maintain winning streak

As the Guyana Football Federation Electoral Congress nears, there are quite a few burning questions that are still unanswered. Guyana’s football has been presided over by a bunch of individuals who has ruled in controversy for close to two decades and has been viewed as extremely unpopular and authoritarian by those who it was elected to serve. There are many examples to show that would affirm the view of many of its affiliates who often times are too afraid of reprisals to challenge the status quo. The denial of voting rights to some associations, the reluctance to provide expertise to sub-associations and clubs to put themselves in order, the lack of development at the local level due to the paucity of coaching skills after years of FIFA’s encouragement and funding and last but not least, the failure to disclose the amount of money received for switching the World Cup qualifier against Mexico to Houston, Texas, have all pointed to the unambiguous repressive posture of the entity called the GFF. One of the Presidential candidates, Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major, who was a central figure in the deal that saw Guyana switch its home World Cup qualifier against Mexico to the BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas, must be compelled to give a detailed account to this Nation about the contents of the deal

struck with the Mexico Federation and the monies derived from the agreement. Major, who along with other Presidential hopefuls Christopher Matthias, Ivan Persaud and Alfred King will be facing the electorate on April 12, and who acted on behalf of the GFF during the selling of the rights to Sponsports and Planet Futbol cannot claim not to know the full extent of the deal and should be mandated to tell all Guyana what benefit was derived from depriving this nation the opportunity of seeing the 2012 Olympic champions on home soil. The GFF Organising Secretary has been known to have influential powers within the Federation and as his portfolio dictates, he is responsible for such matters, so clearly he must have many of the answers the players, fans, stakeholders and everyone else associated with the game are seeking. In addition to releases from two writers from the USA who followed the issues pertaining to the Mexico game switch closely, an unnamed source that was intimate with the negotiations and the parties involved told this writer that the monies derived from the deal was significant, and might be concealed in an account somewhere in the USA. He further stated that it was done in that manner to deny the players, who were promised a significant portion, the knowledge of the amount that they made from the deal, fearing that those

same players who worked tirelessly with little support, not benefit adequately from taking Guyana’s football from heights not attained ever before. We just have to recall the pleas and letters written by members of the ‘Golden Jaguars’ to the GFF hierarchy to understand the nature of the Body that seems more interested in protecting their hegemonic rule rather than serving the interest of the players. Major has the answers and pressure must mount for him or the Acting President Franklin Wilson, who faithfully promised the respected Simon Crosskill, a lead Anchor on the Caribbean Sports Network SportsMax to get the matter with the payments to the players resolved as soon as possible. That was last December, but to date no word with regards to the fulfillment of that promise has emanated from the Headquarters of the Federation. The public could be the judge on this matter, but come April 12, all those who were afraid to talk in the open will be able to make their feelings felt via the ballot. The FIFA / CONCACAF visit paved the way for the eradication of intimidation and retaliation that typifies the regime and any act of such will not go unnoticed and will be reported. Instead, the team encouraged conciliation and transparency and only time will tell if that is the new dispensation going forward.

Six Brazilian teams confirmed for C&R Lethem Football tourney Classique Restaurant on Tuesday donated a number of trophies to the organisers of the C&R Promotions 5-A-Side Football tournament slated tomorrow at the St. Ignatius Ground, Lethem. The trophies will now accompany the top prizes of $50,000 as the organisers have confirmed that 20 male teams will be doing battle for bragging rights while eight teams will contest the female version of the competition. Proprietor of the restaurant, Andrew Narine related his passion for the sport while pledging his continued support of the 5-A-Side tournament. He wished the organisers success. The male category will see 14 teams from Lethem, two from Georgetown and four from Brazil competing while on the distaff side, six teams from Lethem and two from Brazil will do battle for the top honors.

Co-organiser of C&R Promotions, Rayan Farias (left) collects one of the many trophies on Tuesday from Classique Restaurant.

- Wisroc, Aliku and Street Vybz also record victories

Part of the action in this year’s Linden segment of the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Futsal Competition. Defending Banks DIHsponsored Linden ‘Guinness Greatest of the Streets’ Futsal Competition champion TLC Russians maintained their winning streak by blanking South Stars 3-0 as play continued on Saturday night, at the Amelia’s Ward Bus Park. Terrence Brown (1st) Claude Dennis (9th) and Shawn Daniels’ 18th minute goals were the men responsible for the team’s second win of the tournament on a night which also saw Wisroc, Aliku and Street Vybz registering victories. Exodus and Constab along with Blueberry Hill and Porkerburg played to 1-1 draws, with Quacy Rice scoring for Exodus in the 4th minute of play, before Kevin Adams netted the equalizer in the 18th minute for Constab, while Denzil Daryl’s first minute strike for Blueberry Hill was nullified

by Uroy Major’s 13th minute effort. Street Vybz took the court and faced High Stars, who were defeated 2-1, with Dwayne Thomas and Clevlon Thomas scoring for the victors in the 4th and 6th minute respectively, while Jason Monah responded for High Stars in the 9th minute of play. Wisroc faced Scheme in the fourth match before the regular Guinness break that is customary during the tournament and came out on top via a 4-1 scoreline with Andrew Breedy, Deshawn Joseph, Orande Wills and Clarence Huggins scoring in the 7th, 9th, 17th and 19th minutes respectively for Wisroc, while Scheme’s lone response was recorded by Ranol Wills in the 4th minute. After the break, Silent Assassins proved to be too deadly for Ripping Bullets whom they defeated 2-

1courtesy of Jermaine Castor and Collie Hercules’ goals which were scored in the 1st and 13th minutes respectively, while Israel McKenzie was the lone marksman for Ripping Bullets after he netted in the 8th minute. Aliku stopped Top Class 3-1, thanks to Dwayne McKinnon’s double which was scored in the 1st and 18th minutes respectively along with Marlon Simon’s 18th minute goal. Travis Daniels pulled one back for Top Class in the 17th minute. Following TLC Shipping Russians’ victory over South Stars, Hard Knocks and Trainline Warriors played to a nil all draw to close off the night’s proceedings in the tournament which has a whopping $600,000 and trophy up for grabs for the winner, while the top two teams will go to the national playoffs.

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Kaieteur News

Monday April 01, 2013

Perera leads Sri Lanka to Twenty20 win KANDY (Reuters) Opener Kusal Perera hit an explosive maiden halfcentury off 44 balls to steer Sri Lanka to a 17-run win over Bangladesh in a one-off Twenty20 international in Pallekele on Sunday. Sri Lanka, put into bat, rattled up 198 for five wickets with Perera hitting five fours and four sixes in his 64. Bangladesh finished on 181 for seven. Jeevan Mendis (37) and Thisara Perera (22 not out) provided the final flourish to the Lankan innings. Mendis and Angelo

Mathews (30 not out) shared a stand of 66 off 35 balls to establish a new fifth-wicket record for Sri Lanka. Mohammad Ashraful provided Bangladesh with a solid start, racing to 43 off 27 balls including two sixes and four fours before he was cruelly given out lbw to a ball that was going down the leg side. Bangladesh kept their foot on the accelerator as contributions from skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (39), Mahmudullah (31) and Mominul Haque (26 not out) pushed them towards the Lankan total.

But the loss of Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah off successive deliveries in the 15th over ended their chances of making a game of it. Bangladesh ended their five-week tour of Sri Lanka with only a solitary win in the third one-day international on Thursday which enabled them to draw the series 1-1. They lost the two-test series 1-0. Scores: Sri Lanka 198 for 5 (Kusal Perera 64, Mendis 37) beat Bangladesh 181 for 7 (Ashraful 43, Mushfiqur 39, Thisara Perera 2-25) by 17 runs.

Aubrey Major sets the record straight... From page 29 In 2004 I served as the lead negotiator in discourses that led to Mr. Jamaal Shabazz first visiting Guyana to attend the Kashif & Shanghai Tournament to scout players for overseas tryouts. It was that initiative that led to Guyanese footballer Walter Moore benefitting from an ongoing international career that lead to him now being contracted in Kazakhstan plying is trade. Players would recall that I took an All Stars Kashif & Shanghai representative team to St. Lucia under Head Coach Gordon Braithwaite that won the Blackheart Production International KO Tournament 2006. In 2009 I was responsible for the visit of the then, Caribbean Football Union

President, Concacaf President and FIFA Vic-President Mr. Austin “Jack” Warner, to visit Guyana for the Kashif & Shanghai Tournament. The following year Major was to far exceed even his earlier significant achievements by negotiating the visit to Guyana by the Brazilian legend King Pele as a guest of the Kashif & Shanghai Organization. While this verifiable synopsis of my resume‘ is merely intended to put Mr. Welch’s misleading offering into perspective, what it also does is to make an eminent and unchallengeable case for my election to the presidency of the GFF. Who amongst my competitors comes even close in terms of experience in the administration of

football? No less significant is the considerable experience I have secured through my attendance at over twenty (20) CFU, CONCACAF and FIFA Congresses over the years and three Football World Cup Tournaments in Korea/Japan (2002), Germany (2006) and South Africa, (2010) If this information comes as a surprise to Mr. Welch that is only because over the years I remained a modest and unassuming person, who generally avoids media publicity while Welch, it seems, has little if any appetite or aptitude for research. He should allow this experience to be a lesson to him. Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major GFF Presidential Candidate

Permaul, Beaton bowl Guyana.... From back page Narsingh Deonarine took a dolly to leave the visitors at 71-4. Floyd Reifer (08) who survived a confident appeal for leg before off Jacobs was then bowled by leg spinner Devendra Bishoo as he played across a delivery to make it 99-5. Beaton was reintroduced and had success shortly after when he forced Raymon Reifer to chase a delivery out side off stump and was taken by debutant wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble for 19 at 111-6. Chadwick Walton and Akeem Dewar then added 16 for the seventh wicket with Walton hoisting Bishoo for two sixes in the same over at long on. Beaton, who bowled with genuine pace and troubled most of the batsmen, then sent the stumps of Dewar cart wheeling out of the ground for 8 with the score on 127. Walton and Ryan Austin encountered some nervous

moments but managed to see their team to tea on 145-7. After the break Beaton had Walton caught at the wicket for 32 and Austin taken in the slips by a diving Jacobs for 5 before Permaul wrapped up the visitors innings when he disturbed the stumps of Kevin Mc Clean for 2. Kesrick Williams who drove and pulled Beaton for consecutive boundaries was left not out on 15, while Jacobs ended with 1-25 and Bishoo 1-26. Guyana resumed the day on 225-7 but only managed to add six more runs to their total. Off spinner Nekoli Parris (4-9) snapped up the remaining three wickets in quick succession. He first removed Anthony Bramble, who failed to add to his overnight total of 37 and then claimed the wickets of Paul Wintz (00) and Ronsford Beaton (02). Bishoo was not out on 4. At Sabina Park, Jamaica took first innings points from Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaica

batting a second time were 184-4 at the close on the second day. Brenton Parchment is unbeaten on 60 while Dave Bernard is yet to score. Tamar Lambert made 51, Nkrumah Bonner 31;Imran Khan took 1-10. Earlier T&T were dismissed for 121 in reply to the host first innings score of 147. Lendl Simmons scored 39, Riyad Emrit 29 and Yannick Carriah 19 as Sheldon Cotterell snared 543, David Bernard 3-18 and Andrew Richardson 2-29. At Warner Park, Barbados ended the day on 184-4 in response to Leeward Islands first innings score of 201. Kraigg Brathwaite is unbeaten on 86 and Kevin Stout on 54. Kirk Edwards chipped in with 32 as Kelbert Walters claimed 2-32. Sylvester Joseph top scored for the islanders with 65, while Tonito Willet scored 54 and Devon Thomas 34 as Ashley Nurse captured 6-89 and Sulieman Benn 2-47.

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