Sunday April 15, 2018
Kaieteur News Printed and Published by National Media & Publishing Company Ltd. 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana. Publisher: GLENN LALL Editor: Adam Harris Tel: 225-8465, 225-8491. Fax: 225-8473, 226-8210
Ignoring Corruption W
hen in opposition, this government made many promises. There was the promise of good governance, the promise to tackle corruption, and to be honest, transparent and accountable to the people. It also promised swift prosecution against those public officials in the last administration who were found culpable of corruption and other illegalities. The government promised a clean sweep from the PPP government, which was deemed to be highly corrupt. But approaching three years in office and after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on forensic audits and on the State Asset Recovery Agency, the level of prosecution is sadly wanting. Many believe that there are still many corrupt people around but they are being ignored. The suggestion is that they have made people in the present administration equally corrupt by paying bribes and granting favours beyond the scope of favours. Someone once said that to ignore corruption is being deceptive and could lead to social decay. If there is the perception that corruption is being ignored in certain quarters then things have turned full circle. One of the principles of good governance is to hold one’s self and others accountable. A government that is not accountable to the people does not have the moral authority to govern a nation. The government has shown signs that it is prepared to be transparent. This transparency has seen the release of the oil contracts, the publication of financial records and constant press conferences to answer any question that the public may have. During the PPP tenure in office, there was solid evidence that some public officials used the state funds and resources to benefit themselves, relatives and friends. Many believe that the actions of the major political parties when in government leave no doubt that they lack integrity to govern and that they are above the people and not accountable to them. President David Granger says that he will brook no corruption but he has no way of knowing how corrupt the people he leads are. There is no accounting to the Integrity Commission, which would indicate the growth of the assets of the individual. In this manner, this government is behaving in the same manner as its predecessor. While in office, the PPP government made several unilateral decisions including imposing a five percent annual increase in pay for civil/public servants. This time around, there are negotiations. These negotiations have not been conclusive but the increases were paid. That is a sign that the government will not be dictatorial yet the people want to see the palms of the leaders. They are hearing the rumours. There is no evidence that any of today’s leaders have converted state assets to his or her personal use. There has been no acquisition of state lands for personal gain but there is the fear that approaches have been made by the oil company and offers accepted. This may not be the case but the people have no way of knowing because there is no annual declaration. While the government’s performance in other areas such as the appointment of constitutional bodies and Commission of Inquiries has been excellent, its pronouncement as to when Parliament should meet to conduct the people’s business is disappointing. This paucity of sittings of the National Assembly does not bode well for the government, which claims to believe in democracy. It should be a cause of concern for everyone because it is unacceptable and it is not the level of democracy that the government had promised the people.
Editor’s Note; If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
If we can’t have a precedent, we will never have a deterrent to excessive power by Govt. Officials DEAR EDITOR, The call from civic society to have the Government renegotiate the PSA with Exxon has dwindled down to two men; Nigel Hinds and Chris Ram. It is not that the common folks in society are not supportive of the call to renegotiate the Contract. The chit chat from “man in the street” and the bars is indicative of the people’s belief that under the present contract, our oil resources will not improve our lives. Guyanese will never take to the streets in protest for the Government to renegotiate the PSA. Since independence, we have seen successive Governments do as they desire to us and our resources. The theory that “Governments should be considered as servants to the people” has never been an inkling of reality here. As a result, the Guyanese psyche
is buried in submission, while we ponder and negate or accept the edification of the luminaries in our society. Over the last fifty years, we had been subjected to the whims and fancies of the governing elites until we have been unconsciously indoctrinated into silence. Now, we are as passive as debris on the beach, being tossed by the waves (Govt). Our present constitution stipulates that the people should be consulted on “matters that may affect their well-being.” That has never happened. For the citizens to stand up and demand redress is to invoke the spirit of victimization within the all powerful governments. As a result, activism to stop corruption or the excesses of Government is dead from grassroots to University. Fear has taken hold of the masses, because successive
governments continue to superimpose themselves on t h e S t a t e ’s a p p a r a t u s , creating a dictatorial strangle hold on the people who had elected them. The dropping of the columns of Hinds and Lewis from the state owned Chronicle is a classic example. Mainstream society had little to say on this attack on the freedom of expression in a media that is supposed to belong to the people. Another example! Given the fact that the Government tried to hide the signing bonus and the PSA was kept undisclosed for over a year and when released was found wanting in comparison with others around the World, coupled with the Government’s adamancy towards renegotiating the contract in the face of public outcry, reeks of collusion. In totality, the entire scenario seems conducive to a
situation where the oil belongs to the Government (a few individuals) and the people are beggars, asking for a little pittance from a reluctant master. While the Government has the audacity to continue to mention that the natural resources belong to the people of Guyana; not a single iota of consultation was done to affect the PSA. Given the widespread knowledge that oil and gas will affect our lives for the next 50 years, this is a flagrant violation of our Constitution. This is the sad state of our so-called democracy. Where is the safeguard mechanism to ensure compliance to the constitution? When the signing bonus was exposed, comments such as, “We don’t care,” emanated from the Finance Minister. The Minister of (Continued on page 7)
Sunday April 15, 2018
Baffling that businesses in the gold sector have serious issues with producing routine documents DEAR EDITOR, I refer to the letter written by ‘A concerned miner’ titled, “Gold Board killing the golden goose” (KN April 14). I was wondering when such a development would occur, and knew that it inevitably had to, given the determination of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) to fulfill its obligations and serve this nation responsibly. I am surprised at myself for responding to an anonymous presence, but I must. First, whoever “A concerned miner” is, or is a front for, there was very deliberate avoidance and pretended ignorance on the role of minerals, in this instance gold, functioning as fuel for corruption, money laundering, and terrorist financing; and as those relate very sharply to this country. This is found to be conveniently self-serving and not so skillfully selective. And therein is the crux of the conflict-free mandate demanded of this country’s compliance regime from mineto-market, and which has been made abundantly and repeatedly clear. It has been made clear to every participant within the mining sector on every occasion and at every forum. That seems to be of no importance to those who insist, nay demand, business as usual. In this, the GGB has no choice; or to repeat: no wriggle room. If the Gold Board continues to operate as it did for many a year, then it would not be killing the
golden goose; it would be killing the entire country. It is beside the point whether all of this is clear enough or not, or found acceptable or not. But this much is pertinent and of incalculable significance to this nation: the 2017 State Department report on major money laundering countries in the region, identified and included this country, and named minerals repeatedly as one of the contributory factors to Guyana’s unwanted designation. That would be, in the main, gold. Now as a backdrop to, and in conjunction with, the international emphases and concerns of a number of pivotal bodies (LBMA, OECD, SEC, and the EU, among still others) have provided both guidance and non-negotiable standards on what must prevail here. Pursuant to local visits, inspections, and arm’s length discussions at multiple levels (including political and diplomatic ones), the GGB moved to implement due diligence procedures and practices that this “concerned miner” now nonchalantly and dismissively terms “unnecessary documentation.” Whether individual or group, that luxury (“unnecessary”) is theirs and can be so arrogated; unfortunately, the GGB does not have such latitude. Editor, I must now ask, in view of modern commercial practices, when do such basics as: 1) National Identifi-
cation document; 2) Proof of Address; 3) Tax Identification Number; and 4) supporting mining paperwork, such as permits, licences, authorizations, and the like, rise to the level of “unnecessary documentation” and incur such disturbance and resistance? I go further and question not only when but why? I leave that to the commonsense deliberations of all thoughtful citizens. In addition, the writer went on to share that, “This, in turn, has caused dealers to turn away miners, as they say it’s the Gold Board requirements, for compliance all of which we have been using for years and no issue.” It is interesting that this assertion is attributed to dealers. I recall a top dealer, an honourable religious man, sitting across from me and saying before others that matters have developed “from no regulation to over regulation.” I repeat his very words: “from no regulation.” I submit that this powerfully contradicts the representations of “a concerned miner”. In terms of “over-regulation”, I humbly disagree; but as said earlier, the GGB has neither the latitude nor luxury to operate otherwise. Further, it is baffling that billion dollar businesses in the gold sector have serious issues and anxieties in producing what can only be described as routine documents that are fundamental to standard operations, and of which they themselves should highly desire and insist upon
having as part of sound and comprehensive business dealings. I would have thought that such would be self-protecting. Even further, all Guyanese, and none more so than the participants in this crucial sector, which contributes so heavily to the nation’s economy, should be cognizant of the 4th Round of CFATF due diligence activities upcoming in the course of this year. It is expected to incorporate deep-diving and drilling down in the mother of all comprehensive compliance efforts. It could be immeasurably devastating if this country’s major economic plank is found lacking in terms of compliance. It would be utterly regrettable, if Guyana is found wanting because of resistance to, and the absence of, absolutely necessary and vital documentation. What has been discussed, documented, and transmitted to Guyana is stark and unyielding: no (Continued on page 6)
Fed up with rampant corruption in Neighbourhood Democratic Councils DEAR EDITOR, The citizens of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana are fed-up with the rampant corruption at almost every twenty-seven (27) Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) which operate under the Local Government Act Chapter 28:02. The functions of those Councils are to provide s e r vices; (1) Sanitation, garbage disposal, roads dam, maintenance, market facilities, burial grounds, abattoirs, drainage, recreational ground. (2) To maintain and protect public property. (3) To levy and collect rates.
Many are of the belief, that those offices have been created, for embezzlement of public funds, whereby the servants involved goes scotch free and the villages suffered shabby or no works at all. It is the right time for the relevant agencies, such as the Ministry of Communities, Accountant General Office, Ministry of Finance and the Auditor General Office, to put their acts together and stamp out this fraud. This is the only option to make our country, a better place. Parmanand Ram
Salute to Guyana’s Troy Doris DEAR EDITOR All Guyana is abuzz with the news that Troy Doris won gold in the men’s Triple Jump at the Commonwealth Games 2018. Good for you Troy! All Guyana is deliriously happy and proud of your achievement and wish you and the rest of the Guyana team many more successes. No doubt the person behind Troy’s success, such as his family and friends, coach and such like can also feel a sense of pride. Shamshun Mohamed
Sunday April 15, 2018
Kaieteur M@ilbox Smuggling of our birds DEAR EDITOR, In Stabroek News Friday April 06/18, it was reported that two men were arrested on Wednesday at JFK Int’l Airport in New York for illegally smuggling finches from Guyana. What is also surprising, if the report is correct, these innocent birds can be sold for up to US$5000.00 or more! On Wednesday, I was at Bourda Mall buying some fruits when I overheard a vendor asking a man about a friend of theirs. The man replied, “Me see the man only yesterday, he come to me house to barra a bird trap”, I asked the man: “Why trap innocent birds?” He said, “Wha, them thing
does fetch lota money in New York”. I want to congratulate the US Customs and Border Protection for being so alert. If these men (one is 72 years old and the other 57) are convicted, they could face up to 20 years in jail (according to the article). These innocent birds must suffer tremendously on their illicit journey. My question is now what happens to those birds? Will they be put in a zoo, released in the wild or returned to Guyana? Our Government institutions should be strengthened and our justice system made severe enough to discourage Guyanese from participating in this practice. Reading this article brought to mind Ginn Blyn’s beautiful and meaningful poem: “Deep within the soul of the lonely caged bird, Beats the rhythm of a distant forest Etched upon its broken heart The faded memory of flight…” Yours faithfully, SyeadaManbodh
Revoke Ministry of Education Security bond. But after Ministry of Education, the Tenders, restart bids performance all our expenditure, we were Ministry of Finance and the told that the contract had Ministry of the Presidency. I
DEAR EDITOR, I was most appalled to read a letter written by Mr. Julius Williams and published in the Guyana Chronicle on Saturday, April 14, 2018 under the headline ‘Education Ministry should re-tender those bids’. Williams’ letter exposed the flagrant and vulgar violation of proper procurement procedures by the Ministry of Education in the handling of tenders for security services. It suggests to me that the tender process may have been manipulated to favour an obscure security firm with no track record in the business while upstanding security firms were, and continue to be sidelined. It is heartbreaking to know that the same atrocity happens over and over again when tenders are handled by other ministries and state agencies. That is why I fully support Williams’ call for all reputable bidders to reject this highly flawed and questionable process by the Ministry of Education. I call on the Ministry to throw out this corrupt tender process, then restart a new one that is open, fair and transparent. How does the Ministry explain that other bidders were omitted from the
process? How come only Neville Spence and InterService Enterprise Security attended the bid opening, much to the surprise of other security company representatives who only discovered that there was another open competitive bidding when they went to witness the opening of sealed bids for the provision of security services for the Dependents Pension Fund? RK’s Security Services was one of the security firms that discovered this irregularity at that same time. What justification can the ministry come up with to explain what happened? Like Williams, I am convinced that it was a deliberate act to rob bidders of the opportunity to get the contract. It looks like someone benefitted from inside information about this tender. RK’s Security has had its share of experience with the Ministry of Education. In 2017, we successfully bid for a contract with that Ministry and, after being told we were successful, spent huge sums of money preparing to fulfill our responsibilities. We engaged and recruited security officers, bought uniforms, provided quality training and obtained a
been terminated for ‘convenience’ with just a few hours’ notice given before we were to commence. Utter and gross disrespect! This matter is now before the Supreme Court. I am inviting all the other security companies affected to contact me so that we can organise a class action lawsuit against the Ministry of Education and the Government of Guyana. I have a feeling that if we band together and present a united front, we can win this case. Further, I would like to encourage all the aggrieved parties and members of the Guyana Association of Private Security Organizations (GAPSO) to join together and conduct picketing exercises at the
am prepared to even lead the team for this cause, and assist with its mobilization. Justice must not only be done it must also be seen to be done. This is not the case with security tenders at the Ministry of Education. This questionable tender should be revoked at once and a new, clean bidding process must start immediately. There must also be an official inquiry into how this absurd situation occurred in the first place. I will work with Mr. Williams and all other affected parties to make sure that justice is done and the culprits are held accountable. Enough is enough. Yours sincerely, Roshan Khan Snr. RK’s Guyana Security Services
Baffling that ... From page 5 documents, no dealings; and zero exceptions. The interests and priorities of the Honourable Minister, the Board of Directors, and Management of the GGB are to fulfill all related obligations. I readily appreciate that change is seldom welcomed, and usually ferociously resented, even when for the better. But the GGB has a responsibility to the sector and to this nation. Last, the writer pro-
nounced more than once of my infatuation with power. I now proceed to furnish one and all with irrefutable evidence of such power pursuits and power trips. My written resignation (no questions asked, no reasons needed) is always on the desk of the Honourable Minister, the Cabinet, and His Excellency. In the future, I will not be responding to any anonymous party. Sincerely, G H K Lall
Sunday April 15, 2018
Our absence was a stand of solidarity with the citizens of Georgetown DEAR EDITOR Please allow me to respond to a letter in KN 04/11/ 2018 edition, “The green monsters must not be allowed to defile our citizens”. The writer questions why Sherod Duncan and I were notably absent from the debate and the vote to allow the parking meters bylaws and whether our political party, the Alliance for Change, passed the order for us to ‘stand down’. Please allow me to put this question to rest once and for all. The answer is an emphatic, NOT AT ALL! It was I who called Sherod on the morning of the meeting to suggest to him that we not attend as a show of protest and to stand in solidarity with the citizens of Georgetown. Sherod subsequently released a statement on Facebook stating our reason for not attending the said meeting. “Former Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikaran and yours truly refuse to participate in today’s Extraordinary Statutory Meeting because there are attempts to ignore the voices of the people who remain adverse to the Parking Meter contract and everything that stems from it.” We believe that, yes,
parking should be regulated to make optimal use of space in our city and also to manage traffic. But the advent of this parking meter contract remains highly questionable and dubious. A contract that took high officials at City Hall less than two months to sign, after we assumed office, has taken us more than two years to try to rectify. We still stand against it. We believe, like every right-thinking citizen and resident of Georgetown that this contract did not benefit from the wisdom and approval of our Council, nor did it benefit from the tender and procurement procedures required by law, which make it repugnant and, therefore, should be scrapped. Mr. Editor, I would also like to state categorically that at no time since I became a Councillor in the 2016 LGE has the political Party that I’m associated with, the AFC, ever asked me to step aside or vote on any issues that I’m in disagreement with. On the contrary, they have encouraged independent thinking, sometimes to the point when I actually think that I’m a free agent! I have on many occasions approached my friend and former General Secretary of the AFC, David Patterson,
for advice on municipal issues only to be told in his peaceful manner, - Lionel, my friend, you’re an intelligent person and that’s the reason we’ve asked you to represent our interests. Just be fair and equitable in all of your actions and the party will support you.” I trust that this letter will clear up any misconceptions
that the citizens of Georgetown may have with regard to my stand against this particular contract for paid parking in Georgetown. Sometimes silence is the most powerful scream. Yours sincerely Lionel Jaikaran Councillor Municipality of Georgetown
Isn’t it time we get real? Dear Editor, The United Nations is unfit for purpose, not by accident but by design. Here we have an organisation consisting of one hundred and ninety three states that can be paralysed by any one permanent member of the Security Council – France, China, Russia, the US or the UK – simply by exercising their veto. For years, if anyone even looked like they were even thinking of criticizing Israel, the US exercised a veto. Now, we have the US and Russia vetoing each other. It’s like a game of poker. We’ll see your veto and raise you by two vetoes. The problem is they are gambling with lives. Can anything be done? Rooplall Dudhnath
If we can’t have a precedent, we will never... From page 4 Foreign Affairs had lashed out at transparency advocates saying, “Many of those who talk transparency, their activities won’t see the light of day.” Commenting on the gravity of the secrecy of the signing bonus, Chris Ram had said, “It is not even only one of a sustained pattern of lies and deception by key Ministers over close to 28 months. Under Section 85 (a) and (c) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, indictable offences appear to have been committed for which substantial penalties apply.” Was there any consideration to charge anyone for these “indictable offenses”? I think not. Ram further added that, “The essential fabric of a gov-
ernment is its relationship with citizens which is grounded in trust and that has been irrecoverably severed. How can anyone (the Ministers) be forgiven if they are incapable of remorse, penitence, shame and embarrassment?” This is nothing new! Since independence, politicians in power have shown clear signs of being incapable of the
above mentioned emotions. Why does power turn their hearts into base metals? The answer is simple. While our constitution seems to be worded with safeguard mechanism to protect against violations or abuse of power by govt officials, the follow up method to ensure compliance in the form of prosecution is
wanting. With all the cries of corruption through the years, not a single government official has ever been prosecuted for financial or administrative impropriety. If we can’t have a precedent, we will never have a deterrent to the excesses of power by Government officials. Rudolph Singh
Sunday April 15, 2018
APNU+AFC is most corrupt Govt. in English speaking Caribbean – PPP
he People’s Pro gressive Party (PPP) yesterday pronounced the Coalition Government as the most corrupt Government in the postindependent English speaking Caribbean. “We say without any fear of contradiction that this is the most corrupt Government, which has ever held office in independent Guyana,” the PPP noted. Corruption under this Government, according to the PPP, has reached to such alarming levels that the March 2018, U.S State Department Report’s International Narcotics Control Strategy identifies Government corruption, for the first time in Guyana’ history, as one of the main source of money-laundering. “In short, we have a Government of money-launders,” the PPP outlined in a press statement. The media release from the PPP came days after the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) filed charges against on Wednesday against former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, and former head of the National Industrial Commercial and Investment Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington. Both men served under the PPP Government and are accused of selling prime state lands to private developers
below market price and without property valuation. In three short years, according to the PPP, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) + Alliance For Change (AFC) Administration has managed to completely by-pass the public procurement process, mandated by law, and has handed to its cronies and financiers, hundreds of contracts to the value of billions of dollars. “Indeed, its corruption is only surpassed by its incompetence,” the PPP stated. The party listed a series of events which it said points to corrupt practices. The PPP described the Coalition as a Government that refuses to submit itself to the Integrity Act, which requires the submission of their assets and earnings of Ministers and public officials. Further, the party stated that the Government voted against a Motion, tabled by the PPP in the National Assembly, which called upon all Members of Parliament (MP) to disclose their Integrity Commission submissions as well as their income tax submissions for the past 10 years. Additionally, the PPP stated that the Government surreptitiously stashed in a secret bank account, US$18M, received from oil giant ExxonMobil as a signing bonus and uttered not a
word about it to the public, for over a year, until the information was leaked to the press. HEALTH The party outlined that in one single transaction, the Minister of Health, Volda Lawrence ordered the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) to purchase $620M in drugs and pharmaceuticals supplies from an identified supplier, without any resort to the procurement process. The PPP stated that the Minister then shamelessly and publicly accepted a gift of a freezer from the supplier to store some of the pharmaceuticals. What is worse, the pharmaceuticals were acquired at a cost of over 100% more than their market value. Further, the PPP pointed to the Government’s decision to rent a house in Albouystown for $14M per month to store pharmaceuticals. The opposition noted that the house can only yield a rental of approximately $100,000, on the open market. The PPP stated that over $300M has thus far been paid in rental for this bond. “Again, there was no resort to any form of procurement, in relation to the rental of this house in Albouystown,” the PPP stated. This very landlord, the
Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo
PPP stated, is a member of the People’s National Congress (PNC). The landlord, according to the PPP, rents a building from a sitting Minister, which is situated in the heart of the city, for $800,000 per month. D’URBAN PARK The PPP noted that Government expended over $2B of taxpayers’ dollars in the construction of the D’Urban Park facilities and established a company that was given the major construction works under this project, comprising a Minister and known members of the PNC. “Again, there was no resort to any form of public pro-
curement. Despite repeated demands, they cannot produce any credible records to the office of the Auditor General, in relation to this project,” the PPP stated. “Whenever this Government resorts to the procurement process and it does not yield the contractor of their choice, it manufactures a reason to scrap the process and restart it until the desired contractor is awarded the contract. “At the level of the Regional Tender Boards, this practice is even worse. The Regional Executive Officers are allowed to manipulate the process so that cronies and
party loyalists are awarded the contracts. “This Government has surreptitiously negotiated a petroleum sharing agreement with Exxon Mobil and for over a year refused to make it public despite thunderous public pressure. Dozens of questions have been raised about this contract, but this Government has persistently refused to answer any of them.” The party said it observes the deafening silence of former crusaders against corruption, in the face of the massive corruption, which permeates the Government. “We further ask the public to note that whenever these crusaders and others, troubled by their consciences, speak out against the corruption now taking place, they duplicitously make a comparison with the PPP/C Administration as to create a veneer of balance,” the PPP stated. Given the matters outlined by the PPP, the party questioned the audacity of the administration to accuse others of corruption. The PPP accused the Government of manipulating the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and directing SOCU to institute fabricated and malicious charges against political opponents and highly qualified professional Guyanese, who have served their country and their people with distinction.
Sunday April 15, 2018
ExxonMobil contract as oppressive as GTT monopoly deal - Ramson
Attorney-at-law, Charles Ramson, has said that the 2016 contract inked between ExxonMobil and Guyana is reminiscent of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT), which allowed that company to stifle the nation. In 1990, the People National Congress government and Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN) signed an agreement in which ATN acquired 80 percent shares in GTT and the government retained 20 percent. GT&T subsequently commenced operations on January 28, 1991. According to Ramson, the ExxonMobil contract is just as oppressive as the GTT contract and will see generations suffering the consequences, “but the effects of this contract (ExxonMobil’s) will be worse.” Ramson said, “The contract with Exxon will trap Guyana for decades to come even after the APNU+AFC loses power; the situation with GT&T’s 40-year monopoly of Guyana’s international voice and data traffic awarded by the PNC.” Ramson noted that the GTT contract has severely restricted the liberalization of the telecommunication sector in Guyana for decades causing Guyana to have about the highest
Attorney-at-law, Charles Ramson telecommunication rate in the world.The money that GTT has been able to make off Guyana is well known. In the operating year 2007/2008 alone, GTT raked in $21M of which $9M was declared as profit. This sort of profit was recorded despite the fact that GTT was paying $100M per month, accumulating to $1.2B per year, to its parent company, ATN as “advisory fees”; an expenditure that stunned authorities. Many questioned, how can a company operating in a nation as poor as Guyana make such a large turnover and profits? While Guyana wanted to wriggle itself out of the vice of GTT, the contract was binding and little could have
been done. As a result, 27 years later, telecommunication in Guyana is still to be liberalized. Just last year, when the Guyana Consumers Authority was advocating liberalization, it had this to say, “For 26 years, the Guyanese consumers have funded all investments by GTT within and outside of Guyana. This funding is the formidable basis of a company that uses internal interest-free funds to expand and then claim increased rates from double dipping.” Ramson said that 27 years from now, Guyana will still be feeling the squeeze of the ExxonMobil contract which the APNU+AFC Government is not willing to renegotiate. “In fact, Article 32 of the contract (the stabilization clause) with ExxonMobil has already trapped Guyana since it states that there can be no re-negotiation of the contract unless ExxonMobil agrees. This, it goes without saying more, is flaw number one and will see not only the lost revenue amounting to billions of US dollars from the unfavourable fiscal terms of the contract but the loss of an opportunity for another government to correct the flaws in the now extant contract.” The oil and gas consultant said that no contract should have a stabilization
Dem boys seh... Thank Soulja Bai and ee smart ass Cabinet “When our actions are based on good intentions, our souls have no regrets.” Dem boys read dat quote somewhere. And whatever dem boys write here is always in good faith and with de best of intentions for a better Guyana. De more dem boys listen to some of de leaders, de more dem convinced dat de leaders is dummies or dem corrupt to de core. Examine Jordan, de Finance Man. Two days ago, he seh de country didn’t do well. He also seh dat de US$18M crumbs de country get fuh de signing bonus is getting interest.He projected some big growth figures for de economy in 2015, 2016 and 2017. But de reality was far from what he predicted. He come over as a fadda who tell his children how next month dem gun get chicken in abundance. When next month come, dem ain’t even see de feadder fuh de chicken much less de chicken. De fadda again, de following month, tell he children dat chicken plus duck gun come
plenty dis time, only to find out de kids can’t even find de neck. De same thing he do de third month. De third month come and gone and dem pickney ain’t even hear a kak crow. And he continues like dat month after month. How can you trust a fadda like dat?? Same thing wid de Finance Man. Year after year, he sending kak to de nation wah nobody can handle. And to fool yuh more or mek yuh an idiot, as if yuh don’t know what is going on, he run round and tell yuh how de US$18M crumbs dem seh dem collect, is getting interest. Can yuh believe dis??? Dis man eyes pass dis nation fuh seh so. He gat de nerve to seh how de money invest in US treasuries and Canadian bonds. Dem boys seh dat pittance is not money fuh put in US and Canadian interest bearing account. Dem boys seh what yuh get is what yuh worth and certainty de nation worth more than de US$18M
crumbs. Dem worth US$18 Billion instead of US$18Million like wha dem give to odda countries. Dat is what he should be going for to develop infrastructure, to develop Guyana and de change wah leff back, he can put in de US and Canada accounts to get some real interest; Not those few coins, you dummy. In a nut shell, what de oil company throw at Guyana and Jordan dem settle for, is a few bicycles wha gun bruk down going to Bourda Market.Dem boys know had he and he govt did recognize wha de country worth, every Guyanese woulda receive a brand new Mercedes-Benz and a fat bank account. If dem had an ounce of brain, Jordan wouldn’t be telling de nation how de economy struggling and ain’t meet de targets. But de fools sell de country shart and got everybody living like beggars fuh de rest of dem life. Talk half and thanks to Soulja Bai and he smart ass cabinet ministers.
clause without a term limit. Ramson further noted, “Recently, we heard the Minister of Natural Resources saying that the contract will be reviewed in four years, but review doesn’t mean renegotiate.
I hope Guyanese note that.” The lawyer said Guyana will definitely not be getting the kind of revenue it deserves from ExxonMobil. Ramson opined that decades after Guyana signed the GTT agreement, “there is
no way we should have been making the kinds of mistakes made in the ExxonMobil agreement. Our politicians should have learned. Now we all have to live with the consequences of mistakes made over and over again.”
‘I would have spent $32B in GuySuCo bailouts differently’- Jordan
If Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, had his way, the $32B in bailouts sank in the Sugar Industry since 2015 would have been spent differently.The official was being pressed on Friday about the monies plunged into the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). There have been burning questions how the corporation utilised those monies. From all indications, the monies were spent on salaries and paying suppliers and others. There is very little public information on how much, if any, was spent on critical retooling, agriculture and making the industry more efficient.There have been feelings in some quarters that
the monies should have been spent on fixing the factories and on harvesting equipment and improving agriculture in the fields.During a press conference, Friday, at his Main Street office, the Finance Minister disclosed that the details of how those billions were spent are still being tallied. However, Jordan made it clear that he would have used the $32B in an “alternative” manner. Most of it have instead gone to paying wages and salaries. Jordan believed that the monies should have been spent re-engineering the sector, which would have left the country better off. The statements would
Sunday April 15, 2018
Finance Minister Winston Jordan
Enmore Estate: Finance Minister, Winston Jordan has said that had he a choice, the $32B sank into GuySuCo over the past three years would have been spent differently. confirm an unhappiness in factions of the Coalition
Government which believed that the cash-strapped GuySuCo in the last three years was badly handled. Government has publicly stated that Cabinet had not been able to discuss GuySuCo’s intentions to close three estates so rapidly last year. With little resources to plug into other projects, the sinking of billions of dollars into an industry that had been going nowhere with little fixes seen, had been a hard pill to swallow. There were increasing calls for urgent reforms to GuySuCo. However, the Finance Minister, was also quick to point out on Friday that with more than 15,000 workers, it would have been hard to object to the monies being disbursed although GuySuCo had little to show for it. The alternative of not giving the bailouts would have been sending home the workers. It was a “too big to fail scenario” that had to continue, he said.The fact is that the GuySuCo wages and salaries bill was more than its earnings at one time. That left
little room to pay suppliers and other contractors. He said that Government simply does not have the monies stashed off somewhere to just pay the corporation. In fact, the $5B severance was a struggle with several programmes for this year cut or reduced from the various ministries. Only half of the severance was paid to redundant GuySuCo workers earlier this. The other half will be paid in the latter half of this year. Arguing that there are very little monies to spend, the Finance Minister pointed out that there has never been a case in this country where there has been a budget surplus. Annually, administrations would have had to borrow to erase the budget deficit. This year’s borrowing would have amounted to $46B and did not cater for the $5B severance for the 4,000-plus sugar workers made redundant from three estates- Skeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore.GuySuCo has been a hot political issue in recent years with consecutive
governments finding little answers to improve fortunes. The Opposition- the People’s Progressive Partywhich has built its support on sugar workers- has been vehemently objecting to the sending home of workers despite little solutions offered. Facing first a steep 35 percent-plus price cut in its major European market, sugar also had to contend with growing competition from beet sugar from Europe. In Guyana, sugar was being produced at massive losses; at three times, the price that it was being sold for. Workers were staying away and coupled with strikes, poor weather and other agricultural factors, the factories were also falling apart.In late 2016, the centuryold Wales estate closed its gates. With Skeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore, it is up for divestment and privatization. Government through its Special Purpose Unit has hiredPriceWaterhouseCoopers to conduct valuations of the “closed” estates and with that consultant to oversee the process of privatization and divestment. The SPU has since reopened Enmore and has been producing molasses for the Demerara Distillers Limited. It has also processed thousands of tonnes of sugarcane at Rose Hall and is about to reopen Skeldon.
Sunday April 15, 2018
Sunday April 15, 2018
Guyanese child allowed to sit SEA exam
SCHOOL TALK: Education Minister Anthony Garcia, Permanent Secretary Lenore Baptiste-Simmons, and Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan at a news conference yesterday.
Trinidad (Newsday)- THE 11-year-old Guyana-born student who was being denied permission to sit the May 3 Secondary Entrance Examination (SEA) will be allowed to take it after all. He was originally told he would not be able to take the exam because he was a nonnational. The acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education on Friday wrote to the lawyers representing the child’s guardians who, this week, threatened legal action against the Ministry. Education Minister Anthony Garcia was sent a pre-action protocol letter warning that if the boy was not put back into his Standard 5 class and allowed to sit the exam, a court injunction
would be sought. The boy and his two siblings were born in Guyana but had been under the care of their Trinidadian parents in this country for the past 10 years. The letter, issued by attorneys Jagdeo Singh, Keil Tacklalsingh and Denish Rambally, said the child had been a fifth-standard pupil until just “a couple weeks ago” at a school in Carapichaima when the school’s staff, purportedly acting on the direction of some type of “newly implemented policy” from the Ministry, removed him and put him in standard four. It said school staff told his guardians that because the boy was not a TT national he would not be allowed to
do the exam. The child and his guardians had already selected four schools, had he been successful at the SEA exams. In its response, the Ministry’s acting permanent secretary said all students whose registration for the 2018 examination remained pending because they do not have a student permit will be allowed to sit the exam. The Ministry, however, said a student’s admission to secondary school was contingent on the production of a student permit, in accordance with Immigration regulations. A source at the Ministry said it has always been the policy for a non-national student to obtain a permit to register at a school in TT, and the Ministry was simply enforcing the regulations Continued on page 13
Sunday April 15, 2018
Caribbean Voice unveils prizes for suicide prevention fundraiser raffle
The prizes for the fundraising raffle on display. Financing for suicide prevention does not always come easy. This has moreover sometimes translated to some suicide prevention organisations barely being able to meet the costs associated with conducting related outreaches and workshops. In order to ensure that it keeps its head above water in this regard, the Caribbean Voice – a- not-for-profit Non Governmental Organisation [NGO] – has engaged strategic measures to raise funds. These have included a fundraising raffle which the Caribbean Voice launched yesterday in collaboration with the Giftland Mall. Already the Caribbean Voice has on display at the Giftland Mall, the prizes that are up for grabs on the raffle. “The reason why we wanted to ensure that the prizes are on display, is not only for the publicity that the raffle will attract but we want to assure people who are buying our tickets that the prizes are indeed there long before the
raffle is drawn,” said the Caribbean Voice National Coordinator, Mr. Nizam Hussain. The prizes include [First Prize] a flat screen television compliments of Comfort Sleep Mattress; [Second Prize] a small refrigerator compliments of Hussain’s television programme Coast to Coast; [Third Prize] a microwave oven compliments of the Team MMR radio programme; and 50 consolation prizes all valued $5000 or more. The raffle is set to be drawn on July 27, 2018 and will be done live on Hussain’s TVG 28 television programme Coast to Coast. The following day the list of winners will be published in the press. “We are prepared to hand out the prizes as soon as we get the responses,” said Hussain. Tickets, he disclosed, can be purchased from any member of the Caribbean Voice, in all the department stores at the Giftland Mall, the Bagotstown M & M Snackette; on the Essequibo
Guyanese child allowed... From page 12 under the Immigration Act. In their letter to the Ministry, the lawyers said the child’s siblings had been allowed to sit the exam in 2010 and 2017 at the same primary school and to continue to the secondary level. It went on to say that, the Ministry owed a duty of care in relation to meeting the child’s educational needs. “Recently, when the Honourable Prime Minister advised the nation to open doors for Dominicans to have a home and education, we dare to say that he did so paying particular heed to your duties and the Ministry’s. “If there is in fact a purported policy now being implemented by the Ministry of Education, that a nonnational student (such) as the child in question cannot continue with his education, such a policy clearly does not serve any valid educational purpose and is in breach of the statutory authority/mandate provided for under the Education Act. Simply put, such a policy is without educational purpose and serve, not to promote, but to prevent education,” the letter said.
Coast at the W D Hotel and Mart on the Essequibo Coast, Imam Bacchus and Sons and at Patrick’s Shop, Golden Fleece, Essequibo Coast. Persons can also make contact with Hussain on 6441152 or the Deputy Coordinator, Keshni Rooplall, on 697-9968. According to Hussain, while the Caribbean Voice is aware that Government has been doing work towards suicide prevention, there are number of other NGOs that have also been doing work in this regard. He, however, noted that, “many times NGOs cry out that they are not getting funding and the Caribbean Voice is one of those NGOs. So we thought that if we did a raffle it would show to all donor agencies that we are making an effort with our volunteer members to raise some funds.” It is expected, Hussain said that the funds raised from the raffle will position the Caribbean Voice to bring to reality all of its planned programmes for 2018. “We have a lot of programmes planned for this year [although], our members are volunteers, the logistics involves a lot of money for travelling, to provide the training documents and things like that, so we are appealing to Guyanese to support a worthy cause,” said Hussain. He is convinced that the proactive work of the Caribbean Voice would in fact serve as motivation to donor agencies including government. “We are not overly worried that they [government] might not find time to sponsor us but I do know too that they are doing a lot of work and the finances are difficult to come by,” Hussain added.
Sunday April 15, 2018
Health Ministry has one year drugs, medical supplies under new procurement system
Some of the stock that had been acquired, under the new procurement system of the Ministry of Public Health
Stocks in cold storage
The new procurement system for drugs and medical supplies as envisioned by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is now bearing fruit, as shortages of these key items to the health sector will soon be a thing of the past. Director of the Materials Management Unit, Ministry of Public Health, Cecil Jacques, said that last year, MoPH decided to change the system of procurement of drugs and medical supplies. Since then, there has been an assurance of no future stock outs or the unavailability of critical drugs and medical supplies. A new unit within the Ministry has been established to specially oversee the purchase and management of drugs and medical supplies. Jacques said, “The fears and the anxieties of stock outs and unavailability of medicines will end very soon. As a matter of fact, as I speak to you a container of critical medicines will arrive on Monday (April 16) and our staff here at the MMU will have to work overtime to stock them, put them in inventory and
then to send them out.” The new procurement method was necessary because in the previous system, ordering of drugs was not properly forecasted or catered for. Jacques explained that with earlier procurement the country will now stock one year’s supply of drugs and medical supplies for distribution throughout the country. This has already come on stream and he said this will now give the MoPH’s procurement unit sufficient time to prepare for 2019. “It’s what you call the learning curve, we have to start the 2018 process earlier, so once we start the 2019 process in 2018, we will not have this delay in the deliveries, we will have earlier deliveries,” Jacques explained. Health facilities have already begun to see “the fruits of the new system that has been in place” Jacques said and “based on the political will and the leadership of the Ministry of Public Health, we hope that we can start the 2019 process as early as September 2018.”
Minister Volda Lawrence said that the Ministry has sought to correct several errors and as a result, persons who will be attending health facilities will not be faced with shortages of this nature. “Persons (should) not stay home and listen to the negative comments that are being said whether it’s in the print media or otherwise and decide that they are not going to the health facilities for medical attention. They will turn up because their government with funds from the taxpayers have met our obligations to ensure that the necessary supplies and drugs are available and for the various facilities,” Minister Lawrence said. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Colette Adams, noted the positive feedback from the new procurement system. “I must say that it is a work in progress. We have 13 persons in the procurement unit who are assigned to do specific tasks, ensuring that from the process of request to the process of delivery, all the logistics are put in place,” Adams said.
Sunday April 15, 2018
Slow regional officials affecting timely distribution of drugs The Supplies Chain Management Complex of the Ministry of Health (MoPH), located at Diamond, East Bank Demerara, is well stocked with three months’ worth of critical drugs and medical supplies for the regional health facilities. Following reports of shortages of critical supplies including gauze, syringes and cotton wool at health facilities, the Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, and an advisory team on Friday visited the complex (also known as the Diamond Bond) to ensure that supplies are available and can be readily dispatched to the regions. Following the visit, Min-
ister Lawrence observed, “The critical drugs that we are hearing are not being made available at the various health facilities, we have been able to see that many or almost all of them are here. Now we are working on the dispatch.” The Minister noted that one of the factors contributing to the shortage of drugs and medical supplies in some regions is the inefficiency of the necessary regional personnel to uplift requested supplies from the bond in a timely manner. The Minister who recently began meeting with Regional Health Officers (RHO) and other Regional Administration officials to address this issue, said that
during the visit she took particular effort to observe “whether the regions are adhering to the call to uplift these drugs, which is a threemonth supply of medical supplies and to ensure that when they are coming with adequate transportation.” “We have just had a good example of Linden. They came but they only came with one Canter, which means that Canter will not be able to take the quantity of supplies that we have here,” Minister Lawrence stated. The Minister took the very opportunity to be apprised of the process of stocking and distributing drugs and medical supplies.
E’bo rice farmers getting higher rice price Quite a number of rice farmers in Region Two [Pomeroon/Supenaam], are now sighing with relief and satisfaction, now that there has been a $100 increase in the price per bag of paddy. According to reports, farmers along the Essequibo Coast are now being paid $2,900 per bag of paddy graded from ‘A’ to ‘C’. This increase follows an appeal made by farmers in early February, for better prices per bag of paddy. During the meeting earlier in February, one miller expressed his willingness to increase the price per bag of paddy to $3000.
President of the Essequibo rice farmers association, Naith Ram, has since confirmed that two additional millers on the Essequibo Coast are also paying $3000 per bag of paddy graded at Extra ‘A’. Naith Ram added, “so far, three of the large mills are paying $3000 for Extra ‘A’ paddy. Paddy graded at ‘A’ ‘B’ and ‘C’ are graded at $2,900 per bag.” Since rice is often described as the core of the agro industry in Region Two, this increase is automatically recognized as a boost for the local economy. Kaieteur News understands that during the October 2017 harvest, farmers
in Region Two were being paid $2,800 per bag of paddy graded at level ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’. An overall assessment would indicate that the local rice industry in Region Two, has made a drastic recovery over the past three years. With the loss of the Venezuelan market in 2015, the price per bag of paddy was a mere $2000. According to reports however, rice exports shipped to Mexico and Cuba during the latter part of last year have definitely contributed to the sudden resuscitation of the local Industry in Region Two.
Minister Lawrence verifies the availability of stocks including those that were reported to be short.
Sunday April 15, 2018
---Hinds’ Sight by Dr. David Hinds---
Why Democracy continues to be undermined in Guyana
ome people have asked me to explain why the current government, despite its many promises to govern differently from the PPP, has turned out to be no different from its predecessors as far as far as political culture is concerned. Let me be clear, there are some things that this government should be commended for, but when one looks at its overall attitude to big overarching things such as respect for dissent and other fundamental human rights , one cannot find any decisive break with the past. After three years in office, Guyana’s democratic architecture remains as fragile as it was when the PPP left office. The little hope that the plural nature of the government— the fact that it is a coalition— would help it to be different, has been dashed. Unfortunately, Guyana will remain a dysfunctional State for a long time. Part of the failure of the government, to be transformative, lies in the inability of the
AFC and WPA to exert transformative influence on the process of governance. The AFC, given its numerical strength within the government, is better placed to lead the charge in this direction. But that party’s pretense that it is a change agent was quickly exposed once it got into office. It has not pursued a single big policy item it championed while in opposition nor has it used the threat of veto, which it has, to bring about any change of direction by the government. This dereliction of duty by the AFC has made it easier for the PNC faction to consolidate its hegemony within the government. The WPA, with no independent electoral base, is in a weaker position to influence anything within the government. The WPA’s greatest weapon in the government is not a veto, but its potential for open dissent as a corrective measure, which no government likes. But it tempered this potential for too long, so
by the time it began to speak out, it was too late to have the desired effect. The party’s decision to be passive, undermined its ability to serve as a change agent. The outcome of the AFC and WPA failure to serve as checks on the PNC has dented any possibility of transformation by the government. The assumption here is that the PNC, like the PPP, has little interest in transformation—it would have to be forced in that direction. The PNC as a party was not even interested in coalition politics, but thanks to pressure by one leading member, it went in that direction, because it concluded it was the party’s only route to power. In other words, partnership and coalition politics for the PNC and PPP are not ends in themselves, but means to desired ends. While some elements in the AFC and WPA may still hope that those two parties stand up to the PNC’s hegemony, I am afraid it’s too late—
The Baccoo Speaks Guyana has its problem with Venezuela. Now it is going to be involved on the international stage because of happenings beyond its control. The country is going to be asked to take sides following a missile strike in Syria. However, Guyana will sit on the fence. ** A man is going to turn
up at the hospital with a gunshot wound. He will claim that he was shot in a drive-by incident. The police will have a
different version. Somebody is heading to court to answer an attempted robbery charge. ** A killing in the hinterland will continue to make news. The people who are now the prime suspects will be charged. They will claim that they are being framed yet witnesses and people in on the plan will contradict their story.
things are far gone in the direction of business as usual. The other big factor in the government’s inability to be transformative lies in the country’s ethno-racial dynamics. Ethnicity is a cultural construct that is grounded in group differences. Race is a political construct that attaches biological and sociopolitical meaning based on superiority-inferiority to those differences. That is why some of us use the term “ethno-racial.” Race is a biological illusion, but it is a very powerful socio-political phenomenon that influences laws, political and economic policies, political behaviour, emotions and cultural reflexes. Ethnicity in Guyana functions mostly as Race. The average Guyanese, including political leaders, would swear to high heavens that he or she does not act based on racial considerations. Some would even accuse people like me of racism, for daring to raise the issue of race. The truth is that most Guyanese are deeply influenced by ethno-racial considerations. But they don’t realize it because it is so normative—when behaviour becomes normal, it is often mani-
fested as unconscious action. It is no secret that the majority African Guyanese and Indian Guyanese attitude to the PPP and PNC respectively, is influenced by ethnoracial considerations. And those parties in turn use that factor as both a mobilizing tool and as a motivating factor for policies. The consequence is that the two ethnic communities are unlikely to sanction the parties for bad governance. The PPP’s extreme behaviour while in government cannot be divorced from the uncritical support of Indian Guyanese for most of its 23 years in office. Although a small minority of that community’s vote was pivotal in ousting the PPP, once the Coalition government showed its hands with the AFC being complicit, they returned to the PPP’s fold. While there is considerable African Guyanese dissatisfaction with the policies and overall behaviour of the government, the group’s ethnic insecurities and fears lead to an uncritical attitude to those in office. Even the generally independent African Guyanese middle class types are going along with the ride. The PNC faction in govern-
Dr David Hinds ment knows fully well that African Guyanese solidarity would prevent that group from protesting government over-reach. And just as it took Indian Guyanese rebellion to manners the PPP, it would take African Guyanese rebellion to sober up this government and return it to its stated path. But that is not going to happen while the Coalition is in government. However, when it comes to elections, the independent African Guyanese vote may well be the government undoing. In the end, democratic governance remains elusive. More of Dr. Hinds ‘writings and commentaries can be found on his YouTube Channel Hinds’ Sight: Dr. David Hinds’ Guyana-Caribbean Politics and on his website www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.news. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday April 15, 2018
Who will guard the bodyguard? By Michael Jordan
ven after all these years, Gary Sinclair’s relatives are still apprehensive about talking about that night when the gunmen came for him; are still imploring me not to raise up a sleeping murder that can’t be solved; are telling me that they dread that the men who ambushed the bodyguard might now feel a need to come for them. At the time when this story began, 30-year-old Gary Alan Sinclair was living at Springlands, Upper Corentyne, with his reputed wife, Devi Kowlessar. You could say that he was a kind of jack-of-all trades….writing a few stories for a small newspaper from Berbice and working as a discjockey at a bar. He was also the close friend of a wealthy remigrant. After returning from overseas, the remigrant, along with two other Guyanese, had reportedly invested $250M in a business at Springlands, C o r e n t y n e . But the investment soured. The remigrant, it is alleged, became embroiled with some of his partners over the ownership of the business.
- Gary Sinclair was watching his boss’ back…but no one was watching his…
Threats were allegedly made, and it is even alleged that a US-based man was murdered. Five men were allegedly charged in connection with that case. Gary Sinclair found himself in the middle of the feud. A loyal friend, Sinclair reportedly became not just the businessman’s employee, but also his bodyguard. In late January 1996, Sinclair reportedly wrote a letter to a close associate. The letter stated: “Amidst the
clutches of danger and fear, Corentyne remigrant and businessman (name of his employer given), who returned from America and invested $250M along with two other Guyanese in a small sawmill complex…has disclosed in an exclusive interview with me that he is presently living under extremely dangerous conditions where the safety of his life is concerned.”- stated that his entire sawmill company is in dispute and is before the High
Court in Georgetown. Since 1992, several attempts had been made on his life but none had involved the services of hired gunmen. ” The businessman disclosed that on the evening of October 9, 1995, an armed assailant with an automatic weapon made entry into his yard and tried to kill him. The assailant’s weapon malfunctioned and so the attempt failed. ”The informant disclosed that he (Sinclair’s boss) had to hire two armed guards from (name of security service given) from Corriverton and two of his own private security who keep vigil 24 hours. ”A frustrated Mr.——pointed to November 5, 1995, when four gunmen visited his premises and again on November 15 and 17, 1995. The gang…opened fire at the security guards hired by——. ”Mr. ——described the movie-style shootout at his
premises as acts to eliminate him so that his lion’s share of the disputed sawmill would be posthumous and uncontested. Mr.--reiterated that for some time now he cannot leave his home, since he is afraid that they will assassinate him, as they had done with another contesting shareholder, who died under questionable conditions. Mr.— is appealing to the Police Commissioner and the Home Affairs Minister to help safeguard his life so he could continue with future investments in Guyana…” But Sinclair then received word that the men who were trying to kill his boss also wanted him out of the way. The bodyguard took precautions to protect himself; reportedly buying a 9mm pistol in Suriname. On Old Year’s Night in 1995, he is said to have expressed fear for his life. On the night of Monday, January 15, 1996, residents of Springlands, Corentyne, where Sinclair resided, were startled by the sound of several gunshots. On eventually venturing outside, they found Sinclair’s bullet-riddled body outside his apartment. He had been shot at least eight times, apparently ambushed as he was entering his home. A shirt was left at the scene. Rumours surfaced that hitmen, hired from Suriname, had been paid a million guilders to execute Sinclair. According to reports, a boat
allegedly owned by a Suriname-based Guyanese who was said to be associated with the suspects, was spotted in the area earlier in the day. It was claimed that the killers and a woman were ferried illegally into Guyana on the morning of Jan 15, 1996. And residents claimed to have heard someone trying to start a boat engine in the area, shortly after the shooting. Sinclair’s boss described his murdered employee as “my manager, my advisor, my friend and brother.” Two men who had lived in an apartment near to the slain bodyguard were detained briefly, but eventually released without any charges. The bodyguard’s boss is said to have returned to the U.S. He had also alleged to Kaieteur News that he was in danger of some of his former associates. Gary Sinclair’s fate reminds one of the old Steel Pulse song, Bodyguard. “Bodyguard I wouldn’t like your job Snakes in the grass say they know not God Polytricksters drinking human blood Concrete heart can hold no love I just can’t sorry for the bodyguard Bullet-proof vest strap to your chest Under your collar is getting hot whoa Who got a gun Who gotbombWho got a knife Who’s gonna lose their life…”
Sunday April 15, 2018
==THE FREDDIE KISSOON COLUMN==
A strange thing, but then again, Guyana is a strange place
hen I was small, I would accom pany relatives to pay the light-bill at the GPL office on Main Street. Next to the GPL building was a huge empty lot right at the western corner of Main and New Market Streets. For more than fifty years now that empty plot of land sat down there. And it is there on to this day. It fascinates me why anyone or any company would keep a valuable piece of real estate unused for over fifty years. But over the past three decades, the tale of this empty space got more intriguing. There was a sign, a long, long time ago put up on the land that informs lookers that it is owned by Continental Group of Companies. Now it is interesting to note that while that lot was unoccupied, the company got a huge piece of public land directly opposite the Botanical Gardens as part of the privatization process of the Economic Recovery Programme of the Hoyte
presidency at concessionary price. The owners planned a hotel and resort complex. Mr. Hoyte lost power since 1992; make that 25 years ago and that plot remains as unoccupied as the piece on Main and New Market Streets. The story becomes further interesting when you get to know that the Continental Group is half owners of Citizens’ Bank along with Banks DIH. I appeared in front of the Lands Commission last October (see my column of October 6, 2017) and recommended that because the plot opposite the Botanical Gardens was given at concessionary rate (way, way, way below market value) and no structure has gone up since it was acquired in 1988, then it should be repossessed by the state. My curiosity is that Citizens’ Bank built a new structure on the crowded junction of South Road and Camp Streets, why not at the New Market/Main Street site? I
have absolutely no interest in that vacant plot, but I just figured that it is strange that a company would keep an empty plot for over half a century, thus the reason for its mention here. On every occasion when I pass these places, I think of how odd a country Guyana is. I drive along Homestretch Avenue quite often and the mystery of Guyana just stares you in the face. If I were President of Guyana, one of my first acts would be to move the fire station from its present crazy location to Homestretch Avenue. It is inexplicable that presidents Burnham, Hoyte, Cheddi and Janet Jagan, Jagdeo, Ramotar (and now Granger) had never seen how deeply silly it is to retain the fire station at the overcrowded Stabroek Market Square. Just being at that site and looking at the fire station the thought overtakes your mind that this is a country that has
lacked and continues to be deficient in leadership qualities. One of the prodigious disappointments I have had with this government that has caused me to dissolve my respect and admiration of it is the construction of D’Urban Park. That was a morbidly shortsighted journey. I pass the place every day, and when I look at it, please believe me, its unoccupied presence just reminds me of an invasion by wood-ants. I believe at the time of its construction and still believe that it was a waste of time, effort and precious space. Just look at it now; it stands unoccupied and reminds one of the vicious, relentless Naipaulian critiques of post-colonial failure. Some idiotic mind will rush
to the defence of the government and shout that it was not state funds that built it. Two responses are apt. First, the country’s leadership has admitted that, it was built by generous donors whose names it cannot disclose. Are there humans out there that accept that explanation? Donors cannot give to you things that are not on your list of priorities. When I worked as an advisor to the Maurice Bishop Government in Grenada, I pleaded with Foreign Minister, Unison Whiteman to reject the donation of an ice factory from Bulgaria. Because of its capacity to produce more ice than the island could use, it was a waste of equipment, which would become obsolete because it would have been laid up for weeks
Frederick Kissoon after the initial production. All the government had to do was to tell the donors that it would accept an extension and rehabilitation of the National Park. But how could they? Since unthinking leaders have no ideas, others will make decisions for them. Secondly, public funds did go into the building of D’Urban Park. It was a waste of much needed dollars.
Sunday April 15, 2018
Nothing but cheap theatrics & political distraction
he Opposition Leader is hard at work defending his title as a man of little moral turpitude whose humanity could be seriously questioned. Last week with a straight face and utter lack of shame, he accused the governing Coalition of being more corrupt than the PPP was during its 23 years in office. Really! This from a man who, as President for 12+ consecutive years secured for Guyana the labels of ‘The Mendicant’, the “poorest country in the hemisphere after Haiti”, and being listed among the most corrupt countries in the world from 2008 to 2014 according
to a Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International (TI). Before 1999 when his mentor Janet Jagan anointed him President, he had completed a 7-year stint at the Finance Ministry, and according to the rumour mill, he remained in control of the nation’s coffers during his and his successor Ramotar’s Presidency. The PPP was sent packing in 2015 when the nation said ‘Enough!’ Since then, the Government has spent enormous resources in money and man-hours attempting to repair the tremendous damage done to this nation and its tattered global reputation.
The APNU+AFC Coalition inherited a country that was assessed as ‘a little less corrupt’ than the ‘hopelessly corrupt’ countries on TI’s global index. So the former President who has exhausted his constitutionally allotted two terms, is now apparently ramping up his election campaign rhetoric, putting himself in the running for a third term. But bear one thing in mind. Since our independence from Britain in 1966, no one has ever been able to credibly attack the integrity of any previous Premier, Prime Minister or President until Bharrat Jagdeo.
Now he can even count some of his own party’s supporters among the people who do attack his credibility and honesty. One gets the impression that Jagdeo hopes that his people would forget that he was master of a corrupt government that compromised and undermined the output of every single governmental ministry, department and agency in this country. The fact that not a single US, Canadian or British visa issued to a Guyanese Government functionary had been revoked before Jagdeo, stands as testimony. Still he carries on, attempting to paint the Government with his own brush. Well, the Ministries of Public Infrastructure and Natural Resources have refused to let Jagdeo’s reckless, ill-advised statements slide. In a joint statement, the Ministers have set the records straight. Here is an abridged version: “Both ministries wish to state unequivocally, and to reassure the public, that all of
the business have been conducted within the confines of law and regulations. Both ministries reject in its entirety this (recent) claim by the increasingly beleaguered and desperate Mr. Jagdeo, and we challenge him to provide evidence. The ministries are certain that he will be unable to do so as no evidence to this effect exists. This outlandish, unsubstantiated claim (of corruption) by the Opposition Leader is nothing more than a cheap (diversionary) tactic to divert the public’s attention from the charges laid against former PPP Minister of Finance, Ashni Singh, and former head of NICIL, Winston Brassington. Mr. Jagdeo knows that much work has been done in uncovering the extreme corruption which was rampant while he was President and the PPP was in government, and that the chickens are now coming home to roost. Months of tedious work is now resulting in charges being laid, and Mr. Jagdeo knows that very few
in his government would (escape) unscathed. Instead of confronting their record of corruption, Mr. Jagdeo resorts to cheap theatrics and baseless political distraction. The ministries find it laughable that he has the audacity to lecture anyone on corruption and good governance when the most flagrant acts of corruption and obscene levels of lack of transparency and accountability occurred under his watch during his controversial and uninspiring presidency. Mr. Jagdeo’s presidency is characterized by an unending list of scandals and illconceived projects which left a major burden on Guyanese taxpayers, not least among which were the Pradoville 1 and 2 land giveaways, the Amaila Falls and Skeldon sugar factory scandals. This government’s visionary execution of infrastructural projects seems to be deeply irking Mr. Jagdeo who had failed to execute same during his presidency.
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The preponderance of single mothers is being cited as the reason for young criminals taking to the streets to make life miserable for the people who are trying to earn a living. It would seem that the days when fathers were the head of households are long past. Last week, a foundation trotted out some young girls who all claimed that they had hit rock bottom in their lives. One of them spoke of being supported by a stepfather. There are many such cases largely because increasingly, men are shirking their responsibilities for a variety of reasons. Indeed, some men are not at home because they are seeking their fortunes far away. Some are simply not fathers because some women in love, opted to bear their children. In most cases, the men simply accept their lot and move on, offering to provide some financial support to keep the child alive. In depressed communities, these men would claim that the woman was less than faithful to them, sparking doubts about the paternity of the child. However, if one were to look at situations going back a few decades, one would find that men were actually playing footloose, a decision initiated by the fact that they themselves had no role model. They are the products of
single parent homes or of a broken home.For the most part, they are prone to the wiles of older people on the streets. A few of these older people would attempt to impart advice that could help the young man. However, more often than not, the advice would come from people who have already crossed the line of decency and right from wrong.Yet, it is not only the men, who are sometimes at fault; women sometimes cause broken homes. I happened to be watching television one night. The topic was about cheating. It turned out that nearly seventy percent of married women cheated on their husbands. The reasons varied from boredom to neglect. The percentage of men who cheated was higher. One analyst said that the men were reacting to a basic instinct of chase or pursue, capture, conquer then flee. In the animal world, the situation is only so brutal when hunger is at stake. The psychiatrist would be tempted to conclude that sex creates a hunger, hence the animalistic response by men.Nurturing dims such basic instincts, so there is marriage that leads to monogamy. This is the condition though, that demands so much of people. This column is not about to be a guide for marriage counselling. It was prompted by a friend who is now hurt-
ing because his marriage is on the rocks through no fault of his. Indeed, he is not in a unique situation. He lives in Guyana and his wife lives overseas. There is a saying that long distance relations do not last. People living apart do have physical needs although many of them actually control themselves. But in this case, the partner did not seek a companion in the country where she lived. It was a case of coming back home and starting the relationship. Needless to say, the other man is something of a shark. He has been blamed for injecting himself in many marriages. How the cuckold husbands have not taken him to book is a surprise. In this case, the woman must have had a roving eye. It must have been pretty easy because the husband works late. But there is the saying that whatever is done in the dark often comes to light. Needless to say, some neighbour noticed the infidelity and reported to the husband. He in turn was among the doubting Thomases, so he asked the wife. She denied anything untoward, but the reports kept coming. Before long the husband had a confrontation with his wife and, with incontrovertible proof, he silenced her. The truth hurt and as much as he wanted to believe her, he had to confront the reality.
He has filed for divorce but the story does not end there. He wants to beat the other man and he believes that he can. He is a black belt karateka; the man is a weightlifter. In this case, there are no children from the union, but under such conditions, there is a broken home. Young men from such conditions tend to go astray. They resent their mother for breaking up the home and for driving their father away. In recent times, women have been killed. Sometimes the husband also takes his life. This is not something that should happen. Many intelligent men would simply walk away, safe in the knowledge that he will live to begin a new relationship.There was the man who lived in Kingston, Georgetown. He was always
traveling and his wife capitalized on these opportunities. One day the husband announced that he was leaving for the airport and his wife could not wait to invite her paramour. But the husband did not travel. He returned and found his wife in a compromising position. The story takes a humorous turn. The man enters the home and advises the other man to get dressed and leave. I could imagine the other manâ€™s pumping heart, especially when he saw the gun. He leaves as quietly as a mouse.The wife begins to get dressed, but the husband advises her that she would only leave with what she bought with her money. There wasnâ€™t much. Beg as she might, she had to face the world as she did on the day she was
Adam Harris bornâ€”naked. Kind neighbours, the same people who informed the husband of the situation in his absence, loaned or gave her something to cover her nakedness.When people talk about broken homes, simply ask them, if they are contributors. Blame them for contributing to the criminal situation.
(Address of His Excellency Brigadier David Granger, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, to the 8th World Water Forum, Brasilia, Brazil)
ater is life. With out water there can be no life. The world’s freshwater supplies, unfortunately, are under threat. Water stress is increasing in many parts of the
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world. Aquifers are depleted faster than they are replenished. The growth of the world’s population will increase demand for water by 55% by the year 2050, placing even further strain on freshwater reserves. Rivers are the arteries of the earth. Seen from above, the earth’s creeks, lakes, rivers and wetlands form natural networks which sustain nature. Rivers and lakes ac-
count for 90% of the world’s freshwater stocks. Rivers have been the cradles of human civilization from time immemorial. The earliest civilizations were nurtured along the banks of rivers – including the Euphrates, the Indus, the Nile and Yellow rivers. Rivers remain vital today. Rivers will be essential for all eternity. Rivers are indispensable to human well--being. The
waters of rivers are used for cooking, drinking, fishing, recreation, transportation and washing. Rivers also provide water for irrigation for farming, mining, manufacturing and other economic activities. Rivers are important for the security of states. Half of the world’s peoples live in countries, like Guyana and Brazil, which share river boundaries. The management of transboundary watercourses must promote cooperation and collaboration rather than confrontation and conflict. Rivers must be protected from pollution, including that caused by environmental degradation and the discharge of effluent from industry, mining and agriculture. River pollution impacts adversely on water quality, on health and the economic and social well-being of citizens. The protection of the sources of the world’s freshwater sources is essential to ensuring: - citizens’ entitlement to water; - communities’ access to safe and sanitary water; and - countries’ and the continent’s water security; The word Guyana – the name of my own country – is derived from the Amerindian expression meaning ‘land of
many waters’. I feel proud to be here to speak to you from the land of waters. Guyana, a small state, is part of the Guiana Shield – an area spread over 2.7 million km2– making it bigger than Greenland. The ‘Shield’ is a zone which encompasses parts of Brazil, Colombia and all of French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and parts of Venezuela. The ‘Shield’, described as the “lungs of the Earth” and the “greenhouse of the world” is a global resource because of the environmental services it provides. The ‘Shield’ is vital to global water security because it contains 15% of the world’s freshwater resources. The rivers of the Guiana Shield discharge an average of 2,792 km3 (cubic kilometres) of water annually, with one of the highest specific discharge rates for a zone of that size. The adverse effects of climate change – droughts, flooding, rising sea levels and extreme weather events – are exacerbating water quality and environmental security. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has forecast that climate change will result in reduced surface and ground water in most sub-tropical re-
gions. The protection of the world’s freshwater sources, therefore, is essential to global water security. This World Water Forum is encouraged to continue to introduce initiatives to protect these resources, particularly the rivers of the Guiana Shield. The 8th World Water Forum coincides with World Water Day – 22nd March 2018. World Water Day reminds us of our shared responsibility to protect the earth’s water resources. Guyana, therefore, calls on this World Water Forum to take action to protect and preserve the Guiana Shield as a vital source of the world’s freshwater reserves. We recommend to this the Forum, a three-point action agenda to enhance: - Commitment to pay continuous attention and unceasing action, not only to occasional conferences; - Collaboration among states, especially neighbours which share the waters of rivers; and - Conservation of water resources and the protection of the environment everywhere in order to maintain the integrity of the earth’s rivers and lakes. At stake is nothing less than humanity itself .
Sunday April 15, 2018
Painkillers: Use them to kill your pain; not you By Dr Zulfikar Bux Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
ainkillers are very helpful when we are having pains that may be caused by headaches, arthritis, injuries or many other painful conditions. They are often safe for short term use, but can have potentially deadly effects if used for prolonged periods. I have seen many cases where misuse of painkillers have caused lives to be lost or permanently affected. In most of the cases, the patients did not know of their effects and used them for too long. Today we will discuss painkillers and try to educate you on how they function. WHATARE PAINKILLERS? Painkillers are obviously medicines that are used to treat pain. There are a large number of painkillers available and they all come in various different brand names. They can be taken: · By mouth as liquids, tablets, or capsules. · By injection. · Via the back passage (rectum) as suppositories. Some painkillers are also available as a creams or ointments. Even though there a large number of painkillers available, there are only three main types (each works in a different way). They are: · Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen. Aspirin is also an NSAID. However, it is mainly prescribed (in low doses) to help to keep the blood from clotting - for example, for people who have had a heart attack in the past. · Paracetamol: common brands are Panadol and Tylenol. · Weak and strong opioids: examples of weak
opioids include codeine and dihydrocodeine. Examples of strong opioids include morphine, oxycodone, pethidine and tramadol. Many people who need strong opioids are in hospital. WHICH PAINKILLER IS USUALLY PRESCRIBED? The type of painkiller your doctor will prescribe depends upon: · The type of pain you have. · Any other health problems you may have. · How severe your pain is. · The possible side-effects of the medicines. Paracetamol is normally prescribed if your pain is not too serious and you do not have inflammation. NSAIDs are generally prescribed for people who have pain and inflammation - for example, if you have pain in your joints (arthritis) or muscles (back pain). This is because there is likely to be some inflammation present and NSAIDs work well to treat pain as well as inflammation. NSAIDs have a number of possible side-effects and they are not suitable for everyone. For example, they are not suitable for people who have or have had stomach ulcers. In this case a doctor may prescribe a safer medicine (paracetamol) even though it may not work as well. Weak opioids are usually prescribed for more severe pain, or if you have tried paracetamol and/or ibuprofen and they have not worked. Stronger opioids are normally used to treat severe pain - for example, cancer-related pain, pain after an operation, or if you have had a serious injury. HOW SHOULD I TAKE PAINKILLERS? People who are in pain all the time are usually recommended to take painkillers
regularly. For example, if you have been prescribed paracetamol you will normally take it four times a day, every day until the pain is better. Otherwise, you only need to take painkillers when you need them. If you are taking an NSAID such as ibuprofen or diclofenac, you will need to take this with or after food. This is because they can irritate the lining of your stomach and sometimes cause bleeding in your stomach. WHAT IS THE USUAL LENGTH OFTREATMENT? Like all medicines, painkillers should be taken for the shortest period of time possible, in the lowest dose that controls your pain. This is to help avoid any side-effects. Most people only need to take painkillers for a few days (for example, for toothache) or weeks (having pulled a muscle). However, some people have painful conditions and need to take painkillers on a long-term basis. Examples include people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or chronic back pain. In these cases, you should let your doctor determine how you should take them and regular follow ups will be necessary to ensure that the painkillers are not affecting your organs. WHATARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE-EFFECTS? Painkillers rarely cause serious side-effects but they can have potentially serious side effects if they are improperly used. · NSAIDs: Most people who take anti-inflammatories have no side-effects, or only minor ones. When taken appropriately, the benefit usually far outweighs the potential harms. In particular, many people take a short course of an anti-inflammatory for all sorts of painful conditions. However, side-effects, and
sometimes very serious possible adverse effects, can occur. These include bleeding into the stomach and gut, and heart problems. Using them for months without proper follow up can lead to massive stomach bleeding or kidney failure. Persons with diabetes and hypertension are at risk higher risk of getting kidney failure earlier with their use. · Paracetamol: This is a safe medicine and side-effects are rare if you do not take more than the maximum recommended dose. However, paracetamol can be very dangerous if you take too much. Overdoses of paracetamol can happen by mistake, but
some people intentionally overdose to try killing themselves. The main problem with taking an overdose of paracetamol is that it can damage your liver permanently and you can die from this. · Opioids: Opioids tend to cause drowsiness and confusion and may make some people nauseated. Some people can become tolerant to opioid painkillers (needing to take more to get the same effect) and then depend upon them. This includes opioids that can be bought in pharmacies. If you think you are depending on opioids and need to
Dr. Zulfikar Bux take higher and higher doses, discuss this with your doctor. Do not use painkillers for prolonged periods without consulting your doctor; you will be risking your life if you do.
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SUNDAY Int’l study lists 12 red flags of 100 corrupt oil contracts …Signature bonus being diverted to special account tops warning list It is true that corruption schemes can be complex and opaque. But those involved are not always endlessly creative in hiding their tracks. Clear patterns of problematic behavior can be mapped out. In an effort to help concerned individuals follow the intricate tracks of corruption in the many licensing and contracting processes involved in the oil, gas and mining sector, an international group has put together a list of 12 red flags. The National Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) was able to put this list together after examining over 100 real-world cases of license or contract awards in the oil, gas and mining sectors in which accusations of corruption arose. High up on the NRGI’s list is money received by Governments from companies which should go to the national accounts but are diverted to a separate account. The Institute notes that signature bonuses are vulnerable to this sort of behaviour given the contracts it has assessed. The international organization noted that it is important to pay attention to such matters since it has found that governments do not report details about payments made, especially as it relates to the true size of the money received and bank account inflows and outflows. It notes that the citizenry must demand that the government shows evidence that it collected what it said it did. SIGNATURE BONUS SCANDAL When Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram, made the revelation last year that the Government received a signing bonus from USA oil giant, ExxonMobil, several government members, including Finance Minister Winston Jordan and Natural Res o u r c e s M i n i s t e r, R a p h a e l Trotman, vehemently denied it. But as more evidence came to the fore, it became harder for Government to deny that it was aware of the bonus. In fact, a letter which was leaked to the press, called on C e n t r a l B a n k G o v e r n o r, D r. Gobind Ganga, on September 20, 2016, to open a foreign currency account to receive a signing bonus from ExxonMobil. Finance Secretary, Hector Butts, made it clear that the Bank of Guyana should not treat the money as part of its reserves. Kaieteur News has also been reliably informed that while the government has not received a bonus of US$20M, it has collected one to the tune of US$18M. Govt. mum on Guyana’s access to int’l group that helps renegotiate contracts pro bono The coalition Government is still to state if it will tap into the exper-
tise of an international group which helps countries in the successful renegotiation of contracts on a pro bono basis. The group is called, the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP). Over the past 17 years, with support from law firms, foundations and government agencies, ISLP has mobilized hundreds of experienced lawyers to provide more than $100 million worth of pro bono legal assistance in support of just, accountable and inclusive development in more than 80 countries. The Project was successful in helping Liberia renegotiate its contracts with ArcelorMittal S.A., a German-based steel manufacturing company and American company Firestone Tire and Rubber. According to the Project’s website, former Board Chair and current Board Member Joe Bell received a letter from former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, thanking him for ISLP’s legal assistance following her election and in the years that immediately followed. The letter from the former President read, “When our administration commenced in 2006 and was faced with a collapsed economy and dysfunctional institutions, we reached out for support in evaluating and renegotiating concession agreements and contracts and we quickly received the assistance required. “This resulted in the landmark renegotiation of the Firestone and Arcelor Mittal Concession Agreements with significant improved benefit to Liberia.” ”Throughout the twelve years of the Administration, ISLP provided pro bono service as requested in a wide range of endeavors, including those that required a restructuring and regularization of the country’s nascent petroleum exploration programmes… The group has also helped other countries across the world in the renegotiation of oil contracts. ISLP is also no stranger to Guyana as it has provided support to the Attorney General’s Office for the review of Guyana’s Cyber Crime Bill and Electronic Transactions Bill. CALL FOR RENEGOTIATION Local commentators have also expressed concern over the lopsided deal Guyana signed with ExxonMobil, especially when it is compared with the agreement Exxon Mobil signed onto with the African country, Ghana. The glaring disparities between the two contracts also underscore the need for the Guyana-ExxonMobil contract to be scrutinized by Parliament, critics say. The Ghanaian contract for example, has an entire section dedicated to procurement laws, which ExxonMobil must follow at all times. Those provisions are in place to ensure that a significant number of the local companies are able to benefit from the nation’s oil sector. On the other hand, Guyana’s contract mentions nothing about procurement laws.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon
Chartered Accountant, Chris Ram
Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman
in government, hence it seems fair to assess its contribution to enhancing and improving the position of workers in the country. He pointed out that from January 1, 2017, the national minimum wage for the private sector was increased to $255 per hour or $10,200.00 per week or $44,200.00 per month, “an amount that even a single individual would find impossible to sustain the minimum dietary requirements without consideration of rent or any of the basic comforts that make life worth living.” Further, Ram remarked that despite having the largest number of Ministries and Ministers since 1966, President David Granger could not find room for a dedicated senior Ministry and Minister of Labour. He also accused government of failing to pass a single piece of worker-related or primary social legislation. He said that the government continues to violate the constitutionally guaranteed right to free collective bargaining and routinely and arbitrarily imposes increases without consultation, let alone negotiations. Even further, Ram highlighted the fact that for several months now, a new Trades Union Recognition Board has not been constituted, “even as the Government continues to ignore Article 13 and Article 149 C in relation to involving the citizenry in matters affecting their interest.” “But the ultimate indignity from the Government to the Trade Union movement came from Minister Keith Scott who described the leadership of the movement as “impotent”. While under public demands the Minister walked back from the insult, he received no reprimand from the President or any member of the Cabinet. Without in any way excusing the crudeness of the Minister’s language, it may be that he was trying to point out what in my view is a crisis of leadership in the labour movement.”
But while in custody, the teen asked a rank to use to the washroom, but used the opportunity to bolt from the station. The teen then turned up at his mother’s home in Sophia. It was reported that upon seeing him, his mother alerted the police after she learnt that he had escaped from police custody. The juvenile was subsequently handed over to Commander ‘C’ Division Senior Superintendent Edmond Cooper in the presence of Crime Chief Assistant Commissioner Paul Williams. Last week, the teen allegedly slapped a 34-year-old painter after robbing him at gunpoint. He is among three persons in custody after police seized a Taurus pistol with six live rounds, two revolvers and 79 grams of marijuana. It is alleged that the painter was walking through ‘C’ Field, Sophia when the teen pointed a ‘shiny’ object at him and demanded money and other valuables. After the man handed over what he had, including a cell phone, watch and a haversack, the teen allegedly slapped the painter and told him to “run home”. The victim reported the incident to the police and gave a description of the attacker. Police, acting on information, went to the teen’s home, where they allegedly found him with a revolver, a cell phone and other suspected stolen items. A police official stated that the teen claimed that he rented the firearm from a ‘C’ Field, Sophia resident, whom he identified.
Seven held in Cuyuni gold mining camp robbery/murder– exemployee among suspects A former mining camp employee was among seven suspects in custody last night in connection with last Friday’s attack on a Cuyuni/ Mazaruni mining camp that left one man dead and a reported $30M in gold missing. A senior police official said that the suspects were arrested in the same area where the attack occurred. No firearms or any of the stolen gold, suspected to be around 100 ounces, has been recovered. One of the detained men is a former employee of the camp that three gunmen raided, while killing Dominican national Pedro Pablo Rosario. The arrests came after police flew in reinforcements on Saturday from the Tactical Services Unit and the Criminal Investigation Department at Eve Leary. A police release had stated that the owner of the mining camp provided “aerial support”, which resulted in additional investigators and TSU ranks being flown to the location. A senior police official had indicated to Kaieteur News that investigators believed that the suspects were still in the area. The source also said that the four other Brazilian miners from the camp were questioned. Govt. pays workers scant attention while “disappointing” trade unionists enjoy comfortable salaries – Ram Attorney at Law Christopher Ram has criticized Government over what he deemed to be its negligible salary increases to workers, while slamming trade union leaders whom he said are failing miserably while enjoying much better standards of living. Delivering the feature address at the recent triennial Conference of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG), Ram also noted that the coalition government has failed to have a substantive Ministry of Labour, It has also neglected to pass a single piece of worker-related or primary social legislation. According to the attorney the APNU+AFC government has passed the midway stage of its term
Mom turns son, 16, wanted for gunpoint robbery over to cops – hours after he escaped from police station Aided by Sophia residents, a mother Sunday turned her son over to the police, hours after the 16-yearold armed robbery suspect had escaped from custody. The teen had escaped from the Cove and John Police Station, where he was being held for allegedly robbing a man at gunpoint.
TUESDAY Lopsided contract between Guyana, Exxon catches Bloomberg attention“The government could consider issuing a temporary moratorium on new licensing until a new fiscal regime is in place,” – IMF US (Bloomberg) – Exxon Mobil Corp. got such a “favorable” deal from Guyana – home to the biggest new deepwater oil play – that the tiny South American country should rewrite its tax laws, the International Monetary Fund said. While Guyana should honor the existing deal, future contracts should ensure the state gets a higher portion of crude proceeds, the fund said in a report seen by Bloomberg (Continued on page 33)
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From page 32 News.The country, South America’s third poorest with an average per capita income of around $4,000, has little experience of dealing with multinational behemoths such as Exxon. Terms of the 2016 contract “are relatively favorable to investors by international standards,” the IMF said in a report prepared for Guyanese officials. “Existing production sharing agreements appear to enjoy royalty rates well below of what is observed internationally.” IMF officials have visited the nation multiple times over the past nine months as they help improve its legal, fiscal and regulatory frameworks before Exxon commences oil production in 2020. Guyana, whose entire population of 770,000 is about half the size of Philadelphia, has become one of Exxon’s five key global projects for the next decade due to the sheer size of its oil endowment. ”Government take is generally lower in frontier plays than in established areas as governments need to incentivize companies to undertake high-risk exploration,” Exxon said in a statement, citing a Wood Mackenzie Ltd. study that found Guyana in the middle range of the 148 jurisdictions evaluated. Guyana’s huge deep-water oil discovery keeps growing. With companies such as Total SA, Tullow Oil Plc and Repsol SA also exploring for oil in Guyana’s waters, time is of the essence. “The government could consider issuing a temporary moratorium on new licensing until a new fiscal regime is in place,” the IMF said. Exxon’s total acreage in Guyanese waters covers 11.5 million acres, equivalent to about 2,000 leases in the U.S. sector of the Gulf of Mexico.
Exxon leads a partnership group that includes Hess Corp. and China’s CNOOC Ltd. The IMF declined to comment beyond the report. Ramotar gave construction company oil block, operations at standstill NABI Oil and Gas Inc, whose parent company is NABI Construction, was able to secure an oil block in the Guyana Basin. The company was given the block less than two years after it was set up in October 2010. By June 2012 President Donald Ramotar and Company Secretary/Director of Nabi Oil and Gas Inc., Rafael S. Nabi, had already signed an agreement similar to other existing contracts. The company was granted a lease for 2,300 square kilometres onshore in the Mahaica-Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara area. This area is considered part of the Guyana Basin which encompasses both onshore and offshore. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the company’s activities are dormant. The Ministry said that during the last quarter of 2013, the company conducted a geochemistry survey and was supposed to be analyzing the data it had gathered, but “the company’s activities have been dormant since that time.” The Ministry also released the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) that was signed in 2012. That agreement did not include a signing bonus. It features a costrecovery ceiling of 70 per cent pegged on the price of oil being US$100 and above per barrel and 75 per cent should the price fall below US$100. The remaining 25 per cent or 30 percent portion of profit oil will be split between the
From left: Commissioner of Police (Ag) Mr. David Ramnarine, Vice President and Minister of Public Security Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Mr. Basil Williams SC, Advisor/Mentor to SOCU Dr. Sam Sittlington, British High Commissioner H.E. Greg Quinn and Trainers Mr. Tony Crampton and Mark Dilliway. contractor and Government on a 50/50 basis if production remains below 50,000 barrels per day. Should it top that level, the production will be shared on a 55/45 in favour of Government. Royalty is one per cent payable from the Government’s share of the profits. The PSA also features a Stability Clause similar to those in the ExxonMobil, CGX and Tullow/Eco-Atlantic contract. Nabi’s contract also features the cheapest annual licence fee when compared to the other contracts. That company has to pay US$10,000 per year. UK envoy talks tough on corrupt police, security officials – as related course gets underway Corrupt security officials, including police ranks,
should be booted and jailed if necessary once found to be taking bribes. British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn, made this among other remarks Monday at the opening of a Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Course at the Police Officers Training Centre, Camp Street. According to Quinn, all of the participants on the course are in the frontline of work to counter bribery, fraud and corruption. ”But with that position comes responsibility. Along with their colleagues who are not here today they will all be held to the highest levels of probity,” Quinn stressed. He said that it is therefore incumbent on each member of the security agencies to fulfill their tasks to the highest of standards. ”Not only is it the right thing to do, but as the funders of this (and other)
Participants of the various security agencies at the start of the training on Monday 09 April
training, it is what the British Government expects. There is no place for corruption within the security agencies in Guyana. If individuals cannot work with honesty and integrity then they should be drummed out, prosecuted and imprisoned as necessary.” Quinn said that if people don’t like the sound of that then it is hard for security agencies to expect respect and cooperation from the public if they themselves are not willing to operate within (and be subject to) the law.”All of you here today can and must set the example.” The course started Monday and will run over the next two weeks. It will provide an introduction to investigating serious and complex fraud, bribery and corruption cases. The first week, according to the High Commissioner, will concentrate on investigation methods for serious and complex fraud, with next week the focus being on investigation methods for offences and occurrences of bribery and corruption. Running the course are Tony Crampton – who has over 30 years of experience of serious and organised crime and fraud as a member of the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police – and Mark Dilliway, also with over 30 years in the City of London Police, and who has spent the last years of his career also working on economic crime and fraud. Participating in the course are participants from the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU); State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA); Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU); Financial Intelligence Unit and CID Fraud.
WEDNESDAY Real democracy continues to elude Guyana… President Granger continues to act unilaterally…House met only four times this year – Ram The first quarter of the year has been completed and the National Assembly was convened only four times. Social Commentator and Attorney-at-law, Christopher Ram, said that such a state of affairs is not reflective of a country faring well with democracy. Ram said this as he recently delivered the featured address to the triennial Conference of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) He said that while the Coalition Government has proven to be friendlier with democracy in certain areas, the government’s performance in other areas is disappointing. Ram said, “This Government has a much better record than its predecessor in terms of constitutional bodies and local government elections. But there are other developments that are cause for concern. ”President (David) Granger has appointed himself as the counterpoint to pronouncements by the judiciary. He has unilaterally handpicked a Chairman of the Elections Commission whose principal function is the declaration of who is to be President.”Ram said that the Granger Government decides if and when the people’s representatives—the National Assembly—will meet and what business they can (Continued on page 34)
From page 33 transact.The National Assembly has had four sittings for the year even though 100 days have already passed. The House met three times in January and once in March. Ram said that this is unacceptable and “it is not the democracy that we have been promised.” Cops nab six men, four guns and stolen car...following robbery attempt on Supply businessman Police on Tuesday night apprehended six men with four guns at Supply, East Bank Demerara. ‘A’ Division Commander Leslie James told Kaieteur News that the men were captured after a foiled robbery attempt at the home of a Chinese businessman. The Commander said that at around 19:00hrs, the businessman heard strange noises on his property, and on looking outside, saw four men on his premises. He immediately raised an alarm, and the men fled to a car and drove away. The police were then alerted. “As a result of excellent work, six men were held tonight with four firearms,” Commander James said. Kaieteur News understands that at all of the men were previously before the courts. Police believe that the vehicle, which has also been impounded, was fitted with false number plates. Rusal bonds slump, customers review contracts as U.S. sanctions bite Rusal’s dollar bonds slumped to record lows. Two major customers said they were reviewing their contracts, and the London Metal Exchange distanced itself from the aluminium giant on Tuesday, in the latest aftershocks from U.S. sanctions. The sanctions imposed on Rusal and its boss, metals magnate Oleg Deripaska, mark the first time a major international company has been targeted by Washington in its moves to punish Russia for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, according to a Reuters report Tuesday. Rusal, through local company, Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc., has operation in Upper Berbice River area, in Region Ten with hundreds of workers. While Russian markets, including the rouble, fell across the board on Monday, Rusal assets were hardest hit, with its Hong Kong-listed shares halving in value and the company warning it risked tipping into technical default. On Tuesday, its dollar bonds maturing in 2023 fell 17.3 cents to a new low, according to TradeWeb. Their yields had previously been steady at around 6 percent, but on Tuesday spiked to 28.5 percent, a record high. Swiss-based commodities trader Glencore, a Rusal shareholder and one of its biggest customers, said it was evaluating the position under its contracts with Rusal in the light of the sanctions. Glencore Chief Executive Ivan
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Glasenberg also resigned from his role as a Rusal Director. Deripaska’s companies have seen other resignations by non-Russian board members since the sanctions, with his newly created holding company En+ Group saying Board Directors Dominique Fraisse and Zhao Guangming had quit on April 6 and 9 respectively. To offset the impact of the punitive measures, Rusal has triggered a contingency plan asking customers to pay in Euros instead of U.S. dollars in a bid to skirt the sanctions, a source close to the matter said. This follows the example of Iran, which a few years ago opted to use gold, oil and the Japanese Yen to pay for goods that would typically be priced in dollars.
NABBED: Marvin Blackman
NABBED: Renard Khan
NABBED: Mark Prince
NABBED: Nabadinghi Gobin
NABBED: Edward Skeete
NABBED: Steve Hercules
Skeete was also freed last February for the murder of Mocha, East Bank Demerara resident Ryan Clementson, who died at the GPHC after being attacked in the vicinity of Turning Point in Tucville, Georgetown, on July 14, 2015. He had been charged along with Nabadinghi Gobin, called ‘Dangles’, who was among those arrested with Skeete on Tuesday.
The Institute also stated that there is no global rule for how much deviation is too much – only close scrutiny of the underlying industry and country context can support informed judgment calls in that regard. The Institute also cautioned that corruption is by no means the only possible reason why final terms may favour the company more than the country. It noted that other contributing factors could include the fact that the government negotiated poorly, based on limited experience, information or negotiating power. Be that as it may, it said that there are specific warning signs which concerned citizens can look for. In this regard, the report noted that citizens must be mindful of one or more terms of the license or contract which have been changed only shortly before signing, in a manner that favours the company. The Institute warned of nonstandard provisions which include excessive tax holidays, unclear or skewed currency conversion formulas or rates; unusually long payment windows; or concessionary credit lines, debt guarantees, or other nonstandard financial support from the government to the winner, either as terms of the sale or in side deals with the winner.
CARICOM Poultry Association (CPA) on Monday to ascertain how the two sides could work together to achieve the goals of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). The CPA’s mandate is to promote the socio-economic development of the region through the development, growth and expansion of the Caribbean poultry industry and to create linkages. The meeting at the CARICOM Secretariat in G e o r g e t o w n , Guyana, was an opportunity for t h e C PA t o s h a r e i t s v i s i o n , progress and challenges in the industry, CARICOM explained. The meeting was held at a time when the Secretariat is continuing its efforts to broaden the conversation with the region’s private sector, to optimise the l a t t e r ’s output and sustainability. With much emphasis placed on food security, rural development and the reduction of the region’s $4B food import bill, the meeting was timely for both parties. Poultry accounts for more than 80 per cent of meat consumed in the region, according to figures by CARICOM. Most of the poultry meat and eggs consumed within CARICOM comes from CPA member organisations, with selfsufficiency hovering at about 67 per cent for meats and close to 100 per cent for eggs. The industry produces about 243,000 metric tonnes of poultry (Continued on page 35)
THURSDAY Gunmen nabbed in stolen car… Ex-murder accused, armed robbery suspects staged robbery while on bail The six gunmen who were nabbed in a stolen car on Tuesday night include two former murder accused, and three other individuals out on bail on previous armed robbery charges. One of the suspects has been described as a ‘serial robbery accused’ who was in court on similar charges just a day prior to his arrest. Police have identified the suspects as Steve Hercules, 30, of Lot 2-3 Sisters Village West Bank Demerara; Nabadinghi Gobin, 33, of Lot 181 Charlotte Street, Bourda; Renard Khan, 31, of Lot 147 Cooper Street, Albouystown; Mark Prince, 39, of Lot 52 Parfait Harmonie, West Bank Demerara; Edward Skeete, 30, of Lot 309 Independence Boulevard and Marvin Blackman, 27, of South Ruimveldt. Skeete was charged and acquitted for murder in February 2015, and was also acquitted for another murder just two months ago. He appears to have first come under the police radar in July 2008, when he was charged with armed robbery. It was alleged that on July 1, 2008, Skeete and Dexter Chase, 26, of Evan Phillips Park, Agricola, East Bank Demerara, entered the Royal Refrigeration building at John Street, Werk-en-Rust, and robbed the owner after holding him at gunpoint and binding him with duct-tape. The men fled on a bicycle, but a police patrol cornered them in Brickdam, where Skeete’s alleged accomplice was shot dead during an exchange of gunfire with the lawmen. Skeete was charged with armed robbery in that case. Skeete, called ‘Pretty Face’, was also charged for April 2011 murder of Bedi Ramjewan, who was shot dead during a robbery at Industry, East Coast Demerara, on April 27, 2011. It was alleged that Skeete and an accomplice shot Ramjewan and relieved their victim of $2M, which Ramjewan had just withdrawn from a city bank. However, Skeete was freed in February 2015, after a jury found him not guilty.
Int’l report on red flags of 100 corrupt deals says… Failure of Govt. to secure “fair deal” for nation should spark “unrelenting concern” When a government fails to secure a “fair deal” for its nation, it should spark “unrelenting concern” among its citizens. This point was made in a detailed report by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). The NRGI is an international body which provides expert advice to administrations around the world as it relates to getting the best deals and arrangements out of extractive sectors. It has on several occasions, provided advice to Guyana on similar matters. In one of its documents which look at the red flags of corrupt contracts, the Institute said that agreed terms which are more favourable to the contractor, often deviate significantly from industry or market norms. It further noted that if the terms of licenses or contracts depart significantly from expectations, past examples or industry norms, extra scrutiny from oversight actors would be warranted.
Region moves to block improperly labeled imported meat – poultry companies discuss innovative ways to expand market A team from the CARICOM Secretariat met members of the
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Dr. Desmond Ali, Executive director of the Caribbean Poultry Association (CPA), (third from left), makes a point during the discussions on Monday April 09, 2018 From page 34 and 122 million dozen eggs per year; accounts for the employment of more than 100,000 persons and annual sales of US$660M. FRIDAY Ashni Singh, Winston Brassington charged with fraud– accused given three weeks to appear in court– lands sold to Movie Towne, National Hardware at the centre
Months after Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) completed its Pradoville 2 investigation, it instituted charges, Thursday, against former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh; and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington. The two were jointly slapped with three charges of misconduct in public office as these relate to three plots of state land.
The first charge alleged that Dr. Ashni Singh, being and performing duties of Minister of Finance, and Chairman of the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited, a company owned by the Government of Guyana; and Brassington being and performing duties as the Chief Executive of NICIL, on May 14, 2011 at Lot 126 Barrack Street, Kingston, Georgetown, sold a tract of land, being a portion 10.002 acres of Plantation Turkeyen, East Coast of Demerara, prop-
The region’s poultry farmers are moving to ensure its products become more competitive with liquid eggs, and pre-cooked meat among some of the ideas being examined.
erty of the State of Guyana for the sum of $185,037,000, without first having procured a valuation of the said property from a competent valuation officer. It is further alleged that Dr. Ashni Singh, and Winston Brassington on December 30, 2008 at Lot 126 Barrack Street, Kingston, Georgetown, by way of Agreement of Sale and Purchase without due diligence, sold to Scady Business Corporation, a 4.7 acres tract portion of Plantation Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, for $150M knowing that the said property was valued at $340M by Rodrigues Architects Associate, a competent valuation officer. The last allegation against the two stated that Dr. Ashni Singh, and Brassington on December 28, 2009 at 126 Barrack Street, Kingston, Georgetown, by way of Agreement of Sale and Purchase, acted recklessly when they sold to National Hardware Guyana Limited a tract of land at Plantation Liliendaal, Pattensen and Turkeyen, situated on the East Coast of Demerara, being 103 acres, being property of the State of Guyana for the sum of $598,659,398 (VAT exclusive) without first having procured a valuation of the said property from a competent valuation officer. Attorney-at-law Anil Nandlall is representing Ashni Singh while Attorney-at-law Stanley Moore is representing Winston Brassington. Thursday when the matter was called before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, the court orderly summoned the men’s name thrice. No one answered or appeared to the names. SOCU Prosecutor Michael Somersall requested that the two accused be given adequate time to make an ap-
pearance before the Chief Magistrate. The Magistrate after listening to the Prosecutor told the court that she will grant the Prosecutor and the accused lawyers three weeks to properly inform their client that they need to make an appearance in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts for the three charges to be read to them. The duo is expected to make their appearance before the Chief on May 7. Charges were recommended against the two after SOCU had completed their Pradoville 2 investigations and has sent that file to the police legal advisor recommending that 12 persons be charged. With charges being laid against the two, the police will have issues making that a reality since both men are no longer living in Guyana. Brassington now lives in Miami, Florida, and Singh is said to be working in Washington. Initial reports had placed him in the oil-rich country of Dubai. Appeal Court sends Westford back to Magistrates’ Court After months of stalling, a ruling by the Court of Appeal has effectively sent former Minister of Public Service, Dr. Jennifer Westford, back to the Magistrates’ Court to face a trial for fraud. Westford had been embroiled in a number of legal battles for allegedly embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars from the State. In this case, she is accused of working in tandem with her Personnel Officer, Margaret Cummings, to forge documents in an attempt to transfer State assets to four individuals. In August 2015, the former Minister was placed
on a total of $800,000 bail after she pleaded not guilty to the charges, which alleged that between July 17, 2014 and June 23, 2015, she attempted to transfer eight state vehicles to four persons. Cummings was also slapped with four counts of forgery, which alleged that she forged documents for the purchase of the eight motor vehicles. She has been released on a total of $1.2M bail. The trial was set to continue before City Magistrate Fabayo Azore. However, Westford through her attorneys sought to have the matter discontinued. The Former Minister had filed a Constitutional Motion in the High Court before then Chief Justice, Yonette Cummings- Edwards, for the matters to be terminated, citing amnesty arrangements announced by the State. Justice CummingsEdwards had, however, tossed the Constitutional Motion, making way for the matter to continue in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. Westford nonetheless, through her attorneys, who included Attorney- at –Law, Neil Boston S.C, filed another application to block the charges. This time, she applied for a stay of the proceedings before Justice Dawn Gregory. Justice Gregory then granted the order which brought the Magistrates‘ Court trial to a halt for several months. The Court of Appeal on Wednesday discharged the stay of proceeding granted on July 26, 2017 by Justice Gregory. Solicitor-General Kim Kyte-Thomas in her arguments on behalf of the State (DPP and Police) noted that the order was without merit and the sole Judge; (Gregory) (Continued on page 36)
Sunday April 15, 2018
The land sold for the MovieTowne project
From page 35 should not have granted the order.She said, too, that there was no appeal pending before the court in relation to the criminal matters pending before the Magistrate’s court. Kyte-Thomas stressed that the appellant case must have merit before the order is granted. SATURDAY IMF alerts govt. to unfavourable profit sharing regime in ExxonMobil contract – Country alone in this category The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has alerted the Government of Guyana to the fact that it has entered into a unique and disadvantageous agreement with oil giant ExxonMobil. Specifically, the IMF has noted that the profit sharing regime agreed to, is one that is very
uncommon in the world, and will rob Guyana the chance of being able to have a greater share of profit, relative to the success of the oil project. This was highlighted in a Technical Assistance Report that the IMF handed to the APNU+AFC government in November last year. The government has refused to make the report public; however, this newspaper was able to view a leaked copy. In 2016, the APNU+AFC government renewed the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) that Guyana has with ExxonMobil. That contract has been highly criticized by concerned experts and others in the know who believe that the country has basically given away its patrimony. But the government has never agreed. Most ministers are on as record saying that Guyana has been given a good deal. They said this even after viewing the IMF report.
One of the many areas in the ExxonMobil contract that the IMF pointed out as disadvantageous to Guyana is the regime for profit-sharing. The IMF noted that the government’s share of profit oil in the ExxonMobil contract is fixed. The international body said that this is uncommon. “A fixed government share of profit oil, 50 percent in the case of the Stabroek agreement, is uncommon in modern PSAs. The main disadvantage of this type of sharing mechanism is that it does not provide an increasing share of profit oil/gas to the government linked to the profitability of projects,” the report stated. The IMF said that most PSAs around the world usually have a formula in which the government’s share increases as a function of production, a combination of production and prices, or an ecoThe Dissesar’s house
nomic variable such as the ratio of cumulative revenue to cumulative costs, or the project’s internal rate of return. “Moreover, in many countries, the top tier government share of profit oil could be as high as 80 or 90 percent.” Of the contacts released by government so far, the share offered in the ExxonMobil contract is the lowest. ExxonMobil is accompanied by Ratio Energy as that company is also offering government a 50 percent share. The CGX contract highlights a 53 percent share for government and 47 percent for the oil company. The Eco-Atlantic/Tullow contract has a sliding scale, providing an increasing share of profit for Guyana. However, the highest share offered to Guyana is 60 percent. This is nowhere near to the aforementioned 80 or 90
percent share which the IMF noted, is enjoyed by some countries. Guyana records lowest growth rate in decades While it is still considered positive, a 2.1 percent growth rate for 2017 is the lowest Guyana has been in decades. This figure and accompanying details were released Friday morning by Finance Minister Winston Jordan during a press conference. The Minister ’s comments came on the heels of criticisms by the political opposition that it is almost four months into the New Year and the nation remains in the dark about the actual performance of the economy. Setting the record straight on the matter, Jordan said the report on the economy has been prepared over two weeks now. He said it was perused by Cabinet and cleared for presentation to the National Assembly at its next sitting which is scheduled for April 26. That said, the Finance Minister expressed, “The economy did not perform as robust as we expected it would last year. But even at the half year, we were predicting that the economy would not do well. At the end of the day, it turned out to be worse than we predicted. So even though there was positive growth for last year, it ended up being
2.1 percent.” Government, particularly the Finance Ministry, has faced much criticism lately from the political opposition for its failure to do proper fiscal forecasting for growth projections. In 2015, Jordan noted that the growth rate was projected to be 3.4 percent but only a 3 percent growth rate was achieved. In 2016, the economist told the nation that the growth rate was expected to be 4.4 percent. This was revised to 4 percent but only a 2.6 percent growth rate was realized. For last year, the optimistic Finance Ministry projected a 3.8 percent growth rate which was later revised to 3.1. The Finance Minister noted yesterday that only 2.1 percent was achieved. Essequibo freak storm leaves families without roofs Three families were badly affected after a fearsome encounter with a freak storm Friday on the Essequibo Coast. The families, all of whom are from Lima, some eight miles from Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast, were hit simultaneously around 10:00hrs. According to reports reaching this publication, the roofs of two houses were blown off during the storm, leaving two persons with minor injuries. Persons living as far as 200 metres away claim to have heard loud crashes, as the roofs and zinc sheets of houses were torn off.
Sunday April 15, 2018
Commonwealth diplomats to lobby UK govt. on migration issues BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – An action plan to secure a permanent solution to the situation of pre1971 Caribbean undocumented United Kingdom (UK) immigrants may be high on the agenda at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London next week, according to a Government Information Service (GIS) release issued here Friday. It said that during the April 19-20 meeting, it is anticipated that the situation will be thoroughly dealt with should officials decide to discuss the problems facing undocumented residents, which include the denial of access to critical services. The statement said that this discussion follows briefings by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Diplomatic Missions at the St. Kitts and Nevis High Commission in London on Thursday regarding the predicament many elderly Caribbean migrants are facing. “The CARICOM Caucus underscored their individual responsibility to advocate for,
and protect citizens’ rights. At that meeting, CARICOM diplomats, engaged diaspora groups, UK parliamentarians and civil society groups, including The Runnymede Trust and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, to explore wider collaboration and information sharing on this matter,” the statement said. It quoted the Barbados High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Guy Hewitt, as saying “being a product of the Commonwealth, Londonborn of Indian and Barbadian migrants to the UK, I am dismayed that this situation could even exist in the 21st Century”. The statement said that the first Black Bishop in the Church of England, Sir Wilfred Wood, who is widely recognised as the second most significant black Briton for his work on race relations in the UK, considered the current actions towards immigrants as a “betrayal of Commonwealth immigrants in Britain [who] now find themselves hunted, uprooted and deported like common criminals, comes
close to being a crime against humanity”. A d d i t i o n a l l y, Crossbencher, Lord Herman Ouseley, former Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, noted: “regularising the settled status of these loyal residents should be a priority for the government as opposed to making them ‘illegal’, destitute and stateless. “It would be simple and require minimal resources for the government to put in place the practical measures and process to establish the credential of each person affected and thus resolving this matter with dignity and common sense….” Award-winning author, Andrea Levy, whose father emigrated to Britain from the Caribbean said that “for Britain to treat its former colonial subjects in such a way is a violation of natural justice and of its historical responsibility. “Beyond the individuals concerned, it sends a chill through entire communities. It suggests no one, not even your granny, is safe,” he added. The statement said that
the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community, David Lammy, offered this suggestion: “The solution is simple: confirm the status of everyone who arrived from the Commonwealth before 1971,
and make it easier for them to provide documentation demonstrating their status. “Our connection to the Commonwealth isn’t just about free trade or post-Brexit opportunities for British businesses, but also about the
many shared ties among people, and the British Government’s own responsibility to fairness and responsibility in affirming the rights of those who have lived here for decades,” the statement quoted Lammy as saying.
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Trade war or not, China is closing the gap on U.S. in technology IP race HONG KONG (Reuters) China’s rising investment in research and expansion of its higher education system mean that it is fast closing the gap with the United States in intellectual property and the struggle to be the No.1 global technology power, according to patent experts. While U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat of punitive tariffs on high-tech U.S. exports could slow Beijing’s momentum, it won’t turn back the tide, they say. Washington’s allegation that the Chinese have engaged in intellectual property theft over many years - which is denied by Beijing - is a central reason for the worsening trade conflict between the U.S. and China. Forecasts for how long it will take for Beijing to close the technological gap vary though several patent specialists say it could happen in the next decade. And China is already leapfrogging ahead in a couple of areas. “With the number of scientists China is training every year it will eventually catch up, regardless of what the U.S. does,” said David Shen, head of IP for China at global law firm Allen & Overy. Indeed, IP lawyers now see President Xi Jinping’s pledge earlier this week to protect foreign IP rights as projecting confidence in China’s position as a leading innovator in sectors such as telecommunications and online payments, as well as its ability to catch up in other areas. Last year, China overtook Japan as the No. 2 patent filer in the world, with 13.4 percent annual growth, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation. If maintained, the pace will take it above the United States in just over a year, a strong indication of its ambitions. That progress has been built on foundations which are likely to strengthen further. China now spends 2.1 percent of its gross domestic product on research and development, not yet matching U.S. levels of 2.75 percent, but a remarkable increase from just 0.7 percent in the 1990s and nearing the 2.35 percent average among members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. World Bank data shows China now produces 1,177 R&D researchers per million of its population, three times the level in the 1990s and in line with the world average. The U.S. produces many more researchers per million - at
4,321 - but that is more than offset by China’s population being about four times the size. And the number of Chinese researchers is only going to increase. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, China now enrols more than 40 percent of its students in tertiary education, half the U.S. percentage, but a staggering rise from 0.1 percent in the 1970s. “If you’re looking out 510 years you’ll see a much more level playing field in terms of innovation, especially around online platforms, digital innovation, machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Richard Titherington, chief investment officer for Asian emerging markets at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, who overseas $80 billion in assets. Titherington says online payments is the clearest example where China has leapfrogged the United States, with mobile phones replacing credit cards almost entirely as a form of payment in major Chinese cities, while “many Americans still use cheques.” He said that stock markets provide one sign of Chinese progress - at least in the eyes of investors. The total returns on Facebook Inc stock since its listing in 2012 were 373 percent, versus 883 percent for its Chinese social media rival Tencent Holdings. In microblogging, Twitter Inc returned a 28 percent loss since its 2014 listing, while Weibo Corp a whopping 656 percent gain. IP experts, however, say China is still behind in areas such as semiconductors, robotics, and biotech. QUALITY GAP Patent numbers also do not tell the whole story. There is a perceived gap in quality, which suggests China will take a while longer to catch up. Smartphone maker Huawei Technologies is the only Chinese company that made it into Clarivate Analytics’ top 100 innovators last year, a ranking based not only on patent volumes, but also on their influence on other organizations. In 2016, China produced almost 500,000 scientific papers according to data from global information analytics firm Elsevier, taking the No.2 spot globally and closing in on America’s 600,000. The gap has halved in five years. But on average, a Chinese
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paper gets 0.93 citations, versus 1.23 for U.S. documents. Citations are an indication of how valuable a researcher’s work is seen by his or her peers. On that metric, China is 11 places behind the United States in 33rd, with only countries that published more than 10,000 papers included. Gabriela Kennedy, head of Asia IP at global law firm Mayer Brown JSM, says that could be a proxy for the quality of each country’s research work. “(The Chinese) are very successful in what they’re doing in some large companies, but if you look beyond that they’re not particularly innovative,” Kennedy said. “But I don’t think it’s going to take them long.” If Washington wants to slow China’s technological advance, it might consider measures that further restrict what products U.S. companies license to Chinese firms and broaden definitions of trade secrets, lawyers say. But they also warn tougher rules could be counterproductive as firms can find ways around them, including by setting up entities in nonU.S. jurisdictions to maintain access to the vast Chinese market. “If the U.S. government were to go to the extreme of not allowing U.S. companies to disclose their IP in China, that could hurt the U.S. companies as well,” said Ling Ho, a partner with law firm Clifford Chance, and a specialist in IP disputes. POLITICAL WILL Xi pledged on Tuesday, China will protect the intellectual property of foreign firms, saying he hoped foreign countries did the same. Lawyers say Chinese IP protection laws are comparable to U.S. and European legal standards. The fault is in implementation, with high levels of bureaucracy, court decisions applying on a provincial level rather than nationally and judges often having different interpretations of the laws. The recent creation of a State Intellectual Property Office, however, shows political intent and should lead to more uniform enforcement, said Loke-Khoon Tan, head of the IP Practice Group in Hong Kong and China at Baker McKenzie and author of the book “Pirates in the Middle Kingdom: The Art of Trademark War”. “The political will is articulated in a very powerful way and once it’s communicated to each of the bureaucracies lower down I expect very positive things,” he said. “Our clients would be more encouraged and incentivised to test their cases.”
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CARICOM to be represented at G7 Summit The current and previous chairmen of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have been invited to attend the 44th G7 Summit by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Prime Minister Trudeau made the announcement on Friday during a working luncheon Canada hosted with CARICOM Heads of State and Delegations who are gathered in Lima, Peru for the eighth Summit of the Americas. The Canadian Prime Minister said having leadership from the Caribbean attend the Summit is “extremely important” to the strengthening of its international relations. “For me, the opportunity to use Canada’s voice on the world stage to bring forward issues that matter to our friends is one of the most important things in our approach to international relations,” he said. President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise is the current Chairman of CARICOM, he took over from Grenadian Prime Minister Keith Mitchell. This year’s G7 Summit is being held in Quebec, Canada on June 8-9. The G7 is an informal block of seven industrialised countries – Canada, France, Ger-
many, Italy, United Kingdom, Japan and the United States – that meet annually to discuss global economic governance, international security and energy policy. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Trudeau explained Friday’s luncheon was aimed at deepening the good and close relations between Canada and CARICOM. “This luncheon, for me, is an opportunity to hear from all of you on your perspectives on how Canada can help, and on what issues, and how you feel we can work best as we move forward together,” Prime Minister Trudeau said. The Caribbean has been the highest per capita recipient of Canadian development assistance since 1963. The Canadian High Commission to Guyana was accredited to CARICOM since 2003. In more recent times, Canada has lent its assistance to CARICOM states with issues related to climate change, protecting the ocean and working together in other areas to
create opportunities for its citizens. Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge represented Guyana at the luncheon. “Guyana spoke on the issue of trade… our dependence on trade and also they discussed security issues,” Minister Greenidge said following the conclusion of the luncheon. The Minister noted that the Guyana Venezuela border controversy did not come up but, “Canada made some observations as regards their concerns to see the situation improved in Venezuela.” On Thursday Minister Greenidge met with Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister. The meeting was aimed at strengthening relations between Guyana and Canada. President David Granger and Prime Minister Trudeau are expected to have a bilateral exchange on the side lines of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which will be held later this week in London, England.
Sunday April 15, 2018
8 Small Changes for a Slimmer You in 2018 It’s that time of year again. People are rushing to buy gym memberships and cleaning out kitchen cabinets, swearing that this year will be the year they follow through on their resolution to lose weight. But reaching that goal doesn’t require a complete lifestyle overhaul. Small steps
can make a big difference in your body and health. Here are eight ways to get started: · Break it down. No matter how much you have to lose, changing your lifestyle to lose weight can seem overwhelming. So, don’t look at it all at once, advises nutritionist Samantha Heller, from
NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “Look at it one plate at a time, or even one choice at a time, but start right now, and by this time next month, you’ll see good changes,” she said. Instead of thinking about how you need to lose 40 pounds, figure out what 5 percent of your body weight is. For a
180-pound person, it’s 9 pounds. “If you lose 5 percent of your body weight, you can significantly decrease your risk of many diseases, like prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease. You lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and A1C [a long-term measurement of blood sugar levels], and it’s so much less overwhelming to think about,” Heller noted. · Strive for a negative calorie balance. For years, you’ve probably heard that to lose a pound, you need to eat 3,500 fewer calories (the number of calories in a pound), but research has shown that it’s not necessarily that simple. Nutritionist Maudene Nelson, from Columbia University Health in New York City, said, “It works mathematically, but it doesn’t work physiologically. The body defends its weight,” she explained. But you do need a negative calorie balance to lose weight — that means you need to take in fewer calories than you use in activity and exercise to lose weight. Both Nelson and Heller said very low-calorie diets don’t work in the long term because the body goes into starvation mode. “You don’t want to lose weight too quickly, because it scares the body into thinking there’s no food available,” Heller said. · Plate it.Nelson loves the simplicity of the plate method. Half of your plate should be vegetables, one quarter is protein and one quarter is starch. If you finish your plate, and you’re still hungry, she said be sure to refill your plate in the same way. “Don’t just
refill on the mac n’ cheese,” she advised. In the morning, you can substitute fruit for the veggies. · Identify trouble times. Nelson asks her clients to think about the time of day they have the most trouble with food. Is it the time just before dinner when the kids are clamoring for food and you’re starving and so tired you don’t feel like cooking, so you stop at the fast-food drive-thru. Or is it at night when the house has quieted down and you can finally sit down, maybe with a glass of wine and late-night snack? “In these times of day, it’s hard to think about how many calories you’re eating. These are times you don’t want to stop and think about self-denial. So plan for these times. Have healthy snacks ready. Make sure you have ingredients for a quick meal in the fridge so you don’t have to rely on fast-food,” Nelson suggested. · Add protein to every meal. Protein helps keep your blood sugar levels from spiking and then crashing. Without at least a little protein in your meal, you’ll be hungry soon after eating because of a fast rise and fall in your blood sugar. And, Heller said, be sure to have protein at breakfast, too. “Having protein in the morning can really set the stage for a better day — whether it’s eggs or yogurt, nut butter on whole grain toast or apple slices, or even leftovers from the night before,” she explained. · Track it. Both Heller and Nelson said one of the most important things you can do for losing weight is keeping track of the food you eat.
“It’s not a sexy or exciting thing to do, but it can be informative and helpful,” Heller said, adding that many people are surprised when they write down every bite they take at how much they actually do eat in a day. A food diary can be done with paper and pencil, or you can put technology to work because there are lots of apps for the phone. Examples include myfitnesspal, fitday and seehowyoueat (an app that lets you use pictures to keep your diary). “You can use your food tracker to see what happened when you did well, or on days you didn’t. If you over-eat one night, you can look back and see that maybe you skipped lunch and were starving. You can use it as a learning tool for the next time,” Heller said. · Don’t drink your calories. Both experts said people often get empty calories from soda and juice. “It’s just not worth it to drink your calories,” Nelson said. What about adult beverages, such as wine and beer? Nelson said those can be considered part of the plate method. Each drink replaces a starch from your plate. · Rewards. Nelson said to set yourself up for success by planning rewards. Whether it’s for walking a mile, or for tracking your meals for a week, give yourself more than a pat on the back. It doesn’t have to be a big treat — maybe you could buy that magazine you enjoy but usually don’t purchase, or a special body lotion because it’s pricier than what you normally spend. https:// medlineplus.gov/news/ fullstory_170678.html.
Even levels of air pollution deemed “safe” by U.S. government standards may shorten the life spans of seniors, new research suggests. In fact, hundreds of older Americans may die prematurely each year due to the effects of dirty air, the study found. The finding stems from a computer prediction analysis that correlated fine particle and ozone pollution levels between 2000 and 2012 with death rates on roughly 93 percent of all Americans who were covered by Medicare at the time.“This is the most comprehensive study of short-term exposure to pollution and mortality to date,” said senior study author Francesca Dominici, co-direc-
tor of the Harvard Data Science Initiative in Boston. “We found that the mortality rate increases almost linearly as air pollution increases. Any level of air pollution, no matter how low, is harmful to human health,” Dominici said in a Harvard news release. During the study period, 22 million people covered by the investigation died. While the study only found an association, the investigators found that for every tiny incremental increase in either particulate pollution or ozone levels, the daily death rate bumped up between roughly 0.5 and 1 percent. Though the figures may seem small, Dominici and her
colleagues pointed out that it adds up when multiplied across the entire population of American seniors, amounting to more than 7,100 premature deaths over the study period. What’s more, the research team noted that some groups of seniors are even more vulnerable to such exposure, with low-income seniors facing a three times higher risk than more well-off seniors. In a similar vein, women were found to face a 25 percent greater premature death risk following pollution and ozone exposure compared with men. The same was true of nonwhite Americans, relative to their white peers. https://medlineplus.gov/ news/fullstory_170680.html.
Air Pollution Can Be Deadly for Seniors
Sunday April 15, 2018
Will Scandal End With Everyone Paying for Their Many, Many Crimes? For some reason, we didn’t see this coming! Scandal’s second to last episode ever aired tonight and found Olivia doing something we never imagined she’d do: blow up B613 by telling the world about it. First, when she found herself subpoenaed in the case against Mellie, she revealed it just to the special prosecutor in an effort to take down Jake and Cyrus. But of course Jake stepped in, clearing out the White House pool that had been his headquarters and having her subpoena scrubbed from the record. So then, Liv took the truth right to the last ally you’d ever expect: Sally Langston, who was more than happy to spill all the beans on live TV. The secret is out! Now, we’ve got a series finale(!!!) promo that shows the entire team testifying in court, no doubt spilling so many damn beans that we’re not sure who could possibly make it out of t h i s u n scathed. And then there’s Olivia at the end, completely freaking out, just like we currently are doing at the
prospect of this being over forever. We’re not ready! We’ve got too much wine and popcorn left! We’ve got a lot of speeches to make!!
Anyway, watch the promo above and please join us in panicking!! Scandal’s series finale airs next Thursday at 10 p.m. www.eonline.com
Grey’s Anatomy Tackles ICE & the Day Is Saved By an Old Friend Who ever thought Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) would still be saving the day on Grey’s Anatomy all these years later? Tonight’s episode was nearly a total heartbreak as we learned that Sam (Jeanine Mason) was a Dreamer, in the US under DACA after she moved from El Salvador when she was two. She recently was caught running a red light, and since any break of the law invalidated her living in the country, she was going to be deported. While the agent who had arrived to deport her ended up having a heart condition and had to have surgery, there was still no legal way Sam could stay at Grey Sloane, or
in the US. All hope seemed lost until Meredith arrived to tell Sam that she had been accepted to thecardiothoracic program in Zurich, Switzerland that she had totally applied to, with an essay she had totally written herself. “Dr. Yang is expecting you,” Meredith said. “You’re gonna love working with her. She was also the best in her class.” Cue allll the tears, basically. Elsewhere tonight, Arizona saved a life by building a crash cart specifically for anything that could go wrong post-childbirth, and Amelia ran into a bit of a snag when trying to find help with her tumor ultrasounds when the doctor she was after claimed she couldn’t legally
work with a Harper Avery hospital. Jackson, being Jackson, simply talked to the lawyers and had them void whatever agreement they had, and while he seemed to think he had solved all problems, Katherine looked terrified. She then told Richard that Jackson had “ruined” them, and we’re just going to have to wait to find out what the heck that means. We might have to wait a while, however, because the promo for next week seemed to involve the entire hospital getting accidentally high on weed cookies. As usual, this is our favorite show. Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC. www.eonline.com
Sunday April 15, 2018
Former Linden Town Week delegates to lead March against Abuse! In a press briefing on Friday, Mayor of Linden, Wanneka Arrindell, emphasized that the Linden Mayor and Town Council will stand in support of the Linden delegates who though no longer are pursuing the Miss Linden Town Week crown, will, with the support of the LM&TC become Linden’s ambassadors to stand against abuses against women in all forms. “We call upon all stakeholders in the community, social protection agencies, youth groups, the Ministries of Education, Social Protection, National Security, major policy makers,
religious organizations, Community Based Organizations, and NonGovernmental Organizations to participate in a ‘Speak Out, Speak Up… March’, led by the delegates, that will be held on Saturday, April 21,” the Mayor declared. The March would be in protest of the sexual assault, which was reportedly perpetrated against one of the contestants in the Miss Linden Town Week Pageant by a prominent businessman. The incident reportedly occurred during early March, while three of the delegates were visiting the premises of the businessman, seeking sponsorship to facilitate their
participation in the pageant. The Mayor on reflecting on the issue posited, “Having assumed the office of Mayor of Linden on April 1, 2018, I was shocked, saddened and horrified at the news that came to my attention. The council became active in making sure that a preliminary internal investigation was done and all persons involved were contacted and information garnered.” The Mayor said that the Council is working with the law enforcement authorities to ensure that no stone is left unturned as answers are sought and that all persons found culpable will be brought to justice regardless
of position. “My position remains the same, that no such actions will be condoned by me…” Arrindel pointed out that because of the seriousness of the allegations and the ongoing investigation, the Linden Mayor and Town Council, while strongly condemning the actions of all persons who seek to interfere with the dreams of the young women, voted and decided to withdraw the Linden Town Week Pageant from this year’s scheduled activities. “This does not mean that we are abandoning our delegates, who will be part of a procession with heads held high, not to participate in a pageant but to each receive a crown for their outstanding resilience. These young women would have all changed their platforms to reflect the issues that are affecting young women and have pledged to speak on their individual platforms about their reasons for being a part of this movement of thousands of Lindeners who refuse to be cowed by any adversity!” Arrindell said that reports of sexual abuse in the pageant industry usually get shortterm attention and are forgotten with the passage of
time but that this time, it will be different! She added that no more shall women, the best and brightest of our nation, be left to face the burden of such actions on their own. According to Arrindel, the LM&TC is already taking steps to protect future delegates by imposing stringent guidelines for fundraising activities and would be seeking the involvement of relatives in supporting contestants through every stage of future events. She further called on corporate Guyana to collaborate with and assist the Council in promoting responsible behaviour in pageantry sponsorship. “As Mayor of Linden, a mother and daughter, I take this personally and I will not ask these courageous young women to cower and disappear from facing the harsh reality of this incident. All Lindeners should be proud of the fact that nothing, absolutely nothing, will deter these strong women from accomplishing their goals. “ Arrindel exhorted that justice be allowed to run its course. She urged that all come together to help ensure that these beautiful talented women illustrate to the world
that despite obstacles, they will never quit. After much deliberation, the Linden Town Week (LTW) Pageant 2018 was cancelled on Wednesday evening by the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LMTC). This is according to LTW Coordinator, Devin Sears. The cancellation comes on the heels of reports of sexual misconduct involving a Linden businessman and one of the contestants. The issue is being investigated by the police in ‘E’ Division (Demerara\Berbice). Former Mayor of Linden, Carwyn Holland in a statement had called for the pageant to be cancelled in light of the scandal. Holland had also suggested that all the young ladies should be crowned as municipal ambassadors so that they could spread positive messages to young girls across the municipality. The scandalous revelations were first highlighted on Facebook by a concerned overseas-based Lindener. Subsequently, both the Linden Mayor and Town Council and the AFC Party issued a statement to the media on the matter.
THE VET AND YOUR PET
Choosing a dog as your companion animal By Dr. Steve Surujbally Let us this week look at some specific considerations associated with choosing a dog as your companion animal. After all, we don’t want the animal to make a round-trip back to the previous owner – or worse, that you get rid of your pet in a way that, shall we say, is inimical to its interests; you know — like straying (abandoning) or drowning. Consideration #1: SIZE Should you choose a large dog or a small dog? Well, firstly, all puppies are small and you may not know if it will grow into a huge dog. There is a conventional wisdom that dictates that you look at the dog’s paws. If they are big, the dog will be big. That may be true in many instances; however, that method is not always reliable. I tend to advise that you look at the parents of the pup. When that pup grows up, it is hardly likely that it will be much larger than its father if it’s a male, or larger than the mother, if it is a female. (Of course, when in doubt, ask your veterinarian or a bona fide breeder). If the dog is a pure-breed, then your job is simple. The dog will grow (all things being equal – health, nutrition, etc.) to the size that is standard for that breed. Size is also an important consideration according to the home in which you live. It would not make too much sense under our local conditions to keep a large dog indoors. (One wonders whether this would be sensible under any condition). If we are going to keep a canine companion animal indoors in a small house, then let’s look for a small dog. Large dogs would need yard space with sturdy and high fences. Males, scenting females in heat, would go over, under, around and through weak symbolic fences.
Consideration #2: TIME Do you have enough time to exercise your dog? Do you have the time (and patience) to groom your canine ward, and perhaps manually extract ticks and fleas from its coat? What about the time needed to take your pet to the vet for its vaccinations and de-wormings? Will you spend some time daily playing with and training your pet dog? Consideration #3: COST In choosing a dog as your pet, you should think of the costs associated with its care. Feed costs can be high, especially with large dogs. A very large and active dog may require between 8 and 10 pounds of feed daily. Then there are the veterinary costs – vaccinations and de-wormings and incidentals. If it is a female, you may wish to spay (removal of the ovaries and womb) her, so that she does not continue to present you, during the mating season, with her amorous beaus and resultant litters after unwanted litters. You may wish to consider castrating (neutering) your male canine pet. That too may entail a monetary outlay. N.B. : The Guyana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) has an Animal Clinic and Shelter which performs free spay and neutering services, which you may wish to exploit. Consideration #4: TEMPERAMENT By this, I mean both your (and your family’s) temperament and the dog’s. If you have a lot (or even one) of young children in the home, can you condition them away from the belief that their new furry friend is not a bouncing ball? Have you chosen a puppy that can tolerate some rough play? And if you have chosen an adorable fur-ball, can you accept with equanimity it’s not-so-adorable Continued on page 70
Sunday April 15, 2018
WHAT EXACTLY IS 20/20 VISION?
Most people are familiar with the eye chart, either from the doctor’s office or the optometrist’s office. The Snellen eye chart is the most common. It was developed by Dr. Herman Snellen. The chart allows us to define and measure standard vision. It is made up of several rows of letters with the largest (usually an E) at the top and the others having letters that decrease in size. 20/20 is a term used to define “‘normal” vision, based on seeing a certain size image at 20 feet. That translates in numbers to the 20/20 letters being 8.75 mm high. If you have 20/20 vision, from 20 feet away, you can see clearly 8.75 mm high letters that make up the 20/20 line. If you have 20/30 vision, it means that you must go as close as 20 feet to see a size letter that a person with normal vision can see from 30 feet back. DO MOST PEOPLE HAVE 20/20 VISION? Many people see well and assume they have good vision. They are sometimes surprised when they come for their first eye exam and realize this is not always the case. Persons who have never had their eyes checked may not realize that their vision is not as good as it should be
because it is how they have always been seeing and assumed was normal. People are also surprised when they find out the vision in each eye may be different. It is not until one eye is covered and the vision checked in each eye individually that some people realize that one eye may be seeing better than the other. Many people do not have 20/20 vision. Some of the reasons are: 1) Myopia, or nearsightedness, is where near objects are seen clearly, but far objects are not. A sign of nearsightedness is difficulty seeing distant objects like a TV screen or blackboard. 2) Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is where
distant objects are seen clearly, but close ones are not. Common signs of farsightedness include difficulty in concentrating and keeping a clear focus on near objects like phone screens, eye strain, fatigue, headaches after close work / reading, or aching or burning eyes. 3) Astigmatism is a vision condition that occurs when the front surface of your eye, the cornea, is slightly irregular in shape. Think of it being egg shaped instead of round like a ball. This irregular shape prevents light from focusing properly on the back of your eye, the retina. As a result, vision may be blurred at all distances. Most people have some amount of astigmatism.
STANDARDS IN FOCUS
LEARNING THE METRIC SYSTEM USING THE UNITS OF VOLUME As Guyana maintains focus on the full implementation of the SI (Metric) Units in daily measurement practices, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) is continuously offering guidance to stakeholders within the various sectors to ensure the adoption and correct use of this legal system of measurement. Therefore, it is relevant for every citizen to refresh and recommit to the use of the metric system, as we place focus on the units of Volume. Most of us would know that the Metric System is a measurement system using Standard International (SI) Units. It is simple to learn and easy to use because of its decimal nature. Let’s look at the metric units used for measuring Liquids also referred to as measurement by Volume. Volume is referred to the space an object occupies and it is measured in cubic metres (m3). The volume of a container is generally understood to be the capacity of the container, that is, the amount of fluid (gas or liquid) that the container could hold. Therefore, the Metric unit for measuring Volume is the cubic meter (m3) but the Litre, which is a unit of volume denoted as capital “L” is used especially for measuring liquids. The general rule for writing metric symbols is to use lower case letters. However, there is an exception in this case. The Litre was derived from the Kilogram. 1 Litre (L) of water at 40C weighs 1 kilogram. The Litre is used for measuring intermediate and large amounts of liquids, such as fuel at the filling stations, juices, water, and cooking oil. For those who are unfamiliar with this unit of measurement, One Litre is equivalent to one
and three quarters of a pint. In addition, 4.546 Litres are equivalent to one gallon. Another commonly used unit is the Millilitre (mL). The millilitre is used for measuring very small amounts of liquids. For example, contents of medicines. 1000 millilitres is equal to one litre. In Guyana, soft drinks are sold in 250 mL, 500 mL or ½ litre, 1 litre and 2 litre packages. There has been significant progress in the implementation of this unit of measurement locally. Wholesalers of liquid commodities have been measuring, prepackaging and labelling the said commodities in litres and millilitres with the exception of a few who still label soft drinks in imperial units. Further, the GNBS has managed to have all fuel stations throughout the country convert their dispensing meters from imperial to metric, and as such, fuel is sold in Litres and millilitres. Wholesalers and retailers of all liquid commodities, especially drinking water, now need to go a step further and label their commodities totally in Si units, excluding the imperial conversions. Advertisements for these commodities also need to be done in the same manner. CONSUMERS DO NOT BUY RICE, PEAS AND OTHER SOLID GRAINS BY PINTS, GALLONS OR LITRES. THESE COMMODITIES MUST BE WEIGHEDAND SOLD BY MASS BECAUSE THEY ARE SOLID. BUY THESE COMMODITIES BY GRAMMESAND KILOGRAMMES. For further information, please contact the GNBS on telephone numbers: 219-0069, 219-0065, 219-0062.
4) Cataracts are a condition where the lens in the eye becomes cloudy with age. The light does not go through the cloudy lens as well as it used to through the clear lens
5) Turned or crossed eyes can lead to decreased vision in the eye that turns. 6) “Lazy” eyes, or amblyopic eyes, which usually occur from not getting glasses early enough, or high
prescriptions or uncorrected astigmatism. An optometric examination will include testing for all forms of visual impairment. If needed, your optometrist can prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to change the way the light enters your eyes and to focus the images on the retina. Glasses do not correct your eyes, nor do they make your eyes worse or dependant on them …. they just help you to see better. For more information, or if you wish to suggest a question, please contact Dr. Karen Persram at 295 Quamina Street, Georgetown. Tel: 225-0605 or send emails to email@example.com.
SERVICES PLANNING AN EVENT? BIRTHDAY PARTY, GRADUATION, W E D D I N G S , ANNIVERSARY, ETC. CALL DIAMOND TENTS: 216-1043; 677-6620 Visa Application: U.S.A, Canada & UK;Guyanapassport application. G r a p h i c s design, advertisement. Tel: 626-7040; 265-4535.
FOR SALE LARGE QUANTITIES OF HIGH PURITY MERCURY (QUICK SILVER) 99.99995% PURITY$19,000 PER POUND CALL: 592-227-4754. Cottage house, 2 bedroom, living room, kitchen, dining room located @ Fourth St Pearl, EBD Tel# 219-5462, 625-3981
PLANNING AN EVENT? BIRTHDAY PARTY, GRADUATION,WEDDINGS, ANNIVERSARY,ETC.-CALL DIAMOND TENTS: 2161043; 677-6620 2 bedroom apartment for rent working couple, Houston Tel#611-3064 2 Bedroom furnished apartment near UG, Teacher’s Training College $50,000 Phone#685-9127 Upper flat 3 bedroom house in Diamond Housing Scheme, includes bath A/c(s) hot & cold etc #216-0589/686-5645
Unregistered DAF trucks: Dump trucks, Flatbed, Flatbed with crane & hauler, Foden 6x4 Dump truck. Call: 659-3100
2 apartment for rent : 1 bedroom and 2 bedrooms ECD. Contact Mr Khan #6752550/656-9313
New triangle truck tyres, front & all-wheel drive, size 295/ 80R22.5 Call: 647-2022
To rent two (2) bedroom apartment: Middle road La Penitance $50,000 monthly. Contact: 666-9534
Whole chicken $300 per lb (50 lb up) chicken foot $140 per lb, liver & gizzert. Contact: 699-7415, 696-5424/610-6196
3 bedroom bottom flat fully grill Diamond, New Scheme. Tel# 216-2972/622-3021
ICONIC MARKETING & PRINTING –TEL: 6004212: We create A/works, logos, busi ness cards, posters, etc, placements of ads included. Eagle’s: Re-gas –low prices, washing machine repairs, gas stove, plasma flat Screen, computer repairs & more. Call: 697-2969/6460966 Repairs at affordable prices: fridge, air conditioner, washing machines, dryers, TV, microwaves & freezerCall: 610-5846 or 661-8158 Budram’s Landscaping Services. Free advice, Free designs, Free after care follow up Tel#626-1044
Organic potting soil $700 Supari palm, Foxtail, Sugarcane palm @ $1000 Ashoka trees, Crotoons. Tel#626-1044
USA Graduate. Hair, Waxing, Eyebrow threading & Colour. 39 Greenwich park, Public road EBE. Tel: 661-0019
8 Lots with model house Ulverston, Corentyne. Double lot with shed Rosehall near market #680-6577
Customized Salon Furniture, Kitchen cupboards, Drawface, Cabinets, Doors etc. 39 Greenwich Park Public road EBE. #661-0019
1-620-240 Foreign used DAF engines Hepicycle & axle for 60 DAF Lorries & many other parts going cheap, owner migrating #649-8449/228-5655 Fridge and freezers for sale #671-3004
Mason available all casting, blockwork and plastering. Reliable, reasonable and quality work offered. Call: 619-3296
Sunday April 15, 2018
2008 Primo car with treadmill, fridge, stove, bed, all Ashley furniture etc $4M Call: 6117223/656-0701
One bedroom apartment upper flat $35,000 water & light included #227-7353 & 6898757 12 Sussex Street, Charlestown 1 bedroom flat @ Phase 1 Mandela Avenue, East Riumveldt Call: 663-4183/6287316 (1) 2 bedroom apt for rent @ Peter’s Hall. Contact: 2239677/698-5800 Business place to rent in Georgetown 7x14 $80,000 monthly. Call: 687-3017
1 steel Hull boat 50x13’x6' Engine: gm marine 165 HP. Contact: 691-5104
Samuel Williams, Justice of the Peace & Commissioner of Oaths to AffidavitsConsultants. Canal No.1 Polder WBD Tel: 693-3979
SALON Make-up Courses with Mac, Bare Minerals, etc. - Cosmetology Courses: $90,000 Nail Technician Course: $35,000. Call: 647-1773/688-0009 EDUCATION Register your child for after school classes for slow learners in Mathematics, Reading, Phonics, Spelling, etc. Call: 675-4379
DRESSMAKING Classes in Designing/Sewing as a hobby or career. Canadian trained teacher. Call: 676-6312
TOLET Rooms in Albertown & 1 house in Good Hope, 5 bedroom, 4 self contained. Tel#225-3234
PEN PAL You deserve a relationship filled with love and compassion. Call Harmony Singles #676-6312
Business spaces, top & bottom flat located @ 177 Charlotte and Alexander, Georgetown: #644-3555/6893462
FOR SALE/RENT American Pool Tel#277-0578
WANTED 1 male cook $100,000 monthly. Land dredge workers for interior. Tel#672-3359 Land Wanted in Diamond H/ S Bet 1-6 Ave. WhatsApp/Call Rich +592-644-2073 1 General domestic from West Coast/West Bank Demerara, 1 day per week. Call: 626-2629
WANTED Looking to buy a house or empty land, Preferences-EBD Public road. Buyer #1917-6225810/694-3331 One radiator workman preferably from the West Coast of Demerara. Contact Charran’s Radiator Works Tel#622-5721 One full time auto body technician for repair center. Must have previous experience. Call: 222-0675 One service manager for repair centre, must have previous experience. Call: 6472022 1 Male cook to cook in interior #699-4718 Driver, Cashier, Pastry maker/ cake decorator, curry cook, counter server, Apply H/ written application @ Hack’s Halaal 5 Commerce St Live in or live out babysitter/ domestic- Call: 223-7500 Monday to Saturday 8:15am4:15pm One family to work at wildlife farm at Timehri. Housing provided. Please call: 2270373 One 312 Hymac operator, must have mechanical skills, housing provided. Please call: 227-0373 Live in waitress to work in bar. Call: 604-6606/ 692-4649 Live in waitress to work in bar. 18-25 yrs old, must have ID Contact No: 221-2785 We buy land in Eccles, Farm, Herstelling, Parfaite Harmonie, Providence, Covent Garden Call: 611-7223/656-0701 Labourers to work on farm in Demerara river. Accomodation provided. Tel: 684-1098/646-9821 One maid preferably from the East Bank of Demerara. Call Tel# 266-2217 Maid, Duties: Cooking & Housekeeping, Time: Monday to Friday 8:30am12:30pm Contact: Diana #6548839 Location: Eccles EBD. Young male age 18-30, for position at Henny Bar-B-Q Smoke House. call 629-2044 Male and Female to work in interior age 25-40, salary $80,000 monthly. Call 674-1767 (1) abled bodied male to live in & work on chicken farm. Serious enquiries only. Call Dhari: 625-2685 (1) Part time maid between the Age 40-50 years. Must know to iron & have character reference. Contact# 500-5923 Buying Wamara,Tonka Bean,Mora Fresh logs. Contact Tel or Whatsapp #664-5150
VEHICLE FOR SALE
Exists for one experienced dispatcher- Call: 231-5784
Bluebird 2012 model-$2.7M Axio 2010-$2.6M Tida-2010 $2.1M All vehicles unregistered #655-3400
Earn 5-20K working from home www.jobfairworldwide.com Tel#622-1957/652-8829 Vacancy exist for (1) experienced pharmacy technician to work @ reputable pharmacy in Diamond (Flexible hours)- Call: 645-3422 One office clerk, must be computer literate. Call: 6144358 Inventory clerk, Tool room clerk, Female cleaner Call: 2332745 Wa i t r e s s , S e c u r i t y guard,Receptionist- Aracari Hotel Versailles, West Bank Demerara. Apply in person or phone 264-2946-8 Sanitation Foreman to work in Georgetown, Tel#227-1717 1-Grillman,1 live-in mature nanny from Berbice/ Essequibo,1-kitchen assistant Contact X’s Grill & Cuisine 675-2550/656-9313. Mature male Salesperson, must know about Japanese car parts. Sales experience. Contact: 601-2622/227-2322 Chef and Assistant cookPreferably Carnegie tranied. Call 225-7933, or visit 173 Sheriff street. Immediate Vacancy exist for one maintenace worker + Operators, 25 yrs+ to work @ Del Ice Co Tel# 642-9191/2311408 Experienced babysitter, able to work flexible hours, physically fit, valid food handler’s, police clearance. Call: 690-4722 LAND FOR SALE Parfaite Harmonie (upfront) $1.6M Schoonord $2.6M Uitvlugt (100x50) $2.8M Harmonie high income $2.6M Call: 611-7223/656-0701 Parfaite main road 1.7 M, Parfaite 10 years $2.8 M, Parfaite $1.5 M, $1.3 M, Uitvlugt $ 2.5 M, Eccles $6M, Diamond $5.5 M. Call 6662326 Land at Tuschen Housing Scheme, near school, 3 minutes away from main road. Call: 261-2988/6958215 Prime residential house lot in Farm East Bank with reserve. Light, water & road $3.2M Call 656-1345 Prime land to build that dream home. Not far from Princess, New Thriving, Massy, HJ water world $13M neg- Call: 669-8397
One Mitsubishi canter, Excellent condition, long base, engine #4D335A2F3513 $2,000,000 neg. Call: 698-8820 1 Toyota Tundra 4WD. Excellent condition $2M Call: 220-6380/618-1395 Unregistered Axela 2011, New shape, dark interior, fully loaded. #617-5536 $2.4 Mil. 1-50 DAF Labor lorry 1-55 DAF dump lorry in working condition. Tel#664-5149/6418335 Nissan Laurel Classic Car and Nissan Pathfinder JeepSuperb condition, Great deals. Call : 660-3415/225-8427 (1) 2004 Nissan X-Trail, Immaculate condition, PRR series, 4WD, original leather seats, Alarm, Ice cold A/c. $2.650 M (neg) #658-7891 1- Twinsteer Doubleaxle Leyland DAF 4- LeylandDAF Flatbed tray 30ft 10- Guysuco Lorries 1 DAF engine. owner migrating #228-5655, 649-8449 (1) 2006 Toyota Premio, Excellent condition, very low mileage. Call: 698-1134 1 Toyota Tundra $2M Call: 630-3695 2003 Toyota Spacio AC,CD, Mags,HID Excellent condition, late PVV, never crash nor hired $1,775,000 #618-1047 PROPERTY FOR SALE Lot 15 Public road #2 Village. West Coast Berbice. 49ft by 10,314ft. $18M. Contact:6487109/686-4818 3 story commercial building,120ftX60ft Building 62ftX30ft Location- Lot 1486, Plot B Herstelling, EBD $95 million neg. Contact: 6093777/697-4557 Lot 259 Wisrock Housing Scheme, price negotible. Tel # 628-1832/694-9226 Transported (2) storey concrete with (6) bedroom property Uitvlugt New Scheme WCD $30M Neg Call: 693-4667/277-3743/697-0882 Diamond EBD 2 storey concrete, 6 bedrooms, hot/ cold, secured parking, ready to move in. Price negotiable. Call: 693-4890/692-5014 Well kept 3 bedroom house in Bel Air park. Contact: 6245864/226-8279 New building with two apartment downstairs for sale.10 minutes from Georgetown .Call:675-1510/ 613-7964 Continued on page 69
Sunday April 15, 2018
UNIVERSAL HEALTH - Everyone, Everywhere By PAT DIAL
One of the greatest concerns not only of consumers, but of the public at large and of governments as well, is Health. Good health fosters greater life expectancy not only for adults but also for children, since it reduces infant mortality. It protects individuals and countries from epidemics and in the words of Dr AduKrow, PAHO/WHO representative in Guyana, “…it reduces poverty and the risk of hunger, creates jobs, drives economic growth and promotes gender equality.” There is therefore an indivisible mixture of humanitarian and economic reasons for good health in any country or society. To illustrate this mixture, we will take one example, the relationship between health and economic development: If a country’s population is unhealthy, numerous manhours of fruitful economic activity will be lost, thus inhibiting economic progress and growth. Such would result in less job opportunities, greater unemployment and greater poverty and greater human suffering. The State would also have to expend more money on healthcare. Accordingly, all modern governments have adopted a policy of universal health for their populations and had done so when they agreed to the United Nations Sustainable Development goals in 2015. Universal Health is defined by PAHO/ WHO as “ensuring that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality health services, without facing financial hardship. But universal health could only be achieved when political will is strong”. Every year, on “World Health Day”, PAHO/WHO promotes a theme, which is meant to guide and inspire the public and politicians for the rest of the year. This year’s theme, “Universal Health, Everyone, Everywhere” encapsulates the totality of health programmes, both public and private. In promoting this theme, PAHO/WHO in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, held an exhibition and fair at D’Urban Park. The exhibition was quite
informative and displayed the offerings of the Ministry of Public Health. The ancient Roman adage “Mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body) covers the aspirations in any programme of public or personal health. Mental health is as important, if not more important, than physical health. In achieving mental health, one has to learn the art of exorcising tensions and stress. Belief in God gives the mind focus and strength in meeting the challenges of life; and with a healthy mind, one enjoys a better quality of life. Clarity of mind is necessary for productive activity and for one’s general well-being. Though not enough is known how to prevent mental degeneration leading to loss of memory or dementia in its various forms such as Alzheimer’s disease and no fully effective treatment has been discovered for such diseases, there are some treatments, mostly from Alternative Medicine, which could be usefully tried. For example, the daily intake of tumeric powder could be used as a preventative and as a treatment for dementia. It could gradually reverse the condition. The wide use of tumeric comes from ancient Ayurvedic medicine. The body, equally, needs to be healthy- corpus sanum. All religious traditions enjoin believers to cultivate a healthy body. The body houses the mind and spirit and it is through the senses of the body that we enjoy the material world. It is also through the body that we could embark upon the process of Enlightenment. In maintaining the body in good health, it must be cared for in a number of ways. First, there is intake of food. Food is essential to good health and a balanced diet would consist of adequate proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. There are some intakes, which are dangerous to health and these would include “fast foods” commonly called “junk food”, excessive alcohol and tobacco products. A healthy balanced diet is essential for a healthy body. Regular exercise of the body is essential to strengthen it and make it
healthier. There are many regimes of exercises available such as jogging, weight lifting, free-hand exercises and yoga. Yoga has elements of mind and spiritual development. The most authentic yoga training in Georgetown is offered at the Indian Cultural Centre. The physical sports such as cricket, football, squash, badminton and so on help to keep the body healthy. In the modern world, the State has the responsibility of maintaining the health of the nation. This is so because the success of the State is ultimately bound up with the health of the people. With a healthy population, the State’s military would be more effective, the Economy would be more productive, there would be less crime and greater social concord. In Guyana, the State invests in hospitals and health institutions, which offer primary health care countrywide with the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) being the main referral hospital. The GPH has modern equipment and complicated and difficult procedures are done there. Free basic drugs are available to patients at all institutions. The Ministry of Health carries regular inoculation programmes, which are generally successful, an example of such success being Guyana recently becoming a measles-free country. The Ministry also has a vector control unit, which leads the countrywide
From page 68
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efforts to eliminate mosquitoes and other insect pests. There are also regular programmes of health education.
The Environmental Department is also playing an increasingly important role in cultivating a healthier population.
Though Guyana is still some distance away from Universal Health, there is steady progress towards that goal.
Sunday April 15, 2018
CHOOSING A DOG AS YOUR... (From page 66) bad habits and general mischief? You must know whether you should choose a vivacious ball of energy or a dog with a more relaxed temperament. Consideration #5: HEALTH When you are choosing your puppy from the litter, it would be advisable to select a puppy that has clear alert eyes and a cool moist nose. Preferably, the puppy must be active, effervescent, friendly, curious and exhibiting great vitality. It must not show signs of lethargy, slinking away from approaching humans and tending to hide itself in a secluded spot. The coat must be soft, smooth and glossy. In the area of the anus, there should be no signs of diarrhoea (pasted hair, discoluoration, etc.). Bones (ribs, back bones, hip
bones) should not be visible, and the legs should not show signs of rickets (bowed or Xshaped legs, etc). There should be no watery or purulent (pus) discharge from the nostrils or eyes. A good rule-of-thumb is to throw a bundle of keys (or anything that makes some unaccustomed noise) into the middle of the litter. When given the option of choosing from a group/litter, consider taking home one of those puppies that immediately investigates the keys and not one of those, which shrieks and runs away in fear. Consideration #6: BREED A colleague of mine, Dr. Azaye Dodson, wrote a wonderfully instructive piece in the Kaieteur News (August 14, 2017) recently. One should avail oneself of Dr. Dodson’s treatise. I will return to this important consideration at a
later date. Next week, we will deal with considerations as they apply to acquiring cats as pets. Please implement disease preventative measures (vaccinations, routine de-wormings, monthly anti-Heartworm medication, etc) and adopt-a-pet from the GSPCA’s Animal Clinic and Shelter at Robb Street and Orange Walk, if you have the wherewithal to care well for the animals. Do not stray your unwanted pets; take them to the GSPCA’s Clinic and Shelter instead. If you do not wish your pet to have puppies or kittens, you may exploit the GSPCA’s free spay and neutering programme. If you see anyone being cruel to an animal, or if you need any technical information, please get in touch with the Clinic and Shelter by calling 226-4237.
Sunday April 15, 2018
More Ex-Ministers heading to court - more than 25 cases of lands, properties sold below market prices
The Pradoville Two property at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara.
ays after two powerful officials of the previous administration were slapped with fraud-related charges regarding the sale of state lands on East Coast Demerara, it is being confirmed that a few more will be appearing before city courts.Last week, officials of the police’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) filed charges in a city’s Magistrate Court against former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, and ex-chief of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington. The charges relate to the
sale of lands to MovieTowne, Scady Business Corporation and National Hardware. Prosecutors are arguing that the lands were deliberately sold way below the market value, causing a loss to the people of Guyana. Over the weekend, officials said that, there are about 25 similar cases where lands and properties were disposed of below market prices. The names of five other ex-ministers were said to be among those to be charged. While Kaieteur News was unable to make contact with SOCU’s head, Sydney James, for confirmation, sources said that the cases will include
properties sold to a number of prominent businessmen, including at least two in the Kingston area. With regards to the impending charges for the exministers, it is likely that these are linked to Pradoville Two estate at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara.The seaside plot of land was transferred to NICIL under the last Bharrat Jagdeo administration and it was divided up and sold to then ministers and other top officials. The price paid was way below what normal citizens were paying.At least two of those developed properties- belonging to former ministers Priya
Manickchand and Robert Persaud, were sold for large
sums.Jagdeo himself took a l a r g e piece near to the seawall, building himself a mansion with a large pool.To facilitate the creation of the exclusive community dubbed Pradoville Two for the SUVs that traverse, the Jagdeo administration oversaw the removal of a transmission tower from the area, to the West Demerara, at a cost of more than $100M. SOCU investigators are working on the premise that the lands were not offered to other Guyanese. Last year, several of the
former ministers and others were hauled in for questioning by SOCU, including Jagdeo himself and the ex-Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon.The Coalition Government had accused consecutive PPP/C administrations of corruption and widespread abuse and confiscation of state assets with sale under questionable terms to friends and family. Already, former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, and Dr. Jennifer Westford, are before the court for fraud related matters.
RDC practices encourage hiring of friends & family
he decision by Re gional Democratic Councils (RDCs) has opened the door to the hiring of family and friends associated with the regional officials. Revelations from the ongoing Public Accounts Committee (PAC) indicate that some RDCs have not been advertising vacancies within the RDC and the wider community. Kim Williams-Stephen, the REO of Region Six (East Berb i c e / C o r e n t y n e ) r e cently revealed that the region undertook to hire new staff by reverting to a file with previously submitted applications. She said that this was done for the hiring of two drivers for the David ‘G’ buses among other new employees of the region. PAC Chairman, Irfaan Ali, questioned the hiring of 13 persons, specifically how the Region was able to hire a sluice attendant based on applications on file.
Sunday April 15, 2018
“Part of our responsibility is to ensure there is a fair and transparent process and everyone had the same opportunity and access for the positions,” Ali noted. The REO admitted that persons were hired with no internal or public advertisements. A similar situation occurred when the REO of Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice), Ovid Morrison, took the decision to promote a driver, Frank Wilson, to the post of Regional Transport Officer. The Region was given approval by the Public Service Ministry to widely advertise the vacancy of transport officer, but REO did not and decided to promote Wilson to the post in February. Auditors had raised concerns as Wilson, in his substantive position as a driver, was overseeing millions of dollars of state monies by signing off on the Region’s fuel purchases and vehicle repairs. PAC member, Juan Edghill, expressed concerns about the flawed hiring practices. “It means that I could get my family and friends and
political supporters to write an application to an institution even before a vacancy exists. “Then I create the vacancy and rather than advertising for all to see to provide equal opportunity and equal access, I go to a file for a few that I have contacted. And I select my persons and give them the job; not only give them a job but promote them as is the case with M r. Wi l s o n , ” E d g h i l l stated. The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Parliamentarian noted that the situation is also troubling since there are many young people who are qualified, coming out of universities and other tertiary level institutions adequately skilled and are not getting jobs. “This Government is hiring people without advertising vacancies contrary to their own policy where they said they will reduce contract employees and put everybody on the fixed establishments. “We are discovering cases in large portions where they are hiring people without advertising,” he noted.
Use of ATMs in Guyana constrained by interoperability - Report
here are only 21 Au tomated Teller Ma chines and 159 Point Of Sale (POS) devices for every 100,000 adults in Guyana. And apart from Visa co-branded cards, neither the ATMs nor the POSs are interoperable. This is according to the National Payment System Implementation Plan that was released by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, last week. The economist noted that Bank of Guyana would be the entity leading the plan. The report which was prepared by Bank of Guyana and the World Bank notes that the number of ATMs and POS devices available to specific customers is further constrained by the lack of interoperability across the card industry in Guyana. It said that each commercial bank issues its own cards and operates its own ATM and POS access networks. Some of the bank issued cards are co-branded with one of the major international card brands. The report says that these cards do offer interoperability
across ATM and POS networks that accept VISA cards. Domestic transactions on Visa co-branded cards are settled through the Visa Net Settlement System. Domestic transactions on domestic cards that are not cobranded with Visa are cleared and settled in house, or in the case of the internationally owned banks, abroad via the parent bank’s card settlement system. It said that internationally transactions on the cobranded cards are settled overseas in the systems of the international card companies. Bank of Guyana noted that the commercial banks are working with VISA to establish interoperability of the domestic cards and the ATM / POS networks in the country. “Each commercial bank has or is working to achieve VISA certification so that each can issue VISA cobranded cards. Once the process is completed, domestic transactions using the co-branded cards will be processed via an overseas VISA card switch.
It is unclear what fees VISA will charge for this service or what fees will be charged by the acquiring bank for the use of its AT M / P O S n e t w o r k s b y holders of cards issued by other banks.” Furthermore, the report said that in contrast, commercial banks report 335,014 of the debit cards they’ve issued are active. That is one card for every seven adults in Guyana. Adults report that on average it takes 18 minutes for them to travel to an ATM they can use.” “This is the same amount of time it takes, on average, for an adult to reach a collection office and only two minutes shy of the 20 minutes it takes to get to a bank branch or agent outlet. “The primary advantage of the ATMs in this regard is that adults, on average, report wait times of only five minutes at ATMs. This compares quite favourably to the 20-minute wait times reported for bank branches, agent outlets and payment collection offices.”
Assad defiant in U.S.-led strikes in Syria BEIRUT (Washington Post) — U.S.-led strikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities prompted defiant celebrations in Damascus on Saturday as it became clear that the limited attack posed no immediate threat to President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power and would likely have no impact on the trajectory of the Syrian war. Fears of a wider escalation faded after it emerged that the locations targeted by the United States, Britain and France had been confined to three sites associated with the Syrian chemical weapons program, had caused no serious casualties and had probably not destroyed Syria’s capacity to develop and deploy banned chemical substances. There were expressions of anger from Syria’s allies, with Russia labeling the attack an “act of aggression” and Iran calling it “a war crime.” Syria described it as “barbarous.” President Trump called the attack an “enormous success,” tweeting that they represented a “Mission Accomplished.” But on the streets of Damascus, there was jubilation as government supporters realized that a more expansive assault would not materialize. Residents gathered in central squares and danced to patriotic songs, waving Syrian
Cruise missle as well as U.S, French and British manned aircraft targeted sites in and Damascus and Homs. flags alongside those of Russia and Iran, Syria’s allies in the fight against the antiAssad rebellion. “The honorable cannot be humiliated,” the Twitter account maintained by Assad’s office said shortly after the attack. A few hours later, the account tweeted a video of him walking nonchalantly to work through the halls of the Syrian presidential palace. Though the outcome appeared to have satisfied the conflicting agendas of the world powers competing for influence in Syria, it won’t make any difference to the war on the ground — which Assad is steadily winning, said Amr al-Azm, a professor
of history at Shawnee University in Ohio. “This was more about the Western allies making sure their red lines were addressed rather than trying to seriously damage the Assad regime, prevent the further killing of civilians or reduce the capacity of the Assad regime to keep fighting,” he said. “From Assad’s perspective, this was a big win. He must be thinking, this is good; I came out on top; I gained much more than I lost.” It was unclear even whether there would be a long-term impact on Syria’s capacity to develop and use chemical weapons. Trump had telegraphed for days the
likely response of the United States to the alleged chemical attack that killed civilians in a rebel stronghold last Saturday, giving the Syrian authorities and their Iranian and Russian allies time to vacate the facilities that were targeted — and perhaps remove vital equipment and stores. Russia said the damage had been minimal. According to the Syrian army command, three civilians were injured, in the vicinity of a strike outside the city of Homs. “It remains to be seen whether the allied attack fulfilled all its intended goals,” said Karl Dewey of Jane’s by I.H.S. Markit defense consultancy.
Sunday April 15, 2018
Brazil state seeks to shut Venezuelan border to stop refugee flow BRASILIA (Reuters) - Leaders of Brazil’s northern state of Roraima on Friday asked the Supreme Court for permission to temporarily close the only land border crossing with neighbouring Venezuela to halt the massive and disorderly arrival of refugees. Brazil’s President Michel Temer, attending the Summit of the Americas in Lima, said closing the border was “unthinkable.” Roraima Governor Suely Campos petitioned the high court to order the federal government to step up assistance for her state to deal with what she called a humanitarian crisis. She also asked that the border be closed until orderly immigration procedures could be put in place.Campos said she had to resort to the top court because the federal government had not acted on her state’s requests. It is not clear if the court with take up her plea. More than 50,000 Venezuelan refugees have arrived in Roraima since last year, fleeing an economic crisis and political strife in their country, the governor told reporters. The influx was nearly equal to 10 percent of the state’s population of 520,000 inhabitants. The refugees have overloaded health, housing and education services, Campos said, bringing the threat of disease and social disorder. Many of the refugees have walked hundreds of kilometers (miles) to reach the state capital Boa Vista and have been sleeping in squares and other precarious areas in the city. Campos said every day more than 500 Venezuelans crossed the open border, where immigrants are allowed to enter with no visa,
A Venezuelan woman shows her passport (L) and identity card at the Pacaraima border control, Roraima state, Brazil. REUTERS/Nacho Doce just by showing a Venezuelan document.“We have to require more documents, vaccination cards, criminal background checks, the inspection of cars. There has to be a way to contain this influx,” Campos said.The federal government declared an emergency in February to boost funding for Roraima and doubled the number of troops at the border.
Jamaica PM says his administration supports public-private partnership LIMA, Peru - CMC – Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has told an international meeting here that his administration remains focused on building greater public-private partnerships (PPP) as it works to achieve economic growth. “PPPs have emerged as an important commercial modality to secure economic growth. The mutual benefit that public-private partnerships offer is of great value,” Holness told delegates attending the Third Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) Summit of the Americas. He said that a robust PPP allows for unlocking the value of assets; reducing debt; and mobilisation of local and foreign direct investments in the economy.Holness said that this is crucial as the government works to quicken the pace at which it delivers jobs, improves infrastructure, and increases training opportunities that match labour market demands.In recognition of the PPPs’ significant role, Holness said his administration is cognisant that it “must act as the enablers of growth by making it easier to do business, supporting private sector-lead entrepreneurship and partnering with the private sector for greater utilisation of public assets and provision of public goods and services.”He said the govern-
ment has been working to improve this arrangement through several measures including the Privatisation and Public-Private Partnership Policy, which seeks to facilitate increased private-sector participation in economic development activities by utilising private-sector skills, innovation and capital to create more competitive and efficient enterprises and provide critical infrastructure or services.Holness told the Organisation of American States (OAS) sponsored event that Jamaica has undertaken several structural reforms to address its macroeconomic vulnerabilities, noting that strengthening of the country’s economic institutions “is one of the ways we are able to engage in PPPs that promote fair risk-sharing and enhance accountability and transparency”. Additionally, he said Jamaica is the only Caribbean country with a legally binding fiscal rule.“This and other related reforms aimed at improving our economic institutions have all contributed to increased business confidence in the Jamaican economy. Sound institutional reforms are critical for economicindependence.”Holness said Jamaica was ranked fourth in the 2017 Infrascope PPP Programme Index for Latin America and the Carib-
bean, saying “this index demonstrates that Jamaica is among the best prepared for PPP in Latin America and the Caribbean”.The Prime Minister said the government now has a different type of relationship with the private sector that allows for open, transparent processes for engagement, and a level playing field and fair competition. He noted that the goal is to transform the public sector, so that it is able to facilitate the private sector as the main organ of growth. “By utilising partnerships, we signal that all partners are committed to upholding accountability, transparency and integrity as the hallmarks of welldesigned institutions and democratic governance,” Holness said.The Summit is the most important business forum of the Americas and brings together leading chief executive officers and government leaders from the region to analyse the opportunities to promote economic growth and investment, through unprecedented public-private interaction under the Americas Business Dialogue mechanism. Holness was to leave yesterday for Brussels where he will address a special session of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Committee of Ambassadors and meet with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.
Sunday April 15, 2018
CHTA focuses on Caribbean unity, innovation as key industry forum nears MIAMI - CMC – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) says it is focusing on Caribbean unity and innovation as it gears to host the fourth annual Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) in June. CHIEF is the premier educational forum for Caribbean hospitality and tourism professionals and is scheduled to take place here from June 22-24 “where unity and innovation will be examined as central factors to fuel the growth of the region’s bread and butter industry”. CHTA president Karolin Troubetzkoy said after a challenging 2017, including the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, it was important for industry stakeholders to get together and share ideas to stimulate the growth of the hospitality sector for the remainder of 2018 and beyond. “As we meet under the theme of ‘Unite and Innovate’, delegates will learn from each other, break the moulds and set a new normal for the industry,” she said. “You really need to be there to connect with people
Karolin Troubetzkoy and ideas, which simply can help you to improve your bottom line while innovating and contributing to the competitiveness of the region’s leading economic s e c t o r, ” Tr o u b e t z k o y added. She said CHIEF is “a critical educational platform for regional hoteliers, industry professionals and allied partners where best practices are shared. “Professional development and connectivity with peers continues to be the number one reason why our members attend CHIEF,” she
added. CHTA said three educational tracks will cover a multitude of relevant hospitality and tourism topics, ranging from operations to sales and marketing, the sharing economy and sustainability. Professional development training and a vibrant speed networking session will return this year, CHTA said. In a rapidly changing economic climate, and especially after the afflictions of last year’s storms, “this is the event to attend if you want to take on the issues affecting your business right now,” said CHTA chief executive officer Frank Comito. Comito said CHIEF was designed to allow participants to “unite with fellow hoteliers, innovative vendors, government officials and industry experts and to create new possibilities for a stronger, more sustainable and more profitable industry.” CHTA said CHIEF will also feature “Taste of the Caribbean,” at which the region’s best chefs and their teams from around the region will compete for culinary awards.
Bahamas Govt. urges support in the fight against child abuse NASSAU, Bahamas - CMC – The Bahamas government has urged the public to report cases of child abuse in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country adding that social workers cannot advocate alone for child care and protection. “They need the help of our communities. Isolation in silos will not advance children’s protection but a unified [effort] will. The job of protection of our children is all of ours to perform. We need everyone who lives and works around children in any capacity as parents, grandparents, neighbours, health care professionals, lunch vendors, passers-by on the streets to all join in the fight to protect our children,” said Social Services and Urban Development Minister, Lanisha Rolle, at the formal launch of Child Protection Month. Rolle said because there are too many instances and variables of child abuse all citizens have a duty to advocate for the life and love of every child. “If you see it say it, if you hear it, tell it,” she said as her ministry launched a series of activities last week in observance of Child Protection Month which is being observed under the theme “We Care. We Share: Prevent Child Abuse”. Rolle said that figures provided by the Child Protection Unit showed that in 2015, a total of 520 children were abused with the figure rising slightly to 56 the following year. She said for 2017, there have been 460 cases with several still under investigation. “These numbers represent reported cases of physical, sexual and emotional abuse as well as neglect, incest and abandonment. They also represent the children who have had the Department of Social Services intervene on
Lanisha Rolle their behalf because of a caring teacher, an enquiring neighbour, a concerned uncle, trained church members or an alert shopkeeper who took the time, picked up the phone and called Social Services or called the Police to report the abuse,” said Rolle. She said the Ministry’s Children and Family Services, School Welfare Division and Child Care Facilities, together with the various other stakeholders, work together year round to address matters that affect children, provide child care services and coordinate initiatives designed to foster their growth and healthy development. “The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development stands ready, willing and able to work with all partners and stakeh o l d e r s t o e s t a b l i s h a n d reinforce programmes and provide services and to parents and guardians to ensure the healthy social development of our children so that no child is left behind,” she said.
Sunday April 15, 2018
PNP western affiliate adds voice to call for Tufton’s resignation KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Western Patriots, a professional affiliate of the People’s National Party (PNP), has added its voice to calls for Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton to resign over the “very serious” situation at Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH). The Patriots also want the regional health leadership to join Tufton in immediately resigning, in a bid to allow a new board and minister with “fresh, untainted hands and forward thinking ideas” to oversee the rehabilitation of the hospital. The PNP affiliate body said it is particularly concerned about the possible lasting effects of cancer causing molds on health care workers and patients who were housed at the facility. In a release yesterday morning, it said whereas they acknowledge that the building has had issues over the course of the last two administrations, the fact remains that since the report confirmed what was wrong in February 2017, the building should have been closed. “The fact that Aflotixins
Dr Christopher Tufton were found is especially frightening, as Aflotoxins directly result in cancer of throat and nose. The fungus starchybrotys, a special Aspegillus, also causes pulmonary haemmorhage, which means that those affected will cough up blood.” The group said it found it “absolutely reckless, knowing that especially these three agents were among other harmful micro-organisms to be found in the building, that Western Regional Health Au-
thority (WRHA), Ministry of Health (MOJ) and the Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton, would hide these results from their staff and put their health and life expectancy at risk.” The body said it wants “the nation to understand that to the people of western Jamaica, Cornwall Regional Hospital is Bellevue, Victoria Jubilee, Bustamante Children’s Hospital and Kingston Public Hospital all wrapped into one.”
Sunday April 15, 2018
Sunday April 15, 2018
GFF/Pele Alumini Frank Watson U15 League – East Bank FA
Swan claw back to beat Mocha; Herstelling fight back to earn draw against KK Warriors Swan Football Club, in their first tournament as a member of the East Bank Football Association (EBFA), showed great composure in clawing their way back to beat Mocha Champs 3-2 in their final game of the GFF/Pele Alumini Frank Watson U15 Intra Association League yesterday at the Timehri Red Ground. In the other match played, Herstelling Raiders fought back from a two goal deficit to earn an equal share of the points against Kuru Kururu Warriors as the former brought their campaign in this league to a close ending on 14 points from their quota of 11 matches.
Christov Roberts (L), Kevin Daniels and Azeem Calistro - Swan FC. The Warriors, with one match to play against Agricola Red Triangle to-
day, are one point ahead of the Agricola side in their inaugural tournament
Sunday April 15, 2018 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19) You might find yourself unexpectedly busy today, Aries. It could be that you'd planned to spend the day tidying up and reorganizing your home. TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20) It's hard to imagine a world without computers, Taurus. Technology has been key to your professional life, and it's likely to be even more important in the future. GEMINI(May 21–June 20) You might want to straighten up the house this morning, Gemini. Some unexpected visitors could drop by. With no warning, you could be serving lunch or dinner to a group of ten! Don't panic. CANCER (June 21–July 22) Friends or work colleagues could introduce you to a field of study that captures your interest, Cancer. You're ready for something new in your life LEO (July 23–Aug. 22) Travel is in store today, Leo. It could be a spur-of-themoment trip with a friend. More likely, it will be a series of short trips closer to home. VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) You're likely to receive news today that brightens your future outlook, Virgo. It could be that your boss calls you at home and hints at a pending promotion, or your partner could receive a raise
LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) You can expect your life to change in a fairly dramatic way today, Libra. The change could be subtle at first, but with time and distance you're likely to look back on this day as pivotal. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) Today could have you itching for a change, Scorpio. The difficulty is figuring out what you really want to do with your life. SAGIT(Nov.22–Dec.21) You're going to be busy but happy today, Sagittarius. It's likely that a project you've been working on for a long time suddenly yields positive results. CAPRI (Dec.22–Jan.19) You could be invited on a lastminute adventure today, Capricorn. By all means, seize the chance! You're certainly ready for a change AQUARIUS(Jan.20–Feb.18) If you've been thinking about making a career change, Aquarius, today is a good day to do some research on professions that interest you. It may be that you're ready to take the leap and start a business of your own. PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20) Technology is going to play a big role in your life today and in the immediate future, Pisces. It could be that your office is upgrading its systems
which is sponsored by the Pele Alumini Corporation. A win for either side today can see them ending in the second place to Timehri Panthers which are already assured of the title with a game to play against Mocha on Saturday when the League will come to an end. The other match today brings together Mocha Champs and Diamond United from 09:30hrs, the penultimate day of the competition which kicked off on January 20th at the Grove Playfield. In yesterday’s main attraction, Mocha Champs took the lead after eight minutes of play through a Jermaine Harry goal but Swan fired back to even things up in the 15th minute, compliments of Christov Roberts’ strike. But ten minutes later, Mocha restored their one goal advantage when Yohance Porter found the back of the nets. That advantage lasted until the 55th minute when Swan evened the score once again through Kevin Daniels’ goal. This was during a dominant period of play which saw the Linden Soesdyke Highway lads missing numerous chances. So it was no surprise that the winning goal came in the 60th minute off the boot of Azeem Calistro to cap a dominant second half for his team which has ended the league on 22 points from their 11 matches, 7 wins 3 losses and one draw.
From page 75 Smallbore shooter on the international stage Harold ‘Topgun’ Hopkinson has continued to fly the Golden Arrowhead with great success having won gold in the ‘C’ Class at the Grenada Gun and Rifle Association (GGRA), IPSC Level 2 Open Pistol Championship held in the Spice Isle on Sunday last. The 63 year-old Hopkinson, who is also the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Regional Director, informed that the competition against younger shooters was intense but he was able to maintain accuracy during the seven stage shoot to come out with ‘C’ Class gold. Hopkinson’s winning weapon was his 9mm/CZ Shadow 2 which was used for
Sunday April 15, 2018
the first time in Grenada last year June when he won the ‘B’ Class of their Second Annual Six Stage, Level 2 IPSC competition. ”It was a very competitive shoot and despite a few blunders on my part I was able to prevail over the younger physical shooters. I relied on my accuracy, they were faster but I was more accurate.” Competitors from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and the host national also participated. The Stages competed were Keep Moving, Rapid Fire, Reverse Classifier 41, Swing Meets Swinger, CLC 65, Cradle to Heaven and Forest Monkey 11. Hopkinson, who competed in March in the Open Division at the Amazon Level 3 Shoot held in Suriname, will
next compete at the Tobago IPSC All Steel competition. He is extending gratitude to acting Commissioner of Police Mr. David Ramnarine DSM, Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Commissioner General, Mr. Godfrey Statia A.A and Mrs. Tricia Fiedkou of Connections Travel. YADRAM HITS UNBEATEN TRIPLE CENTURY Bhaskar Yadram created history when he became the first batsman to score a triple century, while left arm spinner Ashmead Nedd grabbed five wickets to hand Demerara the upper hand against the select U-17 Team during the Guyana Cricket Board Handin-Hand inter county U-19 three-day tournament at Everest Cricket Club.
Hamza Eastman crosses the finish line ahead of Deeraj Garbarran. Resuming on their overnight 446-8 with Yadram on 259 and Qumar Torrington on seven, Demerara declared on 489-8 in the first session just after Yadram reached his triple figure mark; he finished on 301, while Torrington made seven not out. Yadram took boundaries off Gevon Schultz and Sachin Singh to race to his record breaking feat; in all he counted 28 fours and 16 sixes, faced 262 balls and batted for 262 minutes. Prior to Yadram achievement, the highest individual score at this level was held by Leon Johnson with 193. PELEALUMINI CORP. DIRECTOR IVOR CARRINGTON VISITS EBFA DURING U15 LEAGUE Pele Alumini Corporation (PAC) Director Denis Ivor Carrington on his recent visit to Guyana visited the East Bank Football Association (EBFA) during action of the GFF/Pele Alumini Frank Watson U15 League at the Timehri Red Ground. The former footballer in thanking the association for the invitation to meet executive members and players during the competition which they are sponsoring, said that he has been following the league whic h i s b e i n g played in all nine Member Associations of the GFF. ”We have been following on a weekly basis the performances of these young players and as the sole sponsor of this League which creates exposure to so many young players, I would like to commend all the players participating. I would also like to commend the EBFA for having the most teams competing in the league and I note that you are
almost completed, which is great.” Carrington noted that his visit to Guyana was very busy but is hoping to be back along with other Directors in the near future to experience matches in the national finals when the top two teams in each association is expected to face off as they strive to live the ultimate dream of representing Guyana. During his visit, Carrington coordinated the Annual Youth Education Development Programme which was held over two days at the Carifesta Sports Complex. The Pele Alumini also made donations of computers and books to the National Library and balls along with back packs to the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. A total of 85 kids between the ages of 10-16 attended the two-day educational programme and each received tee shirts and back packs with educational materials whilst also being presented with gift vouchers, individually. EASTMAN TOPS STAR STUDDED FIELD IN OPEN CATEGORY OF BAKER’S MEMORIAL CLASSICBRITON JOHN AND PAUL CHOO-WEENAM ALSO WIN The seventh edition of the annual Baker’s Memorial Cycling Classic which is organised by the Linden Bauxite Flyers Cycle Club (LBFCC) in the Bauxite Mining Town saw Team Coco’s Hamza Eastman pedaling to victory in the Open event. Eastman, who clocked Two Hours 30 Minutes 20 Seconds to win the 60-mile showdown, also won 9 sprint prizes as he outsprinted Deerag Garbarran in a twoway sprint to the finish line. Jamal John, Paul
DeNobrega, Curtis Dey and Walter Grant-Stuart completed the top six places in that order. United We Stand Cycle Club’s Briton John won the Junior Category Ajay Gopilall and Adealie Hodge in that order while the Under-45 clash saw Paul Choo-Wee-Nam winning from Junior Niles and Ralph Williams. Jonathan Ramchushit was the leading juvenile followed by Esau Lowden. Shenika Texiera and Abigale Jeffery were the two females that competed and finished in that order. The race which rolled off from outside the Baker ’s residence at the GTT Junction saw the riders going through the Town before returning to the starting point for the commencement of the event. They riders then proceeded to the Linden Highway before turning back at the Moblissa Hill, doing that circuit three times. The Baker’s family expressed gratitude to the cyclists and officials for coming out in their numbers to make the event, which is held in memory of their late mother, father and sister, possible. Attractive cash prizes and trophies were handed over to the top six seniors and the top three in the other categories. Grant-Stuart was presented with a special prize apart from his 6th place reward. He is expected to leave Guyana to compete at the UCI C1 Para-Cycling Event at the Circuit GillesVi l l e n e u v e , M o n t r e a l , Canada this month end. Sponsors of the event were Squadra, Sports Plus, The Baker’s Family & Friends and Clear Water Guyana Inc.
Sunday April 15, 2018
Here is a look back at the key events that occurred during the past week on the local sports arena. PERSAUD (MALE), DESOUSA(FEMALE)ARE OVERALL 2018 GBBFF’S NOVICE CHAMPS Despite some glitches which contributed to a late start, a good turnout attended the Guyana Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (GBBFF) Novice competition at the National Culture Centre. The competition attracted the largest ever female participation and proved very competitive and entertaining. When the dust had settled, Sarwan’s Gym 53’s Sudarshananda Persaud and a superbly toned crowd favourite, Brazilian Diciula DeSousa from the Space Gym emerged overall winners in the Male and Female categories respectively. Apart from the pose offs there was plenty of entertainment with a Couple’s dance, an entertaining routine from Eydo Orford, while last year’s Novice winner Nolan Smith was the guest poser and informed that he would be participating in this year’s Seniors. The raucous crowd was also involved with a ‘best
legs’ for female fans and a push-up competition in 30 seconds for Male fans. Orford won $20,000 for doing 52 push-ups before his 30 seconds expired. The popular Shawn Henry, whose voice is usually the loudest in the audience at Bodybuilding events, received a special trophy for being the ‘Best Heckler’ much to the amusement of the crowd, while the humorous Coel Marks performed the role of MC for the night’s event. The competition, which was sponsored by Fitness Express, Trophy Stall, Gandhi’s General Store, Chakra Massage Studio and Coel’s Boutique, commenced with the National Anthem while the Miss Bikini contest was dominated by Brazilians lasses. Vishaw Ramcharran from ‘Life Gym’ won the junior category with Leakram Seawarai of Muscle-mania having to settle for second place. In the Miss Bikini Category, the Brazilian pair of DeSousa and Angelia Barrones from the Space Gym took the top two
spots, while Jennifer Gordon of Fitness Paradise finished third. Over 40 Bodybuilder Allan Savory from the Flex Gym, was the lone contestant in the Masters and also in the Heavyweights and won in both Categories. Persaud was adjudged the best in the Bantamweight category with Piere Wagner (Flex), Vishnu Ramcharran (Life), Leakram Seawarai (Musclemania) and Annad Mangal (Gym 53) finished in that order. In the Welterweight category, the Guyana Defence Force pair of Odwin Yansen, who won and Donston Richmond were the only contestants. Fabion Roza was the lone Athlete in the light Middleweight category, while Tario Dakhil of Space Gym won Mr Physique category with Renaldo Caldeira (Space), Xavier Kiton (Gym 53), Onai Va s c o n c e l l o u s ( L i f e ) , Nevon Pinketom, Vishnu Ramcharran (Life) and Donald Lindie (Gym 53) finishing in that order.
The winners of the different Male Categories competed against each other for the overall crown. The next GBBFF Competition is scheduled for the Marriott Hotel where the Senior Bodybuilding Championship will be held on July 15. REGAL TO THE RESCUE Local businesses, Regal Stationery and Computer Supplies and Regal Sport has injected new life into two city cricket clubs with projects that will last for years to come. Through Managing Director, Mahendra Hardyal, the business chain donated three heavy duty covers to the Everest Cricket Club and has begun repairs to the perimeter fence at the GNIC Sports Club ground. Hardyal, who is a sports enthusiast, said, “It has been too long that we have been going to Everest only to hear matches are called off or delayed because of inadequate covers. So with this donation, I hope we don’t hear these excuses again.” Each of the three covers measure 33x43 feet and to-
Histor y ffor or Spencer amaica History Spencer,, J Jamaica stunned in sprint relays
GOLD COAST, Australia, CMC – Veteran St Lucian jumper Levern Spencer ended her nation’s frustrating 56year wait for a Commonwealth Games gold medal when she produced a season-best performance to win the women’s high jump here yesterday. Spencer, who managed only bronze in the event at the last two Games in India and Glasgow, cleared 1.95 metres on her third-last effort, to also ensure St Lucia their first medal of the meet which wraps up today. Guyana also picked up their first medal through United States-based Troy Doris who captured the men’s triple jump with a leap of 16.88m. However, there was no anticipated gold for Jamaica in the sprint relays as the women’s team ended with silver and the men’s, bronze, as England swept the headline events on the final day of the track and field component at Carrara Stadium. Spencer, the Pan American Games champion in Toronto three years ago, found early challenges from England’s Morgan Lake (1.93) and Australian Nicola McDermott (1.91) who eventually finished in the runners-up spots on the podium.
St Lucian high jumper Levern Spencer celebrates her country’s first Commonwealth Games gold. All three jumpers easily cleared 1.91m but Spencer and Lake were left to battle it out after McDermott thrice failed at 1.93m. They both needed a second jump to clear 1.93 but it was Spencer who distinguished herself once the bar was raised again, as Lake fell out of contention for gold. “It’s a really good feeling and I am happy I’m the one making history for my country,” said Spencer. “In the last two editions of the Commonwealth Games I got bronze so I was determined to work hard this time to win gold and my results
today were good enough.” US-based Antiguan Priscilla Frederick, a Pan American Games silver medallist, finished fifth in a season-best 1.87 while Spencer’s countrywoman Janelle Scheper was ninth in 1.80. Doris, meanwhile, was forced to pull out all the stops especially after Cuba-born Dominican Yordanys Duranona Garcia laid down the gauntlet from early with a mark of 16.86 on his first jump. Doris responded with the winning mark on his second leap, forcing Garcia to settle for
silver, while Cameroon’s Marcel Mayak II took bronze in a personal best 16.80. The relays proved a disappointment for traditional powerhouses Jamaica. Four years ago in Glasgow, they swept three of the four including both sprints. On Saturday, however, they managed to win just one of four but more significantly ensuring the much vaunted Caribbean nation left the Games without a gold in the individual or relay sprints. Perhaps their biggest disappointment was in the men’s sprint relay which featured two-time Olympic sprint silver medallist, Yohan Blake. The Jamaicans could only muster bronze as England won in 38.13 and South Africa claimed silver in a new national record 38.24. “We’re going through a transition period,” Blake said of the post-Usain Bolt era. “We were dominating world-wide and coach is working to get me back to that level so I can dominate again.” Olympic star Elaine Thompson nearly gave Jamaica gold in the women’s sprint relay but she was forced to settle for silver in the end as Lorraine Ugen got to the line first in a national record 42.46.
gether will comfortably cover the centre square and should minimize seepage once used properly at the club’s Camp road and Carifesta avenue location. Over on Woolford avenue, members of the GNIC Sports Club joined staff of Regal stores to clear the eastern part of the ground including the trench in preparation for the erection of the new fence. Hardyal, who is the owner of the Regal Masters and Regal All Stars teams, noted that after the fence, the next project will be the installation of floodlights at GNIC. BOYCE/JEFFORD LAUNCHES 3RD EDITION OF RELAY FESTIVALAND FUN DAY The Boyce and Jefford Committee will host its third Relay Festival and Fun Day on April 22 at the Police Sports Club ground, Eve Leary.”We are adding the 4x800 metres relay which would be new to the event, we will have football, dominos, cricket and we will continue with the wheel chair race which was started last year,” it was disclosed. The event will commence from 10:30hrs with a number of relay events in addition to Cycling, Football, Cricket, Dominos, Amputee and Wheel chair races at the Eve Leary ground. “We will also have for the first time Amputee races and there will also be Cycling that will include for the first time a female race because we believe that females are an important part of what we are trying to do with the development of sport,” informed Technical Director of the Boyce/Jefford Committee, Mark Scott. The Boyce and Jefford Committee is aiming to provide sporting fans with a massive event on April 22 at the third edition of the relay festival and family fun day. Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Edison Jefford
also confirmed what the monetary prizes will look like come April 22. “We will not just be giving away trophies, most of the event will carry monetary prizes, the relays alone might be around $800,000 and we have increased the prize money of each relay event. I can say for a fact that the Football, Cricket and Dominos competitions will also have prize money attached to it,” Jefford stated. GUYANADRAUGHTS TEAM DEFEAT TAYLOR’S CLUB IN TRINIDAD A two man’s Draughts team from Guyana defeated Taylors’ Draughts club in Trinidad; Taylors’ club is the top club in the twin island with outstanding National Players. The game was played at the Rock N Sanctuary Sports club, Felicity Chaguanas Trinidad. The two Guyanese Jiaram and Khemraj Pooranmall used their mental faculties to edge passed their strong opponents. The final count read Guyana 15 points Taylors’ Draughts Club 13 points, Guyana won by two points. The two Guyanese also used their six days stay in that country to interact and play with other players gaining new strategies and tremendous experience. The two players witnessed the final round in the National Playoff in the Pan American qualifiers. They were introduced to the National players by tournament organizer Mr. Peter Ramsundar. Pan American Draughts is scheduled to be played in Curacao from June 2 - 10, 2018. The National Draughts Association in Guyana is an invitee to that event. GGRA/IPSC LEVEL 2 OPEN PISTOL CHAMPIONSHIPS HAROLD ‘TOPGUN’ HOPKINSON COPS ‘C’ CLASS GOLD Guyana’s most active (Continued on page 74)
Essequibo close day one on 261-7 Essequibo batsmen showed great improvement from round one as they finished the first day of the second round Guyana Cricket Board Hand-in-Hand inter county U19 threeday tournament against the Select U17 team on 261-7, batting first at Everest Cricket Club. Kurt Lovell led with 49, while Kevin Christian made 45, Quinton Sampson 38 and Mark Ramsammy 30. At the wicket is Joshua Jones on 27 and Joel Fortune on five. Marvan Prashad has so far claimed 3-73 and Sylvan Williams 2-41. Play continues today at 10:00hrs.
Sunday April 15, 2018
John is feature race winner; Troy Doris wins triple jump Gold for Gopilall takes juvenile event... Guyana at Commonwealth Games From page 83 family.Meanwhile, attention will switch to the road when the 8th annual Powerade 46-mile race sponsored by Banks DIH Limited takes Event Veterans Under-45 Veterans Over-50 Juvenile BMX 6-9 BMX 9-12 & 12-14
Laps 5 5 10 2 3
place on the West Demerara. Race time is 08:30hrs from Schoonord, proceeding to Bushy Park, East Bank Essequibo before returning to the point of origin for the finish.
Placing 1st to 3rd place Leer Nunes, Sybourne Fernandes, Paul Thomas Ian Jackson, Kennard Lovell, Linden Blackman Ajay Gopilall, Adealie Hodge, Briton John Jared Barrington, Jesicka Mohabir Jaheme Henry, Mark Lewis, Shaquel Dow
Congratulations are in order for Guyana’s Troy Doris who leapt a season best 16.88m to win the triple jump event at the XXI Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia yesterday. Doris is the only Guyanese to win a Gold medal at the 2018 edition of the event and the first since 2002 when Aliann Pompey won the 400m final in England; he is the fourth Guyanese to win a Gold medal at the games. The overseas-based athlete, who finished sixth in the Rio Olympics, registered the world’s ninth best time for the year when he jumped to his winning distance. Doris, who holds Guyana’s national r e c o r d ( 1 7 . 1 8 m ) , f i n i s h e d a b o ve Dominica’s Yordanys Durañona (Silver) a n d C a m e r o o n ’s M a r c e l M a y a c k I I (Bronze) on the podium. The 29-year-old is expected to be among Guyana’s National Sport Awardees according
to the Director of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Christopher Jones. Speaking to popular media, Jones said he has already made efforts to contact Doris to ascertain when he would be coming to Guyana or if he would be here for the National Sport Awards scheduled for May 24th, two days before Guyana’s Independence anniversary. He further posited, “That would provide us with an opportunity to bestow upon him the necessary for his achievement,” the NSC director noted. CMC reported that Doris was forced to pull out all the stops after Cuba-born Dominican Yordanys Duranona Garcia laid down the gauntlet from early with a mark of 16.86 on his first jump. Doris responded with the winning mark on his second leap, forcing Garcia to settle for silver, while Cameroon’s Marcel Mayak II took bronze in a personal best 16.80.