KAIETEUR NEWS Printed and Published by National Media & Publishing Company Ltd. 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana. Publisher: GLENN LALL Editor: ADAM HARRIS Tel: 225-8491, 225-8458, 225-8465 Fax: 225-8473 or 226-8210
The National Development Strategy Back in December 2005, the National Assembly unanimously approved the motion brought by the PNC/R on the National Development Strategy (NDS). It gave many ordinary citizens a ray of hope that our political elite may at long last be able to work together for the national, rather than only narrow partisan, good. Seven years later, we are fighting over our budget allocations. Could not the parties work together to implement an updated NDS? Originally drafted and published in 1996, the NDS was the brainchild of Dr. Cheddi Jagan, who solicited and received substantial assistance from the Carter Centre. Even though there was broad societal collaboration in the formulation of the document, the collaboration was not formalised and structured to ensure control of the process by civil society and resulted in the refusal of the PNC/ R to accept it as a “national” strategy. Subsequently, in 1998 the Carter Centre persuaded the Government to accept the establishment of a National Development Strategy Committee (NDSC) which comprised individuals drawn from a broader civil society pool and who were promised total control over the final document. The Committee immediately began its work, which was not simply to update the original draft but to instil into the document a coherent, holistic vision and philosophy that would be acceptable to all Guyanese. Their work was completed by 2001. The plan was to have the completed document discussed in Cabinet and then be submitted, unaltered, to the National Assembly. Unfortunately, politics overtook the need for a national consensus and the NDS remained in limbo, languishing in the purgatory of being constantly invoked by both the Government and the Opposition, but never brought into the light of Parliament for scrutiny and approval. Until, of course the aforementioned motion by the PNC/R. In addition to the process of its formulation and its reintroduction, the new NDS also has substantive reasons for receiving our attention. The document declares: “It cannot be too strongly emphasised that the NDS is not an economic development plan in the conventional sense of the term.” Most innovatively, the NDS introduced new chapters on “Governance” and the “Guyanese Family”, which we believe go to the heart of what needs to be addressed before Guyana can ever really “develop”. The NDS goes on to say, “This NDS is put forward by Guyanese civil society both as a compass and as a framework for realising our potential and for releasing our society and economy from the shackles which now so decisively restrain us. It seeks to define our most urgent priorities and, in every area, clearly lays down concrete policy reforms and actions. It is the product of many of us: Guyanese of all races and of diverse professions. To implement it and to realise the dream it embodies would require the collaboration of the entire nation.” We were given an opportunity for “the collaboration of the entire nation” but we lost it in 2001 and 2005. We all know what happened post-2001 and we do not need a hardening of antagonism that might further our polarisation. If we, the people, get involved in fine-tuning this plan for Guyana, perchance we can convince our politicians that we have more to gain by working together than in working at cross purposes. The NDS was sent to a Special Select Committee mandated to solicit consultations with the private sector and civil society. This meant all of us. Eventually the revised NDS was supposed to be submitted to the House for adoption. Under the new dispensation, the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Economic Affairs, made up of both the Government and Opposition members, would monitor the Executive on its implementation of the Strategy. But it became lost somewhere. If the NDS is revived by civil society at this time maybe the politicians will see that there is very little that separates them. We cannot have this continuous bickering over budget allocations which has left the country’s developmental drive up in the air. The budget has become an occasion simply to score political points. We have to do better.
Sunday April 21, 2013
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Kissoon is misguided in his attacks on Indian activists and writers DEAR EDITOR, This response is to correct the misrepresented view penned by Freddie Kissoon (KN April 2) attacking several Indians who have historically fought for and on behalf of Indians describing us as “Indian Supremacists”. In particular, Freddie directed his acerbic pen to Vassan Ramracha repeatedly labeling him a Trinidadian as though it is a bad word and as though Vassan has no right to involve himself in issues pertaining to Guyana or other countries. If it is ‘supremacist’ to fight injustice and racism against Indians, to fight against electoral riggings, to protest against the beatings of Indians based on their ethnicity, to fight the ban on basic foods that form the basis of the Indian cultural diet, to oppose the ban on items that were part of the
religious paraphernalia of Indians, etc., to fight for equality of all races, then I (and I am sure the others Freddie so described) proudly wear the badge of being an Indian supremacist as a sign of honor. Kissoon is misguided in his attacks on Indian activists and writers. He misinforms the public about us. The problem with Kissoon is whenever he cannot win an argument based on intellect facts, and logic he turns to personality attacks. We consistently disproved almost all of Freddie’s contentions and exposed almost every one of his fabrications and falsehoods from his contention of “the 38 Indians employed by government in top tier positions” to his claim of “Indians owning 99.99 percent of Guyana’s wealth”.
None of his claims is factual. Vassan is no newcomer to Guyanese affairs. He was one of the leading freedom fighters against the dictatorship, spending vast amounts of his savings on the struggle and lengthy periods of time in Guyana and serving as a tutor, mentor, advisor and theoretician to several of us (Dr. Baytoram Ramharack, Vishnu Bisram, Dr. Ravi Dev, etc.) who were integrally involved in the struggle to liberate Guyana. When others did nothing to highlight human rights abuses in Guyana or to organize rallies and marches against the dictatorship, he did it himself. When Freddie Kissoon did nothing to help liberate Guyana while he was a student in Toronto, Vassan was out in the streets as a college student leading the movement.
Virtually no one overseas, certainly not Freddie, did as much as Vassan for the Guyanese liberation movement. And Vassan is well known among the Guyanese community for his commitment and dedication to the Guyana freedom struggle. In addition, through NACTA, which he and Dr. Latchman Narain founded, Vassan organized numerous tutoring sessions and lectures to assist Guyanese students in New York. He did it all gratis. Myself and Baytoram met Vassan and his brother Rennie when we were Freshman students at City College in 1977; they were senior to us in college. There were many Guyanese students on campus but none exposed violations of human rights in Guyana or formed a Guyanese association. Continued on page 7
Sunday April 21, 2013
Afro-Guyanese should now speak of anti-African sentiments DEAR EDITOR, The PPP has now officially responded to Mr. Jagdeo’s remarks that there is a resurgence of anti-East Indian sentiments in Guyana. The PPP’s position is an unambiguous support for the judgement of Mr. Jagdeo. One would like to think that there is also a continuing resentment against African Guyanese in Guyana, and African Guyanese should now make their voices heard about this racist cancer seeing that Mr. Jagdeo and the PPP have spoken their minds. One would like to think that the same way the PPP and Mr. Jagdeo feel that dislike is rising against the East Indians in Guyana, African rights leaders believe that African Guyanese are being deliberately marginalized. One
hopes that when these African rights leaders adumbrate their sociological concepts, there is no resulting storm from the PPP. One recalls the outburst from Mr. Jagdeo, while as President, Roger Luncheon and others, when Tacuma Ogunseye said at an ACDA public meeting in BV on the East Coast that African security forces should not allow their brothers and sisters to be used against each other by an Indian regime. One hopes that when these themes as pronounced by African rights activists, there is no denunciation from Luncheon and his cabal. If Jagdeo can tell an Indian crowd that there is a rising bias against East Indians, one would like to think African Guyanese leaders have a right to inform the security forces
that there are moves in society by powerful people to use Africans against each other for the purpose of preserving Indian hegemony. I would like to use the avenue of this letter by first saying at the time when Ogunseye made his now famous BV remarks, I supported him within the context of continuing ethnic domination in our country. I would now like to repeat that outline of Ogunseye. Is it right for Mr. Jagdeo to tell a large gathering of Indians at a public building (Convention Centre) the following; (A), in the past there was a racial hatred against East Indians, (B) Indians were told not to send their children to school but to keep them at home which was all part of the antiIndian strategy at the time, (C),
Guyanese must stand firm against the 2013 budget DEAR EDITOR, Unfortunately, the Minister of Finance in his 2013 budget speech did absolutely nothing to stem the unending corrupt practices in Guyana which have permeated all walks of life in society because of the lack of transparency and poor governance from the Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal. As we moved into the second decade of the 21 st century, the fact remains that since the turn of the century, this PPP-driven corruption does not seem to abate. It has gotten from bad to worse in the last two years in that too many people are taking corruption for granted, as a way of life today under the immoral PPP regime. One of the primary reasons for such rampant corruption is the poor wages paid to the lower strata of workers and greed and selfish behavior that evolves from the higher level.
These vagabonds have used the state resources to enrich themselves and in doing so have not only stained the repetition of Guyana among its CARICOM neighbors but have also marginalized the poor and the working class. In fact, the Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal continues to blame the opposition and the independent media, especially Kaieteur News, for making false claims about corruption. The regime has gone so far to ask anyone who knows about any corrupt practices to come forward and make it public. Well the young man, Pablo Singh from NDIA has done so and before this PPP cabal investigated the matter, they have instead fired the young man. Pablo Singh’s wrongful dismissal was supported by the Minister of Agriculture. What was President Ramotar view on the firing?
Guyana can progress only when the political directorship proves to the people that it will uphold the basic principle of decency, honesty and integrity and steers the nation in that direction and away from the PPP corrupt practices. But it is pathetic and offensive that this cabal has denied that corruption exists and continues to cuss-down its citizens and blame the independent media, mainly Kaieteur New and Stabroek News, rather than nurture and uphold the above mentioned values. We call on all Guyanese to support organizations like Transparency International both with their time and money to continue their good work and to stand firm against this heartless and corrupt PPP regime until they make the right turn and ensure that all Guyanese benefit equitably from the state resources. Dr. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh.
Sad if this funeral is recalled for the comments made by Jagdeo and endorsed by President Ramotar DEAR EDITOR, The controversy surrounding former President Jagdeo’s comments at the funeral of Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud rages in a place in which ethnic division is always held over our heads as a kind of quality which will define us forever. Pandit Persaud was a public official and it is sad if his funeral is going to be remembered for the comments made by former President Jagdeo and endorsed by President Ramotaur and the PPP. What is perhaps not
stated, is that it seems many people felt that the ‘best speaker at the funeral’ was Mr. Corbin. Most of those persons are not supporters of Mr. Corbin or his party. I do not have any other evidence, and opinions are just opinions. Mr. Corbin is a public figure and perhaps he might be a good person at this time to reflect on his relationship with Pandit P e r s a u d a n d l i n k that relationship to what he thought of former President Jagdeo’s comments, and what he thinks of ethnic
discrimination in Guyana and how his party could build the institutions which exist to deal with the discrimination. There might be other persons who publicly engage in adversarial politics, but who privately engage with each other, who might also want to ensure that the ‘ethnic divide’ is not further waved as a national banner. Things could then be put into place so the next time former President Jagdeo speaks, he will celebrate that there is no ethnic discrimination or sentiments. Vidyaratha Kissoon
this very attitude has returned to Guyana. If it is right and it appears to the PPP that Mr. Jagdeo was in order when he made those observations, then by what logic can someone disagree with an African rights activist if he/she appeals to the security forces not to be led astray by ethnic groups who do not like Africans, have practiced racism against Africans, have used power to marginalize Africans, and want to use the security forces to quell African anger in order to maintain ethnic supremacy over African Guyanese. My question is why is Mr. Jagdeo entitled to say that he sees a rising tide of anti-Indian feelings in Guyana, but an African spokesperson cannot proclaim that what he/she sees in this country is a deliberate policy of reducing the role of African Guyanese in the political economy of Guyana with the intention of extirpating any future power of Africans. We should be thankful for Mr. Jagdeo for openly venting
his feeling because it should release the restraint African leaders have lived with in this country since the PNC lost power in 1992. No one has disapproved of this incredible restraint with more energy and anger than Dr. David Hinds I have seen many African activists denounce their fellow African rights colleagues for being ashamed to speak out on racism against African Guyanese but David Hinds keeps reminding us of this major fault in the politics of African organizations. The question now is seeing that Mr. Jagdeo was not intimidated and the PPP was not ashamed in their opinion that Guyana is witnessing a blowing wind of anti-East Indian resentment, will African rights organizations like ACDA, political parties like the PNC and others openly vent their feelings about the policy of the power-wielders to reduce to nothing the power of African Guyanese ? I close with a lament I hear all the time from my friends who silently say to me what they are publicly afraid of
speaking. Will they now be free from their self-imposed bondage? That lament is about the policy of Mr. Jagdeo as President, which is being continued, to bring in Brazilians and Chinese so as to alter the demographic makeup of Guyana that will see a drastic imbalance with a resulting disadvantage to African Guyanese. Readers may ask what my position is on this irrationality that is being pursued by the PPP Government. It was a section of my r e s e a r c h o n ideological racism that I left out because statistics were hard to come by. But my unambiguous position is that I believe the encouragement of Brazilians and Chinese are directed to achieving a demographic shift designed against African Guyanese. Like Mr. Jagdeo, I see a wave of ethnic resentment crashing into the shores of Guyana. Unlike Mr. Jagdeo, the targeted ethnic group is not East Indians but Africans. Frederick Kissoon
Sunday April 21, 2013
If the AG has a case to make on the CJ’s ruling, let him do so coherently DEAR EDITOR, Apart from the Attorney General (AG), Anil Nandlall’s penchant for verbal explosions and irrational adjectives, and in this instance his descriptions of the National Assembly’s decision to make budgetary cuts, he needs to lay out, in respectful language and logical thoughts, drawing on quotations/excerpts on the Chief Justice’s (CJ) ruling, to make the PPP’s case that the National Assembly cannot cut the budget. This statement is made from the suppositionhoping it is not a wild onethat the AG’s intent is to inform and educate the society. And if it may be appropriate behaviour for the AG among friends/colleagues in social, cultural or political setting to flaunt his ‘mastery’ of the English language or his discipline with phraseologies such as “political masturbation,” “violently encroaching,” “naked and vulgar disregard for the Constitution,” etc, many in the public are disgusted and frankly offended by the stringing of phrases that provide no elucidation. The AG needs not be
unmindful that a ruling can be interpreted by anyone who can read and follow a logical reasoning path, and such ability is not only that of a lawyer, or rather, should be expected of a lawyer. So if this is how the AG conducts himself and may have been applauded by his peers for what they think is language mastery or brilliance in his field, he needs to be reminded that such behaviour to the public is not viewed as mastery or brilliance, but rather an assault on their intelligence and serves as reminders of the cliché, ‘empty barrel makes the most noise.’ If the AG has a case to make on the CJ’s ruling, let him do so coherently- this is assuming he can- and spare the nation the verbal tirades, because the more he speaks, the more he confuses the issue, and the more he communicates the impression that he knows not and doesn’t even realise he knoweth not. This society deserves clarity and honesty on the CJ’s ruling, and thereafter the AG or whoever should seek to misrepresent the said ruling should be exposed by the
media. Chartering new political grounds should not be fodder for furthering confusion, unless it is a strategy to keep the society in perpetual disarray and ignorance in furtherance of a political agenda, which at the end of the day is clearly not designed to serve the society’s best interest. The media must not enable this behaviour. The PPP, as devoted students of Joseph Goebbels- Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda- knows only too well the political benefits of zealous misleading, and telling a lie often enough it becomes the truth. The independent media will decide if they want to enable this disrespect for them, the society and institutions of State by allowing the AG to use them as a vessel to ‘report the news.’ Unfortunately, the AG has to be given ‘credit,’ because the strategy (Goebbels that paid premium to using media for widest dissemination) is working, along with the fact that he is not being exposed for his bastardization of the CJ’s ruling based on the case brought before court. The PPP, better than most, understands the media landscape and its potency. They are
exploiting the media to the fullest, albeit for the wrong reason. But can you blame them for trampling on professionalism when an aspect of professionalism to report is being abused because reporting is not followed through with accountability and rigorous scrutiny. In our society integrity is no longer worn as a badge of honour by many; as such the people and media have to expose those who insult our intelligence and take our trust for granted. And while this AG is not of the calibre of his predecessors, Fenton Ramsahoye, Keith Massiah, Shridat Ramphal and Shahabbuddeen, it is not unreasonable for the society to expect and demand propriety and decorum from him in language usage, understanding of issues, and general conduct. The AG needs not forget beyond closed doors every time he opens his mouth he is on public display and it is not unreasonable to expect a display consistent with the lofty standards some previous holders of this office displayed. M.A.Bacchus
Let not the Sexual Offences Act be another piece of paper sitting on the shelf DEAR EDITOR, I was totally appalled and disgusted when I opened the Kaieteur Newspaper dated Thursday 11th April 2013 and turned to page two, which states “ Mother of 14-year-old rape victim speaks out”, about how her daughter was raped by a 35-year-old man on Phagwah Day. I am very upset that the doctor allegedly told this mother not to report the matter. It is so sad that we have a Sexual Offences Act which was passed in 2010 and is not yet implemented. What is the use of the Law when there is no justice? It is our duty to protect children and yet we are doing the opposite. Under the Sexual Offences Act 2010 Section 20 (1) (a) it is an offence to prevent a child from giving a statement to the police. We are calling on the authorities to implement the Sexual Offences Act so that justice can be given to persons who are being raped. In a separate incident reported in the Saturday 13 April 2013 edition of Kaieteur
News, an 89-year-old woman was brutally raped and murdered at Cove and John Vi l l a g e , E a s t C o a s t Demerara. To date, although the police have arrested several persons, nobody has been charged. In closing, I would like to say that the police need to do a proper job of investigating, taking into account all of the evidence at the crime scene and not waiting a lengthy time (as was reported by the DPP in the Sunday edition of Stabroek News dated March 31 2013) before sending the files to the Director Of Public Prosecutions so that the persons committing these acts could be placed before the courts and their victims get justice for the crimes committed against them. I have gone to court with many survivors of rape and witnessed how the police dealt with matters and it is disgusting to see how long you have to wait to get justice for these persons. Vanessa Ross Red Thread
Sunday April 21, 2013
Kaieteur M@ilbox I am undaunted by these attacks DEAREDITOR, Two things happened to me over the past week. On Sunday morning I was awakened at 6:30am by a phone call. It was a close relative of mine. We arranged to meet immediately since he had some disturbing news for me and he could not reach my home at the time. When we met he bluntly told me to watch my back. He related how he was asked to warn me because someone had threatened to harm me over the letters I pen to the media. He said this threat came as a direct result
of the two pieces I did on the police brutality at Marudi. The other incident concerns the house I am presently renting. My landlord was accosted by a businessman and was rudely asked why did he decide to rent me the house. The landlord rightfully replied that it was none of his business. Mr. Editor, these two incidents must not be taken as isolated incidents. Throughout the years I had claimed that there was a centrally orchestrated plan to ruin me. The architects of that
plan have succeeded somewhat. They have made me virtually penniless. All I am left with is my pride, my intellect and my life; and I will defend those ruthlessly. I am undaunted by these attacks, though, because I am satisfied that my writings are making the impact that they have been intended to make, and the detractors cannot handle that. They cannot handle the truth. Hence the old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword holds true. Carl Parker Regional Councillor
From page 4 Vassan and his brother became the first to discuss rights violations on campus and to motivate us to form an organization when we were denied involvement in the Caribbean Students Association (IndoCaribbeans were not considered as Caribbean people by the CSA). Although Ramharack and I were involved in political protests in Guyana during the student strikes on the Corentyne in 1976 and 1977, it was through Vassan and Rennie’s tutoring that we became deeply immersed in Guyana’s freedom struggle. They led and carried the struggle and offered financial contributions when others would not lift a helping hand or offered a penny (not even Freddie gave a penny) for printing pamphlets. When we completed undergraduate studies and enrolled for graduate school, it was Vassan and Rennie who encouraged us to obtain our teachers licenses and go into teaching. Vassan and Rennie subsequently also joined the profession. It was our salaries from teaching that funded our political struggle for Guyana. It was Vassan and Rennnie who donated money and sent many barrels of educational supplies to organizations and schools in Guyana through NACTA. When Freddie was sleeping or studying, we were up throughout the nights preparing literature for distribution at public events. It was Vassan who came up with the ideas on what to write and the brilliant Baytoram who penned them as our lead writer and Vishnu who raised the funds and organized the printing and all of us up early in the morning to distribute literature. It was Vassan and I who donated our salaries to buy a printing press that was smuggled into Guyana during the height of the dictatorship. It was Vassan and several of us who took days off from our job to travel around the country to lobby for assistance to free Guyana. It
was he, I and others who spent over a week in boiling heat in the desert of Arizona costing each one of us thousands of dollars all for the sake of liberating Guyana. It was Vassan who led the way on so many other fronts and who kept reminding Guyanese that they were capable of great humanity and nobility and that no race has a right to denigrate and demean another race. It was Vassan who called for the equality of all ethnic groups in Guyana and the Caribbean. It was Vassan who encouraged Ramharack and myself to run for student government. I got elected three times as an undergraduate student representing the natural sciences and served as Vice President of Educational Affairs. It was Vassan’s motivation that led me to also get elected three times as President of Graduate Student Government and to serve in other leadership capacities. It was Vassan who served as Treasurer of undergraduate and graduate student governments and who funded African student organizations including Afro-Guyanese for their activities. It was Vassan who funded activities where Kwayana and other African leaders who spoke in NY. And it was Vassan who went to rallies and protest marches to support Africans in their struggle against racism in America. It was Vassan who provided funding for the celebration of African Harlem Renaissance during the early 1980s. It was Vassan who helped to organize the Academic Conference of Guyanese Indians at Columbia University in 1988. It was Vassan who encouraged Baytoram, Dev and myself to conduct polls in Guyana. It was Vassan who had a confrontation with Freddie in front of UG library when Freddie attacked the surveys. I note that Freddie describes us as supremacist. But he won’t use the same
description for Prof. Rex Nettleford who wrote that the Caribbean belongs only to Africans and only African culture can be Caribbean culture. Freddie won’t characterize Black Stalin as a supremacist when he sang that only the Black man can be a Caribbean man (Editor’s note: Black Stalin never stated this in his famous song , aptly named ‘Caribbean Unity.’ Instead he was asking the Caribbean politicians ‘how come you can’t unite seven million?’) When Barrington Braithwaite wrote that Africans had a right to decide how Indian Immigration Fund money should be spent because their taxes helped to contribute to the Immigration fund but Indians have no right to suggest where the African monument should be located, Freddie did not call him a supremacist as Indian taxes would not be used to build the monument.\ When Kwayana formed an organization for relations with Africa, Freddie dos not describe it as supremacist. Only when Indians spoke out against injustice, against robberies, against targeted attacks, sexual molestations, that is supremacist behavior. When Indians celebrate Phagwah, Eid, Diwali, and make offerings of mithai and mohanbhog at Christian service, that is supremacist behavior. For Freddie, anything having to do with defending Indians or standing up for equality for Indian is supremacist behavior. If you expose flaws in Freddie’s writings, he targets you for personal attacks and you are labeled a supremacist. That is what he has done to Ravi, Devanand, Baytoram, Vassan, Anand, myself and others. Freddie cannot defend his views with facts and supporting evidence. So he goes on the attacks calling us supremacists. No Freddie, it is more like being freedom fighters and defenders against your lunacy. Vishnu Bisram
Kissoon is misguided in...
Sunday April 21, 2013
International media body says distribution of radio licences violates media rights While local media fraternities continue to demand answers into the “unequal distribution” of radio licences by former President Bharrat Jagdeo, international media bodies have also expressed major concerns over the ongoing issue, deeming it a violation of media rights, which, “the President ought to look into.” Executive Director of the International Press Institute (IPI), Alison Bethel McKenzie, told Kaieteur News that the current radio licence distribution issue has angered foreign-based media organizations and has promoted widespread concern over the treatment meted out to private media houses. IPI, which is the world’s oldest advocate for press freedom “is greatly concerned about how licences are issued, to whom and how it is regulated.” McKenzie said that foreign media colleagues are greatly concerned about the manner in which the licences were shared and the neglect of private long standing media organizations. “We are concerned that not enough (licences) were given to independent media
and the diversity of those who were chosen.” But what is adding insult to injury, McKenzie opined, was that “people feel that they are not getting a good enough reason for the distribution and how candidates were chosen.” It was under this Ministry that the former President allocated the radio licences “to family, friends and close associates.” The IPI head said, “There is a bigger problem, and that is the Head of State is also the Minister of Information; a President is a conflict of interest.” To this, McKenzie said that the issue needs to be immediately addressed. She added that the radio licence matter also needs immediate attention since” in some parts of the country the only news the people receive is state news, so there is no competition and no different views because unfortunately, state media only toe the party line and don’t often get the other side of the story.” So there is no view, she said, “And that is not what journalism is about.” McKenzie further pointed to the irony of slamming independent media houses of party trashing and
unfairness, “But yet, what does the state media do?” she questioned. McKenzie however vowed to raise the licence distribution issue at a scheduled meeting with President Donald Ramotar. McKenzie opined, “Certainly I think that the President should answer to the issue of broadcast licences as it is a great concern to local media.” The IPI team is in Guyana advocating for the repeal of the criminal defamation code and for the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act. The team comprises of John Yearwood, head of IPI’s North American committee and World Editor of the Miami Herald; and Scott Griffin, IPI’s press freedom advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean. Guyana is the second stop in a fivecountry visit, lobbying for media workers rights. The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) has also had its say on the ongoing licence distribution issue, calling it unfair and dangerous to the freedom of expression. Private media in Guyana has been protesting Jagdeo’s 2011 distribution of radio licences to friends,
family and party affiliates before demitting office. Jagdeo’s party’s newspaper, The Mirror received five frequencies to broadcast across the country; a plan stakeholders say was carefully planned by Jadgeo and the ruling party to control Guyana’s airwaves. Five frequencies were also granted to the former president’s personal friend, Dr. Ranjisinghi “Bobby” Ramroop and another five to Omkar Lochan, Permanent Secretary of Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud; who happens to be the nephew-in-law of the former President. Jagdeo also granted two television cable licenses to close associates–Brian Yong and Vishok Persaud. Persaud is the son of the late former Government Parliamentarian and Agriculture Minister, Reepu Persaud, while Yong was a candidate for the ruling party during the 2011 elections. Other distributions went to party affiliates who are new to the media world, while longstanding media organizations were turned down. Media houses are however demanding a review of the licence distributions.
Dem boys seh
Everybody gun dance Dhaka Dalay Everybody know that people got a mind of their own. Dem suppose to think fuh demself. But dem got people who can’t think and is dem that deh in real trouble because now dem got all of Jagdeo friends and family who gun tell dem what to think. De plan was simple; share out radio frequency and give friends and family enough power to reach more people than anybody else. That is why de PPP get five, de Baljit gyal get five and Barbie get five. De others just get a li’l piece fuh keep a certain set happy, Dem is de people who gun play music fuh keep de people wining and is one set of people like wine, even when dem walking. Prakash is de man who seh that Jagdeo come up wid de plan fuh control dem people mind. He seh that just now dem gun got de whole country dancing Dhaka Dalay. Already some of dem wining dem foot because all dem hearing is this Dhaka Dalay music and it starting to get in dem blood. Just now de whole country gun dance to dem tune. That is de control. And while that happening Hen See Hen losing out in de mind control game. Dem boys seh that de opposition cut de vote and got dem begging. Now anybody wid sense gun recognize that Hen See Hen is like some rich people who despite all de money dem got, still deh pun de road begging. That is greed. Hen see Hen mekking more than enough money to support itself. It operating just like de Waterfalls paper and de Big Market paper and dem private television station. All of dem hustling in de market place fuh money and none of dem can’t get money from de government. That is why dem boys seh that nobody should sorry fuh Hen See Hen. And in any case, it can always get money from Barbie and Bar Rat. And if dem can’t get dem can cuss bar Rat because he coulda buy de same thing wha he buy fuh Barbie fuh transmit de Learning Channel. Hen See Hen woulda collect a cool $3.6 every month. Talk half and keep you mind intact.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Sunday April 21, 2013
Sunday April 21, 2013
Book Review: A Tale of Religious Delusion By Dr Glenville Ashby Jamaican writer Anthony Winkler marches through time - from Cadiz, Spain, to the New World, in the mercurial God Carlos. Set in the early half of the 16th century, Winkler captures the exploits of Spanish seamen embarking on a potentially perilous journey in search of fortune. Carlos Antonio Maria Eduardo Garcia de la Cal Fernandez (an interestingly lengthy name) assumes the role of protagonist. A crude, surly, megalomaniac with gnomic features, his borderline sociopathy creates tension among the crew - an uneasiness that devolves into a deadly confrontation. It’s Carlos’ second murder at the mere age of 25. At this juncture, the stage is primed for a baleful encounter between these adventurers and unsuspecting natives of Jamaica . But beyond the inevitable fate of these natives, viz, the
Arawaks, and the indictment of European marauders, is Winkler’s peer into the delusions of religions whether mainstream or indigenous. His case is compelling, after all, Carlos proves a murderous knave - a Catholic (mind you) who blankets himself with religiosity after every disdainful thought or action willing to buy absolution from “from a roaming pardoner”. For all his self-serving, warped piety, Carlos cannot temper his feelings of guilt and inner turmoil. Winkler’s antipathy towards this character is unquestionable: “Whatever his church said, he accepted unquestionably. This rigorous Catholicism had made his a curious mixture of animal carnality and spiritual wistfulness. He was always wishing he were better, but constantly berating himself for being worse.” Also competing with this exemplar of religious
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.
obsession and hypocrisy are the atheistic views of the crew’s captain, Alonso de la Serena, and the Arawak elder, Brayou - uncle of another key figure, Orocobix. “You expect an answer from wood,” Brayou intones from his dying bed, referring to the god Zemi. And earlier, the captain’s, “It’s a pity there is no God,” adds to the multilayered themes of God, providence, faith, and ontology. Unabashedly, Winkler raises the spectre of man’s compulsion to exploit and murder the unsuspecting, the trusting. God Carlos is a classical exploration in Social Darwinism. Sure, Carlos succumbs to karmic justice - his comeuppance long overdue. But his legacy - an evil embodied by his fellow colonisers, never lets up. The author ’s piercing narrative drives home the unforgiving affectlessness of the Spaniards, and the self deprecations of the Arawaks - in particular - Orocobix, whose genuflections before power-hungry Carlos will revile readers. The loathful act - “the genocidal Catholicism that fell upon the Arawaks with pestilential ferocity” fails to dent the belief in
Spanish deification, at least initially. Whatever cruelty meted out to the indigenous people was justly deserved a damning and incredulous delusion that only religion can engender. Here, Winkler’s brilliance as storyteller is unmistakable: “Only a few of the assembled men and women had ever actually seen these gods, and some would not speak of them because of shame. Among them was a young woman who had encountered three of the gods. She had not admitted to it to anyone, for then she would have to tell the shameful story of what the gods had done to her, one after another, and how she had been torn open, and left on the river bank bleeding.” God Carlos is a literary tour de force - atmospheric and incisive. It effuses raw emotion - perplexing, bewildering, and dark. This is Jamaica, shredded to its core - known then as Xamayca. Throughout, Winkler remains unassuming, almost deferentially philosophical, with a flair for indigenous culture and the pelagic life. When prodded, he can also be quite blunt: “If the drama of the Arawaks teaches anything, it is that passivity
in the face of a viscous invader is a bad tactic.” On multiple levels, Winkler proves his salt as a genuine raconteur ... the architect of an invaluable
literary work. Title: God Carlos Author: Anthony C. Winkler, 2012 Publisher: Akashic Book, New York
Kamla: It’s a tragic scenario Trinidad Express - Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar has admitted to being shocked by the revelations regarding National Security Minister Jack Warner contained in a report presented yesterday in Panama by the head of Concacaf ’s Integrity Committee, Sir David Simmons. In a brief telephone interview with CNC3 News last night, the Prime Minister, who is in Washington, DC, USA, said she would like to see the report, but added: “Should these allegations be true, they tell a tale of a tragic scenario.” She also admitted: “I have action to take.” But the Prime Minister told CNC3, “Natural justice demands that I see the report first.” Former Barbados chief justice Simmons presented the report to Concacaf ’s con-gress. The report detailed allegations of financial mismanagement by former
Kamla Persad-Bissessar Concacaf president Warner and ex-gene-ral secretary Chuck Blazer with respect to the management of Concacaf. The Prime Minister left Trinidad on Sunday for the United States, where she attended a meeting at the United Nations and
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.
participated in the debate “The UN and Global Economic Governance” in New York. The Prime Minister also contributed to the AmericasAfrica Business Forum, which was organised by the Organisation of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC. She is scheduled to return to Trinidad tonight. Reuters reported on March 28 that there was an FBI probe into allegations of FIFA corruption and Warner’s son, Daryan Warner, was a cooperating witness in the matter. On March 30, PersadBissessar indicated she had instructed Attorney General Anand Ramlogan a n d F o r e i g n Aff a i r s Minister Wi n s t o n Dookeran to seek information from US authorities on the matter. However, on April 4, Ramlogan said he had not yet received any response from US Attorney General Eric Holder, whom he had written. The Attorney General was in South Africa this week to attend the 18th Commonwealth Law Conference, which took place from April 14 to 18.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Conservatives likely to retake power in Paraguay ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Paraguay is poised to elect as its new president a conservative candidate from the party that backed strongman Alfredo Stroessner during 35 years of iron rule, returning the executive branch to the wealthy interests that have traditionally dominated this poor South American nation despite the election of a leftist ex-bishop in 2008. Today’s vote is also an important milestone in Paraguay’s attempt to regain the international acceptance it lost when neighboring nations objected to the fasttrack removal of President Fernando Lugo. The expedited impeachment of Lugo last year conformed to Paraguay’s constitution but was criticized by its neighbors as an “institutional coup” that threatened democracies around the region. Regional blocs such as Mercosur suspended Paraguay’s membership following Lugo’s ouster, but all signs indicate that Paraguay’s neighbors will reengage the country after the election to replace Federico Franco, who served out Lugo’s term and is not eligible to seek a new one. Most polls indicate that tobacco magnate and soccer executive Horacio Cartes of the Colorado Party, which held power for 61 years before losing to Lugo at the polls, will win handily over his chief rival, Sen. Efrain Alegre of Franco’s Liberal Party. A handful of candidates trail them, including Anibal Carrillo of the leftist Guasu Front coalition led by Lugo, who is seeking to return to politics as a senator. A presidential candidate can be declared winner with a plurality, and there is no runoff. Some likened the vote to the 2009 presidential election in Honduras that gave other nations reason to re-embrace the Central American country
five months after President Manuel Zelaya was grabbed by soldiers while still in his pajamas and flown to Costa Rica. “The election in Honduras ultimately was important,” said Gregory Weeks, a political scientist specializing in Latin America at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “It was contested and there might have been controversy, but what it did was it got the country sufficiently past the crisis to allow it to be accepted by all the rest of the region again.” Whoever wins in Paraguay will have to deal with problems that have been endemic for decades in this landlocked nation of about 6.2 million people, most notably the yawning gulf between the haves and have-nots. Paraguay is South America’s No. 3 producer of soy, corn and sunflower, but about 1 percent of the population controls 77 percent of the arable land. More than half of the people live in poverty, according to U.N. statistics. Paraguay’s census bureau puts the poverty figure lower, at around 39 percent. Both leading candidates have said they will try to change that. “I have a project to modernize the country with infrastructure works and especially to give work to the people,” Alegre said in a recent interview with The
Associated Press. Cartes declined an interview request but said in a debate that foreign investment for job creation would be a key part of his anti-poverty platform. Cartes also touched off controversy on the campaign trail by comparing gays to “monkeys.” He told Chaco Boreal radio this week that he opposes gay marriage because of his Roman Catholic faith, and joked that if his son ever told him he wanted to wed another man, he would shoot himself in the private parts. Alegre has also said he is against gay marriage. The impoverished majority had high hopes that Lugo, a bearded, sandal-wearing former “bishop of the poor,” might ease their pain when they put him into office in 2008, but he was unable to make much headway against opposition in Congress and elsewhere in government. “Once in power, Lugo gave positions at ministries to progressive or leftist parties,” analyst Alfredo Boccia said. “But that ... was just about participation and not about power, because the conservative interests like the big soy and cattle ranches, and the thousands of landless farmers, remain intact.” A deadly clash over land ultimately led to Lugo’s downfall, with opponents and former allies alike quickly voting to oust him last June for “poor job performance” after a Senate trial lasting a few hours. With the Colorado party, which was allied with Stroessner, once again ascendant, Weeks said Paraguay’s power class is looking to shore up its tight control. “It was very clear that Paraguay’s brush with a leftist president shook up the establishment to a point where it’s trying to regain equilibrium,” Weeks said. “I think you’re seeing elites kind of coming back together to prevent that from happening again.”The new president takes office Aug. 15.
St. Lucians to pay more for water The National Water and Sewerage Commission has announced the new tariff for water and sewage for the Water and Sewage Company (WASCO). The new tariff takes effect during the next billing cycle and applies until the end of the triennial period (September 2012 to August 2015). The water rate increases by 66.15 percent with 10.43 percent allocated for the
dredging of the John Compton Dam. Despite WASCO’s application for a 140.30 percent sewage rate hike, the commission has granted the utility a 55.72 percent increase. Executive Director of the Commission, Kelly Joseph, said this is by no means a blank check and there are stipulations. Joseph said the commission has also
requested WASCO delineate the dredging fee as a separate line item on the water bill in the interest of transparency and documentary evidence when the regulatory body reviews the fee at the end of the triennial. WA S C O General Manager John Joseph meanwhile said the water company is cognizant of its responsibility to improve the quality and delivery of service.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Trinidad manufacturers Jamaica has passed the worst, says Phillips deny breaching CARICOM trade rules PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) says it does not support the practice of companies engaging in activities that breach the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Rules of Origin. The TTMA was responding to allegations in Jamaica that exporters here were engaging in unfair trading practices. Jamaican manufacturers have said that Trinidad and Tobago exporters were violating trade rules by misrepresenting products as produced in CARICOM and thereby benefiting from lower customs duties and price advantages. CARICOM produced goods which meet the rules of origin are traded dutyfree while a Common External Tariff (CET) is applied on products originating from outside the 15-member grouping. But the TTMA said that it is “committed to fostering the process of free and fair trade as enshrined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas” that governs the regional integration movement. “The association strongly condemns the practice of any company engaging in activities that are in breach of the CARICOM Rules of Origin. Such actions cause
problems for legitimate businesses, and portray Trinidad and Tobago in a negative light both to our CARICOM neighbours and internationally,” the TTMA said. The TTMA said that it found no evidence to support the statement by the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) president Brian Pengelley that “in other words, you could bring in imported peanuts, but all you do is put the peanuts in a little bag”. “ We wish to categorically state that we have found no evidence to support Mr P e n g e l l y ’s s t a t e m e n t , ” TTMA said, adding “shelled peanuts are imported into Trinidad a n d Tobago under tariff heading 1202.20.90 (Shelled Peanuts) then processed (roasted, blanched (removal of skins), fried, seasoned and packaged] and exported under tariff heading 2008.11.00 (Prepared Peanuts), thereby meeting the criteria of substantial transformation qualifying for CARICOM originating status”. The TTMA said that together with the national export facilitation organisation in Trinidad, ExporTT, it is prepared to assist with investigating the claims of trade rules violations by Trinidad and Tobago exporters.
Haiti PM has high hopes for Canada aid
Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe
Jamaica Gleaner - Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe has expressed optimism that the Canadian Government will review its decision halt new aid projects in his country. Lamothe comments came
after he held talks with Canada’s International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino Friday. In January, Fantino announced that Canada would discontinue new aid projects in Haiti while it conducted a review of the programme. The announcement came two months after Fantino visited the earthquakeravaged country and revealed that he was disappointed with the lack of progress. However, as he emerged from yesterday’s meeting, which was also attended by representatives of various international donor agencies, Prime Minister Lamothe says no formal agreements have been reached. However, he says he remains hopeful that some decisions will be taken at next month’s donor-coordination conference in Port-au-Prince.
KINGSTON, Jamaica Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips, suggested Friday that Jamaica has “passed the worst” in negotiating a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “Certainly, from my point of view,” Dr Phillips responded to the question from the press, at his post budget debate presentation press briefing at his Heroes Circle ministry.
Phillips said that the most difficult part of the process was in meeting the prior conditions, and completing the negotiations on terms considered acceptable for Jamaica. “But, if there is one thing that I have learnt here, is that the solution to every problem only exposes the other challenges which we face,” he admitted. The Minister said that Jamaica’s challenge will now
be to maintain the 2013/14 budget within the agreed targets. “It’s not going to be easy to ensure that we meet the programme targets in the Extended Fund Facility agreement,” he stated. Dr Phillips left shortly after the press briefing for Washington DC, as head of the delegation to hold, what could be the final phase of discussions with IMF and the World Bank Group on the agreement,
which is expected by May 1. The talks are to focus on the Government’s plans for macroeconomic s t a b i l i t y, g r o w t h , a n d development. The delegation includes the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter; Technical Adviser to the finance minister, Helen McIntosh; and Deputy Financial Secretary, Darlene Morrison. They are expected to return on Monday.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Pakistan judge remands ex-president Musharraf in custody ISLAMABAD (Reuters) A Pakistani court remanded former president Pervez Musharraf in custody for two weeks yesterday as judges pushed ahead with plans to put the former army chief on trial for a crackdown on the judiciary during his time in office. Hundreds of lawyers jeered at Musharraf and scuffled with his supporters as he appeared at the Islamabad court a day after police arrested him at his home — a breach with an unwritten rule in Pakistan that exgenerals are above the law. The judge ruled that he be detained until his next court appearance on May 4. Musharraf’s spokesman said authorities had decided that he would be placed under house arrest at his farmhouse residence on the edge of Islamabad. “The government has declared Musharraf ’s farmhouse as the jail, and he will be moved there from police headquarters,” said
spokesman Mohammad Amjad. Musharraf’s appearance sparked chaotic scenes in the court complex as police formed a human chain to prevent protesting lawyers — who chanted “Down with Musharraf” — from getting closer to the former president. Musharraf left the court after his brief appearance and returned to police headquarters, where he has been detained in a police guest house. Musharraf is facing allegations that he overstepped his powers in a showdown with the judiciary in 2007 when he sacked the chief justice and placed judges under house arrest. Musharraf ’s moves against the judiciary earned him widespread scorn among an increasingly activist cadre of lawyers and judges, who have themselves been accused of overstepping the normal limits of judicial authority in their confrontations with the
Pakistan’s former president and head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) political party Pervez Musharraf (R) is escorted by security officials as he leaves an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, yesterday. REUTERSTanveer Ahmed
civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari. Musharraf’s office issued a statement late on Friday saying the allegations were baseless and politically motivated. Signaling the seriousness with which they view the case,
judges have ruled that Musharraf must face trial in an anti-terrorism court, since detaining judges could be considered an attack on the state. Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, resigned in 2008 and went into self-imposed exile in London and Dubai. He returned to Pakistan
last month to try to stage a return to public life by running for a National Assembly seat in a May 11 parliamentary election, but election officers disqualified him. Instead of triggering a hoped-for groundswell of popular support, Musharraf became the first former army chief to be arrested in Pakistan when police took him into custody at their headquarters on Friday. Musharraf’s legal troubles have provided a stark symbol of the changing balance of power in Pakistan, where the military still retains enormous behind-the-scenes influence but has retreated from the overt meddling and coups of the past. Pakistan is hoping to cement its transition from decades of military rule at the elections, the first transfer of power between elected civilian-led governments. While the sight of a former army commander being arrested is sure to rankle some in the military, who see the armed forces as the only reliable guarantor of
Pakistan’s stability, Musharraf’s ill-starred return has bemused some former comrades Some officers believe senior figures in the military had tried to dissuade Musharraf from returning in the hope of avoiding the embarrassing sequence of arrest and rowdy court appearances which have received thorough coverage on Pakistan’s television channels over the past two days. However, the spectacle of Musharraf being arrested was nevertheless a surprise in a nation where the army still largely controls security policy and where support for the armed forces is equated with patriotism. Musharraf faces other legal challenges, including allegations that he failed to provide adequate security to prevent the assassination of former primer minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. He has also been accused of treason for his decision to suspend the constitution and impose emergency rule.
Napolitano elected for second term as Italy president
ROME (Reuters) - The Italian parliament yesterday re-elected 87-year-old President Giorgio Napolitano to serve a second term in an attempt to resolve the political stalemate following February’s inconclusive election. Napolitano was overwhelmingly elected by the 1,007 parliamentarians and regional representatives in a sixth round of voting after they had failed to find a mutually acceptable candidate in the previous attempts. He is now expected to push for a broad coalition government. As most of parliament cheered his re-election, a group of around 500 demonstrators protested outside, with a much larger rally planned later in the day. In normal circumstances the presidency is a largely ceremonial position, but at times of political instability the president plays a crucial role in forming a government and has the power to dissolve parliament. Napolitano is one of the world’s oldest heads of state and the fact that most of the main political forces virtually begged him to continue despite his numerous previous refusals shows the
depth of the current impasse. In almost two months since the election, Napolitano has failed to broker a solution to the gridlock that emerged from the February election which left no coalition with enough seats in parliament to form a government. A broad coalition has so far been rejected by the centerleft, which won most seats at the election and refused to join forces with Berlusconi’s center-right. However, Napolitano now has the power to call fresh elections, which he did not have in the final months of his current term. Most on the center-left fear new elections so they may now be more willing to come to terms with
Berlusconi. “I feel obliged to offer my availability as requested,” Napolitano said in a statement. “I cannot shun my responsibility towards the nation.” Earlier in the day, centerleft and center-right leaders Pier Luigi Bersani and Silvio Berlusconi, and caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti who heads a centrist group, all went to his palace to ask him to carry on as the only way of breaking the deadlock.He has been formally elected for a full seven-year term but most commentators believe that once the present political crisis is resolved, he will probably resign within a year. No president has ever been elected for a second term. Tensions in the country are running high. Ordinary Italians are struggling with recession, falling living standards and rising unemployment and center-left voters in particular have looked on aghast at developments since the election. The main center-left Democratic Party (PD) is in chaos after scores of rebels took advantage of the secret ballot to sabotage the party’s official candidates in previous presidential votes.
Sunday April 21, 2013
US readying aid package for Syrian rebels ISTANBUL (AP) — The U.S. readied a package Saturday of up to $130 million in nonlethal military aid to Syrian opposition forces while European countries consider easing an arms embargo, moves that could further pressure the Assad government. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was expected to announce the plans about the defensive military supplies at a meeting yesterday that was bringing together the Syrian opposition leadership and its main international allies. The supplies possibly could include body armor, armored vehicles, night vision goggles and advanced communications equipment. U.S. officials said the details and costs were to be determined at the meeting. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss Kerry’s announcement. Before the talks, German’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, spoke of giving the opposition greater political power and concrete support. “That is how we are trying to ease the pain of the Syrian people,” he said. “A violent solution is not a solution, only a democratic one is a real solution.” Kerry met with Syrian opposition leader Moaz alKhatib before the conference got underway. In the latest clashes, Syrian troops backed by progovernment gunmen captured at least one village in a strategic area near the Lebanese border, activists and state media reported. President Barack Obama has said he has no plans to send weapons or give lethal aid to the rebels, despite pressure from Congress and even some administration advisers. Since February, the U.S. has shipped food and medical supplies directly to the Free Syrian Army. The aid was expanded later aid to include defensive military equipment. So far, the U.S. has provided an estimated $117 million in nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition, according to the White House.
Britain and France are leading a push to modify the European Union’s arms embargo on Syria to permit weapons transfers to the rebels by the end of next month. The embargo is to expire at the end of May unless it is extended or revised. Those in favor of the change say there have been no decisions on whether to actually supply the rebels with arms. They argue that allowing such transfers would increase the pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad. U.S. officials say they support testing this strategy. Germany and the Netherlands, however, are said to be reluctant to support the step because they fear it would lead to further bloodshed. Kerry said before leaving Washington that the conference aim was to get the opposition and all prospective donors “on the same page” with how Syria would be governed if and when Assad left power or was toppled. With Syria’s civil war in its third year, the U.S. and its European and Arab allies are struggling to find ways to stem the violence that, according to the United Nations, has killed more than 70,000 people. Despite international pressure, Assad has managed to retain power far longer than the Obama administration expected. “We need to change President Assad’s calculation, that is clear,” Kerry told U.S. senators Thursday. He said the Assad government’s
survival largely depends on the continued support it gets from Iran, its proxy Hezbollah, and Russia. “That equation somehow has to change,” Kerry said. U.S. Sen. John McCain, RAriz., one of the top Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, wants U.S. military action, including airstrikes on government aircraft and weapons. But he does not want to send in American soldiers. He said the steps he recommends would give moderate and secular opposition forces a better chance to succeed without having to depend on extremist groups that are supporting the rebels. The U.S. is not opposed to other countries arming the rebels, provided there are assurances the weapons do not get to extremist groups that have gained ground in the conflict. Kerry said that Assad, his inner circle and supporters in Iran and Russia have yet to be persuaded to enter negotiations with the opposition and allow for a political transition. He said he had not given up on persuading Moscow to reverse its support for Assad. Kerry planned to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov next week in Brussels on the sidelines of a NATO-Russia Council meeting. “My hope is still that the Russians can be constructive,” he said.
Obama says U.S. to investigate if Boston bombings suspects had help (Reuters) - President Barack Obama pledged on Friday that the United States will find out whether the two ethnic Chechen brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings received help, and he pleaded for Americans not to rush to judgment. Obama appeared in the White House briefing room after police arrested the lone surviving suspect in the Boston suburb of Watertown, ending a dramatic manhunt. The other suspect was killed in a shootout overnight with police. The U.S. leader watched the fast-paced developments on television in the White House residence, then returned to the Oval Office where he was briefed by FBI Director Robert Mueller. Relief swept the White House at the news of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s arrest but there was no sign of a celebration. “Obviously tonight there are still many unanswered questions. Among them: why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and country resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help?” Obama said. The successful conclusion of the manhunt allowed Obama to tout a major law enforcement achievement in response to the worst attack on U.S. soil since the September 11, 2001, attacks. Questions remain, however, over the FBI’s disclosure on Friday that it
Barack Obama had interviewed one of the suspects in 2011 and found no evidence that he posed a security risk. The president, looking somber and gripping the podium, said Americans are in debt to the people of Boston and Massachusetts for their resilience in responding to the twin blasts that killed three people and injured 176 others on Monday and enduring a wrenching week. “We will determine what happened. We will investigate any association that these terrorists may have had and will continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe,” Obama said. In urging Americans to show tolerance, Obama may have been referring to the surviving suspect who is known to have posted links to Islamic websites calling for Chechen independence. Obama appealed for Americans to avoid a rush to
judgment, saying people should stay true to the “unity and diversity that makes us strong.” “That’s why we have courts. That’s why we take care not to rush to judgment, not about the motivations of these individuals, certainly not about entire groups of people ... We welcome people from all around the world, people of every faith, every ethnicity,” he said. Obama spoke earlier in the day with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Boston bombings and the White House said he praised U.S.-Russian counterterrorism cooperation including after Monday’s attack. The end of the Boston manhunt capped an emotional and difficult week for Obama. His legislation to tighten background checks on gun buyers, a response to the December massacre of 20 children and six adults at a school in Connecticut, went down in a bitter defeat in the U.S. Senate, prompting Obama to angrily denounce it as a “shameful day” in Washington. And with the nation already on edge, authorities intercepted letters laced with ricin, a highly lethal poison, that were sent to Obama and Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. Authorities have arrested a Mississippi man in the case. Obama also attended a wrenching inter-faith service for the victims of the bombings in Boston on Thursday.
IMF’s Lipton adds pressure on UK to change economic course
(Reuters) - A senior IMF economist added pressure on Britain’s Chancellor George Osborne yesterday to slow the pace of his deficit-cutting programme to take into account the country’s underperformance on growth. David Lipton, first deputy managing director of the IMF, told Sky News television that the Fund would be raising the issue with the British government. “The Fund’s view is clear. The UK economy has turned out to be somewhat weaker than had been foreseen, so our view is that the pace of consolidation ought to be reconsidered, and we’ll want to come and have some discussions over that,” he said. Lipton’s comments echo similar views expressed by the most senior people in the IMF this past week, including Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard. Osborne, in Washington for the Fund’s twice-yearly meetings, initially dismissed Blanchard’s comments as “one voice”, but it has since become clear that he was putting forward a view shared by those at the top of the IMF. The admonishments from
the IMF have compounded a bad week for the chancellor of the exchequer. On Friday Britain lost its AAA rating from a second agency, Fitch Ratings, after it had already been downgraded by Moody’s in February. On Saturday a flagship scheme to help home-buyers announced in Osborne’s March budget was criticised by a non-partisan committee of legislators who said it risked being costly and counterproductive. Sky News said Lipton’s comments were significant because the IMF official was scheduled to travel to London next month for so-called Article IV consultations on the state of the British economy. Lipton said it was “very important that the UK government set as a goal fiscal consolidation”, but added that “the question now is whether the pace is right or too ambitious given the weakness of the economy”. Data due next week could show the economy slipped into its third recession in less than five years in early 2013, although many economists expect it may escape that gloomy milestone by a whisker. “The key to us, the bottom line to us, is that they may want to consider adjusting the pace of consolidation and that’s a subject we’ll want to take up during this Article IV consultation,” said Lipton. Osborne, who has placed tackling the deficit at the heart of his economic strategy, has already suggested that he may not heed a formal call from the IMF for a change of policy. “It depends on whether you agree with that advice,” he said in Washington when asked whether countries should follow IMF policy recommendations. Article IV recommendations are often ignored by member countries.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Earthquake kills 157, injures 5,700 in China’s Sichuan YA’AN, China (Reuters) China’s worst earthquake in three years yesterday killed at least 157 people and injured more than 5,700, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said. The magnitude 6.6 quake hit a remote mountainous area of southwestern China’s Sichuan province at 8:02 a.m. (0002 GMT), close to where an earthquake killed almost 70,000 people in 2008. The quake struck in Lushan county, near the city of Ya’an, at a depth of 12 km (7.5 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was felt in the provincial capital, Chengdu, and in neighboring provinces, causing many people to rush out of buildings, according to social network posts. Most of the deaths were concentrated in Lushan. Pictures on Chinese news sites showed toppled buildings and people in bloodied bandages being treated in tents outside the
hospital. Water and electricity in the area were cut off by the quake. Premier Li Keqiang flew into the disaster zone by helicopter to voice support for the rescue operation. “The first 72 hours is the golden period for rescue,” Li told officials, the Xinhua news agency reported. “We cannot delay by a minute.” “Under the strong leadership of the party and the government, as long as we unite as one, and conduct the rescue in a scientific way, then there will be the conditions and the ability to minimize the losses to the greatest degree and to overcome the disaster,” Li said. Chen Yong, the vice director of the Ya’an city government earthquake response office, told reporters: “We believe the number (of deaths) could rise somewhat, but it won’t rise by much.”
Xinhua said 6,000 troops were in the area to help with rescue efforts. State television CCTV said only emergency vehicles were being allowed into Ya’an, although Chengdu airport had reopened. Rescuers in Lushan had pulled 91 survivors out of rubble, Xinhua said. In villages closest to the epicenter, almost all low-rise buildings had collapsed, footage on state television showed. “We are very busy right now, there are about eight or nine injured people, the doctors are handling the cases,” said a doctor at a Ya’an hospital who gave her family name as Liu. The hospital was treating head and leg injuries, she said. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was in discussions with the Red Cross Society of China on whether international
support was needed. The China Meteorological Association warned of the possibility of landslides in Lushan county yesterday and today. Lushan recorded 789 aftershocks after the earthquake, the China Earthquake Administration said. A resident in Chengdu, 140 km (85 miles) from Ya’an city, told Xinhua he was on the 13th floor of a building when he felt the quake. The building shook for about 20 seconds and he saw tiles fall from nearby buildings. Ya’an is a city of 1.5 million people and is considered one of the birthplaces of Chinese tea culture. It is also the home to one of China’s main centers for protecting the giant panda. “There are still shakes and tremors and our area is safe. The pandas are safe,” said a spokesman for Ya’an’s Bifengxia nature park which
Egypt’s Mursi says plans cabinet reshuffle (Reuters) - Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said yesterday he planned to reshuffle his cabinet in a move that could help build political consensus around a $4.8 billion loan Cairo is seeking from the International Monetary Fund. Mursi’s opponents have been demanding the formation of a new government to oversee parliamentary elections expected to begin later this year. The United States, a major donor to Cairo, has grown more critical of Mursi of late, listing a lack of political inclusivity as one of its concerns. The IMF has stressed the need for broad support for a loan agreement seen as vital to easing Egypt’s economic crisis but which is also likely to bring with it politicallysensitive austerity measures such as tax increases and
subsidy cuts. An IMF technical mission held 12 days of talks on the loan agreement but left earlier this week without an agreement. While in Cairo, the mission met an array of Egyptian opposition parties in an effort to broaden support for any deal.
In an interview with alJazeera television aired late yesterday, Mursi said: “We are keen on the IMF, the World Bank, international institutions, and on dealing with them ... but what will serve the interests of the Egyptian citizen? That is what we will do.” “The programs that serve (this) interest are not in accordance with what the IMF wants. I do not yield to conditions, internal or external. The only condition is realising the interests of the Egyptian citizen.” Asked why had Egypt had “failed” so far to secure the loan, Mursi said: “This is not failure. The IMF has its way, its tools, its means, its programmes, and in Egypt we have our tools, our means and our programmes ...” “There is ongoing dialogue with the IMF to
realise the future interests of the Egyptian citizen such that we do not impose on him now in a way that affects him in prices and other things,” Mursi said. Tension between Mursi and his more secular-minded opponents has fuelled spasms of unrest since late last year, undermining hopes for economic recovery. Mursi told al-Jazeera that the reshuffle would include multiple ministries and would happen soon. On Twitter, he said he would also change some of his provincial governors. “Cabinet reshuffle and governors’ appointments, the most efficient will take up responsibility in order to achieve the demands of the revolution,” Mursi tweeted, referring to the 2011 uprising that ousted then President Hosni Mubarak.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Ravi Dev Column
Background to the Imbroglio (We offer the following from our 1990 paper “For a New Political Culture”, as a background to the present debate on “anti-Indian resurgence”) The potential for ethnic conflict in Guyana, or elsewhere, is stimulated when there are changes that cause one or more ethnic groups in a given society to feel threatened by other groups. Changes that affect the groups’ self worth, especially if they are structural and thus self-perpetuating and widespread, create the greatest potential for conflict. As in all group activities, the strategies employed by the leaders are key elements in determining the course of the conflict and these should also be examined. Political groups become politically functional only when individuals make them so. Indians began to enter the “open” society in the 1920s following the end of indenture- ship. By this time they had ideologised their cultural markers and were ready to use them as mobilisation tools to end their peripherisation in the society. From the independent economic base they had constructed on rice and petty retailing, they entered the educational, professional, business and civil service fields in ever increasing numbers. Changes, consequently were being generated in the upper stratum, where by the 1930s, the nascent Indian elite were competing with the
There is evidence linking drug busts to robberies. I saw this trend and I spoke about it before. Whenever there is a major drug bust, three weeks later there are a string of robberies. The answer is simple. There will be another major drug bust in the coming days because things are desperate for some people. The losses have been mounting up because of people talking too much for the liking of one drug exporter. He will not be able
African and Coloured elite. This competition for the same valued resources [high status jobs] might then explain conflict between the Indian and African elites, but cannot do so for the lower strata. Yet the latter have been most enthusiastic in support of their elites, contrary to their supposedly more rational and rewarding class interests, which would have dictated that they act in concert. The point, however, is that when Indians begun moving into the middle class, the effect was to change the stratification pattern from one where class and ethnicity were coincident, to a crossreticulated one where some East Indians could have had the opportunity of occupying higher strata. However, the unintended consequence was to challenge long-held notions of group worth, especially amongst the Coloureds and Africans. The Coloureds, because of their preferential recruitment into the junior bureaucratic positions of the civil service and their greater emulation of “English culture” had conferred legitimacy upon themselves, as the inheritors of the colonial mantle. This conclusion was now threatened by the arrival of the Indian middle class, the political mobilisation of the East Indian masses by Cheddi Jagan in 1950, and the arrival of the universal franchise in 1953,. Even by 1965, as documented by the International Commission of
Jurists, Indians were still greatly under-represented in most key areas of the state sector, in relation to their proportion of the population. Relative to where they were just thirty years before, however, they had made tremendous progress - and at the expense of the Coloured and Africans. Africans had long been pacified by the relative openness of the class closure between them and the Coloured elite: they could enter the coloured ranks through education, lifestyle and money, which state jobs provided, while those who did not, could still aspire to it. Openness of class position kept the lower strata in line. The “reticulated” stratification system created by the fifties, remains more or less in place to the present. In this situation, while within each ethnic segment there are class differences, the individuals occupying identical, objective class positions in different ethnic categories do not subjectively identify with each other especially in relation to national power. The discovery that the Indians were mastering the very skills long associated with the ruling class and in a manner more completely than themselves, compounded the indignities of the African slave heritage. The final insult was their elites advising them that they had to imitate the very qualities they had derided in the Indians, if they wanted to compete in the modern dispensation. Their group
to pay his people so they will attempt a big robbery. The result would be shocking. ** The police are going to intercept a car containing some weapons. The
interception is going to thwart a major robbery. How and why did the police stop the car? They got a hot tip from a most unlikely source-the surveillance cameras. ** The gold fields are the hotbeds for many problems largely because people are impatient, intolerant and desperate. A man is going to survive all that only to come home and suffer the attack he was able to avoid while he toiled in the gold fields.
worth, and consequently the individual’s self worth, was threatened. Compounding this psychological insecurity was the demographic factor: the Indians had a much greater birth rate than the Africans. Combining their newly acquired skills with an imminent majority of voters, in a political arena governed by majoritarian rules and universal suffrage, it was quite conceivable that the Indians could subordinate the Africans in perpetuity. Groups in this situation are overwhelmingly initiators of ethnic violence, as they project their anxiety and insecurity onto the other group who are seen as threats to their survival.
From this perspective, the response of the African Guyanese is not cultural; the same response has been elicited in culturally dissimilar groups such as the Malays who are in a structurally similar position economically in Malaysian society. Thus while Burnham, and the C.I.A. might have midwifed ethnic conflict in Guyana, they certainly did not create it. Any proposed solution to Guyana’s problem must address this fundamental fear of the African Guyanese; the fear of being swamped and subordinated. The Indians and Amerindians, on the other hand, under the international norms of equality assert their
right to participate in the body politic in proportion to their share of the population and their contribution to the country. Any proposal solution to Guyana’s problems must also address this integral experience of Indian and Amerindian Guyanese; the experience of being excluded from the corridors of power, especially political power.
Sunday April 21, 2013
A knife in the back and killers long gone By Michael Jordan The ‘bush’ is perhaps the easiest place to kill a man. Someone could stick a knife in your back and be long gone before they find your remains…if they ever do. That’s exactly what someone did with Ray Holder last month. But his parents believe that his killers slipped up. His body was found, and the wounds on those decomposing remains told their own story of treachery in the gold-rich interior. Ray Holder, from all accounts, was a hardworking and trustworthy individual, and around August last year, the 29-year-old from South Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara, landed a job with a miner who owned two dredges at Princeville, Potaro. It seems that Ray quickly became such a great asset to the dredge owner that he was commonly referred to as his boss’s “right hand man”. But he did tell his parents something that they feel has some bearing on his fate. Ray Holder confided that there was a young woman in the interior who had shown an interest in him. He even claimed that she had once rented a hotel room in Georgetown and invited him over. But Ray reportedly told his parents that he hadn’t responded to her advances, since he had a good relationship with the girl’s father. He was also wary of her ‘child-father’ and brothers. Ray was at home on Mashramani Day when his boss called with instructions that he should return to the mining site. This he did that very night. His family received a message that he was in good spirits and planned to return in July for his mother’s birthday. BADLY DECOMPOSED BODY On the night of Friday, March 15, 2013, Ray Holder visited a shop on a hill in the Potaro area. A barmaid at the shop would later tell police that she saw him leave the night-spot. Police also received reports from two of the miner’s colleagues that they saw him enter a boat and head towards camp. The Police Public Relations Department says that the boat, with a bottle of alcohol, was subsequently found, and that Holder ’s decomposing body was found on Tuesday, March 19,
in Garraway Stream, Potaro River. Kaieteur News was told that the body bore no visible marks of violence and reports sent to the Mahdia Police Station suggested that police were dealing with a drowning. Ray’s family received the news of his death from a driver who had taken him to Mahdia. They were also told that police planned to bury his decomposing remains near the mining camp and the Princeville Boat Landing. The family was stunned. No one had informed them that he was missing. And now they were saying that he was dead. They said the news was being casually tossed at them, “as if the people around him” equated him “to a stray dog, knocked down on the road and to be buried and erased from our minds.” Why had no one from the dredge operation told them that their son was “missing?” Why had Ray’s employer, who had always maintained contact with them, and who had called at least three times on Mashramani Day for Ray to return to work, failed to inform them about Ray’s fate? And now why this apparent haste to bury their son? Suspecting that there was more to their son’s death than they were being told, Ray’s father and sister met with the ‘F’ Division Commander on Tuesday, March 19. Family members said that
the Commander reassured them that he had instructed a police corporal at Mahdia to delay the burial until family members arrived. They said they were also told that a medical team would fly to the location on Saturday, March 23 to conduct a post mortem. According to their statement, Commander Ramsey emphasized that only one family member could travel in with the medical team. But before the planned visit, the girl who was allegedly attracted to Ray reportedly contacted the dead miner’s father by phone. She allegedly told him that two brothers and a friend had murdered Ray. That call was reportedly made on Wednesday, March 20. HONEST ENOUGH TOADMIT “This was the first time that someone from the (mining) operation had spoken directly to us and she was honest enough to admit that Ray was murdered. This critical information was passed on to Commander Ramsey,” the parents said in a statement they gave me. On Thursday, March 21, the same woman reportedly visited Ray Holder’s parents. She was said to have been accompanied by a man who claimed to be a police rank. That man reportedly told the family that he had heard that even Ray’s penis was severed and stuffed in his mouth. According to the family’s
Ray Holder statement, the woman attempted to give them over $100,000 that she said was owed to Ray for his work. The parents said they refused to take the money, while informing the young woman that they would be travelling to Princeville to investigate all of Ray’s business and his murder. “DEM TURN UP DE MUSIC...AND KILL HE…” Since both parents were unable to fly in with the medical team, the couple decided to travel to Mahdia by bus. But by the time they arrived, Ray’s body had already been buried. The Police Public Relations Department told Kaieteur News that Holder’s body was too decomposed to be placed in the Mahdia Hospital mortuary, so, as is often the case with deaths in the interior, investigators opted to have his corpse buried with the intention of having it exhumed for a post mortem. “Upon arrival at Mahdia, we were greeted by the widespread information that Ray was brutally beaten until he was black and blue; stabbed, his penis severed, and his body dumped. In the words of two young men, speaking to Ray’s mother, they said “Auntie, dem cruel yuh son…” the family said in their statement. According to Holder’s father, he was also told that there was a loud argument at the shop that his son had visited on the night of Friday, March 15. He believes that his son was murdered that same night and dumped in an area near the Princeville Landing. On Saturday, March 23, they visited the Mahdia Police Station, where a police corporal showed them cell phone photograph of what appeared to be Ray’s body. According to the parents, “Corporal (name given) further tried to convince us that he had drowned.” But Holder’s parents said that when they arrived at the Princeville Landing with the medical team, they were again told by some residents that Ray had been murdered. Away from the police and the medical team, a few older Amerindian women allegedly told Ray’s mother, Lalita, ‘Is right out here that dem turn up de music and beat yuh son and stab he and kill he’”.
BODYNOTMUTILATED According to the family’s statement, the Medical Examiner (pathologist Dr.Nehaul Singh) observed two stab wounds on Ray’s body and also noted that his penis was severed. “All this was in stark contradiction to the theory of drowning that the police were aggressively attempting to force down our throats.” And indeed Holder had been murdered. The pathologist gave the cause of death as perforation of the lungs due to stab wounds. But Police Public Relations Officer Ivelaw Whittaker says that the pathologist had never stated that the victim’s penis was severed. The parents alleged that on the very day that they returned home, the young woman who had showed an interest in their son paid them a second visit. This time, she was accompanied by her ‘child father’ and another man. According to the relatives, the visitors again insisted that Ray had drowned. This angered Holder’s parents who asked their visitors to leave. It is alleged that at that point, the woman kept urging her ‘child father’ to “tell the people the truth”. Ray’s parents said that they passed this information to the Divisional Commander, but to their disappointment, were told that this was ‘hearsay evidence’. “To hear the Commander say that there is nothing that he can do, even with all the graphic and horrific evidence, and more information that we further provided...such words were most debilitating for the well-being of Lalita (Ray’s mother), “ the dead man’s father said. “We have loved Ray for too long to allow his murder to go unsolved and tossed aside. We demand that a fullscale investigation be done.” CASE NOT CLOSED But police insist that Ray Holder’s murder is still under investigation. The Public Relations Department reports that Holder’s father had told the police that he had received information that two brothers from Princeville, Pomeroon, and a barmaid had knowledge of his son’s murder. Kaieteur News was told that investigators detained the barmaid for 72 hours but then released her without gleaning any information to assist them in the case. About reports that a
young woman had informed the parents of their son’s murder, the Police Public Relations Department responded that investigators offered to take the parents in a vehicle in an effort to question the girl. It was also stated that the parents were notified that ‘hearsay evidence’ was inadmissible, and what was needed was an actual eyewitness to Holder’s murder. “We have no evidence that anyone saw when he was attacked,”a Public Relations official said. As for motive, one suggestion is that Holder was the victim of a jealous individual. Another is that he was slain over a land dispute. Based on information provided, police are said to be looking for two brothers who were allegedly at Princeville, Pomeroon, at the time of Holder’s murder. However, the individuals have reportedly left the area. They are said to be residing in Georgetown. I managed to contact the young woman, who initially indicated that she would speak with me. She has since declined. Meanwhile, Ray Holder’s parents have vowed to do their utmost to ensure that this does not remain an unsolved crime. Expressing deep dissatisfaction with the police investigation, Ray’s father told me this week that the family intends to submit the same statement they gave me to the Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Commissioner of Police. He also said he had information about the identity of his son’s killers, and plans to submit this information to senior police and government officials. “The family intends to seek justice by not allowing this mater to be tossed under the carpet,” they said in their statement. “We intend to seek the advice and assistance of as many appropriate persons as we can…” If you have any information about this or any other unusual case, please contact Kaieteur News by letter or telephone at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown offices. Our numbers are 22-58465, 2258473 and 22-58458. You need not disclose your identity. You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email address mjdragon@ hotmail.com.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Green shoots of good governance Green shoots of good governance have begun to sprout in Guyana. A Partnership for National Unity has been tilling the field of fairness and democracy for over fifteen months in the National Assembly. It was only this week, however, that the danger of the debilitating disease of executive dictatorship was deflected decisively. The behaviour of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration for much of the time since January 2012 created a ‘democratic drought’ in this country. The administration deliberately set out to obstruct the majority Opposition – comprising A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change parties – from functioning effectively. The 10th Parliament, configured after the 28th November 2011 elections, forced the PPPC into an uncomfortable minority position with only 32 out of 65 seats in the National Assembly. The APNU-AFC
Opposition from the start had to wrestle with the PPPC administration to assert the twin principles of the parliamentary authority and ministerial accountability. The administration, on its part, resorted to a fierce campaign of actions aimed at discrediting the Opposition and undermining the independence of the National Assembly. The PPPC’s principal mode of attack was through the High Court. Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General Anil Nandlall created legal history by bringing four High Court motions against Opposition Leader Brigadier David Granger and Speaker Raphael Trotman in a single calendar year. The Speaker correctly contended that “The continued resort to the High Court to question legitimate decisions of the National Assembly points to the grave and gathering danger of a ‘constitutional crisis’ which has the potential to assume proportions the like of which the nation has never seen and may be unable
to handle.” The Executive Branch, at one stage during the 2012 budget debate, used its administrative clout to coerce scores of public servants and other state employees onto the streets to protest against the Opposition. All 32 members of the Government side walked out of the Assembly on another occasion when their attempt to amend an Opposition motion to establish a National Heritage Commission was defeated by a majority vote! The PPPC administration, on yet another occasion last December, dispatched a dossier of complaints against the Opposition. The dossier – sent to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the parliaments of the Caribbean; the Commonwealth Secretariat; the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and its branches; the Organisation of American States; the Union of South American Nations and other countries where Guyana has a
diplomatic presence – made the outrageous allegation that the out-of-office opposition posed a clear and present threat to political stability and parliamentary democracy in Guyana. It was evident by the end of 2012 that, if the National Assembly did not act to avert this dangerous drift away from its values by halting the PPP’s delusional campaign, the rich dividend of good governance that citizens expected from the 2011 general elections could shrivel and wither into a “democratic drought.” This would have meant, among other things, that the PPPC minority administration could resume the assertion of its dominance over the APNUAFC majority opposition. The Speaker, in the light of more than a year of this sort of relentless PPPC harassment, made a statement on 16th April upholding the National Assembly’s right to reduce the national budget. He stated clearly that, “The National Assembly of the
Parliament of Guyana has the power to amend, by reducing only, the Estimates of Expenditure submitted by the Minister responsible for Finance.” The Speaker added, for good measure, “…the political system practiced in Guyana does not negate the authority of the National Assembly to amend Bills and Motions, including those dealing with public finance.” It was determined that the Assembly, apart from amending the budget, could also reject the entire budget or accept it without making amendments. The Speaker’s statement was regarded by the Opposition as a “landmark…for parliamentary democracy.” Leader of the Opposition David Granger recounted how the government side had taken to using the state media to call the opposition all sorts of names– such as reckless, unruly and dictatorial. He expressed the hope that the PPPC would now discontinue its acrimonious
accusations and allow the parties to pay attention to the business of governing the country. The Leader of the Opposition also assured the Assembly that APNU had behaved consistently responsibly and always in the public interest. APNU on its own initiative, for example, had met delegations from the AFC, the Private Sector Commission, Guyana Trades Union Congress and other organizations with regard to issues arising out of the national budget. The administration’s actions, if allowed to proceed unhindered, would have had a detrimental effect on an already shaky democracy and would have undermined popular faith in the legislative process. Confidence has been restored. The will of the majority has been respected. These tender green shoots should now be allowed to grow. They will, one day, yield a rich harvest that would provide a good life for all Guyanese.
Sunday April 21, 2013
(Continued on page 34)
Sunday April 21, 2013
My friend Rohee challenges the obvious The written word can evoke many reactions. Different people see things differently and they react according to how they see things. Indeed I have been commenting on many things, including, most recently, the reaction to the granting of radio frequencies and cable licences to some people. It has not escaped my notice that people have added the race card to this, but they are poor spinners. They claimed that the licences were issued to Indians, Blacks and one Portuguese. President Donald Ramotar had himself said that these licences were granted across the political divide. However, a casual examination would show that one group got five frequencies at a time. I do not think that there was an ethnic consideration here. Rather the selection may have been based on political considerations. And to state the obvious, the allocations were extremely lopsided, something that the casual observer, except the most sycophantic, would notice. As fate would have it,
Jamaica has put a price on its cable, something that former President Bharrat Jagdeo seemed to overlook and something that people have been talking about for a long time. These facts caused me to wonder at the reaction of people to adversities. They brought back memories of what was as far as six decades ago and even further. As a reporter I have come into contact with people who have been besieged with many adversities. I would ask them if they sought the attention of the authorities and I would get the same negative answer. This and other things they said made me realize that they have been beaten into submission. I can’t be wrong. I now turn my attention to Minister Clement Rohee. I am glad that he reads my columns, unless somebody actually brought this particular column to his attention. He pens a missive to the press and makes some interesting conclusions. He writes, “Harris further went on to disparage the working people of Guyana by stating that they only “talk” and do not act. And even
when they do such actions are “sporadic” and at best “negligent” Harris then concluded his article by saying that “protest is something of the past”. And in a subtle but clearly agitational manner, Harris suggests that the political parties “are hard pressed to bring out their supporters to protest anything”. I don’t make subtle hints. I say what has to be said. Then Rohee discerns that I was agitated. Obviously he sees things political in what I write and it must be because I have pointed out the reaction of the public to some of the things over which his government presides. Not so long ago the crowds would have been outside his office when the political opposition moved a vote of no confidence against him. And they would have gone to his home, too, as they did in the past. Surely, he too must have come to realize that the days of protest are over. There has always been this fear of criticism and challenge by the government. I distinctly recall Janet Jagan talking about “this fledgling democracy.’ Even when there
were screw-ups she would beg for patience in light of the fledgling democracy. Rohee was there and it would seem that he continues to languish in this era of the fledgling democracy. For me to examine national reaction is to challenge the fledgling democracy and attract Rohee’s attention. I do not need to weep over the absence of protest action. In fact, I am glad when there is none because peace prevails. But I would be as President Donald Ramotar said, “a jackass” to sacrifice people’s right for what they deserve at the altar of peace. The people of Linden protested the increase in their electricity rates, the residents of Agricola protested the killing of a youth in the village and as Rohee so vividly recalls, the people of Plaisance protested the installation of a communication tower in their playground. Those are legitimate reasons for protest and they all achieved their ends. I have not missed the protests against the allocation of the radio frequencies, but these have
largely passed the people who should have been granted their radio licences. Against this background I sought to ascertain the reason for the apparent apathy and concluded from what these people said, that nothing will change. I had to write about this, much to the annoyance of Rohee. And people believe that nothing will change because of the arrogance demonstrated by people like Rohee and those in the government, of which he is a part. I knew a Rohee, equally arrogant some years ago. He was no stranger to protest and often could be seen in any protest against the socalled excesses of the Burnham government. I was there one day when the police arrested him. He refused to walk and they had to lift him all the way to the Brickdam police station with Rohee fighting and squirming all the way. Thankfully those policemen had eaten and were relatively fit. I admired his tenacity. Rohee would not like to see anyone emulate his action when they oppose something. And that is his arrogance.
Adam Harris There is something else that I think he should recognize. I do not have to telegraph a message to APNU and the AFC. I have access to these people. It would be a waste of time for me to write something to these people when I can easily call them or meet with them. That would be akin to writing a note to my paramour for a pleasurable activity when all I have to do is reach over to her. It is a fact that people worry about their job because the government has created conditions of reduced disposable income for the average person. And in case Rohee has not noticed, those people who once protested outside his Ministry no longer do so.
SUNDAY SPECIAL TWO PILOTS DIE AFTER PLANE CRASHES INTO PLAISANCE HOUSE Two foreign pilots perished when their twinengine plane went down on a house in the Sparendaam Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara just after it took off from the Ogle airport, last week Saturday (April 13). The pilots’ unrecognisable remains were discovered among the rubble of what was once a wooden house occupied by the elderly Florence Tyndall and three others. Miraculously, Kendall, who was in the house at the time of the crash managed to escape. The crash sent scores of residents rushing to the area, but they could only stand back and watch as the American-registered aircraft burst into flames, with the two pilots trapped inside. Eyewitnesses believe that the two occupants of the plane lost consciousness or were killed when it crashed. The aircraft, a twin-engine Piper Aztec with registration number N27-FT, was on a technical survey mission for the Amaila Falls Access Road. It had been in Guyana for the past week and according to senior local aviation officials, it had already done some surveillance missions. Public Works Minister, Robeson Benn, who has responsibility for Civil Aviation, told members of the media at the crash site that the aircraft took off from Ogle with approximately six hours of fuel. There are reports that it had completed another mission earlier in the day and had returned to Ogle to refuel for another sojourn. Benn said that from initial investigations, one of the aircraft’s engines shut down. “It looks like it lost an engine and then crashed,” the Minister stated.
MONDAY EDITION 16-YEAR-OLD MINER KILLED AS PIT COLLAPSES A 16 year old East Ruimveldt boy is the latest victim of a collapsed mining pit in Guyana’s goldfields. Dennis Anthony Barker of Warlock Alley was pronounced dead at the Madhia Hospital where he was rushed after he was pulled from under tons of gravel in a mining pit at Pamela, Madhia, around 15:40 hrs last week Saturday (April 13). Reports are that Backer and another youth identified as Scotland Pluck, 20 were the only persons in the pit at the time of the cave-in. The two were removed from the collapsed area and were rushed to the Madhia Hospital where Barker was pronounced dead on arrival, while Pluck, who suffered injuries, was admitted to the institution for medical treatment. Pluck reportedly sustained broken limbs but was listed as stable. CRASHED AIRCRAFT ENGINE FOR EXAMINATION IN USA – GCAA Remains of the crashed twin-engine Piper Aztec aircraft will be transported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the United States of America for examinations shortly. This is according to Paula Mc Adam, Director, Aviation Safety Regulation of Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), who was monitoring the clearing of the rubble at the crash site in Sparendaam Sunday. She said that the remains, including the engines, would be stored at Air Services Limited bond at La Bonne Intention until all paperwork is completed before they are sent to the USA. According to the GCAA official, the engines will be thoroughly examined by the
NTSB to ascertain what caused them to shut down. The clearing team comprised labourers of Air Services Limited and Ogle Airport Incorporated. They were seen separating the debris to ensure parts concerning the aircraft were properly gathered. TUESDAY EDITION RADIO LICENCES PROTESTS TAKEN TO OP Media operatives, backed by concerned supporters, took their protest to the Office of the President Monday to demand the withdrawal of radio and cable licences granted under questionable circumstances by former President Bharrat Jagdeo. The protest was staged to coincide with a scheduled meeting at Office of the President between President Donald Ramotar and members of the Opposition over the proposed budget cuts. The peaceful protest saw the presence of Kaieteur News Publisher, Glenn Lall; Charles Griffith, a Director at the privately-run Hoyte
Blackman Television (HBTV) Channel Nine and veteran broadcaster, Enrico Woolford. Bearing placards, the protestors stood quietly on the parapet on Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, opposite the President’s Office. A senior police rank initially demanded that the protestors remove. He even called for “back up” but none ever arrived. Instead he received additional barricades. Mr. Lall said that “the protest continues against the unlawful, illegal and immoral issue of radio and cable licences by former President, Bharrat Jagdeo. I believe it was a discriminatory act perpetrated on this nation and it must be corrected.” He explained that the granting of radio and cable licences by the former President to his “buddies” is criminal. “They are already making money from it, but what has Guyana got? Nothing! Where will we get money to pay the police; your children and grandchildren will be affected.” WEDNESDAY EDITION SPEAKER RULES BUDGET CAN BE CUT In a decision the opposition hailed as landmark and transformational, Speaker Raphael Trotman on Tuesday ruled that the National Assembly does have powers to cut the national budget. In giving his ruling, the Speaker referred to the Constitution, the Parliamentary Standing Orders, and the Finance Minister’s statement last year that the House indeed can make amendments, or cuts, to the budget. Government leader in the House, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, said that the government would “abide”
Sunday April 21, 2013
by the ruling, but the Attorney General said that the decision of the Speaker collides with the decision of the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice last year ruled that the House does not have the power to cut the budget, but only to either approve or disapprove. Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, said the option of a fresh challenge in the court is open, but will depend on what Cabinet decides. Nandlall said he found himself in an “extremely difficult position” in answering what will happen when, as he anticipates, the Chief Justice confirms his ruling. The Attorney General was at a loss on how to advise the government further. And so Tuesday evening, consideration of the estimates began, with the government facing cuts to the budget. Prime Minister Hinds said that it was in the government’s interest to proceed with the consideration of the estimates, because there needs to be a budget by the end of April. The Speaker in his ruling, on the grounds of separation of powers, ruled that the court does not have supervisory powers over the National Assembly. RADIO/CABLE LICENCES PROTESTS REACH STATE HOUSE… IT’S DECEPTION AT ITS BEST – AFC LEADER The continued picket demonstration carried out by private media operatives and concerned supporters, against the glaring disparity in and discriminatory manner of distribution of radio licences, was Tuesday taken to State House, Main Street. The protest action attracted
the support of the Alliance For Change (AFC). AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan stated that his presence there was in solidarity with those who were denied radio licences for no decent or lawful reason. Ramjattan labeled former President Bharrat Jagdeo’s granting of the radio licences as deceptive, since it is a violation of the agreement made between him and the then opposition leader, Hugh Desmond Hoyte. The attorney at law outlined that Jagdeo and Hoyte had agreed that radio frequencies would have been allocated, only under a new dispensation. The former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) executive member informed that during the tripartite budget talks, the joint Parliamentary Opposition sought, as a priority, to address the issues of the unfair distribution of radio licences, but got no favourable response from President Donald Ramotar. According to Ramjattan, even though the radio licence issue was second on a list of 11 demands, the President unequivocally dismissed any possibilities for the distributed licences to be revoked. THURSDAY EDITION GOVT PAYS ‘BOBBY’ RAMROOP $3.6M EVERY MONTH TO AIR LEARNING CHANNEL TVG, owned by Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, best friend of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, is being paid $3.6 million a month to put the Guyana Learning Channel on the air. This was revealed Wednesday in a written response by the Minister of Education Priya (Continued on page 31)
Sunday April 21, 2013
From page 30 Manickchand to APNU Parliamentarian Jaipaul Sharma. Jagdeo is the one who had championed the setting up of the Learning Channel, which was launched in April 2011. “The Guyana Learning Channel has the use of a teleport that was created at the time of its set-up since there was no other teleport capable of uplinking video signals in existence in Guyana before or since,” Manickchand said in response to questions raised by Sharma. According to the Minister, every wireless communication device utilises electromagnetic spectrum and the Learning Channel has minimised use of the electromagnetic spectrum by reusing the same channel in different regions of the country such as Channel 3 in New Amsterdam, Lethem, Mabaruma and Ituni; and Channel 10 in Kwakwani, Orealla, Linden and Port Kaituma. She said that for the Learning Channel to send the signal to the satellite, it would have had to set up a commensurate service that would have required an initial capital outlay of US$150,000 plus monthly recurring costs of over $4M in bandwidth rental and associated services. JAMAICA DEMANDS $$$$ MILLIONS, FOR CABLE FREQUENCIES As the Guyana Government continues to face questions over embarrassing disclosures that it gave itself and close friends several licences to build radio and cable television services countrywide, at least one Caribbean country has publicly indicated that it is preparing to auction some of these limited resources. Jamaica’s Spectrum Management Authority, similar to that of Guyana’s National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU), has said it will be selling to the highest bidders two 700megahertz (MHz) band licences to improve Internet penetration in that country. It highlights how valuable Jamaica considers its spectrum, a resource that is jealously guarded worldwide by Governments because of the power of radio, TV and the internet. Potential investors will have to make a deposit of between US$2.7M ($540M) to US$3M ($6M), depending on the band they are going after, just to be considered for the bid, according to the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday The report disclosed that the authority will require a bank guarantee or bond in the
amount of 50 per cent of the proposed purchase price. The more expensive licence will cost at least US$5M more. Aside from the US$85M that the Jamaican government hopes to get from the sale this year, the Government also wants to see spending on ICT infrastructure increased from the US$80M spent annually now, while boosting commercial activity and education through information technology. FRIDAY EDITION OPPOSITION AXE FALLS ON GPL, NCN AND GINA ESTIMATES Even after grilling the government on the nitty-gritty in relation to the affairs of numerous agencies, the opposition, not satisfied with the answers given, Thursday moved to slash estimates allocated to three stateowned agencies: GPL, NCN and GINA. Just like last year, the allocations set aside in 2013 for the National Communications Network (NCN) - $81,337,000 and Government Information Agency (GINA) – $135,858,000, were reduced to $1 each. However, the capital funding remains as provided for by the government with NCN having $65M and GINA $13M. Allocations set aside for Guyana Power and Light Inc.(GPL) have been cut almost directly in half, as the Minister of Finance had provided 10.2B and that was reduced by 5.2B, leaving a subvention of $5B for the company. As a result, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds hinted that Guyanese should brace themselves for more blackouts. He stated that with the cut in effect, GPL would be having a hole of about 20 per cent in what it requires to sustain itself. Hinds explained that that will most likely result in reduced purchases of fuel and transformers. The Prime Minister told the House that the cost at which electricity is provided in Guyana is mostly as a result of the “situation”, which he explained, is the cost of petroleum. In an attempt to point out that Guyana’s situation, as it relates to electricity rates, isn’t unique, Hinds compared it to those of Caribbean islands. He said that most Guyanese may see it as an irregular comparison since the earnings of an average person in Guyana is not the same as those in countries like Barbados, but he told the House that “the fact is, when we go to buy things we pay the same price as anybody else”. JAGDEO PROMOTES VISHOK PERSAUD,
BRIAN YONGAHEAD OF CABLE PIONEERS Several cable television operators are now crying foul after being overlooked for broadcasting licences. As a matter of fact, one company which says it pioneered cable TV, introducing the popular Zee TV to Guyana, believes it is being given a raw deal and stifled from expansion. According to Michael Bess, Managing Director of Atlantic Cable TV Network, his company was part of a group of cable operators that had ongoing meetings with former President Bharrat Jagdeo and government officials, starting in 2008, over licencing. Yet, weeks before Jagdeo stepped down, none of the established cable television operators were considered. Rather, two newcomers, ENetworks Inc. and Quark Communications Inc., were both granted permission to broadcast cable TV over the 2.5GHz frequency band. ENetworks is controlled by Vishok Persaud, son of former PPP Parliamentarian, Reepu Daman Persaud, while Quark Communications Inc. is owned by Brian Yong, a candidate for the ruling party in the 2011 General and Regional Elections. Both are close friends of Jagdeo. Several radio licences were also controversially issued to mainly close party supporters and Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, the best friend of the former President. The manner in which the radio licences were issued has sparked condemnation from both the local and regional media associations, with sustained protests held by owners of independent media houses who felt government was being vindictive to private media who have been critical of rampant corruption practices and a number of shady and/or illogical multibillion-dollar projects. SATURDAY EDITION ROHEE’S $17.5B BUDGET PASSED WITHOUT CUTS …AS AFC WITHDRAWS MOTION The estimates for the Ministry of Home Affairs were passed without cuts last evening after the seven-seat Alliance for Change (AFC) withdrew its proposal to slash the budget for the Citizen’s Security programme and other critical interventions. The AFC had proposed to cut $500 million from the Citizen Security Programme, and a further $23 million from other programmes, including so called Justice Houses at which citizens can have NIS and passport issues sorted out.
The proposed cuts also would have covered funding for a holding house for juvenile delinquents. AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan announced that the AFC would not proceed with its cut, but the largest coalition bloc APNU went ahead. However, APNU’s 26 seats in the 65-member House were not enough to stop Rohee’s budget. The implementation of the three strategic plans will allow for more effective prioritisation in the use of the total sum of $17.5 billion allocated to the sector. Focus will be placed on enhancing physical infrastructure, and providing air, land and water transport and equipment for the sector to carry out its mandate effectively. With regards to the fight against drugs and piracy, the maritime sector will benefit from greater physical presence of maritime forces with the operationalising of floating bases in Regions Two and Six. In support of further advancing the capabilities of the safety and security personnel, ranks of the police from the level of constable to assistant commissioner will benefit from mandatory overseas training while fire service personnel will benefit from the new training school. Furthermore, the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory will be completed and is expected to become operational in the latter part of the year. INTERNATIONALMEDIA BODY SAYS JAGDEO’S LICENCES THREATEN PRESS FREEDOM The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) deems the distribution of radio and broadcasting frequencies by
President Bharrat Jagdeo as unfair and as a danger to freedom of expression in general and press freedom in particular. This is according to the ACM’s President, Wesley Gibbings, in a press statement issued Friday on the settlement of broadcast licencing dispute in Guyana. He believes that the dispute could be settled with dialogue. Gibbings stated, “The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) joins with the Guyana Press Association (GPA) in expressing grave concern that the assigning of radio and television broadcasting frequencies in Guyana has not been in keeping with best regulatory practice for the sector and poses a real and present danger to freedom of expression in general and press freedom in particular.” This danger Gibbings speaks of, was created when Jagdeo ignored independent media requests for radio licences and gifted his close friends and political party with radio and television broadcasting frequencies before demitting office in November 2011. HIGH COURTACTION FILED TO QUASH JAGDEO-ISSUED LICENCES Two challenges have been filed in the High Court against the granting of radio frequencies by then President Bharrat Jagdeo in November 2011. Broadcaster Enrico Woolford, the National Media and Publishing Company (publishers of Kaieteur News) and the Guyana Media Proprietors Association are asking that the High Court quash Jagdeo’s decision. Both challenges were filed
in the High Court on Friday. In the first challenge, broadcaster Enrico Woolford is asking the High Court to declare that President Bharrat Jagdeo’s granting of radio licences was “arbitrary, unconstitutional, unlawful, unfair, unreasonable, capricious, irrational, procedurally improper, ultra vires, null, void and of no legal effect.” Attorney General Anil Nandlall is named as a respondent in the case to show why the court should not quash the decision made by Jagdeo. The second named defendant is Valmiki Singh of the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU), the authority which assigns frequencies. In the second challenge filed in the High Court, National Media and Publishing Company, publishers of Kaieteur News, and the Guyana Media Proprietors’ Association have asked the court to make a declaration that the granting of those radio licences was done under improper considerations and was discriminatory, unconstitutional and of no legal effect. The action by the Media Proprietors Association is also against those who were granted cable licences by Jagdeo, namely his friend Brian Yong and the ruling party’s associate Vishok Persaud. Those filing the second challenge claim that for sixteen months after the allotment of the radio licences, the names of the persons who were granted licences “remained a dark secret within the bosom of President Jagdeo until the Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, was obliged to do so in the National Assembly.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Sunday April 21, 2013
Sunday April 21, 2013
‘Big, Bold and Beautiful’ pageant to make grand return on May 2 By Enid Joaquin Seven full-figured women are set to turn up the temperature at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground, come May 2nd, as they vie for the title of Miss ‘Big Bold and Beautiful’, after a two-year hiatus. The event is an important one on the calendar of the Linden Town Week of activities, which begins on April 26th. And judging from past, ‘big girls’ pageants hosted by the “Triple B Promotions”, Lindeners can certainly look forward to huge entertainment from these vivacious and incredible women. On pageant night, the patrons can anticipate being entertained with a sizzling introductory dance, choreographed by the effervescent ‘Biggie’ (Norma Allicock), thoughtprovoking and tantalizing talent pieces, and the ladies
of course strutting their stuff in fashionable casual, sports and evening wear. Representing the exotic species of wood from which Linden derived many street names, Latoya Carryl will be wearing the sash of Miss Mora, Michelle Wills (Miss Bulletwood), Juan Regis (Miss Moraballi), Natasha Reynolds (Miss Crabwood), Carol Prince (Miss Greenheart), Samantha Williams (Miss Yuraballi), and Geneva Barrett (Miss Silverballi). Cammile Cummings, one of the coordinators of the Triple B Promotions, is very optimistic that the pageant will attract the usual massive turnout. The event, which initially had started out as merely an exhibition, progressed to a pageant in 2009, and continued in 2010, but then there was a two year hiatus, with no pageant being held in 2011 and 2012. Cummings pointed out in a recent interview that the
Six of the seven contestants
aim of the pageant is to showcase ‘big’ women in a positive light, so that people
could become cognizant of the fact that “big can be beautiful”. “It is our belief that full-figured women are worth more than the general concept that they are showcased to evoke laughter from an audience, but rather to display their beauty, talent, fashion and charisma. This year, we treat our ladies with the same level of dignity and elegance that
they justly deserve.” Those sentiments were echoed by Marilyn Bourne, another coordinator of the ‘Big and Bold’ event. The intelligence segment of the pageant was held last Tuesday at Jacs Diner on Republic Avenue. Cummings expressed satisfaction that the women had obviously done their research, and pointed out
that the level of intelligence displayed was very high. Two guest models, Shaundelle Parks and Dianna Ross, are expected to add more spice to the event, while the winner will be crowned by Ms. Parks, who is the reigning queen. Yesterday the delegates undertook the task of enhancing the Cenotaph, as part of their community
Fearless and vigilant... (From page 28) strength and the ability to deal with adversity. She pointed out that she came back to Air Services in 2011 with a wider understanding of our aviation industry. Last year, after 26 years in the industry, she received an award from Transport Minister, Robeson Benn for being the first female pilot to fly a Cessna Grand Caravan in Guyana. This recognition is one of the highlights of her career, but Feriel does not intend to stop aspiring to greater heights. For now, and not a limitation by any means, she is enjoying flying Air Services Limited’s TwinEngine Islander almost daily around Region Eight. Piloting areas such as the South Pakaraimas, Kato and Kaieteur has become an integral part of her life. Speaking about her daily routine at Mahdia, Feriel said, “I wake at 06:00hrs every day, pull my curtains, look at the mountains…If the mountains are visible, I fly.
Receiving an award from Transport Minister Robeson Benn You need good weather to fly in Region Eight. The weather changes frequently, but you need to make a judgement because your passengers depend on you to transport them safely”. Independence, strength,
fearlessness and the required caution keep this deserving ‘special person’ focused on contributing to the local domestic aviation industry which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year.
Sunday April 21, 2013
The Abigail Column Sometimes it’s essential to let a friend hit rock bottom
DEARABIGAIL, My friend, ‘Cathy’ had been unhappily married for three years, met a man in at a party and began having a casual affair with him. She was not very discreet about it — carrying condoms in her purse and leaving her BlackBerry out with e-mails from the man on it. Her husband found out and left her. They are now going through a difficult divorce. Her ex does not want to help her out financially — they have a young son who is
having a terrible time dealing with it, and she is falling apart. She has always been overly thin and now she is much more so. She is heavily leaning on me for help and I (a) don’t know how to help her and (b) have some anger toward her for putting herself in this situation. I told her the affair was a really bad idea. She sees me as one of her only friends and is constantly asking me to come over. What can I do to both help her and distance myself from this? Worried Friend Dear Worried Friend, Even if you didn’t have other responsibilities,
providing her with a steady supply of friendly consolation would be exactly the wrong kind of help for her right now. Someone who is (1) falling apart and (2) continuing to behave in a self-destructive way is choosing to dodge the hard work of getting well. In hard-luck situations, a friendly shoulder is what friendship is about, but the fallout from hard living demands a different approach. As apparently one of her only friends, you’re the one in a position to take that different approach: Tell her clearly that you’re just a plain old friend, and what she needs is someone with the credentials to help her get well.
Sunday April 21, 2013 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19): Secrets may be revealed today, changing the dynamics between you and a loved one. However, this surprising disclosure could create an uneasy awkwardness as the unexpected information is digested. TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20): A friend or coworker may share an intriguing scheme with you today. Your initial impulse is to avoid getting involved, especially if the plan is too unconventional. GEMINI (May 21–June 20): It seems as if others expect you to solve every problem that crops up today, but you could be distracted by a larger issue that you would also rather avoid. CANCER (June 21–July 22): You’re longing for a change to your regular routine, making it tough to settle down today and fulfill your obligations. LEO (July 23–Aug. 22): Deeply rooted emotions can have an immediate impact on your day because of an unexpected disclosure from someone close to you. Although listening makes good sense, you may not realize the consequences of truly hearing their words. VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): You want to express your changing moods now that the Moon is back in your sign, even if your feelings don’t conform to other people’s expectations.
LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): There is no way to foresee the intense issues that might come up today if someone shares an amazing story with you. You need to have an open mind to understand the surprising information you may hear or you won’t be able to intelligently respond to the exciting situation. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21): Your schedule could fall apart today like a house of cards, especially if you attempt to squeeze too much into one day. SAGIT (Nov. 22–Dec. 21): You could be extremely creative now if you don’t try too hard — and inspiration can strike when you least expect it. CAPRICORN(Dec.22–Jan.19): It’s a perfect day to take some time for yourself, even if you still have other obligations to manage. However, the daily grind has to come to a stop for a while so you can recharge your batteries. AQUARIUS(Jan.20–Feb.18): A highly charged emotional atmosphere could make you overly anxious. There may be too much happening in your immediate environment and there seems to be little you can do to turn it down. PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20): You may be required to pick up an unexpected expense today, whether it’s a surprise repair bill or an impulsive purchase.
NCN CHANNEL 11 05:00hrs - Newton Gospel*** 05:30hrs -Tomorrow’s World 06:00hrs - Feature 07:00hrs - Voice of Victory 07:30hrs - Voice of Islam 08:00hrs - Lifting Guyana to greatness 08:30hrs - The Naked Truth 09:00hrs - Bollywood 60 Min 10:00hrs - President’s Diary 10:30hrs - Homestretch Magazine 11:00hrs - Round table 12:00hrs - Family Forum 12:30hrs - Catholic Magazine 14:00hrs - IPL- Daredevils vs Indians 17:00hrs - NCN Week in Review 17:30hrs - IPL- Kings XI vs Warriors 20:30hrs - GT&T Jingle & Song - English 23:30hrs - African Moves 24:30hrs - Movie MTV CHANNEL 14/ CABLE 65 06:30hrs - Prayag Vanie 07:00hrs - Toolsie Persaud Ltd. Bhajan Hour 07:30hrs - CNN News 08:00hrs - Christ for the Nation 08:30hrs - Puran Brothers: Shiva Bhajans 09:00hrs - Muslim Melodies with Al Madina Exclusive
09:30hrs - Teleview Kutbah 10:00hrs - DJ Stress Indian Movie 13:00hrs - Garam Geet 14:00hrs - The Variety Show with WR Reaz 15:00hrs - Sitcom 16:00hrs - Bollywood Sensation with Kavita 17:00hrs - Birthdays & Other greetings 17:15hrs - Death Announcements/ In memoriam 17:30hrs - CNN News 18:00hrs - Sitcom 18:30hrs - DNA TV Show 19:00hrs - JKS TV Show 19:30hrs - BBC World News 20:00hrs - Sangeet Mehfil 21:00hrs - Indian movie: Midnight Children DTV CHANNEL 8 09:25 hrs. Sign On 09:30 hrs. Turning Point 10:00 hrs. Kickin’ It 10:30 hrs. Lab Rats 11:00 hrs. The Amazing Spider-Man 11:35 hrs. Avengers 12:00 hrs. Movie: Dennis the Menace Strikes Again 13:15 hrs. Movie: The Smurfs 15:00 hrs. Movie: Steam Boy 17:00 hrs. Minute to Win It 18:00 hrs. Catholic Magazine (Faith in Action) 18:30 hrs. Know Your Bible
19:00 hrs. Greetings and Announcements 20:00 hrs. Once Upon a Time (New Episode) 23:00 hrs. Movie: Remember Sunday 23:00 hrs. Sign Off
Guides are subjected to change without notice
Sunday April 21, 2013
Int’l press to pressure Govt. to enact Freedom of Information Act The International Press Institute (IPI) will be pushing Government to enact Guyana’s Freedom of Information Act. If needs be, the international body will encourage trade partners to apply pressure to ensure that Government enacts the Law. This is according to Alison Bethel McKenzie, Executive Director of IPI, during an Investigative Journalism workshop held at Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Office, Georgetown yesterday. During the workshop the issue of limited access to information from Government Offices and commercial entities was highlighted by local journalists as one of the hindrances to investigative journalism. However, this situation was already known to the IPI. McKenzie said that IPI became aware of the challenge to obtain information in Guyana through a colleague here. But, the organization is well aware that while Governments pass the Freedom of Information Acts it is not uncommon for them not to enact them. Governments sometimes pass
the Freedom of Information Act as a façade but they do not follow through, McKenzie added. She said that representatives of IPI spoke to Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Attorney General Anil Nandlall and other Members of Parliament about the need to actually enact the Freedom of Information Law, so persons could access information and allow transparency. According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), the Access to Information Bill was passed in the National Assembly on September 15, 2011. “The Bill seeks to set out a practical regime of right to information for persons to secure access to information under the control of public authorities in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government and public authorities and for the appointment of the Commissioner of Information,” the GINA bulletin stated. According to McKenzie, IPI will be working with the Association of Caribbean Media Workers and the local journalists association to push Government to actually
Alison Bethel McKenzie, Executive Director of IPI (front centre) and members of the local media fraternity at yesterday’s workshop implement the Law. She is optimistic that the Law will be implemented but it will take some time. “I think it is something that will be done. I think it might be slightly slow in happening but we think they had to hear it all to actually get the Freedom of Information Act. It takes more than actually having it. You have to do something so that it works. So we will push them on that,” the Executive Director said. IPI is ready to apply pressure to ensure Government complies with its request. Citing an example of possible pressure the
organization could use, she said access to information is part of human rights discussions and IPI could encourage countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom that trade with Guyana to pressure Government into enacting the Law. She stressed that IPI has been successful using that approach in the past. However, McKenzie is hopeful that this is something on Government’s radar and Guyana will enact the Law without force. Other hindrances raised by the local media fraternity
to investigative journalism were fear (particularly drug related articles), time and logistics noting Guyana’s rough hinterland terrain. The 90-minute workshop gave an overview of what investigative journalism entails. Time the reporter has to invest in an investigative piece and resources of the media house are determining factors of the outcome of investigative journalism. McKenzie said that investigative journalism takes time but in some cases like the Boston bombing daily investigations are presented
to the world. According to the Executive Director, the basic rules of investigative journalism are listening to people, looking at news value, keeping one’s eyes and ears open, getting the facts, fitting the facts together, checking the facts, evidence, confidential sources, threats and working with the law. As an observation McKenzie said that a lot of stories in the local media do not have context. She said that background is needed to give readers a sense of how important the contents of the article are.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Junior Chamber International: empower young people to create positive change Economic opportunity is the basis of development of every community and the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Guyana will be resuscitated to active duty in the quest to provide developmental opportunities to empower young people to create positive change. The Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) is seeking membership from persons between the ages of 18 and 40 to assist in developing the leadership and entrepreneurship skills of young men and women countrywide. According to Past President/Executive Assistant of JCI West Indies, Nasoya Chapman, using the JCI Active Citizen Framework, JCI members can take action
through projects that provide economic opportunity within the community. Adding that the JCI Active Citizen Framework fosters entrepreneurship, she said that at a time when the world struggles with a global economic recession, rising youth unemployment, economic stagnation and poverty, there is a dire need for increased economic opportunities. “Every society has its own needs; those needs are determined through a needs assessment and analysis. In communities where there is a need for fostering and developing entrepreneurs, JCI members are strongly encouraged to develop projects that will respond to this need within the context
Woman fraudster on the run jailed for two years ‘in absentia’ A woman who decided to plan a scheme to fleece her one time nephew-in-law is now on the run and an arrested warrant issued for her arrest after she was jailed in her absence for obtaining money by fraud. The fraudster, Stacy Ross, 23, of No 41 Village and of Lot 5 Weldaad, West Coast Berbice, was charged with between Thursday April 28 and Thursday November 3, 2011 she obtained from Harley Linger, a caretaker at the Guyana Teachers Union, New Amsterdam, the sum of $200,000, claiming to be in a position to secure a house lot for him at the Glasgow Housing Scheme East Bank Berbice. She was found guilty by Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo in the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court and sentenced to two years in jail. However during the trial the woman who was on bail, had stopped attending court and her bail was escheated. She was not in court when the verdict was announced and an arrest warrant was issued for her arrest and incarceration. The man, during the trial, testified that he knew the woman who used to live with his uncle. He stated that during March 2010 she contacted him, asking him if he is interested in acquiring a house lot at the Glasgow Housing Scheme. After he answered in the affirmative she told him that she was in a position to acquire one for him at the cost of $200,000. She told him that
he must have an account at Scotia Bank where the money was to be deposited, which he hadn’t. The woman then told him that she had an account at the bank, and he can acquire the money and give her to put in her account to begin the process. The man told the court that he subsequently acquired the money from his other accounts and gave to the woman. During the same November 2011 he received a call telling him that a small loan has been approved at Scotia Bank in Georgetown and that he must visit to collect same. He stated that when he visited the bank he learnt that the information was false. He subsequently received another call from the woman telling him that the process has almost been completed and that he must gave her his Republic Bank and NBS bank account numbers and $30,000. He must also give her his particulars so that she could look after his birth certificate also. She promised to accompany him to the two banks to complete the transactions. The man said he became suspicious and informed the police who accompanied him to the Republic Bank in New Amsterdam and acting on description provided, arrested the woman who was waiting in the precincts of the bank. She was subsequently taken into custody where she denied having an arrangement with Linger. She was subsequently charged.
of the JCI framework. Fostering entrepreneurship is developing people who have the ability to manage or assume risk in business or enterprise. Across the world, JCI Local Organizations have a rich history of creating an environment that has enabled businesses to thrive.” Miss Chapman noted. She said that the organisation offers unique business and life skills training for young people most of which cannot be found in Universities. Past Vice President of JCI local organisation Shawn Austin explained that there is a limit to what governments are able to achieve in society, even as the organisation would cooperate with government. JCI members take on the challenges around them through local development initiatives. These tailored projects require members to use strategic and critical planning to craft creative solutions to the problems of their communities. Member of JCI Guyana, Cordel Joseph, also noted that some of the plans in the
(From left) Past President/Executive Assistant of JCI West Indies, Nasoya Chapman, Past Vice President of JCI local organisation Shawn Austin and member of JCI Guyana Cordel Joseph. pipeline include programmes to combat poverty, mentorship programmes where in school youths will be guided, working with the police traffic department to resuscitate road safety patrols, visiting homes and donating items to the less fortunate, and partnering with other NGO’s to develop communities.
The project revolves around relevant job skills training, micro financing, or business incubation; projects will only be meaningful if JCI can measure the impact of the actions taken. C o n s e q u e n t l y, i t i s necessary to define clear objectives, set measureable targets and be able to evaluate and monitor progress.
JCI is a membership-based nonprofit organization of 200,000 young people aged 18 to 40 in 5,000 communities and more than 100 countries around the world. JCI is also currently a member of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. JCI Guyana has been in existence for 46 years.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Radio frequency give away is to control the minds of Guyanese - AFC Leader Radio frequency give away is to control the minds of Guyanese—AFC Leader Leader of the Alliance for Change, Khemraj Ramjattan, says that the main reason that the Jagdeo administration gave out radio frequency licences to friends, families and cronies was so that they could dominate the airwaves with their Propaganda. Ramjattan was responding to questions about the process which Jamaica has taken to publicly auction off their frequencies. According to Ramjattan, the idea which Jamaica has adopted is something which happens around the world. According to Ramjattan, that process which was adopted could help bring money into the country. “What Jamaica did was to look for a means to earn revenue, but in Guyana they use the worst practices in their incestuous self,” Ramjattan said. The administration never sought to look at what was beneficial for the ordinary Guyanese, but what was beneficial for the “cabal”. He further told Kaieteur News that it would have been much better had the government
auctioned off the radio frequencies and this would have created some balance in the distribution. Ramjattan stated that the auction process is nothing new to Guyana, since the government has done this several times within the Forest industry. According to Ramjattan the prospective buyers would have balanced programming, but instead they gave it to their families, friends and cronies. Ramjattan stated that the main purpose of handing out the frequencies to friends, families and cronies was so that they could control the minds of Guyanese. “They want to confuse Guyanese with all those programmes since it would be dominating the airwaves….they want to spread their propaganda. Last week it was reported that Jamaica publicly indicated that it is preparing to auction some of these limited resources, which is the spectrum. Jamaica’s Spectrum Management Authority, similar to that of Guyana’s National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU), has said it will be selling to the highest bidders two 700megahertz (MHz) band
licences to improve Internet penetration in that country. It will highlight how valuable Jamaica considers its spectrum, a resource that is jealously guarded worldwide by Governments because of the power of radio, TV and the internet. Potential investors will have to make a deposit of between US$2.7M ($540M) to US$3M ($600M), depending on the band they are going after, just to be considered for the bid, according to the Jamaican Observer yesterday. The report disclosed that the authority will require a bank guarantee or bond in the amount of 50 per cent of the proposed purchase price. The more expensive licence will cost at least US$5M more. Aside from the US$85M that the Jamaican government hopes to get from the sale this year, the Government also wants to see spending on ICT infrastructure increase from the US$80M spent annually now, while boosting commercial activity and education through information technology. Bids will have to include a business plan, which details the percentage population coverage after each year of
expected rollout as well as the anticipated capital expenditure. The spectrum being sold allows for the provision of 4G technology, such as Long Term Evolution (LTE). LTE is a highly effective nextgeneration mobile technology that allows delivery of data, Internet applications, video streaming, mobile TV and music downloads and streaming to mobile devices in higher definition than is possible with existing 3G technologies and at speeds that rival current domestic fixed broadband connections. The issue of limited spectrum has also been a cause of much concern in Guyana after former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, used his executive powers to grant several persons, including his party’s newspaper, The Mirror, five frequencies to broadcast across the country. Representing Mirror is Dharamkumar Seeraj, a PPP Parliamentarian. This happened days before his Presidential term was due to end in November 2011 when General Elections were held. The move has widely been seen as carefully planned by Jadgeo and the ruling party to control the airwaves of
Guyana. Jagdeo also granted five frequencies to his personal friend, Dr. Ranjisinghi “Bobby” Ramroop and another five to Omkar Lochan, Permanent Secretary of Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud. Persaud happens to be the nephew-in-law of Jagdeo. The former President did not stop there. He also granted two television cable licences to close associates– Brian Yong and Vishok Persaud. Persaud is the son of the late former Government Parliamentarian and Agriculture Minister, Reepu Persaud, while Yong was a candidate for the ruling party during the 2011 elections. Reportedly, the 2.5 Gigahertz band to Persaud and Yong are capable of offering other services, including catering to smart phones and the popular tablets computers. Radio and telephone services could also be offered using this band. There have been several protests by local media houses which had applications in for radio licences but were inexplicably sidelined when Jagdeo made his decision. There are indications that no
procedures were followed and that the former President merely used his executive powers, knowing he had days left in office. The Donald Ramotar administration, hard pressed to recall the licences, has defended Jagdeo, saying he did nothing wrong. The administration was silent on accusations that one businessman – Maxwell Thom- was granted a licence although he was facing financial problems in 2011. One of the criteria was for the applicant to show that he/ she has the finances. Both Kaieteur News and Stabroek News, two independent newspapers, were sidelined by Jagdeo. They and others are now being asked to submit fresh applications. Radio and television licences have been a sore issue between the Opposition and Government with an agreement brokered in early 2000 for no new ones until reforms in the broadcasting legislations. This was passed in the National Assembly during 2011. Jagdeo did not wait on the mandated Broadcast Authority to handle the licence despite the new law.
Sunday April 21, 2013
== THE FREDDIE KISSOON COLUMN ==
Radio licences and dictatorship When Bharrat Jagdeo in 2011, still as President and months before a general election, invented a circus called ‘Day of Appreciation’ at the National Stadium, some surprising names offered praise to Jagdeo. Just before that general election, I took objection to some comments about the positive accomplishments of the Jagdeo Government The people making those comments and others may have seen the Jagdeo Government in a context that critics of the PPP Government didn’t, thus their praise. Why should one argue with that? But what about the radio licences and the frequencies that Jagdeo virtually gave away with incestuous glee just before his presidency ended? Contrast the position of those making the comments with our legendary commentator, Ian Mc Donald. Mr. Mc Donald does not offer political opinions. He never does. Perhaps he sees his role as that of a literary expert. Perhaps he says that a country needs all types of commentators and he will do what he knows best – literary criticism. Ian Mc Donald did comment on the radio licence insanity in his weekly Stabroek News page. As a decent Guyanese, he probably felt that Mr. Jagdeo had crossed the line. But it wasn’t only Mr. Mc Donald; ‘Kit’ Nascimento also voiced his condemnation. Mr. Nascimento has generally been a silent supporter of Mr. Jagdeo’s regime over the years. Maybe for him, Mr. Jagdeo had gone way too far. The radio licence scandal will not move people like
Rickey Singh, an aging, fading journalist who claims that President Forbes Burnham’s authoritarian rule caused him to seek asylum in Barbados. Since the PPP came to power in 1992, Singh has been a pro-government columnist with the Chronicle, heaping weekly panegyrics on the PPP Government but he ain’t coming back to Guyana because no matter how bad Burnham was, Singh knows that Guyana is sitting on a volcano. Not a natural volcano, but one that Singh’s favourite CARICOM government literally brought into existence. I once saw a great Italian movie in which the male lead star told the female lead star that the world is mad so live life to the fullest and forget about everything else. How right he was. Mad may be too mild a word to use to describe the world. Can the world be taken seriously when the University of the West Indies left all the excellent journalists in the Caribbean and awarded of all people, Rickey Singh, an honorary doctorate? Can people have faith in the world when the United Nations made Bharrat Jagdeo “Champion of the Earth?” When that happened, if a survey was taken among Guyanese it would have revealed that most Guyanese see the UN as a big global mockery. Mr. Jagdeo, at the time he collected his prize, presided over a country whose capital was the most foul smelling and dirtiest in the entire world. The people who gave Jagdeo that gift would not dare to continue to walk down any street in Georgetown once they took a glance at what was in front of them.
The famous R& B singer Lou Rawls sang a song titled “Trade Winds.” That is his song I like the best, because of its philosophical base. Here is the line that exposes the hypocrisy of the University of the West Indies, the United Nations and the world: “Children both rich and poor They’re searching for the truth And if they don’t find it God help tomorrow’s youth.” As the 21st century
moves on, young people, both rich and poor, don’t respect traditional institutions in their own country and in the world. They don’t respect their elders whose values they see are built on a foundation of double standards, hypocrisy and deceit. Mr. Jagdeo himself didn’t give a damn about the words of Sir Shridath Ramphal or the generosity of the United Nations. Just before he left office, he removed the one radio station farce and literally gave away radio licences to his friends,
relatives and PPP members. Mr. Jagdeo must have said to himself, “What do I care about the UN or Ramphal, the world is like this, nobody is better than any other.” There are countries that pour money into Guyana to help it, but look what the rulers of Guyana do – they trample on the very essence of freedom. Aren’t these countries going to act now? Will they remain silent on what Jagdeo did with the radio licences? The radio licence circus is an act of democratic violation that should cause
Frederick Kissoon the IDB, World Bank and other multilateral institutions, the ABC countries and yes, CARICOM, to intervene. The PPP Government has become a naked dictatorship.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Immigration TALK: Immigration News For Our Community Immigration Bill Introduced by Senate Attorney Gail Seeram (Part 2) By Gail S. Seeram Amendments to Family Immigration & Elimination of Brother/Sister Sponsorship: Under the new system there will be two family preference categories and they will cover unmarried adult children; married adult children who file before age 31, and unmarried adult
children of lawful permanent residents. The V visa will be expanded to allow individuals with an approved family petition to live in the U.S. and allow certain other family members to visit the U.S. for up to 60 days per year. The Bill eliminates the availability of immigrant visas for siblings of U.S. citizens once 18 months have elapsed since the date of enactment. The bill amends the definition of â€œimmediate relativeâ€? to include a child or spouse of an alien admitted for lawful permanent residence â€“ thereby shortening the current waiting period for an immigrant visa. The Bill amends the existing category for married sons and daughters of citizens of the United States to include only sons and daughters who are under 31 years of age. The Bill eliminates the Diversity Visa Programme. Aliens who were or are selected for diversity immigrant visas for fiscal years 2013 or 2014 will be eligible to receive them. Amendments to Employment Immigration: On the employment green card categories, the Bill exempts the following categories from the annual numerical limits on employment-based immigrants: derivative beneficiaries of employmentbased immigrants; aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; multinational executives and managers; doctoral degree holders in any field; and certain physicians. The Bill increases the percentage of employment visas for skilled workers, professionals, and other professionals to 40 percent, maintains the percentage of employment visas for certain special immigrants to 10 percent and maintains visas for those who foster employment creation to 10 percent. The Bill creates a startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs who seek to emigrate to the United States to startup their own companies. It will raise the base cap of H-1B visas from 65,000 to 110,000 (we a m e n d t h e current 20,000 exemption for U.S. advanced degree holders to be a 25,000 exemption for advanced degree graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
Gail S. Seeram from U.S. Schools). In future years, the H-1B cap can go as high as 180,000. Creation of Guest Worker Programme: The Bill will create a new nonimmigrant classification known as the W-Visa. The W visa holder is an alien having a foreign residence who will come to the US to perform services or labour for a registered employer in a registered position. The spouse and minor children of the W visa holder will be allowed to accompany or follow to join and will be given work authorization for the same period of admission the W nonimmigrant is allowed to be here. The spouse and minor children of the W visa holder may be admitted to the US for the same period and will be given work authorization. The W nonimmigrant will apply to the Secretary of State at a US embassy or consulate in a foreign country to be a certified alien. To be eligible, he or she cannot be inadmissible, has to pass a criminal background check, agree to accept only registered positions in the US and meet any other criteria as established by the Secretary. He or she shall report to his or her initial employment no later than 14 days after first admitted to the US. A certified alien may be granted W nonimmigrant status for an initial period of three years and may renew his or her status for additional three year periods. He or she may not be unemployed for more than 60 consecutive days and must depart the US if he or she is unable to obtain employment. W-visa holders can travel outside the US and be readmitted to the US but cannot be readmitted for longer than the remaining time left in their original visa. The Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act: The Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act (AgJOBS) would allow current undocumented farm workers to obtain legal status through an Agricultural Card Programme. Undocumented farm workers who have made a substantial prior commitment to agricultural work in the United States.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Sunday April 21, 2013
::: Letters to the Sport Editor :::
A Flawed Electoral System Prevailed in the GFF’s AGM DEAR EDITOR, Before I comment on the harsh but sad realities, of the situation that unfolded, in the lead up and to the closure of nominations for the Elections of Office Bearers in the Ordinary Congress of the Guyana Football Federation, that was held on Friday, April 12, 2013 at the Le Meridian Pegasus, which was pronounced as a democratic and transparent process by the representatives of FIFA and CONCACAF. At this critical juncture may, I, offer some timely advice to the losing presidential candidate, Mr. Aubrey “Shanghai” Major, be gracious in defeat, since the forces (hidden) that were against you were more than they were for you! And a crucial and costly mistake that you made was by not resigning as the Organising Secretary (Committee Member) of the GFF, upon receiving the nomination and seconding as a presidential candidate. Suffice it to say that such
a move would have removed any lingering doubts among constituents that at any given time internal pressure could have been exerted on the Secretarial staff, to favour your presidential bid! But this in actuality did occur in hindsight, favouring Mr. Alfred King, when the former third Vice President, a member of King’s slate represented the interest of the GFF, at the Berbice FA’s controversial AGM, in the first instance! This now brings me to the first of many intricate issues: A. What exactly was the role and function of the Electoral Assistance Committee, did they work in collaboration with the GFF, or as a separate entity, devoid of the relevant constitutional requirements for affiliates and associates? B. Why is it the previous chairman, Mr. Juman Yassin resigned, and were attempts made for him to rescind his decision? C. Was it mandatory that all associations and affiliates of the GFF, utilize the
GFA’s formula of convening an Emergency General Council Meeting, in the absence of their respective AGM’s, towards the nomination and voting for candidates? D. Was the decision to suspend the President (ag) of the WDFA, done in accordance to the constitutional requirement of the WDFA? Was Slingerz FC part of the process? Why was the individual’s right to his subsequent appeal overlooked by GFF’s General Secretary? E. Who or whom was responsible for granting fullfledged affiliation and voting rights to the Coaches Association? Since the best of my knowledge – constitutionally, such is only granted at the AGM, Half Yearly or an Emergency General Council Meeting. F. Is the Referees Council, still a legitimate affiliate of the GFF that it’s guided by its own Constitution; elects its own executive and nominates and
seconds its own candidates? Is this compatible in accordance to the FIFA Statutes, of 2012 pertaining to refereeing? G. Was the constitutional requirement in accordance to the GFF, relating to the submission of motions, amendments and most importantly submitting the names of candidates and representatives above board? Wherein a stipulated time frame was set aside i.e. fourteen days, of which any objection(s) thereafter should have been mediated at the earliest opportunity! Editor, the legendary Jamaican, Johnny Nash in one of his acclaimed hit songs. “There are more questions than answers” offers a perfect script, in the entire “Elections of Office Bearers”! Further, “the more I find out the less I know”. With a General Secretary, and an
unconstitutional Deputy, both representing the interest of the footballing fraternity, as guardians and upholders of the Federation’s Constitution. Were they both fair in their articulation, interpretation and judgment of the afore-mentioned issues? Finally with overt politicking being an integral part of the campaign, and the GFF being a signatory to FIFA’s “Say No to RacismKick It out Campaign Globally”, How come a blind eye was turned when the ethnicity of the present 1st Vice President and WDFA President (ag) surfaced? Is this the black man’s redemption, in the “dawn of a new era” that previously presided over the underdevelopment of the sport, in excess of two decades? Meanwhile, with no concise information
forthcoming on the legitimacy of the WDFA’s President (ag) suspension, along with the EDFA’s Emergency General Council Meeting, in relation to nomination(s), seconding and representation, are there ominous signs after the Ordinary Congress that definitely exposed the short comings and unprofessionalism of the GFF, in an impending Constitutional Crisis? In addition to the failure of fully implementing the “ Memorandum of Understanding” between the GFF and GFA, as agreed upon by the representatives of FIFA and CONCACAF, prior to the convening of the Ordinary Congress. By the way can a suspended official be part and parcel of a nomination process and yet still be an attendee? “The more I find out the less I know”! Lester Sealey.
Blackman responds to Bruce Fraser’s letter DEAR EDITOR, Permit me to reply to Mr. Bruce Fraser misconception of the facts and twister of the truth. I have always stated openly that I owed the Guyana Judo Association (G.J.A) and not the Judo Association of Guyana. The facts are as a result of a fundraising event of the sale of T Shirts and stickers. Monies were paid for those sold, the rest were donated to persons who sponsored and promoted the sport, namely: Sidewalk Café’, Humphrey Bakery and Mr. Dale Erskine, Director of Prisons. I stated that I will pay for those that were donated. I have a letter dated 12-12-2008 to the treasurer of the G.J.A and cc to Ivor O’Brian Secretary of the Olympic
Association. I started to pay and in the process of doing so I was called a thief at an executive meeting of which I was a part of, as a result of that I stopped paying and a lawyers letter was sent to the executive member demanding an apology, to date none was forthcoming. These facts and other issues were raised by me at a meeting two days before the AGM by myself and Mr. Andy Moore to Mr. Charles Corbin, Vice President of the Olympic Association. They were not challenged by anyone; in fact Mr. Bruce Fraser and others were angry that these issues were raised. Once again I was nominated for a position in the Executive and I declined, “Is that a person who is afraid”. I had never seen or heard
Why? Why? Why?... From page 51 together, all 370 million of its inhabitants, despite this new attack on its very cohesiveness, even its own edict, that anyone can come to USA and be welcomed! Sport is a great microcosm of that edict. The tens of thousands that started that Boston Marathon last Monday, or the similar throng competing today along the banks of the River Thames, have one thing in common - they are all one, competing, or simply running for fun! Unfortunately, our world is so changed, irrevocably, that nothing that we can do could put that genie of dread back in the bottle. We will all run again. All we can hope is that we do so safely, only for real enjoyment and for fun. Enjoy!
anyone of the Association’s members speak out against all these irregularities before, only myself and Mr. Andy Moore. Mr. Bruce Fraser is it because you are on the executive that you are speaking. Mr. Bruce Fraser and others asked me not to mention this at the AGM, they were afraid that it would not have come off in relation to the facts stated. The Elections were held and only three executive members from each of the clubs voted to put in the new executive, the membership was not present. That is to say the executive members voted themselves and under the present constitution this is not possible, all members from each of the clubs ought to be present. The Balance of the $5M sent to the bank account of the Association at Citizen Bank is $755,455 as at 25-012013. Where is the development of Judo in Guyana, do you see any? The present Association cannot discipline me, because they are illegal and Mr. Bruce Fraser should be the last person to speak about indiscipline. If the process was constitutionally in order they would have been no need to say anything. William Blackman 2nd Dan Black belt Coach
Sunday April 21, 2013
SAMPSON BACK IN BUSINESS -CARIFTA medallists impress By Edison Jefford Local sprint phenom, Jevina Sampson showed signs that she has returned to form yesterday with a dominant performance against CARFITA Games representative, Avon Samuels at the National Youth and Junior Championships at the Police Sports Club Ground. Sampson was plagued with quadriceps injuries last year and early this year, which forced her out of CARIFTA contention. She ran 58.7 seconds to win the Under-18 Girls’ 400m against Samuels who ran 59.1 and Natricia Hooper, who posted 59.8
seconds. Sampson remains one of the most naturally gifted and talented female athletes at age 15 after she burst onto the local scenes three years ago. She told Kaieteur Sport after the race that she was not thoroughly satisfied with her performance yesterday. “The race was good, but I felt I could’ve done better. I’m now returning from my injury so that’s one of the reasons I didn’t push myself maybe,” the Running Braves Athletics Club athlete stated as she tried to compose herself following the gruelling event. Sampson’s drive phase
Was Don Fletcher’s... From page 54 squad as Guyana sought its first Caricom Championship title. The Land of many waters reached the finals for the first time but succumbed to Barbados. Although Fletcher was not a prolific scorer, his defence and contribution in the locker room proved invaluable. He along with club mate Sean Semple and Raven’s Edgar (Bol) Thomas were recommended to Dillard University for Basketball Scholarships, but Fletcher declined because of his studies at the University of the West Indies Campus, St. Augustine. His studies at UWI ruled him out of the1995 Caricom Championship in the Bahamas. He was the only Eagles disciple when Guyana placed fourth at the (1996) Caricom
Championship in Trinidad & Tobago. Strange enough this was the last time the St. Andrew’s Parish born Fletcher ever represented the land of the Mighty Kaieteur Falls. Basketball fans in Guyana are still talking about Fletcher’s dunk against the National team in a warm up match 1991 at the National Sports Hall. International Debut 1992 vs Germany’s TTL Bomery at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. International matches: 26 Caricom Championship matches: 14 Career High 12 pts vs D.C Jammers Sports Hall 1996 International Tours: Barbados 1994 Trinidad & Tobago 1996 Brother of Guyana 1992 Olympian Nujuma Fletcher
TTFF president... From page 53 practices in the conducting of business of any o r g a n i s a t i o n s . Accountability, transparency, all inclusiveness—the three pillars of which I intend to move forward with football. I thought the evidence produced was overwhelming,” On the matter of a resolution to the matter involving the 2006 World Cup players, Tim Kee said: “All I can say is that we are on the home-straight with those discussions. I expect that within just a few days we will consummate all the arrangements and agreements. I have had quite some useful discussions with the Soca Warriors representatives, Shaka Hislop and Brent Sancho, and
we were able to come to a common understanding and agreement as to how we should bring closure to this vexatious situation.” Tim Kee said he felt quite good about this latest development with the Soca Warriors because there is no doubt in his mind that they took the field in Germany and made us proud. “That’s history. I feel this whole scenario should not have come to this where there was so much anger, displeasure and hate even. I am very pleased that we are seeing the end of it. Those are our heroes. I hope to forge some relationships with them so that we can bring them into the fold in a true meaningful way so that they can be part of the building process,” he concluded.
was unmatched and her execution off the first turn was perfect. She made up the stagger easily then relaxed against the breeze on the first straight before a usual gust of her phenomenal speed put her ahead in the last 200m for the win. Arenzie Chance won the 400m Boys’ U-18 race in 51.3 seconds. Dequan Vancooten was second in 52.6 seconds while Quacy Simpson (53.8) was third. Selwyn Foster (51.9) won the 400m U-20 race ahead of Calvin Belgrave (52.7) and Kadeem Peters (53.1) respectively. What was supposed to have been the race of the day, the 100m Girls’ U-20 event never occurred after only two athletes had registered. The race was expected to feature CARITA representative, Alita Moore against Ebony Nelson, Tiffany Carto, Letitia Myles and Linden’s Shannon Griffith, among others in a steamy contest. Kevin Abbensetts won the 100m Boys U-20 race in 10.7 seconds while Rennick Burnett was the second place finisher with 10.8 seconds, and Samuel Doris (10.9) third. CARIFTA Games 400m bronze medallist, Jason Yaw won the U-18 Boys 100m in 10.8 seconds ahead of Carlos Trinidad, who had 10.9 seconds and Rondel Gibson 11.4 seconds. CARIFTA 200m U-17 bronze medallist, Tirana Mitchell let herself down when she arrived at the venue late for the 100m Girls U-18 race. Mitchell was unfortunately not among the lot who were under starters’ orders for the race when it was officially called. Onasha Rogers took home the event in 12.4 seconds while Onika Eastman
I’M BACK! A less than 100% fit, Jevina Sampson makes a statement yesterday at the Police Sports Club Ground with a comfortable win in the U-18 Girls’ 400m race ahead of CARIFTA Games representative, Avon Samuels.
Selwyn Foster leans into an easy win in the U-20 Boys’ 400m race yesterday at the National Youth and Junior Championships. (13.1) was second and Abieky Smith (14.0) third. Orin Prince won the U-18 Boys 1500m in 4:38.5, as Samuel Demingo (4:40.8) finished second and Kevon Park (4:43.8) third. CARIFTA Games 1500m
gold and 800m silver medallist, Cassy George made light work of the field in the 1500m Girls U-18 race yesterday. George won the race in 5:04, 18 seconds ahead of Cassie Kirton and 50 seconds ahead
of third placed Shantel Hinds. The National Youth and Junior Championships continues today at the same venue with the 200m and 800m races among the programme of events.
GCA, ECCB weighs in on the ‘Unabated Lawlessness in Demerara Cricket’ The Demerara Cricket Board, despite being served with an injunction to prevent them from holding elections still went ahead with same thus making the board an illegal body. This is according to the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) and the East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB). A release from both organisations stated that on 25 January, 2013, the two major constituent members of the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) – the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) and the East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB) sought and obtained an injunction (No. 2013-HC-DEM-CIV-W26) preventing the holding of elections of the Demerara Cricket Board. Remarkably, the two (2) lesser constituent members of the DCB – the East Bank Demerara Cricket Association (EBDCA) and the West Demerara Cricket Association (WDCA) disregarded that injunction and proceeded to hold illegal elections thus creating an illegal DCB. The release further stated that the unlawful and secretive DCB (the names of the purported Executive have not been made public) together with the Essequibo Cricket Board then held another bout of illegal elections to create an unlawful Guyana Cricket Board. This is the sad state of affairs in which Guyana Cricket finds itself. In 2011, Justice James Bovell-Drakes had injuncted the two (2) factions of the DCB. So, for three (3) years now there has been no legitimate DCB. This fact has been extensively covered in the local newspapers.
“Persons claiming to be the Executives of the DCB and attempting to run cricket in Demerara by soliciting sponsorship or in any way perform any function or duty of the DCB will be in contempt of court. Businesses, groups or individuals who are desirous of contributing to cricket by way of sponsorship or otherwise are advised to be very careful of their involvement as they may be unwittingly supporting an illegal regime,” the release stated. It is against this backdrop that the decision of the HandIn-Hand Mutual Fire Insurance Company Ltd to put a hold on their sponsorship of the SecondDivision Competition in Demerara is highly admirable. Hand-in-Hand, which has been sponsoring cricket in Demerara for over thirty (30) years, has prudently ensured that its good name and equally good corporate standing do not get into the tangled web of the ongoing cricket fiasco. In the present circumstance (the absence of a legal DCB) the GCA and the ECCB, mindful of our obligation to the cricket and the cricketers, would be prepared to participate in any cricket competition that is properly organised through a competent and fair process by an acceptable oversight body. We wish to record our condemnation of the many illegal and dissident attempts to undermine the wellintended parliamentary process by some misguided individuals who are clearly preoccupied with hijacking
our cricket. The GCA and the ECCB take this opportunity to reiterate our support for the parliamentary process which is expected to bring a permanent resolution to the chaos, confusion and illegalities that have consumed our dear national game, the release informed. President of the ECCB Bissoondial Singh said it is highly objectionable that this illegal DCB has intentionally marginalised the major Associations – the GCA and the ECCB. “The DCB is attempting to take over the cricket in these areas by directly approaching their clubs and even selecting their teams. The constitution of the DCB directs that each constituent member must have a representative on the Selection Committee and the Competitions Committee”, added Singh. Singh argued that the DCB under the purported presidency of Raj Singh is illegal and has embarked on a series of reprehensible activities including blatant disregard for the court, providing misleading information to sponsors, the hijacking of cricket in Demerara and, in general, creating disorder in the cricket structure which is affecting the decent and fair governance of the game as well as the standard of the cricket played. In as much as the Government of Guyana is desirous of resolving this highly-charged and lengthy cricket impasse, it must not be done at the expense of the bona fide constituent members and the relevant constituents.
Sunday April 21, 2013
GCB\ Limacol Cup Inter County U-15 tourney...
Demerara, President’s XI take first innings points Demerara and the GCB President’s XI grabbed first innings points from Berbice and Essequibo respectively, when the first day of the third and final round of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)\ Limacol Cup inter county U-15 competition ended yesterday. At Bourda, Demerara made 151-6 off their allotted 38 overs after they were inserted by Berbice. Bhaskar Yadram and Steve Campbell added 36 for the first wicket before the solid looking Yadram was caught for 18. Campbelle and Clevon Mc Ewan then featured in a second wicket partnership of 48 which proved to be the biggest partnership of the innings before Mc Ewan was run out for 26. Campbell made 28 (2x4) while Timothy Mc Almont was top scored with 41 (4x6) as left arm spinner Joel Seetaram snared 3-42 from 12 overs. Berbice in reply scored 111-8 in their 38 overs. Adrian Sukwah led with 45 (4x4) while Steve Deonarine made 17 and Matthew Deonarine 15 not out. Ashmead Nedd captured 3-30 from 14 overs and Ronaldo Mohamed 2-16 from 5. With a first innings lead of 40, Demerara were 35 with out loss at stumps, batting a second time; they have an overall lead of 75. Yadram
Raymond Perez Jnr retired hurt on 16 while Campbell is on 14 and Juddell McAllister on 2. At DCC, the President’s XI closed the day on 26 without loss after facing 10 overs in their second innings with Raymond Perez on 17 and Darshan Persaud on 05. Earlier the President’s XI batted first and posted 145-5 from their allocation of 38 overs. Perez who was dropped twice early in his innings led with 47 (3x4) while his opening partner Darshan Persaud stroked 36 (5x4); the pair put together 91 for the opening stand. Vickram Talmakund chipped in with 36 (2x4,2x6) not out. Spinner Beesham Moses put the brakes on the President’s XI scoring with tidy bowling as he finished with 4-49 from 10 overs. Essequibo in their first
Timothy Mc Almont innings managed 85-8 in their 38 overs. Christopher Latchman scored 23 (4x4) while Azeemul Khan made 16 and Eric Gobin 13. Richie Loaknauth claimed 3-24 from 13 overs, Darshan Persaud 222 from 10 overs and Talmakund 2-15 from 7 overs. Both matches continue today. (Zaheer Mohamed)
GCC second division team donate prize money to club
Manager of GCC Rudolph Singh receives the prize from captain of the second division team Devon Lord in the presence of other members. The Georgetown Cricket Club second division team which took the runner up spot in the recently concluded Georgetown Cricket Association\ Noble
House Sea Foods second division 2 day tournament recently donated the prize money ($60,000) they received from the competition to the club.
Sunday April 21, 2013
GNRA Fullbore Championships – Final Day By Franklin Wilson The final day of the Guyana National Rifle Association (GNRA) National Fullbore championships is anticipated to see some sizzling exchanges in both the X and O Classes with not much separating the leading marksmen in both classes. When the final shot was fired at the end of the second day of competition yesterday at the Timehri Rifle Ranges, situated at Yarrowkabra on the Linden Soesdyke, Highway, veteran Ransford Goodluck (214 Points 19 V Bulls) maintained the upper hand; slim though it may be over his fierce rivals, Lennox Braithwaite (213 Points 18 V Bulls) and defending champion Mahendra Persaud (213 Points 12V Bulls). And while the X-Class featuring the big guns usually commands all attention and excitement, the O-Class is
3-way X-Class battle between Goodluck, Braithwaite & Persaud - Stuart & Ramalho in O-Class X-Class Name Ransford Goodluck Lennox Braithwaite Mahendra Persaud Dylan Fields Ryan Sampson Dane Blair O-Class Terrance Stuart Leo Ramalho Charles Deen Peter Persaud Everad Nelson
300 Range 48-7 49-6 50-3 48-1 45-2 39-2
600 Range 35-5 34-2 34-0 31-3 32-0 32-2
Total 83-12 83-8 84-3 79-4 77-2 71-4
Overall Aggregate 214-19 213-18 213-12 202-10 192-4 186-8
46-2 44-0 42-3 44-2 28-0
32-1 34-2 32-2 32-1 23-1
78-3 78-2 74-5 76-3 51-1
198-6 197-9 193-13 191-4 146-6
also going to see a pulsating finish also in the race for national glory. Defending champion in this category Lt. Col. Terrance Stuart (198 points 6-V Bulls) will take a slim one point lead into today’s final day just ahead of Leo Ramalho (197 points 9 VBulls). The day’s action commenced in overcast conditions with light drizzles and left to right winds greeting the competitors.
Conditions were described as the best for the year to date and it surely set the platform for an exhilarating day of action. As the day matured, the clouds drifted away with hazy sunshine taking its place, much to the delight of all. Shooters competed at the 300 (2 sighters & 10 Shots) and 600 (2 sighters & 7 Shots) Yards Ranges. Persaud shot the possible 50 Points at the
Is the Orangestein land the GFF’s? By Rawle Welch The damning 113-page report presented by Head of CONCACAF’s integrity committee, Sir David Simmons to the CONCACAF Ordinary Congress in Panama of Friday that revealed the underhanded dealings and fraud committed by former FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner, in his handling of the affairs of the regional football body only served to confirm the suspicions of many within the Caribbean and local football fraternities. Simmons, a former Barbados chief justice, disclosed that Warner and Chuck Blazer, former general secretary of CONCACAF, “were fraudulent in their management” of the Confederation’s activities and used their offices for personal gain and many here in Guyana should be pleading with CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb to have Simmons, a former Barbados Chief Justice come to Guyana to conduct a similar probe into what transpired during the reign of the previous executive. According to Simmons, “this is a sad and sorry tale in the life of CONCACAF, a tale of abuse and position of power when persons who assisted in bringing the organisation profitability, enriched themselves at the
expense of their own organisation. There are lessons to be learnt when you read through the 113 page report: Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the ramifications of the tragic experiences that made the investigation a historic necessity.” Perhaps, the time is right for us to follow the path of CONCACAF and initiate an investigation into the Mexico Agreement and other suspicious dealings which has become a crucial requirement. Webb said that based on the report, a task force will be formed to look into it further, but shouldn’t that be extended to Guyana to see if there was any similar acts of financial misconduct. Apart from the Mexico fiasco, disclosures should be made about who rightfully owns the title to the land at Orangestein, East Bank Essequibo where the longawaited GOAL Project is anticipated to be built. As the Simmons report indicated, large sums of CONCACAF funds was expended on the Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence on lands privately owned by Warner and which was reported to be no longer an asset of the governing body and “ legal options are being looked at regarding the Centre.”
The question being asked is whether or not Guyana’s GOAL Project could suffer the same fate and it would be instructive for the new President Christopher Matthias to thoroughly investigate who the true owner of the land is, before we have to explore ‘legal options’ to determine the rightful owner on completion. As all affiliates at the Congress were advised to do by Simmons, Matthias must keep in mind the suggestion of the learned gentleman which is to, “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the ramifications of the tragic experiences. Former President Franklin Wilson on his return from a high level Meeting in Zurich, Switzerland last month said, “from the initial US$400,000 that was allocated for the Goal Project I think we have about US$270,000 remaining and of course that will be merged with the US$500,000 based on discussion we had with FIFA in Zurich.” A lot of money has already been wasted and the new management will have to be extremely prudent with what is left to complete the Project which FIFA sees as an integral component to its Development Strategy. Matthias’ first formal press briefing should be an interesting one when he returns.
300 Yards Range along with 3V Bulls with Braithwaite recording a score of 49 Points and 6V Bulls, while Goodluck notched up 48 Points and 7V Bulls. Goodluck was large and in charge at the 600 Yards Range recording a Maximum 35 Points with 5V Bulls for a total of 83-12 to cap another fine day which kept him in front. Lt. Col. Terrance Stuart did enough to maintain his opening day advantage
Lt. Col Terrance Stuart
totaling 78 Points and 3V Bulls, Ramalho securing a similar amount of points with one V Bull less. A pulsating final day of competition is anticipated with shooters competing over the 300, 600 and 1000 Yards
Ranges; the latter range is expected to be the range that will decide who this year’s champions in both classes will be. At this juncture, it is too close to call. Performing duties as Range Officer is Chaflin Velloza.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Canje Secondary School is TGSCOP Inter Secondary U-13 football champions in Berbice By Samuel Whyte Giant Killers Canje Secondary School defied the odds and rose to the occasion to play unbeaten and come out winners by defeating Tutorial Academy Secondary School on penalty kicks to win the fourth edition of the Trinidad and Guyana Sports Club and Outreach Programme (TGSCOP) U-13 Inter Secondary school football competition for schools in the NA/Canje district, which was played on Friday at the All Saints Scott’s Church ground in New Amsterdam. The game was evenly contested with both teams fighting for all their worth to secure the coveted trophy. The CSS unit defied the odds and played unbeaten throughout the competition to book their spot in the final, while TASS who surprisingly did not show up for their first game following a misunderstanding with the date, rebounded well to win their next three games on their
The outstanding players pose with their silverwares.
way to the championship game. With both teams boosting some of the top players in the competition, TASS entered the game as favourites however they could not turn back the challenge of a determined CSS line up. The CSS line up boosted
the likes of tournament most goal scorer (six goals) and MVP Dwayne Alleyne and best defender Shane Hamilton (CSS) and Tutorial Academy Secondary School were depending on the tournament top midfielders and top goal scorers, Joshua Butts with five and Lamar Reid
with four. The top players in the match lived up to expectations showing dominance and brilliance at times which augurs well for the future. However, none were able to hit the limelight with the game ending in an exciting 0-0 draw at fulltime. Penalty kicks were then taken with the two CSS start players finding the back of the nets, while their TASS counterparts were denied giving CSS the 2-0 victory much to the jubilation of their teachers, parents and supports. Earlier in the third place playoff, BEI defeated OSS 20 to cop third place. Scoring for BEI were Mark Porter and Avion Kendall. In the presentation ceremony that followed, the winning CSS team was presented with the Trinidad and Guyana (T&G) Sports Club and Outreach Programme trophy. TASS collected a trophy while third
place BEI were also presented with a trophy. A number of individual awards were also presented to outstanding performers and they went to Dwayne Alleyne of CSS, who was adjudged as the MVP, He also collected the trophy for scoring the most goals – six in the competition. The Best Defender on show was Shane Hamilton also of CSS. Jamal Butts of TASS received the accolades for best midfielder on show. Best Goalkeeper prize went to Gerald Forde of OSS. Leon Swamy of OSS got his rewards for being the most promising player on show, while the most disciplined player on show was Junior Seepersaud of NAMS. Lamar Reid of TASS got a special prize for his outstanding midfield play. The players were presented with trophies, shin pads and hoses among other awards. Speaking at the presentation ceremony,
sponsor Isaac Daniel, a resident of Trinidad, expressed his appreciation and thanks to the schools players, teacher, parents and spectators. He expressed his appreciation to the members of the Hearts of Oaks Football Club who coordinated the competition and was staged incident free. He congratulated the winners and urged the others to try harder next time. Guyana Teacher Union Representative Sean Bristol also expressed his thanks to the sponsor for leaving his home country and travelling to the rural parts of Guyana to organise the tournament, a gesture which he find very selfless and appreciative. He too congratulated the winners and urged the others not to give up. The competition was coordinated by former national Player Neil “Grizzly” Humphrey with assistance from Kenrick Bowry, Seon Bristol and Qwesi Peters.
CSS captain, MVP and most goal scorer receives the winning trophy and Shield from the organisers.
Sunday April 21, 2013
“Why? Why? Why? What is it about sport that attracts these dastardly deeds?” Colin E. H. Croft I have professional associates who are running the Virgin London Marathon 2013 today (Sunday). I am even proud to have sponsored a very tiny, dynamic lady who assists me much when I work in cricket in England, for her prescribed charity, “The Children’s Trust.” I have been involved with that charity too, so she is running for all of us. Great luck, Lucy! Hopefully, she will finish; safely! Nowadays, cramps, sore knees, damaged heels or shin splints are the least of a marathon runner’s problems! I have never had the courage to think of running marathons anywhere, much less to contemplate the actual finish. How does one prepare the mind, not only body, for such a tedious, tiring task? Twenty six miles, three hundred and eighty five yards, is an extremely long distance to cover all at once, running! Last week, folks in Boston could not even finish their race. Indeed, some spectators will never walk again, due to unbelievable idiots interrupting another prestigious road race – Boston Marathon – with so much mayhem and outright destruction, that the difficult aftermath still continues. The entire facade was, and continues to be, desperately sad. As a very tired looking US President Barack Obama suggested after the “Suspect No. 2” was apprehended; “It
One of the bombs goes off during the Boston Marathon as unsuspecting fans, runners and officials mill around before the carnage has been a very difficult week!” That is an understatement, given the situation with that explosion in Texas that killed many, the prolonged gun restrictions debate in Congress, plus that situation in Boston. But, great expectations, and making decisions and determinations, are the privilege, if that makes sense, of rank! It is still seriously numbing to think that all that should have happened last Monday – April 15 – was that families, friends and associates should have been celebrating others finishing that race with hugs, perhaps a few well-deserved beers, only for some attendees to be maimed and killed! What is it about sports that attract those types of almost unreal situations? Even more ironically, three
of the more serene sports – tennis, cricket and now, marathon road racing – have been the sporting examples that have been most upset and decimated by lunatics, fanatics or just jack-asses, relatively recently! What great shambles! Oh, I know that other sports have had their problems too. In 1970’s and 1980’s, whenever Manchester United played Liverpool, or the two Manchester teams, United and City met, or Chelsea played Arsenal, there were guarantees to be several serious fights, and injuries too, after games, courtesy of extremely energetic fans. It was chaos! Always, though, the main question of these is simply that one word query: “Why?” These days, any myriad of answers could be available! When Monica Seles, 19
Action packed softball Cricket at No. 63 Beach today...
Banks Beer softball 10/10 male and female finals to be played The final segment of the Inaugural Banks DIH sponsored, Banks Beer male and female Softball Inter club Beach 10/10 Cricket competition will culminate today at the Number63 Beach Corentyne, Berbice, with play in both the male and female segments. The competition began with some 36 teams competing and it’s now down to the final seven with four in the male and three in the female category remaining. An action packed day is anticipated with some five matches scheduled for the day which is scheduled to get started at 09:00 hrs. The day’s action is expected to bowl off with the two semifinals in the male category and one in the female segment. Among the males the matches scheduled to be played will see Chris Jagdeo Construction 11 of Lower Corentyne coming up against Capo’s 11 of Rosignol West Coast Berbice in what is expected to be a cracker, while the
other game will see Black Bush Polder taking on Hunters of Crabwood Creek for a place in the final. In the female department, the one semifinal will see Blairmont Angels taking to the sward against Yeast Angels with the winners set to oppose Nand Persaud and Company Limited “Karibe Rice Girls” in the finals. The Karibe Rice Girls had earlier booked their place in the final by getting past Port Mourant Angels in their semifinal encounter last Sunday. Many attractive prizes are up for grabs with the winning team set to pocket $150,000, while the second placed will take home $75,000 and third place $50,000. In the female category the winner and runner up will be presented with $50,000 and $30,000 respectively. The teams will also receive trophies while there will also be attractive prizes for outstanding individual players. (Samuel Whyte)
then, and world’s No. 1, in 1993, was stabbed in the back as she sat at her break in the Hamburg tournament, a preamble to the French Open that year, no-one understood why that had happened either, literally out of the blue. It was proved afterwards that the culprit had hoped to
eliminate Seles from the French Open, so that his socalled favorite, German Steffi Graf, would then win the French, thus regaining the No. 1 spot. As the saying goes, “with friends – and supporters – like that, no-one needs enemies!” I remember writing even back then that sports like especially cricket, and a few others, can have similar violent events attracted to them, based on the fact that so much financing and player fees, and betting, were then coming into the sports. In my mind, back then, all it probably would have taken was that some umpire would give an innocent but incorrect decision against a major batsman, allowing someone to lose great funds. Then, anything could happen after that! Little did I know that, to my chagrin, I would be proved correct, even if the reasons for cricket’s most diabolical assault had nothing to do with money!
Colin E. H. Croft In 2009, the most reserved international cricket team, Sri Lanka, were attacked in Lahore, Pakistan as no other sports team, ever, had been attacked. Yet, to answer that “why” question, that was not about money, but simply about fundamentalist and radicals trying to get their way. When that attack had cleared, six policemen and a driver had been killed, while seven cricketers and a coach were injured, some severely so. The one thing that President Obama suggested in his speech last Friday that resonated was that United States of America stood (Continued on page 46)
Sunday April 21, 2013
Intense rivalry envisaged as 12/12 cricket tournament begins Twelve teams of resplendently attired cricketers assembled at the Everest Cricket Club ground yesterday morning when activities in the inaugural 12/ 12 cricket tournament, under the auspices of the Georgetown Softball Cricket League (GSCL), in collaboration with the Everest Cricket Club, got underway. Activities commenced with a march past where several government and cricket officials took the salute as the teams paraded before them. Minister of Works and Hydraulics, Robeson Benn delivered the keynote address minutes after taking the salute. In attendance also were President of the Guyana National Industrial Corporation Sports Club (GNICSC), Seewchan, Guyana Softball League (GSL) President, Halim Khan and Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport, Steve Ninvalle. Mr. Benn depicted cricket as a strong representation of Guyanese morals and values even as he underlined the
benefits derived from participation in the sport. He also urged the organizers to heighten similar activities as they could be the catalyst to development of our youths. The GSCL President lauded the efforts of the organizers towards the realization of the tournament. â€œThis tournament has been in the pipelines for over two years but had to be temporarily shelved because of the precedence given to other tournaments also under the auspices of the GSL,â€? said Mr. Seewchan. He further explained that his executives were merely responding to the wishes of the various team captains, the players and fans. He also expressed gratitude to the many sponsors that had supported the venture. Mr. Ninvalle pointed out that cricket has a propensity of uniting people of ethnic groups as well as diverse cultures. He further congratulated the organizers while extending the hope that the tournament expands to the Caribbean level. Meanwhile, the 12
Minister of Works and Hydraulics Robeson Benn, Deputy Permanent Secretary Steve Ninvalle join other officials prior to the march past activities. competing teams were placed in four groups with Group A comprising Memorex, Herstelling and Smith XI, while Group B is made up of Speed Boat, Recharge and Farm XI. Trophy Stall, Hill Foot Vipers and Universal DVD Titans comprise Group
C, with Cotton Field Wildoats, Bartica Challengers and Regal XI placed in Group D. The winning team will win $600,000 and a trophy, while the runners-up receive $200,000 and a trophy. The best batsman and bowler receive $5,000 and a trophy
each, while the man of the Series will receive a 3 piece suite, a Black and Decker Oven and one Hamilton Beach juice extractor. Several corporate entities have teamed up to make the event a success including Dilo Enterprise, DC
Promotions, Five Star Minerals, El Dorado Trading and Ryan and Reuben Mahadeo (all out of Bartica), Star Party Rentals, Regal Stationery and Computer Supplies, Romain Car Wash, Bank of Baroda, Ravi Sarwan and Trophy Stall.
Sunday April 21, 2013
AMATEUR BOXERS TO RECEIVE MONTHLY STIPEND AS GOA/GBA SIGN HISTORIC DEAL After years of plying their trade devoid of requisite funds to offset the astronomical financial requirements, several local amateur pugilists will be receive valuable relief following an initiative undertaken by officials of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) to contribute a monthly stipend towards the boxers’ livelihood. The first phase of the programme commences on May 1 next and will end around July 31, 2014. The programme is set to continue until the 2016 Brazil Olympics as reviews would be done to sort out any hiccups. The highly significant gesture will see each fighter collecting initially $25,000 in cash along with hampers. Bakewell has already committed to providing hampers of their products. This initial phase will see the boxers collecting about $300,000 per year in cash along with kind, as the GOA expends in the vicinity of $5.4M for the duration of the programme. President of the GOA, Mr. K A Juman Yassin, hosted a press conference at Olympic House, High Street Kingston
yesterday morning to roll out the details pertaining to the initiative and the required conduct of the selectees. He was joined by other GOA officials including Hector Edwards and Ivor O’Brian. President of the Guyana Boxing Association, Steve Ninvalle was also at the function as were GBA Tournament Organizer, Terrence Poole and Cuban Coach, Francisco Roldon Hernandez. Those boxers that have been selected for the first phase of the programme include Imran Khan (bantamweight), Theresa London and Dennis Thomas (middleweights), Stephon Gouveia (lightweight) and welterweights Eon Bancroft and Ron Smith. Mr. Yassin admitted that the stipend is but a fraction of what is truly required to offset the boxers’ monthly expenses but said that he will approach members of the corporate community and request their input in making the package more substantial. He voiced the hope that the business community may contribute food hampers among other necessities towards the
initiative. The GOA boss further explained that the conditions under which the boxers will operate has been well thought out. However, he did not rule out that those statutes may be subjected to future examination with the possibility of enacting changes. “As we progress we may see the need for clarifications, inclusions or moderations,” said Mr. Yassin. He said that he is optimistic that the support will impact positively on the boxers’ lives. Mr. Ninvalle viewed the initiative as significant and an important step in the right direction towards the development of the boxers. He said that his executives have been beseeching the relevant authorities for support of this nature and following the passing of the budget he anticipates a viable input from the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports. Mr. Ninvalle reminded that his entity is the only one to have submitted a document of their intended itinerary for the next few years and is awaiting word from the Sports Minister pertaining to assistance. Meanwhile, the boxers
TTFF president surprised but admits: Evidence overwhelming President of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) Raymond Tim Kee Friday expressed surprise but added the “evidence produced was overwhelming” in reacting to the findings of the Concacaf report by its Integrity Committee headed Sir David Simmons. Simmons provided the Concacafs congress with a detailed report into allegations of financial mismanagement by former president Jack Warner and exgeneral secretary Chuck Blazer based on documents and interviews with 38 people. According to reports coming out of Panama, delegates responded angrily to the report with one describing Warner, the current Minister of National Security, and American Blazer as “white-collar thieves” while the report slammed the pair as “fraudulent in their management” of the regional body. The report mirrored a piece done by Trinidad Express investigative reporter
Raymond Tim Kee Camini Marajh that Warner did not disclose to Concacaf or FIFA that a $25.9 million Centre of Excellence was built on land owned by his companies. “Approximately (US) $26 million of Concacaf funds went into Centre of Excellence and that is no longer an asset of Concacaf,” said Simmons. Concacaf is said to be examining looking at legal options regarding the Centre. Tim Kee, who inherited a cash-strapped TTFF last November when he was elected unopposed, issued a statement stating: “My first response was one of surprise. With everyone with whom I
spoke to previously, it was felt that you should wait on the facts before you engage in any passing of blame.” The Tim Kee statement read: “What I heard today was empirical. I do not know that there is any doubt in anybody’s mind about some of the things that transpired. I thought that the head of the Integrity committee Sir David Simmons was particularly unambiguous in his statement was when he alluded to things such as ‘fraudulent’ and I thought that was a serious statement. What I thought was good about the enquiry is that evidence was produced.” “This is not a happy day for Trinidad and Tobago nor is it a happy day for me because this of course is about Trinidad,” Tim Kee added. Tim Kee said he wanted to state categorically that the TTFF does not take ownership or responsibility for anything that was said at the Concacaf meeting. “Under my presidency, I intend to observe all the best (Continued on page 47)
GOA President K A Juman Yassin and GBA President, Steve Ninvalle (left &right) affix their signatures to the document in the presence of the boxers and other boxing officials. have been furnished with the relevant contracts spelling out the criteria for inclusion into the initiative. “This Protocol is to regulate the performance and or behaviour and or conduct of boxers under the auspices and or control of the Guyana Boxing Association in respect to the receipt of any stipend payable by the Guyana Olympic Association,” the
document informs. Consequently, the pugilists were advised to seek counsel on the document before affixing their signatures. Should they find the document unsuitable they may decline but will not be considered for inclusion. This is indeed a very noteworthy move by the GOA and paves the way for the young fighters to excel. With
a tangible contribution from government anticipated and once the business community follows the lead of Bakewell, this initiative can see the boxers being adequately supported, allowing them the opportunity to focus on being ready to successfully challenge the level of competition envisaged at the Olympics to secure medals for Guyana.
Sunday April 21, 2013
Was Don Fletcher’s talent overshadowed because of the brilliance of Wyles and Semple? Statistician Charwayne Walker continues his look at notable sporting personalities who served Guyana at both domestic and international levels with distinction. This week he looks at basketballer Don Fletcher. Playing for the same club that included Gregory Wyles and Sean Semple, Queens College golden Boy Don Fletcher had no choice but to emulate his two more illustrious teammates. After watching Wyles and Semple played at the International Level for the first time in December 1989 against Barbados at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, the flamboyant Fletcher was determined to become Eagles and Mike Brusche’s next National Player. His first step to National colours started when he was selected with Wyles and Semple in a strong Georgetown Under-23 team for the (1990) Inter Sub Association tournament,
which Georgetown won handsomely. Although Eagles won the (1990) Mayor and City Council Division one tournament the players were confined to Inter-ward and Senior Inter Sub Association tournaments as the GABF failed to send the national Team to the Caricom Championship in Trinidad, so young Fletcher’s Quest to join his teammates in National Colours was further delayed. The following year (1991), Guyana returned to the Caricom Championship but after some outstanding performances for his club Eagles at the first division level, Georgetown at the Inter Sub Association Level, the only Eagles players in Mike Brusche’s Squad for the Jamaica Tournament were Gregory Wyles, Sean Semple and Nigel Taitt, the disappointed Fletcher was placed along with Ricky Bakker, Troy Chin, Edgar (Bol) Thomas and Roy Jeffrey on the reserves list.
After Guyana’s dismal performance at the July Caricom Championship in Jamaica, the National Selectors rested Skipper Leon Christian, Mark Agard and Robert Byass for a Goodwill tour of Suriname with the main aim of exposing young players, but the name Don Fletcher again was excluded. An individual, who believes that failure is not a cause for disappointment but rather an incentive for improvement, was finally recognized by the National selectors and was included in the National President X1 Squad for Guyana toughest Assignment in August of (1992) against German Professional Club TTL Bomery, the first professional European team to ever visit the land of the Mighty Kaieteur Falls. The visitors lineup included two players who represented Germany at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Kai Numberger and Mike Jackel, two former NBA players;
Greg Butler and Clarence Svaderenger and 7 foot 4 inch Centre Arne Alig. Although Fletcher and Guyana were out played in the series by more superior opponents he finally joined teammates Semple and Wyles in National colours. The following year (1993) the GABF decided not to participate at the Caricom Championship in Barbados but instead accepted an invitation from the Barbados Basketball Federation to host their national team for a Goodwill three match series as the Bajan Ballers prepared for the Caricom Championship in
Bridgetown. The GABF obliged, but Don Fletcher failed to find favour with the National Selectors and had to watch his mentors Wyles and Semple again from the stands. The same trend continued in the next International Series involving Suriname and Washington based DC Jammers as the so called Selectors gave National Debuts to Linden’s Ian Kendall and Kerwin LaFargue. It took the intervention of Guyana first overseas Coach, Erik Rashaad, who included Fletcher for his first overseas assignment in Senior National
Colours. The Eagles Small forward was part of Rashaad 17 man Squad that traveled to Barbados for three friendly International Goodwill matches as both teams prepared for the 1994 Caricom Championship in Guyana. Fletcher’s Debut overseas Tour was blighted by biased officiating by the Bajan referees resulting in Coach Rashaad withdrawing his charges in the final match. His biggest moment came August 4, 1994, Fletcher was included in Rashaad 14 man (Continued on page 47)
DeGroot dispatches Narain, Shuffler back to winning ways Former Caribbean junior champion Kathy Shuffler and Raphael DeGroot were among some of the impressive winners on the third night of the Ansa McAl sponsored Senior Easter Squash Tournament on Friday evening at the Georgetown Club’s Squash Facility. DeGroot defeated 2013 Bounty Farm Mash Handicap tournament’s runner up Nicholas Narain, in straight games, which he won identically by the 11/6 score. National coach Carl Ince was present and described DeGroot’s court movement as exemplary and worthy of being emulated by all the youngsters. DeGroot covered the court gracefully and was able to reach and dispatch all of Narain’s shots with ease. DeGroot’s younger sister Ashley, also managed to win her encounter against national hockey teammate Alysa Xavier in four games. Xavier, a former national junior player who has been away from squash for a while, surprised DeGroot in the first game with a 12/10 win. Xavier chased down all of DeGroot’s shots with her superb mobility, while DeGroot committed unforced errors late in the first game. DeGroot managed to tighten up her game and prevail in the next three games 11/3, 11/5, 11/4. Former Caribbean Under19 champion Kathy Shuffler triumphantly emerged from a thrilling five-game match against 14-year old Taylor Fernandes. Shuffler managed to exploit Fernandes’ weaknesses at key moments in the game to secure
her first win of the ladies singles which is played in the round robin format. Tw e l v e - y e a r - o l d Alexander Cheeks ran circles around senior player Jamaal Douglas in one of the entertaining earlier matches of the evening. Cheeks served up Douglas to an 11/5, 11/2, 11/6 defeat; Douglas’ second straight-game loss in two nights. Ashley Khalil almost upset Nyron Joseph after leading 2-1 at the end of three games. Khalil’s expert shot selection and rally construction turned Joseph into a permanent retriever, but retrieving just happened to be one of his best skills and he came back to close out Khalil in five games. Adam Alves managed to win a marathon of a match against Jonathon Antczak in five games. Allan Downes also got his second victory of the tournament after Theron Mohabir pulled out of their encounter in the second game due to injury. The finals of the tournament will be played
today and play commences at 11:00am. Friday night’s results Alec Melville defeated Alexander Cheeks 11/6, 11/ 8, 6/11, 11/4 Medhi Ramdhani defeated Matthew Phang 11/4, 12/ 10, 11/7 Alexander Cheeks defeated Jamaal Douglas 11/5, 11/2, 11/6 Kathy Shuffler defeated Taylor Fernandes 9/11, 11/ 3, 9/11, 11/4, 11/3 Allan Downes defeated Theron Mohabir Adam Alves defeated Jonathon Antczak 13/11, 12/14, 11/9, 9/11, 11/7 Medhi Ramdhani defeated Haopei Yang 11/8, 11/7, 11/7 Jason Ray Khalil defeated Benjamin Mekdeci 11/3, 11/ 5, 11/9 Ashley DeGroot defeated Alysa Xavier 10/12, 11/3, 11/5, 11/4 Nyron Joseph defeated Ashley Khalil 8/11, 11/5, 9/ 11, 11/3, 11/6 Jonathon Antczack defeated Avinash Odit 11/6, 5/11, 11/7, 13/11 Raphael DeGroot defeated Nicholas Narain 11/6, 11/6, 11/6
Sunday April 21, 2013
GABA League ends with hurrah today The Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA) will close its 2013 League today with a hurrah planned for the Burnham Basketball Court that includes entertainment and fun day vibes to celebrate what has been an extremely competitive League. The number one place in the Division I contest has almost certainly been wrapped up in the hand of Trinity Grid Holding (TGH) Pacesetters, who are boasting a 7-0 win/loss record, but are down to contest the indomitable Ravens (5-2) in the feature game. Ravens record is similar to Colts, who will play Pepsi Sonics, who are currently positioned at the number two spot with a (61) record. It means that the Ravens, Colts, and Sonics are all in a must win situation with the number two place up for grabs in the League. If two teams end up on the 6-2 record, the tie-break belongs to the team that won the game when the two tied teams played. The positioning of these teams heading into tonight’s Grand Final tells of the competitive nature of the League in Georgetown. President of the GABA, Michael Singh told Kaieteur Sport that he is eager to complete a League that has been absent in Georgetown for three years. He said there is reason to celebrate the return of basketball in Georgetown and he wants to close in a grand manner. As such, apart from the games that are expected to be humdingers, there will be a fun day setting at the Burnham Court with a BarB-Q and Pier One International Sound System. Mackeson, New Palm Court are among the sponsors of today’s Grand Finale.
Bush Lot United Turf Club expressed appreciation The executives and members and the Bush Lot United Turf Club of Sea View Park, West Coast Berbice would like to express appreciation to all those sponsors, members of the public and the various media houses in Guyana who contributed in one way or the other in making their one day horserace meet, which was held on Sunday 14th April 2013 at the Club’s Entity at Bush Lot West Coast Berbice, a success. The members of the management Committee would like to say a big thank you to Banks DIH Limited, Mr. Inshan Bacchus and family, Mohammed ‘Nanko’ Shariff Business enterprise and Shariff racing stable, Jumbo Jet Auto Sales and racing stables, Digicel Guyana Limited, Guyana Tourism Authority, Eron Lall Civil Engineering and Construction, Buddy Shivraj, Lenny Singh and Family, Balram Singh and family, Shano Seenarine Business establishment. De Roop, Francis “Chico” Chichester and family, Lakeram ‘Buddy’ Sukdeo , Rohan Oudit, Feroze Service Station, Frank Du Vallier, Trans Pacific Motor Establishment, Rohit Lumber yard, Hot and Spicy Food Beverages, Hand In Hand Insurance, International Pharmaceutical Agency, Surujnauth Sewsankar and Family of USA, Premo Baldeo among others including all the members of the Bush Lot United Turf Club. The next race meet is scheduled for September 29 and the club is looking forward for continued support.
Greg Singh’s ton powers Speedboat XI to semis - Trophy Stall through with commanding wins Greg Singh’s maiden ton in the inaugural Georgetown Softball Cricket League (GSCL) 12/12 tournament being contested at the Everest Cricket Club ground, resulted in Speedboat XI recording a comfortable victory over Farm XI to book a place in next Sunday’s semifinals. Also joining them there were Trophy Stall XI, who defeated both Universal DVD Titans and Hillfoot Vipers in their two matches, while the other two semifinalists will be known at the end of today’s preliminary round matches at the same venue. Playing on pitch number one out of Group B, Speedboat XI first disposed of Recharge XI by 48 runs in their first match, before seeing Farm XI beat the same opponents by 22 runs, setting up an all important final game of that group between the two winners. Speedboat XI rattled up 154 for 5 from their 12 overs, with Greg Singh hitting six sixes and two fours in his topscore of 51, Shazim Hussain 47 (4x4, 2x6) and Mahendra Singh’s 18 (3x6) offered support. Premnarine Omadat took 3 for 35 and Vicram Kissoon 2 for 22 for Recharge XI, who in reply were limited to 106 for 9. Quincy Jones 30 (3x6, 2x4), Ricardo Adams 26 (2x4, 1x6) and Ganesh Narine 18 (2x4, 1x6) led their batting. Diyaram Persaud took 3 for 20 and Imran Hamid 3 for 23 for Speedboat XI. In their second encounter against Farm XI, Recharge XI allowed their opponents to score 135 all out of their 12 overs. Ryan Reddy 37 (4x6, 2x4), Aftab Bacchus 29 (2x6, 2x4) and Lennox Marks’ 23 (3x4, 2x6) led Farm’s batting. Ramdai Samlall took 4 for 10 and Kissoon 3 for 36 for Recharge XI, who were bowled out for 113 from their 12 overs in reply, with Adams hitting for fours and one six in his topscore of 47, Komal Singh made 28 with four sixes. S. Haniff took 4 for 18 and Lennox Marks 2 for 15 for Farm XI, who in their final preliminary round match in the group, saw Speedboat XI scored an imposing 176 for 5, thanks to Greg Singh’s 126, Hussain 20 and Diaram Persaud 17. In reply, Farm XI were limited to 118 for 9 from their 12 overs, with A. Sookdeo 37 (6x6) and A. Azeez 15 (3x4) leading their batting even as Hussain 3 for 22 and Hamid 2 for 17 to hand Speedboat XI victory by 58 runs and also cemented their semifinal spot. On pitch number two, Trophy Stall XI who was competing out of Group C won the toss and opted to bat first in the first encounter against Universal DVD Titans, following which they scored 153 for 5 from their 12 overs, with Wasim Haslim 47 (5x6, 1x4), Shailendra Ramnauth 25 (4x6) and Vishnu Tamchandra 23 (4x4, 1x6) leading their batting. Chansankar Arjune 3 for 32 and David Roopnauth 2 for 38, led the bowling for Universal DVD Titans, who in reply were restricted to 106 for 6 off their 12 overs, with Balram Samaroo 64 (5x6, 3x4) and Looknauth 13 (2x4) being their leading batsmen as Fazil Rafique took 3 for 17 ti hand Trophy Stall their first win. In their second game against Hillfoot Vipers, Universal DVD Titans batted first and scored 167 for 6, with Samaroo 73 (6x6, 4x4), Karamdat Bissoondyal 55 (5x6, 3x4) and Looknauth 15 (1x6, 1x4) being their leading batsmen. In reply, Hillfoot Vipers were limited to 130 for 7 off their 12 overs with L. Hinds 49 (5x6, 3x4), A. Mohabir 28 (4x6) and N. Looknauth
20 (1x6, 1x4) led their batting against Arjune 3 for 25 and D. Looknauth 2 for 41. In the final game of this group, Trophy Stall XI batted first and scored 166 for 3, thanks to Vishnu Tameschand 65 (8x6, 1x4), Rafique 56 (5x6, 3x4) and Ramnauth 16 with three sixes being their leading batsmen. Kelvin Orford took 3 for 17 while Rafique returned to take 3 for 19, which helped bowled out Hillfoot Vipers for 61 off 11 overs, with only Chandrika Looknauth’s 21 (2x6) offering resistance to the bowling of the inaugural Guyana Telephone and Telephone nationwide 10/10softball champions. The action continues today with Memorex playing out of Group A against Herstelling in the opening encounter, with Smith XI taking on the loser of the first encounter, before they tackle the winner in the final match of the group, while in Group C, Bartica Challengers will oppose Regal XI in the first match, with Cotton Field Wild Oats taking on the winner and loser respectively in the second and third matches of the group respectively. Meanwhile, both Minister of Works Robeson Benn and Deputy Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Steve Ninvalle, give brief remarks at the opening ceremony which was held earlier in the day, wherein they urged the teams to respect the umpires decisions and let discipline be the watchword.
Also offering congratulatory remarks, were president of the Guyana Softball League Halim Khan and president of the GSCL Seewchan, before the action got underway.
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