NIS review proposals rejected at public forum By Zena Henry As members of the public were given an opportunity to cast their opinions and suggestions on issues plaguing the “cashstrapped” National Insurance Scheme (NIS), recommendations made by the independent body consulted to improve the state agency’s financial position were met with harsh objections. Of the 28 recommendations made by Dominican national, Derek Osborne, issues relating to Old Age pension and increased contribution rates were the most discussed and intensely rejected. The public consultancy forum which was held at the NIS Head Office, Brickdam, was aimed at highlighting the recommendations suggested by the foreign assessor. These recommendations have not been put in place, but according to NIS General Manager Terry Thomas, great scrutiny would be given to the pointers. It was recommended to the state agency that contribution rates should be increased from 13% to 15% no later than 2013. It was also suggested that to remedy the financial status of NIS, the agency should make future
provisions for the contribution rate to be increased. For pensioners, the assessor recommended that for two years, they should receive no increase in what they are paid until the contribution rate is increased. The pension age - which caused the gathering to make the most noise - was instructed to be raised from 60 years to 65 years on a phased basis. The age of sixty was advised to be recognized as the early age pension with reduced pension of 6% lower per year. Pension rates were also asked to be revised so that the maximum 60 percent benefit would be reached after 40 years of making contributions instead of 35 years. The number of years for which insurable wages are averaged for old age pensioners, were also suggested to be increased from 3 to 5 years. In rejection of these recommendations, the crowd had discrepancies about the assessor’s failure to take into consideration the current state of financial affairs in Guyana. They argued extensively on the highly taxed state of the country and questioned how persons could cope; especially with the 15 percent increase in contributions.
They related that the financial collapse of the insurance agency was one that did not occur overnight and the working class should not have to bear the strain for the agency to regain financial grounding. The crowd lashed out at the suggestion to increase the retirement age. They said the five-year gap that was suggested for the retirement age may be difficult for low income earners, while pointing out that most public servants retire at 60 . Apart from that, participants at yesterday’s forum suggested that there were many internal woes at NIS which caused the financial fallout of the state agency. Some cited bad governance, poor management and corruption as some of the key elements hindering the institute’s smooth flow. The task of the inspectors and the compliance agents who ensure that businesses adhere to NIS regulations had also been compromised, it was suggested. According to some present at yesterday’s forum, notably Attorney-at-law and Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram, who proposed pro-bono legal consultations for the state agency, political interference had left an imprint on issues
facing the NIS. With support from the audience, Ram noted that high-powered businessmen and women were using political affiliations to evade the NIS regulators. Another participant suggested that more be done for the NIS inspectors and those tasked with ensuring businesses comply with NIS rules, so as to lessen the opportunity of corruption or bribes. The gathering however expressed that they did not expect much to change following yesterday’s discussions since actions to rescue NIS had been taken in the past and nothing fruitful had come out of it. Earl John, who identified himself as a pensioner and human resource manager, said that he had been intensely involved with the NIS since 2007. He said that in 2006 there was a countrywide consultation that resulted in an NIS Referral Committee, of which he and 20 others were members. John said that the report was never implemented by the NIS and he was not convinced that the current forum would be helpful. The participants also recommended that the NIS stop wasting valuable resources and hire local assessors for the actuarial review.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
‘Gold’ boat heist…
GGMC officials head to Curacao In light of the recent US multi-million-dollar gold heist in Curacao, at least two senior officials from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) left for the Dutch-speaking territory last night in a continuing effort to ascertain the origin of the cargo. The trip, Kaieteur News was told, will complement ongoing investigations to establish whether the 70 gold bars valued at US$11.5M (G$2.3B) belonged to Guyana or whether the country had shares in the suspected smuggled metal. Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment Joslyn McKenzie had confirmed the Curacao trip prior to the team’s departure. He said that the Ministry had instructed the move. At the time he informed that the schedule was still being finalized, since assistance was requested from the Curacao government for the dissemination of information. The PS along with Minister Robert Persaud assured that with regard to the
team’s work, information would be divulged as soon as it is made available. While it was initially believed that the precious metal had been smuggled from Guyana, later reports highlighted that the bulk of the metal may have belonged to Suriname traders and a Chinese mining company. Guyana reportedly had a small potion involved. The Guyana government has denied knowledge of the gold, citing that permission was never given for the shipment. The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) also denied that its members may have been involved. The Guyana Gold Board, which handles the purchasing of gold, said that for some time, no permission had been given to have gold transported out of Guyana by sea. It was aboard “Summer Bliss”, a Guyanese registered vessel, that the gold was reportedly stolen by several heavily armed masked men who had dressed as police officers and barged in on the ship’s crew members. The assailants escaped in three motorcars.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
GPL extends Wartsila contract for another four years Government has extended its contract with the Finnish corporation Wärtsilä for another four years to operate and maintain its three largest power plants. According to a statement from Wärtsilä, the agreement will represent the longest ongoing service agreement for the company. The contract will also see Wärtsilä working to convert the frequency output of the Kingston 1 power plant of the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) from 50Hz to 60Hz. In addition to a power plant at Kingston, Georgetown, GPL has Wärtsilä generating sets at Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara. Another plant of 26MW is being built at Vreeden-Hoop, West Bank Demerara. The latter will be among the three that Wärtsilä will manage. Wärtsilä said that the contract, until 2016, will cover responsibilities for the production of some 80MW of power.
- company also hired to convert Kingston plant to 60Hz
GPL has hired Wärtsilä for another four years to manage its three biggest power plants The company signed its first operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement in 1994, ensuring the “continual optimization of the plants’ performance,
efficiency and availability. Indicative of this capability is the fact that the engines, which were installed almost twenty years ago, are still in operation and have provided
NOC Commission of Inquiry…
Justice Winston Moore appointed Chairman Justice Winston Moore has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry into the escape of inmates and other related occurrences at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC), Onderneeming, on the Essequibo Coast, in late August. This post became vacant sometime in late September after Mr. Prem Persaud, who is also the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), resigned. Persaud had resigned just as the commission was preparing to visit and conduct interviews with staffers and inmates of the NOC. Yo u t h M i n i s t e r, D r. Frank Anthony, during an interview with this publication about a month ago, had explained that the commissioners are being given a strict timeline to work with, and that it coincided with an important PUC conference that Mr. Persaud had to prepare for. “It was understandable that he had to divert his energy elsewhere,” the Minister had explained. Ever since the former Judge’s resignation, investigations had been stalled, and the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport was in the process of finding a
suitable replacement. According to a Ministry Official, Justice Moore was appointed several weeks ago and investigations into the violent NOC breakout have since begun. Kaieteur News was unable to make contact with the Minister to further ascertain the depth of work that has been done so far. The Commission of Inquiry was set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the violent rampage that a number of youngsters ages ranging from 14 to 16 went on after escaping from the Juvenile detention facility. Reports are that the teenagers stormed through several communities while being armed with cutlasses and other weapons. During this period, a female dormitory and a workshop within the compound were set alight. Some of the females have since been relocated. Subsequent to the rampage some of the inmates, after being confronted, claimed that they were being abused by staffers, and that they had reached breaking point. A senior Ministry official had however stated that none of the juveniles made any such allegations to the team which visited the centre prior to the escape.
It was as a result of these controversial statements, that the Commission of Inquiry was ordered. The Board of Inquiry includes Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Alfred King; Senior Superintendent and Divisional Commander of ‘D’ Division, Christopher Griffith; Senior Probation Officer of Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, Trenetta Scott and Mr. Maydha Persaud, a retired headmaster and member of the Teaching Service Commission. Of the 48 inmates who had appeared in court, eight were charged with arson, and 40 were arraigned for escaping from a training school. Twelve of the inmates are female, while thirty-six are male. Thirteen of the juveniles pleaded guilty to escaping from the NOC, while the remaining 35 entered not guilty pleas. Sixteen of the inmates were remanded to the juvenile facility in Georgetown, while the other 32 were returned to the NOC. Minister Anthony says that he stands firm on his decision to penalize any staffer of the facility, should they be found guilty of abusing the children.
an uninterrupted flow of power to consumers in Guyana.” The frequency conversion part of the agreement, Wärtsilä explained, involves converting the electrical and automation systems, and is intended to remove the need
for dual equipment. “The operations and maintenance agreement extension furthers our long standing partnership with GPL, and is a prime example of the commitment of Wärtsilä towards its customers. By working to support and maintain the lifecycle efficiencies of the GPL facilities, we can help the customer to meet the challenges of the changing energy market,” says Marc Tarbox, General Manager, Wärtsilä in the Caribbean. “Guyana Power and Light is pleased with the results of the cooperation with Wärtsilä, and looks forward to the same consistent high level of service for the next four years,” says Bharat Dindyal, CEO of GPL. With Guyana’s demand for electricity currently centered on using fossil fuel and more than 80MW needed daily on the coast, on average, the Wärtsilämade sets have been crucial. An O&M agreement is
a comprehensive form of asset management. Typically, such agreements can be tailored to cover the entire scope of operational, management, and maintenance services, as well as providing performance guarantees for the installation. “By taking responsibility for operating and maintaining the f a c i l i t y, Wärtsilä implements its global best practices to ensure that it delivers the design output with maximum efficiency.” According to the company, it manages some 17 GW of generating capacity in 55 countries. In the Americas, Wärtsilä operates approximately 2.4 GW of power generation capacity. It is also a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. In 2011, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.2 billion with approximately 18,000 employees. The company has operations in nearly 170 locations in 70 countries around the world.
Kaieteur News Printed and Published by National Media & Publishing Company Ltd. 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana. Publisher: GLENN LALL Editor: Adam Harris Tel: 225-8465, 225-8491. Fax: 225-8473, 226-8210
Climate Change Weasels If the world needed any further proof that Climate Change was destroying our ecosystem after Hurricane Sandy, it was provided by the news that a Russian tanker had delivered oil from Europe to Japan through the Arctic Ocean. This highlights the massive melting of that icecap which is sure to lead to a dramatic rise in sea-levels. Our coastland, historically three-feet below sea level, will experience massive pressures in the next decade. But after two weeks (and an extra day), the 18th session of the Conference of Parties (COP18) to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Doha, came out with an agreement to deal with Climate Change that at best can be called “depressing”. After an all-nighter, just as with CoP 17, the US still refused to budge on the issue of “equity”, which is enshrined in the UN Convention, towards the creation of an effective new Doha Gateway from the Durban Platform. There was absolutely no consensus of any of the three issues facing CoP 18: the second period of commitment under the Kyoto Protocol, issues of loss and damage, finance and commitment to mid-term finance by developed countries. On the critical need for binding commitments to reduce emissions, the U.S. which was not part of the Kyoto Protocol, is now refusing to be part of a new regime which will come into force post-2020. The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (to 2020) has been agreed upon, though, with weak targets and loopholes - there are no firm commitments to take on deeper emission cuts. And with Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and the US opting out of the Kyoto Protocol, the protocol applies to only 15 percent of current global greenhouse gas emissions. The US has not put any meaningful emission reductions on the table. While the agreement states that efforts will be taken on the ‘basis of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respected capabilities’ – key demands of the poorer countries, the principle of “equity” had already been degutted. For the US, the issue of equity in the allocation of responsibility towards the problem and action based on this contribution has been a red line. The US delegation made its complete aversion to any mention of “equity” or “historical emissions” so clear that it has amounted to open blackmail. Due to pressure from the US, at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference in 2009, these words were erased from the document. Therefore, in the Durban Platform negotiations, which will now work to build agreement for emission reductions post-2020, the word “equity” has not been used. Instead, action will be “under the climate convention”, which in turn is embedded within the framework of equity. Doha also agreed, importantly for countries such as Guyana, to include the principle of ‘loss and damage’ — that is, estimating the economic and livelihood cost of the growing impact of climate change on the most vulnerable. This is crucial since extreme weather events are devastating economies. It was also agreed that there is a relationship between extreme weather events and slow onset events — the variable rains that lead to droughts, for instance. This was the key demand of island nations and least developed countries. They wanted a mechanism to estimate and compensate for these damages. On the issue of adaptation finance, of even greater interest to Guyana, even the US$30 billion agreed in 2009 to be raised by the developed nations were questioned. The US$100 billion annually agreed as a base necessary finance needed to fund adaptation has been reduced to US$60 billion. But even though there have been some individual pledges from some countries, even this is problematical. The REDD+ fund that would have further compensated us for our forest carbon sequestration is now up in the air. Kuomi Naidöo, international executive director of Greenpeace said, “The United States is probably going to spend $60 billion on damage to New Jersey alone after superstorm Sandy and it spends an equal amount if not more on its marching bands in the military.”
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Letters... Where your views make the news
Jagan II receives money for a non-existent qualification DEAR EDITOR, A disturbing situation was recently brought to my attention. It must be exposed, and urgently dealt with by this government if the government is serious about combating corruption and oligarchy. When Kaieteur News first published the list of “fat cats” earning “super salaries” under this PPP/C government, the Guyanese population learned that among the most highly paid employees of this government was Cheddi Beret Jagan, II, who was listed as an “attorney-at-law” working at the Office of the President, and earning approximately $489,666 per month. Everyone bought into the idea that Mr. Jagan II was a duly qualified attorney-at-law, who is licensed to practise law in at least one jurisdiction. In fact, he himself has furthered this idea by signing multiple letters in the Guyanese newspapers with the suffix “Esq.,” a title reserved for attorneys who have attained the requisite professional qualifications to practise law. Yet, there is no record that Mr. Jagan II is, as he claims, an attorney-at-law, much less one who is licensed to practise law in Guyana. I diligently checked the online records of the Guyana Chronicle, Stabroek News and Kaieteur News, and found not a single article about Mr. Jagan II being called to the
bar in Guyana. I also spoke with multiple Guyanese attorneys who all stated that they are unaware of Mr. Jagan II being called to the Bar in Guyana. There is also no evidence that Mr. Jagan II possesses the (Certificate of Legal Education) LEC, which is a prerequisite to become a member of the Bar in Guyana. Likewise, there is no evidence that Mr. Jagan II is licensed to practice law in any state in the United States of America. Mr. Jagan II has himself admitted, in a heated, often pompous and arrogant online discussion related to one of his letters on EzJet (see comments after letter at h t t p : / / www.stabroeknews.com/ 2012/opinion/letters/03/21/ ezjet%E2%80%99sperformance-is-disgraceful/), that he is not licensed to practice in any jurisdiction, though he took the New York Bar Exam in February, 2012. Unfortunately, Mr. Jagan II’s name was not on the list of successful candidates for the February exam. (See: http:/ / w w w. n y b a r e x a m . o r g / EXR212/HJ210.html). Nevertheless, it appears as though Mr. Jagan II re-sat this exam in July, 2012, and was finally successful. (See: http://www.nybarexam.org/ EXRJ12/HJ711.html). Congratulations are in order for him in passing this exam. I hope though, that Mr. Jagan II will be honest and admit that merely passing the
NY Bar Exam is insufficient in and of itself to qualify one as an attorney-at-law. The fact is that Mr. Jagan II has to further undergo a Character and Fitness Exam, where his personal character and background is examined, and only after passing this (a process that takes months), will he be certified to be sworn in to the NY Bar, and eventually become a licensed attorney. At the moment, Mr. Jagan II’s name does not appear on the official list of attorneys licensed to practise law in New York State. (See: http:// iapps.courts.state.ny.us/ attorney/AttorneySearch). Mr. Jagan II’s background is fair game because he is a highly-paid official employed by the Office of the President, paid by the Guyanese people via their taxes. And when it is examined, one finds that his academic and professional qualifications cannot possibly justify his employment at the Office of the President, much less the exorbitant salary that he is paid. How can Mr. Jagan II be paid as an “attorney-at-law” when he is not an attorney? How can he give legal advice to this government when he is not licensed to do so?
How can he justify his salary which is significantly higher even than that earned by lecturers at the University of Guyana when he has not even attained the professional requirements for the position he holds? Is he engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, and if so, what is the government’s response? This PPP/C government loves to argue that there is no evidence of corruption and oligarchy in Guyana, so I am publicly asking it to justify Mr. Jagan II’s employment at the Office of the President, taking into consideration his failure/inability, thus far, to obtain a bar license and his relative lack of experience, as compared to the others of eminently more qualified attorneys in Guyana. Mr. Anil Nandlall, the Attorney General, ought to also explain to the Guyanese public how this government can justify seeking/relying upon the legal advice of Mr. Jagan II when he is not a licensed attorney - anywhere in the world! Finally, this PPP/C government should inform Guyanese how other qualified attorneys can obtain a position at the Office of the President with similar responsibilities and pay as that Mr. Jagan II enjoys. Disgusted Guyanese
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news
A most questionable charge DEAR EDITOR, I write with respect to the recent state of affairs involving Romel Bollers, particularly the allegations that he committed a robbery on December 3, 2012. I am not sure what time it is alleged that Mr. Bollers was out committing the robbery Ms. Bacchus alleged, however, Mr. Bollers was on the telephone with me long distance for approximately 50 minutes on the evening of December 3, 2012. I put this out there because from the conversation I had with Mr. Bollers, his concerns on December 3, 2012 were about the preliminary inquiry, his injuries, the after effect of the injuries sustained and his very future given the high profile the case is in public’s eye. Mr. Bollers complained about intolerable pains sometimes, particularly in the evening in the area where he was shot. I suggested that he speak to the relevant authorities to possibly get an MRI rule out any serious
damage. On another front, Mr. Bollers is the witness (as well as victim) of a serious crime alleged to have been committed by agents of the state (police officers), some of whom are still outstanding and are on the Interpol List of Most Wanted Persons, the state should have taken all in its power to ensure that it is able and willing to ensure Romel Bollers well being is taken care of including his medical needs, transportation to and from court etc. That seems appropriate in building trust and confidence in our system of justice and ensuring that victims and witnesses are not intimidated or otherwise dissuaded from giving evidence in serious criminal matters. I am not prejudging any judicial outcome in any of the two incident but the robbery charge on the eve of his crossexamination appears strange/ suspect to me. Selwyn A. Pieters, B.A., LL.B., L.E.C. Lawyer & Notary Public Toronto, Ont. M5C 2J6
DEAR EDITOR, Harry Parmesar’s bold statement to the media that he is willing to serve the Interim Management Committee (IMC) until its term expires is clearly designed to cover up his ineptitude on the IMC. If Mr. Parmesar is so willing to serve, why has he not even begun the forensic audit of the defunct Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) with which he was tasked some ten months ago. For over one year Mr. Parmesar has not convened a single meeting of the important finance subcommittee of the IMC and his attendance at the IMC meetings has been conspicuously infrequent. There have been serious charges of financial improprieties of the GCB,
including allegations that monies received from the WICB were not deposited in approved GCB accounts. Also a limited liability company named the DEB Essentials Inc. was illegally formed and all the assets of the GCB were transferred to that private company owned by a few discredited individuals. I am advised that Mr. Parmesa r had been requested to investigate these illegalities and to report his findings to the IMC and to recommend charges as necessary. Since Mr. Parmesar has stated his willingness to serve the IMC, he may be equally willing to let the public know why he hasn’t begun any of the task assigned to him. Richard Ramnarine
Harry Parmesar has not served the (Cricket) IMC.
Kudos for Hits and Jams DEAR EDITOR, I was out of the country when the whole furor over the scheduled appearance of American singer Chris Brown took place. The arguments for and against, themselves having been made moot by the cancellation of the show, I want to take this opportunity to look at a different perspective on the issue and offer a commitment. In my columns, I’ve at least twice given praise to Hits and Jams for their pioneering roles in entertainment in Guyana.
From their signal Jamzone event, to their parties, to their television venture, to their groundbreaking concerts, H & J have demonstrated the sort of ambition and vision that are rare commodity in Guyana. In a short time we went from being off the radar in terms of international entertainment to being a venue that has hosted megastars such as Rick Ross, Akon, Eve, and Neyo, and I am sure I’ve left out others that I might be too ageimpaired to recognize. As someone from a
generation a bit removed from those who would most appreciate Rick Ross and Chris Brown, I would like to openly suggest to Hits and Jams that they seek to bring the occasional classic artiste to these shores. While I admire young talents, there are some big acts of yesteryear that still have broad appeal now, probably even more than the new currently popular artistes. The average middle-aged person might not know a Rihanna song from a Beyonce song, but the likelihood is that
both they and their children is going to recognize a Lionel Ritchie classic like “Hello”. I see people like Ritchie and Tina Turner are still touring, and Gladys Knights, and Stevie Wo n d e r w h o h a d a fundraiser for Barack Obama a few months ago. For me, personally, I would love to go to a Stevie Wonder concert, right here in Guyana, and my commitment is that I am ready right now to work in close cooperation with H & J for them to make this happen. Keith Burrowes
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news
Export of timber logs to Asia is thriving Amailia Falls highlights a failing
DEAR EDITOR, The Forest Products Association (FPA) of Guyana is one of the oldest trade associations in the Caribbean, founded in 1944. Like the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA), the FPA admits the Asian-owned timber companies as members. So it is unclear if statements coming from the FPA represent the Guyanese loggers and millers or the dues-paying Asians (‘Gold rush, concrete ‘fell’ forestry industry’, Stabroek News business section, 07 December 2012). The FPA statements about the forest sector being in hard times are not sustained by the data. In the nine months to September 2012, log exports totaled 66,270 cubic metres compared with 80,652 m3 in the same nine months of 2011. This year, 27,764 m3 (42 per cent) went to China and 35,024 m3 (53 per cent) to India, including a whopping 16,640 m3 to India in August 2012. These log exports represented 54 per cent of log production in the first six months of 2012 (the latest data published by the Guyana
Forestry Commission), compared with 56 per cent in 2011. These data do not show that the forest sector is in the doldrums. Former FPA President, Hilbertus Cort, was reported as saying that the sector could not produce bankable proposals, and so was short of financial credit. But when the European Union offered development funds in Region Ten through LEAP/LEAF, it was Bai Shan Lin which secured US$10 million in EU funding for the mill at Coomacka Mines (‘Mixed reviews for LEAP -next two years seen as crucial for Linden scheme,’ Stabroek News, 18 June 2007; ‘Coomacka aka ‘’The Mines’, Stabroek News, 02 December 2012). Bai Shan Lin is part-owned by the transnational Beijing Uni-Construction Company (BUCC) which is itself part-owned by the Government of China which supplies capital to BUCC. There is no public record that the FPA or GMSA has protested about unfair competition from the publicly-subsidized Bai Shan Lin; which employed the said Hilbertus Cort. The historical record is that at least some of the Guyanese-owned companies
in the FPA have received lowcost loans and credit from international agencies precisely to enable recapitalisation and modernization. And see also the standing offers of investment incentives for the forest sector on the website of GOInvest. If those promised incentives are not actually available, because of personality-based or politically based interference by government agencies, then the forest sector companies should use the members of the National Assembly to raise Parliamentary Questions with the relevant Ministers. It is legitimate to complain long and loudly that the PPP/ C administration has failed to implement the national policies for in-country processing and adding-value to forest outputs, in spite of promises in the election manifestos of 2006 and 2011, and has instead allowed a boom in illegal forest harvesting and log exports. It does not seem legitimate to complain about lack of financial capital when that has been offered but not taken up. Janette Bulkan
DEAR EDITOR, If anyone offers a thought in Guyana, he/she is immediately branded pro or anti government. We in Guyana, the land of many waters, have little or no hydropower. This is a failure of our Government, (whichever the reader may choose to blame). In the fifties, I believe, a small group recommended to Government that the Kamaira Falls in the Cuyuni River be utilized for a hydropower scheme generating 60 megawatts. This, at that time, would have cost US$10 million. It had much going for it, including the fact that ocean going vessels of up to 18 feet draft could get to within seven to 10 miles of the hydro site. Sand and stone were readily available, etc, etc. But it was adjudged, at that time that U.S$10 million was too expensive. Burnham’s Hydro scheme, the Upper Mazaruni Development Project, failed to mature. Why? I don’t know. Some say the scheme was adjudged by the international agencies to be too large for Guyana, so
no aid could be arranged. It ceased, yet its road has been very useful for the booming gold mining industry. Currently “Amalia” is the shout. One dares not say anything critical about the project, else one is branded anti-government, anti-hydro all that nonsense. Hydro is very badly needed in Guyana. But Government needs to accept criticism and carefully monitor expense or else the cost per unit will be far higher than that being paid now. Yet we read in the media of political promises being made to the people of Mahdia (three years electricity) of Linden (cheap electricity) etc…etc… Are our leaders being deliberately misinformed? Or are our professional engineers totally inexperienced in building anything away from the coastline? (Much less a Hydro station) Some have opined “another three years for the completion of the road”, with an additional three to four years to build the hydro station. (That is seven years believe it or not). Of course somewhere in those seven
years one assumes the pylon towers will be built and the cables run, and not leave it to be done after completion. Also there, is talk of no fissure study been done in the area. This would determine, if there are natural cracks in the bedrock through which any “back up” water may leak—a “must” for any hydro project. Neglected completely is the private sector involvement in Hydro (the engine of growth!). There is a site that can generate two megawatts of power. This is in the near hinterland. If government would consider releasing a 10mile by 10-mile area and the rights to the water in the creek on which the hydro will be built, then, “maybe”, the engine of growth may start up. Talking to some wealthy Guyanese they say, “it is a non starter, that Government, will only want to do it themselves or give it to their friends”. Is this true? Is there a policy? We need Hydro, we need discussion, we need opportunity. Maybe one daymaybe! Tackuba
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news
The emphasis is on lawful and responsible mining DEAR EDITOR, The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission stridently advocate and proactively work towards lawful, responsible mining at all levels in Guyana and would like to clarify inaccuracies penned by Mac Mahase in the December 10, edition of Kaieteur News. The Commission would like to point out that several measures and requirements are in place to encourage and ensure responsible mining in Guyana – including mining lawfully – having the legal right to mine; mining on legal mining properties with the requisite formal approvals from the property holder and the GGMC; and keeping production records. Here it
must be noted that a miner with the right to mine may be in breach of one or more mining regulations but this does not necessarily make the operation “illegal”. A statement that information provided about the gold that was stolen in Curacao indicated that there isn’t any paperwork or evidence that the gold originated from Guyana is by no means a show of lack of urgency to confront the issue of illegal mining. As an important part of its Work Programme, GGMC routinely regulates mining activities in the Mining Districts, and in addition, special exercises are carried out to deal with miners who are in breach of critical aspects of the Mining Regulations, or where the breach of key regulations is
widespread. Mineral resources assessment to generate and update information on the mineral wealth of a country is an ongoing exercise, providing a good indication of potential mineral occurrences. Even when potential mineral occurrences are known, further exploration, usually by exploration and mining groups or individuals, is needed to find and define economic mineral deposits. This is the nature and the inherent risk in mining. The MNRE has engaged a number of bilateral parties to conduct geological investigations and studies to lead to a mineral resource assessment in Guyana, but this has not progressed to the planning, defining, approving, funding and
DEAR EDITOR, As we open the daily newspapers what we notice is the constant maternal and child deaths that have been taking place not only in Central Georgetown but also in other areas like Linden, New Amsterdam and Port Mourant. For the year there have been three stillborn, eleven maternal deaths, one abortion death and one woman left bedridden. A recent mother, Olinda Fredericks, lost her baby. She was two weeks overdue and the pain was too much for her, so she suggested a c-section but was refused. Her husband also pleaded for a c-section because her blood pressure was going up and she could not make the birth the natural way. If they had done what the patient asked for, the baby
might have been alive today. Another young mother, Padminie Goberdhan, is bedridden after a rough delivery. Minister Bheri Ramsaran was reported in the November 18, 2012 Stabroek News as claiming that hemorrhaging accounted for more than half of the maternal deaths last year. What is the cause of the maternal deaths and still borns this year? We are not blaming the administrator but something is wrong that needs to be fixed. If nothing is wrong with the system then why is this happening over and over again? The government needs to find the problem and deal with it because too many women have lost their lives and the lives of their babies. If the hospitals monitored their nurses during deliveries then
we don’t believe that this problem would exist. Who is going to take responsibility for what is going on in many of the health institutions? Whose fault is it? Stop killing our women, mothers and caregivers due to negligence. This is a problem not just for us as women but for the whole society. We are the producers and reproducers of labour; without us there is no economy. Women and children are losing their lives due to domestic violence in the home but we are also losing our lives due to another form of violence, the negligence of some of the nurses and doctors in the various hospitals. Susan Collymore Grassroots Women Across Race
The negligence of nurses and doctors is killing women
implementation of such a programme, which would be expected to extend over several years. The use of satellite imagery will give an indication of deforestation and interpretation of the deforestation may indicate where mining had or may be taking place, and this may be operations on lawful mining properties or unlawful operations in areas or on properties where mining is not allowed. Through the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification System (MRVS) of the arrangement between the governments of Guyana and Norway for low and controlled deforestation in State Forests to annual agreed limits, satellite imagery is being applied to monitoring deforestation caused by all activities in State Forests, including mining. This gives a good indication of the deforestation at the time the satellite imagery was taken. This complements the routine monitoring, regulation and enforcement activities of the GGMC. The Small and Medium Scale gold mining sector is expanding in response to the
high gold prices and this is creating new situations on the ground as miners and investors seek places to work immediately, or places that are felt to be more lucrative. Unfortunately, some are resorting to trespassing on the properties of others. This is strongly discouraged by the GGMC and follow up actions are being taken on the ground. In addition, mineral properties are distributed by periodic lotteries in the Mining Districts. In order to more closely monitor and regulate mining activities of which Small and Medium Scale gold and diamond mining operations are predominant, more field officers are needed and GGMC is taking active steps to recruit, train and deploy additional officers. GGMC has from time to time carried out economic studies of mining activities in the different sub-sectors and will continue to do such in order to obtain factual information on mining activities and the related economics. In addition, GGMC is undertaking a pilot study for the tracking of dredge operating units using
electronic devices. The Mining Industry continues to grow and evolve and there are and will be challenges on various fronts. As these challenges arise, even in the form of what might be deemed “bullying”, they have to be addressed in the context of the law. GGMC is responding to the challenges and to the new and unfolding situations, cognizant for the need of protection of revenue that accrues to the state from mining and taking action on the ground. Greater application of field monitoring and regulation and generation of information on mining activities will provide more realistic information on projections on the capacity for mineral production based on equipment, methodologies, mineral recovery and the mineral potential of an area. The wider issue of gold sales, declaration and smuggling will require a broader approach that goes beyond the ambit of the GGMC. Office of the Commissioner Guyana Geology and Mines Commission
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Wednesday December 12, 2012
RE-APPLY AND INSIST ON PROMPT HEARINGS The Opposition blundered when it opted to nominate a representative to the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) without insisting that the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) considers its outstanding roll of applications for broadcasting licences. The Opposition blundered when it gave moral sanction to the government to constitute the GNBA before the NFMU had complied with a decision of the Courts concerning the granting of television licences. The NFMU had been ordered by the courts to consider the applications submitted for licences. That was not done and now the authority to grant licences has been assumed by another body, the GNBA. The applicants also made a mistake in not taking the NFMU to court for contempt of that court order, after it was clear that their applications were not being considered. But those applicants may have felt that with the government signaling that it would appeal that decision, any application for contempt would not have had the desired effect. It is doubtful
whether that court order can now be enforced in light of the establishment of the GNBA. The Opposition may have presumed that the establishment of the authority would have allowed for all the undetermined applications to be considered, but clearly that was a wrong presumption, because one of the first acts of the GNBA was to effectively nullify those applications by demanding that all the applicants reapply. The applicants should not take too seriously the suggestion made that they file a class action suit against the government claiming discrimination. It should be noted that recourse to the courts for discrimination has to be based either on a violation of the constitution or violation of a specific provision in the law that provides for equal treatment. The constitution of Guyana prohibits discrimination on certain grounds – race, ethnicity, religion etc - none of which can be seemingly adduced in support of the applicants’ case. In addition, any class action suit alleging discrimination will have to confront the ruling that no
Dem boys seh...
Three cheers fuh De Donald When Easy Come Easy Go land pun de scene it come wid low fares and a promise to help Guyanese. But that was only part of de plan. That was de sugar pun de bitter pill because de owners had dem own plan. In fact, dem boys seh that couple of dem East Come Easy Go people sit down and wuk out de scheme fine, fine. De aim was to be de flag carrier and that mean money. De Donald hear dem whispering. He even hear dem plan fuh put money in Easy Come Easy Go suh that it could fly again. That woulda been de big catch. Dem woulda get de flag carrier status fly fuh three more weeks and then collapse de airline. Then dem woulda do wha Fip do—sell de rights fuh nuff money. And indeed if Easy Come Easy Go did get de flag carrier thing it coulda sell it fuh at least US$50 million. Then everybody woulda split de money and smile. De Donald deserve a big cheer. He ketch dem talking and while dem planning he call de Trinidad plane people and give dem de flag carrier status. Well now is one row.
Brazzy frighten fuh ask if de people pay because De Donald want to know if he pay in he money to de public treasury. Other people vex because dem see de US$50 million fly away. Barbie vex because he can’t get back he investment wha he put de first time. But is only greedy people does get vex two time—when people tek dem thing and when dem ain’t get people thing. That’s why two leaders now facing jail. One of dem still serving and de other one lef office de other day. Now nobody can’t picture a serving president or even Minister getting charge fuh anything. If people coulda charge dem some woulda deh in jail and de prison people woulda throw away de key. That is why dem boys does always seh that Guyana is Gool; nutten can’t happen to de government people and dem friends. And while all this happening, Kwame quiet. A nice thing happen to him. One Bartica man call he Miss Kwame. Talk half and cheer De Donald!
one has an absolute right to a licence. Thus, since no one has such a right, then the denial of a licence cannot be said to constitute discrimination, unless it is established that the decision was uneven, arbitrary and capricious. In the case of the Central Broadcasting Services Limited and Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha of Trinidad and Tobago vs. the Attorney General of the Trinidad and Tobago (2006), the Privy Council held that it is the government’s legislative and constitutional roles to ensure
the efficient, objective and non-discriminatory handling of applications. In the instance, however, the applications of those who had previously applied are still to be considered by the new authority, and until such time as they are considered or there is a delay or a refusal to consider them, it would be premature to allege uneven treatment by the new authority. Article 149 (d) of the Constitution disallows the State from denying anyone equality of treatment or equal protection under the law, but
resorting to this provision as a defence will still prove problematic, in that the authority which now has to be taken to court is the GNBA and it cannot be said the decision of the GNBA to demand that all old applicants reapply constitutes unequal treatment. Those who had previously applied for licences should therefore resubmit their applications and insist that their new applications be heard promptly. This demand is consistent with Justice Chang’s ruling that delay in
responding to applications constitutes an infringement of the applicant’s right to freedom of expression. If the GNBA fails to act in an evenhanded manner in considering the applications that they have asked to be resubmitted, then it does seem as if there can be a successful challenge.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
=== THE FREDDIE KISSOON COLUMN ===
Searching for the Holy Grail This is the conclusion of my commentary on Ralph Ramkarran’s very bold and commendable analysis of the future of the PPP. To recap; in the economic realm, I did not see, contrary to Mr. Ramkarran, the failure of the PPP to substantially improve the well-being of the working people as a result of a harsh capitalist world that limited the redistribution of wealth to favour the poorer classes. Secondly, in the area of political deportment, I will argue that the situational
factors Mr. Ramkarran cited as the reason for bad governance, lack of transparency and corruption is secondary. My theory revolves around the congenital factor, that the PNC and the PPP were doomed to become tyrannies or oligarchies, because from birth, they emerged with an authoritarian culture that they became helpless prisoners of. In my first installment I opined that if the PNC comes back to power, it will again become authoritarian. The
PPP Government will face formidable challenges to its rule but there will not be compromises, concessions and reaching out, because it is trapped in its ancient understanding of power. Mr. Ramkarran ended his assessment with a strong hope that the PPP pull back from the brink, start the rebuilding process and acknowledge its wrong ways. Sadly, I believe this search will end in futility, and this is because by its very nature, an authoritarian regime does not understand the concepts associated with democratic use of power. Before I look back at the early PPP after the split with Mr. Burnham, a little example is in order. A top-ranking PNC leader said the following to me about the PNC; “Freddie what can you do; the leader is the party, the leader decides everything.” This was after the vote to choose the presidential candidate. He is right. This was and is how the PNC and PPP emerged and how they are today. While there cannot be any doubt that the PPP’s interaction with rapacious economic strata and powerful
oligarchic families prevented the birth of a tight integrity process in the administration of state affairs after 1992, and while it cannot be doubted that the PPP lost patience with opposition demands, a regime of intolerance and autocratic behaviour would still have emerged, because the PPP never had access to democratic culture. The authoritarian way of life is all it has known since the split with Burnham. The PPP’s political culture was not essentially informed by Marx’s philosophical outlay. There is nothing in Marx’s copious writing about detailed definitions of what democracy and justice would be like after the revolution. It was Lenin, and subsequently Stalin and later Chairman Mao, who gave meaning to these concepts and they were all antithetical to western philosophical interpretations of freedom and justice. The PPP’s Marxism was Leninist, Stalinist and Maoist and Marxist. The closest a western philosopher came to Leninism and Stalinism was Hobbes. But Hobbes is greatly misunderstood.
Hobbes did not argue for a tight and all-embracing social contract. He specifically left room for rebellion against the Leviathan. In Leninism and Stalinism, the Leviathan was the vanguard party, the vanguard party was the revolution and the revolution was the apex of history’s truths. The vanguard party then was infallible. When in a western country like British Guiana, a political party is born with that kind of political culture, the result can only be a contempt for western meaning of freedom, justice and democracy. This was the PPP for you under the two Jagans from the fifties onwards right up to today. The humanists and democrats in the company of the Jagans left like mangoes falling off a tree. The list is extremely long but a few notable names were Eusi Kwayana, Balram Singh Rai, Martin Carter, Joycelyn Hubbard, Moses Bhagwan, Fenton Ramsahoye etc. Ashton Chase saw what was coming and parted company on a friendly note. In the PPP congresses,
Frederick Kissoon democracy never existed. The Jagans would fix elections to elevate those that they wanted. This was the complaint Rai made against Jagan when the vote was manipulated to put Brindley Benn in front of Rai. Mr. Yesu Persaud told me an interesting story shortly after Dr. Jagan became President. Jagan asked the private sector for names of people that could assist the new government with state administration. Mr. Persaud told me well-known names of people on the list who had opposed the PNC Government but were not PPP, Dr. Jagan did not invite to work with his government. Space has run out. The conclusion is until it loses power, the PPP will not democratize. By nature it cannot. It doesn’t know how to.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
NAPS hosts final consultation for HIVision 2020
The final HIVision consultation in session With hopes of entering 2013 with a clear-cut guide to its Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) fight, the Ministry of Health through its National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) on Friday, last, held the final in a series of consultations for a new National Strategic Plan. Discussions about the plan being dubbed HIVision 2020, which is expected to plot the way forward for the next seven years, were engaged at the Grand Coastal Inn, Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara. According to Programme Manager of NAPS, Dr Shanti Singh, the strategy is premised on the need to craft a plan to integrate strategies that will ensure that the HIV response is sustained, in light of reducing financial donor support. Crafting the plan has seen efforts being made to look at financial sustainability, and ways to improve efficiency, coordination and accountability, among other factors that would lend to the national HIV fight being sustained, even as national goals in this regard are
achieved, Dr Singh said. “In this current (draft) document I think there is much more focus on the most at-risk populations, because we have used the evidence that we have garnered over the years to really guide what we have put into this new strategy.” Dr Singh said that the new plan caters to gathering more evidence in terms of operations research, which in fact speaks to “how we do our work currently and how we can do it better? So there is going to be a greater focus on operations research.” Added to this, the proposed plan, which has seen contribution from about 200 individuals already, will guide the way towards discontinuing an existing parallel response and integrate the HIV response across all sectors as part of the national response, Dr Singh disclosed. Friday’s meeting saw the attendance of a number of stakeholders, who were placed into working groups with a view of helping to finetune the draft of the strategic plan which has been gaining
the attention of proficient public health consultant Dr Sonia Alexander. Dr Alexander, who is currently affiliated with both the Pan American Health Organisation and UNAIDS, was on hand Friday to present details on the current status of the plan, which was completely formulated by key health officials with her expert input. According to her, it is imperative that the final document reflects the needs of the people of Guyana and no one else, thus it is crucial that “we address those needs and plan strategically so that we can see hope at the end of the road where we see zero new infections, zero stigma and discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths.” Despite Friday’s meeting being one that will allow the finalisation of the National Strategic plan, Dr Alexander intimated that there are likely to be at least five drafts before the final document is ready. With this objective in mind the forum saw efforts being made to deliberate on priority areas of the draft plan, among them prevention and elimination, care, treatment
Doctors Sonia Alexander, Shanti Singh and Roberto Bant Campos and support as well as coordination and integration. Aided by its HIVision, the Ministry of Health’s HIVfighting arm is poised to help bring a halt to the scourge of HIV/AIDS, according to UNAIDS Country Representative, Dr Roberto Bant Campos. He revealed that some 10 years ago “we were completely desperate with the epidemic all around the world and we could not have foreseen any good.” He noted that there is now good
news to share, as there is now serious talk about an AIDSfree generation. “What we can foresee for Guyana...is an end to the epidemic; we can halt it and accomplish the Millennium Development Goal Six (MDG6) which says that we will halt the epidemic by 2015.” Dr Campos lauded the efforts of the local health sector to plan even beyond the 2015 timeline with a view of ending the HIV epidemic altogether in Guyana by 2020.
HIVision 2020 is expected to channel more attention towards dealing with some of the mobile populations such as miners and loggers even as efforts are intensified in the area of educating adolescents and young adults. According to Dr Singh, “not only are we going to be having more focus on the most at-risk populations, but at the same time, we will be monitoring closely to ensure that there is a high quality of service.”
Wednesday December 12, 2012
New Chinese Ambassador accredited The benefits that Guyana would have accrued in the fields of infrastructure, economic and technical assistance, human resource development and investment through its longstanding relations with the People’s Republic of China are to continue under new Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Zhang Limin. On Monday, the envoy presented his letters of Credence to President Donald Ramotar and vowed to continue the “time honoured” friendship which the two countries have been sharing over the last four decades. “During my tenure in office on this post, I will exhort my efforts to further develop the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Guyana and the friendship between our two peoples,” Ambassador Limin assured President Ramotar. Guyana is the first country in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to establish diplomatic ties with China, but there has been a link between the two that dates back to 1853 when Chinese immigrants arrived in Guyana to work as indentured servants. Guyana and China celebrated 40 years of diplomatic relations on June
27 this year. Within recent years, China has emerged as one of Guyana’s main nontraditional export markets along with India and Brazil. Guyana exports approximately 34 products to China on a yearly basis, and recently received two new roll-on/roll-off ferry vessels and benefitted from military air corps pilot and engineer training. Laptops for Guyana’s One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) programme were supplied by the Chinese owned Haier Electrical Appliance Limited and more recently the Great Wall Computer Shenzhen Company Limited. In health, the Chinese roving medical missions have been visiting Guyana over the last 20 years to supplement health care services. The construction of the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC) and a modern Sugar Factory at Skeldon are also tangible products of the Guyana/ China partnership. The two countries have over the years benefitted from people to people contacts especially with the plethora of Chinese businesses. In June, Secretary to the Communist Party of China (CPC) Tianjin Municipal Committee Zhang Gaoli visited Guyana with
New Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Zhang Limin shakes hands with President Donald Ramotar (GINA Photo) hopes of building linkages. “The Government and people of Guyana are especially grateful to China for the tangible contributions which we have received in several areas,” President Ramotar said.
Guyana and China have signing agreements to boost priority projects in the areas of transportation, health care, training and culture during the Eleventh Session for the Guyana/China Joint Commission on Economic
Trade and Technical Cooperation. At that forum Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan announced US$1 billion of preferential loans to support the local economic development of Caribbean
countries. President Ramotar conveyed to the new Chinese Ambassador, the Guyana Government’s desire to see China’s partnerships with the Caribbean and Latin America strengthened. (GINA)
Wednesday December 12, 2012
UG Council to name new Vice Chancellor today Having undertaken what is being described as a most elaborate and transparent selection process, the University of Guyana (UG) is today set to name its new Vice Chancellor. In fact reports reaching this publication suggest that the candidate identified for the position is Trinidad-based, Nigeria-born Dr Jacob Opadeyi, who is presently a lecturer at the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies. Kaieteur News understands that the selection of the 59-year-old lecturer has raised concern among many at the Turkeyen Campus, despite his being the holder of laudable credentials. Opadeyi holds a Ph.D in Surveying and Engineering and an Executive Masters in Business Administration. “He cannot offer the University anything and if his appointment is approved it would mean that those responsible do not have the university’s best interest at heart,” said one official who requested anonymity. Dr Opadeyi’s selection was made by the University’s Search Committee which was appointed some years ago by the then Chancellor, Professor Compton Bourne, who reportedly resigned after a period of rejection by many university staffers. A total of seven individuals, including representatives of the Government, Opposition, the University and the Education
Dr Jacob Opadeyi Ministry make up the Search Committee. However, that Committee does not have the final say on who would be appointed the next Vice Chancellor but rather the University’s Council. A Council meeting set for this afternoon will pronounce on the selected candidate who was identified on Friday last. The Council, this publication was informed, has the clout to approve or deny the appointment of that selected candidate. The award-winning Dr Opadeyi was among a list of four shortlisted candidates who were identified for the position of Vice Chancellor. Nineteen individuals had applied for the post. There are concerns that the Search Committee might have overlooked one of the most suitable candidates for the high-profile position in the person of Dr Jaipaul Singh of the University of Central Lancashire. Also shortlisted were Dr Muniram Boodhoo and Dr Rory Fraser, both of whom,
along with Singh, are Guyanese nationals and overseas-tenured academics. They were required to be in-country between the period November 20 and December 4, 2012, for the assessment of their candidature for the position. Each candidate; apart from the formal interview session which was reportedly conducted by a five-member panel, comprised members of the Council of the University, inclusive of representatives of the concerned Ministry, the major political parties, the academic community and the Students’ Society; was required to have an interactive meeting with the joint University Council and Academic Board of the institution. Meetings, it was revealed, were held with the Berbice campus community and the Executive of the UG Students’ Society. At these sessions each candidate was expected to give a short presentation on why he should be appointed Vice-Chancellor. In addition, each candidate was required to give a public lecture on a topic of his choice. The entire process has been touted as the most thorough in the 49year history of the local university. The previous Vice Chancellor of the university was Professor Lawrence Carrington who proceeded on end-of-contract leave on February 6, 2012. He assumed duty at the University on April 1, 2009.
Bungee jumping, rock climbing for Giftland Mall
CEO of Giftland, Ian Ramdeo (right) with SBA’s Shanker Persaud after the signing MCG Investments Inc, on Monday signed a licencing agreement with SBA Entertainment Inc. for the leasing of space at their Giftland Mall, Pattensen, East Coast Demerara. The Coral Springs, Florida-based entity will be bringing bungee jumping, rock climbing and a kids playground within a 4,400
square feet facility “for the enjoyment of all Guyanese”, a statement from Giftland Office Max said. Company representative, Shanker Persaud, said that “all Guyanese need more avenues for entertainment and this venture will set the benchmark for the present and future.” The facilities will
be state-of-the-art in technology and design and have been tested to ISO and ROCH certification, for the European and USA markets. All equipment will be rigorously tested and sanitized, daily, in accordance with both companies’ strict health and safety policies. CEO of Giftland OfficeMax, Ian Ramdeo, said that “Giftland Mall welcomes SBA Entertainment on board and is excited for this partnership to provide to the Guyanese public, especially the often-forgotten kids, a much needed facility for clean family entertainment.” Giftland Mall will also feature separate video arcades for preteens and teenagers, together with a 12lane bowling alley, eight stateof-the-Art 3D cinemas and more than 23 eating places. “This will greatly enhance family options and will firmly establish Giftland Mall as the number one family entertainment choice for all Guyanese and visitors alike, Ramdeo said.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
PUC interventions channel $4M in rebates to consumers in 2012 - Chairman Efforts on the part of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) were instrumental in awarding in excess of $4 million in rebates to consumers of utilities companies during the course of this year. In fact Chairman of the Commission, Justice Prem Persaud, in an interview with this publication related that over the period of about five years, more than $15 million was refunded to consumers. Tasked with regulating, investigating and enforcing measures to govern the operations of the local utility companies, including those responsible for electricity, water and telephone, the PUC often carries out its mandate based on complaints from consumers. It is also charged with monitoring the activities of such entities. With the Guyana Power and Light Inc.(GPL), Guyana Water Incorporated Inc. (GWI), Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) and Digicel under its purview, the PUC has the power to initiate and conduct investigations into the operations and standards of service offered by these public utility companies.
Similar to previous years, Justice Persaud revealed that the utility company which was required to pay the most refunds to customers following interventions was GPL. He disclosed that it was in recognition of the fact that GPL offers a very essential service to consumers, representation was made by the Commission to have the PUC Act amended. This move, according to Justice Persaud, allowed for timeframes to be outlined within which certain works must be done by the electricity company. “As soon as they breach the timeframe a penalty kicks in...They have to pay per day whenever they default...be it late reconnection or new installation...every time they fail to do what they are required to, a cost is imposed,” the PUC Chairman informed. Each time GPL delays in providing a service as detailed in the stipulation it is ordered to pay residential customers $1,000 per day, a cost which is doubled in the case of commercial services. With respect to GT&T, the PUC was able to forge an
agreement which saw the telephone company submitting to an unfixed rule to reduce its rates in proportion to a fixed month, if it delays providing certain services to consumers within a prescribed three-day period. According to the PUC Chairman, GPL usually proves to be the most troublesome, while Digicel is viewed as the least trouble to consumers. “We have done a lot for consumers...some consumers were overbilled or the utility services defaulted in what they have to do with respect to the services they provide, but we were able to get a lot back for consumers,” Justice Persaud asserted. With less than three weeks remaining in 2012, the PUC has to date received a total of 513 complaints with 316 being attributed to GPL of which 250 have been resolved; 107 for GT&T of which 99 were resolved; 85 for GWI of which 76 have been resolved, and five for Digicel, all of which were resolved. Most of the complaints were related to billing and there were instances of disconnection which warranted the intervention of the PUC. Last year a total of
504 complaints were recorded by the PUC. According to Justice Persaud, although the Commission is required to intervene on behalf of consumers it has become evident that the bills consumers prefer to pay are those related to the electricity and telephone services. At the moment GWI is seeking to have the PUC approve a tariff harmonisation plan which could see water rates being increased for some consumers and lowered for others. But according to Justice Persaud, “GWI is right now in a bad way; people are
stealing (water), they prefer to pay for telephone and electricity and very few people are disconnected from those two services (electricity and telephone) but not the same for GWI...people prefer not to pay for water”. Nevertheless he admitted that it was a fairly successful year for the Commission which, in March, expanded its reach by opening a branch in Berbice. Justice Persaud informed that the Commission is currently mulling further expansion in Region Two and Region 10. In the interim, though, he noted that one of the hallmarks of the PUC that will be sustained in the coming
year is its public education drive which is taken regularly to schools, market places and other public locations, with a view of highlighting the important role of the Commission.
The world’s largest annual media collaboration event, which brings together filmmakers, over 100 nonprofits, and the United Nations, will take place today. One Day on Earth, a grassroots online community of filmmakers, aid workers, educators, and everyday inspired media creators has held worldwide filming events on both 10/10/10 and 11/11/ 11, making this December 12th (12/12/12) the end of a trilogy of films. And members of the local visual media community are gearing up to participate in the Event. Local Producer for One Day on Earth, Rustom Seegopaul, explained that this event will help bring Guyana more on to the world stage, in terms of video production. “I think that it is an amazing opportunity to help us showcase the beauty of our country, the charm of our people and the skills we have in video production, and at the same time, help to tell the
many stories in Guyana,” he said. Information about the Guyanese arm of the project was sent to local media and has been published across the internet, using social media. Seegopaul is hoping that there will be a strong response to the call for participation. Almost every country on Earth will be participating in this event on December 12, 2012. The global collaborations result in a feature-length documentary and a shared archive of diverse media, detailing both the joys and struggles of everyday life. The past two events yielded a combined 7,000 hours of footage in over 90 languages and created a growing online community that now has 30,000 members. The worldwide community has also been activated to distribute the final film, including the production of screening events in over 160 countries, breaking a world record for movie premieres.
Seegopaul encouraged all video producers, from the amateur to the more seasoned professional, to go out today and help tell the many stories of Guyana. This year, the event revolves around the theme of: “What Do You Have? What Do You Need?” “We’re hoping that by asking these two simple questions, we will trigger incredibly diverse responses in what it is to be alive today, and springboard to a much bigger conversation,” said Kyle Ruddick, Founder and Director of One Day on Earth. “The questions are extremely powerful from a storytelling perspective, which we will be excited to share in the final film and archive.” To ensure participation from every country in the world, One Day on Earth has distributed over 1,000 cameras to more than 153 countries. Working close l y with the United Nations, the project’s organizers sent 400 additional cameras prior to today.
PUC Chairman, Justice Prem Persaud
Guyana to participate in “One Day on Earth” global filming event
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Conductor in East Coast Teen allegedly beaten, raped bus accident succumbs - accused released on $100,000 bail
The minibus Rodwin Todd was travelling in at the time of his death Hours after the minibus that he was conducting toppled and pinned him, 25year-old Rodwin Todd of Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara (ECD), succumbed to his injuries at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation while undergoing surgery. Todd, a father of one, was said to have suffered massive head injuries when the minibus BKK 1776 crashed on the East Coast highway, in the vicinity of Ogle on Monday at about 19:00hrs. The bus reportedly clipped a Toyota Corolla NZE car before toppling several times and stopping in the middle of the four-lane thoroughfare. According to police, “initial investigations revealed that motor car PLL 8410 was proceeding east along the southern carriageway with mini bus BKK 1776 behind. It is alleged that the driver of the mini bus attempted to
overtake motor car PLL 8410 and collided with the right side of the motorcar. As a result, the driver of the mini bus lost control of the vehicle and slammed into the median of the road, causing the vehicle to topple several times.” Todd suffered the gravest injuries of the six persons involved in the accident. The others were Natasha Chance, 34, of Ogle, ECD; Genevieve Carberry, 56, of Plantain Walk, Beterverwagting, ECD; Prudence Thornhill, 19, of Vryheid’s Lust, ECD; Wishenna Charles, 77, of Triumph, ECD and Adiyan Corbin, 21, of Triumph, ECD. The driver of the vehicle, Kaieteur News understands, was up to last night still in police custody. He is reportedly aiding with investigations. The Todd family of Beterverwagting, was still in disbelief when Kaieteur News visited yesterday. His mother, Audrey, was
inconsolable as she spoke about her son. For her, it is “the worst birthday gift any mother could receive.” Mrs. Todd, who celebrated her birth anniversary yesterday, screamed “Why, why would you do me this on my birthday?” The woman said she had spoken to her son around 14:00hours on Monday when he came over to assist with construction work at her house. She said he had informed her that he was going to, “pull a couple trips” before returning to his 17 NAREI Compound, East Coast Demerara home. The mother said her older son, Roydon Todd, had heard of the accident and he related to her that he heard about the accident but never knew that it was his brother. With the family now making funeral arrangements, for them Christmas this year bears no importance. “It would be hard to cope this holiday,” the mother related.
Benefits expected under new air transport agreement A new agreement that will change the way airlines operate in the international markets is to be signed between Guyana and the US government. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the agreement will help to fuel competition and even reduce prices of flying cargo and passengers. The Air Transport Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Guyana and the Government of the United States of America was to be
signed by Transport Minister, Robeson Benn and Brent Hardt, Ambassador of the United States of America. However, the ceremony has been postponed. According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the agreement will make it possible for “airlines to offer the traveling and shipping public a variety of service options which will encourage individual airlines to develop and implement innovative and competitive prices.” The agreement will also “liberalize the rules for
international aviation markets and minimize government intervention as it applies to passenger, all-cargo and combination air transportation as well as scheduled and charter services.” The new agreement will replace the one between the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States of America relating to air services between their respective territories, signed in Bermuda, February 11, 1946.
According to the relatives of a 14-year-old Kumaka girl, the teen is at present enduring extreme physical discomfort, severe emotional pain and has become somewhat of an introvert after she was “brutally raped” last Saturday afternoon. “She hardly talking to anybody, not eating and just crying all the time. We have to be keeping an eye on her all the time before she tek she life.” The alleged assailant, who was arrested on the day in question, was released on $100,000 station bail at Mabaruma yesterday. The girl’s relatives related that while the teen was making her way home from Kumaka waterfront, which is a 10-15 minute walk, she was approached by the accused and offered a lift; but reportedly refused. She told police that the man, a popular taxi driver in the area, “hauled her into the car”, wound up the windows and proceeded to a desolate area where he stripped her and raped her. The teenager told police
that the sex was unprotected, she was violated both vaginally and anally and the accused ejaculated all over her face. The entire ordeal occurred in the man’s car, according to the teen. “She tell we how he slap she up too, then he drop her in the area and she manage to reach home. He tell she that if she tell anybody he will ‘sell’ she, cause there is a rumour in the village that he father does sell people for riches. Anyway, this thing affect this girl so much that she didn’t care if he sell she or not; she go home and tell she aunty and is she aunty who call de police. De police tek statement from both ah dem and they lock he up the same
Saturday,” a relative told this newspaper. The relative said that she and other family members returned to the police station on Monday and were told that the accused hadn’t been charged “….but they release he yesterday and say how dem can’t hold he no more.” A report from a medical examination done at the Mabaruma Hospital stated that the teen has evidence of lacerations to the anus and that her hymen is not intact. She is being treated for infections. Relatives of the alleged victim said that there was never before any accusation made against the accused “but he in he 20s and he baby mother is 17.”
Wednesday December 12, 2012
GINA causing tensions between Govt., Opposition – APNU - releases dossier of 90 ‘biased’ reports
APNU has accused the state-owned GINA of biased reporting which has raised tensions in the National Assembly. Biased coverage of the Opposition by the statecontrolled Government Information Agency (GINA) has drawn sharp reactions from one party, with accusations leveled yesterday that it is leading to strained relations between the Executive and legislators. According to A Partnership For National Unity (APNU), it has since prepared a dossier covering reports issued by GINA between January and November, which has raised concerns over the agency’s language and opinion. APNU, a 10-party coalition that holds 26 seats in the National Assembly, warned that the reports have the potential to erase any likely collaboration. “APNU expressed concern about the content and character of these reports which contain language and express opinions which have the potential to impair collaboration between the executive and legislative branches and impede the work of the National Assembly,” a statement from
the coalition said. The statement explained that the dossier, which contained 90 stories apparently written by GINA reporters, were of comments attributed to President Donald Ramotar; Minister of Legal Affairs, Attorney General Anil Nandlall; Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh; Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon; Presidential Adviser on Governance, Gail Teixeira and other members of the executive branch of government which “concern the business of the National Assembly, the conduct of the Opposition and the decisions as Speaker.” The dossier, “The Executive War on the Legislative Branch”, was also released yesterday to the media. It is not the first time that APNU has been complaining about reporting from GINA. Earlier this year, during the handling of the National Budget in the National Assembly, APNU and the Alliance For Change (AFC) which holds seven seats, both
voted against allocations for GINA and the National Communications Network (NCN), in an apparent protest action. T h e r u l i n g P e o p l e ’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the combined Opposition have been facing a stormy year in the National Assembly following the November 28th, 2011, General and Regional Elections. For the first time since assuming continuous power in 1992, the ruling party lost its majority in the National Assembly, giving APNU and AFC a combined one-seat advantage. Talks have broken down several times between government and the two parties on a number of critical issues like local government elections. The National Assembly is now facing a standoff with a ruling by Raphael Tr o t m a n , t h e S p e a k e r, which has sent a motion to gag Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee, to a special Parliamentary committee for handling.
Army to investigate female soldier’s rape claims The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has launched an investigation into allegations of rape made by a female solider against a Captain in the Army. According to reports, the rank is requesting to be discharged from the GDF pending investigations. Chief of Staff Gary Best is presently not in the country and it is said that “the issues will be dealt with accordingly upon his return”. The matter has also been reported to the Brickdam Police Station. The 22-year-old woman claims she was raped by her Captain while being a part of
a military police training course at an interior location. She claims that the issue is being covered up by the Guyana Defence Force and not being addressed accordingly by the Police. The alleged victim says that the issue was “made a joke” in the army, and that persons “blistered” her and made fun of the allegation which allegedly occurred in November 2011. Thus, the victim requested a transfer to another section. Indentifying the captain by name, the young lady said that on the first occasion of rape, she blamed herself,
because the ordeal happened when she was under the influence of alcohol and was not aware of what really transpired until the following day. She said that she never disclosed the event to any relative since she was having issues with her family, something she confided in the said officer when she first joined the GDF in 2010. The woman said it occurred on another occasion and she then severed all communications with the Captain and reported the matter to a high-ranking officer. She was later assigned a counsellor.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Caricom confronts US on unfair rum trade …Guyana could lose $3.2B in exports A quarrel is brewing between the US and regional rum makers. This quarrel has engaged the attention of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) because the rum makers are worried. CARICOM’s Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), following a two-day meeting in Guyana which ended yesterday, called on the United States to engage early with Caribbean rumproducing countries with a view to achieving an outcome that will support the continued competitive access for Caribbean rum to the US market. The issue has to do with US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, two US territories, being allowed to “unfairly” use a tax rebate from the US Federal Government to provide benefits to companies to produce and market rum for the US market. The matter had been engaging the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association Inc. (WIRSPA) and there were reports that the matter would have been taken to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
According to CARICOM, its trade arm was clear that rum production and export are critical to the social and economic well-being of the region. “In addition to being the largest agriculture-based export industry in CARICOM, the rum industry is a substantial employer and a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings and government revenues.” The statement said that CARICOM continues to have serious concerns about the threat to the competitiveness of Caribbean rum in the United States (US) market, resulting from the massive subsidies provided by the governments of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico to multinational rum producers in those territories. “The nature and scale of these subsidies are such that they threaten to distort rum markets not only in the US but elsewhere.” Puerto Rico produces Bacardi while the USVI is known for Captain Morgan. “Time is not on the side of the Caribbean rum industry. Given the likely
deleterious effect of these subsidies on the long-term viability of an industry which is of such critical importance to the economic fabric of so many countries in the Region, the COTED supports strongly the deep commitment of CARICOM countries to pursuing all avenues available to secure a resolution of this matter that restores the competitive balance in the marketplace.” Guyana’s two rum makers are the Demerara Distillers Limited and Banks DIH Limited. The issue had deeply worried rum officials here, with DDL saying that WIRSPA was pursuing it at a number of levels. Chairman of the Barbados Rum Committee, Dr. Frank Ward, has reportedly said that the country was facing difficulties in competing with the low prices from the two US territories. He warned that if the situation is not dealt with immediately it could result in the demise of the rum industry not just in Barbados, but throughout the Caribbean. Barbados rum export industry is reportedly worth US$50M a year. In the case of Guyana,
CARICOM wants to US to engage the region’s rum producers in talks over worry about unfair subsidies. while in 2011 its total rum exports were 3.8 per cent of total exports, rum is significant because of the number of people employed by the industry (4.6 per cent of the country’s work force), according to Sir Ronald Sanders in a recently published column. The subsidy issue would ultimately affect WIRSPA’s members market in the European Union. According
to Sanders, when losses from the US market - that are now very real because of the actions of the USVI and PR – are added to the potential losses from the EU market, on the strength of 2011 figures, the Dominican Republic remains the biggest loser per annum in money terms (US$88.2 m), Bahamas second (US$34.9 m), followed by Jamaica (US$25.4 m), Barbados (US$25.3 m) and
Guyana (US$16.08 m). Guyana is known for its award-winning El Dorado rum. CARIFORUM governments, Sir Ronald reported, have tried talking with the representatives of the US Trade Representative’s office and they have got no indication that the US government will act to stop the actions of the USVI and Puerto Rico. (Leonard Gildarie)
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Venezuela’s Chavez undergoes cancer surgery in Cuba CARACAS (Reuters) Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba yesterday for a cancer recurrence that has thrown his presidency into jeopardy and upended politics in the South American OPEC nation. “My dear friend and colleague, Comandante Hugo Chavez, is going through the toughest times of his life,” said Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, a fellow leftist. “He is being operated on right now. It’s a very delicate operation.” The 58-year-old’s surgery in political ally Cuba was his fourth since mid-2011. Doctors found malignant cells again in his pelvic area soon after he won re-election in October, leading him to name a successor in case he has to step down. State TV in Venezuela ran
hours of footage of ministers pledging their loyalty to the socialist leader. Details of his condition are treated almost as a state secret. “The medical team are optimistic about the success of this operation,” Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said in a brief statement. Having declared himself cured twice in the past, Chavez now worries the latest recurrence could end his tumultuous 14-year rule. But he retains hope of recovering in time for the January 10 start of his new six-year term in office. Chavez named his vice president and foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, as a potential heir to lead his selfstyled revolution in a nation of 29 million people with the world’s largest oil reserves.
Ex-premier of Turks and Caicos arrested in Brazil
Michael Misick PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos (AP) — The former jet-setting premier of the Turks and Caicos islands has been arrested in Brazil after having disappeared a couple years ago.
Governor spokesman Neil Smith says Michael Misick was detained Friday at the Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro. The British government had obtained an international warrant for Misick through Interpol in March. Misick is accused of corruption, misusing public money and profiting from the sale of government-owned land to developers. Misick has said the charges are politically motivated. He stepped down in 2009, shortly after Britain took temporary control of the territory’s government amid allegations of rampant corruption. The territory held parliamentary elections last month for the first time in three years, ending Britain’s direct rule.
Maduro, 50, a former bus driver and union activist, lacks his boss’s charisma and political flair but would represent policy continuity should he take over. He has already taken control of dayto-day government business. The naming of Maduro has irked some in Venezuela’s opposition, who say voters not Chavez - will decide who follows him if an election is held within 30 days of his leaving office, as required under the constitution. “Venezuela is not a monarchy with a prince as heir,” said one opposition leader, Antonio Ledezma. Should an election be held, opposition flag bearer Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez in the October presidential ballot but scored a record 6.5 million votes for the opposition, could have a second crack at power. In a newspaper interview yesterday, Capriles declined to speculate on a possible new presidential bid and repeated his best wishes to Chavez for recovery. But he criticized the secrecy surrounding the president’s treatment.
“Venezuelans have the right to know,” he said. Chavez was assumed to be a patient once more at Havana’s Cimeq hospital, though no official information on the situation was coming out of the communist-run Caribbean island. Cancer experts said the recurrence of his disease was bad news. “The chances for longterm recovery are highest the first time around, when you attack a cancer with surgery and chemotherapy. Whenever a cancer recurs, your chances for a long-term positive outcome decrease,” said Dr. Axel Grothey, an oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Grothey has not been involved in the president’s treatment but said he had seen many patients in a similar situation. The stakes are high for Cuba and other socialist-run nations around Latin America and the Caribbean which depend on the Chavez government for subsidized oil and other economic aid. Supporters held prayer meetings around Venezuela, and messages of support
have poured in from abroad. “He changed the history of Venezuela and of a large part of Latin America,” said Correa, a central member of the Chavez-led Alba bloc of leftist nations in the region. “He’s in good spirits. You know what Hugo’s like, always ready for tough battles with optimism and faith ... I’m not going to lie, we are very worried. It is a serious matter.” U.S. actor Sean Penn, one of Chavez’s most prominent international supporters, joined a vigil in Bolivia. “He’s one of the most impressive forces on the planet and we need to show him our love,” Penn was quoted as saying by local media. Chavez’s health woes had sparked a rally in Venezuela bonds, given many investors’ preference for a more business-friendly government in Caracas. Gains were trimmed slightly on Tuesday. Western investors have increasingly shunned Venezuela under Chavez especially given his nationalizations of large swathes of the economy -
giving companies from China, Russia, Iran, Belarus and other allies a chance to grab footholds. In London, veteran emerging market investor Mark Mobius said any change to a more marketfriendly government in Venezuela would encourage him to invest there once more. “Regime change has probably entered into a countdown phase,” said Siobhan Morden of New York-based Jefferies investment bank. The health saga has once again eclipsed major national issues such as state elections on Sunday, a widely expected devaluation of the bolivar currency and a proposed amnesty for Chavez’s jailed and exiled political foes.
Jamaica Gleaner Jamaica has earned more than US$1 billion from the tourism industry so far this year, Tourism and Entertainment Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill said. Speaking at the launch of Tourism Awareness Week 2012, McNeill said the earnings of US$1.7 billion represent a 3.2 per cent increase over the US$1.6 billion generated for the same period in 2011. He said stopover visitor arrivals also grew this year, increasing by 2.4 per cent between January and October to stand at 1.7 million.
McNeill pointed out that those figures were evidence of the significant strides that Jamaica has made in efforts to tap into new markets, and expressed optimism that the country is poised for record arrivals next year. “We anticipate 2013 to be a groundbreaking year for Jamaica, and we will continue to tap new markets for opportunities, while boosting destination marketing efforts in these markets,” he said, adding that the authorities have been successful in arranging for new flights to boost tourist arrivals. “For the winter tourist
season, we will commence an inaugural non-stop flight from Moscow, Russia, starting January 1, 2013 into Montego Bay. We have also confirmed flight service from the Czech Republic, starting December 28. In addition, there will be non-stop service from Paris, France. “Out of the United Kingdom, we will add another flight from Gatwick, London, that will become a weekly service starting in May 2013, while British Airways will maintain its three flights to Kingston, and Virgin Atlantic Airways its three flights to Montego Bay,” McNeill said.
He said focus was also being placed on Latin America, while announcing that discussions with COPA Airlines have led to their confirming a doubling of their services from four to eight flights weekly into Jamaica beginning in the 2012 winter season. “Approximately 1.1 million seats have already been secured for the upcoming winter tourist season. These visitors will come from our traditional markets, including the United States, Canada, and Europe, as well as other markets such as Latin America.”
Jamaica earns US$1.7b from tourism industry
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Cayman Islands Premier arrested in corruption case KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — The top official in the Cayman Islands was arrested on suspicion of corruption in the famed Caribbean tax haven. Premier McKeeva Bush was arrested at his home yesterday morning in the West Bay section of Grand Cayman island by officers from the financial unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, said spokeswoman Janet Dougall. The 57-year-old Bush was detained “in connection with a number of ongoing police investigations,” Dougall said in a statement. Those include probes into suspected theft related to misuse of a government credit card and breach of trust for the alleged importation of unspecified explosive substances without valid permits. Authorities in the British Caribbean territory did not provide any details about the allegations. “It would be inappropriate for the RCIPS to make any further comment in relation to these matters at this time,” the police statement said. “Further updates will be made available in due course.” Leonard Dilbert, the premier ’s chief of staff, stressed that Bush will continue working as the three-island territory’s leader amid the ongoing police probes. “There have been no charges,” Dilbert said in a
McKeeva Bush brief phone interview from the small island chain. Meanwhile, the islands’ 700-member Chamber of Commerce applauded news of the top official’s arrest by investigators. The premier ’s arrest “demonstrates Cayman’s robust law enforcement and anti-corruption systems and the islands’ intolerance (of) any alleged unethical behavior or corruption even at the highest level of political office,” the chamber said in a statement. The islands’ monetary authority and bankers’ association did not immediately respond to emails and calls. Private equity and hedge funds flock to the Cayman Islands, which offers tax advantages for fund managers and some of their foreign and nonprofit investors. Setting up shop in the islands, usually nothing more than a mail drop, also provides them a large degree
of financial secrecy while avoiding the far tighter financial regulations of the U.S. and other nations. Bush was elected premier in May 2009 when his United Democratic Party won nine spots in the 15-seat Legislative Assembly, defeating the People’s Progressive Movement. Bush created the UDP in 2000 when he was tourism, environment and transport minister. Bush wields great power within the territory because he is finance minister as well as head of government. He also is the longest serving member of the Legislative Assembly, having first been elected in 1984. Following the elections, Bush has focused on retaining foreign finance firms and generating more revenue for the British territory. It is the world’s sixth largest financial center, with $1.6 trillion in officially booked international assets. In July, Bush created waves when he proposed the islands’ first direct tax, which had targeted expatriate workers who earned more than $20,000 annually. It had outraged investors and many people living on the islands, where financial services and tourism are the pillars of the economy. Bush later scrapped the plan following an international outcry. Bush had been the target of several police investigations prior to his arrest.
Opposition calls for resignation of Prime Minister BASSETERRE, St Kitts CMC - Opposition Leader Mark Brantley has called on Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas to resign after he announced a postponement of the presentation of the national budget. In a nationwide radio and television broadcast late Monday night , Dr Douglas, who is also Finance Minister, said two members of Cabinet failed to attend meetings at which the fiscal package had been discussed and assured citizens that despite the postponement his administration would present a “completely tax-free” package. He said a new date will be announced for the budget presentation. But Brantley said that the National Assembly has faced two postponements within a one week period and that the postponement of the budget was as a result of division within the government.
Dr Denzil Douglas “It must be clear to all at home and abroad that Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas no longer commands the confidence of the parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Brantley, who has already tabled a motion of no confidence in the prime minister. “That motion is pending and I today wrote to the
Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable Curtis Martin, requesting of him that the motion of no confidence be tabled in the National Parliament for debate at the sitting of the Assembly on Tuesday as it is customary that any such motion which goes to the very heart of the legitimacy of the Government has to be treated with the utmost urgency. “The manner in which Parliament was abandoned raised the natural suspicion that the Prime Minister was unwilling to have Parliament convened and face certain defeat of his Bill to increase the number of Senators in the National Assembly.” Brantley said that Prime Minister Douglas “facing certain defeat of his budget and concerned no doubt that the motion of no confidence will be tabled for debate” has cancelled the schedule sitting of Parliament yesterday.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
No-show witnesses so CLICO probe ends early
Lawrence Duprey Trinidad Guardian - The CLICO/Hindu Credit Union commission of enquiry ended four days prematurely Monday as several scheduled witnesses were out of the country. Sir Anthony Colman, chairman of the commission, was visibly upset at this development, describing the abrupt ending as unacceptable. He was speaking yesterday at the current session of the enquiry at Winsure Building, Port-ofSpain. A representative of the CLICO Policyholders Group was supposed to give evidence yesterday but the group asked to be allowed to give an abridged PowerPoint version, as more than one witness would be overseas. Colman said it was not possible, then asked if there were any other witnesses who could testify in the scheduled period. One of the absent witnesses was Jason Julien, a financial analyst at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Colman said it was “astounding” that a public body like the SEC could not find a substitute witness. He added: “We lost four days of hearing. This is not good.” In June, Colman complained about witnesses not showing up for scheduled hearings. Three witnesses were held in
contempt of the commission, which has the same status as a High Court. They were former CEO of HCU Communications Gawtam Ramnanan, former HCU financial consultant Jameel Ali and Dave Jagpat. The next session of the enquiry will be next February. Monday evening, CLICO Policyholders Group spokesman Peter Permell said attorney Lynette Seebaran Suite was supposed to give a presentation on various CL Financial transactions on behalf of the group at the enquiry tomorrow. However, Permell said, Seebaran Suite left yesterday on a business trip to Miami. However, the day was not totally lost. Henry Hamlet, former department manager, health and life, CLICO, testified yesterday afternoon. He spoke about his experience at CLICO and the problems encountered, such as high interest rates, bloated salaries and other efficiencies that led to its cashflow problems. While being cross-examined by Neal Bisnath, attorney for CLICO, Hamlet pointed to some of the major problems: High leveraging of assets, dismissal of key personnel in the company, problems in marketing and a lack of good corporate governance. He gave the example of a $68 million loss because of a deal with the HCU. He said: “The HCU was going through some difficulties and they went into an arrangement with CLICO to exchange their liabilities for overvalued property portfolio. “The property received by CLICO involved buildings with limited income-generating capabilities. “Because of this,” he said, “CLICO incurred $68 million in losses as a result of that transaction. CLICO provided mortgage funding for the HCU Convention Centre which was outside the approval of the board.” He referred to the insurance policy of former CLICO director Gene Dziadyk, who enjoyed special treatment
Barbados not in any immediate danger of losing British aid Barbados Nation - The European Union (EU) has no plans to w i t h h o l d a i d from Barbados if it refuses to decriminalize b u g g e r y. This assurance came Monday from the new a m b a s s a d o r, M i k a e l Barfod, who said the E U preferred to engage in dialogue with nations, rather than impose conditionalities. The ambassador was responding to questions about British Prime Minister
David Cameron’s threat last year to withhold aid from governments that did not reform legislation banning homosexuality. Cameron had indicated that those receiving British aid should “adhere to proper human rights”. At that time, a British diplomat said Barbados was not in any immediate danger of losing aid since there were no bilateral programmes between Britain and the island.
from Lawrence Duprey, who approved an especially high interest rate. He said: “I have a letter dated April 2007 from Dziadyk and it says in accordance with the amendment of the policy in 2004, and approved by Duprey, that 75.4 per cent shall be credited to this policy for the period 2004 to 2007. “At the end of April 2007, his insurance policy was worth US$12.5 million. In three years, he moved from US$2.3 million to US$12.5 million.”
Government committed to the survival of sugar industry KINGSTON, Jamaica CMC - Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke says despite relative decline, the sugar industry remains very important to the Jamaican economy. He said the Portia Simpson-Miller government continues to provide support for the industry, with the latest being the provision of four billion dollars (One Jamaica dollar = US$0.04 cents) over the next four years to increase yield, ensuring that the remains profitable.
“Through the Cane Expansion Fund, we are supporting a massive planting and replanting exercise to take cane farmers output to 1.4 million tonnes from about 500,000 tonnes currently, and increase cane yields to above 70 tonnes per hectare from the current average of 50 tonnes per hectare,” said Clarke, who outlined details in a report circulated at a recent conference organised by the Jamaica Association of Sugar Technologists (JAST).
“We also aim to bring an estimated 8,000 hectares of new land into production, and our projection is to get cane farmers to increase production of cane by some 800,000 tonnes within the next four years at a cost of four billion,” he added. Clarke said the Expansion Fund will provide an estimated three billion dollars for land preparation, harvesting, equipment support on a revolving basis over four years, for farmers in Clarendon and St. Catherine.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Mali PM forced to quit as army strengthens grip
Cheick Modibo Diarra
(Reuters) - Mali’s prime minister was forced to resign yesterday by the soldiers who staged a coup in March, underscoring the military’s continuing grip and complicating international efforts to help push Islamists from the north. Once a beacon of democracy in West Africa, Mali has been mired in crisis since the coup, when ethnic Tuareg rebels and al Qaedalinked Islamist fighters took advantage of the chaos to
seize the northern two-thirds of the arid nation. Although the soldiers gave way to a civilian president and prime minister in April under international pressure, they have never been far from power and have shown their readiness to stamp their authority on divided and weak politicians. Cheick Modibo Diarra resigned as prime minister hours after he was arrested trying to leave the country for former colonial power France
and was brought to the exjunta’s headquarters at a barracks in Kati, just outside Bamako. “I, Cheick Modibo Diarra, hereby resign with my entire government,” a nervouslooking Diarra said in a short statement broadcast on state television early on Tuesday. Diarra is a former NASA scientist and Microsoft chief for Africa. The officer who led the coup, Captain Amadou Sanogo, appeared on state
television late yesterday to say his supporters had not used violence. “We only facilitated it (the resignation),” he said. “Some weeks ago he (Diarra) said if anyone wanted him to go, he would tender his resignation, not to the president, but to us. So yesterday, we saw that it was necessary for him to go,” Sanogo added. Minutes later, a news presenter read a decree from interim president Diouncounda Traore appointing Django Cissoko, a former senior official in the president’s office, as the new prime minister. Fearing Mali has become a safe haven for terrorism and organised crime, West African leaders have signed off on a plan to send 3,300 soldiers to Mali to revamp its army and then support operations to retake the north. But Diarra’s arrest and the fresh political turmoil it has created in Bamako could
discourage international partners from backing the plan until civilian rule is strengthened. “What is really clear now is that the military junta is the one that is in control,” said Gilles Yabi, head of the International Crisis Group’s West Africa programme. “They have the weapons, they have the force and they are taking control of the transition ... the immediate obstacle in the crisis in Mali is now in Bamako and not the north,” he said. Sanogo has been repeatedly accused by his critics of political meddling since he stepped down and was given the task of overseeing reforms of Mali’s army. A soldier in Kati said he witnessed a tearful Diarra being scolded by Sanogo for having brought shame to the country. The junta’s involvement in the resignation provoked strong condemnation from the international community.
Merkel lowers expectations for EU summit to MPs (Reuters) - Chancellor
Angela Merkel played down expectations of a deal to boost euro zone fiscal policies at an EU summit later this week yesterday meeting with members of her Christian Democrats, several participants said. Merkel told the CDU members of parliament in a closed-door Berlin meeting ahead of tomorrow’s European Union summit that she was sceptical about the chances for a quick agreement for deepening economic and monetary union, the participants said. Merkel said the EU leaders should focus on agreeing steps that can be achieved in the next six months rather than trying to agree a more ambitious “road map” all the way to 2014, as EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy has proposed. “The government leaders should concentrate on the achievability of the next steps,” Merkel was quoted telling the deputies, according to one of several participants at the meeting. “Evidently we need to first determine what is important and for me that is things like unit labour costs, the percentage of spending on research and the percentage of state spending as well as the efficiency of the administrations,” she said. The German chancellor told the deputies that the summit should focus on a timetable for the next steps,
Angela Merkel approximately the next six months. Merkel also said she opposes a proposal from EU institutions for a Europeanwide unemployment insurance. She said that one should first agree on which areas it is desirable for a closer coordination in the EU and euro zone. At their summit in Brussels, European leaders will discuss a “roadmap” for deeper economic and monetary union, spelling out the steps required to achieve a much tighter integration of the euro zone’s banking systems, budgets and finances. Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and the president of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, drafted the 15-page “roadmap” following a request from EU leaders at a summit in June.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
GOP’s Boehner says Obama slow-walking cliff talks
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is pursued by reporters as he walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations with President Barack Obama on the fiscal cliff, yesterday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner accused President Barack Obama yesterday of slowwalking negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and urged him to name specific cuts in government spending he would support as part of any compromise. “Let’s be honest. We’re broke. The plan we offered is consistent with the
president’s call for a balanced approach,” said the Ohio Republican, who has said he will accept higher tax revenue as part of a deal that also includes cuts in government benefit programs. “We’re still waiting for the White House” to do the same. The White House and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi countered the assertion within moments.
“The irony of this is that the White House offer had very specific cuts, the GOP counteroffer had almost none,” tweeted the president’s communications director, Dan Pfeiffer. White House aides circulated a summary pointing to more than $300 billion in proposed Medicare savings that are included in Obama’s budget, as well as another $250 billion
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran voiced readiness yesterday to address concerns of U.N. nuclear inspectors about its atomic activities in talks this week but said its “right” to refine uranium should be part of any agreement. The Islamic state’s insistence that its uranium enrichment - work which can have both military and civilian purposes - should be recognized may further dampen expectations among Western diplomats of any major progress in Thursday’s talks. The meeting in Tehran could provide clues as to whether Iran may now be more willing to help allay international suspicions over its disputed nuclear programme following U.S. President Barack Obama’s reelection last month. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) hopes to reach a deal that would enable it to resume a long-stalled investigation into suspected past atomic bomb research, and possibly still ongoing, in Iran. Ramin Mehmanparast, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Iran was ready to take action to resolve possible concerns of the U.N. nuclear
watchdog, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported. But, he said, any deals with the agency “should be complete agreements in which Iran’s right to enjoy nuclear science, including having the fuel cycle and enrichment for peaceful nuclear activities, exists. “How this framework should be defined and how we should reach an agreement will be discussed by experts from the two sides in this meeting,” ISNA quoted him as saying. Iran has also previously demanded that its nuclear “rights” be recognized, but it has usually done this in separate talks with world powers involved in diplomatic efforts to resolve the decade-old nuclear dispute peacefully. The United States says Iran does not automatically have the right to refine uranium under international law because, it argues, Tehran is in violation of its obligations under counterproliferation safeguards. Enriched uranium can fuel nuclear power plants, Iran’s declared aim, but also provide material for bombs if refined further, which the West suspects is Tehran’s ultimate
ambition. The United Nations Security Council has in a series of resolutions since 2006 demanded that Iran suspend enrichment, something Tehran has repeatedly rejected. Western diplomats say they are not optimistic about the chances of a breakthrough in this week’s discussions, after a series of meetings between Iran and the IAEA since January failed to make headway. But they don’t rule out that Iran, under tightening Western sanctions hurting its oil-dependent economy, will try to offer some concessions in an attempt to ease international pressure. The IAEA wants Iran to allow its inspectors to visit sites, interview officials and study documents as part of an inquiry - largely stymied by Iranian stonewalling for four years - into possible military dimensions to the country’s nuclear programme. The IAEA’s priority is to examine the sprawling Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran, where it believes Iran has carried out explosives tests with nuclear applications.
Iran insists on nuclear “right” ahead of IAEA talks
in non-health benefit programs. There was no hint of progress in the flurry of public comments, although the rhetoric was kept relatively restrained, as if to avoid jeopardizing any negotiations that might be taking place. In remarks on the House floor immediately after Boehner spoke, Pelosi also called on him and the Republican leadership to permit a vote on Obama’s plan to extend expiring tax cuts for most Americans while letting them lapse at upper incomes. She predicted it would have “overwhelming support” — even in the GOP-controlled House. The day’s events underscored the difficulty confronting the White House and congressional leaders as they struggle to avert acrossthe-board tax increases and spending cuts in government programs that are scheduled to take effect at the turn of the year. Economists say the combination could send the economy into recession. “The longer the White House slow-walks this process the closer our
economy gets to the fiscal cliff,” said Boehner. Earlier, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was somewhat more critical in remarks of his own. “The president seems to think that if all he talks about are taxes, and that’s all reporters write ab o u t , somehow the rest of us will magically forget that government spending is completely out of control and that he himself has been insisting on balance,” he said on the Senate floor. He highlighted several government programs as examples of what he said was wasteful spending. “A few weeks ago, Senator (Tom) Coburn issued a study that showed taxpayers are funding Moroccan pottery classes, promoting shampoo and other beauty products for cats and dogs and a video game that allows them to relive prom night,” McConnell said. “Get this: Taxpayers also just spent $325,000 on a robotic squirrel named RoboSquirrel.” The two sides have presented rival initial offers in the cliff negotiations.
Obama’s plan would raise $1.6 trillion in revenue over 10 years, in part by raising tax rates on incomes over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. He has recommended $400 billion in spending cuts over a decade. He also is seeking extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut due to expire on Jan. 1, a continuation in long-term unemployment benefits and steps to help hard-pressed homeowners and doctors who treat Medicare patients. The White House summary noted that Obama last year signed legislation to cut more than $1 trillion from government programs over a decade, and was proposing $600 billion in additional savings from benefit programs. It also noted that the health care law that he signed into law showed savings of $100 billion. Much or all of that funding came from Medicare, even though Obama’s aides insisted during his successful campaign for re-election that he had not made any cuts in it.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Brazil’s Lula knew about vote buying scheme: newspaper RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva knew about and used funds from a far-reaching vote-buying scheme to pay for personal expenses, according to testimony by a convicted former consultant to the ruling Workers’ Party. The testimony, reported yesterday by the Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, was given in September to the Brazilian attorney general’s office by Marcos Valerio, an advertising executive recently convicted as a bagman in the scheme.
Valerio also testified that an aide to the former president made veiled threats when the scandal erupted in efforts to keep him quiet, the newspaper said. According to the report, Valerio gave the testimony voluntarily in a bid to reduce his sentence after he and 24 other former Lula aides and associates were convicted in a landmark trial heard by Brazil’s Supreme Court. Lula, on a visit to Paris with President Dilma Rousseff, denied the accusations by Valerio when approached by reporters
upon leaving an event yesterday. “I cannot believe in lies,” he said without stopping to elaborate. Though Valerio still received a stiff 40-year prison sentence, the circumstances of his testimony are likely to cast doubt on his claims. Among other crimes, Valerio was convicted of handling the money used in the scheme, which involved payoffs to legislators in exchange for Congressional support. The trial exposed crimes at the core of the administration
of Brazil’s beloved former president and was hailed as a sign that the country is growing less tolerant of the corruption long rife in local, state, and national politics. Lula, still Brazil’s most influential political figure and a possible contender for a new run at the presidency in 2014, has denied any knowledge of the scheme since it came to light in 2005, roiling the first of his two terms. Rousseff rejected the allegations as a “deplorable” attempt to smear the image of her mentor and predecessor. “I reject all these attempts - this isn’t the first one - to try to tarnish the immense respect that the Brazilian people have for him,” she said during a press conference with French President Francois Hollande. “It’s deplorable.” Though Lula’s legacy has been dented by the corruption scandal, the trial has done little to sap his star power - even after officials including a former treasurer of the PT, as the Workers’ Party is known, and Jose Dirceu, his once-powerful chief of staff, were convicted. That could change if the
allegations made by Valerio were proven. Critics have long alleged that the scheme could not have been carried out without Lula’s knowledge, or tacit approval, but so far no proof of either has surfaced. The newspaper report said authorities already confirmed one of two deposits that Valerio alleged were made into a bank account controlled by a former Lula assistant. It also said that another Lula assistant, and now the director of the former president’s foundation, at the time the scandal broke told Valerio that “there are people in the PT who think that we should kill you.” Lula’s foundation declined to comment on the report. Marcelo Leonardo, Valerio’s lawyer, also declined to comment. The former president, who presided over eight years of sustained growth in Latin America’s biggest country, left office in 2011 because Brazil’s constitution prohibits more than two consecutive terms in the presidency. His approval ratings at the time approached 90 percent.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva After a bout with throat cancer, Lula returned to politics this year and remains a friend and informal advisor to Rousseff, a former bureaucrat and minister whom he handpicked to succeed him as the party’s candidate. Rousseff was unknown to most voters at the time, but Lula’s endorsement ensured her victory. While Lula has said he will not run again if Rousseff decides to stand for reelection, some analysts believe she could decline. Rousseff’s primary job as president thus far has been rekindling growth in the world’s sixth-largest economy, which has slowed to a crawl for most of the past two years.
Egyptian army to host unity talks as crisis deepens
CAIRO (Reuters) Egypt’s army chief will host national unity talks today, seeking to end a growing political and economic crisis in the Arab world’s most populous nation. The meeting scheduled for 1430 GMT was called in response to a wave of protests since President Mohamed Mursi awarded himself sweeping powers on November 22 to push through a new constitution shaped by his Islamist allies, which is due to go to a referendum on Saturday. “We will not speak about politics nor about the referendum. Tomorrow we will sit together as Egyptians,” armed forces chief and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said at a gathering of army and police officials on Tuesday. Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled him to power in a June election, were expected to attend, while the main opposition coalition said it would decide on Wednesday morning whether to participate. The opposition stayed away from an earlier reconciliation meeting called by Mursi last weekend. Outside the presidential
Mohamed Mursi palace - where anti-Mursi protesters are demanding the Islamist postpone the vote on a constitution they say does not represent all Egyptians there was skepticism tinged with some hope. “Talks without the cancellation of the referendum - and a change to the constitution to make it a constitution for all Egyptians and not the Brotherhood - will lead to nothing and will be no more than a media show,” said Ahmed Hamdy, a 35-year-old office worker. But the fact that the army was calling such talks “is an
indication to all parties that the crisis is coming to a head and that they need to end it quickly”, he said. Earlier, finance minister Mumtaz al-Said disclosed that a $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan, a cornerstone of Egypt’s economic recovery hopes, would be delayed until next month because of the crisis. The delay was intended to allow time to explain a widely criticized package of economic austerity measures to the Egyptian people, Said told Reuters. Prime Minister Hisham Kandil said the measures would not hurt the poor. Bread, sugar and rice would not be touched, but prices of cigarettes and cooking oil would go up and fines would be imposed for public littering. In a bid to rebuild consensus, he said there would be a public consultation about the program next week. In Washington, the IMF said Egypt had asked for the loan to be postponed “in light of the unfolding developments on the ground”. The Fund stood ready to consult with Egypt on resuming discussions on the stand-by loan, a spokeswoman said.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
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Wednesday December 12, 2012 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19) Although you’re very motivated now to charge ahead, it’s challenging to know what’s really going on around you. Don’t become distracted by the sideshows; although intriguing, they might draw your attention away from the real work at hand.
LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) You’re moving through a confusing intersection now as you’re driven by your own impractical desires. Although you may silently luxuriate in the sweet fruits of your fantasies, sharing them with others adds higher levels of enjoyment today.
TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20) Your thinking can land you in a heap of trouble today, unless you are clear about what you want. You might enjoy the mental exercise as your thoughts run around in circles like a hamster on a wheel.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) Your confidence continues to grow now because you can see the value you bring to the table. Since you’re often motivated by non-material goals, it’s challenging to appraise your real worth. Nevertheless, it’s also time to reap rewards from the seeds that you have sown.
GEMINI (May 21–June 20) It is tempting to focus on external circumstances today because there are so many important interactions taking place. However, if you live only in the outer realms, you may find yourself in endless conversations that lead nowhere. CANCER (June 21–July 22) It is one thing to experience your feelings as strongly as you do. However, it’s an entirely different matter if you expect others to become as invested in your process as you are now. No matter how hard you try to keep an emotional discussion on a single track today, it will probably meander all over the place anyhow. LEO (July 23–Aug. 22) No matter how intense a situation grows today, staying calm helps you successfully get through it. Someone may be playing power games and you might be in on the action now without even knowing it. VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) Your key planet Mercury receives fuzzy signals from nebulous Neptune today, and your typically logical mind might lose track of your purpose. At worst, you may be distracted by unimportant events.
SAGIT (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) You might feel pressure to say what is true versus what is effective today. You could find yourself in a situation where you’re better off keeping your opinion to yourself. However, your words reveal what you’re thinking as soon as you open your mouth. CAPRI (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) You need to take a leap of faith today. Even if the odds don’t seem to be in your favor, you still might have to jump. Thankfully, your chances for success are better than they appear, for you may be basing a negative assessment on your fears of the unknown. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) A host of strange events is coming your way, yet your attachment to the possibility of what may happen could have you secretly smiling. Although you’ve embarked on your own private magical mystery tour, you might not want your friends to perceive just how weird you are now. PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20) Although your imaginative thoughts could be too much to share with your boss today, your spiritual and emotional dimensions are opening wider than ever — and you’re enjoying the experience.
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Guides are subjected to change without notice
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Wednesday December 12, 2012
R/veldt Children’s Aid Centre seeks support
The choir recording a charity single called ‘Breathe’ at the Kross Kolor Recording Studio Preparing meals for more than sixty children on a four hob gas stove is becoming extremely difficult for those at the Ruimveldt Children’s Aid Centre (RCAC), thus, the administration is making a call for donations. Apart from the stove, the centre is also urging persons to assist with food, clothing, cleaning supplies, and other necessities. The Ruimveldt Children’s Aid Centre which is located at 13 Public Road, Ruimveldt, Georgetown, was established in January 1992. The entity has been enabling and empowering its children’s group through positive selfimaging, respect, rights and responsibility. According to Jessica Hatfield, RCAC is basically an established centre for disadvantaged children in Ruimveldt and its surrounding areas. “It has emphasis on cultural activities to stimulate their minds and to encourage
the development of all children who attend”. It has a daily nutrition programme which feeds more than 60 children each day, as well as a programme of activities which is held seven days a week. “These activities include dance tuitions which are held from Mondays to Fridays every week, as well as afterschool lessons, career development sessions, and counselling for those children who need a quiet space with a trained counsellor to share and try to solve their problems. The support of a child is the key part of the work that the centre does.” There are also the choir sessions. Ms. Hatfield told Kaieteur News that the choir has been doing extremely well. They recently recorded their very own motivational song, a charity single called ‘Breathe’ at the Kross Kolor Recording Studio. The song was performed
by the Ruimveldt Children’s Aid Centre’s Choir and Dance troupe on Sunday last at Moray House for the Georgetown Chamber Chorus Concert. It was their first public performance, and was described as a success. During the weekends there is the Saturday youth club. This is where recreational activities are devised, with emphasis being placed on fun. Meanwhile, there are also Sunday School classes. This helps the children of Christian backgrounds to become more attached to their religious beliefs. The centre has also been a part of the Child Link/HUG Project funded by the EU Delegation for the past two years. Those interested in making the very much needed donations are asked to make contact with Ms. Jessica Hatfield on telephone number-695-9065.
Ranks of the Guyana Police Force Narcotics Branch continue their drug interception, this time with a seizure of over three kilograms of compressed marijuana at the Ogle Airport. The herb was found concealed in the hollow part of a chair that was among cargo destined for the interior. But at least the alleged owner will have a chance to spend Christmas as a free
man after he was granted pretrial liberty by a Magistrate at an East Coast Demerara court. Police in a press release stated that at about 09:40 hours on Monday, ranks of the Police Narcotics Branch at the Ogle Airport, acting upon information received, conducted a search on cargo belonging to Anthony Thompson, 29, of Independence Boulevard, La Penitence, who was on a local
flight to Imbaimadai, Mazaruni. “A total of 3 kilograms 378 grams of compressed marijuana was found concealed in the hollow part of a chair.” Thompson was charged with trafficking in narcotics and appeared at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where he was placed on $600,000 bail by Magistrate Alex Moore. He is to return to court.
Ganja in chair intercepted at Ogle Airport
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Govt. not moving to take away Cotton Tree lands - MMA The Mahaica-Mahaicony Abary/Agricultural D e v e l o p m e n t Authority(MMA/ADA) has stated that it is not trying to take away lands from Cotton Tree, West Berbice residents. The body has chosen to respond to the December 6 KN article ‘“Cotton Tree Residents battling MMA over titled lands’, and has refuted comments made by Mr. Mansoor Khan of Cotton Tree Village, one of the residents furious with the agricultural body.
Khan, who has over 20 acres of land which he claimed is under threat of being taken away from him, took it upon himself to initiate a legal battle in the Court of Appeal and is adamant to fight the organization and government for what he is convinced rightfully belongs to him, several acres of prime land. He stated that his grandparents along with grandparents of many other residents purchased the Village of Cotton Tree in 1882. There were 1753 acres of land.
The residents have been farming on the lands to date. He accused the MMA/ADA of advertising the lands to cancel the titles of all the lands, which he stated are in the names of 103 present-day residents of Cotton Tree Village. But MMA/ADA has denied all the accusations. “There is absolutely no truth whatsoever that the MMA or Government is moving to ‘take-away’ the State lands at Cotton Tree from the residents there. That will never happen. Instead, there is an ongoing process which started in 2005 upon their request, to ‘divide-up’ the lands and award them their individual titles. The original title (now cancelled) – License of Occupancy A105 -covering 1753 acres was issued in 1905 to the then Proprietors of Cotton Tree. Not unexpectedly, after 100 years, things have changed; the village population has grown and everyone wants to have a piece of the State Land. There was therefore the need to treat with their request for regularization,” the MMA/ ADA stated. The body added that to date, it has held a number of meetings with the residents in
that village about the ongoing process. “During our interactions, we found some situations that concerned us gravely. For instance, we received representation of ownership for over 168 plots in the rice area and another 85 plots in the reef area. However, only 27 persons controlled and cultivated all the lands, with one farmer alone cultivating over 500 acres; another renting out over 230 acres. Many of the purported owners had migrated but continued to exercise control over the State lands from overseas, having their agents renting them out to other farmers in the area. A large number of plots had changed occupation by informal sale. Some of these transactions are done overseas. We even heard of situations where the son would sell while the father is overseas, who upon return would deem the sale illegal, and demand back the land without giving back the buyer any money. Any resistance from the buyer is threatened with court action. Many other similar situations were brought to our attention which we believe were sufficient enough to justify
our decision to have the situation regularized.” The MMA/ADA added that “during all of this, too, the drainage and irrigation charges were not being paid. As a result, we initiated the process to recover these charges. This process is the same as for all the other areas within the MMA and, as has been well publicized for some years now, the continued refusal to pay drainage and irrigation charges, leads to repossession and re-allocation of State Lands. Like in 2008, we have been publishing notices for some months now. Many persons have responded and yet some have not. We take this opportunity to again warn those defaulters”. The body also accused Mr. Khan of owing the MMA/ ADA large sums of monies. “Currently his account stands at four hundred and twenty-eight thousand, five hundred and eighteen dollars ($428,518.00) as at June 30th 2012, and we have already received expressions of interest from other persons of Cotton Tree to be allocated the State Lands that he controls. Mr. Khan is a known character who has had previous difficulties with the
MMA in relation to land and payment issues. We recall here a troublesome instance concerning some lands at Hyde Park, Mahaicony, and recently we received similar complaints about some residential lands at Cotton Tree. In all these instances, Mr. Khan purports that he has superior legal knowledge than everyone else which he will use to avoid paying and mislead other residents. We think not”, the statement added. When contacted, Mr. Khan was convinced that he has “rights under the Constitution of Guyana, the Right of Inheritance that the body cannot meddle in the affairs of those lands. Why I took them to court is that I know my constitutional rights of inheritance and those rights have been trampled on by MMA!” Speaking about monies he supposedly owes to the b o d y, h e n o t e d , “ T h e y have the right to summons me if I owe, but I will not pay for anything when they have taken away— my title— and have the audacity to send me a letter that they took away my title and expect me to pay—I am no fool!”
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Miners injured in speedboat crash Several miners from Region Two sustained injuries some time Monday, after two boats with high powered engines collided at an area referred to as ‘99 turn’, in Port Kaituma, in the North West District. The boats, reports have indicated, were transporting miners in and out of the Port
Kaituma area when they crashed and subsequently sank. Miners and their luggage were reportedly hurled into the troubled waters. Several miners suffered broken limbs and were taken to both the Moruka and Suddie Public Hospitals for medical
treatment. One miner who was admitted to the Suddie Public Hospital was discharged yesterday. The ‘99 turn’ was so named because the River has exactly ninety-nine turns and it was the 99th. Those turns are said to be difficult to negotiate.
Two held for Brazilian’s murder Police have detained two men in connection with Saturday’s murder of 51-yearold Brazilian, Antonio Jose Dearaujo, in his Eteringbang, Cuyuni home last week. A police official confirmed the arrests but was unable to provide any details about the men’s identity or the circumstances that led to them being detained. Kaieteur News understands that the victim’s wife was also being questioned. The two suspects are to be brought to CID Headquarters, Eve Leary, today, for further questioning. Dearaujo, a miner, was found stabbed to death in his home at around 14:40 hrs on the fateful day.
According to police, a post mortem conducted on Monday showed that the victim had multiple incise wounds. There have been at least 34 murders in E&F Divisions for the year so far. They include the murder
of Police Constables 19510 Marlon Letlow and 21320 Ledon Aaron, whose bodies were found at Paramakatoi, North Pakaraimas, last October. A suspect has been detained in connection with the lawmen’s killings.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Food and Drug department building capacity of inspectors The Government Analyst Food and Drug Department, in partnership with the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) is hosting a food inspectors’ workshop as it seeks to upgrade environmental officers and food inspectors’ capacity. The two-day workshop which is being held at the Brandsville Hotel, Pike Street,
Campbellville, aims at promoting harmonisation and standardisation of inspection reporting, and targets food inspectors throughout the country. Three new reporting checklists, which are expected to be implemented from January 2013, would be introduced to the participants for deliberation and discussion. This workshop comes at
a time, when internationally, rules and regulations regarding food safety are changing. Some of the new regulations include the Food Safety Modernisation Act in the United States of America and the European Food Safety Authority. Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud noted that while the training is based on the changing regulations,
the core of the matter is to ensure the people in Guyana are protected. He pointed out that over a year-and-a-half ago, a Burden Illness Study was carried out which indicated that food borne diseases were under reported, and as a result the statistics did not reflect such. D r. P e r s a u d s a i d i n many instances people consume what is provided
without thinking about the process involved in the preparation of the eatables however, that process is very important to the safety of the food, and the impact on the individual’s state of health. I n t h i s r e g a r d , the setting up of a robust and well thought out plan to ensure food safety is one that everyone should desire. Since the Cricket World Cup in 2007, most food handlers have seen the need for proper methods in food preparation and have become certified. While this may seem burdensome to food establishments they must be more aware of the safety precautions and aid in the reduction of food borne illnesses to zero. Dr. Persaud highlighted that discussions have commenced with the Ministry of Agriculture to identify ways to better food supply and safety; these interactions have since resulted in the development of a draft food safety act which brings together the various aspects of the food production processes. He added that it has been recognised that the
Health Ministry alone cannot mainstream this effort. As the economy and population expand, the need for food processing will become greater. Dr. Persaud indicated that at a recent meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, it was stated that many countries are seeing Guyana’s capability to produce wholesome and healthy foods that are safe and can aid the reduction of non-communicable diseases. PAHO/WHO’s Senior Advisor in Sustainable Development and Environmental Health, Engineer Adrianus Vlugman in his remarks noted that the seminar brings together professionals in the field to finalise the format of the inspection checklist for good manufacturing practices, food services establishments and internationally recognised protocols. The checklist enables inspectors to effectively and confidently carry out and enhance food safety in Guyana. Vlugman acknowledged that safety is important for the export of food, particularly since Guyana is establishing itself in food exports which require certification.
$300,000 bail for causing death accused Truck driver Suruanga Ouditnarine, 24, of 101 Williamsburg, Corentyne was yesterday placed on $300,000 bail by Magistrate Fabayo Azore when he appeared before her at the Albion Court on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving. The case for the prosecution as presented by Corporal Sherlock King was that last Sunday (December 9) at Mangal Street, Kilcoy, Corentyne, Berbice, Ouditnarine drove motor lorry GMM 7368 in a manner dangerous to the public, thus causing the death of Ramnarine Madarsingh, an elderly man of Fyrish, Corentyne, Berbice, who was crushed to death. According to reports, the truck, which was transporting sand and other building materials at the time, was part of a fleet of vehicles being used in the rehabilitation of a street. The truck was allegedly backing up on the
mud dam which was wet at the time due to the inclement weather to discharge the materials when it allegedly ran over the man who was standing behind the vehicle. The driver told investigators that he saw the man on the street and thought that he had passed him when he decided to reverse and was shocked when told that he had run over the man, who was under the truck. The victim’s son, Deonarine Madarsingh, stated that his father had no birth certificate or identification card and had worked for most of his life with a rice farming family at Number 19 Village, East Coast Berbice. A post mortem examination was conducted on Monday at the New Amsterdam Hospital which gave the cause of death as shock and hemorrhage due to internal injuries.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
$830M bid among four for Kato School Complex The Ministry of Education yesterday received four bids at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) for the construction of Kato Secondary School complex, Region Eight. With an engineer’s estimate of $680,200,431 the bids were:
The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) under the Ministry of Agriculture received bids for the rehabilitation of NDIA pumps within Regions three, four, and five. The engineer’s estimate was $5,454,000 and the bids:
In addition, the Georgetown Solid Waste Management also received bids for the procurement of trucks. With an estimated cost of US$376,800 the bids were:
The Audit Office of Guyana received bids for the provision of security services. Bids were submitted for the management of water supply systems for Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) at Port Kaituma, Region one. The estimated cost was $27,190,000 and the bids: One bid was submitted for the procurement of security services for the Ministry of Housing and Water in 2013. Additionally, GWI received bids for the management of water supply systems at Mabaruma. The engineer’s estimate was $38,277,000 and bids were: A lone bid was also submitted under the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) for the rebuilding of its base at Linden. The engineers estimate is $1,946,261 and the bid:
The Georgetown Solid Waste Management received bids for the procurement of collection bins. The engineer’s estimate was US$165,822 and the bids are as follows:
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Keen competition as Mayor Green Birthday Inter-Ward tourney concludes Weeks of competitive football will rise to an exciting climax when the best teams of the lot battle in four quarterfinals, and two semifinal matches for a chance to clinch the top prize when action in the Mayor Hamilton Green 78th Birth Anniversary Inter-Ward KO soccer tournament gets underway at the Den Amstel Community Centre Ground, this Friday December 14. The action gets underway at 19:00hrs with four quarterfinals matches. Stewartville will tackle Alberttown moments before Goed Fortuin oppose Newtown Kitty. Uitvlugt will then tackle Grove shortly before Den Amstel square off with Kingstown. Consequently, the winner of the Stewartville/Alberttown encounter will go head to head with the winner of the Uitvlugt/Grove match, while the winner of the Goed Fortuin/Newtown Kitty affair play the winner of the Den Amstel/Kingstown shindig in
semi-final matches. Those winners will then clash for the top prize of $200,000 with the runners-up receiving half that amount. Further, members of the winning team will receive hampers donated by Ricks and Sari. But even before that, there will also be an exhibition match between Seawall and a Police team. . Several West Side players will be on show, representing their respective teams and fans are expected to be in for a treat. Owen McGarrell of Stewartville, Jamaal Harvey of Uitvlugt, Andre Hector of Den Amstel and Ashley Harding of Goed Fortuin are among the leading players in action. The tournament was sponsored by several corporate entities including Macorp, Muhammad’s Enterprise, New thriving Restaurant, Eddie Grant, Courtney Benn, Chris Fernandes, Dr. Colin Watson, Colonel Larry London, Patrick ‘Labba’ Barton, Tent City,
Owen McGarrell CIDI, Guyana Police Force, Guyana Equipment Ltd, Muneshwar, Nigel Supermarket, Humphrey’s Bakery, Business School, S Pads, Cecil Hickerson, Eswick Northe, German Restaurant, Ronald Webster, Kwality, Winston Rambarran, B K International, Odinga Lumumba, Ricks and Sari, Sattar Gaffor, Giftland Office Max, Robert Badal, Len’s Craft Optical and Stanford Solomon. The price of admission is $700.
Port Mourant Turf Club end of year meet set for Sunday December 30 $8.5 million up for grabs
Shemaine Campbell takes part in a fielding drill. By Samuel Whyte The Port Mourant Turf Club (PMTC) will be holding their grand end of year one day Pre Old Year ’s day horserace meet on Sunday December 30 at the clubs entity Port Mourant, Corentyne Berbice. Nine action pack races are on the day’s cards, and over $8.5M in cash and trophies are on offer. The club at the moment is undergoing massive rehabilitation for the big meet. Turfites are expected to turn out in their numbers to witness what is expected to be an exciting day of racing. There are a number of feature events listed on the day’s programme which includes the feature B class main event, and races for the three year old Guyana and West Indies bred horses, the E class horses, two events for two year old horses, while the G and H class event will also
be crowd pullers. The feature B class race will see the horses racing for total prize money of close to $3M. The winning horse will race away with a first prize of $1.5M and trophy over 1600M. This event will cater for the both the sprinters and distance horses. The Three Year old race for horses Bred and born in Guyana and the West Indies has a $600,000 bounty for the winner over 1600M. The Two year Guyana and West Indies Bred event will see the horses galloping over 1200M for the $500,000 first prize on offer. The E class event has a wining haul of $500,000 and trophy available for the top horse over 1200 meters. The G class event will be a 1400M affair and will see the champion horse taking home a winners money of $400,000 and trophy. The race for Guyana bred Two year old horses will see
the winning horse taking home $300,000 and trophy also over 1200M. The H class race winning prize is pegged at $300,000 and trophy for the champion with the distance being 1000M. There are two other races on the day’s card for I class animals. There is the race for animals classified ‘I ‘and lower over 1200M with a winning money of $200,000. The other event is for the animals classified J and lower over 1000M for a pole position taking of $150,000. Entries close on close on Sunday 23rd December 2012. Interested horse owners are asked to make contact with the following persons; Krishna Jagdeo on 322-0369, C. Ramnauth on telephone numbers 337-5311 or 697-9696 or Jumbo Jet office on numbers 232-9711, 2320633 or 624-9063. Race time is 13:00hrs.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Bradford knock Arsenal out of cup BBC Sport - Bradford City pulled off one of the great League Cup shocks with a penalty shoot-out victory over Arsenal in front of an ecstatic home crowd. The League Two side prevailed 3-2 on spot-kicks, to the delight of a capacity Coral Windows Stadium. Gunners skipper Thomas Vermaelen missed the crucial penalty on a difficult night for the Premier League side, who have won only once in the last six matches in all competitions. Garry Thompson volleyed the hosts ahead, before Vermaelen headed home a Santi Cazorla cross at the back post with with only two minutes remaining of normal time. Defeat is another setback in a disappointing domestic season so far for manager Arsene Wenger and his club, who last won a major title in 2005. Victory for the Bantams means they have now won their last nine penalty shootouts and are the first team from the bottom tier of English football to reach the semi-final of the competition since Wycombe in 2006-07. Wenger had shown his intent with a starting XI that
included just three changes from the side that beat West Brom on Saturday and 10 from the one that began the epic 7-5 win over Reading in the last round. French midfielder Francis Coquelin was the only survivor from that game. The last time the teams met was in the Premier League in January 2001, but they started Tuesday’s game 65 places apart in the league pyramid. Arsenal had the better of the opening exchanges, and both Vermaelen and Lukas Podolski spurned presentable headed opportunities. They were left to rue their wastefulness when Vermaelen brought down the lively Nahki Wells and Thompson volleyed home the resulting Gary Jones free-kick from close range to spark jubilation amongst nearly 24,000 supporters in the packed-out home stands. Coquelin came close to an equaliser for the two-time champions when his low volley beat Bantams keeper Matt Duke but not the post, before Gervinho managed to totally miss the ball when presented with an open goal from Gibbs’s low centre.
Bradford City players celebrate
But the first half belonged to Bradford, who have not lost a Cup game since a 4-2 defeat by Watford in the FA Cup third round in January. Wells nearly doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time but his low half-volley trickled just wide. The second half started in a scrappy fashion, with the hosts continuing to frustrate
Rayudu replaces Tiwary in India T20 squad Ambati Rayudu will get a chance to debut for India (AFP)
ESPNcricinfo - Injured India batsman Manoj Tiwary has been replaced in the India squad for the Twenty20s against England by Ambati Rayudu. Tiwary’s injury was diagnosed as a side strain. He had picked up the injury, which will keep him out of action for six weeks, during a Ranji Trophy game on Sunday, while batting in Bengal’s first innings against Saurashtra. Rayudu, who has played for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy since the 2010-11 season, has had a prolific run this year,
with scores of 64, 85, 10, 54, 1, 131 and 58 in his previous five games. A bit-hitting middleorder batsman, Rayudu did not have too much success on his last Twenty20 assignment: October’s Champions League T20, where he played for Mumbai Indians. But in IPL 2012, he was Mumbai Indians secondhighest scorer behind Rohit Sharma, with 333 runs from 15 innings at a strike-rate of 132.14. He is yet to debut for India across formats. For Tiwary, who captains Bengal in the Ranji Trophy,
this is a second setback in quick succession - he had suffered a wrist problem earlier in the season. When fit, he had shown some good form, scoring 191 against Gujarat, and also making 93 against England for the Board President’s XI last month. India play two Twenty20s against England, on December 20 and 22, and that is followed up by limitedovers series’ against Pakistan running into the first week of January. Later in January, England return for a one-day series.
Arsenal with their energetic display. The top-flight side dominated possession, but passing errors and a lack of cutting edge continued to plague their game. Just when it looked like
the team from the fourth tier were going to make the semifinal for the first time in their history, Vermaelen headed in a pinpoint cross from Cazorla to send the game into an extra 30 minutes. Neither side could find a
winner so it was down to penalties and successful efforts from Nathan Doyle, Gary Jones and Alan Connell allied to misses from Cazorla, Chamakh and Vermaelen gave the Bantams a famous win.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Northern Rangers cart off Lester Peters U-15 Memorial Football Tournament Northern Rangers turned in a determined performance to defeat Fruta Conquerors 53 and cart off the honours when the final of the Lester ‘Puppy’ Peters U-15 Memorial Football Tournament concluded at the Tucville Playfield Sunday afternoon last. Joshua Williams netted a hat-trick for the winners while Simon Emmanuel and Kefier Brant contributed one apiece. Prolific goal scorer, Randy Layne, netted a brace for Fruta Conquerors while Delroy Holligan further narrowed the margin of defeat with a ‘stinger.’ The third place playoff between the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) and South Georgetown ended in a 1-1 stalemate at regulation time with extra time failing to separate the two teams, necessitating a penalty shootout in which GFC eventually prevailed 4-2. Meanwhile, Randy Layne, Conquerors prolific goal scorer was once again in the money, breaching the opposition’s goal twice.
However, his timings were a bit off resulting in several missed shots. Midfielder Delroy Holligan, also a versatile player, rued his luck after missing several clear goal scoring opportunities. Fruta Conquerors carted off the lion’s share of the awards with Layne copping the prize for the Highest Goal Scorer (20). Tefon Daly, another Conquerors player, received the award for being the Most Improved Player, while the Most Valuable Player award went to his team mate, Okeri Codrington. Simon Emmanuel of Northern Rangers broke the monotony somewhat when he carted off the award for the Best Goalkeeper. The teams were introduced to the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Steve Ninvalle who, in brief remarks, encouraged the youngsters to be disciplined even as they give of their best. He further complimented the organizers for their efforts in creating worthwhile activity for the
Coach of the Northern Rangers FC, Gordon Braithwaite (6th right back row) proudly pose with his charges shortly after they had won the competition. youths even as he pledged support for next year’s edition of the tournament. Mayor Hamilton Green, also an ardent football fan, was also in attendance and witnessed the kick off while enjoying a part of the proceedings.
Coach of Fruta Conquerors, Sampson Gilbert, has been instrumental in the organization of the tournament. He expressed gratitude to the many sponsors that have contributed to the success of the venture including Oasis
Water, Prudential Technology, Nalico/Nafico Insurance, Household Plus, Jason Blair and Eton Cordis. “Their input was indeed invaluable to the smooth running of the tournament as well as the many patrons that attended the games and on
behalf of the Fruta Conqueror’s Football Club I wish to express heartfelt gratitude,” said Mr. Gilbert. The tournament is held in commemoration of the death of Peters, a former mid fielder of the Conquerors Club who died last year October.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
LeBron, Wade help Heat stay above Hawks
Miami Heat’s Joel Anthony (right) and Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague (left) fight for a loose ball during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida, December 10, 2012. REUTERS/Rhona Wise (Reuters) - Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade went on a scoring spree to lift the Heat to a 101-92 victory over Southeast rivals Atlanta on Monday, opening up a 1.5 game gap over the Hawks. James tallied 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Wade scored 26 points to snap Atlanta’s three-game win streak and keep the Heat (14-5) ahead of the Hawks (12-6). Reigning league MVP James punctuated the win with a thunderous dunk in the fourth quarter where he took an alley-oop from Norris Cole and soared high above the rim. “Cole made me go get it, for sure,” James told reporters. “He actually took that literally when I told him,
‘Just throw it anywhere.” After a close first half, Miami trailed 65-63 in the third quarter before seizing the momentum with a run of nine straight points. The Heat finished the stretch with a 142 advantage to open up a 10point lead. Wade came to life during the run with eight points, and was red-hot for the game, making 11 of his 13 shots. Wade, a former NBA Finals MVP, has had a few tough shooting performances this season leading some to worry about his decline but he was at his best against Atlanta. “I really didn’t listen to the noise. I didn’t pay attention,” Wade said. “I never really concerned myself with the noise outside.” After two disappointing
losses last week, the defending NBA champions have now won two straight. Josh Smith scored 22 points for the Hawks, and Al Horford finished with 20 and 11 rebounds. Atlanta employed three guards in their starting lineup, with DeShawn Stevenson, Devin Harris and Jeff Teague, but it did little to jolt their offense. The visitors shot just 42 percent from the field and could find no way to stop the Heat. “We had a lot of mistakes defensively,” said Atlanta coach Larry Drew. “They did shoot the ball well and we had defensive breakdowns. And the combination of both was the reason the Miami Heat had such a good shooting percentage.”
Banks DIH Classic Inter Club Basketball competition continues in Berbice Rose Hall Town Basketball team scored their second consecutive victory to stay as front runners when they were able to hold their nerves and eke out an hard fought nail biting victory 5655 over the Fyrish Black Sharks when play in the Banks DIH Classic Inter Club Basketball competition at the Fyrish basketball court Sunday last. Led by a game high 31 points by Eon Wiggins and 10 from Perry Cort, Rose Hall Town were able to stave off a late rally from the Black Sharks to come out victorious. Rose Hall scored some early points and took control of things in the first half, but on the resumption the Black Sharks showed their danger and swarmed back in a ding down
battle which went to the end. Leading the scoring for The Black Sharks were Troy Paul with 21 points with Keenan Williams supporting with 11 points. The game between Central New Amsterdam and Smythfield scheduled for the New Amsterdam basketball court was not played due to a damaged back board. The game has been rescheduled to later date. The competition will continue on Sunday December 16 with two games. At the Fyrish Basketball court the Fyrish Black Sharks will play host to Central New Amsterdam, while the other New Amsterdam team, Smythfield, will travel to Rose Hall Town Court to take on the Jammers Basketball Club.
Both games are scheduled to get started at 16:00 hrs. Five teams are participating in the competition which is being played on a round robin basis. The top four teams will then advance to the semifinals which will see the team with the most points taking on the team third in the points standing and the second and fourth placed teams clashing for a spot in the final which is slated for Sunday 20th January at the New Amsterdam Basketball court. The top four teams will all be presented with cash trophies and other memorabilia while there will also be prizes for outstanding individual participants. The coordinator is Vibert Garrett. (Samuel Whyte)
Rafael Nadal back from knee injury in Abu Dhabi event BBC Sport - Former world number one Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will return from knee trouble in the Mubadala Championship in Abu Dhabi from 27-29 December. Nadal has had a partial tear in his patella tendon and has not played a match since June when he lost to Czech Lukas Rosol in round two at Wimbledon. But on Tuesday he wrote on his Facebook page: “Can’t wait to get back on court in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month. “I won in 2010 and 2011 - would love to get my hands on the trophy again!” The 26-year-old Spaniard,
Rafael Nadal now ranked fourth in the world, has struggled with knee problems in the past and was unable to defend his Wimbledon title in 2009
because of tendonitis. He secured a record seventh French Open title in June and has won a total of 11 Grand Slams, but missed the Olympics and the US Open. Last week he was cautious about rushing his comeback. “I will only come back when I am fit. I won’t come back worrying about my knee,” he told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. “The results will not worry me in the first tournaments back. We are in the last stage of the recovery and I want to recover as soon as possible but I will not rush back and then have to stop again in six months or a year’s time.”
GABA National Senior Boxing C/ships set for this weekend at Banks DIH Car Park The Car Park at Banks DIH Thirst Park, where recent Guinness in the Street football was held, is where the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) will stage their Senior National Championships on Friday and Saturday starting from 6:00pm each night. This is the final competition for the year for the amateur boxers and
they all will be keen to showcase their talent and end the year on a high. The cream of the crop will be on show including the likes of Imran Khan, Stefan Gouveia and Eon Bancroft among others; the trio coming off a successful outing against Trinidadian fighters in the amateur segment of the Fight Night Card.
Boxers representing Essequibo, Berbice, Linden and Georgetown are expected to be on show and fans are promised a treat. The association is expected to be even more active in the New Year as the push to churn out better fighters that will make a mark in international competition with the Olympic in Brazil in 2016 in mind.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Sri Lanka in Australia 2012-13
Green pitch would ‘elevate’ SL bowlers - Sangakkara ESPNCricinfo - Having graced Sri Lanka’s last Test match visit to Hobart with an unforgettable century on a pitch that retained its good humour throughout, Kumar Sangakkara is hopeful of an altogether different surface when the tourists meet Australia in the first Test at Bellerive Oval on Friday. Sangakkara’s fourth innings rearguard in 2007, against an Australian bowling attack then featuring Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Stuart MacGill alongside Mitchell Johnson, took place on a surface far less capricious than the strip that has furrowed plenty of brows since being relaid before this summer. After the fashion of last season when New Zealand regrouped after a hiding in Brisbane to capitalise on a green seamer with a dramatic victory, Sangakkara reasoned
that another “sporting” wicket in Tasmania would be of similar benefit to Sri Lanka. Any lateral movement may be exploited quite handily by the thrifty Nuwan Kulasekara, the slippery Shaminda Eranga and the left-armer Chanaka Welegedara. “We’ve seen some of the games that [Australia] has played. There’s been a bit of nibble about but it’s been sporting to both sides,” Sangakkara said. “Wickets like this make fast bowlers really enthusiastic to play, and it elevates guys who don’t have that much pace. If it stays the same, I think our fast bowlers will have a really good chance against the Aussie batsmen.” While Sangakkara’s hopes may yet be fulfilled, the surface appears to have settled somewhat in recent weeks. It also appeared to be quite friendly to Australia’s
players when they inspected it on Tuesday afternoon, and trained local eyes reckon it is flat enough to reap plenty of runs once the extra bite offered by the new ball has been negotiated. The other variable is the weather forecast, with rain and cloud slated to arrive in time for day one. Sri Lanka’s batsmen have some considerable adjusting to do over the next two days, as the wicket they were presented with at Canberra’s Manuka Oval was amenable to centre wicket net practice but almost devoid of the kind of life commonly associated with Australian pitches. Sangakkara admitted the tourists would have liked something a little more lively for their only warm-up fixture: “We probably would have preferred a more sporting wicket for the practice game but that’s the way it goes.”
One young batsman seeking to make an impression will be the opener Dimuth Karunaratne, who blazed a rapid, unbeaten 60 on his debut against New Zealand in Galle, rebounding from a first innings duck in the process. Karunaratne was subsequently dropped for the second Test when Tillakaratne Dilshan returned from injury, but Sangakkara said the tour selectors would consider the 24-year-old’s merits against those of Tharanga Paranavitana, who has been only moderately successful in his 32 Tests to date. “There’ a spot up for grabs to open along with Dilshan, and Dimuth would be looking forward to trying to grab that particular spot,” Sangakkara said. “It’s between him and Paranavitana I think. Paranavitana has played 30-
Tharanga Paranavitana and Dimuth Karunaratne will be eyeing the opening slot for the upcoming Australia series. (Associated Press) odd Tests, Dimuth is pretty fresh and has played just one Test match but he’s shown a lot of intent and good things. I think it will be a tough battle.” “I thought Dimuth batted really well in the second
innings. We had to get 93 to win in Galle and he knocked it off almost at a run a ball, so that was fantastic to watch. It shows that he has confidence and the ability to bounce back from disappointment.”
Wednesday December 12, 2012
City’s Barry charged with insulting match official (Reuters) - Manchester City’s Gareth Barry has been charged with abusing a match official by the Football Association (FA) as the fallout from S u n d a y ’s Manchester derby continues. “ M a n c h e s t e r C i t y ’s Gareth Barry has been charged by The FA for a breach of its Rule E3 in that he used abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official following the Manchester City v Manchester United game on Sunday 9 December 2012,” a statement on the FA’s website (www.thefa.com) said on Tuesday. The England midfielder has until 4:00 p.m. on Thursday to respond to the charge. The match, won 3-2 by United, was marred by crowd trouble following Robin van Persie’s late winner at the Etihad Stadium. Police are trying to identify a supporter who threw a coin at United defender Rio Ferdinand which left him bleeding from a cut about his left eye.
As he was recovering, City fan Matthew Stott ran onto the pitch and tried to reach him, but was restrained by the home side’s goalkeeper Joe Hart. He was one of two people charged with pitch encroachment. In total 13 people were arrested after the match, with nine being charged including one for a racially aggravated public order offence. City have since apologised to Ferdinand, and the FA is investigating the incident. P r o f e s s i o n a l Footballers’ Association boss Gordon Taylor has since suggested netting should be erected in some parts of stadiums to protect players from objects being hurled from the crowd, while the FA’s chairman David Bernstein has said fans who “hijack” matches with bad behaviour should be banned for life. English football, long seen to have dealt with previous problems with hooliganism and racism, has been hit by a series of recurrences in recent times.
Windies Women to clash with South Africa in 5 ODIs and 2 T20s in January St John’s, Antigua – The West Indies Women will host their South African counterparts for five One Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals in January 2013 to kick off the international season for the women. Warner Park in St Kitts will host two ODIs on January 7th and 9th while Windsor Park in Dominica will host the other three ODI matches. Two back-to-back Twenty20s will be played at the Beausejour Cricket Ground under lights on January 19th and 20th. Both matches will be broadcast live on ESPN throughout the Caribbean and in select markets across the globe. The Women’s T20s will act as curtain raisers for the playoff and final of the Caribbean Twenty20. “This series is part of the on-going preparations for the Women’s World Cup in February,” said WICB Project Officer for Women’s Cricket, Josina Luke. “This week the ladies are finishing up a gruelling four week camp in Barbados and have been progressing nicely with their development. South Africa is a competitive team
who will test the Windies Women just before they travel to Asia for the World Cup,” Luke added. West Indies Women v South Africa Women Schedule Mon, Jan 7: First ODI – Warner Park (9:30am) Wednesday, Jan 9: Second ODI – Warner Park (9:30am) Saturday, Jan 12: Third ODI – Windsor Park (9:30am) Sundays, Jan 13: Fourth ODI – Windsor Park (9:30am) Tuesday, Jan 15: Fifth ODI – Windsor Park (9:30am) Saturday, Jan 19: First T20I – Beausejour Cricket Ground (4pm) Sunday, Jan 20: Second T20I – Beausejour Cricket Ground (4pm)
Assassin are David Jansen Memorial Dominoes Champs
The victorious Assassin Dominoes team display their prizes along with members of the Jansen family. President of the GDA Orin Joseph is extreme left. Assassin marked 88 games to win the final of the David Jansen Memorial Dominoes Competition which was contested last Friday evening at Guyana Forestry Commission. Specialist placed second with 65 followed by T and T on 64 games. Osmond Braithwaite 17, Terry Chow 16, and Rawl Peters and Andrew Wong 15 were Assassin’s leading players. Shawn McKenzie scored 16 games for Specialist
while Shawn Morgan marked 13 for T and T. The love birds were Kanhai Samaroo of T and T, Dereck Thompson and Curt Caesar of Specialist. Assassin received a trophy, a pack of Dominoes and cash incentive, while Specialist took a trophy and a pack of Dominoes. T and T, winner of the recently concluded million dollar competition collected a trophy which was donated by Trophy Stall of Bourda Market, while 4th place Spain
also received a trophy. Osmond Braithwaite was given a bronze hand for being the most valuable player in the finals. Speaking at the presentation ceremony, president of the Georgetown Dominoes Association, Orin Joseph, urged clubs to host similar competitions and thanked the organisers. He stated that teams should adhere to the rules at all times. Head of the organising committee Orin Boston said
it will be an annual event and stressed about the importance of discipline. Daughter of the late David Jansen congratulated the winning team, while her mother Jillian Jansen thanked the organisers and the teams for participating. The competition was played in Memory of the late David Jansen and was organized by Regroup Domino team. It was sponsored by the Jansen family.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Tears shed as Hamilton says fond farewell to McLaren on last official outing... He does not rule out emotional return
Hamilton took part in a demonstration event in Malta Daily Mail - Lewis Hamilton left the door open to a possible return to McLaren after saying an emotional farewell to the F1 team. Tears were shed as the British driver hugged his colleagues and thanked them for their support during his last official outing. Hamilton, who will join Mercedes in January, took part in a demonstration event in Malta at the weekend, his last drive in a McLaren car. And the 2008 World Champion did not rule out a return to the Woking-based outfit in the future. ‘My time at McLaren has been fantastic,’ he told staff at the McLaren Technology Centre.
‘When I arrived in Formula One in 2007, I now realise I never really grasped what I was taking on. Ron [Dennis] had told me: “Don’t be surprised if you’re 0.5sec slower than Fernando [Alonso]”, and I just smiled because I knew it wouldn’t be the case. But, even so, that year was very hard, for many reasons. ‘You were brilliant - you still are. I have so much affection and love for this team. And that’s why McLaren has always felt like home,’ he added. McLaren’s sporting director Sam Michael admitted Hamilton’s departure would be ‘a loss to McLaren’ but the team will ‘move on quickly’.
Hamilton leaves to join Mercedes following six seasons with the team in Formula One and a further seven as part of the team’s driver development programme. ‘Of course it’s a loss to McLaren but just like if anybody leaves, whether it’s a driver - there have been some very big, famous names leave McLaren before in terms of drivers - and you don’t dwell on it,’ Michael told James Allen on F1. ‘You move on quickly because Formula One’s all about change management.” Michael also said that Hamilton leaves on good terms. ‘I think the whole team gets on very well with Lewis, and we still do. He’s a great guy, he’s a fantastic racing
Tears were shed as Hamilton made emotional farewell driver; he’s possibly the quickest driver on the grid at the moment in terms of pure natural talent.’ Hamilton is backing Sebastian Vettel to maintain his stranglehold on the Formula One drivers’ championship for a fourth successive season. Hamilton, who has left McLaren to race for Mercedes in the coming campaign, admitted he expects the combination of Vettel’s pace and the genius of Red Bull’ s chief designer Adrian Newey to be unbeatable once more. ‘It’s going to be hard to beat Sebastian next year,’ Hamilton said. ‘I think Sebastian’s going to have another amazing car. The car he had
this year was fantastic. It’s going to be an evolution of that next year. Adrian only seems to get better with age; I think he’s going to do something pretty special next year as well.’ Hamilton faces an uphill battle to turn Mercedes into frontrunners next year but is eagerly anticipating racing for his new team – even if he is forced to battle in the midfield. Hamilton added: ‘I like that people know that I’m a racer and I’m a winner. But it doesn’t matter where you are on the grid, you can still race. But I want to win - of course. That’s my goal. I can’t wait to get my hands on the team and the car and just try to work as quickly as possible. ‘It doesn’t matter how many days, how many hours it takes. I’m willing to put all the effort in. I feel like I’ve got a new breath of life in me, so I’m ready for it.’ Meanwhile Hamilton’s former teammate, Jenson Button, is looking forward to being the main focus at McLaren now that he is sharing the garage with Mexican youngster Sergio Perez. Button said of his team
leader status: ‘It’s not the first time I’ve done that. When I got to BAR and Jacques [Villeneuve] left it was exactly the same situation. ‘I was there to lead the team and it’s something I really look forward to and it’s something where the best comes out of me in that situation.’ Determined to drive the design process of next year’s car in a direction which can give him a machine capable of consistently challenge the likes of Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Button added: ‘I can really build that team around me and direct the team in a direction I like with the car. ‘We all drive differently and have different styles. For me, I need a car I can develop beneath me and feel comfortable in. If the car feels neutral and unbalanced it doesn’t work for me. ‘I need to develop a car and engineer a car in a position that feels comfortable for me, and I don’t think anyone can do a better job than I can in that position. The problem for me is if I can’t get the car there I do struggle more than some.’
Woodpecker Products annual Junior Badminton Christmas singles tourney underway The Woodpecker Products Annual Badminton Junior Christmas Singles opened on Monday last at the Queens College Badminton Courts and this will close off the GBA Tournaments for the year which was very successful both nationally and internationally. Several players recorded victories in the early matches. The Tournament continues today. Results of the matches played are: Boys Singles Quarter-Finals: Omari Joseph defeated Antonio Sankar: 21-6, 21-15 Jonathan Persaud defeated Tyese Jeffrey: 21-17, 21-13 Jonathan Mangra defeated Hemraj Beharry: 21-15, 21-8 Girls Singles Quarter-Finals: Nadine Jairam defeated Crystal DeyArian: 21-15, 21-16 Ambika Ramraj defeated Arian Kayume: 21-10, 21-6 Greer Jackson defeated Varsha Boodram: 21-13, 21-11
Wednesday December 12, 2012
LABA Malta Supreme Christmas Basketball C/ship Djokovic and Serena Williams Kings remain unbeaten after routing named ITF World Champions Raiders 59-33, Bulls beat Royals 54-45 Blackout halts Bulls/Flames game at half time 33-32
Serena Williams LONDON (Reuters) Serbia’s Novak Djokovic has beaten Andy Murray to the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) annual men’s World Champion award with American Serena Williams taking the women’s prize for a third time. Djokovic, who ended a second successive year on top of the ATP rankings, successfully defended his Australian Open title, reached the final at the French Open and U.S. Open and claimed five other titles including the season-ending Tour Finals. Britain’s Murray was a strong contender for the honour after beating Djokovic at the U.S. Open to win his first major title after four losses in finals and claiming Olympic gold at Wimbledon, just weeks after reaching the grand slam final there in which he lost to an inspired Roger Federer.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic with the ‘’Centrepoint Premier Award for Contribution to the Lives of Youth Across the World’’ in recognition of his Novak Djokovic Foundation at the Winter Whites Gala in aid of the homeless charity Centrepoint at the Royal Hall in London December 8, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor “I am proud to have been named ITF World Champion for the second successive year,” Djokovic, who dominated 2011 with three of the four grand slam titles, said in a statement on Tuesday. “It was very difficult to follow up such a successful season in 2011, but it was extremely satisfying to win another grand slam title, reach two other major finals and finish the year at number one.” The 31-year-old Williams was unstoppable in the second half of 2012, winning Wimbledon, singles and doubles gold at the Olympics and the U.S. Open. “It means a lot to be named ITF World Champion for the third time. It has been such an amazing experience this year to win the Olympics
and two Grand Slam tournaments, and I look forward to having an awesome 2013,” said the 15times major winner. Americans Bob and Mike Bryan were named m e n ’s d o u b l e s Wo r l d Champions for the ninth time in 10 years after winning Olympic gold for the first time, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy, winners of the French Open and U.S. Open, became women’s doubles World Champions for the first time. Dutchwoman Esther Vergeer was named women’s wheelchair World Champion for the 13th successive year after winning a fourth Paralympic gold. France’s Stephane Houdet won the men’s award.
International Cycling Union mulls plans for calendar revolution LONDON (Reuters) - The International Cycling Union (UCI) has left the door open for a possible profound reform of the professional calendar but said on Tuesday that no changes had yet been decided. “The International Cycling Union (UCI) confirms that it has been in discussions with Omega Pharma-QuickStep owner Zdenek Bakala and his business partner Bessel Kok since late 2011 about the possible development of the professional road cycling calendar,” the UCI said in a statement. “These discussions have included their potential financial investment in a new joint venture company with the UCI and other cycling stakeholders that would promote and organise elements of this new calendar. “The UCI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them as the initial investors in the joint venture and will now
enter into extensive dialogue with the teams and race organisers before any final agreement is concluded.” On Monday, eight teams sat down with sports promoter Gifted and Czech businessman Zdenek Bakala, also the owner of Mark Cavendish’s new team Omega Pharma-Quick Step, as they look to build a World Cycling Series consisting of ten fourday races around the world. “No agreement has been reached on the reforms that will take place to the calendar and as such any media reports about the future of the calendar are pure speculation at this stage,” the UCI added. “The UCI will retain full control over the calendar, including sporting and technical elements.” Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins’s Team Sky w e r e n o t a t t h e discussion table in Brussels on Monday.
The unbeaten Kashif and Shanghai Kings dominated Retrieve Raiders, routing them 59-33, while Half Mile Bulls rebounded from a first game loss to coast past Victory Valley Royals 54-45 on Saturday, while a blackout at half time halted the game between the Bulls who led 3323 against Victory Valley Royals at half time on Sunday, as play in the Linden Amateur Basketball Association’s Malta Supreme Magnificent Seven Christmas Basketball Championship continued over the weekend at the Mackenzie Sports Club hard court in Linden. This evening two more matches are slated for the tournament venue MSC as the roun d r o b i n f o r m a t before the semifinals with Block 22 Flames coming up against Retrieve Raiders at 7:00pm, and at 9:00pm Victory Valley Royals take on the only other team with an unblemished record after two matches, Amelia’s Ward Jets. When the Kings met the Raiders on Sunday, their experienced starting five looked in top shape, led by
power forward Omally Sampson who netted 15 points, veteran forward Abdulla Hamid who plugged in 13 and guards Steve Neils (Jr), Orin Rose and Marvin Hartman all contributing nine apiece to completely overwhelmed their unsettled opponents who never came to the party. Sampson punished the Raiders defence with some big inside moves as Hamid, Rose, Neils and Hartman all launched bombs from outside and in the process rendered the Raiders unable to put together a winning combination. In the end, Kings who led 12-4, 24-15, 42-21 and then 5933 looked the team which ruled the roost earlier this year when they won the Trophy Stall Regulation tournament; while Raiders who lost just one game in the BOSAI championship, in the final against Bulls, seemed out of sorts, were completely different to the one that played superbly in the last tournament. Now, the Raiders will have to regroup quickly if they are to remain one of the strong
candidates to reach the final four after splitting their first two games, as they face Block 22 Flames who have two losses. None of the Raiders talented key players were in good scoring touch and their most accomplished player, forward Neil Marks, was held to just 2 points, as guard Sheldon Noel contributed 10 points, Omar Sam got seven and Anson Durant six in the heavy loss. In the other game, Bulls after losing to Pistons in their first game, came back to score a 54-45 win against Royals. Centre Shane Lewis and guard Keon Cameron were their standout players with 12 points each as Michael Turner add seven for the winners. After close shaves when they led at the end of the first quarter (12-10) and at half time 24-22, the Bulls moved away through the pivotal third quarter leading 36-31 before accelerating to complete a memorable 54-45 win. Royals’ Harold Adams led all scorers with 18 points as Marlon Pollydore netted 15 in their loss to the Bulls.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Caribbean T20 ticket prices with “everyone in mind” St John’s, Antigua – Cricket fans will get the golden opportunity to secure their favourite seats for the Caribbean T20 2013 when tickets go on sale later this month. The West Indies Cricket Board has set ticket prices at affordable prices in a bid to encourage members of the Windies Cricket fan base to come out and see the region’s best players in action. Tickets will go on sale on December 17 when the ticket booths open in Trinidad. Cindy McLean, the
WICB’s Event Manager, outlined the reason for the low cost was to attract large audiences to matches at two of the liveliest venues in the region. The Caribbean T20 will be played at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, which has a seating capacity of 25,000 and Beausejour Cricket Stadium in St Lucia, which can hold 15,000 fans. The tournament bowls off on January 6 with the grand final slated for Sunday, January 20. Games will start at 4 pm and 8 pm. “The region is buzzing
with excitement after the great win by the West Indies team in Sri Lanka at the World T20 tournament. That enjoyment and massive support has spilled over to the Caribbean T20,” McLean said. “There is a lot of interest in the CT20 and excitement is building across the Caribbean. “The Caribbean T20 is for everyone... we want everyone to feel a part of the Caribbean T20. We want to pack both venues for every night of cricket and we believe with the very attractive ticket
prices and the rich entertainment on the field will prove the right mix.” In Trinidad, tickets have been set at TT$40 for all stands and patrons can make purchases at the ticket booth at Queen’s Park Oval as well as at the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board office in Couva. In St Lucia, tickets will vary in price – EC$15 for the first round; EC$20 for the play-off; and EC$25 for the Final. Fans can make purchases at Beausejour Cricket Stadium as well as the Castries Ticket
Office on Jeremie Street – opposite Old Fire Station. As part of the promotion, children under age 16 accompanied by an adult purchasing a full price ticket, will be admitted free. McLean added: “The prices of seats are a ‘steal’ and we know the fans will come out and support their Number 1 team. We want to see smiling faces in the stands, with people enjoying every minute of every match in true colourful, Caribbean style.” FULL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (AT QUEEN’S PARK OVAL, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad) Sunday, January 6 Opening Ceremony – 4 p.m. Trinidad & Tobago vs Jamaica – 8 p.m. Monday, January 7 Barbados vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m. Guyana vs Combined Campuses & Colleges – 8 p.m. Tuesday, January 8 Jamaica vs Barbados – 4 p.m. Trinidad & Tobago vs Combined Campuses & Colleges – 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 9 Windward Islands vs Jamaica – 4 p.m. Trinidad & Tobago vs Leeward Islands – 8 p.m. Thursday, January 10 Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Windward Islands – 4 p.m. Guyana vs Barbados – 8 p.m. Friday, January 11 Leeward Islands vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.
Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Barbados – 8 p.m. Saturday, January 12 Windward Islands vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m. Trinidad & Tobago vs Guyana – 8 p.m. (AT BEAUSEJOUR CRICKET GROUND, Gros Islet, St. Lucia) Tuesday, January 15 Guyana vs Jamaica – 4 p.m. Windward Islands vs Trinidad & Tobago – 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 16 Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m. Barbados vs Trinidad & Tobago – 8 p.m. Thursday, January 17 Leeward Islands vs Guyana – 4 p.m. Windward Islands vs Barbados – 8 p.m. Friday, January 18 Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Jamaica – 4 p.m. Windward Islands vs Guyana – 8 p.m. Saturday, January 19 Play-off: 2nd Place vs 3rd Place – 8 p.m. Sunday, January 20 Grand Final: 1st Place vs Winner of Play-off – 8 p.m.
Wednesday December 12, 2012
Letters to the Sports Editor
Shabazz’s Resignation DEAR SIR, Within his usual rhythmic style of speaking, former national head coach of Guyana’s senior football team Trinidadian, Jamal Shabazz, announced his resignation with immediate effect, at a Press Conference which was held on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at the Raddison Suites. Shabazz, who was in charge of the Golden Jaguars during three stints, was instrumental in guiding Guyana, to a historical third round playoff, in the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers. In addition to two Caribbean Cups, with the former being the furtherest and most successful achievement by Guyana, in World Cup Qualifiers. The individual’s clarion call for changes in the manner how local football is administered becomes the second non-Guyanese after Golden Jaguars captain Chris Nurse, to publicly highlight their concern. So, may, I enquire what is wrong with the representatives of associations and other affiliates of the GFF that forms the General Council! Are the collectives voices of the executive much powerful than theirs, which the General Council outnumbers the opponent 2 to 1? Or, is there the fear of losing one’s voting rights? Editor, have it ever awakened the sub-conscious mind of any General Council member, that due to the poor state of local football there is no need for a Deputy General Secretary? Moreover, with absolutely no new dispensation in the sport’s administration is being brought to the table! Realistically speaking the coffers of the GFF is being placed under additional strain. It’s within this context I have to go agree with Bro.
Shabazz, a retiree and pensioner earning a super salary in triple digits and the national coach not having fulltime employment! As Chris Nurse and the leadership of the AFC would say perks for the “fat cats”! But at whose insistence? Maybe, embattled and suspended President, Mr. Colin Klass can provide the answer! While I respect the academic achievements of both the General Secretary and his Deputy, moreso the latter, whose constitutional interpretation and articulation was commendable many years ago. Factually, the same can’t be said of the present General Secretary, whose slothful reaction to pertinent issues remains an embarrassment to national football. It’s always better for persons to say, “Why did he leave, rather than why doesn’t he leave”! With hard line and dictatorial policies well entrenched in the sport’s administration, along with big stick diplomacy. Definitely these methods have no place in football, but rather individuals that eat, sleep and dream of football to love it and are prepared to be receptive to ideas that can propel the sport onward. Finally, if the representatives of the Colombian government and FARC can sit to broker a truce, in addition to the Israeli Government and Hamas, why it is the representatives of the GFF and the GFA can’t sit and have discussions to resolve the 1½ year long impasse. The GFF must fully comprehend that they erred with the GFA from the very inception and must give away a little space and flex its muscles, or await the return of Klass, upon completion of his suspension, to add more
fuel to an already combustible situation. In the final analysis my recommendation/suggestion would entail: 1. The GFA, must convene its AGM, no later than February, 2013 with all clubs which are entitled to vote must subscribe to the constitutional requirements, alongside the norms of parliamentary procedures, with an independent Returning Officer. 2. Withdrawal of their court junction, under the conditions that no executive member of the GFA/Club or Official would be subjected to any ban, sanction or suspension for their role in filing the injunction. 3. Restoration of voting rights to Georgetown and Upper Demerara. 4. All affiliates of the GFF, unanimously agree to appoint an Interim Management Committee, to coordinate the affairs of football nationally after which mustn’t exceed 3 months. Since the adhoc and unprofessional manner how the sport is being administered can’t continue, as to date not one iota of development/ progress of the sport are evident. 5. A motion debarring suspended President, Mr. Colin Klass from returning to the sport, in any capacity whatsoever. 6. Each club under the auspicies of the GFF must submit within a 1 ½ week period 8 subject areas (topics) towards the further development of the sport. 7. Within a two weeks time frame the GFF-IMC would convene a two day Congress to discuss the submitted topics, which would be adopted and enacted by way of resolution, prior to convening the AGM. Lester Sealey
Harry Parmesar has not served the (Cricket) IMC DEAR EDITOR, Harry Parmesar bold statement to the media that he is willing to serve the Interim Management Committee (IMC) until its term expires is clearly designed to cover up his ineptitude on the IMC. If Mr. Parmesar is so willing to serve, why has he not even begun the forensic audit of the defunct Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) with which he was tasked some ten (10) months ago. For over one (1) year Mr. Parmesar has not convened a single meeting of
the important finance subcommittee of the IMC and his attendance at the IMC meetings has been conspicuously infrequent. There have been serious charges of financial improprieties of the GCB including allegations that monies received from the WICB were not deposited in approved GCB accounts. Also a limited liability company named the DEB Essentials Inc. was illegally formed and all the assets of the GCB were transferred to
that private company owned by a few discredited individuals. I am advised that Mr. Parmesar had been requested to investigate these illegalities and to report his findings to the IMC and to recommend charges as necessary. Since Mr. Parmesar has stated his willingness to serve the IMC, he may be equally willing to let the public know why he hasn’t begun any of the task assigned to him. Richard Ramnarine
Amir Khan admits Carlos Molina fight is a ‘make or break’ bout
Amir Khan (left) and Carlos Molina will square off Sunday. (Reuters) BBC Sport - Amir Khan says his bout with Carlos Molina is a “make or break fight”. The light-welterweight lost his last two fights and will struggle to maintain his status as one of boxing’s big draws if he loses in California on Saturday. It will be the first time he has fought since he started working with trainer Virgil Hunter. He said: “I know it is a make or break fight for me, that’s why I’m taking it so seriously.” Khan’s career is at a critical point as he prepares for the bout at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. He was knocked down three times in defeat by Danny Garcia in July and now has a 26-3 record. The Bolton-born boxer, 26, said: “We will be more than ready for this fight and we will be in the best condition ever. “Hopefully everything will come together on
Saturday and we are going to win this fight and finish the year off strong. That will put us in a good position come next year.” Khan is determined to beat the California-based Molina by a convincing margin having controversially lost a points decision to Lamont Peterson in Washington a year ago one of two successive defeats. The British fighter did have his WBA title handed back to him after the loss to Peterson, however, after the American failed a drugs test. Khan, a 2004 Olympic lightweight silver medallist, intends to change to a more defensive style after being caught by punches when attacking opponents in his last two fights. He added: “It is always tough to fight someone in their back yard and maybe that is why we are training even harder. “It has been a tough road. We have fought some big names. “It is going
to be another tough fight. We are going to go in there and do what we do best. “A win is a win and I will be sticking to the plan and sticking to the instructions from the corner instead of getting too wild. “People will still see an exciting Amir Khan, but now I’m a more mature fighter.” Orthodox fighter Molina, 27, is unbeaten in 18 fights but has boxed mainly in his home state of California. He a lightweight stepping up a division and is four inches shorter than his opponent. And his description of the bout as a ‘shot at the big time’ underlines his lack of toplevel experience. Molina said: “I am willing to walk to hell and back. This is my shot. This is my opportunity. “I have to be smart about it. I can’t go in there and attack, attack, attack. I have to be smart about it. “He is a good boxer. We have a good plan for him and we are going to execute it on Saturday.”