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Kaieteur News

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


Society and the individual It has become fashionable to blame “society” for most of the problems that abound around us. Youths routinely rob shoppers in Georgetown and it is “society’s fault”.Ditto for the violence in the schools. The late Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain once stirred a great deal of controversy when she was alleged to have responded to this claim by asserting in a much quoted outburst, “There is no such thing as society.” What she actually said was much more nuanced and bears contemplation as we approach our 47th anniversary of having achieved “independence”. “I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand ‘I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!’ or ‘I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!’ ‘I am homeless, the Government must house me!’ and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families, and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first… There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.” What she was pointing out was that society is the sum of its parts — individuals, families, voluntary organisations, businesses, religious bodies, etc. Because of the reification of “society”, people expected too much from government, concentrated too much on their ‘rights’ and ‘entitlements’, and not enough on their obligations. At independence, most of our politicians were ideologically predisposed to that view of “society” and consequently accepted the idea that government could then solve the problems of “society” through reorganising that entity. The approach failed here and elsewhere. While nowadays the ideological biases are not worn on the sleeves of the politicians, from both sides of the political divide, they still cleave to the old view of society and the intrusive role of government. This predisposition is at the root of much of the confusion in the affairs of the country today. While in the last two decades the role of government in the affairs of the citizenry was consciously reduced through the intervention of external multilateral agencies, there has been no sustained effort to reorient our citizens to assume more responsibility for their own progress and development. Take the role of the family. Thatcher’s point about the foundational role of the individual and the family as the concrete building block of our social organisation is routinely acknowledged, but does not go much beyond flowery words and the creating of bureaucratic bodies. Guyana has had a National Family Commission (NFC) since 1998. It was founded, staffed with all sorts of “important” people, then gradually just withered away without doing much, if anything, to address the patent challenges the modern Guyanese family is facing. In December 2012, the NFC was “reloaded” and relaunched by the Ministry of Social. Services, amidst a surfeit of flowery language, but precious little has been done since. The point is, there is not much that any government commission can do about the family, save recommending that the government take care of its ultimate responsibility to provide security to the people, ensure opportunities, especially for employment and access to the national patrimony are distributed fairly, and justice is delivered when people break the law. It is up to the individuals of this country, and the families to which they belong, to get a grip on their lives and to resolve to do whatever it takes to lift themselves to whatever levels they conceive to be their goals. The example shown by our forbears at the abolition of slavery to create a civilisation through their own efforts must be repeated.

Monday December 16, 2013

Letters... Where your views make the news

Every Guyanese must feel deep pride with Guyana’s role in Mandela’s life and work DEAR EDITOR, As the world mourns the physical loss of Nelson Madiba Mandela and celebrates his legacy, every Guyanese must feel a deep sense of pride that we were a part of the tapestry that wove his life and life’s work. While apartheid existed from 1948 and Guyana began the process of internal selfgovernance in 1953, it was not until Mandela’s imprisonment in 1964 that apartheid was officially placed on the national radar. When other countries and governments in our hemisphere danced around, tip-toed, or paid lip service to human rights violations in South Africa, for fear of offending the West, Guyana distinguished itself. When internally, some, driven by a politics said the government’s support (budgetary allocation, strategic access, and kind) for the struggle was driven because Blacks were the victims, the government and a section of this society remained steadfast. Once called a terrorist by

the West for his struggle against apartheid, Madiba never flinched. During his presidency, when the Western powers voiced disappointment with his continued alliance with Cuba and visit to Libya, he reminded all, “How can they have the arrogance to dictate to us who our friends should be?” This was a similar policy embraced by Guyana, and with the nation’s non-aligned foreign policy, it created the space to give solidarity to the struggles of others where we found common ground. Were one to honestly examine the stratification of South Africa and those affected by apartheid laws, it would be seen all non-whites were victims. Further, were one to examine the racial demographics of South Africa in that era, it would be seen the society was not biracial but multiracial. And contrary to the position in some quarter that Mandela fought for majority rule, i.e. Black rule, he did not. Mandela fought a system that made legal a two-tiered society, i.e.

white and non-whites. It was a system that denied nonwhites the right to vote, be treated as equals in the society and participate in decision-making that affect their wellbeing. This was a system that made legal, inequality and injustice. Madiba fought to overthrow it and proof of it is seen in the way he governed, his relationship with others, his policy for racial reconciliation, and establishment of an inclusionary constitution. The right to selfdetermination is inalienable, protected in every universal charter and convention. And where laws exist that undermine or disrespect the universality of these principles, in so far as any exist, it must be challenged. Rights are non-negotiable. This is why it is important in mankind’s struggle for justice, that we ensure that all laws are made consistent with our rights. Rights must underpin laws and laws must be nullified when they are not underpinned by rights. Rights and the Rule of Law

share a symbiotic relationship, neither is independent of the other. They must go hand in hand. South Africa’s apartheid laws denied some the inalienable right to selfdetermination, which was a violation of established universal principles. This is where Guyana and the struggle in South Africa found common ground. Guyana embraced a principled position in the antiapartheid struggle that even extended to sports. We have experienced that our sportsmen, who felt the struggle had nothing to do with their sportsmanship on participating in activities in South Africa, did not find warm welcome back into the fold. And this position was extended to our CARICOM colleagues who participated in similar activities. The withdrawing of Guyana teams to the Commonwealth and Olympic games in Canada are other testimonies. The anti-apartheid struggle was embraced by Continued on page 23

There was only one Nelson Mandela DEAR EDITOR, I note with interest the letters which continually fill your newsletter columns and seek to make a few comments of my own.It is indeed with heartfelt feelings that the world mourns the loss of Nelson Mandela whose contributions have touch every life who knew him.There will never be another and I repeat there will never be another who will ever walk this earth again like him. He is one in a million. I noticed a previous letter writer’s attempt in making a comparison. It pales by leaps and bounds. It would have been better felt if that observation address what Mandela fought against instead of seeking to make equal another whom all of us know was in no way close to the giant the world knows as Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela.M. Ann Williams7)Leguan’s state is a microcosm of the nationWe share the pains, concerns and hopes of fellow islander Omesh Sharma in his letter to Kaieteur News of December 6, 2013 on LEGUAN. While we prefer to concentrate on our island of birth the problems he referred to like pollution, conversion, and lack of cooperation are nationwide.Some information about the history and culture of the island may help to generate a greater sense of

pride in the hope that the picture he painted does not become a permanent stain. Long before Indentured Servants from India arrived in British Guiana on May 5, 1838 this island at the mouth of the giant Essequibo was humming with activity. It had 23 Sugar estates and 3 coffee plantations but the shortage of labour reduced sugar plantations to 8 by the time our ancestors made their initial contribution. Cotton was also planted but competition with USA particularly the Atlanta area was so fierce that eventually this produce was GONE WITH THE WIND. Cattle, rice farming and vegetables became the main sources of income on this fertile paradise. Biodegradable Leaves, part of a calabash, enamel cups or plates were main eating utensils of a people of all religions with a common culture and simple lives. They bartered their skills when planting or reaping and had little need for money or big government. Religious holidays, weddings, a child’s birth or other similar events were celebrated by all. A hungry baby was entitled to any mother’s milk as if it were community property. These were the days of unconditional freedom and little responsibility but just like today the laws of nature

had to be respected. The Atlantic revealed its treasures in the form of turtles, sharks, dolphins, and fishes of all shapes, sizes and colours, and when that ocean got angry the mangrove trees were there to reduce the impact of her brute force. The beaches were cricket grounds in low tide, swimming pools sometimes and the source of crabs, iguanas and other reptiles at all times. This is not an attempt to romanticise poverty but a response to the concerns regarding lack of cooperation and other persistent social ills. In fact not only in Leguan but throughout the country there were insanitary conditions, forced conversions, abuse of alcohol and domestic violence all which still bedevil the nation today. These were documented in 1929 by Charlie Andrews, the Christian priest who was sent by private organisations in India to study the plight of the indentured in British Guiana. This was after he had joined forces with Mahatma Gandhi in 1913 in South Africa to protest the discriminatory laws there. He felt addiction to alcohol was due to the cheapness of rum and the location of too many shops near wage distribution centres. This was in stark contrast to the situation in

India where the villagers abstained from alcohol. In leguan in the 1960’s the only secondary school on the island was opposite a temple and above a rum shop which was built before we were born. It still functions today even though the owners have changed while the private school closed after a few years for lack of support. The beaches throughout the coastland are now littered with garbage that the ocean returns with each tide repeating a clear consistent message that we have to deal with it ourselves for she does not want it. Plastic and Styrofoam containers do not rot and absent an elaborate system of garbage recycling and disposal these destroyers of the environment now travel free to all continents. The first turn off for a visitor trying to escape the chill of winter is the sight and smell of garbage. This impression is not new and the problem is not localised although some areas are worse than others. Many retired former residents still visit this land of endless summer that has to be cleaned before they invite their grandchildren for a vacation.The traditional Hindu practice of cremation was illegal in Guyana until the initiative of the late JANG Continued on page 7

Monday December 16, 2013

Kaieteur News

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

Minister Persaud has let all of us down DEAR SIR, Where else in the world can a Minister of government set up an interviewing panel with terms of reference, to recruit, select and appoint a senior public official then just simply disregard the hard work, professional integrity o f i t s members and recommendations and appoint the least qualified applicant, which the panel deemed unfit and unsuited for the position? This political appointment has placed political expediency over the efficient and effective management of the city. Then the government blames the incumbent Mayor and City Council for all the ills of the city. It is perverse. A few weeks ago, Minister Ganga Persuad of the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development appointed Carol Sooba to the position of Town Clerk, of Georgetown. The Minister reportedly said that his action was based on the fact that Ms. Sooba has experience and that she has matured over the period of time she had acted. What the Minister did not say was that during that time,

the Council passed two No Confidence motions against her. The kernel of the motions said that Ms. Sooba lacks the competencies and skills to carry out the functions of the office of the Town Clerk. The motions were sent to the Minister. He did nothing about them. More, the Council repeatedly complained about Ms. Sooba’s lack of understanding of her role resulting in her flouting almost every decision of Council and even usurping the authority of Council and other Statutory Officers, including the City Engineer and the Chief Constable. She has arbitrarily cut the allowances of Councilors thereby inhibiting their ability to do work in their areas among citizens. Perhaps, the PPP/C thinks that this would bring them political gains; they are wrong because Guyanese are not fooled by the actions of the government which betray their utterances of trying to help the city; they are destroying it. In one case, the Town Clerk, defied a decision of the Council and terminated the contract of Cevons’ Waste

Management while allowing Puran Brothers to continue doing business with the Council. She failed to understand the basic activity of management-planning. The result is the extra burden of solid waste in the City’s fragile drainage system and flooding in certain areas during heavy rains. Therefore, her experience is not credible. In any case, there are people with far more experience in the Council than Ms. Sooba. The maturity to which the Minister referred is still to be seen. Ms. Sooba seems to lack basic human relations skills and good manners. She comes across as arrogant with a self-exaggerated ego. After one year, she still has a very difficult time getting along with Councillors, senior and junior staff at City Council and even members of the public. I do not know how the Minister has been measuring her level of maturity during her acting period. It is amazing that a Minister of Government can actually give that as a reason for appointing Ms. Sooba to the position of Town Clerk without saying how it was measured.

Another myth used by the PPP/C to keep Sooba there is that she has improved Council’s revenue. But everyone at City Council knows that when it comes to money, she is doing worse than her predecessors. Deductions to National Insurance Scheme and Guyana Revenue Authority for workers, for November and December 2013 have not been paid over to those agencies. There is no money. Also, there has been no major capital works or even improvement of basic core services to the citizens for more than a year because there is no money. Where is the money? They talk about her paying salaries on time. That is a routine in any organization; there is nothing extraordinary about that. Further, the Council and the Guyana Labour Union and the Local Government Officers Union representing employees at City Council agreed that a 5% increase should be paid on or before December 31, 2013 to workers retroactive to January 2012. It is not likely that workers will get that in this year because there is no money. Council’s accounts have

not been audited since 2004. There is no Internal Audit Section in the Council; the recommendations of Mr. Keith Burrowes have not been implemented. The Town Clerk, Ms. Sooba has not sought to focus her attention in that direction to facilitate an upgrade of public confidence and trust in its operations, rather she has been antagonizing staff, and reducing supplies to the Mayor’s office, she has been disrespectful to the Mayor and Councillors-the people’s representatives and refusing to carry out their decisions. Look at the condition of the city. It is rotting with garbage in every corner, clogged drains, flooding, untidy parapets, broken

roads and general lawlessness. In the Council, there is low staff morale, lack of effective training programmes in all areas; most of the Council’s trucks are in a workshop that is not equipped to deal with effective maintenance of modern equipment and vehicles, broken and unkempt buildings. City Hall is in an advanced stage of disrepair and its surroundings are always untidy. Yet Ms. Sooba receives the highest praise and promotion from the government. Taken in the context of statements made by Former Minister of Local Government, Mr. Kellawan Continued on page 7

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Monday December 16, 2013

Relatives blame hospital for traffic cop’s death A close friend of a young traffic policeman says that she watched him die from minor injuries he sustained in an accident, due to a series of blunders by two inexperienced doctors at the West Demerara Regional Hospital. Constable Shakeel Anderson, 18, was admitted to the West Demerara Regional Hospital on November13, last, with a broken leg and dislocated shoulder, after crashing his motorcycle on the East Bank Essequibo public road. A close family friend, who said she was present the entire time Anderson was being treated, alleged that she witnessed a series of mistakes by an intern and other staff which eventually led to the young policeman succumbing some hours later to what had initially appeared to be minor injuries. Details have now emerged which suggest that despite two X-rays, staff at the facility failed to realize that Anderson had a broken rib. The broken rib reportedly pierced Anderson’s lung when an intern was setting his dislocated shoulder. It is alleged that this caused Anderson to bleed internally, and the family friend said that the same intern made matters worse while attempting to stop the internal bleeding. Anderson, who was reportedly lucid when he arrived at the hospital, succumbed despite efforts by staff at a private hospital to save him. Reports suggest

that no senior physicians were present when Constable Anderson was being treated and the young policeman was left in the care of two interns. Contacted by Kaieteur News last Thursday, Regional Health Officer Dr. Nadine Coleman said that she knew of the case but declined further comment. Kaieteur News also received a similar response from the Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, as well as one of the doctors who treated Constable Anderson. Anderson, who was seconded to the Parika Police Station, was towing a friend, 22-year-old Sadiki Fraser, when they crashed on the Zeelugt, East bank Essequibo Public Road. A female relative of Fraser’s said the two young men were first taken to the Leonora Cottage Hospital, where X-rays revealed that Anderson, of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, sustained a broken left leg, and a dislocated hip and shoulder. Sadiki Fraser reportedly sustained a fractured leg and was bleeding heavily from puncture wounds to the same limb. The woman is of the view that Anderson’s friend was in worse condition, and she alleged that it was Anderson who was trying to cheer up his injured friend. The woman said that after about two hours, the two injured men were transferred by ambulance to the Leonora Cottage Hospital to the West Demerara Regional Hospital. She alleged that further Xrays were done, since the staff

- claim intern accidentally punctured patient’s lung felt that the X-rays at the Leonora Cottage Hospital were improperly taken. The relative said that she was with the two young men for the entire period when they were being treated, and witnessed everything that occurred at the hospitals. She alleged that she also was present when the staff allowed a porter to re-set Constable Anderson’s dislocated hip. “They said that Shakeel’s hip and shoulder had slipped out and that his leg was broken. They took him to the Emergency Room, spread a mattress on the floor and placed a cloth in his mouth. Then a porter put his (Anderson’s) leg on his shoulder and pulled it to put the hip back in place.” But according to the woman, the policeman’s condition worsened drastically when a male intern reset the dislocated shoulder. “From the time he fix the shoulder, Shakeel’s chest started to swell,” she alleged. A female doctor diagnosed that the patient had sustained a punctured lung. At that

point, two other physicians attended to Anderson and suggested that he was bleeding internally. Kaieteur News was told that the physicians attempted to get a female technician to take another X-ray of the patient. By then, it was after 16:00 hrs and the X-ray technician allegedly informed a relative who was sent to call her that her shift had ended. “She said she has to cook her husband’s dinner and she only works up to four o’clock and is was already six,” the friend alleged. She said that one of the physicians consulted a manual, then made a small incision in the policeman’s side and inserted a tube to drain the blood. However, the relative alleged that the doctor had to make a second incision after apparently blundering the procedure. Anderson was reportedly then given oxygen. Kaieteur News understands that relatives of the injured men then requested that the patients be transferred to the Woodlands Hospital. The doctor who had inserted the

tube accompanied the patients in an ambulance. The family friend alleged that when they arrived, a physician at the private hospital informed the West Demerara Hospital staff that they had inserted the draining tube incorrectly and that Anderson was still bleeding internally. The tube was reportedly also the wrong size and even the apparatus to give the patient oxygen was malfunctioning, the woman said. “Then the doctor showed how the tube should be inserted and the blood started to come out,” the woman said. But by then, Anderson’s condition had worsened and he succumbed some 15 minutes later, the stilldistraught friend said. “The doctor (at Woodlands) said that it is sad that he had to die when his injury was not lifethreatening.” The woman is related to Anderson’s injured friend, Sadiki Fraser, and said that he is still traumatized by the ordeal. “It’s one month (since the tragedy) and it’s bringing back everything,” a relative of Anderson’s told Kaieteur News. A source with several years experience as a health care professional said that the

Dead: Police Constable Shakeel Anderson case highlighted the poor quality of health care in Region Three. “The management is very poor in this Region, if they can’t manage an emergency transfer. They played around for four and a half hours with these young men’s lives. They arrived at around 2.15 p.m. at the Leonora Cottage Hospital, then were transferred to the West Demerara Regional Hospital without a proper diagnosis. Is this what health care has turned to?” The source also expressed the view that the case also highlighted the need for interns to work under the guidance of experienced doctors before being allowed to work unsupervised.

Miner’s birthday plans end tragically after pit caves in The birthday plans of a 33-year-old miner ended abruptly and tragically when he was killed in a mining pit accident at Warrenbu, North West District on Saturday. Dead is Seckou Adams of Lot 13 Old Road Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara. He was to have celebrated his birthday yesterday. Denise Pestano, the victim’s girlfriend, told Kaieteur News that Adams was working alone with a hose in the approximately 20foot-deep pit when one of the walls suddenly collapsed. “He was ‘jetting’ (using the hose) in the pit...he was backing the wall and it just came down, and by the time the (other) men could say ‘wall’, it hit him.” Ms. Pestano said that Adams was not completely buried and was still able to breathe. She estimates that it

Dead: Seckou Adams took the crew less than five minutes to pull him out, and recalled that he was still conscious. “He was responding and saying that his feet and his back were hurting.” The badly injured man was taken to the Matthews

Ridge Hospital, some 40 minutes away, where he succumbed. His body was then taken to the Port Kaituma Mortuary. A grieving sister, Christa Samuels said her brother should have been celebrating his birthday yesterday, and had even made calls for drinks to be sent up to his location. According to Ms Samuels, she was told that a tree fell on her brother while he was using a hose to ‘wash down’ a section of the pit. This resulted in the pit caving in on the hapless miner before his colleagues could warn him. “He would have been 34 and I cannot take the thought of having a Christmas without him…my brother was proud of me…he was supposed to come out and host a banquet at the Den

Amstel Community Centre. He was a loved person, he loved birds and animals,” she lamented. Adding that her brother was in the mining business with his girlfriend for several years, the sister said she learnt that her brother last spoke to his friends before heading into the pit. Several other miners have perished in similar manner in recent years as more people rush to the interior to cash in on the high price of gold. In October, 2012, Ann’s Grove miners Devon Barry, Deonarine Singh and Elson Singh were crushed to death when the mining pit they were working in at Aranka, Cuyuni caved in. In January 2013, Errol Bennett, of Port Kaituma, perished in a similar manner at Arakaka backdam. In April, 2013, a mining pit collapsed at Mahdia, killing 16-year-old Dennis Anthony Barker. And last September, Taigo Nunes Pinto, Ronaldo Da Silva Sousa, Joao Nelson Pinto Mands and Joao Gonsalves Martins were mining in a pit about 30-40ft deep at Arau Backdam, Eteringbang, when it caved and covered them.

Monday December 16, 2013

Kaieteur News

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

These construction works There was only one Nelson... need proper monitoring DEAR EDITOR, It is disturbing to see the poor quality construction works that are being practiced in Guyana, especially Building estimates, house plans and site supervisions. I have over 30 years of practical experience in drawing house plans, preparing estimates, supervising construction works in Guyana. I am a member of two professional organisations, the Quantity Surveyors International and Building

Official. At present, Guyanese are faced with lots of problems in the construction industry; people are complaining daily of this situation, such as poor quality house plans, estimates, no proper site supervision of works on sites. We as Guyanese needs to look carefully, ensure proper Building laws are enforced in the country. There are tall buildings-five, six, seven and eight stories high-being constructed in the country. I

do hope that the authorities are monitoring them, especially for proper foundation and structural designs. They may be dangerous to the lives of people. My recommendation is that the government and private sector must work together and put in place committees, including professional persons and stakeholders to monitor the entire situation, for the benefit of all Guyanese. Jewel Cameron

Minister Persaud has let all... From page 5 Lall, that he had wished for a health crisis to remove the Council from office, this adulation of Sooba by the incumbent Minister of Local Government, Mr. Ganga Persaud is pointing to something-the total collapse of the systems of City Hall, which would then give the PPP/C the excuse to set up an Interim Management Committee. It is a stupid political move that will eventually backfire on the government. Government has been trying to make her look good by spending extra money from the public purse to do works in the city, including garbage cleanup campaigns and drainage but it is not working. Imagine the Council is unable to superintend its own officers. The Minister now decides who should be employed in a democratically elected and functioning Mayor and City Council. What is troubling is that Minister Persaud has let all of us down because many years ago, he worked with the Ministry of Education as a teacher, in Region 3. He ought to know the importance of education, training, academic qualifications and certification. Yet, he appointed Ms. Sooba to a very senior position in an organization that is in very serious crisis. What is his

message now to the children he has encouraged to educate and qualify themselves? Is it that political loyalty must be given preference over education and qualification or there is no need for qualification if you are a PPP/ C member because promotion is automatic? Finally, all officers and workers of the Georgetown and other Municipalities, Towns and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils, must take note of this appointment

because it demonstrates that no one’s position is safe. At any time, whenever it pleases the Minister, any officer can be removed from his/her office due to the automatic recruitment or promotion of PPP/C comrades. If the Minister can appoint an unqualified individual to the top position at the City Council and get away with it, then all officers are vulnerable; no position is secure. Aubrey James

From page 4 BAHADUR SINGH resulted in the change of the law. But a right itself can be rendered meaningless unless it can be exercised. Presently there is a need for more convenient cremation sites across the country. The Hindus and others must consider themselves fortunate in Leguan, where a site is located and it takes little effort to keep it clean. However, people from Bartica and other places in the Essequibo River have to travel all the way to Rumzeight, West Coast of Demerara to complete the final rites. This site itself has its own history of struggles, legally and otherwise, for its existence. There are many reasons for conversion and more than one way to stop it but what is certain is that Hindus with basic knowledge of Vedic history and philosophy will not convert. The challenge therefore is to educate them

about their culture. Hindu priests are not necessarily community activists and fewer still consider themselves to be leaders. The principles of Hinduism are too important to be left solely to self appointed priests or poorly administered temples even though they will always have a special role in the preservation of a culture thousands of years old. B u s i n e s s m e n , professionals, academics and other successful residents can make a more concerted effort to energise the temples and motivate others to participate in matters affecting the entire community. They can sponsor pocket sized Gitas in English for every single village, and enlist volunteers to help those who cannot or

will not read. Surely Guyana has enough material and human resources to make this happen without help from abroad. The time of learning only by listening to a few who claim to have special knowledge is gone. Information is now available to all who seek it. Mr. Sharma’s reference to the book MOHANDAS K. GANDHI: THOUGHTS, WORDS, DEEDS has generated inquiries regarding its availability. Hopefully a book launching may still happen but in the interim copies are available from Pandit Toolsie in Leguan,Tony’s General Store, Parika, and W D’s Hotel and Mall, Charity, Essequibo Coast. Ramnarine Sahadeo

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Monday December 16, 2013

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WHAT IS THE FUSS ABOUT? I fail to understand just what is all the fuss that is being made about the Minister of Natural Resources and whether or not his Ministry or any of the many departments that fall under his responsibility was responsible for granting either surveying or prospecting licenses in an area east of New River Triangle. The first salvo that was launched suggested that the Minister may have misled a meeting of Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources. When the transcript of the meeting was produced, it refuted the charges made against the Minister. No longer able to show that the Minister misled the parliamentary committee, the

attack was switched. The government was said to now be entertaining future prospecting of the area. But what can be controversial about this? And what can be wrong about the government granting any licence, be it surveying or prospecting, to a foreign investor. At first it seemed as if the criticisms were based on the fact that the area in question may have been sensitive, given Suriname’s claim to the New River Triangle. It seemed as if those critical of the Minister may have been suggesting that given the claim by Suriname, it was ill- advised of the government to grant mining rights, be it for surveying or prospecting, in this area . But why should this be a

problem. After all, should Guyana not be free to exercise sovereignty over all its territory and thus free to attract investments in any part of Guyana? Many years ago, Forbes Burnham had signed an agreement in which it pledged to de-militarize the New River Area. That agreement was honored in the breach because Guyana has always since had a military watch post in the area. There was never any agreement about not granting mining concessions in the area. Now the criticisms have taken a new turn. The area in question is now being deemed one of the few remaining pristine forest areas in the country and is highly ecologically sensitive.

Dem boys seh

Parbattie aka Carol was a night nurse De name Parbattie knock dem boys like a brick. People talk de name and dem seh that is a powerful woman; that she is a big thing in Georgetown. Well dem boys never hear de name suh dem decide to do some investigation. Dem go to Fyrish pun de Corentyne because dem hear that some of Parbattie family live deh. Then den ask bout Parbattie and dem hear that she change she name to Carol. Suh dem decide to ask people bout Carol Gopaul and people tell dem that she was a popular gyal; that she was very active; that she use to climb high. Dem boys know that any gyal from de country know to climb tree because that is part of de life. Dem didn’t tek de

climbing part fuh nutten till dem hear that de people use to call she night nurse. That was when dem realize that this gyal had talent and that wid she experience she can get any wuk. Being a night nurse is not an easy job because people does call when you want to sleep. Dem boys ask wheh she get she nursing qualification and that was when all of dem get dumb. And that was when Ganda de Local Government Minister seh that de woman got experience and that she experience and she common sense more than she academic qualifications. Dem boys seh that de Minister had to know

something and that he actually use Carol Parbattie experience as a night nurse. That is why he tell de reporters that he ain’t got to answer no more questions. When a reporter dig he does find out more than he really believe exist. Dem boys find out that de night nurse had nothing to doing wid sick people unless dem people was sick in dem head. It had to wid providing comfort fuh lonely seamen in de night. Night nurse had to climb ladder that hanging down de side of dem ship. Carol Parbattie was a very good night nurse. Talk half and do you own investigation.

What crap is that! There are countless pristine forest areas in the country and far more ecologically sensitive areas in the country that areas east or contiguous to the New River. Desmond Hoyte had set aside more than one million acres of land for ecological conservation. That is more than any other poor country has ever done for humanity and that is sufficient for a small nation like Guyana. Guyana has long argued that mineral exploration is one of the sectors that it will be tapping to boost economic development. There are a number of companies that have been granted rights for the drilling of oil. But precious minerals are expected to yield more royalties than oil and therefore Guyana has also been courting investments in precious minerals. Manganese mining has once again taken off. The Iranians have also shown an interest in mining for precious metals. This interest immediately set off a series of criticisms and it is clear that the basis of these criticisms is not the mining

but who is doing the mining. It seems that amongst certain circles it is okay for the Americas and Canadians to come here and mine away our natural resources. But once the Iranians and now the Brazilians show an interest, all manner of criticisms are made. It is okay for the American , Japanese and local fishing interests to take command of our fishing grounds but once China shows any interest the

alarm bells begin to ring. It is okay for western mining firms to approach the government, outline their plans and be granted mining permits. But for a firm from any other country to do the same, it attracts criticism of lack of transparency in the process.

Huge waves sink barge, sailor feared dead A sailor is missing and feared dead after the barge that he was on sank in the Atlantic Ocean during the wee hours of yesterday morning. The missing man has been identified as ‘Christopher’, a 20-year-old who resides somewhere on the Essequibo Coast. Reports reaching this newspaper suggest that the barge was being towed by Tug Sambo from Berbice to Parika, when the vessel anchored somewhere in the vicinity of Mahaica and Mahaicony, Region Five due to the rough waters and bad weather. This newspaper understands that it was during this time that a huge wave slammed into the barge, causing it to overturn and sink. Another seaman who was with Christopher was rescued after he managed to swim over to the tug. Christopher has since been reported missing. A search for his body is expected to resume today.

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 16, 2013

New River Triangle debacle...

Mursi deal will pose a threat to National Security The Permission granted by Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud, to Muri Brasil Ventures Inc, to survey more than two million hectares of land in Guyana for rare earth elements will pose a border and security threat. This is according to Financial Analyst, Christopher Ram, who is in latest writings points out that the Permission Area is located at the confluence of the Kuyuwini and Essequibo Rivers and is right on the border. “Indeed, Annex A to the permission states that Point C of the area is located approximately three hundred yards from the Brazil Guyana border”. According to Ram, had the Minister done the kind of background research which one associates with such major decisions, he would have recognised that the national policy was against any commercial activity in the area. “Had he applied his mind to his action he would have recognised that a potential consequence of his decision is a practical erosion of Guyana’s border, since the

...GDF had objected to a previous attempt - Chris Ram

Financial Analyst, Christopher Ram issue of the eighteen Prospecting Licences leading to mining in the area will render the border exposed and vulnerable.” According to Ram, “national security and territorial integrity could be compromised over a huge swathe of Guyana.” He reminded that the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) raised their voices in opposition in an earlier attempt under the Cheddi Jagan Administration. Ram questioned if “its policy changed or is it simply a function of personnel at the top?” He said that “It is to

ensure that we are not exposed to such threats – as Robert Persaud’s action now does – that the GDF is given a place on the Board of the Geology and Mines Commission.” He said that the “tragedy is that the law allows Persaud to bypass the GGMC and engage in the kind of recklessness starkly demonstrated by the Muri permission.” Ram also questioned what would be the implications for the country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy and the nation’s commitments to Norway and the international community, “that fell for Bharrat Jagdeo’s blandishments and embrace of the environment is also an issue here.” Ram suggested too that, the LCDS was a mere façade, “a charade in the name of responsible and clean government.” Regarding the threats to the security and border that Ram suggested that could be incurred as a result of the deal inked by Minister Persaud, the financial analyst drew reference to the fact that it has drawn a not particularly friendly reaction from Suriname. In that country, its Deputy Speaker of Parliament is calling for her country to lodge a formal complaint with

Guyana. According to Ram, “that will certainly complicate issues even as the bigger question remains the border with Brazil.” He said that Guyanese will now wait to see if President Donald Ramotar will define himself and protect the integrity of the borders of this country. “Decisive action on this issue will give some credibility to his Presidency…If he fails to act now, nothing ever will.” Ram has suggested that, in face of the implications and improprieties, President Ramotar has only one option in this matter.

Minister Robert Persaud

President Donald Ramotar

According to Ram, the President must scrap the ‘Permission to survey’ given to the company and relieve Robert Persaud of any ministerial duties. Ram suggested that

Persaud’s Ministerial performance has been characterised by some grave lapses and his commitment to responsible governance and accountability is even poorer than Guyana’s.

Seventeen women killed in domestic relationships this year - Human Services Ministry

Siromanie Nadia Lokhnauth By Rehanna Ramsay “Seventeen women died this year as a result of domestic violence, this number may have surpassed the death toll for the same period last year.” This disclosure was made by Hymawantie Lagan, Administrator of the Women Affairs Bureau within the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security. Ms Lagan was speaking at a vigil held in commemoration of victims of abuse, earlier this week. The event also marked the International Human Rights Day observance in Guyana. Officials from the Ministry of Human Services, concerned groups, stakeholders and members of civil society assembled in the vicinity of Parliament Buildings to participate in a vigil and observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the women, who lost their lives through domestic violence. In her feature address to the gathering, Minister of Human Services,

Parbattie Mangru

Sirmattie Ramnaress

Geeta ‘Diane’ Bhishundial

Samantha Baggot

Jennifer Webster marked the conclusion of 16 days of activism for International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women. “We are gathered here this evening on a very sad note because we are here to remember the women who were killed by the partners in 2013… The number is extremely high, 17 women have lost their lives as we speak.” As the Minister named the victims, she reminded the

gathering that the women were all mothers, daughters, sisters, neighbours, friends and relatives with the potential of helping to craft the nation’s development. “Moreso, this vigil is symbolic to emphasise the fact that we lost productive daughters of the soil. The loss of a mother to violence has a severe negative impact on children throughout communities of the world.” First Lady, Deolatchmie (Continued on page 23)

Monday December 16, 2013

Kaieteur News

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 16, 2013

Drama Festival… The power of the “Playwright-Director” relationship By: Kiana Wilburg In the heart of Guyana there lies a blossoming relationship. It is one between 31-year-old playwright, Mosa Mathifa Telford and 23-year-old director, Tivia Collins. And no, it’s not a love story. It’s a “playwrightdirector” relationship that has given birth to “Before her parting” one of the most

critically acclaimed productions at this year’s Drama Festival. The is about..… How they collab Ms. Collins is a talented director with an award at this year’s Festival to prove it. How they feel about winning She grew up in the village of Plaisance, East Coast Demerara. This sentiment was also echoed by Telford,

- “Before her parting” is one of the best plays of the year who Collins enjoys working with. Even with talent that is often described as a “diamond in the rough,” Collins, according to many, competes competently with the “heavy weights” of her division. As for Telford, this

playwright hails from Buxton on the East Coast of Demerara. With a passion for writing, she says that it was something that just came to her naturally. And while she wrote several short plays for concerts and church activities during her teens writing for professional theatre only started about three years ago. As it relates to the world of playwriting, this mother of two daughters said, “It is a world I hope I never escape from. It’s a wonderful place to be. I make it my own by thinking outside the box. I like to address taboo topics and be a voice for those who might have a little or no voice in our society.” And the play “Before her parting” is an exceptional piece of art to support that. According to the playwright, ‘Before Her Parting’ was inspired by the gender-based violence we witness in our society much too often. “The number of women who have been killed saddens me and I decided last year that I have to write something to speak on this issue.” “I did not want to write the usual domestic violence play. I wanted to look at it from a different angle. The play tells a story of women who have been murdered and seeks to address the mindset of one man who murdered his wife. Often we do not question what caused these men to commit such an act and I wanted to touch on that as well.” “I wanted people to be reminded, that gender-based violence is a very sick and

Playwright, Mosa Telford

Director, Tivia Collins

frightening thing and that it is a threat to family life. I wanted to remind them that the women who have died are not just statistics, but that they were real people who had hopes and dreams like the rest of us and that they should not be forgotten. And I was particular with the characters I chose because I wanted people who the audience could identify and empathize with.” But as it is with most journeys, there are always obstacles, but this did not stand in Telford’s way. “The biggest challenge I encountered during the play was making the story believable. This is mainly due to the fact that the story deals with the afterlife. I had to write it in such a way that people would be sucked into that world, believe that the characters were real and sympathize with them.” But this was made a reality, with Collins as a director. She expressed that working with Collins is a phenomenal experience. “We have a mutual respect for each other’s work. She has directed three of my plays so far – Shadows, Sauda (Guyana Prize winning play 2013) and

Before Her Parting. I was amazed at how she brought the first play I trusted her with, (Shadows), to life and since then I am not afraid to trust her with my work. I admire her because she is so young, but her skills as a director, prove that the spirit of someone who would have been directing for years dwells within her. I think she will go down in history as one of Guyana’s best directors.” Telford and her team were nominated for nine awards a the Festival and copped six and these are; Best Production, Best Use of Lights, Best Use of Sound, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. While the world of theatre is one driven by several things which may include status and grudges, Telford contends that she has learnt most importantly that in spite of her successes, it is important to remain humble and strive towards superseding your best. As for the relationship cultivated between the two artists, Telford predicts another collaboration for next year, but for now they are simply enjoying the spoils of their hard work.

Commissioner of Police Leroy Brumell sharing lunch to police recruits at the Trainees Christmas Luncheon on Friday at the Police Officers’ Mess. Officers traditionally serve the trainees at this event.

Monday December 16, 2013

Kaieteur News

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Port Mourant NDC fails to repair damages done to residents’ properties

Narine standing next to his destroyed bridge, drains and pipes in November By Leon Suseran The Region 6 Administration is being accused of failing to keep a promise to a resident whose fence and drainage infrastructure were destroyed by the Port Mourant Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) on November 23. Another resident had her concrete bridge destroyed by a Bobcat machine, too. After the article was published in this newspaper’s November 25 edition, the Chairman, Mr. David Armogan investigated the matter and found that the NDC was culpable for the damages. Speaking to this newspaper via telephone, Mr. Armogan said that he will instruct the NDC to effect repairs to the damaged bridge, fence and drainage structure, and that the NDC should have notified the resident before embarking on a damage rampage. Narine, a retired teacher residing in Georgetown turned up to his Lot 17, 2ND Street Tain, Port Mourant house that day and saw immense infrastructural damage to his bridge; pipelines ripped out and damaged security fencing. He is accusing the Johns/Port Mourant Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) of going on a rampage, destroying his property. A concrete bridge of another resident in the area was also allegedly destroyed by a hymac belonging to the NDC. After the publication, Narine spoke highly of the officials who responded to him. He said that the “Chairman of the Works Committee at Tain, Port Mourant NDC apologized and he told me that he had to deal with over 30 cases of

damages inclusive of destruction of lighting, meter, water lines, destruction of bridges.” Residents without water and lights,” he added, “had to be reconnected. “I asked him [the NDC Chairman of Works] why he doesn’t remove the driver. He will have an emergency meeting with all the operators,” he said. “He [Armogan] said the operator and NDC are at fault for causing so much destruction knowing that they should not have done what they did. They should have sent me a letter or a note or contact me. Whenever they are digging drains in front of residents, they must have the residents at home. He said that he will see that the NDC repair his stuff,” he said a few weeks ago. To date, no repairs have been done and a frustrated Narine has put his property for sale and abandoned Berbice. He says he has been chased out of the region. He was furious yesterday while speaking to this newspaper. “Every Sunday or on holidays I would journey to Berbice with workmen to build and repair the building. I like the building because of the shape of the roof, etc. as of todayt, I have spent in excess of $3,000,000 on repairs, adding on a large verandah; installing toilet and bath; building sheds around the building; putting up security fence, etc.” Narine added that indeed it was hard work, “only to arrive on November 24 and see damages to my security fence; my wooden bridge; the pipe I had below the bridge— all destroyed!” “At first, I thought that with the intervention of the Regional Chairman, things

would be resolved, but I now realize that whatever discussion I had with him was just a big joke!” He went on to state that, “I did not deserve to be treated like a piece of garbage. I later spoke to the Overseer who blamed the hymac operator. When I spoke to the Chairman of Works of the NDC, he blamed the operator that they should have notified me about proposed

Another resident whose concrete bridge was destroyed works in the area. They knew of my presence at the place every Sunday. There is a post box in front of my yard. Leave a correspondence! I would have received it and know what to do!” “Whatever done to my property has broken my heart! And I have lost the interest of wanting to reside in Berbice. Presently, there is a ‘For Sale’ sign on the property, all because I have

no respect for the Regional Administration in Berbice,” he stated. He said that there are many things politicians can do and fool the people. “because they have the strength to do what they can do.” “Only in Guyana can these things happen!” he complained. “So now I am turning my back on the Ancient County and returning to live in

Georgetown,” he said. When contacted yesterday, Mr. Armogan was quite surprised that the man’s place was not repaired by the NDC. He said that he will check with them on Monday. Armogan had said that even if the residents had breached building and construction regulations, the NDC had no right to go and embark on a destruction rampage on the community.

Wild, Wild North West…

Cops shoot drunk, gun-toting miner There was yet another shooting incident Saturday in the increasingly lawless North-West District, with police wounding a guntoting, 27-year-old miner, who was discharging a firearm and threatening to kill people. Police said that the incident occurred at “Bald Head Shop,” Kumaka Waterfront, Mabaruma, North West District, and identified the wounded man as Randy Edwards of Yarakita, North West District. A release from the Police Public Relations Department stated that at about 23:45hrs on Saturday night the police responded to a report that a man was at the Kumaka Waterfront, discharging rounds from a firearm and threatening to kill persons. “After the police arrived, a rank that was armed with his service revolver saw Edwards, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, in a shop armed with an unlicensed shotgun. The policeman confronted Edwards in efforts to retrieve the firearm and to arrest him,

and a struggle ensued between them, during which Edwards was shot and injured to his back,” police said. “The unlicensed shotgun was recovered by the police. He was then taken to Mabaruma Hospital and was subsequently referred to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was admitted. Kaieteur News was told that Edwards was partying with some women when he

lost his cell phone. He suspected one of the females had stolen it. According to a source, Edwards subsequently returned to the shop with a handgun, stood on a bridge and discharged several rounds. Police were summoned and he was shot. But some residents accused the police of shooting first and asking questions after. According to an

eyewitness, “the police walk in the rum shop and shoot the man first then ask him where he get the gun from.” Kaieteur News was told that the wounded miner identified the alleged owner of the firearm. Police reportedly searched the resident’s home while he was out and found a plastic bag suspected to have contained a prohibited substance. They reportedly arrested the man.

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 16, 2013

Patients left to fend for themselves as ‘sick out’ escalates

Patients from various wards at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) have been left to fend for themselves since Saturday after more than 300 nurses at the institution reported sick. This is the second time in 11 days since nurses from the public hospital have decided to report sick to protest Government’s five per cent pay increase. Government has refused to agree to the workers’ demand of 25 per cent increase. The health care workers reported sick since Saturday and according to an official, the absence of a high number of nurses has placed severe pressure on the already limited human resource capacity at the hospital. When Kaieteur News visited the hospital yesterday; three nurses were in Male Surgical One Ward attending to 35 patients, while one nurse was left to look after approximately 25

patients in the Male Surgical Two Ward. Several patients complained about being left unattended since Saturday. Roy Gonsalves, who underwent surgery at the health institution a few days ago, was readmitted at the hospital last Wednesday after his wound became infected. “My wound was supposed to be cleaned everyday but since Saturday there was no nurse to clean it. It was bloody and oozing a lot. It is only after my mom called someone this morning that a nurse come and clean it.” Another patient, Ricky Anton, said that his wife had to take care of him and assist two other patients in the ward. “This thing is getting serious. Imagine what is going to happen with patients if all the nurses decided to strike. This government is not very caring at all. Why they can’t give the nurses the 15 percent and everybody will

No Nurse at the Nurses’ Station yesterday

be comfortable? The ministers does thief more than that,” a patient opined. Kaieteur News was told that nurses from the Maternity Unit were sent to attend to the patients from the

Male Surgical Wards. Meanwhile, Michael Khan, Chief Executive Officer of GPHC said that he only received one complaint of a patient being neglected. He explained that a

patient’s wound was not cleaned during the morning hours, but it was cleaned by 13:00hrs. According to Khan, though challenged by the lack of staff, management is putting measures in place to

continue operations smoothly. He said that during a management meeting today, additional systems would be put in place to deal with shortfalls.

Family regains control of property ‘controversially” issued for mining purposes By Zena Henry A High Court Judge has cleared the way for a West Bank Demerara family to access property which a large sand mining company had taken over. The family had picketed the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) earlier this year, blaming the agency for failing to act on what they described as a “clear case of bullyism.” Siblings of the Major and Benjamin family had explained that the property was in their family’s possession for generations and was being passed down from parents to children when the company, RMC SILICA, under Mr. Grantley Walrond, provided documentation from GGMC showing that the company had permission to mine on the family property. Despite numerous attempts to show that the parcels of land at 13, 14, 15 and 16 Vreed-en-Rust belonged to the siblings, the

Family members fence the property and erect warning signs

businessman continued to claim the land, even destroying the structures and produce on the property in continuance of the mining activities.

In early April, the family further learnt that an interim injunction had been granted to Walrond, preventing them from selling, mortgaging, hypothecating, leasing or

conducting any other activities on the said property. This prompted the family to stage a demonstration outside of GGMC, forcing the intervention of Minister of

Natural Resource and the Environment, Robert Persaud, who directed the GGMC to grant a cease work order against the company until the matter was resolved. Walrond’s injunction was discharged by Justice Roxanne George, who ordered the company to pay each of the 10 complainants $25,000 in legal fees. During the hearing, the family was able to present all relevant documentation; including the transport to show that they were the heirs to the property kept in their family for some 77 years. It was further revealed that Walrond had indeed acquired a GGMC licence to conduct sand mining on the land. Walrond claimed, however, that the licence was not being renewed by the GGMC and provided documentation to show that a court action had been filed against the GGMC to show cause as to why the sand mining licence was not being

renewed. The family said it was never proven how a licence was granted for mining activities to take place on their property. It was never proven also, how the sand mining license had been acquired and who had issued the document. Seventy-six-year-old Desmond Major was the most senior of the July protestors. He said that the family had filed counter claims against Walrond, since the GGMC was refusing to issue the businessman a cease work order. He accused the agency of aiding a clear case of “bullyism” on the businessman’s part. Since the injunction was discharged, the family has since fenced their property and has made preparations to conduct business on it. The company has also removed the mining equipment to the perimeters of the property. Walrond was a former Commissioner for the GGMC.

Monday December 16, 2013

Kaieteur News

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Rains is a four-letter word We all deal with pain in different ways. We say “I feel your pain” knowing full well that we are all different and I can feel my pain extremely well and may feel what your pain may feel like but can never really feel your pain. Empathy and sympathy are all well and good but when I’m in pain and feeling it I know very well that nobody else in the world is feeling exactly how I feel when I’m feeling it. My father had many different responses to my pain. For the most part he would rush out with the Phensic, Cafenol or Aspirin and even gave me a sip of bay-rum for fever, a case of the cure being worse than the illness. Vick’s vapour rub was a staple, heated “soft” candle was a cure, and boiled bush from the yard including “fever” or lemon grass with honey, lime and a dash of overproof rum dealt with any pain that was stupid enough to come around our house. The rum might not have killed the germs but I am sure, that like my father, they had a very good time with it. But then again my father could be annoying about pain. In Trinidad, as the world knows, Carnival is

huge. On the bus coming home from school, I had met a young lady named June who lived in the village before mine and she invited me to come and spend Carnival Monday with her. I was elated and could think or talk about nothing else. On Carnival Sunday, some of our friends decided they would like nothing better than stewed iguana and dasheen (a tuber known as “blue food”) for their Carnival Monday meal. My father had a shotgun that was licensed to travel and hunt, I was always glad for an opportunity to go into the forest and that day I was first in the car since I had visions of shooting some huge monster and telling June all about my prowess. No beating around the bush there at all. Trinidad’s geology, flora and fauna are similar to Venezuela since the island was once part of the South American continent; thick virgin forest with vines that Tarzan, Jane, Boy, Cheetah and the entire tribe could have swung on. You always felt in the semi-darkness that the Phantom’s cave lay around the next giant tree trunk and that the Ghost Who

Walks was watching you closely. So there was Bwana Tony walking in single file behind Mikey who was the designated gunman and Orland, Franklin with my father bringing up the rear. There was a hollowed out vine which Franklin swung away from him and on its return journey the vine hit me full on the right side of my face. The next instant I was being bitten by thousands of wasps or “Jack Spaniards” which we called “Jack Spaniah” or “Jep”. They swarmed over me like the Cuban-based, Spanish pirate “Diabolito” and his crew over some poor British barque and the rightside of my face swelled like the Pillsbury doughboy. The heck of it is that when I look round for sympathy, understanding, empathy or even concern, everybody was laughing. I can tell you that in a circumstance like this, laughter is not the best medicine. It does not come even close. Had I the shotgun at the time I would have been able to refer to all my friends and even my father as those “blasted” people. If any English Language student ever needed an

example of the phrase “adding insult to injury” I have it. My father looked me straight in the eye, the one that was almost closed up from the stings, and then said, “The best thing to do is go and find another Jep nest and let them sting you on the other side of your face so that both sides will be the same size.” There I was, concerned not just about my face, but in the intermittent throbbing thinking of my date with June the next day and knowing that short of plastic surgery nothing could fix my face for the big occasion. I came very near to parricide. It is only later that I recognized that was the way my father dealt with his pain and worry because the hunt ended there and then and I was rushed home to my mother, tins of Thermogene, Tiger Balm, even Vick’s and several different kinds of bush applications, ice and laughter as well from anyone who found that I was feeling too sorry for myself. I was teased mercilessly about June with even my best friend Orland, the soul of solace so far, telling me that the best thing would be to wear a mask. “Is carnival,” he said. “She can’t tell you

nothing. And besides, she know what your face look like already and the mask can’t make you look worse.” At least nobody told me to “get a grip on yourself” or “pull yourself together”. Recently there was a poll involving 500 Britons who said that those two phrases were the most annoying things to say to people if you’re trying to console or comfort them. The poll also found that “There, there” and “Keep a stiff upper lip” did not help much either. Had anyone tried the upper lip thing with me I would have gone berserk because my upper lip was already stiff from the wasp stings. It would have been like wishing me a “swell time” or if I tumbled over a tree root saying “Have a good trip.” The others in the top ten of annoying phrases are “Pain is just weakness leaving the body” (Yeah, right!),

“Plenty more fish in the sea”, “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever”, “Worse things happen at sea”, “That’s too bad” and “Chin up.” The phrases that may work are “One day we’ll laugh at this” and “I really feel for you”. Talking about pain, I like this story, “There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define “great” he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!” He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages. *Tony Deyal was last seen saying he empathises most with the pain of batteries. He understands how they feel because he is seldom included in things either.

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VEHICLE FOR SALE Christmas Special! Premio $2.4M, Spacio-$2.1M, 2008 Fielder $2.7M, Unregistered - Tel: 617-2891 1 Nissan Canter, long tray, GFF 218, unladen WGT 4910 KGS- Tel:266-5986,256-3156 Nissan Pathfinder ($1.65M) & Nissan Laurel ($750,000) immaculate condition, fully loadedTel:698-7878,225-8427 1 RZ longbase minibus BLL series, fully loaded- Tel:6737934 Mitsubishi Canter 4 D32GHH series, short base, open tray, in working condition. Owner drivenContact:627-6305,680-7119 1-55 Leyland DAF truck, excellent working condition. Price $2.8M, Must Go!Contact:656-8346 1 X Toyota Rav 4: Pearl White, Late PMM series, fully loaded, excellent condition, under 80,000 KM Call: 624-5331

We buy & sell vehicles for cash, also parts available & 30 seater buses; Extra Cab pickups; 2006 TacomaCall:680-3154 2005 Tacoma 1995 V6 4x4 Tacoma – Tel: 651-8870 Canter truck BJJ 5205Contact:680-2275/693-6060 First Class Auto: Carina 212, Fielder, IST, Allex, Axio, Spacio, Raum (Old & New models) Please Call:6098188; 602-6307 1 Madza PPP series-Tel:6686329 Toyota Allion PNN 9626 $1.9MContact:2335557,610-1309 1 Toyota Rav-4, IST, NZE Corrola, Fun Cargo, AT 212, AT192, AT170, Tacoma, Caldina Wagon – Tel:6445096; 697-1453 One 1995 Toyota Tacoma stick gear 4 wheel drive 3 RZ engine. Price:$1,650,000 negotiable -625-2516 BMW sports (unregistered)Contact: 650-0979 Ford F-150 (2009), immaculate condition, GRR 7452Contact:227-3728,676-2784




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Live and pluck chicken - Tel: 220-9203; 650-4421 Priced To Go! GMC Cargo Van, cross cut chop saw, amplifiers, mixers, Bass guitars- Contact: 647-3608, 638-8195 WHOLESALE PLUCK CHICKEN AND PARTS – TEL:676-0931 270 Amps, portable welders Telephone: 611-5114 One circular sofa, one shed (greenheart wood) 45X40x20ft. Price negotiable- Tel: 613-0836 Blackberry Bold 2 & 4, reasonable price- Call:6851231

Unregistered Toyota Sienta 2004-Contact:617-5536

Attractive live in waitress- Call:327-0252/ 674-4665

Monday December 16, 2013

Earth delivery to spot also Bobcat and Excavator rentals Tel: 626-7127 PROPERTY FOR SALE

Ducks & Pigs – Tel:688-7291

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Live/pluck chicken call:6504421, 220-9203

Property for sale - Call: 6275416 One two- storey concrete house, Ave A DiamondTel:643-5161 One two storey business property (Transported) @ Brickery Public Road E.B.D Tel: 660-8128 Prime property opposite Leonora Primary School – Contact:652-0709/268-3572 One wooden shopping complex at Kurupung landing. Price $ 6M- Call: 226-9492, 226-9485. Monday- Friday (9am-4pm) 2 Flat Concrete Building @ Chateau Margot ECD – $32M Tel:661-9431 Ogle – $45M, 2 storey concrete & wooden building with going business- $60M, Republic Park - $40M – Tel: 645-5938 Soesdyke /Linden Highway, Solid concrete building. Building -95"X55"; land space- 200"X100" – Price negotiable – Tel:668-9846; 656-1360

Curtains and carpet for sale Call: 653-1192 after 6PM Old bottles, stamps and coins - Tel: 694-8486

Tibetan Terrier (Fluffy) pups - Call: 222-7891; 609-9202 Dell computers complete with 20" LCD $69,000, 6 months warranty @ Futuretech- Call:231-2206 Fully vaccinated mixed (Pitbull & German shepherd) puppies. Price $40,000- Call: 678-1771 PORK wholesale only, whole half and quarter carcass - Tel: 266-2711; 6094594 Household Items: Electronics, 4x4 Wheels, food warmers, steel grills, carpets, colognes, motorcycles, cars & much more. Tel: 223-1885 1 Dewalt Circular saw, 1 Dewalt Miter saw 10 inches, 1-6 light chandelier set - Call: 673-9501; 691-9844 1 smoothie machine,2 ice machine- Contact:2310655,683-8734 Rayobe 2 colour printing machine etc – Tel:639-9553/ 277-3627

Calendars! Calendars 2014for your business. From $9.00. Many options. 50 Minimum. Alert Printing Hurry! –Tel:227-2679 One boat cupeller R-H -24" Contact:676-8324 Builders and Home Owners (1) Beeson Windows and Doors are located At New Eccles Industrial site Tel# 622-4197 Metal scaffold, size 5"X5" & 6.6"X5"-Call: 267-1563. Price negotiable New arrival: 1 Toyota Tacoma, aluminum boats (12ft & 14ft)- Call:2201981,685-8282,690-1945 Two propellers – Call:6673124; 226-9659 Spare for washing machine, microwaves,fridges, stoves, timers, gearbox, pumps, etc call: 225-9032,647-2943 1 Dunlop CBR front tire 120/ 70 ZR 17, 1 Deep cut ban saw, 2 foreign used six cylinder engines - Tel: 6739501;691-9844

VACANCY 24 Hour East Coast Guyoil needs night pump attendants, salesgirl & office assistant- Call: 6910894/684-2838 Hire car drivers from E.C.D @ A1 Taxi – Tel:220-1000 Vacancy exists for cleaners & drivers send application & passport photograph to Survival shopping complex, 173 Sheriff St Campbellville Contact: 227-5286-89 Salon station to rentContact:695-5336 Barber - Call: 683-1534; 6094983 Inventory Clerk: Send application to Lot A & B Ramsburg Providence, E.B.D. – (Continued on page 23)

Monday December 16, 2013

Kaieteur News

Page 23

Letters... Where your views make the news

Every Guyanese must feel deep pride with... From page 4 workers, be they unionised or non-unionised. Workers not only supported the struggle through the Government, they also made direct contributions from their earnings and lent solidarity in many other forms. The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) made direct financial contributions and trade unionists participated in external conferences addressing the South African situation. In 1989 Christopher James from the Guyana Mines Workers’ Union and I attended a World Conference of miners held in Zimbabwe. The prime objective of this conference was to give solidarity to South Africa’s National Union of Mine Workers, who played a leading role in waging the anti-apartheid struggle. This union was led by Cyril Ramaphosa, who subsequently became General Secretary and is now Deputy President of the African National Congress. It was the correct thing to do but we were also inspired by the struggles of Hubert

Nathaniel Critchlow and energised by Burnham’s tenacity in making known Guyana’s position on this matter. Clearly, Guyana in no small measure contributed to the anti-apartheid struggle. In the annals of history lies information of this country serving as a conduit in the struggles of Southern Africa, including South Africa. Planes were re-fuelled here. The little financial resources we had, we shared. We opened diplomatic channels, local and international, that achieved support and enabled those fighting to end apartheid, arguably the most brutal system in the 20th Century. Our political leadership distinguished itself by the policy carved to render solidarity to a people when some leaders thought otherwise. We stood out in our forceful and unwavering articulation of this issue, guided by the incisive minds of Forbes Burnham, Shirdath Ramphal and Rashleigh Jackson. This policy was continued by Desmond Hoyte on assuming the

presidency in August 1985 after Burnham’s death. None could have questioned our commitment, passion and tenacity to the struggle. And as a people who struggled against the indignity and inequality of slavery, indentureship and colonialism, support for South Africa was almost automatic. In looking back, we took the correct course of action. With Madiba’s release from prison in 1990, Guyana in prosecuting the case at home and abroad, helped to weaken the tentacles of injustice and inequality and caused others to see and appreciate the correctness in abiding by universal principles. With Mandela’s ascension to the presidency in 1994 and his attitude at home and abroad, including his friendship towards the oppressors and their supporters, stood him out as man not driven by hate and triumphalism, but one possessing the strength of character to embrace and pursue equal rights and justice for all. He demonstrated disdain for

domination/tyranny by the minority or majority, evident in his actions that communicated peace and harmonious co-existence are only achievable when we respect the rights of all, and create and enforce laws built on these rights. Madiba has left this earthly plain but his legacy remains. It is a legacy capable of surviving him if we sincerely believe in the thrust of Barack Obama’s tribute to this patriot. For we are being reminded Mandela stirs within us our sense of personal responsibility to human development and should also recognise, “There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom but do not tolerate dissent in their own country.” With Mandela walking in our time, ours still remain a destiny to mould consistent with the values he stood for. These are values built on equal rights and justice. This would be the greatest homage we can pay to this great man. Lincoln Lewis- General Secretary, GTUC

(From page 23)

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“However, in Guyana we are fortunate to have the issue of violence against women and vulnerable groups comprised in parts of our national dialogue. The Government of Guyana has exercised a great deal of concern and has invested a great deal of resources to combat this problem.” The women killed in domestic disputes include Molly James, Samantha Baggot, Angela Mc Allister,

Sherry Ann Tiwari, Geeta ‘Diane’ Bhishundial, Parbattie Mangru, Sirmattie Ramnaress and Siromanie Nadia Lokhnauth. Meanwhile, around the world International Human Rights Day is observed through events aimed at educating the population, especially children and teenagers, on their human rights and the importance of upholding these in their own communities and societies.

GPHC sees high prevalence of... (From page 3) a systematic programme for referral for assessment, including echocardiograpgy for infants and children with suspected cardiac disease, can facilitate management and improve outcomes for this under-diagnosed population. Since the establishment of the Lab, a total of 568 echocardiograms were performed, of which 209 have been done on patients below the age of 18. And according to Dr Willimann, “after removing duplicate reports and studies with incomplete data, the 186 paediatric echocardiograms were included in the analysis. Of these 186 studies, 56 (30 per cent) were normal and 130 (70 per cent) had findings requiring follow up or interventions.” Twenty-four of the paediatric cases, Dr Willimann said, showed relatively minor ab-

normalities, that is, those requiring repeat studies and follow-up in the future to assess for worsening, but no acute treatment. The remaining 106, she noted, demonstrated significant findings requiring more urgent management and closer follow-up. “These abnormalities included large atrial septal defects (ASD), ventricular septal defects (VSD), Te-

tralogy of Fallot, complex congenital heart abnormalities, congenital and rheumatic valvular disease and other diagnoses,” explained Dr Willimann. Of note too was the fact that the study was able to deduce that the majority of echocardiograms done were performed on nonhospitalised children in the community who were not receiving acute care.

The day may also include protests to alert people of circumstances in parts of the world where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not recognized or respected. Cultural events are also organized to celebrate the importance of human rights through music, dance, drama or fine art. The UN General Assembly proclaimed December 10 as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world. Coincidentally, the memorial service of the great South African President, Nelson Mandela occurred at a Soccer Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on December 10, 2013. LEARN TO DRIVE Soman & Sons Driving School , First Federation Building Call 225-4858, 6445166,622-2872,615-0964

Repairs, sales & spares air conditioning, microwaves, washer, fridges & stoves. Ultra Cool, call:2259032,647-2943 Repairs to Fridge, Freezer, AC, Washers, Stoves: Call 683-1312,627-3206 (Nick) Brains Construction & Rental Services: Excavator, Bobcat, Truck, Tools – Tel:6015024/ 227-4536 (Bobcat & Excavator Operator needed)

Seventeen women killed in domestic... (From page 10) Ramotar, noted that violence against women and girls results in loss of productivity, among other things. “Health care and human resources are diverted to deal with these issues. This has negative consequence to us because instead of allowing resources in areas which contribute to economic development, we battling an issue which can cause stagnation of progress.

SERVICES PLANNING AN EVENT? BIRTHDAY PARTY, GRADUATION,WEDDINGS, ANNIVERSARY, ETC. – CALL DIAMOND TENTS: 216-1043; 677-6620 Permanent & Visitors Visa Applications, Professional Immigration Consultant Room D5 Maraj Building Call:225-6496,6626045,223-8115

LAND FOR SALE Wai a kabra, Linden Highway: 1,409’x403’ or 13.73 acres. Concrete house thereon. 1,100 feet from Highway- Call:619-4152 LAND 40FTX600FT, LA GRANGE, W.B.D. (INDEPENDENCE ST) $12.8M (NEGOTIABLE). SERIOUS ENQUIRES CALL “MAX”:672-8569/ 609-8132 NOW! Double lot of land situated at #148-149 North Enterprise, E.C.D. Price $7.5 million negotiable- Contact:6193388,231-1578,639-7817

We repair fridge, freezer, AC, washer, dryer call:2310655,683-8734 Omar Technicians available for appliance repairs – washers, dryers, microwaves, stoves, deep fryers, etc – Tel:6190793; 218-0050 Kerrin Stanley Immigration Services, Canada, U.S, U.K visa services. Authorized by Government of CanadaContact: 645-4789, Christmas cleaning! Power washing for residential & commercial properties – Call:648-1544

Land for sale 46X600- Call: 664-5153

Holiday house washing service- Tel: 233-6517, 622-1957

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Do you need an experienced car/van driver?- Call:6155609 Flyers- $800 for 400. Business cards -$2,600. Bill books. Great for Christmas sales. Call Alert Printing: 227-2679 Services and repairs to gas stoves, washing machines – Call: 688-0183


TO LET Fully furnished two bedroom, top flat, long term only – Tel: 687-3792 Fully furnished short term apartments, Eccles call: 347933-9790, 639-4452.

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EDUCATIONAL Big Christmas deals on computer classes. Diploma in computers $25,000. Micrographics @ Vreedin- Hoop - Tel: 264-3057

Page 24

Kaieteur News

Monday December 16, 2013

PNC pays tribute to Mandela through reflections, pledges to uphold legacy The People National Congress Reform (PNCR) yesterday hosted a rally in honor of the late world icon Nelson Mandela. Perhaps because of the weather, the rally had no more than 150 people but those that gathered paid attentive interest in the message and reflections that characterized yesterday’s event. The rally was intentionally planned to be on the day when Mandela was laid to rest. The gathering was treated to both cultural entertainment and speeches intended to recognize the past as well as guide the way forward. The programme was chaired by Parliamentarian, Christopher Jones and blessed by Annette Ferguson, also a Member of Parliament. Jonathan Adams delivered reflections on behalf of Region 10 and was immediately followed by

The late Nelson Mandela Vincent Alexander, who spoke on behalf of the Burnham Foundation. Alexander delivered a biography on Mandela’s life, beginning from his younger years and covered the occurrences from that time to when he became a world leader. Alexander noted how

Mandela evolved from an advocate of peaceful resistance to the leader of an armed struggle. The Guyanese politician noted too that even before Mandela became the first black President of South Africa, Guyana supported his struggle and what he stood for. Alexander recalled the heavy contributions that Guyana’s very own Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham made to the movement. He also recalled some of the lessons that Guyanese were taught through Mandela’s action. Those being that an oppressed people can respond to oppression in various ways; “there can be no individual freedom in the midst of oppression and squalor.” Alexander ended his speech with words that encouraged the maintenance of the legacies of both

Mandela and Burnham both of whom he lauded as extraordinary human beings. “Freedom isn’t free, it comes at a price,” was a message brought out in an absolutely impacting speech delivered by Pastor Lawrence Haywood. He said that Mandela was VA S T — V i s i o n a r y , Authoritative, Servant hearted and Transformative. Haywood said that those are qualities of a good leader. The pastor urged those that gathered not to disappoint Mandela “don’t disappoint the man in the mirror, the ball is in our court and God is on our side. “ Such an event could not have passed without the Opposition leader and historian, David Granger making his contribution. He told the gathering that

Guyanese have been behind Mandela a long time and emphasized that he lives on Mandela Avenue. Being the historian he is, Granger highlighted the years, 1970, 1975, 1977 and 1980 as significant years in the history of Mandela’s struggle and the years where Guyana made significant contributions to the movement to which Mandela gave his life and said that his party is not invoking a “phony’ love for the hero. Granger placed emphasis on saying that each has a role to play in ensuring that the legacy of Mandela is not destroyed by those who may want to take over from where the oppressors left. The politician said that it must be remembered that Mandela fought not only for equality between white and black but

for equality between rich and poor blacks as well. He asked that all join in his prayer to see Mandela’s legacy become a reality in Guyana. Leader of the Yoruba Singers, Eze Rockcliffe, quoted Kwame Nkrumah “Freedom is not a commodity that is given to the enslaved upon demand, it’s a precious reward, a shining trophy of struggle and sacrifice,” as he delivered his contributions to the programme. Rockcliffe sang two renditions, “African people” and “Farewell Mandela.” The Circle of Love also made two contributions. There was also representation from ACDA and Parliamentarian Volda Lawrence contributed by highlighting the role of women in struggle and movements.

Monday December 16, 2013 NCN CHANNEL 11 05:00hrs – Inspiration 05:30hrs – Newtown Gospel 06:30hrs – BBC 07:00hrs _ Guyana Today 08:00hrs _ A Tribute to Mandela (r/b) 09:00hrs – Stop the Suffering 09:30hrs _ Cartoon 10:00hrs _ Food Networks 11:00hrs _ History 12:00hrs _ CNN 12:30hrs _ NCN Newsbreak 12:35hrs _ Political Scope (r/ b) 13:00hrs _ The Beauty of Christmas 14:00hrs _ NCN Newsbreak 14:05hrs _ Movie – Home Alone - 4 16:00hrs _ NCN Newsbreak 16:05hrs _ Debate Series on Corruption 17:00hrs _ NCN Live with Wanita 18:00hrs – NCN News Magazine – Live 18:30hrs – Political Scope 19:00hrs _ Al Jazeera 19:30hrs _ GGMC Science & Technology Quiz 20:00hrs – 3d/daily millions/ play de dream/lotto draw 20:10hrs _ NCLO/Nipping it in the Bud 21:05hrs – NCN Night of Carolling (r/b) 22:00hrs _ NCN Late Edition 22:35hrs – Caribbean Newsline 23:00hrs _ 23:00hrs _ Movie

A mini health check is the first step to donating blood

ARIES (March 21 - April 19): This is not a good day for intense or heavy business, but you should at least try to get on with your regular chores or errands. ******************* TAURUS (April 20 - May 20): You aren't quite yourself today -- which could cause those around you to keep asking what's wrong. You could get quite irritated with this, but do your best to just keep smiling. ****************** GEMINI (May 21 - June 20): Your communication skills are never in question, but you may find that they're defying expectations today. You can express yourself with unusual clarity, and may make a terrific impression on someone new. ******************** CANCER (June 21 - July 22): It's vital to break out of your shell today -- if you're feeling introverted, that is. At least one major issue is sure to become problematic if you don't address it, and it requires face-to-face interaction. ********************* LEO (July 23 - Aug. 22): You've got needs -- but there's no way to get them taken care of without starting at least one big talk. It may be a friend, coworker or sweetheart, but the truth has to come out soon. ******************* VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22): It's the details that can trip you up today -- even though you are usually their master! Make sure that you're

paying attention to every cell in the spreadsheet as you plow through work. ********************* LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22): Your big brain is itchy for more information -- and conversation. Get what you need with folks at work or amongst your friends. ********************* SCORPIO (Oct. 23 Nov. 21): You are responsible for other people in some new way today -- and that could cause some strange reactions, both in yourself and those affected. ******************** SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 Dec. 21): If you don't have enough to do, make up some busy-work for yourself. You need to stay active, as your energy is sure to vanish if you take much time to rest or even just daydream. .********************* CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 Jan. 19): Those around you can't seem to stop yakking -- so you ought to put on some headphones or otherwise drown out the noise. ******************** AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 Feb. 18): Your ability to communicate is never in question -- and today, you prove just how powerful your voice can be. You may find that someone needs a creative jolt to get them back on track. ********************* PISCE S ( F e b . 1 9 March 20): Change is in the air -- but it's quick and sudden, not the slow, gradual morphing you prefer.

Monday December 16, 2013

Kaieteur News

Barbadians urged to brace for more stringent measures BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - CMC – The head of the Barbados Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAB) says the Barbados government took too long to make up its decision regarding the dismissal of 3,000 public workers as it seeks to revive an ailing economy. Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Christopher Sinckler, announced early last week that the Freundel Stuart government would trim the public service by as much as 3,000 and that government ministers, government legislators as well as parliamentary secretaries and those considered to be a “political appointee”, would face a 10 per cent pay cut. But ICAB president David Simpson told the Sunday Nation that apart from the retrenchments, the government would still have to outline a plan to stimulate foreign exchange earnings and improve the economy. “I feel this is just the start. I don’t know what other successes they will have in significantly cutting

Christopher Sinckler expenditure in other areas. “But unfortunately the highest level of government expenditure is in wages and salaries in central Government and transfers and subsidies in statutory corporations, so it was inevitable that at some time that sector would have to be cut because of a lack of success in other areas,” he told the newspaper. Meanwhile, there is concern here that the labour unions, especially the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), have not

made public statements regarding the pending dismissal of workers next year. NUPW officials are reported to have met on Saturday to discuss the matter but the officials remained silent on the position of the union. Government officials said that the plan to cut public service jobs would result in savings as much as DBS$143 million (One BDS dollar = US$0.50 cents) and that the government had also agreed to institute a “strict programme of attrition” across the central public service, filling posts only where it is absolutely unavoidable, over the next five years, ending 2018-2019. “This attrition is expected to reduce central government employment levels from approximately 16 970 to 14, 612 jobs – a projected loss of 2 358 posts; and savings of BDS$121 million. Over the current 19-month adjustment period public sector employment will be reduced by an additional 501 jobs with a projected savings of BDS$26 million,” Sinckler said.

Page 25

Trinidad launch ‘virtual police officers’ PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – National Security Minister Gary Griffith says the authorities will soon launch a major crime fighting initiative as they deal with an upsurge in criminal activities in Trinidad and Tobago. So far this year, 373 people have been murdered and Griffith said that the Virtual Police Officers (VIPO) will when launched make every law abiding citizen a virtual police officer. “In this way you can go on a secure website and report a crime which may be about to be committed or has been committed,” Griffith said, adding he would be personally held responsible to ensure the confidentiality of the informants remained secure. “VIPO will fall directly under me so that people will feel safe to report information that can be turned into evidence,” he said, sending a message to rogue elements within the police. “We are putting special mechanisms to weed out rogue elements in the Police

Gary Griffith Service and give citizens responsibility to become virtual officers on cyberspace. It is no secret that there are police officers on the payroll of gang members, and once we find the evidence to remove them, they will be removed. “I don’t want to transfer the problem. They don’t belong in police stations, perhaps the only place they belong is behind bars in the stations.” Griffith called ‘cowards’

those criminals who “prey on victims who are on most occasions defenceless. “I am fully confident that the upcoming law enforcement initiatives would peg them back, provide the deterrent and if not, they would be brought to justice. This would be my New Year resolution to the country,” he said, adding “failure is not an option”. He said he does not share the recent prediction by acting Commissioner of Police, Stephen Williams that the murder rate could reach 400 by the end of the year. “My job is not to is to ensure a reduction in criminal activity and fear of crime. It is about eliminating and providing mechanisms to reduce crime. I am not going to make any prediction. “I have already stated that I am going to do everything in my power to ensure border security and to ensure that funding to gangs through the award of State contracts is stopped,” he said.

Bachelet heads to easy Venezuela grounds flight over bomb threat victory in Chile election CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela grounded an Air France flight after being tipped off by French authorities that a terrorist group might be planning to detonate an explosive device in midair. Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres told state TV late Saturday that more than 60 technicians, bomb experts and a canine team would perform an exhaustive search of the aircraft before the flight could be reprogrammed. Five hours after the flight’s 7:25 p.m. scheduled departure it was still unclear what the results of that search were or when they would be announced. The precise nature of the bomb threat was not known, but Rodriguez Torres said that French authorities passed along information from a credible source that a terrorist group is seeking to place a bomb aboard an unspecified flight from Caracas to Paris, or vice versa. “We don’t want to speculate on the motives because the information comes directly from French intelligence services,” Rodriguez Torres said, adding that the information is still being processed.

In Paris, the French Interior Ministry said yesterday that France immediately alerted authorities upon learning of a potential threat to the route, which is served only by Air France. “It is obviously the principle of precaution,” said Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet. “We cannot allow the least risk, run the least risk for passengers.” He provided no details on the measures taken and refused to comment on the nature of the threat or its origin. An Air France press officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because of company policy said the carrier was working “in close collaboration” with airport and government authorities. Stranded passengers said they had cleared immigration and were preparing to board Air France flight 385 when they were told at the last minute that it was being delayed so that the Airbus A340-300 aircraft could be checked. No reason was given. “We only learned reading Twitter that it could’ve been a bomb,” said Jesus Arandia, a 52-year-old university

professor. About 100 angry passengers surrounded the Air France check-in counter to protest the airline’s failure to keep them informed or provide alternative travel arrangements. Around midnight, the airport announced the flight was rescheduled for Sunday afternoon. “They never told us anything,” said Marbella Covino, a 22-year-old student. The Air France office in Paris said passengers from the postponed flight were being put on a flight that will leave Caracas at 8 p.m. local time. Venezuela’s intelligence agency declined to comment on the threat, saying it isn’t authorized to discuss the case. Security breaches have been detected before at Venezuela’s main international airport. In September, several Venezuelan soldiers stationed at the airport were arrested after French authorities made their biggest cocaine bust ever, seizing 1.4 tons of narcotics that were smuggled in 31 suitcases aboard another Air France flight to Paris.

Brandet, of the French Interior Ministry, said the drug bust was among several leads being investigated. France is involved with two ongoing military interventions in former African colonies, in Mali where it routed Islamic extremists from the north and in Central African Republic where French troops moved in earlier this month to help stabilize the country, disarming militia to stop sectarian violence. The U.S. has warned that Middle Eastern terror groups have tried to make inroads in Venezuela, taking advantage of political cover provided by the late President Hugo Chavez’s outreach to Iran and Syria, whose governments the U.S. considers state sponsors of terrorism. Still, even while criticizing the lack of anti-terror cooperation from Venezuela, the State Department in its most-recent assessment of terrorist threats in the Western Hemisphere said that there are no known operational cells currently in the region. Instead, the activity of groups including Hezbollah and al-Qaeda appears to be limited to fundraising and moneylaundering, the report said.

(Reuters) - Michelle Bachelet looked certain to be elected as Chile’s president again yesterday in a landslide victory that should hand the centre-leftist the mandate she sought to push ahead with wide-reaching reforms. With 42 percent counted, Bachelet had about 63 percent of votes, the highest proportion of votes any presidential candidate has won since Chile returned to holding democratic elections in 1989. Evelyn Matthei of the ruling conservative Alianza coalition managed only 37 percent of the vote, the right’s worst performance in two

decades. Bachelet, who led Chile between 2006 and 2010 as its first female leader, will look to capitalise on her resounding win to make changes aimed at redressing persistent inequality in the world’s top copper exporter. A physician by training, Bachelet is a moderate socialist and has promised 50 reforms in her first 100 days, once she takes office in March. Her flagship policy is a hike in corporate taxes to 25 percent from 20 percent, to pay for social reforms that include a gradual move to free higher education.

Couple arrested in massive Jamaican lottery scam KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Authorities in Jamaica have arrested a couple suspected of involvement in a lucrative lottery scam. Police say the couple is being investigated for identity theft after officers searching their home found lists of names of people living overseas along with several debit cards issued by foreign banks. Jamaican has been trying to crack down on a local multimillion-dollar lottery scam targeting mostly elderly Americans out of their retirement savings. Jamaica and the U.S. have created a task force to target the schemes, which are estimated to generate at least $300 million a year. Police said the couple was arrested Friday in the popular northern tourist district of St. James.

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Thai military sees role in ensuring ‘fair’ election BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s military offered yesterday to help the politically polarized country hold a “fair and clean” election next year, suggesting the armed forces may play a role in a vote aimed at ending protests seeking to topple the government. The idea was raised at a forum organized by the caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who last week called an election for February 2 to try to defuse protests targeting her brother, ousted ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and his influence on Thailand’s political system. The protesters, backed by Bangkok’s elite, have rejected the proposed election and want to set up a “people’s council” that would eradicate the influence of the “Thaksin regime” and introduce reforms following a decade of election wins by Thaksin or his allies on broad support from the urban and rural poor. General Nipat Thonglek, the Defense Ministry’s permanent secretary, said at the forum: “The military wants to see the February 2 election. If there are signs that the election will not be fair, the military is ready to make it fair and clean.” It’s unclear how the military would do that. Nipat did not elaborate, but armed forces chief General Tanasak Patimapragorn said on Saturday he wanted to see the general election take place and that there should be “a central panel” to help educate the public about free and fair elections. Although army leaders have expressed

neutrality in the crisis, the military has a long history of intervening in politics in support of the traditional Bangkok elite that includes generals, royal advisers and old-money families who have backed both the protests and the opposition Democrat Party. The military has staged or attempted 18 coups over the past 80 years, including one in 2006 to remove Thaksin. Military sources say protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban is backed by two powerful retired generals, former Defense minister General Prawit Wongsuwan and former army chief General Anupong Paochinda. Both have a history of enmity with Thaksin and remain influential in the current military establishment. Suthep is a former deputy prime minister in the previous Democrat-led government that Yingluck’s party beat by a landslide in a 2011 election. The forum comes a day after Suthep outlined his movement’s aims at an armed forces seminar, urging the military to join his movement and repeating his demands that Yingluck resign to make way for an interim government of appointed leaders whose reforms would clean up a political system he says Thaksin corrupted. Thailand’s eight-year political conflict centers on Thaksin, a former telecommunications tycoon popular among the rural poor because of policies pursued when he was in power and carried on by governments allied to him after he was toppled.

Monday December 16, 2013

Zuma urges South Africans to take up Mandela’s mantle Qunu (South Africa) (AFP) - South African President Jacob Zuma yesterday told a country mourning for its founding father Nelson Mandela that it was incumbent on them to carry on his legacy. “We have to take the legacy forward,” Zuma said in an address to Mandela’s state funeral in the former leader’s boyhood home of Qunu. “As your journey ends today ours must continue in earnest. “One thing we can assure you of today Tata (father), as you take your final steps, is that South Africa will continue to rise. “South Africa will continue to rise because we dare not fail you,” Zuma said. Mandela’s passing comes at a difficult time in the life of this young nation forged from

President Jacob Zuma his ideals of non-racialism, democracy and equality. President Zuma’s government — mired in allegations of mismanagement and corruption — has been pilloried for not living up to Mandela’s standards. An opinion poll published hours before the funeral showed 51 percent of

registered voters of the ruling African National Congress want Zuma to resign. On Tuesday, South Africans booed Zuma at Mandela’s memorial service. During Sunday’s ceremony Zuma attempted to channel the spirit of hope Mandela engendered. “Thank you for being everything we wanted and needed in a leader in a difficult period in our life,” he said. “We pledge today to continue promoting non racialism and tolerance in our country and to build a south Africa that truly belongs to all. “You were indeed an extraordinary human being you will remain our guiding light, illuminating the path as we continue the long journey to build the South Africa of your dreams,” he said.

Iran says nuclear talks continue despite US blacklist Tehran (AFP) - Tehran said yesterday it will keep talking with world powers on its disputed nuclear programme despite a US move to blacklist Iranian companies for evading sanctions. “We are pursuing the negotiations seriously and of course we will give a wellconsidered, purposeful, smart and proper reaction to any inappropriate and unconstructive move,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Facebook page. This was despite the Americans having made “inappropriate moves to which we gave the appropriate response by considering all aspects of the issue”. “The negotiations and achieving a result are a difficult task and will definitely have a lot of ups and downs. We have predicted that from the very beginning.” He later told CBS television in the United States: “The process has been derailed, the process has not died.” Zaris also told the network’s Face the Nation programme that Iran is committed to the Geneva accord, adding however: “It takes two to tango.” The United States blacklisted a dozen overseas companies and individuals on Thursday for evading its sanctions imposed on Iran to halt what the West sees as its bid to build a nuclear bomb. Senior US officials argued

Mohammad Javad Zarif the move was taken under an existing sanctions regime which had forced Tehran to negotiations that led to an interim deal under which it agreed last month to freeze parts of its nuclear programme. The measures, which angered Iran and prompted its negotiating team to withdraw from the talks in Vienna, have drawn strong criticism in the Islamic republic. Since Saturday, conservative newspapers have condemned the “violation of the Geneva deal” by the American administration. Some hardline students from the Islamist militia (Basij) have written an open letter to Zarif urging him to “defend the dignity” of Iran “by giving a firm response.” In the letter, published yesterday by Iranian newspapers, they also backed the decision of the negotiating team to quit the Vienna talks.

Zarif vowed to answer at the right time domestic critics who were using his “necessary silence” to voice their displeasure at the nuclear deal reached with the six world powers in Geneva on November 24. “Some friends who were not happy with the Geneva joint action programme have already announced its premature death, which is more the expression of their desire rather than the truth,” he said on Facebook. “The negotiating team has a more important responsibility... and is ready to remain silent against unjust and unfair accusations for the sake of national interests, but will answer to all the criticism and ambiguity at the right time.” Sadegh Zibakalam, a reformist political analyst, said anti-American slogans were part of the political strategy of the conservatives. “If we pull the rug of antiAmericanism from under the feet of the conservatives, they would have nothing left to say,” Ilna news agency quoted him as saying. Under the interim deal reached in Geneva, Iran agreed to freeze parts of its suspect nuclear programme in return for some relief from Western sanctions as it negotiates a comprehensive accord to allay suspicions that it seeks a weapons capability. The United States also agreed to refrain from slapping new sanctions on Iran.

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The greatest son of the 21st century laid to rest QUNU, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa buried Nelson Mandela yesterday, leaving the multiracial democracy he founded without its living inspiration and still striving for the “Rainbow Nation” ideal of shared prosperity he had dreamed of. The Nobel peace laureate, who was held in apartheid prisons for 27 years before emerging to preach forgiveness and reconciliation, was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Qunu after a send-off combining military pomp with the traditional rites of his Xhosa abaThembu clan. As the coffin was lowered into the wreath-ringed grave, three army helicopters flew over bearing the South African flag on weighted cables, a poignant echo of the anti-apartheid leader’s inauguration as the nation’s first black president nearly two decades ago. A battery fired a 21-gun salute, the booms reverberating around the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape, before five fighter jets flying low in formation roared over the valley. “Yours was truly a long walk to freedom, and now you have achieved the ultimate freedom in the bosom of your maker,” armed forces Chaplain General Monwabisi Jamangile said at the grave site, where three of Mandela’s children already lie. Among the 450 mourners at the private burial ceremony were relatives, political leaders and foreign guests including Britain’s Prince

Charles, American civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson and talk show host Oprah Winfrey. Mandela died aged 95 in Johannesburg on December 5, plunging his 52 million countrymen and women and millions more around the world into grief, and triggering more than a week of official memorials to one of the towering figures of the 20th century. Over 100,000 people paid their respects in person at Mandela’s lying in state at Pretoria’s Union Buildings, where he was sworn in as president in 1994, an event that brought the curtain down on more than three centuries of white domination. When his body arrived on Saturday in Qunu, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg, it was greeted by ululating locals overjoyed that Madiba, the clan name by which he was affectionately known, had “come home”. “After his long life and illness he can now rest,” said grandmother Victoria Ntsingo. “His work is done.” “GREATEST SON” Before the burial, 4,500 family, friends and dignitaries attended the state funeral service in a huge domed tent, its interior draped in black, in a field near Mandela’s homestead. The flag-covered casket was carried in by military chiefs, with Mandela’s grandson and heir, Mandla, and South African President Jacob Zuma following in their footsteps. It was then placed on black and white Nguni cattle

South African President Jacob Zuma (centre), widow of the late Nelson Mandela Graca Machel (left) and Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela Madikizela (right). (AFP Photo/Irina Kalashnikova) skins in front of a crescent of 95 candles, one for each year of Mandela’s life, as a choir sang Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, the national anthem adopted after the end of apartheid in 1994. “The person who is lying here is South Africa’s greatest son,” said Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), who presided over the three-hour ceremony broadcast live across the nation and around the world. From the Limpopo River in the north to Cape Town in the south, millions watched on television or listened to the radio. In some locations, big screens transmitted the event live. “Qunu is too far to go, so I gathered with

some people here so we can mourn together. I can say he is a hero, a man of the people,” said 29-year-old Message Sibanda, among about 100 others watching in Johannesburg’s Sandton financial district. “FAREWELL, MY BROTHER” At the service, touching tributes were paid to the father of the “Rainbow Nation” he helped forge from apartheid’s ashes. “Farewell my dear brother, my mentor, my leader,” said lifelong friend and fellow Robben Island inmate Ahmed Kathrada, his voice cracking with emotion, drawing tears from mourners. In his eulogy, Zuma paid tribute to a life that went from

The coffin of former South African President Nelson Mandela is prepared to be buried during his funeral ceremony in Qunu, Eastern Cape in this December 15, 2013 handout picture provided by the South African Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). REUTERS/Elmond Jiyane/GCIS/Handout via Reuters

freedom-fighter to political prisoner to president. He also briefly turned attention to the future, pledging to continue Mandela’s quest for a free and equal society, free from racial discrimination. “Whilst the long walk to freedom has ended in the physical sense, our own journey continues. We have to continue building the type of society you worked tirelessly to construct. We have to take the legacy forward,” Zuma said. The intense spotlight on the departed Mandela has highlighted the gulf in stature between him and the scandalplagued Zuma. The current president is increasingly criticized for not doing enough to reduce poverty and chronic unemployment and end gaping income disparities that make South Africa one of the most unequal societies in the world. “DON’T CALL ME” Mandela served just one term as leader of Africa’s biggest and most sophisticated economy, and formally withdrew from public life in 2004, famously telling reporters at the end of a farewell news conference: “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” His last appearance in public was at the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium, waving to fans from the back of a golf cart. Yet such was his influence as the architect of the historic reconciliation between blacks and whites that his passing has left a gaping hole at the heart of South Africa’s psyche. With an eye on elections in five months, the ANC, the 101-year-old former liberation movement Mandela once led, has seized on his death as a

chance to shore up popularity that is ebbing even in its black support base. This calculation backfired badly at a Mandela memorial in Johannesburg on Tuesday when Zuma, under fire for a $21 million security upgrade to his private home, was booed and jeered in front of world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama. But barring an upset next year, Zuma looks set for another five years in office, during which he will have to address an economy struggling to shake off a 2009 recession and the fragmentation of a vital ANC alliance forged with the unions in the common struggle against apartheid. With unemployment at 25 percent and racial inequality still painfully evident - the average white household earns six times more than the average black one - pressure for radical economic transformation is only likely to increase. Against that backdrop, the party is desperate for strong leaders to guide South Africa through the complexities of the 21st century global economy and allow it to claim what it believes is its rightful place at the world’s top table. There are questions whether Zuma, a polygamous Zulu traditionalist with no formal education, can deliver this. “We need to raise the level of leadership,” former president Thabo Mbeki, who was unceremoniously ousted by Zuma six years ago, said in eulogies to Mandela last week. “The transformation of South Africa is a very difficult task, I think in many respects more difficult than the struggle to end the system of apartheid.”

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Ukrainians rally against govt, EU suspends trade talks KIEV - (Reuters) Thousands rallied yesterday against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich just days before he heads for a meeting in the Kremlin and opposition leaders told him not to bother coming back if he “sells out” Ukraine. Minutes before the rally, EU enlargement chief Stefan Fuele said on Twitter he had told Ukraine he was suspending work on a trade and political deal, which should have been signed two weeks ago, saying Kiev’s arguments to improve terms had “no grounds in reality”. Fuele’s words suggested the European Union has lost patience with Kiev’s demands for financial aid and was irritated at the way the bloc was being forced to take part in a ‘bidding war’ with Russia over Ukraine. The focus was now on a visit Yanukovich is due to make to Moscow tomorrow to tie up trade agreements with the Kremlin to help the distressed Ukrainian economy, but which the opposition fears will slam the door on integration with the European mainstream. In particular, they fear he may take the first steps

towards joining a Moscowled customs union, together with Belarus and Kazakhstan, which they see as an attempt by Putin to re-create the Soviet Union. “He might as well stay in Moscow and not come back to Kiev if a customs union agreement is signed,” declared former economy minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, one of the opposition leaders. “We’ll give him a really warm welcome if he sells out Ukraine.” “The Kremlin wants to take its revenge on Ukraine, divide Ukraine and drown it in blood,” said farright nationalist leader Oleh Tyahnybok. “We forbid this president to sign anything in Moscow that contradicts the interests of the Ukrainian state.” Yanukovich may be attempting to keep the attention of both Moscow and Brussels to strike as good a deal as possible to handle its huge debt and outstanding gas payments to Moscow. But it is a hazardous manoeuvre running the risk of alienating both parties. Opposition leaders called for another mass rally tomorrow to monitor Yanukovich’s trip to Moscow

Vitaly Klitchko

Viktor Yanukovich

and any deals made there. Earlier, U.S. Senator John McCain galvanised the 200,000 or so people on Kiev’s Independence Square, telling them their destiny lay in Europe. “We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe,” said McCain, a leading Republican voice on U.S. foreign policy. Street protests erupted after Yanukovich’s decision on Nov. 21 to walk away from the agreement with the EU,

after years of careful preparation, and turn to Moscow, Kiev’s Soviet-era overlord, for aid to save Ukraine’s economy. Yanukovich’s policy swerve, while backed by many in Russian-speaking east Ukraine which is his powerbase, sparked huge disappointment and anger in western and central areas where people see Europe as their proper place.

The presence of McCain at the anti-government rally after a weeks-long stand-off between demonstrators and the authorities further highlighted the geo-political East-West tug-of-war which Ukraine is once again at the centre of. The Republican senator is the latest of a string of European and American dignitaries to tour the sprawling protest camp set up behind barricades of benches, metal barriers, supermarket trollies and wire netting on the square - known locally as the ‘maidan’. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has accused Western politicians of “crude” meddling in Ukraine’s affairs. The movement began as a low-level pro-EU protest. But after a police crackdown on a group of mainly students and a later face-off between police and protesters last Wednesday, it has broadened into an outpouring of anger against

perceived sleaze and corruption in the country Yanukovich has led for four years. Protesters characterise it as a battle for Ukraine’s soul. McCain, who met opposition leaders - the former boxing champion Vitaly Klitchko as well as Yatsenyuk and Tyahnybok said: “We ... want to make it clear to Russia and Vladimir Putin that interference in the affairs of Ukraine is not acceptable to the United States.” Speaking to journalists after addressing crowds, he said it was disturbing to hear that the EU may be suspending talks with Ukraine on the trade and political agreement. Yanukovich, whose allies hold a majority in parliament and who still appears to command loyalty in the security forces, seems likely to hang on to power despite the strength of peaceful rallies and opposition calls for early elections.

Kerry says North Korea’s leader reckless, ruthless WA S H I N G T O N (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as reckless and insecure after the execution of the leader’s powerful uncle, and said Kim’s actions underscored a need for a unified stand against Pyongyang’s nuclear program. The execution of Jan Song Thaek, considered the second most powerful man in the secretive country, showed why China, United States and other countries must work together to limit North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, Kerry said in the interview on ABC’s “This Week” program aired on Sunday. North Korean state media on Friday reported the execution of Jang. North Korea said earlier it had stripped Jang of his power and positions and accused him of criminal acts including mismanagement of the state financial system, womanizing and alcohol abuse. North Korean politics are virtually impenetrable from outside and Jang also could have been purged over a falling out with Kim or other personal reasons. “It tells us a lot about, first of all, how ruthless and reckless he is,” Kerry said of Kim. “And it also tells us a lot about how insecure he is, to a certain degree. “The insights that we

Kim Jong Un have tell us that he is spontaneous, erratic, still worried about his place in the power structure, and maneuvering to eliminate any potential kind of adversary or competitor and does so obviously ruthlessly.” The top U.S. diplomat, in some of the most detailed remarks of a U.S. official since the news on Friday, said the execution was not the first under Kim’s rule and pointed to the urgency of addressing the North Korean nuclear state. “It tells us a significant amount about the instability internally of the regime, with the numbers of executions,” Kerry said. “It’s an ominous sign of the instability and of the danger that does exist.” The young Kim, believed to be about 30, has carried out two long-range missile tests

and a nuclear weapons test in defiance of U.N. sanctions since he took control two years ago after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. The Obama administration is working with China, the closest thing Pyongyang has to an ally, in seeking help to prevent any internal upheaval in North Korea from destabilizing the Korean peninsula, U.S. officials say. Kerry, in the interview, said the nature of “this ruthless, horrendous dictatorship” and Kim’s insecurities raised the stakes for China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to “stay on the same page” and push ahead on denuclearization. “To have a nuclear weapon potentially in the hands of somebody like Kim Jong Un just becomes even more unacceptable,” Kerry told ABC. Senator John McCain, a leading Republican voice on foreign policy issues, echoed Kerry’s concern about the threat posed by Kim’s latest behavior and called on China to step in. “They’ve got to rein this young man in, and they can,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program on Sunday. “I think it’s pretty obvious this young man is capable of some very aberrational behavior and given the toys that he has, I think it’s very dangerous.”

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MAN UTD BEAT VILLA New Zealand batsmen TO END LOSING RUN build home advantage Danny Welbeck scored twice as Manchester United avoided a third Premier League defeat in a row by overwhelming Aston Villa. Welbeck’s goals came in the space of three minutes his opener coming when he slotted in after Adnan Januzaj’s header rebounded off the post. The England striker then slid in to score from Antonio Valencia’s cross. Villa struggled to cope with the visitors and Wayne Rooney set up Tom Cleverley to drive in a third. United had picked up just two points from their previous four league matches but the style with which they saw off Villa hinted at a return of form and confidence. The Red Devils are still 10 points behind top-flight leaders Arsenal and seven points adrift of the top four, but they made sure they did not lose a third Premier League game in succession for the first time since December 2001. Villa had not beaten United at home since 1995 and that record only ever looked like being extended as

they lost for the fifth time in eight league outings at their Midlands base. The home side were hoping to take capitalise on United’s poor form and applied some early pressure, with winger Marc Albrighton twice shooting from distance, only for his efforts to be comfortably saved by keeper David De Gea. However, the visitors responded in emphatic fashion, with two goals from Welbeck putting them firmly in command by half-time. Rafael’s determination helped him cross from the right and, after the unmarked Januzaj’s header came back off the inside of the post, Welbeck reacted quickest to side-foot in the rebound from six yards. The home side barely had time to recover before falling further behind. Villa defender Nathan Baker gave the ball away and Welbeck laid a pass off to right-winger Valencia before charging into the area and beating Januzaj to slot in the Ecuadorian’s low cross. The uplift in United’s demeanour from the two goals was palpable and they slickly scythed through Villa

with a regularity and ease that threatened more goals. The pace and trickery of Valencia was particularly potent, and he pulled the ball back for Rooney to drag a shot wide before threading a pass through to Welbeck, who angled his effort beyond Villa keeper Brad Guzan’s righthand post. Villa rarely troubled De Gea as striker Christian Benteke continued to look out of sorts and notched up a 10th game without scoring. And United wrapped up the win when the impressive Rooney slid a lovely weighted ball into the path of Cleverley, who scored his first league goal a year to the day since his last one. Another positive note for United was the 70th-minute introduction of midfielder Darren Fletcher, who returned to first-team action for the first time since Boxing Day last year as he continues his recovery after bowel surgery. Scores in other games yesterday: Norwich 1 - 1 Swansea, Tottenham 0 - 5 Liverpool.

Danny Welbeck (left) scored twice as Manchester United avoided a third Premier League defeat in a row. (Getty Images)

New Zealand’s batsmen are having a good year at home. (AFP) ESPNcricinfo - Ross Taylor’s hundred in Wellington was not only the tenth of his career, it was also the tenth of New Zealand’s Test year. That makes it their most prolific calendar year for individual hundreds. Twice before, in 2001 and 2004, New Zealand have scored nine centuries - in 2001, the hundreds came from four fewer matches than will have been played once the Hamilton Test is complete, but 2004 contained only two fewer Tests. Six of those hundreds have come at home and only one of the away centuries Dean Brownlie’s 109 in Cape Town - have come in the tough series against South Africa and England. There have been plenty of lows, particularly overseas - where they have been bowled out for 45 in Cape Town and 68 at Lord’s - to counter the highs but there are signs that New Zealand’s batting is starting to gain a more consistent appearance. The current top seven

have all scored hundreds this year and the lower order - right down to Trent Boult at No. 11, who scored a maiden Test fifty in Bangladesh - is chipping in with valuable runs. There is also some pressure being applied to the incumbents from the domestic scene, particularly by Aaron Redmond, who played the first Test as cover for Kane Williamson, and Michael Papps, another of the over-30s brigade, who is having a prolific season. Replicating their batting success overseas remains the challenge for those in current possession of places - one they will next confront in Tests when they travel to West Indies in the middle of next year where their difficulties against spin will be preyed upon - but piling on the runs at home is a good

place to start and can build belief in the batting order. In their five home Tests this year, only once have New Zealand not passed 400 in the first innings. “Since England last year we’ve gone about things very consistently and got ourselves in winning positions,” Mike Hesson, the coach, said relieved that one had been converted into a win. “To be able to win one so convincing is very pleasing. We try and get over 400 in each Test and put pressure on that way, get ahead in the game and try to hold it.” And they haven’t always had the easiest conditions. In both Dunedin and Wellington, they were inserted on green wickets, with the second of those having the potential for trouble when they slipped to 24 for 2 before Taylor was dropped at slip. “Early on with the bat, when you get inserted on a tough wicket and lose a couple early, we could have been bowled out for 150,” Hesson said. “To get over 400 on a surface which kept offering something was vital.” Another fillip for New Zealand is that their imposing first-innings totals have rarely been replicated by the opposition. In each of the last three home Tests, the followon has not been saved so it has not just been the case of all the batsmen cashing in. Although West Indies batted superbly to make 507 in their second innings in Dunedin their other three displays have highlighted, once again, their problems against the swinging ball.

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Monday December 16, 2013

Zimbabwe players Australia build huge lead over England in Perth boycott domestic game BBC Sport - Australia took total charge of the third Test as England’s slim hopes of an Ashes fightback disappeared on a one-sided third day in Perth. Having lost their last six wickets for just 61 runs to concede a firstinnings deficit of 134, Alastair Cook’s men then lost control in the field as Australia piled on 235-3 to lead by 369 runs. With paceman Stuart Broad unable to take the field after being sent for scans on an injured foot, leaving the tourists a bowler short in searing heat, David Warner was able to profit freely as he smashed 112 with 19 boundaries after escaping a clear stumping chance on just 13. Ben Stokes bowled Michael Clarke for 23 in the last 30 minutes but it did little to lift English moods or alter the balance of power. Even on a tour that has contained minimal cheer for England’s players and supporters, this was perhaps the most chastening day of all as sloppy dismissals were followed by cannon-fodder bowling and missed chances. With two days of clear, hot weather still to come and England yet to pass 312 in any innings in the series, a third consecutive Australian victory and with it their first Ashes triumph in seven years seems inevitable. A day that ended with England in disarray actually began with some optimism, only for Ian Bell and Stokes to fall in tame fashion with only 18 runs added to the overnight 180-4. Bell went lbw to Ryan Harris on review for 15 while Stokes, after showing considerable discipline for an hour and a half, pushed needlessly outside off stump to be caught behind off Mitchell Johnson for 18. Matt Prior’s dismissal further set the tone for what was to follow as he aimed an airy pull at Peter Siddle and got a bottom edge to keeper Brad Haddin to leave his side 207-7. Broad was then trapped lbw as a fullpitched Johnson inswinger hit him flush on his right boot, and while the dismissal did little to change the course of the match, the damage may yet rule Broad out of more than just Sunday’s play. Tim Bresnan struck out briefly for 21, but when he became Harris’s third victim it meant England had lost five wickets for 43 in the morning. In all, their 10 wickets fell for just 165 runs following the opening stand of 85, a display put into further context by the ease with which Warner and Chris Rogers then set about extending the lead. Batting in an almost entirely pressure-free situation, Warner raced to a half-century of which all but eight runs came in boundaries. Prior had been guilty of missing a stumping chance off Graeme Swann when Warner was just getting into his free-hitting stride, and then left an edge from Rogers on

FILE PHOTO: Payments to cricketers on national contracts have been delayed by four months. ( AFP)

David Warner went past fifty for the fourth time in the series. (Getty Images) 28 to Cook at first slip, who could not react in time to cling on. It summed up England’s slow-motion cricket. Warner pillaged 81 runs in the afternoon session as Australia went to tea 123-0, and although Rogers went for 54 after cutting Bresnan to Michael Carberry at backward point, Warner slapped away his 15th four to go to his second century of the series off 127 balls. After hitting Swann back over his head for his second six he then holed out to long on, but Clarke and Shane Watson progressed comfortably through the evening session until Stokes nipped one between Clarke’s bat and pad with six overs left. Watson will resume on 29 and Steve Smith five as Australia look to move into a position of impregnability in both match and series. Scores: Australia 385 and 235 for 3 (Warner 112, Rogers 54) lead England 251 (Siddle 3-36, Harris 3-48) by 369 runs.

ESPNcricinfo Zimbabwe’s domestic players from the Mountaineers franchise, and a few senior players of the Mashonaland Eagles team, refused to take the field for a Pro50 game in Mutare on Sunday, following through with a threatened boycott over unpaid salaries. The players have extended their deadline to Monday telling Zimbabwe Cricket that unless monies appear in their accounts, the four-day fixture, scheduled to start on December 17, will also not go ahead.* The Eagles team had traveled from Harare to Mutare for the one-dayer against the Mountaineers, without their senior players who had chosen to stay behind and honour the boycott. They were eventually awarded the match because they arrived at the ground, but the Mountaineers, the home side, didn’t. Another Pro50 match between Southern Rocks and Mid West Rhinos got underway in Kwekwe. However, Rhinos players

Brendan Taylor, Vusi Sibanda and Malcolm Waller were not a part of the playing XI. On Friday, Zimbabwe cricketers had threatened to go on strike following delays in the payment of their salaries and had given their board a deadline of December 15 to pay up. It was learnt that players on national contract had not received payments for the last four months, while dues to players on domestic contracts had been delayed by two months. E S P N c r i c i n f o understands Zimbabwe Cricket has asked the ICC for an additional loan of US$3 million but an insider said the ICC may only agree to that if ZC provided an audit of the funds they received from the Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme earlier this year. Some of that money is believed to have been used to pay match fees for the Pakistan series, over which the Zimbabwe players threatened to strike. In August this year, the Zimbabwe cricketers had formed a union to participate

in salary negotiations prior to the series against Pakistan. The board’s financial condition also resulted in Sri Lanka’s tour to the country in October being deferred. That delay meant the national team would not play from September until February next year, and a lack of match practice was a major concern ahead of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. This week a solution emerged with Afghanistan willing to pay their own way for three T20s and an ODI in Zimbabwe in January. It has now emerged that ZC is exploring the possibility of playing those matches in Bangladesh, rather than at home. Part of the rationale for that is to acclimatise to subcontinent conditions but it is understood that a lack of funding is also a consideration. The domestic competitions in Zimbabwe, scheduled to begin in November, were also delayed due to financial problems but the tournaments were finally held without any sponsors.

Wiltshire clan dominate on... From page 35 Category A Alec Melville defeated Larissa Wiltshire 12 – 10, 11 – 7, 11 – 3 Akeila Wiltshire defeated Taylor Fernandes 11 – 8, 11 – 5, 11 – 6. The winners in the various categories were as follows. Category F Winner: Nechemiyah Levans Second Place: Kirsten Gomes Third Place: Rayad Boyce Fourth Place: Paige Fernandes Fifth Place: Tome Reis Category E Winner: Rajiv Lee Second Place: Michael Alphonso Third Place: Madison

Fernandes Fourth Place: Daniel Lowe Fifth Place: Jamila Da Silva Category D Winner: Gianni Carpenter Second Place: Jonathan Edwards Third Place: John Phang Fourth Place: Dominic Collins Fifth Place: Zachary Persaud Category C Winner: Jael Gaskin Second Place: Michael Ramroop Third Place: Anthony Islam Fourth Place: Savannah Mendes Fifth Place: Dennis Bagot Category B Winner: Shomari Wiltshire Second Place: Matthew Phang

Third Place: Alex Cheeks Fourth Place: Rebecca Lowe Category A Winner: Akeila Wiltshire Second Place: Alec Melville Third Place: Larissa Wiltshire Fourth Place: Taylor Fernandes Special Awards Most Promising Boy: Nechemiyah Levans Most Promising Girl: Kirsten Gomes Most Improved Boy: Gianni Carpenter Most Improved Girl: Savannah Mendes Most Outstanding Boy: Shomari Wiltshire Most Outstanding Girl: Akeila Wiltshire

Monday December 16, 2013

Kaieteur News

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GBA acknowledges support Winston named youngest Heisman winner in commendation ceremony Less than one hour after closing off the fiscal year of activities with the GBA/DDL Gatorade/Pepsi/Diamond Mineral Water, U-16 Boxing Championship at the Andrew Lewis Boxing Gym, Independence Boulevard, last evening, officials of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) hosted an awards ceremony where several of their affiliates received tokens of commendation for their input into the development of the sport. President of the GBA, Steve Ninvalle, presided over the ceremony and noted that it has been a number of years since his organization has hosted a similar initiative. He said that though there have been some bright moments during the year much more could have been achieved had his officials and members employed more diligence to their efforts. “Notwithstanding, I would like to commit myself to work harder with my fellow executives to fulfill our promises and create a better environment to foster improvement of our boxers,” said Ninvalle. He said that already his executives are planning their itinerary for the next fiscal year and in February teams from Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica will visit to engage in combat with local pugilists. Í have had discussions with (President of the GOA), J u m a n Ya s s i n w h o h a s since asked that we send a proposal for consideration,” intimated Ninvalle. He also revealed that International Boxing Association coach, James Beckles is due in Guyana early next month to conduct a 4 day workshop for local officials. Ninvalle also had special words for his referees and judges that have contributed immensely to the sustenance of the sport. “I wish to acknowledge your selfless commitment which has served to keep boxing on an even keel over the years,” he said. Mr. Poole joined his President in extending gratitude to members of the corporate community for their commitment; “We hope that you will continue to render similar support as we continue with our developmental plan,” he said. Meanwhile, the list of awardees read: Journalist of the Year, Michael Benjamin, Best junior boxer, Jamal Eastman of the Pocket Rocket

Mr. Ninvalle (right) is all smiles as he presents Kaieteur News Sports journalist, Michael Benjamin with the Best Journalist award. Boxing Gym while Imran Khan was adjudged the Best senior boxer and received the Ceon Bristol trophy. The award for the best youth boxer went to Michael April of the Tigereye Boxing Gym (TEBG) while Germain Craig clinched the award for the best referee/judge. The most disciplined referee/ judge went to George Moore while National Coach, Wensel Thomas was adjudged the best in his category. The Essequibo Boxing Gym was voted the most disciplined institution while GDF boxer, Desmond Amsterdam won the most improved boxer award after winning the three major championships of the year (Novices, Intermediate and Open competitions). The best junior gym award went to Harpy Eagles while the GDF copped the award for the best senior gym. Sebert Blake’s historic

feat where he earned a Diploma in Sports Science and Boxing Specifics at the Semmelweis University in Hungary did not go unnoticed and he received a special award while Terrence Poole’s versatility as a coach, Technical Director and organizer of bouts earned him a special award. Several entities resolutely stuck with the GBA and contributed to their programmes and received commendations for this. They include the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Boxing Board of Control and the Guyana Prison Service. Several corporate entities also received commendations for their input into the development of the sport including DDL, Ansa McAl, Courts, National Sports Commission, GOA, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Sebert Blake successfully... From page 32 Budapest was held in 1971. Since the establishment of the Course, over 1,500 participants from more than 85 countries and all continents of the world received their education and certificate at that University. As a result of the long-time activity in the international coach education the Course management has developed cooperation with governmental and nongovernmental institutions all over the world, which corresponded with the objectives of the course. The ICC is designed to train and educate coaches from around the World with a programme structure that attempts to promote and develop excellence in coaching. The course provides coaches with a systematic way to improve their knowledge and skills in the theoretical, technical and practical aspects of coaching. Meanwhile, President of the GBA, Steve Ninvalle congratulated Blake on his achievement and urged him to impart what he has learnt towards the betterment of the sports. Mr Ninvalle was also grateful to the GOA President for his intervention that made Blake’s participation possible. Ninvalle said that his executives will continue to explore ways of enhancing the fraternity even as they stay committed to attaining the coveted Olympic gold medal.

(Reuters) - Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston won the Heisman Trophy as the top player in college football on Saturday, at 19 and 342 days becoming the youngest ever recipient of the award. The award came despite the cloud of a sexual assault case hanging over his season. State Attorney Willie Meggs announced on December 5 he would not file charges against Winston due to insufficient evidence. Winston beat out five other finalists for the prestigious award, including last year’s recipient Johnny Manziel. “This Heisman isn’t just for Jameis Winston, this is for Florida State,” Winston said in his acceptance speech. “I’m so blessed right now, it means so much to me. “I got one thing to say. At Florida State if we are going to do it, we do it big.” The talented quarterback is only the second freshman to win the award after Texas A&M signalcaller Manziel’s win last season. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron (2nd), Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch (3rd), Boston College running back Andre Williams (4th), Manziel (5th) and Auburn running back Tre Mason (6th) were the other finalists. Winston led his team to the number one ranking heading to the BCS national championship game against Auburn and

ended up with 2,205 points in the voting process, a clear winner over McCarron with 704 points. Manziel was hoping to become the second player to repeat after Archie Griffin but could only manage enough points to finish fifth. Winston threw a school record 38 touchdown passes over the season, added four more on the ground and finished with a 68 percent completion rating. He led the nation in adjusted Quarterback Rating (90.9), yards per attempt (10.9) and rating (190.06). Winston threw for over 300 yards seven times in just 13 games.

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston

Rain washes out ‘Champion of Champions’ horserace meet at Port Mount Temporarily reset for next Sunday 22nd Dec. The inclement weather had the final say as rain washed out the ‘Champion of Champions battle of Port Mourant’ horserace planned for yesterday (Sunday 15th) at the Port Mourant Turf Club, Corentyne Berbice. The meet which was organised jointly by the Ryan Crawford Memorial Turf Club and Sports Facilities, the Port Mourant Turf Club and the Shariff Business Enterprise and Racing Stable of West Berbice would have seen the best horses in Guyana in action. It has been temporarily been rescheduled for next Sunday 22nd December. Persons can contact the following persons for further information and clarifications- Mohammed Shariff on 611-0684, Chanu Ramkissoon- 6249063, or Kris Jagdeo (624-6123; 322-0369), Rajendra Jagdeo 618-7278, Ramnauth 337-5311.

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 16, 2013

St. Francis R.C. Youth Club spreads Sebert Blake successfully Christmas cheer across Berbice churches completes IOC coaching course in Hungary

Members of the St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Youth Club (above) prior to handing out the gifts (below) yesterday. You could have seen the broad smiles and cheers on the faces of the children last Sunday as the members of the St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Youth Club (SFXRCYC) arrived after the Sunday Mass to distribute toys to the boys and girls of Ascension parish. They had just come from doing the same thing at their mother parish, St. Francis Xavier R.C. at Port Mourant and other Catholic churches along the East Berbice area. It was part of the

Christmas programme of activities planned by the newly- resuscitated club that had been in existence for a number of years. Mr. Hilbert Foster recently brought back much life and vigour to the popular youth group. They also presented four senior citizens with hampers last Sunday at Ascension. Fr. Michael Traher, SFM praised the initiative of Mr. Foster and the youths of the club. Rebecca Jotish of the St. Maria Goretti Youth Group

also spoke words of thanks and appreciation to the team of young people and extended warm invitation for them to come back anytime. Mr. Foster stated that it was a delight for the club to be spreading the joys and cheers of this holiday season with the less fortunate and kids. He made a request for assistance in training their new choir. It is hoped that choir members of Ascension and other parishes in Berbice and Guyana would give

assistance to St. Francis Xavier R.C. Church choir. The club has a packed schedule in the coming day and weeks. Currently, there are 25 members in the club. The President if Mr. Andrew Smart; Secretary, Veronica Narain; Adult members: Hilbert Foster; Coreen Rose; Rhonda Gomes; Pamela King; and Fr. Mohan Joseph. The SFRCYC’s grand Christmas concert is set for this Sunday from 6:00pm in the church at Port Mourant! (Leon Suseran)

BRAZIL DUO ORDERED TO PLAY 20 GAMES AWAY FROM HOME CITIES RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The two teams whose fans fought running battles on the terraces during a Brazilian first division game last weekend have been ordered to play a total of 20 matches away from their own cities. Brazil’s Superior Court of Sporting Justice ruled on Friday that hosts Atletico Paranaense must play 12 home games at least 100km from their home city of

Curitiba and six of them must be behind closed doors. Opponents Vasco da Gama, who were relegated after losing the match, must play eight games outside Rio de Janeiro, four of them behind closed doors. Atletico were also fined 140,000 Brazilian reais ($59,900) and Vasco were fined 80,000 reais. The fighting was a huge embarrassment for the hosts of next year’s World Cup and

came days after world governing body FIFA said some stadiums had missed an initial deadline to be ready. Atletico, playing in a rented stadium while their own arena is being refurbished for next June and July’s showpiece, were 1-0 up in Sunday’s game when fights broke out in the stands. The match was halted for more than an hour as hooligans ran riot and a police helicopter landed on the pitch

to ferry one injured fan to hospital. Four people were seriously hurt. The game, which marked the end of the Brazilian season, eventually restarted and Atletico won 5-1. “The repercussions and the seriousness of what happened made such a punishment inevitable,” Atletico’s lawyer Domingos Moro told reporters. Both clubs said they will appeal the decisions.

Beset by accusations of administrative ineptitude, officials of the amateur boxing fraternity are now better equipped to grapple with these and similar challenges after former amateur pugilist and coach of the Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF), Sebert Blake, successfully completed three months of diligent studies at the Semmelweis University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Strategic and International Directorate, Budapest Hungary, where he acquired a Diploma in sports science and boxing specifics. Kaieteur Sport spoke with Blake shortly after his return and he admitted that the course was indeed challenging. He said that he was scheduled to arrive in Hungary early September but visa and other immigration issues resulted in him arriving in the host country two weeks after the scheduled start. This did not deter the Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF) coach and he said that he not only managed to complete the requisite course work, but has accrued the maximum forty points to share the top spot with the Slovenian coach. President of the Guyana Olympics Association (GOA), K A Juman Yassin, was instrumental in the acquisition of the initiative and Blake said that he is grateful to the GOA boss for affording him the opportunity. He is the fourth local coach to have benefitted from this programme after three of his colleagues, Terrence Poole, Carl Franklyn and Clifton Moore, completed similar studies a few years ago. The course content has been carefully selected to meet the needs of coaches working with generally young, developing athletes as well as with advanced athletes of elite sport and Blake explained that he was required to complete theoretical, practical and technical components of the programme. He said that he managed to attain maximum marks in several specialist areas including general conditioning, sports pedagogy, sports physiology, sports psychology, sports therapy, sports theory and sports sociology. Since progress in the training programme requires active coaching to implement the knowledge gained in the coaching course, all participants are involved in practical coaching

Sebert Blake work in the leading Hungarian sport clubs. They are supervised by the senior lecturer and/or his/her assistants of the particular sport. Blake said that additionally, participants were required to submit a researched study report on one of several topics provided by the facilitators. He said that he researched issues relating to modern boxing training and delivered an impressive document that netted him an average of 500 points which amounted to a pass of excellence. The coach said that he compared techniques and strategies employed by his local colleagues with those just experienced and he feels that while there ought to be adjustments in applications of the local coaches, some of those very (local) strategies and implementations should be retained as they are better suited for our situation. “The Hungarians concentrate heavily on techniques, anaerobic, conditioning and fitness aspects of the preparation,” Blake pointed out. In contrast, local boxing coaches focus heavily on strategies. “I believe that both areas could complement each other and I plan speaking with my colleagues to examine ways of employing these techniques towards the (local) boxers’ development,” Blake said. He admits that some of the applications will not be relevant to a Guyanese situation and posits that “local coaches will have to examine the best way forward while taking our unique circumstances into consideration. These include altitude, climatic conditions and nutrition,” he said. The first International Coaching Course in Continued on page 31

Monday December 16, 2013

Kaieteur News

Kwakwani Secondary outplay LTI, UG too hot for Bishop’s in YBG Titan Bowl semis Kwakwani Secondary School outplayed Linden Technical Institute (LTI) for a 70-53 win on Saturday evening at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall to clinch a berth in the final of the Youth Basketball Guyana Titan Bowl tournament. Despite a terrible shooting start for Kwakwani with the team going one for eight from beyond the arc, every play started on the defensive end for Kwakwani as they gave the penetrates of LTI Terron Welch and Dennis Niles no room to work with, with a high 3-2 zone trap that resulted in many steals that got Kwakwani’s running game up and going early. Kwakwani led throughout the game that was always close as at one point four consecutive daggers rattled off with both teams scoring two each, while Kwakwani’s Shafeeq Thomas missed the fifth to end the back and forth between the two powerhouse teams as the third quarter ended 46-41. However, Kwakwani’s defence just kept LTI from scoring in the fourth as they outscored LTI 24-12 in the final period to rout the team. Leonard Primo was a beast down low, punishing the smaller players of LTI in the paint as he dropped 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the win. Shafeeq Thomas also dropped 20 points while Orwin Samuels picked up a game high 15 rebounds to ensure a place in the final. Welch ended with a team high 21 points, nine rebounds and seven steals to lead the way for LTI, while, Vibert Benjamin had 16 points. Niles

who dropped a team high 22 points in the first round was cold from the field all game only managing to score seven points. Meanwhile, in the other semifinal, the University of Guyana (UG) played one of the best quarters in YBG history, holding Bishops High School to one point while scoring 17 as the game ended in a 60-48 blowout for UG to advance to the final. Jonathon Pooran put on an offensive show, dazzling the Sports Hall with his penetration and his ability to change his shot in mid-air and finish. Pooran also controlled the game well, putting teammates in spots either to score or for them to pick up easy buckets. Bishops tried on a number of occasions to rally but only managed to come as close as 10 points before falling at the end of the final buzzer. Pooran ended with a game high 24 points for UG while assisting on five of his teammate shots, Omodele Phillips and Lashawn Hooper both had nine points each with Hooper picking up a game high 11 rebounds. Daniel Haynes was the high point man for Bishops with 16, while Marvin Durant and Daniel Ramlagan had 12 and 11 points respectively in the loss. In the two games that were played before the semifinals to decide which teams will face off in the third place match-up, St. Roses High School topped Government Technical Institute 42-35, while Marian Academy defeated presidents’ College 32-26.

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Gaskin pleased with MFL Track and Field Club athletes’ performances in 2013

Members of the Mercury Fast Laners Athletic Club with coach display their medals in the presence of some of their coaches. Christopher Gaskin is far right. By Zaheer Mohamed Head coach of the Mercury Fast Laners Track and Field Athletics Club, Christopher Gaskin, told Kaieteur Sport that he is pleased with the club’s athletes’ performances in 2013. The forty eight year old Gaskin who started his coaching career in 1990 informed that his coaching staff is pleased to know that the athletes stayed focus with their training despite several hiccups, which resulted in their success. “The coaches did a lot of work them and are satisfied with their performances, but there is always room for improvement”, he added. Gaskin stated that Guyana has lots of talented athletes, but they need to be harnessed properly. “Our athletes need to train on a regular basis if they are to achieve success consistently

especially at the higher level. Better facilities and gear such as Gym equipment, harnesses and training hurdles are required especially in Georgetown where the nucleus of the athletes is based. Athletes also need support with their supplements”, stated Gaskin. The coach informed that the club has already commenced training for the new season. “We started preparation for the new season with long distance running, free hand exercise and drills and by the end of January 2014 we should be able to run off our developmental meets”, he informed. Among the outstanding athletes are Tirana Mitchell who copped bronze at the CARITFA Games and was selected for the world youth games in Russia and the South American Youth games in Peru where she placed

second in one of the heats, but was forced out of the finals due to injury. At the 2013 Inter Guyana Games in Suriname Kevin Abbensetts took gold in the 100 and 200 meters. Quacy Simpson silver in the 400m, Kwesi Blair silver in the 1500m, Mearisha Carter Silver in the 400m and bronze in the long jump, Tiffany Pilgrim bronze in the javelin, and shot put, Laured Stewart bronze in the shot put and discuss (male). At the recently concluded national schools championships, Abbensetts won the Boys U-16 100 and 200m and the long jump, Euodia Forte won the teachers U-21 female 100 and 200m while Khadida Ba took first place in the Girls U-18 shot put and discuss, Shaunsel Adams claimed teachers female U-21 400 and 800m, Nkosie Dazell took the second podium in the boys

U-14 200m, Floyd Phillips won the long jump and placed second in the Javelin in the male teachers U-21 division, Quincy Anthony took the honours in the teachers 21-30, 200m and finished second in the 100m. Marisha Carter, Cladanica Welcome, Mikhail Nelson, Abigale Robertson and Casie Small also preformed creditably at the games. The club placed fourth overall in the 2013 Boyce and Jefford classic behind first place Running Brave, runner up Police and Moses Track Club who finished third. Gaskin would like to thank Ronald Thorne, Neil Henry, Dr. Lowe, Dr, Stanton, Paula Alexander, Dr. George Norton, Mr. Davidson, Colin Ming for their support. The coaches that have worked feverishly with the athletes are Carletta Rodney, Ms. Jennifer and Niall Stanton.

Letter to the Sports Editor

Mr. Lumumba, the “stakeholders” and Govt. should all apologise DEAR SPORTS MR. EDITOR, I read, with interest, your article on the failed petition presented to parliament by Government MP Mr. Odinga Lumumba. I also read a letter from the Presidents of West Demerara and East Bank Demerara Cricket Associations. The failed attempt at an apology by the group dubbed “stakeholders”, in your December 15 edition, was even more interesting as their arithmetic seem quite skewered.

I am the President of the Essequibo Cricket Board which consists of eight constituent members called area committees. Seven of those members have indicated to me that they had no part in the petition and the eighth member headed by a former ECB President had, in the past, publicly denounced Government’s involvement in Cricket and refused to participate in their IMC. The stakeholders and Mr. Lumumba obviously cannot count. If, at least, 50% of Demerara and at least 7/8 of

Essequibo and a majority of clubs and sub Association in Berbice knows nothing about the cricket petition before Parliament, where does the 90% participation claimed by the stakeholders come from? The major clubs in Georgetown and East Coast namely Everest, GCC, DCC, Enmore, Enterprise, Unity and Ogle among others had no clue about this petition. The “Stakeholders” have now publicly admitted that West Demerara, East Bank Demerara and Essequibo did not sign on to the petition,

who else did not? Certainly West Berbice, Upper Corentyne, Albion and many other clubs and Associations in Berbice did not sign. Mr. Norman McLean claims to be President of the Cricket Board as a signatory on the defeated petition. If I recall correctly this is the same “former GCB President” that was defeated by Chetram Singh in 1991 because the GCB was bankrupt under his leadership. Another prominent signatory is Mr. Claude Raphael, a former Chairman

of Selectors. Another that comes to mind is Mr. Malcolm Peters, a former GCB Vice President. My brothers in West Berbice, Corentyne and Albion have assured me that they did not sign any petition and continue to support the GCB and its prudent management of the Board with its limited resources. My brothers and sisters in Linden do not be the proverbial “football” in the government’s cricket politics. I pledge my dedication to this fight against a piece of

legislation that proposes to seize private assets and trample upon the rights of our people. The slander in this obnoxious petition is a disgrace to our parliament and society at large. Further it abounds with lies and misconception bordering on being criminal on the presenter’s behalf. Our Parliament still has honorable members thanks to Comrade Basil Williams and colleagues. Mr. Fizul Bacchus President of Essequibo Cricket Board

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