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Kaieteur News

Monday December 24, 2012

Stalled Linden/Government Agreement...

Regional Chairman says community not satisfied Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon says the community is not satisfied with the rate of implementation of the August 21st Agreement. Solomon yesterday said that the region is convinced that much more could be done by the Government of Guyana to deliver on its commitment to the people of Linden in particular and Region 10 in general. According to Solomon, on the signing of the

agreement, the community had stated that “the people of Linden/Region 10 will hold the regime, the national leaders and National Assembly leaders accountable for its delivery. We will hold civic society accountable for ensuring that Government and the Opposition deliver on their commitment and responsibility. The power rests with the people and will be applied until equal rights and justice is restored.”

Solomon said that those sentiments are more relevant now, adding that the people of Region 10 remain mobilized to ensure that this agreement is implemented. He said that the region believes that good sense must prevail and the Government must deliver on its commitment and honour the 21st August 2012 Agreement. In terms of the Land Selection committee, Solomon said that the Region

was tasked with the responsibility of establishing the Region 10 Land Selection Committee. He said that the region is pleased to inform the people of Guyana that it has established, keeping with the Agreement which states that” The Regional Land Selection will comprise the Regional Chairman who chairs the Committee, the Head of Department of the GLSC and representatives from the various political

parties represented in the RDC in keeping with the results of the last Regional elections”. Return of Channel 13 to the people of Linden Henceforth, Solomon said that the region, in keeping with the Agreement and immediately after the Agreement, delivered its application to the government to ensure that they could “facilitate the granting of the television license in keeping with the law”. Solomon said that it is apposite to note that in the negotiations leading to the Agreement that the Region objected to any reference to the Broadcasting Authority and made it clear that it was engaging and agreeing with the government since there was no such authority and that the government had issued television licenses and that the Region expects the government to ensure that they are granted the licence. The Region has done what is required of it in keeping with the Agreement and expects to get its licence. He said that the region has been doing what is required at the site of the dish as it prepares to give the people of Linden their desire - the establishment of their own television, ending the bombardment of government propaganda. Solomon said that the region has mobilized the resources and is ready to broadcast except that the government has failed to honour the Agreement and return the transmitter to the people of Linden. “The patience of the people of Linden has been over taxed and it’s time for the government to come good on its promise” Solomon noted. The Technical Committee began functioning, Solomon said, but unfortunately, the Chairman of the Committee resigned. This has caused them to agree to a new chairperson. The two parties to the Agreement have been unable to agree to a new chairperson. He explained that the region placed the names of a number of competent and well respected Guyanese for consideration.

Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon The list includes Ms. Emily Dodson, Mr. Lincoln Lewis and more recently Mr. Earl John. He said that the region hopes that we can advance the process and agree on a chairperson in the New Year. Moreover he said that the Economic Committee has been unable to commence its work, since; the two parties to the Agreement, having named their teams have been unable to find agreement on a Chairperson in keeping with the Agreement which states that the committee shall be chaired by a “Chairperson that is agreed to by both sides.” Solomon said Region 10 has tabled the names of the following persons for consideration as chairperson Ms. Desiree Field Ridley, Ms. Joycelyn Williams, Mr. Christopher Ram and Professor Clive Thomas. He said that no honest person would deny the level of commitment, competence, discipline and fearlessness the individuals recommended will bring to the task once agreement is reached. Solomon said that the region will continue to advocate for a professional and competent chairperson who will be fair and is without fear of the Government. “Linden will not cave in to the government’s pressure to appoint one who they could easily compromise and we will be guided by the principles of competence, fair play and justice and will never agree to compromise these principles and appoint persons who are loyal to the government” Solomon said.

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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


Corruption and Power The Transparency International’s report on the state of corruption in Guyana has raised the usual frenetic howls of denials from officialdom. It is not that corruption does not exist, they concede, but the quantum and reach is being exaggerated by ‘enemies’ of the state. Since the report is based on “subjective factors”, it is subject to manipulations and distortions. Maybe. But the existence of pervasive corruption in the state sector is not just the concoction of external destabilizers and their comprador allies. If a poll were to be conducted in the country, few citizens would not be able to confirm corrupt activities gleaned from their personal experience. Even a former insider from the highest rungs of the governing PPP, Mr. Ralph Ramkarran has admitted that corruption must be contained. Generally, corruption is regarded as a consequence of political and economic, socio-ethnic, and even moral reasons: politicians need votes; businessmen need favours; officeholders favour “their own” and all these are judged to be “bad” reasons for making decisions that involve the patrimony of the state. After all, the latter is supposed to be held in trust for all the citizenry and to be distributed fairly. Now all the foregoing might very well be true as far as the genesis of the phenomenon of corruption is concerned, in our country. No one is saying that corruption only began in 1992. With the institutionalisation of the dictatorship, post 1968, gradually but inexorably a new form of the state and political system was created – in which their foundations were rested on the corruption of the electoral system. Corruption then expropriated the political system, altered the state apparatus to itself and promulgated new “rules of the game.” As a consequence, political authoritarianism and social demagogy of those in power have become unavoidable products of the pervasive corruption in the state system. Not much was changed post-1992. It is important to note that it does not matter what the nominal form of the state might be: what we will now have is a liberal-corruption, socialist-corruption or conservative-corruption state etc. In this new world where corruption has become the norm, democracy and its undergirding principle of the “rule of law” inevitably become subversive elements which are just as inevitably countered by authoritarian Presidentialism. The democratic system of checks and balances, legislative and judicial autonomy, an unfettered and free press etc. are concrete mechanisms that facilitate an effective struggle against corruption. Consequently, the only path of survival for such corrupt systems (of whatever variety) is to attack and eliminate democratic principles from state and societal processes. Take the problem of bribery and graft that is so prevalent in our country. There is a great outcry as to why the constitution, laws and regulations are not applied with the same vigour to all transgressors. The answer is simple: unless you have been defined as an enemy of those in power (or their friends) it means that anyone prosecuted energetically has simply not greased the appropriate palms. The formal rule of law is a sword to attack the critics and a shield to protect the power elite. The ‘new dispensation’ in the parliament, augured in by the November elections, has offered new opportunities for attacking corruption. The Opposition, however, must focus more on excising the cancer of corruption than scoring political points as they appear to be doing right now. The Sectoral Committees especially, must be used much more vigorously to conduct proper investigations of identified corrupt government activities. Then there is the role of the press. The corrupt politicians become incensed when incidents of corruption are charged to the political regime by the press. They would rather that corruption goes unreported, or at worse, be blamed on the local lackeys. The true extent and nature of the corruption must be hidden from view. This newspaper has felt the brunt of such outrage and has been dubbed “the new opposition”. We will not be deterred. The cancer of corruption must be eradicated if we are to survive.

Monday December 24, 2012

Letters... Where your views make the news

Politics should take a back seat during the Yuletide season DEAR EDITOR, In Guyana like most other nations, Christmas is in the air. However, life remains a tragedy for the poor and the working class, who have been abandoned by the PPP regime, as they try their very best to make ends meet with their meager income. For many of them, begging, which has been a national pastime, seems the only opportunity to enjoy the crumbs from the season. All this is happening against the backdrop of the PPP regime, which has been in power over the last twenty years and continues to assure an impatient nation with false promises. Last year, many Guyanese did not have a real Christmas because the Yuletide season was overwhelmed by poor political judgment of having elections so close to the season. Indeed, many of the detractors of Jagdeo had likened him to the Grinch who stole Christmas. Be that as it may, it is our fervent wish that this year

Guyanese from all walks of life will be allowed to have a happy, safe and spiritual Christmas. Let’s face it, there are times when politics should take a holiday and that time is at Christmas and other sacred periods. Needless to say, the true meaning of Christmas continues to elude many Guyanese because of their poverty and unbearable living conditions. We are said to have the most rum shops per square mile in the Caribbean! Talk about the Spirit and spirits! The sad truth is that materialism and selfishness have overtaken the true psyche of yore, which translated into peace on earth and goodwill towards all mankind. The churches clearly have their work cut out for them. In our view, there are three groups of people most worthy of support at this time; the very poor, the elderly (especially shut-ins) and young children. We therefore urge the Churches, the well-to-do and

corporate entities as well as the political directorate to focus on these three groups so that the true meaning of Christmas can be validated. Too often, it is the greedy, not the needy; the rich and powerful, not the poor and the powerless that get the attention at Christmas. Those corrupt ones who know how to beat the system are always first in line; thus alienating the poor, humble souls especially the mothers and children of Plastic City, who genuinely need assistance and a dose of generosity at this time of year. It is against this background that the constant corruption and lack of good governance by the PPP regime has become perhaps the most debilitating aspect of everyday life. Indeed, it may well be said that the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal has done more to help themselves than to develop the country and improve the lives of the poor and the working class. It is the PPP that has led in continuously turning our

people against each other rather than turning them to one another to mold the nation. This Christmas, one year after the general election, the poor and the working class are no closer towards the attainment of economic prosperity. The only way forward for the country rests not with the uncaring, anti-democratic and anti-working class PPP but with a government that will govern in the interests of all. The writing is on the wall for this regime. A general election sooner rather than later is the answer, so Mr. Nandlall, bring it on! The people must be united to move Guyana forward into the Promised Land. The sooner this happens, the better for the people who will have Christmas throughout the future year in an environment of less deception and more peace! Merry Christmas to all our fellow Guyanese at home and abroad! Dr. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh

Monday December 24, 2012

Kaieteur News

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

Christmas in yesteryear Guyana A tribute to Smythfield DEAR EDITOR, Growing up in Guyana, Christmas was a secular kind of holiday as it signaled the end of the year. Growing up in Berbice, I remember it as being celebrated by every religious group though nonChristians didn’t partake in the church aspects of the festival. Everyone, regardless of faith, looked forward for the season as it was a time for new clothing and special meals. It was a time when the races got together and there was hardly any conflict. Some of the secular activities associated with Christmas are going shopping for new items, including clothing and decoration for the home, giftgiving, feasting, exchanging cards, charity, listening to music, watching shows like the masquerade bands, going to the horse races, visiting friends and relatives for meals, etc. The season offered the opportunity for renewal within the home – the equivalent of a springcleaning in N.Y, and many Caribbean people still hold on to that practice in North America and England. Preparation for the holiday started weeks before X-mas even among nonChristians and the poorest sections of society. Hindus and Muslims were ready for the holidays which are a continuation of their festivals of Eid and Diwali. People wanted their homes to look nice. So one of the activities was remodeling the home; old curtains were washed or replaced. New

cushions may be in place along with new spreads on the beds and new pillows to welcome the new season. In some homes, polishing and varnishing of old furniture and the floor were done. The yard was clean as a whistle. The Christmas tree is up or a tropical tree on the front yard was lit up. In the past, few people could afford a Xmas tree or even decorations. But as family members migrated and sent home remittances and or decorations, more and morepeople began putting up trees and decorating their homes with fancy lights. Even the poorest have lights strung up. The homes and neighborhoods are festooned with trimmings, balloons and other decorations. And the shopping districts are also well decorated but perhaps not as elaborate (except for the wealthy) as in some of the busiest areas in NY. No Caribbean Christmas is without special music. As in North America, Christmas carols were very popular - the same ones heard in North America although there are local ones as well. Businesses advertised their Christmas goods and services early and as such radio and television stations started Christmas programming much sooner than in North America — around mid-November. And the music of the masquerade band was evident almost everywhere. Christmas music was also performed in churches in regular worship services. Church members also perform as carol singers in public

places to raise funds for the church. The season is associated with giving gifts — to relatives, friends, business associates, children, and the needy. Children were told that their gifts were brought by Father Christmas and that they should hang socks. They were encouraged to go to bed by midnight so that Santa can bring their gifts. Gifts were opened in the morning, generally with squeals of delight from the children. Christmas is a time for family get-together. The animal was killed. Families prepare food, cakes and other goodies served with traditional homemade drinks. There was a lot of excitement in baking bread or cake. Relatives, friends and coworkers were invited for a hearty meal. Among the main items served are black cake, ginger beer, apples, grapes, walnuts, dates, etc. A variety of sweets and drinks, including ginger beer, sorrel, cydrax, peardrax, mauby, sherry wine, and hard liquor were also served with the traditional cuisine. In the old days, the “black cake” or sponge cake was served as dessert. The holiday season extended over on Boxing Day. And the celebration continued with more of the same and repeated itself for Old Year and New Year. The season was a time for new movies and many people would go to the cinemas to view hit movies from India or Hollywood. Vishnu Bisram

Will we ever be able to find our way back? DEAR EDITOR, Two recent pieces - one a letter, one a news item caused me to put on my thinking cap. The letter was headed “The age of consumerism” and seemed to me to send out mixed messages. The letter writer speaks of “the reality of a new and changing Guyana, one in which there is greater prosperity and a better quality of life; the large number of business places and supermarkets that are springing up all over the country...the spending power of the Guyanese people... the economy is heating up...the purchasing power of the average Guyanese people”. Then we have “the changing skyline of Sheriff Street’’. (Sorry, on my visit earlier in the year I noted with horror the ugly half-finished multi-storied concrete structures and the piles of

building rubble at ground level, which hindered the smooth flow of traffic in a certain section of Sheriff Street). Further on, we read about “the....strong and robust economy.....”: I wondered to what extent the poor benefited from this. The letter seemed to be a song of praise to the “success of Guyana”. However, the writer ended up reminding readers about the advantages of humility – ie “too many people of power and influence fall prey to the trappings of this material world to such extent that they virtually lose their souls”. An intriguing letter with a fair balance- the carrot and

then the stick. The news item about the Minister sp r e a d i n g Christmas cheer to the elderly, appalled me and left me feeling sad. Not only do we rob children of their penny bank money, but we raid an old people’s home at gunpoint in the middle of the day and steal the residents’ money and pension books people at their most vulnerable! Grilles had to be ‘facilitated’ – in effect, spending one’s twilight years in a virtual prison. We have reached rock bottom. The question arises - will we ever be able to find our way back? A Merry Season to all. Geralda Dennison

A mini health check is the first step to donating blood

DEAR EDITOR, In the 1830s, a steam sawmill was established on the west bank of the Canje Creek by Mr. William Fry to supply lumber for the construction of Fort Canje, now the psychiatric hospital. When emancipation took place and the freed slaves began to leave the nearby estates, Mr. Fry employed many of them to clear the area and plant canes, and applied his steam engine to grind the canes, and so a small sugar estate was established. This employment of the former slaves was a great offence to the former masters of the estates they left; but the Governor, Sir James Carmichael Smyth, was pleased with the idea of this new estate started on the free system and gave Mr. Fry the government land. In gratitude to this Governor, the place was called Smythfield (Temehri - The Journal of the Royal and Commercial Society of British Guiana, Vol. 2, 1883, Page 268). Smythfield later became a coconut estate with a few tenants, and was incorporated in the town of New Amsterdam in the 1970s. Below is a poem about growing up in Smythfield before it joined the town.

SMYTHFIELD Smythfield was a wonderful place to grow up free and wild, Now Smythfield is not the place to be a carefree child. No better place for children no matter where you seek, As this idyllic estate on the banks of the Canje Creek. Adorned with the healthiest coconut trees of all; Oh, the thrill to climb between the branches of the very tall. And since it was forbidden by the rules of the place, You bruise your chest scampering down if someone gave chase. Then there was ‘Building’ where the factory once stood And soaked the land with sugar and blue collar blood, That fertilized the fruit trees, the largest to be found, With fruits the sweetest and the juiciest around. All types of wild fruit in the woods as you roam free, From monkey apple and gulajamoon to glamacherry; The doves and humming birds hunted by sling shot Added that extra flavor to the tasty bushcook pot.

Buck crabs ran wild in Smythfield mid their mating roles, And off season you still load up by invading their holes; Then hand fishing or with hooks, nets and giragiras, There were always patwas, hoories, hassas and sherigas. The adrenaline flowed freely with wild donkey rides And fisticuffs without the law or adults taking sides, With the race to build a kite noisier and bigger, Or swim down Backdam trench or across Canje River. Then progress came to Smythfield as it joined the town; Carved into house lots where trespass laws abound. Out went the rainwater drum with the outhouse ramp, And bills replaced the calabash and the kerosene lamp. Still the innocence of Smythfield is one to be told, As it was born at emancipation in the days of old; And named for the Governor who gave the land To create the first estate never in slavery’s hand. Kingsley HarropWilliams

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Monday December 24, 2012

Boat accident victims laid to rest

Some of the mourners The six victims of last Tuesday’s speedboat accident in the Pomeroon were laid to rest yesterday at La Belle Alliance, Essequibo Coast, with hundreds, including government and regional officials turning out to pay their last respects. The victims are boat captain Harrynarine Bhagwandeen; Velda Rodrigues, 50; Shawn Anthony, 14; Rajkumar Singh, 14 and his sister Amerieta Singh, 10; and Vincent Singh, 42. Pastor Colin Samuels of the Restoration Ministries at Richmond Village conducted the funeral proceedings. Among those present were Cornel Damon, PPP Member of Parliament, Region Two Vice Chairman, Vishnu Samaroo and former PPP Civic stalwart Isahack

Basir. Ten-year-old Amrita Singh had attended the Charity Primary, while her brother, Rajkumar Singh, attended the Eight of May Secondary School. Forty-two-year-old Vincent Singh had returned from the interior where he worked for the past four years. He was taking his niece, Amrita, and her brother to spend time with their grandmother at Abrams Creek when misfortune struck. H a r r i n a r i n e Bhagwandeen was described as a devout Hindu who later converted to Christianity. He was described as a loving and caring individual who was the strength of his family. Beverly Narine, the mother of 14-year-old Rajkumar Singh and ten-year-

old Amerieta Singh, told Kaieteur News that Government officials provided four caskets, along with tins of milk and 15 boxes of biscuits. Mrs. Singh said that the family was promised an additional $400,000. The victims were travelling in a vessel piloted by Bhagwandeen when it crashed into a larger vessel belonging to the Regional Administration. The lone survivor, 12year-old Eli Anthony, was released from the Suddie Public Hospital on Friday. The captain of the Region Two boat was detained but subsequently released on $60.000 thousand dollars bail. The police have indicated that they are seeking advice from the chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Two months after tragedy…

DPP seeks more evidence to ascertain which cop shot Dameon Belgrave The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has asked police to consult again with forensic and ballistic experts before a ruling is made in the October 7 shooting death of 21-year-old Dameon Belgrave. Kaieteur News understands that the DPP is seeking clarity as to which police rank shot Belgrave and wants further information about Belgrave’s wound. According to a source, investigators are set to question the Guyana Police Force’s ballistic experts and also return to the scene of the shooting. They are also likely to ask forensic pathologist Dr. Vivekanand Bridgemohan about the slain man’s wound. What has reportedly

A mini health check is the first step to donating blood

complicated the investigation is the fact the bullet that struck the 21-year-old exited his body. Of the three police ranks that were at the scene, two were armed with assault rifles, while the third had a 9mm pistol. The one with the pistol and one of the ranks who had an assault rifle both admitted to discharging their firearms. While one rank claimed that he shot in the air, the other said he accidentally discharged his weapon. Kaieteur News understands that forensic pathologist Dr. Vivekanand Bridgemohan, who conducted the post mortem, indicated that Belgrave was shot with a high-powered weapon. The DPP had received the Belgrave file last month after Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) Justice Cecil Kennard had examined the report. Belgrave, of Middle

Dameon Belgrave Street, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara, was fatally shot near the White Castle Fish Shop on Hadfield Street, on October 6 by police. The ranks were pursuing a car when a bullet hit Belgrave who was in a pre-birthday celebration with friends. Belgrave would have celebrated his 22nd birthday the following day.

Monday December 24, 2012

Kaieteur News

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Cricket, football and the Marriott Hotel project There is a division in football. There is a division in cricket. There is a division on whether to build the Marriott Hotel. These divisions are multiplying the headaches of the Guyanese people at a time when they are supposed to be enjoying the fruits of ongoing economic growth and development. This column looks at the three divisions so as to understand their sources. The division in local football has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with competition between two corporate beverage giants. One is supporting one football tournament and the other is supporting the other. Local football and the fans are being caught in the middle since one football association has sanctioned one tournament and the official federation has sanctioned the other. Like last year, the finals of both competitions will be held on the same day, thereby forcing fans to split their loyalties, and forcing teams also to decide which tournament they will play in. This division was exploited last year for political purposes but the source of the division in football is not political in nature. In local cricket, there are also divisions. There are two Demerara Boards. But this division is not a political division in the sense of each faction having its own political support.

One faction is independent of politics and the other faction has the support of powerful political figures within the government who have their own agenda towards the administration of cricket. The opposition parties are about to consider a Bill tabled by the government before the National Assembly. This Bill would effectively place the administration of cricket under the thumb of the government. Such a development will mean that Guyana will not be allowed to participate in international or regional cricket because there is no way that either the International Cricket Council or the West Indies Cricket Board is going to respect any formation that arises out of a governmentinspired process. The opposition does not understand the motivations behind the plan to takeover cricket. It is not to put things right. There was a mechanism in place which would have allowed by now for the disputing sides to resolve their differences. But the government is not interested in resolving anything concerning cricket. The government wants to prevail. What the government is after is control because there is big money to be made in cricket and in fact the West Indies cricket Board will soon have its own 20/20 league to match those to the IPL, the

Dem boys seh

Donald playing Santa Donald playing Santa. And he like de part. In fact dem boys seh that this is de best thing he ever do since de opposition behaving like if dem is de government. He tek money and he buy Christmas gift fuh dem old people and dem poor children who parents can’t afford to buy nice things fuh dem children. He travel all over de country but instead of a sleigh which nobody in Guyana ever see, he use dem fancy car de government does use. But he had to prepare. He shave he head and he keep de beard. He also had de belly suh all he had to do was get de suit. When de man tun up at de fuss place everybody clap and then he sit down. Dem children run and sit down pun he lap. Brazzy did tek he children to meet Santa because he don’t believe in spending money when he can get something free. Then he decide fuh sit down pun

Donald lap. De chair break and he and Donald end up pun de floor. De next day Donald fire he security and hire another set. He blame dem from mekking Brazzy come near he. But he like de Santa thing suh he continue. Only thing is that he dealing wid old people because dem not too heavy like Brazzy and dem don’t like sitting down pun people lap fuh de simple reason that when dem sit down dem got serious problem getting up. De man light every Christmas tree in de city and he open de Christmas village in he Santa suit. When de cameras flash de other day when dem open de Christmas village and Donald see de photo in de papers he nearly faint. He tell dem boys is a good thing he didn’t sit down. He see Irfaat in de photo and everybody know that Irfaat got size. Talk half and pray fuh Donald.

Champions League and the Big Bash. The oligarchy in Guyana had the foresight to recognize that cricket is a moneyspinner and the government appreciates the political capital that it can earn by being in control of cricket in Guyana. As such it launched one of the most vicious campaigns to unseat and unravel the existing cricket board. This campaign has involved open political intimidation which would not have been risked in any other sport. This shows how important to the government is the control of cricket. They

want to get their hands on the administration of cricket so that they can reap the political benefits and their cronies can profit in the process. The opposition is being naïve as regards the legislation and should repel it because it is the most dangerous piece of legislation. There are business and political interests behind the plan to take over cricket and these interests have coalesced. The same coalescing has taken place as regards the construction of the Marriott Hotel. The construction of this hotel represents a serious challenge to two business

interests. The old bourgeoisie class knows that the new oligarchy will be enriched by the construction of this hotel. They therefore want this hotel to be stopped because they fear the implications for their own survival. On the other hand, the government which is siding with the new oligarchic class wants this hotel to be built to strengthen its reach in Guyana. Caught in the middle are the people of Guyana who are being wooed to either support this hotel project or not to support it. The divisions here are both political and economic since there is a merger

between the government and the new oligarchic class and there is an opposition party that has ties to a member of the old bourgeoisie class that is opposed to the construction of this hotel. The people must understand these dynamics because politicians like to invoke the interests of the people when they are pursuing the interests of the propertied class be it in football, cricket or in the construction of the Marriott Hotel.

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Monday December 24, 2012

Motorcyclist badly burnt after collision with canter

The burnt remains of Sewdat Arjune’s bike.

The burnt remains of the canter truck. A motorcyclist, Sewdat Arjune, 21, of Blairmont, West Bank Berbice, sustained severe burns yesterday after his bike burst into flames during an accident with a truck. The incident occurred at around 11:35 hours on the Williamsburg Public Road, Corentyne. This publication was told that the truck bearing the slogan ‘Jealousy kills’ made a sudden u-turn on the public road and ended up into the path of the motorcycle. The vehicle was driven by Mohan Mohammed of Lot 475 Number One Road, Corentyne. An eyewitness, Police Prosecutor Roberto Fugeria, said the driver of the Canter came out of a spare parts store and made a U turn in front of the CBR, causing the rider to lose control and end up under the truck. This was followed by a loud explosion and fire

The injured Sewdat Arjune upon arrival at the New Amsterdam Hospital. erupted from under the canter. Arjune was rushed to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital with severe burns to his lower body. The man’s motorcycle was burnt beyond

recognition. A fire tender from the Rose Hall Fire Station was summoned to the scene to assist with extinguishing the flames. The truck driver was taken into police custody.

Shopkeeper, 71, shot dead... (From page 3) close friends suggested that Cox was washing some utensils at a pipe outside his shop when the bandits attacked him. Police in a press release stated that they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of businessman Deryck Cox, who was found with suspected gunshot wounds to his body at the entrance to his grocery shop at about 22:50 hours on Saturday. The police said that investigators recovered two spent shells at the scene. Cox’s killing occurred just as the closely knit community was in the midst of preparing for Christmas and for many villagers, it has certainly dampened their spirits. When this newspaper visited the scene early yesterday morning, many of them were still in shock with one woman remarking that she had fallen sick as a result of Cox’s death, especially the manner in which

it occurred. Adeli, a relative who lives in the same yard recalled that it was a little after 2:00 hrs, and she was in her living room when she heard a loud sound as several cases of bottles crashed to the ground. Immediately after she heard the sounds of what sounded like two gunshots. Adeli said that she did not venture out of her house although she was convinced that the sounds were coming from Cox’s shop, which is situated at the front of the yard. Eventually the bandits must have fled leaving the mortally wounded Cox lying in a pool of blood. He however called out to Adeli, asking her to call for help. “I could not come out because is a young baby I got here, so I push the window and he keep talking to me…but he tell me to call his nephew…I call them and they came,” Adeli told this newspaper

She said that all that timeCox, who kept himself physically well, was still alive. “He was gasping for breath, he was right there by the door lying on the ground. The confusion was great; who ain’t had taxi number, but lil after they get something to take him to the hospital”. She believes that the bandits fled empty handed. “They didn’t carry away anything because the drawer with the money, everything deh the same way. I can’t really say if they thief anything,” she added. According to relatives, Cox, who had been operating the shop for decades, was robbed on several occasions and had vowed after then to defend his property against any further attack. That position apparently cost him his life. So far, investigators have not arrested anyone. A post mortem examination will be performed on Cox’s body today.

Monday December 24, 2012

Kaieteur News

First Lady brings Christmas glee to children across Guyana Scores of children were in for a special treat this Christmas, as First Lady Deolatchmie Ramotar, decided to visit various communities across the country distributing toys and goodies to the little ones. The activity kicked off last Wednesday at the annual children’s Christmas party held on the lawns of State House. The event brought holiday cheer to approximately 150 children, as Mrs. Ramotar distributed gifts and delicious goodies. The party was organised by the First Lady’s Foundation which is focused on promoting family-related activities to improve the lives of children. In a brief comment the First Lady stressed the importance of children being showered with love and affection, as only then would they be able to pass love onto their children and the future generation. The First Lady noted that this year, she has opted to put smiles on the faces of children, not only in Georgetown but on the East Coast, Essequibo, West

First Lady Deolatchmie Ramotar distributes goodies to children, Coast and East Bank as well. “We will be taking these gifts and refreshments to the children to spread the cheer and make their holiday a little more special.” In addition to receiving gifts, the children were given an opportunity to participate in entertainment activities,

such as face painting and musical chairs. The children, most of whom were accompanied by their parents, also had a photo opportunity with Santa Claus. They were later treated with refreshments and participated in other games, and collected toys.

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British pub experience for Giftland Mall Giftland Mall and Britannia Pubs Guyana (BPG) Inc. announced recently the licensing agreement with MCG Investments, located at Turkeyen East Coast, Demerara. Bobby Prashad, who is an accountant by training, is a director of BPG, and an experienced licensed bar operator in Florida, USA. He said, “BPG is excited at the opportunity to bring the British pub experience to Guyana at Giftland Mall.” The cultural bonds shared between Guyana and Britain make this an ideal opportunity for Guyanese and British expatriates to enjoy a home away from home. There will be several British beers poured cold from the tap as well as delicious and hearty pub favorites such as steak and kidney pie, pork pies, banger and mash and cold cuts. Lovely lasses will be dressed in traditional wenches outfits to complete that “Ole British Pub” effect. Giftland’s President, Roy Beepat, said that this will be an ideal opportunity for patrons, their family and friends to enjoy a relaxed

Chief Executive Officer of Giftland Ian Ramdeo receives the MOU after signing the agreement with director of BPG, Bobby Prashad. convivial embrace that is the pub experience, which will be recreated in a traditional dark Oak wood atmosphere. An international designer will be planning the layout for this very special Pub, which will feature many of the traditional Pub activities such as dart competitions etc. The Pub joins a select list of International names which have been screened and carefully chosen, and adhere to Giftland’s rigid international standards. They have signed on to the Giftland

Mall. These include Church’s Chicken, Mario’s, Quiznos, and Caribbean Cinemas. It is expected that the Mall will soon be announcing other major companies to join in this exciting venture. Chief Executive Officer of Giftland, Ian Ramdeo, said that with the current signings and the ones being negotiated that the Mall is over 80 per cent filled and he expects all concessions to be fully taken up by the time of opening.

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Christmas cheer for Buxton’s youngest crime wave victims For the past five years, a few thoughtful citizens have been rendering assistance to children from Buxton who lost their fathers during the horrendous 2002-2006 crime wave. And this generosity has continued during the Christmas season, with the benevolent citizens handing over gifts to children from the once-troubled village. Instrumental in this venture is Cyrus Boyce, a Buxton resident and friend of slain political activist Ronald Waddell. Also involved is Barrington Braithwaite, writer, artist and folklorist, and several others. According to them, many of the youths lost their fathers, either by death or imprisonment during a period when the village was engulfed in violence and under constant surveillance by the country’s armed forces. Mr. Braithwaite said that it was the concern of Mr.

Fascinated with their toys Boyce that several of the youth’s had been left without a father figure. The aim of yesterday’s venture is to bring the Christmas spirit to the children and to show them appreciation. While the annual treat normally caters for 150 children, at least 200 children

enjoyed refreshments, toys and other treats. Mr. Braithwaite said that the group normally hosts their event on the Sunday before Christmas and often have a massive turn out at the Friendship Primary School. The group thanked private persons who contributed donations.

Monday December 24, 2012

Govt.’s complaints to international bodies biggest irony of the year Regional Chairman of Linden Sharma Solomon says that the government’s complaints about threats to democracy must be the irony of this century. According to Solomon it is the government that is threatening democracy by its failure to accept the will of the majority and implement the decisions made in the National Assembly. He said that the people of Guyana have given the mandate to the opposition to check the excesses of the government by giving majority support to the opposition and subjecting the government to the will of the people by making them a minority. Solomon said that the minority government has singled out the Linden issue as a threat to democracy. He said that it is noteworthy that the people of Linden/Region Ten are in a fight to ensure that democracy works at both the national and regional levels. He said that the people of Region 10 and Linden are fighting to ensure that there is respect for the right to protest, to life and preventing the government from shooting down unarmed protestors, freedom of expression, sharing of ideas and information; the right to freedom of association and assemble; the right to pursue

- Sharma Solomon economic development; the right to be involved in decision-making and management on matters that affect their wellbeing; and the right to be treated as first class citizen in the land of their birth. Solomon said that he is calling on the international community to remember their role and commitment to democracy and ask that in their engagement with the government they remind them about the honour of governing in the interest of all. “Remind them that in a democracy it is the majority that rules and not the minority and that it is normal in democracies for the legislature to act as a check on the excesses and arbitrary use of power by the government,” Solomon noted. Solomon has also shifted his eyes to the private sector, saying that they must be reminded of the loudness of their voices in calling for solutions to the Linden protest action. In the circumstances Solomon said that if the private sector is truly independent and is pursuing its own interest and have the people’s interest at heart, they must display

similar loudness in calling on the government to honour the Agreement of 21st August 2012. Solomon said that the region’s continued interaction with the people of Linden convinces the regional leadership that the people are tired with the old thinking and no longer want to bear the scars of this bygone era. He said that the new thinking demands politics of inclusivity, rule of law, dignity and respect for all. The Region hopes this can be realized in the near future. As responsible leaders of Region 10, the engagements with the government will continue because civilized beings have to continue talking. He said that the region approaches the engagements with the government in the spirit of compromise while promoting and protecting the interests of the people of Region 10. Solomon said, “Compromise for us means we will not abandon the principles of the Constitution and the honoring of our laws. Our actions will be guided by the intent of the Constitution as it relates to local government”.

Causing death driver granted $650,000 bail One of the drivers from the accident on the Mahaicony Park Public Road on December 10 that claimed the life of Ramlakhan Samaroo has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving. Garfield Ralph 47 of Cumberland East Canje Berbice appeared on Friday, before Magistrate Ali at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court and was granted bail in the sum of $650,000. According to reports on Monday December 10 Ralph

was heading towards Georgetown in his car when in the vicinity of Mahaicony Park, he overtook another vehicle and headed back into his lane. He subsequently slowed down and the vehicle behind him ran into his vehicle. Samaroo who was a passenger in the other vehicle was seriously injured. The 67-year-old of Novar, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, was rushed to the Georgetown hospital where he succumbed at about 16:30

hours on Tuesday. A post-mortem examination which was performed on his body on the 17th by Government Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh at the Georgetown Hospital give the cause of death as a fractured spine and other injuries. Ralph’s case has been transferred to the Mahaicony Magistrate’s Court, where he is scheduled to return on January 14, 2013. The other driver was not charged.

Monday December 24, 2012

Kaieteur News

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Family still mourns missing cook from capsized vessel Six months has passed since the Miss Elliza capsized with 65-year-old Gerald Fraser aboard, and the man’s death has not come any easier for his family; especially for his commonlaw wife of 13 years, Jean Thompson. Mrs. Thompson said there will be no Christmas for her this year, since there is nothing joyous to celebrate. The 65-year-old woman of Lot 2 Drysdale Street, Charlestown said that for the past three years her husband had been living in Trinidad and Tobago but last year was the first time since he had been home for the holidays. She said though he was home for a short while, it was a wonderful Christmas, since his company was what mattered. Mrs. Thompson is however very upset about the

way her husband’s death was handled by the government and the authorities. Since his disappearance, no one has visited her home or offered a word of condolence. In fact she said that the only time she saw a government official was when she saw Minister of Works Robeson Benn at the Muneshwer’s Wharf on the day of the accident. He had promised, Mrs. Thompson said, to keep her updated on what was happening, but to date no contact has been made. Instead, the woman said she has been learning about ownership of the boat being handed over and the hiring of an attorney through the media. Mrs. Thompson said she no longer sleeps in the room she and her husband once occupied because she said there are too many memories.

East Canje man charged for harbouring alleged wife-killer Kenneth Khanai called “Puri” who was recently charged for having an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, is now being charged for harbouring an alleged wife-killer. He appeared on Wednesday in the Reliance Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo. Prosecutor Corporal Orin Joseph stated that Khanai, harboured and assisted Ramdhanie Persaud called ‘Prackash’ or ‘Prack, ’ who had murdered his reputed wife, Bibi Shameena Deen, on Tuesday 20th March at their home. Khanai’s attorney, Charrandasss Persaud, applied for bail, but this

request was refused. In the meanwhile the trial is continuing in the gun and ammo matter. The police acting on information had descended on a farm owned by the accused at Bess Cut, New Forest East Canje Berbice where they allegedly found a .38 special revolver, 23 -16 gauge cartridges and seven live 12 gauge cartridges. Khanai, who was found on the farm, was arrested and charged. A later test of the weapon showed that it was used to kill Deen. Khanai had told investigators that Persaud hid the weapon there. Both matters will continue on Wednesday 23rd January 2013.

Chopped wife discharged, attacker still at large Celena Butts, the woman who was chopped on the head and hand by her common-law husband at around 20:00hrs last week Saturday, has been discharged from the High Dependency Unity (HDU) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). Meanwhile, Butts’s common-law husband of five years, Stephen “Eddie Grant” Sukhram, is still on the run. Initial reports suggested that the 52-year-old woman was preparing dinner when her husband chopped her with a cutlass. The woman, a shop owner, reportedly managed to disarm her attacker, who then picked up an axe and continued to slash Butts about her body

and head. The attack reportedly stemmed from an argument that the couple had hours earlier, which resulted in Sukhram storming out of the home before returning to commit the act. Butts was rushed to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where she was treated for wounds to the head and right arm, before being admitted to the hospital’s HDU.

A mini health check is the first step to donating blood

Photos are hard to look at and the wardrobe filled with her husband’s clothes is kept locked as looking at the clothes only brings back gloomy memories. She said there is no closure to the pain she feels. “Maybe if something was done, maybe then I would have felt satisfied and at ease, but they did nothing.” “Who feels it knows it,” the woman said citing that the government felt that to raise the boat would have been too expensive. Mrs. Thompson said she was the last person her husband spoke to the day he died. She recalled he had left to prepare dinner for the boat’s crew members and was expected to return home since the boat was not supposed to sail until midnight. “I was waiting and looking out for him to return

so that we could say goodbye, but he never came.” Thompson said he called to let her know that the boat was leaving and told her to listen to the engine. The woman however said that her children assist her since she is a pensioner and depended on her husband. “He told me I must give his things to his son if anything should happen to him, but I can’t I just not ready to let go. Loneliness is no easy thing.” In the meantime, Attorney-at-law Melvin Duke, who is representing Fraser’s daughter who resides in the United States, is moving forward with a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawyer said that the boat owner has indicated his willingness to compensate the family. He said the

Gerald Fraser and Jean Thompson last year in front of their Drysdale Street home. compensation process is likely by January next year. Attorney-at-law Euclin Gomes who is representing

the boat owner has already made such indication of their willingness to compensate the family.

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Monday December 24, 2012

Region 9 receives minibuses and tractor

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai hands over minibus keys to Toshao Michael Allicock of Surama As 2012 draws to a close, the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs is pushing to deliver on promised assistance to Amerindian communities. It is in this regards that subject Minister Pauline Sukhai, just three weeks after visiting Region Nine, returned for three-days (December 21-23), and delivered on pledged support for transportation assistance to Taushida, Wowetta and Surama. Taushida, received a brand-new John Deere tractor to the tune of $10M, whilst Wowetta and Surama

each benefitted from a minibus costing $2.9M. Taushida will use the tractor to support its farming activities while the mini-buses will reduce transportation woes of the village council and residents of the Region Nine communities. Despite the year 2012 being a challenging one for the Ministry with several projects affected by budget cuts including those that support Amerindian villages’ development, the Ministry has been working diligently and sought to deliver on all commitments made to Amerindian

communities whether it relates to boosting transportation or electricity via solar panels. During Minister Sukhai’s November 29-December 3 visit to the Region, Katoka, Toka, Shea and Pai Pang each received a tractor and trailer costing $10M. A motorcycle was delivered to Senior Councillor Gloria Duarte of Rupertee Village, South Rupununi, to assist her in carrying out her functions, and for community purposes, especially for health care. (GINA feature)

Man drowns at highway creek Police are seeking the identity of a man who drowned at around 17:00 hrs yesterday in a creek on the Soesdyke/Linden highway. The victim was pronounced dead on arrival at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre after he was pulled from the creek. He is of East Indian descent, slim in build and has a tattoo of a male face on the right side of his of his chest.

This publication was told that the incident occurred at around 17:30 hours near the Aziza Akousa resort. Eyewitnesses told this publication that from all indications the man appeared to have been heavily intoxicated and was frolicking in the water. “People say they see the man swimming round in the water and then a lil while after they just see he go under the water but they

didn’t pay attention because they think he just dive, but after he aint raise up people start searching fuh he,” one eyewitness said. However, a few minute later the man was pulled from the water and was frothing from his mouth and was unconscious. The man was immediately rushed to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Grand Christmas welcome for arrivals at CJIA A grand Guyanese Christmas Welcome awaited more than 500 passengers arriving at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), early yesterday morning. With a dancing Santa and the sounds of a one man band to guide their way, visitors were given traditional black cake compliments of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Ministry of Tourism, NAMILCO and Global

Marketing Agency. In keeping with the holiday tradition, several other companies, including Beharry and Banks DIH and the CJIA also distributed beverages and sweets to the passengers as they entered the airport. Despite the hassle of travelling, smiles and happy grins lit the faces of the passengers as they were warmly welcomed at the immigration area.

This welcome activity, which culminated yesterday, formed part of the Tourism Ministry calendar of activities which is staged annually. “This is part of our annual calendar of event and we also organise similar events for Emancipation, Diwali, and other national holidays. Visitors and returning Guyanese are given a taste of our Guyanese culture,” explained the GTA Director, Indranauth Haralsingh.

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Monday December 24, 2012

Monday December 24, 2012

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Air strike kills dozens of Syrians waiting to buy bread BEIRUT (Reuters) Dozens of people were killed and many more wounded in a Syrian government air strike that hit a bakery where a crowd was queuing for bread yesterday, activists said. If confirmed, the attack on Halfaya in central Syria, which was seized by rebels last week, would be one of the deadliest air strikes of Syria’s civil war. Videos uploaded by activists showed dozens of bloodstained corpses lying amid rubble and shrapnel. An adolescent boy with both his feet blown off lay flailing in the middle of a road. “When I got there, I could see piles of bodies all over the ground. There were women and children,” said Samer al-Hamawi, an activist in the town. “There are also dozens of wounded people.” Residents of Halfaya told Reuters they estimated 90 dead. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group

Free Syrian Army fighters take their positions as one of them fires during clashes with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. REUTERS/Saad Al-Jabri with a network of activists across Syria, counted 60 killed. “The number is likely to rise because there are dozens of wounded being treated in the area and nearby hospitals, among them 50 in critical condition,” it said.

Activists say more than 44,000 people have been killed in the 21 months since protests erupted against President Bashar al-Assad, inspired by the Arab Spring revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. Amid the latest carnage,

Taliban not demanding Afghan power monopoly KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban representatives at a conference did not insist on total power in Afghanistan and pledged to grant rights to women that the militant Islamist group itself brutally suppressed in the past, according to a Taliban statement received yesterday. The pledges emerged from a rare meeting last week involving Taliban and Kabul government representatives. The less strident substance and tone came in a speech delivered at a conference in France. The French hosts described it as a discussion among Afghans rather than peace negotiations. It was hard to determine whether the softer line taken by the Taliban representatives reflected a real shift in policy or a salvo in the propaganda war for the hearts and minds of Afghans. The speech said that a new constitution would protect civil and political rights of all citizens. It promised that women would be allowed to choose husbands, own property, attend school and seek work, rights denied them during Taliban rule, which ended with the 2001 U.S. invasion. The speech was emailed from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. “We are not looking to monopolize power. We want

an all-Afghan inclusive government,” the speech said. It was delivered by two Taliban officials, Mawlawi Shahbuddin Dilawar and Muhammad Naeem during the conference on Thursday and Friday. Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said the government welcomed such talks but did not expect them to bridge the gap between the warring sides. The United States started to embrace the idea of peace talks after President Barack Obama took office, but discussions stalled in recent years, despite the formation of an Afghan government council tasked with reaching out to the Taliban and the establishment of a Taliban political office in Qatar. “The peace initiative is a process, and one or two or three meetings are not going to solve the problems. But we are hopeful for the future,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai said. He said the government’s preconditions for the talks with the Taliban have not changed: a cease-fire, recognition of the Afghan constitution, cutting ties with international terrorists and agreeing to respect the rights of Afghan citizens including women and children. The Taliban speech reiterated the group’s own longtime policies, declaring that the current constitution was “illegitimate because it is

written under the shadow of (U.S.) B-52 aircraft” and that the Taliban remained the legitimate government of the country, a reference to the U.S.-led campaign that drove the Taliban from power. It also called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and said a 2014 national election was “not beneficial for solving the Afghan quandary” because it would take place while the country was still under foreign occupation. Most NATO forces are scheduled to be withdrawn by 2014. The Kabul government and its international backers hope that a peace deal can be brokered with the Taliban and other militant groups before the pullout. NATO still has more than 100,000 troops, including 66,000 U.S. soldiers, on the ground. Washington is now determining the size of a scaled down force the United States will keep in Afghanistan after 2014. “The occupation must be ended as a first step, which is the desire of the entire nation, because this is the mother of all these tragedies,” the speech said. The conference was also attended by the Hezb-eIslami group, which is allied with the Taliban, and political opponents of President Hamid Karzai, whom the Taliban regard as a puppet of Washington.

United Nations-backed crisis mediator Lakhdar Brahimi arrived for more talks in Syria. He had to drive from neighboring Lebanon because fighting around Damascus International Airport has effectively shut it down. The uprising has grown into civil war, with death tolls regularly topping 100 people a day as the army hits back at rebels who have made a string of advances across the country, including around the capital. According to the Observatory, more than 180 Syrians, civilians and fighters, died yesterday. In defiant remarks, Syrian Information Minister Umran Ahid al-Za’bi said rebels and their foreign allies should “forget” trying to topple Assad. He appeared to move away from the conciliatory tone of the Syrian vice president, who said last week that neither side could win the war and called for a national unity government. “These military efforts to try to topple the government, of getting rid of the president, of occupying the capital ...

Forget about this,” al-Za’bi told a news conference in Damascus. “I have general advice to those political powers that reject dialogue: time is getting short. Hurry and move on to working on a political solution.” Brahimi, who replaced Kofi Annan after the former U.N. chief failed to get Assad and world powers to agree on a way to end the conflict, was expected to meet the president today. Western powers and some Arab countries have repeatedly demanded that Assad step down. Witness Hamawi said more than 1,000 people had been queuing at the bakery in the town of Halfaya. Shortages of fuel and flour have made bread production erratic across the country, and people often wait hours to buy loaves. “We hadn’t received flour in around three days so everyone was going to the bakery today, and lots of them were women and children,” Hamawi said. “I still don’t know yet if my relatives are among the dead.”

New York-based Human Rights Watch condemned army air strikes on bakeries earlier this year, arguing that in some incidents the Syrian military was not using enough precision to target rebel sites, and in other instances it may have intentionally hit civilians. In video from the attack site, women and children cried and screamed as men rushed with motorbikes and vans to carry away victims. There was no independent media access to the scene, as the government restricts press access in Syria. In one video, the cameraman could be heard sobbing as he filmed. “God is great, God is great. It was a war plane, a war plane,” he cried. One man was seen stopping to pick up half a corpse lying in the street, wrapping it up in his own jacket and carrying it away. Residents were using their bare hands to dig for bodies underneath blocks of concrete. “Where are the Arabs, where is the world?” shouted one man. “Look at all of these bodies!”

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Monday December 24, 2012

Egyptians back new constitution in referendum CAIRO (Reuters) - An Islamist-backed Egyptian constitution won approval in a referendum, rival camps said yesterday, after a vote the opposition said would sow deep social divisions in the Arab world’s most populous nation. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled President Mohamed Mursi to power in a June election, said an unofficial tally showed 64 percent of voters backed the charter after two rounds of voting that ended with a final ballot on Saturday. An opposition official also told Reuters their unofficial count showed the result was a “yes” vote, while party spokesmen said there had been a series of abuses during the voting. The main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, responded to the defeat by saying it was moving towards forming a single political party to challenge the Islamists who have dominated the ballot box since strongman Hosni Mubarak was overthrown two years ago.

Members of the opposition, taking heart from a low turnout of about 30 percent of voters, pledged to keep up pressure on Mursi through peaceful protests and other democratic means. “The referendum is not the end of the road,” said Khaled Dawoud, a spokesman for the National Salvation Front. “It is only the beginning of a long struggle for Egypt’s future.” The referendum committee may not declare official results for the two rounds until Monday, after hearing appeals. If the outcome is confirmed, a parliamentary election will follow in about two months. Mursi’s Islamist backers say the constitution is vital for the transition to democracy, nearly two years after Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising. It will provide the stability needed to help a fragile economy, they say. The constitution was “a historic opportunity to unite all national powers on the basis of mutual respect and honest dialogue for the sake of stabilizing the nation,” the

Brotherhood said in a statement. The opposition accuses Mursi of pushing through a text that favors Islamists and ignores the rights of Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the population, as well as women. They say it is a recipe for further unrest. The opposition said voting in both rounds was marred by abuses. However, an official said the overall vote favored the charter. “The majority is not big and the minority is not small,” liberal politician Amr Hamzawy said, adding that the National Salvation Front would use “all peaceful, democratic means” such as protests to challenge the constitution. The vote was split over two days as many judges had refused to supervise the ballot, making a single day of voting impossible. During the build-up to the vote there were deadly protests, sparked by Mursi’s decision to award himself extra powers in a November 22 decree and then to fasttrack the constitutional vote.

Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi casts his vote during a referendum on the new Egyptian constitution at a polling station in Cairo. REUTERS/Egyptian Presidency/Handout. The new basic law sets a limit of two four-year presidential terms. It says the principles of sharia, Islamic law, remain the main source of legislation but adds an article to explain this. It also says Islamic authorities will

be consulted on sharia - a source of concern to Christians and others. Rights groups reported what they said were illegalities in voting procedures. They said some polling stations opened late,

that Islamists illegally campaigned at some polling places, and complained of irregularities in voter registration. But the committee overseeing the two-stage vote said its investigations showed no major irregularities in voting on December 15, which covered about half of Egypt’s 51 million voters. About 25 million were eligible to vote in the second round. The Brotherhood said turnout was about a third of voters. The opposition says the constitution will stir up more trouble on the streets since it has not received sufficiently broad backing for a document that should be agreed by consensus, and raised questions about the fairness of the vote. In the first round, the district covering most of Cairo voted “no,” which opponents said showed the depth of division. “I see more unrest,” said Ahmed Said, head of the liberal Free Egyptians Party and a member of the opposition Front. He cited “serious violations” on the first day of voting, and said anger against Mursi was growing. “People are not going to accept the way they are dealing with the situation.” At least eight people were killed in protests outside the presidential palace in Cairo this month. Islamists and rivals clashed in Alexandria, the second-biggest city, on the eves of both voting days.

North Korea could have U.S. within missile range, says South SEOUL (Reuters) - This month’s rocket launch by reclusive North Korea shows it has likely developed the technology, long suspected i n t h e We s t , t o f i r e a warhead more than 10,000 km (6,200 miles), South Korean officials said yesterday, putting the U.S. West Coast in range. North Korea said the December 12 launch put a weather satellite in orbit but critics say it was aimed at nurturing the kind of technology needed to mount a nuclear warhead on a longrange missile. North Korea is banned from testing missile or nuclear technology under U.N. sanctions imposed after its 2006 and 2009 nuclear weapons tests and the U.N. Security Council condemned the launch. South Korea retrieved and analyzed parts of the first-

stage rocket that dropped in the waters off its west coast “As a result of analyzing the material of Unha-3 (North Korea’s rocket), we judged North Korea had secured a range of more than 10,000 km in case the warhead is 500-600 kg,” a South Korean Defense Ministry official told a news briefing. North Korea’s previous missile tests ended in failure. North Korea, which denounces the United States as the mother of all warmongers on an almost daily basis, has spent decades and scarce resources to try to develop technology capable of striking targets as far away as the United States and it is also working to build a nuclear arsenal. But experts believe the North is still years away from mastering the technology needed to miniaturize a nuclear bomb to mount on a

missile. South Korean defense officials also said there was no confirmation whether the North had the re-entry technology needed for a payload to survive the heat and vibration without disintegrating. Despite international condemnation, the launch this month was seen as a major boost domestically to the credibility of the North’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, who took over power from his father who died last year. Apparently encouraged by the euphoria, the fledgling supreme leader called for the development and launching of “a variety of more working satellites” and “carrier rockets of bigger capacity” at a banquet in Pyongyang on Friday which he hosted for those who contributed to the lift-off, according to North Korean state media.

Monday December 24, 2012

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Italy’s Monti opens door to seeking new term ROME (Reuters) - Two days after stepping down, Mario Monti announced yesterday he would consider seeking a second term as Italian prime minister if approached by allies committed to backing his austere brand of reforms. The former European commissioner, appointed to lead an unelected government of experts to save Italy from financial crisis a year ago, resigned on Friday but has faced growing calls to seek a second term at a parliamentary election on February 24-25. At stake is the leadership of the world’s eighth largest economy, where recession and public debt of more than 2 trillion ($2.63 billion) have aggravated investor concerns about growth and stability in the euro zone. “If a credible political force asked me to be candidate as prime minister for them, I would consider it,” said Monti, who has imposed repeated tax hikes and spending cuts to shore up Italy’s strained public finances. He had kept his position

Prime Minister Mario Monti a closely guarded secret for weeks, and in recent days had appeared to be have strong doubts about whether to continue in front-line politics. He made clear that if he ran, it would probably be at the head of a centrist grouping. Monti held back from committing himself fully to the race, and said he was aware any decision to stay in politics carried “many risks and a high probability of failure”. “I am not in any party. I am ready to give my

appreciation and encouragement, to be leader and to take on any responsibility I may be given by parliament,” he said. As a senator for life, Monti has no need to run for election to parliament but he said he would publish a detailed agenda of recommendations for a future government and would potentially be willing to lead a party that adopted it as its own. Still serving as caretaker leader, Monti is widely respected for restoring Italy’s reputation after the scandalplagued era of his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi. The former economics professor is backed strongly by Italy’s business establishment and by EU allies including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has been urged to stay by centrist groups ranging from disaffected former Berlusconi allies to the small UDC party, which is close to the Catholic church. But there is little sign of enthusiasm for a second term among voters weary of his

UK ‘plebgate’ scandal becomes police crisis

LONDON (AP) — The “plebgate” scandal started with an angry exchange over a bicycle in front of Downing Street. The controversy over what a senior politician did or didn’t say to officers guarding the prime minister’s official residence has now grown into a full-blown crisis which is raising new questions about the ethics of Britain’s largest police force. Scotland Yard’s reputation has already been battered over its failure to curb lawbreaking journalists and police corruption exposed in the phone hacking scandal which exploded last year. The force faces renewed scrutiny after Andrew Mitchell, formerly the Conservative Party’s chief whip, said a police report quoting him as abusing officers as “morons” and “plebs” — a term of abuse for working-class people — was based on lies. “For the next three weeks, these awful phrases were hung round my neck in a concerted attempt to toxify the Conservative party and destroy my political career,” Mitchell wrote in The Sunday Times, describing the period which followed the leak of a police report into the incident. “I never uttered those phrases; they are completely untrue.” Mitchell has long acknowledged losing his temper and swearing as he tried to maneuver his bike into Downing Street on the evening of Sept. 19. He was running late and officers were refusing to open the main gate, he said. But he has long denied using the term “pleb” or telling officers to “learn your place,” words which he described yesterday as “a bad caricature of what an ill-mannered 1930s upperclass lout might say.” In Britain, a country very sensitive to issues of social class, the story dominated the headlines for weeks. Some police

constables, or PCs, walked around with Tshirts bearing the words “PC Pleb.” Political opponents called for Mitchell to lose his job. When an email from what appeared to be an independent witness emerged to corroborate the police account, Mitchell found himself with little choice but to resign in October. The police account, however, has now been challenged; the independent witness was allegedly a policeman who wasn’t even at the scene. Security camera footage taken from Downing Street and broadcast by Britain’s Channel 4 didn’t seem to line up with the officers’ accounts. Two people have been arrested as Scotland Yard has pledged to get to the bottom of what happened. “The allegations in relation to this case are extremely serious,” Scotland Yard chief Bernard Hogan-Howe said in a statement Sunday. “For the avoidance of doubt, I am determined there will be a ruthless search for the truth — no matter where the truth takes us.” If it turned out that officers conspired to frame Mitchell, it would be another dark chapter for the respected force, which has already seen several high-profile resignations and arrests and a wrenching police corruption probe spawned by the phone hacking scandal. Politicians are already talking of the need for reform. Britain’s former policing minister, Nick Herbert, said journalists and public servants might reflect on whether they jumped to conclusions about Mitchell, but added that “it is the police service which above all must take stock and examine its own culture.” The scandal, meanwhile, has revived Mitchell’s political fortunes, with many calling for him to be reinstated to Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet.

austerity policies. A survey last week showed 61 percent did not think he should stand. It said a potential centrist alliance under his leadership was likely to gain around 15 percent support. Both Berlusconi’s centerright People of Freedom (PDL) party and the centerleft Democratic Party (PD), which is leading in the opinion polls, have urged Monti not to stand in the election. Berlusconi, who left office last year with fraud charges and a juvenile prostitution scandal hanging over him, has accused Monti’s “Germano-centric” government of worsening recession with austerity measures, including a deeply unpopular housing tax he has promised to scrap. In an exchange which may give a taste of bitter campaigning to come, Berlusconi said his nightmare would be a government with Monti at its head and Gianfranco Fini, a former ally turned bitter foe who supports the premier, “coming out of the sewers”. Fini’s lieutenant Fabio

Granata responded by saying Berlusconi’s remark was “fitting for his court of thieves, mafiosi, corrupt politicians, slaves and prostitutes.” Monti was also scathing about Berlusconi, whom he replaced as Italy teetered on the brink of disaster in November 2011. He said he had been “bewildered” by the 76-year-old media tycoon’s frequent changes of position. And, in an interview with La Repubblica daily, he expressed incredulity that Italians might re-elect Berlusconi “after seeing the damage he did to the Italian economy and the credibility of the country”. PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani, whose party has backed Monti in parliament and pledges to maintain the broad course he has set, was more cautious, saying he would look at Monti’s reform proposals closely but that it would be up to voters to decide. Monti said he hoped the next government would have a strong majority to pursue a programme that would extend the reforms his government

had begun, in areas ranging from the labor market to justice and cutting the bloated cost of the political system. He said the next government must not make easy election promises or backtrack on reforms: “We have to avoid illusory and extremely dangerous steps backwards.” During his 13 months in office, Monti hiked taxes severely and chopped backed spending while pushing through reforms of the pension system, labor market and parts of the service sector. However, many analysts said his efforts were too timid to significantly improve the outlook of a chronically sluggish economy, and Monti himself said that Italy was “only at the beginning of the structural reforms” required. Italy, the euro zone’s third-largest economy, has been in recession since the middle of last year. Consumer spending is falling at its fastest rate since World War Two and unemployment has risen to a record high above 11 percent.

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Monday December 24, 2012

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Peru’s capital highly vulnerable to major quake LIMA, Peru (AP) — The earthquake all but flattened colonial Lima, the shaking so violent that people tossed to the ground couldn’t get back up. Minutes later, a 50-foot (15-meter) wall of Pacific Ocean crashed into the adjacent port of Callao, killing all but 200 of its 5,000 inhabitants. Bodies washed ashore for weeks. Plenty of earthquakes have shaken Peru’s capital in the 266 years since that fateful night of Oct. 28, 1746, though none with anything near the violence. The relatively long “seismic silence” means that Lima, set astride one of the most volatile ruptures in the Earth’s crust, is increasingly at risk of being hammered by a one-two, quake-tsunami punch as calamitous as what devastated Japan last year and traumatized Santiago, Chile, and its nearby coast a year earlier, seismologists say. Yet this city of 9 million people is sorely unprepared. From densely clustered, unstable housing to a dearth of first-responders, its acute vulnerability is unmatched regionally. Peru’s National Civil Defense Institute forecasts up to 50,000 dead, 686,000 injured and 200,000 homes destroyed if Lima is hit by a magnitude-8.0 quake. “In South America, it is the most at risk,” said architect Jose Sato, director of the Center for Disaster Study and Prevention, or PREDES, a nongovernmental group financed by the charity Oxfam that is working on reducing Lima’s quake vulnerability. Lima is home to a third of Peru’s population, 70 percent

of its industry, 85 percent of its financial sector, its entire central government and the bulk of international commerce. “A quake similar to what happened in Santiago would break the country economically,” said Gabriel Prado, Lima’s top official for quake preparedness. That quake had a magnitude of 8.8. Quakes are frequent in Peru, with about 170 felt by people annually, said Hernando Tavera, director of seismology at the country’s Geophysical Institute. A big one is due, and the chances of it striking increase daily, he said. The same collision of tectonic plates responsible for the most powerful quake ever recorded, a magnitude9.5 quake that hit Chile in 1960, occurs just off Lima’s coast, where about 3 inches of oceanic crust slides annually beneath the continent. A 7.5-magnitude quake in 1974 a day’s drive from Lima in the Cordillera Blanca range killed about 70,000 people as landslides buried villages. Seventy-eight people died in the capital. In 2007, a 7.9magnitude quake struck even closer, killing 596 people in the south-central coastal city of Pisco. A shallow, direct hit is the big danger. More than two in five Lima residents live either in rickety structures built on unstable, sandy soil and wetlands, which amplify a quake’s destructive power, or in hillside settlements that sprang up over a generation as people fled conflict and poverty in Peru’s interior. Thousands are built of colonial-era adobe.

Most quake-prone countries have rigorous building codes to resist seismic events. In Chile, if engineers and builders don’t adhere to them they can face prison. Not so in Peru. “People are building with adobe just as they did in the 17th century,” said Carlos Zavala, director of Lima’s Japanese-Peruvian Center for Seismic Investigation and Disaster Mitigation. Environmental and human-made perils compound the danger. Situated in a coastal desert, Lima gets its water from a single river, the Rimac, which a landslide could easily block. That risk is compounded by a containment pond full of toxic heavy metals from an old mine that could rupture and contaminate the Rimac, said Agustin Gonzalez, a PREDES official advising Lima’s government. Most of Lima’s food supply arrives via a two-lane highway that parallels the river, another potential chokepoint. Lima’s airport and seaport, the key entry points for international aid, are also vulnerable. Both are in Callao, which seismologists expect to be scoured by a 20foot (6-meter) tsunami if a big quake is centered offshore, the most likely scenario. Mayor Susana Villaran’s administration is Lima’s first to organize a quake-response and disaster-mitigation plan. A February 2011 law obliged Peru’s municipalities to do so. Yet Lima’s remains incipient. “How are the injured going to be attended to? What is the ability of hospitals to respond? Of

Cuba rips US for fines on foreign banks

HAVANA, Cuba - CMC - The Cuban government has criticised what it describes as the “unjust and illegal” multi-million dollar fines that the United States has imposed on two foreign banks for violating sanctions against the island. An official Cuban Foreign Ministry statement said the US actions illustrate that the “ferocious persecution of financial and commercial transactions by Cuba and those with legitimate relations has [not] only changed but has hardened.” Last week, the British-based HSBC bank agreed to pay US$1.9 billion to the US government to settle accusations that it laundered drug money through its Mexican and other branches, and violated US economic and trade sanctions against Cuba. Washington also said that Japan’s TokyoMitsubishi UFJ bank agreed to pay US$8.6 million to settle what the Cuban government described as “a supposed violation of the unilateral sanctions of the United States

against various countries, including Cuba.” Under the US economic and trade embargo against Cuba, banks are prohibited from moving Cuban funds through US financial institutions or handle US dollar deposits for Cuban entities or citizens. The Cuban Foreign Ministry said the sanctions came one month after the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for the 21st time to condemn the 50-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. In recent years, the US Treasury Department has fined several foreign banks for violating sanctions against Cuba and other countries, especially Iran. Earlier this year, the Netherlands’ ING bank agreed to a US$619 million settlement for violating the sanctions. In 2009, Credit Suisse agreed to pay Washington US$539 million for similar action. Five years earlier, the Swiss UBS bank settled with the US for US$100 million for violating the sanctions against Cuba.

basic services? Water, energy, food reserves? I don’t think this is being addressed with enough responsibility,” said Tavera of the Geophysical Institute. By necessity, most injured will be treated where they fall, but Peru’s police have no comprehensive firstaid training. Only Lima’s 4,000 firefighters, all volunteers, have such training, as does a 1,000officer police emergency squadron. But because the firefighters are volunteers, a quake’s timing could influence rescue efforts. “If you go to a fire station at 10 in the morning there’s hardly anyone there,” said Gonzalez, who advocates a full-time professional force. In the next two months, Lima will spend nearly $2 million on the three fire companies that cover downtown Lima, its first direct investment in firefighters in 25 years, Prado said. The national government is spending $18 million citywide for 50 new fire trucks and ambulances.

But where would the ambulances go? A 1997 study by the Pan American Health Organization found that three of Lima’s principal public hospitals would likely collapse in a major quake, but nothing has been done to reinforce them. And there are no free beds. One public hospital, Maria Auxiliadora, serves more than 1.2 million people in Lima’s south but has just 400 beds, and they are always full. Contingency plans call for setting up mobile hospitals in tents in city parks. But Gonzalez said only about 10,000 injured could be treated. Water is also a worry. The fire threat to Lima is severe — from refineries to denselybacked neighborhoods honeycombed with colonialera wood and adobe. Lima’s firefighters often can’t get enough water pressure to douse a blaze. “We should have places where we can store water not just to put out fires but also to distribute water to the

population,” said Sato, former head of the disaster mitigation department at Peru’s National Engineering University. The city’s lone water-andsewer utility can barely provide water to one-tenth of Lima in the best of times. Another big concern: Lima has no emergency operations center and the radio networks of the police, firefighters and the Health Ministry, which runs city hospitals, use different frequencies, hindering effective communication. Nearly half of the city’s schools require a detailed evaluation to determine how to reinforce them against collapse, Sato said. A recent media blitz, along with three nationwide quaketsunami drills this year, helped raise consciousness. The city has spent more than $77 million for retention walls and concrete stairs to aid evacuation in hillside neighborhoods, Prado said, but much more is needed. At the biggest risk, apart from tsunami-vulnerable Callao, are places like Nueva Rinconada.

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IDB aids new Haitian President of Cuba’s National manufacturing company Assembly to step down WASHINGTON - CMC The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says that new Haitian manufacturing company, Industrial Revolution II LP (IRII), will receive a loan of up to US $1 million, a to retrofit and equip a garment factory and train workers living at the base of the economic pyramid in the impoverished, Frenchspeaking Caribbean country. The Washington-based financial institution said IRII’s project to introduce high-end manufacturing in Haiti is sponsored by an investment group that is headed by Joelle Berdugo Adler, the founder of the Montreal-based ONExONE Foundation, which operates in Canada, the United States and Haiti; Richard Coles, a Haitian textile executive, and Robert Broggi, a Bostonbased finance industry executive. The textile and apparel industry is Haiti’s largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 80 percent of exports and around 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010, before the massive

January 12, 2010 earthquake, the IDB said. “Even with Haiti’s proximity to the United States and preferential access to US markets, the apparel industry in the country continues to focus on producing highvolume, low-margin apparel for the mass market, where producers continuously move from country to country in search of the lowest- cost production location,” it said. With IDB financing, IRII will introduce an “innovative model for apparel manufacturing in the country that radically departs from the prevailing paradigm of low-cost production of commodity garments,” the IDB said. “The IDB is supporting IRII because we believe the project can change the paradigm for apparel manufacturing in Haiti by demonstrating the feasibility of producing higher-quality products that yield greater benefits to workers, the local community and the country,” said Rahul Desai, the project team leader at the IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority initiative. Having identified the need from fashion and “fast-

fashion” designers and retailers in North America for nearby sources of supply that can respond quickly to changing market needs with smaller production runs, Desai said IRII will hire local workers (mainly women) who will be trained to produce high-end apparel utilizing the latest manufacturing technologies and adhering to superior social and environmental standards. He said the project will not only generate direct employment for low-income Haitians, but will also provide training to enhance the skill level of Haitian apparel industry workers and managers and allocate 50 percent of profit distributions to programs for employees, their families, and the local community. The IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority (OMJ) promotes and finances market-based, sustainable business models that engage companies, local governments and communities in the development and delivery of quality products and services for people at the base of pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean.

HAVANA, Cuba - CMC Cuba’s National Assembly President, Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, one of the country’s longest-serving officials, will step down in February after 20 years on the job. Alarcón’s name was not on the list of the 612 candidates in the upcoming elections for the legislative body published in the official Communist Party newspaper, Granma. Although Alarcón remains a member of the Cuban Communist Party’s powerful Political Bureau, observers here claim he is in disfavor with President Raúl Castro since police arrested top aide Miguel Alvarez last summer on suspicion of corruption and spying. Alarcón, 75, has sometimes been described as the third-ranking official in Cuba after Raúl and Fidel Castro. He is known as a skillful foreign policy operator with a specialty in the long-hostile relations between Cuba and the United States. Alarcón served as ambassador to the United Nations for two terms. While at the UN, he served one-year terms as president of the Security Council and vice president of the General Assembly.

Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada He was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1980 and in 1992 to the Politburo, the party’s top standing body. He also served as foreign minister from 1992 to 1993 and since then as president of the Legislature, which meets for only a few days per year. Most laws are approved by decree. Observers here speculate that Alarcón will be succeeded by Esteban Lazo, a Politburo member, vice president of the government’s top Council of State and a candidate in the February 3 election for the next National Assembly. Another possible candidate to replace the assembly president will be

Ana Maria Mari Machado, who was appointed as vice president of the legislature in July, observers say. Alarcón, a lawyer who graduated from the University of Havana, was active in the urban wing of the Castro guerrillas that toppled Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Raúl Castro has been putting allies and younger people in top jobs since he succeeded brother Fidel in 2008. However, according to the Granma list, there are older candidates than Alarcón who are standing for election. Among them are: Fidel Castro, 86; Raúl Castro, 82; José Ramón Fernández, 90; Guillermo Garcia, 87; Armando Hart Dávalos, 83; and Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 82. Esteban Lazo himself is 68. The list also included, for the first time, Mariela Castro Espín, the daughter of Raúl Castro. She is head of the National Center for Sex Education and a gay rights activist. The new deputies are expected to gather for their first session on Feb. 24 to elect a new assembly president and then elect Raúl Castro to a second five-year term as president of the Councils of State and Ministers.

Hugo Chávez undergoes tracheotomy in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba - CMC - Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is on artificial respiration after undergoing a tracheotomy last week, according to reports here. Chávez, 58, has been suffering from complications after his fourth surgery in Havana, Cuba to treat cancer, the Madrid, Spain-based publication ABC said. It said doctors performed the tracheotomy after a respiratory infection blocked Chávez’s breathing. The procedure involves opening a hole in the neck so the patient can breathe without using the nose or mouth. In the interim, Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro, who acting as president, said Chavez’s condition is becoming increasingly stable”Each day that passes, his recovery is more stable and he’s receiving the best treatment,” Maduro told a crowd of government supporters in Yaracuy state on Saturday. Earlier, Maduro said Chávez was likely to face a “complex and difficult” recovery after undergoing surgery here for recurring cancer, casting doubt on the president’s ability to take office on January 10. Maduro said the surgery had been “complex, difficult [and] delicate,” but that Chávez was in the process of recovering. “We trust that, with the help of God, we are going to be victorious,” he said. “And that sooner rather than later, we will have our president here.” The Venezuelan government did not say when Chávez will return home, or whether he will be ready to begin a new six-year term next

month. But Minister of Information Ernesto Villegas said the nation needs to be prepared for all eventualities. “We trust that, with the love of millions, the Commander will respond quickly and return before January 10,” he said. “But if not, the nation needs to be prepared to understand it,” he added. “It would be irresponsible to cover up how delicate the situation is now and will be in the days to come.” Chávez traveled to Cuba early last week to undergo a fourth round of surgery to treat an undisclosed form of cancer he has been battling since at least June 2011. Before leaving for Havana, Chávez anointed Maduro his political successor and asked the nation to rally behind the former union leader who has strong ties to Cuba. If Chávez is unable to take office, or if he is ncapacitated within the first four years of his new term, it would trigger snap elections. Flanked by National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello and Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez, Maduro said he would keep the nation “accurately informed and prepared” about Chávez’s recovery. But he also called on detractors to quit “speculating” and “lying” about the president’s condition. “Stop with your hate against President Chávez. Stop with your vicious attacks,” he said. Since announcing that doctors had removed a baseball-sized tumor from his pelvis last year, Chávez has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Monday December 24, 2012

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Associate company of PM’s contractor also worked on TOP leader’s Tobago home

MORE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) political leader Ashworth Jack’s House Trinidad Express - More questions surrounding the multimillion-dollar house of Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Minority Leader Ashworth Jack have surfaced. Sunday Express investigations have revealed that Super Industrial Services (SIS), the construction firm that did extension works at Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar ’s residence in Philippine, south Trinidad, in March, also worked on Jack’s $2 million house in Hillsborough, Mt St George, Tobago. In a recent media statement, Jack told the country his home was built by CJ Construction, a company owned by his brother Curtis Jack. In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express earlier this month, Jack responded to questions about any SIS involvement in the construction of his home and if the Tobago house was a “gift” from a local contractor. He denied this, saying he was not “hand-to-mouth” and was solely responsible for building his family a “nice” home. He also disclosed that he was employed with a Trinidad firm, Phoenix Welding and Fabricating Ltd, one of four jobs he holds, which allowed him to fund his eight-room, two-storey home overlooking the sea, without having to take bank loans. Internet checks revealed Phoenix is an associate company or subsidiary of SIS—which means Jack was indirectly associated with SIS. Sunday Express investigations also revealed a construction company trading under the name Casa Contractors Ltd did in fact work on the private residence of the Tobago Organisation

of the People (TOP) leader. Jack is on record as saying CJ Construction, owned by his brother Curtis Jack, was responsible for building his home. Casa Contractors shares the same trading address as SIS, at #23 Rivulet Road, Brechin Castle, Couva, according to documents received by the Sunday Express. There is no listing of Casa on the Ministry of Legal Affairs’ Company Registry. But when the Sunday Express called the number listed for Casa on a list of companies compiled by the National Insurance and Property Development Company Ltd (Nipdec) online, a security officer explained that Casa was a part of SIS. It is public knowledge that SIS, a known financier of the ruling United National Congress (UNC), was the recipient of several lucrative contracts from the People’s Partnership Government, including the $45 million Siparia Market and $70 million Couva/Preysal Interchange which Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar officially opened earlier this year. Informed sources told the Sunday Express that Casa Contractors joined CJ Construction during December 2010-2011 to complete the job on Jack’s house in Tobago. One of the workers who worked on the residence, which includes a swimming pool, told the Sunday Express: “There were two contractors, CJ and SIS, who worked on this really massive house.” He said two crews were operating at the same time. Told that documents he provided to the Sunday Express made reference to Casa Contractors, and not

SIS, the employee insisted that “they are one and the same”. “The crew from SIS had about 18 to 20 workers and the other one from CJ Construction had about 13,” he disclosed. The worker, who asked not to be named, said CJ workers were responsible for the basic, more labourintensive aspects of the job, including bricklaying, while SIS’s crew did the finer aspects of the job, including the plastering and more refined wood and concrete works. He described the house as oval-shaped and said the two master bedrooms were located upstairs while the other rooms were located on the ground floor. He also confirmed the SIS-linked company did not advertise its presence by putting up a public sign as is usually the case of many construction firms, who use the opportunity to advertise their business while carrying out a job. The employee’s disclosure contradicts a media release dated December 11, issued by Jack, which stated that “the work was done by CJ Construction, a firm owned by my brother” and with the help of Tobago’s “len’ hand” communal system of help. Contacted last week for a comment on this latest information, Jack, who is hoping to become Tobago’s next chief secretary, up against incumbent People’s National Movement (PNM) deputy political leader Dr Orville London at the polls on January 21, 2013, would only say that he stands by his media release. “I have nothing more to say,” he added. Several text messages and phone calls to Jack last week for further clarification were not answered. Jack, who claimed to be in touch with the Prime Minister on a daily basis, has received her public support during this time of scrutiny. Persad-Bissessar told reporters last Monday that she empathised with her political partner since questions were also asked about her private residence when it was being built in Philippine. “I don’t know why it is a crime for a person to work hard and build a house,” she said, adding, “I remember there were so many

of cucumbers and pumpkin from his garden. He indicated at the time that he was also being paid a $35,000-a-month salary as project manager with a firm in Trinidad. He added that his salary went directly towards materials for his home. He also told the Sunday

Express, at that time, that if SIS wanted to build a home for anybody in Tobago for free, they should contact him directly: “If they (SIS) want to build anything for free, then there is need for a home for underprivileged children in Tobago, and I would love to have them build it,” he said.

Barbadian accused of smuggling cocaine into Bermuda Ashworth Jack allegations regarding the building of my own home.” In a Sunday Express exclusive interview on December 9, Jack had dismissed any notion that his private residence was a “gift” from a local contractor in Trinidad. He said he had paid for his home by holding down four jobs, including from funds accrued from the sale

HAMILTON, Bermuda - CMC - A 39-year-old Barbadian man is to stand trial in Supreme Court after being accused of smuggling approximately US$178,000 of cocaine into Bermuda. Dave Trotman appeared in Magistrates’ Court on Friday to face charges of importing a controlled substance and possessing a controlled drug with intent to supply in an incident on December 18. Trotman was not required to enter a plea as his case is indictable and will be dealt with in Supreme Court. No bail application was made for Trotman who remained silent throughout the proceedings. Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner remanded Trotman in custody until January 4, when he is scheduled to return to court.

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Monday December 24, 2012

Monday December 24, 2012

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Monday December 24, 2012 ARIES (March 21 - April 19): Are you losing your patience with someone? If it seems like they can't listen to reason, they may have made up their mind already. Maybe they refuse to see any alternatives. ******************* TAURUS (April 20 - May 20): Although you should probably have good reason to celebrate, today is not a good day for indulgent actions or elaborate, blockbuster parties. In fact, playing down your achievement might be the best course of action. ****************** GEMINI (May 21 - June 20): A blast from your past will offer a pleasant and muchneeded distraction for you today, and it will inject your life with new energy and new ideas that will reawaken you to a real sense of possibility. ******************** CANCER (June 21 - July 22): Talking with other people will make you extremely happy today. You'll get a big charge out of hearing what they think and what they're up to. You might even find some inspiration. So try to initiate discussions whenever -- and wherever -- you can. ********************* LEO (July 23 - Aug. 22): Start putting more effort into your career today -- don't be afraid or act out of panic. Just take care of business the right way and don't waste time socializing at the water cooler. ******************* VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22): You'll be under scrutiny today, and will probably get some feedback you don't like. But don't take it personally. People are allowed to express ideas you don't agree with or even like -- and how you

handle it says a lot about who you are. ********************* LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22): An amusing misunderstanding today will help you learn how to be more tolerant with people who are different from you -- and you'll be reminded yet again that laughter can bridge just about any gap. ********************* SCORPIO (Oct. 23 Nov. 21): You are working at a great pace on your own right now, so there is no reason for you to change. Why start working in teams? ******************** SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 Dec. 21): Don't rely too heavily on your analytical skills when you are making a romantic move. Logic does not always apply to matters of the heart, and there is no predicting how people will act or react. .********************* CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 Jan. 19): Your energy levels may have been running on low for the past few days, but you going at a slower pace isn't such a bad thing. First, it helps you conserve your energy. ******************** AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 Feb. 18):The bad news is that you are probably going to get bored with your company today -- and few things are less fun than getting stuck in a conversation with someone who just isn't that interesting. ********************* PISCE S ( F e b . 1 9 March 20): You have been feeling a stronger connection growing with someone lately, and it's something you should encourage.

Viivaah 12:00h - DVD Movie:- HOME ALONE 5 13:30h - DVD Movie:ARTHUR CHRISTMAS 15:00h - Sa Re Ga Ma 2012 16:00h - Drying Tears Live with Pastor Edson 16:30h - Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2012 17:45h - Ganesh Parts Presents - BHAGAVAD GITA ( Discourses in English) Serial 18:15h - Birthday Greetings/ A n n i v e r s a r y / Congratulations/ Death Announcements & In Memoriam 18:30h - HARE KRISHNA TODAY 19:00h - Ricks & Sari Presents Bed Time Songs Live with Joel 20:00h - THE HOT SEAT Live with host Mr. Ossie Roger 21:00h - Arts of India Musical Segment 21:30h - Indian Soap - Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke 22:00h - Indian Soap - Rab Se Sohna Isshq 22:30h - Indian Soap - Pavitra Rishta 23:00h - Xmas Eve Countdown Live with Frederick Rampersaud 24:00h -.Sign Off MTV CHANNEL 14/ CABLE 65 05:00h – Inspiration 05:30h – Newtown Gospel 06:00h – NCN News (rb)

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06:30h – Feature 07:00h – Guyana Today 08:00h - Weekly Digest 08:30h – Feature 09:00h – Stop the Suffering 09:30h_ Cartoon 10:00h_ CCTV 11:00h _ History 12:00h _ CNN 12:30h – NEWSBREAK 12:35h – John and Stacy Shopping Time 13:05h _ Feature 14:00h _Movie 16:00h _ Cartoons 17:00h _ Anderson

18:00h – NCN News Magazine – Live 18:30h – Pulse Beat 19:00h _Al Jazeera 19:30h _ NCD & You 20:00h – 3d/daily millions/play de dream/lotto draw 20:05h _ NCN Newsbreak 20:10h _ Feature 21:05h – We Linkin 21:35h – Excellence Dazell Show 22:05h – NCN Late Edition News 22:35h – Caribbean Newsline 23:00h _ Movie

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Kaieteur News

Heat beat Jazz to break clear atop Eastern Conference

Miami Heat’s LeBron James (centre) is defended by Utah Jazz Jamaal Tinsley (left) and Randy Foye (right) during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida, December 22, 2012. REUTERS/Rhona Wise (Reuters) - LeBron James jammed home 30 points as the NBA champion Miami Heat silenced the Utah Jazz 105-89 on Saturday to move past the New York Knicks atop the Eastern Conference. Miami turned a four-point lead at intermission into a double-digit cushion by

scoring the first eight points of the third quarter helped by a pair of three-pointers by Shane Battier. The lead was stretched to 20 points but Utah battled back to close the gap, getting as close as eight in the fourth quarter, though the Heat were never seriously threatened.

The Heat won every quarter, building their lead behind the all-round brilliance of James and an equally wellrounded effort by his running mate Dwyane Wade to lift Miami’s record to 18-6, and push past the fast-starting New York Knicks (19-7). James shared the team lead with nine rebounds and seven assists, while Wade scored 21 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists. Miami shot a blistering 52 percent from the floor, including 11-for-24 from three-point range in improving to 13-2 on their home court. The Jazz, who were paced by Marvin Williams with 16 points, continued their road struggles, falling to 5-12 away from home. James has scored at least 20 points in all 24 Heat games this season, matching the longest such streak to start a season since former Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone in the 1989-90 campaign. Miami, winners of four straight games, will put their streak on the line on Christmas against the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder (215) in a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals.

Monday December 24, 2012

Over 50 horses entered as entries closed yesterday for PMTC Old Year’s Day meet Entries were expected to be closed yesterday for the Port Mourant Turf club (PMTC) grand one day horserace meet set for Sunday December 30th at the clubs entity, Port Mourant, Corentyne Berbice. Nine action packed races are on the day’s cards and over $8.5M in cash and trophies are on offer. Most of the top stables and jockeys in the country are expected to be on board for the one day meet which is being held in collaboration with Jumbo Jet Auto Sales and Krishna Jagdeo Construction. The feature B class race will see the horses racing for total prize money of close to $3M. The winning horse will run away with a first prize of $1.5M and trophy over 1600M. The Three Year old race for horses Bred and born in Guyana and the West Indies has a $600,000 bounty for the winner over 1600M. The Two year Guyana and West Indies Bred event will see the horses galloping over 1200M for the $500,000 first prize on offer. The E class event has a wining haul of $500,000 and trophy

available for the top horses over 1200 meters. The G class event will be a 1400M affair and will see the champion horse taking home a winners money of $400,000 and trophy. The race for Guyana bred Two year old horses will see the winning horse taking home $300,000 and trophy also over 1200M. The H class race winning prize is pegged at $300,000 and trophy for the winner with the distance being 1000M. There are two other exciting races on the day’s card for I class animals. There is the race for animals classified ‘I’ and lower over 1200M with a winning money of $200,000. The other event is for the animals classified J and lower over 1000M for a pole position taking of $150,000. Among some of the jockeys expected to be in the saddles are Andron Findlay, Brian Blake, Yap ‘Old Boy’ Drepaul, Colin Ross , Paul Delph, Carl Liverpool, Rupert ‘Put’ Ramnauth, Daniel ‘Buckman’ Flores, Kevin Paul, Mark Vassey, Rad Drepaul, Krishna Singh, Navin Ally, Mahendra Sukhoo, Nacimento, Michael

Sancho, Prem Chandra, Winston Apadhu and Kevin Richmond, Ajai, Junior and Brandon Salomon. Most of the top stables are in full preparation and are expected to be represented on race day. Among those showing interest are Colin Elcock’s Delmur and P&P Syndicate Racing stable, Jagdeo Racing stable, Asrafali racing stables, Dennis DeRoop Simple Royal, Senior Council Marcel Crawford Racing stable, Shariff Racing stable, Habibulla, Jumbo Jet, Night Eyes, Mahaicony, Jagroop/ Jagmohan, and Singh racing stables among others. Outstanding performers including top Jockey, top stable, top trainer will be presented with accolades compliments of Ramesh Sunich of the Trophy Stall, Bourda Market. Interesting horse owners are asked to make contact with the following persons Krishna Jagdeo on 322-0369, C. Ramnauth on telephone numbers 337-5311 or 6979696 or Jumbo Jet office on numbers 232-9711, 2320633 or 624-9063 for additional details. Race time is 13:00 hrs. (Samuel Whyte)

Monday December 24, 2012

Kaieteur News

Kings suspend top scorer Cousins indefinitely (Reuters) The Sacramento Kings have suspended leading scorer and rebounder DeMarcus Cousins indefinitely for “unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team”, the Kings said on Saturday. The suspension, his third this season, came after Cousins exchanged words with Kings coach Keith Smart during halftime of Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The center did not play in the second half after being left in the locker by Smart. Cousins, who is averaging 16.6 points and 9.5 rebounds, lashed out at Smart after the coach said something to him, the Sacramento Bee reported. Cousins later apologized for his actions. “I shouldn’t have responded back,” he told reporters. “Should have accepted what was said and stayed quiet.” Cousins twice has been

Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins (left) and Toronto Raptors’ Amir Johnson (R) tangle over the ball during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Sacramento, California December 5, 2012. REUTERS/Max Whittaker suspended by the National Basketball Association this year. He was suspended for two games in November for confronting a San Antonio

Spurs announcer and was benched one game by the league earlier this month after striking the Dallas Mavericks’ O.J. Mayo in the groin.

Nadal does not expect to be fully fit before March MADRID (Reuters) Rafa Nadal does not expect to be back to full fitness and close to his competitive best until the Masters tennis event at Indian Wells in March, the Spanish world number four was quoted as saying on Sunday. Nadal will return to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi in five days’ time after six months out with a knee injury. “I need to see how it improves and how it reacts to the intensity and demands of playing with tennis players of such a high level,” Nadal said in an interview with Spanish daily ABC. After a shock defeat to Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June, Nadal was diagnosed with a partial tear of the patella tendon and inflammation in his left knee and was unable to defend his Olympic title at the London Games. The 11-times grand-slam singles champion also missed the U.S. Open and the season-ending World Tour championships before returning to the practice court on November 20. Nadal said the knee was “still not 100 percent” and he was planning to ease back in slowly. “I am not thinking long term, I am just focused on the

Rafa Nadal knee, seeing how it responds and then we’ll see later on. “I want to be sure that it’s completely ready to start competing in anger again, without any doubts. “If I feel good in Abu Dhabi we’ll continue but if not I’ll take it calmly.” REAL OBJECTIVE The first grand-slam event of 2013, the Australian Open, starts on January 14. The 26-year-old Nadal, who won a record seventh French Open crown in May on his favored clay, said winning matches was not his priority over the coming weeks and he was totally focused on making sure the knee had healed properly. “My goal is not this week, nor even Doha (from December 31) or Australia,” he said.

“My goal is to be in shape, get back to feeling completely fine and feeling completely prepared. “My season, my real objective, is to be in perfect condition for Indian Wells and Miami (in March) and get to Monte Carlo (in April) with good feelings, to tackle the clay season in good shape. “The last tournament I played in good shape was Roland Garros and I won it. “The end of February or March is when I will feel good. That’s when my season starts, that’s when I’ll tell myself that I am ready to win.” Nadal’s athletic, aggressive playing style places huge demands on his muscles and joints and he has been sidelined several times by injuries during his 11-year career. He said he had not considered the possibility he might be forced to retire because of the latest setback. “No, no, no. I have not thought about that,” he told ABC. “Tennis is a sport that does not last forever,” he added. “It’s not like golf which you can play for 20 or 25 years without any problems. “In tennis time is limited, that’s the way it is. I am an optimistic type and I don’t believe that I have forgotten how to play tennis during these past months.”

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New Zealand level series thanks to Guptill century EAST LONDON, South Africa (Reuters) A brilliant, unbeaten century from opener Martin Guptill led New Zealand to an eightwicket victory off the final ball against South Africa in the second T20 international on Sunday. Chasing 169 for victory in 19 overs at Buffalo Park, Guptill helped erase the memory of Friday’s embarrassing capitulation to 86 all out in Durban with a stunning batting display as the tourists reached their target for the loss of just two wickets to level the series 1-1. Requiring 39 from the final four overs and 11 off the last, Guptill was on 97 and needing four for victory when Rory Kleinveldt bowled the final delivery - a low full toss which was eased away through extra cover. Guptill’s unbeaten 101 was just the third T20 international century by a New Zealander, the first two belonging to captain Brendon McCullum who was almost anonymous with 17 from 15 balls during a second-wicket partnership of 73 with Guptill. The right-handed opener was similarly dominant during an opening stand of 76 with Rob Nicol (25) as he drove the Proteas attack impeccably straight and displayed the skills and patience - so obviously missing from the New Zealand batsman in Durban. Captain Faf du Plessis led from the front once again as South Africa posted a competitive 165-5 in 19 overs after losing the toss and being asked to bat first. Du Plessis paced his innings to perfection on a tricky pitch to reach 63 from 43 balls with eight fours and a six in a match reduced to 19

Martin Guptill was unstoppable (Getty Images) overs per side following a 52-minute floodlight failure. The deciding match takes place in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday. Scores: New Zealand 169 for 2 (Guptill 101*) beat South Africa 165 for 5 (Du Plessis 63, Davids 55) by eight wickets (D/L method).

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Kaieteur News

British paper to sue Armstrong LONDON (Reuters) - The Sunday Times is suing disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong for around one million pounds ($1.62 million) over his libel action against the British newspaper in 2004. Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles from 1999-2005

Lance Armstrong walks back to his car after running at Mount Royal park with fans in Montreal August 29, 2012. REUTERS/ Christinne Muschi

in October, received 300,000 pounds from the Sunday Times as payment towards his legal fees after the paper raised questions about the American’s success following his recovery from testicular cancer. “It is clear that the proceedings were baseless and fraudulent. Your representations that you had never taken performance enhancing drugs were deliberately false,” read the letter to Armstrong’s lawyers in the Sunday Times. The paper is demanding the return of the 300,000 pounds payment plus interest, as well as costs accrued in defending the case, which was settled in 2006. A report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in October said the now-retired Armstrong had been involved in the “most s o p h i s t i c a t e d , professionalized and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen.” Armstrong has always denied using performanceenhancing drugs but chose not to contest the USADA charges. ($1 = 0.6180 British pounds)

Sachin Tendulkar retires... From back page Tendulkar had curtailed the amount of ODI cricket in the year playing only four ODIs in the 12 months before the tournament. Since the end of the World Cup, Tendulkar has played 10 ODIs, seven in the CB Series against Australia and the last three of his career being played at the Asia Cup in Dhaka. His innings of 114 against Bangladesh on March 16 was his 100th international hundred in what turned out to be Tendulkar’s penultimate ODI match for India. Tendulkar’s announcement of his ODI retirement came through a statement from the BCCI which stated that he had spoken to BCCI president N Srinivasan. His retirement was announced on the day the Indian selectors picked the teams to play in the five-match T20 and ODI series against Pakistan. “It was not sudden. He informed us before the selection about his decision,” Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary, told reporters. “He spoke to me and the president about his decision. Naturally he must have been (emotional) I can’t say we just spoke on the phone.” “What he has expressed is his concern that India has to prepare for the next World Cup,” the BCCI’s chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty added. “From that point of view, he felt that it was time that he retired.”

Monday December 24, 2012

Woodpecker Products Annual Badminton Junior Christmas singles winners collect prizes

Prize winners from the Woodpecker Junior Squash tourney display their trophies after the presentation. The respective category winners of the Woodpecker Products Annual Badminton Junior Christmas Singles tournament collected their prizes last Friday. The presentation was made to the Under-19 winners, runner-ups and

third placed winners at the Queens College Badminton Courts. The GBA is expressing thanks Ms. Fernandes for making this annual tournament possible once again. Making the presentation were Asst. Secretary of the GBA Ernesto Choo-A-Fat

and parents Ms. Jairam and Ms. Gloria George-Joseph. Those collecting trophies were: Boys Singles: 1st Place-Narayan Ramdhani 2nd Place-Jonathan Mangra

3rd Place-Omari Joseph 3rd Place-Jonathan Persaud Girls Singles: 1st Place-Greer Jackson 2nd Place-Priyanna Ramdhani 3rd Place-Ambika Ramraj 3rd Place-Nadine Jairam

Letter to the Sports Editor

Bin Hammam’s Life Ban by FIFA, a Lesson for Guyana’s Football DEAR SIR, While sports are no longer sport, but rather serious business, whereas sponsors and financiers doles out untold sums, in pursuit of enhancing a specific brand of its choice, resulting in increased sales, its credit ability and public ratings also increases towards contributing to total development of the sport. At this juncture the sponsor seizes the opportunity to establish a long lasting relationship with the sport’s administrators, as a sound long term investment, ahead of any potential rival gaining a foothold. Editor, is this the unfolding scenario between the Kashif & Shanghai Organization and the Georgetown Football Association (GFA), in two separate year end football competitions? Since from the inception of the Annual K & S Competition, now in its 23rd year, Banks DIH had been a

major sponsor. This position however had changed two years ago, when the nation’s largest beverage producer and the K&S Organization parted their relationship, with an equitable replacement in Ansa McAl coming on board. From all indications Banks DIH was hurt, a similar position of that took place with Entertainment Group Hits & Jams. So, in actually getting even with organizers is foremost within the minds of the beverage giants, even if it means breaking the rules that governs the sport. Readily coming to mind is the participation of teams from East Coast and Upper Demerara, which is likely to result in sanctions by the GFF. And authorities at the nation’s leading beverage producer can’t claim ignorance of the fact, since its PRO, is actually involved in football. Editor, the mere idea that Banks DIH, through its Banks Beer brand remains

committed to sponsorship, rivaling the Annual K &S yearend tournament, then, they can be compared to the former FIFA Vice President, also former President of the Asian Football Confederation, Mohammed Bin Hammam, who was banned for life by FIFA. This was as a result of his role as the principal financier, in the “cash for votes scandal” that resulted in suspensions being handed down to various Caribbean officials, including the GFF’s President, Mr. Colin Klass. Anyhow, in this present circumstance absolutely nothing will befall the competition’s sponsor, but rather clubs and definitely one GFA executive, who years ago while serving as President, was adamant that clubs participating in the K & S Tournament demand appearance fees. So, why now in the Banks Tournament is 30% of the net gate receipts to be divided

among clubs? Years ago, the image of Banks DIH would have been hurt if the city sides had pulled out. Nevertheless it’s still being hurt? Or let bygones be bygones, despite the fact that the same official had presided over an executive who couldn’t have accounted for $500,000 in a Banks DIH Competition, and the entire body had received a vote of no confidence. The more things change the more they remain the same, especially in a marriage of convenience, since GDF, Police and UG as institutions would have as in the past withdrawn their participation in any competition under the auspices of the GFA, until its issue with the GFF would have been fully resolved. But current executives were embraced by the GFF, so they shouldn’t dive in the box and claim a penalty, when no foul was committed. Leslie Campbell Former Club Official

Monday December 24, 2012

Kaieteur News

Over 95 entries for Kennard Memorial Turf Club Boxing Day Horserace meet By Samuel Whyte One new race added, With some resolution coming to the horseracing fraternity with things prize monies increase seemingly settling down nicely all attention is now focus on the Kennard Memorial Turf Club at Bush Lot Farm Corentyne Berbice. The venue will be a hive of activity as the entity which boast some of the best facilities in the horseracing arena, stages their grand annual Boxing Day one day horserace meet on Wednesday. The authorities have increase the number of races to nine with two J class events now on the cards with the prize monies now going closer to the $7M mark which include trophies and cash incentives. Entries have also soared to over 95 horses. Once again the feature B and lower event will be the main drawing card. Sponsored by the Kharag family of the USA, owners of Metro Guyana Limited and being run for the Deo Kharag Memorial stakes and trophy, the first prize is a hefty S1.2M and trophy from a total purse of $2.3M over one mile. The line up once again looks impressive with all the top runners in the country down to enter the starting gates, which includes Score’s Even, California Strike, the Message, Mission King, Grande De Roja, Diamond Dazzling, Home Bush Baby, Dubai Duchess, Who So ever, This Trip on Me, The Bailiff and Gold Plated. The event for 3-yrs-old Guyana and West Indies Bred Horses will see a return of the much vaunted Settle In Seattle as it battles Red Cloud, Times have change, Blessings and Silent Lizzy over one mile for the $500,000 top money and trophy. The D3and lower class event will see the animals cover a distance of six furlongs for the winning take of $500,000, among those entered are Mission King, Home Bush Baby, Face D Fire, Renia Del café, Sleep in Town, Diamond Illusion, Miss Karina, Ferry Landing, Top of The line, Super Cat and Dark and Lovely. The two year old six furlongs non winners’ event also have winning money of $500,000 and trophy with the likes of Peace of The cash, Dream Boy, Princess Sofia, Katrina, Famous Pride, Free to Fly, Lucky Gold, Gully God and De Champ looking for championship honours. The G and Lower race is 7 furlongs and has a large field with the likes of Damascus

Dream, Sleep In Town, Celebration Love, Quiet Storm, Fly In the Park, Ameera’s Joy, Come dance with Me, Prado Gold, Flash Of melody, Gold Romance, Stormy Lass, Settle in Seattle, Traditional man, and Viking down to compete for a $320,000 winning money and trophy. The H and Lower also is a 7 furlongs event with the first prize tagged at $240,000 and trophy. Among the entries are Joyful victory, Third World, Wicket Intention, Funny Sided, Dream Girl, The Gump and Party Time among others. There is $180,000 and trophy available for the winner of the I3 and lower event which covers a distance of 6 furlongs. Apostle, Princess Renuka, East to win, De Lon, Pixie Fire, Sun Razor, and Golden Reprise are among the 12 horses that have taken entry. The winner of the J1 contest over seven furlongs will see the champion taking away $150,000 and trophy. The large 15 horse field includes Silver Kid, It’s My time, NO Surprise, Royal Intention, Prince Bayaya and Light. The final event for the J3 class horses also attracts a 15 horse entry with the likes of Blessed Child, Prince of Peace, Summer Time,

Secretariat, Prince Street and Royal Girl competing for the $100,000 winner’s money and trophy over 6 Furlongs. Among the sponsors on board are Ansa McAl Guyana Limited, the Kharag Family of USA , Metro Computer and Office supplies, Trophy Stall of Bourda market, Digicel, Republic Bank, Neal and Massey, Muneshwar Limited, Kissoon Furniture Factory, P and P Insurance Brokers, Torginol Paints, Good Wood racing Service, Horses Shoe racing service, Noble House Sea Food, Pomeroon Oil Mills, New Building Society, Aerial Enterprise, Kanhai Guyana Electrical Agency, Top Notch Auto Sales, Kharag General Stores, Berbice Bridge Company, Kissoon Dial Rice complex, Pharmagen Enterprise, Seepersaud Maraj and the Saroop Family of USA. The outstanding jockeys, trainer and stable will all received trophies and other accolades compliments of Trophy Stall, Bourda Market. Queries can be directed to Justice Cecil Kennard on telephone numbers 226-1399, 225-4818 or 623-7609, Club Secretary Niketa Ross on 662-4668, Roopnarine “Shine’ Matadial, 325-3192 and Ivan Dipnarine 331-0316. Race time 12:30hrs.

Messi ends 2012 with... From back page set the Argentine on his way and Messi dinked the ball between a defender’s legs before firing a low shot into the far corner. It was his 26th La Liga goal of the campaign and his 91st of 2012, extending the calendar year record he broke earlier this month when he overhauled Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old mark of 85. Javi Guerra pulled a goal back for Valladolid in the 89th minute before Cristian Tello added a third for Barca in added time moments after coming off the bench. The Catalan club were without coach Tito Vilanova, who had surgery on his saliva glands on Thursday and was released from hospital only hours before Saturday’s game. Assistant coach Jordi Roura has taken charge on a temporary basis until Vilanova is well enough to return.

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Fierce exchanges as Guyana Boxing Association lowers curtains on year’s itinerary Local amateur pugilists experienced mixed fortunes when the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) closed its yearly activities with a one day U-16 tournament at the Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis Boxing Gym (ALBG) Saturday morning last. In all, there were 11 fights among the top boxers in this category, sponsored by Beverage Company, Demerara Distillers Ltd. Participating gyms were Young Achievers (YA), Forgotten Youth Foundation (FYF), Harpy Eagles (HE), Essequibo (Essq) and Rose Hall Jammers (RHJ). The action got underway when Anthony Camacho (YA) forced the referee to halt his bout against his gym mate, Joshua Alexander, in 47 seconds of the first frame. That was in the 90-94lbs class. Celwyn Jones (YA) then dropped a 3-0 decision to his gym mate, Jakeel Cadogan in their 55-59lbs bout moments before Orwayne Harris (FYF) earned a 3-0 nod over Darius Lyle (YA) in the 60-64lbs class. In the 70-74lbs category, John Moore (FYF) triumphed 3-0 over Stephen Samuels (YA) one fight before Kevon Mullings (HE) defeated Shemar Bumbury by a similar margin, also in the

60-64lbs class. Quacy Wright (Essq) was also victorious against Winston Peters (YA), 3-0, as was Jaime Kellman (YA) over Malrick Walcott, both fights in the 50-54lbs class. Odenny Moore (Essq) and Elijah Insanally (HE) battled ferociously in the 85-89lbs class and after a highly entertaining bout the former boxer was adjudged the 2-1 winner. Christopher Mansfield (HE) triumphed over Cordell Walcott in the 9094lbs division, while Ansel Wolfe (HE) got the better of his gym mate, Ezekiel Benjamin in the 60-64lbs class. The 90-94 lbs fight between Cordel Walcott (Essq) and Christopher Mansfield (HE) ended in favour of the former boxer, while in the 100-104lbs division, Shaka Moore (Essq) earned a 3-0 verdict over Junior Henry (FYF) to draw the curtains on an entertaining day of fistic fury. The tournament marked the culmination of events for 2012 of the GBA and Tournament Director Terrence Poole said that it was a satisfying year. He said that GBA administrators started on a shaky note, devoid of the requisite funds. Mr. Poole further said that despite this anomaly, GBA executives

were able to run off all the scheduled tournaments, albeit a bit off schedule. He said that the real setback experienced by the GBA was the inability of the boxers to qualify for the London Olympics. He said that GBA executives are bent on correcting this and are mulling several strategies to change the fortunes of the boxers in the tournaments ahead. The Tournament Director also reminded that the GBA is the sole sports entity that has submitted a document to Sports Minister, Frank Anthony, projecting the itinerary and objectives for the next four years. He said that the Minister is currently studying the document and should be ready with an assessment and/or advice/ assistance towards the effective administration of its contents. The boxers will now go off for the Christmas holidays but according to Mr. Poole, should gear up for a busy year next year. He said that they are hoping to get off very early with the Open Championships sometime in February. He also said that the Central American and Caribbean Championships (CAC) should be staged sometime in March.

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Kaieteur News

Monday December 24, 2012

Man Utd draw at resolute Swansea standing next to the upright. However, United’s defensive frailties were exposed again as Swansea equalised. Wayne Routledge slipped a clever pass through to De Guzman and, although his shot was blocked by keeper De Gea, Michu put away the loose ball for his 13th league goal of the campaign. United were aggrieved about a challenge on Van Persie by Chico at the start of the move, although the hosts still had plenty to do and the visitors’ defending left a lot to be desired. Centre-back Nemanja Vidic was making his first start for Sir Alex Ferguson’s after three months out with a knee injury but there was still an air of vulnerability about

Patrice Evra watches his header go in the back of the net (EPA) Manchester United will lead the Premier League by four points going into Christmas after a frustrating draw at resolute Swansea. Patrice Evra’s header from a Robin van Persie corner put United in front. Swansea hit back with Michu tapping in after Jonathan De Guzman’s shot had been blocked by keeper David De Gea. United struck the woodwork twice after the break, while Van Persie reacted angrily when Ashley Williams’ clearance hit him on the back of the head.

Williams lashed the ball away after 74 minutes and it struck a grounded Van Persie, who angrily squared up to the defender, with both players being booked. Van Persie had gone close to grabbing a winner for his side when he looped a shot on to the crossbar and team-mate Michael Carrick also had a header tipped against the woodwork. United piled on the pressure late on and Van Persie also had a shot blocked by Williams before Ashley Young’s follow-up effort

struck Ben Davies in the goalmouth. Despite the second-half rally, United were held to a first league draw of the season by a stubborn Swansea. The Old Trafford side had led the top flight by six points heading into the weekend but their advantage has been cut by two, with second-placed Manchester City beating Reading on Saturday. United have kept only four clean sheets this season and have conceded 25 goals and, while their attacking exploits have regularly

rescued them, it was not to be this time around. It had started in promising fashion for the Red Devils as they forced Swansea keeper Michel Vorm, who was back after 10 games out with a groin injury, into two smart saves. Vorm fended away a long range strike by Wayne Rooney before palming a Young shot wide after Carrick’s defence-splitting pass. From the resulting corner, Evra glanced in a header off the post, despite Leon Britton

United at the back. The goal gave Swansea renewed vigour and De Guzman had an acute-angled shot saved by De Gea. An entertaining game was producing chances at both ends and a lacklustre Rooney might have hoped to have done better when he fired straight at Vorm from Evra’s cut back. Swansea responded with Kemy Agustien having a wellstruck long range shot saved before Routledge’s low, angled strike was palmed wide. United smothered Swansea in the final quarter of the match and, even though Van Persie, Carrick and Young went close, the hosts stood firm to avoid a third league loss on the trot.

Cri-Zelda Brits back for Windies tour J O H A N N E S B U R G, South Africa – Former skipper Cri-Zelda Brits has been included in a 14-member South Africa Women squad for next month’s limited overs tour of the Caribbean. The 29-year-old allrounder, who has played 57 One-Day Internationals and 17 Twenty20s, took an indefinite break from the game last January to focus on her management career. “I’m really happy to be back. This is a very exciting time for me and I’m really looking forward to representing my country again,” said Brits. “This break served to show me how much I love the game and how much I’ve missed playing international cricket. I can’t wait to get into get on the field in St Kitts and do what I was born to do.” Brits, who boasted a 10year career for the Proteas prior to her break, will bring her huge experience back to the line-up, having scored 1 384 runs at an average of 31. She took over the captaincy in 2007 from the injured Shandre Fritz and led South Africa for four years, pioneering series sweeps over Pakistan and the Netherlands. Brits joins a side now led by Mignon du Preez, and which includes two new caps Savanna Cordes and Elrisa Theunissen. Coach Hilton Moreeng said the squad was a strong one which would be further boosted by Brits’s experience. “I’m confident about the team we’ve chosen. It’s a really good mixture of youth and experience and I’m happy with the depth in the side. It’s a pleasure to see the return

Cri-Zelda Brits of an experienced player like Cri-Zelda, I’m certain she’ll have a positive influence on the side,” Moreeng noted. “We’re excited about going to the West Indies and to face some tough competition. This is the best preparation for the World Cup that we could ask for and we look forward to our arrival and getting our campaign started.” The Caribbean tour, which runs from January 720, comprises five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s, and will be used as a warm-up for the ICC World Cup in India later this next month. South Africa leave next Friday for St Kitts which will host the first two ODIs. SQUAD – Mignon du Preez (Captain), Susan Benade, Cri-Zelda Brits, Trisha Chetty, Savanna Cordes, Dinesha Devnarain, Shandré Fritz, Marizanne Kapp, Dané van Niekerk, Marcia Letsoalo, Sunette Loubser, Yolandi Potgieter, Chloe Tryon, Elrisa Theunissen.

Kaieteur News  

Monday Edition

Kaieteur News  

Monday Edition