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December 25, 2012 - Vol. 5 No. 51 - Price $80
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Tuesday December 25, 2012
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS Ads in KN recruiting persons to earn $2M monthly ... FROM PRESIDENT DONALD RAMOTAR
Scam or above board?
n behalf of the government of Guyana, my family and on my own behalf, I extend greetings for a Merry Christmas to my fellow citizens. I trust that this Christmas Day will find you all upbeat and in good spirits because the celebration of Christmas is a time for happiness and the spreading of love. Christmas brings out the spirit of good will and togetherness among our people. Let us take the spirit of Christmas into the New Year to build a strong and prosperous Guyana for all the people of our country.
I embrace you all and Merry Christmas.
The office is the bottom flat of this Alberttown, Georgetown property.
A n u m b e r o f advertisements on how to make big money have been appearing in the classified ads section of Kaieteur News in recent weeks. They offered the possibility to earn “US$10,000 per month from home. The ads included: -“US$10,000 per month from home. We will teach you how. Join a successful company.” - “Sales Leaders: Can you recruit and train? It's your turn to make big money. US$$$.” -“Start your own business and be your own boss. No selling involved. Anyone can participate.” - “International company seeks independent business associates for expansion in Guyana. High income, low startup.” All the ads listed the telephone numbers as 6131616 / 675-8402. It did not list a landline. For many, US$10,000 ($2M) is money that takes years to earn while for others it would be an impossible amount to accumulate in savings. But the ads even offered the chance to earn this amount without having to invest any money. Kaieteur News's call to one of the numbers was answered by a person with a foreign accent who agreed to
Maikel Bergland, a foreigner, who says you can make $2million monthly
set up a meeting for the next day, last week. NO FANCY OFFICE The “office” was in the bottom flat of a two-storey dwelling home at 106 Third Street, Alberttown, Georgetown. There was a complete lack of any formal office arrangement for this company that was offering persons to make millions of dollars. The reporters were greeted by a Caucasian man who was shirtless, but wearing jeans with a cleaning bucket in hand. Upon meeting our reporters, he yelled out for “Michael”. The “office” was an
apartment with a kitchen in the corner, a bedroom on the side, a sofa and a small kitchen table. A slim, fair-skinned male, around his 30s, smilingly asked the two potential clients to sit. He introduced himself as Maikel Bergland, from Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He queried the visitors' interested in making US$10,000 a month and offered to show a video that will show how. The video was displayed on a laptop that was placed on a small table. It was several minutes long showing a lady hosting a taped programme of persons (continued on page 12)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM PRESIDENT DONALD RAMOTAR
President Donald Ramotar On behalf of the government of Guyana, my family and on my own behalf,
I extend greetings for a Merry Christmas to my fellow citizens. I trust that this Christmas Day will find you all upbeat and in good spirits because the celebration of Christmas is a time for happiness and the spreading of love. Christmas brings out the spirit of good will and togetherness among our people. Let us take the spirit of Christmas into the New Year to build a strong and prosperous Guyana for all the people of our country. I embrace you all and Merry Christmas.
People’s Progressive Party/Civic Christmas is once again with us. This holiday which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ is the principal holiday for Christians. Over the years, it has evolved into a holiday for all peoples. It is a time rightly described as the period of good will, a time for renewal of relations and a coming together of families and friends. This time in our country, the need to come together in the interest of our nation is evident. As is well known, our economy has been growing over the last six years despite the international crises. We are engaged in building projects that will further transform our country and
put us on the road of rapid growth where all our people will enjoy greater prosperity and progress. Working together is the best way of achieving these lofty goals. At this time, too, the PPP remembers all those who are not enjoying the best of health and those who are experiencing grief like our compatriots in the Pomeroon who are still overwhelmed by grief due to the tragic river accident of 18th Dec, 2012. The PPP once again extends best wishes to all Guyanese and to the Christian Community in particular during this season of peace and good will. A Merry Christmas to all!
The miraculous birth of Jesus Christ – celebrated by most Christians on the 25th December – is recorded in the Gospel according to St Luke as heralding an era of “peace on earth and good will toward men.” Jesus’ humble birth took place in a common manger in a tiny town in an obscure country. He was able, nevertheless, with a small band of disciples, to preach a gospel that transformed the world in a most fundamental way and created a remarkable
Christian civilization of which we are all heirs. The Christian spirit of charity continues to inspire Guyanese of all religions. Ordinary people everywhere reach out with compassion and generosity to help their brothers and sisters in distress. We call to mind the plight of the aged, the poor and other vulnerable citizens. We remember our servicemen and soldiers who will spend this joyous festival separated
First Lady, Deolatchmee Ramotar Children are at the centre of the religious and secular aspects of Christmas. The Christmas story revolves around the birth of a child, born not to great wealth and comfort, but lowly and defenseless in a manger. Like all children, this child is in need of a mother’s love, protection and support. Christmas is a special time for the children of Guyana. This is a period of great excitement for children as they look forward to the many activities that are held in their honor and as they anticipate receiving gifts and having fun over the holidays. It is true to say that Christmas is one of the holiest and happiest periods for children. Over the past few days, I have hosted or been part of many celebrations for children
and I have seen how their small faces light up with excitement and happiness. It is my wish that the special attention that is shown to our children at this time of the year and the deep feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction that come from reaching out to these impressionable minds, will motivate all of us to continue to do more for the children of Guyana so as to rid our society of all forms of child abuse, be it verbal or physical. Children represent the promise of tomorrow. The generation that we mould today will inherit and determine the future of our country. We must therefore cherish our children and ensure that they are free to realize their God- given potential.
A child’s potential can only be fully realized if that child is brought up in an environment of love, understanding and support. Every child should be treated with dignity. Yet we know that many of our children are unable to enjoy their childhood because they find themselves in situations of abuse or exploitation which forces them to forego the fun and enjoyment of being a child. It is my hope that this Christmas will awaken in all of us that natural impulse to show affection, to nurture all the children of Guyana so that none of them ever goes to bed hungry, sleep on our streets, denied schooling, suffers harm and abuse or have their minds poisoned by adultprejudice and hatred. Children are our special
responsibility. I believe that we can do more for them. In fact we must strive to do much more. We must commit to ensuring that the great gift of childhood is made secure for every child in Guyana. I urge all Guyanese to reach out to our children especially to those in need and to speak out and stand up for those who face abuse and exploitation. I know there are many who are fully committed to this task and I wish to thank them all for these remarkable and selfless individuals and groups who continue to work with our children. I also wish to thank the many persons whose countless acts of support have helped make a positive difference in the lives of our children. Merry Christmas to all!
Guyana Public Service Union The Guyana Public Service Union wishes to extend season’s greetings to its members, friends, wellwishers and the general public on this auspicious occasion. 2012 was a year filled with opportunities, challenges and great potential and without a doubt the Guyanese people would express disappointment and frustration over the kind of leadership exhibited by all sections of the population. We need to be certain about the environment within which
we operate, characterized by the arbitrariness of decisionmaking and the abuse of power, the undermining of existing laws and established procedures dealing with industrial relations. Certainly, this behaviour is tantamount to anti-working class policies and must be corrected forthwith. In 2013, we hope to achieve improved conditions on the quality of life and welfare for the people we represent; we hope to have collective decision making. We envision unity, solidarity
and good governance. In the circumstances, the Government must also do its part and take responsibility for its human resources, without which no government can function. The Union advises that you take time out from your busy schedules and spend quality time with your families, that you brainstorm your experiences and achievements over the past year and perhaps plan and
from their families at sea and on our far-flung frontiers. We recognize the service of our nurses, servicemen, technicians and working people who maintain our utilities, sanitary facilities and security services to ensure that citizens could be safe and that the nation could be secure. Christmas has become more than a religious festival when we rejoice in Jesus’ miraculous birth and his marvelous message to
mankind. It has become an occasion to rekindle the Guyanese spirit of goodwill and to be grateful for the service and sacrifice of others. The biblical promise of peace on earth and good will toward men, however, remains unfulfilled. Guyanese are urged on the occasion of this sacred festival – through thought, word and work – to make Jesus’ message of mercy and his ministry to the poor and needy the main motifs of their celebration.
The Progressive Youth Organization (PYO) takes this opportunity to extend a very Merry Christmas to all Guyanese, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters for whom this occasion represents the birth of their eternal salvation. This Christmas period is being observed amidst a lot of political hostility in our country. We hope that the main message of Christmas, that
determine how to improve on those achievements in the coming year. As we sit and reflect in our minds on the main purpose for the season, let’s put into practice Christ’s message of love and selflessness towards others, commit to help those in need and be each other’s’ keeper. May God bless you and your families with health, strength and togetherness. Once again, a very merry Christmas to you all.
Progressive Youth Organisation People’s National Congress/Reform of peace to the world and goodwill to all mankind, will cause our leaders to reflect on where we are as a nation and would influence them to strive for peace and harmony. On this joyous occasion of giving, we in the PYO call on all Guyanese, especially the political leaders to give peace and development a chance. Merry Christmas to all!
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Letters... Where your views make the 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
The joys and sadness on this day Today is the day that the nation awaits all year. It is the day when children all over the world smile because either their parents or some benevolent organization gave them something that actually brightened their lives. No child should be without a toy at Christmas time so there was a massive drive by so many to ensure that the children smiled. But while they are smiling there are those who are in tears because some disaster occurred during the year that left a space at the meal-time table. And there were many of those. Some died in road accidents, some were killed by the criminal elements as they went about their livelihood and some died at the hands of their spouses. There were also some who died in fires that destroyed their property and in the case of the household, Christmas is so grim that the people cannot contemplate any form of enjoyment. Just two months ago a fire destroyed the home of a woman on the lower East Coast Demerara. She was proud to know that her home had every little thing to make life comfortable. Today she is waking up in conditions far removed from being comfortable and sickened that she may never be able to replace what she had acquired during her earlier years. However, the hardest hit would be the children whose parents died horribly. No less than two dozen women were killed by their spouses this year. In some cases the assailant took his own life but for the greater part, he is in police custody pending trial for the crime he committed. Most of us never had to get up on Christmas Day knowing that one parent is dead and the other is in jail; few among us can appreciate the trauma of being plucked from the comfort of our own home to live in the home of a relative who is already hard pressed to make ends meet. In these pages there is a story of some children having to spend Christmas without their parents who were simply removed from the home without warning. Not only was that traumatic for the parents, Bruce and Carol Munroe, but it was more so for the children who had grown accustomed to a tradition. Change is never readily accepted. But the season is also about glad tidings. From, early November the radio station had been filling the airwaves with those tunes heard only at this time of the year. The rush to beautify the home would come later. Up to late last night the streets in the city were choked with people, some seeking bargains and others merely enjoying the atmosphere that is actually the spirit of Christmas. And this spirit brought out the best in some people. It is often said that Guyanese are a generous people. Christmas brings out that generosity. In the market place, strangers paid the difference in prices for items that someone needed; vendors dropped a few dollars because they saw themselves as making a contribution to the spirit of the season and at the same time helping someone who actually needed help at the time. This is the time of year when the business community earns about fifty per cent of its gross annual earning. To achieve this, most brought in those things that would catch the eye and enhance sales. Today the business people are counting their takings and some are already setting their eye on this time next year. But one should not forget the reason for this season. Christians believe that their savior was born on this day and to commemorate they are going to include the religious aspect of the occasion to the joy and merriment that the majority would seek. There was a time when the church bells pealed to herald in the day. While this may still be the case in some communities it is not as widespread because the younger replacements simply cannot be bothered with such trivia. The bottom line is that this day is going to be full of merriment and we wish that no disaster befalls anyone. Merry Christmas to all.
It’s Christmas and G/town is still a dirty city DEAR EDITOR, I was there when Mr. Joseph Harmon MP, made an impassioned plea at the General Council meeting of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), for the council to pass a motion, calling for all stakeholders , including the Ramotar administration, to mount a massive clean-up campaign, to “scrub” the city clean, prior to the Christmas holidays. The motion was passed unanimously and later I travelled with Mr. Harmon (APNU Shadow Minister for Public Works) to several wards of the city, where he met residents and community leaders, and got a commitment from them to engage in self-help activity to clean-up their personal surroundings and their neighbourhoods. The residents asked that the private sector or the government assist with tools and other technical assistance; they were prepared to work. I attended two meetings at the City Hall. At the first meeting it was acknowledged by all (including the Mayor), that things were at a critical point, and the cleaning up of the city had reached the stage where it was no longer a municipal problem, but instead, a national priority.
Letters were sent to the President, his cabinet, government agencies, members of the diplomatic corps, the Joint Services, the Private Sector, Political Parties and several other stakeholders, asking them to attend a meeting that would address the cleaning up of the capital city. At the second meeting there were representatives from all ten wards of the city; members of the diplomatic corps, and several other interested parties. There were several speakers, but the theme was the same, the city was in a mess and a ten-day campaign would be mounted to give it a face-lift. It was acknowledged that the Drainage and Irrigation personnel (Central Government) were engaged in a three-day cleaning of drains, and certain sections of the city. This exercise was applauded, but all acknowledged that the scope and scale of the clean-up of Georgetown needed a more comprehensive approach. Even though I was disappointed that the Ramotar administration did not embrace the cleaning up of Georgetown, and important entities like the Guyana Defence Force did not send representatives to
the meeting, I was cautiously optimistic. This optimism however quickly died, when I made a tour of all ten wards of the city and inspected all of the major canals. What I found was a situation that called for a declaration of war. The small army of the willing was no match for what in my mind was a truly Herculean task. The neglect of decades, the miseducation, the mountains of garbage and the mounds of litter and debris that seem to decorate every street corner and every front yard; the non-existent inter-locking drainage system, the clogged canals that were not only silted up, but filled with all manner of waste, flotsam and plant-life; this clearly screamed for some type of Marshall Plan, if the Capital City of Georgetown was to ever return to its status as Garden City of the Caribbean. I was right, for the effort we mounted failed. Christmas is here, our relatives and friends are here, tourists are here and our city remains stink and nasty. I was in Parliament and heard the Minister responsible for tourism defending the building of the Marriott Hotel. It was his opinion that that hotel would bring tourists and enhance the nation’s image
with the international travelling class. I share a different view. It is my view that infrastructure that is reliable, a clean and attractive city, a well-educated people and friendly populace and a safe and secure environment would attract not only tourists, but also investors and remigrants. It is sad and I think an opportunity lost, that we did not clean the city up. With much nostalgia I remember the clean-up campaigns of the Seventies, where the Prime Minister and his cabinet led the charge, where the Military and ParaMilitary got involved and citizens came out and participated in numbers. Maybe it was the leadership that inspired us to act, maybe it was just a different time, and maybe it was the pride we took in being Guyanese and being proud of everything Guyanese; including our City, Georgetown. Whatever it was, somewhere along the way we have lost it. So, my Christmas wish would be for a return of that spirit of nationalism, of civic pride, and an end to the kind of politics and politicians that harbour in a city like Georgetown. Mark Archer
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news
Dr. Rose is wrong on those pleading guilty
DEAR EDITOR, While I agree with Dr. Euclid Asquith Rose that “the holidays should be a period for healing and atonement” (KN Dec 20), he also needs to atone for his own misdeeds and for misleading readers on various matters, including on Agricola and Linden, and wrongfully leveling accusations without evidence to substantiate them. Rose stated some time ago that if someone pleads guilty to a charge, then he or she actually committed the crime accused of, or else he or she would not have accepted guilt for it. That is balderdash. As a student of the social sciences, I can state without any contradiction that there are many who served time in jail for pleading guilty and without committing the crime accused of. In America, many, minorities (like Blacks and Hispanics) in particular, were and are wrongfully convicted on trumped up charges. Some (innocent) accused pled
guilty of crimes in order to avoid trial or believing prosecutors who false assured them they would not serve time. Last Dec 2 on the CBS news magazine, 60 Minutes, there was a segment on mostly Black American males who were wrongfully incarcerated in the US. These men pled guilty to charges even though they were innocent and years later they were freed from jail after indepth investigative research by advocates to prove their innocence. They were misled into pleading guilty for crimes they never committed and lost many years of their freedom. Some went to jail as youngsters and came out as old men. Some were assisted in their freedom by “The Innocence Project”, a project undertaken by mostly White Americans who succeeded in clearing several wrongfully imprisoned men of bogus charges. Prof. John Cassidy (a
White American) of John Jay College (CUNY) d i s cussed how slipshod work by police and prosecutors led to their conviction or they fooled the accused men into pleading guilty of crimes, telling them they would be sent home without any jail time. Instead of spending countless hours attacking President Ramotar (KN Dec 20, Dec 18, Dec 14) who is trying to address the many challenges facing our country, Asquith Rose should try to educate himself about basic government institutions. He shows serious deficiency in understanding governmental institutions, especially as they relate to social behaviour and law (although he teaches part time at John Jay, a law oriented college). Mr. Rose needs to visit Prof. Cassidy who can instruct him on basics about law, concepts such as guilt and innocence, healing, atonement, etc. Vishnu Bisram
The most serious crisis facing Guyana DEAR EDITOR, It is not corruption or racism. It is not poverty or political division. It is not crime or unemployment. It is not a weak education system or lack of finance. It is not the lack of opportunity. In my opinion, the single most important crisis facing Guyanese today is alcohol consumption. It is perfectly legal and yet it hurts and kills more people than anything else. Many Guyanese have a weakness and that weakness is alcohol. Whenever some Guyanese want to discuss an issue they do it over a drink. Guyanese love to drink alcohol. Some would make any excuse to drink alcohol. For example, they would have a birthday party for a little child and that party would have abundant alcohol for the adults. Alcohol is responsible for the death of more people than anything else. Drunk drivers have killed the most people. Alcohol has led to domestic violence and murder. Alcohol is responsible many people going to prison. Furthermore, it has led to many physical and sexual abuses and incest. Alcohol has taken many lives. It has led to many people dropping out of school. Alcohol has led to cheating, unfaithfulness and the demise of many marriages,
and the break-up of many families. Alcohol has made many people lose their employment, house, and car. Alcohol has led to violence, arguments, and fights. Alcohol has made many spend less time with their family. Alcohol leads to poverty and a decline in moral values. The sad thing is that drinking alcohol is promoted, encouraged, and accepted in Guyana. Most Guyanese don’t see
the danger of drinking alcohol. I was told that if I want to make friends I have to drink alcohol. I believe alcohol is the single most important crisis facing Guyanese. It has done more damage and has led to the downfall of the country more than anything else. Why are companies, leaders, and everyone else promoting and encouraging people to drink when alcohol it is destroying so many of our people? Concerned Guyanese
Without consultation - CAL named Guyana’s Flag Carrier
DEAR EDITOR, Naming Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) Guyana’s flag carrier caught everyone by surprise. This is a major decision for any nation and it was done in such haste, shrouded in secrecy and lacked transparency. The pros and cons were never discussed by the Parliament of Guyana. And if it was raised in Parliament, and not approved, the PPP regime definitely would have gone ahead and challenged it in court. However, this is not to say that it’s a bad move. Embracing CAL could very well be a good thing for Guyana. But it was done with arrogance. G u y a n a ’s p o l i t i c a l system lacks institutions to support checks and balances, transparency and an independent judiciary. The country still has an executive president, the legislature finally got a o n e - s e a t m a j o r i t y, a n d most political and civic
institutions are controlled by the PPP regime. Civil society is still in its infancy. Individuals, the media, and nongovernmental agencies criticizing the government are demonized by Freedom House. Guyana is not a liberal democracy. Under these state circumstances, the decision was made to designate CAL Guyana’s flag carrier. CAL may very well do as it pleases because the government of Guyana will now protect the North America routes and the POS GT Bridge. What agreement did the two parties sign? How does this affect Delta and Surinam Airways (SLM), and future carriers plying the North American routes? What recourse can the government take if CAL disappoints the Guyanese people? Were SLM and Delta consulted before this agreement with CAL was made? The PPP regime begged SLM to return to
Guyana. How does this affect SLM’s plans to expand into Northern Brazil, New York and Toronto from Guyana? LIAT Airways is also looking in the near future to fly to North America. There is no doubt that CAL was given incentives or offered subsidies. This is a very uneven playing field. Now one can expect that since CAL is Guyana’s national flag carrier, it will fly from Guyana to Barbados, Bogota, Lima, Quito, Belem, Caracas, Manaus, London, Miami and Paramaribo Freedom House’s UNASUR dream come true. Rabindra Moonan promised the PPP more. CAL will station aircrafts at the new CJIA terminal which by the way, from looking at the design, lacks character and architecturally is nothing aesthetically awesome to the eyes. CAL also promised to fly an ATR to Boa Vista, Manaus, Paramaribo , Barbados and Belem. Ray Chickrie
End-of-year reflections DEAR EDITOR, The festive season of Christmas and the New Year is here with us. This is a good time to reflect on the many challenges we faced during the course of the year and at the same time give praise where it is due for the achievements we have made both in our private lives and as a nation. We are blessed with an abundance of natural and human resources which potentially ranks us among the most highly endowed resource-rich country in the Caribbean.
The challenge for us is to exploit these riches in the most sustainable and costeffective manner in order to optimize the benefits of these resources for the people of Guyana. This is why it is so important that we seek to find common ground on the way forward for this country. We have to think big and always strive to put the national interest before narrow sectarian interests. I am absolutely sure that there are enough people right across the political and ethnic spectrum who
passionately care for the good and well-being of this nation but for one reason or another seem unable to liberate themselves from parochial bondage. The current situation in Guyana requires a grand coalition of reasonable minds who are prepared to put nation before self. This is a good time of the year for reflection and introspection. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Guyanese a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Hydar Ally
Tuesday December 25, 2012
738 industrial accidents recorded countrywide – Labour Minister A total of 738 industrial accidents were recorded by the Ministry of Labour during the past year representing a noticeable increase in such incidents, according to Minister of Labour, Dr Nanda Gopaul. Dr Gopaul said during a recent press briefing, that of the total accidents reported to the Ministry, 12 were fatalities. The mining industry, the Minister said, attracted six accidents, four occurred in the shipping industry, while there
was one each in the fishing industry and forestry sector. “Even the most minor of accidents under Occupational Health and Safety (regulations) must be reported to the Ministry so we can safely say that the figure we have is accurate,” said Dr Gopaul. According to the Minister, all accidents are investigated and reports have since been submitted to the Ministry, even for the smallest infractions. Speaking specifically to
the fatal accidents, the Minister said that reports of such nature have also been submitted to the Ministry and they are currently being carefully scrutinised with a view to seeing whether prosecution is necessary. Earlier this year emphasis was placed on Occupational Health and Safety by the Labour Ministry when it launched its Occupational Health and Safety month of activities. A ‘symposium and fair’ was held in April at the Umana Yana.
Dr Gopaul said during the press briefing that after a lapse of about four years the Ministry’s cooperation with its tripartite partners, that is Consultative Association of Guyanese Industry (CAGI) and the union movement, were able to introduce an Occupational Health and Safety Committee. The Committee is headed by Mr Seepaul Narine and has members from various agencies. Again with the support of another Committee (the Tripartite Committee), the
Ministry was able to launch a series of training programmes for this year and apart from labour officers, other staff members were exposed to weekly edification sessions. The training sessions were facilitated by local partners in the Tripartite Committee and was also complemented by a prosecution course with was conducted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). Included in this programme were National Insurance Scheme’s inspectors as well as Probation Officers. “This was the beginning of a strengthening of relationships between the prosecution department of the various bodies dealing with labour and other matters...that prosecution programme was conducted by the Office of the DPP but saw a collaborated effort on the part of NIS, our Labour Division and the probations officers,” Dr Gopaul said. This move was essential since according to Dr Gopaul “if we work as a team we are likely to see greater success than if we operate as individual groupings. We can coordinate our visits and this is why we have coordinated the training programmes.”
Minister of Labour, Dr Nanda Gopaul The whole process was aided by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) through the person of Consultant Rozanne Richards who ably guided officers in writing the ILO Convention reports as is required. “We did a programme on report writing while another ILO specialist conducted training for reporting and our obligations to the ILO...” Dr Gopaul informed. This latter undertaking was done even as the ILO’s Mr Anthony Rutherford conducted yet another training programme on safety in the forestry and fisheries sector in November of this year. “So we have placed heavy emphasis on Occupational Health and Safety during the course of the year,” said Dr Gopaul.
PNCR spreads Christmas cheer to Linden children
The People’s National Congress Reform spread Christmas cheer to scores of children on Sunday in Linden. Children from two communities – One-Mile Wismar and Amelia’s ward – took advantage of a few hours of sunshine to converge in open areas where they were presented with toys and other gifts. PNCR leader, Brigadier David Granger, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Sandra Granger, and Members of Parliament, Ms. Amna Ally and Ms. Vanessa Kissoon, were assisted by Regional Chairman, Mr. Sharma Soloman; former Regional Chairman, Mr. Mortimer
Mingo and regional councilors in feting the children. Brigadier Granger, in extending greetings to the children and their parents, thanked the Regional administration and for organising and planning the event and for its contribution to the well-being of residents of the region. Brigadier David Granger had earlier presented cash to victims and relatives of persons who were injured by the security forces during the crisis in July-August. The money represented contributions by Guyanese in the Diaspora, especially members of ‘Guyvoice’ – a New-York based NGO.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Scam or above board? From page 2 giving testimonies of how their lives have changed dramatically using Talk Fusion, which, among other things, allows persons to send a video message in an email. Ta l k F u s i o n , headquartered in Brandon, Florida, USA, has other “cutting-edge” video communication products like video newsletters, video conferencing, live broadcasting and video share. While the clients were watching the video, Maikel went to the kitchen table and
was busy attending to some paperwork. In the meantime, his other companion was pacing the apartment. He remained shirtless even in the presence of his guests, one of them a female. He was said to be from Germany. The conclusion seemed to be too easy: Making the money is simple. Maikel is in Guyana to recruit people who would introduce Talk Fusion products to others. PYRAMID SCHEME Under the multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme, also known as pyramid
selling, persons recruited will have to buy packages of the programs or apps as they are known. It could go up to US$750 for a premium package…the more money means more products. The recruited persons then would recruit others…families, friends, etc…and try to persuade them to the same products. For each product sold, each person along the line is making US$25 in commission. Each recruiter is responsible for the persons under them. And each is suppose to make money selling the video
programmes. Every month, each recruited member is charged a small fee by Talk Fusion for being part of the programme. The reporters were told that recently in Suriname, a recruited person selling Talk Fusion products earned U S $ 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 i n commissions. The reporters were also told that payments for the products can only be done via credit cards. There is no cash, and all payments must be done online. If you don't have a credit card, then there is Republic
Bank, the reporters were told. There was not much information on how many persons have been recruited across Guyana. And it is their plan to go to Berbice soon. Maikel was at pains to point out that the work is hard and the profits will not be immediate. The Curacao man is set to hold a number of presentations to persons who have called and who are highly interested in earning US$10,000 monthly. MLM, according to the online Wikepedia, is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant's "downline", and can provide multiple levels of compensation. Other terms for MLM include pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing. MLM companies have been a frequent subject of criticism as well as the target of lawsuits. Criticism has focused on their similarity to illegal pyramid schemes, price fixing of products, high initial start-up costs, emphasis on recruitment of lower-tiered salespeople over actual sales, encouraging if not requiring salespeople to purchase and use the company's products, potential exploitation of personal relationships which are used as new sales and recruiting targets, complex and sometimes exaggerated
compensation schemes, and cult-like techniques which some groups use to enhance their members' enthusiasm and devotion. A background search of Ta l k F u s i o n f o u n d comments, both critical and flattering. In his Facebook account, under the name “The MasterMaikel Productions”, Bergland, as recent as July, seems to have been involved in another “promotion” called “Bannersbroker”. He said in the Facebook posting that Bannersbroker is “the only online place of real business where you can see your money growing real time! Profit-sharing on the online marketing space is the real deal in the New Digital Economy of 2012! Email me, if you got questions and if you want to know more a b o u t t h i s : firstname.lastname@example.org m”. An additional point to note is that both cell phone numbers are not listed under the name Maikel Bergland with one of the addresses given as De Kinderen, West Coast Demerara. Guyanese have to be careful about schemes that offer to use their names and addresses as well as offers for future earnings. If the MLM scheme being sold is as good as being offered, then the Talk Fusion system would have been one of the most popular systems in North America and elsewhere. Why Guyana where a majority of the population is without computers or internet access? Schemes are possible if people are gullible.
GEA employee missing Police are trying to locate a 25-year-old Guyana Energy Agency employee who has been missing since Sunday. According to reports LeVoy Taljit, is of Amerindian and East Indian descent. This newspaper understands that Taljit was last seen on Sunday wearing Burgundy Tee Shirt with Faded Blue Jeans. He was driving a Raum, PNN 8315. Family and friends have not heard from him since Sunday and say that it is unlike him to not be in contact with family. His sister, Anastasia, yesterday told Kaieteur News that her brother had recently started working with the GEA. She said that she is not aware of any problem that he might have,
Missing LeVoy Taljit noting her brother is not known to be involved in any “wrongdoings”. P e r s o n s w i t h information are asked to make contact with 2260433, 226-7336, 666-4012 or the nearest police station.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
A MERRY CHRISTMAS On behalf of all the contributors, I would like to wish all the readers of this column and of the Kaieteur News, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I thank you for supporting this great newspaper which has been like a sentinel, obsessively guarding the interest of the people. The tremendous role that the Kaieteur News has played in exposing corruption, keeping the nation informed and offering insightful and wide-ranging commentaries on a host of national and international issues would not have been possible had it not been for the bravery of the publisher of this newspaper, Glenn Lall. He is a giant amongst huge men and I take this opportunity to wish him and his family a very Merry Christmas and hope that he is allowed to play a more important role in Guyana. Imagine what a difference that can make toward rooting out corruption if someone like Glenn Lall is placed on the National Tender Board Administration or its likely successor the National Procurement Commission. Imagine how much cleanliness would be had if Glenn Lall was appointed a member of the country’s integrity commission. Can you imagine someone like Glenn being content with simply accepting the declarations of those statutory officers who are required to submit statements of their assets and liabilities?
Glenn will not just ask to see the declarations, he would call on them to account for what they have declared and what they have not declared. Uncle Donald is a good man; he is an honest man and someone who can be trusted to keep his word. But the question that is being asked is why is he being so defensive in terms of addressing the widespread perception that corruption is rife in the country and in the government. Does Uncle Donald really believe that there is no serious corruption in the police force? Does he really believe that some of those who are close to him do not have their hands in the kitty jar? Corruption is perhaps the only thing on which the opposition can criticize the government’s record. And Uncle Donald has to understand that it is not an issue that he should ignore or have his government be defensive on. He should develop a strategy to promote greater accountability, transparency and honesty in government and this strategy must include reinforcing those institutions such as the Integrity Commission and the Central Tender Board. He needs to bring persons into those bodies whose only intention is to assist the country. There are many people who want to help Uncle Donald because they know that he is good at heart. But if he continues to consult and be advised by the same
persons who have been in the system for so long, what different advice is he going to get. His party lost its parliamentary majority not because it was let down by its supporters. It let itself down by allowing the previous administration to do as it pleases. A great deal of mistakes were made and many more are still being made. This problem is going to get too big for Uncle Donald unless he seeks out assistance from persons who are willing to help him deal with corruption. The process has to begin with the government. Uncle Donald should ask every one of his Ministers to declare their assets to him. He should not just look at the increase in the assets each year but should call on persons from civil society to help him determine whether any of his Ministers and advisers has assets which cannot be accounted by virtue of legitimate earnings. Once he does this, then his government will get a clean sheet because he would have set the example to the rest of the public sector by having his ministers’ wealth or lack of wealth be investigated. The critics of the government are not going to be able to throw accusations and make unfounded allegations. And Transparency International’s case would fall flat on its face because the wealth or lack of wealth of the ministers would
Dem boys seh...
Croton oil and jumpsuit fuh de Bees This is de season of giving and receiving. People who earn whole year does give back to de less fortunate. To give dem does extend dem hand fuh shake and dem does use de other one to present de gifts. De less fortunate does shake hand too wid one hand and receive wid de other one. Two different workers from two different work place was chatting. One seh that he boss man does only stretch he hand fuh shake but he don’t give nutten. He greedy and cheap. He and he family does tek everything. De man seh that de boss man wuk he year guh, year come and don’t give nutten when Christmas time come. He seh that he woulda lef de wuk long time now but he
can’t find another wuk and he got he pickney fuh feed. De other man tell he that wukking wid a good boss man. Every year de boss man does shake he hand and give he a big bonus package. He does nice up he whole family. He seh that de other day he see de Bees and de king Bee, (de big Rat) walking round and claiming how dem sharing de Christmas spirit. But dem didn’t have no spirits in dem hand. Brazzy, one of de Bees, got a lot of spirit in he belly while de King Bee and Bob-Bee got spirit of another kind. Dem is de most evil of spirits. De man seh that he does tun sideways to stretch one hand out to shake de Bees hand, but he does keep one hand in he pocket to protect de li’l bit he got inside.
De man seh that when he got to meet de King Bee and Bob-Bee, he does keep all two hand in he pocket and pray. Because of how dem cheap, mean and greedy, dem boys wish that today dem go to somebody who gun put croton oil in de food that de Bees got to eat. That gun bring runnings of another type. Hope de Bees have a most unhappy Christmas and that Santa bring de pumpkin/ khaki jumpsuits like wha de EZjet boss wearing in Miami now, and croton oil fuh all of dem Bees, including de King Bee, before 2013 Christmas. To de honest, decent, and hardworking citizens of this country, dem boys wish all of you a joyful, blissful and happy Christmas.
have been subjected to independent scrutiny. We have long passed the stage where the public is going to have confidence in the fact that a number of Government officials are required to submit annual declarations of their assets and liabilities. Let those declared assets be subject to investigation and let that investigation begin with the Ministers.
Uncle Donald will emerge the victor in this process. Not only would he be able to silence his critics that enough is not being done to stem corruption but he will also be able to show that he has an honest government. And if per chance he discovers that there may be some who cannot explain what they own, then he will be able to use that as the basis to fire them. This will gain him
even more acclaim. This is my wish to a good man, Uncle Donald, and hope that he lives up to the reputation by which his old and golden friends know him. Merry Christmas Uncle Donald!
Tuesday December 25, 2012
The Advent wreath - a sign that Christmas is near
A group of Catholics in New Amsterdam gather around the wreath to light the first candle and recite special prayers during Mass The Advent wreath is a very important symbol in the Christmas season, for many Christians, especially in the traditional or mainline
churches. The wreath, or Advent crown, is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent
in the liturgical calendar of the Western church. It is traditionally a Lutheran practice, but has spread to many other Christian
denominations. It is usually a horizontal evergreen wreath with four candles and often, a fifth, a white candle in the centre. Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, the lighting of a candle can be accompanied by a Bible reading and prayers. An additional candle is lit during each subsequent week until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit. Many Advent wreaths include a fifth, Christ candle which is lit at Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The custom is observed both in family settings and at public church services. The ring or wheel of the Advent wreath of evergreens decorated with candles was a symbol in northern Europe long before the arrival of Christianity. The circle symbolized the eternal cycle of the seasons while the evergreens and lighted candles signified the persistence of life in the midst of winter. Some sources suggest that the wreath— now reinterpreted as a Christian symbol—was in common use in the Middle Ages, others that it was established in Germany as a
Christian custom only in the 16th century. This symbol has been ‘catching on’ in the Guyanese celebrations of Christmas and has been adorning some position in many churches, especially the traditional churches. In New Amsterdam, the Catholics have positioned their Advent wreath on the sanctuary of the church. It is beautifully decorated and has five candles; three purple, one pink and a white candle, in the centre, the Christmas Candle. Over the past four weeks, a new candle is lit, and special
prayers are said. This is all in anticipation of the coming of Christmas. Then, on Christmas Eve nigh t , d u r i n g M i d n i g h t Mass, the fifth and final candle—the most important candle, the one in the centre, the white candle, is lit, signaling the official beginning of the Christmas cycle on the church calendar. Th e A d v e n t w r e a t h i s just one of many symbols that reminds Christians that we are approaching the Christmas season, one of the most joyful and special seasons for Christians.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Philomena Pilgrim is spending Christmas without a home While many will be enjoying their pepper pot, sorrel and all the fancy treats in well decked out Christmas fashion; some people are finding it very hard to cope this holiday. In fact, for one woman, today’s menu may very well be rice and peas or whatever else she can find to “cook a pot.” Fifty-six-year-old Philomena Bobb-Pilgrim is still trying to come to grips with the reality of losing her home and all that she owned. The woman’s house was completely destroyed last Wednesday after her 29-yearold son decided to torch her two-storey, four-bedroom house. Pilgrim said that she has no Christmas, not even a home to call her own. When Kaieteur News made contact with her yesterday, Pilgrim said that she was on Regent
Street just walking and looking around. “I just walking and looking round, cause I ain’t got nothing to buy. I ain’t got no money, no Christmas nothing.” Sobbing and trying to keep her composure, Pilgrim said that she now lives behind the Roraima Housing Scheme on West Bank Demerara, in a small place that her friend had given her permission to stay. Since the fire, she highlighted that friends and family have come to her aid; also receiving assistance from a private organization. Guyana Relief Council, she said, donated some cooking utensils a small stove, some food items and a mattress. Her granddaughters, for whom the woman cared, had to be sent away to their mothers at their various homes. Her son, who lived downstairs, is now living
Philomena Bobb-Pilgrim and her children and grandchildren in front their home the morning of the fire at the Relief Council, while his girlfriend had to return to her parents’ home. Pilgrim said her daughter who also lost items in the
home, promised to bake her cake from her work place. Other persons offered to share their Christmas treats. Pilgrim is however looking forward to a bright new year. The woman said she expects to start on the reconstruction of her home. So far she said her church has donated money for the purchase of blocks while neighbours assisted with the clearing of the land. Her friend who gave the apartment has also offered to host a bingo to raise funds for her home. There will also be another fund raiser in the community to raise money for the house. Pilgrim said she wanted to thank everyone
who assisted in whatever way and is humbled by the contribution of any other. The family was able to save nothing. Five persons occupied the house at Lot 22 Samaroo Dam, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara. Pilgrim and her two granddaughters lived upstairs while the woman’s son and his girlfriend stayed in the lower flat. Another son would stay with the woman when he was not in the interior. Pilgrim said that her son is a drug user. On the day prior to the fire, she had a small exchange with her son about him constantly using her matches. According to her, the son, Rockwell Pilgrim, works
nowhere and earns no pay. She said that the family cares for him, but she was adamant when she told her son that he should find a steady job instead of travelling to the interior and regularly returning empty handed. Nothing happened that night, but the next morning, she said, her son who is sometimes delusional, was uttering “weird things”. Being in a hurry to reach her security job, she did not respond to him. Her son became irate but the woman said that she, instead, hurried her grandchildren out the house and headed to work. Minutes later, Pilgrim said that a friend called her and told her that her home was engulfed in flames. The woman said that she immediately stopped the bus and returned to her home. “When I see the fire, my knees buckle,” Pilgrim lamented. The woman said that when she got there the top flat was gone and the fire was making its way to the bottom flat. The suspected arsonist, Rockwell Pilgrim appeared at theVreed-en-Hoop Magistrates’ Court last week and was remanded to jail. The man was also slapped with assault charges since he had reportedly attacked the police with a knife when they tried to detain him after the fire. The matter will be called again next year.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Businesswoman robbed,shot in leg
A Providence businesswoman is lucky to be alive after a near death experience with brazen gunmen yesterday afternoon. Bibi Sharmeeran Singh, 57, was shot once in the lower right leg when she refused to let thieves take away her handbag which had at least $400,000 in cash and valuable documents. The gunmen may have traced the woman after seeing her conduct financial transactions. Singh said that around 13:45 hours, she returned from the bank at the Buddy’s Hotel with her husband after conducting some business. She said her husband parked the vehicle at their Area A Track X establishment and went to the washroom. She said that she noticed a car pull up in the driveway, and, “took it for nothing,” since it was regular for customers to come in, park and use the facilities. Singh said that as the car drove up, she stopped so that it could pass, and she would then proceed to her shop. But instead, Singh said the vehicle stopped in front of her and a man opened the door and held on to her bag. “He opened the car door and he grab my bag. He pull the bag, so I pull back my bag in kind of a tug a war. He pull again and this time I get tug and I draw close to the car. So when he see I not loosing, he look into the car and pull out a small gun.” Singh said the man shot her in her leg and she released the bag. The bandits made good their escape. Harold Singh, who operates his scrap metal business in the same compound as his wife’s
Bibi Sharmeeran Singh while receiving medical attention at the hospital snackette, said that he noticed the car when it pulled up in the yard. “I saw when the car drive in, but I thought was me friend, so I didn’t tek it for nothing.” Mr. Singh said that he had returned from the bank at Buddys with his wife and parked in the yard. He said he opened the door and went straight to the urinal. All the while, the man said he had no idea about what was taking place outside. “All I hear was a gunshot and I jump and rush outside. This time I see my son jump in one of the vehicles and chase after the car.” Singh said it was a grey Premio with licensed plate number PPP170 that robbed his wife. After he noticed his son going after the car, Singh said he too jumped into his jeep and followed. Their attempts however proved futile as the men were able to escape en route to the city. Ms. Singh was taken to the Diamond hospital by her family. An x-tray examination proved that the bullet entered the woman’s leg and exited.
Fortunately, no major vessels were compromised and the bullet slimly missed her bone. Some members of the Singh family were also at the scene at the time of the incident. Though they said they did not see what transpired, they said they remembered hearing the gunshot and seeing the car speed out of the compound. There were still blood spots on the ground when Kaieteur News visited the scene. Police investigators were also present conducting the relevant checks. A spent shell was found in the area where the woman was shot and investigators are hoping that some match could be made. The Singhs both felt that the perpetrators had to have been observing them, or were tipped off. Mrs. Singh said she is nevertheless happy to be alive. “I can’t believe that this is my Christmas present. Tomorrow (today) is Christmas and look where I deh. But at least I’m alive and can live to see tomorrow.”
Battle against foot-and-mouth boosted with cash, GPS equipment
The Ministry of Agriculture and its agency, Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), yesterday received cash and critical equipment to help in its fight against Foot and Mouth Disease. According the Ministry, yesterday, US$8,000 and four global positioning system (GPS) will add to its capacity. Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Minister of Agriculture, who received the assistance on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that “achievement is one thing, but we must protect what we achieve”. A national disease outbreak disaster simulation exercise was recently carried out in Region Nine, Guyana. Involved with the Ministry were Brazilian personnel and representatives of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). PAHO helped finance the exercise
Dr. Beverly Harnett, PAHO/WHO Country Representative handing over the GPS system to Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Minister of Agriculture which cost US$13,000. The Minister said that it will take laboratory technology as well as education of technical officers and citizens to keep Guyana free from the disease
which attack mainly cattle. “We will continue to work together with the respective agencies such as PAHO to ensure capacity is built for the overall welfare of our people,” Minister Ramsammy declared.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Remigrants house lots cost four times more than Jagdeo’s Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Nigel Hughes, is hoping that all future eligible persons acquire house lots at a comparative market value to what former President Bharrat Jagdeo and a few of his closest allies acquired theirs in Pradoville Two, (Sparendaam) East Coast Demerara. Hughes, who had virtually taken on members of the ruling administration by himself on the National Communications Network “corruption debate” had lashed out at the circumstances under which Jagdeo acquired his twoacre plot of land at Sparendaam. According to reports, which were confirmed during last September debates, Jagdeo acquired his land at Pradoville 2, at a “market value” of $5M per acre, a price that was justified by Attorney General, Anil Nandlall. But when compared with the price that the government is offering land to remigrants at Providence, East Bank Demerara, Jagdeo and his associates have actually secured a sweet deal, Hughes said. Officials from the Ministry of Housing have confirmed that persons applying for a 8,000 square-foot house lot in the remigrant housing scheme are being asked to pay $7M per lot. One acre gives five house lots. The house lots are 8,000 square feet. The area of the plot is less than a quarter of an acre of land. Compared to what former President Jagdeo paid, the remigrants are being asked to pay almost six times more for a comparative plot of land. A copy of the letter that the Ministry of Housing dispatched to prospective remigrant house lot applicants, read. “Land Allocation Department Tel. Nos: 592-223-7530, 7521, 7517 2012 Dear (Name Given) With respect to your offer of an allocation at Pln. Providence, you are invited to select your lot number at the Providence Stadium, East Bank Demerara on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 14:00h. Please be informed that since you have qualified for a High Income land, that you are required, to make a full payment for the land, the conveyance fee of $8,000 and the Identification of Lot fee of $3,000. Payments must be made by Manager’s Cheque. Please be advised that after making full payment of the land and conveyance fee, you can sign to process for a Certificate of Title. Payment required for
former President Bharrat Jagdeo
” Jagdeo’s mansion sits on two acres of land at Pradoville Two.
Anil Nandlall. allocation of a house lot. Offer Cost of land—$7,000,000 (G) Conveyance Fee—$8,000 (G$) Identification of Lot Fee— High Income—$3,000 (G$) Kindly ensure that you walk with the required sum of money to make the full payment along with Original and copies of your: Identification Card/Passport, Birth Certificate/ N a t u r a l i z a t i o n Documentation and an Affidavit stating NonOwnership of Property in Guyana, so that your offer can be formalized into an allocation. Please note that the Central Housing & Planning Authority is making this offer available to you on the condition that neither you nor your spouse is the owner of any property in Guyana. This offer shall be rescinded if you are found to be the holder of property in Guyana. Should you fail to respond to this offer of allocation on July 7, 2012, it will be assumed that you are no longer interested and the offer will be null and void. We hope that you take this opportunity and be a part of this exercise. All for your information and guidance. Sincerely, For the Chief Executive Officer” At the price offered by the Ministry of Housing, remigrants would actually
pay close to $42M per acre. When compared to the prime ocean front land that former President Bharrat Jagdeo acquired at $5M an acre, Nigel Hughes said that it is no wonder that the Alliance for Change questioned the circumstances under which state lands were given out at Pradoville Two. “I hope that they put in some facilities with the same alacrity that they did at Pradoville Two for the other citizens at the remigrant scheme,” Hughes told this newspaper yesterday. The remigrant scheme was conceptualized and promoted by the Bharrat Jagdeo regime under the stewardship of one of his protégés, Irfaan Ali. Housing Ministry officials confirmed that the water network as well as roads has already been installed in the scheme, and the electricity infrastructure should be completed early next year. Hughes, an attorney-atlaw, had contended that Jagdeo, while in office, acquired more wealth than any other president of independent Guyana. Hughes had pointed out that “no other Head of State in this country through independence to now…while they are President, made a business of the presidency to acquire the assets that the state owned; not assets they went out on the open market and bought; assets that the state owned and they then converted and bought below market prices.” Hughes was mainly referring to the ‘palace’ that the former Guyanese leader now owns at Sparendaam. According to Hughes, Jagdeo managed to purchase prime ocean front land for $5M per acre, an amount way below the market value of such property. “This is state land acquired by the government of the day and distributed to
the President and the President’s friends below market prices, next to Courida Park, some of the most expensive real estate. I’m still waiting to find out where I can get one acre of ocean front property, prime real estate for $5M per acre,” Hughes said. He challenged his opponents to identify
whether Dr. Jagan or even President Burnham ever carried out such practices. Hughes’s assertions were strongly refuted by Labour Minister Nanda Gopaul and Attorney General Anil Nandlall, who made it clear that Jagdeo received what every other Guyanese received under the government’s housing programme. “The impression that is being given here, is that the President embarked upon this conquest and acquired land by some improper way and improper procedure is one that must be wholly rejected,” the Attorney General said.
(AFC), Nigel Hughes According to Nandlall, many persons including ministers of the government, former Commissioners of Police and CARICOM Secretariat officials were offered lands for sale there, a move he said was made public. But according to Hughes, like many other Guyanese, he was unaware that the state lands at Pradoville 2, which “Jagdeo and his close associates” now occupy was advertised for sale publicly. “Can I ask…where was this land advertised? When did they advertise ocean front land?” Hughes had questioned.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Paramakatoi student gets bursary Eleven-year-old Michael Kemfume last week received his bursary award from the Burnham Educational Scholarship Trust (BEST). Making the donation was PNCR leader David Granger. Michael, accompanied by his father Archie Kemfume, and PNCR Regional coordinator Gloria Bancroft visited Congress Place to receive the award. The BEST was established by the PNCR to support successful students – one from each region – who were successful in gaining entrance to secondary schools based on the final results of the National Grade Six Assessment examinations held earlier this year. Michael, who gained a place at the Paramakatoi Secondary School in the Potaro-Siparuni Region, was
Michael Kemfume receives his bursary award from PNCR leader David Granger unable to travel to Georgetown earlier. The first presentations were made
during the PNCR’s 55th anniversary celebrations in October.
Two men will have to settle for prison food instead of traditional food on Christmas morning as a result of facing charges for crimes which they allegedly committed. Errol James, 22, of Lot 767 One Mile Wismar, Linden, faced Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine Beharry yesterday charged with three counts of armed robbery. He was not required to plead. Attorney at Law Gordon Gilhuys represented James. Gilhuys said that his client has no previous brushes with the law and was never placed on an identification parade in relation to the alleged crimes committed. However, police say that on December 19 at Block 22 Wismar Linden, James used a firearm to rob Euclid Puertes of a Blackberry cellular phone, a gold chain, gold and diamond ring, US$300 among other items valued at over $500,000. It is also alleged that on December 12, the accused robbed Herbert Campbell of a quantity of phone cards, his Blackberry mobile phone and
a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka. James also reportedly robbed Mandy Kissoon of her Blackb e r r y c u r v e a n d $15,000. Police Prosecutor Burgett Grant, objecting to the bail application, told the court that the accused was positively identified by all three complainants. Grant further objected to bail based on the weapon used in the alleged crime and the punishment it carries. The prosecutor told the court that based on the facts, James robbed Puertes during midnight on December 19. The accused in the company of another person used a handgun and dealt the man several lashes to the head and robbed him in the process. In relation to the other charges, the accused reportedly robbed Kissoon while she was on her way home in Green Valley, Linden while Campbell was robbed at his variety store when James entered posing as a customer. James was refused bail until January 8.
Meanwhile, Anthony Gomes of Clonbrook, Berbice was also refused bail after he was accused of stealing auxiliary equipment off a dredge valued at $231,000 belonging to John Haynes. He was not required to plead to the charge. The incident allegedly took place on August 12, in Port Kaituma, North West District, after Haynes had left for Georgetown. Haynes later returned and discovered the articles mentioned in the charge had been stolen. A report was made and investigations were carried out. Gomes was later arrested and charged for the offence. His attorney asked for bail and told the court that his client was scheduled to wed this coming Friday. However according to investigating rank, the accused was being tracked down since August and was never captured until recently. The officer also disclosed that the man made an oral admission to the crime.
I extend greetings for a joyous and peace-filled Christmas to the staff of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and the Health Centres that are managed by the GPHC. I thank all of the employees of the hospital for their efforts in helping the hospital to fulfill its mission of serving the sick during this past year. I want you to know that I appreciate your efforts, and I am sure that all of the patients feel the same. At this time when we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, there are many in the world who long and search for the true spirit of Christmas. And for many this spirit of cheer is to be found
in the pursuit of material possessions and in the lavish consumption of food and drinks. For others, it is to be found in the love of family, the exchanging of gifts, the company of faithful friends, and in helping the needy. However as you celebrate Christmas, I hope that you will find contentment over the holidays. Christmas is a time for bringing hope to others. We at the hospital are truly blessed to be able to spread the cheer of Christmas by attending to those who are sick or injured. How fortunate we are at the hospital to be the hands that attend to open wounds,
the balm that soothes the pain, the comfort we provide to those who are sick and hospitalized and the hope that we dispense to those who are troubled or depressed. We make a big difference in the lives of others by simply doing our jobs. May the inestimable value of the patience, understanding, attention, love, care and support that we give to all of our patients be a source of inner satisfaction this Christmas. And may we join in spreading this spirit of hope to those around us. May the New Year bring personal successes and fulfillment to all of you! A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Two remanded on Christmas Eve
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM GPHC
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Tuesday December 25, 2012
India PM appeals for Delhi India, Russia sign calm after rape protests new defence deals Indian PM Manmohan Singh has appealed for calm in the capital, Delhi, following violent rotests over the gang rape of a woman. Mr. Singh said his government would “make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety to all women”. More than 100 people were hurt in clashes at the weekend - police say at least 60 officers were injured. The rape, which happened on a bus in Delhi and left the woman in a critical condition, has caused outrage in India. The government has tried to halt the rising anger by announcing a series of measures intended to make Delhi safer for women. These include more police night patrols, checks on bus drivers and their assistants and the banning of buses with tinted windows or curtains. But the protesters say the government’s pledge to seek
life sentences for the attackers is not enough - many are calling for the death penalty. Six people, including the bus driver, have already been arrested in connection with the incident. In a short televised address to the nation on Monday, Mr Singh said: “I appeal to all concerned citizens to maintain peace and calm. I assure you we will make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety of women in this country.” Earlier on Sunday, Mr Singh said in a statement that he felt “deeply sad at the turn of events leading to clashes between protesters and police forces”. “We are all joined in our concern for the young woman who was the victim of a heinous crime in Delhi,” he said. Mr Singh said there was “genuine and justified anger and anguish at this ghastly incident”. The condition of the
young woman continues to be critical, doctors say. She underwent surgery on Sunday to halt an infection and was put back on life support. On Sunday, riot police in Delhi used tear gas and batons to keep demonstrators, mainly college students, from marching on President Pranab Mukherjee’s palace for a second day, despite a ban on protests. Violence erupted as demonstrators tried to break through police barricades to march on the palace. The 23-year-old victim and her friend had been to watch a film when they boarded the bus in the Munirka area intending to travel to Dwarka in southwest Delhi. Police said she was raped for nearly an hour, both she and her companion were beaten with iron rods and thrown out of the moving bus into a Delhi street.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, before a meeting at his residence in New Delhi.
Russia and India have signed new defence deals worth $2.9bn (£1.8bn) during President Vladimir Putin’s day-long trip to India. Under the accords, India will buy 42 Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and 71 Mil Mi-17 helicopters. Mr Putin held talks with Indian PM Manmohan Singh during his visit. Moscow has long been Delhi’s main weapons supplier but has lost out on several major deals to Western companies in recent years. Trade between Russia and India is currently worth about $10bn (£6bn) a year, but has been growing more slowly recently.
Ahead of the visit, Mr Putin said that he wanted to increase bilateral trade to $20bn by 2015. Monday’s talks between Mr Putin and Mr Singh also included the security situation in the region, including Afghanistan. “India and Russia share the objective of a stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, free from extremism,” Mr Singh was quoted as telling Reuters news agency after the talks. Moscow’s concern In an article in India’s Hindu newspaper, Mr Putin described as a “historic step” the declaration of strategic partnership between the two
counties signed in 2000. The Russian leader also said that the military cooperation between the two nations has reached an “unprecedented level”. Russia’s currently accounts for some 70% of India’s arms purchases, the BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi reports. But India has recently signed a number of big defence contracts with the US and other countries, including France and Israel, our correspondent says. Russia is concerned, he adds, that its traditional position as India’s main arms supplier could be under threat. (BBC)
US firefighters shot dead at blaze in New York (BBC) Two US volunteer firefighters have been shot dead and two injured while responding to an emergency call in the town of Webster in New York State. Police said the four were fired upon in an “apparent trap” as they arrived yesterday morning. The blaze broke out just before 06:00 local time (11:00 GMT) and officers had to evacuate nearby residents in an armoured car. A gunman has been found dead at the scene, local police say. The two dead firefighters were named by police as Tomasz Kaczowka and Mike Chiapperini. Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering told reporters: “These people get up in the middle of the night to go put out fires; they don’t expect to be shot and killed.” The two injured firefighters were named as Joseph Hofsetter and
Theodore Scardino. They are being treated for gunshot wounds at the Strong Memorial Hospital and are expected to recover. Police spokesmen said the area was “an active crime scene” but that no more shooters were believed to be present. It has not yet been revealed how the gunman died. Two of the firefighters had arrived in a fire engine and two in their own vehicles, police said. One wounded man managed to escape but the others were pinned down until the armoured car could be sent in. Police evacuated residents and firefighters were then able to return to tackle the blaze. Four homes and four cars were destroyed, police said. Chief Pickering said: “Webster is a tremendous community. We are a safe community, and to have a tragedy befall us like this is
just horrendous.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement: “All of our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of those who were killed in this senseless act of violence.” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said: “The contributions made by the fallen and injured officers in Webster will never be forgotten. “As this investigation unfolds, we stand with our partners in law enforcement to ensure that lethal weapons are out of the hands of dangerous people, so that the brave New Yorkers who risk their lives every day to protect us are not exposed to additional danger.” Also on Monday, a policeman was shot dead in the city of Houston, Texas after the driver of a car he pulled over opened fire on him.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Afghan ‘rogue’ attacks kill US aide and five police An Afghan policewoman has killed a US civilian aide at the police headquarters in Kabul. It is believed to be the first such insider attack carried out by a woman. She is now in custody. In a separate incident, at least five local policemen were killed by another officer in northern Afghanistan. There has been a rise in incidents in which Afghan security forces members have shot dead either foreign personnel or their own colleagues. In Monday’s attack in Kabul, Afghan officials said the 33-year-old officer, who they named only as Nargis, arrived at the HQ looking for the police chief, the governor of Kabul or the head of the criminal investigation department. When she was unable to locate them she went to the canteen and fired one bullet at the aide. She then fired at officers who tried to arrest her. Afghan officials said the woman was married to an officer with the criminal investigation department and has three children. This “green-on-blue” incident in the Kabul police headquarters highlights the concern about whether Afghan and Nato forces can work together after most
foreign troops leave the country in the next two years. After 2014 Nato will primarily be on a training mission requiring close working relations and trust between Afghan forces and foreign troops. Such attacks raise more questions about whether such a close relationship is feasible. She graduated from the national police academy six years ago with the rank of sergeant, they said. Investigators are checking whether she has links to the Taliban or alQaeda. Initial reports suggested the victim was a military adviser, but Nato’s Isaf force later described him in a statement as “a civilian employee” of Isaf. “We can confirm that a civilian police adviser was shot and killed this morning by a suspected member of the Afghan uniformed police,” a Nato spokesman said. The police compound is close to the interior ministry where two US officers were shot dead in February amid anger over the unintentional burning of Korans at a Nato base in the country. More than 50 members of the Nato-led force in Afghanistan have been killed by Afghans wearing army or
police uniforms this year, in a major crisis of trust between supposed allies in the war against militants. Some of the attacks were carried out by Taliban infiltrators, others by Afghans angry at the actions of their foreign colleagues. Often the precise motive is unclear. Monday’s killing in Kabul came just hours after a local policeman killed at least five colleagues in the remote Khosh Tepa district in Jowzjan province. Afghan officials say the policeman escaped after the shooting and fled to join the Taliban, taking the weapons of his colleagues with him. Afghan local police forces are recruited from villages, and often include former insurgents. A spokesman for the Taliban told the BBC the rogue policemen in Khosh Tepa had been a Taliban infiltrator for some time. In September, the US suspended training for local police recruits because of such “insider attacks”. It said it was carrying out checks on whether recruits had links to the Taliban. Training Afghan security forces is an essential part of Nato’s strategy before foreign combat troops pull out in 2014.
Nelson Mandela to spend Christmas in S. Africa hospital
Nelson Mandela South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela will spend Christmas in hospital, a government statement has said. Mr Mandela, 94, was admitted to hospital two weeks ago and has been treated for a lung infection and gallstones. There is growing concern in South Africa about his health. Mr Mandela was jailed for 27 years for leading the struggle against whiteminority rule. He is regarded by most South Africans as the father of the nation, having inspired them to fight for democracy.
“Former President Nelson Mandela will spend Christmas Day in hospital, his doctors have confirmed,” a government statement said. The BBC’s Karen Allen in Johannesburg reports that with every passing day there is growing public anxiety about Mr Mandela’s health. There was hope that he would be allowed to spend Christmas at home, but his doctors are still not comfortable about discharging him, she says. Although President Jacob Zuma has described Mr Mandela’s condition as “serious”, he has tempered this by saying that he has been “responding” to treatment, our correspondent adds. The government says he is being treated for a recurring lung infection at a hospital in the capital, Pretoria. He has also had an operation to remove gallstones. Mr Mandela first contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while detained on
windswept Robben Island prison. He has been admitted to hospital on three occasions in the past two years. In January 2011, he was treated for a serious chest infection in Johannesburg. In February this year, he was again admitted to a Johannesburg hospital because of abdominal pains. He was released the following day after tests revealed nothing serious. Mr Mandela lives in Qunu, a small rural village in Eastern Cape province, where he says he spent the happiest days of his childhood. He retired from public life in 2004 and has been rarely seen in public since, though he still receives high-profile visitors. Former US President Bill Clinton visited Mr Mandela in July. Mr. Zuma has urged South Africans to pray for him. Mr. Mandela served as South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. (BBC)
Afghan police stand guard over the compound of the chief of police in Kabul after an insider attack.
Pirates raid ‘Italian’ ship off Nigeria and take crew (BBC) Pirates have kidnapped four sailors after attacking their vessel off Nigeria’s coast, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has said. The hostages were foreigners - three of them Italian, AP news agency reports. Gunmen stormed the vessel off Nigeria’s oilproducing Niger Delta region, before seizing the four and fleeing, the IMB said. Kidnapping is a lucrative enterprise worth millions of dollars a year in Nigeria, Africa’s main oil producer. Most people in the Niger Delta are extremely poor. Oil workers and other foreign nationals are often targeted because companies pay high ransom money to secure their employees’
release, correspondents say. ‘Naples-based company’ The IMB said the latest attack happened about 40 nautical miles (28km) off Nigeria’s Bayelsa state. “Pirates armed with guns attacked, boarded an offshore supply vessel... and kidnapped four crew members,” the AFP news agency quotes the IMB statement as saying. The remaining crew sailed the vessel to safety, the IMB said. It did not identify the shipper nor the sailors who were abducted. However, AP reports that an Italian foreign ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that three of the four sailors were Italians. The vessel attacked was
the Asso Ventuno, operated by Augusta Offshore SpA, a Naples-based shipping company in southern Italy, it reports. Earlier this month, five Indian crew members were abducted after gunmen stormed an oil tanker in the Niger Delta. Gunmen also kidnapped six employees of the South Korean firm Hyundai off the Nigeria coast. They were later freed. The mother of Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was also snatched from her home in the Delta state. She was freed after five days. The minister said the kidnappers had demanded her resignation because of her campaign to curb corruption in the lucrative oil sector.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Tuesday December 25, 2012
DAD CAN’T TELL DAUGHTER HER MOM IS NEVER COMING HOME By STACY MOORE Monday, December 24 2012 “Daddy when mom...mom coming home?” It is the one question that two-year-old Solare Alysa Bisnath has kept asking her father Damien Bisnath since the day her mother left the family’s Orange Field, Carapichaima home to give birth to Solare’s baby sister Siara, now five days old. It is also the one question father of two, Damien, 29, does not know how to respond to his two-year-old daughter. His wife Sasha Lysa Bisnath, 28, died on Friday night at the San Fernando General Hospital (sfgh) following complications at the Gulf View Medical Centre where a planned C- section operation was performed. However, two years ago at the same private medical centre Sasha also give birth to Solare through a planned Cesarean section operation. After giving birth to Solare, in 2010 the young mother had taken leave from working at the sfgh to be close
to her daughter. Siara was born last Thursday morning at the Gulf View Medical Centre. “How do I tell a two-yearold that her mother would not be here again. And for Christmas too? I don’t know what to say. How?” said a distraught Damien yesterday speaking to Newsday at a relatives’ home in Calcutta, Freeport. As he spoke, Solare leaned on her father. Damien said he tries not to speak about his wife when he is in the company of the child. But Solare he said would come up to him and ask about her mother. “This morning she woke up and ask me if mummy still sick because the last place she (Solare) remembers her being taken to was at the medical centre when she (Sasha ) went to give birth. And she is smart. I don’t know, I just don’t know what to tell her.” said a distraught Damien. An autopsy revealed the young mother died as a result of a disseminated intra vascular coagulation and
bleeding diathesis, post Csection. On Thursday morning, Bisnath was admitted to the private medical institution. It was there medical practitioners performed the C-section. Sasha’s cousin Simone Amie Baboolal, 31, had told Newsday that after the Csection the mother was allowed to craddle her baby in her arms. It was shortly after relatives noticed blood on the bed sheet. Sasha started cold sweating and then fell into an unconscious state. Baboolal said they were also told by a nurse on duty that the bleeding was normal. Soon after Sasha was rushed to the SFGH hospital by an ambulance. Doctors there, Baboolal said, immediately rushed her to the operating theatre and started surgery.Friday morning Sasha’s condition went from “bad to a little better”, but that night things took a negative turn and she deteriorated steadily. Sasha’s body began to swell. Doctors operated on her again, they
Rihanna donates $1.75M to hospital
The pop star visited her grandmother in hospital inNew York shortly before her death. Pop star Rihanna has donated $1.75m (£1.08m) to a hospital in Barbados in memory of her grandmother. The 24-year-old said the gift, which will pay for three pieces of medical equipment, was her way “giving back to Barbados”. “I believe that this will have a huge impact on the people of Barbados. This was all done to save lives or at least extend them.” The singer’s grandmother, Clara “Dolly” Braithwaite, died in June. She had fought a long battle with cancer. The hospital’s radiotherapy unit
has been renamed the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine. Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, made the announcement at a visit to the hospital over the weekend, where she was accompanied by her mother, Monica, and grandfather, Lionel Braithwaite. She was particularly close to her grandmother, and took a last-minute break from her European festival tour in June to spend some time with her in hospital. When she died on 30 June, the pop star took to Twitter and posted several
photographs of the two together, writing, “my heart smiled and cried all at once”. Born and raised in Barbados, Rihanna is one of the most successful female musicians in the world. Since her debut in 2005, she has released an album a year, with the exception of 2008. Her most recent, Unapologetic, became her first US number one, and gave her a global hit with the lead single, Diamonds. Forbes magazine last week named her the third-highest-earning woman in the music industry, after she made $53m in 2012.
found ten pints of blood in her stomach. It took close to two hours to clean out the blood from inside her, Baboolal related. Tragically Sasha died Friday night at 8.15 pm. Sasha’s mother Leela Ali, 50, said she would not rest until she gets answers. “I want answers. my child was healthy when she went to do that C- Section. Now her two children (Siara and Solare) are without a mother.” Ali said the family is seeking legal advice . In addition, Ali said plans are being made to have a second autopsy performed. “ We are not satisfied with the first autopsy and I know something is wrong and my daughter could have been alive today.”Ali said. Christmas preparations she said have came to a halt for the family. “We can’t even celebrate Christmas. How could we?.” an emotional Ali said. A second autopsy is expected to be performed on Christmas Day. Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan has since indicated that Sasha’s case would be fully investigated.
Mexico clashes leave seven police officers dead Gunmen have ambushed and shot dead seven policemen in two separate clashes in western Mexico, officials have said. Attackers opened fire as police responded to reports of a traffic accident in a rural area of Michoacan state, killing four officers. Three officers and a civilian were killed in another attack in the neighbouring state of Jalisco. It was not clear who was behind the killings but the region has been plagued by drug-related violence. The Knights Templar and New Generation drug cartels vie for control of the illegal drugs trade in Michoacan. The first attack happened in Brisenas, a small town on the border with Jalisco, where earlier this month the police chief and three other officials were kidnapped by unidentified attackers and are
still missing. According to officials, gunmen ambushed officers on Sunday as they drove to a reported road accident. Four officers were killed and five others injured. A short while later, attackers opened fire on police in Ayotlan in Jalisco state, killing three officers and a civilian. Some 60,000 people have died across Mexico since 2006 when the previous government under Felipe Calderon deployed the military against the drugs gangs. Earlier this month, President Enrique Pena Nieto announced the creation of a new national force as part of continuing efforts to tackle crime and violence. Mr Pena Nieto, who took office on 1 December, said the new militarised force would initially be 10,000 strong.(BBC)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Jack backs Jack
Warner sees no crime in Ashworth’s house construction By Anna Ramdass National Security Minister Jack Warner has come to the defence of Tobago Minority Leader Ashworth Jack saying that no crime was committed if in fact the same contractor who did extension works on the Prime Minister’s house also did work on Jack’s multimillion-dollar home. The Sunday Express reported that there was a new twist in the controversy surrounding Jack’s $2 million house in Hillsborough, Mt St George, To b a g o as investigations showed that Super Industrial Services (SIS), the construction firm that did extension works on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s South Philippine house, also did work on Jack’s house. Jack is the political leader of the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) and a partner in the People’s Partnership coalition. In a telephone interview with the Express yesterday, Warner, who himself has been under scrutiny for
allegedly not declaring a credit union account of some $611,126.23 to the Integrity Commission, said that there were elements working against the People’s Partnership government. Asked about reports of the same contractor who did work on the Prime Minister and Jack’s house, Warner responded “If it is, what is the crime in that? What is the crime in somebody building a house, I don’t know if by chance the contractor is the person who allegedly did work on the Prime Minister’s house but if it is, then so what? Because he did work on the Prime Minister’s house he’s not to work on anyone else’s house? I don’t know the facts but even if the contractor is the same, what of that is value?” said Warner. Warner said there was “political mischief” in the making in the run up to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections on January 21, 2013 where the TOP led by Jack will be fielding a slate
National Security Minister Jack Warner. of candidates against the People’s National Movement (PNM) led by Tobago chief secretary Orville London. Warner said a mountain is being made of a mole hill with respect to Jack’s house. “I sometimes reach the stage where I get like so many people in this country, I get turned off by the kind of attempts being made at different levels to try and create political mischief. Mr Jack was
never in charge of the treasury in Tobago at any point in time. Mr Jack was never guilty of any cost overruns or any projects in Tobago, Mr Jack was never guilty for inflicting any budgets or any expenditure so as to of course to squander any money. Mr Jack,” said Warner. “Mr Jack built his house and he built it with his blood, sweat and tears and for people to infer malice because of that then something has to be wrong in the country,” he said. Warner added that the microscope should be placed over other persons in Tobago who have a duty to account to the people. “Why don’t they looks at persons who were in control of the Tobago treasury for the past 12 years. See what they have done, see how they have enriched themselves, see how many homes they have in Tobago, see of course who owns gas stations and the list goes on and on,” he said. “The people of Tobago are not so stupid, the people of Tobago, one thing you have to give them credit for is their intelligence,” Warner said.
Warner said he was confident that the TOP led by Jack would sweep the election come January. “The people in Tobago are angry over the rape of t h e t r e a s u r y, t h e y a r e angry that nothing has been done for them for the last 12 years, they are looking now at the past six months, the kind of pace at w h i c h t h i n g s are being done, they are concerned about the lack of accountability with respect to Tobago’s expenditure and the kind of cost overruns and therefore while we in Trinidad might tend to look at an issue and politicise it, Tobagonians are at a higher level,” said Warner. Warner warned that in the run up to the elections more mud slinging could be expected. “I am absolutely convinced there are machinations working against this Government at all levels in the country from the highest to the lowest level and this point in time I won’t say much more but I’ve gotten to learn that politically everything has its time,” he said.
Despite all such attempts, Warner said the Government led by Persad-Bissessar continues to deliver. He noted that in the area of industrial relations some 40 agreements have been reached and signed. Warner said further that in the crime fight, the dent was being made especially in Central Trinidad where there was a spate of criminal activities. He disclosed that his Ministry was working round the clock to ensure that the entire country is covered by CCTV cameras in strategic locations. “I am happy to report by the end of next week all CCTV cameras will be in place in Tobago and Tobago will be able to boast of being the first division where the entire island will be covered by cameras,” said Warner. “In a nutshell, therefore I think we have a lot to be thankful for, there are many attempts to frustrate this Government in every way but we have not fallen victims to those efforts and the Prime Minister when she speaks will say much m o r e , ” s a i d Wa r n e r. (Express)
Drop that drink! - Cops on watch for drunk drivers leaving Christmas, New Year parties By Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer With the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation granting approval for 118 entertainment events between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Police Traffic Division has drafted a plan to target drunk drivers leaving some of the more popular shows. The move comes as part of an attempt by the police and other stakeholders to consolidate the huge reduction in road fatalities this year and ensure that Jamaica records under 300 road deaths for the first time in more than 13 years. Statistics provided by the Road Safety Unit in the transport ministry show that up to yesterday, 247 persons have been killed on the nation’s roadways this year. This is 48 fewer than the 295 fatalities recorded over the corresponding period last year. Senior Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis, who heads the Police Traffic Division, said as part of the plan, special teams of police personnel will
be stationed outside entertainment venues to conduct random breathalyser tests of patrons as they leave. Lewis said the teams will pay special attention to the popular Boxing Day concert, Sting, which is held in Portmore, St Catherine, and the socalled entertainment strip in New Kingston. “The entire New Kingston, that strip where you have several places of entertainment, is going to be monitored,” Lewis told The Gleaner yesterday. “When Sting is over, we are going to have sufficient personnel there and persons are going to be checked at random. Five, six, seven, eight and 10 cars are going to be stopped one behind the other,” he disclosed. A d d e d L e w i s : “ We have our way of knowing when a person has acquired more than the normal amount of liquor.” The legal limit for Jamaica is 35 milligrams of alcohol to 100 milli-litres of breath and drivers who fail a
breathalyser test can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Under the Road Traffic Act, any person found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol can lose their driver’s licence for six months while a second conviction carries a one-year suspension. Lewis said motorists who refuse to take a breathalyser test can be arrested and charged for failing to submit to the test. In addition, the head of the traffic division said police personnel would be out with radar monitoring drivers who are engaged in speeding. Up to yesterday afternoon, there had been 11 road fatalities so far this month. The latest casualties came yesterday when two men were killed in separate incidents in Kingston and St Andrew. They have been identified as Reynaldo Pike, 25, a truck driver of Cockburn Gardens, and 55-year-old Sylvester Staple of Marcus Garvey Drive, both in Kingston.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Christmas at home or abroad - ‘…once it’s with family’ By Zena Henry To the world, Christmas is that special time of year when almost everyone adjusts their demanding schedules to locate their families, often gathering at the houses they usually call home. It doesn’t matter, once it’s ‘with family,’ that is what Christmas is about. It doesn’t even matter what one does on Christmas Day, it is however assumed that everyone will be spending it with their close relatives. It is expected that there would be a large gathering at the table for an offering that’s not your everyday meal. Prior to today, it is customary that there would be a massive clean-up. Many people may visit during the season, especially family members who will be around to enjoy the food and happiness the material things of Christmas provide. Gifts are exchanged. That special something that once appeared inaccessible during the course of the year. All, however, boils down to one thing…Christmas is nothing without family. That is why no matter where one is in world, Christmastime essentially says it’s “time to go home”. It is especially so in Guyana. Guyanese simply love “spending Christmas with the family”. Some foreign-based Guyanese took time out to share their experiences. Niota Thomas is a Guyanese living in Tortola and works as a utility cook at a cafeteria. The Number Nine
Niota Thomas (second from right) with son, daughter and aunt after returning from Tortola Village West Coast Berbice resident is enthusiastic to be home for Christmas. For her it is a special occasion since, for the last 16 years she has not spent Christmas in Guyana. With a huge smile, Thomas said she was looking forward to shopping, decorating her mom’s house, eating wonderful ‘home food’ and enjoying the company of her family. She related that Christmas in Tortola was nothing compared to that of Guyana since here, it is spent with those closest and dearest to her heart. “People stay indoors in Tortola and there is not much happening on days leading
up to the holiday. The heavy shopping and lavish sporting is noticeable, but that is about it. The necessary cleaning is customary and the decorations are done, but Christmas is only Christmas once it’s with family,” Thomas reflected with a smile. When Ingrid Allen is in Guyana, she stays with her eldest daughter at Kuru Kuru on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway. Allen who is a seamstress living in Trinidad and Tobago, said that her visit to Guyana is in honour of her daughter. She said she recognizes and acknowledges the importance of spending time with her family and the
Kenny Joseph and wife Simone Joseph right before their flight to Antigua
Christmas season is “the perfect time”. Allen said she has other children who live in Trinidad,
Ingrid Allen poses while waiting for her family to pick her up from the airport. but her daughter here, who has a lovely family, will always be dear to her heart. She spent one week with her daughter and her family, and
says “that will be like their Christmas Day”. Allen shopped with her daughter, helped her with the cleaning (Continued on page 35)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Focus must be returned to the true reason for the season – Rev. Gilbert By Sharmain Grainger The focus of Christmas over the decades has considerably shifted, so much so that some individuals no longer see the ‘Christ’ in Christmas, but rather ‘self’ has taken that very important place. This observation has been made by Reverend Kwame Gilbert, Senior Pastor of World Vision New Testament Church of God located in Kitty, Georgetown. He surmised that the selfserving nature and materialistic culture of human beings have increased overtime, a state of affairs which has allowed for the commercialisation of Christmas. “The truth is this is not only happening now, but from way back, you have always had the tendency of mankind to look for ways that they could shift the focus away from Christ to themselves.
A photo of Reverend Kwame Gilbert and his family taken last year Christmas The shift is very self-serving and materialistic and that need has not diminished over the centuries,” he intimated during a vocal exchange with this reporter. The arrival of the Christmas season, Reverend Gilbert noted, is often overcome with the ‘it’s our time to celebrate, our time to have fun, our time to deck the halls’ syndrome which in effect turns the focus to man rather than Jesus Christ – the true reason for the season. Many persons, according to him, see the season as a time to “‘do pretty much whatever we think Christmas affords us to do’.” “Because we are selfserving, self-seeking and materialistic, Christmas then has become an opportunity for us to satisfy our own needs and desires for many things; for fun, excitement, for pleasure...so we look at Christmas as a time to have all of these human needs satisfied.” However, this approach to Christmas is not all abysmal, as it is the view of the Reverend that there must be a time in life when “we must be able to have some bit of relaxation or an opportunity to come apart from the daily drudgery of life. Christmas offers that opportunity, so I don’t quite condemn all of it.” He nevertheless asserted that it would be nothing short of dangerous if the celebration is premised on relaxation and celebration
alone, while persons lose sight of the deeper meaning of Christmas. Reverend Gilbert pointed to the spiritual side of the holidays which he believes should give rise to the spiritual component of mankind’s existence. He explained that mankind is not merely a physical being but rather embodies a spirit, thus mankind is expected to not only recognise but appreciate Christmas as not only a holiday but a Holy Day. “It is not necessarily the day that we are focusing on but the fact that Christmas represents the giving of God’s best for the redemption of mankind, and so that is where the song comes in ‘Joy to the World the Lord has come, let Earth receive her King’...” The anecdote of Christmas, the Reverend observed, serves as a ‘bittersweet’ reminder in that while it is a joyous occasion, it reflects the birth of the Christ Child and serves to amplify the ultimate purpose of his birth which was to die for the sins of the world. For this reason, he said that Christmas is not just about celebrating the birth of Christ but rather it is the recognition that God’s love is being demonstrated through his love for mankind which is enough to provide a solution to its sinful dilemma. Moreover, Christmas is a reflection of the greatest gift of life and not merely that of gold, frankincense and myrrh as some may think. “It is an expression of the gift of life; God gave his son as a gift to humanity to redeem man back to God. So in all of that what we see Christmas representing is a story of the greatest love and the greatest gift ever given,” Reverend Gilbert asserted. As such he emphasised that the celebration of Christmas should not only serve as a reminder that Jesus Christ was given to save mankind from its sins, but the occasion should point to a higher grade of love which is exemplified in mankind’s interaction with each other during the season. This love, according to him, is one that must transcend religion, age, class, social and economic status and be embraced by a nature of giving with a cheerful heart. “If there is no other time of year when we should
extend forgiveness and let love be without pretence or qualification it is at Christmas, because of what the story represents.” GETTING BACK TO BASICS Despite moves to commercialise Christmas over the years, there is yet hope to return the celebration to what it was originally intended. This move, Reverend Gilbert proffered, will require an earnest collaboration between family members, which sees them turning back to God. He is confident that if the values and importance of God are emphasised, allowing religious beliefs to become the central pillar of human existence and activities, then Christmas will be placed back into its ideal context. “It has to begin with the return of families. So I believe that the restoration of the moral foundation and fabric of the society, which have destroyed or disintegrated over time, can be fixed if there is a return of families.” According to Reverend Gilbert, the home is the area where values are shaped, and these are based on the traditional values of the Bible which is the Word of God. He is confident that if the principles of the church which include honouring, loving and serving God - are re-evoked, then Christmas will be an occasion that is approached with a different attitude. According to him, persons should seek to approach not only Christmas, but life, with a different attitude. Reverend Gilbert said that achieving this objective would require that families are educated about the values of God. “When God is restored as the central focus or authority in our lives God will no longer be just a convenience or spare wheel. When people begin to recognise the place of God in their lives I think Christmas would then take on a different meaning,” Reverend Gilbert opined. According to him, persons should always seek to celebrate Christmas bearing in mind its actual meaning and significance. The word Christmas, he explained, was first used sometime around the 11th century and actually is Crîstesm¿sse which pretty much means the celebration. This celebration, he related, (Continued on page 35)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Christmas and a few symbols Many persons these days argue that Christmas is a merchant’s holiday. They have suggested that the idea of Christmas surrounds the material things that accompany the holiday not to mention the hefty price list that comes with it. There are, of course, numerous notable features and items associated with Christmas. According to teachings, Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, son of the Virgin Mary and the Shepherd Joseph. His coming, it is taught, was to save the world and to purge the people of their evil ways. As such, the birth of Christ (Christmas) is said to be the most important event of every year. But some have opined that Christmas would be nothing without its garnishes and emblems. Without these features, what would Christmas be? What would be the representation of this magnificent holiday which never seems to lose its glitter,
shine and excitement year after year? It is because of certain Christmas symbols some say that the holiday
seems especially significant and enlightening, especially to the children. Most loved by the young is the Christmas
tree. Across the world, people spend large sums of money to purchase them. The custom of the Christmas tree developed in early modern Germany with predecessors that can be traced to the 16th and possibly the 15th century, in which “devout Christians” brought decorated trees into their homes. It acquired popularity beyond Germany during the second half of the 19th century. The Christmas tree has also been known as the “Yule tree”, especially in discussions of its folkloristic origins. An Angel or star atop of the Christmas tree represents the host of angels or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity. That is the angels that were present in Bethlehem during the birth of Christ. Candy canes, is a cane-shaped hard candy stick associated with Christmas. It is traditionally white with red stripes and flavored with peppermint; but is also made in a variety of other flavours and colours. And then there are the
candles. One of the earliest records of candles being used at Christmas is from the middle ages, where a large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem. Jesus is
sometimes called ‘the Light of the World’ by Christians. Candles were also originally used to decorate Christmas until safer electric lights were invented.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Choosing the ideal gift for the holidays By Sharmain Grainger Yes, it’s Christmas and no doubt many would have already done their shopping, but we all know choosing the most suitable Christmas gift for a relative, close friend, your sweetheart or even a child has not always been the easiest task. In fact there are times when choices can prove to be either exhilarating or a complete disappointment to the recipient if much thought is not put into the festive endowment. However, there are some subtle hints that may be glaring all year long which, if not taken into consideration, could yield disastrous results; a few individuals may very well be able to relate. But there is really no need to fear when it comes to choosing that perfect gift. For those of you who missed today, that ‘perfect gift’ can still be bought and wrapped for that special get-together or placed under the Christmas tree, e v e n b e l a t e d l y, a f t e r bluntly inquiring of the
Christmas gifts intended recipient what he/ she desires. In fact a frank inquiry is often the best move one can embrace when attempting to
buy the ideal gift. Such a move can be deemed invaluable since you will be absolutely sure that the gift will be used and appreciated
rather than be shelved or passed on to the next door neighbour. Attempts at gifting a woman, for instance, without knowing her ‘taste’ is usually not a recommended tactic, but could actually be accomplished if the gift takes the form of fine jewellery or fashionable clothing and shoes. These can certainly be complemented with very exquisite melt-in-your-mouth type chocolates which most women pleasurably appreciate. There is often the thought that men are the easiest to endow but I can tell you, a mere shirt and tie may not
always do the trick. Males like females are unique beings and there are some with truly exquisite taste who really would like a Christmas gift to remember. Point to consider – the male version of gifts that appeal to women are no less appealing to men. So you can actually reach way down into that pocket book or wallet and claim that high-priced cologne, sunglasses or gadget and get down to the business of gift wrapping. While being appreciated for a unique find by an adult could leave you gloating, there is nothing like seeing a young child or even a teenager unravel a perfectly wrapped gift in a desperate attempt to satisfy a burning curiosity. So it is recommended that you try as far as possible to ensure that the end result is quite satisfying, if not totally electrifying. These days the youths are hooked on technology and there is no reason why you can’t indulge their passion. However, do not limit your gift thoughts to cell phones and laptops as there are cool, t e c h n o l o g i c a l ‘thingamajigs’ such as the ‘Kindle’ that can be very useful. However, those with a more modest taste can even consider creating gifts with items found right within the home; these can be equally as appealing as the storebought enchantments that arrive just in time for the holidays. While there are rarely any
gifts other than toys that can top the gift chart for young children, a smart home-made consideration for adults is a photo collage of past Christmases. Careful now, this may not be ideal for all, since there might have been some Christmases when loved ones were lost or some other tragic event occurred, so this must be done only after deeply pondering on the potential impact. Once the way seems clear for such an undertaking, this could be a major hit for the holidays and you are very likely to come in for immense praise. Interesting to note, too, is the fact that such a gift could be considered unisex, although the impact level is likely to be greater to the more mature and family-oriented recipient. I say it is worth a try, but no less consideration should be directed to gifts ranging from handicraft to handing over that cute little ornament or memorabilia that has been in your possession for some time that might have favourably caught the eye of your intended recipient awhile ago. The bottom-line of gifting is ensuring that you know your recipient, since the amount you spend may not always be appealing, but rather the choice and even the attitude behind the act. As the old saying goes “It’s the thought that counts”. So three cheers for you if you were able to land the ideal gift for your intended recipient(s); you can be sure that you will be remembered for many Christmases to come.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
A woman’s ‘conservative’ spending list for Christmas …is a nightmare for men with tight wallets By Michael Jordan Ask a woman “a penny for your thoughts” during the festive season, and she is likely to respond “What about $200,000?” Or $300,000, or even $500,000? That’s what it will cost in foodstuff, a woman’s Old Year’s Night outfit and to redecorate the house and buy a “proper” gift on Christmas Day. If your heart is weak, and your pressure high, don’t read this article. It’s the sort of horror story that will traumatize any man with a tight wallet. However, if you’re of stronger stuff, read on. I met Daphne, a good friend of mine, in the Vendors’ Arcade a few days before Christmas Day. Her eyes lit up when I asked her about her Christmas plans, and she began to go through the items on her shopping list. She assured me that she was being conservative. She started with her Old Year’s Night budget. The new pair of shoes she had seen in the Arcade cost $6,500. Next, a wig for $6,000, or alternatively, she would visit a hairdresser and that would cost $8,500. Daphne tells me that she would spend the Old Year’s Night in church. But were she to be going elsewhere, she would need $20,000 for two tickets to attend an Old Year’s Night dance and a further $4,000 for her taxi fare to and from the venue. Daphne insisted that she would only need a further $6,000 for refreshments. Her Old Year’s
Night dress was worth $15,000 - someone had already presented her with the dress. She likes perfumes, so that would be a further $9,000. Take a deep breath, and another sip of rum, guys, because taking Daphne out for Old Year’s Night would cost at least $79,000. But Daphne still has to decorate her home. The new carpet she has her eyes on cost $55,000; new window blinds $31,000; a small Christmas tree $10,000; decorations for the tree and living room $8,000. That was a further $104,000. “We ain’t reach the kitchen yet,” she told me. Her floral arrangements, including a vase, would cost $20,000. The kitchen blinds would cost about $3,000. Cooking for Christmas Day (three chickens, pepper pot with six pounds of ox-tail,
three pounds of beef and four pounds of cow heel) two black cakes and one sponge; sweet potato salad, baked macaroni, ginger beer and mauby would set Daphne back a further $24, 000. That would bring her Christmas budget to around $207,000. And if you think Daphne is an expensive girl, talk to her sister, Cicelene. She has ordered her Old Year’s night dress, which will cost between $22,000 to $28,000; her shoes, $7,500; going to the hairdresser, $10,500; other ‘accessories’ a further $5,000. Cicelene said her window blinds would cost around $50,000; mats for the kitchen and bathroom $5,500 and flowers $6,000. Her Christmas meals would cost around $20,000. Then there’s this other young woman who we will
only identify as ‘J’. She’s taking the saying out with the ‘old’ (meaning last year’s stuff) and in with the new to a higher level. She’s buying a bed for $102,000, a mattress for $149,000, living room and kitchen curtains for $38,000, a $10,000 table cloth and a
$30,000 carpet. Total for redecorating ‘J’s house for Christmas: $329,000. Going to the hairdresser, and her Old Year’s Night dress and shoes will cost ‘J’ a further $28,000. Daphne’s sister, Cicelene, argues that the Christmas
splurging should be seen as a reward for all the hard work that women do to make a man’s Christmas special. “The men don’t do any shopping, cleaning or cooking; they just sit back and enjoy.” Other women I spoke to reassured me that Daphne’s and Cicelene’s budgets were ‘conservative’. I was told by ‘J’ that some women would even buy two Old Year’s Night dresses; “one for Church, and another dress to hit the club afterwards.” And Daphne also explained that she would foot the bill for many of her expenses. She would raise the money by saving in a penny bank from the beginning of the month and also ‘throwing box’ later in the year. Yet another woman put her Christmas budget at $500,000. She argues that the spending is worth the enjoyment of Christmas. And come January 2013, many a man will look into his empty wallet and groan.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Imprisoned on treason charges in December 2010...
Monroe family spend first Christmas together in two years Two days before Christmas Day, Major Bruce Munroe and his wife, Carol Ann, were putting the finishing touches to their home when someone beamed an immensely bright light into their Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara residence. Carol peered outside, and what happened next would wash away all thoughts of Christmas. It would separate husband and wife for a long and traumatic year. Christmas is extra special for Bruce and Carol Munroe, since it was on Boxing Day that they became husband and wife. Plans for a party to celebrate the occasion were foremost in their thoughts on December 23, 2010. “The children were in bed, the living room was in order, the curtains looked so beautiful and my husband and I decided that we will put the final touches to our bedroom,” Carol said. “I recall feeling a bit tired and thirsty so my husband
went to the kitchen to get a drink of water for me.” As she sat waiting for her husband to return, a bright light was suddenly beamed into their house. Her first thought was that the light was from a car’s headlights. “But then the light remained there so I sent my husband to see who it was.” Mrs. Munroe also looked outside. She was astonished to see that several heavilyarmed policemen had surrounded their home. Even then, Mrs. Munroe said that being arrested was the last thought in her mind. But that is exactly what happened. The policemen escorted the couple to CID Headquarters, Eve Leary. Little did the couple realize that the drive from Soesdyke to Georgetown would have been their last few hours together except for their brief court appearances which followed. At Eve Leary, the Munroes were told that they
were being held “for attempt to commit a felony”. They were kept together on a bench at the station until 23:00 hours on Christmas Eve Day. The gravity of their situation began to sink in after they were separated and taken to different locations where they remained until Christmas Day. As the days went by the Munroes said they had no idea what would come next. Mrs. Munroe was placed in the lockups at the East La Penitence Police Station. And she is claustrophobic. She described the cell as a dungeon. For her husband, who was being held at the Brickdam Police Station lockups, it was worse. A few days later the couple was informed that they were being charged with treason against the state. Despite the gravity of the allegation, the Monroes said that they tried to remain optimistic that they would
eventually be vindicated and reunited with their children and family. But they couldn’t help thinking how their Christmas plans for the children had been ruined. “We had so many plans for the children. For them the high point during the season was always to wake up and see the Christmas tree and their gifts, but all of that had changed; we weren’t around for them; there was no tree and gifts.” Mrs. Munroe said they had also planned to take their children out on Christmas Eve Day to do the final shopping and they would have been given the chance to pick out two items that they wanted for the Christmas. Christmas behind bars On December 28, 2010, Guyana Defence Force Major, Bruce Munroe, his wife CarolAnn Munroe, and former soldier Leonard Wharton were remanded on charges of treason. It was alleged that the three between September 1, 2009 and September 15, 2010 had intended to levy war against the President and Government of Guyana to depose the President. Major Munroe was remanded at the Georgetown Prisons while his wife was incarcerated at the New Amsterdam Prisons. She spoke of fighting her claustrophobia by keeping her eyes closed through her year-long stint in the solitary confinement. She marked the
objects she needed and existed by tough. But it was not always like that. At first she was in the general population. Somebody decided that she should suffer so they placed her in solitary confinement coming out of the cell for one hour each day to bathe, wash the utensils and some other chore. As the days turned into weeks and the weeks in months the Munroes said their faith in God and their love for each other enabled them to endure their incarceration. But many days Mrs. Munroe would imagine how Christmas would have been had they been at home. “I sat many days in prison and tried picturing how beautiful my house would look and how the children would have been smiling when they woke up Christmas morning, but it was all in my head and I soon had to come to grips with reality.” “Having to relive what occurred on Christmas 2010 was nothing easy and I never envisioned spending a Christmas away from my children and my husband, it was even more sad that it would have been our wedding anniversary and we were separated.” December 2011 was a very hard time for the couple who only communicated during their brief court appearances and through letters they often wrote to each other. For the Munroe’s Christmas 2011 was one of
the most dreadful periods of their lives. On Christmas Day 2011, Mrs. Munroe said she was allowed a few privileges which she was deprived of all year round. “The morning we were treated to breakfast, there was tea with coffee which was considered a luxury in prison; we had pepper pot and bread; for lunch we had a very nice meal compared to what we were served all year round.” But for the incarcerated couple, all the Christmas Day delicacies meant nothing. But Mrs. Munroe received one precious Christmas Day ‘gift’: a chance to make a one-minute phone call from prison to a relative of her choice. Mrs. Munroe called her two children. “It was a very emotional telephone conversation between me and my children. My mother was also there so that made my Christmas Day a little pleasant but I wished nothing more than to be reunited with my husband and family.” Mr. Munroe also spoke of the fine delicacies he was treated to on Christmas Day while in prison. “Very early in the morning we were treated to sweets and cigarette and a fine breakfast but I couldn’t partake since all that was on my mind was my two children and what my wife must have been going through.” Finally, in March, 2012, after a lengthy trial, the charges against Mr. Munroe and his wife were dismissed after a ruling that the charges against the accused did not exist by law and was faulty. With tears of joy, the couple walked out of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. Reunited This December, the Munroes will be spending Christmas in their home with their children for the first time in two years. But their celebration will forever be marred by memories of December 2010 and Christmas 2011. The past year in prison has changed their entire outlook of Christmas. For Mrs. Monroe, the once simple task of decorating her home seems hard as it brings back terrible memories of the bright light which beamed into her house on December 23, 2010. For her husband it will always be the fear of disappointing his children or the fear (Continued on page 32)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
A fire, two deaths and rebuilding lives By Leonard Gildarie Having been in the media business for awhile, there are few things that can surprise me anymore. The very nature of the work makes you tough as nails. The death, the tears, the destruction can become too much. In the middle of the madness, a few things remain very clear and constant. A single moment can forever change one’s circumstances and perception. I can recall quite vividly earlier this year, and can say it will remain with me for some time, receiving news that my neighbour died after a motorcycle accident on Vlissengen Road in the vicinity of the Botanical Gardens. He left his young wife and two boys behind - boys who were forced to grow up all too suddenly, doing a man’s job around the home and not even having enough time to grieve. It is a difficult thing to bear… the look in their eyes…and Christmas is here again. It will never be the same
A thankful Roxanne Douglas and three of the children that survived in the home that she is busy rebuilding. for them. On April 11 this year, another La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara family suffered a tragedy that within a few hours of anguish left two children dead and their home in ashes. None of the seven children she was caring for were hers. It dramatically changed the life of 39-yearold Roxanne Douglas, and the children living with her… at least those that remained. Now, she is slowly
rebuilding, her shoulders are a little more square and she is determined. Her story is a remarkable of courage and a die-hard attitude. Yet speaking of her hardships of losing her home and two children she was caring f o r, t h a t h a r d e x t e r i o r showed signs of cracks, with the tears. Seated now in her halffinished home, she struggled with the memories.
The process of rebuilding has begun
Two children died in the fire at La Parfaite Harmonie in April
HARDSHIP Roxanne was one of nine children – seven boys…she was the eldest girl. It was hard for the Corentyne, Berbice girl. Some days, she was forced to walk 10-12 miles from school because of little money and no transportation. Her big brother toiled and sent her to school. She eventually came to
town and stayed with her aunt in South Ruimveldt. “ A u n t Nan…everybody went by her. She was kind and there were gatherings and I guess this was what pushed me to always help. My family stands by each other.” Roxanne managed to get hired by Republic Bank where she worked her way up for a number of years. It was in 2007 that her life changed significantly. Her sister died. She lost her job at the bank. She also was recently divorced. Roxanne was left to look after the two kids, Andrea, 10, and Andre 13. Her eldest brother, in the meantime, became partially incapacitated, losing three fingers. He was also a single parent of three. They were also taken in by Roxanne. “You see, I am a strong Christian. I believe in not putting myself first and these kids needed help. My brother, my family was there for me and it was natural that I be
there for them.” She also took in two more nephews, including Alonso, 7, who was staying at one time at an orphanage. It was a tough time but Roxanne was getting some financial help from her brothers and from a little shop she had at her home. “My big brother lost three fingers, but still would work as a driver on a minibus.” Roxanne was also Chairperson for the Parent/ Teacher Association of La Parfaite Harmonie Primary School. She was juggling time with the children, the PTA and her church - Brickdam Cathedral - where she was part of the choir. She was also struggling with the fact that Andrea had been diagnosed with heart problems. “She had an enlarged heart. We had to monitor her food, blood pressure and make sure that she did not exert herself too much.” In the meantime, Roxanne remained single, (Continued on page 33)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
A differently able woman’s Christmas wish “I’ve always wanted to get married and have kids; my own little family” By Rehana Ashley Ahamad She was born on October 27, 1986. “A baby shaped like a tadpole” was how someone described Wonetta Harper. After being delivered at her family’s 59 Nabaclis East Coast Demerara home, little Wonetta was admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital where doctors predicted her lifespan to be no more than three years. Wonetta has aged far beyond those three predicted years. She remembers being between the ages of 12 to 14 when she stopped visiting the doctor for regular checkups. Apart from a urinary complication caused by her physique, Wonetta has no health problems. She is perfectly capable of doing everything for not only herself, but for others as well. Although she is very much contented with her life
and all that it has to offer, Wonetta does have a few wishes. When she was a child, she wanted her family to be safe and healthy. Her parents and siblings are all that she has. They are her support. As she grew she added another wish to her Christmas list. Wonetta says that six years ago, realized that she wanted her own family; a husband and children. Although she moves around mostly in a wheelchair, she insists that she is “very much capable of taking care of children”. Testament to that is the fact that she would singlehandedly baby-sit her nieces and nephews. She even does their laundry. Her relatives believe that Wonetta, if blessed, will make a very good mother. Reflecting on some of her babysitting days, Wonetta says that despite her
physique, she would still manage to “chase after the children and get them in line”. She unsurprisingly has tremendous upper body strength which helps as she adroitly maneuvers her wheelchair around her home to do chores or chase after her mischievous nieces and nephews. During the interview with this pretty lady, it became pellucid that apart from being able to take excellent care of children, she has many hidden talents. The 26-year-old was never provided the opportunity of attending school, but thanks to her parents, she now has no trouble in reading and writing. Her favourite book is the Holy Bible - she is an ardent devotee of Jesus Christ. This makes the season of Christmas the most meaningful time of year for her.
26-year-old Wonetta Harper Wonetta spends most of her time at home; time not wasted that is. After a few hours of reading, She would usually turn to one of her most loved activities - art. She would create drawings and sketches of imaginary scenery or simply images that reflect the warmth of her heart and only the good in her thoughts. She loves music, and writes her own poems and lyrics. Another wish that Wonetta has is to learn the keyboard as well as to master the art of steel pan music.She is also extremely fond of board games. The cheery soul enjoys telephone conversations with friends, most of whom are
males. She does not have a boyfriend at present, but is liked by all of her friends. It has only been a year since Wonetta started going out by herself. Whenever she feels the need for a little outing, she would take a taxi to Georgetown. She would help herself as the driver assists in getting her wheelchair into the trunk of the car. Her trip to the city would usually entail just lunch and little sightseeing. She would mostly have the taxi drop her off at the New Thriving Restaurant on Main Street in Georgetown. There she would enjoy a meal before taking “a little roll along the Main Street
From page 30 of not being around on Christmas Day. For the children is the fear of being separated from their parents. While Mr. and Mrs. Munroe said they are both happy to be spending this Christmas at home, the experience of being incarcerated has given their family a new perspective of Christmas.
“Prior to this it was about shopping and getting the home right, getting the perfect curtains, the perfect gifts and matching furniture but now while we do some of what we used to do, the most important thing is being around our children and each other,” Mrs. Munroe related. For Mr. Munroe this time of the year is all about appreciating family and
Avenue”, and admiring the art and craft on display. By the time the sun starts to set on Wonetta’s enjoyable day, she would be in another taxi and on her way home. She hopes that maybe during one of her trips, she would find her “Mr. Right”. This is second on her Christmas wish list. The first is the health and safety of her family. “I’ve always wanted to get married and have kids; my own little family,” a blushing Wonetta revealed. As she looked at me and smiled, she noted that God is her saviour and he knows best. “When I was born looking like a tadpole and doctors told my mother that I would only live for three years… God has kept me alive for 26 years. So I believe whatever is for me, I will get it”. She added that even if her wishes are not a part of God’s plan, she will continue to pray for what she wants, in the hope that the Creator will provide it for her. “And if it doesn’t happen how I want it, I will still be content, because I have life and have grown to realize how precious life actually is…I’m beyond thankful!” So today, after a muchanticipated Church service, Wonetta will be enjoying her favourite food -Cookup-rice with fried fish along with her regular holiday goodies as she plays board games while having a “good gaff” with the family. Wo n e t t a Harper reminds us that “life is short and not only Christmas, but every day is a day for sharing and caring for those around us. I learned it. I live it”.
Monroe family spend...
having his family next to him. “During this time, use it to send time with family. Appreciate it for all its worth and when you sit at the table to feast, thank God that you have the opportunity to spend time with family…family is the most important thing. When that is taken from you then you realize how much it really matters to have them around.” Now if there is one family that got their wish this Christmas i t ’s definitely the Munroes as today Christmas Day 2012 they have their most precious gift—the company of each other.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Miners, loggers face A fire, two deaths... isolated Christmas season
Paul Chow at the camp where it’s business as usual during the season
Christmas, what Christmas? Some other miners By Rabindra Rooplall In the dense jungles, vast savannahs and other remote interior locations, the customary hustle and bustle of the Christmas season takes another shape and experience. Today, many loggers and miners would also be trying to enjoy or are enjoying their Christmas. Such is the life of those who seek precious metals and stones to enhance their existence while leaving families and friends behind for the season. These men forsake the customary feasts and a sense of togetherness and companionship with family and friends. For instance, Paul Chow is a gold miner who is today away from the clustered urban life, seeking the hidden treasures of the earth. He insists that the Christmas holiday is made up of sweat, hard work and fond memories which motive him to make it as comfortably as he could through the festive period. Chow further reflected that the tranquility offered in the interior cannot be
compared to any other part of Guyana, which makes the holidays even lonelier. “Even bachelors who are hardened to the interior miss being with their relatives at Christmastime. Nobody likes to be alone during the holidays…and especially if it’s their first Christmas in here,” Chow said. Noting that camp mates would sometimes get together and have their own version of a Christmas party, Chow underscored that such actions are a needed distraction, rather than having lonely days and nights throughout in a hammock. “This might not be the best of times for us where the holiday is concerned, but we try to have a big pot of cookup with rum and other drinks to have our own little Christmas lime.” However, only if the camp has been doing well with gathering gold and other gems, would the miners be in high spirits to have their own version of that Christmas lime, otherwise it’s just another day of work.
Chow noted that the “holidays” can also be equally great since many persons on Christmas Day would visit the Mahdia Landing where there is little that one would miss. “Many persons would stay in the back dam to look over their gold operations, especially if they are on a hot string of gold,” he said. “Most persons would want to leave the bush and return home, however, sacrifices must be made in order to provide for themselves and family.” According to one logger who already spent the Christmas season in the jungle, generally the season can be a relaxed one, but if constantly mixed with thoughts of the coastland and urban life, you days in the jungle can quickly develop into a miserable experience. “Being quite honest, when you think about your family at Christmastime that makes you want to leave the hinterland and head for the coast,” the logger noted thoughtfully.
From page 31 and focused on her task of caring for the children. TRAGEDY That changed on the evening of April 11, 2012. Never in the habit of leaving the seven children alone too long, Roxanne had taken one of them to Georgetown to attend the wake of a close family friend. Left at home were her 42year-old brother, David, and six of the children. It was between 19:3020:00 hrs while preparing to return home that she got the most dreaded of calls. A neighbour said that her house was on fire. “It did not register right away. I guess I was in shock. I told my friend and then called another neighbour and they confirmed it. I could not ride back on my motorbike and my friend had to give me a lift.” According to Roxanne, she was praying for children. “After I confirmed that there was a fire, I prayed. I said God, please take care of them.” It was while crossing the bridge that she got another call and knew something was even more horribly wrong. Her worst fears were confirmed when she arrived at the Middle Dam home which was on flames. Little Andrea and Alonso had been left trapped in the home and were feared dead. “It was hardest time in my life.” It was her brother, Andre, who broke one of the
windows and led the scared children out. His sister, fearful of the flames, had run back to one of the rooms and became trapped. Alonso, it is believed, was asleep and never knew what happened. Some of the children received burns.The entire home was gone. It is believed that one of the children left a lighted candle and this started the deadly blaze. It was hard for Roxanne in the days after. She and the boys were forced to sleep by the neighbours in the nights and clean up during the day. The funeral service of the two children was held in the remains of the gutted home. But there was help for the family. The funeral parlour took care of the expenses and Food for the Poor and the Guyana Relief Council chipped in with mattresses and utensils and even clothes. MORE HARDSHIP “The nights that followed were the hardest. For one, the rains came down and sleeping was a problem. The children did not attend school for over a month because of clothes and books. They fell back a bit, but the school understood.” She owed the bank for her home, but the insurance company pushed through the claim and soon the mortgage was paid off. “I did not have too much money left back…a few hundred thousand, and this has helped me to build back. My father, my brothers and
others also helped to rebuild. On many nights because of no lights, we used lights from the cell phones to do work. I even learnt how to do plumbing.” In the meantime, her brothers have started a vulcanizing business and Roxanne had rebuilt her shop. The upstairs is still unfinished, but downstairs is habitable. “Life will never be the same again,” she says.”Sometimes it is so hard after working all day. I want to give up. I cry but I don’t allow them to see.” The children too remained affected. Little Andre, first dealing with the loss of his mother and now the fire and death of his sister would sometimes “be in another world. I would talk to him and he is lost.” Some of the children have moved away, but three of them have remained with Roxanne. This Christmas, it will be much harder for Roxanne who is one of the teachers of a government’s reading programme. At the time of writing, she has not been paid for three months. She was called yesterday midday to collect payments. She has also worked on the recent census. They texted her yesterday for the money. “The children have been asking when we’re going shopping. I can’t go for it. The rain is falling. We will try. It is Christmas. Believe me, I am thankful.”
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Tuesday December 25, 2012
FOCUS MUST BE RETURNED TO...
Born to die for the sins of the world From page 26 is really a move towards recognising that Christ was born. However, he noted that the essence of the Christmas story goes even further back, as detailed in the Gospel of
John in the Holy Bible. “It talks about the fact that God’s love for the world motivated, if not compelled him to provide a solution to the problem of mankind’s separation from God which is
Christmas at home... From page 25 and decorated. Most of all, spending time with her grandchildren was the highlight of the trip. She returned to Trinidad several days ago to spend Christmas with her other children who are still in her care. She said the visit to Guyana was really to bond with her daughter and take in the time which they are so often unable to share. She noted that it is “a blast” in Trinidad, extravagant spending, and over-the-top partying with lively people. She however indicated that it matters not all the events of Christmas, the family is what matters. Kenny Joseph and his wife Simone were in a hurry to get booked in for their flight to Antigua where they live. Simone who is Guyanese and Kenny who is Antiguan was returning to their homeland just in time for Christmas. The couple had come for their son’s graduation and a short vacation time. They were however going to enjoy Christmas in Antigua where the couple owns and manages a restaurant. For them, Christmas is a routine like any other; shopping, decorating, great food and family time. The couple however hopes to spend Christmas in Guyana next year; it is an event they said they are looking forward to. Fifteen -year-old Jamacie Stuffle of D’urban Street Lodge was excited to be going to Barbados with her family for Christmas. In fact it was her first time flying and she would be seeing her aunt after a long time. The teen said that Christmas in Guyana was very nice, especially spending it with her family. She noted that she would help her family cook
wonderful food, clean the house, and decorate the Christmas tree. She is expecting “a lot of fancy gifts”. But Christmas this year would be extra special, she said, because she would be spending it with her aunt and other family members in a different country. When asked, Jamacie said with a smile that Christmas is most wonderful because she spends it with her family. Beryl Sundar, who came in from Canada, said she would be spending Christmas with her son and the rest of his family at Friendship on the East Bank of Demerara. For over 40 years, Sundar said she had been living in Canada and is now a housewife receiving her old age pension. But year after year, she said she is here in Guyana to spend that special time with her family, being the grand and great grandmother that she is expected to be. According to her, “the most beautiful thing about Christmas is spending time with my grandchildren”. She said although she is old now, and is not able to do as much as she used to, she plays her part in the Christmas preparations by making “plenty pepper pot and baking cake.” The small family get together she said is almost like a party with good food, music, family stories and lots of laughter. Christmas in Canada, she says, could never be like Christmas in Guyana. There is, of course, the heavy shopping and the festive atmosphere, but she fancies none of it because it is not with her family. Her shopping in Canada, she said, is to buy the lovely items for her grandchildren that may not be available in Guyana. Christmas could be anywhere, she indicated, once it’s with family.
detailed in Genesis (another result came into the picture, Reverend Gilbert said, as a book of the Holy Bible).” Jesus, the Christ Child, as a solution to the problem of man’s
separation from God. Again alluding to another book of the Holy Bible, Reverend Gilbert said that Isaiah states that ‘unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given’ which is the true essence of the holidays. REACHING OUT With the importance of Christmas in focus, Reverend Gilbert along with his wife Rona and sons Jered and Edrei would usually spread Christmas cheer, though, in some small way, to those in need. Their efforts usually
translate to providing breakfast to needy persons, particularly those at market places within the city to kick the day off. Plans for this Christmas will certainly be no different as they will extend the kind gesture to the St Thomas More Men’s Homestead in Kitty, Georgetown. Church attendance, cooking and other festive activities with the Christ Child in mind will also characterise the celebration for the Gilbert’s household today.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Mrs. Claus takes the reins By Michael Jordan You not ready yet?” Santa bawled from his seat by the television as he watched a pirated DVD of the Pacquiao and Marquez fight. “Just a few minutes more, Kris,” she called back from the bedroom. Santa sighed. She had said that three times already. The last time he had peeped into the bedroom, she was still dabbing powder on her face. Imagine that...wearing makeup to deliver toys at midnight. It was just his luck that he had slipped on some ice and broken his leg just three days before Christmas Eve. He should never have drunk the bottle of Grey Goose he’d collected from a friend in Guyana last year. He knew he couldn’t handle the rough ride or clamber down any chimney with his leg in a plaster cast.
And that meant that for the first time ever, he wouldn’t be doing the round– the–world trip on Christmas Eve. He didn’t trust the elves. That had left only one person...Mrs. Claus...who was still admiring herself in front of the wardrobe mirror. He was about to call out again when she came into the living room. He gave her some last-minute instructions, then she kissed him and was out the door. As she climbed into the sleigh, Mrs. Claus recalled some of her husband’s instructions. One of them was that she should get the worst part of the journey over first. That meant that she would make Guyana her first stop. He’d given her a long list of do’s and don’ts about Guyana, which included places to avoid: Don’t go by the Globe Yard or the Cathedral or fly over the Mandela Avenue dumpsite
(“That’s like passing over a stinking volcano” he’d said) and don’t park the sleigh in the Diamond New Scheme because the cows there might want to ‘interfere’ with Vixen, the only female among the reindeer. But she was curious. She wanted to at least see the Cathedral, maybe have someone take a picture of herself standing outside one of the world’s highest wooden buildings. There were about five scantily-clad women sitting on a rail near the Cathedral when she arrived. When they saw the sleigh, they let out shrieks of excitement and wiggled up to Mrs. Claus, while singing: “Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight...” It was not until they were close to the sleigh that they realised that it was Mrs. Claus and she realised that not all of them were women. The ‘women’ stopped
abruptly and changed the song…. “Who feeds the reindeer all their hay? Who wraps the gifts and packs the sleigh? Who’s helping Santa every day? Mrs. Santa Claus…” Mrs. Claus sucked her teeth, threw a few packs of condoms at them and left, reminding herself to have a word with her husband when she returned to the North Pole. Remembering that Santa had told her to get the difficult parts of the journey over first, she decided to tackle the politicians and get it over with. She headed to Meadowbrook Gardens where the opposition leader lived. She found him sitting on his verandah, dressed in green pajamas. “Wha happening squaddie?” she said in her best Guyanese accent. The Opposition Leader, fists clenched, rushed up to Mrs. Claus, then, realizing who she was, unclenched his fists and gave her a sulky good night. “Wha bothering you, man?” she said. The ex-soldier remained silent for a moment, the said: “Yuh husband does take back gifts?” Mrs. Santa shook her head. “No, squaddie. Once you ask for something and you get it, you can’t get it exchanged. That’s the rules.” The tall ex-soldier did a brisk about-turn and pointed to a huge box on the verandah. “So what am I supposed to do with all this?” He marched across to the box, opened it, and returned to Mrs. Claus, shaking a handful of green shirts, green jerseys, green socks, green ties, and green underwear in her face. Mrs. Claus bit back a smile. She remembered the previous Christmas how she and the elves had packed several huge cartons with green attire. She had grown dizzy from seeing all that green. “Who you sending this for, dear…Robin Hood or the Green Hornet?” she had joked. Her husband had sighed. “You don’t really want to know, girl. All I can tell you is that it is elections season again in Guyana and everybody’s gone crazy. These are going to the Opposition, and the red shirts in the corner are going to the
Government.” He had then pointed to a massive container. “That one’s got in a second-hand water cannon.” Mrs. Claus put on her most sympathetic face and said: “That is what my husband sent you last year?” The Opposition Leader nodded gloomily. “And I’ve got plenty more boxes inside.” It was then that Mrs. Claus hit on a bright idea. “I’ve got a box with some nice shirts in the sleigh.” The Opposition leader’s face brightened. “No red ones, though.” “Nah, squaddie, no red ones.” “And maybe you could drop off these boxes at Camp Ayanganna.” They parted on a good note; the opposition leader with the new shirts and Mrs. Claus with the boxes and a piece of black cake. After dumping the clothes off at Camp Ayanganna, she instructed Rudolph to head up the East Coast of Demerara for Pradoville II. Santa had said that the residents didn’t need anything, but rules were rules. Soon she was circling high over Pradoville II. She gaped in astonishment at the huge mansion that took over most of the community. So it was true. This building could be seen from outer space. She landed on a section of the mansion. She took out the map that Santa had given her so she wouldn’t get lost on the property. It was then that she realised that she had actually landed on one of the outdoor toilets used by the security personnel. Mrs. Claus directed Rudolph to head east of the compound, and they eventually stopped at the front door of the mansion. She took out a pocket mirror and
checked her hair and makeup before rapping at the door. It was only then that she noticed the sign ‘On extended holiday in good old USA.’ Sucking her teeth, she took out the doctorate she had brought for the owner of the mansion. She slipped the document under the door and left, heading back to Georgetown. She made a quick stop at the Brickdam office of the latest bankrupt local airline charter, recalling now that Santa Claus had said that everyone had to get a present, whether they had been bad or good. “And this man of all people needs cheering up,” Santa had added. Rummaging in her sleigh, she produced a sympathy card which she and her husband had signed, along with two CDs; one with the old Eddie Hooper tune ‘Where are Your Friends Now?’, and another with the Pamela Maynard hit ‘Lost, Lonely and Helpless.’ There was a third CD with ‘I’m having a Blue Christmas.’ Santa had suggested that they add the Elvis Presley hit ‘Jailhouse Rock’, but they were unable to find the CD in time. She put the gifts in a bag and hung it on an office door. Checking her list, she saw that her next scheduled stop was the East Bank of Demerara. She was cruising along, flying low to get a close-up view when she saw a road sign indicating that she had reached Agricola. At the same time, she heard someone yell: “THE WATER CANNON COMING!” Next thing she knew, bottles and bricks were sailing past the sleigh from one end, while the police mobile patrol was firing (Continued on page 38)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Some of the ‘must-haves’ for the Guyanese Christmas season By Latoya Giles All over the world, people get together with friends and family to celebrate Christmas. They exchange gifts and invite one another to their homes for parties, lunches or dinners, signifying the trademark Christmas message of peace and goodwill. In the Caribbean, especially in Guyana, this message is no different, and whether they’re based at home in the region or abroad, Caribbean people find a way to add their special touch to the festivities. Guyanese enjoy “dressing up” their homes, but the real excitement comes with the food. Guyanese are known throughout the Caribbean for their mouth-watering cuisine. This country was blessed enough to have many races, who have all brought their own styles of cooking. Over the years, even though many enjoy the traditional foods, a lot of Guyanese have incorporated some North American recipes. No home in Guyana is complete, if there’s no pepper pot at Christmas. Pepper pot is a traditional dish by the Amerindians.
PEPPER POT Things needed for that finger-licking pepper pot are: 2 lbs stewing steak (pork or beef) or brisket 2 pig trotters or cow’s heels (optional) 2 lbs ox tail 1 cup cassareep or more 2 red hot pepper 1 in x 1 in stick cinnamon 3 heads clove 2 oz. sugar Salt to taste 2 stalks basil 1 bunch fine thyme 1 large chopped onion 3 cloves chopped garlic Preparation: Clean the meat thoroughly. Put the heel or trotters in covered pan with water to boil. Skim. Fry cow heel in a large pot for about 10 minutes. Add enough water to cover cow heel and bring to boil. Fry beef for about 5 minutes. When cow heel is
half cooked, about 1 hour, add the beef and cassareep, and simmer for another hour. When half tender add other meat and hot water to cover. Add all other ingredients and simmer until meat is tender. Adjust flavour with salt and sugar. Note: This dish develops flavour when left over a period of days. If left unrefrigerated, it must be reheated to a boil every day.
BLACK CAKE Throughout the Caribbean, “Black Cake” is a delicacy that everyone enjoys. This age-old tradition goes back many years. Things needed: 1/2 lb butter, softened 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons browning sauce (helps to darken the cake, especially if you don’t use dark rum in the cake) (optional) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 large eggs 1 cup dark rum (brandy can be substituted, as can red wine) 1/4 lb mixed peel 1/4 lb cherry 1/4 lb mixed nuts (unsalted) or 1/4 lb nuts, of your choice 1/2 lb prune, chopped 1 lb raisins 1 lime, zest of, freshly grated 1 lemon, zest of Instructions: Grind dried fruits and soak it in 3 cups of rum. Store in an air tight container for about three weeks. Prepare the caramel by heating 1 lb of the sugar until it turns dark brown. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, soaked fruits, and rum. When it is well blended, pour the caramel. Add the flour with the baking powder and mixed spice. Fold in the cherries. Pour mixture in a baking pan and bake in a slow oven (about 300 degrees F.) for two hours. Remove cake from pan after two days.
GARLIC PORK Garlic Pork is one of the most common festive foods in Guyana. It is one of those dishes where the influence came from people who arrived from other countries and settled in the Caribbean. This is why it’s mainly popular in Guyana since this is where most of the Portuguese settlers called home. Just looking at the preparation, one can only assume that this was done out of necessity, as there were no readily available refrigerators back then, to keep the meat for long periods of time. Things needed: 4 lbs pork 2 cups vinegar (everyday white vinegar) 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (any hot pepper you like) 1/2 cup shado beni (optional) 2 tablespoon salt 20 cloves garlic Oil for frying (vegetable or any oil which can handle high heat) * You’ll need some patience as this must marinate for a few days at least. Step one; you will need a large clean glass jar. This is followed by putting lots of salt (don’t be stingy), lots of sliced garlic, and lots of thyme on the bottom of the jar. Lay pork chops on top. Then you start to layer. Thirdly you will need to Salt, garlic, thyme and lots of it. Keep layering until you get to 3/4 of a full jar. The last layer should be salt, garlic and thyme. Fill jar with vinegar and push meat down to make sure there are no air bubbles trapped in between. After doing this you will have to leave your jar with the garlic pork on your counter for 4 to 5 days. Every day open the jar and lift pork around the outside to make sure that the vinegar is getting in between the chops. On the 4th or 5th day, put pork in pot of water with some of the garlic and thyme from the jar. Boil the pork until cooked, which is about three or five minutes rolling boil. When the pork is cooked, pat meat dry with paper towels. Fry in olive oil, turning until meat is golden on both sides.
GINGER BEER Traditional ginger beer was made using a ginger beer plant. This is NOT something that you can easily make yourself - it must be possible to make it yourself, because someone hundreds of years ago, by chance, seems to have created it. If a recipe calls for yeast it is not REAL ginger beer! Ingredients 1 l water
150 g root ginger (~130 g when peeled) Medium-sized lemon (preferably unwaxed) 140 g sugar (brown or white) 4 g cream of tartar (tartaric acid) 4 g dried ale or bread yeast, or 8 g fresh Sterilising solution suitable for food use Strong plastic bag in which to bruise ginger Optional: Other spices such as chilli, nutmeg, liquorice, vanilla, cardamom, cloves, juniper, fennel, coriander, star anise. Method 1. Peel the ginger and cut it into slices 3–5 mm thick. Bruise the slices well by placing them in a strong, clean plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. 2. Place the ginger in a large bowl or jug. Scrape the lemon zest over it, then add the juice from the lemon. 3. Place the remaining
ingredients except for the yeast in the bowl, then carefully pour on boiling water. Stir. 4. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave the liquid to cool to 25–30 °C (this can take 60–90 min). 5. While the liquid is cooling, sterilise the bottles using the sterilising solution. Ensure that the bottles are thoroughly rinsed with clean water after sterilising.* 6. Add the yeast to the warm liquid in the bowl and stir until it has dispersed. 7. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave it in a warm place for 24 h. 8. Skim off the yeast, leaving the sediment in the bowl. Strain into the sterilised plastic bottles, leaving a 3–5 cm air gap at the top. 9. Important! Allow the beer to ferment at room temperature (21 °C) for no more than 48 h, then place the bottles in a fridge. Drink (Continued on page 40)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Celebrating Christmas as one family at the Dharm Shala By Rehanna Ramsay Although Christmas is essentially seen as time to celebrate and positively reflect on the reason for the season with close relatives and friends, those living in Albouystown at the Dharm Shala, “Home of benevolence for all races,” have come to embrace the facility - which offers a safe haven for the needy – as their “home away
from home.” Some may find it strange, but the residents of the Dharm Shala, who come from diverse ethnic and religion backgrounds, may have discovered the true meaning of family and love for humanity while spending many festive holidays among so-called strangers. It is under these unusual circumstances that one realizes that love has no colour and that poverty has
no face. When one visits the home those present, most of them elderly folk, can be seen sitting and listening to the radio while some are chatting away with others, perhaps on the subject of Christmases past. Shirley Bissoon, who has seen four Christmases as a resident of the Dharm Shala, emphasised that the home is quite comfortable and the administration goes the extra
mile to make the season merry for the inhabitants. “We does get Christmas social and so, and people does come visit. We does get nice food and drinks. We does dance and sing and so all ah we is family. We live in love as one because we know everybody. We doesn’t fight and quarrel ‘cause we get big and realize dat we is one and we got fuh live.” The charity which maintains more than 35 inhabitants manages to serve roughly 140 free meals daily to the underprivileged. “People does come here and get three square meals every day. Dem (administration) don’t turn away nobody.” At the annual Children’s Christmas party, some 175 children were made merry
with delicious refreshments, toys and other types of gifts, in addition to visit from Santa Claus. The Canadian and United States envoys and their wives were also in attendance at that celebration. Chief Representative of the organization, Kella Ramsaroop noted that the domicile, which was founded by her grandfather, the late Pandit Maraj Ramsaroop, has continually been a labour of love to her family. She noted that although the institution may “get financial aid every now and then from various organizations,” it is basically self-funded, existing on contributions from family members. The funds are utilized to maintain the home
and sponsor major projects. “At Christmas we accommodate children from the immediate neighbourhood and neighbouring Charlestown and so, and bring merriment to them for the holidays. Our recent Christmas party was quite nice; the children enjoyed themselves and had a little dance competition and so on,” Ramsaroop stressed that although the Dharm Shala recently celebrated 91 years of providing shelter and food to the destitute, it continues to do so at no cost to the residents and those who need meals. “The residents are given three meals per day from Sunday to Sunday. That will never stop as long as this home exists.”
Mrs. Claus takes the reins (From page 36) teargas from the other end. Someone then rolled some tyres onto the roadway and set the heap alight. Shouting quickly “On Dasher, on Dancer, on Cupid...” Mrs. Claus shot away from Agricola, but not before throwing out a large bag of toys, and another sack with old tyres, kerosene and matches. When she looked back, the protestors and the cops were arguing over whose children should get the gifts. She was still speeding along the East Bank Demerara when she spotted the hotel near Providence. An exciting thought struck her. Checking her wallet, she took out a few US notes. She then parked the sleigh and headed for the casino. Soon she was in a corner playing some intense poker. Mrs. Claus was so engrossed
in the game that she almost forgot her mission until her cell phone rang. It was Santa. And now she realised that it was almost dayclean. “You getting through, girl?” Santa asked. “Yes, I’m nearly done,” she replied. “And your friends by the Cathedral say hi,” she added before hanging up. Grabbing up her winnings she ran outside and boarded her sleigh. She made a quick stop in the NorthWest, where she dropped off presents and medevaced two pregnant women and a miner with a snake-bite to the Georgetown Hospital. She checked her sack again and realised that she still had several toys to deliver, and decided to improvise. She threw toys left and right through windows without consulting the list, which meant that boys woke
up on Christmas Day to find that they had received dolls and girls opened their presents to find toy cars and guns inside. At last the sack was almost empty, save for a bag with a large sledge hammer. It was then that it hit her that she had overlooked one of the government officials who also lived in the same area with the Opposition leader. She rushed back to Meadowbrook Gardens and located the politician’s house. A bedroom was open and she could hear someone snoring loudly inside. She threw the sledge hammer through the window. The snoring ceased abruptly. Someone let out a yelp of agony. She heard cursing and footsteps heading towards the window. Mrs. Claus leapt into the sleigh and beat a hasty retreat to the North Pole.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
An orphan and that family feeling
Tiffani James By Romila Boodram While many orphans yearn to have a “movie-like” Christmas, 14-year-old Tiffani James said she has received all she ever dreamt of and that is a family who loves and cares for her. Tiffani, who has been living at the Ruimveldt Children’s Home and Care Centre for the past four years with her 12-year-old sister, Omekia, enjoys each and
every moment she spends at the facility. The Ruimveldt Children Home and Care Centre is a NonGovernmental Organization which was established on November 18, 2006 and to date, houses 22 children and provides a 24hour care service. For the past few years the children at the home have been celebrating the event together as “one big family” and according to Tiffani, life couldn’t have been better. She said during the Christmas season she would normally help the caretakers in the kitchen with the cooking. The 14-year-old, who is a fourth form student at South Ruimveldt Secondary School, recalled some of her experiences before she moved to the Children’s Home. She said she once lived with her parents and six siblings at Good Intent, West
Coast Demerara. “We had a wonderful time. At Christmas, we would bake, cook all the fancy dishes and open our Christmas gifts.” For Tiffani, those are the moments she will always cherish. She said she had a lovely family, until life for her took an unexpected turn. She said, sometime in 2008, her mother became ill and was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital. She passed away the following day. Tiffani says life after her mother’s death was terrible. She explained that her father became “disoriented” and “put us out.” “Some of my siblings went their own way, some went with other relatives, and me and my small sister went by my grandmother.” It was in that same year that Tiffani’s father went to jail while she and her sister were sent to the orphan’s home.
One of Tiffani’s little friends at the Centre, Radesh Lilman
“At first I didn’t want to stay, I wanted to go back home, but after spending time here with the children and the caretakers I really liked it.” According to Tiffani, it feels as if she once again has a family. “It is more fun here because they are persons who love and care for us and I enjoy staying here. Especially when Christmas comes around; I love it at Christmas!” Tiffani opined that if she had to make a choice between living at the Care Centre or with her “blood relatives”, she would definitely choose the latter because she has found “real love and happiness.” When asked whether she misses her family she replied in the negative. “No. Because they check us out when they could…that’s enough. My siblings come sometimes to see us and my father recently came out of jail and he would come every month.”
Tuesday December 25, 2012
That old Christmassy feeling… By Leonard Gildarie As long as I can remember, Christmas has always been a most treasured occasion in Guyana. It had not so much to do with the gifts, but more the family gatherings and the love and warmth of being there. It was a time to kick back and tell school and the boss to chill out…it is my time now. Even while living in the islands for six years, I yearned to be back home. Christmas was missing something.The memories of getting that old Christmas tree from under the bed and the ‘caps gun’ and smell of balloons, as a little boy, was an important part of the season. The preparation and cleaning all led to the excitement. Over the past few years, I have struggled with the changes of Christmas. Every year, I hear the same things. How this is going to be a tough year…a
tough Christmas, not enough money to spend. Yet, every year around December, the shops are packed and Regent Street becomes a nightmare. Every year, despite complaints that sugar has done badly, people still find the money to spend on decorations, food and drinks. I could not let this Christmas pass without making a public observation that I do believe that Christmas now can never be like ones 20 to 25 years ago. I say this because I do believe that hardships of ‘70s and ‘80s would have brought more of an appreciation for the little that was there. I know that the critics will be stringing me out for this. I could see Adam Harris nodding his head in agreement with me. He is my friend. He is always recalling this year and that and how good it was. It’s not that I don’t like what I am seeing now. Shopping is Guyana has become a challenge now
because of the wide variety. Almost anything can found in the stores. Back in the older days, shopping was limited because of money and the variety to be had. My dad died when I was six years old. It was hard on us. My family, with a new dad, moved away from Enmore in the early ‘80s and I guess those were the best Christmases. We never did have enough. The years as a reporter have made me tough. I am not afraid or embarrassed to say now I grew up hard or admit that many a times I looked across at my neighbours and thought how fortunate they were. I know different now. Sometimes we had no money to take transportation from the car park to Queen’s College. My little brother, now a qualified technician with a multi-national company that has operations in Guyana, would most times join me in footing it to our schools.
Sometimes our shoes were from neighbours and friends. I can recall occasions of not even taking lunch to school because of how hard it was. I never blamed my parents or anyone. But it made me more determined not to allow my kids to go through that. Christmases in the ‘80s for me were the best. The pepperpot and garlic pork and family gatherings were as warm as they could be. While we never really got what we wanted, we were contented. The trek of the family to Enmore to the home of the grandparents for the annual
get-together for the holidays was a must. That too is gone. My grandparents are no more. That has all changed now. I will admit that it is hard to cope with a rapidly changing world. I have barely managed to figure out how to use my BlackBerry smartphone. I recently got another phone and it was a shocking experience to say the least. I don’t normally tolerate my six-year-old son to play video games too much. Right away, like a cowboy to a horse, he started playing games on the little phone.
He somehow figured out how to unlock it and turn on the radio. Being the technologically challenged person that I am, it is very hard to cope with the new dispensation. No longer are toy trucks or remote controlled cars in demand. It is all about PS3s, iPhones, iPads and laptops. Clothes, parties, a new flat screen TV. The demands have all changed. Somewhere in the mix…in the hassle to shop and dress the home…I have lost that old Christmassy feeling. I hope Santa brings it back for me.
(From page 37) within six days. * There is no need to use boiled water to rinse the bottles after sterilisation. The sterilising step is to get rid of major contaminants left in reused bottles. The tap water used for rinsing should not introduce contaminants, and
should it do so, they will be quickly out-competed by the relatively large inoculum of yeast. The low pH of the liquid (from the lemons) will also prevent bacteria (although not yeast) from growing. PREPARATION AND TIMING:
It takes approximately 90 minutes to prepare the drink, including a cooling period of 60 minutes. The initial fermentation takes 24 hours, followed by up to 48 hours fermentation in bottles. The bottles can be sterilised in advance if desired.
Some of the ‘must-haves’...
Tuesday December 25, 2012
A painful Christmas … By Romila Boodram Christmas is the season of peace, love and joy when family members and friends reunite and loved ones create memories to last a lifetime. As the Christmas season unfolds, there are many who are looking forward to going to church, attending parties, meeting with relatives or simply taking time off to enjoy a vacation. Children anxiously await today to receive gifts from their parents and loved ones. For a family in the Ancient County of Berbice, the spirit of Christmas is understandably absent this year. The young parents who had made numerous plans for this joyful season recently found out that their only child, little Mahamaya, has brain cancer. Four-year-old Mahamaya was a “normal” child only last month. She was very
talkative, bold, brave, naughty and “very spoilt”, according to her mother, Simone Sahadeo. A very concerned Sahadeo, after spending hours sitting next to her daughter in the hospital said that she once recalled when her daughter was “all happy and joyful”. At the time of the interview recently, the little girl was hospitalised in the Pediatric Ward of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). The little girl was diagnosed with lymphoma - a cancer of the lymph system which is a part of the immune system and key in fighting off diseases. Lymphoma cancer is considered “very serious” because it can spread throughout the body via the lymph vessels. For better medical treatment, Mahamaya was supposed to go to Trinidad and Tobago to undergo
surgery two weeks ago, since the necessary treatment is not available in Guyana. However, because the cancer has spread to her bones, she cannot travel and was forced to remain a patient at the GPHC. A depressed Simone Sahadeo said that her family was making numerous preparations for the season. And as a norm for little girls, Mahamaya too wanted to enjoy her dolls and other gifts “I got so many nice memories of her when she wasn’t showing this illness. Last year me and she went to the market and she tell me she want grapes so I buy it and give it to her and she start eat it right away so I told her that I will take her this year too, to the market, and I was so surprise when she ask me ‘and you’ll buy grapes for me again?’ I didn’t expect her to remember that,” the mother recalled with a smile. Sahadeo said that she “had a perfect life and a great
“My four-year-old has cancer,” a mother laments family”. She recalled when she and her husband found out that they were going to be parents, they were extremely happy. “We were very happy and excited when we found out about the pregnancy,” Sahadeo recounted. She added that she and her husband enjoyed every moment with their baby, especially watching her taking her first steps. The mother recalled an incident which transpired on the first day her daughter attended school. Knowing that many little children would cry on their first day, Sahadeo said she decided to wait a little with her daughter at her school. “After she didn’t see me leaving, she turned to me and say ‘mommy why you waiting, go home’ I had to laugh,” the mother said. She claimed that their life took an unexpected turn on November 14, last, the day
after Diwali. With a drained expression, she explained that her daughter woke up the day after Diwali with a strange look in her face, “she look like she got cock-eye, so I think that she probably strained the left eye when she went to school the day before.” Sahadeo recalled that she carried her daughter to an eye-specialist at the GPHC. There she was told that her daughter had to do a number of tests before a diagnosis was made. “They do a set of tests and then they told me that she has a tumour at the back of her left eye and they say that they will admit her later and do surgery to remove the tumour but she will lose the eye. When I hear that I cried so much because my daughter would only have one eye,” Sahadeo lamented. She said that she carried Mahamaya home, but when they reached, she got the biggest shock of her life.
“Mahamaya started to vomit blood and the blood started pouring through her nose, so we rush her back again to GPHC.” The mother said, this time, the four-year-old was sent to do a Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a number of tests were done on her again. She was then diagnosed with lymphoma . Sahadeo said that when the doctor told her that her daughter has cancer, she sobbed incessantly. “That day I felt like a dead; I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t even believe that my only daughter has cancer,” the mother said. From the day Mahamaya was diagnosed with the cancer, she was admitted to the hospital’s Pediatric Ward where she remains under close watch. The Sahadeo family plans to spend Christmas with little Mahamaya at the hospital.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
The true “Spirit of Christmas” By Abena Rockcliffe I have never been one to believe in Santa Claus, Kris Kringle or Saint Nicholas, but I definitely believed in and looked forward to buying and receiving gifts, even as a child. And from then to now not much has changed, as the exciting feeling that is expected at the end of December is ignited when I start shopping from my gift list. However, shopping does not cut it for my mom; she needs to smell the black cake baking, new vinolay, paint, and she has to see the ham before she can remotely get the famous “Christmas feeling.” Not surprisingly, getting the Christmas spirit is a whole different ballgame for dad; once everyone else in the house is okay and they seem to have caught the Christmas fever, he walks around with a
permanent smile, just ready to sample everything mom makes to ensure that “it tastes right.” Trickster! Anyhow, the point is as they say “different folks different strokes,”, what rocks my boat may not rock yours, but at the end of it all what seems to be important around this time is getting the “Christmas spirit.” Strange enough, though I am admittedly a Christmas fanatic, I haven’t been able to fully define what exactly this “Christmas spirit” is. Is it when you get that drive to spotlessly clean the house then still find the energy to “fix away”? Does getting the Christmas spirit mean you go into town to ensure you get all that is needed to make your family happy, but you shove, push and be mean to people who are merely trying to do the same thing? Is it when you go buy the
pepper pot meat and a less fortunate person asks you “for a help” and you tell them you don’t have? Or is it when you tell people “all the best for the season” but harbour animosity about the same person? I really don’t know, but these are all things that happen around Christmas. In the movies, I see all sorts of strange things happening at Christmas and they are most times dubbed “Christmas miracles.” But what usually blows me away and sometimes makes me cry, are the logical miracles. Yes, I said logical miracles; I know, the words logical and miracles coming together sounds like an oxymoron but as my mom would say, “tek mah wrong and you will find mah right.” When I use the term logical miracles I am not referring to those where we
see a man gaining 300lbs overnight and growing a long white beard. Nor am I referring to when gifts appear out of thin air with no explanation as to who may have placed it there. Logical miracles, as seen by me, are those possible things that have been waiting to happen; but it takes the “true spirit of Christmas” for it to be activated. For example, the Christmas movie ‘Home Alone’ The movie carries a veiled yet visible plot, and amidst all the humour, is a clear message of the real importance of Christmas. Kevin, the main character, or as we say, the star of the movie, made a wish to be alone for the holidays. But he was not as happy as he thought he would have been when he realized his wish came true, and most of us know the series of events thereafter.
But, what was most touching was the scene where Kevin had a conversation with his neighbour, an old man who hadn’t spoken to his son in ages. Kevin, a child not older than ten, advised a man about 70 years his senior to call his son and “make things right” because of the simple fact that “it’s Christmas.” The directors of the movie didn’t include a scene that would have shown the make-up process between the man and his son. But at the end of the movie, through his windows, Kevin saw the man, his son and grandchildren around the Christmas tree sharing lots of love and happiness. The man was never portrayed in a more pleasant light throughout the movie. That, I would say was done within the spirit of Christmas. A broken relationship was fixed. So
when the ham and turkey were finished, the relationship remained. When the novelty of the material gifts wore off, the gift of love remained in the hearts of those who received it. As insignificant as the movie may seem, it made me realize that we have the power to perform miracles. So, this Christmas, touch a little heart like ‘Santa’ does with his gifts, forgive like God does all year round, make a way like Jesus did, and live in love and unity as we all should. If or when that is done, one thing is most likely to happen; we will realize that the black cake, ham, pepper pot, gifts and well decorated house and Christmas trees are only additives to Christmas, because the true spirit of the season comes from within and it works best coming from a pure heart. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Scout group resuscitated as police seek to improve image Picture of the West Berbice Police Scouts Christmas Party.
Two Santas and Commander Assistant Commissioner Dereck Josiah. The commander Assistant Commissioner Dereck Josiah posing with the Two Santa Clauses, senior officers other members of the community and some of the embers of the various Scout groups. By Samuel Whyte Two new police scout groups have been formed and another resuscitated on West Coast Berbice (sub division No 3) which is part of the B division of the Guyana Police Force Police. The formation of the new groups and the resuscitation of the other are part of the police continuing efforts to improve their image. It is also
part of the number of initiatives undertaken by the force in an effort to improve its image. The groups are situated at the Fort Wellington Police Station which is the headquarters of the Sub division, Blairmont Police Station and the Weldaad Police station making it the only subdivision with a scout group at every location. The subdivision which is now headed by Assistant
Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan has been busy. The group at the Fort Wellington Police Station was resuscitated. That group which is headed by scout leaders Ashanti Amsterdam, Crystal Carmichael and Moresha D’Oliviera, has some 35 members. It is coordinated by Sergeant Kewis Gravesande. Two adult scout members also benefitted from a driving course which was held in the
Food for the Poor, St Francis Community Developers aid five families FFP Berbice coordinator Alex Foster presents a wheelchair to a relative of the beneficiary
Two of Guyana’s leading non-governmental organizations, Food for the Poor Guyana Incorporated and the St Francis Community Developers in Corentyne Berbice, continued their benevolence with the donation of five wheelchairs to five families in need. The recipients were drawn from across Berbice. Those families receiving the wheelchairs were Dhohney Ceres of Angoy’s Avenue on behalf Angela Ceres; Jerneta Junior of No 11 Farm East Coast Berbice on behalf of Vanessa Ramessar; Permaul Ramsami of Albion on behalf
of Donna Ramsammy; Eva Persaud of No 54 Village, Corentyne and Hazel La Rose who collected a wheel chair on behalf of Dallas La Rose of Rose Hall Town. Speaking at the ceremony held recently at the Club’s new multimillion-dollar building at the Area H Rose Hall Town, President of the Community Developers, Alex Foster said that he felt humbled when he saw the handicapped. He said that he was taken aback by their physical conditions. He told those who witnessed the ceremony that they were fortunate to have all their body parts intact and
functioning properly. Foster stated that it is an honour and a privilege to be of some help to the persons that are being assisted today. He urged them to take care of the chairs. The recipients were very appreciative and thankful to the FFP and SFCD for the donation. None of the beneficiaries were present. They were either represented by their parents, a relative or guardian. They said that the donation of the wheelchairs will assist them greatly in helping to take care of their love ones, either in going to school, to seek medical attention or any other chores.
division. A group comprising of 28 youths was also launched at the Blairmont Police Station, West Bank Berbice. This group is headed by school teacher, Miss Shazeena Seetayah, and is coordinated by Sergeant Cynthia Kelly. The Weldaad group is headed by Oneika Dennis and has some 25 members. It is coordinated by Constable Quincy Calder and Corporal Avella David. The groups since their formation and resuscitation have completed a number of projects. They have vowed to undertake even more, including toy making, host Road Safety and other talks,
train people in art and craft, and hold camp and campfires, Barbeque night, Stove top cooking, Fun day, Games day, Fabric painting, Table laying, and National Cubs Christmas party, The groups recently hosted a Christmas party which catered for 130 youths at the newly built Fort Wellington Canteen Multipurpose Hall and Recreational facility. During the activity Commander of ‘B’ Division, Assistant Commissioner Dereck Josiah and other senior ranks dropped in. The commander was more that pleased with the large turnout and the progress made in the
subdivision during the short space of time. He told them how pleased he was that they have decided to become a part of the scout movement, something, he noted, that will help them in their overall development and discipline. He welcomed them on behalf of the Commissioner and members of the Guyana Police Force and wished them and their families a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. He and his senior officers then joined in youths in having a merry time. Two Santas were in attendance and were assisted by the senior officers in (Continued on page 12)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Three market constables among four remanded on drug charge Four persons, three of whom are market constables with one of them being pregnant, were on Monday remanded to prison by Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo when they appeared before her at the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court on a joint charge of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking. Joel Cush, called “Yellow” or “Rastaman”, 45, of 61 Clifton, Corentyne, Berbice, a father of three and a vendor of Pitt Street New Amsterdam
is charged along with Dwayne Casey, 25, a Lance Corporal of Golden Fleece West Coast Berbice, Sherry Burnett, 48, of 38 Stanleytown and Natasha Cooke a mother of three of New Amsterdam all constables attached to the New Amsterdam municipality. According to prosecutor Corporal Orin Joseph, the four at Pitt Street New Amsterdam had in their possession 365 grams of marijuana. They were refused bail and remanded to prison until
Constable Joel Cush
Constable Lance Corporal Dwayne Cosey
January 29, 2013. Attorney at Law Rabindranauth Singh appeared for the quartet. According to information,
police got word of a scheme involving drug dealers and members of the market constabulary, where drugs would come out from the
Constable S. Burnette riverain areas of Berbice and Canje River. The drugs are then secreted in an area until dark or early morning then ferried by selected members of the constabulary for a fee. Police on Friday after conducting surveillance surprised two of the constables (a former female police officer and a male lance corporal) who had just left the market compound and were heading through Pitt Street with the drugs in a bag. After conducting surveillance and secreting themselves, the police were able to arrest two market constables with the bag. The constables, realizing they were in trouble told the police that they were asked by someone to deliver the bag to Cush who operates a stall in
Pitt Street, New Amsterdam. The two then led police to where the man was staying. Secreting themselves the police asked one of the constables to knock at the door. Cush who is well known came out and was arrested by the police after he was identified as the man that the marijuana was to be delivered to. Further investigation lead to the arrest of Cooke. The court room was packed as persons jostled to get a glimpse of the four accused. In court they all denied having anything to do with the drugs. Cush stated that he was unaware of what was going on. He stated that all he knows is that he was handed a parcel to deliver to one Eddy. Casey stated that he was not involved and is innocent. Burnett, who is a former member of the Guyana Police Force, and who served time after being convicted for aiding a man in custody to escape, stated that she worked the night shift and the entire thing is an a l l e g a t i o n . Cooke also denied and stated that the charge is an allegation. According to information the constables are part of a gang of couriers who work for a fee.
Scout group resuscitated... (From page 13) sharing gifts and other niceties to those present. Members of the various station management committees of the three stations which are also playing an integral part in the success story of the sub division were also present. They are showing how the police and community could live together and get things done. The Fort Wellington Committee oversaw the construction of the multipurpose centre which is the largest Station management committee project undertaken in Guyana. It was constructed in just over a month.
The members of the Station management committees and the various scout leaders were also loud in praise for the leadership and encouragement of B division commander, Assistant commissioner Derek Josiah and 2 IC Senior Superintendent Clifton Hicken, Senior Superintendent Marlon Chapman and Deputy Superintendent Calvin Brutus. Sub divisional leaders divisional Assistant Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan, chief inspector Gregory Springer, Inspector Dennis Stephen and crime officer Corporal Darmendra Inderpaul were not forgotten.
Pastor walks away with $1M A pastor is now $1 million richer while a woman walked away with $400,000 in cash. Twelve lucky persons each got $50,000 to do their Christmas shopping, all compliments of Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company. The Telephone Company, through its Crazy Cash Promotion, also gave away credit to persons who
volunteered to sing a Christmas song at its BlackBerry office on Brickdam, Georgetown Office yesterday. Ten media operatives also walked away with $20,000 in cash. The winner of the $1M, Hamaraj Persaud, said that all he did to win the grand amount was simply top up. Server Tuesday as Pastor: The GY$1M winner.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
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Tuesday December 25, 2012 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19) Watch your finances today by avoiding impulsive spending. Instead of buying something you don’t really need, take a quick moment to tidy up your accounts. However, money isn’t the only issue now, since your values impact what you purchase. TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20) You think that you can explain exactly how you are feeling today, prompting you to express yourself without holding anything back. Although you want to be practical, your emotions are the most straightforward way now to share what you have been keeping to yourself. GEMINI (May 21–June 20) You intuitively understand the truth today, but communicating it verbally is a completely different story. Just because you’re well informed doesn’t mean you can easily tell others what you know. CANCER (June 21–July 22) Emotional security arrives now in the guise of support from your allies. Even if you have been struggling with your feelings, your friends appear to understand what you are going through today, so allow your vulnerability to be soothed by their kindness. LEO (July 23–Aug. 22) Today starts on a stressful note with numerous demands being made on your time, but other people’s expectations may be exactly what you need to get your motor going. VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) You may receive strong support from your family today and, hopefully, you can apply their good advice toward achieving your longterm goals.
LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) Your search for meaning sinks to a deeper level today as you attempt to dig beneath the surface into hidden root causes. Although your new perspective helps you connect with people in a very direct and immediate manner, you might not appear to make much progress now. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) You are a champion when it comes to making your way through the shadowy realms of consciousness, but sometimes you forget about your strengths. Today, a simple response from a friend or partner reminds you of what you need to remember. SAGIT (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) You’re eager to start a new project if it grabs your attention; however, you can find yourself in over your head if you move too fast. Setting the proper pace is crucial now, since there’s so much to do. CAPRI (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) You can make progress on many fronts today, but don’t take on too much in an impulsive grand gesture based upon false optimism. In fact, you’re better off to lie low now instead of running around trying to get lots of things accomplished. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Unfulfilled promises may prevent you from manifesting your dreams today. If your unrealized fantasies become tinged with negativity, your frustration has nowhere to go. PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20) Although you can be happy swimming around without a purpose, things are different today because you have a specific direction in mind. However, knowing where you are going won’t necessarily get you there any faster.
0515h - Meditation 0530h - Quran This Morning 0600h - R. Gossai General Store Presents Hanuman Bhajans 0615h - Jettoo’s Lumber Yard Presents Hanuman Bhajans 0630h - Muneshwar Limited Presents Hanuman Bhajans 0645h - Double Standard Taxi Presents Hanuman Bhajans 0700h - RRT Enterprise Presents Hanuman Bhajans 0715h - M & M Fast Food Presents Raja Yoga Discourses 0730h - Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital Inc Presents Hanuman Bhajans 0745h - The Family of The Late Leila & David Persaud Presents Hanuman Bhajans 0800h - Timehri Maha Kali Shakti Devi Mandir Presents Hanuman Bhajans 0815h - Indian Soap - Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke 0845h - Indian Soap - Rab Se Sohna Isshq 0930h - Cricket:- 1ST T20 INDIA vs PAKISTAN 1330h - Indian Soap - Pavitra Rishta 1400h - Indian Soap - Mrs. Kaushik Ki Paanch Bahuyien 1430h - Indian Soap - Punar Vivaah 1500h - Christmas with Mona Live 1630h - NTN Christmas Greetings 1645h - Dying Tears 1715h - World’s Hindi Teaching by Sanskar Bharati International 1730h - Ganesh Parts Presents - BHAGAVAD GITA ( Discourses in English) Serial 1745h - Birthday Greetings / Deaths Announcement & In Memoriam 1800h - DVD Movie: If you Meet SARTANA Pray for your Death *ing John Garko, Klaus Kinski & Fernando Sancho 1930h - DVD MOVIE:JAANA PEHCHANA (Eng: Sub:) *ing Birbal, Pushkar Jog & Neelu Kohli 2130h - Indian Soap - Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke 2200h - Indian Soap - Rab Se Sohna Isshq 2230h - Indian Soap - Pavitra Rishta 2300h - Indian Soap - Mrs. Kaushik Ki Paanch
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Tuesday December 25, 2012
‘Sleeping in Town’ looking for another outstanding performance at Bush Lot
espite the name, the old adage of name and nature does not apply for the up and coming champion horse ‘Sleeping in Town’. Running out of the Crawford/ Persaud Stable of Tain Port Mourant and campaigning in the G class category with an average weight of 116 pound on its back, the animal is making its name for itself in the horse racing circle. With two convincing wins in its last race meet which was held at the Ryan Crawford Memorial Turf Club in November and three victories already since being sourced by its owner and brought to Guyana, the horse will be looking for another dominant performance when the Bush Lot Turf Club stages it one day horse race meet tomorrow, Boxing Day. Imported from Trinidad just over a year ago and
Sleeping In Town dusting its opponents in the G class event at RCMTC trained by C. Pluck, the racehorse will be looking to enhance its reputation as one of the animals to look at in the New Year. Already building a reputation, the horse returns to the track where it scored its
first win. It has joined the band of animals that has scored two victories in two races on the same day. In its last meet it took care of business by romping to victory in both the E and G class
races. Ridden by apprentice Jockey Solomon who was also entering a competitive race for the first, Sleeping In Town first had its opponents at its mercy as it took care of things in the G class 1200M
opening event, racing away with the $250,000 and trophy. The horse then returned a few races later to conquer its opponents in the bigger E and lower 1500M event with a winning stake of $350,000
and trophy on offer with Solomon again on the perch. In that event the animal took an early lead which it maintained to edge out a fast finishing War Craft by a nose with top animals Night Crescendo and The Baliff finishing third and fourth. Sleeping in Town likes to go out early and also has a good finish. Quite unlike its name the animal is always awake and it’s known for a fast start. If it gets a good start tomorrow at the Kennard Memorial Boxing Day meet then its opponents will once again be in for a torrid time it trying to play catch up. According to connections the animal is now coming on and getting better, having taken some time to settle in. All eyes will be wide open and looking at Sleeping in Town as it looks to take the Horses racing arena by storm and put its opponents to sleep. (Samuel Whyte)
Tuesday December 25, 2012
2015 Women’s World Cup Official Emblem unveiled
John Waldron fires Shattas
to clash with Pele tonight - Heavy hitters Alpha United to clash with BV/Triumph United at GFC
ancouver, Canada - The Official Emblem for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 was unveiled across Canada and around the world via a live event at BC Place in Vancouver on Friday. The festivities, hosted by the Canadian Soccer Association, were broadcast on national television, with corresponding live events revealing Host City composite emblems in five more cities. Just like the event itself, the Official Emblem reflects the core concept of “coast to coast” that will embody the FIFA Women’s World Cup in less than three years’ time. To help unveil the emblem, Canada’s national team was on hand in Vancouver, including National Head Coach John Herdman and Captain Christine Sinclair. Earlier this year, Canada announced the six Official Host Cities for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015: Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton. This competition marks the first time that a singlesport tournament has been hosted across Canada, from Vancouver near the Pacific Ocean to Moncton near the Atlantic Ocean. “From coast to coast - a mari usque ad mare - the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 will showcase the best women footballers from around the world,” said Peter Montopoli, Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015. “We are proud to unveil the Canada 2015 Official Emblem and official look that will help us welcome the world and its game to our great nation in 2015.” The 2015 Women’s World Cup will be the seventh edition of the competition and the third time that it will be held in CONCACAF. The United States hosted in 1999 and 2003. The Canadian women captured the bronze medal at the Olympic Games this past summer, a tournament won by the United States for a fourth time.
ome of the best players, drawn from around Guyana and the Caribbean will tonight converge at the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) Ground as the 23rd Annual Kashif and Shanghai F o o t b a l l To u r n a m e n t reaches its quarter-final stage. Silver Shattas of Linden – the team that defied all odds by reaching this far – will come up against a hungry Pele team in the night’s curtain raiser from 6:30PM while unarguably the best team on paper in the tournament Alpha ‘The Hammer ’ United faces BV/Triumph United. Thanks to a Superman like performance from John Waldron, Silver Shattas came from behind to defeat Uitvlugt United on 4 – 1 on penalty kicks on their own turf. Waldron opened the scoring in the 6th minute and national striker Tryon Bobb equalized four minutes later for the home side as the two teams were dead locked at the end of the first half.
Two quick goals from Uitvlugt in the 56th and 59th minutes saw the Linden team facing elimination but Waldron put on his cape, dodged the kryptonite of defenders thrown at him and literally carried his team into the next round. He (Waldron) set up Romel Mathews with a beautiful goal and then just on the stroke of regulation time, he converted his own penalty after being fouled in
the 18 yards box. The player known commonly as ‘Brown Boy’ boasted of his excitement to face Pele and his words of his team‘s resilience will certainly be put to test. Pele will be led by their captain and MVP candidate Gregory ‘JackieChan’ Richardson who’s playing some of his best football presently, along with Konata Manning and Dirk Archer just to name a few.
But all eyes would be on Alpha United; the most star studded team in the tournament this year. Club President Odinga Lumumba prior to the start of the tournament did boast of the team he and Coach Wayne Dover will compose for the event – a team he said that is winning everything. Alpha side includes G r e n a d a ’s t o p s t r i k e r Kithson Bain, national Captain Chris Nurse, former Captain Charles ‘Lilly’ Pollard, Kayode McKinnon, Anthony ‘Awo’ Abrams and Dwight Peters, just to name a few. However, they say “it’s not how much good players you have, but rather who plays well on the day”; a statement that must be running through the minds of the BV United players. The team through Delroy Dean showed Championship quality with their 3-1 victory over Timehri Panthers last week. Dean netted the tournament’s first hat-trick and received admirable support from US based guest player Dominique Henry.
Merry Mario leads Manchester City training as defending champions gear up for festive period Daily Mail - Making up two points on leaders and fierce rivals Manchester United would have bought more than a hint of festive cheer to City’s training ground on Christmas Eve. And the presence of the club’s very own crackers character Mario Balotelli gave the squad a lift, as did the sight of captain Vincent Kompany coming through the session. In fact, so good was the spirit in camp that youngster Matija Nastasic, who has previously enjoyed a winter break in Italy, said he was relishing his first taste of England’s traditionally busy Christmas schedule. The 19-year-old centreback, who has made a big impression since his arrival from Fiorentina in August, is unfazed by the prospect of playing five games in the space of 15 days. He is also far from concerned by the fact the next two of those matches, at Sunderland on Boxing Day and Norwich next Saturday,
will involve lengthy journeys. ‘To me it is not a problem,’ said the Serbia international. ‘I am always happy when I am playing, so this time of the season makes me happiest of all! ‘My father and mother are here, so I won’t miss my family. I don’t look at the two long away trips as a problem at all. ‘Now we concentrate on the Sunderland game, and then we focus on Norwich - it’s not a headache. ‘The league in Italy stops, and we have a break, but playing here is no problem for me. I am looking forward to the next couple of games.’ City needed a last-gasp winner from Gareth Barry to beat Barclays Premier League bottom side Reading in the first of their festive matches at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Having gone into the game trailing leaders Manchester United by six points, the champions were in danger of handing their title rivals another boost until Barry headed home a contentious goal in injury
time. Reading felt Barry had fouled Nicky Shorey but City celebrated a valuable three points amid much relief and their joy increased later in the weekend when Swansea held United to a draw. Although Reading showed commendable resilience throughout, Nastasic felt victory was deserved for City’s obvious superiority and greater number of chances over the whole game. Nastasic said: ‘We knew the game would be difficult because it was obvious they would just come and defend, but we deserved the goal in the last minute. ‘Reading played 11 men behind the ball, in a small area which always makes it very difficult to attack - but that was their game plan. ‘We are a very strong team, selfmotivated and full of confidence at the moment. What is important is that we keep the same attitude, if we want to win the Premier League. We won the game, and that is the important
thing.’ Nastasic’s consistent and unfussy performances are currently keeping England centre-back Joleon Lescott out of the City side. There was even the unusual sight on Saturday of Lescott and captain Vincent Kompany - the heart of City’s title-winning defence last season - on the bench as Nastasic partnered Kolo Toure. Manager Roberto Mancini’s regard for the player is evident and he is quickly becoming a fans’ favourite. Nastasic said: ‘It makes me happy if the fans think highly of me, and I just want to keep playing the way I am - that is the objective for the whole team, not just me.’ Kompany was not risked against Reading as he continues to recover from the groin injury he suffered in the Manchester derby defeat a fortnight ago. Another teenager, Karim Rekik, was also deployed at left-back as both Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov were
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Mario Balotelli was put through his paces in the freezing cold of Manchester
sidelined by niggles. Their fitness will be assessed ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light while controversial striker Mario Balotelli could come back into contention after illness last week but forward Samir Nasri is out with a hamstring injury. The match marks the
halfway point of the season and Mancini wants his side to start picking up the tempo. The Italian said: ‘We can work better but at the same time I think that we need to do more than last year. From the first six months we need to work better - that’s individuals and the group.’
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Anthony leads Knicks over Timberwolves (Reuters) - Carmelo Anthony took over in the last two minutes to carry the New York Knicks to a 94-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. Anthony, who was ejected during Friday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls, finished with 33 points, scoring 19 in the fourth quarter, as the Knicks came from behind to secure the home win. “We didn’t want to look back at this game later in the season and say this was a game we shouldn’t have lost,” Anthony told reporters. “We picked it up defensively in the second half and we won the game.” New York trailed for virtually the entire game before Anthony went on an 8-0 run in the final two minutes to put the Knicks up by four. Anthony scored the Knicks’ last 12 points to seal the win. “That was kind of an MVP performance at the end. He stepped up and made the plays,” said New York coach Mike Woodson. “When he got that fifth foul called, it’s like a light went off and he made the plays big-time.” J.R. Smith scored 19 off the bench for New York (20-7) while Tyson Chandler had 16 and nine rebounds as the Knicks maintained their 5 1/2 game lead in theAtlantic Division. Nikola Pekovic recorded 21 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves (13-12), who were missing All Star Kevin Love due to an eye ailment. Minnesota went up by nine at half-time and led by 11 midway through the third before New York made their move. Chandler scored 10 in the third quarter as the Knicks cut the deficit to two heading into the fourth. New York are still without forward Amar’e Stoudemire, who has been out the entire season with a knee injury but has recently started practicing with the team. Despite his absence, the Knicks are off to a strong start and have a 5 1/2-game lead in the Atlantic Division.
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko reacts as he tries to get past New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and guard Raymond Felton (2) in the first quarter of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, December 23, 2012. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Young Warriors disappointed at Ramdeen, Singh’s omission from Guyana t20 team The Young Warrior Cricket Club of Cumberland Village, East Canje, Berbice is expressing disappointment and is calling for reasons be made known why Richard Ramdeen and Gajanand Singh were not selected in the Guyana T20 team to participate in the upcoming Regional Tournament. A statement from the club said they are very worried with
the Ramdeen case in particular. They are suspecting as a clear case of victimisation as the selectors continue to ignore the young cricketer. Ramdeen choose to obey the instruction of the Berbice Cricket Board which then endorsed the Government appointed IMC to fix the game of cricket in Guyana. Even though the YWCC is
disappointed with the time the IMC has taken to fix the GCB problem, the club knows that the Government means well. According to the statement, “What is alarming though is that the GCB is an illegal body and is still functioning, a clear case of contempt of Court. In addition, it is surprising the WICB is supporting such an illegal practice. It is our guess that there are lots of similarities
in the way both of those organisations carry out their business. The YWCC strongly feels that all of these sports associations must be supervised by some means for the funds they use are public funds. There are significant cases of abuse of funds and power in many sports organisation.” “Guyana performed poorly in the only CLT20 tournament
we participated and Ramdeen was one of the few batsmen that made over 30 runs in an innings. He is having a good season for the year so far and has helped his club to win a major first division title after a long while. The selectors need to remember that Ramdeen is a former West Indies under19 opener. He has dedicated his life to the game which is his only form of employment. What the selectors are doing is taking bread from the cricketer and at the same time, destroying his confidence. He was not even a standby player, which shows clearly that the selectors are working with instructions. In the absence of an Inter County Tournament, Ramdeen’s
performance at the club level is good enough to gain selection in the squad. There is only one specialist opener in the team,” the release opined. In the case of Gajanand Singh, his runs and wickets are enough to prove his worth after returning to Berbice cricket. “The club hopes that good sense will prevail and persons, who God gives the authority to make decisions that will plot the course of life for others, must do so without fear. They must not be selfish and blinded by material things for they themselves will have to answer to the almighty one day,” the statement signed by players and executives of the YWCC informed.
4-a side, Penalty shootout, small goal competition on Christmas Day at Vryheid’s Lust South Turkeyen Sports Committee and Black Stallion Sports Committee will be hosting a 4-a side and Penalty shootout, small goal football competition today, Christmas Day at Vryheid’s Lust tarmac commencing from 09:30 hrs. Among the teams slated to take part are Vryheid’s Lust, Plaisance, Better Hope, Charlestown and Sophia. Entrance fee is $4,000. Trophies will be donated by Melbourne Inn, Bannas Foundation and Joseph Harmon. The organizer is Johnny overseas Barnwell.
Crucial penultimate matches on tomorrow... From page 55 have two wins and two losses going into this match. Having to do without power forward Dwayne ‘Brown Sugar’ Roberts still on suspension, they look suspect indeed but with national player Neil Marks leading them they have a good chance of getting past this Pistons lineup. This Raiders team will parade a group of promising players which include forwards Alexander Rose, Dwight McKinnon, Louis James and former junior na-
tional Geoffrey LaRose and guards Sheldon Noel and Anson Durant among others. Should they get their act together the Raiders may rebound to contest a place in the final four showing their true potential. After tomorrow’s matches the final set of preliminary games will be played on Friday with another double header where rescheduled matches from Sunday between Wismar Pistons and Kings and the other will see Retrieve Raiders and Jets in action.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Keep on dreaming!
GATLIN DRIVEN BY DESIRE OF CONQUERING BOLT, BLAKE NEW YORK, USA (CMC) — The lure of beating undisputed sprint champion Usain Bolt has become the driving force behind American Justin Gatlin’s training during the tough winter months. The 30-year-old former Olympic champion is valiantly attempting to rebuild a career tainted by a four-year doping ban, and is using the quest to defeat the outstanding Bolt as his motivation. He made the podium at the London Olympics this year, finishing third behind champion Bolt and Yohan Blake in the 100 metres. “I want to beat Bolt. He’s a stellar athlete, but I think I can step up to the plate,” a hopeful Gatlin said. “He’s the incentive to train even more for this season, him and the year I had last year when I only got beat one or two times. I’ve got world champion blood in me. It’s not about times but about running to the line, being the first across it.” Another showdown with the Jamaican pair of Bolt and Blake looms at the World Championships in Moscow next August. Gatlin is already familiar with the taste of World Championship glory, having taken the double at the 2005 edition in Helsinki when Bolt
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, left, prepares to pass United States’ Justin Gatlin and Yohan Blake.
was not yet on the international radar. His 2012 season finished tamely as he fought off illness, and after taking some time off to spend with family, he is ready to take aim at Bolt again. “I’ve got the Gatlin guns to throw at the Lightning Bolt and the Beast (Blake), and Tyson Gay …,” Gatlin stressed. His fall from grace through the doping scandal
has not diminished his love for the sport. In fact, Gatlin said he is as motivated as ever to return to the pinnacle of athletics, despite the residual criticism stemming from the scandal. “For me, running is an outer-body experience. It’s like this crazy rush of blood and you zap back into your body at the end of it,” he explained. “I want to compete until I can compete no more.”
Malta Supreme Christmas Basketball in Linden...
Turner knocks tourney high 28 points as Bulls beat Jets, end preliminary round on 10 pts Michael Turner scored a tournament high 28 points to steer his team to a crucial 5749 victory over the Amelia’s Ward Jets, who lost for the second straight time, when the Linden Amateur Basketball association organized Malta Supreme Christmas championship continued Saturday night at the Mackenzie Sports Club Hard Court. The win by the Bulls saw them end their campaign in the preliminary round of the tournament with a chance of reaching the playoffs as they completed their six matches in the seven team tournament with four wins and two losses on ten points, to end on top of the table at present. Turner was outstanding in the final moments of the game
while scoring at one stage 20 points in a stretch between halves of the encounter when they held a 27-23 lead at half time. The Bulls were ahead at the end of the first quarter 19-16 and at half time 27-23 before the Jets took the initiative in the third quarter where they ended in front 4543 but were unable to stop Turner who got assistance from Travin Dryden who knocked in 12 points. For the Jets, pivot man Shane Webster netted 15 points and forwards Lawrence DaCosta got 12 and Ruel McKinnon added nine for the losers. In the other game Kashif and Shanghai Kings completed another win by beating Victory Valley Royals
56-42 as they took the lead at the end of the first quarter 107, at half time 23-14 and the third quarter 40-22, before coasting to the win. Omally Sampson led the Kings with 12 points as centre Jason Alonzo contributed eight and Marvin Hartman seven. Forward Chris Williams made a return to the Royals with a top score of 13 points as Marlon Pollydore contributed 12 in the losing effort. The tournament continues tomorrow (Boxing Night) with two more matches at the Mackenzie Sports Club hard Court. In the first Retrieve Raiders play Wismar Pistons and the second brings together Amelia’s Ward Jets and Kashif and Shanghai Kings.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
GFC’s O’Brien clears air on ‘mischievous’ GFA ad as K&S to use venue on January 1 Trouble is brewing as the fierce ‘off the field’ rivalry between the organizers of the Banks Beer /GFA Knockout Cup Football tournament and those of the Kashif and Shanghai outfit and it seems as though the former group is ignoring all of the rules of engagement. The situation has taken such a twist that the Honorary
Secretary of the Guyana Olympic Association, Ivor O’Brien, was forced to intervene to clarify an issue while attempting to restore some sanity to a situation that has clearly gone out of hand. This was after an advertisement was placed over the airwaves suggesting that Jamaican Reggae Artiste, Beenie Man was billed to
perform at a concert scheduled for the GFC Ground on New Year’s night. This circular has been the cause of concern of the K&S principals as they have already secured the use of the facility to host the finals of their youth tournament, the inaugural Chico U-13 Football Championships. It appears as though the
Beenie Man advertisement continues to be aired despite the efforts of the K&S duo to have the anomaly corrected. Subsequently, Mr. O’Brien has dispatched a letter to the Honourable Secretary of the GFA, Christopher Mattias, advising him that the facility has already been booked to facilitate the finals of the
above mentioned youth tournament. The correspondence has also been carbon copied to the K&S principals. Kaieteur Sport is also in receipt of the O’Brien correspondence. Meanwhile, K&S Director, Aubrey Major informed this newspaper that plans are progressing satisfactorily for the finals of the youth tournament. He said that some parents have contacted him for clarification of the issue as their children, participating in the tournament, are confused as to whether the championship was still on.
He assured those parents that there has been no change of plans even as he urged the authors of the letter to de sist from such behavior. “We at K&S organization are merely attempting to provide developmental activity for the youths and it is extremely mischievous for any member of the football fraternity to cause disruptions,” he stated while reminding of FIFA’s motto, “For the Good of the Game.’ Kaieteur Sport attempted to contact Mr. Mattias for a comment but calls to his cell phone went unanswered.
India v Pakistan, 1st T20, Bangalore
Famous rivalry resumes after five-year break Cricinfo - Just the plain fact that this tour is actually happening is a gargantuan achievement for the Pakistan Cricket Board and its chairman Zaka Ashraf. How many diplomatic and political channels must have been traversed, how many meetings arranged and attended, how many people cajoled and persuaded, and how many prayers said in the hope that nothing goes wrong at the last moment. Well, Pakistan are finally here, on Indian soil, for their first bilateral tour in five years. It does not matter that it is apologetically short, it does not matter that it is barely squeezed between the two legs of England’s India visit. Thank heavens to Christmas then, for ensuring a gap existed in the first place for the two Twenty20 internationals and three ODIs to be sneaked in. The rivalry needs no introduction. In the earlier part of the previous decade, the historic Indian tour of Pakistan in 2003-04 - after another five-year break in ties - heralded a surfeit of bilateral series to the extent the rivalry began to feel a bit jaded. Since 2007, or more pertinently, since the Mumbai attacks of 2008, fans have had to rely on crumbs - a Champions Trophy game in 2009, an Asia Cup match in 2010, a World Cup semi-final in 2011, and a World Twenty20 clash in 2012. MS Dhoni might say it is just another series but it isn’t. Privately for the players, and openly for the fans, India v Pakistan will always be a coming together of shared history, culture, language, fear, hopes, love, hatred. India
v Pakistan will always convert a neutral venue into a sea of flags of the two countries. India v Pakistan will always do strange things to players; it will drain flair out of those who have it, and it will inject flair into those who haven’t had it till then, and won’t have it thereafter. India v Pakistan will always make temporary fans out of people who run away from cricket otherwise. Too much cricket? Underperforming Indian team? No Sachin Tendulkar? All valid concerns and worries. But come the first ball in Bangalore on Tuesday evening, few will be able to resist watching. In the spotlight The last time these sides met, in the World Twenty20 in Colombo, a hesitant Mohammad Hafeez set the stage for a dull performance from Pakistan. The captain, having chosen to bat, made a 28-ball 15, defending and defending without intent. Hafeez’s approach continued when Pakistan fielded, diffidence replacing his usual proactive, snappy self. It had to be the pressure of an IndiaPakistan game, for in their next match against Australia, Pakistan were back to playing aggressive, stirring cricket. How will Hafeez cope this time? Virat Kohli is one young Indian batsman many Pakistani fans admire and despise in equal measure. The man is brash, but he gets the runs. He swears, but he is dependable. He’s played a couple of match-winning innings against them already, including the outstanding 183 in the Asia Cup earlier this year in Dhaka.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Simmons strikes Blue Bird take Wiltshire Dominoes title form ahead of CT20 PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — West Indies opener Lendl Simmons put an ordinary tour of Bangladesh behind him to stroke an aggressive half-century in the North/South Twenty20 Classic at Queen’s Park Oval last week. The right-hander slammed 58 from 50 balls to help propel North to a 68-run victory over South. The series is a warm-up for next month’s Caribbean Twenty20. He put on a rollicking 123 for the first wicket with William Perkins whose top score of 71 came from 42 balls and included six fours and four sixes. Simmons struck a four and four sixes before falling in the 17th over off offspinner Ansil Bhaggan. His form will be pleasing for Trinidad & Tobago ahead of the CT20, especially after gathering just 40 runs in three innings on the Bangladesh tour. Stylish West Indies lefthander Darren Bravo chipped in with a cameo 26 from 15 balls while all-rounder Navin
Lendl Simmons Stewart hammered 20 runs from five balls with a four and two sixes. In reply, South could only muster 131 for six with Kjorn Ottley hitting 26 from 30 balls and West Indies wicketkeeper and national captain Denesh Ramdin getting 24 from 23 balls. T&T will defend their regional T20 title during the January 6-20 tournament, scheduled for Queen’s Park Oval here and Beausejour Cricket Stadium in St Lucia.
Williams for Pan American Karate President Sensei Darryl Williams, (Trinidad and Tobago) has been getting widespread support for the post of President of the Pan American United Karate Organization (PUKO). Many countries that include Guyana, Grenada, Brazil, Jamaica, USA, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Barbados, Chile, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Haiti and Belize have thrown their support behind the Karate Instructor. The international recognised referee and ShitoRyu Karate instructor has occupied all areas of the sport for more than twenty years. He is a Vice President of the World United Karate Organization (WUKO) and also their Coordinator of Referees. He also served as the Chairman of the Trinidad
Darryl Williams and Tobago Karate Federation (TTKF). He is based in the USA. The voting will take place in St. Lucia in March at the National Karate Championships. PUKO will be having two major events in the Bahamas and Brazil in 2013.
Wiltshire Dominoes on for Boxing Day Mark Wiltshire Twenty\20 2 in 1 out 4 game Dominoes competition is set for Boxing Day at Red Lion venue Princess and Louisa Row. Entrance Fee is $9,000 and action gets underway at 14:00hrs. Trophies and other prizes will be up for grabs.
Blue Bird marked 75 games to win the Mark Wiltshire Dominoes competition which was contested on Sunday at Transport Sports Club, Thomas Lands. Mix Up placed second with 70 games while Specialist came third with 67. Orin Joseph chalked 18 games for the winners, while Wiltshire scored 16 for the runner up team. Eon Thompson was Specialist leading player with 15 games. Blue Bird received a trophy and $60,000 and Mix Up took the runner trophy and $25,000. Joseph collected the award for being the competition’s most valuable player.
Members of the victorious Blue Bird team display their prize after the game.
Trojan Cycle Club formed in Berbice After having only one operating cycle club in Berbice for the longest while another one has been formed, which the principals hope will give more cyclists a chance to excel. The Trojan Cycling Club which is made up of a number of former cyclists and business personalities in the County and is already affiliated to the Guyana Cycling Federation (GFC) was recently formed in Berbice with headquarters in New
Amsterdam. Elections of office bears were also held with the following persons being elected to serve. Steve Ramsuchit is the President with Anthony Balram the first Vice President. Businessman Dwayne Ferdinand occupies the Second Vice President position. The all important position of Secretary will be held by former cyclist Lloyd Williams who also occupies the Public Relations Officer
position. Oneika Ramsuchit is the Treasurer with Prince Bess as the Assistant Secretary. Several committee members were also elected; among them are former cyclists and businessmen Shurland SueHang and Randolph Blair while others will be named shortly. The patron is Mohamed F. Mursuline with Trevor Butts serving as club coach. Among the objectives of
the club are to promote sportsmanship, fair play and friendship between all sportsmen universally and to encourage and promote cycling generally. The club at the moment is finalising details and will be open to registration shortly. The other cycling club in Berbice is the Flying Ace Cycling Club. Some time ago there was also the Harriers Cycle Club which eventually went out of existence.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
Michael Clarke in doubt as Bird debuts
Australia captain Michael Clarke is doubtful for the traditional Boxing Day Test because of a hamstring injury. If Clarke is not passed fit to face Sri Lanka, all-rounder Shane Watson will lead the Test side for the first time, with batsman Usman Khawaja standing by to replace Clarke in the middle order. As several pacemen are ruled out with injuries, uncapped right-arm seamer Jackson Bird will make his Test debut. Bird, 26, gets his chance as left-armer Mitchell Starc is rested. He will play in a threestrong seam attack along with Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle as Starc, Ben Hilfenhaus, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson, Ryan Harris and Pat Cummins are all unavailable because of injury. But Clarke will be given as much time as possible to prove his fitness, as coach Mickey Arthur says he is “clearly improving”. The skipper’s hamstring problem surfaced during the first Test in Hobart, which Australia won by 137 runs. But Arthur said: “If I was a betting man I’d bet on Michael leading the team out on Boxing Day. It will be a consultation between Michael and [physio] Alex Kountouris.”
On debutant Bird, he added: “We’ve got a lot of faith in Jackson. “At the start of the summer we had a list of bowlers that we wanted to keep fresh and ready to go and Jackson was one of them, for the simple reason that he brings everything that we want... pace, swing and consistency. “We’ve got no issues about throwing the new ball to him. “Mitch [Starc] is clearly disappointed, but he’s our one quick bowler that plays in all three forms of the game. “Hopefully he misses one Test to make sure we don’t have another injury.” Australia: David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt) or Usman Khawaja, Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird. Sri Lanka (from): Dimuth Karunaratne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga, Chanaka Welegedara, Tharanga Paranavitana, Dinesh Chandimal, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhammika Prasad, Suraj Randiv.
‘Shiv Chanderpaul the champion’ tribute on NCN TV tomorrow In tribute to West Indies batting star Shivnarine Chanderpaul, a special feature highlighting several aspects of his illustrious career will be broadcast tomorrow (Boxing Day) at 13:00hrs on the National Communications Network Inc. (NCN) television. The one-hour piece titled ‘SHIV CHANDERPAUL-THE CHAMPION’ traces his development from humble beginnings at Unity, East Coast Demerara to becoming a household name to cricket followers around the globe through the dint of hard work, commitment and a sense of purpose. Edwin Seeraj is the presenter and the programme is sponsored exclusively by Trans Pacific Motor Spares and Auto Sales.
Tuesday December 25, 2012
LABA/ Malta Supreme Christmas basketball...
Crucial penultimate matches on tomorrow at Linden Unbeaten Kings face angerous Jets, Raiders, Pistons fight for survival
wo crucial penultimate matches in the Linden Amateur Basketball A s s o c i a t i o n ’s M a l t a Supreme Magnificent Seven Christmas basketball championship will be played tomorrow, Boxing Day, at the Mackenzie Sports Club Hard Court when the Kashif and Shanghai Kings place their unbeaten record against the Amelia’s Ward Jets in the second game of a double header feature at 9:00pm; while in the first game at 7:00pm an interesting matchup is anticipated as the Retrieve Raiders and Wismar Pistons seek to enhance their hopes to qualify for the play offs. The Kings are leading the points standings in the preliminary round of this championship which has a top prize of $150,000 among other things, with eight points from four wins with two games remaining and will qualify for the playoffs. But the battle remains open with at least five other teams in with a chance to make it through to grab the three slots left available. Jets need to win to increase their chances of making it through safely, while a loss would put them at a serious disadvantage. Their main players will be guards and Captain Kevin ‘Two Feet’ Joseph who will direct play from the top along with young Leonard Caleb, Ruel McKinnon and the experienced Neil Simon. Their inside game is where they are very strong with the Webster brothers national centre Shane, Allister and Domain looking to dominate. However, they have shown cracks inside and lost to Bulls who finished the preliminary round on a leading points’ tally of ten. However, without power forward Lawrence DaCosta, who is on suspension, they are weakened somewhat. DaCosta along with the Websters would have tilted the balance in the paint in their favour.
With the return of Jason Alonzo in the middle, the former national centre remains a force of one who could take up space and create problems for any of the Websters in the paint. With him would be power forward Omally Sampson, who has been in fine touch, and Dale Williamson will see the Jets have their work cut out. In the front court the Kings should even up having the likes of national captain Steve Neils (Jr.) and former junior national captain Marvin Hartman steadying things up along with the outof-form Orin Rose who can explode anytime, the Kings would be hard to beat. In fact, before Alonzo had returned for the last Kings game, they had already shown quality in their game that made them look almost invincible. Of consideration, however, would be that the Jets have beaten them in recent clashes. The first game is also going to be key to the teams who are fighting to stay alive in this championship and neither can afford a loss. The Pistons are returning to competitive basketball but have found the going tough having lost three of four games and are on five points. Their main players have returned in the experienced guard Nevin Greenville and forwards Quincy Jones and Trevor Profitt, who were vital cogs within the Pistons, who became the first Linden club to be crowned national championships a few years ago. Having lost that title they now face a tough assignment to survive this game and reach the final four. Their opponents have not played like the team that won all their matches in the last BOSAI Open Challenge tournament before falling in the final against Bulls. This Raiders team on the other hand has lost some of the crisp plays which they were capable of and now (Continue don page 50 )
Steve Neils Jr.
t r o Sp Santos shows UG - Northern
gets rid of no mercy Rangers Blue Berry Hill
hammers them 12-0
Action in the clash between Santos and University of Guyana last Sunday.
t started as early as the first minute of play when striker Gerald Whittington dribbled past two defenders, before hitting a tame shot past a surprised University of Guyana custodian and after that it was one-way traffic as Santos hammered a hapless bunch of academics 12-0, before a fair-sized crowd to progress to the next stage of this yearâ€™s Banks Beer / GFA Knockout Cup which continued on Sunday, at the GCC ground. Whittington, who is best known for his prolific scoring in local football, netted two more goals in the 32 and 56 minutes to complete a hat-trick, while the dreadlocked Michael Pedro was the top goalscorer of the eveing, hitting in four goals in the 17 , 28 , 48 and 75 minutes to complete the rout of a clearly outclassed UG team. Also, on target for the winners were William Europe (25 and 78 ), nd
Jermain Bamfield (44 ), Jermaine Fraser (51 ) and Lerone Charles (70 ). In the opening fixture, Northern Rangers led by goals off the boots of Sherwin Vincent (57 ) and Jermaine Scott (77 ) finally got rid of a determined Blue Berry Hill FC by a 2-1 margin. Shemroy Dover (47 ) converted the lone response for the Lindeners in what was definitely an evenly contested encounter which could have gone either way. Meanwhile, the tournament continues today with another double header, at the Tucville ground, commencing from 18:00 hrs. The Organisers were forced to switch from the GCC ground to Tucville due to the waterlogged conditions at the former location. In the first game, the inform Guyana Defence Force (GDF) take on Black Pearl and that will be followed by the feature clash that pit th
Lindenâ€™s Netrockers versus the Guyana Police Force at 20:00 hrs. Both games should provide fans with end to end action and with $9million in prize money up for grabs, $4million of which goes to the winner, even teams starting as favourites will know that strength on paper does not necessarily translate to victory on the field. However, the Army over the past year has really transformed itself into one of the better teams in the country and with their decisive edge in the fitness department Black Pearl could easily find the going tough against a team that usually runs the opposition into the ground. The soldiers will be depending on the services of Eusi Phillips, Marlon Benjamin and Devon Harris to lead their charge for v i c t o r y, w h i l e L o m e n Johnson holds the key for Black Pearl.
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