Sunday December 29, 2013
Police release BM Soat workers
The re-erected fence which officials deem temporary.
Police have released several workers of BM Soat Auto Sales who were detained on Friday night after they were caught re-erecting a controversial fence at the auto dealers Le Ressouvenir location, on the East Coast of Demerara. The men were released on self bail after spending the night in a police lock-up, for “provoking a breach of the
peace.” This newspaper had observed the men reestablishing the fence on Friday night at the same location where it was demolished by the Ministry of Works earlier in the day. It is unclear whether any of them will be charged. The arrests had occurred after some of the workers, in defiance of the court order
granted to the Works Ministry, used welding torches to re-erect part of the structure that the Ministry had demolished. The Ministry claims that the fence and BM Soat’s office building were constructed on Government reserve, thereby impeding the East Coast Demerara road extension project. However, management of
the auto dealership claims that the land is transported property. Yesterday, a senior police official explained that the present fence appears to be temporary. “They still have vehicles at the location, so I suspect that it was put up back for security reasons and not really in defiance of the court order,” he said.
Gold price collapse is the worst …now $US 1,200 per oz for 30 years Gold will finish the year as one of the worst-performing asset classes of 2013, bringing to an end a decade-long rally in the precious metal. Gold has suffered its sharpest fall in 30 years, down almost 28% over the past 12 months to close 2013 at about $1,200 (£725) an ounce. That compares badly against other assets, with the S&P 500 up 28%, the FTSE 100 gaining around 13pc and Brent crude oil futures up about 2.5% in the same period. “Equities have won the battle over gold for investors' money this year,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said. Last year, Mr. Hansen correctly predicted that gold would finish the year at $1,200 and for 2014 he is forecasting that prices may have already bottomed out.
“We won't see a year of big movements after the recent 10-year rally ended. In fact, we could see some consolidation,” he said. Although he expects gold to continue to be sold early next year, Mr. Hansen does not foresee prices below $1,090 an ounce. “A year down the line, we could be around $1,250 an ounce,” he said. Demand for gold had led the charge in resources de-
mand that became known as the commodities “supercycle”, but no longer. Gold was the biggest loser after the US Federal Reserve announced that it will taper its bond purchases by $10bn a month from next year. The metal fell almost 3% immediately after news of the taper hit the market. Central banks globally are already following the Fed's lead and easing back on the money
printing that has been the primary policy tool to lift the developed world out of recession, and a major factor behind investors seeking higher yields in gold. “Sentiment is stacked against gold,” said Mark Bristow, Chief Executive of African-focused gold mining company, Randgold Resources. “Globally, economic policy has been driven by popular politics and not sound business sense.” Mr. Bristow said that not all of the downward pressure on gold prices is due to global economic forces. Overproduction is now a major (continued on page 47)
Gifts of life Our words contain the power of life and death. You have the power to speak life into your home and the people around you, and you were given that power for a reason. The people around you need to hear your words of encouragement. Your encouraging words are more meaningful to them than anyone else’s! They are like little gifts of life that the people closest to you need to hear. Sometimes we compliment total strangers or people we barely know more than we compliment our own family members. Many times, a person will tell a coworker what a great job they did, but when their own spouse excels, they don’t say a word. We need to always make it a priority to compliment and encourage our own family members first. It’s easy to take the people closest to us for granted. You might think, “Oh, I don’t need to say anything. They know how I feel.” Or, “She knows I think she is beautiful...He knows I think he’s great.” Maybe so, but a blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken. When you release those positive, faith-filled words of affirmation, they have a positive impact on the lives of the people you love. I am convinced that when we put family first, when we take the time and make the effort to be good to our family members and give them our best, then all the other relationships in our lives will improve as well. Always remember, the people in your inner circle not only want your approval—they need it. Life and death are in the power of your tongue, and the seeds you sow will produce a harvest for your own future. Speak words of faith and victory and set yourself up for a harvest of victory in your own future. Give gifts of life to others and receive His life in abundance in return. (by Joel Osteen)
KAIETEUR NEWS Printed and Published by National Media & Publishing Company Ltd. 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana. Publisher: GLENN LALL Editor: ADAM HARRIS Tel: 225-8491, 225-8458, 225-8465 Fax: 225-8473 or 226-8210
The gun debate Just a few weeks ago a man held off the police for a long time and when the shooting was over, five people lay dead. One of them was the crazed man who started the shooting.. He was a licenced firearm holder. There has been a lot of talk about this person being licenced to carry a weapon when he actually shot himself in a fit of pique. The killing matches up to what has happened in other parts of the world where procedures far outweigh what passes in Guyana. This is where we are as a nation: Seeking a useful metric for horror that we refuse to deal with otherwise. Checking the reports on other countries we find numerous reports. What is the proper standard? The number of victims? The FBI defines “mass murder” as the killing of four or more people, not including the perpetrator, in a single incident. Mother Jones magazine has compiled a database of 67 such incidents in the United States since 1982, including five this year. By this standard, the Navy Yard incident, with 12 victims, is the worst this year. This is an incident when a former employee enters the compound unchallenged and shot a dozen people. But it hardly stacks up to the April 2007 incident at Virginia Tech University, which saw 32 innocent people killed. Factor in age, innocence and total abject horror, the worst was last December’s Newtown, Conn., shooting of 20 small children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A dozen people dead at a military facility? Bad, but by this grim calculus, not Newtown-bad. But of course it is. One death is as bad as 12 is as bad as 32. Stalin’s rule does not apply: “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of a million is a statistic.” So the reaction to the Navy Yard shootings has focused on two issues: One, the security failures that allowed someone with a history of mental illness to obtain a “secret” clearance to work as a contractor in a military installation, and two, how was someone with that kind of mental health history able to pass a federal background check when he bought his shotgun in Virginia? These will be useful questions to answer, but make no mistake: Answering them will be fighting the last war. The profile of the next mass shooter — and there will be one — almost surely will not match Alexis’ profile, except for this: He will be out of his mind. One way or the other, mass murderers are always crazy. The nation will never be able to keep all of its crazy people from acquiring weapons. They can steal them from their mothers, if necessary, as did Adam Peter Lanza, the Newtown shooter. But the nation ought to be able to come together around the proposition that people with a history of mental illness shouldn’t be able to buy weapons without a background check. Federal law and some states have such laws, but most require a recent history of commitment for mental illness. There is now talk in Congress that the Navy Yard shootings create common ground not only for more stringent mental health background checks, but for more training in recognizing problems. No laws will work if dots aren’t connected, as they were not connected in the Alexis case. And both sides of the gun control debate are wary. One side thinks it might foreclose the opportunity for broader background checks. The other worries that it would open the doors for broader background checks. But it’s a debate worth having. If the nation can’t come together on the simple proposition that it should do everything possible to keep mentally ill people from acquiring or possessing weapons, then sanity has fled us all.
Sunday December 29, 2013
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Bargaining away Guyana’s territory and natural resources DEAR EDITOR, What does developing Guyana mean? It seems to be a commonly held position by this regime, doing or saying anything to portray that all is well, even when it is not. Wasn’t that the widespread practice that led to the building of the now white elephant Skeldon Sugar Factory and the unfinished Marriott Hotel among others? Wasn’t it at the heart of the construction of the Berbice Bridge five years ago when the nation was told that it would be cheaper and faster than the ferry to cross the Berbice River. Well this minister has
done it again. Since appointed a minister, everything he has touched has collapsed and folded. His lack of managerial skills coupled with his inept policies have completely destroyed the sugar industry thus making “KING SUGAR” into a shadow of what it was. Today, the sugar workers are much poorer than they were a decade ago. The classical example is the white elephant Skeldon sugar factory which the taxpayers have already paid over US$250 MILLION for its construction and endless amount in repairs and still the factory is not functioning properly. It is considered the
largest assembly of scrap metal in Guyana. This is the same minister who according to Kaieteur News is living in one of GUYSUCO houses on Lamaha Street and that GUYSUCO is paying four security guards to protect his premises. Everyone knows that GUYSUCO is short of funds and is paying the poor sugar workers slave-like wages, yet this minister is living off of the funds of the bankrupt GUYSUCO. The minister’s action is like taking from the poor and giving to the rich. Only in the PPP the reverse of Robin Hood’s
philosophy seems to occur. One would have thought that the current President would have recognized his poor management skills and the alleged corrupt practices and dump him as a minister, but we were wrong. Rather, this presidential nephew-in-law was given the more prestigious ministry of Natural Resources, where only after a year, he secretly bargained away a quarter of Guyana’s territory to one of their friends who is a foreigner and then told a completely different story to APNU’s MP, Joseph Harmon. This minister is not only (Continued on page 06)
Sunday December 29, 2013
The PPP continues its crusade of junk statements DEAR EDITOR, Those statements by Ministers and the General Secretary of the PPP in relation to the Georgetown City Council are clearly unworthy of these high offices. The latest salvo is by Mr. Rohee who blames the state of the cemetery on the Mayor. I have earlier dealt with these completely dishonest statements by the ruling elite, blaming the Mayor and City Councillors for the ills of Georgetown, knowing full well that the three vital ingredients needed for the success of any venture, or institution such as a City, are, money, manpower and management. None are available to the elected Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown – compliments of the Government. The government has suffocated the City in all of these areas. The recent act of an imposed Town Clerk has taken management of the City to the lowest level ever. The likes of honourable Clement Rohee must know that the city continues to be de facto managed by the Minister and his appointed Head of our administration.
Recall that in August, the National Assembly approved a motion for the Restoration of Georgetown. After months, it is now crystal clear that the Government has no interest in making a reality of this democratic decision of the National Assembly and continues the sad and sorry state of stultifying the City. Perhaps, hoping to improve their political fortunes beyond the 27% of votes they obtained when voters had the opportunity to elect Councillors, or perhaps, it is the diabolical mind of the PPPAdministration of punishing a City because it did not support them. What a pity. The City is in deep crisis, it faces a health hazard. Yes it is a PPP Government Minister who said he would welcome a health crisis in Georgetown. What a great Minister. “Men have lost their reason and fled to brutish beasts.” The public must not be fooled by the PPP statements and figures such as the recent one about Government giving a sum of 56 million dollars for the ‘Restoration of Georgetown’. This is an affront to the Mayor and City
Council and citizens, if not as an asinine statement. How can 56 million dollars restore Georgetown? Or was it intended as a joke for Xmas? I will offer a few facts to show how much of an insult to our intelligence. The Georgetown Municipality caters as they say, for us from the ‘cradle to the grave’ – day care to burial facilities – by way of example: 1. To rehabilitate our Maternal and Child welfare (Public Health facilities) - $100 M This excludes training, mobility and public education. This excludes Lighting, replanting of trees, repairing of tombs – these are only a portion of things to be done if we are to restore the City. I have not mentioned Roads, Parapets, Constabulary Training Complex, our five Municipal Markets, Bridges, Sluices, not to mention City Hall itself. $56 M is a drop in the ocean. What about - A modern abattoir A retrained and larger constabulary and building inspectorate A well staffed Public Relation Department Additional garbage trucks et al.
A modern workshop. Competent and qualified staff identified, not the imposition of incompetent and unqualified staff. The restoration of our Capital City requires a revised plan, the one prepared in 2001, even though approved by the Cabinet has been ignored. The report is gathering dust in the Minister’s office. From the time the PPP lost Local Government Elections in the City, they have frustrated every effort, and I repeat, every effort, made by the incumbent Mayoralty to mobilize the money and management capacity to restore Georgetown. Imposing its will as we have seen recently, to go so far as to appoint unqualified persons to manage, or should I say, mismanage the City. Except for the late Prince Melville as Town Clerk, all
officers seem afraid of the PPP Ministers. How ridiculous, therefore, is the statement by the PPP operatives blaming the Mayor. Let the President assent to the other Local Government Bill to complete Local Government Reform. Let us have Local Government Elections early in the year. Let us dispense with the Ministry of Local Government, whichina functional democracy and a credible modern Local Government system is an unnecessary imposition on tax payers consuming millions every day. What with two Ministers, two high paid advisors, both former ministers, with Ministerial pay and perks, a plethora of so called experts. It is the same Government to quote the words from Stabroek News Editorial of Monday, December 23, 2013
noted that over the last decade, in particular, (the PPP/ C has traded unrelentingly and unjustifiably honest democracy credentials). Even when at their instance a development plan for Georgetown 2001-1010 was finalized and approved by Cabinet, the Government did not proceed with its implementation. The people of Georgetown deserve better and must demand more of the State. I close by making this boast; if given a reasonably free hand and resources, Georgetown would have by now been a true garden City and the pride of Guyanese everywhere and the beacon of this region. Among others, there are two things this administration seems not to realize. First, in so far as the PPP/ (Continued on page 6)
Sunday December 29, 2013
The USAID Project: Is the govt. getting a dose of its own medicine? DEAR EDITOR, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon’s recent letter published in KN dated 12/28/ 2013 and captioned “A most disrespectful United States Govt” reflects the kinds of sentiments Guyanese feel
when Luncheon’s PPP/C government abuses its power. In his letter, Luncheon suggests that the U.S Ambassador, and in fact the U.S government, did not consult with the Guyana government on the controversial USAID project.
According to Luncheon, the government of Guyana was approached after the US authorities would have already decided on the organization to execute the project. Luncheon and the PPP/C government claim that this action is disrespectful to
BARGAINING AWAY... From page 4 corrupt but his continues to do whatever he wants with the country’s resources as if it was given to him by his parents. May be, it was given to him by his uncle-in-law president, who also believes that Guyana belongs to them. Where did these gangsters originated from. We do not know of any Guyanese who is as greedy, selfish, corrupt, scampish and crooked as this bunch. They want the whole country for themselves. This PPP cabal has abandoned all fidelity to best practices and good governance and has indulged in cunning games and blatant corrupt practices aimed at exploiting public trust and fattening their pockets with the state funds and resources. Whenever cracks about these ill-conceived projects become public, their instinct is constant denials, cover-ups and barefaced lies. They are hell bent on deceiving the people and protecting themselves. But even their supporters have become wary of their lies, propaganda, distortions and
corrupt practices. Good leaders are constantly faced with challenges regarding the types of decisions they have made and have to make. Strong leaders develop and give primacy to following their missions, goals and core values-nurturing cultures and live by the codes of good behavior and good governance. Weak leaders like the current one in Guyana treat them as documents to be cited in press releases; meaningless in practice, but useful as propaganda and distortion exercises. We want our brothers and sisters in Guyana to know that as head of the government, our current leader has not done anything to protect their interest when something as fundamental as public trust has been patently breached? He has not fired or even disciplined the rogue elements in his minority regime who have and continue to hijack and ignored government policies and regulations and use the state resources to fatten their pockets and those of their relatives and friends.
As a weak leader, he continues to lurk in the shadows of his predecessor and allow the loudmouths and bullies within the regime to dictate to him the course of action or inaction. Sadly but true, our leader has chosen the cover-up route, because for the past two years, he has refused to believe that corruption even exists on a large scale basis and that there are kleptocrats in his regime. He has refused to admit that infractions and gross misconduct are occurring almost daily in his administration by the cabal. He has not and will never accept the truth about corruption as a feasible way forward because his primary concern is the protection of his ministers and his party and not the protection of the interest of the people. We now call on the combined majority opposition to stand with the people and mobilize them to take massive action against this bunch of thieves and force this corrupt and uncaring regime to rescind all secret deals. Guyana is badly wounded and is bleeding profusely and the opposition must use their power to its maximum to stop the bleeding before the country is bled to death. For those in the regime who shower praise on the late Nelson Mandela and not take up his mantle and follow in his footsteps is phony. Now is the time for the opposition to act on behalf of the majority of people who elected them. Dr. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh.
the Guyana government. After reading Luncheon’s letter, if true, I can only describe the situation as one where the PPP/C seems to be getting a dose of its own medicine. I do not wish to address the issue of whether Luncheon is telling the truth or whether the US authorities indeed sidelined the Guyana government, since my focus is to point out to the PPP/C that for the past two decades Guyanese have been treated with similar or worse kinds of disdain by this PPP/C government. We have been disrespected time and time again and the PPP/C and Luncheon have barefacedly thrust the now “vex word” consultation in our face as a façade to appease the very international community, including the US government, in order to garner support for their repressive actions. Shortly after the 2011 elections we were told by the minority PPP/C government that the Ramotar government will ‘consult’ with the opposition on the 2012 budget; where was the consultation? In 2013, consultation was again touted, but again the PPP/C bluffed the people. So the Budget was again chopped up. I recall that we were also told that the PPP/C government will consult with
the opposition on drafting the Anti-Money Laundering Bill; where is the consultation? The bill remains in jeopardy. Where is the consultation to revive the ailing sugar industry? What is the status of the promised consultation and review of the draconian 16% VAT Ramotar promised on the 2011 campaign trail? Did Ramotar, Luncheon and the minority PPP/C government consult with the Leader of the Majority Opposition when they chartered a flight and headed to South Africa? They took a PPP/C delegation to represent Guyana at the memorial of the renowned world leader, Nelson Mandela. Doesn’t Luncheon think that this is disrespectful to the people of Guyana? Editor, I can go on and on to show how this government has continuously disrespected the Guyanese people. I have written extensively on this issue and have pointed out many instances where Luncheon and the PPP/C would have blatantly disrespected the people. Only a few weeks ago the Minister of Local Government insulted the intelligence of members of Georgetown City Council, the people of Georgetown and the entire Guyanese community when he announced that Carol Sooba, an unqualified
person should function as the substantive town clerk even though the council voted to appoint a most suitably qualified individual. In fact, the PPP/C is sending messages to our young people that seem to suggest that meritocracy may have no place in PPP/C led government. If this is not disrespect, tell me what is? Let me state that I strongly believe in the sovereignty of nations, but I am equally mindful and suspicious of those repressive regimes which are ready to mobilize citizens’ support, in the name of protecting state sovereignty, in order to perpetuate their despotic policies. I caution all of us to pay attention to this USAID debacle in order to make informed decisions about the way forward. I am confused that the PPP/C government, which uses the word “democracy” as a buzz word, would want to shut down a project which is likely to enhance and promote democratic values in the Guyana. Something smells fishy, or as Luncheon would say “disrespectful!” Since the PPP/C government now appears to understand how it feels to be disrespected, will it be more respectful to the Guyanese people? Only time will tell! Lurlene Nestor
The PPP continues its... From page 5 C treatment of the Capital is concerned, as I move around the City talking to residents even in the midst of their woes of mosquitoes, garbage and flooding, they all state it is the fault or misdeeds of the government. In other words, the PPP is not fooling the people. Second, when a Minister can state that they are allocating $56M for the restoration of the City, the average citizen feels insulted,
more so, when they are reminded that it is the kind of money this Government has expended for a pump Station at Stanleytown, but only a fraction of the excess of $US 320 M, they set out to pay for the Amalia Falls Project. The billions paid to the NGPC up front for drugs alleged to be supplied. The NICIL sweet deals – in all this you offer a meanly sum for the rehabilitation of Georgetown. In any case, with the appointed Town Clerk we
are certain that the money will be expended by the Minister and his Town Clerk. History will be a harsh judge. We now hear that the government will clean up the City. This of course is always helpful; however, this is no more than a bandaid on a festering sore. The Government must instruct the Town Clerk to carry out the decisions of the Mayor and Councillors and reengage the two solid waste contractors she dismissed in defiance of Council’s recommendation. There is a new garbage pile up at the corner of Church and Waterloo Street and the empty lot to the south and another heap nearby. All these may be removed in the so called government clean up. But unless there is a holistic approach and a sustained programme after a few hours or days the City will again be littered. Hamilton Green, J.P.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Kaieteur M@ilbox Since when is this Government so concerned over doing what is right? DEAR EDITOR, I must register my concern over the ramblings of the HPS Roger Luncheon on the USAID project. Since when is this Government so concerned over doing what is right? I am not impressed. How is it that the US Ambassador is taken to task over getting on with a project that could only mean well for Guyana? Or is it that the project would benefit the wrong people who would be educated on the right things? How come we are now drawing lines on protocols and sovereignty when the Venezuelans were allowed to
get off with a slap on the wrist on what most definitely could be termed ‘gross eye pass’ and very troubling? They poked their fingers in our eyes and all we the Guyanese got was Dr. Luncheon and the subject Minister making excuses for them, saying that they had apologised. We never saw the apology and we should be privy to the contents. The actions of the Venezuelans clearly tampered with our sovereignty. Now we are picking on the US Ambassador. Old people got a saying that ‘no matta how cockroach drunk, he don’t walk through fowl yard’ - the Venezuelans
came in through our back door, walked all over us and nothing said. They are the bullies. Now we are puffing up our collective chests on the Americans for their offering of a project that could only augur well for Guyana and Guyanese. Dr. Luncheon must realise that even though no child should be left behind, many of us came before and cannot be blindfolded by his lofty, lengthy explanations meant to divert our attention from the real issues. Please treat us with the same respect you are foolishly demanding from the American Ambassador. Michelle Cumberbatch.
Cherished memories of UG DEAR EDITOR, University of Guyana has proudly shaped the lives of thousands of students who are standing tall in their various professional pursuits. As a student of the seventies, permit me, in my nostalgia, to mention lecturers such as Professor Bill Carr, Dr. Halvidar Singh, Dr. Bhagirat Persaud, Mrs. Pat Persaud, Dr. Winston Mc Gowan and Dr. Fred Sukdeo among others, who lived and breathed the university. It was with quite some surprise that at the recent 50th Anniversary celebrations, no mention was made of Dr. Fred Sukdeo, one of the few surviving lecturers
who taught at the then Queens College “Jagan Night School” in 1963, marking the founding of the university of Guyana, under the stewardship of world renowned professor Lancelot Hogben. Dr. Fred Sukdeo moved on to Turkeyen Campus where he and his wife Dr. Iris Sukdeo, held senior positions for over 25 Years. Nevertheless, mistakes are a hallmark for even the learned. An historic commemoration of UG 2013 has duly marked memories of which will always be cherished. Thanks to the vision of Dr. Cheddi Jagan. Vive. UG (Former Student 1973-1976)
Overcrowding at CJIA DEAR EDITOR, I arrived in the country two days before Christmas day and was shocked with what I saw at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). As a passenger on Travel Span I could not enter the Arrivals lounge because of the overcrowding. You see two Caribbean Airlines had arrived about 30 minutes before us. So, in the rain, my husband and I had to wait on the walkway for a painfully long time before we were able to enter the lounge. As a Guyanese visiting after 10 years, I found that it utter distasteful. Three and a half hours later, I vented my frustration to my relatives who informed me of the plan to expand the airport. While I dismissed what was said initially to catch up on family business, several days later I am penning my frustrations on paper. For the life of me I can’t imagine why there is so much resistance to expanding the airport. I read critics of the project support the runway extension but not the construction of a new terminal building! It makes me wonder if these individuals have the interest of the country at heart. I was nearly soaked when I left the aircraft – an
uncomfortable experience that could have been avoided if there were boarding bridges; spent over an hour and a half in the Immigration line [ a larger immigration area would be nice], and what felt like entire day [one and threequarter hours] to uplift our luggage - more carousals please! Ironically, those members of parliament who are leading the charge to block the airport expansion would not feel the
squeeze since they travel VIP style! They do not have to endure what we ordinary people go through. So it is my fervent hope that this letter shed some light of our plight and that those stubborn politicians who have their heads buried in the sand to wise up and do the right thing. 2014 is fast approaching; we need to see major developments in this country I am proud to call my home. Angela Johnson
Sunday December 29, 2013
New River Triangle debacle...
Muri Brasil misled nation on amount of land available for mining Financial Analyst, Christopher Ram, has accused Muri Brasil Ventures Inc of misleading the nation with regards to the amount of land to which it will have access for mining when its exploration activities have been completed. In its statement the company said, “Much has been made of the fact that the area covered by the PGGS is some 2 million acres. This area is for exploration not occupation or prospecting. Also the PGGS provides that the area is reduced by one quarter at the end of every year for its life of three years so that at the end of the three years only 25 percent of the original area remains.” According to Ram, who made his views known through his chrisram.net outlet “That is incorrect.” Ram said that under a clause Relinquishment, is stated: “On or before the first anniversary, the Permissionholder shall relinquish at least 25 per cent of the said area after the first year.” He said that there is no commitment for any other year and only that the permission is for a period of thirty-six months. “Where then is the Maths that 25 per cent will remain after three years? Unless the company has been given some private assurances by the Minister, after three years the concession goes under the Clause that states: There shall be no extension or renewal of the terms and conditions of this Permission.” Ram said that by now, the company should have indicated whether it has given up “at least twenty-five percent of the said area after
the first year.” He asserts that it is “the duty of the Minister, as well as an obligation of the company to tell the country and the security forces the precise coordinates of the area which was given up on or before November 7, 2013.” He reminded that the company states that the area for a prospecting licence is an average of 12,000 acres so that 18 prospecting licences will extend over about 216,000 acres. According to Ram, “This is and was no doubt meant to mislead.” He pointed to Section 33 of the Mining Act which clearly states that a prospecting licence may be issued over several parcels, which are themselves subject to two extensions. “There is no limit to the number of parcels over which a licence can be issued.” Ram also alleges that “the company is apolitical. He said that surely, it is public knowledge that Yucatan Reis, one of its directors, worked closely with Minister Robert Persaud during the 2011 elections
campaign. Ram said, too, that “his fellow director (Dean Hassan) never misses an opportunity to boast of his connections and influence over the politicians including the Prime Minister and at least one security agency.” “Guyana is a strange country in which the word corrupt seems preferable to political!” The Financial Analyst points out too that apart from its statement, “we learn that the company is awaiting permission for the construction of an airstrip to facilitate its work…Perhaps the company would be good enough to state which clause in the Permission gives it a right to construct an airstrip.” He also called on Minister Robert Persaud to tell the nation how much it will cost the GRA, the Police Service and the GDF to effectively superintend the operation of an airstrip near the border with Brazil. According to Ram, “Muri represents a security threat, an erosion of our border and the possibility of substantial expenditure in return for US$85,000…What makes these risks more serious is the opacity of the deal entered into but scarcely acknowledged by the Minister, the silence of the Security Forces on their duties under Article 197 A of the constitution and the selfserving and orchestrated defence of the deal.” He suggested that the only body with the authority to have a thorough examination of the deal is the National Assembly. “It must have this done as a matter of urgent national interest.”
$2.2M in items. Slowe was first brought before Magistrate Faith Mc Gusty at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court where an indictable break and enter and larceny charge was read to him. During that court hearing, the man explained that he was employed by Jeffers. According to him he was underpaid, so he decided to pay himself “in a way.” After listening to his explanation, the Magistrate remanded Slowe to prison until September 04. His matter was subsequently transferred to Magistrate Ann McLennan, where, when given the opportunity he pleaded not
guilty. However, the Magistrate recently found him guilty as charged after conducting his trial. The particulars of the charge in question detailed that he managed to steal three flat screen television sets, one computer surround system, one Sony stereo set, eight pairs of gents shoes, a quantity of male clothing as well as 30 bottles of alcohol. All of the items were said to have belonged to Jeffers. As a result, Slowe will leave his Lot 257 Laing Avenue, North Ruimveldt dwelling place to occupy one of the cells in the Georgetown Prisons for the next four years.
Financial Analyst, Christopher Ram
Labourer gets four years for burglary
A 30-year-old labourer, who claimed to have stolen $2.2 M in items from his employer because he was underpaid, has been sentenced to imprisonment after he was found guilty. Roxroy Jeffers alleged that between July 22 and July 23, last, Frankie Slowe had broken into his dwelling place in Georgetown and therein swiped a quantity of items which amounted to some
Sunday December 29, 2013
Ramjattan will not apologize to Ali Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan will not apologize to Housing Minister Irfaan Ali for the “haul his ass” comment he made whilst dismissing an invitation to the Minister’s press conference. Ramjattan confirmed his stance on the matter yesterday after the Minister demanded a public apology on Friday during a press conference. He questioned where “Ali’s desire for an apology was” when this Government and former President Bharrat Jagdeo insulted persons at different fora. Providing examples for his sentiment, Ramjattan said last March at Babu John, Corentyne, President Donald Ramotar called AFC’s Executive member, Moses Nagamootoo a ‘jackass’. And in July, Ramotar tagged the Opposition Parties in the National Assembly as ‘terrorists,” because they walked out from a key Parliamentary Select Committee meeting on antimoney laundering legislation. Lamenting on the matter, Ramjattan said “Ali deserves the haul his ass comment…He has no right to compel me to go to his press conference…I have it in my email… I did not refer the comment to his staff…and in Guyanese vernacular it means go to bloody hell.” Ramjattan finds it ridiculous that Ali wanted him to attend the press
- The whole country should tell him to haul his ass - Ramjattan
Minister Irfaan Ali
AFC’s Leader Khemraj Ramjattan
conference, which was used to clarify Government’s position in offering lands between Eccles and Providence to private housing developers. According to Ramjattan, corruption is mounting in the housing sector and the whole country should tell him to “haul his ass” for the disrespect he is showing this nation. He stressed that Government is offering their friends large blocks of land for housing development to make huge profits. Meanwhile, at the press conference on Friday, Ali defended his ministry’s programmes on the East Bank of Demerara, insisting that the sale of large plots to private developers were all conducted in an ‘above
board’ way and was in no way discriminatory to ordinary applicants. According to Ali, lands in the front part of the area between Eccles and Providence which were sold to developers for between $4M and $6M per acre cannot be more than the value of the others located further behind. Ali also expressed disgust with Ramjattan whom he said was invited to the press conference yesterday but was disrespectful to his secretary allegedly saying that the Minister should “haul his ass”. A further email invitation saw the AFC leader responding in the same rude manner. Calling the AFC leader unethical, Ali demanded a public apology to his secretary.
Two regional hospitals not providing optimal paediatric care - study reveals Guyana is one of the few countries in South America that has already achieved the Millennium Development Goal Four (MDG4) which speaks to the reduction of childhood mortality by two thirds by 2015. And according to a study conducted here by a number of Canada-based doctors, this achievement was realised by the implementation of a number of preventive programmes. However, the study entitled “Quality of Hospital Care for children in Two Regional Hospitals in Guyana: An Observational Assessment”, was able to deduce that the laudable feat
Dr. Narendra Singh was done without addressing acute paediatric care and therefore has not met the standard for providing
optimal paediatric care The doctors Jenny Smith, Anya McLaren, Julie Johnson and Narendra Singh of the University of Toronto, along with Dr Andrea Hunter of the McMaster Children’s Hospital presented their revealing findings when the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) hosted the Sixth Guyana Medical Scientific Conference recently. The study found that the majority of children are cared for between the main hospital in Georgetown and four regional hospitals. But detailed in the most recent MDG report is the fact (Continued on page 45)
Sunday December 29, 2013
Govt. needs to seriously address the rate of unemployment come 2014 Is Guyana seriously heading into the New Year with a crisis on its hands? This is what the political opposition has been asking as they reflect upon the state of unemployment among youths. This issue in particular, is believed by the Opposition to be given little to no attention. Youth unemployment is a topic that has been highly debated and spoken on extensively by many leaders from both sides of the political spectrum. Even regional bodies have given their take on this earlier this year. One member of the Opposition even stated that it’s not rocket science. “Almost everybody knows that there are many University graduates chasing too few jobs in Guyana.” And while most have considered this notion, many of our political leaders, particularly from the Opposition, are of the firm belief that nothing much has been done to truly empower the younger generation, most of which have been forced for some time to look for the proverbial greener pastures for a job that provides for a good standard of living. Members of the opposition have expressed how disappointed and bitterly aggrieved they are with the government’s
behaviour towards this issue especially since they have often claimed to have the interest of the younger generation at heart. Particularly speaking to the issue was Mr. Dominic Gaskin, Treasurer of the Alliance For Change (AFC). He said, “The issue of youth unemployment has indeed been festering for some time now and the root causes have not been addressed. The problem is two-fold. It is the lack of job opportunities for young people as a result of a failure to diversify our economy in a way that would create more jobs capable of accommodating a wider variety of skills and talents and secondly; the failure of our education system to adequately prepare young Guyanese to transition from school or university into a modern workforce. Neither of these phenomena will disappear without the proper implementation of long-term policies designed to involve new generations in the development of Guyana.” He added, “Unfortunately there is no reliable and current data to accurately inform us on the levels of youth unemployment in Guyana, and on the changes that have taken place over the years. The PPP-C Government which has been in power for over two decades seems unwilling to either utilize or
- After over two decades in power, this is a problem for which they are completely responsible - AFC
APNU’s Joseph Harmon
Dominic Gaskin, AFC’S Treasurer
Randolph Critchlow, University Student
Clinton Duncan, University Student
disseminate any statistical information on this problem. “After over two decades in power, this is a problem for which they are completely responsible.” The Ministry of Labour recently disclosed that it would not be able to speak on the level of unemployment in Guyana. Minister of Labour, Dr. Nanda Gopaul, also declared that this figure will be known when the Bureau of Statistics completes compiling the data from the 2012 census. The Minister had also said that persons applying to the University should follow programmes in Information
Technology, Mathematics and Natural Sciences as this is where jobs are available. However, after placing this comment to several students of the University of Guyana, they said that this puts a strain on them to move from studying what they would love to build a career on and study a course because “that is where the jobs are.” Randolph Critchlow a student of the University of Guyana said, “I think I can understand the divide where my other peers are concerned. I too was going with that tide. Currently I am studying International Relations at the
University because I want to pursue a career in the Foreign Service. But prior to this, I was doing a degree in English and I started teaching because nothing else was coming my way. “It was never my desire to teach but the job opportunity was there and I took it. After I got trained at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) and I started working, the salary discouraged me from even going after a Degree in Education. The teacher’s salary, in comparison to that of the Caribbean is a total disrespect. I decided that I am just going to stick it out with my trials in my area and
pursue my passion. I like diplomacy and that is where I want to be.” Clinton Duncan who also attends the University is pursuing a career in Law. Even he expressed his fears about the rate of unemployment. He said, “It is definitely a scare because hundreds of students are graduating every year and not enough jobs are popping up...Persons I know with more qualifications than I have right now can’t find jobs so with this in mind it makes me wonder about my future here in Guyana. “Most people see it as (Continued on page 13)
Kamarang residents plead for more jobs “We don’t have jobs, and it ain’t look like anybody care.” This was the sentiment expressed by residents of Kamarang, Region Seven recently. They maintain that the unavailability of jobs has been a major issue, and a factor contributing significantly to the rapid decline in the community’s standard of living. In speaking with this newspaper, a teacher of the Kamarang Primary School said that the situation has been especially affecting young people, since it’s hindering them from being able to progress into young professionals. She emphasized too that “young people are not motivated to do much with their lives.” In explaining, the teacher said that “All they know about is mining and cleaning shops, so our children are somewhat stifled from dreaming big and achieving
Some of the young residents of Kamarang, Region Seven. much.” “On the coastland, it is easy for young people to embark on the life of a young professional. There are avenues for them to become doctors, lawyers, journalists and so on, but not here in
Kamarang. Here, the only thing our children can do is mining, become housewives, and work in dem li’l community shops. It’s not nice,” the woman stressed. It was explained that upon completing their primary
education, students are forced to leave their community to pursue a secondary education. “After obtaining their certificates, the only hope for our children is to leave and go to the city to look for jobs,”
the teacher said. She further noted that doing this is not always easy, since it requires teenagers and young adults moving to the city alone. “Usually people don’t want to send their children to the city, because many times, the troubles that they does have to face don’t be nice, especially when it comes to our girl children,” the teacher said. While the boys are allowed to move and take up jobs in the city, the females usually end up being housewives and cleaners, since other key positions such as nurses and teachers have been filled. “Before, things were better, so we have a few nurses and teachers already working. But now, life in Kamarang has changed, and although the roles of women have evolved, our daughters are unable to,” the teacher explained. Another resident Carl Williams, complained of the
high cost of living. He explained that although Kamarang is a mining community, miners are still finding it hard to make a living. “Imagine the gold that I used to sell for $18,000, we, the miners got to sell for less than $10,000. Life ain’t easy up here at all,” Williams said. He explained that “although the prices ain’t fair, we ain’t get a choice but to sell, because we need to live, and transportation to leave Kamarang expensive.” “Dem aircrafts expensive, and just as it ain’t easy for us to live here, it ain’t easy for us to leave either, so it’s hard for us. We did ask the people at the region office already to find out if the government can help us with airfares, but nobody never tell we back nothing,” Williams told Kaieteur News. The small Amerindian village of Kamarang is home to about 500 persons, the majority being below the age of 14.
Sunday December 29, 2013
More than enough for 15% increase for public servants Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan, has said that contrary to what the government is preaching there is sufficient money available in Government’s financial system for a 15 percent increase for public servants. As opposed to the arbitrary five per cent increase being handed to them yearly, which many minimum wage public servants have cried is not sufficient to address the increased cost of living, Government’s contention is that there is simply not enough money to allocate beyond five percent for public servants. This has led to the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) initiating protest action for an increase. According to Ramjattan there is enough money and one just has to logically work it out. He said, “At the beginning of the year, we were told that the Government has only money to the tune of $209B which it will expend this year. The Opposition then made cuts and reduced this by in excess of $30B.” It therefore means that the money is there, with proper authorization and following of protocol the sums cut could’ve been used for increasing wages and salaries. Ramjattan said, “Government ended up seeking approval for an amount in excess of $10 B in three financial papers in December, recently. Where did this sum of money come from? The system, of course! It is there alright! But Government does not want to find it for Public Servants. It found these supplementary sums totaling in excess of
Piracy trial set to continue
Leader of the Alliance for Change Khemraj Ramjattan $10B, however, for other purposes.” Ramjattan further contends that a 15 percent increase can be garnered from bringing a halt to the wastage and “haemorrhaging” of public funds through corrupt procurement processes to friends and family and favourites. “The pharmaceutical sector alone could have saved approximately $1.8 Billion if special treatment is not given to a special friend of the Government. If we had the Procurement Commission operational, Cabinet could not have been able to grant these pharmaceutical awards to that supplier. “A fair process would have seen reduced prices for such supplies from other suppliers. That saving would have been sufficient to increase the public servants wages and salaries to the amount demanded,” said Ramjattan. According to the AFC Leader, the pharmaceutical sector is just one example of corruption and wastage, “corruption happens in all sectors in the procurement sphere.”
Ramjattan further contends that “the various revenue streams are not properly accounted for. Like monies from GGMC (Guyana Geology and Mines Commission), the Forestry Commission, National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) Lotto Funds etc are not being put into the Consolidated Fund. “If put, as we argued at the Budget Debate, we may see an amount approximating between $35 B and $50 Billion! Imagine what use that amount of monies can be put to.” According to Ramjattan if corruption wasn’t so rampant across the board in this current administration, then billions of dollars more could be saved, something he says that Guyanese must appreciate, since it is “the greatest source of their impoverishment and most substantial activity for the enrichment of the sultanate, our new maharajahs and sahibs.” He said that if given the chance to participate in a tripartite Budget process, the AFC can “find money, lots of money. That is why Government does not want us, or APNU, in that process.” The leader of the AFC said that public servants “should continue the protests just like how sugar workers had struggled, and finally public servants will win out! There is inevitable success in a worthy and just cause against modern day tyrants! All Guyana must give them solidarity and show fraternity....rice farmers, businessmen, self-employed all everyone!”
Police Detective accidentally shot by colleague A young Detective Constable was admitted to hospital after a round from his colleague’s gun struck him in his leg while they were on duty at the Fort Wellington Police Station yesterday. Police in a statement yesterday afternoon said that Detective Constable Andel Doris is in a stable condition
at the Fort Wellington hospital while his colleague, a General Duty rank, is under close arrest. The police explained that about 14:15 hours, a Police Constable who was on duty at the Enquiries Office at the Fort Wellington Police Station and who was armed with a service .38 revolver, is
reported to have been in the process of taking off the firearm when a round was accidentally discharged. The round struck Detective Constable 19182 Doris, who was also on duty at the station, in his leg. He has been admitted to the Fort Wellington Hospital for medical treatment.
Eon Sampson (foreground), Richard Mangal (centre) and Gary Joseph (with vest) being escorted out of court, charged with several counts of robbery under arms at the high sea. Terry Joseph, Richard Mangal, Gary Joseph, Richard Joseph, Steve O’Neil and Eon Sampson were allegedly involved in a chain of robberies committed on September 8 in the territorial waters. On Friday they were back in court on trial for a series of armed robberies committed last year on the high seas. That trial is continuing at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court before the Chief Magistrate, Priya SewnarineBeharry. Reports are that the men went out at sea where they committed acts of piracy against several boat owners and their crew members. The men allegedly carted off some $4 million worth of boat
equipment that belonged to Jameer Khan, Muni Lall, Ryan Bhagwandin, Mohammed Odeen, Shameer Saffee, Vibert Singh, Robert Boodwah, Geewan Singh and Ramdeen Mangru. They were captured after police ranks, acting on information, went to a house in the Waini area where they found the five men. However, Terry Joseph and another suspect made good their escape but after a series of wanted bulletins being issued, they were brought before the courts and charged for robbery under arms. Some of the stolen articles were recovered at another house some distance from the house where they
were found. As their case continued in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, the Chief Magistrate recently handed down the decision on the now concluded Voir Dire. At that hearing the Magistrate stated that the prosecution did not satisfy the court beyond reasonable doubt and rejected that the oral and written confessions made by the accused were free and voluntary. The Chief Magistrate stated that the testimonies of the accused were inadmissible. The trial is set to continue before the Chief Magistrate when the lawyers representing the accused are expected to address the court.
Govt. needs to seriously... (From page 12) sensible to become an entrepreneur considering the terrible state of this economy. Private practice may have to be my option after I complete my studies. After spending so much money on your studies it is clear that there is no guarantee in this economy that you can make that back.” A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU), Joseph Harmon, who is also the Shadow Minister of Public Works and Telecommunications also weighed in on the issue. Harmon said, “This is an issue that has been with us for some time and it has been rising. Apart from the obvious fact that there are few jobs, there are two sides to the coin which we must address, the ones that have the academic papers but lack the technical skills and the ones that are
unemployable (not having the necessary credentials for a job ; unskilled labour). We seriously need to look at the way we are training our people. Because some are even being trained for jobs that don’t exist. We also need to zero in on the educational system and how it is preparing our youths to be able to fulfill the technically requirements of certain fields such as the extractive mineral sector.” SOLUTIONS According to Gaskin, the AFC believes that the first steps to addressing the issue would be to get an accurate assessment of the extent of the problem so that both longterm and short-term solutions can be developed and specific areas prioritized. “This is not a problem that can be fixed in 2014 or in 2015, however, the sooner we begin to implement solutions the
sooner we can reap their results.” Harmon on the other hand says, “We need to stop importing people to do jobs in Guyana and train our own. We need to put a greater focus on our young people. When some of these construction sites are examined, we notice that even for the unskilled labour we have people who have been imported for it. It is simply ridiculous. “We also need to focus on remedial programmes for those who fall into the category of the unemployable. But the correction of this aspect must first start with our policy makers. They need to include in these contract agreements, some arrangement for our Guyanese people this may not solve the entire issue of unemployment but it would certainly help because something is simply wrong with this matrix.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Glenn Lall - Man of the Year for 2013 Each year this column selects a local personality who it believes has made the greatest impact - positive or negative - on the country. There is a bias towards those who have played a positive role, whether through a singular act or through a series of actions over a one-year period. Since its inception, the award has been won by a number of persons, including Chief Justice (ag.) Ian Chang and Dr. Steve Surujbally, for his role as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission. But the individual who has won this award more than any other since it was inaugurated has been the publisher of Kaieteur News, Glenn Lall. He is again this year’s choice. If ever there was an individual who has demonstrated the tenacity, the fearlessness, and the courage to stand up for what he believes in it is Glenn Lall. In the past, he has won the award for amongst other things his amazing humanitarian efforts in raising millions of dollars for the victims of the East Asian Boxing Day Tsunami, and for his efforts at helping the victims of the Lusignan massacre. He raised huge sums of money, sums never before raised in this country for these and other causes. Fearful that this would
enhance his popularity, those who are opposed to his forthrightness decided that they would no longer permit him to do this public humanitarian fund-raising. This year he has won the Man of the Year award for his newspaper’s series, ‘The Heist of Guyana’. The series was the brainchild of Glenn and he has been the one who has been meticulously pointing out the interconnections between what were generally seen as
unrelated developments. There has never been an exposé quite like this series. It has exposed how policies which seemed to have been designed for the benefit of the people were in fact designed to profit a small grouping of cronies of the ruling party. It detailed how these plans were systematically, and at times unsuspectingly laid, and showed who has benefited from these plans. The piece on the Berbice River Bridge has exposed the
use of public-private partnerships to benefit a small group of investors. These investors, who own less than twenty-five per cent of the shareholding of the Bridge, actually now command the majority of seats on the Board of Directors, a most inexplicable development and one that effectively hands to this minority grouping control of the Bridge. The NIS, which has the most shares in the Bridge, has less representation on the Board of Directors than other small shareholders. To add to the insult, the small shareholders were never necessary in the first place, since the government could have afforded to fund the Bridge itself. But bringing them on Board was a means of constructively handing over control of the Bridge to them. The NIS will probably in due course sell its shares in the Bridge and one need not ask who will get the preference to buy these shares, thereby handing over total ownership of what was supposed to be a public asset to a group of private investors. Another installment in the
series ‘The Heist of Guyana’ concerned the lucrative telecommunication spectrum. The column has exposed how the groundwork for handing out licences to select individuals was laid and how friends and cronies of the ruling administration were gifted with the lion’s share of both new television and cable licences, thus placing in their hands not just a lucrative resource, but also the capacity to get a head-start over the competition, and to use that control to influence the minds of citizens. The Heist of Guyana has been an eye-opener. And it is a kind of monument to the insights of Glenn Lall, because he had predicted what was going to happen. He had long seen the shenanigans over the telecommunication sector, the Marriott Hotel Project and the Berbice River Bridge, and he had long been forewarning the public of their ramifications. The fact that he has won the Peeping Tom Award for Man of the Year on so many occasions over the past ten years shows the impact that he has in Guyana. Yet for all his efforts, he has been vilified and
demonized in sections of the media. There are former friends and associates of his, including those whom he considers as Brothers, who refuse to even say a simple “Hello” to him because they are either afraid of being victimized or ashamed of their own inaction. He has stood up like the true lion to the onslaughts that were launched at him. He has withstood public vilification. He has taken it all and become stronger. His faith has served him well in this regard. He has always believed that he was put on this Earth for a purpose and that no matter what the consequences are, he will be true to that purpose of making a difference in the life of others and in the country. The Peeping Tom Column is once again pleased to announce that Guyana’s Man of the Year for 2013 is none other than Glenn Lall, the publisher of Kaieteur News.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Rebecca and the man with the tattooed arm The victim’s tattooed arm
By Michael Jordan The slim, East Indian man on the mortuary slab had the words ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Love’ tattooed on his left arm, a cross and ‘Jesus’ printed on his right arm, and someone had blown away most of his face with a shotgun. He was barefoot, browncomplexioned, about five feet nine inches tall, and he was wearing a black vest and black three-quarter pants. Two boys had seen the
body floating at around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 19, at the foreshore of the Atlantic Ocean, near Ruby, East Bank Essequibo. The body had not yet started to decompose, and detectives estimated that the victim had been killed about two days prior to the discovery. For me, the most interesting thing about this John Doe was that tattoo with the name Rebecca. You don’t tattoo a woman’s name on your body unless that woman
is of some significance to you. Surely, I thought, she would know who this dead man was, and maybe, even know his killers. I took photographs of the tattoos. I was certain that, by the following day, someonemaybe even the mysterious Rebecca-would see the photographs of those tattoos in the Kaieteur News and identify the victim. Meanwhile, in Drysdale Street, Charlestown, a woman named Chandroutie Sammy was in a state of panic. Her reputed husband had gone missing. His name was Rafeek Mohamed, and Chandroutie Sammy claims that at around 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, her 39year-old spouse told her that he was going “on the West Coast” look for a 16-year-old daughter that he had fathered from another relationship. Her name was Rebecca. She said that Mohamed had tattooed Rebecca’s name on his arm and often spoke about her, though he apparently hadn’t seen her for some time. Sammy and Mohamed also had three small sons. Mohamed reportedly told Chandroutie Sammy and the sons that he was bringing Rebecca home for the holidays. According to Ms. Sammy, Mohamed had US$100 and some $30,000 in local currency in his possession when he left home. He was also wearing a silver ring and a watch with a green canvas band. She recalled that he “was happy,” and had promised to buy a table set for her. About half-an-hour after he had left home, Chandroutie contacted Mohamed on his cell phone. He informed her that he was in a bus heading up the
West Coast of Demerara. But when she called again, she only received a voicemail, and she failed to reach him for the rest of the day. Chandroutie became even more worried when Mohamed failed to turn up the following day. What she was really concerned about was whether Mohamed had returned to Rebecca’s mother. The woman said that she contacted a relative who advised her to report her spouse missing. But on Wednesday, December 18, Ms. Sammy’s sister told her that a body had been found and that the victim had ‘Rebecca’ tattooed on one arm. She immediately knew that the victim was her reputed husband, and positively identified him at the Ezekiel Funeral Home. No money was found on the victim and the ring and watch that he was wearing were also missing. His phone was also gone. But who had killed Rafeek Mohamed? When a Kaieteur News reporter visited the Charlestown area where the victim had resided, few residents had anything complimentary to say about
him. Some alleged that ‘Ravi’ had lots of enemies and there are many people who wanted him dead. Others described him as “an old crook” who was known to the police for break-and-enter incidents. But Chandroutie Moonsammy and other relatives angrily insisted that Mohamed was no criminal. Ms. Sammy said that her spouse sometimes offloaded fishing vessels at the Meadowbank wharf, and the couple would also “walk and sell” clothing. “He’s not that type of person; he’s not a thief…He works hard to earn a dollar,” she said. But information later obtained by Kaieteur News suggested that while Mohamed indeed sold clothing, he also had an unsavory side. According to this information, Rafeek Mohamed was a member of a gang that was involved in robberies and burglaries, including safe-cracking. It is alleged that this gang would often dispose of their loot at the Meadowbank area.
Sources who knew Mohamed suggested that the gang had recently done a job ‘over the river’ and that Mohamed and his accomplices had a falling out over the sharing of their spoils. This information indicates that the irate gangmembers themselves executed Mohamed and dumped his body overboard. Seeking clues to his demise, police and relatives returned to the area where the body was found in the hope of finding the elusive ‘Rebecca’. So far, they have failed to find her. I hope she comes forward now. If you have any information about other unusual cases, please contact Kaieteur News at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown location. We can be reached on telephone numbers 225-8458, 2258465, 225-8491 or 2258473. You need not disclose your identity. You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email address: mjdragon @hotmail.com
The body on foreshore
Mohamed’s home in Drysdale Street
Sunday December 29, 2013
== THE FREDDIE KISSOON COLUMN ==
Charged in the US for a sin that is practiced every second in Guyana Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, was arrested in New York and charged for visa fraud after she stated in an immigration application for her helper that she paid her US$4,500 monthly. The arrest came about because the helper told police that her income was actually less than six hundred a month, making it far less than New York’s minimum wage of US$7 an hour. The strip search of Ms. Khobragade’s on her arrest has rightfully incensed the Indian nation and I believe most people in the world. Surely, you do not do that to a diplomat of one of the world’s top democracies. The brutal treatment of Ms Khobragade has obfuscated the grueling mistreatment of domestic workers in many countries who come from poor lands to earn a living. The case of Ms. Khobragade can be likened to police brutality. If a recalcitrant pedophile is caught, the police have no privilege to kill him; as a human he has rights. But while we condemn the police, we must not lose sight of the
pedophile’s harmful behaviour. Khobragade was not supposed to be treated like that (placed in a cell with drug users). But her relation with her helper should galvanize us in the world to focus on the abuse of labour, particularly in Guyana, especially domestic workers and security guards. As a human rights activist, I am simply sickened by the complaints I received over the decades of super-exploitation of store employees, supermarket workers, security guards and similar categories. This is an area I can write books on. I shop every day, not almost daily, but every day. I meet these people and they meet me. Their stories are tragic. Do you know there are two supermarkets where none of the cashiers, not one of them, remains on the job for more than six months? I know this just as how I know that one and one make two. It is a fascinating thing to behold. Cashiers and workers at these supermarkets just go after three or four months. Is it the nature of the job? Here
is where the comparative method comes in. It cannot be the nature of this type of work, because there are two other big supermarkets that do not experience this type of turnover of staff. I patronize all the supermarkets regularly and these two supermarkets have the same staff for over two years now? Is superexploitation the answer? It is. Take working hours. They sign on for eight hours daily. But then they leave after three additional hours making it eleven hours for the same pay. They are told that they have to pack up, do this and do that. When it is time to leave, they would have stayed back working for three additional hours. Workers at a particular gas station told me that they get the same pay for Sundays and holidays. Talk to security guards and they will relate horror stories to you. I am not going to name any business here because the last time I did that (four years ago on this page), the businessman pulled his advertisement. I have learnt bitterly that the life of an independent media operative
in a small country not only jeopardizes the person himself but also the newspaper. And it is far worse in a hell hole like Guyana. For this reason I chose not to name the new kid on the block that sold me the worst pizza ever baked since the Italians gave modern civilization that food. Exploitation of the labouring classes in this country is a story of horror and terror. I once wrote in this column that if the opposition ever wins the government, I would like to spend time working as a labour officer. I will investigate the bestial exploitation of the lower classes by family-owned entities. It is simply demonic to see how these families live, their luxurious lifestyles, their stupendous assets, yet they rob their workers in the most merciless ways that any
government, whether capitalist or socialist, should put them before the courts. Of course we have a situation that once an employee is charged for theft, the bail is enormous (some magistrates in this country are unfit to be on the bench; they are cruel to the lower classes that come before them). You can be placed before the courts for stealing from your employer, and put on a million
Frederick Kissoon dollars bail, but it is legal for your employer to rob you of your hard-earned wages. Oh my! I forgot! We have a working class government!
Sunday December 29, 2013
An intuitive, impactful and captivating work Book: The Life of Mary by Charlotte Mandel Reviewer: Margaret Fechtmann Charlotte Mandel’s The Life of Mary is a concisely written book that requires some time to absorb. A first, second or even a third reading may be needed to understand the parallels Mandel is drawing between the biblical Virgin Mary and a present day Mary. Although I am blessed to have visited St. Peter’s Basilica twice in my lifetime, and have viewed Michelangelo’s ‘la Pieta’ during my visits, my reading of The Life of Mary had me curious enough to revisit a picture of this famed statue. Mandel references it often, almost as if it were the personification of the biblical character. She brings life to the statue so the parallelism of the two Mary’s flows seamlessly in this novella. In ‘la Pieta,’ in a very emotional and expressive depiction of the lamentation of Christ, Mary cradles her son’s body. This has always been an awe-inspiring and ageless imagery. Just as he was cradled in birth, so was he in death. Throughout this novella, the reader is imprinted with this vivid scene. Here, the contemporary Mary is ushered in. We find her reflecting on her own pending motherhood. Like most expectant mothers, Mary seeks answers, but here she seeks them from the Virgin (marble) Mary, “whose eyes have no iris”. The tone and colour of Mandel’s expressions are exigent, yet deliberate. She captures the emotions of pregnancy with raw intensity. There are references to “shared blood and milk” and “their pulses beating under perfect skins”. And Mandel depicts that miracle and the separation at birth, as “the cage they have shared is now apart”. And behold, our
contemporary Mary gives birth to her son Jon. The statue of la Pieta is a staple throughout this oeuvre, with multiple recollections of its eyes - “eyes that have no iris”. It is also present in Mandel’s contemporary story line. Mary’s eyes are, in one part, depicted as “charcoal” and, in another passage her eyes are “dilated and radiant with a shining”. When young Jon captures a sunfish, its death is validated with the reference to “the clear eye lens is now filled with white pulp”. And Mary’s eyes are described as ‘opaque’ with his loss of the fish – a symbol of the iris-less eyes of the marble ‘Pieta.’ But there is more to be gleaned from this seemingly benign sunfish story. As a young boy, Jon did not know that the sunfish would die when
removed from the water. That fish breathe in the water is counter-intuitive to a child. Jon painfully learns that death is more than not breathing. Empathy may just describe the feelings for the contemporary Mary with her historical namesake. There is an emotional connectedness as she states that “the statue sweats under the hooded robe and the marble thighs ache from beneath the fallen male body” of the son that she holds. Now, the parallelisms take on a linear form and there is a confluence of both characters. The miracle of motherhood is timeless, transcending cultures and creeds. This is a short but deeply emotional and impactful work that requires contemplation and selfreflection. Cryptic, one might argue, but written with a warmth and ease that moves the reader on multiple levels, long after the final page is turned. Margaret Fechtmann contributes to Glenville Ashby’s Caribbean Literary Guild Feedback: Glenvilleashby@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter@glenvilleashby The Life of Mary: A poemnovella Foreword by Sandra M. Gilbert Saturday Press, Inc. Montclair, New Jersey ISBN 0-938158-10-4 Rating: Recommended
Sunday December 29, 2013
Of things past and of things to come Christmas Day dawned and I was at peace. I had lived to see another Christmas Day. And like the kid who has been dreaming about a vacation when the time comes, that kid is at a loss to do all the things that he thought he would do. And so it was with me. I didn’t know what to eat, what to drink and what to really do. I did the next best thing; take a bath, eat something that I had made for the day and head back to bed. But I was restless, so I placed overseas calls to my mother, sisters and two nieces. Of course the conversation reverted to things past, when we had no choice when it came to food or even gifts. Then a horrible fact gripped me. This Christmas in Guyana saw an unprecedented level of violence. Men slit women’s throats, men killed men in the hinterland and other levels of violence. I have already attempted to guess that the
violence may have to do with frustration. It did not escape my notice that murders increased in the interior in direct proportion to the volume of gold extracted. I had heard just a few days earlier that the Guyana Sugar Corporation was the nation’s largest employer. At the individual level this might have been true, but the largest employer is the gold industry. I took notice; I got the news that one of my friends got ambushed and killed by a young man for a few pennyweights of gold. That was when I thought of the families that would have no Christmas. I saw the tears and once more I had cause to wonder at people’s propensity for cruelty. All in all the season was mixed. But some things remained unchanged. I found that people still had an interest in their community. Even on
Christmas Day people called to talk about the state of their roads and asked me to send a camera. There were other things that made me smile. An overseas-based Guyanese who had come home for the holidays and who had grown up in my neighbourhood was amazed at how clean the place was. There is something about communities in which people rely on each other. Where I live people keep an eye out for each other; we do not dump garbage in the streets and we keep our parapets spotless, with the weeder reporting as regular as clockwork. But what about the office? Generally, people who work together always look forward to the major assembly at Christmas. As a schoolboy, we all looked forward to what was known as the House party at school. It was held at Christmas and we were asked to wear our ceremonial school
uniform. Later, in the world of work there were the Christmas parties. There was a time when the staff looked forward to these parties. In fact, they planned it. Today, it looks as if the days of the parties are coming to an end. It is as if the staff members are not too keen to associate with each other. This is what influenced Kaieteur News not to hold a Christmas party this year. The management found that in recent times, people from outside made the most of the Christmas parties. Staff members would show up for a brief moment then move on to their own entertainment. I noticed that the days have gone when the various Government Ministries held their own Christmas parties. I still remember when President Bharrat Jagdeo ordered that all the Ministries combine to hold one staff party. Perhaps that was the beginning of the
end of these parties, although some Ministries had their individual parties this year. But all that is water under the bridge. It is time to look forward to the New Year. And with the New Year comes resolutions. I used to make resolutions, but hardly kept any. Suddenly some of the resolutions fell into place. The cigarettes are gone, alcohol consumption has been slashed and the gym is my place of comfort. The coming year is offering me a chance to be an even better person. As a reporter I pledge to focus more on the people who need a voice for their concerns. In the past I worried at the reaction of the people who are placed under the spotlight. This time around the poor people would take the spotlight, but I am also going
Adam Harris to ask that they stand up for their rights. They cannot expect others to do everything for them. Another resolution is to talk to those influential people who can make things happen. Some of them have been cussing me, but at my age the cussing means nothing, especially since I do not have to walk to them with cap in hand.
Sunday December 29, 2013
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander By Khemraj Ramjattan All right-thinking Guyanese must view with alarm the ridiculous lengths to which the Ramotar Government is using Dr. Luncheon as the instrument of its neurotic and paranoid approach towards the US Democracy Project. I have heard the US Ambassador and Dr. Luncheon on the matter of the extent of Government’s input and consultation into the project. There is no doubt that on this issue, the Ambassador’s case is far more compelling and cogent. Our Government as a whole and a number of its Ministers, individually, for years now, have been suffering from a deficit when it comes to being full and frank with the facts. But what could be the justification in not wanting to support a project such as this, which has increased participation of the citizenry in democracy-building, consensus-building in the National Assembly, funding for research and legal drafting skills for Parliamentarians, women and youth civic education festivals, and local government education and awareness? It could only be the downgrading of participatory democracy and the abandoning of a once loudly heralded PPP goal “No Development without Democracy”. This newfound political approach of confrontational diplomacy and harsh assailing of a most senior ranking diplomat from USA, smacks of a retrograde step into full-fledged authoritarianism. All Guyanese, and importantly, too, members in the USA diaspora, must speak out at this silly stance of the PPP Government. This project is expected to educate Guyanese on the sharing of responsibility for national development of the people and Government; and, to allow for a greater democratic participation from the country’s various stakeholders. It is patently clear that this is what the PPP Government does not want!
Khemraj Ramjattan It feels threatened by a heightened democracy that can result from a successful implementation of this project. And like the worst of scoundrels, who seek refuge in sovereignty, it is protesting that this wholly commendable and widely acceptable project is but an intolerable interference in the internal affairs of Guyana by the USA. This PPP Government must know by now that this shameless lashing out and wild wailing directed at the USA will not see its purpose of drumming up antiAmerican hysteria go anywhere. It ought to know that these days are not the Cold War 1960s, but a wholly changed time which demands intelligent diplomacy and concerted support for such a good project coming from the most powerful democratic country on earth, and from a country which in the 1990s helped restore one-man onevote and free and fair elections in Guyana after two decades of rigged elections. This Government must also appreciate that free and fair elections do not alone constitute democracy. It is an important ingredient, but in addition, there must be good and accountable governance and grassroots participation. These other two ingredients, undoubtedly, are what this US Democracy Project is all about. I wish to commend the fearless stance taken by Ambassador Hardt in confronting publicly Dr Luncheon. I hope, too, that the US State Department will
swiftly make short shrift of that unwarranted Note the Government has seen fit to serve it. And that the Democracy Project will continue to completion. Dr Luncheon somewhat let his guard down when he argued that his Government finds most objectionable this US Democracy project giving public support to political parties. This he argues is so because Guyana’s laws do not provide for state funding and moreso foreign funding to political parties. This is hypocrisy to the hilt. And that is why I call this Government a pack of controlfreaks and archdukes of unprincipledom. Luncheon and the new sultanate in the PPP must ask themselves the question, when the PPP used to be funded by the USSR and communist countries for the substantial duration of its existence whilst in Opposition, whether this was not foreign funding of the PPP. What’s good for the goose apparently is not good for the gander these days. A whole host of PPP personnel were given short term scholarships to study Marxism and Leninism in universities in Prague and Moscow and Havana. A number of others were given long term scholarships to be medical doctors and economists and journalists and engineers. Former President Jagdeo, Dr Anthony, Dr Ramsaran and hundreds of others benefitted from this foreign funding of PPP members. This kind of foreign funding, which also included a printing press from East Germany and huge amounts of roubles, made the PPP what it was and managed to sustain it during Burnham’s tyrannical years. Indeed, when the AFC’s delegation was consulted on this project late last year and earlier this year, it was made clear to us that this US Democracy Project will not permit any funding of political parties. We were very disappointed at this. Liberal democratic parties like the AFC ought to be given every ounce of support from whatever legitimate source, lest we be crushed out of existence. Just like how the communist States gave support to communist parties like the PPP! It is only fair and a balancing out of that advantage given historically to older, more entrenched political parties.
Sunday December 29, 2013
There are too many fatal road accidents The tragic death of Guyana’s Chief Librarian in a road accident on Christmas Eve day should have shocked the Guyana Police Force and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Then, again, the authorities were unmoved by the road deaths of former Commissioner of Police Henry Greene last year and of Assistant Commissioner Derrick Josiah, this month. Road accidents are a grave human safety problem. The Ministry of Health’s National Rehabilitation Services Strategy 2009-2013 revealed that road accidents were among the top 10 leading causes of death and account for the greatest number of disabilities. One thousand, five hundred and sixty-three persons have been killed in traffic accidents in 2002-2012 and over 100 have already been killed for the current year, 2013 – a rough average of about a dozen deaths every month. Thousands more have suffered injuries or lost limbs as a result of traffic accidents.
It is estimated that the cost of medical care of accident victims exceeds more than G$100M per year at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation alone. The loss of productivity, loss of earnings of the victims and premature funeral expenses resulting from accidents cost Guyana many more millions annually. The launch of the UN’s Global Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 seems to have made little impact on the administration’s efforts to end this epidemic. The ‘decade of action’ was intended to provide countries with guidelines to save lives and prevent injuries through safer roads, road users and vehicles; road safety management and a post-crash response. The Guyana National Road Safety Council followed the UN’s lead by launching its National Road Safety Strategy for 2013-2020 this year. The ‘road safety strategy’ is intended to reduce deaths from accidents
by approximately half of the 115 road fatalities in 2010 to 58 in 2020. The practical results of both strategies, however, are still to be seen. The reasons for the high rate of road deaths are not difficult to discern. The main coastal roadways are not highways at all, but merely continuous village streets. Most roads run through heavily populated villages and are often unlit at night. Most have no sidewalks and the verges are encumbered by vendors’ stalls thus forcing bicyclists and pedestrians onto the motorways. There, plucky pedestrians must compete with cars, horsedrawn carts, motorcycles, stray dogs, farm animals and parked or broken-down vehicles. It is still common to see paddy being dried, animals straying and unescorted children on these roadways. In addition, the surfaces of the main roadways – the East Berbice, West Berbice, East Demerara, West Demerara and Linden-Soesdyke - have
deteriorated making driving hazardous. The biggest contributory factor to fatalities, perhaps, has been drivers’ dangerous habits. There are now about 80,000 vehicles on Guyana’s roads. Some drivers of commercial vehicles and minibuses, however, simply do not have the skill, experience or temperament to be entrusted with responsibility for human lives on public roads. Many drive defective or overloaded vehicles recklessly or at unsafe speeds and display aggressive behaviour and poor road discipline. Too many persons drive under the influence of alcohol, ignore the seat belt rules, or use mobile phones while driving. The Guyana Police Force, from time to time, has launched enforcement operations such as ‘Operation Safeway’ and ‘Operation Road Order.’ These, however, quickly degenerated into the frenzied arrests of hundreds of petty offenders without stopping
the spiralling toll of fatalities. Such operations failed simply because they did not address the fundamental causes of fatalities. Police preoccupation with picayune infractions obscures their perception and totally absorbs their energies. They ignore the most deadly problems. Responses to excessive speeding on the roadways should also include patrolling high-risk zones by day and night; enforcing lower speed limits wherever public roads run through populous rural communities; ensuring that minibuses and other commercial vehicles carry the lawful complement of cargo or passengers; banning distracting music and movies from minibuses and prohibiting the sale of intoxicating beverages in or near to public transportation terminals. Many fatalities on the roads occur at night or on weekends and on open stretches of country road. High-risk rural areas,
however, attract low-level attention from the traffic police. Traffic policemen work less at night and do not have enough motorcycles to reach to the out-of-town trouble spots. Many unqualified and incompetent drivers are not fit to drive taxis and buses. There is, however, no programme for identifying and taking them out of the driving seats. No countrywide computer database has been established to authenticate their drivers’ licences – a measure that requires cooperation between the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Revenue Authority. Guyana’s ranking among Anglophone Caribbean countries – The Bahamas (13.7); Barbados (7.3); Belize (16.4); Jamaica (11.6) and Trinidad and Tobago (16.7) – for fatality rates per 100,000 owing to traffic accidents, therefore, is no surprise. Guyana, at 27.8 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, is the worst by a wide margin.
From page 20 Demerara, on Monday blocked officials from the Ministry of Public Works from breaking down a fence which the officials pronounced was on Government reserve. Prior to this incident the Public Works Ministry had issued statements to BM Soat informing the business that it had constructed a fence on 14 feet of Government reserve. The Ministry stated that the auto dealers would have to move the fence off the reserve since it is impeding the four-lane road expansion works being conducted there. General Manger of BM Soat, Rameez Mohamed, told Kaieteur News that the company has transport for the land that government is claiming is reserve. He added that when the land was surveyed the area where the fence currently is, belonged to the company. His land and the adjoining plots were resurveyed and in that second survey it was determined that their lands and the neighbouring plots were on government reserve in excess of fourteen feet. His opinion is that the first survey stands. It so happened that BM Soat filed an injunction against the government in court to halt the removal of their fence but last Friday, the injunction was thrown out by a Judge. Kaieteur News was informed that the Public Works Ministry gave the auto dealership eight hours to remove the fence or have it removed by the Ministry. BM Soat did not comply with the eight-hour deadline. As such the Ministry officials descended on the property Monday by order of Minister Robeson Benn to demolish the fence. GUYANAUNDERTAKES US$25M CDB SEA DEFENCE REHAB Government will receive a loan of US$25M from the Caribbean Development Bank to fund a project which will protect a number of communities from flooding and other hazards brought on by the effects of climate change. According to the bank, components of the project include the reconstruction and improvement of approximately 5.4 km of sea and river defences, as well as for capacity in shoreline change, monitoring and analysis. The project will also include a Community Awareness and Education Programme. The project will involve 20 rural communities in Regions Two, Three, Four and Six along the coastline and in Leguan Island which is in the Essequibo estuary. These
Sunday December 29, 2013
A road in the Mahdia community that the AFC hopes Government will rehabilitate communities have a combined population of about 45,000 people in about 9,000 households. Guyana’s coastland is below sea level and heavily dependent on the seawall as its defence from the Atlantic Ocean. However, increasingly, the battle has become tougher with growing incidents of overtopping in recent years. POLICING GROUP MEMBER, 20, CHARGED WITH LABOURER’S KILLING A 20-year-old member of a West Bank Demerara policing group has been charged with murder following the shooting death of Belle Vue labourer, Godfrey Jhaggroo, last week, in a case that left a community divided. Harry ‘Sudesh’ Rajpat, a mechanic, appeared Monday before Magistrate Clive Nurse at the Wales Magistrate’s Court charged with murder. He was remanded until February 20. WEDNESDAY EDITION ADMINISTRATION PLAYING POLITICS WITH POLICE CAREERS The wait will continue indefinitely for the hardworking police ranks, who are desperate for promotions. Indications point to no promotions being announced at the beginning of the year, as is customary. The reason being touted is the absence of the Police Service Commission. While the Police Service Commission (PSC) is responsible for the promotion and other matters related directly to the senior ranks of the force, the junior promotions will suffer, since there will hardly be room for their upward mobility if the vacancies are not created at the top of the Force’s administration. Without the Police
Service Commission there can be no promotions from Inspectors up to Assistant Commissioners of Police. This will come as a major disappointment to several ranks, both senior and junior, many of whom have been stagnated in one position for several years. “The junior Promotion Board has already met and finalized the promotions, but the commissioner is not too keen on making that announcement in the absence of the senior ranks’ promotions,” a senior police source told Kaieteur News. This newspaper has been making repeated enquiries about the establishment of the PSC, but the responses have been less than satisfactory from senior government officials who are directly or indirectly responsible. Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon had indicated at one of his Press Conferences that the administration was looking at the establishment of several Commissions, the PSC being one of them, when the question was posed to him. CABINET AT ODDS WITH US AMBASSADOR “….ELEMENTS OF REJECTED USAID PROJECT SEEK TO USURP ITS AUTHORITY”DR LUNCHEON Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, has lashed out at US Ambassador D. Brent Hardt over comments he would have made with regard to the USAID Project that had been rejected by Cabinet. Luncheon in his post cabinet press briefing held Tuesday at Office of the President, said the US Ambassador ’s comments were arrogant and contentious. He said Cabinet reviewed the status and the current developments
regarding the Ambassador’s implementation of the rejected project. “Cabinet felt that the Ambassador ’s public comments were arrogant, contentious and those utterances that the US Ambassador made, indicating that notwithstanding a rejection, a disapproval of the USAID project, that they intend to and are implementing the project, is really of severe significance.” According to Dr Luncheon, Cabinet is even more perturbed by the Ambassador ’s delay in responding to a formal, written r e q u e s t f o r t h e clarification from the US authorities with regard to t h e d i s a p p r o v a l o f the project and taking into account the public response in the exclusive interview with Stabroek News. In that article, the US Ambassador made public his intention to ignore and disregard C a b i n e t ’s disapproval. Dr Luncheon said too that the Ambassador accused the administration of falsehood and that there was consultation with the Government of Guyana. Dr Luncheon said the project was conceived and designed, and a contractor procured to implement all before approaching the Guyana Government. MORE THAN TWO YEARS LATER…HOPE CANAL CANNOT MEETANOTHER DEADLINE It has been confirmed; after being more than a year behind schedule, the $3B Hope/Dochfour Canal will not meet its latest deadline, December 31. According to Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, another contractual agreement is expected to be made with Courtney Benn Contracting
Services Limited, the entity responsible for the delayed part of the project, its eightgate sluice. The contractual agreement between the company and the Guyana Government was adjusted early last month, as yet another effort to meet a deadline. Minister Ramsammy, as of Tuesday, said that he could not provide the details of the most recent adjustment to the contract, but promised to do so in the near future. In November, Dr. Ramsammy was determined to not entertain another extended date of completion, suggesting that Courtney Benn Contracting Services hired additional workers to complete this major component of the Hope Canal project. The Minister is working on an “acceptable plan” to get the job done. Hope/ Dochfour Canal is more than a year behind schedule, and just recently, Minister Ramsammy announced that the government was finally prepared to impose the penalty clause on contractors, should the Canal not be completed by the agreed date, especially since the Agriculture Ministry has been quite patient with the three contracted companies – DIPCON Engineering, BK International and Courtney Benn Contracting Services, as it relates to accommodating extensions of proposed deadlines. SATURDAY EDITION THREE-YEAR-OLD GIRL CLINGS TO LIFEAFTER PUMAATTACK A three-year-old child from Isseneru, Region Seven is now in a critical condition at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation after being mauled by a large feline creature suspected to be a
puma, around 09:00hrs yesterday. The injured child has been identified as Jasmine Joseph. She sustained severe injuries to her face, head and shoulders. She was airdashed to the city late yesterday and was taken to the Cancer Institute of Guyana for a CT-Scan to determine the extent of her injuries. According to information received, the child was in her yard playing when the animal attacked her and dragged her into nearby bushes. Her uncle, who was in the house, heard her screams and rushed to her aid with a cutlass. Assisted by neighbours, the man reportedly chopped the animal before burning it. Workers from the Isseneru Health Centre came to the child’s aid, wrapping her wounds and rendering other basic assistance. At the hospital, the child’s grandmother, Agatha Joseph, told this newspaper that she had left Jasmine and two other grandchildren with their aunt at home to attend a nearby church service. “I left home like seven o’clock in the morning. We were going around the village to pray for sick people and around nine o’clock we hear loud screams coming from across the river and we thought that dem children went into a boat and fall in the water, so we send somebody to check and then li’l after them come back with my granddaughter in the boat,” the woman related. The older Joseph said that her home is surrounded by bushes and it was not the first time that her granddaughter was attacked. “Last month a jaguar jumped on her and scraped her on her foot but I hit it and it get away. We thought it was gone but like the same one come back,” the grandmother stressed.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Strict parenting may reduce teen smoking
‘Fast & Furious 7’ pushed back to 2015, will include late actor
Parents who set limits are less likely to have kids who smoke, regardless of their ethnic and racial backgrounds, according to a new U.S. study. Researchers surveyed middle schoolers from diverse backgrounds and found those whose parents had an “authoritative” and “structured” parenting style were also more likely to be discouraged from smoking by their parents and less likely to become smokers. “Many past studies have examined broad parenting styles, however this study looked at how specific parenting strategies may help protect youth from cigarette smoking initiation,” said Cassandra Stanton, an assistant professor in the oncology department at Georgetown University, who led the study.
“We also note that unlike many studies in the area that are conducted in largely white middle class samples, this study was conducted in an urban multi-ethnic lowincome school district,” Stanton told Reuters Health. I t ’s i m p o r t a n t t o identify ways of helping parents prevent kids from starting to smoke, Stanton’s team writes in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, because the majority of lifetime smokers begin before the age of 18. Although the number of teenage smokers has declined significantly, one in three young adults reports smoking at least once in the past 30 days, according to a 2012 report by the U.S. Surgeon General. Past research has found links between low discipline, parental disengagement and
increased risk of smoking, Stanton’s team notes. Rates of smoking vary among ethnic groups, with white students smoking daily at a rate twice that of African American and Latino students. However, African Americans and Latinos experience significantly higher rates of smoking-related health complications later in life compared with whites. To delve deeper into which parenting strategies are effective among a diverse set of families, the researchers recruited 459 eighth graders from two low-income innercity schools in the Northeast. The students averaged 13years-old, with 29 percent identifying themselves as Hispanic, 34 percent as African American, 17 percent as non-Hispanic white and 20 percent as other/mixed ethnicity.
Anxiety linked to stroke risk Men and women with severe symptoms of anxiety may have a higher risk of stroke than their more relaxed counterparts, a new study suggests. The greater your anxiety level, the higher your risks of having a stroke,” study coauthor Dr. Maya J. Lambiase, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told Reuters Health. “Assessment and treatment of anxiety has the potential to not only improve overall quality of life, but may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke, later in life,” she said in an email. Dr. Philip Muskin, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in
New York emphasized that the stroke risk identified in the study among overly anxious individuals was not vastly increased. “What it’s really saying is, you’re a little more likely to have a stroke,” said Muskin, who was not involved in the study. Still, he added, “I would like to be a little less likely (to have a stroke) in my life.” Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., but few studies have looked at psychosocial factors other than depression or psychological stress or distress, that may contribute to a person’s risk of stroke. Yet, Lambiase and her colleagues point out, anxiety has been linked to increased
cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse and physical inactivity - all of which are known to increase stroke risk. To investigate the association between anxiety and stroke, the researchers analyzed data from 6,019 men and women who were enrolled in the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 19711975 and followed for about 16 years. The participants were interviewed at the start of the study to d e t e r m i n e t h e presence and severity of any anxiety symptoms, and stroke events were identified by examining hospital or nursing home discharge reports and death certificates.
The release of “Fast & Furious 7,” the big-budget action film that was shut down in November after the death of actor Paul Walker in a car crash, has been pushed back nine months to April 2015, Universal Pictures disclosed. Walker, who died in a fiery one-car crash at the age of 40 on November 30, will appear in the film, Universal said. The “Fast & Furious” film series, which has grossed more than $2 billion at the global box office and helped turn around the fortunes of Comcast Corp-owned Universal, was originally slated to be released on July 11, 2014, in the summer movie-going season. The seventh installment of the popular series about illegal street racing, crime and heists will be released on April 10, 2015, Universal said in a statement. It said that series star Vin Diesel and the late Walker would “lead the returning cast.” Diesel, also one of the producers, first announced the new release date on Facebook on Sunday. Walker, who became a symbol of car racing and car culture in his role as law
Cast member and producer Vin Diesel poses at the premiere of the new film, ‘’Fast & Furious 6'’ at Universal Citywalk in Los Angeles May 21, 2013. enforcement officer Brian O’Conner in the “Fast & Furious” series, was a passenger in a red Porsche Carrera GT sports car that crashed on November 30 in Santa Clarita, Calif. about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The car careened off of a street, struck a utility pole and burst into flames, also killing driver Roger Rodas. Authorities have yet to
determine the cause of the accident but have said that speed probably played a role. Production on “Fast 7” was on a break at the time for the Thanksgiving holiday and it was not clear how many of Walker’s scenes had been filmed. Production was suspended days after the crash and Universal has not said when filming will resume. (Reuters)
Beyonce retains top spot on U.S. Billboard album chart
Beyonce held onto the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart for the second consecutive week as her new self-titled album sold 374,000 copies in the lead-up to Christmas, according to figures released Thursday from Nielsen SoundScan. The pop star’s fifth solo album, which was released on December 13, has sold a total of 991,000 copies through December 22, which was the final day for tallying this week’s chart. Currently the
year’s 12th-best selling album, “Beyonce” is expected to crack the top 10 in just a few weeks’ time, Billboard said. The album, Beyonce’s first since 2011, was released exclusively through Apple’s iTunes digital music store and was not available in other retailers until December 21. Country music star Garth Brooks held at No. 2 on the chart with his Walmart-exclusive box set, “Blame It All on My Roots,” selling 199,000 copies.
British-Irish boy band One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” moved to No. 3 from No. 5, swapping spots with country-pop singer Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album, “Wrapped in Red.” Sales of “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas,” the Christmas album from the “Duck Dynasty” reality TV series’ Robertson family, jumped 22 percent in the week before Christmas landing at No. 4 on the chart.
Miley Cyrus says after Disney, it was time to be herself It is sex, drugs and pop music - and Miley Cyrus is fine with it that way now that the provocative singer has shed her innocent Disney star image along with most of her clothes. Cyrus, 21, who has grabbed headlines in the past year for her admitted drug use, sexually suggestive dancing and wearing as little as boots in a music video, said she was surprised by the scrutiny her new persona has attracted. “I went from people just thinking I was, like, a baby to
people thinking I’m this, like, sex freak that really just pops molly and does lines all day,” Cyrus told the New York Times in an interview to be published on Sunday and made available early online, referring to the drugs MDMA and cocaine, respectively. “It’s like, ‘Has anyone ever heard of rock ‘n’ roll?’” the “Wrecking Ball” singer countered. “There’s a sex scene in pretty much every single movie, and they go, ‘Well, that’s a character.’ Well, that’s a character. I don’t really dress as a teddy bear
and, like, twerk on Robin Thicke, you know?” Cyrus, who rose to prominence as a teen star of the Disney musical TV series “Hannah Montana,” has become a bad girl of pop music since her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in September when she “twerked” (a sexually suggestive dance) during a performance of Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.” “I don’t have a bunch of celeb friends, because I feel like some of them are a little scared of the association,” Cyrus said of her new persona.
Sunday December 29, 2013
A black Jesus, New Year resolution and proscrastination By Ralph Seeram One of my greatest weaknesses is that I am a procrastinator. It’s a problem I have been trying to overcome for years. I love to postpone things I considered not urgent or time sensitive. This very article I am writing at the last moment, even though I had ample time during the Christmas holidays to do so. As I am writing there is a clutter of mail I need to go through, some to file away, some to garbage. Speaking about filing away therein lies the problem, to sort and separate. On a few occasions I had to pay late fees on bills; the envelopes were unopened. I got around that by having the payments deducted automatically from my account. My daughter came up with a solution, scan the documents, or statements, which will file automatically, and get rid of the physical correspondence. My bank has been bugging me to go paperless, get email statements, or see the accounts online, but that would present another problem, I will have to go online to do so, and as a great procrastinator, you know what would happen. I am sure I am not singular
in this respect; I know many of you have the same problem. Many in the Diaspora can relate to this. We get overwhelmed at times, mortgage statements, bank statements, as well as bills such as house insurance, car insurance, water bill, electric, garbage, cell phone, cable, credit card sand the list goes on, not to mention the flood of “junk” mails in the mix. This process repeats itself every month so if you do not clear up the mail, you suddenly find you have two months correspondence sitting on your table. My New Year resolution is to stop being a procrastinator, and I am going to start right after I am finished with this article. I have stuff to do that I have postponed for the last six months; it will be done this weekend. Now I am aware that most New Year resolutions fade out by the end of January. That resolution to lose weight, to diet, to exercise, and to stop drinking and smoking are some that sometimes make it to February then “call it a day”. Then there is some resolution I would like to become a reality in the New Year. These I have no control over, so it comes under the category of wish list for 2014.
I would like to see less women being murdered by Guyanese men who “cant tek lef”, and more jail time for women beaters; bring back the “cat o nine tails. If they like lash women they must “tek lash” in return. If they kill women, they must be hanged; desperate times call for desperate measures. It has not dawned yet on some Guyanese men that women are not slaves. I would like to see less meddling by the United States Ambassador in the internal affairs of Guyana. This guy has become bolder in his meddling. It is one thing to criticize the PPP government, but it is another thing to “eye pass” the sovereignty of the country. A recall by the Government would be quite in order. I would like to see the tolls for cars and minibuses reduced by 50 per cent on the Berbice River Bridge. The attempt at window dressing by Bridge Officials in reducing some tolls is really cosmetic. For the $2200 they charge for a car, I can drive over 200 miles in the highway here in Florida. They are charged that for a less than a one mile bridge. The PPP government needs not wait for elections to reduce the tolls, the time is now. Speaking of PPP government I would like to see President Donald
Ramotar reshuffle his Cabinet, actually I should not say reshuffle, get rid of the thieves in his Cabinet; he knows who they are. The survival of the PPP depends on what the President does in 2014. More transparency, no more secret contracts. I would like the Guyana Police Force to get rid of the “highway robbers” in their midst, who prey on drivers daily on the road for bribes. I would to see more qualified licensed drivers on the roads and less of those drivers who ���bought” their drivers’ licences. If the police enforced the traffic laws with the same vigor they are extorting money there will be fewer road fatalities. Well there are a few things more I wish for Guyana, but it would only be wishful thinking, so I wouldn’t mention them. So I went to church on Christmas Eve night, like so many who did not attend church as regular as they should during the year. A few weeks ago a Fox TV host
inferred that Jesus was white; this caused quite a controversy here in the U S media. I am following the service on the projected screen. My church, St Stephen Lutheran, does not use hymnal books or bible, it is there but everything is projected on the screen accompanied by images for worshippers to follow. I noticed the images of the people were dark in complexion, I thought nothing of it until the Nativity scene, there it was, baby Jesus was DARK BROWN not white. All the persons around were also dark brown. Now this would not arouse any curiosity in most Afro American dominated churches, but my church is 99 per cent middle to upper class white. As a matter of fact I made it a point to note that besides my family of five, there were not more than five other minorities in the congregation which had to be over 300 worshippers. I should add that since we had a new
young Pastor a few years ago the church has become very liberal. I could not help thinking that I was baptized, confirmed and was a member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church in New Amsterdam, a church that at one time had segregation notices of colored folks. How times have changed. Times have changed so much that today we have forgotten the CHRIST in Christmas, so if you are a Christian, come the next Christmas, make it a resolution to put the Christ back in Christmas, it’s not about the gifts, the big parties and “drink up” and dressing up the house, it’s about a poor carpenter and his girlfriend seeking shelter in a manger for her to deliver her baby. It was very humble surroundings. Now I have to go start cleaning up my garage. Happy New Year to all my readers, friends and families. Ralph Seeram can be reached at email: email@example.com
Miner relieves bandit of shotgun, but is robbed Zaheer Khan, a dredge owner with mining operations at Sulfa Rose in the Interior, and also from Vilvoorden, on the Essequibo Coast, was ambushed by two men and robbed of ten ounces of raw gold worth $2M. The incident occurred on Thursday. Reports are that Khan was venturing out of an area called “Sulfa Rose” where
mining operations are dominant when two men, one armed with a shotgun approached him and demanded that he stop. In fear, Khan explained that he complied with the men and handed over his raw gold. The man with the shotgun then attempted to shoot him but the gun snapped. Khan said after the
bandit’s shotgun snapped he put up a fight with the man carrying the weapon and was able to relieve him of the weapon. The men then made good their escape in some bushes. Khan lodged the weapons at 70KM, a police outpost, located in the interior. Robberies are extremely common in the interior.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Injunction filed again over “controversial” family land Almost two weeks after a family regained control of land said to be in their possession for over 77 years, another injunction has been filed, preventing them from accessing and conducting businesses activities. The family says that this second injunction was granted by the said judge, who had earlier discharged the previous one. It again prevents the family from selling, leasing or conducting any other activity at the 13 to 16 Vreed-en-Rust, West Bank Demerera properties. The family members who say that the constant court proceedings are hindering the development and progress of their property explained that several thousands of dollars were spent to fence the property since the earlier ruling was made.
The family said that they have also commenced business movements regarding the property and again they have halted. They are therefore contemplating legal action to have the relevant state agencies confirm the ownership of the property in a court. Earlier in the month, the siblings of the Majors, Robertses, Danielses, Fieldses, Draytons and the Sattaurs had an injunction filed by RMC SILICA, under Mr. Grantley Walrond, discharged. The family had before that, picketed the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), causing Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Robert Persaud, to order that the GGMC issue a Cease Work Order to all parties
pending a thorough investigation and satisfactory outcome. The siblings claimed that the property had been in the family since 1926, but that for the last 20 years the mining company had been imposing itself on the land, claiming to have documentation from the GGMC to conduct sand mining works at the location. The family claimed also that it was a “clear case of bullyism” since they have all the necessary documents to prove that the property belongs in their family. They said that when they first experienced problems with the mining company the property was in the process of being handed over from parents to children. The matter was in the court since 1993, but they only received official hand over on July 16, last year.
Family members during picket action in July
However, the company also presented documentation to the family stating that it had permission to mine on the property, which
Two regional hospitals not providing optimal... (From page 10) that the shortage of skilled human resources was particularly severe in the hinterland regions of the country. It was noted too that one of the key priorities identified was the improvement in quality of care, particularly for children below one year of age. And according to the doctors, “currently, there is minimal data regarding the healthcare resources and staffing available in these rural areas and the quality of care provided to the paediatric patient population.” Moreover, the study executed a needs based assessment at two regional hospitals – the Linden Hospital Complex and the New Amsterdam Hospital – during the period April 22 through May 3, 2013. The primary objective of the undertaking was to define the adequacy of the current healthcare facilities to care for acutely ill paediatric patients. Ahead of the study, Research Ethics Board approval was obtained from the Humber River Regional Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and the National Ethics Review Board in Guyana for an on-site needs based assessment using the World Health Organisation (WHO) generic assessment tool. With consent, hospital staff and caregivers were interviewed and information collected through direct observation and analyses of health records. Summary evaluation scores from one to five were assigned for designated domains based on the fulfilment of standard criteria. A score of five was given for good practice complying
with standards of care while a score of one indicated totally inadequate care and absolute scores were converted to percentages. The findings of the study were able to uncover that the quality of paediatric and neonatal care at the two regional hospitals was found to be inadequate in multiple domains. For instance the hospital summary score for the Linden Hospital Complex and the New Amsterdam Hospital were 74 per cent and 78 per cent respectively. This was despite the fact that the Regions have well-run tuberculosis and HIV programmes with case management summary
evaluation scores of 95-100 per cent. Case management of other conditions such as severe malnutrition and fever were however unacceptable by WHO standards (60 and 70 per cent respectively). In fact, it was revealed that the essential paediatric medications were frequently unavailable and lab services were insufficient to support basic diagnostic work-ups. The scores for these services were less than 60 per cent and it was uncovered that the essential equipment for emergency paediatric care and the layout and physical structure of the Emergency Department was also
insufficient (40 to 60 per cent) according to WHO standards. As a result, the study surmised that despite achieving the MDG 4 in Guyana, two regional hospitals have not met the standard for providing optimal paediatric care. It was therefore recommended that the implementation of management protocols, such as fever and malnutrition, appropriate medications, basic lab facilities and the development of a ‘child friendly’ emergency room, have the potential to further decrease the under five year mortality.
it claimed is state land. The family’s land title and transport were also disregarded, by the company which claimed that the documents for the more than 800 acre property were forgeries. In terms of the GGMC, the family during their picket exercise said they were against the agency’s failure to intervene in the land dispute, especially since the mining works were authorized by the entity. They said that the agency refused to investigate the matter even after the mining company started destroying the structures on the land. The family members say, however, that they have already confirmed from the Lands and Surveys Department and have stated repeatedly that the West Bank Demerara property does not belong to the state and that it is a land registered area. In this light, the family says that
it is contemplating obtaining a court order to cause the Lands and Surveys Department to provide the evidence that the land is registered and is owned by the relatives. The siblings say that they are however stymied by the company’s imposition, and now court activities, since they have plans for the prime location. They noted that since the previous injunction was discharged they have expended almost half a million dollars to fence the property. It was following this move, they said that the other injunction was filed, while the company has not obeyed the ruling in the previous injunction which states that the mining company is to pay a $25,000 cost to the nine defendants- but has not yet done same. The matter will head to the Supreme Court on January 21.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Sunday December 29, 2013
Sunday December 29, 2013
Venezuelans angered by Millions to restore St Vincent delay in inflation report CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — There’s one burning question among economists in Venezuela these days: What happened to the November inflation report? It’s been more than two weeks since the deadline passed for the central bank to publish its closely-watched consumer price index and so far authorities have been mum about when it will be released. Economists and opposition politicians say the delay is a sign the government is trying to hide its embarrassing record controlling inflation, now running at 54 percent, after President Nicolas Maduro last month delivered a rare rebuke of the way the bank measures prices. They warn of more interference to come, undermining an institution that until now has been a redoubt of balance and credibility amid a decade-long socialist push that has divided Venezuelans. “The most extreme way of manipulating the data is not publishing it,” Victor Olivo, a former manager of macroeconomics analysis at the central bank, told The Associated Press. The central bank’s bylaws require it to publish inflation data within the first 10 days of each month. On the rare occasions when it has missed the cutoff date before, it was late by only a few days. Intrigue about the delay began to build after the bank abruptly cancelled a Dec. 19 news conference to release the report. To date, nobody has offered an explanation, even in the face of a public letter of protest signed by 20 recognized local economists.
The bank declined to comment when contacted by the AP. The only official who has defended the bank, Elias Eljuri, president of the national statistics institute, said the delay is due to “atypical” factors stemming from the government’s slashing of prices of home appliances last month after it seized several retail chains accused of charging speculative prices. Under no circumstances are the numbers being cooked, he said. Maduro last month questioned the reliability of the central bank’s data, saying that internal calculations he had seen showed prices fell 5 percent in November as a result of the government’s actions. Are the statisticians at the bank able to “see what’s happening beyond the technocracy?” Maduro asked in a nationally televised Cabinet meeting on Nov. 23. Economists say Maduro’s forecast has no basis. While the prices of televisions, stoves and refrigerators did fall by more than half after the
CL shareholders’ agreement extended Trinidad Express - The shareholders’ agreement between the Government and CL financial stockholders has been extended again. Minister of Trade Vasant Bharath, acting as Minister of Finance and the Economy in the temporary absence of Senator Larry Howai, who is currently out of the country, signed for a six-month extension of the CL Financial shareholders’ agreement, which was due to expire on December 31, a statement said Friday. At the signing, Bharath made the point that the Government and CL Financial
“have made good progress in arriving at a further, longer term Shareholders’ Agreement, and will continue discussions on the matter during the extension period”. He disclosed that the parties expect that, within this time, “there will be resolution of the ongoing arbitration matter involving CLICO, CLF and Methanol Holdings Trinidad Ltd, which is the single largest outstanding issue in this matter”, the statement added. Bharath said both parties anticipate this matter will be resolved within the six-month period of the extension.
government offensive, appliances carry around a 2 percent weighting in the consumer price index, making it impossible to swing the gauge at a time prices for food, clothing and services are rising by more than 5 percent a month. Economists also depend on the inflation report to monitor another ill battering the South America’s largest oil economy: record levels of shortages. The October report’s socalled scarcity index showed that out of 100 products measured, 22 were out of stock. It’s not just the inflation report that has economists concerned the bank is losing its autonomy. In recent years, the monetary authority has stopped publishing data on private investment and expansion of the money supply, one of the main drivers of inflation. It’s also followed through on orders to transfer part of its dollar reserves to fund government spending. The fear, says Olivo, is that Venezuela will follow in the footsteps of Argentina, which this year became the first country censured by the Wa s h i n g t o n - b a s e d International Monetary Fund for producing unreliable data that wildly underreports inflation. In 2007, then-Argentine President Nestor Kirchner fired the top staff at the national statistics institute and replaced them with officials who changed the formula used to measure inflation. “This is what happens when an institution is politicized,” said Olivo, who resigned a few years ago to protest what he viewed as the government’s encroachment. “The quality of the data produced deteriorates along with the quantity.”
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent - CMC – The St Vincent and the Grenadines government said it would need “millions of dollars” to rebuild the country battered by a slow moving low level trough that left eight people dead and at least five others missing. Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who cut short his Christmas holidays in London, dubbed Thursday “Clean up Kingstown Day”. “As Prime Minister, I promise you to do even better than I have tried to do. Let us work together, we will recover, we will rehabilitate this country and we will do it in the shortest possible time,” he said. “As difficult as the circumstances are … we are fortunate to be alive. It pains me greatly. Those who have suffered material loss, I am also deeply pained and I give you my word I will do my best to help,” Gonsalves said soon after attending a meeting with disaster and emergency officials soon after his arrival on Thursday night.
Dr Ralph Gonsalves “We have had a very difficult hit,” he said, noting the number of dead and missing, and expressed his condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed. “We will remember these persons always. When the dust is settled on this, we have to build a monument to those who died,” he added. Gonsalves said the briefing he received indicated “a disaster of a proportion the likes of which we have not seen in living memory”. He said the destruction caused by the weather system that also affected the neighbouring islands of
Dominica and St Lucia, resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. “Over the next few days, we will get a clearer picture as to the full extent.” The government has said that given the state of the capital, it is advising that activity in the city be kept at a minimum. Gonsalves called for all workers in essential services to report to work. He noted that getting to Kingstown from some areas of the country would be difficult because of the condition of the road network.
Congresswoman reiterates call on Obama to suspend deportations NEW YORK - CMC — With Latin America and the Caribbean registering the most deportees from the United States in 2013, Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke has reiterated her call for President Barack Obama to suspend the deportations programme. “I have asked President Obama to suspend deportations of non-violent persons until we enact comprehensive immigration reform that permits these families to resolve their legal status in the United States,” said Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York. “In each instance of deportation, families are forcibly separated, leaving behind a husband or wife without a spouse or children without a parent,” said Clarke, who is the Ranking Member of the US House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that “these forced separations of families are excessive and has created a crisis that has resulted in more harm than good. “The exercise of excessive
Yvette D Clarke deportation is inhumane and flies in the face of the values and morals of a nation established by immigrants for immigrants. We cannot allow this exercise to continue.” In announcing the yearend removal numbers, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said Jamaicans were among the top 10 nationals deported in 2013. ICE said the top 10 deportees were from Latin American and the Caribbean, with 1,119 from Jamaicans while 2, 462 nationals were from the Dominican Republic. The immigration agency said Mexico continued to be the leading country of origin for those removed, followed by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. ICE said 98 per cent of the agency’s total removals were convicted criminals, recent border crossers, illegal re-
entrants or those previously removed “in line with agency’s enforcement priorities”. Clarke said “many of these men and women have lived in the United States for practically their entire lives. “Many arrived here in their youth as children and, in many cases, entered the United States lawfully and were granted resident status,” she said. “But ICE said the figures “highlight” the agency’s “ongoing commitment to primary immigration enforcement missions: the apprehension of criminal aliens and other immigration violators in the interior of the United States; and the detention and removal of individuals apprehended by ICE and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States”.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Plan to cut street dwelling population by half...
Minister eyes $25m for development Trinidad Guardian - The Government is expected to spend close to $25 million as it moves to cut the homeless population by half. Minister of the People and Social Development Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh says his ministry already has $10 million for the establishment of a healthcare facility, the upgrade of the Centre for Socially Displaced Persons (CSDP) and a new drug rehabilitation centre. Speaking at a Christmas breakfast for drug rehabilitation patients (former street dwellers) at the Piparo Empowerment Centre (PEC) yesterday, he said he needed about two years to reduce street dwelling by 75 per cent. “I think we will be able to really ensure that the streets are safe, clean and happy if we can pick up delinquents,” Ramadharsingh said. “If all of these things take effect, we will only have the people who are loitering for financial gain. “Those who are really there as street dwellers by day but are mystery by night, we will get rid of those people. “I don’t want to be so utopian, but what I can say is that I want to, at least, get 60 to 75 per cent of the street dwellers off the streets. I need two years again and I am confident that before the end of 2014 I will be at more than 50 per cent.” Ramadharsingh said the healthcare facility will take the place of an abandoned building at Queen Street, Port-of-Spain, and will be able to shelter 150 street dwellers overnight. “It will be a care centre: no serious medical procedures will be done there, just basic upkeep and maintenance to ensure that they are clean and healthy. “This will take care of paramedical issues and will be overseen by the IAU (the ministry’s Inter Agency Unit) and qualified medical personnel.” The upgrade to the CSDP at Riverside Plaza, Port-of-Spain, will feature designs that
were drafted for the building under former UNC housing minister John Humphrey. Ramadharsingh said the upgrade will ensure that “people live in a dignified environment that is more humane than what exists now.” He said: “It will be an intermediary between those who need drug rehabilitation and those who are just homeless.” He said the new drug rehabilitation building was also in the planning stage. After the formal aspect of the breakfast was finished, the minister rolled up his sleeves and served breakfast to a group of men who, before this year, sat on pavements begging for food and money. However, yesterday’s gathering showed a different picture as the former drug abusers revelled in the festive season, singing medleys of Christmas carols for their peers and caretakers. Ramadharsingh paid tribute to three patients, Joseph Alleyne, Dexter Ramirez and Charles David Eno, who were recommended by the PEC for reintroduction into society. Alleyne, 57, spent two years in the programme after 27 years of drug abuse. Eno, 59, of Portof-Spain, also spent two years in the programme after 21 years of drug abuse, and Ramirez, 54, from Couva, completed his treatment in 18 months after 20 years of substance abuse. All three are now employed under the Unemployment Relief Programme’s social section through the ministry’s Off the Street: Big Brother Counselling Initiative. Ramadharsingh said over the last 30 months, the IAU had removed 165 homeless people from the streets, with 12 of them already reintroduced into society. He said they were employed and are now paying their own rents. He said there were 57 others undergoing rehabilitation at the Transform Life Ministries.
Rowley’s challenger to launch campaign on Jan 8 Trinidad Guardian - The People’s National Movement (PNM) pressure group To Preserve the Balisier (TPTB) plans to go public from the first week of January, the group said Friday. It intends to put up a challenger to party leader Dr Keith Rowley when the PNM’s leadership contest takes place next year. The group has planned an outreach programme to inform the public on the issue from January 8, expected to start in the north-east. Friday, Dr Bose Sharma said the group will seek to inform the public on the need for reform of the PNM to ensure the party’s long-term political success. Sharma spoke about some of the issues the group will be promoting in its outreach. “The PNM cannot depend on its usual constituents to return to power,” he said. “In fact, if they don’t change their attitude towards multiethnicism and multiculturalism
they could find themselves in Opposition for a very long time, despite mistakes, cronyism, nepotism and rank dishonesty by the People’s Partnership. “There is a 20 per cent floating vote which decides elections. We have to make ourselves more accommodating, to attract them. They will not come on promises of change which turn out to be exchange, as what happened with the People’s Partnership.” Sharma said the group’s balisier emblem meant preserving all that was good within the PNM and rejecting all that was wrong and that was being being done at present in the PNM that bodes ill for the party. “If the PNM cannot change from within through the usual instruments of the GC (General Council) and Central–X (Central Executive), then we have to bring about change from the outside through education,
agitation, discussion and public debate,” he said. “TPTB will always support PNM’s constitution and leader, but we reserve the right to back whichever person best represents our beliefs in any internal party elections-and that could include the present leader-without victimisation or personal attacks.” Sharma said TPTB’s policies included reciprocity. “Government appointees who are doing a good job and understand the business of the company should be allowed to continue, as long as they can work with the government in confidence,” he said. “The habit of firing a number of people from their jobs just because they are from another political party is abhorrent, inimical to success and against the reintegration of society after a general election. “Those who could support TPTB’s ideas and principles are welcome to join to help educate others.”
Sunday December 29, 2013
South Sudan rivals under international pressure to end violence Juba (AFP) - International pressure bore down yesterday on the two sides in South Sudan’s bloody violence to open peace talks to keep the young nation from sliding into civil war. East African and Horn of Africa peace brokers gave President Salva Kiir and de facto rebel leader Riek Machar, whom Kiir sacked as vice president in July, until December 31 to start face-toface talks and stop two weeks of fighting that is thought to have left thousands dead. “We, government, are ready to meet even before that,” South Sudan’s Vice President James Wani Igga told reporters. “It’s now up to Machar to accept the ceasefire.” The regional IGAD grouping (the InterGovernmental Authority on Development) is spearheading efforts to end the fierce battles for control over several strategic oilproducing areas notably in the north of South Sudan. The United Nations, Washington and Beijing are also pressing for talks. “IGAD has already come out with the condition that the contending parties should negotiate within four days beginning from Friday,” Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said Saturday. “So we are awaiting results.” Spokesmen for IGAD said President Kiir had on Friday expressed willingness for an “immediate” ceasefire though Machar would not immediately commit to a truce. The rebel leader said he first wanted a mechanism to monitor any ceasefire as well as the release of his political allies arrested when trouble
Kenyan presidential press service shows South Sudan President Salva Kiir (R) speaking with his Ethiopian and Kenyan counterparts Hailemariam Desalegn (C) and Uhuru Kenyatta (L) on Thursday in Juba (AFP Photo/) first broke out, in a satellite telephone interview with the BBC from an undisclosed location. Yesterday, rebel spokesman Moses Ruai Lat insisted that those close to Machar be released, especially Pagan Amum since the former vice president had named him to lead the negotiating team. The conflict, fuelled by an old rivalry between Kiir and Machar, has fanned ethnic differences between Kiir’s Dinka group and Machar’s Nuer clan in the country, which won independence from Sudan, on its northern border, in 2011. Reports of massacres, rapes and murders have emerged in recent days. The United Nations - whose hardpressed peacekeepers are to be doubled to more than 12,000 - said one mass grave had been discovered and large numbers of uncollected
bodies were seen outside at least one UN base. The fighting erupted
attacked you will have to respond,” the army spokesman said. The death toll nationwide is said to be several thousand. The United Nations has said more than 120,000 residents have been displaced since the conflict started. A source at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the Sudanese capital Khartoum told AFP that the agency was investigating reports that hundreds of South Sudanese have fled across the border into neighbouring Sudan. Pressure is also coming from other countries to halt the fighting, including the United States - which supported South Sudan’s independence and has been its main economic backer. Washington again this week threatened to cut aid if the Kiir government is toppled.
Kerry heads to Middle East next week for peace talks: U.S. official WA S H I N G T O N (Reuters) - Secretary of State John Kerry will return to Israel and the Palestinian territories for peace talks next week, a senior U.S. government official said yesterday, days after Israel is due to free another group of Palestinian prisoners. The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Kerry will visit Jerusalem and Ramallah late next week for more talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, resuming his intensive shuttle diplomacy after a Christmas break. The United States is
Fire on express train in India kills at least 26
KOTHACHERUVU, India (AP) — A fire engulfed a coach of an express train in southern India yesterday, killing at least 26 passengers, many of whom became trapped and suffocated after the doors failed to open, officials said. As the inferno and thick black smoke raced through the car at about 3:45 a.m., panicked passengers broke the windows and many saved themselves by jumping from the train. Sixty-seven passengers were in the carriage when the fire broke out about 2 kilometers (1 mile) from the small town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh state, said railways spokesman C.S. Gupta. The train was brought to a halt and the burning coach was delinked from the rest of the cars to prevent the fire from spreading, Gupta said. The fire spread to a second coach, but the blaze was put out before it caused much damage, Gupta said. Firefighters put out the blaze in the burning coach and retrieved at least 26 bodies, including two children, said a railway official
December 15 after Kiir accused his former vice president of trying to mount
a coup. Machar has denied the allegation and retorted that Kiir was trying to eliminate his rivals. Rebels quickly took control of a few key regional cities including Bentiu, in the northern oil-producing state of Unity, as well as Bor, the capital of eastern Jonglei state which was recaptured by the army on Tuesday. Yesterday, South Sudan army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP that all was calm in the main flashpoint areas of recent days, including Malakal, capital of the oil-rich northeastern Upper Nile state, in Bor and in Unity state where the army said it pushed back rebel attacks on Friday. ‘If attacked you respond’ Aguer insisted his troops would implement any truce agreed by the government and rebels but vowed they would riposte if attacked. “Definitely if you are
at the site of the fire. More than a dozen people were brought to hospitals with injuries sustained when they jumped from the train, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Firefighters had to force the doors open and make their way through the smoke-filled coach to reach the dead, the official said. Many bodies were found near the jammed doors, he said. Medical teams carried out autopsies to identify the bodies, many of which were charred beyond recognition. The train was traveling from Bangalore to Nanded in the western state of Maharashtra. Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said preliminary reports from the site indicated that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit. An investigation was underway. Accidents are common on India’s railroad network, one of the world’s largest, with some 18 million passengers daily. Most collisions and fires are blamed on poor maintenance and human error.
seeking to broker an agreement on a “two-state solution” in which Israel would exist peacefully alongside a new Palestinian state. Kerry wants the sides to agree to a framework for an interim accord ahead of a deal in April, which would launch another year of talks aimed at a full-blown peace treaty. A framework would demonstrate that progress is being made in talks that began in July, according to U.S. officials. A framework would touch on all the main issues, including security, the future of Jerusalem and the fate of refugees. A major step in that process is the release of about two dozen Palestinian prisoners on December 30, the third group to be freed
since talks resumed in July. The release is seen by the United States as a vital confidence-building measure. But the plan for the release was overshadowed by an announcement by Israel on Friday that it intends to build 1,400 homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said would “destroy the peace process” and could be met with retaliation. The Palestinians see the Jewish settlements as an obstacle to achieving a viable state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Most countries consider Israel’s settlements there illegal.
John Kerry During his last visit to the region on December 13, Kerry said both sides remained committed to peace talks and were on course to wrap up an interim deal in April. A previous round of negotiations in 2010 broke down in a dispute over settlement construction, and
Saudi police ‘pounce on woman defying drive ban’ Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) - Saudi police yesterday pulled over a woman minutes after she got behind the wheel in the Red Sea city of Jeddah after activists called for a new challenge to a driving ban. “Only 10 minutes after Tamador al-Yami got behind the wheel police stopped her,” activist Eman al-Nafjan told AFP, adding that Yami carries an international driving licence and was with another woman who was filming her in the car. Tamador’s husband was called to the scene and she was forced to sign a pledge
not to drive again without a Saudi licence, said Nafjan on her Twitter account. Women are not allowed into driving schools in the ultra-conservative kingdom are not granted licences. Elsewhere in Khobar, in Eastern Province, another woman drove for two hours, accompanied by her husband, without being stopped, Nafjan said. Activists said yesterday was chosen as a “symbolic” date as part of efforts first launched more than a decade ago to press for the right for Saudi women to drive. The call for action is a
“reminder of the right so it is not forgotten,” activist Nasima al-Sada had told AFP. The absolute monarchy is the only country in the world where women are barred from driving, a rule that has drawn international condemnation. Yesterday’s action is a continuation of a campaign launched on October 26, when 16 activists were stopped by police for defying the ban. In addition to not being allowed to drive, Saudi women must cover themselves from head to toe and need permission from a male guardian to travel, work and marry.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Iraq troops arrest leading Zimbabwe opposition ‘concerned’ Sunni MP in violent raid over envoy’s Australia asylum bid RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces arrested a prominent Sunni Muslim lawmaker and supporter of anti-government protests in a raid on his home in the western province of Anbar, sparking clashes in which at least five people were killed, police sources said. The violent arrest of Ahmed al-Alwani is likely to inflame tensions in Sunnidominated Anbar, where protesters have been demonstrating against what they see as marginalization of their sect by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government. Alwani belongs to the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc and has been a strong critic of Maliki and an influential
figure in the protest movement. Police sources said a twohour firefight broke out yesterday when bodyguards and members of Alwani’s tribe resisted police and soldiers who went to arrest Alwani on charges of “terrorism” from his house in the center of the city of Ramadi. on al Qaeda and on politicians they accused of encouraging violence. Elections are due in April. Many Sunnis in the region are meanwhile likely to see Alwani’s arrest as another example of what they portray as a crackdown against minority Sunni leaders. A photo of the arrested lawmaker posted on Maliki’s
Facebook page purportedly showed Alwani after the arrest with a white bandage wrapped around his abdomen. Authorities imposed a curfew in Anbar province after the arrest, security sources said. A convoy of army tanks, armored vehicles and Humvees began to arrive in Ramadi by midday. But scores of people took to the streets carrying guns to defy the curfew, a Reuters witness said. Adnan al-Muhanna, leader of the al-Bu Alwan tribe, a major Sunni tribe in Anbar to which Alwani belongs, called on the government to release Alwani within 12 hours.
Suu Kyi’s party to contest 2015 Myanmar elections YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party said yesterday that it will contest 2015 parliamentary elections even if the country’s constitution barring her from running for president is not amended. It was the first time the National League for Democracy party announced it would take part in the polls, which Suu Kyi had said cannot be fair unless the constitution is changed. “I want to say that the NLD will contest the 2015 elections,” National League for Democracy spokesman Nyan Win said at a news conference. Myanmar is a republic where the president is chosen by Parliament rather than directly elected. The NLD expects to do well enough in the 2015 polls to offer its own presidential candidate, and Suu Kyi has expressed an interest in running. The president is usually elected during the first session of Parliament following the general election. The 2008 constitution was drawn up under Myanmar’s previous military regime to ensure its continuing influence in government. The NLD considers it undemocratic because of clauses giving the military a mandatory allocation of 25 percent of parliamentary seats and disqualifying Suu Kyi from running for president. The NLD boycotted 2010 elections as undemocratic, but ran in by-elections in 2012
Aung San Suu Kyi
Harare (AFP) - Zimbabwe’s main opposition party yesterday said it was “concerned” after Harare’s ambassador to Australia asked Canberra for asylum, citing fears for her safety if she returns home. Ambassador Jacqueline Zwambila earlier told Australian media that her country’s July elections had been “stolen” by President Robert Mugabe’s government and that she did not feel safe going back to Zimbabwe once her posting ends on Tuesday. Zwambila, who is aligned with Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was appointed in 2009 by the MDC’s former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai who lost the presidential vote to veteran leader Mugabe. “No one would raise a red flag unnecessarily and as a party we remain cautious and concerned after Ambassador Zwambila expressed concern over her personal safety,” Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for the MDC, told AFP. “What we know for sure is that relations between her and the government were frosty and it’s difficult for us to assure her security as we are not in government.” In a statement, the MDC said it had learned that the government had decided to recall MDC-aligned ambassadors without reassigning them. Attempts to reach the foreign ministry for comment were unsuccessful. Zwambila said she was seeking a protection visa so she can stay on in Australia with her family once her diplomatic status expires. But it was not immediately clear whether Canberra would approve her request. “I don’t feel safe about returning to Zimbabwe at all,” Zwambila said in a video posted on the Canberra Times website, branding the current government
“illegitimate”. Zwambila voiced fears of indefinite detention if she went back, saying she had been threatened with arrest after a court found that she owed several hundred dollars to a tradesman. She denied the charge. “So many things have been done to me since I’ve been here in Australia, the smear campaigns and threats... There is no way I feel safe being in Zimbabwe or going back to Zimbabwe,” she said. While in Australia, Zwambila was accused of exposing herself but was cleared by a Zimbabwean government probe and in court in Australia, according to the MDC. The election win by Mugabe, in power for 33 years, saw Australia join the United States and Britain in questioning the credibility of the polls.
Tens of thousands protest against Niger government
after changes were made in election laws. It won 43 of the 45 seats it contested in both houses of Parliament, with Suu Kyi winning a seat in the lower house. Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has said that “there will be more problems” if the constitution is not changed before the 2015 elections, though she has not said what would happen. In October, Suu Kyi and her party launched an awareness campaign in many parts of the country to garner public support for amending the constitution. Myanmar’s Parliament formed a Constitution Review Committee in July to recommend changes to the constitution before the 2015 elections. The 109-member committee includes lawmakers from all parties, including Suu Kyi’s party and President Thein Sein’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, along with the military’s allotted
representatives. The committee will collect suggestions from individuals, organizations and political parties and submit them to Parliament by the end of January. The NLD decided at a meeting Saturday to send suggestions on changing 168 points from 14 chapters of the constitution, including the article that disqualifies Suu Kyi from becoming president, said Win Myint, a senior party member. Article 59 of the constitution says anyone whose spouse or children owes allegiance to a foreign power cannot become president or vice president. Suu Kyi was married to the late British scholar Michael Aris, and her two sons are foreign citizens. Constitutional amendments require the consent of more than 75 percent of lawmakers, followed by more than 50 percent approval in a nationwide referendum.
NIAMEY (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of opposition supporters staged a protest rally yesterday against what they said was the failure of President Mahamadou Issoufou to improve living standards in Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries. The rally, in the capital Niamey, was the largest in Niger since pro-democracy protests against thenPresident Mamadou Tandja that helped to block his bid to serve a third term and ushered in a military coup that toppled him in February 2010. It was the first public show of strength by the Alliance for the Republic, Democracy and Reconciliation in Niger (ARDR), a coalition of 15 opposition parties formed in October. Last month, a court lifted a government ban on opposition marches. Police said some 20,000 people took part in yesterday’s rally, while organizers put the figure at 30,000. “Mahamadou Issoufou promised an end to food insecurity but the population
continues to be decimated by hunger and thirst,” said Amadou Hama, president of the National Assembly whose Nigerien Democratic Movement (MODEN) broke away from the ruling coalition this year. The ARDR was formed in response to the creation of a national unity government by Issoufou, including breakaway members of MODEN and former president Tandja’s National Movement for the Development of Society (MNSD). Hama and MNSD leader Oumarou Seyni are
regarded as the main challengers to Issoufou for the 2016 presidential election. Niger, with a fast-growing population of 17 million people, has some of the lowest government revenues per capita in Africa despite the start of oil production in 2011. Output is running at around 16,500 barrels a day, the IMF said in September. Niger, the world’s fourth largest uranium producer, is also seeking to renegotiate long-term mining contracts with French nuclear power firm Areva to increase tax revenues.
Sunday December 29, 2013
World athletics review 2013: Bolt the king... From page 55 title on offer since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, an astonishing feat he aims to carry through until the 2016 Games in Rio. The six-time Olympic gold medallist’s world medal haul now stands at eight gold, bringing him level with American women’s 200m specialist Allyson Felix, and retired US track stars Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson. Bolt’s Moscow performances were the perfect tonic for track and field after prechampionship positive doping tests for, among many others, top sprinters Tyson Gay of the United States, and Jamaican duo Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell
Brown. Turkey also banned 36 athletes for doping offences, including women’s Olympic 1,500 metres champion Asli Cakir Alptekin. International track and field was given a further boost in Moscow by the confirmation of Mo Farah as one of the best distance runners in the world. Farah emulated Ethiopian long-distance king Kenenisa Bekele by adding double world 5,000-10,000m gold to similar exploits at the 2012 London Olympics. Like Bolt, the Somali-born Briton dominated both races, controlling the pace with aplomb and each time producing his now-trademark
kick to burn off any opponents in the home strait. But he will likely leave his fans disappointed next year as he has opted to compete in the lucrative London Marathon rather than the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Russian athletes topped the medals table for the first time since 2001 with seven gold, one more than the United States, boosted by a “super Saturday” where the team enjoyed stunning victories in the women’s high jump and 4x400-metres relay. One stand-out performance at Moscow’s iconic Luzhniki Stadium featured Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva. The 31-year-old,
Sunday December 29, 2013 ARIES (March 21 - April 19): You may experience a bit of tension and resistance with someone during the early part of the day, but things will ease as evening draws near. People will be more flexible as the day wears on, and be more receptive to your perspective. ******************* TAURUS (April 20 - May 20): You may be caught in a difficult quandary. Your attention to other people's needs may draw you into dramas that you don't want to be part of. As a result, you may be indecisive and unsure of how to proceed. ****************** GEMINI (May 21 - June 20): Once you have your feelings under control, you can be more expansive in other parts of your life. You can branch out, reach toward others, and make important connections that will help move you toward success and good fortune. ******************** CANCER (June 21 - July 22): Instead of directing all your energy outward and dominating the conversation with your ideas, consider listening. Let ideas flow your way. ********************* LEO (July 23 - Aug. 22): Things will be moving more in your favor as the day wears on. An easygoing, sensitive energy dominates the atmosphere. It will be easier for you to be yourself. ******************* VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22): You may feel like you're spinning your wheels today, especially as the end of the day draws near. Nothing seems to be going your way.
LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22): You're in a good position to make a major breakthrough. Your sensitivity works to your advantage. It gives you insight into things that others miss. ********************* SCORPIO (Oct. 23 Nov. 21): Don't get too hooked on the free spirit that may dominate the morning hours. Have your fun at that time, but all good things must come to an end at some point. ******************** SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21): You may feel you're coming to a dramatic emotional climax regarding an issue that you take personally. There's a strong force stirring up your feelings, but that doesn't mean you have to spin out of control. .********************* CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19): Be careful of letting your erratic, willful nature dominate the scene. Go with the flow and be more sensitive to the people around you. Stay grounded, focused, and aware of your emotions. ******************** AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 F e b . 1 8 ) : You may be scolded for something you failed to take care of properly. There's a wonderfully expansive feeling to the day that you should capitalize on. ********************* PISCE S ( F e b . 1 9 March 20): The beginning of the day may start out boisterous and easygoing. The object of the game for you will be to have some fun.
who will now take an 18month break to start a family before contemplating a return at the 2016 Rio Olympics, brought the house down when she won her third world title, her first global championship victory since her triumph at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The victory made up in part for her comments seemingly backing a controversial new law in Russia that outlaws dissemination of information about homosexuality to minors. Pro-gay rights activists argue that the law could be used for a broad crackdown against homosexuals, and such was the backlash to Isinbayeva’s comments that the Russian was forced into issuing a statement saying she had been misunderstood.
World athletics governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) awarded their men and women’s athletes of the year to Bolt and his Jamaican teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who also claimed double sprint gold. Notably, there was for the first time an African presence on the podium in both the women’s 100 and 200m, US-based Ivorian Murielle Ahoure claiming two silvers, with Nigerian Blessing Okagbare also taking a 200m bronze. The shadow of doping remains, however, with 2014 likely to see further moves from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to regulate testing, particularly from national bodies.
Sunday December 29, 2013
“Happy New Year 2014! There must always be hope for the future of our cricket!” If you survived oil spills, deadly weather, road rage and gun-happy situations, Happy New Year 2014! What we can do is to not simply hope or pray for the best, but put things, and right people, into proper places and positions, to effect that special change that our cricket absolutely needs. Despite limited success, West Indies cricket cannot continue with business as usual! 2013 was a strange year, regionally, for our cricket, the most positive highlight being staging of inaugural Caribbean Premier League. Joy, excitement and entertainment were to be had! 2013 opened with West Indies playing Australia, in OZ, in ODI and T-20 series. West Indies lost the ODI’s 50, but, not surprisingly, won T-20 series. Having won ODI #1 v New Zealand to date, at least WI will not close 2013 as it started, but that series v NZ is not yet finished. Saturday night’s (Caribbean time) 2nd game will continue that story! West Indies confirmed, as previously predicted here, after winning ICC World T-20, in October 2012, that our team is much more comfortable for shorter forms of the game than in Tests. How they will breach that massive gap to being back in Test contention must be the objective for 2014. But wait! Something has already gone awry with that plan, has it not? Does this make any sense? How could present Head Coach, Ottis Gibson, be
Colin E. H. Croft says:
Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy leave the field and West Indies leave the tournament © PA Photos allowed to investigate himself, as recently proposed, that he and new Director of Cricket, Richard Pybus, are to plan West Indies’ resurgence into Test cricket, after the very distasteful, disgraceful Test debacles of India and New Zealand? Was it not the same Gibson at the head of the team when WI badly lost four, rain saving that fifth loss, of the last five Tests, in India and New Zealand, late in 2013? AND WE WONDER? 2014 must conjure up better than this! Where is the West Indies Prime Minister’s Committee
on cricket in all this? Where are political cricket lovers like Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, former Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson, even Trinidad & Tobago’s Sports Minister, Anil Roberts, in all this? So, West Indies first home series for 2013 was an easy 20 Test series win, and 3-0 ODI series win, v lowly Zimbabwe, a team just coming back to international cricket. Off spinner Shane Shillingford, to also feature in different situations late in 2013, was unplayable, 19 Test wickets in this series.
Severely dark clouds had already formed for him! Shillingford had previously been instructed by ICC to have his action corrected a year ago. This was supposedly done by the same West Indies coaching personnel, who allowed him to bowl on in 2013, only to be severely embarrassed again, his action again negated by ICC and its officials, in NZ. Is there not something wrong here, or am I crazy? I could not care less as to whom-so-ever bowler from any other international teams who may be “bowling” illegally. My concern is about West Indies cricketers, those who represent me! Initially, after his first assessment in Australia, it was the responsibility WICB and its coaches to ensure that Shillingford’s bowling action was properly ‘corrected’, so that he could pass ICC muster. Now that he has been, again, negated by ICC’s
umpires during West Indies tour of NZ 2013, it is again suggested that West Indies coaches must be the ones to ‘correct’ his action again. What! Is this not real full madness? Per that saying: “If you continue to do the same thing, then you can only expect to get the same results!” Anyway, many West Indies heads should have rolled after Champions Trophy, June 2013, in UK, when our senior batsmen at the crease, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, and team management personnel, seemed not to be able to either read or understand the highlighted Duckworth-Lewis computations. Thus the game v South Africa was tied, per Duckworth-Lewis, when, had West Indies not lost Pollard’s wicket on that last delivery before rain came, West Indies would have won and progressed to the semis.
For highlighting this ineptitude, I received e-mails and telephone calls, 13 minutes worth, from, supposedly, Grand Pooba of WI cricket, suggesting that “now is a new time for West Indies cricket, and that he and WICB would not tolerate me in West Indies cricket unless I change my critiquing style of West Indies cricket!” Well, you must have heard of Edward Swowden by now, who has leaked many of USA’s NSA secrets. I know for fact that, since 1989, all of my telephone calls and e-mails are always monitored, since I had worked for USA Federal Government and defence contractor United Technologies/Pratt & Whitney in the past. Hence, those e-mails and telephone calls made to me, mid-June 2013, still exist in voice and text. Also, India and Sri Lanka played tri-ODI series v WI, and Pakistan toured WI for ODI’s too, our team faring badly against each, before going to India and New Zealand to be further annihilated. 2013 was a poor international cricket year for WI. Hope for better in 2014. Enjoy!
Andy Murray claims first win World athletics review after returning from back injury 2013: Bolt the king of 2013 BBC Sport - Andy Murray has recorded his first victory since returning to tennis following a back operation. The Wi m b l e d o n champion and British number one beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3 6-4 at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Murray, 26, lost to JoWi l f r i e d Ts o n g a o n Thursday in his first match since having surgery in September. “It’s good to get two matches against top players,” said Murray. “It’s been a perfect start.” Murray, ranked fourth in the world, returns to
competitive action in the Exxon Mobil Open in Qatar next week as part of his preparations for the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on 13 January. The 2013 BBC Sports Personality of the Year added, “I feel pretty good; a lot better than I did a few months ago. I just need to play more matches like this because the intensity’s a lot higher than you can get in practice. “It was good to get two matches against top players. Everyone needs matches at this stage, especially me. It’s been a perfect start and hopefully I’ll get better.”
Andy Murray (Getty Images)
PARIS, FRance (AFP) — What would a year of track and field be without mention of the indomitable Usain Bolt at its fore, dragging the doping-mired sport out of the doldrums? The 2013 season was no different, the towering Jamaican again dominating the sprints and underlining his formidable track prowess by claiming double individual gold in the 100 and 200m at the Moscow World Athletics Championships, respectively, his second and third titles in the events. It means that apart from his false-start blip in the Daegu ‘Worlds’ 100m, Bolt has won every global sprint (continued on page 54)
GSCL Inc makes presentation to Romain XI for exhibition game The Georgetown Softball Cricket League Inc (GSCL Inc) yesterday presented a trophy to Romain XI for their participation in an exhibition match during the finals of the recently concluded Digimax tournament. In the game which was contested before the open final at Demerara Cricket Club ground, Romain XI went down to GSCL XI by 2 wickets. Romain XI batted
first and managed 87-9 off their allotted 10 overs with Kumar Sukhram top scoring with 30 while Suresh Ramdin made 22. Abdool Gamal snared 3-21 and Ganesh Ramkellawan 2-14. GSCL XI responded with 88-8 in 10 overs. Rafeek Ali led with 29 while Ram returned to hit 25; Yougeshwar Maniram claimed 3-18 and Fizal Ali 2-10. Speaking at the simple ceremony held at King’s
Jewellery in Quamina Street, Secretary of the GSCL Samuel Kingston said the organisation had a very good year in which a number of tournaments were played. He stated that the teams were very competitive and thanked Digimax for their input. Captain of Romain XI Ganesh Ramkellawan lauded the GSCL for promoting the sport and urged them to continue their good work.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Alika Morgan supports Kashif and Shanghai Secondary Schools football tourney
RCMTC&SF, PMTC and Shariff Racing stables express appreciation The executives and members of the Port Mourant Turf Club (PMTC) in collaboration with The Ryan Crawford Turf Club and Sports Facilities (RCMTC&SF) and The Shariff Business Establishment and Racing Stables is expressing heartfelt thanks to all those who assisted in making the just concluded horserace meet held on Sunday 22nd December at the PMTC race course a success. Coming in for special mention are – Banks DIH, the
Shariff Trucking Service and racing stable, Atlantic Marine Supply Inc. Toolsie Persaud Limited, Buffalo Energy Drink, Sankar Auto WorksValvoline, Phagoo Variety Store, Southland Incorporated, John Dere Company, Businessman Kit Scipio of USA and Guyana. Jai Sign, Khanai’s Electrical, Colin Elcock racing stables, Innovative Construction, Fazal Habubulla, Trophy Stall Bourda Market, Banks DIH Limited, Jumbo Jet Auto Sales and Racing Stables, Dequan Shipping, Kris Jagdeo
Construction, Lekeram ‘Buddy’ Sukhdeo, Romell Jagroop Construction and racing stables, Customs racing Stable and family, Businessman Shano Seenarine, Attorney at law R N Poonai, Delmur Shipping Company, G and B Singh Construction, and Lenny and Niranjan Singh and family along with the various media houses and the workers and staff of the three organisations. The organisers look forward to their continued support in the future.
Jumbo Jet, Horse Owners flies in with hefty package for today’s end of year meet Despite the inclement weather, preparation has been Over 100 racehorses entered completed for the $11M end of
Top distance athlete, Alika Morgan has often approached members of the corporate community for support towards her personal development, so naturally she understands the value of such support. The prolific athlete demonstrated a keen understanding of such support when she chipped in
year horserace meet slated for today at the Port Mourant Turf Club (PMTC) in collaboration with the Jumbo Jet Business entity and a number of Horse Owners. According to the organisers over 100 horses are set to race today in what is expected to be a grand day of gallops. Despite the intermittent showers the organisers have stated that the event will be run as the PMTC track, which is known for its resilience, is in excellent condition with the track being graded and rolled daily to keep it in the best of shape. With all the final ad j u s tments and rearrangements in place a number of major companies including Banks DIH Limited, Guyana Tourism Authority, Romel Jagroop Construction and Racing Stables, Mohammed ‘Nankoo’ Shariff Business Enterprise and racing Stables, Digicel, Trophy Stall, Customs Racing stable and family along with the Jumbo Jet Enterprise being those getting set to take off with major contributions. There are seven events listed, with full gates, all expected to light up
From page 61 split crowd support, Mr. Kerwin Clarke was crowned the overall winner and ultimately Mr. Guyana.” While athletes are eager to strut their stuff on the local scene, the opportunity to represent the land of their birth is always looked forward to with glee. The GABBFF sought to maintain their presence on the international scene and selected three of its seasoned campaigners to represent the Golden Arrowhead at the CAC championships that were held in the Dominican Republic. “Our athletes made Guyana proud in the Dominican Republic at CAC 2013; Devon Davis successfully defended his Flyweight (Under 132lbs) title which he won the previous year. Mr. Guyana, Kerwin Clarke, who was placed in the Welterweight (Under 165lbs) category that attracted 14 athletes, copped the bronze medal Ms. Alisha Fortune, though unsuccessful in the women’s open bodybuilding
the day’s action which is expected to get started at 12:30hrs. The D and lower event is now the feature match up on the day for hefty $1.5M and trophy which is the most for a D class event with a top notch field featuring the best horses. The likes of Swing Easy, Run Nana Run, Grande De Roja, Elle’s Vision, Settle In Seattle, Who is on the Case, Red and Lovely, Got To Go, Fresh Again, Country Armagh among others will be on show. The race is an open contest. The Three Year old race for horses bred and born in Guyana and the West Indies has a $1M reward for the winner and is expected to once again see the likes of Silent Night, She So Special, Cat Messiah, Monsoon, Gold Princess, It’s My turn, Another Jet, Princess Alisha and Sent from Above among those expected to take part. The Two year Guyana and West Indies Bred horses will once again see the likes of Shooting Star and Release the Beast, Today Is My day, Nobody Wants Me, Sunny Silence, Untouchable Girl, Unsettled and Silver Jet in battle for the $700,000 first
prize and trophy on offer. Captain Crook, Damascus Dream, Bridal Stone Corner, Rosetta, Gold Rush, Joyful Victory, Quiet Strom, Red Cloud and Fairy Landing are among the field expected to start in the usually competitive G1 and lower event for the $500,000 winner’s money and trophy. The race for Guyana bred three year old horses is for a pole position takings of $400,000 and trophy over 1200M will also see some of the three years old horses mentioned above in contention. The ‘I ‘and lower event is for a winning money of $250,000 and trophy. The J, K and L and lower event for a w i n n e r ’s p o c k e t o f $200,000 should see the likes of Smarty Light, Prince Bayaya, Famous Pride and Mageline among others. Slingers family will be proving musical entertainment, while a number of added attractions had been added for the full enjoyment of all including Trampoline and Ferris wheel. Nasrudeen ‘Jumbo Jet’ Mohamed is the coordinator. Race time is 12:30hrs. (Samuel Whyte)
with a tangible donation towards the success of the Kashif and Shanghai Secondary School football tournament and yesterday afternoon. Accompanied by her trainer, Leslie Blacks, she visited the Irving Street office of the K&S Entertainment Group where she donated two trophies for the Best Goalkeeper and the highest
goal scorer. Mr. Aubrey Major received the gift and expressed gratitude to Morgan while assuring her that the donation is of immense value. He also expressed similar sentiments to Mr. Blacks. Here, Ms Morgan (left) hands over the gift to a grateful Mr. Major
Bodybuilding continued its upward... competition rebounded to take the bronze medal in the Women’s Master’s bodybuilding category,” Bess reported. This achievement by the Guyanese athlete’s team was very encouraging as they all medaled. President Keavon Bess who accompanied the team expressed gratitude to the ambassadors for their hard work which brought them good returns. CAC Judge Mr. Frank Tucker was also part of the Guyanese contingent. Like CAC, in recent years Guyana has been sending representative teams to the Darcy Beckles competition which is held in the Land of the Flying Fish, Barbados. This year was no different as the Guyanese team was made up of Dwayne Mars, Abdul Shaheer, Candance Lynch, Alex Hamilton and Janica Sandy. Coach/Trainer was Winston Clement. While the team did not medal, Bess expressed gratitude to the athletes for the high level of discipline and
commitment they continued to show. The year rounded off with another successful show in November, ‘Muscle Explosion’ which was held at Kaylee’s Resort, Coverden, East Bank Demerara. The beach like atmosphere under the night skies was well received by the fans and with some more fine tuning, similar events at this venue will be a big hit. Devon Davis emerged as the winner of this show. Bess extended gratitude to the many sponsors who would have shown confidence in the federation by supporting all the events they held even the privately organised competitions. “I would really like to say thanks to all for their support on behalf of my executive and the body building fraternity. Without the support of all, we could not have enjoyed a very good year. We would like to wish them all the best for the Christmas season and a Prosperous and Productive 2014.”
Sunday December 29, 2013
GCA had remarkable 2013
Members of the DCC team pose with their prizes after winning the Hadi’s World Inc first division tournament in the presence of representatives of the sponsors and GCA. By Zaheer Mohamed The Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) had a remarkable 2013 in which they were able to run off a number of competitions at all levels. The year began with the final of the 2012/2013 Noble House Seafoods 2nd Division 2-day tournament which was won by Police who defeated Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC). This was followed by the Brain Street U-15 and the Banks Malta Supreme U-13 competitions. Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) Aand Gandhi Youth Organisation (GYO) were the respective champions; the latter overcame Everest and the former beat Transport Sports Club in the finals. The New Building Society (NBS) 2nd Division 40 overs tournament commenced with 14 teams in two zones. GCC top Zone A with Transport SC claiming the runner up spot, Muslim Youth Organisation (MYO) won Zone B while GYO placed second. GCC then continued their
dominance at this level by trouncing MYO in the final by 5 wickets. MYO were restricted for 170 and GCC responded with 171-5. GCC’s Winston Forrester with 4-41 and a top score of 55 received the man of the match award. Other notable performances in the tournament were Azeem Azeez of Transport SC for the best bowling performance (5 wickets versus GCC), Devon Lord of GCC for taking the most wickets (15), Chien Gittens and Zulfikar Ali of MYO the batsmen with the most runs (101 each vs GDF and St. Stanislaus respectively), Gittens batsman with the highest runs 278, Azeez MVP in zone A (98 runs and 13 wickets) and Gittens MVP in zone B (278 runs and 6 wickets). One of the most talented first division teams in the city Demerara Cricket Club emerged champions of the 2012-2013 Hadi’s World Inc first division 2 day tournament. They ended with 136 points, two ahead of
Members of the victorious GCC team with representatives of NBS runners up GCC. Players that received awards this tournament were Rajendra Chandrika of Everest for being the batsman with the highest individual score (222 vs TSC), Shaheed Mohamed of Everest best bowler (7-43 vs GCC), Leon Johnson of
Chico/Kashif & Shanghai Secondary Schools Football Tournament
Four teams to vie for final berths tomorrow afternoon The quality of football displayed in the current Chico/Kashif & Shanghai Secondary Schools Football Tournament over the past weeks has been exemplary but from all appearances the best is yet to come. The tournament has now reached the semi-final stage and tomorrow afternoon at the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) Ground, Bourda, St George’s Secondary will lock horns with Waramadong, while Ash Education will go head to head with Wismar
Multilateral in what is being touted as the calm before the storm. All four teams have earned their semi-final berths after crowd pleasing displays and the prognosis seems to suggest fierce battles to determine the two top teams that will clash for championship honours. Waramadong earned its semi-final spot Friday afternoon last at the expense of Charlestown Secondary whom they defeated 3-1 on penalty kicks after finishing regulation time on a 2-2
stalemate. Lyndel Joseph scored both of Waramadong’s goals (12 & 45), while Charlestown’s Shane Morris (39) and Owen James (90th) brought the situation back to equilibrium. Wismar Multilateral sealed off its semi-final spot after defeating Ash Secondary 5-2; Shane Luckie led the way for the winners with strikes in the 19th, 23th and 29th minutes with support from Ezra Ashbie (65) and Rolex John, three minutes after.
GCC bowler with the most wickets (22), Chandrika batsman with the highest score (449), Devon Charles (GCC) best fielder and
Johnson best all-rounder and MVP (291 runs and 22 wickets). The GCA wishes to thank its sponsors, Clubs, Umpires, Ground Staff,
Captains, Coaches, Players, Friends of Cricket and the Media for a successful 2013 and do look forward to a fruitful 2014.
Bowlers shine as T&T begin warm-up Trinidad Express - Port of Spain, Trinidad - The bowlers came up trumps in Trinidad and Tobago’s first practice match ahead of the 2014 50over season, a low-scoring affair at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain Thursday with batsmen struggling to put runs on the board. Team A cruised to an easy seven-wicket win in just 25.5 overs, in a match reduced to 40 overs due to early morning showers, which kept the players off the field. Team B, featuring Kjorn Ottley, Steven Katwaroo, Yannick Ottley, Yannic Cariah, Sherwin Ganga and Marlon Richards, were put in to bat first and could only muster 108 off 36.3 overs. Team A replied with 109 for three off 25.5 overs to win by seven wickets.
The top score from Team A came from Ranga Lachana, who hit 28 before he was caught by wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran off the bowling of Ricky Jaipaul with the score on 71 for five. Yannick Ottley (20), Petrock Nicholas (12) and Yannic Cariah (11 not out) were the only other batsmen to make double figures, as Pooran held on to five catches behind the stumps. For Team A, Kevon Cooper (two for 17), Navin Stewart (two for 25), Samuel Badree (two for 24), Ricky Jaipaul (two for 21) and Derone Davis (two for eight) all took two wickets each. Left-arm pacer Tevin Robertson was the only bowler from Team A to go wicket-less, but he was economical, conceding just
12 runs in his five overs, which included one maiden, helping to put pressure on the batsmen. When Team A batted, Justin Guillen and Adrian Barath put on 36 runs for the first wicket to set the platform for the successful chase. Guillen made 22 before he was trapped lbw by his Queen’s Park Cricket Club teammate Daron Cruickshank. Cariah dismissed Barath for 23 in the 15th over with the score on 55, before Cruickshank struck again in the next over to send back another Parkite in Jonathan Augustus for six to give Team B some hope of defending their small total. But an unbeaten 51-run stand between Jason Mohammed (23 not out) and Imran Khan (25 not out) ensured victory for their team.
Softball cricket gained more popularity in 2013
Sunday December 29, 2013
Good year for motor racing despite challenges By Rawle Welch
Members of the Regal open and over 35 teams after display their accolades with officials of the GSCL Inc Softball cricket continued to gain popularity in 2013. Tournaments were keenly contested by teams from across Guyana for huge purses. The Georgetown Softball Cricket League Inc (GSCL Inc) successfully held a number of competitions; the first which was sponsored by Digimax saw Regal beating
Wolf’s Warriors and Industry Super Kings in the open and over 35 categories respectively. Regal Stationery and Computer Centre came on board for the second competition which was contested in three divisions; the open 10\10, the over 35 20 overs and the female 10\10.
Regal continued their dominance by capturing all three titles. Regal and Wolf’s Warriors were declared joint winners in the following tournament after rain prevented any play. The Guyana Floodlight Softball Cricket Association then staged the Guyana Softball Cup 3 where teams
from New York, Florida and Canada competed with local teams. Trophy Stall of Georgetown won the open title after trouncing Wolf’s Warriors of West Coast Demerara in the final and Better Hope All Star of New York claimed the over 40 crown after defeating Industry Super Kings.
Top Junior Tennis players end the year on a winning note In the recently held Trophy Stall Doubles Tennis Tournament, President of the Guyana Tennis Association (GTA) expressed his delight at the Men’s Doubles Champions being the top junior pair of Daniel Lopes and Gavin Lewis. “It was the best Men’s Doubles Finals we have seen in recent times. It is great to see the junior boys finally penetrating the senior categories,” he stated in his remarks at the closing ceremony. “We work very hard towards making more young players elevate their standard of tennis.” In the final of the which lasted over 2 ½ hours, the seasoned pair Leyland Leacock/Nicholas Fenty started out as expected and immediately took control of the match with powerful serves followed up with solid volleys and they secured the set at 6-3. In the second set, an early break helped to tilt the momentum in the direction of the Lopes/Lewis pair who gained confidence and started to unleash powerful passing shots to take the second set 6-2 and even the match. The third set saw the younger Lopes/ Lewis being able to maintain their high energy levels and outplayed Leacock/Fenty with a full repertoire of strokes to win the third set 6-3 and secure their first ever Men’s Doubles title with a score of 3-6,6-2,6-3.
The respective category winners display their trophies. On their way to the final, they defeated Jason Andrews/Ronald Murray 76,6-4 in the semi-finals while Leyland Leacock/Nicholas Fenty defeated Carlos Adams/Godfrey Lowden 46,6-2,6-2. The tournament, which lasted three weekends at the Le Ressouvenir Tennis Club, featured Guyana’s top doubles teams and was played in five categories; Mixed Doubles, Novice Medley Doubles, Ladies Doubles, Men’s Doubles, Men’s Over 35 Doubles. Tournament Sponsor Ramesh Sunich, proprietor of
Trophy Stall, who was unavoidably absent, pledged his continued support for the sport in return for years of a great relationship with the association. In other categories, Novice Medley Doubles (Round Robin): Winner - Victor Demchenko/ Tatiana Styallina who defeated Philbert Clarke/ Delon Fraser 6-3 and also defeated Orande Dainty/ Robert Bostwick 6-2. Orande Dainty/Robert Bostwick defeated Jamal Goodluck/ Tandy Primo 6-2. Men’s Over35 (Round Robin): Winner -
Carlos Adams/Godfrey Lowden who defeated Harry Panday/Stephen DavidLonge 6-2, 6-0. Carlos Adams/ Godfrey Lowden def Rawle Sue-Ho/Owen Lewis 6-3, 6-1. In Mixed Doubles (Single Elimination): Leyland Leacock/ Shelly Daly-Ramdyhan defeated Gavin Lewis/Nicola Ramdyhan 4-6, 6-1,6-3. In Ladies Doubles (Round Robin): Shelly DalyRamdyhan/Nicola Ramdyhan def Shawna Gentle/Afrucia Gentle 6-3,6-3. Shawna Gentle/Afrucia Gentle defeated Denise Barrington/ Jamaali Homer 6-2,6-2.
Despite experiencing some challenges, local motor racing enjoyed another flourishing year which culminated with Guyana winning the overall title at the Caribbean Championship that ended in November, at the South Dakota Circuit. The Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club (GMR&SC), the Body responsible for organising the sport here in Guyana, had to endure an initial challenge by a breakaway faction that eventually dissipated after dialogue, while a number of other issues that could have knocked off balance the year’s scheduled events were settled in due course. The club was able to run off its Drag and Endurance events, while the local Meets, though they experienced a somewhat below par attendance, saw most of the top competitors compete, an essential prerequisite for preserving interest in the sport. Guyana s i g n a l l e d i t s intention to wrest the Caribbean title after some encouraging performances during the first leg of the Series in Jamaica when Kevin J e ff r e y a n d A f r a z A l l i e showed some fight against their regional counterparts. The two returned home and immediately went into full scale preparations to c o m b at the anticipated showdown against the Barbadians and Jamaicans, the two countries that posed the most serious threat to their ambitions to win the overall crown. Both Jeffrey and Allie proceeded to dominate the local scene, beating their rivals c o m f o r t a b l y, b u t m o r e importantly took the opportunity to assess their respective machines ability to compete with success against the impending opposition from the rest of the Caribbean and the Diaspora. Encouraged by their dominant performances, Jeffrey and Allie along with
Mark Vi e i r a , Shairaz Roshandin, Andrew King and St e p h e n Vi e i r a w e n t i n t o overdrive in their preparations, all aimed at doing well before their home support, while also seeking to halt the dominance of Jamaican Doug Gore’s Audi TT whose reputation as the fastest car in regional motor racing leading up to the November Meet was undisputed after winning all three Caribbean races in his homeland. However, Jeffrey and company seemed determined to bring to an end the Jamaican supremacy and countless hours were spent preparing their respective cars. Though costly, it proved to be the right decision as Gore shattered the previously existing lap record during qualification, but Jeffrey and Vieira had other plans on race day as they totally dominated the Jamaican in an impressive display, before an extremely large turnout, perhaps the largest anywhere in the Region for 2013. Motor racing has the potential to take off in Guyana not only as a spectator sport, but a sports tourism product as well and if administered properly could generate huge economic revenue for this country. The visit by FIA President Jean Todt also served to put Guyana on the map as a motor racing country and while we may not be able at this point in time to host or even attract some of th e m o r e e s t a b l i s h e d racers to come and compete here, the imminent support promised by the FIA to upgrade the South Dakota C i r c u i t t o i n t e rnational standards could see us in the very near future become a regional destination for much bigger motor racing events. The GMR&SC, despite its shortcomi n g s , m u s t b e proud of the work done this year in being able to sustain t he momentum gained over the previous years of hosting the final leg of the Caribbean Championship.
Turning Point dominoes on today Twenty seven teams will battle for supremacy when the Turning Point 20\20 dominoes competition commences today at Turning Point venue starting at 14:00hrs. Entrance fee is $10,000 and the winning team will receive $100,000, the runner up $60,000 and third place $40,000. Among the teams set to take part are Rage, Mix Up, Thunder, TNT, Wild Bunch and Transport.
Sunday December 29, 2013
NBA roundup: Durant scores 34, Thunder beat Bobcats 89-85 CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kevin Durant had 34 points and 12 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder held on to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats 89-85 Friday night without injured guard Russell Westbrook. The Thunder announced before the game that Westbrook had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and will be out until after the AllStar break. Durant scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and finished 14 of 28 from the field. Serge Ibaka had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who have won seven straight road games and 11 of 12 overall. Reggie Jackson started in place of Westbrook, shooting 4 of 19 from the floor. The Thunder escaped after Josh McRoberts missed a wide-open 3-pointer with 3 seconds left. KINGS 108, HEAT 103, OT SACRAMENTO, Calif. — DeMarcus Cousins had 27 points and 17 rebounds, Rudy Gay scored 26 and Sacramento rallied from an early 17-point deficit to beat undermanned Miami in overtime. Isaiah Thomas added 22 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to help the Kings snap Miami’s six-game winning streak. Gay made a tying jumper in the final minutes of regulation, and Sacramento quickly pulled away in the extra period to bring the sellout crowd of 17,317 roaring to its feet. LeBron James finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Chris Bosh had 18 points and seven rebounds for the two-time defending NBA champions. Miami played without Dwyane Wade (rest), Ray Allen (right knee tendinitis) and Chris Andersen (sore back). WARRIORS 115, SUNS 86 OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry had career highs of 16 assists and 13 rebounds to go with 14
points, and Golden State beat Phoenix for its fourth straight victory. Klay Thompson scored 21 points for the Warriors and David Lee added 17. P.J. Tucker had 11 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Suns, who had won three straight and eight of nine. It was Phoenix’s worst defeat of the season. Curry, who played 1 minute of the fourth quarter, had a rough shooting night and made just one of six 3point attempts. He more than made up for it with his passing and rebounding for his third career triple-double. MAGIC 109, PISTONS 92 ORLANDO, Fla. — Arron Afflalo scored 23 points to lead five teammates in double figures and Orlando snapped a three-game skid by beating Detroit. The Magic led the Pistons by as many as 22 and cruised in the fourth quarter. Nik Vucevic added 20 points and 11 rebounds, and rookie Victor Oladipo finished with 16 points and a career-high 11 assists. The victory also halted a five-game home losing streak for the Magic, who hadn’t won at the Amway Center since the day before Thanksgiving. Brandon Jennings had 21 points for the Pistons, who had won three in a row on the road. PELICANS 105, NUGGETS 89 NEW ORLEANS — Tyreke Evans had 19 points and 10 assists, and New Orleans handed Denver its fifth straight loss. Jrue Holiday had 17 points and four steals, causing two turnovers that led to late fast-break points as the Pelicans slammed the door on Denver’s comeback bid. Anthony Davis added 17 points and four blocked shots despite playing sparingly in the first half because of three early fouls. Wilson Chandler scored 22 points and J.J. Hickson
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant (35) gestures after making a 3-point shot against the Charlotte Bobcats during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 (Associated Press) added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who trailed by 18 in the second quarter but were as close as 93-87 on Quincy Miller’s 3-pointer with 2:55 to go. RAPTORS 95, KNICKS 83 NEW YORK — Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan scored 25 and Toronto rallied to beat New York. The Raptors trailed by 12 in the third quarter, but outscored the Knicks 29-12 in the fourth to take the opener of the home-and-home series. Kyle Lowry had 15 points and 11 assists for the Atlantic Division leaders, who host the Knicks on Saturday with a chance to extend their lead to five games over last season’s division champions. Andrea Bargnani had 18 points and 12 rebounds against his former team. Beno Udrih finished with 15 points and 10 assists for the Knicks, who played again without Carmelo Anthony because of a sprained left ankle. JAZZ 105, LAKERS 103 SALT LAKE CITY — Derrick Favors had 18 points and 14 rebounds and made a putback dunk with 2.1 seconds remaining to lift Utah
Darren Bravo returns home from New Zealand NAPIER, New Zealand (CMC) – West Indies batsman Darren Bravo will miss the remainder of the OneDay International (ODI) series and Twenty20 matches against New Zealand following his departure from the team due to personal reasons. The left-hander departed Auckland for Trinidad yesterday, according to the
West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). No further reasons were given for his departure, but the WICB said that there will be no replacement for Bravo in the West Indies ODI squad, which has now been reduced to 14. Bravo scored 14 in the first ODI, which West Indies won in Auckland and an aggregate 262 runs from four innings in the Test series,
including 218 in the first Test at Dunedin. Bravo’s absence means Kirk Edwards, who scored seven runs in two innings in the Test series and carried the drinks in the first ODI, will likely fill the slot in the top order for the rest of the tour. West Indies take a one-nil lead into the second ODI at Napier on Sunday (Saturday night Caribbean time).
over depleted Los Angeles. With the game tied at 103, Gordon Hayward drove to the basket on Utah’s final possession but missed his off-balance attempt as the Lakers converged. Favors
grabbed the rebound and slammed the ball through the hoop to snap Utah’s fourgame home losing streak. Hayward finished with 24 points and nine assists. Nick Young scored 21 points in 27 minutes before fouling out with 5:45 remaining and Chris Kaman had a season-high 19 points starting in place of Pau Gasol, who was out with a respiratory infection. TIMBERWOLVES 120, WIZARDS 98 MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Love had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and J.J. Barea scored 17 points off the bench to help Minnesota top Washington. Ricky Rubio had 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in 26 minutes, and Nikola Pekovic added 18 points and 10 boards for the Timberwolves. Minnesota outrebounded Washington 44-35 and only turned the ball over five times. John Wall had 26 points
and seven assists for the Wizards, who missed a chance to win their fourth straight road game for the first time since March 2008. Nene added 13 points and five rebounds, but Bradley Beal had to be helped off the floor in the fourth quarter with a left leg injury. NETS 104, BUCKS 93 NEW YORK — Shaun Livingston scored 20 points, Mirza Teletovic added 19 off the bench and Brooklyn rebounded from an embarrassing Christmas Day performance by ending its four-game losing streak with a victory over Milwaukee. Paul Pierce added 13 points for the Nets, who lost by 17 in each of their previous two games. Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Khris Middleton added 15 points and eight boards. Brooklyn led by as many 23 in the fourth quarter before the Bucks made a late run.
Kallis pushes South Africa towards 300 From page 54 rattling along at about five an over after lunch, India were looking ragged, and though Jadeja brought in a measure of control, de Villiers had just hit a reverse-swept boundary and the deficit was below 100. Jadeja then got the ball to spin sharply, taking the outside edge through to slip to end a burgeoning partnership. That sucked the momentum out of the innings, as JP Duminy took his time to settle in and Kallis couldn’t force the pace either. Kallis reached his half-century soon after de Villiers’ dismissal, but scored just five singles off his next 40 deliveries as Jadeja kept a leash on the scoring. In the 15 post de Villiers overs till tea, South Africa made 27. India opted against the new ball and with Jadeja and Rohit bowling in the fading light, South Africa crawled to 32 off nearly 16 overs, losing Duminy in the process as well. Progress had been more brisk in the morning from South Africa, before Jadeja’s bounce provided the first wicket of the morning. Graeme Smith looked to smash the ball over the leg side, but it hit high on the bat and swirled to midwicket, where Shikhar Dhawan sprinted back and safely collected the ball as it fell over his shoulder. Hashim Amla’s dry spell continued when he played down the wrong line to a Mohammed Shami delivery to lose his offstump, and off the very next ball, the set Alviro Petersen was surprised by the
Ravindra Jadeja celebrates the wicket of Graeme Smith. (Associated Press) bounce from Jadeja to glove a catch to first slip. Again, it was a sharp catch, with M Vijay diving forward to pouch a low chance. South Africa had lost three wickets for 10 runs and had two new batsmen in the middle, There was only a small crowd in considering it was an early start, but they made plenty of noise as Kallis walked out to bat and was greeted by a guard of honour from India. The emotion of the moment didn’t seem to affect Kallis, as he set about thwarting India’s bowlers. He was helped by the offcolour India attack. Ishant Sharma was back to his profligate self, providing gifts on the leg stump, and Zaheer Khan wasn’t able to consistently threaten either.
Shami was the pick of the medium-pacers, getting the ball to regularly reverse in and constantly hitting speeds near 140kph. While Kallis was quiet early on, De Villiers took on Jadeja by lofting him straight towards the sightscreen. Kallis was struck on the arm by Zaheer Khan, and took his time gauging the track before opening up with a couple of cracking aerial hits down the ground off Jadeja. There was also a classic backfoot punch from Kallis off Ishant before lunch, but the strokes were shelved in the final two hours of play, leaving South Africa plenty to do on the fourth morning. Scores: South Africa 299 for 5 (Kallis 78*, Jadeja 4-87) trail India 334 by 35 runs.
Sunday December 29, 2013
Australia gifted a reprieve by broken England ESPNcricinfo - Some years ago, during Australia’s run of Ashes dominance, a banner appeared at the SCG with the words “if the Poms bat first, let’s tell the taxi to wait”. It would have been an altogether appropriate placard for day three of the Boxing Day Test, as England kicked away a position of enormous advantage with feckless batting at a raucous MCG. In doing so they opened up the possibility of a 4-0 margin to Michael Clarke’s team, with Chris Rogers and David Warner knocking off 30 of the 231 runs required by the close. The target remains challenging, but is nowhere near the figure Alastair Cook had in mind when he and Michael Carberry had cantered to 0 for 65 shortly after lunch. Mitchell Johnson was again the catalyst for much of this mayhem, dismissing Cook for 51 and later conjuring a run out amid a slide of 3 for 1 in six balls. In all, 10 English wickets fell for 114, Nathan Lyon claiming most of the spoils with 5 for 50, including his 100th Test wicket - Stuart Broad taken at slip by Clarke - and that of Kevin Pietersen, who resisted stoutly once more until the rush of wickets compelled him to lash out. The scars of such
a reversal can be lasting, and it was a telling indicator of England’s brittle confidence that they would follow their stand out day of the series with an equally strong contender for their worst though this is admittedly a category with many nominees. A common denominator no matter where or when such problems have occurred is the vanishing of the touring tail. In what has become a scenario almost as inevitable in this series as death and taxes, the last five England wickets evaporated, this time for six runs in 40 balls. No starker contrast could be provided with Australia than the way in which Lyon and Brad Haddin squeezed 40 runs from their last wicket partnership in the morning. Haddin’s 65 gave him the highest aggregate by a wicketkeeper in any Ashes series, while Lyon’s eagerness to contribute in whatever way he can is emphasised by the fact that Australia’s No. 11 now has made 53 runs for the series without being dismissed. Even so, England began their second innings with an advantage of 51, and Cook was particularly positive in approach to stretch the lead.
Nathan Lyon claimed a five-wicket haul. (Getty Images)
Carberry was happy to ride in his leader’s slipstream, their vast scoring differential of little concern to England as their advantage mounted. Clarke, so dominant for
BCCI to wait for Supreme Court clarification on Modi ban
ESPNcricinfo - The BCCI has decided to seek clarification from the Supreme Court regarding its resolution to ban former IPL chairman Lalit Modi for life. The decision was taken at a working committee meeting on Saturday, in the wake of Modi’s expected return to cricket administration as the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) president. “The members decided that the BCCI must intervene in the SLP (special leave petition) filed by Mr. Rungta in the Supreme Court challenging the Rajasthan Sports Act and get clarified the position of BCCI to enable the enforcement of its resolution passed on September 25, 2013 expelling Mr. Lalit Modi,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement. While expelling Modi on multiple charges of misconduct, the BCCI had said, “he shall not in future be entitled to hold any position or office, or be admitted in any Committee or any member or associate member of the Board”. Modi, however, got his candidature for the RCA presidency approved by the Supreme
The issue over Lalit Modi’s return to cricket administration despite his ban rumbles on © Getty Images Court by exploiting a technicality that the RCA was governed by the Rajasthan Sports Act. The BCCI is likely to file an application in the ongoing case, filed by former RCA chief Kishore Rungta, in the Supreme Court before the next hearing on January 6. In the lead-up to the RCA election on December 19, the BCCI had warned its affiliate of severe consequences if they allowed Modi to return as an administrator. At Saturday’s meeting the
working committee decided to take severe action against the RCA, pending the Supreme Court’s decision, but in a manner that would not harm the state association’s cricketers. “It was further decided that subject to the decision of the Supreme Court, strict disciplinary action should be taken against the delinquent member while protecting the interest of the game in the state of Rajasthan,” Patel said. According to a member who attended the meeting, while it was agreed the association had to be “taught a lesson”, the board also agreed that it “shouldn’t harm the players who are at no fault”. Minutes before the working committee meeting was about to begin, Mehmood Abdi, Modi’s attorney and RCA’s deputy president-in-waiting, was prevented from attending. Following an RCA executive committee’s decision to make a case before the BCCI, Abdi had flown to Chennai for the meeting. However, because the RCA isn’t a member of the working committee and Abdi was not a special invitee, his request to attend was refused.
much of the series, was left bereft of options, and called on Shane Watson to bowl either side of lunch despite the allrounder’s suffering of a groin strain in the first innings. He bowled gingerly but could not take a wicket as the lead grew to 105 by the interval. England’s batsmen could envisage an afternoon’s quiet accumulation, but the selfdestructive tendencies that have bedevilled them this series were to rear dramatically and disrupt Cook and Carberry’s earlier serene
progress. Cook had been fluent, but on 51 was pinned in front by Johnson’s movement back at him, Aleem Dar judging the ball would have gone on to take leg stump - Cook did not review. Joe Root walked out to build the lead, but second ball might easily have been walking back to the rooms. Johnsons and Haddin went up for a caught behind appeal as the ball fizzed across Root’s defensive blade, and so did Dar’s finger. After a slight delay, Root reviewed, and the absence of any HotSpot or Real-Time Snicko evidence had Billy Bowden reversing the decision. Any thoughts that this close call would allow England to settle down were to be scotched by the mounting pressure on a muted Carberry, who had faced 81 balls for his 12 runs when Peter Siddle struck him in line from around the wicket and won another lbw verdict. Next over, Root chanced a single to Johnson’s strong left arm at mid-off and lost when the fast man’s throw clattered the stumps. Then to general astonishment, Ian Bell chipped his first ball into Johnson’s hands after Nathan Lyon had floated the ball up to the bat. Australia’s fielders celebrated wildly, for they were back into a match that had looked well and truly out of reach. Pietersen and Ben Stokes resisted usefully for a time, their 44-run union threatening to blossom into something greater before Lyon tempted Stokes into a lofted drive that lobbed obligingly into the hands of Steve Smith, posted
precisely a little more than half way to the long-off boundary. Pietersen and Bairstow added another 42, taking England to the edge of supremacy given Melbourne’s history of giving up few lofty fourth innings chases. But Johnson returned to coax an edge from Bairstow and engage in a heated confrontation with Pietersen after the batsman pulled awaydue to movement near the sight screen, heralding the breathless passage in which Lyon claimed three wickets and raised the ball to the crowd for his fourth Test five-for as gusty winds swept the outfield. Tim Bresnan swished on the back foot and was bowled, though required replay confirmation after rather brusquely standing his ground. Broad nicked a nice off break to slip, and a cornered Pietersen skied an attempt to drive Lyon into the Great Southern Stand and was pouched by Harris, who did well not to be distracted by the swirling air currents. Johnson then charged in to pin Monty Panesar lbw and so allow Rogers and Warner eight overs before the close. Calmly and smoothly they compiled 30 without loss, Rogers punching through cover from the day’s final ball to push Australia closer. The taxi can wait. Scores: Australia 204 (Haddin 65, Rogers 61, Anderson 4-67) and 0 for 30 (Warner 12*, Rogers 18*) need 201 to beat England 251 and 179 (Cook 51, Lyon 5-50).
Kallis pushes South Africa towards 300 ESPNcricinfo - In his final Test, Jacques Kallis methodically reached yet another half-century and left people wondering why he wasn’t carrying on in the longest format. He remained on course for a farewell hundred, and with the help of AB de Villiers, who conjured a 50-plus score for the 10th Test in a row, took South Africa to a solid position before rain and bad light stopped play an hour after tea. India had begun the day well, with three wickets early on, before Kallis and de Villiers got together and blunted the attack with a 127run stand. While an undisputed alltime great, the questions over whether Kallis’ batting is dominant enough have never really gone away. Those doubts will be back in circulation after his sluggish
scoring rate towards the end of the day. He showed little enterprise against even a parttimer like Rohit Sharma and South Africa scored at below two an over at a time when they needed to get the game moving. The one bright spot in the Indian attack was Ravindra Jadeja who, in his first Test as the lead spinner, put an end to discussions over whether he should have been picked ahead of R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha. He didn’t just play a containing role supporting the quicks; he did contain the runs as he wheeled in over after over, but also made four breakthroughs to make sure South Africa didn’t run away with the game. The most important of those was of de Villiers midway through the second session. South Africa were (Continued on page 59)
Jacques Kallis raises the bat after reaching his fifty. (Associated Press)
Sunday December 29, 2013
Bodybuilding continued its upward climb in 2013 By Franklin Wilson Bodybuilding in 2013 has continued its encouraging climb up the ladder of popularity. While the sport is all about showcasing well sculpted, toned and defined bodies, it also encourages persons to adapt healthy lifestyles through exercising and healthy eating. It is as a result of eating well and exercising consistently that our athletes are able to grace the stage to excite their fans and supporters as they try to out duel each other through the eyes of the judges. The year 2013 has been very encouraging according to President of the Guyana Amateur Body Building and Fitness Federation (GABBFF), Keavon Bess. The federation he said was able to bring off all the required shows as well as send a representative team to the CAC Championships and the Darcy Beckles competition. Bess pointed out that there would have been vast improvement in the number of athletes and the quality of bodies gracing the stages during the year. “We are pleased that more persons are expressing interest in competing and the level of competition has
New Year will be even better – Bess
GABBFF President Keavon Bess (centre) raises the hands of Mr. Guyana Kerwin Clarke (right) and Devon Davis at the end of Senior’s 2013. risen locally. Our Novice competition was very successful and the audience went away pleased with the level of competition that was presented to them. Mr.
Dwayne Mars was crowned overall Novice winner.” The federation’s senior competition in July was held under the theme, ‘Bodies of Steel’ and was deemed
successful, attracting athletes from X-Treme Fitness, Total Fitness, Muscle Mania, Interline Fitness, Windero, Guyana
Defence Force and Budd’s Gyms. “Seniors was very successful and saw us returning to the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall
(CASH) which created a more intimate atmosphere for the fans. After a night of intense muscle flexing and (Continued on page 56)
t r o Sp
GSCL Inc makes presentation to Romain XI for exhibition game P.56
Darren Bravo returns home from New Zealand Darren Bravo has been one of the main performers for West Indies on the New Zealand tour ÂŠ AFP
Mellisa Persaud (left) of GSCL Inc presents the trophy to Romain XI skipper Ganesh Ramkhellwan
Good year for motor racing despite challenges
The massive crowd that motor racing is able to generate which could ultimately serve as a sports tourism product.
Chico/Kashif & Shanghai Secondary Schools Football Tournament
Four teams to vie for final berths tomorrow afternoon Printed and published by National Media & Publishing Company Limited, 24 Saffon St.Charlestown, Georgetown.Tel: 225-8465, 225-8491 or Fax: 225-8473/ 226-8210