Tuesday December 31, 2013
Letters... Where your views make the news Printed and Published by National Media & Publishing Company Ltd. 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana. Publisher: GLENN LALL Editor: Adam Harris Tel: 225-8465, 225-8491. Fax: 225-8473, 226-8210
Preserving our roads Infrastructure: The word practically screams government. Four syllables, a bit impenetrable. But in fact it’s efficient. It encompasses the environment in which we function. In one word you get roads, bridges, tunnels, interchanges, even sewer lines and networks for drinking water and the port in Baltimore. Transportation infrastructure is as important in Georgetown as it is anywhere. People who use the roads insist that they have to be provided with roads that would not beat up their cars or have bridges collapse beneath them, with lethal consequences. Parts of the Essequibo Coast are suffering from a flood that resulted from collapsed infrastructure. The Regional Administration refused to heed the warnings that a dam that borders the conservancy was collapsing. Now farmers have lost crops and livestock. Regrettably, transportation infrastructure across the entire country is suffering from neglect. The need for upkeep and new investment far outstrips the money that has been devoted to it in the national budgets by the Central Government. Transportation must compete with other expenditures that are also expensive and probably have more fervent advocates, such as defense and health care. The money supports not only the major roadways but also account for half the funding regional authorities devote to their primary roads, but which government cuts from their budgets. Parliament has been appropriating additional funds for transportation to meet critical needs that cost too much for what the trust fund provides. That’s why Parliament should do the right thing: put aside arbitrary pledges and raise certain taxes such as container taxes which are still to be implemented, and other heavy vehicle taxes whose purchasing power erodes because of inflation. Gasoline is already heavily taxed but the money does not go to infrastructure. Instead the government uses as part of its earnings in the same way it uses the funds it accrues from its imports. Yes, there is a risk to the economy in reducing the discretionary income people have to spend by increasing essential costs. Paying more the containers would be essential for the vast majority of consumers. The cost of getting foodstuffs to supermarkets and eateries and new furniture down the road would go up. The revenue from higher taxes would not be spent foolishly. It would be dedicated to repaving roads, shoring up decades-old bridges, upgrading intersections and building new roads to accommodate an ever-expanding populace. The United States is grappling with the problem of maintaining its roads and other infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that $2.7 trillion is needed in the next seven years to support transportation and other infrastructure to keep the United States competitive. Increasing the gas tax as proposed would generate $170 billion over 10 years, so it is only a small start. Sadly, Guyana does not have the luxury of such funding. For one it has a small population. It also produces primary products and more than anything else, it has lost almost all of its skills. The work ethic of its people is far different from the Americans with the result that the government feels that whatever it pays is enough for the work the public servants generate. In Washington DC, Blumenauer, commenting on the issue of higher taxes, said that a wide swath of interests will coalesce behind his proposal, including AAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the construction and trucking industries. We see the gas tax increase as one that people can sensibly back as cause-and-effect: A little more money in taxes equates to better roads. But this cannot be the same for Guyanese who are over taxed. Tax the big importers who also use the roads. Infrastructure crumbles slowly until a breakdown comes all at once. Guyana is no stranger to such collapse. It has seen the collapse of sea defences; the collapse of roads and bridges off the beaten track and even the collapse river transport on occasions.
A closer look at the tendering process DEAR EDITOR, This government has announced the repeat performance of the recycling circus. After all, its Lord Explainer had said on November 19 that the Cabinet had withdrawn its agreement with the “form” of the MoU which no one published. We shall see whether he meant the use of that method of procuring, or the way the MOU was written. It is tempting to review the other positions taken during the whole disgraceful episode. Since corruption watchers found the government’s withdrawal encouraging, I shall try instead to show how the Procurement Act allows full control of tendering by the government, and why it has opposed the Procurement Commission as provided in the Constitution. Until Guyana’s most resourced contractor took the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to court, this seemed to be the order of the day.
The tendering process is what we Guyanese used to call “a wheel in a wheel.” There is a National Procurement and Tender Administration (NPTA) with a governing Board which is not really national. The Board is wholly appointed by the Minister of Finance and is legally responsible to the Minister for its functions. Of the maximum membership of 7 members, no more than 5 must come from the Public Service, and no more than 3 must come from the private sector. The Minister must consult the representative Private Sector organisation before appointing any members from that sector. The Board therefore represents the choice of one party, the ruling party. The PPP/C did not get a majority at the 2011 elections. Yet no other party has a voice in creating the Administration that decides how contracts are awarded. The Broadcasting Authority
Board has one single member from the majority- of-one opposition. In name, the Board is at the top of the NPTA, but that is so in name only. Under Section 53 of the Procurement Act, these Board members must carry out any “general or special directions given by Minister in the exercise of their legal powers and the execution of their duties.” The section does not say whether the directions must be written or oral or what topics they may cover. Three of the members of this “national” Board are selected and appointed by the Minister as full-time members. The Minister appoints one of the full-time members as Chairperson. We can assume that these are the “hands- on” full-time tender handlers with full knowledge of what goes into the NPTA. The other members are part -time members, with parttime knowledge of tender matters. The law says that all
Board members must be well known for their integrity and expertise. We have seen that integrity and expertise have a limit in the process. We have seen that the Minister has power to give directions to the Board. Sections 55 and 56 make it a crime for procurement Bodies or any member or members of a Body to disclose information contained in any document coming to their notice in the course of their work. When we look at the tendering process, this provision serves no other purpose than to threaten whistleblowers. It recalls a provision in the former regime’s Public Corporations Act, which raised a storm. The National Board appointed by the Minister then appoints its working organs called Bodies; the Secretariat to do the day to day work of the Administration and the “pool of evaluators” to scrutinise the tenders and required documents to the full. The (Continued on page 23)
The fault is not in our Parliament, it lies squarely on this arrogant and shameless government DEAR EDITOR, I find no merit whatsoever in the Nandlallian nonsense about the role of our Parliament. This post-2011 Parliament will go down in history as the most robust in holding the feet of government to the fire of accountability and transparency. The pseudo PPP does not like this. Being reduced to a minority it can no longer use Parliament to rubber stamp its decisions nor treat the opposition as a toothless poodle. The Attorney General ought to know that subject only to the powers of the judiciary to review decisions of parliament for unconstitutionality, the legislature is autonomous and sovereign. But we have seen the attempts of this minority government to degrade parliament by mounting spurious challenges to its authority, whenever it cannot get its way, and the refusal of the President to assent to laws passed by parliament. This has been a vulgar attempt to castrate Parliament and to subvert it when the majority opposition are condemned as “terrorists” and “saboteurs”. The AG has failed to grapple with the rudimentary role of our Parliament to advance the political cause for change and transformation. He has sadly forgotten that it was the founder of the PPP, Dr. Cheddi
Jagan, who taught us “to take the people to parliament, and parliament to the people” during his own politics of protest. The AFC and the united majority opposition are today part of this dialectics of struggle. The AG is trying to circle the PPP wagon now that this government is under attack for corruption and ministers are being cited for malfeasance. The power of parliament to censure officials is elementary in all democracies and the Finance Minister is not beyond reproach for spending monies not approved by parliament or diverting monies for wage
increases. Neither was the Home Affairs Minister immune from the sanction of parliament for not exercising ministerial responsibility in a situation that resulted in fatality of peaceful protesters. It is a red herring to bring in Barbados where the unemployment statistics are not a state secret and workers enjoy a living wage. Thousands of Guyanese have found Barbados a safe haven, whilst tens of thousands at home are jobless and under-employed and/or live on starvation wages. This boast that we have money is shallow and
deceptive. We live on borrowed money to the tune of $365 billion. We have pawned our children’s future whilst giving away their patrimony in sweetheart deals involving land, spectrum and other national assets. The fault is not in our Parliament, as Nandalall seeks to portray. It lies squarely on this arrogant and shameless government which still believes that the loser must take all. The AG has given us more reasons to continue the struggle for change and inclusive democracy. Moses Nagamootoo AFC MP
Let’s focus on issues of nation building DEAR EDITOR, I have noted the comments and statements made by various individuals and organisations regarding the granting of the infamous PGGS (Permission for Geological and Geophysical Survey) for the New River Triangle, South East of Guyana. However, despite the facts and clarifications, including credible support from the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Mr. Ralph Ramkarran, just to name a few, there is still a so-called financial analyst who has launched a nasty attack on those who supported the Muri PGGS. In several opinionated articles created by this financial analyst - Christopher Ram - he disregarded the facts about the granting of the PGGS and set out to besmirch those involved in the Muri PGGS. Ram, who is also a lawyer, should be interested in the facts, which he himself has
disregarded, and instead launched an attack on personalities and spread misinformation. The facts on the process of granting the Muri PGGS have been repeated over and over. Notwithstanding, Mr. Ram and his colleagues within APNU and AFC have chosen to disregard the facts and made this like many other irrelevant issues, a political one. I am also made to understand that Ram, along with APNU and AFC, wants to waste the National Assembly’s time to discuss this Muri PGGS. This is one of the many reasons why this nation cannot progress; we are caught up with settling personal scores and irrelevant issues such as the PGGS, rather than being focused on real issues to transform this beloved and blessed country of ours. We all have a role to play and we must recommit ourselves to nation building, rather than focusing on petty issues. Let us all recommit ourselves to a better Guyana. Vivian Li (Mrs.)
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DEVELOPMENT DEAR EDITOR, Race and corruption are perhaps the most publicized problems in Guyana, and too often, these are labelled as anchors of our underdevelopment. To put it more precisely, it is often argued that some form of political consensus, accompanied with low corruption, are preconditions for growth in Guyana. This reasoning defies the world’s historical growth record and offers little scope for policy since we must await our Mandela. Our intention is not to devalue the harmful effects corruption and racism could have on society, but rather to explain why these are not the principal constraints to Guyana’s development – contrary to popular opinion. All forms of society face distributional conflicts, whether it is based on race, religion, sex, class or political affiliation. These social stratifications make it easy to differentiate one group from another and thus, make it easy to change distributional outcomes. Corruption is another common and embedded phenomenon in all forms of society, whether rich or poor. These take different forms, however, from outright theft in poor states to more sophisticated forms in rich countries. In spite of the ugly faces of corruption and racism, some countries manage to develop and endure this very demanding process. The question then is: given the commonality of the ugly faces in all societies, what causes one country to develop and the other to remain stagnant? The core structural problem of underdeveloped societies lies in the dichotomy between a large political sector and an infant private sector. The latter necessarily means that employment opportunities are limited in the private sector – the reason poor countries are called poor.
Those that cannot find work in the private sector migrate, remain in their station, or join the public sector. Ultimately, the health of the economy depends largely on the status/size of the political sector. For this reason, in poor countries growth in employment and income depends predominantly on political accumulation, as opposed to capital accumulation as in rich countries. The implications of this are staggering. Essentially, in underdeveloped societies, there is little reason why politics should be in the interest of the infant private sector. The reverse is true in rich countries. By definition, these countries have large private sectors in relation to their political sectors. Many political points can be scored by a healthy economy and robust growth. This is so for the simple fact that people are mostly employed in the private sector – something that does not hold true in poor countries. As a consequence of a comparatively large political sector, nepotism becomes rampant and distributional conflicts are intensified. The latter is exacerbated to the extent that employment in the public sector is based on some form of social stratification that leads to distributional conflicts. This is highly likely on consideration of the need to accumulate political capital through the provision of employment. In rich states, the public sector is a means to serve the public, therefore, persons who gravitate towards that sector do so primarily with the intent of serving the public. Those who set out to make money, opt for the large private sector instead. In underdeveloped states, the situation is markedly different. Because the option of a large private sector is missing, persons (even those
whose intent is purely based on economic rewards) are forced into the public sector. It should be clear now why certain forms of corruption and distributional conflicts are very much a part of the essence or the core of being underdeveloped. More importantly, political solutions or constitutional reforms aimed at tackling corruption and distributional problems are palliative at best, for the fundamental reason that these do little to change the underlying core of underdevelopment – the large and small political and private sectors. A strong democracy is championed as the ultimate solution to these problems. But we contend that all democracies are captured democracies. Whatever the source of the distributional conflict is, the stronger group is always politically and economically dominant – hence the captive nature of democracies all over the world. In the West, the rich dictates politics, religion governs in the Middle East and in Guyana, race fixes our political outcomes. In our view, understanding the difference between the core of underdevelopment (large and small political and private sectors) and spin-offs of underdevelopment (specific forms of corruption and distributional conflicts) is the principal task of our political leadership. Consider the following. Would stronger institutions reduce corruption? Would greater de-centralization of political power increase oversight and reduce corruption? No. Why? Because greater distribution of political power simply redistributes corruption. Why should the gainers
of de-centralization be better men and women than the losers? Thus, greater calls for local government reforms and oversight institutions would not necessarily align politics within the interest of Guyana’s private sector, it simply redistributes the economic spoils of government through the veil of greater distribution of power and enhanced transparency. The calls for greater accountability, transparency and less corruption are all noble, but note carefully how these address the negative offshoots/spin-offs of underdevelopment and not its causes. Racism and discrimination, to the extent that it results in stratification, is purely a question of
distribution and has nothing to do with making the right policy changes to create cycles of growth. It is the same reason government jobs are created willy-nilly with interesting titles – it is an employment scheme at work. The more government jobs created for any given level of private sector employment, the less political clout the private sector has, and less likely is politics to be within their interest. The cumulative effect is a cycle of corruption, bad policies, failed institutions, rampant migration, and endangered education institutions: in short, a cycle of underdevelopment. But yet race/distribution captures a unique place within the prevailing analyses.
The absence of a growth apparatus makes the question of race/distribution of principal importance and this is where it is mistakenly understood as the heart of the political economy of underdevelopment. It is essential to note that the solution is not to deliberately reduce the size of the political sector, it is a bad proposition that is made too often and mistakenly infers that big government crowds out private sectors in underdeveloped countries. Many who contribute to the national discourse on these issues often recommend policies to achieve the West’s style of good governance. This is tantamount to (Continued on page 23)
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Child electrocuted in Sophia, PPP stalling invitation for public illegal connection blamed
Nominees for the Public Procurement Commission…
nominations - Opposition
It seems that the Opposition and the government will be heading into the New Year with some amount of tension as it relates to the work being done on the nominees for the Public Procurement Commission. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had agreed in the first week of December to invite nominations for the Commission which will consist of five members. This was based on the fact that the People’s Progressive Party had not submitted its list of nominees and as such the decision was taken to widen the scope rather than restricting the nominees to a ‘political pool.’ It was also agreed that this process would be monitored by the subcommittee. The committee had already progressed to the point where it outlined the criteria for assessing applicants for the senior posts in the commission. It had also agreed to seek a gender balance on the commission. Further, the members of the Committee met on December 16, and a draft of the notice on the invitations of nominees was circulated. It was agreed that the notice needed to be sent out urgently and that about a month’s notice was required over the Christmas Holidays. On December 18, the Committee met and it was
agreed to arrive at a decision by way of round robin as some members of the Committee had to leave for another meeting. The Government’s Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, then wrote on December 19 to the Clerk saying that she had not yet had the time to look at the notice. By December 27, she had still not offered any comments. One member of the Committee said, “If we wait too long the work of the committee may be delayed because the deadline for the political parties to hand in their nominees was also extended to fit the deadline for the public nominations. There is no reason to extend the deadline further for parties which have had the matter before them since March.” Another member of the Opposition even expressed, “The PPP had agreed to send the notice to the public as soon as possible following the last meeting of the PAC. As the Opposition suspected, the PPP is now on a ploy of delay but the fear now is just how much time the PPP will take to delay the public the opportunity to join in the matter. They have failed to supply names and they are now denying the public the chance to submit names.” In an invited comment,
the Chairman of the PAC, Carl Greenidge, said, “I am concerned about the failure to look at the matter since it is quite straightforward and I do not want suspicions about lack of good faith and suspicions undermining the work we have already undertaken.” Moreover, the Shadow Minister of Public Works and Telecommunications of the A Partnership for National Unity, Joseph Harmon, expressed that the Committee should go ahead with the publishing of the notice and it should not wait on any approval or consent by Teixeira. He said, “Teixeira’s actions are just another level of obstruction by the Government as they honestly don’t want the commission to be established. Teixeira is a part of the Committee and she had agreed to the decision to include the public on the submission for suitable nominees.” “But her excuse for not having time to look at the notice just fits into the pattern of the government. It is a pattern they repeat all the time. They agree to one thing and then they turn around and prevent it from being established. In fact I am not even surprised by her actions. This is exactly a pattern taken by President Donald Ramotar. “When the members of the PPP gave their agreement for the Local Government Bills, the President then decided that the most important one is unconstitutional.” “Teixeira’s action is just a clear indication that the government has no intention of setting up the commission. It’s a game of power and they want to control the procurement system and the commission is only seen as an element of losing control. “They should go ahead and publish the notice and get the work done. And this is a position I will defend anywhere,” he added.
An eight-year-old child was electrocuted around 11:30 hrs yesterday when he came into contact with an illegal connection that was located at the entrance of an empty lot next to his Plum Park, Sophia home. The dead child has been identified as Joshua Regis, an Enterprise, East Coast Demerara, Primary School student. According to reports, Joshua Regis left his home with a bucket to catch fish in the drain next to his home when he reportedly slipped on the muddy dam and grabbed onto the wire that was hanging down a Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL)’s utility pole, and was electrocuted. His lifeless body was discovered by one of his sisters in the drain. He was still clutching the wire. The wire Joshua grabbed was a Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T)’s phone line that was used to steal electricity. Yesterday, the dead child’s mother, Nicola Wills, told this newspaper that she was in her home when one of her daughters told her that little Regis was going to catch fish. “I come out and I holler on he and he come in back and I went inside.” “A little after his father come home from work and we had an argument concerning one of our daughters because she left home since yesterday (Sunday) to go to a wedding and she ain’t come home yet so I was telling him that he is negligent in the home,” a pregnant Wills stressed. The mother of eight said that while she was arguing with her husband, she heard a strange sound and sent one of her daughters to see what it was. “My daughter went and then she say that Joshua get shock up and when we run out I see him in the drain in a sitting position and he had a piece of wire in his
hands.” Joshua was picked up by his father, Sean Regis, and was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where he was pronounced dead. His parents denied having anything to do with the illegal connection. “We don’t have anything to do with current. We are in the dark. No one owns that wire because it is at the side of an empty lot so I wouldn’t blame anyone,” Joshua’s father, Sean Regis stressed. Police sources however told this newspaper that based on their investigations, the illegal connection is owned by the dead child’s family since no one else lives in that area and there are wires leading to their home. Between January and June last, the power company detected and removed 3,921 illegal connections in communities along the East Bank, West Bank and the East Coast of Demerara, Berbice and Georgetown and its
Dead: Joshua Regis outskirts. The company detected and removed a total of 2,410 illegal connections out of the 3,921 in Sophia and other parts of Georgetown. Up to press time, the live wire was still dangling from the utility pole. No workers attached to the power company had visited the area.
The illegal connection hanging from a GPL utility pole
Tuesday December 31, 2013
BM SOAT ‘ILLEGAL’ CONSTRUCTIONS COSTS GUYANA $40M - ROBESON BENN Public Works Minister, Robeson Benn, yesterday maintained that every bit of documentation dating back to as far as 1971, places the recently demolished fence erected by BM Soat Auto Sales was on Government reserve. He said that since then the land was identified for a widened East Coast Public Road. The legal battle mounted in 2012 by Bashair Mohamed, the owner of the business, led to a one year delay in the construction of the four-lane highway and to losses to the tune of some $40M, a figure that will no doubt continue to rise as the delay continues, the Minister said. According to Minister Benn, even the 1957 Transport that Mohamed has for his property shows that the fence and buildings destroyed, were in fact on Government land. Benn was adamant that by all surveys, the fence erected by Mohamed not only exceeds the 1957 boundary established by his Transport, it also exceed the Government surveys which were finalized in 1973. Benn maintained that the fence “is clearly on the reserve.” The minister added that BM Soat has encroached on his neighbours land and the government reserve by as much as 7,797 square feet. Benn hosted at press engagement at his Wight’s Lane Office, where he sought to clear the air on the debacle surrounding the auto dealer and the move by Government to reclaim its land. The Minister told media operatives that the land currently occupied by BM Soat exceeds the 57,934.80 square feet vested to him by the transport which he presented as evidence of ownership, by some 7,797 square feet.
…company expands boundaries by 7,797 square feet
Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn points to the surveys which indicate that BM Soat encroached on Public Land “Specifically the northern boundary is exceeded by some 1,306 square feet and the southern boundary by 6,490 square feet.” While the Public Works Ministry is vigorously seeking to reclaim the lands on the northern boundary of Mohamed’s Success, East Coast Demerara property, he said that the Ministry intends to direct the attention of the Ministry of Local Government to the encroachment of the southern boundary as a bordering road falls under the direct supervision of that Ministry. The Minister said that it is important to note that since 2007, BM Soat has been continuously served with notices of violation both from the Ministry and the Neighbourhood Democratic Counsel (NDC), “but to no avail.” Making reference to the large gate that BM Soat had erected on the northern boundary of the property, the Minister said that there is no
approved access to the premises from the public road. He said that the only approved access is on the eastern side of the premises and that access remains intact. “The Ministry finds alarming Mr. Mohamed’s attitude of disregard for the rights of surrounding land owners, while at the same, he seeks the shelter of the court for alleged violations of his own…At this moment, he is embroiled in court proceedings with his neighbours to the west for encroaching on their land,” said Minister Benn. Regarding the mix-up on Friday last when the fence was destroyed, to wit, the claim that the encroaching fence was demolished in spite of a court order prohibiting same, Benn said, “The Ministry wishes to make it clear that the fence had already been demolished before any court order prohibiting the said demolition was brought to the attention of the Ministry.”
Labourer, 67, in court for illegal possession of firearms A 67-year-old labourer, who hails from Crane Village, West Coast Demerara was yesterday arraigned before Magistrate Faith McGusty after he was allegedly busted with a shotgun in the interior. When William Simon appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, many wondered out loud about what crime the little old man could have committed. The charge detailed that on Christmas Day, at the 111 Miles, Mahdia, he had in his possession one 12-gauge single barrel shotgun, whilst he was not the holder of a firearm licence. According to Police Prosecutor Corporal Seon Blackman, on the day in question, Corporal David and Lance Corporal Ross were in the station yard when they noticed him
passing by with a ‘salt bag’ on his back. He said that the accused ‘looked suspicious’ and as such, the police ranks decided to search the man’s bag where they discovered the weapon. The Prosecution however, objected to bail citing that the defendant made an oral confession to the offence. Blackman added that the penalty attached to the offence should be a consideration, as well as the nature of the offence. The man who was unrepresented by counsel did not submit a request for bail and the Magistrate thereby upheld the objections of the prosecution and denied bail. Simon is now a remanded prisoner who is awaiting his next court hearing which is scheduled for January 9, 2014.
He said that it was during the course of the removal of the debris that the Attorney for BM Soat, Khemraj Ramjattan, appeared with the Court Order. “The action taken by the Ministry earlier in the day was pursuant to an order of the Chief Justice discharging the Conservatory Order which previously prevented the Ministry from removing the encroaching structure.” Benn said that Mohamed had given an undertaking to the government that he would remove the fence by December 27, 2013. It was only after he reneged on that promise that the Ministry commenced the demolition exercise. “We want to make it very
clear that we are acting within the ambit of the laws,” Minister Benn said. As it relates to the Order secured by Ramjattan in the Court of Appeal, that matter will be called up for hearing today. The Minister said, “We intend to vigorously pursue this matter.” He did seek to point out that as it relates to the reclamation of land, the demolition of private structures on public reserve is not limited to the BM Soat property alone but all along the Coast stretching from Subryanville heading eastward. According to Minister Benn, while all of the other property owners have conceded that their fences will have to be pushed back it was only BM Soat who challenged the Government through court action. “This is not an issue with a singular person….BM Soat is the only outfit on the East Coast who has taken the Government to Court” Chief Justice, Ian Chang, had at the time granted a Conservatory Order, which prevented the Ministry from taking any action with respect to any demolition. Chang on December, 20 last, in his final ruling, found that the redress that was sought by Mohamed to restrict the state from destroying his property was ‘legally misconceived’ and as
such he struck out the Conservatory Order that was granted in 2012. According to Mohamed’s attorney, Ramjattan the Appellate Court on December 27 granted an Order upholding that which was struck out by Chang. Ramjattan believes that the action of the Works Ministry was in contempt of that order by the Appellate Court when on Friday last, it proceeded to destroy the fence and properties on the disputed piece of land. According to the ruling by Chief Justice Chang, even if it were a case where the State was threatening to intentionally violate Mohamed’s right to possession or ownership of the property “without prompt payment of adequate compensation, the proper form of relief which ought to have been sought was a declaration of the applicants right not to have his land taken without prompt payment and not an injunctive relief against the state.” Chang in his ruling did point out that “in view of its findings that there was no cause of action for constitutional relief, it has no jurisdiction to proceed to assess the evidence and make a final determination as to who is legally entitled to ownership and possession of the disputed land as a matter of private law.”
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Rush expected today as gold declarations surge to 468,000 ounces Gold dealers are gearing for a huge rush today as miners move to sell the shiny metal. But it is unlikely that a 500,000 ounces target set by the miners themselves will be met. According to the Minister of Natural Resources, Robert Persaud, yesterday’s declarations stood at an imposing 467,894 ounces, the highest ever on records. “Of course, we are happy with this development. Like I said before, this is evidence of the achievements of small
and medium scale miners.” The last time that Guyana even reached that level was back in 2001, when large-scale operator, Omai Gold Mines, was in operation. That company is gone leaving small and medium scale miners in operation. In 2011, with gold prices climbing on the world markets as traders banked on the metal amidst the global financial crisis, declaration was just about 363,083 ounces. This jumped in 2012, increasing to 438,645 ounces as miners
invested heavily in equipment, trying to cash in. As of December 16th, the Ministry announced the good news that declarations have been the highest ever on record at 458,105 ounces. The declaration would come even as prices plunged from the US$1,900 per ounce to US$1,200 this week, worrying miners. The mining sector has been the biggest foreign currency contributor for the past two years, surpassing big earners of rice and sugar.
National Rugby Coach before the court for assault While ‘brute’ behaviour may be the norm of a rugby field, the coach of Guyana’s Rugby Team was yesterday reminded that that behaviour is not allowed in normal society. At the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court yesterday, the coach, Theodore Henry, 34, of North Ruimveldt was crossed charged along with a 39-year old taxi driver, Earle Jeffers, of Roxanne Burnham Gardens for assault. When Magistrate Faith McGusty read the charge to them, they both refuted that on Christmas Day they unlawfully assaulted each
other on Mandela Avenue, Georgetown. The legal counsel who entered an appearance for Jeffers told the court that the incident stemmed from a dispute over a road accident. According to the lawyer, the two men had difficulty deciding who was right and who was wrong in the mishap. The prosecutor, Lance Corporal Renetta Bentham offered no objections to the two being issued bail and the Magistrate granted same in the sum of $15,000. Both men are expected to make their next court appearance on January 6.
Theodore Henry, National Rugby Coach
1,326 women received loans to expand business venture Under the micro credit scheme, 1326 women received loans and have expanded business venture, according to Jennifer Webster, Minister of Human Services and Social Security. This disclosure was made at the Ministry’s end of the press conference yesterday. Government operates a micro-credit revolving fund scheme aimed at assisting single parents. The microcredit scheme was approved by Cabinet in March 2010. The scheme began initially and minimally with $500 million. Under the programmedesign, funds allocated by the government as well as those provided by financial institutions would be used to finance micro-credit level loans to be made available to eligible single-parents. Minister Webster explained that the scheme allows single parent women to access collateral free loans within the range of a $100,000 to $200,000 which is an initiative of the Ministry and the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI). Meanwhile, the Ministry expended over $3.1M to
- Minister Webster
Jennifer Webster, Minister of Human Services and Social Security support victims of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and a total of 23 persons were rescued for 2013. However, there were eleven reports of TIP, four of those matters are currently engaging the attention of the court. There have been four convictions. She said that Government recently trained 38 persons to deal with the issues of TIP. These persons were trained under a United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP). “We continue to ensure the protection of women and children in combating Trafficking in Persons and the Ministry does have a special unit - the counter TIP unit and we also work with Non Governmental Organizations including the Guyana Women Miners Association and other volunteer social workers who have been trained to deal with TIP cases,” Minister Webster explained. “We had to identify at risk persons of TIP and I think that is one of the areas that we stepped up our approach…Sessions were held within Regions One, Two, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine because we feel that we needed to do more work in our hinterland communities because of increased activity in certain sectors such as the mining sector. “There was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Guyana Geology and Mine Commission and all other key stake holders because it is important to work together and collaborate.”
Tuesday December 31, 2013
A COMMISSION SHOULD NOT PERFORM EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS It was refreshing to read that the Alliance for Change is working on a compromise proposal in respect to the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission. However, the AFC has to be careful that in drafting a compromise amendment to the Procurement Act, it does not vitiate the cornerstone of constitutionalism: the separation of powers. Based on what has been published in the newspapers, it does seem as if the AFC is on the wrong track. Even though its intentions may be right, it cannot swallow hook, line and sinker the proposal made by the Private Sector Commission to break the deadlock over the Public
Procurement Commission because the private sector’s proposal also tramples on the separation of powers. In an earlier column, I had alluded to the fact that the functions of the Procurement Commission were outlined under the constitution. It is simply an oversight body. The Public Procurement Body does not control the award of contracts. Neither is it an adjudicatory body; that is a role reserved for a Public Procurement Tribunal. The mistake that both the private sector and now the AFC seem to be making is that they are entrusting to the functions of constitutional commissions that under the separation of powers are the
In a disturbing escalation of attacks on businessmen in the interior, a 53-year-old Brazilian gold miner was ambushed and shot dead last Saturday at Waiamu, Cuyuni/ Mazaruni, shortly after leaving his camp to purchase items for his business. Police said that the body of Antonio Silva was found around 16:00 hrs at Waiamu Landing, about an hour after he had left his camp. Sources said that the body bore shotgun injuries to the back. According to reports, Silva, a dredge owner, had left
his camp around 15:00 hrs on Saturday. He was reportedly accompanied by a young man who claimed that he saw when the miner was shot. The youth reportedly fled back to camp and alerted the other crew members who returned to the scene and found Silva’s body. The body was taken to the Bartica Hospital mortuary. Police have made no arrests. A source who knew the victim described him as an individual who worked hard to maintain his family in Brazil. Silva was slain on the same day that the bound and
preserve of the executive arm of the State. This is precisely the reason why one of the pieces of local government legislation passed by the National Assembly was not supported by the President. It did not enjoy the government’s support because it would have been unconstitutional to vest in a constitutional commission functions that are the remit of the Executive. No government that understands and respects the separation of powers, the cardinal principle of constitutionalism, is ever going to allow functions that are the proper jurisdiction of the Executive to be vested in
a constitutional commission. In seeking a compromise the AFC must guard against two tendencies. Firstly, it must avoid a situation whereby a constitutional commission usurps the functions of the Executive. Secondly, and more importantly it must not elevate the National Procurement and Tender Administration, an arm of the government, above the Cabinet. This would be akin to the office assistant being given more powers over his supervisor. This column has proposed a possible model as a compromise. It is a model that can be subject to variations which do not conflict with the
Another Brazilian miner ambushed and killed
Dem boys seh ...
Wait fuh midnight Every time Irfaat open he mouth he does put he foot inside. He nah learn from Rob de Earth and de Rat. De Rat does play dumb and Rob de Earth does play deaf when question meet dem. But not Irfaat; he think he got plaster fuh every sore. Dem boys want tell he that is not plaster; is a piece of paper. That is why when he and Prak had de story, Prak tell he haul he so and so because he know de Israeli man listening to everybody phone call. Irfaat ain’t know bout de Israeli suh he open he mouth and talk a lot of de last part of he name—faat. He talk how GT&T got to give he some record between he and Prak. Bobby, de Rat best friend, in de same boat. He tell dem boys that he gun call fuh find out who call de Waterfalls paper fuh tell de people that he was spying pun de paper. He know bout de spying because he import one of de spy equipment from de US. De Rat give he permission through de government and dem boys get a tip from Uncle Sam. Dem boys want tell he dem don’t sleep suh he and de Israeli and all of dem got to spy whole day, whole night till dem meet wid Aunt Dora. She deal wid Roger and de spying. Dem boys seh that Bobby shouldn’t worry. Next week if he got belly he can travel to Uncle Sam fuh meet wid Aunt Joan. She seh that she want meet he. She seh that she want meet this man who already full he craw wid Guyana money and ain’t want nobody seh nutten bout he and how he get it. Brazzy de fat crook, and de Shaatee, de stumpy crook, nah like hear people talk bout dem, too. Dem boys got a message fuh all of dem. Today happen to be Old Year’s Day. Dem nah know wha gun happen tomorrow—de New Year. Talk half and wait till midnight.
Joao Veloso do Nascimento decomposing bodies of 42year-old Joao Veloso do Nascimento, and his wife 52year-old Edilene Fernandes Dos Santos, were found at a checkpoint on the Arimu trail, Region Seven. The victims owned a
Antonio Silva dredge and other businesses in the interior and were residing at Bartica. Reports disclosed that the couple left their camp at the Sand Hill area, Cuyuni, Region Seven, about a week ago on an All Terrain Vehicle (continued on page 24)
two above principles. The compromise is repeated below: The right to an objection by the government should be preserved, but if the government objects to an award, it should trigger certain rules. The Cabinet should first be required to submit to the National Procurement Commission, not the Board, reasons for any no-objection. If those reasons as given by Cabinet relate to possible discrepancies, oversight or bias in the award of the decision, then the Commission should resend the matter to the National Procurement Administration for reconsideration. The Commission is this sense acts as a mere conduit and at the same time exercises oversight since it is required to be notified of a challenge to an award. If the National Procurement Administration finds no basis to change its decision, then an administrative tribunal, comprising persons who were not part of the original evaluation, should be asked to reexamine the award. If this tribunal is satisfied with the award, then the no-objection should be overruled. It should be noted that the Procurement Act makes provision for the appointment of a tribunal. If on the other hand the no-objection is based on the fact that the award will conflict with an international obligation of the government
– there are some agreements which specify that the contractor should be from the country financing the project – then the no-objection should take precedence over any decision of the National Procurement Administration. There can be all manner of variations to the above formula which is merely illustrative of a rule-based system. If a rule-based approach is taken to this issue, then the difference between the government and the opposition can be narrowed and there would be no reason for political gridlock to cause the nonappointment of the National Procurement Commission. Best of luck to the AFC with its proposed compromise!
Universal Secondary Education likely under current Administration – Manickchand Although Guyana has achieved universal access to primary education, moves are steadily apace to ensure that 100 per cent access to secondary education is realised under the current G o v e r n m e n t a l Administration. Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, at a press conference yesterday said that as part of the Ministry’s projection, “we intend to achieve universal secondary education before the first term of the Donald Ramotar administration ends.” This by extension means, the Minister said, that students across the country who are of secondary age can access a general secondary education which translates to them being exposed to five years of the secondary curriculum. “We have practically achieved universal secondary education in many Regions (but) we have some more work to do in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine, and we have some work to do regarding general proficiency to secondary education on the Coastland,” the Minister divulged yesterday. She said that while infrastructure is not a challenge in many of the Regions, the Ministry will be tasked with addressing a transportation shortcoming. She said, “What we need to do is to provide transportation for children to get from point A to point B...We are working
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand consciously on this and I believe this is something I would be pleased to announce shortly that we have achieved.” And according to the Minister moves will continue in the New Year by the Education Ministry to improve the pass rates at the secondary level, particularly in the areas of Mathematics and English. This strategic venture is intended to help students to matriculate, Manickchand said. The Ministry has been able to secure the services of two Mathematics Specialists – at the level of a Senior Education Officer in the Secondary Sector and another at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development. The Minister said that efforts have been made by the Ministry to collaborate with the World Bank to introduce some new measures to make learning Mathematics accessible and interesting. The Education Ministry, during the past year, had been looking to improve its delivery
of education. According to Manickchand, countries across the world have been discussing access to education and ensuring that children are placed in classrooms. Efforts in this regard, she disclosed, has allowed Guyana to achieve universal primary education thereby allowing all children in the primary-age cohort to access an education. But although the uphill task of getting children into the classrooms has been achieved here, Manickchand said, “We have to make sure that the learning is of a high quality, that the teaching is of a high quality. That is something that we have to collaborate with the teachers on; we have to ensure better monitoring and this is something that we (countries across the world) are struggling with to accomplish.” The Minister underscored that the global debate has shifted from merely access to education to that of the quality of education. “Guyana is thankfully poised to discuss and pursue quality because we have achieved access,” she said. Manickchand disclosed yesterday that the Education Ministry is looking to ensure that quality education is delivered in environments conducive to learning which she said will see the Ministry working towards bringing a halt to furniture woes for instance. In this regard, she said, “We are hoping that we will be able to provide for every single school all the furniture that is needed in nursery, secondary and primary as well as all of the furniture needed for teachers.”
Tuesday December 31, 2013
GTUC has qualms over PPP’s statement on Trade Unions The Guyana Trade Union Congress has expressed dissatisfaction with the statement made by the PPP (People’s Progressive Party) when it was addressing its non support for the United States Leadership and Democracy Project. The part with which the GTUC has concerns reads, “Guyana has turned full circle to the extent that the country has returned to the days of the mid 1960’s when the AFLCIO funded opposition Trade Unions and political parties to destabilise the Jagan-led PPP Government during the 1962-1964 period.” The GTUC has expressed reservations over the statement citing the link between the trade unions during the 1960’s and the PPP losing governance. The body established that during that period their concerns with the PPP was that of the “Labour Relations Bill which was seen as an act to control and silence the voice of organised labour” and their “refusal to cordially address the Civil Service Association’s demand for increase wages and salaries.” The GTUC said, “The trade unions, political opposition (UF and PNC), business sector, and sections of civil society were at the odds with the PPP’s stewardship and these groups were not silent in their disapproval. “The needs of the people remain and it is the job of every government to pay heed. It was the PPP’s intransigencies that resulted in its 1964 loss of government. The party was removed from office via the ballot, making mute its’ claim of destabilisation or removal by force. Guyana never had a coup.” It is the contention of the GTUC that for the PPP to make such a statement it means the party has not learned from its mistakes nor has it learnt from the mistakes of others throughout history. “The world remembers the 2000 U.S. presidential election that Democrat Al Gore conceded
President of the GTUC Leslie Gonsalves to Republican George Bush in an election generally considered compromised but the affected political party and nation has moved past the experience, learning from same through institutional strengthening and voters’ education. “Nelson Mandela was denied his freedom for 27 years but even before his release from prison he began working with his oppressors to positively change the trajectory of South Africa,” said the GTUC. According to the GTUC In competitive political party politics, government change and interchange all the time. “The PPP, like all parties, has no birthright to govern. Lest it be unknown, forgotten or misunderstood, it is the people who determine the reign of government and not a political party who determines its reign over the people. “When the people had enough they will remove the incumbent and this goes for every government. The PPP must understand Article 9 of the Guyana Constitution that stipulates ‘sovereignty belongs to the people’ is meant to undergird the principle that the nation’s political authority is vested in its people.” The trade union body articulated that presently this nation is “besieged with corruption and corrupt officials but the government continues to fail to take action in spite of the preponderance
of evidence before its eyes and in the U.S’ courts.” “Today the basic right to freedom of expression, ideas and sharing of information is challenged as the PPP seeks to dominate every public space by giving away the broadcasting spectrum to their cronies; denying alternative view and the right to response in state media; denying Linden; imposing exorbitant license fees to still/ weaken the voice of the small man, a matter engaging the Court’s attention; and withholding government/ taxpayers’ advertisements, forcing sections of the media to comply with their wicked policies or turn a blind eye,” said GTUC The GTUC pronounced that the Local government authority continues to be undermined, because of the obsessive nature of the PPP to dominate every political space. The body said that collective bargaining is trampled for some “as members of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) and Guyana Bauxite & General Workers Union (GB&GWU) continue to battle a government steep in creating bogeymen and settling imaginary scores.” “The PPP must take responsibility for its intransigencies, past and present, and come to the realization what good governance is all about. Being elected is a privilege, not a right. This privilege must see respect for all the people and adherence to the principles (Rights & Rule of Law) that ensure this,” said the GTUC. The GTUC has announced that all major political parties, including the PPP, benefitted from trade unions’ support and advocacy, in and out of opposition and according to the union body “the role of progressive labour in any society is to protect workers (past, present and potential) and create an environment of fairness. Any attempt that threatens this will meet the appropriate response.”
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Legal action among strategies in fight against arbitrary 5% increase ... street protests continue next week
The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has indicated that legal action will be among the various strategies that the body intends to use to fight the annual arbitrary imposition of wage and salary increases on public workers by the government. The public servants’ representative has indicated further that come next week intense protest action will resume in resistance of the five percent increase that was given to state workers this year. The union’s First Vice President Mortimer Livan, told this newspaper
yesterday that following the holiday season, the union will return to the streets against the increase. He charged that the union will continue their actions until the government hears them. The union had earlier in the month declared that it would march the streets of Georgetown until the New Year in defiance of the imposed percentage. The picket marches however saw a poor turnout, thus giving way for action at the close of the holiday season. Livan added that apart from legal and protest action, the union has called on
international bodies to lend their support towards public servants. The union executive said that they have petitioned these foreign bodies and will be seeking ways to aid the situation. Affiliates of the Caribbean Public Servants International (PSI) have already started to express their support of the local unions with unions in the island national of St. Lucia being the latest body to express solidarity with not only the GPSU, but also Guyana Local Government Officers’ Union (GLGOU) which is also facing a dilemma involving public servants.
Amidst the contention, Livan informed that there has been no contact or approach by the Administration in any attempt to solve or even soothe the matter. Livan opined that, that attitude displayed disregard and a lack of care for the public workers. “They (government) just don’t care,” he suggested to this newspaper. The government through the Finance Ministry has failed to provide a requested paper trail to show the purpose for the no more than five percent increase. The government has argued that monies for wage and salary
Govt. spying on Opposition?
Housing Minister under fire for statements on GT&T recording The Alliance For Change (AFC) has called on Housing Minister, Irfaan Ali, to explain statements that suggest conversations were being recorded by one telephone company. According to the sevenseat Opposition faction in a statement yesterday, it is deeply disturbed by the comments of Minister Ali and now wants answers. During a press conference at his Brickdam office Friday, Ali said he will be requesting the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) to provide a recording of a conversation that was held between his secretary and AFC’s Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan. Ali had requested his secretary to invite the Member of Parliament to the press conference on Friday to ask questions on housing developments on the East
Bank of Demerara. On Christmas Day, an article in Kaieteur News raised questions about the allocations of large swathes of lands to private developers. Ramjattan had expressed concerns. However, according to the Minister, Ramjattan reportedly told his secretary that the Minister should “haul his ass”. Ramjattan allegedly repeated his statements in an email invitation that the Ministry sent the same day. According to Ali, Ramjattan “was loud and abusive to my secretary and slammed the phone down. We are hoping that we can request of GT&T to have a recording…” But AFC yesterday said it took the Minister’s statements on the GT&T recordings as serious. “It is obvious, from his definitive remark, that
Minister Ali is aware that the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company records telephone conversations either of the Ministry of Housing or Mr. Ramjattan’s phone.” AFC pointed out that Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon, had admitted to the nation that the authorities have recorded telephone conversations but he explained that these were exclusively related to criminal activity. “The AFC reminds the nation that based on the wiretapping legislation passed in the National Assembly, the security services may seek the formal legal permission of a judge to have the telephone of a company or person tapped upon provision of compelling reasons to do so.” AFC, in its statement, stressed that by his own
“bold admission”, Minister Ali has told the nation that either his ministry’s phones are tapped or “Mr. Ramjattan’s phone is tapped (or both)”. “The AFC demands that (continued on page 13)
Public servants take to the streets to oppose the 5% increase
increases could be no more than five percent across the board for all public servants, but the Opposition has countered that funds allocated in the budget for this specific reason should have seen the workers receiving no less than a 10 percent increase. The Opposition had also requested a paper trail of the funds spent, especially since it is their belief that the Administration may have used the public servants increase to fill areas where the Opposition would have cut funds from last year’s budget. Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh has stated, however, that the use of funds allocated for the public workers “is a matter of public record”. He said that every year the purpose and use of the funds is explained and it is voted on. It is further viewed and audited by the Auditor General, returned to the parliament, and put before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), where it is scrutinized, he continued. However, public servants have for more than 10 years been receiving arbitrarily imposed sums from
the government. This is without the procedural collective bargaining agreement; thus sideling the union, executives have stated. Chairman and Shadow Labour Minister of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Basil Williams, stated however, that GPSU has legal grounds to seek recourse over the arbitrary five per cent increase that was imposed on the public workers. He highlighted a challenge to the union since there is no Industrial Court to address the matter. Williams had also expressed the need for the revitalization of the Public Service Appellate tribunal and called for that body to be reconstituted so that appeals by public servants could be fast tracked. Both the Alliance for Change (AFC) and APNU have already expressed rigorous checks of sums allocated for public workers and plan to ask tough questions to ascertain what became of the funds for the increases of public workers at the next budget presentation 2014.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
=== The Freddie Kissoon column ===
Will he exclaim tonight: “For Christ’s Sake?” Tomorrow brings a new year. What we are not sure of is whether tomorrow will bring happiness, the central pursuit all humans. For Guyanese this becomes a pressing problem. This is a very unhappy nation You talk to all classes of people and most would tell you that though they don’t want to discuss politics, they do feel that Guyana is not going anywhere. The simple truth about this country is that Guyanese do not believe there is a future for them. Tonight, President Ramotar will address the nation and one wonders if he will be sincere in what he says. This is a man who on the 50th anniversary celebration of UG, got emotional in his address and urged Guyanese
not to let our separate ideas divide us, and yelled out, “For Christ’s Sale let’s try them.” But he is opposed to rejects all ideas once they are not from his party. This is not a land where a few social deviancies are the exception to the norm; on the contrary this country has broken down. The murder rate is horrendous, and the frightening dimension of that violence is that the rate of solving homicides, gangland slayings and drug trafficking is abysmal. No other example proves the failed state status of this country than a homicide that took place on Orange Walk. The shooting was captured on tape yet the
accused had to be properly freed because the police did not present the evidence. In 2013, we had a series of huge cocaine interceptions and without exception, all the accused arrested and placed before the courts were at the very bottom on the conspiracy. If you want to see the failed state that Guyana has become, take a look at constructions that are going up. This writer called his editor, Adam Harris, Zoisa Fraser of the Stabroek News and Denis Chabrol of Demerara Waves and pointed out to them a structure that is going up, and the owner has taken up the gutter which drains water when it rains. Guyana has become as crazy as this. Who says the
judicial system works in this country? Two of the finest sons of this country, both of whom are lawyers, have told me the judicial system in Guyana is a broken one in which money comes first and justice is a footnote where the names of the poor are written in watery ink that quickly fades as day turns into night. This is a country where even the inhibitions exhibited by oligarchs in banana republics are absent. The power wielders behave even worse than their Latin American and African counterparts. A powerwielder moves into Queenstown on Peter Rose Street and promptly gets the police to declare that part of the street where he lives a
one-way corridor. I interviewed the then traffic chief on this high class nonsense and he couldn’t determine for me who gave the order. Up to this day, the police refuse interview requests on this absurdity. Money runs the law, the judiciary, the police and the government in this land. This is a banana republic in every sense. A low level employee of a well known but controversial business place is allegedly caught with cocaine at the airport. The owner quickly moves to hold an internal investigation to make sure the public knows that his company was not involved. He employs an opposition MP to lead the probe. The circus in Guyana may be comical but it is also deadly. In the meantime, every inch of state owned property is being sold off to an incestuous cabal. If the next general election is won by the opposition parties, they will govern over the schools buildings, the police, army, the sugar estates and the Bank of Guyana building. There won’t be any public lands left to do anything with.
Frederick Kissoon Now part of UG estate has been taken over by a police lab thereby limiting the expansion of UG. To be remembered is the fact that President Jagdeo assigned the remaining land at UG seven years ago to build a football stadium promised by FIFA. If Jack Warner had delivered then that was it for UG; it had no other land to expand. In Guyana, the nouveau riche controls power, territory, legal relations, the police, the bureaucracy; in other words the entire country. And if you want to see how unlucky this country is then read about the tragedy of two policemen who tried to stop a man shooting at the public on Middle Street but died in the process. Their combined pay is far less than what the nouveau riche spends one evening at the club.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Education Ministry expends majority of 2013 budgetary allocation
From left: Minister of Education, Ms. Priya Manickchand; Permanent Secretary, Ms. Delma Nedd and Chief Education Officer, Mr. Olato Sam In the quest to deliver quality education, the Ministry of Education during the past year expended more than 94 per cent of its $28.7 billion 2013 budgetary allocation. And according to Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, the unexpended sum has been committed to works that will continue in the New Year. Among the projects that will be catered to are: education infrastructures that have started and services that were procured this year and are expected to be delivered next year, Manickchand said. The Minister nevertheless underscored that the Ministry is pleased with its 2013 expenditure, since according to her, “spending really means that we are providing service. Spending and talking about billions of dollars makes for good headlines but for us what it means is that we were able to serve the children, the families, the country that we have been asked to serve by making those necessary expenditures.” Manickchand’s remarks were forthcoming yesterday as she hosted her Ministry’s end of year press conference at Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Georgetown. She was accompanied by Chief
Education Officer, Mr. Olato Sam, and Permanent Secretary Ms. Delma Nedd. At yesterday’s press conference Minister Manickchand told media operatives that during 2013, the Education Ministry was able to build and renovate all schools within its mandate, with the exception of the One Mile Primary in Region 10, a project that is yet to be awarded. The One Mile Primary was destroyed earlier this year through an act of arson which effectively disrupted the schooling of some 800 pupils. But according to Manickchand, “we are in the process of trying to get that contract awarded.” She however noted that all other contracts that were awarded to undertake works within the Ministry were either completed, or are in the process of being completed. Moreover, she attributed the infrastructural accomplishments of the Ministry to “the really hardworking staff of our Ministry...particularly in this regard the engineering department...” It was such dedication, she noted, that ensured that schools across the country were not re-opened late following the July/August
Housing Minister under ... From page 11 Minister Ali provide to the nation full disclosure of all information he is privy to in this regard. Further the AFC demands of the PPP government to disclose to the nation a full list of all political officials whose phones are tapped, the reasons proffered for such, who requested such tapping, who ordered such tapping and what period such phones have been tapped.” AFC also expressed worry that “this ominous admission” would suggest that the phones of any member of the public could be tapped without the prescribed legal permission to
do so. “The AFC warns the public to take necessary precautions until there is full disclosure from the PPP government on this sinister development. The AFC advises the public to be especially cautious in telephone engagements with the Ministry of Housing since, by the admission of the Minister, that ministry’s phones could be tapped and all conversations recorded.” Yesterday, GT&T’s Chief Executive Officer, Radha Krishna Sharma, made it clear that as a matter of policy and protocol, “we do not record conversations.”
holidays. The only school that faced a delayed reopening, she recounted, was the East Street Nursery School which was in fact due to technical issues such as the need to have concrete work cured, etcetera. “Every single other undertaking we engaged during the July/ August holidays were completed and schools reopened on the date they were supposed to be re-opened. We did it so smoothly that it went unnoticed,” Manickchand remarked. However, the Minister noted that while the majority of the works undertaken were laudable; there were some that “we were not absolutely satisfied with...I could tell you that I have had to use less than desirable language to make sure that it was done on time.” According to the Minister too, the Ministry was even forced on occasions to terminate contracts because contractors were not delivering on time. She noted though that terminating a contract “is always a very, very hard thing to do because people have invested, contractors are unhappy; they let that unhappiness be known even in our space.” However, the Minister disclosed yesterday that the Ministry has been able to secure liquidated damages in some of the contracts where contractors were not able to deliver on time. “We are not happy with some of the service we have gotten; where we are not happy as far as the Procurement Act would allow us we would make sure that when we are dealing with those firms and contractors, again we are guided by the unhappiness we felt,” asserted the Minister. Among the notable projects that attracted immense spending by the Education Ministry during the past year was its School Feeding Project, an undertaking which Manickchand said has served to skyrocket schools’ attendance rate.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Guyana still considering introduction of CXC’s CPEA - Education Minister Although the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) has been touting its Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) as a strategic move to improve the performances of students from an early stage, the local Education Ministry is still carefully considering the details of the initiative. The CPEA which is intended to replace the Common Entrance examination has been adopted by a number of Caribbean territories and reports suggest that positive results are being realised. But according to Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, her Ministry is currently looking at how it could best cater for local children even as efforts are made to match the Region. She explained that although the CPEA is “really beautiful on paper, we have to look to see whether we can deliver it and whether it would be best suited for our country.” Manickchand explained that since the CXC-organised initiative is not simply an examination, but rather an ongoing assessment “if we were to move in that direction it would require a lot of training of teachers and so on to do.” Moreover, she firmly asserted yesterday at a Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Georgetown, press conference that “it would be reckless for us to just jump and do it because it looks so good in writing. It would practically be something that would take much focused attention and buy-in from the entire sector.” “It’s safe to say that we are looking at it but it would be reckless for us to make any announcements at this point.” said Manickchand of the CPEA. The entire process, according to her, would require heavy involvement of not only the teachers but management as well in individual schools. As such, she noted that “that would be something that we have to have the capacity for before we can do it.” She however noted that although local teachers have the capacity to travel to any part of the world and perform well; so much so that “we are constantly revered as a country for having great
CXC Registrar, Dr. Didacus Jules talent...I don’t believe our human resources are without the capacity to do it, but it is not something that you can wake up one morning and decide we want to do.” According to Manickchand, Guyana has more than 10,000 teachers that would have to become involved in this initiative but some territories have far less teachers catering to some 10,000 students. “Some of the countries that have done this have a much smaller pool that they have to train, and monitor, and supervise and so on...we have a unique presentation of geography as well as a very large numbers,” the Minister added. As part of moves to introduce long-term interventions to improve students’ performances in the education sector, CXC Registrar, Dr Didacus Jules, had disclosed at a recent CXC press conference at the Pegasus Hotel that strategic interventions have been introduced in the Caribbean such as the CPEA. He disclosed that CPEA is in fact helping to realise some ve r y useful improvements in students’ core competencies in literacy and numeracy because of the methodology it embraces. “ We a r e encouraging member states to come on board the CPEA because it is not just an exam, it is an integrated methodology of how you teach, how people learn and how you assess,” said Dr Jules who noted that these are all strategic moves at improving the level of education.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Construction of Haags Bosch 40,656 received old age pension in 2013 continues to be behind schedule - Minister Webster - 8523 received $20,000 annual electricity subsidy For 2013, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security recorded 40,656 pensioners receiving their old age pension which was increased to $12,500 per month, according to Jennifer Webster, Minister of Human Services and Social Security. In Guyana, old age pensions are paid from age 65 (this despite the retirement age for public workers being 55). She said that this is not withstanding that a total of 8523 pensioners benefitted from the $20,000 electricity subsidy. These pensioners were from Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven. The $20,000 subsidy was announced earlier this year by Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh as part of a menu of measures in the 2013 budget to assist the vulnerable in society. There is also in excess of $200M being spent annually to help pensioners pay water charges. In announcing the $20,000 subsidy earlier this year in his Budget presentation, Dr. Singh said that the assistance will reduce the electricity charges that will have to be met by each pensioner. It will in effect
Jennifer Webster, Minister of Human Services and Social Security. increase the disposable income of senior citizens by a further $590M per annum. “A major priority of Government has been its undisputed efforts in budgetary allocations towards enhancing the living standards of pensioners and those encountering adverse circumstances, the recipients of public assistance.” Minister Webst er noted.
Police nab con man on Essequibo Coast Police at Anna Regina Police Station, late Sunday evening, arrested a man who had fleeced a number of Essequibians of cash. While no formal charges have been made out against the man who does not hail from Essequibo, a number of persons, who were fleeced of money, are submitting statements to the police. Hamant Silchan, formerly of Mahaicony, wreaked havoc on vulnerable Essequibians. He often presented himself as a Senior Welfare Officer. Had it not been for a vigilant Anna Regina Mechanic, Silchan would have not been apprehended any time soon. The mechanic, who was fleeced of $120,000, said that he got a tip from another friend and decided to contact the police at Anna Regina, who accompanied him to Bush Lot, Essequibo Coast. The mechanic added that he managed to see Silchan walking on the Bush Lot
Public road accompanied by another man. After identifying Silchan to the Police, the mechanic said the trickster was apprehended and taken to the Anna Regina Police station where he was furthered questioned and detained. Silchan would have successfully fleeced a number of persons from the Tapakuma Lake and also along the Coast. The mechanic said that Silchan visited him after he was informed by someone that he (the mechanic) was encountering marital problems with his wife. The mechanic’s mother said that the man always dressed neatly and appeared genuine. She said that at one time the man was staying at the Sea View Hotel, in Henrietta and would usually visit her to have his meals. “I use to cook nice food for him.” Silchan reportedly committed similar offences in Georgetown, Sophia and Mahaicony.
Haags Bosch Landfill Site
The volume of waste being disposed of at the Haags Bosch Landfill Site has increased by 50,000 tons. This volume should not however be a bother even though construction of cell one, which is accommodating waste, is behind schedule. This notion was expressed by Local Government Minister, Ganga Persaud during his Ministry’s end of year press conference yesterday. Noting that cell one has another five years to be fully optimized, Persaud said that whilst citizens should not be bothered with the current volume of waste being disposed at the site, it is a situation worth thinking about. According to Minister within the Ministry of Local Government, Norman
Whittaker, for the year 2013 a volume of 110,000 tons of waste was disposed of at the landfill site. This figure represents an increase of 50,000 tons of waste coming from Region Four’s 15 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and the Georgetown Municipality. Pointing to the challenges with the construction aspect of the Haags Bosch Landfill Site which were widely highlighted by the media, he said his Ministry has been engaging the contractor, BK International, to hasten the pace of works, unsuccessfully. Whittaker said that with the increasing volume of waste being disposed at the landfill site, construction of cell one needs to speed up. In addition, construction of cell two is also important.
He added that comments received from members of the public suggest that landfill sites should be constructed along the East Coast of Demerara to facilitate the waste from that area. However, Persaud said that there is no need for additional land space to dispose garbage since the existing area earmarked for Haags Bosch is adequate. Persaud acknowledged that in the absence of a solid waste management site in Region Three, there is a possibility that Puran Brothers is disposing waste at Haags Bosch. During Permanent Secretary Colin Croal’s presentation, he noted that Puran Brothers Disposal Inc has won the contract for the Solid Waste Management project in Region Three. Two
areas were identified as the disposal site but are nonoperational at present. Croal said the company is collecting waste but he is unaware where the disposal is being done. Minister Whittaker however made it clear that some aspects of the Haags Bosch Landfill Site Project are without challenges. According to him, two trucks for the project have been procured and two more will be in the Ministry’s possession by next month. In addition, the recently launched public awareness campaign has been moving along smoothly. The campaign has targeted several key stakeholders such as the media, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and the Georgetown Municipality.
Fish Aggregating Devices to expand use in 2014 - CRFM Several Caribbean countries are exploring the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) to bolster earnings, increase employment opportunities and improve management and conservation of ocean pelagic species within their jurisdictions, according to Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Milton Haughton, Executive Director, CRFM Secretariat, noted that “Pelagic species, such as, yellow fin tuna, wahoo, black fin tuna, marlin, and dolphin—which are the ones targeted by the use of fish aggregating devices—are very important to Caribbean countries because of their contribution to food and nutrition security and livelihoods in coastal communities.”
A Fish Aggregating Device
Haughton said that the reason why countries and fishers in the region are very interested in FADs is because they provide cost effective
means by which the people of the region can obtain a greater share and optimum sustainable benefits from these straddling and highly
migratory fish stocks which are utilized by several States within the region and beyond, in some cases. He noted that (continued on page 24)
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Tuesday December 31, 2013
Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY... From page 5 saying that in order to develop, we must first be developed! We are by no means diminishing the importance of good governance; rather, we argue that policies aimed at achieving it are hardly carefully considered and effectively implemented. Secondly, problems with governance are scarcely the essence of our underdevelopment. It is the state’s capacity and not its ability to govern that we label as the culprit. State’s capacity assumes a comprehensive view and extends beyond its ability to effectively implement policies; it incorporates the choice of policies made by the state and whether these are sufficient for
a structural transformation. A state’s capacity to transform the structural core of its society is the principal determinant of whether a country develops or remains stagnant in spite of the fact that all societies are beset with various forms of corruption and distributional conflicts. Interestingly, anti-corruption strategies, as envisioned in the good governance agenda, reduce the state’s capacity in this undertaking. Future letters will explain how to build the state’s capacity for a structural transformation and how anti-corruption strategies reduce this capacity. Duane Edwards Collin Constantine
A closer look at the tendering... From page 4 tenders are advertised by the tendering entity, that is, Ministry, region or corporation, with money to spend. These then receive the offers from contractors, or suppliers, and open them publicly, with all persons making an offer or putting in a tender having the right to be present at the opening ceremony. .After this point, things happen behind closed doors. Tenders valued over a regulated amount must then be sent to the National Board. The spending ministry or corporation or region makes its own decision on tenders of a value below that regulated value. The National Procurement and Tender Administration Board appoints the Secretariat “in consultation with the Minister.” The “Procuring entity” is a ministry or other government body, all controlled ultimately by ministers, all subject to the same political party as the President who appoints and can remove all ministers. “Procuring entity” is defined in the Act (see at Google Laws of Guyana; Procurement Act 2003) There is no written “arms length” or impartial imposition on the political people. A Ministry or Corporation, after all of these procedures, has the right and power to reject the National Board’s considered choice of the “lowest evaluated tender.” Politics, and therefore Party, are never out of the process. A Ministry can say no to the choice of “lowest evaluated tender” made by evaluators
formerly selected for integrity and expertise, and the Ministry can send back the Board’s choice of the “lowest evaluated tender” The Ministry can then make its own recommendation “which shall be accepted.” (Section 39(3)) The provision deserves to be quoted. “If it does not agree with the Report of the Evaluation Committee’s determination (of the lowest evaluated bidder) the procuring entity shall issue an advisory recommendation which bidder should be the lowest evaluated bidder, which recommendation the Evaluation Committee shall observe.” Section 39 first mandates what criteria the Evaluation Committee shall use to decide on the “lowest evaluated tender”. Then in subsection (3) it overthrows all that care, and empowers a disagreeing procuring entity to overthrow a decision based on “integrity, expertise” and stated criteria, and to do so without giving reasons. Subject to more informed opinion, it is my view that the Procurement Act of 2003 is colourable, that is, intended to appear to be serving the interest of fairness and transparency, but in fact not drafted to serve that purpose. The lawmakers clearly did not anticipate judicial review of the process, except at the end of the line as provided for in the Constitution for the Procurement Commission. In spite of the existence of the tendering administration, the Cabinet under Section 54 has a Veto
over the National Administration for Procurement and all its works, in any contract over 15 Million Guyana dollars. The Procurement Administration is for small change. All seemed to be going well until the award of the contract by GGMC to CB&R Mining caused BK International to move to the High Court. There the comapny won a ruling from the Chief Justice that the award of a contract to CB&R was outside the powers of the GGMC and illegal under the Procurement Act. In a comment in October 2013 an expert observer, Mr Chris Ram, raised the issue whether government agencies were in fact complying with the Procurement Act. Before this ruling, the process seemed watertight. The opposition MPs had noted irregularities in cases of domestic supplies of goods. The Court found in effect, and among other things, that the litigated award did not comply with the terms of the Procurement Act. The issues in the case deserve to be fully published. The Constitution Reform Committee wrote into the revised constitution, and parliament approved, of course with the President’s assent, the Procurement Commission. The government now has announced a revisionist position. My next effort on this theme will be on the Public Procurement Commission established by article 212W of the Constitution. Eusi Kwayana
Subversive societal culture disrupting families DEAR EDITOR, While political parties and the politicians elected to govern offer daily rhetoric, posturing and speeches trying to win and keep supporters on their side, it has escaped them that the very citizens they are trying to win and keep on their side, are hungry for solutions that affect their daily lives. It has now emerged that on average, two women are murdered every month by their spouse or a male relative, 23 up to December 28th (Kaieteur News,28/12/2013). Hundreds more are being subjected to abnormal use (abuse) by men of both affluence and power and by those who do not have a vision beyond tomorrow. Spousal abuse and violence is a crisis of growing proportion and is a threat to our nation’s future, since our nation’s future is grounded in our families and the many children whose lives are wrecked by the murder and abuse of their mother. But I can forgive our politicians and policy makers for not having a solution to the violence wreaking havoc in our families and in the nation, because domestic abuse and violence are spiritual issues. The government is not equipped to deal with spiritual issues; only the church is equipped to deal with the spiritual violence in our families. It is not enough that women’s organizations like Red Thread lead the fight for women and our families. Our churches must be in the vanguard of this fight, not just from the pulpit and from within the walls of our places of worship, but in the streets of our communities, in schools, in community centres, on social media and in the media, with social programmes for men, couples and families.
We have a generation of boys and men who aren’t clear about what it means to be a man, let alone how to go about nurturing the relationship with their partner and spouse. The church must play a leading role in restoring our men and our families. This is particularly important because the church not the government, not the parliament - is the most potent force for community change. For our churches to be relevant and fit for purpose in the lives of our citizens and their congregations, they need to be focused on building and restoring strong families and strong relationships. The messages of prosperity and abundant blessings in 2014 will be of no value if the souls of our men and families are failing. Our churches must seek to understand the hearts of our men, not just our women who seek refuge in the gospel. Failed and violent relationships cannot produce the unified, enduring families needed to support our troubled society. Families are a creation of God and by delegation, the church has a primary responsibility for equipping men and women to build and model strong relationships. As we prepare to enter 2014, I encourage our men and women of the cloth to make hearing the hearts of men and building families a priority of their ministries. As a citizen, I also expect that our Ministers of Religion within the Government and Parliament and those with responsibility for the Men’s Affairs Bureau and the Family Bureau will be Champions of Change within their spheres of influence. The very sanctity of our nation is at stake. K. Bonnett
Cuban jailed for fake Irish passport Magistrate Faith McGusty yesterday sentenced a Cuban man to 12 months jail for tendering a fake passport case. Lesroy Martinez appeared before Magistrate McGusty and pleaded guilty to the two charges, one of uttering a forged document and another of overstaying in Guyana. Unfortunately for Martinez, one of the charges read to him only allows for a custodial sentence and after mitigation, the Magistrate deemed one year was befitting the crime of uttering a forged document. On December 28, Martinez presented a fake United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Passport to an immigration officer using his own identity. The police said that at Moleson Creek, Corentyne, Berbice the Cuban attempted to defraud Inspector John Brown by
stating that the said passport numbered 037651058 was his despite it knowing it was a fake. Additionally, Martinez was previously granted one month stay in Guyana which expired on November 10, but he failed to comply with the conditions which the police said, prevails around any permit that the State grants. He was permitted to remain in the country from October 10, 2013 to November 9, 2013 but he overstayed the allowed period. Lance Corporal Renetta Bentham who was prosecuting in the matter told the gathering that the man had entered Guyana using Cuban Passport #10148033. He however had presented the fake passport to the Inspector who realising that it was forged took the legal course of action against him. Martinez was subsequently taken to the Criminal Investigation Division and questioned and
charged. The Magistrate had informed t h e c o u r t t h a t overstaying is an offence which attracts a fine but uttering a forged document carried a prison sentence and asked the man for a reason. Speaking through an interpreter from the Cuban E m b a s s y, Martinez explained that he was here waiting for a work permit. The Cuban man added that that’s the passport which was given to him from Cuba. In response, Magistrate McGusty claimed that she had seen no mitigating circumstances. However, before sentencing the man s h e r e l a t ed that she considered that he did not waste the court’s time. She said that the law does not permit anything but a custodial sentence and the man was thereby sentenced to jail. On account of the overstaying charge, he was slapped with a $30,000 fine.
Chainsaw operator ordered held for Christmas Day murder A chainsaw operator who hails from Region One, Barima Waini was ordered held by Magistrate Faith McGusty after he made his first court appearance charged with a Christmas Day murder. Yesterday, at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, Clinton Hart, 30, stood accused of murdering 23year-old Marlon Sam on December 25 at Kwakwani Park, Berbice River. He was not required to plead since the matter was deemed indictable. The Prosecution, which was being spearheaded by Corporal Seon Blackman, did not reveal the details of the crime. However, a source disclosed to Kaieteur News
that following an argument which occurred between the two, the young man met his demise at a nightspot around 23:30 hours that night. Reports indicate the two men were purportedly imbibing alcohol when a heated argument ensued. The source related that as a result of that row, Hart stabbed Sam with a knife. Sam reportedly received stab wounds on both the left and right side of his chest. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Kwakwani Hospital. The matter was reported and the accused was charged with the capital offence. Hart was remanded to prison until January 10, 2014.
Clinton Hart, murder accused
Another Brazilian miner ... From page 9 (ATV) and were heading to Bartica, reportedly to purchase mining supplies with the intention of working through the Christmas holidays. However, they never arrived in Bartica. Their bodies were discovered in a decomposed state Saturday just after midday. There was no sign of their ATV. Meanwhile, an official from the Brazilian Mining and General Association told Kaieteur News that the Association had received reports that gunmen had attacked a boat transporting Brazilians in the Cuyuni River on Sunday. The official said that he
Edilene Fernandes dos Santos had received reports that a miner known only as ‘Branco’
was slain in the attack. The official also complained about the exploitation of Brazilian miners by rogue elements of the police force and some Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) staffers. The source said that many more Brazilians have been slain than have been reported. Meanwhile, other reports suggest that an armed gang operating within the Arimu trail, Region Seven is targeting miners; robbing and terrorising them. Police had indicated that they had beefed up patrols in the interior to cater for miners coming out of the district with their hard earned wages for the Christmas holidays.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
German-based energy firm in Repsol partnership to explore for oil Germany-headquartered, RWE Dea, says it has struck a deal with Repsol to explore for oil offshore Guyana.
Germany-headquartered, RWE Dea, has moved forward into the South American arena by farming-in to the Kanuku licence in Guyana According to a 4traders.com news report yesterday, RWE Dea has arranged a deal with Repsol Exploración Guyana (Repsol) to farm-in to the Kanuku licence operated by Repsol in the Guyana-Suriname Basin located offshore from the coast of Guyana. Under the agreement, RWE Dea will acquire a 30 per cent share in the Kanuku licence. After regulatory approvals the Kanuku block will be explored by a consortium formed by Repsol (40 per cent operator), RWE Dea (30%), and Tullow Oil (30 per cent). The licence is located in the prospective GuyanaSuriname Basin, 80 kilometres off the northeastern coast of South America and covers an area of 6,525 square kilometres. Kanuku represents a high potential exploration opportunity with significant prospectivity mainly in Cretaceous strata in water depths ranging from shallow shelf to 200 metres.
“This new project in partnership with Repsol and Tullow Oil is another showcase of our strategy of early entry in frontier and emerging basins with volume play potential,” said HansHermann Ecke, Senior Vice President New Ventures of RWE Dea AG. “The results of the past exploration activities of our partners show promising signs of hydrocarbons being present in the licence area, and we look forward to the results of the 2D and 3D seismic acquisition campaign currently underway.” The Kanuku licence is among a few that the Government of Guyana is banking on to find oil. With Trinidad, Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela already operating wells, indications are that oil is there. However, two separate wells drilled last year offshore Georgetown and Berbice failed. According to the news report yesterday, the acquisition of 2D and 3D seismic data covering 860 line kilometres and area of approximately 3,200 square kilometres, respectively, was successfully completed in
December. After processing the seismic, data will be interpreted together with already existing 3D data with the objective of identifying drillable prospects by the end of 2014. “Based on the findings, a decision will then be taken whether to enter a second exploration phase during which an exploration well would be due to commence.” RWE Dea is already present in the region through its farm-in to Block 52 midyear in the neighbouring state of Suriname, where together with its partner PETRONAS a 3D seismic survey has been successfully completed in November. RWE Dea AG, headquartered in Hamburg, is an international company engaged in the exploration and production of natural gas and crude oil. RWE Dea has stakes in production facilities and concessions in Germany, the UK, Norway, Denmark, Egypt and Algeria. Recently, following a key meeting with exploration companies, Government announced that the next round of drilling will not take place until 2015.
Fish Aggregating Devices ... From page 21 the “Caribbean Fisheries Comanagement (CARIFICO) Project is not just about constructing FADS and increasing catches: It is really about building local capacity of stakeholders and information base for comanagement, improved conservation, and achieving optimum sustainable use of the fish stocks while safeguarding the marine ecosystems in which they are found.” Through the CRFM’s cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation
Agency (JICA), Japan has committed over US$3.26 million to improving the contribution of fisheries sector of the CARICOM States by way of the Caribbean Fisheries Comanagement (CARIFICO) Project, designed to develop a fishery co-management approach suitable for each target country. “The application for the CARIFICO project was submitted to the Government of Japan in August 2011 and field i m p l e m e n t a t i o n commenced May 2013, less
than 24 months later. That is rapid turnaround for a project of this nature,” Haughton said. CARIFICO is currently working to e n h a n c e t h e partnership among fisher and countries through FADs co-management in six countries within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), to promote sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources by development, management and conservation of these resources, in collaboration with stakeholders.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Region Two Administration repairs damaged irrigation dam The breached irrigation dam behind Airy Hall/ Riverstown, Essequibo Coast
The Region Two Administration is currently carrying out repairs to the damaged irrigation Canal dam, aback of Airy Hall/ Riverstown to avert a further catastrophe. Water flowed through a breach in the dam over the weekend and submerged some five acres of cultivated rice land in Airy Hall. Another 200 rice fields are similarly being threatened in Riverstown. A contractor has been hired by the Region Two Administration to seal the breach in an effort to prevent water from continuously overflowing in already affected areas. Irate farmers lamented that while the Region Two Administration was informed of the initial breach of the
irrigated dam some four to five months ago, the Region was not fully equipped with compatible machinery to undertake repairs of the dam. The result is major flooding of rice lands in the Airy Hall/ Riverstown areas. Farmers have said that the dam leading to the affected irrigated canal dam has since eroded and proper works to effect maintenance should be executed by the Administration urgently. Rice farmer, Sugrim Bijadhar, of Airy-Hall said he has lost almost $700,000 in rice, and other cash crops that have been submerged for the past seven days. Bijadhar said that the excess water into farmersâ€™ land is a result of the tampering of the irrigated canal dam and not rainfall.
Asif Yacoob, whose land is also under water, said that he has since lost 70 ducks, some sheep and rabbits. Another rice farmer, Nazim Mohamed is questioning who would compensate affected farmers. Four and a half acres of his cultivated rice lands have also been inundated with water, almost seven days now. Persons in the area are also claiming that another farmer was seen installing a six inch pipe in the dam to lead water to his rice land, which has resulted in the massive breakage of the irrigated dam. Alliance For Change Regional Councillor, Bhowanie Persaud and A Partnership For Unity Councillor, Wazeer Latiff, spoke with those affected while on a visit to the affected area.
One of the flooded yards.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Ministry of Amerindian Affairs on target with land titling By this time next year, the titling of lands under the three-year Amerindian Land Titling Project would have been completed. This is according to Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, during the Ministry’s end of year press conference held to discuss its successes and achievements during the past year, and to outline plans for 2014. The Minister accredited the accomplishments of the Ministry during the past year as “pretty good”. Among the undertakings that she called to mind were the initial implementation of the Community Development Projects (CDP) under the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF). Under initial stage of the project, 27 communities received grants of $5 Million each, aimed at reducing poverty by developing a community-based and led initiative or business investment. The Minister said that the initial phase is a forerunner for a larger project to be carried out next year. There are some 139 Amerindian villages yet to be granted funds to begin their CDP. She added that progress is seen with 70 per cent of the funds earmarked for disbursement already handed out. This, she said amounted to $95 Million. As for the remaining 30 per cent of communities that have not yet received funds to start their project, the Minister said that by next year this will be addressed. “To date it (the CDP project) is on track and we expect that early next year we would be able to totally
- More work to be done in 2014 complete the remaining 30 per cent disbursement of funds,” she said. The completion of the disbursement phase, however, does not mean the work is complete. According to the Minister, having completed handing over the funds, the Ministry would then be tasked with ensuring that the project is long-lived. “Disbursement does not mean it is the end of the project. It is the beginning and we will have to work on the project’s sustainability with the village council. A project does not end when the money ends,” the Minister stressed. As for the titling for lands, she informed that of the lot, three have been titled fully and have received their certificates of ownership. During this year’s National Toshoas Council (NTC) meeting in October, Government inked a US10.7 Million contract with the United Nations Development Fund aimed at resolving the long standing issue of land titling in the hinterland regions. The Minister said that of the 11 that currently remains to be titled; the processing stage for seven has begun, leaving only four to be dealt with fully. She said that after completing the 11 that are yet to be fully titled, the Minister will have achieved their target. She said also that in the New Year, the Ministry will be working to process the first batch of land extensions. “We have a total of 32 which would be funded under the Amerindian Land Titling project. This is a three year
Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai project so we expect to begin processing the titling of extensions.” She said the way may be clear for the Ministry to deal exclusively with titling of extensions after next year. Added to that, it will be addressing the issue of land demarcation. The Minister said that of 77 areas that were to be demarcated, only 32 remain. She noted that of these, five have been completed thus far and two others are ongoing. “Definitely this shows that as it relates to land, we were able to arrive at the targets that we have set ourselves.” Among other major accomplishments for the year 2013, there was mention of the launch of the Youth Apprenticeship and Entrepreneurship Programme (YAEP) in June. The programme is aimed at creating employment, generating income and developing the young population of the hinterland as leaders and entrepreneurs.
“I’m fed up of the 911 telephone service” - Minister Rohee “The current situation with the 911emergency phone system....is truly frustrating.” This is according to Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee. Rohee was at the time addressing the media at the PPP/C’s weekly press briefing. According to Rohee, he is not certain where the problem lies, and has promised to facilitate a meeting with the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T), the Police, other Home Affairs officials and stakeholders so that the issue can be rectified. The minister said that he was quite frankly “fed up” with the whole situation of poor performance of the 911 system. Rohee said that the
issue has come up at several meetings, but the problem still persists. “I really don’t know if it is a technological problem but I know it is not a problem with clerical staff” Rohee noted. He opined that he is sure that there are enough ranks in the police force to respond to 911 calls. “The current situation is unacceptable. This is something that should be working smoothly at all times,” Rohee said. Back in 2009 the police force came under heavy criticism in light of the Abary River tragedy in which three people drowned. Lone survivor, Ms Tara Mattai, an overseas-based Guyanese had claimed that in her quest to help her drowning
relatives, she had used her cellular phone to call 911. She said that she called about 25 times before her call was received. Mattai said that she was assured by a female rank from the Mahaicony Station, that she would immediately dispatch a boat to render assistance. The woman recalled that she later made about 100 calls, since there was no physical or verbal response, resulting from the earlier conversation. Mattai had related to this newspaper, that when the police arrived several hours later it was not to render assistance, but rather to gather information of what had occurred.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
China $3 trillion local government debt stirs alarm (Reuters) - Calls for China to accelerate financial reforms grew louder on Monday after figures showed its indebted local governments owe nearly $3 trillion in a debt build-up that some analysts called alarming. The National Audit Office, China’s state auditor, said in a report local governments had total outstanding debt of 17.9 trillion yuan at the end of June, a sum that includes contingent liabilities and debt guarantees. The debt load is in the middle of market forecasts and leaves China with total government debt of around 58 percent of gross domestic product. Analysts said this suggested China is not on a verge of a fiscal crisis - the figure is less than half the debt burdens in Japan and Greece where public finances are strained - but warned the world’s second-biggest economy needed to urgently reduce debt if it wanted to safeguard growth and financial stability. This is especially because the long-awaited report showed some governments were using new loans to repay more than a fifth of their debt, and that authorities still relied heavily on selling land to pay off old loans. China’s mountain of local government debt is among the biggest threats to its economy as investors worry
a good part of it cannot be repaid since most of the money borrowed had paid for non-lucrative public infrastructure. The prospect of defaults has raised fears that they could saddle Chinese banks with a load of bad debt and destabilize China’s financial system. “While China’s total government debt remains low by the OECD standards, the pace of the rise is still alarming,” ANZ economists Liu Li-Gang and Zhou Hao said in a note. “This national debt audit result could indicate that China’s local government debt almost doubled in about 2-1/2 years.” NEW POLICIES Beijing acknowledges the risks and have promised to curtail fiscal dangers by revising policies. New policies include letting investors pay for the building of some public works, allowing governments to tap more financing sources, and pegging performances of governments to total debt incurred. Monday’s results are a first step in China’s latest efforts to tidy its public finances. Beijing had ordered the audit in August, the first of such since 2011, amid growing public skepticism about the accuracy of official debt data. Despite reiterations from Beijing that China’s local
government debt levels had stabilized in the past three years, Monday’s results showed debt incurred by local authorities was up 67 percent compared to the 2011 audit. However, the audit is more comprehensive than 2011’s because it includes money borrowed by more than 33,000 township governments. In all, the auditor reviewed the finances of nearly 36,300 local governments to compile the latest figures. Prior to Monday, the most pessimistic market estimates of what local governments owe have been close to $4.1 trillion. “China’s government debt risks are in general under
control, but some areas have certain dangers,” the state auditor said. It said risks include fast rising debt levels, with county governments seeing the quickest increase in leverage, heavy debt burdens in some unnamed regions and sectors, and government dependence on land sales to repay loans. About 37 percent of debt owed by provincial, city and county governments are backed by land sales revenues, it said. Of all debt directly incurred by China’s central and local governments, 5.4 percent are overdue and have not been repaid. “Although current overall risks of local government debt
are under control, risks would definitely increase sharply if the debt continues to rise so quickly,” said Pan Xiangdong, chief economist at Galaxy Securities in Beijing. “We expect the (central) government to restrict the borrowing behaviors of local governments.” Under China’s laws, local governments are barred from borrowing directly from banks or investors to protect the country’s fiscal health. Yet despite not being able to borrow, local authorities are responsible for most of China’s public spending but take only half of fiscal income. Local governments in 2010 received 48 percent of total fiscal income but were responsible for 80 percent of public spending. The funding shortfall has forced local authorities to set up firms over the years to borrow on their behalf, leading to a rapid rise in government debt outside official balance sheets. “We expect the government to unveil detailed plans for fiscal reform,” said Shen Jianguang, an economist with Mizuho Securities in Hong Kong. “The key to solving the debt (problem) depends on changing the distribution system for fiscal income between central and local governments, as well as (changing) local governments’ over-reliance on land sale revenues.” Shen
said. RATING IMPACT? No credit rating agency was immediately available for comment on Monday about whether the figures would have an impact on China’s sovereign credit rating. Fitch, which cut China’s long-term local currency credit rating to A-plus from AA-minus in April, estimated then that China’s government debt was equivalent to 49 percent GDP. At 58 percent of GDP, China’s total debt is a long way from Japan’s 240 percent and Greece’s 160 percent, ANZ data showed. Still, if Beijing forces local governments to reduce their debt and borrowings in coming months, that may deal another blow to China’s already slowing economy, ANZ warned. As it is, China’s $8.5 trillion economy is forecast to grow at its slackest pace in 14 years this year at 7.6 percent. To keep its economy on an even keel, Ting Lu from Merrill Lynch-Bank of America said Beijing should aim instead to pick up some of the debt burden from local authorities, and replace shortterm borrowings with longerduration loans. “To maintain both economic growth and financial stability, China should avoid simplistic deleveraging and debt reduction,” Lu said. ($1 = 6.0686 Chinese yuan)
Second suicide bomber in Russia’s Volgograd kills 14 on bus (Reuters) - A bomb ripped a bus apart in Volgograd on Monday, killing 14 people in the second deadly attack blamed on suicide bombers in the southern Russian city in 24 hours and raising fears of Islamist attacks on the Winter Olympics. President Vladimir Putin, who has staked his prestige on February’s Sochi Games and dismissed threats from Chechen and other Islamist militants in the nearby North Caucasus, ordered tighter security nationwide after the morning rush-hour blast. The previous day’s similar attack killed at least 17 in the main rail station of a city that serves as a gateway to the southern wedge of Russian territory bounded by the Black and Caspian Seas and the Caucasus mountains. On Monday, the blue and white trolleybus - powered by overhead electric cables was reduced to a twisted, gutted carcass. Bodies were strewn across the street as Russians prepared to
celebrate New Year, the biggest annual holiday. Windows in nearby apartments were blown out by the blast, which Russia’s foreign ministry condemned as part of a global terrorist campaign. “For the second day, we are dying. It’s a nightmare,” a woman near the scene told Reuters, her voice trembling as she choked back tears. “What are we supposed to do, just walk now?” “Identical” shrapnel to that in the rail station indicated that the two bombs were linked, investigators said. “There was smoke and people were lying in the street,” said Olga, who works nearby. “The driver was thrown a long way. She was alive and moaning ... Her hands and clothes were bloody.” There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of the two attacks. Investigators said they believed a male suicide bomber was responsible for
Monday’s blast. In Sunday’s attack, the federal Investigative Committee initially described the bomber as a woman from Dagestan, a hub of Islamist militancy on the Caspian, but later said the attacker may have been a man. Citing unnamed sources, the Interfax news agency said the suspected attacker in Sunday’s blast was an ethnic Russian convert to Islam who had moved to Dagestan and joined militants there early in 2012. Volgograd was also the scene of an attack in October, when a woman from Dagestan killed seven people in a suicide bus blast. SECURITY The violence raises fears of a concerted campaign before the Olympics, which start on February 7 around Sochi, a resort on the Black Sea at the western end of the Caucasus range, 700 km (450 miles) southwest of Volgograd. International Olympic Committee President Thomas
Bach condemned the “despicable attack on innocent people” and said he had written to Putin to express condolences and confidence that Russia would deliver “safe and secure games in Sochi”. It was unclear why Volgograd has been hit, though it is close to the restive regions. It also has resonance in Russian national identity as the scene of the battle that turned the course of World War Two, when the city was known as Stalingrad. Putin visited in February to mark the battle’s 70th anniversary. City leaders have revived the old name for special occasions as Stalin’s image has been somewhat rehabilitated under Putin, while Stalin remains a hate figure to Chechens, whose nation was deported en masse on his orders. Putin has staked his personal reputation on a safe and successful Olympics. This month, he freed jailed opponents including oil
tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Pussy Riot punk band to remove causes for criticism at the event. Intended to showcase how Russia has changed since the collapse of Soviet communism in 1991, the Games have also been a focus for complaints in the West and among Russian liberals that Putin has stifled dissent and encouraged intolerance. Putin was first elected in 2000 after winning popularity for a war on Chechen rebels who had bid for independence after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Attacks by Islamist militants whose insurgency is rooted in that war have clouded his 14 years in power and now present his biggest security challenge. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called on world powers to stand together against “terrorists” and named Doku Umarov, the Chechen warlord who leads the insurgency in the North Caucasus, as among those
fomenting violence. “We will continue our consistent fight against an insidious enemy that can only be stopped together,” the ministry said. Likening the Volgograd bombings to attacks in the United States, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere, it criticized those who seek to justify some such violence - an apparent dig at Western powers who have supported Syria’s insurgents and who, at least in the 1990s, showed some sympathy for Chechen rebels. “The United States stands in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. “The U.S. government has offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators, and other participants.”
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Another successful and... Roberts thankful for... From page 33 would also undergo a restructuring with a view to getting better results with the newly appointed cricket Coach Winston Smith and Office Manager Moonish Singh leading in this regard. Special emphasis would also be placed on the St. Francis Xavier Youth Club while with the re-appointment of Hilbert Foster as the BCB Special Events Committee Chairman, the Berbice Board would also benefit in a large way from the RHTY&SC. The club is very grateful to its numerous supporters, official sponsors and donors for their support during 2013 which enabled
the RHTY&SC to maintain its status as Guyana’s leading youth and sports entity. Gratitude has been extended to His Excellency President Donald Ramotar, BAKEWELL, DDL, Gizmos & Gadgets, Farfan & Mendes, Food For the Poor, Metro Office Supplies, Sterling Products, GTM Group of Companies, Western Union, Banks DIH, Ansa McAl, Beharry’s, Berbice River Bridge, E-Networks, NAMILCO, GT&T, Republic Bank (Guy) Limited, Scotia Bank, DTV-8, Busta, NCN, Radio Needy Children Fund, Bounty Farm Limited, Toucan Industry, Southland International, F&H Printing Est., H.A Snacks,
Impressions, Trophy Stall, New GPC Inc., Universal DVD, Sentinel Security, Hand-in-Hand, Bissan’s, A. Ally & Sons, Len’s Craft Optical, TCL (Guy), Ricks & Sari Limited, Diamond Fire & General Insurance, Minister Jennifer Westford, Kings Jewellery, A.M Khan, De Sinco Trading, Ming’s Propducts & Services, Feroze Barakat, Bermudez, C.K Associates, John Lewis Styles, P&P Insurance Brokers, Starr Computers, Apex Insurance, Alfred Mentore, A.H &L Kissoon, Lotto, Basil Butcher, CIRKEL, Dr. Ian Mc Donald, Marcel Crawford SC, Mohamed Qualander and Vincent Alexander.
From page 34 Berbice River Bridge and Giftland as making significant contribution towards the success of the fight card which was the first organised by the RCBG in Berbice during 2013. However he stated that he would like to see the GBA playing a more active role in the development of the sport in the ancient county in the coming year. There is a certain amount that persons in the outlying areas can do, but support is needed, it was noted. Things like gear, such as skipping ropes, mouth guards, hand raps and gloves are among some of the things needed. Roberts stated that for the New Year he will like to see a
Serena rivalry making me a better player, says... From page 32 medical time out, means she has of lot of goodwill to win back in Australia
over the next month. “Every year I look so much forward to coming here,” she said, apparently
unperturbed. “It’s one of my favorite places to play. I’ve loved it since I was a j u n i o r. ” Second seed
Tuesday December 31, 2013 ARIES (MAR 21 - APR 19): It’s no fun for others to wait for your response to issues that are important to them. You may not think it imperative to give answers to propositions or reply to correspondence, but someone else may disagree. ****************************** TAURUS (APR 20 - MAY 20): You’re heavily involved in family affairs and keen to encourage a loved one’s schemes and dreams. ****************************** GEMINI (MAY 21 - JUN 20): Your time is at a premium, you’re already working to a strict schedule and further demands come your way. Make an early start in sorting out your priorities and stick to your original intentions. ****************************** CANCER (JUN 21 - JUL 22): Nervousness or timidity can blight relationships and cause unnecessary misunderstandings. Don’t hold back if you know the answer to a problem someone is trying to solve. ****************************** LEO (JUL 23 - AUG 22): Refuse to allow trivial matters to distract you from what you should be getting on with. Impulsive acts should also be avoided. ****************************** VIRGO (AUG 23 - SEP 22): You’ve always had faith in your judgement; but dare you rely on intuition alone today? Your sixth sense will be your greatest asset in situations where it’s difficult to make up your mind.
LIBRA (SEP 23 - OCT 22): Not everything will go according to plan and patience is needed to get through some aggravations. ****************************** SCORPIO (OCT 23 NOV 21): You need to be one step ahead of those who are inclined to be manipulative or controlling. Impatience or carelessness with details could lead to mistakes and provide others with the chance to take charge. ****************************** SAGITTARIUS (NOV 22 - DEC 21): Don’t make any new and unnecessary agreements or take on obligations which you may come to regret. ****************************** CAPRICORN (DEC 22 JAN 19): Pay no heed to those who accuse you of being old fashioned and conservative. If you prefer to stick to familiar routines and traditional methods, why let anyone talk you out of this? ****************************** AQUARIUS (JAN 20 FEB 18): Allowing your partner to have his or her say won’t mean anything if you aren’t really listening. You have your views and they’re unlikely to change but at least make it look as if you’re considering what they have in mind. ****************************** PISCES (FEB 19 - MAR 20): Tension and unease mars a close relationship. Cast your mind back over the past few weeks and you will see where you’ve been going wrong.
Azarenka will open her new season in the second round of the Brisbane International against local wild card Casey Dellacqua, who beat Kazakh Galina Voskoboeva 3-6 6-2 6-3 in the first round on Monday.
better working relationship between the GBA and the outlying areas. “We would definitely like to see officials of the GBA visiting and holding interactive session with the Gyms in the outlying areas more often. With that we would be able to plan better and get more out of the boxers. It will also show that the association has the outlying areas at heart.” He stated that he is expecting good things from his fighters for the New Year, with more programmes coming on stream and hopefully with help from the GBA and with Ninvalle’s input and foresight, things should be great for Berbice. He is also grateful to opposition leader David Granger for allowing them the opportunity to use the building. He is also using the opportunity to call on the government and the business community for support in helping him to keep the youngsters off the street and away from illicit activities. (Samuel Whyte)
Tuesday December 31, 2013
F1 racers never lose the need for speed T&T footballer Akeem LONDON (Reuters) Formula One drivers are a special breed, intensely competitive thrill seekers driven by a need for speed and thirst for adrenalin. Michael Schumacher, in critical condition in hospital with head injuries suffered in a skiing accident in the French Alps, would not have been the seven times world champion he was without those qualities. The world of Formula One was praying on Monday for that determination and fighting spirit to see the retired 44-year-old through a greater battle than anything he experienced on the racetrack. Leaving the grand prix paddock can be a challenge for racing drivers, many of them still relatively young and accustomed to living life on the limit, who must seek their thrills elsewhere. Schumacher took up motorcycle racing soon after he first retired from Ferrari in 2006, injuring his neck in a 2009 crash. Others, such as Australian Mark Webber who broke his leg while riding a mountain bike in an endurance event in Tasmania in 2010, have moved on to Le Mans. “Michael loves to challenge race tracks on superbikes and he often
Then Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher skis during a stay in the northern Italian resort of Madonna Di Campiglio in this January 16, 2004 file photo. REUTERS/Pool excitedly shows his many amazing skydiving pictures on his phone,” said the German’s former Benetton team mate Martin Brundle, now a commentator for Sky television. “He’s only a year out of the F1 cockpit but, as a driven and competitive person, you can’t simply switch off and settle down at the end of a long career, you need challenges and achievements to keep the adrenalin flowing.
“It’s not uncommon for racers to survive many big accidents to then be injured in cars, aviation, bikes, on water, or indeed ski slopes. The need for machinery and speed will always be there, it’s inevitable,” added the Briton. GOOD SKIER Just as many professional Alpine ski racers have a fascination for fast cars and motorbikes, so do fitnessobsessed racing drivers exhibit
Santokie aims to get into the swing of things Seeking 50-overs breakthrough after previous letdown Jamaica Observer - LEFTARM swing bowler Krishmar Santokie is looking to establish himself as a regular in the Jamaica 50-overs set-up. The wily bowler is keen on making the final cut after the national cricket selection panel, led by chairman Wavell Hinds, chose a 45-member training squad ahead of the upcoming Super50 and Fourday regional competitions. “We have some trial games coming up, so I’m trying to keep myself fit and stay focused,” Santokie said. “I’m hoping to be in the final 14 for the Super50. If I get in, I’m looking to deliver,” he added, moments before entering the practice nets at Sabina Park on Saturday. Santokie was the country’s top bowler when Jamaica won the Super50 title two years ago. However, last season though present in the squad - he played no part as Jamaica lost in the semi-finals to eventual champions Windward Islands. The 29-year-old told the Jamaica Observer that he has
Krishmar Santokie put that 50-overs disappointment behind him. “I was definitely disappointed, knowing that the tournament where we won I was the leading wickettaker for Jamaica, and I didn’t get a chance the following season. But I have used it as a stepping stone to push myself to do well,” he said. The most prominent pace bowler in the regional Twenty20 (T20) format in recent years, Santokie has troubled batsmen with his swinging full-pitched deliveries and crafty slower
balls from a low, sling-like action. The left-arm bowler also excelled in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament held in the summer, while representing the eventual runners-up Guyana Amazon Warriors. “I guess in some ways it (the 50-overs disappointment) worked for me in the CPL, because we all know the outcome. I was Player of the Tournament,” chirped the former Glenmuir High student. He hopes that good form stays with him. “I’m definitely looking to take over the form into the Super50 because there is not much of a difference between T20 and One-day (50-overs) cricket. I’ve done it before and I don’t see any reason why I can’t do it again,” he said. Santokie has taken two wickets in a pair of T20 International matches for the West Indies. He has claimed a total of 82 wickets in 44 T20 outings at a cost of 11.92, including a best of 5-24.
a love of extreme sports. “Part of the reason that exdrivers enjoy sports like skiing is because the physical rush that you get from the skis, through your feet and whole body and the adrenalin surge, is something you become an addict to,” former grand prix winner John Watson told BBC radio. “Michael Schumacher raised the level of driver fitness and training...and part of his enjoyment of being a grand prix driver was extending the limits that were known at the time of race drivers’ fitness, both physical and mental. “It becomes habitual...if you are somebody like Michael Schumacher, that’s a part of what your life is even though you are not directly involved in a competitive sport.” Ferrari always used to have an annual January gathering with their drivers in the Dolomites and Schumacher impressed with his skiing ability. The German was on vacation with his family, skiing off-piste in the resort of Meribel when he fell and banged his head against a rock. He was wearing a helmet and, by all accounts, skiing well within his capabilities. The accident was widely seen as a freak. In the old days when safety was virtually nonexistent, those who made it through to retirement were the lucky ones. Even then, fate could be especially cruel. Britain’s Mike Hawthorn walked away from the sport in October 1958 as his country’s first world champion. He died months later when he crashed his Jaguar sportscar into a tree. Compatriot Mike Hailwood, a champion on two wheels and podium contender in F1 in the 1960s and early 1970s, died in a 1981 car collision after popping out to buy a fish and chip supper. French ex-Ferrari driver Didier Pironi was killed in 1987 while racing a powerboat. Even some of those still racing find they need an extra adrenalin fix. As the sport has become safer, with Formula One’s last driver fatality the death of Brazilian Ayrton Senna in 1994, the dangers elsewhere have become more apparent. Poland’s Robert Kubica almost died, and certainly ended a Formula One career that could have led him to Ferrari, when he crashed in a minor rally in Italy in 2011. Ferrari’s 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen, who has also raced powerboats and rally cars, hurt his wrist in 2011 in a snowmobile incident.
Adams has died
Multimedia Desk - The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) yesterday afternoon confirmed the passing of national footballer Akeem Adams in Hungary. Social Media had earlier reported the death of young footballer Akeem Adams, who has been in critical condition at a hospital in Hungary, after suffering a heart attack in September. However, Adams’ local representative has disclosed that Adams’ mother had taken the decision not to give doctors permission to take her son off life support. According to the TTFA “Akeem Adams’ local representative Dion Sosa, at 11:15 am yesterday advised that Ancilla Adams, mother of Akeem Adams has opted go with faith and has decided against taking her son off life support following initial reports of a decision to take that step earlier yesterday. Yesterday afternoon, came confirmation of Adams’ death. The TTFA stated, ‘’We would like to extend our deepest condolences and sympathies on behalf of the officials, players and supporters of all our teams to Akeem’s family and friends at this sad time.Akeem’s uncle Ivan Dick and local representative Dion Sosa confirmed that Akeem left us at 12:45pm TT time. “He went on his own. This was God’s call. He is at peace now. We wish to thank all of those who offered their support to Akeem and his family. He touched us all in so many ways,” said Dick. President Raymond Tim Kee, in an immediate statement after receiving the dreadful news, said: “No words can fully express our grief and dismay on what has happened. We can only pass on all our thoughts and
prayers to his family and hope they will get some strength from the outpouring of love and support from everyone over this period going back to the time that he suffered the heart attack some months ago. “Everyone in our football fraternity is deeply affected by this. Not only was he a promising and dedicated footballer, but he was also a fine young man,” Tim Kee told TTFA Media. Akeem was a prospect that undoubtedly would have had a bright future in the game. Born April 13th, 1991, Akeem first entered the national program at the Under 13 level in 2004 on a squad of players prepared for the Caribbean Under 15 Championships. He would later become an integral part of the National Under 17 Team that defeated Jamaica at the CONCACAF qualifiers in Kingston to qualify for the 2007 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in South Korea. Akeem played in that World Cup and two years later would go on to help the National Under 20 Team book its place in the 2009 FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Egypt where he also made appearances at FIFA’s second biggest world tournament. His progress was consistent and he made his senior international debut for this country on January 22, 2011 against Finland at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, going on to make nine international appearances before joining Hungarian football club Ferencvárosi TC which was his final team up until the time of his passing. Akeem’s humble spirit was felt from the start and he has definitely left his mark and will forever hold a place in the hearts of all in the Trinidad and Tobago and international football community.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
UDFA/ GT Beer final decided …
Milerock, Winners Connection defeat semifinal opponents, to play tomorrow Milerock defeated Silver Shattas 3-1, while Winners Connection downed Bakewell Topp XX 2-1 to earn the right to play in the Upper Demerara Football Associations (UDFA) inaugural GT Beer football final tomorrow night (New Year ’s Day) at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground. Playing on a newly marked surface north of the normal playing area because of the state of the regular pitch, Milerock took advantage of the conditions as early as the 8th minute as they scored from a free kick which was awarded when striker Randy Jerome was brought down just beyond the 18 yard box in the 8th minute. The spot kick taken, crashed through and rebounded off a Shattas defender who failed to clear and made it a 1-0 score for the Milerock side who celebrated the first goal of the game. The smooth flowing play of Milerock was evident and they were able to increase that advantage when Ron Fiedtkou collected a pass
from Mark Moses and in a fine finish scored to put his team ahead, 2-0. However, the Shattas side were able to pull one back just before the half time whistle came as Leon Clement scored in what was registered as the 46th minute. Milerock continued to press their constructive play but Shattas resisted before Milerock penetrated when Mark Moses scored in the 58th minute for a 3-1 advantage. The game’s score remained that way to the end and Milerock will now play in the championship game for a first prize of $1M tomorrow. The second game saw a stunning win for Winners Connection who were off to a flying start as main striker Rawle ‘Boney’ Gittens was sent away by winger Steve Brewley in the first minute of the game and was able to score. The 1-0 shocker was enough to push back Topp XX as Winners Connection showed grit and determination to make the best of a fairytale start. This
was supported by a team that was resolute and by the 24th minute Winners Connection increased their lead through former top school boy forward Marmaleque Davidson who struck home a nice goal from about 20 yards out. Topp XX showed glimpses of their known high standard of play but simply could not get their act together. Half time saw Winners Connection comfortably ahead 2-0. Playing the second half would not change the setting much for top XX as Winners Connection continued their positive game plan and seemed to like the conditions more than Topp XX. However, Topp XX did cut the lead of Winners Connection through Shawn Daniels in the 79th minute, but Winners Connection eventually triumphed by a 21 score-line and now face Milerock for bragging rights and the top prize of $1M tomorrow, New Year’s day. Topp XX and Shattas will battle for $500,000 and the losers get $250,000
WICB PRESIDENT SENDS CONDOLENCES
Jacques Kallis: South Africa beat India in all-rounder’s final Test BBC Sport - Jacques Kallis ended his Test career with a victory as South Africa beat India by 10 wickets in Durban. The 38-year-old all rounder, who struck his 45th Test century on Sunday, is the third highest Test run scorer, with 13,289 runs from his 166 matches. Kallis was not required to bat again as South Africa reached their target of 58 soon after tea to win the series 1-0. Earlier Ajinkya Rahane was the last wicket to fall in India’s 223, four short of a maiden Test century. The South Africa players all wore T-shirts featuring an image of Kallis and the words ‘the only player to score 10,000 runs and take 250 wickets’ emblazoned on the back. They joined the allrounder for a lap of honour around the Kingsmead outfield, the ground where he made his Test debut against England as a 20-year-old in 1995. “It’s a very tough day but my team-mates have made it a special game and I couldn’t ask for a better exit,” said Kallis, who will continue to play one-day internationals. South Africa skipper Graeme Smith said: “We’ve enjoyed time in many changing rooms and had many victories for the Proteas. He’s a really outstanding human being it’s been a privilege to get to know him as a person and a friend. It’s emotional and humbling to see the effect he has had.” India began the final day 98 runs behind with eight wickets still intact but had the worst possible start when Virat Kohli was given out caught behind from the first ball of the day. Replays showed the short
Vernon Philander bowls Ajinkya Rahane for 96. (Getty Images)
Robin Peterson in his delivery stride. (Getty Images)
ball from Dale Steyn clipped Kohli’s shoulder - but with the Indian authorities objecting to the use of the Decision Review System during the series, no review was possible. There was little doubt about the dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara in Steyn’s next over, however, a rapid delivery moving off the seam and crashing into the off-stump. That brought Rahane to the crease in only his third Test, and although wickets continued to fall around him, he reached his second 50 of the match with a single in the final over before lunch. With nine wickets down, Rahane drove Vernon
Philander down the ground to reach 90 and then added a six over point two balls later, before his leg-stump was disturbed with the final ball of the over. Kallis led the players off the field but there was no change in the batting order as regular openers Smith and Alviro Petersen took less than 12 overs to secure a victory that increases South Africa’s lead over India at the top of the Test rankings. Scores: South Africa 500 (Kallis 115, de Villiers 74, Jadeja 6-138) and 59 for 0 beat India 334 (Vijay 97, Pujara 70, Steyn 6-100) and 223 (Rahane 96, Peterson 474) by ten wickets.
World Relays biggest sporting event in Bahamas, says official One of the damaged areas in the Windward Islands. WICB Media - ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The WICB has sent condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of persons who died during the heavy rains and landslides in the Windward Islands. President of the WICB Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron, offered sympathies on behalf of all members and stakeholders of the West Indies Cricket Family. “We have heard about the deaths and we at the have seen the magnitude of the devastation which has affected our brothers and sisters in St Vincent & the Grenadines, St
Lucia, Dominica and also in Grenada,” Mr Cameron said. “This is the time of year when everyone is full of joy, but that is not the case with some members of our Windies Cricket family who have been dealt a hard blow. I want to offer our deepest sympathies to those who lost loved ones and also reach out to those who are in need at this very difficult time.” Mr Cameron added: “We want them to know that the WICB and the West Indies Cricket family are by their side and we want to bring some cheer as we close out 2013 and prepare for the New Year.”
NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) — The inaugural IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas next May is considered to be the biggest sporting event hosted on the islands, according to Keith Parker, executive chairman of the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014 Local Organising Committee (LOC). The two-day event, to be staged at the newly-built Thomas A Robinson National Stadium on May 24 and 25, will bring together the world’s best athletes in competition. Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations (BAAA) President Mike Sands has been named vice-
chairman of the LOC and has the responsibility to liaison with the IAAF. Grafton Ifill Jr is the LOC executive administrator and governmental relations officer. He is responsible for maintaining relations with government authorities. The role of managing director has been given to Lionel Haven. He is responsible for the overall management, leadership and operational activities of the LOC. Haven will ensure that the IAAF World Relays is successfully achieved in accordance with IAAF regulations. Eric Savard is the event
consultant. A major events veteran, having managed numerous IAAF events, he will work hand-in-hand with Haven for the strategic planning, and is in charge of the general transfer of knowledge and delivery of the event. Parker said hosting the event will require more than 500 event volunteers and more than 100 organising committee members and a part/full-time staff of over 25. He expressed confidence, however, that he and his team will remind the world that The Bahamas is now a major destination for world-class sporting events.
Dominoes on the rise By Zaheer Mohamed For some, Dominoes is merely a pastime, while for others it is a competitive sport. Dominoes have created much hype in 2013 with the biggest tournament being the F and H Printing Establishment Million Dollar Plus. This tournament attracted teams from across Guyana. After the zone stage 67 teams converged at the National Gymnasium for the playoffs, but it was corporation team All Season Racing Service that prevailed over the more seasoned Assassins and 2012 winners TNT. Franklin Seaforth of the victorious team gained the most valuable player accolade in the final. Despite the loss of their president Orin Joseph, the Georgetown Dominoes Association (GDA) had a commendable year in which they managed to organize a number of tournaments gaining tremendous support from the business sector. The Robert Williams Memorial was their first major competition; Delta Force
Faye Joseph came out victorious ahead of second place C7 and Scramblers. The GDA then successfully held another tournament which attracted 27 teams, Mix Up took the first prize trophy while Providence placed second and Rage third. This was followed by the President’s Cup which was won by TNT, Assassin grabbed the runner up spot and Delta Force finished third. Mix Up proved that they are one of the better teams
affiliated to the GDA when they carted off the Champion of Champions tournament which involved the top 12 teams in the city. Wild Bunch tasted success in La Belle Sports Club tournament while C7 took the Orin Joseph Memorial title. Other successful teams for the year are Rage, West Side and Thunder. President of the GDA, wife of the late Orin Joseph, Faye Joseph said that the GDA will continue to promote the sport and will also focus on the outlying areas, while organising secretary Mark Wiltshire expressed gratitude to their sponsors including Fitness Express, La Belle Sports Bar and Hotel, F and H Printing, Two Brothers Service Station, Golyn and Sons and Trophy Stall. The Wakenaam Dominoes Association also ran off a number of tournaments with the major one being the MAC competition sponsored by Safraz Sheriffuddeen in which Under Dog came out victorious.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
GFA / Banks Beer KO Cup...
Santos set up final showdown TIGERS TO PLAY against Slingerz- GDF, FOR THIRD PLACE Manager of Santos Football Club Frank Parris received a wonderful birthday present when his side registered a battling 2-1 win over the highly touted Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to make it to the final of the Georgetown Football Association (GFA)/Banks Beer Cup following the conclusion of semi-final action on Sunday, at the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) ground, Bourda. Santos, one of the oldest existing clubs in Georgetown, went ahead as early as the eight minute of play through the diminutive Anthony Abrams whose powerful header flew past the advancing Delon Younge into the right hand corner of the goal. The end result silenced the strong GDF support, while Santos’s band of fans celebrated the fine effort of Abrams. The game, which was played in difficult conditions underfoot, saw both teams coming close to scoring, but excellent work by former national goalkeeper Richard Reynolds appearing for Santos and Younge kept the scoreline slightly in favour of Santos. GDF eventually gained the equaliser through a penalty strike from Kennard Simon in the 42nd minute of play after one of his teammates was brought down inside the penalty area thereby forcing the referee to award a spot kick which was duly scored. The half came with none of the teams in the ascendancy, but the Army beginning to assert themselves, while Santos seemed not to be intimidated by the favourite tag of their opponents. The resumption saw Santos resume where they left off, attacking the backline of the soldiers and were rewarded with the go ahead goal when guest player Christoff Wensly fired hard into the back of the net to give them the lead once again and one that they held until the final whistle sounded to evoke celebrations among their
Santos Manager Frank Parris speaks to the media shortly after witnessing his team beat the GDF 2-1 to reach the final of the competition. supporters. In the feature game, West Demerara’s Slingerz were lucky to escape with a 1-0 win against Western Tigers courtesy of an own goal off the boots of Ryan Adolph in the 71st minute of play after he attempted to clear a threatening cross, a fortunate position which they held until the final whistle which gives them the chance to play for the first prize of $4million. The loser walks away with $2.5million, while the third place finisher receives $1.5million and the fourth place team collects $1million. The final will be staged tomorrow, at the GCC ground, Bourda.
Serena rivalry making me a better player, says Azarenka 2013 Million Dollars Champs All Season Racing Service
Runs for Guillen as T&T continue trials Trinidad Express - Port of Spain, Trinidad - Opener Justin Guillen led the way with 55, but his innings was not enough to stop Team B going under to Team A by seven wickets in the second Trinidad and Tobago trial match at Queen’s Park Oval Sunday. Guillen struck eight fours in his knock, which lasted 65 balls and 92 minutes. During that period, he lost PowerGen players Nicholas Sookdeosingh (four) and Evin Lewis (seven) and Guillen’s fellow Parkite Petrock Nicholas (duck).
Queen’s Park batsman Guillen departed with the score on 87, and Team B wickets kept tumbling with regularity. Rearguard action from Yannic Cariah (30 runs, 33 balls, 32 minutes)-who hit two fours and two sixes-along with wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo (17) and Daron Cruickshank (16) helped Team B produce a fighting total that proved not enough. In reply Team A made light work of the total, with Cooper (42 not out) and Jonathan
Augustus (52 not out) posting a 71-run partnership to see Team A home comfortably in 31.2 overs. Team A openers Nicholas Pooran and Kjorn Ottley scored 19 each, and Vikash Mohan 22. Summarised Scores: Team B 168 all out in 46.1 overs (Justin Guillen 55, Ranga Lachana 21, Yannic Cariah 30; Kevon Cooper 2/ 22, Imran Khan 2/24, Samuel Badree 2/26, Ricky Jaipaul 2/34). Team A 169/3 in 31.2 overs (Jonathan Augustus 52, Kevon Cooper 42 n.o., Vikash Mohan 22; Vishal Naipaul 1/15, Marlon Richards 1/22, Yannic Cariah 1/27).
(Reuters) - Victoria Azarenka thinks her rivalry with Serena Williams is making her a better player and is looking forward to renewing it over the next four weeks at the Brisbane International and the Australian Open. World number two behind the 17-times major champion, Azarenka will only meet Williams if both players make the final at the Pat Rafter arena next weekend and Melbourne Park on Jan 25. The Belarussian, who has won the Australian Open for the last two years, has a 3-13 record against Williams but split last year’s four matches and beat the American 7-5 6-3 in an exhibition match in Thailand at the weekend. “I think it’s great, first of all, to be a part of that rivalry because it really helps you to grow as a player, as a person,” the 24-year-old told reporters in Brisbane on Monday. “You learn things about yourself and what you need
to improve, because when somebody is taking you to the limit you really have a good look at what you have to do better to rise up. “I definitely enjoy that and love tough competition. To take that challenge for me every time is very exciting. That’s what I wake up for and train hard for.” Azarenka avoided Williams altogether in Australia last year, firstly in bizarre circumstances in
Brisbane when she was forced to withdraw from their semi-final meeting after a pedicure went wrong. They were again scheduled to meet in the last four in Melbourne before an injury-hampered Williams lost her quarter-final to compatriot Sloane Stephens. Azarenka’s subsequent victory over Stephens in the semi-finals, when she took a controversial 10-minute (Continued on page 29)
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Another successful and productive year for - 180 programmes RHTY&SC despite many hurdles and activities achieved A Highly successful year despite unprecedented challenges is how the Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club (RHTY&SC) has described 2013. The 23 year-old leading youth and sports organisation in Guyana informed that it completed a record breaking 180 programmes and activities while its cricketers continue to make the club proud on and off the field of play. CEO/Secretary Hilbert Foster in assessing the year disclosed that the club was able to record resounding success due to the outstanding work and dedication of the executive and members including Honorary Patron Beverley Harper, President Keith Foster, Treasurer Dawn Hicks, Office staff Eon Hooper and Moonish Singh and Executive Member Allan Harry. He further disclosed that the programmes and activities were completed under Sports, Culture, Youth Development, Coaching, Awards, Religious, AntiDrugs, Community Development, Social, Economic Development and Educational. On the field of play, the club won the Neal & Massy 50-overs Intermediate competition, NAMILCO/ Bakewell T20 Cup and NBS 40-overs second-division. They were runner-up in the Carib Beer T20 Cup and reached the semifinals of the Universal DVD T20 and Elizabeth Styles Under-19 50-overs. In current competition, the club has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Berbice Under-17 and the final of the Tenelec Inc. Under-15 tournaments. From an individual focus, Daniel Lewis and Brandon Prashad represented Guyana at the Under-17 level while Shawn Pereira and Askay Homraj played for the national Under-19 team with Pereira as Captain. Homraj scored a brilliant 103 on debut against the Windward Islands. Phaffiana Millington Captained the national Under-19 team while Shabita Gajnabi and Erica Lashley also played for the team. At the National Senior level Assad Fudadin, Royston Crandon and Rajiv Ivan played while Phaffiana Millington, Shemaine Campbelle, Trishanie Cort, Erva Giddings and Melanie Henry played for the female Senior National team. In addition to the national
Rose Hall Town Gizmos & Gadgets First Division Team Winner of Tenelec Inc 50-Overs and Namilco/Bakewell 20/20 players, the following players also played at the Inter County level either for Berbice and in some cases, the President’s X1 team; they are: Joshua Gobin, Veeramootoo Senwasane, Jason Anderson, Arif Chan, Shailendra Shameer, Nikita Toney, Tessa Park, Eon Hooper, Clinton Pestano, Dominique Rikhi, Delbert Hicks, Jason Sinclair while Shailendra Shameer played for Guyana against Bangladesh Under-19. During the year, Shemaine Campbelle became the first Guyanese and only the second West Indian to score an International hundred. Aassad Fudadin scored 140 for West Indies ‘A’ against India while Askay Homraj hit 103 for the National Under-19 side. Off the field of play, Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club hosted another successful Cricket Academy in July for 90 youths; held its
23rd Annual Awards Ceremony where over $2.5m worth of prizes were shared out while twelve coaching clinics for its youth players were also held. Members of the club’s various teams - Rose Hall Town Farfan & Mendes Under-15, Bakewell Under-17 and Second Division, Pepsi Under-19 and Intermediate, Gizmos & Gadgets First Division and Under-21 and the Metro Females completed over 80 self developmental programmes with the main aim of making positive differences in the lives of youths, the elderly and less fortunate while also promoting the “Say No To Drugs and Yes To Education” message. Among the major programmes and projects completed by the club during the year under review were the Annual Awards Ceremony, Annual Magazine, Cricket Academy, Republic
Bank Summer Camp, Mathematics Evening Classes for Secondary School students, Anti-Drugs Billboard, Western Union Junior Cricketer Ambassadors Programme, Basil Butcher Trust Fund, Patricia Moniz Educational Trust Fund, Tribute to Heroes, Ansa McAl Award of Excellence, Sentinel Security Berbice Sports Awards, Scotia Bank Tribute to Teachers, E-Networks Tribute to Head Teachers, Mother of the year, Father of the year, Region 6 Educational Awards Scheme, Berbice River Bridge Tribute to Retired Teachers Programme, Weekly Feeding of the Needy, Monthly Food Hampers for Senior Citizens, Musical Television Shows, Hosting of NAMILCO/ Bakewell T20 tourney, Teacher of the Term Award Scheme and the Printing of Educational Posters. The club also distributed
Awardees of 2013 Annual Awards Ceremony
over $10M worth of educational and hygiene kits, clothing, food items and footwear to less fortunate families in Berbice and in August donated close to $1M worth of school bags and exercise books to students also in the Ancient County. They also assisted 32 cricket clubs, youth and sports organisations with over $2.5M worth of sports equipment and other needed materials and assisted two children with funding for overseas medical expenses. In December, a massive Christmas programme was organised including a party for 500 children, a senior citizens luncheon while 300 hampers and 3000 toys were also distributed. During the year, the club and its CEO/Secretary Hilbert Foster also playing a pivotal role in reforming its founder group, the St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Youth Club
while also sponsoring activities which included Essay and Art competitions, printing of monthly Church leaflet, lunch for orphans, toys for all catholic children in Berbice and obtaining a $175,000 musical set for the church. The club, as it has done for the past six years, also played a significant role in raising millions of dollars in sponsorship for the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) and also co-sponsored over thirty programmes for the said entity. Foster noted that the club was fortunate that it was still able to be successful in 2013 because it had its own internal problems to deal with including the resignation of two officials, the high cost of maintaining a permanent office, the huge electricity bills, the virtual non cooperation of the Rose Hall Town Council in relation to the upkeep and security of the Area ‘H’ Ground, indiscipline of some youths and the efforts of a few outside the club who seemed determined to destroy the club in an effort to gain power at the Berbice cricket level. The main highlight for the club in 2013 Foster stated was the fulfillment of a commitment made by his Excellency President Donald Ramotar and Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony to repair the Area ‘H’ Ground, Old Pavilion. A total of 200 programmes/ activities have been projected by the club for 2014 with special emphasis to be placed on charity, education, anti-drugs, youth development as well as religious activities. The various cricket teams (Continued on page 29)
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Roberts thankful for Ninvalle’s, GBA support for Boxing in Berbice Former amateur and professional multi weight boxing champion of Guyana, Jeff Roberts, now a qualified boxing coach who is back home and has established his own boxing gym, is looking to improve boxing in Berbice for the past year which was described as a fairly successful one. This is despite starting the year with not many expectations after returning home to find not much going for the sport. Roberts was once a prominent fixture in Berbice, Guyana and the Caribbean boxing circles in the past and also campaigned for a while in North America and other parts of the world before quitting and enhancing his qualifications and acquiring his coaching certificates. Roberts represented Guyana at the amateur level on numerous occasions and as a professional, won titles in the Bantamweight division in 1980 and the Featherweight title in 1983. Since his return home he has established his own boxing gym, the Roberts Champions Boxing Gym (RCBG) a few months ago where he coaches over 25 youngsters including both amateur and professional boxers. The training base is at the People’s National
Jeff Roberts (right) and some of his charges. Congress (PNC) building at Strand and St Magdalene Street in New Amsterdam. The still fit and active looking Roberts recently spoke to the media in Berbice about boxing in the Ancient County during 2013. He said that things really picked up for the last half of the year and ended on a roll. “For the last half of the year
and the places that we went and the kids that we produced, I think we did well,” he opined. The success of the three U17 boxers that went to Peru for the Inaugural South American Junior games was a big step up because, Berbice has not done that before. In August, Flyweight Michael April (52kg),
bronze medal, Junior Middleweight Travis Fraser (69kg), silver medal and Bantamweight Joel Williamson (56kg), bronze medal, from Berbice, along with Tefon Greene (49kg) represented Guyana in Peru. He said that at the time the Pocket Rocket Gym was closed three months prior to the championships and he took
on the mantle to train the boxers. The year ended with Derick Richmond of East Canje flooring James Walcott in the fourth round to be crowned the Super middle Weight Champion of Guyana. Roberts had praise for President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle, who he said
was very instrumental since he took office in the development of the sport in Berbice. Roberts added that with the closure of all the other gyms all the active boxers in Berbice are attending the Roberts Champions Boxing Gym and have being performing well. “We have produced some junior champions this year, some U16 champions and next year 2014, I think we should be doing much better.” Despite, expecting more support from the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Roberts is still appreciative for the assistance he and his gym received from the parent body. Special mention was made of the recent Fight Nite card in New Amsterdam for which the association provided the ring free of cost. He also mentioned Courts, Hand-in-Hand, (Continued on page 29)
Slingerz not taking things lightly; focused on winning “So far so good, but we have a job to do still, which is to win on January 1,” exclaimed Charles ‘Lilly’ Pollard, coach of the Slingerz Football Club who will take on Santos in the final of the 3rd Georgetown Football Association (GFA) Banks Beer Knock out tournament on New Year’s Day. Slingerz got the better of Western Tigers 1 – 0 while Santos eased passed Guyana Defence Force (GDF) 2 – 1 in a dramatic twist of events. From the initial stages, Slingerz FC were always a tournament favourite and thus far, they’ve lived up to those expectations and the team is now one game away from claiming the competition’s $4M first prize. However, pundits were hoping to see the ‘West Side’ team pair up against Alpha United, but faith had it
Slingerz Team in training.
planned others wise, since the ‘Hammers’ were ousted by the Army and along came the tournament’s dark
- Charles Pollard
horses; Santos. No one ever thought to even mention Santos as a contender but their steady
improvement has caught the attention of Pollard, with the former Guyana National Captain stating, “You can’t
take a team like that for granted because they have been playing well and improving in each game. We (Slingerz) will not be thinking that it’s a walk over for us because they didn’t buy their way through the tournament, they played.” Pollard, once Guyana’s most feared defender, was keen to point out that Santos difference makers are National keeper Richard Reynolds and the club’s
striker from Suriname. Meanwhile, asked if he’s comfortable with how his team is playing, Pollard opined that, “right now our team got like a one million coaches, but it’s all good because they (the fans) are showing interest in the team. But at the end of the day, it’s up to me and my coaching staff to put the best possible team on the pitch.” He added, “We started off a little slow but I think it’s because we didn’t play no competitive football for like over two months and we’re not in the premier league. But I like the way the team is playing right now. All the guys are focused and are committing themselves to the team and want to win this tournament for a number of reasons.” This is Slingerz’s first time participating in the tournament.
Tuesday December 31, 2013
Badminton saw much development in 2013 says GBA President By Sean Devers
President of the Guyana Badminton Association (GBA), Gokarn Ramdhani, feels that activities for this year was one of development and success, especially with the Junior Players who continue to move in an upward direction this year both locally and internationally. Ramdhani has been involved in Badminton since 1983. He is the father of Guyana’s top two junior players, Caribbean Gold Medalist Priyanna Ramdhani and her brother Caribbean & South American Bronze Medalist Narayan and was himself was a National Junior player until 1985. “ We ( G B A ) a r e delighted to win the Runnerup for the 2012 Junior Sportswoman award after winning the Junior Sportswoman of the Year the previous year. This shows the continuous progress Badminton is making,” Ramdhani stated. The Association held six local tournaments and attended four international Tournaments during 2013, winning six medals (1-Gold, 1-Silver & 4 Bronze) at the Suriname Junior Easter International championships. “This year once again saw the Junior Players
Guyana Junior Badminton players at an international event in 2013. performing outstandingly for the fifth year in a row - at the Caribbean Badminton Championships which was played in Puerto Rico in September. We (Guyana) got f o u r t h i n t h e Te a m Tournament and won eight medals (2-Golds, 2-Silvers
& 4 Bronze) in the Individuals Events,” the GBA head disclosed. He informed that at the South American Youth Games, which was held in Peru in September, Guyana gained two Bronze medals at such a high level tournament
in the Under-19 Boys Singles and Mixed Doubles. Both of the Guyanese are aged below 15 and were attending the tournament for the first time. “At the Suriname Open International in November our two top Players were
CUFFY 250 Dominoes set to kick start on January 5
Secretary of the Georgetown Dominoes Association Mark Wiltshire (left), president of the USA Dominoes Federation George Abrams (centre) and PRO of the GDA Basil Bradshaw display the trophies.
uffy 250 Open Dominoes tournament is slated to commence on January 5 at La Belle Dominoes Sports Club, Hotel and bar, Norton Street. The playoffs will start on January 10, while the final will be played the following day at Channel Nine compound. Trophies for the tournament are being donated by president of the United States Dominoes Federation, George Abrams. The wining team will take home a trophy and $150,000, the runner up $75,000 and third place $35,000. The player that shares the first love will receive $5,000 and the player of the final will collect a trophy and $5,000. Entrance fee is $9,000. Meanwhile, organising secretary of the Georgetown Dominoes Association (GDA), Mark Wiltshire, will be hosting a 15 team 20\20 tournament on New Year’s Day at La Belle Sports Club, Hotel and bar. Entrance fee is $6,000 and the winning team will take home $50,000, the runner up $20,000 and third place $15,000. Action gets under way at 14:00hrs
able to improve their World Badminton Rankings in both singles and doubles,” Ramdhani who is also a coach, proudly reveled. Ramdhani expressed his happiness in his elevation to the position of Secretary General of the Caribbean Regional Badminton Federation (CAREBACO) for the term 2014-2016. The GBA President said the Association is still facing problems of getting a large quantity of Feather Shuttlecocks to play all year round. “Because of the high cost we use the feather Shuttlecocks for some National Tournaments and to train the teams for International Competitions where these are the only shuttles that are used. We use the plastic shuttlecocks for practice,” Ramdhani lamented. “We are also in the need of getting the synthetic courts which is being used at all games internationally. We are also applying to the National Sports Commission (NSC) for the use of the wooden courts at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall,” the GBA top man informed. He said that this is very important especially for the players who risked injury to their knees and ankles. He explained that because of the
preparation on the hard Concrete courts the players get more pressure as their game develops to a higher standard. “The current courts we use are concrete surface and are not good for the developed players. We are also looking forward to a very good 2014 and will continue to work with our developmental plan as we see this is getting us more medals in the international circuit,” Ramdhani added. The GBA thanked the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) for making much effort in helping Badminton in all the different aspects of Courses, Tournaments and Financial Help and especially picking Badminton for the South American Youth Games where Guyana was able to gain so much experience and measure their ability with the rest of the world. “I happy to say our players are on the right track and have the ability to be on top. We would also like to thank the National Sports Commission for their continuous support and look forward to them including Badminton in the InterGuyana Games. We would also like to thank our Sponsors for their assistance this year and look forward to their continuous support in helping us develop Badminton next year,” Ramdhani concluded.
t r o Sp GFA/Banks Santokie Beer KO Cup Santos set up final showdown against Slingerz aims Krishmar Santokie
to get into the swing of things Seeking 50-overs breakthrough after previous letdown
Milerock, Winners Connection defeat semifinal opponents, to play tomorrow UDFA/ GT BEER FINAL DECIDED…
- GDF, Tigers to play for third place
Santos’ marksmen Christoff Wensly and Anthony Abrams pose for Kaieteur Sport following the conclusion of their encounter against the GDF.
Jacques Kallis: South Africa beat India in all-rounder’s final Test Jacques Kallis is carried around Kingsmead by his team-mates. (Associated Press)
Marmalaque Davidson (left) and Rawle Gittens 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