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Kaieteur News

KAIETEUR NEWS Printed and Published by National Media & Publishing Company Ltd. 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana. Publisher: GLENN LALL Editor: ADAM HARRIS A. A. Tel: 225-8491, 225-8458, 225-8465 Fax: 225-8473 or 226-8210

Editorial

HOPING FOR A BETTER 2018 The New Year is upon us. As we join the rest of the world to welcome it, many are hoping for a better 2018. It is said that the older one gets, it appears that the calendar year grows shorter. It seems as though 2017 had just began but for many, the passing of the last 12 months came so quickly that they are wondering what has happened. Time flies. In Ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus, named after the month of January, is depicted as the God of two faces, one that looks back and the other looks to the future. Janus has presided over the beginning and the ending of conflicts, which in effect symbolizes change and transition over time. It also expresses the need for people to be conscious of those events in society that have altered reality or have transformed their lives as we have experienced here in Guyana. Looking back, 2017 has been a year of many ups and downs with lots of uncertainty for some and smooth sailing for others, but through it all, we have persevered. Unlike many other nations, we are truly a resilient people and our resilience and perseverance have helped us to achieve our goals through the ages. The past twelve months should be instructive as a reference point for shaping our lives and planning a new direction. As a nation, we must look back in order to grasp and understand the best and the worst times of 2017; the glory and the grief we have experienced; the terrible loss of lives we have endured; the incredible gains we have achieved; the breathtaking change in people and governance and the extraordinary achievements of science and technology. The government has made some mistakes and although it is not perfect, it must strive to achieve perfection in the New Year. But at the same time, we must be candid and hold the government to its promise to be transparent and accountable even if we have to ruffle some feathers. We must also give praise where it is due. In this regard, we should commend the government for getting rid of 23 years of stench and garbage in the city, creating new municipalities (Bartica, Mahdia, Mabaruma and Lethem) and holding Local Government Elections after an absence of two decades ago. The year 2017 was one of personal tragedy for those who lost loved ones to gun violence, traffic accidents, suicide and other mishaps. While we are obsessed with the quest for money, we must not lost sight of our humanity. In the New Year, we must end the ills in society, including violence against women and children, drug and alcohol abuse and crime and gang violence which continue to affect our communities . Contrary to police statistics that show that crime has reduced, many still are not convinced. In 2017 as in previous years, Guyana lost some of its best and brightest due to migration to greener pastures in the Caribbean and North America. Original thinkers, who loved Guyana and did much to propel it forward, have left a huge void in the country and the public sphere of ideas and debates. Today, with oil on the horizon, Guyana still faces an uncertain future. Its politics is combative, its economy is struggling, prices for its commodities on the world market have fallen, the national debt has risen, and unemployment has surged. However, the possibility exists for a bright and prosperous future in 2018 if we unite and work together.

Sunday December 31, 2017

Kaieteur M@ilbox Send your letters to Kaieteur News 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown or email us kaieteurnews@yahoo.com

Is Mayor Holland being forced out, over his anti-corruption stance? DEAR EDITOR, As a Lindener, I feel compelled to speak out at the current treatment of the Linden Mayor by a group of corrupt and dysfunctional politicians. When news broke of Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland deciding not to seek a third term as Mayor, I found it strange that a man who has been doing well for Linden and all other municipalities as a matter of fact, would not seek to continue doing what he was doing. Linden is a small community and everything that happens in the town spreads easily to every ear, and there is no secret about what took place in Linden involving the municipality. Several Lindeners, including municipal staffers and some prominent Lindeners, are of the belief that Holland is being forced out of office by the regional party leadership because of his stance against corruption in the mining town. Holland’s announcement two Sundays ago was reportedly after meeting with PNC Party Chairman Basil Williams and Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan in the presence of several councillors, but despite the fact that he had already announced sometime in 2016 his intentions to step down and allow his Deputy a chance to function at the helm in the third term, it is my firm belief that he is being forced to make an early exit because of the two powerful political sisters in Linden. Despite the Mayor refusing to divulge any information on the internal ramblings, a very disrespectful and abusive Councillor is publicly parading and campaigning against the Mayor, acting like the author of the 28:01 laws, and inadvertently leaking all the facts on social media along with another “wannabe” politician. I was forced to confront this Councillor and his comrade who threatened the Mayor in one of his postings (which I screenshot). I was later blocked from the

page after I questioned their motives. It is now clear that despite Holland was doing well for Linden, his opting out of a third term race may have more to do with him not following orders of two prominent political sisters who successfully rallied his councillors against him. These ladies have for years been operating as if Linden belongs only to them and no other leader should rise up and shine. They were responsible for the ousting of former Regional 10 Chairman Solomon, Ms. Kissoon and many others, while in recent times they were instrumental in the removal of several persons at LEN and the former Regional Executive Officer Gavin Clarke. Now the bullies who usually boast that they can get rid of whomever they desire are trying to move a brilliant young leader out of their corrupt way. The cases of Solomon and Kissoon are highly debatable but in the case of Pastor Clarke, he refused to do the devil’s will of granting contracts selectively and now we are hearing it is the same with the Linden Mayor who refused to follow corrupt instructions. Linden is heading down the wrong road again and again and Holland’s exit will be a big blow to the community with voters destined to speak out at the polls, because Lindeners can’t be fooled twice. Holland is the first Mayor to sit full time in that council and work without a salary to turn things around for Linden which was called the “ghost town” when he took over. Now Linden has made many strides under this young man who also rose to the ranks of Chief Mayor in Guyana after being unanimously elected by his comrades. As for a particular Councillor who is ultra-vocal against the Mayor, I asked him on social media “what has he done for my constituency of which he is the representative” and he (Continued on page 5)


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Guyanese have to be smarter than the coalition and the PPP DEAR EDITOR, Man’s relationship with his neighbours has been one characterized by a conflict for wealth or resources. History has documented many instances of these conflicts, with those between countries utilizing violence which resulted in millions of deaths in numerous cases. Within countries such as Rwanda and the Sudan, these conflicts occurred along ethnic/ religious/tribal lines, leaving a trail of death. Although much conflict has been characterized by violence and death, non-violent conflicts for resources nevertheless exist, in particular between classes. In these instances, the principal weapons include basic starvation and general deprivation of welfare resources such as access to basic amenities as water, electricity, housing, education, and access to jobs. Obviously, these weaken the

victims’ ability to sustain themselves and ultimately reduce their ability to maintain their existence and ensure the survivability of their children. In Guyana, many can attest to having being exposed to the above in one form or the other. This is because Guyana is, and has been in a state of conflict since, for the sake of relevance, independence. We were exposed to this under Burnham and the Peoples National Congress (the PNC cannot extricate itself from this since many of the old guard of the PNC who remain and control the organization were instrumental in maintaining and securing power and control during the party’s reign up until 1992). Every time voters went to the polls to assert themselves, their democratic right was trampled upon, and those who sought to ensure voters were heard were killed. While

Burnham did not intend to starve Guyanese, his policies nevertheless achieved this. He was however unwilling to be booted from government, and so continued to run down Guyanese’ welfare without their popular support. From 1992, notwithstanding the suffering which continued to be meted out under the PPP through deliberate government policy, supporters of that party had more or less vowed never to return power to the PNC after the 28 years of suffering endured by themselves, and the entire country. And so this continued until 2015, when a few of them decided that enough was enough. Presented with an option of the coalition administration comprising the AFC, which was supposed to represent their cause, and the PNC itself, many took a giant step of breaking with the PPP in the hope of bringing change.

Unfortunately, as is currently unfolding, it is turning out that they and the entire country were duped by the coalition, as it put many of the policies in its manifesto aside and initially set about seeking to make Burnham’s socialist ideas, the very same ones that reduced the country to economic rubble by 1990, back to the center of the country’s economic policy framework. Although the Coalition came into office with the support of many who broke away from the PPP, it stubbornly went ahead with what could only be described as economic deprivation of many of the traditional PPP supporters in the sugar belt by allowing GUYSUCO to proceed with the release of sugar workers from their duties without an appropriate compensation package. After two and a half years, when they finally realized the

Who will bodyguard the bodyguard? DEAR EDITOR, The Guyana Football Federation (GFF)’s ‘Super 16’ Year-end tournament has already started in turmoil and the local governing body should feel a sense of embarrassment following the disclosure of sponsor Corona Beer’s withdrawal from the event. This is clearly not the kind of publicity its highly-touted flagship event would have been hoping for, and the Organiser (GFF) must be licking its wounds in disappointment of such a development occurring at the initial undertaking of the year-end competition. Corona Beer had stated that Jamaican Dancehall sensation ‘Popcaan’ would headline the entertainment following the conclusion of the January 1 final, but according to Brand Manager Marvin Wray, “everything did not fall into place, some matters came up that could not have validated our presence in the organisation of the event anymore”.

In its response, the GFF said, “this change was due to budgetary constraints of the GFF to honour, in a timely manner, the payment requested by the proposed artist.” It added that an alternate world-renowned artist has been secured and has committed to perform at the grand finale. However, while it is good that the Federation has been able to replace the original artiste, it raises many questions about its ability to adhere to its own rules. Most importantly, at a time when the GFF is calling on promoters and coordinators to lodge monies, pay levies, and downright police tournaments, many are asking who will bodyguard the bodyguard. Just to add another example to this recent development is the fact that the GFF gave its affiliate, the Georgetown Football Association (GFA), the sole right to organise a year-end futsal tournament, but sadly it

seemed as though that member was not subjected to the same rules that was applied to other promoters. This is the kind of partiality and hypocrisy that helped plunge football into a crisis not so long ago, since it appeared as though the GFA was not required to deliver its prize monies or show a letter of intent from any sponsor (s) as well as provide confirmed dates for the staging of the tournament. The shifting of rules to accommodate cronies has not worked, it only serves to instigate divisions within the fraternity, which ultimately affects interest in the sport. The GFF must be seen as a playfield leveler and not a partisan adjudicator for the sake of votes or even blind support. It is striking to note that football remains the only sport in Guyana that its dirty linens are continuously exposed to the public. There are many examples of other administrations’ imperfection and this is under-

standable, since every official comes from a different background, but what is different is the fact that they all have the sport’s development as their top priority. How many times have we read about the ongoing court saga involving the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and its members, with a few even saying that they do not recognise the GCB in total contravention of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)’s stated acknowledgment of the said entity? Despite this stance, no one could dispute the outstanding achievements of our cricketers, they’ve won all and sundry at every level, and what this simply means is that the unhelpful issues that surround the administration of the sport have not been allowed to infiltrate or even affect the players. This is a lesson that the GFF must learn and learn fast, or this current administration will only follow in the footsteps of those that came (Continued on page 6)

Is Mayor Holland being forced out, over... From page 4 launched his usual attacks against me instead of listing his achievements. It is public knowledge that all he did was fight against and verbally abuse the Mayor as a Councillor instead of representing the interests of the people in his constituency. This is the same man who falsely asserted that the Mayor had spent some five hundred thousand dollars of the Council’s money, the same man who was fighting against the reopening of the Kara Kara toll booth, the same man who was publicly supportive of the PPP Town Clerk when she was stifling development in the mining town, the same man who claimed the Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge is falling down and yes, the same man who is once again on social media commanding attention with more pomposity. How could the party stand by and allow

such ridiculousness? Holland who was not personally known to me before his reign as Mayor but commanded my admiration and support through his hard work and dedication to see my beloved town rise from the crippled state it was left in by the PPP administration, may be a victim of his anti-corruption stance. His Excellency President David Granger recently said there is no place for corrupt officials in Government and by this I take it to mean Central, Regional and Local. So I am calling on the President whom I support 100% to intervene and look into this matter for the people of Linden. Linden just found a new hope, and should not lose it to self-serving politicians. Yours for Linden’s Progress, Garth Nelson Lindener

political cost of this effort, the coalition included compensation for laid off sugar workers in the 2018 budget, versus making such payments immediate, emergency payments. After giving themselves fat salaries, what the coalition is telling Guyanese here is that they don’t consider the children of sugar workers punishing as a result of their parents being laid off an emergency. More to the point, the coalition is saying it doesn’t give a damn about the lives of sugar workers and their children. Well, to the Coalition administration, this is understood, accepted, and will not

be forgotten. Forget about all the talk. It’s what you do that matters. In Guyana, outcomes in conflicts between our government and people will be decided based on knowledge, who is smarter and more cunning, and who is foolish and gullible, willing to believe every fable and fairytale proffered. Guyana is in a state of conflict, and if Guyanese want to achieve better for themselves, they will have to be smarter than their present government, as well as the one they threw out of the door the other day. Craig Sylvester

What about our senior police ranks? DEAR EDITOR, Although belatedly, Top Cop (ag) David Ramnarine, announced Friday that over 200 junior ranks will be promoted. This is indeed welcome news in a year where all hopes seemed to have been dashed for our policemen and policewomen. It is a fact that although better equipped now, criminals are way ahead of the game, with easy access to corrupt and fund their operations. Our fight therefore has always been an uphill one. Constant training will always have to be part of the programmes. So it was indeed welcome news about the promotions. However, Mr. Editor, there are tens of officers from the rank of inspectors and above who will not know about pro-

motions as they have to be vetted by the Police Service Commission. As you know, the life of the Commission came to an end earlier this year. The government had promised that a new one will be appointed. The year will end today. There is no Commission. With no bonus this year, and no promotion, the situation is a tough one for police ranks who have families and are faced each day with temptations. Officers are appealing that their situation also be looked into with the swift appointment of a commission which can look at their promotion too. A prosperous New Year to all Guyana! A frustrated police officer


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The APNU+AFC government has Sidelined and lost sight of the young people DEAR EDITOR, During the 2015 Elections Campaign, the present Government made multitudinous promises to the populace, particularly to the younger generation of Guyana. The youths were also encouraged to vote for APNU+AFC by the groups that campaigned. They dubbed it “Vote Like A Boss.” Those groups also alluded to the youths that the PPP is afraid of them, since they live together in harmony. The young people certainly helped to cause an election victory for the APNU+AFC. Since assuming office, the APNU+AFC government has sidelined and lost sight of the young people. This is evident in almost all of their appointments. They have selected aged persons including former GDF veterans. (The

elderly people have experience, but youths need to be given a chance) We are now at a juncture where we need to confirm the appointments of the Chancellor of the Judiciary and the Chief Justice. President David Granger, instead of appointing persons who would have served Guyana all their lives, he is searching for people out of Guyana. According to the media, the person tipped to be the Chancellor of the Judiciary is Guyana-born Belizean Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. At present, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justice Roxanne GeorgeWiltshire are performing the functions of Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary and Acting Chief Justice, respectively. These two individuals

are well respected throughout Guyana and are prominent in their field of work. They are persons who, after completing their studies, returned to Guyana and have become two legal luminaries. In addition, they are two women who have excelled in a profession dominated by men reaching two dignified positions of the Judicial System in Guyana. Now, our president wants to overlook them and choose someone of his preference. At the time when the president appointed two members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), in accordance with Article 134 of the constitution, he stated that the Commission is a constitutionally established body, which holds the authority to make appointments and remove and exercise disciplin-

Not much optimism on international and national levels that 2018 will be better.. The new year of 2018 has already dawned. As is customary, expectations are high that the New Year will be better than the preceding years. Regrettably, there does not appear to be much room for optimism both at the international level and national levels. At the international level, the ongoing tension between the United States and North Korea continue to cast a dark shadow over the prospects for world peace. There seems to be no solution to the Syrian crisis as tens of thousands of people continue to seek refugee status in Europe, even at great risk to them and their families. There is also the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, Yemen and South Sudan which have resulted in the deaths of an untold number of men, women and children and the displacement of millions. The decision by

President Trump to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to East Jerusalem in the latter part of this year, has only served to inflame an already volatile situation in the Middle East. At the national level, the closure of several sugar estates and the dismissal of thousands of sugar workers will certainly go down as one of the darker moments in the life of this nation. There is the decision by President Granger to unilaterally appoint a new Chairman of Gecom after having rejected a total of eighteen names submitted by the Opposition Leader which also will rank among the defining moments of 2017. Several campaign promises by the administration have failed to see the light of day including constitutional reforms, crime reduction, substantial salary increases for

the nation’s public servants in particular teachers and nurses, and by no means least, a more participatory and inclusive governance mechanism. The fiasco in the last sitting of Parliament and the suspension of an Opposition Member of Parliament by the Speaker will be remembered. On a more positive note there is the disclosure by government of the Exxon Mobil contract and the projected revenues amounting to millions of United States dollars which hopefully will enter the national coffers in the foreseeable future. One hopes that the benefits from oil will not be siphoned off by a privileged few but will redound to the benefit of all Guyanese, in particular our pensioners and those in their twilight years. A one-off bonus to our pensioners in the New Year of 2018 could be a timely and rewarding gesture of goodwill by the administration to its most deserving citizens who would have contributed in one way or the other to the national patrimony. A part of the pre-signing bonus would be more than adequate to meet this expenditure. I take this opportunity to wish all Guyanese a happy and productive New Year. Hydar Ally

ary control over persons holding or acting in such offices. “The ‘Commission’ is the guardian of judicial autonomy. It is the defender of its independence. It is the protector of its integrity and impartiality… The JSC upholds the independence of the judiciary. It ensures by its diligence that judicial appointees possess the attributes and embody the personal values, which make them capable and willing to resist being influenced by improper partisan and personal interests.” The President also said that the JSC is intended to insulate judicial appointments from political partisanship and personal and other biases, while ensuring that recommendations for appointments of judicial officers flow from a

dispassionate and objective process and are based on clearly defined criteria applied in assessing the appropriateness of appointees. “The JSC is the custodian of the values and standards of ethical and legal probity by judges and judicial officials. The JSC must zealously ensure that the personal conduct of judges does not bring the judicature into disrepute. It must preserve and protect the system’s integrity.” Mr. Editor, it is my understanding that the JSC nominates persons to fill vacancies within the Judicial System and that the President appoints those persons to fill the positions they were nominated for. However, for the substantive posts of Acting Chancellor and Chief Justice, the

president appoints the nominees after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. Article 127 of the Constitution states, “The Chancellor and the Chief Justice shall each be appointed by the president, acting after obtaining the agreement of the Leader of the Opposition”. Mr. Granger, in keeping with the constitution, made consultations with the Leader of the Opposition before appointing the current acting Chancellor and acting Chief Justice. Why should the President search for others when he and the Opposition Leader already agreed to have these two legal dignitaries? Why doesn’t he just confirm them in their positions? We may never know why? Ashan Bacchus

We salute Justices Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Roxanne George for these positive changes DEAR EDITOR, The matter of the appointment of a substantive chancellor of the judiciary is one of public interest. Whatever the outcome (over which we have no control), we wish to put on record the following in relation to Acting Chancellor Madam Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Acting Chief Justice Madam Roxane George: 1. Both have demonstrated, particularly since their acting appointments, integrity and independence in their decisions in constitutional and citizens’ rights cases and in upholding the rule of law, and have clearly not allowed governmental expectations to influence their decisions.

2. In an ideological and structural context where gender discrimination and inequality in Guyana are too often the norm, it would be disappointing if either or both of these women jurists had applied for the posts of chancellor and chief justice not been recommended by the advisory panel appointed by the president. We are not aware of other acting appointments in which the holders have not been substantively confirmed and have been effectively demoted in preference for someone else. It seems that the notion that women are dispensable and should be ready to step aside for a man when asked to do so is alive and well in Guyana, despite all the rhetoric about

gender equality. 3. The appointment of Justices Yonette CummingsEdwards and Roxane George as acting chancellor and chief justice, gave hope and encouragement to women and girls that survivors of the brutality and trauma of sexual assault, sexual harassment and other forms of genderbased violence would receive the justice, fairness and dignity that they deserve. The non-confirmation of their appointments will be a blow and setback to them. Danuta Radzik Andaiye Josephine Whitehead Karen de Souza Vanda Radzik Patricia SheerattanBisnauth

Who will bodyguard the bodyguard? From page 5 before it, and failed to comprehensively develop the game. Football can be classified as being amongst the biggest sports in Guyana, yet it struggles for funding, and this has to do with its administration, whose style of governance is big-stick by any measure. Many members of the cor-

porate community are afraid to put their brand into football for fear of being tarnished by ongoing differences among its officials, coupled with the absence of consultations among stakeholders. Once again the GFF ought to be reminded that it and its associate members are not the only stakeholders. The corporate community, law enforcement agencies, custodians of

government facilities, media and other related entities are all partners, and must be seen as that, and treated with respect and fairness. It is sad that Corona Beer has pulled out from the yearend tournament, but perhaps it’s an early a lesson for the GFF to start the New Year, both in terms of fair play and respect. Football enthusiast


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Paving the way for a duly constituted Describing anyone as a 2018 Guyana Cricket Board “slime eel” conjures up images DEAR EDITOR, in order. Should any mentioned board N o w t h a t t h e H i g h C o u r t o f or association have matters pending of the worst human traits G u y a n a h a d d e e m e d t h e B e r b i c e before the courts. Let them be expediDEAR EDITOR, Freddie Kissoon has within recent times resorted to describing those persons whose contributions to the letter columns of the newspapers, appear to support the PPP and the former government established by it as “slime eels”. The letter columns of the newspapers provide an opportunity for all Guyanese to express their thoughts, ideas, comments and views on a diverse range of issues current and historical in our society. Every Guyanese enjoys the freedom to freely express themselves, but should avoid attracting liability for what they say or write. Every Guyanese enjoys the freedom of political choice, thought and opinion. Kissoon is an open supporter of the APNU/AFC coalition (though he seemingly painfully laments the fact that he and his advice are ignored by the government). Kissoon’s political support and opinions must be respected. Of course, he is also entitled to critically examine the content of the contributions of those whose

writings appear to be supportive of the PPP and the former government, but it is horribly boorish and indecent for him to resort to personal attack on those persons. The description of anyone as a “slime eel” conjures up images of the worst human traits imaginable. When Kissoon describes those who support the PPP by their letter contributions to the newspapers as “slime eels”, not only does he thereby attack their undoubted freedom of expression but he also intentionally conveys to the public that they are an obsequious, morally depraved lot. It really takes a person with impeccable morals to so condemn others. There is however, another dimension to Kissoon’s comments which I found perplexing. It is to be found in his words “ the slime eels are really disgusting creatures in that not even half a word against the oceans, mountains and rivers of depravities that characterized the reign of Jagdeo and Ramotar can be seen in their columns and letters.” Of the just quoted paragraph, it is obvious that

Kissoon uses language for exaggerative purposes. I disagree with him, as I am entitled to do. I must not be understood as saying the past PPP administration did no wrong but I have digressed. The point I wish to make is that if someone is identified as being supportive of a particular group, it would be asinine to entertain an expectation that such a person would offer a critical public comment about that group. It would be like asking Basil Williams, chairman of the PNC to apologize to the Guyanese people for the suffering caused to them by the past PNC led government and for the oppression and brutal violations of the human rights of our people by that regime. And on that note, we are made to understand why President Granger is on record as saying that the PNC has nothing to apologize for, to the people of Guyana. In reality however, I accept that we do have, as indeed one finds in every society, people who are sycophantic and morally depraved. Selwyn Persaud

Life cycle costs of Oil and Gas DEAR EDITOR, Recently there has been talk in the media about the Government of Guyana’s Share of the oil revenue from Exxon and its partners, It has been alleged that the Government of Guyana’s (GoG) full share of the oil revenues will only be realized once Exxon has recovered its costs. It is important to note here that there are always divergent interests between multinational natural resource companies and host countries with respect to resource extraction. The former wants to minimize its payments to the host country, and the latter wants to maximize those payments. That said, lets take a closer look at the concept of ‘Recovered Costs. While this concept can be a bit ambiguous and can vary depending on the terms and conditions of each contract, there are some general guidelines one can use in determining and establishing total costs incurred and the types of costs that are likely to be charged back to the host country. There are three broad categories of costs. Pre-production, Production, and Sales costs. Below is a further breakdown of each cost category 1. Pre productions Costs

Property Acquisition Costs The cost of acquiring unproved property for exploration. Finding Costs Cost of Geological and Geophysical (G&G) work; Cost of Licenses, Signature bonuses, cost of drilling and exploration. Development costs Cost of acquiring, Constructing, Installing production facilities and drilling development wells. 2. Production Costs Production Costs Costs incurred to operate and maintain wells and related equipment facilities, including depreciation and applicable operating costs of support equipment and facilities, and cost of maintaining wells. Production Taxes Taxes or Royalties paid to the host State. Note, that this is potentially a wash for the oil company. In other words, the company pays the host country royalties and then charges those amounts back as part of the production costs. Return on Capital This is sometimes referred to as the cost of money. It is the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WAAC). This is the average rate of return

companies are expected to pay to its debt and equity holders. This is influenced in part by the prime interest rate as well as other market forces and conditions. This information is readily available for all publicly held companies. Risk Premium Cost of uncertainty based on a country’s sovereign risk as well as uncertainties in the oil and gas industry. This is influenced in part by the host country’s credit or bond rating, where applicable as well as other market forces and conditions 3. Sales costs (if applicable) This cost is only relevant if the host country’s share of royalty is computed after the sale of the product rather than before sale. Transporting Costs Cost of getting the product to the Market Selling and General Administrative Costs Salaries wages & other indirect costs incurred by the sales department in the sale of the product. Typically companies have a stated General & Administrative (G&A) rate that they apply to other costs. Floyd N. Haynes Certified Public Accountant Ramdihal& Haynes

Cricket Board 2017 election of office bearers illegal, under the 2014 cricket administration Act, a fresh election has to be conducted within the first quarter of 2018. I u r g e t h e E s s e q u i b o , Demerara and Associations to put their houses

tiously heard. The above will pave the way for a duly constituted 2018 Guyana Cricket Board. What a magnificent way to start the New Year. Thanking you for publishing my letter as early as possible. Parmanand Ram

50,000 Region Three residents benefit from potable water Approximately 50,000 residents in Region Three (Essequibo IslandsWest Demerara), are now benefitting from potable water. This is according to Managing Director of Guyana Water Incorporation (GWI), Dr. Richard Van-West Charles. He stated that scores of residents have already benefitted from the installation of eight independent transmission mains and valve chambers f r o m C o r n e l i a I d a , We s t C o a s t Demerara Well and water treatment plant costing some $50M. He also added that approximately two dozen households benefitted from a network expansion at Nouvelle Flanders, West Bank Demerara. This comes after a number of residents voiced their concerns about the quality of water that they had been receiving for a while. The residents highlighted that the water quality was poor and had a strange colour.

According to the residents, on numerous occasions they were left without running water as the area suffered frequent low voltages. Dr. Van West-Charles pointed out that after being told of the low voltage, he was concerned about the residents’ complaints. He added that the water company had to resize the units to address the imbalances and put in place larger voltage tolerance from Guyana Power and Light (GPL). According to the Managing Director, the project entailed the drilling of wells, the installation of photovoltaic system, distribution system, stand pipes and trestle. This was after residents complained of being unable to access water from creeks and springs. Further, the Managing Director said that La Parfaite Harmonie will receive 24-hour water supply once electricity is efficient.


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CJIA acquires bomb tracing equipment The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) now has the capacity to detect explosives. The equipment for luggage scanning, valued at US$100,000, was procured by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, from the US Homeland Security. With the CJIA expansion expected to be completed by next year end, the acquisition of the equipment would be key in Guyana’s case to prove that its airport is safe. News of the equipment was made Thursday by Lt. Col. Egbert Field, Director General of GCAA, during the end-of-year review of the entity’s performance. With new regulations and requirements because of the 9/11 attacks in the US, airports across the world have to comply if they intend to keep flying to that North American country. The past year has been a good one for GCAA, Fields disclosed. The regulator of the aviation section was able to also acquire and install four Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) and Very High Frequency Repeater stations at Kamarang, Kaiteur, Annai and Port Kaituma. Additionally, recent annual flight inspection of Timehri’s aviation was deemed successful. Over the past year, the authority was able to establish a Search and Rescue committee and provided service to approximately 70,000 aircraft movement in the Guyana airspace. With regards to aviation security, the regulator also

GCAA is toughening up the aviation sector with new regulations soon to come on board. managed to add three security inspectors, conducting over 40 inspections on operators and 15 audits, training evaluations and investigations. The Civil Aviation Bill 2017, which is centered on reforms, have been drafted and presented to Parliament. Another key legislation that has been drafted is the Aircraft Accident and Investigation Bill with the Guyana Aviation Regulations almost 90% completed.

GCAA also issued a directive on the use of drones. In terms of licensing, the authority issued 34 permits for charters along with nine licences for scheduled carriers. Almost 400 landing approvals were granted. Inspectors would have also conducted 169 oral examinations, and six accident investigations. In the New Year, GCAA wants to build it new office at Providence, East Bank

Trotman allowed ExxonMobil to strangle Guyana in stability clause of contract - Ram When ExxonMobil’s Country Manager, Rod Henson, addressed the media, he said that Guyana secured a “fair” contract. He said that it was internationally competitive and that the interest of Guyana is being protected in the contract. That was on Thursday when the contract was released. Now that other minds have been able to peruse the contract that was kept secret for over a year, they have found it to be quite the opposite of what Henson said. Attorney at law, Christopher Ram, has said that the government has managed to make a bad contract even worse. He said that the provisions of the contract leaves Guyana wounded. He said that the 2016 Agreement binds the country to this Trotman Agreement into perpetuity. Ram noted the government’s hands are tied and it is effectively prevented

Chartered Accountant, Chris Ram from exercising one of the most fundamental and sovereign duties of any state in relation not only to the oil companies but also to their successors and assignees. This was done through

Article 32 of the contract “Stability of Agreement.” Ram noted that that article has been increased from one paragraph in the Janet Jagan contract to four paragraphs in (Continued on page 13)

Demerara with the land already acquired. Guyana is also looking to regain its Category One rat-

ings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US authority in transportation. An on-site audit assess-

ment of Guyana Compliance with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) is also expected in the new year.

Four new Senior Counsel identified Having considered their quality of service to the legal profession, and knowledge of the law, President David Granger, has identified four long-serving legal practitioners for the status of Senior Counsel with effect from January 1, 2018. The appointees are Attorneys, Kalam Azad Juman Yassin, Fitz Le Roy Peters, Andrew Mark Fitzgerald Pollard and Josephine Whitehead. This is the second batch of attorney to be conferred with the prestigious honour. Last January, after a 20year hiatus, President Granger elevated nine legal luminaries to the status of Senior Counsel and has since pledged to ensure that these honours are conferred annually. The last set of Senior Counsel was appointed some 20 years ago in 1996. They included Senior Counsel, Neil Boston, Charles Fung-A-Fat, Justice Alison Roxane McLean GeorgeWiltshire, Clifton Mortimer Llewelyn John, Rafiq Turhan Khan, Vidyanand Persaud, Rosalie Althea Robertson, and Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams For President Granger, these appointments are an important part of his personal obligation as President of

Andrew Pollard

Fitz Le Roy Peters

Josephine Whitehead

Kalam Azad Juman Yassin

Guyana. Senior Counsel is recognition by Government of the highest esteem held for certain members of the legal profession. According to the Ministry of the Presidency,

the Senior Counsel recognition is for persons “learned in the law in Guyana, on account of their exemplary experience, erudition, excellence and diligence in the practice of the law.”


Sunday December 31, 2017

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Kaieteur News

GRA, SOCU, SARA, FIU to step up cooperation in 2018 - Statia By Kiana Wilburg The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has made a number of significant achievements in the last two years, and the plans going forward are guaranteed to increase the quality of its systems for tax administration. In fact, GRA is expected to step up its cooperation with a number of agencies for next year. These include the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU), the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Civil Aviation Department and the Guyana Office for Investment (GoInvest). According to GRA Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia, the cooperation between these agencies is important not only for the sharing of information but for revenue collection, implementation of incentives and Investment Development Agreements, and anti-money laundering activities. Statia noted that initiatives have been made for Memorandums of Understanding to be executed between these organizations and they are in the draft stage. The Commissioner General confirmed that these should be completed by mid 2018. OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS As for other noteworthy accomplishments, Statia

noted that automated risk profiling processes have been implemented this year. He said that while this system has led to increased revenue, there are still some bottle necks. He said that the advent of the ASYCUDA will improve on the present system and remove this anomaly. GRA’s current accounting system, the Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS), has been working inefficiently for close to 10 years. It is on this premise that the Authority has hastened efforts towards acquiring a more foolproof system called the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA). Statia recently spoke on the importance of moving from TRIPS to ASYCUDA. He noted that an examination of the TRIPS system had revealed that there were several problems which caused it to not work effectively. Statia even stated that millions of US dollars from 2013 to 2016 were expended so as to bring the archaic TRIPS 1 System up to date. In fact, the GRA boss said that many of the modules paid for regarding the TRIPS 1 System in 2007 were never even delivered. The Commissioner General asserted that based on the state of affairs governing the revenue authority’s IT system, discussions were held with Crown Agents, an international firm that

Dem boys seh...

Woman, 98, hate Guyana politicians Sunday around every part of de world is a family and rest day. It is also a day for de religious homes…mandir, masjid and church. Today is de last Sunday in 2017 and of course everybody heading to dem three place of worship. Dem boys hear de message from all three was ... Forgive Your Enemies. When de service near done, de pastor at de Cathedral ask de congregation, “How many of you have forgiven your enemies?” 80 percent of the congregation put up dem hands. De pastor then repeated de question. Everybody put up dem hand dis time, except one small old lady. Everybady does call she Mama… De pastor ask Mama , “Why you not willing to forgive your enemies?” Mama reply, “I don’t have any, pastor.” She was smiling sweetly when she tell him dat. De pastor seh, “That is very unusual. How old are you?” “Ninety-Eight,” she replied. “Ohhh, Mama. Would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have one enemy in the world.” Little Mama walk down the aisle, face the congregation, and seh, while she knack she chest wid she right hand: “I outlived de Bitches so I don’t have any enemies now.” Talk half and dem boys know fuh sure dem gun outlive plenty of dem scampish thiefing politicians, especially Jagdeo.

GRA Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia

specializes in practical and consistent solutions to financial institutions and governments. He said that the following was decided: Cease all work on the Customs modules of the TRIPS 1 system; Concentrate all activity on the completion of the Internal Revenue Modules inclusive of e-filing services with clear delivery dates and hold further payments until the delivery of these modules. Simultaneously, Statia commented that the GRA began discussions with United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) regarding the introduction of the ASYCUDA single window system. The ASYCUDA, he explained, is an integrated customs management system for international trade and transport operations in a modern automated environment which allows for customs administrations and the trade community to comply with international standards when fulfilling import, export and transit related procedures. Through its ASYCUDA Programme, GRA hopes to modernize customs operations and improve revenue collection; facilitate trade efficiency and competitiveness by substantially reducing transaction time and costs; improve security by streamlining procedures of

cargo control, transit of goods and clearance of goods; reduce corruption by enhancing the transparency of transactions; and promote sustainable development by cutting down on the use of paper, through the use of electronic transactions and documents. The Commissioner General said that the agreement with UNCTAD has been signed, payment has been effected, and the team to run the new system has been chosen. Statia said that training will shortly commence, and a pilot project will commence thereafter at the John Fernandes wharf. Further to that, the Commissioner General said that testing has begun for the remaining TRIPS modules which were never implemented. He said, “I am assured by my IT staff that they seem promising, and GRA would be in a position to offer some eservices including e-filing in time for the 2018 filing season.” THE CONSEQUENCES The failure of the Revenue Authority to implement critical parts of the TRIPS System spans almost 10 years. The consequences of the entity’s actions led to billions in revenue leakages and even rampant corruption. Statia explained that the IT system referred to as the Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS), was intended to merge all departments by having a

common database where all tax records could be scanned or entered into the system and found when needed. It was introduced with the aim of boosting efficiency in the assessment, collection and accounting for revenue. TRIPS comprises of two core applications: Taxes and Customs, which share information with each other and each application encompasses a total of 13 modules. The CUSTOMES MODULES include Lodgment; Data Entry; Goods Inspection/ Enforcement, Valuation and Document Check, Risk Profiling, Cashiering, Release, Remissions, and Warehouse. The TAX Modules include; Taxpayer Identification, Tax, Accounting, Audit, Reports/ Notices/Certificates. Statia noted, however, that since all of the modules were not implemented, the “TRIPS system was just tripping.” The TAX chief said that the failure to implement all of the modules affected the entity to a large extent. He explained, “In the olden days, it used to be a manual system and it worked up to a particular point. So you know for sure that if TRIPS is in place, the IT system would help you to do a lot of these things. If you have the right IT software, half of your work is completed. You would be able to do proper audits and these things and at the touch of a button you would be able to recognize what is wrong and what is right; whether a taxpayer has complied…” The Ta x Chief continued, “Unfortunately, you can’t do that with the present system and that has gone on for the last 10 years. That was probably one of the reasons why the GRA has been in such decay. It was in a state of decay.” Statia added, “What I did know is instead of them using

an entire TRIPS system, I said, ‘No. concentrate on the internal revenue modules.’ And we are going to go to the Automated System for Customs Data…That is what we are doing.” The GRA Commissioner General said that the ASYCUDA system will cost just about US$2.5M. As for TRIPS, he sought to stress that “We must get something out of what we have paid for so while we are moving to ASYCUDA for customs and we will keep (aspects of) TRIPS... In that way we would be able to turn up certain things faster…” BILLIONS LOST The Tax Reform Commission which was commissioned by the Granger administration had also flagged the Guyana Revenue Authority for the nonimplementation of the TRIPS system. The comments and findings of the Commission were also in sync with that of the Auditor General, Deodat Sharma in his annual reports. With respect to the software available, the Commission was advised that the TRIPS system has the ability to receive and store Cargo Manifest electronically, track containers from departure to arrival ports and then to final release as well as on line and manual entry of declarations. “We understand that although delivered, these relevant modules were never or only partly implemented by GRA fo r o n e r e a s o n o r a n o t h e r. T h e r e v e n u e leakages, alone, from the non-implementation of these modules are in billions of dollars, and contribute to rampant c o r r u p t i o n within the Customs Section of the Authority,” the Commission pointed out in its report. It added too that the importers who engage in the under invoicing activities are known and are allegedly in full collusion with Customs brokers, and some unscrupulous former and present GRA officers.

Almost 200 children placed in foster care in 2017 Nearly 200 children have been placed in foster care for the year 2017. This is according to information compiled and released from the Ministry of Social Protection’s Child Protection Agency, (CPA). The information outlined through the foster care programme reveals that 95 girls and 96 boys were placed with 123 foster parents. Prior to the children being placed into the foster care system, prospective parents underwent a screening and training period in which the

children were attached to the homes based on their specific needs. Subsequent to the placement, officials of the CPA engaged in continuous monitoring of the children through home and school visits According to the CPA, providing psychosocial support and counselling services to biological families as well as conducting case reviews to determine permanency plans for children in foster care is essential to the success of the

programme. Foster care is an alternative to the institutiona l i s a t i o n of children. Foster care sets out to offer family-based care rather than the general care offered by children in homes. Foster parents offer individualised attention to their foster children. Institutions are usually the last resort. For foster care, a child’s extended family is the first resort before CPA seeks out a foster parent. Foster parents are paid a monthly stipend per

child as long as the child remains under their care. Last year, there were in excess of 700 children in both the CPA’s and residential care. Generally, the number of children in state care is much higher when one takes into account the holding or juvenile centres, which do not fall under CPA. Head of the CPA, Ann Greene, had noted that the state’s foster care programme is going well. However, she admitted that there is always a need for more foster parents.


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Sunday December 31, 2017

Kaieteur News

Sod turned for Linden/Region Ten Passport Office By Enid Joaquin Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, yesterday turned the sod for the Linden/ Region Ten Passport Office at Retrieve, Linden. On hand to witness the event were several Regional officials, including Regional Chairman, Rennis Morian; Mayor, Carwyn Holland; and Mayor-elect Wanneka Arrendell. Felix said that after the Department was formed, President David Granger called him and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon. He said that the Head-of-State told them that throughout the campaign, persons had been approaching him about the hardships people suffered in obtaining passports. The Minister said that overseas-based Guyanese were complaining that it was taking too long to acquire a passport and the local people were also complaining, about the long hours they had to spend at the passport office. “So we decided we had to fix this thing.” Felix said that initially, immigration was dealing with 400 passports per day which soon swelled to 500, hence the long lines. Letters were written in the papers criticising the office. He said that it soon became obvious that one passport office could not adequately deal with this increase. It was then decided that more equipment would be brought in to alleviate the situation.

Equipment arrived in August 2016, Felix said, and from then to now, they have been producing passports. Right now, we can produce your passports in five working days.” Felix said that some weeks they get up to 100 passport applications from New York alone and they are finishing them…; one week, they got 300. He added that as the service has improved, more people are applying and the work is being done. He added that after that problem was solved, the next step was decentralisation…”to remove the service out of Georgetown, in keeping with the President’s wish that Government services must be delivered in Capital Towns. Felix said that this was done in New Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago, and now it has come to Linden. He posited that government will always ensure that the best comes to Region Ten. The Regional Passport Office is expected to be completed in another four months, according to Felix. The building will be 2000 square ft. Regional Chairman, Rennis Morian expressed satisfaction with the initiative. He said, “This is part of Government’s commitment to the people. He said that RDC office will be erected about 500 yards away. The facility will remove a lot of the hassle suffered by residents. Campaign or not, people need these

things…People need a passport office, he added. APNU Party Chairperson for Region Ten, Sandra Adams commended the Minister for the initiative. She said that upon acceding to the office of Minister of Citizenship, one of the first things that the Minister would have done was to establish a passport office in Linden. “From the time he would have taken office he has been pursuing the idea of the decentralisation of necessary facilities and ministry operations in all of the Regions. So the first thing he would have done was to open an office at the NIS building here in Linden.

Pensioner dies after being rescued from submerged car A pensioner lost his life on the Essequibo Coast Public Road last Friday night, when his car overturned in a trench near Danielstown. The deceased was identified as 70-year-old Royston Peterson, of Lot 12 Devonshire Castle, Essequibo Coast. At the time of the incident, Peterson and a known associate were heading home, proceeding west along the southern driveway of the road in his motorcar PVV 6996. Reports are that some time around 22:00hrs, Peterson was negotiating a southern turn, when his vehicle toppled into a trench. Kaieteur Mews understands that Peterson was still trapped inside the vehicle with his seatbelt strapped around him. The deceased reportedly consumed mud water, whilst trapped inside the vehicle which was partially submerged.

Peterson was subsequently rescued by his associate, with the assistance of passersby. The men were then taken to the Suddie Public Hospital, both arriving conscious. Peterson was treated and admitted in a stable condition, but surprisingly passed away about 05:45h yesterday morning. Police believe that the two men may have been drinking some time before tragedy struck. This belief is based on the fact that investigators picked up a strong scent of alcohol from both victims. Peterson’s death came as a shock to his family, most of whom reside abroad. Peterson’s four kids and seven grandchildren, all reside in the Caribbean islands and the US. His only immediate relative currently in Guyana, is bel i e v e d t o b e h i s s i s t e r, Verne Peterson. Ms. Peterson told this publication yesterday, that

she resides abroad, but is only spending the holidays in Guyana with her brother. Ms. Peterson clearly did not anticipate her holidays ending in such a tragedy. The grieving woman said that she had only spoken to her brother a few hours before his debacle. Reflecting on the last time she saw her brother, Ms. Peterson said, “Friday night he came in around 7:30 pm, he put on the lights and then he told me that he was going back out. Then later in the night I got a call that he had an accident. I was made to understand that it was nothing serious. Then around 04:00hrs the shocking news came that he had passed away. “That was a real shocker because the last time they told me, he was ok.” Police investigators are awaiting a postmortem, which will be conducted next week, to ascertain Peterson’s cause of death. [Romario Blair]

“And now he is moving it one step further which is to set up a complete office where you can have your new applications done; citizenship applications done, and eventually your birth certificates.” Adams said that this means that the people of Linden and Region Ten would finally no longer have to travel to Georgetown to access

such services. These would be readily available and at less cost as the cost of travel and food would be eliminated, as well as the hassle. “That would be bringing the good life to the people. Some people might see this as a very small gesture but I see it as a big gesture. “I most anxiously await it, because when we get on our

campaign trail, I can say it was a promise made and a promise delivered.” Mayor Carwyn Holland said he was very pleased; the project would do so much for the people. “I’m very much thankful on behalf of the people of Linden. I’m very thankful to the Minister.” Holland said that what the Minister is doing is way beyond passports. Regional Chairman, Rennis Morian said that Linden and Region Ten had waited almost 30 years for such a development. He suggested the establishment of a sub-office in the Berbice River area. Morian said that the facility would go a long way toward easing the hassle residents endure to obtain their passports and other documents. A $30.6 million contract has already been awarded to R. Bassoo and Sons for the construction of the facility. This is part of an ongoing exercise to decentralise immigration services to all Capital Towns across Guyana. Linden’s Passport Office is currently temporarily housed in the NIS building on Republic Avenue.

It pays to steal from your employer … You can pay the fine and still make a profit The need to revamp local laws has been gathering steam in recent years. The reforms do not only include provisions in the Constitution for presidential term limits, but also for little offences, some of which carry fines that date back to the 80s. The punishment amounts to a mere slap on the wrist. At least one businessman who has suffered immensely is calling for some changes, and urgently at that. Frank Sanichara, who runs a distribution business at Eccles, East Bank Demerara, has been suffering at the hands on not only burglars but even from former employees. His losses from court time and the incidents are adding up and it is not painting a pretty picture. Sanichara’s story of losing because of outdated laws which leave the police hands tied is not unique to his business. Almost all of the companies in Guyana have been complaining. Many of them end up just firing the guilty employees and cutting their losses. They are not wasting time going to court. Early last year, Sanichara got the shock of his life when a magistrate fined a former employee, Kevin Waaldijk, $100,000. The former employee was accused of embezzling over

Anand Sewah $500,000 in cash. After a year of trial, and back and forth in court, the magistrate fined the man $100,000 after finding him guilty of the offence. An upset Sanichara visited the Director of Public Prosecutions to have the matter appealed. A few months ago, burglars cut holes in the building at Eccles, escaping with millions of dollars in cash and other items. About three weeks ago, another employee, Anand Sawah, a salesman for over three years with the company, allegedly collected over $1M from customers but fled Guyana to Trinidad before he could be arrested. “I am afraid that once again even if he is arrested, that the same thing will happen. In the last court case,

there were not even talks of him paying back. It is as if you are saying to employees, please steal…there is no jail. You will only be required to pay back part as a fine to the court.” Officials say that there is little the courts could do. With the recent moves to reduce prison overcrowding, first time offenders are getting away scot-free thanks to ancient laws and reforms at the prison system level. In other words, there is a preference to fines than jail for non-violent offences. Consecutive administrations have been making moves to have constitutional reforms but the process appears to have stalled. “Like I said last year, it appears workers and others can steal and make a profit. That is what the current system is allowing. This is frustrating and a clear disincentive to business persons. This has been happening to many business owners but they are too frustrated to make it public. “People guilty of embezzlement should be jailed at all levels. It leaves me to wonder why jail time is not in the sentencing guidelines of Guyana. It leaves a huge loophole from government officials to petty criminals to walk free.”


Sunday December 31, 2017

Kaieteur News

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Kaieteur News

Sunday December 31, 2017

DDL molasses supply threatened by GuySuCo’s production cuts - contemplates entry in sugar industry; wants estates remain operational

DDL’s Chief, Komal Samaroo By Leonard Gildarie Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) has expressed deep worry over the impact that the planned closure of three sugar estates will have on its rum production. The Diamond-headquartered company, which reported yesterday that its production increased 30 percent this year, is likely to see more growth next year. However, three sugar estates- Rose Hall, Skeldon and Enmore- have recently sent home almost 4,000 workers as part of a major restructuring of the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). The estates are to be placed in the control of a Special Purpose Unit (SPU), controlled by the Government of Guyana. Government, through its Cabinet of Ministers, is currently in talks with stakeholders to determine whether the estates will continue operations until investors are found to manage them. This week, the Cabinet started an intense, all-daylong discussion with stakeholders with more talks set for Tuesday, during the next Cabinet meeting, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, disclosed Friday. It is likely some major decisions will be made then. Yesterday, DDL made it clear the planned cut in production in a smaller, restructured GuySuCo will have impact on its supply of molasses, which the sugar company supplies to them. GuySuCo has set a sugar production target of 115,000 tonnes at three estates currently earmarked to remain in operation, with molasses production being pegged at 52,000 tons. This will clearly not be enough for DDL which is pro-

DDL is warning against the closure of three sugar estates because of the impact on molasses supply. jecting that its demand for 2018 will be around 70,000 tonnes of molasses, if it is to meet demands for both local and international customers. Molasses is crucial to rum making. DDL’s El Dorado rums have been winning awards over the years. The three estatesSkeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore- completed production for the year with the industry recording its worst figures in years. Government is insisting that Guyana can ill-afford to continue bailing out an industry that has been chalking up losses in more than a decade. The industry, until recently, remained one of the biggest employers in the country with over 16,000 workers. GuySuCo wants the workforce to be slashed to about 10,000 for it to become profitable. Major Growth According to DDL, yesterday, initial assessment of its distillery production for 2017 shows that it has surpassed projections by 30% over 2016. “In keeping with this trend, and largely resulting from DDL’s intensive efforts in international marketing, the distillery production for 2018 is now projected to increase by a further 25% over 2017,” the company explained. DDL is a major employer too, with over 1,200 persons

with holdings in Demerara Bank, and interests in distribution and shipping. DDL made it clear that it is concerned about developments regarding the state of the industry, and by extension the potential downsizing of sugar production. “These c o n c e r n s a r e grounded in the long historical relationship between DDL and GuySuCo, in which DDL is dependent on the sugar estates for its molasses, and in turn is a significant source of cash flow to GuySuCo for its operations. “With the impending closure of sugar estates, there will be a considerable shortfall in molasses availability, which is directly related to the reduced projection of sugar production.” The company disclosed that in light of the expected shortfall of molasses, it has been actively been exploring its potential role in the future of the sugarcane industry. In fact, DDL has executed a high-level technical and economic feasibility study on innovative approaches to use the existing sugar assets to meet the current and future needs for molasses for an expanding distilling industry. “DDL therefore welcomes the comments from Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, at this week’s post-Cabinet press briefing, indicating that the Government of Guyana is still open to options that keep

the GuySuCo estates operational until arrangements are finalised for them to be privatised.” DDL Chairman, Komal Samaroo, said the company remains optimistic that the Government of Guyana understands what is at stakenot just for the sugarcane industry, but for all other stakeholders that are a part of the GuySuCo value chain. These include the many thousands who are directly and indirectly involved in the production, distribution and sale of DDL’s valueadded products, both locally and internationally. “This position was echoed by His Excellency, President David Granger, at the launching of DDL’s Special Edition 50th Anniversary El Dorado Rum in April 2016. At the event, DDL reminded, the president said that Guyana’s rum industry is precious and that it must be protected and preserved in the face of peril. “Workers’ jobs and the livelihood of those who indirectly depend on the industry are at stake. The loss of foreign exchange and excise earnings by the industry can result in severe problems in our economy. Guyana’s rums are an important economic sub-sector. It is in the national interest to ensure the

survival and sustainability of this industry and the Government of Guyana is committed to supporting this industry.” Good Performance According to the company, the performance of the distilling industry in 2017 has been a bright spot f o r t h e l o c a l e c o n o m y, building on the success of El Dorado – “one of Guyana’s few, truly internationally-renowned brands – the imperative of finding compelling solutions to guarantee its future sustainability goes without saying.” The company said that it is committed to playing an active role in forging the next steps for “survival” and has been engaging all stakeholders, including the Government of Guyana. The company pointed out that during a recent visit in October 2017 to its facilities by Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, and Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, the matter of molasses supply was raised. “In remarks after the tour, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo offered assurances that molasses supply for DDL would be secure.” DDL’s statement noted that the PM said: “Those who are saying that sugar is dead, or will be dead, should come and take a

tour of DDL’s bond and factory, there is abundant need for molasses … So I don’t see today any sign of the death of the sugar industry. Guyana will continue producing sugar once there is a need for molasses.” Minister Gaskin, also commenting at the same event, had said that “it was good to get a walk through and get a glimpse of their manufacturing facilities.” He commended DDL as “one of the biggest valueadded companies in Guyana and probably Guyana’s most successful value-added company.” DDL also noted that that Samaroo had announced plans of the company to invest $10B over the next three years. “This support is crucial in recognition of the jobs to be created and the significant increase in taxes contributed to the national economy from greater earnings. In 2016, the DDL Group paid $1.9 billion in taxes, excluding VAT, and is project to pay in excess of $2.2 billion for 2017 based on its performance.” The issue of GuySuCo has been a burning one for the unions, which is against privatisation and divestment, and the administration, which is adamant that GuySuCo in the current state cannot continue.


Sunday December 31, 2017

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Kaieteur News

Sueria Manufacturing Inc. gives back to mothers and their newborns Maia brand representative from Turkey, Mr. Metin Ince distributes Maia Products to one of the mothers.

Sueria Manufacturing Inc, representative (left) distributes Maia Products.

During December, local manufacturing company, Sueria Manufacturing Inc, distributed Maia baby diapers, baby wipes and other branded items to new born babies and their moms in hope that the donations would aid in their journey of new motherhood. They were able to raise brand awareness and give back during the holiday season as this initiative benefitted over one hundred

mothers and their babies. The Maia brand representative from Turkey, Mr. Metin Ince, also recently visited Guyana and took part in the activities. Hospitals that were included in the donations were Georgetown Public Hospital, St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital, Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital, Woodlands Hospital, Medical Arts Hospital and Prashad’s Hospital.

Trotman allowed ExxonMobil to strangle Guyana in stability... From page 8 the Trotman contract. And, all the paragraphs that have been included in the Trotman contract are of considerable consequences for Guyana. Ram noted, “This column has not been too excited about the Janet Jagan’s Agreement Stability Article but those now appear benign compared with the Granger-Trotman Stability Article.” He said that the 2016 changes are designed not only to protect the interests of the oil companies but more importantly, to limit the role of the government in applying new laws in so far as the oil companies are concerned. Under the new provisions, if Guyana decided to make any amendments to its laws, whether through the amendment of existing laws (including the hydrocarbon laws, the customs code, or tax code) or the enactment or new laws, any of which has a material effect on the oil companies, the Government is required to take prompt and effective action to restore the benefits so lost. Ram said that the new Article requires that the foregoing obligation of the Government includes: “to resolve promptly, by whatever means may be necessary any conflict or anomaly between the Agreement and any new or amended legislation, including by way of exemption, legislation, decree and/ or other authoritative acts.” Ram noted that the Stability Clause provides, inter alia, “that any delay by the government to respond to any notification from the contractor that they may have suffered any adverse effects can result in the contractor taking the matter to arbitration.” The Chartered Accountant added, “In such a case, the arbitral tribunal is authorized to modify the agreement to reestablish the economic benefits under the Agreement to the Contractor. Where such restoration is not possible, the tribunal has the power to award damages to the Contractor that fully compensates for the loss of economic benefits under the Agreement, both for past as well as future losses.” Kaieteur News had published a story that focused on the Stability Clause as well. Read the full story by following this link https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2017/12/30/committed-business-relationships-exxonmobil-exempted-from-anynew-tax-or-law/.

Maia baby diapers were introduced to Guyana in December 2016 and has rapidly became one of the most trusted brands by mothers for their babies. Sueria Manufacturing Inc values the importance of a child’s welfare therefore our Maia Baby products are of the highest quality. Our diapers help parents to take care of their children easier

and more effectively by a combination of the producer’s long-standing experience and state of the art technologies which allows them to provide products meeting all requirements of our little clients and their parents. The diapers are available in stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 (small, medium, large and junior) and are the most affordable in Guyana. They ensure

you have more value for your money since there are more diapers in a pack when compared to the other brands. The diapers are designed to give your baby all the freedom to move and are super absorbent to ensure wetness protection. The donation was a successful initiative by Sueria Manufacturing Inc and was executed throughout the month of December.

2017 has been a rough year cry La Penitence vendors

As the year is ending, many businesses and organisations will gather to discuss their overall performance; the vendors, of the one of the oldest markets in the country, are no different. The market, which hosts over 100 vendors, has its main business day on Sunday, but sees a number of its occupants from both within the market itself and outside along the roadways indulging in vending throughout the week. Kaieteur News visited these vendors to hear the views of the business economy throughout the year 2017. A number of vendors all agreed that 2017 has been a very rough year. They explained that there were days that they were able to cope but as difficult as it sounds, the bad days outnumbered those. According to a vendor whose only name was given as Gaitri; she has been vending at the market for over 16 years, she started at the market as a young woman selling vegetables and has now moved to a larger stall. She said that this year has been a very rough year for her

The La Penitence Market

business and those around her. She further went on to state that one of the major challenges they faced is having to compete with her suppliers. “It has gotten so bad that the people that we buy products from at wholesale prices, now get them own stand on Sundays at the same market and sell to the customers at wholesale prices also.” She explained that at times, she herself would have to sell her produce at the cost price because she wants to get rid of them before spoilage

occurs. The market has seen many vendors come and go as the years go by, but there are those who stick around with the hope of seeing improvements despite their experiences over the years. Among those persons is a woman known to her customers as Ms Lisa, she has been at the market for well over 36 years. She stated that this year has been really slow and it has not improved. “Business is not nice at all... it’s really bad...all year long... to me it seems like it is

becoming worse.” The vendors of the market were visited in February by the Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin who spoke to them about their views on the business environment. During his visit he told them that “initiatives would be undertaken by the government to boost business.” Despite the assurance, the situation remains the same thus far. Many of the vendors are hoping that the coming new year, business will begin to flourish again.


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Kaieteur News

Sunday December 31, 2017

EDUCATION MATTERS

Improving Performance through Instructional Leadership By Olato Sam As the New Year and new school term begin, Heads of institutions have an ideal opportunity to improve on a crucial dimension of their existing leadership repertoire. A key dimension of effective leadership at the school level requires that our Heads regard themselves as not merely the administrative heads of institutions but also the instructional leaders. Heads, for their own professional advancement should regard this as a critical growth dimension and appreciate and internalize all facets and expectations of instructional leadership. This equips them with the skill sets necessary to begin addressing the output dimensions of their respective institutions and chart a course for continuous growth and development. Our students’ academic

outcomes are our primary focus, yet for too long, too many of our schools have operated without performance accountability structures. There has been no mechanism through which school Heads are called on to evaluate and give account for the academic output of their institutions. Experience has taught us, however, that centralized accountability is insufficient in bringing about the desired improvements in this regard. It is not something that should ideally be imposed through the policy framework of the Ministry of Education but should be a natural outgrowth of the desire on the part of Heads and teachers themselves to consistently demonstrate progress in their practice. School with effective leaders devise their own accountability frameworks and hold themselves

accountable for the performance of their students. Accomplished educators define their instruction by the extent to which effective learning takes place. As such, the evaluation of progress in this regard is part of the professional responsibility of educators which also entails a search for solutions to overcome any deficiencies that are unearthed. Prior to the commencement of the new term, Heads should engage all of their teachers in exercises to examine the extent to which the goals they have set for the institution are being attained. If in the offchance—and I do emphasize off-chance—no goals were set for the academic year, this would be a good wake-up call for the setting of same for the remainder of the year. Too often, institutions fail to recognize the value of

taking stock of where they are over these breaks and move on to the next term’s work at the expense of the growth that can occur through such an evaluative exercise. The recently concluded end-of-term assessments results are useful data in this regard and must not be treated as ends on to themselves but should be compared with the diagnostic data collected at the commencement of the school year. In the absence of such baseline/diagnostic data, the existing standards are a good guide against which one can gauge the progress of students. Where weaknesses have been uncovered, it is incumbent on the teachers to devise strategies for overcoming same prior to the introduction of new material which failing students would be unable to grasp. The consistent failure to

use assessment data to inform pedagogical decisions more relevant to the needs of the children has been a significant contributor to the failure rates noted in many institutions. Another important aspect of instructional leadership involves leading teacher learning and development. Heads must evaluate the effectiveness of their teachers and place them on a professional development pathway. The once trained, always trained mindset is outmoded and Heads must devise consistent professional development opportunities that specifically target the instructional needs of their teachers. There is ample evidence that the weaknesses of students often times mirror those of their teachers, as such, any attempt to improve performance must zero in on the needs of our teachers. To this end, the National Centre for Educational Resource Development, Departments of Education, the Cyril Potter College of Education and the Faculty of Education at the University, must all be important partners for Heads to access the resources and support for devising relevant continuous professional development activities. Heads should be resourceful enough to tap into the existing institutional arrangements to secure the necessary human and material resources needed for their professional development agenda. In addition, the topic areas and activities of the long-standing Cluster sessions and Subject Committee Meetings should all be fashioned out of these demonstrated needs. Teachers should find themselves immersed in a consistent professional growth experience that is tailored as best as possible to their demonstrated needs. Such needs must be evidence based, emerging from honest appraisals of teacher competence on the one hand and supported by student performance data where possible. It must be emphasized that the needs of students cannot be addressed in isolation and demand an examination and attention paid to the needs of teachers. The laptops our teachers now possess should be utilized to further these efforts, creating a community of learners who can share experiences, access best practices and support each other in becoming better practitioners. Even further, attention must be given to the existing curriculum, its relevance and effectiveness with the

specific context within which the school exists. The curriculum is not a decree that must be slavishly adhered to at the expense of effective learning, as is practised in some quarters. Often times teachers declare with pride that they have covered the curriculum while failing to recognize the emptiness of such an accomplishment if their charges have not mastered the content. The curriculum should be regarded as guides for ideal circumstances. Instructional leaders develop relevant routines and structures that promote learning. They recognize where adjustments need to be made in the interest of the students’ development and lead exercises to address same. They devise justifiable alternative instructional plans, secure buy-in for the approaches they have adopted and monitor the progress of students vis-à-vis these approaches. No two schools are the same, and by the same token no two classes are the same; as such, school leaders need to be savvy enough in working with teachers in prescribing what is appropriate for their respective cohorts within the context of the standards established and move away from the one-size-fits-all approach that has led to underachievement. Where the competence of the students takes precedence, effective learning takes place and teachers can recognize the progress they are making. If instructional leaders are to effectively improve teacher and student learning, they need the enabling environment within which they can operate. They must feel empowered to make the required innovations geared towards the realization of the performance goals they have established for their institutions. This requires effective communication, monitoring and supervision of the practice of their teachers with the sure confidence that they will be supported by their respective Departments of Education. The degree of empowerment and innovation necessary in this regard does not flourish within command and comply institutional arrangements. As such, the management and supervisory approaches and structures at the level of the Departments of Education are critically important to fostering the type of growth needed on the part of Heads to emerge as the instructional leaders required for improved performance of students.


Sunday December 31, 2017

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Kaieteur News

GLDA continues to improve transparency and accountability

In the last few years, the management team at the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) aggressively initiated several activities in an effort to transform its monitoring, evaluation, and accounting processes. The transformation, although still ongoing, has resulted in GLDA being repositioned to improve programme planning and budgeting in 2018 and future years. This was reflected in its 2018 annual work programme and budget which showcased the progress GLDA has made to date in improving transparency and accountability. In fact, GLDA’s work programme notes that the revenue from operations declined by 19% in 2015 but increased by 124% in 2016. It was projected to increase by36% in 2017 but was revised downward by 2%. It is however, projected to increase by10% in 2018 and thereafter by10% until 2021. Based on the verified data available at GLDA, it is expected to provide support services to 10,514 beneficiaries. At least 822 commercial livestock producers are anticipated to access genetic support services; 6,086 core and commercial livestock producers are likely to access advisory services; 90 livestock producers, importers and exporters are expected to access veterinary laboratory services and 189 butchers are expected to access regulatory slaughter services. Approximately, 80 Extension/Veterinary Field Agents

are anticipated to provide 23,572 inventions to facilitate the beneficiaries stated. LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY According to GLDA, the projected growth of 50% in 2018 is directly related to the activities associated with improving the reliability of the livestock product statistics, building and strengthening the organizational capacity of new and established associations and collaborating with stakeholders to address food and nutrition, disaster risk management, climate resilience and adaptation, and green economy strategies of the agency. The Authority noted that beef production contracted by 1% in 2016 and was projected to contract by 1% in 2017 but was revised to increase by 19%. Milk production contracted by 20% in 2016 and was projected to increase by 11% in 2017 but was revised to contract by 1%. Mutton production was projected to grow by 23% in 2017 but was revised to grow by 11%. Pork production is projected to contract by 1% in 2017 but was revised to grow by 17%. Additionally, the Ministry of Communities provided the resources for the National Swine Producers’ Association to boast production, and GLDA provided the technical support needed to make the project a success. The success of the project may be one of the main factors contributing to the growth recorded. With regard to Poultry meat production, this grew by 5% in 2016 and was projected

to grow by 10% in 2017 but was revised to 13%. The projected negative growth in the duck industry and the higher level of smuggled chickens are the main causes for the reduction of the local production. HATCHERY The continued growth in duckling production is unpredictable in the local market. In the first half of 2017, GLDA noted that total duckling production contracted by 6% as compared to the same period in 2016. In addition, the local duckling producers accessing the hatchery support services at subsidized price increased by 36%, while the local duck producers accessing F1 breeding stock at subsidized price decreased by 20%. For 2018, GLDA noted that the duck production support services will focus on improving the research and technical capacity of the technical officers by conducting applied research trials and developing tech-packs. The new and improved techpacks will be transferred via results and method demonstrations, webinar and workshops, technical guidance and exchange visits to strengthen and build the productive capacity of the established and new or emerging producers. Another vital focus is securing and sustaining the high-quality parent stock at GLDA’s duck farm and core breeders. In this regard, GLDA said that the main aim of these approaches is to improve the efficiency of the production systems. The key

The Baccoo Speaks The madness is still here. Young boys are bent on making themselves comfortable at the expense of others. Yet another is going to be caught, making it three in three days. One was severely beaten, another was hogtied in Kitty. This one is going to die. ** The end of the year is approaching and so too is

40

death for one motorist who would be carried away by alcohol and speed. This is

going to add to the list of fatalities. ** The New Year is approaching and many people will make resolutions. However, some will feel pain like the resident who will get into a needless fight. He will be stabbed because he attempted to bully someone. He will spend the early part of the year in hospital.

performance indicators, hen day, incubation rate, fertility, hatchability and efficiency are expected to increase. It is predicted that increasing the efficiency should result in a decline in prices, which will boost local consumption by 5%. In order to further boost local consumption, GLDA will be partnering with the key hotels and restaurants, and Carnegie School of Home Economics, to develop an aggressive public campaign to make the public become more aware of the other menus available for preparing duck

meat and the benefit of using duck meat. With improving efficiency, GLDA will concentrate on certifying the production systems according to ISO22000 standards, to facilitate import substitution, while at the same time focusing on export to regional markets. GLDA is projecting to gain certification by end of 2018. The certification process will be extended to the established duckling producers and later to the new and emerging ones. By 2021, it is envisaged that GLDA will foster Public Pri-

vate Partnership to establish a certified processing and package facility for export of frozen duck meat to regional markets. Furthermore, to become more competitive, GLDA has said that it will explore the possibility of using crop residues as livestock feed. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), post-harvest loss in Guyana is approximately 30% and given annual production of 205,433 tons, it is possible to reduce the feed cost which is approximately 60% of the overall cost. GLDA said that this strategy is in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal of reducing the global food loss index and will limit the foreign exchange needed to import ingredients for livestock feed. To this end, GLDA said it will encourage the duck producers to establish a National Duck Producers’ Association in 2018 to facilitate the Public Private Partnership. Of the developing livestock industries, GLDA said that the duck industry possesses the greatest potential to be vibrant, creating good life for resource poor households and better life for new, emerging and established local producers.


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Kaieteur News

Sunday December 31, 2017

The corpse in Mr. Reddy’s hallway By Michael Jordan Sixty-one-year-old Permaul Reddy should have seen the corpse the moment he stepped through his front door. After all, it was lying in plain sight in his hallway. But he insists that he didn’t notice the body until minutes later. That’s the answer he gave me as he pointed to the spot where the body had lain. It’s the same answer he gave the skeptical police almost six years ago. Perhaps he missed it because, as he told me, he isn’t in the best of health, and his eyes hadn’t quite adjusted from the glare of the afternoon sun. But maybe it was just that his wife, seemingly murdered so easily, was the last person he expected to see lying dead in his hallway. She was Sita Reddy, a feisty, independent 54-yearold, who made a good living selling poultry that she reared in the backyard of the couple’s property at Lot 139 Second Street, Craig, East Bank Demerara. The day was Wednesday, February 1, 2012, and Sita Reddy was alone at her Lot 139 Second Street, Craig, East Bank Demerara residence. Her husband was out on busi-

ness. Mr. Reddy said that he called his wife around 1:00 p.m., and they spoke for about ten minutes. He said that she asked him to come home early, but as he was driving home, police stopped him near Providence and requested to see his vehicle documents. Mr. Reddy said that he’d left the documents at the East Bank Demerara firm where he worked, so he returned to collect them. While he was there, he tried to reach his wife by phone. Despite repeated attempts, no one answered, and he caught a bus and headed home. On arrival, he saw that his front gate was shut. His son lived next door, and his gate was open. Mr. Reddy said he entered the gate, then stepped into his house. He immediately noticed that all of the windows in the bottom were shut. He entered the bottom flat, then used the inner stairway to reach the top flat of the four-bedroom apartment. It was then that he noticed that the bedroom that his wife occupied was ransacked. However, there was no sign of Mrs. Reddy. After ‘hollering’ for her and getting no response, Mr.

Sita Reddy Reddy said he telephoned his daughter, asking her to call the police. He then returned downstairs and this time he saw his wife lying motionless, and in a pool of blood, to the left of the hallway. Media reports indicated that the poultry seller’s throat was slit, and her body bore stab wounds. The killers had reportedly made off with about $1.5 million in cash, which Mrs. Reddy had saved from her poultry sales. They had also stripped the woman

of her jewellery, including an ankle band and several gold rings that she wore. Mr. Reddy said they also took her cellphone. He immediately alerted a neighbour. The police then arrived. They began to question Mr. Reddy. He believes that he aroused suspicion because of his statement about walking past the body. The other thing was that they had heard that the couple often quarreled, and were on the brink of a divorce. Mr. Reddy indicated that his wife had a temper, but they got along well. He also denied that his wife had filed for divorce. Nevertheless, the police took him into custody. During that time, detectives checked him for injuries. They released him after three days. They also detained two residents who were allegedly seen visiting Mrs. Reddy’s house to purchase chicken prior to her being found dead. One media report also indicated that police were trying to locate a man who lived in the area. The man’s relatives had alleged that he was in the interior, and had promised to turn him over to the

police when he returned. Mr. Reddy told me that his wife’s poultry customers would first call at the gate. She would then let them in. Those making large purchases would go to the backyard, where she reared her poultry; those making small purchases would order at the front. Mr. Reddy suggested that his wife had let her killer(s) in. He also suggested that the intruders were people that she knew, so she had to be silenced. He said that he later noticed that someone had broken or cut through a padlock on a grill door at the front entrance. Mr. Reddy also suggests that the police ignored clues that he had shown them. He said that he had shown them a few cigarette butts and about three plastic cups that someone had left in the front yard. The widower also suggests that the killers had made a prior visit to his home.

In 2011, someone had reportedly broken into the property when the Reddys were out. That individual had gone straight to Mrs. Reddy’s room in the upper flat and carted off a substantial sum of local and foreign currency that Mrs. Reddy had stashed. They had also made off with most of her jewellery. They had left other rooms untouched, just as the killers had done. Mr. Reddy said that after that burglary, his wife had vowed to fight back with any thief she confronted in her home. If you have any information about this or any other unusual case, please contact Kaieteur News by letter or telephone at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown office. Our numbers are 2258458, 22-58465, 22-58482 and 22-58491. You need not disclose your identity. You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email address: mjdragon@hotmail.com


Sunday December 31, 2017

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Kaieteur News

How do you keep the music playing? Depending on your perspective on life, the end of the current year and the beginning of a new one probably will bring contrasting emotions, feelings and thoughts. As I observed in my Christmas column, what can you write differently about special days in the calendar from the others over a stretch of thirty years? I mean, I have done more than two dozen columns on Old Year’s Day, what is so different in 2017? What do I reflect on as today passes into history never to reappear? For a start, I can think that it marks another year of marital union for me. Next February will be 39 years since I wed Janet Kissoon. I have chalked up another year with the Kaieteur News and the Kaieteur News itself has accomplished another year. When I think about my long stay at Kaieteur News, I think of class and colour and its consequences. Had there been elite, light-complexioned ownership of Kaieteur News, I would not have been writing an Old Year’s column today, I would not have achieved nearly three decades as a newspaper columnist. I started out with the Stabroek News and I learnt a lot about class and colour and their consequences when I rode that road. I have no hard feelings about anyone there. Time heals wounds. What about my country? There will be separate columns on the contents of 2017, but in my personal life, I cannot say that exciting things happened in Guyana that impacted on my personal existence. No! Far from it! This is not to take away from the positives that came onto the landscape. They say competition benefits the consumers, so I welcomed two new large supermarkets – the extended Mattai and Foodmax in Giftland Mall. As an expert in supermarket prices, I think they do

not live up my expectation. I am no business consultant, but in a price-conscious society, your prices have to be more inviting than your competitors’. So what am I doing tonight? What I have done the past thirty-eight years – spend it with my family, including my two wonderful pets. My wife makes cook-up every Old Year’s Night without exception. Today’s cook up is my choice, because yesterday was my birthday and my wife asked me to choose. I selected fresh green peas that you get from the Bourda market pasture where it is picked right there and then. Actually that variety is my favourite type of cookup peas. My mom made it often because at that time it was a cheaper legume than split peas and black eye peas. You are not going to believe how much a packet costs. It is way, way above split peas, black eye peas, dried pigeon peas and red peas. A pack of fresh green peas is $800. I guess the reason is because it is fresh and not dried. If you are married, especially a long time now or you are planning to get married and tonight you will be painting the town, I suggest you dance to the incredibly romantic ballad below, “How do you keep the music playing?” It is taken from the movie, “Best Friends” and sung by two brilliant R&B singers, Patti Austin and James Ingram. [Verse:] How do you keep the music playing How do you make it last How do you keep the song from fading too fast How do you lose yourself to someone And never lose your way How do you not run out of new things to say [Verse 2:] And since we’re always changing How can it be the same

And tell me how, year after year You’re sure your heart will fall apart Each time you hear her name [Chorus:] I know the way I feel for you, it’s now or never The more I love, the more that I’m afraid That in your eyes I may not see forever, forever...

[Verse 3:] If we can be the best of lover Yet be the best of friends If we can try with every day to make it better as it grows With any luck, then I suppose, the music never ends [Chorus:] I know the way I feel for you, it’s now or never

The more I love, the more that I’m afraid That in your eyes I may not see forever, forever (Verse 3/Repeat) If we can be the best of lovers Yet be the best of friends If we can try with every day to make it better as it grows With any luck, then I suppose the music never ends

Frederick Kissoon


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Kaieteur News

Sunday December 31, 2017

Earnestly preparing to oversee the construction of another Dem. River Bridge When it was built and completed during the Administration of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham back in 1978, the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) was designed to last, in its original form, for about a decade, and was aimed at vastly reducing the delays residents from the West

Demerara had encountered using ferry boats belonging to the Transport and Harbours Department. For a while after its opening on July 2, 1978, the T&HD vessels still ferried passengers and produce across the Demerara River, but these were eventually phased out

and replaced by today’s fleet of small craft operating mostly a makeshift ramp aback of the Stabroek Market. But as time went by, the pressure on the lone bridge that is made up of floating pontoons, a retractor span to allow ocean-going vessels to sail past unimpeded and an almost 70-foot high level span permitting smaller craft to head out to sea or sail inland, grew to such an extent that there is need today for a second one to complement the DHB.

So it is in this context that the governing Coalition is earnestly preparing to oversee the construction of a second bridge across the river to ease the notorious levels of daily frustration and delays that bridge users encounter. Officials and engineers are still working to determine what the final designs will look like, whether it would be a fixed, permanent bridge, not requiring frequent openings to allow vessels to sail through, or one that would in fact be built with spans that would require daily openings and more frustrations for users. It is in this context that Public Infrastructure Minister the Hon. David Patterson recently decided to meet with residents of Region Three to assure them that planning remains resolutely on course and that relief is forthcoming in the ensuing months. He did indicate that tenders for construction are already out and that a total of eleven contractors, many of them based overseas, are being shortlisted. “We would like to do prudent financing, when we would have finished as-

sessing in the next quarter or two and the contractors have arrived at a certain amount, we will know the extent of financing we will need, if any, on the part of the government and we will be going to approach the assembly for supplementary, that will be by June n e x t y e a r, ” M i n i s t e r Patterson told a public forum recently. “The residents in Region Three know more than anyone else in this country why a new bridge is needed and not only a new bridge, you also know why new roads are needed. Even on a Saturday when school is out, there’s a traffic backup, so it’s a need which the government has heard, and we’re putting things in place.” So far, engineers and experts have identified a link between Houston on the City side and Versailles across the river as the most economically suitable place to locate the bridge. Private lands and properties currently located in the identified areas will have to be acquired by mutual agreement between Government and the parties and access roads constructed to

make way for the bridge. It will likely be just a bit shorter than the DHB, which according to official records, is 1.25 miles long. Engineers have done a remarkable job to maintain and keep the DHB over the decades, but officials have stressed that maintenance costs are higher when structures like these are being propped up for the public good. The minister says that officials hope to narrow the bidding field down to about three contractors who would provide proposals to fund it all by themselves or would do so in a public-private partnership with government. Neighbouring Suriname to our east built two massive bridges across the Suriname and Corinie Administrative Districts in the late 1990s but the massive costs associated with their financing sparked such massive protests that the Jules Widjenbosch administration was forced to call general elections months ahead of schedule and was swept out of power as the economy tanked under the weight of financing of the two permanent, fixed bridges.


Sunday December 31, 2017

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Kaieteur News

My column

New Year and I can see more sniping at Granger The New Year is hours away and there are some things that will come with it. One will be an eclipse of the moon. Some people will enter the world of work for the first time. They are the first group of people who would have graduated from the Bertram Collins College for Public Servants. There will be some who because of over-exuberance will attract suffering. But for the most part there will be many who will simply give thanks for seeing another year. This is the time when I do some retrospection. For example, I remembered the dawn of 2000. Computers were expected to crash because of the change from 1999. That didn’t happen. I had friends who partied the last year away only to die before the dawn of this one. Life is about dying, so I could only conclude that the next phase is only a corner away. What is constant is the political divide. For as long as I have been around there has been the political division. It has always been us or them. The line between us and them was never determined by ethnic considerations, and for that I always say that there is still hope for Guyana. On Thursday, the government decided to release the contract it signed for oil production. The occasion was

bigger than I had expected. I thought that the contract would be posted online and people could read it and arrive at their own conclusion. Instead there was a formal release at the Ministry of the Presidency. The political opposition was invited. Seats were provided, but those seats remained empty. I am not going to guess the reason. Perhaps they could not bear the thought of walking into that building because of the pain of losing the elections in 2015. It must have been like a man who, having lost his wife, is invited to her second wedding. He would not be comfortable to sit and hear the marriage officer say, “Now you may kiss the bride.” Be that as it may, the contract was released with all the explanations that seemed to be necessary. I heard that this contract was a slight modification of one that was signed in 2012 by the previous administration. Prior to the release of the contract there were many comments, ranging from the document being a giveaway to it containing secrets that the government did not wish to reveal. I went as far as to ask Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo about his reason for keeping the 2012 contract under wraps. There was some mundane answer and a challenge for the present ad-

ministration to make it public. This coalition administration said that the threat posed by Venezuela with its superior army and fighter jets was enough to force Guyana to be careful with its disclosures. Of course there are those who say that the threat is over-exaggerated. They contend that no country would sit by and let Venezuela bully Guyana. The reality is that even if they do not sit back, Venezuela could wreak serious damage on Guyana before there could be any intervention. I still remember Venezuela escorting an oil rig out of Guyana’s waters and the rest of the word sat back and did nothing. Minister Raphael Trotman said that ExxonMobil was brave enough to undertake the work in the waters and for that, Guyana was thankful. However, the critics refuse to factor in that measure of confidence on the part of ExxonMobil. They see the oil that has been discovered and they say that Guyana could get much more than is on offer. That could very well be the case, but no neophyte could get the best of any deal with an expert. Minister Trotman said that the Guyana negotiators might have been experienced, but they sought the best in the field to do what they could not do. I read some of the com-

ments by Christopher Ram and I blinked, because I saw a measure of nitpicking. For example, in the 1999 contract, the then President Janet Jagan released more than she should to the oil company. Jagdeo, in support of that decision, said that had she not done that, oil might not have been discovered. It was a case of the end justifying the means. But Ram is blaming the administration for not correcting what Mrs. Jagan did. Perhaps the government should have reclaimed the excess blocks, but starting from where? The blocks with the oil? He said some other things that the authorities may address if they feel so inclined and knowing Ram, he would not mount a challenge . I had expected him to challenge Trotman or someone from the oil company to a public discussion. That has not happened. I learnt that the US$18 million signature bonus was not an offer by ExxonMobil. Rather, it was a case of Guyana using precedent, seeking a sum to cover legal expenses in the move to the International Court of Justice. Further, contrary to the critics, this money is not going to come from the expenses and placed among the recovery cost. It is what it is— a bonus. Guyana, for its part, must play catch up. It must start

training its people and there is going to be money for that. It must begin to develop resources to cope with the coming of oil. Already some entrepreneurs are building facilities to capitalize on this discovery. I know that Mr. Charles Ceres with his knowledge is already in the mix. He was sought out because the oil company would find it cheaper to deal with Mr. Ceres’s company than to recruit a company from North America. The Granger administration is in the invidious position of being asked to explain every action, something that the Jagdeo government never had to do because of the dictatorial attitude that prevailed. When asked to explain something, that request was simply swept aside. I still remember the anger at the group from the islands that were among the first to be approached in connection with the Marriott project. The news came out and the government, through Winston Brassington, was angry. In fact, that group was discarded because it talked. Similarly, when news of

Adam Harris A. A. the airport expansion project came to Guyana, there was anger, because the government had said nothing to the people. And even after that, there was anger whenever questions were asked. To get that contract released was like pulling teeth. The Amaila Falls contract was another. I do not remember the strident calls for the release of the contract. I have seen no analysis of that contract. There will be endless discussions on the oil contract, but not one of the critics will seek to have their views challenged. It is always easy for a little boy to stay behind a fence and hurl bricks at a grown man.


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Sunday December 31, 2017

Guyana is a nation in transition to becoming a ‘green’ state By H.E. David Granger The Government of Guyana is at mid-term and, ever mindful of its duty to the people, will continue to aim at providing a good life for all in 2018. The Nation’s economy has been prudently managed over the past 30 months. This has allowed for moderate economic growth of 3.1 per cent in 2015 and 3.3 per cent in 2016, despite the unfavourable external environment. The Government adopted measures to improve the living standards of workers. Public servants’ minimum wage increased by over 50 per cent within the past 26 months. The income-tax rate was reduced and the income tax threshold increased by a minimum of 20 per cent – measures which boosted worker’s disposable income. The Government will continue to support all sectors of the economy, particularly the sugar industry. It provided G$31B in financial support to the Guyana Sugar Corporation in order to protect workers’ livelihood and to arrest the financial haemorrhaging of the industry. The sugar industry is being consolidated; it is not being closed. The Government will explore every option to ensure a viable industry, mindful of its impact on the rural economy and population. The Government has been working to improve national economic competitive-

ness. National competitiveness has been enhanced by the reduction of the corporation tax rate for manufacturing and non-commercial companies from 30 per cent to 27.5 per cent. The Value-Added Tax was reduced to 14 per cent and the VAT threshold increased from $10M to $15M. The Government is rebalancing the economy through its support of the micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprise sector, mindful of the small and micro enterprises’ potential to generate employment. Loans and grants have been issued under the Hinterland Employment Youth Scheme, the Linden Enterprise Network, the Micro- and Small-Enterprise Development, the Sustainable Livelihoods and Entrepreneurial Development, the Women of Worth initiative and the People of Worth Entrepreneurial Resources initiative. The Government continued to build its institutional capacity and the adoption of an appropriate legislative and regulatory framework for the sustainable management of the nation’s natural resource sector, including the emergent petroleum sector. The Government has been strengthening the regulatory framework of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, digitizing education and establishing ICT hubs. Greater impetus to the liberalisation and regulation of telecommunications will be

provided through the enactment of the appropriate telecommunications legislation. The establishment of 53 ICT community hubs across the country will accelerate the extension of ICT-related services. The Government is improving the country’s transportation network of aerodromes, bridges, roads, stellings and wharves. The four-lane extension of the East Bank Demerara Public Road has been completed. Village roads of over 100 km have been constructed or repaired. More than 30 hinterland aerodromes have been rehabilitated and maintained. The Government has restored the people’s participation in local decision-making. Local government elections were reinstated. The establishment of three new towns – Bartica, Lethem, Mabaruma – solidified our system of local democracy. Plans of Action for Regional Development are being developed for each region. Regional Agricultural and Commercial Expositions are catalyzing agriculture and agro-processing. The Government expanded the provision of water to unserved communities and improved the quality of service. The commencement of the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement programme will benefit more than 50,000 consumers. The Government, over the past 30 months, has aimed its efforts at reaching a peaceful resolution to the territorial

President David Granger controversy through its engagement in a renewed ‘Good Offices’ process. Its efforts are expected to eventuate in a juridical settlement of the territorial controversy. The Government has strengthened the financial regulatory framework in order to insulate our economy from proceeds of illicit activities. The promulgation of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism legislation will provide greater safeguards and stronger enforcement to ensure the integrity of the financial system. The Government has reestablished and made appointments to institutions required by the Constitution. The appointments of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission and an Ombudsman;

the establishment of a Public Procurement Commission and re-establishment of the Public Service Appellate Tribunal manifest the Government’s commitment to abide with the Constitution. The Government is committed to improve the conditions in the public education system under which teachers study, work and live and students have to attend school. Improvement in educational attainment requires investment in teachers’ training. Over 1000 teachers have been trained over the past two years. The number of trained teachers, in our schools, has increased over the past 2 years and now stands at 77 per cent. The Government, in pursuit of the common good, continued to pursue the vision of a Guyana in which “diversities are embraced”, differences respected and “conflicts resolved”. It has developed a national strategic plan to foster greater social harmony. The Government has improved the reach, quality and administration of passport, immigration, birth, marriage and death registration services. It has reduced the processing times for the issuance of passports and the service is being decentralized to the six capital towns. The Government continues to support the indigenous in 215 indigenous communities. These communities

have benefitted from a range of community-support initiatives, including Presidential grants, the distribution of school uniforms, the construction of community centres and the provision of allterrain vehicles, boats and outboard engines. The Government embarked on a process of reform and is revamping the national security architecture. The Government, with the assistance of the United Kingdom, will establish a Department of Security Sector Reform. The security forces are gradually recovering from the demoralisation caused during the ‘Troubles’ of the early years of this century. The Government promulgated a National Drug Strategy Master Plan and established a National Anti-Narcotics Agency and a National Intelligence and Security Agency and re-established the National Security Committee. Guyana is a nation in transition to becoming a ‘green’ state. The Government established the Department of the Environment to coordinate and regulate the national effort in this thrust. The Government will continue to place emphasis on the preservation of our biodiversity and the protection of the environment. The protected area system will be expanded by an additional 2 million hectares. Government buildings, increasingly, are going to be powered by alternative sources of energy, as part of our ‘green’ agenda.


Sunday December 31, 2017

Kaieteur News

What happens when you get shortness of breath? By Dr Zulfikar Bux Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Getting shortness of breath is never a nice experience. It’s mostly a sign that your body is not getting enough oxygen. People who have shortness of breath describe it in different ways. Some people say that they feel like they can’t take a deep breath in or get enough air. Other people might feel like their chest is tight or they have to work harder than usual to breathe. The medical word for shortness of breath is “dyspnea.” Shortness of breath can start suddenly, over minutes to hours. It can also happen over a longer period of time, from weeks to months. The more severe your shortness of breath, the more the likelihood of you having a condition that is lifethreatening. I have had the experience of seeing patients who ignore their shortness of breath and subsequently, had bad outcomes. It is for this reason that I chose to discuss this topic today. WHATCAUSES SHORTNESS OFBREATH? Different medical conditions can cause shortness of breath. The most common causes of shortness of breath that starts suddenly are: - Lung problems, such as asthma, infections, or blood clots – These conditions might cause other symptoms, too. For example, a lung infection usually causes a fever and cough. - Heart problems, such as a heart attack or heart failure – A heart attack can also cause chest pain or pressure. Heart failure is when the heart does not pump as well as it should. - A severe allergic reaction, called “anaphylaxis” – This can also cause itching, swelling, or a rash. - Pregnancy – It can be normal for pregnant women to feel slightly short of breath just

after they lie down or are active. - Anxiety- Patients with anxiety feel the sense of having shortness of breath especially when they are anxious and their body is in “overdrive mode” - High blood sugar: Persons with diabetes are at risk of having their high blood sugar causing acid build up in their body leading to a medical emergency called Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). Diabetics with DKA will have shortness of breath when their body tries to compensate for the acid build up. The most common causes of shortness of breath that happens over weeks to months are: - Lung problems, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – Both of these conditions can make it hard to breathe. COPD is usually caused by smoking. - Heart problems, such as heart failure or a change in the size and shape of the heart (called cardiomyopathy) - Being overweight or out of shape - Low blood count: Persons with low blood count that occurred over time will develop shortness of breath when they exert themselves. IS SHORTNESS OFBREATH EVER NORMAL? It is not usually normal but it may happen in healthy persons. Very strenuous exercise, extreme temperatures, massive obesity and high altitude all can cause shortness of breath in a healthy person. Outside of these examples, shortness of breath is likely a sign of a medical problem. SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR? Yes. If you have shortness of breath, you should see your doctor. Sometimes shortness of breath means that your condition is serious and you need emergency help. Do not hesitate to visit the

Dr. Zulfikar Bux emergency room if you have: - Shortness of breath and think you are having a heart attack - Severe shortness of breath (hard to breathe when you are sitting still) - An allergic reaction with shortness of breath WILL I HAVE TESTS? You might. Your doctor will talk with you, ask about your symptoms, and do an exam. Depending on what the doctor finds, he or she might order 1 or more of the following tests: - Blood tests - A chest X-ray - An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) to measure the electrical activity in your heart - A breathing test Depending on your results, you might need more tests, too. HOW IS SHORTNESS OF BREATH TREATED? Shortness of breath is treated in different ways, depending on the cause. Once your doctor figures out the cause of your symptoms, he or she will talk with you about different possible treatments If you have unexplained shortness of breath, especially if it comes on suddenly and is severe, do not hesitate to see your doctor. It is most likely a sign of danger to your life.

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Sunday December 31, 2017

Ringo Starr and Barry Gibb Receive Knighthoods in Queen’s New Year’s Honors Music legend Ringo Starr is the latest music star to be knighted in the New Year’s Honors. E! News can confirm The Beatles member is being recognized for his services to music and charity. “It’s great!” Ringo said in a statement after learning about his award. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love. Ringo.” With the honor, Ringo will officially become Sir Richard Starkey. He’s also the second member of The Beatles to receive the award. Paul McCartney received the honor nearly 20 years ago. Ringo isn’t the only performer to receive a special honor from Queen Elizabeth II. Bee Gees member Barry Gibb will also become a knight in the honors lists. Other familiar faces to receive honors include House star Hugh Laurie who becomes a Commander of the British Empire. According to BBC, there are 1,123 people named on the main honors list issued by the Cabinet Office. 70 percent of the recipients

are recognized for work in their communities in a voluntary or paid capacity. Officials said future lists would see honors for “inspirational action” by people following the Grenfell Tower fire and the terror attacks in London and Manchester. Anyone can nominate someone for an honor on the gov.uk website. http://www.eonline.com.

Jay-Z’s “Family Feud” Video Features Beyoncé, other Celebs

Jay-Z just dropped his “Family Feud” music video on TIDAL. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the video features appearances by Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, Mindy Kaling, Michael B. Jordan, Niecy Nash, Rosario Dawson and Susan Kelechi Watson, who plays a grown up Blue Ivy. In the video, we see the year 2050, where Blue Ivy is President of the United States of America and has herself

surrounded by strong women in the office. Mindy took to Instagram Friday to share a picture of some of the celebs appearing in the video. “Nobody wins when the family feuds Family Feud music video is now on Tidal directed by @ava #jayz,” Mindy captioned the pic. “Family Feud” premiered one day after TIDAL released a teaser, showing Jay-Z and Bey in a confessional box. http:// www.eonline.com.

Jude Law and Johnny Depp Appear in New Fantastic Beasts New images have just been released from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will hit theaters on Nov. 16, 2018 and now we’re getting a new sneak peek at the upcoming movie. Back inApril, it was revealed that Jude Law had been cast in the second installment of the film series as Albus Dumbledore, who audiences were introduced to in his later years at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the audience will meet Dumbledore in his earlier years. Johnny Depp reprises his role of Gellert Grindelwald in the sequel and is seen standing in the street alongside Rosier (Poppy CorbyTuech) in the just-released photos. “At the end of the first film, the powerful

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Kaieteur News

Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings,” a description of the Warner Bros. movie reads. The description continues, “In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.”www.eonline.com

8 Small Changes for a Slimmer You in 2018

It’s that time of year again. People are rushing to buy gym memberships and cleaning out kitchen cabinets, swearing that this year will be the year they follow through on their resolution to lose weight. But reaching that goal doesn’t require a complete lifestyle overhaul. Small steps can make a big difference in your body and health. Here are eight ways to get started: · Break it down. No matter how much you have to lose, changing your lifestyle to lose weight can seem overwhelming. So, don’t look at it all at once, advises nutritionist Samantha Heller, from NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “Look at it one plate at a time, or even one choice at a time, but start right now, and by this time next month, you’ll see good changes,” she said. Instead of thinking about how you need to lose 40 pounds, figure out what 5 percent of your body weight is. For a 180-pound person, it’s 9 pounds. “If you lose 5 percent of your body weight, you can significantly decrease your risk of many diseases, like prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease. You lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and A1C [a long-term measurement of blood sugar levels], and it’s so much less overwhelming to think about,” Heller noted. · Strive for a negative calorie balance. For years, you’ve probably heard that to lose a pound, you need to eat 3,500 fewer calories (the number of calories in a pound), but research has shown that it’s not necessarily that simple. Nutritionist Maudene Nelson, from Columbia University Health in New York City, said, “It works mathematically, but it doesn’t work physiologically. The body defends its weight,” she explained. But you do need a negative calorie balance to lose weight — that means you need to take in fewer calories than you use in activity and exercise to lose weight. Both Nelson and Heller said very low-calorie diets don’t work in the long term because the body goes into starvation mode. “You don’t want to lose weight too quickly, because it scares the body into thinking there’s no food available,” Heller said. · Plate it.Nelson loves the simplicity of the plate method. Half of your plate should be vegetables, one quarter is

protein and one quarter is starch. If you finish your plate, and you’re still hungry, she said be sure to refill your plate in the same way. “Don’t just refill on the mac n’ cheese,” she advised. In the morning, you can substitute fruit for the veggies. · Identify trouble times. Nelson asks her clients to think about the time of day they have the most trouble with food. Is it the time just before dinner when the kids are clamoring for food and you’re starving and so tired you don’t feel like cooking, so you stop at the fast-food drive-thru. Or is it at night when the house has quieted down and you can finally sit down, maybe with a glass of wine and late-night snack? “In these times of day, it’s hard to think about how many calories you’re eating. These are times you don’t want to stop and think about selfdenial. So plan for these times. Have healthy snacks ready. Make sure you have ingredients for a quick meal in the fridge so you don’t have to rely on fast-food,” Nelson suggested. · Add protein to every meal. Protein helps keep your blood sugar levels from spiking and then crashing. Without at least a little protein in your meal, you’ll be hungry soon after eating because of a fast rise and fall in your blood sugar. And, Heller said, be sure to have protein at breakfast, too. “Having protein in the morning can really set the stage for a better day — whether it’s eggs or yogurt, nut butter on whole grain toast or apple slices, or even leftovers from the night before,” she explained. · Track it. Both Heller and Nelson said one of the most important things you can do

for losing weight is keeping track of the food you eat. “It’s not a sexy or exciting thing to do, but it can be informative and helpful,” Heller said, adding that many people are surprised when they write down every bite they take at how much they actually do eat in a day. A food diary can be done with paper and pencil, or you can put technology to work because there are lots of apps for the phone. Examples include myfitnesspal, fitday and seehowyoueat (an app that lets you use pictures to keep your diary). “You can use your food tracker to see what happened when you did well, or on days you didn’t. If you over-eat one night, you can look back and see that maybe you skipped lunch and were starving. You can use it as a learning tool for the next time,” Heller said. · Don’t drink your calories. Both experts said people often get empty calories from soda and juice. “It’s just not worth it to drink your calories,” Nelson said. What about adult beverages, such as wine and beer? Nelson said those can be considered part of the plate method. Each drink replaces a starch from your plate. · Rewards. Nelson said to set yourself up for success by planning rewards. Whether it’s for walking a mile, or for tracking your meals for a week, give yourself more than a pat on the back. It doesn’t have to be a big treat — maybe you could buy that magazine you enjoy but usually don’t purchase, or a special body lotion because it’s pricier than what you normally spend. https://medlineplus.gov/ news/fullstory_170678.html.

Discrimination Affects More Than Just the Victims Discrimination takes a toll not only on a victim’s health but on the well-being of their romantic partners, too, a new study finds. “We found that when an individual experiences discrimination, they report worse health and depression,” said study leader William Chopik, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University. “However, that’s not the full story — this stress spills over and affects the health of their partner as well.” The study involved nearly 2,000 couples, 50 to 94 years old, who relayed their experiences with discrimination. They also provided details about their health, symptoms of depression and the level of intimacy or strain in their relationship. The researchers found that discrimination of any kind — racial, gender or age — had a negative effect on people’s health. However, the discrimination also affected the victim’s spouse or romantic partner, the study found. The researchers said that’s because couples involved in a relationship generally share the burden of these incidents and experiences. https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_170622.html.


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Sunday December 31, 2017

Kaieteur News

CONSUMER CONCERNS

MAKE 2018 A YEAR OF OPTIMISM By PAT DIAL Today is the last day of 2017; we are standing on the threshold of the New Year 2018. This is a special time for Guyanese people, as from the middle of December they began preparing for both Christmas and the New Year. Homes were thoroughly cleaned and spruced up; everyone worked not only to have a joyous Christmas but also quietly prepared for the New Year. During the days after Boxing Day, people assiduously tried to put their financial affairs in order and to complete things undone before the beginning of the New Year. Everyone tried to bring a closure to the Old Year and embark upon the New Year shore of the burdens of the Old. This emanates from the belief that in whatever mental and physical state the New Year found one, that condition will persist throughout the year. In the last evening of the Old Year, therefore, most try to ensure that they and their children are well attired, have eaten to their fill, have clear minds, and offer prayers to God, for those who believe in God. Many also attend parties and dances so that the advent of the New Year will find them in a state of pleasurable enjoyment. Auld Land Syne, that anthem of the New Year, is sung and heard everywhere. That anthem is very appropriate with which to begin the New Year since it nostalgically recalls the good things of the Old and looks with optimism at the arrival of the new. New Year resolutions and the planning of the New Year is usually done on the first or second of January. Unfortunately, such planning is slightly disturbed with a

streak of pessimism which has infected the national psyche over the last several years. This is caused by the slight feeling of uncertainty regarding the social, economic and political milieu in which people will find themselves. If we can exorcise this unconscious pessimism which so insidiously affects our psyches, we will attain greater productivity and creativity and be much happier. But arriving at and maintaining an optimism of mind is not achieved by merely wishing for it. It is achieved by intellectual effort and being guided by the wisdom which the great teachers of the Past have bequeathed to Mankind. Among such great teachers are Lord Jesus, Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha and Prophet Muhammad. Lord Buddha, for example, gives a formula for driving out pessimism: “What wise person with strong enthusiasm is discouraged? Those engaged in attaining Enlightenment, seeing the drawbacks of lethargy and sleepiness, spend their time in making constant enthusiastic effort. Those who make enthusiastic effort will have no difficulty in accomplishing every worldly act”. One of the main social issues which generates pessimistic feelings is the projection in the media that there is widespread racism in the country and one would be enveloped in it without any chance of escape. Actually, if citizens were to intellectually analyse the realities, they would find their fears are illusory. Our members visit downtown Georgetown every day and travel by the public

transport, especially the minibuses, and there is nothing but friendliness among the various racial groups with people proffering hundreds of kindnesses to each other. There is no open racial tension among the various groups. The only section that speaks of racism is politicians and the politically aligned and it is the words and actions of these people which are reported in the media projecting the impression that the country is a racial imbroglio. But strangely to observe, the whole political section and those who are politically aligned are themselves individually not racist but are entrapped in a determinist mold where they must speak or act in ways which could be

interpreted as racist imbued with the facile and fictional belief that it is the only way to garner political support. The way of changing this situation and removing the racist illusion is for ordinary folk, as individuals and as groups, to speak in person with the politically aligned whenever they appear to say or do anything which could be interpreted as racist and let them know their failings. If this is done, racism would gradually begin to fade away and politically aligned people would understand that ordinary folk are no longer an emotional vote bank. If the media and the Education system could also constantly deliver the message that Meritocracy is the best criterion for progress and development of Society,

much better than other criteria such as racism or nepotism, this would assist ordinary folk in their efforts to help the politically aligned to free themselves from the determinist racist mold in which they are entrapped. In further exorcising pessimism and strengthening our optimism in 2018, we should remind ourselves that the Past and Future do not exist and it is only the Present which does. A great deal of our misjudgements and disappointments, and indeed pessimism lie in the fact that we often treat Past and Future as if they were as existent as the Present. Once we assimilate this truth, we would be more focused and act in the Present. The other truth we often

neglect is the fact that everything has a negative and a positive and if we are affected by an unfortunate or difficult happening we should try to discover the positive side of that happening and make use of it. This truth is captured in the old saying: “Behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining”. If we were to be always conscious of these truths when addressing our economic and other problems our chances of being successful would be greater. In 2018, we could therefore rid ourselves of all vestiges of pessimism and approach our resolutions and plans with clarity of mind and optimism and full hope of success. 2018 could be a good year for all.

ICO DESIGNS

US-based Guyanese pools fashion and philanthropy to help others With a constant desire to help improve the state of humanity, overseas-based Guyanese businesswoman and philanthropist, Onica Charles, has combined innovation and passion to launch a personalised clothing line. The young entrepreneur who founded two private schools in the US and spearheads the International Children’s Outreach, (ICO), a charity which caters to the needs of children globally, artistically branded the line ICO Designs. ICO Designs will not only cater to people’s apparel needs but will also help support the work of charitable organisations worldwide. Explaining the concept behind the new venture, Charles says that the T-shirt line will raise help awareness about suicide, homelessness, volunteerism and other global occurrences. Through direct sales of their consciously made products which were designed by civic minded individuals, they will support a nonprofit / nongovernmental organisation which provides support for underprivileged children, globally. She explained that based on her projections sixty per cent of the net profit from the brand will go to charitable organisations and the other forty percent will be geared towards assisting students with their tuition and other school related material. “It’s not just ICO charity that will benefit but charities

ICO Designs from around the world whose efforts are geared towards ending poverty, homelessness and other social issues.” Our goal is to help support the work of orphanages and other underfunded non- profits organisations globally. ICO Designs also has a matching programme which allows you to double the power of your spending. Charles has travelled all over the world helping disadvantaged children and one of the biggest obstacles that she noticed was the lack of school uniform for under privileged children in third world countries. Children are not able to attend school for the simple fact of not having school uniform and shoes. So with

this initiative, for every item you order, ICO Designs will donate a school uniform, book bag or school shoes to an under privileged child. Given the impact of the alternative breaks programme and its growing popularity with college students, Charles shared that at present, ICO is hosting ten interns who volunteer to help them to reach its goal. The interns all attend the Florida International University (FIU). Each worked with ICO before via their alternative breaks programme. “It gives me pleasure to mentor students from my Alma Mater,” Charles, an International Relations graduate asserted. She explained that ICO Designs were birthed from a

need to teach the college students skills of entrepreneurship and the importance of starting a business/brand. She said therefore that all the designs will be created by civic-minded college students who want to give back to the community.” ICO Designs is about encouraging, inspiring, and empowering lives through fashion, art and design. The line will focus on T-shirts which can be marked with personalised mantras and favourite quotes. They are also working on a line of handcrafted handbags which will be made in India using materials Charles has created from her travels around the world. The material will be available via the website www.icodesigns.org.


Sunday December 31, 2017

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Kaieteur News

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VEHICLE FOR SALE Allion, Primo, Fielder Wagon, Spacio, Bluebird, 212 Carina, NZE, Honda CRV, Toyota IST, RZ & Pit-bull – Call: 650-7501 Unregistered Axela 2011 $2.5M, dark interior, fully loaded, Nissan pickup extra cab $2.1M. Call: 617-5536 1 Toyota pit-bull BSS series 1.8 neg payment plan avail. Excellent condition. 685-7728.

SALON Make-up Courses with Mac, Bare Minerals, etc. -CosmetologyCourses:$90,000 Nail Technician Course: $35,000. Call: 647-1773/6880009

Parafaite Harmonie $1M Herstelling $2.5M Farm $2.8M Uivlugt $2.6M Tel#656-0701/ 611-7223 Land of Canaan 1.2M, Grove 3.5M, Parafaite, Herstelling, Highway 34 acres Sophia 5.5M, Diamond 4.5M. GME 231-2199/618-7483.

PLANNING AN EVENT? BIRTHDAY PARTY, GRADUATION,WEDDINGS, ANNIVERSARY,ETC.- CALL DIAMOND TENTS: 216-1043; 677-6620 Newly built 3-bedroom apartment at lot 6 Water Street, Bagotstown, EBD. 6839526/613-4582/ 612-7533 Vreed-en-hoop junction. Lessons place, storage bond, office, other. Call 603-6400.

WANTED Hire & Private car drivers, must have car & van license 225-3234 Drivers, dispatchers and contract cars Tel: 231-0002, 231-0316 Needed artist to paint portraits and scenes on canvas. Whatsapp#611-7223 or call 656-0701. 1 experienced cook. Call: 2260554/623-8654. 1 experienced diesel mechanic must have knowledge of welding. 1 labourer. Contact number: 220-2034/623-8078 1 experience male cook for interior ($100,000) monthly, Experienced Marack and Jet men for 6 inch dredge 6931886 between 8:30 hrs and 17:00 hrs.

PROPERTY FOR SALE House for sale in Station street, Kitty $48.5M Contact #609-8474 South Aubrey Barker 100x100 9.5M Diamond 55M, 17M, Parafaite 27M, Supply river side 50x160 31M GME 2312200/ 618-7483 TOLET 2 Bed apartment in Eccles New Scheme semi-furnished from 15th Jan 225-3234 Enmore Mall spaces available for a variety of business, car parking facilty. Call Richard 609-7675/ 674-1705/233-2614. PEN PAL Foreign man, confident, generous and loving seeks female Guyanese friend 16-35 for friendship. Whatsapp#1246-835-6908.

VACANCY For experience female accounts clerk. Apply in person at Alabama Trading 65 Robb St Bourda.

Several special purpose swing doors are to be purchased and installed for operating theatres at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) at a cost of $40.7 million. The procurement process started months ago and ended with Cabinet awarding

CAR RENTAL PROGRESSIVE CAR RENTAL: SUV FOR RENTAL- $4,000 & UP PER DAY- CALL:643-5122/6560087, ,EMAIL:PRO_AUTO RENTAL@YAHOO.COM DOLLY’SCARRENTAL-CALL: 225-7126/226-3693 DOLLYSAUTORENTAL@ YA H O O . C O M / W W W. DOLLYSAUTORENTAL.COM AIDAN’S CAR RENTAL:PICKUP,9-11 SEAT MINI BUS, GOOD FOR AIRPORT & FAMILY OUTINGS, CHEAPEST RATE . Call: 698-7807 WING’S CAR & PICKUP RENTAL: LOW DOWN PAYMENT, CHEAP RATES,SPECIAL OFFERS! CALL: 690-6494

Backhoe operator, wood mizer and edger operator, moulder operator. Call Richard 6097675/ 674-1705/233-2614.

EDUCATION

Salesperson/Cashiers ages 25-45 for general store on the East Coast Call 642-1141

Day Care and Pre-K classes available in Diamond Call Canadian School 2166921,216-6922

One mature,experienced security guard.Call 642-1141. EDUCATION Lesson classes, Abeka System-Phonics, Reading, Language and Maths. Age 412 years old. 197 Roxanne Burnham Gardens. Call :2182076,619-4355

Register your child for after school classes for slow learners in Mathematics, Reading, Phonics, Spelling, etc. Call: 675-4379 St John First Aid/ CPR Course on Saturday, January 6th 2018 Cowan St. Kingston Call: 2259082

the contract to K.P Thomas & Sons Contracting Inc. last week for the doors to the hospital’s six operating theatres. Health officials have since defended the cost, telling Kaieteur News that the doors are ‘special-grade’ that meets international health standards to aid the continued infection prevention and control efforts at GPHC. When contacted, Chief Executive Officer of GPHC, Brig. (ret’d) George Lewis said that the acquisition of the doors is part of continued efforts to improve facilities in the health sector. “These operating theatre doors are absolutely necessary because the current doors are not performing the functions that they are supposed to perform which increases the chances of patentees being infected during surgeries,” Lewis stated. He added that the doors are unavailable locally and as such they have to be procured, imported and installed. “This contract deals with not only with the procurement, but the installation of the doors,”

Lewis noted. Kaieteur News understands that the contracting company will supply a total of 17 doors, 15 of which are to be installed and two will be retained as spares. Specifications of the doors to be supplied have been obtained by Kaieteur News. The doors are to be ultra-hygienic glass reinforced polyester and wrap resistant to withstand heavy use without denting or bending. Further, all of the doors are expected to be rust resistant and are not expected to swell nor corrode. The doors should be installed with seamless lightweight construction with no voids, ledges or lippings with an air tight fit to ensure that contamination does not enter or escape from the operating rooms during procedures. According to health officials, the doors which have a 25 year guarantee, feature an ergonomic design which facilitates easy entrance and exit for surgeons suited and scrubbed for surgery. It allows surgeons to lock the door from inside.

Enmore Association of New York spreads... From page 16 Guyana. This year's event was backed by Harry and Chandra Persaud, Jimmy Baichan, Bryan Singh, Steve Kim, Elaine McKee, Claude Singh, Ayube and Farida Mohamed, Aleesha Mohamed, Fazal and Shamin Haniff, Akbar Khan, Waheeda Khan, Amar and Salina Persaud, Central Plumbing Specialities, Geeta Nathai, Leena Pinto, Art Denson, Kim Clarke, Sammy, Steve Toor, Nathan Figueroa, Jennifer Silberstein, Prakash and Sirmati Persaud, Narinedat and Devi Balkaran, Rudy and Shafa Persaud, Sheila Shakur and family, Doris Surujlall, Leon Mangru, Rishi Khemraj, Amna and Suresh Jagroop, Priscilla and Jonathon, Ricky Haniff,

Zabida Sue, Ashraf and Fazia Khan, Randolph, Sultan Ahmad, Afzal Samad, Derrick Auto Repair, Raj Auto Repair, Nick and Sham Hardeo, Hiyaat Ali, Ravi Etwaroo, Cricket Zone USA, Brian and Nirvani Persaud, Lawrence Mootoo, S.P. Singh, Harriman Joseph, Mo and Zally Ramroop, the Hamid family, Suresh and Chano Persaud, Naresh and Savitri Persaud, Raymond Bacchus, Boodram Bakery, Ganga Singh, Ramesh Lall, Legantin Hardwar and Subas and family. EANY said while the 2017 event was a huge success, it will work to put together an even bigger one in the coming year. It said putting smiles on the faces of children and senior citizens was its objective and that was achieved.


PAGE 54

Sunday December 31, 2017

Kaieteur News

Many schools fail to meet WHO water quality standard The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) over the past year conducted a series of water quality tests in three different Regions, in joint venture with the Ministry of Education. It was found that close to half of the schools tested were unable to reach the standards specified by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a matter of fact, of the three Regions that were tested, only Region Four passed. This was one of the important aspects that were highlighted by Dr. Richard VanWest Charles, the Managing Director of the GWI on Friday last, as he was presenting the company’s year-in-review. Dr Van West-Charles said during his presentation, “(GWI and MoE) have begun to ensure that the schools, Nursery, Primary and Secondary, have access to potable water. Part of the problem, not only for the schools but also for all households, is using the overhead tanks, whilst GWI produces potable water. “When it gets to the tanks, the tanks are not clean; that contributes to a problem

Managing Director of the GWI, Dr. Richard Van-West Charles of contamination.” As a result of the findings from the analysis done in the schools, the Director of GWI stated that they were able, again in collaboration with the Education Ministry, to complete sanitisation works to the water tanks in Georgetown. The results showed that in Region Four, 61 of 88 schools passed the test.

In addition to the cleaning works, GWI was also able to conduct tests to the water to further verify its standard. According the Dr. Van West Charles, works are in progress to ensure that the schools in Region Six, have access to potable water, given that the analysis depicted a worrying 36 schools failed the water quality test of 47, leaving a mere 11 facilities with safe water. No plans for Region Five were specifically highlighted by him to address the 11 schools that failed the water quality test of the 15 which were analysed. During his presentation, he also informed that the installation of a C2 tank at Mabaruma Hospital and 50 Lifesaver Jerry cans, which are used to filter out objects larger than 15 nanometers, were distributed to several Hinterland communities by the GWI, so that the quality of water can be improved. Also in the Hinterland Region, a significant number of water filters were installed, due to findings from the analysis.

More than a week later…

Rape accused yet to be charged despite DPP’s recommendation The mother of a nine-yearold girl, who was raped on September 21, last when a minibus driver sneaked into their home, is getting frustrated by every passing day. This is because the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has recommended that the 34-year-old man who molested the little girl be charged with rape more than a week ago but the police have not charged him as yet. In fact, she said the suspect is roaming the road as a free man while her daughter continues to suffer. It is unclear why the suspect has not been charged as yet since persons are placed before the court either hours after the DPP recommended charges or the very next day. Divisional Commander, Leslie James, could not be reached for a comment. The victim’s family was hoping to welcome the New Year with the suspect behind bars. The family is claiming that since the child gave her statement, the police have not contacted them to inform of any development in the case. The suspect went to the family’s home on September 21, last, to meet with the child’s grandfather and noticed that the girl was home alone. He allegedly climbed onto the verandah, entered

the home and raped the child. ”My brothers and him does drive bus together and when they get problems, he does complain to my father. So on that day, one of my brothers and him got into an argument and he told my brother that he will ‘f*** up his family and he left the Number 32 bus park,” the child’s mother alleged. The woman added that her daughter was sick with the flu and diarrhoea and had stayed home from school with her grandfather, but the grandfather had to leave home to run an errand. ”My daughter said she heard the guy calling and when she went out, he asked her where her grandfather was and my daughter informed him that he was not at home, so he asked she and who home, and my daughter said she alone…then she went in back the house and continued watching television,” the mother recounted. She added that her daughter told her that shortly after she went inside, the man confronted her from the verandah and threatened to kill her if she made any noise. ”She said that the man took off her clothes and raped her on the chair and when the pain became too much, she started crying and he put his

hands over her mouth but she managed to bite him and push him off and run and lock herself in the toilet.” The child’s mother said that the driver, who is a father himself, then banged on the toilet door for the child to come out. After she remained inside, he put on his clothes and left. ”She said she wait a while and then she barely open the door and see him putting on his clothes—a green jersey, black pants, brown boots, blue hat and black shades. He jumped down the verandah and walked at the back of the yard,” the mother said. The woman said that the child’s grandfather arrived shortly after the suspect left and her daughter asked him to call her. ”My daughter called and asked me if I can come home now; that something happen. So I left work and went home.” The woman said that her daughter was so terrified of her attacker that she did not want to tell her what had happened. ”When she told us, we went to the station to report the matter and we went for a medical which confirmed that she had been raped.” Initially, the family had (Continued on page 55)

One jailed, three freed on arm robbery charge One of four men who were on trial in the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s court on a charge of robbery under arms, has been jailed while the other three were freed due to insufficient evidence. Kevon Bunyan, called “Buddy”, 32, of 52 Stanleytown, New Amsterdam, was found guilty by Magistrate Alex Moore and sentenced to three years in jail in his absence. The others, Quincy Goodheart, 25, of 540 East Ruimveldt; Rudolph Mc Curdy, called “Rudy” 27, of 620 Fort Ordnance Housing Scheme; and Kurt Edwards, 23, of 188 Fort Ordnance, Housing Scheme, East Canje were freed. They were accused of robbing Nanda Ramkissoon Sankar, called “Babita”, of a quantity of cash and cell phone cards. They were also accused of taking a gold chain to the

value of $1,146,340 property of Danny Sankar called “Dutty Dan.” The victims were proprietors of the E and B General Merchandise and Candy Shop of Lot 12/13 Strand, New Amsterdam. The crime was committed on Tuesday March 15, 2016 at Strand Road, New Amsterdam. At the time they were armed with a gun. Goodheart who was unmasked when he committed the act was captured the following night in a trench at Angoy’s Avenue. During the robbery, the bandit had fired three shot from close range at the proprietors and a friend but had missed. Sankar had stated that it was the fourth time that he was robbed. The men were also on trial on two charges of possession of arms and ammunition without being the holders of the required licence.

Bunyan and Goodheart had pleaded guilty to those charges and were jailed for two years each. On Thursday March 17, at No 52 Stanleytown they had in their possession a .38 revolver and ammunition without being the holder of a licence. Bunyan had taken the police to a house at No 52 Stanleytown. The police dug up an area and found a gun in a black plastic bag. One live round and one spent shell were found inside the gun. Bunyan had told investigators that around 08:00 hrs on the day in question, he was given the gun to keep by Goodheart who told him that it was the gun that was used during the incident. The men were released from prison early on the possession charges, but had stopped attending court on the other charges.

Charity NDC blames Puran Bros. for garbage buildup in market place The poor disposal of garbage within the community of Charity remains a major threat to health and sanitation, jeopardising the wellbeing of all in the community. The situation has escalated so much that it has now come under the scope of the Charity/ Urasara NDC. The NDC says that the sight is degrading, and a plain disrespect to the municipality in which it functions. The stench of the garbage is unbearable to many plying the streets, of this heavily commercialised community. The Charity Car Park and tarmac have been blanketed with trash, as overturned barrels linger around. The sight is clearly inappropriate for a developing community. Dogs can be seen scavenging in the trash. Puran Brothers Inc. was contracted by the Regional Democratic Council to dispose of garbage within the Charity/Urasara NDC. The buildup of rubbish on the Charity Tarmac is believed to be a clear reflection of neglect on the part of this waste disposal company. Overseer of the NDC, Samuels Sooklall, said that Puran Brother’s is paid $95,000 every month to dispose of garbage from the Charity market. “The firm was contracted to dispose of garbage six days a week, during this Christmas season. However, they only did so for three days.” Sooklall told this publication that Puran Brother’s workers would just sweep off the top of the full barrels, leaving the excessive trash on the ground. Sooklall said that the NDC had made numerous complaints to the company but nothing was done to address the issue. Anuradha Dass, Puran Brother’s representative based in

The polluted car park in Charity. Essequibo, said that the company she represents is only being paid to empty the bins and not to clear the ground of garbage. Sooklall told this publication that a temporary pickup site was made at the Charity Tarmac. Though the dump site at the Charity Market tarmac is not a designated dump, Sooklall believes that the garbage company can do better to keep the surroundings clean. Samuels said that the main issue is acquiring a dump site to dispose of the garbage. The NDC has since been using tractor and trailer to rid the park of excessive rubbish. The tractor will then take the rubbish to Puran’s dumpsite, where the NDC is taxed $10,000 per trailerload. The NDC finds this to be outrageous since Puran Brothers does not have an approved

the dump site. Sooklall said, “The site that Puran Brother’s is using as the dump was not even declared by the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]. The area was not approved. Added to that, they’ve blocked the National Drainage and Irrigation Dam. Now farmers in the area have to use boats to get to their farms instead of the dam which was provided.” The contract between the NDC and Puran Brothers Inc. will expire January 2, 2028. In the meantime, the situation continues to worsen. The improper disposal of garbage now poses as an even greater threat, now that the rainy seasons are here. Flooding, accompanied by serious health complications are bound to surface if the situation is not urgently rectified. [Romario Blair]


Sunday December 31, 2017

Kaieteur News

Guyana DESERVES higher share of oil profit

PAGE 55

- IMF recommends revision of PSA framework By Kiana Wilburg The Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) that Guyana has with ExxonMobil is fraught with opportunities for abuse. In fact, these very loopholes could result in a significant dent in the revenue Guyana is supposed to get from the oil find by the operator. This was noted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a report that it prepared on Guyana’s looming oil sector. Given its findings, the IMF recommended that Guyana hastens move to revise the current framework of its PSA. Specifically, the IMF said, “Introduce a revised production sharing mechanism for new PSAs that provide the government with a higher share of profit oil as the profitability of projects increase.” In the agreement with ExxonMobil, Guyana gets 50 percent of the profit oil. Going forward, the IMF said, too, that the government should apply tighter ring fencing arrangements at the field level, including for the allocation of cost oil. The IMF highlighted in no uncertain terms that this was missing from Guyana’s contract with ExxonMobil. The ring fencing provision ensures that an oil operator cannot transfer the expenses incurred at one well to another. The IMF said that in principle, the ring-fencing arrangement ensures that the government’s revenue from the Stabroek Block is calculated based on each field or well separately. The Fund stated, “However, this is undone by the Production Sharing Agreement framework, allowing the contractor to allocate cost oil to any field within the contract area.” But the Government believes that there is no need for alarm or worry as several international bodies, the IMF included, are lending tremendous support to help Guyana remove every possible chance for exploitation by the operator. This was noted recently by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman. Trotman said that on November 30, he and the Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, sat with IMF representatives and those issues were ironed out. Trotman said, “We went through them with the Guyana Revenue Authority and others. The answer is that we are working. IMF, World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Inter-American Development Bank are giving us tremendous support. And we are building capacity on a daily basis and hiring capacity and ensuring that we cover all that we are supposed to…” The Minister said that with the help of those international agencies, Guyana will be in a position to

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan

Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman

tighten all loopholes. He added, “We invited the IMF to tell us what we are lacking in this regard, so Guyana is not alone in this.” UNCERTAIN The Government has since expressed that it is uncertain whether it would refrain from the continued use of Production Sharing Agreements (PSA) or strengthen the flawed model. This was confirmed by Trotman. His comment came on the heels of a Kaieteur News article that was published a few weeks ago. That news item focused on the lessons Indonesia learnt from using PSAs, a contractual model it is credited with creating. This arrangement stipulates that the host country will receive its profits after the oil company deducts its operating expenses. The Government of Indonesia thought that this was a wise move in the beginning. But with each passing year, it soon noticed that its cut of the spoils got smaller, the taxes from the oil sector began to shrunk and the operators’ claims of deductable expenses was increasing by the millions. The aforementioned convinced the Government that petroleum companies were inflating costs. The Government tried everything they could to keep oil companies from exploiting this loophole in the Production Sharing Agreement. But every accounting or auditing effort proved futile against the oil giants. Earlier this year, the country took the decision to move away from the very agreement it piloted. With this in mind, Kaieteur News asked Trotman if he believes that Guyana would be wise to move in the same direction. The Natural Resources Minister said, however, that PSAs have advantages especially for countries which do not have capacities to monitor and be fully involved. He said, “It took Indonesia decades to build capacity and to be able to de-link from it. We can’t compare Guyana with Indonesia.” At this point, Kaieteur News

emphasized to the Minister that it took a staff of over 700 individuals in Indonesia to monitor cost recovery claims by oil companies. The newspaper insisted that surely there is something to be learnt from Indonesia if that point is considered. The Minister said, “Of course there is something to be learnt from Indonesia. We have in fact, met with officials of their national oil company. We are looking at areas of possible transfer of skills and experiences.” But as it relates to walking away from the use of PSAs, the Minister said that it is difficult to pronounce on such a matter at this stage. Trotman said, “We have had the current model reviewed and more reviews are being conducted by international agencies so it’s difficult to say at this moment whether we will walk away completely or strengthen the model we have.” NEW MODEL

Since moving away from PSAs, Indonesia has employed the use of the “gross-split” method. The gross split rules make contractors bear all the costs in turn for a higher share of the output. The base split for oil blocks is 57% to 43% for the government and contractors, respectively, and 52% to 48% for natural gas fields. This is in contrast to the conventional cost recovery PSCs which caters for the sharing of profits after deduction of the exploration and production costs. The economic benefit from the gross split PSC is that it awards the share of production, bonuses, income taxes and indirect taxes to the state, while contractors receive a share of the production according to the percentage agreed on in the contract. INFLATED COSTS Indonesia’s move from Production Sharing Agreements to the new model last January was long in the pipeline. In several media reports in that country, the Government said that under cost recovery, contractors inflated costs to increase their share of production, the result being that Government’s share is reduced. In fact, the Supreme Audit Agency of Indonesia found that several oil and gas production sharing contractors inflated their operating costs claims to US$300M. The Agency also noted that many of the costs claimed by the company were not even in keeping with the rules and regulations of Indonesia. By moving to a gross-split, the Government argued that contractors are forced to bear the costs of operating themselves. The

Government believes that the new method will encourage the oil operators to spend more efficiently since there is no way to recover them. The Government of Indonesia feels justified in doing away with a cost recovery mechanism for oil operators. The citizens there also believe that for too long, they have been abused by oil operators. In this regard, the Government revealed that in 2016 alone, cost recovery by oil operators climbed up to $13.9B. This was more than the sector even contributed in revenues for that year. Additionally, the Government bemoaned the administrative challenges that came with addressing cost recovery as claimed by companies. In fact, the Government said that the problem with cost recovery is there have been endless debates as to how much exactly the production costs should be. The Government said it is not easy to calculate technology costs, especially in cases where only one company has a particular technology. It was also noted in the Indonesian media that SKK Migas, a government-owned entity that manages the oil sector, has a staff of 750 professionals. Approximately 80% of that staff is involved in the arduous task of ensuring that cost recovery claims by company are fair and accurate. Anticorruption advocates in Indonesia are of the firm view that given its limited audit resources and benchmarks to evaluate cost claims, the Government’s response to move away from cost recovery as a basis for production sharing is perhaps, a sensible move.

Drunken man jumps to death from overhead walk-way A drunken hospital patient, who claimed that he was seeing “an invisible man,” jumped to his death after making his way to the top of the newly-erected overhead walkway near the Diamond, East Bank Demerara Public Road. Sources said that Navin Surujpaul, 46, of Lot 27, Grove Public Road, East Bank Demerara, made the fatal plunge around 16:45 hrs, after rushing out of the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, where he was being treated. He succumbed around 19.00 hrs. The walk-way where the tragedy occurred is still not open to the public, and workers had erected barriers to keep out trespassers. Kaieteur News understands that Surujpaul arrived at the hospital around 14:30 hrs with injuries from a motor vehicle accident. Around 16:00 hrs, while he was in the dressing room, Surujpaul,

who was reportedly “extremely intoxicated,” suddenly began throwing items to the ground. He then stormed out of the dressing room, and upturned a water dispenser. He reportedly shouted that he was seeing “an invisible man, and “a man with a cutlass” chasing him. The patient then ran out of the compound towards the walk-way. He then ripped out the barriers that were erected to keep out trespassers,

scrambled to the top, and jumped. Kaieteur News understands that he sustained severe injuries after his head struck the edge of the curb. He was rushed back to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre where he succumbed. A number of overhead passes have been erected on the East Bank Demerara Public Road, following the death of numerous pedestrians while crossing the busy thoroughfare.


PAGE 56

Sunday December 31, 2017

Kaieteur News

Opposition critical of government’s economic policies KINGSTON, Jamaica CMC – The main opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is expressing concern about what it termed the “under-performance” of the Jamaican economy. In a statement, the PNP said that data provided by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) showing a growth rate of 0.8 per cent for the third calendar quarter of 2017, meant that the island recorded an average growth rate of a meagre 0.26 per cent during the first three quarters of 2017. “It is disappointing and, indeed, worrying that in 2017, which is the second year in the Economic Growth Council’s four-year ‘5-in-42 target period, Jamaica is heading for a growth rate of less than one per cent for the calendar year,” said Shadow Minister for Finance and Planning Mark Golding. He said after nearly two years in office, the Andrew Holness government has failed to maintain the improvement in Jamaica’s growth performance that commenced under the previous administration. “The development of the BPO sector, the build-out of new rooms in the hotel sector, the re-opening of Alpart, the divestment and expansion of the Kingston Container Terminal, the strategic shift to LNG and renewables in the energy sector, and the

Mark Golding modernisation of the country’s tax collection capacity, are all solid achievements of the previous administration, which stabilised the nation’s public finances and built the foundation for sustained economic growth. “While continuity of good policies is essential, over the past two years the Government should have built on the strong growth platform which they inherited, but has failed to do so,” said Golding, noting the government’s inability to tackle the sustained spike in murders” which he said “is negatively impacting Jamaica’s prospects, and constitutes a dismal failure of the current Administration, gar-

nished by the foul odour of corruption from the used car scandal. “In the meantime, the uncertainty of the outcome of the protracted and incompetently handled public sector wage negotiations is putting the nation’s fiscal targets at risk, and is inimical to confident economic decision-making that is necessary to drive investment and growth,” said Golding. The PNP said it was also calling on the government to take appropriate action to avoid further slippage in the national mission to achieve high levels of growth to support sustainable and inclusive national development.

UWI honours former Chancellor BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - CMC – The University of the West Indies (UWI) has conferred the title of ‘Chancellor Emeritus’ on its former Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne. UWI said Emeritus is a designation given to the former holder of an office, who having retired is allowed to retain the title. Sir George served as Chancellor from 2003 to 2010 and then 2010 to 2017 and the university said “his years of distinguished service in the office have left an indelible mark in the history of The UWI. “In addition to his service as Chancellor, he spent a total of 23 years working at the regional University.”

Sir George was given the honorary title of Professor Emeritus after leaving UWI in 1981 to assume the position of Chief of the Unit of Research, Promotion and Coordination in the Division of Human Resources and Research at PAHO/WHO and ascended to the position of Director of PAHO in 1995. United noted that he is a “son” of the university “a proud alumnus, having graduated in 1957 as the gold medallist with the degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS), from the then University College of the West Indies. “Throughout his accomplished career, Sir George has received numer-

ous awards including prestigious decorations and national honours from many countries of the Americas. In 1990, he was made Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his services to medicine and in 2001, he was awarded the Order of the Caribbean Community, the highest honour that can be conferred on a Caribbean national.” Earlier this year, the Barbados-based Chronic Disease Research Centre, one of the lead agencies in the fight against chronic diseases, was also renamed in honour of Sir George. The acclaimed medical research unit is now called The George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre.

Rape accused yet to be charged... From page 54 no idea who had raped the child. “Two days after she was raped, my father had to cut his hair (at a West Bank Demerara barber shop), so he took her, and my brother (who was also there). He told her to watch around just in case she sees the person who attacked her.”

The mother said that her daughter spotted her attacker at a bus park, and he was wearing the same attire he was dressed in when the attack occurred. The child’s relative apprehended the suspect and took him to the Vreed-en Hoop Police Station where he was released on $100,000 bail after two days.


Sunday December 31, 2017

Kaieteur News

Pensioner dies after being rescued from submerged car A pensioner lost his life on the Essequibo Coast Public Road last Friday night, when his car overturned in a trench near Danielstown. The deceased was identified as 70-year-old Royston Peterson, of Lot 12 Devonshire Castle, Essequibo Coast. At the time of the incident, Peterson and a known associate were heading home, proceeding west along the southern driveway of the road in his motorcar PVV6996. Reports are that some time around 22:00hrs, Peterson was negotiating a southern turn, when his vehicle toppled into a trench. Kaieteur Mews understands that Peterson was still trapped inside the vehicle with his seatbelt strapped around him. The deceased reportedly consumed mud water, whilst trapped inside the vehicle which was partially submerged. Peterson was subsequently rescued by his associate, with

the assistance of passersby. The men were then taken to the Suddie Public Hospital, both arriving conscious. Peterson was treated and admitted in a stable condition, but surprisingly passed away about 05:45h yesterday morning. Police believe that the two men may have been drinking some time before tragedy struck. This belief is based on the fact that investigators picked up a strong scent of alcohol from both victims. Peterson’s death came as a shock to his family, most of whom reside abroad. Peterson’s four kids and seven grandchildren, all reside in the Caribbean islands and the US. His only immediate relative currently in Guyana, is believed to be his sister, Verne Peterson. Ms. Peterson told this publication yesterday, that she resides abroad, but is

only spending the holidays in Guyana with her brother. Ms. Peterson clearly did not anticipate her holidays ending in such a tragedy. The grieving woman said that she had only spoken to her brother a few hours before his debacle. Reflecting on the last time she saw her brother, Ms. Peterson said, “Friday night he came in around 7:30 pm, he put on the lights and then he told me that he was going back out. Then later in the night I got a call that he had an accident. I was made to understand that it was nothing serious. Then around 04:00hrs the shocking news came that he had passed away. “That was a real shocker because the last time they told me, he was ok.” Police investigators are awaiting a post-mortem, which will be conducted next week, to ascertain Peterson’s cause of death. [Romario Blair]

TATT issues warning amid controversial song critical of the late mother of Prime Minister PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - CMC – The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has warned media houses here that they risk breaching the conditions of their licence if they play a song by a local Chutney artiste aimed at the late mother of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley. In a two-page letter to the President of the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA), Daren Lee Sing, the TATT said the tune by Nermal Gosein contained lyrics which may prove denigrating to women. TATT chairman, Dr. John Prince in his December 29 letter said that his organisation is of the view the statements in the song, “can prove to be inappropriate and derogatory to mother figures who place an important role in the enrichment and development of society. “We are therefore urging you in the interest of ethical and moral standards, that you pay due regard to the obligations of your concession and the conditions within the Draft Broadcasting Code and take the appropriate action. “We are, therefore, asking that you co-operate with us and hope that you will treat this matter with the due care and attention that is required in the circumstances,” Prince wrote. The song titled “Rowlee Mudda Count” has divided the population mainly along

racial and political lines in this oil-rich twin island Republic where the majority of the population are people of Indian or African descent. Former health minister Dr. Fuad Khan in a message posted on social media, said while he does not support the tune released by “Massive” Gosein for the 2018 Carnival season, singers, particularly those of African origin, had released songs degrading of members of the Indian community. “Massive Gosein song has exposed the under belly of racism in calypso in this country. Racism to the extent that it is okay for a black man like Chalkdust (Dr. Hollis Liverpool) to sing about a whole race of Indian people… “Massive Gosein is an Indian man singing a calypso about a black man…about his mother so and so…and the whole country say Chalkdust was art form. So why isn’t

Massive Gosein art form too,” he asked, saying it is time the population “condemn that type of rubbish from both sides”. In its letter to the TTTPBA, the TATT reminded of Clause D9 of the concession granted to broadcasters which states, in part, that the concessionaire “shall not transmit any programme, information or other material which degrades or portrays in a negative manner or discriminates against or encourages discrimination against any person or group by reason of race, origin, class, religion or sex.” Gosine has since registered to compete in the Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) competition and said he intends to sing the controversial song amid a threat from the National Chutney Foundation that it would not allow the song to be performed.

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Kaieteur News

Sunday December 31, 2017


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