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al i c e p S

Online readership yesterday 94,895

February 10, 2013




Guyana’s largest selling daily & New York’s most popular weekly

Jagdeo, Ashni Singh pawn - Moses the future of Guyana Nagamootoo No Guyanese in Marriott's construction…

Language barrier, lack of skills locally were the reasons - Brassington Assessing the quality of life's treasures…

Dis time nah lang time!

Gemologist Deborah Phillipe-Archer is a 'Special Person'

From push cart to motorcycle

Police hunting constable who stole car from auto dealer

Doctor unearths scary local lab results

- accuses Health Ministry of foot-dragging with investigation

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Kaieteur News

Sunday February 10, 2013

Doctor unearths scary local lab results By Dale Andrews A prominent medical doctor is convinced that a well known private laboratory is jeopardizing the health of patients with the results of tests they are proffering, and she is urging the Ministry of Health to speed up their investigations into what she described as medical malpractices. Dr Agueda Surrey, a Cuban-born duly registered medical practitioner, who has been operating in Guyana for the past 28 years, has lodged a complaint with the Ministry about the tests results produced by the Multi-Tech Reference Laboratory and entity with which she severed ties late last year. However, authorities at the laboratory have explained that except for a few human typographical errors, there is nothing alarming about the tests results. They believe that the doctor’s complaints stem from a financial fallout with regards to a contractual arrangement with a USAbased cruise line. However, test results seen by this newspaper revealed a scary similarity which some medical experts

described as medical impossibilities. The discrepancies were found in tests such as cholesterol profiles, kidney function tests, liver function tests and complete blood tests. For example, blood tests results for five different individuals showed that they all had the same Mean Cell HB (31); Mean Cell Conc. (33) and Mean Cell volume (94). In other cases tests results show that five persons have the exact same reading for both liver function and kidney function tests. “It’s (medically) impossible for this to happen,” another independent doctor told Kaieteur News when shown the lab results. Most of the tests were done in 2010, on prospective employees of Royal Caribbean cruise lines to which Dr. Surrey is contracted to conduct the medical examinations. In an exclusive interview with this newspaper, Dr Surrey said that over a period of time conducting the medicals, she observed that their lab tests results were all similar if not identical. She said that she spoke to the officials at the Multi-Tech

- accuses Health Ministry of foot-dragging with investigation Lab where the tests were being done and the response she got was not satisfactory. She said that she started to compile data with a view to establishing a case for the Ministry to investigate. Dr Surrey said that she even contacted the Guyana National Bureau of Standards to ascertain if the lab was certified by them, since she wanted to ensure that the medical reports that she was preparing were above board in all aspects. “That was in November and they said that they will get back to me but they never did,” she lamented. As she continued to raise concerns with the management of the lab she started to observe the way they were treating the samples that she was sending them and realized that “something was not right”. According to her, the lab refused to adequately address her concerns and she decided to send her samples elsewhere, angering the

management of the MultiTech Lab, with whom she had been doing a lucrative business. In the meantime, Dr Surrey decided to lodge an official complaint with the Ministry of Health. Dr Julian Amsterdam, the Director of Medical Services, received the official complaint and according to Dr Surrey, he appeared very interested at first. But a few weeks later, all hell broke loose; Dr Surrey found herself being investigated by the Ministry for what they claimed was her unlicenced laboratory practice, although she was merely taking samples. She explained to the Ministry that the samples she was taking, were sent to a laboratory for testing; sometimes even to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation Laboratory. She presented receipts to support her claims. “They are saying that I cannot take samples at my office…but people are doing

tests at the market, and even pharmacies are doing,” Dr Surrey told Kaieteur News. She believes that the attack on her by the Ministry is a direct result of her complaining about the Multi Tech Reference Lab three months ago. “They should be investigating the lab, not me. What upsets me is that they (Ministry) don’t want to do anything about the lab. For me it’s the people who will suffer. It’s their people, their nation and their destiny,” Dr Surrey declared. This newspaper contacted the management of the lab and a senior official there brushed aside Dr Surrey’s allegations. The official who was shown copies of the tests results noted that the results were all normal and in cases where they showed similarity, he put it down to typing error. “The doctor could have simply raised it with the technician and have it corrected. Instead she waited

and the go to the media,” the official told Kaieteur News. This newspaper contacted Dr. Amsterdam and he confirmed that a complaint was lodged against the laboratory. However he declined to pronounce on the status of that investigation. He admitted, though, that he did point out to Dr. Surrey that she needed to put her practice in order. “There are laws in a country and they are used to ensure that they are complied with to ensure that clients are having standardized services,” he told Kaieteur News. He said that in his position at the Ministry of Health, he is obligated to ensure that all health facilities, private or public are in compliance with the law. “I am disappointed that it is being misconstrued that I am being partial,” Dr. Amsterdam told this newspaper. In the meantime the laboratory is still operating and according to at least two medical practitioners, if the discrepancies continue, it could be disastrous for many patients since they can be mistreated for their diagnosis.

Sunday February 10, 2013

Kaieteur News

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No Guyanese in Marriott’s construction…

Language barrier, lack of skills locally were the reasons - Brassington Despite not yet totally sealing the deal with investors, government said that it felt confident, based on negotiations, to have gone ahead with the construction of the US$51M Marriott Hotel. Construction is on full steam at the Kingston site, next door to the Pegasus Hotel, but there have been questions over the investors. The Chinese contractor, Shanghai Construction Group (SCG), has also come under fire in recent days after investigations by Kaieteur News found that no locals were employed in the construction phase. Yesterday, Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, insisting that there is no secret about the hotel, said that Government went ahead

Marriott Hotel under construction in Kingston, Georgetown.

AHI’s Winston Brassington

with construction without details of the investors known. He said that discussions were

The Dirty Old Coin The story is told of an unemployed young graduate who woke up one morning under a bridge and checked his pocket. All he had left was a few dollar bills adding up to less than ten bucks. He was frustrated as he could find no work and no one was there to help him. He said a prayer dedicating his last remaining money to the Creator and decided to use it to buy food, then wait on the Creator for an answer to his situation. He bought food and as he sat down to eat, an old man and two children came along — the older of the two was a boy probably 12 years old and the other a little girl who looked as beautiful as an angel. The old man asked him to help them with food as they had not eaten for almost a week. The young graduate looked at the children — they were so lean that he could see their bones coming through their skin and their eyes were receding. With the last bit of compassion he had he gave them all the food. The old man and children prayed that the Creator would bless and prosper the young graduate and then gave him a dirty old coin. The young graduate said, “You need this coin more than I do — just keep it.” The old man insisted that the young graduate put it in his pocket — and finally he did. The Old man and children sat down to eat and with no money, no job and no food, the young graduate went back under the bridge to lay down. As he was about to fall asleep he saw an old newspaper on the ground. He picked it up and saw an advertisement inviting people with old coins to come to a particular store. He decided to go there with the dirty old coin the man gave him. On arriving at the store, he gave the proprietor the dirty old coin. The proprietor screamed loudly and brought out a big book and showed the young graduate a photograph. This same old coin was worth $67,000 dollars. It was part of a Spanish treasure ship that had never been found. The young graduate was overjoyed as the proprietor gave him a certified check for the full amount. He immediately cashed it at the bank and went in search of the old man and little children to thank them. By the time he got to where he left them eating, they had gone. He asked around about the three people and found a lady who said, “The old man said a young man looking like you would ask about them — and when you do I’m supposed to give you this note.” She handed the young graduate the note which he quickly opened. He was hopeful it would be an address of where they were headed. But it was not an address and this is what the note said: “You gave us your all and we have rewarded you back with the coin,” signed the Creator.

far advanced with investors. Alluding to Atlantic Hotel Inc. (AHI), a governmentowned company established to manage the project, Singh said that discussions were well advanced regarding the issue of financing also. Disclosures regarding details of the investors will continue to be a sensitive issue until the project is finalized, he stressed. However, Government remains committed to disclosing details with the Parliamentary opposition parties behind closed doors pending the completion of the deal. The Minister, during a press conference at the NCN studios yesterday, was at pains to point out that the project will have several multiplying and ancillary benefits generated when completed. On Friday, AHI’s Chief Executive Officer, Winston Brassington, in an exclusive interview with the state’s news agency, said that the use of a mostly Chinese labour force to construct the multimillion-dollar Marriott Hotel was just one of several conditionalities necessary for the facility’s efficient and speedy construction. Brassington, who has been under fire as head of NICIL/Privatisation Unit, which manages Government assets, explained that SCG won the bid to construct from 23 other firms. Initially, the price was US$65M, “but they were able to lower the cost to US$51M with the condition that they be able to control who they employ on the site,” the release said Friday. In defending SCG’s decision to hire Chinese nationals, Brassington said that the company indicated that “(it) had examined the level of skills available for the project as well as the levels of productivity.” Brassington added that while the company was asked

to employ locals, it was obvious that if the construction of the flagship hotel was to be completed within the specified time, there must be the flexibility of the inputs. Despite this, the construction company had to comply with the local laws and norms, Brassington said. “For example, even though all of

these workers have come by plane and will be here for the duration of the contract they have to pay NIS and PAYE, so in that way we’re not creating a playing field where they are given any preference over local employment.” Once Marriott opens its doors, it will eventually employ over 200 Guyanese, Brassington said, and these will be the

permanent workers. The official also said that the issue of productivity and communication had been a cause for concern along with the lack of specialised skills needed for the tasks. The hotel, when completed will boast 197 rooms, a large ballroom, conference centre, a casino, nightclub, restaurant, a concrete walkway and all other amenities of a world-class hotel. However, the casino, nightclub and restaurant will be leased to a third party which will manage them separately.

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


Parliamentary Sectoral Committees Last Thursday, in addition to the fireworks and walkouts that accompanied the speech by Minister of Home Affairs on the floor of the House, there were some other, potentially more productive, developments. The Chairpersons and ViceChairpersons of the four Sectoral Committees – Economic Services, Natural Resources, Social Services and Foreign Relations - were appointed. We have repeatedly identified the underutilisation of these committees by our politicians in the governance of our country. These committees were launched in 2003 as a consequence of the constitutional changes introduced in 2000. They were specifically introduced to address the complaint of the Opposition that they did not have a very meaningful role to play in the Parliament when the government had a majority in the House. The Opposition was then basically reduced to a rubber stamp. The Public Affairs Committee, which up to then was the major parliamentary mechanism for the Opposition to scrutinise the government’s operations (it was by tradition, always chaired by a member of the Opposition) was basically reduced to performing an audit function. This was because it would use the annual Auditor General’s Report to ask questions of governmental spending. As we have seen in the last year of more vigorous interrogation, in most instances the government and the country would have already moved on. While this is the case with all legislatures following the British Parliamentary model, in our country, the Opposition complained that because of stubborn entrenched majorities that discouraged alternating governments, the Opposition had no way of influencing governance in real time. If that possibility existed, they claimed, they would be in a position to expose weaknesses in the government’s programs and projects when changes could be forced in a timely enough manner so as to increase the efficiency of governmental operations. The four Sectoral Committees cover the entire gamut of current governmental operations and their Chairs are equally split between the Opposition and government with annual rotations. Away from the partisan posturing that usually colours the larger parliamentary debates, they are small enough for collegial participation. From a practical standpoint, to encourage participation of MP’s, the latter are offered an increase of their salaries once they are appointed to the committees. More importantly, the Committees are supported by their own staff and they can also hire research assistants. The media and the public can also be invited to their hearings. With all of this hard-won increase of their democratic powers of governmental oversight, it is rather unfortunate that the Opposition have not made better use of the Committees’ existence. Take for instance, the explosion that occurred after elements of the Opposition took umbrage at the government’s proposal to equalise the electricity tariffs of Linden residents with those that prevailed in the rest of the country. All of the principals in the making and executing of that decision – from the Ministers to GPL – could have been summoned by the Economic Services Committee to justify and possibly modify their decision. Away from the reflexive confrontational postures and verbiage of street protests, Committee hearings are the institutionalised vehicles for settling political differences over governmental initiatives. We return to a favourite example that we have cited previously: the sugar industry. It is appalling that in the fact of the continued collapse of that pillar of our economy that no hearings were held in the past year. Yet Opposition members of the Economic Services Committee were quite vociferous in the press over their take on the issue. This will not do. Guyana needs politicians from both camps who are willing to move beyond politicking and get down to brass tacks to settle the ailments that beset our country. Those ‘brass tacks’ include a willingness to attend meetings that may sometimes seem interminable. They include willingness, as the Speaker recently reminded MP’s, for the Sectoral Committees, to leave the comforts of their air conditioned offices in Parliament and visit the various projects about which they are complaining. We exhort all our politicians to engage in some more work in the Committee trenches.

Sunday February 10, 2013

Send your letters to Kaieteur News 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown or email us

My concerns over the CCTV issue are about fairness, transparency, reciprocity and sovereignty. DEAR EDITOR, The official launch of CCTV by the Administration on Friday (February 8th 2013) continues to raise more questions. Some of those questions are: What procedures were taken to license the operation of the China Central TV? When was the license applied for? When was the license granted? Could documentation be provided to substantiate the process? Who is the licensee and who is paying for the license? Was CCTV required to

register as a local company and submit its financial plan to the NFMU or GNBA? Was CCTV/NCN required to submit its technical specifications and other requirements before being identified for, allocated or licensed to broadcast on a Frequency on Guyana’s Limited Public Resource, the Radio Frequency Spectrum? What kind of arrangement does China Central have with NCN for rental of space on the Transmission Tower, terrestrial space, or for electricity, etc? Why an entire frequency is being allocated to a Foreign Power and does such an

allocation set a precedent in Guyana’s International Relations for any other Foreign Entity to demand the same, on terms no less favorable to those offered the Chinese, based on a Most Favored Nation status? I would not ask about local expansion by Guyanese TV operators like CNS, WRHM, or HBTV over the last two decades, the analogous situation in Linden with regard to Channel 13, or what Frequencies are available in various parts of Guyana for Guyanese and other Caricom Nationals to invest in both Radio and Television

Broadcasting. It is my hope, since the Guyana Government has “no obligation” to respond to me, not vituperatively (as is its wont) but by way of information, that any other “ E L E C T E D REPRESENTATIVE” of the people would raise these questions in a Forum where there is an obligation to reply. Let me make it clear, I am not opposed to any Television Station on cable or over the air for information, education or entertainment. My concerns are, inter alia, Fairness, Transparency, Reciprocity and Sovereignty. Enrico Woolford

Sunday February 10, 2013

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Once accountability is allowed, those rags to riches stories will vanish from the lives of PPP officials DEAR EDITOR, The PPP and its minority government have been accused of and are in fact demonstrably guilty of violating our constitution. From their continuing refusal to implement the Public P r o c u r e m e n t Commission and Freedom of Information Law to their refusal to impartially and transparently grant radio licenses or allow Guyanese TV broadcasters wider access to audiences across our country, this party and its government continue to show a wanton disregard for the Guyanese people and their natural rights that are protected in our constitution. It’s as if they have forgotten that government is nothing more than a voluntary arrangement among citizens, and that this arrangement can be abrogated at any time. Yes, when governments choose to ignore the constitutionalized natural rights of citizens, it’s logical for citizens to conclude that it is pure fantasy to continue to regard the constitutionalized legitimacy of

governments. After all, no right-thinking person will ever accept the constitutional legitimacy of any government that routinely disregards the constitutional rights of any citizen. Given its checkered past in our country, I find the PPP’s behaviour to be rather bewildering. It’s as if it and its minority government have learned nothing redemptive from the instructive events of 1953 or the retributive loss of power for 28 years until 1992. However, my observations and reading of history have convinced me that politicians and governments are the most likely to repeat the past because they self-servingly ignore it. So the PPP and its minority government have decided that they will act as they please, seemingly oblivious to the reality that other citizens will react as they please. In fact, the reaction is underway. And it reaches across our acrimonious racial divide. It is clear that the PPP’s backward-looking and dictatorial governance has

been premised on the misguided notion that the Indo-Guyanese vote against the PNC is in fact a vote of support for the PPP, which can then govern in much the same way it condemned the PNC for governing. But if the AFC’s success hasn’t awakened the PPP from its stupor, the current reaction will. And once awakened, the PPP would do well to seek the sage writings and sage minds of the past rather than pursue selfish interests. One of those sages is Frederick Douglass, a great 19th century AfricanAmerican who escaped from slavery and later became a social reformer, writer, and orator. Douglass said and wrote lots of things that are appropriate to the circumstances we are faced with in Guyana. He reminded those who love to exercise dictatorial power that “...The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” And to those who must struggle for their rights, he said: “ If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and

DEAR EDITOR, I refer to an article published in Stabroek News’ Feb 7, 2013 edition captioned “’Burning a joint’ gets vendor two-year jail term”. Below I provide a summary of the facts of the case as reported: 1. Plantain chip vendor, George Chase, was found smoking cannabis on Feb 4, 2013. 2. Mr. Chase, who was unrepresented by counsel, appeared in the Georgetown’s Magistrate’s Court to answer the charge of possession. 3. Upon being read the charge, Mr. Chase offered the following explanation for his actions: He felt like “burning a joint”. Mr. Chase said, “is nah no big, big joint, is a small joint”. 4. Mr. Chase pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking. 5. The prosecutor stated that Mr. Chase had no previous antecedents (criminal). 6. Mr. Chase voluntarily admitted to the Court that he was once charged with wounding in Berbice but that matter had

been dismissed. 7. Mr. Chase was sentenced to two years in jail and fined $5000. This occurred sometime between Feb 4 and in time to be published on Feb 7 – what swift justice! I wish to highlight my observations: 1. It was not reported what quantity of cannabis Mr. Chase was found to have in his possession. 2. I assume that it was Mr. Chase’s economic circumstances that prevented him from retaining legal counsel. 3. Mr. Chase displayed significant personal integrity by his correction of the prosecutor that he did have a previous encounter with the law, although this fact was detrimental to his own defence. 4. Mr. Chase pleaded guilty to “possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking” although he admitted that he possessed a small quantity. 5. One wonders what difference in severity of punishment exists between “possession of narcotics for

purpose of trafficking” vs. “possession of narcotics for purpose of personal use”? Would qualified legal counsel have helped Mr. Chase secure a “more just” sentence? I choose to employ quotation marks in my description of “more just” given my reference to another article (SN, Feb 9, 2013) captioned “36 kilos of cocaine, ammo, found in Ogle house” which stated: Last November, 300 kilos of cocaine worth approximately $10M [clearly US$] was found in a container of packaged soap powder at the John Fernandes terminal. Exporter Dennis Jones took ownership of the drugs and was sentenced to four years in prison. [emphasis mine] Editor, in my layman’s opinion, this disparity in sentence ought to inform us that what we have is a dysfunctional justice system. I ponder the advice of Proverbs 31: 9 which guides, “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” George Bulkan

This disparity in sentence ought to inform us that we have a dysfunctional justice system

deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.” The people of Linden and Region 10, along with IndoGuyanese during the 2011 elections, have plowed up the ground with their bandwagon, and those interested in justice and constitutional rule must jump on. For as Douglass wisely observed, “ Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both....” So far in Guyana, we have been contented to respond with words during marches and during street protests, even though the security forces have chosen to confront us with blows. But we must not be dissuaded by the shooting of protesters. We must

continue to rebel against the government’s disregard of and for our rights. Douglass said that ”The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.” We must keep the faith and stay united across racial lines in this fight against corruption and the dictatorship that is necessary to protect it. The PPP and its minority government are afraid of establishing a Public Procurement Commission, implementing the Freedom of Information Law, and allowing unfettered and wide access to radio because doing so would crush corruption by bringing transparency and accountability to government. Once transparency and accountability are allowed in government, then those rags to riches, cottage to mansions, and used car to expensive SUV stories will vanish from the lives of PPP officials and their cohorts. We as a people will then be able to get value for money on contracts; our

elderly will be able to get higher pensions; and the VAT burden will be reduced. It wouldn’t be easy, but Douglass reminds us that “ People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.” And he reminded dictators and others who frusrate the expectations and aspirations of citizens that “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” Lest what I have written be misconstrued, I declare that my writings or the quotes herein aren’t intended as veiled or unveiled threats against anyone. They only speak the truth about human nature as concerned citizens stand against the dictatorship, unconstitutional rule, and putrid hypocrisy of the minority PPP government. Lionel Lowe

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Kaieteur M@ilbox Guyana’s tertiary educational system cannot improve if this continues. DEAR EDITOR, It is no secret that a growing and disturbing trend among most Guyanese Parents is the fact that they aspire strongly for their children to go abroad to receive tertiary education. Such is the case, on a very large scale, in Georgetown. Georgetown houses a significant majority of Guyana’s private sector. These families groom their children, from a very small age, that it is imperative to leave the country to receive tertiary education especially in North America. The fact is only a minute percentage of these children end up coming back to Guyana. This alone speaks for itself. The individuals that are financially able to invest in Guyana’s tertiary education system prefer to turn a blind eye and assume abruptly and incorrectly that the educational system abroad is significantly higher than what is being offered locally. I have spoken to many professors, and educational giants in the country and they agree with me in saying that Guyana’s

educational system is higher than what is being offered in North America. With this trend growing year after year, we are not able to educate individuals that have the means to invest heavily in the country after they qualify, we are not able to harvest the potential that the private sector has in developing our tertiary educational system. With more students wanting to do more programs the demand for tertiary education in the country will rise. As a result the Government and those responsible will see a need for this demand to be met and met properly. More programs will have to be implemented and offered to facilitate this. However, if the Guyanese parents are unwilling to address this issue and send their children abroad they are just facilitating the North American economy by monies being paid to these international institutions. The brains of the country need not depart as a result of a growing trend, but they must remain in the country.

Our tertiary education is being underutilized as a result of the growing numbers departing the country. The incorrect assumptions of how great North America is for education need to cease and we must look at our local strong points for education and build on them. This must start from the Parent’s points of view being different and hence their children’s. We need not revere about the so called greatness of these North American educational institutions, but rather aspire for our local institutions to achieve such International clout and put measures into place to achieve such. Monies to develop our educational system from the private sector are necessary for substantial growth in this area. This can only be achieved if their children utilize the system as they will see it as an obligation to do so. Turning a blind eye in preference for international tertiary education is not the answer. Guyson Fisher.

Sunday February 10, 2013

Kaieteur M@ilbox Walk on fire if you must DEAR EDITOR, Many of us are constantly battered by any number of challenges. Among these is the destruction of the moral fabric that is society. We are constantly lied to and lied about. Many times persons and companies want us to hide wrong doings and want us to lie and cover certain things. Many times we are asked to cover fraud and bribery and corruption, to hide rape and immorality. It is who we are that leads us to make a decision; to take action - either we do as asked, or, we walk away. Doing as asked has its own ramifications. You become subsumed into the whole charter set by those who do not care for the soul. You are expected to lie, cheat, bribe and steal. You lose your true self to become a tool of immorality. This is what a society can degenerate to: A conglomeration of persons who becomes tools of immorality for those in offices and ownership – as well as those who want office and ownership. You are expected

to toe the line and to epitomize their brand of immorality. Staying and doing as asked makes us part of the immorality. And yet, walking away has its own, even worse, ramifications. Walking away means you must walk on fire. You are beaten by everyone. Everyone thinks that you lie, you cheat, bribe and steal. At that moment, every good you have done for everyone becomes history as everyone wants to ensure that their voice is added to your pain. After all, how dare you walk? And those who you walk away from will use every fiber in their being to create hell in every direction, after all, that’s their lot. Those who chose affirmative but non-violent action are vilified and bruised by everyone else who wants to question that something must be wrong…again, how dare he walk? We use up a life-time of efforts to criticize and belittle, but are we brave enough to do the same – and to withstand the crazy world erupting in your face? Yet, we all must ensure

that at least once in our lives we turn our back on wrongdoing. When you are expected to do wrong things and asked to hide wrong things and asked to create immoral momentum, it is good to leave it way behind you, way below you. Mahatma Gandhi said Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good. This was echoed by Martin Luther King Jr, in his autobiography. We all must at least once in our lives leave it behind us. Whether it’s in a Government Ministry or the business Office, whether it’s in the Corporate world or the religious world. One day, one time, just once, tell them to embrace their own immorality - and you walk away. It is then that your heart will rejoice and your soul will sing because true freedom is suddenly experienced. There are two groups of people: those who walk away from evil and those who embrace evil. ….I know what camp I select. What about you? Yog Mahadeo

The root of Guyana’s problems: Religion or Politics? DEAR EDITOR, Born in 1981, I remember living on the West Bank of Demerara in a street popularly known as “Race Dam” but correctly identified as Unity Street La Grange. Living in that street were handfuls of relatives, some separated by just a house or two, others occupying houses in one stretch. Our immediate family was scattered along the street but as a child I remember hearing relatives say that the occupants of the houses that separated us from our immediate relatives were our distant relatives. I came to understand that everyone in that street was related one way or another. While growing up I cannot ever remember hearing the word “religion”. I do remember having devotions with my grandmother though. Every Friday night she called all of her grand children and we read from the Bible and sang hymns. Those were good days. We learnt about the God of the Bible. I am not aware of what went on in other households but I remember that in many homes I entered there was a sign that read “Christ is the head of this home...”. Religion seemed non-existent but then all knew about God. Even in the classroom there was rarely any talk of religion. Everyone

would recite prayer at assembly and at lunch. Not once do I remember bowing my head to three different prayers in school. We all said one prayer and continued our activities. As children living in Unity Street, we met to play and the adults would watch on sometimes. We lived in Guyana, and we loved Guyana. We heard about the “States” and England, mostly the “States”, but we were happy in Guyana and never once did I hear any family member cry out to go “oversees”. There was unity in Unity Street. In those days you heard about “Burnham” a lot. I still remember the day news of his death spread. Women were seen bawling, everyone was in conversation. I remember standing by a fence listening to my aunts and cousins talk to distant relatives. I also remember hearing about “Jagan”. I barely understood anything. All I knew was that we were living happily and no one was crying to go “oversees”. Today, with the introduction of the Ethnic Relations Committee, and so many political parties, Guyana seems to be going down a landslide. The talk of religion is widespread and politics has become a sanctuary for many. Many

are crying to go “oversees” and when they can’t reach the “States” or England they are overjoyed to land on any Caribbean Island. What do you think has caused this? Is it the knowledge of religion and the total absence of a knowledge of God? Or has the introduction of numerous political parties and people into politics caused this problem. I would love to hear your views. I am, by selfdescription, non-religious but one with a firm belief in Christ (you may smile and call me contradictory but I have never viewed my belief in Christ as a religion). I am also someone with a desire to enter the realm of politics. It is my sincere desire to help others – through varying means. In conclusion, both the “States” and England are presently having their share of problems. When I think of the United States with only two political parties but the recent focus on religion, I have to wonder if religion really is the problem. On the other hand, when I think of England under the control of the Royal family with only room for a Prime Minister, I ponder whether politics (in this case the Royal control), with one party/group of persons ruling long term, weakens a country. ChosenNChrist

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Pregnant women should refrain from consuming alcohol DEAR EDITOR, Alcohol abuse has been a chronic problem in the Guyanese society for many decades with dim prospects of solving it. Relief to this problem is not in sight due to a severe lack of skilled professionals. Addictive substances like alcohol are abused for many reasons

including societal pressures such as poverty, mental health issues such as depression, environmental factors such as peer pressures and genetic predisposition to say the least. Its detrimental effects on the human body are many and diverse, damaging almost every organ including the

Nagamootoo exposed yet again DEAR EDITOR, Last Sunday, the Chronicle published an article informing the public that the Alliance for Change (AFC’s) Moses Nagamootoo voted in support of the Former President’s Benefits and Allowance Bill 2009 when it was passed in the National Assembly, and revealed that Mr. Moses Nagamootoo lied to the nation and National Assembly two weeks ago again and during the election campaign of 2011, when he stated he never supported the Bill. The article also published that Nagamootoo, an ardent critic of NICIL, never disclosed that he received nearly seven million dollars (7M dollars) in legal fees as a lawyer for NICIL Naturally, this public disclosure has embarrassed Mr. Nagamootoo. In a faint attempt to avoid humiliation, Mr. Nagamootoo responded in letters which were published in the press. He argued that he voted in support of the Former President’s Benefit and Allowance Bill because he was in the PPP and had to follow the Party’s line. This is a most comical response. The public is well aware that Mr. Nagamootoo frequently proudly asserts that when he was in the PPP he broke ranks and refused to carry the party line on many issues. Why did he not break rank on this issue? He wanted to be the Presidential candidate of the PPP at the time and, therefore, would have been a beneficiary of the Bill. No amount of confulling by Mr. Nagamootoo will fool the public any longer. The truth is Mr. Nagamootoo cannot eat

his cake and have it. I any event he masquerades as a revolutionary and a political moralist. He holds himself out to be a surrogate of Cheddi Jagan, Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara. Revolutionary morality dictates that one must stick to principles at all costs and principles must not be sacrificed at the alter of political expediency. Mr. Nagamootoo’s explanation, therefore, is devoid of any credibility and runs hollow. In relation to NICIL, Mr. Nagamootoo pleads his constitutional right to work. Of course, everyone enjoys that constitutional right. That is hardly not the point. Mr. Nagamootoo cannot run around the country alleging corruption, cronyism and illegality against NICIL without disclosing that as a lawyer for NICIL he has received millions of dollars. The public is entitled to this information to determine whether he himself is part of the corruption, cronyism and illegalities which he alleges against NICIL. Also, he needs to explain why he accepts legal work from NICIL in the first place knowing of all the wrongs taking place at NICIL. If he did not know it at the beginning, why did he continue to work as their lawyer and accept payments when these wrongs came to his knowledge? In-fact, according to him he still works with NICIL doing an arbitration which is still ongoing. Certainly it is not party line that keeps him there. In his desperate attempt to defend himself Nagamootoo dug himself into a deeper hole. Shyam Doodnauth

liver, the pancreas, the skeleton and the brain. Comparatively, women are much more prone to the detrimental effects of alcohol than men. Further, some women are more prone than others due to individual variability. Importantly, as a preventative measure, pregnant women are recommended to absolutely refrain from consuming alcohol, as it results in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS is a phenomenon where by a pregnant woman

consumes alcohol (teratogen) that then reaches the fetus through the placenta thereby causing developmental disabilities to the fetus during prenatal development. Children born with this syndrome display facial malformations (Small head, short eye lid opening, flat mid face, smooth philtrum, under developed jaw, thin upper lips, short nose, epicanthal folds, low nasal bridge), smaller body size, less brain volume, fewer brain cells that can functions correctly,

leading to learning and memory deficits and as well as behavioral deficits, thereby hindering normal progress in society. Unfortunately, there is no cure for a child born with FAS, as damage to the central nervous system (CNS) during the fetal stage cause permanent disability such as memory impairments. Despite no cure for FAS, several interventions can be in place to help a child with FAS cope with day to day living. These include medical

interventions such as treatments with psychoactive drugs, behavioral interventions such as parental strategies, developmental psychological approaches drawing on stage theorists (Erik Erikson), neurobehavioral approaches and last but not least public health and public policy approaches, encouraging prevention. Prevention is the best approach in handling FAS and it is realistically the only approach available in Guyana. Annie Baliram

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Dem boys seh Jagdeo, Ashni Singh pawn Guyana get pawn the future of Guyana Guyana’s total public debt may be heading for a Parliamentary debate after revelations that last year, it was a staggering US$1.7B. It does not include the Amaila Falls hydro project loan which would be more than US$800M or the US$130M for a new international airport at Timehri. It also does not take into account the planned, Indianbuilt Specialty Hospital which is to be constructed with an Indian line of credit worth US$17M, Twenty years ago, in 1992, when the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/ C) took power, it inherited a debt of US$2B. The exchange rate at the time was $126 to the United States dollar. This translated into some $263 billion in local currency. Over the years, Guyana managed to have almost three-quarters of this debt written off from overseas bilateral financial institutions, the Paris Club and other lenders. According to Vice Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Moses Nagamootoo, whose party has seven seats in the National Assembly, claims by Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, during his budget presentation last year that Guyana’s debt is at its lowest now in 20 years, may be totally misleading. As a matter of fact, Nagamootoo, a former senior executive of the PPP/C, is examining the possibilities of raising the issue in the National Assembly for a possible debate. The debt at the time was $378 billion, including a $40 billion debt from local entities. He believes that the debt rate is rising too quickly and unless checked, could prove threatening to Guyana’s future generations who will be saddled with the huge

- Moses Nagamootoo

Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo burden of repayments. Responding to questions from Nagamootoo on the debt, the Finance Minister on Thursday said that as at September 30, 1992, it was US$2,087.99 M (US$2.09B). At that time the exchange rate for the US dollar was G$126. The debt was equivalent to G$263,086M. This contrasted to March 31, 2012 when total public debt stood at US$1.743B at an exchange rate of G$204 to US$1. This was equivalent to G$355,580M. According to Minister Singh, the total public debt stock at March 31, 2010 stood at $312,180.26M at an exchange rate of $203.50 for US$1. As at December 31, 2010, the total public debt stock stood at $350,574.81M…at an exchange rate of $203 to US$1. The figures would suggest that Guyana has been borrowing more. In addition to several road projects, Government is also paying back for the Skeldon Factory and a host of other initiatives. Nagamootoo made it clear that the recent disclosure by Dr. Singh only reinforced that the fact that the country’s debt is at its highest. “Dr. Singh and (former President Bharrat) Jagdeo are pawning the future of the country,” he said. However, yesterday,

AFC’s MP, Moses Nagamootoo

Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh

during a press conference at the NCN studios, Minister Singh, insisted that his government has responsibly utilized the monies borrowed, as is evidenced from the many infrastructure projects, including schools and roads. He pointed out that the debt figures had been a feature published every year in the national budget report and would also appear in the Bank of Guyana reports, in detail. The US$1.7B last year is less than the $2B the government had inherited. In terms of amount, that is an accomplishment, he said. Back in 1992, the country had nothing to show… the Treasury was empty and international reserves were almost zero. This was coupled with poor infrastructure…poor roads and facilities that were literally collapsing. But a spokesman for t h e former government pointed to the various roads among the Soesdyke/Linden Highway, the We s t D e m e r a r a Highway, the Corentyne Highway, the Bank of Guyana building, the Timehri International Airport, the Harbour Bridge and many of the hinterland roads. The PPP/C government had not only to rebuild the

country, but raise Guyana’s creditworthiness, to prove to lenders that there is a framework of integrity in place, Dr Singh argued. Twenty years later now, Guyana can say it has an improved country, with new schools, hospitals and roads, he added. The country’s international reserves are its highest at US$800M-plus. “This is what is different from 1992. We owe less but we have more to show. We have used responsibly the monies that we borrowed.”

People in every country can trace how all dem rich people get dem wealth. Dem know that de Kennedys get rich because dem smuggle alcohol; Bill Gates get he money from computer; Tendulkar get he money from cricket, de Queen of England get she money from being queen and de Bees get dem money from robbing de Treasury. Dem boys seh that when de history of this country is written Guyana will be de only country that certain people coulda go in de treasury and tek out people money like if is dem own. All de Bees qualify fuh mek Forbes magazine and not Forbes Burnham because he name couldn’t even find a page in de magazine that got he name. When people think that de Bees along wid Irfaat and Rob Earth was rich in millions of Uncle Sam dollars dem didn’t know that dem rich in billions of US dollars. De thing is that when dem tekking was without reason. Dem boys hear that one man sell a TV channel to some foreigners and pocket Five million Uncle Sam dollars and a gift. Now who does give away that kind of money as gift? And dem boys hear that de money never come to Guyana because people woulda ask questions. Now de same man pave de way fuh de Bees. He mek sure that de country got nuff money suh he borrow. De more money in de system is de more people can thief. That is why dem contract had high price. When Shaatie talk bout dem have things to show is true. Dem have dem bank account and dem big house. Dem done pawn Guyana. If a fraction of de money that de Bees tek was used to support infrastructure Guyana woulda got de best roads in de Caribbean. That is wha dem boys seh. Instead, de money come and gone and people grandchildren who ain’t born yet start paying back de debt. Talk half and pray fuh you grand pickney.

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Fire destroys N/A home

The house which was partly destroyed by fire. An early morning fire yesterday destroyed a home at Vryman’s Erven, New Amsterdam resulting in two persons being left homeless. According to reports the fire started around 01:30 hours yesterday. This publication was told that the house was occupied by a young couple, one of whom has only been identified as ‘Paul’.

A neighbour who asked not to be named said that ‘Paul’ went home in a drunken rage and was heard arguing with his partner. Reports are that the woman locked herself in a bedroom to avoid any confrontation with ‘Paul’. Persons in the area also reported that the woman suffered physical abuse at the hands of her partner.

Sources said that ‘Paul’ reportedly set the building afire and escaped. Fire fighters were summoned to the scene and were able to contain the blaze. The woman was rushed to the New Amsterdam hospital reportedly for burns she sustained while trying to escape from the building. Investigations are ongoing.

Guyanese jailed after using stolen money to buy Blackberry, tennis shoes A n t i g u a ( A man who said that his former boss was partly to blame for his crime, was sentenced when he appeared in the High Court before Chief Justice Keith Thom. Osmond Gordon had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge of larceny. The accused, the father of two, stole a substantial sum of money from his exboss when he broke into her house at Pillar Rock on March 4, 2011 while the woman and her housemate were away from home. According to reports, the victim secured her home about 5 pm that day and returned about 2 am, to find that her home had been broken into. She found her kitchen window open, and EC$19,435 and US$5,000 which she had left in a drawer in her living room, missing. She subsequently made a report at the Gray’s Farm police Station. The defendant was apprehended at the VC Bird International Airport two days later. It is said that Gordon went to his aunt’s office the day after he committed the crime and asked her to purchase a

ticket for him to return to Guyana. The sum of $800 was paid, and the reservation was made for March 6. The man also gave $700 to his girlfriend and left US$1,860 and EC$200 under a bed in his aunt’s house. He also bought a watch, a Blackberry phone, clothes, and football shoes. The police had meanwhile made contact with the immigration department to institute a stop order at the airport to prevent Gordon from leaving. When he attempted to flee the country, the lawmen were called in and he was arrested. Gordon admitted to stealing the money from his former employer to help his mother, and said he had left the job because his former boss had accused him of stealing things from her place. He said he was also publicly humiliated, and as a result was too embarrassed to return to work. As investigations continued, a search warrant was executed at the home of Gordon’s aunt and a portion of the money was found. The man’s then girlfriend also handed over $500 to the police. A total of US$3,510 and

EC$700 was recovered and returned to the complainant. Before he was sentenced, Gordon told the court that his former boss was partly responsible for what he had done, but he was nonetheless sorry and wished she were present for him to apologize to her. He also said if he could turn back the hands of time, he would not have committed the offence, because he had added more pain to his already very ill mother. The man also said that he had planned to call his aunt from Guyana to tell her about the money he had planted under the bed to help with his mom’s care. He said if he had given it to her, she would have questioned its origin. He also told the court that he was not sure how much money was in the bag, since it had burst while he was jumping, and some of it fell out. The police were, however, unable to recover any money from the place he alleged it had fallen out. Gordon was sentenced to six years in prison, with time spent taken into consideration. He has already served 23 months.

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Is the PPP selling out the sovereign rights of Guyanese By Ralph Seeram The villagers “arrested” the thief; they took him to the village office; they held him down on the steps of the office. Some held his feet, other held down his arms outstretched, then chopped off his left arm, severed his right arm. Both fell to the ground, he would never steal again. Why did he suffer this fate at the hands of vigilantes? He was a known cattle thief, not only that, he was noted for stealing batteries and starters from village farmer’s tractors. The villagers were fed up, and decided to take matters in their own hands. This incident took place more than forty years ago on the Corentyne. The thief survived to tell of his ordeal in court, but no one was convicted. Dozens witnessed the amputation of his arms, but no one testified to witnessing the incident. The villagers themselves raised funds and hired lawyers to

defend the men. Such it was back in the day. Thieves feared repercussions from the hands of their neighbours or the courts. This week I was reminiscing with some friends about tough judges in Guyana. The name of the late Justice Akbar Khan, known as the “angry god” came up. He was not only feared by criminal defendants but by attorneys as well. He drove fear into criminals, especially white collar thieves. Attorneys will try all sorts of excuses to postpone their cases before him hoping to get another judge at the next Assizes. He was fair, but if you were found guilty, prepare for the harshest sentence under the law. He had no tolerance for public servants stealing taxpayers’ money. A close friend of mine who became a public servant got charged for fraud, and his case was set to be tried before Justice Khan. As a reporter then and covering cases in

Justice Khan’s court, I told my friend to try not to have his case before him. His lawyer tried everything to postpone the case but the “angry god” will have none of it. My friend was found guilty and sentenced to seven years for stealing a few thousand dollars. I think about if Justice Khan was around today and imagined what he would have done to a Minister of the government found guilty of stealing taxpayers’ money. Is there any Justice Khan on the bench to drive fear into criminals today? Criminals have no fear of the law today. This can be seen from the number of bold daylight robberies taking place in Guyana today. The business community is in fear, the robberies and murders used to be blamed on the drug trade, but this is no longer the case. Legitimate businessmen are the targets these days and these criminals are well armed. The police cannot do it alone they need strong support and strong messages from the

bench. We need more Justice Akbar Khans, and I should also mention Justice Vieira to send strong messages to criminals. The recent shootout between the police and the three would be robbers demonstrate how dangerous police work has become. There are some who love to criticize the police whenever criminals are killed in a shootout. They forgot that in a fire fight anyone is liable to get killed, and this includes policemen. The policemen or women are also husbands, wives, fathers, uncles or brothers or sisters of someone, and they are putting their lives on the line to protect the public. There must be some appreciation for these brave men. Some opposition politicians are quick to criticize the police actions whenever they see they can gain political mileage for it, but hardly have a word of commendation when they put their lives on the line to uphold the rule of law. There are businessmen who are now thinking silently of the Roger Khan era. Some time ago, the Police Chief of Orange County where Orlando is located was speaking at a public forum. He made it clear, “If you pull a gun on my men they will shoot to kill” Can the Police Chief in Guyana make such a statement? The opposition and the human rights nuts will crucify him. Now that I got that off my chest let get to what I

really wanted to talk about. Whenever I come to Guyana, I get a little depressed if not a bit guilty when I have to go to the visitors’ line instead of the one for Guyanese, because I carry a US passport. One of the things I am always afraid of is if person or persons ahead of me are coming to Guyana to work. This kind of holds up the line a bit as they apparently have to go through some paper work. Invariably most of these are Chinese. I mention this because of a news item this newspaper carried about no Guyanese workers at the Marriot job site. Now this is a serious matter and I did not see any outrage from the trade unions or from any other organization for that matter. This matter is at the heart of our sovereignty. How can the PPP government allow this? They had to agree to something in the contract giving the Chinese contractors full control of who they can employ. The government had to know that these men were coming in to work, they had to give them permission, if they did not then they need to deport them. You can’t be spending Guyanese tax dollars and giving employment to Chinese workers. I can understand that the contractors may need a few technical personnel, but little or no Guyanese workers? That is a total disrespect to all Guyanese tradesmen, and the country as a hole. To make matters worse the

Government is maintaining silence. The opposition parties ought to demand to see the details of this controversial contract. Is the PPP government selling out the rights of Guyanese to the Chinese? Seeking to justify this state of affairs the PPPcontrolled Guyana Chronicle through a frequent letter writer called T. King sought to justify EMPLOYING Chinese workers. This poor excuse for a propagandist said that former President Barras Jagdeo promised hundreds of jobs, but did not say hundreds of jobs for Guyanese. These are the idiots the PPP has for carrying out their propaganda. The opposition must stop all funds going to the Guyana Chronicle, the quality and standards of journalism at that newspaper could not go lower. Just look back to the days when Carl Blackman was editor of that news paper. Sure the paper carried the line of the PNC then but the quality and caliber of the journalists then would make those at the Chronicle look like novices. There is that old saying about” beware of people bearing gifts” the Guyanese people will have to wake up and question the Chinese “invasion” of Guyana with their overpriced gifts. The Skeldon factory is a good example. Ralph Seeram can be reached at email”

Relative of murdered Berbice businessman receives death threats It has been almost three months since the death of Winston Ragnauth, called’ Toney’ the Shopkeeper of Lot 2 North Whim Public Road, Corentyne, Berbice, whose body was discovered with his throat slashed. To date, no one has been charged for the brutal murder. The father of three who was described as a very easy going person met his demise sometime between 20:30 hours on November 6, last after he closed the gates to his business. Reports are that from time to time the man would leave the door to his shop ajar to facilitate late shoppers. The discovery was made by his son, Constable Emanuel Ragnauth, around 07:00 the next morning. He had gone to check on his father when customers’ calls went unanswered but the shop was open.

The dead man’s family feels as if the police are not doing their best to solve the crime. Initially a man was arrested but was subsequently released on station bail. Another suspect, an ex Mounted Branch policeman, Elton Hynes, 23, of Corentyne was also held for questioning. While in custody Elton Haynes escaped and was seen in the area of Cumberland Canje where ranks had to use force to recapture him. He was shot in the process and was hospitalized under police guard until he was taken into custody again. During this time a source revealed that Elton Haynes admitted to being in company of two others when the shopkeeper’s murder was plotted. He reportedly called two names.

One of those was arrested and released on $40,000 station bail while the other, who was only released from jail four days before the murder for robbery under arms, was also released on bail. He has since vanished from the area. Elton Haynes has since faced the courts. About three weeks ago the Ragnauth family began receiving threatening phone calls from a woman saying, “Y’all calling me son name! All a you gun dead one by one!” The Ragnauths said that out of fear and because of the police negligence they did not inform the police. They believe that there is enough evidence to lead to the arrest and charges of the two others implicated. The family is puzzled as to why an arrest bulletin was never issued for the suspect at large.

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Backer says Nandlall is but a transmitting officer when Bills are passed Ramjattan says AG should not touch Bills passed Attorney General Anil Nandlall serves as mere “transmitting officer” once Bills are passed in the National Assembly, Parliamentarian Deborah Backer has said. Nandlall has suggested that he first has to clean up Bills that are passed in the House before they are sent to the President for assent. Without the Presidential assent, Bills passed in the House do not become law. Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC) Mr Khemraj Ramjattan, an attorney like Nandlall, says the Attorney General is trying to “fluff up” his authority, since he should not touch any Bills once they are passed in the House. In a letter in the newspapers, Nandlall said that all Bills passed by the House are first sent to the Chambers of the Attorney General by the Clerk of the National Assembly, “firstly to be examined by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and then by the Attorney General who issues an Assent Certificate advising His Excellency, the President, that he may properly assent to the Bill, provided, of course, that in the opinion of the Attorney General, the Bill is in order.” “That is crazy,” Backer said of the Attorney General’s interpretation of his role. She said that the functions of the Attorney General are mainly administrative and there is no constitutional requirement for the Attorney General to “tidy up” anything. She said that if legislation is passed in the House, it is the administrative duty of the Attorney General whether he chooses to “use carriage or fax” to ensure that the Bill as passed in the House, without any changes or amendments, goes to the President. It is up to the President to assent or withhold his assent, she stated. Backer said any tidying up, or any amendments, are

Parliamentarian, Deborah Backer the functions of the National Assembly and not the Attorney General, as he has suggested. She said that the Attorney General cannot seek to jump ahead of his responsibilities and tamper with Bills passed in the House. Ramjattan shared the same view, saying that the function of the Attorney General is merely of an administrative nature once Bills are passed. As such, he said that for the Attorney General to say he has to decide if the Bill is “in order” and use that as an excuse to delay or not send Bills for the President is highly out of order. “Nandlall is only trying to big up himself and to make himself look more important than he is not,” Ramjattan said. For Ramjattan, Nandlall’s interpretation of his function makes it seem that Bills passed in the House needs two assents, “the assent of Nandlall and the assent of the President. That is nonsense.” It was Attorney and Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram who picked up Nandlall on his “proclivity for misunderstandings and misrepresentations…(and) his frequent pronouncements show extremely poor acquaintance, and at times no acquaintance, with the finer points of the Constitution.” Nandlall was reported in

Attorney General, Anil Nandlall

AFC Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan the press as saying Bills passed in the House have not reached his chambers for “his inputs.” Ram said that Guyanese expect their Attorney General, whoever he/she might be, to appreciate the dangers of tampering, or of delaying tactics by a political appointee, thereby frustrating the constitutional requirement for the President to assent or explain within twenty-one days. Others have used the letter columns to say that “it is scandalous and brazen” and “offensive” for the Attorney General to direct the President to use of the presidential assent, which is a constitutional discretion specifically outlined in the constitution to be exercised only by the president.

Sunday February 10, 2013

Linden father for re-trial for son’s murder case Linden resident, Calvin Bailey, will have to face another trial to ascertain whether he was the cause of his 18-month-old son’s death in 2007. The man was, on Friday, remanded back into police custody as the 12member mixed jury of his peers could not return with a unanimous vote. The case concluded in a hung jury and presiding Judge Navindra Singh, informed the accused that he would have to face the judicial process all over again. Bailey is charged with murdering his son Shaquan Nero in April 2007. On Friday the judge summed up the evidence presented by state prosecutors, Konyo Thompson and Dhanika Singh. Attorney at law George Thomas represented the accused. The court had rejected a no case submission and had asked the accused to lead a defence. He did so last Thursday. Bailey, in his defence, blamed the mother of his child for the infant’s death. He charged that in an angry state, the mother, Bernadette Nero, stabbed the child with the intention of harming the father. Bailey said that on April 4, 2007, he had gone to see his wife and child at a relative’s house at Amelia’s Ward, Wisroc, Linden. He said that his wife was upset at him and she approached him with a knife in the right hand and a pot of a hot substance in the other

hand. She later threw the hot liquid in his direction, he said. After dodging the liquid, Bailey said he left to return when his wife had calmed down. Bailey continued that when he returned to the house he collected his son and told his wife that all he wanted was the child and that she could keep the material possessions. He claimed that the mother then stabbed him on the arm when he attempted to leave with the child. On turning around, Bailey said his wife fired another blow, stabbing the baby in his neck. The child was rushed to the hospital, but Bailey said that his wife’s relatives forced him to leave the facility. Bailey said that his wife called later to say that the baby had passed away and that she was going to tell the police that he (Bailey) had committed the act. When the attorney George Thomas gave his closing address he attempted to discredit both prosecution star witnesses. Thomas said the eyewitness accounts were conflicting and that they had concocted a story against the accused because they did not like him. The prosecution however felt that Bailey on the night in question had every intention of hurting his wife, but the baby was unfortunately caught in the middle. Their case was that the accused hid behind a coconut tree waiting for his wife and later attacked her while she was heading

Murder accused: Calvin Bailey home with her baby. The prosecutor said that despite the defence saying that the witnesses gave conflicting evidence and concocted a story against the accused, they both placed Bailey on the step where the matter reportedly happened. Thompson said that both witnesses saw the accused making a “cuffing” or a “thrusting” motion towards the mother who was at the time standing with the baby. An inference, she said, could be drawn despite none of the persons seeing the accused with a weapon. The mother of the dead baby never made an appearance in court. The accused said that since he had received the call about his son’s death he had never seen or heard from his wife again.

Duck thieving fisherman tells court…

Ducks flew into yard and dogs ate them

“I was at home when three ducks flew into my yard and the dogs were chasing them. I took a stick and pelt one of the ducks and killed it. The dog picked up the duck and ran away. I did not thief any duck.” Those were some of the explanations given in the court by Arun Ranasad, 18,

of Kilcoy Squatting Area, Corentyne. The man appeared before Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo on Friday at the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s court, charged with larceny of ducks. The birds were owned by Goberdhan Mohes. Ranasad who told the court that he is a fisherman is

accused of entering his neighbour’s yard on Sunday February 3, last, and stealing four ducks, including one drake. Prosecutor Corporal Orin Joseph told the court that Mohes and the accused are neighbours. On the day in question Mohes secured his ducks in a pen and retired to bed. Around 22:00 hrs he received a call from one of his other neighbours telling him that the accused was seen leaving his yard with the ducks. Ranasad immediately made a check on his pen and discovered the birds missing. A report was made and following investigations the accused was arrested and charged. In court he pleaded not guilty and was placed on $20,000 bail. The matter has been transferred to the Albion Magistrate’s court for February 26.

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$4.5M fraud at Eccles NDC…

Auditor General also probing possible arson attempt State auditors probing a possible fraud of several millions of dollars at a Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) on East Bank Demerara are expected to complete their work in as little as three weeks. According to Auditor General, Deodat Sharma, a report of its probe will then be handed over to the Ministry of Local Government. The Office of the Auditor General and the police were called in last month after Raul Kissoon, the Overseer of the Eccles/Ramsburg NDC, disappeared, leaving his office locked. The NDC had wanted money to pay urgent bills. Kissoon’s mobile phone was going to voicemail. After breaking into his Peter’s Hall office, auditors and the police found undeposited cheques and bank slips that were written up but were not carrying the bank stamps. A decision was made to break open a safe there. Yesterday, the Auditor General declined to go into details what was found…or rather, what may have been missing. What is clear is that the

Eccles/ Ramsburg NDC

Chairman of Eccles/ Ramsburg NDC, S. Khan

Disappeared: Overseer, Raul Kissoon

Ministry of Local Government asked the police and the Auditor General to investigate. Kaieteur News understands that as much as $4.5M, representing rates and taxes collected by the NDC during the first week of the year may be missing. This newspaper has been told that the probe could go back as far as six months ago when Kissoon was appointed. The NDC Chairman, S. Khan, speaking to reporters who visited his Peter’s Hall office last week, claimed that the Overseer was sent on leave. However, Ministry’s

sources said that Kissoon had not been seen at the office since January 14. The $4.5M rates and taxes were collections made over several days, this newspaper was told. Yesterday, the Auditor General said that to his knowledge, NDCs…there are 65 of them across the country…should deposit their cash every day. Questions are also being asked why the Region Four administration did not make its checks on the NDC as is the requirement, to ensure that procedures are being followed. Meanwhile, the Auditor

General who has sweeping powers, including powers to conduct surprise audits at state entities, said he will also be looking into reports whether there was an attempt to set the NDC office on fire. Shortly before the statutory meeting in January—meetings held on the first Monday of every month— workers of the nearby M&M Snackette noticed smoke pouring from the building and raised an alarm.

Kissoon who had just reportedly left the office was one who helped to douse the flames. The NDC Chairman said that it was a “small electrical fire”. It was this same NDC which a few years ago came under criticisms for attempting to sell a playfield in Republic Park. Eccles/Ramsburg NDC is charged with maintaining the infrastructure between Providence and Eccles. It is

also responsible for collecting rates and taxes and garbage. The Local Government Ministry has been on a campaign to clean up NDCs and towns across the country as complaints continue to surface about corruption and neglect. Several NDCs, at least 29 of the 65, have been replaced by Interim Management Committees (IMCs). Local government elections have not been held since 1994.

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Interesting Creatures...

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(Dasypus novemcinctus)

The nine-banded armadillo The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or the ninebanded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal. It is found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos. Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until three million years ago, when the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange. The ninebanded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates. The armadillo can jump 3–4 ft (91–120 cm) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads. The nine-banded armadillo evolved in a warm, rainy environment, and is still most commonly found in regions resembling its ancestral home. As a very adaptable animal, though, it can also be found in scrublands, open prairies, and tropical rainforests. It cannot thrive in particularly hot or dry environments, as its large surface area, which is not well insulated by fat, makes it especially susceptible to heat and water loss. Nine-banded armadillos are generally insectivores. They forage for meals by thrusting their snouts into loose soil and leaf litter and frantically digging in erratic patterns, stopping occasionally to dig up grubs, beetles (perhaps the main portion of this species' prey selection), ants, termites, and worms, which their sensitive noses can detect through eight inches (20 cm) of soil. They then lap up the insects with their sticky tongues. Nine-banded armadillos have been observed to roll about on ant hills in order to dislodge and consume the residing ants warm. They supplement their diets with amphibians and small reptiles - also occasionally eaten are birds' eggs and baby mammals. Carrion is also eaten, although perhaps the species is most attracted to maggots borne by carcasses rather than the meat itself. Less than 10 per cent of the diet of this species is comprised by non-animal matter, though fungi, tubers, fruits and

seeds are occasionally eaten. Nine-banded armadillos generally weigh from 2.5–6.5 kg (5.5–14 lb), though the largest specimens can scale up to 10 kg (22 lb). They are one of the largest species of armadillo. Head and body length is 38–58 cm (15–23 in), which combines with the 26–53 cm (10–21 in) tail, for a total length of 64–107 cm (25–42 in). They stand 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in) tall at the top of the shell. The outer shell is composed of ossified dermal scutes covered by non-overlapping, keratinized epidermal scales, which are connected by flexible bands of skin. This armour covers the back, sides, head, tail, and outside surfaces of the legs. The underside of the body and the inner surfaces of the legs have no armoured protection. Instead, they are covered by tough skin and a layer of coarse hair. The vertebrae are specially modified to attach to the carapace. The claws on the middle toes of the forefeet are elongated for digging, though not to the same degree as those of the much larger giant armadillo of South America. Their low metabolic rate and poor thermoregulation make them best suited for semitropical environments. Nine-banded armadillos are solitary, largely nocturnal animals that come out to forage around dusk. They are extensive burrowers, with a single animal sometimes maintaining up to 12 burrows on its range. These burrows are roughly 8 inches (20 cm) wide, 7 feet (2.1 m) deep, and 25 feet (7.6 m) long. Armadillos mark their territory with urine, faeces, and excretions from scent glands found on the eyelids, nose, and feet. Females tend to have exclusive, clearly defined territories. Males have larger territories, but theirs often overlap and can coincide with the ranges of several females. Territorial disputes are settled by kicking and chasing. When they are not foraging, armadillos shuffle along fairly slowly, stopping occasionally to sniff the air for signs of danger. Mating takes place during a two- to three-month-long mating season, which occurs from July–August in the Northern Hemisphere and November–January in the Southern Hemisphere. A single egg is fertilized, but implantation is delayed for three to four months to ensure the young will not be

born during an unfavourable time. Once the zygote does implant in the uterus, a gestation period of four months occurs, during which the zygote splits into four identical embryos, each of which develops its own placenta, so blood and nutrients are not mixed between them. After birth, the quadruplets remain in the burrow, living off the mother's milk for approximately three months. They then begin to forage with the mother, eventually leaving after six months to a

year. Nine-banded armadillos reach sexual maturity at the age of one year, and reproduce every year for the

rest of their 12–15 year lifespans. A single female can produce up to 56 young over the course of her life. This high reproductive rate

is a major cause of the species' rapid expansion. (Source: Wikipedia – The Free Online Encyclopedia)

Page 18

Kaieteur News

Sunday February 10, 2013

Assessing the quality of life's treasures…

Gemologist Deborah Phillipe-Archer is a 'Special Person' By Rabindra Rooplall “Ev er y d iamo n d is unique. Each reflects the story of its arduous journey from deep inside the earth to a cherished object of adornment. A diamond is a testament of endurance and strength and the ultimate symbol of love.” There are not many persons who could give you a better feel for diamonds than the person who made the aforementioned assertion, Gemologist Deborah Phillipe-Archer. But it's not just her love of diamonds that has positioned her as a respected name in the field. In her three decades of work, she has assisted untold persons from being duped into buying imitations of the precious mineral known famously as “a girl's best friend”, the diamond.

Indeed, diamonds are Deborah's best friend, and it was her Mom's too. A second generation gemologist following in her mother's footsteps, Deborah Phillipe was born in Georgetown. She attended St Angela's Primary and later graduated from St Joseph

she could take lightly. “My dad was a nononsense man, so I didn't get breaks between my courses at the GIA. He knew the principal, since my mom had also attended the same institution,” she recalled. Once she had completed the Jewellery Arts

“Since I was a child I was always fascinated by gems, I would sit and watch my mom and other girls work. To this day, my love for the job has not changed.” High School. She left Guyana at the age of 18 to attend the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in California, USA, to follow her dream of becoming a gemologist. She graduated with a Diploma in Jewellery Arts in 1981. However, she did not explore a jewellery designing career until 2002. Studying was not a task

programme, she wanted to move on, but there was no space available in the gemology course, so she enrolled in Gem Cutting instead, and later received a certificate in Diamond Grading. “I was a natural, and totally enjoyed that programme. Since I was the only female in the class, I

was usually given the prettiest stones to cut,” she said with a bright smile. Two weeks into the coloured stones phase of the programme, her father, Anthony Phillipe passed away and she returned to Guyana for his funeral. “Upon my return to California I had to wait on a new programme to start, so I tried two weeks of Hand Engraving, but I'm out of tune with that at present.” With determination as hard as the diamonds she grades, Deborah continued Gemology with another batch of students and graduated with a Diploma, gaining the title of Graduate Gemologist (GG) on October 22, 1982. In 2001 she upgraded herself in Advanced Diamonds and Synthetic Diamonds. “From time to time while on holidays I spent time doing labs (grading diamonds) at the GIA or at a friend's business to keep up with the fast-moving technology of the jewellery industry. Back in Guyana after my studies, I first landed a job, not in gemology, but in screen printing, with Brian Gittens

Deborah Phillipe-Archer

and Beverley Harper, my mentors. Thereafter, I began my career in gemology in earnest, with Enachu Diamond Traders, under the watchful eyes of my mother, Waveney Phillipe. She had more confidence in me than I had in myself.” It didn't take too long for Deborah to prove that all that studying actually stuck. “One time a known customer from Berbice came in with what looked like a 3carat polished stone and placed it in my hand. I thought I was being tested since the stone was not a diamond but a cubic zirconia (CZ). So I blurted out CZ. My mother told me, sternly, to go with the customer and check it. I would have been embarrassed if I was incorrect.” But she was not. It turned out that the stone was indeed a cubic zirconia.

“The poor customer almost fainted. It was the '80s and CZs were the latest lookalike diamond substitute on the market. It was new to Guyana, but during my Gem Cutting course I had to practice on CZs so I was familiar with them.” She said presently fraudsters do not use CZs to fool persons, but a rear mineral, Moissanite. However, a simple magnifier will show doubling which will reveal that they are not diamonds. “I try to keep myself updated by newsletters on new methods of Colour and Clarity Enhancing Treatments and how they are detected. The biggest challenge is the new Synthetic Colourless Diamond (SCD). Sale of SCDs is available to (continued on page 20)

Lion Phillipe-Archer (at right) performing her civic duty

Sunday February 10, 2013

Page 19

Kaieteur News

A dependable, decades-old mission ... From page 15 abundance of well wishers, a new building was soon erected on the very plot of land where it all started. And it was with more vigour and enthusiasm that the staff and the volunteers of the Society endeavoured to continue giving selflessly to those in need of assistance – something that had become a part of their lives for years. The services provided by the 'family' as they would prefer to be called, are not limited to Georgetown and the coastal areas, but many hinterland locations are also benefiting. In Region One, for example, the Society is currently running a Water and Sanitation programme, which is funded by the European Union. Through this, residents of Mabaruma and Moruca benefit from health and hygiene messages as well as safe practices. In addition, the Society has been making its contribution towards the national blood drive through a recruitment programme. “What we do is invite donors to come in and officials from the Blood Bank do the testing and drawing of the blood. And

we do this on a regular basis, since this is a very critical service needed to save lives,” Mrs. Fraser said. She added that another area of focus is training in First Aid and Disaster Preparedness. The First Aid training targets a wide cross section of Guyanese. “We do general first aid with specific emphasis on CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and we follow the American Standard which is reviewed every five years and if changes are made, we follow those changes.” More often than not members of the Society are invited to various companies to conduct first aid training with their staff. Also volunteers from the society are asked to be on standby at major events throughout the country, including school sports, international concerts and other ventures where persons trained in first aid may be required. Mrs. Fraser asserted that these types of services are somewhat costly to the society since they sometimes have to provide transportation for their staff to and from these events and

in some instances, refreshments. There are some promotional companies, however, which stand these costs. “Most of our volunteers are not people with a lot of money but with tremendous goodwill, who are committed to helping others,” Mrs. Fraser emphasised. Another focal point is the Community Disaster Response Programme. This deals with disaster risk reduction. Support is given by the Canadian Red Cross, through CIDA, and these programmes are primarily conducted in Regions Three, Four, Five, Six and Nine. A key component is first aid training for community members who are part of the Disaster Response Team. Assistance is also provided by the Civil Defence Commission. Further, many communities have benefitted from vulnerability capacity assessment. This has resulted in mitigation projects in several communities, including bridges being rehabilitated, public conveniences being

Red Cross staff during one of their many missions to Lethem.

fixed, and in a few instances, much needed means of communication being met. Like every other organization, the Red Cross Society has had its fair share of challenges. The floods in 2005 represented one of its stiffest tests. During that period, the Society lent its support to the relief efforts. A section of its Headquarters in Eve Leary was transformed into a shelter for families who had to flee their homes because of flood waters. While all of their members and volunteers were needed in this situation they were forced to work without the full complement of staff since many of their own were not spared the effects of that flood. Nevertheless, it can be said that the society did a commendable job during that devastating period. It must also be noted that while this organization is mostly about giving, there are many instances where members and volunteers are rewarded for their efforts as well. The Guyana Red Cross Society has over the years been exposing their

volunteers and member to overseas training and missions. Persons who work on the Society's Regional Intervention Team have been able to visit countries such as Panama, the Bahamas, Suriname, Barbados, St Vincent, Finland, Kenya and Haiti. Now one may ask how this organization gets by f i n a n c i a l l y. We l l , t h e Guyana Red Cross is given a yearly subvention by Government; monies are also garnered through fund raising activities and as mentioned before, the generous support of corporate Guyana. And while funding is somewhat of an issue, there are some services which the Society will be working to expand on in the near future, these include HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns in mining districts and psychosocial support for abused children, women and men. The society is also looking to have rehabilitation work done on the Convalescent Home. Some has already started thanks to the support of First Lady Mrs. Deolatchmee

Ramotar who made a significant contribution towards this effort last year. The society is also hoping to be able to have new drivers involved in their first aid training, since the staff feel strongly about the upsurge in road fatalities. Efforts are also in progress to expand the 'Be S a f e f r o m Vi o l e n c e ' programme which targets children between the ages of 5 and 9. This programme is run in some schools and churches, and then aim is to raise awareness among young children about abuse and how to “speak up until they are heard”. Meanwhile, the Society is appealing to members of the public who may be interested to get involved, as help is always needed when it comes to humanitarian work. With branches in Moruca, Mabaruma, Port Kaituma, Bartica, Lethem and one soon to be established in New Amsterdam, there is no such thing as too much help. “If you have a love and a heart for helping persons in difficult situations the Red Cross Society is always looking for a new face,” Mrs. Fraser stated. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 188 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, their work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

Page 20

Sunday February 10, 2013

Kaieteur News

Gemologist Deborah Phillipe-Archer ... From page 18 customers via the internet. SCDs are priced at about 25% below the cost of a natural diamond and are mostly set and marketed in wedding jewellery.” Her future in relation to Gemology is to expand it into education. Ms. PhillipeArcher noted that she will soon be conducting seminars on diamonds and coloured stones for both the general public and jewellers. These seminars will not feature grading of stones but will focus on making the consumer more aware of what is available on the market and what questions to ask when buying diamonds and coloured stones. “I have put together videos and a booklet on how synthetic stones are made and how the industry enhances diamonds to make them more appealing to the buyer.” Drawing on her 30 years in the field, the gemologist decided to share some of her knowledge. She said the key to a diamond's value is its rarity, and no two diamonds are alike. “Rarity is determined by a diamond's unique

characteristics as measured by the 4Cs: cut, color, clarity and carat weight.” Highlighting that the size of the diamond does not always mean it's more valuable, she said using the 4Cs, a small diamond of exceptional quality will likely be more valuable than a larger diamond of lower quality. Diamond colours vary as those of the rainbow, and our 'special person' emphasised to me that diamond is the hardest of all known natural substances, and has adamantine lustre. Diamond form in the cubic, or isometric, crystal system, has four directions of perfect octahedral cleavage, and shows a step-like fracture surface. Its colour ranges from colorless to yellow, brown, gray, orange, green, blue, white, black, purple, pink- and (extremely rarely) red. Deborah explained that synthetic diamonds are generally produced using one of two methods. One method uses high pressure and high temperature (HPHT), and the other uses chemical vapour deposition (CVD). She said diamonds

Every diamond is unique! Deborah spends a lot of time grading the precious stones

and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as a paperclip.

She further pointed out that diamonds are weighed with an electronic microbalance that captures their weight to the fifth decimal place. An optical measuring device determines their proportions, measurements, and facet angles. Underscoring a technique used, she said enhancement is any artificial process that alters the appearance, especially the colour or clarity, of a natural diamond or other gem material. Coating, fracture filling, irradiation, heating and lasering are all forms of enhancement. Enhancement can also be referred to as “treatment." Selling enhanced diamonds and gemstones is an accepted practice in the gem and jewellery industry, provided the enhancement is disclosed prior to sale. In some cases, she noted, a gemologist can tell what gemstone is before him/her by looking at it, but this may not always be possible. Two different gemstones such as blue topaz and aquamarine may look nearly identical. This means that gemologists are often required to perform a series of tests to determine the true identity of a gemstone. Usually one test is only enough to provide indicators but insufficient for complete identification. “Since I was a child I was always fascinated by gems, I would sit and watch my mom and other girls work.

To this day my love for the job has not changed.” Noting that the largest diamond she ever saw physically - a 22 carat stone was one her mom dealt with, however, she had personal experience with a 15-carat diamond that a miner brought out of the interior. She recounted that the man had visited her to confirm if it was indeed a diamond, since it was in its raw state. “I am confident that many gold miners don't have an idea of the amount of diamonds they discard of while searching for gold. They are going into mining and have no idea what a diamond looks like; some of them are mining gold areas and throwing away the diamonds. The governing bodies need to educate them,” she noted. Explaining that many testers are being bought to test stones, Deborah said the tester should not be used for raw diamonds but polished diamonds, because a tester can only work effectively when the diamond has a clean and shiny surface. Giving a further tip to persons interested in purchasing diamonds, she said they should never hit the diamond with any object to prove that its original, since it can also split or flake if this is done, thus diminishing the value of the gem. “The same way wood has grains and if you hit it at certain points it can split, diamonds also have grains that when placed under intense pressure can shatter.”

Sending a warning to persons seeking to purchase diamonds, she stressed “while most people are honest, there are those who aren't and it's up to buyers to beware. I think one of the reasons I have been so successful is that I am so honest. I give honest opinions on pieces of jewellery.” Noting that they are the best conductors in electronic items, she said that diamonds will always have a great demand in all spheres of life. The gemologist is a mother to many, but her lone biological daughter, A l e x A r c h e r, i s h e r heartbeat. She is currently attending university in Canada. Though her life has been primarily about gemology, Deborah is quite active in social circles. As Third Vice President of the Lions Club of Georgetown, Durban Park, she is closely associated with children's development especially through various programmes offered by the organization. “ We h a v e r e a d i n g programmes, with a library, we are involved in the distribution of spectacles. We also do life skills programmes with teenagers. All the children in the Ruimveldt and schools in the area are given an opportunity to be a part of developmental programmes.” Her joy for children's improvement has made her even more committed to the task of making one child at a time, more knowledgeable and healthy. “There is a personal joy that comes with helping p e o p l e e d u c a t e themselves…there is also a programme to help children with a low blood count, and if they are not eating p r o p e r l y, e s p e c i a l l y females, we help them with vitamins to stay focused, particularly during exams. We also tangibly support the elderly.” Apart from that, Deborah is the Treasurer of t h e G u y a n a Wo m e n ' s Artists Association, a member and Chartered Secretary of the Guyana National Association of Goldsmiths and Jewellers, has been an official of the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club on race days, was a past member of the Guyana National Hockey Board, the Georgetown Cricket Club and she has also been associated with women's cricket.

Sunday February 10, 2013

Page 21

Kaieteur News

The Guyana Red Cross Society…

A dependable, decades-old mission with a human touch

The Guyana Red Cross Society building

By Jenelle Willabus The Red Cross has over decades been carrying out humanitarian missions in excess of 150 countries worldwide and Guyana is one of those privileged countries to have been benefitting from its services In 1948, The Guyana Red Cross Society started its operation locally as a branch of the British Red Cross. However, in 1967, a year after Guyana gained its independence, the Red Cross became a National Society by an Act of Parliament. Currently the Society is headed by a Director General, Mrs. Dorothy Fraser. As Mrs. Fraser puts it, the Guyana Red Cross

Society is essentially a humanitarian organisation auxiliary to the Government, which looks at issues in health education, social welfare, disaster preparedness, water and sanitation and blood donor recruitment. Ever since its establishment, the Guyana Red Cross has been operating from a building located at Barrack Street, Eve Leary, Kingston. The Red Cross has been rendering services which have benefitted thousands, and two of those services which Mrs. Fraser is extremely proud of are 'Meals on Wheels' and the Red Cross Convalescent Home. The 'Meals on Wheels'

programme caters to vulnerable groups and meals are provided on a daily basis. In some instances the meals are delivered, while there are some persons who visit the society to have theirs. This project sees great assistance from members of corporate Guyana, but Mrs. Fraser stresses that contributions are always welcomed to keep the much needed programme up and running. The Red Cross Convalescent Home has also been around for decades. It was first known as the Princess Elizabeth Home which caters to children with a variety of problems. Presently located in D'Urban Backlands, the facility has been catering to children

who are brought there through the Ministry of Human Services and the Child Care and Protection Agency. “At any given time we can cater for 35 children at the home. Initially our focus was on children who were brought to us from hinterland locations and needed medical care in the city. Then we moved to caring for children whose parents economic situation was not one which permitted them to properly care for them. As the years went by the Home, through the efforts of its caregivers, started catering for children who are malnourished, and children who are abused,” Mrs.

Fraser explained. The Home not only provides shelter for these children, but also looks into every aspect of a child's wellbeing. Wonderful care is provided by the staff of 24 persons who work shift systems. The children are provided with the best medical care possible through the efforts of the Georgetown Public Hospital, the Davis Memorial Hospital and also from visiting medical teams from time to time, as well as other charitable organizations. But it has not been all smooth sailing. In 1996, the Society suffered a severe setback. On Christmas Eve

Dorothy Fraser Day of that year, the building which housed the entity was completely gutted by fire. The tragic event cast a wet blanket on the operations. B u t s o o n a f t e r, w i t h assistance from the Government of Guyana, the Social Impact Amelioration Programme and an (continued on page 24)

Page 22

Kaieteur News

Sunday February 10, 2013

Fly Jamaica to soar on February 14 Fly Jamaica Airways, the Jamaican carrier co-owned by Guyanese Captain Ronald Reece, is expected to take to the skies on Valentine's Day, Thursday, February 14 after an almost three week delay, a report in the Jamaican Gleaner newspaper stated late last week. According to the Gleaner, the inaugural flight originally scheduled for Friday, January 25, last, was delayed as the airline awaited final terminal approval from the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

However, now the airline has reportedly received all relevant clearances. The airline, with 80 employees, is operating a single Boeing 757-200 aircraft. Its first flight on February 14 will be to the JFK Airport in New York. Dubbed the new love bird by Jamaicans, the airline says that persons can now make reservations for this historic flight, the Gleaner reported. Fly Jamaica Airways is a partnership between Guyanese Captain Ronald Reece and three Jamaican shareholders, two of whom

File Photo: Fly Jamaica Airlines Boeing 757 jet at Norman Manley International Airport.

are Captain Lloyd Tai, and Manager of In-flight Services, Christine Steele, both former senior officials

in Air Jamaica, the former Jamaica carrier. The collaboration between the Guyanese and

the Jamaicans has been hailed as the first in the history of aviation in the Caribbean. Guyanese Captain Ronald Reece, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has been hailed as the first person to certify a large airline in the Caribbean, and to have done it in record time. J a m a i c a n Tr a n s p o r t Minister Dr. Omar Davies called it "real evidence of regional co-operation". Reece is also Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the local domestic air service Wings Aviation Ltd. Fly Jamaica Airways received its air operating

certificate to operate as an airline from the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority in September 2012. It received permission from the United States Department of Transport to fly to and from America on December 18, last. The airline's Chief Operating Officer, Captain Lloyd Tai, has said that flights will take off from the base at Norman Manley International Airport to the JFK Airport in New York but plans are in the pipeline also to fly to Toronto and Guyana as well as to acquire a second aircraft when operations get into full swing.

Police still hunting constable who stole car from auto dealer Police yesterday continued their hunt for one of their own who allegedly stole a car from Kenrick's Auto Sales last Monday. Kaieteur News understands that investigators again checked yesterday at the rank's home and with his close associates but failed to locate him. Sources said that the rank, who is from the Dragon Alpha Squad at Brickdam, is also not answering his mobile phone. The red Toyota Belta was stolen in broad daylight from the East Bank Demerara dealership last Monday. It is believed that the thief swiped a key from the sales manager's office. Officials who later checked a security camera observed the thief entering

the vehicle and heading towards Georgetown. Detectives found the stolen vehicle at a Norton Street location on Friday and arrested an occupant of the premises. The detained man reportedly told detectives that the still missing police constable, who is his friend, had given him the vehicle to keep. He said that he was unaware that the Toyota Belta was a stolen vehicle until the ranks visited his home. The man reportedly managed to contact the policeman before he was taken into custody. On learning that the vehicle had been found, the policeman reportedly immediately handed in his firearm, reported that he was unwell and promptly disappeared.

Sunday February 10, 2013

Kaieteur News

Page 23

Page 24

Sunday February 10, 2013

Kaieteur News

A dependable, decades-old mission ... From page 21 abundance of well wishers, a new building was soon erected on the very plot of land where it all started. And it was with more vigour and enthusiasm that the staff and the volunteers of the Society endeavoured to continue giving selflessly to those in need of assistance – something that had become a part of their lives for years. The services provided by the 'family' as they would prefer to be called, are not limited to Georgetown and the coastal areas, but many hinterland locations are also benefiting. In Region One, for example, the Society is currently running a Water and Sanitation programme, which is funded by the European Union. Through this, residents of Mabaruma and Moruca benefit from health and hygiene messages as well as safe practices. In addition, the Society has been making its contribution towards the national blood drive through a recruitment programme. “What we do is invite donors to come in and officials from the Blood Bank do the testing and drawing of the blood. And

we do this on a regular basis, since this is a very critical service needed to save lives,” Mrs. Fraser said. She added that another area of focus is training in First Aid and Disaster Preparedness. The First Aid training targets a wide cross section of Guyanese. “We do general first aid with specific emphasis on CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and we follow the American Standard which is reviewed every five years and if changes are made, we follow those changes.” More often than not members of the Society are invited to various companies to conduct first aid training with their staff. Also volunteers from the society are asked to be on standby at major events throughout the country, including school sports, international concerts and other ventures where persons trained in first aid may be required. Mrs. Fraser asserted that these types of services are somewhat costly to the society since they sometimes have to provide transportation for their staff to and from these events and

in some instances, refreshments. There are some promotional companies, however, which stand these costs. “Most of our volunteers are not people with a lot of money but with tremendous goodwill, who are committed to helping others,” Mrs. Fraser emphasised. Another focal point is the Community Disaster Response Programme. This deals with disaster risk reduction. Support is given by the Canadian Red Cross, through CIDA, and these programmes are primarily conducted in Regions Three, Four, Five, Six and Nine. A key component is first aid training for community members who are part of the Disaster Response Team. Assistance is also provided by the Civil Defence Commission. Further, many communities have benefitted from vulnerability capacity assessment. This has resulted in mitigation projects in several communities, including bridges being rehabilitated, public conveniences being

Red Cross staff during one of their many missions to Lethem.

fixed, and in a few instances, much needed means of communication being met. Like every other organization, the Red Cross Society has had its fair share of challenges. The floods in 2005 represented one of its stiffest tests. During that period, the Society lent its support to the relief efforts. A section of its Headquarters in Eve Leary was transformed into a shelter for families who had to flee their homes because of flood waters. While all of their members and volunteers were needed in this situation they were forced to work without the full complement of staff since many of their own were not spared the effects of that flood. Nevertheless, it can be said that the society did a commendable job during that devastating period. It must also be noted that while this organization is mostly about giving, there are many instances where members and volunteers are rewarded for their efforts as well. The Guyana Red Cross Society has over the years been exposing their

volunteers and member to overseas training and missions. Persons who work on the Society's Regional Intervention Team have been able to visit countries such as Panama, the Bahamas, Suriname, Barbados, St Vincent, Finland, Kenya and Haiti. Now one may ask how this organization gets by f i n a n c i a l l y. We l l , t h e Guyana Red Cross is given a yearly subvention by Government; monies are also garnered through fund raising activities and as mentioned before, the generous support of corporate Guyana. And while funding is somewhat of an issue, there are some services which the Society will be working to expand on in the near future, these include HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns in mining districts and psychosocial support for abused children, women and men. The society is also looking to have rehabilitation work done on the Convalescent Home. Some has already started thanks to the support of First Lady Mrs. Deolatchmee

Ramotar who made a significant contribution towards this effort last year. The society is also hoping to be able to have new drivers involved in their first aid training, since the staff feel strongly about the upsurge in road fatalities. Efforts are also in progress to expand the 'Be S a f e f r o m Vi o l e n c e ' programme which targets children between the ages of 5 and 9. This programme is run in some schools and churches, and then aim is to raise awareness among young children about abuse and how to “speak up until they are heard”. Meanwhile, the Society is appealing to members of the public who may be interested to get involved, as help is always needed when it comes to humanitarian work. With branches in Moruca, Mabaruma, Port Kaituma, Bartica, Lethem and one soon to be established in New Amsterdam, there is no such thing as too much help. “If you have a love and a heart for helping persons in difficult situations the Red Cross Society is always looking for a new face,” Mrs. Fraser stated. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 188 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, their work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

Sunday February 10, 2013

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Lamaha Gardens land was sold behind owner’s back The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has accused the government of going behind its back and “illegally” selling the controversial plot of land at Lot 142 Durbana Square, Lamaha Gardens. In its first statement on the land matter, the union emphasized that despite its intervention prior to the sale of the property; the land was liquidated and sold. GPSU has also charged that the land like the rest of the properties in the area, is GPSU-owned. The union is thus demanding that the transport granted to the businessman who bought the property be recalled, that the investigation which was ordered by President Donald Ramotar, have a GPSU nominee involved and that the investigation report be made public. GPSU said that it wished “to express shock and dismay and utter condemnation at the illegal sale of property situated at 142 Lamaha Gardens Georgetown.” The union related that “the land which was for many years being used by the residents of the Lamaha Gardens area as a playfield is owned by the GPSU Housing Co-operative, being the successor organization of the Civil Service Association Housing Co-Operative Society.” The Union President, Patrick Yarde, said in the statement that the land for sale was first advertised in the Chronicle Newspaper on November 16, 2012. Upon noticing the advertisement which read that “Tenders are invited for sale of land, Lot 142 Civil Service Association Cooperative Housing Society

Ltd,” with the land’s liquidator’s information available, the union immediately wrote to the liquidator Cecil Ramnarine, through its attorney, MP Joseph Harmon, demanding that he (Ramnarine), “Cease and desist from taking any further action to sell the said property.” The letter he said was hand delivered to the liquidator on November 20, 2012. It requested that Ramnarine produce his authority to sell the land, that he cease further action to sell the land and that he withdraw the notice published in the Guyana Chronicle on November 16, 2012. “Despite this letter from our Attorney-at-law,” Yarde posited, “And the clear intention of the GPSU to assert the right of the Cooperative Society to the land, the liquidator with the concurrence of the corroborating elements of the Government, went ahead with undue haste to sell the property and pass transport to this property within the space of one month.” The union , “Mindful of the uses to which the land has been for a long time,” Yarde said, “he has contacted its members and certain residents to resist any attempt by persons involved in land grabbing exercises to deny them the use of the land.” GPSU said that it is conducting comprehensive investigations into the matter and other similar situations and is thus consulting with its attorneys on their course of action. The land in question is at the centre of a government-unioncommunity feud. The residents and the union say that the land

- GPSU says belongs to the community and that they are responsible for it, while the government is saying that there are not enough members in the union housing co-operative to maintain the land. They have thus liquidated the property and sold it to a businessman. The residents and the union are however citing corruption by saying that the property was illegally sold below market price. The two parties have demanded the land be returned to its rightful owners and transport of land be withdrawn.

The controversial land at Lamaha Gardens.

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ImmigrationINFO Immigration News For Our Community

Substitute sponsor if visa petitioner dies By Attorney Gail S. Seeram Death can come at any moment in time. Unfortunately, when a petitioner of a family-based visa petition dies, so does the pending visa petition. Under the immigration laws, the approved visa petition is revoked upon the death of the petitioner unless the Attorney General determines that, for humanitarian reasons, revocation would be inappropriate. See 8 CFR § 205.1(a)(3)(i)(C). So, at the time the visa is issued at the

U.S. Embassy, the petitioner must be alive or the visa petition will be revoked or denied. The Family Sponsor Immigration Act of 2002 remedies the situation of an alien whose petitioner has died by amending INA sections § 212(a)(4)(C)(ii) and § 213A(f)(5). The amended § 213A(f)(5) creates a way in which a person other than the visa petitioner can sponsor an alien. Now, certain family members can become “substitute sponsors” if a

visa petitioner dies following approval of the visa petition, but before the alien obtains permanent residence. The visa petition must be approved prior to the death of the petitioner in order for the beneficiary to be eligible for permanent residence. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has no authority to approve a visa petition following the petitioner’s death. Dodig v. INS, 9 F.3d 1418 (9th Cir. 1993). If, however, the visa petition was approved prior

to the death of the petitioner, DHS may, in its discretion, reinstate the petition for humanitarian reasons. DHS is not required in any given case to reinstate approval of a visa petition. Reinstatement continues to be a matter of discretion, to be exercised in light of the facts of each individual case, particularly those cases in which failure to reinstate would lead to a harsh result, contrary to the goal of family reunification. If DHS reinstates a petition following the death

of the visa petitioner, the use of a “substitute” sponsor is allowed to sign the affidavit of support and, if the substitute sponsor meets the income requirements, allow the alien to obtain permanent residence. A substitute sponsor may only replace the visa petitioner if the visa petitioner is dead and if DHS reinstates the original petition for humanitarian reasons. Also, substitute sponsors must be related to the sponsored alien in one of the following ways: as a spouse, parent, motherin-law, father-in-law, sibling, child (if at least 18 years of age), son, daughter, son-inlaw, daughter-in-law, sister-inlaw, brother-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild or legal guardian. Our law office has handled many reinstatement requests after a petitioner’s death. The process can take from nine months to one year. The process should not be taken lightly, as DHS requires

substantial amount of e v i d e n c e t o prove that reinstatement is required based on humanitarian ground and for family reunification. While the request in pending to substitute the sponsor and reinstate the visa petition, the beneficiaries remain in their country of citizenship. If the substitute sponsor and reinstatement of the visa petition is approved, the file is transferred to the U.S. Embassy and the visa is issued.

Suresh Persaud, 31, formerly of Columbia Village, Essequibo Coast, was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by Justice Franklin Holder, at the conclusion of his trial at the Suddie High Court on Wednesday. Persaud was charged for the murder of his reputed wife, Nandranie Narine,a/k”Hema” of Columbia Village, Essequibo Coast, in 2010. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, after a voir dire that saw his statement admitted by Justice Holder. Suresh Persaud, a/ k”Guy”, formerly of Colombia and his reputed wife, Nandranie Narine, called “Hima”, were imbibing

alcohol hours after she was discovered dead by one of her three sons, Talesh Narine. Persaud, who was 29years-old at the time was initially charged with murder and made his first appearance before Magistrate Faith Mc Gusty, in 2010, at the Anna Regina Magistrate’s Court. Before receiving his sentence, Persaud asked the court to exercise leniency, since he was sorry for whatever he has done. He also promised Justice Holder that he was going to change his life, and that he was practising Christianity in prison. Persaud was represented by Latchmie Rahamat.

Gail S. Seeram

Man gets 14 years for killing wife

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Renowned Muslim GPL to increase its revenue scholar to visit Guyana through rental of poles Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) will soon be increasing its revenue with the rental of its utility polespossibly across the countryto a local television cable network provider. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the state-owned power company Bharat Dindyal said that his company is in the process of signing the agreement with Atlantic Cable T.V. Network (ACN) for the rental of poles. According to Dindyal, initially in a proposal to ACN, GPL had proposed a carrying cost of $5,000 per pole annually. The power company made that estimation based on the rental of about 600 poles. Dindyal stated that following further negotiations with ACN it was discovered that the company wants to expand its network across the country. As such, GPL will be offering the company a lower carrying fee. This fee was not revealed to Kaieteur News. He noted that the revenue earned will be used for the maintenance of GPL structures. The agreement to be signed between the two companies will include carrying fees ACN owes for the period which it utilized poles without GPL’s permission. Dindyal noted that following a meeting with

GPL’s CEO, Bharat Dindyal the Jagdeo Government, ACN approached GPL but permission was not granted because the company needed relevant documents. Apparently, it was discovered last year that ACN which has been in operation for 12 years was utilizing GPL poles without consent. Following discussions with GPL, permission was given for the continued utilization of the poles in the interim while the agreement was being crafted. In addition, the relevant mechanism such as the Broadcasting Authority was being put in place. This is according to Dindyal, who related that ACN- a public company- has to submit licences to show that it has permission to

operate in the various areas. Meanwhile, ACN is disclaiming that it utilized GPL’s poles without permission. According to Mr. Bess of ACN, in January 2011 his company and other cable operators met with former President Bharrat Jagdeo and a directive was given for the companies to approach GPL to start their operations. He said that authorization was given for the operators to utilize the poles while GPL workout the particulars of the agreement. Bess said that it is pertinent to note that his company has been in existence for 12 years and is still awaiting permission to use the poles. He pointed out that E- Networks which came into existence after his company and which has already received consent from GPL to use its poles around Georgetown. Dindyal admitted that this is true and said that ENetworks submitted all the relevant documents and was specific about where it wants to operate. He said that initially ACN wanted to operate from Eccles to Happy Acres and then subsequently wanted to provide cable services across the country. The company is yet to submit its licences for the various areas, hence the hold up, Dindyal assured.

The Guyanese and Muslim community will receive a historic visit from one of the world’s most renowned and respected Muslim scholar, Huzoor Maulana Zain ul Akhtab Siddiqi, from February 20 to February 25, 2013 which will include a packed itinerary with programmes and activities throughout the country. According to Public Relations Officer, Reyaz Hussein, the visit of his eminence Maulana Zain is coordinated through the Anna Catherina Islamic Complex and the Guyana United Sadr Islamic Anjuman but has the support of all the Sunni Muslim organizations in Guyana. He explained that His Eminence will be accompanied on his visit by Shaykh Esa Alexander Henderson, a young convert to Islam, who is gaining great fame, worldwide, with his presentations. He is 20 yrs old; was born in England of English parentage. He was an atheist and converted to Islam four years ago through Huzoor Zain Siddiqi. His knowledge of Islam is equivalent to a scholarly level already. He is currently studying Micro Medicine at a University in England. It was further added that the visit is made possible through the International Muslim Organization of

Maulana Zain Siddiqui Toronto, Canada (IMO), the largest Muslim organization in the Toronto Area. The scholars of Islam will be accompanied by a large delegation from Canada, led by its President Al Haj Omar Farouk. The delegation arrives on February 20, and the opening programme is slated for Peter’s Hall Jama Masjid, East Bank Demerara. On February 21, the Meten Meer Zorg West Demerara Masjid will host the scholars, while on February 22, the scholars will conduct the Juma (Friday) prayers at the Queenstown Masjid/ MYO (Woolford Avenue), Darul Uloom in East Street, Georgetown and Alexander

Village Old Mosque. On the same date, the Central Jama Masjid in New Amsterdam will host a program with the scholars (18.30hrs). On February 23, the Anjuman Hifazatul Islam and the Windsor Forest Masjid will host the delegation at 18.30 hrs. The main programme will be held at the famed Anna Catherina Islamic Complex on February 24 at 13.30Hrs. On February 25, the University of Guyana Islamic Society (UGIS) will host a programme on the Turkeyen Campus at 11.30 hrs while the final programme will be held at the Mon Repos Masjid, East Coast Demerara at 18.30 hrs. The delegations will also be hosted at meetings by the Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG) as well as the Inter Religious Organization of Guyana (IRO). While here, they will also pay courtesy calls on several government functionaries, Opposition Leader and Members of the diplomatic corps. The programs will be staged under the theme “Muhammad is the way to Paradise” and in attendance also, will be representatives from Muslim organizations of Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Holland and USA.

A mini health check is the first step to donating blood

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Amid Dominican port concerns, a surge in smuggling SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The relationship between a U.S. Senator from New Jersey and a wealthy political benefactor has highlighted gaps in port security in the Dominican Republic, which has become the top transit point for drugs in the Caribbean. And the situation appears to be getting worse. Authorities in the Dominican Republic seized 9 tons of cocaine last year, the third consecutive record, according to the country’s national drug control agency. In January alone, they seized another 3 tons off the country’s southern coast. “It will probably be a record this year as well,” Pedro Janer, the acting head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Caribbean Division, said in an interview. The DEA praises the efforts of the Dominican Republic in fighting drugs, and U.S. backing has included the use of an aerial surveillance drone and support of ships and aircraft based in nearby Puerto Rico. But U.S. officials have also repeatedly complained about the need for more security in the ports, where there is only a single largescale scanner, on loan from the U.S., to search the interior of cargo containers. Among the critics: U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey who has raised

the issue in three Congressional hearings. “I often think about this in a very significant way in my own home state because we know that some of those container ships laden with cocaine, when they leave the Dominican Republic, where do they sail to? Well they very often end up in the Port of Newark and Elizabeth which is the mega-port of the East Coast in my home state of New Jersey,” he said in a December 2011 hearing. His interest has drawn public scrutiny since federal agents recently searched the Florida offices of his largest campaign contributor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, who in August 2011 had purchased a company with a contract to provide increased security at Dominican ports. The 10-year contract, valued at $500 million, was signed in 2002 but suspended two years later by the Dominican government and is tied up in the courts. Menendez’s staff has acknowledged he talked to the State Department and other federal officials about the port deal, and said that’s not unusual because he has regularly raised concerns if American companies are not being treated fairly in foreign countries. “The fact that someone is a donor does not do away with the right or the opportunity to consider whether something is correct or incorrect, to ask questions, raise concerns,” Menendez

Robert Menendez said Thursday in an interview with the Spanish-language television network Univision. Separately, the senator said on Thursday that his office contacted U.S. health agencies to help resolve a Medicare billing dispute for Melgen, but contended he did not improperly intervene. He earlier acknowledged that he had failed to pay for trips he took on the doctor’s private plane and reimbursed about $58,500 for the visits to the Dominican Republic. The port security contract already was controversial in the Dominican Republic. The American Chamber of Commerce and others there have warned it would increase the cost of shipping and cause cargo delays that would make the country less competitive. Critics have complained that Melgen’s company, ICSSI, had no experience in port security.

St. Vincent PM wants meeting with T&T on fuel subsidy issue

Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says he wants to engage in discussions, not a fight, with Trinidad and Tobago over the fuel subsidy Port of Spain provides to its national carrier, Caribbean Airlines (CAL). Gonsalves said he has now received a legal opinion on the matter is now seeking the talks with the Kamla Persad Bissessar led coalition People’s Partnership

administration. Gonsalves contends that the fuel subsidy given to CAL contravenes the treaty governing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to which both countries belong. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica are the main shareholders of the regional airline, LIAT, and Gonsalves, who is chair of LIAT shareholder governments, said the legal opinion supports his view that the subsidy contravenes the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. LIAT has in the past complained that it is put at a disadvantage because of the fuel subsidy provided to CAL. “I just want to say that I have received a confidential legal opinion concerning the fuel subsidy that is provided by the government of

Trinidad and Tobago so we can have an informed discussion on this. “Not a fight, but to have an informed discussion on this question, where you are having a subsidy being provided for CAL, which we have always said out of the shareholders of LIAT and within the rest of CARICOM, that that subsidy is not in accordance with the multilateral air services agreement on the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. “And, my own views on those matters, which I have expressed publicly, have in fact been confirmed by this legal opinion and we have to take this discussion forward,” Gonsalves told a press conference. “As I say, not in any antagonistic manner, but in a cooperative manner with the government of Trinidad and Tobago,” Gonsalves said.

Teddy Heinsen, president of the Shipping Association of the Dominican Republic, said port security measures such as cargo scanners should be in the hands of government agencies, not a private company that he says lacks the expertise. “We are all going to pay for some Xrays that in reality won’t achieve what is promised,” he said. Meanwhile, the flow of drugs through the Dominican Republic has been on the rise, part of a wider surge of smuggling through the Caribbean as traffickers apparently attempt to evade multinational efforts off Central America and along the U.S.-Mexico border, say U.S. and Dominican officials. The Caribbean in the 1980s was the main smuggling route to the U.S. mainland, but the path shifted west to Mexico in recent years. In 2010, according to statistics provided by the DEA, the Caribbean made up about 5 percent of the cocaine reaching the United States. Over the past year, that has climbed to 8 percent and may

reach 10 percent this year, Janer said. A U.S. military assessment projects that about 6 percent of the cocaine destined for the U.S. this year will pass through the Dominican Republic alone. “It’s going to be a huge year. ... The seizures we’ve had so far corroborate the forecast,” he said. Dominican authorities say the increased seizures are one of a number of signs of progress against drug trafficking. Rolando Rosadao, director of the National Drug Control Agency, says the apparent elimination of clandestine drug flights is another. Nearly 200 smuggling planes from Venezuela and Colombia managed to land in 2007; last year, not one touched down thanks to the aerial surveillance provided by the U.S. and the acquisition of military aircraft from Brazil, he said. Port security is a longstanding problem. A Spanish citizen arrested in Spain in March 2010, Arturo del Tiempo, was accused of smuggling 8 tons of cocaine

to Spain in cargo ships, and is still awaiting trial there. Daniel Foote, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy, said in a speech Tuesday to the Shipping Association that it remains a concern. The two Dominican ports that account for nearly all of the shipping to the U.S. are Haina and Caucedo. But only Caucedo has a container cargo scanner to help U.S. and Dominican agents search for contraband as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s global Container Security Initiative. Foote said that given the budget problems in the U.S., it is unlikely that the CSI program will be expanded to Haina, but that the U.S. wants to work with the Dominican government to improve security at the port and is looking at measures such as training dogs capable of detecting drugs, cash and explosives. Asked about the ICSSI contract at a speech, he declined to answer, saying the government does not get involved in contractual disputes.

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Opposition slams Chavez allies over Venezuelan devaluation CARACAS (Reuters) Opposition leaders derided another currency devaluation by President Hugo Chavez’s government as evidence of economic incompetence, while some anxious Venezuelans packed stores in fear of price increases. Though unseen in public since cancer surgery two months ago in Cuba, government ministers said Chavez personally ordered the fifth devaluation of the bolivar in a decade of socialist economics in the OPEC nation - this time by 32 percent. “The Maduro-Cabello duo are finishing off our Venezuela, we must not allow it!” said opposition leader Henrique Capriles, accusing Vice President Nicolas Maduro and Congress head Diosdado Cabello of squandering revenue from high oil prices. “They spent the money on (election) campaigning, corruption and gifts abroad. What a lying government!” Capriles said on Twitter. The measure was announced before a four-day weekend for Venezuela’s Carnival holiday to minimize

political or market repercussions. It had been widely forecast by economists as a way of redressing distortions including a black market rate for dollars at four times the old official level of 4.3 bolivars. Raising the rate to 6.3 bolivars will boost state finances by providing more local currency for each dollar of oil export revenue. But it also hikes prices for imports crucial to the oildependent economy, potentially fueling inflation though the state will seek to brake that using price controls. Maduro, who is Chavez’s preferred successor should his cancer force a new presidential election, said the move was needed to optimize revenues, including to fund flagship social programs that are wildly popular among Venezuela’s poor. He said the devaluation was also a response to attacks on the bolivar by capitalist “speculators,” adding that more economic measures would be announced in the days ahead, in line with Chavez’s instructions to

ministers who visited Havana. “Our commanderpresident has decided them with full consciousness and clarity ... to guarantee economic growth and diversification this year,” Maduro said. “We will push ahead with the perfect plan for the people’s victory.” Critics, however, flooded Twitter with mocking references to a “red package,” or socialist version, of an oldstyle International Monetary Fund economic package hated in global leftist circles. “The devaluation is not due to the crisis of global capitalism. It’s due to the government’s irresponsibility and worrying incoherence,” said Ramon Aveledo, head of the opposition Democratic Unity coalition. On Wall Street, analysts praised the move as necessary - albeit overdue given the impact on state finances of heavy spending during Chavez’s re-election campaign last year, and the soaring black market rate for the dollar. Some calculated it would generate extra revenues

equivalent to more than 3 percent of GDP. “It is a positive development,” said Goldman Sachs’ Alberto Ramos. “Clearly, the economic and financial cost of waiting outweighed the political cost of the unpopular move to devalue.” The illegal rate jumped again, according to websites, immediately after the announcement. Publishing that rate is illegal in Venezuela. Some analysts predicted the government would be obliged to devalue again soon. On the streets of Caracas, ideological sparring and complicated economic calculations gave way to anxiety at the prospect of yet more price rises in an economy that for decades has suffered one of the world’s highest inflation rates. Already packing stores due to shortages of some goods, some shoppers began buying even more before prices rose. “Things are going to cost more in a week. That’s why I’ve got all this,” said bank teller Elizabeth Gonzalez, 27, nodding at her trolley stuffed with groceries, bottled water, flour and cooking oil at a busy supermarket in an upmarket area. Downtown in the emblematic Bolivar Square

Jorge Giordani

named for Venezuela’s independence hero, and the president’s idol, Simon Bolivar, 55-year-old Chavez supporter Omaira Fermin said she trusted the government to help the people. “Salaries will rise thanks to President Chavez,” she said. “There’s a global financial crisis. Of course, Venezuela can’t be immune to that. The problem is capitalism.” Officials have been at pains to stress that Chavez is still driving policy from his hospital in Cuba, despite Venezuelans having heard nothing from him since his December 11 operation. They say he is improving after his fourth surgery for a cancer first diagnosed in his

pelvic area in mid-2011. But there is no word on any homecoming date yet. Many Venezuelans suspect he will not be able to return to active rule. Devaluations generally make a nation’s exporters more competitive by lowering the cost of production. But critics say the move is unlikely to contribute to a significant expansion of domestic industry because of the government’s battle with the private sector, extensive price controls and sometimes u n c o m p e n s a t e d expropriations. Venezuela’s heavilytraded bonds are likely to rise on the devaluation, given the healthier picture for state coffers.

Jamaica’s PM and Minister of Finance to address nation on IMF discussions KINGSTON, Jamaica CMC – Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Finance Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips are to address Jamaicans in a joint radio and television broadcast tomorrow. A government statement said that Prime Minister Simpson Miller and her finance minister “will update the nation on the status of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) negotiations. They will also outline Jamaica’s economic programme and the reform measures”. The statement said the broadcast at 9.00 pm (local time) was originally scheduled for today but had been changed to coordinate the broadcast times with media houses. The broadcast follows the visit of the IMF staff mission to Jamaica last week, for further talks towards concluding a new agreement with the Government. The IMF team, which is due to leave here on February

Portia Simpson Miller and Dr. Peter Phillips 15, is being led by the Fund’s mission chief for Jamaica, JanKees Martijn. The statement said the government “is finalising a submission for approval of a four-year extended fund facility following the completion of prior actions to be agreed on”. Jamaica has been without an IMF agreement for almost 20 months. The former government resumed a borrowing relationship with the IMF in 2010 but was unable to meet several of the

targets under the Stand-by Agreement (SBA) and in July last year, Phillips indicated that the Simpson Miller government intended to renegotiate the US$1.47 billion agreement with the IMF which had expired in May last year. The government says the new deal with the IMF is necessary to shore up the island’s balance of payments position and provide access to other multilateral sources of funds that usually take their cue from the fund’s vaunted seal of approval.

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Jamaica hopes to benefit significantly from cultivating sorghum Jamaica Observer Jamaican manufacturers of some key items are likely to have their profit margins squeezed by higher duties in the Canadian export market, if CARICOM fails to reach a new trade agreement with the North American country before year end. Pepper sauce and rum exports top the list of goods that would potentially be under threat if negotiations are not completed in time to avert a World Trade Organisation (WTO) challenge of the existing Caribbean-Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN), a preferential arrangement under which most regional items enjoy duty-free access to the Canadian market, but which the WTO has ruled as unfair. Canada is the second biggest market for Jamaica’s food exports, behind the United States. Jamaican exports to the country stood at Cdn$274.1 million (J$25.9 billion) in 2011. But if a new trade agreement doesn’t come into effect for January 1, 2014, and Canada is forced to charge duties, it could be harmful to some of the nation’s most valuable export products to that market, says Lincoln Price, private sector liaison at the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) of the CARICOM Secretariat. “The current trade negotiations are designed to ensure that exporters that depend on the CARIBCAN for duty preferences into Canada, such as Jamaican rum companies, aerated beverages and pepper sauce companies, have stable dutyfree market access into Canada,” Price told Caribbean Business Report. Jamaican rum exports generated US$11 million (J$1 billion) in export sales in 2011, while pepper sauces earned

US$1.5 million. Without a trade agreement, if Canada is forced to charge duties, it would add another 25c/litre to market access costs for rum and 9.5 per cent to the market access cost for Jamaican pepper sauces, said the OTN technocrat. Canada is among GraceKennedy Limited’s top five markets for exports from Jamaica, and hot sauces represent 25 per cent of the conglomerate’s sales from Jamaica to the North American country, according to GraceKennedy group CEO Don Wehby. Additionally, he said Grace is planning to expand its revenue through new markets in Canada such as the west coast. “It is therefore very important that an agreement is reached,” declared Wehby. “We need to ensure that the timelines are met as any delay would put our products in a disadvantageous position,” he said. The Canadian market is an extremely important one for rum-maker J Wray & Nephew (JWN), producer of the Appleton Estate and Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum brands. “Our products are exported to 68 countries, and our Appleton Estate brand is the number one gold rum sold in Canada. Sales to this country represent our single largest export market, which is larger than Jamaica and we believe there is significant room for further market penetration in Canada,” said Greta Bogues, general manager of JWN’s Corporate Affairs Division. “We therefore consider a successful resolution to the negotiations critical and anticipate that the final decisions will redound to the benefit of all Jamaican manufacturers and exporters

to Canada, including J Wray & Nephew Limited, its subsidiaries, and associated companies,” she added. On the flip side, a new trading arrangement with Canada could open valuable opportunities for Jamaican exporters, including those behind products that currently attract tariffs. “The negotiations objective is to target those tariffs and remove them so that exporting is cheaper for those sectors,” said Price. Among the local products that could benefit are nonalcoholic beverages, which despite being charged 128 per cent duties, generated almost US$900,000 in export sales in 2011, and communion wafers which earned US$1 million in the face of 4.4 per cent duties. Jamaican manufacturer Wisynco, a leader in the nonalcoholic beverage industry, has embarked on an aggressive export thrust for brands such as Wata, Cran Wata and Boom. The company does not have a huge presence in Canada but has targeted the country as a potential growth area, said Wisynco Export Manager, Stephen Dawkins. “Canada has a fair size Diaspora and it is a market that we certainly can make some inroads in,” said Dawkins. Other local exports to Canada under tariffs include sweet biscuits (2.7 per cent tariffs); processed or tin cheese (245.5 per cent tariffsplus a dairy licence requirement); other food preparations, including powdered mixes, vegetable preparations and flavoured extracts/essences (96 per cent tariffs); malt extract with less than 10 per cent cocoa (106 per cent); and knitted t-shirts of cotton (18 per cent). CARICOM have completed four rounds of

Gang “sends message “by killing three family members PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - CMC – Police believe gang warfare may be responsible for the deaths of a 39 year-old father and his two sons, in the volatile Laventille area, along the east-west corridor on Friday. Hospital authorities confirmed that 16-year-old Shaquille Melville died at the Port of Spain General Hospital late Friday. His father Kerwyn Melville and 13-year-old

brother, Jahleel, had also been shot multiple times and died at the scene. Police believe that the trio were shot and killed by two unidentified gunmen so that a message would be sent to a particular gang member who is related to them. Jahleel was a Form One student at Success/Laventille Secondary School, while his elder brother was a Form Three student at the Russell

Latapy High School in Morvant. “Right now we are at a loss as to why something like this happened to this family,” said one relative, noting that earlier this week a funeral was held for another relative, Augustine Daniel, 25, who was gunned down near his Eastern Quarry, Laventille on January 30. So far this year 43 people have been murdered in Trinidad and Tobago.

negotiations with Canada and are now at the stage where lists of goods, services and investment interests are being negotiated. For JWN, the inclusion of services in the negotiations can provide for the improvement of market access. “JWN is particularly interested in improving the access of agribusiness sector and tourism services, which should enable us to further enhance our capacity to produce and export,” said Bogues. The WTO has ruled that preferential agreements such as CARIBCAN are unfair, stipulating that trading arrangements must have an element of reciprocity that provide for the duty preference. A waiver allowing CARIBCAN to continue unchallenged expires at the end of the year. Canada is one of the few countries with which Jamaica has maintained a trade surplus with over the years. Canada’s exports to Jamaica in 2011 was Cdn$112.1 million and were mostly meats, electrical and other machinery, fish, pharmaceutical products, cereals, paper and paper board and plastics, according to data from the Canadian High Commission in Jamaica. But in the new trade arrangement, the Canadians are seeking a significant amount of reciprocity, said Dr Andre Gordon, past president of the Jamaica Exporters’ Association. “They now want access to our market; under CARIBCAN it has been

Don Wehby

Greta Bogues

mainly one way,” he said. What’s more, Gordon said the Canadians are looking at a lot of specifics in certain areas, including compliance with their own food safety regulations. However, Gordon expressed concern that members of the private sector are not as involved as they should in the consultations. “The truth is that I am not sure that the private sector is as engaged as it should be in these discussions,” said Gordon. “A lot of the negotiations are taking place between Government people and Canadians; the private sector that stands to benefit is really not very engaged,” he said. While admitting that there have been constraints on the national level, Price said the CARICOM office has pushed hard to incorporate the private sector in the negotiations. He said 100 business interests across the region were flown to Canada to get a first-hand view of the industry there and engage in round-table discussions, from which they made a set of recommendations that have been taken into consideration during the negotiations. Furthermore, he said the

organization has a cloudbased platform available for regional firms at Team Lab, where they can play a more interactive role in the process. “What we want the private sector to do is use the platform that we have created because it gives them direct access,” said Price. “The OTN is available to provide further information, however the first contact should be either their private sector advocate, or the trade ministry.” He said the OTN office in Kingston is prepared to engage firms on a one and one basis through boardroom presentations. Both Grace and JWN said they are well informed on the process. But JWN’s Bogues expressed concerns over the pace at which the negotiations are proceeding. “After numerous rounds of negotiations and a twoyear extension which will expire December 31, 2013, we are not yet close to completion and the Agreement requires ratification ahead of the deadline. The alternative would be an erosion of the benefits achieved so far,” she said.

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OBAMA TO REFOCUS ON ECONOMY IN STATE OF THE UNION WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will focus his State of the Union address on boosting job creation and economic growth at a time of high unemployment, underscoring the degree to which the economy could threaten his ability to pursue second-term priorities such as gun control, immigration policy and climate change. Obama also may use Tuesday’s prime-time address before a joint session of Congress to announce the next steps for concluding the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Obama’s State of the Union marks his second highprofile speech to the nation in about three weeks, after his inaugural address Jan. 21 that opened his second term. White House aides see the two speeches as complementary, with Tuesday’s address aimed at providing specifics to back up some of the Inauguration Day’s lofty liberal rhetoric. The president previewed the address during a meeting Thursday with House Democrats and said he would

speak “about making sure that we’re focused on job creation here in the United States of America.” Obama said he would try to accomplish that by calling for improvements in education, boosting clean energy production, and reducing the deficit in ways that don’t burden the middle class, the poor or the elderly. While those priorities may be cheered by some Democrats, they’re certain to be met with skepticism or outright opposition from many congressional Republicans, especially in the GOP-controlled House. The parties are at odds over ways to reduce the deficit. Republicans favor spending cuts; Obama prefers a combination of spending cuts and increasing tax revenue. The president said he would address taxes and looming across-the-board budget cuts, known as the sequester, in the speech. The White House and Congress have pushed back the automatic cuts once, and Obama wants to do it again in order to create an opening for

Barack Obama

a larger deficit reduction deal. “I am prepared, eager and anxious to do a big deal, a big package that ends this governance by crisis where every two weeks or every two months or every six months we are threatening this hardwon recovery,” he said last week. The economy has rebounded significantly from the depths of the recession and has taken a back seat for Obama since he won reelection in November. He’s instead focused on campaigns to overhaul the nation’s patchwork immigration laws and enact

stricter gun control measures following the massacre of 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., in December. The president also raised expectations for action this year on climate change after devoting a significant amount of time to the issue in his address at the inauguration. But the unemployment rate is persistently high at 7.9

percent, economic growth slowed last quarter and consumer confidence is falling, so the economy could upend Obama’s plans to pursue a broader domestic agenda in his final four years in office. Tony Fratto, who worked in the White House during President George W. Bush’s second term, said Obama has to show the public that he’s still focused on the economy before he can get their full support for his other proposals. “We’re not in a position where he can blame anybody else for the economy now,” Fratto said, “Now it’s his economy.” Obama is expected to use his address to press lawmakers to back his immigration overhaul, which includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants, and his

gun control proposals, including universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. Voting rights groups expect the president to call for changes that would make it easier for people to vote. “I think it’s important to be able to do more than one thing at a time,” said David Axelrod, who served as senior adviser in the White House and Obama’s reelection campaign. “But the economy is an ongoing and significant challenge that you have to keep working on.” While the centerpiece of Obama’s address is expected to be his domestic agenda, the president sees a chance to outline the next steps in bringing the protracted war in Afghanistan to an end. He’s facing two pressing decisions: the size and scope of the U.S. military presence (Continued on page 35)

Tunisian Islamists rally to show “power of street” TUNIS (Reuters) Thousands of Islamists marched in Tunis yesterday in a show of strength, a day after the funeral of an assassinated secular politician drew the biggest crowds seen on the streets since Tunisia’s uprising two years ago. About 6,000 supporters of the ruling Ennahda movement rallied to back their leader Rachid al-Ghannouchi, who was the target of angry slogans raised by mourners at Friday’s mass funeral of Chokri Belaid, a rights lawyer and opposition leader. “The people want Ennahda again,” the Islamists chanted, waving Tunisian and party flags as they marched towards the Interior Ministry on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in the city centre. The demonstration was dwarfed by the tens of thousands who had turned out in Tunis and other cities to honor Belaid and to protest against the Islamist-led government the day before, shouting slogans that included “We want a new revolution”. Belaid’s killing by an unidentified gunman on Wednesday, Tunisia’s first such political assassination in decades, has shaken a nation still seeking stability after the overthrow of veteran strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. The family of the slain politician has accused Ennahda of responsibility for his killing. The party denies any hand in it.

“We are here to support legitimacy, but if you prefer the power of the street, look at the streets today, we have this power,” Lotfi Zitoun, an Ennahda leader, said in a speech to the Islamist demonstrators in Tunis. Tunisia’s political transition has been more peaceful than those in other Arab nations such as Egypt, Libya and Syria, but tensions are running high between Islamists elected to power and liberals who fear the loss of hard-won liberties. “We have gained things the freedom of expression, the freedom to meet, to form organizations, parties, to work in the open,” said Radhi Nasraoui, a veteran human rights campaigner. “The problem is that these freedoms are still threatened, and there are attempts (by Islamists) to touch the gains of women,” she told Reuters. After Belaid’s death, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali promised to form a nonpartisan, technocratic cabinet to run the country until an election could take place, despite complaints from within his own Ennahda party and its two junior nonIslamist coalition partners that he had failed to consult them. Jebali told France 24 television on Saturday that he would resign if political parties refused to support his proposal, which he said was intended to “save the country from chaos”. The state news agency TAP said the prime minister

would unveil his new government next week. Secular groups have accused the Islamist-led government of a lax response to attacks by ultra-orthodox Salafi Islamists on cinemas, theatres, bars and individuals in recent months. Prolonged political uncertainty and street unrest could damage an economy that relies on tourism. Unemployment and other economic grievances fuelled the revolt against Ben Ali in 2011. Tunisia’s stock exchange has fallen 3.32 percent since Belaid’s assassination. France, the former colonial power, ordered its schools in Tunis to stay closed on Friday and Saturday, warning its nationals to stay clear of potential flashpoints in the capital. Some of the Islamist demonstrators shouted “France, out”, in response to remarks by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls which were rejected by Jebali, the prime minister, on Friday. “We must support all those who fight to maintain values and remain aware of the dangers of despotism, of Islamism that threatened those values today through obscurantism,” Valls had said on Europe 1 radio on Thursday in comments on Tunisia. “There is an Islamic fascism which is on the rise in many places.” Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem described Valls’s remarks as “worrying and unfriendly”.

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Israel’s Lieberman says Palestinian peace accord impossible (Reuters) - Israel has no chance of signing a permanent peace accord with the Palestinians and should instead seek a long-term interim deal, the most powerful political partner of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday. The remarks by Avigdor Lieberman, an ultranationalist whose joint party list with Netanyahu narrowly won a January 22 election while centrist challengers made surprise gains, seemed designed to dampen expectations at home and abroad of fresh peacemaking. A spring visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories by U.S. President Barack Obama, announced this week, has stirred speculation that foreign pressure for a diplomatic breakthrough could build - though Washington played down that possibility. In a television interview, ex-foreign minister Lieberman linked the more than two-yearold impasse to pan-Arab political upheaval that has

boosted Islamists hostile to the Jewish state. These include Hamas, rivals of U.S.-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who control the Gaza Strip and spurn coexistence with Israel though they have mooted extended truces. “Anyone who thinks that in the centre of this sociodiplomatic ocean, this tsunami which is jarring the Arab world, it is possible to arrive at the magic solution of a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians does not understand,” Lieberman told Israel’s Channel Two. “This is impossible. It is not possible to solve the conflict here. The conflict can be managed and it is important to manage the conflict ... to negotiate on a long-term interim agreement.” Abbas broke off talks in late 2010 in protest at Israel’s settlement of the occupied West Bank. He angered Israel and the United States in November by securing a U.N. status upgrade that implicitly recognised Palestinian

independence in all the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Israel insists it will keep East Jerusalem and swathes of West Bank settlements under any eventual peace deal. Most world powers consider the settlements illegal because they take up land seized in the 1967 Middle East war. Lieberman, himself a West Bank settler, said the ball was “in Abu Mazen’s (Abbas’) court” to revive diplomacy. Abbas has demanded Israel first freeze all settlement construction. With two decades gone since Palestinians signed their first interim deal with Israel, he has ruled out any new negotiations that do not solemnise Palestinian statehood. Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev noted that Lieberman, in the Channel Two interview, had said he was expressing his own opinion. Asked how Netanyahu saw peace prospects for an accord with the Palestinians,

Spanish PM publishes tax returns amid kickbacks scandal

Mariano Rajoy MADRID (Reuters) Spain’s prime minister published his tax returns yesterday in a bid to quell reports he and other conservative politicians received secret cash payments but the opposition said many questions remain unanswered. The government’s website posted tax authority documents detailing Mariano Rajoy’s income and tax payments from the past ten years. His ruling People’s Party (PP) also revealed four years of financial accounts on Friday, in another attempt to put the matter to rest. The scandal, centered on ledgers supposedly made by a former party treasurer, have cut support for the PP to the lowest level on record and pushed up borrowing costs just as it seemed Spain was getting to grips with a financial crisis that had raised questions about the future of

the euro zone. Former PP treasurer Luis Barcenas has described as fake handwritten ledger entries published on January 31 by El Pais newspaper purporting to show payments funded by construction firms made to PP leaders including Rajoy. Rajoy has said the payments were not made and that the party is organizing an external audit into the affair. The opposition Socialists said the published accounts of Rajoy and the PP did nothing to explain the Barcenas papers. Socialist spokeswoman Soraya Rodriguez said Spaniards wanted more than Rajoy’s tax records. “Spaniards are fed up of waiting for answers that never come,” she told journalists in Valladolid yesterday. Cayo Lara of the United Left party said the publication of the accounts was meaningless as members of parliament have to declare their assets in any case. The tax returns do not cover the first half of the period of entries in the ledgers published by El Pais, which run from 1990 to 2009. In the last year of detailed returns published, for 2011, Rajoy earned more 400,000 euros before tax. He paid 870,292 euros in tax over the period covered by the published accounts. His

parliamentary salary was supplemented by investments in public debt and real estate, the government said. Support for the PP fell to 24 percent in a Metroscopia poll published on February 3, the lowest on record and barely more than half the support the party received when it won a landslide election victory in late 2011. Spain, the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy, has been at the centre of concerns about the future of the euro currency and was pushed to the brink of following Greece, Ireland and Portugal in asking for an international bail-out. A pledge by the European Central Bank to act as a backstop for bets against peripheral euro zone countries has reduced borrowing costs, but Spain is still struggling with a deep recession and unemployment of 26 percent. The yield on Spain’s 10year government bonds rose to almost 5.5 percent on February 6, up from 5.2 percent on January 30, the day before El Pais published the alleged accounts. Fitch affirmed Spain’s investment grade rating on Friday but warned that it could still downgrade the country’s sovereign bonds in coming months on worries about the economy and public debt levels.

Avigdor Lieberman, left, with Binyamin Netanyahu Regev referred to a speech on Tuesday in which the conservative prime minister said that Israel, while addressing threats by its enemies, “must also pursue secure, stable and realistic peace with our neighbours”. Netanyahu has previously spoken in favour of a Palestinian state, though he has been cagey on its borders and whether he would be prepared to dismantle Israeli settlements. Lieberman’s role in the

next coalition government is unclear as he faces trial for corruption. If convicted, he could be barred from the cabinet. Lieberman denies

wrongdoing and has said he would like to regain the foreign portfolio, which he surrendered after his indictment was announced last year.

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India hangs man for 2001 attack on Parliament NEW DELHI (AP) — A Kashmiri man convicted in a 2001 attack on India’s Parliament that left 14 people dead was hanged yesterday after a final mercy plea was rejected, a senior Indian Home Ministry official said. Home Secretary R.K. Singh told reporters that Mohammed Afzal Guru was executed early yesterday morning at New Delhi’s Tihar prison. “It was the law taking its course,” Singh said. Guru was given a Muslim burial in the prison compound, Press Trust of India news agency reported. His family in the India’s Jammu-Kashmir state has demanded that his body be handed over, but that seems unlikely given the highly sensitive nature of the execution. Guru had been on death row since first being convicted in 2002. Subsequent appeals in higher courts were also rejected, and India’s Supreme Court set an execution date for October 2006. But his execution was delayed after his wife filed a mercy petition with India’s president. That petition, the last step in the judicial process, was turned down earlier this week. Several rights groups across India and political groups in Indian Kashmir have said that Guru did not get a fair trial. “Serious questions have been raised about the fairness of Afzal Guru’s trial,” Shashikumar Velath, Amnesty International India’s programs director, said in a statement. “He did not receive legal representation of his choice or a lawyer with adequate experience at the trial stage. These concerns were not addressed.” Protests broke out

yesterday in at least four parts of Indian Kashmir, including the northwestern town of Sopore, which was Guru’s home. Scores of protesters chanting slogans including “We want freedom” and “Down with India” defied a curfew and clashed with police and paramilitary troops, who opened fire. Four protesters sustained bullet wounds and one of them was in critical condition, a senior police officer said on customary condition of anonymity. Thousands of police and paramilitary troops fanned out across the state preparing for more protests and violence following the announcement of the execution. A curfew was also imposed in most parts of Indian Kashmir, and cable television channels were cut off in the region. About 30 Kashmiri students and anti-death penalty activists clashed with Indian police and right-wing Hindu groups in New Delhi. Most of the protesters were detained by the police. Police in Indian Kashmir yesterday also detained several leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella organization of separatist political and religious groups, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to reporters. The group called for four days mourning in the disputed region and called Guru’s hanging “an attack on the collective conscience of the Kashmiri people.” “We appeal to the people to rise in one voice and protest this aggressive act so that it’s known to everyone that even if the heads of Kashmiris are cut, they’ll never bow under any

circumstances,” the group said in a statement. The statement said that Indian Kashmir’s chief cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who also heads the separatist alliance, was detained in New Delhi and not allowed to travel to Srinagar, the main city of Indian Kashmir. Another top separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani, was also detained in the Indian capital, according to news reports. When Guru’s death sentence was handed down by India’s Supreme Court it sparked protests in Kashmir, and the state government has warned that his execution could destabilize the volatile Himalayan region. Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Muslim-majority Kashmir, which is divided between Hindu-dominated India and Muslim-majority Pakistan but is claimed by both nations. There were a few small protests against the execution in different parts of Pakistan on Saturday, none larger than about 100 people. Jamaat-ud-Dawa, believed to be a front for the anti-India militant group Lashkar-eTaiba, organized a rally of about 100 people in the southern port city of Karachi and another roughly half that size in the capital, Islamabad. About 100 people protested in the main city of Pakistanheld Kashmir, Muzaffarabad. The protesters held banners and chanted slogans condemning India. Since 1989, an armed uprising in Indian-controlled Kashmir and an ensuing crackdown have killed an estimated 68,000 people, mostly civilians. The secrecy in which Guru’s execution was carried out was similar to the execution in November of

Kashmiri man accused in the parliament attack Mohammed Afzal Guru, second right. (AP Photo/Aman Sharma, File) Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Kasab was also buried in the western Indian prison where he was hanged. On Dec. 13, 2001, five gunmen entered the compound of India’s Parliament and opened fire. A gunbattle with security officers ensued and 14 people, including the gunmen, were killed. India blamed the Pakistan-based militant groups Lashkar-eTaiba and Jaish-e-

Mohammed. The attack led to heightened tensions between India and its neighbor and archrival Pakistan and brought the neighbors to the brink of war, but tensions eased after intense diplomatic pressure from the international community and a promise by then-Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to clamp down on the militants. Guru confessed in TV interviews that he helped plot the attack, but later denied

any involvement and said he was tortured into confessing. Government prosecutors said that Guru was a member of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a charge Guru denied. Guru’s family said it had not been told that he was about to be executed. “Indian government has yet again functioned like a fascist state and hanged him secretly,” said Yasin Guru, a relative who lives in the family’s compound in Sopore. “They did not have the courtesy to inform his family.”

Chinese give Year of the Snake a raucous, colorful welcome BEIJING (Reuters) Chinese welcomed the arrival of the Year of the Snake with raucous celebrations yesterday, setting off a cacophony of firecrackers in the streets and sending fireworks blazing into the sky to bring good fortune. Celebrations carry on into the early hours of today, officially the first day of the Lunar New Year. Residents of Beijing braved freezing temperatures to let off brightly colored fireworks, with clouds of smoke in the air, red wrappings from firecrackers covering streets and explosions rattling windows. A plea by the government to set off fewer fireworks to help deal with Beijing’s notorious air pollution seemed to fall on deaf ears. “Every year we set off fireworks and this year will be no different,” said Lao Guo, 45, a convenience store worker. “People won’t not set them off because of pollution. It’s the custom.”

Firecrackers are believed to scare off evil spirits and entice the god of wealth to people’s doorsteps once New Year’s Day arrives. China’s cosmopolitan business hub, Shanghai, saw similar scenes, though not everyone had reason for cheer. “Business now is very weak. It’s related to the financial crisis,” said Chen Yongliang, who used to run a street stall. “The U.S. and other major countries have seen their economies slide and we’ve gone with them.” Maintaining a tradition of leaders visiting ordinary folk at this time of year, Communist Party chief Xi Jinping, who takes over as president in March from Hu Jintao, met subway construction workers in Beijing ahead of the weeklong holiday. “Migrant workers have been the labor force behind China’s reform and opening up ... so we must look after you properly,” Xi said in comments carried on state

television. “I hope the construction firm has organized some new year entertainment for you so you can have a happy holiday,” added Xi, who has tried to cultivate an easygoing, man-of-the-people image since becoming party boss in November. People born in the year of the snake, including Xi, are believed to be thoughtful and stylish yet complex characters. Practitioners of the ancient art of feng shui say the year ahead will see financial markets slither higher as optimism grows, though the risk of disasters and territorial disputes in Asia also looms. The lunar new year is marked by the largest annual mass migration on earth, as hundreds of millions of migrant workers pack trains, buses, aircraft and boats to spend the festival with their families. For many Chinese people, this is their only holiday of the year.

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Merkel confidante resigns in German plagiarism scandal

Annette Schavan BERLIN (Reuters) Germany’s education minister resigned yesterday after being stripped of her doctorate for plagiarism, embarrassing Chancellor Angela Merkel and depriving her of a close ally in the runup to a September election. Annette Schavan quit four days after the University of Duesseldorf ruled she had “systematically and intentionally” copied parts of her thesis, and withdrew the Ph.D it had granted her more than 30 years ago. It was the second time in two years that Merkel had lost a cabinet minister in a

scandal over academic cheating. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned as defense minister in 2011 after being exposed for plagiarizing his thesis - behavior that Schavan condemned at the time as ‘shameful’. The chancellor, who rarely displays her emotions, turned to offer Schavan a consoling smile at a joint news conference where she told reporters: “I accepted this resignation with a very heavy heart.” Schavan’s departure is unlikely to weaken Merkel’s chances to win a third term in elections on September 22. Her Christian Democrats regularly poll above 40 percent, giving them an easy lead over the main opposition Social Democrats. But losing her key confidante is still a blow to the German leader, and forces her to make her fifth cabinet change of the current fouryear term by bringing in Johanna Wanka, a former education minister in two German states, to replace Schavan. Andrea Nahles, general

secretary of the main opposition Social Democrats, said the government was “at its end”. Juergen Trittin, parliamentary leader of the opposition Greens, said Merkel had made a “glaring false start” to the year, with defeat in an important regional election and a budget row over a planned new train station in Stuttgart. As Schavan was education minister, the charges were a direct threat to her credibility and, had she not resigned, would have threatened to overshadow M e r k e l ’s election campaign. She said their friendship would last and reiterated she would fight the university’s annulment of her doctorate, a distinction which carries prestige in German business and politics as well as in academic circles. Losing it means Schavan is left without any academic title as her degree led directly to a doctorate, not a bachelor or master’s. “I will not accept the decision and will take legal action against it,” Schavan

told reporters. “When an (education) minister sues a university, then that comes with strains, for my office, for the ministry, the government and for the Christian Democrats. I want to avoid just that.” Since Guttenberg stepped

down two years ago, other German politicians have also lost their academic titles as a group of anonymous Internet activists took to examining doctoral dissertations on websites in search of plagiarism. Merkel has survived a

range of high-profile resignations without sustaining lasting damage. Early last year, disgraced president Christian Wulff, whom she had hand-picked for the job, stepped down over his financial ties with a wealthy businessman.

Obama to refocus on economy... From page 32 in Afghanistan after the war formally ends late next year, and the next phase of the troop drawdown this year. More than 60,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan. The president could update the public on cuts to the number of U.S. nuclear weapons, a priority for his administration. Vice President Joe Biden recently told a security conference in Germany that Obama probably would use the State of the Union to discuss “advancing a comprehensive nuclear agenda to strengthen the nonproliferation regime, reduce global stockpiles and secure nuclear materials.”

White House allies are nudging Obama’s team to move forward on a plan to expand education for children before they enter kindergarten. They are reminding Obama’s political aides that female voters gave the president a second term, serving up a 10-point gender gap. Obama carried 55 percent of female voters, many of whom are looking to the White House for their reward. While groups such as Latinos and gays have seen policy initiatives since Election Day, women’s groups have not received the same kinds of rollouts.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising Republican star and potential 2016 presidential candidate, will deliver the GOP response following Obama’s address to Congress. The president will follow up his speech with trips across the country to promote his calls for job creation. Stops are planned Wednesday in Asheville, N.C., and Thursday in Atlanta. Obama’s speechwriters started working on Tuesday’s address shortly after the November election. The process is being led for the first time by Cody Keenan, who is taking over as the president’s chief speechwriter.

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Dead: Tirtawattie Shoandeo A Whim, Corentyne family says that it was frantically searching for porters to power-up the New Amsterdam Hospital’s generator after a blackout hit the facility during a crucial surgery of their relative. The family members claimed that the doctors rushed out of surgery looking for torchlights, rushed back in with a cell phone with torchlight; and the porter was never found. Power was restored an hour later. In the end, Tirtawattie Shoandeo, 47, was pronounced dead. GANJA-SMOKING SOLDIERS CHARGED FOLLOWING RAID ON MINING CAMP An officer and four other ranks of the Guyana Defence Force have been detained in relation to their alleged involvement in criminal conduct, reportedly committed in the Cuyuni mining district recently. This was disclosed in a GDF press release following a visit to the area by Chief of Staff Commodore Gary Best, in the wake of allegations that a group of rogue soldiers from the army base at Eteringbang had carried out an authorized raid two Fridays ago. The arrests bring the GDF

closer to instituting court martial proceedings against the soldiers after they were positively identified by miners as being present and entering the mining camps. The five were escorted by GDF investigators and brought to Camp Ayanganna last Saturday. “The officer and ranks are currently detained in Camp Ayanganna where they were charged with military offences. They appeared before a Commanding Officer and were remanded for a Summary of Evidence with a view to Court Martial proceedings. At this time the Guyana Defence Force has sufficient evidence to charge the ranks under military law.” Prior to his visit, the Chief of Staff had ordered an investigation into the incident. The probe was followed by a commission of inquiry into the administrative breaches at the army Eteringbang Base. MONDAY EDITION TWO DIE IN BUS AND TUNDRA SMASH-UP Two persons were pronounced dead at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation late Sunday evening following a smash-up between a route 44 minibus and a Toyota Tundra pickup on the Mon Repos Public Road, East Coast Demerara. The crash occurred around 21:30 hours. The two dead persons have been identified as 37-year-old Senior Mistress of the Beteverwagting/Quamina Primary School, Shondell Yaw and driver of the minibus, Godfrey Gilbert Daniels, who hails from Berbice. Ten other persons, mostly passengers from the minibus BMM 8260 were treated at the GPHC for injuries they sustained. At least two other persons were removed and taken to Private medical institutions for treatment. Reports are that the

Sunday February 10, 2013

A view from the seawall of the Marriott Hotel under construction.

minibus was heading toward the city when the pickup reportedly turned out from a street onto the main road and crashed head on into the minibus. An eyewitness told this publication that after the pickup turned onto the main road, it went full speed into the minibus’s lane, resulting in the collision. GPLGIVEN ULTIMATUM OVER WAGES DISPUTE The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) is being advised to make the right moves to rectify the ongoing wages row with the workers’ union, or face the consequences of staffers downing their tools. National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) has threatened the power company that this is the last chance to honour the November 27, 2001 collective bargaining agreement, or workers will have to withdraw their services. NAACIE is still asking for its 2012 eight percent across the board wage increase, while the power company is only prepared to pay one percent. The alternative to that, GPL has offered, is an all-inclusive five percent

Commodore Gary Best with the miners at Julian Ross Landing.

increase, which NAACIE is not willing to accept. NAACIE General Secretary, Kenneth Joseph, said that after a letter was sent to the Minister of Labour, a meeting between the union and the power company was called last Friday. At that meeting, GPL requested a copy of the letter to the Ministry with an aim of addressing the union’s request. NAACIE is now awaiting GPL’s reply, and another meeting will be held. Joseph is making no promises to remain docile as he noted that workers’ rights must be respected. He told media operatives last week that “This is the last straw,” if GPL does not honour its agreement. Joseph charged that the 2001 agreement, which speaks about payments for the various categories of workers, was carefully studied before its signing. Joseph said the contract worked for a while until, “Guyanese management started to destroy our agreement.” TUESDAY EDITION JAGDEO’S EMPTY JOB PROMISE … NO GUYANESE WORKERS AS MARRIOTT HOTEL GOES UP The construction of the Marriott-branded hotel, which is so far being funded

by Guyanese taxpayers, does not involve any local construction workers. Neither the company, Shanghai Construction Group, nor the government is saying why. The government had boasted that the project, which is costing some US$60 million, would create hundreds of jobs; but months into construction, Kaieteur News saw no Guyanese workers at the site after repeated visits. The first visit was made two weeks ago; and then another visit was made a week ago. The only construction workers seen were of Chinese origin. The Chinese workers eat, work, and sleep on the site. The only Guyanese at the site was a man who identified himself as a consultant. Representatives of the Chinese company at the Kingston, Georgetown site are not being allowed to speak to Kaieteur News. When Kaieteur News visited and asked to talk with those in charge of the project, they said that they first had to get the permission of Atlantic Hotels Incorporated (AHI). AHI is the company set up by the Guyana government through which taxpayers’ dollars are being funnelled to finance the facility in the absence of any named investor to date.

After making a call to AHI, which is run by Winston Brassington, who also heads Government’s investment arm, NICIL, the Chinese said they could not talk to Kaieteur News. The hotel is being built by Shanghai Construction Group (SCG), whose Caribbean office is based in Trinidad and Tobago. TUNDRA DRIVER CHARGED WITH DRUNK DRIVING The driver of the Toyota Tundra, a motor pick-up which was involved in the horrific smash-up with a minibus Sunday night, that resulted in the death of two persons, was way over the allowable alcohol limit, according to the Guyana Police Force. Seventeen-year-old Gidram Rasiawan, of Eccles, East Bank Demerara, was granted bail in the sum of $7,500 after he pleaded not guilty to a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. He appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court, mere hours after the smash-up. On Sunday night at about 21:00 hours, Rasiawan was the driver of motor pick-up GLL 6514, proceeding along the Mon (Continued on page 51)

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A CONSTANT SOURCE OF EXASPERATION Things could not get more confusing in the National Assembly. No wonder we have situations where both sides of the House have had cause to walkout of the House. The government walked out of the National Assembly because of the failure of the opposition to work towards consensus on a matter, and most recently the majority opposition marched out because the Minister of Home Affairs was allowed to make a statement to the House. This walkout took place despite the opposition once claiming that it was not opposed to the member speaking, and even contending that they had allowed him to vote in the Assembly which they said was a form of speech. Talk about nonsensical semantics! It seemed that the opposition was not arrogating to itself the right of a member to vote in the House. The opposition continues to uphold the untenable position that Mr. Rohee can speak in the House as a member, but not as the Minister of Home Affairs. The absurdity of this position has escaped their notice. The honourable gentleman enjoys the right to speak, regardless of whether he was appointed a minister. He is foremost a member of the Assembly, and having been appointed a minister, is required by to the National Assembly to provide explanations to the National Assembly, by virtue of the principle of ministerial responsibility, which ironically is the very principle which the opposition so misguidedly used as the basis for passing a motion of noconfidence in the minister. Under collective responsibility, there cannot be a motion within the National Assembly against a minister, because the government stands or falls on the basis of such motions. A motion of noconfidence against a minister represents a motion of noconfidence against the government and should trigger the dissolution of parliament and new elections. The motion was however entertained and debated,

despite the fact that the subject matter of the motion formed part of the terms of reference of a Commission of Inquiry which the very opposition had demanded. The opposition was eating its cake and having it too. Having used their razorslim majority to railroad their motion of no-confidence through the National Assembly, in their desire to make the minister the “fallguy” for the Linden tragedy, they demanded that the government comply with the ruling. When it was ruled that the motion was not binding on the government, they resorted to having the minister gagged, a most contemptible thing for any side of the House to demand, considering that by its very nature the House is the highest deliberative forum in the land. The opposition parties were outraged when the Speaker ruled that the minister could not be denied the right to speak. However, there was a caveat to the ruling to the effect that no action could be taken against the minister unless there was a gag motion before the House. The opposition wasted little time in clutching to that caveat. It filed a censure motion seeking to have the minister prevented from speaking. In that motion, no allegation of contempt was argued. In a most controversial ruling, the Speaker referred the motion to the Committee of Privileges. This despite the fact that it remained unclear as to just what rule or privilege the minister had breached. Things got more confounding, because the Standing Orders of the National Assembly had in the past indicated that before a matter can be referred to the Committee of Privileges by the Speaker, there first had to be a motion to that effect and that the Speaker had to be satisfied that a prima facie case had been made out against the accused. Since it is difficult to comprehend what privileges the minister had breached, it was hard to understand just what charge the minister was answering before the Committee of Privileges.

Amazingly, also, a restriction was placed on the minister from speaking in the Assembly until such time as the matter before the Committee of Privileges was dispensed with. Things became more bewildering by reports in the media which suggest that the opposition’s motion was referred to the Committee of Privileges so that they can decide whether they can deliberate on the matter. This is strange-sounding, because it is for the Speaker to decide on whether a censure motion is justified for

referral to the Committee of Privileges. It is not for those who will act as jury on a complaint to decide whether they have jurisdiction to hear the complaint. The Committee of Privileges has not yet determined the matter. Therefore it remains patently unfair for the temporary restrictions to be retained against the minister, more so in light of a court ruling on the subject of the minister’s right to speak in the National Assembly. While the National Assembly enjoys

sovereignty, this is not absolute, and the courts have exercised the right to ensure that constitutional guarantees are not trampled upon in the exercise of parliamentary sovereignty. But even further, it is an imperative for the National Assembly to set an example of fairness and judiciousness in the exercise of its right to control its own internal affairs. In this context, there will be persons within the government who will view the most recent decision of the Speaker to allow the Minister of Home Affairs to read a

statement to the National Assembly as an attempt to ensure this type of fair play and judiciousness. The opposition were however peeved and walked out. Perhaps everyone should walkout and bring an end to a parliament which continues to be a constant source of exasperation.

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Art and Book Review Guyanese writer offers a poetic gem, like no other Dr Glenville Ashby Smith’s work is richly packaged and designed, a design befitting its glowing content. In this gem of a work, Smith, an accomplished author and poet, covers ground, lots of it. From her ecstatic tribute to America’s first black president to her forays into the immutable world of the spiritual, she is unmistakably definitive. In Keep Us, she is prayerful, invoking, supplicating God in the vein of the Psalmic tradition. “Keep us healthy, Keep us safe. Keep us always, in your grace. Help us not to be dismayed, for your love is always there!” Smith is equally comfortable on social and political issues...tapping into the frustration of the hopeful, sorely beguiled by elected officials in A Blatant Waste of Time: “In two shakes of a tune, I would have Healthcare, Educational Laws

Flying off The Stool… No more waste of citizen’s precious time. I would say, ‘Here are your laws, just waiting to unwind,’ while reprimanding them, for a blatant waste of time.” Her transition is effortless, indiscernible. It is an incomparable fluidity…faultless. Smith proves her salt as profoundly mystical, detailing the virtues of simplicity and gratitude - elements missing in a world collapsing under the weight of entitlement and covetousness. In Thank You God, she intones, “Thank you for strength. Thank you for filling us with your grace and mercy...Thank you for time to sleep, thank you for food to eat...” To Smile Again, reinforces that message of gratitude. Hers is an anthem that centres on the power to choose. We create our own reality. We are the architects of our heaven, our hell, she is convinced.

My Poetry Book: Freedom to Change by J.E. Trotman Smith In I Choose, she asserts: “I choose tolerance, not impatience…Contentment, not greed. It is my right to make good choices. I choose...To choose.” But for those who have succumbed, she cautions others, asking for empathy. “So remember compassion. And grace to all. For you can never tell when it will be...your call!” “Freedom to Change” is a poetic masterpiece, penned by a tested soul. This is not the musings of the uninitiated, the unbaptised. Smith has been in the belly of the beast, wrestling with adversarial scenarios physical and mental emerging bruised but not battered and crestfallen. The past and the pain pour from her in Still Standing, To Smile Again, and On Being Homeless. In For My Brother, the nostalgia, her lamentations over her fallen sibling are poignantly raw. But like the proverbial phoenix, she soars. A veritable testament to the invariable power of faith and the human will.

Her experience invokes biblical images of Jacob’s Ladder - a painstaking ascension from an existence once mired in hopelessness. In When God Sends Angels, she basks in the innate goodness of humankind. We are all capable of being God’s messengers. Smith deftly marries deism and humanism. Why quibble over nuances, she suggests. Do we not come from the same source? “...They were Sarah and family, Coworkers and Neighbours too...,” she writes. These are every day individuals who radiate empathy and kindness…God’s love. The eponymous, Freedom to Change transcends the personal journey of Obama, her words recapturing tribulations and redemption, so soothing to the oppressed: “Torn by race, Debarred by hatred, Soured by Indifference, Blessed by a sacred gift, Struggles for Acceptance, Mindless Rejection, Sense of Belonging, Of Giving, Of Sharing.” Smith touches a social

nerve, ably grappling with a wide spectrum of human emotions. Pride, hubris, despair, selfishness, grace, and veneration for the sublime, all form a compelling poetic montage. Her work reflects the power of literalism, avoiding the abstraction and the complexities of multilayered interpretations. She opts for Occam’s razor - sometimes, the right choice. This explains her markedly emotive appeal. “My Poetry Book: Freedom to Change” is an existential triumph in the philosophical

vein of Victor Frankl and Rollo May - two notable pioneers of this genre. Unquestionably, an accolade richly deserved. Follow me on Twitter@glenvilleashby My Poetry Book: Freedom to Choose by J.E. Trotman Smith Dat-Nef-E-Cnt Illumination Production New York, New York Photographer: Lenny Wang ISBN 978-0-615-39174-8

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Ravi Dev Column

Multicultural solutions With Mashramani nigh upon us, there are the seemingly obligatory pronouncements about ‘multiculturalism”. But upon closer examination, those pronouncements go little farther than glibly announcing that we’ve arrived from various and sundry parts of the globe and that we brought our “cultures” with us. The “multicultural” policy goes little further than encouraging us to “express our culture” at various stipulated times of the year, such as Mash. And this is typically confined to food, music and clothes. Is this what multiculturalism is really all about? Essentially the notion of “multiculturalism” includes three premises. Firstly, that we are each born into a culture. Unlike other animals, human babies do not revert to instincts for their survival: they have to be taught. What they are taught is their “culture”. While all humans have some physiological needs such as hunger, sex, etc., that must be fulfilled, how they are satisfied is culturally determined. The Portuguese may see roast

There is more madness in the air. This time the madness would be seen in the manner people who are employed to protect the nation deal with situations that should not have occurred in the first place. Just this past week some criminals were shot and killed in broad daylight. This time the situation would be repeated when it is later in the day. Again, the public would ask serious questions about the outcome. *****************

pork as a very good meal but many Indians will remain hungry if pork is their only choice. Our attitude towards sex is similarly socially influenced. Many have remarked on the “stability” of the Indian family as a prime reason for their success. Much of this drive for “stable” family life came out of their cultural norm that sex was only approved within marriage. So, all in all, we receive our orientation towards life from the culture into which we are born. Now this does not mean that we are so structurally bound that we can’t change our practices. Again, culture isn’t instinct. The burgeoning numbers of Indian “child fathers’ should disabuse us of this idea. The second point about multiculturalism is that we are each born into worldviews that may differ from those of others. And in some ways these differences may be significant. For instance, as Guyanese, we all expect that the political system will deliver the “good life” to us. But do we all agree on what is that ‘good life’ or how to achieve it?

If we answer this question honestly we will find out that this question is the source of much of the disagreements we have in Guyana. How do some end up with more wealth than others, for one? Some save – others spend. Some assert that this is the problem with multiculturalism – it creates all sorts of divisions. But it is not multiculturalism that creates the division – it was already there. Multiculturalism, as a point of fact, offers a perspective on how we should handle a reality that has often been a source of conflict. Namely, that first we must accept that our idea of the good life is only that – our idea of the good life. And that we ought not to assume that what is the “good” for us is the good for everyone else. Multiculturalism offers us the view that maybe our lives would be enriched if we were to examine the world-views of others in a non-judgmental fashion. For instance in the modern world, there may be certain values that have to be imbibed to obtain what is now considered necessary to live

There seems no end to motor vehicle accidents and this is because the inexperienced are controlling machines that can kill people. A case of drunk driving would once more startle the nation.

And the victim would be where anyone using the roadways in a proper manner would be, in the corner. ***************** A common thief would be beaten and killed because the society is fed up with those who try to deprive them of their earnings.A man is going to snatch property from a woman. His escape would be short-lived because of those deemed to be public spirited people.

aspects of the ‘good life’ we hold in common. If the values of one culture make it easier for some to acquire those appurtenances, then maybe we ought to practice those values. As such, multiculturalism suggests that cultural diversity is an asset to the human condition. The third point about multiculturalism is that it does not hold that any one culture is undifferentiated and monolithic. It starts from our own experience that within our own cultural group there exists at any and all times, a range of expressions and positions on any given issue. This is a truth that we cannot deny. We may struggle and dispute with other members of our group as to who is “right” or who is “straying” but we

recognize our commonality. Multiculturalism, then, accepts pluralism within our cultures. And in what may be its most important contribution to the modern world, forces us to accept that we should by extension, accept plurality in our wider national community and by extension, the world. This does not mean that “everything goes” and that “everyone is right”. But it suggests that at a minimum we cannot take dogmatic positions on what ought to be the “correct” response to a particular exigency based only from our own point of view. Multiculturalism insists that we have to assume that the other person may be right, and that we examine the views of the other seriously

Ravi Dev

and with respect. And this brings us to the implications of the multiculturalist perspective on politics. Our needs, and certainly our wants, are to the greatest degree shaped by our cultures. Thus there can be no one silver bullet that will destroy all the demons that entrap us. Multiculturalism suggests that we have to engage in a continuous dialogue with one another to work our way out of our morass.

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Please explain the nation’s large debt One of the first pieces of news that I got early Saturday morning was that Venezuela had devalued its currency against the United States dollar, and it was a sharp devaluation. The reports were that the currency was slashed by 32 per cent. This might have been harmless news had it not been for the fact that Venezuela is one of the largest oil producers in the world. And oil is what makes the world spin. As a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Venezuela earns millions of United States dollars per day on each oil shipment it makes. Its coffers should be full. Not so long ago Venezuela offered to help the victims of a hurricane that hit the United States. It had money to share with the rest of the world. It helps Cuba in ways unimaginable; it offers poor countries under concessions through the Petro Caribe deal. This means that the poor countries, Guyana included, would only pay fifteen per cent of the cost of the fuel up front and the rest at very low interest rates over a long period. So why devalue? The economists say that Venezuela is seeking more money to boost its economy. And this speaks a lot for those rich Venezuelans who have United States dollar accounts. All of a sudden they are 32 per cent richer. But there are implications for countries like Guyana who owe a huge oil debt. We are not privy to the repayment terms, but there is going to be a cost. We in Guyana are allowing our currency to find its own rate against the United States dollar. There have been gradual devaluations over time. In 1992 the exchange rate was $126 to the United States dollar; today it is $206 to the United States dollar. It means that it costs us more to buy

US dollars. In local dollar terms Venezuelan oil is getting more expensive. There is another thing that we have to worry about. We are seeking a large loan from China which is under pressure to appreciate its currency against the United States dollar. This would mean that when we borrow Chinese money we will have to find more United States dollars to effect the repayment. And that is why there is this worry about the economy. Last week, the government said that about a year ago, Guyana owed the rest of the world some US$1.7 billion. By now that debt must be about US$2 billion, the same amount it was when the People’s Progressive Party took office. Just before it demitted office the People’s National Congress said that it had borrowed about US$800 million. However, when it failed to repay its debt on time the interest pushed it to the limit that the new government found it. President Bharrat Jagdeo, the economist that he is, set about liquidating this debt and he was successful. The Paris Club comprises nineteen of the world’s wealthy nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Norway, Canada, and Switzerland. Countries like Guyana owed a huge debt to these countries, but by the 1990s they all combined to say to the poor countries, we will eradicate your debt. And it did. Guyana was a major beneficiary and it managed to have about 75 per cent of its debt liquidated. Other countries began to do the same. By now Guyana should have been debt-free. Instead, it has borrowed even more, and a lot more. Indeed, Guyana needs to borrow to promote its development, but one must ask about this development. The roads are still not what they used to be,

schools are not the upbeat places they should be; there have been dramatic improvements to the Georgetown Public Hospital and some other health institutions, but not much else to shout about. Instead, there has been a lot of private spending. The bauxite industry is in foreign hands as are almost all the major industries, so the government is not constrained to pour money into them. The government divested many public assets which it

contended were proving a drain on the national economy. So why did we have to borrow so much? We cannot say that we are enjoying the benefits of the excess borrowing. The government says that it cannot pay the kind of wages that would retain the needed skills, so where has the money gone? We did not have to borrow to pay debts—a case of digging a hole to fill a hole. But we are still borrowing. Guyana is about to borrow almost US$1 billion to fund

the hydroelectric facility, another sum to fund the airport expansion project and even more to construct the Marriott. It will be some twenty years before the hydroelectric facility begins to make its impact felt—that is when it would have repaid the money it borrowed. But by then our grandchildren would have begun repaying this money that we have borrowed to do what, I am not sure. We could not have borrowed a lot to buy food. Did we spend the money on

Adam Harris cars and the fancy houses that some of the government officials own? We need answers.

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A bullet to the back of the head - Ricky Ramsarran’s murder seven years ago remains unsolved By Michael Jordan It was at around 06:00 hrs on December 12, 2005, that the female security guard noticed a red Mitsubishi Lancer, licence number HB 1188, parked off the roadway in Woolford Avenue. The driver, a young man of East Indian ancestry, appeared to be sleeping inside. The door on the driver’s side was slightly ajar. The guard went to the car, pushed her hand through the open door and tapped the driver on the shoulder. “Wha’ happen chap, is six o’clock… get up,” she said. But the driver remained motionless, and it was then that the guard saw the blood at the back of the young man’s head and realised that he would never wake up. Detectives who arrived at the scene observed that the victim had been shot to the back of the head. Investigators ruled out robbery, since a quantity of money was found in the vehicle. However, the investigators later learned that the driver’s mobile phone was missing. Two live rounds and a bullet casing were

Ricardo Ramsarran: Why was he murdered? found at the scene. The victim was later identified as Ricardo Ramsarran of La Grange, West Bank Demerara. They also learnt that a woman who was in Ramsarran’s car had reportedly witnessed his

murder and had also narrowly escaped being killed. The woman, a resident of Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara, said Ramsarran had picked her up at around 19:30 hrs on December 11, 2005, at a Vlissengen Road

fast food outlet. This was done after the woman contacted him by phone. She said she had known Ramsarran for about four months and would usually use his taxi when she was in Georgetown. According to the passenger, Ramsarran had a cooking gas cylinder in his car and said that he had to drop it off. The woman alleged that it was raining at the time and she was unaware where they were heading. She claimed that shortly after they had commenced their journey, a white car pulled up alongside Ramsarran’s vehicle. A man in the front seat reportedly pointed a handgun at Ramsarran and ordered him to ‘pull over’. According to her story, the gunman and another man who was armed with a stick, emerged from the car. She alleged that the gunman then dragged Ramsarran from the taxi and after slapping him, ordered Ramsarran to hand over his valuables. She said that the gunman then pushed Ramsarran back into his taxi and shot him. The woman claimed that after shooting Ramsarran, the gunman and his accomplice turned their attention on her. She said the bandits relieved her of her bag, which contained cash and other documents. One of the men allegedly said “leh we kill she too.” The gunman then allegedly pressed the weapon to her head and squeezed the trigger. She said that luckily, she managed to shift her head and the bullet merely grazed her. Apparently believing that she was dead, the men reentered their car and drove off. The woman claimed that she lost consciousness for about ten minutes. She said that when she regained her senses, she walked a short distance up Woolford Avenue and sought help from a passing cyclist. However, she said that the man rode off without helping her and she received a similar response from a male security guard. The woman said she eventually received help from a female security guard who flagged down a car which took her to the Georgetown Public Hospital. She claimed to have related the story to the nurses and security staff. She alleged that at the time, she had assumed that Ramsarran was still alive and only learnt that he had succumbed after being questioned by the police. Detectives checked the slain man’s background, but

reportedly found nothing unsavory about him. They learned that ‘Ricky’, as he was called, was an ex-student of St. Joseph High School. He was also planning to become engaged to his childhood girlfriend, who had attended the same institution. The investigators attempted to trace his last movements. According to reports, on the night of December 11, 2005, Ramsarran had travelled to Mon Repos to see a close friend, who is a mechanic. The mechanic recalled that Ramsarran had received two calls from a mobile phone. One of the calls was from a woman who wanted him to pick her up at a Vlissengen Road fast food outlet, the take her home “over the river.” According to this report, ‘Ricky’ was initially reluctant to take the job, but eventually consented. At around 21:00 hrs, he received an overseas call from his mother, Jasoda Ramasarran, who indicated that she was coming from the US over the weekend. Mrs. Ramsarran recalled that ‘Ricky’ had warned her to be careful when she returned home, since several brutal crimes, including the beheading of an overseasbased Guyanese, had recently occurred. After returning to Guyana, Ricky’s grief-stricken mother, and his father, began to conduct their own investigations into their son’s murder. For one thing, while Ricky’s body and his vehicle were found in Woolford Avenue, the couple believed that he was slain elsewhere. And as strange as it may seem, Mrs. Ramsarran believed that her son had tried to contact her from beyond the grave. She recalled that on one occasion, Ricky appeared to her in a dream and said that he was murdered “over the river.” And on the day that he was cremated, she also dreamed of a “tallish, dougla man” who had stared at her intently. She was convinced that the man she saw was real and that this individual had killed her son. Convinced that the dreams held important clues to their son’s death, Mr. Eric Ramsarran decided to make inquiries at the Demerara Harbour Bridge. According to the Ramsarrans, security personnel at the Harbour Bridge gave them records

which showed that Ricky Ramsarran had crossed the bridge from Georgetown at around 22:00 hrs on the same night he was slain. They were adamant that this showed that their son had travelled either to the West Coast or West Bank of Demerara after picking up his female passenger. They also believed that this proved that he was not murdered in Woolford Avenue. According to Mrs. Ramsarran, when she voiced her suspicions, one of the investigators also confided that they too believed that her son was slain elsewhere. Investigators turned their attention to Ricky’s female passenger. She was detained for three days at the East La Penitence Police Station while detectives tried to ascertain whether she could assist in solving the case. Detectives detained her again on December 30, 2005 and again on July 11, 2006. The investigators opined that she had given conflicting statements about the events leading up to Ramsarran’s death. “She claims that she was in the car and records show that the car was over the river at the time she claimed that the murder occurred, so we had to question her again,” a police official stated. However, the woman was eventually released. Her relatives insist that she cooperated fully with the police. In 2007, Mrs. Ramsarran said that they were informed that the report on the case is at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). That year, the family held a memorial service for their slain son. “We don’t want this case to be forgotten,” Mrs. Ramsarran had told me at the time. “This is a mother’s heart that is breaking and I want answers to who killed my son and why.” 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 offices. Our numbers are 22-58465, 2258473 and 22-58458. You need not disclose your identity. You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email address mjdragon

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Is fear intrinsic to civilization? The Niemöller tragedy The answer is yes. It will be like this until civilization dies. Fear is to the human mind what love, ambition, happiness, music, money, health, life itself are. People want to love and be loved. People want money to acquire the things their minds, hearts and souls desire. It is the same with fear. It is a natural thing in people. Fear is the antitheses of happiness and because of this line-fault in civilization’s evolution, fear will forever dominate the world’s existence. The world’s majority live in trepidation of their happiness being taken away and for this reason, silence in the face of absolute power, of unlimited power, of naked power, of depraved authority, of abusive authority will prevail in human society. Modern man and woman will forever embody the fright of being hurt by abusive leaders. But there is a contradiction in the relation between fear and freedom. Ironically, the intertwining of the two is a paradoxical one. If fear prevents you from using your voice or pen, that

fear eventually destroys your happiness. This was the theme of so many post-World War 2 philosophers after the experience of Hitler. It is best captured in the story of the Anglican priest, Martin Niemöller in Nazi Germany. He wrote that: “They came for the Jew, I wasn’t one; they came for the Catholic, I wasn’t one; they came for the unionist, I wasn’t one; they came for the industrialist, I wasn’t one; then they came for the Protestant priest and then there was no one left to be concerned.” In Guyana, part of my world is about meeting people who have lived their entire life in fear. Fear is a shadow that stalks this land from the time the colonials arrived and long after they left. But those whose silence helps them preserve their happiness end up being unhappy in ways they would never have contemplated. I have met people in this country who bluntly would tell me that they are comfortable with their own obliviousness to the abuse of power. They do not want to invoke the wrath of powerful

people who they are afraid would retaliate. The list is never-ending. It includes big and small business people, honest, hard working civil servants, teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, journalists, university lecturers; the entire gamut. From time to time, I would meet some of these people and the fear that they cultivated in their minds eventually destroyed their freedom and happiness. Some potent examples are good lessons from which we can all learn. I met a family who was afraid to speak up against a dust pollution problem in an East Coast village, because the industrialist is highly protected by the Government. One day the family was thrown in turmoil because a death occurred in a State-run hospital which, when you read about the facts, was due to incomprehensible incompetence. I have encountered many such cases where incompetence and neglect in State-run hospitals caused brought unbearable suffering because of the resulting deaths. Had they spoken up,

their government may have listened. People would tell me that they are quite content to avoid any condemnation of the abuse of power, but in the end their own fear created unhappiness for them. You had this Muslim young man paid by the State to write nasty things about anti-government critics on a particular blog. He became a bitter man when his girlfriend was raped in Essequibo. I sent him to Red Thread and other places. I never knew if he went. Then there are the countless examples where people who are not concerned with voicing a critical comment of governmental wrongdoing, ended up being very depressed because those who killed or injured their relatives in car accidents have extensive contracts with the hierarchy of the police force and the government, and justice was never served. We come now to Mr. Anand Goolsarran. He wants to stand down as an AFC appointee to be a Commissioner on the Procurement Commission. Mr. Goolarran cites vicious

attacks on his character from Government-aligned forces. While one understands the fear Mr. Goolsarran has about the continuation of these conspiracies against his character, the contradiction he faces is that he has to make a choice between staying silent and watch fear take over his country, or serve the land of his birth so that either sooner than later or later than soon, Guyana will be a country where fear no longer exists. It is not easy to advise people who are frightened by the viciousness that abusive

Frederick Kissoon governments heap on them, but my sincere wish is that he stays in Guyana and serves his country. Guyanese want him to do that.

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Rape - the sexual violence which faces us By Latchmin Punalall AFC Executive Member & Women For Change Chairperson Spanning the history of humanity, women have always united to fight for their rights and the chance of a better life. Socially, we elegantly fulfill the four-fold role of being mother, sister, daughter or wife. Professionally, we serve in almost any field, including the military. Guyana has always been blessed with productive women who took great pride and joy to stand by our men as we executed these significant roles. Many things help us along, and many things also hinder us as we tread the path of womanhood. Rape has been one of the attacks which has always filled our hearts with fear, and in Guyana, this scourge seems to be on the

steady rise. We should not give our women and girls a false sense of security by minimizing and/or denying the frequency of sexual violence which now faces us. I recall sitting in the Parliamentary Social Services Committee during 2006-2011 and raising the issue of gang violence and other forms of rebellion rising in our school system. The matter was played down then and today we are forced to address a problem which could have been nipped in the bud. Let us not make the same mistake when it comes to rising levels of sexual violence in our country. Every Guyanese woman should be free to have a quiet evening at home, to ride in a bus, to take an evening walk in the park, to enjoy the fresh air at our seawalls or seashore or to enjoy any other healthy, pleasurable activity. The

A mini health check is the first step to donating blood

thought of being preyed upon by a rapist robs us of our God-given right to enjoy peace and tranquility in our homeland. This is made even more painful when we think of the pressure, difficulties, and unhappiness which come with living in third world Guyana. We all know that rape is more common than people think because there are so many cases which go unreported. Sometimes the perpetrators are wealthy and have no difficulty making a financial settlement. We must accept that rape represents a form of gender inequality. Most perpetrators are male and most victims are female. It is both a consequence and cause of gender inequality. It results in immediate and long lasting harm to victims. Immediate consequences include physical injury, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, and even suicide. Long term consequences include posttraumatic stress disorder,

anxiety and panic attacks, depression, eating disorders and obesity. When a child is the victim it can also impact on educational attainment and school attendance. For genuine solutions to be found to any problem, one has to work at the elimination of the causes of the problem. Studies done by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (Atlanta, Georgia) reveal that there are several risk factors which contribute to the perpetration of rape. There are firstly societal factors such as poverty, societal norms that support sexual violence, societal norms that support male superiority and sexual entitlement, weak laws and policies related to gender equality, and a high tolerance of crime and other forms of violence. Once we remain a poverty-stricken nation, our women and girls will continue to be easy victims of rape as they open themselves to anyone offering help, as they walk the streets seeking whatever comes. Secondly, there are community factors such as

lack of institutional support from the police and judicial system, lack of organizations which can be rescue centers where counseling and other basic helps are provided. The present administration should do much more to assist NGOs and Faith Based Organizations which work in improving the moral fabric as they deal with such issues as teenage pregnancy, suicide, drug abuse etc. Why should the current administration invest in luxury hotels when hotel occupancy rates are so low here and when we are so poor in providing for critical social services? Thirdly, there are relationship factors such as association with sexually aggressive and delinquent peers, a family environment characterized by physical violence. Fourthly, there are individual risk factors such as alcohol and drug use, hyper masculinity, and coercive sexual fantasies. In our Action Plan, Foundation 6 declares “…the AFC sees gender equality in

Latchmin Punalall the context of enhancing democracy, developing peaceful communities, eradicating poverty and violence against women…” This means that an AFC government would have zero tolerance when it comes to sexual violence or any other form of evil which robs our women and girls of a healthy, joyful and rewarding life. Yes, we do have laws in our constitution to protect women against rape, but there must be a willingness on the part of people to comply as well as a determination on the part of the administration to enforce these laws.

Sunday February 10, 2013

We are only just starting to experience, if not explain fully, the ‘secondary impact’ on children living in homes, attending schools and growing up in communities where violence occurs. Twenty years ago, domestic violence was still regarded as a private matter. A man hitting his wife was considered a ‘family affair.’ School fights were dismissed with a shrug and a comment that “boys will be boys.” Arrests by the Police, more or less, were assumed to be legitimate responses to criminal behaviour. Things have changed. Interpersonal violence has now become an epidemic. It is the most vicious, virulent and prevalent crime in Guyana today. Nowhere is the impact more severe than on the most vulnerable members of society – children and youth. The stabbing of a fouryear-old nursery-school child in Wismar, who died in hospital with a knife still sticking out of his back, was perhaps the most recent and most repugnant child murder, but it is not an isolated case. The chopping to death of sleeping children by their father at Soesdyke was more gruesome. Achiwuib Village in the Rupununi, one of the most remote communities in the country, witnessed the fatal stabbing of a 14-year-old by a 15-year-old student during an altercation on the playfield. At Patentia Village, a 13-yearold student was taken to the hospital to have a pair of scissors which another student threw at him removed from his head. It was also at Patentia that a 16-year-old schoolboy was shot dead by the police at close range in 2010. Many more incidents of interpersonal violence have been reported in schools. Chief Education Officer Olato Sam has now acknowledged that the Ministry of Education has taken note of the increase in gangrelated violence in schools and is aware of the emergence of a youth ‘gang culture’ among students. Things have changed and Guyana has become more brutish and churlish. Where does violence come from? Dr. Luncheon, who is also Chairman of the Central Intelligence Committee, first described the outbreak of criminal violence in the early years of this millennium as “drug gang

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warfare.” Many failed to comprehend how correct Luncheon was. Many failed to see how violent the drug war had become. Many failed to fathom the repercussions of the prolonged violence which claimed the lives of an unprecedented and still undetermined number of policemen and youths. It would have been impossible for any society to have survived the ‘troubles’ which Guyana endured without suffering the after effects. The bandits, ‘phantom’ gangs’ and rogue policemen caused many deaths. The government ministers responsible for public security during the troubles have much to answer for. The peculiar practice of stigmatising particular persons in particular villages also became a popular police practice. Police violence, perpetrated under the pretext of investigation, when in fact there was only intimidation, has left permanent scars. The arbitrary arrests, unwarranted detentions, deliberate shootings, torture, deaths in custody and sham trials have had a cumulative, deleterious ‘secondary impact’ on society. East Bank Demerara residents still recall one of the most notorious cases of political and police harassment during the ‘troubles.’ Armed policemen pounced on five villages – Agricola, Bagotstown, Eccles, Houston and McDoom – and started a systematic round-up of nearly six dozen boys from 30th July to 2nd August 2008. Most victims were minors and all were male. The reason for this unwarranted detention of boys was, simply, that the ruling People’s Progressive Party was preparing for its two-day 29th Congress which was due to begin on Saturday 2nd August at the Diamond Secondary School, eight kilometres from the villages. The boys were taken away by the police to be photographed, fingerprinted and to have their personal details recorded although they had never committed an offence. Eventually, they were all released without compensation or explanation. The shameful East Bank crackdown was not the first time that the police force had

done that sort of thing. Collective criminalisation was invented during the short, troubled tenure of Ms Gail Teixeira as Minister of Home Affairs. Twelve dozen East Coast Demerara residents of the Buxton-Friendship village complex were similarly “processed” by being photographed, fingerprinted,

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and having their personal details recorded, by the police. We can now understand that state violence in the form of Police clampdowns – such as the mass arrests of hundreds of innocent persons in the targeted East Bank and East Coast villages – did not “teach children a lesson” in citizenship. They did have a ‘secondary impact’

of inculcating a mindset of alienation, discrimination and victimisation. Criminalising children is not only illegal; it is illogical, because it will perpetuate the problems that it should be trying to solve. The PPP/C administration seems never to have been aware of agony, anger and alienation caused by state

violence against its own citizens, especially the young. A generation is growing up which has become accustomed to violence. It is clear, however, that violence begets violence. We are witnessing in our homes, schools and streets, the aftershock of the ‘secondary impact’ of years of criminal violence.

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Kaieteur News

Sunday February 10, 2013

Eyeing the case before the Caribbean Court of Justice By Sir Ronald Sanders The judgment in a case now proceeding through the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) could prove to be a landmark in the movement of West Indians through each other’s countries. Shanique Myrie, a Jamaican, alleges that on 14 March 2011, (then 22 years old), she was originally allowed entry into Barbados at Grantley Adams International Airport for a month when her passport was stamped, and that two hours later she was taken by a female immigration officer to a bathroom where she was allegedly “finger raped”, abused with foul language, threatened and then denied entry. The government of Barbados is the defendant in the case. It has been accused of violating its obligations under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (the CARICOM Treaty) and a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government decision in 2007. According to Myrie’s lawyers, denial of her right of entry was “unjustifiable, arbitrary and thus led to discrimination.” The full trial will begin next month pitting the Barbados government, as

defendant, against both Myrie and the Government of Jamaica which has intervened alongside her in the case. Three other Jamaican women have offered themselves as witnesses, saying that they too have been victims of improper treatment by Barbados immigration officials. The Jamaican government’s argument is that its substantial legal interests in the case lie in the circumstance that any judgment rendered will establish a binding precedent for all CARICOM member states. In a preliminary hearing, in October 2012, the CCJ agreed. Prior to the case going before the CCJ in April 2012, the Barbados government said that it had conducted its own inquiry and it upheld the position of the Immigration authorities that its officers had acted in accordance with the law and regulations. However, the Barbados government’s lawyers admitted to the CCJ hearing that the case was “arguable”. Hence, it is proceeding. Since the establishment of CARICOM in 1973, tens of thousands of CARICOM nationals have travelled in its member states with no difficulty. However, a significant number have

complained of discrimination by immigration officials at the point of entry of several Caribbean countries - some, even when they are travelling on Canadian, US and European Union passports. All of this has raised questions about the value and relevance of CARICOM to the citizens of its 15 member countries. Indeed, these events have created resentment and an inclination to dismiss CARICOM as nothing but a government ‘talking shop’. The governments themselves have not done enough to address the problem, which if a solution is not found, will undermine the worth of CARICOM to many of its citizens. Just recently, on 28 January, the highly-regarded, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, P J Patterson, publicly asked at a meeting of the Rotary Club in Guyana: “What purpose does the CARICOM Passport serve if travelling within the Region is still like an obstacle race”? The CARICOM passport was introduced by many member governments in 2009 although the Bahamas and Haiti have not done so, and Monsterrat is prohibited from doing so because it remains a British colony. However, the

passport itself does not ease entry into the countries of CARICOM. While the word ‘Caricom’ is emblazoned on its cover, it is still a passport of the nation that issued it; it does not relieve the holder of the rigorous attention of immigration officers at CARICOM ports, nor does it, by itself, facilitate ease of entry. The problem, of course, goes far beyond a CARICOM passport. It really strikes at the heart of what a ‘Community’ is about. In the European Union (EU) the 27 member states of the Community have EU passports but they also have, entrenched in their community law, freedom of their peoples to move to, and reside, work and study in, each other’s countries. CARICOM governments will not overcome the problem of how nationals are treated at ports of entry until they deal with the more fundamental issue of perfecting the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) which provides for the free movement of goods, services and capital throughout the signatory member states (Bahamas is not a signatory). Once all the legislative provisions are put in place, the free movement

of people will be a natural consequence – just as it is in the EU, the Federation of the United States of America, and the Federation of Canada. Rights of establishment, and arrangements for transfer of social security and medical benefits between CARICOM countries – all these have to be put in place before complete freedom of movement can occur, because without them the people of the host state would have to bear the cost of new migrants. The problem is that little or no progress has been made by governments in recent years to perfect the CSME. The majority of CARICOM citizens would understand the need for the legislative and other requirements before there can be full freedom of movement. What they will not understand, however, is why their place of birth in a CARICOM country should, by itself, elicit unfriendliness and hostility. Further, despite the fact that businesspeople and other professionals traverse the region everyday to transact business, CARICOM governments have not devised a way for them to apply for a stamp in their passports that would establish their bona fides and

Sir Ronald Sanders allow them access to a special line at Airports, such as the ones reserved for diplomats and airline staff. Yet these business people are the ones who keep alive CARICOM trade in goods and services, and investment. The Shanique Myrie case before the CCJ will help to determine the obligations of CARICOM member governments to the people of CARICOM countries who travel to – or through – other CARICOM States. The case is being watched by interested eyes and the judgment cautiously awaited. (The writer is a Consultant, former senior Caribbean Ambassador and now Visiting Fellow, London University) Responses and previous c o m m e n t a r i e s :

Sunday February 10, 2013

From page 36 Repos Public Road, allegedly at a fast rate, when he lost control of the vehicle and collided with minibus BMM 8260 which was proceeding in the opposite direction. The smash-up resulted in the deaths of minibus driver Godfrey Daniels, 42, of Ann’s Grove, and passenger Shondell Yaw, 36, of Annandale, ECD. WEDNESDAY EDITION GAPSO CITES FAVOURITISM IN TENDER PROCESS The Guyana Association of Private Security Organizations (GAPSO) is livid over what it terms the secretive treatment of security contracts that resulted in only three “favoured” security firms being able to tender. The security umbrella body is referring to the opening of tenders for the provision of security services throughout Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six and also Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine. The body is pointing fingers at the procurement entity, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. According to GAPSO, in both instances, three security services tendered -Strategic Action Security, Homesafe Security and RK’s Guyana Security Services. The matter was highlighted at GAPSO’s monthly meeting held last Thursday and none of the companies that attended had knowledge of any publication in any newspaper or Government website requesting tenders for the projects. “It would appear that this was an inside arrangement, and that these three companies were secretly notified. It is strange to think that with over twenty contracts security companies in Guyana, only three would be interested in such large projects.” GAPSO noted that “The same secret arrangement for the provision of security services was made last year.” ANGOY’S AVE. MURDER…SUSPECT’S DEATH IN POLICE CUSTODY QUESTIONABLE Relatives of the nowdead killer Narindra ‘Dado’ Thakoor are refuting reports that the Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam fisherman succumbed to poisoning and are suggesting that he was the victim of police brutality. Thakoor was the fisherman who made headlines on January 16, last,

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after he hacked his 29-yearold reputed wife, Patricia Bacchus, to death. It is alleged that Thakoor fled the scene with a bottle of insecticide in his possession. He was subsequently arrested and taken to the New Amsterdam Hospital, where doctors reportedly said that there was nothing wrong with him and handed him over to the police. Soon after, he began to soil himself. Police ranks rushed him to hospital where he reportedly died an hour later. A post mortem which was conducted by pathologist Dr. Vivekanand Brijmohan indicated that the killer had died of “suspected” organophosphate poisoning. A medical source who saw the corpse refuted reports that there were marks of violence on the body and is adamant that Thakoor died from poisoning. However, relatives of the dead man alleged that his body bore marks of violence and provided Kaieteur News with photographs showing the alleged injuries. THURSDAY EDITION THREE KILLED DURING CONFRONTATION WITH POLICE IN PRASHAD NAGAR Three men were shot and killed mid-morning Wednesday by police ranks after they attempted to force their way into a house located at Premnaranjan Place, Prashad Nagar. The home is owned by Bartician Wayne Heber, proprietor of Platinum Mining. The men have been identified as 42-year-old Tony Ogle, called ‘Skin Teeth’ and ‘Ninja’ of Callendar Street, Albouystown, Quincy Alexander, 33, of Meadow Brook Gardens and 24-yearold Leon Gittens, called ‘Cow’ of Hill Street, Albouystown. According to the police, ranks acting on intelligence, responded to a report that some persons had planned to carry out a robbery on a residence owned by a miner at Premnaranjan Place, Prashad Nagar, Georgetown. A statement indicated that police ranks staked out the building. It added that about 10:05 hours, three men, two of whom were armed with firearms, entered the premises. Upon being challenged by the police, the armed men opened fire on the ranks who returned fire, hitting all three of the men. The injured men were taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where one of them was pronounced dead on arrival, while the other two succumbed while receiving medical attention. According to the police a .357 Magnum

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Back on his feet, but speaking to whom? Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee (at right) in the National Assembly revolver with 2 live rounds and a spent shell, along with a .32 Taurus pistol with 9 live rounds and 3 rounds that had snapped were recovered by the police. RAPIST KNIFES FOURYEAR-OLD TO DEATH The small community of Buck Hill on Wismar, was rocked by the brutal murder of a four-year-old nursery school child, who was stabbed repeatedly about the body by his mother’s paramour. Moments earlier the man, said to be 24-yearold Rawle Samuels, had reportedly raped the child’s aunt at the house where she resided with his mother. The child, Jamal Naranjan, had reportedly just returned home from school, when he came under attack from the man, with whom his mother shared a relationship. FRIDAY EDITION REPORT ON PRIVATISATION DEALS DESIGNED TO CONFUSE With a flurry of tables after tables, the recent document released by President Donald Ramotar on privatisation deals by the PPP/C government lacks clarity and is designed to confuse the reader. This is the view of former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran. “While some information contained in the document is useful, the average reader is left more confused and is unable to appreciate what to make of it,” Goolsarran told Kaieteur News. President Ramotar has been commended for taking the initiative to order the report, but what the Privatisation Unit has done is draw up a report that offers little clarity on major deals between 1993 and 2011. In early January, Ramotar released the publication after years of pressure on the ruling PPP/C to come clean on privatisation deals.

Goolsarran says the document itself is not a report, but rather an extract from the Privatisation Unit’s database in the form of tables. “What should have happened is for a comprehensive report to be prepared, with some of the information contained in the document presented in annexes or tables to the report. To lump all the information on privatisation in the form of tables is more confusing than helpful. It also clouds the more contentious privatisations that the government undertook.”

Minister Rohee, saying he has failed to preside in an acceptable manner over the security situation in the country. That no-confidence motion was passed on July 30, last. Based on that no confidence motion, the Opposition had wanted Rohee blocked from speaking in the House. The Speaker had made a decision that since the matter of a member speaking in the House was one of Privilege, he would be referring the matter to the Privileges Committee.

ROHEE SPEAKS, OPPOSITION WALKS OUT OF PARLIAMENT After being restricted to his seat for months, Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee was back on his feet again in the National Assembly Thursday despite the objections of the majoritycontrolled House. With that decision from Speaker Raphael Trotman, the Members of Parliament from the Opposition walked out. Minister Rohee was given his break to speak in the National Assembly when he requested to speak on the prevailing security situation in the country. Before walking out, the Opposition attempted to prevent Rohee from taking the floor. Opposition Leader David Granger pleaded with Speaker Raphael Trotman but to no avail. “If we can’t stand for something we will fall for anything,” Granger told the Speaker. Member of Parliament Basil Williams made a similar request with a similar result. When opposition frontbencher Deborah Backer attempted to add her voice, the Speaker said he would take no more, and his ruling was that Rohee be allowed to speak and that was final. The Opposition had moved a no confidence motion against

SATURDAY EDITION GUYANA’S TOTAL DEBT REMAINS HIGH DESPITE WRITE-OFFS Guyana’s total public debt at March last year was a whopping US$1.7B, slightly less than the US$2.1B at 1992 when the government assumed office. Over the years, the government, through lobbying efforts and other economic measures, had secured several debt write offs to the tune of nearly 75 per cent of the total debt which had grown significantly because of the unpaid interest charges. Based on questions from Member of Parliament, Moses Nagamootoo of the Alliance For Change, the smaller of the two parties in the Opposition, Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh on Thursday released figures on Guyana’s debts. Nagamootoo had asked a question seeking the total public debt- both local and foreign- in the US and Guyana dollars equivalent, as at September 30, 1992. According to the Minister, at September 30, 1992, it was US$2,087.99 M (US$2.09B). At that time the exchange rate for the US dollar was G$126. The debt was equivalent to G$263,086M. This contrasted to March 31, 2012 when total public

debt stood at US$1.743B at an exchange rate of G$204 to US$1. This was equivalent to G$355,580M. Since assuming power in 1992, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/ C) has succeeded in getting some of its biggest debts written off by the US, Russia, Europe, Canada China and Libya. This was to the tune of hundreds of millions of US dollars. The figures would suggest that Guyana has been borrowing more. In addition to several roads and sea defence projects, government is also paying back for the Skeldon Factory and a host of other initiatives. JOINT POLICE/CANU RAID NABS 36.3 KG COCAINE A raid by units of the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit supported by ranks of the Guyana Police Force uncovered 36.3 kilograms of cocaine in a house at Ogle, East Coast Demerara on Friday. The drug has a street value of hundreds of millions of dollars. CANU Head, James Singh, said that his men had placed the house under surveillance for some time. Yesterday, just before the raid, the men saw no movement in the house. The occupants had left, so when the raid was conducted the building was empty. Mr. Singh said that in addition to the drugs, the team found a magazine with .223 rounds, the type used in the M-16 rifle and another magazine containing nine millimeter rounds used in the Beretta sub-machine pistol. There have been a number of subsequent arrests since the police and the CANU ranks had earlier identified some of the people who frequented the house. Up to late last night they remained in police custody. MAN REMANDED FOR KILLING 4-YR-OLD STEPSON The man responsible for cold-bloodedly knifing to death his four-year-old stepson has been remanded to prison. The defendant, Rawle Samuels, 25, of Wisroc, Linden, appeared before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court Friday. He arrived in court with shackles on both his hands and feet. Samuels wore a blank facial expression at the reading of the charge. On February 6, last, at Buck Hill, Wisroc, Linden, Samuels allegedly knifed Jamal Narajan to death. He was not required to plead to the murder charge.

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Sunday February 10, 2013

Sunday February 10, 2013

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The Abigail Column Jealous girlfriend jeopardizes friendship

DEARABIGAIL, I am a happily married woman. I am also close to ‘Tom’, whom I have known for 15 years. My husband is friendly with Tom, as well. The problem is Tom’s girlfriend. There has never been anything sexual about my relationship with Tom. He is four years younger, and I think of him as a brother. I have done everything I can think of to welcome his girlfriend. I’ve called her. I’ve emailed so she can get to know

me better. I’ve invited her for dinner. I’ve offered to invite Tom over only when my husband is home. None of it seems to matter. She still thinks he’s cheating on her with me. Tom has been there during the toughest times of my life. I’m lucky to see him a few times a month. His girlfriend sees him almost every night, but even when she’s with him at my house, she gets jealous and picks a fight. Tom does not condone her behaviour, but I’m beginning to feel angry that she is accusing me of things I would never do — like cheat on my husband. Tom is like family to me. How can I make this woman

understand that we are friends and nothing more? I’d love to hang out and have fun with both of them, but she is unwilling. Baffled Dear Baffled, Tom’s girlfriend is very insecure. She is unreasonably jealous because she cannot control the relationship Tom has with you except by eliminating it altogether. That is her ultimate goal and the reason why your friendly overtures are not working. If Tom cannot reassure her sufficiently, he will continue to distance himself until he breaks it off with her — or you.

Sunday February 10, 2013 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19) Your future may be looking bright now that the Aquarius New Moon lands in your 11th House of Hopes and Dreams, making it difficult for you to contain your excitement. TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20) You may be stressed out by your own career plans now as you realize the commitment of time and energy it will take to achieve your goals. GEMINI (May 21–June 20) You have so many things going on all at once that it may be difficult to finish everything you start. Your goals are set high and the Aquarius New Moon in your 9th House of Big Ideas has you believing you can accomplish more than usual.

LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) Use whatever technology is available to share your creative and fun-loving side today. The futuristic Aquarius New Moon falls in your 5th House of Self-Expression, inspiring you to try something new. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) You might have unavoidable domestic responsibilities that require you to stay home and take care of personal business today rather than heading out into the world. SAGIT (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Today’s Aquarius New Moon in your 3rd House of Communication may make your life rather hectic as the complexity of your schedule increases.

CANCER (June 21–July 22) You could have unusual ideas about how to work with your colleagues today, but you might want more freedom of movement than you actually have in your current situation.

CAPRI (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) The Aquarius New Moon activates your 2nd House of Possessions, emphasizing money issues over the next couple of weeks. Maybe there is growing uncertainty in your cash flow or, perhaps, you need to juggle resources to cover expenses.

LEO (July 23–Aug. 22) You are like a magnet for brilliant people now that the eccentric Aquarius New Moon stimulates your 7th House of Relationships. Unusual companions will likely play an important role in your immediate future.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Insightful mental flashes bring you a new awareness about a current relationship as today’s New Moon in your sign puts you in touch with your emotions.

VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) Clean your closets, organize your information and sort through your files today.

PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20) Oftentimes your dreams are elusive and slip away before you have an opportunity to write them down.

MTV CHANNEL 14/ CABLE 65 Sign on 06:30 hrs - Prayag Vanie 07:00 hrs - Toolsie Persaud Ltd. Bhajan Hour 07:30 hrs - CNN News 08:00 hrs - Christ for the Nation 08:30 hrs - Puran Brothers: Shiva Bhajans 09:00 hrs - Muslim Melodies with Al Madina Exclusive 09:30 hrs - Teleview Kutbah 10:00 hrs - DJ Stress Indian Movie 13:00 hrs - Garam Geet 14:00 hrs - The Variety Show with WR Reaz 15:00 hrs - Sitcom 16:00 hrs - Bollywood Sensation with Kavita 17:00 hrs - Birthdays & Other greetings 17:15 hrs - Death Announcements/ In memoriam 17:30 hrs - BBC World News 18:00 hrs - Entertainment Buzz with Shivanie 18:30 hrs - DNA TV Show 19:00 hrs - JKS TV Show 19:30 hrs - BBC World News 20:00 hrs - Sangeet Mehfil 21:00 hrs - 55th Grammy Awards Sign Off NCN CHANNEL 11 05:00 hrs – Inspirational 06:00 hrs – NCN News (R/B) 06:30 hrs – Tomorrow World 07:00 hrs – Voice of Victory 07:30 hrs – Voice of Islam 08:00 hrs – Lifting Guyana to Greatness 08:30 hrs – President’s Diary

09:00 hrs – Homestretch Magazine 10:00 hrs – Weekly Digest 10:30 hrs – Gua Sha – The Treatment 12:30 hrs – Feature 13:00 hrs – Dharma Vani 14:00 hrs – Catholic Magazine 14:30 hrs – The Naked Truth 15:00 hrs – Feature 15:30 hrs – Feature 16:00 hrs – Family Forum 16:30 hrs – Shape 17:00 hrs – Rotary – World Understanding Day 18:00 hrs – NCN Week in Review 18:30 hrs – Guysuco Roundup 19:00 hrs – Debate Series on Discrimination 20:00 hrs – Kala Milan 20:30 hrs – GT&T Jingle & Song 21:30 hrs – African Moves 23:00 hrs – 5TH ODI DTV CHANNEL 8 09:25 hrs. Sign On 09:30 hrs. Touching Lives 10:00 hrs. Pair of Kings 10:30 hrs. Crash and Bernstein 11:45 hrs. Movie: The Little Unicorn 13:15: hrs. Move: Country Remedy 15:00 hrs. Movie: A Trusted Man 17:00 hrs. Family Feud 18:00 hrs. Catholic Magazine (Faith in Action) 18:30 hrs. Know Your Bible 19:00 hrs. Greetings and Announcements 21:00 hrs. The Grammys 00:00 hrs. Sign Off

Guides are subjected to change without notice

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Kaieteur News

Sunday February 10, 2013

“When we were Kings, Queens, Dragons and Snakes too!” Colin E. H. Croft

Happy New Year! Again! This time for the Chinese! This is the “Year of the Snake!” Given those reptiles have had such a bad rap, we must also note that “water’”, that absolutely most vital combination of elements; chemical compound H2O; is also fully associated with these celebrations! Happy Carnival 2013 too! These celebrations have much in common, surrounded by great enjoyment! Born in Guyana’s countryside, having travelled everywhere in the “Dear Land’s” vast hinterland, with massive rivers and plains, I know much about real snakes; Labaria, Bush-Master, Fer-deLance, etc. A bite from these can make you seriously dead! Yet the worst crawling pit vipers that I have ever met in 60 years of life, world-wide, were actually standing up, talking with severely forked tongues! Quick story, told by one who knew his animal serpents, who was home when I first met my male parent. Bush-Masters are king pairs! If you killed one, the other of that duo would remove the dead snake, then superimposed itself in the other’s place, to strike human killer when he re-passed that area! Ouch! My first association with Chinese New Year came while attending Central High School in Smyth Street, Georgetown, which was in quite near proximity to the Chinese Association’s Hall in Brickdam. While not understanding its significance then, Dragon Dances always

WICB President with Windies women (WICB). stimulated much comment and mega fun! With that most infectious and invigorating celebration of everything before Lent Carnival - moving to its great crescendo this weekend in Trinidad & Tobago, and band leaders, champions all, like “Big” Mike Antoine and supposedly retiring Peter MacFarlane, honing last minute skills, costumes and productions, that energetic concept of dragon dances, and festive, colourful masses of personnel, easily come to mind! My initial involvement in T&T’s carnival came in 1975, while studying navigation in the calypso country. Back then, calypso kings Slinger Francisco – ‘Mighty Sparrow’

- with “The Dragon Dance” and “The Hustle”, Aldwyn Roberts – ‘Lord Kitchener’ – with “Soul Train” and “Tribute to Spree Simon”, made all dance wildly, like real life, if seemingly drunk, dragons. Then, everyone were road kings and queens! Even those two could not stop another party king, Winston Bailey’s – ‘Shadow’ – 1974’s all-time hit, “Bassman”, from still being played in 1975, even as he also contributed “The King from Hell” that year! Oh yeah, it was not until I saw stupendous Dragon Dance depictions, in Sydney’s China-town, in Australia, my first tour there, 1978/9, for Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket, that I understood it

Slingerz FC to launch lucrative football tournament After gathering some of the country’s top players to form what they’re calling “the most talked about football team in Guyana”, Slingerz Football Club (FC) will be launching their West Side Football tournament. The Launching will take place on Monday February 11 in Georgetown where full details will be given as it relates to the tournament and the entertainment package in store for the nightly patrons. Eight teams all hailing from the West Demerara area will vie for the competition’s first prize of $500,000, while second through fourth will pocket $300,000, $150,000 and $50,000 respectively.

Known across the Caribbean for their musical endeavors and being one of Guyana’s leading sound systems, Slingerz turned their attention to sports, putting together their football Club, while sourcing former National Defender Gordon ‘Ultimate Warrior’ Braithwaite as their coach.

National Goalkeeper Ronson Williams and 2012/ 2013 Kashif and Shanghai Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) Dwayne Jacobs joined forces with some present and past National Players on the squad who’s aim is to climb to the top of the sport both locally and regionally.

better! That brings us to West Indies now playing in Australia! Oh, for when we were one-day kings, back then! FYI, “When we were kings!” is Leon Gast’s magnificent award-winning documentary of “The Rumble in the Jungle”, that true, almost unbelievable boxing extravaganza, when champion boxers were kings! That bout, between real monarchs of the boxing world, in any age and time Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) and “Big” George Foreman which was staged in Zaire, now known as “Democratic Republic of Congo”, was as

real, as dangerous, and as exciting as any before or since! What really sweet pain! No boxing match, perhaps no sporting event ever, with the possible exception of 1970’s Soccer World Cup Final, Mexico City, between still unparalleled Brazil, led by soccer “Kings” Pele and Jairzinho, and Italy, could have generated such interest as “The Rumble in the Jungle!” Seeing those kings at it again, recently, brought new chills! Like Ali and Foreman, West Indies were unlimited kings of one-day cricket in 1970’s and 1980’s. 1975 and 1979 World Cup victories, finalists in 1983, painfully losing to India, made us all kings then! I toured Australia three times in four consecutive years – 1978/9, 1979/80, 1981/ 2 - so popular were we there and then, even if Australia always knew that they could not have beaten us at all. Those were the days when the host cricket authorities; Australian Cricket Board Cricket Australia - had to try to make money from touring teams. Hence our so regular visits, since we were always guaranteed to play to full houses. Oh, when West Indies one-day cricketers were really kings! Not so nowadays, even as reigning World T-20 Champions! The new dispensation seems to be to highlight any rare success these days; that

Fruta Conquerors One Love Classic knockout football tournament...

Beterverwagting/Triumph came in as a late replacement after recently crowned K&S football champions, Buxton United, opted out of the tournament. They took advantage of the opportunity and emerged victorious with a 1-0 victory over favourites, Western Tigers, when action in the Fruta Conquerors One Love Classic NAMILCO knockout football tournament resumed at the Tucville Ground Friday evening last. The match had all the ingredients of a final and the spectators were treated to a high quality game between two equally determined sides. The echo of the first whistle had barely diminished when Kelvin Williams latched on to a loose ball and slammed home a success for the East Coast team. Surprisingly, amidst a strong challenge from the ‘Tigers,’ the goal held to the end. Fruta Conquerors refused to make similar blunders and managed to stave off Houston

Colin E. H. Croft magnificent hundred by Kieron Pollard, ODI No. 4; while, somehow, seemingly forgetting that West Indies are facing the proverbial 5-0 “white-wash”, figuratively and practically, after losing four in a row! What the hell is wrong with this picture anyway? Where have all of our cricketing kings gone? In Australia, we look king-less! Meanwhile, Merissa Aguilleira and our cricketing Queens continue to revel excitedly in ICC Ladies World Cup 2013, qualifying for Super Sixes, thence immediately beating South Africa. What great queen-ship! I may be wrong here, referring to when West Indies men were conquering kings! We must instead regale our always magnificent queens; carnival – Alison – Miss Universes and Ms. Worlds – Penny, Wendy, Giselle - or otherwise, those at home too, with the waiting pillua – Gail and Marcia – for Carnival 2013, and our more successful West Indies Ladies in India! Enjoy!

Beterverwagting /Triumph shock Western Tigers in thriller Stars FC 3-0 to stay on course for championship honours. The latter team came in as a late substitute for Beacons FC following its reluctance to take the field for the match. Dwayne Lawrence netted a brace in the 27th and 60th minutes for the winners and was supported by Delon Williams who scored in the 86th minute. The tournament continues this evening with two exciting games; at 18:00hrs, Santos FC will tackle Netrockers while at 20:00hrs, Camptown will battle against Pele. Fifteen teams are competing for a first place prize of $1.2M while the runners up collect $600,000. The 3rd and 4th place finishers receive $400,000 and $200,000 respectively. Players will also compete for two computer scholarships compliments of Global technology while Junior’s Jewelry has donated one gold chain. Bayridge Taxi Service has donated cell phones as special prizes.

Sunday February 10, 2013

Kaieteur News

Cavaliers Sports and Tour Club outlines packed Mashramani events The cream of the country’s race walkers will join several newcomers to compete for honours and lucrative prizes when the Cavaliers Sports and Tour Club (CS&TC) launch this year’s activities with a 10K race walk in commemoration of the death of founder leader, Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham. Activities commence at 06:30hrs at President’s College, Golden Grove, proceed to the village Market and end at the place of origin. The CSTC activities were initially scheduled to commence on January 24 last but had to be postponed after the club’s coordinator, Ms Olga Harry, was inflicted with a heart attack and stroke. Several other events have been planned for the Mashramani celebrations; on Sunday February 17, walkers will convene at the Linden Bridge (Wismar end) for the Linden Mash Race-Walk which gets underway at 06:30hrs. The walkers proceed along the Winifred-Gaskin Highway, up to the Bayroc Recreational Centre, Wisroc for the ending. One week later, on February 24, the athletes will compete in the Georgetown Mash Race-Walk commencing at 06:30hrs from the University of Guyana, Turkeyen, along the Railway Embankment and into Sheriff Street up to the National Cultural Centre, Homestretch Avenue, for the end of the race. Trophies, medals and other prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in the male, female, seniors, juniors, veterans and

differently able categories. Walkers are asked to be at the starting line by 06:00hrs for a prompt start half an hour later. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers Sport and Tour Club events for this year’s Republic Anniversary continue on Sunday February 17th, with the Linden Mash Race-Walk starting at the Linden Bridge (Wismar end) and proceeds along the Winifred-Gaskin Highway ending at the Bayroc Recreational Centre, Wisroc. The following Sunday (February 24th ) the Georgetown Mash Race-Walk will commence at 06:30 at the University of Guyana, Turkeyen, proceeding along the Railway Embankment unto Sheriff Street ending at the National Cultural Centre, Homestretch Avenue. The organizers will bring the curtains down on activities on Sunday March 3 with a 10k Race around Soesdyke, also commencing 06:30hrs. The race starts at Trevor Harry’s Photo Studio, Back Road Soesdyke, proceeds around the village and culminates at the place of origin. Lucrative prizes will be at stake in all categories in all races. The organizers are appealing to the government, the corporate community and other stakeholders for support in the form of trophies, medals and other prizes as well as water for walkers. Persons or entities willing to donate prizes may contact executives at the club’s headquarters, 222, Back Road Soesdyke, ECD. Those desirous of making financial contributions may deposit same at Citizen Bank, Camp Street Georgetown, in Account #218331151.

=== Letter to the Sports Editor ===

Raj Singh responds to Roger Harper & Bissoondyal Singh DEAR EDITOR, It seems that some people will never stop peddling misinformation in the public domain even though these issues have been corrected and put to rest numerous times in the past. Mr. Bissoondyal Singh has misled the Courts and the Government of Guyana with his drivel and should take the time to read and understand a document before making public pronouncements on anything. If he cannot understand that document, he should seek proper counsel on same. We note in an article issued in the Saturday’s issue of the KN that Messrs Harper & Singh wrote to the WICB complaining about the conduct and legality of the recently held AGM of the GCB. Their reason for their complaint is stated that the GCB AGM was not properly constituted and they wanted to know the names of the delegates that attended that AGM on behalf of the Demerara Cricket Board. These 2 persons are among several persons within the Bissoondyal grouping which have been injuncted against since February 2011 from holding themselves out as the DCB. The attached copy of the Order granted by the learned Judge James Bovell-

Drakes is attached for your record which specifically states: (In a High Court injunction dated February 8, 2011) “IT IS ORDERED AND DIRECTED that the Defendants and each and everyone of them by themselves, their servants and or agents or otherwise whosoever or howsoever be restrained and an Injunction be and is hereby granted restraining the Defendants their servants and or agents or whomsoever from acting, operating, performing, functioning and or discharging in any manner whatsoever any of the functions, duties, and or obligations of or belonging to the Demerara Cricket Board and also from holding themselves out whether individually as Office Bearers of the Demerara Cricket Board and or jointly as the Executive Committee of the said Demerara Cricket Board.” (Those defendants being: “BISSOONDYAL DEODASINGH also known as ISSOONDYAL SINGH, ROGER HARPER, PRETIPAUL JAIGOBIN, AVTEERTH ANANDJIT, SAMAROO JAILALL, EDWARD RICHMOND, NIGELBISSU, NEILBARRY, SHAWN MASSIAH, MANOJ NARAYAN, CLAUDE RAPHAEL and RONALD

WILLIAMS.”) The second Court document Granted On April 21, 2011 further states: “ P l a i n t i f f KRISHNCHAND MANGAL AND UPON READING the Affidavit in Answer sworn by BISOONDYAL SINGH, the First Named Defendant, on the 17th day of February, 2011, and the Affidavits in Reply thereto AND UPON HEARING Attorneys-at-Law for the Plaintiff and for the Defendants IT IS THIS DAY OREDRERD that the Interim Injunction granted by Mr. Justice Bovell-Drakes on the 8th day of February, 2011, be made interlocutory AND IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Plaintiff do give an undertaking to cease functioning as a member of the Executive Committee of the Demerara Cricket Board until further ordered by the Court.” Mr. Harper should say why he withdrew his court proceedings against Officers of the DCB after he realized he was losing. I can advise Messrs Singh & Harper that the DCB was properly represented at the AGM of the GCB on January 27 th 2013 and none of the persons listed above attended as a delegate of the DCB at this meeting. Raj Singh

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Oscar E. Shew Mem. Dominoes...

One week away; 18 teams to vie for whopping prizes Dominoes players and fans are eagerly awaiting double six time for the annual Oscar E. Shew Memorial Points System 18-Team dominoes tournament that will be played next Sunday, February 17 at the Everest Cricket Club Pavilion, Camp Road, Georgetown, commencing at noon. Trophies were handed over by sponsor Shew’s General Store to coorganisers, Messrs. Boston and Harry at Strikers Sports Club on Friday last. The competition will be played on a two-round aggregate basis with several top teams vying for supremacy. The late Oscar Shew passed away on February 15, 1999 in the USA and in a fitting tribute to the dynamic businessman, his son Manniram “Packer” Shew has been staging annual tournaments since, the inaugural one held the year after his death. Apart from being a successful and fruitful businessman, the effervescent Shew was also a Charter Member of the South Georgetown Lions Club, During his tenure with the club, Shew was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship, signifying 25 years Lionism Service. The winning team will cart off $180,000, main trophy along with six individual trophies for each team member. The second-placed team will earn $90,000 and trophy while third place will attract $54,000 and trophy. A special incentive of $5,000 will also be paid on the spot to

Trophies on display by sponsor Shew’s General Store and co-organisers, Messrs. Orin Boston (right) and Roderick Harry. the player sharing the first double love. Entrance fee per team is $18,000 and teams are asked to walk with good pack of dominoes. There will be a disciplinary committee comprising of Mr. Orin Boston, Mr. Manniram Shew and Mr. Roderick Harry in case there is any dispute among individual of teams who sometimes bring the sport into disrepute. The points system rules developed by dominoes enthusiast Manniram Shew will be in effect and are as follows: For each 6 games made the team will gain 15 points, for each 5 games made the team gains 10 points, for each 4 games made the team

gains 8 points, for each 3 games made the team gains 6 points, for each 2 games made the team gains 4 points, for every 1 game made the team gains 1 point, for each love the team receives the team loses 5 points. Among the teams slated to be in action are F&H Supremes, Bajan Connection, Strikers, Zeelugt Sports Club, TNT, Wild Bunch, Assassins, C-7, Renegades, B-6, Lions, Transport, Tone, Snake, Canal 6, Everest, International 6, Professional 6 and Rooster. Other interested teams are asked to contact Shew on 227-2447 and 625-4134 and R. Harry on 623-7670. Teams will be allotted places on a first come basis.

Sunday February 10, 2013

Permaul, Beaton wreck Leewards NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – Tonito Willett’s half-century propped up Leeward Islands but Guyana were making a strong reply on the opening day of the first round of matches in the Regional Four-Day Championship here Saturday. The right-hander hit a top score of 58 which helped pull the Leewards around from a shaky position of 61 for five and steer them to 182 all out at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground. At the close, Guyana had made good headway to reach 37 without loss, with Rajindra Chandrika unbeaten on 32. Sent in on an encouraging pitch, the Leewards were in early turmoil at 27 for three after Austin Richards (11), Orlando Peters (1) and Steve Liburd (1) all departed cheaply with fast bowler Ronsford Beaton (3-43) taking two of the wickets to fall. Opener Montcin Hodge, who struck 22 from 57 balls with three fours, added 34 f o r the fourth wicket with seasoned campaigner and captain Sylvester Joseph (15) to half the slide. However, both batsmen fell with the score on 61 to leave the Leewards in another hole, leaving Willett to perform his rescue mission. The 30-year-old combined with Jahmar

Hamilton, who made 32, to put on 47 for the sixth wicket. He added a further 28 for the eighth wicket with tail-ender Gavin Tonge (3) and another 36 for the ninth wicket with former West Indies fast bowler Lionel Baker (13). Overall, Willett faced 157 balls in three fours and seven minutes at the crease, and struck five fours. Hamilton, meanwhile, hit five boundaries in an innings that lasted just under an hour-and-a-half, and which consumed 78 balls. Left-arm spinner and captain Veerasammy Permaul, who took four for 42, made key strikes to erode the Leewards’ gains before West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo claimed the precious wicket of Willett at 182 for nine. In other scores: At Kensington Oval: JAMAICA 165 all out (Jermaine Blackwood 81, Andrew Richardson 30 not out; Miguel Cummins 5-58, Ashley Nurse 2-38, Chris Jordan 2-43); BARBADOS 107 for six (Jonathan Carter 47 not out; Sheldon Cotterrell 2-17, Nikita Miller 2-17). At the Beausejour Cricket Ground: COMBINED CAMPUSES & CAMPUS 280 for nine (Anthony Alleyne 84, Kevin McClean 28, Chadwick Walton 27; Shane Shillingford 3-73, Garey Mathurin 2-44, Delorn Johnson 2-47, Nelon Pascal 2-69) vs WINDWARD ISLANDS.

Ramdhani siblings claim singles Badminton titles in GUMDAC tourney The outstanding performers display their prizes following the presentation.

GFF Super League...

Three matches on today at Uitvlugt & GFC grounds Uitvlugt Warriors (10 Points) will hope to make their home advantage work when they entertain bottom of the table BV Triumph United (6 Points) in the feature game this afternoon when the Guyana Football Federation 2012/2013 Super League continues at the Uitvlugt Community Centre Ground. The opening game at 13:30hrs will see Den Amstel Porknockers (7 Points) coming up against Amelia’s Ward United (6 Points). The lone fixture at the GFC Ground which starts at 15:30hrs pits defending champions Alpha United (10 points) against Rosignol United (7 Points). BV have been showing signs of consistency having drew their previous game last weekend with Den Amstel 1-1 and created a major upset as one of two replacement teams in the NAMILCO One Love Classic when they needled Western Tigers on Friday evening

last. Coach Joseph Wilson is back at the helm and based on reports, his return has taken on a professional approach which has been reaping results to date. Uitvlugt Warriors will however, not be outdone as they too secured a tough point when they drew with Rosignol United in their last game also. A mouth watering match-up is anticipated. Amelia’s Ward will be aiming to rebound following a heavy 4-0 loss to alpha United on Wednesday but the Den Amstel side they are facing today will be aiming to take full points against their Upper Demerara rivals. Alpha United will be taking on a no nonsense approach when they come up against Rosignol United having rolled over Amelia’s Ward in their mid week encounter. Rosignol however, have shown in the past that they are no easy pushovers.

The GUMDAC Open Singles Tournament concluded at the Queens College Badminton Courts on Friday last and the tournament ended with National Junior players Narayan and Priyanna Ramdhani winning the Men’s and Ladies Singles respectively. The Men’s Finals proved to be the most thrilling match of the evening between Narayan Ramdhani and Nicholas Ali who went to three games with the most explosive of smashes, movements and skills on the

court. These two players battled it out with Narayan winning the first, Nicholas came back in the second and then Narayan returned in the third and won the 2013 Men’s Singles Crown. The presentation was done after the finals to the winners, runner ups and third placed winners by members of the GBA and the Head Mistress of Queens College, Ms. Jackie Benn who presented the trophies and medals. The Results of the Finals are: Men’s Singles: Narayan Ramdhani defeated Nicholas

Ali: 21-16, 13-21, 21-16 Ladies Singles: Priyanna Ramdhani defeated Ambika Ramraj: 21-6, 21-9 The overall results of the tournament are: Men’s Singles: 1st place: Narayan Ramdhani 2nd place: Nicholas Ali 3rd place: Darrell Carpenay & Jonathan Mangra Ladies Singles: 1st Place: Priyanna Ramdhani 2nd Place: Ambika Ramraj 3rd Place: Nadine Jairam & Arian Kayume

Sunday February 10, 2013

Kaieteur News

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GBA seeks meeting with Sports Invaders of Cornelia Ida latest Minister to plot way forward YOLO Entertainment 10/10 Challenge Series...

to confirm participation

Cornelia Ida’s Invaders team celebrate a win in a previous competition. One of Guyana’s most exciting softball cricket teams has confirmed participation in the upcoming inaugural YOLO Entertainment 10/10 Challenge Series. The Invaders of Cornelia

Ida on the West Coast of Demerara have indicated their intention to be part of the Series and according to their captain Harrinarine Bissoondyal they are pulling out all the stops in a bid win

Simon Pures on show as GASP stages Beginner’s competition Executives of the Guyana Association of Scrabble Players (GASP) are continuing its drive to take the sport to a wide cross section of citizens and this morning will be staging a Beginner’s competition at the Malteenoes Sports Club, Thomas lands. Registration commenced earlier last week and the organizers are expecting a large turnout. The players will contest over 4 rounds and the tournament gets underway at 13:00hrs sharp. Officials of the GASP executive committee are encouraging students from

Primary and Secondary Schools to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance their vocabulary while participating in the tournament which is also enjoyable and fun filled. Members of GASP are asked to ensure that adequate boards and clocks are at the venue at least 30 minutes before the tournament is scheduled to get underway. H.H. Hallim Generator Contractor has once again provided the sponsorship package for this tournament and the top three players will receive lucrative prizes. The entrance fee is $500.

Fazia’s Collection / WDFA U-17 Girls Inter School Tourney...

Action set to kick off on Tuesday at Den Amstel Gr. The Fazia’s Collection sponsored West Demerara Football Association (WDFA) organized Girls Under-17 Inter Secondary Schools football tournament is set to kick off on Tuesday at the Den Amstel Community Ground, West Coast Demerara. Six schools will be competing in this inaugural tournament for top honours; Zeeburg, Uitvlugt, Leonora, Vreed-en-hoop, West Demerara Secondary and St. John’s College. This tournament will be

used by the Guyana Football Federation to select players who can be eligible for the national Under-17 squad later this year as Guyana has already entered to compete in the World Under-17 qualifying competition which will start with the Caribbean Football Union leg of qualifying. An official opening ceremony that will feature the March Past of the participating teams will be the highlight on Tuesday from 14:30hrs.

the event. He said that the team had begun their preparations immediately after learning of the organisers’ intention to stage the tournament. Invaders have been campaigning in the softball arena for the past five years and have over eleven trophies that they have won from competing in various tournaments to date. According to the captain, one of the strong points of the team is their fielding. He said this is an aspect of the game that a lot of teams overlook, but it is one of the vital areas in the game and usually enhances a team’s chances of winning matches. He however, added that they will definitely be looking to improve in all the other facets of the game to strengthen their chances of doing well in the competition. The team’s sponsors Richard Baker, Hardat Singh and Anthony Singh are optimistic of the team’s prospects of winning the Series and are determined to pull out all the stops to make certain that they get the best possible preparations to enhance their chances of securing the top prize. Harrinarine pointed out that one of the teams that they expect a strong challenge from is “Speedboat”. But he said they have a special plan to deal with them. He joked (Invaders) are building a special “boat” of which they will give to “Speedboat” when they defeat them, so they could sail comfortably back home. The Series is set to get underway pretty soon as the Organisers await the confirmation of the teams that are expected to fill the last few spots in the roster before releasing tournament dates and venues. The usual picnic atmosphere is expected at the game venues.

The Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) will be seeking to meet with Sports Minister Frank Anthony to review and plot the way forward based on the document they had submitted late last year, laying out a comprehensive plan on the road to the 2016 Olympic Games. President of GBA, Steve Ninvalle, informed when contacted that he is set to write to the minister this week to seek a meeting promptly to discuss the submitted proposal. He disclosed that following those consultations then other meetings with be held with relevant stakeholders in the entire process. Heading that list are the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and the Guyana Boxing Board of Control. The GOA, who has direct control over Olympic sports,

Steve Ninvalle will be a key partner in any programme the boxing association has and collaboration with them will be of utmost importance, w h i l e t h e y will seek to enhance a joint venture with the Boxing Board to further

enhance the activities of the young fighters. GBA and the GBBC have been collaborating with regard to the Friday Night fights programme which features an amateur segment followed by the professional action. This has ensured constant activity for the young fighters along with overseas competition. Ninvalle noted that this programme is a vital artery for the success of the development of the sport and to achieve the goals set out of medaling at the upcoming Olympics. The ensuing meeting will be crucial in putting the necessary mechanisms in place, including financial and other logistical necessities to ensure the programme works and results in the desired success.

Milo U-20 Schools Football Tournament...

Lodge, Chase Academy latest winners

Chase Academy goalscorers pose for a photo op following their win over St. Winefride yesterday. Lodge and Chase Academy were winners when the Milo Under-20 Schools Football Competition continued yesterday, at the Ministry of Education ground on Carifesta Avenue. In the opening game of the day, Lodge gained a walkover from Guyana Educational Trust College, before Dolphin drew with David Rose and then Chase Academy beat St. Winefride 5-1. In the day’s full results:

Game 1 Lodge Secondary won by walkover from Guyana Educational Trust College Game 2 Dolphin Secondary drew with David Rose Secondary 3-3 Goals Scorers Dolphin Secondary Clinton Clark 3rd min Toquwan Clark 24th min Daniel Griffith 56th min David Rose Secondary Terrence Kayume 4th min

Jamal John 7th & 21st min Game 3 Chase Academy beat St Winefride Secondary 5-1 Goal Scorers Chase Academy Stephen Sanchar 35th min Rayan Watson 56th & 70th min Isaiah Reddy 61st min Carl Semple 64th min St Winefride Secondary Christopher Sealey 37th min. The competition continues today with three more matches at the same venue.

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Kaieteur News

Aguilleira optimistic after winning start to ICC WWC 2013 Super Six

West Indies women cricket team captain, Merissa Aguilleira, pose for photo with children. (WICB)

Sunday February 10, 2013

CUTTACK, India – West Indies Women’s captain Merissa Aguilleira said she was happy to start the Super Six stage of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 with a victory over South Africa Women on Friday. Chasing 231 for victory, the Windies Women stuttered before prevailing by two wickets over the South Africans at the Barabati Stadium when the Super Six opened. World No.1 Women’s all-rounder Stafanie Taylor smashed 75 from 78 balls to put the Caribbean side on course and was well supported with 46 from opener Kycia Knight. The pair put on 126 runs for the second wicket before the Windies Women wobbled to 196 for six and Shemaine Campbelle came to their rescue with 33 from 42 balls. “We well understand the position which we face right now,” Aguilleira said at the post-play media conference. “It’s the Super Six and we have new rules and we can ill-afford to make mistakes, so we have to be on top of our game, whichever team we play. “We knew we had to start the Super Six on a good note and this is an example of a good note. We could have done it much easier, but I guess there are areas in which we need to improve, and after all, it’s about moving forward.” Aguilleira said though her side pulled through to overcome the South Africans, the batting was still inconsistent and they had to find a way to put this right. “One thing coach [Sherwin Campbell] always tells us is that once we ‘get in’ as batters, we needed to bat through and that’s one of the areas we are not really accomplishing consistently,” she said. “We need to be far more patient.” The Windies Women face a difficult path to reach the Grand Final following an up-anddown performance in the group stage. With the points the teams gained from the teams they beat in group play being brought forward, Aguilleira’s side has four points and will need to topple two former champions New Zealand and Australia. “We have to take it to them as well,” she said. “We have been faltering a bit against the sides ranked above us, where we have been going out there and not being positive against them. “I guess it’s about a turning point now and we know how important playing well will be and so we have to continue going out there, playing hard, motivating each other and doing what we have to do as a team.”

Sunday February 10, 2013

Kaieteur News

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Merton Fitzalbert - from goal keeper to National Basketball Star As the Caribbean Basketball Championships approaches, statistician, Charwayne Walker, shifts his attention from his previous football columns to basketball issues. The selectors had taken a gamble and included Merton Fitzalbert on the standby list for Guyana’s 1972 basketball tour of French Guiana. After disappointing returns, Fitzalbert aspired to focus more deeply on the sport that his elder brother, Melroy, who played for the Eagles Club, dominated at the first division level. Before long, he earned some recognition after playing among other top players in the Guyana Basketball Association under the presidency of sports personality, Joseph ‘Reds’ Pereira. He experienced rapid advancement and one year later was drafted into the Guyanese squad as an uncapped player to travel to Suriname for an International Goodwill Series in 1973 involving senior and national teams from the host country Suriname, and the Holland All Stars. The local squad played

under the tutelage of captain, Mike Brusche. Despite the misfortune of being omitted for the more important Central American Championship in Puerto Rico one year later, young Merton was determined to emulate big brother Melroy and in 1974, returned to the National team when Guyana hosted Barbados for two friendly internationals at Parade Ground. His feats earned him a second overseas international assignment to Barbados in November 1974 where he competed in three matches. His next national assignment was in the Dominican Republic for the 1975 Central American Championship in what was then a historical achievement since Guyana fielded a team with two set of brothers; Merton and Melroy Fitzalbert and the Brusches, Michael and Clifton. Merton later competed against the Giants of China when the local basketball association hosted its inaugural international basketball tournament in November 1975. He was also a main feature when Guyana hosted the Caribbean Championship in 1976 and later, the New York Buffalo All

Merton Fitzalbert Stars. Merton also played an integral role, albeit in a losing cause, when the national basketball squad lost three internationals against the Cubans in May 1977 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, then the National Sports Hall. He represented Guyana at several other international tournaments including Suriname’s Top Club Side Caribbean Little Devils; the Canada Montreal Y.M.C.A (1978), Barbados Independence Anniversary International Tournament (also in 1978). He then contributed with a top score (17 points) in Guyana’s opening victory in 1979 against

Trinidad and Tobago at the National Sports Hall. Guyana eventually lost the four match series 3-1. Fitzalbert next travelled to Trinidad and Tobago in August 1980 for an international triangular series also involving the host and Barbados. Two months later, he turned in an outstanding performance against the Northern League of Trinidad and Tobago in a two match international series which ended one all. He incurred injuries which were responsible for his omission from the Caricom bronze medal squad team and he subsequently missed a Goodwill tour to Trinidad and Tobago the same year. The basketball star then returned to the national team in October 1982 and scored a career best 24 points to help Guyana destroy the touring Northern League of Trinidad and Tobago at the National Sports Hall, 2 nil. As his career dwindled Merton journeyed in to Jamaica in December 1982 with the Hewley Harry led national team to compete in the second Caricom Basketball Championships

before his last outing in national colours, the World Military Basketball championship in Suriname in October 1984. He decided to switch to basketball activities but returned later to realize his goalkeeping dreams when he stood between the uprights for Pele FC in a game against Trinidad and Tobago Palseco in 1982; it proved to be his only international game and a fitting end to his life in sports. Indeed his stats were

impressive; International Debut (1973) Paramaribo Suriname; Career High 24 pts vs Northern League of Trinidad & Tobago 1982 National Sports Hall. International tours: 1973 Suriname (1974) Barbados, (1975) Dominican Republic, (1978) Barbados, (1980) Trinidad & Tobago, (1982) Jamaica, (1984) Suriname. International matches played 60

Volleyball Festival to launch GVF Season today Today, Sunday 10th February, the National Gymnasium will be hive of activity when the Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) holds its Annual Volleyball Festival to launch the 2013 volleyball season in Guyana. The event is also being held in honour of the GVF’s President, Lenox Shuffler who is celebrating his 74th birthday this year and 61years of involvement in the game of Volleyball. Players from Georgetown, Berbice, West Demerara and East Coast Demerara are expected to

flock the venue to participate in a day of activities which will include fun games and also have a chance to intermingle with each other. At the GVF’s recent Annual General Meeting (AGM), Mr. Shuffler had outlined plans for “Development through Activity” and outlined challenges and opportunities facing the federation. Today’s festival will serve as the launching pad for more activities this year. The action is expected to serve off at 10:00hrs and all volleyball players are urged to be a part of the activity and be punctual.

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Sunday February 10, 2013

Top class action anticipated as ‘The Bully’/ Pearl Vodka stages 50 sizzling rounds of boxing Less than three months after promoting his inaugural professional boxing card, World Boxing Council Caribbean Boxing Federation ( W B C C A B O F E ) bantamweight champion, Elton ‘The Bully’ Dharry will once again team up with Pearl’s Vodka to stage another such event, fittingly dubbed, ‘Night of Champions 2,’ at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH), Sunday February 24 next. The card will feature some of this country’s best pugilists up against their international counterparts and Dharry said that the boxers have been specially chosen to provide top class entertainment. Dharry will put his title on the line against Jamaican, Rudolph ‘Cutting Edge’ Hedge in the feature attraction, while Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assassin’ Jones will eventually get an opportunity to prove his worth against WBCCABOFE heavyweight champion, Shawn ‘The Sniper’ Cox. The two will battle in a 10 rounds non-title catchweight affair in the main supporting bout, while Dexter Marques returns to the ring for a highly anticipated 8 rounds flyweight contest against Mexican Jose Riveria. Another Jamaican, Dean ‘Bad Newz’ Burrell, currently residing in England, will test the skills of Rudolph Fraser in a 6 rounds lightweight

Shawn Cox

Kwesi Jones

Dexter Marques

Mahmood Loul

to the USA to fine tune preparations for the card, while the local fighters have already opened camp at gyms around the country. Tickets are currently on sale and could be had at Street Styles Boutique, Texila American University and at

the CASH on fight night. The organizers could be reached at telephone # 604-9482 or at venue at event day. VIP tickets are sold at $10,000 each and include drinks, while ringside and stands seats could be had for $4,000 and $2,000 respectively.

Elton Dharry contest shortly after Mahmood ‘The Extractor’ Loul, a Syrian dentist currently residing in the USA, but on attachment at the Cheddi Jagan Dental School, enters the ring against Patrick Boston over 4 rounds in the super/ middleweight division. W B C C A B O F E lightweight champion, Clive Atwell, is also expected to be in action against Trinidadian Kevon Diaz over 8 rounds, but negotiations are still ongoing. The organizers said that these negotiations should be completed over the coming week. The night’s opener will witness bantamweight Delon Allicock, just off a knockout victory over Charlton Skeete, opposing Ryan Ali over 4 rounds. Dharry has since returned

Over 40 horses entered as preparations heightens for the Rising Sun Mash horserace meet Preparations have heightened for the Rising Sun Turf Club Mashramani one day horserace meet slated for Sunday 24th February at the Clubs entity Rising Sun Arima Park, West Coast Berbice. The meet, which is being held in collaboration with Beverage Giants Banks DIH Limited, will see seven races being staged with prized monies totaling over $5.5M in cash, trophies and other goodies are up for grabs during the day’s proceedings. So far over 40 animals have been entered for the day’s action and with the feature event being taken care of by Banks DIH Limited the action is expected to be intense. The feature event is for B class horses and with Banks DIH Limited putting up the stakes over 1400M and the winner set to race away with a sumptuous $1M and the Banks DIH trophy. Turfites can expect a ding dong battle among the top horses in Guyana with the likes of Score’s Even, Settle In Seattle, the Message, Got To Go, California Strike, Mission King, Home Bush Baby, Renia Del Cafe, Night Crescendo and Marathon man all set to renew their battle for supremacy and an early advantage for the 2013 season. A number of sponsors has also indicated their willingness to be on board, but among those confirming so far are Chester Fry Chicken of Bush Lot West Coast Berbice, Shariff business enterprise and racing stable, Hablaw Meat Centre, Romel Jagroop Construction, Abary and Rising Sun Cattle ranches, Colin Elcock Racing Stables and Trophy Stall,

Bourda Market. The other events listed on the day’s card are - The three year old event for animals bred and born in Guyana and the West Indies which has a winning prize of $400,000 and trophy over 1400M. The F Class 1400M event has a pole position taking of $340,000 and trophy. There is the three year old race for Guyana bred and born horses with a winners pocket of $300,000 and trophy also over 1400M. The G and lower showdown will also see the top animal running away with $300,000 and trophy in another 1400M encounter. The I Class horses will gallop over 1100M for a winner’s take of $200,000 and trophy. The other event on the days programme is for horses classified J and lower and will see the winner receiving $150,000 and trophy. Businessman Ramesh Sunich of the Trophy Stall in Bourda Market as usual is on board with sponsorship for the individual prizes which includes the champion jockey, champion trainer and champion stable trophies among others. The Race will be held under the rules of the Rising Sun Turf Club and Bugle time is 13:00 hrs. Entries closed on Sunday 17th of February. Persons interested in being a part of the day’s action can make contact with Fazal Habibulla at Chester Fry at Bush Lot West Coast Berbice on Telephone No 2320232 or 648-6522, 6577010, or Inshanally Habibulla on tel No 623-4495, and 623-5453 or 232-3295, Donald or Zaleena Lawrie on telephone nos 2254530 or 225-4565. Race time is 13:00 hrs. Proceeds go towards charity. (Samuel Whyte)

NSC/GTTA Mashramani tournament looms The National Sports Commission (NSC) has extended an invitation to all affiliated members of the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) to participate in its February 15-24 Mashramani Table Tennis Tournament at the National Gymnasium. The tournament opens on Friday with the mini-cadets, cadets and juniors competitions before it continues on February 22 with the senior segment. The NSC in a press release asked that entries be sent to Tournament Coordinator, Linden Johnson. The competition will be played in the Boys and Girls Under-9; Under-11; Under-13; Under-15; Under-18; Boys Doubles; Girls Doubles; Junior

Mixed Doubles; 21 Years and Under; Women Singles and Men Singles. Trophies and medals to the first, second and joint third place will be granted in all events while players must agree to compete against any other participating player, and the participants respect and acknowledge the ITTF AntiHarassment Policy. The technical meeting and draws will take place on Wednesday at 5pm at the Gymnasium and will be made under the supervision of the Technical and Organizing Committee representatives. Players must finish among the last 16 to qualify for the 2013 National Championships.

Sunday February 10, 2013

Kaieteur News

Page 61

Sanjay’s Jewellery, Roger Hinds support Leroy Brumell’s T10 Cricket Competition today Sanjay’s Jewellery, Roger Hinds, Latchman & Sons Cambio and the Trophy Stall became the latest entities t o offer sponsorship for today’s Commissioner of Police, Leroy Brumell’s Birth Anniversary T10 Cricket Competition. The cricket competition and Family Fun Day will be held at the Police Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary. In the male competition, Headquarters take on ‘D’ Division in one of the semifinals, while ‘G’ Division battle ‘B’ Division in another semi-final. There will also be a female competition at the same venue today among some invitational events. The final day, which is being held in a Fun Day setting, will also feature games between 4R Lioness and Tr o p h y St a l l A n g e l s i n a female showdown as Floodlight Masters take on Police Officers in a male grudge contest. The top three teams in the cricket competition and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) will receive cash prizes. In addition, a dominoes contest is also set for the day. The dominoes competition will be contested for cash prizes as well. To make things more interesting, two featured athletics events, namely male and female 100m and 800m will be staged. The top three finishers of the four races will be financially rewarded.

Businessman, Roger Hinds of 111 Miles Mahdia makes his contribution for the Commissioner of Police T10 Cricket to Guyana Police Force Sports Officer, Colin Boyce

CEO of Sanjay’s Jewellery, Mr. Sanjay hands over his contribution to Guyana Police Force Sports Officer, Colin Boyce yesterday.

22nd R&R Int. 11-Race Meet

t r o Sp

Alonzo Greaves pedals to victory in a fast race

Alonzo Greaves about to seal another comfortable victory ahead of Raynauth Jeffrey. (Franklin Wilson photo)


or one moment it seemed that the record for the 35lap race at the National Park held by Marlon ‘Fishy’ Williams (1 Hr 14 Mins 59

Secs – Sept 15, 2012) would have been erased but that was not the case; however, Alonzo Greaves of Roraima Bikers Club rode a brilliant race to come out victorious

in the main event of the 22nd annual R&R International sponsored 11-Race Cycle Meet yesterday. In pouring rain, Greaves crossed the line in One Hour

15 Minutes 43 Seconds pulling away from Raynauth Jeffrey to record his second win of the season at this venue following victory in the National Sports

Commission Mashramani Meet. The feature event attracted 30-starters and for the most part, the riders were in close proximity of each other in two bunches. On the penultimate lap however, Greaves and Jeffrey pulled away from the main pack and were never pursued. Paul DeNobrega, Junior Niles, Geron Williams and Alex Mendes closed out the top six spots; Jeffrey won four (4) of the eight prime prizes with one each for Greaves, Niles, Jude Bentley and John Charles. Akeem Arthur was the top rider in the Juvenile 10lap showdown clocking 23 Minutes 27 Seconds to win ahead of Raul Leal and Michael Anthony. Junior Niles was again the top pedal in the Veterans Under-50 category finishing the 5-lap race in 13 Minutes 21 Seconds. The Over-50 showdown ended in victory for Virgil Jones who turned the tables on Suriname’s Kenneth Meije who won the week before. Lancelot Rose again settled for third. Continuing to rule the roost in the Over-60 division was the indomitable Maurice

Fagundes. The top mountain bike rider was Ozia Macullay who gained sweet revenge over Stefano Husbands, winner of the same race one week earlier. Julio Melville again occupied the third place. Other results recorded 12- 14 boys and girls (5laps) - Alfie Sonoram, Romello Crawford, Jason Jordan (8 Mins 32 Secs) BMX 6-9 - Isaiah Sahadeo, Jeremiah Harrison, Ken Sahadeo BMX 9-12 - Rashedi Ceres, Jamal Arthur, Shamar Grannum BMX 12-14 - Raphael Leung, Keon Harris, Bryton John BMX Open - Makiel Diaz, Adrian Sharma, Jamal John Meanwhile, two races are slated for today, from 07:00hrs the Guyana Cycling Federation will host a race starting from H o m e s t r e t c h Av e n u e proceeding to Land Canaan and back to the place of origin for the finish while from 14:00hrs, riders will face off again this time from Homestretch Avenue to Belfield on the East Coast of Demerara and back to the starting line for the finish.

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