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Kaieteur News

Wednesday February 13, 2013

Guyana, Suriname discuss gold smuggling, exploitation of natural resources

The delegations from Guyana and Suriname at the meeting Smuggling of gold between Guyana and Suriname were among the high points on the agenda last Friday when representatives

of the two neighbouring countries met to discuss increased cooperation. The meeting between Guyana’s Natural Resources

Minister, Robert Persaud, and his counterpart, Jim Hok, also saw the discussion of deepening and strengthening of cooperation

in the field of mining between the two countries. The ministerial level meeting, in Suriname, was convened as a consequence of a mandate

given by the President of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, and President Donald Ramotar. A joint statement from the ministries disclosed that one of the key matters the Ministers discussed was the sustainable exploitation and development of natural resources and how the two countries could cooperate in those areas. “Minister Hok and Minister Persaud agreed that there was mutual interest for Suriname and Guyana to work more closely together in the natural resources area and noted that there is a large potential for cooperation, ranging from knowledge and information sharing to joint educational and training programmes for the small scale mining industry of the two countries and in the development of the oil and gas exploration and exploitation sectors.” Suriname has been engaged in oil drilling for years now, an area that Guyana has entered and is hoping to find success. “The ministers exchanged views on the illicit trade in mineral resources emanating

from Guyana, especially those sourced from small scale mining operations. The two Ministers agreed that a meeting between experts from the mining sector in Suriname and Guyana will be convened at the earliest mutually convenient date, to discuss in greater detail the areas of mutual interest in the mining sector.” Experts in the two countries will now have to prepare an executable plan for cooperation in the natural resources sector for the mutual benefit of the two countries. “The Ministers expressed satisfaction with the spirit in which their conversation took place and stated that they are confident that Suriname and Guyana will both reap tremendous benefit from cooperating in the field of mining and general natural resources development and exploitation.” With a porous border, the two countries have been battling smuggling and illegal crossings for years now. Recently, there was a high profile case in Curacao and there are suggestions that the gold was smuggled from Guyana and Suriname.

DO YOU KNOW THAT JAGDEO’S BEST FRIEND IS THE ONLY PERSON IN GUYANA TO OWN THREE MEDIA HOUSES ... Radio, Television and Newspaper?

Dr. Bobby Ramroop

1) Channel 28 now TVG 28 2) A radio station - 89.5FM 3) Guyana Times newspaper

Former President Bharrat Jagdeo


Wednesday February 13, 2013

Kaieteur News

Ensigns urged to be wary of negative influences

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Illegal wire electrocutes another cow on Saints’ farm

- Eighth in four years The cow lies dead on the illegal live wire

The Officer Cadets at yesterday’s ceremony After one year of rigorous training, students of the Standard Officers’ Course #45 stood tall at the traditional commissioning church service that kicks off the week of activities to signify their graduation. The service was held at the Guyana Defence Force Headquarters, Base Camp Ayanganna where scores of solders of all ranks gathered in observance. Representatives of three religious denominations each offered prayers for the Ensigns and blessed their badges of rank. During a pertinent sermon, Reverend Louis Crawford of the Tucville Assembly of God Church told the Ensigns that he expected their batch to be exceptional in their performance.

His message came through a scripture taken from the Bible’s book of Psalms which directs that, “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” In this vein, Crawford implored the Officer Cadets to allow their lives to be ordered by God. He also urged that the Ensigns be wary of negative influences and always consider truth with regard to making any influences felt. “Be an asset to the Force and to humankind,” he urged. As he spoke about the training received, Crawford alluded to the bible story of David, and highlighted the comparison between skilled solders who went through the formal training and David, whose training only came from God.

With that being established, the Reverend advised the ranks to allow the favour of God to fall upon them so that it can work in collaboration with their training. He added that God grants the biggest rewards and urged that the Ensigns seek only to him for rewards. In closing, Crawford advised once again that “ability and talents can take you only up to a point let the blessings of God take you further. The Standard Officers Course is one aimed at producing an Officer who is capable of leading and administering soldiers while at the same time upholding the values and standards of the Guyana Defence Force. (Abena Rockcliffe)

GDF Officer graduates as medical doctor

The Guyana Defence Force has extended its congratulations to Captain Natoya Adanna Lewis-Fraser who successfully completed her internship at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and has joined the staff at the GDF Medical Corps. Doctor Lewis-Fraser earned the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery Degree (MBBS) and graduated from the University of Guyana in November 2011. The young Officer is one of the latest to benefit from the Force’s continuing policy to provide opportunities for the academic and professional development of its human resources and that of the nation. The Captain proceeded to read for her degree after being awarded a scholarship to study at the university in 2006. According to a release from Camp Ayanganna, the 30-year-old hails from Vergenoegen on the East Bank of Essequibo. She received her formal education at the Stella Maris

GDF Officer graduates as medical doctor Primary School, Saint Stanislaus College and Queen’s College, earning in the process, nine CXC subjects, three at CAPE, and one at the GCE Advanced Level. She enlisted as a Cadet Officer and successfully completed her Officer training in 2002, and according to the army, it was the beginning of her journey toward fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a doctor. After receiving her State

Commission, Dr Lewis-Fraser served as Administrative Officer at the Ordnance Corps, and then at Base Camp Stephenson. She also served as Principal Instructor on the Basic Recruit Course 2004-01, and had the pleasure of seeing her platoon being adjudged the Best Platoon. She later served for one year, as the Personal Assistant to former Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Edward Collins. Recounting her experiences during her Cadet training, Captain Lewis-Fraser explained that her parents’ service in the GDF had inspired her enlistment. “My parents were the examples I had, but it was my mother’s determination to rise through the ranks which made me feel that I too, could become a success in the Force,” she said. “However, after about six weeks of training, I doubted myself and actually gave up. It was my father who provided the advice and strong shoulder, and encouraged me to persevere. I am grateful to him, because I did,” she added.

Electricity theft has cost the St. Stanislaus College farm in Sophia to lose another of its cows. The animal was electrocuted yesterday morning when it stepped on a wire running through the farm’s pasture, taking current to squatters on the dam near the Downer canal. Mahadeo Mansaran, the Manager of the farm, told Kaieteur News yesterday that they have been in the predicament for the past four years, during which they have

been “living on edge”, having to avoid the crisscrossing live wires that run alongside the farm’s fence. According to Mansaran, the cows are usually set out to graze in the pasture that is completely fenced. He explained that yesterday, workers heard the strange cries of the cow and upon checking, they saw that it was lying on a live wire. “We couldn’t do anything to save it,” Mansaran told this newspaper. According to the farm

manager, this is not the first time that a cow was electrocuted by illegal live wires passing through the farm. He informed that this is the eighth cow that the farm has lost under similar circumstances within the past four years. “We report this (electricity theft) to the police, and GPL would come and cut off the wires, but as soon as GPL reach out on the road, the people does put back the wires,” Mansaran said.


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Kaieteur News

Kaieteur News Printed and Published by National Media & Publishing Company Ltd. 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana. Publisher: GLENN LALL Editor: Adam Harris Tel: 225-8465, 225-8491. Fax: 225-8473, 226-8210

EDITORIAL

Those Marriott construction project workers The revelation by this newspaper that all the workers on the Marriott construction project are of Chinese origin raises several issues beyond the not inconsequential one of its effect on local unemployment rates. At this juncture, all of the funds being utilised on the project have been sourced from the national treasury. Whether they are from the NICIL account or Consolidated Fund is immaterial from this perspective. Why would the government not insist that local workers be hired for at least non-supervisory tasks at this stage of the construction? The Minister of Labour and the President have both confirmed last week that the level of unemployment in the country is high. To their credit, both gentlemen committed the government towards tackling that statistic. Would not the employment of at least 140 Guyanese at the Marriott construction site have assisted in that process? One cannot say with a straight face, as the CEO of NICIL, Winston Brassington, did, that Guyanese are unfamiliar with modern construction techniques, in light of the government’s own boast of the construction boom in the country. Surely the several ultra-modern multi-storeyed malls going up around Georgetown attest to the presence of the requisite skills. We therefore have to look elsewhere to explain this anomaly. Purportedly, there is one answer in Brassington’s claim that the Shanghai Construction Group’s winning bid was US$ 65M but they were able to lower the cost to US$51M with the stipulation that Chinese workers were to be used. He averred to the company’s conclusion of the Guyanese workers’ ‘productivity’ not being sufficiently high as to meet the timeline for the hotel’s completion. But for 140 workers to contribute savings of US$14 million on a project that will take a mere 16 months - (Dec 2012 to March 2014) – US$875,000 monthly - demands explanations beyond ‘productivity’ claims. This works out to asserting that each Guyanese worker would have been paid US$6,250 or G$1,250,000 monthly, more than the Chinese workers presently on site. Since Brassington has assured us that “all of these workers have come by plane and ... for the duration of the contract they have to pay Social Security and Income Tax,” the explanation gets even murkier. Even forgetting that the ‘plane tickets’ added to the cost of the Chinese labour, one has to ask, “What are these labourers being paid?” If Brassington’s claims are to be believed, it cannot be more than the original Chinese who came to Guyana as indentured labourers 160 years ago. About two and a half years ago, there was a report in the very authoritative Guardian newspaper from Britain that China was sending convicts as workers on its overseas projects – especially in Africa. While the Chinese government denied the allegation, the claims being made on the Marriot construction raise anew concerns as to whether the wage scales of the Chinese workers may not constitute a form of ‘dumping’, according to international law. Workers in China, after all, have been witnessing steadily increasing wages. And in fact, the latter circumstance make Brassington’s claims of the ‘greater productivity’ of Chinese workers fatally suspect. In a 2011 report on Chinese workers in Tanzania, the manager on one project said that “even a lower level worker on our project, such as a tile layer, could earn a monthly salary of around 8,000 yuan (US $1,270).” They also received monthly “hardship” allowances that catapult their salaries far beyond anything Guyanese workers earn. What is undisputed is that there are more than 4 million Chinese working overseas, among which, data from their Ministry of Commerce showed, a total of 812,000 workers were employed by Chinese companies working abroad as of the end of 2011. As a direct result of its policy on exporting its labour, last year, China received US$66billion in remittances. All of this is very well and good for China, but Mr Brassington and others in the government, including the President and Minister of Labour must ask, “What is in it for us, when we spend our own money?” With local labourers, that money would have stayed at home to circulate.

Wednesday February 13, 2013

Letters... Where your views make the news Letters...

An indecent public display of Afro history DEAR EDITOR, In his column “The 1823 monument: The tragedy of power,” of Feb. 6, 2013, Freddie Kissoon offered the thesis that the reason for the Government of Guyana stiffnecked approach to erecting the monument to the 1823 martyrs at the Seawalls opposite GDF is merely because of an obscene obsession with power. There is another dimension this article fails to capture, the PPPs systematic plan to marginalize, distort and devalue the contribution of people of African descent, a legacy of the Jagdeo administration. In their hamfisted and dawdled approached to honoring the struggles of the dead, complete denigration and disrespect of the living is the “badge of pride” for the Donald Ramotar-led administration. Who would believe that the descendants of slaves are in 2013 still fighting for economic, social and cultural justice in pretty much the same manner as their forefathers did 200 years ago? Like the slave masters back in the 1800s the PPP government of the 2000s has systematically defrocked African people of their right to basic freedom of choice and cultural expression. This indecent and wellorchestrated marginalization plan to chip away and waterdown the value and significance of the contribution of people of African ancestry has taken

new shape on Carifesta Avenue Seashore where a symbol of oppression disguised as a monument to the 1823 Demerara slave uprising is being erected. While on the corner of Brickdam and High Streets in the vicinity of Parliament Building a few weeks ago, I ran into Mr. Alfred King, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Culture. I said to him, “Please tell your superiors and political emperors that Afro People feel disrespected that yall choose to dishonor their heritage by the arbitrary decision to build the monument on Carifesta Avenue, tell dem we want it at parade ground.” In response to my request, it was a moment of shock and awe for me when I heard the comical nonsense that proceeded from the lips of Mr. King, he opined that, “our research revealed that Parade Ground has very little significance, only a very small number of persons were executed there.” This comment brought a rush of the imagery of Joseph Packwood, the House Slave who ‘sell out’ his people giving the enslavers the upper hand in the uprising,which led to a most violent beheading and indecent public display of the remainsof African freedom fighterson poles along the roadways. Let’s assume for one moment that Mr. King was right, I would like for him to tell the Guyanese people what great significance the Seawalls has to the uprising. In fact, during the 1823

rebellion slaves ran in directions away from the seashores and hid in the backlands where Amerindian hunters were used to track and apprehend or kill them. The seashore was a place of abhorrence, a dead giveaway, a cul-de-sac to their escape to freedom, a stark reminder of the deadly holocaustic middle passage journey and thecruel disembark from slave ships into a life of history’s most savage and ruthless human oppression; enslaved African people wanted nothing to do with the seashore. As it was in 1823 so it is today. Descendants of enslaved people do not want the memory of their ancestors erected at the Seawalls. The PPP autocracy continues to succeed in its calculated effort to perpetuate a crass level of indecency and to strip Afro Guyanese and representative organizations of the right to cultural determination because of the abetting efforts of the Packwoods in servitude to this vicious, vindictive, disrespectful and corrupt regime. Most Guyanese have no objections to a monument being placed at the Seawalls; if the PPP Serf-lords so insist let them build one but as a memorial to the 1823 fight for freedom the Cafifesta Avenue Seawalls location is not fitting. Parade Ground has already been decided and agreed upon by all stakeholders; my mind goes back to the official sod turning ceremony August 1, 2000. I

recall vivid images of the then Minister of Culture Gail Teixiera wearing a long flowing African frock and dancing and swaying to the beat of African drums. Twelve years later Donald Ramotar and Frank Anthony are doing their own brand of dance. Dr Anthony in Parliament reported that he made attempts to consult stakeholders but got no tangible response. He also reported that public advertisements were placed in the press signaling the intention of his Government to change the location and invite submission from individuals and organization to propose alternative locations. He received not a single response, clearly showing that the Guyanese people did not give legitimacy to hiscircus.He then took it upon himself to assemble a group of compliant house slaves who chose, of all places, a spot on the seashore to erect their monument of contempt of Afro history and struggle for freedom. I urge the Minister of Culture to salvage whatever human decency he has left and place the monument in its rightful location at Parade Ground to honor the sacrifice of Quamina, Gladstone, Manuel and others who gave their lives it pursuit of the freedom that we are entitled to today. It is time to stop reenacting the cycle of oppression and act in the interest and good of all Guyanese. Leonard Craig


Wednesday February 13, 2013

Kaieteur News

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Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news

Government spurns national broadcast regulations DEAR EDITOR, I was once professionally and intimately involved in the drafting of Broadcast Legislation for Guyana, along with Hugh Cholmondeley. It is a subject with which I enjoy a reasonable professional and academic experience. I write, therefore, to express both my shock and dismay that our government has, with seeming pride and satisfaction, granted an exclusive domestic broadcast frequency to the government of China. I would be equally dismayed and shocked if our government were to grant such a right to any government. The reason a country has Broadcast Legislation and establishes a Broadcasting Authority to grant a licence and frequency for broadcasting is that the airwaves (electro-magnetic spectrum) are a finite natural resource for mass communication and must, therefore, be used in a responsible manner to serve the “public interest,

convenience and necessity”. What the government has done, is to give, in effect, a broadcasting licence to own and operate a television broadcasting station in Guyana to the government of China without it being subject to the regulatory requirements, principles and practices governing the issuance and use of a broadcasting licence applied universally in any democracy. A fundamental principle and practice in any democracy governing the issuance and use of a broadcasting licence is, for instance, that the licencee “make a positive, diligent and continuing effort to determine the taste, needs and desires of the public in his (her) community and to provide programming to meet those needs and interests”. How, may I ask, is this public interest served, never mind regulated, by a station broadcasting what amounts to Chinese propaganda? Another fundamental principle and practice applied to the granting of a broadcasting licence is that a

broadcasting station (licencee) “should not become the private preserve of certain individuals or groups to serve their special interest nor should they serve the exclusive interest of certain social, economic, political or religious philosophies or of particular business enterprises”. While it may be true that our Broadcasting Authority is yet to apply these principles to our domestic licences, they are most certainly violated by the granting of a licence to the Chinese government to broadcast material serving only its exclusive interest. It is difficult, therefore, if not impossible, to understand how our government, who apparently have acted unilaterally in granting a broadcasting channel to China outside of the requirements of the recently passed Broadcasting Act and without the sanctioning of the Broadcasting Authority, should consider the granting of a broadcasting frequency to a foreign government to be serving the public interest

hotel is simply ridiculous. I feel the Government should not be in the hotel business and should leave same to the private sector. Occupancy rate of hotels in Guyana is in the 20 per cent range and it will take years for the Government to re-coup the cost for this hotel. Even at US$51M the cost to construct the hotel is high. Similarly, the new US$130M to US$150M Airport will also be built exclusively by Chinese workers. Some time ago, when this Airport was awarded to the Chinese Contractor I wrote a letter stating that the Chinese would only use their own forces to construct this airport but no one responded. I worked in Hong Kong as an engineer for a number of years and am familiar with their work ethics. Building a seven-gate airport when only two gates would be in use at any one time is simply a waste of money. Guyana is a Third World country and upgrading the runway and modifications to the existing building are all that is necessary. Trinidad new airport has eight gates and only about two are used at any one time. I feel the money spent could be used in fixing the coastal infrastructure, which is in a disastrous state and has not been maintained for several years. It was recently

reported that the Torani Canal is in a poor state; the banks are slipping and the canal silted up. Water from this canal is discharged into the Canje Creek for use by the sugar estates and by various D&I Schemes including the cattle pasture of 52-74 acres. I do not agree with Mr. Bhim, the Estate Manager who recently stated in the press that the silted Torani is not a problem. The Torani canal needs to be widened and the depth increased. Water from the Torani into the Canje keeps salt water from intruding up the Canje Creek. Similar problems also exist with the MMA Scheme where poor maintenance over the years has led to severe flooding along the main façade. The sea defences are also in a very poor shape. The recent severe overtopping in the Georgetown and Kitty areas indicated the foreshore has eroded. The Govt. is no longer monitoring the foreshore levels and no one knows what is going on. In a few years the Government could be faced with the dreaded R word- Realignment of the sea defences or abandonment of the area. Yours truly, Malcolm Alli Dec.12/13

Maintain infrastructure, forego Marriott

Dear Editor, The Government should maintain the dilapidated coastal infrastructure rather than spend vast sums for a new Hotel and Airport No one knows for sure the true cost of this Marriott Hotel. Initially it was reported to cost $64MUS with 160 rooms. When questioned recently, Mr. Brassington of NICIL stated that the cost to construct the hotel was US$65M with 197 rooms and was based on using Guyanese workers. However, a credit of US$14 M was offered by the Chinese Construction company to use Chinese workers because they will more control them. I have done all sorts of mathematical computations and cannot come up with how the Chinese arrived at this credit of US$14M. According to Mr. Brassington, the Chinese Contractor was the lowest of the bidders. There is no information on who prepared the documents for the tender and who are the other bidders. Therefore one can only surmise that there appears to be some hanky panky in this whole process. The Marriott is no top of the line hotel and could easily be constructed by Guyanese workers. Mr. Brassington claims that Guyanese do not have the expertise to build the

and convenience of the people of Guyana. I have quoted from the principles and practices set out by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) governing broadcasting in the USA. In fact, it is because of the application of these principles that “Voice of America” is not allowed to broadcast domestically in the USA. What our government has done, is to give to the government of China, the absolute right to broadcast on a guaranteed domestic frequency, whatever it is the government of China pleases to broadcast. What this does is to satisfy the political interest, convenience and necessity of the government of China, not the public interest, convenience and necessity of the nation and people of Guyana. Broadcast Legislation, in fact, recognizes that while broadcasting is a form of expression subject to the constitutional guarantees of free speech of expression, it is dependent on utilizing limited channels of broadcast communication and, of necessity, must be regulated

by the State on behalf of the public. By what means does the Government of Guyana intend to regulate this broadcaster, the Government of China, with regard to the broadcasting content on the channel gifted to them? Whatever is broadcast on our airwaves, according to our Broadcasting Act, is intended to be administered and governed by an independent and autonomous Broadcasting Authority and regulated under licence by the Authority. How, may I ask, was that licence granted in the first place and by whom and how will it be subject to the enforcement of the broadcasting standards set by our Broadcasting Regulations? Finally, how does our government and, indeed, will our government justify the precedent it has set in granting a broadcasting licence (if that is what it has done) to a foreign government? Why should another government, with whom we have diplomatic, trade and commercial relations, not expect the same privileged

right and request an exclusive frequency to broadcast on a domestic channel? What will our government say if, for instance, the government of the USA requests an exclusive frequency to broadcast the Voice of America on a domestic channel, or the government of the United Kingdom, requests an exclusive frequency to broadcast the BBC on a domestic channel, or what if the government of Canada request an exclusive frequency to broadcast the Canadian Broadcast Corporation on a domestic channel, and we can go on and on? I may be wrong, but I am not aware of any sovereign government which has granted to another government an unregulated exclusive right to broadcast on one of its domestic frequencies. Our government, no matter how much it wishes to cement relations with the government of China, has made a horrific mistake and has set a dangerous and indefensible precedent. Yours sincerely, Kit Nascimento


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Kaieteur News

Wednesday February 13, 2013

Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news

This laboratory is uncertified by GNBS DEAR EDITOR, I refer to the article captioned “Doctor unearths scary local lab results” published in the Sunday, February 10 edition of the Kaieteur Newspaper, in which Dr. Agueda Surrey claimed that she contacted the Guyana National Bureau of Standards in November to ascertain if the Multi-Tech Reference Laboratory was certified by the GNBS. Internal checks revealed that Dr. Surrey did make contact with an officer of the GNBS late last year to determine whether the Laboratory in question was certified by the GNBS. However, contrary to her statement, she was immediately informed that the Multi Tech Reference Laboratory was NOT certified by the GNBS to the National Laboratory Standard. It should be noted that

although the GNBS has spearheaded the National Laboratory Certification Programme, the programme is voluntary for Medical and Testing Laboratories which are desirous of meeting the requirements of the GYS 170: 2009 Standard – General Requirements for the Operation of a Laboratory. This Standard provides a framework for laboratories to ensure that their results are accurate and reliable. The Medical Laboratories currently certified by the GNBS are the Georgetown Public Hospital Laboratory, Eureka Medical Laboratory, Woodlands Hospital Laboratory, Saint Joseph Hospital Laboratory, New Amsterdam Hospital Laboratory, National Public Heath Reference Laboratory, Balwant Singh Hospital Laboratory, and Georgetown Medical Centre Laboratory. The GNBS also would like

to take this opportunity to respond to statements made by a homeowner, in a recent television newscast, regarding poor quality construction work done for him by a contractor and to address his misconception that the GNBS monitors the quality of construction works done on buildings. The GNBS does not monitor the Building and Construction Sector but merely collaborated in the past with experts in the field through a Technical Committee to develop the National Building Codes for the sector. Hence, the GNBS would accept no responsibility for the malpractices taking place in the sector today. Looking forward to your cooperation Yours sincerely, LLOYD DAVID PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER GNBS

Denigrating the people of Guyana DEAR EDITOR, My mother always remarked that there are asses and then there are jackasses. Winston Brassington fits squarely in the latter. What other conclusion can one arrive at when one reads the nonsensical explanation he gave justifying nonGuyanese employment at the Marriott Hotel construction site. This man has no shame whatsoever. I don’t think he knows the meaning of the

word. If he did he would not have insulted the entire Guyanese work force, implying that they are lazy, unproductive and unskilled. All buildings, large and small, constructed in Guyana were done with Guyanese labour. Guyanese are known for their construction skills throughout the Caribbean, but someone wants to convince the public that Guyanese workers don’t even know to mix cement, or use a hammer or a saw. To top it off, Brassington

used a language barrier excuse. If the Chinese company wants to do construction in Guyana, it needs to bring Englishspeaking engineers. This is just another example of those secretive “back room deals” that the Jagdeo regime made, selling out the rights of the Guyanese workers to foreign interest. Ralph Seeram Orlando Florida USA

Congestionleads to frustration DEAR EDITOR, Several years ago, I used this very forum to voice frustration over the daily traffic jam created at Montrose on the East Coast Demerara highway by activities of the school, the Academy of Apex Education. Nothing has changed since. On school days, between roughly 8:00 hours and 8:30 hours vehicular traffic heading towards Georgetown backs up for over a mile from the pedestrian crossing in front of the school. It takes 10 minutes to crawl through this zone when normally it should take a minute.

While we rightly take care of the safety of the children of Apex by stationing a traffic cop to control the flow of traffic, we are inconveniencing and delaying hundreds of other school children heading to schools in Georgetown, not to mention the hundreds of workers, minibus operators and others. How quickly and effectively we solve these ordinary problems is an indication of our maturity as a nation. A traffic cop at the location has not solved the problem. The Apex children go back and forth across the highway at will, causing traffic

to be stopped too often. The Traffic Department may be actually complicit in creating the illusion of a solution. The remedy lies in the school introducing an earlier starting time in the mornings. I repeat my suggestion that the starting time should be between 7:00 hours and 7: 30 hours, before the morning traffic peak. I call on the the Apex school authorities and the police to get together to resolve this matter. They must consider the interest and welfare of all affected citizens. Regards, Sherwood Lowe

Government never prepared for the Marriott DEAR EDITOR, Economics is said to be the new religion of the age. While belief in God is beset by doubts, economics has filled the breach offering opportunities to plan outcomes well in advance while God’s plan will always be shrouded in mystery and unpredictability. I am saddened that a project as vast and as labour intensive as construction of the US$60 million Marriott hotel has not resulted in multiple jobs for Guyanese. Were it not for KN’s trenchant reportage we may never have known. The purpose of economic planning is to set a country on a desired trajectory that is predictable, safe and economically sound. The latter means that, not only must it make money for the investors, but it should benefit ordinary Guyanese citizens, the backbone and key resource of any economy. Chinese investment in Guyana is obviously welcome but it did not arrive suddenly from space like a meteor nor did it arrive by stealth like a thief in the night. Those gentlemen who plan our economy whether politicians or political economists or finance

persons ought to have known the moment courtship of Chinese investment began, that steps must be taken to enable Guyanese employment in Chinese-led projects. Guyanese learn quickly and are willing to absorb education. Ages ago, Chinese language instructors could have been brought to Guyana to teach construction Chinese to dozens of teachers who in turn could have instructed others. Georgetown has at least one highly qualified and able sinologist who should have been consulted to advise on the actual Chinese working language that should be learnt. On the other hand, a caring government could have insisted that a given percentage of Chinese guest workers be able to speak English. This should have been written in to the governing contract. The proposition is that major capital projects must benefit the ordinary people in the developing country. This is particularly so in Guyana’s case where the ordinary people make up the army of taxpayers financing the project. Major capital projects must benefit the people in ways that are real and can

result in improved standards of living in the shortest time possible. It is held universally by the world’s capitalist economies, advisers of finance ministers and any professional economist who wants to be taken seriously by his peers. Thus any act of policy that serves government and the investors but does not serve to lift unemployment and growth in the near term, and risks increasing labour unrest is regarded as selfdefeating. It also means that signals will get muddled and if an investor sees that a host government does not respect and consider its most important resource there will be a lowering not only in the investor’s willingness to use that resource where and when it can but also in the level of respect it shows to that human resource. For our political leaders to invite major foreign investors without a clear policy for maximizing local employment is curious. If this absurd story were from Alice in Wonderland we would laugh; but because this story is the result of group-think by grown men in suits we suspend our disbelief. Yours faithfully, F. Hamley Case


Wednesday February 13, 2013

Kaieteur News

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Kaieteur News

Wednesday February 13, 2013

Students urged to embrace STEM through Sagicor Competition An attempt to use garbage to improve the teaching and learning of numeracy and literacy is being embraced as the local education sector teams up with the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge, a move which is fully endorsed and supported by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and the Caribbean Science Foundation. According to Science Coordinator and Country Representative for the Caribbean Science Foundation, Ms Petal Punalall-Jettoo, this ambitious initiative is geared at having students be enlightened about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). “Imagine we are taking two problems and we are using one to solve the other through innovation and that is what STEM does,” said Punalall-Jettoo as she made reference to the fact that the local garbage situation can be addressed even as teaching and learning is improved. The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge is characterised by an inter-school STEM competition design. Those schools whose projects are the most outstanding will see

Professor Maya Trotz

Sagicor Manager, Ms Marlene Chin (L) and Local Science Coordinator, Ms Petal Punalall-Jettoo them being duly rewarded at the national level and then being able to participate at the Regional level with even more intriguing rewards being at stake. As such, each participating school is allowed to envisage and put into action various STEMdriven project ideas. It is expected that both teachers and students work in close collaboration in order to

derive the desired result. However, the collaboration is further extended, according to Punalall-Jettoo, who revealed yesterday that “each project idea comes along with an entrant teacher and a group of students who work together and beyond that they are supported by mentors from universities from various parts of the world, even from as far as South Africa and San

Francisco Bay.” Local mentors include Mr Phillip DaSilva from the University of Guyana’s Berbice Campus, who has been working along with some of the participating students. Even as she emphasised that the expertise involved in this initiative goes beyond that obtained locally, Punalall-Jettoo said that such exposure is excellent for students. Expert consultation in this regard has seen students being supported by a South African-based mentor to bring into being a solar powered e-library, while another is supporting the garbage project. Currently the competition has seen a total of 12 entries from schools across the country with the exception of those from the hinterland Regions. However, workshop materials were sent out to all schools with kits that would carry the instructions for the challenge, including workbooks and tutorials. Working together with the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, and the Director of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development, Ms Jennifer Cumberbatch, the Caribbean Science Foundation and CXC were able to develop the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. It was launched in High Schools across the Region last month and is a competition which is aimed at engaging students working in groups to solve challenges facing their schools and communities using STEM. Following a national competition, the winners of the respective Caribbean territories will each be judged to produce an overall winning regional team, which will spend a week in the United States visiting NASA, scientific and science fairs, and interacting with science mentors. “This is what it is all about; the main goal is to encourage students to embrace and understand careers in STEM to create

innovation for national and regional development...This is why CXC, particularly with the Science Foundation, have come together with the Ministries of Education to support in a big way, financially and morally, the motivation that comes from Sagicor,” Punalall-Jettoo asserted. Ahead of the start of the national competition - which has a submission deadline of February 16 - there were two Sagicor-coordinated local sensitisation workshops to enlighten those within the education sector on how to fully embrace the relatively new initiative which targets students of forms one through five. This was undertaken by Sagicor Manager, Marlene Chin, and Guyana-born Professor Maya Trotz of the University of South Florida, an old student of Queen’s College, who is tasked with being the main Coordinator for the Visionaries Challenge within the Region. According to PunalallJettoo “she (Professor Trotz) is very vibrant and highly motivated and pushes the use of STEM by High School students, because she sees the value and we all see the value in this project, as it helps to create the link between having science done on a chalkboard in a classroom, far removed from what is happening around us in our environment.” M o r e o v e r, t h e l o c a l Science Coordinator noted that the competition will bridge the gap between the manner in which something is learnt in the classroom

and how it is applied to solve a problem facing a school. This in essence will pave the way to utilise knowledge to make human existence a little better, Punalall-Jettoo opined, adding that Science should be seen as a means to help improve the quality of life. According to Sagicor’s Manager, Ms Chin, who yesterday ended a visit to Guyana to oversee the progress of the competition here, the vision of Sagicor, which is in fact a Group of Companies, is to improve the lives of the people in the communities in which it operates. “It is important that we ensure a sustainable future for all of our territories of the Regions,” said Chin, even as she alluded to the genesis of Sagicor. She revealed that moves were made to review the quality of CXC results and it was discovered that “we were on the decline.” Moreover, she said that there is a need for proactive action in light of the fact that “we have the resources, we have the land, the minerals and so on, but it means nothing if we cannot transform those into our everyday life; sustaining our livelihood.” Sagicor, according to her, has a history in investing in children, since it sees them as the creators of the future “...so it is a natural fit and people may say it is an insurance environment to an investment company.” As such, she noted that Sagicor has long recognised that using the disciplines of STEM is what will take the Region towards sustainable programmes that ensure a better tomorrow. Apart from CXC’s CEO and Registrar, Dr Didacus Jules, the initiative is also fully embraced by Professor Cardinal Warde, a professor of electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who is considered one of the world’s leading experts on materials, devices and systems for optical information processing.

‘Trini’ charged with Industry businessman’s murder Police have charged Wayne Duncan, called ‘Trini,’ for the May 2011 murder of East Coast Demerara businessman Mark Kandhai. The accused was remanded on Monday when he appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore in the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court. Kandhai, 32, was gunned down in his Industry Railway Line grocery store on May 21, 2011, allegedly by a man who entered the premises under the pretext of wanting to purchase an item. Police subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Wayne Duncan after viewing images of an individual entering and leaving Kandhai’s shop at the time he was slain. The Festival City, North Ruimveldt resident was eventually arrested last week at a South Ruimveldt house.


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THE GOVT. HAS A POOR TRACK RECORD OF RESPONSIVENESS TO BUDGET CONSULTATIONS Just before he died, Forbes Burnham was engaged in what was described as “unity’ talks with the People’s Progressive Party. These talks followed two developments: first, a decision taken by the Communists of the region urging unity and understanding amongst left wing parties; and secondly the invasion of Grenada which left Forbes Burnham isolated from the Americans. Burnham was not interested in any unity with the PPP. He wanted to restore his personal credibility in the socialist world following the cowardly assassination of Walter Rodney. As such he tried to create the façade that he was prepared to work with fellow left wing parties in his own country to give effect to the call by the communist parties in the Caribbean. Thirdly, he hoped that by playing the “Jagan” card he would scare the Americans into improving their relations with his government which had by then virtually bankrupted the economy. The Americans did not fall for the bait. After Grenada, they were finished with Burnham. The dictator found himself isolated from the Left because of the murder of Rodney and isolated from the

Right because of Grenada and the stance he took. Since he always claimed he was never right wing or left wing, he was thus a man without leanings - someone lacking any international credibility, a forlorn and disgraced leader who had played his full deck of cards and had come away emptyhanded. He therefore no longer had any use for Jagan and it was time to dump the talks with the PPP. An excuse had to be found to do so and the PPP, through Mrs. Jagan, came to his rescue. The Mirror newspaper had carried an article highly critical about the government and Burnham used this to indicate that he could no longer have talks with the PPP after Mrs. Jagan refused to recall the article. There were shades of that incident this past week when an article appeared in the newspapers indicating that the opposition was lukewarm towards the Budget talks with the government. This seemed to have upset the Minister of Finance who felt that the criticisms could have prejudiced the outcome of the talks. The comments he also felt were surprising, given his own impressions about the tone of the discussions. He felt that

Dem boys seh...

Brazzy bigger than King Liar Everybody know that de Marriott was a family business. From de time Jagdeo sign de deal dem boys know that Guyanese woulda pass fuh grass. Imagine he sign a deal that give dem Chinese people de right to keep Guyanese off de project. Brazzy give one excuse that mek Ananias smile. Fuh people who ain’t know, Ananias was de biggest liar in de Bible. De lie was suh big that Uncle Donald great niece ask which school Brazzy been to, because he had to have a good lying teacher. De child had experience when Brazzy start fuh talk bout de NICIL money and a judge seh that de law seh that if a man tell one lie then de people got de right to believe that everything he seh before and after is a lie. When de Waterfalls paper corner he, he run and hide. When de Big Market paper find he, Brazzy seh that he done talk. But people did done hear and dem get vex. One man at de immigration department decide to tek out he passion pun Jagdeo. This man was a president and in any country, de president does command respect, except in dem country wheh dem hurt people. Egypt was one, Tunisia was another and then there was Libya. Dem boys seh that dem immigration people decide fuh treat Jagdeo just like how dem Egyptians treat Mubarak. Dem decide fuh search he when he was leaving de country de other day. In all fairness, Jagdeo had nothing illegal except some condoms. But he get vex. When de officer wave he through he hear de man seh that he done know that he as a Guyanese can’t even set foot near de Marriott. And is true, Brazzy seh that when de hotel done dem gun employ 200 Guyanese. That is a lie. De cook gun be Chinese, de Bellboy gun be Italian, de cleaners gun be Brazilians and de waiters gun be French. One Guyanese might be a watchman, because that might be de only vacancy. Brazzy talk bout language problem; de watchman gun know de Guyanese language suh when de Waterfalls boss man try fuh enter he gun be de one to sound de alarm. Talk half and wait fuh de next lie.

these comments were definitely not helpful to the process. Regardless of the tone of the talks, the opposition must be justified in being circumspect about talks over the Budget. The government has hardly ever entertained any of the suggestions of the opposition. In fact, the private sector and the labour movement have in the past been critical of the annual consultations held by the Minister of Finance on the Budget, since hardly any of their proposals have been considered. The Budget consultations have become a discredited process. It is almost as if those being consulted are talking to

a wall. They know that very little of what they propose will make the final cut and against this background the opposition is fully justified in being lukewarm towards the ongoing discussions which have taken place at the most unholy of hours, just weeks before the deadline for the presentation of the Budget. And they are further justified when the Minister himself announced that there is not likely to be any major deviation from the direction that the government has been pursuing. The opposition may very well interpret this comment as meaning, ‘you can talk all you want, but we are not going to make any drastic changes’.

They can also counter that this comment is just as prejudicial as the ones they have been making to the press. They can even counter that this comment by the Minister of Finance is defiantly most unhelpful and the talks are further prejudiced when one minister can go public and indicate that the tariffs for crossing the Berbice Bridge will not be reduced. This is one of the issues on the table for discussion. The government has to do more to convince the nation that it is serious about these engagements and is not simply going through the motions. The government

has a poor track record of responsiveness towards consultations, and if there is any grouping that needs to change its attitude towards talks it is the government. In as much therefore as the government may feel upset by the opposition’s comments on the Budget talks between the sides, the opposition has more justifiable reasons to be negative.


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=== THE FREDDIE KISSOON COLUMN ===

Cricket, the Berbice Bridge and cowardice One of the complaints this columnist receives from all classes within the Guyanese citizenry is that the government does what it wants and there is nothing the opposition wants to do about it. Now mind you; not nothing the opposition can do, but nothing the opposition wants to do. Last week I did a column on a strange traffic situation. It dealt with the sudden oneway appearance of a two-way street (Peter Rose) at the intersection with Anira Street. I couldn’t understand what was beyond Anira Street to make Peter Rose a one-way.

Two weeks ago, the then Traffic Chief, Bryan Joseph, told me some of these sudden one-way impositions are being reversed. It turned out that the Peter Rose foolishness wasn’t changed. Last week I journeyed back to traffic head office to ascertain why Peter Rose Street when it meets Anira Street becomes a one-way street. It has a new boss, Mr. Denhert. Mr. Denhert said his secretary was not in and I would have to return. I have since learned from officials at a certain Ministry that it was that Ministry that issued a

directive to the police to make that section a one-way because a certain PPP prince lives right at that junction. Anyone can see why people are so critical of the opposition. Politicians who oppose a government’s excesses have an obligation to do so c o n t i n u o u s l y. S o m a n y outrageous things the Guyana Government does and there isn’t even an opposition whisper. In which other part of the world, a ruling politician moves into a house and declares he wants that part of the street be made into a one-

way? The population and opposition of this country accept the most depraved type of bullying from centralized power. It was an ordinary man, not a powerful businessman or a newspaper owner or an opposition politician who took on Minister Frank Anthony over a book controversy involving the State-owned press. The Minister threatened libel, but that will not happen because the Minister knows the court sessions will turn into a boiling room for him with this columnist being happy to testify.

As we are on the matter of libel, let me inform the people of this country that when Bharrat Jagdeo’s libel suit against me resumes on March 4, this columnist will be one in a long line of defence witnesses that stretches from the Kingston jetty to Moleson Creek. The opposition and the people of Guyana continue to accept never-ending indignities of centralized power thrown in their faces with every passing minute of every day. With a plethora of lawyers residing inside the fortress of both opposition parties, this country sees no energetic use of the court to help the poor and powerless. The most egregious example is the Berbice Bridge versus the minibus. The very government that imposed a horribly high toll on Berbicians to cross the bridge, uses coercion to stop the minibuses from increasing their fare. The busowners cannot get twenty dollars more. Cricket has made us the fools of the Caribbean (which we may have been for a long time now.) The Guyana Government has bullied its way into having an IMC control the administration of cricket when no legal basis exists for such action. Every compromise by CARICOM was rejected and for one reason only – a government that faces no opposition does not have to submit to compromises. The executives of the Cricket Board may not be without their sins, but why should a country allow a government to do what it

Frederick Kissoon wants, anyhow it wants, and anytime it wants even though the opposition has a stronger electoral mandate than the ruling party? A cricket Bill is in Parliament awaiting approval and the AFC and APNU should strip that Bill with a machete to ensure that political administrators have no future role in cricket administration in Guyana. This columnist is predicting a budget that will exclude the essential requests of the AFC and APNU. And this is because psychology will be at work, not political realities. The PPP as a ruling party is convinced at the psychological level that it is invincible and cannot be weakened. That kind of mental impregnability emerged because of the endemic cowardice of this nation. The PPP will put forward a budget of its own making because at the psychological level, it believes that it is a force that cannot be defeated. It is called the Hiterlite syndrome. So permeated with mental invincibility because he got his way all the time, Hitler couldn’t see that Germany was losing the war. Cowardice in Guyana has made the PPP into an unbeatable army.


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No Guyanese in Marriott construction an outrage – AFC’s Nigel Hughes

The fact that the Guyana government negotiated the Marriott construction contract knowing that Guyanese would be blocked from employment is an outrage, Nigel Hughes, Chairman of the Alliance for Change (AFC) stated yesterday. He said that for the government to suggest that the Chinese construction firm could not find the needed workforce in Guyana is an insult to the intelligence of Guyanese workers. He added that it is ridiculous to suggest that even the most basic of construction jobs could not be given to locals. Hughes asserted the fact, that a Chinese workforce was imported for the project, suggests the absence of an immigration policy, since

AFC Chairman Nigel Hughes

workers would only be brought into the country if such workers are not available locally. The AFC chairman said that what the government has done is to impoverish the

nation further by denying Guyanese jobs on a project that the taxpayers are funding. Hughes said that the government’s suggestion that Guyanese workers would be employed after the hotel is

“Promise of jobs after completion is a fallacy” constructed is a “fallacy” since a hotel such as the Marriott would require skills in hotel management that Guyanese are not trained for, given the absence of any hospitality training school here. As such, he said more foreign workers would have to be imported. Hughes emphasised that for the government to agree to deny Guyanese workers of jobs in the construction phase should be denounced by all. The AFC Chairman suggested that the onus is particularly on Guyanese

Cops seek female employee of murdered Brazilian businesswoman Police are trying to locate a Brazilian woman who may be able to provide information about the murder of b u s i n e s s w o m a n Elisangela Silva Figueara at Bartica. The woman being sought is said to have worked with Figueara. It is believed that the individual is the same woman with whom the victim was heard arguing last Thursday night. Kaieteur News understands that Figueara was berating the former employee about a sum of money that the woman was unable to account for. Meanwhile, reports out of Bartica indicate that the employee may have already returned to Brazil. She has not

been seen since Figueara’s body was found. Police had questioned the dead woman’s husband, but he has been released. A post mortem that was to have been conducted yesterday is now likely to be done today. The decomposing body of 35-year-old Elisangela Da Silva Figueara, known as ‘Lourde, was discovered on Sunday night in the woman’s Lot 97 Second Avenue, Bartica residence. Figueara had operated a communications centre, a guest house and a money transfer service to Brazil. The victim was fully clothed, but her bed was blood-soaked and her tongue was protruding, suggesting

strangulation. Neighbours told Kaieteur N e w s that they last saw Figueara alive on Thursday afternoon when she was sweeping her yard. During the evening they heard her arguing with another woman. The following day, neighbours reportedly observed that all the windows a nd doors of he residence were shut. O n Sunday evening, two Brazilian men who visited the residence regularly, forced open a bedroom window and saw Figueara’s decomposing corpse. The woman’s reputed husband, 56- yearold Ivan Cury De Lara, was

Elisangela Da Silva Figueara questioned by police on his arrival in Bartica on Monday. He is reportedly planning to have her cremated and the ashes taken to Brazil.

workers to take action and assert their rights on a project that is funded by the treasury. The government over the weekend said that it got a reduction of US$9 million in the bid price by Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) under the condition that it could have control over whom it hires. As such, the firm opted for a Chinese workforce. The government had boasted that the project, which is costing some US$60 million, would create hundreds of jobs. Now the government is saying that jobs for Guyanese would come when the hotel is completed. In late 2011, former President Bharrat Jagdeo officially turned the sod for the construction of the hotel with the promise that the project would create hundreds of jobs in the construction phase, and beyond, when it becomes operational. The 160-room hotel and entertainment complex is expected to be completed by February 2014. Despite pressure by opposition parliamentary parties and a Parliamentary motion to halt Government funding for the project, the government is stubbornly pushing ahead with the project. The administration has so far used tax dollars to fund the project. It has already handed over US$10million (G$2 billion) to SCG. Private investors are expected to

contribute US$27 million. The government has a special arrangement that guarantees the private investors that they would get their money if the project folds. So, if in a scenario where the project fails and the value of the property depreciates to a value below what the investors have plugged, then the investors will get back their money, and there would be nothing to return to NICIL (National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited), one of the investment arms of the government which holds its assets. Thus taxpayers’ dollars would go down the drain. The government is participating in the project by way of equity, in the sum of US$4 million. This is being committed through NICIL. The equity contribution determines the government’s strength in Atlantic Hotels Incorporated – the company created to see the project through. As it stands, the government is currently the sole shareholder in the company. However, apart from the equity contribution, financing for the project would also come from “subordinate loan stocks” of US$15 million invested by NICIL. Adding the US$2 million, NICIL will end up spending in development costs for the project, including design and other preliminary studies altogether, US$21 million. So, in total, the amount of money the government is pushing into the project is just about what it should cost in Guyana to complete the project, industry experts say. The additional US$40 million remains a mystery.


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Infrastructure at Providence for major overhaul 15 entities bid for projects The infrastructure at Providence (phase three), East Bank Demerara, will soon be the focus of a major overhaul. Bids from 15 contractors were opened yesterday by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board, Ministry of Finance, in relation to the construction of roads, drains, structures and installation of pure water distribution network in the aforementioned community. The bids were divided into five lots and the engineers’ estimates were: Lot (1) $198,264,448; Lot (2) $173,077,425; Lot (3) $124,875,321; Lot (4) $234,983,586 and Lot (5) $101,461,800. These projects fall under the Ministry of Housing and Water, and the bids submitted are as follows:

Meanwhile, in the Housing sector, bids were opened for the construction and upgrading of main access road at section “D” Sophia, Georgetown. The engineer’s estimate was $49,840,010 and the bids:

Also in the housing sector, bids were submitted for the upgrading of roads at Parfait Harmonie, West Bank Demerara. The bids were divided into two lots: Lot (1) $128,310,600 and Lot (2) $108,416,660.


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China Central TV on air… Gov’t has set dangerous precedent – Kit Nascimento Government’s decision to grant China Central TV (CCTV) permission to broadcast in Guyana has set a dangerous precedent, a long-time veteran media practitioner has said. According to Kit Nascimento, the floodgates are now open for another government, with whom Guyana has diplomatic, trade and commercial relations, to expect the same privileged right to broadcast on a domestic channel. Nascimento, who has served at the state-owned newspaper, said he was once “professionally” and “intimately” involved in the drafting of Broadcast Legislation for Guyana, along with Hugh Cholmondeley. “I write, therefore, to express both my shock and dismay that our government has, with seeming pride and satisfaction, granted an exclusive domestic broadcast frequency to the government of China. I would be equally dismayed and shocked if our government were to grant such a right to any government.” CCTV is broadcasting on Channel 27/Cable 78 and was commissioned last week after suddenly going on air. In a letter to Kaieteur News, Nascimento pointed out that one of the main reasons Guyana has established broadcasting legislation and an authority to grant a licence and frequency, is that the airwaves (electromagnetic spectrum) are a finite natural resource for mass

communication. It therefore must “be used in a responsible manner to serve the public interest, convenience and necessity”. “What the government has done is to give in effect a broadcasting licence to own and operate a television broadcasting station in Guyana to the government of China without it being subject to the regulatory requirements, principles and practices governing the issuance and use of a broadcasting licence applied universally in any democracy. A fundamental principle and practice in any democracy governing the issuance and use of a broadcasting licence is, for instance, that the licencee make a positive, diligent and continuing effort to determine the taste, needs and desires of the public in his (her) community and to provide programming to meet those needs and interests.” PUBLIC INTEREST? A public relations specialist, Nascimento questioned how the public interest would be served, “never mind regulated”, by a station broadcasting what amounts to “Chinese propaganda”. While Guyana’s Broadcasting Authority, which was established last year, is yet to apply these principles to local domestic licences, they are most certainly violated by the granting of the licence to the Chinese government to broadcast material serving only its exclusive interest.

Kit Nascimento “It is difficult, therefore, if not impossible, to understand how our government, who apparently has acted unilaterally in granting a broadcasting channel to China outside of the requirements of the recently passed Broadcasting Act and without the sanctioning of the Broadcasting Authority, should consider the granting of a broadcasting frequency to a foreign government to be serving the public interest and convenience of the people of Guyana.” He had several more questions, including how the licence was granted in the first place and by whom. “…and how will it be subject to the enforcement of the broadcasting standards set by our Broadcasting Regulations? Finally, how does our government and, indeed, will our government justify the precedent it has set in granting a broadcasting licence (if that is what it has done) to a foreign government?”

Nascimento also said he is not aware of any sovereign government which has granted to another government an unregulated exclusive right to broadcast on one of its domestic frequencies. “Our government, no matter how much it wishes to cement relations with the government of China, has made a horrific mistake and has set a dangerous and indefensible precedent.” The setting up of China Central TV (CCTV) was a direct government-togovernment agreement between Guyana and China. This was according to Michael Gordon, the acting Chief Executive Officer of the state TV, National Communications Network (NCN). The agreement was signed here, between NCN and the Chinese embassy, on December 30, 2011. Gordon said that NCN did not negotiate any of the arrangements for the settingup of the television station. He explained that all costs for the setting up of the station were borne by the Chinese government. He said the

Chinese government constructed a building and installed its transmitter in the compound of NCN. DONE DEAL Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon, when questioned recently, claimed that issuance of the television licence to China was an agreement in the making prior to former President Jagdeo placing an embargo on the issuing of television licences in 2001. According to Luncheon, the agreement took over 10 years to be implemented and Government is pleased with its conclusion and turning of the switch to put CCTV on air this year. Nascimento joined a number of others criticizing the news that CCTV is on air. Veteran broadcaster Enrico Woolford has been pressing for the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) to reveal who has been allocated what frequencies in Guyana, but to no avail. “The government of Guyana gave China a 24-hour channel on Guyana’s ‘limited

electro-magnetic spectrum’ ahead of its own and CARICOM Citizens under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy mechanism,” Woolford recently stated. He pointed out that the giving of licences to a foreign country has to be done with full public knowledge, complete and transparent disclosure, since part of the country’s limited resources is being utilised. Woolford noted that it is important that the public should know what the existing frequencies are and what is available. He made reference to the fact that prior to the embargo, requests were made for local television, and to date nothing has been done. Executive Member of the opposition coalition APNU, Lance Carberry, last week said that the government needs to clarify the arrangements under which CCTV is licenced to broadcast from Guyana. Cathy Hughes, Parliamentarian of the Alliance for Change, said she will be demanding answers in the National Assembly.


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Three Rivers Kids’ Foundation aids in more treatment Another group of persons in dire need of treatment which is not available here in Guyana will be traveling to the Max Super Specialty Hospital in New Delhi, India on Friday (February 15) to be treated. The 11 patients will be staying in Toronto, Canada for two nights where they will attend a fundraising event before traveling on to India. These patients are Johnaton Sukhu, Alvin Ramkumar, Peter Charles, Annmarie Gomes, Johnaton Newton, Kumarie Khuserran, Tajpaul Persaud, Tana Nandalal, Adrian Persaud, Ciara Stanislaus, and one adult. The group will be receiving treatment for a variety of medical conditions. Five patients will undergo

open heart surgery, while two will be having eye surgeries and one brain and liver surgery. The others will be treated for kidney ailments and skin disease. They will spend three weeks in Delhi. This mission, like the others, is made possible through the initiative of Three Rivers Kids Foundation, a registered charitable organization in Toronto. According to a press release, 13 patients were scheduled to go on this mission. However, two patients - Farad Mohammed age three, and Pholmaitie Singh age seven, needed urgent medical attention and could not wait to travel with the group. Farad and Pholmaitie were sent to the Hospital on January 7. Both

Farad Mohammed and Pholmaitie Singh (L) en route to India last month children underwent open heart at Max Hospital. Mohammed, who underwent

Drunk driver crashes, escapes from hospital A burgundy-coloured motor car PLL 7034 owned by Nigel Hickel, of Patrick Dam, Angoy’s Avenue, New Amsterdam, ended up in a trench on the Canefield Canje, Public Road, Berbice on Monday. The vehicle was driven by the owner ’s friend who claimed that he swerved from a school child and lost control of the vehicle. Witness to the accident said that the driver, identified as Omadatt Mohabir, 23, of Canefield, East Canje, Berbice, whom persons hardly know, seemed drunk and lost control of the motor car. He had to be assisted

from the car and later complained of pain in the chest. This caused him to be rushed to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital where the doctor recommended that he needed to be monitored for head injuries. While he was at the hospital under surveillance, Mohabir suddenly became aware of his condition and started to behave in a disorderly manner. He became abusive to the nurses and doctors on duty then ran out of the institution, and boarded a passing minibus.

This occurred at about 02:30hrs and Mohabir has not been seen since. At the scene, the owner of the car was heard using a series of expletives. He said that the driver took his car without his consent. However, people were heard saying that Mohabir would often be seen driving the car even with the owner in it. But the police say that they now have an interest. They say that it is an offence to fail to report an accident. They said that they were unaware of any accident. The car remained at the scene for hours.

a BT shunt, made a marvelous recovery, and will be returning to Guyana on

February 17. However, little Pholmaitie Singh was not that lucky. She died on February 4 at age seven, weighing 25 pounds. This was Pholmaitie’s third open heart surgery. She was suffering from a very complex form of congenital heart disease - Tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary Atresia. She underwent a very high risk, total correction surgery on January 22. Prior to this, these patients had frequented the Georgetown Hospital for a few months. “The projected cost for this mission for all 13 patients is US$166,500, including return airfares for all the patients and their mothers,” the press release added. Since 2005, the Three Rivers Kids Foundation has

successfully helped over 100 patients from Guyana obtain life-saving surgery in India. “The Foundation would like to thank all those who donated time and money to make this possible. In particular, we would like to thank the Ministry of Health of Guyana, Stephanie Green from Caribbean Airways in Georgetown and Mr. Bob Borrow, also sincere gratitude also to all our Canadian donors. Those interested in making contact with the Three Rivers Kids Foundation via its Guyana office which is located at Gandhi Youth Organisation Building, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown, can do so on telephone number 225 7758, or its Website at www . hreeriverskidsfoundation.org

Accused child killer appears in Linden court

Rawle Samuels, the man accused of stabbing fouryear-old Jamal Naranjan to death on Wednesday last, yesterday made an appearance at the Christianburg Magistrate’s Court in front of presiding Magistrate Ann McLennan The diminutive Samuels appeared briefly in the dock, before Magistrate McLennan adjourned the case to February 27. The man was neatly dressed, with his locks shorn and a blank look on his face. After the adjournment, Neisha Naranjan, mother of the now deceased Jamal Naranjan who had been

Murder accused Rawle Samuels sitting in the courtroom, ran out of the building sobbing. In the courtyard there was even more drama, as the relatives of both Samuels and Naranjan engaged in a fiery verbal battle, as Samuels was whisked away by Police escort. During the heated exchange, a relative of Samuels was overheard shouting to Naranjan, “You know he de violent, yet you bail he.” According to reports, the accused was last year charged with wounding a female with whom he shared a relationship. The man had reportedly broken the woman’s jaw with a hammer. Several residents who had turned up at the court to follow the proceedings, dispersed immediately after Samuels had exited the compound. The small community of Buck Hill on Wismar was last Wednesday rocked by the brutal murder of Jamal Naranjan a four–year-old Nursery School child, who was stabbed repeatedly about the body, allegedly by Samuels. The man had reportedly moments earlier raped a young female

at the house where she resided with the child’s mother, Neisha Naranjan. It was reported that the child had just returned home from school, when he came under attack from the man, with whom his mother shared a relationship. That relation was severed five days prior to the incident, Kaieteur News understands. A woman who said she was going down the hill, on the day of the incident shortly before the fatal stabbing, said she happened to look back and saw the man with a long knife in his hand chasing the young woman he allegedly sexually assaulted. After he did not catch her, he snatched the little boy (Jamal) and hoisted him on his shoulder. The woman, who had in the meantime made her way to the Wismar Police Station, later told media operatives that she had seen Samuels making ‘cuffing motions’, while the child’s legs were kicking in the air, as he lay on the ground. The child was later taken to the Linden Hospital Complex with multiple stab wounds, including one to his abdomen from where his intestines protruded. He later died at the institution. Irate residents in light of the incident condemned ranks at the Wismar Police Station, for the tardy manner with which they responded to reports of what was transpiring on Buck Hill, even before the child was killed. The Wismar Police Station is a stone’s throw away, or less than ten-minute walk from where the incident occurred Many residents are of the view that the child’s life could have been saved, had the police acted promptly and diligently.


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Fidel Castro describes aches and pains of aging HAVANA (AP) — Retired Cuban President Fidel Castro complained of a bad knee, weak eyesight and difficulty adjusting to changes in light during a lengthy interview session with state-run media published yesterday. The 86-year-old revolutionary icon also praised Cuban election officials for building a new entrance to his polling site, eliminating the need for him to climb stairs, which he indicated had been difficult since a fall in 2004. “I asked various people who work with me the number of steps and the height of the stairway at the entrance,” Castro said in an informal back-and-forth with several Cuban journalists conducted on Feb. 3, the day he cast a ballot in a legislative election. “My shattered knee ... has taken its toll.” Castro is rarely seen in public, and more rarely still speaks about Cuban affairs. While his appearance at the voting station had been reported earlier, the majority of his comments had not. Yesterday’s edition of the Communist Party daily Granma transcribes the entire encounter over five full pages, and reports that the transcript has been “revised and updated by the interviewee.” Castro also speaks

passionately about his ailing ally and friend, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is battling cancer at a Cuban hospital and has not been seen in public for more than two months. “When he was in full (political) combat, he neglected his health and he dedicated himself to the fight,” he said. As for his own health, Castro acknowledges having difficulty reading the small print in Granma and on his television screen, adding that “changes in light bother my eyes.” The former Cuban leader’s comments were published a day after 85-yearold Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by announcing he was stepping down due to physical and mental weariness, becoming the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said Benedict made the decision to resign after his March 2012 trip to Mexico and Cuba, an exhausting visit under the broiling Caribbean sun where he met the two Castros and was treated to a raucous and warm welcome. The meeting with Fidel began with the two men joking about their ages. “Yes, I’m old, but I can still do my job,” Benedict said, according to a Vatican

spokesman. He left Cuba the next day with the farewell: “Goodbye forever.” In the newly published comments, Castro lauds the economic changes being carried out under the leadership of his 81-year-old brother, Raul, who has been president since 2006, saying the state has “a duty to bring itself up to date.” He also applauds the Cuban people for electing more women than men to the 612-seat National Assembly. In Cuban elections, there is only one candidate for each seat, and no suspense over who will win. Voters’ only choice is whether to approve of them or not, and most candidates receive well over 90 percent. In an echo of the broadranging style of his past, Castro’s comments stretch from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the colonization of Mars, to the 1794 execution of Robespierre during the French Revolution, and to environmental threats facing the world today. Perhaps betraying his age, he questions journalists about their recording equipment and marvels at a smart phone one used to tape the interview. “What’s that apparatus?” Castro asks. “It’s a telephone that also

Cuba tones down Castro’s positive words on Chavez health HAVANA (Reuters) More than a week after former leader Fidel Castro was quoted in Cuban media as saying Venezuela’s cancerstricken President Hugo Chavez was “much better,” the Communist Party newspaper published a different, toned down version of his comments yesterday. The transcript in Granma, said to have been “reviewed and updated” by Castro, left out the more positive assessments of Chavez’ condition, but did say he was recovering. Castro, who spoke with reporters when he went to vote in Cuba’s National Assembly election, was quoted in February 4 news accounts as telling reporters he got daily reports on Chavez and that he was doing “much better, recovering” two months after undergoing a six-hour operation in Havana. “It has been a tough fight but he is improving,” Castro said. “We have to cure him. Chavez is very important for his country and for Latin

America.” In the official version, published yesterday, a reporter asks Castro if he had heard anything about the condition of Chavez. “Yes, every day. He is recovering, according to the last medical report I received today, February 3, at midday,” Castro replied. “Improving?” the reporter asks. “Yes, although they have been difficult and hard days. Our doctors devote themselves to this task, this is what I am able to tell you since the information is a right that belongs to the (Venezuelan) government and his family members,” Castro said. There was no explanation for the changes accompanying the transcript, nor was it known why it was published nine days after the original conversation. The transcript took up five pages of the eight-page newspaper, of which the part about Chavez was just four paragraphs, with the rest showing the 86-year-old Castro expounding on a variety of topics.

Chavez, 58, has been behind closed doors in a Havana hospital since undergoing his fourth surgery for cancer on December 11. His cancer, which was diagnosed during a June 2011 visit to the Cuban capital, has been described only as being in the pelvic region. The gregarious socialist has not been seen or heard publicly since the operation, but visiting Venezuelan officials have said he is getting better and in control of the government. Chavez is Cuba’s top ally and benefactor and has said Fidel Castro is his mentor. He provides Cuba with most of its oil. The former paratrooper was elected in October to another term as president, but has not yet officially taken office. Fidel Castro took power in a 1959 revolution and led Cuba for 49 years before his own health problems forced him to resign the presidency five years ago. Younger brother Raul Castro, 81, succeeded him as Cuba’s leader.

In this Wednesday, March 28, 2012 file photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano Pope Benedict XVI meets with Fidel Castro in Havana. (AP Photo/L’Osservatore Romano, File) functions as a recorder, Comandante,” journalist Amaury del Valle replies. “Oh really?” asks Castro. “I have to use a lot of gadgets of that kind but people help me.” The journalists praise Castro effusively, complimenting him on his

memory, inviting him to a journalists’ conference and telling him that they and the Cuban people carry him in their hearts. “Thank you for seeing us. We are so happy because of it,” Cuban television reporter Gladys Rubio says. As Castro leaves, there

are chants of: “Fidel! Fidel! Fidel!” Castro has been increasingly private in recent years after re-emerging in 2010 following a long illness. Last year, he announced that he would no longer write his trademark opinion pieces, known as “Reflections.”


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Struggling Caribbean islands selling citizenship KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Hadi Mezawi has never set foot on the Caribbean island of Dominica, has never seen its rainforests or black-sand beaches. But he’s one of its newest citizens. Without leaving his home in the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian man recently received a brand new Dominican passport after sending a roughly $100,000 contribution to the tropical nation half a world away. “At the start I was a little worried that it might be a fraud, but the process turned out to be quite smooth and simple. Now, I am a Dominican,” said Mezawi, who like many Palestinians had not been recognized as a citizen of any country. That passport will help with travel for his job with a Brazilian food processing company, he said by telephone from Dubai. Turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa has led to a surge of interest in programs that let investors buy citizenship or residence in countries around the world in return for a healthy contribution or investment. Most are seeking a second passport for hassle-free travel or a ready escape hatch in case things get worse at home. Nowhere is it easier or faster than in the minuscule Eastern Caribbean nations of Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis. It’s such a booming business that a Dubai-based company is building a 4square-mile (10-squarekilometer) community in St. Kitts where investors can buy property and citizenship at the same time. In its first phase, some 375 shareholders will get citizenship by investing

$400,000 each in the project, which is expected to include a 200-room hotel and a megayacht marina. Others will get passports for buying one of 50 condominium units. “The more they fight over there, the more political problems there are, the more applications we get here,” said Victor Doche, managing director of another company that offers four condominium projects where approved buyers are granted citizenship in St. Kitts, which is less than twice the size of Washington D.C. It’s impossible to say how many people have used the cash for citizenship programs. Officials in both countries declined to respond when asked by The Associated Press. “Why do I have to speak on that?” said Levi Peter, Dominica’s attorney general. “I have no explanation to give to AP.” But Bernard Wiltshire, a former Dominica attorney general, said there were already around 3,000 economic citizens when he left government about a decade ago. The country now has roughly 73,000 inhabitants in all. “Investor visa” or citizenship programs are offered by many nations, including the United States, Canada, Britain and Austria. But the Caribbean countries offer a fast path to citizenship at a very low cost. The whole process, including background checks, can take as little as 90 days in St. Kitts. And there’s no need to ever live on the islands, or even visit. A foreigner can qualify for citizenship in St. Kitts with a $250,000 donation to a fund for retired sugar workers or

with a minimum real estate investment of $400,000. The minimum contribution in Dominica is $100,000. By contrast, a U.S. program allows visas for a $1 million investment in a U.S. business employing at least 10 people or $500,000 in designated economically depressed areas. The investor can apply for permanent residence in two years, and seek citizenship after five more. Demand in Canada is so great that the country stopped accepting new applications in July. A Dominica passport holder can travel without a visa to more than 50 countries, while a St. Kitts passport provides visa-free travel to 139 countries, including all of the European Union. That’s a big deal to people in countries from which travel is restricted or whose passports are treated with suspicion. Critics say the programs undermine the integrity of national passports and have security risks. While there are no known cases of terrorists using the programs, experts say that’s a possibility with many visa arrangements anywhere. “No level of scrutiny can completely guarantee that terrorists will not make use of these programs, just as background checks cannot eliminate the risk that dangerous individuals will not enter the country (the U.S.) on tourist visas, as students or as refugees,” said Madeleine Sumption, a senior policy analyst at the Wa s h i n g t o n - b a s e d Migration Policy Institute. Canada imposed visa requirements on Dominica citizens a decade ago after complaining that suspected

criminals had used island passports. And in 2010, Britain said it was considering visa requirements for Dominicans, prompting the island to review its 20-yearold economic citizenship program. Dominica never publicly released the results of its review and Britain took no action. St. Kitts closed its program to Iranians in December 2011, shortly after Iranian students stormed the British Embassy in Tehran. Iranians had formerly been a major source of applicants, according to Doche. Some locals worry the programs could get out of hand if conditions worsen abroad. “There could be a flood of people with our passports relocating here,” said Dominica’s Wiltshire. “What are we going to do then? Really, this program must be halted. It’s dangerous to us and dangerous for our neighbors.”

St. Kitts opposition leader Mark Brantley said the citizenship program was bringing much needed revenue to the debt-swamped islands, but he said there should be better oversight and public accounting. “We do not see that sufficient controls are currently in place to ensure that bad people, for want of better language, do not get access to our citizenship,” he said. It’s not just economic refugees who are interested in the programs. American Neil Strauss wrote of securing citizenship in St. Kitts in his 2009 book on survivalist preparedness, “Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life.” “The same way we have a backup drive for our computer in case the hard drive explodes, I just felt like I wanted a backup citizenship in case the same thing happened to my country,” Strauss said during a phone

call from his home in Los Angeles. Like most economic citizens of St. Kitts, he rents out his island property. Some other struggling Eastern Caribbean islands are looking at adopting the St. Kitts model. Antigua & Barbuda is launching its own citizenship program to drum up money. And leaders of both main parties on the poor island of Grenada have hinted they may revive a program that was suspended after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, due to fears that local passports could be mistakenly sold to terrorists, In Dubai, Mezawi said he keeps meeting fellow Dominica passport holders, mostly people of Iranian and Palestinian background. “After the Arab Spring, it’s become more difficult for us to really travel around the world, even in the Arab region,” he said. “But being a citizen of Dominica, it is much, much better for us.”

PM says he is not involved in insider trading KINGSTOWN, St Vincent - CMC – Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says he did not know that two of his brothers had withdrawn EC$1 million from the financially troubled Building & Loan Association (BLA) in October even as he was encouraging citizens not to withdraw their funds from the institution. “I did not know then that my two brothers, who own the account with my mother … had taken out the money on October the first,” Gonsalves said on radio shortly after Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace disclosed the transaction at a news conference on Monday.Eustace on Monday questioned the decision of the three-month old Financial Services Authority (FSA) to take over management and control of the BLA, warning it could lead to further loss of investor confidence in St Vi n c e n t and the Grenadines. Eustace said he was also concerned that certain people had been able to withdraw a significant amount of money from the BLA prior to the FSA takeover and called on the institution to name them. “Further, I call on the FSA to give members a more fulsome account of the status of Building & Loan, with all deliberate speed,” Eustace told reporters. Last week, the FSA

Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announced it had taken the decision to protect the interest of stakeholders and that it is not a permanent arrangement even as it gave no indication as to how long it would maintain the situation and reiterated an earlier “appeal for calm and reasoned judgment on the part of all relevant parties at this time. In a statement, the FSA said that “reacting in panic to withdraw monies and close accounts is not helping the institution”, assuring shareholders that it acts independent of the government. “The objective of the FSA in assuming management and control of the Association is to safeguard the Association’s financial stability and future sustainable growth. The FSA is already working with the staff of the Association to stabilize and strengthen the

organization,” the statement said. The decision by the FSA last Friday came two weeks after a letter appeared in a local newspaper raising concerns about the financial health of BLA. The letter by economist at the Ministry of Finance, Luke Browne, prompted depositors to withdraw their investments from financial institutions forcing both Prime Minister Gonsalves, and Eustace to appeal to depositors not to withdraw their funds. But the disclosure that two of the prime minister’s relatives had withdrawn their funds, has put the government on the defensive one week after Prime Minister Gonsalves said he had he invested EC$21,000 in BLA on behalf of his daughter, an act some dismissed as a public relations stunt. Gonsalves’ brothers withdrew the money while the BLA was under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance, which Gonsalves also heads, a point Eustace underscored at his press conference. “In the circumstances, how can investors be expected to maintain their investments in Building & Loan when immediate family members of the minister in supervision of the Building & Loan have withdrawn theirs?” Eustace said.


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PM urges sacrifices as Jamaica moves to sign IMF agreement KINGSTON, Jamaica – CMC – Jamaica’s political and business community yesterday gave a cautious response to the call by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller for nationals to accept the stringent measures that will accompany a multi-million dollar Stand By Agreement (SBA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Prime Minister Simpson Miller said that among the measures include increased taxes and the launch of a national debt exchange offer on Tuesday as her administration seeks to deal with a national debt that now stands at 140 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Former finance minister Audley Shaw said the measures outlined by the government lacked specifics on the progress in negotiations for a new deal with the IMF. However, he conceded that the debt exchange option had the potential to help revive the economy and result in a further reduction in interest rates in the financial sector.

Shaw was finance minister three years ago when the then ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) introduced the first Jamaica debt exchange (JDX) aimed at achieving some of the same objectives outlined by Phillips. Financial analyst, David Wan said that while the choice of a debt exchange meant that it was the banks, bondholders and pensioners who would do “the heavy lifting” it was a less unpalatable option “than a straight tax package”. He said overt tax package would have been much more painful than this interest rate reduction on the bonds”. Wan, who spoke on a television programme soon after Prime Minister Simpson Miller and her finance minister Dr. Peter Phillip addressed the nation on the negotiations with the Washington-based financial institution, said he would have loved to see more evidence of “shared sacrifice” in the measures announced by the government. Phillips said the launch of the national debt exchange offer on Tuesday would be done with the support of

leading private sector financial institutions. “Let me assure bondholders that there will be no haircut on their principal investment. This offer which we urge bondholders to accept will make possible the reduction of our debt to GDP ratios by 8.5 per cent or around $17 billion (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.01 cents) per year between now and 2020. “Essentially this programme exchanges higher interest debt for lower cost debt and will entail significant sacrifices from our financial institutions and the holders of our domestic bonds, it will be painful and difficult but we have no option. “Many of our bondholders with good reason will immediately respond to this announcement with a sense of disappointment as they recall that they made a similar sacrifice for Jamaica three years ago, when they were assured that their sacrifice would have put Jamaica on the path of growth and stability. President of the Jamaica

Employers Federation (JEF), Wayne Chen, said the adjustment package announced by Phillips was “softer than it could have been which is not to say it is not going to be a difficult hurdle to overcome”. He said it represented “a great opportunity to build that platform for sustained economic growth and development which has eluded us for many years”. However, Chen said the debt exchange will result in a cut in profits to the financial institutions, leading in turn to a reduction in their value “so they are taking a double hit”. He said Jamaican workers in both the public and private sectors had been required to make severe sacrifices over the last five to six years and were being asked to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Christopher Zacca, while highlighting the negative impact on holders of government instruments, said the majority of the banks are aware of the need for a debt exchange programme.

Portia Simpson Miller “They are in favour of volunteering and once again stepping up to the plate and helping the country. I must commend them for that. It’s not going to be easy, it affects pensions etc, we have to come together at this time and put together a programme to rescue Jamaica’s economy

and get our debt down over time. “We have to ensure that the government sticks to what it is going to do and therefore there may be the upgrading of the Jamaican economy and therefore they could recoup some of these losses,” Zacca said.


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Vatican plans big send off for pope, consultations begin VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Cardinals around the world began informal contacts to discuss who should next lead the Church through a period of major crisis and the Vatican said it planned a big send-off for Pope Benedict before he becomes the first pontiff in centuries to resign. At yesterday’s news conference on how the pope plans to spend the next two weeks before he steps out of the limelight, the Vatican also disclosed that the 85-year-old Benedict has been wearing a pacemaker since before he was elected pope in 2005. It said no specific illness led him to resign, merely old age and diminishing mental and physical strength. It also said he would not play any role in the running of the Church after his February 28 resignation. “The pope has said in his declaration that he will use his time for prayer and reflection and will not have any responsibility for guidance of the Church or any administrative or government responsibility,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.”This is absolutely clear and this is the sense of the resignation,” Lombardi said, adding that he “will not intervene in any way” in trying to influence the choice of his successor. The shock announcement sent the Vatican scrambling to change venues of some papal activities so that more people can see him before the resignation. On Wednesday, the pope was to have led a traditional Ash Wednesday service at a small church in Rome but the event has been moved to St Peter’s Basilica for what will likely be his last Mass in public. His last general audience,

scheduled for the day before his resignation, has been moved from the Vatican’s audience hall, which has a capacity of some 10,000 people, to St Peter’s Square, which can hold hundreds of thousands. After he leaves office on February 28, he will go first to the papal summer residence south of Rome and then to a cloistered convent inside the Vatican walls, exchanging the splendor of his 16th century Apostolic Palace for a sober modern residence. In mid-March, some 115 cardinals will enter the Sistine Chapel to elect the next leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. Cardinals lose their right to enter a conclave when they turn 80 so the exact number will depend on the day of the start of the conclave. While the Vatican began preparations for Benedict’s last days as pope, Church sources said informal consultations on the phone, at lunches and via e mails have begun among cardinals about what type of leader the next pope should be. After a string of scandals, Church experts say the cardinals will be looking for someone who is not only a holy man but also a good administrator. “A lot of cardinals will tell you off the record if you ask them for their private assessment of this pope that personally he was a great man, holy, genuine, honest and humble and that his teachings will stand the test of time,” said John Allen, author of several books on the Vatican. “But they will also say that there was a regime around Benedict XVI that did not know how to make the trains run on time and they were often left to pick up the pieces of bombs that

Pope Benedict

exploded here,” he said. Benedict has been faulted for putting too much power in the hands of his friend, Secretariat of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Critics of Bertone, effectively the Vatican’s chief administrator, said he should have prevented some papal mishaps and bureaucratic blunders. Benedict’s papacy was rocked by crises over sex abuse of children by priests in Europe and the United States, most of which preceded his time in office but came to light during it. His reign also saw Muslim anger after he compared Islam to violence. Jews were upset over rehabilitation of a Holocaust denier. During a scandal over the Church’s business dealings, his butler was accused of leaking his private papers. “That was a perpetual frustration for the cardinals outside the Vatican and I think they are concerned that whoever takes over needs to be a little bit more attentive to the internal governance of the Church and of the Vatican in particular,” Allen said. Speculation has grown

that the Church could appoint its first non-European leader to reflect the growing weight of regions such as Africa or Latin America, which now accounts for 42 percent of the world’s Catholics. “It could be time for a black pope, or a yellow one,

or a red one, or a Latin American,” said Guatemala’s Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales after Benedict’s announcement. After Benedict’s relatively brief papacy, which followed the 27-year pontificate of John Paul II, the

cardinals may also be inclined to choose a younger man than Benedict, who was 78 when he was elected. Whoever is appointed will have to deal with regional issues and the tension between conservative Catholics who have supported Benedict’s strictly traditional doctrinal line and others who feel he has stifled change and development. “In Europe, the Church is seeking a new relationship to society. In many countries in Asia and Africa, it is experiencing an incredible expansion,” Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said. Never as popular as the widely beloved John Paul, Benedict was a scholarly theologian with little of the shrewd political instinct which elevated his predecessor to the front rank of world statesmen.

Obama calls North Korea nuclear test “provocative act” WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama called a nuclear test yesterday by North Korea a “highly provocative act” and said Pyongyang’s “threatening activities” warranted action by the international community. North Korea’s third nuclear test came less than 24 hours before Obama’s annual State of the Union address, a televised speech viewed by millions of Americans that lays out his priorities for the coming year. U.S. intelligence agencies were analyzing the event and had found that North Korea probably conducted an underground nuclear explosion with a yield of “approximately several kilotons,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement that called it a “declared nuclear test.” “North Korea announced today that it conducted a third nuclear test. This is a highly provocative act that, following its December 12 ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability,” Obama said, adding that the test violated United Nations and other international agreements. “The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further

Barack Obama swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies,” Obama said. North Korea is banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions from developing nuclear and missile technology. The tests drew condemnation from around the world. “North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security,” Obama said. “The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region.”

The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on North Korea’s apparent nuclear test at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT), when the United States, South Korea and others could begin the lengthy process of pressing for more sanctions on Pyongyang. “We will strengthen close coordination with allies and partners and work with our six-party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other UN member states to pursue firm action,” Obama said. He did not specify what action might be taken. The six-party talks between China, the United States, North and South Korea, Japan, and Russia are aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. “These provocations do not make North Korea more secure,” Obama said. “Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery,” he said. The magnitude of the test was roughly twice as large as that of 2009, said Lassina Zerbo, director of the international data center division of the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization. The U.S. Geological Survey said that a seismic event measuring 5.1 magnitude had occurred.


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Iran says it is converting uranium, easing bomb fears (Reuters) Iran acknowledged yesterday that it was converting some of its higher-grade enriched uranium into reactor fuel, a move that could help to prevent a dispute with the West over its nuclear programme hitting a crisis in mid-2013. Conversion is one way for Iran to slow the growth in its stockpile of material that could be used to make a bomb. That stockpile is currently projected to reach a level intolerable to Israel in mid-year, just as Iran’s room for negotiation is being limited by a presidential election in June. Iranian Foreign Ministry

spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was asked at a weekly news conference about a Reuters report that Iran has converted small amounts of its 20-percent enriched uranium into reactor fuel. “This work is being done and all its reports have been sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a complete manner,” he was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA. It was Iran’s first acknowledgment that it had apparently resumed converting into fuel small amounts of uranium enriched to a concentration of 20

Ramin Mehmanparast percent fissile material. Iran’s production of that higher-grade uranium worries

Carney backs inflation targeting as best for UK, Canada OTTAWA (Reuters) Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of Canada who will switch jobs to take the helm of the Bank of England in July, said on Monday that inflation targeting is still the best approach for central banks in both the UK and Canada. In remarks to Canadian legislators, Carney emphasized what he told a British members of Parliament last week when he cooled expectations that he would push for sweeping changes in British monetary policy. Carney, who was asked by Canadian opposition legislator Guy Caron for his views on targeting nominal GDP - a mix of growth and inflation - rather than inflation only, did recommend a periodic review of that mandate with the option of changing it. Carney, in a speech in December, had mentioned nominal GDP-targeting in as an extreme measure in economies where central banks have run out of more conventional tools to boost their economies, leading some to speculate he would push for it at the Bank of

Mark Carney England. “It is still the position of the Bank of Canada that a flexible inflation targeting framework is the best in the world,” Carney said yesterday. “I share (the idea of) flexible inflation targeting here and, as I said last week, in the United Kingdom as well,” he added. The 47-year old former Goldman Sachs banker will leave the Bank of Canada on June 1 and take his new job in London one month later.

He stressed that Canada and the UK had little in common in terms of economic challenges. “We don’t have large public and private indebtedness, we are not at zero lower bound (interest rates), we don’t have the problems in the financial sector that exist over there,” he said. One big advantage in Canada is that the central bank and the government review the inflation targeting framework every five years, he said. “It’s a chance to reaffirm the framework or change the framework,” he said. Before renewing its 2 percent inflation target in November 2011, the Canadian central bank had conducted research into the possibility of targeting a lower inflation rate, switching to price-level targeting, or formally adding financial stability as a target of monetary policy. It opted against any of these. The Bank of Canada has had an inflation-control target since 1991, initially aiming for 3 percent and lowering it to 2 percent inflation since 1995.

the major powers because it is only a short technical step away from the 90-percent purity needed for a weapon. On-off negotiations with the major powers and four rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions have failed to persuade Iran to stop its enrichment activities, and the IAEA has been refused full access to investigate other suspect elements of the nuclear programme. Iran denies that it is seeking a weapon and says its nuclear programme serves only peaceful purposes such as electricity and the production of medical isotopes. But Israel, widely

believed to be the only nuclear-armed country in the Middle East, has indicated that Iran’s stockpile will reach a level in June at which it considers it must attack to stop Iran acquiring enough fissile material for a bomb. With a presidential election taking place that month, Tehran’s room to make concessions to foreign powers is limited. A U.S. official sought to reassure Israel this week on the determination of President Barack Obama, due to visit the region shortly, to curb Iran’s nuclear programme, according to an Israeli official who declined to be named. Rose Gottemoeller, acting

U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, “reiterated the Americans’ commitment to preventing a nuclear Iran, and their worries about regional proliferation, were Iran to go nuclear”, said the official, who met Gottemoeller. Iran averted a potential crisis last year by converting some 100 kg of its 20-percent enriched uranium into fuel, suggesting to some that it was carefully keeping below the threshold set by Israel, while still advancing its nuclear technology. It is not believed to have enriched uranium beyond 20 percent.

Air base falls as Assad’s forces come under pressure AMMAN (Reuters) Syrian opposition fighters captured a military airport near the northern city of Aleppo yesterday in another military setback for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces which have come under intensifying attack across the country. The airport is the latest military facility to fall under rebel control in a strategic region situated between Syria’s industrial and commercial center and the country’s oil- and wheatproducing heartland to the east. Fighting in the nearly two-year-old conflict has intensified in the three weeks since the political leadership of the opposition offered to negotiate a departure for Assad. In the first direct government response, Syria’s minister for “national reconciliation”, Ali Haidar, said he was willing to travel abroad to meet Moaz Alkhatib, the Cairo-based president of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group. Authorities had previously said they would talk to the “patriotic

opposition” - figures who have not allied themselves with the armed rebellion. But most centrist opposition figures have left the country since Abdel-Aziz al-Khayyer, a proponent of dialogue and non-violence, was arrested last year. “I am willing to meet Mr Khatib in any foreign city where I can go in order to discuss preparations for a national dialogue”, Haidar told the Guardian newspaper. But Haidar said the authorities rejected any dialogue that aims “to hand power from one side to another” and insisted that formal negotiation must take place on Syrian soil. The main push for talks on a transition is coming from U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, a veteran diplomat who helped mediate an end to civil war in neighboring Lebanon and warned that Syria could become a failed state. The Syrian uprising, in which 60,000 people have been killed, has been the bloodiest of the Arab revolts that already toppled four autocrats in Libya, Egypt, Tunis and Yemen.

With the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, dominating power in Syria, the conflict has deepened the Shi’ite-Sunni divide in the Middle East. In the capital Damascus, residents and activists said the army had moved tanks to central Abbasid Square to shore up its defensive lines after rebels breached it last week and then struck several security targets in the heart of the capital. Jets bombarded rebel held areas in the east of the capital and in an expanse of farmland and urban areas known as Eastern Ghouta, from where rebels have launched an attack to cut off the loyalist supply lines. “The bombing has been terrible. The centre of Damascus is shaking. You can hear the jets from here,” said one woman. Despite a large military arsenal - opposition activists reported several Scud missiles being fired at unknown targets from an army base north of Damascus - Assad’s forces appeared to be on the defensive in many parts of the country.


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Barclays vows fresh course, axes 3,700 jobs (Reuters) - Barclays’ new chief executive pledged a fresh course for the British lender yesterday, axing at least 3,700 jobs and pruning its investment bank as he seeks to rebuild its reputation and boost profitability after a series of scandals. In an attempt to distance Britain’s third biggest bank from the aggressive, high-risk culture championed by his predecessor, Antony Jenkins said Barclays would put ethics above earnings at the bank, which has become a focus for public anger at the excesses of the financial sector. “Barclays is changing. There will be no going back to the old way of doing things. We are changing the way we do business. We are changing the type of business we do,” Jenkins said. “I understand why there is cynicism and scepticism out there, given the track record of banks in the past. You should judge us by what we deliver in the next one, two, five or 10 years,” he said at a news conference. Jenkins unveiled his

grand plan, dubbed “Project Transform”, at London’s Royal Horticultural Halls, an Edwardian exhibition space well away from the bank’s skyscraper headquarters in Canary Wharf and just a short walk from parliament, where MPs have heavily criticised the bank for its misdeeds. Keen to show change is afoot, Jenkins cut pay for investment bankers, halted speculative trading in agricultural commodities and closed a profitable tax advisory unit, which one lawmaker said advised clients on “industrial-scale tax avoidance”. Jenkins, wearing a bright blue tie and sober grey suit, gave a precise presentation but rarely strayed into awkward territory. He declined to answer questions about the future of Rich Ricci, head of the investment bank and one of the last remaining senior executives of the previous era. “I can’t predict the future,” Jenkins said. He committed to keeping the investment bank, which contributes more than half of

group earnings, and did not go as far as rivals such as UBS or RBS in cutbacks in this area. He said the division was one of “an increasingly small group” of firms winning business and should deliver future returns on equity of 1415 percent. Investors applauded the bank’s plans to raise its dividend and cut 1.7 billion pounds in annual costs, including eliminating 1,800 jobs in corporate and investment banking and 1,900 in its European retail and business banking. He aims to cut compensation to around 35 percent of earnings, from 38 percent last year and 42 percent in 2011. “This statement redresses the balance. It is not just about the (dividend) payout ratio going up, it is also a function of the compensation ratio going down,” said Dominic Rossi, chief investment officer for Fidelity Worldwide Investments, one of the bank’s 15 biggest investors. “That was of course what shareholders had been arguing for ... (The) balance

Antony Jenkins of distribution between staff and shareholders was inappropriate and disproportionate towards employees,” Rossi told Reuters. Barclays shares surged to close up 8.6 percent

at 327.35 pence, their highest level for two years and helping pull the European bank index up 2 percent. The bank’s shares are up 75 percent since Jenkins took the helm at the end of August, lifting its value to $62 billion. Jenkins, 51, has said he expects “Project Transform”, his plan to revamp the bank, to take five to 10 years and has told staff they should leave if they do not want to sign up to the new standards. He cut the average bonus for investment bankers to 54,100 pounds for last year, down 17 percent on the year. It will pay a total 1.85 billion pounds in bonuses, down 14 percent. “We need to give our investors a bigger share of the income we generate,” he said. But he warned there would be no quick fix and the bank would not deliver his target of a return on equity above 11.5 percent until 2015. Jenkins will focus

investment in Britain, the United States and Africa, and cut back in continental Europe and Asia. Nearly one in three Barclays branches across Italy, Spain, Portugal and France will close, or about 340 branches and sales centres, and remaining retail operations there will focus on affluent customers. Jenkins will scale back the investment bank’s equities and advisory businesses in continental Europe and Asia. He said his “root and branch” review of 75 business units will result in four being closed, covering old assets held in fixed income and European corporate and retail loans. A further 17 units, which contribute 2 billion pounds of income, could be sold or will need a significant transition to make the grade, including the tax unit and a raft of European retail operations.

Air base falls as Assad’s forces come under pressure AMMAN (Reuters) Syrian opposition fighters captured a military airport near the northern city of Aleppo yesterday in another military setback for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces which have come under intensifying attack across the country. The airport is the latest military facility to fall under rebel control in a strategic region situated between Syria’s industrial and commercial center and the country’s oil- and wheatproducing heartland to the east. Fighting in the nearly twoyear-old conflict has intensified in the three weeks since the political leadership of the opposition offered to negotiate a departure for Assad. In the first direct government response, Syria’s minister for “national reconciliation”, Ali Haidar, said he was willing to travel abroad to meet Moaz Alkhatib, the Cairo-based president of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group. Authorities had previously said they would talk to the “patriotic opposition” - figures who have not allied themselves with the armed rebellion. But most centrist opposition figures have left the country since Abdel-Aziz al-Khayyer, a proponent of dialogue and non-violence, was arrested last year. “I am willing to meet Mr Khatib in any foreign city

where I can go in order to discuss preparations for a national dialogue”, Haidar told the Guardian newspaper. But Haidar said the authorities rejected any dialogue that aims “to hand power from one side to another” and insisted that formal negotiation must take place on Syrian soil. The main push for talks on a transition is coming from U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, a veteran diplomat who helped mediate an end to civil war in neighboring Lebanon and warned that Syria could become a failed state. The Syrian uprising, in which 60,000 people have been killed, has been the bloodiest of the Arab revolts that already toppled four autocrats in Libya, Egypt, Tunis and Yemen. With the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, dominating power in Syria, the conflict has deepened the Shi’ite-Sunni divide in the Middle East. In the capital Damascus, residents and activists said the army had moved tanks to central Abbasid Square to shore up its defensive lines after rebels breached it last week and then struck several security targets in the heart of the capital. Jets bombarded rebel held areas in the east of the capital and in an expanse of farmland and urban areas known as Eastern Ghouta, from where rebels have launched an attack to cut off the loyalist

supply lines. “The bombing has been terrible. The centre of Damascus is shaking. You can hear the jets from here,” said one woman. Despite a large military arsenal - opposition activists reported several Scud missiles being fired at unknown targets from an army base north of Damascus - Assad’s forces appeared to be on the defensive in many parts of the country. The army and a plethora of security forces remain entrenched in fortress-like bases in Damascus and the provincial capitals, where their advantages in air power and heavy weaponry have kept the opposition from taking over the major cities. Jarrah air base, 60 km (40 miles) east of Aleppo, came under the control of rebel units who have been surrounding it for weeks, and the highway linking Aleppo to the east of the country is in opposition hands, the Sham News Network said. Video footage showed fighters from the Islamic Free Syria Movement inspecting the airport. Several fighter jets were shown on the ground at the airport and in concrete shelters. Abu Abdallah Minbij, one of the opposition commanders who planned the attack on the airport, said by phone that two operational MiG jets and ammunition were found intact at the base, along with 40 disused fighter jets.


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North Korean nuclear test draws anger, including from China SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea conducted its third nuclear test yesterday in defiance of U.N. resolutions, drawing condemnation from around the world, including from its only major ally, China, which summoned the North Korean ambassador to protest. Pyongyang said the test was an act of self-defense against “U.S. hostility” and threatened stronger steps if necessary. The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting at which its members, including China, “strongly condemned” the test and vowed to start work on appropriate measures in response, the president of the council said. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the third of his line to rule the country, has presided over two long-range rocket launches and a nuclear test during his first year in power, pursuing policies that have propelled his impoverished and malnourished country closer to becoming a nuclear weapons power. North Korea said the test had “greater explosive force” than those it conducted in

2006 and 2009. Its KCNA news agency said it had used a “miniaturized” and lighter nuclear device, indicating it had again used plutonium, which is suitable for use as a missile warhead. China, which has shown signs of increasing exasperation with the recent bellicose tone of its reclusive neighbor, summoned the North Korean ambassador in Beijing and protested sternly, the Foreign Ministry said. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said China was “strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed” to the test and urged North Korea to “stop any rhetoric or acts that could worsen situations and return to the right course of dialogue and consultation as soon as possible”. Analysts said the test was a major embarrassment to China, which is a permanent member of the Security Council and North Korea’s sole major economic and diplomatic ally, because it cast doubt on the extent of Beijing’s influence over its ally. U.S. President Barack Obama called the test a “highly provocative act” that hurt regional stability and

Kim Jong-un pressed for new sanctions. “The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies,” Obama said. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said Washington and its allies intended to “augment the sanctions regime” already in place due to Pyongyang’s previous atomic tests. North Korea is already one of the most heavily sanctioned states in the world and has

few external economic links that can be targeted. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the test was a “grave threat” that could not be tolerated. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kimoon said the test was a “clear and grave violation” of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear arms program and return to talks. NATO condemned the test as an “irresponsible act” that posed a grave threat to world peace. South Korea, still technically at war with North Korea after a 1950-53 civil war ended in a mere truce, also denounced the test. North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the test was “only the first response we took with maximum restraint”. “If the United States continues to come out with hostility and complicates the situation, we will be forced to take stronger, second and third responses in consecutive steps,” it said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency. North Korea often threatens the United States

and its “puppet”, South Korea, with destruction in colorful terms. North Korea told the U.N. disarmament forum in Geneva that it would never bow to resolutions on its nuclear program and that prospects were “gloomy” for the denuclearization of the divided Korean peninsula because of a “hostile” U.S. policy. Suzanne DiMaggio, an analyst at the Asia Society in New York, said North Korea had embarrassed China with the test. “China’s inability to dissuade North Korea from carrying through with this third nuclear test reveals Beijing’s limited influence over Pyongyang’s actions in unusually stark terms,” she said. Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank, said: “The test is hugely insulting to China, which now can be expected to follow through with threats to impose sanctions.” The magnitude of the explosion was roughly twice that of the 2009 test, according to Lassina Zerbo, director of the international data center division of the

V i e n n a - b a s e d Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization. The U.S. Geological Survey said that a seismic event measuring 5.1 magnitude had occurred. North Korea trumpeted the announcement on its state television channel to patriotic music against a backdrop of its national flag. “It was confirmed that the nuclear test that was carried out at a high level in a safe and perfect manner using a miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment,” KCNA said. North Korea linked the test to its technical prowess in launching a long-range rocket in December, a move that triggered the U.N. sanctions, backed by China, that Pyongyang said prompted it to take yesterday’s action. The North’s ultimate aim, Washington believes, is to design an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could hit the United States.


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NCN CHANNEL 11 05:00 hrs – Inspiration 06:00 hrs – NCN Late Edition News(R/B) 06:30 hrs – Feature 07:00 hrs – Guyana Today 08:00 hrs – Guysuco Round up (R/B) 08:30 hrs – Close Up 09:00 hrs – Stop the Suffering 10:00 hrs – CCTV 11:00 hrs – History 12:00 hrs – CNN 12:30 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 12:35 hrs – Feature

Kaieteur News

13:05 hrs – African Moves (R/B) 14:00 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 14:05 hrs – Movie – Perhaps Love 16:00 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 16:05 hrs – Children’s Mashramani competititon 17:00 hrs – Anderson 18:00 hrs – NCN News Magazine – Live 18:30 hrs – Oral Tradition 19:00 hrs – Al Jazeera 19:30 hrs – Caribbean Passport 20:00 hrs – 3d/daily millions/

play de dream/lotto draw 20:05 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 20:10 hrs – GRPA – Live Discussion 21:00 hrs – NCN Sports Magazine 22:05 hrs – NCN News Late Edition 22:35 hrs – Caribbean Newsline 23:00 hrs – Movie MTV CHANNEL 14/ CABLE 65 Sign on 05:30 hrs - Dharma Kai Awaz: The Voice of Dharma 06:00 hrs - Islamic Perspective 06:30 hrs - News Update 07:00 hrs - DAYBREAK 08:00 hrs - Dabi’s musical 08:30 hrs - Avon DVD Musical

Wednesday February 13, 2013

09:00 hrs - GINA programme 09:15 hrs - Top Notch Music Break 09:30 hrs - Caribbean Temptation Music Mix 10:00 hrs - Amanda’s Costume jewellery musical 10:30 hrs - Clairan’s Ent. Music Hour 11:00 hrs - National geographic 12:00 hrs - The View 13:00 hrs - Village talk 13:30 hrs - The Young and The Restless 14:30 hrs - Days of Our lives 15:00 hrs - General Hospital 16:00 hrs - MTV Valentine Quiz 17:00 hrs - Birthday and other greetings 17:15 hrs - Death

Announcements/ In Memoriam 17:30 hrs - Sitcom 18:00 hrs - Aracari Resort Hour 19:00 hrs - Fire fest Update 19:30 hrs - News Update 20:30 hrs - DJ Stress Update 21:30 hrs - English Movie: The Lost Valentine 23:00 hrs - News update 23:30 hrs - English Movie: The Lost Valentine Sign Off DTV CHANNEL 8 07:55 hrs. Sign On 08:00 hrs. DTV’s Festival of Biblical Movies for the Lenten Season: “The Bible”

11:00 hrs. Roseanne 12:00 hrs. The View 13:00 hrs. Prime News 13:30 hrs. The Young and the Restless 14:30 hrs. The Bold and the Beautiful 15:00 hrs. The Talk 16:00 hrs. Chain Reaction 17:00 hrs. Family Feud 18:00 hrs. World News 18:30 hrs. The Wayans Bros 19:00 hrs. Greetings and Announcements 20:00 hrs. Channel 8 News 21:00 hrs. DTV’s Valentine’s Melodies 23:00 hrs. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (New Episode) 00:00 hrs. Sign Off

Guides are subjected to change without notice

Wednesday February 13, 2013 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19) The Moon’s return to your sign infuses your day with emotional intensity. It may be wise to slow down because you tend to overreact to nearly everything that happens now. TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20) Although you might lack clarity about your current role in the community, there are important interactions happening now that are just beyond your perceptions. GEMINI (May 21–June 20) Your social life might be racing ahead in your thoughts, but the current circumstances of your life can’t catch up to your big ideas. Ultimately, you can get what you want, but you must proceed with caution today. CANCER (June 21–July 22) You are receiving strong cosmic signals that are pushing you forward, possibly creating anxiety in the process. A current relationship may be exerting pressure that requires you to balance your need for security with the expectations that other people place on you.

LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) You might not have the final say in what you do today because unexpected circumstances demand quick reactions. Whatever unfolds around you has an immediate impact on your plans and could change your agenda. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) You have so many chores to do today that you may feel scattered if you try to do them all. Be smart; make a list and then start at the top. SAGIT (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Your current restlessness won’t likely cause you too much worry today. You’re quite familiar with experiencing bouts of wanderlust, allowing you to take your current fantasies of magical adventures in stride. CAPRI (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) Life may present you with a problem that seems more like a puzzle to you today. Practicing what Zen philosophy calls “Beginner’s Mind” can be of great service in your search for a viable solution. I

LEO (July 23–Aug. 22) Although you’re not afraid to stick to your perspective even if everyone else disagrees, you still have a lot to learn now by listening to their opinions. It really doesn’t matter that your mind is already made up.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) The idea of shaking up your daily routine is exciting, but you may be content to just contemplate the concept without taking any action today. Fortunately, you’re committed to finding the most effective strategy to work within the current restraints.

VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) It’s becoming easier to collaborate with others, even if their work habits clash with yours. You may even be excited about the idea of adopting a different style.

PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20) An unexpected situation may require you to focus on your finances today. This could take you beyond simply balancing your checkbook or paying a few bills.


Wednesday February 13, 2013

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Wednesday February 13, 2013

Packed itinerary as Scotiabank/Pepsi U15 School Football Programme commences President of the Guyana Sports Development Foundation (GSDF), Colin Baker is grateful to the administrators of the Demerara Distillers Ltd and those of the Scotiabank following the launching of the 2013 Scotiabank/Pepsi U15 School Football Programme set to commence on February 18 next. The GSDF President said that the tournament is not just the customary football tournament since it also encompasses the inclusion and development of female players. “The GSDF would like to take this opportunity to thank Scotiabank and DDL under the Pepsi Brand for once again sharing our vision by supporting a developmental programme,” said Mr. Baker. He further noted that the tournament is the only one that encompasses the involvement of female players. This marks the 3rd year of activities and 48 teams from 24 schools will vie for

honours after the GSDF have decided to expand the programme, drafting in participants from New Amsterdam and Linden. Twelve schools will be drawn from Georgetown while Linden and Berbice will field 6 teams each. Activities get underway on Monday February 18 with a coaching course for Physical Education teachers in Georgetown at the Ministry of Education Sports Complex, Carifesta Sports Complex, Thomas lands. Organizers then move to Region 6 for a coaching course at the New Amsterdam Prison Sports Club, New Amsterdam on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 before traveling to Linden for a similar course t the Wisburg Secondary School on Thursday 21 and Friday 22. There will also be a media launch on Monday February 18 at the Ministry of Education Sports Complex Thomas Lands where the representatives of the sponsors will hand over the

cheques to John Yates, one of the Directors of the GSDF. Similar exercises will also be conducted in Berbice on February 19 and 21. During this time there will be donations of equipment to the schools including coaching DVDs, course booklets, footballs, carrying bag, football pumps and needles among other paraphernalia. The initiative has been of

immense benefit to local players and after the completion of last year’s programme an all star female team was placed on a 6 months continuous training session. Consequently, that team participated in a U-21 female football competition and defeated two established teams out of Berbice and West Demerara. Further, the benefits of the programme was underlined when some of

the participants were selected to represent Guyana in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) World Cup U-17 Qualifiers; the National U-17 squad won the group play off in Guyana and proceeded to Jamaica for the next round. Organizers will also stage a referees’ training course for students who may find this beneficial in the imminent CXC Exams slated for Monday March 4, 5, and 6 in Region 4,

6 and 10. Plans are also being finalized for a goal keeping coaching clinic to be facilitated by USA based coach, Mark Woseley on Sunday February 24. The respective area coordinators are - Lawrence Griffith (Georgetown), Colin Bowry (New Amsterdam) and Rollin Tappin (Linden). USA certified coach, Stanley Harmon, will also act as facilitator.


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Creative Jewellery and Pawn Shop on board Yolo Entertainment 10/10 Series As Yolo Entertainment’s 10/10 Softball Challenge Series picks up momentum, the corporate community has started to respond positively. The first positive response came from Creative Jewellery and Pawn Shop after Company CEO Ramdat Muniram presented a cheque for an undisclosed sum to Secretary of the Group

Shaunella Case in the presence of Administrator Chris Gopaul and Director Kirk Jardine on Tuesday last, at the business location on Boyle Place. Muniram commenting on his support for the S e r i e s s a i d that it is an honour for him and his company to be associated with the event. He added that the softball

format of cricket provides for great family entertainment and recreation and the tournament itself, will also offer teams the highest level of competition and because of those components his support was virtually assured. According to Muniram, he has a strong passion for the game too and occasionally, he would visit

AAG injunction hearing adjourned until March 12

Colin Boyce

Aubrey Hutson

The Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) High Court hearing pertaining to an injunction that that former President, Colin Boyce had filed on February 1 that sought to nullify the January 20 AGM and Elections was yesterday adjourned until March 12. Both sections remained tight-lipped following the closed-door proceedings, opting to rather just indicate that the matter has been adjourned and negotiations among them are ongoing. Boyce had filed an

injunction against the AAG that stated that the January 20 AGM and Election was unconstitutional; it was unlawful, illegal, ultra vires, null, void and of no effect. He had told Kaieteur Sport following that the aim of the injunction was to ensure that those clubs that have satisfied the AAG Constitution get an opportunity to rightfully serve as opposed to the illegitimate clubs that voted at the elections. Aubrey Hutson won the AAG Presidency on January

20 six votes to three, but three of the Clubs that were allowed to vote for him were found to be unconstitutional. According to the AAG Constitution, a club must consist of 10 active athletes; must participate in 80% of the AAG competitions and must not be indebted to the association among two others that bear no real relevance to the subject of the injunction. Based on that constitutional criterion, Bedford All stars, Rising Stars and Royal Youth Movement should not have been allowed to vote. Running Braves, which Hutson is President, Mercury Fast Laners and Enmore Track Club voted for Hutson. The Police Progressive Youth Club, which Boyce manages as Police Sports Officer, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Track Club and Upper Demerara (Linden) are the three largest track clubs in Guyana and all voted for Boyce at last month’s elections.

Inter fined for fans’ racist chants about Balotelli (Reuters) - Inter Milan have been fined 15,000 euros (12,893 pounds) after fans chanted racist slogans about their former striker Mario Balotelli during a Serie A match on Sunday. Balotelli, who joined rivals AC Milan from Manchester City last month, was the target of abuse by Inter fans during their 3-1 home win over Chievo Verona. Serie A said in a statement that Inter had been fined because their fans “directed insulting chants and expressions of racial discrimination towards the player of another team.” Balotelli, who joined Inter in 2007 before moving to City in 2010, had upset Inter fans during his time at the club by wearing an AC Milan shirt on a television programme. Milan and Inter are due to meet in Serie A on February 24 and Inter president Massimo Moratti said he hoped there would be no repeat of the abuse.

AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli celebrates after scoring against Udinese during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan February 3, 2013. REUTERS/ Giorgio Perottino “I am very sorry,” he told reporters when asked about Sunday’s events. “I hope it doesn’t happen in the derby.”

Creative Jewellery and Pawn Shop CEO Ramdat Muniram (2nd right) hands over the cheque to Yolo Entertainment Secretary Shaunella Case in the presence of Kirk Jardine (right) and Chris Gopaul. the National Park on weekends, for a little “knock’. The Pawn Shop Boss also stated he is confident that the tournament’s organizers will effectively and professionally stage a high quality competition thus his company’s support, especially since the Guyana Softball League has also

endorsed the tournament. Jardine in his remarks offered his heartfelt thanks to the company for its support of the challenge series and noted that the contribution will definitely add to the quality of the series. “I am sure that our gratitude will be echoed by the softball fraternity, fans and players alike” said

Jardine. The tournament is expected to feature twelve male and four female teams with cash and prizes totaling in the vicinity of one million dollars. In the meantime, fans eagerly await the announcement of the date when the highly anticipated Series will be launched.


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Wednesday February 13, 2013

Ottey to receive doctorate from UTech Jamaica Observer JAMAICA’s most decorated female athlete Merlene Ottey is to be conferred with an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Technology (UTech). UTech’s Assistant Registrar Charmagne Mortley made the revelation at the recent launch of the Ben Francis Invitational where Ottey is also to be honoured on Saturday. Ottey, who became the English-speaking

Caribbean’s first female Olympic medallist after taking bronze in the 200m in Moscow in 1980, will receive the Doctor of Technology and is only the second person to do so. Olympian Dennis Johnson, who founded the institution’s sports programme, and contributed to the later development of the Faculty of Science and Sport, was the first. Ottey, who transferred allegiance to Slovenia in 2001, has the record for most

Olympic Games appearances (seven) and most World Championships medals won (14). The former Vere and Rusea’s athlete, who attended the University of Nebraska, is ranked sixth on the all-time list of 100m and third on the all-time list of 200m sprinters. She was Jamaica’s Sportswoman of the Year for a record 15 times. Ottey will be presented with the honour during Saturday’s Ben Francis meet at her alma mater.

Ottey, regarded as one of the most decorated female athletes ever, arrived in the island from her adopted home in Slovenia as the honoree of Saturday’s Ben Francis Invitational meet to be staged at Vere Technical’s campus in Clarendon. Ottey, 52, will also be bestowed with a honorary degree by the University of Technology while she’s here. “My love for Jamaica will never die... and it’s always good to come home. I may live

in another country, but Jamaica will always be my home,” she told a gathering, including government officials, students and teachers of Ottey’s alma mater, Vere Technical. Originally from Hanover located on Jamaica’s western point, Ottey thanked her mom Joan Bowen Ottey for being her inspiration. “I have to thank my mom for giving me her last cents so I could go to Kingston for meets... She showed me what it was to work hard and to sacrifice, so she’s a role model to me,” said Ottey, who still represents Slovenia in the sprints. Minister with responsibility for sport, Natalie Neita-Headley, said Jamaica is indebted to the sprint queen for playing her role in putting Jamaica on the world map. “Merlene created a wave of unprecedented achievement and she continues to be an example of virtue,” she said. Ottey will be involved in a series of activities at her old school leading up to the Ben Francis Invitational, which begins tomorrow with a float parade. Sponsors for the meet will be the Jamaica Observer,

Grace Foods, Western Union, Caribbean Airlines/Air Jamaica, VMBS, COK, Fidelity Motors, Spanish Court Hotel and Carimed. Ottey is ranked fourth on the all-time list over 60 metres (indoor), sixth on the all-time list over 100 metres, and third on the all-time list over 200 metres. Her world indoor record for 200 metres, set in 1993, still stands. Ottey has had the longest career as a top level international sprinter, which apparently has not yet concluded, as she anchored the Slovenian 4x100 relay at the 2012 European Athletics Championships at the age of 52. She holds the record for the most Olympic appearances (seven) of any track and field athlete and for winning the largest number of World Championships medals (14). Her career achievements and longevity have led to her being called the “Queen of the Track”. Her proclivity for earning bronze medals in major championships also earned her the title of “Bronze Queen” in track circles.

TTCB Premiere Division one cricket...

Carmichael, Ferrier shine in Aranguez victory Kellon Carmichael in action

Guyanese Kellon Carmichael and Deon Ferrier shared six wickets as Aranguez overcame Diamond United by 3 wickets when play in the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board Premier Division one competition continued last weekend. Diamond won the toss, batted and were pegged back by purposeful bowling by the

Malteenoes pair. Guyanese Twenty|20 player Jonathan Foo top scored with 35; Carmichael took 3-22 and Ferrier 3-23, while Malcolm Ramlogan picked up 3-25. Aranguez responded with 124-7 in 40 overs. Jonathan Cabralis led with 33, while Hackim Mitchell supported with 26 and Vikash Mohan 21 not out.


Wednesday February 13, 2013

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Guinness ‘Greatest of de Streets’ Futsal Competition...

Intense rivalry anticipated tonight at Haslington Market Tarmac This is what the scene could look like tonight in quarter-final action of the East Coast segment of the Guinness ‘Greatest of de Streets’ Futsal Competition.

and that was after winning on penalty kicks against Ann’s Grove Punters in a slugfest. On the other hand, Paradise, a late replacement has looked impressive to date and even though their margin of victories has not been lopsided, beating Buxton ‘B’ 1-0, before losing a tenacious battle against BV ‘A’ in their last encounter, Church Yard United cannot afford to get complacent against this stubborn foe. And in the clash to bring down the curtains, Victoria Eagles engage Melanie in a highly anticipated matchup that should produce fireworks. Melanie has put together

some impressive performances to date, having beaten Ann’s Grove Punters 2-0 after disposing of Mahaica 4-1and they looked very much a solid cohesive bunch, while Victoria Eagles limped to a 1-0 win over Melanie ‘B’ in their last game after beating Golden Grove Super Stars 3-1 in their second match. All in all, spectators should have an evening of gripping matches. Sixteen teams started the competition which has prize monies totaling in excess of $800,000 with the winner set to collect $400,000, runner-up $200,000 and 3rd place $150,000 along with trophies.

Port Mourant Training Centre Volleyball team for Suriname tour

Even though rivalry in the East Coast segment of the Guinness ‘Greatest of de Streets’ Futsal Competition started last Friday at Buxton, the ‘real deal’ where teams that qualified from the preliminary stages will now begin to vie for financial rewards with the start of quarter-final action at the

Haslington Market Tarmac, starting at 20:00 hrs. In the opening game, Plaisance take on BV ‘B’ and this matchup is hard to pick a winner, but judging from the two teams performances to date, the odds should favour the former. They gained a walkover in their last match and should be

a little fresher than their opponents, while BV ‘B’ despite advancing narrowly lost to Golden Grove Super Stars. Their sister team BV’ A’ tackle the lone surviving team from the Buxton community and that is Buxton ‘A’ and this encounter too is difficult to call, but one could just imagine the determination the

Stag Beer Mash Golf Tourney set for Saturday

Troy Cadogan The Lusignan Golf Club will come alive this weekend for the Annual Stag Beer Mashramani Medal Play tournament sponsored by Ansa McAl Trading Ltd. The tournament is expected to attract a large field of golfers for the Club’s first major for 2013 billed for Saturday at the Lusignan

course. Ansa McAl’s Marketing Director Troy Cadogan, who was among the prize winners last year, will be back in action as well as Colin Ming and Kishan Bacchus, Mohanlall “Santo” Dinnanauth and Sookram Deosarran who also shared honours in the previous tournament. It is unclear whether 2012 winner George Bulkan will be defending his title but there will also be other serious challengers including William Walker, Brian Hackett, Carlos Adams, Avinash Persaud, Maurice Solomon, Clifford Reis, Chatterpaul Deo, Patrick Prashad, John Tracey, Mike Guyadin, Christine Sukhram, Joaan Deo, Dr. John Ramsingh, Mark Lashley, Gavin Todd, Jerome Khan,

Alfred Mentore, Ronald Bulkan, Brian Glasford, Munaff Arjune, Rawle Moore and Albert Semple. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers with the best net scores as well as longest drive, nearest to the pin and best gross. The players will also look forward to the usual goodies that are provided by the sponsors. Ansa McAl Public Relations Officer Darshanie Yusuf and other executives of the company are expected to in attendance and assist with the distribution of prizes at the end of the tournament. Players who are not yet registered can do so by Friday by calling Harry at 220-5660 to register. Tee off is at 12:30.

latter will come with since the final will be played in that community and they need a representative to ignite the home fans. The clash between Church Yard United of Victoria and Paradise should be a scorching affair, but the punters seem to favour the Victoria team for its tenacity and never-say-die attitude which has seen them survive some close encounters. They edged Mahaica 1-0

The Port Mourant Training Center (PMTC) Volleyball Team will wing out to Suriname today to participate in the Yellowbird Volleyball Club 50th Anniversary Celebrations which runs from Thursday to Sunday in Paramaribo. The Port Mourant TC team will come up against teams from French Guiana, Martinique, Trinidad, Brazil and host Suriname in a tournament that can be expected to produce some fireworks. Port Mourant TC by virtue of being the best placed finisher for local teams in the last GVF/ Tradewind Tankers International

Tourney last November was invited to represent Guyana. The team is coached by former Guyana National player and present Head Coach Levi Nedd and comprise National Senior and Junior players in inspirational captain Jason Seelochan, Quacy Matherson, Seon Glasgow and Leon David among others. The Manager is Godwyn Allicock. Meanwhile, the team warmed up with victory in the Lenny Shuffler birthday fiesta last Sunday at the National Gymnasium by defeating fellow Berbice team Strikers in the Final to win the Lenny Shuffler Challenge trophy.


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Kaieteur News

Wednesday February 13, 2013

Wrestling dropped from 2020 Olympic Games Wrestling has been dropped from the 2020 Games to make way for a new sport. The International Olympic Committee’s executive board made its decision after assessing the performance of all 26 sports at the London Games. “The news from the IOC is extremely disappointing,” said British Wrestling chief executive Colin Nicholson. There is a slim chance wrestling may win a reprieve when the IOC meets in Buenos Aires in September to ratify its choice. But it will be vying with seven other sports, among them squash, roller sports and sport climbing, that are hoping for inclusion in the Olympic programme. Modern pentathlon and taekwondo were thought to be the sports most at risk when the IOC committee met in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday, but wrestling was the surprise choice for the axe. It will now compete with baseball/softball, squash, karate, sport climbing, wakeboarding, wushu and roller sports for a place in the

2020 Games. “This is not the end of the process, this is purely a recommendation,” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. “This is not about what’s wrong with wrestling but what is good for the Games.” It is extremely unlikely that wrestling will be voted back in so soon after being removed by the executive board, but Adams stressed: “Today’s decision is not final. Wrestling, which combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events, was included in the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. It has been in every Games since then, apart from Paris in 1900. At last year’s Olympics, it featured 344 athletes competing in 11 medal events. Despite Tuesday’s news, Nicholson said Great Britain would not lose focus in the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “We will be looking to deliver success in 2016,” he said. “We have two athletes who we believe are genuine medal contenders.” Nicholson also pointed out that wrestling remains part of the Commonwealth

Games. “We are fortunate that we are a Commonwealth sport so our athletes will continue aspiring towards 2014 and 2018,” he said. “In the meantime, we will remain hopeful that the IOC may give wrestling another chance to remain part of the Games.” Before making its decision, the IOC’s programme commission assessed each sport by looking at such factors as TV ratings, ticket sales, antidoping and global popularity. Klaus Schormann, president of modern pentathlon’s governing body, said he had lobbied hard to protect his sport’s Olympic status. “We have promised things and we have delivered,” he said. “That gives me a great feeling. It also gives me new energy to develop our sport further and never give up.” GB Modern Pentathlon chief executive, Jon Archer, expressed relief at the news that his sport had been spared. “Olympic inclusion is absolutely essential to our sport,” he said. “It is at the

centre of everything we do. We can relax now and work to continually modernise the sport and raise awareness.” Samatha Murray, who won silver for GB in the Modern Pentathlon at

London 2012, said on Twitter: “This is a very sad day for wrestling. However I want to thank the IOC’s decision to keep #ModPen in the OG for 2020. I’m elated. Thank you.” Golf and rugby sevens will

be part of the programme for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro after winning inclusion in 2010. The IOC will also decide in September whether Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo will host the 2020 Games.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – In Summarised results on the final day of the first round of matches in the Regional FourDay Championship on Tuesday, Guyana and the Leeward Islands played to a draw after rain interrupted the Guyana run chase with them 173 for 6 chasing 226 for victory at Vivian Richards Cricket Ground. Scores: At Vivian Richards Cricket Ground: Match drawn. LEEWARD ISLANDS 182 all out (Tonito Willett 58, Jahmar Hamilton 32, Montcin Hodge 22; Veerasammy Permaul 4-42, Ronsford Beaton 3-43) and 322 (Jahmar Hamilton 106, Montcin

Hodge 52, Sylvester Joseph 39, Tonito Willett 33; Veerasammy Permaul 5-67). GUYANA 279 all out (Steven Jacobs 75, Assa Fudadin 49, Rajindra Chandrika 35, Derwin Christian 26, Veerasammy Permaul 21; Lionel Baker 4-57, Tonito Willett 3-31, Gavin Tonge 2-82) and 173 for six (Leon Johnson 60, Rajindra Chandrika 38, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 32, Steven Jacobs 24; Anthony Martin 337, Gavin Tonge 2-32). At the Beausejour Cricket Ground: Windwards beat CCC by three wickets. Scores: COMBINED CAMPUSES & CAMPUS

309 (Anthony Alleyne 84, Kevin McClean 28, Jason Dawes 27 not out, Chadwick Walton 27; Shane Shillingford 3-76, Nelon Pascal 3-92, Garey Mathurin 2-44, Delorn Johnson 2-50) and 284 (Chadwick Walton 88, Akeem Dewar 52, Nekoli Parris 37, Kyle Corbin 31; Nelon Pascal 5-81, Shane Shillingford 278). WINDWARD ISLANDS 409 all out (Devon Smith 139, Tyrone Theophile 54, Andre Fletcher 41, Dalton Polius 77, Lyndon James 26; Akeem Dewar 4-127, Raymon Reifer 3-38) and 187 for three (Devon Smith 106 not out, Andre Fletcher 25, Tyrone Theophile 25).

Guyana, Leewards play to a draw as Windwards beat CCC

Inaugural Robert Williams Memorial... From page 35 According to him, the company only recently completed the senior league which was a success, “Because most of these teams were able to transfer their skills onto the field which will enable them to go on to major tournaments. Stag will always be there to sponsor these tournaments especially teaming up with Slingerz.” Event and Sponsorship Manager for Digicel, Gavin Hope said while the company is happy to be on board with the tournament, he is more pleased with the players’ involvement in assisting at the school level. This he said will better prepare the schools for the upcoming football championship. “With their help we will

definitely see a higher level of football coming from schools on the West Side. The players he said will take the place of coaches in some schools that are without coaches.” He said too that getting involved in this tournament was in important step, “We know that football or the residents on the Westside are passionate about football and I have seen that over the years. We have seen the growth of football teams from a school level in our national school competition. We thought it fit because of the growth and passion for football on the Westside that we should be a part of this project.” Lyndon Boston, representing Hopkinson Mining said the company

was happy to be a part of the tournament. According to him, it is the company’s believe that sport brings people together despite their background. The eight clubs participating in the tournament are: host Slingerz, Eagles, Utivlugt, Beavers, Seawall, Stewartville, Den Amstel and Young Achievers football clubs. The first two matches will be played on Sunday at the Den Amstel Ground. In the first match Eagles tackles Uitvlugt followed by Slingerzvs Beavers. Kick off time is 18 hours. The first place team walks away with $500,000, while Second to fourth place will cart off $300, 000, $150,000 and $50,000 respectively.


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Kaieteur News

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RBC/George Cumberbatch 7th Mem. Cycle Meet set for Sunday - sponsored by George Humphrey & Clifford ‘Toto’ Johnson Cyclists will be happy that since the season pedaled off last month, there has been no respite. That trend is set to continue this Sunday when the Roraima Bikers Club (RBC) brings off the 7th annual George Cumberbatch Memorial Cycle Meet around the Seawall Bandstand Circuit, Georgetown. Yesterday at RBC headquarters (Ketley Street, Charlestown) sponsors, George Humphrey of Humphrey’s Bakery & Farm Products and former National rider Clifford ‘Toto’ Johnson announced the staging of this

GPF Ten\10 cricket...

year’s event in honour of their former colleague and friend. This Meet is held to commemorate the memory of former National cyclist, George Cumberbatch who was a close friend and fierce competitor with Clifford ‘Toto’ Johnson who recalled the many exciting years the two riders had competing against each other and for Guyana. Johnson who also served as Vice President of the Guyana Cycling Federation, Vice President of RBC and later President said he was very pleased and happy to be back home from London

where he resides for half of the year to keep the memory of his former colleague going. George Humphrey, current Patron of RBC also stated his pleasure in partnering with Johnson to honour the memory of his former friend who made an indelible contribution towards the sport in Guyana. Humphrey has been a major supporter and investor of cycling in Guyana. Sunday’s activity will see six races being contested with the feature 30-lap contest expected to attract the best cyclists in Guyana at

Mc Almont guides FAPC to victory

The victorious Felix Austin Police College team. Jason Mc Almont grabbed 2 wickets and stroked an unbeaten 42 as Felix Austin Police College defeated Immigration 2 by 10 wickets to win the final of the Guyana Police Force Headquarters Ten\10 softball competition which was contested recently at the Police Sports Club ground, Eve Leary. Immigration 2 batted first and were bowled out for 67 in 8.2 overs. Safraz Karim was the only batsman that offered any resistance with 11 as Danny Persaud and Abdool Karim bagged 3 wickets each while Kevin Bailey had 2-15 and Mc Almont 2-13. Mc Almont and fellow opener Linden David then knocked off the required target in 4.1 overs as their team finished on 70 with out loss. Mc Almont slammed six fours in his innings, while

David made 26 not out. Mc Almont was given the man of the match award, while both teams received trophies which were sponsored by Director of

Sport Neil Kumar and Perminex Pest Control. Coordinator Linden Matthews thanked the sponsors and congratulated the teams.

Beard Time! President of Roraima Bikers Club Brian Allen (2nd left) receives the sponsorship cheque from sponsors George Humphrey (2nd right) and Clifford Johnson (left). At right is RBC rider, Raymond Newton. the senior and junior levels. Based on the competitive nature of the races that have been competed so far this season, fans can gear up for another exciting feature event. Ten sprint prizes will also be at stake in the main attraction.

There will also be races for Juvenile/Junior/Category 4 (5laps); Categories 1-3 (5-laps); Veterans Under-50 years (5laps); Veterans Over-50 years (5-laps) and a new addition - Win and out which will be an open contest for all riders.

Apart from the feature race which will see the top six riders being rewarded, the other events will attract prizes for the first three finishers. Junior Niles won last year’s feature race with the junior/juvenile contest going to Christopher Hochand.


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Fazia’s Collection / WDFA U-17 Girls Inter School Tourney kicks off - Leonora Secondary records 4-1 win over Uitvlugt The inaugural Fazia’s Collection / West Demerara Football Association (WDFA) Inter Secondary School Girls Under-17 tournament kicked off yesterday following a colorful march-past of four of the six competing schools at the Den Amstel Community Centre Ground. Following the opening ceremony which was attended by President (ag) of the Guyana Football Federation, Franklin Wilson, WDFA Vice President Christine Schmidt, Secretary Chevon Monchoir and Treasurer Denise Lovell, Leonora Secondary recorded the first win when they hammered Uitvlugt Secondary 4-1. The Leonora students were drowned out by their Uitvlugt counterparts in the stands but on the field of play it was a different story and the diminutive and dapper forward Abioci Heywood netted on either side of play to silence the Uitvlugt

students as she led her school to a memorable and historic win. The game started with both sides feeling out each other for the first 10 minutes or so but as the game progressed, Leonora gradually took control led by Heywood who opened proceedings goal wise, in the 13th minute. There after it was Leonora which continued to dictate proceedings to the extent that they doubled the advantage on 19 minutes through Tamica Greene’s effort. The game was virtually decided on the stroke of half time (30 mins) when Alyssa Gibson breached Uitvlugt’s defence and goalkeeper. After the break when Uitvlugt was able to re-group, they did come out more positive and energized and that was transformed into a goal off the boot of Uan Wilson in the 37th minute much to the delight of her teammates and of course her

Four of the schools competing on display following the MarchPast yesterday at the Den Amstel Community Centre Ground. fellow students and teachers in the stands. With the game nicely poised at 3-1 in favour of Leonora, the Uitvlugt team was harboring thoughts of hitting the nets again to draw level but Leonora had different ideas. They turned to the

inspirational forward Abioci Heywood who certainly did not disappoint as they continued to take the offensive to Uitvlugt. They {Leonora} were awarded a free kick about 30 meters on the right side of goal and it was any body’s guess who would have been the kicker. Heywood stepped up to take the shot and scored with a curling shot to the left side of goal in the 39th minute – Leonora 4 Uitvlugt 1. That’s how the game ended. In remarks at the opening, Wilson complimented the WDFA and Secretary Monchoir for the initiative of brining off a school’s competition which will see the leading players staking a claim to make the Guyana

Under-17 squad for World Cup Qualifying later this year. He also complimented the main sponsor Fazia’s Collection and New GPC for investing in the development of female football in the West Demerara noting that this will set the foundation for the blossoming of the game in the association. Thanks were also extended to the Ministry of Education and the West Demerara Schools for taking on the challenge of competing in such a tournament which will aid in the students being balanced in sports and academics. WDFA Vice President Schmidt in her remarks expressed gratitude to the schools and sponsors for showing confidence in the

initiative while encouraging the parents of the students to come out and lend their support for what she said would be an exciting competition. Six schools will compete for top honours and have been placed into two groups. Uitvlugt, Leonora and West Demerara are in Group A with Zeeburg, Vreed-en-hoop and St. John’s comprising Group B. All the schools have been presented with uniforms with games set to be played for one hour each, two equal halves of 30 minutes. Competition will continue on Friday at the same venue with w match between Uitvlugt and West Demerara Secondary starting at 15:30hrs.

Bush Lot United Turf Club expresses appreciation The executives and members and the Bush Lot United Turf Club of Sea View Park, West Coast Berbice is extending heartfelt thanks to all the below named sponsors, the members of the public and the various media houses in Guyana who contributed in one way or the other in making their one day horserace meet, which was held on Sunday 3rd February at the Clubs Entity at Bush Lot West Coast Berbice, a success. The members of the management Committee would like to say a big thank you to Banks DIH Limited, Mr. Inshan Bacchus and family, Mohammed ‘Nanko’ Shariff Business enterprise and Shariff racing stable, Jumbo Jet Auto Sales and racing stables, Eron Lall Civil

Lakeram ‘Buddy’ Sookdeo Engineering and Construction, Rommel Jagroop construction and racing stables, Mr. Ramesh Sunich of Trophy Stall Bourda Market. Ashrafally Supermarket and racing stable, Buddy Shivraj, Phagoo General Store, Lenny Singh and Family, Balram Singh and

family, Shano Business establishment, Joseph Downes of Republic Bank, Dennis De Roop, Francis ‘Chico’ Chichester and family, Lakeram ‘Buddy’ Sukdeo, Dr Guy Lowe, RRT Enterprise, Speedy Auto and sales and B Ali and family among others including all the members of the Bush Lot United Turf Club. According to coordinator Mr. Lakeram ‘Buddy’ Sookdeo the club which was resuscitated just over a year ago has seen tremendous improvements over the year including the construction of a new grandstand, the relaying of the track, construction of a new paddock, scale house, new rails, running water and toilet and bar facilities among other amenities.


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Kaieteur News

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K&S/Chico Junior U-13 Football championships... Director of the K&S football organization, Kashif Muhammad, was thoroughly impressed with the quality of play at the recently concluded Chico Junior U-13 Football championships and told members of the participating teams that his executives are currently engaged in discussions that would see the enhancement of the second edition of the tournament later this year. Mr. Muhammad was at the time delivering brief remarks to the principals of the tournament who had convened at the Waterchris Hotel, Waterloo Street, Georgetown, for the prize giving ceremony, Monday afternoon last. Several other members of the K&S organization were present at the function including Director, Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major, coordinator of the tournament, Lawrence ‘Sparrow’ Griffith, Secretary (K&S), Colin Aaron and an official of the Ministry of Education, Ms Allison Rawlins. Teachers of the participating schools were also present at the function. Mr. Muhammad admitted that the tournament presented a plethora of challenges but said that it was a learning experience for his team. He acknowledged the unselfish input of Beharry Group of Companies who had donated the necessary funding towards the success of the tournament. The K&S

Kaieteur News

Wednesday February 13, 2013

More broad-based tournament planned as teams rewarded for outstanding performances Director further promised to explore other avenues to enhance the tournament but cited the need for continued corporate input. He extended a desire to identify and nurture a U-13 squad drawn from the best talent among the various teams. He said that this idea was garnered from a desire to have an organized group of young ball weavers for future national representation. The K&S Director also disclosed that plans are also in train to increase the number of participating teams to eighteen. Towards this end, Mr. Muhammad said that his team is currently mulling the idea of a 4 weeks summer camp/ workshop during the August holidays to assist the players to hone their skills in a structured manner. He said that he is in discussions with Clyde ‘Oiler’ Watson, a former national player now residing in the USA and coaching youth players in that country, to conduct a 7 days programme with the youths during the August sessions. Mr. Muhammad also expressed gratitude to the teachers and parents for their unwavering support rendered during the tournament even as he beseeched the lads and lasses to concentrate on their academic development. “It is important that you recognize the importance of applying yourselves in the academic arena with similar enthusiasm as you did at the (just

concluded) tournament,” stressed Mr. Muhammad. Ms. Rawlins applauded the initiative and said that officials at the Ministry of Education were delighted to have been involved. She supported Mr. Muhammad’s views that while participation in sport is important, the children must be able to link sports with academic achievements. “It provides an opportunity for the children to think and analyze, two important components to academic excellence,” exhorted Ms Rawlins. She said that she is eagerly anticipating this year’s tournament and the promise that it will be bigger and better. Meanwhile, Soesdyke Primary School won the tournament after a penalty shootout with Grove Primary School and received the top prize yesterday with their opponents receiving the 2nd prize. West Ruimveldt Primary finished 3rd, just in front of BV Quamina Primary. Company Road Primary was the 4th runners up, while Uitvlugt Primary and St Gabriel’s Primary finished 5th and 6th respectively. Tucville Primary opted out of the competition after the organizers ruled that they had seriously breached the rules of the competition and revoked the points allotted to them. Davanta Mars of West Ruimveldt Primary, Troy Abrams (BV Quamina), Tyron

The players of Soesdyke Primary celebrate afresh after receiving their accolade on Monday last Khan (Soesdyke) and Kevin Padmore (Grove), were all voted Promising Players and received special prizes. Kevin Marshall (Soesdyke) scored 4 goals, the most by any player, and received a special prize. He also received a special prize after he was adjudged the most valuable player of his team and received one laptop computer. Shaun Dominick (Grove) was voted the most outstanding goalkeeper and was justly rewarded. The other players that received MVP awards are Teon Forde (St Gabriel’s), Tiandi Smith (Uitvlugt), Yamani Armstrong (Company

Road), Omari Glasgow (BV/ Quamina), Japhete Singh (West Ruimveldt) and Shaun Domonick (Grove). They rode off with BMX cycles compliments of Victoria’s Fashions of Church and Light Streets. Beterverwagting Primary

was awarded a special prize after the organizers said that they were impressed with their brand of football while one laptop each was given to Soesdyke and Grove Primary. The teachers were also rewarded with cell phones compliments of Cell Shack.

QCAAC to stage Mash Sports competition The Queen’s College Allied Arts Committee will be staging number Mashramani sporting activities from Wednesday 13th to Thursday 28th of February 2013. The activities will get underway with a ten over softball match between Teachers and Prefects on the 13th (today) at YMCA ground

at 14:00hrs. There will also be inter class ten over softball cricket, Volleyball, Table tennis, Chess, Tapeball, Football and Basketball competitions. Trophies and medals will be distributed to the winning and runner up teams and MVPs. The games are being organised by Johnny Overseas Barnwell and Quasen Nedd.

Everest Cricket Club AGM set for Saturday The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Everest Cricket Club will be held on Saturday 16th, February 2013 at 17:30 hrs at the club’s pavilion. Ordinary members are reminded that only those who have paid their full membership subscription for the year 2013 and settled all outstanding dues including bar bills up to Dec 31, 2012 will be allowed entry and to participate in the elections. Associate members are not allowed to participate. Kindly note also that no provision will be made to receive subscriptions/dues on the day of the Elections i.e. February 16th, 2013. Members are therefore advised to ensure that all subscriptions/dues are paid on or before February 15, 2013.


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Slingerz FC launches Mash Tournament on West Side With the fraternity a little more at ease, football fans are now enjoying a glut of tournaments that are making life a little difficult for media organisations. Shortly after the FIFA / CONCACAF team mediate and brought about a resolution to the long standing impasse that seriously affected the sport, suddenly it has become full of activity with competitions being staged all over. Not wasting the opportunity to take advantage of the new lease of life that the sport is enjoying right now, recently formed Slingerz FC launched its own tournament which will be known as the Stag Beer West Side Knockout Competition and is scheduled to kick off on February 17, at the Den Amstel ground, West Demerara. Eight teams will contest the inaugural Tournament and they are Slingerz FC, Den Amstel, Young Achievers, Seawall United, Eagles United, Beavers, Stewartville and Uitvlugt. “I am very pleased that the possibilities exist not only for the development of football in West Coast of Demerara which is the primary objective, but the standard of football that will be exhibited and played on a regional scale”, said Chairman Bilall Natambu. He said too that this tournament is a welcoming project for the West Demerara where there is a shortage of football competitions. Gordon ‘Ultimate Warrior’ Braithwaite, Coach of Slingerz Football Club in his address, said the tournament was organized to set Slingerz FC on the road to playing football. “Our mandate on the West

Side is to develop football to such a level that by next the years to come the best football will be played on the Westside as it once was. And we hope that people will not look at us as a team that is trying to just come to play a off thing, but that it’s something that will be forever.” According to the Ultimate Warrior he is not known for being a part of projects that are short term, but long term. “We hope that by the time this tournament is over, our mandate would be fully established to play good football and develop football and make sure that Westside is number one.” He however said that Slingerz is on the road to selfdevelopment and it is his hope that other clubs will follow, because for Slingerz to reach the top they much able to compete with clubs that are at their level. Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Football Federation, Franklin Wilson said he was happy that Slingerz will be playing a more meaningful role in the development of football. “I don’t think this is the first time that Slingerz is partnering with football because when I was over there as President they sponsored our senior tournament under the two brothers brand. So I think this is just a step further in their commitment by now pulling together a team that we have been told that coach Braithwaite that it will set a higher standard on the West Side.” Wilson in a bid to dispel rumours of the clubs legitimacy said the GFF has endorsed that club. “We have been in contact with the West Demerara

The main principals responsible for staging the Slingerz FC / Stag Beer West Side Knockout Competition pose for a photo op shortly after the tournament was launched on Monday. Football Association, to ensure that they follow the criteria based on the constitution, to have them legitimately recognised as a registered club on the West Side, which is an addition and is good for football as a whole. We would like to see competition level rising in all the association which ultimately would be a benefit for Guyana’s football as a whole.” Acting President of the West Demerara Football Association Jevon Rodrigues said the West Demerara has always produced competitive teams and a high calibre of players some of whom have played at the national level. “I think also it is just the beginning of busy schedule which we have planned and as an executive of the west Demerara Association, I would like to caution clubs and prepare them not only a knock tournament of this nature, but also from the youth level we are looking to

Inaugural Robert Williams Memorial Dominoes Competition climaxes today After playoff Sunday, 4 teams have survived – C7 (who has drawn the bye to the final); Providence, Transport and Delta Force, who will contest the semifinals. One of the three teams will be eliminated, while the other two join C7 in the finals. Sunday playoff commenced with 23 teams, including teams from as far as Linden. Unfortunately, once again none of the out of town teams survived. Also, pre-tournament favourites, Mix up and Bluebirds did not make it past the semifinals. Tonight, the semifinals

will commence at 18:30hrs at the Transport Sports Club featuring – Providence, Transport and Delta Force; the two qualifiers will join C7 in the finals which will be contested after a 30 minutes break. The presentation of prizes will take place at the conclusion of the finals. All four teams are already in the money rounds. The prizes will be awarded as follows: Winner - GYD 250,000 + Trophy donated by Orin Joseph (President of the GDA and current captain of Bluebirds Dominoes Club) and his wife Faye Joseph.

Second Place GYD 100,000 + Trophy donated by GECOM Third Place GYD 40,000 + Trophy donated by Star Party Rental Fourth Place GYD 20,000 + Trophy donated by Mr. Neil Kumar, Director of Sports, MYC&S The MVP of the finals will receive GYD 10,000 and a trophy donated by Mr. Neil Kumar, Director of Sports. The organizers would like to express their gratitude to all of the sponsors and those who offered various forms of assistance to make this competition a success.

get started from under 13, what we would call the west Demerara little league. So we are asking clubs if you don’t have under-13 players to start getting them in line it’s because it’s going to promote sportsmanship at an early age and team work.” He ended by saying that

this is a welcoming tournament for the West Demerara and that it is anticipated that it will attract a good crowd. Sponsors AnsaMcAl under its Stag Brand, Cell phone giant Digicel and Hopkinson Mining all said that they were pleased to be

a part of the tournament. Stag’s Brand Manager, John Maikoo said, “Stag is always happy to participate and team up with football locally. Since this is one part of the brands platform and it is within the DNA of the brand stag.” (Continued on page 31)



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