Friday February 15, 2013
GuySuCo official dismisses chronically ill workers’ claims - one of them was paid off by corporation Evidence has emerged that claims made by sugar workers attached to the East Demerara Estates may not be entirely accurate. A reliable source in the sugar industry has released details which show that the GuySuCo doctor acted professionally with respect to the treatment of the workers. The workers had made damaging claims which suggested that the medical practitioner had declared them fit while they were ill, resulting in them not being able to access their National Insurance Scheme (NIS) sickness benefits. One of the workers, Muneshwar Rai, had claimed that although he suffered a stroke three years ago and was unable to walk properly, the GuySuCo doctor had declared him fit to work. However, according to an official in the sugar industry, Rai was medically discharged for the same ailment since November 2009. The official said that Rai received a lump sum payoff from GuySuCo and is presently attending the ‘Chronic Illness’ clinic at a
GuySuCo health centre. Another worker Richard Bissoon had claimed that he had received NIS medical benefit for the 70 days he was unable to work. He had laid the blame on the sugar corporation’s lack of concern for workers’ welfare, since according to him, he was forced to prematurely go back to work due to the loss of income. He had said he fell ill again while on the job and is now dependent on the benevolence of colleagues on the sugar estate. The GuySuCo official explained that Bissoon was granted 70 days’ NIS leave from Georgetown Hospital and a private doctor, before being seen by the GuySuCo medical expert. “He is receiving treatment and is still on NIS leave,” the official told Kaieteur News. The official further explained that about three weeks ago when his ailment was fully controlled and he was well, he was declared fit, but he returned the following week ill, and his NIS leave was restarted. Hukumchand, who
Muneshwar Rai (second from left) and his three sugar industry colleagues. reportedly collapsed while working in the canefields two Fridays ago is another worker with a claimed grievance. He had said that he is an epileptic, who had collapsed several times while on duty. He had told this newspaper that he had applied for early
retirement but this was denied by the GuySuCo management. But according to the GuySuCo official, Hukumchand never reported collapsing prior to last Friday and only disclosed to the medical personnel that he was
epileptic when he visited the health centre. “It’s GuySuCo’s Policy that epileptics are not allowed to work in the backdam, so whenever the doctor is aware of anyone being epileptic, he is started on leave, given alternate work, or medically
discharged if no suitable work is available.” Hemchand Harrichand, the worker that wasn’t mentioned in an article carried by this newspaper last Tuesday, was given NIS leave, and referred to the Medical Board.
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
Friday February 15, 2013
Bush Lot man gets death sentence After two trials – with the first having ended in a hung jury – 45-year-old Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice resident, Ramesh Sahadeo, 45, called ‘Bado’ was yesterday sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Brassington Reynolds, after he was found guilty of murder by a mixed jury in the Berbice High Court. Sahadeo was on trial for the murder of 17-year-old Darshanan Ramanan called ‘Tato’ of Bush Lot Housing Scheme, which occurred on September 20, 2009. Justice Reynolds had earlier taken about two hours to sum up the evidence to the jury, guiding them on various aspects of the law. The jury then took just over two hours, retiring around 13:00hrs and returning at 15:00 hrs, with the unanimous verdict of guilty of murder. Both the defence and prosecution had summed up their case earlier during the morning session for consideration of the jury. Defence attorney Raymond Ali had based his arguments on a number of issues, including selfdefence, He had also argued that the incident was an accident. He claimed that there were a lot of inconsistencies during the trial and that the prosecution’s two eyewitnesses were consistently lying. State prosecutor Dionne Mc Cammon in her submission to the jury had stated that the prosecution case was clear and very straightforward and based on the two eyewitnesses who were at the scene having been
Sentenced to death: Ramesh Sahadeo is led away by prison officers in company with the deceased when he was killed. The accused looked pensive even before the verdict was announced and rubbed tears from his eyes. The foreman answered in the affirmative when he was asked if they had a verdict and a unanimous one. Guilty was the answer when asked a second time. When asked if he had anything to say, the accused mumbled some words which were inaudible. Defence counsel Raymond Ali then asked the court to exercise some amount of leniency on the accused. He stated that he is a labourer in his late 40s, is divorced, and has children whom he still will have to take care of.
Justice Reynolds then ruled that the prisoner will be sentenced according to the stipulated penalty. The entire court was asked to rise by the Chief Marshal as the judge announced “Ramesh Sadadeo you have been found guilty on a unanimous verdict by the jury for the offence of murder and are to be taken forthwith to a place of lawful execution and hanged by the neck until you are dead, may peace be on your soul.” Sahadeo’s relatives who were in court broke down in tears as the accused was led away by a prison officer. The court heard that on the day in question, Sahadeo slashed the neck of Ramanan killing him, following a
misunderstanding between the two men. During the trial, seven witnesses testified. The eyewitnesses, Vishal Dayaram called ‘Texas’ and Sahadeo Jailall called ‘Boy’ had recounted that on the day in question they had witnessed the accused inflicting the fateful chop to the neck of the deceased. Dayaram had testified that the accused had handed him a bag with Parasad (sweet meat) before taking away his cutlass and fatally chopping Ramanan on his neck. He had stated that this was after an argument had ensued between the two men. Sahadeo was armed with the cutlass, while Ramanan was armed with a brick. Ramanan
was chopped even as he bent down to fix his bicycle. Selena Ramanan testified of receiving information about her son. She raced to the scene where she saw her son lying on the ground with a wound to his neck and with what appeared to be blood around him. Daneshwar Persaud testified to indentifying the body on the day of the post mortem. He witnessed the autopsy which was conducted by Dr. Brijmohan at the New Amsterdam hospital. Superintendent Stephen Mansell testified that he was stationed at the Fort Wellington Police station. He conducted investigations into the matter and subsequently arrested the accused. Detective corporal Dwayne Harvey in his testimony had stated that he had visited the scene where he saw the accused in a pool of blood. He subsequently conducted investigation in the matter. He also witnessed the post mortem examination. Dr Brijmohan in his testimony had given the cause of death as shock and hemorrhage due to an incise wound to the neck. The accused had also given an unsworn statement
from the docks, in which he had stated his movements during the day after he left home to visit his friend ‘Sweets’. He encountered Ramanan and two friends on a dam. After a misunderstanding between him and the youth, they got into an argument and then a scramble as they fought and fell to the ground. He subsequently got up and ran away after he heard one of the men telling Ramanan to “bore” and “chop” him. He was subsequently arrested by the police and charged for the crime. Reports were that Ramanan was at the corner of the street while the defendant was passing and an argument ensued between them. Sahadeo dealt Ramanan a single chop to his neck and calmly walked away. Ramanan was seen running frantically up and down the street a few times before collapsing to the ground, bleeding profusely. He died before receiving medical attention. The police subsequently arrived at the scene. Sahadeo was later arrested and charged. State Prosecutor Dionne Mc Cammon had set out to prove that it was the accused who had inflicted the injuries on the deceased resulting in his death
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
Is the NIS committing suicide? Notwithstanding all the protestations from the Chairman and the Board of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), the latter has been in trouble for quite some time. Last December, after the eighth actuarial review, which simply reiterated concerns made four years before in the review of that year, the Chairman, Dr Luncheon, in his patented circumlocutory style, sparred with reporters over the use of the word ‘dire’ to describe the situation of the institution he heads. “Dire reflects some immediacy like tomorrow or yesterday and I can say this with the greatest honesty, those wicked people who are out there and trying to pander to this notion that this NIS is a sinking ship and it’s about to go down, it’s just total nonsense.” But even he was forced to acknowledge that, “Were we not to make specific interventions that are outlined in this actuarial review, yes, hard times, dire times, but as we sit here today the Scheme is healthy.” But that was exactly what had been proposed before but never taken aboard by the board. The 2011 actuarial report noted that for the first time in its forty-two year-old history, the NIS racked up its first ever deficit - a whopping $371M. Since nothing has been done in 2012, we can expect that the report for that year, which comes out later this year, will reveal an even larger deficit. Rather bleakly, the report concluded that with assets of just over two times its annual expenditure, “the entire Fund will be exhausted in less than 10 years if (the) contribution rate increases and benefit reforms are not made immediately”. Some of the more pertinent changes that the report recommended were: a) increasing the contribution rate from 13% to 15% no later than January 2013 as well as the adoption of a policy for future contribution increases. b) Increasing the wage ceiling to $200,000 per month. c) Freeze pension increases (no pension increase) for two years or until contribution rate is increased and finances improve. And most controversially; d) Increase the pension age from 60 to 65 on a phased basis. And all of this did not signify ‘dire”? In a very far-reaching review, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) assessed the Report’s recommendations, but fundamentally concluded that as a threshold issue, the NIS has to first get its house in order. We could not agree more. The first thing we recommend is that the entire board of the NIS must be scrapped and be replaced with individuals that are qualified to run the affairs of that critical institution. It boggles the mind to learn that the contributory base of the NIS keeps shrinking when the employment situation has improved so dramatically in Guyana. After so many reviews and recommendations, why has the NIS not been revamped to capture the new emerging Guyanese workforce? Have all the new taxi-service depots that flourish in every town, village and hamlet been brought into the pool? Has the NIS been working with the GRA’s licencing office, for instance, to ensure that before the taxi owners receive their licenses, they submit their NIS submission certificates? And the same for the burgeoning gold-mining industry and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission? But what in fact was most stupefying to discover, in light of the crisis the NIS is facing - when workers are being denied their benefits through the imposition of all sorts of hoops that they have to jump through - was that last December, the NIS Board acquiesced in the non-payment of dividends from the Berbice Bridge. The NIS Board, in its wisdom, had invested some $1.5 billion in that venture. Now when it is facing another massive loss in 2012, it is criminal for the Board to pass on some $200 million in dividends. The question has to be asked: “In whose interest is the NIS Board acting?” Why should it buy into the importuning of Berbice Bridge Company Inc., when that institution has consistently declared massive profits and its Board lived high off the hog? Is the NIS committing suicide?
Friday February 15, 2013
Letters... Where your views make the news Letters...
DEAR EDITOR: In a classified conversation that Bharrat Jagdeo has with the then US Ambassador His Excellency Mr. Robinson on October 2, 2006, that was leaked by WIKILEAKS; he outlined his priorities for the second term as: breaking Guyana’s wave of violent crime; improving the investment climate; a tenyear plan to climb out of poverty; better working relationship with the donor community, including more IDB debt relief with support from the USA; pushing for local elections; building parliamentary capacity; expanding civil society’s role; and opening the media. Of these eight priorities set by the second Jagdeo regime, only one can be considered as being achieved – debt relief. That is a 15 per cent pass mark and in any examination can be considered as a big F; FAILED! In that conversation with the US Ambassador, Jagdeo claimed that combating violent crime is his top priority. Yet when he got the billions of dollars in support from the British in 2006 for the security sector Project to actually help the State combat violent crime, he balked at the proposal. Jagdeo was more interested in the cash and equipment for street patrols rather than develop a security strategy with significant elements of capacity building
and training for the Police Force. Every developmental deficit in Guyana is seen as an opportunity to rape the Treasury totally ignoring the human development needs of the people. Aren’t the key members of the Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal aware that the crime wave in Guyana is driving investors and productive people away from Guyana? It has been empirically proven as in the case of South Africa in a paper by Ozler et al that crime “divert resources away from productive activity and cause the migration of the best brains”. But this fact is just beyond the cerebral matter of members of the Jagdeo / Ramotar cabal. It is now clear to all that the only reason they refused the billions of dollars of money from the British was because the UK demanded full accountability and transparency on the MILK and HONEY and the greed machine that controls Freedom House cannot live with accountability. Their modus operandi is to use a flawed procurement system with no Public Procurement Commission in place to feed the wolf pack more MILK and HONEY. They do not care whether the people are protected and safe from the criminals. Well the British will have none of it and made it clear they are not prepared to pour money down the pockets of
the corrupt Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal. The favoured princeling, Clement Rohee, is on his knees politically and all of a sudden the political players in Freedom House are willing to rework the British plan, some eight years late as a last minute effort to save Rohee. The last thing on the minds of the PPP leaders at this time is the safety of our people and the people’s action must register in their
minds of the cabal that we know their game. As Jagdeo accepted in his conversation with the US Ambassador, it is all “political rhetoric, necessary but not prescriptive”. What a shame that the Guyanese people did not hook on to these professional con-man and their games earlier. Now is not too late! Regards Dr Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh
The harsh lot of the sugar workers DEAR EDITOR, Mr Editor, as I am wont to do to begin my day here in New York, I open the Guyana newspapers on line and read in minute details all the news on my dear, suffering country of my birth, Guyana. The plethora of sad news that hits your conscious as you go through this daily exercise is almost suffocating. I lived and worked among sugar workers on the Corentyne in the 70’s and 80’s and experienced how these hard working people eked out a living. Some of them who knew me, used to approach me at work to help them alter their pay slips to reflect a $5 difference, monies which then used to buy themselves and friends a drink., In addition, I witnessed how some of them went to the butchers’ stand at the Bank
Markets and ordered a quarter pound of pork or beef to take home to their large families. I saw how these workers on payday were trampled, herded on, in line to uplift their pay. Every cent earned had to be eked out through a strike, protest demonstration etc. They did not enjoy the fat entitlements of workers in the Public Service like meal allowance, hazard and height allowance, travel allowance and prompt uninterrupted pay on the taking of sick leave etc etc, Yet, in modern day Guyana of the PPP/C Jagdeo and Ramotar cabal, these are the conditions under which sugar workers, the real “Champions of the Earth”; the proverbial “Salt of the Earth”, continue to subsist., Lionel Peters
Friday February 15, 2013
Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news
Goolsarran rejects unwarranted attacks DEAR EDITOR, There were two recent anonymous letters appearing in the Guyana Chronicle newspaper attacking the Doctor in Business Administration degree that I obtained from the Robert Kennedy College (RKC) in Switzerland, and the publication of my book, “Improving Public Accountability: the Guyana Experience 1985 - 2007”. I wish to offer the following clarifications in order to avoid the public being misled: I was fortunate to obtain funding from the Inter-American Development Bank to pursue full-time studies to complete my ACCA at the London School of Accountancy. I was also the recipient of the prestigious British Government Chevening scholarship to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at the Strathclyde
Graduate Business School in Scotland. I completed the final of the ACCA in six months and graduated in June 1986. My MBA was also completed in 12 months, and I graduated in November 1995. I wanted to crown my career with a doctoral degree but not only age had caught up with me (I was in my midfifties) but also funding to undertake full-time studies would have posed a problem. In addition, I had my professional work as well as family commitments and could not have afforded to quit my job. Given my personal circumstances, I chose the next best alternative - distance learning. I chose a reputable institution that specialises in on-line programmes, especially in business administration. It is no secret that RKC’s Master in Business Administration is rated among the best on-line training in Europe. RKC’s
advanced degree programmes are accredited from the York St. John’s University and the University of Cumbra, both of which having their roots in the 1840’s and 1822 respectively. At the time I was studying with RKC, the College was affiliated to the University of Wales, grades were revised and the various programmes became more rigorous. I might add that even the most reputable universities are offering on-line programmes because of not only the rapid advances in information technology but also to cater for professionals who are unable to leave their work to attend full-time institutions. The on-line courses are as rigorous as the on-campus courses. My daughter, who is about to complete her MBA at a reputable university in Florida, has opted to undertake some courses that the university offers on-line
Focus on the wages paid by the Chinese DEAR EDITOR, About 10 to 15 years ago, when I was an engineering student and before, I realised that the labour cost to construct a typical residential house on the coast of Guyana was approximately a third of the cost of materials. Currently, anyone building a home will tell you that labour costs almost as much as the materials. Elementary reasoning will show that material costs never decreased, but rather, as the cost of materials increased over the years, as did the cost of labour. However, the cost of labour increased at a rate that was greater than the rate of cost increase of materials. The obvious question then is: Why did the cost of labour increase so dramatically? My simple answers are: A significant number of our
construction labour force now work out of Guyana, in the Caribbean and to a lesser extent in other regions, where there is greater remuneration for construction skills. The price of gold has drawn labour and talent from all sectors, construction included. There has never been so many Guyanese and non nationals working in the interior before these past couple years. The history of mankind will show a progressive shift from tedium. We don’t like to work hard. So we enslave (sad but true) and on the more ethical side, we innovatetechnologically, and when possible we incentivise the hard work we are yet to circumvent with science. The labour in foreign markets and the gold producing sector is far more incentivised than working on the coast in Guyana.
To some extent the recent limelight that Winston Brassington finds himself in following his observations and comments stems from the aforementioned reality coupled with the fact that the market cost of labour in China is significantly less than that of Guyana. I am inclined to believe that the wages being paid by the Chinese contractors building the Marriott would be scoffed at by Guyanese, and that is the reality of the global disparity in differing labour markets. In my opinion this is where the investigative journalistic effort should focus so that a richer and more productive and progressive philosophical stance on the matter is facilitated. ArunSudesh Richard BEng., PMP, MBA.
rather than driving 50 miles away to attend a physical class. In 2002, while I was in Africa, RKC was offering a Doctor of Business Administration degree. I enrolled in the programme, and there were about 10 of us from different parts of the world. It took me the next six years to finish the programme since I could only have done two courses at a time. I completed 12 courses, eight of which with ‘A’ grades while the remaining four were graded ‘B’. This is in addition to my dissertation. I recall in December 2008 while in Paris, I journeyed to Fernie-Voltaire, a town on the border of France and Switzerland, to defend my dissertation in the presence of three professors. I was not in possession of a Swiss visa, and the Professors were kind enough to arrange for the presentation of my dissertation and my defence of it in Ferne-Voltaire. What I learnt in those six years, I could not have dreamed of learning if I were attending a full-time institution. This was because I needed time to reflect on and assimilate the various topics
under discussion and to carry out thorough and comprehensive research. The on-line forum facilitated my mode of studying. It was a simulation of a classroom setting, the difference being that each participant was given equal and full opportunity to express his/ her views. The Professor will post a topic in the forum and each of us, having done our research, would contribute to the on-line discussion. The cumulative effect of all of this is a thorough understanding of the topic under discussion. We also had regular assignments for each course for which we were graded, followed by a mid-term examination, then the final examination. I might add that because the on-line forum and access to campus facilities were available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, I devoted a greater portion of ten hours per day for six years to my studies. As regards the publication of my book, I did not approach any traditional publisher because I felt that the book deals with the Guyana situation and is in effect the publication of my
dissertation, with minor modifications. I do not believe that traditional publishers would be more interested in something of an international flavour. Notwithstanding this, the contents stood the test of academic rigour. I wanted to tell the true and unadulterated story about Guyana’s public accountability during the period 1985 to 2007, in the midst of attempts to distort what really happened. These attempts continue to this day. So, I paid for publishing my book, and for the professional editing. I did not publish the book because of any monetary consideration. In fact, the proceeds of most of the books that I ordered from the publishers were donated to the J.C. Chandisingh Alumni and the Gandhi Youth Organisation Sports Club. Some were distributed free to those were have shown an interest in it. I might add that I have been encouraged to expand on the current edition and to update to present date. I am seriously considering doing so. Yours sincerely. Anand Goolsarran
Friday February 15, 2013
Letters... Where your views make the news Letters... Where your views make the news
Things are not what they seem DEAR EDITOR Cheddi B. must be spinning in his grave. “Chronically ill sugar workers denied NIS benefits and forced to work”? Isn’t that a glaring breach of their human rights? The statements in a recent news item about what those four sugar workers are enduring at the moment make uncomfortable, harrowing, reading. From what I have just read on the subject of human rights, those men may be regarded as ‘disabled’, ie ‘someone with a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial adverse impact on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities long-term”, ie for at least 12 months. It is appalling to learn that “the medical doctor attached to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) is insisting that they are fit to work and are therefore not entitled to sickness benefits”. Has not a second, independent medical opinion been sought? If a person claims to be feeling ill and is
demonstrably so, who is to say that s/he is not? People whose livelihood depends on being able to work would hardly malinger. Looking at the ‘ U N I V E R S A L DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations’, we find that Article 5 states ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment...”; Article 25 states that ‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Article 22 says ‘Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation
and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity ..’. These articles are meant to apply universally, each country ‘delivering’ as its economic circumstances allow. What is happening to these sugar workers seems to be gross exploitation. Talk about man’s inhumanity to man. It is almost a replay of Enmore Estate 1948. Let us hope things do not end that way. Let us hope that martyrdom does not become necessary. Geralda Dennison Editor’s note: It woukld seem that the sugar workers were less than honest. They were peeved that their NIS payments had been delayed. One of the men was medically discharged in 2009 and received a lump sum payment from Guysuco. The full story will be told shortly. Suffice it to say that new information had surfaced.
The army personnel were unprofessional DEAR EDITOR,
On February 12, 2013 three men claiming to be military personnel, they had no form of identification to verify such claims, entered the George Walcott Lecture Theatre (GWLT) while lectures for Introduction to Sociological Theory (SOC1200) were in progress. The men then proceeded to disrupt the class and announce that they were there to arrest a student of the class identified as Mr Rodney. As expected, panic ensued and students, confused and frightened, either fled the Lecture Theatre or retreated to the extreme corners of the room. The three individuals failed in their attempt to ‘arrest’ Mr Rodney, who was subsequently taken
home by his father. On February 13, 2013 seven men, two of whom were uniformed in military fatigues, attempted to enter the GWLT to ‘arrest’ Mr Rodney while lectures were on going for Introductory MacroEconomics (ECN1200). They were confronted by Student President, Mr Ganesh Mahipaul, at the entrance to the Lecture Theatre. Mr Mahipaul indicated to the ranks that regardless of the situation, efforts should have been made to contact the Administration or even the Campus Security before attempting their endeavour. After the confrontation, the men left and the lecture had to be prematurely concluded as the students were visibly shaken by the ordeal. UGSS is of the view that members of the Guyana
Defence Force should have been far more professional in the execution of their orders. Their actions have caused panic and induced fear into the students that witnessed both ordeals. This could have been avoided if the military personnel had explored the avenues available, by notifying the administration and by extension the campus security prior to their attempted ‘arrest’. It is only fitting that the Students of the University of Guyana, be issued a public apology and that the matter be investigated by the Commander of the Armed Forces, Commodore Gary Best and the Command-inChief, Donald Ramotar. Amir Dillawar PRO
Nagamootoo did oppose Jagdeo’s benfits DEAR EDITOR I write here on the issue of Moses Nagamootoo’s position with regards the Former Presidents Benefits. First I interpret Moses Nagamootoo’s statement that from the beginning he was opposed to the level of benefits and that he did not support it to mean just that. He did oppose and vehemently so. I do not interpret this to mean that he did not vote for it in Parliament. There are always disagreements with regards to decisions but Parliamentarians would vote in accordance with the decisions. Maybe in hind sight Moses should have at least engineered not to be present. This letter however serves to inform the public that I was in attendance at the meeting of PPP members of Parliament as
Advisor to the Minister of Labour when this matter was being discussed. I distinctly recall that Moses vehemently opposed the level of benefits and called at least for caps to be included so as to limit the level of benefits. He was ridiculed by some present in the most rude and vicious manner. I recall at least two others present at the meeting opposing the open ended benefits. Unfortunately in the end it was carried because most of the persons now present in the leadership of the have no connection to Jagan and his legacy, no connection to the Working people, have no concern for their basic needs, have no concern for their aspirations, having been manipulated into leadership by Bharrat Jagdeo. Many of the others have lost their visions and dreams and in some case their
morality. Definitely they have lost their testicular fortitude or in the case of females whatever female equivalent there is. It’s a shame that while going to lengths to defend the obnoxious benefits to former Presidents they have kept most workers below a living wage and fall deaf to the cries of the ordinary workers and blind to their plight. I t ’s t i m e t h e p e o p l e unite as one as we have done so many times in recorded history; it’s time we realize that colour should not blind us to our common oppression; should not blind us to our common interest and should nor prevent us from collectively defending ourselves and our children and the future of our beloved country. Rajendra Bisessar (LLB, BSC Soc.
I lost hope in Guyana DEAR EDITOR Four weeks ago, I attended Parliament and the debate was on the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Cuba. It was a rare occasion: all parliamentarians were in agreement. What I heard during that debate deeply disturbed, troubled and made me lose hope and faith in Guyana’s future. I’ve been attending the National Assembly regularly, and it was one of the rare times that all three parties (PPPC, APNU, and AFC) agreed unanimously during a debate. All the parliamentarians agreed that Fidel Castro is one of the greatest leader s in history, and Cuba is one of the greatest countries in the world. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and was dumbfounded. All the parliamentarians of Guyana agreed that Fidel Castro is a great leader and that Cuba is a great country. And here is
the part that made me lose my hope and faith in this country’s future. It was when the ministers said that Guyanese should follow in the footsteps of Mr. Castro and Cuba. While I agree that Cuban has made contributions to Guyana by providing medical expertise and training to Guyanese, the parliamentarians never mentioned that Mr.Castro is a dictator, and Cubans are not free. They only mentioned the good things about Mr. Castro and Cuba. In addition, they didn’t mention that over the years, hundreds of thousands of Cubans have run away from Cuban to be free. They never mentioned that the island of 11 million people suffered decades of economic deterioration. They never mentioned that in the last 50 years Cubans weren’t permitted to buy and sell homes and cars among themselves. Furthermore, they never
mentioned that for the past 50 years Cubans had to get permission from Mr. Castro to leave Cuba. In other words, Cubans weren’t free to leave as they like. Cubans had to ask their father (Mr. Castro) to leave Cuba. Moreover, they never mentioned that Cuba doesn’t permit freedom of speech, press, or free elections, and it doesn’t have a democratically elected government. They never mentioned that Cuba remains a repressive society, which embraced a totalitarian brand of communism. The lesson that I learned on that day in the National Assembly was that it doesn’t matter which party (PPPC, APNU, AFC) holds power, that party will be leading this nation in the footsteps of Cuba. And that, my friend, made me lose hope and faith in Guyana’s political leaders and ultimately in Guyana as a nation. Anthony Pantlitz
Friday February 15, 2013
- cites declining passenger loads, revenue A significant decline in passenger loads and by extension, loss of revenue, has been outlined in an official statement as the primary reason for the imminent departure of Delta Airlines from the local skies. Sarah Lora, Delta’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Latin American and Caribbean, stated that “Delta Air Lines will close its station in Georgetown, Guyana, discontinuing flights between the John F. Kennedy International Airport and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.” This development, according to the statement, will be effective from May 6, 2013, due to poor performance of the route. It was also indicated that although Delta would prefer to continue serving the market, flights between Georgetown and New York’s JFK International Airport have experienced a notable “decline in passenger loads and revenues for the past 18 months, leading to
unsustainable losses.” As a result, the statement confirmed that “we have made the difficult decision to eliminate our Georgetown service to better focus our resources on profitable markets.” Moreover, Delta said that it will proactively contact customers booked on the Georgetown to JFK flights after May 6, 2013, who have provided full contact information in their reservations to arrange alternate transportation or full refunds. Customers, the statement added, can contact Delta Reservations at 1-800241-4141 while customers calling directly from Guyana can do so on 1-800-221-1212. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that high fuel cost was one of the reasons that the airline, which has been serving Guyana since 2008, was forced to halt its operation in Guyana. Reports of the airline’s plans to suspend its services made headlines in the local news after customers who visited the company’s office to make reservations were
turned down. They were informed that flights between Guyana and New York would be suspended some time before May. Government officials as well as representatives from the United States-based carrier were at the time tightlipped about the development and there were reports that officials from the
airline had not officially notified the Government of Guyana about its decision to stop flying the New York/ Georgetown route. However, officials from the Tourism Ministry were said to be informed via sources late last week. Kaieteur News was told that the Minister of Tourism, Irfaan Ali, after learning about
the airline’s decision, had called for an emergency meeting with the airline’s board members. When attempts were made by this publication to contact the airline earlier this week the General Manager, Sarah Lora, would only assert then that “Delta Airlines has not confirmed flights for the JFKGEO route beyond May of
2013. As soon as we have a decision we will communicate the status of the flights.” True to her word, a statement was issued yesterday. Delta Airlines has over the years become known for offering more than 478 weekly flights to 58 destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Friday February 15, 2013
Friday February 15, 2013
House approves Bill to ensure “independent” agencies By Abena Rockcliffe Notwithstanding the fact that the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall stated categorically that he will advise the President not to assent, the National Assembly last evening passed a Bill that seeks to amend the constitution in order to make several entities “independent”. The Bill was piloted by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament and shadow Minister of Finance Carl Greenidge. The former Finance Minister said that the Bill was put to the National Assembly with the intention of enhancing the functioning of quite a few agencies by strengthening their administration and control of monies allocated for carrying out functions. The Bill will allow for the agencies to stop being funded by the budget and instead draw monies directly from the Consolidated Fund, which is essentially controlled by the National
Assembly. The agencies listed in the Bill to now become “independent” are the chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Judicial Service Commission, the Public Service Commission, the Police Service Commission, the Teaching Service Commission, the Public Service Appellate Tribunal, the Public Procurement Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Guyana Elections Commission. The joint parliamentary opposition’s argument was that if the government no longer controls the purse strings of the listed agencies, then no longer will it hold domain or any authority over those agencies, thus the agencies will become impartial. However, the government’s unwavering position as it relates to the Bill is that the administration has never been one to directly try to control or impose authority over any of the agencies and as such, sees no need to amend the constitution just to facilitate what the opposition
is seeking to do, “as such we will not support this bill.” Nevertheless, the opposition, by virtue of its one-seat majority, passed the Bill; 33 Members voted for while 28 voted against. Greenidge in his remarks that opened the debate said that the legislation is a very important one that seeks to remedy deficiencies in the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act as pertinent to the Bill. He argued that “Schedule Three” omits all but a few selected Rights Commissions, and noted that there seems to be some amount of ambiguity over the treatment of these agencies and the financial independence therein. He reminded his fellow MPs that titles 6 and 7 of the Constitution list a number of agencies which are deserving of being independent. Greenidge further affirmed that the agencies are important for protecting public servants and the possibility of government action against them. These are important entities constitutionally, he
emphasised. However, Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/ C) Member of Parliament, Bibi Shadick in seeking to inform from the beginning of her presentation to the debate why the Bill should not be passed in the National Assembly, stressed that a two-thirds majority is needed to pass a Bill like the one at hand. “I totally reject that the third schedule can be changed by a simple majority and I totally reject the notion that the government and the opposition will vote together.” She said that she was not buying the argument being put forward by the government and opined “ I don’t think the people of Guyana will buy that either.” APNU’s shadow Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams referred to the Bill as a “simple matter.” He said that the constitution clearly states that a commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any authority. As he referred to Shadick’s statement,
Williams said that “in this case the constitution shall be altered by a ‘simple majority’ and the running of those agencies will no longer rest in the murky hands of this government.” Alliance For Change (AFC) Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan, said that the constitution is not written in stone and financial independence of “these” agencies is necessary for them to be audited. “But this government put them as budget agencies because they love money and it is a way for them to exercise their control-freakism.” He said that when the government controls the purse strings it controls the actions of the agencies. Further, he noted that if Guyana is going to have an accountability revolution, “these agencies need to become independent…but this government doesn’t like to be scrutinised.” In concluding, Ramjattan said that “financial independence will allow the best work and I hope the government will see the light and support his Bill.”
Legal Affairs Minister Nandlall said that the Bill is predicated on a theme that seeks to give autonomy to several agencies, but, “Our record has been one of devolving power away from central government and has been placing them in local institutions.” “The argument cannot be intelligently advanced that we are a government that likes to control when the records show the opposite.” To give example of an independent DPP, Nandlall cited the case of the DPP recommending charges to be laid against a Commissioner “under this administration.” “Under this administration she (DPP) exercised her right of independence,” Nandlall pointed out. In closing, the Attorney General said that it is a mockery of the constitution for the opposition to believe that “you can just cut something from somewhere and add it to the constitution. Greenidge, who is not a lawyer thinks he can do such. I will advise the president not to assent to this Bill”.
Friday February 15, 2013
=== THE FREDDIE KISSOON COLUMN ===
Corruption, time and indispensability There are two reasons why corruption has taken over the life of the PPP administration and has made the PPP vulnerable to cracking up. There may be other variables at work but this columnist postulates two powerful factors. First, the “pool of angels” was very tiny. You are not in a position to accuse your neighbour of stealing eggs from Black Street when you steal eggs yourself from Brown Street. This explains why it was logical for someone like Ralph
Ramkarran to have emerged as the chief PPP critic against corruption. Mr. Ramkarran had no niche in the power establishment. He was a senior PPP leader, but it began and ended there. It made no sense to offer him a bribe for securing a contract because he was not in charge of anything within the total public realm. Mr. Ramkarran, then, was totally free to make accusations because he didn’t fear counteraccusations. It was almost a
scientific law why he emerged as the only PPP leader to ask for attention to be paid to corrupt practices. Once the “pool of angels” was small, corruption had to grow, because few were above board after power was consolidated from 1992 onwards (see my article on corruption in Grant and Kirton (eds.), “Governance, Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution,” Ian Randall Publishers, 2007). The second factor that facilitated the monster and monstrosity of corruption in
the PPP Government was the process of time. As corrupt party and government officials were identified, the PPP took millions of years to act, by then these persons had become indispensable to the very existence of the PPP. In 2002, a new face in Government had requested the sum of a million dollars from a businessman buddy of President Jagdeo, and I mean a real buddy of Jagdeo (if you know what I mean). This buddy of Jagdeo told us at Kaieteur News that the guy asked for the money. Had
Jagdeo and the PPP acted right at that moment, he would have been gone. But they didn’t. The man was not stupid. If he was to protect himself then there was only one way to do so – become a strong fighter for your bosses. And that is what he did. By the time the 2006 elections came, he was a faithful that was needed. The longer you serve the party, the more impossible it is for the party to move against you. No clean person in the party will be supported if he/ she calls for your removal because of corruption, because arguments will come from all sides to say that the party needs your energy. A simply hypothetical case will suffice. John is a newcomer and is given a Cabinet portfolio. John becomes corrupt. The party has evidence that John is unsavoury. The party promises to investigate. In the meantime, John goes to work. Every month he organizes a fund-raising event. But more than this, John starts up party cells in parts of Guyana where the PPP has no presence. Congress comes up and he proves how energetic he can be. Five years elapse since information was acquired that John was depraved. But it is too late to move against John, his mansion, his expensive swimming pool, his foreign bank account. John has become your hard-working party apparatchik. The clean ones would not be able to convince party seniors that John must go because John is now a party senior himself. To put it in
Frederick Kissoon realpolitik terms, John has become indispensable. This is the problem Cheddi Jagan and Mrs. Jagan faced. When Mrs. Jagan discovered in 1995 that a mere fence of one of her favourites turned out to be a very expensive structure for which he didn’t have the money, she did not have the courage and willingness to act, because this was someone she literally nurtured in her own home. She faced the same dilemma with another favourite who took money from OMAI gold company. She faced the identical dilemma with a house in Pradoville One which had imported marble material from Italy. In all three of these cases, the corrupt ones were persons that were close to Mrs. Jagan over a thirty-year period and had worked hard for the PPP, its youth arm, PYO and women’s arm, WPO. Fazil Ally (deceased), the President of the Rice Producers Association, was someone who I struck up a close friendship with during my youthful anti-dictatorship days. Ally died a sad man. He was very angry that the party was adamant that he repay Dr. Hughley Hanoman for fertilizers supplied, but nothing was done about the OMAI money-taker and the marble-laden house.
Friday February 15, 2013
Guyana collected $5.3B EU sugar support in 2012 - drew down $24.7B since 2006 Government collected 19.7M euro (G$5.3B) in December as part of the ongoing sugar support measures. According to a joint statement from the Ministry of Finance and the European Union Delegation in Guyana, the disbursement was made under the 2011/2012 “Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol Countries affected by the Reform of the EU Sugar Regime” programme. The measures were developed by the EU to help Guyana and other sugarproducing nations deal with the fallout of the controversial removal of protected quota system to the members of that trade body, which includes Britain. According to the statement, since 2006, when the programme started, the European Union has made available 91.5M euro to Guyana, equivalent to more than $24.7B at today’s exchange rate. “A further amount, up to 23.4M euro is scheduled to be disbursed in 2013 on signing of the Financing Agreement
for the 2012 /2013 programme, which is expected in the near future.” Both parties stressed that the disbursements have assisted the delivery of the Guyana National Action Plan (GNAP), which focuses on adaptation of the sugar industry by measures which include the upgrading of sugar factories, adding value through sugar packaging and co-generation of power, increasing sugar production and mechanizing field operations, thereby enhancing the competitiveness and productivity of the sector. “The disbursements are determined on the basis of the Government of Guyana (GoG)’s achievement of general macro-economic conditions as well as indicators that monitor the sugar industry’s performance. Funds are also channelled towards studies, evaluations and audits to ensure effective implementation.” The EU said it will continue to work with the GoG in ensuring that the overall response strategy to the Reform of the EU Sugar Regime is aligned to the
The Enmore Packaging Plant has been one of the projects funded by the EU to help Guyana deal with the liberalisation of the sugar market overseas. GNAP which was submitted in March 2006. “The programme has seen seven consecutive years of disbursements to date.” Guyana’s sugar industry has fallen from being top
Brazilian businesswoman was beaten, strangled - prime suspect reportedly has history of violence
A post mortem performed on Wednesday confirmed that Brazilian businesswoman Elisangela Silva Figueara was beaten and strangled, but all indications are that the prime suspect has already fled the country. Police Public Relations Officer Ivelaw Whittaker told Kaieteur News that the cause of death was given as blunt trauma to the head and strangulation. Kaieteur News understands that detectives are trying to locate a Brazilin woman with whom the 35year-old Figueara allegedly had a dispute over money shortly before her death. But reports indicate that the individual may have fled to Brazil. Sources who knew both individuals said that the woman had fled to Guyana a few years ago after committing a serious crime in Brazil. It is alleged that she returned to Brazil after wounding another woman at an interior location. After spending a few months in Brazil, the suspect returned to Guyana and began to work with Figueara at Bartica. Figueara reportedly left the woman to run her
Elisangela Da Silva Figueara communications business for about a month, and when the businesswoman returned, she is said to have discovered that between $600,000 and $1M was missing. The two were reportedly heard arguing last week Thursday, which was also the
last time that Figueara was seen alive. Kaieteur News was told that the suspect was last seen at a Bartica shop last Friday. Figueara’s body was discovered on Sunday night in a bedroom at her Lot 97 Second Avenue, Bartica residence. Her bed was bloodsoaked and her tongue was protruding. There was also a gash on her head. Neighbours last saw Figueara alive two Thursdays ago 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 and doors of the residence were shut. On Sunday evening, two Brazilian men who visited the residence regularly, forced open a bedroom window and discovered Figueara’s decomposing corpse. The victim had operated a communications centre, a guest house and a money transfer service to Brazil.
earner as labour worries, falls in prices and outdated equipment combined to make it hard to compete. Several Caribbean countries have pulled out from the sugar business, but Guyana has
remained committed. It has invested more than US$200M in a new factory at Skeldon, mechanisations of field operations, and a new packaging plant at Enmore. Recently, the EU’s
agricultural arm voted to extend the deadline, to 2020 from 2015, for the opening of the market there, giving Guyana a little breathing space to get its house in order.
Friday February 15, 2013
No evidence CCTV applied to Broadcast Authority …Gov’t ‘scrutinizing’ details As government continues to face questions over the circumstances in which permission was granted to China Central TV (CCTV) to broadcast in Guyana, a senior spokesman yesterday said that the administration is now reviewing the details. This was after head of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA), Bibi Shadick, reportedly revealed that she has no records of the Chinese-owned television station being given permission to operate here. GNBA was established last year and given powers to consider and grant applications for television and radio licences. It has now asked for current broadcasters and others to submit fresh applications. With limited space or spectrum of the airwaves available, there has been anger and questions over the timing and appearance of CCTV. Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, yesterday, during his weekly post-Cabinet press conference, said he was correcting earlier statements
he made regarding the bilateral agreement that was signed during the tenure of former President Bharrat Jagdeo. He said that a review of the records up to 2004 made mention of the agreement, but its execution date is still being “ascertained”. It was the government that “committed” to provide a channel for a CCTV signal to be made available to the Guyanese audience. He also stated that CCTV has similar arrangements in other countries…but did not name them. Luncheon referred media workers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) for more details. Explaining the current review, the government official said that there was a time frame for the establishment of the channel and it was this that is being ascertained. Since starting broadcasting recently on Channel 27/Cable78, there has been a host of criticism from broadcasters and several prominent citizens. Earlier this week, long-
time veteran media practitioner, Kit Nascimento, slammed government over the issue, saying that 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. 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”. He wanted to know how government will be regulating the channel. Last week, Michael Gordon, acting Chief Executive Officer of the state TV, National Communications Network (NCN), said the setting up of China Central TV (CCTV) was a direct government-to-government agreement between Guyana and China. 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. Veteran broadcaster Enrico Woolford has been
pressing for the 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 issuing 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. 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.
Disability Organisations record largest single donation The Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities yesterday recorded its single largest donation, compliments of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to Elder Cook, who is one of the persons spearheading the project, the donation which will aid about 2000 persons was totaled at a cost of US $17,000. The items include blankets, medical and school supplies, clothing, shoes, sheets etc. The New Amsterdam,
Diamond, and David Rose Special Needs Schools are just some of the entities which will benefit. Kaieteur News understands that every year, couples from the aforementioned church would gather items and load them onto containers to be shipped to the less fortunate all across the world. Although they have to use their own monies to accommodate travels to these places, these couples have agreed that what they do gives them a “worthwhile” feeling.
In speaking with Kaieteur News, Head of the Organisations for Persons with Disabilities, Leon Walcott, explained that the donation is so large that each organization will have to hire canters to transport the stuff to the various entities in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five Six, Seven and 10. The Church extended gratitude to Mr. Rahaman of Rent-a-Tent who donated a tent and provided storage facility for the items as well as a place for a formal donation to be made.
Friday February 15, 2013
US Embassy launches ‘American Spot’ at National Library - anticipates closer collaboration with Guyana Aimed at exemplifying the United States of America’s commitment to the core tenet of democracy, which speaks to a citizen’s right to free access to information, US Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt on Wednesday launched one of two ‘American Spots’ at the National Library. Another American Spot was set to be unveiled yesterday at the University of Guyana’s Library. Touted as an avenue which will provide access to the latest in-depth information about the United States, thereby connecting Americans and Guyanese citizens while at the same time encouraging discussions on US policy, society and values, the American Spot is replete with a rich literary collection and toys, especially suited for young children. Speaking at the launching, Ambassador Hardt said that the Spots will feature a diverse collection of books and booklets. “We have books on the National Parks of America, on notable American leaders, on US history and government and Native American culture. We also have some of the American Classics such as Tom Sawyer, Catch 22, To Kill a Mockingbird and even the Twilight Series,” the Ambassador said, as he noted that “we are also providing several novels that are written in Braille for the blind and visually impaired. The American Spots, according to him, will also offer resources to assist young people in pursuing university studies in the US, including guide books on selecting a college or university; how to apply to universities; how to apply for scholarships, and how to write college application essays and degree options available. “We intend to have a strong EducationUSA presence at both libraries as part of our American Spots initiative,” the envoy asserted. Previously the materials allotted to the American Spots were located at the Embassy and were not easily accessible. However, with the
new initiative in place, Ambassador Hardt is confident that prospective students can visit the Spots and browse the sessions to gain additional guidance on how to use these resources and materials and to share other strategies to further their education and development. According to the diplomat, EducationUSA and advice for prospective students is one of the priority areas at the Embassy and in the Western Hemisphere. He recounted that in March 2011, President Barack Obama launched the “100,000 Strong in the Americas,” an initiative to increase international study in Latin America and the Caribbean. The purpose of the 100,000 Strong initiative is to foster region-wide prosperity through greater international exchange of students, whom he recognised as the future leaders and innovators. The Ambassador pointed to the fact that “increasing mutual understanding within the Western Hemisphere and building closer people-topeople ties, the President (Obama) believes, will help the people of the Hemisphere to work closely to address common challenges, including citizen security, economic opportunity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability”. Moreover, Ambassador Hardt said that the US is eager to welcome Guyanese students to its universities, even as he asserted that the importance of international educational exchange in promoting understanding across national, cultural, religious and racial borders should never be underestimated. He made reference to the fact that students who participate in international studies draw lifetime benefits from the opportunities to learn a discipline in a different cultural context, to be immersed in and learn from another culture and to share culture with others. He insisted too that overseas university graduates are ultimately able to use their newly-gained
skills to make valuable contributions to the development of their own societies. “We want to do our part by providing useful information and resources to those prospective students who are interested in learning more about US colleges and the application processes for study in the United States. Our American Spots will help us to achieve this goal,” he assured. “We realise that these two American Spots featuring books and booklets on the United States represent a beginning. Nevertheless, we would like to use these Spots to host speakers and events sponsored by the US Embassy for the benefit of the public.” With cultural and informational events, as well as alumni gatherings among other activities, the Ambassador is optimistic that “our small presence at both the National Library and the University of Guyana will help forge an even closer relationship with both of these educational institutions.” Even as increased usage of the Spots is being anticipated, Ambassador Hardt revealed plans to expand by “adding more resources to these spaces, to include collections of the electronic journals, e-books and multimedia materials.” According to the National Library’s Chief Librarian, Gillian Thompson, “we are indeed grateful that the Embassy has taken this initiative to enhance the library with books of various disciplines and toys, and we hope that this is just a beginning of a bigger relationship.” Continuing on a similar note, Chairman of the National Library, Petamber Persaud, said that the combination of donations is welcomed and will help to develop both the minds and bodies of the users. This latest addition to the Library, he added, will complement the Library’s JFK collection. Also present at Wednesday’s launch was Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Education Ministry, Genevieve Blackman, who also expressed appreciation for the US Embassy’s initiative.
From left: Chairman Petamber Persaud and Chief Librarian, Gillian Thompson of the National Library along with Ambassador Brent Hardt (right) assist a student with the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon to officially launch the American Spot.
A section of the American Spot
Friday February 15, 2013
Conflicting statements over hiring of Chinese workers Government yesterday insisted that the hiring of labour by any particular contractor is one that is ultimately left to the contractor’s discretion. The issue has to do an ongoing row between the trade unions and the opposition parties over the hiring of Chinese employees exclusively to work on the construction of the Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown. Yesterday, a mixture of union representatives, political parties and other activists protested in front of the construction site. With controversy already over the actual project including its feasibility and costs - the government has literally been on the back foot to explain this latest embarrassment. The protests stem from the non employment of Guyanese labour on the project. Over the weekend, Winston Brassington, Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Hotel Inc. (AHI), the local government company that will manage the facilities, said
AHI’s Winston Brassington that the use of an all Chinese labour force to construct the multi-million-dollar Marriott Hotel was just one of several conditionalities necessary for the facility’s efficient and speedy construction. He also said that the lack of local skills and communication problems were the reasons why the contractor, Shanghai Construction Group (SCG), decided to bring in Chinese workers.
Former President Bharrat Jagdeo That particular statement immediately triggered abundant criticism, especially as SCG had not publicly said that there was a shortage of skills. There were no advertisements in the local newspapers. Then on Wednesday, Labour Minister, Dr. Nanda Gopaul, speaking with another media house, and also defending the decision of foreign workers, said that the contractor was
Dr. Roger Luncheon using “highly technical and advanced construction methods” and that it would be some time before Guyanese workers would learn these. “REASONABLE” Yesterday, Government spokesman Dr. Roger Luncheon said that the issue of an all-Chinese labour force was not discussed with the government. He said that the government became aware when it was asked to process the applications for work permits and visas. He said that the Ministry of Home Affairs which processes work permits would have utilised standard protocols in issuing them. He noted that it is
“reasonable” that most contractors would go for a labour force with which they are familiar. The fact that SCG opted use Chinese workers came as no surprise to government, he said. Dr Luncheon added that the convention is that contractors are responsible for recruiting their labour force. The contracts do not address this issue not do they dictate the issue of employment of locals. He also admitted that it is not the practice for government to publish vacancies in the local media when processing work permits for foreign workers. Also, government does not specifically say in contract documents that foreign workers cannot be hired or that locals have to be employed. Brassington has been under fire as head of NICIL/ Privatisation Unit, which manages Government’s assets. He had explained that SCG won the bid to construct, from 23 other firms. Initially, the price was US$65M, “but they were able to lower the cost to US$51M with the condition that they be able to control who they employ on the site,” a government release said last Friday. In defending SCG’s decision to hire Chinese
nationals, Brassington said that the company indicated that “(it) had examined the level of skills available for the project as well as the levels of productivity.” Brassington added that while the company was being asked to employ locals, it was obvious that if the construction of the flagship hotel was to be completed within the specified time, there must be the flexibility of the input. SECRET INVESTORS Since its inception, the project has been marred by dispute, with the Bharrat Jagdeo-led administration refusing to give details about the investors. AHI has also refused to release the feasibility study that would justify the building of the hotel using over US$20M of state funds. Already, the government has advanced US$10M in 2011 to SCG for the construction and the combined opposition, which has a one-seat majority in the National Assembly, is threatening to take Parliamentary actions to ensure that state monies for the project is first approved there. What is even more alarming, the opposition has been saying, is the fact that government does not know who the investors are, almost two years after releasing $2B in state funds and starting construction. Local hoteliers have been complaining that a major project like this should not be funded by government as it is competing directly with private businesses that have sunk millions in similar ventures.
Dem boys seh...
Is only a matter of time fuh Brazzy Brazzy is one man who when he talk people does got to run. Dem boys seh that he dishonest. Very, very dishonest. If he had to tek a lie detector test de machine gun got a problem reading. It might bruck up because de needle gun jump out de glass case wid he lies and he deceit. But one thing fuh sure, dem boys know that he gun end up in jail. Dem boys got black tongue. Dem did seh that Sonny was going to jail and people laugh because dem didn’t believe dem boys. Dem seh that Sonny was fat and jolly and honest. When de Feds put dem hand pun he and lock he down is then people believe. Dem boys did seh that Ed Ah Mad going to jail too. People who know that he and Bharrat was close, tell dem friends that dem boys don’t know wha dem saying, that dem talking out de corner of dem mouth. Well de Feds put dem hand pun he too and is now people know that when dem boys
seh something it gun happen. De difference between Brazzy, de Bees, and Sonny and Ed is only time, and everybody know that time longer than twine. Dem boys also seh that is only time before some men wearing white gun tun up in Parliament wid a straightjacket. Parliament going on and because people heckle de Speaker he walk out. People know that de parliamentarians does walk out, but never in de history of de parliament dem ever see de Speaker walk out. One man seh that is de times. It rough. Dem had a picketing outside de Marriott and dem workers down tools and hide in a corner. De same project that dem seh that dem want done in a hurry grind to a halt. Dem boys seh that is nuff madness going on in Guyana. Fuh de fuss time dem got a project and no Guyanese wukking. Fuh de fuss time a foreign country get a TV station when Guyanese line up to get and dem can’t get. If is nah madness tekking over de country then dem boys want to know is wha. Talk half and watch when dem carrying down Brazzy.
Friday February 15, 2013
Friday February 15, 2013
Opposition entities picket Marriott site - Protest action continues today Yesterday, protesters marched peacefully in front of the closed gates of Marriot Hotel site, Kingston, demanding Guyanese constitutional rights to be employed in the construction of the hotel that is being funded by Guyanese taxpayers. A sense of patriotism filled the atmosphere as the over 50 demonstrators including politicians, trade unionists and social activists held placards reading: “Stop insulting Guyanese”, “Warning…Our Government is selling us out to China”, “We will not be second class citizens in our own country” and “Ramotar insulting Guyanese”. Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, who paved the way for the controversial project and saw its commencement in November 2011, was criticized and accused of being a “traitor who sold out his own people”. Shanghai Construction Group began works several months ago but only recently it became public that no Guyanese labourers were employed with the project. Winston Brassington, Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Hotel Inc. (AHI), a government-owned company established to manage the $60M project, in an interview with the State’s news agency, had said that the use of a mostly Chinese labour force to construct the multi-milliondollar Marriott Hotel was just one of several
conditionality’s necessary for the facility’s efficient and speedy construction. He also said that the issue of productivity and communication had been a cause for concern along with the lack of specialised skills needed for the tasks. Brassington claimed that Government got a reduction of US$9 million in the bid price by Shanghai Construction Group under the condition that it could have control over whom it hires. Initially, the price was US$65M, according to Brassington. A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), the main Opposition in the National Assembly, is not accepting the exclusion of Guyanese labourers in the project while the unemployment level is relatively high. APNU Member of Parliament, Rupert Roopnaraine yesterday said that this demonstration is only the beginning of a series of actions planned to ensure Guyanese constitutional rights are respected. He noted that the protest shows the citizens’ willingness and readiness to back the demands of the labour movement. “We cannot understand how the Government could enter into an agreement that specifically denies Guyanese their constitutional right to work. This is a big issue; it has to engage the Parliament and Courts if necessary…This
demonstration is a very important beginning.” Another APNU Parliamentarian, Joseph Harmon, who was also part of the protest action said that the Government has shown contempt for the people in negotiating and agreeing with a contract which excludes Guyanese from working even at the most basic level of a construction phase of the operation. Taking into consideration many protest demands that were ignored by Government in the past, Harmon said that he believes that change does not occur overnight. He assured that changes are taking place in Guyana and “it is taking place right before our eyes…what we are doing here today is registering our concern.” “The rest of Guyana will have to pick it up, this is not just a matter for political parties this is a matter for all Guyanese… We are all consumed by this level of contempt by which the Government is treating us. ..What you see behind you is a monument to that contempt,” he stressed. President of the Guyana Trades Union Congress Norris Witter said that he hopes as the protest continues more persons will join, knowing the gravity of the situation. He stressed that one needs to recognise and appreciate the fact that the sovereignty of the State is at stake. “This action by the
Some of the protesters at the site yesterday Jagdeo/ Ramotar regime takes us back to the days of slavery and indentureship…All the people of this country must stand up against the atrocity,” Witter said. Responding to Labour Minister Nanda Gopaul’s
defence about the technology being used by the contractor, Witter said he is not surprised but disappointed. “This is the level that those who eat at the master’s table would go to subjugate their own people. This
Minister was once a labour leader. The question to be asked at this time is who does he represent. It is more damning to note this statement is coming from the mouth of a Minister of Labour,” Witter said.
Friday February 15, 2013
Bel Air heist…
Cop remanded on bribery accusation Police Constable Odel Percival was yesterday remanded to jail after being accused of trying to pervert the course of justice. The 33year-old policeman along with a colleague, Prosecutor Lionel Harvey, was accused of attempting to bribe another police officer so that he would give conflicting evidence in the case of the July 2011 Bel Air Park multi-million dollar heist from the residence of businessman Malcolm Panday. When the rank faced Magistrate Judy Latchman at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, he was jointly charged that on July 5, 2011, he and Harvey willfully attempted to pervert the course of justice by offering Constable 19911 Kelvin Liverpool, a witness in
a criminal matter, the sum of $100,000 for him to provide contrary evidence in favour of Jermaine Mitchell who is charged with robbery under arms. The matter was originally called before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine- Beharry, who recused herself as Harvey was the prosecutor in her court. Magistrate Judy Latchman ordered that a summons be issued for Harvey since he was absent. The prosecutor informed that Harvey was not aware that he had to attend court. Attorney-at-law Basil Williams appeared for Percival. He asked for the rank to be sent on his own recognizance and despite Inspector Burgette Grant having no objection to bail,
Magistrate Latchman remanded the defendant. Basil said that Percival has been a policeman for 13 years with an unblemished record. Jermaine Mitchell of North East La Penitence is among several persons, including Mr. Panday’s mother-in-law, who were charged in connection with the armed robbery of $7.4M on July 12, 2011 Tactical Services Unit (TSU) rank Kelvin Liverpool was one of the officers who apprehended some of the persons on the day of the Panday robbery. He had given evidence of a high speed chase before apprehending the alleged bandits. The matter will be called again on March 13.
Elderly occupant may have caused blaze The fire in Alberttown on Wednesday night which gutted the home of four persons may have been started by one of its elderly occupants. This was according to fire investigators who explained that an investigation conducted yesterday suggested that the fire started in a wardrobe in the bottom flat of the home. This suggested that one of the elderly persons might’ve lit something to provide light for them to search through the wardrobe. While investigators know for sure that it was not a lamp,
the material that was lit is yet to be identified. The fire which started at around 20:00hrs in the bottom flat of the back building of Lot 78 First Street, Alberttown, Georgetown, has left four persons homeless. Those affected are 72-year-old Barbara Barker, her brother Eric Barker, 70, his wife, Jeanette , and their nephew Devon Young. According to information received just after the fire, Barbara Barker and her nephew, Devon Young, shared the upper flat of the now burnt out building while her brother and his wife
occupied the lower flat. A traumatised Jeanette Barker had told Kaieteur News that she was in her living room watching television when she saw smoke emerging from her front room. “I don’t know what happened… When I see the fire coming out of the room I go to take a bucket and try to out the fire but it was too much,” the pensioner had said. The woman claimed that she could not remember what happened after that. She was pulled from the burning building by a neighbour, Dillon Drakes.
Friday February 15, 2013
Friday February 15, 2013
TASK FORCE RECOMMENDS REVIEW OF ENTRY VISAS FOR VISITORS TO THE REGION BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Aviation Task Force, jointly chaired by the CTO Chairman, Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty of the US Virgin Islands and CTO past Chairman Ricky Skerritt, Minister of International Transport of St. Kitts and Nevis has recommended a review of visa regimes in member countries in order to improve the visitor experience. The task force, a highly focused committee established to facilitate air transportation into and throughout the Caribbean and to enhance airlift, is to recommend to its membership a system similar to the Europe’s Schengen visa programme where visitors who are cleared at the initial port of entry can continue travelling seamlessly throughout most of the European Union. A statement issued from Bridgetown, Barbados, said the decision came out of a recent meeting of the CTO Aviation Task Force held at
the Royal Antiguan Hotel in St John’s, Antigua to review issues affecting intra-regional travel and make recommendations for increasing consumer demand. The group agreed that full clearance at the first port of entry was necessary to ensure an improved cross regional experience by visitors. It was agreed that the subregional grouping, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, (OECS) should be used as a model for such a single visa regime. The OECS is in the process of establishing a single economic space and is expected to implement full clearance at the first point of entry into the sub-group. The CTO Aviation Task Force agreed that this best practice would be reviewed after its implementation for possible replication across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region and beyond. In addition to a single visa regime, the Task Force is recommending a standardized
Trinidad rattled by second earthquake within three day period PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - CMC – An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.1 rattled Trinidad during the early hours of yesterday, the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said. The quake, the second within a three-day period, occurred at 2.43 am (local time) and was located north of the Paria Peninsular.
The Seismic Unit said that it had a depth of four kilometres and was felt in the capital Port of Spain and surrounding areas. There were no reports of injuries or damages from the quake that was located 10.75°N and 61.47°W. Over the weekend, an earthquake with a magnitude was 4.9 rocked the oil rich twin island republic.
Fly Jamaica takes off Thursday morning Jamaica Observer Kingston, Jamaica — New local airline Fly Jamaica is scheduled have its inaugural flight this morning. The announcement, which comes after its first commercial flight was delayed nearly three weeks ago, was made on the airline’s Facebook page. The flight leave the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston at 6:15am and arrive at the John F Kennedy terminal in New
York, US at about 10:00am. Initially the airline’s first flight was for January 25 but was postponed because of “booking issues on its website”. “Technical problems threatened the scheduled launch of the site; the effect of which resulted in persons being unable to complete bookings”, the airline said last month. The airline employs 80 people and operates a single Boeing 757-200 aircraft.
entry and exit card– otherwise called immigration or ED card - across the Caribbean. This,would help reduce airlines’ costs and improve customer service at Caribbean airports. Again, the OECS, which is expected to introduce the use of one common ED card, will be used as a model. Other recommendations
include an analysis of the impact of taxes and fees on the cost of regional air travel and a more holistic approach towards air travel revenue; including a possible ticket tax rebate when a traveller starts and ends the journey in another destination of the same domestic space. The task force also identified an urgent need to
end secondary screening for intra-regional passengers who are in transit since the current practice diminishes the overall travellers’ experience. Also on the Aviation Task Force agenda were issues related to the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement, open skies, and other regulations and
restrictions facing airlines serving the Caribbean. The Antigua meeting was attended by senior representatives of air and seaport authorities, regional airlines, regulatory bodies, aviation consultants, policymakers and tourism professionals from CTO member countries and the international community.
Friday February 15, 2013
Venezuela devalues currency amid dollar shortage Jorge Giordani
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s currency devaluation took effect yesterday amid questions about how the government can get a grip on 22-percent inflation and satisfy growing demand for dollars to pay for imported goods. Some economists predict that the devaluation won’t solve problems such as a dearth of dollars for imports and shortages of some staple foods. The country’s fifth devaluation in a decade
established a new government-set rate of 6.30 bolivars to the dollar, replacing the previous rate of 4.30 bolivars. Venezuela also has a flourishing black market in which bolivars are being traded for more than three times the new official rate. Economist Jose Guerra said he still doubts that the Central Bank and government currency agency will be able to meet heavy demand for dollars, especially now that officials have
eliminated a state-run bond trading system that had provided dollars at a secondtier rate. Vice President Nicolas Maduro, who has taken on additional authority during the past two months while President Hugo Chavez has been away in Cuba for cancer treatment, has said the government has enough dollars from oil earnings to meet all the needs of the economy. But Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani has said that dollars will go toward “priority” goods, leading some economists to conclude that the government seems to be stiffening its currency exchange controls. Venezuela’s government has maintained strict currency controls since 2003. Under the controls, people and businesses must apply to a government currency agency to receive dollars at the government-set official rate to import goods, pay for travel or cover other obligations. Giordani said at a news conference Wednesday that
a new entity being created by the government, called the Superior Body for the Optimization of the Exchange System, will be in charge of overseeing the distribution of dollars for priority imports. The government typically has favored companies importing food, medicines and other basic goods. Government officials haven’t provided details about how they plan to meet the demands of importers and other businesses for dollars that used to be provided through the government-run bond market. Sporadic shortages of some basic foods such as sugar, flour, cornmeal and cooking oil have worsened during the past few months while the government has been making available fewer dollars at the fixed exchange rate. Amid heavy demand for foreign currency, economists estimate the black market has recently been satifying about 12 percent of the demand for dollars in the country. Many Venezuelans have turned to buying cars, appliances and other goods
to try to protect the value of their money as the country’s inflation has eroded the value of their savings. But Ronald Balza, an economics professor at Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, said he doesn’t expect much of an additional buying boom by consumers after the devaluation because the measure had been widely expected for months and many Venezuelans had already been buying large numbers of appliances and electronic items since late last year to try to convert their bolivars into goods that would hold their value. The devaluation should further drive up inflation, but the effect won’t be immediate because the government allowed for some previously approved dollar transactions to be completed at the previous rate for imports of food, construction supplies and other goods, Balza said in a telephone interview. Guerra, an economics professor at Central University of Venezuela, also predicted that the
devaluation is likely to push inflation to 25 percent this year, following 20 percent inflation during 2012. Industry Minister Ricardo Menendez, however, said the devaluation shouldn’t increase inflation. He said the government will step up inspections of businesses that receive dollars at the official rate to make sure they aren’t engaging in price speculation. The government has announced similar measures after previous devaluations and also maintains price controls on many foods and other items. Guerra and other analysts say the black market has increasingly become a headache for the government because that unofficial exchange rate has become an indicator of consumer prices for many goods. The devaluation is expected to help the government reduce its budget deficit. But Balza said the government’s still faces a “complicated situation” and that the devaluation isn’t sufficient to fully deal with its budget woes.
Friday February 15, 2013
Caribbean celebrates signs of tourism rebound SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The number of people traveling to the Caribbean is bouncing back to prerecession levels, with visitors from Canada and the U.S. giving a boost to a region struggling to recover from a global economic crisis, a top tourism official said yesterday. About 25 million tourists visited the Caribbean last year, a more than 5 percent increase from 2011. It’s a growth rate that outpaced the rest of the world, which saw arrivals increase by 4 percent, said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, chairwoman of the Barbadosbased Caribbean Tourism Organization. “All the signs suggest Caribbean tourism is
rallying,” said NicholsonDoty. “The region as a whole has regained ground lost in the heat of the global economic depression.” The Caribbean also saw its largest number of stayover visitors in five years, with the region’s overall hotel occupancy increasing by more than 7 percent and total room revenues up by nearly 9 percent. And tourists spent big while visiting the Caribbean last year, dropping more than $27 billion, a more than 3 percent increase from 2011. The numbers mark a return to pre-recession levels, Nicholson-Doty said. The U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands fared the best,
reporting a nearly 7 percent jump in tourists. From January to August last year alone, more than 1.1 million people visited Puerto Rico, mostly from the U.S. mainland. Recent visitors include James Trucksess, a 46-yearold extermination business owner from North Brunswick, New Jersey. He flew again to Puerto Rico this week to escape the crippling snowstorm that recently hit the northeast U.S. coast. “It’s nice, it’s warm and there’s a lot of history,” he said as he strolled near a historic fort with a cigar in one hand and a cup of coffee in another. “I come here pretty much for the history and the food as well.” Coming in second for
Parliament gives nod to restructured super-bond
Dean Barrow BELMOPAN, Belize CMC – Parliament has given the nod to the terms of a restructured one billion dollar (One Belize dollar = US$0.49 cents) super-bond even as opposition legislators complained of the “arrogant and reckless” position of the government and being kept in the dark over the new initiative. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who last December said that an agreement had been reached with the creditors, told Parliament the new maturity date for the super-bond is 2038, “nine years more than the current maturity under the superbond which expires in 2029”. He said that the new bonds have a maturity trajectory of 25 years and a second “key” feature is a 10 per cent principal haircut off the top. “So immediately, approximately BDZ$108 million is written off the current super-bond indebtedness,” he said, adding that the initial interest rate coupon is for five per cent lasting for four and a half year, stepping up then to 6.78 per cent for the remaining life
of the new bonds. “Therefore the new initial interest rate represents a 25 per cent reduction compared to the current 8.5 per cent. There is a grace period of six years before principal repayments commence, even though the bond holders in exchange for the substantial relief argued for earlier principal payments,” Barrow said. He told legislators that the government was able to “hold the line and 2019 continues to be the year when principal payments begin”. In December, bondholders had rejected an offer from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country on the restructuring of the superbond and said they were consulting with their lawyers on legal action. Belize, which said it could not afford to meet rising interest payments on the bond, shocked bondholders with an earlier suggestion that they take a haircut of up to 45 per cent. The government told Parliament on Tuesday that the restructured deal also includes the capitalization of the interest that had accrued from partial coupon payments in 2012. “This actually amounts to BDZ$76.4 million and had we not, as part of restructuring, been able to secure the capitalization of the interest…if we had not been able to secure the capitalization of this 76.7 million dollars in interest, we would have had to pay that sum in cash in September 2012 and of February 20th 2013,” Prime Minister Barrow said. The government said the
restructuring exercise was expected to cost about BDZ$16 million, but it will now pay only three million dollars to close the deal. “We will pay only US$1.5 million of the creditor committee expenses. Those expenses have been pegged by the credit committee as being in the range of eight million Belize dollars and the argument was that since we were the ones triggering the restructuring, we should pay all of the credit committee costs. “We refused to do that and we were able to in fact get the committee to accept US$1.5 million. The rest of the credit committee costs will have to be borne by the shareholders themselves’. But even as the government outlined the new terms, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca said that the administration could have secured a better deal had it taken the opposition into its confidence. He said the opposition was registering “our very strong objections to and disapproval of the manner in which the government and the Prime Minister in particular, has managed this entire debt restructuring exercise. “Their approach has been secretive, it has been arrogant, it has been reckless and it has been divisive. Absolutely no information has been shared at any point during this process with any member of the opposition,” he said, adding “in fact the Prime Minister publicly boasted that he would not be sharing any information with the opposition”.
visitor arrivals was the Dutch Caribbean, reporting a 5.6 percent increase from 2011 thanks to a surge in business from South America. The most popular islands were Curacao and Aruba, just north of Venezuela. The bulk of tourists visiting the Caribbean come from the U.S., a number that increased by more than 4 percent last year, on par with pre-recession levels five years ago. Canada also remained one of the Caribbean’s largest markets, with tourists from that country increasing by nearly 6 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, the number of visitors from the United Kingdom dropped by 10 percent to 1 million last year, with tourism officials blaming weak European economies and high airfares coupled with a controversial air passenger duty. Cruise ship tourism was flat across the Caribbean for the last three years. Some islands suffered more than others, with Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica and the British
Beverly Nicholson-Doty Virgin Islands seeing a double-digit percentage drop in cruise ship passenger arrivals last year. A slight increase is cruise ship tourism is expected next year after Disney Cruise Lines begins departing from the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, generating an estimated $5 million in revenue from the four departures scheduled in 2014. Those cruise ships will
stop for the first time at the eastern Caribbean island of Grenada, which saw a nearly 22 percent drop in cruise ship passengers in 2012. Caribbean governments are counting on cruise ship passengers like 40-year-old Jenna Balagus of Winnipeg, Canada, who arrived for the first time in Puerto Rico on Wednesday but hopes to return for an extended stay.
Friday February 15, 2013
Diplomat confirms Iran nuclear upgrade VIENNA (AP) — Adding weight to its announcement of a nuclear upgrade, Tehran has shown high-level U.N. officials high-tech equipment positioned at its main uranium enrichment site meant to vastly accelerate output of material that can be used for both reactor fuel and atomic arms, a senior diplomat said yesterday. The diplomat spoke to The Associated Press shortly after the officials returned from Tehran, acknowledging that their latest in a series of trips to the Iranian capital that began over a year ago again failed to reach a deal to restart an investigation into suspicions that Iran is pursuing nuclear arms. Herman Naeckerts, who headed the International Atomic Energy Agency team that visited Iran, said “remaining differences” scuttled attempts to finalize an agreement on how such an investigation should be conducted. He declined to say whether there was progress. The IAEA wants the probe to be open-ended, something strenuously
opposed by Tehran, which denies it wants nuclear weapons and says it is interested in the atom only as an energy source and for research. With expectations for success low even before the start of the latest negotiating attempt, interest focused on Iran’s move to install a new generation of centrifuges at Natanz, its main uranium enriching site southeast of Tehran. Iran announced the start of installations during the IAEA team’s one-day visit Wednesday at about the same time that the diplomat said the group was shown “a small number” of the machines at the site. The diplomat said those centrifuges were ready to be installed. The diplomat, who closely follows Iran’s nuclear program, demanded anonymity because his information was confidential. The new-generation centrifuges can enrich uranium four to five times faster than Iran’s present working model. Experts say Iran already has enough enriched uranium for several
weapons if it is further enriched. Any move to enrich faster will rile Israel, which sees Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat and has said it would use all means to stop it from reaching weapons capability. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that the world has until this summer — at the latest — to keep Iran from building a bomb. It also is likely to hurt chances of progress at talks in Kazakhstan later this month between Iran and six world powers seeking to blunt Iran’s enrichment program. Iran in turns wants an easing of sanctions imposed over its enrichment program before it is ready to reduce it. The failure of either side to make the initial move has led to a series of failed n e g o t i a t i o n s . Nonproliferation expert Mark Fitzpatrick said Iran’s centrifuge upgrade may be a further signal that it is determined not to blink first. “Installation of the more efficient centrifuges will probably contribute to Iran’s unwillingness to
Herman Nackaerts, center, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, arrives from Iran at Vienna’s Schwechat airport, Austria, yesterday. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak) compromise,” said Fitzpatrick, a former senior U.S. State Department official now with the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “It bolsters Iran’s belief that time is on its side and that the West will eventually have to give in to the pressure of Iran’s growing enrichment capacity. “It’s a kind of mirror image of the Western belief that Iran will eventually have to give
in to the pressure of sanctions, he said. “The race between centrifuges and sanctions continues apace.” In first announcing plans to update last month, Iran indicated that It could add more than 3,000 of the newgeneration centrifuges to the more than 10,000 older models it has at Natanz turning out low-enriched, fuel-grade uranium. About 700 of the old machines at
Fordo, another site, are churning out higher-enriched material that is still below — but just a technical step away — from weapons-grade uranium. Iran says it needs that higher-enriched level to fuel a research reactor. Olli Heinonen, the former IAEA deputy director general in charge of Iran, said that the pace of Iran’s installation of its older centrifuges “would (Continued from page 25)
Friday February 15, 2013
Euro zone economy falls deeper than expected into recession BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) - The euro zone slipped deeper than expected into recession in the last three months of 2012 after its largest economies, Germany and France, shrank at the end of a wretched year for the region. It marked the currency bloc’s first full year in which no quarter produced growth, extending back to 1995. For the year as a whole, gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.5 percent Economic output in the 17-country region fell by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, EU statistics office Eurostat said yesterday, following a 0.1 percent output drop in the third. The quarter-on-quarter drop was the steepest since the first quarter of 2009 and more severe than the average forecast of a 0.4 percent drop in a Reuters poll of 61 economists. Within the zone, only Estonia and Slovakia grew in the last quarter of the year, although there are no figures available yet for Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia. The big economies set the tone. Germany contracted by
0.6 percent on the quarter, official data showed, marking its worst performance since the global financial crisis was raging in 2009. France’s 0.3 percent fall was also slightly worse than expectations. Worryingly for Berlin, it was export performance - the motor of its economy - that did most of the damage, declining significantly more than imports, although economists expect it to bounce back quickly. The euro hit a session low against the dollar after the weaker than forecast German reading and dropped again after the release of full euro zone figures. Back revisions to the French figures showed its output fell by 0.1 percent in each of the first and second quarters of 2012, meaning the country has already experienced one bout of recession in the last twelve months. While the European Central Bank’s pledge to do whatever it takes to save the euro has taken the heat out of the bloc’s debt crisis, even its stronger members are gripped by an economic malaise that could push debtcutting drives off track.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that weak growth was putting his government’s deficit goal for 2013 out of reach. Resilient Germany is expected to rebound and the bloc as a whole is expected to have improved in the first quarter, as suggested by a pick-up of factory orders in December, but it is not yet clear if growth has returned. Nick Kounis, economist at ABN AMRO, said the decline of fears the euro could break apart and cheap credit had sown the seeds for the recovery. “However, ongoing severe budget cuts, rising unemployment, bank deleveraging all point to the recovery being excruciatingly slow,” he said, adding the strong euro was also a threat. The ECB has a wideranging projection for euro zone GDP growth in 2013 of between -0.9 and +0.3 percent. ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Tuesday he expected no major change to the forecasts in March. Dutch GDP dropped 0.2
Cameron right to gamble on EU referendum - John Major
John Major (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise of a vote on Britain’s EU membership is a gamble he must take to end the bitter arguments that have poisoned British politics for decades, a predecessor who was seriously undermined by those rows said yesterday. John Major, a Conservative prime minister whose seven years in office were dogged by party infighting over Europe, said the referendum could “heal old sores”. Cameron, who lags in the polls, delighted his ruling Conservative Party’s rebellious anti-EU wing last month when he said he would
campaign for the 2015 parliamentary election on a pledge to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership. He said an “in our out” referendum on the country’s membership of the bloc would then be held by the end of 2017 - provided he won a second term. However, the plans upset some EU countries which are fed up with what they see as London’s semi-detached stance. Even the United States, a close British ally, is opposed to a British withdrawal. British business leaders also said they were worried the uncertainty could weaken the economy. “It is a gamble for the country and for the Conservative Party,” Major said in a speech at the Chatham House thinktank. “The relationship with Europe has poisoned British politics for too long, distracted parliament from other issues and come close to destroying the Conservative Party. It is time to resolve the matter.” The issue of Europe brought down Major’s predecessor Margaret
Thatcher in 1990 and divided the Conservatives throughout Major’s time in office from 1990 to 1997, during which he faced repeated rebellions by eurosceptic party members. Then, as now, eurosceptics wanted the British leader to take a stand against what they saw as an undemocratic, costly and meddling European superstate eroding British sovereignty. Cameron will never sway those fervently opposed to Brussels, Major said, but he can persuade most voters that leaving the bloc would undermine trade and Britain’s global influence. The harder task will be to convince EU countries to hand back powers to London in areas like employment law, Major said. “It is difficult and ambitious, but I do think the prime minister has some significant negotiating cards to play and I think it is possible to negotiate some of those changes,” Major said. EU leaders do not want to lose one of the world’s biggest economies and an important link to the United States, he said.
percent over the quarter, keeping it in recession, and the Austrian economy shrank at the same rate. For the more embattled members of the currency bloc, matters are worse. The greatest reported decline was in bailed-out Portugal, down 1.8 percent. Italy suffered its sixth successive quarterly fall in GDP - this time by a sharp 0.9 percent - putting it into a longer slump than it suffered in 2008/2009. Its recession has been deepened by austerity measures that outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti introduced to stave off a debt crisis. With an election due on
February 24/25, all sides in a three-way race between Monti’s centrist bloc, Pier Luigi Bersani’s center-left coalition and Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right are pledging to cut taxes to try to kickstart economic growth. Spain, the euro zone’s fourth largest economy, released figures two weeks ago which showed it remained deep in recession after a 0.7 percent contraction in the fourth quarter. Madrid is also pressing on with austerity measures to cut its debt but may be given more time to meet its deficit targets by the European Commission if its economy worsens further. There are signs that
countries like Spain are starting to benefit from internal devaluations marked by wage falls and job losses aimed at making companies leaner and more productive. The ECB predicts the euro zone will pick up later in the year although its currency, if it keeps strengthening, could quickly snuff out any of those hardwon competitive advantages for its high debt members. More recent data for January have already suggested some upturn in the first months of 2013, in the bloc’s stronger members at least, and if improvement comes it is expected to be seen in Germany first.
Friday February 15, 2013
Benedict says to be “hidden from world” after papacy (Reuters) Pope Benedict will see out his life in prayer, “hidden from the world”, he said yesterday in his first personal comment on his plans since he stunned Roman Catholics by announcing his retirement. His remarks, in a voice that was hoarse at times, followed Monday’s resignation notice which spoke of “a life dedicated to prayer”; the Vatican has said the 85-year-old German will live within its walls. His seclusion may allay concern that the first living former pope in centuries might trouble Church unity. Speaking unscripted to thousands of priests from the diocese of Rome, in what turned out to be a farewell address in his capacity as bishop of the Italian capital, Benedict outlined a cloistered life ahead, once he steps down in two weeks time: “Even if I am withdrawing into prayer, I will always be close to all of you and I am sure that you will be close to me, even if I remain hidden to the world,” he said. After February 28, when
he becomes the first pontiff in hundreds of years to resign instead of ruling for life, Benedict will first go to the papal summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, and then move permanently into the four-storey Mater Ecclesiae convent, in the gardens behind St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican has already said that he will not influence the election of his successor, which will take place in a secret conclave to start between March 15 and 20 in the Sistine Chapel. But his unprepared comments to his priests at the emotional meeting in the Vatican’s modern audience hall was the first time the pope had spoken specifically in public about how he will spend his time after his resignation.The Vatican, which is navigating uncharted waters since his shock announcement, said experts have still not decided what his title will be or whether he will wear the white of a pope, the red of a cardinal or the black of an ordinary priest. “In my opinion, once he
resigns he should put aside the white cassock and put on the robes of a cardinal,” said Father Thomas Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and an author of books on the Vatican. “He should no longer be called pope, or Benedict, or your Holiness, but should be referred to as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,” Reese added. “After the new pope is elected, he should attend his installation along with the other retired cardinals and pledge his allegiance to the new pope.” Yesterday’s meeting with priests was the latest event in what has become a slowmotion, long goodbye to the man who has led the 1.2 billion-strong Roman Catholic Church for eight years. On Wednesday night, he presided at an Ash Wednesday Mass that was moved to the vast St Peter’s Basilica from its original venue in Rome. A capacity crowd gave him a thunderous standing
ovation at his last public Mass. In his homily he said the Church had been at times “defaced” by scandals, divisions and rivalries. “Thank you. Now, let’s return to prayer,” the pontiff said, bringing an end to several minutes of applause that clearly moved him. In an unusual gesture, bishops took off their mitres in a sign of respect. Some of them wept. One of the priests at the altar, which according to tradition rests above the tomb of St. Peter, took out a handkerchief to dry his tears. The Wednesday night homily appeared to be one of his last testaments to a Church has been shaken by scandals around the world and closer to home. Benedict’s papacy was rocked by crises over the sexual 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 with violence. Jews were upset over the rehabilitation of a Holocaust denier. During a scandal over the Church’s business dealings, his butler
was accused of leaking his private papers. The Vatican said 117 cardinals will be eligible to enter the March conclave to choose Benedict’s successor. Cardinals lose their right to elect a new pope if they turn 80 before the See of St. Peter becomes vacant, as it will on February 28. Benedict’s message to his flock since his announcement has been that the Church is bigger than any human being, including the pope, and will not be hurt by his resignation for health reasons. He said on Wednesday he was sustained by the “certainty that the Church belongs to Christ, who will never stop guiding it and caring for it” and suggested that the faithful should also feel comforted by this. Cardinals around the world have already begun informal consultations by phone and email to construct a profile of the man they think would be best suited to lead the Church in a period of continuing crisis. The conservative Benedict has appointed more than half of the cardinals who will elect his successor so it is unlikely the new man will
Pope Benedict tamper with any teachings such as the ban on artificial birth control or women priests. But many in the Church have been calling for the election of someone who they say will be a better listener to other opinions within the Church. The likelihood that the next pope would be a younger man and perhaps a nonItalian, was increasing, particularly because of the many mishaps caused by Benedict’s mostly Italian top aides.
Zimbabwe sets March 16 vote date HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s constitutional affairs minister says a referendum on a new constitution has been “tentatively” set for March 16 to be followed by fresh elections later in the year to end the nation’s shaky coalition government. State radio reported yesterday that Eric Matinenga, an aide of former opposition leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said President Robert Mugabe is expected to officially proclaim the date in a government notice today. Voting is scheduled for one day, a departure from the routine two days of polling, state radio said. Matinenga called for the suspension of sweeping security laws in the run-up to vote on the constitution. Under those laws, police clearance is required for political gatherings. Advocacy groups say such a hasty poll prevents
adequate voter education on the rewritten constitution. The draft constitution was completed on Feb. 6 after three years of disputes, bickering and delays. Democratic reforms to the constitution were a key demand of regional mediators after violent and disputed elections in 2008. Crisis in Zimbabwe, an alliance of rights and democracy activists, said yesterday the proposed date left far too little time to complete countrywide distribution of the draft and permit voters to become familiar with it, raising fears over the credibility of a rushed vote. All the country’s political leaders have called for a ‘Yes’ vote to allow the constitution to be accepted and signed into law by Mugabe without any further changes. An estimated $200 million has still to be found to pay for the constitutional referendum and the
parliamentary and presidential elections, possibly three months later. Finance Minister Tendai Biti told lawmakers Wednesday what he called “a massive fund-raising exercise” is under way and the United Nations asked for a breakdown of election expenses so it could contribute. The United States, Britain, the former colonial power, the European Union and other Western donors are not expected to weigh in without being allowed to send in their own election monitors. Mugabe expelled European Union monitors in 2002 and since then the government has restrict those permitted to be official observers in two national elections, both of which were marred by violence and alleged vote rigging. In 2008, Zimbabwe invited China, Russia and Iran to observe the polls. The all-party parliamentary panel in charge of the constitutional changes said in a statement Wednesday it is printing 90,000 copies of the draft, some in an abridged version, and 500 copies in braille, for distribution starting Monday. Zimbabwe has nearly 6 million registered voters.
Friday February 15, 2013
Politicians talk peace as Pakistan Taliban kill 18 PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Politicians called for peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban yesterday, as the group killed 18 people in a pair of bombings in the country’s northwest on a police post and a vehicle carrying antiTaliban militiamen. The call for peace negotiations followed a meeting by many of the country’s main political parties in the capital, Islamabad, to discuss the issue. Momentum for peace talks has grown in recent weeks as both the Taliban and the government have said they are interested. “We agreed that bringing peace through talks should be the first priority,”
Asfandyar Wali Khan, head of the Awami National Party, said at a press conference after the meeting. The ANP, which is the strongest party in the northwest and has been repeatedly attacked by the Taliban, has taken the lead in calling for talks with the group. The party convened yesterday’s meeting, which was also attended by the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-N. There are many skeptics who doubt the militants truly want peace and point to past agreements with the Taliban that fell apart. Those deals have been criticized for allowing the militants to regroup and rebuild their
strength to resume fighting the government and foreign troops in neighboring Afghanistan. Others say there is no alternative to negotiations since numerous military operations targeting the Taliban’s sanctuaries in the northwest have failed to break the group’s back. But it is uncertain how much common ground the two sides would find if they met face-to-face. The Taliban have demanded that Pakistan sever ties with the United States and impose Islamic law in the country. Neither the country’s elected leaders nor the military have shown any inclination to agree to those demands.
Egypt’s ruling party aims for outright majority in new parliament CAIRO (Reuters) - The Muslim Brotherhood’s political party aims to win an outright majority in Egypt’s forthcoming parliamentary elections without making alliances with other more hardline Islamist groups, its leader said yesterday. Saad el-Katatni, 61, became the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) leader in October, replacing Mohamed Mursi who had become the first elected president of Egypt since the overthrow of veteran authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. “The Freedom and Justice Party will aim to get a majority (in parliament). We expect more popular support and an increase in our number of seats beyond what we held in the previous parliament,” Katatni told a news conference. The FJP won about 40 percent of the vote in a parliamentary election last year, short of an absolute majority, although Islamist groups won a total of about 70 percent of the seats. The assembly was dissolved by a court order months later because the electoral rules were deemed unconstitutional. Katatni was the speaker of that short-lived parliament. Since the fall of Mubarak, Islamists have moved to the forefront of politics with organisational skills and finances unmatched by liberal and leftist rivals. But the Brotherhood-led government has faced growing hostility from opponents who accuse it of striving to monopolize power rather than seek consensus
Saad el-Katatni on political rights and economic reform, sparking protests that have turned violent. Although he earlier pledged to forge a broader political front before the parliamentary vote, Katatni said the FJP would not make deals with other Islamist groups such as the Salafist alNour party, its biggest
religious rival. “The FJP will coordinate to find alliances with other political forces but until now we have not decided yet who we will seek to form an alliance with,” he said. “The Salafi parties and in particular Al-Nour have announced they do not wish to ally with the FJP,” Katatni said, signaling fierce competition among Islamists in the next election. An official at the presidency told Reuters the vote was slated for the end of April or early May and would likely involve three rounds of voting, guarded by the armed forces. Next week, the constitutional court will submit its review of a parliamentary election law to the Shura council, the sole legislative body during the transition, which will adopt the law by the following week, judicial sources said.
Diplomat confirms... From page 22 mean that all 3,000 plus (new) centrifuges could be installed in six to nine months’ time,” if the assumption was right that Tehran had the material to make the machines. When Iran announced its intentions last month, Western diplomats downplayed the proclamation’s significance, noting Tehran did not say when it would start populating Natanz with the new machines. But signs of an upgrade that has started or is about to are sure to increase international concerns, particularly if the IAEA verifies as expected in a report later this month that officials saw the equipment ready for installation. In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iran to show flexibility when negotiators meet in Kazakhstan. “These talks can only make progress if the Iranians come to the table determined to make and discuss real offers and engage in a real dialogue,” Kerry told reporters, speaking alongside U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Before his meeting with Kerry, Ban expressed hope the Feb. 26 talks with Iran would bring “fruit for progress.”
Pakistan army soldiers stand inside the police station attacked by militants in Bannu, Pakistan yesterday. (AP Photo/Jibran Yousufzai) The police post targeted was located in Hangu district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A suicide car bomber detonated his explosives next to the post, killing 11 policemen and wounding 23 others, said police spokesman Fazal Naeem. The post was manned by both normal and paramilitary police, he added. Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb hit a vehicle carrying members of an anti-
Taliban militia in Stanzai village in the Orakzai tribal region, killing seven militiamen, said Naeem. Nine members of the militia were wounded. The militiamen were on their way to a meeting to discuss strategy against the Pakistani Taliban at the time of the attack, said Naeem. Also Thursday, five suicide bombers attacked a police station in the city of Bannu, wounding one police officer, said the city’s police
chief, Nisar Tanoli. Three of the bombers detonated their explosives vests, while the police shot dead the other two, he said. Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the three attacks. He said the one in Bannu was carried out in retaliation for the killings of eight militants whose bullet-riddled bodies were found abandoned in the neighboring North Waziristan tribal area.
Friday February 15, 2013
Friday February 15, 2013
Change of location…
GGMC views Ministry’s action as “bullyism” By Zena Henry Mixed feelings are brewing as the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is forced to abandon a newly constructed building at its Brickdam location. The organization has cited the move by the Natural Resources Ministry to take over the agency-owned edifice as “blatant bullyism,” and staffers may be leaning towards strike action. The workers of the mining agency told Kaieteur News that it is an unfair and an arbitrary imposition by the Ministry to occupy the building which was “being built with GGMC money”. They said that the Agency had constructed the additional building to assist with overcrowding. “When the building had reached a stage where the only thing left was the installation of utilities, the Natural Resource Ministry took over, taking it up upon themselves to complete the installations,” one staffer pointed out. Staffers of the Natural Resources Ministry are expected to occupy the two upper floors of the new building and will be moving in as soon as works are completed. The GGMC is however saying that the Ministry has no right to station itself at the Brickdam location since the GGMC is a body that governs itself and needs no overseers. Apart from that, the Agency is furious that it may be left with the utilities bill for the new building. They are already peeved that cabinet had forced the Agency to purchase the abandoned building at High Street which was first designated for the Ministry of Human Services.
The GGMC’s new building nears completion
The building was reportedly purchased for more than $100M, but even heftier, is the $600M tab to repair the unfinished structure, this is after the GGMC would have already spent another $100M at the Brickdam location. Kaieteur News was told that for some time, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has been pushing itself into the affairs of the mining Agency and making demands of the organization. “This shouldn’t be,” the workers argued. “The GGMC is an Agency on its own, while the Ministry is only a policy maker. The GGMC Act constituted on May 30, 1979, says that the Agency, “Is hereby established a body corporate to be known as the GGMC and the provisions of the first schedule shall have effect as the constitution and proceedings of, and other
wise in relation to the Commission.” This means that the execution of GGMC’s business is protected by the Constitution and the law protects the Agency in its right to govern itself in whichever way it sees fit. The Act also stated that the Chairman would overlook the business of the Commission which would involve policy-making. But where the Chairman is not available, the Minister shall take its place. The system should see policy makers determining the way forward for the Commission, and the chairman communicating the orders to the Commissioner who would then mobilize the staff on the execution of their duties. This publication was however told that the GGMC chairman is being bypassed and the Ministry is going straight to the employees, completely ignoring the chain
of command. In totality, the Agency is convinced that the Natural Resource Ministry is seeking to have an iron fist in the functioning of the GGMC. The Ministry moving into the Agency’s compound has been seen as a means of getting deeper into GGMC’s
affairs with an aim of having greater input in their business. When Kaieteur News visited GGMC yesterday, there was much talk about strike action. The workers were peeved that when it finally seemed that the congestion problem was
about to ease, “Here comes the Ministry wanting to move in and putting us out.” “Like every other thing, they want to take over GGMC,” one staffer opined. The staffers charged that they are not affiliated with the Natural Resource Ministry, nor are they an Agency of the Ministry as was stated in a Thursday press release from the Natural Resource Ministry. They said that they are an independent body that needs no “babysitter”. Cabinet Secretary Roger Luncheon told media operatives yesterday that the move by the Ministry over to the GGMC Compound was a policy decision decided upon some time ago. He said that the whole issue was the GGMC and Ministry working together, especially on the ground, to deal with mining issues. The relocation of the Agency onto High Street, Luncheon said, was also something being looked at some time ago to address the overcrowding issue. GGMC currently has 300plus workers and is seeking to increase staff capacity with the addition of field staff.
Friday February 15, 2013
Friday February 15, 2013
Friday February 15, 2013
Friday February 15, 2013
DTV CHANNEL 8 08:55 hrs. Sign On 09:00 hrs. GMA 10:00 hrs. Live! With Kelly and Michael 11:00 hrs. The Ricki Lake Show 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. DTV’s Festival of Biblical Movies for the Lenten Season: “Genesis” 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. The Vampire Diaries (New Episode) 21:42 hrs. Beauty and the
Beast (New Episode) 22:22 hrs. Supernatural (New Episode) 23:00 hrs. Sign Off NCN CHANNEL 11 03:00 hrs – Movie 05:00 hrs – Inspiration 06:00 hrs – NCN Late Edition News (R/B) 06:30 hrs –BBC 07:00 hrs – Guyana Today 08:00 hrs – Bollywood Hits (R/B) 09:00 hrs – Stop the Suffering 10:00 hrs – Documentary 11:00 hrs – History 12:00 hrs – CNN 12:30 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 12:35 hrs – Oral Tradition (R/B) 13:05 hrs – A Bite of China – The Gift from Nature
15:30 hrs – Children’s Mash 16:00 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 16:05 hrs – Children’s Mashramani Competition 17:00 hrs – Anderson 18:00 hrs – NCN News Magazine – Live 18:30 hrs – Pulse Beat 19:00 hrs – Al Jazeera 19:30 hrs – Miner’s World 20:00 hrs – 3d/daily millions/ play de dream/lotto draw 20:05 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 20:10 hrs – Grow with IPED 20:40 hrs – Distance Education 21:10 hrs – Between the Sticks with the GCA 22:05 hrs – NCN News Late Edition 22:35 hrs – Caribbean Newsline 23:00 hrs – Movie
Guides are subjected to change without notice
Friday February 15, 2013 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19) You might be overdue for some peace and quiet — and you could get just what you want today. You feel a need to settle down with the Moon in easygoing Taurus, and now you seek ways to harness the exciting energy of the past few days. TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20) You are quite comfortable if your forward movement is slow today — as long as you’re still making progress. Happily, you don’t feel as hurried or harried as you did recently. GEMINI (May 21–June 20) You may grow so accustomed to always being in motion that it becomes confusing when things start to settle down. Your world is quieter now, but your mind hasn’t mellowed to match the circumstances. In fact, you could pull a few ideas out of your hat today and amaze everyone.
LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) You could learn a valuable lesson by looking back in your life at past events as you try to untangle a present dilemma at work. Luckily, you can use your contemplative mood to your advantage. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) Differences don’t have to turn into major dramas — although they may be more problematic than not today. You might find yourself at odds with the needs of those around you now, but it really isn’t as bad as it seems at first. SAGIT (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Even if your head is up in the clouds, a shift in attitude can bring you safely and gently back to earth today. It’s time to take care of unfinished business with the sensible Taurus Moon in your 6th House of Work.
CANCER (June 21–July 22) A dream may be a wish your heart makes, especially when the reflective Moon is traveling through your 11th House of Long-Term Goals.
CAPRI (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) You can feel the positive influence of the steadfast Taurus Moon in your 5th House of Self-Expression because she gives you the assurance you need. You’re able to rely on getting the expected responses to your actions today.
LEO (July 23–Aug. 22) You’re ready to fly away as a yearning for an exotic adventure beckons you to go somewhere special. Unfortunately, it may not be that simple, unless you can make it a lunchtime getaway.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) There may be an interesting paradox for you to solve today because the back-to-basics Taurus Moon requires you to simplify your life as much as possible.
VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) You’re operating within your intellectual comfort zone today and you are confident because you know how to apply your expertise.
PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20) Although you usually enjoy swimming in the seas of your own imagination, this is a great day for you Fish to find your way back to dry land.
Friday February 15, 2013
Blade Runner Pistorius charged with murder - girlfriend is found shot dead at his home in South Africa South African Paralympic and Olympic star Oscar Pistorius has been arrested and charged with murder after allegedly shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria. Pistorius is understood to have shot her in the head, chest and arm, although the circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear.
Initial reports coming from South Africa suggested he may have mistaken her for a burglar, though the police later denied this. The Paralympic gold medallist was questioned at Silverwoods Country Estate in connection with the shooting at his home in a gated community in the Silver Lakes area of Pretoria. He was
later pictured leaving Boschkop police station wearing a grey hooded top. It was initially reported that his girlfriend, former FHM model Miss Steenkamp, 30, was trying to surprise him for Valentine’s Day and that he had mistakenly thought she was an intruder. Pistorius, 26, was set to appear at Pretoria State Court
at 2pm local time (noon GMT) on Thursday afternoon, but the hearing has now been put back to 9am on Friday (7am GMT). Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Pistorius’ father Henke said his son was ‘a bit emotional, but he is fine’. Henke Pistorius also told The Associated Press: ‘We all pray for guidance and strength for
Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria
Oscar and the lady’s parents.’ Police spokeswoman Brigadier Denise Beukes revealed there have been ‘previous incidents of a domestic nature’ reported at Pistorius’ home. A spokesperson for Pistorius said that he is ‘assisting police with their investigation into the death of a 30-yearold woman at his home this (Thursday) morning’. Police confirmed they will oppose bail and also revealed they have interviewed neighbours who ‘heard things that happened earlier in the evening and when the shooting took place’. Brigadier Beukes confirmed that ‘a 26-year-old man has been arrested and has been charged with murder,’ and said police were aware of media reports the death may have been an accident, caused by
suspicions of a break-in, but said that those reports did not come from information provided by police. Pistorius is a national hero in South Africa and the world’s biggest star in Paralympic sport. The sprinter won two gold medals and a silver at the London 2012 Paralympics. Police revealed that a 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene. The woman was apparently shot four times. Paramedics were called to the house after the shooting and attempted to resuscitate the woman before declaring her dead at the scene. Sarit Tomlinson, Steenkamp’s publicist, told Sky News: ‘She was the sweetest human being and an absolute angel on earth. She was the kindest, most unbelievable girl. (Mail Online)
Cavaliers Sports and Tour Club coordinator, Olga Harry, passes on Members of the Cavaliers Sports and Tour Club (CSTC), noted for the promotion of Racewalk activities, are mourning the death of its founder member and coordinator, Ms. Olga Harry, who passed away on Monday, February 11 last at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation after sustaining a heart attack and stroke. She was 75 years old. Ms. Harry was the backbone of the CSTC, the organization that promoted Racewalking locally, and was dedicated to the development and expansion of the sport. She had a passion for the sport and had worked feverishly to ensure that it developed into a major discipline on the local calendar as well as the Caribbean and further afield. She was also the founder and coordinator of the CSTC. National Racewalk
champion, Rudolph Mitchell, was aggrieved by the turn of events and labeled Ms. Harry a worthy and remarkable servant of the sport. It was because of her shrewd management and organizational skill that Mitchell became a prominent athlete and was able to excel, notching up more than 100 consecutive victories while competing all over Guyana. In commemoration of her work, the Executives of the CSTC will be hosting a Night of Reflection and Remembrance on Thursday February 21 next at her son’s residence Public Road Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara starting at 19:30hrs. Competitors, friends and associates are asked to take note. Kaieteur Sport wishes to extend sincere condolences to the family, friends and associates of the deceased. May her soul rest in peace!
Friday February 15, 2013
Friday February 15, 2013
Gizmos & Gadgets renews RHTY&SC 1st Div. sponsorship The City based flagship store Gizmos & Gadgets of Wellington Street recently renewed sponsorship of Berbice cricket powerhouse Rose Hall Town Gizmos & Gadgets First Division and Under-23 Teams. The company since 2009 has been sponsoring the Teams and this year has
committed to providing $275,000 along with twentyfour sets of uniforms. Secretary/CEO of the Club Hilbert Foster expressed gratitude to Managing Director of the Company, Mr. Ravi Mangar for his sponsorship of the teams. Since the partnership with Gizmos & Gadgets, the teams
GFF/GFRC/Nat. Referees Committee to host Beginners Course The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) in association with the Guyana Football Referees Council (GFRC) and the National Referees Committee (NRC) will be hosting a Beginners Referees Course that will be run over three days, commencing today. The opening day’s programme will be conducted at the GFF’s Headquarters, 17 Dadanawa Street, Section ‘K’ Campbellville while the second and final day will be held at Olympic House, High Street. Registration commences at 17:00hrs and all interested persons are invited to attend. Today’s first day will see the facilitators dealing with the first four Laws of the Game, The Field of Play, the Ball, The Numbers of Players and Players Equipment.
have won the Ramcharitar Construction Services 50over, Universal DVD T20, Busta Champion of Champions and the Peter Lewis Under-23 tournaments, among others. The teams also won the Guyana Team of the Year once and the Berbice Team of the Year on three occasions while it also provided several junior and senior national players including Delbert Hicks, Rajiv Ivan, Dominique Rikhi, Clinton Pestano, Loyydel Lewis, Shawn Pereira, Shailendra Shameer, Arif Chan, Assad Fudadin, Esuan Crandon, Royston Crandon and Shemaine Campbelle. Royston Crandon also represented the West Indies at the ODI level, Shemaine Campbelle at the female level and Assad Fudadin at the Test level. The Rose Hall Town Gizmos & Gadgets First Division and Under-23 teams since 2009 have completed a total of 212 self development programmes under the sub
headings of charity, community development, pro-education and anti-drugs, social, cricket development, religious and youth development. Foster stated that apart from sponsoring the two teams, Gizmos & Gadgets also assists the Club with its Annual Awards Ceremony, Annual Review Magazine, Annual Tribute to Teachers and Christmas Charity Programmes. Marketing Manager of Gizmos & Gadgets Ewart Sampson in handing over the cheque stated that his company was pleased to be associated with Guyana’s leading youth and sports organization which he stated has represented the Gizmos & Gadgets brand with distinction and commitment. He wished the players of both teams a successful season and urged them to be disciplined at all times. The Rose Hall Town Gizmos & Gadgets First Division side would be led by
Gizmos & Gadgets Marketing Manager Mr. Ewart Sampson (left) presents the cheque to RHTY&SC CEO Hilbert Foster. national player Delbert Hicks with Shawn Pereira as his deputy. Veteran Michael Hyles-Franco is the Coach while Patrick Lewis is Manager. Among the players that would represent the team are Assad Fudadin, Royston and Esuan Crandon, Rajiv Ivan,
Delbert Hicks, Renwick Batson, Dominique Rikhi, Clinton Pestano, Shawn Pereira, Shemaine Campbelle, Eon Hooper, Loyydel Lewis, Arif Chan, Khemraj Mahadeo, Shailendra Shameer, Askay Homraj, Devin Baldeo, Troy Mathieson and Brandon Prashad.
Friday February 15, 2013
WICB President salutes Windies Women’s historic achievement - says success is part of Strategic Plan to support and grow women’s cricket St John’s, Antigua – Dr. Julian Hunte, President of the West Indies Cricket Board has congratulated the West Indies Women’s Team for reaching their first ever final Women’s World Cup final. “Through this historic achievement, once again the West Indies Women’s team has brought honour, glory and pride to our cricketloving region. Captain Merissa Aguilleira, Coach Sherwin Campbell and the entire squad have demonstrated that they will not relent on their march upward in world cricket,” Dr Hunte remarked. “The players have played with unwavering passion and drive and they have achieved like no other West Indies Women’s Team has achieved in the past. But this team stands on the shoulders of the
achievements and the work done by previous teams and players and they have taken it to the next level,” Dr. Hunte observed. “The Board and the entire West Indies cricketing family salute them and wish them the very best for the final on Sunday to which we will all be glued through television,” Dr Hunte said. “Following on from the men’s team winning the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last year the Women have now entered into the final and it is another indicator of the progressive path upon which West Indies Cricket has been placed,” the WICB boss added. “I know I have mentioned it countless times before but we need to keep reiterating that these performances are not by chance but part of a determined plan which has been instituted years in
GCB mourns the passing of Aubrey Bishop The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) is mourning the passing of a true and dedicated friend of Guyana’s cricket, Professor Aubrey Fitz Ronald Bishop. Bishop gave long and distinguished support to the game and first represented British Guiana in 1952 as an opening batsman and left-arm spinner in a team which included his friend and schoolmate, Arnold Gibson as the wicketkeeper along with stalwarts Berkley Gaskin and Robert Christiani. His promising career was interrupted when he left for England to pursue legal studies. On his return to the country, he didn’t take to the field again but his interest in the game continued as a respectful administrator. Bishop was the President of the British Guiana Cricket Club (BGCC), one of the major clubs in the local first division competition. Also, he was elected to the Executive body of GCC; the body included players the likes of Clyde Walcott, Basil Butcher, Brian Stayers and Reds Murray.
This noble man was Chairman of the GCB’s Competition Committee and did an excellent job in facilitating the preparation of all clubs and players. His distinguished legal background made him a solid choice for the Board’s Disciplinary Committee. He was also a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the West Indies Cricket Board and would have been the adjudicator with the minority submission in the case against Marlon Samuels. Aubrey Bishop would be remembered for the style with which he played the game and for the dedication and integrity he brought to the administration. The GCB expresses its deepest condolences to Bishop’ wife and family in this their moment of grief; he will be laid to rest tomorrow following a funeral service at the St. George’s Cathedral, Company Path, Georgetown. Tributes will commence at 09:30hrs with the funeral programme beginning at 11:00hrs.
advance. We took a conscious and deliberate decision, as part of our Strategic Plan to ensure that Women’s cricket was grown and supported in a programmed manner. From increased tours to more preparatory camps to retainer contracts to a defined selection policy, the WICB has been focused on ensuring that Women’s cricket receive the support it needs to achieve success which we are now seeing,” Dr. Hunte said. “Finally while the team has already achieved the target (finishing in the top
Dr. Julian Hunte
four) for this tournament, we are confident that they have all the tools, skills, support,
experience and expertise to bring the World Cup trophy back to the Caribbean and we
remain resolutely with them every step of the way,” Dr Hunte concluded.
Mika Hakkinen rejects Lewis Hamilton’s 2013 F1 title hopes Mika Hakkinen
Two-time F1 champion Mika Hakkinen does not expect Lewis Hamilton to challenge for the drivers’ title in 2013. Hamilton, 28, left McLaren to join Mercedes in October but crashed on his first day of testing in Jerez this month after brake failure. “I have a strong feeling McLaren are on top form this year,” Hakkinen, champion in 1998 and ’99, told BBC radio 5 live. “Mercedes were not exactly up to the speed I expected them to be, so I
don’t see them competing too much this year.” The Mercedes drivers managed only 29 laps between them on the first two days of testing in Jerez, with Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg’s car succumbing to an electrical fault. However, on the third and fourth day, the Mercedes duo then completed almost 300 trouble-free combined laps to dispel concerns about the new W04’s reliability. Hamilton, who was runner-up in 2007 and won the world title the following
year, finished fourth in his final season with McLaren. He was a distant 91 points behind champion Sebastian Vettel, who won his third successive drivers’ title, with the German’s Red Bull team claiming their third
consecutive constructors’ championship. Another former world champion, Niki Lauda, feels Mercedes can become a topthree team after witnessing Rosberg and Hamilton record more significant mileage.
Friday February 15, 2013
Delta Force are Robert Williams Memorial Domino champs Delta Force chalked 80 games to win the Robert Williams Memorial Dominoes competition when the final was contested on Wednesday evening at the Transport Sports Club, Thomas Lands. C 7 placed second with 77 games ahead of Providence who made 72 games. Earl Mars was Delta Force’ leading marker with 17 games while Denise Cumberbatch supported with 15 and Andrew Rodney 14. Brain Edward marked 17 and Linda Bowman 16 for the runner-up team, while Junior Smith who took the Most Valuable Player prize scored a maximum of 18 games for Providence. Transport which finished fourth along with Providence and C 7 received trophies and monetary incentives for their efforts while Delta Force took the first place prize. Plaques were presented to Gwendoline Williams, the wife of the late Robert Williams from members of the Blue Bird
Dominoes club, and members of the Organising Committee Cedric Fortune and Mark Wiltshire. At the presentation ceremony Ms. Williams thanked the Blue Bird Club for organising the competition. President of the Georgetown Dominoes Association (GDA), Orin Joseph thanked the sponsors and congratulated the winners. He said he was impressed with the level of discipline shown by the players and is looking forward to the next competition which will be sponsored by El Dorado. He stated that one of the mandates of the current GDA is to move the sport to the next level. “Traditionally, huge sponsorship came from companies such as Banks DIH, Digicel, DDL, Ansa McAl, GT&T, the Guyana Lotto Company and Beepats to name a few, we are hoping that this competition will encourage these entities to continue supporting the sport,” he added.
Members of the victorious Delta Force team display their prizes. Gwendoline Williams is standing at extreme right while sister of the late Robert Williams, Yvonne Williams is third from right. GDA President Orin Joseph is left (stooping) alongside one of the organisers Orin Boston.
Joseph also said that the GDA is aware that in the past some issues may have led to the limiting of large sponsorship but the current executive is firmly committed to removing these hurdles
and work towards the development of the sport. He indicated that they intend to initiate talks with major donors and build a trustful relationship which will lead to more competitions of this nature.
The tournament was sponsored by Orin and Faye Joseph, Guyana Elections Commission, Star Party Rentals, Good Wood Racing Service, National Sports Commission, Nigel’s Supermarket and Goldyn and
Sons Stabroek Market. It was played in memory of the late Robert Williams who was a former member of the Blue Birds’ team and President of the GDA; he was also a former Deputy Mayor of Georgetown.
LABA names squads for March 2 showdown against Georgetown
The Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) has called up some 21 prospective Under-19 players ahead of their clash against Georgetown on March 2 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. The Under-19 clash will be the first of a double-header featuring Linden against Georgetown. A senior clash will follow the Under-19 game. The players from which a final LABA representative twelve will be chosen are Joel Webster, Emmanuel Archibald, Travin Dryden, Keifer Tappin, Taqhille Johnson, Matthew Daniels, Desmond Peters, Akeel Primo, Marlon Alexander, Raydon Wilson, Selwyn Noble, Al Edwards, Terron Welch, Dennis Niles, Paul Kellman Gavin Gasper, Kyle Stewart, Dennis
Niles, Calvin McDonnel, Isaiah Alphonso and Jammal Bethune. These players are asked to contact the LABA Organising Secretary, Ashton Angel Jr. on either 444 2712 or 644 8018 for further information on the technical staff that will be assigned to the team for the showdown against Georgetown. The LABA earlier this week announced a 15 member senior squad, which will also be reduced to a final twelve players. Those players include Steve Neils Jr., Shane Webster, Neil Marks, Marvin Hartman, Orin Rose, Chris Williams, Marlon Pollydore, Allister Webster, Quincy Jones, Marl Louis, Harold Adams, Keon Cameron and Orlando Glasgow.
Friday February 15, 2013
Teams identified for Mackeson Super16 ‘Street Football’ Contest - Preparations for opening night in Amelia’s Ward underway The 16 teams that will compete in the Amelia’s Ward FC Mackeson Super16 ‘Street Football’ tournament have been indentified and were yesterday released ahead of the three-night contest which starts on February 24 on the h a r d - c o u r t i n A m e l i a ’s Ward. Amid the release of the teams, Amelia’s Ward FC, which placed second in the last Kashif and Shanghai tournament will coordinate the competition. Its VicePresident, Patrick Dey said yesterday that plans are afoot to have an impressive opening. “I inspected the venue for the opening only yesterday (Wednesday) and all that I recognised we need for the opening, I have jotted down and will have in place by then. We will add some lights and so on so that everyone can be comfortable,” Dey said. In addition, he believes
Patrick Dey that because it’s the only night the tournament will be played in Amelia’s Ward, there is a need to have an impressive showing at the inaugural event. Eight of the 16 teams will advance to the quarterfinals in the knockout competition. The 16 teams are Hard Knocks, Hot Skull, Bosai, Retrieve Unknown, Top
Class, Silver Bullets, 100 Dollar Cars, Hard Knocks II, Young Sports, Phoenix, Team 25, We is de Boss, Eldorado, Retrieve Well Knowns, Young Ballers and New Era Russians. The quarterfinals will be played on February 27 and the semi-final and final on March 2, both at the Mackenzie Sports Club hardcourt. The top team will walk away with $250,000 and trophy; second place will pocket $150,000 and trophy; third place $100,000 and trophy and fourth place $40,000 and trophy. In addition, there will be lots of interactive promotions to get the fans involved where there will be giveaways on game nights. The Most Valuable Player will also receive prizes as communities were urged to support their respective teams in the competition.
NLSC 5th Inter Corporation Dominoes - action starts today at Thirst Park
Lyall Gittens of Next Level Sports Club with the trophies and hampers up for grabs at the Inter Corporation Dominoes Tournament Dominoes lovers and players are eagerly awaiting the start of the 5th Next Level Sports Club (NLSC) Inter Corporation Dominoes competition and family fun day set for Banks
DIH Limited, Thirst Park, Georgetown today and tomorrow. The competition will be played using the two in / one out knock-out format and will be played under the rules of the Guyana Dominoes Association (GDA). The first prize is exclusively sponsored by beverage giants, Banks DIH Limited while the third prize is sponsored by GUIANA HOLDINGS INC. The previous Inter Corporation tournament which was held in June last year at the Banks DIH Sports Club was won by Banks DIH Cool Boyz while the previous championship was won by F&H Printing Establishment. Registration fee per team is $9,000 per team, $2,000 of that fee will go towards charity, and the organisers have identified three such charities that will benefit. Starting time today is 19:00hrs while tomorrow the action will get going at 13:30hrs. The First place prize is $250,000, trophy and 9 medals; Second will attract $150,000, trophy and 9 Medals. Third $75,000, trophy and 9 Medals. Fourth $50,000 and Trophy; Fifth $25,000 and a Pack of Dominoes. The MVP will win One Gold Chain from Intikab Alli of Alexander Village. The player to administer the First Double Love will be rewarded with One Hamper compliments of Nigel’s Supermarket. First Love in Finals will attract $5,000. Registration can be done at Strikers Sports Club, 89 Meadow Brook Gardens or with Lyall Gittens on 697 2929. Only players from Corporations, Business entities and Ministries will be allowed to compete, there will be zero tolerance on guest players.
Friday February 15, 2013
YOUNIS, SHAFIQ SHOW SOME SPINE Centuries by Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq transformed Pakistan’s fortunes on the first day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands on Thursday. Pakistan were 253 for five at stumps, having been reeling at 33 for four after being sent in. Younis was caught behind off Vernon Philander 13 balls before the close for 111, while Shafiq was unbeaten, also on 111. The pair put on 219, a
record partnership for any wicket by Pakistan against South Africa. It was a remarkable turnaround after the South African fast bowlers scythed through their top order early in the day. Pakistan seemed in danger of another humiliation following their dismissal for a record low of 49 on the way to a 211-run defeat in the first Test in Johannesburg. Graeme Smith’s decision
to bowl was prompted by cloudy weather, which followed early morning rain. It seemed fully justified as Morne Morkel took two wickets and Philander and Dale Steyn claimed one each, with none of the batsmen looking comfortable. Younis, Pakistan’s most experienced batsman, had to survive some challenging deliveries from Steyn at the start of his innings, while Shafiq followed a fighting half-century in the second innings in Johannesburg with an innings which grew in quality the longer it progressed. It was slow going at times, with Younis and Shafiq adding only 14 runs in the first 13 overs after lunch. The 50 partnership was posted off 151 balls, but their second 50 was scored off 88 deliveries and the pair scored freely in the afternoon before the second new ball was due. Younis reached his 21st Test century — and his fourth against South Africa — after facing 192 balls and hitting six fours and three sixes, all of the sixes coming off left-arm
spinner Robin Peterson. The stocky Shafiq followed in the last over with the old ball, notching his third Test hundred off 201 balls with 13 fours and a six. Steyn appeared to have made a breakthrough with his third delivery with the new ball when Younis, on 105, was adjudged leg before wicket by umpire Steve Davis. But the batsman immediately called for a review which showed that the ball flicked the inside edge of his bat before crashing into his front pad. Younis then fell victim to a successful review by South Africa after being given not out by umpire Bruce Oxenford. Replays showed he had been caught behind off an inside edge and his thigh pad. The stand lasted for 439 balls and gave Pakistan heart after a poor start. Opening batsmen Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed started cautiously, scoring just ten runs before the left-handed Jamshed was caught behind off Philander for three. He had survived a chance
to Faf du Plessis at gully off the previous delivery. Hafeez edged Steyn to first slip after making 17 before the tall Morkel took two wickets in an over, having Azhar Ali caught
behind attempting an extravagant drive before Pakistan captain Misbah-ulHaq was caught at short leg off a sharply rising delivery. (Yahoo!Cricket)
Friday February 15, 2013
Guinness ‘Greatest of de Streets’ Futsal Competition...
Melanie ‘A’, BV ‘A’, Victoria Church Yard, Plaisance into semi-finals With vigorous defending the order of the night, it took goals from Jermaul George and Sherman Fraser to power Melanie ‘A’ to a hard fought 2-0 win over a dogged Victoria Eagles as quarter-final action in the East Coast segment of the Guinness ‘Greatest of de Streets Futsal Competition which ended on Wednesday evening, at the Haslington Market Tarmac. Played before a large and boisterous crowd that braved a sudden, but short torrential downpour the two teams thrilled the fans to a fine exhibition of Futsal, displaying some exquisite skills and crisp passing that typifided their offensive mindset. The first period commenced with both teams showing their attacking prowess as they battled for
the early ascendancy. Melanie ‘A’, however, seemed to be getting the enjoying the early exchanges and nearly broke the deadlock through a brilliant buildup, but was denied by the woodwork. Urged on by the partisan crowd, superb interchanges by the Melanie mid-field almost bore fruit as they once again came close to scoring. Victoria Eagles playing ‘catchup’ all the while could not match the pace and wizardry of their opponents and paid the ultimate price as George netted to give his team the upper hand. Undaunted by the early setback, Victoria Eagles attacked with fervor in search of the equaliser, but stout defending put paid to their intentions as the half came
with Melanie ‘A’ holding a slim 1-0 lead. The second half started in similar fashion to the first as both teams went on the offensive and each created chances to score, but inaccurate finishing erased their lofty ambitions. The rampage continued as the obstreperous throng constantly impelled their respective camps forward, giving proceedings a harmonious synchronism. Throwing bodies forward trying to find a way back into the game, chances became a rear commodity for Victoria boys who were reduced to taking potshots against the backdrop of dogged and physical defending from their determined adversaries. Throwing caution to the wind sensing their championship aspirations
Bartica Regatta 2K 13 to be launched on Tuesday at Pegasus The 2013 edition of the biggest water sport event in Guyana, ‘Bartica Easter Regatta’ is set for Tuesday next at the Le Meriden Pegasus Hotel, from 10:30hrs. According to a release from the Bartica Regatta Committee, Bartica Regatta 2013 promises to be one of the most memorable events of this year’s calendar. The Committee has sought the assistance of local Barticans and Bartica bred promoters D&C Promotions to ensure that the events go down without a hitch. The sheer magnitude of what the Bartica Regatta has become over the past few years is, today, an event to celebrate. Known as the Gateway to the Interior, the community sits on the fork of the mighty Essequibo and the calm Mazaruni rivers, subtly hinting its hidden treasures and diverse cultural mix of people and folk. The annual Easter Regatta signifies its celebratory spirit in the form of various events. Activities this year will include the traditional Football tournament, a Gospel Concert, an International Artistes Mega Concert and of course, the crown jewels, the Miss Bartica Regatta Pageant as well as the Power Boat Races and Swimming.
The Football competition kicks off on March 24 and concludes on March 28; where patrons will witness teams, drawn from a nationwide pool, compete for top honours. The Gospel Concert and International Artiste’s Mega Concert is set for the March 29 and 30, respectively and promises a variety of lyrical pleasures for its attendees. For the pageant, eight (8) stunning young beauties from all over across Guyana will take to the stage on the March 31 as they vie for the crown in the oldest pageant in Guyana’s history. The water sports, both swimming and speed boat racing, will begin on March 31, and continue to April 1st -
two days that will be filled with events that will be exciting and highly competitive. The activities will all boil down to the Beach Throttle Down Party which will again, will see multiple entertainment, capping a funfilled week. In collaboration with the D&C Promotions, the Bartica Regatta Committee has also teamed up with Fashion Queen Sonia Noel, a Bartican herself. Noel will be spearheading the Miss Regatta Pageant, as well as lending her expertise in the areas of Event Management and Planning. The committee will also be launching a Magazine as a hallmark to its ongoing success.
GFF Super League continues Sunday with three games Rivalry in the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Super League will continue on Sunday with three matches at two venues. In an all Linden affair at the Wisburg Secondary School Ground from 16:00hrs, Milerock will come up against Amelia’s Ward United. Up at the BV Ground on eth East Coast of Demerara, two matches will be contested. First up from 14:00hrs, Buxton United will square off with Uitvlugt Warriors while the feature game brings together the home team, BV Triumph United and BCC Rosignol United.
diminishing, Victoria hearts were broken as a brilliant solo run on the counterattack from Fraser in the twenty-fifth minute, effectively rendered the contest over, goading their huge fan base into irrepressible celebration. In the other scheduled matches, Plaisance were led to victory through a thunderous strike off the boots of Warren Gilkes (28th), who netted the lone goal in their encounter against BV ‘B’. Church Yard United of Victoria advanced after easing to a comfortable 2-0 win over Paradise with Horace Graham (11) and Rolex Gouveia (19), being the players on target. BV ‘A’ then squeezed past the lone surviving team from Buxton ‘A’ thanks to a solitary strike from Reon Hopkinson in the 11th minute. Meanwhile, the semifinals will be played tomorrow at the Haslington Market
The goal scorers for Melanie Sherman Fraser (left) and Jermaul George pose for a photo op following the conclusion of their encounter against Victoria Eagles. Square. In the fixtures: Plaisance go up against BV ‘A’ at 20:00 hrs and that will be followed by the clash between Victoria Church Yard versus Melanie ‘A’ at 20:45 hrs. Shortly after that, the
third place and final will take place. Photo on server Rawle as: BV vs. Buxton: captionAction in the clash between BV ‘A’ and Buxton ‘A’ which the former won 1-0 on Wednesday evening.
t r o Sp NA United & Alpha United defy sodden conditions to progress to quarter finals
Fruta Conquerors/ Namilco One Love Football Classic...
t was a wet night and most of the fans opted to stay at home but by now they would be ruing a missed chance to witness a great display of tactical football when action in the Fruta Conquerors/Namilco One Love Football Classic continued at the Tucville G r o u n d , We d n e s d a y evening last. New Amsterdam United (NAU) registered a 2-1 upset victory over the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) moments before Alpha ‘The Hammer’ United distinguished itself with a 20 whipping of Rhythm Squad FC. Andrew Murray registered the double for Alpha in the 42nd and 60th minute while Jamal Butts (95 and 105 minute) sent the NAU ahead. James Fordyce
contributed the lone goal for GFC. The NAU/GFC encounter was intense but a steady drizzle late in the evening lasted for the better part of two hours and left the field in a sodden state causing the players to slip and slide as each team battled for possession. Both sides were also guilty of tardiness which resulted in many lost chances. The first half saw both sides battling for the ascendancy but staunch defensive tactics denied them the opportunity of surging ahead up to the end of the first session. The second session was a replica of the first with both teams attempting to gain the initiative but was undone by either great defensive work of the opposition or, as in most cases, inability to
overcome the muddy terrain, as in many cases the ball became stuck or the players were unable to dribble smoothly. This resulted in a nil all stalemate at the end of regulation time. The players approached the extra time session with renewed vigor and the tactical exchanges were more apparent. NAU striker, Jamal Butts then collected a pass deep into his half and skillfully dribbled all the way to the opposition’s goal. He unleashed a fierce right foot shot that sped past the GFC custodian and settled aback the net in the 95th minute. James Fordyce wasted little time when he struck the ball five minutes later with a force that evaded everyone including the NAU goalie to equalize the situation. The Georgetown team
had little time to gloat before Leonard Adams sent the Berbicians ahead once again at exactly five minutes after the second goal with a vicious kick that found the back of the GFC net. It proved to be the decider. Meanwhile, Alpha’s Andrew Murray looked threatening from the first whistle as he worked in tandem with fellow striker, Dwight Peters, to wade into Riddim Squad’ defensive third. Several raids were unsuccessful as Riddim Squad’s defensive lineup proved its worth. Several times Murray sprinted down the left flank but failed to get past the opposition’s defense. His third attempt was successful after he expertly collected an offering from the right flank on his forehead, swiveled and sent the ball past the Rhythm squad custodian.
Thereafter, the two teams engaged in fierce exchanges as Riddim Squad attempted to equalize the situation. They too were affected by the slippery conditions which resulted in many missed opportunities. In the meantime new addition to the Alpha squad, Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson, found the going rough as NAU’s defense singled him out for special attention. Several times he sprinted to the opposition’s goal and as many times he reached a stone wall. Left free, Murray took advantage of the distraction and sent his team ahead with a 60th minute repeat. The tournament started with sixteen teams but following the latest ejection of GFC and Riddim Squad, 8 teams now remain. There will be two quarter final matches tonight between the
Guyana Defense Force and Betterverwagting in the opening encounter followed by the feature attraction between Conquerors and the Guyana Police Force. The winner of the competition will take home $1.2M while the runners up pockets half that amount. The third and fourth place finishers receive $400,000 and $200,000 respectively. Along with the main sponsors, NAMILCO, several other business places have donated auxiliary prizes including Junior’s Jewelry (one gold chain), Bayridge Taxi Service (one cell phone) and Global Technology (2 computer scholarships). Semi final action is slated for next Wednesday while the grand final and the third place playoff are scheduled for February 24 next.
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