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Kaieteur News

Wednesday February 27, 2013

Businesses uneasy about attacks on miners…

Former private sector chief calls for separate Defence Ministry Businesses are getting nervous over the crime situation and one senior private sector executive is now calling for government to consider establishing a Ministry of Defence that will deal with the problem in a holistic manner. According to Captain Gerry Gouveia, a former Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), who now heads up the Governance and Security Committee, there has been a perceptible number of attacks and crimes committed against miners. These have even been taken to their homes, with a number of them losing their lives. The committee, which includes representatives from the government and other stakeholders, will now be examining this current crime issue with the intention of making recommendations to the administration for implementation. Gouveia, who served in the army for years, made it clear that the time may be right for government to consider establishing a separate Ministry of Defence. “This Ministry is separate from the President. He is the

Captain Gerry Gouveia Commander-in-Chief. What you need is a Minister who has a daily handle on the situation, who can report back and advocate and make the decisions.” The businessman, who also has interests in the aviation, tourism and hotel sectors, made reference to the entire security reform programme recently announced by government. The private sector was not consulted and the disapproval of this development has since been conveyed to Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee. According to Gouveia,

when the British-funded security sector reform was initiated, the experts came and consulted with the private sector. However, Guyana lost that programme and the four million pounds that went along with it. However, a new security programme introduced by government did not see any consultations with government. “This new reform programme augurs well for Guyana. Yes, we are disappointed we were not consulted. I have made that clear to Minister Rohee, but we also find that there is not a lot to disagree with.” The businessman also made mention of a CARICOM’s study of the public’s confidence of crime in Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana. Guyana fared the worst. “This is a problem that needs to be addressed. But any reform of the security sector will have to address training, conduct, performance, recruitment. It should also address what is being delivered to the people…the service.” Gouveia made reference to a number of incidents which swayed the public’s

perception of the police. One of the “crazy” ideas, as he puts it, is placing police ranks in the city with “machine guns”. Another embarrassment is the shaking down by “black clothes” police of motorists, instead of concentrating on crime. “We have to root these out. We have police on motorcycles with guns going after drivers. It is an embarrassment to the government.” Gouveia has a few recommendations. Any reforms geared to help improve the fight against

crime must see the police being in a position to access quick air response. “Ironically, back in the ‘60s the police force had its own air wing. This was later handed to the army. We need any domestic crime-fighting reform to now include this. It is also important for tools and training. And the question of why… Our people must understand why they are doing what they are doing.” He added that one of the areas that can also be looked at is retraining and repositioning of the army to

assist more in the domestic crime situation. “The army is not trained in this area. Our biggest threats are not Venezuela or Suriname. It is here. Drugs and gun-smuggling and crime. Let us use the resources we have… that is what I am saying.” The businessman stressed that Guyana’s strength to deal with outside threats will have to rely more using its diplomatic corps. “The bulk of our defence will be in the diplomatic corps.” (Leonard Gildarie)

“Drowned” toddler’s post mortem to be conducted today The Post Mortem Examination (PME) which is expected to establish the exact cause of death of oneyear-old Akeem Peters is expected to be conducted sometime today. This will essentially determine the immediate fate of the child’s mother, and her 14-year-old sister. It was reported that on Sunday last, the toddler was left in the care of his teenaged aunt, while his mother left their North Sophia home at

around noon to go and collect child support from the father of her three older children. Akeem Peters reportedly fell into a five-gallon bucket of water while his aunt was asleep. Kaieteur News was told by a relative that after the woman left, the teen and little Akeem went to sleep. But unknown to the aunt, the toddler awoke and wandered into the kitchen. It is believed that the child was

playing with a roll of toilet tissue which fell into a bucket of water. A relative surmised that Akeem was attempting to retrieve the roll of tissue when he fell into the bucket. After being interrogated, both the woman and her sister were released from police custody. The results of the post mortem will likely determine whether or not the two should be, or could be charged with the death of the child.

DO YOU KNOW THAT JAGDEO’S BEST FRIEND IS THE ONLY PERSON IN GUYANA Radio, Television 1) Channel 28 now TVG 28 2) A radio station - 89.5FM 3) Guyana Times Dr. Bobby Ramroop

Former President Bharrat Jagdeo

Wednesday February 27, 2013

Kaieteur News

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APNU stands alone…

Firmly rejects Speaker’s ruling to allow Rohee to speak By Abena Rockcliffe A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) yesterday announced the party’s stance of rejection towards the ruling by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman, that restored Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee’s right to address the house at any given time. The Alliance for Change (AFC) issued a statement indicating that it fully respects the Speaker’s decision. Rohee, last year, after the shooting death of three Lindeners during a protest, attracted a no confidence motion in the House. The motion was tabled by APNU Leader David Granger and, from the inception, gained support from the AFC. After much debate, staged walkouts, premature adjournments of sittings, court action, and the matter being sent to a Privileges Committee, the Speaker finally gave his ruling last Friday, intended to put an end to the entire Rohee saga. The Speaker ’s ruling essentially stated that the continuation of a restraint on Rohee to speak, and to present Bills, Motions, and Questions, will constitute a “serious derogation” of his rights - both as a Member of the National Assembly and as a Minister of Government, hence he will be allowed to speak.

House Speaker, Raphael Trotman

APNU’s Basil Williams

APNU, at a press conference held at the Office of the Opposition Leader yesterday, first criticized the way the Speaker’s “diktat” was handed down, saying that the “majority Opposition and the minority Government” weren’t given an opportunity to make their contributions on the issue, in a debate in the National Assembly. APNU’s Shadow Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams went on to state that the actions of the speaker, which he dubbed “unprecedented and undemocratic,” does not bode well for the future conduct of the “people’s business” in the National Assembly. Williams opined that the speaker imposed his ruling on the Members of the National Assembly through the media and television.

Just a few weeks back, Trotman had released a ruling on amendments proposed by Attorney General Anil Nandlall. The process through which that information was disseminated was similar to that of the way the most recent ruling was handed down. No party had commented on the process then. Williams said yesterday that the “Speaker’s ruling was premature and pre-empted the imminent decision of the Honourable Chief Justice, Mr. Ian Chang, in the matter of AG –v- David Granger and Raphael Trotman CM No. 94 of 2012, and the Committee of Privileges, to which he had sent the matter.” The attorney at law, on behalf of APNU, stated categorically that the Speaker is not above the Members of the National Assembly, who

The provision of good quality health care within the confines of the prison system is an undertaking that is stigmatised by some medical practitioners. This deduction was made by Minister of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran as he addressed a recent forum at Cara Lodge which was aimed at emphasising the need for addressing this situation within the local prisons system. He spoke of the need to have nurses cater to the needs of prisoners within the infirmary even as he highlight the importance of preparing nurses to ensure that they feel comfortable in such settings. The Minister, in alluding to some of the concerns of nurses in this regard, stated that there is the belief that this undertaking requires nurses with military training. “I have heard some of the nurses in our formal Ministry of Health setting claiming that nurses for the prison system need to be special. I don’t necessarily share this view

because the nurses in the past have gone to battlefields; they have gone to all adverse conditions where the need was for service and compassion.” “If we need it for this vulnerable group in the prisons, a regular nurse can provide it, provided that some of the commitments taken such as the protection of our female nurses in the infirmary are enforced,” the Minister said. Moreover, he asserted that specially trained nurses in a military fashion could in fact take away from the compassionate nature of the profession. He further sought to liken the stigma associated with delivery of health care in the prison system to the days when stigma and discrimination of HIV/AIDS was rampant. So great was the stigma then, he noted, that “some practitioners and nurses were reluctant to deal with infected persons. We have overcome those days and now HIV/AIDS patients

are openly embraced by the nursing and other health professionals. This is what we need to aim for in the care of this other vulnerable group...the prison population”. With this in place, he said that nurses operating within the prisons’ infirmaries would be in a better position to identify early the need for ailing inmates to be provided with medical care from a specialised institution rather than that offered at the level of the infirmary. This, according to him, could see some prisoners being taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation for medical attention and “this again would redound to the benefit of the prison system and the prison authorities, because the earlier care could be given, it would help to remove adverse criticism to how prisoners would have been treated,” the Minister added. He made (Continued on page 13)

Health care in the prisons system stigmatised – Minister

Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee have been democratically elected by the people of Guyana. “The Speaker is not a judge in the National Assembly, but, rather, sits as an umpire in the adversarial nature of the interaction between the Government and the Opposition.” LEGAL SOUNDNESS AND FACTUALINACCURACIES OF THE RULING APNU pronounced yesterday that the Speaker’s “ruling can be impugned on its legal soundness and factual inaccuracies.” Williams stated that Trotman arrived at his ruling

that Rohee can speak in the National Assembly as both Minister and an elected Member of Parliament, on the “mistaken belief that Chief Justice Chang had so ruled, after invoking Article 171(1) of the Constitution, in the aforementioned Motion (See PP1 and 2 of the “Ruling”). On the contrary, the Learned Chief Justice Chang, at PP 2425 of his judgement, had dilated on article 171(1) of the Constitution, in relation to Attorney General, Anil Nandlall’s, contention that it had to be read subject to article 106(6) to determine whether a member of Parliament could bring a No confidence Motion against an individual Minister, the Constitution being silent on the matter.” Further, the shadow Legal Affairs Minister said that “On the question of whether an individual Minister (like the Cabinet) must enjoy the confidence of the National Assembly to continue in office or be responsible to National Assembly, the Speaker said the Constitution is silent on this matter.” However, Williams pointed out that the Chief Justice had stated “It will be

a quantum leap to say that because the Constitution has adverted to the possibility of a successful no-confidence vote against the government and has provided for the resignation of the collective cabinet in that event, it is unconstitutional for a motion of no confidence against an individual member of Cabinet to be proposed in the National Assembly for debate…Therefore, the exercise of the power of a Member of the National Assembly to propose such a motion for debate is not Constitutionally prohibited or restricted.” Williams said that the Speaker also fell into error by equating the position of Minister to that of the President; “ruling that because Guyana has a hybrid Executive Presidency/ Westminister model Assembly, we cannot take the benefit of the concept of Individual Ministerial responsibility, but must nonetheless take the burden of allowing a Minister, in whom confidence has been lost, to speak, a feature of a strict Westminister model construct among others stated”.

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Kaieteur News

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


Development ‘secret’ #2 We continue with our discussion of the three elements of the “American System” of development, which were followed (with variations, of course) by every other country that successfully became “developed”. These elements were: infant industry tariffs, internal infrastructural improvements, and a sound system of national finance. Noting that China, which is on course to supplant the US as the #1 economy in the world, we elaborated on ‘infant industry’ tariffs in “China’s Growth Secret”. Today, we look at ‘internal infrastructural improvements’. The early proponents of the American System demanded that the national and state governments design, finance and construct canals, bridges, ports, railroads, toll roads, and a wide variety of communication and transportation facilities that would allow businesses to operate more efficiently and profitably. In some cases these projects were paid for directly (tolls, for example) and in other cases they were paid for tax revenues generated by higher levels of economic activity. It is easy to make a case for state involvement in infrastructure investment. The costs of infrastructure can be very high, while even if the benefits are much higher they are likely to be diffused throughout the economy, making it hard for any individual company to justify absorbing the costs of investment. In this case the state should fund infrastructure investment and pay for it through the higher taxes generated by greater economic activity. Since its accession to office in 1992, the PPP government has concentrated on infrastructural investment. In fact, since then the state has consistently been the largest investment source in Guyana through its capital projects. But from the experience of the successful economies such as Germany and Japan etc, the question is not whether the state should build infrastructure, but rather how much it should build. In fact this is one of the greatest sources of confusion in the whole development debate. Nowadays, most infrastructure “bulls” implicitly assume that infrastructure spending is always good and the optimal amount of infrastructure is more or less the same for every country. But this is completely wrong. Infrastructure investment is like any other investment, in that it is only economically justified if the total economic value created by the investment exceeds the total economic cost associated with that investment. If a country spends more on infrastructure than the resulting increase in productivity, more infrastructure makes it poorer, not richer. But the big problem is in the value created by the investment. One can think of the value of infrastructure primarily as a function of the value of labour saved. In countries with very low levels of productivity, each hour of labour saved is less valuable than each hour saved in countries with high levels of productivity. For this reason less productive countries should have much lower capital stock per capita than more productive countries. Other ‘infrastructure’ matter too - not just the physical variety. If a country has low levels of social capital – if it is hard to set up a business, if less efficient businesses with government connections can successfully compete with more efficient businesses without government connections, if the legal and political structure creates problems in corporate governance (the “agency” problem, especially), if the legal framework is weak, if property rights are not respected, if intellectual property can easily be lost – then much infrastructure spending is likely to be wasted. In fact it turns that it may be far more efficient to focus on improving, say, the legal framework than to build more airports, even though (and perhaps because) building airports generates more growth (and wealth for the politically connected) today. Weak social capital becomes a constraint on the ability to extract value from infrastructure, and this constraint is very high in poor countries with weak institutional frameworks. However, when Governments take an overwhelming lead in investments, even veering into the private sector arena as in Guyana today, large-scale government ambitions allied to strong political motivation and funded by cheap and easy access to credit can lead very easily to the wrong kinds of investment programmes.

Wednesday February 27, 2013

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

Luncheon’s disrespect for the broadcast licence DEAR EDITOR, “Every single radio station, licenced radio station, approved broadcasting… They all have to make an application accompanied by those supporting documents,” she added. (Demerara Waves, 21 November,2012, Chairperson of the Guyana National Broadcasting Board speaking. “And once again Shadick reminds that the Authority is the only agency authorized to issue a broadcast licence to radio, television or cable outlet.” (INewsgy. 25 January 2013) In January 2013, Ms Shadick assumed office under the wrong impressions.The Board, with one person representing the official opposition majority in the elected house is not “the only agency”. Many years ago, the serving President of the Public Service Workers’ Union, Mr Norma Semple, of Canje, Berbice warned of “a second command’ over the public service and resisted it. His

remarkable phrase, directed at the ruling party of those days, was quoted internationally by Dr Cheddi Jagan..But this is also a time of a busy and not businesslike second Command. Only yesterday or so, the government’s Lord Explainer corrected the Chairperson of the Board. He was answering a question about the granting of twenty-hour hour rights to the Government of the People’s Republic of China on a Guyana Government channel. A leading Guyanese Communications expert has condemned the grant. The press had asked Mrs. Shadick about it and she had no knowledge of it. Dr Luncheon explained the ducks-and-drakes government style. He said that the Guyana government had an agreement with the Chinese government and that the government could not make an application “to itself”. So readers, the Chairperson of the Board says one thing and Dr Luncheon says another, quite opposite.

Dr Luncheon as reported: “The government applying to itself for a frequency?” queried Dr. Luncheon when asked whether the government had applied for the frequency. Further grilled about whether it was the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) that had issued the frequency, Luncheon said: “Obviously if they are instructed, what you think they would do? If you were the Managing Director of NFMU and the HPS (Head of the Presidential Secretariat) called you and said ‘we have just agreed with the People’s Republic of China to broadcast the signals and to do so we are selecting a channel do so, could you please go ahead and assign a channel’, do you think he is going to tell me that you have to apply and all of those things? I doubt it,” said Luncheon. And will Dr Luncheon, the HPS publish the agreement and the law allowing it? To use his words, I doubt it. Why in peace time, will a government sign a secret broadcast agreement” in place of a licence with a foreign government? I have no doubt that the North Korean government would welcome a 24 -hour broadcast channel in Beijing. In Luncheon’s management model, appointed officials know only half the story. That is why a

young non-party woman exclaimed in the seventies, “There is no government!” Is there a fee attached to the agreement, and if so to which agency is it payable? There is another side of it. They appoint a Board of human beings with a list of responsibilities and then treat all of them like robots. The Board is there to provide a deception that Government business is handled without “fear, favour, affection or illwill”. Then the chief explainer of the Cabinet “open mout.’ an story jump out”. The Board is a fake, with members not expected, or trusted, to think. The Board is the government “itself” It is there to hide the actions of the ruling party, to pretend at “rule of law”. All we really needed was a state-of-the -art rubber stamp or state -of -the -art Seal with the Coat of Arms and a good old time ink pad. And what about People’s China and its rousing anthem “Arise, you who refuse to be bond slaves! –Let’s stand up and fight for liberty and true democracy!” Foreign Minister Chou en Lai never signed an agreement with an ex- colony without pledging to “defend State sovereignty.” Board members have a right to be respected and a duty to respect themselves and others. Yours respectfully, Eusi Kwayana

Wednesday February 27, 2013

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

DEAR EDITOR, Barticians are being shortchanged beginning with the continued employment of an unqualified and oppressive steward at the Bartica Hospital to the installation of an illegal IMC comprising a selected clique of opportunistic PPP cronies. The legitimate elected officers of the NDC

were unceremoniously forced from office amid allegations of fraud and corruption which are yet to be proven in a court of law. Corruption is rife and widespread, a social epidemic that has affected the lives of every Guyanese both directly and indirectly. A recent visit to Bartica has been very revealing. It is a fact that Bartica and

An inefficient post office

DEAR EDITOR, I wish to bring the general public, and more so, the relevant personnel attached to the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) regarding the delivery of mails from the Reliance Post Office. This entity is sporadic to say the least. It is unacceptable. I share with your readers and more so the management of the GPOC, my two most recent occurrences with the delivery of mail. The processing date on my December mail was December 19. It was delivered on January 13, a feat only the staff of the Reliance Post Office can accomplish. The processing of my January mail was January 21, and it was delivered on February 4. The first mail took 25 days to be delivered, and the second, 14. My question is what would be the processing time for an overseas mail? It boggles my mind to see the type of services being meted out to us. This is totally unacceptable. Our mail is being delivered in a negligible and in consequential manner. These are two of my most recent experiences. A representative of the GPOC Customer Complaint

Department in Georgetown has promised me that steps will be taken to remedy the situation. I was told that if my troubles continue, I should call back the complaints department. I wonder how many times I will have to make complaints before my concerns are addressed. The Postal Clerk who delivers my mail is fully aware that I keep check on the processing dates. My January mail had two processing dates; one was written over to with a pen to reflect January 30. Next to that date had February 3. So what he did was falsify the processing stamp date to reflect a much later date. This was to ensure that I had no reason to complain once again, about the late delivery of my mails. Well, the Clerk really thinks that I am naïve and that I will not be able to distinguish him tampering with the processing date to offset the persistent late delivery of mail. I hope that my missive will endure that the relevant authorities will not only take the complaint, but act on them promptly and remedy the causes. Thank you, P.H. Gopaul

A disregard for the electorate DEAR EDITOR, As our beautiful country continues to grow and develop it would be encouraging for Guyanese to see political maturity displayed by our politicians. I was deeply saddened by the ruckus created by the APNU/ AFC Opposition parties which compelled their own elected Speaker to stage a “walk-out” in frustration. Whether “heckling” is a norm or tradition in Parliament or not, there is no excuse for such blatant disregard for the electorate, who put their faith

and trust in the Parliamentarians to defend their rights and develop the country. I felt ashamed to be a Guyanese on that day. Our Opposition members need to realize that they are there for development and not regression. Their role is not only to oppose, but to ensure that the people of Guyana benefit. I do pray that in future such callous disregard and mockery of our institutions are not repeated. Sincerely, Tony W. Atchin

Barticians are frustrated and plagued by the never ending garbage pile up in the community. They were supposed to have some relief of this health hazard through the signing of an agreement between Regional Democratic Council and Cevons Waste Management. This agreement includes the managing, transportation and disposal of solid waste. It was signed on December 5, 2012 and would be for fifteen years from 2nd January 2013. To date Cevons has not been able to commence work due to the shoddy work done by the contractor.

The contractor was paid to construct a roadway 1000 ft by 50 ft and a build a site with a certain amount of sand for the dumping of the waste. The government saw it fit to inject $1.7M to have the road and site erected. This contract was not tendered but was given to a selected crony from the clique of PPP cronies. For years the elected councillors yawned for such financial assistance from central government but never received any. The substandard work by this contractor has caused the delay and further suffering for residents the REO must

be held responsible and answer the following questions. What is the cost for the contract? Who is this contractor that has pocketed taxpayers monies for substandard work? Why was the works committee not involved in the process? Has the contractor been paid in full? It is this said REO who recently appeared before the Public Accounts Committee and could not account for the retrieval of monies paid to NIS and GRA. The IMC who claim that they are going to correct the wrongs done by the NDC have not done anything noteworthy to

date. There are some urgent concerns to be addressed those errant business persons who uses the council reserves at the detriment of residents. There are two unscrupulous and selfish individuals a lumber yard dealer and a pile of iron pile up on the roadway making traffic difficult for both pedestrians and motorists. These are only some of the wrongs by persons of wealth. I would request the Ministry of Education check on the shoddy work done the two miles primary school. Yours faithfully, Umar Saied

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Wednesday February 27, 2013

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

DEAR EDITOR, It is an open secret that some people are very connected or deemed indispensible and are therefore considered the untouchables in Guyana. So much for equity and fairness in a country where the rich and powerful can afford to do whatever they want without any serious legal consequences or ramifications because of their political connections. Those who are affiliated with the ruling clique do not feel the need to pinch to make ends meet because they have it all, thanks to the Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal who has donated the Treasury to them. This is not the same for the poor and the working class, especially the mothers and children of Plastic City who do not know where their next meal ticket is coming from. The poor and the working class have endured massive suffering under the PPP dictatorship and the Jagdeo cabal has done absolutely nothing in the last ten years to improve their lives. Over the years, many Guyanese, especially the

poor and the working class, have come to accept that two Guyana exists, one for the rich and powerful and the other for the poor and the downtrodden. For this reason, a large number of people, especially the poor and the working class believe that they live in a nation where many things are simply out of their reach. We have got hold of some data that proved that in 2011, more than 80 percent of the Guyanese people living in Guyana get by on less than a quarter of the average income of the rich 20 percent. This poverty index ratio of 80 to 20 in favour of the rich is the highest in the Caribbean. But if we are to reflect on our living conditions, it was not like this at independence, almost 50 years ago. The PPP has not done much to improve the lives of the poor and the working class in Guyana during its reign of 21 years. In our minds very little! In fact, the Jagdeo cabal must be blamed for the total collapse of CLICO, the almost bankrupt NIS, the untenable conditions at the public hospitals, the crumbling of UG and the education and health

systems, and the demise of the sugar industry especially the US$200 million white elephant at Skeldon which was built by the Chinese. For years, the people have been asking for a reduction of VAT; but the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal has refused. The people, especially Berbicians, have been seeking a reduction in the Berbice River Bridge toll; but the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal has said no. The sugar workers have been fighting for increased wages and better working conditions from the PPP which claims to be a working class party; but the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal has refused to listen. For the last twenty years Guyanese have been complaining about the incessant power blackouts and water shortages; but again, the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal has not responded. Finally, the people have been calling for transparency in governance, especially in the awarding of contracts, but the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal has refused to listen. Many in the poor and the working class have resolved themselves that if the political gangsters and their white

collar outlaws continue to rule, by the next elections more of them will definitely fall below the poverty line and perhaps starve to death. If one is to compare the life of the poor and the working class to the

“nouveau riche” of the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal, they will quickly realize that Guyana is not one but two completely different countries. This is the major disparity between the “nouveau riche”

of the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal and the rest of the nation. It took the PPP cabal only 20 years to create two Guyanas.

the number and issue me a new ticket with the correct numbers so I asked her to explain what she meant about the split. She didn’t answer my question but rather she became very obnoxious. I did not think she was being customer friendly so I called the Guyana Lottery Company main office and related what transpired. I was informed how the Agent needs to go about canceling the ticket and issuing the new one. However, after I ended the phone call, the Agent asked me in a very obnoxious tone if the Lottery Company “told me what I wanted to

hear.” I then conveyed to her what was related to me by the Lottery Company and she started replying abusively. I realized this was getting nowhere so as I turned to walk out I told her that she’s a crazy woman in which she cursed me. I continued walking out of the premises and called the Guyana Lottery Company again to now lodge an official complaint. I was told that they would get back to me but to date they have not done so. I am upset at the Agent’s behaviour and also at the Guyana Lottery Company’s failure to follow up the matter.

Regards, Dr. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh

An abusive lotto agent DEAR EDITOR,

On Saturday February 15, 2013 I visited Lottery Agent #103; Annie’s Variety located at Houston, East Bank Demerara. I purchased a combined ticket of five sets of numbers and upon review of the printed lotto ticket; I noticed one digit was incorrect and not corresponding to the written numbers I supplied. I immediately brought it to the attention of the Agent in which she told me that if I win I would have to “split the win” with her. I didn’t quite understand what this meant as I was asking her to cancel

Katara Manik

GOVT INTENTION TO PURCHASE NBS BUILDING IS SENSELESS DEAR EDITOR, I write to question, publicly, the sensibility of the intention of the Government to purchase the building that formerly housed the New Building Society Limited and to further question whether His Excellency (with His recognised honourable intentions) is being hoodwinked by a snake charmer or an expensive snake oil salesman who, incidentally, has taken an oath before God to be Minster and Attorney General of the Republic of Guyana. The public may or may not be aware that the purchase price of this building is in excess of five hundred million

Guyana dollars. That’s right. What is even more bewildering and egregious is that this purchase price is a purchase price that even the market was unwilling to pay at the date when the bidding by tender was closed. How can it make any prudent sense or any sense whatsoever (other than NONSENSE) for a Government to pay in excess of what the market is willing to pay in a buoyant and probably inflated property market? In addition, it is the intention of the Government to relocate the Deeds Registry and the Lands Registry to this building. There was never any proper

assessment prepared on whether the building is suitable for this or any such purpose. Information has revealed that this building is too small to house comfortably either registry. Lastly, there was no estimate provided for the remedial and other works that would be required to relocate and accommodate the Deeds Registry and/or the Land Registry. That estimate could run into hundreds of millions of dollars like it did for GRA relocation to Camp Street. Your Excellency please be warned that a snake that sheds his skin is still a snake. Sincerely, V. Singh

Wednesday February 27, 2013

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Wednesday February 27, 2013

NICIL has been made into a parallel treasury - Former Auditor General Numerous state properties were transferred to the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) from 1999 to date, but the proceeds from their disposal were not paid into the Consolidated Fund. Rather, the proceeds, to the tune of billions of dollars, remained in NICIL, and therefore outside of the authority of Parliament which would approve spending from such funds. There have been accusations that government, using NICIL and its monies, is controlling a slush fund of taxpayers’ monies that would not have oversight from the National Assembly. One such project is the US$51M Marriott Hotel which is being funded from the sale of the 20% shares that government had in the G u y a n a Te l e p h o n e a n d Te l e g r a p h Company (GT&T). Almost US$25M has already been collected and retained by NICIL for that. It is the decision by government to allow NICIL to retain these monies and not turn them over that has the

Opposition parties and a number of critics smarting. According to former Auditor General, Dr Anand Goolsarran, when state assets vested in NICIL are sold, a windfall gain is achieved, since NICIL acquired them from the Government free of cost. “This apart, the vesting of assets for the purpose of selling them is not in keeping with relevant section of the Public Corporations Act that was applied to vest assets in NICIL,” he wrote in his column in the Stabroek News on Monday. That section, he stressed, deals with the vesting of assets in a new corporation to assist it with its start-up operations and does not give NICIL the power to retain the monies. “The proceeds should therefore have been paid over to the Consolidated Fund, net of expenses. Instead, NICIL retained them to be used at the discretion of the directors,” Goolsarran said. NICIL and its head, Winston Brassington, and the ruling administration, have been under pressure to account for the assets and

Former Auditor General, Anand Goolsarran monies that NICIL and its arm, the Privatisation Unit, handled over the last decade. There were accusations that many of these properties found themselves into the hands of friends. SECRECY With annual reports of NICIL, as a company, as well as NICIL’s consolidated reports, being tabled within recent years, after delays, the shroud of secrecy over the numerous transactions has slowly been lifted. However, several questions have remained unanswered. Government, in defence of NICIL, said that the company was allowed under the law to keep the revenues. The

NICIL’s head, Winston Brassington

Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo

Opposition, on the other hand, has been insisting that NICIL has no authority to hold on to those millions and that the entity is not like other company since its very assets and proceeds from disposals belong to the people of Guyana. According to the former Auditor General, prior to 2002, NICIL was a small administrative outfit that monitored the Government’s investments in public corporations and other entities. Its role was mainly to ensure that all revenues derived from these investments were collected and paid over to the Consolidated Fund. For this, NICIL received a small Government subvention which for 2001was $4.6 million. The main objective of the company, as set out in its incorporation documents, is “to subscribe for, take or otherwise acquire and hold shares, stocks, debentures or other securities of any company, co-operative society or body corporate”. However, this all changed from 2002 when Government’s shareholdings in public corporations and other entities were transferred

to NICIL, and the dividends received were retained as NICIL’s revenue, instead of being paid over to the Consolidated Fund as had been the practice prior to 2002. According to Goolsarran, government’s decision for NICIL to take over the Privatisation Unit, which was part of the Ministry of Finance, cuts across legal boundaries since one just cannot cannot “hive off” a significant chunk of a Ministry and vest it in a company incorporated under the Companies Act, notwithstanding that it is a government company. What compounded matters was that the then President, Bharrat Jagdeo, issued a notification on July 18th, 2000, that saw a significant amount of transfers of state assets to NICIL, as well as their disposal. That notification made Section 5 of the Public Corporations Act applicable to NICIL, in spite of the fact that this section is applicable to new public corporations to assist them with startup costs. NICIL is not a new entity since it was incorporated since 1990. DIVERSION… INVESTIGATIONS

“The cumulative effect is that from 2002, a significant portion of State revenues was intercepted, diverted away from the Consolidated Fund, and placed under the control of NICIL.” As in the case of the Guyana Revenue Authority, NICIL is merely a collecting agency on behalf of the state. In his arguments, Dr. Goolsarran contended that NICIL was incorporated under the Companies Act to monitor Government’s investments and to ensure that all revenues derived are promptly collected and paid over to the Consolidated Fund. However, with effect from 2002, NICIL’s operations took on a different complexion through three highly controversial actions. These include the transfer of Government’s shares in public corporations and other entities; “the hiving off of the Privatisation Unit of the Ministry of Finance; and transferring it to NICIL and the vesting of state assets in NICIL.” The former Auditor General has a few recommendations for government to correct the situation. These include realigning NICIL to what it was prior to 2002 or alternatively wind up its operations. Government should also ascertain precisely how much should have been paid over to the Consolidated Fund from 2002 to present date against what was actually paid and initiate an investigation as to what happened with the difference. Disciplinary action should also be taken against concerned officials if it can be established in a Court of Law that laws have been broken.

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THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE IS NOT EXERCISED BY PROXIES The one-seat majority that the opposition parties gained at the last general elections seems to have triggered a great many political delusions. One of the most pronounced of which is that when the majority in parliament decide on an issue, it represents the will of the people. This idea that a vote in parliament represents the will of the people needs to be put to rest, because it is misguided and premised on a gross misunderstanding of the concept of “the will of the people”. Today, in fact, it is common to even question whether the will of the majority can be said to be the will of the people. When the PNC lost the 1992 elections, they took the position that their minority 43% did not amount to zero. Now that the tables have turned, they are singing a different tune. When we speak about the “will of the people”, we refer to the direct exercise of power by the people. The will of the people is not exercised indirectly. The people exercise this power at elections. When the people vote in elections, the outcome of those elections is deemed to reflect the will of the people, only if the elections are fair. However, when the persons who are elected to the National Assembly decide on an issue, they may act in the name of the people, but not necessarily in accordance with the will of the

people, because that exercise of power may conflict with what the people want. As such, the indirect exercise of power by those elected by the people cannot be seen as an expression of the will of the people. The parliamentarians may act in the name of the people, but this is not the same as acting in the interest of the people or exercising the will of the people. It is doubtful, for example, that the will of the Guyanese people was being exercised when there were restrictions placed on the importation of flour - restrictions that amounted to a virtual ban on this basic staple. But then again the parliament and the government that was engaged in this practice were described as undemocratic and therefore not reflective of the will of the people. Since the democratic dispensation of 1992 there have been many acts of parliament that may not have had the approval of the majority of the population of this country and therefore it is hard to see how anyone can stretch the concept of the will of the people to apply to majority support in the National Assembly. The will of the people is about what the people want. Parliamentarians and the people are not always of the same views. If they were, there would have been no need for elections, because the wishes of the majority in the House

Dem boys seh...

Brazzy is de banker fuh de Bees When bandits mek a hit dem got to find somebody who gun keep de money. That is how some people use to hear and see bodies floating and couldn’t understand why. Well when dem got nuff money at stake is de same thing some people does do. Dem does get somebody fuh keep de money. De Bees, led by de King Bee collect nuff money from all about. Dem collect from China and dem collect from de Treasury and Brazzy keep all. Dem sell de GT&T shares and Brazzy keep de money. Dem sell Guysuco lands and Brazzy keep de money; dem sell Guyana and Brazzy keep de money. Dem boys seh that Brazzy is de banker and he is a good banker because he does skim off de profits and mek sure that de Bees get wha is dem own. That is how dem had money to build de Marriott. Is alright fuh skim off some, but mek sure that de money deh fuh when de Bees want it. Brazzy do that good. People watch de money disappear from de Treasury and dem ain’t seh nutten. Even Donald get ketch and now he confuse. He didn’t know that corruption was so rampant. That was de man who dem boys believe woulda mek a difference but it look like if he ain’t know he head from he foot when it come to thiefing. Uncle Donald now planning he own projects because he claim that de Bees and de King Bee did know bout de value of foreign projects. Jagdeo use China and India, Uncle Donald got to use he own vision. He can try Brazil and Venezuela. Dem boys seh that is time fuh people tek de bulls by de horn. Dem can stop Jagdeo and beg he fuh a raise every day. Some should stop he at Plaisance main road, some at Ogle and so on till he reach Queenstown. And dem gun get money because he, Jagdeo, and all never dream that he woulda get suh rich. Talk half and watch how Brazzy banking dem Bees money

would have always been that of the people. It is therefore far too ambitious for anyone to posit that decisions in the National Assembly reflect the will of the people. They do not because the concept of the will of the people is not exercised indirectly or through proxies. The government is formed by the will of the people, but the government does not always exercise the will of the people. When the government urged the former Minister of Home Affairs to resign they were not succumbing to the will of the people, nor were they pressured by the opposition. In fact there was a

Commission of Inquiry that exonerated the Minister of the charges of which he was being accused and thus the government had a solid basis on which to retain the minister. The government succumbed to the will of the United States of America who made it clear that they wanted the minister to go and would find it difficult to cooperate in the security sector with the government if the minister remained. Political authority is based on the will of the people, but is not always exercised in the interests of the people, as history as so often demonstrated and as Guyanese are so well aware. To establish just what is

the will of the people requires that one looks beyond what takes place in parliament. In other countries with a tradition of polling, opinion polls are one of the means by which any government or politician can know whether any policy being proposed will enjoy support of the people and to determine the extent of that support. Opinion polls have become quite scientific, but unfortunately Guyana does not have a tradition of conducting such polls, and the few that are conducted are often accused of being biased and flawed. If we had that tradition, it would be easier to determine whether there is majority

support for the removal of the present Minister of Home Affairs, if the people are supportive of gagging the minister, if for that matter Roger Khan is a hero or just who the supporters of the opposition feel should really be the leader of the PNCR and the AFC.

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The tragic political mistake of Clive Lloyd The world knows about Clive Lloyd. His cricket history is elegant and admirable. Lloyd knows about cricket. But Lloyd thinks he knows about politics. And he has every right to think that he knows about politics because Lloyd once shared a good friendship with one of the Third World’s most astute and finessed thinkers and practitioners of politics, Guyanese Forbes Burnham. It was Mr. Burnham who saved Lloyd’s career by paying his passage to come back to play for Guyana at a

time went West Indies had discarded him. But that is where Clive Lloyd went wrong. He may have transferred the brilliance of politics he saw under Burnham to the PPP Government in the 21st century. This was the tragic mistake Lloyd made. You don’t compare Burnham with any member of the present PPP Government. If Lloyd ever entertained the thought in his head that President Jagdeo was like President Burnham and as a result he knows how Guyanese presidents think

therefore he will work with Jagdeo, then Lloyd made the mistake of his life. I resented the way Forbes Burnham used power. Mr. Burnham directed his venom personally to me in denying me and my wife the right to work in my country, all because I was rude to him. But let me take off the hat of a political activist and put on the hat of a trained social scientist. To compare Jagdeo (and Ramotar) with Forbes Burnham is scholarly depravity and mockery unfit for anyone who ever entered the halls of a university.

Mr. Burnham was intoxicated with power but he had class, urbaneness, an erudite mind, nationalist pride, and an undying appreciation for quality in humans and educational achievements. When the Jagdeo Government employed Lloyd as a sports consultant, one suspected that Lloyd knew how powerful governments can be and how easy they can facilitate you. He had the Burnham experience to guide him. What Lloyd didn’t know is that governments come in all shades with all types of

leaders. My guess is that knowing that he wanted to head West Indian cricket, Lloyd felt his Government of Guyana job would be a stepping stone to the WICB presidency. What Lloyd did not know was that President Jagdeo was not a fan of the West Indies Cricket Board. The very President stood outside the Providence Stadium with a placard calling the WI Board a disgrace. With him was Shiv Chanderpaul. Chanderpaul, knowing he had more years ahead of him in cricket than Jagdeo in the Guyana presidency, quickly backpedaled and apologized to the WI Board. Lloyd thought he knew politics, but the Guyana Government had news for him. Soon after he took the consultancy work, the Government formed the IMC to displace the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and asked Lloyd to head it. It was utterly foolish of Lloyd to have done that. But he was in a deadly trap and couldn’t get out. Lloyd as an international cricket consultant knew the ICC’s position on politics intruding in cricket. The ICC had enough of that in Pakistan. From the time the IMC was formed, the WICB said it would not recognize it. It was now for Lloyd to learn a few things from politics. But he chose not to. Lloyd should have engineered a compromise. He didn’t. CARICOM came in and did just that. Lloyd now had the opportunity to save his credibility when the Guyana Government, not Clive Lloyd, rejected the CARICOM

Frederick Kissoon covenant. Lloyd should have distanced himself from the intransigence. Instead, the IMC went on bulldozing its way all over the GCB, even padlocking the people’s offices and having the police search their homes. All of this was done in the name of Clive Lloyd’s IMC. Speaking for myself, Lloyd disgraced himself and destroyed his credibility by those acts. Lloyd had to know that the GCB officials would have told their WICB counterparts about this semifascist bully-boy tactics. Lloyd announced that the GCB was in contempt of court, meaning it was illegal, after it held its general elections. Now this same Lloyd went to the front step of the GCB and begged them to nominate him for presidency of the WICB. Colin Croft had some harsh and comical words to say about this servility of Lloyd. For Clive Lloyd, one day the GCB is illegal, the next day he recognizes them. And his IMC is still alive. Lloyd believes that the WICB wasn’t looking on at this circus in Guyana. After knowing that Lloyd could not get a seconder for his WICB ambition, the GCB nominated him, knowing he would fail.

Biker critical after Bel Air crash A 40-year-old motorcyclist was in a critical condition yesterday after slamming into a car in the vicinity of Bel Air, East Coast Demerara, at the Railway Embankment and Conversation Tree. The accident occurred at around 18:30 hrs. Curtis George, of Newtown, was allegedly riding his Honda CBR at a rapid rate and was reportedly not wearing a helmet when he crashed into a car, PPP 4786, which was being driven by a female. The woman told Kaieteur News that she was heading south along Conversation Tree road and another driver had given her ‘the okay’ to cross the Railway Embankment. However, just as she was about to proceed, George, who was heading east along the Embankment, slammed into the side of her car. She alleged that he was speeding. George was picked up in an unconscious condition and rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). He had still not recovered consciousness. The driver was questioned at the Kitty Police Station but it is unclear if she was detained. Speaking to Kaieteur News at the GPHC last night, George’s wife said that she last spoke to him at around 17:00 hrs . The distraught woman said that she was driving home when she received a text message from husband’s mobile phone. The individual sending the message identified himself as a police officer and requested that the wife head for the hospital. She said that hospital staffers told her that her husband was in a critical condition and that they have to conduct a series of tests to ascertain the full extent of his injuries.

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Bogus nursing school back in operation - Students continue to be fooled Despite being closed down several times by the Ministry of Health, the unaccredited ‘Inter-American Nursing School’ is once again in operation in the city. This time it goes by name, the Guyana Health Care Education Institute, and oblivious students continue to pay large sums of money to be lectured in various aspects of health care. Back in 2009, the female owner of the school, Nandranie Kissoon, was arrested following complaints made by scores of students to the Brickdam Police Station. The woman was ordered to refund students in excess of $250,000. The then Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, in believing that the school which was located in Cummings Street may be engaged in fraudulent activities, made clear that it had not been accredited by his Ministry. Ramsammy had said that the school was boosting its existence by erroneously informing its students and potential students that once they graduate, their certificates will be recognised by the Guyana Nursing Council. This would have allowed the students entry into the three local nursing schools, namely the Georgetown School of

Nursing, the New Amsterdam Nursing School, and the Charles Rosa Nursing School at Linden. Ramsammy had, however, explained that these local nursing schools operated with very specific and very rigid requirements for admission, and that the qualifications are not the same as that of the “InterAmerican institution”. Also, prior to 2009, Kissoon, who has many aliases including Nalini Budhram, Donna Gomes, Nanda Kissoon, Nandranie Drepaul, Bibi, and Ms. Singh, paraded under the alias of Dr. Nevita Basdeo, the owner of a laboratory called Instant Lab; another fake establishment. And soon after being appointed Health Minister, Ramsammy and the Health Ministry began making enquiries into the operations of the laboratory. This prompted the woman to flee the country. But then she surfaced a few years later; this time posing as a biomedical engineer, and following another series of inquiries, the woman disappeared again. This is now 2013, and this fraudster is back. Her school is now located in the third floor of a building on Robb Street (next to Scotiabank).

The Robb Street building in which the bogus nursing school is being housed

Just yesterday, a number of students complained to Kaieteur News that they left the institution soon after realizing that the woman’s lectures were no good. “The woman did hire some lecturers, but they didn’t stay too long. Some of these teachers were very good, and I don’t think they knew that this woman

(Kissoon) was a fraud. So it looks like when they get a clue, they left,” one student said. The student added that several persons who would have enrolled in 2011, and would’ve completed their courses last year, are yet to receive any form of certification. “My thing is that these

partnership to provide to the Guyanese public the excellent service that Popeyes is noted for.” The Giftland Mall will be a state-of-the-art, 21st century facility, and “a gathering place for many memorable events”. It is situated on over 500,000 sq. ft. of developed property of which 300,000 is enclosed and air-

conditioned. It will feature over 140 different vendors, customer parking, bus terminals and taxi stands. It will also feature separate Video arcades for pre-teens and teenagers, together with a 12-Lane Bowling Alley, 8 State-of-theArt 3D Cinemas and over 23 eating places.

Popeyes on board at Giftland Mall Chairman of Popeyes Ram Lalbadhur Singh receives the agreement from Monica Beepat (Director of Giftland) and Jade Beepat (H.R. Director)

MCG Investments (Giftland Office Max) Inc, announced yesterday that it has signed a licencing Agreement with Guyana Restaurant Inc. (Popeyes), for the leasing of space at its Giftland Mall, Pattensen, East Coast Demerara. The facilities will be stateof-the-art in technology and design and have been tested

to ISO and ROCH certification, for the European and USA markets. All equipment will be rigorously tested and sanitized, daily, in accordance with both companies’ strict health and safety policies. CEO of Giftland OfficeMax, Ian Ramdeo stated “The Giftland Mall welcomes Guyana Restaurant Inc. on board and is excited for this

people know that this woman is a fraud, and yet she is given the chance to resurface again, and again. We are losing. Maybe not too many us reading the papers on a daily basis, so w e d o n ’t k n o w, a n d regardless of how it is that we don’t know of this scam, it is still wrong. And those aspiring to be in any

field of work needs to be protected from such lawlessness. Education is no longer cheap, and it is unfair for us to put so much into something that is as bogus as this,” another student added. Collectively, they are calling on the relevant authorities to put a permanent end to the woman’s scams.

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Digicel cops top spots in Mash float parade - Adrian Dutchin is Road March King again. Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s giant Digicel dominated positions in Saturday’s Mashramani float parade which saw a total of 30 bands competing, according to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. Bands competed in the following category; costume and band parade-individual (king and queen, male and female), full and semi costume (large, medium and small), floats (commercial and noncommercial) and regional (full costume and individual) with depictions keeping in line under the theme “Reflecting Creativity, Embracing Diversity.” In the full costume large category Digicel, Ansa McAl Trading and Banks DIH Ltd gained first, second and third respectively. Digicel, Banks DIH Ltd and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment finished in that order in the Semi costume large category. Digicel Guyana also topped the male and female individual pieces The Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport announced that Soca artiste, Adrian Dutchin, was yet again adjudged road March King. It was Adrian Dutchin’s soca piece ‘Juk’ that earned the judges’ approval for title of Road March King. Ansa McAl Trading topped with their king of the costume and band parade, individual pieces. They were followed by Banks DIH Ltd, queen, and Digicel, male and female.

Ministry of Education gained first in full costume small band category The Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and Region Three copped first, second and third respectively in the medium category and for the small category, Ministry of Education secured first, Linden Technical Institute second and Rusal third. Meanwhile in the medium category, ‘Slingshot’ Drepaul gained first, Ministry of Agriculture second and Region Five came third. Apsara and Lux Entertainment topped the Small category. The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs’ float copped second in the medium category For the Floats, in the Non commercial category, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport topped that position followed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and Region Six respectively. The commercial category was won by Banks DIH Ltd, followed by Apsara and Lux Entertainment in second position. Apsara’s float that won in the small category Region Three dominated the Regional Full Costume category, followed by Regions Four and Six respectively. For the Individual Pieces, Region Three copped both king and queen while in the Non commercial category, Region Six emerged winner.

One of the many Digicel floats that dominated the float parade.

Sailing their way through, Banks DIH made their mark on the Republic Day celebrations.

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Diamond Housing Scheme..

Poor infrastructural planning abets traffic congestion – private engineer Though touted as one of the most progressive housing establishments, commute in and out of the Diamond Housing Scheme continues to be extremely time consuming and sometimes chaotic during the peak hours. One private engineer has blamed this on poor infrastructural planning. The housing scheme is situated just about 15 minutes away from Georgetown but during the peak hours, commuters take an hour or more to reach the City. Though, this may be compounded by bottle necks on the East Bank Demerara Public Road, of that time, about 30 minutes are spent waiting in line to exit the scheme. This sometimes becomes disordered when vehicles tightly fitted on the entrance bridges of the housing scheme compete for limited space. According to the engineer, the Ministries of Housing and Public Works usually use different specifications to erect roads and bridges. He suggested that since the Diamond Housing Scheme falls under the Housing Ministry it probably used its specifications to build a main

entrance road intended to transport heavy-duty equipment. The engineer noted that the planners should have anticipated the massive development ahead, and cutting developmental cost should not have been a factor for such a thoroughfare. He noted that roads developed by the Ministry of Housing are usually 16-feet wide with one-lane measuring 8-feet. Speaking specifically about the Diamond Housing Scheme entrance bridges, the engineer said, “The alignment of the road/ bridges is inappropriate. The width of one truck is about 7-feet or 8feet thus occupying the entire lane. This puts the vehicle in the other lane in a tight spot. This is generally the case at the entrance of Diamond. It is also cumbersome when trucks have to turn in and out of the scheme”. The engineer opined that the bridges, and by extension the road, should have been built 22-feet wide with onelane measuring 11-feet. In addition, the structure should have pedestrian walkways on either side of the road, each measuring 3-feet wide. Although the scheme was established in the late 1990s,

Vehicles traversing the narrow bridge

it was not until 2010 when occupancy was over 40,000 residents, that traffic signals were installed to supposedly ease congestion. That $15M project also saw roadwidening works, installation of pavements, and construction of four footbridges. However, the traffic signals failed to reduce congestion since the majority of the traffic flows north (heading to Georgetown) during the mornings.

Health care in the prisons system stigmatised... From page 3 reference to the fact that the media tend to highlight treatment to prisoners that could have been done better, even as he noted that it was thought that it would be beneficial having nurses there, who would be able as professionals to identify that a prisoner was not for example being a truant in falsifying a condition. This, he said, would indicate to the prison authorities that “yes indeed this prisoner needed superior management and even if necessary, accompany a group of prisoners to the hospital, because the understanding was that the prison officers many times do this, but at the same time, ensure the assistance of qualified personnel to massage the process through the health sector and help to cut on time that prisoners are out of a secured environment.” The proposed improved level of health care for prison inmates comes as part of a strategic move by the Health Ministry, which will be done

in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Prison Services. This move, according to the Ministry of Health Parliamentary Secretary, Joseph Hamilton, could see nurses and even some doctors visiting the prison’s infirmary to closely attend to inmates. He explained that servicing the prison population in the infirmary will be undertaken under the necessary security prescription. According to him “some nurses were not trained to understand that that is part of their remit, so we have to go back to refining the thought process of Florence Nightingale, that intervention was not only about the fancy white uniform; it was among the lepers, soldiers and people with all kinds of conditions...” This move is premised on recent activities developed by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) in the context of health and human rights in prisons as well as to identify the next steps to be

taken in order to develop joint activities/programmes engaging all relevant ministries to improve health and human rights conditions in prisons, in line with PAHO Resolution CD50.R8. The PAHO Resolution urges that efforts be directed to strengthening the technical capacity of health authorities in member states so that they can work with corresponding governmental human rights entities such as ombudsman offices and human rights secretariats to evaluate and oversee the implementation of the applicable international human rights instruments related to health. As such, moves are likely to be made to support PAHO’s technical cooperation in the formulation, review and if necessary reform of national health plans and legislation, incorporating the applicable international human rights instruments, especially those related to the protection of groups in vulnerable situations.

Traffic ranks of the Guyana Police Force are oftentimes seen directing traffic even though the signals are functioning. That too does not help to reduce the time-consuming obstruction. He said that to reduce travelling time for those heading to Grove and communities beyond, another lane should have been constructed south of the existing Diamond Housing Scheme main road, but that would encroach on empty land that is private property. According to the engineer, like the bridge, the scheme’s main road is also too narrow and does not have necessary safety features. For instance, there is no pedestrian walkway and this is hazardous to the hundreds of persons, including students, who walk the narrow stretch. “Those children occupy almost one-lane in the

afternoons and this is dangerous. They need pavements to be safe. Also there is inadequate space for vehicles to stop,” the engineer emphasised. He stressed that it is evident that the Jagdeo administration did not properly plan the development of this “grand housing scheme”. He wondered why the then Government did not consider the necessity of building road and bridge infrastructure to accommodate the thousands of persons that would have occupied the scheme. He added that the establishment of commercial banks, a gas station and food court, hospital and schools did not happen overnight, so erecting adequate infrastructure should have been done years ago. According to the engineer, erecting an alternative entrance for the scheme should have been a

priority. In July 2011, the Guyana Chronicle had stated, “Government has already secured the land that will be used to construct a two-lane road linking first street Diamond to an area between TOPCO factory and the GUYOIL gas station on the East Bank, which will serve as a second entrance into the Diamond Housing Scheme, and will see the traffic congestion which occurs at peak hours reduced considerably.” The engineer said he is hoping that if this completed it will reduce traffic congestion, but would have preferred if Government had invested in building the Southern Approach Road behind the housing scheme heading into Georgetown. That, he emphasized, would have reduced traffic jams along the East Bank Demerara Public Road in light of other housing establishments that are being developed.

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Calypso ban damaging to Mashramani and entire fraternity - Mighty Rebel By Zena Henry Veteran Calypsonian Geoffrey Phillips, aka ‘the Mighty Rebel’, has taken offence over the recent banning of what was dubbed ‘anti- government’ calypso tunes. As such, the six-time calypso monarch described the move by the National Communications Network (NCN) to take the tunes off air as “petty and disgusting.” Phillips, who now heads the Calypso Association, has opted to convene an urgent meeting this coming Sunday at the Critchlow Labour College, to address the ban among other things. Rebel charged that the unwarranted bar “is damaging to Mashramani, damaging calypso and the entire fraternity.” Rebel, who is himself no stranger to controversial political calypsos, said that the songs go through the implemented process, make the semi finals and finals stage before a winner is crowned. “Why then are they torturing us?” he asked. The calypsos, Rebel stressed, had to be auditioned and that was so done in December of last year at the Mash Secretariat by people designated to do so

on behalf of the government. He said, “The songs were passed, sent to the competition; sung in a semi finals and then in a finals before a winner was selected.” In relation to the allegation that the calypsos are anti-government, Rebel said, “Anti- government thing goes on all around; all over the Caribbean. You can’t stop Chalkdust and Crow Crow and Sugar Aloes from singing anti-government songs.” Rebel remembered that during his time in competition, “All the songs that I won my six crowns with, and got all my seconds with were controversial songs.” He remembered when he sang the winning tune “disapproving system” which had lyrics that former President Forbes Burnham had the country eating so much rice flour that his (Rebel’s) wife named his son Royston. He said that the late President himself related to him that, “When you sing these songs, they tend to ease the tension in the minds of the people.” Rebel opined that those responsible for the ban were targeting this year’s winner ‘De Professor’ but feared retaliation from the Linden community from where the

man hails. He thus said that “To make a long story short, they banned everyone.” Over 20 calypsonians participated in this year’s competition with 11 participants making it to the finals. Reigning monarch, Lester Ricardo Charles popularly known as “De Professor”, also expressed dissatisfaction at the banning of the calypso songs. “I feel terrible, real terrible about the situation because from time to time, I would sing controversial music.” “What took place was not needed,” he charged According to Charles, the recent ban has placed a damper on the efforts of those trying to revive the art form, but he insisted that the passion “would never die.” “Where I am from we do not have access to news dealing with current affairs.” The calypsonian charged that while the two leading independent newspapers Kaieteur News and Stabroek News - would highlight what is happening, “Some persons might not be good readers, while they may be good listeners.” It is with this, he said, he sings for the people, educating them and enlightening them as to what is taking place in the country. “Calypso is already being stifled because of social commentary, and I think that

Reigning monarchLester De Professor’ Charles

Geoffrey ‘Mighy Rebel’ Phillips

constructive criticism should be good for anybody since it helps one to pull themselves together and correct the wrongs.” Before the ban, Professor said there had been no query over the songs which went through a process beginning since last year. He charged that he would have expected if anyone was to speak on the issue, it would have been the Culture Minister, but lashed out at Minister of Works Robeson Benn, who he said is unaffiliated with the matter, for getting involved. According to NCN sources, Minister Benn walked into the state-owned media house and ordered that all the calypsos be banned

from the airways; even those that were non-controversial. A notice was later placed by management stating that no more of the music must be aired. ‘ De Professor’ however said that there are two faces to the ban, since now it has given citizens even more reason to focus on calypso music, “to hear what it is that has offended the Government so much.” “Before we (calypsonians) were concerned that our voices were not being heard, and after the ban, persons became very annoyed, but every word is true. What we say is not unheard of, it is from the media houses that we get the information and put it into song.”

“What the Minister did was only open the people’s eyes to what is happening because they will want to hear what we have to sing about now.” De Professor continued, “We will not simmer, the music is not about personal attacks, disrespect or vulgarity, we come to fulfill a purpose and we do it through our music.” The monarch said he is not looking to boycott anything, and in fact thinks that next year, calypsonians should come stronger and support the art form that they love. On February 20, management of NCN informed staff via notice that “With immediate effect… No 2013 Calypso must be played on air”. These calypsos were compiled for the annual Calypso Competition that is a feature of Mashramani. When Kaieteur News made contact with NCN Chief Executive Officer (acting) Michael Gordon, he dismissed that the Government had played any part in banning the “anti-government” tunes. He charged that it was a management call and a decision taken at that level. When Media operatives spoke with Culture Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony, he too charged that the ban was a management decision taken at NCN.

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$127M bid to supply material Speaker’s ruling on Rohee gag will be respected-AFC for sluice’s stainless gates Under the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) the Ministry of Agriculture received bids for the supply of material for the construction of stainless gates for the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) Northern Relief Channel High level sluice outfall structure. The bids were opened yesterday by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board, Ministry of Finance, Main Street.

The Ministry of Agriculture also received bids for the monthly maintenance cleaning of Canal number One and Two main drains at West Bank Demerara.

Still in the Agriculture sector, bids were opened for the supply of timber mats to the NDIA.

Also in the Agriculture sector, bids were opened for the reconstruction of a bicycle shed parking lot, guard hut and relocation of fence at Hope Secondary School, Hope, East Coast Demerara.

The AFC’s leadership says they will respect the final ruling from Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman to halt the impasse which the earlier “gagRohee” ruling had created in the National Assembly and in the High Court. A statement issued by the party yesterday reminded that the instance which occasioned the entire episode was when the House passed a no-confidence motion against Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee for his” “incompetence and outright mal-administering of the affairs of the security sector”. The party explained that under Rohee’s stewardship innocent lives were lost in Linden when citizens were merely exercising their constitutional right to protest harsh economic conditions. Under the Constitution, Ministers are accountable to the National Assembly and a no-confidence motion can be brought against any such culpable Minister. This is a central aspect of democratic government and a significant aspect of the doctrine of separation of powers. “In accordance with the constitutional convention of individual Ministerial responsibility, which never died when we were accorded a written constitutional status, it was imperative that Minister Rohee voluntarily resign, or either be dismissed or re-assigned by the President. This did not happen. And, as has turned out to be so controversial and divisive, the House then proceeded to gag the Minister in his capacity as a Minister. It was not as if the AFC did not know it was venturing into new frontiers. But it will do so again in its quest to ensure accountable government and good governance.” It was further noted by the party that the support of

application of sanction to Minister Rohee - who did not have the confidence of the National Assembly - was because the AFC wanted to protect the integrity, the efficacy, and the internal organization of the House. “The AFC’s purpose was to assure all Guyanese that it will not sit idly by and see that the National Assembly’s commands are just meaningless and will not be adhered to. Such would have a disastrous effect on the premiere institution of the land; it would mean that it is impotent. “The AFC is therefore proud to have supported such a censure motion, historic and unprecedented as it was, to reign in an unruly Minister. This “Rohee debacle” is but only one item in a whole host of excesses being committed by the PPP Government, which excesses cumulatively can lead to a very serious constitutional crisis.” Adding that the PPP Government resisted the application of sound constitutional doctrine, the AFC stated that the constitutional conventions are binding on political actors because there can be sanctions following their violations, sanctions which have a political liability even if bereft of any legal liability. Such conventions are important because they provide a moral framework within which the Executive and individual Ministers should exercise nonjustifiable legal powers. The AFC continued: “We in the AFC will be that Party

which will ensure the reemergence of a strict commitment to and compliance with constitutional and conventional principles, provisions, and proprieties which will establish us as a democratic nation. There has been a massive backsliding by this Government recently, away from a democratic order. This is dangerous, very dangerous. We wish to warn that it will turn out to be a hoax on the public and the nation that their problems can be solved by deliberation in the National Assembly when their duly elected representatives, unanimously or by m a j o r i t y, c a n n o t h o l d accountable and responsible the excesses of the Executive and its Ministers. So now as we go into our National Assembly and will hear Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee, the AFC members of the National Assembly will reserve the right to co-operate, or not to, with this Minister. With him at the helm of our security, we fear that Guyanese will have to cower behind their grilled homes as a consequence; and, may even have to pay with their lives as so many Guyanese have already.” The AFC stated that the party still believes that a major thrust for constitutional reform is necessary at this juncture of Guyana’s political history and it will start the discussion and consultation with the public and stakeholders as early as possible.

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Deportee faces court for defrauding immigration department Sase Harry Nepal Singh was yesterday remanded to prison pending a probation report after he was arraigned on two fraud-related charges. The accused, a 35-yearold farmer of Arankaville Port

Mourant, East Berbice, Corentyne, stood before Magistrate Judy Latchman at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. The first charge against Singh stated that on September 5, 2012, he went to

Two inmates of the Camp Street prison have been charged for possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking. Both men appeared before Magistrate Judy Latchman at the Georgetown Magistrates’ court yesterday. Prosecutor Renetta Bentham objected to bail in both matters. She told the court that special circumstances must be given before the accused could be placed on bail. Ryan Fowler, 25, pleaded not guilty to having a total of 50 grams of marijuana in his possession while at the Camp street facility on February 18 last. The man told the court that he has been convicted for break and enter and larceny and thus he is serving a sentence. Fowler was charged with the present offence after a prison guard

noticed that he had been acting in a suspicious manner as he was out in the yard for recreational time. The accused was taken aside and searched. The narcotic was found hidden in his pants crotch. Fowler will return to court on March 6. Meanwhile 52-year-old Garfield King also faced charges of trafficking narcotics. The allegation against King is that on October 4 of last year, while at the Camp Street prison, 180 grams of cannabis was found in his possession. King denied the charge. He however told the court that he is serving sentences for four counts of marijuana possession. King was caught in possession of the illegal substance as he was returning to the prison after rehabilitation classes. He too will appear in court on March 6.

A man who admitted to stealing a BlackBerry cellular phone was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment yesterday after he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ court on a charge of simple larceny. It was established that the accused, Junior Adams, while on Croal Street, Georgetown, stole the mobile phone valued at $90,000 from Darrel Andrew Johnson. The charge was read to Adams by Magistrate Judy Latchman. Throughout the court proceeding, Adams repeatedly asked the court for a small sentence.

“Give me a fine time let we done it” According to police reports, Johnson was with his uncle in a parked car on Croal Street, when his uncle exited the vehicle. Johnson followed his uncle, leaving his mobile on the dashboard of the vehicle. Whilst returning to the car, the man noticed the accused placing his hands in the vehicle and removing his belonging. The suspect made good his escape before Johnson could raise an alarm or stop him. A report was made to the mobile police outpost in the area and the defendant was later apprehended and charged.

Inmates remanded for Camp Street drug bust

Phone thief gets 18 months

at the Central Immigration and Passport Office, Georgetown, for the purpose of procuring a new passport. There he signed to a declaration immigration form the name Boodram Ramasaran in favour of himself, knowing that it was false. The other charge read that on October 30, 2012, while at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Singh being an outgoing passenger signed a legal immigration document indicating that he was Boodram Ramsaran, knowing same to be false. Singh pleaded guilty to both charges. Police Prosecutor Renetta Bentham presented the court

with the details of the case. Bentham said that the accused had been living in the United States of America illegally for a number of years before he decided to go to the US immigration Department for a Green card. While at the immigration office, Singh was questioned, arrested and later deported to Guyana. Sometime last year Singh met a man he identified as Ravi. Singh told investigating officers that ‘Ravi’ offered to help him procure a new passport using someone else’s birth certificate for the cost of US$500. Thus the accused applied and received a new passport in the name Boodram Ramsaran and used

the said document to travel to Canada. Singh spent three months in hiding before Canadian immigration authorities caught up with him and deported him to Guyana, where he was taken into police custody and charged with the offence. Attorney at Law Paul Fung -A- Fat provided legal representation for the defendant. On his client’s behalf, Fung -A- Fat asked the court for leniency. The lawyer explained that his client was living in the US with his wife and child for more than ten years before being deported. The lawyer said Singh returned to Guyana

but suffered nostalgia for his family, thus he travelled to Canada on a falsified document. “He was separated from his family and took the chance to see his eight-yearold child …it’s his love for his child that has him in a bad place.” Fung- A- Fat further stated that his client has never wasted the court time in any of the immigration matters and has no other issue with the law. Magistrate Latchman asked that a probation report be made on the accused. She adjourned the matter until March 13; Singh will remain in custody until then.

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Mash Day fatal stabbing… The police have arrested two men from Better Hope, East Coast Demerara (ECD) in relation to the death of a 25year-old man, who was reportedly attacked by a group of men armed with broken bottles during the Mashramani celebration on Saturday. The victim, Kumar Mohabi,r of Lot 7 Enterprise, ECD, succumbed around 02:45am on Sunday in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Woodlands Hospital. Yesterday, the Police’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Ivelaw Whittaker confirmed that two men were arrested on Monday night. Kaieteur News understands that based on the description given to the police by the dead man’s brother, Narendra Mohabir, an arrest was made. The men accused of the murder are currently at the Brickdam Station and according to the police they are waiting on the older Mohabir to identify them. Narendra Mohabir also sustained multiple stab wounds, allegedly when he threw himself on his mortally wounded sibling to stop the brutal attack. He was treated for his injury and sent home, but this publication was yesterday informed that his condition worsened and he was taken back to the hospital. His relatives said that they were forced to rush him to the hospital yesterday because some of the sutures burst and his wounds were bleeding. Due to his condition, he cannot visit the station. “Some of his stitches

Narendra Mohabir

burst and it was bleeding and paining him so he went back to the hospital,” the injured man’s sister stated. On Saturday last, the brothers went to collect a tent which they had rented to one of their neighbours when the younger Mohabir left to go purchase juices. It was then he reportedly stepped on one of the men’s foot. This had reportedly caused the men to become aggressive and injured both brothers which later resulted in Mohabir’s death.

Dead: Kumar Mohabir

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Cuba’s new heir apparent has work cut out for him HAVANA (AP) — Miguel Diaz-Canel has five years to get started and a lot of work to do. The man tapped as Cuban President Raul Castro’s chief lieutenant and likely successor must quietly fend off any challenges from within the Communist-run island’s secretive citadel of power. He must gain legitimacy with young, and even middleaged, Cubans who have never known a leader not named Castro. And he must deal with an exiled diaspora and American officials who were already making clear on Monday they will not be mollified by a new, younger face. “There’s going to be a huge charisma deficit,” said Ann Louise Bardach, author of “Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington.” ‘’You go from Fidel to Raul who at least had some of the shine of the Castro mantle, somebody who fought in the revolution.” She said Cuba faces “massive” problems including a large public debt, dependence on Venezuela, an aging population, decades of

brain drain and one of the world’s slowest Internet connections. Whether Diaz-Canel is the man to fix all that is very much open to debate. Will Cubans accept another leader who was hand-picked from above and whose ascension — if it happens — will not come through multiparty democratic elections? And will those passed over for the top job fall in line? If Fidel and Raul Castro are still alive, will the 52-year-old electrical engineer and former minister of higher education be able to set his own course? On the streets of Havana, a day after Castro accepted a new term and said he would step down when it ends, many had their doubts about the future. “Change? Was there a change?” asked Ernesto Silva, a 25-year-old student who scoffed at the idea that the country must wait another five years for new leadership, and said he hopes to emigrate to the United States in the meantime. “I find it hard to believe that he will be able to do, say or truly change anything.” Others were more

enthusiastic, but still unsure how Diaz-Canel will establish control. “I think it is good. He is a new and young figure. But he was trained by the old guys,” said Maria Quesada, a 45year-old office worker. “We still can’t talk about a government without Castro because he’s still going to be there, and I think the true test for Diaz-Canel will be when his vision differs from Raul’s.” Raul himself faced a similar challenge when he took over from the ailing Fidel in 2006. The younger Castro was seen as a bland and unassuming figure who had always operated in the shadow of his larger-than-life older brother. But he has overseen a series of sweeping changes since then in an effort to right the country’s ever-weak Marxist economy, expanding private enterprise, legalizing a real estate market and eliminating most travel restrictions. Behind the scenes, Raul has led an anti-corruption campaign and replaced many of Fidel’s confidantes with loyal military officials who

Most Venezuelans think Chavez will recover – poll (Reuters) Most Venezuelans expect President Hugo Chavez to recover from cancer and return to active rule even though he has been in hospital and virtually unseen for two-and-a-half months, a poll showed yesterday. Local pollster Hinterlaces said 60 percent of interviewees believe Chavez will be cured and back to governing, while 14 percent think he will recover but be unable to rule again, and 12 percent view his state as incurable. Chavez, 58, underwent a fourth operation for cancer in Cuba on December 11. Last week he returned to Venezuela and was whisked to a military hospital in Caracas. Apart from four photos of him in hospital in Havana, the socialist president has not been seen or heard in public, with even friend and ally Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, unable to enter his room on two hospital visits. The surprisingly optimistic view of Venezuelans - in contrast to a more pessimistic consensus among diplomats and analysts that Chavez’s 14year rule is probably nearing

Hugo Chavez its end - came in the presentation of two recent surveys by Hinterlaces. “Far from weakening ‘Chavismo,’ far from reducing the popular support for President Chavez, his absence and illness have strengthened the bonds of affection and identification with the president’s ideals,” Hinterlaces head Oscar Schemel said. Previously released results from the same surveys showed that if Chavez is forced out, his vice president and preferred successor, Nicolas Maduro, is favoured to win an election in a possible match-up against opposition leader Henrique Capriles. Hinterlaces gave Maduro 50 percent of potential votes, compared with 36 percent for

Capriles. The opposition leader has publicly accused Hinterlaces of pro-government bias, and political polls in Venezuela are notoriously controversial and divergent. The survey also showed that 60 percent of people view the devaluation of the bolivar currency earlier this month as negative for Venezuela. But the government otherwise scored high marks for its social welfare policies and ability to improve lives. Accused by the opposition of lying and putting a gloss on Chavez’s state, officials are urging Venezuelans to be patient. “The president has the right to take whatever time he needs to recover ... We have the patience to wait for him, to understand him and to accompany him in his battle for life,” Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said yesterday. “We can’t succumb to the blackmailing of the right-wing - and its cruelty and inhumanity - which is clamouring for the president to appear, to intervene, to be sworn in right now.” Chavez missed his scheduled January swearingin for the new, six-year term he won in last year’s presidential poll.

Vice President of the Council of Ministers Miguel Diaz-Canel, center, Commander of the Cuban Revolution Ramiro Valdes, right, and Ricardo Alarcon, outgoing parliamentary president, attend the opening session of the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate) earned his trust during his four plus decades as the nation’s armed forces chief. Observers say it is those men, who have been put in charge of important stateowned enterprises like the phone company, the enormous holding company Cimex and virtually the entire tourism industry, who DiazCanel must persuade to follow

him. “I’m sure he’s shown himself to be acceptable to the military already, otherwise this would never have happened,” said Paul Webster Hare, the British ambassador to Cuba from 2001 to 2004 and now a lecturer in international relations at Boston University. “He has to be

acceptable to them.” In Washington on Monday, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the U.S. remained “hopeful for the day that the Cuban people get democracy, when they can have the opportunity to freely pick their own leaders.” “We’re clearly not there (Continued on page 21)

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St Vincent opposition leader threatens lawsuit, demands apology from PM KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent - CMC – Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace says he has instructed his lawyers to demand an apology from Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves over statements he made on a radio programme earlier this month. Eustace, speaking on radio here, said that his attorneys were also instructed to file a law suit

seeking damages if Prime Minister Gonsalves, an attorney, refuses to apologise. The announcement by Eustace is the latest salvo in the ongoing controversy regarding allegations of bribery involving foreign investor Dave Ames. Eustace, who announced the potential lawsuit on the same day that Prime Minister

Gonsalves received EC$206,000 (One EC Dollar = US$0.37 cents) from a defamation case he won against a local radio station, said that the prime minister in his February 17 broadcast defamed him while telling Vincentians about an encounter with two journalists from the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) on board an aircraft in Barbados.

“I have instructed my lawyers to write to the Prime Minister in relation to him and the defamation of my character in his statement on Sunday, the 17th February. They will write to him demanding an apology, and a certain sum of money. If that is not done within a specified period of time, then further action will be taken by me against the Prime Minister of

Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. I want to make that absolutely clear,” Eustace said. “Very often, I don’t pay much attention to these things, but this time I am not letting it pass. All sorts of things are being said about people. But this time, the Prime Minister must answer — and answer in a court of law — if he does not agree to the terms sent to him in a letter by my lawyers,” Eustace added. Gonsalves had said that the two BBC journalists accosted him on the aircraft when they asked him about an allegation that Ames had gone to the Office of the Prime Minister with a bag of money and left without it. Both Gonsalves and Ames have in separate statement denied the allegation, which Eustace said he learnt of during an interview with the BBC. Eustace said that he did not comment on the allegation but said that if it is proven to be true, Gonsalves would have to demit office. Eustace said that when

the BBC’s “Panorama” programme about Harlequin Property, of which Ames is chairman, is aired, “everyone will have a better understanding of what that situation is about”. The Gonsalves government granted citizenship to Ames because of his investments here. Ames’ company is reportedly being investigated in the United Kingdom amidst allegation that it is a Ponzi scheme, an allegation that a spokesperson for the company has denied. The Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom has also issued an alert about Harlequin and its operations and Eustace said St. Vincent and the Grenadines is receiving a lot of bad coverage in the international press “We are in the news all over the world for the wrong reasons. And it is something we don’t have any control over now, given the widespread interest and comments being made on this whole issue with the resort and other matters related to that,” he said.

German firm apologises for flag advertisement

KINGSTON, Jamaica The German firm that created an advertisement showing the Jamaican flag being burnt and stomped on has apologised to the Jamaican Government and will be pulling the commercial. A highly placed Government official told the Observer a short while ago that Saturn sent a letter of apology to Jamaica’s

embassy in Berlin, saying also that it is pulling the advertisement which has created controversy. Foreign Minister A J Nicholson had told the company that while Jamaica was convinced that the ad was well-intentioned, the fact that one of the island’s national symbols was being disrespected required that Saturn repair the unfortunate breach.

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Cuba’s new heir apparent... US agency frees Caribbean

From page 19 yet,” he added. Ventrell said Cuba needed to do more to open up if it wants repaired relations with the United States. Still, observers said the naming of a successor, along with the economic and social changes Castro has instituted, could eventually lead to detente, or at least an easing of bad blood. “There is a psychological and political benefit to naming somebody now,” said Julia Sweig, a Cuba expert at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations. “It can demonstrate to the United States that there is an opportunity to change how we relate to this new Cuba.” Reaction to Diaz-Canel’s promotion was met with a shrug by Cuban-American politicians who said that changing the nameplate outside the presidential office won’t alter a system they see as repressive and undemocratic. And some analysts and exiles in South Florida questioned whether he will survive politically long enough to ever take control. Little is known of DiazCanel’s relationship with Cuba’s other political or military elites, or his own personal ideology. He is said to be a fan of the Beatles who in his youth wore his hair long at a time when both acts were considered antirevolutionary. And a former colleague says he is a private

jokester despite his somber public demeanor. Like almost all Cuban politicians who earned their stripes by mastering the art of backroom party maneuvering, Diaz-Canel seems to have learned long ago that there was no benefit to putting himself in front of the cameras. It was a lesson he probably learned back in 2002, when fellow young turk Roberto Robaina was dumped as foreign minister after being accused of “political and ethical errors.” Diaz-Canel, who was part of Robaina’s circle, not only survived the purge and a subsequent one that took down the next foreign minister and a prominent young vice president — but he appears to have thrived behind the scenes. Robaina, who now paints pictures and runs a private restaurant in Havana, would not comment Monday on Diaz-Canel’s rise. But a former colleague who has known Diaz-Canel since the 1980s said his career really began to take off after the purge. In 2003, he was named head of the Communist Party in Holguin, a role he had held previously in his native Santa Clara. The same year, Raul Castro helped get him a seat on the Political Bureau, the island’s equivalent of a Politburo. The experience in Holguin was a trial by fire for DiazCanel, who had been popular

in Santa Clara but met resistance in his new role. “People didn’t like him in Holguin,” said the former colleague, who would speak only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. But he caught Castro’s eye, and earned his praise. “He has demonstrated a solid ideological firmness,” Castro, who was then vice president himself, said of his protege, perhaps presaging his future rise. Cuban officials insist that a post-Castro era will be no different and that the nation’s institutions will unquestionably back the new prince. They point to a long history of exiles wrongly predicting the collapse of the revolution, which has so far survived the demise of the Soviet Union and retirement of Fidel Castro, not to mention Washington’s 51year economic embargo. But Hare, the former ambassador, says it would be a mistake to underestimate the challenges Diaz-Canel would face getting state machinery and political rivals to fall in line. “Does he have rivals in the 50-something generation in Cuba who perhaps resent what happened?” Hare asked. “There is a scenario where other people will be sensing ... that Diaz-Canel doesn’t have all the attributes of the Castros and therefore (will ask) ‘Why shouldn’t I have a chance at it?’”

PM satisfied with talks in Morocco ROSEAU, Dominica CMC – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says he has had an “excellent” meeting with officials in Morocco and that Dominica would benefit in the tourism and education sectors. “We had an excellent meeting in Morocco. During my meetings there, I had an opportunity to review our relationship with Morocco,” Skerrit said. Dominica established diplomatic relations with Morocco in 2010 and as part of a technical cooperation agreement, Morocco is involved in the construction of a 58 room hotel in Portsmouth, north of here. Skerrit said he had also discussed the need to develop a marina to complement the hotel. “One of the projects I discussed with them was the marina. We said to them that the marina has to complement the hotel because this is the overall master plan,” he said, adding that Morocco has

Roosevelt Skerrit also agreed to increase the number of scholarships and training opportunities for Dominicans. “During my discussions it was agreed that the Moroccan Government would provide increased scholarships and training for

our diplomatic staff not only within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” Prime Minister Skerrit said it’s his intention to extend these training opportunities to other people who may have interest in diplomacy and protocol, whether they work in the private or public sector. “If you have an interest then we can arrange for one to attend the school of diplomacy in Morocco. It will be fully funded, the airfare will be paid for by the Moroccan government, housing will be provided and tuition fees will be met by the Moroccan government.” Dominica now has 31 students studying in a number of disciplines under a scholarship programme offered by Morocco.

detainees as budget looms

WASHINGTON, United States - CMC - In a move clearly designed to save money, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says it has released a number of Caribbean and other immigrant detainees from jails and detention centers across the country. ICE said that the move comes as automatic US federal budget cuts loom on March 1. “In order to make the best use of our limited detention resources in the current fiscal climate and to manage our detention population under current congressionally mandated levels, ICE has directed field offices to review the detained population to ensure it is in line with available funding,” said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen . “As a result of this review, a number of detained aliens have been released around the country and placed on an appropriate, more costeffective form of supervised

release,” she added. Christensen declined to give an estimate of how many immigrants, and their nationalities, were placed on “supervised release”. But advocates and immigration lawyers reported a “mass release” including dozens of detainees from separate facilities in New Jersey, Arizona, Louisiana, Texas and Florida. Bryan Johnson, an immigration lawyer in Long Island, New York, said a client held in New Jersey’s Bergen County Jail called to tell him guards were freeing 12 immigrants. “We’re getting reports from multiple detention centers in Texas, Florida and New Orleans, where detainees who are low priority are being released in mass without bond,” said Domenic Powell, a spokesman for the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a Washingtonbased immigration advocacy group. Christensen, however,

said ICE is continuing to prosecute cases in immigration court and will seek deportations. ICE and the US Department of Homeland Security said they are analyzing spending as congressional inaction increases the likelihood of socalled budget sequestration or across-the-board spending cuts. The American Civil Liberties Union said that detaining immigrants is an expensive business, with an average daily cost of US$122 to US$164 per person. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said ICE “will be forced” under sequestration to reduce detention and removal of undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants. Immigrant rights advocates have long called for ICE to release some detainees, either to allow them to stay in the United States or to keep them out of prisonlike detention centers until they are deported.

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Obama plans to “listen,” not present Mideast peace plan – Kerry German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrive to address the media at the Chancellery in Berlin yesterday.

BERLIN (Reuters) President Barack Obama will not bring a peace plan to Israel and the Palestinian Territories next month, but rather intends to listen, Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday. Obama’s plan to visit has raised speculation of a new U.S. push to revive IsraeliPalestinian negotiations, stalled since 2010 in a dispute over Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.

But Kerry, speaking to German students during his first foreign trip as Washington’s top diplomat, played down expectations. “We’re not going to go and sort of plunk a plan down and tell everybody what they have to do,” Kerry said. “I want to consult and the president wants to listen.” Obama, who has a testy relationship with right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made peace between Israelis and

Palestinians a priority in his first term but, four years later, has little to show for it. In recent months, each side has antagonized the other - Israel by building Jewish settlements on occupied land and the Palestinians by seeking enhanced status at the United Nations. Kerry said that after Obama’s trip, which also includes a stop in Jordan, the United States would see how it might pursue peace. He urged all sides to behave calmly and keep the possibility of peace alive. Tensions have risen in the West Bank, territory that the Palestinians want to be part of a future state including the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, after the death of a Palestinian in an Israeli jail on Saturday in contested circumstances. A hunger strike by four other Palestinian prisoners has also fuelled violent protests. “We really hope everybody will step back a little and try to find a way to proceed very calmly and very thoughtfully in these next days (and) leave the opportunities for peaceful resolution open,” Kerry said.

In an apparent show of solidarity with Palestinians protesting in the West Bank, militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into Israel on Tuesday for the first time since a truce ended a week of cross-border fighting in November. There were no casualties in the strike, which the Palestinian news agency Ma’an said had been claimed by al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, an armed group in President Mahmoud Abbas’s West Bank-based Fatah movement. Hamas, the Islamist group

that has governed the Gaza Strip since wresting control of the territory from Fatah in 2007, said it was investigating the incident. There was no immediate Israeli military response. Netanyahu has said he hopes Abbas will return to peace talks, but has made clear he intends to put Iran’s nuclear program at the top of the agenda of his meetings with Obama, who has drawn criticism in Israel for not visiting during his first term. Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East’s only

nuclear power, and the West fear Iran’s enrichment of uranium is aimed at developing atomic weapons. Netanyahu has hinted strongly at Israeli military action if international sanctions fail to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which Tehran says are purely peaceful. World powers, holding their first meeting with Iran in eight months, were expected to offer limited sanctions relief in talks yesterday in the Kazakh city of Almaty if Iran agreed to halt its most sensitive nuclear work.

Afghans hold anti-U.S. rally following abuse claims

Afghan villagers attend a protest against U.S. special forces accused of overseeing torture and killings in Wardak province yesterday. REUTERS/Mirwais Harooni Maiden Shar, AFGHANISTAN (Reuters) More than five hundred men marched through the capital of Afghanistan’s restive Wardak province yesterday in an outburst of anger against U.S. special forces accused of overseeing torture and killings in the area. Shouting “Death to America”, “Death to Obama” and “Death to special forces”, the protesters called for the immediate withdrawal of the American soldiers and threatened to join the Taliban if their demand was not met. A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced on Sunday that all U.S. special forces must leave Wardak province within two weeks following the accusations that Afghans working for them had tortured and killed innocent people. Karzai’s demand could further complicate talks between the United States and Afghanistan over the presence of American troops once most NATO forces leave the country by the end of 2014. Reuters interviewed dozens of residents of Wardak and Afghan government officials who alleged that Afghan men working with a small unit of U.S. special forces had

illegally detained, tortured and killed suspected insurgents. A U.S. defense official in Washington said a review in recent months in cooperation with Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry and National Directorate of Security (NDS) intelligence agency found no involvement of Western forces in any abuse. The peaceful two-hour protest began on Tuesday at the offices of the Wardak provincial council shortly after it held a meeting. “If the situation remains like this, this province will collapse very soon,” said protester Haji Abdul Qadim. “People will join the insurgency very soon because of the abuses of these forces.” In another incident that could feed local hostility to the American forces in Wardak, a Swedish organization which runs health clinics across Afghanistan accused the U.S. military on Tuesday of occupying and damaging one of its facilities. The incident occurred before dawn on February 11, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) said in a statement. “Foreign soldiers entered the ... health facility by force,

tied up and blindfolded the guard on duty, and occupied the facility,” the statement said. Doors and windows were broken and medical equipment was destroyed, SCA director Andreas Stefansson said. It was the second time one of SCA’s clinics had been occupied by foreign forces since October, when soldiers spent three days in another Wardak clinic. After the October incident, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had told them it would ensure it did not happen again, Stefansson said. “What we are seeking is that they actually live up to what they say,” Stefansson said. A spokesman for ISAF said the latest operation was carried out in conjunction with Afghan forces and aimed at detaining an insurgent leader who had taken refuge inside the clinic. ISAF said the building was not marked as a medical facility and they had compensated residents for the damage. Stefansson also said a group of Afghan special forces had bullied and threatened the lives of health workers at the Maidan Shar hospital several days earlier.

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Sex, power scandals to loom over Vatican pre-vote talks VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The sex and power scandals haunting the Catholic Church look set to play a big role in meetings before next month’s papal election after two senior cardinals called yesterday for more internal debate about them. A leading support group for victims of clerical sexual abuse also made what it called a “last-ditch plea” to Pope Benedict to use his authority before resigning tomorrow to discipline bishops who have protected predatory priests in their dioceses. The abuse issue took on new urgency after Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien, accused of improper behavior with young priests, quit as Edinburgh archbishop on Monday and pulled out of the Sistine Chapel conclave to elect a new pope. A Scottish Catholic Media Office spokesman has said O’Brien was taking legal advice and contested the “anonymous and non specific” allegations against him. Cardinal Cormac MurphyO’Connor, now the only British prelate due to attend pre-conclave talks among cardinals at the Vatican next week, said in London the sexual abuse of children was

the most serious scandal in the Church. “That will be one of the main things the cardinals will be discussing,” said MurphyO’Connor, who cannot vote because he is over 80 years old but can join the cardinal electors in their closed-door discussions about the challenges for the next pope. French Cardinal JeanLouis Tauran said in a newspaper interview that the cardinal electors, who number 115 after O’Brien stepped down, should also be informed about a secret report on Vatican corruption prepared for Pope Benedict. The retiring pontiff has decided to reserve the report for his successor, but the three cardinals over 80 years old who drew it up will be allowed to inform the cardinal electors about some of its findings during next week’s consultations. “The cardinal electors cannot decide to choose this or that name to vote for if they don’t know the contents of this dossier,” Tauran told La Repubblica newspaper. “If it’s necessary, I don’t see why they should not ask for names,” said Tauran, a former Vatican foreign minister who now heads its department for interreligious

Cardinal Keith O'Brien

dialogue. Italian newspapers have been speculating for days about conspiracies and alleged sexual scandals inside the Vatican that may have influenced Benedict to become the first pope in some six centuries to step down rather than die in office. The Vatican has accused these newspapers of spreading “false and damaging” rumors in an attempt to influence the cardinals who are starting to arrive in Rome for the pope’s farewell meeting with them tomorrow. Two directors of the United States-based abuse victims’ network SNAP arrived in Rome yesterday to draw attention to their demands for tougher Church policies.

Mursi’s opponents say will boycott Egypt elections CAIRO (Reuters) - An alliance of Egyptian opposition parties decided yesterday to boycott parliamentary elections in protest at an election law they say favors the Muslim Brotherhood, increasing the chance that Islamists will sweep the vote. The boycott by liberal and leftist parties opposed to President Mohamed Mursi aims to undermine the legitimacy of the vote and shows the polarization that has defined Egyptian politics since Hosni Mubarak was toppled two years ago. It raises the prospect of an election fought mostly between Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood and more hardline Islamist groups such as the Salafi Nour Party. The vote is to be held in four stages between late April and June. The National Salvation Front (NSF) - an array of liberal and leftist parties struggling to compete with the Islamists - said there should be no elections for the lower house of parliament without a law guaranteeing

Hamdeen Sabahy fair polls. The law was passed this month by the Islamistdominated upper house of parliament, which has been exercising legislative power in the absence of a lower house. The Islamists deny opposition accusations that the law divides constituencies in a way that favors the Muslim Brotherhood. “There can be no elections without a law that guarantees the fairness of the election process and a government that can implement such a law and be

trusted by the people,” said Sameh Ashour, a spokesman for the NSF, who also called for “real independence of the judiciary”. With deep grass roots networks, the Islamists have won all elections since Mubarak was swept from power in a popular uprising that for a while brought Egyptians together in a display of unity rarely seen since then. Divisions between the Islamists and their opponents have widened since Mursi won last year’s presidential election. Tensions spilt into lethal street violence late last year when the president was accused of staging a power grab - accusations the Islamists dismissed as propaganda. Seeking to convince the opposition to take part, Mursi invited them to talks yesterday to address concerns about the vote, but the alliance declined to attend. “We tell President Mursi: talk with yourself and your party,” Ashour said. Mursi went ahead with (Continued on page 25)

“We’re here to make a last ditch plea to Pope Benedict to use the remaining hours of his papacy to take decisive action to protect kids,” said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. He acknowledged that Benedict had met some abuse victims and made some strong statements condemning the molestation of minors by priests, but said he only acted under public pressure. “We long for the day when Church officials announce that this cardinal or this bishop is being demoted

because Church officials have found proof of wrongdoing and Church officials want to clean things up,” he told journalists. SNAP saw no papal candidates ready to fire bishops for shielding wrongdoers, he said, but added: “It’s hard to believe there aren’t some cardinals who are grabbing their colleagues by the lapels and saying ‘We simply have to do better’.” Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, one of the three who drew up the secret report for Benedict, echoed the Vatican attack on the media in an interview on Monday with the daily El Pais. “This wanting to see snake pits, warring mafias, internal hatreds - all this is absolutely false,” he said. Because conclaves are such secretive events, it is hard to see what effect the heightened public pressure over the abuse issue might have on the cardinals who will elect the next leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics around the globe. Italian newspapers, which dedicate several pages a day

to the papal story, have begun mentioning Cardinal Sean O’Malley as a possible “clean hands” candidate because he was sent to Boston to deal with abuse scandals that erupted there in 2002. But other factors could lead them to choose a man whose main strengths lie elsewhere, such as an aptitude to promote its “new evangelization” drive, aimed at rekindling the faith in Europe and boost it in other regions. Recent polls in two important national churches, in the United States and Germany, show that Catholics give their leaders low marks for their handling of the abuse crisis. A Pew Forum poll last week showed U.S. Catholics have become increasingly critical, with those saying Benedict has done a poor job rising from 40 percent in 2008 to 63 percent now. A survey in January for the weekly Die Zeit showed that only 28 percent of German Catholics polled believed the Church really wanted to clean up the mess the scandals have caused.

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Syrian missiles kill at least 141 in Aleppo BEIRUT (AP) — At least 141 people, half of them children, were killed when the Syrian military fired at least four missiles into the northern province of Aleppo last week, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. The international rights group said the strikes hit residential areas and called them an “escalation of unlawful attacks against Syria’s civilian population.” The statement from the New York-based group followed a visit to the area by a HRW researcher. Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the civil war pitting President Bashar Assad’s regime against rebels bent on ousting him. Rebels quickly seized several neighborhoods in an offensive on the city in July, but the government still controls some districts and the battle has developed into a bloody stalemate, with heavy street fighting that has ruined neighborhoods and forced thousands to flee. A Human Rights Watch researcher who visited

Aleppo last week to inspect the targeted sites, said up to 20 buildings were destroyed in each area hit by a missile. There were no signs of any military targets in the residential districts, located in rebel-held parts of Aleppo and its northern countryside, said Ole Solvang, the HRW’s researcher. “Just when you think things can’t get any worse, the Syrian government finds ways to escalate its killing tactics,” Solvang said. Human rights watch said 71 children were among the 141 people killed in the four missile strikes on three opposition-controlled neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo. It listed the names of the targeted neighborhoods as Jabal Badro, Tariq al-Bab and Ard al-Hamra. The fourth strike documented by the group was in Tel Rifat, north of Aleppo. “The extent of the damage from a single strike, the lack of (military) aircraft in the area at the time, and reports of ballistic missiles being launched from a military base near Damascus overwhelmingly suggest that

government forces struck these areas with ballistic missiles,” the report said. Syrian anti-regime activists first reported the attacks last week, saying they involved ground-to-ground missiles, and killed dozens of people. The reports could not be independently confirmed because Syrian authorities severely restrict access to media. Human Rights Watch said it compiled a list of those killed in the missile strikes from cemetery burial records, interviews with relatives and neighbors, and information from the Aleppo Media Center and the Violations Documentation Center, a network of local activists. The rebels control large swaths of land in northeastern Syria. In recent weeks, Assad’s regime has lost control of several sites with key infrastructure in that part of the country, including a hydroelectric dam, a major oil field and two army bases along the road linking Aleppo with the airport to its east. A key focus for the rebels in the Aleppo area is to

This citizen journalism image taken yesterday and provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian man carrying a girl’s body in the aftermath of a strike by Syrian government, in the neighborhood of Jabal Bedro, in Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center AMC)

capture the city’s international airport, which the opposition fighters have been attacking for weeks. Opposition forces have also been hitting the heart of Damascus with occasional mortars shells or bombings, posing a stiff challenge to the regime in its seat of power. U.S. and NATO officials

have previously said that Syria has a significant ballistic missile capability and is believed to have a few hundred missiles with a range of some 700 kilometers (440 miles) that could hit targets deep inside Turkey, a NATO member and one of the harshest critics of the Assad regime.

NATO has in recent weeks deployed Patriot missile systems along Turkey’s border with Syria. The missile attacks have outraged the leaders of the exiled opposition who have accused their Western backers of indifference to the suffering of the Syrian people.

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Big powers offer Iran some sanctions relief, await reply ALMATY (Reuters) Major powers offered Iran limited sanctions relief in return for a halt to the most controversial part of its atomic work during the first day of nuclear talks yesterday, and Iran promised to respond with a proposal on the same scale. The talks in Kazakhstan were the first in eight months between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany - the “P5+1” - on a decade-old dispute that threatens to trigger another war in the Middle East. Iran has used the time since the last meeting in June to further expand activity that the West suspects is aimed at enabling it to build a nuclear bomb, something that Israel has suggested it will prevent by force if diplomacy fails. The two-day negotiations in the city of Almaty follow inconclusive meetings last year in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow. Western diplomats described the first day of talks as “useful” but said Iranian negotiators did not immediately respond to the P5+1’s demand that Tehran closes its underground nuclear facility Fordow, at the center of their concerns. “Hopefully the Iranians will be able to reflect overnight and will come back and view our proposal positively,” said a spokesman for European Union foreign

policy chief Catherine Ashton who oversees Iranian diplomacy for the six powers. With the Islamic Republic’s political elite preoccupied with worsening infighting before a presidential election in June, few believe the meeting will yield a quick breakthrough. “It is clear that nobody expects to come from Almaty with a fully done deal,” the EU spokesman, Michael Mann, said before the meeting started. A U.S. official said that the offer - an updated version of one rejected by Tehran last year - would take into account its recent nuclear advances, but also take “some steps in the sanctions arena”. For years, the powers had attempted a mix of economic pressure and diplomacy to persuade Iran to scale back its atomic work, but Tehran has insisted that sanctions are lifted before it complies with any demands. In Almaty, a source close to the Iranian negotiators told reporters: “Depending on what proposal we receive from the other side we will present our own proposal of the same weight. The continuation of talks depends on how this exchange of proposals goes forward”. At best, diplomats and analysts say, Iran will take the joint offer from the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Britain and China seriously and agree to hold

further talks soon on practical steps to ease the tension. Initial meetings could involve only technical experts, who cannot strike deals. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Berlin that he hoped Iran “will make its choice to move down the path of a diplomatic solution”. But Iran, whose chief negotiator Saeed Jalili is close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and is a veteran of Iran’s 1980s war against Iraq and the Western powers that backed it, has shown no sign of willingness to scale back its nuclear work. It says it has a sovereign right to carry out nuclear enrichment for peaceful energy purposes, and in particular refuses to close the underground Fordow enrichment plant, a condition the powers have set for any sanctions relief. A U.N. nuclear watchdog report last week said Iran was for the first time installing advanced centrifuges that would allow it to significantly speed up its enrichment of uranium, which can have both civilian and military purposes. Accelerating Western sanctions on Iran over the last 14 months are hurting Iran’s economy and slashing oil revenue. Its currency has more than halved in value, which in turn has pushed up inflation. The central bank governor was quoted on Monday as saying Iran’s

Mursi’s opponents say will... From page 23 the talks anyway. “I hope these elections will be fully fair,” he told the televised meeting attended by Islamists, smaller parties and independents. “We all bear the responsibility and I bear the most responsibility.” Mursi said he hoped “our dear brothers who did not meet us today” would join the talks at a later date. If the past is anything to go by, Mursi and the Brotherhood will press on regardless. In December, he held a referendum on a constitution opposed by the opposition, securing its approval and signing it into law despite fierce protest. “The call for boycott indicates the lack of trust the opposition has in the Brotherhood government and may also speak to their own capacities to effectively compete should they run,” said Elijah Zarwan, a Cairobased political analyst. The boycott means parties led by some of the most prominent non-Islamist

politicians will sit out the vote. These include the Popular Current led by Hamdeen Sabahy, a leftist who came third in the presidential election won by Mursi last June, and the Dustour Party led by Mohamed ElBaradei, a former U.N. nuclear agency chief. “This is to protest against the elections law that we did not participate in drafting, and about which our opinion was not taken,” said Heba Yassin, a spokeswoman for Popular Current. “We reject the continuation of Mursi’s oppressive policies that have led to nothing but more bloodshed and political problems.” The lower house was dissolved last year after a court ruled that the previous election law used to elect it was illegal. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won about 40 percent of seats in the old lower house, with the Nour Party in second place. The Nour Party announced this

week that it would take part in the elections. Hassan Nafaa, a political scientist and a critic of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the boycott would undermine the legitimacy of the election. But he also foresaw some parties eventually breaking the boycott. “If one of the front parties decided to enter the elections at a later stage, this will be a major blow,” he said. Police arrested 55 people on Tuesday during a failed attempt to re-open Tahrir Square which has been occupied by anti-Mursi demonstrators since November, a security source said. State media described the police operation as a “peaceful process” that prompted a violent reaction from street venders who threw petrol bombs. Police removed barbed wire barricades, briefly opening the square to traffic, but they were swiftly re-erected by the youths that man them, the source said.

Members of the Iranian delegation, led by Supreme National Security Council Secretary, yesterday.

inflation was likely to top 30 percent in coming weeks as the sanctions contribute to shortages and stockpiling. Iranians say inflation is already much higher than that official figure. But analysts say the sanctions are not close to having the crippling effect envisaged by Washington and - so far at least - they have not prompted a change in Iran’s nuclear course.

Western officials said the powers’ offer would include an easing of restrictions on trade in gold and other precious metals if Tehran closes Fordow. The facility is used for enriching uranium to 20 percent fissile purity, a short technical step from weapons grade. Western officials acknowledge an easing of U.S. and EU sanctions on

trade in gold represents a relatively modest step. But the metal could be used as part of barter transactions that might allow Iran to circumvent financial sanctions. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman last week dismissed the reported incentive as insufficient and a senior Iranian lawmaker has ruled out closing Fordow, close to the holy city of Qom.

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Ganga-smoking soldiers raid on mining camps…

Victims stalling ID parade - police - Board of Inquiry report to be presented before week end

By Dale Andrews The fate of some Guyana Defence Force ranks is hanging in the balance as investigators await the full cooperation of victims in last month’s illegal raid on a mining camp in the Cuyuni District. While the Guyana Defence Force has indicated that it has sufficient evidence to charge the ranks under military law, police investigators are still waiting on eyewitnesses to come forward to facilitate an identification parade for possible criminal proceedings. Almost six weeks ago, it was alleged that a group of soldiers raided the Julian Ross Landing, assaulting persons and relieving smalltime drug dealers of their marijuana, which they consumed openly before raiding a mining camp several miles away. This led to Chief of Staff, Commodore Gary Best establishing a Board of Inquiry to probe the

Chief of Staff, Commodore Gary Best circumstances surrounding the illegal operation. That report is expected to be presented to him before the end of this week. He had also visited the area where the alleged incident occurred and based on information received, an officer and four ranks were detained pending the outcome of a summary of evidence which will determine whether they will face a court martial on military charges.

The GDF in a press statement issued shortly after Commodore Best had visited the area, had stated that the miners and their support staff in the community have cooperated with GDF in its investigations “to the extent that some have identified the GDF officer and soldiers as having been at the Julian Ross Landing, where they allegedly conducted criminal acts.” An army official told Kaieteur News yesterday that the GDF is making contact with all the witnesses and additional charges could be laid after the summary of evidence is completed. But while the GDF is proceeding with its part of the matter, the police investigation has hit a snag with the apparent reluctance of the victims to facilitate the identification parade which is required to institute any criminal charges. “The GDF could say that

the ranks were identified but for police purposes, we need to conduct an identification parade,” a police source told Kaieteur News. Commodore Gary Best had assured that the army will spare no effort to ensure that justice prevails once there is evidence that the acts were committed. “Once we have evidence that the soldiers came here and went to the backdam and robbed the miners, I will ensure that they are charged and put before the court; and if they have to end up in prison, then they will end up in prison,” he had told a group of miners at the Julian Ross Landing. “A crime is a crime.” Reiterating that the

purpose of his visit was to ensure that justice was served, he declared to the group of Guyanese and Brazilian miners that if they did not act to identify the men and have them brought to justice, then it could lead to a continuance of such behavior and the thwarting of justice. Best reassured the miners that coming forward to identify the alleged wrongdoers could not lead to any form of retribution since the alleged perpetrators would, if found culpable, no longer be posted to that area, since they would be locked away. He indicated that bringing the soldiers to justice will send a signal to other ranks in the Guyana Defence Force that such behaviour has serious consequences and that there was no way it would be allowed to continue.

He had also issued a statement in the form of a paid advertisement that no member of the Guyana Defence Force has the authority to inspect any mining licences or intermeddle into any mining activities once they are not accompanied by an official of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission. “…members of the mining community must not submit themselves to any actions by Officers and soldiers of the Guyana Defence Force acting alone with respect to enforcement of laws governing mining in Guyana,” the Chief-of-Staff stated. He made it clear that the Joint Services stand ready to work with the mining community to make their operational environment safe and peaceful.

Guyanese woman shot dead in Antigua electronic store

Police in Antigua are reportedly investigating the circumstances surrounding a shooting incident yesterday at Heritage Quay, which left a 38-year-old Guyanese woman, who last resided at Jennings, dead. According to the CaribArena news website last evening, while the circumstances surrounding the incident are yet sketchy, it is believed that around 13:15hrs, a lone gunman entered the First Gadget store at Heritage Quay. During the attempted robbery at that electronic store, Susan Powell was shot dead. The report, while not naming Powell, said that she

Dead: Susan Powell is employed as a sales person. Antigua media workers

confirmed that the dead woman is Susan Powell. The district doctor, Dr. Moulon, later arrived on the scene and pronounced her dead. There was widespread anger over the shooting yesterday with fears of possible repercussions in that downtown area which is frequented by tourists, especially from the calling cruise vessels. Several irate persons questioned the rising crime situation in Antigua and the perception of easy access to guns. Yesterday, the Police appealed for assistance in gathering details of the crime.

Mazaruni boat captain charged with murder Raymond Charles has been charged with the murder of his father-in-law George Cardario. Charles faced Magistrate Judy Latchman at the Georgetown Magistrates’ court yesterday. He was not required to enter a plea to the indictable charge. The accusation is that Charles murdered Cardario while at Arakaka Landing Middle Mazaruni Apakai on February 24, last. The accused is a 35-yearold boat captain from 17 Miles Rockstone Village, Middle Mazaruni River. According to police, the accused knifed to death his father –in- law, a miner by

profession, after they had a heated argument. Police said that George Cardario, 51, of Middle Mazaruni, died at around 03:30 hrs on Sunday after he was stabbed in the abdomen. Charles had been arrested and taken into police custody where he was assisting with the further investigations. Police Prosecutor Vishnu Hunte did not present the court with any facts as it relates to case. Hence Charles was remanded to prison until March 6. His case is scheduled to continue at the Georgetown Magistrates’ court before another Magistrate on that date.

Raymond Charles

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Addressing impact of co-morbid conditions needful in renal patients – Dr Doobay Revenue collection measures need to NIS Chairman says…

improve “a hundred times more”

To reach an acceptable level with respect to revenue collection, which has been a challenge for the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), current measures will have to improve “a hundred times more”, according to Board Chairman, Dr. Roger Luncheon. “That’s a pledge I made to the Opposition and I have no difficulties. I think all of the Directors and Management see the obligation to move our contribution or revenue in more positive grounds to stop having those deficits that were so common in 2011.” He is adamant that the NIS is not a sinking ship and will not need financial assistance from Central Government for its survival in the near future. He also claims the entity started this year with a surplus and is hoping that it is sustained “The difference between those of us who know… I have been the Chairman of NIS now for a lifetime, and I am not really of the opinion that is being bandied around that it is on its knees and couple mornings from now there is going to be a big bailout from Central Government. I certainly don’t think so.”

Chairman of NIS Board, Dr. Roger Luncheon These assertions were made in a recent interview with this publication in relation to the current status of the NIS in light of troubling revelations in its Eighth Actuarial Review released late last year. The review, an independent analysis of the fund as at December 31, 2011, suggested that the NIS is nearing crisis stage and will be exhausted in less than 10 years, unless contribution rate adjustments and benefit reforms are done immediately. Dr. Luncheon’s claim of a surplus at the beginning of 2013 came just weeks after the scheme’s General Manager

Terry Thomas at a forum at the University of Guyana’s Berbice Campus had stressed that the NIS is operating at a deficit - it is paying out more benefits than contributions received on a monthly basis. Thomas had stated that the Actuarial Review was all about correcting the imbalance. It was pointed out in the review that this could be corrected “by increasing contribution rates; by having much better and fuller compliance by employers and self-employed persons; by stalling or delaying the pension payments—that is— increasing the pensionable qualifying age and it can also be corrected by reducing the pension of those who come into the scheme now”. According to Dr. Luncheon, compliance of citizens to make their contributions remains a major problem. He added that the NIS’s revenue and expenditure are not significantly mismatched. “It is mismatched where expenditure is concerned, particularly benefits expenditure. We spend close to $1B per month in benefits expenditure. We are also about a $1B for overall revenue,” he said.

Renal failure is often compounded by other comorbidity factors the likes of hypertension and diabetes, conditions which are very prevalent among patients here in Guyana. At least this is according to Dr Budhendranauth Doobay, who related during an interview with this publication that renal failure patients on dialysis are not doomed to an untimely death. In fact he related that patients on dialysis can live a relatively healthy life, some even surpassing 15 years, once they adhere to the recommended diet and needful exercises. However, he noted that the co-morbidity challenges can in fact reduce the expected life span of a renal failure patient. “It all depends on how bad the diabetes or hypertension is; besides the dialysis, the process of these other diseases can shorten the lifespan, so we want to establish a centre to help people manage their conditions,” said Dr Doobay who is the founder of the East Coast Demerara, Renal Care Centre. The two prevailing comorbid conditions are mostly prevalent among the two predominant races in Guyana – East Indian and African, according to Dr Doobay. Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood

sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical s y m p t o m s of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased t h i r s t ) and polyphagia (increased hunger). This condition, according to Dr Doobay, is mostly prevalent in East Indian while hypertension is known to mostly afflict Negros. Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteriesis are elevated. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels. According to Dr Doobay “it is our duty to help our Guyanese,” even as he pointed to the fact that renal failure patients in Guyana are in fact under-dialysed. He disclosed that in a country of some 700, 000 there should be at least 700 people on dialysis since there should be 100 dialysed patients per every one thousand. It was against this background, he noted that efforts are being directed towards introducing a centre that directs focus on more people with various comorbid conditions. Hence

persons from the Pomeroon, Bartica, Essequibo and even Skeldon could gain the necessary medical attention to reduce the potential impact of renal failure. Our thoughts were that with Government’s help we would put a branch in Berbice, Essequibo and so that everybody can get a shot at it...everybody should be allowed to live because life is precious.” “I am hoping that it would be possible for us to get this facility that will be opened to everybody across the country...Even if they don’t have money they must have proper medical care,” said Dr Doobay. Financing for the proposed facility, according to him, will be exclusively through fundraising activities and donations from benefactors - some from right here in Guyana and overseas too. In fact it is on this basis that the operation of the clinic has been premised since it opened its doors during the latter part of 2011. “We get quite a bit from people; we have our own set of benefactors right here and many others who are helping us out,” Dr Doobay disclosed. It is however his hope that the efforts to make available an expanded facility to the Guyanese populace that Government will make available subsidies.

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NCN CHANNEL 11 05:00 hrs – Inspiration 05:30 hrs – Newtown Gospel 06:00 hrs –BBC 06:30 hrs – Feature 07:00 hrs – Guyana Today 08:00 hrs – Guysuco Round up (R/B) 08:30 hrs – Close Up 09:00 hrs – Stop the Suffering 10:00 hrs – Documentary 11:00 hrs – History 12:00 hrs – CNN 12:30 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 12:35 hrs – Focus on GRA (R/B) 13:05 hrs – African Moves (R/B) 14:00 hrs – Newsbreak 14:05 hrs – Gina Presents 16:00 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 16:05 hrs – Cartoons

Wednesday February 27, 2013

17:00 hrs – Anderson 18:00 hrs – NCN News Magazine – Live 18:30 hrs – Oral Tradition 19:00 hrs – Al Jazeera 19:30 hrs – Feature 20:00 hrs – 3d/daily millions/ play de dream/lotto draw 20:05 hrs – NCN Newsbreak 20:10 hrs – The Interview r/b 21:00 hrs – NCN Sports Magazine 22:30 hrs – NCN News Late Edition

23:00 hrs – Movie DTV CHANNEL 8 08:55 hrs. Sign On 09:00 hrs. This Morning 10:00 hrs. Live! With Kelly and Michael 11:00 hrs. Roseanne 12:00 hrs. The View 13:00 hrs. Prime News 13:30 hrs. The Young and the Restless 14:30 hrs. The Bold and the Beautiful

15:00 hrs. DTV’s Festival of Biblical Movies for the Lenten Season: “Samson & Delilah” 17:30 hrs. Family Feud 18:00 hrs. World News 18:30 hrs. The Wayans Bros 19:00 hrs. Greetings and Announcements 20:00 hrs. Channel 8 News 22:00 hrs. Criminal Minds 23:00 hrs. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 00:00 hrs. Sign Off

Guides are subjected to change without notice

Wednesday February 27, 2013 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19) Pay close attention to the little things today, for they might unravel your day if left untended. However, once you are faced with a crisis — no matter how small — you would be wise to let other matters slide until the brush fire is contained. TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20) Acting with common sense might not guarantee the desired outcome today, for there are social forces at work that you don’t completely understand. For example, a recent conflict may be revisited for no apparent reason. GEMINI (May 21–June 20) A domestic problem could overflow into your workday, yet it’s crucial not to spend too much energy trying to suppress it. The more you resist revealing your feelings today, the more relentlessly they will persist. CANCER (June 21–July 22) You may feel as if you walked into the middle of an awkward situation today. It’s not a good idea to take sides in a pre-existing conflict now, but you might not be able to avoid it. LEO (July 23–Aug. 22) You may be uncharacteristically less than confident as you worry about how your actions might negatively influence others today. However, the current circumstances have already been set into motion and you are simply acting as a catalyst. VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) Your mental acuity may stir up ill will today as your feelings break through the awkward silence. If you have something to say, you might not be able to keep it quiet any longer.

LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) A low-level panic could motivate you into action early in the day once you realize how much there is to do. Perhaps you haven’t managed your time well, yet you still must complete the tasks on your plate. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) Your current vision of the future may be quite different from someone else’s dream, and this incompatibility can agitate deeper issues of uncertainty. Although a misunderstanding could make matters worse, the real concern isn’t about lack of clarity; it’s about who is in control. SAGIT (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Even your most substantial plans can be turned inside out without warning today. You might try to flex your managerial muscles by holding fast to the current strategy, but this isn’t necessarily the most effective idea. CAPRI (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) An intense situation could become quite distracting today, so practice maintaining your concentration before anything goes awry. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Although it’s not likely that you’ll be visited by aliens today, you still might feel as if you’re on the set of a sci-fi movie as strange things seep into your world. Luckily, you are more open to these kinds of phenomena now than at other times, so you can take nearly anything strange in stride. PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20) Someone may disappoint you today by ignoring responsibilities or falling short of delivering on a promise. If you are counting on others, it’s a smart strategy to temporarily lower your expectations now so you don’t end up discouraged.

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Wednesday February 27, 2013

Guyana Darts Association Mashramani Darts Classic

Anil Lachman dethrones champion Sudesh Fitzgerald to clinch national title Anil Lachman employed some precision throws to register 3 games and dethroned national champion Sudesh Fitzgerald, who won just 1 game, to take the three best in five affair, when the two tangled in the Men’s Singles 501 championships in the Guyana Darts Association (GDA) Mashramani Darts Classic tournament at the Clerico Club (CCWU), Quamina Street Georgetown, Sunday afternoon last. The new champion drew first blood, winning the first two games before Fitzgerald rebounded with a win in the third. Lachman then won the third game to take an unassailable lead and duly lifted the prestigious accolade. Lachman also enjoyed the honour of being the first to have his name inscribed on the Len’s lien trophy while carting off the $40,000 first prize. Fitzgerald received some consolation with the

$20,000 second prize while losing semi-finalists Ricardo Madhoo and Anthony Bissoondyal each received $10,000. This event was sponsored by John Fernandes Limited. Rosetta Hiralall continued the trend when she registered another upset over Hemwattie Amyan to strip her of the Women’s Singles 501 title and the $20,000 first prize that went with it. The two players engaged in a best in 3 rivalry and Hiralall prevailed 2-1 The former champion can be excused since her game might have been affected following the recent passing of her ex-husband and former national player, Ronald Amyan, who was laid to rest in Suriname recently; she had attended the funeral. This event was cosponsored by Dr. Terrence Joseph and Roy & Sonia Fashions of Stabroek Market. Amyan received $10,000 while the losing

President of the GDA, Grantley Culbard, (right) hands over the winning prize to newly crowned men’s champion Anil Lachman. semi-finalists Shondell Hyles and Shabana Ali each received $5,000. The Open Doubles 501 event, sponsored by the Guyana Oil Company Limited, was won by Anil Lachman and Lalchand Rambharose who got the better of Sudesh Fitzgerald and Rosetta

Hiralall, 2 games to nil. The winners received $30,000 while the losers got $20,000. In the play-off for 3rd and 4th places, Sherwin Greene & Anthony Bissoondyal prevailed over Colin France & Shondell Hinds, 2 games to nil. The pairs received $12,000 and

Rosetta Hiralall receives her winnings from a representative of Roy & Sonia Fashions. $8,000 respectively. There were also three incentive prizes awarded for special performances. Colin France registered the only maximum 180 throw in the various events and copped $5,000 for his effort. The highest check-out to finish a game was done by

Sudesh Fitzgerald (170) and he too received $5,000 for that feat. The shortest/fastest game (16 darts), for $5,000, went to Sudesh Fitzgerald and Rosetta Hiralall. Special mention was also made of Shondell Hyles who registered the highest throw (160) for women.

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Slingerz FC/Stag Beer tournament set for exciting climax

Slingerz FC

With the intentions of uplifting the sport of football on the Westside, Slingerz Entertainment have in the last

three weeks launched and hosted the most talked about football tournament on the West Demerara (West Side)

and some parts of Guyana, Stag Beer Westside Mashramani Champion Cup Football Tournament, with

GSL\Regal Stationery\Mike’s Copy Centre\Star Party Rentals\Trophy Stall cricket...

Sahadeo, Bacchus bowl Omesh XI to comfortable victory Jimmy Sahadeo and Asheemel Bacchus grabbed 4 wickets each as Omesh XI defeated LBI Top Gun by 91 runs as play in the Georgetown Softball League\Regal Stationery and Computer Centre\Mike’s Copy Centre\ Star Party Rentals and Trophy Stall competition continued last Sunday. Playing in the open category, at Everest, Omesh XI batted first and rattled up 141-4 in 12 overs with Asheemel Bacchus scoring 48 and Vickram Kissoon 39. S. Abdul took 2-23. LBI Top Gun in reply were bowled out

for 50 with K. Persaud being the only batsman that offered resistance with 15; Sahadeo had 4-6 and Bacchus 4-10. At DCC, Trophy Stall B hammered LBI Top Gun by 99 runs. Trophy Stall B made 154-5 in 12 overs. Bharrat Singh was their leading batsman with 52(7x6). LBI Top Gun in reply were skittled for 55 in 10 overs. Rennie Khan and Vishnu Geewan picked up 3 wickets apiece. In the Over-35 category, at Everest, Park Rangers overcame Savage by 7 wickets. Savage took first strike and managed 78 all out. Troy Ramsingh scored 25 as

Tony Singh claimed 4-4, Mark Fung 2-7 and Ramjit Singh 227. Park Rangers then responded with 79-3. D. Mohanram top scored with 39 and H. Narine made 21 not out. At GNIC, MK XI got the better of Savage by 7 wickets. Savage batted first and fell for 118. Nadir Baksh and Troy Ramsaywack made 21 apiece as Navin Wilfred snared 4-24 and Walack Joseph 3-24. MK XI in reply reached their target in 12.2 overs for the lost of 3 wickets as they ended on 119. U. Yussuf led with an unbeaten 61 and A. Haniff made 35.

Former footballers roll back the years at GFC Ground today Two teams comprising of past football stars from the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) and the Brasimex Masters will turn back the clock of their glory days when they clash at the Georgetown Football Club Ground this afternoon starting at 18:30hrs. Subsequently, the former ball weavers will tour Berbice, Bartica and Essequibo before travelling to Suriname later on for similar games. The GFC team is led by

Managers, Godfrey Polis and Dennis ‘Chow’ Hunte and will field the following players: Frank Parris, Anthony Stanton, Floyd Cadogan, Malcolm Dolson, Anthony Williams, Shawn Jacobs, James Rodney, Jolyon Lewis, Terrence Plummer, Stanford Miller, Wayne Williams, Lloyd Smith, Andrew Brite (Goalie), Dion Barnwell, Rawl Jones, Dallas Sharples, Patrick Vincent and Peter Lashley. Brian Thompson and

Osafo Adams will manage the Braismex M a s t e r s u n i t , while the players are, Shawn O’Neil (Capt), Terrence Lewis, Lennox Cort (Goalie), Marlon Cole, Paul Hutson, John Mitchell, Sheldon Babb, Troy Prescod, Prince Johnson, Lindon Bacchus, Sherwin Scott, James Turpin, Roger Adams, Anthony Marks, Dexter Layne and Errol Solomon. Members of the public are encouraged to be a part of the activities.

two nights of fun and four games played so far, there is still two more nights of action to be played. The Den Amstel Ground will play host to this Friday’s semi-finals, which will see Seawall Football Club coming up against Den Amstel in the

opening encounter from 19:00 hours while the night’s feature game brings together tournament host Slingerz Football Club and Uitvlugt. With $500,000 up for grabs for the tournament’s winners, the finals of the event will also be played at the Den Amstel Ground on

Sunday March 3. A total of eight West Side teams entered the tournament with Slingerz FC gaining a 1 – 0 win over Beavers on the opening night and Den Amstel Football Club sunk Eagles seven goals to two (72). Last Friday, on the eve of Guyana’s 43rd Independence, (February 22), Seawall, in a pulsating game which had to be decided via penalty after regulation and extra time failed to separate the two sides that ended 3 – 3 but in the end Seawall prevailed. Based on the two nights of action so far, football loving fans on the west side of Demerara and its environs, can expect nothing short of excitement in the Slingerz Football Club organized event. The second placed team will go home with $300,000 while third through fourth places will pocket $150,000 and $50,000 respectively. The best goalkeeper will receive $25,000 as well as the player the player who scores the most goals in the tournament. All prize money will be accompanied with a trophy.

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WICB, Windies salute Sir Everton Weekes on his 88th birthday St George’s, Grenada – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Cricket Team have extended heartiest birthday greetings to West Indies legend Sir Everton who celebrated his 88th birthday on Tuesday. Sir Everton is one of the most prolific batsmen in the history of the game and one of the most popular West Indies cricketers of all time. Sir Everton was born in Barbados on February 26, 1925. He was a member of the famous Three Ws – which also included Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Clyde Walcott. Sir Everton represented the West Indies in 48 Test matches between from 1948 and 1958. He made 4,455 runs at the impressive average of

Sir Everton Weekes 58.61 runs per innings. He made 15 Test centuries – including a record five in consecutive innings. Dr Julian Hunte, President of the West Indies Cricket Board, saluted the

legend on his special day. “On behalf of the West Indies Cricket Board, the West Indies Team and cricket lovers all across the Caribbean I want to send heartfelt greetings to the great Sir Everton Weekes on reaching this milestone in his life. He was one of our greatest cricketers and a true ambassador for the game. We hope he enjoys his birthday,” said Dr Hunte. “Sir Everton belongs to a special group of West Indian cricketers. He was a pioneer in the early days of West Indies cricket and paved the way for what we have today. He is still very much involved in the game and he remains a cheerful, respectful and respected gentleman. Everyone is a fan of Sir Everton.”

Junior and Senior Mr. Muscle Flex Bodybuilding competition in Berbice this Saturday Body Building fans in Berbice will have an opportunity to see all the top bodybuilders in the ancient county in action when the Fitness Zone Gym of Stanleytown New Amsterdam, stages their Mr. Muscle Flex Junior and Senior Bodybuilding Competition 2013 on Saturday 2nd March at Lot 49 Stanleytown New Amsterdam Berbice. Using themes such as “Rise be wise and exercise” and “from the gym to the stage” the organisers have decided to put together a complete package that will be of interest to all

bodybuilders and fans. Bodybuilders from all of the top gyms in Berbice are expected to be part of the action including Windero, House of pain, George Noble, Corriverton, Belvedere, Canje and West Berbice. Apart from the junior and senior competitions there will be guest poses from some of the top males and females in Guyana who will be journeying from Georgetown and Linden to be a part of the action. Pose off time is 18:00 hrs. (Samuel Whyte)

India take 1-0 lead with eight-wicket win An Indian victory that seemed imminent minutes after tea on day four was eventually completed by Sachin Tendulkar, 40 minutes before lunch on day five. Australia’s resistance over that period arrived too late to change the result, but in it may be found the clues to a tighter contest when the second match begins in Hyderabad on Saturday. MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Virat Kohli and Tendulkar were the pivotal contributors to India’s 1-0 series lead, showing greater discipline and awareness of the sort of cricket best played on the MA Chidambaram Stadium’s clay court. Save for Michael Clarke’s first-day century and James Pattinson’s fiery pace, it was not until Moises Henriques stood up with the bat in the second innings that the tourists showed evidence of catching up. A target of only 50 to win was reached with the help of some Tendulkar fireworks towering sixes from his first two deliveries against Nathan

Lyon - but Pattinson again bowled well to the openers and Lyon showed far greater consistency of line and control of length than he had managed while being taken for 3 for 215 in the first innings. India were left with some questions about their opening pair, M Vijay and Virender Sehwag doing little in either innings, and they may also wonder about subtracting another seam bowler from their XI should the Hyderabad surface be anything like this one. Australia have found a steady batting hand in Henriques, but much of their display in this match will be the cause of serious introspection. Henriques and Lyon had put on 66 for Australia’s last wicket, a defiant gesture after the earlier batsmen had failed to stand their ground. Henriques’ unbeaten innings completed a fine double for the debutant, who has surely made his place safe for the second Test. Ultimately it was Ravindra

Jadeja who ended the stand after 25 minutes on the final morning, switching from over to around the wicket against Lyon and coaxing an inside edge onto pad that was snapped up by short leg. Pattinson’s first ball of the innings was a snorter, pitched short and seaming back sharply at Vijay, though it angled away from Matthew Wade and flew away for four byes. The ball kept Vijay thinking, and after depositing Lyon for one straight six, he fell when an indecisive drive was well taken by Henriques at a shortish mid-off. In the next over Cheteshwar Pujara offered a sharp chance when padding up to Lyon, the ball striking pad and glove but eluding Wade, who was unable to adjust to the ball’s shifting trajectory. Scores: India 572 (Dhoni 224, Pattinson 5-96) and 50 for 2 beat Australia 380 (Clarke 130, Ashwin 7-103) and 241 (Henriques 81*, Ashwin 5-95, Jadeja 3-72) by eight wickets.

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Georgetown Softball League\ Rage, TNT, C7 through to semis Regal make presentation to GNIC Joseph and Vickerie Dominoes

Regal Stationery and Computer Centre, one of the sponsors of the current Georgetown Softball League Open, Oover-35 and Female tournaments on Monday last presented one 21’ colour television set to the Guyana National Industrial Corporation (GNIC) Sports Club. First vice president of the Georgetown Softball League Ian John said the GNIC ground is being used as a venue for the

Faye Joseph

Samantha Vickerie

Sonia Goodluck

Rage, TNT and C7 have booked their places in the semifinals of the Faye Joseph and Samantha Vickerie 2 in 1 out Dominoes competition which commenced on Sunday evening at Transport Sports Club, Thomas Lands. Rage with 74 games beat TNT 66 and Assassin 56 in the first preliminary round.

Winston Steven marked a maximum of 18 games for Rage, while Orin Favourite supported with 14. Leroy Edwards and Kanhai Samaroo were TNT’s leading players with 13 games each; Floyd Hinds scored 14 and Andrew Younge 13 for Assassin. C7 took the second round with 80 games ahead of TNT

with 70 and Mix Up 60. Brian Edwards chalked 16 for the winners, while Sonia Goodluck made 17 for TNT and Mark Wiltshire 15 for Mix Up. The semifinal and final will be played on Wednesday evening at the said venue. Transport drew the bye to the final.

present competitions and they are pleased to assist the club. “We are very thankful to the club for granting us permission to use their facility. I must also thank Regal Stationery and Computer Centre for their kindly gesture.” “Other presentations are in the making for other clubs whose grounds are being used to host matches,” stated John. Meanwhile, Deborah D’Andrade thanked both Regal and the GSL for their assistance.

World Champions West Indies name squad for two-match T20 Series against Zimbabwe St George’s Grenada – The West Indies Cricket Board’s Selection Panel has named the 13-man squad for the upcoming two-match T20 International Series as the World Champions take on Zimbabwe. The matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua. First ball is 2 pm (1 pm Jamaica Time). The team will be led by Darren Sammy, who was at the helm when the West Indies won the ICC World T20 title in Sri Lanka last year. There is a first-time call-up in this format for fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and a recall

for allrounder Christopher Barnwell – who were along the leading performers during last month’s Caribbean T20 tournament. Chris Gayle has asked to miss the T20 Series and has been granted permission accordingly. The West Indies team will assemble in Antigua today and will have training sessions at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground tomorrow and Friday morning. FULL SQUAD: Darren Sammy (Captain), Samuel Badree, Christopher Barnwell, Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Shannon Gabriel,

Windies complete series... From back page Bravo faced 103 deliveries and struck five fours while Deonarine, also a left-hander, gathered 21 from 32 balls. West Indies then stumbled, losing two wickets for one run in the space of three balls. Deonarine lazily chipped medium pacer Masakadza to Mutombodzi at midwicket in the 31st over and Kieron Pollard was run out without facing a ball when Bravo turned his back on a second run. However, Darren paired with his older brother Dwayne to add an enterprising 46 from 43 deliveries for the fifth wicket before joining with Denesh Ramdin (24 not out) to put on 48 for the next wicket to erase any nerves. Scores: West Indies 215 for 5 (Darren Bravo 72*, Powell 42, Mutombodzi 2-35) beat Zimbabwe 211 for 9 (Chibhabha 48*, Sibanda 41, Permaul 3-40) by five wickets.

Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell and Lendl Simmons. TEAM MANAGEMENT Ottis Gibson (Head Coach), Richie Richardson (Team Manager), Toby Radford (Assistant Coach), C.J Clark (Physiotherapist), Hector Martinez-Charles (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Richard Berridge (Video & Statistical Analyst), Philip Spooner (Media Manager), Fitz Alleyne (Massage Therapist).

Lakeram Gopaul office manager of Regal Stationery and Computer Centre presents the television set to the club’s supervisor Deborah D’Andrade, in the presence of club staff Sharon Alli and members of the Regal over 35 and open teams.

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