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Monday January 01, 2018

Guyanese author documents Barbudians land ownership struggles A Guyana-born author has warned that the people of Barbuda are currently not only struggling to recover from the devastation that was brought to the island by Hurricane Irma, but they are also fighting to retain the collective ownership of their land. “This is a system that has been in place since the abolition of slavery on the island and is currently being threatened by the government of Antigua and Barbuda,” said Dwayne Wong (Omowale), a contributor for the Huffington Post. Wong, who is the author of several books on African and African Diaspora history, writes that Prime Minister Gaston Browne has argued that in order to rebuild Barbuda and to improve the island’s economy it is necessary to change this law. “The people of Barbuda are concerned that they will lose the control of their land, so that Barbuda can be developed into an island for mass tourism, much as Antigua has been,” added Wong, writing on Friday under the caption, “Barbuda and the Land Issue in the Caribbean. “As I have pointed out previously, some Antiguans have complained that tourism has become such a dominant feature on the island that the island belongs to the tourists more so than the people who lived there. The people of Barbuda fear the same thing will happen to their island as well.” Wong said Barbuda’s struggle to retain collective control of the island is “a struggle that has been waged throughout the Caribbean islands, where the forces of colonialism and neo-colonialism have sought to establish foreign ownership over those lands. “Christopher Columbus’s well-known ‘discovery’ of the Caribbean islands in 1492 led to massive genocide on those islands,” he said. “In many of the Caribbean islands the nation population was completely wiped out due to a combination of violence and disease. Thus, the initial process of colonization not only involved theft of native land, but also the complete depopulation of those islands. “Those islands were then repopulated mainly by enslaved Africans. After slavery was abolished other ethnic groups, such as East Indians and Chinese, were brought to the Caribbean to labor as indentured servants. Throughout this whole process the land was owned by a small elite group of wealthy white settlers,” Wong continued.

He noted that when the people of Haiti won their independence through a revolution, one of the major provisions that were put in place by the new government was one which sought to ensure that Haitians retained the ownership of their land and property. “This was so important for the Haitian Revolutionaries that Jean-Jacques Dessalines decreed that foreigners would not be allowed to own property in Haiti,” Wong said. “Unfortunately, for many of the Caribbean countries that have gained their independence after Haiti, retaining local control of the land has not been a priority.” He said one of the reasons for this is the Caribbean’s reliance on tourism, stating that, on some islands, it became a policy to privatize beach land, excluding the locals in the process. The author said the privatization of beach land has been the subject of a number of songs, “which have been aimed at exposing and criticizing these policies.” In Trinidad and Tobago, he said the late calypsonian Lord Kitchener complained about how the natives in Tobago were arrested for being on their own beaches. In Barbados, the Mighty Gabby composed his hit song “Jack” in response to a policy put forward by Jack Dear, the chairman of the Tourist Board, who suggested allowing hotels to privatize beach land, Wong said. Concerning Jamaica, he said Mutabaruka “complained about the all-exclusive hotels, which would make tourists believe that Negril is a separate island apart from Jamaica.” Wong said the foreign control of land has also been an issue in Puerto Rico, a former Spanish colony, which was later taken from the Spanish and brought under American domination. “I mention all of this to show that the struggle of the people of Barbuda to retain the ownership of their land is a struggle that has been waged and is being waged on other Caribbean islands as well, where foreign powers continue to control the economies and the land of those islands to the exclusion of the locals,” he said. “Barbuda is unique in that its system of collective land ownership ensures that no one on the island is excluded from owning property or land,” he added. “If history is a good indicator of what may happen to Barbuda, if this system is overturned, then the people of Barbuda have every right to voice their concerns over what they see as a ‘land grab’ taking place on their island.”

Kaieteur News



Monday January 01, 2018

Kaieteur News

Ministry of Public Infrastructure boasts 27 major achievements in two years – Minister Patterson The Ministry of Public Infrastructure is generally appreciated as one of the Ministries under the Coalition Government with the best performance. In fact, the Ministry was recently singled out by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI). The Ministry was given the Public Service Award of Excellence in recognition of road and public infrastructure development works being executed in fair timeliness. Now, the Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson is noting that there is much more that the Ministry has achieved under his stewardship. He said that the Ministry has made 27 major achievements over the last few years. Among these achievements are the completion of the East Bank Demerara FourLane Extension (Providence to Diamond) and; the erection of five pedestrian overpasses along East Bank Demerara Public Road. The overpasses are outfitted with lifts in consideration of persons with disabilities. Patterson noted that these are the first set of overpasses to be erected in Guyana. Patterson pointed to the completion of a Feasibility Study and launching of Bids for the New Demerara River Crossing. He said that works are expected to commence in 2018. The Ministry was also responsible for the construction and rehabilitation of approximately 101.3 km of Village Roads, with major improvement in all regions including areas such as Victoria, Lusignan, Leguan, the latter having asphaltic concrete pavement for the first time. Patterson pointed to the construction and rehabilitation of approximately 801.2 km hinterland roads in the quest

to link the coastland and hinterland, including the commencement of works from Bartica to Mahdia on the Bartica-Potaro alignment. The Minister said that significant works are ongoing in the new and proposed townships of Mahdia, Mabaruma, Bartica and Lethem. The majority of these works involve the construction of rigid concrete pavements that require minimal maintenance and are more suitable for these interior locations. Public Infrastructure also ensured the maintenance of approximately 58.4 km of urban streets in Georgetown, New Amsterdam, Linden, with the aim of enhancing the preventative maintenance scheme. Sophia, Carifesta Avenue and Vlissingen Road, Georgetown benefited from major road enhancements. The Ministry oversaw the rehabilitation of all major drainage networks through the Coastland. Patterson noted that prolonged flooding in Georgetown is almost completely eliminated, and that all sluices and pumps in Georgetown are in a state of readiness because they are being maintained. Public Infrastructure Ministry can also boast of the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of approximately 92 km of River and Sea Defences along the coastline as well as the completion of 26.1 of 31 km of the West Coast Demerara Roadway between Vreed-en-Hoop and Parika. The Ministry also ensured the rehabilitation of Sea Defence and waterfront development between Kingston, Georgetown and Ogle, ECD as well as the modernisation of the Georgetown and Vreeden-Hoop stellings are scheduled to commence in 2018. The procurement of

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson Consultancy for design studies is in progress. Rehabilitation and Maintenance of more than 30 hinterland aerodromes was also done. This is to facilitate easier access to some of the most remote communities of Guyana. Patterson said that of significance was the lengthening of Fairview aerodrome from 2500 feet to 4000 feet utilising polymer emulsion stabiliser on the runway surface. The Ministry also secured upgrades to stellings at Bartica - Phase 1-- which include the provision of commercial concessions and a modernized passenger waiting area. Phase 2 will commence and be completed in 2018. Other works planned for 2018 include rehabilitation of Leguan Stelling and studies for the upgrading of Parika, Supenaam and Wakenaam stellings. The Ministry also commenced the process for the designation of Lethem as a Regional air transport hub to further connect Guyana with

our southern neighbours. There was also the commencement on the Guyana’s Silk Road (the Linden-Lethem Road) Phase 1 —Linden to Mabura Hills is slated for commencement in 2018. The procurement of Consultancy for design studies is in progress. Public Infrastructure is also boasting completion of the Sustainable Urban Transport Study for Georgetown which would serve as a blue print for improvement of public transportation, parking management and traffic improvement in Georgetown. Patterson also pointed to the strengthening of the Regional oversight of public works projects through the employment and deployment of resident engineers to all 10 administrative regions.

There was also the training of 28 air traffic controllers and safety inspectors. Public Infrastructure also secured the Installation of the ADSB (Automatic Dependency Surveillance — Broadcast) aided by 4 repeater stations at Annai, Kaieteur, Kamarang and Port Kaituma to track and locate aircrafts with transponders anywhere within Guyana’s airspace to further enhance safety and security in our airspace. Further, Patterson noted that the Ministry secured the recommencement of the once stalled Power Utility Upgrade Program (PUUP) jointly funded by the IADB and the EU when completed will result in approximately five percent reduction in technical and commercial losses which is about US$5M USD per year in power generation savings. There is also the new power generation sets which were procured for Anna Regina (5.4 MW), Bartica (3.3 MW) and Cane field (5.5 MW). Patterson said that all will become operational by the first quarter of 2018. In addition, expression of interest have been advertised for Solar Photovoltaic system (PV) for Anna Regina (5MW) Kuru Kururu (5 MW) and West Coast Berbice (5.4 MW). About US$20M has been budgeted by GPL for the upgrading of the redundancy transmission and distribution system over the next 18 months to eliminate current issues, said Patterson. He noted too that new solar PV systems installation 3,352 kilowatts (3.35 MW) in-

cluding Mabaruma (400 KW) producing savings of about 4,698,163 KWh annually resulting in 276 G$ in annual savings and avoided carbon dioxide emissions of 4,463 tons. In addition, the Guyana Energy Agency has installed energy efficient LED lights and occupancy sensors at 52 public buildings and the installation of 242 energy efficient street lights. Patterson also indicated that bids have been received and currently being assessed for 330 KW mini-hydro at Kato. Currently the MPI is assessing proposal for a minihydro at Tumatumari (1.5 MW) which is expected to power Mahdia and Micobie The Minister also said that GEA will install a microhydro at Hosororo (20 KW) to contribute to the electricity supply to the community. Patterson even indicated that bids have been received for the geotechnical studies for Moco Moco with the aim of redeveloping the hydro facility there. The Minister noted too that a multi-disciplinary team has been established to update the stack of information on Guyana’s 67 potential hydro sites to develop project ready documents. As he reached the final achievement of note, Patterson said that the ‘Quintet plus one’ sub-committee is in the advanced stage of finalising project to bring pipe natural gas to shore which will be utilised for electricity generation and related by-products. This project is scheduled to commence in 2018.

GWI seeks to install alternative energy supply In seeking to further improve its service to customers, the Guyana Water Incorporated is seeking to install alternative energy to be able to provide 24 hours of water supply on a daily basis. The importance of this upgrade was noted by Dr. Richard Van-West Charles as he was presenting the company’s year-in-review recently. According to him, there are a few generators that power the water pumps when the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc fail to provide power. These generators can be mostly found in communities that have a greater population. He noted, “…While central government assists us with electricity charges, and you know we are dependent on the power supply, and we are going to be embarking

and looking at alternative energy sources for the supply of electricity because that is linked to the 24 hours system.” Dr. Van West-Charles went on to explain that he was made aware of the situation in Port Mourant, Berbice, where customers were complaining that they are unable to get a stable water supply. “The reality is that Port Mourant has a well and the treatment plant there gets water from the well,” according to him. Added to that, he said that there is only one generator in the area. The situation has been affecting the engineers attached to the water company to “move the generators around”. This is to ensure that the communities, whenever there is a power failure, has water to an extent. There are some large com-

munities however that already has 24 hours of water supply, such as Diamond, East Bank Demerara. “We have to look at accessing more generators so that we can sustain the system when GPL has its issues.” This newspaper understands that in several communities indeed, whenever there is a power failure, would go as much as days without water. One such village is KuruKururu, on the Soesdyke Linden Highway. In that village, it is those without water tanks are mostly pressured. The residents are forced to cook, wash, clean and even consume creek water, and if available rain water. Meanwhile, the more popular communities receive a stable water supply, even without electricity, due to the generators.

Monday January 01, 2018


Kaieteur News

Jagdeo is walking into a trap The Leader of the Opposition has made a gross miscalculation. He has reportedly accepted an invitation to attend a consultation with the President on Wednesday. Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, by accepting that invitation, has stepped into a booby trap. He has played right into the President’s hands. The consultation is likely to be about the appointment of the Chancellor of the Judiciary. The Leader of the Opposition should not be part of any process which was preceded by an unconstitutional act. The government earlier last year (2017) established a search committee to nominate persons for the positions of Chancellor and Chief Justice. After a committee, determined exclusively by the President, was appointed, persons were encouraged to apply to an email address at the Ministry

of the Presidency. This is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers. The judiciary enjoys independence from the Executive arm of the state. The Executive arm of the state should play no role in any application process. The appointment of the committee and the invitation for persons to apply were both unconstitutional. The Leader of the Opposition by agreeing to meet with the President on this issue is unwittingly lending credibility to these unconstitutional practices. He should not be part of any consultation which will deal with any recommendation coming from the search committee. What happens if some judges, eligible to be both Chief Justice and Chancellor, had refused to submit themselves to examination by the search committee, a creature

of the Executive? It means that they would not have been considered for appointment. They would have been disenfranchised. The process began by President Granger is unconstitutional and should be challenged. The consultation however is not the forum for the Leader of the Opposition to challenge the constitutionality of the appointment of the search committee or the invitation for persons to apply to an email address linked to the Ministry of the Presidency. The President can introduce any system he wants to help him decide who he feels is best suited to be Chancellor and Chief Justice. But he must act within the confines of the Constitution. Unfortunately, the Constitution does not grant him licence to ask persons to apply to an Executive search committee at an email address used by his

Dem boys seh...

New Year, new employee Three days ago, de Waterfalls boss man hire a new worker. De man kneel down and beg fuh de job suh de boss man tell he to tun out to wuk and help ‘round de place. De next day de boss send he to buy two pound sugar but he guh back to de office without and tell de boss he only see onepound bag. De boss man got so vex dat he cuss up de man and ask him why he didn’t use he brain and buy two one pound bags to mek up de two pounds. De third day de boss man send him to buy slippers—size 8. De man guh to Bhena Footwear and find only size four. Suh dis time he use he brain and buy two size 4 to mek up de size 8 and bring it back to de boss. De boss man tell him to go outside and wait. De new employee stand outside de door and he could see de boss man typing pun ee computer.

De editah pass and see him smiling outside de boss man door and ask he why he suh happy. He seh he sure de boss man typing his promotion letter. De editah seh dat he hope dat Soulja bai don’t type de resignation letter fuh some of he kavakamites because dem same letters gun end up at de Waterfalls paper. And as de year just done, dem boys want all dem friends and relatives who been sending dem best wishes, chain letters and letters of promises of good luck and things like dat— none of dat sh*t worked. Dem boys seh, please send cash, vodka, wine, chocolates, Italian food or airline tickets, instead fuh dem travel ‘round de world... Thank you. And remember power and money are the fruits of life but family and friends are the roots of life. We can manage without fruits but can never stand without roots. Happy New Year to you all…!

Ministry. The President is once again in violation of the Constitution. The Leader of the Opposition should avoid being contaminated by this unconstitutional virus. He should have advised the President that he does not wish to be entrapped in a process which is likely to be challenged as unconstitutional. The issue is the process and not the persons. The issue is not who should be appointed as Chancellor or Chief Justice. The Constitution provides for agreement between the Leader of the Opposition and the President before such persons can be appointed. The problem is the process being used by the President which is a violation of the separation of powers and which is likely to be overturned by any credible judge. The danger in this proposed consultation is that the Leader of the Opposition can find himself being forced to disagree with the President’s

process. The President can, however, use this consultation to say that there is no agreement on the appointment, rather than no agreement on the process of a search committee. Regardless of what Mr. Jagdeo says, the President can then use this consultation to say that since the positions of Chancellor and Chief Justice remain vacant and since he has consulted with the Leader of the Opposition, he is within his right to appoint someone to act as Chief Justice and Chancellor, notwithstanding the fact that two persons are already acting in the positions. He can then appoint the acting Chancellor to act as the acting Chief Justice and appoint his nominee to act as

Chancellor. In this way, he gets a de facto Chancellor. Granger is more than capable of pulling off such a stunt. The Leader of the Opposition is walking into a trap by attending that meeting. He should cancel, launch a legal challenge against the constitutionality of the search committee and indicate that once this matter is resolved, he is prepared to hold consultations on the appointment of a Chancellor and Chief Justice.

Monday January 01, 2018


Kaieteur News

With oil production just 2 yrs away…

Govt. still fumbling to put measures in place to authenticate cost recovery claims By Kiana Wilburg Oil production is expected to get into to full swing by March 2020. That is less than two years away. But even at this point, the Government is yet to point out what ‘specific’ measures are in place to ensure that it can authenticate cost recovery claims by USA oil giant, ExxonMobil. Kaieteur News had asked President David Granger to provide some details in this regard and he was unable to. The said question was also put to the nation’s point man on oil and gas, Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman. He, too, is yet to list just two things that are in place to ensure Guyana is not robbed through such claims. At a recent press conference, Trotman said that the authenticity of cost recovery claims was one of the main discussions he and others had with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its experts. Trotman acknowledged that indeed, several countries around the world; Kenya, Ghana, the USA and Great Britain, have had struggles with ensuring cost recovery is precise and transparent . The Natural Resources

Minister said, “We have turned to some of the best financial experts in the world and they have come, they have done their assessments and they will be guiding us. It is a work in progress and we are doing better by the day.” When Kaieteur News still insisted on him outlining a few provisions in this regard, he said that the Guyana Revenue Authority was able to garner $900M in taxes due to its attentiveness in this regard. DISADVANTAGE Guyana’s limited resources will certainly put it at a disadvantage when it comes to verifying the accuracy and reasonableness of cost recovery claims which will be made by ExxonMobil, according to Chartered Accountant and former Auditor General, Anand Goolsarran. The anticorruption advocate insists that the Coalition Government should consider renegotiating the contract it has with ExxonMobil to allow for a revenue-sharing model to be in place, similar to that which currently exists in Indonesia. PROFIT VS. REVENUE SHARING In a profit-sharing arrangement, Goolsarran explained that the oil company uses the revenue derived from production to recover its capi-

tal and operational expenditure. This he said is known as ‘cost oil’. The remainder, known as ‘profit oil’, is split between the government and the company. Goolsarran said that the extent to which countries have a dual arrangement in place (i.e. royalty plus profit-sharing), it stands to reason that royalty rates will be lower than those that receive royalties only. In Guyana’s case, it is only receiving a two percent royalty. According to Goolsarran, a key concern relating to profit-sharing arrangements is that profits can vary significantly from year to year. He said that this can be as a result of the unpredictability of prices on the world market and the need to recover the initial investment over a period of time. On that note, Goolsarran said that countries such as India, Tanzania and Indonesia are experiencing significant difficulties in terms of their ability to independently verify the reasonableness of the expenditure that is charged against revenue to arrive at a profit. The Chartered Accountant said that given the uncertainty of the extent of profits that is likely to accrue; there are strong arguments

Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman for there to be in place, revenue sharing agreements rather than those relating to profit-sharing. The former Auditor General said that a revenue-sharing agreement provides a guaranteed flow of income to governments once production begins, and can be monitored easily from the government’s perspective. He said that there will no longer be a need for detailed and independent scrutiny of oil companies’ costs to ensure that only legitimate expenditure is charged against revenue. He said that this is

an area that has been the subject to intense disagreements between oil companies and governments. An additional consideration Goolsarran highlighted is that oil companies can curtail production in anticipation of higher prices in the future, with consequent adverse impact on profits. He said that it was mainly for these reasons that India has moved away from the profit-sharing model to one of revenue-sharing, based a recommendation of the country’s Auditor General. TANZANIAAND INDONESIA Kaieteur News recently carried an article on the Tanzanian experience with ExxonMobil in which it was stated that the country had serious difficulty in verifying how the figure of “cost oil” was arrived at. Upon examination of the leaked contract with ExxonMobil, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee disclosed that there was no “ring fencing” of blocks and that the Production Sharing Agreement contained no provision to guard against the incurrence of costs in one block and recovering them from another profitable block. The Chairman referred to the writings of Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz who as-

serted, “The fact that the typical contract allows the oil companies to walk away with the windfall profits suggests that something is wrong with the way these contracts are designed.” This newspaper also reported Indonesia’s switch from the profit-sharing model to a revenue-sharing one. This was because each passing year has seen a dwindling of the country’s share of profits in the belief that oil companies were inflating their costs. This was despite the fact that the government-owned entity that manages the oil sector has a staff of 750 professionals and approximately 80% of that staff is involved in the verification of cost recovery claims by oil companies to ensure that they are fair and accurate. With the aforementioned in mind, the Chartered Accountant insisted that there are limited resources available in Guyana to enable the independent verification of the accuracy and reasonableness of the costs that are chargeable to revenue. He said it is mainly for this reason that the Government of Guyana should re-negotiate the contract with ExxonMobil to allow for a revenue-sharing model to be in place.

Community Development Officers urged to be more proactive Community Development Officers (CDOs) were reminded to remain proactive in the respective indigenous villages and communities they oversee. This was emphasised by Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock, during a four-day workshop held last month for CDOs. Minister Allicock said one must be mindful of persons who attempt to be a major hindrance to hinterland development and as leaders, being an active participant in village welfare is critical towards achieving the Ministry and by extension the Government’s goals. The Minister said, “Your job as Community Development Officers is to help in identifying issues and lobbying on their behalf getting projects on stream and for us to work towards a better life for our people there”. Minister Allicock has proposed several ideas that can foster job creation and employment opportunities for the indigenous people which

Community Development Officers from across the regions include venturing into niche markets which are aimed at satisfying specific market needs. Production of coffee, cassareep and semi-precious

stones among other market demands, the Minister said, are attainable because “we have so many strengths that can be transformed...We have from regions one to ten

with our varying areas of expertise, tourism is going to be something of great importance to this country.” Meanwhile, the Ministry is working assiduously to

complete its Sustainable Development Framework which will better guide its programs and Minister Allicock said, “We hope to complete this shortly.”

The CDOs workshop focused on achievements over the past year, completing an annual work plan, expectations for 2018, village audits (Continued on page 14)

Kaieteur News


Monday January 01, 2018

Drama in Guyana…

Priya, Jordan led year-end awards

Best Comedy Movie: Return of the Prodigal with Bharrat Jagdeo for his show-stopping presence.

Best Supporting Actor: Carl Greenidge for a riveting performance in The Foreigner, defending an oil company.


uyana’s burgeoning movie industry has grown in leaps and bounds this past year. An entire new service industry has opened that has the potential to rival GuySuCo when it comes to raising foreign box office numbers. With a growing audience, flush with investors clamoring to get a piece of the action that has some unbelievable profit returns, the industry has been attracting significant attention. The past year has not been a boring one, by any means, for Guyana. There were quite a few movies that hit the big screen. There were many high points and of course the low ones too. From the happenings in the National Assembly, to controversies surrounding the parking meter and oil contracts, the people were drawn to the hits at Giftland and Princess movie theatres. We have managed to compile the best movies of the year based on surveys done by the opposition and verified by the Government. In no particular order, here is the list: The Chambers – A minority group seizes the highest decision-making body in the land. Determined to rally against the enforcer, Dr. Barton, and protect their Bishop from an alleged rapist gang, the group endures a dark steamy night in the Chamber. Starring: - Dr. Barton Scotland - Priya Manickchand - Juan Edghill Guest appearance: The Guyana Police Force The Appointment - The President recalls a man from retirement to head a high stakes organisation. His appointment angers a few who are determined to have their own man on the inside, but their moves are no match for the

Best Role in a Drama Movie: The joint winners are Basil Williams and Anil Nandlall for their epic performance.

Best Actor: Winston Jordan for a memorable role in Liar Liar Liar.

Best Actress: Hands down, Priya Manickchand for her heart stopping role in The Chambers, with tears and all.

veteran. Starring: James Patterson The Contract – An American suitor determined to contract a new business partner travels to a South American country where he is treated like a king. Things take a turn when an US$18 million discovery is made and a local businessman digs into the American’s checkered past. Starring: - ExxonMobil - Carl Greenidge - Raphael Trotman Guest appearances: - Christopher Ram - Kaieteur News The Prodigal Son – A lost son decides to return home with hopes of ruling the Kingdom again. The people remembered their suffering under his rule and refused to kill the fatted calf for him. This angers him further. Running out of options, he tries to ‘devide’ the people of the kingdom. Starring: - Bharrat Jagdeo The Feud – Two men battle to lead the state’s justice department. The local and regional courts are too small to settle the debate of who the best Attorney General is. Starring: - Basil Williams - Anil Nandlall Home Alone Too – On the verge of retirement, a general wants to remain in control of the country’s police force in this thriller of lies and deception. The emotions run wild when the uniform officer tries to return to work after a trip to Vegas. A top Government official intervenes and sends him back home. Starring: Seelall Persaud

- David Ramnarine The Foreigner – A senior Government official is caught in the middle when a local newspaper outfit angers a foreign multi-million dollar company. Forced to pick a side, the official, turns his back on his people and becomes the Foreigner. Starring: Carl Greenidge Guest star: ExxonMobil The Vanishing – A President goes missing on Water Street, a day after his party loses the general elections. Starring: - Donald Ramotar The Hauler - The story of one man’s fight against stray animals in Guyana. Don’t make him have to tell you to haul your ass. Starring: Khemraj Ramjattan The Instigators – Two men who have ditched their wealth and embarked on a journey together on making Guyana better. Starring: Adam Harris & Glenn Lall Liar, Liar, Liar – This remake of the popular Jim Carey movie sees a politician cleverly dodge questions about a multi-million dollar deal. Starring: - Winston Jordan Tarzan – A boy lost in the jungle, makes it to the big city. He uses his swing skills to navigate between the skyscrapers. Starring: Brian Tiwari

The views reflected in this piece is not necessarily that of Kaieteur News and its Publisher

Monday January 01, 2018

SWAT Commander caught smuggling whisky The Guyana Police Force ‘B’ Division has over the weekend made strides after making two big busts of smuggled items. What was even more shocking was the fact that one of the smugglers was a senior member of the force, he has since been identified as SWAT Unit Commander, Deputy Superintendent Motie Dookie. Divisional Commander, Lindon Alves, confirmed with SWAT Commander, this publication that the SWAT Motie Dookie head was intercepted during a routine stop and search operation at Whim Village, Corentyne, Berbice. He was at the time posing as a passenger in a minibus that only had a driver when they were intercepted. Upon a search of the vehicle 30 cases of smuggled Johnny Walker Whisky was discovered. The Deputy Superintendent and the bus driver were immediately taken into police custody after they could not produce the legal documents for the items. Meanwhile, contrary to reports circulated in some sections of the media that Dookie escaped custody, Alves disclosed that “he did not escape, he is presently at Whim Police Station. I don’t know who came up with this escape thing”. The Commander also expressed his dissatisfaction on what took place. “It is bad for the country, it’s revenue and also a bad reflection on the force. It is not something to be happy about, every negative affects the organisation and its credibility. It is an unlawful act and l will not condone it.” In addition, the Commander of B’ Division himself on Saturday just around 16:30 hrs after receiving information from an unnamed source took it upon himself to chase down a car believed to be transporting smuggled chicken from neighbouring Suriname at the time. “It was my staff vehicle and based on information that I got we decided to intercept the car and the man refused to stop. He gave us a royal chase,” Alves confirmed. The car was eventually intercepted at Crabwood Creek, Upper Corentyne and during a search of the vehicle by the Commander and other ranks 24 boxes of chicken were found inside. The driver of the car is presently in police custody at the Springlands Police Station. Investigations continue into both cases.

Kaieteur News


Guyana/Venezuela border controversy…

Year runs out; UN statement by mid-month to chart way forward The office of the Secretary General, António Guterres, of the United Nations (UN) is set to make a statement by midmonth on the mediations of the Venezuela border controversy. Yesterday, the one year announced for Guyana and Venezuela to attempt to come to a compromise, expired. On Friday, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, disclosed that the United Nations Secretary-General office is likely to issue a statement by midmonth. It is more than likely that the statement will say that little progress has been made and no compromise has been reached on the border controversy. Guyana has made it clear that it has all intentions to head to the International Court of Justice to have the matter settled once and for all. In December 2016, it was announced that outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wanted to give the Good Offices process another try. D a g N y l a n d e r, a P e r s o n a l Representative of the SecretaryGeneral, was appointed in February and two countries agreed for the mediation. However, despite an occasional statement on meetings with representatives, there has been little word of how the talks were going. Following a number of aggressive moves by Venezuela in 2015, Guyana complained to several world leaders and countries, including to outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. In October 2015 in New York, at the United Nations Headquarters, the then UN Chief brought both President David

Granger and Venezuela’s leader, Nicolas Maduro, together in an effort to find a solution to the brewing situation. Venezuela, in May 2015, revived a simmering claim to mineral-rich Essequibo, Guyana’s largest county. Venezuela’s aggression would have come days after Guyana voted in a new Government in early general elections and about the same time that US-owned ExxonMobil announced that it struck oil in Guyana’s waters. Venezuela also claimed those waters. In the ensuing row, Venezuela ended an oil-for-rice deal, made under the Petro-Caribe arrangements, with Guyana. Venezuela is now facing severe internal turmoil. Observers believed that Maduro is using the border controversy to divert attention from the internal situation. In February, the Office of the Spokesperson of the United Nations Secretary-General said that the UN will give the Good Offices Process a try for another year and then if the two countries fail to agree on a solution, the matter will go to the International Court of Justice. Norwegian Ambassador, Dag Nylander, was appointed as the representative. President Granger, a historian, has made it clear that Guyana will settle for nothing less a juridical settlement- in the international court- once and for all. He had insisted that the Good Offices Process has failed to make progress over the last 25 years. Guyana has been maintaining that the border issue has been settled decades ago.

“The Secretary General of the United Nations acting under the 1966 Geneva Agreement has informed the President of his decision to give the ‘good offices’ process one last period of twelve months, that is to the end of 2017. “If, at the end of that period, the Secretary-General concludes that significant progress has not been made towards arriving at a full agreement for the solution of the controversy, he will choose the International Court of Justice as the next means of settlement, unless the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela jointly request that he refrain from doing so.” Late October, the UN announced that the Foreign Ministers of Guyana and Venezuela met in New York on October 28 and October 29 to discuss the border controversy between their two countries. Nylander facilitated discussions organised within the framework of the Good Offices mandate. The UN said that the Foreign Ministers and their delegations exchanged views on issues related to the controversy with the aim of exploring options for a full agreement for its solution. “They also reaffirmed their commitment to the Good Offices process and reiterated that their Governments will remain actively engaged with the Personal Representative. The parties agreed to meet again to continue discussions within this framework, and to explore options for the resolution of the border controversy.”


Kaieteur News

Monday January 01, 2018

NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE FROM INCOMING CARICOM CHAIRMAN, JOVENEL MOÏSE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF HAITI 2018 dawns for the Caribbean Community, with the prospect of seizing an opportunity out of a crisis. As we begin the rebuilding process after the devastating hurricanes of last September, as well Hurricane Matthew, which pounded the region on October 3-4 , 2016, we do so with the aim of creating the first climate resilient Region in the world. The absolute necessity to create a climate smart Region is clear given the effects of climate change which have brought us droughts, mega hurricanes, heavy floods and unusual weather patterns, all of which adversely affect our develop-

ment. The social and economic gains that we have made individually and collectively must be protected against the onslaught of nature. The CARICOM Member States’, as well as the region’s non-member States’ production of greenhouse gases, is practically nil, even though they bear a disproportionate share of the consequences. The goodwill and pledges which have been forthcoming from the international community at two major global conferences in New York and Paris give us hope that the necessary support to achieve our objective will be forthcoming.

Our efforts are against the backdrop of the Caribbean Community Strategic Plan for the period 2015-19, which is our guide towards the economic, social, environmental and technological resilience that is needed to produce sustained growth and development for our Community. This year, we will increase our efforts to make the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) more effective at providing the basis for our economic growth. Many of the major legislative and administrative measures for the operations of the Single Market are in effect.

PEOPLE’S PROGRESSIVE PARTY The dawn of a New Year offers an opportune moment for reflection on successes and failures, an assessment of strengths and weaknesses, the charting of relevant courses for personal advancement, and the move forward for the collective prosperity as a nation. In reflecting on 2017, Guyanese faced many challenges – our democratic gains were challenged and the areas where other gains were made saw setbacks. However, the resoluteness of our people proved unwavering, demonstrating that the spirit of the Guyanese people will not be broken in times of adversity. This is commendable and a hallmark of our people. While 2018 will bring new challenges, it is the People’s Progressive Party’s fervent hope that the New Year will also bring success and joy to all of our people. It is our Party’s wish that all Guyanese will remain steadfast in hope and that Guyanese

will assiduously endeavour to work for the betterment of our nation and fellow citizens. May we all be imbued with a sense of renewal, activism and enthusiasm as we embark on a New Year. May our humanitarian spirit remain strong as we keep in thoughts and prayers those who have been placed at a disadvantage. As we herald the beginning of a New Year, the People’s Progressive Party takes this opportunity to extend to Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora and their extended families, best wishes for a peaceful, prosperous and productive 2018. The People’s Progressive Party would also like to take this opportunity to commend and recognise the growing support of our Guyanese brothers and sisters both locally and overseas. This strengthens us and fortifies our resolve so that together we can confront whatever challenges the New Year can bring. Once again best wishes for a joyous New Year!



May Prosperity come to every home, family and community across the far-flung regions of our country. The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) extends greetings for a Happy New Year to all Guyanese at home and in the Diaspora. The PNCR and its coalition partners in government, last year, faced many challenges. Thankfully, we are better together than asunder. As the New Year dawns, the PNCR calls on all Guyanese, regardless of race, ethnicity, political affiliation or religion, to participate in bringing about the transformation of our country so that Guyana’s vast resources may, at last, be made to serve the imperative for development and social advancement of all the

people of Guyana. On this, the first day of the New Year, it is our hope that all of us will realize a measure of prosperity in our personal lives and that each of us, wherever we may be, will endeavour to make some contribution, however small, to the development of our country. The PNCR, therefore, looks forward to participating, as it has successfully done in the past, in the continuing drive for the peaceful development of this dear land of ours. The Party wishes all Guyanese a very Happy New Year and looks forward to 2018 with optimism and hope. May God Bless our Nation as we strive to provide a Good life for all Guyanese!


THE INDIAN ACTION COMMITTEE The Indian Action Committee (IAC) wishes all Guyanese a Happy and Prosperous New Year. The IAC, in its vision for a happy and prosperous 2018 wishes to have a safer and secure society; to observe improved relations between the government and the opposition; that all matters pertaining to the development of the petroleum industry in Guyana be made transparent and full accountability ensured; that a special public program be established for the benefit of the thousands of dislocated sugar workers who are currently facing severe economic hardship and a bleak future; to see the retraining of and

issuing of former sugar lands to retrenched sugar workers; to witness the allocations of commercial space for small vendors; to see the urgent repair of the crumbling Soesdyke/Linden Highway; to have more overseas markets for Guyana’s rice production; to view drastic reductions in incidents of spousal abuse, substance abuse, and suicide; to observe increased gold production to offset decline in gold prices in 2018; to notice improved educational standards to counter declining results especially in Mathematics and English; to have increased youth employment both on the coast and the hinterland; and to see improved living con-

ditions for the less fortunate elderly citizens. The IAC wishes to inform all Guyanese especially those of Indo-Guyanese origin that the organisation will continue to pursue vigorously its three foci: cultural, educational and social work. A high point will be the observance of the 180th year since the first batch of Indian indentured immigrants was brought to these shores. The IAC encourages all citizens and leaders to make 2018 a peaceful and progressive year in which the economy experiences growth and development which is necessary for social cohesion and national unity!

Therefore, it is now up to all of the stakeholders in the public and private sectors to ensure we derive the maximum benefit from its provisions. This would enable us to increase our intra-regional trade, share our best human resources, and encourage our entrepreneurs to expand their interests and provide us with a platform to move from market access to market presence in those countries with which we have trade agreements. The CSME undoubtedly remains our best vehicle for creating the economic resilience we need. The reform process underway in our Community will allow us to conduct our affairs more efficiently and effectively and will also benefit the operations of the CSME. Our Member States, Regional Institutions and the Secretariat have been streamlining their interactions to produce the best possible results from the

decisions taken by the Heads of Government and the Ministerial Councils. We are entering the final two years of the Strategic Plan and the results of the three partners’ efforts at implementing it are beginning to bear fruit. The solidity and efficiency of that partnership will be tested as never before given the magnitude of the rebuilding task ahead of us. We have to rebuild with resilience now to forestall damage in the future, in other words, to build back better. I am confident that the creativity and determination of our people will allow us to achieve that goal. As I assume the chairmanship of the Conference of Heads of Government, I must thank my predecessor, the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell, for his outstanding performance in leading the Community during

one of the most difficult periods in our history. I look forward to building on his achievements. With assistance from all, we shall maintain our Community on a path to sustainable development and a safe, secure, viable and prosperous society. Among issues I intend to advance during my tenure will be those related to natural disasters and climate change Haiti looks forward to welcoming the Community to its shores in February, as we gather for the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government. The warmth and hospitality of the Haitian people await you. May I take this opportunity to wish all our CARICOM citizens a very Happy and productive New Year, as we work together to continue building a resilient Community that advances the interests of all its citizens.



May the year 2018 bring all of Guyana the very best in every meaningful way. May our country climb to greater heights and may our people continue to prosper. I extend these sentiments on behalf of the Executive Council of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU). Most deservingly, may our members enjoy an uplifting New Year. We in the GPSU have every reason to look forward to the New Year. The year that is now behind us was eventful in more ways than one and suffice to say, that we look forward to 2018 being a better year for our members. Betterment, of course, has to be derived, in the first instance, from our relationship with our members’employer, the Government of Guyana. We have done our own painstaking evaluation of that relationship and the conclusion that we reached is that much is left to be desired. In various ways and on various occasions since the accession of the APNU-AFC administration to office, the GPSU had alluded to its desire for a qualitative change in its relationship with government. I say, unhesitatingly that our wish still remains to be fulfilled. We had hoped, perhaps above all else, that the winds of change would bring with them a relationship grounded in principle, in trust and in an enhanced official recognition of the critical importance of our members, the nation’s public servants. Our biggest, better-sweet disappointment has to do with what we believe to be the volte face executed by the APNU-AFC Administration with regard to its undertaking whilst in opposition to focus frontally on a number of burning issues impacting both on the livelihoods and conducive work environment to augment the performance of public servants.

Here, it is apposite to recall some of those issues including: The reinstatement of the agency fees agreement; The issuing of outstanding certifications of recognition; The finalisation of the Recognition Agreement to represent employees of the Guyana Revenue Authority; The restoration of Collective Bargaining; Remuneration of fair and realistic allowances; De-bunching and payment of in scale increments; The full and meaningful implementation of the Cabinet decision for Sweeper/Cleaners AND The return of GPSU real estate seized by the PPP/C Administration and the administration‘s tangible and meaningful support for the full and effective operation of the GPSU Sports Complex which exists for the recreation of its members and adjourning communities. The neglect of these issues, to this very date, we say unapologetically, is reflective of an unacceptable absence of appreciation for the sacrifice and the attendant suffering which Public Servants continue to endure in the hope of ‘a better day.’ The GPSU had hoped, as well, that theAPNU-AFCAdministration would set its face against the unwanted intervention by the ‘dead hand’ of political intervention in the workings of the Public Service of our country. That, decidedly, has not been the case. Recently, elements of the incumbent administration deemed it appropriate to ‘engineer’ the return to the Public Service of a functionary who, not a hundred years ago, was removed from government employ for valid disciplinary reasons. Additionally, there have been several acts in conflict with the legitimate decisions of constitutional bodies. We condemn these acts of political interference and the institutions responsible for their administration. No one can

justifiably deny the protracted struggles of our members against the backdrop of numerous challenges. At this time we reflect on those commitments offered by the present political administration during its tenure in opposition to place the welfare and well-being of Public Servants much higher on government’s agenda. We say, regrettably, but without fear of contradiction, that there exists no persuasive evidence that it has kept its word. Politicians on all sides of the political divide continue to evince what, in our view, is an absence of sufficient regard for the value of the Public Servant. Here, it is not only a question of their labour being decidedly undervalued but also the value of their capabilities being cast aside. It remains the position of the GPSU that the quality of its relationship with government can be measured only in terms of the extent to which the administration holding office demonstrates a strong and transparent mindfulness for the interests of our members. In this regard the GPSU wishes to restate its continued willingness to work with the incumbent administration towards that end though we wish to make clear our determination to remain unrelenting and uncompromising in our quest to compel the government to honour its promises and its obligations. As we look towards this new year let us not forget, brothers and sisters, but remember that there is strength in numbers, as we work together for the betterment of all. In closing, I would like to emphasise my sincere wishes for betterment, good health, safety and prosperity - to you, my fellow workers and your families for 2018. Long live the Cooperative Republic of Guyana! Long live the Guyana Public Service Union!

Monday January 01, 2018

Another year has ended and a new one has dawned. Greet the New Year with hope and aspiration and be confident that all you set out to achieve will be realised. We at Kaieteur News wish all of our read-

ers a Happy New Year and pray that you all will reap prosperous outcomes. Also spreading New Year’s Day sentiments are a number of individuals and organisations a few of which we are able to share within our pages.

PRESIDENT DAVID GRANGER Guyanese greet the dawn of 2018 feeling good about themselves, their children, their communities and their country. Guyanese have inherited and inhabit a beautiful, bountiful and blissful country – a land that is celebrated in the words of our beloved National Anthem, as the “Green Land’: …of rivers and plains; [m]ade rich by the sunshine, and lush by the rains; [set] gem-like and fair, between mountains and sea.” Guyana, indeed, is a gemlike, luxuriant land– of grasslands, highlands, islands, wetlands, lakes, mangroves, mudflats, rainforests, rivers and waterfalls. We are happy in our homeland. We shall protect our heritage, which is every citizen’s birthright, and bequeath this endowment to future generations. We signified, in the year 2016, that the year 2017 would be spent in setting the settlement of the unlawful and unreasonable claims to our country’s territory on a definite course. The United Nations Secretary General, in 2018, is expected to discharge his commitment to setting that course in a manner consistent with justice and international law. We shall continue to defend every ‘blade of grass,’ of our homeland. We shall never cede a centimetre of territory or compromise a title of sovereignty. Guyana is changing for good. We are promoting the good life for all. We are reducing divisions and maximising cohesion. We are protecting our patrimony, pursuing economic prosperity, promoting respect for national institutions and providing better public services and improved human safety. We are building a country of which everyone can be proud. We shall continue to work with all sectors and strata of society to improve our political culture and promote inclusiveness. We must repudiate


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vulgarity. We must rebuke those who abuse our public institutions and reject the poisonous politics of the past. We shall continue to work to eradicate the inequalities and disabilities which foster destitution and discrimination. We are creating a more equal society– one with greater opportunities and a higher quality of life for all. We extend open arms of friendship to all political parties, social organisations and religious groups to collaborate in order to contribute to creating a more cohesive society. We shall continue to work to provide greater social protection for everyone, particularly our women, children, the elderly and persons in difficult circumstances. We did increase the minimum wage for the lowestpaid state employees by nearly 50 percent; we increased old-age pensions by almost 50 per cent; we increased social assistance by 27 percent, all in only 30 months. We will ensure that the disadvantaged are protected. We shall continue to work empower local government organs so that they can bring improvements to communities. Local democracy will be renewed in local and municipal elections in 2018. We declared three new ‘capital towns’ last year to expedite enterprise and economic development in their respective regions by increasing investment and generating employment. The surge in agro-processing, artisanal manufacturing and cottage industries seen in the regional agricultural and commercial exhibitions is evidence of the green shoots of healthy grass-root economic growth. Our hinterland, rural, riverine and village economies are being strengthened through support for micro- , small and medium-sized enterprises. Young people, through

the new Guyana Youth Corps, will be receiving training in skills to convert their ideas and energy into economic enterprises. We will work with workers in all industries – especially bauxite, sugar and timber – to seek access to alternative employment. We shall continue to work towards making the country safer for all by improving citizens’ security. Security sector reform being undertaken with support from our international partners, aims at creating safer communities and protecting the people from transnational threats such as illegal narcotics-, firearmsand people-trafficking. We are building a country in which everyone can be safe. We shall continue to improve the delivery of public services by ensuring that citizens have easier access to education, electricity, health, housing, information, recreation, sanitation, sports and pure water supply services. We shall continue to improve the delivery of birth, death, immigration and marriage registration and passport and pension services. Life is getting better, year by year. Guyanese have lots of reasons to feel good about their homeland in 2018! A Happy New Year to all!


FOR RENT PLANNING AN EVENT? BIRTHDAY PARTY, GRADUATION,WEDDINGS, ANNIVERSARY,ETC.-CALL DIAMOND TENTS: 2161043; 677-6620 Newly built 3-bedroom apartment at lot 6 Water Street, Bagotstown, EBD. 683-9526/613-4582/ 612-7533 Vreed-en-hoop junction. Lessons place, storage bond, office, other. Call 6036400. 2 Bedroom bottom flat @ C Field,Sophia Tel: 619-0094.

WANTED Hire & Private car drivers, must have car & van license 225-3234 Drivers, dispatchers and contract cars Tel: 231-0002, 231-0316 1 experienced cook. Call: 226-0554/623-8654. 1 experienced diesel mechanic must have knowledge of welding. 1 labourer. Contact number: 220-2034/623-8078

VACANCY For experience female accounts clerk. Apply in person at Alabama Trading 65 Robb St Bourda. Backhoe operator, wood mizer and edger operator, moulder operator. Call Richard 6097675/ 674-1705/233-2614. Salesperson/Cashiers ages 25-45 for general store on the East Coast Call 642-1141 One mature,experienced security guard.Call 642-1141.

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




LARGE QUANTITIES OF HIGH PURITY MERCURY (QUICK SILVER) 99.99995% PURITY- $19,000 PER POUND CALL: 592-2274754. Foxtail, Supari, Royal Palm @$1000, Crootons, Ashoka trees, potting soil @$800, Lawn grass, Exora, Ficus 4 for $1000 Tel: 6261044 Spare for washing machine, microwaves,fridges, stoves, timers, gearbox, motors, etc. Call:225-9032;647-2943;6045198 Video games and consoles at affordable price. Repairs to video game system .Call:6722566/265-3231 1 BMW Car $1.7M 1 Cement mixer truck $2.9M 1 Bobcat $3.3M. House lots @ Blankenburg . Contact 6500402/603-1402.

Visa Application: U.S.A, Canada & UK;Guyanapassport application. G r a p h i c s design, advertisement. Tel: 626-7040; 265-4535. INNOVATIVE MARKETING & PUBLISHING INC –TEL: 600-4212: We create A/ works, logos, busi ness cards, posters, etc, placements of ads included. We repair fridge, freezer, AC, washer, dryer-Call: 2310655; 683-8734. Omar Budhram’s Landscaping service” Free advice, free design, free after care, followup. 656-1326. Eagle’s: Re-gas –low prices, washing machine repairs, gas stove, plasma flat Screen, computer repairs & more. Call: 697-2969/646-0966 Installations, repairs and parts for AC, Fridge, Washing Machine, Stove etc: Call Nick 627-3206, 6301600. Repairs at affordable prices: fridge, air conditioner, washing machines, dryers, TV, microwaves & freezer-Call: 610-5846 or 661-8158 Repairs to refrigerators, gas stoves, A/C units, washing machines. Call Lindon: 6411086/ 694-2202

TOURS Suriname Old year trip, fireworks day and night downtown jam Dec 30th ret Jan 2nd.Call: 665-5171, 6726506, 223-7589. LAND FOR SALE Land of Canaan 1.2M, Grove 3.5M, Parafaite, Herstelling, Highway 34 acres Sophia 5.5M, Diamond 4.5M. GME 231-2199/618-7483. PEN PAL Foreign man, confident, generous and loving seeks female Guyanese friend 1635 for friendship. Whatsapp#1-246-835-6908. Male seek female pen pals, whatsapp only: 698-6391

EDUCATION Day Care and Pre-K classes available in Diamond Call Canadian School 2166921,216-6922 Register your child for after school classes for slow learners in Mathematics, Reading, Phonics, Spelling, etc. Call: 675-4379 St John First Aid/ CPR Course on Saturday, January 6th 2018 Cowan St. Kingston Call: 225-9082 PROPERTY FOR SALE South Aubrey Barker 100x100 9.5M Diamond 55M, 17M, Parafaite 27M, Supply river side 50x160 31M GME 231-2200/ 618-7483

SALON Make-up Courses with Mac, Bare Minerals, etc. -CosmetologyCourses: $90,000 Nail Technician Course: $35,000. Call: 647-1773/688-0009 TOLET 2 Bed apartment in Eccles New Scheme semi-furnished from 15th Jan 225-3234 Enmore Mall spaces available for a variety of business, car parking facilty. Call Richard 609-7675/ 6741705/233-2614.


Kaieteur News

Monday January 01, 2018

CARICOM moving to create the world’s first climate resilient region PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti CMC – Incoming chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse says the regional grouping is moving towards creating the world’s first climate resilient region in the year ahead. “2018 dawns for the Caribbean Community, with the prospect of seizing an opportunity out of a crisis,” said Moïse in his New Year’s message. “As we begin the rebuilding process after the devastating hurricanes of last September, as well Hurricane Matthew, which pounded the region on October 3-4, 2016, we do so with the aim of creating the first climate resilient region in the world. “The absolute necessity to create a climate smart region is clear given the effects of climate change, which have brought us droughts, mega hurricanes, heavy floods and unusual weather patterns, all of which adversely affect our development,” he added. “The social and economic gains that we have made individually and collectively must be protected against the onslaught of nature. The CARICOM Member States’, as well as the region’s non-

member States’ production of greenhouse gases, is practically nil, even though they bear a disproportionate share of the consequences.” Moïse said the goodwill and pledges, “which have been forthcoming from the international community at two major global conferences in New York and Paris give us hope that the necessary support to achieve our objective will be forthcoming.” He said the region’s efforts are against the backdrop of the Caribbean Community’s Strategic Plan for the period 2015-19, “which is our guide towards the economic, social, environmental and technological resilience that is needed to produce sustained growth and development for our community.” The incoming CARICOM chairman said efforts will be made in 2018 in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in “providing the basis for our economic growth.” Moïse said since many of the major legislative and administrative measures for the operations of the Single Market are in effect, it is, therefore, now up to all of the stakeholders in the public and private sectors

to ensure they derive maximum benefits from the CSME’s provisions. “This would enable us to increase our intra-regional trade, share our best human resources, and encourage our entrepreneurs to expand their interests and provide us with a platform to move from market access to market presence in those countries with which we have trade agreements,” he said. “The CSME undoubtedly remains our best vehicle for creating the economic resilience we need.” The Haitian president also said the reform process underway in the Community will allow the region to conduct its affairs “more efficiently and effectively and will also benefit the operations of the CSME.” He said Haiti looks forward to welcoming the Community to its shores in February for the 29th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government. “The warmth and hospitality of the Haitian people await you,” he said, while wishing all CARICOM citizens “a very happy and productive New Year, as we work together to continue building a resilient Community that advances the interests of all its citizens.”

Funds from cash-strapped university to finish InTech Park… $300M PULLED FROM UTT Trinidad Guardian - The University of T&T (UTT) recorded a deficit of $33 million last month while its reserves currently stand at $2 million. Meanwhile, $323,059,056 of the university’s “unspent funds” has been transferred to the UTT’s Signature Building Complex project at Tamana InTech Park. UTT’s financial statements for the year ended September 30, 2016 (draft dated March 29, 2017–unaudited) stated: “It should be noted that by letter dated 26 September 2016 from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry advised that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago approved the utilization of $323,059,056 from “unspent funds” to the University’s Signature Building Complex project at Tamana InTech Park. In effect, this is a re-allocation of funds received as Recurrent Subventions to Capital Grant Funds. “The University has in Year 2016 transferred $323,059,056 from its reserves, and concomitantly transferred these funds from Operating Funds to Capital

Projects Funds. With this reclassification, Year 2015 Comparatives have been adjusted accordingly.” For the past several months, UTT has been seeing “hard times” including the cutting of staff—both managerial and academic, the discontinuation of programmes and the late delivery of salaries to staff. On November 1, UTT’s Chairman of the Board of Governors Prof Kenneth Julien announced that UTT will not be able to continue operations beyond January 2018. He also noted that effective November 10, there was expected to be job losses across the board. Julien said this was as a result of severe financial constraints over the past year. Julien further explained that the challenges worsened with the further 11 per cent decrease in UTT’s 2017/2018 recurrent allocation to TT$200 million. Julien was the brainchild behind the InTech Park. UTT usually gets a monthly subvention of $16.7 million, however for the months of October and No-

vember they only received $10 million for each month. On December 12, UTT president, Prof Sarim AlZubaidy informed UTT’s student body that there will be no new intake of students at the university in the new academic year 2018/2019 in three of the university’s major programmes. The academic programmes/ areas were identified as: biomedical engineering, environmental science and management, bioscience and agriculture and health sciences. Al-Zubaidy later invited all members of staff to a meeting on December 14 to discuss the present hardships faced by UTT. The meeting titled “With you in Mind” was held at UTT’s Valsayn Campus. The speakers included: Vice President Capital Projects, Facilities Management & Infrastructure, Dave Bhajan; Ag VP Human Resources, Leah Ramgattie; Ag VP Finance Feona Lue Ping Wa and chief executive officer PEAPSL Consultancy Limited, Neil Parsanlal, former PNM minister under the Patrick Manning regime.

Monday January 01, 2018

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Jamaica’s maritime industry to expand with re-election to IMO KINGSTON, Jamaica CMC – Transport Minister Mike Henry says Jamaica’s reelection to the influential Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will facilitate the country’s expansion into the shipping industry. “I feel reinvigorated because it’s important for us to be on the top list of countries in the maritime industry,” he told the Jamaica Information Service (JIS). Henry pointed out that the expansion of the Panama Canal has made the movement of larger ships into Jamaican waters possible, noting that this was an important step towards the country becom-

ing a logistics centre. He said the re-election was timely, as the Government was serious about developing Jamaica’s maritime industry to facilitate critically important investment milestones, which the country, through the Maritime Authority of Jamaica intends to achieve. Jamaica secured a place on the Council, following its successful election at the 30th Session of the IMO’s General Assembly held at its headquarters in London on December 1. Jamaica received 120 of the 159 valid votes cast to join 19 other member states that were elected to Category ‘C’

of the council for the 20182020 biennium. The council is the executive arm of the IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the organisation. Category ‘C’ comprises 20 States that have special interest in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic regions of the world. Jamaica’s membership in Category ‘C’ enhances the country’s capacity and that of the region to contribute to major policy decisions, rulemaking and the development of standards.

Venezuela’s Maduro is destructive King Herod, warns ex-oil czar CARACAS (Reuters) - A former oil minister excoriated Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in a newspaper column yesterday, accusing the leftist leader of behaving like biblical King Herod and plunging the oil-rich nation into economic devastation. Rafael Ramirez, who was the all-powerful head of the oil ministry and state energy company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] for a decade, has long been a rival of Maduro. In recent months, Ramirez has grown increasingly critical of Maduro’s handling of a fourth straight year of recession that has triggered malnutrition, widespread food and medicine shortages, the world’s steepest inflation, and a surge in emigration. A furious Maduro ordered Ramirez to resign as the nation’s United Nations am-


bassador in New York last month after an article entitled the “The Storm” was perceived as an attack on his government. Ramirez fled the United States in December for an undisclosed location before Venezuela’s state prosecutor accused him of corruption during the time he commanded the world’s largest crude reserves. In his sharpest critique to date, Ramirez yesterday published a 3,000-word column in local newspaper Panorama, comparing Maduro to Herod, the Roman-appointed king of Judea who was accused of mass infanticide. “You are killing the revolution,” Ramirez wrote, without using Maduro’s name. “With a mix of arrogance, ignorance, incompetence, cynicism, and a lot of irresponsibility, you

have brought our people to an unimaginable level of suffering and humiliation,” he added, also accusing Maduro’s inner circle of corruption and authoritarianism. “If our Commander (late leader Hugo Chavez) were with us, standing in line for food, or walking the streets of Caracas seeing children looking through garbage, what would he do? And what would you tell him?” The government did not respond to a request for comment about the article. The political opposition says Ramirez is a hypocrite who is also responsible for Venezuela’s economic meltdown. They say he destroyed PDVSA by filling the company’s roster with political loyalists and letting at least $11 billion go “missing” during his tenure.



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Monday January 01, 2018

Iran protesters rally again, defying warning of crackdown LONDON (Reuters) Anti-government protesters demonstrated in Iran on Sunday in defiance of a warning by the authorities of a tough

crackdown, extending for a fourth day one of the most audacious challenges to the clerical leadership since proreform unrest in 2009.

Police in the centre of Tehran fired water cannon to try to disperse demonstrators, according to pictures on social media.

Video posted online also showed a clash between protesters and police in the city of Khoramdareh in Zanjan province in the country’s

northwest. Reuters was unable immediately to verify the authenticity of the footage. There were also reports of demonstrations in the cities of Sanandaj and Kermanshah in western Iran as well as Chabahar in the southeast and Ilam and Izeh in the southwest. Tens of thousands of people have protested across the country since Thursday against the Islamic Republic’s unelected clerical elite and Iranian foreign policy in the region. They have also chanted slogans in support of political prisoners. Demonstrators initially vented their anger over economic hardships and alleged corruption but they took on a rare political dimension, with a growing number of people calling on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down. Giving his first public reaction to the protests, President Hassan Rouhani said Iranians had the right to protest and criticise the authorities. But he warned, according to official media: “The government will show no tolerance for those who damage public properties, violate public order and create unrest in the society.” “People are absolutely free to criticise the government and protest but their protests should be in such a

way as to improve the situation in the country and their life.” “Criticism is different from violence and damaging public properties,” he said. The protests are the biggest since unrest in 2009 that followed the disputed re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Videos showed protesters in central Tehran chanting “Down with the dictator!” in an apparent reference to Khamenei. Protesters in Khorramabad in western Iran shouted “Khamenei, shame on you, leave the country alone!” The government said it would temporarily restrict access to the Telegram and Instagram messaging apps, state television quoted an informed source as saying. An Iranian reached by telephone, who asked not to be named, said there was a heavy presence of police and security forces in the heart of the capital. “I saw a few young men being arrested and put into police van. They don’t let anyone assemble,” he said. In the northwestern city of Khoy, a video showed a protester being arrested by police, while a crowd shouted “Police, go and arrest the thieves!”

Monday January 01, 2018

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