Wednesday January 03, 2018
Gold Board parts company with suspended GM, other officials - Thompson confirmed as new Chief The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has opted not to renew the contracts of three senior officials, including its head. The three were sent home last year amid investigations of alleged collusion. Rather, effective January 1, 2018, its General Manager (ag), Eondrene Thompson, has been confirmed to that key position, the Ministry of Natural Resources announced yesterday. “The Guyana Gold Board (GGB) announces the appointment of Miss Eondrene Thompson as its new General Manager, effective January 1, 2018. Miss Thompson, who was the substantive Finance Manager, has acted as GM since April 24, 2017 when the then GM, Ms. Lisa Ramotar, along with two other senior officers were sent on administrative leave.” GGB disclosed that its Board of Directors unanimously agreed that the GGB needs to proceed in a new direction under new leadership. “The board holds in high regard the integrity, skills, and commitment of Miss Thompson to positioning and leading the organisation forward. The new GM has been at the Gold Board since March, 2010 after a 15-year-stint at the Bank of Guyana. She is a
Confirmed as Gold Board GM, Eondrene Thompson graduate of the University of Guyana and holds an Executive MBA in Executive Leadership from Liverpool John Moores University.” Explaining the decision on the three officials, GGB said that the contracts expired on December 31, 2017. “In keeping with its visions of new direction and new leadership, the Board of Directors decided not to renew the contractual relationships.” Last April, the then General Manager, Ramotar, was written to by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, who indicated that
the police requested several staffers to be sent on leave to facilitate the investigations. Ramotar is the daughter of former President, Donald Ramotar. The investigations were being conducted by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), an arm of the police, which has been focusing on financial crimes. In addition to Ramotar, also to receive letters were Deputy General Manager, Andrea Seelochan, and Legal/ Compliance Officer, Suzanne Bullen. According to the letter to Ramotar, the police have commenced an investigation into allegations of money laundering and suspected involvement of staff members of GGB. The ministry said it is giving the police its full support and cooperation. Trotman said that it was decided to send the three on administrative leave, with immediate effect, to allow the police to complete their investigation. “Further, you are expected to continue to cooperate with the investigating ranks in the conduct of the investigation.” Ramotar was also told that on the completion of the investigation, she will be advised further.
Granny, 73, dragged to death on her way to collect pension Seventy-three-year-old Joycelyn Joseph wanted to be among the first in line to collect her $19,500 monthly pension. She left her YY, Bent Street, Wortmanville home around four o’clock yesterday morning, and was heading to the Bourda Post Office when a speeding car struck her near the intersection of Winter Place on Brickdam. The vehicle, PLL 2838, dragged Mrs. Joseph for 39 meters, severing her left leg. The driver finally came to a halt some 158 meters from where he had struck the old lady. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. Police investigations revealed that the driver, a 35year-old labourer of ‘A’ Field Sophia, was proceeding east along Brickdam Public Road allegedly at a fast rate, in anticipation of passing the stop
light at the intersection of Winter Place, “since the light was reportedly showing ‘green,’ with a few seconds remaining.” In the process, he struck Mrs. Joseph, who was reportedly crossing Brickdam from south to north. Mrs. Joseph’s daughter and only child, Shirlene Joseph, said that her mother would leave home early to collect her pension, “to avoid the crowd.” She wasn’t too worried at first when hours passed and her mom had failed to return home. She knew that her mother sometimes “went to other places,” after uplifting her money. But panic set in late yesterday afternoon, when a niece called to say that she had seen
the body of a woman on Facebook, and the victim looked like Mrs. Joseph. The Police Public Relations Department had posted the photograph in an attempt to identify the victim. The daughter then went to the Lyken Funeral Parlour when she confirmed that the victim was her mother. She revealed that individuals at the accident scene may have made off with her mother’s handbag. The bag contained Mrs. Joseph’s national identification card and pension book. The daughter said that she has been told that she has to produce her mother’s identification card when she goes to the funeral parlour for the post-mortem, which is scheduled for today.
Let Go from left: Former GM, Lisaveta Ramotar; deputy GM, Andrea Seelochan and Legal Officer, Suzanne Bullen The troubles at the GGB came to the fore earlier last year when news broke that Bartica gold dealer, Saddiqi ‘Bobby’ Rasul, was arrested in a $950M fraud at the Guyana Bank For Trade and Industry. The alleged fraud saw the police later charging Rasul with several counts and placing him on $3M bail. Former Chief Justice (ag), Ian Chang, was hired from retirement to perform the duties as a special prosecutor. Details of Rasul’s transactions with GGB later came to light and it was alleged that the businessman, who has interests in several parts of the country, including Bartica and the city, was involved in questionable transactions with GGB. It was alleged that Rasul and his gold dealing and mining companies allegedly cooked up a scheme in which
he sold gold purchased as mined ones through his mining company. He allegedly as a result defrauded the state of almost $100M in taxes over a three-month period late last year. It is being argued that Gold Board dropped the ball on Rasul and should have picked up the glaring discrepancies. Investigators believed that Rasul allegedly laundered his proceeds into vehicles, properties and his businesses. He reportedly owned a security firm to which several gun licences were issued. SOCU, since being handed the matter by police to investigate, has conducted several raids to properties in Kitty, Prashad Nagar, Bartica, and Essequibo Coast, arresting staffers and business colleagues, and seizing luxury bikes, a jet ski and guns. With regards to GGB and
the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, it is believed enough attention was not paid to Rasul’s activities despite red flags. It was reported that Bullen, in a clear conflict of interest, even helped form the gold dealing company of Rasul. She would have had, as part of her work at the GGB, to be responsible for monitoring Rasul. Rasul’s gold dealing licence has since been revoked and he has lost permits for a number of weapons. SOCU has recommended charges against GGB staffers but the Director of Public Prosecutions has asked investigators to provide more information. Gold Board is a key revenue earning agency for the Government. It has been responsible of earning the most foreign currency in any sector, beating out rice and sugar.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
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
AFTER ALL, 2017 WAS NOT A BAD YEAR Looking back, 2017 was not a bad year after all compared to others. In fact, no matter how one slices it, 2017 will go down as another peaceful but challenging year for Guyana. The country had to grapple with problems of the economy, high unemployment, health care, and education. However, there was the declining road fatality figure; there was the drop in serious crimes and the police solved crimes that were unsolved for years. Yet there were the negatives. The economy recorded its lowest growth rate in the last decade. Attempts by the government to improve the economy met with falling prices for our commodities on the world market, and low production in the agricultural sector, especially in the sugar industry. The greatest news was the large quantity of oil found in the Stabroek Region of Essequibo. While its growth rate is expected to climb to three percent this year based on budgetary predictions, the masses have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for the higher cost of foodstuff and other products. There were also issues arising from constant power outages and the seemingly never-ending water shortage, both of which continue to plague many households in the rural areas of the country. The year 2017 was also one of unusual weather systems. There were torrential downpours in May, July and around Christmas that caused flooding in Georgetown and destroyed food crops, property and livestock in the outlying areas of the country. However, it was not as bad as in 2016 or in previous years. But we still have a high food import bill. The truth is no developing nation can prosper if it imports more than it exports. Many are hoping for a better 2018. They expect a significant reduction in the country’s food import bill because of the incentives being offered to farmers to grow more food. Many were troubled by the rise in gun violence across the country. They were heartened by the police reaction that led to the seizure of more weapons that at any time, even during the crime wave. They are hoping that in 2018, the police will get an even better grip on the lawlessness that pervades our society. Many are hoping, too, that in 2018 schools, religious institutions, organisations and families will come together and address the underlying factors that are pushing our youths towards crime. Another troubling issue was the public display of obnoxious and partisan politics in Parliament by our politicians, but more so from the opposition. People are hoping for unity and cooperation to prevail in 2018. The leader of the opposition thinks that he is the most qualified person to govern the country, but others feel that he is very bitter and angry because he is not in power. With that said, all was not lost because in the midst of his doom and gloom politics; there were some bright spots in 2017 from which the country benefits. These ranged from the mobilisation of the police to fight crime, reduction in corruption and the trafficking of illegal drugs, among others. However, on the brighter side of things, Guyanese all over the world are hoping for a peaceful and prosperous 2018. We must put our differences aside and work for the betterment of the country in order to provide a better life for all in 2018. While 2017 was a good year, we hope 2018 will be better.
Alarm surrounding stability clause in the petroleum agreement is unwarranted DEAR EDITOR, I beg to differ with Christopher Ram in his negative depiction of the Stability of Agreement clause in the Petroleum Agreement as “[s]trangling future governments” (Part 29 of his “The road to first oil” series). His statement prompted a hyped headline in the Kaieteur News of December 31. A stabilisation clause is commonly inserted in contracts between investors and host nations to protect investors from future changes in the law that affect the economics of the project. Article 32 of the Petroleum Agreement captures this intention by stating, at its most extreme, that should our government either amend existing laws, enact new laws, or vary the interpretation and implementation of existing laws, it must ensure by “whatever means necessary” that the oil company suffers no economic loss. The agreement lists the hydrocarbon law, the tax and customs codes as examples of such laws. But in international practice, the laws mostly targeted also include those on labour, the
environment, and health and safety. Whatever means necessary can range from exempting the company from the legislation changes, or financially compensating it for the cost of complying with the changes. Is a stabilisation clause a good or bad thing for the country? To answer in a structured manner, I suggest we set down a few assessment criteria. At minimum, four possible criteria for judging Article 32 or any other concession are (i) the objective of the concession; (ii) how necessary is the concession for attracting investors by creating a favourable investment climate; (iii) how widely–used worldwide is the concession in contracts between investors and host nations; and (iv) how costly is the jeopardy, if any, to the country. We can address criteria (i), (ii) and (iii) together. Stabilisation clauses between foreign investors and host states have been around for donkey years. They became standard diet from the 60s and 70s, as companies tried to protect
their investments from nationalisation, expropriation, and other opportunistic actions by governments. The longer the project life and the greater the sunken cost of the project, the more vulnerable the investor. Therefore, the greater the demand by an investor for a stability agreement. Of additional significance, global investment banks, insurers, and company boards and shareholders now insist on a stability agreement as a condition for project approval. Developing countries on all continents, in the fierce competition to attract foreign investment (and probably to bury their nationalisation instinct for good), now offer stability agreements of their own free will. Article 32 in the Petroleum Agreement (even as a fullblown version of such clauses) should therefore come as no surprise, given the billions of dollars the Esso consortium has already ploughed into the Stabroek Block and the estimated decades-long life of the project. The surprise would have been if it were missing. But how costly is any likely jeopardy to the country
of Article 32 (my criterion iv)? As the investor must comply with most existing laws, one can easily see in a general sense that the fewer and weaker those laws are, the greater the problem with exempting the investor from, or compensating it for complying with, emerging laws. In Guyana’s case, I do not anticipate that Article 32 will create much future remorse because (i) laws here on critical matters, such as human rights, labour, the environment, and health and safety are already in place and relatively robust, (ii) most of the country’s laws are already in compliance with international conventions—a fact that speaks to a main criticism of stability agreements as an obstacle for countries meeting their international obligations such as on human rights, and (iii) no government with mettle would allow any foreign investor to hide behind a stability agreement to avoid complying with a new law, especially one of general application, reasonably required for the good of its citizens. Sherwood Lowe
Numerous outstanding public servants and great leaders will emerge from this college DEAR EDITOR, Congratulations to the Bertram Collins College of the Public Service on the graduation of its first batch of students. Please permit me to reminisce. Shortly after His Excellency President Brig. David A Granger became President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, to the surprise of many he announced that his vision was to establish a Public Service College to produce professional and unbribable public servants. Lawrence Paul was given the onerous task to put systems in place to make this a reality. Very early he appeared to be slow marching, but he quickly changed into quick time. The rest is now history. Recently, he graduated the first batch of students. President Granger delivered the feature address at the graduation. Another set of students are already in training. This college has its parallel. I can recall in 1990 when Laurie Lewis took over the apex of management in the Guyana Police Force, he visited Adventure in Region
6 where a Police Patrol Base was established in 1973 for the opening for the Corentyne Highway. He found a compound with some very old and dilapidated buildings and dense bush. He posited that he would do training at that location. Commander ‘B’ Division Winston Felix, who was present, asked Commissioner Lewis if he was contemplating jungle training there. The commissioner told him that he would establish the Felix Austin Police College (FAPC) ‘B’ Division there and that he would make it a place of excellence. Commissioner Lewis engaged members of the business community in Berbice who donated several million dollars in cash and building materials towards the establishment of the college. He called the engagement with the businessmen, Police in Active Association with members of the Community - PAAC. His success with PAAC led to the formation of IMPACT in Georgetown and in all other police divisions patrol bases designed to
respond rapidly to serious crimes. I was taken off leave and like Lawrence Paul given the mandate to set up the college. I became its first Commandant. Commander Winston Felix played a critical role in the establishment of the college. At the opening ceremony for the training institution, President Desmond Hoyte delivered the main address. Since then the FAPC ‘B’ Division has become a place of excellence. It has produced several outstanding senior police officers including: David Ramnarine DSM, Acting Commissioner of Police; Ravindradat Budhram, Senior Superintendent, Commander ‘F’ Division; Errol Watts, Senior Superintendent, Guyana Police Force Projects Officer; Edmond Cooper, Senior Superintendent, Second in Command ‘B’ Division; Dion Moore, Superintendent, Traffic Officer and Shivpersaud Bacchus, Superintendent, Commandant Felix Austin Police College, Georgetown. Simeon Mc Bean quickly rose to the rank of Superintendent,
but his service was untimely and unfortunately abbreviated by the last Government on his return to Guyana after he successfully completed a one-year overseas scholarship in the United Kingdom. Like the FAPC ‘B’ Division, the Bertram Collins College of the Public Service will become a place of excellence. I listened carefully to Otto Vaughn, the valedictorian. He was awesome. It was an indication that a great amount of learning took place during training. The team of distinguished facilitators led by Lawrence Paul, Senior Director did a wonderful job. However, there must be sustainability. I did not look into the crystal ball, but my vision, like that of President Granger, is that numerous outstanding, professional public servants and great leaders will emerge from the college. It is just a matter of time. May God richly bless the Bertram Collins College of the Public Service. Clinton Conway Assistant Commissioner Of Police (Retired)
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Another example of Minister Patterson The seawalls are a main public venue for putting the cart before the horse relaxation and should have proper lighting DEAR EDITOR, In an article which appeared in the news media on Dec. 29, it was reported that the Minister for Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, told reporters at his end-of-year press conference that a multi-disciplinary team has been meeting with ExxonMobil to review identifiable onshore sites for the storage and distribution of natural gas, expected to be produced as a by-product from oil-fields being developed off Guyana’s Atlantic Coast. This action is another example of Minister Patterson putting, “the cart before the horse,” with ill-conceived proposals for projects. Firstly, the Ministry should have analysed the data collected by ExxonMobil to determine the estimated quantity of natural gas which could be produced from the oil fields over a given time. The stated daily availability of natural gas of between 300 to 500 cubic feet by Minister Patterson is an imaginary quantity and cannot be taken seriously for any meaningful development of the resource. Secondly, ExxonMobil intends to flare the natural gas produced with the oil and its
development strategy seems to be based on this premise. Therefore, if the Ministry intends to capture the flared natural gas, process it and then pump it to onshore facilities for storage and distribution, it will have to get an agreement from ExxonMobil to do so, since this will involve changes to their existing project design and hence additional development costs to get their oil to world markets. The natural gas will have to be separated from its impurities before being pumped to onshore facilities for liquefaction and storage in specialised containers for distribution locally and with the excess probably exported after berthing and loading services have been provided for tankers. This would be a capitalintensive and technically challenging project for which Guyana does not have the financial resources nor the technical know-how for its execution. Hence the need for an investment partner for the development of this segment of Guyana’s natural resource. Japan, a natural gashungry country appears to be interested in developing Guyana’s natural gas. If an
agreement could be reached, it will be, “calling the shots” as to how its investment should be deployed. Therefore, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is “ jumping the gun,” wasting Guyana’s scarce resources as it prematurely seeks and reviews onshore natural gas storage sites forgetting that old adage, “he who pays the piper calls the tune”. Hence, any onshore site chosen by the Ministry is unlikely to satisfy the design requirements of any major investor without major modifications. Minister Patterson should be aware that Guyana cannot develop a natural gas project without a partnership with an outside investor, and therefore he should formulate the country’s development needs in this direction. If a natural gas project does indeed come to fruition - which seems unlikely given the short life of the present Government - Minister Patterson could nevertheless initiate the next stage of Guyana’s development by using its share of natural gas to power turbines which will generate reliable electricity for Guyana’s entire needs. Charles Sohan
Why should brown sugar produced elsewhere be labelled Demerara? DEAR EDITOR, I read the recent ‘morning’ letter headed “A Day of Infamy”, involving roughly 4,000 workers in the sugar industry facing job loss, and could not help thinking “poor Guyana”, whose problems are ongoing, with no one able to provide solutions. In fact, there seems to be a problem for every possible solution! Then, in a moment of inspiration, I remembered Shakespeare’s “Sweet are the uses of adversity......” lines, and thought I would pass on bits from that quote, which may give good exercise to some of Guyana’s fine legal minds, not solely ‘financiallydriven’. Travelling abroad in past years, I have noticed in hotel room accommodation and dining room tables, on ALL the cruise ships I have used, that every dining table carried small teaspoon-sized packages of brown sugar labelled “Demerara” sugar, and always awarded myself a pat on the back, as I think “I’m from there”. Cannot we ‘mudheads’ patent the name “Demerara”, or otherwise do something to earn our deserving country some money, when others try to cash in on the name? As far as I am aware, we
are the only genuine Demerara nation worldwide. Why should brown sugar, maybe produced somewhere in the Far East, be allowed to use our lovely green country’s name to push brown sugar from somewhere else? Think about it. “Sweet are the uses of adversity - try to find “books in running brooks,… sermons in stones...and good in everything...” Incidentally in the mid1960s, when a colleague - an Oxford graduate, a First Class PPE graduate stumbled during the quote, and I was able to help, he was so stunned, it was funny. I had to thank our high school teacher of English Literature for insisting that we ‘learn by heart’ Shakespearean quotes
he considered important. British civil service bosses could not believe that many of their Caribbean secretaries had a grammarschool-type education. In the UK, such schools were free, gender-based top-of-therange schools, admission earned through passing a special exam, their lecturers stalking the corridors, dressed in flowing black robes, wearing flat square caps (mortar boards); offputting and intimidating to some children. They have been replaced now. Who knows? Do not allow others to capitalise on our country’s “poshsounding” name. Try the ‘brown sugar route’ suggested, and the best to all for the year 2018. Geralda D.
DEAR EDITOR, During the festive season, I hosted family from the Rupununi, including three kids. I tried my best to take them sightseeing to the popular locations around the city which are amenable to the interests of kids. The almost non-stop rains made it impossible to take them to main venues like the zoo and National Park. I soon ran out of ideas and racked my brains for other possible activities for three energetic kids who were cooped up in the house for far too long. It then struck me that the seawalls bandstand with its open space and kids’ games was an ideal location to spend an evening. So on a rare occasion when the rains subsided, we all loaded into our transportation and headed off for an evening of fun. As we pulled up to the bandstand we immediately noticed a change. The place was completely empty and in almost total darkness. We sat in stunned silence as we weighed the options available to us - return home or risk the darkness so the kids can have a breezing out. The kids ultimately made the decision as they were hell-bent on releasing their pent-up energy. So with extreme reservations, we disembarked and proceeded to the section with the chairs. There were quite a few other people, at the location. We could not decipher whether they were friend or foe! But, like us, they all seemed drawn to the venue which is famed for its feeling of freedom and carefree abandon. In between the incessant questions from the kids about the sea, ships and lights, my partner and I mused about what made such a popular public location now look like a graveyard. We did all this while keeping a wary eye out for the criminals whom, we read, roam the seawalls and pounce on
unsuspecting victims. Eventually, caution got the better of me, and we decided to cut the evening short, despite vehement protests from the kids who, understandably, felt short changed. Like so many other things of recent in Guyana, I wondered, Where is the vision for our country when one of the very few public locations for children is suddenly closed? Was it from lack of business for the vendors? Was it inability to pay the electricity bill? I wondered aloud that if government finds money for many other inconsequential things, then certainly they can find funding to keep the seawalls bandstand alive. Then the moment of clarity on this situation arrived a few days later with Freddie Kissoon’s article titled “I sat next to the accused minister”, KN, January 1st, 2018. And with that explanation followed rage and indignation. How dare the minister endanger the lives of citizens in such a callous manner? If he has a grouse with vendors (and heck, they offer a service to the public; a service which the government has been woefully short of providing) then there should be no way that the public becomes
embroiled. So much could have gone wrong that evening when I took my family to the seawalls only to find complete darkness. We could have been robbed, even murdered! The kids could have injured themselves. Why? All because of a minister’s whim? Is the honourable minister so out of touch with reality? At minimum, the minister should have made a public announcement to inform of the new happenings around the Seawalls bandstand. That way the public can be forewarned. But even such a decision would not take away the extreme shallowness of such decision-making. For the seawalls bandstand is a very popular public venue, especially for children, which the honourable minister should be doing his utmost to preserve not destroy! I sincerely hope that there will be enough public outpouring on this issue that the Honourable minister will see the shortsightedness of his decision. He also needs to be upbraided for risking the public in such a manner! Finally, a word of thanks to Mr Freddie Kissoon for keeping the public abreast on issues which the government seems to have no interest in highlighting! Keep up the great work, sir! M. Abraham
Poor DSL service DEAR EDITOR, I have been a user of GTT’s DSL service for the past three years. I pay a monthly fee of $6000 for this service which is supposed to allow me to enjoy internet speed of one Mbps. Sorry to say that the speed of my service seldom exceeds 0.25Mbps, and this has been my experience for several months. My question is: Why I am required to pay for 1 Mbps service when what is provided is about a quarter of the contract speed? I feel that GTT is using its monopoly position to exploit its customers. The Government should take urgent measures to terminate this monopoly and allow others to compete in this market. Further, I feel this is a matter which the Public Utility Commission should examine to end this egregious exploitation of consumers. Stephen Bovell
Mercy and forgiveness for crimes committed DEAR EDITOR, With the pardoning of some prisoners by President David Granger there are some people who believe that the Head of State erred; that people who commit crimes should spend time in prison for the crimes they committed. People who commit crimes should also be forgiven for their crimes. What kind of society will we be should we condemn people who commit crimes, to live forever in captivity? Or, even take their lives as punishment for their crimes?
Punishment for crimes is important to send a strong message to criminals. However, mercy and forgiveness are just as important. Therefore, President Granger has not erred in pardoning some people. We should be looking to develop a kind and caring society whereby we look out for each other and help each other. Guyanese society has been fractured too long by distrust between our peoples. We need to rebuild trust. Sean Ori
DDL is perfect for running Enmore DEAR EDITOR, Over the weekend, the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) in a strong statement said that it is deeply worried by plans by the Government to close three sugar estates down until investors could be found for them. DDL depends heavily on molasses, a by-product of the sugar-making process, to produce its rums. Editor, it is a fact that we cannot continue the course of bailing out GuySuCo. We have to make some hard decisions. With Enmore now on the divestment and privatisation track, and the only estate in the East Demerara area, there are some opportunities for DDL. DDL, LBI and Enmore,
because of past history, have land configurations and other benefits that can allow the rum company an ideal foothold in the sugar industry. I am of course referring to the DDL statement carried by your newspaper which signals the company’s intentions to explore ways it can protect its molasses supplies. DDL has an opportunity with Enmore estate and should make a serious offer. We should not give it away free, but a proper deal negotiated. There is an existing factory, fields and equipment. It is the nearest estate to DDL, in Diamond. So let us get it on. Majeed Ally
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Govt’s policies and programmes must be reflective of this fundamental truth DEAR EDITOR, This month marks the 68 year since the formation of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). The Party was founded on January 1, 1950 under the leadership of Dr. Cheddi Jagan, his wife Janet and Forbes Burnham who served as General Secretary and Chairman respectively. This year also is the centenary year of the late Dr. who was born on March 22, 1918. Indeed, the PPP as a political institution is organically linked to the ideas and philosophy of Dr. Jagan, which by and large continues to influence and shape the thinking of the PPP until this day. It is to the credit of Dr. Jagan and the party he founded, that in just over three years of its formation, the party won a landslide
victory in the elections of 1953, the first under universal adult suffrage. The PPP won 18 out of 24 seats and continued to win all elections from then on until it was engineered out of office in 1964, thanks to the intrigues of Anglo-American vested interests, in collaboration with local reactionary forces which included the PNC and The United Force. What transpired after that is now history, and represented a break from competitive electoral politics based on the Westminster model of majoritarian rule. The PNC rigged all subsequent elections until democracy was finally restored to the country in October 1992, when once again the PPP won decisively. There are some who
attributed the success of the PPP to “race politics” which, they argued, gave the PPP a competitive advantage at the polls by virtue of a predominant Indian base. This, however, masks some fundamental characteristics of the PPP, among which is the working class orientation of the Party and its embrace of an ideology that transcends the narrow confines of race and religion. It is this universalistic appeal of the PPP that is responsible for the party enjoying the confidence of Guyanese, right across the ethnic and religious spectrum of the society. The PPP is the largest multi-ethnic party in Guyana, with significant Amerindian and Afro-Guyanese support, in addition to its core IndoGuyanese support base.
This is why any discussion on inclusive governance, national unity and social cohesion cannot ignore this fundamental reality. This is by no means an attempt to downplay race as an important variable in our national politics. It is merely an attempt to refocus attention away from ethnocultural determinism to one that is more class-oriented, where the working and living conditions of all Guyanese, regardless of race or ethnicity, must be placed at the centre of our developmental agenda. All Guyanese look forward to the good life and it is the duty and responsibility of the government to ensure that its policies and programmes are reflective of this fundamental truth. Hydar Ally
It’s time to return civility to Guyana DEAR EDITOR, One of the failures of the Coalition Government has been the continuation of the lawlessness that flourished during the Jagdeo/PPP years, of law enforcement condoning alcohol abuse and noise nuisance. My personal experience as a victim of noise nuisance is that the police make no arrests, even in the face of very intoxicated, disorderly, and threatening perpetrators. The police would warn the perps and leave. The drunks would continue with the noise at higher decibels. It is like the police catch a rapist in the act,
make no arrest, warn the rapist, leave the victim with the attacker, and when the cops leave the rape continues. To make my case, I am going to share my experience of 1st Jan 2018. I got home at 5:30pm after a fishing trip and my one of my neighbours were indulging in rum-drinking and making noise. The more they drank the more they got drunk and the louder they amplified the music/noise. By 7:15pm, I came down with a headache and could no longer bear the shockwaves pounding my head. I called the Vreed-en-
Habits are not the product of one decision — They’re the result of repeated choices that eventually become automatic responses. How can you know your true spiritual condition? By the company you keep and the choices you make. When you’re free to go, where do you choose to go? Whose company do you prefer?
Hoop Police Station and made a report. Between 7:20pm and 9:30pm, I called the station 7 times but only got through on 3 occasions. I visited the station twice. I also called two senior police officers. When the police patrol came, they found one neighbour to be very intoxicated, disorderly, and threatening. He had to be restrained by 3 female family members. The police warned the perp rather than arrest him. When the police left, the noise continued. The police returned. The noise stopped. The offender locked his gate and refused to speak with the police. The cops said that they could not enter the premises and left. That was clearly a case of non-enforcement of the law and I have experienced it five times in the last two years, so I would say it seems to be the ‘policy’ of the Police Force. Such a ‘policy’ came about
during the 23-year reign of the PPP, and it was aimed at making some of its supporters feel empowered. They could do as they pleased, and the police would not charge them. This was in exchange for them (supporters) turning a blind eye to the corruption and depravities of some in the PPP leadership. Such an attitude helped birth the ‘rum till I die’ culture. Such a culture has been very detrimental to a large segment of the Guyanese population. It had led to an epidemic of alcohol abuse, domestic violence, noise nuisance, cutlass violence, murder, suicide, drunk driving, vehicular accidents and deaths. It is high time the APNU/ AFC Government reverses this scourge. Enforcing the law would lead to a reduction in so many ills. It’s time to return civility to Guyana. Malcolm Harripaul
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Video evidence helps build cases Auditor General sets February deadline... for successful prosecution GECOM Commissioners to hand The ability of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to extract, analyse and present forensic video evidence has helped build cases, in particular highprofile cases for successful prosecution. This is according to the Justice Education Society (JES), a Canadian non-profit, public legal education organisation which commenced works in Guyana in 2015. Its mission is to build strong communities by promoting the understanding of, access to, and confidence in justice systems both in Canada and internationally. JES has trained several police ranks, magistrates and public prosecutors in forensic video analysis (FVA). In a report on Impacts of Strengthening the Guyanese Criminal Justice System Project, JES which outlined the outcome of several projects undertaken, reported that the Guyana Police Force is moving by “leaps and bounds” to use video evidence in crime fighting. Police Sergeant Detective Junior Blair has benefitted from the training. When testifying in court, Sergeant Blair would give a detailed explanation of CCTV footage using PowerPoint slides. Sergeant Blair sees the demand for video analysis as businesses use CCTV cameras and citizens record videos on their mobile phones. He believes that in the future more resources will be required to deal with this demand. The rank is happy to play his role in crime fighting. He told JES that it is “pleasing to know that you actually played that role and that you are doing this…together. That, by itself, brings satisfaction.” Former Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent of Police Wendell Blanhum told JES, “We are using technology. What is more impressive is
- Justice Education Society
Former Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent of Police Wendell Blanhum
Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud
that this training was delivered to us, recently, and already we have been implementing the training.” Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud, who is on leave, agrees that video evidence will play an important role in boosting the public confidence in the police force. He emphasised, “It eliminates doubts in police process and how they come up with evidence to charge people. This helped to remove a lot of those doubts.” In the report, JES pointed out that video evidence extends beyond positive identification of perpetrators and securing convictions. According to JES, “For the magistrates, forensic video has high demonstrative value and aids in objective reconstruction of events under consideration.” Magistrate Rushelle Liverpool, who sits at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court, disclosed to JES, “Video evidence is the best evidence. Its purpose is not just to identify perpetrators but it can be used to help the courts in understanding how an incident happened, or the layout of the crime scene. “It can help (the court) in identifying the persons who
were present, who might be in court giving evidence and testifying to the fact that they were present and observed an incident.” Magistrate Liverpool continued, “Video evidence will allow the public to be more confident in the courts’ decision because it would be understood that the decision would have been arrived at because of video evidence—unbiased, neutral evidence—and not the courts’ ability to assess a witness’ viva voce evidence.” Assistant Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken, had reported to JES that businesses have been installing CCTV cameras “because they recognise, too, that that is a deterrent or it can assist the police after the commission of a crime.” Before JES, the GPF collected video evidence but did not have the necessary technology or the right level of skill to analyse it, the report stated. Michael Hicks, a retired judge of the Provincial Court of British Colombia said that video cameras are “dispassionate; never subject to stress; silent, constant and unbiased. They…may be the best evidence of identity.” Hicks has been working with JES in Guyana.
over fraud reports to police Auditor General Deodat Sharma has said that the seven Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) have until the first week of February to hand over reports that detail a trail of alleged procurement frauds to the police for further investigations. The Auditor General’s office prepared three reports that include the $100 million purchase of radios, the purchase of pliers and the procurement of toners. Sharma had recommended that the Commissioners turn over the reports to the police, failing which, he himself will provide the reports to police investigators. Sharma told Kaieteur News, yesterday, that he had given the Commissioners more time to deliberate on the reports, taking into consideration that a new Chairman in Justice James Patterson (ret’d), was appointed in October. He added that Desmond Trotman was also recently appointed as a Commissioner. Additionally, Commissioner, Vincent Alexander had told this publication that he had not received the final reports. “I have since supplied all Commissioners, including the Chairman, with the reports. If there is no decision by the first week of February, I will be writing to the Chairman to inform him about my next move,” Sharma stated. The other Commissioners who will review the AG reports are Robeson Benn, Bibi Shadick, Sase Gunraj, and Charles Corbin.
As previously reported, as far back as last October, some Commissioners viewed the reports. The report on the procurement of radios dated April 2017 was sent to the GECOM Secretariat. It was not immediately provided to the Commissioners. The Commission usually meets on Tuesdays, but there is no meeting planned for this week. This means, that the Commissioners have roughly four weeks to satisfy the AG. GECOM’s Secretariat, headed by Maj. Keith Lowenfield, has been accused of deliberately overseeing a system of procurement irregularities involving hundreds of millions of dollars in purchases – from radios, to pliers and batteries, to toners. Auditor General, Deodat Sharma and his team had descended on the GECOM office to investigate worrisome procurement practices at the entity that overlooks general and local government elections. One of the activities for the 2015 general elections was the purchase of several communication radios. This particular report raised many unanswered questions. It was found that less than 90 percent of the radios were used despite the strong reasons advanced by GECOM to the administration for the purchases. Some $100M was spent. It was found that the radios arrived too late to be deployed for the May 11, 2015 elections. The report found that on top of that purchase for the
Auditor General, Deodat Sharma radios which were all outdated, GECOM went ahead and bought 12 satellite phones for use, in case the radios could not be put into operation. When Local Government Elections were held in 2016, the radios were still not used. There were other questionable purchases, forged quotations and prices that were way above market prices paid for several other things. Some of these included Duracell batteries, nippers, toners for printers, and even office furniture. The Audit Office found that GECOM breached procurement regulations when they went ahead and evaluated the quotes for the radios without first seeking the approval of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB). This was done after. In fact, the audit report found that GECOM signed (Continued on page 8)
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Start auditing exploration, development costs by ExxonMobil By Kiana Wilburg The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging the authorities of Guyana to commence the auditing of all exploration, development costs by USA oil operator, ExxonMobil. The Fund made this known in one of its recent reports on Guyana’s oil sector. This document was handed over to the government last year. The IMF said that plans to establish a petroleum industry taxpayer unit attached to the large taxpayer office in the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) should be prioritised. The Fund said that this effort is supported by a consultant from the US Treasury office of Technical Assistance. The IMF said, “It will be important for this unit to start verifying and undertaking audits of cost incurred during the exploration and development phase, which is getting underway now. It would be advantageous to establish close working relations between the GRA and the sec-
- IMF urges
Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman tor regulators (Ministry of Natural Resources, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the prospective Petroleum Commission) to ensure that the limited petroleum sector expertise in government is applied most efficiently.” The International Monetary Fund said the intention is that the Guyana Revenue Authority will be the single
GECOM Commissioners... (From page 7) the contract for the radios six days before the elections, making it impossible for the radios to be sourced, delivered, and installed in remote locations and for staffers to be trained. GECOM, in its defence, said that it could find nowhere in the report where anyone could be found culpable, and that it would be difficult, therefore, to engage the police to pursue criminal indictments. Among other things, the police are being asked to find out how a quote from one business place ended up in the system, when the company has denied it ever submitted one.
revenue collection agency for the petroleum sector. It opined that this is a reasonable decision, given the key role played by the Production Sharing Agreement and the pay-on-behalf arrangement for corporate income tax in existing contracts (this is where the contractor’s income tax obligations are settled from the government’s share of the profit oil). However, given the limited experience in the GRA with petroleum taxation, the IMF said that there is urgency to develop skills in this area. COST RECOVERY Oil production is expected to get into to full swing by March 2020. That is just about 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 including 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 pointed out that the Guyana Revenue Authority was able to garner $900M in taxes due to its attentiveness in this regard.
TANZANIAAND INDONESIA Kaieteur News had carried an article on the Tanzanian experience with ExxonMobil in which it was stated that the country had serious difficulty in verifying the 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 that “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. 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. 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.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
A New Year's promotion is a nice reward for someone’s hard work and commitment. It represents an upward step in the organisation to which he belongs. Back in time – way back in time – it used to be the tradition whereby promotions were often announced at the start of the New Year after the incumbents would have been acting in their positions for a few months. Promotions were a new year's tradition. Workers and non-workers actually looked forward to the announcements of promotions. The practice of announcing promotions and announcing them at the start of the New Year has had practical benefits. The recognition accorded by promotions acts as a motivational tonic. Promotions elevate persons in the eyes of the public. They also are a way to help young people to see the value of pursuing a long-term career within an institution. There was a scene in the blockbuster movie, Saturday Night Fever where the protagonist, Tony, was rewarded with a small weekly increase by his boss who saw him turn down a better offer from another employer. Tony was excited by the raise he received. But when he told his father about the quantum of the increase, the father was not impressed. However, for Tony, the in-
crease meant more than its monetary value. As he said, it showed that he was appreciated, that his work meant something. There are many Guyanese workers, outside of the sugar belt, who had a difficult Christmas. Many of them could not provide for their families this Christmas. People could not afford to provide the usual treats for their families. The Disciplined Services usually enjoyed a thirteenmonth bonus under Presidents Jagdeo and Ramotar. Almost all of them have grown dependent on this extra month salary to help provide for their families. The Granger administration claimed that the bonus was discriminatory against other public servants. Soldiers and police have not enjoyed the monthly bonus since the APNU+AFC came to office. This has left most soldiers and police in the humiliating position of being short of cash for the holidays. It was sad to see policemen bumming business owners for food items and cash during the holidays However, many of these ranks, along with soldiers, were smiling at the New Year. Many of them or their colleagues were promoted. The pay rise will not compensate for the loss of the thirteenmonth bonus but their promotion is a source of pride,
enough to soothe the humiliation of a cash-short Christmas. It is a good practice to publicly announce promotions. The announcement of promotions brings respect to persons holding public office. It earns them the admiration of their community. Private firms used to announce their promotions in years gone by, but not anymore. Workers look forward to regular promotions. It is the traditional way of climbing the corporate ladder. Regular promotions are way of assuring workers that they have a future in a company. Promotions have gone out of style. They have been replaced by connections. These days, political connections, can land you a big job within the government, one which you do not have to apply for. Also, it has become the practice to advertise externally to fill an internal vacancy rather than simply promoting someone from within. This is also another way of handing out jobs to friends and cronies and bypassing persons within the firm. The superseding of persons who have worked for a long time within an organisation results in a loss of morale. Workers care less because they know that no matter how good they perform, they will have to compete with someone from out-
DEM BOYS SEH Some man now owning outside pickney De first wukking day of de year, Soulja Bai announce a number of things. But de one dat stick out was when he seh all who got five pickney dem salary gun be double. One of he Ministah was present when Soulja Bai mek de announcement and went home and tell ee wife. “I have a kid wid me girlfriend.” He seh he going to bring him to add him to de four wha we got suh me salary can be double.
Dem boys hear when he come back he found only one child. He ask de wife wheh de odda three deh. She tun and tell him. “You is not de only one who hear de news. Dem three daddee come to fetch dem as well.” He pass 50 suh he still got hopes. When you pass 50, you like a basketball. Everybody want you because you can still earn an income to be an unpaid babysitter. When you meet 60 you like a volleyball. If you can still
wuk every one will aim for you. Is a never ending babysitting job. When you are 70 yuh like a football. A will kick it to B; B will kick it to C; C will kick it to D; children are grown up and you have grown old. No one wants you anymore. When you is 80, yuh is like a golf ball. De swing of de club…wherever you land is wheh you gin end yuh life. Talk half and remember Soulja Bai in ee 70s and ee hire some of dem in dem 80s.
side of the firm for a higher position. Gone are the days when someone could have hoped to work his way from the bottom right to the top. This is one of the reasons why persons are changing jobs so regularly. They reach a certain point in the organisation and cannot go any further, and so they quit and go elsewhere where the pay is better. One of the biggest obstacles to upward movement in the public service is the large numbers of retirees, some of whom are not highly
qualified but are receiving super salaries because of their political connections. The retirees are blocking promotions of young staff. The President recently announced that he has no more need of some of his advisors. Yet, these persons, all of whom have reached the age of public service retirement, are going to be placed in executive positions. Their reassignment to executive posts will mean that someone else will lose out on those positions. He has not announced any persons who will be el-
evated to replace those advisors. Promotions therefore can help to bring greater satisfaction in the workforce. The government should consider rewarding more persons with promotions at the start of the year. It is far better policy of rewarding staff than simply giving them an arbitrary increase in pay along with all other workers.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Sustained vaccination coverage helps Guyana ward off Yellow Fever - CMO Last year, much like many others past, saw the Health Ministry striving to control many public health challenges. The effort was quite a valiant one on many fronts especially when the challenge of Yellow Fever was taken into consideration. According to Chief Medical Officer [CMO], Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, ever since Guyana got word about an outbreak of Yellow Fever in neighbouring Brazil, strategic measures were put in place to combat the disease. Yellow Fever is said to be transmitted by mosquitoes belonging to the Aedes and Haemogogus species. Some of these mosquitoes live and breed around homes, others in jungle and some in both habitats. According to the World Health Organisation [WHO], between July and mid-October 2017, there were 71 suspected Yellow Fever cases that were reported in São Paulo State, Brazil. Of these, two were confirmed and one turned out to be fatal, while six were investigated and 63 were eventually ruled out. However, from July to early November last year, 580 epizootics [an outbreak of a disease affecting many animals of one kind at the same time] in non-human primates (NHPs) were reported in São Paulo State, with an increase in the number of cases reported from September 10, 2017. Of these, 120 were confirmed as Yellow Fever, 233 were under investigation, 74 were classified as undeter-
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud mined, and 153 were ruled out. Given the situation, which prevailed in Brazil, Dr. Persaud said that the local Public Health Ministry went into overdrive mode to safeguard the nation. This included moves to closely monitor the ports of entry and all patients who presented at the various health facilities with symptoms even remotely similar to that of Yellow Fever. Once contracted, the Yellow Fever virus incubates in the body for three to six days but according to WHO, many people do not experience symptoms. However, it has noted that when these do occur, the most common are fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. But in most cases symptoms disappear after three to four days. A small percentage of patients, however, enter a second, more toxic phase within
24 hours of recovering from initial symptoms which manifests with high fever returns and several body systems are affected including the liver and the kidneys, according to WHO. In this phase, people are likely to develop jaundice [yellowing of the skin and eyes, hence the name ‘yellow fever’], dark urine and abdominal pain with vomiting. Bleeding can occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach and half of the patients who enter the toxic phase die within seven to 10 days, WHO has publicised. But despite its daunting outcomes, WHO has noted that Yellow Fever is still difficult to diagnose, especially during the early stages. This is in light of the fact WHO has outlined, that the disease can be confused with severe malaria, leptospirosis, viral hepatitis [especially severe forms], other haemorrhagic fevers, infection with other flaviviruses [such as dengue haemorrhagic fever], and poisoning too. According to WHO, blood tests [RT-PCR] can sometimes detect the virus in the early stages of the disease and in later stages of the disease, testing [with ELISA and PRNT] to identify antibodies is needed. But Dr. Persaud is convinced that Guyana was able to ward off the disease mainly because of its several 10-year campaigns against Yellow Fever. This, he said, might have been instrumental in ensuring that there was no reported case of Yellow Fever in Guyana. “The good thing and the blessed thing for Guyana is that we still have good Yellow Fever coverage among everybody. I would say confidently, almost everybody above the age of one, would have received a Yellow Fever vaccine and that might have protected us,” said Dr. Persaud. He, however, assured that the Ministry even at the dawn of 2018, is continuing to monitor for the disease. The Public Health Ministry is also continuing to pay keen attention to diseases such as Zika and Chikungunya which had in the past few years impacted the health system considerably. But sustained efforts to combat these diseases, which are also transmitted by mosquitoes, had resulted in reduced cases during the past year, Dr. Persaud informed. “We continue to see fewer Zika cases…Actually, we saw very few positives coming down to the end of the year . Chikungunya has also decreased considerably over the past year,” said the CMO.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
2016 oil contract reflective Woman alleges cops raped of Guyana’s vulnerability her at Turkeyen Police Station - Constables say it was a negotiation and desperation - Dr. Hinds By Abena RockcliffeCampbell The government has finally released the oil contract it signed with ExxonMobil over a year ago and the views about the contract are now being aired far and wide. Some commentators have condemned the government for signing on to such a contract. However, political scientist, Dr. David Hinds, is of the opinion that the government really could not have done better for the nation. He said that ExxonMobil is very much aware of Guyana’s desperation and knows that the country would be hard pressed to do much better. He said, “I think we got the kind of contract that any government which negotiates from a position of relative weakness would be able to squeeze out—from the royalty to the signing bonus, to the tax and other concessions, we have guaranteed ExxonMobil.” Dr. Hinds said that as much as Guyanese would have liked to see a better contract, “We have to be realistic.” The political scientist noted that the government went into the negotiations as an inexperienced actor on these matters. “Further, we negotiated as a country that is politically divided, desperate for something to get our foot in the door and desperate for revenue that we would not normally have. And, our government understandably wanted something big before the next election.” He continued, “When the company sitting at the other side of the table knows that, they would logically offer as little as possible and demand
Political Scientist, Dr. David Hinds as much as possible. As the Exxon man hinted, the new kid on the block is never in a position to demand much. We just have to live with that reality and move on.” Dr. Hinds admitted that the government could have got at least a few better provisions were it better prepared, better informed and adopted a more national approach to the matter. But, from Hinds’s view point, that reality “is now water under the bridge.” He said, “I think we should give the government a break on this first contract. However, going forward, they have to learn from the errors here. This, for me, is the test— given what you now know; how do you set yourself up for better? “How do you now develop the kind of leverage that is needed to negotiate with multinational corporations? In other words, how do you use the little you now have to get more as you move forward?” Dr. Hinds said that Government would do well not ignoring the opportunity it now has to redeem itself. He said that in future negotiations, the government must place emphasis on having a strong national front.
“I still think that small countries like ours are always vulnerable in these negotiations but that vulnerability is exaggerated when you do not have a strong nationalist front at the negotiating table. I still believe a negotiating strategy and team that have the support of the broad political spectrum stand a better chance of getting more for the country. “This was the biggest error with this first contract and should not be repeated. The other big error was of course the secrecy surrounding the entire process,” said Dr. Hinds.
Two police constables were placed under close arrest after a woman alleged that the two lawmen brutally raped her inside the Turkeyen Police Station around 01:00 hr on New Year’s Day when she went to make a report against her boyfriend. The ranks however are claiming that it was not rape. In fact, they said that they negotiated to pay$10,000 each to the woman, who is said to be in her early 30s, to have sex with them. The business would have taken place in a room in the upper flat of the station. Kaieteur News was informed that when the ranks failed to pay the woman, she went downstairs and screamed rape. Up to press time, the ranks in question
were being grilled at the Cove and John Police Station. According to a police source, the woman alleged that her boyfriend threatened to kill her, so she went to make an official report. She claimed that while giving a statement, she asked one of the ranks to use the washroom. “She said that one rank went with her to show her where the washroom was when his colleague joined them and both men raped her,” a source said. However, there are reports that when the woman went to the station, she was highly intoxicated and had started stripping her clothes—this reportedly caught the ranks
attention and they started talking with the woman and subsequently bargained for sex. At the time of the incident, the officer in charge was in his office while other ranks were out doing patrol duties. “It had other ranks in the compound but even if there was any screaming upstairs, you couldn’t have heard because the building sealed up,” the source said. Investigations are ongoing.
A mini health check is the first step to donating blood
Wednesday January 03, 2018
APNU’s Linden official dies suddenly By Enid Joaquin Shock and dismay enveloped residents of Linden, Region Ten and the wider political circle across Guyana, as news spread of the sudden passing of APNU Chairperson and political stalwart Sandra Adams. Ms Adams reportedly suffered a massive heart attack. She was recently hospitalised, and discharged for a heart related condition. Adams had served as the Region 10 Campaign Manager for the APNU+AFC coalition at the last elections. She was also a Member of Parliament for the People’s National Congress. Her last message to Lindeners was on 104.3 Power Fm on New Year’s Day when she took the opportunity to wish her colleagues, residents, family and friends a happy and progressive New Year. Chairman of Region Ten, Rennis Morian, reflecting on Adams's passing said that it was a devastating loss for the
Died suddenly: Sandra Adams APNU+AFC coalition. Replacing her would be a monumental challenge. Adams was a serving Councillor with the RDC up to the time of her death, Morian said, “She was very committed to whatever task or challenge she took on, and I personally feel that she had plunged back too soon into work after her recent hospitalisation. But that was the woman; once she started anything she had to see it through. We
have indeed suffered a huge loss.” Adams had made her last official appearance on Saturday at the turning of the sod for the Region Ten Passport Office in Retrieve. She had commended Minister Winston Felix for the initiative. Adams had said that upon acceding to the office of Minister of Citizenship one of the first things that the Minister would have done was to establish a passport office in Linden…. “From the time he would have taken office he has been pursuing the idea of the decentralisation of necessary facilities and ministry operations in all of the Regions. So the first thing he would have done was to open an office at the NIS building here in Linden. And now he is moving it one step further by (setting) up a complete office where you can have your new applications done, citizenship applications done and eventually your birth certificates.” Adams had said that this
meant that the people of Linden and Region Ten would finally no longer have to travel to Georgetown to access such services. These would be readily available cheaper. The cost of travel and food would be eliminated, as well as the hassle. That would be bringing the good life to the people. Commenting on the passport office, she said, “Some people might see this as a very small gesture but I see it as a big gesture. “I most anxiously await it, because when we get on our campaign trail I can say it was a promise made and a promise delivered.” Meanwhile, President David Granger in a public message said that he is saddened. “Ms. Adams was a dedicated public servant, commu-
nity organiser and political activist. She served as the Assistant National Director of the Community Development Council in the Ministry of Communities. “She was the Principal Political Secretary and member of the Central Executive Committee of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and also the Regional Chairman of the Party’s Upper Demerara- Berbice Region.” She was also a part of the National Assembly as a regional member of Parliament from 1997 to 2006. The Ministry of the Presidency said that Adams was born and raised in the mining town of Linden, attending Mackenzie High School. “Apart from her community work and political activism in the Upper Demerara-
Berbice Region, she also worked as a former administrator of Duncan International Shipping and a supervisor of Voices of Praise International Radio, Brooklyn, New York. In May 2017, she was the recipient of a National Awardthe Medal of Service - for her long and outstanding service in social and community affairs in the Upper DemeraraBerbice Region and as a parliamentarian,” the ministry disclosed. “His Excellency extends heartfelt sympathy to the children Deron Montrose and Delroy Anthony, grandchildren, Dericia and Dariana Anthony, siblings, Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, Frank Mackenzie, Marilyn Sinclair, Robert, Berthyle, Royston and Marcia Adams and the relatives and friends of Sandra Michelle Adams.”
Guyanese mom is NY first 2018 murder; husband hangs self in park A Guyanese-born mother of two is New York’s first recorded murder for the year. Her husband is also dead of suspected suicide. According to the New York Daily News yesterday, just hours after a Queens couple rang in the New Year, the wife became the city’s first murder victim of 2018 — and her abusive husband hanged himself from a tree in a city park. Authorities were investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide after the bodies were discovered about three hours apart on New Year’s Day, police sources said. Stacy Singh, the 26-yearold mother of two small children, was stabbed repeatedly in the back and left face-down in the couple’s Richmond Hill home on 103rd Ave. near 113th St., according to the sources. A knife was found near her body when police arrived around 2 p.m. She reportedly hailed from the Novar, Mahaicony area. Her hard-partying husband Vinny Loknath, 46, committed suicide just after 11 a.m. in Forest Park, about 1 1/2 miles from the murder scene, sources said. He was found hanging from a tree in the park. Loknath “was very abusive to her,” said the dead woman’s brother-in-law Romain Shaw. “She stayed with him no matter what because they had two kids together. She was hoping for him to change, but he never did. “He’s such a coward.” According to Shaw, in the news report, Loknath was drinking heavily and using cocaine when family members gathered on New Year’s Eve at a Queens restaurant.
Vinny Loknath is believed to have killed his wife Stacy Singh (right), a mother of 2, before hanging himself in Queens. “He was so drunk, so very drunk,” said Shaw. “He always beat her up when he went home high.” A neighbour said the couple fought constantly, recalling one incident that ended with the battered wife leaving their home in an ambulance. “The cops are always there,” the neighbour said. “They were always having big fights. But she still came back to him.” The couple had a five-year-old son and a oneyear-old daughter now left parentless. Stacy “was a very sweet person,” said Shaw. “She was a very generous, caring person. She loved her children very much, spent every penny on them. They were her world.” The victim’s family came to the house Monday evening, with the woman’s sister collapsing upon arrival. The neighbour described
Killed: Stacy Singh Loknath as a construction worker often seen sitting on the front stoop of the house, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. The killing marked the second consecutive year that the city’s first murder occurred in the Queens precinct. On January 1, 2017, 31year-old Ricky Kalisaran, also a Guyanese, was shot dead during an attempted robbery on 124th St. near Liberty Ave.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Fraud charge dismissed Judge grants prime suspect $1M bail against loan company head Illegal landing of aircraft at Lethem…
Nathan Hamilton and Wazim King
After he was remanded to prison two weeks ago for the illegal landing of an aircraft at Lethem, Hutshan Ramsingh, the prime suspect in the case was yesterday granted $1M bail by Justice Brassington Reynolds at the High Court in Georgetown. Ramsingh, called Seon Singh, 44, a businessman of Tabatinga, Lethem, was ordered to report to the Lethem Police Station every Monday until the completion of the matter. This was after his Attorney-at-Law, Jerome Khan, made a bail petition before the judge. Senior Counsel Ian Chang is also a part of the defence. On December 18, 2017 Ramsingh made his first court appearance before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan who remanded him to prison. The allegation against Ramsingh alleges that between August 10, 2017 and August 13, 2017 at Mandacoro Island Savannah, Santa Fe, Lethem, he conspired with persons known and unknown to facilitate the illegal landing of an aircraft suspected to be involved in trafficking in narcotics and firearm, at an unauthorised port of entry. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge. This matter was transferred to the Lethem Magistrate’s Court for March 5. According to reports, the illegal aircraft and airstrip was discovered on August 13, last, about 10 miles from Santa Fe. Kaieteur News understands that the airstrip which was discovered previously was destroyed by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). It is believed that the plane, said to be a Brazilian-registered one, and the airstrip, were being used for illegal activities. The plane has a similar registration number to an aircraft owned by a bank in neighbouring Brazil. Last October, Minister of State Joseph Harmon revealed that persons from Brazil claimed that the aircraft was stolen.
The plane was handed over to the army and police had reportedly seized the front end loader. Ranks from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, confiscated two passports belonging to a Colombian and a Brazilian. These were found on the illegal Beechcraft twin-engine plane. It is believed that the travel documents belong to two of the people who managed to escape when police and others were closing in. A quantity of dry rations, medical supplies, clothing, footwear, two hand-held radios, flashlights, cellular phones were also found during initial inspection. A police source had told Kaieteur News that Ramsingh was taken into custody on September 8, 2017 by ranks from the Major Crimes Investigation Unit. “He (Ramsingh)) was held for (two) 72-hours after we (police) was granted an extension by the High Court,” the source revealed. However, the source said that the businessman was released on $100,000 bail after police were unable to garner sufficient evidence against him to press charges. Kaieteur News understands that the businessman was ordered to report daily to the Lethem Police Station. The police source said that the businessman had been complying but reportedly went into hiding after learning that his employees had been arrested and were going to be charged. Nathan Hamilton, 21, of Lot 107 Beverley Hills Drive, Lethem, and Wazim King, 37, also of Lethem who are reportedly employees of Ramsingh, were charge last September. They were slapped with a similar charge and were remanded to prison after appearing before Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman. Ramsingh surrendered to police on December 12, 2017 in the company of his lawyer. Hamilton and King were allegedly hired and paid to rehabilitate the illegal airstrip.
A fraud charge was yesterday dismissed against Clayton Alleyne, who is currently serving a 48-month sentence for a similar offence. Clayton Alleyne, 56, of Lot 179 South Better Hope, East Coast Demerara, was recently jailed for 48 months by Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman, for defrauding a woman of $415,000 by falsely pretending that he was in the position to grant her a loan. Senior Magistrate Leron Daly dismissed the matter citing that the prosecution witnesses give conflicting evidence and that the Police Prosecutor Richard Harris was unable to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. It is alleged that between November 3, 2016 and February 8, 2017 with intent to defraud he obtained $516,000, and $700,000 from Samuel Mangal and Rohan Lalchan, respectively, by falsely pretending he was in a position to grant them individual loans. Alleyne, the Chairman of Micro Business Developers and Consultant Incorporated, denied the charges. It is alleged that Alleyne entered into an agreement with Mangal and Lalman and he paid the victims with a manager’s cheque which was discovered to be forged. On October 27, last, Alleyne was jailed by Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman, after she found him guilty of defrauding Kizzy
Shepherd, of $415,000 by falsely pretending that he was in the position to grant her a $3.4M loan between November 3, 2016 and February 8, 2017, know same to be false. Magistrate Latchman in coming to her ruling told the court that she was of the opinion that the evidence of the witnesses called by Police Prosecutor Shawn Gonsalves, was solid, and that the prosecution was able to prove its case against Alleyne beyond a reasonable doubt. According to the facts of the case, Shepherd was introduced to Alleyne, who was said to be the manager of a money-lending institution. According to reports, the victim was required to make down payments and after a few days, she received what she believed was the loan via cheque. The problem, however, was that it turned out to be a bounced check. Alleyne had also previously been charged for defrauding a customer of six vehicles. That matter was dismissed It had been alleged that
Clayton Alleyne between December 2 and December 13, last, at Georgetown, with intent to defraud, he obtained from Jeetendra Ram, of Fantasy Auto Spares, six motor cars valued at $26.3 million, using a forged Republic Bank manager’s cheque drawn for the said sum in favour of Fantasy Auto Spares. The matter was dismissed by Senior Magistrate Leron Daly in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts after the prosecutor was unable to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Jib man discovered dead in daughter’s home Police of G’Division are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of an elderly man, whose body was discovered in the home of his daughter on New Year’s Day. The man was identified as 58-year-old Roopnarine, of lot 47 Jib, Essequibo Coast. Roopnarine who works as a labourer, was discovered early New Year’s morning, by his wife, Lalita Lall. This publication understands that Roopnarine and his wife Lalita, would usually spend Old Year’s night at their daughter’s home, located just four minutes away from theirs. Kaieteur News understands that the elderly couple would occupy their daughter’s home whilst she was on holiday. According to the dead man’s wife, on Old Year’s eve, he insisted that he spend the night alone. Family members suspect that Roopnarine’s habitual drinking habits, may have prompted him to spend the night alone. Reflecting on that Old Year’s eve, Roopnarine’s wife recalls, “We left home around 18:00hrs, and me and he went by me daughter. Me tell he I gon sleep with he but he keep telling me, ‘Go home… go home… Drunk man deh pun
Found dead: Roopnarine, 58 road.’ so I decide to leave. Before I leave though he told me how he ain’t got no money and I must give him money, so I leave $500 with him. “It gotta be this the money he take and buy the rum.” Lalita told Kaieteur News that prior to his death, Roopnarine’s blood pressure was exceedingly high. The man was subsequently prescribed medication for his blood pressure. Lalita added, “The pressure was high so he know that if I went there, I would’ve quarrelled with him to take he tablets. That is why he send me away; because he the want buy the rum and drink.”
The Essequibo home where the body was discovered. The devastated widow added, “This morning meh come see he dead after me climb through the window. Meh see the rum bottle deh on the chair, and meh seh to meself this man drink this rum, and he drink the pressure tablet.” Neighbours of the small and peaceful community of Jib will always remember Roopnarine as an easy going man. Though no mark of violence was found on the deceased, his body is yet to undergo a postmortem examination, to determine his cause of death. [Romario Blair]
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Skeldon power plant has Govt. explores state-run gold-mine potential for Berbice quarry operation
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman and CEO of TPL’s St. Mary Quarries, Rajesh Persaud, during a tour earlier last year. The Coalition Administration is actively considering the reestablishment of a state-run quarry which it said will help meet local demand due to an anticipated rise in construction projects as the oil and gas sector takes off. Geoffrey Vaughn, Coordinator of the Work Services Group in the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI), said that a report to resume state quarry operations is currently being reviewed with consultants. Upon the conclusion of the review process, Vaughn said that the report will be made available to the public. There is also the option of a public/private partnership. The MPI official disclosed that the Ministry’s decision is being driven by the limited capacity by local quarry operators to meet the high demand from local construction companies which are forced to import from Suriname, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and other regional suppliers. Vaughn stated that there is heavy importation of quarry products even though there are four major stone suppliers in Guyana. “Those are some of the things we have been looking at from the Ministry’s end and realised it is time for us to actually look towards getting back into the quarry business. At this stage, we have to know whether it is actually feasible enough for us to do that,” Vaughn stated.
Geoffrey Vaughn, Coordinator of the Work Services Group in the Ministry of Public Infrastructure He added that the local demand for quarry products such as stone extends beyond roads and into the area of sea defense and building construction. “With the oil coming on stream it’s an extra burden on the construction industry so you have to put things in place to ensure these things are not coming back to haunt you at the end of the day,” Vaughn said. Government had previously operated the Teperu/Itabu Quarry along the Mazaruni River, CuyuniMazaruni (Region 7). The People’s Progressive Party/C (PPP/C) eventually privatised the operations under the
name Mazaruni Granite Products Limited which was subsequently sold to BK Quarries, a subsidiary of B.K International. Local producers have insisted that they can meet the local demand for quarry products. Vaughn referred to ‘the little fiasco’ encountered with the multi-million-dollar expansion project at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). During the ongoing project, a decision was made last year to import stone from Suriname which was greeted by resistance from local providers, Toolsie Persaud Limited (TPL) and BK International. Shortly after the concerns over the Suriname importation, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman earlier this year visited the TPL’s St Mary’s Quarry located along the Essequibo River, Region Seven. Minister Trotman said that locally sourced stones could prove more cost effective. “We have good quality material here which we can supply, which is even better and perhaps at the same or more competitive prices,” Minister Trotman stated following the visit. The Minister noted that there are several quarries at work and the industry “has been holding its own.”
A power company at Skeldon Estate has the potential of becoming a centre of major economic activity in Berbice, a former Board member is insisting. According Gobin Harbhajan, a regional councillor and the PM’s Representative in Region Six, the Skeldon Energy Inc. (SEI) operations, if developed in accordance with a number of proposals, could boast significant economic activities within the surrounding communities. These include the collection, processing, and delivery of biomass fuel for the boilers which potentially could amount to 20,000 metric tonnes per month. This could include supplies of firewood, forest wastes; sawmill wastes; rice husks, rice straw and Cane Grass. Harbhajan is estimating that as much as US$10M in business could be involved for suppliers in Berbice. In 2015, SEI, a special s t a t e - o w n e d company, acquired assets of the Skeldon Power Plant for US$30M. The equipment was in very poor operational condition and included a 10MW diesel power plant and a 30MW steam power plant. The plant went into commercial operation in 2009. It was supposed to complement the new Skeldon
Former SEI Director, Gobin Harbhajan Factory. More than US$120M was spent on the two. However, the power facility was saddled with several design deficiencies was never properly commissioned because of contractual issues and major technical omissions. During this initial year of operation, in 2015 under SEI, a loss of $30.7M was recorded due to the poor condition of the power plant, Harbhajan disclosed. A technical audit carried out on both plants during 2015 indicated that the diesel plant can be rehabilitated, while the steam plant should be scrapped. According to the former SEI Director, the entity entered an arrangement with
Wartsila to rehabilitate the diesel plant at a cost of just over US$6 million. “In 2016 the rehabilitation of the diesel plant was completed and placed into service to provide energy for sale to the GPL grid. SEI then turned its attention to determine the way forward with the steam power plant and made some significant changes to its mode of operation, while making some minor improvements. The result of these actions allowed SEI to generate an operating surplus of $145 million.” Last year, Harbhajan disclosed, SEI concentrated its efforts on making the cogeneration plant operational in a safe manner. The plant will have been recording an operational surplus of $200M, a remarkable turnaround. “During the period 20152017, the value of the assets of the power plant was increased by 30% as a result of the improved works carried out- all of it was financed internally from working capital surpluses.” Over the last two years, SEI has been supplying energy to the Skeldon Factory and associated operations. “GuySuCo has been paying the labour cost in the Continued on page 23
The Wartsila engines at Skeldon factory.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Gold exports top US$800M again
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Gold Board Chairman, Gabriel Lall Foreign currency earnings from gold last year have once again topped the US$800M mark despite lower declarations. The disclosures would come for an all round good performance for the Guyana Gold Board in almost every quarter. Updating Kaieteur News yesterday, Chairman of the Guyana Gold Board, Gabriel ‘GHK’ Lall, said that export earnings from the yellow metal was US$817M, slightly down from the US$830M the previous year. However, despite that slight difference in earnings, it is by no means disheartening. Declarations as at December 31, 2017 was 652,876 ounces compared to the 712,706 ounces from the previous year. That meant that despite almost 60,000 ounces less, the industry only managed to fall short by about US$13M. The big news, according to the Chairman, is that Gold Board has managed to slash its deficit of $18.9B to $5.4B this year- an improvement of 71 percent. The state entity had been racking up billions of dollars in losses following the fall in gold prices in the 2012 period. It was left holding stocks that
it paid high prices for. As a result, that deficit to Bank of Guyana had ballooned up to almost $19B. Prices went down to just over US$1,000 per ounce from almost US$1,900 a few years ago but over the holidays have climbed to almost US$1,320. Out of the foreign exchange –US$817M- that gold would have earned last year, Gold Board would have contributed US$241M. According to Lall, Gold Board had stocks left over from last year which it managed to sell at better prices to its overseas buyers. Guyana would be paying a close eye on gold as it has become now the biggest foreign currency earner, surpassing rice and sugar. However, the industry has been facing a long-time problem of smuggling to Suriname, Brazil and even out of the region. It is estimated that at least a quarter of the gold is not being declared. The authorities have managed to crackdown on some instances but the problem still lingers. Lall, a few weeks ago, disclosed that the entity has been careful in its trading selling in small portions and often to reduce its losses.
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Gold prices was almost US$1,320 per ounce on the world market yesterday.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Skeldon power plant has goldmine... From page 21 co-gen plant together with providing some supplies. Reconciliation of the relevant accounts have indicated that to date GuySuCo owes SEI an estimated $360M,” Harbhajan explained. According to the official, from the commissioning time, it was clear that boiler of the plant would never work in the current configuration. On top of this, it was clear that GuySuCo was out-of-itsdepth by entering an entirely new arena- power production – without the necessary expertise and plan. “The modern high-tech installation at Skeldon, which was regarded as a quantum leap above the applied technology standard prevailing within GuySuCo, implied that appropriate operations and maintenance management could not have been properly established within the latter’s prevailing management structure; and the resulting poor performance out-turn is now history.” Rather, Harbhajan argued, a distinctly separate management or corporate structure would have been necessary, since sugar production and energy supply utility are distinctly different business operations. The Berbice official warned that it is known that the co-gen plant will significantly deteriorate if and when it is left idle for extended periods- “This is a hot plant and cold corrosion is a major maintenance issue. “The discontinuity of GuySuCo factory operations will cause the co-gen plant to rapidly deteriorate and could even be totally lost being left idle. Therefore, a major policy decision on the way forward is an urgent end of year (2017) necessity, without which the measures identified to avoid further co-gen plant impairment cannot be adopted.” Harbhajan is proposing that to make the plant more sell-sufficient by way of a US$17M financing, obtained through suppliers’ credit and commercial bank borrowing. It may involve vesting of the assets of SEI. With regards to the diesel section of the plant, Harbhajan urged for Finnishowned Wartsila to continue its operations and maintenance arrangement. “We have to start thinking out of the box. There is a facility here that with some tweaking will not only provide a stable form of energy but also jobs for the residents of Berbice.”
Wednesday January 03, 2018
ABSENCE OF RING FENCING PROVISIONS…
Guyana may end up subsidizing any unsuccessful exploration by ExxonMobil By Kiana Wilburg Governments which are new to the oil and gas industry are often obsessed with one thing—billions of dollars in revenue. With such clouded judgment, issues like adequate ring-fencing provisions quickly fade into the background of nothingness. More than 80 countries worldwide have not only paid dearly for such a mistake, but the future of their governments and generations to come will be haunted by it. The painful economic lessons learnt by these nations were adequately summed up by the World Bank in one of its many reports on the sticky issues of oil and gas exploration. In one of its documents, Fiscal Systems for Hydrocarbons, the World Bank explains that ring-fencing is an industryspecific feature. This refers to the demarcation of taxable entities. The World Bank said that while corporate income tax normally applies at company level, in the petroleum sector
the taxable entity is often the contract area or the individual project. When ring fencing applies at contract area or project level, income derived from one area/one project cannot be offset against losses from another area/project. Another type of ring fencing separates upstream from downstream operations. Usually, all costs associated with a given block or licence must be recovered from revenue generated within that block: the block is ring fenced. The World Bank emphasized that the objective of ring fencing is to protect the level of current tax revenue and, to some extent, level the playing field by treating newcomers and existing investors equally. It noted that the disadvantage of ring fencing is that it does not incentivize exploration
Cops raid Republic Park house
Ranks surround the property. Several police ranks yesterday conducted a raid at a Barrow Avenue, Republic Park house around 06:00 hrs yesterday. The residence is reportedly rented to a number of Colombians. Reports indicate that ranks from CID Headquarters, Eve Leary conducted the operation, reportedly using a sledge hammer to gain entry. Items, including a suitcase were taken from the house. Investigations are ongoing.
and investment activities. The Bank stated however, “By allowing costs to cross the fence, the host government may end up subsidizing unsuccessful exploration.” (More in this regard can be read by following this link: https:// openknowledge.worldbank.org/ bitstream/handle/10986/6746/ 4 0 9 0 2 0 PA P E R 0 F i 1 C 0 disclosed0Sept0181.pdf? sequence=1). ExxonMobil has already announced that Liza One was the discovery well in 2015. Since then, it has successfully drilled Liza Two, Three and Four which helped the company to understand the size of the accumulation of oil and gas and the size of the field. It has noted that Phase one of its production will include at least 17 wells. It said that this will help develop part of the Liza field. Additionally, in August 2016,
ExxonMobil drilled its “Skipjack” exploration well but no commercial quantities of hydrocarbons were found. CLOSING LOOPHOLES The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has found a number of loopholes for abuse in Guyana’s Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with ExxonMobil. But the Government believes that there is no need for alarm or worry as several international bodies, the IMF included, are lending tremendous support to help Guyana remove every possible chance for exploitation by the operator. This was noted recently during a press conference by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman. He was at the time responding to a question from this newspaper which was based on the disturbing findings of the IMF. One issue the IMF in a report points out is in relation to ring-fencing. This provision ensures that
Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman ExxonMobil cannot transfer the expenses incurred at one well to another. The IMF said that in principle, the ring-fencing arrangement ensures that the government’s revenue from the Stabroek Block is calculated based on each field or well separately. The Fund stated, “However, this is undone by the Production Sharing Agreement framework,
allowing the contractor to allocate cost oil to any field within the contract area.” To the aforementioned, Trotman said that on November 30, he and the Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, sat with IMF representatives and those issues were ironed out. Trotman said, “We went through them with the Guyana Revenue Authority and others. The answer is that we are working. IMF, World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the InterAmerican Development Bank are giving us tremendous support. And we are building capacity on a daily basis and hiring capacity and ensuring that we cover all that we are supposed to…” The Minister said that with the help of those international agencies, Guyana will be in a position to tighten all loopholes. He added, “We invited the IMF to tell us what we are lacking in this regard, so Guyana is not alone in this.”
Police charged minibus driver who raped nine-year-old A 34-year-old minibus driver, who reportedly sneaked into the home of a nine-year-old girl on September 21, last and raped her was yesterday rearrested and charged, according to the Guyana Police Force. The statement said that the suspect was charged with rape as recommended by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). The matter has since been filed for hearing at the Vreeden-Hoop Magistrate Court next Tuesday. The police response comes less than two days after this newspaper reported that the suspect had not been charged more than a week after the DPP recommended charges. Recalling what happened, the child’s mother said that the suspect went to the home on September 21, last, to meet with the child’s grandfather and noticed that the girl was home alone. He allegedly climbed onto the verandah, entered the home and raped the child. “My brothers and him does drive bus together and when they get problems, he does complain to my father. So on that day, one of my brothers and him got into an
argument and he told my brother that he will ‘f*** up his family and he left the Number 32 bus park,” the child’s mother alleged. The woman added that her daughter was sick with the flu and diarrhoea and had stayed home from school with her g r a n d f a t h e r, b u t t h e grandfather had to leave home to run an errand. “My daughter said she heard the guy calling and when she went out, he asked her where her grandfather was and my daughter informed him that he was not at home, so he asked she and who home, and my daughter said she alone…then she went in back the house and continued watching television,” the mother recounted. She added that her daughter told her that shortly after she went inside, the man confronted her from the verandah and threatened to kill her if she made any noise. “She said that the man took off her clothes and raped her on the chair and when the pain became too much, she started crying and he put his hands over her mouth but she managed to bite him and push him off and run and lock
herself in the toilet.” The child’s mother said that the driver, who is a father himself, then banged on the toilet door for the child to come out. After she remained inside, he put on his clothes and left. “She said she wait a while and then she barely open the door and see him putting on his clothes—a green jersey, black pants, brown boots, blue hat and black shades. He jumped down the verandah and walked at the back of the yard,” the mother said. The woman said that the child’s grandfather arrived shortly after the suspect left and her daughter asked him to call her. “My daughter called and asked me if I can come home now; that something happened. So I left work and went home.” The woman said that her daughter was so terrified of her attacker that she did not
want to tell her what had happened. “When she told us, we went to the station to report the matter and we went for a medical which confirmed that she had been raped.” Initially, the family had no idea who had raped the child. “Two days after she was raped, my father had to cut his hair (at a West Bank Demerara barber shop), so he took her, and my brother (who was also there). He told her to watch around just in case she sees the person who attacked her.” The mother said that her daughter spotted her attacker at a bus park, and he was wearing the same attire he was dressed in when the attack occurred. The child’s relative apprehended the suspect and took him to the Vreed-enHoop Police Station where he was released on $100,000 bail after two days.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
PM requests meeting with Opposition PM to lead national Leader to discuss new President campaign against violence PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has requested a meeting with Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar to discuss the successor to President Anthony Carmona, who is scheduled to leave office in March at the end of his fiveyear term in office. A brief statement from the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday said that Rowley had suggested that the meeting be held on Friday “to discuss the nomination of an individual(s) for election to the position of President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago”. Late last month, Reginald Dumas, the 82-year-old former special adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on Haiti, had ruled himself out of contention to succeed Carmona indicating that he wanted ‘to make it clear that I am not, repeat not, a candidate for the presidency, and have no intention whatsoever of being, or even seeking to be a candidate”. There had been speculation in the local media
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley (File Photo) that the former head of the public service had been regarded as one of two candidates being pursued by the main opposition United National Congress (UNC) when the Electoral College meets on January 19 to elect a successor to Carmona. Media reports had also indicated that apart from Dumas, the UNC is also considering retired High
Court Judge Gladys Gafoor, while the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) is said to be considering retired judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Rolston Nelson. Since becoming a Republic in 1076, Trinidad and Tobago has had five persons elected to the largely ceremonial position as head of state. No woman has ever held the position.
PM predicts “unprecedented” economic growth for Antigua and Barbuda ST. JOHN’S, Antigua CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda government says the multi-million dollar St. John’s port modernisation project will begin later this month as it moves to increase employment opportunities on the island. Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that the US$90 million project is one of a number of multi-million investments in the hotel and tourism sectors that should generate employment opportunities for nationals over the coming months. “St. John’s port modernisation project…is scheduled to start on January 15. This project will be the single largest public sector investment undertaken by any government past or present and will facilitate the transformation of the facility into a regional transshipment
port. “A further 80 million dollars will be invested in 2018 to construct a fifth tourism berth…to accommodate the Oasis class ships in time for the next tourism cruise season,” Browne said in his New Year’s message. He said his administration will invest EC$250 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) to repair and expand the road network throughout the two islands during the year. “Presently we are investing EC$50 million to build a new airport runway on Barbuda, which will be completed by September 2018” Browne said. Barbuda was devastated when Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm smashed into the tiny island last September forcing the evacuation of all the
First dispatch of farm workers to Canada this week KINGSTON, Jamaica — The first group of 300 seasonal farm workers from Jamaica will be travelling to Canada on tomorrow and Friday, to take up employment opportunities under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme (SAWP). According to a release from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, they will be employed in greenhouse crop production, food processing, tobacco-planting, vegetable farming and fruit tree cultivation. The ministry said that majority of workers will be deployed to the Ontario region of Canada, to areas such as: Leamington; West Lorne; Niagara-on-the-Lake; Brantford, Owen Sound and Woodstock. (Jamaica Observer)
inhabitants after the government had deemed the place uninhabitable. But with the island returning to undertake construction work, Prime Minister Browne said that the island will also benefit from a further EC$125 million to assist in rebuilding homes, public institutions and infrastructure as well as a green energy solar plant “that will make Barbuda the first totally green island in the Caribbean”.
KINGSTON, Jamaica CMC – Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he will lead a national campaign against all forms of violence as Jamaica recorded more than 1,500 murders in 2017. “In 2018, we must do more to protect our women and children from violence. Indeed we must all do more to reduce the level of violence and aggression we use in our daily life and social transactions,” Holness said in a New Year’s Day message to the nation. Figures released by Jamaican law enforcement authorities showed that the island had recorded a 21 per cent increase in murders, one week before the end of 2017. The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Periodic Serious and Violent Crimes Review showed that 1, 581 people were murdered, an increase of 257 for the corresponding figure last year. In his message, Holness said that “our acceptance of violence as a means of resolving conflict, is taking away from the good natured, loving and hospitable people we are.
Andrew Holness “It is threatening our civility and sensibilities and introducing a crassness which undervalues life,” he said, adding “this year I intend to lead a national campaign against violence in all its forms. “In 2018 let’s bring back the Irie Jamaica, the Peaceful Jamaica, the Loving Jamaica, the Happy Jamaica, the Prosperous and Progressive Jamaica,” he said. Prime Minister Holness also indicated that 2018 must be the year when the authorities will scale up the Zones of Special Operations
to reclaim communities that have been captured by criminals. “The Jamaica Constabulary Force is our lead crime fighting institution. Given the current crime situation it is without question that the JCF needs critical institutional reform to be able to effectively lead the fight against crime. Holness said the recent discovery of over 100 illegal guns destined for Jamaica is another indication of the depth and extent of the problem. “The importation of weapons cannot be viewed narrowly within the prism of street crimes and gang on gang warfare, this is a direct threat to the national security of the state and the facilitators and traffickers will be treated as such. “Illegal weapons and the organized criminal network around their procurement, importation and distribution are national emergencies and will get national attention in 2018 which will include amendments to the Firearms Act, amendments to the Antigang Legislation and amendments to the Bail Act.
Brazil backs down from naming lawmaker Fernandes as Labour Minister BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer decided not to appoint Congressman Pedro Fernandes as the new labour minister to avoid clashing with former President José Sarney, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Jovair Arantes, the leader of Fernandes’ Brazilian Labour Party in the lower house of Congress, said last week that Fernandes would be tapped as labour minister following Ronaldo Nogueira’s resignation on Wednesday.
But Sarney, a major figure in Temer’s Brazilian Democratic Movement party, vetoed the nomination due to Fernandes’ connections with Flavio Dino, the governor of Maranhão state and one of Sarney’s political rivals, the two sources said. In a text message to his peers in the lower house seen by Reuters, Fernandes expressed thanks for the appointment but acknowledged that taking on such a post would create friction between Temer and Sarney.
European Union to provide funds for health sector BELMOPAN, Belize – CMC – The Belize government says it hopes to sign during the first quarter of this year, a Euro10.5 million (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) financing agreement with the European Fund for improvements in the health sector. The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Economic Development (MOED) have issued a joint statement in which they said they wanted to clarify statements made about the funds allocated to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country. They said Prime Minister Dean Barrow had signed an agreement with the EU for a total value of Euro 27 million
for the health and energy sectors under the 11th European Development Fund (2014-2020) in October 2014. “It should be pointed out that these funds are earmarked by the EU to Belize. These development funds are granted to Belize and other African, Caribbean and Pacific States to assist in the social and economic development of member states in particular with respect to poverty alleviation,” the statement noted. It said that the initial proposal submitted did include a large infrastructure component which would have added a 50-bed energy efficient wing to the Western
Regional Hospital. “However, the vetting process had to go through several screenings within the EU structure. In the meantime, the MOH proceeded with developing and submitting the necessary documentation for an estimated eight million euros investment for the infrastructural components within the allocation for the health sector.” The statement noted that during subsequent visits by the European Union to Belize and in close consultation with MOH and MOED, the final focus of the health sector initiative was placed on the upgrading of health facilities to meet SMART and ‘Green’ standards. “This new focus would
ensure that health facilities, including Regional Hospitals and the Central Medical Laboratory, would be upgraded to withstand natural disasters, be more energy efficient, and meet safety criteria for patients and medical staff,’ the statement said, adding that other components within the initiative would also include upgrading of the health information system, and strengthening of organization and management of health services. The authorities said that the aim of the initiative is to contribute to a high performing and improved health sector for the health and well-being of Belizeans.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Opposition Leader warns of constitutional crisis in St. Lucia CASTRIES, St. Lucia - CMC – The leader of the main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Phillip J. Pierre is warning of a constitutional crisis here following the nonappointment of a successor to Dame Pearlette Louisy, who demitted office on December 31, last year. “…the constitutional crisis that the country finds itself in today is purely a reflection of the government’s incompetence and the government’s desire to prove that they are in charge and they can do whatever they want,’ he said. Dame Pearlette, who was the island’s longest serving head of state, announced late last year that she was stepping down amid much speculation here that she was had been forced out of office by the Allen Chastanet administration after 20 years. The front runners to replace here in the largely ceremonial post is former foreign affairs minister Neville Cenac, the brother of the late Winston Cenac, who served as prime minister for eight months before resigning in 1982. Pierre, who has been critical at the manner in which Dame Pearlette was removed from office, told the St. Lucia Times on line publication that St. Lucia is facing a facing a constitutional crisis because there is also no acting governor general. “The Deputy Governor General cannot perform the function of Governor General unless there is a Governor General,’ he said, noting also that the situation also means that Prime Minister Chastanet cannot travel overseas since he normally would have to appoint an acting prime minister and there’s no head of state to appoint such a person. “That is what happens when governments act in haste,’ he told St Lucia Times, adding “the government did not pay attention to the process by which a new Governor General is appointed” Pierre said that had the government done so, the transition from Dame Pearlette Louisy to a successor would have been different.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
U.S. puts Pakistan on notice: do more to stop terrorism WA S H I N G T O N / ISLAMABAD (Reuters) The United States accused Pakistan yesterday of playing a “double game” on fighting terrorism and warned Islamabad it would have to do more if it wanted to maintain U.S. aid. “They can do more to stop terrorism and we want them to do that,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. The White House said it would likely announce actions to pressure Pakistan within days, shortly after U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said at the United Nations that Washington would withhold $255 million in assistance to Pakistan. “There are clear reasons for this. Pakistan has played a double game for years,” Haley told reporters. “They work with us at times, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan. “That game is not acceptable to this administration. We expect far more cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.” The comments followed an angry tweet from President Donald Trump on Monday that the United States had been rewarded with “nothing but lies and deceit” for “foolishly” giving Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid in the last 15 years. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he tweeted. Pakistan civilian and
U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley military chiefs yesterday rejected “incomprehensible” U.S. comments and summoned American Ambassador David Hale to explain Trump’s tweet. Relations with Washington have been strained for years over Islamabad’s alleged support for Haqqani network militants, who are allied with the Afghan Taliban. The United States also alleges that senior Afghan Taliban commanders live on Pakistani soil, and has signaled it will cut aid and take other steps if Islamabad does not stop helping or turning a blind eye to Haqqani militants crossing the border to carry out attacks in Afghanistan. In 2016, Taliban leader Mullah Mansour was killed by a U.S. drone strike inside
Pakistan and in 2011, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was found and killed by U.S. troops in the garrison town of Abbottabad. STATE DEPT: PAKISTAN NEEDS TO EARN ITS AID At the State Department yesterday, spokesman Heather Nauert said Pakistan knows what it needs to do, including taking action against the Haqqani network and other militants. Pakistan needs to “earn, essentially, the money that we have provided in the past in foreign military assistance,” she said. Islamabad bristles at the suggestion it is not doing enough to fight militants, noting that its casualties at the hands of Islamists since 2001 number in the tens of thousands.
U.S., Britain and Norway warn South Sudan parties over ceasefire violations JUBA (Reuters) - The United States, Britain and Norway have called on parties in South Sudan’s conflict to stop violating a ceasefire signed last month, their heads of mission in the capital Juba said on Tuesday. The deal aimed to end a four-year war between the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels in which tens of thousands of people have been killed. But since the signing of the deal in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, there have been several reported violations for which both sides have been blamed. The United States, Britain and Norway form a group that supported the 2005 accord leading to the independence of South Sudan from Sudan. They have threatened to impose individual or group sanctions for those violating the ceasefire. “We call on all signatories, and the field commanders who answer to them, to immediately end all military operations,” the three Western countries said in a statement. They added that field commanders and their political bosses would be held accountable for violating the ceasefire and impeding humanitarian assistance. The ceasefire is also designed to allow humanitarian groups access to civilians caught in the fighting and revive a 2015 peace deal that collapsed in 2016 after heavy fighting erupted in Juba.
REBELATTACK On Tuesday, a spokesman for a faction now allied with the government said rebels had attacked their positions on Dec. 31. He said one of the attackers was killed and two were captured alive in the incident. The ceasefire was meant to be followed by talks on a revised power-sharing arrangement leading to a new date for polls. The war in South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, was triggered by Kiir’s decision in 2013 to sack his deputy, Riek Machar. It has been fought largely along ethnic lines between forces loyal to Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and Machar, who is Nuer. The war has forced a third of the 12 millionstrong population to flee their homes. On Monday, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said it was investigating an allegation by one of the rebel groups that Kenyan security forces unlawfully deported one of their senior members from Kakuma refugee camp over the weekend. Rebel spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel said the deportation from Kenya was a violation of the ceasefire. Spokesmen for the Kenya police and the foreign affairs ministry told Reuters on Tuesday they were not aware of the incident. South Sudan’s presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Reuters the Juba government had no link to any missing citizens in Kenya.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Trump throws full U.S. support behind protesters in Iran
The Trump administration yesterday threw the weight of the U.S. government behind the protesters taking to the streets of Iran (AP photo) WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration yesterday threw the weight of the U.S. government behind the protesters taking to the streets of Iran, rooting them on despite the risk of helping Iranian authorities dismiss a week of major demonstrations as the product of American instigation. As Iran’s supreme leader accused “enemies of Iran” of trying to destabilize his country, the State Department pressed Tehran to unblock social media sites used by the protesters. It even offered advice to tech-savvy Iranians on circumventing state internet controls. President Donald Trump declared it was “time for change” in Iran, and other officials floated the possibility of additional sanctions. At the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley sought a Security Council meeting to show support for those protesting in the Islamic Republic. “We want to help amplify the voices of the Iranian people,” said Haley, who appeared before cameras to recite the chants of protesters across Iran. She said Iran’s claim that other countries were fomenting the unrest was “complete nonsense,” describing the dissent as homegrown. Borrowing from a response playbook it has used before, Iran’s government blamed the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Britain for the protests. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the 78-yearold supreme leader, said Iran’s enemies were using money, weapons, politics and spies “to create problems for the Islamic system, the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution.” Trump was undeterred, praising Iranians for “finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime.” In an allusion to possible sanctions in response to human rights violations, Trump said the United States would closely monitor the situation. “The U.S. is watching!” the president tweeted. Beyond rhetoric, though, it wasn’t clear what the Trump administration could do substantively to empower the protesters, who are railing against corruption, mismanagement and economic woes including higher food prices. His support also sets up a potential test of his presidential leadership if the protests — already deadly — grow more violent. At least 21 people have died and hundreds have been arrested over six days of demonstrations, the largest in Iran since the “Green Movement” that erupted in 2009 following a disputed presidential election. The new outbreak started in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city, and has expanded to many
others. Iranian authorities have sought to suppress the protests in part by shutting down key social media sites protesters use to communicate, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the messaging app Telegram. On Tuesday, Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein urged Iran’s government to unblock the sites. “They are legitimate avenues for communication,” Goldstein said. He said the U.S. has an “obligation not to stand by.” Iranians seeking to evade the blocks can use virtual private networks, Goldstein said. Known as VPNs, the services create encrypted data “tunnels” between computers and can be used to access overseas websites blocked by the local government. The primary U.S. goal is to ensure enough global attention to deter Iranian authorities from violently cracking down on protesters with impunity, said a senior State Department official involved in Iran policy. The official wasn’t authorized to comment by name and demanded anonymity. For Trump, the protests have served as an unexpected but welcome opportunity to rally the world against Iran, and U.S. officials said the administration was actively encouraging other countries to back the protests. Early U.S. attempts to get European allies to coordinate their messaging with the U.S. ran into obstacles, but several countries including France and Italy have joined in expressing concerns. In the U.S., Trump’s full-throated support for the protesters has renewed the debate about how best to encourage change in Iran, whose government Trump deems a top national security threat. Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. took a more cautious approach during the last major wave of anti-government protests. It was concerned about enabling Iranian authorities to exploit longstanding suspicions of the U.S., dating back to American and British support for a 1953 coup toppling Iran’s elected prime minister. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s former deputy national security adviser, said “too much ownership” of the protests by Trump would likely be counterproductive. “I can’t imagine that the people marching in the streets of Iran are looking to Donald Trump for inspiration or support,” Rhodes said. “I just don’t think it helps things for the White House to make this into a U.S.-versusthe-Iranian-government circumstance.”
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Rain wrecks Windies hope as Munro shines
Fast bowler Kesrick Williams celebrates a wicket during the second Twenty20 International on New Year’s Day. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)
MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand, CMC – Any hopes West Indies entertained of rebounding to win their three-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand were dashed when rain wiped out the second match here New Year’s Day. The adverse weather, which had forced a 20-minute delayed start, returned after nine overs with New Zealand on 102 for four, ending play prematurely in the contest at Bay Oval. With the disappointment, the Windies will now head into the final game today at the same venue needing a win in order to avoid another
Wednesday January 03, 2018 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19) You are on a self-defined mission today, but you could inadvertently stimulate resistance if others think your arrogance needs to be brought down a notch. TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20) You may be reluctant to talk about your feelings because you’re afraid that someone won’t approve of your behavior. Ironically, if you take a risk and share something revealing, others may surprise you with their support. GEMINI (May 21–June 20) You might grow overly worried about a relationship at work if someone’s behavior seems very abrupt today. People may distance themselves from you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable in their presence. CANCER (June 21–July 22) Although you thought things were slowing down, the pace picks up today when unforeseen events require you to shift into crisis management mode. LEO (July 23–Aug. 22) You are eager to get to work today, as if you have an important date with success. The cosmic momentum is building and your unwavering determination works in your favor. VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) You are an integral part of your community and your mere presence helps everyone stay on course. Your creative energy is more obsessive and compulsive today than it is impulsive, enabling you to keep the ship steady no matter the conditions.
LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22) It can feel like an act of futility to try to manifest the wonderful things that appear in your dreams. There is no doubt that powerful cosmic energies are converging on your life, creating the potential for success as well as stress. SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21) You aren’t ready to jump back into the fray, yet you might not have much of a choice in the matter. Whether you must return to work, school or your regularly scheduled routine, you’re not interested in wasting your energy performing tasks to satisfy others now. SAGIT (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Your mind may be focused on improving your financial condition and, thankfully, you have the tools to do it. However, success could be elusive if you attempt to head out on your own today. CAPRI (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) Finding professional satisfaction is an uphill battle these days. Even if your goals are well defined, you still may need to revamp them before completing the last part of your adventure. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Your convictions are much stronger than anyone realizes today. In fact, your current optimism can hide the intensity of your optimistic ambitions. PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20) Maintaining your position within your work group requires extra diligence today. But if your mind wanders, you could miss something important, leading you to lose face amongst your peers.
another series defeat. They trail 0-1 following a 47-run defeat in the opener in Nelson last Friday. In the play possible before the rains arrived, opener Colin Munro stole show with a pulsating 66 of 23 deliveries, following up his 53 in the first game. The 30-year-old lefthander smashed 11 fours and three sixes, an innings which put the visitors under pressure early after they won the toss and opted to field first. West Indies claimed an early victim when left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell had Martin Guptill caught at the wicket for for two off the fourth ball of the match, with three runs on the board. But Munro then took charge, dominating a 75-run,
second wicket stand with captain Kane Williamson (17 not out) which required a mere 31 deliveries. His mood was evident when he took a couple offside boundaries off legspinner Samuel Badree in the second over before following up with a pair of sixes over long-on off Cottrell in the next over which leaked 17 runs. Munro then ripped into captain Carlos Brathwaite in the fifth over, smashing a six and three fours in the medium pacer’s solitary over which went for 21. He clipped the final delivery of the over for a single to backward square to raise his half-century off 18 balls – the second fastestever for New Zealand. In the following over from pacer Kesrick Williams,
Munro punched consecutive boundaries off the first four balls of the over and appeared to be eyeing something special when he holed out in the deep trying to clear the long-on boundary with the fifth delivery. West Indies them admirably clawed their way back, picking up three wickets for 19 runs in the space of 16 balls. Glenn Phillips missed a straight one from Badree and was lbw for 10 in the eighth over and Brathwaite produced a one-handed stunner at mid-wicket to account for Tom Bruce for three off off-spinner Ashley Nurse. Scores: NEW ZEALAND 102 for four off nine overs (Colin Munro 66) vs WEST INDIES.
Dr. Norton wants Guyanese to unite, use Culture Youth, Sports to build better Guyana Minister of Social Cohesion with the responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton has vowed to travel the length and breadth of Guyana in his quest to unite Guyana and make the country a better place. Since taking up office the Minister has been traveling to various part of the country as he seeks to fulfill the Collation Government mandate. Speaking at a forum in East Berbice held at the Rose Hall Town Primary School recently, the Minister used the opportunity to urge stakeholders from the Regional Democratic Council, Mayor and Town Council and members of civil society to unite and foster a dream that will change Guyana and make it a better place. Norton said that he has observed over the years that many barriers have been set up to create divisions throughout the country and it is the mandate of his Ministry to break down those barriers and create a level playing field for all. “We need to be united and work together so that we can build a better Guyana that all of us can be proud of.” Minister Norton told the gathering that Social Cohesion coupled with Culture, Youth and Sports are strong avenues to push for the deepening of social cohesion and integration across Guyana which he is prepared to do. The Minister noted that the Ministry has been in motion, traveling the length and breadth of Guyana engaging the youth in meaningful dialogue, upgrading community centers under the Grounds
Enhancement Programme and ensuring that traditions and
cultures are kept alive in the communities.
Letters to the Sports Editor
Berbice Cricket Stakeholders concerned over interference in the game DEAR SPORTS EDITOR, We the Cricket Stakeholders of Berbice are extremely concerned at the recent happenings in the Upper Corentyne area as it relates to the management of cricket. We are therefore seeking your assistance in highlighting these concerns so that the general public can be informed. Editor, it has come to our attention via an article published in a recent newspaper publication of an election of office bearers to the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association (UCCA). The general public should be informed that there is already a legitimate UCCA Executive body in place that was elected on the 27th September 2017. It is therefore inconceivable that a few misguided persons from two clubs could form themselves into a body with the assistance of a person who is closely associated to a
faction that manipulated the recent Berbice Cricket Board Elections. Incidentally these Elections were deemed to be null and void and of no legal effect in an action brought by Mr. Albert Smith and others before the Honorable Justice Navendra Singh in the Berbice High Court and New elections have since been ordered. Sir, the UCCA is a duly registered body that is tasked with managing and developing the game among other things in the Upper Corentyne Area. It is a registered body with a fully constituted Executive body. The members are Messrs. Dennis De Dandrade President, Sydney Aloysius Jackman -Vice-President, Winston Roberts-Secretary, Chatrapaul Lionel -Treasurer and Deodat Persaud Thakurdin , Navendranauth Balram ,Clayton Ricardo Griffith- Committee Members. Sir, it is extremely disturbing and strange that this Association which was
formerly lead by an Interim Management Committee met and elected the above mentioned persons on the 27th September 2017 could have had elections again in December 2017. It is unbelievable that persons could be influenced under false promises when they had no authority to do so. This action of this unscrupulous faction of Berbice Cricket who on numerous occasions tried to wrest control of Berbice’s cricket from the legitimate administrators have now revealed the depths to which they will stoop. This move to set up a parallel UCCA was in anticipation of new elections of the BCB and is nothing but a vote procuring act. It is therefore small wonder that speedy recognition was given to this de-facto body without consideration of the legitimate body already in place. Further it is not coincidental that the
Executive for which moves are made to oust were openly supportive of the Hilbert Foster candidacy at the now nullified BCB Elections. It is a known fact that the President of the UCCA had nominated Foster for the position of President of the BCB. It is also a fact that the Secretary of the U C CA, Mr. Winston Roberts took a very principled stand by refusing a position of Vice-President and further by pronouncing on the elections as being fraudulent. It is therefore our considered opinion that this move to set up a parallel UCCA is an act of ‘payback time’ for what occurred on October 8. We are therefore calling on all cricket loving pundits, the private sector, sponsors and potential sponsors, cricketers and clubs not to be influenced by these imposters who want to seize authority of Berbice cricket via the back door, as what obtained at that elections. Yours Respectfully, Berbice Cricket Stake Holders
Sealey struggling to convert thinking DEAR SPORTS EDITOR, “One thing I know for sure, this “confounded nonsense” would have never have occurred under the stewardship of former President and General Secretary, Colin Klass and George Rutherford respectively, due to the vibrancy of the General Council.” This paragraph formed part of a letter penned by someone by the name of Lester Sealey which appeared in the Kaieteur News September 08, 2017 under the caption ‘Is the GFF Executive, still in charge of football in Guyana? Some may ask why this response is coming three-plus months after it first appeared, but as the old adage says ‘better late than never’. The writer thrives on alternative facts and while the various media outfits reserve the right to publish letters from anyone that they see fit, his epistles must have stimulated serious deliberation among editors. Sealey’s grouse with certain personalities is well documented and his accusations have highlighted his obsession with those individuals, which is frightening and at times amusing. His overexcitement to criticise has clearly clouded his judgment, causing his articles to be stuck in prejudice and blind loyalty to his employers. To comment on the stewardship of the Colin Klass-led administration is not necessary, only to add that FIFA had spoken and the rest is history. So much for the “confounded nonsense and the vibrancy of the General Council at the time.” Another observation of Sealey is that he seems to be very selective in his outbursts, ascriptions and exclusions, with a solid example being how he
attempted to deliberately omit Marlan Cole as one of the principals of the Petra Organisation. He then went on to speak about the continued prostitution of 5-a- side football, adding that there were no tangible financial benefits being derived by the GFF. Well his two friends along with others have also been promoting the aforementioned format with great financial rewards, but he did not see it fit to attack them, instead taking selective shots at particular promoters. He went on further to say that Guyana at the end of the day would be laughed upon for its “continued underdevelopment of the sport”. What stupidity. Is it the private promoters who are responsible for the underdevelopment of the sport? The curtailing of competitions certainly would affect the frequency in which the sport is played, therefore leading to its underdevelopment of the sport. Mr. Sealey you don’t have to look too far for that answer; it is right before your eyes in the lack of competitions played by several associations. For someone who righteously professes to know all the inner and outer workings to develop the sport, prompting the GFF to instigate levy fees and hurling criticisms at promoters, is a clear indication of his lack of knowledge on how to transform the sport. His purported resume seems quite impressive, but one has to ask why he hasn’t returned in some form or fashion to assist in the sport’s development. It may very well be that his theoretical data is antiquated and unsuitable for this era. The whole world has moved on, T20 cricket, Futsal, street-styled tournaments
and even Beach soccer are the new craze, and this phenomenon is real, but Sealey seems to be the only one struggling to convert his thinking. Being antagonistic or even to suggest that the GFF rule with an ironfist will not work in a modern world, where such style of governance is frowned upon, but then again Sealey comes from that period and knows no better. It would be silly of the GFF to be spurred by his nonsense and send a signal that it intends to be guided by him in lieu of meaningful dialogue. While the recent actions of the GFF leak a sense of distrust, there are a few individuals who are capable of steering the ship back on course and ensuring that good governance and transparency -which were among the top election promises made to their constituents remain its utmost priority. Sealey then goes on to question the administrative acumen of certain promoters, asking whether or not they can organise or compile a comprehensive statistical tournament report? Well for his personal edification, it was some of these same promoters who did all that work for many of his friends, so the finger should be pointing in the other direction, one that he is afraid to point to for fear of payback. Many of the promoters are new, in some cases less than one year old, and cannot be compared to Petra Organisation, but only time has the answer as to whether they can be, “equated with organising an “Annual Calendar of Activities consisting of development from the embryonic stage (PEE-WEE) – seniors.” Happy New Year, Lester the Jester. Rawle Welch
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Former Regional Umpire Clyde Cumberbatch dies St. John’s, ANTIGUACricket West Indies (CWI) is saddened by the death of former Regional Umpire Clyde Cumberbatch. CWI wishes to extend sincerest condolences to his family and friends. Cumberbatch was a respected official in the cricketing fraternity, officiating in 12 Test Matches all involving the West Indies over a period of 14 years, from 1981-1995. He also officiated in 26 One Day International matches from 1984- 1997. After retirement from International Umpiring duties, Cumberbatch served as Chairman of the West Indies Umpires Training and Examination Committee. He served in this position for 12 years, retiring last June and was replaced by Peter Nero. Cumberbatch was honoured with an Honourary Life Membership in this same committee after his retirement.
Umpire Clyde Cumberbatch (Trinidad and Tobago Newsday) CWI and WINDIES fans have lost a truly knowledgeable gentleman, who stood out among the crowd, not only for his knowledge but his stature and personality. He has certainly left a lasting legacy throughout the region with the knowledge and support he has given to cricket officials and players alike.
Botofago mow down rockers... From page 35 defence apart as Francis who bolted away and collected the ball outmaneuvered two defenders to find the back of the net with a crisp shot that went past Ryan Rose in goal for a 1-0 advantage. Soon after Botofago would again pierce through as Jamal Haynes would find his brother Jamal from the flank and with a fine delivery he scored in the 12th minute to send his team up 2-0 as Botofago fans began celebrating. But noticeable was the calmness of Coach Anthony ‘Toto’ Stephens who later said he was careful not to get excited too early because he knew what Net Rockers were capable of and wanted his charges to remain focused. In the 15th minute a free kick was held by the Net Rockers goalkeeper Rose but they in turn would test the character of the Botofago defenders as Clarence Huggins continued to play well on the right wing. Time and time again he would facilitate them with fine crosses but the finishing of the Rockers left much to be desired as the Botofago side collapsed in trying to thwart such efforts. Huggins remained a constant threat but it was Botofago defenders who would circle him and gave other problems to another danger-man for Rockers Denzil Pryce who kept trying to unleash shots without much success. Orande Wills at one time could not complete a move
started by Huggins and this must have frustrated the thinking of Rockers as they tried to reduce that 2-0 advantage. However, it was after Rockers looked like getting a goal that against the run of play Botofago would increase that advantage, when Francis would get his fourth goal of the tournament after accepting a squared ball from Jamal Haynes, to plant it past the Rockers goalkeeper in the 61stminute of play. In the 64th minute another chance came but this time the Rockers goalkeeper was able to make a save. But then Botagafo upped their game and were rewarded with their fourth goal through Jamal Haynes who received a through ball from Amar Jones at midfield and would find the back of the net against in the 72nd minute of the game for a 4-0 lead. Not to be outdone however, Rockers would eventually pull one back through Shane Luckie who netted in the 78th minute. The game would see no more goals as the new champions Botofago would walk away with the majority of individual prizes at stake as Francis was named the Most Valuable Player, goalkeeper Wilson the Best Goalkeeper and Floyd Headley the Best defender. Kendolph Lewis netted in the 60th and 90 + 1 minutes to lead Eagles United to their win after Shattas had taken a 6th minute lead through Dexter Garraway.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Guyana continues to dominate Regional Cricket By Sean Devers Guyana continued to dominate Regional First-Class Cricket in 2017 to reconfirm they are the best team in the Caribbean but only three Guyanese played Test cricket during the year. The 43-year-old Shiv Chanderpaul, who is still ‘ramping’ with the younger guys in this year’s Regional season, is the last Guyanese batsman to dominate at International level, while legspinner Devendra Bishoo, one the three Guyanese to play Test Cricket this year, has produced outstanding performances in spurts. Is the reason why more Guyanese are not being picked for the West Indies by a selection panel which includes Guyanese Travis Dowlin, a case of Barbadians being given preferential treatment or is it that although Guyanese players dominate Regional Cricket it is felt that they are incapable of replicating such performances at International level… or maybe a bit of both? Why do Test discards like Devon Smith, with a record five centuries this season, Denish Ramdin with three and Chanderpaul, with a ton and a half-century, continue to be more successful than many among the young generation in a standard which is arguable lower than First Division Cricket in Guyana and Barbados in the 1980s? Most of the pitches with the exception of the one in St Lucia are low and slow, spinners no longer flight the ball and the batsmen lack mental toughness, powers of concentration and proper shot selection. Many of the players prefer T20 cricket.
The 32-year-old Bishoo played Test Cricket during 2017 against England before claiming his fourth five-wicket haul against Zimbabwe but was not selected in the final XI for the New Zealand series which ended in a 3-nil white wash for the Kiwis. Vishaul Singh made his Test debut against Pakistan last April in Jamaica and scored 63 runs in three Tests at a disappointing average of 10.50, while Shimron Hetmyer who turned 21 on Boxing Day, also made his debut in the same series. He played five Tests and made 218 runs at an Average of 21.80 with his highest score being a pugnacious 66 against New Zealand after missing out against England. Also making his Test debut was Bajan left-handed all-rounder Raymon Reifer after consistent performances for the Guyana Jaguars Franchise. His debut came on December 1 against New Zealand and he scored 52 runs from two innings and took a wicket in each innings of his only Test. Pacer Ronsford Beaton was the other Guyanese to play International Cricket when he made his ODI debut against New Zealand but the first Essequibo player to play International Cricket for West Indies was reported for a suspect action. Bishoo was the only Guyanese to make an impact with nine wickets against Zimbabwe, while Hetmyer looks very talented and seems to have a bright future once he learns to improve his shot selection and temper his natural aggression. After an ordinary ‘A’ Team series against Sri Lanka in
But few Guyanese go on to West Indies success
Jamaica, the left-handed Singh, who looked uncomfortable against the short balls at Test level, returned to Regional Cricket with a hundred in his first match in St Lucia, scored an unbeaten 97 in his next match in St Kitts before following it up with his second ton of the season in Trinidad. He
however, despite compiling 464 runs from 10 innings by year end, fell away in the three home games. Jaguars Skipper Leon Johnson is only the second Captain in Regional FirstClass Cricket to capture a hattrick of titles and is widely regarded the best Leader presently in the West Indies. Johnson made his ODI debut as a 20-year-old but had to wait another six years to play the first of his nine Tests. He has 403 Test runs with two fifties, including one on debut against Bangladesh in St Lucia in 2014. His low conversion rate of only five centuries in 37 scores of over 50 is a worry but still only 30, his 367 runs from 12 innings this season with two fifties and his highest First-Class score of 165 in Trinidad suggests that he has a chance of resurrecting his Test career. But he will know that he has not reached 50 in his last three games on home soil and that consistency is key to him achieving a Test come-back. A few big scores in his remaining possible six innings in the Four-Day tournament could get him back into very fragile West Indies batting order. Another player hoping for
Test re-call is 28-year-old left arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul, who has 18 wickets from six Tests at an average of 43.77 and is among five bowlers (Nickita Miller, Ryan Austin, Shane Shillingford and Mahendra Nagamootoo) with 300 Regional First-Class wickets. Permaul captured his 400th First-Class victim this season on his way to 41 scalps from seven matches, the most for this season. While Permaul has dominated Caribbean batsmen who most times seems clueless against spin on spin friendly tracks and is bowling with good control, he is bowls too fast and flat and will be hard pressed to be successful against International batsmen and on good pitches. The other Guyanese to play Test Cricket in the Jaguars team is opener Rajendra Chandrika, who played the last of his five Tests in August 2016 and has a Test average of 14.00. He has lost form, confidence and his place in the Guyana team after playing just four games this season his Test return seems very unlikely. Although Ramdin has the second most runs and has the second most centuries this season behind another Test
Wozniacki races to victory in Auckland Classic opener (Reuters) - Caroline Wozniacki capped 2017 with the biggest win of her career when she claimed a maiden WTA Finals triumph in October and the Dane has carried that momentum into the new season with a ruthless display to kick off her Auckland Classic campaign. The top seed has a chance to usurp world number one Simona Halep with a victory in New Zealand and the 27-year-old needed just 58 minutes to race past American Madison Brengle with a 6-3, 6-0 triumph in their first round encounter yesterday. The world number three is still searching for her first grand slam triumph but after emerging victorious in the elite eight-woman event in Singapore, her raised levels of play could see her make that breakthrough in Melbourne later this month. Wozniacki is also searching for a first triumph in Auckland after reaching the final in 2015 and despite being tested by Brengle early the contest, the Dane pulled away once she found her rhythm and claimed the last seven games to seal victory.
The win set up a second round encounter against Croatia’s Petra Martic, who overcame Czech player Marketa Vondrousova 7-6(2) 63 in their first round tie to advance. Elsewhere, former world number two and 2013 Auckland champion Agnieszka Radwanska was forced to dig deep to remain on a semi-final collision course with Wozniacki when the Pole eked out a 6-2 4-6 6-2 victory over Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia. Third seed Barbora Strycova was also taken the distance in her first round encounter against Italy’s Sara Errani, the Czech emerging with a 6-4 6-7(3) 6-4 victory to set up a second round tie against Sweden’s Johanna Larsson. The day did not pass without three upsets, however, with defending champion and fifth seed Lauren Davis losing 6-1 6-2 to fellow American Sachia Vickery, while sixth seed Yulia Putintseva and seventh seed Mona Barthel both suffered straight set losses. The Australian Open is the first grand slam of the season and runs from Jan 15-28 in Melbourne.
reject Devon Smith, he is no longer ‘Keeping for the Red Force and his Test career is over. Anthony Bramble, who turned 27 on December 11, is the most improved wicketkeeper in the Region in the last four seasons after looking out of his depth behind the stumps when he started at Regional level in 2010 as a 20-year-old. Bramble has 173 dismissals from 45 First-Class games and the most for the two seasons. He is again the leading wicketkeeper this season. When he reached 96 he threw his wicket away in St Lucia as he posted his eighth 50. His problem was not getting a hundred, but in the last match of this year the Berbician not only registered his maiden ton but extended it to 196 before he ran out of partners four short of joining Junior Murray as the only Keeper to score a Regional double century. A few more runs and consent scores in the last three games could see Bramble making his ‘A’ team debut very soon. West Berbice pacer Keon Joseph continues to improve technically, physically and mentally as a bowler and had a good ‘A’ team series last year. Joseph turned 26 last November and has 93 wickets from 33 First-Class with 14 of those wickets coming from five matches this season. Once he remains fit he should be a Test candidate this year. Guyana has five members on the West Indies U-19 team for next year’s World Cup in New Zealand and young Guyanese cricketers like Kemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd and Gudakesh Motie have all shown promise at First-Class level. West Indies’ U-19s are the defending World Cup Champions at a time when our senior team is being beaten by everyone. We all are aware of the problems in West Indies cricket, compounded by the less than amicable relationship between the players and board but we need to find solutions to arrest what seems to be a terminal decline of West Indies cricket. We have the raw talent and must find ways of developing it into a product worth of putting on the International stage. The players must also work hard towards their selfdevelopment since too many of them enter the First-Class arena with flaws that should have been corrected at club level.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Foregoing year was a learning experience …more female awareness in 2018 – GABBFF
GABBFF President Coel Marks with the respective category and overall winners of the Novice Show, 2017. (Franklin Wilson photo) By Franklin Wilson Still over one month away from achieving his first of two years in office, President of the Guyana Amateur Body Building and Fitness Federation (GABBFF) Coel Marks has described 2017 as a year of learning for his new executive. Marks who took over control of the sport from Attorney-at-Law Keavon Bess in February of 2017 has been on a path to reward (one of his main pillars) athletes more and to some extent has fulfilled that commitment but believes that there is still some way to go in this regard. The governing body was able to bring off two of the three traditional shows it runs during the calendar year, novice and seniors which were won by Nolan Smith and USA based Bruce Whatley, respectively. The Ms. Bikini title at Novice was taken by Natasha Chung, while Alisha Fortune was the Ms Body Fitness Queen at seniors. Intermediates, the other competition which was not held last year will make a welcome return this year according to Marks who pointed out that this level of competition will
Chandina Khan - Overall winner of the Fitness Paradise Gym Expo 2017
serve to keep the beginner athletes working on themselves, since a lot of them aren’t truly ready for the senior stage. GABBFF President, Coel Marks: “I would Like to start by saying the year was certainly a learning experience for us all. We were able to successfully host two sold out shows for the year, novice and seniors. In addition, we were able to tangibly contribute to our athletes participating overseas in Trinidad, Suriname, and Barbados at the Sports World Classic, Eddy Wilson Classic and the Darcy Beckles Classic, respectively where hardware was secured at every outing.” Senior Nationals was held at the Marriott Hotel as the federation sought to lift the standard of venues and this would be continued according the Marks, this year. “Furthermore, from the hosting side we want to make sure we secure good venues so both athletes and patrons can comfortably enjoy shows.” While improving at the administrative end is a work in progress, the president pointed out that one of the federation’s main challenges is securing finances. “One main challenge will always be securing finances to facilitate the outreach programmes. This area is one that we seriously need to secure in order to meet our athletes residing outside of Georgetown. We haven’t embraced them as fully as we would have liked to; so more needs to be done in this regard.” PROJECTIONS FOR 2018 Female participation has been on the low end for some years now under various administrations but Marks has indicated that his body will be talking a different approach in order to get more athletes on the distaff side competing on stage. “We intend to have more features done on past female athletes who would have done well. By doing this we will showcase what female bodybuilding is all about and start dispelling certain stereotypes women have about weight training in trying to get them to experiment more with their bodies outside of an aerobics class.” In addition, for this year, we will be hosting a judge’s seminar to get more local judges certified. We shared this initiative with our Surinamese counterparts and they will be collaborating with us.” Rewarding athletes financially will continue to be on the front burner for Marks and his executive in the final year of their two-year term. “Athlete incentives are always on the
forefront. We need to make sure we have a system of better compensation to help keep the interest of the athletes. Bodybuilding is very expensive so keeping the athletes encouraged is always important. Without them we have no sport.” In commending his executive for their commitment thus far whilst also thanking the athletes, sponsors and fans for making their job easier, Marks posited that the goal is to never become satisfied. “We’ll keep pushing to keep the awareness going, strengthening our ties and trying to access every resource out there to get things done so we can give our athletes a good chance.” In winning the Mr. Guyana title, USA based Bruce Whatley dethroned four-time champion and his former student, Kerwyn Clarke in a fierce contest at the Marriott Hotel. It was a first time feat for Whatley who has been in ripping form now competing as a Masters athlete. There was another upset at the show where Yannick Grimes defeated Emmerson
Campbell to win the Mr. Guyana Open Men’s Physique crown. Campbell had gotten the better of Grimes in 2016 and previous year. Among the other shows during last year were the Fitness Paradise Gym, annual Gym Expo which was held at the Theatre Guild Playhouse where the largest contingent of females battling for the coveted Miss Expo Best Legs and Miss Expo Bikini titles. Emerging as the undisputed queen was Chandina Khan who flexed her way to both crowns as she displayed one of the finest female physiques Guyana has ever produced. Winner of the Mr. Fitness Paradise Gym Expo (Classic) was Jermaine Jones. Damion Daniel of Grenada worked his way to overall winner of the second edition of the Stage of Champions which attracted athletes from Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the cream of the crop, here. So, with at least three local shows guaranteed along with numerous others at the regional and internationals levels, athletes can look forward to a busy year of competition.
Jaguars dominate FC Cricket after first... From page 33 wicket record stand with Joseph (15). Jaguars following-on, requiring 206 to avoid an innings defeat, took the Hurricanes late into the final session of the game, ending on 305-7. Shiv Chanderpaul made 109 and got support from Bramble (57), Johnson (41) and Singh (35) to bat Guyana to safety. Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago had faced each other in the first ever pink ball Day/Night First-Class match in Antigua in 2010 and from November 16-19 the teams once again clashed under lights at the Brian Lara Academy with Jaguars hammering the Red Force by an innings and 217 runs. Jaguars declared on 484-8 with Johnson getting his highest First-Class score of 165, Singh got his second ton of the season; an even 100, while Tagenarine Chanderpaul made 84. Red Force were bundled out for 120 in their first innings before making 175 following-on with Permaul taking 5-54 and match figures of 9-97, while Paul had 4-26. Jaguars defeated Barbados by eight wickets after Barbados fell for 294 as Paul captured 5-59 and Joseph had 3-69. Guyana responded with 314 with Hemraj getting 79, Motie 72 not out and Tagenarine Chanderpaul 52. Chanderpaul and Hemraj added 115 for the first wicket.
Barbados were dismissed for 197 as fast bowlers Joseph 4-38, Paul 4-63 and Rutherford (2-55) took all 10 wickets between them. Set 178 for victory, the Jaguars reached 181 with Tagenarine Chanderpaul making 62 not out and Johnson 61. In their last match of the year Jaguars got sweet revenge on the Leewards with a crushing 10-wicket win at Providence. After another failure by the opening pair Jaguars recovered from 41-4 to reach 417. Shiv Chanderpaul (51) and Bramble, unbeaten four short of joining Junior Murray as the only Keepers with a double century in Regional cricket. Bramble and Motie (47) broke the last wicket record set in St Kitts in the third round by adding 110 before Motie charged down to off-spinner Terrence Ward, missed a wild swipe and was stumped. Leewards were bowled out for 145 as Permaul had 6-32. Following-on the Islanders reached 268 despite a ton from Akeem Saunders to leave Jaguars in an impregnable position heading into tomorrow’s game in Jamaica. High marks must be given to Head Coach Esuan Crandon and Manager and Assistant Coach Rayon Griffith who worked tirelessly with the soon to be four-times defending Champions.
Wednesday January 03, 2018
Guyana’s 2017 cricket review (Part 1)
Jaguars dominate FC Cricket after first ever Tie By Sean Devers Three times defending CWI Digicel Regional FourDay Cricket Champions and leaders Guyana Jaguars are just three games away from a fourth consecutive FirstClass title when the tournament resumes tomorrow with Guyana facing Jamaica in Reggae Country. The Jaguars start tomorrow’s game with 118 points from seven matches. The South American Franchise won five matches, drew once and featured in the historic Tie against the Windwards Volcanoes at Providence. This was the first ever Tie in a First-Class match in the West Indies and only the 62nd in over 300 years of First-Class Cricket. Jaguars are 42.2 points ahead of second placed Barbados Pride with75.2 points. Red Force (71.6), Jamaica (71.4), Leewards (61)
But struggle continues in 50-over format captured 41 wickets, the most in the tournament. Imran Khan (36) and Jomal Warrican (32), both spinners, are second and third in the wickets column. Vishaul Singh, who missed the first game against Jamaica at Providence batted 10 times and scored 464 runs with two tons and two fifties at an average of 66.29, while Johnson’s 367 runs from 12 innings with two fifties and a century at an average of 30.58 in third in the runs tally for Guyana. Singh (2), Shiv Chanderpaul, Johnson, Bramble and Kemo Paul have all scored centuries in the first seven rounds. Chanderpaul Hemraj with 353 runs at an Average of 29.2 with three fifties and Tagenarine Chanderpaul who
old left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie has 143 runs from seven innings including his only fifty, an unbeaten 72 as night watchman. Motie also took 15 wickets at an average of 22.33 to bring his tally to 79 from 22 First-Class matches. The 26-year-old Keon Joseph, leader of the pace pack, captured 14 wickets from five matches at an average of 23.57. Joseph is likely to get the seven wickets he needs for a 100 First-Class wickets from the remaining three matches this season. Jaguars started 2017 by failing to reach the semi-finals of the Regional Super50 tournament in Barbados. Guyana has nine titles but none since they beat Barbados at Bourda in 2005 and again did not fire in the
Jaguars got their second victory with a 5-run win against ICC America’s on the Duckworth-Lewis system after bad light stopped play. Johnson’s 78 left the Jaguars on 212-4 replying to ICC America’s 220-7 when the game was halted. Another win followed with a six-wicket win over CCC Marooners who made 188. Johnson continued his good form with 71 and Chanderpaul supported with an undefeated 58. Jaguars were again beaten by Barbados in a last over thriller. After making 186 Barbados reached 188-8 with three balls to spare before Jaguars lost their next game to Jamaica by 20 runs. Jaguars defeated ICC America by eight wickets in their last match when Shimron
and Windwards Volcanoes (52.2) follow in that order and a draw in Jamaica will give them the title and provide Leon Johnson his fourth consecutive title as Captain. The 30-year-old Johnson needs only one more title next year to join Tamar Lambert’s record five in a row which he achieved from 2009-2013. Only two teams (Barbados in 2014) and the Leewards (in 2016 & 2017) have beaten the Jaguars in their last 35 games which means Guyana were only beaten once in 11 FirstClass games in 2017. Devon Smith has 873 runs with a record five centuries, Denish Ramdin has scored 564 runs with three centuries and Jaguars Keeper Anthony Bramble, who has 481 runs with an unbeaten 196 and three centuries and an Average of 60.13 from 10 innings, are the top three batsmen in the aggregate after seven rounds of action last year. Jaguars’ left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul has
has 332 runs from 13 innings with three fifties at an Average of 32.20 and a strike rate of 30.78 are the other Guyanese with 300 runs this season, while Tagenarine’s father, the 43 year-old Shivnarine, is the only other batsman with 250 runs. Shiv has 267 runs from seven innings at an Average of 38.14 with a fifty and his 20th Regional First-Class ton. Nineteen-year-old fast bowing all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford has 239 runs with one fifty and 19 wickets. Paul, another 19-year-old, scored Guyana’s first century for this season but only managed 78 runs in his next nine innings. However, the young pacer has bowled brilliantly and has 27 wickets from seven matches, the most by a Guyanese fast bowler this season. The 22-year-old Romario Shepherd, another fast bowling all-rounder, has 10 wickets and 75 runs from five matches, while among the specialists bowlers, 22-year-
50-over format as only Shiv and Assad Fudadin got centuries for Guyana. Guyana Jaguars played in group “B” of the Tournament along with Jamaica Scorpions, ICC Americas, GCC Marooners, and Barbados Pride. Host Barbados Pride defeated Guyana Jaguars by 145 runs in the opening round with Kraigg Braithwaite scoring 101 as Barbados made 302-7 off their 50 overs. Jaguars were bowled out for 157 off 32 overs despite Johnson’s 55. In the second round Jamaica won by 41 runs on January 26 as Shiv Chanderpaul’s 101 failed to prevent Jaguars from being dismissed for 208 in 44 overs, replying to Jamaica’s 250-8. Jaguars defeated CCC Marooners by 8 wickets at Kensington Oval after reaching 130-2 in 26.3 overs in reply to Marooners 129 all out as Rajendra Chandrika’s unbeaten 43 provided Guyana with their first win.
Hetmyer fell six short Guyana’s third century in the tournament as Jaguars galloped to 172-2 in 28.1 overs replying to the opposition’s 170 in 48.1 overs. After the completion of the Regional Super50, the 2016 First-Class tournament resumed on March 10 with sixth round matches and Jaguars beat Jamaica by seven wickets at Sabina Park. Chadwick Walton’s 101 rallied Jamaica to 255 in their first innings as Joseph grabbed a career best 7-53. Guyana led by half centuries from Hetmyer (74) and Shiv (57) made 262 to gain a slim lead. Jamaica in their second innings fell for 188 as Raymon Reifer took 5-60 before Guyana, led by an unbeaten 63 from Singh, reached 184 to win. Jaguars defeated T&T’s Red Force by 10 wickets in Trinidad after the hosts made 202 & 183 with Permaul taking 7-48. Jaguars made 330 all out
with Assad Fudadin 57, Shepherd 53 and Reifer 50 scoring half-centuries. Set 56 to win Jaguars made 56 without loss with Hetymer hitting a pugnacious unbeaten 44. In the next round at the Kensington Oval in Barbados history was made when contrary to the playing conditions, the first ever rest day in a four-day in West Indies cricket was provided . Barbados, on the back of an unbeaten 215 from Shai Hope and 143 from Kraigg Braithwaite amassed 480-3 declared as the game ended in a draw. Back on home soil Jaguars registered an emphatic innings and 121-run win against the Windwards Volcanoes with a day and over two sessions remaining to take championships honours for the third consecutive time with a round still remaining. Volcanoes were bowled out for 95 in their first innings as Paul took 6- 28 before Assad Fudadin’s 125 powered Jaguars to 379.Windwards in their second innings were all out for 162 as Motie took 4 for 46. At Providence on SaturdayApril 22, 2017, the Jaguars were officially crowned champions despite them losing to the Leewards for the second time in the tournament by 10 wickets with a day to spare. Jaguars were bowled out for 187 with 17-year-old Bhaskar Yadram making 25 on debut as Rakeem Cornwall grabbed 6-68. Hurricane then made 305 with Reifer taking 6-74. The inexperienced Guyana team were then dismissed for 143 in their second innings. The 2017 season commenced on October 26 when Guyana beat Jamaica Scorpions by 263 runs at Providence as Bramble and Hemraj scored first innings fifties to help the hosts to 266. Fudadin, now playing for the Scorpions, top scored with 39 as the visitors were bundled out for 99 as Permaul captured 6-29. The Jaguars, with a lead of 165 did not enforce the follow-on and scored 315-8 declared in their second innings with Paul making 107. Jamaica second innings, having been set a mammoth victory target of 483 runs to win, were dismissed for 219 with Permaul ending with match figures of 11-84. At the Daren Sammy Stadium, in St. Lucia, Jaguars defeated the Volcanoes by seven wickets with a day to
Kemo Paul spare on the best track in the Region. Volcanoes’ fell for 151 as with Rutherford taking 6-32 (his maiden five-wicket haul) before Jaguars made 357 all out as Singh (119) and Bramble (90), and Rutherford (52) registered 50’s. Volcanoes’ then made 244 before Jaguars reached 41-3 with Rajendra Chandrika (7), Hemraj (8) and Johnson (4) falling cheaply. Jaguars eventually secured a draw after being asked to follow-on by their nemesis Leewards Hurricanes at Warner Park in St Kitts. Leewards posted 412-9 declared and Jaguars replied with 206 all out. Singh made an unbeaten 97 and shared in a Guyana last Continued on page 32
Wednesday January 03, 2018
2017 was an amazing year for Hockey in Guyana Hosting Pan American Cups and qualification for CAC games the highlight
Team USA after their victory in the women’s Final. By Calvin Chapman Fantastic is the best way to describe the success of Guyana’s Hockey and the undertakings of the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) under the stewardship of current President Philip Fernandes in 2017. The two biggest highlights of the year for hockey was the hosting of the Pan American Cups and Guyana’s qualification for the Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Games. Last year the GHB was successful in its bid to host the Pan American Indoor Hockey Cups which served as the qualifying games for the Indoor Hockey World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. The local governing
body of hockey was successful in its application to bring such a prestigious event to the “land of many waters” for the first time because of the immense foundation work it had laid on the local scene by keeping the game alive through various development works and hosting tournaments. The most important of such events on the local hockey calendar was the successful Diamond Mineral Water International Hockey Festival which was in its 13th year in 2017; a tournament that featured clubs from regional powerhouses such as Canada, USA, and Trinidad & Tobago participating in high-quality hockey.
The GHB along with all the stakeholders did well to host the successful event that ran from October 16th – 21st at the Cliff Anderson Sport Hall (CASH) which was furnished with a world standard, plastic-tile surface, and all the visiting teams complimented the product. The tournament featured seven teams, inclusive of Guyana, USA, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, T&T and Barbados. USA won the Female arm of the event, while the T&T men played unbeaten to lift their division championship to join the USA women as the Pan American representatives at the Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin,
Action between Guyana and T&T during the Pan Am Indoor Hockey Cups at CASH last October; Jamarj Assanah (centre) being flanked by 2 T&T players. Germany next month (February 2018). Meanwhile Guyana’s Men and Women finished 4th and 6th respectively, while having for the first time a total of three players in the tournaments’ All-star XIs, two in the men’s team, Captain Robert France and goalkeeper Medroy Scotland, while Marzana Fiedtkou was the lone female representative. The Championships were well attended and smoothly organized without any hiccups. All matches commenced on time and they weren’t any instances of tardiness. In fact, although the hockey board had some technical help from the Pan American Hockey Federation
(PAHF), the GHB has pride itself as one of the most efficient sport entities in Guyana, not only in 2017 but across the years when it comes to the running and organizing of events. The GHB’s hard and consistent work with grassroots development, national programmes and a lively competition schedule, paid off in 2017 as the women’s national team finished as winners, just ahead of hosts Jamaica, at the qualifying event for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games 2018, while the men’s team qualified in second place behind Jamaica. Guyana men’s Aroydy Branford was
named player of the tournament, while their goalkeeper Medroy Scotland was adjudged best in front of goal. Guyana had a good opportunity to cop both the Male and Female titles but due to issues with the lights at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus hockey facility, the men’s final match could not be played its full time, and as such, using the Pool Standings, the final positions were awarded. That left Guyana with the Silver, having nine points, as compared to Jamaica’s 12. However, both Jamaica and Guyana’s men’s and women’s teams qualified for the 2018 CAC Games in Barranquilla, Colombia this July-August.
All stars claim Bhagelu Dominoes title in Wakenaam
The victorious All stars team after the win. All stars emerged champions of the Don Bhagelu Dominoes competition which was contested on Monday at Amit Ramnarine Sports Bar in Good Success, Wakenaam. All stars chalked up 77 games to beat Renegade with 70 and Eat and Beat on 69. Khemraj Surujpaul and Don Bhagelu made 17 games each, while Mohamed Kalam Zafrul scored 16 and Heera Sukhram 14 for the winners. Amit Ramnarine and Krishendat Hansraj marked 16 apiece, while James Ramnarine got 12 and Julian Ramotar
10 for the runner up side. Eat and Beat leading players were Alex Chung with 17, Vijay Persaud 15 and Khemnauth Persaud 14. Surujpaul was named player-of-the-tournament, while All stars collected a trophy and $18,000. Bhagelu, who is an overseas based Guyanese and a former member of Sans Souci Sports Club, congratulated the winners, thanked the participating teams and informed that another competition will be held shortly.
Some of the twin island republic players celebrating moments after the final whistle in the men’s final.