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March 31, 2013
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Guyana’s largest selling daily & New York’s most popular weekly
Govt. agrees to pay Chinese contractor - contract $1.4M daily for project delay document P. 13
...Guyana to supply sand, stone, build roads
Radio licence giveaway...
Prompts 17-mile protest march
Charles Griffith HBTV Channel 9
Senior GEA officials cover up for fuel smugglers, members frustrate investigations say staff
P. 17 Meet beautiful
Paving the way for women pilots, Cheryl Moore is P. 18 a ‘Special Person’
Could this year’s budget see a reduction?
APNU ready to go as far as Caribbean Court of Justice
Sunday March 31, 2013
Sacred Heart parishioners look forward to reopening of church
By Abena Rockcliffe “This Budget is Contentious to the plight of the poor”- Greenidge This year again, both parliamentary opposition parties have signaled their intention to slash the estimates presented in the budget. Following last year’s budget cut of $20.8B, the government had moved to the court for it to have the “last say.” The court had ruled in its favour with the Chief Justice giving the verdict that the joint parliamentary opposition could have either passed or voted down the Budget; but cutting was not an option. However both opposition parties remain adamant that the law provides for parliament to have the last say on Budget estimates. In his introductory speech of the budget presentation, the Minister of Finance noted that last year, he “urged the prevailing of rational and meritocratic considerations, the identification of sensible and practical solutions, the avoidance of short term choices that compromise long term imperatives, the defence of that which is fair and just, and the most steadfast adherence to serving the national interest at all times.” He added, “With the benefit of one year of experience since, those words seem even more prescient than I would have dared to think.” However, at a subsequent press conference, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)’s shadow Finance Minister, Carl Greenidge, responding to a question relating to whether or not the party is gearing for budget cuts, said, “We will not be a toothless opposition.” In reference to the Chief Justice’s ruling, the former minister said, “No one judge in Guyana has the final say.”
He expanded on his point saying that the laws of Guyana are there to govern and as he stood firm in his position that the opposition has a right to cut, Greenidge noted that persons may interpret or choose to intercept the law differently. Greenidge sought to remind that all decisions handed down by a Chief Justice are subject to an appeal that may be taken as far as the Caribbean Court of Justice. According to him, the move to have the court sanction on such a matter is a means of questioning the powers of parliament. Greenidge contended, “If a parliament approves 10 cents for a government to spend, no chief justice can say to spend 11. If there is a perception that we must be a toothless opposition then we need not meet.” A reduction in the Value Added Tax (VAT) was one of the requests made by the APNU. However, at a press conference the night he presented the budget, the Finance Minister had stated that a reduction in VAT will more serve to benefit for the rich than the poor. He said that most of the
things a low income earner would purchase are zero rated so the money they would save from a VAT reduction in two months is equivalent to what the rich would save having one meal at “the Pegasus or Marriott.” However, Greenidge referred to that as “jumbie economics”, calling it obscure and indefinable. Greenidge said that the poor generally don’t care how much the rich saves since but would like to know that they are saving as well. He added that if the poor saves $2000 a month that $2000 would be of greater significance to the poor than it is to the rich; “this budget is contentious to the plight of the poor.” He went on to highlight that the government speaks of “Equal access, when members of the public sector is subject to a lie detector test but no such policy is implemented for government Ministers.” “They speak of equitable treatment when they grant radio licences to their friends, the PPP is still to submit names for procurement commission, and these are some of the broader problems.”
Parishioners of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church are eagerly looking forward to the reopening of the newly constructed building. The church was completely destroyed by fire on Christmas Day eight years ago. Speaking at the church’s annual cross-bun sale held on Thursday, March 28, several parishioners shared their views on what a return to the Main Street place of worship meant for them and the surrounding communities. Melissa De Santos has been a member of the church for over 30 years and has been closely involved in the reconstruction efforts. “Notwithstanding all the challenges over the years associated with the reconstruction of the building, we are at a point where the reopening is merely months away. It will be very nice to have our own home once again,” De Santos said. Echoing similar sentiments, Tessa Fraser, said she is extremely happy to be returning to the place which has positively impacted her life in many different ways. “It will feel great to be back together as a family. I was married through the church and was baptized right here. The return to our home will give us the opportunity to continue important
activities such as our bible classes, and feeding programme that benefited the neighboring communities. “Weddings, funeral services and so many other activities that members get support for from the church will now once again be able to happen, as we return to our own building,” Fraser, who has been attending Sacred Heart for 13 years, pointed out. Michael Abrams, who was once an Altar Boy and member of the church’s choir, said he is overwhelmed with joy to see the building in its final stages of construction after the terrible devastation. “I have been a member of Sacred Heart for more than 30 years. I cannot find the words to describe how overwhelmed I am by the rebuilding of the church. I remember rushing down here on the day of the fire, not wanting to believe that it was true, that the building was really on fire. It was a really terrible feeling to see the whole church destroyed. The challenges we faced throughout the reconstruction process was, however, more than worth it. It’s a joyous feeling to be able to return,” Abrams said. Chairman of the Sacred Heart Rebuilding Committee, Ramsay Ali, said from all indications, the church will be reopened in December of this year. “We are looking at
December for the reopening. As things stand now, we need $20M more for the completion of construction works and an additional $25M for furnishing of the building.” Ali was optimistic that the remaining funds would be acquired in time to ensure the completion of the building by December. A significant part of the funding came from corporate businesses in Guyana, and donations were also received from parishioners, both in Guyana and overseas. “The Bishop has agreed that the daily and weekly MidDay Mass will be moved from the Brickdam Cathedral to Sacred Heart, when the church is reopened. We will also be able to restart our outreach efforts in the community, which has a positive impact, particularly on children, who benefit from our feeding programme and educational activities,” he added. The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church was completely destroyed on Christmas morning 2004 as a result of a fire believed to be electrical in origin. Sixty-five parishioners were in the building when the fire began. All managed to escape unhurt. The adjoining Sacred Heart Primary School was also destroyed.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Radio licence giveaway
“Article 282 of the constitution is very poisonous and is an enemy to all Guyanese...It is an enemy to unity, it is an enemy to democracy, it is an enemy to the constitution itself,” said Charles Griffith yesterday as he sought to highlight his concerns in this regard in protesting form. Griffith, who is a Director at the privately-run Hoyte Blackman Television (HBTV) station aired on Channel Nine, was however undertaking the task in his personal capacity. His action, which saw him trekking just about 17 miles yesterday, from Belfield, East Coast Demerara to the capital city, comes on the heels of recent public protest action by dissatisfied members of the private media fraternity in light of Government’s unfair distribution of radio licences. A placard-bearing Griffith was also a part of those protest actions which were held outside both the Kaieteur News and Channel Nine offices. Armed with a placard propped on what appeared to be a cross, Griffith in the blistering afternoon sun yesterday made his way to the city along the Rupert Craig Highway. He ended his momentous trek in the vicinity of the Georgetown Cricket
Club Ground shortly after 14:00 hours (2pm). His journey had in fact started around 06:00 hours at Belfield and according to him starting there was no coincidence since it was the home community of Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, a former Executive President. Burnham was in fact the one who had brought the Constitution into being. “It was not established for that reason for which it is being used today; it is being used for another reason.” Griffith in explaining his understanding of the contentious Article insisted that it was merely intended for emergencies and not to be used with impunity and indiscretion or to violate human rights or obstruct justice. “It is not to be used to take advantage of the people because they are not aware of it,” chided Griffith yesterday. According him, Article 282 can in fact be used to break any law without any penalty and therefore cannot be seen as something proper and correct. He insisted too that the Article in question was used to facilitate the awarding of radio licences by breaking the oath of office as well as other Articles
including 38A, 40, 146 and 149 without any penalty. “That cannot be right and that is the reason I am attempting to make the Guyanese population aware of this monster,” Griffith emphatically stated. Moreover, he is convinced that Article 282 should be repealed “and that is my primary reason for doing
Barbados parliamentary vote offers lessons for Guyana In a situation that could possibly occur in Guyana, the Barbados government managed to just squeeze through approval of two budget line items owing to its slim majority in parliament last week. When members of p a r l iament got into the Committee of Supply last Friday to vote on money for the items totaling BDS$30.1 million (BDS$1 = US 50 cents), they produced a 14-14 tie, and the chairman of the proceedings was forced into the unusual position of entering a casting vote in favour of Government’s proposal to approve the projected expenditure. The close avoidance of an impasse was the first example of how government with a narrow 16-14 majority of seats, won in the February 21 elections, could be tested in its making of decisions that will need approval of the 30-member parliament for the next five years. Guyana’s parliament, with a one-seat majority favouring the opposition, will shortly begin its budgetary debate,
after which members will be asked to vote on its provisions. The Guyana budget proposals were presented Monday by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh. Since elections that returned it to government, the Barbados Democratic Labour Party first ceded a member of the two-seat majority by naming one of its MPs to the position of Speaker of Parliament. But when the House is dissolved into committee stage - such as the Committee of Supply that approves individual items and their projected budgetary spending - the Speaker is omitted and another MP chairs the session. Chairmanship of this committee that is formed after debate on the annual budget was handed to a government MP, leaving committee membership equal at 14 for each side. Among items up for consideration were monies for statutory authorities on agriculture management and water, both of which had outstanding debts at the end
of the last financial year. Discussion on the water authority’s debt incurred the opposition’s ire when after giving reasons for the outstanding balances Agriculture Minister Dr David Estwick said, “That’s all I have to say on that. You can talk until the cows come home.” This curt response to their concerns triggered all 14 opposition members to vote against provision of the money, tying the tally with that of government. Announcing the tie in votes, Clerk of Parliament Pedro Eastman advised Committee Chairman James Paul, “ ... the results of the division [is] 14 honorable members voted aye, 14 honorable members voted no, it is up to you.” Paul, a Government MP, proceeded to cast his ‘aye’ vote, breaking the deadlock. Wi t h M e m b e r s o f Parliament having concluded their debate on the 2013-2014 budget last week, discussion on these estimates of income and expenditure is now in the Senate, the upper chamber of the Barbados parliament.
what I am doing. I am doing this as Charles Griffith, it is beyond me but the population needs to be
sensitised, they need to think about it because it is going to affect all of us. That Article should not be there.”
He acknowledged though that while ideas may take some time before they become conscious in the minds of people “I rather suspect Guyanese are aware that something is not correct.” He voiced his conviction that the power in this country resides in the people’s hands and “unless you are educated, unless you are aware, unless you become conscious, unless you can sleep with it, unless you can look at your children, unless you can look at the way of life, unless you can compare it with what is going on with other countries or even your own communities, Article 282 is tantamount to what Hitler practiced a number of years ago...it is wrong and will always be wrong.” The 65-year-old’s journey to the city saw him venturing into a few communities along the way including Buxton and Plaisance. His first recovery stop was at Beterverwagting and then at the Bel Air Gas Station.
KAIETEUR NEWS Printed and Published by National Media & Publishing Company Ltd. 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana. Publisher: GLENN LALL Editor: ADAM HARRIS Tel: 225-8491, 225-8458, 225-8465 Fax: 225-8473 or 226-8210
The Budget Debate Starting Tuesday, and continuing for the rest of the week, the Opposition will be offering their critique of the Budget, which was presented by the Minister of Finance a week ago. The process will culminate, we hope, with the response of the Minister to the points raised by the Opposition, and not, we hope recourse to the courts. We believe that the Budget process goes to the heart of democratic practice and good governance in a country and consequently, that citizens ought to be aware of what is involved so that they may make informed interventions to their representatives. We repeat the perspective, pointed out several times over the last decade, from which we feel citizens should evaluate the Budget Debate. The Budget gives a detailed account of what the government will spend during the coming year in fulfilment of their task to better the lives of all the citizens of the country. The first thing that we ought to be aware of is the total amount the Government will be spending and from which sources will it obtain the funds to be spent. In this year the total Government expenditure was announced at some $208.8 billion while current revenue raked in (primarily from duties, VAT, income and corporate taxes) only amounted to $162.8 billion. After capital revenue and grants of $12.3 billion, there will be an overall deficit of $33.7 billion. This would have to come from loans - that is, borrowing. Citizens would have to consider whether spending over $33billion more than the Government collects is a wise policy or not. Loans, after all, will have to be repaid some day: the days of debt write-offs are long gone now that we are not a “Highly Indebted Poor Country”. There are the conditionalities that bankers attach to loans. But it should be noted that our economy is much larger and more vibrant than before and we can sustain a larger quantum of debt, The other areas of scrutiny ought to centre on the areas the Government spends the money which we just concluded, ultimately all comes from the pockets of the citizenry. In a mixed economy such as ours, traditionally Government spending attempts to achieve three goals: attempting to stabilise the macroeconomy; assist resources to flow most efficiently to sectors that will deliver the greatest growth rate to the economy and lastly to ensure that there is some equity in the distribution of the national income so that the least fortunate of our society do not get left irretrievably behind. For the macroeconomic fundamentals, one has to be concerned, for instance, with the rate of inflation since this, in essence, devalues the money one earns, to the extent of the rate. The Minister announced that the rate of inflation last year was 3.5 percent which means that the 5% increase in wages that most workers received last year did leave them with a real increase. In terms of policies to encourage growth of the economy, these can include tax and fiscal measures to encourage investment. Since the Government of Guyana is itself the biggest source of spending, the decisions of Government on the projects it selects for development ought to be scrutinized. The bottom-line question is, will there be growth in the economy? It is accepted that the economy will have to grow at a rate of around ten percent per annum if we are to make any significant dent in our poverty rates in the next decade. Finally, we must ask whether measures were taken to assist the poor in the redistributive function. For instance the cut in the tax rate of 33.3% will definitely help, but it will help the higher income workers more. The increase in benefits to Old-Age Pensioners and the subsidy to their electricity bills are definitely progressive. Last year’s reduction of the corporate tax rate should be analysed to discern whether it produced increased investment - and jobs. We hope that citizens will become more involved in a process that involves them where it counts most – their pocketbooks.
Sunday March 31, 2013
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This is an election budget – another cheap attempt to buy voters with their own money DEAR EDITOR, There is nothing of gamechanging substance in this budget. This is an election budget. It is another brazen attempt by the PPP after breaking the backs of the working people of this country with VAT and all manner of taxes to try to buy voters with their own money. This budget is a PPP attempt at bribery of the Guyanese people with their own money to gain votes. The PPP will likely be calling local government elections later this year after the
admonishment by the powerhouses of the West (America, Britain and Canada). It is why this cabal in charge of the PPP has called a party general congress after hijacking the party and shutting out the faithful in order to handpick their own leader. They need rank and file PPP members to campaign and do the dirty work for them so they could regain power. This budget is all about gearing up for that election. Look at the capital budget. This is where the PPP spends
our money on infrastructure using a highly corrupt and broken contracting and tendering system. The PPP has increased this portion of the budget by $29 billion in 2013 (from $56.4 to $85.7 billion). This is nothing more than a brazen gimmick to give taxpayers’ money to a handful of contractors to deliver shoddy work fixing bridges and roads during election season for the PPP to boast about progress and development. Within one year after the election, those same
infrastructure will collapse or fall apart. This increase in the capital budget is another con job. What this $29 billion increase really tells the Guyanese people is that the PPP will recklessly spend your money to try to fool you into giving it your vote. How does a government crow over reducing personal income taxes by 3S!%, saving 184,000 taxpayers (39% of all voters) a mere $1.8 billion when it intends to give to the lucky few contractors an extra Continued on page 6
Sunday March 31, 2013
Rising inequality and financial abuses are The GDF institutionally and the PNC common practices of the PPP regime changed the face of aviation in Guyana DEAR EDITOR, I have been following the centennial celebration of aviation history in Guyana and I, like many others, think it is fitting that we pause and pay homage to, and remember the men and women who were and continue to be, a part of our rich aviation history. However, there have been some glaring omissions, for the story of aviation in Guyana cannot be fully told without mention of the integral role played by the Aviators of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). The GDF institutionally and the Peoples National Congress (PNC) government (as a matter of policy) changed the face of aviation in Guyana. Prior to the 1970’s aviators in Guyana mostly belonged to a privileged class. Not many sons or daughters of the working man could ever dream of flying an airplane, and even where those dream existed the opportunity did not. Prior to the early seventies, the familiar names of Guyanese aviators were; Williams; Mekdeci, Da Silva, Chan A Sue, Murphy, Grandsoults and Vasconcellos. This soon changed when the GDF started recruiting pilots for its Air Wing. The recruits came from varied backgrounds both geographically and economically and the names and ethnicities changed also. The prevailing political conditions and the policies of the government of the day, created opportunities for young men and women of all ethnicities and economic backgrounds to pursue careers in aviation. Young dashing Army pilots like Lawrence “Larry”
London, Phillip Payne, Egbert “Eggy” Fields, Chris Cameron, Gerry Gouveia, Jeff Roman and Butch Green changed lives and created indelible impressions of many young men who came from similar backgrounds. Becoming a pilot was now an achievable ambition and many personal career goals were altered. To support a growing Air Wing, that before the end of the decade would become an Air Corp; engineers and flight mechanics were trained, men like Aubrey Henry, Scott Joseph, Gavin Huntley and the Wilson Brothers Michael and Cecil. These men would form the nucleus of technical experts that kept the GDF fleet flying and airworthy. Just after the first International Year for Women was celebrated world-wide, the GDF saw its first two female fixed wing pilots, when Beverly Drake and Cheryl Pickering graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with their commercial pilots licenses. During this period (mid 70’s) the Army introduced several new Bell Helicopters to its fleet and more young Guyanese were given the opportunity to fly. In 1977 Barbara Adams, along with her classmates David Totaram and Owen Sandiford graduated from helicopter flight school in Scotland. Barbara Adams (then a resident of Durban Street Lodge) has the distinction of being the first Guyanese woman to be trained to fly a helicopter. As the decade ended and the new one began more and more Guyanese young men and women of all races and social status were trained as Army pilots and aircraft
engineers; Pilots like Lloyd Nurse, Claude St. Romaine, Rohan Sharma, Williet Lord, Peter DaSilva and many others too numerous to mention earned their wings, thanks to the GDF. In those days also, it was not a strange sight to see an army pilot flying for the Guyana Airways Corporation. Thousands of mercy missions have been flown by Army pilots. These missions have saved the lives of many of our citizens, in faraway places, who needed to be airlifted to receive medical attention. The search and rescue capabilities and the humanitarian flights flown by Army Aviators along with the many other countless, thankless hours spent behind the throttle have all added to the rich tapestry that we celebrate this year. Mr. Editor, the GDF not only revolutionized aviation in Guyana, moving it from a small elite club to egalitarian status, but it paved the way for the explosion of civil aviation opportunities in Guyana today. The young aviators of today can thank their Army predecessors like Larry London, Egbert “Eggy” Fields, Selicia Baker, David Totaram, Beverly Drake, Cheryl Pickering and Barbara Adams for kicking down doors for them to walk through. The enlightened vision of the Burnham government also cannot be ignored, for it was due to the policy decisions of his government, which made this possible. One would hope that during this 100 th year anniversary, the GDF would in some way remember and pay the right homage to these pioneer Army Aviators. Mark Archer
Surprised that a sworn affidavit from a Commissioner of Oaths not accepted as proof of identity DEAR EDITOR What an intriguing experience the “poor customer” had with the commercial bank in Regent Street, when he tried to apply for a re-loadable VISA card. Could it be that the nature of the transaction caused the problem? Or does the chap not hold an account with the bank? It was rather surprising that “a sworn affidavit from a Commissioner of Oaths” was not accepted as proof of identity. Years ago when I requested (in writing from the UK) that payments from my savings account with a Guyana bank be made to named local recipients, the bank refused to do so unless I submitted a sworn affidavit from a Commissioner of
Oaths. The matter was resolved when I objected, and complained in print. I hope Lenno Craig asked to speak to the General Manager at the time. Perhaps the matter might have been handled differently at the Water Street branch. Up to a few years ago, in the UK, if one had a relative working at a bank with which one wished to do business or could mention the name of a member of staff of that bank - that was acceptable for most transactions. I remember once, in an emergency, when I needed a substantial amount of cash and could not get to the City branch where my savings account was held, I had to approach their local branch to make a withdrawal. The cashier asked me certain
questions to establish identity (date of birth, address, when the account was opened, roughly how much money I had in it, etc). Answered correctly, I got the money. I remember the incident as comical, because the cashier apologised for asking so many questions “because it was a large sum of money”. When I mentioned how much was in the account, his jaw dropped and his eyes stood out on stalks - I had to be rather ‘careful’ with money in those days. When will commercial banks in Guyana get their act together? At times, their antics could be construed as delaying tactics, for one reason or another. Geralda Dennison
DEAR EDITOR, In Guyana, rising inequality and financial abuses by the business friends of the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal and disrespect of the people and for the rule of law remain the common practices of the PPP regime. These along with unchecked corruption, illegal trafficking of narcotics and the high crime rate are some of the key issues that have led to the stagnation of Guyana and prevented the human development. At the start of the millennium the UN launched the Millennium Development Goals project( MDG) to help countries like Guyana eradicate poverty, reduce maternal mortality and social inequity and create full employment and decent work for all. Today, not much progress is made on these issues in Guyana but yet a country so rich in natural resources is not on target to successfully reduce poverty by 50% or to address social abnormalities like maternal deaths at child birth and extremely high levels of crime. Under the Jagdeo/
Ramotar cabal, the poverty level continues to rise and will soon hit 50% of the population, and youth unemployment has risen to almost 50% of the youth population (16-24 years) in 2012 from 30% a decade ago. This information on youth unemployment was sourced from the just released Human Development Report. So as the UN prepares for the post-2015 development agenda, it is moving with the majority of those developing nations that want the process to move up the chain to issues such as “honest and transparent governance and the reduction of corruption.” But Guyana will not be ready for such a transition thus rendering itself again into the dustbins of the world d e v e l o p m e n t movement. Guyana is no where close to reach any of the goals set by the UN-MDG or to even empower our civil society. The evidence shows that the civil society is under constant massive attacks from the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal to fall in line and become surrogates of the corrupt
regime. But this is not how you engender participatory democracy. In Guyana; it is either you are a devotee of the dictatorial Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal with all their economic gangsterism, corruption and disrespect for the people and the rule of law or you are considered the enemy of the state. If you are the enemy, the corrupt and uncaring Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal unleashes the state propaganda machinery on you, your family and your business or workplace all of which are funded by all Guyanese. Both Carl Greenidge and Janet Bulkan were deemed enemy of the state by the wicked Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal and were forced out of their jobs overseas. In total there are more than thirty (30) media outlets for the PPP regime to carry out their attacks against the appointed enemies of the State such as Kaieteur News and Stabroek News. Such public mischief and rogue misbehavior by the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal does nothing to help Guyana achieve economic growth
Kaieteur M@ilbox Many women suffered greater punishments, including death, for freedom in our country DEAR EDITOR, When I saw the caption and read the first few lines of Peeping Tom’s March 28, 2013 KN column, I knew that I had started reading an attempt at revisionism on the Jagans’ role in our nation’s politics, though Peeping Tom (PT) would later in the same column argue about the futility of any ”political revisionism” of the roles the Jagans played in our nation. I personally welcome evidence-based revisionism because without it our world would be technologically backward and I’d still be afraid of jumbies. By the time I was finished reading PT’s column, I determined it was a revisionism attempt, without evidence, that morphed into crass, galling, historyignoring propaganda which, though demonstrably false on all its main claims, was aimed at elevating the Jagans and disparaging their political foes. Choosing Janet Jagan’s death anniversary to wax lyrical about the roles of the Jagans and others in our
nation’s struggle for independence, but showing little regard to the fact that Guyana did not become independent under the Jagans, PT assigned the premier and catalytic role to the Jagans and claimed: “The vested interests from the middle class that was making token appeals for self-rule and independence did not have the mass support to press the British to concede what the British did not wish to concede. Had independence come under this opportunistic political class, it would have been much later and Guyana would have been doomed to become another banana republic.” PT further opined that had it not been for the Jagans ”Guyana would have been granted independence when the British would have emptied this country of all of its wealth.” Given that Britain had already started unloading territories of greater value in Africa, it is obvious that PT is exaggerating in trying to accentuate the roles of the Jagans, whose adventure with communism actually caused our country to become independent later than
the British had planned. Declassified US documents show that the British wanted to unload us before 1966, probably between 1962-1964, because the British deemed us to be a financial burden. With regard to that “banana republic” status that was predicted if Guyana had become independent earlier than PT wanted, I doubt that many Guyanese honestly believe that we are currently much better than one. PT’s demonstrably false claim that the Jagans helped our nation achieve independence faster than the British intended pales in comparison to his claim “that no woman in this country has done more, has endured more than Mrs. Janet Jagan for the cause of freedom.” Made in willful disregard of our objectively written history, PT tried to mitigate its impact by beforehand begrudgingly acknowledging that, ”The struggle for Guyana’s freedom may have begun centuries ago.” But this acknowledgement was constructed and juxtaposed in a manner that inherently destined it Continued on page 7
Sunday March 31, 2013
Kaieteur M@ilbox Why should the PPP object to a National Heritage Commission? DEAR EDITOR, In late January the PPP walked out of Parliament on the passing of a bill to establish a National Commemoration Commission as tabled by the leader of the opposition. This is a baffling act as the PPP has over and over demonstrated its absolute cluelessness, indifference and hostility to the keen development of Cultural artistic products, with no indication that they even understood the concept of the powerful movement of Cultural Industries. Regardless of the precedents set in place by former Governments, they have, in most cases, when forced to address the call of readiness, been found wanting, not really conscious of what should have been in place much less what is expected. Thus I thought that with
no particular expertise and even a related philosophy to facilitate a learning process in this area, no doubt the PPP would have welcomed a National Heritage Commission, which would be inclusive of a broader range of talents and kindred minds. The above is not stated without a sound track record that demonstrates the ineffectiveness in this [as well as most other areas] particular area of governance. In coming into political power in 1992, the PPP allowed the cinemas to die without lifting a finger, a tradition perished, persons went out of work and from then to now they have exhibited a lack of capacity to allow local broadcasting to evolve, which would have launched electronic media vocations in a country where jobs are difficult to find. The philosophy of Communism
with its adherence only to the instinctive senses and the logic of the ideological monomaniac whose applied contradictions are based on no principles, and are cast above the opinions of his own ‘People’ rhetoric, resulting in shameless self serving indulgences. This is not an indictment that the over religious materialistic capitalist is any better, but rather, that the Artistic language with its idealisms, ageless instructive metaphors and intuitive landscapes are the only measurements that separate Man from the banal. It’s not quite understood in the context of the analytical materialistic imagery of state worship that the philosophy of communism expounded. This is the alien world of Culture which the PPP should be ready to hand over. Continued on page 7
From page 4 $29 billion in 2013 and a whopping $85.7 billion in total? $1.8 billion to 184,000 taxpayers is $9783 per taxpayer. $29 billion shared among 184,000 taxpayers is $157,609 per taxpayer. The PPP has no intention of giving the Guyanese people back their own money. They prefer to give it to a few contractors who deliver generally shoddy work. The Guyanese people have to pay more taxes to constantly fix the messes many of these incompetents make. This $1.8 billion income tax break the PPP claims it is giving taxpayers will be retaken from them in VAT and taxes and NIS contribution. Yes, the PPP will give taxpayers a 3.33% break on their personal income taxes but expects to collect 6.3% more in taxes in 2013! It has increased NIS premiums by 1% after gambling with taxpayers’ savings in NIS. That 1% increase will snare $890 million for the PPP. So, the tax break is really $910 million, not $1.8 billion. The borrowing spree continues. Our external debt was US $1.4 billion at the end of 2012. The Minister of Finance failed to mention our domestic debt in the 2013 budget but there was a reason for this. The PPP does not want the taxpaying public to know the debt disaster they have created. The domestic debt was US$742 million at the end of 2011. It was US$501 million at the end of 2010. Therefore, the domestic debt grew 48% from 2010 to 2011. Because the Minister has not given us the domestic debt in the 2013 budget, we will estimate the
domestic debt in 2012 as roughly US $1.1 billion. This means we have a total debt of US $2.5 billion and we have not even accounted for the Amaila Falls US $840 million or the US $150 million airport extension. If the PPP continues with this reckless borrowing, we will face US $5 billion in debt by the time the Amaila Falls hydro project is finished. The pathetic increase in Old Age pension is a joke but not as shameful as the gimmickry in paying seniors’ light and water bills. This is an election tactic to try to get seniors to vote for them and then by next year’s budget, it will be withdrawn. Why not increase the Old Age pension to enable pensioners to pay their light and water bills without this tomfoolery and political games? The sugar industry gets its standard bailout while its woes remain unaddressed. The shockingly inept and failed GPL gets another massive handout of taxpayers’ money to continue doing the nonsense it is so competent at doing. The mortgage interest tax relief is another gimmick. Instead of making this available to all homeowners, many of whom need tax relief, the PPP is trying to pull first time buyers into a saturated market controlled by the wealthy class who are close to the PPP and who own most of the prime lands for development and sell it at frightening prices and by a government selling the Guyanese people their own land at outlandish prices. Nice try PPP, really nice try. Some other shocking tidbits from the budget. The PPP admitted there are 58,300
working Guyanese who earn a shocking $50,000 or less per month. The other 184,000 taxpayers earn over $50,000 per month. Total taxpayers are 242,300. In a country of 765,000 people, 31.67% are taxpayers. The 184,000 taxpayers earning above $50,000 per month represent 76% of all taxpayers. 24% of all taxpayers in Guyana earn $50,000 or less per month. 3.33% of the income of that 184,000 amounted to $1.8 billion. 1% of their income above is equivalent to $540.54 million. That pool of 184,000 taxpayers earned total taxable income in 2012 of $54.054 billion. The PPP took $18 billion of it in taxes. The PPP collected $56.8 billion in VAT in 2012. Those taxpayers obviously paid the majority of those VAT taxes. More critically, that 24% earning under $50,000 per month who pay no income taxes pay VAT and other taxes. The PPP is in the business of taking from all taxpayers to enrich a few. This government-driven ideology of development is rotting with corruption, unfairness and inequity and has failed to deliver the kind of development Guyana needs. The PPP believes it and only it should spend taxpayers’ money. They do not believe in letting taxpayers spend their own money. Nothing in this budget encourages industrialisation, people-driven or educationcentred development. The PPP thinks it will buy another election using the old con game of trying to game people with their own money. It better think again. M. Maxwell
This is an election budget – another cheap...
Sunday March 31, 2013
Why should the PPP object to... Many women suffered greater... From page 6 The example of the travesty of Minister Frank Anthony’s use of the Caribbean Press is a classic example similar to the Minister’s high-handed distortion of the historical location and the non engagement with legitimate interest groups on the 1823 monument. On behalf of myself and some writers, I approached Minister Anthony’s office on the 28, January 2013 to explore themystery of the Caribbean Press. I was told to write requesting the meeting, which I did the same day. I called the office on the 19, February more than two weeks later to enquire if or when the meeting was to commence. The Minister’s secretary told me that he had indicated nothing to her. The actions of the Minister must be construed to say that he was not answerable to any group of citizens, though they may be directly related through their talents to the concerns of the Caribbean Press, and have a citizen’s right to engage this Minister or any Minister on the conduct of any public individual’s misuse of an institutional instrument established through public funds. We can only contend that the clique that envelopes the Caribbean Press are contemptuously of those who do not fit their criteria. What is
obvious is that we considered Jagdeo’s long list of abuses of authority in which the recent Media frequency exposure is but one, as a result of an uncultured, impulsive and petulant mind, driven by the intoxication of narcissistic power; yet, this seems to be a cultivated political trait among quite a few in the executive pool of the PPP. The administration seems grounded in facades rather than practical participation with persons and groups which will get things done, but might offer no political propaganda benefits. Sunday March 10 Stabroek News, the Minister of Culture declared that they were establishing an Institute of Creative Arts: No practical Cultural Minister taking the Guyana context into serious thought would contemplate such a nondescript idea, since Creativity is not driven by cultivation but instead drives those who are its vessels. One would expect at least the following in the vein of cultural stimulation [A] The placement of Art teachers in all primary schools as well as music teachers [even visiting] in Secondary Schools, with an effective policy to stimulate our young creative minds. [B] A national policy for the payment to local artistes of royalties by the local electronic media beginning with NCN.
None of this seems to be a part in the overall broadcasting debate anyhow. [C] Inputs to correspond with developments in the arts worldwide into the existing institutions like the Burrowes School of Art, the National Dance School, expand the mission statement of the Castellani House and other initiatives that would serve to inspire by building visible platforms to incorporate creativity that evidently already exists. The Ministry does not have the expertise or the attitude as i have illustrated above to engage or initiate the processes that would fully empower creative citizens; the dialogue on Creative Industries is shied away from. How can one empower people one cannot even cordially discourse with as equals, how can the Ministry of Culture as it’s presently constituted ignite local Cultural Industries to present realistic benefits to justify the disbursements of the Lotto Fund. What constitutes an Institute of Creativity in the absence of the above?. More than ever an alternative Institution is required, and the formation of a National Heritage Commission as proposed by the leader of the opposition is where the interest of the nation in the area of its Arts can be given honest and expert priority. Barrington Braithwaite
From page 5 rates of 8% and 9%, if we are really going to achieve the goals of the MDGs. All the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal does is stifle the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the people. People need a decent standard of living where their basic needs can be met and they also need civil and political freedoms to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives and to ensure that the benefits of development are evenly spread to all the people, not just the business buddies and family members of the cabal. Guyana is not owned by the PPP. Large numbers of people in Guyana have been ignored by this stubborn Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal because they do not support the regime. Just ask the mothers at Fyrish Village on the Corentyne about the poor state of their main road or the mothers on the East Bank Berbice about the promised Highway from New Amsterdam to Mara. The people of No. 30 Village on the West Coast of Berbice are still without electricity despite many promises by the PPP gang. Nobody in the Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal is listening to these people because they do not care about them. After more than ten years
in office, the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal is unable to implement reasonable solutions to bridge the expanding gap between the rich and poor people. Instead, they have spent their time on NCN spreading propaganda, distortions and untruths to protect their unrighteous vested economic interest as they continue to plunder the Treasury. One of these reasonable solutions is the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission that will weed out in one year some G$25 billion in fat for the PPP fat cats. The PPP will have none of it since their favorite princelings will no longer be allowed to sell 80% of the medical supplies to the State; in some cases at six times the real value for the product. It is estimated that the billionaires in Guyana, many of them within the ranks of the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal, have reaped enough profits in 2012 to “eradicate extreme poverty from Guyana two times over.” A consequence of this inequality is the huge expansion in the wealth of these billionaires (labeled as BEES) as a result of the clandestine activities from the Privatization Unit and NICIL while more people are starving than ever before in the history of this PPP 20-year rule. Basic services such as crossing the Berbice River Bridge are increasingly being
outsourced under the garb of public–private partnerships, which makes them accessible only to those who are able to pay. But the majority of Guyanese, mostly Berbicians are struggling to pay the high toll, yet this uncaring Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal cannot find it within their mental framework to reduce the toll to an affordable amount. The government provides an average subvention to the Demerara Harbor Bridge of G$500 million every year, so why can’t they at least provide G$200 million to the Berbice River Bridge to stimulate a reduction in the toll for the Berbicians? It is time for this greedy and selfish PPP cabal to put people at the center of development and reduce the role of their business buddies if they are prepared to address the impending and interlinked economic, social, political, environmental and humanitarian sufferings. In 2000, when the MDGs were declared, the world leaders said the following: “Men and women have the right to live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression or injustice.” Did the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal understood this message? You be the judge! Dr Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh
Rising inequality and financial...
From page 6 to irrelevance and oblivion: PT did not identify a time period, name any individuals, or say if any sacrifices were made in that struggle, and immediately followed-up by observing that ”... by the time the 1940s came, that struggle had come to a halt.” That is, from PT’s perspective, until Janet Jagan arrived here in 1943 as the 23year-old doting wife of the 25year-old Cheddi Jagan, and suffered for freedom as no other woman has suffered. As I said earlier, I have no problems with evidencebased revisionism. But not ones like this twaddle pushed by PT. And not by attempting to erase the equal or greater valor, contributions, and heartrending sufferings of those who have fought, died and suffered on and for this land before and since Janet Jagan came here in 1943. This kind of revisionism-cumpropaganda must be challenged. So I am unable to join PT in ignoring the fact that many women suffered greater punishments, including death, for participating in slave rebellions for freedom in our country. The colonists meticulously recorded their horrific punishments of the women who managed to survive the battle field: death, horrendous beatings, or permanent separation from children and husbands were among the outcomes known to every slave woman who contemplated participation in a slave revolt. But many still chose rebellion. Many women also chose to confront the PNC and PPP, and bear the physical and emotional scars to this day. If one first became aware of the Jagans through that column penned by Peeping Tom,
it would come as a great shock to find out that the Jagans served less than a combined one year in prison and were detained for two years (house arrest) during British rule, and never complained about being physically tortured by the British and the PNC. It would also come as a great shock to find out that the Jagans, who were Communists, were devotedly silent as Communist regimes denied their citizens the very freedoms the J a g a n s w e r e supposedly throwing their lives and livelihoods on the line for in Guyana. And the sentinels of grand corruption who now run the minority PPP government are no different. When the United States recently requested that they ask the Cuban government to grant the Cuban people the same freedoms that Guyanese e n j o y , these barefaced hypocrites refused and told the United States that Guyana recognizes that countries have different systems of governance. What an answer from the same party that had gone to Washington and genuflected before politicians, asking their interference in Guyana’s
internal affairs to force the PNC to hold free and fair elections! Neither history nor those who were or are being oppressed by Communist/ dictatorial regimes will absolve these PPP hypocrites or any others who so conspire! In obvious expectation of crtiticisms of the hypocrisies of the Jagans, PT urged us to judge our political leaders, more particularly the Jagans in his view, as we would wish to be judged; an advice he immediately ignored by referring to the Jagans’ political contemporaries as an ”opportunistic political class”. PT disregarded the possibility that someone’s faults could lead to his/her becoming an opportunist. But even if we agree with PT that we citizens should judge our leaders/politicians as we wish to be judged, by what standards are our leaders/ politicians supposed to judge each other? Should the Jagans have judged Burnham by the same standard they used to judge themselves? If they did, then Cheddi Jagan’s West on Trial would have to be rewritten to make Burnham as saintly as Jagan has made himself. I hope that Peeping Tom agrees. Lionel Lowe
Sunday March 31, 2013
Senior GEA officials cover up for fuel smugglers …say staff members
An alleged smuggle site in the Pomeroon
An illegal fuel smuggling camp found in the Pomeroon
An alleged illegal 10,000 gal fuel tank found on ECD
The hole in the bathroom at the GEA base If history is reviewed, it may be noted that many of today’s thriving nations at some point in time raked in a heap of wealth from the drug trade, but none has actually maintained sustainability on that alone. Fuel has however moved poor, economically weak economies into technologically modernized and mechanized states, making merchants out of some, whether distributed legally or illegally. It is no wonder why in Guyana; fuel smuggling has become the next big thing to the drug trade although workers of the agency that monitors fuel importation and distribution say more cash is imbedded in the illegal distribution of fuel, particularly diesel. In fact, staffers of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) say that they are fighting a losing battle against the illegal fuel trade. According to them, it appears that top brass officials have a fair hand in the allowance of fuel smuggling and by all means appears to be facilitating culprits close to home for a slice of the pie. The fight against fuel smuggling It was related that legal fuel enters the country through legitimate importers, it is marked by the GEA and the importers sell and distribute. Illegal fuel in most
cases is smuggled by sea, coming mainly from Venezuela where it’s the cheapest. However to keep up, field officers say foolproof strategies and efficient systems need to be put in place. In Pomeroon, officers say they work mostly on the water but they say that their wooden boat with its 75horse power engine is no match for a smuggler’s 150 to 200 horse power machines. “Basically we are out performed and we can’t catch these people. We had an 85 horse power engine now we have a 75 horse power engine.” It was explained that in Linden, the gateway to the interior, there is a GEA base with one officer allegedly posted there per shift. Two difficulties highlighted are that, “one officer is not sufficient to service the area. For instance, with five “bush trucks” carrying some 20 barrels of fuel coming for checks at the same time cannot efficiently check these trucks varying in sizes, and carrying large amounts of fuel.” Additionally, the base at the Linden Bridge, the source said, will never be reached if a smuggler wants to move his fuel. According to the officer, “The smuggler could use the Essequibo River; take the fuel to Bartica where there is no GEA base and bypass the
Linden Bridge. But if there was a base at the junction of Konawaruk and Tumatumari you can’t bypass that.” In Region One, field officers alleged that the area is visited at least twice a year. “But this is one of the well known areas from where smuggled fuel gets to filter through into other parts of the country.” “They (officials) would say we ain’t finding fuel but any positive agency needs to be proactive. You can’t work an eight-to-four shift and expect results. A smuggler would have had Phagwah Day, Good Friday and Monday is Easter to do his business because we don’t work on weekends and holidays and by four o’clock workers are off the road.” The energy agents highlighted poor and dangerous working conditions under which they must function. They said that many times they are threatened and in some cases attacked by fuel smugglers but bigger heads never investigate or apprehend culprits. There are known smugglers. “A fuel smuggler in the Pomeroon would release bees when his site is visited, but the administration would not investigate these matters or even ask about the well being of an injured worker.” There have been other
cases the workers continued, where smugglers have pulled guns on field officers and threatened to take their lives. “It is a dangerous job and when you’re going out there you are unarmed. They said that one officer must stay on a site while the police are being called in when the fuel is found, but what power does an unarmed worker have in the meantime while a smuggler seeks to get rid of their illegal fuel?” In Golden Fleece, Essequibo, where the agency has one of its bases, workers said that male and female workers must stay in the same living quarters. They said the lodge is inhabitable, the bathroom has a huge hole in the wall. “If a female wants to take a bath, the officer has to leave the house and if he doesn’t want to leave the house then the female cannot bathe.” Unattended cases of fuel smuggling Within the GEA, staffers say the designated field workers operate specifically for the location of illegal fuel. A senior member of that team said that there are numerous major cases of fuel smuggling that top ranking agency officials know of but have directly instructed that these persons not be touched. “There are over 30 cases of fuel smuggling, but they (named officials) say we find
no fuel. When we identify breaches, they (named officials) make excuses for them or tell us to give them time so they can get themselves in order and we are never sent back to those locations. But I believe that what goes for one goes for all” For instance, the source said, in Kwakwani at least seven cases were found where duty free fuel was being sold illegally. It was related that fuel from a major mining firm with duty free concession is sold illegally by contractors who may have a surplus of fuel. “They (named mining company) do not have proper systems in place to monitor the fuel given to contractors hired to conduct the firm’s work. So if every month a certain amount of fuel is collected and fuel is left back from the month before then the extra fuel is sold illegally. We highlighted those cases but for some reason they were never pursued.” Some of the most well known smugglers, the officer alleged, are closely affiliated with the governing class. “The biggest illegal distributor of fuel in that area is a big supporter of the ruling party so right away you know that’s a hands-off, but checks would show that most of the illegal fuel comes through there, yet still nothing is being
done about it.” Kaieteur News was told that a named smuggler was found on East Coast Demerara with eight drums of illegal fuel. The boat and the fuel were seized. “By the time we could take the items to lodge we received a call to seize the engine and the fuel but to return the boat.” The source however argued that if the agency really wanted to curb fuel smuggling why would one want to return a boat to a known smuggler? Sometimes, cases do make it to court, but the source alleged that one would have to lie to hide the failure of the system. The officer said that there are Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that must be followed but because of this “anyhow” behaviour, persons may have to lie and say that they handed over samples to the analyst, when in fact the analyst was nowhere to be found. “For example, evidence samples may have been left in a vehicle whole weekend because the analyst was not located, but when you go to court you have to say it was handed over to the analyst or risk losing your job.” In other cases, the officer alleged that evidence is not readily available because of slothfulness in testing and procedures, thus causing cases to be thrown out.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Three in custody following multimillion-dollar robbery at Electronic City Quick police networking yesterday led to the arrest of two men and a woman shortly after a multi-million dollar robbery which was carried out at Electronic City on Sheriff Street. Reports are that about 15:30 hours two men, one armed with a knife and the other with a gun held up employees at the store up and took away dozens of high-end cellular phone. This publication was told that the men came in posing as customers. One of them was carrying a bag. The one carrying the bag then placed the bag on the counter pulled out a gun and ordered one of the store’s employees to ‘start packing the bag’. The other then pulled out a knife and held another employee while ordering her to assist her colleague in emptying the glass case. There are also reports that
both men who perpetrated the robbery were seen in the store prior to the robbery making enquiry about items in the store. Within minutes the men had the bag filled with only high end phone including, HTC’s, Iphones, Blackberry, Galaxy among others. Once the men were satisfied that they had enough they fled the store in a waiting car, PPP 4544, which was parked close by. By that time the police were informed of the robbery and persons sitting outside of the store provided the police with the number plate of the car. An all station message was sent out and the car was intercepted by a mobile patrol outside of a city pawn shop. At the time two men and a woman were in the car. Only three of the stolen phones were recovered in the car. Sources close to the
investigation revealed that the two men who were detained are not the two who actually robbed the store. Further, after the owner of the pawn shop realized what was going on in front of his premises he too contacted the police and informed them that the two men had just pawned a quantity of cellular phone at his establishment. The items were handed over to the police to aid in their investigation. Persons close to the store which was robbed told this publication that the items recovered are a mere fraction of what was stolen since their estimated losses is in excess of $30 M. Reports are that only yesterday morning the store restocked its shelves. Up to press time yesterday no other arrests were made but investigations are ongoing.
Barbados parliamentary vote offers lessons for Guyana In a situation that could possibly occur in Guyana, the Barbados government managed to just squeeze through approval of two budget line items owing to its slim majority in parliament last week. When members of parliament got into the Committee of Supply last Friday to vote on money for the items totaling BDS$30.1 million (BDS$1 = US 50 cents), they produced a 14-14 tie, and the chairman of the proceedings was forced into the unusual position of entering a casting vote in favour of Government’s proposal to approve the projected expenditure. The close avoidance of an impasse was the first example of how government with a narrow 16-14 majority of seats, won in the February 21 election s , c o u l d b e tested in its making of decisions that will need approval of the 30-member parliament for the next five years. Guyana’s parliament, with a one-seat majority favouring the opposition, will shortly begin its budgetary debate, after which members will be asked to vote on its provisions. The Guyana budget proposals were presented Monday by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh. Since elections that returned it to government, the Barbados Democratic Labour Party first ceded a member of the two-seat majority by naming one of its MPs to the position of Speaker of Parliament. But when the House is dissolved into committee stage - such as the
Committee of Supply that approves individual items and their projected budgetary spending - the Speaker is omitted and another MP chairs the session. Chairmanship of this committee that is formed after debate on the annual budget was handed to a government MP, leaving committee membership equal at 14 for each side. Among items up for consideration were monies for statutory authorities on agriculture management and water, both of which had outstanding debts at the end of the last financial year. Discussion on the water authority’s debt incurred the opposition’s ire when after giving reasons for the outstanding balances Agriculture Minister Dr David Estwick said, “That’s all I have to say on that. You
can talk until the cows come home.” This curt response to their concerns triggered all 14 opposition members to vote against provision of the money, tying the tally with that of government. Announcing the tie in votes, Clerk of Parliament Pedro Eastman advised Committee Chairman James Paul, “ ... the results of the division [is] 14 honorable members voted aye, 14 honorable members voted no, it is up to you.” Paul, a Government MP, proceeded to cast his ‘aye’ vote, breaking the deadlock. With Members of Parliament having concluded their debate on the 2013-2014 budget last week, discussion on these estimates of income and expenditure is now in the Senate, the upper chamber of the Barbados parliament.
Motorcycle bursts into flames on Good Friday, rider vanishes
Picture of motorcycle on Main Street New Amsterdam just outside the Park Way International Hotel The serenity and reverence of the solemn Good Friday of those in New Amsterdam were suddenly disturbed around 10:00hrs when a motorcycle traversing the Main Road in the town suddenly burst into flames. This caused panic and some anxious moments for those in the vicinity, especially patrons staying at the nearby Parkway International Hotel on Main Street a few yards away. What caused even more fear for those nearby was that the inferno occurred next to a lamp post with two heavy duty transformers and some heavy duty wires overhead.
However what is mysterious about the Good Friday incident is that the rider disappeared and has not returned to claim the bike or report the incident. According to information residents nearby and the guards attached to the nearby hotel were suddenly alerted to the flames. Upon investigating they saw the bike burning. About the same time a man was seen sprinting across the road and heading into one of the cross streets. The man continued sprinting through the street heading towards the Angoy’s Avenue
area. He has not been seen again. The fire service was summoned and quickly arrived and doused the flame. The police were also called and they began their investigations promptly. Investigators stated that they have scoured the area, but no one seems to know the whereabouts, or origin of the mysterious bike and rider. Residents said that the rider was probably riding a stolen bike or one without the necessary documents. The bike was still on the road up to press time. Investigations are continuing.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Sunday March 31, 2013
Allicock and relative remanded for alleged $4.3 million Robbery Romario Gouveia and Damien Allicock were remanded to prison on Thursday when they appeared before Magistrate Sueanna Lovell at the Georgetown Magistrates’ court. The defendants, who were jointly charged, both pleaded not guilty to the allegation of robbery under arms. According to police reports, on March 25 the defendants allegedly robbed Cecil Gajadar of $4.3 million in the vicinity of Camp Street. Adrian Thompson, who stood in Gouveia’s defense, stated to the court that “the defendant is only 18 years old. He resides at 64 James
street, Albouystown and has had no matter before the court. “The police, who alleged that he was a part of the snatching, were unable to find any evidence to link the defendant to the crime. He is prepared to attend court in order to clear his name and I ask for reasonable bail considering that the police also charged two other persons for the matter.” Counsel Patrice Henry who appeared in Allicock’s defense, told the court that “Allicock is 22 years old and lives at 21 Independence Boulevard, Albouystown. Though my client has a matter pending before the court that is of a similar
nature, it should be noted that for this matter my client was only picked up based on his reputation. “It should also be noted that no I.D parade was conducted. My client was not cautioned and no evidence is available that links my client to the crime.” It was here Prosecutor Alexis David-Hossanah interjected and objected to bail. The prosecutor brought to the court’s attention that “Allicock has several similar matters before the court and the evidence against both defendants is very strong.” The defendants are required to return to court on April 11.
$2.5B for laptop distribution Amerindian communities to programme -benefit from computer banks Amerindian communities in the hinterland region will soon benefit from Government’s Information Communication and Technology programme with the provision of computers. Government has allocated $500M in this year’s Budget to install computer banks and supportive power supply in every Amerindian village. This was revealed by Dr. Ashni Singh, Finance Minister, during the Budget presentation on March 25, last. This initiative is part of Government’s One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) programme that was launched in January 2011 and is expected to see the distribution of 90,000 computers to poor families. Because, of limited access to electricity in Amerindian communities Government thinks it best to place the computers at a central location in the villages. According to Dr. Singh, Government has earmarked $2B
to continue the OLPF programme in other parts of Guyana. This allocation includes the purchase of a further 34,000 laptops to expand the distribution reach. Last year, $1.6B was spent under the OLPF to procure 28,000 laptops, resulting in a total of 56,000 laptops being purchased. “To date, 26,832 laptops have been distributed, and 18,714 persons have been trained including 4,596 first time computer users,” he added. However, the programme has had its share
of challenges. Last August, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon confirmed that more that 100 laptops bought under the OLPF were stolen from the project’s Queenstown, Georgetown Office. The Criminal Investigations Department of the Guyana Police Force was called in. Moreover, there were accusations that some households have been in receipt of more than one laptop while some in the same community did not benefit.
Aubrey Romaine and Yonette Blair, accompanied by their 12-year-old daughter, appeared last Thursday before Magistrate Sueanna Lovell at the Georgetown Magistrates’ court. According to Police reports, on March 23, a report was made against Romaine, a 42-year-old resident of 493 East Ruimveldt, and Blair who resides at same address. They were arrested and charged for unlawful assault of Enid Daniels, a 73-year-old pensioner and resident of 506 East Ruimveldt. There was also a cross charge for Daniels for the unlawful assault of
Romaine’s daughter and according to her explanation she was entered into a not guilty plea. Daniels stated, “ Ya worship these people got a son and a daughter, and I living next to some people that got a mango tree and a cherry tree. They always pelting fruits and bricks pon my roof top. On the day when this thing happen, this li’l girl brother and my grandson de fighting right. Then I see she tek me grandson and pitch he to de ground. And I collect she and tell she leff my grandson alone and I ring a slap in she. She slap me back and I fall to the floor and then
they kick me up so bad I get blackout.” The defendants’ lawyer, Patrice Henry, rose to their defense and told the court that his clients are “willing not to give evidence if she does not to proceed with the matter.” To this Daniels retorted, “Well if y’all bring lawyer an all ah duh den is best I go to trial.” The defendants Romaine and Blair were placed on $20,000 bail each. Daniels was placed on self bail and they were all required to sign a bond to keep the peace pending the outcome of the matter. The case was subsequently adjourned until May 8.
12-year-old TKO grandmother, placed on self bail
Poultry farmers want GLDA investigated - Suspicious staff stealing duck eggs Poultry farmers utilizing the hatchery at the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) are suspicious that some employees are stealing their ducklings and replacing them with bad eggs. They are appealing to the Agriculture Ministry to investigate the operations at GLDA. It is alleged that complaints were raised with the management of GLDA and promises were made to put necessary measures in place. According to a farmer, nothing has been done as yet to remedy the malpractices and the situation is becoming more alarming. He noted that on three separate occasions the release of fewer eggs than usual convinced him that something is amiss. Farmers are afraid to speak out against what is occurring at the Authority for fear of victimization since this is the only hatchery available to them. A fee of $70 is charged to
hatch one egg. Though, farmers take sometimes hundreds of eggs at once it is understood that not all eggs would produce ducklings. It takes five weeks for the eggs to hatch. Every Monday when farmers take their new eggs to the hatchery they receive ducklings from a previous batch. And, this is where the discrepancies occur. A farmer related that he recently took 202 eggs to GLDA to be hatched but only received 113 ducklings convincing him that something ‘fishy’ is going on. He lamented that it is unlikely 89 eggs would spoil. “The eggs are marked with the farmers’ initials. The bad eggs are placed outside the hatching area to be returned to the farmers. But, not all farmers take away their bad eggs and this creates the opportunity for some staff to trick farmers. They could rub out the initials, place yours and present them as if they are your bad eggs and take your
good ducklings”, he said. Citing another incident the farmer related that not so long ago he took 200 eggs for hatching and was only presented with 42 ducklings. Upon querying the number the man was made to wait 2½ hrs before being told that it was a mistake. His number of live ducklings was actually 142. The man noted that he cannot stop doing business with GLDA since he has invested close to $15M in his livestock farm. He recently spent $2M to construct a new duck pen and has a loan with a commercial bank. The man said that he cannot continue to incur unnecessary looses. Duck is an expensive poultry meat. A duckling costs between $500 and $600, while, a pound of duck is sold for $600. A mature duck could weigh up to 14 pounds. When this publication contacted GLDA for a comment the Head and Deputy were not in office to provide a comment.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Old wooden school buildings… Are they safe?
The unsafe 80-year-old Central High School building The available yard space at Brickdam Secondary School Rehana Ashley Ahamad In light of the recent school fires which not only caused much damage, but also traumatized a number of students and teachers, we ask ourselves, are the buildings that we live and work in safe?...Do they have
emergency exits?..Fire extinguishers? Just last week, the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) examinations ended abruptly for students at La Parfaite Harmonie Primary school, as they had to run for their lives following a fire which started
in the building. The wooden/concrete structure was not burnt entirely to the ground. But, can you imagine if the school was old and wooden what would’ve happened? Two such schools are located in Georgetown; they are the Central High and Brickdam Secondary Schools respectively.
These are old wooden, poorly ventilated buildings with not much yard space, and house hundreds of students. As far as the 80-year-old Central High School is concerned, an official there explained that the staff would conduct regular fire drills with students. Staff members say that while they do not make their complaints publicly known, there are times when the thought of a real fire starting in the building would frighten them. The Ministry of Education has been battling with parents and guardians of the students at this school, regarding a merger with Lodge Secondary School. However, these parents remain determined that they do not want their children to be placed in the same building with those at Lodge Secondary. They fear that their children may be negatively influenced. Kaieteur News understands that the Education Ministry has been
working towards finding a new plot of land on which a new state of the art school building could be constructed. But since the available space in the city is limited, and parents do not want the school to be located out of town, the Ministry is finding it hard. Thus, the old and unsafe building remains. Some parents are extremely worried that the school’s legacy will be lost, if a merger were to happen. Apart from this, the heat in the building is unbearable for both the students and teachers. As one staffer puts it“We can’t even breathe at times. It’s like we’re being suffocated in here. Breeze like it doesn’t even come in this place.” Another staffer explained that the Ministry’s willingness to work with them is not enough, and that the parents need to come on board, and something needs to be done as soon as possible.
There were some suggestions from parents that the school should be merged with Brickdam Secondary. But, why take students out of an old unsafe building and put them in another old and unsafe building? The students of Brickdam Secondary School are also housed in an old wooden, poorly ventilated building. “How long can we work in these conditions? Something needs to be done, and it needs to be done soon. Central High people them suffering too. Why do they not hurry, find a building, and put the two schools there? It is unsafe, and definitely not conducive…I even believe that it is a violation of our right to have proper working condition,” one staffer of Brickdam Secondary School said. When contacted yesterday, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand promised an official comment during the course of next week.
‘Con Artist’ claims he was robbed Richard Harold, a resident of 22 Hadfield Street, pleaded not guilty last Thursday to the allegation of robbery under arms with a dangerous weapon when he appeared before Magistrate Sueanna Lovell at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. According to police reports, the defendant, on March 28, robbed Christopher Lowe of $50,000, two gold rings worth $156,000, one gold chain worth $356,000, one Fossil watch worth $160,000, one Blackberry cell phone worth $120,000, one Samsung Galaxy cell phone worth $140,000, and other articles. The matter was reported and
the defendant was arrested and charged for the offence. Appearing for the defendant was Mark Waldron who related to the court that his client is most “certainly innocent.” The defendant and the complainant are currently sorting out another issue which involves a “bounced cheque.” The lawyer also told the court that on the day in question he escorted Harold to the station. “And if the complainant is claiming that he was robbed of his jeans and boxers, he would have obviously appeared at the station half naked and that was not the case.”
The lawyer also brought to the court’s attention that the complainant who claims he was robbed of $5.2 million is also wanted by the police for several reports against him for “bounced cheques.” The defendant’s lawyer requested reasonable bail. Prosecutor, Alexis David– Hossanah had no objection to the bail application, based on the fact that the police were indeed looking for Lowe, the said complainant in connection with the “bounced cheques and other similar reports.” The defendant was subsequently granted bail in the sum of $50,000 and is due to return to court on May 8.
Sunday March 31, 2013
PYARG urges youths to volunteer, become experienced The Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports, via the President’s Youth Award; Republic of Guyana (PYARG) Programme, is urging young people to become volunteers. Alicia Roach, a representative of PYARG, explained to the children that volunteering is not just about doing things for people without being paid. She said that volunteering helps persons to meet new people, and most importantly, become more experienced. Approximately 450 persons have already been registered for the programme for this year. Last year saw 653 participants. As the word “Programme” indicates, it is not a membership organisation but a set of activities designed for young people from 14 to 25 years of age. With these activities, participants are given the opportunity to broaden their
lives by participating in a wide range of interests which cover Service to others; ‘Adventurous Journey’; ‘Practical Skills’; and, ‘Physical Recreation’, all of which are related to personal abilities and community needs and an additional section Gold Level 1 Residential Project. According to Roach, the basic philosophy of the award is to encourage young people to improve their own standards, to share the excitement and satisfaction of achievement, and, above all, to enjoy their efforts. She added that the participants can follow their existing interests or start new ones, but they are encouraged to think first of those activities which suit their own particular ambitions and which are appropriate to the environment in which they live. The programme is not competitive, she said, as each
Gold miner shot and robbed A gold miner is currently nursing a gunshot wound to his leg which he sustained during a daring daylight robbery at a snackette, opposite E.C Vieira Investment in Houston, East Bank Demerara. Injured is Ryan Blackett of Crane, West Coast Demerara. He is hospitalized and in a stable condition at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). Yesterday, at the hospital, the injured man’s wife refused to speak to the publication but well placed sources said that he returned from the interior on Friday and went to the snackette for a social gathering. “He was talking to his friend when two men came on a CG bike and shot him and take his haversack with money and rode away,” an eyewitness related. Up to press time yesterday, no one was arrested. Kaieteur News was told that the robbery may have been a “set up.”
Dem boys seh...
Jagdeo dem thief Plaisance playground De people in Plaisance vex. Dem now watch how dem playground get tek away fuh mek a personal playground fuh some people who come and build dem house pun de seawall. Dem boys hear that dem Chinee can play there too. It gun be sheer Chu Chung Lin and Fu Who Talk. Is just like de radio station situation. Piece of de playground gun form a personal driveway fuh some of dem same people who live pun de seawall in some mansion that de very people who live in dem didn’t believe that dem woulda ever own. Brazzy don’t live deh but he and all put people in distress. Every contract he sign is trouble. He did sign one fuh he brother and when people talk he claim how he do it in de best interest of de people. Dem boys seh that he is more than one person suh he got to be people and is in he interest. Imagine he sign a contract that if de airport project delay Guyana got to pay $1.4 million every day. Fuh sure dem Chinee ain’t stupid. Dem know that Guyanese like a bribe suh all dem got to do is pay dem who got to supply de sand and de stone a small piece. If dem give every contractor $1 million then right away dem boys can see de profit. Six day penalty money gun open de door fuh dem Chinee collect $100 million. Brazzy sign that contract and people suspect that he got a reason. He can collect a share and de people of Guyana got to pay fuh everything. People use to wonder why dem can’t get a pay increase. Now dem know. De money that dem woulda get going to some private people pocket. That is why dem have de saying that de rich getting richer and de poor, poorer. Is only shame mek dem ain’t tax de people more. Talk half and wait fuh de war wid de playground.
individual is encouraged to improve his or her personal standards, not to “beat” others. Adults are involved in providing support through: Instruction, Supervision and Assessment of Progress in each section of the award, gi v i n g them the satisfaction and pleasure of sharing their own experience with younger participants, thus helping to bridge the generation gap and
improve harmony within the community. There is no cost to participate. This Award Programme was officially launched in Britain during the year 1956 as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. It now exists under a number of different names in many countries in the world. The Guyana leg of this programme, --Guyana’s National Award Scheme for Youths, was launched by President Janet Jagan on
October 3, 1998 at State House some two months after Guyana received an “independent operating licence” from the International Award Association The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, headed by Dr. Frank Anthony then ably assisted by Permanent Secretary Lt Col (Ret’d) Keith Booker, was responsible for the administration of the Programme. The Minister was assisted with policies of the
Programme by a National Advisory Council, while Alfred King is the Executive Officer. The programme is today called the President’s Youth Award: Republic of Guyana (PYARG). Youths from all across the country can apply to participate in the programme. Guyana is the 94th country globally and the 17th in the Caribbean/Atlantic Region to join.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Another award for the late artist, Philip Moore
Philip Moore In recognition of the colourful contributions that his father made to his country, Philip Moore (Jnr.) on Tuesday last, accepted an award from the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport on behalf of the late renowned artist, painter, and sculptor, Philip Alphonso Moore. Moore, the designer behind the 1763 Monument, is the holder of many awards including one of the highest in the land, the Cacique Crown of Honour. Moore died last May while in his home in Lancaster on the Corentyne, at age 90. Moore was bedridden and suffered from ailments of the heart and kidneys. Moore claimed that around 1955, he dreamt that a
Some of Philip Moore’s work large hand reached down to him from the heavens, and a voice commanded him to begin his career as an artist. From then on, Moore used to consider himself as being “spirit-taught.” It is believed that the moment was a somewhat decisive one in his life. Moore, in heading to the “commanding voice” began to modestly, refine his skills by carving wooden canes which helped him to quickly develop proficiency in
manipulating tropical hardwoods. By 1964, his intuitive carving abilities came to the attention of local authorities at the Department of Culture, who hired him to teach craft and arts. In 1976 with the assistance of the government, he created what would be the largest bronze sculpture in the region; the 1763 Monument. It is nearly 25 feet tall, and sits at Square of the Revolution. Apart from his paintings and sculpture Moore taught
at the Burrowes School of Art and the Princeton University in the USA as a guest professor. Moore returned to Berbice in 2004 after taking ill, but continued to work from home. He later became bedridden, and was being cared for by his children. Moore sold the bulk of his work to the Department of Culture, which installed his pieces in the National Art Gallery, Castellani House, in Georgetown.
Philip Moore (Jnr.) holds onto his father’s latest award Moore was the father of five, three of whom died. He was married to Eula Moore (nee Grant) who is also now deceased. He was the grandfather of nine, and the great grandfather of two.
Philip Moore (Jnr.), his son who accepted the recent award on his behalf, does part time painting, and is keen to take up the mantle, having worked with his father on numerous occasions.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Contractors, Regional Engineers department under fire for substandard works in Region six …$54M street not being built to standard As the Regional Administration in Region Six grapple with the unending accusations of shoddy work being done by contractors employed in the region the administration is taking steps to put things in order. Another contractor who has been accused of doing substandard work has been placed under the microscope. Regional Chairman, David Armogan, is sticking to his words to make all contractors accountable for the work they do and to make sure residents get quality work for money spent. “They will not be paid for shoddy work,” he said. The latest to be placed in the limelight is Fazil Yunas, of Yunas Construction, Corentyne Berbice who was awarded the $54M contract to rehabilitate the Kilcoy Dam on the Corentyne. The project is to rehabilitate 9,600 feet of roadway and to cap it with bitumen. The contractor started about two months ago. Residents were not pleased with the quality of work being done by the contractor who they stated was not working to the specify contract. After it was brought to the Regional
Chairman’s attention members of the Works Committee visited the area and were appalled at what they saw. The road was then supposed to be filled with crusher run. The contract document stated that the contractor should supply, place and compact six inches of sand as the first layer and then compact with four inches of first grade crusher run. However this was not done. Works committee member, Michael Hintzen, was on the scene and measured sections of road which had only one inch of materials instead of the stipulated six inches. He noted that the sand was also not compacted as stipulated. According to residents, instead of excavating the road as is stated in the contract and discarding the materials the contractor graded the road and used the said materials to build up the area. According to Hintzen, the material used was not crusher run as it was mixed with mud and grass and other foreign materials. The stones were also too big and would affect the binding ability of the materials. Some of the materials were collected
The Engineers examine the road construction to be taken to a lab to be tested. Another complaint by residents was that the street was not being wet and rolled. When questioned by members on the visit, the
workers stated that the materials were soaked, however a closer inspection indicated that it was not so. The regional engineers’ department is also coming
under fire for improper or no supervision of works done in the region. Regional engineer, Rupesh, was upbraided by the Regional Chairman for
failing to adhere to instructions. Just last week the engineer had refused to adhere to instruction to visit a work site on a street in Canefield, East Canje.
Immigration INFO Immigration News For Our Community
Effective April 26 – No Form I-94 Issued Upon Entry into U.S. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is in the process of automating traveler arrival records (Form I-94) to streamline passenger processing. Form I94 provides international visitors evidence they have been lawfully admitted to the U.S, which is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status, and employment authorization. The automation means that affected visitors will no longer need to fill out a paper form when arriving to the U.S. by air or sea, improving procedures and reducing costs. The change will become effective on April 26 and will be implemented at air and sea ports of entry in a phased approach beginning April 30. The current processing time for entering foreign visitors’ travel information into the I-94 database is 30 days or more. This new automation process will provide immediate upload and access to arrival and departure information for all travelers to the U.S. So, in the near future, when you enter the U.S. you will no longer be given a white paper (Form I-94) to fill out with your name and it will no
longer be stamped with your entry date and required departure date from the U.S. Instead, your passport will be stamped with your entry date and required departure date. If you wish to print a paper copy of your entry and departure for your records or for filing adjustment of status, then the information will be immediately available on-line at www.cbp.gov/I94. In order to access the information, the following security questions will have to be answered: name, passport number, date of admission, departure date, and class of admission. Initially, the I-94 automation process will be rolled out to the following airports: Miami, Chicago, and Orlando – with all U.S. airports to follow. The arrival and departure information for all passengers will be available immediately upon arrival into the U.S. but upon depart from the U.S. it will not be accessible. Our office recommends all travelers to review and print the information that will be placed on-line at www.cbp.gov/I94 for
Attorney Gail S. Seeram, accuracy upon their arrival into the U.S. As with any process that is electronic, there may be errors and you want to ensure that your arrival and departure records are correct so you have no problems or issues with your next entry into the U.S. and with future adjustment of status. This new process only applies to passengers entering the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa – it does not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card holders).
Sunday March 31, 2013
Sugar industry must become mechanized to remain viable-- Ramotar President Donald Ramotar has stated that the sugar industry must become mechanized if it is to remain a viable part of Guyana’s economy. He was addressing a gathering at the Memorial of the Rose Hall Estate Martyrs in East Canje recently. The sugar industry is going through some difficulties. Sixty- three per cent of GuySuCo’s revenues, he stated, goes to unionized workers of the industry. “Of course there are problems and difficulties…some of these problems have their roots in our history and tradition of the industry itself”. This is a time, he stated, when we must change our attitude and mentality in the industry. “Now we are faced with many difficult problems— with the need to mechanize the industry more and more — because of the fact of the low turnout that we get sometimes in the estates. We need to have value. For the hundreds of years that we have been producing sugar here… it was only raw sugar. Only now we are beginning to add value in the industry by producing packaged sugar and not really perfectly as yet—but it will
work prefect soon. We are already thinking of using more sugar”. President Ramotar said that Guyana we can produce more of its energy needs from renewable resources, the industry can play a big role. He praised the government’s “faith and commitment” to the industry. Ramotar touted the government’s “single largest investment”, the Skeldon Estate. He also predicted less workers being employed in the near future and for shorter and shorter time periods “to take off the crops” due to the ongoing climate change process “and that is why it is becoming more and more crucial that we do more mechanization”. Radio licenses distribution He used the forum to lash out at the critics of the Bharrat Jagdeo radio licenses distribution. “This is the season when lies and attacks are being made against us”. They said we gave many [radio] frequencies and they tried to make a link that send that impression that each one of these frequencies was a radio station when each one of those persons had one
license and the multiple frequencies that were given, allowed them to have a wider spread, but lies and distortions are once again used because in order to get people to go against their own interests—as they did in the 1960s—they have to peddle these propaganda over and over again,” he noted. Ramotar denounced what he termed “hostile propaganda” and urged Guyanese to “find out” information properly. “We must not allow ourselves to be fooled!” Following the ruling party’s loss of its control of the National Assembly, the private media was blamed. Several private media houses and personalities who had applied for licenses and are seen as critics of the government were bypassed by Jagdeo. The former President approved the licenses as Minister of Information shortly before his constitutional term in office ended in November, 2011. The Guyana Media Proprietors Association (GMPA) and Guyana Press Association (GPA) issued statements calling for an immediate reversal of the allocations.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Sunday March 31, 2013
Sunday March 31, 2013
Petrotrin stands to Maduro calls Venezuela lose big $$ again opposition “heirs of Hitler”
Motorists line up for gas at an NP Gas Station along the Southern Main Road, Curepe shortly after power was returned at the station Friday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Trinidad Guardian Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali Friday anticipated hundreds of millions of dollars in losses as a result of yesterday’s nationwide power outage. He has given a deadline of two weeks before the refinery can be up and running again. Speaking to the T&T Guardian Friday, Hassanali said the power loss could have wider repercussions on the company and the country as a whole. “As we speak, the entire refinery went down this morning due to the power loss. At this point it is still down,” he said. “After the industrial action it took us a while, we were still in the process of bringing it back up, so we had to restart the entire process again. It will therefore take some time to get it going again.” Petrotrin workers protested about a week ago, leading to a shutdown of the plant. The Industrial Court eventually ordered the workers back to work, but after $700 million in losses, Hassanali said it would take two weeks to restart refinery operations.
Describing this latest challenge Friday, Hassanali said: “A refinery is not designed to go up and down, it has to run continuously, so I am leaving some room for some problems as we come back up.” He said Trinmar’s production offshore was not significantly affected, but its land operations were because all the wells went down. Restarting Trinmar’s well operations means the experts will have to go to each well to restart them, a process which could take all weekend. Over at Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL), general manager Satnarine Bachew anticipated millions in losses. The company confirmed that 12 hours of productivity were lost and its experts were examining the plants to ensure there were no additional costs incurred as a result of the power outage. At the Port of Port-ofSpain, public relations manager Betty Gibbons confirmed that the vessel aspect of the port’s operations was affected during the morning period. President General of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade
Union Ancel Roget has called for an independent probe into the power outage.
CARACAS (Reuters) Venezuela’s acting President Nicolas Maduro yesterday called the country’s opposition “heirs of Hitler,” accusing them of persecuting Cuban doctors working in the South American country the way Jews were persecuted in Nazi Germany. His barbs added to weeks of insults in the run-up to the April 14 presidential elections triggered by the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez this month. Polls show Maduro with a double-digit lead over opposition rival Henrique Capriles. “The campaign against Cuba is just like the campaign against the Jews in Hitler’s Germany,” Maduro said during a rally in Chavez’s home state of Barinas. “The heirs of Hitler are leading a campaign in Venezuela against the people of Cuba.” Chavez, ten years ago, began bringing Cuban doctors to
Nicolas Maduro Venezuela to provide free health care in slums and rural villages, and maintained close ties with the communist-run island’s leadership throughout his 14 years in office. Opposition critics say
Maduro and other senior government figures are receiving guidance directly from Cuban President Raul Castro, as well as allowing Cuban advisers to wield influence in Venezuela’s military and intelligence services. Some extremists have called the Cuban doctors part of a plan to turn Venezuela into a Communist state, though nearly all opposition leaders say the program is positive and vow to maintain it. Maduro is benefiting from an outpouring of emotion after Chavez’ death and as well from the legacy of Chavez’s wildly popular social welfare campaigns known as “missions” that include the Cuban doctors program. Government sympathizers have at times used terms such as “Nazi” and “fascist” to describe Capriles, a descendant of Polish Jews on his mother’s side.
US poll reveals support for legal status of Caribbean immigrants WASHINGTON – CMC A new national poll in the United States has revealed broad support for the legal status of Caribbean and other immigrants but not for their US citizenship. The survey, conducted by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre showed that a significant number of Americans say that illegal immigrants should be permitted to remain in the country legally, but fewer than half say they should be allowed to apply for
US citizenship. The survey also finds that improving the US economy appears to have reduced opposition to immigration, both legal and illegal, with nearly half of all Americans, or 49 per cent, saying that immigrants strengthen the country because of their industriousness and skills. The pollsters say that is the highest percentage on that question since September 2000. By contrast, a smaller proportion of Americans, 41
per cent, say immigrants are a burden because they take US jobs, healthcare and housing. The pollsters noted that about three years ago, in June 2010, the balance of opinion was anti-immigrant. As the economy was struggling to emerge from the worst recession since the Great Depression, the Pew Research Centre says half of those questioned considered immigrants a burden to the US, while just 39 per cent said they strengthen the country.
Sunday March 31, 2013
USVI Governor writes Caribbean leaders on rum dispute before WTO BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The United States Virgin Islands have now turned to moral suasion in an attempt to get fellow rum producing nations in the Caribbean Forum nation to back down from plans to take their ongoing dispute before the World Trade Organisation (WTO). According to media reports, the United States Virgin Islands Governor the Hon. John de Jongh, has sent letters to the prime ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, St.
Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, and St. Lucia, asking them for the sake of Caribbean unity to avoid the WTO action that could lead to a prolonged legal case that he thinks could prove divisive and difficult to win. A March 4 letter from de Jongh to Antigua’s Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Baldwin Spencer cautions that the WTO filing could “inflict damage on all of our economies.” The letter is reportedly similar to letters sent to the other Caribbean leaders. Highlighting the damaging effect that last year’s closure of the USVIb a s e d Ve n e z u e l a n o i l refinery Hovensa had on his nation’s economy, de Jongh told Prime Minister Spencer the US$580 million decline in economic output and $80 million loss of tax revenues caused by the closure has made holding on to the Rum Cover-Over Programme even more critical. “ To ensure the economic health, stability and future of our region, we must move forward together. We must support, not undermine, one a n o t h e r ’s e ff o r t s t o b e creative and look to new, innovative ways to modernise our economies, bring foreign direct investment to our countries and attract sophisticated jobs to our shores. “That is what we accomplished through our partnerships with Diageo and Beam, seizing the opportunity to do some real good for the people of the Territory, a result that is exactly in line with the US Congress’s intent for this economic development programme. Today, those partnerships and this programme constitute nearly twenty per cent of our Government’s total revenue,”
John de Jongh
de Jongh told PM Spencer. This direct leader-toleader appeal is the latest attempt by the Virgin Islands to protect its public-private rum partnerships, legal agreements that have saved its historic rum industry from extinction. However, the rumproducing countries of the Caribbean Forum (a trade bloc comprising the Caribbean Community and the Dominican Republic) have stridently argued that the concessions provided by the USVI to large European rum manufacturers are equivalent to subsidies, which are not allowed under WTO rules. The Caribbean rum producers under the umbrella of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA) have argued that thanks to the USVI’s concessions, European producers such as Diageo are able to get their rum products into the United States at a much cheaper rate than the WIRSPA producers, and therefore are threatening their sales and by extension their island economies. Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas (left) and US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh. (CARICOM News Network)
Jamaica to approve bill targeting lottery scams KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — The House of Representatives in Jamaica has passed a bill this week calling for tougher prosecution of those involved in multimillion-dollar lottery scams that mostly have targeted elderly Americans. The governor general is expected soon to sign the bill, which the Senate also passed on March 21. The bill targets advanced fee fraud, identity theft and the use of technology for illegally
accessing financial accounts. The bill also prohibits making threats and coercing victims over the phone. Those found guilty could face up to 20 years in prison. Authorities say at least 30,000 calls are made daily from Jamaica to the U.S. as part of the scams. Suspects usually tell victims they’ve won millions but must first wire payments to cover taxes before they can receive the prize. The scams generate at least $300 million a year.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Suriname gold buyer involved in foreign currency fraud PARAMARIBO – One of the biggest buyers of gold in Suriname, Ourominas, has been caught by the authorities siphoning foreign currency to Brazil. Between January and March the firm managed to get US$ 1.7 million out of the country illegally. The police had arrested three people, but they were released after paying hefty fines. Police PR Officer Humphrey Naarden tells de Ware Tijd that it is not unlikely that there are more of similar cases. Ourominas has simply been caught by the police and the Economic Inspection Department (ECD) which have been conducting investigations in the past two weeks. ‘Since it involves an economic crime, the offenders are given the option for an out of court settlement,’ Naarden explains, adding that US$ 100,000 in fines were paid. De Ware Tijd learnt from reliable sources that the offenders are the firm’s financial administrator, a lower employee and a Chinese who was in charge of the transfers. ‘People who sold their
gold to the company refused to be paid locally. The firm then arranged for the money to be transferred to Brazil without authorization from the Foreign Currency Board,’ a high government official, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells de Ware Tijd. Authorities have kept the police action under wraps fearing the offences might be part of a larger plot involving mafia-like practices. One of the offenders had asked for police protection for his family now that the case is in the open, the source says. In the meantime the investigation is still ongoing. The police do not know how long these offenses have been taking place. The law states that citizens may have up to US$ 10,000 in their possession when traveling. For transactions the rules are stricter: any amount higher than US$ 1,500 has to be reported to the authorities if there is no validation by the Foreign Currency Board. Ourominas has had transactions between US$ 600,000 and 800,000. The firm is back in business.
Redundancy clouds loom over sugar workers Jamaica Gleaner - While producers are seemingly on course to meet their projected targets for the first time since the 2009 privatisation of the sugar sector, there is still a cloud of uncertainty over the job security of some of the casual workers. The uncertain situation with the casual workers comes against the background of the recent redundancy notices served on several workers employed to Pan Caribbean Sugar Company (PCSC), the owners of Bernard Lodge, Monymusk, and the Frome sugar factories, as well as indications that other layoffs are looming. “We understand that they have to make back the money they put in (invested), but to lay us off like this was not what we expected,” said 56year-old Conrad Fray, a cane cutter of Grange Hill in Westmoreland. “Cutting cane is how I feed my family over the years, and besides that, no one is going to employ me now at this age.” Once the most important sugar-producing region in the Western Hemisphere, western Jamaica has stumbled badly in recent times. In fact, had it not
The Frome Sugar Factory in Frome, Westmoreland been for the Appleton Estate in St Elizabeth, which has been fairly consistent in producing approximately 30,000 tonnes of sugar annually, it would have been a tale of gloom and doom. Pan Caribbean Sugar Company was formed in 2011 by the Chinese firm COMPLANT to operate the Frome, Bernard Lodge, and Monymusk sugar factories, which were acquired from the Government. In recent weeks, 200
workers at Frome in Westmoreland were served with redundancy notices. Prior to that, termination letters were served on more than 30 employees at Monymusk. The termination letters were subsequently withdrawn after the intervention of trade unions. “This is not a part of what was agreed on during negotiations,” said Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Roger Clarke in speaking to the redundancy
notices and termination letters against the background of the privatisation deal. “This is quite alarming!” Clarke, who is also the member of parliament for central Westmoreland, where the Frome Sugar Estate is located, held a meeting with officials of PCSC in Kingston last week. However, while the performance of the factory was reportedly discussed, it is unclear as to whether redundancy was discussed.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Argentina puts forward alternative Central African Republic leader, payment plan in bond dispute facing isolation, says no reprisals NEW YORK (Reuters) Argentina is pitching an alternative payment formula to a U.S. appeals court that would allow it to resolve litigation with creditors holding defaulted bonds for which they are demanding to be paid $1.33 billion. In a filing late on Friday with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, Argentina proposed to pay creditors who did not participate in two restructurings through a choice of bonds equal to the debt’s value at the time of the country’s 2002 default, or through discount bonds. The offer was under the same terms as those offered to creditors during a 2010 debt swap, a deal already rejected by the holdouts, who are seeking full payment immediately. And the par-value option was only for investors with less than $50,000 in face value bonds, effectively meaning the hedge fund plaintiffs pursuing the case could really be compensated under Argentina’s plan only by taking a big cut to their
possible recovery. Elliott Management affiliate NML Capital Ltd, one of the lead plaintiffs, stands currently to receive $720 million from Argentina following a New York judge’s order in November, according to Argentina. But Argentina’s discounted bond formula would provide NML a value of just $186.8 million, according to the filing.
Argentina estimates NML paid about $48.7 million in 2008 for its stake in the bonds. “The Republic is prepared to fulfill the terms of this proposal promptly upon Order by the Court by submitting a bill to Congress that ensures its timely implementation,” Jonathan Blackman, Argentina’s U.S. lawyer, wrote. The filing was the latest development in the longrunning litigation spilling out of Argentina’s $100 billion sovereign debt default in 2002. Around 92 percent of its bonds were restructured in 2005 and 2010, with bondholders receiving 25 cents to 29 cents on the dollar. But holdouts led by Elliott Management affiliate NML Capital Ltd and Aurelius Capital Management have fought for years for full payment. Argentina calls these funds “vultures.” In October, the 2nd Circuit upheld a trial judge’s ruling by finding Argentina had violated a so-called pari passu clause in its bond documents requiring it to treat creditors equally.
Central African Republic’s new President Michel Djotodia (L) speaks to Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye at a rally in support of Djotodia in downtown Bangui yesterday. REUTERS/Alain Amontchi BANGUI (Reuters) Central African Republic’s new leader Michel Djotodia, facing international isolation after seizing power, said yesterday he would not take reprisals against rivals and called on those who fled abroad to return. The United States said yesterday it did not recognize Djotodia, who toppled President Francois Bozize on March 24 after leading thousands of his Seleka rebels into the mineral-rich nation’s capital Bangui, triggering days of looting. “I make a patriotic and brotherly appeal for our countrymen, who have chosen the path of exile, to return,” the former civil servant turned selfdeclared president told several thousand cheering supporters near the presidential palace. “There will be no witch hunt, because we must establish tolerance, dialogue and forgiveness,” he said. Though violence in the riverside capital has ebbed, Djotodia said looters would face justice and called for international help, particularly from former
colonial master France. But the takeover has been condemned internationally. The African Union suspended Central African Republic and imposed sanctions on Seleka leaders, including Djotodia, this week. France and the United States say the rebels should adhere to a power-sharing deal signed in Gabon’s capital Libreville in January that mapped out a transition to elections in 2016 in which Bozize was forbidden from running. Djotodia has pledged to act in the spirit of the agreement and said on Friday he would step down in 2016. But Washington yesterday said Nicolas Tiangaye, named prime minister under the Libreville agreement, was now the only legal head of government. “We strongly condemn the illegitimate seizure of power by force by the Seleka rebel alliance, Michel Djotodia’s self-appointment as president, and his suspension of the constitution and National Assembly,” read a statement from State
Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland. Bozize seized power in a 2003 coup but his failure to keep promises of power sharing after winning disputed 2011 polls led to the offensive by five rebel groups known as Seleka, which means “alliance” in the Sango language. A grouping of eight political opposition parties, including the one headed by Prime Minister Tiangaye, said yesterday it rejected Djotodia’s proposed threeyear transition period and called for new talks to revise the Libreville agreement. “After consulting among ourselves, we think that 18 months of transition would be reasonable in order to organize new democratic elections,” the coalition’s spokesman Edouard Koyambounou told Reuters. Chadian President Idriss Deby, chair of the 10-nation Economic Community of Central African States, will host a summit in N’Djamena on April 3 to discuss the crisis. South African President Jacob Zuma has been invited and will attend the meeting, spokesman Mac Maharaj said yesterday. The opposition in South Africa and analysts have asked why a South African military training mission suffered 13 deaths in Central African Republic last weekend as its members fought alongside government troops against rebels. South African media suggested the soldiers were defending mining interests in a country rich in diamonds, uranium and oil, but Pretoria officials denied this. They say 400 troops were present due to a 2007 bilateral defense accord with Bozize.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Kenya Supreme Court upholds election result NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s Supreme Court yesterday upheld the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as the country’s next president, ending an election season that riveted the nation amid fears of a repeat of the 200708 postelection violence. Outside the Supreme Court in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, police fired tear gas at supporters of losing candidate, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the second time that has happened in this postelection period. Outbreaks of violence by angry Odinga supporters were reported in some Nairobi slums and truckloads of police were called in to quell the demonstrations, according to reports on a police radio heard by an Associated Press reporter. Jubilant Kenyatta supporters flooded the streets of downtown Nairobi, honking horns, blowing noisy plastic horns and chanting.
Yesterday’s verdict — following a drawn-out court case that raised tensions across the nation — means that Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president, will be sworn in as president on April 9. He will become the second sitting president in Africa to face charges at the International Criminal Court. Kenyatta and Deputy President-elect William Ruto both face charges that they helped orchestrate the 200708 postelection violence in which more than 1,000 people died. Both deny the charges. Ruto’s trial is set to begin in late May; Kenyatta’s is to start in July. Kenyatta has promised to report to The Hague. Lawyers for challenger Odinga, who finished second, had argued before the Supreme Court that the election was marred by irregularities and that Kenyatta did not win enough votes to avoid a runoff
White House takes North Korea’s threats seriously WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said yesterday it is taking seriously new threats by North Korea but also noted Pyongyang’s history of “bellicose rhetoric.” North Korea warned Seoul yesterday that the Korean Peninsula had entered “a state of war.” It also threatened to shut down a border factory complex that is the last major symbol of cooperation between the Koreas. “We’ve seen reports of a new and unconstructive statement from North Korea. We take these threats seriously and remain in close contact with our South Korean allies,” said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council. “But, we would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats, and today’s announcement follows that familiar pattern.” North Korea’s threats are seen as part of an effort to provoke the new government in Seoul to change its policies toward Pyongyang, and to win diplomatic talks with Washington that could get it more aid. The moves also are seen as ways to build domestic unity as North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, strengthens his military credentials. In recent days, the U.S. flew a pair of nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers over an uninhabited South Korean island, dropping dummy
munitions as part of annual defense drills that North Korea views as rehearsals for an invasion. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also announced that the U.S. will fortify its defenses against a potential North Korean missile attack on the U.S. by adding more than a dozen missile interceptors to the 26 already in place at Fort Greely, Alaska. North Korea said in a statement yesterday that it would deal with South Korea according to “wartime regulations” and would retaliate against any provocations by the U.S. and South Korea without notice. “Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war,” said the statement, which was carried by the official North Korean news agency and referred to the country by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Provocations “will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war,” the statement said. The White House has stressed the U.S. government’s capability and willingness to defend itself and its allies and interests in the region, if necessary. “We remain fully prepared and capable of defending and protecting the United States and our allies,” Hayden said.
election. According to official results, Kenyatta won 50.07 percent of the vote, narrowly avoiding a runoff election against Odinga, who said his case before the Supreme Court would put Kenya’s democracy on trial. But the Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict, read out by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, said the election was “conducted in compliance with the constitution and the law” and that Kenyatta and Ruto were legally elected. “It is the decision of the court that (Kenyatta and Ruto) were validly elected,” the ruling said. The reasons behind the judges’ decision were not given yesterday. The chief justice said a detailed judgment would be delivered within two weeks. George Oraro, the lawyer who argued Odinga’s case before the court, said he respected the Supreme Court’s decision. “I’ve done my job and the court has done its job and I think Kenya has won. It has seen what the court process can do,” Oraro said. Unlike after the 2007 election, which degenerated into tribe-on-tribe violence that killed more than 1,000 people and displaced more than 500,000 villagers, this time Odinga said he had faith in the judiciary’s ability to give him a fair hearing. Odinga, who said he would respect the court’s decision whether it favored him or not, was set to address reporters in Nairobi later yesterday. The court’s ruling ended
Uhuru Kenyatta,s supporters smile after the six Supreme Court judges , led by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Uhuru Kenyatta was declared as president in Nairobi Saturday, March 30, 2013. Kenya’s Supreme Court said results of the country’s March 4 presidential; election are valid and that Uhuru Kenyatta won Saturday’s verdict , follwing a drawn out court case that riveted the nation . (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
days of anxiety since March 9, when Kenyatta was declared the winner of the March 4 vote that many described as the most complex in Kenya’s history. More than 12 million Kenyans participated in the election. Some observers had expected a low registration of voters because of apathy following the 2007-08 violence, but campaigns by Kenyatta, Odinga and other presidential candidates led to the highest registration in the country ever. Kenya’s electoral commission registered 14.3 million people. Election day, though, did not go as planned. An electronic voter ID system intended to prevent fraud
failed for reasons yet to be explained by the electoral commission. Vote officials instead used manual voter rolls. After the polls closed, results were to be sent electronically to Nairobi, where officials would quickly tabulate a preliminary vote count in order to maximize transparency after rigging accusations following the 2007 vote. But that system failed, too. Election officials have indicated that computer servers were overloaded but have yet to fully explain the problem. As the early count system was still being used, election results showed more than
330,000 rejected ballots, an unusually high number. But after the count resumed with the arrival in Nairobi of manual tallies, the number of rejected ballots was greatly reduced, and the election commission said the computer was mistakenly multiplying the number of rejected ballots by a factor of eight. Odinga’s lawyers told the Supreme Court this week that the switch from electronic voter identification to manual voter roll was contrived to allow inflation of Kenyatta’s votes to take him past the 50 percent threshold. That accusation was vehemently denied by the electoral commission and Kenyatta’s legal team.
Sunday March 31, 2013
North Korea says enters “state of war” against South SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said yesterday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea, but Seoul and its ally the United States played down the statement as tough talk. Pyongyang also threatened to close a border industrial zone, the last remaining example of interKorean cooperation which gives the impoverished North access to $2 billion in trade a year. The United States said it took Pyongyang’s threats seriously but cautioned that the North had a history of bellicose rhetoric. Russia, another a permanent U.N. Security Council member, urged all sides to show restraint. Tensions have been high since the North’s new young leader Kim Jong-un ordered a third nuclear weapons test in February, breaching U.N. sanctions and ignoring warnings from North Korea’s sole major ally, China, not to do so. “From this time on, the
North-South relations will be entering the state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly,” a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency said. KCNA said the statement was issued jointly by the North’s government, ruling party and other organizations. The Seoul government said there was nothing in the North’s latest statement to cause particular alarm. “North Korea’s statement today ... is not a new threat but is the continuation of provocative threats,” the South’s Unification Ministry, which handles political ties with the North, said in a statement. On Friday, Kim signed an order putting the North’s missile units on standby to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the United States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula in a rare show of force.
U.S. officials described the flight as a diplomatic sortie aimed at reassuring allies South Korea and Japan, and at trying to nudge Pyongyang back to nuclear talks, though there was no guarantee Kim Jong-un would get the message as intended. The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war since a truce that ended their 1950-53 conflict. Despite its threats, few people see any indication Pyongyang will risk a near-certain defeat by restarting full-scale war. There was no sign of unusual activity in the North’s military to suggest an imminent aggression, a South Korean defense ministry official said. White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said North Korea’s announcement followed a “familiar pattern” of rhetoric. Russia, which has often balanced criticism of North Korea, a Soviet-era client state, with calls on the United States and South Korea to
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) presides over an urgent operation meeting on the Korean People’s Army Strategic Rocket Force’s performance of duty for firepower strike at the Supreme Command in Pyongyang, early March 29, 2013, in this picture released by the North’s official KCNA news agency on Friday. REUTERS/KCNA refrain from belligerent actions, said a recurrence of war was unacceptable. “We hope that all parties will exercise maximum responsibility and restraint and no-one will cross the point of no return,” Grigory Logvinov, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official, told Interfax news agency. France said it was deeply worried about the situation on the Korean peninsula while
NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said the alliance hoped “that this is more posturing than a prelude to any armed hostilities.” China has repeatedly called for restraint on the peninsula. The North has been threatening to attack the South and U.S. military bases almost on a daily basis since the beginning of March, when U.S. and South Korean
militaries started routine drills that have been conducted for decades without incident. Many in the South have regarded the North’s willingness to keep open the Kaesong industrial zone, located just a few miles (km) north of the heavily-militarized border, as a sign that Pyongyang will not risk losing a lucrative source of foreign currency by mounting a real act of aggression.
ROME (Reuters) - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano yesterday ruled out standing down early to make way for new parliamentary elections, after the failure of attempts to form a government this week, saying he would keep trying to find a way out of the deadlock. Napolitano, whose term ends on May 15, spoke after news reports suggested he might resign to get around constitutional provisions which prevent a president dissolving parliament and calling elections during his final months in office. “I will continue until the last day of my mandate to do
as my sense of national responsibility suggests, without hiding from the country the difficulties that I am still facing,” he told reporters at his Quirinale palace. But he acknowledged that he had limited scope to force the divided parties to find a way out of political situation that he said was “frozen between irreconcilable positions”. With investors still mindful of the turmoil that took the euro zone to the brink of disaster in 2011, the gridlock has revived worries about Italy just as the Cyprus banking crisis reopened
concern about the stability of the single currency. Napolitano said he would ask two small groups of experts to formulate proposals for institutional and social and economic reforms that could be supported by all political parties. He named 10 senior figures including Enrico Giovannini, the head of statistics agency ISTAT, European Affairs Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi and Bank of Italy board member Salvatore Rossi as well as one senior figure from each of the main parties apart from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.
Italy president pledges to stay to deal with crisis
Ex-Anglican leader says Cameron alienating Christians (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron is alienating Christians by promoting gay marriage, an influential former leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans said yesterday. In a strongly worded article, formerArchbishop of Canterbury George Carey said Cameron’s plan to legalise gay unions hid an “aggressive secularist” approach that threatened the link between church and state. The comments echoed widespread concern about the policy among some Christians and also highlighted the
challenge facing Cameron whose efforts to modernise his Conservative Party have antagonised some traditional party voters. “The danger I believe that the government is courting with its approach both to marriage and religious freedom, is the alienation of a large minority of people who only a few years ago would have been considered pillars of society,” Carey wrote in the Daily Mail. Carey’s comments come at a bad time for Cameron, who as the economy flounders is attempting to woo right-leaning voters with
tough talk on immigration and the European Union. The former Anglican leader also condemned what he saw as a lack of government support for Christians who choose to wear a cross at work, a practice that has been challenged in the past due to rules on religious expression at the workplace. He cited a survey by pollster ComRes saying more than two thirds of Christians in Britain felt they were a “persecuted minority” and that more than half who voted Conservative in 2010 would not do so in 2015.
Sunday March 31, 2013
NO GUYANESE EASTER IN THE DIASPORA By Ralph Seeram Outside of Christmas I think most of us in the Diaspora would really like to be home for the Easter Celebration. We would like to enjoy that four-day holiday weekend from Good
Friday to Easter Monday. Even though Good Friday is considered the holiest of days for Christians and the “rum shops” are closed, the sporting starts from Good Friday. Some Christians like me went drinking right after Good Friday service.
Here in the U S the Federal Government does not allow a four-day holiday (except for Thanksgiving), three days is the maximum; they do not want the banks to be closed for more than three days. The premise is basically becoming obsolete in this digital age. In an age of online banking, debit and credit cards, no one really needs to go physically to the bank these days; most people do not even carry cash. For the past month I have been carrying around a
hundred dollars in my pocket “just in case” I have not spent it even though I have made thousands of dollars in transactions. Everything is electronically done. I don’t even have to go to the bank to deposit a check. I simply take a picture of the check on my iPhone and deposit it electronically. Good Friday and Easter Monday is not even a holiday here, it is business as usual, the churches look forward to
Govt agrees to pay Chinese contractor $1.4M per day for project delay ...Guyana to supply sand, stone, build roads
Government, in November 2011, signed a US$138M with China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) for an ambitious expansion of the Timehri airport but millions more are likely to be spent before the facility is completed. Under an agreement with China, financing will be provided to the tune of US$130M with the Guyana Government indicating it will foot the remaining US$20M or so that it will take to fully complete the project at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). An examination of the contract between the Ministry of Public Works and CHEC signed in late 2011 revealed a number of interesting details. The contract had been released to Members of Parliament and the media. Government has to supply all sand and other filling materials for free. This is likely to use up a significant portion of the US$20M. The contract price does not include the construction
of a new car park, internal roads and handling equipment area. Rather, CHEC is only charged with the designs but government will have to take responsibility for the construction. CHEC’s US$138M price tag also does not include the construction of a new cargo area and fuel farm. Government is charged with the responsibility for designing and constructing both. However, CHEC will be responsible for land backfilling to extend the runway area, constructing a new terminal building, pavement of new apron, layout structures and systems, oil tank, water supply and drainage for runway extension area and fire pump station and power supply line for runway extension area. The new airport terminal will entail the installation of power supply, communication and water supply and fire control system, and air conditioning system for the terminal. It said that the US$138M does not include the removal of the existing terminal, cargo store and containers. Rather, the employer (government) will have to do it. Government
has since announced that it will no longer tear down the current terminal building but has plans to convert it for cargo storage and other services. There are penalties for any delays. “If because the employer could not cooperate with Contractor to finish the Auxiliary work as well as the Contractor’s schedule, the progress will be delayed, the Employer shall remedy the Contractor by the time extension and cost compensation.” The contract price excluded taxes, duties, royalties and other fees normally imposed. The government will have to take charge of this. CHEC also managed in the contract, to secure an advance of 15% of the total contract price…US$20.7M. The entire project is expected to last 32 months with the government guaranteeing that CHEC be accorded a situation that it will work no less than 10 hours daily. Any failure will see CHEC being given extra time and cost compensation. Government agreed that this
cost compensation could come up to US$7,000 ($1.4M) daily. According to this year’s national budget estimates, $5.3B has been set aside for the expansion. In local dollars, China will be financing a total of $26.78B. Government, in justifying the expansion, said that it was looking to capitalize on the emerging tourism market with the current runway too short to accommodate the bigger, wide-body planes. With Guyana’s unique location at the tip of South America, it could also tap into markets from Africa and Asia. Recently, new communication and navigation systems at the CJIA’s control tower were commissioned. Over $1B has been spent to upgrade the equipment. China, which has overtaken North America, in its lending to Guyana, has made millions of dollars available to Guyana in a credit line. With preliminary works underway, authorities say that construction could commence as early as May.
Easter Sunday however, it’s the day when almost everyone turns out for Easter Service and the collection plates are richer than usual. While you my readers are reading this article Easter Sunday morning I will be in church, one of those who surprise the pastor by turning up for Easter Service, I do have some catching up to do though with my tithes though as I am a few months behind. This past week was a good time for us in the Diaspora to be in Guyana, with all the holidays and festivities this week leading up to the Easter holidays. I think what most of us in the Diaspora miss is the spirit of camaraderie you get with your “rum shop” friends as my mother would call them as, well as family. For me I miss New Amsterdam and my little hometown, Smythfield. The holiday will start at EJ bar better known as Jardine’s bar which was situated at the corner of Winkle and Vryheid Street. There all the “boys” would meet, if you wanted to know the whereabouts of a friend you check with Jardine’s bar first. While I’m on this nostalgic trip of Easter in Guyana, is also raises tinge of sadness, as most of my “drinking and sporting buddies” are no longer around. They all died at an early age, some due to too much alcohol, and some for not taking care of themselves health wise. I have often been reminded by my family that if I were still in Guyana I may have suffered the same fate. If I am to put a positive aspect to that, I would say that at least I would have died among TRUE friends. As a father with two kids in Guyana, Easter took a different turn from when I was a bachelor. The weekend would be spent making kites for the kids (yes I made my own kites). What is now Vryman’s Erven was an abandoned farm, all “bush” but filled with a lot of “paste
trees” which was used to paste the kites. Those “paste trees” seemed to know when Easter came around as they would bloom at precisely around that time for you to get the bunches of cherry-like paste. Easter Monday friends are invited over; the wife would make a big “spread” making all sorts of Indian sweet meats, cakes, the usual Indian foods etc. I do recall my friend Adam being over with his family a few Easters. The kites I made were too big for the kids; I had to tie my son to a coconut tree to avoid him being pulled away into the sky, quite a few little boys I recall got dragged away by powerful kites. Watching on You Tube I can see Easter is still a big party weekend, at least in Berbice. I saw some videos of the big “party” at Number 63 Beach. Since the Berbice Bridge was completed I understand it got bigger as folks from Georgetown and other parts of the coast make the trip to Number 63 beach on Easter Monday. While the party is on at the beach, here in Orlando, Monday is going to be “business as usual”; I am thinking I should really make plans to be in New Amsterdam next Easter. Today my daughter has invited some friends over for Easter lunch. She has asked them to bring their kites so we can create a spirit of Guyanese Easter. These are triangular-shaped plastic kites that do not “sing” it is not the real deal but we hope it creates some excitement for the neighbours who might be wondering why we are flying kites on Easter Sunday, but try as we may, it’s not the real thing, to experience that you have to be in Guyana, so my friends Mara, Gregory, Adam, Errol and Joey, have a blessed Easter and have some sprits for me. Happy Easter all. Ralph Seeram can be reached at email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday March 31, 2013
Paving the way for women pilots, Cheryl Moore is a ‘Special Person’ r Sharmain Grainger By There are but a few women who can be named among those who were able to penetrate what some would describe as ‘a man’s world’ thereby paving the way for others to easily follow today. One such champion of women is no other than Cheryl Moore who can be safely dubbed one of the pioneers in this regard. With more than 30 years under her belt in the aviation industry, Mrs. Moore has been recognized as one of the better female pilots to have emerged from these shores. Her journey has seen her hopping into the cockpit of one of the smallest Cessna aircraft and transitioning airplanes as big as the Dash 8 300 (50-seater). Born to parents Layard and Pearl Pickering on December 14, 1950, Cheryl, the fifth of eight siblings, grew up in Station Street, Kitty, Georgetown, and lived there until she met and married her sweetheart Stanley Moore in 1977, after which she moved to Section K, Campbellville, another area of Georgetown. She subsequently moved to Meadow Brook Gardens where she remained until she migrated years later. Cheryl attended the then Comenius Moravian Primary School which was located in Queenstown, Georgetown, after which she was a student of the St. Joseph High. Her first career move was to become a Pupil Teacher with the Ministry of Education which would see her being placed in 1968 at the Malgre Tout Government School on the West Bank of Demerara. A year later she took up an
appointment at the University of Guyana as a Typist Clerk/Secretary in the Faculty of Law at the University of Guyana. However in 1973 she made the bold move of venturing into the Guyana Defence Force and assumed the position of Personal Assistant to the then Commander, Colonel Ulric Pilgrim. She was
that she would be given the opportunity of a lifetime. She recalled that this chance came knocking in 1975, which was designated International Women’s Year. This was the year that the government decided to grant scholarships to several females to attend flight school to qualify as pilots. Cheryl opines that it was perhaps her “fearless and
“Women can take on just about any career, providing that they are prepared to put in the hard work and remain focused.” commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in January 1974. At the time there were not many female officers, and apart from carrying out the duties as Personal Assistant to the Commander, she conducted interviews, assessments and training for new inductees in the Women’s Army Corps. She remembers, as Second Lieutenant, being the colour ensign in the first all-female Guard of Honour which was assembled at the then Timehri International Airport, in 1975, during the visit of the world’s first elected woman prime m i n i s t e r, S r i L a n k a ’s Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Prior to that event all colour parties consisted of male soldiers only. Being a standout officer in the military did not allow Cheryl to remain idle, but rather she considered diligently how she could elevate herself. Her next logical move was to attend the University of Guyana where she commenced the Diploma programme in Social Work. But it was soon after starting this activity
The Second Lieutenant signing her Instrument of Commission
adventurous” nature that enhanced her chance of selection for the scholarship. In fact, some time before her selection, she was involved in a GDF demonstration of the Bell helicopter, in which she was let down on a rope from the side of the helicopter. Although she had never envisaged a career in flying, she recalled that it was following the selection process that she and Beverley Drake, along with 10 others, were awarded scholarships to attend the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Campus in the United States in 1976. The campus is rated as the world’s number one learning institution in the areas of aviation and aerospace studies. Reminiscing on the intense one-year training course, Cheryl noted that it was a new experience “but there were 12 of us in the group and we had each other...we just had to buckledown and study hard. It was the kind of programme that you really had to apply yourself in order to
succeed,” she recounted. In fact the first plane she piloted was the Cessna 172 when she commenced flight training. That experience, she noted, was preceded by numerous simulations, which prepared her to be exposed to the actual aircraft flying experience and according to her “once you go up into the air it is somewhat different, but certainly not terrifying”. She recalled acquiring her private pilot’s licence after flying a single engine aircraft before transitioning to a multi-engine aircraft. In fact she disclosed that “Beverley (Drake) and I were the first two trainees of the group to complete our course of study. We were also the first two females, to the best of my knowledge, who obtained a commercial pilot’s licence in Guyana.” While a student of Embry-Riddle she was taught to fly using the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) as well as Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Her studies also included the areas of navigation, aerodynamics, aircraft systems, meteorology, flight planning and aircraft performance. She was also required to participate further in an advanced course in ground school and pilot maintenance. At the end of her training she received certification for the Commercial Pilot Airplane Single and MultiEngine Land with instrument privileges. Her return to Guyana was in January of 1977, at which point she was required to undertake conversion training in order to acquire a local commercial pilot licence. The training was a little
Mrs. Cheryl Moore
different from what was done at Embry-Riddle, as according to Cheryl, “every aircraft that you fly, you need to do a technical for it, then you are required to do flight training, because although the principles of flight would be the same, one needs to be familiar with the aircraft systems and emergency procedures.” Armed with her pilot’s licence, Cheryl was now part of the Guyana Defence Force’s Air Corps, and in fact served as its Executive Officer for a period of seven months. As a pilot she was able to soar the skies in the Twin Otter Britten-Norman Islander, Avro and the DHC8. She noted that while Skyvans came into play a few years late, it was the Islander that was the primary mode of transporting soldiers and supplies while she served. Cheryl recalled that although there were not many female officers, and no female pilots within the military at the time that she joined the Guyana Defence Force, at no point was she subjected to situations of
Our ‘Special Person’ in the company of her husband, Stanley Moore
gender bias. “I would say I was treated fairly, but in any profession you are going to have challenges, whether you are male or female. I would not attribute any of the challenges that I had in my career to being a female. It was a level playing field.” She reflected that at no point was her decision to learn to fly one of regret, and in fact, in 1980 she was seconded to Guyana Airways where she was tasked with undertaking numerous commercial flights, mainly to interior locations using bigger aircraft. This phase of her flying career even saw her touching down on the shores of Trinidad and Barbados at times. She even fondly recalled piloting a chartered flight to Cayenne to transport a team of football players. She remained with Guyana Airways until 1989 and the same year opted to join the LIAT (1974) Ltd team, where she served as a pilot up until February of last (Continued on page 27)
Sunday March 31, 2013
Paving the way for women... (From page 26) year, when she retired. During her tenure at LIAT, which saw her being based between Antigua and Barbados, she was licenced to fly Twin Otter, Hawker Siddeley HS 748 and DeHavilland Dash 8 aircraft throughout the entire Eastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and many times she returned to her homeland too. Interesting to note, was while engaged in this level of her flying career, Cheryl sought to read for a Degree in Business Administration which saw her majoring in Human Resource Management at the American InterContinental University. Opting to pilot for LIAT was not without its challenges, however, as on numerous occasions Cheryl was required to be away from her home and family on job-related trips. However she found assurance in the fact that “I have been very fortunate to have a husband who has been very supportive.” No stranger to the public eye, Mr. Moore has over the years firmly established his place within t h e l e g a l f r a t e r n i t y, practicing privately and also serving in the judiciary. Being a sports enthusiast, he functioned as President of the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association and also did sports commentary for many years, primarily in cricket and football. I n C h e r y l ’s v i e w,
An accomplished pilot
Cheryl, at left, all set for takeoff with hertraining colleague, Beverley Drake “women can take on just about any career providing that they are prepared to put in the hard work and remain focused…If you have children you would need a good support system in place to ensure your children are well taken care of during the times you are away from home.” This is particularly important for one endeavouring to be a pilot, as according to the mother of five (Susan, Adrian, Alfred, Alex and Andrew)”as a pilot you cannot afford to be worrying because you have to be focused on what you are doing…flying is a very high concentration-level job and so you don’t need to take any stress into the cockpit with you.” Emphasising the
importance of remaining focused on the job, Cheryl recalled an experience when an aircraft developed technical difficulties that required the shutting down of one engine. On that occasion she was First Officer on a LIAT flight which had left Barbados for St Vincent. She explained that twinengine airplanes are quite capable of flying on one engine in cases of emergency; “all you have to do is follow the relevant e m e rg e n c y p r o c e d u r e s which you are trained to do. That is exactly what we did and we were able to land safely… it was no sweat.” In addition to adhering to the various procedures, Cheryl also amplified the need to take all safety
precautions, adding that paying close attention to the weather is essential when taking to the skies. “You have to check your weather every day for each of your destinations and alternates,” she firmly insisted adding “if before you leave you know the weather is not going to be good at your destination then you don’t go until it gets better.” Cheryl, whose residency crisscrosses between Barbados and Florida in the United States, recently made the trip back home to celebrate 100 years of Aviation in Guyana, with her former colleagues. And during this interview, she excitedly alluded to the fact that Guyana has moved from Non-Directional Beacons
back in the day to modernized navigational aids today. In fact, she stressed that with the support of Global Positioning Systems “it is a lot easier to fly now.” She also claimed to be pleasantly surprised by the plans for the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport which will allow for larger aircraft to land in Guyana, thus signaling financial positives as well. Although the aviation industry has been her pride over the years, which has even seen her participating at numerous career day activities in secondary schools and church youth groups, with specific emphasis on careers in aviation, she also served as
Director of the Guyana Public Service Workers’ Credit Union for in excess of six years reviewing and approving loan applications. She was also a board m e m b e r o f t h e ‘210’Assemblies of God Church for many years, during which time she served as an executive member of the women’s ministry. In fact she was also instrumental in setting up a feeding programme for the less fortunate children in Durban Backlands. Currently she is a member of the Restoration Ministries in Barbados and serves in the women’s and children’s ministries, providing counseling and assistance for the needy. What an example. What a special person!
Sunday March 31, 2013
Will anything change under Donald Ramotar? It is perhaps asking too much to expect that President Donald Ramotar will dissociate himself verbally and publicly from the actions of his predecessor, more so if he cannot undo what he inherited. It is not usual for a sitting president who ran on the successful economic record of his predecessor, and whose term is still in its infancy, to come out flaying at his predecessorâ€™s record. That would certainly be illadvised, as he can alienate himself within his own government at a period when his feet may not yet be fully planted. It took a very long time, more than four years, for Desmond Hoyte to unshackle himself from the socialist policies and from the old guard of Forbes Burnham. But even when he did, he never once publicly denounced Burnham or his policies. From the early days of his presidency there were in fact many who were disappointed that he kept on a number of the old guard in senior positions before eventually shuttling most of them into political obscurity. Hoyte was a loner; a man without a major constituency within his party, but he used the presidency over a period of time to strengthen his hold on his party, so much so that he was able to expel a major strongman from the PNC. Even after he lost three straight elections to the PPPC, he remained firmly in command of the PNC, which he tried to rebrand in his latter days without ever disowning its past or apologizing for its dubious record. It was only because of dire hardship and international financial isolation that Hoyte was forced to change. But to his dying day, he never publicly distanced himself from that tragic experiment called cooperative socialism. Leaders have to be judged more by what they do than what they say, and one can say with some surety that this yearâ€™s Budget, though lacking in many respects, is the most progressive postJagan Budget of the PPPC governments, and certainly some of the measures announced would never have seen the light of day under the previous president. So is Donald Ramotar trying to bring about the change that many were expecting of him? It may be too early to judge.
It will take time for Ramotar to pull the plug on Jagdeo. That cannot happen overnight as many had expected, even with the significant powers of the presidency. One has to appreciate that the incumbent president was virtually gifted the presidential candidate by his predecessor and there will be some amount of gratitude and loyalty involved. Nevertheless, there is deep concern that the longer it takes for Donald Ramotar to distance himself from his predecessor, the harder it will be to eventually do so. In fact the major question is not, as it was with Desmond Hoyte, when Donald Ramotar will be able to bring about a change, but whether in fact he is so inclined. With the greatest of respect, he does not come across as someone wanting to be different. An opportunity recently presented itself for the president to distance himself from some of the actions of h i s p r e d e c e s s o r. T h i s opportunity was the disclosure about the broadcast licences that were issued by the former president just before he demitted office. Donald Ramotar cannot revoke those licences. They are now considered property and the constitution does not allow for the revocation of property without the payment of compensation. They can be revoked if they were unlawfully and unconstitutionally granted, but it is the court which has to make such a finding. The president took an interesting approach to the issue. He sought to distance the present government from the issue, without criticizing the former President. He explained that the licences were part of fulfilling a promise to liberalize the broadcast spectrum. He should have explained that he cannot revoke the licences, but can limit the number of frequencies that were granted and which effectively makes some stations into community broadcasters while the more favoured ones have national reach. There is now a serious issue with broadcast licences and this issue is not going to go away. Nor can it be left
A mini health check is the first step to donating blood
simply as a problem that the new president inherited. The President cannot resort to hiding behind the notion that the licences were not granted under his watch or try to explain them by reference to the need for liberalization or what happened under the PNC. Everyone knows in this country about how the PNC operated while it was in power. That certainly cannot be the standard by which any democratic government should operate. Neither should it be used to explain or justify its actions.
The controversy over the licences is not going to be hushed up by statements about applications being considered. Admittedly, the granting of new licences is now out of the hands of the government and also the revocation of the ones granted before may also be out of its hands. It is now more than likely that legal action will be taken to deem the licences granted just before the last elections as unlawful and to demand that all applications be fairly considered. There is a strong legal basis and legal
precedent for overturning these licences, and more so now that litigants have resort to the Caribbean Court of Justice. There is also a strong legal basis for the court to mandate that certain applicants be granted licences if it is found that the previous process was arbitrary. One has to therefore ask, if the court finds that the process of granting the licences was arbitrary, u n l a w f u l a n d unconstitutional, would President Donald Ramotar then distance himself from
his predecessorâ€™s actions in this instance? Or will he continue with the same position that he took at his recent press conference. Will things change or will they plod along as they have been doing for the past sixteen months?
Sunday March 31, 2013
Export-led growth: Who will lead in the Caribbean? Part 2 s Sir Ronald Sander By Despite all the promises of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU), the countries of the Caribbean have not benefitted from increased exports to EU markets or from increased investment from the EU. The 15 Caribbean countries to which I refer are the 14 independent member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic – together described as CARIFORUM. Each of these countries has individually signed EPAs with the collective 27-nation EU. According to Ivan Ogando Lora, the directorgeneral of CARIFORUM, over the last five years since t h e E PA h a s b e e n operational, “exports of goods from Caribbean countries to the EU has practically remained stagnant going from €4.6 (US$5.8) billion in 2007 to €4.5 (US$5.7) billion in 2011”. Further, he says that “with regard to trade in commercial services, CARIFORUM members exported €4.9 (US$6.2) billion in 2009 while the corresponding figure for 2011 was €4.7 (US$6) billion”. It is clear, therefore, that the existence of the EPA has not resulted in greater exports of Caribbean goods and services to Europe. While there are obstacles to markets of EU countries despite the EPA, the main reason for the stagnation of Caribbean exports is the private sector’s failure to gear itself to take advantage of opportunities that exist. It also lacks access to capital, and it faces relatively highcosts of labour and other factors of production. This will remain the case, except for a few large companies in the region, unless there is a collaborative effort with governments to regionalise production for exports of both goods and services and to create region-wide machinery to facilitate exports. The stagnation of Caribbean exports to the EU market requires urgent attention, particularly as no other area of the world gives the Caribbean equivalent wide access. Immediate attention should also be given to penetrating new markets particularly nontraditional ones which have
expanded exponentially in recent years. These markets are China, India and Brazil, particularly. A recent Caribbean Exporters Colloquium held by the Caribbean Export Agency underscored the absolute necessity for each of the 15 CARIFORUM states to increase earnings through exports of goods and services. Unless, such exports are expanded, the countries of the region will not earn enough foreign exchange to pay for their vital imports including oil and gas. They will also lack the capital to maintain and improve physical infrastructure such as tourism plants, modern telecommunications, road transportation and ports. A great task, therefore, falls to the Caribbean’s private sector. But while a greater effort is needed by the private sector to retool their enterprises and to take advantage of existing markets and target new ones, this is not a task they can undertake alone. As an example, in seeking to penetrate new markets such as China, India and Brazil, businesses need a framework in which to do so. In this regard, CARIFORUM governments should already have started negotiations with India and Brazil to establish treaties that agree rules for trade, investment and development assistance on a long-term and predictable basis. They should also have launched negotiations for doubletaxation agreements. China presents a special problem that CARIFORUM countries should resolve sooner rather than later. Nine of the 15 CARIFORUM countries have diplomatic relations with China while six of them maintain relations with Taiwan. This situation deprives CARIFORUM of the opportunity to negotiate a single agreement with China as CARIFORUM countries have done with the EU. It is understood that the six countries with links to Taiwan – and who are beneficiaries of Taiwan’s aid – wish to continue to receive this assistance, but they should not stand in the way of the other nine countries settling better arrangements than now exist with China through a long-term trade, aid and investment treaty. The nine should proceed to conclude a treaty with
China. The remaining six should have the option to join such a Caribbean-China treaty should circumstances change in the future. The stagnation in EU trade in goods and services is unlikely to improve not only because of the lack or readiness by the Caribbean’s private sector to take advantage of the EU markets, but also because the EU is busily signing-up EPAs with other parts of the world whose goods and services directly compete with the Caribbean’s. By the same token, the Caribbean’s other traditional markets, the US and Canada, based on several factors — including their proximity, a significant Caribbean Diaspora population, and their size — still offer export opportunities that should be energetically pursued.
One of the important findings of the recently held Colloquium is that a Caribbean Business Council comprising high-level government and private sector representatives has to be set-up urgently to make binding policy decisions about how to expand Caribbean exports of goods and services, and to put in place the machinery to do so expeditiously. This should no longer be a matter for delay. Beyond this, however, are two critical mechanisms that would help the private sector to penetrate new markets. These are a PanCARIFORUM ExportImport (Ex-Im) Bank and a region-wide Export Credit Guarantee Scheme (ECGS). Attempts at national Ex-Im Banks have not been greatly successful because of a lack
of sufficient capital, and such ECGS that were tried suffered from insufficient take-up by local businesses as with most other things in the Caribbean, national enterprises and national resources are usually too small. That is also why the Caribbean Single Market should be perfected without further delay. There is every reason to believe that a PanCARIFORUM Ex-Im Bank to provide the Caribbean private sector with access to capital for exports, and a Pan-CARIFORUM Export Credit Guarantee Scheme, would receive initial funding support from donors and lenders including multilateral financial institutions. As Delisle Worrell, the governor of the Barbados
Sir Ronald Sanders Central Bank, pointed out r e c e n t l y, “ C a r i b b e a n economies may grow in a sustainable fashion only when their foreign exchange earnings increase”. To increase such earnings, exports of goods and services must expand. Collective action is required by governments and the private sector. An improved quality of life for the Caribbean’s people depends on it. (The writer is a Consultant, former Caribbean diplomat and now Visiting Fellow, London University)
Sunday March 31, 2013
White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus) The White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus) is a large bird of prey species found in tropical or subtropical environments across the Americas. Averaging 21–23 in (53–58 cm) in length with a wing span of around 4 ft (1.2 m), the super White-tailed Hawk is a large, stocky buteo hawk. Adult birds are grey above and white below and on the rump, with faint pale grey or rufous barring. The short tail is white with a narrow black band near the end that is conspicuous in flight. A rusty-red shoulder patch is just as characteristic when the bird is sitting with wings closed. The wings are dark above, admixed with grey near the bases of the blackish primary remiges. The under-wing is whitish, with indistinct brownish barring on the under-wing coverts that extends onto the flanks and thighs. The iris is hazel, the cere is pale green, the beak is black with a horn-coloured base, and the feet are yellow with black talons. Immature birds are somewhat darker than adults; they may appear nearly black in faint light, in particular individuals which have little white below. The wing lining is conspicuously spotted black-and-white; the
rusty shoulder patch is absent in younger birds. The tail changes from brown with several dark bars to greyish with a hazy dark band as the birds approach maturity. The bare parts are coloured much like in the adult. Its call is a high-pitched cackling ke ke ke..., with a
tinkling quality that reminds some of the bleating of a goat or the call of the Laughing Gull. The White-tailed Hawk is hard to confuse with any other bird, except that in the Southern Hemisphere winter, young birds are sometimes mistaken for migrant Red-backed Hawks.
The White-tailed Hawk can be found anywhere from coastal Texas and the Rio Grande Valley to Central Argentina as well as many Caribbean islands, although mostly the southern ones. For habitat it prefers open or semi-open regions up to 2,000 ft (c. 600 m), with few trees to hinder its
flight. It is not a migratory bird, though some populations may make regional movements when food is scarce. It likes to perch on bushes, trees, telephone poles or even stand around on the ground, as well as to soar. Generally, it prefers arid habitat and rarely occurs in very rainy locales. Though it will disappear from unsuitable locations after habitat fragmentation, it has a wide range and is not considered to be a globally threatened species by the IUCN. Its preferred hunting technique is to hover and observe the surroundings for signs of potential prey, gliding to another place when nothing is found. The diet of the Whitetailed Hawk varies with its environment. Rabbits make up the majority of the hawk’s diet in some areas, while lizards of 12 in (30 cm) in length and more are the preferred prey in other areas. Other animals such as rats, snakes, frogs, arthropods (especially grasshoppers, cicadas and beetles), and smallish birds such as passerines or quails are also eaten; it will snatch chickens when no other source of food is available. In the open cerrado of Brazil, mixed-species
feeding flocks will react to a White-tailed Hawk with almost as much alarm as they do w hen s eeing s uch dedicated predators of birds as the Aplomado Falcon. The White-tailed Hawk is also known to feed on carrion and to gather with other birds at brushfires to catch small animals fleeing the flames. Breeding pairs of Whitetailed Hawks build nests out of freshly broken twigs, often of thorny plants, 5–15 ft (1.5–5 m) or more above the ground on top of a tree or yucca, preferably one growing in an elevated location giving good visibility from the nest. The nest’s interior is cushioned it with dried grasses and other fine materials; green twigs of mesquite or other aromatic plants are often placed in the nest too, perhaps to deter parasites. Like many Accipitridae, White-tailed Hawks do not like to abandon a nest site, and nests built up over the years can thus reach sizes of up to three feet (1 m) across. The eggs are white, often lightly spotted with brown or lavender; between one and three (usually two) are laid per clutch. When approached on the nest, the adults will get airborne and observe the intruder from
Sunday March 31, 2013
President Donald Ramotar and Chinese Ambassador Zhang Li Min, along with others at yesterday’s sod turning of the US$150M CJIA expansion.
SUNDAY SPECIAL SOD TURNED FOR CJIA’S US$150M EXPANSION On Saturday March 23, Government turned the sod for a US$150M expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) with officials signaling intentions to no longer pursue plans to demolish the current terminal building. The building was constructed almost 12 years ago during a US$30M major reform of the Timehri International Airport, as it was known then. It was renamed the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. The terminal building, which airline officials have been saying has become too small amidst significant passengers’ growth, will be used for cargo handling, storage and a host of other services. Under the 2011 contract with the contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), the terminal building was set to be demolished by CJIA, at its own cost. But the building has remained in excellent condition and a decision was taken not to raze it. An entirely new terminal building, immediately south of the current one will now be
built to the tune of US$47M, said Transport Minister, Robeson Benn. Another US$58M will be spent to extend the main runway. UN BACKS AMERINDIANS’ CONTROL OF LANDS A United Nations agency is urging Guyana to review the practice of granting mining permits and concessions in indigenous communities before obtaining consent from Amerindians who live there. The letter was issued this week by the U.N.’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD), according to an Associated Press (AP) report last week Saturday. It comes after the Amerindian People’s Association wrote the U.N. to complain that although Amerindians received land titles from the government, they have no power to prevent miners from working in or near their villages. Spokeswoman Jean LaRose said that the group has repeatedly sought permission from the government to prevent miners from exploiting indigenous people’s lands. Attorney General, Anil Nandlall has said the government will not
consider the group’s request. In February, Kaieteur News reported that Amerindians from the Upper Mazaruni, Region Seven, have taken their case of land rights violations to the United Nations, hoping that the Special Rapporteurs could help force the government to revise the Amerindian Act. MONDAY EDITION MARUDI POLICE BRUTALITY…BEATEN WOMAN REFUSES TO MEET POLICE COMMISSIONER Varverona Prince, the woman who was beaten by a police rank on the Marudi trail, is refusing to meet with Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell, after expressing dismay at some of comments that the Top Cop has made about the incident. Following a meeting between the Brazilian Ambassador and the Prince Family, the Embassy had scheduled one for the victims to convene with the Commissioner. However, Ms. Prince, who was beaten severely, said that after listening to Brumell’s utterances, she is refusing to honour that schedule. The woman’s ten-year-old son, Renaldo Prince, was also
beaten and he sustained a fractured left leg. Initially, Brumell had signaled all intentions to address the matter and let justice prevail. He had told Kaieteur News that the fact that a woman and child were involved in the beating makes the matter one that must be strictly dealt with. But in later comments to journalists, Brumell said that the Police Force has its own opinion of what transpired. He had also stated that the ranks at the scene were doing their jobs, adding “Did anybody die?” Michael Prince, father of the child who suffered a broken leg, said that his wife, Varverona, left the country the immediate day after hearing Brumell’s views. According to him, she figured that since the head of the Police Force had those thoughts, nothing was going to come out of her misfortune. 100 YEARS OF AVIATION…BRAZIL SQUADRON THRILLS SEAWALL CROWD Scores turned out at the Kitty seawall to observe the celebration of the centenary of aviation in Guyana as seven Brazilian smoke squadrons performed a live air show last Sunday. Spectators, families and even members of the diplomatic corps enjoyed the aerial displays. Seven planes known as T6 were used in the aerial display as the Brazilian Air Force performed five main manoeuvres which elicited applause from the crowd. The viewing public was especially awestruck at the dodges performed by the planes which almost appeared to be on a collision path. Other incredible air displays included the formation of a heart in the sky. Patterns and designs mixed with aerodynamic stunts also dominated the event. The Team made its first
visit and performance in Guyana during 2008, when Guyana hosted the Caribbean Festival of Arts (Carifesta). The team has also performed in other South America countries, as well as in Europe and Egypt, among other places. Returning to Guyana after five years is truly a wonderful form of appreciation, the team said. TUESDAY EDITION GOVT. UNVEILS $208.8B BUDGET Several measures, including a $2,500 monthly increase in the old age pension and lowering of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax rate to 30 per cent, were introduced Monday as Government unveiled its 2013 National Budget to the tune of $208.8B – its largest ever. During a three-hour long budget presentation Monday afternoon in the National Assembly, Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, also announced plans to allow homeowners who have mortgages to deduct their interest payments from the taxable income. While the tax threshold for workers will remain at $50,000 monthly, the PAYE rate was reduced from 33.3 per cent to 30 per cent. “As a result of this reduction in the personal income tax rate, more than 184,000 taxpayers will benefit with higher take home pay, and an additional $1.8 billion of disposable income will be placed annually in the hands of the taxpaying public,” Singh said. Regarding the measures, Dr. Singh said it is Government’s objectives to ensure that the debt remains within manageable levels. In addition to $1B to assist the ailing sugar industry which fell to its lowest production last year, this year Government has allocated $11.2B to the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) that will assist that state-owned agency meet its
cash flow requirements. The money will also help in key projects including the upgrade of GPL’s transmission and distribution network, its loss reduction programme, and activities relating to the Amaila Falls Hydro Project. ARMED BANDITS CAUGHTAFTER SNATCHING $$$ IN FRONT GRA Police nabbed two bandits Monday, after a businessman’s bag containing over $4M was snatched from him in front of the recently relocated Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) head office on Camp Street. The arrest came after a police inspector in a car noticed the commotion in the area and fired a shot behind one of the bandits who was running east on Quamina Street. The robber was apprehended with the bag of money. Another man was also held and was identify as a James Street, Albouystown resident. Reports revealed that four men traced the businessman, Cecil Albert Gajadhar, from his East Coast Demerara gas station. The men then joined a taxi at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, and continued to trail the businessman. They left the taxi when they noticed Gajadhar stopping in front of the GRA, and pounced on the man who was alone in his vehicle at the time and proceeded to snatch the bag that contained $4M. According to Gajadhar, he was heading to the bank when he decided to stop at the GRA’s office for a form. Approximately 10 minutes into his wait, he said four men descended onto his vehicle and demanded the bag containing money. One of the men then opened his door and grabbed the bag containing the money and ran away. The man ran south on Camp Street then turned east into Quamina Street and into the arms of the police. WEDNESDAY EDITION PROTESTS OVER RADIO LICENCES TAKEN TO CHANNEL 9 Private media houses continued their protests over what they say is the unfair distribution of radio licences by former President Bharrat Jagdeo. On Tuesday, scores of media workers, newspaper vendors and journalists took the protests to NBTV Channel 9, on Mandela Avenue, in the city. They bore placards calling for a level-playing field and demanding that the ruling party stop its practice of “grabbing” Guyana for its friends (Continued on page 40)
Death on a dismal backdam - is Iesha Byron’s killer serving time in Cayenne? By Michael Jordan It was around 23:00 hrs on a Monday night, July 16, 2007, that residents of D’Urban Backlands saw a short, dreadlocked man and a young woman trekking down a bushlined dam leading to Sophia. The area had developed a macabre reputation in recent years. It was there that the bound and bullet-riddled body of a young Mc Doom resident named Devon Cambridge was found on March 12, 2006. It was in this area also that the bound body of Sherman Edwards of Crown Street, Queenstown, was found in April 2007. Someone had slashed his throat. Despite this, the secluded dam also remained a haven for lovers, so the passing couple
aroused no suspicion. But some 20 minutes later, the residents were startled by the sound of gunshots. Shortly after, they spotted the same dreadlocked man hurrying back in the direction from which he had come. This time, he was alone. He then mounted a bicycle that he had apparently left leaning against a tree and sped off. Some residents notified the police but when the ranks came and scoured the area, they found nothing suspicious. The following day, the still-curious residents continued the search, and shortly after, they stumbled on a yellow skirt, a cream top and a pair of slippers on the dam. Their worst fears were confirmed when, moments
Iesha Byron later, they came upon the nude body of a young woman of African ancestry in a clump of bushes. The corpse bore bulletwounds to the stomach and forearm. Robbery did not appear to be the motive, since the victim was still wearing a pair of stud earrings, gold bands, chain and wrist watch. Tattooed on the victim’s right thigh was the word ‘Quassi’, but that gave no clue about the slain woman’s identity. It was not until the following day, after word had
spread about the killing, that relatives came forward to claim the body. The victim was Iesha Byron, a 25-year-old hairdresser from East Ruimveldt Front Circle. Iesha had two daughters, aged seven and eight, and operated a salon in the Bourda Market Mall. They were also certain that they knew the identity of her killer. Iesha’s relatives last saw her alive at around 09:30 hrs on Monday, July 16, 2007. It
Sunday March 31, 2013
was at around that time that a dreadlocked man had visited the home. The man, a relative, had lived at the same house, but he had disappeared about a month prior to that. Word was that he had gone into hiding after making off with the loot from a robbery he and two other men had committed. The man spoke with Iesha, and the young hairdresser informed a sister that she was going out and would return soon. Iesha and the dreadlocked relative then left, with the man pushing a bicycle. From the description of the individual who had taken Iesha to the backdam, relatives were certain that the same man had killed her. But while police had an identity of the suspect, they were unable to locate him. He had simply disappeared. But two years after Iesha Byron was brutally slain, close relatives of Byron’s revealed that they had
information about the whereabouts of the man they insist was her killer. According to the relatives, they recently received word that the man is serving time in a French Guiana jail for armed robbery. Relatives said that they were able to confirm this after contacting authorities there. They are hoping that when his sentence is over, he will be shipped back to Guyana to face trial for the brutal murder he is believed to have committed one night on a lonely backdam. If you have any information about any unsolved case, please contact us at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown location. You can contact us on telephone numbers 2258465, 22-58491 or 2258458. You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email a d d r e s s email@example.com. You need not disclose your identity.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Ravi Dev Column
Losing the Phagwah Spirit This Phagwah morning, I noticed something different in my village: the streets were not as thronged with young people going from house-tohouse with their buckets and water-guns, ensuring that no one was left high and dry. It’s not that the streets were deserted or anything...but the hubbub, jostle and bustle with children and youths already drenched and besmeared with colours, which signified Phagwah morning for me, just wasn’t there. What was going on? The night before I’d gone with my family to watch the burning of the village Holika in the Mandir compound. Even with females now permitted to the ceremony (had they been prohibited because of the festival’s connection with fertility rites?) the gathering was very small. The pandit, a temple official and I commiserated over this fact as the Holika pyre burned itself out. We’d have to do more next year to bring the people out, we promised. But with the precipitous decline in the water-throwing brigade the next morning, I
Tension is heightening because people have refused to accept that everyone has the right to disagree. In this case the disagreement is over who should be respected and who should be allowed to make determinations at the national level. Indeed, there was always this problem but it was not an issue until now. The reason is that things were allowed to fester. This refusal to accept will spill over into other areas of life and the consequences would not be pleasant. If one believes that migration has been bad to this point,
became really worried. During my boyhood, Phagwah had been the festival of youths. We’d gather at the Mandir and sing (more like ‘shout’) chowtaals with gusto to the sounds of the clashing brass ‘jaals” (cymbals). At the appointed hour, we males would troop off behind the pandit to the Holika mound: our din ensuring that the rest of the village knew what was going on. At the site, we’d tie our coconuts and corn-on-thecobs with wires and hurl them into the flames for their ‘ritual’ roasting: but the fun was in the sharing and eating. Early the next morning we’d return to collect ashes from the fire to smear on villagers as we cavorted around with our pails of water. Sometimes there was a horsecart corralled into the ‘sport’, to transport the chowtaal singers. As I reflect back, I can see the great role that Phagwah played in helping to build a community consciousness. We were all one on that day. Sure there would be a few spoilsports who would protest their dousing.
But they were berated by one and all for being just that - spoilsports. Some boys would specifically target them just to provoke an eruption. Phagwah Day was when all divisions were broken down - and the ‘big’ and ‘little’ ones of the village were as one. I suspect that as boys, we particularly enjoyed the breakdown in the very strict barriers to interacting with the girls of the village. This was an integral aspect of Phagwah and reflected, I now suspect, the festival’s origin with fertility and its overt association with Kaama, the god of love. In Ratnaval, the 7th century Sanskrit drama, Phagwah is described: “Witness the beauty of the great “cupid” festival which excites curiosity as the townsfolk are dancing at the touch of brownish water thrown from squirt-guns. They are seized by pretty women while all along the roads the air is filled with singing and drum-beating. Everything is coloured yellowish red and rendered dusty by the heaps of scented powder blown all over.”
whatever happens would worsen the migration. But this need not happen as the signs seem to show. There is the pressure by the reasonable ones. ** The fires were back with an intensity that defied logic. But
even they would be overshadowed by human behaviour. Rapes would take pride of place in the society because people seem to have lost reason. One rapist is going to feel the brunt of community anger. He would be beaten to within an inch of his life and the law enforcers would not seem to mind. ** Another road accident is going to cause even more injuries than the few this past week. Speeding would be the cause but as can be expected, there would just be finger pointing.
Today, however, there is a new development which I believe might be contributing to the decline of Phagwah celebrations in the communities. This is the ‘mega” Phagwah events being organised at various venues. I do suspect that the organisers are very wellmeaning folks who might be reacting to the emerging less localised lifestyles with the decline of traditional bonds and are trying to replicate the ‘village togetherness’. But I really believe that the way to go is to work to facilitate the local communities (be they rural or urban) to celebrate Phagwah in their locales. The most effective cohesion schemes
are always those that are owned and organised by local people – those that are done by them, not to them. More fundamentally, these ‘organised events’ encourage the belief that merely by showing up we have ‘observed’ the festival. This is even more pronounced at the Divali mega-events (which have been going on for a much longer time) where we have been reduced to being spectators and observers and not as subjects that obtain good karma by our own actions. If the present trend continues, I can see us eventually ‘celebrating’ Phagwah by watching actors on a stage throwing water, powder and abeer at each
other. And of course we would have descended by then into the anonymous and faceless ‘modernity’ that is characterised by its own term of illness in every social science: alienation, anomie, angst etc...I call upon all concerned citizens, not just Hindus, to save Phagwah from this fate: let us work to strengthen our communities. Phagwah is not a spectator sport.
Sunday March 31, 2013
The PPP’s mean-spirited 2013 national budget Whatever the economic statistics cited by the Minister of Finance suggest, Guyana is facing severe problems that are in need of urgent attention. These problems include: socially dysfunctional levels of unemployment in spite of an unprecedented flight of Guyanese from these shores; simmering social and racial tensions; one of the highest rates of suicide in the world; an impending environmental and public health catastrophe associated with inability to dispose of our waste; a growing army of destitute and mentally-ill persons on our streets; along with hordes of unemployed, unskilled and hopeless youths. The APNU continues to draw to the government’s attention the need to address these burning economic and social issues. The PPP regime, sticks doggedly to the path followed by Bharrat Jagdeo, a path of denial, rampant corruption and abuse of office. The Budget Statement, of 25 March 2013, suggested that little has changed. Political dialogue, which could inform the needed change and ensure an Opposition buyin to policies, has been absent. Equal access, given such prominence in the Statement, is absent. The current furore, over the allocations for TV and radio frequencies, demonstrate the extent to which the Government is so contemptuous of public opinion, and its own constitutional obligations, that it presided over the award of frequencies and licences almost exclusively to PPP personnel and friends of Mr Bharrat Jagdeo. Elsewhere, the PPP is the only
Parliamentary Party that has failed to provide the names of nominees for the Public Procurement Commission. Presidential promises of political dialogue fill the airwaves, even as officials, charged with such dialogue on the Government side, refuse to provide information or to meet as promised. These shenanigans suggest that the Budget is no more than a conduit for inflexible and often discredited ideas. The Minister’s budget statement opens with a provocative tirade against the Opposition Parties for various sins facilitated by the constitutional “majority of one”. Presumably, these include the correction of the constitutional abuses that the Government has perpetrated since 2003. It does appear that a majority is only acceptable to the President if it is a PPP majority. Democracy requires, however, primacy of a simple majority and makes no distinction between a majority of fifty or of one. The Budget architects outline a programme for 2013 that is no different from those of 2006 to 2011.The main features of the regime’s economic programme are: 1. Give increasing priority to capital projects at the expense of current expenditure. 2. Choose capital projects on the basis of those which offer the most benefits to a privileged few, even if this means a higher cost to taxpayers when projects, such as the new Skeldon Factory, work poorly. The main and most controversial capital projects continue to be the same as in 2012 and most do not actually appear in the Estimates although they are mentioned in the
Budget Statement: Amaila Falls hydro and road construction project; Marriott Hotel Project; Speciality Hospital; and several supposedly LCDS projects. Every one of these projects has been mired in controversy about graft and inefficiency. The price the Nation will have to pay for these characteristics is already evident. There is the Skeldon Sugar factory, for example, where increasing numbers of PPP supporters are falling out of the labour force, as a result of very low wages and inefficient management. The PPP strategy has two other elements: 1. The award of concessions to businesses linked to the PPP. This is the policy of cronyism and nepotism and the outcome is widespread discrimination, racism, graft and glaring inequalities. The most egregious of these has been the 2007 concessions to Queens Atlantic Investment Inc. (QAII). 2. The capital expenditure programme is to be used to pass funds to cronies and to benefit PPP constituencies. This is not efficient and largely benefits major contractors rather than the poor. There is little effort to ensure that expenditures are directed to or managed in a manner that favours labour intensive projects or are geared to addressing the local unemployment problem. The worst case of this kind is the Marriott Hotel project. The preservation of macro-economic fundamentals sounds impressive when voiced by the Minister, but the non-transparent policy-making means that the public cannot be sure of exactly what figures underlie the 2013 Budget. Revenues and expenditures of considerable magnitude fall outside of the Estimates laid before the National Assembly. The call for the funds from the Lotto and NICIL to be accounted for and brought within the Consolidated Fund continues to be ignored. Furthermore, for the last six years at least, the Auditor General has pointed out that the Minister of Finance (MOF) has routinely abused the Contingencies Fund. It is certain that the fiscal balance presented by the Minister is inaccurate, since the MOF has already spent or intends to spend more than stated. On the basis of the revenues collected the Minister should have been committing more resources to investing in the Guyanese people and the improvement of their conditions. Instead of this, the Budget directs resources primarily to contractors and a few areas of business. In 2012, the Opposition Parties called for a reduction of the VAT, the MOF refused and
the President offered to set up a committee to review the entire tax structure. Neither the President nor the MOF have even deigned to mention whether the Committee has met as yet. A year has passed and they assume things in the meantime, the Minister boasts that VAT revenues increased by over 6% in 2012. The overall improvement in revenue levels received and anticipated should have led to a credible programme of assistance for the needy and the vulnerable. When APNU called for a 2012 Old Age Pension of $15,000 per month, the Government promised that the increase from $8100 to $10000 in 2012 for pensioners would be an interim increase. However, such is the Government’s meanspiritedness that, even in 2013, they are proposing $12,500, instead of the $15,000, from May 2013 instead of January. This seems to be a deliberate step to deny a constituency in which they have no political interest. Not all pensioners will benefit from the water or the electricity subsidy, since most of them are not, by virtue of their circumstances, direct customers of GWI or GPL and, therefore, cannot benefit directly from the proposals. The same mean-spiritedness applies to the movement of the income tax threshold and rate. The 31/3 % reduction that some wage earners will receive is to be taken away by the announced increase in NIS rates. In the same vein, the mortgage interest relief, which will benefit those borrowing to build houses valued up to $30 million, goes no way to meet the need of the poor who are not in a position to obtain mortgages in any case. Among the budget measures the Minister announced are the transfer of $11.2mn to GPL and $1.7mn to GuySuCo. The problems bedevilling GuySuCo have been obvious for quite a while and the Opposition Parties, as well as GAWU, have been calling on the Government to take measures, of an operational and policy nature, to address the problems of the industry. These calls have been ignored. Now the Minister is promising a 2013-2015 Plan, to facilitate a dramatic reduction in the needs of the industry. Doubtless, as was the case in 2013, the MOF will turn up in May 2013 to ask for an additional $6mn. Budget 2013 is a mean-spirited budget in which much of what is offered will not be available to all those who might be expecting it and much of what can be received will be taken away by other Budget measures such as the NIS increase.
Sunday March 31, 2013
Book Review: By Dr Glenville Ashby The miracle worker, Pa Neezer, led a life of spiritual austerity. Sound ritualistic preparation and fasting defined him as the consummate spiritual craftsman, sealing his place among the most adept occultists. Dr. Frances Henry meticulously chronicles the early life of Neezer - his ancestors, his family life, and the epiphanical experience that led to his ascendancy as the premier spiritual leader, healer and miracle worker of his generation. Her historical snapshots of Moruga, his birth place, and its 19th century settlers from America and Nova Scotia, are engaging and a foundation for further anthropological research. And true to her academic strengths, she examines the sociological framework of this intriguing movement - its structure and dynamics. The Orisha faith has evolved, or, rather reconfigured with a strong Pan Africanist, Yoruba injection that has alarmed syncretists. How would Neezer respond to this strain
The Simple Life of a Miracle Man within the system that he had mastered? Dr. Henry can only surmise, but believes that he would have rejected the Yorubization of ‘his’ religion. Pa was a creolised product of Christian and Yoruba traditions, but he was able to reconcile the two into one unitary expression, finding universality in the Godhead. During his legendary feasts, he performed Roman Catholic prayers, sometimes for hours, but when the Orishas (African gods) manifested or possessed some congregants, he was equally adept at praying, chanting and invoking the gods in Yoruba. The author’s observations are vivid, capturing the emotions, colour and tone of every spiritual event. To the disappointment of some, Dr Henry’s work is short on the fantastical and the incredulous. There are no Harry Potter-like showdowns with baccoos, soucouyants or duppys; no bodily contortions and vile spewing, a la The Exorcist. This is a treatise written with deliberation and prudence. She does not labour readers
with academia. Instead, the reader is guaranteed fluid indulgence. Neezer is clothed with human frailty and vulnerability. Of his purported
miracles which attracted seekers as far away as Venezuela, Dr. Henry is cautious, unwilling to be beguiled by hearsay. In fact, her seminal work
is as much about the sociology of religion - the cross pollination of religious beliefs - as it is about the biographical account of a legendary spiritual personage. Neezer’s charisma, his magical appeal, are evident throughout, but so too is the struggle of a people to redefine themselves after a period of De-Africanization, and one of the most brutal chapters in world history. As expected, there are moments of the spectacular spellbinding and incredulous. Neezer is an unassuming man, physically, but is transformed into a larger than life figure—majestically authoritative during possession. Dr. Henry saves her most exhilarating prosaic display for Neezer’s channeling of Aba Lofa. She is understandably awestricken by this transfiguration, her writing edging toward beatification, if not canonisation. She describes a scene of frenetic dancing in blood soaked white clothes and billowing cloak. She writes: “On this particular night, Pa…. sat in total silence and was completely still. It was if his
spirit or his soul was already in another world. Several hours passed. Suddenly, his eyes closed and his head began to shake faster and faster almost as though it would snap out of its neck….All eyes were drawn to him as he stood there dressed all in white completely immobile. On his head balanced was a freshly killed cow’s head…His entire body shook and moved while the cow’s head, its own dead eyes still open glared at the crowd.” As the author treads along the dangerous path of creating a cult of personality, she always recovers, presenting case after case of miraculous cures by Neezer with caveats: “Again, I was unable to determine if the cure was permanent.” But Dr. Henry’s “Pa” was neither sorcerer nor avatar. Unfortunately, humankind has always readied itself for salvation at the feet of men, a sure path to disillusionment. In reality, Neezer looked inward for spiritual understanding, and was no more than a mere mortal who raised his spiritual status through sheer work— (Continued on page 37)
Sunday March 31, 2013
Sunday March 31, 2013
== THE FREDDIE KISSOON COLUMN ==
Death at an uncivilized hour and a nudist party in a cathedral I live on the Railway Embankment with one house separating my home and the Caricom Secretariat. I look out from my study window and see how the Philistines have taken over the International Convention Centre. There have been three Hindu weddings there, one birthday celebration and last week, the Government sponsored a Phagwah event on the lawns. Coloured power enveloped the Caricom Secretariat, the nearby buildings and plastered itself on my window panes. Interestingly this was the second Government-hosted Phagwah celebration, the other at State House. Never do you see the Government hosting a festive occasion for any Emancipation Day event. One could just imagine the dilapidated state the washroom facilities are in. Three years ago I was at the Centre to attend a stakeholders’ meeting with the Ethnic Relations Commission. Apart from no running water, the restrooms were typical of such structures in public places – non-functioning. If the power people use the Centre for bacchanalian pleasures then obviously the washrooms are going to be destroyed. After one wedding night was over, I saw the clean-up campaign and there were mountains of broken bottles. The Nazis in Germany had their nasty ways, but I doubt that they would have used an international convention centre for wild parties. I doubt that happens anywhere else in the world. As they say in common parlance; the people who run Guyana are something else. How can you hold a raucous party at an international convention building? Isn’t that the equivalent of having a nudist party in a cathedral?
This may well happen, since many Guyanese tell me that God has gone out of Guyana. The street lights on the Railway Embankment go off after 22:00 hours. The only lamp missing is the one outside my home and this has been so the past three years. When the lamps fade in the night, the Railway Embankment is an area of immense darkness. If you think it is pitch black on the ocean on a moonless night, then come to the Railway Embankment after midnight. About two months ago, my daughter got me up at 2 A.M. to show me a body on the road outside our home that dozens of cars had rolled over, mashing it to pieces. Several cars were damaged because the drivers would not have been able to see the body parts. We couldn’t go back to sleep. How can you sleep when right outside your residence, cars are wheeling over a body? At daybreak, it turned out to be a calf. You don’t want to think about it, but one night it will happen. Tragedies happen all the time in this country and countless are waiting to happen. I would advise the poorer folks who read this column, not to use their bicycles and motor-cycles after 10 P.M. on the Railway Embankment. You are endangering your life. Drivers cannot see you. I once wrote that the most comical politician in the world is the Director of Sports in Guyana, Neil Kumar. The funniest politician in the world is Robeson Benn. Benn said he was driving home one night and he heard a calypso over NCN that he didn’t like so into the NCN compound he drove and the calypso was removed. Well it appears that it was for only that night that Benn drove on the streets. Other than that he drives his car in
The Simple Life of... From page 35 patience, fasting, prayer, contemplation, charitable deeds, and disdain for the dark arts. This is the essence, the very hallmark of wisdom, only realizable with utmost humility. This may well be the enduring lesson of Dr. Henry’s work. Email: glenvilleashby@ gmail.com Follow me on Twitter@glenvilleashby Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to submit material for review He had the Power: Pa Neezer, The Orisha King of Trinidad by Dr Frances Henry Lexicon Trinidad Ltd Rating: Highly Recommended Available: The Blue Edition/website:www.t heblueedition.com
the clouds in the skies. For three years now only two dozen lamps are working on the Atlantic highway. Darkness has returned as when we drove on that road ten years ago. Benn, the subject Minister, cannot see that the street lamps have died (as Andrew Lloyd Webber puts it in his musical, “Cats”). He cannot see for one reason only; he never drives on that
highway. If he does then he must have observed the lights have gone out. My opinion is that he knows. But this Minister is more interested in fixing the schedule of calypsos to be played on NCN than fixing the lights on one of the most dangerous roadways in the entire country. For this reason I describe him as the globe’s funniest Government Minister.
It was heart-breaking to read that a police patrol ran into a huge hole on a bridge at Strathspey Railway Embankment and one policeman lost his life. What a horrible tragedy that came one day after the Government’s budget was tabled in the National Assembly. Why did he have to die on a road that urgently needs fixing, but billions are being
Frederick Kissoon spent on “The Shining”? ”The Shining” is a Stephen King novel made into a popular movie about a ghost hotel. Who is going to occupy the Marriott?
Sunday March 31, 2013
Sunday March 31, 2013
Keep calm to resolve conflicts By Krista Brooks Nursey and I hope that you all have been enjoying your holidays. I was covered in powder the other day for Phagwah and can’t wait to test out my kite-flying skills on Easter Monday. So I can say I’ve been enjoying myself! Nursey was telling me how she would be spending “nuff time” with her family. She always loves getting together and seeing everyone. She also told me how last time they all were together people started quarreling up over some small thing. While the holidays are a great time to relax and enjoy your time with your family, sometimes some issues or conflicts can come up. Before leaving for the long holiday weekend, I gave Nursey some tips on how to work through conflicts, so I wanted to share them out with you all as well. Many times quarrels or conflicts are about small issues. You could have not invited someone to go out on the road one night or made a comment that made someone else upset. These things are more about hurt feelings than anything big. If you can take a step back and figure out the issue is something small, it might be best to just apologize or agree with the other person so you are no longer wasting your time and energy over a small problem. Just be sure to be
Krista Brooks respectful in your apology because otherwise it might cause more problems. Some quarrels, especially with family, are about longstanding issues. These are a bit harder to solve because they can be attached to very strong emotions and can make people feel like their well-being is threatened. The more we ignore or try to push aside these types of quarrels, the more they grow until there is an explosive reaction. The good thing is that if you can deal with a conflict, it can be an opportunity to learn a lot. First it is good to recognize and take control of your feelings and emotions. If your emotions are out of control, you will not be able to properly hear what the other person is saying and will probably say more things to make the situation worse. Once you understand your own feelings, it might
Autism risk not increased by early vaccines: study (Reuters) - There is no link between receiving a number of vaccines early in life and autism, researchers said on Friday. In a study slated to appear in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers said there is no association between receiving “too many vaccines too soon” and autism, despite some fears among parents around the number of vaccines given both on a single day and over the first 2 years of life. As many as one in 50 U.S. school-age children have been diagnosed with autism, up 72 percent since 2007. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Abt Associates analyzed data from children with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a statement from the journal. Researchers examined each child’s cumulative exposure to antigens, the substances in vaccines that cause the body’s immune
system to produce antibodies to fight disease, and the maximum number of antigens each child received in a single day of vaccination, the journal’s statement said. The antigen totals were the same for children with and without ASD, researchers found. Autism runs a spectrum from a profound inability to communicate and mental retardation to milder symptoms seen in Asperger’s Syndrome. While scientists believe genetics account for 80 to 90 percent of the risk for developing autism, a growing number of studies are beginning to suggest that a father’s age at the time of conception may play a role by increasing risks for genetic mistakes in the sperm that could be passed along to offspring. Worries about a link between vaccines and autism have persisted for years, despite a growing body of scientific evidence disproving such an association.
make it easier to see where the other person is coming from. If you are angry because of an issue, the other person might feel the same way. Using feelings is a good tool to help solve a conflict. If you have to bring up an issue, it might be good to start it off with “I feel hurt or sad or angry when…” This lets the other person know how you are feeling instead of sounding like you are accusing them of something. If you just say something like “you are wrong and you did this to me or that,” the person might be defensive. They might not have meant to make you angry or sad or even have known they made you feel that way in the first place. Also, be careful of the type of body language you use. If you are coming at someone with your finger waving up in their face, they probably aren’t going to be happy. Try to approach someone in a calm manner and give them good eye contact and nod your head so they know you are listening to them. No matter what sort of issue you have with someone, you should always treat them with respect. You don’t have to like everything a person says or does, but just being respectful and showing manners can go a long way to solving and even avoiding a quarrel. If you listen to someone’s side of a story, you should respect how they feel and what is important to them. Once again, respect doesn’t mean agreement; it is more that you take the time to try to understand their side in a calm and meaningful way. If you realize that you and another person are just never going to agree, you might just want to leave it there. If you can plan out a few steps so you can reach a compromise that is even better. Make sure if you do compromise, you are not trying to punish the other person. I hope all of you can use some of these tips to resolve a conflict or two in your own lives and spend more time enjoying yourself over the holidays. I will be back next week to tell you more interesting things that Nursey says. Until then! If you have any questions about solving conflicts or any other health issues please em a i l email@example.com. Krista Brooks is a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer working with the School of Nursing, which trains Nursing Assistants, Professional Nurses, and Midwifery Students
From page 31 and close party members. The media houses affected are claiming that they were deliberately ignored by former President Bharrat Jagdeo who used his executive power days before stepping down in late 2011, to grant close party members and family radio licences and other frequencies to operate cable TV and internet. NBTV is one of the several longstanding TV stations ignored. At the end of day, the radio frequencies essentially allow the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/ C), through the radio licences, to control the airwaves across the country. With government already granting a number of duty free and other concessions to the companies that have been given radio licences, the affected media houses which included NBTV, Kaieteur News, Stabroek News, RBS Channel 13, CNS Channel 6, MBC Channel 46, WRHM Channel 7, GWTV 2 and Capitol News, are complaining that the intention is to eventually close them down. They have been critical of government
on a number of projects in which details were questionable. OGLE INT’LAIRPORT NOWAREGIONAL CLASS FACILITY LIAT, the Caribbean Airline, made its inaugural flight to Ogle International Airport on Tuesday, signaling the facility’s status as a certified Regional Class Airport. By mid-year the airline is expected to commence operations at Ogle, hence pulling all flights from Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). This is according to LIAT’s Chief Executive Officer, Ian Brunton who piloted the aircraft, a Dash-8, from Antigua to Guyana. All crew members were Guyanese. The plane landed a little before the first taxiway on the newly extended runway indicating that the airport could accommodate larger planes, an observer said. Aircraft like the Turbo Prop, Dash 8s and ATR flights operated by LIAT and Caribbean Airlines, as well as executive-type aircraft could now utilise Ogle Airport.
“Flying into Ogle would also mean reduced flying time… flying time round-trip less an average of 10 minutes per flight. This of course would result in a significant annual fuel reduction for LIAT- approximately 19,300 gallons per annum,” Brunton informed attendees at the official commissioning of the facility. The gathering included President Donald Ramotar, Transport Minister Robeson Benn, Chairman of Private Sector Commission Ronald Webster, Former CARICOM Secretary General Edwin Carrington, and members of the diplomatic corps. THURSDAY EDITION POLICE INSPECTOR KILLEDAFTER CAR CRASHES INTO BRIDGE RAIL Another road accident on the East Coast of Demerara claimed the life of a Police Detective Inspector, on Wednesday, and also left two of his colleagues in a critical condition at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. Mohamed Ali, 48, of Wakenaam and Annandale, East Coast Demerera was
Wednesday evening pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital, while Detective Corporal Roland Beharry, 36, of Mon Repos and Constable Curtis Europe, 28, of Unity Place, Festival City are both being treated for serious injuries they sustained. The accident occurred on the Strathspey Railway Embankment around 17:00 hours while the trio was reportedly returning from an assignment in another district along the East Coast of Demerara. According to reports, the car they were travelling in, a Toyota Raum, which was driven by Beharry, crashed into one of the aluminium bridge rails on the embankment. No other vehicle was involved in the accident and traffic investigators are almost convinced that Beharry lost control of his vehicle while driving at great speed. From all indications, Ali, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, sustained the full brunt of the impact and suffered severe internal injuries. The three men were pulled from the wreck and rushed to the hospital, but by then it was too late for Ali. THOUSANDS, FLOCK NATIONALSTADIUM FOR PHAGWAH FESTIVAL Thousands turned out and celebrated with powder, water and perfumes at the National Stadium on Wednesday, as Inspire Inc hosted its “Phagwah Festival.” At the event there was a chowtaal competition and dances. Some of the performing artistes included Terry Gajraj, Rajesh Dubraj, the Ishara dance troupe and Prince JP among others. This friendly competition was intended to showcase Guyanese talent while encouraging the development of the various art forms. There were sweetmeats and other delightful delicacies on sale. In addition, there was the trampoline and ferris wheel for the kids, and a water sprinkler designed for persons willing to soak in the festivities. Inspire Inc. provided the forum where Guyanese united at one common place to celebrate the grandeur of Phagwah. At the event, patrons were seen playing with water guns, abheer, abrack and buckets of coloured strainers. The crowd enjoyed what the event had to offer and was very responsive to directives to “fog up the air with powder.” This festival of colours is celebrated with songs, music and dances. A
Sunday March 31, 2013
variety of water colours are mixed and sprayed on all those who participate in the celebrations and corresponding coloured powder is smeared on their bodies as well. FRIDAY EDITION GOVT. BRACES FOR TOUGH FIGHT TO PASS BUDGET The government is bracing itself for a tough fight in the National Assembly to get its $208.8 billion budget passed. With both opposition Parliamentary parties downplaying the budget, they are sure to put the government to task when the related debates begin next Tuesday. The tough fight is expected when the government will have to justify its spending, line by line, or face an oppositioncontrolled Parliament that will deny spending where it sees fit. Even before the debates begin, Dr Roger Luncheon, the government’s chief spokesperson went on the offensive, castigating the opposition. “The debate, Cabinet felt, would expose those who pander to superficiality, seek confrontation and by their very act and their behaviour betray their lack of interest and resolve in achieving the best for Guyanese,” Luncheon said. At the same time, he said that the government would take a “constructive” approach during the budget debates. “It is Cabinet’s intention to pursue the budget, its debate, and its final endorsement in the most constructive of ways, keeping focused its attention on development and the welfare of the Guyanese people,” Luncheon stated. He said the budget demonstrated that the PPP government had rejected any descent into superficiality and recklessness that characterized the opposition’s activities in the National Assembly. “The 2013 Budget was a rejection of the game plan of the opposition and it took the high ground in focusing on the development of Guyana; it took the high ground in appealing to Guyanese instincts to seek progress and to concentrate on developing our country,” Luncheon declared. He said that Cabinet contended that the budget was about the future and it was designed to promote the ambitions and the achievements of Guyanese “as we evolve into a middle class society.” According to Luncheon,
the budget could best be seen in light of what is happening with the economies of in the Caribbean “to allow us to have a better and a more informed perspective about Guyana.” “The debate would provide Guyanese citizens, the public and the Diaspora with ample opportunity to discern who really… which political forces are out there with a focus on the development of the nation and the care, the welfare, of its citizens,” Luncheon stated. GUYSUCO TO SWEETEN SUGAR FACTORIES WITH $3.1B THIS YEAR Despite questions over the viability of the sugar sector as labour shortages and weather, coupled with mechanical and agricultural problems continue to take the sweetness out of the operations, government has vowed to continue spending. This year, it has allocated $1B for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). The state-owned company is now set to spend $3.1B in a factory improvement programme with a focus to determine the right balance of mechanisation, field conversion, drainage and irrigation, transport infrastructure and plant breeding. “The factory improvement programme will aim at producing sugar to meet the growing market requirements for higher quality, both in bulk and direct consumption with increased efficiencies at all seven factories. A specific element of the plan will be to have the new packaging plant at Enmore operating at full capacity,” Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh said during his presentation of the 2013 National Budget to the National Assembly on Monday. Singh made it clear that Government’s position on the sugar industry is “clear and unequivocal”. “The industry is still of sufficient systemic importance to the national economy and to the livelihoods of so many rural communities and has such deep forward and backward linkages with suppliers and distributors nationwide, that no effort must be spared to ensure its long term viability, competitiveness, and profitability.” Over the years, Government has injected a total of $39.5B to recapitalise the industry and to support its operations. Last year, Government provided a transfer of $4B as GuySuCo fell short of meeting its financial loans and other commitments
Sunday March 31, 2013
The Abigail Column If he likes me, why won’t he call? how can I tell if he likes me for me and not just my looks? Curious
DEARABIGAIL, I met this man I like about a month ago and I think that he really likes me. He has a very busy schedule with school, homework, and sports, but when he says he will call me, he usually doesn’t. If he really likes me, why won’t he call when he says he will? Also,
Dear Curious, It’s easy to over think things and jump to conclusions, especially when you like someone. Before you write him off or get down on yourself, consider that there could be a number of reasons why he hasn’t called. School, homework, and sports? It sounds like he could just be really busy. Have you
tried calling him instead? Maybe he is shy and can’t work up the nerve to call you; maybe he lost your number. There are many possible scenarios that would explain his behaviour. Of course, there is also the chance that he’s just not interested. If you’re not getting what you want out of a relationship (even a relationship in the early stages) it’s probably best to look elsewhere. As the saying goes, there are a million fish in the sea.
Sunday March 31, 2013 ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19): There are complicated issues tugging at your psyche today. On one hand, the daily routine may be working just fine. But on the other hand, you believe that you must make a stand for what you feel.
LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 22): It’s crucial to concentrate on being practical today or you may end up obsessing about something you can’t have. Your goal is a familiar one — to find that elusive and inclusive middle ground that everyone can share.
TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20): You thought you were going to express your ultimate truth today, but it’s challenging to get to the bottom of your current emotional discomfort.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23–Nov. 21): Sensual Venus crosses paths with your key planet Pluto today, and you’re not willing to play games, unless you believe they are leading to something more substantial.
GEMINI (May 21–June 20): You have a wide spectrum of feelings that may be difficult to talk about today. Unfortunately, these emotions have a hold on what’s happening in your outer world, even if they are unconscious.
SAGIT (Nov. 22–Dec. 21): You’re not following rules of logic today as you seek to fulfill your desires. The moody Moon in your philosophical sign encourages you to communicate with others, but your words may be just a smoke screen.
CANCER (June 21–July 22): You may not be able to stop yourself from acting out your feelings today, even if you previously decided to keep your insecurities or criticisms to yourself. It’s not that you are particularly pushy now; it’s just that you are following your intuition. LEO (July 23–Aug. 22): Your insecurity in a relationship could lead you to act more intensely and passionately today. It’s not that you’re faking anything; it’s just that you might be experiencing uncharacteristic self-doubt now. VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22): You may believe that you’re successfully hiding your feelings today, but those close to you can read you like an open book.
CAPRICORN(Dec.22–Jan.19): Sometimes people don’t realize how deeply you feel. Just because you don’t always wear your heart on your sleeve doesn’t mean you are without passion. However, today your emotions may be overflowing, intensifying your interactions with others. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20–Feb. 18): Your emotional needs may differ from those of your friends and family, but it might feel overwhelming to stand up to anyone else at this time. PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20): You may be very accomplished at managing multidimensional living, but complex dynamics can put a strain on you today. You are being called to reevaluate your long-term goals and might need to do some powerful work within your dreams and fantasies.
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Guides are subjected to change without notice
Sunday March 31, 2013
Scorching day promised at Guyana Cup Fever horserace Meet today at Port Mourant By Samuel Whyte The day has arrived and all systems are in place and despite the plateau of activities for the Easter Weekend the place to be is the Port Mourant Turf Club where all roads are expected to lead for the Guyana Cup Fever horserace meet. Thousands are expected to throng to the world famous venue for the horseracing extravaganza being staged in collaboration with the Jumbo Jet Auto Sales and Racing stables at the clubs entity at Port Mourant, Corentyne, Berbice. The nine race meet is slated to be the biggest and richest horserace event for the year so far with a colossal $20M in cash incentives and trophies up for the taking and with such massive inputs the arena is expected to be a hive of activity. Over 100 of the country’s top horses have taken entry and the question being asked is who will win the battle of Port Mourant. All ingredients
are in place for the mega event and what is expected to be a pulsating and action packed day of racing. The track in good condition and some fast times are expected to be recorded in the grand showdown. All the top stables in the country have inked their names to be a part of the programme. With a number of them having multiple entries. There are a number of feature events on the day’s programme with the mouth watering feature B class collision again the talk of the day with a whopping winner’s take of $2M and trophy up for grabs. The distance is 1500M and with such massive takings the forecast looks good. A full gate of 16 entries are in the lineup with the likes of the Score’s Even, Grande De Roja, Settle in Seattle, Got to Go, California Strike, the Message, Zelick, Who is on the case, Renia Del café,
Diamond Dazzling, Miss Karina, Damascus Dream, The Baliff and the newly imported CP Got Even, A Great Cause and Country Armagh. The likes of Gold Rush, Monsoon, Princess Alisha, It’s My Turn, Silver Jet, Wild Grinder, Ameera’s Joy, Gypsy Rose and Flying in the Park, Set For fame, Flying baby and Gold Princess are in contention for the $1.5M and trophy in the race for three year old horses bred and born in Guyana and the West Indies over 1200M. Among those expected to burn up the track for the $1M and trophy in the 1600M race for four year-old animals are Settle In Seattle, Serenity, Windy War, Rosetta, Times have changed, Princess Kiara and Red Cloud. The E & Lower 1200M event has a top notch field assembled for the $700,000 on trophy on offer with War Craft, Marathon Man, Bridal Stone Corner, Sleeping in Town, Appealing Harvest, Silent Lizzy, The Bailiff, Swing
Easy, Top of the line and Face the Fire all set to blaze the trail. The G class 1200M event is expected to be another mouth watering affair with Damascus Dream, Top of the line, Prado’s Gold, Joyful Victory, Bridal Stone Corner, The Bailiff, De Girl Them Sugar, Traditional Man, Stormy Lass, Miss Regina, Face De Fire, Silent Lizzy, Intruding Account and Princess Kiara for a winners money of $600,000and trophy. The race for three year old horses bred and born in Guyana with $500,000 on offer will see among the starters Silent Night, She So Special, Cat Massiah, Dream Boy, Lucky Gold, Party Time, Easy To win, Angel Flyer and Sole Classic. The G3 and lower race, which replaces the H and lower 1200M event, has the likes of Summer Classic, Feels like Gold, Quiet Strom, Wild Grinder and Third World along with all the animals entered for the G class event
Ensuring the shoe fits properly; stable hands prepare one of the racehorses in action for today contests. battling for the $300,000 prize and trophies. While both the ‘I’ & lower and the J, K and L encounters are 1000M races for a $250,000 and $200,000 and trophies respectively; among some of the animals entered to compete are Pixie fire, Savion, Mona Lisa, I want Revenge, Golden Reprise, Diplomat, Speed Vision, Prince Bayaya, Windy Killer, Smarty Light Kevin, Pick Pocket and Lucky Gold among others.
The top individual performers including top Jockey and stable will receive accolades compliments of Trophy Stall, Bourda Market. Last minute queries can be directed to Chandu Ramkissoon (624-9063 or 2320633), Kris Jagdeo (624-6123; 322-0369), Rajendra (6187278), Ramnauth (337-5311), Romel Jagroop (624-1798), Compton Sancho 690-0569 or Melissa Chattergoon on 6987004. Race time is 12:00hrs.
Sunday March 31, 2013
East Coast Cricket Frank’s Uprising Promotions/ Ronson Board congratulates Frank preserve the Frank boxing legacy new WICB President - Will soon involve local pugilists in his projections By Michael Benjamin
The East Coast Cricket Board has offered congratulations to Mr. Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron the new President of the West Indies Cricket Board. In a release ECCB president Bissoondyal Singh noted that Cameron’s success was due to the confidence placed in his ability by the majority of the region. “On behalf of the Executives and the entire membership of the East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB), I wish to extend our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to you and your Executive Members of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). The success at the elections is a clear indication by those who have placed their confidence in your leadership skills to lead the WICB once again to the pinnacle of international cricket.” He continued, “We believe your victory was neither by share magic nor coincidence, but by your hard work and the confidence of the majority of those who have faith in in your
management skills and your ability to steer the ship of West Indies cricket through stormy weather especially in the current chaos that prevails in Guyana.” “As you begin your new term of office as President, we pray that the Almighty God will continue to shower you with blessings, wisdom, courage and sustained good health for the onerous task ahead. We also hope and pray that you will be able to deliver on your campaign promises as the Caribbean people especially the Guyanese masses anxiously anticipates. Although reportedly you did not receive the support of those holding themselves as the Executives of the Guyana Cricket Board, we at the East Coast Cricket Board express best wishes and will be looking forward to diligently work with you in the interest of Guyana’s cricket development and by extension development across the region. Congratulations once again, President Cameron,” he concluded.
Kashif and Shanghai... From page 55 inaccurate assertions were true, an accurate account of the extent of the Kashif & Shanghai Organization’s role in the Guyana World Cup ‘adventure’ could have been secured with the greatest of ease through a telephone call to the General Secretary of the Guyana Football Federation. I repeat my earlier assertion, Mr. Editor, that even in this season of rivalry and competition, journalists, particularly, owe it to themselves and to the consumers of information to be fair,
responsible and accurate in their reporting, moreso when an absence of these virtues can amount to vilification and character assassination. In the circumstances, Sir, I am copying this letter to the General Secretary of the GFF in the hope that his confirmation of the inaccuracy of Mr. Welch’s fallacious assertions will result in a full retraction by your newspaper. Kashif Muhammad Director Kashif & Shanghai Organization
Hard Core beat...
From page 55 winner. Man City got past Dangerous Bouroutia by a 2-1 margin. Shawn Abrams and Sherman Parris scored for the winner with Dangerous Bouroutia’s consolation strike coming off the boot of Harry Boss. Millennium took care of Lotto 2-1 compliments of efforts from Leon Nurse and Dexter Bentick. An own goal accounted for Lotto’s lone goal and it was scored by Millennium’s Mark Richards. Sponsors of the competition were Banks DIH, Carib, Courts and GT&T.
After more than three decades of throwing leathers in the square jungle, former world rater, Rawle Frank has teamed up with several of his siblings under the group, ‘Frank’s Uprising Promotions,’ to host the first boxing card in New York by a Guyanese group at the Five Star Banquet Hall, Long Island City Queens, New York, Saturday March 28 last. The card was headlined by Raul’s younger sibling, Ronson, who pounded Sharif Kemp on his way to a 2nd round knockout victory in the 5 bout card that also featured another Guyanese, junior/ lightweight, Travis Hall; he had to settle for a draw against Frank Garriga in a 4 rounds encounter. Super Middleweight, Juan Zapata, survived a 2nd round knockdown to register a points decision win over Valdrin Muriqi in their 4 rounds clash, while Michael Ocasio outpointed Eric George in a 4 rounds cruiserweight contest. In the lone female bout, in the flyweight division, Jacqueline Park defeated Susan Reno over 4 rounds. Local boxing pundits will remember with nostalgia, the many families that have occupied the boxing arena over the decades. Those historians worth their salt would remember the Blackmore clan, the Forde clan and the many others that have inked their names in the history book of local boxing. The Franks, Raul, Stephen, Rory and Ronson, have also etched their names into the history books of local
Though he held a high guard, Sharif Kemp (right) failed to block this vicious Ronson Frank left hook boxing with Raul going on to fight unsuccessfully for world titles; he dropped two 12 rounders to the late Vernon Forest in his bid for the International Boxing Federation welterweight title in August 2000 and May 2001. It seems as though Raul has hung up his gloves but the Frank legacy will continue to live on through the efforts of his sibling, light heavyweight prospect, Ronson, whose early victories had set tongues wagging and earned him a name for himself in the fistic sport. After experiencing contractual difficulties two years ago, Ronson was inactive and following a favourable resolution, returned to the ring last Thursday evening, reigniting a desire to climb to the top of his game. Kaieteur Sport spoke with Frank at his Brooklyn home
and he said that while the victory was satisfying he felt a sense of accomplishment because he had joined with his other siblings to promote the card under ‘Frank’s Uprising Promotions.’ His brother, Raul, said that the promotional group was born from a desire to facilitate boxers plying their trade but unable to make the transition into the big leagues. He explained that apart from those boxers in New York that fall into this group, the promoters are examining ways of incorporating Guyanese boxers in their plans. Frank said that they are now examining the possibility of a card sometime in May and will be heading to Guyana later in the year for a card on Boxing Day. He said that the group intends to engage President of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control, Peter Abdool in
further discussions. Frank also intimated that the next bout under ‘Frank’s Uprising Promotions,’ is scheduled for late May. Meanwhile, upon conclusion of the fight the 35 years old Ronson admitted that the challenges of promoting while preparing for a bout could be taxing. He is contemplating retracting from the promotional aspect in order to pay attention to his professional career. He said that he will be back in the gym within the next two weeks. The victory has pushed his record to an impeccable 17-0 with 9 knockouts. Another Guyanese pugilist, Travis Hall, turned in a wonderful performance but had to settle for a draw in a 4 rounds Jnr/lightweights bout with Frank Garriga. Frank said that he was impressed with Hall’s performance and will be hosting him on future fight cards.
:: :: Letter to the Sports Editor :: ::
DEAR EDITOR, For the first time in about 2 decades the GFF elections will be not have the presence of Colin Klass shrouding the proceedings. Thanks to the Georgetown Football Association, the process for this year’s election is much closer to being fair and transparent than any during the Klass era. However as we have seen in our local politics the “return to democracy” is a long and sometimes painful road. Four candidates have bubbled to the top. There is no stand out candidate in the group. However two are so fatally flawed that it would be disastrous (for different reasons) if either one was to win. The two are Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major and Christopher Matthias. Aubrey Major is the former organizing secretary and former co-director of the Kashif and Shanghai organization. It is his record in these two positions that speaks volumes against his candidacy. As co-director of the K&S organization Mr. Major oversaw the exploitation of Guyanese footballers for nearly two decades. This was made patently obvious when the GFA launched its end of year competition. With only a fraction of the sponsorship collected by K&S the GFA from year 1, made the decision to give substantial prize monies to teams placed 1 – 4 and provide ALL other participating teams a percentage of the profits. The GFA still managed to turn a good profit in both years as reported in their audited financial statements. The issue of prize monies and appearance fees had been raised by teams repeatedly over the last 10 years for the K&S tournament. Save for the one year that the Jagdeo Government gave $50,000 to each participating team, Mr. Major stoutly refused to give value to the footballers who played the preliminary matches and helped to create the tournament. The referees, guards, ticket sellers, security, grounds men were all paid for every match but the players only got money for the finals and third place playoff. Teams that invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to put on a show for the K&S tournament left empty handed if they did not make the semifinals. How can Associations nominate and second some-one who is so anti developmental boggles the imagination. Mr. Major is also the organizing secretary of the GFF that agreed to pay the Kashif and Shanghai organization (of which he is codirector) a share of the income for planning and promoting the Golden Jaguars local World Cup matches. This is unbelievable. Mr. Major as organizing secretary awarded a job to himself as Kashif and Shanghai to execute tasks that are his direct responsibility as organizing secretary. The only possible motivation is to make money at the expense of the GFF and football. The sham resignation from the K&S organization is just that, a sham. Mr. Major will never give up interest in K&S. I have two questions for Mr. Major; (1) If he was elected president how will he rule in the still unresolved issue of the two competing year end tournaments? (2) How come he has only now recognized the conflict of interest created by being an executive on the GFF and a director in an organization that promotes the second largest tournament in the country? In my analysis Mr. Major is disqualified from holding that high office simply by having held an executive position in the Klass
administration. Mr. Major was part and parcel of the injustices the GFF meted out to the GFA. An integral player in the nepotism, administrative inefficiencies, blunders and financial impropriety that characterized the outgoing administration; How then can any Association in good conscience vote for Mr. Major unless in true Klass style the representatives have been promised trips and positions. Mr. Matthias like Mr. Major has a record that does not stand up to scrutiny. The former customs official was interdicted from duty over alleged irregularities in the execution of his duties. True to form, Mr. Matthias’ tenure as president of the GFA had an abrupt conclusion when he was unable to account for half a million dollars that went missing from the GFA coffers. Mr. Matthias was then deemed persona non grata in football. The circumstances under which Klass allowed him to run for GFA secretary is material for another article. What Matthias has going for him however, is that he is an excellent politician. He understands people and is a master manipulator. He packages himself as various things to different people all to advance his personal ambitions. He has reinvented himself as the secretary of the GFA. He has managed to take credit for all that has gone well in the GFA and deflect blame for all that has gone wrong over the last two years. He constantly battled with the GFA president to grab the spotlight in the fight against the GFF. The true credit for that victory goes to the resolve of the clubs and legal skills of Mr. Roysdale Forde. He claims credit for the clubs in Georgetown fulfilling all their constitutional obligations. However, you will recall that the GFF through the Gilhuys led IMC mandated and ensured that all clubs were in order prior to the election that gave Matthias the position of secretary. Matthias has touted constitutional reform on his manifesto for the GFF. However he has presided initially as president and most recently as secretary over the GFA that has a constitution that is so hopelessly outdated that it refers to the Georgetown FootballAssociation as the Georgetown Football League. The annual club dues prescribed in that constitution is less than $100. The true dues are now about $30,000. More importantly the constitution does not have adequate measures for conflict resolution, does not describe the duties and responsibilities of the executives currently in office among other glaring deficiencies. The question then is do we drink the koolaid of Matthias (like the Georgetown and East Coast Associations) and believe that he will do in the GFF all the things he didn’t do as President and Secretary of the GFA? Or, do we look at his record and say sorry Matthias we want a man of financial and moral integrity. Will the Associations allow the glib talking Matthias to use Klass like tactics to demonize and exclude those that oppose him? If so then the fight of Georgetown, the historic visit from FIFA and this whole optimism in the football fraternity will be all for nothing. For in Matthias we have found a younger and sharper Klass. Mr. Persaud and Mr. King both have their weaknesses however they both have football at heart and impeccable character. I would support either candidate for the position. Hopeful Football Fan M. Nero
Sunday March 31, 2013
Banks DIH supports Suriname bound Badminton team
Captain of the Guyana Badminton Team Narayan Ramdhani receives one of the team shirts from Banks DIH Brand Manager Errol Nelson, while GBA President Gokarn Ramdhani and three team members look on. Banks DIH limited has teamed up with the Guyana Badminton Association for Guyana’s 16-member Junior team to participate in the Suriname Easter International tournament which is being held from last Thursday to tomorrow (Monday) in the neighbouring republic. The local beverage company presented playing shirts as well as Powerade and Aqua Mist Water to members of the delegation during a simple Ceremony at Thirst Park on Tuesday. Errol Nelson, Brand Manager of Tropical Mist and Aqua Mist Water made the presentation to captain of the Guyana team Narayan
Ramdhani in the presence of President of the GBA Gokarn Ramdhani who will also accompany the team as Coach/Manager. The team members are: Boys: Narayan Ramdhani (Captain), Jonathan Mangra, Anthony Murray, Jonathan Persaud, Omari Joseph, Armand Ramdhani, Hemraj Beharry, Joshua Singh, Élan Rahaman. Girls: Priyanna Ramdhani, Ambika Ramraj, Nadine Jairam, Arian Kayume, Jea Ramsammy, Krystal Dey. Gokarn Ramdhani expressed appreciation to Banks DIH for the support given to the team and promised that the players will be going all out to capture
several of the titles at stake. Troy Peters, Banks DIH Communications Manager said his company was pleased to support the young badminton team under the Aqua Mist brand and wished them success during the tour. The Guyanese Players competed in the Under-11 Boys Singles, Under-13 Girls Singles, Under-17 Boys & Girls Singles, Under-19 Mixed Doubles and Seniors B Mixed Doubles. The tournament is being held at the Walter Amo Sporthal NGVB SPORTS COMPLEX in Paramaribo and attracted badminton players from the Caribbean and South America.
Schepmyer cops gold, 2 bronze medals at Int’l Martial Arts tourney in St Lucia Portia Schepmyer (2nd left) along with (from left) Chetram Ramdial, Master Lloyd Ramnarine and Phillip Jaikissoon.
Portia Schepmyer of The Mixed Martial Arts Karate Association of Great Diamond was outstanding in an International tournament held in St Lucia recently. The 23-year-old petite young lady claimed a gold medal in the Traditional Forms and bronze in the Weapons and Sparring competitions at the St Lucia Piton Open International Martial Arts Festival dubbed ‘Armageddon’. She noted
that the competition was very challenging but she found it a joy and is proud to represent Guyana and turn in commendable performances. She was the lone Martial Artist to make the journey of a planned four member team that was scheduled to go but due to lack of funding the remainder were unable to travel. Schepmyer expressed thanks to those who assisted her in realising the necessary finances. Among those
mentioned are the Management and staff of Bounty Farm, residents of Kuru Kururu, her friends and family. She is trained by Master Lloyd Ramnarine, who indicated that they recently opened outstations at Parfaite Harmonie and 2261 Westminster, Bel West, No2 Canal . For those interested in joining contact can be made with telephone numbers 6986727 and 686-7369.
Sunday March 31, 2013
NZ cricketer Jesse Former Guyanese football administrator Ryder out of induced appointed to lucrative football post coma after attack Says he wishes to involve local players in English leagues Jesse Ryder (AP)
BBC Sport - New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder has come out of a medicallyinduced coma, three days after he was attacked outside a bar in Christchurch. He suffered serious injuries after being attacked twice in quick succession as he left the bar. Ryder, 28, was still in intensive care but he was no longer on a ventilator and had been talking, his manager Aaron Klee said. Two people have been charged with assault and are due in court next week. The cricketer had been in Christchurch with team-mates after playing for Wellington Firebirds in a domestic oneday competition. He had been due to fly to Delhi to begin a $300,000 (£200,000) contract in the Indian Premier League. His manager told a
news conference that “Jesse is awake and talking to us” but added that while they were “absolutely thrilled with the progress”, he had suffered very bad concussion and damage to his lungs. “We’re all pretty exhausted, it’s been a pretty difficult few days, but having some wins over the last 24 hours has been a huge relief.” Ryder stopped playing international cricket for New Zealand in February last year after a series of alcoholrelated problems. He had also had disciplinary lapses. But police said while he had been drinking before the assault on Thursday morning, alcohol was not a factor. The suspects charged with assaulting him, aged 20 and 37, are due to appear before Christchurch District Court on 4 April.
His love for football has seen him going beyond the call of duty to inspire other youngsters to reach for great heights. Now, after tireless efforts, Peter Barry, a former Guyanese football administrator, has joined forces with Pro-Active Sports Coaching Ltd, a relatively new company in the United Kingdom, tasked with an undertaking of identifying talent from among players and enabling them to acquire Business Technology Education Council (BTEC) Sports Qualifications - a national academic pre university qualification which allows the holder to be accepted into university through their participation in football. Mr. Barry is also tasked with assisting the players in accruing the requisite points to satisfy the criteria for Tertiary education at reputable academic entities. The players will be accorded a 2 year scholarship where they will be taught the Sport at a high level for 4 days a week followed by lessons in the intricacies of coaching conducted by competent and qualified coaches of the European Union Football Association (UEFA).
Subsequently, players may enter into the academy leagues under the auspices of the English Colleges FA League. Kaieteur Sport spoke with Mr. Barry at his home in England and he explained that Pro-Active Sports Coaching is linked with Barcelona FC with an aim of exposing young footballers to the practical side of the sport with the primary objective of exposing them to top level football in an academy setting. Barry is the Chief Recruitment Officer and also doubles as coach and mentor of the young ball weavers. He staunchly believes that his networking skills and vast knowledge of the sport will serve as the catalyst in the advancement of his charges. Mr. Barry explained that at the end of the course players will receive badges and will be promoted to accredited FA coaches and referees. They will also be assigned to professional and semiProfessional clubs while receiving opportunities to recycle their skills into the academy. “Pro-Active has already secured the requisite funding for 3 Years and with my input, could influence a plethora of
players for years to come,” advanced Mr. Barry. He feels that the programme could increase the opportunities available to Guyanese in the UK especially since successful participants will be able to enter the academy free of cost. “Successful applicants stand to benefit from the exposure that will stand them in good stead for the rigorous activities in the future while they are exposed to tactical and technical skills,” assures Mr. Barry. The course is two dimensional and will also aspire to teach participants Catalan to enhance their communicational skill in a foreign language. These lessons will be very useful especially since participants would also interact with Spanish speakers out of Barcelona FC. Mr. Barry, a valued member or Pro-Active, said that he is interested in promoting players from his native land. He said that he is confident that he could do this based on shrewd networking techniques. He said that he is also working behind the scenes at Banstead Athletic in the UK, restructuring and raising the
Peter Barry profile of the club through his networks. He is optimistic that once the opportunity arises he could be an asset to local ball weavers. He feels that his time is yet to be realized and extends his services to the Guyanese national squad. He said that the players could benefit from his close work with competent European coaches. Meanwhile, Mr. Barry said that he has been following the progress of the imminent GFF elections and wished to implore the representatives of the various sub associations to install a candidate with integrity and vision with the players’ interest at heart. He further voiced the hope that elections are conducted in an atmosphere of goodwill.
Sunday March 31, 2013
UDCA wants affiliation Stanislaus Hadmon 1981 to Demerara Board Caricom c/ship statistics A member of the National Cricket Stakeholders Group is repeating the call for the Upper Demerara Cricket Association (UDCA) to be directly affiliated to the Demerara Cricket Board. Marvin Burns has stressed that the Upper Demerara Cricket Association is not affiliated to the East Bank Cricket Association. He said the Upper Demerara body has fulfilled all criteria for full membership of the Demerara Cricket Board – a presentation he had earlier made to the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Cricket. Burns repeated his call recently during a media conference in Linden. According to him, the Upper Demerara Area has over the years, produced a number of senior national cricketers such as Vincent Adams, Mark
Grenville and Godfrey Edwards and a number of national youth players. Noting that the Upper Demerara Cricket Association has a constitution since 2000, Burns further stated that the Upper Demerara Area has a number of people, including former national pace bowler and Chairman of the Linden Municipal IMC, Orin Gordon, who are capable of administrating cricket in the area. He said the Upper Demerara Cricket Association has sixteen organized affiliated clubs located in a wide area including Malali, 85 miles from Linden in the Demerara River and Kwakwani and Araoima on the Upper Berbice River and there are ten grounds, three of which have First Class standard. The UDCA Public
Relations Officer said: “We are not a tie-breaker to the impasse within the Demerara Board and the issues that now affect Guyana cricket. We genuinely have the right to become a sub association of the Demerara Cricket Board alongside East Bank, West Bank, Georgetown and East Coast. He said the Upper Demerara Cricket Association has successfully run tournaments over the years but with subvention from the Demerara Cricket Board, the Association would be able to further the development of cricket in its host communities. He further stated that the Association can utilize a number of coaches including a Level One West Indies Cricket Coach in its coaching programmes. (Jacquey Bourne)
unmatched by a Guyanese Charwayne Walker continues his look at outstanding past basketball players. Today we remember the late Stanislaus Hadmon. After his 1976 exhibition in Suriname with the Guyana Under-18 Inter Guiana games team it was no surprise when Cuban Coach George Nelson and Raven’s Icon, Hewley Henry, introduced 19 year old Stanislaus (KNOX) Hadmon for his International Debut against the touring Canadians, Montreal YMCA, June 1978 at the National Sports Hall. In the series opener, the land of the mighty Kaieteur Falls won 78 to 76 points, Canada Olympic Star Joe Farroba warmed up with 32 points. In Game two Guyana led by 6 foot 10 inches Compton Hinds’ 25 points wrapped up the series 99 to 90. For Montreal YMCA, Joe Farroba scored a Sports Hall record 42 points. In the series finale, Montreal YMCA won 93 to 74, Joe Farroba top scored with 37 points to finish the series with 108 points from three matches with an average of 36 points per game. Bill De Horne supported Farroba with 33 points. For Guyana, Stalwart Mike Brusche top scored with 16 points, while Debutant Stanislaus Hadmon lent admirable support with 15 points. His next international assignment was November 1978 in Barbados for that country’s independence anniversary, Trinidad and Tobago also participated. The 1978 National Team to Barbados was: Aubrey Chalmers: Ravens Orin Cumberbatch: Ravens Phillip Daniels: Ravens Eon Andrews: Ravens George Sharples: Ravens Merton Fitzalbert: Eagles Stanislaus Hadmon: Eagles Hewley Harry: Eagles Keith Alexander: 76ers Winston Osborne: Linden Hewley Henry (Coach – Ravens) The following year (1979) Trinidad & Tobago toured Guyana for a four match international series which the visitors won 3 Games to one after Guyana led by Eagles duo Merton Fitzalbert 17 points and Stanislaus Hadmon 11 points won the series opener. ‘Knox’ next international engagement was Trinidad and Tobago for a triangular series involving Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados in September of (1980). And when Suriname National Team visited in December of the same year ‘Knox’ helped Hewley Harry’s men destroy the Dutchmen 2 Nil. His biggest moment as an International Player came when Guyana hosted the Inaugural Caricom championship in August of 1981. Hadmon led all scorers with 24 points when Guyana humbled Dominica on the opening night of the championship, he also scored 24 points in the second win against Antigua and Barbuda, 17 points against Barbados in a losing cause and 22 points vs Jamaica when Guyana lost the semifinals. In the game to decide whether Barbados or Guyana would finish third, Hadmon scored a record breaking 34 points which ensured that the land of the mighty Kaieteur Falls secured the bronze medal and in the process he became the first man in the Caribbean to score over 120 points at a Caricom Championship. ‘Knox’ finished the (1981) tourney with 121 points from five (5) matches, his average of 24.2 points per game is still the best by a Guyanese male at a Caricom championship and also his 100 percent free throw accuracy from the line. His 34 points against Barbados was
Stanislaus Hadmon the highest by a Guyanese at the Caricom championship level until 2007 when Washington based DC Jammers Gordon Klaiber equaled the feat against Antigua & Barbuda at the Puerto Rico championship. This record was later eclipsed by DC Jammers Keron Mackenzie who scored 38 points against St. Vincent at the 2001 Caricom championship in the Bahamas. Hadmon returned to Trinidad & Tobago with the national team in September of 1981 for two friendly International games as the host prepared for a historical tour of China. Hadmon played his last International match for Guyana against the Cayman Islands at the national Arena in Kingston Jamaica in December 1982, at the Caricom Championship he was selected in Guyana’s (1983) Caricom squad, but the championship was cancelled. It must be noted that the first man in the Caribbean to score over 120 points at the Caricom championship level died in 2010. The last National Team Hadmon played on was as follows: 1982 Caricom Championship Jamaica Hewley Harry Captain: Eagles Merton Fitzalbert: Eagles Stanislaus Hadmon: Eagles Compton Hinds: Celtics Brentnol Carmichael: Pacesetters Mark Agard: Pacesetters James Brusche: YMCA Kings George Sharples: Ravens Schubert Cappel (deceased) DYC Royston Telford: Yellow Birds Eon Andrews: Pace Setters Shelley Hubbard: Eagles Mike Brusche: Coach Eagles Melroy Fitzalbert: Manager International matches played 25; career high 34 points vs Barbados National Sports Hall 1981. International Debut 1978 vs Montreal YMCA National Sports Hall International tours 1976 Suriname inter Guiana games; 1978 Barbados: Barbados Independence Anniversary tournament also involving Trinidad & Tobago. 1980: Trinidad & Tobago International triangular series involving the host Guyana and Barbados. 1981: Trinidad & Tobago Goodwill International series to prepare Trinidad & Tobago for a historical tour of China. Caricom All Star Selection1981 1982: Jamaica: Second Caricom Championship.
Sunday March 31, 2013
“Changes and youth in West Indies cricket hierarchy welcomed - What a thing!” Colin E. H. Croft Congratulations to Jamaican Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron and Dominican Emmanuel Nanthan at being elected to the extremely ultraimportant positions of President and Vice President, respectively, West Indies Cricket Board. These are positive examples of youth not at all having been wasted on the young! Observing Cameron and Nanthan posing for media photographs reminded me much of the youthful charisma that similarly oozed from 42nd President of United States, William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton, and his pragmatic, highly professional Vice President, Albert “Al” Arnold Gore. “Uncle Bill” was 47 when he became President in 1993. V-P “Big Al” was 45. With that special mix of daring, charm and purpose, they brought such life and prosperity to USA in eight
years in office that no-one since, not even present USA President Barack Obama, can dare to compare. In 1993, America not only wanted, but needed tremendous change, after the warring exploits of “Old” George H.W. Bush. Clinton eventually managed to change 257 million minds into again believing in America. Since John F. Kennedy, Clinton is regularly considered to be one of America’s best Presidents. In 2013, Cameron, 42, must have similar focus and attitude to his new position, to change minds of most of the Caribbean populace, bringing needed harmony, so that they could again believe that West Indies cricket is indeed for all, and not only for moneyed “fat cats” who just sit in boxes drinking champagne! Cameron has been around West Indies cricket for a decade, having been a WICB Director since 2002 and Vice
Whycliffe Dave Cameron President, to Dr. Julian Hunte, since 2007. As a long-time insider, there must be consternation that he would probably continue along the course that West Indies cricket had taken these last several years. Contrary to that thought, I prefer to believe that Cameron and Nanthan will have recognized, by now, that West Indies cricket, while recently on the upswing, still
Pele take on Camptown as 3rd edition of Camptown Easter extravaganza culminates Camptown FC defeated Northern Rangers 4-1 on penalty kicks while Pele defeated Rhythm Squad 4-2, also on penalty kicks to advance to the finals when the Camptown Football Club, in collaboration with patron of the club, Gordon ‘Dice’ VanRossum, staged the opening of the 3rd edition of the Easter extravaganza at their Campbellville Housing Scheme football ground, Wednesday March 27 last. Pele and Camptown will now go head to head in the final slated for Wednesday April 3 where the winner will pocket $200,000 in a winner take all affair but that match will be staged after an exhibition match between a New York All Stars team and their Guyanese counterparts which kicks off following the curtain raiser, a youth game between two teams to be named later. The tournament benefitted from additional sponsorship from JHM Barber Shop of New York and On the Mike, a radio programme in New York that highlights upcoming talents and Pieces and things of Charlotte Street, Georgetown. Meanwhile, as part of the Easter celebration activities,
Mr. VanRossum (right) and Johnny ‘Overseas’ Barnwell show off some of the gears to be given to youth players the Camptown Football Club in collaboration with Energy Entertainment will also stage a kite flying competition and fun day on their play ground tomorrow morning. Fans will be entertained with several 5 a-side football games for lucrative prizes. There will also be a bun eating competition as well as a kite flying competition where the
best three competitors will receive lucrative prizes. The organizers would like to encourage the attendance of all Guyanese in what they term good clean fun. Meanwhile, Mr. VanRossum will also be handing out several pieces of gear including boots and balls to several youths to aid in their continued development.
Dr Julian Hunte needs much more energy and full involvement of all constituents, ex and present players, all businesses and every Caribbean inhabitant. Nanthan became President of Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control (WICBC) in 2008, replacing veteran administrator Lennox John, who was involved in West Indies cricket, like Dr. Hunte, for eons. It really was time for Windward Islands to change its outlook, personnel and objectives. Now, they are better placed, with Windsor Park emerging as one of the premier Caribbean cricket grounds, and WICBC’s and Dominica’s recent President now V-P of West Indies Cricket Board – total upward mobility! T e c h n i c a l l y , geographically, Dominica is more in Leeward Islands, but has been a member of Windward Islands since 1940. Since his election as WICBC’s President, Nanthan has overseen a welcomed visage change in Windward
Islands cricket. The so-called “small islands” have been making big noises recently! Nanthan did pull off a magnificent coup by beating a real legend of West Indies cricket, my former fast bowling partner, Joel Garner, by a whopping 8-4 votes. Name recognition might feature in other environments, but “Big Bird” Garner has never had his wing-span clipped so decidedly anywhere previously! I have great respect, and appreciation, for Dr. Hunte and the tenure he has put in for West Indies cricket’s survival. He has worked tremendously hard, trying to bring West Indies back to those distant past glory days, eventually enjoying at least one very recent world championship – ICC World T20 2012. Co-incidentally, as if to salute his end of tenure, one of Dr. Hunte’s few missteps was again highlighted, on CNBC’s “American Greed”, on the very same day of WICB elections. That day, R Allen Stanford’s story was again shown, with Dr. Hunte and English Cricket Board Chairman Giles Clarke featuring highly. I prefer to remember Dr. Hunte in much more refreshing light, as he, then WICB V-P, and his wife, threw one of the very best parties I have ever attended anywhere, at his home in St. Lucia, to welcome touring Pakistani and West Indies President’s XI teams, in 1976/7. Whatever “Big Bird” and I drank that night must have worked. We got seventeen wickets between us in that
Colin E. H. Croft game, debuting afterwards in 1st Test – Barbados - where we also impressed. The rest is real West Indies history! While I too agree that, like Windward Islands, West Indies cricket needs new, fresh leadership, everyone involved in our cricket over the last 35 years should applaud the efforts, continuity and mostly selflessness of Dr. Hunte’s involvement in our cricket. Very few have given so much in a lifetime! Dr. Hunte’s longevity brings us to another point. I strongly believe that the hierarchy of West Indies Cricket Board should, like United States of America, have no more than two terms in any such office. America’s policies do not always change, even if the leader – The President – must change after two terms. New personnel should bring fresh energies and new perspectives. Notice that even though he promised to effect drastic changes, like closing Gauntanamo Bay military prison, President Obama still continues edicts of “Young” Bush, George W. “Gitmo” is still open! Dave Cameron and Emmanuel Nanthan have much work to do. Let us all wish them well! Enjoy!
Fireworks expected as DT/Chow Pow 10/10 reaches semi-finals
The DT/Chow Pow 10/10 challenge series has reached the semifinals in both the male and female categories and will be played on next Sunday 7th April at the Uitvlugt Community Centre ground with the finals expected the following Sunday 14th April. The teams through to this stage in the male category are: Wolf’s Warriors; Speedboat XI; Recharge XI; Superstars XI and in the female category 4R XI; Mike’s Wellwoman; Trophy Stall Angels and Regal Champs. The male category will see Wolf’s Warriors coming up
Sunday March 31, 2013
against Speedboat XI and this match will be exciting as the teams review their rivalry. Wolf ’s Warriors have taken care of superstars XI, Farm XI, Trophy Stall, Young Guns and Omesh XI to top group A. They will depend heavily on opening bat Riaz Karim who has been in fantastic form and has been scoring heavily to date with several half centuries. Azad Azeez is another batsman that Speedboat will be wary of as he has been in top form and is yet to be dismissed so far. Skipper Amrit “Rocky” Jairam, who has not made an
impact in this tournament and has big game temperament, will be hoping to guide his team to a big score beyond the reach of the opposition. In the bowling, Diaram Persaud and Devenand Persaud will shoulder the responsibilities and have been bowling out opposition teams quite easily. On the other hand Speedboat who defeated the highly favoured Regal XI in their last preliminary match and has a large following will hope to continue where they left off and will depend heavily on the technically correct Greg Singh and the exciting Safraz Esau to score heavily. The bowling will be in the hands of Esau who is a top all rounder in the team and country. In the other semi, giant killers Recharge XI, who topped Group B and hails from Parika will be hoping to continue the good work they started and make a name for themselves as one of the top teams in the country and will depend heavily Komal Singh,
who can belt it a long way and has been consistently in the forties quickly. Ramdial Shamlall will shoulder the bowling as he has been very economical so far. Superstars XI, who have going about their business quite efficiently, will depend heavily on Marvin Bobb who made the Guyana XI against Canada Last year and who is a genuine all rounder in the top bracket and will have to play very good to take them to victory. In the female category the likes of Shemaine Campbell and Ruth George will make 4R Lioness XI firm favorites to score heavily to take the game away from the opposition. Trophy Stall Angels will also hope to continue their winning ways by getting past the opposition. The team is well rounded and everyone contributes. On the other hand Mike’s Wellwoman will want to dominate as they have very experienced players who have represented Demerara at the hard ball level. Regal Champs
are the youngest lot and have very talented players who can upstage their more seasoned counterparts. The tournament has so far been attracting large crowds. At the venues lots of giveaways and off field games have left the spectators in awe and wanting more which will increase at the semis. The finals on the 14th at Uitvlugt will feature entertainment featuring several top artistes including Hitman, Sally Sangram among others. The tournament is being
organised by Yolo Entertainment and Advertisement Inc and is being administrated by The Guyana Softball League. It is being sponsored by Digital Technology; Jailing; Giftland office Max; Elegance Jewllery and Pawnshop; NTN 89.1 RADIO and Banks DIH. The sponsors have contributed generously to the staging of the tournament which also have a raffle running with a top prize of a motorcycle and jewellery, HD TV and other gifts on offer.
Triple champion, Clive... From page 57 (WBACABOFE) and the World Boxing Association Fede Caribe (WBAFEDCAR) welterweight belts. Then there are the bouts between Mark Austin against Gladwin Dorway for the local welterweight belt and the Syrian boxer, Mahmood ‘The Extractor’ Loul, against Berbician, Derick Richmond in a 4 round super/
middleweight bout. Elton ‘The Bully’ Dharry will also be in action against Hewley Robinson for the local bantamweight title while Republican amateur lightweight boxer, Nankumar Singh appears in the ring after a long hiatus against another top amateur fighter. There will also be a bout between two female amateur boxers.
Sunday March 31, 2013
:: :: Letters to the Sports Editor :: ::
D&C Promotion/Bartica Regatta KO Street Style Football
Matthias responds to letters
Hard Core beat Millennium to win competition
DEAR EDITOR, I am forced to respond to letters that were printed in the Kaieteur News that attempted to besmirch my character as an administrator of football and someone who will be vying for the post of Presidency of the Guyana Football Federation come April 12. The letters, purportedly written by one Lester Sealey and a Joseph Forde, sought to question my integrity as well as deem me unsuitable to vie for the highest position in local football. Mr. Editor the likes of the Sealeys and Fordes, if they are not one and the same, are confused men with not so hidden agendas. The likes of these individuals have fought against me since my introduction into football which was initiated by my former Customs colleague Mr. Mark Layne, who encouraged me to get involved in the sport to bring the much needed administrative soundness to the instituition. They have wrestled tooth
and nail to ensure that the status quo remains and even today they are seeking to exchange the present with the current so as to ensure the existence of their little world where they alone are considered as the ‘experts’ on administration despite the current state of the institution after their many years and involvement in its existence. The height of their confusion goes like this- (1) firstly, they alleged that it was I who had stolen the gate receipts at the opening of the 2002 league, but when they discovered that the handling of the same was done in a structured manner that completely exonerated me from any such wrongdoing, they then back-peddled and blamed the elected Treasurer Dawn Campbell who at all times was the custodian of all finances of the then league, but somehow still attempted to keep me in the picture by describing me as lacking accountability by not reporting the incident. Upon discovering that it was I who, immediately, had
informed, all the relevant stakeholders of the indiscretion of the elected treasurer, they then shifted the accusation to that of financial misconduct on my part. What a vague term indeed for to date not one of them has come forward with any evidence, whatsoever, to support such a claim. The most recent and ludicrous accusation has now shifted to being that of the non-presentation of audited financial statements. Since these goodly gentlemen are bold enough to continue to peddle such misinformation as pipers, paid or unpaid,by those willing to frustrate the development of the sport, for their own reasons, I am forced to extend an invitation for them to join me on any television station of their choice to present to the entire nation the evidence in their possession that accuses me of any financial misconduct during my tenure as an administrator in football. The programme will be for paid by me. Christopher Matthias.
Kashif and Shanghai Organisation responds to Kaieteur Sports article Dear Editor, In this the season of intense rivalry associated with the imminent election of office bearers to the Guyana Football Federation one understands only too well that sides will be taken, favoured candidates will be promoted and media houses will be courted if only because of their capacity to widely promote the candidatures of those who seek office. In these circumstances it is incumbent upon journalists to be fair and responsible in their reporting. Falsification, the manipulation of facts and the creation of contrivances purely for the sake of promoting a particular candidate of dismissing another ought to be off limits to those journalists who consider themselves principled professionals. In this context the article published under the pen of Mr. Rawle Welch and headlined “Acrimony, disputes, accusations of corruption still permeate football landscape” (Kaieteur News Wednesday March 28) falls decidedly short of even the minimum standards of truth and accuracy. My own particular
concern is with the litany of falsehoods articulated by Mr. Welch in the matter of the role of the Kashif & Shanghai Organization in Guyana’s preparations for the football World Cup. In what is perhaps best described as a long and tedious epistle Mr. Welch, among other things, writes the following: “It was the Kashif and Shanghai Organization that housed and administered all activities during Guyana’s World Cup campaign and was responsible for ticketing, sales of tickets and advertising, while his (whom does the expression “his” seek to describe is decidedly unclear) involvement in the discussions related to the shifting of the qualifier against Mexico not only left a bitter taste in the mouths of Guyanese but also underlined the extent of the Federation’s disloyalty and contempt for stakeholders.” Mr. Editor, the arrangements for the planning and execution of matches associated with the World Cup are – as Mr. Welch ought to be aware – a matter of public record and a simple telephone call to the General Secretary of the GFF would
have spared Mr. Welch the ignominy of embarrassing a national newspaper. Indeed, I am hard pressed to believe that these altogether erroneous claims made by Mr. Welch were not motivated by mischief, his preoccupation with denigrating of one of the candidates vying for the presidency of the GFF and the promotion of another. In the circumstances, Mr. Editor I believe that Mr. Welch owes it as much to the Kaieteur News as he does to the Kashif & Shanghai Organization to engage the GFF with a view to correcting the aforementioned gross inaccuracies and, thereafter, to issue a public apology for misrepresenting important facts and in the process misleading readers of the Kaieteur News. Truth be told, Mr. Editor, I am particularly tempted to describe your sportswriter as a teller of tall tales since I am altogether persuaded that that he is only too well aware that these assertions are untrue. Indeed, even if one were to assume that he allowed himself to be duped by some other interested party into believing that his altogether (Continued on page 49)
Hard Core stood solid throughout the competition to emerge as champions of the D&C Promotions / Bartica Regatta knock-out Street Style football competition which concluded on Thursday night at Stelling Square. The quarterfinals, semis and final were all conducted on the night with Hard Core defeating Millennium 2-1 on penalty kicks to take home the $300,000 top prize, the loser walked away with $100,000. Neither team were able to breach the other’s defence so no goals were scored during regulation and extra time, penalty kicks had to be employed to determine the winner; Hard Core held their nerves to win 2-1. Colin Semple and Mario Huge were the players hitting in their efforts. Hard Core also had a tough time in their semifinal encounter against Man City, which they also won by a similar margin via the exact
The winners of the D&C Promotions / Bartica Regatta knock-out Street Style football competition, Hard Core. route. Semple and Huge were again the players to see their team to victory, Sherman Parris responded for Man City in a losing cause. The other semifinal saw Millennium needling Old
Scheme United compliments of a Travis Fortune goal. In the quarterfinal matches, Hard Core defeated North Side Warriors 1-0, Terrence Bradford scoring the (Continued on page 49)
Sunday March 31, 2013
GAPF selects strong team for 3 in 1 Int. C/ships in July - Morgan, Stoby, Rahim & Barker to headline Guyana’s assault By Franklin Wilson
The Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) named a strong 13member team that will be carrying Guyana’s assault for gold medals at three upcoming International competition which will take place in one. Four reserves have also been named. The ONE LIFT THREE TITLES championships are the 14th IPF/NAPF FESUPO Pan American Regional Powerlifting Championships; 11th IPF/NAPF North American Regional Powerlifting Championships and the 7th IPF/NAPF Caribbean Powerlifting Championships all set to take place from July 1 – 6 in the City of Orlando, Florida, United States of America. While the going is expected to be tough it is no secret that the Guyanese strongmen and women have been excelling against the odds and many challenges
which have virtually prepared them for situations of this nature and they are expected to do their country proud yet again. Guyana are the defending Caribbean Men’s Team Champions. Reigning World Open Deadlift champion and Caribbean 83kg Open champion who is also holder of the records for the four lifts in his category, Randolph ‘The Accomplisher’ Morgan will headline Guyana’s quest for top honours along with current World Masters 74kg champion and Deadlift record holder (M2) Winston Stoby who is also the reigning Caribbean Open Masters 74kg champion and holder of the records for the four lifts in his division. Caribbean Junior / Men
Open 59kg champion Vijai Rahim, who holds records for three of the lifts, is also one of the front runners in this experienced team named as is leading female Caribbean Open 84+kg champion and record holder in two lifts, Dawn McCammon Barker. While these lifters are some of the more experienced and accomplished of the lot, all the athletes named have been excelling over the past years and are expected to do well. They have already commenced training under the watchful eyes of their respective trainers in Berbice, Linden and the City. The competition will be held at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Orlando International Airport, Orlando, Florida.
According to GAPF President, Peter Green, this represents a golden opportunity for the powerlifters to excel given the fact that expenses which would in normal circumstances be associated with attending three separate Championships have now been combined into one single event. “We would be doing our utmost to ensure that all the selected athletes are given the opportunity to attend to keep the Golden Arrowhead flying high.” The athletes named, are asked to urgently make contact with Mr. Livan no later than Wednesday April 3rd to finalize details and plans for Embassy appointments and visa requirements.
Triple champion, Clive Atwell, confident of victory in imminent title encounter - Gives back to Agricola community By Michael Benjamin When Clive Atwell squares off against Venezuelan, Raphael Hernandez for the vacant WBCCABOFE featherweight title at the Princess Hotel International, Providence EBD, dubbed ‘Fire Storm,’ and promoted by the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC), he will be up against a fighter with 15 wins, 13 of them by knockout, and 3 losses. Atwell is well aware of this and has stated that he is far from impressed much less fearful of the Venezuelan’s record. Yesterday morning ‘Team Atwell,’ consisting of the triple champion, his advisors, Dexter Patterson and Max Messiah and Managing Director of Town to Country Real Estate, Eurie Hohenkirk, hosted a press brief at the Duncan Street, Newton address of the above mentioned business place to discuss issues relating to Atwell’s plans for the upcoming bout. Atwell said that he has wrapped up negotiations with the executives of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) and will intensify training activities from this morning at the Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis Boxing Gym, Albouystown, under the tutelage of Lennox Daniels and Terrence Poole. He complemented the executive of the GBBC for their good work and said that their perseverance has been
responsible for many fighters’ elevation to the top of the local and Caribbean rankings. Atwell also complimented his team as well as several corporate entities for their staunch support. These include Star Party Rental and politician, Peter Ramroop. He also extended gratitude to Leon ‘Hurry Up’ Moore, also a part of his team, for the unselfish support rendered. Atwell said that he is also grateful for the support rendered by the Guyanese sporting public and as a token of appreciation will be visiting the Agricola community this morning where he will be donating kites to some children in the compound of the Roman Catholic Church. Further, following discussions with his team, the triple champion will soon establish a literacy foundation in the area to improve the academic fortunes of youngsters of the community. “I have received a lot of assistance from the business community as well as friends and well wishers and I believe that as I receive I should also give,” proclaimed Atwell. He plans to have computer classes and literacy exercises and will also provide internet access to those less privileged residents. “We will also place a lot of emphasis on social issues,” he confided. Meanwhile, the triple champion has exuded confidence of winning the upcoming bout saying that he intends to be in the best
Clive Atwell shape of his life. He said that he has perused a few tapes of his opponents and is confident that he (Atwell) could come out victorious. Mr. Messiah was also confident that his charge will win the bout. However, he admits that Hernandez will not be a walkover. “We have recently learned that Hernandez has shifted camp to the USA and we are taking no chances with our preparations,” said Messiah. Mr. Eurie Hohenkirk explained that his role in Atwell’s boxing life is also to provide support as well as issue advice. The Managing Director of Town to Country Real Estate said that he is impressed with Atwell’s work ethic and his dedication to the sport. Several other bouts will comprise the card including the main bout between Howard ‘Battersea Bomber’ Eastman against Jamaican, Sakima Mullings for the World Boxing Council Caribbean Boxing Federation (Continued on page 54)
Sunday March 31, 2013
Canje Knights win Berbice Amateur Basketball Association U19 tournament Canje Knights made their entry to the competitive basketball arena when they stunned their opponents to win the Berbice Amateur Basketball Association (BABA) season opening U19 Inter Club Basketball competition which was played recently in the Ancient County. Three of the five scheduled teams participated with Rose Hall Town Jammers, New Amsterdam Warriors and the newly formed Canje Knights of East Canje taking to the courts. The tournament which commenced on March 11 concluded on the March 27 with the finals at the New Amsterdam Basketball Court. The tournament which was played on a two rounds, round robin format and was played on a home and away basis, saw two venues being used with matches being played at the Rose Hall Town and the New Amsterdam Basketball Courts. In the opening game Canje Knights started their
campaign in fine fashion as they blow away Rose Hall Jammers 39-16 in a dominating performance from behind the arc and in the paint. Their assault was lead by Steve Roopnarine with 15 points with admirable support from Travis Sutton who bucketed 10. Mikey King had 8 points for the looser. On the second encounter the Jammers suffered the second successive defeat when they lost to New Amsterdam Warriors 36-31. Glen King scored 10 points, while John Dey had 8. For the Jammers Ramon Fudgeney scored 12 and Shemroy McKenzie 10 points. Game 3 brought together the two previously unbeaten teams in an eagerly anticipated contest at the New Amsterdam basketball court with the Knights putting on their armor and going to war with the Warriors in a ding dong battle with the Knights shine out in the end in a close encounter which went down all the way to the wire 43-40. The Knights charge was lead
by Rayon Emanuel with a game high 16 points with support from Steve Roopnarine and Travis Sutton 10 each. For the Warriors Tito Emanuel scored 12 points and Glen King 10. In the return encounter, the Canje Knights had an easier path with a 31-26 victory. Travis Sutton with 10 and Rayon Emmanuel with 8 points led the scoring for the Knights, while Quesi Mickle 10 and Glen King 9 were their top scorers. The next scheduled game saw Rose Hall Jammers gaining a walk over from the New Amsterdam Warriors. The unbeaten Canje Knights continued their merry way by whipping the RHT Jammers 44-28. The consistent Steve Roopnarine was again in top form pouring in a game high 19 points with Kevin Romulus supporting well with 10. In the final between Canje Knights and RHT Jammers, the Canje Knights proved too much for their hapless opponents jamming them into
submission 73-47. The Knights were sharp and shone like a beacon as they swarmed their opponents from jump ball. The Knights forward combination of Travis Sutton and Steve Roopnarine proved too much for their opponents. While their center and guards were also on song with timely interceptions and sweet passing which forced the Jammers into numerous turnovers and easy scoring opportunities for the Knights. The final whistle was a sigh of relief for the laboring Jammers. By the halftime mark the Knights were leading 26-16. Travis Sutton saved his best for last with a game high 23 points with Roopnarine continuing his marquee run with 21. For Jammers, Koby Crawford and Mikey King finished with 16pts each. At the presentation ceremony the winning Canje Knights team received the championship trophy and cash incentives from donor Kester Edwards, while a
Steve Roopnarine receives the winning trophy from donor Kester Edwards as the winning Canje Knights teams enjoy the moment. trophy and cash incentives were also presented to the losing Jammers team. Edwards also pledged his support for the continuation of the tournament. In the individual category Steve Roopnarine of Canje Knights was adjudged the MVP, the most improve player was Mikey King, best defensive player Rayon Emanuel. Best emerging player was Glen King. The BABA would like to
express extreme gratitude to Mr. Edwards and his coworkers for sponsoring the tournament and would also like to express thanks to Tito Sancho of the Candy Shop, Surren Mohabir and Floyd Levi for their support. Before the start of the final a minutes silence was observed for former Berbice player and referee Mr. Hewitt Douglas who passed away recently after a brief illness. (Samuel Whyte)
Sunday March 31, 2013
Conquerors battle GDF to determine final Mayor’s KO Football semifinal spot today The Georgetown Football Club (GFC) Ground, Bourda is the venue tonight when the semifinal lineup will be determined for the annual Mayor’s knockout football tournament. Already through to the Wednesday April 3 semifinals are Alpha United, who are down to face Den Amstel, and Slingerz, who will face the winner of tonight’s contest between Fruta
Conquerors and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). Wednesday’s winners advance to next Sunday’s finale and the losers’ battle in the third place playoff. However, all attention is now focused tonight on who will claim the final semi berth. Will it be Conquerors who will have Dellon Williams, Trevon Lythcott, Eon Alleyne, Pernell Schultz, Jamaal Greaves and
Jermaine Junior leading their challenge? Or would it be the GDF who will look to the dependable Royan Morrison, Eusi Phillips, Delwyn Fraser, Marlon Benjamin, Desford Williams and Shawn Arthur to take the last final four spot. The action is expected to be intense starting at 8:30pm. The supporting game at 6:30pm will see a battle between a Guyanese All Stars
outfit against a New York All Stars lineup. The Guyanese team will feature Terrence Lewis, Ola Pedro, Stanford Miller, Terrence Wills, Clancy Charles, Frank Parris, Anthony Stanton, Rawle Jones, Gavin Gibbons and Sheldon Bobb. The New York team will depend on Ron Austin, Terrence Archer, Mark Joseph, Dexter Cort, George Nicholas, Lyndon
Boston and Ken Gibbs among others.Several players are still in with a chance of winning the highest goal scorer award. Heading the list are Jeffery Perreira (Den Amstel) and Anthony Abrams (Alpha) with 4 apiece, Quincy Craig (GDF), Travis Thornhill (Conquerors), Dwayne Jacobs (Slingerz) and Manasseh Primo (Alpha) all with 2. Keishar’s has donated a microwave and Kissoon’s a mattress for the winner of that prize. Meanwhile, Ansa McAl, Digicel, and CBR Mining are the latest
sponsors on board with the tournament. Ricks and Sari Industries have also pitched in with hampers for the members of the winning team. The winner in this tournament will cart off $1,000,000, while the runner up will take home $500,000; the third and fourth place finishers will receive $300,000 and $200,000 respectively. The other sponsors on board so far are 2 Brothers gas station, Mohamed’s Enterprise, General Equipment Guyana Ltd, Bakewell, Guyana Beverage Inc and MaCorp.
Everest to face PYO Masters of T&T in T\20 fixture The Everest Cricket Club will host the PYO masters of Trinidad and Tobago in a feature Twenty\20 game on Today. Action starts at 10:00 hrs. EVEREST MASTERS will come from Rajesh Singh (Capt.) Sheik Mohamed, Basil Persaud, Hemraj Garbarran, Shaheed Mohamed, Rohan Sarjoo, Rabindranauth Seeram, Rakesh Gangaram, Ronald Jaisingh, Johnny Azeez, David Harper, Paul
Parsram, Irfan Ali and Sudesh Persaud. The PYO Masters team reads; Bhagwan Singh (Capt.) David Romero, Ronald Sagram, Ralph Jaggernauth, Deolal Sagram, Ronald Jaisearie, Richard Pereira, Arif Ishak, Mahendra Nauth, Bobby Kallie, Robert Bhola Carol Jitman, Ishmeal Damree, Romel Ramiah, John Smith, Nizam Ishak and Burt Williams.
East Coast Cricket Board congratulates new WICB President The East Coast Cricket Board has offered congratulations to Mr. Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron the new President of the West Indies Cricket Board. In a release ECCB president Bissoondyal Singh noted that Cameron’s success was due to the confidence placed in his ability by the majority of the region. “On behalf of the Executives and the entire membership of the East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB), I wish to extend our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to you and your Executive Members of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). The success at the elections is a clear indication by those who have placed their confidence in your leadership skills to lead the WICB once again to the pinnacle of international cricket.” He continued, “We believe your victory was neither by share magic nor coincidence, but by your hard work and the confidence of the majority of those who have faith in in your
management skills and your ability to steer the ship of West Indies cricket through stormy weather especially in the current chaos that prevails in Guyana.” “As you begin your new term of office as President, we pray that the Almighty God will continue to shower you with blessings, wisdom, courage and sustained good health for the onerous task ahead. We also hope and pray that you will be able to deliver on your campaign promises as the Caribbean people especially the Guyanese masses anxiously anticipates. Although reportedly you did not receive the support of those holding themselves as the Executives of the Guyana Cricket Board, we at the East Coast Cricket Board express best wishes and will be looking forward to diligently work with you in the interest of Guyana’s cricket development and by extension development across the region. Congratulations once again, President Cameron,” he concluded.
Sunday March 31, 2013
t r o Sp
Fudadin rescues Guyana Double gold and with timely half century bronze for Guyana at CARIFTA Games
By Zaheer Mohamed A patient half century by left hander Assad Fudadin ensured Guyana closed day one of the sixth round of the Regional 4 day tournament against Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) in a comfortable position at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence yesterday. The host were 225 for seven with Anthony Bramble on 37 not out after they were inserted by the visitors on a track which looks good for batting. Fudadin and debutant Bramble shared in a sixth wicket stand of 95 after the Guyanese were pegged back by consistent bowling by CCC. Fudadin anchored the Guyanese innings with a patient 87 before he fell to off spinner Nekoli Parris just before the scheduled close of play. His innings lasted for 263 balls and contained seven fours and a six. Guyana openers Rajendra Chandrika and Fudadin struggle earlier, before fast bowler Kesrick Williams dismissed Chandrika caught at the wicket for 4 with the score on 6. Fudadin and Leon Johnson then put together 36 for the second wicket, but medium pacer Raymon Reifer removed the confident looking Johnson for 24. Off spinner Ryan Austin got rid of Narsingh Deonarine who after facing just four balls, attempted an ill advised swipe and was caught without scoring as the Guyanese slipped to 43 for 3. Guyana went to lunch at 81-3 with Fudadin and Ramnaresh Sarwan on 20 each. The Guyanese fell into further
Assad Fudadin off drives during his half century knock yesterday
trouble after the interval when Sarwan (28) and Steven Jacobs (28) were dismissed by Raymon Reifer and Ryan Austin respectively. Fudadin continued to bat nicely and brought up his half century, off 166 balls with three fours and a maximum. Fudadin and Bramble showed grit and batted carefully to consolidate the innings, the duo rotated the strike nicely and played a number of handsome shots on both sides of the wickets before Fudadin and skipper Veersammy Permaul went is quick succession. Fudadin was bowled by one that turned sharply while, Permaul, was caught at forward short leg for 1 off the second ball in the last over. Off spinner Ryan Austin was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 72. He received support from medium pacer Raymon Reifer who claimed 2 for 28,
while Nekoli Parris and fast bowler Kesrick Williams claimed one wicket apiece. The second day today starts at 10:00 hours and admission to the venue is free. Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago were 37-1 at stumps in reply to Jamaica first innings score of 147 at Sabina Park. Danza Hyatt made 57 for the Jamaicans, while left arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh grabbed 5 wickets and Riyad Emrit 4. Lendl Simmons made 25. At Warner Park, Leeward Islands were 161-6 at the close against Barbados, batting first. Tonito Willet is on 31 and Justin Athanaze on 1. Sylvester Joseph scored 65 while Devon Thomas chipped in with 34 as Sulieman Benn and Chris Nurse claimed 2 wickets apiece.
uyana struck gold twice and also won two bronze medals on the opening day of competition at the CARIFTA Games yesterday in the Bahamas. Linden’s phenomenon, Cassey George won the Under-17 Girls 1500m and Jevina Straker won a record third consecutive 1500m gold medal, while the World Junior Championships 400m silver medalist, US-based, Kadecia Baird won bronze. Jason Yaw also won bronze in the U-17 Boys 400m, capping a four medal haul thus far for the country from its nine-member CARIFTA Games team. George ran 4:36.71 ahead of Bermuda’s Kyrah Faheemah (4:39.43) and Jamaica’s, Britnie Dixon (4:47.45) to crown a phenomenal rise to the top of the Caribbean after dominating at the National Schools’ Championships and local trials in Guyana. On the other hand,
Jason Yaw Straker stroked her way into the annals of Guyanese athletics history when she completed a three-peat in the event at the region’s marquee competition, becoming the only athlete to do so. Lorriann Adams won twice in the 80s. Straker returned 4:43.27 to win the U-20 Girls 1500m ahead of the Curacao’s, Vanessa Philbert (4:47.97) a n d J a m a i c a ’s L i s a Buchanan, who had 4:52.21 time. Baird placed third in 54.28 seconds behind Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller who won in 51.63 seconds and Jamaica’s Chris-Ann Gordon (53.22). Yaw got his bronze medal in 48.53s behind Jamaica’s Martin Manely (47.72) and Bahamas’ Kinard Rolle in that order. In other events yesterday, Guyana’s Avon Samuels finished eighth in the U-17 Girls 400m final with a time of 59.11 seconds. The competition continues today.
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