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CN $1.00

More firepower for TT’s cops - gov’t orders 2,500 9mm pistols

See story on Pg 15

WEEK ENDING January 16, 2014

TT’s National Security Minister Gary Griffith

Guyana Consulate in Toronto hosts Annual Open House for Guyanese Page 2

Guyana’s Honorary Consul General to Toronto Sattie Sawh and special guests, Geoffrey DaSilva and Danny Doobay, share a photo moment with other invitees at the Guyana Consulate Open House event in Toronto last Thursday evening.

Ja$80 million upgrade for Deadline Eastern Westmoreland extended for water supply Barbados layoffs Page 8

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NEWS | week ending January 16, 2014

Guyana inks anti-drug trafficking pact with UK


t a time when the Guyana government is at odds with the United States over a multibillion-dollar governance programme, the Donald Ramotar Administration on Monday signed on to a major agreement with the United Kingdom to fight rampant drug trafficking in the Caribbean country. The agreement is seen as very significant, coming amid the standoff between Washington and Georgetown over the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programme and given that the UK had withdrawn a £3 million security reform programme back in 2009.


According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) release, the agreement reached on Monday will enhance cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking between the two coun-

Guyana’s Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), Dr Roger Luncheon and British High Commissioner Andrew Ayre signing the agreement at the Office of the President in Georgetown

tries. The agreement was signed by Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), Dr Roger Luncheon and British High Commissioner Andrew Ayre. The agreement will also facilitate the deepening of ties between the law enforce-

ment agencies of both countries, and provide significant technical assistance and training for Guyanese law enforcement personnel by the administration of the UK. Back in 2009, Guyana virtually walked away from the security reform

programme, saying that aspects of the project threatened to encroach on Guyana’s sovereignty. However, the British contended that the Guyana government proposed a “fundamentally different” programme, focused on police modernisation rather than the holistic reform originally requested. The UK’s proposed project had aimed to build a sustainable foundation for improving na-

tional security and reducing serious crime in Guyana by 2011. To this end, it spoke to the need for implementation of a national security plan and the security sector reform and to increase public confidence in government’s response to security issues. It had also explained that developing a national security policy, as well as establishing management and oversight structures and building capacity within the police force are all crucial to responding to serious crime. The proposal had set out almost three dozen activities with detailed milestones and specific timelines until 2011. Towards the development of the security reform strategy, the targets include a series of public stakeholder consultations and training to strengthen parliamentary oversight, throughout the lifetime of the project. These were aimed at building government capacity for managing the reforms, developing a

national security policy and a reform strategy, establishing accountability and oversight of the security sector, strengthening the professional standards and service delivery of the police force and establishing an effective structure for managing the reform project.


The proposal lists specific activities to be carried out in each area, ranging from the recruitment of staff, the design of legislative strategies, parliamentary programmes to public consultations and workshops. The proposal also had identified potential risks to these processes, including “weak” government and police force commitment to and ownership of holistic reform; the unwillingness of civil society to participate in consultations and/or consultations that are not inclusive and therefore compromised; and a lack of commitment by Members of Parliament (MPs) to their oversight role. (Guyana Times)

Guyana Consulate in Toronto hosts Annual Open House for Guyanese By Ravendra Madholall


he Guyana Consulate Open House event in Toronto last Thursday attracted a large and supportive gathering, much to the admiration of the organisers and particularly the two special guests, who both at different periods, previously held the post of Consul General.

During the event at the Consulate’s head office, Victoria Park and 401 Highway, Geoffrey Da Silva and Danny Doobay congratulated the current Consul General Sattie Sawh for her achievements in the past year. Sawh also used the occasion to collect non-perishable food items for North York Daily Food Bank. Da Silva was appointed by the late Guyanese President Dr. Cheddi Jagan as the Honourary Consul General to Toronto in 1994, and four year later as an adviser in the Office of President under Janet Jagan. In 1999, he became Guyana’s Tourism, Industry and Trade Minister and in 2001, Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment. Currently, he serves as Guyana’s Ambassador to Venezuela. “I [am] extremely happy to be here in Toronto to share the opening event with you guys. I really admire the unity in the Guyanese diaspora which reflects a great image for our country,” Da Silva told the gathering. He reflected, “when I was Consul General here I saw the same level of commitment and wiliness by the Guyanese to

support our country by investing back home.” Doobay also expressed similar sentiments. “I am indeed happy to be invited for this special occasion and as a new year has already begun, I know Sattie (Sawh) and her colleagues will work harder in 2014 to help their fellow Guyanese in various ways. They have continued to provide invaluable support as well,” Doobay stated. Sawh, in her remarks, thanked the special guests and congratulated her colleagues in Toronto for their hard work and dedication during 2013. She also made special mention of those who contributed to the Guyana Day event held last August at Centennial venue. Sawh observed that Guyana will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary of Independence in 2016 while noting that plans for those celebrations are on the agenda for this year. Meanwhile, Bas Balkissoon, the MPP for Scarborough-Rouge River, was also a special invitee at the event, where he expressed confidence that Guyanese living in Canada will continue to work in harmony and unity.

week ending January 16, 2014




Views | week ending January 16, 2014

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Foot-dragging on IMF


t would seem that everyone agrees that it is a changing world, excepting the countries that dominate the decision-making process at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). More than three years ago, in an apparent shift, the IMF’s governing body had agreed to reform the organisation’s governance so as to better reflect the increasing economic weight of dynamic emerging market economies in the world economy. But the changes that have been made are so insignificant, the old status quo still dominates. This is not an inconsequential circumstance for the Caribbean, and, in fact, all the countries that constitute the Emerging Market and Developing Countries (EMDCs). Jamaica and Barbados, for instance, are having to jump through the old hoops of the IMF because of structural conditions that have impacted negatively on their economies, and which could have received a more sympathetic hearing if the EMDCs’ representation on the board had been greater. These countries have become increasingly frustrated with Western states, as the latter have clung to power in the IMF and other important international economic governance organisations in the same proportion they divvied them up after WWII. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) have evidently become so frustrated at the intransigence of the West that they are now in advanced-stage negotiations to establish a Development Bank and a Contingent Reserve Arrangement. The West will carry a heavy responsibility for eroding global multilateral governance if it continues to drag its heels on the needed adjustments. Some may believe the IMF has already taken steps to raise the voting power of the “emerging” market. In 2010, its member countries agreed both to boost the lending power of the IMF and to shift 6.2 per cent of quota shares, and hence voting power, in favour of “dynamic” EMDCs. In March 2010, then-Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn hailed this agreement as “the most fundamental governance overhaul in the IMF’s 65year history and the biggest-ever shift of influence in favour of emerging market and developing countries”. Moreover, the key shift from developed countries to EMDCs is only 2.6 per cent, the rest being shifts within the category of emerging market and developing countries from “overrepresented” EMDCs to “underrepresented” EMDCs. Such a small change comes nowhere close to aligning shares of votes with any plausible measure of economic weight. If economic weight is measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), then the agreed 2010 reforms will still leave very large discrepancies between shares of economic weight and shares of voting power. Voting power-to-GDP ratios vary five-fold, from 0.45 in the case of China to 2.15 for Belgium. This results in the aggregate voting power of the EU4 being higher than the aggregate voting power of the four BRICs, despite the fact that the GDP of the BRICs, as a share of world GDP, is almost twice as large (24.0 per cent) as the GDP of the EU4 (13.4 per cent). Additionally, while most member states agree that, in the interests of simplicity and consistency, economic weight should be measured by GDP, the Europeans insist that economic weight is not just GDP but also “openness”. Intra-Europe trade boosts Europe’s weight, while intra-U.S. or intra-China trade does not boost the weights of those countries. The BRICS argue that if measures beyond GDP are to be included in the determination of quota (and vote) shares, criteria of “contributions to global growth” should be among them. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) was the one multilateral organisation where the smaller countries had a measure of influence. But with the developed countries willing to sideline the Doha Development Round and push their mega-regional trade blocs, it appears that, along with those same countries refusing to open up the IMF, the structural factors that have consigned many nations in the region to low growth rates will remain unchanged.

A Jamaican street performer displays his skills prior to the Tessanne Chin’s Official Homecoming Concert in Kingston, Jamaica, on Sunday. (Jamaica Gleaner photo)

Historic religious appointment

Dominican-born priest elevated to a Cardinal T

T’s Archbishop Joseph Harris Sunday welcomed the announcement by the Vatican of the imminent appointment of the first-ever Cardinal from the English-speaking Caribbean, Archbishop Kelvin Edward Felix. “It is a great honour for the Caribbean,” Archbishop Harris said in an interview with TT media. “It is the first time that an Archbishop from the Englishspeaking Caribbean has been made a Cardinal.” Felix, 81, Archbishop Emeritus of Castries, St Lucia, is a Dominican and will be made Cardinal at a public Papal consistory on February 22nd at the St. Peter Basilica in Rome. The date marks the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. The following day, Pope Francis will preside at a solemn concelebration with several new Cardinals. A private consistory with all the Cardinals will be held prior, on February 20 and 21. After the Angelus, Pope Francis said, “I will have the joy of holding a consistory, during which I will name 16 new Cardinals, who, coming from 12 countries from every part of the world, represent the deep ecclesial relationship between the Church of Rome and the other Churches throughout the world.” Harris said it was notable that Felix was from Dominica. “What is interesting is that Archibishop Felix is not St Lucian, he is from Dominica and is retired,”

the Archbishop said. “He is the retired Archbishop of Castries, but lives in Dominica at the moment, and Dominica became a Diocese in 1850, the same year Trinidad and Tobago became an Archdiocese. But Dominica has the distinction of giving the first Caribbean Archbishop of the Church: Bishop Joseph Bowers, Bishop of Accra in Ghana. And now, they have the distinction of giving the first Cardinal from the English speaking Region of the Church. It is a great honour for Dominica and all the Caribbean.” Harris noted that a Cardinal is effectively an advisor to the Pope. He suggested this poses an opportunity for advancement of interests of the Region. “We hope that in the days to come, Archbishop Felix will be able to let the Pope know a little more about the Caribbean than he knows already,” Harris said. “We would expect that with a Cardinal who would be in Rome for various issues that the Vatican would learn a little bit more about the Caribbean and the issues which we face here.” Archbishiop Nuncio to the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) Nicola Girasoli also welcomed the news, expressing “profound gratitude” “We express our profound gratitude to Pope Francis for having considered, for first time in the history of the

AEC, to appoint as Cardinal a member of the Episcopate of this Region,” he said in a press release. “This appointment is also a great sign of appreciation for the tireless and dedicated pastoral ministry of all our Bishops and for the Church of this beloved Region. For the first time one member of the Episcopate the Region of AEC will be elevated to the dignity of Cardinal. We all rejoice and congratulate Archbishop Felix for this appointment which, as Pope Francis mentioned..., is an acknowledgment for his long and dedicated service to the Holy See and to the Church.” Girasoli added, “we pray for the new Cardinal, and for the pastoral ministry of all our Bishops in the Region.” In April 2006, Felix miraculously escaped death on a Wednesday night when a 26-year-old man, armed with a knife, attempted to slash his throat outside the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Castries, St Lucia. Felix was attacked as he was preparing to enter his car. His Roman Collar was cut off his neck. According to the St Lucia Police, the Roman Collar saved the Archbishop’s life. While he will be the first Cardinal from the Englishspeaking Caribbean, Felix will not be the first Cardinal from the Region as a whole. Another Cardinal, Cuba’s Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, was made Cardinal in 1994. (TT Newsday)

week ending January 16, 2014

Ontario’s funeral-home watchdog suspends Benisasia’s licences


he Ontario Board of Funeral Services has suspended the licences previously granted to Benisasia Funeral Home Inc., which operates facilities in Mississauga and Toronto. The watchdog authority has also since filed a notice of proposal to permanently revoke the licences of the two funeral establishments under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act (2002). According to the board, this action follows a lengthy investigation into the operating practices of the two Benisasia funeral homes. BOFS Registrar, Doug Simpson, said the supervisory body “take its role of protecting consumers very seriously and we are acting in the public interest…" even as the investigation contin-

ues. “The funeral establishments may appeal both the immediate suspension and the notice to revoke licences to the Licence Appeal Tribunal,” the board has advised. It added that the allegations prompting the suspension and notice to revoke the two funeral-home licences can be disclosed to the public as part of the appeal process. In the meantime, the board has taken steps to ensure that a team of qualified funeral directors manage and honour all contracts, which existed with the funeral homes at the time of the suspension. Persons with prepaid contracts or with cremated remains under the care of Benisasia have been asked to make contact with the board.

Rare action

The board however

observed that that the “decision to suspend operations and revoke a licence of a funeral home is rare in an industry with an exemplary record of compliance.” In 2011 and 2012, the board reported more than 93 percent compliance rate of inspected funeral establishments. Less than two percent were subject to any action for non-compliance. According to reports, owner of the funeral establishments, Prabhjot Kaur Johal, has already signalled her intentions to fight the board’s attempt to permanently revoke the licences. She has also expressed confidence in winning the appeal. The Mississauga location of Benisasia has been licensed since 2002, and the Toronto location on Queen St. West has been licensed since 2007.



6 | week ending January 16, 2014

News week ending January 16, 2014


Georgetown swamped M

ost of Georgetown, Guyana, was under shin-deep water following heavy rains that started Monday evening and continued throughout Tuesday. With more showers predicted, city residents are bracing themselves for further suffering as the dysfunctional Mayor and City Council is unable to respond. Flood-prone areas such as the Bourda and Stabroek markets, along with communities like Alberttown, Q u e e n s t o w n , A l b o u y s t o w n , Charlestown, Kitty and Central Georgetown, to name a few, were all flooded. Caribbean Times International visited some of the affected areas and spoke with the residents about the damage and losses they suffered.

These persons are taking measures to prevent the water from entering their store in Georgetown

Bourda Market

The Bourda Market area, as usual, was severely flooded causing stall owners and vendors to suffer major losses in goods. While the market was shut down, flooded roads and persistent rain did not deter vendors from lining the streets and buyers from traversing the waters to make purchases.

A single-parent vendor, Deon Hamer, said because of the high level of water, some of her produce in the stall got damaged. “We can’t sell them to people, them thing gah throw away…also at my home in Vigilance, I lost half bale cement because the water destroy it and I only buy it Friday. I is a single parent and

it hard, now I hustling to build me house,” she pointed out.

Blockages, garbage

The woman noted that she had been selling at the market for 45 years and every time it rains a little heavily, they face the same fate. She said the contractors are the ones who cause blockages of the drains, as well as garbage.


- as Guyana battles heavy rains

Another vendor, Camille, vented her anger at the condition in which they have to work to earn a living. “How long we could go on like this? We need proper drainage. There is a lot of garbage in the market and this could give we bad bacteria in our skin,” she stated. The angry woman continued that every morning and afternoon they have to pay rent and still, every time it rains they have to be in floodwaters. “What we paying them for? They suppose to make sure we get proper drainage… this is what we have to go through to make our living,” she said. Walking with his wife to do their weekly market run, 69-year-old Alex Persaud told this newspaper that it is sad to see the city in this state every time it rains. “We need to do some-

thing about the drainage in the city because every time rain fall, we get flood. The authorities should look into this; because people have to earn a living; when things like this happen it causes a lot of inconvenience for them. It is not healthy for Guyanese people to have to be in flooded waters so often,” stressed Persaud.


According to the Agriculture Ministry, the heavy downpour in Guyana saw water accumulation been recorded in several areas in Regions Two and Four. Among the areas affected are: Pomeroon, particularly Lillydale, Marlboro, Martindale, parts of Jacklow, David James Scheme, parts of Charity Housing Scheme and farmlands along the bank of Dredge Creek. Henrietta is affected only in low residential areas.

Guyana’s new Ombudsman sworn in G

uyana’s newly appointed Ombudsman, Justice Winston Moore was sworn in on Monday at the Office of the President and was assured of the government’s full support in the discharge of his duties. Moore, took the Oath of Office in the presence of the Head of State, Donald Ramotar, Leader of the Opposition, David Granger, Attorney

General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, representatives from the legal fraternity and his family members. The president, in congratulating the new Ombudsman, said that this post had been vacant for a long time and as such, some of its functions were being executed by the constitutional court. He urged the public to make full use of the

services that this new office will provide. Meanwhile, he also informed that his government is working aggressively to full the other constitutional posts that are still vacant. This process, he said, should be completed in the near future. The new Ombudsman, a former judge sought to clear up a few issues surrounding his office with regards to staffing and resourc-

Guyana’s Budget cut case

Full Court says it cannot hear Opposition Leader’s appeal


uyana’s Full Court on Monday ruled that it does not have jurisdiction over a case on whether Opposition Leader David Granger should be excluded from a case on whether the opposition had a right to cut the 2012 national budget. It therefore said that acting Chief Justice Ian Chang’s ruling stands, but Granger’s lawyer Basil Williams said the matter would be taken to the Appeal Court and if possible, the Caribbean Court of Justice. Justice James Bovell-Drakes and Justice Rishi Persaud in a brief ruling said that the Full Court does not have the jurisdiction to overrule or go against a decision handed down by the chief justice. The two judges had presided over the Full Court hearing of an appeal filed by Granger, challenging the ruling of Justice Chang. Justice Chang on June 18 last, ruled that Granger and Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh will be barred from the 2012 budget cuts case. The two judges ruling concurs with initial contentions expressed by

Attorney General Anil Nandlall that the appeal was ill conceived. Nandlall said that the order made by the acting chief justice was final and brought all matters of contention to an end between the attorney general and the two defendants in the High Court. He explained that the law states that when a final order is made by a High Court judge, the next court to approach is the Court of Appeal; however, the Opposition appealed to the Full Court. As such, he noted that his first submission was for the Full Court to satisfy itself whether it has jurisdiction over the decision of the acting chief justice. The attorney general noted now that the appeal is concluded, the substantive case will continue with the hope of a final judgment as soon as possible. On the other hand, APNU Attorney Basil Williams expressed his dissatisfaction at the ruling, stating that other than the ruling being short, the judges only ruled on the question of jurisdiction and undermined arguments advanced on right of fair hearing for the opposition leader. (Guyana Times)

Guyana’s Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, President Donald Ramotar, newly sworn-in Ombudsman Winston Moore and Opposition Leader David Granger after Moore was sworn in on Monday at the Office of the President

es. He has been working closely with the Public Service Ministry and has since submitted a list of requirements for the of-

fice to function effectively. Guyana has been without an Ombudsman for eight years. The last

person who held this post was Justice Sheik Mohammed in 2005, a former Supreme Court Judge. (Guyana Times)


News |

week ending January 16, 2014

Jamaica's energy ranks 112th


amaica’s high energy cost and power infrastructure ranked it next to Haiti or 112th globally, according to ‘The Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report 2014’ published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Norway topped the list in a report that described Jamaica's energy infrastructure as facilitating underdevelopment. “The region's lowest performer is Haiti, which ranks in the lower quartile of the index with a score of [38 per cent] narrowly preceded by Jamaica,” stated the report published by the European-based WEF, which also publishes the renowned Global Competitiveness Report. “For both countries, their geography and lack of economic devel-

The report noted that Jamaica's low growth and development was "largely due to the economic impact of import dependence and the lack of domestic energy supply". (Jamaica Observer file photo)

opment create significant challenges-chal-

lenges that in Haiti's case were further com-

pounded by the 2010 earthquake that de-

- high cost, poor infrastructure close to Haiti’s stroyed the already limited existing power infrastructure.” The report was last published two years ago, but contains a new methodology which negates any rankings comparisons, according to the authors. Countries are now ranked on an Energy Architecture Performance Index (EAPI)--a tool which monitors energy accessibility along with economic and environmental sustainability. Jamaica scored 0.39, or 39 per cent. "Energy architecture is defined as the integrated physical system of energy sources, carriers and demand sectors that are shaped by government, industry and civil society," the report indicated. It added that Jamaica's low growth

and development was "largely due to the economic impact of import dependence and the lack of domestic energy supply". The island's fuel imports are equivalent to 16 per cent of the country's output. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic were the lowest performers in the indicator for net energy imports, with an average score some three times worse than others in the region at six per cent, compared with the average of 21 per cent, according to the report. Another area of concern included the quality of electricity supply at 4.4 out of seven. Renewable or green energy accounts for some 18 per cent of energy output but the island can do more, according to the researchers. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

Deadline extended for Barbados layoffs T he Barbados government has extended by 18 days, the deadline for laying off public servants following talks with labour unions on Monday. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said the delay would allow the Ministry of the Civil Service to generate a list of names for those who would be retrenched as his ad-

ministration seeks to turn around an ailing economy. He said the unions—the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW)—would be involved in the process. “We had set the 15th of January for the taking of the first bit of action. That date must now be vacated because of the challenges posed

to the Ministry of the Civil Service in even generating the list to be affected,” Stuart said. “But we are certain now that by the end of this month, we should be able to deal with those issues definitively and finally and of course between now and the end of the month, the union will have an opportunity to further report on those issues,” he added.

Last month, the government announced the plan to cut public service jobs in a bid to save Bds$143 million. It said it would also institute a “strict programme of attrition” across the central public service, filling posts only where it is absolutely unavoidable, over the next five years, ending 20182019. The government said it intends to trim

the service by 3,000 jobs and had hoped to begin laying off workers by January 15. Prime Minister Stuart said the layoffs would not include both breadwinners from the same household even as he insisted that the layoffs were unavoidable. He said a humane approach would be taken in preparing the list. (Barbados Advocate)

Barbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. (Nations file photo)

Work to start soon on TT$112 million Tobago hotel


onstruction will begin in the first quarter of this year on one of two new hotels planned for Tobago. The four-star Indigo Bay Resort, which will have 79 suites, will be located at Little Rockley Bay in Lambeau. The driving force behind this new hotel development is businessman Chris James, vice-president of the Tobago Hotel

and Tourism Association, who is investing TT$112 million in the project. Tracy DavidsonCelestine, Secretary of Tourism at the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), gave details of the project when she addressed a session at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Monday. She said the property will “utilise the ambi-

ance” of Little Rockly Bay as much as possible. “Tobago is actively pursuing new hotel development. We are seeking to persuade investors to come to Tobago and encouraging investors currently there to expand and to move into new development. And that has not fallen on deaf ears,” Davidson-Celestine said. Completion of the resort is set for the end of

2015. The other hotel to be constructed in Tobago is a 66-unit property which is also due to open next year. Hotel projects in Trinidad over the next year include the Financial Complex Suites Limited in Portof-Spain and the Capital Plaza Hotel, located across from the Port-ofSpain waterfront, which is undertaking extensive

refurbishment of its 243 guest rooms. Completion of Capital Plaza is expected next January and it is to be franchised into the Radisson Hotels International Inc brand. Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the largest and most important business-to-business marketing event for the region’s hospitality industry, is being attended by 1,200 delegates from more than

26 countries in North America, South America and Europe. The trade show matches suppliers, such as hotels, restaurants and tourist boards, with buyers—tour operators and wholesalers—in pre-scheduled business appointments, where parties discuss existing contracts and develop packages and contracts for future business. (TT Guardian)

Former Turks and Caicos premier released on bail


Former premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Michael Misick. (Jamaica Observer file photo)

ormer premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Michael Misick, was released on conditional bail by the TCI Supreme Court late on Monday. Later Monday evening, he made an appearance and spoke at a church service, in the company of current premier, Rufus Ewing. His address at the event included an obvious po-

litical component, calling on his audience to “take our country back”, apparently echoing the position of the current elected government as recently reiterated in the governor’s throne speech to the House of Assembly of “readying our nation and our people for the move toward independence.” Meanwhile, Misick now faces charges of conspiracy to receive

bribes, conspiracy to defraud government, and money laundering related to his time in office. He will appear next at the TCI Supreme Court for a sufficiency hearing on Friday, 7 March 2014. Misick’s bail application was initially rejected by a magistrate on Tuesday, 7 January 2014, before being granted on appeal by the Supreme Court lat-

er in the day. His bail was reportedly set at set at $10 million, with a substantial portion in cash and unencumbered property sureties for the remainder. While the terms of Misick’s bail were agreed, the conditions were not met last week, and he was remanded in custody at the prison in Grand Turk, from where he was released on

Monday after ten people were reportedly found as sureties, who put up free and clear properties valued at over $12 million. Although the chief justice was said to have ordered that the terms of Misick’s bail are not to be made public, these were in fact widely publicised by local media both before and after the court proceedings. (Caribbean News)

News week ending January 16, 2014



Several agencies partner to curb suicide in Guyana


nder pressure to do something about the spiralling suicide rate in Guyana, Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran said a multisectoral approach is needed to tackle the social scourge. At the time the health minister was meeting with the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud and Guyana’s chief psychiatrist Bhiro Harry at his Brickdam Office, discussing the issue of “mental health”. A mere 13 days into the new year, close to 20 persons had already committed suicide while several others are recovering after failed attempts. According to the health minister, suicide is not only a mental health problem, but a cultural issue as well.


Moving forward, he said, the Health

Ministry will be working closely with the human services, education and home affairs ministries, along with non-governmental organisations to reduce the instances of suicide. Persaud, for his part, said Guyana has a high suicide rate, noting that while many females attempt suicide, males are most times successful in executing the act. At this point in time, Dr Persaud said the ministry is strengthening the “Gate Keepers Programme” to build capacity among faithbased organisations, sport organisation, commercial entities and support groups in communities countrywide, with major emphasis placed on suicide-prone communities. He added the ministry will continue to equip persons with the requisite skills and knowledge needed to identify de-

cases in the country.

Recent cases

Guyana’s Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran

pression and offer counselling to persons who are at risk of committing suicide. He reported that last year, the Gate Keepers Programme focused on Regions Three and Six, in addition to communities along East Coast Demerara, positing that major emphasis was placed on males. The Gate Keepers Programme was established by former Health Minister, Dr Leslie

University student Toneisha Edwards succumbed at the New Amsterdam Hospital after drinking gramoxone on Old Year’s Day.

Ramsammy. Currently, the Health Ministry is developing guidelines to suicide prevention with attention being given to reintegration of victims into society. Chief psychiatrist Harry said “suicide prevention is everybody’s business”, hence, all should play apart in reducing the number of

Last Monday, Toneisha Edwards, 19, a student of the University of Guyana, succumbed at the New Amsterdam Hospital after drinking gramoxone on Old Year’s Day. Two days later, Nandranie Oudit, 32, of Number 68 Village, Corentyne, Berbice, died at the Skeldon Public Hospital after ingesting a poisonous substance. She committed suicide five weeks after her 16-year-old son killed himself over a sour love affair. He was a third form student at the Tagore Memorial High School. Oudit’s father and sister had also committed suicide some years ago, reports indicate. On Saturday, 15-yearold Leah Grant, a student of the Brickdam Secondary School, died at the Georgetown

Public Hospital after ingesting a poisonous substance at school last Friday. Several other persons have reportedly attempted to take their lives since the start of the year.

Suicide rate

The global suicide rate has increased by a whopping 60 per cent over the past 45 years, with the majority of the victims being men. This is according to the World Health Organisation. Guyana is no exception. In 2003, it ranked sixth in the world, with 42.4 men in every 100,000 committing suicide while women stood at 12.1 in every 100,000. By 2006, the figures had dropped with 39 men in every 100,000 taking their lives while it was estimated that 13.4 in every 100,000 women committed suicide. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

Jamaican company opens first call centre in Grand Bahama


amaican offshore company, Island Outsourcers, has planted its seeds in The Bahamas. Last Thursday, the Montego Bay, St Jamesbased company unveiled that Caribbean island's first call centre in Freeport, Grand Bahama, providing employment for 65 Bahamians. The opening was officially launched by Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchombe, and Island Outsourcers founder and CEO Yoni Epstein. Epstein told Jamaican media Sunday that the contract he had was with the Bahamas Tourist Board. "We will be taking inbound sales and cus-

tomer-service calls, as well as making outbound calls to travel agents," he said, adding that a second contract was signed with Bahamas Telecom in which telecommunications firm LIME has a 51 per cent stake. "We are doing outbound telesales and market research for Bahamas Telecom," he noted. The Bahamian tourist board was the first in the region to bring home its call centre, where its own people sell its products. Esptein said this was a plus given that the "Bahamas would know the product that they are selling".

Robust infrastructure

One of the fastestgrowing business processes outsourcing companies in the region, Island Outsourcers cur-

rently employs 120 Jamaicans at its Montego Freezone call centre. According to Epstein, the company's expansion locally and regionally rested solely on the pillars of robust infrastructure, an experienced management team, and qualified frontline professionals, who built a solid foundation, enabling the organisation's success in delivering services at a bigger scale and to a wider market. He said as a group, growth has been significant in the Caribbean. "Taking our two sites into consideration, we seek to increase that growth further in 2014," he stated, revealing that the long-term goal was to increase the staff count in The Bahamas to 600. Admitting that The

Trinidadian man shoots wife, child and then kills himself in Florida


Trinidadian man, who had migrated to the United States several years ago, shot and critically wounded his common-law wife and stepson at a suburban Boca Raton, Florida home last Friday night, and later turned his weapon on himself and died of a selfinflicted gunshot wound. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said the woman and her son were rushed in critical condition to Delray Medical Center, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Both are expected to survive, according to the Sherrif’s Office spokesperson Teri Barbera. The dead man has been identified as Dexter Ramdass, 37, formerly of Beach Road in Palo Seco, south Trinidad. He was the father of a teenage son. Relatives of Ramdass told TT media, he was going through domestic problems and had returned to Trinidad where he spent the Christmas holidays. Relatives said

his common-law wife, identified only as Melissa, had also returned to Trinidad, but spent the holidays with her parents in La Brea. The relatives said Ramdass, a truck driver, had expressed an unwillingness to return to Florida. The shooting took place shortly after 7 pm in the Villa San Ramon neighbourhood south of Clint Moore Road and west of Florida’s Turnpike. It apparently followed a domestic dispute, the Sheriff’s Office said. The woman, whom neighbours said was about 40 years old, was apparently shot in the leg, while the boy—one of two children at the residence—may have been shot in the abdomen. The other child, a girl, was not harmed. Mother and son were taken to the hospital as trauma alerts, said Captain Albert Borroto, Fire Rescue spokesman. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

Bahamas offered better incentives than Jamaica, he said one of the main reasons for expansion was access to human capital and proximity to the United States mainland.

Welcoming the Jamaican-owned company to his country, Christie said: "Consumers and potential visitors will be prompted by Bahamas television or print ads to call 1-800-Bahamas with

their questions." He added: "When they call this line, they will be greeted and assisted on the other end by warm, friendly, and professional Bahamian voices." (Jamaica Gleaner)


News |

week ending January 16, 2014

Sixteen-year-old pregnant for dad in Trinidad


father awaiting trial on three incest charges involving his 16-year-old daughter appeared in a Trinidad court last Thursday on another charge of having sex with the same child, who is now pregnant. Princes Town Senior Magistrate Debra Quintyne denied the 51-year-old father of five bail, as she questioned why the girl was allowed to stay in that environment. “Society

is failing our children. She ought to have been removed from that environment,” the magistrate said. Legal officer for the Southern Police Division Ramdath Phillip, who is prosecuting the matter, said that issue was the subject of a separate inquiry. “She is placed back in the environment to suffer further abuse. That is heart-wrenching, that is a life destroyed,” Quintyne said. The fa-

ther, a mason, was arrested last Wednesday night and charged by WPC Woods. The charge alleged that on a date unknown between September 1 and September 30, 2013, the father had sexual intercourse with a girl, 16 years of age, knowing her to be his blood relation. The offence allegedly took place at the father’s Barrackpore home. He was not called upon to plead to the charge, which is strict-

ly indictable. Objecting to bail, Phillip said the victim is the daughter of the accused and is 16 weeks pregnant. Citing Section 6 (2) of the Bail Act, Phillip said the accused had five pending matters, three for incest and two other sexual offences, which are before the High Court. Phillip said the 16-year-old girl is also the victim in those matters. The father did not have an attorney. Asked why he should

be granted bail, the father said, “I did not do the crime which they said I did.” He told the magistrate that his daughter, whom he referred to as “the girl,” lived with her mother, but on October 1 her mother put her out. The father claimed that he, his son-in-law and three grandsons picked up his daughter after her mother told him to come for her. The mother was in court. In addition, the father ar-

gued that he only had one pending matter. After denying him bail, the magistrate asked the prosecutor to do his best to have the matter expedited. Phillip said the prosecution had eight witnesses and would be proceeding by way of paper committal. Advising the father of his right to apply to a judge in chambers for bail, the magistrate remanded him into custody until February 5. (TT Guardian)

Jamaica’s early childhood teachers want more money


n the heels of an increase in Jamaica’s National Minimum Wage, early childhood education teachers also want the government to increase the subsidy that it gives to them. According to chairman of the St Ann Early Childhood Parish Board Devon Evans, the organisation is "appealing to the Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites to increase the salary subsidy for basic school teachers across the island." Evans, during a recent interview, said that "the salary subsidy, which is a monthly allowance paid to teachers in recognised basic schools, has not been increased since 2007, while over that period, the minimum wage has increased at least five times." Basic schools depend on

the fees of students to pay their staff. However, sometimes the fees are not paid on time, thus posing a challenge. Evans said that several basic school teachers were not paid last December, due to late or non-payment of fees, with some teachers just receiving payments since the start of this school term. Many schools try to raise money through fund-raising activities. However, the challenges remain, Evans said.


He said that with most basic schools continuing to find it difficult to pay their staff as a result of the country's economic challenges, these teachers have been left to depend solely on the salary subsidy as their main source of income. Evans revealed that the

Vice-president of the Jamaica Early Childhood Association Devon Evans. (Jamaica Observer photo)

salary subsidy ranges from a low of Ja$14,000 to a maximum of Ja$25, 000 per month

based on the qualification of each educator. Evans pointed out that in most instances, this is the only income teachers of the majority of the schools are guaranteed. Evans, who is also vicepresident of the Jamaica Early Childhood Association, said that the salary subsidy should not be below the minimum wage at the lower end, and above Ja$30,000 monthly for qualified teachers. He recalled that from 2008, the association has been bringing the matter to the attention of the Education Ministry and is yet to receive what it considers a favourable response. "It is now full time for the ministry to recognise the plight of the country's basic school teachers and to show some recognition for this cat-

egory of teachers for the important role they have been playing in the building of this nation," Evans said. In the meantime, Joyce Nelson Lindsay, president of the Early Childhood Staff Association, said the organisation would like to have a meeting with the education minister to discuss the plight now faced by the teachers. The association head said that teachers at the basic school level should be lauded for the sacrifice that many make in ensuring that children are educated, in spite of not receiving a salary for several months. Nelson Lindsay said that some teachers are now leaving the system because they are finding it difficult to manage financially. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

Wife’s lover bites off husband’s lips in Guyana T he bottom lip of a man was allegedly bitten off by his wife’s lover during an attack at his cousin’s place, Lot 48 D’Urban, Lodge, Georgetown, Guyana, in the wee hours of Tuesday morning last. Carland Hercules, 50, formerly of Thomas Street, Kitty, Georgetown, is presently taking treatment for the injury at the Georgetown Public Hospital and is

due to undergo surgery on January 23. According to information received, Hercules and his wife Dianne tied the knot about four years ago, but shortly after, he learnt that the woman was having an affair with another man in the area. Despite knowing this, he continued the relationship for the sake of their four children. However, as the situation worsened, the cou-

ple separated, resulting in him moving out the house and taking up residence at a cousin on D’Urban Street, Lodge. On the morning of January 7, the man woke up about 00:55h to use the washroom when he heard voices on the platform and thought it was strange and went to check. As he opened the door, he saw his wife and her lover and inquired about the purpose of

their visit. Within in a few minutes, the man and the woman reportedly grabbed Hercules and started to assault him. The man whose name was given as “Kerwin” reportedly took out a knife and stabbed the man in the back twice, but as the brawl continued, he bit Hercules about his body.

Not satisfied

He then turned his attention on the man’s bot-

tom lip. A cousin of the injured man stated that when she heard the commotion, she ran out of bed only to see Hercules covered in blood and the bottom half of his lip missing. The woman said she tried to part the fight but she was also assaulted by the man and his lover. The cousin said she bolted to the East Ruimveldt Police Station to make a report, but was confront-

ed by the suspect and dealt several blows. After assaulting her, Kerwin and his lover, Dianne, left and was not seen since. The matter was reported to the police and an investigation has been launched. Hercules was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was treated and admitted, but was subsequently discharged. (Guyana Times)

Europe warns of more Chikungunya cases in the Caribbean


he European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has reported further increase in the number of confirmed and probable cases of the chikungunya virus on the French side of St Martin and other Caribbean islands. In an epidemiological update on “autochthonous cases of chikungunya fever in the Caribbean region” on Saturday, the ECDC said that, as of last Thursday, there were 201 “probable or confirmed cases” in French St Martin and two confirmed cases on the Dutch side of the island. ECDC also said there were 48 “probable or confirmed cases” in

Chikungunya, a viral disease, carried mainly by the aedes aegypti mosquito that causes a dengue-like sickness. Aedes aegypti biting a human.

Martinique; 25 “probable or confirmed cases” in St Barthélemy; 10 “probable or confirmed cases, including one imported case from St Martin in Guadeloupe”; and one “confirmed case imported from Martinique in French Guiana”. An outbreak of chikungunya in the Caribbean was reported from the French section of St Martin on December 5. According to the ECDC, it was the first time that autochthonous transmission of the virus has been documented in the Americas. An ECDC risk assessment of the outbreak published on December 12 concluded that the risk of the disease spreading to other islands in the region was “high”. (CMC)

week ending January 16, 2014




News |

week ending January 16, 2014

Guyana’s Berbice administration better equipped to tackle Black Bush Polder flooding


he Region Six administration said it is in a better position to respond to flooding in the farming community of Black Bush Polder (BBP) with the recent acquisition of 12 excavators, two of which will be dispatched to the area. Speaking at a news conference held at his office last Friday, Region Six Chairman David Armogan said the BBP has over the past decade been one of the problematic areas as it relates to flooding.

Poor drainage

He noted that the problem is as a result of poor drainage. Armogan said a twofold approach will be implemented.

One will be to have miniexcavators employed in the BBP to clear community drains and the other is to place pumps at all of the sluices that takes water from the polder. The chairman noted that during 2013, residential communities in the region benefited from six mini-excavators donated by central government. The equipment was sent to Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) to carry out work to the community drainage systems and prevent flooding in those areas during the rainy season. “Since that, at the end of the year, we also got an additional fleet of six more mini-excavators

and others repaired. In order to assist BBP farmers, sluices at Eversham and Number 43 Village have also been rehabilitated during the past year while Rose Hall residents have not suffered from floods since a new drainage pump was installed there during the last quarter of the year.

Road network

Region Six Chairman David Armogan and other officials at last Friday’s press conference

so that adds up to 12. We are sending two to Black Bush Polder,” he said. The two excavators, Armogan believes, will save cash crop farmers. “Once the rain falls and the water accumulates on the ground for more than three days, they are wiped out and this is an unacceptable situation and we are hoping that with these small drains that we are going to be digging in the Black Bush Polder area will assist these cash crop farmers.”

Big problem

Responding to questions about the frequent siltation of outfall channels in the East Berbice region, the chairman noted that it is a big problem for the administration to handle since many of the region’s sluices are not close to the sea. “For example, the Number 43 Village, Eversham and Lesbeholden sluices will be silted within a matter of days if you don’t have water flushing the system… they say we wait

until the rains come before we clear the outfall channel, but we have to wait until the rains because if we dig it, we need the rain water to flush it.” According to Armogan, the administration is currently moving to install pumps at all sluices to be able to effectively reduce excess water from both farming and residential communities. Meanwhile, during last year, several new sluices were constructed

“Over 100 roads were completed in our capital programme and as well as under a programme carried out by the Ministry of Public Works, and hopefully this will benefit the communities and the residents there. One of the things that we have done is that we did not isolate communities, we did roads in almost every community in our region.” Armogan told reporters that in each community, between two and three roads were either rehabilitated or upgraded. This, he said, has led to an improved road network in the region.

Jamaica's lobster stock in danger - top marine biologist suggests extension of closed season


enowned marine scientist Dr Karl Aiken has advised Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries that he will be pressing for a one-month extension of the three-month closed season for lobster which runs from April 1 to June 30 each year. "There is a lot of pressure on the lobster resources of the counRenowned marine scientist Dr Karl Aiken.

try, especially the stock that we used to have on Pedro Banks which is now much smaller. It's not about to disappear overnight, but it needs some help," he told Jamaican media last week. The notice given by Aiken comes against the background of a recent proposal made by acting chief executive officer in the fisheries ministry, Andre Kong, for an extension of the 21day grace period, which would allow persons selling lobsters more time to dispose of their stock after the season closes. Under the law, no person shall---(a) catch and bring ashore or destroy any berried lobster; (b) catch and bring ashore, or destroy, any

A fisherman shows off a female lobster with a tar spot, which indicates that it has mated and will soon lay eggs. (Jamaica Observer photos)

spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) or carapace (head) length of less than 7.62 centimetres (three inches).

Better conservation

But Aiken, a senior lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences, UWI Mona wants the minimum carapace length increased to nine centimeters, which he believes could make a big difference for the future of Jamaica's lobster industry. Approving this increase in the minimum size could protect between 55 and 60 per cent of the spawning stock, compared to the 30-40 per cent it is estimated that the current size shelters. "The industry will die in a few years if we keep this small present size," Aiken warned. A recently conclud-

ed extensive five-anda-half month study of the industrial offshore Pedro Banks lobster fishery done on behalf of the Fisheries Advisory Board is now in the hands of Kong. Though he was not at liberty to share details, Dr Aiken offered some insight into his findings. "While we've been concentrating on conch, the lobster resource has been languishing, and is taking a bit of a battering. It's not extinct, but it is not in as good shape as we thought. It needs some help, and we're hoping that Mr Kong, with the meagre resources he has, will be able to help us with the implementation of the size increase as well as extension of the close season." (Jamaica Gleaner)

News week ending January 16, 2014

Trinidad-born Guney Cedeno to serenade for TCCF’s event in Toronto


he Caribbean C h i l d r e n Foundation’s (TCCF) first fund-raiser for the year will be staged on Saturday February 8th at Empire Banquet Hall, 246 Brockport Drive (Hwy 27 & Bellfield). The event, titled “Be My Valentine: Roses, Chocolates & Diamonds,” will feature the talented Guney Cedeno, originally from Trinidad and Tobago. Cedeno is well known for embracing the calypso and parang art forms, which are considered as reflections of his Trinidadian and Spanish roots. He entered the Canadian calypso scene in 1994, reaching the semi-finals in each of the subsequent years. His first recording was released in 1995 and was in the Caribbean top 20 chart. Guney’s gift of voice, crowd-pleasing interpretation of lyrics and

artistry of rendition has long been applauded by calypso enthusiasts and seasoned professionals alike both internationally and at home in Canada. Meanwhile, Lall’s Jewellery, known for its unique East Indian craftwork with onsite designers will provide the signature raffle prize of a diamond ring valued at nine hundred dollars for the Valentine’s affair while Watt A Basket, a company that began life as a hobby and gifts for friends and family, will sponsor TCCF’s Valentine chocolate baskets specially prepared for the event. Watt A Basket offers a range of customized gift packages for any special occasion. The Ontario Science Centre and Magma International will contribute items for the door prize and silent auction. TCCF also enjoys the continued support

of a number of corporate entities, including the Trinidadian carrier Caribbean Airlines, which annually provides four return airline tickets for in-need Mothers and Children, on compassionate grounds. TCCF is a registered Canadian charity, and raises funds primarily through four annual events. It also enjoys strong support from the community at large. It is affiliated with the Toronto Hospital for Sick Kids and other Global hospitals, and has since 2000, raised over a million dollars, providing a second chance at life for 58 critically ill children from the Caribbean who were unable to access the care they needed at home. For tickets and information to “Be My Valentine Roses, Chocolate & Diamonds” affair, please contact 905-840-5369.




News | week ending January 16, 2014

Ja$80 million upgrade for Eastern Westmoreland water supply


he Jamaican government recently signed two contracts totaling Ja$80 million for the upgrading of the potable water distribution system in Eastern Westmoreland. One contract, valuing Ja$42 million, was signed to cover work in the Leamington/Cedar Valley area, while the other, valued at approximately Ja$38 million, will cover the Bethel Town/ Argyle Mountain area. More than 13,000 residents are expected to benefit from the improved water supply. Signatories to the contracts were Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill; Chairman of the National Water Commission (NWC), Dr. Leary Myers; Chairman, Rural Water Supply Ltd., John P White; Member of Parliament for Eastern Westmoreland

Jamaica’s Water Minister Robert Pickersgill (second right); is joined by (from left), Mayor of Savanna-la-mar, Bertel Moore; Chairman of the NWC, Dr. Leary Myers; Councillor for the Leamington Division, Cebert McFarlane; Member of Parliament for Eastern Westmoreland Luther Buchanan; and Chairman, Rural Water Supply Limited, John P White; as they break ground to mark the start of work for the rehabilitation of the water distribution system in Cedar Valley, Westmoreland. (JIS photo)

Luther Buchanan, and representatives from the Contractors, D R Foote Construction Company Ltd; and Bacchus Engineering Company

Ltd. Addressing the contract signing ceremony in Cedar Valley, last week, Pickersgill stated that there will be re-

newed commitment towards expanding and improving the potable water supply network across the island this year.

He informed that his ministry remains unswerving in its efforts to achieve universal coverage for potable water by the year 2030, noting that access to safe water supply has been one of the top priorities in developing countries over the last three to four decades. The minister said that establishing a harmonized and comprehensive mechanism for long-term water security is critical for Jamaica, pointing out that as a nation, “we ought to be mindful of climate change.” He further added that the government is now strengthening the policy which requires that persons, who are undertaking development, provide their own domestic water where there is no connection to the central water system. “This policy is now

being strengthened to make it mandatory for all developments to make allowances for rainwater harvesting, either above or below ground, whether they are connected to the central water system or not,” he emphasised. “I firmly believe that this is the route we must take in order to ensure our water security, particularly in the face of climate change impacts,” he stated. The minister also outlined the costs incurred by the NWC in collecting, storing, treating and distributing water, and encouraged those receiving the commodity to be reasonable and pay their bills. The scope of work on both projects include the rehabilitation of existing water distribution network in the area and the installation of some 4.5 kilometres of new pipelines. (JIS)

Guyanese stakeholders outline need for CJIA upgrade


dverse weather conditions continue to pose tremendous discomfort for travellers in Guyana and it is a startling reminder of why the airport expansion project, especially a new terminal building, is vital. Public Works and Transport Minister Robeson Benn made this disclosure during a recent stakeholders meeting at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). “Passengers on Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) 0605, TravelSpan and Surinam Airways were wet and uncomfortable, and another CAL aircraft had to return to Trinidad since it could not land,” he told the group that comprised of airline officials, cargo

Guyana’s Transport Minister Robeson Benn and CJIA Chairman Ramesh Dookoo at the recent meeting with stakeholders

operators, customs and immigration officers. A longer runway would have allowed for larger planes to land, likewise the passenger boarding bridges would have alleviated such discomfort experienced by

the wet passengers, the minister pointed out.


However, the future of the project is in free fall because of the opposition’s refusal to approve funding. In 2011, the government of Guyana

inked a US$150 million contract with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the transformational venture. In light of this, an appeal was made to stakeholders to “have their voices be heard on why the airport expansion is important for them”. And if the project does not go forward, there will be heavy liabilities, said CJIA Board Chairman Ramesh Dookhoo. The US$20.7 million was approved by Parliament in 2012 as mobilisation advance. “…discontinuing the project will not only affect passengers and the economy, but also the taxpayers as the government of Guyana will have to pay compensation to the contractor for reneging on the agreement,” he pointed out. In addition, head of customs at the facility Stanley Phillips, pointed to the long wait passengers experience in the

baggage area. However, it was pointed out that due to the small, confined area and the burgeoning passenger arrival–it is virtually impossible to load luggage in a timely fashion. According to Dookhoo, the long waiting period of collecting luggage has been a thorny issue–one that he has experienced himself firsthand. “I have received a copious amount of complaints of persons having to wait 30 minutes or more to collect luggage, their second piece. It is unacceptable. Our passengers should not have to endure that,” he added.

New airlines

Meanwhile, CJIA Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghir told stakeholders that the airport is currently in talks with a number of new airlines. In fact, he is optimistic that during the first quarter of 2014–a new airline will announce

its intention to ply the Guyana route. Over the past three months, CONVIASA, Fly Jamaica and TravelSpan commenced operations in Guyana, and according to Dookhoo, travellers have more choice and destination to choose from. “I have recognised a shift of the interest of people from traditional North American route and the board is very excited about this,” he added. TravelSpan officials were also encouraged to exploit not only the Christmas season, but other scheduled flights as well. Another burning issue for some airlines executives was the cost of fuel. However, Dookhoo assured them the government of Guyana will soon set up a state owned fuel farm that would reduce fuel cost significantly–making it more competitive and attractive to airlines. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

News week ending January 16, 2014


More firepower for TT’s cops T

he Trinidad and Tobago government has approved an order of 2,500 9mm pistols to deal with the country’s runaway crime. According to an article in the Trinidad Guardian published Sunday, after several high-powered meetings, TT’s Minister of National Security Gary Griffith got approval to order the guns to upgrade the current police stock. The order, the article claimed, has already been placed. Griffith, at the meetings, steered clear of indicting former national security ministers, but did say the police force was

An order has been placed for guns to upgrade TT’s current police stock. (TT Guardian file photo)

ill-equipped to deal with the crime surge, and that the criminal element may be better armed than officers. To offset that inequality, Griffith said the guns were “an urgent necessity.”

In an interview, Griffith confirmed the order of 2,500 guns for the police force. On whether his predecessors failed to properly equip the police service, Griffith only said: “I am not getting into

what they did or did not do. That is in the past as far as I am concerned. But yes, we have approved the order for the 2,500 guns.” He said that comes with special training and the establishment of an in-


- gov’t orders 2,500 9mm pistols

door shooting range for officers to practice. This weapon upgrade for the Police Service comes just days after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced an “all hands on deck” approach to dealing with the escalating murder rate. After a meeting with the National Security Council last week, PersadBissessar announced that no officer would be allowed on leave and she recalled those who were on leave. The additional weaponry, the article reported, forms part of a holistic plan to fight crime in TT. At the meetings, several experts and govern-

ment ministers discussed different ways to address the crime problem, with one such suggestion being a second State of Emergency. Griffith, in subsequent media interviews, said he did not rule out the possibility of another State of Emergency to curb the spiralling crime rate. The TT government called a State of Emergency back in August 2011 after a particularly bloody weekend left six dead. Now with over 24 murders since the start of the year, Griffith admitted to weighing his options to help combat the figures. (TT Guardian)

Jamaica’s smoking ban burning into gov't coffers


he Jamaican government has acknowledged that the smoking ban introduced last July by the minister of health is having a significant negative impact on its revenue projections for the current fiscal year. In its Fiscal Policy Paper 2013/14 Interim Report tabled in the House of Representatives late December, Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips pointed to a significant decline in taxes from tobacco sales as one of the primary reasons for the shortfall in tax revenues up to then. "A significant decline in receipts from tobacco, as a result of the smoking ban in public spaces, effective July 15, 2013,

also contributed to the reduction in SCT (Special Consumption Tax)," Phillips noted in the report, which was to be studied by Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) on Wednesday. The minister has since confirmed the report in interviews with the media, but has maintained that no new taxes will be introduced to cover a widening gap in revenue projections expected to continue into 2014/15. Phillips is also insisting that while the revenues are being impacted by the ban, the revenue targets for 2013/14 will not be changed. He first made the statement while re-

sponding to questions from former Opposition spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw, who expressed concern in the House about the revenue loss implications for both the industry and the government from a reduction in cigarette consumption, up to next March when the current financial year ends. "We will continue to monitor the situation, but I want to make it absolutely clear that the revenue numbers that the government announced will remain, and that there will be no slippage in relation to overall targets for revenue," Phillips responded. Shaw insisted then that the government was "operating in the dark" because although

Jamaica’s Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips (at left) and former Opposition spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw. (Jamaica Observer photos)

the ban was imposed on cigarette consumption and not cigarette sales, it should have been obvious that sales would have been affected. "The issue, therefore, will have to be how will that be replaced, going forward," Shaw com-

mented. Dr Phillips responded that, "all things being equal", there would be a reduction in consumption, but there was no indication of the pace at which the reduction would occur. One of the areas

which are being seriously affected by the reduction is the National Health Fund (NHF). Cigarette producer Carreras says that the bulk of the approximately Ja$11 billion in taxes on cigarettes finances up to 75 per cent of the NHF's activities. However, communications director at the Ministry of Health, Neville Graham, is insisting that only 25 per cent of the NHF's budget is actually financed by cigarette tax revenue. Graham also conceded that the smoking ban was affecting receipts from cigarette sales, but explained that when it was first raised by Carreras last year there was no evidence to support the claim.(Jamaica Observer)

Billion-dollar mall upgrade in Chaguanas starts soon


eorge Aboud, the man behind the TT$1.1 billion upgrade of the Centre City Mall in Chaguanas, expects construction of the mega project to begin soon. Aboud, of George Aboud & Sons Ltd (GASL,) confirmed that he is the owner of Centre City Mall, which is earmarked for a hefty upgrade. “There is nothing more to add. The project will start soon,” he said. Last Wednesday, Anthony Fifi, a land developer and consultant with GASL, unveiled the billion-dollar project during a Planning Ministry consultation on an implementation strategy for the 4Cs Growth Pole, at the Couva/ Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce conference hall in Camden, Couva. Aboud said last Thursday the mall was established 25 years ago. Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce

their trade. Boodan, who met with Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray to discuss the project and its impact on the borough, said he

An artist’s impression of what the transformed Centre City Mall in Chaguanas will look like after it undergoes a TT$900 million rehabilitation plan.

president Lily Heerai welcomed the project which will provide job opportunities for residents in the area during construction and upon completion. “The mega mall will really enhance Chaguanas in terms of economic development,” said Heerai, who admitted that she had some concerns about implementation of the project. “They will need to address the traffic situation. Even though they have the new traffic plan I do not know if it will continue. Chaguanas continues to have traffic all the time,” she said.

Heerai also had concerns about the actual construction phase of the project and its impact on the traffic situation. “They need to address some of the traffic problems there before construction starts. To some extent the construction will cause some havoc. There will be trucks going in and out and that will be a hindrance to traffic as well,” she said. Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodan met with Chaguanas over the weekend to discuss the project and its implications for

had scheduled the meeting to give vendors a chance to share their views and concerns about the overall development of Chaguanas. Currently vendors oc-

cupy the old Chaguanas health centre building and with the expansion and upgrade of Centre City Mallm, they will be affected. (TT Guardian)


News | week ending January 16, 2014

Some 100 refugees seek TT asylum


round 100 persons are currently seeking asylum in Trinidad and Tobago. This was revealed by the Living Water Community, the organisation which is assisting the refugees in settling away from their respective homes to a new life in the Caribbean. The refugees are mainly from African countries. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who, when they arrive on the shores of Trinidad and Tobago, do not have the proper documentation to stay in the country, but for some reason or the other, are determined to stay. Some may be trying to escape strife and war in their country, some may have been displaced, while others were seeking economic opportunities to improve

their way of life. But, when they overstay their welcome, Immigration steps in and most times they are sent to a detention centre, jail, or deported. They must meet certain requirements to gain refugee status, thus citizenship, in TT. Living Water Community assist citizens who were seeking asylum because their lives were in danger. To date there has been more than 1,200, with about 100 at present.


“There are many people who come to this country for economic reasons, that does not come under our mandate. When people come to us they are interviewed for us to do a determination to see if their lives are really in danger and need protection,” said

Interviews with those seeking asylum in TT are sent to the head office for the Caribbean region for UNHCR.

assistant community director of Living Water, Rosemary Scott. She said they did initial interviews, and further interviews were sent up to the Washington

office, the head office for the Caribbean region for United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). She said despite the fact that TT had signed

the convention to recognise and accept refugees, there was no legislation in place. This meant that refugees seeking asylum had absolutely no rights in the country, she said. Scott related that they liaised with Immigration allowing them to at least have what was called an “order of supervision,” which entitled them protection while they were in TT and their case was being determined. “Once the case is determined that they are refugees, then by international law they should be protected in this country...again because there is no legislation in place very often we need to find a third country to resettle them,” Scott said.


Scott said refugees were not entitled to

work, or have bank accounts, a driver’s licence or any documents. “If the proper legislation was in place then they would be entitled to all rights as any other citizen of this country,” Scott said. Living Water has been helping people seeking refugee asylum for over 20 years, and has helped over 1,000. She said people seeking their assistance were not boat loads of people, but single families. Scott said ten years ago there was a big resurgence coming out of Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Sengal, Ivory Coast), but now there was a big influx coming from Cuba. “It’s not coming in the hundreds or thousands, they are coming in a family or two,” she said. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

Jamaica’s sugar industry records US$109.7 million in combined earnings, savings in 2012/2013


g r i c u l t u r e Minister Roger Clarke has underscored the importance of the sugar industry to Jamaica’s economy, particularly in the context of the administration’s efforts to restructure the country’s economy. Speaking at the official opening of the Toll Gate sports complex in Clarendon last Thursday, Clarke noted that the sector recorded an estimated US$109.7 million in combined earnings and savings during the 2012/13 sugar crop year. The agriculture minister said that the sector continues to be the

largest employer in the agricultural industry, accounting for approximately 18 per cent of current jobs. “As such, sugar is still the largest wage earner and foreign exchange earner in the agricultural sector. The (sector’s) performance can (however) be improved if we step up production,” Clarke argued. The minister also reminded of the industry’s “sterling contribution to the education, health and sporting capacity of our country.” However Clarke admitted that notwithstanding the sector’s

positive contributions in many areas, there are several challenges which must be faced. He cited underperformance by a number of stakeholders among the reasons “we are still (producing) below our capabilities.” “We have the potential to produce over 200,000 tonnes of sugar (per annum). We could have done close to 160,000 tonnes of sugar (in the 2012/13 crop year) if all producers, both estates and cane farmers, performed excellently in the last crop. This would have translated into foreign exchange earnings and savings close

Jamaica’s Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke. (JIS photo)

to US$130 million. We

fully expected cane pro-

duction for the last crop would have been close to 1.6 million tones, instead, we ended up with 1.4 million,” said Clarke. Clarke contended that in many instances the farmers are “rising to the occasion,” and some of the estates are doing much better. He lamented however, that others are not performing “as we would have hoped.” He said that overall, cane planting expanded from 2,814 hectares in 2010, to 5,438 hectares during the 2012/13 crop and congratulated the farmers on "the great work they are doing.” (JIS)

Surveillance cameras for Guyana’s markets, municipalities


uyana’s Local Government and Regional Development Minister Ganga Persaud said the ministry is moving to install surveillance cameras in municipalities and large markets. The cameras, he said will be under the control of the neighbourhood democratic councils. Persaud pointed out that cameras have already been installed at the Bartica Market, but did not give a timeframe when same will be done at other markets and municipalities. Closed-circuit cameras are universally used in supermarkets, banks and other places where business is frequently conducted. The cameras would not

Newly-built Mahaica market in Guyana. (Guyana Times file photo)

only serve as a deterrent to criminal elements, but could also help the police in their investigations to crack down on illegal activities conducted in the markets. This initiative would be welcomed by stallholders as many of them have suffered at the hands of vandals. The cameras can also serve as an early alarm system in the instance of a fire. Markets fires are not uncommon and have caused some businesses to suffer major losses in the past. Since the introduction of these cameras into the Bartica Market, officials there have record a 100 per cent decrease in break and enter. In the past, the Bartica Market suffered at least two break-ins per week. (Guyana Times)



week ending January 16, 2014 |

Guyana’s DPP disposes of 109 cases in 2013 G uyana’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) disclosed that 109 cases were completed during 2013. Of these, 95 cases engaged the court’s attention while 14 were nolle prosequi (not to go ahead) by the DPP. Seventy-one of these cases were from the Demerara Assizes, 14 from the Berbice Assizes and 10 from the Essequibo sessions. There were a total of 83 cases for murder, three for manslaughter, two rape cases, four cases of carnal knowledge, two attempts to commit murder cases and one case for incest. The DPP was successful in getting 36 convictions, but there were 45 acquittals along with 10

hung jury, one quashed committal, two aborted trials and one accused committed to the National Psychiatric Hospital for treatment. In another case, the accused was found to be fit to plea and was remanded back to prison to await trial. One matter is continuing during the January 2014 Assizes. The 14 matters nolle prosequi by the DPP was as a result of different reasons. One matter was nolle prosequi because the accused died while awaiting trial and another one because the witnesses could not be found. The other 12 cases were nolle prosequi because the virtual complainants no longer wanted to proceed with the

Guyana's acting Chief Justice Ian Chang

matters. In a separate matter, the DPP nolle prosequi the case against one of the murder accused since there was no evidence against him.

DPP’s appearance



2013, the DPP appeared in 15 matters at the Court of Appeal; one was for the appeal against a guilty verdict in a murder case. This appeal was granted, resulting in the offence being reduced to manslaughter and the accused sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. In a second matter for an application for bail, the offence of attempted murder, the application was refused. There were three matters of appeal for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving. In one matter, the appeal was granted, but the court found that there was sufficient evidence to establish the offence of death by dangerous driving.

In the second appeal, the conviction for causing death by dangerous driving was confirmed and the accused was sentenced to three years imprisonment. The appellant in the third case against the conviction for causing death by dangerous driving withdrew his application. In addition, there were two appeals by the state; one was to amend the appeal from a verdict of acquittal from a High Court murder trial and this was granted. The other matter was an appeal against an order made by a single judge in chambers in the Court of Appeal to prevent a magistrate from carrying out the directions of the DPP for a preliminary inquiry to be

reopened and it was allowed.

Extension of time

The other eight matters were in relation to summary trials for indictable offences of which five were applications for extension of time because the applicants failed to file the notice of appeal within the statutory period. In the sixth matter, an application was granted for the appellant to lodge security. Another application was granted for the petitioner to lodge his passport within 48 hours of his return to the country. One application to appeal a matter for the offence of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking was refused. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

Some Jamaicans still want TT boycott B arely a month after talks between TT’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran and his Jamaican counterpart, Arnold J Nicholson, to resolve trade and immigration issues between the two countries, a new survey shows that some Jamaicans are still in favour of a boycott of goods from TT, and an overwhelming majority are still up in arms over the decision to refuse entry to 13 Jamaicans, including a child, late last year. The calls for boycott came after the Jamaicans were turned back at Piarco International Airport on November 20, 2013. The Jamaicans claimed TT immigration officers told them they were being turned back due to the recent

Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Minister Arnold J Nicholson

murder of a Trinidadian whose body was discovered in St Catherine. They also claimed that the rejection of entry was unjust because both countries are signatories to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which grants freedom of movement to Caribbean Community citizens. According to a report

in Jamaica’s Gleaner newspaper, a survey commissioned by the Jamaica National Building Society and done by Johnson Survey Research showed less than four in every 10 Jamaicans (38 per cent) support the boycott call, while 46 per cent said no to the boycott while 16 per cent were unmoved either way. Jamaican school teacher Kesreen Green Dillon, who initiated the boycott using the social media, said she was disappointed at the findings of the survey. “So many things have been going on and so many Jamaicans targeted and I think a boycott would give us a chance to buy Jamaican, which would help us grow,” she said.

Petrotrin pays out fishermen affected by oil spills


hile La Brea fisherfolk last Friday expressed satisfaction at the compensation offered by Petrotrin for lost earnings due to the massive oil spill along Trinidad’s south western peninsula and which affected their ability to ply their trade, La Brea Fishing Association president, Alvin La Borde, has accused the company’s management of disrespecting them by not holding a meeting to discuss other matters, relating to the village. La Borde, at one point, even refused to shake the hand of Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali during a tour of Coffee beach by Petrotrin officials last Friday. “I will never shake your hand,” he told Hassanali before informning him of the reason for his displeasure. “You all want to be shown respect, you have to show respect. Correspondence was sent about one week ago for a meeting, and no response,” La Borde said, adding they were also concerned that the company was not compensating the residents who live along the affected shoreline. “What about the residents who live on the shore line, they are affected

just as the boat owners. They are accustomed to throwing their little line, and they refuse to deal with them,” he said. However, Hassanali disputed La Borde’s claims saying he had not only received the correspondence, but had replied to the letters. “I did receive the correspondence, and I did reply, but I agree with you that we have an issue here, a tragedy, but we have been working with you and I believe we are making some progress, the beach looks far better,” Hassanali said. Hassanali also noted that the company had reached an understanding regarding compensation, saying the company was committed to providing meals for the duration of the clean-up, as well as medical services. The compensation agreement for the fishermen was TT$28,800 per boat that was damaged as well as two bales of rope and cleaning chemicals and the requisite PPE equipment. La Borde said this was a reasonable figure, and the company had also promised to give them a parcel of land for the construction of a fishing depot. (TT Newsday)

The survey showed that the vast majority of Jamaicans—75 per cent—said they were aware of the incident when 13 people were turned back at Piarco International Airport, and 61 per cent felt the action was wrong, even though TT officials repeatedly denied they were refused entry because they were from Jamaica. Only 15 per cent of the respondents agreed with the decision to refuse the Jamaicans entry. A total of 1,008 residents of Jamaica aged 18 and older were inter-

viewed for the survey, which was conducted between December 7 and 15. It was done just days after talks in Kingston between Dookeran and Nicholson which culminated with an agreement on a path to improve free trade and free movement between the two countries. Meanwhile, a recent incident involving TT immigration and Jamaican radio personality and comedian Christopher ‘Johnny’ Daley is threatening to revive the dispute. Daley said he was mistreated by airport officials and

vented his anger at the shabby treatment on the social network website Facebook last week. He said he felt like a criminal even though he broke no immigration law and was not in possession of any contraband or banned items. Daley, in his Facebook post, said: “I had my worst travel experience entering the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago last night and I’m sorry to say it, but Jamaicans are targeted and profiled because it happened to me and my wife.” (Excerpted from TT Guardian)

18 News Guyana’s private sector mourns passing of Terry Holder T | week ending January 16, 2014

he Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has joined several others in conveying sympathy to the family of Terrence Holder. The GCCI in a release said Holder spent many years as a private sector leader and advocate, serving on many boards and committees of several private sector associations in Guyana. He held many executive level positions at the GCCI, including that of senior vice president, and will also be remembered for his intellect, insightfulness and sagacity on issues that attracted the attention of the chamber and which affected the country’s social and economic climate. During his tenure at the GCCI, Holder was a staunch advocate for corporate social responsibility (CSR) being a fun-

damental part of the operations of the GCCI and its constituent private sector members, and he formulated and led many initiatives in this regard for the chamber. The GGCI said he also played the role of mentor to new and young members of the GCCI’s executive, offering valuable counsel and advice as they transitioned into the arena of private sector advocacy. GCCI President Clinton Urling recalled being a beneficiary of Holder’s wisdom and understanding on many occasions when he became a member of the chamber’s executive council.

Deep sorrow

Meanwhile, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) said though not sudden, Holder’s death has cast a pall over its

the board since the mid 1990s as the representative of the Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company. Terry served as vice president responsible for public communications for more than six years before he demitted office due to his ill health,” the GMSA said, describing him as an outstanding, dependable and always articulate member. A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) also expressed deep sorrow at the passing of Holder.


Terrence ‘Terry’ Holder, a veteran broadcaster and former general manager of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T), passed away last Wednesday, after battling a chronic illness for several years

board of directors and membership. “He had become a fixture on

Jamaica’s Children’s Registry to open Westmoreland parish office


amaica’s Office of the Children's Registry (OCR) will be opening a parish office in Westmoreland on January 20 as the agency continues to extend its reach across the island. The establishment of the Westmoreland parish office, which will be based in Savanna-la-Mar, will be one of the highlights of the agency's activities to mark its seventh anniversary this month, under the theme: 'Be the change: Speak out, protect our children'. The anniversary celebrations also include a church service on January 19 at the Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ, 31 South Camp Road, Kingston; sensitisation sessions in residential child-care facilities; the launch of new mission and vision statements and a child-friendly website; issuing of a newsletter; and the staging of 'pon de corner' reasoning sessions. Registrar at the OCR,

Registrar at the OCR Greig Smith. (Jamaica Observer photo)

Greig Smith, who announced the activities in his New Year's message, said the agency will also be making every effort to continue its school tours and expand its Child Ambassadors Programmes. These initiatives, launched in 2012, are aimed at getting children involved in the effort to reduce child abuse. Smith, in the meantime, has commended citizens who assist the OCR by reporting incidents of abuse. "To date, we have collected over 40,000 re-

ports of child abuse. Of this number, more than 8,000 such reports were received during 2013," he stated. In addition, he said the agency has received 66 reports of missing children since the Ananda Alert system was transferred to the OCR on March 1, 2013. The Ananda Alert seeks to ensure the safe and speedy recovery of missing children. The 66 reports, Smith said, "formed part of a total of 2,034 reports of missing children, which were received by the Missing Persons Call Centre (Jamaica Constabulary Force) between January and November 2013. Of this amount, 1,621 were recovered." The OCR, which began operations in January 2007, is responsible for receiving, recording and assessing reports of child abuse and referring agencies for investigation and action. (Jamaica Observer)

Holder, also a veteran broadcaster and former General Manager of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) passed away last Wednesday after battling a chronic illness for several years. He was aged 73. He had retired from the company after he took ill. He

started his broadcasting career at the now defunct Guyana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) rising to the level of general manager. During that period, he also served as secretary general of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU). Well-respected for his current affairs productions such as documentaries, he moved on to become the GBC General Manager in the 1990s. After the change of government in 1992, he served on the board of directors of GBC’s successor, the National Communications Network (NCN). He had also worked at the Information Ministry under the previous administration and served the Guyana Cricket Board and the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA). (Guyana Times)

Plan for new mas route to end congestion in TT

Bandleaders are reluctant to consider such a major change, saying consultations should have been held with them much earlier. (TT Guardian file photo)


new mas route under consideration by Trinidad and Tobago’s NCC (National Carnival Commission) could reduce congestion for the Parade of the Bands on Carnival Monday and Tuesday by 25 per cent. Bandleaders, however, said they were reluctant to consider such a major change and consultations should have been held with them much earlier. They, however, said they were willing to address the issue after Carnival 2014. Bandleaders met to discuss proposed changes to the Carnival route at the Grand Stand, Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, last week. The meeting was convened by the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) and facilitated by the NCC. The NCC had commissioned Transport Systems Engineer Dr Rae Furlonge and C&H Associates (CHA) to identify solutions to help address the "perennial

problem" of congestion on the road on Carnival days. Critical data gathered by the NCBA over several years was provided to CHA under a confidentiality agreement to help the firm devise solutions. CHA Director Derek Hamilton suggested extending the parade route to contain the volume of bands. He also recommended mas bands proceed clockwise to and from the Savannah to optimise efficiency. He said that they could not provide all the answers in one year, saying progress would be ongoing. Furlonge said there would be a 25 percent reduction in parade congestion if the new plan was implemented. He said the route issue represented a major challenge and that two types of software had been used to model the system, applying a scientific approach to a traditional system. Furlonge said that if all Carnival bands were lined up end

to end, they could not all fit on the existing route. He used an animated simulation to show the movement of 55 large, medium and small bands moving along the proposed new, extended route and crossing the Savannah stage from the western end. Furlonge said the new system would provide more room in the leadup to the stage, easing blockages. Several bandleaders objected to the proposed directional change telling Hamilton this would require them to go against the wind, posing a hazard to costumes and masqueraders, particularly children. Acting Assistant Commissioner Steven Ramsubag said they had examined the proposed route and found that they could not provide the manpower to police an extended area. He said they wished to support but they had to provide security for the entire country. (TT Guardian)



week ending January 16, 2014 |

Provisions made for laid off Some 180 foreign Barbadian drainage workers nurses for Trinidad’s


he Barbadian workers who were let go from the Drainage Division’s National Environmental E n h a n c e m e n t Programme (NEEP) have received their “green papers” to qualify for unemployment benefits, and the assurance is being given by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that they will also get separation packages. According to Stuart, those packages are in the process of being quantified by the ministry, and that matter is expected to go before Parliament once it resumes from the annual Christmas recess. “The computations are being done; the

Esther Byer Suckoo and Minister of Social Care, Steven Blackett, participated in a meeting with the affected workers at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, which lasted for three hours. Prime Minister Stuart said that the meeting was necessary to give those affected a better understanding of the situation and their rights. The prime minister said that though he was cognisant of the “tight time schedule” facing the Ministry of the Civil Service and the Ministry of the Environment at the end of last month when the workers were let go, he was “not terribly amused” at the way the matter of the lay-offs

that we were having some serious drainage and other bush problems in the country and therefore the two concerns were merged and out of that came the National Environmental E n h a n c e m e n t Programme. We financed it between August 2008 and December 2013, and 392 workers benefitted from it. So, one could not see a programme close and so many people affected and just not say anything to them,” he added. Stuart said that given that the affected persons will have to rely on unemployment benefits for the time being, government intends to also put in place an “advi-

new South hospital


Some of the laid-off workers of the National Environmental Enhancement Programme (NEEP) receiving their green papers last week from staff of the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage. (Barbados Advocate photo)

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Edison Alleyne has explained that. Once we get a grand total, that would have to engage the attention of Parliament by way of supplementary requests; and once we pass that hurdle, all of the workers will get their entitlement,” he said. His comments came as he spoke to the media at Ilaro Court, minutes after he, along with Minister of Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe; Minister of Labour, Senator Dr.

was handled and as such, felt a need to express his regret to the workers. “This programme had its beginnings, of course, in August 2008 when the present Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, was Minister of Social Care, and he had come to the Cabinet to say that he thought that we needed to embark on a welfare-to-work programme. Now his advocacy to the Cabinet coincided with a concern of the then Minister of Public Works, John Boyce,

sory mechanism”, that will offer interested persons advice on how they can make effective use of their severance packages. These workers are among the first of the 3 000 proposed job cuts in the public sector that are to take place between January 15 and March 1 as part of government’s efforts to save approximately Bds$143 million in a full financial year, or Bds$35 million over the last quarter of the current financial year, which ends March 31, 2014. (Barbados Advocate)

The San Fernando Teaching Hospital. (Kamla Persad-Bissessar FB photo)

he TT$739 million San Fernando Teaching Hospital has been commissioned, but it will take another few weeks before 180 nurses can be flown in from Cuba and St Vincent to work at the facility. So said Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan during the opening of the hospital. The new hospital, which connects the San Fernando General Hospital, via a skywalk bridge, has been dedicated to maternal, child-care and paediatric outpatients. Khan said the additional 216 beds at the new facility would effectively deal with overcrowding at the San Fernando General Hospital, bringing the overall bed space to 866. He also said there were 26 doctors’ on-call rooms and lecturer rooms specifically designed for teaching and interactive learning. Boasting that TT will soon begin de-

veloping educational and medical tourism, Khan said he intended to bring retired specialist medical officers from abroad to train young people. “We will determine what specialities are needed worldwide and we will use this cadre of specialist doctors to boost medical tourism in TT,” he added. He said the Ministry of Health already had visited Cuba and identified nurses who were willing to come to TT to work. “We intend to bring 120 nurses from Cuba and 60 from St Vincent. We are also training nurses at El Dorado Nurses Academy and we will be training enough medical nurses to cater to our needs,” he added. Chairman of the Southwest Regional Health Authority Dr Lackram Bodoe also vowed that overcrowding would be a thing of the past now that the new

hospital had been commissioned. He said the first patients would be brought in by late next month or early March. Meanwhile, Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim said a Masters in Forensics Degree would begin at the hospital from September. “The Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI, St Augustine, will like to take a proactive role in strengthening the criminal justice system and bolstering the efforts of the government in crime detection and eradication, through the launch of a Master’s Degree in Forensic Science,” Karim said. The minister said UWI would collaborate with the School of Forensic and Investigatory Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, with respect to its laboratories and teaching expertise to deliver the programme. (TT Guardian)

Losses force job cuts at FirstCaribbean


I B C F ir s t C a r ib b ean International Bank said Monday that it is planning to cut its workforce of 3,500 by 10 per cent, or about 350 staff, under a restructuring plan aimed at addressing recent losses. The bank reported annual losses of US$27.5 million at year end October 2013. FirstCaribbean CEO Rik Parkhill said the job cuts are meant to address the "negative impact of the global recession on profitability which resulted in in-

creased loan losses and fewer revenue-generating opportunities, and an increase in our operating costs". The losses last year were linked to restructuring expenses of US$37.6 million and an increase in the collective allowance for loan losses of US$25 million. "The restructuring exercise is designed to achieve a reduction of employee costs of 10 per cent. We started the exercise with 3,500 employees and the first step was the non-renewal of contracts of those

workers who were on contract with the bank, and where projects came to their natural end," Parkhill said via email from Barbados.

Voluntary programmes

The bank has also offered voluntary early retirement to eligible employees and voluntary separation to employees who are not eligible for early retirement, but wish to leave. "The voluntary programmes have received a reasonable response and we are currently engaged in robust, organisational redesign, man-

power and transition planning exercise to ensure our ability to deliver continually improving customer service," said Parkhill. FirstCaribbean is also to assess positions that are now redundant as a result of "consolidation, automation, process re-engineering and improvement" across the group. FirstCaribbean has not specified in which markets the major cuts would fall. FirstCaribbean Jamaica had Ja$613 million of accumulat-

ed losses at September 2013, according to the latest central bank data. It is the third largest commercial bank in this market with assets of Ja$61 billion and a capital base of Ja$14 billion. The FirstCaribbean group, which spans 17 markets, generated US$530 million in revenue in 2013 and maintained strong capital levels with a total capital ratio of 24 per cent. "Many of the economies in which we operate rely heavily on tourism and foreign direct

investments. The overhang from the economic crisis continues to impede growth and, by extension, has negatively affected our results," he said. The banking group operates a network of 69 branches, 22 banking centres and seven offices within the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. Its assets were basically flat at US$11.44 billion, while its capital base declined from US$1.65 billion to US$1.55 billion at year end October 2013. (Jamaica Gleaner)


feature | week ending January 16, 2014


he Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha recently celebrated 40 years of existence and as the month-long celebrations continue; the organisation said special focus will be placed on training to preserve Hinduism and its art forms. Embarking on another year of dedicated service to the country, the Sabha will continue to expand the Dharmic family through its praants in Essequibo; Upper, Central, East and West Berbice; East and West Coast Demerara; and East Bank Demerara. Its goal is to maintain and strengthen relationships with all Hindu organisations and other religious bodies as it seeks to be helpful to all. The Sabha is committed to serving with distinction and is pleased to announce that this year

In addition to the thousands trained since the Dharmic Kendra opened its doors in 1991 as the first recognised Hindu Academy in the Caribbean by the Indian government, the Sabha has spared no efforts to offer training opportunities around the country to affiliated mandirs, and Kendras in Berbice and Essequibo.

Strong advocate

The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha celebrates 40 years of service to Guyanese, particularly the Hindu community. (Guyana Times photo)

it will offer free classes at its Kendra headquarters, Prashad Nagar, commencing this month. The classes include lessons in harmonium, tabla and dholak. These sessions will be conducted by teachers from India certified by an Indian Music Academy. The Sabha will also launch a comprehensive pandits’ programme in Hindi, conduct teachings on the Ramayan, Bhagavad Gita, counselling, public speaking, mantras and pujas, which will be taught by local and overseas instructors. In addition, there will be males and females classical and folk dance classes. Classes in Hindi will be taught by Sahadeo Heyland while Sanskrit and Gita classes will be imparted by another teacher.

Children’s Ramlila

The Sabha will also be launching the Children’s Ramlila dramatic presentations in April. The organisation also recognise the need to continue to build on the rich legacy bequeathed by Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud, the founder of the Sabha, and to maintain the Hindu value system, cultural norms, festivals and art forms, so that it can be passed on to generations to come. Some of the outstanding works of the Sabha over the past 40 years include the Phagwah Mela and Bazaar, Chowtaal Samelaan, Holi Utsav, Deepavali Motorcade, Naya Zamana, Kala Utsav (Festival of Art) and Indian Arrival Day celebrations.

The Sabha has actively advocated against alcohol abuse, domestic violence and suicide and supports efforts in bringing awareness in the field of HIV/AIDS. Youths have played an integral role and have been trained as peer educators in all of these areas, and recently as educators in a new parenting programme. The Dharmic Naujawaan (the Sabha’s youth arm) has over the years been immersed in countrywide charity drives and blood donations and other youth programmes. Mahila Mandalee, the women’s arm has been engaged in a literacy campaign and annually presents bursaries to outstanding students across the country. The Sabha’s newest programme, “Voices against Child Abuse,” which started in 2009, has today resulted in the construction of “Bal Nivas”, a home for children who are victims of abuse, in Ankerville, Berbice.

Training facility

It will also serve as a counselling and skills training facility in the drive to empower women and work with youth. The shelter has been primarily financed from concerts featuring legendary singers Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan. Construction of the shelter commenced in February 2013 and is ongoing. In celebrating 40 years of existence and the 176th anniversary of Indian Arrival in Guyana, the Sabha will be bringing back, by popular demand, the immensely talented Sonu Nigam and troupe to perform at the National Stadium on May 4. The organisation was launched on January 8, 1974 at the Shri Krishna Mandir, Campbelville, Geogetown when the Hindu community was in need of leadership. (Guyana Times)



week ending January 16, 2014 |

Self Start Fund creating employment for thousands of small entrepreneurs in Jamaica


The fund disbursed 617 loans valued at over Ja$200 million over the past five years. (JIS file photo)

amaica’s Self Start Fund (SSF) was established by the government in 1983 as an entity that provides loans to micro and small entrepreneurs and individuals, who are unable to access financing from traditional institutions. Since then, the fund has had many successes, but more notably, in the past five years, the fund disbursed 617 loans valued at over Ja$200 million, creating 2,144 jobs. This year, the fund is projecting to lend more than Ja$100 million to the micro, small and medium enterprise sector for the 2014/15 period, leading to the creation of over 1,000 jobs. The fund’s General Manager Sezvin Hamilton explained that the SSF offers loans to persons involved in agriculture, trading, services and manufacturing-type businesses, up to a maximum of Ja$750,000. The interest rate is 23 per cent per annum. “Our loan policy ad-

mits everyone or all persons doing business and in particular small and micro businesses…we interview them and provide them with an application form, which sets out quite a lot and require documents that they have to produce as proof that they are operating legitimate businesses,” Hamilton related.

and medium enterprise sector, the fund is currently embarking on a mission to rebrand and reposition itself, taking into account the evolving business environment and global trends. The entity is looking

to strategically place itself in areas of great demand for micro-financing and is seeking to create innovative business products for small business owners, who wish to grow by providing various continued services for the Logistics Hub initiative. “The SSF is looking to engage its clients in training and putting together all that is necessary with the assistance of entities like the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Companies Office of Jamaica and Bureau of Standards Jamaica, to ensure that they are grounded on the right path and are able to sustain their business and its longevity,” the general manager informed.

Product offering

On the issue of product offering, he said “we currently have one main product, but we realize

General Manager at Jamaica’s Self Start Fund Sezvin Hamilton. (JIS photo)

that in order to attract our customers, we should have differentiated products, so we may create a JUS START Loan, a Continued Business Loan and others differentiated by interest rates and loan size.” As regards expansion of services across Jamaica, Hamilton stat-

Repayment terms

The repayment period, he highlighted does not usually exceed 24 months, and is dependent on the loan terms. “We would look in terms of what the person is doing and how much they are borrowing, how much they can pay based on their financial projection, cash flow, financial statements and all relevant documents, so that we can determine with the customer, how much they can manage to pay and that will guide us as to how long we should make the loan,” Hamilton outlined. To further strengthen Jamaica’s micro, small

SSF offers loans to persons involved in agriculture, trading, services and manufacturing-type businesses. (SSF photo)

ed that consideration is being given for the establishment of additional locations, as the fund currently operates from its Parkington and Yallahs branches in Kingston and St. Thomas, respectively. “We have been looking for new office locations as the idea is to get the money out there to the people where they find it convenient and where we can monitor them effectively,” he noted. “The amount of money that SSF turns over is in the billions over the 30 years, and we have provided jobs for several thousands of persons as many of these entities and individuals, who borrow money from us, do employ persons,” the general manager proudly reported. He added, “So we have achievements in the amount of money we have turned over; how much we have actually lent; how many businesses we have provided funds for; how many have graduated and gone into the big leagues, and can now deal with formal banks.” (JIS)

‘I’m feeling good’ – Sparrow T

he indomitable spirit that catapulted him to calypso supremacy still resides in the Mighty Sparrow (Dr Slinger Francisco) in his recovery effort from a diabetic coma that put him in hospital in Queen’s New York, last September. In a three-way telephone conversation with TT media that included founder of the Sunshine Awards Gilman Figaro last Friday night, the Birdie, now convalescing in a therapy facility in Brooklyn, and clearly in a jovial mood, sang, joked and gave the assurance that he is progressing steadily on the

road to recovery. “Let my fans in Trinidad and Tobago know that the Calypso King of the World, the supreme serenader, the one-and-only Mighty Sparrow is feeling good, and ready to take on all comers in 2014,” he said with trademark bravado, before treating TT reporters to a verse and chorus of his 1992 classic ‘Man Will Survive’. He then informed that he will be appearing on a programme to be staged at Melanie’s, an upscale restaurant/ bar catering to West Indians, on Fulton Avenue, Brooklyn, this Saturday. “I am choosing my

repertoire carefully for this event, as it will also be a form of thanksgiving to the Almighty for granting me an extension of life after all I have been through the past months,” he said. Figaro, who has been a constant visitor to the bard at the facility, said Sparrow has never seemed depressed since coming out of the coma. “He always exhibits a very cheerful attitude, and is well loved and admired by the nursing staff there,” he said. Last week, Sparrow said: “They think I am strong enough for air travel and to return home. I plan to return home very ear-

ly in February and I will be performing for Carnival at Tuco Kaiso House in the Queen’s Park Savannah, Portof-Spain.” Sparrow has won the Carnival Road March competition eight times, has been crowned Calypso Monarch eleven times, and has a discography of more than 600 songs. Known for his distinct musical style, clever lyricism, ability to provoke thought with his social commentary, and make fans laugh with his humorous double entendre tales, he is, without a doubt, the Calypso King of the World. (TT Guardian)

Gilman Figaro, left, and Sparrow in his room at the clinic in Brooklyn, New York, USA. (TT Guardian photo)


feature | week ending January 16, 2014


orld-recognised kayake Freya Hoffmeister departed Guyana’s shores early last Friday morning to continue her circumnavigation of South America.

keep on going to French Guiana, Brazil, Uruguay and then to Buenos Aires,” she explained. With the tide in her favour, Hoffmeister made last minute preparations to her kay-

am still in one piece for the next leg of the journey,” she related.


During her short stint in Georgetown, Hoffmeister was treat-

Freya Hoffmeister sets off in her kayak early last Friday morning from the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard headquarters, Ruimveldt, Georgetown

Only moments before her departure, the German business owner and athlete expressed excitement at beginning this leg of her journey. “This is the last leg of my circumnavigation of South America and I am going to start over after two months break at home over Christmas. I am ready to go and I am heading to Suriname, it will take six days to get to the border and then

ak and with the help of Guyana’s Coast Guard officers, readied herself for the arduous journey ahead. As to her expectations, she was optimistic about what lay ahead and exuded the confidence befitting a career athlete. “My muscles are a bit stiff but it should be alright. I faced a lot of dangerous situations and I survived, thankfully I

ed to a city tour, compliments of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA); she also thanked everyone including Cara Lodge for their assistance in providing accommodation and Germany Honorary Consul to Guyana Ben Ter Welle, for his unwavering support. Circumnavigating open-water crossings and hundreds of miles

of sheer cliffs without any landing zones for several days sometimes, Hoffmeister has mastered the art of dealing with tropical heat, cyclones and the challenges of obtaining drinking water and food–not to mention the physical toll of averaging upwards of 60 km per day. Having completed the second leg of her journey, which she began in Buenos Aires, Argentina, two years ago, she arrived in Guyana in November, where she was warmly welcomed by a team of Tourism Ministry officials, as well as Welle. The 49-year-old business owner from Husum, North Germany is scheduled to set another world record Hoffmeister was born on May 10, 1964 and is a German business owner and athlete, who holds several seakayaking endurance records. She started her journey in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was done in stages, commencing in Valparaiso, the main harbour just off Santiago de Chile eight months later. She then returned home for four months. She resumed her adventure in September 2012, paddling north past Venezuela, before ending the second 8000km leg in Georgetown, Guyana. She then took a break to return in January 2014.

First woman

Freya Hoffmeister is all smiles as she contemplates the journey ahead

In 2009, she completed a solo circumnavigation of Australia unassisted, becoming the first woman and only the second person to do so. On August 30, 2011, she began her attempt to become the first person to solo circumnavigate the continent of South America, intending to complete the trip before her 50th birthday. In 2007, she and Greg Stamer completed the fastest-ever sea kayak circumnavigation of Iceland. They did so in 33 days. Hoffmeister has made distinguishing marks in other sporting careers, given that she participated in 10 years of competitive gymnastics, five

years of competitive body building and 10 years of skydiving with 1500 jumps. She was the first German female tandem pilot with 500 passenger jumps, and part of many huge record formations. Her most exotic place to skydive was over the North Pole, getting washed out of a Russian jet plane with 300 km, with a racing bike passenger strapped to her chest. Guyana’s Tourism Ministry and the GTA are proud to have accommodated, facilitated and hosted this acclaimed athlete as she prepared for another record-breaking journey. (Guyana Times)

Dance awards for Jamaica U.S.-based Trinidadian singer


'Antoinette Stines—founder/artistic director of L'Acadco dance group---is planning to announce the creation of an awards ceremony aimed at recognising Jamaica's outstanding dancers and companies. "There are no awards ceremony for dancers in this country. There are competitions, but no awards ceremony," she told Jamaican media recently. "There are various awards for other professions such as the Actor Boy Awards for actors, but none for dancers. There's nothing to take care of the dancers." According to the artistic director, the occasion will be called the Jamaica Daance Awards. No launch date is yet set for that awards. "The reason why I chose the word 'Daance' is because we [Jamaicans] dance from a spiritual base, unlike other forms of dance," she explained. Stines said the winners of the various categories will not be chosen by her, but "by a select committee". "The first major meeting will be held this month," she said. The dance categories include traditional, jazz, contemporary and dancehall. Other categories include choreography, costume and creative concept.

creating a stir with new hit single


L’Antoinette Stines, founder/ artistic director of L’Acadco dance group. (Jamaica Observer photo)

The artistic director said the dancehall category winner will be selected by the judges, as well as by the public. Last year, the L'Acadco dance company celebrated its 30th anniversary with a two-week season at the Philip Sherlock Centre in St Andrew. The theme was 'Past, Present and Future' and boasted a diverse line-up of choreographers, all staging brand new pieces. (Jamaica Observer)

.S.-based Trini singer, Joey Ramoutar is taking the chutney soca arena by storm with his hit single, “One Pong”. The 19-year-old brings his youthfulness and his playful attitude to the stage. The song, produced by Red Land Productions was mixed and mastered at A1 Digital Studios. It was written by Joey’s father Joseph Ramoutar who is most known for his popular song, “Fowl Cock ah Knock Ah Drum,” sung by David Ramoutar. Joey said, “I am excited about singing a chutney soca song as the music is so enticing,” adding that the rhythm of the genre of music compels the audience to move. He revealed, “The countless days and nights

spent behind the making of “One Pong” were exhausting and exciting all at the same time.” Operating out of Richmond Hill, New York, Joey has been performing at both public and private functions throughout his teenage years. He began learning vocals and playing musical instruments at the age of eight, performing cover versions of popular songs. Today he is happy to have his own song. A graduate of the Learning Tree MultiCultural School (Astoria, NY) and Richmond Hill High School (Queens, NY), Joey said, “I like to consider music as my career at this point in time.” Since his first performance on a stage, he said, he fell in love with song and music.

“I felt most comfortable on stage and since then I have given a lot of my time and effort to learning the arts,” he said. Joey is convinced that music and singing are arts that require concentrated efforts and energy. The teenage singer admires American singer-songwriter and record producer Bruno Mars (Peter Gene Hernandez). Commenting on culture and music, Joey said, “I think our younger generation should embrace our culture – chutney, soca, classical – a little more. “Artistes must also work in harmony with each other to raise the standards of various genres of music.” (Excerpted from TT Newsday)



week ending January 16, 2014 |

Caribbean Press releasing republished editions of A.J. Seymour’s ‘Kyk-Over-al’


here is no doubt that Guyana is bestowed with brilliant masterminds in the literary arts, and beyond. Not only do these masterminds exist today, but their existence in the past has permeated the present literary culture. Over time, many have made, and are still making tremendous contributions that are recognised constantly. One of the greatest contributors to Guyana’s literary culture is Arthur James Seymour, whose 100th birth anniversary will be observed on January 12, 2014. To honour his work, the Caribbean Press will be releasing the republished one through 13 editions of ‘Kyk-Over-Al’. Born in 1914, Seymour was well known as a Guyanese, poet, essayist, memoirist, and founding editor of the literary journal ‘Kyk-Over-Al’ which featured the work of many leading Guyanese and Caribbean writers. It was in 1945 that Seymour founded the ‘Kyk-Over-Al’ journal, and over a 16 year span, 50 issues of the maga-


ust about 200 years ago, African Muslim families formed a community in east Trinidad in what, at that time, was wholly forest, but it was where they lived, raised families who in turn provided heirs for these simple people who lived off the land. According to historical information and the unearthing of the forgotten village in 2010, in Quare, Valencia, the lost village was believed to have been inhabited by Afro-American Muslim soldiers. After six years of searching for the “lost” village by senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Dr Brinsley Samaroo, it was proven that ex-soldiers who fought and were resettled in Trinidad after the British-American War of 1812-15 had settled in that area. The village leader, named Abu Bakr, was one of 2,400 AfroAmerican soldiers who resettled in Trinidad.

zine were published.


Additionally, Seymour also edited and published ‘An Anthology of Guianese Poetry’ (1954); ‘The Kyk-OverAl Anthology of West Indian Poetry’ (1952 revised, edited 1958); and the ‘Miniature Poets Series’ (1951–53) of pamphlets, which included work by Martin Carter, Wilson Harris, Ivan Van Sertima, Trinidadian Harold Telemaque, Barbadian Frank Collymore, and Jamaican Philip Sherlock. Later anthologies include ‘My Lovely Native Land: An Anthology of Guyana’ (Longman, 1971), co-edited with Elma Seymour, ‘New Writing in the Caribbean (Georgetown: National History and Arts Council’, published after the Caribbean Festival of Arts in Guyana in 1972) and ‘A Treasury of Guyanese Poetry’ (1980). Starting in 1976, Seymour also wrote five volumes of autobiography. In 1984, with the help of poet and novelist Ian McDonald, Seymour revived ‘Kyk-Over-Al’ in 1984. McDonald assisted

Arthur James Seymour

Seymour with the revival of ‘Kyk-Over-Al after it had been in absentia for a period of time. McDonald became the sole editor of the journal after Seymour died in 1989. In 1936, Seymour began writing poems, and one year later he had completed his first collection, ‘Verse’; followed by ‘More Poems’ in 1940. The title poem of

‘Over Guiana’, ‘Clouds’ (1944) was a landmark in the development of Seymour’s poetic style. ‘Suns In My Blood’ (1945) contained at least three poems that have come to be considered classics: ‘Sun Is a Shapely Fire’, ‘There Runs a Dream’, and ‘The Legend of Kaieteur’. The latter poem was later set to music by Guyanese composer Philip Pilgrim.

Seymour’s later major collections include ‘Leaves from the Tree’ (1951), ‘Selected Poems’ (1965), ‘Patterns’ (1970), ‘My Lovely Native Land’ (1971) and ‘Selected Poems’ (1983). A tribute volume called ‘AJS at 70’ (1984), edited by Ian McDonald, contained a selection of 15 poems under the title ‘The Essential Seymour’, chosen by Seymour himself. Seymour died on December 25, 1989, a few weeks shy of his 76th birthday. In 2000, Seymour’s ‘Collected Poems’, 19371989 was published and edited by Ian McDonald and Jacqueline de Weever. In his early days, Seymour attended the Collegiate School and the Guyanese Academy before entering Queen’s College, British Guiana’s most prestigious boys’ school, on a Government Junior Scholarship in 1928. Later, he married Elma Editha Bryce, a teacher, on July 31, 1937. They had three daughters and three sons.


After joining the British Guiana Civil Service as an unpaid

Search for the village was initiated by Samaroo after coming across a petition from Abu Bakr to the British government in the Public Records Office in London, in 1993. The petition complained that the government had brought them there, and the bridge across the Hondo River, their only access to the rest of the country and through which they carried their produce to Sangre Grande, was crumbling.


Although the requested bridge was constructed, it was now dilapidated. The village was now badly deteriorated, swampy, and one had to cross two rivers and other tributaries, to get out of the village. But, while there is concern about the preservation of the site, the major worry is the quarrying that is being done, and the encroaching of what has been deemed as a burial ground. Quare means a place of gravel, or a stony

UWI senior lecturer Dr Brinsley Samaroo led a six-year search for the lost village

place, very apt for the site. But, while the area is stony, its soil is very rich and has been a great producer of vegetables and ground provision, something which the Afro-American Muslims produced. Valencia is still known for its lush gardens where many people still make a living off the land. Director of the Mandinka Research Foundation Khalid

Hassan said they wanted to have the site be declared as the Hondo River Heritage Site, but feared it may be too little, too late. Hassan said when he and other foundation members went to the site a couple of weeks ago, they encountered huge craters where a concrete and gravel company had been excavating for many years. “The space that we knew as Quare, the

African Heritage Village site, when we returned there recently about two weeks ago, three quarters of that space had gone,” Hassan said. The site is located off the Valencia Old Road.


“We fear that the quarrying operation would erode the whole site. On that site there is a burial ground, a place where the African Muslims occupied in the early stages. They

volunteer, working in the Postal and Income Tax Departments before joining the Bureau of Publicity and Information in 1933; Seymour obtained the position of head of the Government Information Services in 1954. His accolades include the post of information and cultural collaboration officer of the Caribbean Organisation, based in Puerto Rico, community relations officer and then public relations officer at the Demerara Bauxite, literary co-ordinator for the first Caribbean Festival of Arts (Carifesta), held in Guyana; and deputy chairman of the Department of Culture and Director of Creative Writing. During his career, he was also honorary secretary of the British Guiana Union of Cultural Clubs (1943– 50), deputy chairman of the Guyana National Trust (1974–75), president of the British Guiana Music Festival Committee, and president of the International PEN Club’s British Guiana Centre. (Guyana Times)

used there as their burial ground and there are thousands of graves,” Hassan said. Foundation member Saifuddin Tijani said 200 years ago, 700 families were relocated to the area. “If they lived there so many years it means children, grand children, great grand children, as they died, they were buried there, so no one could even have a perfect figure in their mind as to the amount of bodies are in the burial site,” he said. Hassan said there were specific mounds that were sighted by Sulaiman Hosein, who worked with Samaroo in locating the site. “...The site is in high woods. It is considered consecrated ground, very spiritual ground. The threat is real in that the quarrying people have no regards at all. They would quarry out that whole place and there would be no trace left,” Hassan said. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)


feature | week ending January 16, 2014

Resolutions S

everal young men and women have been shortlisted as the quest for Guyana’s Next Top Model kicks off. The models were on Saturday evening introduced to the Guyanese media at the special launch party held at the Millennium Manor Hotel on Hadfield Street, Georgetown. The delegates were selected after auditions were done in Berbice, Demerara and Georgetown. The next step, however, is an audition to be held in Bartica which will see the selection of at least another five persons being added to the contestants’ list. The contestants will make a number of public appearances aimed at boosting their confidence and selfesteem. The initiative is being promoted by private businesswomen, who think that this is an excellent event to stimulate the interest of the young people to get them

Former Guyana Model Search winner Steven Baggot

involved in fashion and modelling. The next top model will be crowned after the contestants would have gone through rigorous routines in the form of fashion, designing and other events. This will take the shape of a reality show. As in any reality show, there will be eliminations as the event comes to a climax. The organisers,

Yonette Bacchus and June Ann Ross are optimistic that the event will be one with a difference and will see the winner walking away with at least Gy$1 million in cash and prizes. The winners will also each gain a one-year contract with the Millennium Manor Hotel that will see them becoming spokespersons for the entity and engaging in commercial and

other opportunities. Since 2008, Guyana top models have emerged from Guyana’s Model Search which is an annual feature at the Guyana Fashion Week organised by Sonia Noel. Noel said that she is not part of the Guyana’s Next Top Model initiative, but is willing to offer any guidance if called upon. However, she stated that she will continue to focus her attention of her brand, Guyana Model Search. Noel is presently in Barbados where the Annual Barbados Music Awards are held. She will be an honoured guest as she is bestowed with a life achievement award in fashion. After her recent successes in Guyana, the Caribbean and further afield, Noel has been recognsied as a woman of worth and one who is dedicated in the promotion of young people and their talents. (Guyana Times)

Barbadian Kamau Brathwaite cops first prize in 2013 Frank Collymore Literary Endowment awards

Ronald Williams receiving his Frank Collymore Endowment Awards second prize from Elson Gaskin, secretary to the board, Central Bank of Barbados


e n o w n e d Barbadian writer, Kamau Brathwaite, took the first prize in the 2013 Frank Collymore Literary Endowment (FCLE) awards, followed by educator Ronald Williams and newcomer Mark Ramsey Saturday night. Brathwaite, who is widely considered one of the major voices in the Caribbean literary arena and has copped several international awards, including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, was unable to attend and receive his award for his collection, ‘The Lazarus Poems’, described by the evening’s announcer and FCLE committee member, De Carla Applewhaite, as a piece which “ultimately transcends the thread of death”. Ronald Williams’ ‘The Memoir’, a thriller and romance piece, was an-

nounced second prize winner at this, the FCLE 16th Annual Awards. Nineteen–year-old Mark Ramsey took the third prize for ‘Generation with the world in our Mouths’ that Applewhaite said “impressed the judges with its aspiration to a distinctive voice and style”. Central Bank representative on the FCLE committee and manager of the Frank Collymore Hall, Fran Wickham, said interest was high and numerous young people were involved in the programme. “Youth are turning out as many of them like the spoken word component. Plus, the $20 000 worth of prizes is also an incentive in addition to the Prime Minister and John Wickham Awards,” she said. Wickham said they also held workshops by guest writers which were well attended. The programme, she explained,

was in line with the mandate of the Frank Collymore Hall and, by extension, the Central Bank. “We are the cultural arm of the bank and this event falls into our mandate of supporting culture. The Frank Collymore Hall is not just about shows.” FCLE chairman Antonio Rudder, said they were encouraged by the level and competitiveness of the 44 entrants this

able in schools as a result of Collymore’s widow Ellice asking the committee to have her late husband’s work reprinted. Featured speaker for the night was Guyaneseborn author/actress Pauline Melville, who urged writers not to be defined or constrained by their physical reality as imagination was freedom which should not be defined by sociology.

Mark Ramsey receiving his Frank Collymore Endowment Awards third prize from Elson Gaskin, secretary to the board, Central Bank of Barbados. (Barbados Today photo)

year. He said the workshops – Writers Helping Writers – were fruitful as criticism, when handled correctly, could lead to writers gaining a greater understanding and appreciation of their roles and to improve ways of expressing and transmitting their messages. Rudder also said new editions of the late Frank Collymore’s works – ‘Collected Poems and Rhymed Ruminations On The Fauna Of Barbados’ – would be made avail-

“Literature is part dream and dreams do not obey the laws of sociology, economics, history or even journalism. Certainly realism is an important strand of literature but it is not the only one, and powerful myths and stories from many different sources have often influenced writers and have been used by them to illuminate the human condition,” she stated. (Excerpted from Nations and Barbados Today)


By Anu Dev

he new year is well and truly underway. Many of us marked the New Year with resolutions to change some of the things we weren’t quite happy with last year. Unfortunately, (but most likely) most of us haven’t managed to keep all of our resolutions. The mind is willing but the flesh is weak! I know I usually have the habit of being overly ambitious in my goals – planning to complete huge amounts of things in one day that realistically, I probably won’t be able to complete in a week. It’s like stacking the odds against you and setting yourself up to fail. I hereby resolve to ease up in this department! I know most schools have opened and homework’s being hurled at students from all angles. But it’s really not too late to sit down and methodically plan out how you want to use your time for the new semester. Better yet, for university students, the semester hasn’t even begun yet. We still have a couple more days to plan out our semester. If anything, our grades from the first semester that are slowly filtering out (osmosis?) should pretty much be enough motivation to spur us on to want to do better than last semester. For my high school readers, I know from (bitter?) experience, that in fifth form, being on this (wrong) side of January 1st, you’re kind of propelled faster and faster to your first exam date. Somewhere between the mounds of SBAs, past papers, and frantically trying to cover what’s left of the syllabus, time slips away. And before you know it, it’s the morning of your first exam. So take the time now, before you get swept away in the whirlwind of the days up ahead and plan, set goals, get more organised than you were last semester. It’s going to take some time, a lot of thinking, and a lot of self-evaluation to make sure your goals are realistically achievable. But it’ll be worth it, because a couple of months from now, you won’t be in a panic over not covering everything, or not working enough papers because you would have already covered those things according to your plan. Panic is probably one of the most dangerous emotions to have during exams. Your mind can literally go blank and you can find yourself unable to remember things like the names of the 20-something poems you covered for English B. Deep breaths and taking some time to collect your thoughts can prove to be incredibly helpful. It’s not for nothing panicked persons are advised to take a deep breath – it actually works! Oxygen getting to your brain and all that! Don’t let procrastination get the best of you this year. We’re all guilty of procrastination at some time or the other, some of us much more than others. And it’s usually the crushing regret afterwards, when we realise we could’ve done so much better (if only!!!) that brings us to our senses. So don’t end off 2014 with regrets, it’s early enough to make realistic goals. Stick to your goals and don’t give up on those resolutions just yet.



week ending January 16, 2014 |

Privacy is the price for stardom, says Malaika


ctress-producer Malaika Arora Khan says actors don't have privacy as it is the price they have to pay for the fame they enjoy, and if they can't handle it, she suggests them to leave the field. "That goes with the territory and you are robbed of your privacy, but that's the price you pay. It's (media) pretty much like how it's in the west. The media was never in your face like they are now. It's part of your job. If you can't handle it, don't be here," Malaika told IANS. Her husband and actor-filmmaker Arbaaz Khan's take on media seems to be slightly different. Arbaaz, accompanied by family, was recently clicked by several photographers at the Mumbai airport, and he certainly didn't look excited as he told them to stop taking their pictures. (TOI)

AbRam, and he is trying to cut down on his smoking in order to be able to have a great body and also to be able to play football and hockey with his son Aryan and daughter Suhana. Meanwhile, the ‘Dhoom 3’ actor said that he is looking forward to welcoming his nephew Imran Khan's baby in their family. Bachchan said that even though he

Sushmita Sen gearing up for 2014 comeback


ushmita Sen has lost weight and is gearing up for a comeback this year. The ‘Biwi No. 1’ actress said 2014 is

going to be her year. "I have been preparing actually since 2013. I know every time an actor loses weight or starts looking fitter or thinner, it is always for a reason. But this is me getting ready for the most fantastic time of my life in all aspects. Professionally and personally 2014 is going to be my year," the 38-year-old said at an art exhibition. Sushmita is eagerly awaiting the announcement of two projects, one of which goes on floors in July. "Professionally you are going to see me back this year for sure. We have two very nice announcements, hopefully they should happen soon," Sushmita said. "The filming for one of them begins in July and the rest of them is more of combining the entrepreneur side of me and the actor and the mum side of me, all of it together," she added. Sushmita is known for hits like ‘Main Hoon Na’, starring Shah Rukh Khan, and has two adopted daughtersRenee and Alisah. (TOI)

‘My dad is my hero’- Salman Khan


alman Khan has described his father as his real life

hero. The actor's father Salim Khan is a renowned Bollywood screenwriter, who is credited with writing the cult classic film ‘Sholay’ with Javed Akhtar. Speaking to The Times of India the ‘Jai Ho’ star said: "I am not that typical good guy. I want to drive my car, go to my party, have a good time and don't want to apologise for my position. "I don't want to spend s**tloads of money to create an aura that I am a humble man," he explained. "My dad is 80-yearsold, but even today he sits outside our house everyday and signs cheques to give away to the needy. He is a very straight man. He is very knowledgeable." Khan continued: "My

Celebrity parents reveal their new year resolutions

whole problem with my father while growing up was, why was he so right when I was so wrong. "I always wanted to prove him wrong even though I always knew he was right, till one day when I decided that I just would go by him. Even if he was wrong 49 times, I knew he would be right 51 times." Khan also credited the name change of his film from ‘Mental’ to ‘Jai Ho’ to his father. "My father had a problem with ‘Mental’ and rightly so, especially coming with me in just

the way I would be called out. In this day and age, if a guy is honest, noncorrupt and righteous, he is called mental, as being corrupt and getting corrupted has become a part of us. If a man is honest, we will say, 'don't go to him. He is mental'. "My dad then gave ‘Jai Ho’ which is a bigger and better title. So, the reason for changing it was that our father was not happy. Period. Full stop. He is our father. His experience is immense. Something he has written 40 years ago, Sholay, is still running and people are still going mad about it.” The actor portrays an ex-army veteran in the film, who challenges the might of a powerful politician on behalf of society's oppressed. Tabu, Daisy Shah and Om Puri also star in ‘Jai Ho’, which is scheduled for release on January 24. (Digital Spy)


elebrity parents in Bollywood, including Shahrukh khan, Aamir Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, have shed light on their new year resolutions as parents. Shahrukh told Parents India Magazine that he has vowed to stay extra fit for his six-month-old baby

doesn't believe in making new year resolutions, but as a parent he wants to give his daughter Aradhya a good education and good upbringing. While hot new mum-of-one Lara Dutta said that she is looking forward to discovering more and more about her baby girl Saira, Malaika Arora Khan added that she wants to spend more time with her son Arhaan by taking more holidays together. (TOI)

Raveena Tandon goes kayaking in Thailand


aveena Tandon was recently in Krabi, Thailand, on a vacation with husband Anil Thadani and kids. While the family were exploring interesting adventure sports, they came across kayaking. Raveena was initially hesitant, but she eventually gave in and tried it for the first time. "When I saw that my son, who is six, was gung-ho about doing it, I didn't want to look scared in front of him. So, to look like a cool mom, we went kayaking. Eventually, we even paddled up to a little island and had our own little picnic. Since it was a small island where we were the only ones, I felt like Robinson Crusoe," she said. (TOI)

Amitabh Bachchan grateful to film fraternity


e g a s t a r A m i t a b h Bachchan, who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at a recent awards event, says he does not have any words

to thank the film industry for the grace and honour given to him. The 71-year-old was given the honour by veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha and filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

"The grace and honour with which colleagues and friends, and all those behind the scene workers, commemorate the 45 years of my existence in this wonderful world of films, can never have sufficient words to fill that immortal cup of gratitude," Amitabh posted on his blog. He said it was an "awkward moment" for him to go on stage and say a few words after receiving the award. "Perhaps it is easier for those that express, it certainly is not the most easiest for him that has to sit in not too great a distance, to listen and wait for that call from the stage to come up and get it! Get the reward," Big B posted. (TOI)


hollywood | week ending January 16, 2014

DiCaprio hears 'weird Nick Cannon keeps marriage to Mariah Carey noises' in his house alive with lots of sex A


ick Cannon has confessed that he and wife Mariah Carey keep their marriage alive with lots of sex. The couple also enjoys spending quality time together on vacation and had recently taken their twins to Aspen, Us magazine reported. The 33-year-old actor said that it was wonderful and they do that every year, by going away and have a nice little Winter Wonderland. (TOI)

ctor Leonardo DiCaprio says he hears "weird noises" in his house at nights. However, he is sure it isn't haunted because he doesn't believe in ghosts. The 39-year-old actor said that the last time that he was "truly terrified" was when he was woken in the middle of the night by an odd sound coming from another room in his house, reports "My home makes weird noises at times and I have to get up in the middle of the night and check if there's somebody breaking in...I don't know, it's like creaking or something, it's weird ghost noises, but I don't believe in ghosts's like the wind or the way it was built," he said. His latest release was ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’. (TOI)

Jennifer Lawrence almost lost Zac Efron doesn't object to sex on first date diamond bling at Golden Globes



ac Efron has confessed that he doesn't object to having sex on the first date, saying that sex is a beautiful thing. The 26-year-old actor told Glamour magazine that every single girl has something different and special about her, Us magazine reported. He added that if one finds someone who clicks with their vibe, fate brings people together. However, Efron admitted that the most important thing for him in a relationship is honesty and said that at

first, sometimes girls don't show their genuine personality. (TOI)

‘Life after 30 bliss’ - Julia Roberts


ctress Julia Roberts says she had the best time since leaving her 20s behind. The 46-year-old says the last 16 years have been the best of her life, as she doesn't have the hang-ups that she had in her 20s, reports femalefirst. "On my 30th, every person I loved and adored in the world was with me. I was excited and could not understand the tone of doom about leaving my youth behind," she said. "Since then, my life has been bliss. If I knew that 30 was going to be so much fun, I would have done it at 22!" she added. Roberts got married to Daniel Moder in 2002 and they have nineyear-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and six-year-old Henry. (TOI)

Beyonce, Jay-Z rent out Miami Zoo for daughter's birthday


rincess Blue must have had a roaring good time! Queen Bey and Jay Z's only child Blue Ivy got the royal treatment when she turned 2 years old on Jan. 7. Her famous parents rented out Jungle Island, a wildlife park and botanical garden in Miami, Florida. During the fun and rainy outing, the birthday girl donned a green ensemble and sneakers. She also borrowed Beyonce's "Flawless" gold necklace (a nod to the feminist anthem of the same name on her titular fifth album) that the megastar, 32, posed with via Instagram on Dec. 30. The 44-year-old rapper went casual in an oversized sweatshirt, while the "XO" songstress dressed down in a "Surfboard" sweatshirt while swiping her chestnut locks back in a knit cap. Surfboard is a reference to Beyonce's raunchy-romanctic "Drunk In Love"

ennifer Lawrence almost lost one of her diamond bracelets, as they fell off her hand at the Golden Globes 2014. It seems that the 23-year-old actress hadn't noticed that her extremely expensive piece of jewellery was missing as she continued talking to Ryan Seacrest, PVR Pictures reported. However, someone else did, and rushed over to scoop it up for Lawrence. (TOI)

‘I look better than at 25’ - Cameron Diaz


ameron Diaz loves her body and thinks you should love yours, too. "I don't want to look like I did when I was 25," the actress, 41, tells PEOPLE. "I like the way that I look now; better than when I was 25. I can't help that other people may be uncomfortable with that, but that's not my responsibility to make them feel okay with the fact that I'm getting older. I'm okay with it. I like it." In her new tome, The Body Book, Diaz opens up about her own struggles with food, her beliefs about beauty and her suggestions for getting healthy in the new year. "There's no such thing as anti-aging,"

Diaz tells PEOPLE. "There's no such thing as turning back the hands of time, and it makes me crazy that we live in a society where that's sold to women–that we're supposed to believe that if we're getting older, we've failed somehow, that we have failed by not staying young."

Streep finds Katie Holmes perfect for son


song, which features a rap from Jay Z himself. After the adventure, the trio headed to Joey's Italian Cafe for a bite to eat. The family sat at a large round table and ordered pizza. At one point, Jay Z even gave Blue a cell phone when she began to fuss, asking her to "say thank you" first. And she did! (US Magazine)

"I wish that women would let other women age gracefully and allow them to get older and know that as we get older, we become wiser." When she was younger, Diaz struggled with acne, which she eventually connected to all of the fast food that she was eating. (People)

eteran actress Meryl Streep has reportedly hit it off well with Katie Holmes, and she believes the latter will be the perfect girlfriend for her son Henry Wolfe Gummer. The 64-year-old got on well with her ‘Giver’ co-star, who has seven-year-old daughter Suri with ex-husband Tom Cruise. When her new friend told her she was ready to find love again, Streep instantly thought of her son Henry Wolfe Gummer. "Katie and Meryl got on like a house on fire. Katie was quite open about wanting to have a man in her life again and Meryl decided to show her a picture of Henry," quoted a source as saying. (TOI)



week ending January 16, 2014 |

Young Jamaican participates in three-day stint at Apollo Astronaut Space Academy in Florida


hile saying that he may have the time and attitude to change career paths and pursue becoming an astronaut, 25-year-old Dante Djokovic admitted that this step would require a 180-degree turn, and even then, he lacks the funding necessary. He, however, encourages anyone who wants to create space history for Jamaica to go for it. Djokovic, who has been a legal clerk with a law firm in Kingston since he graduated from Excelsior High School a few years ago, recently represented Jamaica on a three-day stint at Apollo Astronaut Space Academy (AASA) in Orlando, Florida. He describes the experience as "some part awesome, some part life-changing,

Dantè Djokovic at the Apollo Astronaut Space Academy (AASA) in Orlando, Florida

countries. "We bonded, we shared our cultures, and we joked around without any conflict whatsoever."


"Then Axe came along and gave us the opportu-

Dante Djokovic proudly represented Jamaica. (Jamaica Observer photos)

and some part breathtaking". He was among more than 100 candidates who represented 60 different

nity to do the impossible, to scratch off both titles on the list of the great things we have achieved as a country," Djokovic

continued. "A chance to create history...someone had to do it and on July 1, 2013, I answered the call. And even though I didn't get to go to space in the end, and I won't say I'm not disappointed, but (we can) look at it as (if) we're halfway there," said Djokovic. He explained how he got to participate in the programme that saw him shaking hands with Buzz Aldrin, one the first men to walk on the surface of the moon, being flown in a plane, visiting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), seeing rockets and shuttles being fitted together, and watching the launch of a satellite light up the evening sky.

Global competition

"I was at work one evening when I came across an article in a newspaper online stating

that Axe Body Spray was keeping a global competition for a chance to go to space and Jamaica was included in the eligible countries," Djokovic reflected, adding, "all you had to do was have your family and friends vote for you. Sure, why not," said Djokovic. "Plus it was close to my birthday so I just sent out a message to everyone on my Facebook (page) to not get me any gift chances are I may not like, so just click on this link instead and vote for me." He was eventually selected to represent Jamaica. "But if anyone or organisation out there wants to be a part of making Jamaica's space history, [they] can start be visiting http://xcor. com/flytospace," Djokovic offered. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

Antigua and Barbuda on Association of British Travel Agents’ 2014 ‘Destinations to Watch’ list


he Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) recently named the Caribbean, and, specifically, Antigua and Barbuda as one of its ten destinations to watch 2014. In it, the ABTA also noted it's “cautious optimism” for the 2014 tourism season. According to the report on UK tourists, "nearly one in five (19%) consumers anticipate they will spend more on holidays next year." The report also noted that there is "renewed interest in Caribbean resorts" among British tourists. "To hear that many British tourists plan to spend more and have a renewed interest in Caribbean resorts is encouraging," noted Antigua and Barbuda’s Tourism Minister John Maginley. "It's also encouraging to see a new airline, Thomas Cook,

Antigua and Barbuda is anticipating more British tourists to the Caribbean this year. (A&B gov’t)

serving Antigua out of a new UK destination, Manchester. The airline is capable of bringing over 300 British tourists a week." Maginley continued, "The fact that we've also attracted the BEACHES

resort which will add 400 new BEACHES rooms to our hotel stock and create thousands of jobs is a vote of confidence in the future of our tourism economy." "While I know that we certainly have to continue to work hard to cre-

ate more jobs and opportunity for all people, this honour from the British Travel Agents and their words about British consumer spending is encouraging," the minister concluded. (Antigua & Barbuda government)

Guyanese television host WR Reaz will be a part of the host team of this year’s Plus Chutney Soca Monarch in Trinidad and Tobago. (Guyana Times file photo)


uyanese artistes are getting ready for the 2014 Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) which remains one of the main attractions for the Carnival season. George Singh, CEO at Southex Promotions, producer of the CSM recently held a meeting at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown with artistes and other performers in the country. Singh said there will be a preliminary competition in Guyana on the January 25. He noted that this year, the winner of that show will qualify to compete in the semi finals on February 1 in TT. “We are no longer allowing the Guyanese Chutney Soca singers to go straight to the finals,” Singh said, adding that they have to earn their place in 2014. There are also many artistes from Guyana that have entered the TT competition directly, he reported. Singh also made the announcement that Guyanese television host WR Reaz will be a part of the host team of this year’s competition. Top Guyanese dance group the Ishara Dancers has also been contracted to perform in the main chutney shows by Southex for Carnival this year. Singh was featured in the Guyana Chronicle in an article by Priya Ali. He told the Guyanese media that this year’s Chutney Soca Monarch competition will see an investment of almost US$3 million, and it is supported by the government of TT. He also

noted that the show has produced international stars such as Ravi B and Rikki Jai. Singh said, “It is our hope that the continued development and involvement of Guyanese artistes, coupled with the trust that we bring to the table, can only augur well for the local music industry here in Guyana.” Foreign-based Guyanese artistes have already entered the competition directly through Trinidad, and some local artistes, including Prince JP and Roger Hinds, have done so as well. In the last two years, Guyanese artistes have been involved in the television hosting of the event, and as guest artistes as well. Reaz, who has a passion for chutney soca music, is excited about this national event for Carnival. First runner up to the Miss Guyana/India 2011 competition, Shivanie Latchman leads the Ishara Dance Troupe. She is the owner of a convenience store in her community of Diamond, East Bank Demerara. She is the chief choreographer of the Ishara Dancers. She has also voiced her opinion on the CSM saying that the Guyanese performers have a lot to gain from this exercise in terms of publicity. The very ambitious Shivanie is also the host and producer of Entertainment Buzz, a programme that is designed to showcase the rich and diverse talents of Guyanese entertainers. (TT Newsday)


feature | week ending January 16, 2014

Shandell Roberts talks about her marriage to TT’s Sport Minister


o John Public he is Anil Roberts, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Sport, often perceived as rough, loud and outgoing. But to his new bride Shandell Roberts, formerly Nicholls, he is a soft, compassionate man with whom she fell in love. The deep affection she holds for Roberts was evident, as a smile erupted any and every time his name was mentioned. Questions such as how did you two meet? What attracted you to him? brought a slight blush to her face. There was familiarity and ease when the 21-year-old spoke of her 44-yearold husband, of just some weeks, with TT media last Friday at the Ministry of Sport, Abercromby Street, Portof-Spain. Many are puzzled about when and how the two met. “That is the question of the year,”

she said laughing, when asked how she and Roberts met. For some it seemed like a whirlwind romance. Shandell said it was like any other two people meeting and falling in love. Roberts, she said, was always a friend of the family. But on a fated evening in November 2012 the two met at a buddy walk for special needs children. Shandell’s brother, Daniel has Down’s Syndrome. “From that day, the meeting at the buddy walk, that was it. It was all downhill from here,” she related. Roberts, she said, made her feel very special during the courting process, sending roses almost every day, lunch dates, and being very supportive.

match in St Lucia during the July/August vacation period last year. So it was little surprise that the couple’s December 31 wedding took place at the very spot he asked her to marry him. For Shandell, so far, married life has been bliss although she has been contending with the public demands on her prominent husband. She described being in the limelight as bittersweet. “I have never been one to like the spotlight, so it has been an interesting transition. I am very private and quite, and people who know Anil says he is quite the opposite...I was never a people person. Being with Anil broadened my horizon dealing with peo-

ple. There are positives, but also negatives. “Your privacy is also lost now. It is a little hard transitioning to that, but at the end of the day, when I am at home with Anil, it is happy and worth it. When you think about the times and love that we have for each other...,” she said. Although some think the age difference might hinder the couple, Anil being 23 years older than his wife, Shandell said it was a matter of maturity and that once couples were mature it could work. The University of the West Indies open campus student hopes to become a teacher soon. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)

Star of the Week

‘Your privacy is lost’

TT’s Sport Minister Anil Robert and his wife Shandell Roberts. (TT Guardian photo)

One-year-and-amonth later, the two were engaged. Roberts, she said, popped the question during a cricket


rom a very early age Shamain Greaves knew music was her calling. Born June 3, 1992 in Georgetown, Shamain is the daughter of the lead singer of Frontline, a popular band based in Guyana. With her inherent talent, the signer draws her musical influences from reggae, R&B, soul and those unforgettable golden oldies. At age 3, Shamain moved to the U.S. and by age 5 began attending Thomas G. Pullen, an arts magnet school located in Landover, Maryland. There Shamain studied the violin and joined the school orchestra where she would hone her skills and expand her musical influences until graduation. After Pullen she attended Suitland High School in Forestville, Maryland, where she continued to study the violin, but began to sense a burning passion for singing. Her strong enthusiasm for singing took over her sophomore year when, through an internship programme called Hip-hop High, she found herself behind the microphone in Gudda Musik (GM) studios recording her very first song. Upon graduating from Suitland, Shamain signed to the GM label in 2010. The velvety-voiced singer/songwriter brings a unique element through her R&B music. She released her first project in May 2012- a mix-tape entitled “My Diary” which received rave reviews and more than 4,000 downloads in the first month. It is so easy to fall in love with this songbird’s sultry vocals which is why new fans are added to her list every day. Shamain was recently chosen as a candidate for the “Top DMV R&B Artists 2013”.



week ending January 16, 2014 |

Shivnarine Chanderpaul still available for all formats


e may not be dashing as Viv Richards, imposing as Chris Gayle, flambouyant as Brian Lara or classy as Rahul Dravid. Yet, Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s dogged presence at the crease has frustrated many a bowlers the world over. His stats are mindboggling: 443 matches at the international level in a career nearing 20 years speak to his fortitude and desire to excel. A total of 20,340 runs at the highest level, inclusive of 40 centuries and 121 half-centuries, makes him a modern day giant and presently places him among the greats of the game. Only last month during the series against New Zealand, Chanderpaul became the seventh player in history, second West Indian and first Guyanese to pass 11,000 Test runs. Immediately after, he scored 122 not out- his 29th Test century- to draw level with

Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s last appearance in an ODI was during the 50-over World Cup in 2011.

the great Australian Sir Donald Bradman and remained second behind Brian Lara (34) as the West Indians with the most Test hundreds. While the “Tiger” continues to reel off the runs unabated in Test cricket, his One Day International (ODI) career was abruptly cut off after the 50-over World Cup in 2011 on

the premise that he was part of a band of “senior players” who simply did not hold their weight and were blamed by coach Ottis Gibson for the team’s departure from the tournament at the quarter-final stage. Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Kieron Pollard were also chastised for their showing- or lack there-

of- and while they have all regained selection to the team at some point, the left-handed Chanderpaul remains on the sidelines. It has been two years, 10 months since Chanderpaul last played an ODI, during which time he has remained fit and active to last five days of Test cricket and still produce heavily in

the most difficult of circumstances. Over the past two decades, the gritty middleorder batsman has risen to the demands of international cricket, and to this day, the desire and eagerness to prolong his ODI career are as strong as 1994 when, as a teenager, he walked out to face England on his Test debut at Bourda. “I’m still available for all formats,” Chanderpaul told Guyanese media recently. The 2008 ICC Cricketer-of-the-Year reiterated that he has never retired from limited overs cricket, and would want to scale similar heights in ODIs as he has done in Tests. “My desire has always been to score 10,000 runs in both forms- Tests and ODIsand while it’s a dream come through to get past 11,000 Test runs a few weeks ago, I still feel I can contribute in ODIs and I’m always

available for selection,” Chanderpaul explained. With 8,778 runs from 268 ODIs, Chanderpaul is the second highest runscorer for West Indies in the format behind Lara, who has notched up 10,348 runs from a record 299 games.


The NAGICO Super50 regional tournament is set to bowl off on January 30 and run until February 17 and Chanderpaul will be available to represent Guyana throughout the competition. He is also looking forward to the regional Four-day competition, which will follow, before heading off to honour his contractual obligations with English county side, Derbyshire. International engagements thereafter mean Chanderpaul is faced with a packed year of cricket, but unfazed by the hectic schedule, he is prepared to make a return to ODI cricket. (Guyana Times)

Strong field expected for TT marathon Jamaica, France for Paris friendly


new female champion will be crowned when the 32nd edition of the TT International Marathon runs off on January 26 at 5 am at Freeport, as last year’s winner Nigerian-born American

tendor Phillip Lagat of Kenya. Competitors have the option to begin the race at 3.30 am, to reduce the time running in the sun. At the launch of the event Tuesday at the Normandie Hotel,

WADA (World AntiDoping Agency)-trained personnel Andre Collins, who is going to do this for us.” The top finishers and two random athletes will be tested on race day by Collins and his staff.

Race Director, Francis Williams-Smith from left chats with TT International Marathon Chairman, Diane Henderson centre and Blue Waters, Brand Manager, Chantal Lefevre right during the launch of the TT International Marathon Tuesday at Normandie Hotel. (TT Guardian photo)

Mary Akor was banned last month by the US Anti-Doping Agency for failing a drug test. Akor, 37, who also won the UWI half marathon in October last year, is banned for two years after testing positive for Clenbuterol. As a result, Kenyan Leah Kigen, who competed last year, will be the favourite among the women. Other than top locals, athletes are expected from USA, Jamaica, Canada, Japan, Ethiopia and Brazil. Among the men, veteran local runner Curtis Cox will try to upset last year’s winner Juan Carlos Cardona Rios of Colombia and top con-

St Anns, race director Francis Williams-Smith, said that getting rid of drugs in sports is difficult. He stated: “As you know in the athletic fraternity and all sporting disciplines, the presence of drugs in performanceenhancing supplements is a big challenge.” Chairperson of the TT Marathon Committee, Diane Henderson, said because of the Mary Akor situation, efforts are being made to ensure fair competition. She said: “Out of the incident with Mary Akor, we decided to push and introduce in 2014 anti-doping, we are happy to say we have the

The half marathon will also be held on January 26, starting at 5.45 am. The half marathon will cover the second half of the marathon course, starting near to Walker Park, Caroni. Both the marathon and half marathon will finish at White Hall, around the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS). Petite TT runner Tonya Nero, is one of the favourites in the shorter version. The weekend’s activities will commence on January 25 with a schools relay at 3 pm around the QPS, followed by a 5k at 4 pm at the same venue. Both events will end at White Hall. (TT Guardian)

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz celebrating a goal against the United States in a World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium last year. (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)


amaica's Reggae Boyz will tackle 1998 World Cup football champions France in a friendly international on Sunday, June 8 at the Stade Pierre Maury in Lille, France. France, popularly called Les Bleus, will use the game to wrap up preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil which kicks off on June 12. Les Bleus will open their campaign against CONCACAF qualifiers Honduras on June 15 in Group E in the preliminary stage. Meanwhile, the Reggae Boyz, who failed to win a game and ended last in the CONCACAF World Cup final stage

last year, will look to rebuild the national senior team and brand Reggae Boyz. "This game will be extremely important in the federation's effort to rebuild the national senior team, and is part of my stated commitment to Jamaica's football programme," Captain Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation, stated via an e-mail release. "The game happened after negotiations and France chose to play Jamaica. This match would enhance brand Reggae Boyz," Burrell told Jamaican media when contacted Tuesday morning.

"One of the requirements is for us to field our strongest team, and we will do everything possible for that to happen," the JFF president disclosed. Meanwhile, when quizzed as to who will be in charge of the Reggae Boyz, Burrell said: "I will not comment on the coaching at this time. That will be dealt with in the next few days." The contract of coach Winfried Schäfer ended last October and is yet to be renewed. Jamaica made a historic first World Cup appearance at France 1998, but has failed to qualify for the finals since then. (Jamaica Gleaner)

30 sport Guyanese marksmen in training | week ending January 16, 2014


Great Britain’s rifle shooting coach Ian Shaw (left), national captain Mahendra Persaud (center) and president of the GOA K A Juman Yassin, at Monday’s press conference (Photo: Rajiv Bisnauth)

ith the aim of assisting in the growth of rifle shooting locally and improving the abilities of the country’s riflemen, the Guyana National Rifle Association (GNRA) in partnership with the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), is presently conducting a two-week training stint for local marksmen. The training is being conducted by Great Britain’s rifle shooting coach, Ian Shaw, who on Monday said that he is pleased with the progress of the riflemen to date. The sessions, which will cover all areas including team building, are aimed at improving the overall game of the each individual, as well as Guyana’s rifle shooting team. “What we are looking to do is to look at in-

dividual performances of shooters and also look at the team as a whole and to address areas which need work that were already identified,” Shaw said on Monday at a press conference hosted by the GNRA at Olympic House on High Street, Georgetown. According to Shaw, the individuals are keen to learn which he said is very heartening for the success of the sport here. While Shaw did not go into the different techniques the marksmen are part of, he pointed out that the shooters went through their paces on the electronic Scatt Training System. This system, according to Shaw, analyses every element of what the shooters are doing and they’ve been looking at how they can make small improvements which overall would

make vast improvements over time. Speaking also at the press conference, president of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), K.A. Juman Yassin, said rifle shooting for Guyana will be a very important component at the Commonwealth Games. “We have been doing well in rifle shooting and [we] hope that with the input with Mr. Shaw that our team would be able to rise higher than what they have been doing,” Yassin said. Yassin is also looking forward for more cooperation from other members of the Great Britain rifle shooting team. Meanwhile, national captain Mahendra Persaud expressed profound gratitude to GOA for the making the training a reality. (Rajiv Bisnauth)

TT’s Njisane Phillip discharged and in good spirits


fter enduring a challenging week of medical examinations and other tests at the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centre in Los Angeles, California, TT’s national cyclist, Njisane Phillip, was finally discharged from the specialist institution approximately 12.15am (TT time) Saturday morning. The cyclist, his mother Vere Marie Whiteman, step-father Phillip Whiteman, SporTT representative Nyssa Pierre, manager Peter Maharaj and his thousands of fans worldwide breathed a sigh of relief when Phillip calmly and comfortably strutted out of the clinic. Since January 3, the Rigtech Sonics rider had been hospitalised in California. Originally, it was suspected that

TT’s national cyclist Njisane Phillip

Phillip suffered common stomach pains, but it was then revealed two days later, that his kidneys were being compromised. And after conducting a series of tests throughout the past week, the multiple national champion underwent his final examination last Friday night. The cyclist has since been cleared to resume training and plans to

compete at the UCI Track World Championships in Colombia in March. Upon his release from the hospital, Phillip seemed overwhelmed. The 2012 Olympian and World Cup silver medallist said, “I have been given a second chance and have a new lease on life. When we were unsure what was happening, I could not believe that my cycling career may have been over. I cannot express how happy I am that I can still compete, and so soon. “I’m anxious to get back on the track and continue to make Trinidad and Tobago proud. The love and support I received from family, friends, fellow athletes and fans is something I would never forget. It is what drives me. Thank you all!” (TT Newsday)

Bolt to run in Ostrava Golden Spike in June


sain Bolt has confirmed his intention to compete again at the Golden Spike in Ostrava in June, organisers have said. However the Jamaican sprinter says he is still undecided whether to run the 100 or 200 metres on June 17. Bolt said earlier that his goal for this year was to break his own 200m, world record of 19.19 seconds. "Ostrava is a fast track when the weather is good,” Bolt said. “I look forward to

Usain Bolt. (Jamaica Observer file photo)

good weather and good performances in 2014". The six-time Olympic champion will race for

the seventh time at the meet, part of the IAAF World Challenge Series. (Jamaica Observer)

Guyana’s Super50 squad well balanced – manager


uyana’s squad for the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s NAGICO Super50 tournament is one of the most well-balanced units comprising the maximum number of match-winners, according to team manager Alvin Johnson, who feels it is the best chance for the Guyanese to bag their tenth coveted title. The squad will be led by West Indies Twenty20 all-rounder Christopher Barnwell and includes nine players who have represented the regional side in Tests, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20s. “We have an extremely well-balanced team and the best part is everyone seems to be in form,” Johnson said. Johnson believes the team has the advantage of having a strong batting line-up which will excel on batting friendly wickets. He said the team also has enough firepower in bowling to compete in the tournament. He also believes the team’s flexibility provided by the presence of batting and bowling allrounders will be a major asset in the tournament. Guyana has the services of the prolific Shivnarine Chanderpaul, former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, West Indies middle-order batsmen Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin, and West Indies A team batsman Leon Johnson in their line-up.


The all-rounders include skipper Barnwell, Royston Crandon, and the likes of Devendra Bishoo, Veersammy Permaul and Paul Wintz. “Our batting looks

very strong, and if the wickets suit the spinners, we have some quality spinners in the side, the likes of Bishoo and Permaul, who will exploit such conditions” Johnson said. “The good part of the team is that they have a lot of bowling and batting all-rounders, which gives us a lot of options,” he said. The bowling also hinges around fast bowlers Ronsford Beaton and Wintz, while Anthony Bramble is the wicketkeeper.


Former national Under-19 opener Robin Bacchus is the lone newcomer in the team, with fellow left-hander Trevon Griffith being the other opener in the squad. On the other hand, Johnson declared that he is satisfied with the team’s preparation to date. He applauded the Guyana Cricket Board in taking the initiative to have two fitness experts from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Patrick King and Carl Stephenson, as part of the squad rigorous training regime. “This is the ideal preparation for such a tournament,” Johnson said. “I think this team is a lot more mentally fit and united, while the presence of Shiv and Sars is also a positive input given their experience as West Indies players. I would say everyone is in high spirits and eager to get into action,” he concluded.


Meanwhile, following the announcement of the squad, Chairman of the Senior Selection Panel of the Guyana Cricket

Board (GCB) Rayon Griffith remains tightlipped on the criteria used to select the squad. While the 14-man squad is mixed with youth and experience, the announcement of the squad has led to the resignation of former national wicketkeeper/batsman Sheik Mohamed, who served as a member of the Senior Selection Panel. Mohamed is also questioning the selection criteria used to select the Super50 squad and the omission of all-rounder Zaheer Mohamed, legspinner Amir Khan and batsman Jonathon Foo.


The NAGICO Super50 competition will be held from January 30 to February 15 in Trinidad and Tobago, featuring Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, the Combined Campuses and Colleges and ICC affiliate side Ireland. The Barnwell-led Guyana team will open its quest for honours against Ireland in a Zone A match on January 31. The other two teams in Zone A are Jamaica and defending One Day champions the Windward Islands. The Guyanese will then play Jamaica on February 4, before taking on the defending champions on February 7. When the action bowls off month-end, the Guyanese will be aiming for a 10th regional 50-over title, the last of which was achieved in 2005 when they defeated Barbados in near darkness in the final of the KFC Cup at the GCC ground, Bourda. (Guyana Times)



week ending January 16, 2014 |

‘I rely on Paul Doyle' - Powell did not tell coach about new supplements


igning autographs for Italian police and driving squad cars aside, former 100-metre world record holder, Asafa Powell, testified Tuesday that he did not tell his former coach, Stephen Francis, about nine new supplements that he received from Canadian physical therapist Chris Xuereb because it was never a requirement. Powell, 31, also admitted that he failed to list the supplements which he had been taking for approximately three weeks to doping control officers because he simply could not remember their names, adding that he spent over six hours researching the products, which included Epiphany D1. The revelations were made during Tuesday’s opening sitting of the two-time World Championships 100m bronze medallist's hearing into the presence of

Asafa Powell speaking with Danielle Chai, a member of his legal team, during Tuesday’s opening day of the Jamaica Anti-doping Disciplinary Panel hearing at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. (Jamaica Gleaner photo)

the banned stimulant, oxilofrine in his system from last year's National Senior Championships at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Several tests have shown that the substance, oxilofrine, while not listed on the product label, is in fact present in Epiphany D1. Powell, who testified

for over three and a half hours Tuesday, contradicted statements made by Francis that he had breached MVP Track Club rules by taking supplements that were not approved by him. Francis blasted Powell; his agent Paul Doyle; and another athlete, Sherone Simpson, who also tested positive

for oxilofrine, ultimately leading to both athletes leaving the club. Francis had recommended the supplements Cell Tech, Nitro Tech, Megaman Sport and Vitamin C, which Powell said he was taking inconsistently for years before switching totally to Xuereb's regimen in the build-up to the National

Championships. "I don't normally consult my coach. We have a very large club, and the coach (Stephen Francis) tends to a lot of athletes. I rely on Paul (Doyle), I trust him," Powell said during cross-examination from Jamaica AntiDoping Commission attorney Lackston Robinson. While testifying during Simpson's hearing last week, Doyle had also laughed off the presence of any such club policy, stating: "To say that there was actually a rule would be laughable." Powell also contested suggestions that Francis disapproved of Xuereb's appointment by Doyle noting, "Coach (Francis) did not disapprove. Coach didn't seem to have a problem, he seemed excited to have Chris (Xuereb) there." ‘Don’t know the code’ However, when asked by Robinson if he was aware of the Word Anti-

Doping Agency Code (WADA), Powell, who has been competing professionally since 2002, said: "I don't know the (WADA) code. I know there is a list that you are supposed to check. I don't know the code. I see the list when I am checking for something. I don't know the list off the top of my head." Simpson also gave a brief testimony Tuesday. Powell was supported by his parents, William and Cislyn Powell; brother, Donovan Powell; his publicist, Tara Playfair; along with friends Andre Hilton, Andre Palmer and Gary Gregg. Powell is being represented by Kwame Gordon and Danielle Chai. Earlier in his testimony Powell shared that he was allowed to drive a police car after he was interrogated in Italy and also that he was asked for autographs and pictures. (Excerpted from Jamaica Gleaner)

Dismal end as Windies lose Bravo named TT captain despite poor record T20 series to New Zealand


oor fielding and a costly over from skipper Dwayne Bravo disrupted West Indies’ momentum and helped New Zealand to a four-wicket win in the second and final T20 match at Westpac Stadium, Wellington in New Zealand on Wednesday. West Indies dropped a number of catches in the field while an expensive 15th over by Bravo yielded 17 runs as New Zealand completed a successful chase after the visitors, who won the toss and elected to bat first, scored 159 for five. New Zealand have sealed the series two-nil after also winning the opener on Saturday. The West Indies appeared to have lost their way when they were reduced to 67-4 in the 11th over before Denesh Ramdin and Andre Russell breathed life into their innings. Opener Lendl Simmons was off to an encouraging start hitting five fours to reach 29 before he was caught. Ramdin and Russell (10 not out) put on 70 for the fifth wicket which began when Andre Fletcher, who scored 40, opted to sacrifice himself after he and Ramdin ended up at the same end in a running mix up. Fletcher, who top scored in the first T20 on Saturday, smashed three

fours and one six. Ramdin carried on through to the end to be unbeaten on 55 off 31 balls in an innings which included three sixes and three fours. Chasing the 160 target, New Zealand were struggling at 79-5 before a 68-run partnership between Ross Taylor and Luke Ronchi turned the innings around. Taylor played the anchor role with 39 off 41 balls while Ronchi belted an unbeaten 51 off 28 deliveries in an innings that included four fours and two sixes. The pair were particularly harsh on Bravo in the 15th over when they took 17 runs to reduce the target from 54 off 36 balls to a more manageable 37 off 30. They also took 15 off the 17th over by Jason Holder. Jesse Ryder was dropped twice as he raced to a quick 23 in nine balls, and Brendon McCullum received a life on his way to 17. Two chances were missed to remove man of the match Ronchi on the first ball he faced. Andre Russell dropped a caught and bowled opportunity and when Ronchi scampered through for a quick single Tino Best was astray with his run out throw at the stumps. (Jamaica Observer)


lec Burns, Chairman of the Selection Committee, Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) last Friday confirmed that Dwayne Bravo will replace Denesh Ramdin as captain of the national 50 overs team for the Regional Super50 competition starting on January 30. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Queen’s Park Oval where NGC renewed their partnership with the TTCB for three more years. Asked to explain the rationale in handing over the reigns to Bravo, Burns said, “we thought it best to choose Bravo

Dwayne Bravo

as captain and continue that process (syncing) with the West Indies team and Trinidad team,” he explained. The former TT pacer further stated that by changing captain, it will “take the pressure off Denesh a bit and let him concentrate on his batting a bit more (which) will be the best thing for

our team at this point in time,” he declared. But with Bravo having a poor record since replacing Darren Sammy as ODI captain of the Windies— failing to take the Windies past the group stage at the ICC Champions Trophy, not advancing to the final of the tri-nation series involving India and Sri Lanka, losing the five-match series against Pakistan 3-1, the threematch series against India 2-1 and drawing the recently concluded series vs New Zealand 2-2—Burns was questioned further whether the selectors took into consideration Bravo’s results while at the helm. Ramdin last year skip-

pered TT to the Regional Super50 semi-finals with an impressive six-match winning streak in the round robin stage but it all unravelled against the Combined Campuses and Colleges where they were soundly beaten by 140 runs to exit the competition. TT squad: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Imran Khan Shannon Gabriel, Kevon Cooper, Yannick Ottley. Reserves: Derone Davis, Marlon Richards and Yannic Cariah. (TT Newsday)

Guyana's Athletics Association to roll out 2014 plans


resident of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Aubrey Hutson believes that 2014 will be a better year for athletics. “The essence of athletics is competition, we are going to have two national seniors this year to make up for 2013 but we are still working on the calendar, we are still to meet with the coaches to make sure they agree and approve of the calendar,” he said. “We have a lot of stuff planned; my word to the athletes would be to con-

tinue to train hard because the competitions are going to come. “There is going to be a lot of work this year and we are looking at beefing up our field events, especially after Inter Guiana Games (IGG) last year… so we are looking to see how best we can make the field events attractive,” Hutson stated.

Jumping standards

He noted that jumping standards for the high jump are currently on the way to Guyana from the USA, while the AAG will be looking to modify the Young Men’s

Christian Association (YMCA) long jump pit. Hutson touched too on the reason for the incomplete Road to Rio plan for the Summer Olympics. “To put a plan out there in isolation is not what we want to do; we just don’t need to put a plan out because people want a plan, what we are doing right now is that we are going through the methodology of the plan. “We are looking at what we want to be achieved and pointing out who we believe can

achieve them and get there, but it’s not a case that we are not working on something. “We want the plan to be firm and to last so that it can be tested every six months to find progress and make changes if we need to,” Hutson said. Meanwhile, as it is midway through the first month of 2014, the first competition of the AAG is slated for January 29 as a cross country event before heading into the developmental meets during February. (Guyana Times)

Sports is no longer our game, it’s our business


Guyana’s Super50 squad well balanced – manager See story on page 30

Christopher Barnwell

Ramnaresh Sarwan

Shiek Mohamed

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Rayon Griffith

Alvin Johnson

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