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WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

See story on page 9

Guyanese celebrate 48th Independence Anniversary in Toronto Page 5

PM Kamla says firm ‘no’ to early elections in TT Page 13

Inmates sitting CXC exams behind bars in Jamaica Page 7

As Guyanese commemorated Guyana’s 48th Independence Anniversary at the Empire Banquet Hall in Toronto on Saturday evening, Mr and Mrs Clifton and Olga Aaron were honoured for their years of sterling contributions to the Independence Festival Committee. Sharing in the moment is Guyana’s Honorary Consul General Sattie Sawh. Another volunteer, Victor Yacoob, also received commendation.


NEWS | WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

Guyana Consulate hoists Golden Arrowhead in Toronto

Three Guyanese students for prestigious UWI science course

- to mark 48th Independence Anniversary By Ravendra Madholall


O R O N T O , CANADA: The Guyana Consulate on Monday held a flagraising ceremony at the Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto to mark the country’s 48th Independence Anniversary. The event was well attended by representatives of several other Caribbean Consulates including the Honorary Consul General of Jamaica to Toronto and Dean of the Caribbean Consular Corps in Toronto Seth Ramocan, who gave the feature address. “Today I stand here and it [is] indeed a privilege to be part of the celebration; the flag is very symbolic and it is also very meaningful to the nation; it showed the country worked in unity to reach this far and they must be congratulated too,” Ramocan said. “I want to say that the ‘Motto’ of your country is also very important and you have worked hard

Guyana’s High Commissioner to Canada Harrinarine Nawbatt and Honorary Consul General Sattie Sawh hoist the Golden Arrowhead at the Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto on Monday

to make it a reality; you struggled and I understand the importance of this moment of raising a flag in unity and togetherness; One People, One Nation and One Destiny is the ‘motto’ that represents the abundance of waters and rain-forest and therefore your plans now lie in unity to continued prosperity,” Ramocan added.

Guyana’s High Commissioner to Canada Harrinarine Nawbatt, also witnessed the raising of the Golden Arrowhead. “Once again it is my privilege and profound honour to be able to congratulate the Guyanese in Canada on the occasion of Guyana achieving another milestone in its rich history; this year

marks the 48th year since our foreparents, all heroes in their own rights, and through long and bitter struggles, were able to achieve Guyana’s Independence,” Nawbatt indicated. Guyana’s Honorary Consul General to Toronto Sattie Sawh said “this occasion signals another step forward for our nation--a step towards continued progress and growth in all fields and any anniversary lends itself to analysing the past and the future, hoping to recognise where we have come from and where we are going.” Among those who attended the ceremony were Javier Domokos Ruiz from the Cuba Consulate in Toronto; John L. Allen representing St. Kitts and Nevis; Arletta Walcott, an Information Officer from St. Lucia; Fitz Gerald Huggins from St. Vincent and Grenadines and a representative each from Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada Consulates in Toronto.

Lawrence Faria

Cecil Cox

EORGETOWN, G U Y A N A : The Education Ministry has announced that three outstanding Guyanese students: Cecil Cox, who topped the Caribbean in the Sciences in 2013; Benedict Sukra; and Lawrence Faria have been accepted to the Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE), which is held on the campus of the UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados. SPISE is a four-week residential summer programme for Caribbean high school students who are gifted in Science and Engineering, and who are interested in studying and exploring careers in these fields. During the four

weeks, students will be completely immersed (24/7) in university-level calculus, physics, biochemistry, entrepreneurship, Mandarin, one-Caribbean studies, and hands-on projects in robotics and electronics and computer programming. The three young ambassadors will be exposed and coached by role models from the Diaspora and the Region on career paths and choices, and assisted with their university application packages and internship applications to research centres in the region and abroad. The goal is to help address the low numbers of Caribbean students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering. (Guyana Times)



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Reparations in USA


on Rojas, long time Caribbean activist, reported on the state of the reparations movement in the USA. The progress there should give heart to the regional Reparations Committee. “On April 19, at Chicago State University, Professor Sir Hillary Beckles delivered the keynote speech to hundreds assembled and thousands around the world viewing the live webcast of a reparations rally organised by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW). In the late 1990s through the early 2000s, the reparations movement in the United States had generated significant momentum, which came to a head at the UN’s global conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, in the fall of 2001. Shortly thereafter came 9/11 and later, in 2008, the election of Barack Obama as America’s first black President, two seminal events in contemporary U.S. history that considerably slowed that momentum. Now as the Obama era comes to a close and with social and economic conditions in black America stalled, and in many cases receding, the U.S. reparations movement, inspired by what’s happening in the Caribbean, is starting to stir into life again. Sitting on the Chicago stage listening to Professor Beckles was a stellar row of other speakers, including Minister Louis Farrakhan, Leader of the Nation of Islam and Congressman John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus and author of HR-40, the landmark Reparations Bill he introduced in Congress some 15 years ago. During his one-hour address, the audience sat in rapt attention, listening to Beckles…articulate a well-documented argument about how Britain and other European countries used slavery to build their empires on the backs of Africans. He noted how British slave ships transported 3.3 million Africans to the plantations in the new world, and discussed how France abolished slavery in 1794, but reinstated it in 1802 after Josephine, a white Creole from Martinique who became Napoleon’s wife and Empress of France, successfully pushed to have France reinstate slavery to assist her family’s failing sugar plantation in the Caribbean. There are plenty of historical precedents for reparations to ‘repair the damages’ done as a consequence of crimes against humanity. Like the Jewish Holocaust, African slavery in the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas were also crimes against humanity. In 1945, Israeli authorities made a claim to the four powers occupying postwar Germany regarding compensation and reimbursement, based on the fact that Israel had absorbed and resettled 500,000 Holocaust survivors. They calculated that since absorption had cost US$3000 per person (almost US$27,000 in today’s dollars), they were owed US$1.5 billion (some US$13.4 billion in today’s dollars) by Germany. Following negotiations, an agreement was signed by West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett and World Jewish Congress President Nahum Goldmann on September 10, 1952, in the town hall of Luxembourg. The German Parliament (Bundestag) passed the agreement on March 18, 1953, by a large majority, 239 for and 35 against. Reparations for centuries of brutal oppression and exploitation of enslaved African people, in the Americas, is undoubtedly one of the great moral imperatives of the day. It is inextricably connected to growing income and wealth inequality in the United States, the Caribbean and other parts of the Americas that President Obama has famously described as the ‘defining challenge of our time’. The so-called pragmatists who argue that the question of reparations is impractical, unachievable, utopian, a waste of time and energy are those who are ignorant of the moral power of a cause whose time has come. In the United States, a revitalised reparations campaign can and must become a critical component of the civil and human rights movements of the 21st century. Like its counterpart in the Caribbean, the U.S. reparations movement is not a thing of the past. It is about historical justice for today and tomorrow, and until justice is done reparations will always be relevant, will always be a struggle to right the wrongs of a tortured past.”

JAMAICA: Children from Portmore communities participate in the cleaning and beautification of the National Climate Change Park in the area over the weekend. The park was chosen as part of the national Labour Day project (JIS photo)

Green Fund to push Caribbean’s climate change mitigation


EORGETOWN, GUYANA: A senior official of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says the operationalisation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will provide an important opportunity for regional countries to not only adapt to climate change but also to mitigate its effects. Selwin Hart, the Climate Change Finance Advisor with the CDB said the fund could also assist the Caribbean’s move towards renewable energy and energy efficiency. “The cost of energy in the Caribbean is the highest in the world. This represents a serious strike on competitiveness, economic growth and job creation and the GCF presents a once in a lifetime opportunity for countries to have a stable source of financing to address the vulnerabilities, both as it relates to importing fossil fuels, as well as the impacts of climate change,” he said. Hart, who was at the time speaking on a National Communications Network programme in Guyana, said one of the major problems Caribbean countries faced in the past was the lack of capacity to effectively access and use funds, even when such funds were available. “Many of the requirements for accessing global funds lie outside, off the reach of the many small capacity-constraint countries of the region. You have to

undertake a rigorous examination in terms of fiduciary standards and social and environmental safeguards,” Hart said. The CDB, as part of its climate resilient strategy, has been assisting countries to build that capacity. However, in some instances, it is more feasible for that capacity to be built at a regional level, rather than at the level of individual countries. The Bank has also been tasked by regional heads to lead the resource mobilisation effort on behalf of the region in terms of climate financing. In this regard, the CDB is trying to position itself to serve as a regional financial intermediary. The GCF will support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in a developing country using thematic funding windows. It is intended to be the centre piece of efforts to raise climate finance of US$100 billion a year by 2020.

Concessional financing

Meanwhile, also speaking on the programme was Executive Director from the GCF’s Secretariat Hela Cheikhrouhou, who said that this is an important development which will put in place a multilateral financing institution that is focused on providing concessional financing to both private and public sector beneficiaries in developing countries. This will help them to invest in

low emission and climate resilient development (cleaner technologies for producing in their economies and for transportation), and to be able to better adapt to changes in the climate that are already being experienced. “We hope that the developed countries will be there to provide grants and concessional loans to the fund to enable it to fulfil its mandate in the initial few years…now is the time for action and actual pledging,” Cheikhrouhou said. In 2009, the initial announcement was made that developed countries will scale up their financial transfers to developing countries to help them cope with climate change. It was envisaged that this process would start with about US$10 billion per year, increasing to about US$100 billion by 2020 and beyond. The GCF was structured to act as one of the main conduits for these resources, and today it is ready now that all of the requirements set out by the board and developed countries have been met. The Executive Director said that from GCF’s engagements with some of the developed countries represented on its board, there is a reasonable level of interest and commitment to come through with financial contributions, even though several of them are still recovering from the global financial crisis.

News WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014



Guyanese celebrate 48th Independence Anniversary in Toronto By Ravendra Madholall


O R O N T O , C A N A D A : The Guyana Festival Committee under the auspices of the Consulate General of Guyana in Toronto held a dinner and dance on Saturday evening to celebrate the country’s 48th Independence Anniversary at the Empire Banquet Hall, Toronto. President Donald Ramotar, in a message to the Guyanese community in Canada, reflected: “the attainment of political independence represented a historic landmark in our country’s history and it was the inevitable culmination of centuries of heroic struggles by our people

Mrs Sawh and others get ready to cut the 48th Independence Anniversary cake (Photos: Courtesy of Bobby Ramlagan)

for freedom and for an end to servitude and colonial bondage; so I wish

Honorary Consul General for Guyana to Toronto Sattie Sawh addressing the gathering

all success to the Guyana Independence 2014 and a happy anniversary.” Honorary Consul General for Guyana to Toronto Sattie Sawh, in her remarks, highlighted the country’s many achievements since gaining independence in 1966 and lauded the Festival Committee for maintaining the observances in Canada. “I must acknowledge the monumental work of the Independence Festival Committee in helping to stage all of our annual independence observances; this group of volunteers gives their

all to see their homeland represented with pride and our community owes them a debt of gratitude,” Sawh stated. G u y a n a ’ s Ambassador to Canada Harrinarine Nawbatt, who also graced the occasion, congratulated the Festival Committee too for their efforts over the years and extended best wishes to the Guyanese people in Canada for another year of independence celebration. Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne sent a congratulatory message, saying: “on behalf of the government of Ontario, I am delighted to extend warm greetings to our

Guyanese community as you celebrate Guyana’s 48th Independence Day anniversary with this dinner and dance; this gathering is not only an opportunity to commemorate Guyana’s birth as a sovereign nation, but also a chance to reflect on its accomplishments and look to the future with confidence.” During the event, Clifton Aaron and his spouse Olga were recognised for their voluntary services to the Independence Festival while Victor Yacoob was given an award for his contribution and his longevity with the committee.

A large number of Guyanese turned out at the event on Saturday evening

No Guyana Festival this year – organisers


O R O N T O , CANADA: The Guyana Festival Committee has announced that there will be no Guyana Festival for 2014. The event was initially scheduled to be held on June 22, 2014 at the Soccer Centre in Vaughan. However, the organisers at their meeting

last Thursday, decided to cancel the event for this year and have tentatively re-scheduled it to June 21, 2015 at the same venue. “The decision was taken after a very lengthy discussion that encompassed all of the levels of planning of the festival. It was decided that the festival was

facing some challenges this year, and that the emphasis and focus of our Committee’s work should be put to next year, 2015, and beyond,” the organisers indicated in a press release. It added that, “next year is significant for the festival, as it will be the 20th anniver-

sary of the staging of the Guyana Festival in Toronto, and will also coincide with province wide celebrations and events for the PanAm

Games, which Guyana will be taking part in.” According to the organisers, “this important anniversary will help to fuel a

grand celebration in 2015, and will serve as a kick off to observances for Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary in 2016.”


News | WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

Walter Rodney COI in Guyana….

“PNC gov’t had little concern for human life” - Kwayana testifies


EORGETOWN, G U Y A N A : Veteran politician and co-founder of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) Eusi Kwayana, on Tuesday told members of the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry that the political climate

of the 1970s was more of a “closed kind of society developing”, while noting that the People’s National Congress government was in a state of preparedness for Rodney’s return to Guyana. The now 89-yearold Kwayana, who travelled from San Diego,

California to present his evidence, told the commission that the then PNC government had already labelled Dr Rodney a “troublemaker”, both in Tanzania and Jamaica, and was somewhat prepared for his re-settling in Guyana. His rejection from the University of Guyana, he said, was therefore no surprise. He noted that Rodney had already secured the post as head of the History department of the University of Guyana; however, this position was rescinded by the UG council, which according to him, was infiltrated by the ruling administration. Kwayana cited the participation of the House of Israel organisation which he claimed was the driving force behind the breaking up of many rallies. “Our public meetings were attacked and assaulted,” he recalled. He spoke too of the 1973 election, when the ruling administration had declared that it had

WPA Co-founder Eusi Kwayana gets a lastminute brief from Attorneys for the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry before testifying on Tuesday

won a two thirds majority of the seats in the poll. He said that win was a matter of “selection rather than election”. Kwayana indicated that the WPA was formed with persons from different ethnic backgrounds and was intended to get groups that were part of the 1955 breakaway from the People’s Progressive Party, to be actively involved in a revolutionary process. The WPA, he recalled, spoke vociferously on the wrongdoings in the 1973 general elections and this was met with great hostility. He noted that the government, in its hostility also prevented freedom of

speech. “Our papers, the “Dayclean” was printed in Trinidad and Tobago because no one here would print it. There was a ban on newsprint, so this thing about the right to freedom of expression and those other rights that have to do with communication were against us. No printer would print our papers because they think they would be penalised by the government,” Kwayana related.


He spoke too of rallies held by the late founder of the People’s Progressive Party Dr Cheddi Jagan, that were on many occasions broken up by government elements. After

Dr Rodney’s return to Guyana, Kwayana said, he too had joined with the many that raised their voices in condemnation of the inhumane acts by the leadership of the day. He said too that although many Guyanese had never before met Dr Rodney, he had become popular on their lips after he was banned from Jamaica. However, according to Kwayana, even before Rodney’s return to Guyana, there “were fear and hostility” towards him. “This hostility had begun before that. The Head of Government (Forbes Burnham) did not wait on any of these things to deny Walter Rodney employment at the University of Guyana…” He said too that the government of the day had little concern for human life, citing the killings of Father Darke, government minister Vincent Tekah, and teenager Keith Caesar. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

PM Kamla mum on controversial video


RINIDAD: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Tuesday refused any further comment on the controversial video recently aired on TV6 in Trinidad and Tobago that features someone resembling a government minister who while in a hotel room with two women, appears to be rolling what looks like a marijuana cigarette. Congress of the People (COP) General Secretary Clyde Weatherhead however confirmed that the party Tuesday obtained a copy of the controversial video from TV6 for review. He said COP’s political leader Prakash Ramadhar had indicated that Sports Minister Anil Roberts, who is

yet to confirm or deny whether the man in the video is him, had spoken with him on the issue and had agreed to meet with some senior party officials on the subject. When approached by reporters Tuesday, Persad-Bissessar said: “I have no further comment on that. I made a statement on Saturday. I have no further comment on that matter.” On Saturday, Persad-Bissessar said she would only make a decision on Roberts’ political future with the party after carefully examining the existing evidence. She said then: “A decision must be made in

the national interest. I will make it without fear and without favour.” The Prime Minister added: “But even as I am looking at this, I find it very, very strange, they say passing strange, that this was a video over a year-and-a-half ago. The PNM was saying that they had this video and they talking about it a year-and-a-half ago.” After defending the minister, PersadBissessar removed the controversial multimillion-dollar Life Sport programme from under Roberts’ ministry and re-assigned it to the National Security Ministry. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

News WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014



Inmates sitting CXC exams Gov’t can’t fight narco trade behind bars in Jamaica without AML/CFT Bill – President Ramotar tells Guyanese J AMAICA: Twentyfive inmates at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre and the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre for women in Jamaica are sitting Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) examinations. The examinations are administered at the secondary level between May and June every year. This is the first time that prisoners are sitting the external examinations as part of the rehabilitation activities of the charity group, Stand Up For Jamaica. Executive Director of Stand Up For Jamaica, Maria Gullota, says the European Union provided teachers, materials


Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre in Jamaica

and administrative personnel for the preparation of the inmates to sit the exams. Meanwhile, the charity group is calling for other sectors of the society to support the rehabilitation programmes aimed at, among other things,

increasing the education level of inmates and reducing the crime rate. Stand Up For Jamaica is a non-profit association created in 1999 by volunteer human rights organisation Amnesty International. (Jamaica Gleaner)

Shortage of U.S. currency in TT…

Central Bank releases US$200 million into domestic foreign exchange market


RINIDAD AND T O B A G O : Finance and Economy Minister Larry Howai last Friday stated that the new system of allocation of foreign exchange in TT “has not worked as effectively as originally anticipated,” as he advised Parliament that a Central Bank review was in order, in addition to an immediate injection of US$200 million (TT$1.2billion) into the system. In a special appearance at the House of Representatives, Howai said while foreign reserves remained strong, the injection was being done, “to address the immediate short-term needs of the market and to alleviate any concerns of the public”. Further changes are to be introduced to the current system, though Howai did not specify these. He said the new system had introduced a new technical regime but had required changes in the behavioural patterns of the market. “The new system has not worked as effectively as originally anticipated,” Howai told MPs at the International Waterfront Centre, Wrightson Road, Portof-Spain. “As a consequence, the Central Bank has decided to revisit the system.” Howai said given “difficulties being experienced by the public in acquiring foreign exchange” over the past few weeks he held meet-

Over the past four years, the Central Bank has sold an average of TT$1.2 billion per year to the system

ings with unspecified stakeholders. “To address the immediate short-term needs of the market and to alleviate any concerns of the public, the Central Bank has today agreed to inject US$200 million into the market,” the minister said. “This will meet all demands in the system and allow for the continuing smooth operation of the market. In addition, the Central Bank has agreed to introduce certain changes to the allocation system which, I am advised, has been well-received by the banks.” In a statement which made no mention of the issue of devaluation of the foreign exchange rate, Howai nonetheless assured the level of foreign reserves remains healthy and the economy good. “The country’s foreign exchange reserves remain strong and have continued to grow over the past decade,” the minister said. He noted that the foreign exchange reserves have

climbed from US$9.07 billion in 2010 to US $10.3 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2014. Howai said dayto-day foreign exchange needs are met by energy sector companies. “Much of the country’s day-to-day foreign exchange needs are met by the energy sector companies selling funds to the banking system,” he related. “Where demand outstrips the supply generated, the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago steps in to inject U.S. dollars into the system. This was the case as recently as May 9 when some US$50 million was sold by the Central Bank to authorised dealers.” Howai said over the past four years, the Central Bank has sold an average of TT$1.2 billion per year to the system. So far this year, he said, the Bank has sold TT$410 million. “Notwithstanding this support for the market, there have been continuous occurrences of tightness of supply,” he said. (TT Newsday)

UYANA: Amid the standoff over the passage of Guyana’s AntiMoney Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, President Donald Ramotar on Sunday night asked how can the nation fight drug trafficking and corruption without the legislation. His comments were directed to the Opposition, which has blocked the Bill in exchange for a range of other governance measures, including the Public Procurement Commission and Local Government Elections. Delivering his Independence address at the National Park, President Ramotar told the nation that the country would face serious sanctions by Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for its failure to pass the Bill. He said the Opposition in blocking such a Bill coming to the House; have exposed Guyana to being blacklisted by the international community, with all the consequences that will follow. Ramotar said over the years, government has worked tirelessly to restore and consolidate “our new born democracy and embed it in our Constitution, laws, institutions and administrations”. He added that the country’s governance architecture has

Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar

not emerged as a result of a top down approach, but arose from a participatory process with thousands of citizens in the regions and civil society bodies, including the Opposition parliamentary political parties. He stated that opposing for Opposition’s sake and “introducing blackmail methods in Guyana’s politics will gain the country nothing. “Indeed, even if it gives results in the short-term, it will damage the moral fabric of our society in the medium and long-term.” Turning to the economy, the President said Guyana has had real consecutive economic growth every year since 2006. This, he said represents the longest period of uninterrupted real economic growth since Independence in 1966.

The President pointed out that in spite of negative global developments which impacted on the price for the country’s main exports and imports, Guyana pushed ahead. He noted last year, the economy grew by more than five percent. Additionally, the President indicated that growth was experienced in mining while adding that the private sector has made significant achievements in every area of endeavour, noting that investments are taking place in mining, agriculture, tourism, commerce and information-based technology. He called for serious talks on reducing the importation of fossil fuel and to be able to save Gy$9 billion use every year to subsidise electricity charges to citizens. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)


News | WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

Regional employment Jamaican taxi driver challenged by low guilty in Trinidadian school teacher’s murder economic growth – report



AMAICA: A twelve-member jury in Jamaica last week found Westmoreland-based taxi operator Ivan Taylor guilty of the murder of Trinidadian schoolteacher Michelle CoudrayGreaves, whose burnt remains were found in a Montego Bay cane field in June 2012. The verdict was arrived at some three hours after High Court Justice Courtney Daye completed his summation and handed the case to the jury, which had sat through 17 days of testimony from 38 prosecution witnesses. "You have been found guilty on the charge of murder. Sentencing is postponed until July 23, and that is in Kingston in the Home Circuit Court," Justice Daye said to Taylor, who stood expressionless in the prisoner's dock. Defence attorney Lavern Walters, who appeared on behalf of Taylor, asked the court that a social enquiry report and a forensic psychiatric report be done for Taylor. The request was granted, and the test is to be done prior to Taylor returning for sentencing. Taylor, who operated as an on-call taxi driver for the Trinidadian, who at one time taught language at Cornwall College in Montego Bay, was slapped with mur-

Trinidadian schoolteacher Michelle CoudrayGreaves burnt remains were found in a Montego Bay cane field in June 2012 (TT Guardian file photo)

der charges on June 30, 2012. He was the last known person to have seen Coudray-Greaves alive. Coudray-Greaves, the daughter of Trinidadian government minister Marlene Coudray, went missing three days after returning from vacation in Trinidad. She was slated to take up a new teaching post at Cornwall College in September 2012. In its case, the prosecution relied heavily on circumstantial evidence, as the body was burnt beyond recognition. Technology and medical experts were among the witnesses called. Among those were world-renowned orthodontist Dr Christopher Ogunsalu, who used Coudray-Greaves' dental records to identify her,

and consultant forensic pathologist Dr Murari Saranji, who provided the court with testimony about the perceived cause of death. Both medical experts agreed in their respective testimonies that Coudray-Greaves died from blunt force trauma to her head. Ogunsalu testified that there were several broken bones in her skull. In addition to telephone evidence given by two telecommunications experts which placed Taylor in the vicinity of where the body was found on the night the Trinidadian went missing, two civilian witnesses testified that they saw Taylor driving out of the canefield in the wee hours of the morning Coudray-Greaves went missing. (Jamaica Gleaner)

Antigua Opposition dismisses poll that puts UPP ahead


T. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA: The leader of the main opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) Gaston Browne has dismissed a poll that puts the ruling United Progressive Party (UPP) ahead as voters get ready to elect a new government on June 12. The CASURO poll, published in the Antigua Observer newspaper gives the UPP, headed by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, an eight point advantage after respondents were asked “which party will you vote for if elections were held today”. The UPP received 46 percent of the 1,228 people questioned while the ALP, which is seeking to prevent the ruling party obtain a third consecutive five-year term in office received 38 percent.

Leader of the Antigua Labour Party Gaston Browne

The poll, which was conducted during a two week period that ended May 15, has a margin of error of minus or plus three percent. Browne, speaking at the opening of the party’s branch office, said that the poll cannot be taken seriously and accused the pollsters of engaging in “push polling”. He said the ALP is aware that the pollster has to protect the government and “is an operative of the UPP”. But the pollsters re-

jected the claim saying that when the previous polls were in favour of the Opposition party, they were considered to be objective. The CASURO poll notes that among the casualties for the ALP will be former Prime Minister Lester Bird who is contesting the St John’s Rural East against National Security Minister Dr. Errol Cort. Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission (ABEC) says it has distributed nearly half of the voter 47, 021 identification cards to be used during the elections. ABEC Commissioner Anthonyson King said more than 40 percent of the electorate have already collected their ID cards and that the distribution would continue this week. (Caribbean News)

A N T I A G O , CHILE: A new report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) says low economic growth in 2014 could affect employment in Latin America and the Caribbean. The United Nations agencies in the joint report said the economic scenario in 2014, with an estimated growth rate of 2.7 percent, is “far from auspicious for the evolution of the regional labour market and presents major challenges for labour market policy. “Given the modest economic growth projected for the region in 2014 and current labour participation trends, a slow pace of employment creation is forecast, which means there will likely be no significant variations in the unemployment rate,” said the organisations in the latest edition of “The employment situation in Latin America and the Caribbean.” ECLAC and ILO said if the reduced economic dynamism translates into higher unemployment in some countries, it will be important for them to have unemployment insurance and other protective measures

The recent report takes stock of the labour markets during 2013

so they can confront this scenario. The report takes stock of the labour markets during 2013 and emphasises that despite the reduced economic dynamism and a minor drop in the employment rate, the unemployment rate kept falling between 2012 and 2013 and hit its lowest level in decades (6.2 percent). Nevertheless, “there are doubts about the sustainability of this positive development in the near future,” the document insists. According to the report, the weakness of economic growth was already evidenced in 2013 by cooling labour demand. The report said a positive development was that during 2013 the gap

between men and women decreased in terms of participation, employment and unemployment, although significant differences persist and require additional efforts to achieve gender equality in the working world. Countries in the region have been urged to make efforts to advance the creation of quality jobs and more specifically, to promote the productive labour incorporation of youth in 2014. The joint ECLACILO document also indicates that in addition to job creation in the last decade, the strengthening of social safety nets and the introduction of new social programmes were important factors in reducing poverty. (Caribbean News)

Drug bust in Caribbean Sea nets nearly US$388 million in cocaine


ACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, U.S.: The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says it’s Office of Air and Marine aircraft while on night patrol in the Caribbean seized 93 bales of cocaine weighing more than 5,180 lbs and worth more than US$387,700,000. “The opportunity to work with our partner nations to effect an interception and seizure of this size makes the hours our aircraft crews put in patrolling the endless miles of ‘blue ocean’ more than worth it,” said Doug Garner, CBP’s Director of National Air Security Operations Center, Jacksonville. The crew reportedly detected a four-engine go-fast style vessel about

Ninety three bales of cocaine were recently seized in the Caribbean sea

150 miles northeast of Panama City, Panama last week running at high speed with its lights out. Colombian law enforcement responded to intercept the suspected vessel but before inter-

cepting the crew the vessel beached in a remote region in the Colombian western territory. When law enforcement arrived the crew had deserted the 93 bales of cocaine on-board. (Jamaica Observer)

News WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014



Hong Kong businessmen named as final investors of Guyana’s Marriott - US$27 million loan finalised for hotel’s construction


U Y A N A : Atlantic Hotel Inc (AHI) and Republic Bank Limited have announced the completion of the financial arrangements by Republic Bank for a syndicated borrowing of US$27 million in debt financing for AHI. The two entities in a release said the money will be spent on the construction of Guyana’s Marriott operated hotel and the shell of an Entertainment Complex. Republic Bank, on behalf of its consortium of lenders, has received its approvals and the transaction is expected to be concluded shortly. The principal investors in AHI (Marriott Hotel Guyana project and Entertainment Complex) are the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) registered, ACE Square Investments Limited. ACE Square Investments Limited will acquire 67 percent

of the equity of AHI for US$8 million. As required under the Hotel Management Agreement between Marriott and AHI, Marriott has consented to the transfer of the controlling interest of AHI from NICIL to ACE Square Investments Limited. Ace Square Management Limited, an affiliated company of ACE Square Investments Limited, has been selected to operate the Entertainment Complex and secure the outfitting cost, estimated at a minimum of US$4 million. Additionally, Ace Square Management Limited will guarantee a minimum financial performance of the Entertainment Complex, consistent with the feasibility study conducted by HVS International (dated October 31, 2012). Ace Square Management Limited’s beneficial shareholders are the same as ACE Square Investments Limited. The beneficial owners of the

Work on the Marriott Hotel in Guyana has been progressing well

shares in ACE Square Investments Limited, and the owners of the shares in ACE Square Investments Limited, through a BVI registered holding company, Big Splendor Limited, are Hong Kong businessmen, Victor How Chung Chan and Xu Han.

Investment interests

Victor Chan has diverse and substantial investment interests both in Hong Kong and China. He is an Executive Director of the REXLOT Group and is the single largest shareholder and founder and Director of the REX

Resources Group. The REXLOT Group is the leading lottery system and distribution company in China and has extensive operations in China’s lottery market, through its local subsidiaries and international joint ventures. The group is listed on the

main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of over HK$8 billion (some US$1 billion). The REX Resources Group is principally engaged in gold, coal, rare earth and other metal, mining exploration and development, both in China and internationally. Chan is also the leading investor and shareholder of China Gamma Group. The Group is listed on the main board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of over HK$600 million (some US$77 million). Chan founded REXCAPITAL Partners in 1994, a private investment group with over HK$1billion in financial investments. Han is a long-standing business associate of Chan and holds graduate degrees from prominent U.S. and Hong Kong universities. Additionally, Han has over 30 years of global experience in both the public and private sectors, such as finance, gaming, and mining. (Guyana Times)

Opposition MP urges Jamaica Trinidad records over 200 sex to resume hangings crimes in three months


A M A I C A : O p p o s i t i o n Member of Parliament Audley Shaw is calling for the resumption of hanging in Jamaica, threatening a major debate with human rights advocates. Shaw made the plea as he spoke Monday in Manchester at the funeral of a woman and her two sons who were viciously murdered last month. The lacerated bodies of 42-year-old Nadine Carridice, and her sons, 16-year-old Joven Thomas and 11-yearold Roshane Ellis, were found at their house on April 29. Monday, Shaw urged angry mourners not to pursue vigilantism. However, he said the people should demand that the government resume the use of the death penalty, whether by hanging or lethal injection. The last execution in Jamaica was in 1988. Anticipating the backlash from antideath penalty advocates, Shaw said Jamaica must consider all possible solutions because of the


Opposition Member of Parliament in Jamaica Audley Shaw (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

high levels of crime and violence. According to the United Nations, Jamaica has the sixth highest murder rate in the world. Shaw says Jamaica must determine what it wants, adding that human rights groups have pushed against the death penalty yet powerful countries such as the United States continue to use the measure. Human rights group Amnesty International has said the death penalty is nothing but a false promise when it comes to tackling crime. However, Shaw stressed that capital

punishment would only be one method used by the State to tackle crime and violence. The Parliament voted in 2008 to retain the death penalty, although the country has not had an execution since 1988. Jamaica’s efforts to carry out the death penalty have been affected by a Privy Council which says executions must be carried out within five years after being handed down. This is because it is unlikely that convicts may exhaust all the judicial processes within five years after sentencing is passed. (Jamaica Gleaner)

R I N I D A D : Gender, Youth and Child Development Minister Clifton De Coteau last Thursday said the Police Service’s Victims and Witness Support Unit recorded over 200 reports of incest, rape and sexual abuse over a three-month period in just one area of the country. Speaking to stakeholders at the opening of the Critical Incident Response Workshop at the Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain, De Coteau said from May 2013 to March of this year, the Ministry’s National Family Services Division recorded over 9,000 interventions. These include 2,951 advice sessions, 4,973 counselling sessions, 407 referrals to other service delivery agencies and 55 critical incidents investigated on topics involving child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, financial issues, family dysfunction, marital discord and inadequate parenting. “These cases were addressed and will continue to receive the at-

TT’s Gender, Youth and Child Development Minister Clifton De Coteau (TT Newsday file photo)

tention that is required for the transition from victims to fully rehabilitated citizens,” he said, noting that critical incidents could overwhelm a person’s coping mechanisms, creating the need for external intervention. “Critical Incident Stress Management is a proven, chosen and recommended method of crisis intervention that can provide services at a variety of levels following a crisis,” he said. Therefore, stakehold-

ers, including members of the Police Service and Social Service Agencies, last Thursday took part in a consultation and brainstorming session to assess and determine what services would be best in which situation, and how to respond to these specific critical incidents within a 24-hour period. “As workers on the ground, executing your duties within the communities, you are well poised to provide the salient information to craft the required protocols for the National Critical Incident Response which would be implemented by responding Agencies within the social service sector,” said De Coteau. The result of the workshop would assist in developing and implementing a networking system to facilitate efficient response to Critical Incidents. The minister in revealing that there had been 200 sex crimes including rape and incest in three months in a specific area, did not identify the area where these crimes had been committed. (TT Newsday)


News |

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

World press body condemns President Ramotar honoured at launch of Guyana-Cuba death threat against Friendship Association Trinidadian journalist


I E N N A , AUSTRIA: The International Press Institute (IPI) on Monday condemned recent threats against Trinidad and Tobago journalist Mark Bassant that led to the reporter leaving the country last week in fear for his life. “We condemn the threats made against Mr. Bassant, which have highlighted the dangers that journalists face when attempting to reveal information that is in the public interest, even in a country like Trinidad and Tobago, where this form of harassment is unusual,” IPI Press Freedom Manager Barbara Trionfi said in a statement. “We urge the authorities to fully investigate these threats and bring the perpetrators to justice, thereby ensuring that press freedom in Trinidad and Tobago is upheld and that courageous journalists, like Mr. Bassant, can carry out their work.” Bassant, a senior investigative journalist with the Caribbean Communication Network (CCN) TV6, said he had received the threats while working on sensitive investigative material and that both National Security Minister Gary Griffith and acting Police Commissioner Stephen

Trinidad and Tobago journalist Mark Bassant

Williams had been made aware of the hit. The Trinidad Express newspaper, a sister company of the television station, reported that “key underworld criminals” had made the death threat against Bassant. Bassant told the newspaper that on May 7, “I got a call from a very reliable underworld source that certain criminal elements wanted to harm me because of stories I wrote recently that were showing them up.

Report to Police

“I made a report on it. The next day I was liaising with certain police officers involved in a specific investigation, only to later learn from other trusted sources that these same officers who I had spoken to earlier were leaking information about me and

what I knew to the said individuals who organised for my demise. I informed a high-ranking intelligence source along with another trusted senior intelligence officer about this development,” Bassant claimed. “The senior intelligence office later conferred to me in a faceto-face meeting on May 9 that my name was on a hit list together with other persons. In fact, he told me that they had already been given the order to engage the targets, including me, and that the hit against me was starting at TT$20,000,” Bassant alleged. IPI’s regional partner, the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM), also shared its alarm concerning the Bassant case. (Excerpted from Antigua Observer)

Barbadians being recruited for jobs in Dubai


ARBADOS: Barbadians are being given the opportunity to take up employment in Dubai. Trinity Recruitment Services, located in Mall 34, Bridgetown has been appointed the local agent for the Emirates Group, which is the largest airline in the Middle East. Judeen Scantlebury, CEO/Founder of Trinity said her company has been taking applications for the Emirates Group and conducted a pre-screening process on May 22 in preparation for the upcoming arrival of the Emirates Group Managers, who will be selecting the final candidates. "Based on what is currently happening with our economy and persons being sent home from their jobs, I think this would be a good opportunity for anyone that is in a position to go.

Cubans and Guyanese at the Launch of the Guyana-Cuba Friendship Association at the Cuban Embassy at High Street, Kingston, Georgetown in Guyana (Guyana Times photo)


U Y A N A : President Donald Ramotar and four Ministers of Government were among other Guyanese recognised by the Guyana-Cuba Friendship Association for fostering relations between the two countries, at the Guyana-Cuba Friendship Association’s launch on Sunday evening at the Cuban Embassy on High Street. President Ramotar received a token of appreciation, while Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, Health Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran (in absentia) and Public Service Minister, Dr Jennifer Westford were also presented tokens. President Ramotar recalled that it was the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) that first established relations with Cuba, when the country was seen as an outcast, years before diplomatic relationship was established between Guyana

and Cuba in 1972. “When we came under enormous pressure (to remove the PPP government from office in the 1960s,) when there was horrible destabilisation of our countries, when racial riots were instigated and the anticommunist reached its height, it was via Cuba that we got oil from the Soviet Union,” he stated. Ramotar said it was the PPP that was instrumental in forming the Guyana-Cuba Friendship Society to popularise and decriminalise the mentality that people had of Guyana. The Friendship Society which in later years floundered was two years ago replaced by the Guyana-Cuba Friendship Association. Today, the two countries have over 40 years of the relationship between them built on the solid foundation of dynamic political dialogue, warm mutual respect

and productive cooperation. A visit by former President Bharrat Jagdeo to Cuba and meeting with former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro led to the signing of a bilateral agreement for Guyanese to pursue scholarship studies in Cuba and return as professionals in the fields of medicine, engineering and agriculture. Cuban Ambassador Julio Gonzalez spoke of Cuba’s struggles, its historic partnership with Guyana and on the eve of Guyana’s 48th Independence Anniversary, the Ambassador pledged the continued support to Guyana on behalf of his government. A m b a s s a d o r Gonzalez expressed Cuba’s willingness to strengthen the bond of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. (Guyana Times)

PNP gearing up for local gov’t election in Jamaica Trinity Recruitment Services of Barbados has been handling the recruitment process for the Emirates Group

It gives you a chance to explore new employment opportunities and make new connections; it will give the individual an opportunity to grow–the Emirates Group is doing very well and has grown rapidly within the last few years," Scantlebury pointed out. Assisting with the interview process were the Deputy Principal of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP), Ian Drakes; Kevin Bourne, Caribbean Aircraft Handling; Beverley Rouse, Manager of Pinnacle Safety Solutions; and Apostle

Lynroy Scantlebury. Scantlebury noted that these professionals were chosen because of the wide range of positions that are available which include–Flight Attendants, Senior Maintenance Planning Assistants, Customer Service Professionals, Ground Support, as well as positions for Auto Mechanics and Auto Electricians. She further stressed that the Emirates Group was seeking well-rounded individuals, 21 years and over who are ready to work. (Barbados Advocate)


ORT ANTONIO, JAMAICA: The ruling People's National Party in Jamaica is getting ready for the next Local government election which is constitutionally due next March. Following the completion of the Party’s Region Two regional meeting at the Port Antonio High School on Sunday, Dr Morais Guy disclosed that "Party is fine-tuning its list of candidates and getting ready for the March poll.” Dr Guy further stated that "while the Party has candidates in most constituencies/divisions they were finetuning the Party's elec-

The People's National Party in Jamaica is fine-tuning its list of candidates for Local Government Election

tion machinery as we are always prepared. We are making sure the Selection and Integrity committees are in place to ensure that the persons and candidates we offer for public office are

proper, fit and ready to represent the Party and government.” The meeting also ratified the appointment of Paul Burke as general secretary of the Party. (Jamaica Observer)

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014




News |

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

Jamaicans form private equity firm on Wall St


EW YORK, U.S.: Flush with US$30 million in capital to invest, a group of Jamaican bankers and investors has set up shop on Wall Street where they plan to give Caribbean investors close access to the global capital markets. Commonwealth Partners, which is led by former Financial Services Commission (FSC) head, Rohan Barnett, has already partnered with an existing broker dealer outfit in New York and a Cayman-based pension fund administrator. What's more, the U.S.-incorporated private equity firm is on the verge of finalising a deal that will see it recapitalise and partner with a Jamaican-based financial services institution. "We will utilise our numerous local and overseas relationships to grow our funding base and deliver the financial services model that the market is demanding," Barnett told Jamaican media. The newly-formed company's primary focus will be on acquisition of hard assets both in the Caribbean and the U.S., as well as developing an

Rohan Barnett (second right), general partner and chairman of Commonwealth Partners, chief financial officer, Weldon Maddan (right), and directors, Paul Simpson (left), and Wayne Seaton on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) (Jamaica Observer photo)

investment portfolio targeted at highly-rated emerging market opportunities. No doubt the investment house's stance on raising funds is reflected by its inclusion on the board of the 30-yearold rainmaker, Paul Simpson, who led Proven Investments' first US$10-million rights issue after co-leading the largest private placement in the Caribbean, which saw Proven raise US$20 million. Commonwealth's board and management also includes Jamaicans who are veteran bankers in the U.S., such as Director Wayne Seaton

and chief financial officer, Weldon Maddan, who had 12 years experience with Citigroup North America. The strategic alliance with the Cayman Fund administrator gives Commonwealth a customer base and a platform which spreads into several Caribbean markets, while the soon-tobe-acquired stake in the Jamaican financial services institution gives the Cayman entity a toehold in the fund administration business in Jamaica. Tying them all back to the brokerage in the U.S. positions Commonwealth as an

integrated financial services platform which

gives investors in the Caribbean and among

its Diaspora direct access to the global capital markets, while enabling them to increase their participation in capital market opportunities back in the region. With growing appetite regionally for exposure to U.S. capital markets and alternatives to sovereign fixed income products, Commonwealth also plans to deliver a suite of products specifically tailored to the needs of the un-banked and under-banked segments of the Caribbean Diaspora in North America. (Jamaica Observer)

Chikungunya detected in Guyana


E R B I C E , G U Y A N A : Health Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran on Tuesday revealed that two cases of Chikungunya have been identified in Guyana. The cases were from Canje, Berbice, and authorities have since dispatched a five-member medical team to the area. The minister explained that after there was an outbreak of the disease in the Caribbean, steps were taken by the Health Ministry to monitor the situation in Guyana. He said the ministry quietly engaged in a countrywide campaign, which saw medical staff at the various health centres and hospitals being informed to look out for Chikungunya symptoms in patients. The ports of

Guyana’s Health Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran

entry were also warned to look out for the disease. A report was made that there was an increase of cases with Chikungunya-like symptoms in New Amsterdam and samples retrieved were sent to a lab in

Trinidad for testing. A total of 84 suspected cases were identified; however, only 30 samples were sent to Trinidad. Saturday, eight case reports were returned, and two samples were positive for Chikungunya. One of the cases is from Cumberland and the other from Canefield, both in Canje. These cases involve a four-year-old child and a 40-year-old woman. Dr Ramsaran noted that now that the infected area has been identified, his ministry is working along with the Region Six officials to provide more protection to residents. There have been heightened fogging and vector control exercises not only in Berbice but in Georgetown as well. (Excepted from Guyana Times)

Fourteen-year-old student stabbed to death in Jamaica during fight over lover


T JAMES, JAMAICA: A 17-year-old female student from Granville, St James, is now in police custody for the stab-

bing death of a 14-yearold girl. The police say 14-year-old Ashley Morris was attacked by a student of the Maldon High School.

The two young girls were reportedly fighting over a lover. The incident occurred about 10:30 Tuesday night. (Jamaica Gleaner)

13 PM Kamla says firm ‘no’ to early elections in TT T News

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014 |

RINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar over the weekend pledged the start of new projects and the continuation of economic growth which she indicated will create in excess of 30,000 jobs over six years, as the People’s Partnership government marked four years in office. At a rally held at Mid Centre Mall, Chaguanas, the Prime Minister also announced an audit of the Ministry of Sport’s Life Sport programme and said the programme would be shifted to the Ministry of National Security. Persad-Bissessar’s speech came one day after a joint PNM/tradeunion march against the government calling for a general election. However, the Prime Minister was defiant and once more pledged there would be no early general election. In a no holds

the past regime, a current list of what she said were achievements, and goals for the future.

New investments

United National Congress (UNC) supporters in Trinidad express their support for UNC political leader and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar outside of Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre last Friday (TT Newsday photo)

barred address, she hit back at Rowley. “Listen Mr Wannabe Prime Minister, no early elections. We will call it when it is due. The march buss. Mr Rowley I serve notice tonight, if you think I foolish like the PNM to call an election before time, I am not taking any basket! No elections before they

are due, none!” the Prime Minister declared. She stated too, “small vested interest groups, powerful groups,” were opposing the government with tactics of “divide and rule,” but gave no details. With a general election constitutionally due by 2015, PersadBissessar focused on a message looking back to

Teenager charged with murder of nine-year-old in Jamaica


T JAMESJAMAICA: The police in Jamaica have charged a 15-yearold boy with the murder of nine-year-old St James schoolboy Romaine Robinson. The accused boy's name cannot be released because he is under the age of 18. Romaine was found last Thursday stabbed to death in the Plantation

Heights community in Cambridge, St James. The grade-three student at the Bickersteth Primary School was found by a resident who stumbled upon his bloodied body which was tied up in bushes. The body had stab wounds to the neck. It is reported that the accused teen, who also resides in Plantation Heights, fought with the

Search continues in Guyana for abducted baby


E R B I C E GUYANA: Since the disappearance of 10-day-old baby “Avinash” in Guyana, family members and villagers have joined in the search with the hope of recovering the abducted infant. The baby of Number 60 Village, Corentyne was last seen in the company a woman who told the family her name was “Bibi Khan”, a name very popular in Guyana and is believed to be fictitious. The woman befriended the mother of the infant, Sandra McLean, also known as “Pinky”, telling her that she has a special interest in the baby. She lured McLean to Rose Hall Town, Corentyne and eventually to Port Mourant Market under the guise of buying stuff for the baby’s Ninth Day celebration. At the market, she

The infant reportedly kidnapped

put to work a carefully orchestrated plan and made good her escape with the baby. At the time, she was wearing a Black “Khemar” most likely to disguise herself, with a red short sleeved shirt and a blue skirt, knee high. She was also wearing glasses at the time. The Police are continuing their investigation. (Guyana Times)

nine-year-old boy before killing him. The teenager is to appear before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate’s Court later this week. (Jamaica Gleaner)

The Prime Minister announced the start, in San Fernando, of construction of a “5– Star Hotel, Convention Centre & Administrative Building”. “We propose to use 30 acres of land in the vicinity of the Tarouba stadium to construct an 18 storey administrative complex, in addition to a modern convention centre, the first to be built in our independence history,” the UNC politi-

cal leader said. “This site will be in proximity to the Pointe-a- Pierre Petrotrin facility, minutes away from a shopping mall and entertaining centre at Tarouba and along the new highway to Point Fortin, which we will complete.” Persad-Bissessar continued, “To complete this signature complex we propose to enhance business in the oil belt from Point Lisas to Point Fortin with the construction of a modern five star hotel, long awaited by the people of south Trinidad. This hotel will be integrated with the

Convention centre.” The Prime Minister said new jobs would be created as a result. “This new economic zone will create a further 2,000 permanent jobs in the administrative, hospitality and entertainment sectors,” she said. Persad-Bissessar also announced a housing rehabilitation programme for the State’s housing stock, called the “I Live Here” programme. She said this programme, which will be funded by the State to the tune of TT$100 million, would employ 500. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)


News | WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

Over 20,000 screened for cervical cancer in Guyana since 2007

No sabotage in Trinidad oil spills - report

In this TT Newsday file photo, fisherman Gopaul Balkissoon uses a stick to lift a net covered with oil which was being washed ashore at Queen Beach, La Brea, from a Petrotrin oil spill last December


Nine of the 17 Guyanese doctors participating in the Master’s Degree Programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Guyana Times photo)

UYANA: More than 20,000 women in Guyana have been screened for cervical cancer since 2007, former Regional Health Services Director Dr Narine Singh disclosed on Sunday. In February, the Health Ministry reported that cancer is the third leading cause of mortality in the country with Ischemic heart diseases coming at second and cerebrovascular diseases at number one. Prostate, breast, lung and cervical cancers are the main categories affecting the Guyanese population. But it was keen on pointing out that Guyana has the third highest rate of cervical cancer in the Western Hemisphere. Speaking at Our Lady of Fatima Parish Hall on

the topic “The Challenge of Cervical Cancer”, Dr Singh said the Health Ministry has been aggressively tackling the issue. He explained that the Health Ministry has been capitalising on preventative measures such as immunisation and screening. According to him, more young women are undergoing the visual inspection using Acetic Acid (VIA). According to Dr Singh, the Guyanese public is now responding positively to the administration of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine to young girls. When it was introduced by the Health Ministry in 2011 under the leadership of the then Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy, many parents had responded

negatively towards the initiative. The HPV vaccine is said to prevent cervical cancer. In addition to the interactive session on cervical cancer, some of the obstetrics and gynaecology resident doctors were introduced, one of whom hails from Nigeria and another from Antigua. The Georgetown Public Hospital Residency Master’s Degree Programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology is being facilitated in collaboration with the Case Western University Hospital Cleveland, Ohio. The programme, which is in its third year, has six firstyear resident doctors and six second-year students, with the remaining five in their third year. At the end of their fourth

year, the medical certificate will be issued by the University of Guyana, which is also a partner in this initiative. Director of the residency Master’s Degree Programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr Margaret LarkinsPettigrew, who is based at the Case Western University Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, was also present at the seminar, in addition to senior Georgetown Public Hospital official, Dr Ruth Derkenne. The seminar was organised by Bishop Francis Alleyne and Monsignor Terrence Montrose of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Georgetown in collaboration with the Georgetown Public Hospital. (Guyana Times)


RINIDAD: An interim report prepared by the National Environmental Assessment Task Force has unearthed no evidence of sabotage in relation to the oil spills in Trinidad—involving Petrotrin and energy facilities—which affected southwest Trinidad last December. The interim report, which was submitted to Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Ganga Singh last Friday, was due to be tabled in Cabinet this week. It is understood that the interim report contains findings of fact as well as several recommendations. However, it is understood that no evidence of sabotage has been unearthed, based on the materials before the task force. “An interim report

was submitted (last) Friday afternoon. There are several recommendations and findings, but it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage,” Singh told TT media Monday. The Task Force was appointed in February in the wake of almost a dozen oil spills which, across various sites, saw in excess of 7,000 barrels of fuel oil spill into the Gulf of Paria. Minister of Energy Kevin Ramnarine, in the wake of the spills, announced that one Petrotrin contractor, Trinity Oil, had reported sabotage to the police in relation to its Rancho Quemado operations. Petrotrin was fined TT$20 million by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) in relation to the spills. (TT Newsday)



WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014 |

National Security Minister knocks U.S. video on crime in TT


RINIDAD AND T O B A G O : National Security Minister Gary G riffith has knocked a documentary produced by a U.S. online news organisation, saying it does not give a true sense of Trinidad. Vice News has produced a 23-minute documentary, titled ‘Corruption, Cocaine and Murder in Trinidad’. It has been shared and viewed thousands of times via social media. Griffith, who indicated that he had seen the video, said it gave a sense of gloom and doom when that was not the case. “It focused specifically on a small percentage which is causing fear among the 90 percent of the law-abiding citizens. Serious crimes, including woundings and shootings, have gone down dramatically,” Griffith said. He admitted murders still posed a challenge to the police but assured they were doing all they could to hunt down criminals and bring them to justice. He added: “The police have been doing an excellent job and on a daily basis have been recovering a large number of illegal arms and ammu-

Climate change park for Jamaica

J TT’s National Security Minister Gary Griffith (TT Guardian file photo)

nition. We still have to crack the murders and go straight to the source. He said he intended to “rip out the fangs” of gang leaders who have access to state funding as they were using the money only to fuel gang violence and the drug trade.” On the issue of bribes being taken by the Coast Guard, as alleged in the video, Lieut Commander Kirk Jean-Baptiste said the organisation did not condone that. Urging anyone with such information to go to the police, Jean-Baptiste added: “We trust they will do this in the best interest of national security so the allegations could be properly investigated, as opposed to just making blanket statements.” (Excerpted from TT Guardian)

AMAICA: Last Friday, 15 acres of open lot across from the Portmore Mall in Jamaica was unveiled as the site for a climate change park. It is a joint venture between the city of Hagen in Germany and the municipality of Portmore in St Catherine, and is one of several projects to be completed under the Municipal Climate Partnership Programme. Hagen and Portmore were twinned in 2012 during the second term of Mayor George Lee, who died last year while in office. No date has yet been set for the completion of the facility, but last Friday, German ambassador Josef Beck, representatives from central and local government and an outpouring of Labour Day volunteers started the process by planting 100 Lignum Vitae, Blue Mahoe, Mahogany and Poui trees along the area's periphery. As acting Portmore mayor Leon Thomas explained it, the park will be a virtual poster child in the fight against climate change as it will feature rainwater har-

German ambassador to Jamaica Josef Beck (left) and Jamaica’s Climate Change Minister Robert Pickersgill shake hands at the unveiling of the sign declaring the open lot across from the Portmore Mall the site of the Climate Change Park last Friday (Jamaica Observer photo)

vesting, solar and wind power, and an underground wastewater treatment plant which will be used for irrigation. It will also feature a jogging trail, a water fountain, and park benches. Thomas said he and a team will be journeying to Hagen in July to iron out the details of the agreement as, at the moment, only a "concept" exists. "The Germans were here in March and they planted a few trees so this is our way of saying

to the Germans: 'We're ready and we are serious on our side'," the acting mayor said, adding that an announcement regarding the details will be made by year-end or next January. Environment and climate change minister Robert Pickersgill said the park will address both the mitigation and adaptation aspects of climate change. "…There will be roof gardens on the buildings. There is an amphitheatre in which there will be performances. In fact, the site has been

identified as the venue for an international reggae climate change festival which is a public education and awareness tool for climate change that will showcase national and international artistes over a two-day period," Pickersgill said. In addition, he said the entrance to the park will house a museum which will reflect the history and culture of Portmore and Hagen, as well as a climate change exhibition on mitigation and adaptation projects in both cities. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)


News | week ending May 29, 2014

PM Kamla’s rating steady as Rowley climbs in popularity - Nacta


RINIDAD AND TOBAGO: A North American Caribbean Teachers Association (Nacta) poll has found that the approval rating of Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar has remained steady four years after her victory, while the approval rating of Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has been climbing. The findings of the poll were obtained from interviews with 540 respondents (44 percent Indians, 36 percent Africans, 19 percent Mixed, and one percent Others) and was con-

ducted over the last week by Dr Vishnu Bisram. It said PersadBissessar’s popularity was 25 percent higher than Rowley’s in June 2010, however, the recent poll showed “the ruling People’s Partnership government has been struggling to retain its political support from 2010 when it comprehensively defeated the then ruling PNM.” The poll showed that although the PP has slipped, the PM’s approval rating remains relatively strong and had improved, “as a result of positive response from

TT’s Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley (TT Guardian file photos)

the population to the tough actions she took to discipline errant ministers, chairs, CEOs of government corporations,

TT’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

and members of several boards.” However, since 2010, the PNM has been rebuilding under Rowley who claimed a landslide victory at the PNM’s in-

ternal elections. Persad-Bissessar’s approval rating for her performance as PM was 49 percent with a disapproval rating of 38 percent, and 13 percent offering no opinion. Rowley’s performance as Opposition Leader, it said, was 47 percent with 39 percent disapproving, and 14 percent saying they were not sure. The poll has found growing disenchantment over the performance of the government, with voters losing confidence in the PP’s ability to address violent crime and the cost of living. It said

93 percent view crime as the leading issue, “with the murder of Dana Seetahal uppermost in people’s minds.” The government’s approval rating, it said, was down to 38 percent with a disapproval index of 44 percent and 18 percent not offering a response. The poll has, however, showed “that any challenge to unseat PersadBissessar as UNC leader will not be successful as government supporters still express faith and confidence in her leadership and want to see her re-elected.” (TT Guardian)

Jamaica Cannabis conference urges quick action on ganja decriminalisation


AMAICA: The first Jamaica Cannabis Conference ended at the University of the West Indies, Mona on Saturday, with a declaration from participants that the government immediately put in place a road map, of no more than 120 days, to deal with the decriminalisation issues. The conference, boasting a high-level list of international speakers concerned with medical cannabis and other relat-

ed issues, from Jamaica, Israel, Canada, China and the United States, declared that no "meaningful results", in terms of legislative reforms, had emerged from various parliamentary committees and consultations which have been pursued. The participants, therefore, called on the government to create the road map to immediately expunge the criminal record of all Jamaicans who have been convicted

for the smoking and for the possession of small amounts non-compressed ganja. It also wants to see amendments to the relevant laws so that ganja is decriminalised for the private, personal use of small quantities by adults and for it to be fully recognised as a sacramental rights of the Rastafari community to use ganja in their homes and places of worship. It further called for the establish-

ment of a sustained allmedia, all-schools education programme, aimed at demand reduction and that its target should be, in the main, young people. The declaration called for the establishment of a properly regulated medical cannabis industry that incorporates cultivation, agro processing and other relevant ingredients critical for its success as well as to significantly increase the penalties for all illegal exportation, and

persons found with compressed ganja, so as not to allow this illegality to contaminate the tremendous potential of a regulated medical cannabis industry. The participants also agreed, in principle, and endorsed the Submission on the Rights of Ganja Usage (Updated document, Thursday 22nd May, 2014) by the Rastafarian Millennium Council, and generally supported by representa-

tives of the Rastafarian Community present. "We fully support the Conference Theme, 'Wake up Jamaica, Our Opportunities are Slipping Away', and strongly urge our legislators to act expeditiously, and not fall prey to undue caution, legalism and conservatism, or trying to get a 'picture- perfect' solution, leading to inaction," the declaration from the conference said. (Jamaica Observer)



week ending May 29, 2014 |

Guyana expands Portuguese Elderly American citizen in school’s curriculum acted as money mule for

lotto scammers in Jamaica



A section of the gathering at the launch of a Portuguese training programme for Guyanese teachers (Guyana Times photo)

UYANA: The Education Ministry of Guyana last Friday launched a Portuguese training programme for teachers that will be implemented into the foreign language curriculum in 21 secondary schools. The programme will run for approximately 12 weeks and is designed in three phases, the first of which will cover all of the topics while the other two will be used as interactive and revision sessions for the participants. This programme will see 36 teachers being trained in this area. These sessions, which will commence in two weeks, will be held at the National Centre for Educational Resources Development (NCERD), twice weekly. After each phase of the programme, the participants will undergo an assessment which will aid the administrators in identifying weaknesses and strengths. These individuals, after being trained, will be the first to prepare the initial batch of students in the Caribbean to sit the subject at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) examinations. Speaking at the opening ceremony, which was held at the Theatre Guild, Deputy Chief Education Officer Doodmattie Singh highlighted that the ministry last year introduced Portuguese into six schools, but this

was limited to Central Georgetown because of the lack of trained professionals to deliver the curriculum. However, this will no longer be a challenge due to the implementation of this programme. In 2013, the language subject was introduced to Queen’s College, the Bishops’ High, St Stanislaus College, St Roses High, Saint Joseph High and North Georgetown Secondary. It will now be expanded to Regions Three, Four, Five, Eight, Nine and 10.


The schools targeted in these regions are Region Three, Zeeburg and West Demerara Secondary; Region Four, Hope, Annandale, Diamond Secondary and President’s College; Region Five, Rosignol and Bygeval Secondary; Region Eight, Mahdia Secondary; Region Nine, St Ignatius Secondary; and Region 10, MacKenzie Secondary. The students of Grades Seven and Eight and in some cases Nine will be exposed to this new language. The introduction of this language to Guyanese will not only build the selfconfidence of the persons persuing their studies in this area, but will also expand their job opportunities. It will also strengthen Guyana’s relationship with Portuguese-speaking countries such as one of its closest neighbours, Brazil. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

Several Caribbean countries get EU visa waiver


RINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Trinidad and Tobago is among 19 countries, including countries in the Caribbean and Pacific, for which the European Union (EU) has lifted visa requirements when travelling to the Schenegen zone in Europe. The Schenegen zone covers 25 countries. According to the Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council which was released Monday, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago are five Caribbean countries that will benefit from the visa waivers. The other countries from the western hemisphere are Colombia and Peru. From other regions are Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu. The report said in February the colegislators reached an agreement on amending the Regulation 539/2001 to lift the visa obligation for citizens of 16 small Caribbean and Pacific island nations, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Peru and Colombia.

The European Union has lifted visa requirements for several countries when travelling to the Schenegen zone in Europe

This amendment, the report said, “will enter into force before mid-June, but effective visa-free travel for nationals of these countries will only become a reality once visa waiver agreements between the EU and each of the countries enter into force.” A release from the EU council said, “This exemption will come into force only when bilateral agreements on visa waivers between the union and the countries concerned have been concluded in order to ensure full reciprocity.” (TT Newsday)

O N T E G O BAY, ST J A M E S JAMAICA: A Jamaican man, who allegedly employed a 70-year-old American woman to collect and convey proceeds from the lottery scam from her country to Jamaica, is one of two persons recently charged with breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transaction) (Special Provisions) Act. The two accused have been identified as 22-year-old Sheldon Bigbie of Medley, Hanover and 25-yearold Marshall Lamey of Rhyne Park, St James. Corporal Kevin Watson, media liaison and communication officer for the lottery scam task force, said since money transfer services have restricted the amount of cash transferable, persons have been recruited by fraudsters to collect gains from the lucrative scheme abroad, among other new strategies employed. Corporal Watson reported that earlier this month, the elderly U.S. national, who is a past victim of the scam, was one of two persons held at the Sangster International Airport with large sums of U.S. currency, in two separate incidents. The elderly woman, who arrived at the

The elderly U.S. national was one of two persons held at the Sangster International Airport with large sums of U.S. currency, in two separate incidents

airport on May 13, was searched by the Customs Enforcement team, and US$10,000, which she allegedly took for Bigbie, was found in her possession. Bigbie allegedly told the police he was in an intimate relationship with the senior citizen. "The 70-year-old woman, who was a victim of the lotto scam is now suspectedly acting as a money mule," Corporal Watson told Jamaican media. Two days later, the Customs Enforcement team also reportedly held Lamey, shortly after he landed at the airport with US$18,000 hidden in baby wipes in his luggage. Both Bigbie and Lamey were subsequently charged with breach-

es of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transaction) (Special Provisions) Act after lottery scam paraphernalia were found at their homes by the lottery scam task force. The police say investigations reveal that the Hanover man has been involved in the scam for the past two years, while lottery scam accessories found at the accused St James man's premises date back to 2009. Bigbie is scheduled to appear in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on June 17, while Lamey is booked to appear the following day. Meanwhile, Corporal Watson said the elderly U.S. national has since been released and sent home. (Jamaica Observer)


News |

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

Private company opens multi-million dollar recycling plant in Guyana


UYANA: The C a r i b b e a n Container Inc (CCI) last Friday commissioned a Gy$44 million recycling plant at its Farm, East Bank Demerara site, in Guyana in tribute to the company’s former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Ronald Webster. CCI is a publicly traded company that operates an integrated paper recycling and corrugated box plant. Some 4000 metric tonnes of cardboard waste is recycled every year with supplies from Guyana and other Caribbean countries. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the company’s new Chief Executive Officer Patricia Bacchus said the entity has been facing some major challenges with production capacity. The shortage of supplies of old corrugated cardboard locally, has been a great setback for the company. According to her, the issue has been costing the company huge sums of monies to import the cardboards to Guyana. “In light of this, the

Widow of the late Ronald Webster, Bibi Webster cuts the ribbon to commission the new recycling plant

company’s strategy is twofold. The first involves extending our private initiatives for local waste cardboard collection.” The second, she noted is embodied in the setting up of collection points in and around the capital. Speaking to the first initiative, Bacchus said the company had previously depended on over

15 suppliers to collect the cardboard waste. However, it has now resorted to supplement such strategy, through collaboration with private waste disposal companies. The new CEO said that the company has also embarked on a new strategy to optimise its recycling capacity, by examining ways by which it

could recover fibre from non-traditional sources, separate from the old corrugated cardboard. “In this regard,” she stated, “the Tetra Pak Recycling Project was the perfect fit. Under this project, Tetra Pak, the world’s leading manufacturer of food processing and packaging solutions, provided the main recycling equipment.” The CEO said that other franchise holders including the makers of Pine Hill, Nestle and Topco have already begun supplying their Tetra Pak waste to CCI for recycling. The Tetra Pak will provide CCI with the capacity to recycle Tetra Pak aseptic packaging waste, comprising layers of paper and poly-aluminum. The plant will yield high strength fibre that will be added to CCI’s paper recycling process to enhance the quality of paper produced. Phase two of the venture involves the supply and installation of equipment to convert the poly-aluminum component into a value-added product. (Guyana Times)

National holiday for TT’s First Peoples under review T RINIDAD AND T O B A G O : Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration Rodger Samuel said a request by the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community for a one-off holiday on October 14 in Trinidad and Tobago will be considered. “There has been a verbal request. I am not too sure of a formal request in writing. I have recommended to the Chief (Ricardo Bharath Hernandez) that they do a formal request in writing so that we can pursue it,” he said. The request for the holiday was raised last Thursday at the Santa Rosa Community Centre in Arima where the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community held a programme to celebrate the 24th anniversary of recognition of the community. Hernandez previously told TT media that the First Peoples national holiday is meant to increase awareness about the history and activities of TT’s indigenous peo-

PNP mourns killing of prominent activist in Jamaica


ONTEGO BAY, ST JAMESJAMAICA: The killing of prominent People's National Party (PNP) activist Kenley 'Bebe' Stephens in Jamaica has left the party's organisation in St James in shock. Stephens was killed at his gate Sunday eve-

Stephens made a meaningful contribution to the party. "Like most persons, we are saddened by his passing. He has made significant contribution to the PNP, through the youth organisation and the West Central St James constituency," Dr Duncan reflected.

Kenley ‘Bebe’ Stephens riding a horse last Friday during Labour Day activities carried out by members of the West Central St James constituency, at the Granville Police Station (Jamaica Observer/Alan Lewin photo)

ning, hours after attending a meeting of the party's Regional Executive Council in Montego Bay in the parish. He was the vice-chairman of the West Central St James constituency. According to a release from the Corporate Communication Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, at about 8:35 Sunday evening, Stephens—accompanied by two other men—was about to enter his car at his gate on the upscale Winchester Terrace, Coral Gardens, when he was approached by a man who shot him repeatedly. He was taken to hospital where he died while undergoing treatment. The other two men were not harmed. The shooter, meanwhile, escaped from the area on foot. Detectives from the St James police division are investigating the incident. Monday, party officials mourned the killing with chairman of the PNP's Region Six, Dr DK Duncan, remarking that

Meanwhile, West Central Member of Parliament Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams noted that Stephens was not only a party man, but a zealous community worker. "We are very shocked and hurt at his sudden and violent death. We are concerned about the horrific way in which our young men are dying, not only in St James, but in the nation," Folkes-Abrahams told the media. "He was at the Regional Executive Council in Montego Bay on Sunday and the Labour Day project (on Friday) where he was there joking around and riding a horse. He has always been enthusiastic about community activities. He will be sadly missed," FolkesAbrahams lamented Meanwhile, in a release from the PNP secretariat--which extended condolences to Stephens' relatives and friends--the need for a sustained fight on crime was articulated. (Jamaica Observer)

Trinidad/Venezuela ferry service to stop from June 1

T The Santa Rosa First Peoples Community has requested a one-off holiday on October 14 in Trinidad and Tobago (TT Newsday file photo)

ples and is meant to coincide with the last year of the United Nations Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People. Samuel, speaking with the media last week, recalled the request was first made last October at the 13th Annual First Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago Heritage Day, held at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, O’Meara Campus.

He noted the idea has been discussed by his ministry’s First Peoples’ Development Committee. “We all know that the First Peoples are important to the nation,” he added. Hernandez had also reported that the First Peoples groups have had no update since last year from the Red House Cultural Heritage Team, chaired by House Speaker Wade Mark.

The team was appointed by Cabinet to manage aspects of the historical find of remains and artifacts of indigenous people unearthed in March 2013 during construction work on the Red House. First Peoples Groups have requested that part or all of the Red House be deemed a historical site. Samuel said he did not have an update and would have to investigate the issue. (TT Newsday)

RINIDAD: The ferry service from Trinidad to Venezuela will no longer operate from next month, owing to the economic instability in the Latin American country. A representative from Pier 1, which ran the service, said the decision came after a consistent decline in passenger numbers. At TT$690 a ticket, the service was the most affordable option for people seeking to visit Venezuela. The C/ Prowler ferry service, which sailed between Pier 1, Chaguaramas, and Guiria, Venezuela,

every Wednesday, will be suspending its weekly service with effect from June 1. In addition, a newspaper report last Tuesday said the island’s postal service also had been suspended. According to the Venezuelan publication El Universal, workers at the Venezuelan postal service, Ipostel, went on strike to demand payment of their wages. El Universal also reported that since December there have been over 25 tonnes of undelivered international mail at the Ipostel headquarters in San Martín, Venezuela. (TT Guardian)



WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014 |

More support for Dookeran Confucius Institute opens to lead COP in TT at the University of Guyana


RINIDAD: Just over a month before the Congress of the People (COP) holds its internal elections, five more constituencies are endorsing the return of Winston Dookeran to take command of the party. Chairmen from four constituencies say there is too much division and infighting within the party and only Dookeran, who has across-the-board appeal, can bring about the stability needed to guide the party into the 2015 general election. The COP is the second largest member of the Prime Minister Kamla P e rs a d - B is s e s s a r -led government. The five have attached their signatures to a letter, issued Monday, calling for its current leader Prakash Ramadhar, who is also the Minister of Legal Affairs in the People’s Partnership government, to stand aside and let Dookeran assume the leadership position once

Winston Dookeran (TT Newsday file photo)

more. They have made it clear they are doing so in their personal capacities. “Today, more than ever, the COP and the country need personalities who represent stability, respect and integrity,” the signed letter said. It added: “It is common knowledge that for quite some time all has not been well within the COP. There has been much division and infighting. Members of the party have the highest level of respect for Mr Dookeran.

“We are confident that should he return as leader, his return would have a calming and uniting effect on the party and allow it to focus on the delivery of decent and responsible governance.” The letter continued that throughout Dookeran’s career in public life, he had displayed “the highest level of sobriety, intellectualism and caring, as well as pure and honest leadership.” COP’s nomination day is June 6 at the party’s Operation’s Centre, Charlieville. A COP source said several other members are interested in contesting the leadership of the party only if Dookeran refused to accept the challenge. “Right now the calls are becoming more numerous and the voices are getting louder. Once Mr Dookeran accepts, the other challengers will stand aside,” the source added. (TT Guardian)

IDB creating opportunities for Jamaica's youth


(From left) A student at the Clarendon Youth Information Centre has the keen attention of IDB Country Representative Therese Turner Jones; Cynthia Hobbs, senior education specialist at the IDB; and Melvin Smith, executive director of National Youth Service (Jamaica Observer photo)

AMAICA: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has invested in several initiatives designed to engender growth and employment for Jamaica's youth. The Clarendon Youth Information Centre (YIC) and National Youth Service (NYS) parish office, officially opened in Clarendon on May 16, is only "one step in the IDB's partnership with the government of Jamaica in creating opportunities for young people", IDB Country Representative Therese Turner Jones has said. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Tuner Jones stated that the IDB believes that Jamaica's youth can achieve if they receive the right support, including a nurturing en-

vironment. To do this she said, "the IDB has supported a number of studies to better understand what they need, how they feel, what their worries and concerns are, what is holding them back and what motivates them." She added that in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Culture, "the IDB financed a situation analysis to determine the status, needs and prospects of the youth population". "A gap analysis looked at how current programmes are meeting these needs and an electronic youth programme inventory was developed to identify what exists and to encourage more collaboration and avoid duplication," she explained. The findings of these

studies inform the programmes of the YIC and NYS as well as the updated national youth policy to be approved this year. The IDB, Turner Jones said, also brought an international expert to Jamaica to meet with all the Youth Empowerment Officers from across the country. Turner Jones pointed to an International Labour Organisation (ILO) study, which showed that nearly 40 percent of Jamaica's young are poor, lack finances to finish school or training programmes, 61 percent of those surveyed spent one year or more looking for stable employment once out of school and unemployed youth are close to 40 percent, the highest of any category. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Limin presenting books to University of Guyana Vice Chancellor, Professor Jacob Opadeyi (Guyana Times photo)


U Y A N A : P r e s i d e n t Donald Ramotar has hailed the opening of the Confucius Institute at the University of Guyana as another example of the close and valued relationship between Guyana and China. The President noted that the relationship has been productive in politics, engineering, economics and culture. Explaining that the new facility will serve to inform Guyanese, the President said that the theme of enlightenment holds special significance for Guyana, as it did in the time of the renowned philosopher and teacher whom it is named after. He noted too that Guyana has had a long history of distinguished Guyanese of Chinese lineage such as its first President Arthur Chung and Parliamentarian and Educator Rudy Luck. In brief remarks, the Chinese Ambassador Zhang Limin said the institute will serve to inform and promote his country’s culture, and

thanked all of those who made it a reality. The Ambassador also handed over a quantity of books to the institute. The programme offered through a new faculty of the university contains four courses, comprising a three-year programme.

Fully accredited

The programme is fully accredited and is available as part of the degree programme. There are currently 272 students enrolled and this number exceeded what was initially expected due to the trend of less persons electing to study foreign languages. This has put great pressure on available classroom space and the lecturers. These include Chinese Director Ma Toa, Tie Zhiya and Peng Zhe, who conduct classes in languages and the Taichi Martial Art. In addition to attracting immigration officers and members of the public service, Chinese nationals who speak other dialects and wish to learn standard Mandarin are taking up studies.

The Confucius Institute is a joint venture with UG, Dalian University of Foreign Languages and Hanban. The latter, Hanban, the Office of Chinese Language Council International, is affiliated with the Chinese Education Ministry and serves as the Confucius Institute headquarters. It sponsors Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms around the world. It also provides resources to Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms in support of teaching and learning Chinese language and culture. It is the official Chinese language teaching and cultural centre, as well as Chineserelated information centre in Guyana. By January of 2012, there were 322 Confucius Institutes and 500 Confucius Classrooms in 105 countries/regions. Confucius (551479 BC) was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. (Guyana Times)


feature |

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014


EORGETOWN, G U Y A N A : The National Cultural Centre (NCC) erupted just after midnight on Monday, as the audience rebelled against the judges’ decision to crown Rafieya Husain, Miss World Guyana 2014, instead of the highly favoured Ayana Whitehead. The evening, which was riddled with technical glitches and poor organisation, ended in an uproar with the majority of patrons voicing their displeasure with not only the poor quality of the pageant but ultimately, the decision by the judges to crown Husain queen. Some sections of the audience thought that the decision was taken before the actual pageant was held, as seemed to be the case in the Miss Guyana Universe 2013 pageant, where Whitehead came in as first runner-up to

Rafieya Husain, Miss World Guyana 2014, flanked by first runnerup Atisha Gaskill (left) and Denicia Williams (right)

Katherina Roshana. Loud outbursts followed by the abrupt exit of patrons notwithstanding, the judges’ decision, as always, was still final. The newly crowned Miss World Guyana will represent Guyana in London for the international pageant, where she will compete against 139 other delegates for a

shot at the Miss World title. The 23-year-old queen also copped the Beauty with a Purpose Award as well as the Missology People’s Choice Award. Apart from capturing the judges’ hearts with her well-executed Indian contemporary dance as her talent piece, Husain

took to the stage with a body-hugging evening gown designed by Lauraine Welch, which accentuated her petite figure perfectly. She also stunned in her swimsuit, but it was Atisha Gaskill who owned the swimsuit segment without a doubt, working the stage well as she executed her rou-

tine effortlessly to the music. Moments after being crowned, Husain said that she worked hard and would have brought her 'A' game on pageant night, as she saw all the contestants as strong competitors. She promised to work with various organisations to fight the scourge of domestic violence, by tackling it from the grassroots level. In addition, she is optimistic that she has what it takes to bring home the Miss World crown later in the year. The newly-crowned queen noted that in any competition, the judges’ decision is final and even


she too was shocked at being selected queen. The elated queen will now have a few months to prepare for the international pageant. Coming in as first runner-up was Atisha Gaskill who also copped the beach beauty and fitness awards, followed by Denicia Williams and rounding off the top four was Miss Region Six, Ayana Whitehead who was awarded the best talent prize for her dramatic presentation on suicide. Miss Region Nine, Tiffany Megnath copped the best interview prize and Miss Region Seven, Gericia Francis copped the multimedia video award. (Guyana Times)

Jamaican entertainer Queen Ifrica (Jamaica Observer file photo)

A M A I C A : Jamaican entertainer Queen Ifrica, who was advertised to headline an event at the Amazura Concert Hall in Queens, New York last Saturday evening, was barred from performing, due to mounting pressure from the gay community. The decision followed protest action in Queens last Friday by more than one hundred persons, claiming her music is homophobic. According the New York Daily News, the protest was led by openly gay City Councilman Daniel Dromm. "We don't need homophobic people like her coming to Queens to spread their message of hate," he was quoted as saying. President of the Caribbean Alliance for Equality, Jason LattyTravis, one of the organisers of the protest said anti gay lyrics have been influencing violence against homosexuals. Describing it as “a very, very good decision,” Latty-Travis, who is Jamaican-born, asserted that Ifrica, not being able to perform in New York, “will save

lives…especially at a time when there is a spike in violence among the LGBT community in New York.” According to LattyTravis, while the justification of free speech or assertion of one’s religious belief, is often offered for speaking out against homosexuality, it must be understood that words and actions have consequences. Queen Ifrica, whose real name is Ventraice Morgan, had another performance cancelled last August. That followed her statements glorifying heterosexual marriage, during a performance at the Independence Day Grand Gala in Kingston in 2012. Last August, Ifrica was pulled from the line-up of Rastafest in Canada following protests by the gay community there. As well, Buju Banton, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence in an American prison on drug-related charges, had his concerts repeatedly cancelled due to gay protests throughout the United States. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)



WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014 |


UYANA: When the clock struck 12 midnight and Guyana celebrated its 48th Anniversary as an independent nation, the thousands of Guyanese who were gathered in the National Park in Georgetown rose to their feet as they recited the National Pledge and the National Anthem. It was indeed a moving moment for those Guyanese citizens when the Golden Arrowhead reached to the top of the flag pole and fluttered gracefully in the wind. The thousands of Guyanese who turned out to the Independence

ing me these questions, stupid questions,” sang the excited crowd when Edmondson performed his 2012 breakout single “Stupid Questions”. His performance helped put the spectators in gear for the subsequent performance of musical chairs by the Guyana Police Force.

Frenzied laughter

Fireworks lit up the night sky as the Golden Arrowhead was raised to usher in Guyana’s 48th Independence Anniversary early Monday morning (Carl Croker photo)

Guyana's President President Donald Ramotar inspects the Guard of Honour

Day celebrations were proof that despite all the political turmoil and perceived factionalism, Guyanese still loved and are proud of their country. Prior to the Golden Arrowhead being hoisted, patrons were treated to a rich cultural presentation, which wowed the crowd at the National Park. Some of the presentations included performances from renowned local poet Randolph Critchlow, Soca Monarch 2014 Kwasi “Ace” Edmondson, Calypsonian Young Bill Rogers, the Aspara dancers, the National School of Dance, the

The horse-mounted officers rode around a group of chairs, falling multiple times, sending the crowd into a frenzied laughter. The performances from the Joint Services did not end there. Shortly after the combined Police and Defence forces took

A Guard of Honour for Guyana's President Donald Ramotar on his arrival at the National Park

The presidential party looks on as the National Flag is being hoisted

Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force, and the Guyana Fire Service.

Dancers showcasing their skills

One of table was that Monarch,

the more noperformances of the Soca who proved

mance of flutes, trumpets, drums, and all the works. The Joint Services officers also stood out, as they stood at rapt attention, as President Donald Ramotar inspected the Guard of Honour. If the performers were competing, they would have come in second to the presentation from the Guyana National School of Dance. It started with a dance, showcasing the six races of Guyana. First, the Amerindians, alone in the perceived wilderness and soon after the other races fol-

that he was “Still In The Game”. “This place is crazy, all these people ask-

to the tarmac and blew the crowd away with an orchestra-like perfor-

lowed with dancers clad in green with artificial leaves, depicting the sugar cane plant. Then came the cane harvesters, singing as they arduously chopped at the sugar cane plants with their plastic cutlasses. The other races followed in succession, according to history, with each depicting the contribution made to Guyana’s societal fibre. The highlight of the performance, however, was when all of the six races took to the tarmac and together formed the number 48, drawing resounding applause from the crowd. (Guyana Times)

The Korokwa singers were a hit Sunday night


feature |

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014


AMAICA: Saint International's Styleweek came to another stunning climax with Fashionblock on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston, Jamaica, on Sunday. The event transformed the city's financial district into a fashion block with massive catwalk for all to see. "Kingston is the cultural mecca of the Caribbean and it continues to be amazing that we can hold such an event here every year so far," Deiwght Peters, CEO of the Saint International model agency, told Jamaican media. Peters indicated that the focus is now on capitalising on the wave of exposure Styleweek has given Saint International with its stable of models, and that plans are already in action to outdo the event next year. "Things don't end here. We push forward with the ambitions of our designers and models. Next year, I assure you, will be beyond anyone's imagination," Peters said. With fashion as its focus, Fashionblock hit all the targets as Saint paired heavy hitters from its roster and an eclectic

a breather as host Jerry D kept things flowing smoothly with humour and giveaways from Courts Optical. Of the musical performances, T.O.K was the clear victor over I-Octane with their quartet supplying the crowd with their brand of reggae

TT’s Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas (TT Guardian photo)


The Courts Optical moment had the ladies out of their seats

mix of fashion. Nish, New York's Donovan Depass, and TNT Fashion all made their presence felt. Most of the fashions fell into the female and swimwear categories, but few played it safe. Designers Jennifer Wiliams, Rochelle Lindsey and H.O.D were two of those that pushed the boundaries. Lindsey's inspiration was pulled from 90s dancehall and her final piece bearing a clear plastic see-through skirt had mouths open. Wiliams closed her collection out in similar style, at mesh top

showing off plenty of skin. H.O.D's went the opposite way providing superherolike methods of body coverage. The piece of the night, based on crowd response, would have to go to Kevin OBrian's rather flashy gold dress that closed out his Illusion of Luxury collection. Lots of applause came the way of the offerings from Princess Alecia Fashions, who blended traditional Jamaican, Rastafari colours with crochet-based dresses and swimwear. In between the clothing, there wasn't much of

Kevin OBrian's collection (Jamaica Observer photos)

harmonising. Observer)


Dominican Republic dominates regional tourism


OMINICAN REPUBLIC: In what Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia described as “an extraordinary year,” the Dominican Republic’s 2013 visitor numbers grew by 3.6 percent over the previous year, outpacing the entire Caribbean region, which recorded growth in tourism of only one percent. In welcoming 4.7 million tourists last year, the Dominican Republic streaked ahead of its closest rival Cuba with 2.8 million visitors over the same period, while Jamaica followed, clocking two million. Meanwhile, the Spanish-speaking country’s year-round hotel occupancy averaged 87.3 percent, “one of the highest rates in recent years,” according to Garcia. The Tourism Minister attributed the high occupancy in part to the recovery of the European economy, especially the German market, which registered a 16 percent growth in arrivals last year. Not content to rest on its laurels, the country has set a target of 10 million annual visitors within the decade, with Garcia

Music school for at-risk youth in Trinidad

Dominican Republic’s 2013 visitor numbers grew by 3.6 percent over the previous year

predicting an eight percent growth in arrivals by the end of this year alone. That prediction could well be met, according to Travel Weekly, which noted that tourist arrivals for the first two months of this year were six percent above visitor numbers for the same period in 2012. So what accounts for the popularity of the region’s most visited country? The 2014 marketing campaign “Dominican Republic Has it All” may not be as hyperbolic as it sounds for a country that boasts such sweeping contrasts as the oldest cathedral in the Americas and the newest (and only) subway system in the

Caribbean. That’s not counting accommodation options designed to meet the needs of everyone from budget travellers to the rich and famous; ease of access, with seven international airports serving major carriers from numerous gateways; stunning scenery including lush forests, 16 national parks, and 1,000 miles of beaches; and 28 top flight golf courses. Part of the growth is also attributed to significant investments in the country’s infrastructure and restoration of historic sites, such as the major urban renewal project underway within Colonial City, the central neighbourhood of Santo Domingo

and the oldest permanent European settlement of the New World. A raft of incentives also plays its part in the continued development of the tourism plant, with a tax incentive law that provides a 15-year exemption to companies engaged in tourism development, including hotels, attractions and tourist-related activities. The law also offers tax incentives to existing hotels and resorts that have been in operation for at least five years. A 100 percent tax exemption is available to existing hotels and resorts that are at least 15 years old and remodel or reconstruct more than 50 percent of their facilities. (Caribbean News)

RINIDAD: Residents of four juvenile correctional facilities in Trinidad will now have the benefit of formal music training through the Music Schools in the Community Collaborative Project, launched by Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas at the St Mary’s Children’s Home in Tacarigua earlier this month. “This programme is all about empowerment,” said Douglas. “It is about giving young people opportunities to engage in music learning activities for development—to fine-tune every drop of latent talent, to understand, express and appreciate music of various cultures.” In addition to the St Mary’s Children’s Home, other beneficiaries of the programme include St Michael Home for Boys in Diego Martin, Youth Training Centre in Arouca, and Western Division Police Youth Club in Petit Valley. Artistes in Residence are veteran musicians Roy Cape and Errol Ince. “The programme focuses not just on music, but also teaches students responsibility and how to be models in their communities,” added Douglas. “This is why the mentorship component continues to be a significant part of this programme. Participants will benefit from the years of experience of our musical icons, as there is no better way to gain insight and learn life lessons than to have the opportunity to interact with others who have already accomplished what you are striving to do.” The initiative follows those of 2012 and 2013 when the Arts and Multiculturalism Ministry administered two semesters of its Music School in the Panyard, with over 250 participants during 2012, and over 300 in 2013. This year, the range of beneficiaries has been expanded by developing relationships with institutions that cater to youth at risk, and collaborating with organisations that have a well-established body of work in that field. The programme’s participants will be exposed to elementary and intermediate levels of instrument training on woodwind, brass, keyboard, drumkit, marching band drum, and the steelpan. It began on May 6 and ends on July 26. The objective is to expose 200 participants to holistic professional development in music in a programme that comprises a 12-week cycle of 84 contact hours, with 50 participants in classes at each of the four venues. In addition to residents of the facilities, the Music Schools in the Community Collaborative Project is open to all citizens. Innovation in the cultural and creative industries is crucial for sustainable advancement in the global entertainment industry, he opined, contending that development of “our innate artistry and creativity” can significantly enrich all cultural workers financially and socially, thereby contributing to the Gross Domestic Product of the local economy. (TT Guardian)


WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014 |

Brindley Benn


UYANA: The struggle for independence was never easy, but those who struggled relentlessly made it appear that way. To many, the fighters for Guyana's independence were the late Dr Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, but there were many others who ensured similar fates. Brindley Benn, CCH, who died in December 2009, is one of those who struggled alongside the two late presidents and others; he was downtrodden, imprisoned and restricted in different quarters in the fight for Guyana's independence from colonial rule. Benn was born in the village of Kitty, Georgetown, and attended the St. Jamesthe-Less Primary School (now F. E. Pollard) also in Kitty. After leaving school, Benn worked with the bauxite company in Kwakwani. His parents were living there at the time. He returned to Georgetown in the early 1940s when the bauxite company started to scale down the workforce. He taught at a high school in Georgetown before owning his own school, Georgetown Secondary School, which he ran for a few years. He also led a strong religious life and was in fact a Chorister at St. James the Less Anglican Church and later became Choir Master at the St. Sidwell’s Anglican Church around 1945. He served in that capacity until the choir was disbanded. Subsequently, Benn started teaching at the Indian Education Trust, now Richard Ishmael

The late Brindley Benn

Secondary School. At the time the Indian Education Trust was situated at the corners of Church and Carmichael Streets, where the Ptolemy Reid Rehab Centre is now located. One evening, Benn attended a public meeting at Norton and John Streets, and listened to Dr Cheddi Jagan, who was criticising what was happening in the bauxite industry and in the colony generally. He was impressed by Dr Jagan’s speech and joined the PPP the same night. He immediately became very involved in politics. When Guyana Times Sunday Magazine visited him at his Ogle East Coast Demerara home in early 2009, Benn could still remember what he endured during colonial rule for Guyana’s Independence. He said it was not easy as on several occasions while carrying out his work among the working class and party members he was harassed and his work hindered. During this time there was much strife, and people need to be re-


assured and comforted. “You had to be consistent and let the people know that you are taking care of their needs,” Benn said, adding “... so you did everything to make it come proper.” When the constitution was suspended in 1953, Benn was detained and put under restriction orders in New Amsterdam, where he had to conduct party activities. He was ordered to report to the police daily between 8am and 10am except Sundays. Initially his wife and children visited him, then after several raids by the army and the police on his brother’s home where he lived during his restriction period, it was decided that his wife and family would move to New Amsterdam. Mrs Benn and her children relocated to New Amsterdam, where they lived for about two years. She recalled, in the 2009 interview how the family struggled to maintain their support to him in the fight for independence. “It was rough. After the split in the PPP, the struggle had to continue to press for independence, especially, [since] the British government wanted to give us piecemeal.” Nonetheless they continued supporting Benn and the efforts Guyana for independence. “At times when he could not make it to his meetings, I had to continue his work – going to meet with people, have continuous talks with them to raise their morale, selling the Party’s papers and so on to keep the PPP machinery operating,” Mrs Benn recalled.

Benn (left) with Dr Jagan circa 1960s

When the family returned to Georgetown in 1956, Benn was elected Chairman of the People’s Progressive Party and Member of the Executive Committee. The Party contested the 1957 elections with Brindley as the representative of the Essequibo Islands and the Interior, and won the elections in that constituency. He was appointed Minister of Community Development and Education in 1957, and during this time he organised the National History and Culture Week under the theme, ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny’. Benn said he wanted to emphasise the need for development, patriotism and unity hence he coined the phrase. After the change of government in 1964, the theme was carried forward and at Independence it was made the National Motto of Guyana. He said he always felt that “as long as people know what is best for us we should work towards achieving that best”; part of that is having one

nation of one people with a common destiny. Mrs Benn said she and her family are proud that her husband could make such a significant contribution to the country as then “he felt it was very right that in a land with such a diverse people there was a need to forge the nation as one and this is still applicable even today”. Benn also served as Minister of Agriculture after the 1961 elections which the PPP also won, and formed the Guyana School of Agriculture during his tenure as he felt “it was necessary for people (farmers) to be given scientific information among other things to develop the agriculture sector”. During the disturbances in the early 1960s, when the British managed to successfully split the PPP along racial lines, he was imprisoned by the British. He became the most prominent Afro-Guyanese to remain with the PPP, making a statement against the divide-and-rule tactics of colonialism. He and several ministers and other important persons were

detained at Sibley Hall, Mazaruni Prison for several months. After his release in 1965, Benn moved away from the PPP and established the Working People’s Vanguard Party. In the 1970s he joined with Walter Rodney, Eusi Kwayana, Andaiye, Moses Baghwan and Rupert Roopnaraine, to form the Working People's Alliance. After the 28 years of PNC rule when the PPP won the 1992 elections, Dr Jagan offered Benn to be on the PPP’s List of Candidates and he won a seat in Parliament. He was later appointed Guyana’s High Commissioner to Canada, a position he held with distinction from 1993 to 1998, and for which he was awarded the Cacique Crown of Honour. After his return to Guyana, he served as Chairman of the Public Service Commission for three years. He was also a member of the Teaching Service, Police Service and Guyana Lotteries Commission. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

Shark sanctuary set up in British Virgin Islands


ORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS: Global shark numbers have been dwindling rapidly in recent decades, largely due to overfishing driven by the rising demand for such exotic delicacies as shark fin soup. With experts estimating that about 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries around the world, the shark population is further eroded by low fertility rates. Against this backdrop, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has declared its territorial waters a sanctuary for all shark species to help protect the large marine predators and maintain the balance of the ocean environment. The BVI Cabinet has con-

Reef shark (CMC file photo)

sequently banned commercial fishing of all shark species in the 30,933 square miles (80,117 square kilometres) of its exclusive economic zone. It’s not clear how the archipelago of about 60 small islands will police its waters, which are home to reefs where divers can view such shark species as oceanic whitetips

and scalloped hammerheads, as well as reef sharks. Explaining the decision, Kedrick Pickering, deputy premier and minister for natural resources, said the loss of sharks disrupts the predatorprey balance, compromising the health of oceans and reefs and the survival of other marine creatures.

“The best way to manage their populations is to let them fulfil their ecological role as apex predators,” Pickering said at a conference in Belgium. The British territory said it is also protecting rays, whose numbers have sharply declined over the years. Researchers with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature have said that about one-quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. British tycoon Richard Branson of the Virgin Group of companies has long been urging Caribbean governments to better protect marine environments, making special mention of sharks and rays.

At a conference he hosted on Necker Island, his private island in BVI last year, several regional governments committed to establishing shark protections by May 2015. “The British Virgin Islands has shown leadership here and I urge other countries and territories in the region to follow suit to create a Caribbeanwide sanctuary to protect these magnificent animals,” Branson said in applauding the sanctuary announcement. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, which has pushed shark conservation efforts around the world, BVI joins the Bahamas and Honduras as the first governments in the Americas to declare shark sanctuaries. (Caribbean News)


feature | WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014


O R T - O F S P A I N , TRINIDAD: In an effort to introduce senior citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to Information Communication Technology (ICT), the Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with the Ministry of the People and Social Development Monday held a sensitisation workshop called ICT for Seniors Programme at the Hyatt Regency, Portof-Spain. “Senior citizens are an invaluable, vibrant growing demographic within our nation. However, most educational systems are focused on younger people and limited progress has been made in adopting educational systems to the needs of senior learners, who have enormous potential,” said Dr Rupert Griffith,

Minister of Science and Technology. Trinidad and Tobago has an ageing population with 13.4 percent or more than 177,000 citizens over the age of 60 years. In an attempt to improve the quality of life for the senior citizens the ICT programme would promote the digital access for persons over the age of 60. This programme was specifically tailored for senior citizens to learn how to utilise ICT. Some of the things they were taught include how to utilise social media such as Facebook, Skype and blogs. They were also given first-hand interface on the use of online banking, e-health, specialist computer systems for senior citizens, biometircs, and accessing governmental services like The senior citizens were also given the opportunity to

TT’s Science and Technology Minister Dr Rupert Griffith (TT Newsday photo)

play games like digital bingo, Wii and Kinect.


Griffith stated that learning how to utilise technology would empower the senior citizens by giving them more social inclusion while bridging the divide between the generations. “ICT for Seniors

The programme was specifically tailored for senior citizens to learn how to utilise ICT

Project would lead to greater inter-generational bonding, as both young persons and se-

nior citizens will be able to explore the creative and multifaceted use of the internet and online

social network platform, mobile phones, personal computers and other forms of technology, thus forging greater inter-generational ties,” Griffith indicated. He said he hope the project leads to the development of more innovative solutions and e- government services that make ICT more accessible to senior citizens while improving the quality of live and independence for them. “No longer will senior citizens be left out or left behind by the ubiquitous tide of technology which now pervades our daily lives, as the provision of the necessary knowledge and training in the use of the internet and correlative technology is ultimately seen as a dynamic and tremendous form of empowerment and life long learning,” Griffith pointed out. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

10th Annual Berbice Expo slated for July 25-28 in Guyana


ERBICE, GUYANA: Under the theme “Exploiting Science and Technology for Economic Development”, the 10th annual Berbice Expo and Trade Fair in Guyana was launched last week at the Senior’s Staff Club, Albion Estate Staff Compound. The event, which aims to attract over 100 exhibitors, will be held from July 25 to 28 at the Albion Sports Complex ground. Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) President Indranauth Haralsingh, who spoke on behalf of acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali, said the government is committed to sponsorship and support of the event, which has been a successful platform for entrepreneurs, investors, consumers and visitors. He congratulated the

GTA President Indranauth Haralsingh (sixth from left) with Corentyne Chambers of Commerce (CCCC) members at the launch of Berbice Expo 2014 in Guyana

Central Corentyne Chambers of Commerce (CCCC) for the leadership and vision in promoting entrepreneurship in the region and for organising the largest exposition in the Ancient County. “Berbice Expo as a trade and consumer show is a reflection of the strength of entrepreneurship in Berbice and

Guyana and there is progress made by the large, micro and medium-sized enterprises which forms the backbone of the economy,” Haralsingh stated. He said he hope the 10th expo can be profitable, despite its challenges and at the same time, urged corporate Guyana to come on board.

Berbice so that Berbicians can be able to have the same experience as that of GuyExpo. He added that they are overwhelmed with the response from the business community and large corporations, noting that the event has outgrown the Albion Sports Complex ground. The CCCC is now looking for a permanent site, but will need the support of all to make that a reality. The first Berbice Exposition and Trade Fair was held in 2005 at the Albion Sports Complex ground, attracting thousands of Guyanese from all walks of life. The cost to host this year’s expo is estimated at Gy$15 million. This year, the event promises to be bigger and better, featuring exhibitions from neighbouring Suriname. (Guyana Times)

Jamaicans celebrate Indian Arrival at Chedwin Park


he St. Lucian pirate ship which was featured in Hollywood movies including the popular ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ has sunk. The Brig Unicorn pirate ship sank off the coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Saturday. According to reports, the vessel was heading to St. Vincent from St. Lucia for repairs when it encountered difficulties and sank. No one was injured. The exact number of people aboard the vessel has not been confirmed but news reports say there may have been nine crew members and the captain. They were reportedly rescued by the St. Vincent Coast Guard shortly after the incident. The Brig Unicorn was used in the filming of all three ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies as well as in the series ‘Roots’. (CMC)

Regional Vice Chairman Bhupaul Jagroop said the event is one that is much anticipated by Berbicians and is an opportunity for them to see many things they may not have seen before. He noted that at Berbice Expo 2014, persons will benefit from a different attraction, including floodlights installed at the Albion Sports Complex. “People will have an opportunity to be in an atmosphere where they will be more comfortable, it’s also an opportunity for the business people to have something more in their pockets which they can have to further enhance their lives.” CCCC President Tajpaul Adjodhea said the chamber is working with the private sector and the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce (GCCI) to have large manufacturing companies come to



AMAICA: Jamaicans attending the annual Indian Arrival Day celebrations in their country two Sundays ago were treated to a taste of Trini Chutney music and traditional Indian dishes and delicacies at Chedwin Park, Kingston, courtesy Trinidad’s National Council for Indian Culture and with assistance from NCIC, Jamaica. Organisers report that with the event having started at 3.30 pm, all the food and delicacies– curried goat, curried mango, channa and potatoes, pumpkin and roti, kurma, ladoo, barfi, pera and jalebi–had been sold out by 6 pm. And visitors to the event also enjoyed the entertainment with singer Vijay Ramikssoon and group getting Jamaicans on

their feet, dancing to two renditions of Bob Marley’s songs. Following up with some spicy Chutney songs, Ramkissoon had the Jamaicans dancing to the beat as if born to it. The Kaizan Shakti Dance group, led by Katana Mahabir, also had the patrons at the event mesmerised by their skills and artistry. Other performers from TT, together with Jamaican counterparts, also entertained the crowd with their renditions of songs from Indian films. Public relations officer of the NCIC, Surujdeo Mangaroo, who welcomed patrons at the event, gave his commitment of the Council’s continued support for the Jamaican event as he called on organisers to continue to keep the culture alive. (TT Newsday)



WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014 |


ctress Swastika Mukherjee, who is all set to make her Bollywood debut with Sushant Singh Rajput in Dibakar Banerjee's ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshi’, was hospitalised recently. A Mid-Day report stated that the Bengali actress was admitted to Apollo Hospital on Saturday with a wrist and forearm injury. Quoting Dr Kaushik Nandy, who operated on the actress, the report added that there were pieces of glass in her wrist and forearm. They have removed it and the actress is stable now. Though he has not said whether the injury was due to an accident or self inflicted, gossipmongers are saying the actress allegedly tried to commit sui-


nupam Kher is celebrating 30 years in showbiz with a second book, ‘Lessons Life Has Taught

S cide after she had a fight with her boyfriend, who is a filmmaker. Her sister has however dismissed the suicide reports. (TOI)

Me Unknowingly’. He hopes to wrap it up in the next six months. "It will have between 15-20 chapters to encapsulate all the lessons I have learnt from my parents, the movies I've made, the people I've journeyed with, my plays, soon-to-air TV show ‘Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai’ and even my experiences as a life coach. It's a book for youngsters so while the content will be meaningful and serious, the writing will be light. Things that I had once laughed off as trivial, turned out to be life-changing experiences," explained the actor-turned-author, revealing too that his debut novel, ‘The Best Thing About You Is You!’, has already run into 14 editions and has been translated into 10 languages.


riyanka Chopra is on a cruise with her mother, Madhu Chopra. Madhu will be spending time with the actress on the cruise for two months. The two plan to spend some quality time as the actress has had a hectic schedule promoting her single and shooting and dubbing for ‘Mary Kom’. Before leaving for her cruise, the actress managed to complete all of her assignments and in just 20 days had finished all of her commitments. Priyanka said, "due to my hectic schedule I have not been able to spend time with my mom so hopefully this will give us enough time to catch up." (TOI)

uperstar Hrithik Roshan overcame stammering and he is currently in the midst of a divorce with his estranged wife Suzanne Khan. Challenges may be many, but the actor says facing them and moving on is made easy when he looks at the fighting spirit of his elder sister Sunaina, a cancer survivor. "I am so proud and blessed to have a sister like my 'didi'. I've seen her battle through challenges, and gain victory over things that could devastate any of us. My sister is the bravest person on earth," Hrithik said to an eclectic gathering on Monday night. The occasion was spe-

cial for the Roshan family---it was the launch of ‘To Dad, With Love’, Sunaina's book on their father and actor-filmmaker Rakesh Roshan. Hrithik and Sunaina's mother, Pinkie, was also present for the event.


bhishek Bachchan seems to have fallen in love with his wife all over again. The actor, who joined the former beauty queen in the French Riviera, quipped "I make her look good". At the amfAR gala last Thursday night, the star couple made a stunning appearance, with Abhishek dressed in all black and Aishwarya making a style statement in an elegant shimmering gown. Picture perfect, Bollywood's star couple made for a cosy and romantic eye-in-eye candid photograph at the gala. Junior Bachchan shared the 'moment' with his Twitterati, and posted: "I make her look good!! Then again...anybody compared to me will look good." (TOI)

‘Doing a sex comedy doesn't make you a sex maniac’- Akshay Kumar


ollywood’s action star Akshay Kumar, who’s equally good at comedy, has a pragmatic approach towards the movie genres and says that he is open to doing sex com-

edies because for him it would be just “a character”. “Nobody is forcing you to watch such films. ‘Grand Masti’ (2013) did well at the box office, but if you don’t like it, then don’t watch it. If I get a good script, I will also do it. At the end of the day, it’s just a film. It’s just a character that you are following. You do not become a sex maniac or anything as such. Take a film as a film, let it be reel not real,” said the 46-year-old. “If it’s a sex comedy, don’t feel shy about what the audience will think and all! If you are making such a film, trust yourself and go with your conviction rather than thinking that you will lose a few fans with this film,” he added. (Hindustan Times)

Unlike most siblings, Hrithik took to the stage and introduced his "real superhero" Sunaina to the audience, and the spectators made the evening truly special by applauding her. (TOI)


ani Mukerji wrapped up a major portion of the shoot of director Pradeep Sarkar’s ‘Mardaani’ before she left for Italy where she got married to producer Aditya Chopra on April 21.

However, the remaining portion of the shoot was put on hold due to this break. But now, a source close to the production house has revealed that the actor is all set to resume work later this week.

"Rani was away for almost two weeks. She came back to India a fortnight ago and will resume shooting for the film this week," informed the source. Only the last portion of the film needs to be shot. "The schedule was planned well in advance since no one knew about the wedding. Usually actors tend to take a longer break after tying the knot, but Rani wants to wrap up this commitment sooner," added the source. The ‘Talaash’ (2012) actor will team up with Sarkar, seven years after they worked together on ‘Laaga Chunari Mein Daag: Journey Of A Woman in 2007.’ (Hindustan Times)


hollywood |

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014



ollywood funnyman Jim Carrey received an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa from Maharishi University of Management last Saturday. The 52-year-old comic turned serious and emotional while making his commencement speech to graduates of the Iowa's Maharishi University of Management. He talked about his personal life lessons, reported U.S. magazine. "So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn't believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant," Carrey said to the students. But when Carrey was just 12, his father lost that "safe job" and his family was forced "to do whatever we could to survive" in the aftermath. "I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was

looking into his most incredible, twinkling eyes. I cannot think of a bigger treat than that.” (TOI)


tery of her demise. The 87-year-old, who had paid for a private toxicology report that detected the metals, found 10 heavy metals that are contained in many over-the-counter rat poisons in samples of her hair and is now convinced that his daughter was poisoned, the Daily Express reported. The ‘8 Mile’ star's British husband of two years, screenwriter, director and producer Simon Monjack, 40, died in the same house five months later from exactly the same causes. California law allows relatives to order an exhumation at their own expense and Bertolotti will make the agonising decision to open Murphy's grave if his latest plea fails. (TOI)

that you can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love," Carey said. (TOI)


scar-winner Jennifer Lawrence was reportedly longing to meet pop star Justin Bieber at the Cannes Film Festival. The 23-year-old actress was apparently starstruck after meeting him at Vanity Fair's 100-guest dinner during the festival last week, reported U.S. magazine. “(Jennifer) was dying to meet him. She told him she's a big fan---and that she finds him cute," a source said. (TOI)

Is Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes' relationship on the rocks?


va Mendes' conspicuous absence from the Cannes Film Festival where her boyfriend Ryan Gosling promoted directorial debut, ‘Lost River’, has set the rumour mills churning on the status of the couple's relationship. The 33-year-old Gosling was seen on the red carpet instead with actress Christina Hendricks, who also appears in the movie, which is set in an urban wasteland. Mendes, 40, and Gosling haven't been clicked together since last November, People magazine reported. In February this year Mendes had playfully shot down the breakup rumors, telling Ellen DeGeneres that her

atrick Swayze's widow got remarried Sunday. Lisa Niemi, who was married to the ‘Dirty Dancing’ actor for 34 years before his death from pancreatic cancer in September 2009, tied the knot with jeweler Albert DePrisco in Palm Beach, Florida. The couple--who started dating two years ago and got engaged on Christmas Eve last December-exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at The Mar-a-Lago Club in front of more than 50 guests. The ‘Beat Angel’ actress, 57, told last Friday “What I most look forward to on my wedding day is walking up, standing at our altar, and

Valentine's Day plans involved "watching ‘The Notebook’ or something." (TOI)

rittany Murphy's father, Angelo Bertolotti , wants to exhume her body more than four years after her mysterious death to solve the mys-


att LeBlanc has said that he had to face "dark times" after his much loved TV series ‘Friends’ ended. The 46-year-old actor said that at that time he dealt with several issues in his personal life. LeBlanc said that it was a dark time as the ‘Friends’ spinoff 'Joey' had an undue amount of pressure on it, Contactmusic reported. He said that the series was meant to fill the shoes of ‘Friends’ but when there are six pairs of feet, and five are taken away, it becomes harder to walk. Also, the same year his show ended, LeBlanc officially separated from wife Melissa MCKnight. An additional problem surfaced after the couple's daughter, Marina, was diagnosed with a form of dysplasia, a brain disorder that affects neurologi-

cal functions, at just eight months old. (TOI)

zoo three nights Freida Pinto has obscene number of shoes Jolie, kids slept inTaronga Zoo in Sydney during their


reida Pinto has an “obscene” number of shoes. The ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ beauty admits to an obsession with footwear and has so many different pairs she can't count them all. She told Harper's Bazaar Arabia: “They're my biggest obsession but I don't even know how many I have. It's a bit obscene for me, but I'm sure there are people that have way more. 'It's really weird though, because my love for shoes isn't because I want to wear them all. I mean, there are only so many days in the year, so it's impossible to wear all of them, but I have them because they're so beautiful, like works of art, and I love looking at them.” (TOI)


ctress Angelina Jolie said that she and her six children spent three nights sleeping at

visit to Australia. The Hollywood's power couple can pretty much sleep wherever they like, but Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt are also famous for doing things differently and mixing it up. And the 38-year-old has admitted that during her Australia visit to film World War II biopic ‘Unbroken’, they stayed at Taronga Zoo, not once, but three times, reported "I loved working there (Australia). The children learnt how to surf and skate. We loved the zoo (Taronga)--I slept in the zoo three times by the time we left, with your crazy birds," the actress told (TOI)

feature WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014



Guyanese chefs create a stir at Jamaica Epicurean Escape


ive Guyanese chefs over the weekend participated in the Jamaica Epicurean Escape, the country’s premiere heritage festival. Jamaica Epicurean Escape is an international food, wine and music festival which showcases the country’s best food, music and culture. It was first held in 2012 at the picturesque Grizzly’s Plantation Cove, Priory, St Ann. This year, the festival was held on May 24 and 25. The five Guyanese chefs were selected from local restaurants to participate in the festival, showcasing some of Guyana’s most popular dishes. The chefs are from popular restaurants that were selected because of their authentic cuisines. The Oasis Café sent Nisa Walker,

who prepared authentic Indo-Guyanese cuisines, mainly dhal, rice and various chokas (coconut, Boulanger, tomato, etc). Walker disclosed that she prepared some 13 meals over the two days, including shrimp curry. She also prepared coconut choka at the festival to show patrons. Betten Court sent its chef John Reman, who cooked curry and mostly creole dishes. Reman said that he prepared roast curried fish over pickled cabbage and strip chicken curry wrap with sweet mango chutney. The Siloutte Restaurant cooked three different types of cookup: eddo leave, beef and chicken. Dane Kennedy represented Carnegie and was tasked with preparing metemgee. Princess Hotel was

The five Guyanese chefs were selected from local restaurants (Fly Jamaica photos)

the fifth restaurant selected and their chef prepared Guyana’s very own, pepperpot. Each chef was allowed to take five assistants with them. The chefs were sponsored by Fly Jamaica. Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA)

Director Indranauth Haralsingh commended Fly Jamaica Airways for the initiative, noting that it ensured that Brand Guyana was represented at the festival. “This will serve as a platform to introduce Guyana’s cuisine to visitors and to the world

and would help to improve our food presentation, culinary skills and to showcase Guyana as a culinary destination for food tourism,” the GTA head said. Haralsingh added that it also presented an opportunity for these chefs to gain valuable ex-

posure, learn and share best practices and network with other chefs. He went on to say that Guyana is known for its abundance of food and the opportunity will help to further Guyana’s efforts in making the country a food tourism destination. He urged other restaurants and hotels to take advantage of such opportunities. In addition to the chefs and their assistants, travel agents, GTA representatives and several media personnel were also invited to Jamaica for the Jamaica Epicurean Escape. They also visited the Bob Marley and national museums, went on a tour of Blue Mountains and visited the historic city of Port Royal, which the airline is looking to develop into a tourist destination. (Guyana Times)

Jamaican Karl Hendrickson Is Luther Former World No.1 tennis player King Jr Humanitarian Awardee supports Jamaica charity

Business pioneer Karl Hendrickson (second right) receives the Jamaica America Friendship Association (JAFA) Martin Luther King Jr Humanitarian Award from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen (second left) as JAFA President Carole Reid and real estate developer Phillip Gore, a member of the Jamaica College Foundation, shared in the moment (Jamaica Observer photo)


AMAICA: Business pioneer Karl Hendrickson was presented with the Jamaica America Friendship Association (JAFA) Martin Luther King Junior Humanitarian Award as three generations of his family looked on in near tear-erupting pride during the special function held at the Jamaica Pegasus on Saturday. The 84-year-old business titan, who founded the National baking empire, and whose reach is spread across business interests in the agro-processing and hotel industries, told the audience of business elite, government officials, long-time friends and family, that he was humbled by the recognition. "Thank you for bestowing on me one of the most significant honours I have ever received," Hendrickson said, after receiving a framed citation from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. Hendrickson told the gathering that he is an admirer of King's unique approach to human dignity and moral principles, and held long appreciation for his fearless persistence [and the belief]...and that "we're all born with a purpose to be fulfilled." For Hendrickson, whose range of family businesses provide employment to more than 4,000 and who gift-

ed his alma mater, Jamaica College with Ja$50 million to construct a multi-purpose auditorium four years ago, said nothing has mattered more than his nearest and dearest. "My greatest achievement in life has been the closeness of my family... the support they gave me made me into the best man I could be," he said. The glitzy gala dinner honouring Hendrickson featured a stirring address by guest speaker Michael Alexander Blake, a former aide to United States President Barack Obama and director of public policy and external affairs of Green For All. Blake is also of Jamaican descent. He drew lusty applause for a speech that spoke to the need to bring hope to those who may feel sidelined, and to aspire to achieve greatness. The Martin Luther King Junior Humanitarian Award is presented by JAFA to outstanding personalities for their contribution to human welfare that demonstrate King's ideals and work that serve to advance the wellbeing of people in need of spiritual, social and economic upliftment. Previous honourees include Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, former prime ministers Edward Seaga and Michael Manley as well as Lady Bustamante and Father Richard Ho Lung. (Jamaica Observer)

Funds were raised for Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation


ORONTO, CANADA (MAY 21, 2014): Rogers Cup Tournament Director and Former Jamaican Davis Cup player Karl Hale recently played an exhibition vs. Former world #1 Jim Courier at the Tryall Club in Jamaica. Jim prevailed in a spectacular shot making exhibition 6-4 after Karl was up a break 3-2. Funds were raised for Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation. Funding raised from the event went to tennis programmes for inner city children in


RINIDAD: Some 23 young women will be vying to become Miss Trinidad and Tobago-Universe, when the final will be held in July. The 23 delegates were introduced to the media at the launch of the 2014 Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe held last Tuesday evening at the Belmont Lounge, Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre. Pageant Coordinator, LeahMari Guevara told guests that in their third year as owners of the Miss TT-Universe franchise, and for the second year they will again be filming the Reality Show Series that will be aired on local television.

Kingston, Jamaica. Over 200 participants were on hand to watch a great display of tennis. The event was supported by Stonegate Private Counsel and Hi Lyte softdrinks. The week began with a clinic that included 35 people, ITF Seniors Tournament and Junior Tournament that had over 100 participants and the exhibition with Jim and Karl. Plans are already on for the 2nd Annual Event April 21-26th, 2015. In 2015, funds will go towards building a basic school in Hanover, Jamaica.

“Every year we strive to improve the training process which focuses on the areas that the winner will need to be able to compete internationally. These categories are interview and personality development, walking and presentation, fitness, hair and make-up application.” Guevara said, “We see this competition as a national training programme for young women, as we seek to enhance the lives and provide the tools needed to produce confident, poised and successful young women and citizens of TT. The aim is to also foster National Pride by being represented on an international stage with the TT flag waving proudly.” (TT Newsday)


feature |

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

Guyanese teen wins Jamaican-Canadian film director receives sold-out premiere in Toronto trip to UEFA 2015


amaican-Canadian film director Jeremy Whittaker is making preparations to have ‘Destiny’ premiere on local soil. Though the date has not yet been set, Whittaker told Jamaican media that having a Jamaican premiere is high on his list of priorities. These plans follow last month's premiere at the ReelWorld festival in Canada. "The Canadian premiere was unbelievable. It was a taste of the fruits of my labour. ‘Destiny’ was shown to a sold-out audience in Toronto," said Whittaker. Following the response, Whittaker is hopeful that the Jamaican audience will be just as receptive. The film, which sees appearances from Christopher Martin, Spice, and Tifa, among others, explores sever-

Karian Sang and Christopher Martin in a scene from the film 'Destiny' (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

al storylines which integrate a love story and the passionate pursuit of music. While admitting that using artistes was always part of the plan, Whittaker said the film's main goal was to use as much local talent as possible. "Basically, a lot of these artistes are natural performers and I was looking for home-grown talent. A lot of talent other than artistes were utilised. It's a very balanced

film with new talent surrounded by established veteran actors," he said. Whittaker also revealed that the total cost of the film was just over US$1 million, and said that completion of the film was made possible through private funding. "It was all private capital from Jamaica. Family was big and I got some corporate sponsorship from LIME and Slam Condoms." After doing ‘Destiny’, Whittaker went ahead

and formed his own company---Grasshopper Productions. "It is a fully functional film and television production company, and we are developing quality content for international platforms." The company has a subsidiary, known as Grasshopper Records, which will be releasing Destiny's original motion picture soundtrack. Whittaker is very proud of the compilation, Grasshopper Records' first album, which he co-produced with Clive Hunt and Dwain 'Wiya' Campbell. "I feel it's one of the best compilation albums of original music out of Jamaica," he said. The album features tracks from Beres Hammond, Jah Cure, Chronixx, Busy Signal, Christopher Martin, Spice and Tifa, among others. (Jamaica Gleaner)

Champions League

Sean Mc Almont poses with ANSA McAL General Manager Beverly Harper and Heineken Brand Coordinator Robert Hiscock after winning the grand prize (Guyana Times photo)


UYANA: An ardent Guyanese fan of Real Madrid will be heading to Europe for the UEFA Champion League 2015, compliments of ANSA McAL through its Heineken Brand. Seon Mc Almont, 19, of 35 D’ Urban Street, Lodge, Georgetown, was selected from among thousands who participated in the Heineken Promotion which culminated at the Gravity Lounge with the viewing of the Champions League Final and afterparty. The young man won the prize after a dramatic draw, which was done by several patrons who flocked to the venue to be part of the action. The first three digits, 119 were pulled by three persons and after an elimination process, only three people had tickets with the first three digits. After the third pull to get the last digit, Mc Almont emerged the

luckiest contender. In all smiles, he reiterated that he is an ardent supporter of Real Madrid and thought that his luck stuck twice, the first being Real Madrid’s 4-1 trouncing of Atlético Madrid and then his capture of the grand prize. The prize caters for him and a companion to travel to Europe to witness one match of his choice, providing air tickets, hotel accommodations and more importantly, spending money. While it is too early to decide who he will take along on the unforgettable journey, he was thinking of a close relative. He thanked ANSA McAL for giving him the opportunity to visit Europe, which will be his first. After the presentations, patrons were entertained by Jamaican reggae artiste Tanya Stephens, who had the audience gyrating to her vibes. (Guyana Times)

Star of the Week

Cherese James


herese James is a passionate 23-year-old beauty, a lover of children and a doer of good deeds who believes that we should always lend a helping hand. It is this belief, coupled with her deep love for children, which has inspired her in the past to exercise benevolence towards the children of the Cheshire Home for the Disabled, located at Mahaica. It has always been a dream of hers to represent and showcase her culture on the international stage as a beauty ambassador. The philanthropist is driven to pursue her dreams. A Medical Assistant by profession, Cherese successfully completed her certificate programme at the Allen Nursing School. She is currently employed at the New York Vein Center, where she works along with doctors, assisting them during surgery. This beauty is confident in her strengths and prides herself in never giving up irrespective of the challenges she faces.



WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014 |

St. Lucian boxers for Guyana’s “Nuff Cuff Injection” card in Buxton


UYANA: The Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) has confirmed that three St. Lucian boxers will be a part of the “Nuff Cuff Injection” Boxing card set for Buxton on May 31 at the Buxton Community Centre ground. The St. Lucian contingent will include two males and one female, namely: Arthur Langeleire, Ron Bastiean and Malinda St Clair. Trainer Conrad Hunte will accompany the trio to Guyana who are set to arrive on Friday. President of the GBA Steve Ninvalle highlighted that it is due to the relations with the St. Lucian Boxing Association that the boxers could be added to the card. “We have an extremely good relationship with the St. Lucia Association, which is

By Ravendra Madholall

M Guyana Boxing Association’s President Steve Ninvalle

headed by a Guyanese and that’s the reason why we were able to at the short notice[to] get them involved with the Buxton event,” Ninvalle told Guyanese media. Ninvalle, who noted that all systems are in place for the tournament and the arrival of the St. Lucians, stated that his association is happy with plans thus far and looks forward to a successful event. (Guyana Times)

Trinidadian-born teenage rugby player creating a stir in England

Omari StaffordDavies (FB photo)


O N D O N , ENGLAND: Sixteen-year-old Trinidadian-born Omari Stafford-Davies is making waves as a rugby player in London, England. A footballer by trade, Stafford-Davies started rugby later than most at age 14 at London Wasps RFU Academy. After joining Gunnersbury Catholic School in 2011, he made the Middlesex County side for his age group and has been there ever since. Standing just over 5ft 10 in, Omari is known for his try scoring capability, and is described as fast, dynamic and a threat with the ball in hand. Having represented London Wasps Academy on numerous occasions, Omari has played against superior teams such as Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers. It comes as no surprise, that upon being scouted, he has been offered scholarships from internationally prestigious schools that not only recognise excellent sporting ability, but

Guyanese Travis Blyden promises good showing in Canada this season

also admirable academic achievements. The ambitious teen, who cites his mother as the driving force and mentor on and off the pitch, is a well-balanced individual and is set to achieve A’s in his upcoming General Certificate of Secondary Education (GSCE) examinations. Omari has already received offers from many schools, including Cranleigh School (both in the United Kingdom and Abu Dhabi) and St Georges in Vancouver, Canada. Moreover, Omari has been selected to attend the firstrate Sharks Academy Training Camp in KwaZulu, Durban, South Africa. Omari was born at the Mt Hope Maternity Hospital on October 29, 1997 to parents Gillian Davies and Hayden Brathwaite. Omari lived in Kelly Village, Caroni, before he left Trinidad at age three. In 2005, Omari returned to Trinidad briefly where he attended Holy Saviour School for three months. Between 2002 and 2005, Omari regularly visited Trinidad and described the country as a paradise. His fondest memory of Trinidad is eating doubles and the Macaras waterfall. Omari has not visited Trinidad since 2005, but plans to visit in August for a much needed break and to spend time with his family, prior to commencing his A Level studies. (TT Guardian)

arquee all-rounder Travis Blyden is promising his fans another good showing in Canada this season after wrapping up his recent stint in Trinidad and Tobago. Since his first appearance in North America three years ago, the right-hander has done impressively well and is confident of replicating those performances for Civics Cricket Club. His instrumental role last year will see the club moving up to the Elite Level in the 2014 Toronto and District Cricket Association tournament, which has started. Meanwhile, Blyden’s desire to wear the Guyana colours at the highest level still remains strong and he feels that he has been a consistent scorer over the years in club cricket, which grants the opportunity to display his talent. “I want to play for Guyana at the highest level and I know runs are very important; I travel around to be involved in the game on a regular basis and get the necessary exposure, but as I said getting at the top I have to keep making runs and maintain a disciplined attitude,” the former Guyana under-19 reserve athlete stated. During his time in TT, Blyden said his team Evergreen Cricket Club played brilliant cricket in both the two-day and limited-over tournaments. In the longer format, Blyden emerged as one of the top-batsmen accumulating over 800 runs from 11 games inclusive of three centuries (162, 139 and 105 not out).

Travis Blyden is a former Guyana under-19 reserve athlete

According to the Guyana Defence Force player, these innings will definitely be inspirational for him to churn out greater performances for Civics as soon as he starts off the season. “I want to continue with this good form; I love playing in

Canada and those performances for my club in Trinidad should impress the selectors back home; I shall be in Guyana later this year to vie for a spot in the inter-county team which will be used to select the national squad,” Blyden related.

Injury worries for Gayle as first Test looms


U M B A I , I N D I A (CMC)—West Indies batsman Chris Gayle is expected to consult a specialist in Germany about a troublesome back problem, as he races to be fit ahead of his 100th Test in his hometown Jamaica next month. The left-hander struggled throughout the recent Indian Premier League, managing just 196 runs at an average of 21 and a highest score of 46, and says he needs to get the injury issue resolved. "It was tough. It (injury) happened just before IPL at the end of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. It became even worse later. I thought it was a simple thing when I went back and then when I started training in UAE it became difficult bending and sprinting between wickets. It was a problem, but I tried my best and missed the first four games," the 34-yearold opener said at the launch of his own shoe brand, CG.

"I am just trying to get this injury sorted out. Even now I am struggling. I could not move too much, bend too much. I am going to Germany…to see a specialist to resolve this issue, to try and get fit now." If Gayle is fit for selection for the opening Test against New Zealand starting June 8 at Sabina Park, he will become only the ninth West Indies player to suit up in 100 Tests. He is also 67 runs short of becoming the eighth West Indies batsman to pass 7,000 runs in Test cricket. "One hundredth Test will mean a lot to me. I first played for West Indies 13 years ago and I am going on to my 14th year to get to the milestone. I should have got past this a long time ago but for injuries. But these things happen. You pick up injuries as a cricketer," Gayle said. Gayle has been picked in a 15-man training squad which is currently in camp in Barbados. He, along with fellow

Chris Gayle has been picked in a 15-man training squad which is currently in camp in Barbados (Jamaica Observer photo)

IPL star Sunil Narine, is scheduled to join the camp Sunday. The camp ends June 4. West Indies face New Zealand in three Tests,

with the second scheduled for Trinidad and Tobago from June 16-20 and the final one carded for Guyana from June 26-30.


sport | WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014

Lindeners to represent Guyana at Gold, silver for TT’s Bovell in Canada U.S. Open Beach Soccer C’ships C


UYANA: Two Guyanese players of the Lindenbased Cool Running Beach Football Club (CRBFC), Keon Sears and Ron Fiedthkhou, are expected to depart Guyana on June 5 to represent their homeland in the annual U.S. Open Beach Soccer Championships, slated to be held in Virginia USA, VA beach. The tournament is expected to kick off on June 6 and end on June 8. Rollin Tappin, President of the CRBFC, said the two seasoned beach footballers were invited by the Florida Beach Soccer Club to play under the team’s roster. He said the tournament is one of the most prestigious tournaments held annually in the USA. Teams from Africa and Central and North America are also expected to be competing this year. No stranger to the tournament, Sears will be appearing in the championships for the second time around, having played under the Tobago beach soccer team in the Bagosports Invitational tournament held in Tobago in 2012.

Keon Sears

Ron Fiedthkhou

Fiedthkhou however, will be making his debut in this form of competition. Tappin related that although both players would have gained meaningful experience from participating in various beach football tournaments, in and out of the country, the executives of the club wish them success and hope their participation will raise awareness about Guyana’s potential in this format of football. “We also would like to register our deepest disgust at the way in which the sport is seemingly being neglected by the authorities. One issue to note is that Guyana was invited to participate

in the South American beach games in Vargas, Venezuela and it was most disheartening that beach soccer was omitted, even though it is known that Guyana has quality players with international exposure, but instead beach rugby was given the nod. Even more glaring was that both teams, beach volleyball and beach rugby had their final work-out at the recently commissioned Linden beach football facility. As president of the club, I call on the Guyana Football Federation to bring about administrative normalcy to the sport, so it true potential can be realised,” he stated. (Guyana Times)

Doping ban...

Jamaican sprinters appeal for reduced penalties


AUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (CMC): Jamaican sprint star Asafa Powell has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, asking for his 18-month ban to be reduced to three months. The 31-year-old tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine at last year's national championships and was slapped with the suspension by the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission in April. However, Powell subsequently branded the ruling as "unfair and unjust" and said he would appeal. Fellow Jamaican sprinter Sherone Simpson, who was also banned for 18 months following a positive drugs test for the same substance, has also appealed to CAS for a reduction in the JADCO suspension. "The athletes put forward that the offence committed is minor and request that the suspensions be reduced to (three) months," CAS said in a statement.

Asafa Powell (Jamaica Gleaner file photos)

“The CAS has initiated an arbitration procedure in each case and the parties have been invited to file written submissions in accordance with the Code of sportsrelated arbitration. No hearing date has been fixed yet,” it added. Following the positive test, Powell blamed Canadian physical trainer Chris Xureb for providing him with the supplements, that included the banned substance. However, a threemember JADCO disciplinary panel said the

sprinter had been "negligent" and had been "at fault", and banned him until December 28 this year. The suspension was dated to the time of the positive test last year. Powell immediately vowed to fight the ban, pointing out it was the first time in his 12-year career that he had ever tested positive. Powell has never won a World or Olympic title, but holds the world record for the most windlegal sub-10 clockings, with 81.

ANADA: TT Olympic bronze medal swimmer George Bovell won gold in his pet event, the 50m freestyle at the 51st Mel Zaljac Meet held at the University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre, University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on Saturday night. Bovell finised in 22.91 seconds, well ahead of his Club Wolverine team-mate Geoff Cheah who was second in 23.32 while Yuri Kisil and Zach Hayden were joint third in 23.33. The others in the final were Andrew Poznikoff (23.50), Kyle Troskot (23.60), David Hibberd (23.63) and Hassaan Abdel-Khalik (23.87). Earlier, Hayden was the top qualifier in 23.29 ahead of Bovell (23.51), Kisil (23.71), Cheah (23.79), Hibberd (23.80), Troskot (23.83), Poznikoff (24.00) and Abdel-Khalik who won a swimoff with Sean Fletcher after both clocked 24.09. The 30-year-old Bovell III, also won silver in the men’s 50m backstroke in 26.97 behind Russell Wood (26.66) while Jeffrey Swanston took bronze in 27.10. Last Thursday night when the meet began, Bovell was the sixth

George Bovell III (TT Guardian file photo)

fastest qualifier in the 50m backstroke heats in 27.66 seconds after being seeded second with a time of 25.96 behind Wood (25.69). Wood lived up to his top seeded and was the fastest in the heats in 27 seconds, followed by Swanston (27.02), Cheah (27.13), Tim Zeng (27.48), Best (27.55), Fletcher (27.75) and Thormeyer (27.82). And in the 50m butterfly B-final last Friday, Bovell, won in 25.55 followed by Rohan Jacobs (25.85) and Stephen Calkins (25.91). Cheah won the A-final in 24.81 followed by Fletcher (24.84) and Troskot (25.14). Sunday night, Bovell lined up in the 50m breaststroke gold medal swim after he qualified as the fifth fastest from the heats with a time of 29.53, well adrift of the third seeded time

of 28.22 last Thursday night. The qualifiers to finish ahead of Bovell were his Club Wolverine teammate Richard Funk (28.48), Zach Hayden (29.08), Rafa Van Leeuwaarde (29.25) and Poznikoff (29.52) while Nick Kostick (29.61), Sergey Holson (29.62) and Antoine Bujold (30.20) were sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Bovell is using the meet in Canada to gauge his progress since he last competed in November 2013 at the FINA World Cup in Beijing, China. Following this meet Bovell will compete at USA Santa Clara Grand Prix at the end of June to assess his form before heading into the French Open in early July and the Commonwealth Games at the end of July in Glasgow, Scotland. (TT Guardian)

Bajans earn v’ball bronze


UBA: It took over two hours and five gruelling sets but in the end Barbados won the bronze at the 2014 World’s Championship Men’s Group P volleyball match in Havana on Saturday night. Barbados, who dismissed Suriname in straight sets in their final preliminary match, were extended to two hours and 11 minutes before squeezing out the victory 31-29, 23-25, 25-14, 24-26, 16-14 in a rematch. Hosts Cuba grabbed the gold and the ticket to the finals in Poland by stopping the Dominican Republic 25-14, 26-28, 2518, 25-12. Opposite player Shawn Simpson maintained his tremendous form scoring 19 points for Barbados with veteran Fabian Cox stepping up at the critical time with 15 points which were matched by the wiry Akeem Payne. Middle player Ammuniki Wood ended a good series with 11 points. Captain Alain London, who placed second among the best setters indicated that Barbados attacked

Akeem Payne and Shawn Simpson celebrating Barbados’ capture of the bronze in Havana on Saturday night (Nation News photo)

Suriname with their strong serves as in the previous game but greater determination by the opponents as well as some errors in receptions by the Bajans saw the game going the distance. Verny Vilet scored a game high 27 points for Suriname while Keven Sporkslede contributed 21. Simpson ended third among the best scorers with 48 points but, unfortunately he could not clinch the best opposite player award since MVP, Best Server and Best

Scorer, Cuba’s Rolando Cepeda (64 points) and Miguel Caceres (63 points) respectively, are all lefthanders who played the opposite position. Payne was Barbados next best scorer in 12th while Cox and Wood held a joint 14th and Kyle Browne placed 17th. Payne was seventh in blocks while libero Sheldon Roach was fourth in reception. Cuba took 10 of the 12 individual awards shared out and the other two went to the Dominican Republic. (Nation News)

31 Golden finish for Jamaica at World Relays N sport

WEEK ENDING May 29, 2014 |

A S S A U , BAHAMAS: Jamaica capped the IAAF World Relays with a comfortable win in the men’s 4x100m relay, easing the disappointments of a day that saw the men’s 4x400m and the women’s 4x200m teams fail to live up to expectations inside the Thomas A Robinson Stadium. Nesta Carter, Nickel Ashmeade, Julian Forte and Yohan Blake powered Jamaica to a 37.77 win in the men’s 4x100m relay, with Trinidad and Tobago, 38.04 and Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 38.19 completing the top three. The win ensured that Jamaica remains unbeaten on the world

Yohan Blake reacts after Jamaica won and set a new world record of 1:18.63 in the men's 4x200-metre relay at the IAAF World Relays (and) Monica Hargrove in action on her leg of the women's 4x400-metre relay (then) Rasheed Dwyer in full flight during his run in the men's 4x200-metre relay (AP photos)

stage in the event that they have laid siege upon since 2008 at the

Beijing Olympics. In the women’s 4x400m, the world got

a glimpse of one of the island’s most promising talents, as 19-year-

old Shericka Jackson anchored Jamaica to a 3:23.26 second place finish behind the United States, 3:21.73, as Nigeria took third place in 3:23.41. Jackson was surprisingly given the responsibility with the team’s coaches deciding to maximise speed at the top of the race, with the experienced Kaliese Spencer and Novlene WilliamsMills running the first two legs with Anastasia Le-Roy on third. The women’s 4x800m team did themselves no shame, crossing the line in fifth place in 18:17.22. The event was won by the USA in 8:01.58 ahead of Kenya, 8:04.28 and Russia, 8:08.19. Things didn’t go too well for Jamaica in the

women’s 4x200m final, as Shelly-Ann FraserPryce–clearly hampered by a leg injury that had her participation in doubt for much of the week, could not pull the Jamaicans above third place. The Jamaicans finished in 1:30.04–a national record in the event, with the USA taking the race in 1:29.45 ahead of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 1:29.61. The real disaster came, however, in the men’s 4x400m final, as a mix-up on the first exchange saw Jamaica finishing last in 3:10.23, as the USA, 2:57.25, The Bahamas, 2:57.59 and Trinidad and Tobago, 2:58.34 took top spots. (Jamaica Gleaner)

TT nab one silver, two bronze and new national record at World Relays


A S S A U , BAHAMAS: Trinidad and Tobago emerged from the inaugural two-day double-gender IAAF World Relays in Nassau, The Bahamas, staged over the weekend with one silver medal and two bronze from six events contested. The men’s 4 by 100 metres quartet of Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Rondell Sorillo and Richard Thompson put the seal on TT’s challenges with the silver medal take in what was the closing event Sunday night at the jam-packed Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau. And a couple hours before, the foursome of Lalonde Gordon, Renny

Quow, Machel Cedenio and Jarrin Solomon raced to third place in the 4x400 final in a new TT time of two minutes 58.34 seconds. The silver-bronze collection added to the TT women’s earn of the bronze medals in Saturday night’s 4x100 metres final which was won by the United States with Jamaica second and Nigeria 4th. Kamaria Durant, Michelle Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas and Kai Selvon represented TT in both the preliminary heat in which they were second to the United States and in the final. Their medal success was the first in a major Games for a TT women’s

relay team other than the Olympics or the World Athletics Championships. While the two men’s teams earned medals from the two events in which they featured, the women’s sprint relay team had no medal-winning company from the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 units. Meanwhile, Jamaica with Nesta Carter, Nickel Ashmeade, Julian Forte and Yohan Blake won the men’ sprint relay in a time of 37.77 seconds– TT second in 38.04 seconds and Great Britain/ Northern Ireland third in 38.19. Brazil, Japan, Canada, Germany completed the order of finish for the final which was without

TT placed third in the women’s 4x100-metre race

France who qualified, but did not take their place while the United States

and the hosts Bahamas were disqualified after Heat three running for

infraction of baton-passing rules. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

Sacked Windies captain to play for Glamorgan Guyanese Golfer Guyadeen A R D I F F , great to work with him continues to shine in USA WALES (CMC): again at Glamorgan.”


Former West Indies Test captain Darren Sammy will turn out for Glamorgan in the English domestic Twenty20 championship, the Welsh club announced Tuesday. The Windward Islands all-rounder has been cleared by the West Indies Cricket Board and has received work permit approval from English authorities, and could be in action as early as this Friday when Glamorgan take on Sussex at the SWALEC Stadium. According to the County, Sammy will be available until the Caribbean Premier League bowls off on July 11. “Darren's skills with bat and ball have delighted crowds all around the world in Twenty20 competitions in recent years so we're delighted to wel-

Darren Sammy

come him to Glamorgan,” said chief executive and director of cricket, Hugh Morris. “Darren arrives fresh from the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise in the Indian Premier League, whom he captained and Glamorgan supporters will get an opportunity to see the allrounder display his skills as he joins us ahead of Friday's first home game against Sussex Sharks.” Head coach Toby

Radford, who worked closely with Sammy during his time with the West Indies squad, said the St Lucian would be an asset to the Glamorgan side. “Darren is a top quality T20 player and a fine addition to our dressing room as he brings with him experience at the highest level,” Radford said. “Darren was a leader on and off the field during my days with the West Indies, so it will be

Sammy arrives at Glamorgan following a disappointing stint at Sunrisers where he managed just 108 runs from nine innings, and sent down 14 overs at an economy rate of 11. The 30-year-old was sacked as Test captain earlier this month and subsequently announced his retirement from the game’s longest format. He has remained available for selection to the shorter forms, and is still captain of the Twenty20 side. West Indies host New Zealand in Twenty20 Internationals in early July, following the conclusion of the threeTest tour. It is unclear if Sammy would miss this series. Sammy has played 38 Tests, 111 one-dayers and 52 T20s matches for West Indies.


uyanese golfer Cris Guyadeen is creating waves in the United States of America, notching up some impressive performances over the past few months. Guyadeen, who is always keen on keeping the Golden Arrowhead flying high, won the TPC Sawgrass Open earlier this year and won his flight, before playing the season opener for the GCAM Tour and placing joint third. That was followed by a joint fourth-place finish in another tournament at the Spring Lake Golf Course and the top podium spot in the ‘A’ Flight Championship at the Golfweek Am Tour at the Harbourlinks Golf Course in Nassau County, New York. Guyadeen also competed in the GCAM Tour

Cris Guyadeen

last week when he shot +2 to win outright in the highest flight (Palmer). Guyadeen told this publication, “I would like you to inform the public that I still try to keep the Guyana flag flying high over here in the USA, and will be very humbled if I can get to represent Guyana in Argentina in January 2015 at the LAAC golf tournament, but we must ensure that Guyana is a member of the LAAC.”

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


Guyana’s Synthetic Track lauded as a landmark achievement - nears completion


E O N O R A , GUYANA: It has taken a while, but things are looking up at the Leonora Synthetic track in Guyana. German company BSW Regupol has concluded the laying of the synthetic surface with only the lane markings left to be installed on the red surface. Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sport Steve Ninvalle revealed the time in which the lane markings of the track will begin.

“We are happy to notify that we have completed most of the work on the synthetic turf… we have been told that the second week in June another engineer from BSW will be in Guyana to draw the lanes and to put the other apparatus on the hammer section, shot put and so forth,” Ninvalle stated. Meanwhile, the northern stands being constructed by BK International, are also in its final stages as Ninvalle explained the process left to make the

stands operational. “Additionally, work is going on, on the north-eastern stand and the other stand and this is scheduled to come to completion by the end of May. However, it will be hard for the contractor to commit to that date, but if not the end of May we should have this stand by mid- June. This stand also includes the washrooms at the bottom of it and the contractor for the washroom facilities is waiting until BK finishes these stands,” Ninvalle noted.

A section of Guyana’s Synthetic Track located at Leonora, West Coast Demerara, with the north-eastern stands almost completed (Treiston Joseph photo)

He also highlighted the progress of the inner field of the track along with its expected completion date: “the contractor who is doing the field has given us until June 1 for this field to be completed, after that we will go into six months of maintenance. I think there is a lot of improvement as it relates to the field.”

Landmark achievement

Meanwhile, the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has described the construction of the synthetic track as a “landmark achievement” for the government and the fulfillment of a promise in its manifesto. General Secretary Clement Rohee, speaking at the party’s week-

ly press briefing at Freedom House, Robb Street, Georgetown on Tuesday, said the PPP/C has always stated its firm commitment to the development and expansion of sport and the requisite facilities to help the country’s sportsmen and women reach their full potential and continue to represent Guyana well internationally. “This state-of-the-art facility will see Guyana hosting more international athletics competitions, which fit into the PPP/Civic government’s ongoing efforts to promote another tourism product- sports tourism,” he indicated. “We wish to state as a matter of public record that the successive PPP administrations have

never shirked their responsibilities when it comes to the promotion of sports and support for our athletes. The evidence is in the public’s domain to show. Under the PPP/Civic, the Guyana National Stadium at Providence was constructed; the Albion Sports Complex was refurbished and fitted with floodlights, making it ideal for night cricket, football and other sporting events,” he added. As part of its commitment to the development of sports, the Guyana government this year allocated Gy$300m towards the upgrade of community grounds across the country. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

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The Beacon of Truth Week Ending May 29, 2014