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ISSUE NO. 80

CANADA EDITION

CN $1.00

WEEK ENDING December 12, 2013

Domestic violence causes huge dent on Caribbean economies – SG LaRocque Page 13

Caricom’s Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

Canada continues to support Caribbean in security matters “Canada is very much aware that security in the Caribbean has a bearing on security of us in the North.” So said Canadian High Commissioner Richard Hanley, in his address to key law enforcement officials from across the region who gathered recently in Barbados. Hanley therefore noted that Canada’s efforts are focused on assisting Caribbean partners, by strengthening local capacity, particularly through justice and security system reform, as well as on stemming drug trafficking and money laundering throughout the region. The Canadian High Commissioner also cited a number of security related government of Canada programmes currently in place in the Caribbean, including Canada’s Anti-crime Capacity Building Programme, which has contributed Cdn$22 million dollars between 2009 and 2013. Hanley stated that other programmes include the establishment of a virtual training institute in the Eastern Caribbean via the Regional Security System(RSS), supporting the RSS Air Wing through the provision of radar equipment, working with the U.S. to establish a regional integrated ballistic identification network among Caribbean community members, supporting police professionalisation in the Turks and Caicos, assisting in reforming the justice sector in Trinidad and Tobago, supporting several projects implemented by the Organisation of American Stares and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Canada’s Department of National Defence, through its Military Training Cooperation Programme, also offers professional development training to members of the armed forces in the Caribbean, Hanley said. He stressed that the region’s law enforcement officials are faced with difficult challenges and with limited resources they still have to seek to make the region safer for Caribbean citizens and also Canadian tourists who like to visit the region. Hanley’s comments on these matters came as he addressed top law enforcement and security officials at the recently held Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police, in Barbados. (Barbados Advocate)

Caribbean joins the world to celebrate Mandela’s life Page 2

(From left) Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar and TT’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar joined more than 100 world leaders at the Johannesburg's FNB Stadium in South Africa on Tuesday, to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. (Kamla Persad-Bissessar FB photo)

PPP/C confident of winning next election in Guyana Page 11

PPP/C General Secretary Clement Rohee


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NEWS

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Guyanese President urges Caricom to invest more in the region’s human resources - as Guyana tops CXC/CSEC awards

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resident Donald Ramotar has urged Caricom countries to promote greater regional integration and work towards developing “knowledge-based economies” that are more responsive to globalisation. During his address at the 40th Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) award ceremony for top performers, held at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown, last Thursday, the president called on Caribbean nations to pool their collective resources to respond to the changing global environment and to take the region to another level. He stressed that it was only through educational successes and the promotion and improvement in regional performance that the region can change its position on the global arena. Ramotar said the CXC awardees stand a good chance of helping to

The 2013 CXC awardees pose for a group photo with CXC officials in Guyana

shape the future of the region, but this would require them to remain within the Caribbean Community to sustain the development and create avenues for greater opportunities.

Awardees

Guyana copped five of the eight regional awards offered by CXC this year. Yogeeta Persaud of the Anna Regina Secondary School received the award for Overall Outstanding Achievement at the

Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations; Rafena Mustapha of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan received the award for Most Outstanding in Humanities; Cecil Cox of Queen’s College, Most Outstanding in Sciences; Sasha Woodroffe also of Queen’s College, Most Outstanding in Business Studies; and Zimeena Rasheed of Anna Regina Secondary School, Most Outstanding in Technical

Vocational. The award for most outstanding student candidate in visual arts twodimensional work went to Aimee De Montbrum of the Holy Name Convent from Trinidad and Tobago; while the most outstanding candidate in visual arts three-dimensional work was Ranolyn Hunt of St Mary’s College of Jamaica. The award for most outstanding candidate for short story writing

went to Nathaniel Adiah of Presentation College of Trinidad and Tobago. The Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) awardees include: most outstanding overall– Dennis Irvine of Ardence High School in Jamaica; most outstanding in Mathematics–Maryam Archie of St Joseph Convent of Trinidad and Tobago; most outstanding in natural sciences–Jean-Luc Duval

of St Mary’s College of Trinidad and Tobago; most outstanding in business studies–Shelemiah Perterkin of St Joseph Convent of Trinidad and Tobago; most outstanding in information and communication technology–Stephen Prince of Hillview College of Trinidad and Tobago; and most outstanding in technical studies–Elise Francis of St Joseph’s of Trinidad and Tobago. (Guyana Times)

Caribbean joins the world to celebrate Mandela’s life Jamaican gov’t legislates against Ponzi schemes

By KHAMAL GEORGES

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ohannesburgSouth African President Jacob Zuma may have announced this week as a period of mourning for its anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, but in the heart and minds of the people in Johannesburg's FNB Stadium Tuesday, it was about the celebration of the life of this fallen hero. Not even the nonstop rain and dark skies which covered all of the greater Johannesburg area could dampen the spirits of those in attendance at the memorial ceremony in Mandela’s honour. One of the thousands who filed out of the stadium after the official service was over, said it was indeed a sad day for South Africa, but added: “Madiba worked hard for his people. He deserves his rest.” Mandela, who died last Thursday at the age of 95, was praised by all, including the world leaders who attended Tuesday’s memorial service and the people in the stadium and on the streets throughout Pretoria. Apart from Zuma being booed and jeered at the memorial, which may have come with some form of public humiliation due to the presence of other world leaders, the rest of the celebra-

TT’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar shares a word with Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the memorial service on Tuesday. (Kamla Persad-Bissessar FB photo)

tion itself was one which displayed a national and worldwide outpouring of love and admiration for Mandela, the man and the leader. Several Caribbean leaders, including Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar, Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, represented Caricom, alongside U.S. President Barack Obama, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and some 100plus other world leaders, who all equally paid their respect to Mandela. Obama, who referred to Mandela as the “last great liberator of the 20th century,” gave words of comfort to the people of South Africa

during a speech, for which he received loud cheers from the massive crowd which packed into the stadium.

Tributes

Also taking to the stage to pay their own oral tributes to Mandela and the people of South Africa were UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Brazil President Dilma Rouseff and Cuban President Raúl Castro. Wednesday, the week of mourning or celebration of Mandela’s life moved to Pretoria’s Union Building, where Mandela's body lay in state until Friday. It is expected that hundreds of thousands of people from around the world, including Persad-

Bissessar and TT’s Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, will pay their final respects to Mandela at this event, ahead of his funeral on Sunday. Earlier, PersadBissessar, Rowley and several other Caricom leaders, who left the Caribbean on Wednesday, all arrived in heavy rains at the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, Tuesday morning. The scene at the airport could be described as “understandably overwhelmed,” as world leaders and their support staff, media representatives from around the world and simple wellwishers arrived to take part in Tuesday’s activity. One protocol officer was seen suddenly bursting into tears and at the same time apologising for her outburst. Unfortunately, the local media personal who travelled with the delegation did not get to attend the memorial because they could not get accreditation. Throughout the city of Pretoria Tuesday, approximately 70 miles from the FNB Stadium, one could see and hear the cities eyes and ears all fixed on the celebrations taking place at the memorial, via big screen televisions, which were strategically set up at many parks. (TT Guardian)

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amaican legislators Tuesday passed a bill in the House of Representatives which grants the court powers to imprison persons for a term not exceeding 10 years, and or a fine, should he/she be convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme. The bill, known as the Securities (Amendment) Act, seeks, among other things, to clamp down on the unauthorised dealing in securities. It expressly prohibits a scheme, known popularly as Ponzi, which the bill defines as being “an investment scheme that provides investors with returns derived substantially from investments made by other investors in the scheme, rather than from genuine profits.” The prohibition extends to whether or not the name Ponzi is used by any person in connection with the scheme, and whether or not the scheme limits the number of participants either expressly or by the application of conditions affecting the eligibility of a person to enter, or receive compensation under the system. Prohibition has also been placed on pyramid selling schemes, which the bill defines as “the selling of financial products in circumstances where a promoter or operator of, or an investor in, a scheme induces or attempts to induce

a person to make payments into a scheme by holding out to the person that the person will receive some payment or other benefit.” Those benefits, the bill further states, may come from other investors in the scheme, or the introduction of other persons to become investors in the scheme.

Investment clubs

In the meantime, an investment club with a maximum of 20 members is to be exempt from established registration requirements. The bill proposes that in addition to a limit on the number of members, the exemption shall apply if payments by members consist of equal sums payable at agreed periodic intervals. The proposed law also requires that there be a specified limit on the maximum annual contribution of members, which limit should not exceed the maximum stipulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC), and that all members are entitled to equal participation and voting rights. It also prohibits borrowing from the public, and states that remuneration to officers or members of the club for administrative or other services performed for the club, other than as reimbursement for expenses reasonably incurred, is also prohibited. (Excerpted from Jamaica Gleaner)


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FLASHBACK: Nelson Mandela in Jamaica (1991)

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EDITORIAL

Hope for WTO?

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he World Trade Organisation (WTO), formed in 1995, is the only “world” organisation demanding the unanimous concurrence of all its 159 members before a deal can be struck. As can be expected, with every country trying to protect its own interest, the goal of unanimity on agreements is almost impossible. On Saturday, December 7, the first agreement was finally reached in Bali, Indonesia and prompted the new Director General of the WTO, Roberto Azevedo to quote the just-departed Nelson Mandela: “It seems impossible till it is done.” But it took a tremendous paring down of the expectations raised by the Doha round of negotiations, launched in 2001, which was dubbed the “development round” to reach the milestone. The thrust of Doha was to lower trade barriers and revise certain restrictive trade (and immigration) rules especially by the developed countries, led by the U.S. It was supposed to be consummated by 2011, but talks derailed in 2009 and 2011 after the developed nations balked at assuming their responsibilities in the wake of their 2008 economic collapse. To achieve the Bali agreement, Director General Azevedo confined the agenda to three broad areas–trade facilitation, food security, and the development dimension. The first was pushed by the developed countries because they wanted easier access of their goods into other countries. The second was an item India, China and other larger nations wanted since it would allow them to subsidise some agricultural food production for “food security” purposes. Last and lowest on the totem pole was the concern of the lesser developed countries that formed the vast majority of the WTO–development issues especially agriculturally based ones. The biggest winners at Bali were the developed countries which were able to have all other countries go along on “trade facilitation” measures. The emerging economies such as the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) bloc went along because they are now in the major leagues as far as exports are concerned. This component is being hyped as it will increase the value of world trade by US$1 trillion–40 per cent of which will go to the developed countries. With their lesser numbers compared with the 120 other countries, their individual shares are astronomical. The larger developing countries also came out smelling roses after the U.S. and India, which had taken the lead on “food security”, hammered out a compromise. The compromise shields countries like India from WTO dispute challenges over their agricultural supports if they are more transparent about what they are doing. While getting some crumbs covering customs, agriculture and assistance, the world’s impoverished, least developed nations were left with promises more than anything else. For example, instead of guaranteeing duty-free access for goods for poor countries, the Bali deal contains a vaguer commitment to do so in the future. Following the Bali Agreement, the negotiators in Geneva are now supposed to focus on the long-stalled issues of the Doha Development Round in a work programme they committed to complete within 12 months. The director general optimistically declared: “The Bali Declaration is the stepping stone to the completion of the Doha round.” But consummation of the Doha round is extremely unlikely and it was telling that the U.S. negotiators and many others were hurrying off to another set of trade talks–this time to the bilateral format of the TransPacific Partnership, in which the U.S. has the lead role. Substantive trade matters are increasingly being dealt with in such mega regional free trade deals instead of global talks and the WTO remains in danger of becoming a forum for simply settling trade disputes rather than creating a more equitable trading system. Even putting the best spin to the agreement, host Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wijaran could only announce: “We have agreed there is a need to change the WTO’s agreement on agriculture, which will take time.” The poorer countries do not have much, if any, time.

The late former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela (left), is welcomed to Jamaica at the Norman Manley International Airport by the late former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Michael Manley, when he arrived in the island in July of 1991. Mr. Mandela died last Thursday (December 5) at the age of 95. (JIS photo)

Close to 500 Guyanese graduate from skills training programme in Berbice, Linden

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wo hundred and seventysix persons in Berbice, Guyana, last Wednesday graduated after completing training under the Board of Industrial Training’s (BIT) National Training Project for Youth Empowerment (NTPYE) and Single Parent Programme. Last Friday, another 175 graduated in Linden. Under the youth empowerment programme, 247 youths from the Berbice region benefited from training of which 54 have already gained employment, while four have advanced to further training. The youths were exposed to training in 17 occupational areas at 49 training locations. Among the graduates were 70 engineers, 36 welders, 19 mechanics, 15 joiners, and 60 in home economics. BIT also collaborated with the Health Ministry and 65 persons benefited from training in the area of health services through this collaboration. Training was done at hospitals and health centres. Meanwhile, 29 persons graduated from the Single Parent Programme, 15 of them in garment construction while eight completed training in the area of cosmetology and six in catering. Trainer, Colin Langford, speaking at the event at the New Amsterdam Technical Institute, noted that the initiative is indeed a tremendous success, adding that several persons coming out of the programme have managed to start their own businesses, contributing to society and generally living better lives. He said that the vocational training programme should be commended for its responsibility of empow-

ering single parents, as well as the thousands of youths who have benefited thus far. Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mark Roopnarine, lauded the youth empowerment and single parent programme in reducing unemployment, while also bettering the lives of single parents. He encouraged personal independence and entrepreneurship among the young graduates, as well as the single parents.

Rapid growth

Guyana’s Labour Minister, Dr Nanda Gopaul was impressed with the rapid growth of the programme, which is undoubtedly making an impact on the economic well-being of Guyanese in the various administrative regions. The labour minister also stressed the importance of the BIT initiative in tackling unemployment. He acknowledged, however, that the issue of unemployment is by no means unique to Guyana, since the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is also seeking to manage this issue in even the developed countries. “Our programme is geared at assisting every single youth who wants that opportunity, and I think it is because of that we must recognise the role of central government in this regard,” the minister noted. Despite the additional training and support that are available through the BIT programme, youths are encouraged to capitalise on the nursery, primary and secondary education systems which are affordable and free to all Guyanese.

Vision

The BIT initiative is a demonstration of government’s longstanding vision for the creation of job opportunities for young people and empowering women. The programme is also recognised as critical in dealing with the issue of child labour since it provides school dropouts an opportunity for a second chance to be schooled. During 2013, a total of 2292 youths have thus far benefited from training in over 50 different trades and technical and vocation skills. Some of these include engineering, electrical, building construction, health services, home economics, information technology, clerical and forestry. Overall, a total number of 12,697 people benefited from training under the programme since its inception in 2005. Earlier this month, 29 youths graduated for Bartica, Region Seven, while another 429 graduated at the Leonora Technical Training Centre, Region Three.

Linden

Last Friday, 175 Lindeners graduated from the BIT programme. One hundred and thirty (130) persons graduated from the youth empowerment programme, while 45 graduated under the single parents’ programme. Among the youths who graduated were 41 engineers, four mechanics and 36 heavy-duty equipment operators, while 23 graduated with health services certificates. Under the single parents’ aspect, 20 persons completed the catering programme, 15 garment construction, and 10 cosmetology. (Guyana Times)


News week ending december 12, 2013

Barbados launches Official Travel Guide App

One of the creators of the Barbados Official Travel Guide App, Kye Husbands of G&A Communications, outlining the features of the app, during the launching event at the Radisson Aquatica, Tuesday. (Barbados Advocate photo)

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nowing where to stay, what to do and where to go when on the island has now become much simpler for visitors due to the Barbados Official Travel Guide App. Officially launched Tuesday at the Radisson Aquatica, the free app also plans personalised itineraries and has an online trip sharing feature allowing persons to add pictures and notes about their trip to share with friends and families, while acting as a navigation tool to help persons get to and from their destinations. One of the creators of

the app, Kye Husbands of G&A Communications explained that it would help enhance visitor experience by making it easier to locate activities interesting to that individual. Pointing out that the app was available on Android and iPhone, he encouraged persons to download it and experience its features for themselves. Lauding the initiative, Barbados’ Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, described it as “a very real way for visitors to tell our story more effectively, while on vacation and when they get

back home”. “The Island Guide App will allow for the whole travel experience to be enhanced and allow us to more effectively research who is coming here. It will in my view increase the visibility of the brand as new visitors get exposed to what we have to offer,” he added. Noting that the island was more popular with an older demographic with high repeat visit rate, he said it was critical to embrace new technologies like social media to target younger visitors, ensuring the future of the island’s tourism sector. (Barbados Advocate)

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Rediscover Guyana Easter 2014 for mid-December launch

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ediscover Guyana/ Home, a project conceptualised last year to highlight and promote tourism in Guyana, is once again on the front burner. According to project coordinator Bobby Vieira, the website for the Rediscover Guyana/ Home Easter 2014, will give the prospective visitor or returning nationals the opportunity to peruse and make a onestop visit to see, observe and learn of the many amenities now available in Guyana, be it airline, hotel, restaurant, inland transport and even some aspects of night life.

Interactive site

The interactive site (scheduled to be launched in mid-December in Guyana and New York) will give each visitor the privilege of viewing airlines now serving Guyana, hotels and restaurants, and also provide information on local tours and events surrounding the Easter Holidays for 2014 and after. According to Vieira, one can begin by accessing any of the airlines’

website by clicking the appropriate carrier and make his/her choice for flight and even compare fares. Once that is done, the prospective visitor could then visit and peruse the hotel/accommodations page where a number of hotels are displayed. Once the visitor clicks on the hotel’s icon, they will be taken directly to that facility’s website, where they will have a chance to see and compare amenities, rates and even locations. All bookings and arrangements will be done directly with the hotel, and is independent of the Easter package. On the same page, they can view the many tours which will be available, and can be purchased online long before they arrive in Guyana.

Excursions

The organisers have also indicated that even though they are offering only a few excursions to various places, a visitor may also access the website of any local tour operator or airline and make enquiries and bookings on their own as well. This, again; however, will also be a separate arrangement from the Easter package being sold online. There are also two pages dedicated to restaurants and bars captioned as Lounge, Lime and Dine. Website designer and developer Earl Gittens indicated that if a hotel, bar, night club or any company interested in placing an advertisement, but their business does not have a web page, a link to a flyer with the pertinent information can be designed at a minimal cost, in or-

Guyana secures US$16.9 million IDB loan to advance low-carbon strategy

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The IDB project will support measures to update the country’s regulatory framework to maintain low rates of deforestation and forest degradation caused by mining, logging, and agriculture

uyana, one of the best conserved high-biodiversity countries in the world, will advance in its efforts to implement its Low-Carbon Development Strategy with US$16.9 million in financing from the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB). The financing is the first of two programmatic policy-based loans to support the creation of regulatory, institutional, and monitoring instruments to help Guyana implement its development plan and mainstream environmental issues into institutional strategies. Guyana has about 85 per cent of its territory covered by forest and wooded lands. The IDB-project will support measures to update the country’s reg-

ulatory framework to maintain low rates of deforestation and forest degradation caused by mining, logging, and agriculture, as well as to improve the government’s institutional capacity to enforce legislation. Moreover, the project will support measures to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, the main entity in charge of promoting and implementing the country’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). This project is designed to foster the creation of government systems to measure, report, and verify forest carbon emissions resulting from deforestation and forest degradation. The IDB financ-

ing is made up of two loans of US$8.46 million each. The first loan comes from the IDB’s ordinary capital, with a 30-year maturity, and a 5.5-year grace period and a fixed interest rate (SCF-Fixed). The second loan comes from the bank’s Fund for Special Operations, with an interest rate of 0.25 per cent a year, and a 40year maturity and grace period. The IDB also approved this week a US$3.8 million nonreimbursable technical cooperation grant to Guyana to support measures to help the country establish an enabling framework and to build capacity for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). (Guyana Times)

der to give exposure, as well as creating awareness of their business or services.

Small businesses

Vieira also expressed jubilance at the fact that an opportunity is now being given primarily to small businesses in the transport, entertainment and hospitality sectors whose businesses may have been less known (or never) in many instances. He said the fact that the site will attract hundreds of thousands of surfers daily, so busi-

nesses can be assured that their names and services will be in a place where it will get exposure and be given consideration by visitors, since they will have an opportunity to get first hand information on any particular service or product of interest. This can be from a craft supplier, taxi service or jewellery establishment. He cautioned, however, that since space will be limited, interested parties may need to make contact with the secretariat well in time, in order to capitalise on such an opportunity. Gittens also stated that patrons desirous of purchasing tours will be able to do so online using Paypal. He also said that persons who have a

desire to have local family members and friends accompany them on the excursions or to payable events, can make payments for them online as well. Once a person makes a booking or purchase for any of the tours, they will fill a registration form and submit it. When they arrive in Guyana, they will receive their Rediscover Passport Pouch with all passes, tickets and an identification band at the Cheddi Jagan Airport. The pouch will also contain small gifts and memorabilia including caps, T- shirts and arts and crafts. More information and a sneak preview is available at www.rediscoverguyana.com. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

Guyana to benefit from US$12 million in agricultural grants

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he Guyana government will soon benefit from two grants worth US$12 million from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). This is according to Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy, who explained that the grants are worth US$6 million each and will provide support to two key areas in the local agricultural sector. One of the grants will look at the emerging problem of the red mite pest, which could decimate the local coconut industry. Dr Ramsammy

said, in many parts of the world, this pest is causing major destruction. “It is not a big problem in Guyana at this time, but we have noticed that it is emerging as a much bigger problem throughout the Caribbean and so we can anticipate that unless we do something it will emerge as a big problem in Guyana.” With the coconut industry a major player in agriculture, the minister said, Guyana will not wait for red mites to become a significant problem, but will work to prevent the pest from causing any damage. The second grant will focus on enabling farmers with techniques to

cultivate climate-change resistant cash crops. It will fund programmes that promote “shade technology, grow boxes, and different types of irrigation so that flooding and droughts will not impact our cash crop industry as much as it does today”, according to Dr Ramsammy. The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) will spearhead the project, engaging farmers and extension workers. Dr Ramsammy said the technical and financial support being provided by CARDI and IICA will help to significantly boost agriculture in Guyana. (Guyana Times)


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Guyana among most CXC to develop new syllabi for CSEC, CAPE generous countries on Earth

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he formulation of a Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Strategic Plan 2014-2020, among other issues dominated the council’s 45th meeting last Friday. According to a release, the council also looked at the erection of a new CXC headquarters building in Barbados and the development of new syllabi for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE). For the strategic plan, CXC Registrar Dr Didacus Jules, noted that the council will focus on three strategic objectives which are: strengthening the CXC business model, securing financial stability and delivering an enhanced stakeholder experience. As it relates to the syllabi, CXC ProRegistrar Glenroy Cumberbatch said, “We are looking at a green energy engineering syllabus…we’re looking at alternative ways to get energy in the Caribbean.” He noted that this decision was made since there are a number of individual countries within the Caribbean looking at other means of producing energy. “But who are the people to build these systems, who are the people who can then make payments to these systems?” he questioned. “We don’t want to develop that then someone outside of our region are the people who are earning the money…we want to make sure that our students have a sense of knowledge to develop these…so that the jobs that are being

created will go towards our own people,” Cumberbatch added. As such, he said the overall thinking is that students will be able to gain a good education as well as life skills for the world of work.

First paperless examination

CXC is also looking at offering Digital Media as a subject, for which a syllabus was formulated and approved for teaching in 2013 and the first paperless examination is set for May/June 2014. Meanwhile, highlighting the council’s plans to tackle the below-par performance in mathematics and English, Dr Jules said “We need to understand that when we are talking about education, there are no quick fix solutions. It requires investment, it takes time…and we have to understand that education is not what I call an eco-system, some of these problems start from pre-school level.” He said a regional literacy and numeracy strategy was developed in 2012, as well as a number of other short and long term plans which were shared with all governments in the Caribbean. Cumberbatch added too, that despite the low performances displayed, “I will tell you that there are more people writing English and getting acceptable grades now, than any time in the history of the Caribbean, so there is progress.” It was also noted that less children registered for this year`s May/ June CSEC examinations with a total of 149,311 compared to last year`s 156,970. Subject entries fell by just over 19,000. However, the subject entries for CAPE increased this year compared to 2012.

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uyana has been ranked the 16th most-generous country on earth, according to a new ranking from Gallup’s World Giving Index. The index is based on surveys and other research on 153 different countries, which together constitute about 95 per cent of the world’s population. The survey asks in part about charitable behaviour, including donations, volunteering habits and taking time to help strangers. Based on this index, Australia and New Zealand are tied as the most generous nations on earth. The top 21 most generous countries, in order, are Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, the U.S., Netherlands, Britain, Sri Lanka, Austria, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Sierra Leone, Malta, Iceland, Turkmenistan, Guyana, Qatar, Hong Kong, Germany,

Denmark and Guinea. Gallup’s analysis of the data found that giving money is more strongly correlated with happiness than with a nation’s gross domestic product. “It would be reasonable to conclude that giving is more an emotional act than a rational one,” the report said.

Among the other findings, age and gender affected generous behaviours. Globally, giving money to charity increases with age, largely explained by changes in disposable income. Women are generally more likely to give than men, the report said. (New York Times)

Historic sitting of Jamaica’s Trinity strikes black gold in Trinidad Appeal Court in Lucea

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n oil discovery of an estimated 115 million barrels has been made in East Trinidad by independent company Trinity Exploration and Production. TT’s Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, speaking Monday at a quarrying public consultation at Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain described the find as “good news for Trinidad and Tobago” for the Christmas season. “We have some positive news for the economy and the country,” he said. The discovery is the only major oil find announced for the year. Trinity in a release Monday announced the oil discovery at its TGAL1 exploration well within the Galeota license, where the company has 65 per cent operated interest. The Original Oil In Place (OOIP) is estimated to be in the range of 50 to 115 million barrels (mmbbl) of oil. The TGAL-1 well was drilled to a total depth of 5,694 feet. Trinity CEO Monty Pemberton, speaking with TT Media, said it was positive news for the country and the find “really demonstrates the potential of the various acreage we hold”. He

Exciting news said

that

TT’s Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine

Trinidad’s fields were under-exploited and the greater the exploration activity, the greater the potential for oil and gas finds. He stressed the need for more exploration activities and noted there was a lot of potential with smaller oilfields. Pemberton said Trinity focuses on smaller fields to bring them into production into a more cost effective manner. In the company release, he is quoted as saying the discovery “is exciting news for all of Trinity’s stakeholders, and our team has done an excellent job in delivering this successful well safely”. He continued, “Trinity’s industrial thesis has always been to pursue low risk opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago, which we believe is a prolific, but under-exploited hydrocarbon province. This is the

second successful exploration well Trinity has drilled on the Galeota license since 2012 (the first being EG-8) and demonstrates the further resource potential of the block. Our team is now focused on assessing development alternatives to move this project forward to FDP (Field Development Plan) as soon as possible.” The Trinity operated TGAL-1 exploration well was spudded (start of drilling on a new well) on October 31, 2013 to target an updip (situated up the slope of a dipping plane or surface) extension of the producing Trintes Field. Trinity is now evaluating whether further appraisal of this discovery is required, and will shortly commence engineering studies to finalise a development concept to progress the project to FDP. “Trinity will now aggressively assess appraisal and development options,” the release stated. Trinity is a San Fernando based-company with a presence on the London Stock Exchange. It is the largest independent exploration company focused on Trinidad and Tobago. Trinity operates assets onshore and offshore on both the West and East coasts. (TT Newsday)

Some of the lawyers from Western Jamaica who packed the Lucea Court House, in Hanover, for the historic sitting of the Court of Appeal on Monday. (JIS photo)

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istory was created in Jamaica’s town of Lucea, Hanover, on Monday, with the start of a weeklong sitting of the Court of Appeal. This is the first time that a sitting of that Court is being held outside of Kingston. Several lawyers from across western Jamaica were in attendance at the historic occasion. During a specially organized ceremony inside the courtroom to mark the occasion, President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Seymour Panton, emphasized that there is no reason in law or in logic for all the sittings of the Court to be held in Kingston only.

He told journalists that for some time he has entertained and nourished the idea that the Court of Appeal ought to sit in the County of Cornwall on a regular basis. “The main reason for such thinking has been the fact that there is a significant number of appeals from this County, and there is also the question of the expense and inconvenience to litigants which has to be considered,” he said. With the media presence very evident to record the historic happening, Justice Panton pointed out that some tolerance has been extended, but some proto-

col will have to be developed. “We are thinking that we are approaching that time when protocol ought to be developed, where the media would have access to our proceedings live; however, a protocol has to be developed because we do not intend for any situation to be created where persons get the impression that they are starring in a role,” he said. Justice Panton noted that consultations will be taking place among the judges at the sitting to discuss how best to facilitate the movement of the media into live proceedings, which he said, would be another first within the system. (JIS)


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PetroCaribe presents Jamaica with US$100 million export potential - but Jamaican exporters not taking advantage

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amaica can export up to US$100 million in products to Venezuela under the PetroCaribe deal. What's more, the figure keeps growing as the debt accumulated from the conversion of 50-60 per cent of oil imports from the South American country continues to rise. Under the deal, through which Jamaica has borrowed over US$2.4 billion, exports can be used to service the loan. But exporters have been slow to fill the gap that would soften the impact of hard currency repayment. Jamaica imported just over US$1 billion of goods from Venezuela in 2012, most of which related to mineral fuels, according to latest data from the International Trade Centre. Conversely, Jamaica exported just US$1 mil-

lion—mostly electronic equipment followed by sulfur and cement— to the South American country over the same period. “Unfortunately, it is with regret that we have not gone far enough given what is feasible,” said PetroCaribe Development Fund (PDF) CEO Wesley Hughes, in an interview with Jamaican media on Monday.

Win-win situation

“We are paying on average US$100 million in debt [annually], but we have not been able to export more goods and services,” he said, adding that, “It's a win-win situation for everybody. [If] Companies [increase] exports, Jamaica wouldn't have to find the US dollars to pay [Venezuela], but rather pay local firms in Jamaican dollars, and Venezuela would get the debt repaid in goods that they need.”

Jamaican exporters have been slow to fill the gap that would soften the impact of hard currency repayment. (Jamaica Observer photo)

The Venezuelans have provided a comprehensive list of goods and services that qualify under the programme, which include payment in building equipment, cement, chicken, black beans, rice, and animal feed. Caribbean Cement Company is on the verge of completing threeyear-old negotiations and is expected to export

Caribbean Regional Youth Council launched

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istory was made when the third Caribbean Youth Leaders Summit recently held in Gros Islet, St Lucia, elected the first ever executive of the newly-constituted Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC). Continuing the work that began at the previous summits in Barbados (2011) and Jamaica (2012), youth leaders took concerted steps towards strengthening their national youth organisations, and charting a path towards a regional youth governance mechanism. The revision and discussion of the progress and outputs of the previous summits culminated in the creation of the CRYC and the signing and unanimous ratification of its constitution. The summit was held from December 4 to 6. The final day was reserved for a stakeholders’ forum which saw the inclusion of key stakeholders. Through a process which was conducted by officers from the Electoral Department of St Lucia, the 12 official Caribbean delegates cast their vote by secret ballot, to elect the first executive of the CRYC. Timothy Ferdinand of St Lucia National Youth Council was elected chairman; Tiffany Daniels of the Guyana Interim National Youth Council as vice chairperson for membership and part-

The newly-elected CRYC executive: From back, left to right: Sean Nicholson (Trinidad and Tobago); Michael Xavier (Guyana); and Timothy Ferdinand (St Lucia). At front left to right: Nadege Roach (Dominica); Farmala Jacobs (Antigua and Barbuda); and Tiffany Daniels (Guyana)

nerships; Shanice Webb of the Trinidad Youth Council as vice chairperson for resource mobilisation; Michael Xavier of the Guyana Interim National Youth Council as vice chairperson for advocacy and policy; Farmala Jacobs of the Antigua National Youth Ambassador Corps as board member for training and development; and Nadege Roach of the National Youth Council of Dominica as board member for communications and information. Words of encouragement were offered to the newly-elected executive by one of the CRYC’s chief architects, Commonwealth Youth Programme Caribbean Centre Programme Manager Dwynette Eversley. Eversley urged the new executive to continue jus-

tifying the investment made in them by committing themselves to building a strong regional youth network which was inclusive, representative and addressed issues related to all Caribbean youth. These sentiments were also echoed by the outgoing Interim Steering Committee Chairman Jason Francis, who reminded the delegates of the critical role they play in improving the quality of life for youth across the Caribbean. In his first official address, CRYC Chairperson Timothy Ferdinand expressed gratitude to the youth delegates and organisations at the summit and pledged to make the necessary commitments and sacrifices to see the CRYC become a successful pan-Caribbean organisation.

100,000 tonnes of clinker shortly. “We have come close with consummating the deal between Venezuela and the cement company. There are just some minor technical legal issues,” Hughes revealed. “Hopefully in a couple of weeks we should see the export of clinker moving, and that would be very substantial.” The value of the initial supply contract is estimated at US$8 to US$9 million, while a further 400,000 tonnes may be exported through the arrangement next year. But that still leaves some US$60 million for Jamaican exporters to

exploit.

No subsidies

The products entering Venezuela won't benefit from any subsidies, and the companies willing to export there are required to find their own distributors. However, PetroCaribe can facilitate entry of local products into the sometimes protectionist Venezuela. Hughes said that larger companies such as GraceKennedy and Jamaica Broilers will be targeted, while growing agricultural produce, which are in high demand in the South American country, such as black beans, at the large agro parks that are

coming on stream, is being considered. The PDF plans to meet with the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce next month to raise awareness. It follows similar meetings with the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association. Jamaica spends some US$2 billion on oil imports annually, but the deferred oil payments under the PetroCaribe arrangement effectively provide some US$500 million in balance of payment support to government annually. This is crucial in a cashstrapped economy currently relying on financial support from the International Monetary Fund. At the end of March 2013, the total loan liability to Petroleos de Venezuela was Ja$240 billion (US$2.4 billion). A total of US$150 million was repaid to Venezuela and the projected repayment for financial year 2013/14 is US$100 million, latest financials indicate. The fund has total assets of Ja$261 billion as at March 2013. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)


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Guyanese Head of State extends Controversial EC$1.9 million condolences to President hotel on the cards for Barbuda Zuma on passing of Mandela

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n extending condolences to the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, on the passing of former President Nelson Mandela, Guyana’s Head of State Donald Ramotar noted that the loss is not just one for the people of South Africa, but for Africa as a whole, and the world at large. “Nelson Mandela was a giant in defence of human rights and for a free and just society, not only for his beloved South Africans, but for the oppressed the world over. The world is much poorer after his passing for he was one of the most outstanding statesmen of all time,” Ramotar said in his message to Zuma. The Guyanese president added that, “the struggle he led with other distinguished antiapartheid fighters has entered into the annals of world history as one of the most defining periods in our world. However, it was not only the struggle, but the manner in which it was conducted which will always remain an example and an inspiration for others working for social and economic justice everywhere. “He was truly the Father of his Nation, tirelessly devoting his

The Cedar Tree Point falls within the Codrington Lagoon National Park and is considered a sensitive area. Some residents are concerned about the Barbuda Council’s decision not to hold consultations on the EC$1.9 million project. (Antigua Observer photo)

Guyana’s Head of State Donald Ramotar (Guyana Times file photo)

life to serving the people of South Africa with humility and dignity in leadership and an unwavering commitment to preserving that hard won unity and the pride of liberation. “Highly loved and respected the world over, his memory will forever be cherished. For Guyana, this is particularly so, as we recall the strength of character which he continually displayed during those long, dark years of incarceration, a grave injustice. As we mourn now with South Africa, we re-

joiced then, when he won his freedom and took his rightful place as leader of his country.” Ramotar, who joined over 100 world leaders in Johannesburg Tuesday for Mandela’s memorial service, noted that “Mr Mandela’s name and work will endure throughout the ages. I would ask that you convey our sympathy to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. Please accept Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Jamaican-American Congresswoman urges U.S. to end deportations

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amaican-American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, has called on President Barack Obama to stop the deportation of Caribbean and other immigrants who lack legal status in the United States. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the largely Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, said her appeal would help to “prevent the continued dislocation of families and children". “There are thousands and thousands of family in the community I represent who are threatened with deportation,” said Clarke, who is the Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. “These are real families–mothers and fathers, sons and daughters–who are living with

U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

the risk of separation, in some instances, permanent separation,” she said. “Until we have comprehensive reform of a failed system of immigration, we cannot in good faith allow the often irrevocable harm of deportation to continue,” she continued. “With each day, we deport more than one thousand people who could potentially become citizens,” Clarke argued. Clarke noted that, in July, the U.S. Senate passed an immigration

reform bill that would allow most of the victims of “our failed system of immigration to obtain status as legal permanent residents and, eventually, to become citizens.” She said Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have “refused, however, to allow a vote on the bill. “The people we represent have a right to expect that Congress will enact comprehensive immigration reform based on our values, particularly the belief that families should be protected from dislocation,” Clarke said. “In the meantime, we should prevent the unnecessary separation of family members,” she added. According to estimates by the Washington-based Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project, about 11.7 million undocumented immigrants were in the U.S. last year, up from 11.5 million in 2011. (Caribbean News)

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arbuda Council Chairman Arthur Nibbs, has said he is determined to push through a proposed EC$1.9 million hotel development at Cedar Tree Point and has dismissed concerns surrounding the project. Environmentalist John Mussington first alleged that Nibbs was failing to follow requirements under the Barbuda Land Act to hold consultations for “major developments.” But Nibbs pointed out that a major development is defined in the Barbuda Land Act as one costing more than EC$5.4 million or one which the council or cabinet deems likely to have a considerable economic, environmental or social impact. “The Cedar Tree development proposal does not cost EC$5 mil-

lion, so there is no reason and no need to go to the people,” said the head of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP)-led council. But Former council chairman Fabian Jones, who is a member of the recently defeated Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM), argued that whatever the size of the project, consultations are needed. “The people need to know what is going to happen…people need to be consulted, if not to get their consent, but to let them know what’s happening,” said Jones. Nibbs has revealed the hotel will include 15 bungalows, a clubhouse, restaurant, and beach bar on 21 acres of land to be leased by an unidentified St Maarten couple through the recently established Barbuda Bell Limited.

Nibbs also responded to concerns that Cedar Tree falls within the Codrington Lagoon National Park, saying there was a sizeable distance between the bird sanctuary and the development site and there was nothing to stoop hotel developments in a national park. Last Thursday, the Barbuda Council, Environment Division, and the Development Control Authority (DCA) visited the 21acre site geared towards seeking what Nibbs termed “planning permission.” The council chairman revealed a target to have the hotel open and running by the start of the next tourism season, but said the central government was delaying the granting of a lease to the developers. (Antigua Observer)

Bahamas acting PM robbed at home

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cting Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis was robbed at gunpoint in his home in The Bahamas early Monday morning, Caribbean media has reported. Police said three masked men entered his home around 7 am after they assaulted and robbed Davis's chauffeur. Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade, who was on the scene, said neither Davis nor his wife, Anne Marie, was injured during the hold up. The masked men entered the property through the gate and forced the chauffeur to take them into Davis's house, Greenslade said. The commissioner said police believe it was a crime of opportunity. The assailants made their getaway in a silver Honda. Greenslade said police believe the

Acting Prime Minister of The Bahamas Philip ‘Brave’ Davis (File photo)

crime is connected to a car theft that took place around 1 am on Monday in the western district. Plans were immediately put in place to strengthen the security surrounding Davis's home. National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage and Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell

were on the scene, but neither of them gave a statement. Davis was at the time, acting as prime minister, as Prime Minister Perry Christie left the country to attend a memorial for former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died last Thursday. (Caribbean News Now)


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Jamaica gets Ja$6.8 billion in budgetary support from EU

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he Jamaican government has received approximately Ja$6.8 billion (¤48.134 million) in budgetary support from the European Union (EU), which will assist in the implementation of various development programmes. Provision is being facilitated through a grant agreement, which the government and EU officials signed Monday during a ceremony at the Ministry of Finance and Planning in Kingston. The disbursements include Ja$1 billion for the disaster rehabilitation (Tropical Storm Nicole rehabilitation programme); Ja$1.7 billion towards the Debt Reduction and Growth Enhancement Programme; and Ja$4.1 billion towards the sugar sector reform programme. Jamaica’s Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, who signed the agreement with Head of Delegation of the EU in Jamaica Ambassador Paola Amadei, thanked the EU for providing financial support to the

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips (centre) and Head of Delegation of the European Union in Jamaica Ambassador Paola Amadei (right) sign the agreement, during a ceremony at the ministry’s offices in Kingston, Monday. Looking on is Jamaica Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke. (JIS photo)

government as it goes through its economic reform programme. He also recognised the role played by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who has recently returned from an official visit to Brussels for the European Development Days, noting that her visit and bilateral meetings were instrumental in finalising the latest disbursements. Phillips said the pro-

vision is particularly important "as it is absolutely critical for us in meeting some our targets overall, with respect to our economic reform programme and the Extended Fund Facility. "This flow of funds has been made possible because we have reconstituted our relationship with the (International Monetary Fund) and that has, in a sense, unlocked the flow of funds from

the European Union," he noted. Phillips also pointed out that these are grant funds which do not add to the debt exposure of Jamaica. J a m a i c a ’ s Agriculture and Fisheries Minster Roger Clarke also extended gratitude to the EU, noting that the ministry has been making good use of the organisation's support. For her part,

PPP/C confident of winning next election in Guyana

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e o p l e ’ s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) General Secretary and Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has expressed confidence in the party winning the upcoming local government elections and the general elections. Rohee told a media conference on Monday, in response to questions posed to him about the party’s readiness for elections, that the PPP has all hope in its various constituencies and plans to return as a majority government. “This confidence is not built up mainly on the basis of words, the confidence that we have…is generated on the basis of how we sense our supporters and members particularly reacting to programmes and policies of the party,” Rohee stated. He said his party was “always on the ground,” and was working constantly to address critical issues citizens face in Guyana. He explained that the party is also fixing the damage done in the last election, which saw the government losing one seat to the opposition and becoming the first minority government in Guyana’s history. “Where there have been instances where

ties, keeping the leaders on their feet–the NDCs [Neighbourhood Democratic Councils]; RDCs [Regional Democratic Councils]; MPs [members of parliament] and the ministers”. Rohee indicated that over the past few months the party has been meeting with members of its various districts and branches to keep them in contact and “well

PPP/C General Secretary Clement Rohee

that reputation has been damaged, resulting in us losing the majority in Parliament–one of the elements of ensuring our state of readiness is to ensure that what we lost is regained.” The party, he said, has been meeting more often with the people to provide them with the progress reports on work being executed under its leadership. The party’s general secretary said the PPP/C machinery is usually well oiled, but to keep this going it requires more than just words, but hard work and determination to get issues fixed and build greater confidence in the people. “Keeping this body greased by actively participating in activi-

greased”, to continue the struggle. Since Rohee has assumed the position of general secretary of the party he has made several bold initiatives to travel to the districts and various organisations that fall under the PPP, with the aim of mustering support for the party, so it can have the people’s trust and support in the next general elections. (Guyana Times)

Ambassador Amadei said that the 2013 budget support figures bring the total disbursement under EU budget support operations since 2008 to ¤178 million or Ja$25.5 billion. She commended the Jamaican government for its commitment to macro-economic stability policies and its effort towards Public Finance Management (PFM) Reform. "Contrary to what critics of budget support might say, budget support is an instrument, which supports the country's own development policy, keeping maximum ownership and flexibility," Ambassador Amadei said. She wished the government further success

in the administration of its economic reform programme and encouraged efforts to stimulate growth, so that ordinary Jamaicans can see more concretely the benefit of the sacrifices imposed by the programme. Ambassador Amadei noted too that 2013 has seen an unprecedented number of new programmes approved for Jamaica, which will translate into concrete results in the next few years. "These programmes span different sectors, from health to trade facilitation, from improvement of social infrastructures to support to the sugar sector, all amounting to over Ja$14 billion," she said. (Jamaica Observer)


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GBTI commissions multimillion-dollar branch at Port Mourant in Guyana

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he Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) in keeping with its name on Saturday opened its second branch in East Berbice and 12th overall in the country. Addressing the occasion, GBTI Chief Executive Officer John Tracy, said the location is strategic, pointing out that it is next to a market. He said the new branch will have a different business approach compared to the other banks in Berbice. “We will be bringing to you the latest technical products and services, and in so doing, the bank will be opened on Saturday so you can come and do your banking on Saturdays. However, we will still have what is called conservative banking, which allows you to do banking and not come to the bank at all.” GBTI Chairman Robin Stoby, explained that GBTI is now focusing on renting buildings to establish branches and not investing millions on developing real estate.

Expanding for the comfort of Berbicians! The new multimillion dollar Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) branch opened at Port Mourant, Corentyne, Region Six on Saturday

The bank spent some Gy$50 million to convert the building housing the new branch, and Stoby said the facility will focus on the housing sector and microenterprise development, among other things. “The family-owned busi-

nesses are traditional in Guyana and have a great part to play in the lives of people in the community. In this regard, apart from the financing that we make available, we have conducted business workshops at all of our locations in which

we discuss with customers issues such as record keeping, preparation of financial statements, cash management and banking; we make the business of the business workshop an annual activity and we intend to do so at this location.”

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, said the new branch is a signal that GBTI is responding to emerging opportunities, and reflects the bank’s confidence in the local economy. The minister called on business persons to utilise modern banking services to carry out transactions rather than moving around with large sums of cash. “If entrepreneurs utilise some of the services which banks, including GBTI are offering then they can prevent some of the robberies which we read about in the newspapers.” The minister also lauded GBTI, which will soon introduce the switch, a system that allows persons to use their banking cards at an ATM, irrespective of which bank they have an account. Region Six Deputy Regional Executive Officer Imran Ali, in brief remarks, thanked GBTI for its confidence in Region Six, where it now has two branches. (Guyana Times)

Caribbean leaders mourn death of Nelson Mandela

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lags were being flown at half mast in several Caribbean countries, as the region mourned the death of the first black South African president and anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, who died at his home last Thursday night following a prolonged illness. He was 95. Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer joined some of his regional colleagues who described Mandela as a champion for peace, human equality and freedom. “In more ways than one, Nelson Mandela has managed to inspire countless individuals around the world through ordinary human actions,” Spencer said,

during this period.

roes and an inspirational mod el for the ages. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, said the late South African leader was among the greatest human beings in the history of humanity. “His life will inspire countless generations and his illustrious legacy will endure. He was without a doubt one of the greatest human beings in the history of humanity.”

His Grenadian counterpart, Dr Keith Mitchell said that Mandela was a leader and inspiration to freedom, loving people the world over. Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie said that the world has lost one of its greatest he-

In a statement, Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar said the world has lost a freedom fighter and statesman. “The world has lost democracy’s most loyal friend and advocate,” she said. Describing Mandela as the 20th century’s icon

Former South African President Nelson Mandela

adding that the “Madiba phenomenon has had a great deal of influence on political leaders around the world”. In honour of his life and work, Antigua and Barbuda observed a week of mourning from Friday, December 6. Flags were flown at half-mast on all government buildings

In inspiration

A selfless leader

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller

TT’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

of freedom and liberty, she added: “He inspired us to believe that no obstacle is too large, no walk is too long and no enemy of freedom is so powerful that we should ever consider giving in… He inspired us with his life, his words, his work and his triumph.”

Mandela, who led South Africa’s transition from white minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison, had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital. (Excerpted from Caribbean360)

New perks for TT’s judges

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udges of the Supreme Court in Trinidad and Tobago are set to get a substantial increase in their take-home package, which includes a hefty increase in their housing allowance and money to travel overseas for judicial conferences, top judicial sources have disclosed. The latest recommendations of Salaries Review Commission (SRC) also were discussed at Monday’s meeting among judges at the Hall of Justice, Portof-Spain. Top legal sources

said the SRC has recommended substantial increases to the salary, housing allowance, travel grant and judicial contact allowance for Chief Justice, Justices of Appeal and High Court judges. The 98th report of the SRC was scheduled to be laid in the House of Representatives last Friday but has been deferred to this Friday, sources said. The Chief Justice, according to sources, is set to receive a total increase of over TT$20,000. He currently earns over TT$60,000 tax free. Appeal Court judg-

es are set to receive an almost TT$22,000 increase, moving from an almost TT$48,000 monthly earning, while High Court judges are to receive a similar increase, judicial sources said. Among the big changes, sources said, was an increase in the TT$10,300 housing allowance for Appeal Court and High Court judges, which is set to move to TT$24,000. Judges of the Supreme Court have long contended that they are entitled to a “super grade” housing allowance. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)


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Canadian Domestic violence causes huge dent on company to Caribbean economies – SG LaRocque develop solar plant in Suriname T

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anadian gold miner, IAMGOLD, says it will develop and operate a solar plant in Suriname at a cost of US$14 million. “The project will help meet the electricity requirements of the mining district, Brokopondo, and at the same time free up power for use by other customers in Suriname,” the company said. The five-megawatt plant is expected to be commissioned during the third quarter of 2014. “IAMGOLD is fulfilling a prior commitment to the government of Suriname through this green project,” said the company, which has been operating the Gros Rosebel gold mine since 2006. In April this year, the company signed a new agreement with the Suriname government, which reduced IAMGOLD's 90 per cent stake to 70 per cent and effectively made government a partner in

Rosebel Gold Mines NV, the operating company for the mine. Rosebel produced nearly 385,000 ounces of gold in 2011. This year, IAMGOLD reported a big drop in third-quarter revenue and earnings, due to lower prices for gold and higher operating costs. Net earnings plunged 68 per cent to US$25.3 million or seven cents per share. Revenues fell 13 per cent to US$293.5 million from US$336.2 million, as lower gold prices were only partially offset by a higher volume of sales. The release said the solar project is expected to reduce energy costs, which should provide a boost to the company's margins. "During the course of mining for gold, the transition process from soft rock to harder rock deposits requires a high amount of power to crush and grind the ore," the company said. (Caribbean News)

he Caribbean C o m m u n i t y (Caricom) recognises that gender-based violence continues to be a serious problem across the region, Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said in a message that marked the observance of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender- Based Violence, was observed from November 25, which is designated as the United Nations (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, UN Human Rights Day. This annual campaign highlighted the link between violence against women and human rights.

Costs

The secretary general said all forms of violence, physical, sexual or psychological had serious ramifications for the health of the victims, family members and the community. Additionally, he said, the social costs were many, as both victims and perpetrators of vio-

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

lence often faced stigma and isolation, and families and communities became stressed and often fractured. Secretary General LaRocque noted that there were also significant economic costs affecting productivity, earnings, and an added burden to health, social and judicial systems. While outlining the effects of gender-based violence, the secretary general pointed to some of the actions being taken by Caricom to address the problem. He said there had been developments in Caricom’s legal systems, including the enactment of model legislation to address domestic violence, offer-

ing greater protection to women from abuse through the power of magistrate’s courts to grant protection orders. He said another major stride was the full criminalisation of rape within marriage in several countries in the region. “Police have also been given greater responsibility to prevent domestic violence as well as to protect persons who are suspected to be victims of domestic violence,” he said. Secretary General LaRocque also outlined that the Caricom Advocate for Gender Justice, Dr Rosina Wiltshire, who was appointed in 2010, had been actively engaged in research and education to highlight genderbased violence in the region.

Report

He noted that last year, Dr Wiltshire’s office released a report titled “Youth Masculinities and Violence in the Caribbean”, which revealed the link between socially constructed concepts of masculinity, violence against women and general violence in the

region. He said the data gave insight into the factors that shaped the attitudes, perspectives and behaviour of young men, violence and the high incidence of HIV/AIDS in the region. A m b a s s a d o r LaRocque said while there have been achievements, there was still a lot of work to be done to address gender-based violence. “We are still inundated almost daily by reports of killings and violence in our region. These are often domestic situations where the victims are women and children and the perpetrator a ‘loved one’. Although such incidents may occur in the home, they were not a ‘private matter’ but rather a ‘public matter’; often criminal and infringing on our collective security,” the secretary general said. He pointed out that the education system had a role to play as teachers, parents, children and youths could create school settings that are peaceful, free from corporal punishment, harassment and humiliation.


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Guyana has made Barbadians urged to expand Bds$55.5 significant economic million Barbados/Guyana trade progress – CDB director

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CDB Director, Dr Justin Ram (left) in discussion with Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar and Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) President Clinton Urling

uyana has progressed under the macroeconomic policies and programmes initiated by government, but there is still more to be done to ensure that it remains on the path to further development. This view was expressed by Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Economics Department Director, Dr Justin Ram during a presentation at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 124th annual Gala and Awards Ceremony last Wednesday at the Pegasus Hotel. He posited that several measures should be implemented to consolidate the gains obtained thus far under the present administration. Dr Ram called on Guyana’s private sector to assume the lead position in advocating for growth, adding that

based on the current trajectory, Guyana would achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by the stipulated date (2015) in education, gender and environment. Despite these achievements, Guyana’s economy still faces challenges, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported him as saying. “In this regard, there have been a number of constraints identified by private sector stakeholders. These include the restrictions to and the high cost of credit, the absence of research and development facilities for the manufacturing sector, the complete scarcity of managerial capacity and skills due to migration, lengthy bureaucratic processes associated with industries and the commercial private sector, the high cost and unreliable power supply…all of

which contribute to high transaction costs.” It was noted that several of these issues were highlighted in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report for 2013 and unfortunately resulted in Guyana being ranked at 120 out of 189, overall, for ease of doing business. The results of this and other bench marking exercises suggest that the reforms and policy agendas need to be continued apace, Dr Ram added. The CDB is partnering with government to help resolve several of them, he said. Among these is a fund to assist with the formation of the Caricom Single Market Economy (CSME), which, along with other measures will help Guyana along the path towards possessing an economy driven by efficiency rather by the basic factors of production, he said.

CAL blames market forces for higher fares

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aribbean Airlines (CAL) has not decided to raise air fares at the height of the Christmas season, according to the airline’s communication manager, Clint Williams. He told TT media that market forces are responsible for higher ticket prices being encountered by some travellers “One of the things people must understand is that for any destination there would be a number of prices. There is a range of prices. If it is that people are booking early and the flights are heavy, what would happen is that the tickets closer to the travel date would be more expensive. As a general rule there are a range of ticket prices on any

CAL has put out ads in the media for the positions of CEO, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Commercial and Customer Experience.

flight,” Williams explained. “On the high season for all airlines there will be slightly higher prices. It is about market forces and demand and supply and that is simple. There has been no specific price hike, or anything like that. It may just be that demand is high and Christmas is one of those seasons where people make plans and book in advance ,” he said. Williams said CAL's

search for a new CEO and senior executives is an “ongoing process.” The airline put out ads in the media for the positions of CEO, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Commercial and Customer Experience. “Our external recruitment agency advises that the process is progressing well and candidates are being screened confidentially,” Williams said. (TT Guardian)

he ever controversial issue of immigration between Barbados and Guyana was a topic for discussion when the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs- Maxine McClean of Barbados and Carolyn Rodriguez-Birkett of Guyana assembled at the Second Meeting of the Barbados-Guyana Joint Commission in October of this year. This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary in Barbados’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Charles Burnett, who said that this could result in a possible development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the countries. He was speaking at the Guyana Craft, Tourism and Trade Exposition on Saturday at the Consulate General of Guyana. “The two ministers discussed the matter of immigration between our countries. They both agreed that

our respective authorities would consult with a view to concluding a Memorandum of Understanding, which would address the gaps in our knowledge to better serve the people of our two countries, making movement between our countries more predictable.” Accordingly, the two -day exposition held over the weekend presented an excellent opportunity for persons from the two countries to learn more about they have to offer to each other. “This Guyana Craft, Tourism and Trade Exposition presents an excellent opportunity to give life to the agreements reached in October by the Joint Commission. In addition to its commercial value, I see this event also serving the purpose of exposing and highlighting Guyana’s rich and diverse cultural heritage to Barbados.” The exposition also served to further

strengthen the relationship between the two countries, with the prospect of it resulting in other mutual benefits such as the enhancement of economic ties, said the permanent secretary. “So while this exposition showcases Guyana’s goods to local consumers be they expertise or the average householder at its highest level, it plays a significant role in deepening relations between our two countries with the potential to stimulate economic activity for the trade in goods and the development of tourism related partnerships. There is every reason to encourage an increase in the value of trade between our two countries beyond the approximately BdsS$55.5 million of 2012.” He added that the presence of the Guyanese Consulate in Barbados only serves to further enhance the relationship between the two countries. (Barbados Advocate)

Trinidadian dad sets house ablaze, killing himself and teen son

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nable to cope with the separation from his wife, a father Saturday set his family home on fire, burning himself and one of his two teenage sons alive. His other teenage son is warded at the San Fernando General Hospital in serious condition. It is suspected that Christopher Joseph, 40, poured an inflammable substance on himself, Josiah Joseph, 16 and Jelani Joseph, 17, before setting the house afire at Semper Street, Gasparillo early Saturday morning. The teenage brothers, already suffering burns about their bodies, were able to jump through a window from the burning house, but Jelani did not survive. A form four student of the St Madeleine Secondary School, Jelani was pronounced dead at the San Fernando General Hospital. He had sustained burns to about 90 percent burns of his body. His charred remains were found under the rubble of the family’s home by fire officers. Josiah, the younger sibling and a form four student of the Gasparillo Secondary School, suffered burns to his legs. He remains warded in serious condition at the hospital. According to police reports, the fire started at about 1.30 am. Relatives said Joseph and his wife, Tarika Mckain, separated approximately two months ago. Joseph had been pleading with his wife to return home, but his efforts were unsuccessful.

Threats

Reports are that in the wee hours of Saturday morning, Mckain received a telephone call from Joseph in which he threatened to kill himself and their children. Since the separation, the couple’s children have been staying with their mother in Pleasantville, but would often visit and spend nights with their father in Gasparillo. After receiving the devastating phone call, Mckain contacted Joseph’s

A family photo taken off Facebook of Josiah Joseph, 16, and his brother Jelani, 17. (Photo soured from TT Newsday)

mother, Maureen Thomas, who lives a stone’s throw from her son. Reports are that Thomas immediately headed to her son’s house. Neighbours rushed to help Thomas at the scene of the burning house. The teenagers’ grandfather, Joseph, who also lives nearby, was able to get the boys to jump from a window located to the back of the house. Josiah was the first to jump from the window, neighbours said but the blaze continued to spread rapidly. “By the time it was Jelani’s turn to jump, it was too late. When he jumped his entire body was on fire,” said a cousin of the brothers Saturday. “I watched my cousin on fire moving. And we tried to get him away from the burning house and out the fire on him. He lay on the floor gasping for breath and his whole body was white like a chicken. There was no skin left,” the cousin related. Reports are that Joseph was recently diagnosed with diabetes and was warded at the hospital when he began experiencing problems with his sight and that it was during this time that he and his wife became separated. Police officers of the Gasparillo Police Station are continuing investigations. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)


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Cataract surgery being done at Linden Hospital in Guyana

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esidents of the Linden community in Guyana requiring cataract surgery in order to improve their vision can now look forward to having the service performed at the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC). This is being made possible through consultant ophthalmologist, Dr Rameeza McDonald. Dr McDonald indicated that she will be assisted by Charles Vandyke through Eye Care Guyana and the Caribbean Council for the Blind (CCB). She said so far she has received several pieces of equipment, which include a new operating microscope to as-

sist in carrying out the delicate microsurgical procedure. According to Dr McDonald, residents of Linden have been looking forward to having the cataract removal service available at the LHC for more than a year now, since her appointment to the eye clinic within the medical institution. However, she noted that all of the relevant equipment were not in place at the time. After receiving three new sets of microsurgical instruments, with a new autoclave to aid in sterilisation, Dr McDonald said, the scene was almost set to commence the opera-

Dr Rameeza McDonald and Dr Chad Rostron

tions, but for a few small consumable surgical items, which were eventually donated by the CCB. This, she noted, enabled the first set of patients to have the surgery

conducted successfully on November 8.

15 procedures

Fifteen cataract procedures were carried out within 10 days, which helped in clearing the

backlog of patients who require the surgery. The operations were carried out with help from visiting ophthalmologist, Dr Chad Rostron of London, who expressed his satisfaction at having the services finally available in Linden. “I am so glad to see the cataract service at last up and running in Linden. I have been very impressed with Dr McDonald’s ophthalmic surgical skills, and I am delighted that Linden has such a highly trained and competent ophthalmologist to serve their needs,” he said. Dr McDonald noted that although the surgeries were a success, anoth-

er microsurgical instrument was needed, which was eventually provided by Linden goldsmith Francois Costello, who fabricated the small device. She noted that surgical management was also enhanced through the donation of a keratometer, a diagnostic instrument, by the Jesus in Action Charity. Dr McDonald emphasised that the equipment will enable more accurate optical outcomes after cataract surgery. She noted that so far the results of the surgeries performed on patients are “looking excellent”. (Guyana Times)

Jamaicans deported from TT can file reports - Nicholson

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amaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator AJ Nicholson has said that the necessary channels of assistance will be opened if any of the 13 Jamaicans, who were deported to the island after being refused entry into Trinidad and Tobago last month, should approach the ministry to lodge a formal report. The foreign affairs minister, respond-

ing to questions from Opposition Senator Marlene Malahoo-Forte during last Friday's sitting of the Senate, said that to date, none of the 13 had approached the ministry, but noted that if they did with a full report of "what they say happened", the information would be passed on to the Attorney General or other relevant agencies. Malahoo-Forte in posing the questions, wanted to know whether or not

Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Minister Senator AJ Nicholson

the government had been told by the Trinidadians

the reasons on a case by case basis for the denial of entry to the 13 persons, and whether or not the government intended to meet with each of those persons. She also wanted to know if the government intended to use the provisions under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to address the dispute or rely on the assurances of the Trinidadian government. Senator Nicholson

said that he would be making a full statement on the discussion and decisions arrived at following discussions with TT’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran last week, by next Friday in the Senate. He, however said, that only "some blanket reasons" were given by the Trinidadian representatives who were in the island last week, as to the reasons the Jamaicans were sent back.

"If the 13 or any of them approach us and give full reports as to what they say happened to them, certainly, we will pass on that information to the Attorney General or whomever. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is not an implementing ministry in that regard, but if they approach us and give us full information, certainly, we will make that available," Senator Nicholson said. (Jamaica Observer)


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China allocates US$4 million for projects in Guyana

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inance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Zhang Limin last Friday signed an economic and technical cooperation pack which would see Beijing providing US$4.93 million to finance projects to be agreed upon by both governments. According to a release, the two representatives also signed an acceptance certificate for the procurement of a vehicular mobile container scanner valued at US$98,640 to be used by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the discharge of its official duties. While delivering his

remarks, the Chinese ambassador stated that this was a second grant provided, this year, to the government and people of Guyana and, he explained that it represents the long historical friendship shared by both countries. Ambassador Limin affirmed that he is confident this grant would be utilised to develop the social and economic sectors of the country from which benefits would be accrued to the people of Guyana. He also said that the vehicular mobile scanner for the GRA would help to improve the Customs administration. In responding to the ambassadors re-

tant and has been reinforced with the visits of high-level Chinese officials to the region. He further added that, to date, Guyana has made good use of the resources provided by the government of China to implement a number of transformative projects.

Destination for business

Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Zhang Limin

Guyana’s Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh

marks, Minister Singh reiterated the special relationship between the two countries. He stated that Guyana is proud to be the first Caribbean country to have established diplomatic relations with

China and expressed his pleasure at the evolution and manifestation of the Chinese relationship with the region. Minister Singh said China’s friendship with the Caribbean is impor-

He welcomed Chinese companies seeking to do business in the Caribbean and, more specifically, those desirous of choosing Guyana as a new destination for business. He also said that China was a good example to the developing world for having attained and sustained rapid growth

over the years. Referring to the vehicular mobile scanner, Minister Singh acknowledged that this is a highly valued piece of equipment that would be added to the capital stock of the GRA and enhance the organisation’s capacity to carry out its mandate in keeping with international trade standards. In concluding, the minister thanked the government and people of China for their continued support of Guyana’s development efforts, and stated that Guyana looks forward to further the enrichment of the relations between the two countries. (Guyana Times)

Over 1, 200 St Mary residents now have piped water in Jamaica

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ore than 1,200 residents of several St Mary communities in Jamaica now have potable water flowing from taps in their homes, following the completion of the Ja$60-million Mile Gully/Warwick Castle water supply system. The system was commissioned into service late last month by Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Robert Pickersgill. Tumultuous applause erupted from residents, as water flowed from a pipe turned on by Pickersgill, following a ceremony held at the adjacent St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Mile Gully. The scope of works spearheaded by the Rural Water Supply Limited, an agency of the ministry, entailed the installation of two pumping stations, eight 2,750-gallon storage tanks, pipelines, and nine solar panels to power the operations. The system will be

Jamaica’s Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Robert Pickersgill (right), performs the symbolic commissioning of the Ja$60 million Mile Gully/Warwick Castle water supply system in St Mary on November 28.

managed and operated by the National Water Commission (NWC). A multi-stakeholder undertaking, which also involved members of the local benevolent group, the Mile Gully/ Warwick Castle water system was carried out under the government's US$9.5-million Rural

Water Programme, funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB). Pickersgill acknowledged that the system, on which work started some 10 years ago, is "long overdue", but welcomed its completion, contending that it is "better late than never".

The minister also welcomed installation of the nine solar panels, which will reduce the cost of pumping wa-

ter to NWC customers. This, he said, will cost the utility company some Ja$500 million per month to pump the commodity. The minister also urged the residents to play their part in maintaining the service in their community by, among other things, paying their bills and protecting the facilities. Meanwhile, VicePresident of the Mile Gully/Warwick Castle Benevolent Group Joslyn Matterson said the residents welcomed the completion of the project as they previously relied on a spring for water. "We put in our labour to pay our cost to develop the system. Everyone has waited (and) today, we are very, very proud; we are glad for what has transpired," he said.

Basic school teacher of Warwick Castle Alvarene Tracey, expressed great pride that tap water had finally come to the community. "It was very hard for people to take water from the spring to their homes, but now that we have the water in the home, (we) don't have to go through the stress of going to the spring to get water (anymore)," she stated. Franklyn Dingwall of Mile Gully said he too was happy that the community was on the path to development through the provision of piped water. An overjoyed Mickey Anderson, also of Mile Gully, declared that she no longer has to get up as early as 5:00 a.m. to fetch water for domestic purposes. (JIS)

Windies batsman robbed of luxury vehicle in Trinidad

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est Indies opening batsman, Lendl Simmons, of Crown Street, Eastern Main Road, Tacarigua, was robbed last Thursday night, of his high-end luxury Jaguar vehicle valued at TT$400,000, according to TT media. Up until Saturday, the vehicle had not yet been recovered. According to police reports at about 7 pm last Thursday, Christopher Smith 18, the owner of Smithy’s Car Wash, and employees Kyle Lashley 16, together with Jason Lashley were at the business place on Beckles Street, Tacarigua when three men all armed with

Lendl Simmons (Nations file photo)

guns entered the business place and announced a hold up. They proceeded to rob the three men of a quantity of cash, jewelry and cellphones. Before fleeing the scene they grabbed Smith and ordered him to hand over the keys to a black Jaguar car,

belonging to the West Indies opening batsman. Smith was placed in the vehicle and taken to Belmont where he was dropped off. A report was made at the Belmont Police Station, and an All Points Bulletin was sent out to all police divisions to be on the lookout for the stolen Jaguar. Smith claimed that Simmons, who was dropped from the West Indies team for the current Test series against New Zealand, had arranged for the car to be cleaned and washed at the business place, and was a regular customer. Police investigations are continuing. (TT Newsday)


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IDB loans TT US$120 million to ease flooding

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A flooded South Quay outside City Gate in Port-ofSpain last year. (TT Newsday file photo)

he Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has announced that Trinidad and Tobago will receive a loan of US$120 million to help improve drainage infrastructure in its capital city, Port-of-Spain. The IDB loan is composed of US$120 million over 25 years with a fiveyear grace period and an interest rate based on LIBOR. In a release, the IDB said through this loan, Trinidad and Tobago “will minimise impacts from the lack of, or insufficient, urban drainage infrastructure in critical

areas of the city of Portof-Spain.” The IDB said: “Today, the economic damage caused by floods in the targeted project area is estimated at US$11.6 million.” The bank explained that this “IDB-financed programme will mitigate flooding events in the city of Port-of-Spain, by supporting the improvement of catchment management through the implementation of drainage infrastructure, such as interceptors, drainage systems, detention ponds and pumping stations.” The bank said this

programme will also include all the institutional arrangements for the creation of an independent authority working jointly with the Environment and Water Resources Ministry “that could build, operate and maintain all of the existing and future drainage infrastructure in the country.” The IDB stated the programme will also enhance the local quality of life within East Portof-Spain “through the construction of a 1.4 kilometre linear park as an urban improvement measure.” (TT Newsday)

Jamaican police, customs make US$4.7 million cocaine seizure at Kingston wharves

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pproximately 361 kilogrammes of cocaine was Saturday seized during an early morning joint police operation at Kingston Container Terminal, customs officials and the police have confirmed. Commissioner of Customs, Richard Reece said that the drug, which has a street value of US$4.7 million was found in 10 duffle bags and were hidden in an empty container that was being prepared for export to the Netherlands. The seizure is the largest for the year," Reece told the Jamaican media. No arrest were made. Custom officials said that around 9:00 am, police and members of the customs department went to the KCT where they carried out a search and found the drug. "We are encouraged by the results of this seizure and this is an indication that the joint operation between local and overseas officials is reaping results," Reece

Jamaican police Saturday released photographs of packages of cocaine seized at Kingston Wharves early in the morning. Law enforcers said that no one was arrested, but investigations were ongoing.

told reporters. The Jamaica Customs Agency Contraband Enforcement Team and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division participated in the operation. The seizure come days after police, along with members of the Contraband Enforcement Team intercepted a barrel with the two bullet-making and re-loading machines and 3,300 bullets at Kingston Wharves. "This seizure demonstrates that all port

security teams of customs personnel and the Jamaica Constabular Force have been very effective, and so far seizures for 2013 have exceeded prior years. I am very encouraged by this seizure and the overall interdiction operations," Major Reece said. "This is one of the largest seizures in recent history of the Jamaica Customs, which has also benefitted from training from French customs. There is also excellent collaboration regionally and internationally," Major Reece said. (Jamaica Observer)

American Stores opens in Guyana with promises of lowest prices

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Georgetown Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Greene cutting the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the mega store

he American Stores has promised Guyanese fresh ideas to buyers, extended warranties, the lowest prices guaranteed and hassle-free hire purchase with the opening of its new store in Georgetown. An elated Country Manager Austin Ogle, said after market research in Guyana, American Stores representatives found out that the market was lucrative, hence, the opening of the spanking new building on the corner of Regent and Cummings streets, Georgetown. The store was opened Saturday evening. While he is well aware that the Guyana market is competitive, he feels that his company’s products and prices are unbeatable. The new store sells a variety of goods ranging from home furnishing to construction products and equipment. The store is staffed with at least 25 Guyanese. Ogle also disclosed that the store will commence manufacturing its brand of furniture in Guyana to cater for the needs of the public. G e o r g e t o w n Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI)

President Clinton Urling, said that he welcomes the investment in Guyana, while noting that any foreign investment is always welcomed, since it contributes to Guyana’s economy and at the same time, satisfies the public’s needs. He said that while Court Guyana Inc has been serving Guyanese for the past 20 years, he feels that with the establishment of the American Stores, it will add competition which is good for business as well as for customers. “While Courts offers a high-level of service, American Stores brings a new dimension to Guyana which will compete, but at the end, the consumers win.”

Excellent timing

He congratulated the management of the store,

noting that their timing is excellent since it is a time which will see Guyanese filling their homes with new furniture and other items. “Guyanese will see items here that they have never seen, and as such, I urge them to take full advantage of its services.” Georgetown Deputy Mayor Patricia ChaseGreene, congratulated the management on the store, noting that despite all the negativity in Georgetown and Guyana as a whole, they found the confidence in Guyana to invest. Chase-Greene added that she was pleased to witness the number of people who turned up to be a part of the opening and hopes that the store continues to spread Christmas joys and goodwill during the season. (Guyana Times)

The newly-opened American Stores at the corner of Regent and Cummings streets in Georgetown


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Some Jamaican Guyana’s main Opposition urges police recruits government to reform NIS face psychometric, T polygraph tests

Jamaica’s Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake addressing Jamaica Observer journalists last week (Jamaica Observer photo)

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e p u t y Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of administration at the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Clifford Blake, has said that in certain instances, persons seeking to join the police force have to undergo psychometric and polygraph tests, when necessary. Blake, who was recently promoted to the second highest rank in the JCF, disclosed at the Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange that these tests were not performed on all recruits, but come into play when doubts surface, or when there is need to further clarify the background of individuals wanting to join the Force. “For obvious reasons we (JCF) have to be very cautious who we admit to join the police. Over the

years we have tightened our processes of recruitment to ensure that only the best and those willing to serve gain admittance," the newly appointed DCP said. He explained the various stages which recruits have to undergo before they can start training at the Jamaica Police Academy.

Background checks

"All potential recruits have to take a test at one of the four centres we have across the island. The results of the tests are then marked. Those who meet the required standards and the published physical requirements are so advised. Antecedent checks are then done to ascertain the veracity of the information provided on the admission document. These antecedent checks include communication with the educa-

tional institutions listed on the documents of those wanting to join. We also check the CXC/Cape offices to confirm examination passes. "Then, the potential recruits are interviewed by a special panel, which includes persons outside of the JCF. This panel normally includes a psychologist and a person with human resources background. After this rigorous interview, medical and physical tests are done. If after these various controls are administered there are persons we still have doubts about, we then inform them that psychometric tests and sometimes polygraph tests are required. It is not for all, but for those we have doubts about, or if we want further clarification," Blake said. He stressed, however, that psychometric and polygraph tests are not compulsory and anyone can refuse to undergo such tests.

Not compulsory

"It is their choice whether to have these tests or not. If they comply, fine; if they do not, the process for them ends." Blake said that the number of young Jamaicans wanting to become police officers had grown significantly over the last five years. "I can confirm the tremendous growth in persons wanting to join the JCF. I can safely say that last year, over 7,000 persons applied to join our ranks, compared with about 3,000 and 4,000 in the preceding years," Blake said. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

he A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is calling on the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government in Guyana to reform the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to avoid it from collapsing. Speaking at a press briefing at his Hadfield Street office, Opposition Leader David Granger said the scheme is in a crisis, as he pointed to records which indicate that the entity had a deficit of Gy$371 million in 2011 for the first time in more than four decades. In 2012, the scheme recorded a deficit of approximately Gy$474 million, and according to Granger, it is likely that the figures will jump in 2013. “Contributions collected over the period January to August 2013 were approximately Gy$7.754 billion while total expenditure over the same period was approximately Gy$9.120 billion,” the opposition leader pointed out. In support of his call for reformation to save the scheme from caving in, Granger alluded to the eight actuarial review in 2011, which indicated that NIS was rapidly approaching a “crisis stage”. If nothing is done to rescue the scheme, it can become exhausted in less than 10 years. It was contended that NIS faces a plethora of problems, including heavy political control. “The PPP policymakers who have dominated the NIS board for the past two decades have not responded to the changing socio-economic conditions and deteriorating finances.” There is also a need to attract more contributors, enforce compliance

Guyana's Opposition Leader David Granger

and complete the conversion from troublesome manual paper records to electronic records on a permanent database, a process that started back in 1989. Additionally, APNU is contending that the NIS has indulged in risky investments, as it alluded to the scheme’s investments of US$30 million in the bankrupted CLICO and the US$10 million in the Berbice River Bridge. Supporting the opposition leader, shadow finance minister, APNU Member of Parliament Carl Greenidge, expressed major concerns relating to investments made by the scheme. “A big junk of it has been loss and the government is offering no proposal whatsoever to deal with the money lost under the CLICO gamble,” he lamented. He further opined that 20 per cent of NIS investments do not rake in revenues.

Following discussions with APNU, NIS Chairman Dr Roger Luncheon promised to act on proposals outlined in the 2011 actuarial report. Now the opposition is questioning the progress made since then in remedying the situation. In October, Dr Luncheon told reporters that recommendations listed in the actuary report were not favourable. The recommendations contained in the eight actuarial reviews were presented in the three counties and did not find favour with sizable segments of those consulted and other stakeholders of the NIS, Dr Luncheon said. NIS operates out of 14 offices countrywide, providing social security to over 45,000 pensioners and medical insurance for thousands of Guyanese in the formal and informal workforce. (Guyana Times)

CXC moves to strengthen, protect examination system

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he Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) is moving to strengthen its examination system to protecting its integrity and maintain a high standard of education in the region. The announcement was made by CXC Registrar, Dr Didacus Jules, who pointed out that the regional body has seen an increasing trend of dishonesty over the years. “From the parents who will seek to purchase stolen exam papers, to the candidate who will seek the most creative ways to cheat in the exams, to the vendors who will peddle false transcripts from the street corner so that

people can present false credentials, to the teacher who will falsify SBA results to the blatant disregard for copyright and pirating of intellectual property. We must bring down the sluice gates to protect the Caribbean civilisation from this creeping tide that threatens to flood the fields of our morality,” Dr Jules stated. Speaking at the councils’ award ceremony at the National Cultural Centre last Thursday, Dr Jules said the region is facing a number of challenges, and CXC is faced with a similar situation, which could affect its effort to maintain a quality education in the region.

CXC Registrar, Dr Didacus Jules

However, plans are being made to develop a more comprehensive framework for the urgent transformation of the education system. Dr Jules also spoke passionately about the need for more to be done to improve regional integration and building greater partnerships. The CXC registrar was adamant that the slow progress in regional integration is also placing some burden on the regional institution. He said while CXC is recognised as a premier body offering qualifications at the secondary and post-secondary level, there is still need for greater collaboration to enhance the council’s prospects to the wider

world. CXC, he said has sought the assistance of experts from the University of the West Indies to revise the international treaty of laws under which the body has been operating for the past 40 years. The meeting of the School Examinations Committee was held last Friday with stakeholders in the education system from across the region. Among the major agenda items discussed at the council meeting include the report on the administration of the 2013 examinations, the registrar’s report to the council, the council’s 2014 budget, and its strategic plan and priorities.


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Guyanese attorney warns Kaieteur News on misleading article

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uyanese attorney Arianne Mc Lean has deemed an article on the radio licence court case published in the Kaieteur News last Thursday as “inaccurate” and “highly misleading to say the least”. The contentious Kaieteur News article stated “AG no- show– It was widely expected yesterday that publisher of Kaieteur News, Glenn Lall, would have been cross-examined by Attorney General Anil Nandlall, when the matter came up before Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang.” Mc Lean, an attorney attached to the Attorney General’s Chambers, in a letter to the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief

Adam Harris, said at no time during the hearing of the matter, did the attorney general or anyone on his behalf inform the court that he wished to cross-examine Glenn Lall. In fact, Lall’s presence was requested by counsel for one of the other named respondents; not the attorney general. She noted that what is even more disturbing is the message which is portrayed by the words, “AG no-show”. This, the attorney contended suggested to anyone reading the article that the Office of the Attorney General was unrepresented. “The matter was called on Wednesday, 4, December, 2013, before

Kaieteur News Editorin-Chief Adam Harris

the honourable chief justice at 14:30h and I appeared on behalf of the attorney general for the first four named respondents. As state counsel, I am authorised, as per instructions of the honourable attorney general, to appear for and

on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General in respect of all actions brought by, or against the Office of the Attorney General. Once I am there, the attorney general is represented. Therefore, by saying that the attorney general was a ‘no-show’, is by extension saying that the Office of the Attorney-General was unrepresented, which is most inaccurate and highly misleading, to say the very least.” There are 16 named respondents in this case, more than half of which were unrepresented by counsel last Wednesday when the matter was called; yet the Kaieteur News saw it fit to sug-

gest that only the attorney general was unrepresented. “As one of the largest newspapers in Guyana, you and your reporters have an undeniable duty to make unbiased, informed, and accurate publications in respect of the events on which you choose to report. I am sure you are aware of this. That being said, I can only assume that your reporters are careless, or that your publication is hell-bent on misleading its readers when it comes to this case. I cannot tell you which is the lesser of the two evils,” Attorney Mc Lean told Harris. This is the second time the attorney said she has had cause to

write to Harris with a complaint of a misleading article concerning the attorney general in respect of this same case. On the first occasion, on October 29, after carrying a screaming, but misleading headline on its front page, Kaieteur News published an apology the next day, tucked away in a corner on page six. “If this mistake is not corrected, or if your newspaper continues to publish misleading articles and statements, I will be forced to ask the court to consider granting an order restraining Kaieteur News from publishing anything in respect of this matter,” Attorney Mc Lean said. (Guyana Times)

World Bank says Caribbean entrepreneurs Caribbean women lack 'innovation' in creating quality jobs entrepreneurs

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new World Bank report says Latin American and Caribbean entrepreneurs lack “innovation” in creating quality jobs. In launching the new Washington-based financial institution’s flagship report, chief economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, Augusto de la Torre, said “a massive” 60 per cent regional employees work for businesses with five or fewer employees. Often considered to be a “driver of development,” de la Torre noted that entrepreneurship creates jobs and promotes economic growth. But he said, while business creation is high in the region, “the resulting companies grow at a much slower rate than similar enterprises in other middle-income regions and companies”. De la Torre said the region’s landscape is such that “firms tend to start small and stay small.

The World Bank said regional firms develop new products less frequently than their counterparts in other developing regions

“There’s nothing bad about being small, per se, but staying small forever is a problem,” he warned, adding that the reason behind “this stunted growth” is “a chronic shortage of innovation within the region”. Over the past 10 years, de la Torre said the region has “benefited significantly from favourable economic tailwinds, enabling the region to reduce extreme poverty, increase equality and boost 50 million people into the middle class.

Innovation

“However, as these

tailwinds die, growth has to come from within, and innovation and dynamism are the key if the region is to build upon the social gains of recent years,” he said. The World Bank said regional firms develop new products less frequently than their counterparts in other developing regions, stating that in Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico and Venezuela, the rate of product development is less than half than that of Thailand or Macedonia. “Consequently, this lack of innovation harms competitively and slows growth and rebounds on quality job creation--a significant development challenge, especially in Central America," the bank said. It said the possible reasons for the problem are four-fold, attributing them to human capital, intellectual property, risk-taking and logistics. On human capital,

the World Bank said science and technology graduates and engineers are at a “premium,” adding that their scarcity “has a direct effect on innovation”. With separate laws governing copyright in every country, ensuring intellectual property rights can be a “significant bureaucratic undertaking” for the region’s entrepreneurs, the bank said. “The complicated panorama lends less protection to the product creators, deterring much needed investment for new product research and development.” The World Bank said “a deep cultural shame of failure” is hindering innovation in the region by dissuading entrepreneurs from taking risks. The World Bank said modernizing ports, transport, and customs “can add a competitive edge to products from the region”. (Excerpted from Caribbean News)

Jamaica’s Science Minister backs ganja research, development

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amaica’s Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell, has come out in full support of positive developments in ganja locally and internationally. Paulwell said “Jamaica will not be left behind” as interest and movements in ganja law

reform and research and development grows rapidly. Paulwell was speaking Tuesday evening at the official launch of the book ‘Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja: The Jamaican and Global Connection’–which outlines the attributes and potential of ganja. At the event, held at

the Eden Gardens Resort and Spa in Kingston, Paulwell noted that the United States, Canada and other countries have been leading the way on the issue, despite the United States in particular taking a generally ‘anti-marijuana’ stance over time. He noted the many benefits of medical gan-

ja including treatment of epilepsy and pointed to the versatility of the plant and many benefits it can reap for Jamaica’s development. Paulwell stated that he has already directed the Scientific Research Council to lead the efforts of stakeholders in medical ganja matters. (Jamaica Gleaner)

awarded US$58,500

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he Women Entrepreneurs Network of the Caribbean (WENC) has been awarded a grant of US$58,500 from the WEAmericas Grant Initiative, a fund administered by the U.S. Department of State, Office of Global Women’s Issues. The grant will assist the network in achieving its mandate of increasing the voice, visibility and viability of women-led businesses in the Caribbean through advocacy, training, networking, identifying and sharing best practices and resources to support the entrepreneurship development of its members. President of WENC Agnes Francis said several challenges confront female entrepreneurs throughout the

Caribbean. Research findings from organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), indicate that the contribution of women-owned businesses to their respective countries is adversely affected by factors such as access to formal networks, lack of mentorship, lack of advocacy and lack of access to funding. “We are therefore excited about this grant which will help to strengthen and increase the capacity of women businesses throughout the Caribbean,” she said. The grant will be used over a one year period from September 2013 to September 2014, with oversight by the Executive of WENC and the US State Department. (TT Guardian)

Christmas Productions

Children’s Christmas Production Sunday, December 15 - 11 am & 6:30 pm Adult Choir Presentation Sunday, December 22 - 11 am Youth Choir Presentation Sunday, December 22 - 6:30 pm Nursery For Children Up To Age 4 Will Be Available. at Rosewood Church of The Nazarene 657 Milner Avenue, Scarborough, ON 416 298-9932 Directions: From Hwy. 401 exit north on Markham Rd. Turn right (east) at the first traffic light. Go along Milner 1.5 km and you will see the church on your right just before the Neilson bridge.


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harnette Watson walked away with the Miss Caribbean Canada 2013 crown last week at the Miss Caribbean Canada Pageant (MCCP) gala affair held at the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) under the theme “Ladies, it’s your time to shine”. Sponsored by Love Star Auto body Collision, the queen received prizes including a scholarship, trips courtesy of Fly Jamaica, beauty packages, a weekend getaway and a modeling contract. First runner-up prize went to Miss Chantel McDonald, who was sponsored by Pinnock and Associate while Chipo Chikoto, sponsored by Money Links Financial Services, took second runner-up place. ‘Best Dress’ went to Tamera RutherfordBent; ‘Best Personality’–Miss Larissa Sams; ‘Miss Congeniality’–Jody-Ann Hall; ‘Best Smile’–Tynisia Roach; ‘Best Talent’–Sharnette Watson; and ‘Best Legs’– Jody-Ann Hall. ‘Best Communication Skills’ and ‘Miss Social Media Award’ went to Melissa Mattis. Part proceeds from the event would be donated to Sickle Cell Association of Ontario, the organisers have said. The show included a keynote address from York West MPP Mario Sergio, who spoke about the development of young ladies and the importance of partaking in events such as pageantry to help build their self confidence, and to be role models in their community. There was also a rich line-up of entertainment including performances by the Real 3D Dance Group, comedian Jay Martin, Django Pan Fyah and interna-

Miss Caribbean Canada 2013 Sharnette Watson flanked by first runner-up Chantel McDonald and second runner-up Chipo Chikoto. (Photos: Contributed)

Sharnette Watson, Miss Caribbean Canada 2013

tional singer Polly Pumpy, who captured the audience with his songs. The event was sponsored by the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario and Fly Jamaica.

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Beres Hammond (Jamaica Observer photo)

amaican Beres Hammond, Sizzla, Ziggy Marley, Sly and Robbie & the Jam Masters, and American rapper Snoop Lion are nominees for the Best Reggae Album category of the 56th annual Grammy Awards. Nominations were announced last Friday evening during a Grammy concert from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Hammond picked up his second nomination with ‘One Love, One Life’. His first nomination was for 2001's ‘Music is Life’. Sizzla earned his first nomination with ‘The Messiah’, which like the Hammond set, is distributed by VP Records. Marley earned another call for the live album’ 'Ziggy Marley in Concert’ (Tuff Gong Worldwide). This is his fourth solo Grammy nomination and his third in the Best Reggae Album category. He won in 2006 for ‘Love

is My Religion’. ‘Reggae Connection’ (K'Z Records) has given Sly & Robbie their 10th overall Grammy nomination and ninth for Best Reggae Album. They won in 1999 with ‘Friends’, distributed by Elektra Records. "It feels good to be nominated for the Grammy. What we have always wanted to do was to make good music," said drummer Sly Dunbar shortly after the nominations were announced. Rap legend Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg) has been nominated for his debut reggae album, 'Reincarnated,' which was released in April. It is the best selling reggae set this year. To date, it has sold over 80,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan. The Grammy Awards take place January 26 at the Nokia Theatre. (Jamaica Observer)


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Guided by kindness…

Toronto-based Trinidadian spearheads initiative to provide refurbished wheelchairs to the less fortunate

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o r o n t o - b a s e d Trinidadian Krishna Roopnarine is a man of compassion, whose kindness led him into a venture that involves repairing damaged wheelchairs and other critical medical equipment for the benefit of the less fortunate not only in Canada, but the Caribbean. Although sometimes criticised for his efforts, Roopnarine stands committed to doing the best that he can to help the needy. He and his family migrated to Toronto more than three years ago from Trinidad and Tobago. And like most immigrants, fitting into this new society is an uphill task that presents many challenges for the ‘newcomers.’ “There are those days when you just think about going back home, but with strong will and determination, you can overcome anything,” Roopnarine related. He has taken up residency in Toronto along with his wife, Dhanmatie, and two sons, Demitri and Yuri. “My family is very strong and close-knitted, which I think helps us to overcome the obstacles,” Roopnarine highlighted.

Helping others

His main goal in life, he pointed out, is “always about helping others without looking for a reward and understanding the hardship faced by the less fortunate.” “My wife would always say one day I might even give away the house because of the way I feel sorry for people.” And it is this compassionate demeanor that has led Roopnarine into a charitable venture that provides refurbished wheelchairs for those who are in need, but cannot afford. His efforts have reached out to scores of persons living in Canada and back in

stuff” or “this is a fraud”,” the humanitarian related. However, he was never daunted. “That did not stop me. I was able obtain enough to send a small shipment to Trinidad and being a sharing person, I sent a small shipment to Guyana to pundit Somnauth Sharma to be shared amongst the less fortunate. At the moment I am accumulating some and offering it back to the people in Canada.” “To the critics, I have photo and all documents to prove what I am doing is legitimate and has made a difference to a lot of people's lives,” Roopnarine emphaised. He expressed gratitude to his neighbor Dara Lall, for his support and Q-trex shipping for helping with some of the cost of transport.

Krishna Roopnarine has a shipment ready for the Caribbean

the Caribbean including in Trinidad and Guyana. It was while living in Canada, Roopnarine said that he discovered a way how he could help those less fortunate without the use of much funds. “One day while driving to work, I saw someone had put out a damaged wheelchair in the garbage. I then took the wheelchair up, noticing it did not need much repairs and it could be used again. That is when it all started,” he said of his venture. “Knowing that some of the people in Trinidad cannot afford to purchase a wheelchair, (I realised) I could repair these chairs and give them to the people free. I started to locate these damaged goods and I took two to three wheelchairs and made one good one,” Roopnarine indicated. He did the same with walkers, commode, canes and

A set of refurbished wheelchairs ready for shipment to those in need

crutches.

Never daunted

Krishna Roopnarine repairing one of the damaged wheelchairs

“While pursuing this goal of obtaining the damaged product, I would have to talk to a lot of people. Some would be very nice and supporting, and others would tell you insulting things like “you are selling the

“To anyone who may have used or damage wheelchairs, walkers, crutches canes etc. and wish donate please email me at krisdee66@yahoo.com,” he urged.

Adding final touches to the refurbished wheelchair


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uyana’s Tourism Ministry’s “Romancing the Fort” dinner saw an excellent turn out as couples, families, friends and even co-workers stepped out on an intriguing trip which they will remember for the rest of their lives. Romancing the Fort was held at Fort Island, the home of Fort Zeelandia in the Essequibo River, on the lawns of the Court of Policy on Saturday. The trip was inclusive of a tour of the island and performances by the Tradewinds, Dave Martins and Friends. Over 100 persons made the trip. The journey began with patrons being transported from the Guyana National Stadium, East Bank Demerara to the Parika Stelling, East Bank Essequibo.

island as a tourist attraction. “Guyana has a very rich heritage and culture and each one of you got a taste of that today.” He told the gathering that by purchasing tickets for the event, they are supporting their heritage and history, and implored them to visit other historical sites in Guyana to keep their invaluable importance alive. Meanwhile, Martins dished out some of his

The Tradewinds, led by Dave Martins, serenading the audience during the “Romancing the Fort” outing at Fort Island, the home of Fort Zeelandia on Saturday

one heading to Fort Zeelandia located on the eastern side of the island while the other went to visit the Court

A couple singing a karaoke duet

When they arrived at the stelling, patrons were escorted onto the Sandaka Ferry. Upon arriving at the fort, acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali was welcomed to the island by residents. Patrons then split into two groups:

most popular tunes, serenading the patrons. These included “Is We Own”, “Cricket In The Jungle” and “Honeymooning Couple”. He had the entire audience’s attention with his jovial and stylish demeanour. To make the visitors remember the trip, the islanders assembled a few artefacts for sale so that persons would be able to take back a part of Fort Island with them. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

of Policy, which is the oldest non-military structure in Guyana. It now houses a museum. Inside were bits and pieces of artefacts collected from around the island. These include Dutch bottles, clay jugs and tools, among other

things. There were also boards with Dutch history, of not only Fort Island and Essequibo, but the entire Guyana.

Intriguing

Meanwhile, the trip to the fort was intriguing as the guides explained the history behind it. Minister Ali, in his address to the gathering, said the event is just a stepping stone to Guyana’s journey of becoming the number one tourism destination in the region. “We have one of the most comprehensive tourism products, we have one of the most beautiful products and I’m always excited when those who are serving our country can get to see its beauty and appreciate it,” the minister stated. He expressed gratitude to those who made the event possible. Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Director Indranauth Haralsingh, said the objective of the dinner is to promote the

Fort Zeelandia in Fort Island, Essequibo

Guyana's acting Tourism Minister, Irfaan Ali serving guests dessert

Three thousand graduate from Learning for Life programme in Jamaica

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he Red Stripe Learning for Life programme has benefited thousands of persons across Jamaica since its inception. A record 3,000 students graduated from this programme on November 3 at the National Arena. Learning for Life is an adult educational project funded by Diageo Red Stripe in partnership with the Institute of Workforce Education and Development. "We are proud to say that of the 11,000 graduates enrolled in the programme since it started, approximately 40 per cent are gainfully employed, some on the Carnival Cruise Lines, some running their own micro-businesses, and others with many of our own customers in supermarkets, hotel, restaurants and bars," Dianne Ashton Smith, head of corporate communications at Red Stripe said.

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance Dr Peter Phillips greets a Learning for Life graduate at the recent graduation ceremony. (Jamaica Observer photo)

"Our students are always grateful for the opportunity to take them out of a life of hopelessness to a life where, to borrow the words of Ernie Els, 'they feel like they can start winning again'," she added. This year, Red Stripe's goal is to professionally train and certify 5,500 more Jamaicans with additional courses that will guarantee rele-

vance and quality assurance to meet the growing needs of stakeholders in the hospitality/service industry. Guest speaker Jamaica’s Minister of Finance Dr Peter Phillips, encouraged the students to make a meaningful impact on society by using the skills they have gained in the programme. (Jamaica Observer)


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he Planning Committee for Mashramani celebrations in Region Two, Essequibo, last Friday officially unveiled its programme of activities at the Anna Regina Fire Station compound. The launch was held under the theme “Cultural folklore: Celebrating 44” and featured various cultural items, including dances, poems and calypsoes. The activities were declared opened by regional Mash representative Portia Jocobs. Regional Mash Planning Committee Chairman Humane Odit thanked those who made the launch of Mash 2014 possible.

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A section of the gathering at the launch of Mash activities in Region Two

He said a number of activities have been planned, all of which will showcase the young talents in the region. Meanwhile, Region Two Vice Chairman

hree students from Ardenne High School have been selected to represent Jamaica at the annual Junior Achievement Americas Company of the Year Entrepreneurship Competition to be held in Cancun, Mexico, between December 9 and 12. The three are Dawin Morna, Nicholas Kee and Hughian Bernard. This is the third year that students from Ardenne have represented Jamaica in the competition. The trio, during the academic year 2012/2013, along with their teacher Orrette Muir, created a Junior Achievement Student Company called 'Plastato,' that scientifically produces jewellery from potatoes. It is this project that they have further developed and presented in Mexico. "We came up with 'Plastato' as our products were made from potatoes. We really wanted to be innovative and create something that was practical and something that people would love," Kee said.

Vishnu Samaroo said Mashramani is an important event in Guyana, and early planning is needed to kick off the celebrations. Some of the activities

Ardenne was selected to represent Jamaica from a pool of 40 schools islandwide which submitted business plans then launched businesses under the Junior Achievement Programme during the academic year. JN Fund Managers paid for the students to travel to Mexico, where they competed against all other Junior Achievement entrepreneurs in the Americas. "We have seen videos, and the students and Ardenne were doing amazing things," Annette Clayton-Baker, vice-president, marketing and public relations at JN Fund Managers said. "They pooled the best ideas from their art, science and technology students to create a product that could be sold easily. It (the product) was aesthetically pleasing and friendly to the environment. We are very happy to have Ardenne back with us and among the schools we are mentoring in the 2013/2014 Junior Achievement Programme." The group from Ardenne High is accompanied by Alphie Mullings-

Smartphone film-maker Dominic Koo, left, TT Film Company CEO Carla Foderingham and TT Film Company chairman Christopher Laird show off smartphones to be used to make short films, during the Trinidad and Tobago Smartphone Film Festival media launch at Rossco's, Ariapita Avenue, Port-of-Spain, last Friday. (TT Guardian photo)

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he TT Film Company (TTFC) plans on making locally-made movies and short-films a more prominent part of TT’s entertainment menu. At the media launch for its newest competition— the TT Smartphone Film Festival—CEO of the company Carla Foderingham said it was

time for local content to be used by various stakeholders, instead of foreign material. “We are in discussion right now with the Port Authority of TT about carrying local content on the ferry to Tobago,” she said during last Friday’s function at Rossco’s in Port-of-Spain. She joked about seeing one foreign-

made children’s cartoon in particular every time she took the ferry, adding, “We need to see ourselves on television, on all screens, on all platforms, wherever.” She said the company was also engaging the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) about getting locally-made films shown on its buses.

A float at the Region Two 2012 Mash celebrations

planned for the Mash celebrations next year include children’s art and essay, dramatic poetry,

calypso, dance, masquerade, costume, physical display, road relay race, steel pans in the street,

best decorated and illuminated buildings, folk and patriotic songs and differently-able competitions; cultural shows; and a flag raising ceremony. Mashramani is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a republic in 1970. The festival, usually held on February 2 – Guyana’s Republic Day– includes a parade, music, games and cooking and is intended to commemorate the birth of the republic. The word “Mashramani” is derived from an Amerindian word and in translation means “the celebration of a job well done”. (Guyana Times)

Orette Muir, teacher and supervisor of the Junior Achievement programme at Ardenne poses with students Dawin Morna (left), Hughian Bernard and Nicholas Kee (right), who are representing Jamaica in Cancun, Mexico, this week in the Junior Achievement Americas Company of the Year Competition. (Jamaica Observer photo)

Aiken, president of JACE Jamaica. Under the JACE programme, students in secondary schools across the island are required to create a business, establish it within their schools, and create profits for themselves. At the end of each academ-

Foderingham also said it was time for companies like Caribbean Airlines to “get with the programme.” “This is a national diversification opportunity. We’re going to spread the wealth across a wider range of people, a greater expanse in terms of population, and we need to start seeing films that look like us. People like us. Our stories. We need to get them out there.” Part of this drive includes empowering young filmmakers to shoot and edit local content, and for anyone with a smartphone and a penchant for making minimovies, the TTFC’s newest initiative is offering a platform for those cinematic aspirations to come to life. The Smartphone

ic year, Junior Achievement Jamaica selects the school with the most sustainable, innovative and unique project to represent Jamaica in the Junior Achievement Americas Company of the Year Competition. (Jamaica Observer)

Film Festival invites all locals to get creative with the video feature on their Androids, iPhones and Blackberries, by filming a mini-movie, no longer than five minutes. It’s a competitive festival for short films, seeking to encourage the creation of responsible local content and show budding filmmakers it’s not necessary to have hightech equipment to make a quality product. The competition will also challenge seasoned filmmakers to work within that time constraint and explore other types of video technology. “Essentially this is open to all ages, and it will focus on the culture, the identity, the stories of TT,” Foderingham said.

Dominic Koo, a recent University of the West Indies (UWI) graduate with a degree in film, presented his one-minute movie ‘Missed Call’, saying he had to borrow an iPhone from his friend to make it happen. “It’s quite easy really. You just have to know how to operate the technology. So in a sense, the focus comes more on the content of the film,” he said. “We are a country that has its own identity,” said the 25-year-old, lamenting that the inability to showcase that to the rest of the world was shameful. He said while fellow filmmakers sought out fame and success, they were also driven by doing something meaningful. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)


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Health

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rinidad and Tobago is among four countries in the Caribbean now closer to agreeing a deal that will boast cruise ship travel to their destinations. Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia are the Caricom member states partnering with TT on the Southern Caribbean Cruise Initiative aimed at boasting passenger arrivals and revenue. The plan could take effect as early as 2015. TT will serve as the home port for the project based on its capacity in the areas of fuel bunkering, light manufacturing and room stock to meet the needs of potential cruise passengers. Through this partnership the regional quartet will engage the interest of major cruise lines seeking warm water destinations, proposing that a line between these territories form a new route. At a recent meeting in Port-of-Spain chaired

W Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia are the Caricom member states partnering with TT on the Southern Caribbean Cruise Initiative aimed at boasting passenger arrivals and revenue. (TT Guardian photo)

by Lorne Theophilus, St Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, Heritage and The Creative Industries, details of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the respective governments were hammered out. Theophilus said: “We realised there was quite a unique consensus amongst us as to the way forward. We clarified various concerns we may have had concerning the ingredients of the MOU

to go to the Cabinets of the various participating territories and moving from this, we will look at the other issues.” He added that, “We believe that we as a collective can better enable our countries to benefit as a product, a product which comprises more than one territory, where we can create an itinerary which is going to be beneficial to us and enables us to move beyond what is the traditional

seven day window...” Theophilis credited former TT tourism minister Stephen Cadiz for coming up with the idea at a Caribbean Tourism Organisation Conference in New York. He said the latest survey on tourists arrivals in St Lucia showed an average visitor expenditure of around US$80-85 from a total of 700,060 visitors annually. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)

An old family recipe for biscuits becomes a new business for young University of Guyana graduate

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nheriting a recipe for coconut biscuits from her grandmother, Guyanese Shaunda Yarde has tapped into her inner entrepreneur, coupled with what she learnt as a public communication major at the University of Guyana, to create a growing business: Golden Crunch Coconut Biscuits. The coconut biscuits are a savoury, coco-nutty heaven enjoyed by Shaunda and her family for years. In a recent interview, Shaunda recalled that her grandmother was always cooking and baking every Saturday for her family. The coconut biscuits, a Guyanese treat, were Shaunda’s favourite. “My grandmother gave me the recipe. I made these to sell while I attended UG. The money I got helped me finance my expenses throughout UG. During a course I did on business marketing, my friends encouraged me to invest more into the biscuits business because they enjoyed the biscuits and thought it had potential,” she reminisced. After graduating with a degree in public com-

Shaunda Yarde

munication, Shaunda worked in a similar field for a while. However, when she got pregnant, Shaunda, a single-parent, decided to leave her job because it could not facilitate taking care of her baby. This led to investing more into her biscuit business. Soon enough, Golden Crunch Coconut Biscuits was founded. “I started off with a few packs and now make over 100 packs of five biscuits weekly. I have clients I supply to at banks and other businesses. I’m hoping to expand to supermarkets and I’m working on that currently,” she outlined. Shaunda recalled a

Shaunda's yummy coconut biscuits

person, who remarked that her biscuits have drugs inside because of how addictive they are. Hearing these amusing, but appreciative comments, and having the support of family and friends has encouraged Shaunda to continue pursuing her goal of establishing her business. “This is no easy walk in the park. It has it challenges. When I’m grating coconuts and I grate my fingers, I look at my baby and keep on grating because I have to support him. He’s my motivation to keep going. I’m thankful to my family and

friends for their support and encouragement,” she declared. Holding a degree is a security for Shaunda because she knows she is qualified if the need arise to get a job. It also helps her to put her business into perspective. “My encouragement to women is to take the chance if you have the business opportunity. Pregnancy has also taught me about faith and God, and this has helped me through my darkest days,” she noted. (Excerpted from Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

By Anu Dev

ell, some may think it’s the time to be jolly and all that but for others it’s that time of the year when the denizens of universities are gearing up for finals. Trying to force in all of the work from the semester into the old grey matter. No jollity here, I can tell you! It’s times like these that I miss QC’s tradition of only having course-work for the first term. But up to now (three whole months!) medicine is fascinating. And I haven’t been grossed out by anything yet. I found it interesting that they plugged in “Medical Ethics” right up front... does it become a dim memory by the time we finish? I was also struck by how finely balanced all our regulatory systems are, ensuring that all of the processes in our body are in sync. And by how elaborate our immune system is to prevent us from getting sick all of the time. There are an awful lot of bacteria and viruses out there launching attacks on us, but we don’t spend every waking moment sick, do we? That’s because our immune system is fighting off the invaders all the time. And I realised how much we take these things for granted. We eat what we want, when we want, not caring about what the nutritional content of the food or our irregular eating times might be doing to our bodies. Or we adopt a sedentary, couch potato lifestyle. And while we take in the car every 3000 miles for the oil and filter change, we don’t make regular check-ups with our doctor just to check if the systems are OK. Until we get sick, that is. But being healthy isn’t just about being physically healthy. The WHO defines health as, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” There might be interminable arguments by philosophers about where the mind might be located but there’s no question mental health is as important for normal functioning as any of the other aspects of health. Mental health is defined as “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” (OK... that one’s from the text!) What about social health... we are social beings, aren’t we? Well that deals with your lifestyle choices. Do you want to die early from lung cancer? Then by all means, keep chain-smoking those cigarettes. But secondary smoking is even deadlier to those around. So just quit! Smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol are all lifestyle choices that you should say no to, if you (or those around you) want to stay healthy. Remember alcohol and domestic violence are highly correlated. Other decisions you can make about your lifestyle are about the food you eat. Eat smarter, eat healthier. In Guyana, we’re at high risk for diseases like hyper tension and diabetes. These diseases don’t have absolute cures, just ways to manage the illness. So let’s take preventative measures to prevent ourselves from getting these diseases. We really should be focusing more on prevention, rather than just treatment. And there are little everyday things that persons could be a little more aware of. Things like sneezing or coughing into a tissue. Germs, remember? The importance of washing your hands is something that cannot be stressed enough. And while we’re on the subject of hands, nail-biters really should ease up – it really isn’t sanitary, not to mention unsightly. Laughter’s a better way to deal with tension.


Bollywood

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‘Ranbir can marry whomever ‘Yes, I have started smoking’ - Aamir Khan he wants’ - Katrina Kaif

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amir Khan, by his own admission, is very stressed about his upcoming film ‘Dhoom 3.’ He said that he has noticed that his stress levels have increased since the shooting of the movie is completed. He believes that the tension will only ease once the film hits the theatres. In one of his earlier interviews, Aamir had even said that whenever his film was about to release he got nervous and that a cigarette could ease the pressure. And now with the release of ‘Dhoom 3’ just round the corner, Aamir, who is extremely health conscious and has been following rigorous exercise and diet regime for the last two years, did accept that due to stress he has started smoking again. “Yes, I have started smoking which is not good. I am not happy about it. For last two years I was on a strict diet, I wouldn't drink or smoke, I kept

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ollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, who got cash registers ringing with her roles in films like ‘Beta’ and ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun,’ mentioned how the idea of coming back to India also emerged from the fact how

a strict control on everything, but these days I am even eating junk food…Right now I'm unfit. But I will definitely stop smoking from December 31 and I will stop eating unhealthy food completely post release. I will get back to fitness from January 2,” said Aamir. (TOI)

huge Bollywood had become in the past few years. She said, “My decision was based on the fact that my parents were getting old and they wanted to live in India. I also felt that my children should have an Indian upbringing and value system, and my husband though has lived in the U.S., his grandparents lived in India so he was used to a life in India.” But when asked if she didn't see a great opportunity in films? She responded, “Of course. Bollywood is so big now. There are so many opportunities to do different kind of films. Also I feel that both me and Sriram Nene can touch so many lives (so that) also made us move to India.” The only thing that the actress misses about Denver, U.S. is the hill station and climate and more open spaces. She said, “There are not many parks for children and less open spaces, but my kids love it here. Friends can drop in your place without phone invitations and it is very homely here and the people are great.” (TOI)

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egastar Amitabh Bachchan says he does not like India being called a developing nation. “I feel proud of the fact that those very things that India was once criticised for, like our growth of population, etc is now looked upon by developed nations for great consumer consumption. It goes well. I hate India being called as a developing nation. I want it to be known as a developed nation. I think we are moving forward in that direction," Bachchan said at a recent function. “I don't believe in goals. I hope there is some opportunity and challenge that the future directors will offer me. Each decade is providing great expansion in our medium of media and entertainment. Like the growth of television, growing mobile penetration,” he said. The legendary actor further said, “In our business of films, we are judged

areena Kapoor’s frank talk on ‘Koffee with Karan’ wherein she referred to Katrina as her “sister-in-law” to tease her cousin Ranbir Kapoor seems to be giving a hard time to Katrina. The pretty actress is being bombarded with questions from the media, and at a time when she is all out promoting her upcoming film ‘Dhoom 3.’ However, the actress decided to remain at her quirkiest best while handling the questions on her and Ranbir’s alleged relationship. At one point of time, when a volley of questions were unleashed at her, Katrina gave up saying, while laughing and mocking at the media---“Katrina and Ranbir won't marry, yes lock it.” And it appeared that

one is happy and everyone gets married when they want to get married,” said Katrina. She further said, “I am not getting married to anyone right now, nor am I getting engaged. Whatever Kareena said on Karan's show was just a joke, it should not be taken seriously. Everyone knows that people pull each other's leg on his show. And then Kareena and Ranbir are cousins, they joke with each other.” (TOI)

‘I am fit enough to do action film again’ - Shah Rukh

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ollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan says that though he has been grappling with injury problems, he is fit enough to do an action film. “When I was doing ‘Chennai Express’ I was injured, but I did it. It hurts a little, troubles

H by people like you. Audiences make us, their taste changes. They decide what kind of films and actors they like to watch... it is important to be in tune with the audience. The most difficult task in our business is to know what they are going to like and dislike,” he said. (TOI)

she had taken a leaf out of Salman's book to handle the marriage-related queries, as she said that she is not going to get married to anyone in next maybe 10, 15, 20 or even 30 years. And if that was not enough she was happily giving away her alleged beau Ranbir to any other woman in her statements. “Ranbir should whoever he wants to marry. Hopefully both of them will want to marry each other. I hope that every-

you a bit, you need to be careful. If I am offered an action film, I will do it. There is no big deal about it. I am fit enough to do an action film again,” Shah Rukh said. “I never wanted to be muscular. Everybody has a body type. I have nice, lean long muscles. I am happy with them. I

uma Qureshi, who is known for her unconventional looks and talent, says that people are tired about reading about her unconventional looks. She said, “I am tall and don't look like a malnourished heroine or very thin as a commercial heroine does. However, I am getting roles and good ones too. I don't want to take names, but I can give you so many examples like Sonakshi Sinha or Vidya Balan, who are not reed thin and are doing really well for themselves. Having said that, she added, “I am also not the torchbearer of looking like a particular type of heroine, with a particular body type. I think I look nice, and none of the guys are complaining.” (TOI)

don't like to show off. By March I need to be thin, I want to do it. I am working out everyday. I want to be fit,” he said. The Bollywood superstar was speaking at the launch of Deanne Panday's fitness book ‘Shut Up and Train.’ Due to the number of injuries SRK has suffered, he does find difficulty while doing some sort of exercises. “I can't do over head and shoulder exercise at all. Because of my spinal injury, I can't do a lot of things. I used to love doing pull ups, but I now can hardly do threefour. I can't do exercise with bars. As soon as I stretch my arms, I can't balance things. I can't lift too much weight,” he said. (TOI)


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Paul Walker's funeral Alec Baldwin set to return as TV host in Jan. planned for weekend A A ctor Paul Walker's family has planned a funeral for him this weekend with the cast and crew of his movie ‘The Fast and The Furious.’ Walker died in a crash after a charity car show in Santa Clarita, California Nov 30. He was 40. “All of the funeral details are still being worked out,” a source told eonline.com. Walker's co-star and friend Tyrese Gibson is helping the family put together the funeral arrangements. Tyrese met Walker's mother and father on Dec. 1 to discuss what steps the family will take. The source also said that Walker's 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, is still coping with her father's death. “She is doing OK and as well as can be expected. She is a little lost right now and is spending a lot of time with

lec Baldwin is set to return to TV as a host for the show ‘Private Screenings’ on TCM on January 6. According to Deadline.com, the 55-year-old will be interviewing Robert Osbourne, Fox News reported. Osbourne usually hosts the series, but he will switch chairs to get grilled by Baldwin as part of the network's 20th anniversary celebration. Reps for TCM said that the former ‘30 Rock’ star was chosen because of his long association with the network, including serving as co-host of ‘The Essentials’ from 2009 to 2011. They said that Baldwin is an avid supporter of classic film and film preservation. (TOI)

her close friends,” the source said. The funeral will be by invitation only. (TOI)

Amanda Bynes warned against going to fashion school

Amy Adams admits lesbian kiss with Jennifer Lawrence was ‘emotional’

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my Adams has described her lesbian kiss with Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle” as an ‘emotional’ experience. According to Entertainmentwise, the 39-year-old American actress said that she feels that the Oscar-winning actress really made a contribution, and executed it in a way that felt driven purely from character, the Metro.co.uk reported. Lawrence is playing Irving Rosenfeld's wife Rosalyn in the film, directed by David Russell, that revolves around the FBI ABSCAM operation in the late 1970s. (TOI)

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ctor Nicolas Cage does not pay heed to either negative or positive remarks about him. He believes negative comments will hinder his progress, and positive ones are likely to make him complacent. The 49-year-old believes that to achieve success, he needs to feel “uncomfortable.” “I don't take criticism seriously and I don't take praise seriously, both would be a mistake,” Cage told Metro newspaper, reported femalefirst.co.uk. “If you buy into the negative that is the internet today, or the cynical critic, it's not unlike listening to an abusive father that's trying to cave you in and you can't function. “If you buy into praise, to people who adore you, you might get lazy and

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say, ‘Well, I'll just keep doing that.’ You have to stay uncomfortable,” he added. (TOI)

Charlie Sheen gushes about new romance

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ctor Charlie Sheen has opened up about his new romance with adult movie star Brett Rossi, insisting she is the “missing half” of his heart. The 48-year-old sparked speculation of the new romance after he was snapped kissing the former porn star on the balcony of his villa in Los Cabos, Mexico Nov 28, reported tmz.com. He later confirmed

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manda Bynes, who was undergoing treatment for schizophrenia in a Malibu rehab, has been advised by her psychiatrists that she should avoid going to fashion school so soon after getting released from the centre.

The troubled actress' mum had said in a statement that her daughter is looking at various colleges with the intention of majoring in fashion design and is interested in creating a clothing line. However, a source close to the situation told Radar Online that the ‘She's The Man’ star was told by her doctors that going to fashion school is a terrible idea at this time and it's almost setting her up for failure. The insider asserted that there will be pressure on Bynes as far as school work, deadlines, and it's unlikely she will be able to succeed. The source said that Bynes should be eased back into her life in a controlled manner, because she is dealing with a very serious health diagnosis. Bynes' treatment team felt that she could have benefited from further inpatient care, the insider added. (TOI)

the two were dating by sharing a picture of them hugging on micro-blogging site Twitter, alongside the message, “Best

thanksgiving ever. I'm thankful for 'giving' the world another face-load of planet jealous!” “I've been on a lifelong journey, a 1000 century quest, in search of the better and missing half of my heart and my brane (sic). That expedition is now (rated) 'a major success' and beyond the valley of dunn-ski complete. The Masheen (sic) wins again,” he said. (TOI)

ocialite Paris Hilton has warned Lindsay Lohan and the guy who allegedly put her younger brother in the hospital this week after beating him down, that no one will get away with the misdeed. The 24-year-old was taken to the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami last Friday night after his condition became serious enough to require emergency treatment. Tmz.com reported that Paris has posted a photo of her brother Barron's jacked up face on Instagram Saturday, showing the aftermath of his brawl with a guy he claims punched the crap out of him at Lindsay's request, and it fired Paris up. Paris commented on the picture saying: “They both will pay for what they did. No one f***s with my family

and gets away with it!!” And she even added two hot-head emoticons to show she means business. Lindsay and her dad (Michael Lohan) has denied she had anything to do with the incident--even though there's video telling a different story. (TOI)

Stallone eager to share colourful anecdotes with fans

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ollywood action star Sylvester Stallone will discuss his career successes and failures in a special question and answer session with fans. Titled ‘An Evening with Sylvester Stallone’, the session will take place Jan. 11, 2014 at the Westminster's Central Hall in London, reported femalefirst.co.uk. “I've had such a long career and so many ups and downs. I have a big mix of wonderful stories and colourful anec-

dotes,” said the 67-year-old. He hopes the intimate chat will give fans a chance to see a different side of him, as many assume he is introvert like his movie characters. “"Certain characters, mostly heroes, have to be the straight silent type, that is part of the make-up. When people meet me they're often surprised. I talk a great deal. I consider myself something of a raconteur. I have a rather audacious sense of humour,” he said. (TOI)


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Canadian-Guyanese receives multicultural award T

he Guelph and District Multicultural Award is given each year to citizens who have made an impact in the community, where their initiative has been to welcome diversity and inclusion. Guyanese-born, Narine Dat Sookram received the prestigious award earlier this year and has become the first Guyanese to be bestowed with this honour. Sookram said that hate and cultural conflict tend to divide people, but respect, inclusion and understanding help to unite community. He noted that multiculturalism strengthens community through cultural events which brings cross cultural understanding and the elimination of racism. Multiculturalism is nothing new to

Sookram and it represents equality, he said. Sookram said living in Canada does not deny his right to maintain or explore his Guyanese cultural heritage. In fact, for this reason, he initiated the annually prestigious Caribbean Dream Concert in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Sookram noted that all have a culture regardless of where one lives, and it should be strengthened as the understanding that unity can be achieved through diversity. He said being a Guyanese-Canadian means that he has the right to be proud of his home country, Guyana and his place of citizenship, Canada, to celebrate both cultural heritage. “It’s like have the best of both worlds”, he said.

Narine Dat Sookram

Sookram, who migrated to Canada two decades ago, understands how newcomers are faced with making considerable adjustments to a new society. However, he also knows that they also contribute to the social, economic and political fabric of Canadian society as well. Sookram said that multiculturalism promotes the integration of newcomers into a developing community. “The community we live in today is different from the community 50 years ago and will be different from the community of the future,” he said. The multicultural cultural award winner has received many prestigious awards, including the Who’s Who in the World, TIAW World of Difference 100 Award, Canada’s Top 25 Immigrant and Mohawk Alumni of Distinction.

Trinidadian youth club wins Brooklyn drumming competition

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e promised to bring home the “Drums of Thunder” trophy, and true to his word, Officer Derrick Sharbodie and his troop did Trinidad and Tobago proud, as they drummed and danced their way into the judges’ hearts in Brooklyn, New York, last month. The competition is an annual one where 15 members of the St James Police Youth Club—nine males, and six females dancers, ranging from ages 14 to 25—formed part of the contingent to compete against 50 youth groups from around the world. The club first visited Brooklyn during the competition in 2011 where they were just a part of a cultural exchange programme. It was not an easy journey for these young men and women who have come from different

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up to the plate on that night,” Sharbodie said. It was not that Sharbodie did not have faith that his kids could do him proud like they always do, but he did not want them to be disappointed. “I said we have one shot so let’s go for it. We trusted God and I said we didn’t come all the way to Brooklyn to place fourth or eight. We came here to win,” Sharbodie told TT media last week. Sharbodie declared the young people to be “true ambassadors” who performed with their hearts “We had it in the bag. We had the confidence and we knew we were taking this (trophy),” declared Talia Mottley, one of the dancers. There was never a doubt in these young people’s minds that they would emerge on top. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

non-traditional exports, launched the country’s new tourism campaign, 'Colombia is Magical Realism,' at a networking event at the Colombian Embassy in Port-of-Spain last Wednesday evening. “The message has switched from just coming to visit Colombia, to coming for an unforgettable magical experience,” Carlos Gonzalez, executive director-Caribbean, Proexport Colombia, told TT media. He explained that the campaign has specific objectives, including increasing visitor arrivals to the country, generating investment opportunities through Colombia’s tourism infrastructure, create employment and promote the country on the same level as other

competitive destinations. Gonzalez said the decision was made to focus on Colombia’s unique experiences after a study was done to determine the differential factor that motivated foreign tourists to choose the country as their vacation destination. The words magical, unique and surprising were the words frequently used by visitors to describe their Colombian experience and that set the tone for the new tourism brand. 'Magical Realism' evokes the literary genre that Colombia’s Nobel Prize winner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, used in his stories that blended reality with magic. It also consolidates previous campaigns which have changed people’s

perceptions and shown the charms of Colombian tourist destinations, as well as progress in terms of security and stability. Gonzalez said the campaign shows that Colombia was nature (agri-tourism, birdwatching and whale watching); adventure (scuba diving and extreme sports); sun and sand; boating experiences (sea and river cruises); culture (religious events, fairs, carnivals, archaeological sites); and it is also a destination for business (conventions, congresses, events). The new campaign was launched last April by Proexport president Maria Claudia Lacouture and is currently being introduced throughout the Caribbean. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)

Sen. Kevin Parker with the 2013 Drums of Thunder winners, members of the St. James Police Youth Group of Trinidad and Tobago. Far left is Rev. Andy Edwards, organizer of Drums of Thunder competition. Seated front center are the group's managers Christine and Derrick Sharbordie. (FB photo)

walks of life to make it. After much trials and tribulations—from raising funds to getting United States visas—the

team wowed the judges and walked away with US$2,000 and a challenge trophy, and of course, bragging rights.

Colombia woos Caribbean tourists

Colombia’s famous Salt Cathedral, one of the sites promoted in the country’s new tourism campaign. (TT Guardian photo)

he government of Colombia has set a target of earning US$4 billion in foreign exchange through tour-

The young men and women in the club come from some areas that are considered high risk such as Diego Martin,

Laventille and St Barbs. Some were sent through the probation department, some were sent because their behaviour was out of control, some because they were attracted to what the club had to offer. But, at the end of the day, the odds met the ends and it was a joyful one. They are young people who want to live a life away from crime and violence, something they see too much of on a daily basis. “I was really surprised and taken aback when I heard that they had won. I slapped myself seven times...seven is a good number...they have made me so proud. In my 21 years in working with young people this is one of my greatest accomplishments so far. I am like a kid with a lollipop. No matter what obstacles we had to go through, we stepped

ism in 2014, and Trinidad and Tobago is one of the countries from which it hopes to attract visitors. As part of that strat-

egy, Proexport Colombia, the agency responsible for promoting the country’s foreign investment, international tourism and


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fter the high of Guyana Fashion Week at Rahaman’s Park and the Fashion Market at Pegasus Hotel, Guyana, Sonia Noel jetted off to Suriname with the dynamic Nelsion Nurse to partner in a Pop-upShop set up by GFW’s guest Surinamese designers–Warda Marica and Remko Sintmaartensdijk. The event was a blast giving validity to the modern merchandising approach of target vending. The event created quite a stir and produced lucrative results for the eclectic mix of designers. They plan to continue in this vein for it serves to broaden client base and open up possibilities for networking and consolidating interests in the uniquely placed Guianas. Rushing out of the Surinamese Fashion buzz, Noel zipped up to Strut for a Cause, in St Lucia, where she was

week ending december 12, 2013

featured as the prominent designer raising funds for the Sickle Cell Association and heightening awareness of the disease. The premier event was held at the prestigious Sandals Grande, St Lucia and as usual, the production enlisted a professional organisation to serve as the model cast. The Bankers Association of St Lucia, under the artistic direction of celebrated regional production designer, Richard Young, did in fact strut their stuff to the accolades of the who is who of St Lucian society. “I have been part of this event for years but the show this year meant more to me because I am one of the patrons in Guyana and I plan on working closely with the association next to heighten awareness of Sickle Cell,” Noel said. On showcase were two labels from Noel–

her ‘First Resort’ collection and her ‘Mariska’s’ brand. She opened and closed the show to rousing applauses from the packed audience. She catered to the youth, the young-at-heart, the fullfigured, regular men and the modeleqsue fashionistas. On showcase were other Caribbean designers–Shazi Chalon of Martinique, St Lucian designers, Nella Collymore, Sarleen Lagon, Noiret Blanc and St Lucian fashion house, Sea Island Cotton. The very next day, Sonia Noel gave a preview of her showing at the sprawling and spectacular Bay Gardens Beach Resort at an exclusive brunch, around the pool of the exquisite hotel. Needless to say some of her resort pieces were snapped up by excited international guests. Later that day she was on the panel of Richard Young’s St Lucia

casting for Caribbean’s Next Top Model. Panel members were Delia Dolor, managing editor at SHE magazine and host of television show the Dolor Factor; Angie Montoute, former BBC television presenter and current St Lucian television and radio producer/ presenter, Daria Ernest; the popular JQ Rodney, Bay Mall manager, who is also responsible for Ayana Whitehead and Jarron Alexander–the faces of the mall who attended GFW 2013. The casting was highly successful, rounding up interesting faces with great personalities and fantastic body lines. Sonia Noel certainly knows how to work the circuit of the regional fashion landscape. The first resort collection and Mariska’s Designs will be featured this weekend in Suriname at the De Kus, which is an event that showcases creative and original furniture, jew-

GFW Sonia Noel (right) shares a photo with fans in Suriname

ellery, handbags and paintings. The owner fell in love with Noel’s clothing and decided to add clothing to the artistic line up. “Since GFW I have not had any time to rest but hopefully I may be

able to do that early next year”, the designer lamented. In Guyana she is giving back for the season with huge discounts throughout December at her Barr Street, Kitty location. (Guyana Times)

Star of the Week

Yaphet Jackman

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ignificantly making his mark on the local arts scene, Yaphet Jackman is known as one of Guyana’s notable contributors to keeping the art of the “spoken word” alive. Through numerous art shows, where poetry is superbly and vividly performed, Yaphet encourages youths to grow artistically. Yaphet’s interest in poetry sparked in 2007 when he started writing. He attended many literary workshops, which helped develop his writing skills. For the 28-year-old poet, life is his inspiration. Every poem he has written is a testimonial of his life’s events. He believes people connect personally with his work because of his honesty. Yaphet views writing as a release and a means to clarifying his baffling thoughts. Writing is mostly a surreal experience for Yaphet which he uses as an escape to a beautiful world: a place where all energy is good, healing and positive. Other than poetry, film is his next big interest. Yaphet describes himself as a visual person who has always been fascinated by the way images tell stories without a single word. He is currently working feverishly on honing that craft, to become one of the best who uses the art of filmmaking to address topical issues affecting the world today. Focused on youth empowerment, Yaphet is part of several groups centred on building youths and communities. Groups such as Global Shaper Community, the National Youth Council Committee, Young Journalist and Writers (an international writers’ hub for young writers and journalists around the world) and Youth Media Guyana, just to name a few, have given Yaphet numerous opportunities to fulfil his mission to empower youths. His advice to youths is to learn to distinguish right from wrong; strive to be a positive influence to other youths and surround themselves with positive people who will help in their self-development.


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WICB withdraws Under-19 Meeting Mandela my greatest moment, says Sir Viv from Bangladesh

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cting in the best interest of the safety and security of the West Indies Under 19 team, the West Indies Cricket Board on Sunday took the decision to withdraw the team from its tour of Bangladesh. The WICB’s decision was taken following consideration of a report on the situation in Bangladesh as prepared by WICB Security Manager Paul Slowe. The report emphasised that the current security environment in Bangladesh is not conducive to the playing of cricket in light of the 72 hours nationwide blockade and calls for countrywide dawn to dusk protest. The State Department of the United States of

America has also issued a travel alert to its citizens living in and travelling to Bangladesh. Travel arrangements are being made to allow for the team’s return to the Caribbean as quickly as possible. The team will remain safely accommodated at the team hotel under adequate security protection until departure from Bangladesh. An explosion had occurred a short distance away from the team hotel in Chittagong on Saturday evening. The players and members of team management were not targeted and were not in immediate danger as a result of the incident. The WICB also thanked the Bangladesh Cricket Board for their

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WICB Security Manager Paul Slowe

hosting of the team and the security arrangements provided to the team while in Bangladesh. The WICB has contacted the parents and guardians of the players to advise them of the latest developments. (WICB)

TT scrabble stars competing in Dubai

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n eight-member team, led by senior bpTT secondary schools scrabble champion, Omari Blake, left Trinidad on Saturday (December 7) to compete in the World Youth Scrabble Championships (WSYC) to be held in Dubai, UAE, from Thursday to Saturday. The team, which will seek international scrabble honours, comprises Blake, his St Mary’s College schoolmate and junior champion Christopher Thomas, Sion De Souza (Presentation College, Chaguanas), Matthew Wong Sang (Fatima College), Adam Ali (St George’s College), Alissa Noel (St Augustine Girls’ High School), Anastasia Francis (Bishop’s Anstey

High School) and Khelsey Ramsumair (ASJA Girls’ High School). They are accompanied by Kurt Ross, president of the National Scrabble Association of Trinidad and Tobago, who will coach the team; and Valerie PedroHarris, public relations officer who will perform duties as manager/chaperone and assistant coach. The WYSC is the foremost international tournament at which youths under 18 years of age from more than 20 countries participate and compete at an astonishingly high level. In 2011, Blake, then 15, and Amir AndiAbdoerrachman, a 16-year-old student of Marabella South Secondary, represent-

ed Trinidad and Tobago at the WYSC held in Malaysia. They placed 20th and 37th, respectively, among a field of 84 competitors. Blake has dominated the bpTT National Secondary Schools Scrabble Championships in recent years, registering a hat-trick as senior champion at this year’s finals in November. The TTSATT is working toward increasing the number of youths involved in playing scrabble by at least 20 per cent each year, said PedroHarris. It has planned year-round workshops and training sessions to create avenue for structured performance among youths from primary to tertiary levels. (TT Newsday)

Lara’s hero

TT and West Indies star cricketer presented Nelson Mandela with an autographed bat, commemorating his world record 400 Test runs, when he met the former South African president at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa on September 21, 2005. The inscription read: "To a man who has inspired the world. I love you President Mandela. My best wishes to my personal hero. Brian Lara." (TT Newsday file photo)

ricket legend Sir Viv Richards accomplished whatever there was to achieve in the game--playing for West Indies, the No 1 team in the world in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, being part of two World Cupwinning teams and not losing a Test series as captain from 1985- 86 to 1991. However, when it came to matters off the field, Nelson Mandela, who passed away in Johannesburg last Thursday, provided him with his greatest moment. Richards told MiD DAY from Antigua last Friday that meeting Mandela in Monaco during the Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000 was his greatest moment. “That meeting will stay in my memory for a long time. He knew about my decision to not go to SA (in the apartheid years). He said, ‘Thank you’ and those words meant so much. I was extremely happy. To hear this from a person,

Sir Vivian Richards

who is revered by almost everyone around the world was very special. When he said ‘Thank you’, I knew where he was coming from. He did say to me that he knew exactly what was happening then as well as the people, who helped make a difference (in dismantling apartheid),” said Richards. In the film Fire in Babylon, Richards revealed that he was offered an “open cheque” to play in South Africa, but refused to bite the bait

because touring South Africa during the apartheid era went against his principles. Also, he felt that there would have been an exodus in West Indies cricket had he agreed to go. “You felt seriously embodied with the folks who were suffering in South Africa. Human injustice was taking place for so many years,” he said. The proud Antiguan first heard that Mandela appreciated his decision to stay away from rebel tours to South Africa from Bishop Desmond Tutu. That was before he met Mandela in 2000. “Tutu told us that they listened to the radio when West Indies played against England and Australia. They were frequent listeners. He also said that they took satisfaction from the success we had at that time. For me to hear that was a privilege,” said Richards. (Excerpted from Cricketinfo.com)

Jamaican among six released on bail amid match-fixing allegations in Britain

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ormer Reggae Boy defender Ian 'Pepe' Goodison was released on bail Monday for his alleged involvement in spot-fixing in British football. Goodison represented Jamaica from 1996 to 2009 and retired after 120 appearances and 11 goals. He played in Jamaica's historic World Cup Finals appearance in 1998 in France. The Jamaican is among six men being fingered in the probe. The Sun newspaper in Britain initially uncovered alleged spot-fixing--where minor elements of a game are rigged---in the professional leagues. That follows another newspaper investigation by the Daily Telegraph, which led to non-league players being charged. The latest probe is seemingly more serious, as it involves games as high up as the second-tier League Championship. "These allegations, if proven, unfortunately demonstrate the real issue football faces in terms of corruption and highlights the necessity of the work carried out by the PFA and other stakeholders in the game in educating players of these risks," the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) said. "We take the issue of integrity very seriously and will continue in our efforts to eradicate this evil from our game." Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) said it is probing spot-fixing involving Football League players being paid to get yellow and red cards. It had not identified any of the people arrested, but said all six men had been released on bail until April. However, The Sun named Goodison as one of six men arrested on Sunday. Goodison plays for Tranmere

Ian 'Pepe' Goodison (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

Rovers in England where he has made 402 appearances and scored 13 times, since 2004. In a statement Tranmere said: "Tranmere Rovers is aware of reports in today's media regarding Ian Goodison. As it is an ongoing investigation, the club has no further comment at this time." (Excerpted from Jamaica Gleaner)


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Guyana boxing board finalises amateur card for “Linden Showdown”

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he amateur segment of the “Linden Showdown” ProAm boxing card, billed for Boxing Day at the Mackenzie Sports Club in Guyana, has been finalised. The card will feature four three-round exhibition bouts, showcasing eight young pugilists from the mining town of Linden. Kurley Hooper and Ronald Andries will battle in the 75-79 lbs category, while Joshua Corbin, the son of heavyweight boxer Sean Corbin, will trade punches with Daukyan Miller at the 84-90 lbs range. Hakim Alexander and Rudolph Williams will

square off at 160-165 lbs weight class, while Ejad Alli will trade punches with Troyston Ward at the same weight class. According to Guyana Boxing Board of Control’s (GBBC) match-maker, Eion Jardine, all the amateur boxers are rearing to go at each other, and he urged Lindeners to throng the Mackenzie Sports Club and witness the future of Linden’s boxing in action. On the professional side, the main encounter, a 12-rounder, will see Derick Richmond, who broke the jaw of local and CABOFE champion Edmond DeClou in

his last trip to the ring, taking on James Walcott for the vacant super middlewight title of Guyana. The bout is pitted as youth against experience, as Richmond has only appeared in three fights with two victories and a draw. Walcott, on the other hand, has chalked up 10 fights with three wins, six losses and a draw. However, Walcott is vastly experienced, and is currently actively involved in coaching in the Albouystown area. In the other professional bouts of the night, Cassius Matthews will take on

Eion Jardine

Kishan Simon in a sixround junior welterweight contest, Kelsie George will battle with Romeo Norville in a four-round super middleweight fight and Shondell Parks and Shelly Gibson will look to settle the score once and for all in their fourround heavyweight showdown. This is the third fight between Parks and Gibson. Parks won the first encounter in Linden, while Gibson won the second in Georgetown. The GBBC is partnering with Nations Promotions to stage the card. (Guyana Times)

Bolt, Fraser-Pryce top Jamaica’s Golden Cleats

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s expected, the world's top athletes--Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann FraserPryce--walked away with top honours at Monday’s Scotiabank/Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Golden Cleats Awards. While Bolt and Fraser-Pryce continue to rake in post-season accolades, they were not the only ones placed on a proverbial pedestal at the function held at the Terra Nova Hotel. Top youth stars Christoffe Bryan and Yanique Thompson--who received two awards--also shared the limelight. Bolt and FraserPryce, who both won a trio of gold medals at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow earlier this year, also created history by becoming the first Jamaican pair to win simultaneous IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards at last month's Grand Gala in Monaco.

Hugh Reid (second right), president, Scotia Insurance, presents Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with the female 2013 Golden Cleats Award at Monday’s ceremony at the Terra Nova Hotel. They are flanked by Lissant Mitchell (left), CEO, Scotia Investments, and Dr Warren Blake, president, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association. (Photos by Ricardo Makyn/Jamaica Gleaner)

So there was no surprise when chairman of the JAAA Awards Committee, Bernard Panton, made the announcement in front of an audience which featured track and field officials, insiders, athletes and representatives from sponsors Scotiabank, which have been backing the JAAA's top prize for

four years. While Bolt was not around to collect his award, Fraser-Pryce took the opportunity to highlight the exploits of the young standouts.

Extraordinary Year

"2014 was an extraordinary year for our athletes. It saw us winning many medals at the junior and senior lev-

T

ence to a close. Christos Volikakis of Greece won the heat. Great Britain’s Matthew Crampton eventually won gold, ahead of Tobias Wachter (Germany) and Shane Perkins (Australia). Njisane now lies fifth in the overall keirin standings after the first two legs of the World Cup. Njisane has 136 points, while Wachter is on top with 240 points. In the men’s sprint, Njisane currently lies second overall on 217 points, behind Matthew Glaetzer of Australia (255 points). The TT Olympian won sprint silver at the first

els and it goes to show that the future of track and field in Jamaica is bright. I will be looking forward to an extraordinary year with these young athletes as they continue to dominate," said Fraser-Pryce, in reference to the likes of IAAF World Youth stars Bryan, Thompson, Michael O'Hara, Jaheel Hyde, Martin Manley and Marvin Williams, who helped Jamaica

to a historic table-topping performance at the championships held in Donetsk, Ukraine, earlier this year. She noted: "It's good for them to understand that hard work and perseverance and also having the right mindset when it comes to your education and having both in terms of becoming future champions on and off the track." Bryan, a sixth former

Windies Kemar Roach confident of full recovery

TT’s Njisane Phillip finishes eighth in World Cup Keirin rinidad and Tobago’s national cyclist Njisane Phillip had to settle for another eighth placed finish on Saturday night in the Men’s Keirin as the curtain closed on the UCI Cycling World Cup leg two in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Njisane also finished eighth in the men’s sprint last Friday. The TT rider was among six riders in heat two aiming for a top three finish to advance to the final later that evening. Unfortunately, Njisane could only muster fifth place, bringing his leg two World Cup experi-

Holmwood Technical's Yanique Thompson (left) is presented with the Scotiabank Group/Howard Aris Scholarship Award by Sandra Aris, widow of the late Howard Aris, former JAAA president.

at Wolmer's Boys', already has passes in eight subjects and harbours hopes of becoming a physiotherapist. The World Youth Championships high jump bronze medallist received one of two Scotiabank/Howard Aris scholarships, valued at Ja$250,000 each, for his academic and athletic performance. H o l m w o o d Technical's Yanique Thompson, who has external passes in seven subjects already, was the toast of the function following her World Youth best 12.94 seconds, goldmedal winning 100m hurdles performance in Ukraine. Thompson also received the Scotiabank/ Howard Aris Scholarship, as well as the JAAA/Howard Aris Award for non-traditional events. Racers Track Club head coach and president, Glen Mills, was named Coach of the Year. (Jamaica Gleaner)

W

Njisane Phillip

leg of the world cup in England last month. Njisane will aim to move up the standings in both events, when the third and final leg of the World Cup takes place from January 17-19 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (TT Guardian)

est Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach will soon start rehabilitation work after completing surgery for a right shoulder injury in Jamaica. Roach, who has been sidelined since early November when he was forced to return from the tour of India, will continue his rehabilitation in Barbados. “I'm feeling quite fine at the moment," Roach told WICB Media. "The surgery was successful so I know I have to get my rest and start my rehab, and when the time is right, I will look to

make a comeback to the playing field." Roach, the West Indies' most successful fast bowler in Test cricket in the last two years, says he is confident of making a successful return to the international stage. "It's my bowling arm so I'm fully aware that it will take some time before I get back out there," he said. "When I come back I want to make sure I'm full ready so I can continue to get a bag of wickets for the West Indies." Roach has taken 85 wickets in 23 Test matches at an average of 27.71

and 94 wickets in 61 OneDayers at an average of 26.77. The 25-year-old is presently at Number 14 in the ICC Test Match Bowling Rankings and at Number 16 in the ICC ODI Bowling Rankings and is looking to break into the Top 10 on his return. "I have a progress and recovery plan mapped out and I will follow it," he said. "My short-term goal is to break into the Top-10 in Test bowling and also look to help push West Indies back to the top in all formats." (CMC)


sport week ending december 12, 2013

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Senior Inter County TT cyclists climb GCB/GT&T/Hand-in-Hand Four-Day in Guyana… UCI rankings Bishoo puts Berbice on

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rinidad and Tobago’s participation at recent International Cycling Union (UCI) sanctioned tournaments has propelled several national cyclists further up the ranking ladder in their respective competitive disciplines. After the final World Cup leg for 2013 concluded in Aguascalientes, Mexico, on Saturday, the UCI Tuesday released its latest overall standings. Njisane Phillip’s historic silver medal performance in Manchester, England, last month, and a credible eighth place finish in the Sprints over the weekend, saw the Olympic cyclist progress into 15th from 21st. He has so far tallied 371 UCI points, with Russian Denis Dmitriev (628pts) leading the standings. Meanwhile, compatriot and Team Drive Phase Sport (DPS) member Quincy Alexander also elevated to 52nd from 71st. In the Keirin, the Rigtech Sonics rider also bettered his previous rank by moving into position 34. Phillip climbed 13 places up the ladder after finishing 12th in Manchester and eighth in Mexico. The multiple national champion has so far attained 270 pts while German Maximilian Levy (595 pts) heads the fleet. Additionally, DPS rider Jude Codrington (116 pts) also made good strides in the Keirin, moving up to 88th

from a distant 134th. Significantly assisting his Codrington’s upward climb was his impressive bronze medal showing at the Copa de Pista Internacional event in Mexico City last week. Also in the top 100 for TT was Kwesi Browne (70th) and Haseem Mclean (77th). Endurance rider, Varun Maharajh (160 pts) slipped six places into 36th position on the Omnium, but will be hoping to enhance this rank at the coming UCI World in Guadalajara, Mexico, in January. Making his debut at the Manchester leg, Maharajh placed 18th and followed up with the same result in Aguascalientes. Heading the Omnium rankings is Kiwi Aaron Gate (418 pts). And in the 1km Time Trial, Alexander ascended into 41st (114 pts). The robust athlete leapt 3p places up the table which is being led by Dutch rider, Simon Van Velthooven (382 pts). Assisting Alexander’s climb was his silver medal finish at the Copa de Pista last week. Finally, TT now stands in position number 25 on the Team Sprint. This was due to DPS’s 18th placed ride at the Copa de Pista. These national cyclists have now concluded their 2013 UCI campaign and will use the Christmas holiday to regroup ahead of January’s World Cup and yet another hectic 2014 season. (TT Newsday)

top against Demerara

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ormer West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo undermined Demerara with a six-wicket haul, as Berbice took control on the opening day in round two of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) senior Inter-County fourday tournament match at Enmore Community Center ground. On Tuesday, the 28-year-old, Bishoo who followed up his 6-57 against the President’s XI in the first innings, first round game, finished with 6-50, as Demerara, asked to bat first, were bowled out for 161. At stumps, the visitors were 73 for 3, 88 runs adrift of an all-important first innings lead. Earlier, pacer Keon Joseph removed both Demerara openers Trevon Griffith and Rajendra Chandrika in quick succession, at 17-2. But captain Leon Johnson, who top scored with 38, featured in two crucial partnerships. First he shared 51 for the third wicket with former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan (28), before he was removed by fast bowler Raun Johnson. Johnson and allrounder Christopher Barnwell, who made 32, put together 41 for the fourth wicket before the latter was removed by Joseph. Demerara managed to post 115 for four

Devendra Bishoo (right) and Keon Joseph were the main destructive forces for Berbice

by lunch. But just after the break, Bishoo bowled a mesmerising spell to claim the final six wickets. Joseph weighed in with 3-53, while fellow fast bowler Johnson picked up 1-39. Berbice then seized further control of the game when opening batsmen Sewnarine Chattergoon (26) and Kandasammy Surujnarine (31) scored fluently to lay a solid foundation. The pair added 58 for the first wicket before both batsmen fell in quick succession to spinners Zaheer Mohamed and Amir Khan. Assad Fudadin was the other batsmen dismissed to off spinner Steven Jacobs. He made three off 45 balls.

Meanwhile, the President’s XI bowlers put on a disciplined performance and picked up wickets at regular intervals to bowl out Essequibo for a paltry 104 in 33.3 overs in the other game at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground. The President’s XI then reached 121 for 4 at stumps with a first innings lead of 17. Vishal Singh and Shaquille Williams are the not out batsmen on 52 and one respectively. Earlier, it was an another appalling batting display by the Essequibians after being put in by the President’s XI skipper Vishal Singh. The Essequibo batsmen were visibly uncomfortable against the pace of Andre Stoll (4-34) and Seon Daniels (3-31)

and also looked clueless against the spin trio of Shaquille Williams (1-5), Collis Butts and Steven Sankar (2-11). They lost six wickets for a mere 80 runs in the opening session before they were wrapped up within an hour of the post-lunch session. Kemo Paul (22), Parmesh Parsotam (19) and Kevon Boddie (18) were the only batsmen to put up a fight against the stifling line and length bowling of the President’s XI bowlers, who utilised the conditions well. The President’s XI started shakily, losing openers Robin Bacchus off the first ball and Dominic Rikhi (0) shortly after. At 2-2, Singh and Ryan Ramdass negotiated that phase well and as expected Ramdass was the more aggressive of the two. The pair was involved in an even century partnership stand before the former Test batsman, who struck six fours in his 59 off 92 balls, was removed. After the dismissal of Ramdass, Seon Hetmyer (7) was trapped leg before wicket to Anthony Adams. Singh’s unbeaten workmanlike 52 came off 162 balls. Dillon Heyliger (1-34), Kemo Paul (1-12) and skipper Adams (228) are the wicket-takers for Essequibo so far. (Guyana Times)

Aussie coach to boost Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls

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amaica’s Sunshine Girls continue to shock the world of netball despite having limited resources at their disposal. But there is still that elusive hurdle to cross for Netball Jamaica; finding a way to break up the New Zealand-Australia dominance. Netball boss Marva Bernard has long been calling for more funding and greater resources to provide the necessary infrastructure for growth. Bernard conceded that technical development is an area that requires dire attention. She said Australian Jill McIntosh, who has previously served in a coaching director's role, will return to beef up the programme ahead of the Commonwealth Games in the summer. “She (McIntosh)

Jamaica’s netball boss Marva Bernard (Jamaica Observer photos)

is coming to work very closely with (head coach) Oberon (Pitterson-Nattie)and (her assistant) Minneth (Reynolds). It's a continuation of the programme because when she was here the last time she worked with national coaches and other coaches. This time she will be going with them to the Commonwealth Games and also getting them

ready before,” she recently told Jamaican media. Bernard explained that McIntosh will be on a five-month stint beginning in April 2014. The local governing body was buoyed by a bronze medal finish at the World Fast5 Championship held last month in New Zealand. That placing maintained the country's trend of being there or

Sunshine Girls in action during the recent Fast World Netball Series in New Zealand.

thereabouts at major youth and senior tournaments. However, many years of similar success have gone by, and worryingly, they remain unable to finance the hiring of a fulltime head coach. The netball president believes Pitterson-Nattie

and her coaching staff have done well in their part-time roles, but added that the next step has to be taken. The senior netball team continues preparation for the Commonwealth Games with a tri-nation series in England in January.

There they will face the hosts and New Zealand. The Young Sunshine Girls also have engagements ahead of them. They are expected to compete in the Jean Pierre Under-16 tournament in St Lucia in April. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)


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

INTERNATIONAL WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 12, 2013

Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes maintains world No 19 ranking W

orld class G u y a n e s e squash player Nicolette Fernandes maintained her world ranking of 19, according to the latest release from the World International Squash Players Association (WISPA). The 30-year-old achieved the career-best ranking of 19 in October, and has managed to maintain that position in the December release of WISPA. Since the start of October, Fernandes has competed in five tour-

naments, and though her performance has not been spectacular by any stretch of imagination, she has done enough to preserve her ranking. The England-based Guyanese participated in the Carol Weymuller Open in the USA, the U.S. Open and the China Open in October, the Monte Carlo Classic in Monaco in November and the Hong Kong Open earlier this month. Fernandes failed to get pass the first round in the Carol Weymuller

Open and the U.S. Open; she made it to the qualifying final of the China Open, the quarter finals of the Monte Carlo Classic and was knocked out at the second round of the Hong Kong Open. Her rise up the ranking is a remarkable turnaround for Fernandes, who only at the start of 2009 was rated a lowly 249 after a recurring knee injury had kept her out of competition for a protracted period of time. Since returning from injury however, Guyana’s

most decorated squash player has been on the rise, significantly moving up the ranking with each passing competition. Such was her outstanding performance that at the end of 2009, Fernandes, under the guidance of award-winning coach Carl Ince, had taken her ranking below 100, ending the year at 88. Ever since, it has been a steady climb up the ladder for the multiple Sportswoman-of-theYear, consistently rack-

Nicolette Fernandes

ing up points and making her way up the WISPA leader board. In 2013, Fernandes has played in 13 WSA World Tour/Series in seven countries: United States of America, Malaysia, Ireland, England, China, Monaco and Hong Kong. In August this year,

Fernandes returned home to claim her fifth Caribbean senior title, taking less than 30 minutes to dispose of Barbados’ Karen Meakins 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 in the final of the Caribbean Area Squash Association Senior Championships at the Georgetown Club. (Guyana Times)

Richardson says Windies Graceful ‘Shelly’ goes distance with Jamaican corporate giant have lost warrior spirit

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anager of the West Indies cricket team Richie Richardson says the regional side has lost its warrior spirit and desire to be the best in the world. “As soon as you get on the (bus) you need to be ready. The opposition needs to know you’re serious and ready for business,” said Richardson in an interview with New Zealand Web site, stuff. co.nz. “You put on your game face and you’re ready for action, ready for business, ready to work, ready to go to war.

Manager of the West Indies cricket team Richie Richardson (Cricketinfo.com photo)

I think we’ve lost a little bit of that in our cricket

and we need to get that back.” The former Windies player criticised the attitude of the current crop, but said the system in which they operate needs to share the blame for the prolonged slide of the regional team. “It’s very easy to blame the players, but I don’t blame them for everything. You have to blame the system,” he said. “If people are allowed to do certain things and get away with it then you can’t blame them. It’s tough for me; that’s not what I’m accustomed to.” The former West Indies captain says while the batting is worrisome the talent is still there. He says the issues facing regional cricket are not just at the senior level. “…It’s at all levels. We really need to do a proper study to look at what we need to do,” said Richardson. “We’re not going to get any quick fixes. There’s a lot of experts and people who know exactly what to do, but nothing is being done.” (TT Guardian)

Following on the heels of being named IAAF World Female Athlete-of-the-Year, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was given a wider ambassadorial role encompassing the entire GraceKennedy Group of companies. The extension and expansion of her current contract first signed in 2008 and limited to Grace Foods, will take her through to 2017 and will cover local and international brands such as Western Union and First Global Bank. (Jamaica Observer photo)

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