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WEEK ENDING January 30, 2014

Jamaican police to wear recording devices Page15

- in move to ensure transparency

More Caribbean police officers get training from Canada-funded RSS project

Political Counselor of the Canadian High Commission in Barbados Debbie Desrosiers (seated in front row at right) and other Caribbean officials share a photo with law enforcement officers and facilitators of the RSS crime scene training, which recently ended in Basseterre, St Kitts. (SKNIS photo)

TT’s Attorney General Anand Ramlogan

TT’s AG in crime talks with Canada, UK officials Page 17

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Air Canada rouge offers more Caribbean destinations from Toronto, Montreal Page10


NEWS | week ending January 30, 2014

GHTK-sponsored NICU at Guyana hospital now operational

Staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the New Amsterdam Hospital in Guyana


he multimilliondollar Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the New Amsterdam Hospital in Guyana, is now fully functional, and the first baby was placed there on Tuesday. The Unit was established under a joint venture between the government of Guyana and Canada-based Guyanese paediatrician, Dr Narendra Singh. The Unit was commissioned in May 2013, but due to the necessity of training needed, it could not have been functional until now. The coming on stream of the facility was made possible through an intensive four-day training of 30 health workers

attached to the hospital, inclusive of doctors and nurses under the auspices of the Health Ministry and Guyana Help the Kids (GHTK). Speaking at the conclusion of the NICU care training programme last Friday, Dr Precious Sonia Jensen, a paediatrician of Nationwide Childrens' Hospital in the U.S., said the overall objective of the training is to reduce infant mortality in Guyana by implementing sustainable changes through education and technology. She said based on her overall assessment, the persons trained are now well-equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to fully execute their duties.

“The reception of these physicians and nurses are exceptional, they have been really, really smart and incredibly impressive,” she claimed, while noting that the health workers have definitely made tremendous strides regarding the effective care of premature babies. “I have extreme confidence that the trainees and the NICU at the facility can handle this effectively,” she posited. Meanwhile, New Amsterdam Medical Superintendent, Dr Vishyala Sharma thanked the facilitators for taking the time to train her staff, and assured that the knowledge imparted will be fully utlised. “Neonatal care and mortality is one of the key indicators of a hospital’s performance and we at the New Amsterdam Hospital try our utmost to keep that down at an acceptable standard and with this training, I am absolutely confident that we will continue to work to keep our statistics down,” she asserted. Little Travis Lashley, weighing approximately one kilogram, born to 18-year-old Sherry Hack of Williamsburg Village, Corentyne, was Tuesday morning placed in the NICU. (Guyana Times)

Little Travis Lashley resting in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the New Amsterdam Hospital in Guyana

Tufton announces plans to quit Jamaica politics


ormer Jamaican government minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, regarded as one of the more influential members of the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has announced plans to bow out of electoral politics. Tufton, the former parliamentary representative for the South West St Elizabeth constituency, said he would not be contesting the next general election, constitutionally due in 2016. Tufton, who also announced his resignation as chairman of the West St. Elizabeth constituency, said he had communicated his position to the JLP leader, Andrew Holness and the party’s executive members. In a statement, Tufton indicated that he had taken his position after careful consideration. "This has been an intensely difficult decision for me, but after consulting with my family, members of the constituency and other supporters and much prayer and reflection, I have concluded that the SW St. Elizabeth JLP organization would stand a better chance at electoral success if a candidate unaffected by the political controversies related to the recent leadership race, unite the constituency to offer the formidable challenge necessary to return the seat to the JLP," Tufton stated. He noted that he had committed himself to working with the political organisation in the constituency to en-

Former Jamaican government minister Dr. Christopher Tufton. (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

sure that a suitable successor is identified. Tufton served as minister of agriculture in the JLP administration until the party lost the 2011 general election. He also lost his South West St. Elizabeth seat in that election and was appointed an Opposition Senator in the Upper House. Following the failed bid of former finance minister Audley Shaw to wrest the leadership of the JLP from Holness last November, Tufton, who supported Shaw was removed from the Senate. (Jamaica Observer)

week ending January 30, 2014




Views | week ending January 30, 2014

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Hemispheric conclave T Cuban President calls for Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar (at right) along with Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali, and Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett (at extreme left) in conversation with Bolivian President Evo Morales (second left) and another official, during the opening ceremony of the 2nd CELAC Summit in Havana, Cuba on Tuesday. (GINA photo)

he two-day summit of the leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) took place earlier this week in Havana, Cuba. President Donald Ramotar and Prime Ministers Kamla Persad Bissessar and Portia Simpson Miller were in attendance, as were most of the other leaders of the Englishspeaking Caribbean. This was the third summit of this grouping that was formally launched in 2011 and which encompasses every country in the hemisphere, excepting the United States and Canada. The latter circumstance is not accidental, but a conscious decision by the organisers of the grouping to chart a course in the international arena without the overweening presence of the hegemonic power for the last 200 years–the U.S. The Monroe Doctrine, articulated by the eponymously named U.S. President James Monroe in 1823, was supposed to be the shield to protect the countries now in CELAC from European recolonisation, but was soon turned into a sword to control those countries economically and politically. One can contrast CELAC with the Organisation of American States (OAS), which was formed in 1948 ostensibly with very similar goals: to strengthen the political, social and cultural integration of the region, improve its quality of life, stimulate its economic growth, and advance the well-being of all of its people. But from the beginning, the OAS was used by its sponsor the U.S. as a mechanism through which it could ward off the influence of its Cold War competitor, the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). As such, when that organisation was launched, the defining feature mandated that the members had to be “democratic”, defined as “the effective exercise of representative democracy”. Yet Cuba, which at the time was ruled by the dictator Batista, was a founding member. But in 1962, it was expelled because the U.S. used the clause to augment the economic embargo it had imposed on the island. Cuba’s announcement that it would be guided by the “principles of Marxism” was deemed incompatible with “representative democracy” even though the Batista dictatorship had been overthrown to popular acclaim. 1962, was the same year, of course, that violent destabilisation actions were launched by the CIA in Guyana, because the U.S. claimed that the government of the PPP was also going down the communist path. It is a sign of the changing times, however, that the CELAC summit in Havana coincided with the 50th anniversary of the mass breaking off of diplomatic and economic relations of countries in the region with Cuba. Another sign is that the OAS has not announced the date of the next “Summit of the Americas” that it usually sponsors. A third sign is that for the first time since Cuba’s expulsion, the secretary general of the OAS was in Cuba as well as that of the United Nations. All of these indicators point to a growing confidence of the members of CELAC, especially the core members Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina. These countries now constitute a formidable economic presence on the world stage and with CELAC’s half a billion population, can leverage that presence to bargain more toughly with the U.S. and other aspiring hegemonic powers. In the two days before the opening on Tuesday, the foreign ministers had been working feverishly to draft a communiqué that would be acceptable to all members. The focus would have been generally on social issues that still confront the region even as it has made great progress in the last decade under populist governments that have shifted inexorably to the left. This is in contrast to the focus of the U.S. on developing new trading linkages, notably the Trans Pacific Partnership, which includes some members of CELAC. Unlike such agreements, however, the specifics emanating from the communiqué were to be totally voluntary in keeping with the commitment of CELAC to be a forum for dialogue and intergovernmental cooperation. It is highly anticipated that the successes of the summit will benefit all of its members including those in the Caribbean.

regional integration free of the U.S., Canada


uban President Raul Castro called on Latin American and Caribbean leaders Tuesday to work together on pressing regional problems at a gathering of all Western Hemisphere nations except the U.S. and Canada. In his keynote speech as host for the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC for its initials in Spanish, Castro argued that the bloc should aspire to unity despite diversity, describing it as "the legitimate representative of the interests of Latin America and the Caribbean." "We should establish a new regional and international cooperation paradigm," Castro said. "In the context of CELAC, we have the possibility to create a model of our own making, adapted to our realities, based on the principles of mutual benefit." The summit's main theme is fighting poverty, inequality and hunger. According to the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 28 per cent of the region's inhabitants live in poverty and 11 per cent in extreme poverty. Tuesday's session of heads of CELAC states began with one minute of silence to remember the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who succumbed to cancer last March. Chavez, an outspo-

ken U.S. foe, was a driving force behind CELAC's creation in 2011. It was conceived as an alternative to the Washington-based Organisation of American States, which suspended Cuba's membership in 1962 shortly after Fidel Castro's revolution. Proponents argued the OAS has historically served Washington's interests rather than those of the region, and even Latin American allies of the United States have participated enthusiastically in CELAC. OAS presence OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza attended the summit Tuesday as an observer, believed to be the first visit by a secretarygeneral to Cuba since its founding in 1948. "The integration of Latin America is a strategic project…CELAC does not impede bilateral relations within and outside of the region. On the contrary, it strengthens them," Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said in an evening address. In his wide-ranging speech, Castro touched on the risk that global climate change poses to the region, especially low-lying Caribbean islands. He expressed solidarity for Argentina's claim to the British-controlled Falkland Islands, known in Spanish as the Malvinas; for Puerto Rican independence; and for Ecuador in its legal bat-

tle with U.S. oil company Chevron. He also criticized the 52-year-old U.S. economic embargo on Cuba as well as American surveillance targeting the communications of foreign heads of state, companies and individuals. The threats of outside interference, military invasion and coups remain present, Castro said. Fidel Castro, who retired as president in 2008, received visits from Rousseff, President Cristina Fernandez of Argentina and Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on Sunday and Monday. UN partnership On Tuesday, Castro met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for 55 minutes, Ban's office said. It said they talked about conflicts in Syria and Africa, food security, nuclear proliferation and Millennium Development goals. Ban later addressed the summit leaders and praised their emphasis on reducing poverty and inequality. "Your vision is one of a great diversity. This diversity is a strength that should be respected and nurtured.... When CELAC is stronger, the United Nations is stronger," he said. It was Ban's first trip to Cuba. He also sat down with Raul Castro the previous evening, and his office said the two discussed the U.S. embargo and human rights on the island. (AP)

News week ending January 30, 2014

Trinidad’s security authority initiates aerial patrols over Beetham

Pedestrians and motorists make their way about in thick smoke on Independence Square, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Tuesday after a fire in the Beetham landfill, believed to have been maliciously set on Sunday night (inset), left many areas in the capital blanketed in smoke. (Roberto Codallo and Papa Bois Conservation photos)


n the aftermath of at least 12 fires being maliciously set inside the Beetham landfill, which on Monday left most of Trinidad and Tobago’s capital Port-ofSpain covered in smoke, officers from the National Operations Centre (NOC) in collaboration with police, Tuesday began helicopter patrols over the lanfill and Beetham Gardens. NOC Executive Director Garvin Heerah confirmed to TT media that helicopter patrols for East Port-of-Spain began a few months ago, but due

to activities on Sunday when a confrontation between police and Beetham residents took place after a man was shot, a decision was taken to focus on the Beetham area. “This is the latest of an ongoing operation in coordination with police which started some months ago at East Port-of-Spain. But due to recent developments in the Beetham, we have concentrated on a special effort to provide air coverage over Beetham Gardens and areas in Laventille. “It is going to be a round the clock air and

ground support initiative coordinated by the NOC. This joint effort with ground and air support will be ideally supported by the CCTV initiative,” Heerah said. NOC personnel carrying out helicopter patrols will report to police officers on the ground, any suspicious activities which will assist officers in speeding up response times. The aerial patrol is also meant to maintain a presence over the Beetham Highway and give motorists using the highway further security coverage. Meanwhile, the smog around Port-of-Spain decreased Tuesday as the majority of fires at the landfill were extinguished. Nalini Sooklal, chairperson of the Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL), which manages the landfill, said the site has been contained with an average of 80 to 90 percent of fires extinguished. Sooklal said because of emergency protocols put in place, swift action was taken. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)



6 | week ending January 30, 2014

News week ending January 30, 2014

Guyana gov’t firm on ganja ban A

mid calls for some limited legalisation of marijuana in Guyana, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee on Tuesday reaffirmed the government of Guyana’s zero-tolerance policy on all drugs that are deemed illicit, including marijuana. There has been a global debate regarding the legalisation of marijuana, with even United States President Barack Obama saying ganja was less dangerous than alcohol. Rohee made the comment as he launched the National Drug Report for 2012, compiled by the Task Force on Narcotic Drugs and Illicit Weapons, at his Brickdam Office. The report is produced annually by the Home Affairs Ministry through support from the task force, the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU); the Narcotic Branch of the Guyana Police Force; the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA); and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Multi-sectoral approach

It highlights the actions taken by the government through the various agencies to curb both the demand and supply of drugs. It also reviews policies and results achieved from a balanced, multisectoral approach in dealing with challenges of trafficking and substance abuse. Minister Rohee said that far too often, the constant fight against the drug trade is taken



Guyana’s Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee

for granted and due recognition is not given to the relevant agencies in the security sector who continue to wage war against drug cartels, and battle with this scourge on behalf of the government and people of Guyana. He lauded all the operatives from the various agencies and the task force for coordinating and combining those efforts. “This document shows the extent to which national efforts are being made in this direction,” the minister said. Recognising that this is a global fight, Guyana has been partnering with various countries and

He added that as a country, Guyana continues to be challenged by its own peculiarities, such as its extensive borders and limited resources (both human and otherwise) to effectively prevent the penetration of illegal drugs and firearms into the national territory. Meanwhile, coordinator of the task force, Major General (retired) Michael Atherly said drug abuse and illicit trafficking are global occurrences which indiscriminately affect individuals, families, and all segments of society. He noted that unfortunately, Guyana is located within the hub of the trans-shipment routes from the cocaine-producing countries in South America to the North American and European markets. According to the report, based on the seizures, cannabis and cocaine continue to be the two main types of illicit drugs trafficked and consumed locally. However, the confiscation of small quantities of ecstasy, heroin, and hashish over the past two years has been a new development. During 2012, CANU made seizures amounting to 103.66 kilograms (kg) of cocaine (with a value of Gy$93,600,000) and 111.564kg of cannabis (with a value of Gy$20,160,000). During this period, 33 cases were made out and 36 persons were charged. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

Guyana to get multi-million dollar petting zoo

er walkway of paving stones around a semiaquatic space. The walkway will be open to a series of enclosures which will feature docile animals, allowing persons to interact with the animals. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)


An artist’s impression of the petting zoo, the first of its kind to be built in Guyana.

he Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, through the Protected Areas Commission, on Tuesday afternoon signed a Gy$32 million contract for the establishment of the country’s first petting zoo, the newest feature of the Guyana zoological park. The upgraded facility will give children and animal lovers an opportunity to access a “true rainforest experience”. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud said the zoological park is part of the three parks ini-

tiative, which seeks to develop a few popular public parks in the city. He said among the many concepts behind the upgrading of the zoo is the modernisation of the facility to serve the interest of the society. The initiative also seeks to ensure that due attention is given to environmental issues. “We have a population that is quite aware and quite au fait with our rich biodiversity…and not everyone can go out and have that rich rainforest experience. From a very early age, we bring our people and community to this green richness of our

country”. The work, which is expected to last between four and five months, will be executed by contractor Alvin Chowarmootoo. P r o t e c t e d Areas Commission Commissioner Damian Fernandes said the new zoo will significantly strengthen the school-zoo educational programme, and will serve as a complete and effective facility for youth-focused education. According to Fernandes, the new facility will be based on a roughly circular design with an all-weath-



Strong evidence needed for criminal charges against Guyana’s police - in alleged baton rape case


uyana’s Police Complaints Authority (PCA) Chairman, retired Justice Cecil Kennard on Tuesday said he will not be recommending criminal charges against the police officers who allegedly baton-raped 23-year-old Colwyn Harding, unless there is sufficient evidence. Kennard confirmed receiving a copy of the investigation report from the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) while noting that the evidence extracted thus far in the Colwyn Harding saga must prove that the police engaged in criminal acts against him beyond reasonable doubt before he can recommend charges in this respect. “Unless the evidence is very clear, I’m not going to recommend criminal charges, because prosecution has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt…I have to be satisfied before I recommend criminal charges against the policeman,” said the PCA head, adding that some criminal offences may be disclosed, but it may not be of the nature that people are contending. Kennard said he expects to complete the Colwyn Harding file by the end of this week, as the report is bulky

Guyana’s Police Complaints Authority Chairman, retired Justice Cecil Kennard

and contains numerous statements. Harding left the country for Jamaica on Sunday to seek medical attention for injuries he sustained after he was allegedly baton raped last November by ranks of the Guyana Police Force. He departed Guyana early Monday morning as family and close friends gathered at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport to see him off. His attorney, Nigel Hughes, on his Facebook page, posted on Saturday that the young man was examined by a private doctor and it was revealed that he was still bleeding in the upper rectum area. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)


News |

week ending January 30, 2014

Guyanese gov’t minister denies allegations of sexual misconduct


uyana’s Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud, who tendered his resignation last week, has denied media reports that he had stepped down owing to allegations of sexual misconduct. There have been a number of online news reports concerning the allegations, but Persaud in a release said he has noted with deep shock, “reports circulating particularly in the social media which tend to suggest and in some instances allege, expressly or by implication, that I had sexual intercourse of some sort with a minor”. “I wish to make it

Guyana’s Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud tendered his resignation last week.

(Guyana Times file photo)

abundantly and unequivocally clear that I have had no sexual relations with any minor as is alleged or at all. Neither was such an allegation raised or discussed with me by His

Excellency, President Donald Ramotar.” Persaud, who is slated to demit office on January 31, said the allegations are seriously libellous and are causing him and his family severe public humiliation, embarrassment and trauma. “I hereby request that those circulating these false, malicious and libellous matters of and concerning me, cease forthwith. I have instructed my lawyers to proceed with litigation against every person, entity or company who continue to publish, or repeat the publication of these baseless, malicious and libellous allegations,” the statement concluded.

Trinidad and Tobago nets TT$20 billion from oil and gas sector - despite drop in production

TT’s Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine.


(TT Newsday file photo)

espite a decline in crude oil production from 2012 to 2013, Trinidad and Tobago received TT$20 billion in taxes from oil and gas last year. This was disclosed by Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, as he responded to a series of questions from Independent Senator David Small in the Senate Tuesday. Ramnarine noted that TT’s oil production declined from 81,700 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2012 to 81, 200 bopd last year. “This compares to an average decline of 8.7 percent per annum for the period 2006 to 2012,”

he said. Noting that these figures suggest that “we have for all intents and purposes stabilised the decline in oil production, Ramnarine said, “Taxes from oil and gas have increased from TT$17.8 billion in 2010 to TT$20.1 billion in 2013.” He added that these figures do not take into account the corporation tax paid by companies at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate. Ramnarine also indicated that foreign direct investment grew from US$549 million in 2010 to US$2.5 billion in 2012. He said this increase in investment led to new discoveries of oil and gas. He cited the Jubilee dis-

covery in March 2012, bpTT’s Savonette 4 discovery in October 2012 and Trinity’s TGAL 1 discovery as examples. Disclosing that a local content bill will come to Parliament and his ministry will hold national consultations on local content this year, Ramnarine said local private sector companies “have been seizing opportunities for joint ventures with established international companies. He highlighted Neal and Massy’s partnership with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation to undertake a methanol-based project in TT as an example of this. Ramnarine also said government has engaged the services of Netherland, Sewell and Associates Inc of Dallas, Texas to undertake an audit of the country’s crude oil reserves. Saying such an audit was never a priority in the past, Ramnarine said this firm was awarded a contract to do the oil audit on December 31, 2011 and the contract expires on December 31, 2015. He indicated that the ministry is reviewing its organisational structure and this process will be completed by June. Ramnarine also said Cabinet’s Standing Committee on Energy held a total of 13 meetings from 2010 to 2013. (TT Newsday)

‘Whatever I have to do for Jamaica I will,’ says PM Portia

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (right) is greeted by Cuban President Raul Castro (second left), on her arrival at the inaugural session of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held at the PABEXPO building in Havana, Cuba, from January 28 to 29. (JIS photo)


rime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says whatever she has to do for Jamaica to progress, she will do it, as long as she is not breaking any laws. Simpson Miller, who is wrapping up an official visit to Cuba this week, made the statement in response to criticisms about her many travels overseas. "So when they criticise me about travel, I can't pay attention to some of that. If you are a government and if no head in the world invites you, you must be a prime minister that nobody at all cares about. And nobody cares about your country," she said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer newspaper. The prime minister also took a swipe at Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, saying it was not her fault that he was not invited overseas in the brief spell that he was head of government in 2011. Recalling her visit to China in August last year, she said: "Since I

came back from China, a number of (Chinese) investors have come to Jamaica and met with ministers, and some ministers have been invited back to China, based on my visit to China, for discussions in other areas that we raised." She said that she did not accept every invitation to go overseas, but there were certain ones that she would not turn down, for example, Brussels, the European capital. "The EU is the largest contributor to development programmes globally. The amount of programmes that the EU funds in Jamaica. When you criticise that now, and the EU head hears that, what would he think? Sometimes we are destroying the very thing that we need. "It is not my fault that the present leader of Opposition, when he was prime minister, was not invited. But he never stayed there long enough to be invited. But the fact is that you can't have bilaterals if you always stay home...if

heads invite you and say 'my colleague I'm asking that you visit'. We are inviting some too. I invited South Africa to our Independence celebrations and Goodluck Johnathan (of Nigeria), as well as several other African leaders to come. "Some of these that we feel we could develop areas of trade with, because their continent is very large. And a number of these countries are doing very well. I know, for example, that GraceKennedy is now in Ghana. We could be trading more with those countries. "You can't stay home and get certain things done. So when (UN Secretary General) Ban Ki-moon invites me to the UN, for example, I'm not to go? When he appoints me to the various things that the UN invites me to, you say no? "They can go on running up their mouths. Whatever I'm to do for Jamaica to progress I'm going to do it, as long as I'm not breaching any laws," Simpson Miller said. (Jamaica Observer)

Barbados’ PM approved as privy counsellor


arbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is now a member of the Queen’s Privy Council, which means that he carries the title “Right Honourable”. The Prime Minister’s Office at 10 Downing Street announced in a press release last week: “The Queen has been pleased to approve that the Honourable Freundel Jerome Stuart QC, MP, be sworn of Her Majesty’s most Honourable Privy Council.” Commenting on his appointment as a Privy Counsellor, Stuart said:

“I am humbled by this elevation. I have travelled a long distance from very humble beginnings to where I am now. I have scaled many hurdles and negotiated many potholes along the way. I have always set very high standards for myself, chosen my friends carefully, and never allowed the means by which I have lived to outdistance the ends for which I have lived. I have no regrets about those choices and would recommend them without hesitation to the young people of Barbados.”

Stuart became Barbados’ seventh prime minister on October 23, 2010, after the untimely death of his predecessor, David Thompson. Following the success of the Democratic Labour Party in the General Elections last year, he again assumed the office of prime minister. He was called to the Barbados Bar in 1984, where he practised Criminal and, later, Civil Law. He was admitted to the Inner Bar in March 2008 and appointed a Queen's Counsel. (BGIS)

News week ending January 30, 2014



Guyana gov’t hands Canada-supported centre to over core homes to reduce climate risks in Caribbean several families A


A family in one of the core homes handed over by the Guyana government on Saturday

he Guyana government in keeping with its propoor agenda, designed to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, on Saturday handed over several core homes in Westminster Phase One, La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Development, West Bank Demerara. During the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon, President Donald Ramotar said the Housing Ministry initiative will be expanded this year. “We will be expanding this year on this initiative as it is one of the most important social facilities that we are doing because it gives a sense of security to the family and the children to do their studies. It helps that there is no landlord calling for rent. They can plan their lives better. We want to expand on this initiative in all the regions of the country and in the interior.” While interacting with the beneficiaries, the president expounded on the benefits of these and other programmes, noting that they all aim to enable families to enjoy a better standard of living and have more disposable income. “The core homes offer households an excellent opportunity to restructure their lifestyle,” he stated. Meanwhile, Housing and Water Minister Irfaan Ali explained that the core house pilot seeks to address occupancy and issues of affordability, through the construction of 400 cores homes across the country. “This is what the government wants to encourage, beneficiaries of core homes to maximise their savings as a result of this investment on your behalf, which in time will

Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar with assistance from a young lady helps a child to cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially hand over the core homes in the Westminster Phase One, La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Development area to beneficiaries. (Guyana Times photos)

enable you to expand the home.”


He said too that the government has invested more than Gy$800,000 per household in the development of lots in the Parfaite Harmonie Housing Development area. Ali emphasised too that the expansion of the housing programme is in keeping with the vision of the president as outlined in the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) 2011 manifesto. The 103 core homes were completed at an average cost of Gy$2,912,621 each, with individual beneficiaries contributing Gy$100,000 for the construction of their homes. Some 423 persons will be housed in the 103 homes. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Sheldon Murray and his family took the time to thank the government and the Housing Ministry for the opportunity to own their own home and to improve their standard of living. “This is a great day for me and my family. We were able to own our home and eventually expand and make it a better living space. We want to

thank the government for this chance and hope that this programme can continue,” Murray said. His family consists of his wife and six children. The Second Low Income Settlement Programme, which is funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) and which is currently being implemented by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), has as one of its components the implementation of pilot projects to address issues of affordability and sustainability in housing. Through this pilot programme, the government provides an alternative to affordable housing for low income earners. The core unit, designed by the CHPA, is a modest 330 square foot timber and concrete structure with no internal partition walls, except for the enclosed sanitary block comprising a toilet and shower. The unit, is elevated three feet from ground level and lends itself to easy expansion as the occupant is able to afford. It is outfitted with a basic kitchen sink and electrical wiring and plumbing. (Guyana Times)

new World Banksupported business hub inaugurated on Monday will support the growing number of clean energy and climate technology ventures in the Caribbean. The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC), the first of its kind in the region, would help reduce the significant threats posed by climate change through the creation of new green businesses. The Washingtonbased financial institution noted that climate change can have “a serious impact on the Caribbean,” pointing to a recent study it conducted that highlights how an estimated 4°C increase in global temperatures “would have disastrous consequences, including increased frequency and intensity of storms, coastal erosion and decline of fresh water resources”. The World Bank said additional research estimated that the cost for the Caribbean could be up to US$11 billion annually by 2025. It said in order to address the economic impact of climate change in

the region, the CCIC will help local companies, working in solar energy, energy efficiency, water management, resource efficiency and agribusiness, become successful “green ventures through financing, training, mentorship and other services”. “The new CCIC will help turn climate challenges into economic opportunities,” said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “Companies in the Caribbean have the skills and experience to innovate and find environmentally sound and profitable climate solutions the region needs. The CCIC will work with them to make this happen.” Sirtaine said numerous domestic natural resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass, can be tapped to move the region away from fossil fuels. By supporting local climate technology companies that make use of these natural resources, Sirtaine said, the CCIC is expected to cut 20,882 metric tons in Green House Gas emissions in the first six years of op-

eration, which is equivalent to the exhaust emissions from 4,500 passenger cars per year. The World Bank said the CCIC would have facilities in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as satellite hubs in other Caribbean islands. It said the center would be part of a global network of eight Climate Innovation Centers located, among others, in Kenya, India, Vietnam and Ethiopia. The CCIC will complement other on-going World Bank and donor initiatives, including the Foundations for Growth and Competitiveness in Jamaica and the Caribbean Growth Forum, the bank said. Supported by the World Bank Group and its global innovation program infoDev, and by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada, the CCIC was developed in close collaboration with regional public and private sector partners. The World Bank said it is hosted by the Jamaica-based Scientific Research Council and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute in Trinidad and Tobago.


News | week ending January 30, 2014

TT had a hand in cocaine Air Canada rouge offers more Caribbean destinations bust, says PM Kamla from Toronto, Montreal P


ir Canada on Monday announced that its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge, is expanding its choice of more Caribbean destinations this summer. Routes previously operated by Air Canada from Toronto and Montreal to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Cancun and Tampa, Florida, will be converted beginning this spring to Air Canada rouge service. Together with its previously announced 2014 summer schedule to Europe, Air Canada rouge plans to operate a total of 44 routes serving 28 popular vacation destinations. The conversion of ad-

ditional Caribbean vacation destinations to Air Canada rouge service represents an increase of 22 percent more seats on these routes to the Caribbean this summer than last. The increase is greatest from Montreal where there will be an increase of 36 percent more seats on these routes and 20 per cent more flights than last summer with the introduction of additional flights to Cancun, Port-au-Prince and Punta Cana. "Customer response to Air Canada rouge for vacation travel has been very positive since it started flying just last summer," said Ben Smith, Air Canada's executive vice president

and chief commercial officer. "The addition of more year-round Caribbean destinations to Air Canada rouge's network is the next logical step as our leisure carrier enables us to compete on a more cost effective basis on these routes while leveraging the strength of Air Canada Vacations. Air Canada rouge's Caribbean services complement this summer's significant expansion to new European vacation destinations." By the end of March 2014, Air Canada rouge's fleet will include four Boeing 767-300ER aircraft and 13 Airbus A319 aircraft transferred from Air Canada.

Jamaica’s Opposition Leader worried about JLP’s image

Jamaican Opposition Leader Andrew Holness shares a moment with another JLP member. (Jamaica Observer photo)


pposition Leader Andrew Holness has expressed concern about the image of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), and has assured that he is now on a serious recruitment drive to attract new candidates to help boost the party's profile. Holness said that the party has less than a year to get it's house in order and win over uncommitted and frustrated voters. He argued that after some introspection, he has concluded that there are some things that the party must do, or improve to reach these voters. "I have been very concerned about the profile and the image of the Jamaica Labour Party, and we have started the process of fine tuning our image of building the profile of the party," the opposition leader told JLP supporters at Sunday’s annual general meeting for Area Council One at the Olympic

Gardens Civic Centre in Kingston. "The labour party must reach out in meaningful ways to those uncommitted persons--those persons who register and don't vote, those persons who are frustrated with politics, and those persons who just don't see politics as being able to change the trajectory of the country. The labour party has a duty to reach out to those persons. We must make those persons part of our electoral base; we must bring them into our party and that means we are going to have to do some introspection," he said. Holness said that he has been seeing some good results coming out of the party's recruitment drive so far, and outlined his intention to visit every section of the island to spread the party's message of wealth creation and peace. Holness retained his position as head of the JLP after an intense

leadership battle with Audley Shaw last year November. The leadership race resulted in disunity in the party, however, the opposition leader said that he was all for unity and peace. "I don't have time for petty politics. I don't have time for personal feelings. I don't have time to be hampered down by the imaginations of threats. I have been liberated and my mind and my sprit is free and I will be going right around Jamaica," he said. "I will visit every nook and cranny, every corner, every shop, every farm, every church, every service club, because we have to get our message out there," he asserted. It is through these visits that the opposition leader hopes to get a better understanding of the issues affecting the public, so that solutions can be formulated to address them. The opposition leader also charged those present at the meeting to spend some time identifying candidates who can best represent the party. Following an election of officers for Area Council One Sunday, Winston Ennis was re-elected to the post as chairman, while Charmaine Anderson was appointed secretary after a close battle with Susan Senior for the position. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

rime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar says TT was able to make the TT$644 million cocaine bust with the help of allies. The drugs left TT in juice cans seized in Norfolk, Virginia, last month. Persad-Bissessar, who spoke on the issue when she arrived at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa) in Port-ofSpain, for the launch of a National Week of Prayer, Sunday, said she was “fortified” when SM Jaleel was able to show the cans were counterfeit. SM Jaleel pointed out that the shade of green on the labels of the cans in which the cocaine was shipped was different to their cans. The prime minister declined comment on the actual investigation of the cocaine bust. “The matter is under investigation and very sensitive and it would be inappropriate to comment,” she said, although noting that every nation would have issues with narco-trafficking. She said her government is working with Customs and Excise and the relevant ministries to deal with the scourge of illegal drugs in the country. She pointed out that

TT’s Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar. (TT Guardian photo)

the installation of two port scanners, purchased through grant funding at a cost of TT$25 million each, has begun. The scanners arrived in TT on December 26, 2013. Two others are expected to arrive in June. Persad-Bissessar also referred to an article in the Sunday Guardian which stated that the Mexican drug cartel’s strategy was to use the Caribbean to move drugs, not only to West Africa and Europe, but also to the eastern seaboard of the U.S. and Canada. “It has been known for a long time this country is a trans-shipment point for drugs,” PersadBissessar stated. The prime minister further indicated that she supported National

Security Minister Gary Griffith’s gag order on the matter until the situation is locked down. “With such sensitive matters, information should be released only on a need-to-know basis. I think it (the gag order) is a good strategy,” Persad-Bissessar said. Griffith said investigations into the bust are ongoing and that he had informed all investigators, local and abroad, that information was to be released only on a need-toknow basis. He said not even government ministers need to know. Griffith said local intelligence is working closely with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on the matter. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)

LIAT’s new plane suffers mechanical problem


LIAT recently obtained a multimillion-dollar loan from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to re-fleet its aging planes with the French-made ATRs. (Jamaica Observer file photo)

he regional airline, LIAT, Monday confirmed that one of its new aircraft had developed mechanical problem forcing it to be taken out of service. The airline said the French-made ATR had developed a “steering defect” while taxing at the V C Bird Internaztional Airport. It said as a result,

the plane, Flight LI 775 which was due to travel to St Lucia and Trinidad “was moved to the ramp where it’s being examined by the company’s maintenance staff and will undergo the necessary repairs before being returned to service”. The airline said that passengers on the affected aircraft were being accommodated on other LIAT services.

LIAT, whose principal shareholder governments are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines, recently obtained a multimillion-dollar loan from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to re-fleet its aging planes with the French-made ATRs.

(Jamaica Observer)

week ending January 30, 2014





News |

week ending January 30, 2014

Minister orders shake-up at police Fashion earns Trinidad and Tobago station in Guyana after major TT$25 million a year – PM Kamla protest, stand-off with residents rinidad and



Corentyne residents engaged the top brass of the Guyana Police Force in Berbice during a testy meeting on Monday following an upsurge in criminal activities in the Upper Corentyne (Nafeeza Yahya photo)

uyana’s Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has instructed Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell to replace all ranks at the Number 51 Village Police Station, after Berbice residents on Sunday staged a major protest, alleging police are colluding with criminals. Residents of Numbers 48 and 49 villages on the Corentyne are contending that the police have failed to respond to a hive of criminal activities and some ranks are even involved in the daily spate of robberies. On Monday, Rohee told the press that he has advised Commissioner Brumell on the way forward. “I wanted a change, a total change of guard at the Number 51 police station.” Questioned whether it would be wise to have police investigate fellow ranks considering the allegations, Rohee said although in some cases the need might arise for an independent investigation, the laws of Guyana has deemed the Guyana Police Force as the duly

constituted body to investigate crime. However, he admitted that calls for independent investigations have stemmed from the public’s distrust of the force. He said the police must earnestly try to change this perception and partner with members of the public to solve crimes. He emphasised that ranks do not know it all, as some may believe, but need the help of citizens.

Community policing

The home affairs minister has also noted with great concern, moves to form vigilante groups within the Number 47, 48, 50 villages, rather than community policing groups. “Now this government, and particularly the Ministry of Home Affairs, does not encourage, the formation of vigilante groups, because vigilante groups have a certain connotation and we need to stay away from that because of the perception,” he explained. Hundreds of residents of the villages blocked the public road to regis-

ter their dissatisfaction. According to the residents, some ranks are the masterminds of criminal activities within the identified villages. Sunday’s demonstration escalated to the point where an explosive device was thrown at the police even as they attempted to maintain order. The event, which sparked the near-riot, was the robbery of Lalman Ramdeen, 66, and wife Vimlawattie Ramdeen, 62, of cash, jewellery and phone cards at their Number 48 Village grocery shop. Police said four men armed with shotguns committed the act. The police further stated that ranks of a mobile police anti-crime patrol in a white police motor car with flashing lights arrived at the scene following a report. However, when the ranks arrived on the scene, they were accused of being accomplices in the crime. It was then the villagers proceeded to block the road in protest against the string of robberies that have rocked the two villages. (Guyana Times)

Tobago’s fashion industry employs more than 11,000 persons either directly or indirectly and generates more than TT$25 million annually, according to Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar. Officially opening the signature “Vogue Italia Gala Event Under the Trees” at which ten local designers put their lines of clothing on stage at Hotel Normandie, St Ann’s on Sunday evening, PersadBissessar said, “Port-ofSpain is being positioned as a fashion district and the fashion capital of the Caribbean.” She described the locations between Frederick and Charlotte streets as the only cloth district in the Caribbean and listed the names of local designers synonymous with the highest quality of fashion, including more recently Anya Ayoung Chee, winner of Season 9 of the Project Runway Lifetime TV programme. The event, organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Creative Industries (CreativeTT) and held under the theme “Masquerade,” was done in partnership with the Italian version of the internationally renowned fashion magazine Vogue. CreativeTT’s partnership with Vogue Italia, Persad-Bissessar said, makes the point that the fashion sector still has tremendous potential to be explored. TT’s fashion talent being featured in the Spring/ Summer issue of Vogue Italia in May 2014 will present an excellent platform for that potential, she said.

Wearing an outfit from the design house of CLD, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar walks the catwalk with leading stylist Peter Elias at Sunday’s Masquerade Gala produced by CreativeTT and held Under the Trees at the Normandie in St Ann’s Port-of-Spain. (Sean Nero/TT Guardian photo)

Among those presenting their line of clothing, which ranged from fashionable tantalising bikinis, light and colourful casual wear to flowing evening gowns were Adrian Forester, Christian Boucaud, Claudia Pegus, CLD, Health Jones, James Hackett of the University of Trinidad and Tobago, J Madison, Meiling, Noor, Peter Elias, and Rhion Romany. The event, which started at 8.15 pm, an hour and fifteen minutes late due to the late arrival of PersadBissessar, flowed without a hitch once it got started. Earlier, PersadBissessar attended the start of the Week of Prayer at the National Academy for the Performing Arts. No one appeared to be fazed by the late start as

cocktails and drinks were in abundance. Scintillating pieces from the mas bands D’Crewe, Fantasy, Island People, K2K Alliance, Passion Carnival, Tribe and Yuma were also captivating. The event, Persad-Bissessar said, was one where talent, government policy, and a tradition of creative and innovative genius converge. She noted that the industry was tapping into the creative wealth of people as a means of diversifying the economy away from oil and gas. While CreativeTT was at the forefront of the drive to stimulate and facilitate the business and export activities to generate wealth, she said UTT is offering a first degree in fashion. (TT Newsday)

Trini falls to death at NYU


Trinidadian family is in mourning following news that their loved one, Titan Lee-Hai who left home only last week to take up studies at New York University (NYU), fell to his death from the roof of a dorm at the university. Lee-Hai, 19, a first-year student at NYU in Manhattan died after falling off the roof, 15 storeys high, at one of the university’s dorms early Monday morning. He died after a night of partying with a friend and was due to start classes Monday. Lee-Hai’s distraught father David Lee-Hai, owner of David’s Filmvue in Port-of-Spain, spoke with TT media Monday at his Stone Street, Port-of-Spain home, saying that officials at Bellevue Hospital, where an autopsy is expected to be done, told him they are not sure if Lee-Hai committed suicide or fell from the roof of the 15 storey-Third North Residence

Titan Lee Hai

Hall at about 3.20 am Monday, because of intoxication. The former St Mary’s College student who was pursuing Liberal

Studies, left Trinidad on January 23 to return to classes for the second semester. Lee-Hai said he learnt of the death of his only child when his wife answered the telephone early Monday morning. Her cries woke him up. “I didn’t believe it was my son they were saying was dead. I called my brother who lives in Brooklyn and my brother-in-law to find out from the Bellevue Hospital whether it was indeed him,” Lee-Hai said. The Dean of the Liberal Studies Faculty and the president of the student body, Lee-Hai said, later called to confirm Lee-Hai’s death and to express condolences. Asked whether Lee-Hai had any problems, David said not that he knew off. He was in good spirits when he left Trinidad, Lee-Hai said. His son’s last request, the weeping man said, was for two pairs of soft shoes which were posted from Trinidad last Friday. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

News week ending January 30, 2014



More Caribbean police officers Children on get training from Canadamurder charge funded RSS project in Trinidad


hirty law enforcement personnel from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and host St Kitts and Nevis have completed five days of crime scene training organised under the Regional Security System (RSS) Training Institute. The crime scene first-responders course 1/2014, held at the Police Training Complex in Basseterre, ran from January 20 to 24. It was designed to strengthen officers’ role and responsibilities when responding to scenes, and to develop the respondents’ capacity to secure, preserve, maintain and handover scenes with minimum contamination or destruction of physical evidence. It also sought to enhance officers’ awareness of forensic science and provide them with the knowledge of foreseeing attendance duties. RSS director of training Yvonne Alexander noted that,

while the course was intensive, based on the relative short period of time, she was pleased that the participants “rose to the occasion.” The assistant commissioner of police (ACP) explained that the response and attitudes of law enforcement officers to reports, play an important role in shaping how the public perceives the police. “Although the RSS Training Institute is still in its infancy, we are continuously considering how to position ourselves to be relevant and to add value to the security infrastructure of our member states,” ACP Alexander stated. “… in relation to crime scene management we are aiming to have as many [trained] individuals as possible so that every first respondent to a crime scene will have the level of competence required to ensure the security of the scene, thereby greatly increasing the rate of

crime detection and enhancing the success of our criminal investigation process.” The RSS is based in Barbados and is charged with the mission “to ensure the stability and well-being of member states through mutual cooperation in order to maximize regional security in preserving the social and economic development of our people.” Permanent secretary in the Anti-Crime Unit of St Kitts and Nevis Astona Browne explained that the RSS has made its mark through training over the years. She referred to the recent groundbreaking of a multipurpose training center for security forces in the Federation and mentioned that partnerships with regional agencies and friendly governments will continue to ensure that the expertise shared at the center will have a profound impact. “The threats that are emerging are real

and we must be cognizant of the fact that our islands are not immune from the effects of transnational organized crimes,” stressed Browne, who also is the Federation’s Commissioner to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). “We must take advantage of every opportunity to develop new skills, new expertise as they evolve. Be not complacent,” Browne implored the participants. “But be ambitious and seize every opportunity to advance yourself professionally and academically.” While expanding on the reference to friendly governments, Browne pointed to funding and technical assistance received from the government of Canada in various areas, and expressed “profound appreciation”, noting that such partnerships are necessary to promote safety and stability in the Caribbean. (Caribbean News)


twelve-yearold boy and his 15-year-old sister are among four youngsters, who were scheduled to appear before a Port-of-Spain magistrate during this week, charged with the murder of 52-year-old Diego Martin mechanic Dokraj Deodath. The other two suspects are aged 15 and 17. Deodath’s body was discovered at his Sea Trace, Bagatelle home by his brotherin-law Rubelto Marine. Deodath’s three tonne white Toyota Dyna truck was missing. Marine recalled that the family had attempted to contact “Boyan”, as Deodath was known, by telephone on the morning of Saturday January 18, but got no reply. Marine later related that family members were not initially worried about his disappearance as Deodath would usually switch off his cellular phone whenever he was resting. It was when one of

Deodath’s brothers noticed his (the victim) truck missing from the yard and the gate and front door open that Marine was asked to check on Deodath. Marine went to the house at about 2.30 pm and found Deodath’s body face down on the floor in his bedroom with two thick streams of dried blood. He also appeared to have cuts on his face. Police recovered a hammer and broken cutlass at the scene. A s s i s t a n t Commissioner of Police Wayne Dick, who is in charge of the Homicide Bureau, led a team of investigators in the probe which led to the arrest last week of the four suspects. The case file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, who gave formal instructions for the murder charge to be laid. Tuesday, ACP Dick commended officers whose work led to the arrests and added that Deodath’s murder was (TT robbery related. Newsday)


News | week ending January 30, 2014

Jamaican gov’t convenes special Independence Gala in Toronto on Feb. 15 to mark Grenada’s 40th violence prevention forum


he Jamaican government has said that more than 500 representatives of a number of groups are expected to participate in a violence prevention forum scheduled for later this week in Kingston. According to the Ministry of National Security, the all-day National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, scheduled for Thursday, is part of the 'Unite for Change' movement to create awareness, build social capacity, share best practices and drive action by Jamaicans from all walks of life to take the country back from the clutches of criminals. "This forum is expected to be one of the biggest and most inclusive ever to be held on the island to look at violence prevention among the youth of this country," a news release quoted National Security Minister Peter Bunting Monday. "Although it is anchored by the Ministry of National Security, it is a collaborative movement spanning seven key ministries of government and stakeholders from the private sector, civil society and academia," Bunting added. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller will make a special presentation at the forum, planned for the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown

Jamaica’s National Security Minister Peter Bunting. (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

Kingston. In addition to the prime minister and Bunting, the other local and international presenters confirmed for the forum are Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips; Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna; Dr Gary Slutkin, epidemiologist and innovator in violence reduction; as well as Jack Calhoun, author of the books 'Hope Matters' and 'Through the Hourglass' and who is a leading voice on violence prevention and family policy in the USA. Among the topics to be covered are: 'Violence: A Public Health Crisis', led by Dr Slutkin; 'Crime: A Public Health Crisis...the Jamaican Experience', with Dr Elizabeth Ward, epidemiologist and chair of Violence Prevention Alliance, and Damian Hutchinson, executive director of Peace

Management Initiative. In addition, Courtney Brown, director of Crime Prevention and Community Safety in the Ministry of National Security, will present the 'Unite for Change Framework'. Five concurrent workshops are planned for the afternoon segment of the forum. Three of them will seek commitments on forging partnerships between key stakeholder groups, while the other two will focus on primary crime prevention in the family, school, and community, as well as violence interruption and responses to trauma. The ministry said that at the end of the forum, Bunting will present a 'Statement of Action' outlining areas for follow-up and the next steps towards realising the objectives of 'Unite for Change', which aims to empower law-abiding citizens to work together to create a united front against crime. As a build-up to the forum, the ministry, in collaboration with church groups and social intervention organisations, kicked off the 'Unite for Change' movement in 24 communities across the island over the Christmas season with one-day corner leagues, peacebuilding workshops, and church services. (Jamaica Observer)


he Grenada Association of Toronto will be hosting its annual gala on Saturday February, 15, 2014 at Spirale Banquet Hall, 888 Don Mills Road in Toronto, Ontario. The event is to celebrate Grenada’s 40th anniversary of independence and will be held under the patronage of The Consulate General of Grenada at Toronto. This event will showcase forty years of Grenada’s history with a projected view of past and present. The organisers have said that they are expecting a keynote speaker from the government of Grenada to celebrate the 40th independence anniversary in Toronto. “Each year there are over 500 guests in attendance at the gala, and we are expecting a new attendance record to celebrate the 40th anniversary of independence, featuring artistes locally and internationally,” a release

The event will showcase forty years of Grenada’s history with a projected view of past and present.

from the organisers stated. This event usually attracts local MPs, MPPs and other parliamentary officials of the government of Canada, Province of Ontario, City of Toronto, along with other prominent members of the Toronto/Grenadian community. “Every year, the Grenada Association Toronto’s annual Independence Gala is one of GTA's finest—and most fun—gala events,” the release added. It noted that, “It’s a

time to come together, reunite with old friends, make new friends, and celebrate under this year’s theme "Uniting our people, Restoring Hope for a brighter tomorrow”.” Tickets are $100 per person and entertainment is being provided by Edson Ajamu Mitchell. Tickets can be purchased by calling The Consulate General of Grenada at Toronto at 416-595-1343 or contact the President of the Grenada Association Toronto at 647-764-5178.

Jamaica's windfarm gets Ja$4.8 million boost


he Jamaican government’s renewable energy programme has received a boost from the United Kingdom, which has provided a grant of Ja$4.8 million to the Wigton Windfarm at Rose Hill,

Six Caribbean countries eligible for U.S. visa programme


he United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says six Caribbean countries are among 63 countries worldwide that are eligible to participate in two visa programmes

this year. The H-2A and H-2B Visa programmes allow U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, respectively.

The USCIS identified the Caribbean countries eligible to participate in the visa programmes as Barbados, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti and Jamaica. Generally, USCIS

said it only approves H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as eligible to participate in the programmes. USCIS also said it may approve H-2A and H-2B petitions for nationals of countries not on the list, if it is determined to be in the interest of the United States. Effective January 18, 2014, USCIS said nationals of the identified Caribbean countries are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programmes. It said the notice does not affect the status of beneficiaries who currently are in the United States in H-2A or H-2B status unless they apply to change or extend their status. The USCIS said each country’s designation is valid for one year from January 18, 2014.

Wigton Windfarm. (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

in Manchester. The grant will fund the installation of a solar panel roof for a training lab at the facility, and the purchase of a wind turbine. Both will be used for teaching and demonstration under Wigton's renewable energy training programme. Addressing the signing ceremony at the facility last Thursday, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell said that the support of the British would assist in carrying out the mandate of increasing the use of renewable energy. "This is to ensure that we have the appropriate facilities that can train our people to enable us to better utilise the high technology that we are being exposed to," Paulwell said. British High Commissioner to Jamaica David Fitton

said that when the project came to him for approval late last year, he saw it as one that would be beneficial to both Jamaica and the people of the United Kingdom. "This grant will not only help Wigton, will not only help Jamaica in the future, but will help, in an indirect way, the UK too, as we all strive for ways to explore a renewable future," he said. Wigton will commence its extensive renewable energy training programme by mid-2015. It will be delivered through seminars, lectures and practical demonstrations to energy professionals, academics and tertiary students. Areas of focus will be photovoltaic technologies—inlcuding solar and thermal energy— wind power, and smallscale hydro and bio-energy. (Jamaica Observer)

News week ending January 30, 2014

Jamaican police to wear recording devices in move to ensure transparency

Jamaica’s National Security Minister Peter Bunting said the move is to improve the collection of evidence of criminal activity. (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)


amaica’s National Security Minister Peter Bunting has said that select police units will start wearing body cameras soon, even as concerns are being expressed over the allegations of extrajudicial killings and professional misconduct by members of the constabulary. Making the disclosure at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House in St Andrew last week, the minister said the project to deploy body-worn cameras for select Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) units is scheduled to commence roll-out in the second half of this year. "The purpose of this project is to improve the collection of evidence of criminal activity in an effort to prosecute and reduce such activity, improve the transparency of JCF activities when interacting with the public, to encourage JCF officers to act in accordance with the force's professional standards to include the appropriate use of force, and to create a record to protect JCF officers from unfair allegations of violations of JCF professional standards," Bunting told journalists. "The government of

Jamaica is committed to reducing the level of crime and violence that has taken a terrible toll on this nation. As part of this commitment we will be taking all necessary steps to ensure that the JCF becomes one of the most trusted and respected institutions in Jamaica," he said. Probes Minister Bunting made the disclosure following comments he made on probes being conducted by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) into allegations of police killings in the Clarendon police division. He said he was briefed last Wednesday by INDECOM Commissioner Terrence Williams on that agency's investigations into a number of alleged murders over a period of years in the Clarendon police division. "I have issued directives to the commissioner of police to take immediate steps to address compliance with the Jamaica Constabulary [Force] Use of Force Policy and the INDECOM Act as well as to institute new measures to improve accountability,"

he told the media. The national security minister, however, refrained from divulging further information, noting that "the investigations of these alleged extrajudicial killings are at a sensitive stage". "However, the Administration views the issue of extra-judicial killings with the gravest concern and is committed to the police being accountable for their actions, and that every use of lethal force must be independently investigated, explained and justified," he said. In the interim, Minister Bunting said he has instructed Police Commissioner Owen Ellington to complete and promulgate in the JCF's Force Orders, within the next few weeks, protocols with INDECOM to include the following: the arrest policy, incidence scene preservation, immediate notification of INDECOM whenever there are shootings, handling of the ballistic submissions, sharing of the outcomes of administrative reviews, ensuring the independence of investigations of officers involved in incidents and submission of officer statements. Last week, INDECOM investigators zoned in on the May Pen Police Station in Clarendon where they arrested and charged a policeman with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Firearms and several rounds of ammunition were reportedly seized. In a subsequent release, the commission said it had been tracking the conduct of a number of police officers in Area Three (St Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon). (Jamaica


PPP/C Linden branch opens in Guyana The People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Region 10 Freedom House branch was last Saturday declared opened by President Donald Ramotar under intense security. At ‘Five-Corner’ situated at Mackenzie, Linden, a short distance away from the grand opening ceremony, scores of Lindeners equipped with placards peacefully picketed the president’s and his entourage’s visit to the mining community. “President how long more the people of Linden have to wait before they receive their television station,”; “You can’t get blood out of stone, Sam”; and “Beware of the PPP creeping in, remember the three that were killed”, were among the citations on the placards.

Dedication Meanwhile at the opening ceremony, President Ramotar told the gathering that the PPP/C has always been fighting for the people of Guyana, as he pledged his party’s dedication to the nation. He stated too that Linden stands to benefit significantly with the enhancement of the Lethem/ Linden Road, with increased traffic from nationals from neighbouring Brazil. However, he warned the region against the likely impacts of shutting down the town. Turning his attention to the One Mile Primary School, which was reduced to ashes during the 2012 Linden unrest, President Ramotar said

the government remains committed to the rebuilding of the school. “We don’t burn schools, we build them, we don’t destroy infrastructures, we put them in place…it might be delayed but it will be built by this government.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds made it clear that the government has not peddled backwards on its promise to the people of Linden. It was explained that the Ramotar administration and the Region 10 Regional Democratic Council in the August 21, 2012 agreement, agreed not to increase electricity tariffs until the work of the technical and economical committees have been completed. (Excerpted Times)





Canadian expert to conduct risk management study in Guyana’s mining sector


uyana’s Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has secured the services of Canadian Executive Service Organisation Advisor William Oates to assist with the development of a policy framework on capital risk management for the gold mining sector. On Saturday, Oates made a presentation to stakeholders in the industry at the ministry’s Brickdam office. Oates shared some of options and how best the financial portfolio in the mining sector can be managed so as to ensure a much more structured sector. In 2013, gold output in Guyana reached a record production of over 481,000 ounces; however, it was not a very lucrative year for persons in the gold mining sector because of the tremendous fall in the price of the mineral. In this regard, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, along with the relevant agencies, has been seeking interventions through policy guidance and framework to ensure that gold producers, dealers and other stakeholders do not feel the full effect of the price fluctuation, by trying to diversify the portfolio and have proper capital risk management for the resources they have invested. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud recently met and had

Canadian Executive Service Organisation Adviser William Oates making a presentation on capital risk management for the gold mining sector. Guyana's Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud pays keen attention

discussions with various consultants of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) and other ministry officials at the ministry’s Brickdam office. During brief remarks, Minister Persaud stated that the focus is to stay ahead in the gold market and plan ahead for the sector, and this involves the participation of stakeholders and producers who would be able to provide options and advice in terms of how the ministry and agencies can manage risk in the gold market.

Greater participation

Minister Persaud reiterated that he expects greater participation of producers, as well as dealers because the intended output is to determine how best the sector can be managed, as well as the risks that come with it. Given the way in

which the price of gold has been moving, Minister Persaud pointed out that there is an urgency for all involved in the sector to pay adequate attention in terms of how to manage production which will enable them to see greater outcomes. Reports will be made available to the dealers, producers, the relevant stakeholders and the GGMA and GGDMA boards, to determine what aspects can be developed and what policies can be put in place. “The aim is to work with the dealers to see how best we can manage the situation…we look forward to the outcome with great anticipation,” Minister Persaud said. He added that while the intention is to look at gold, the ministry will also be focusing on diamonds to distinguish whether there are risk factors and how they can be addressed, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.


News | week ending January 30, 2014

Guyana, Venezuela to meet soon on maritime issue

analysis of this matter,” she stated. “Guyana remains committed to the process,” she reiterated, praising the good relations the two nations have enjoyed over the past few years.

Technical team

Guyana's Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett


echnical teams appointed by the governments of Guyana and Venezuela are expected to meet shortly to discuss matters surrounding the recent maritime issue between the two nations. The issue arose after Venezuelan naval authorities had trailed and seized a ship that was conducting seismic work in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in October last year. The ship at the centre of the controversy was the MV Teknik Perdana, which along with its crew members, was released. Speaking with Guyanese media during a recent interview, Foreign Minister Carolyn

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elías Jaua

Rodrigues-Birkett disclosed that the two countries are in contact and are making all of the necessary arrangements to ensure that the work of the technical teams flow smoothly once talks commence. She confirmed that no date has been set as yet for official dialogue to begin, but expressed hope that work would begin shortly. Rodrigues-Birkett said that she also remains optimistic that the discussions are going to be cordial and held in good faith considering the importance of the issue at hand. The minister said the timeline of four months set for the meetings between the technical teams

will expire sometime around the third week of February. “We have made it clear that we are ready and available to meet at any time. We understand the importance of resolving whatever differences we may have on this matter”, the minister said. Asked whether Guyana’s position has changed from the time it raised objections to the reaction of Venezuela, she responded in the negative. Minister Birkett said that Guyana’s position is based on principle and grounded in international law. “We are standing on firm legal footing and we have done a thorough

The technical team will be meeting to examine the way forward on the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between Guyana and Venezuela. A joint statement from the two countries following a meeting between Rodrigues-Birkett and her Venezuelan counterpart Elías Jaua last year, indicated that they ratified all the points of the Joint Declaration of September 30, 2011, in Port-of-Spain. It was recognised that the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between the two countries remains an outstanding issue and the foreign ministers agreed that such delimitation will require negotiations. Venezuela has for decades claimed two-thirds of Guyana’s territory as its own, arguing that the gold-rich region west of the Essequibo River was stolen from it by an 1899 agreement with Britain and its then colony. The area is a fixture of 19th century maps of Gran Colombia, the shortlived republic revered by the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. Ties between the two countries had improved recently. Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro made his first visit as president to Georgetown in August to discuss joint oil projects with his Guyanese counterpart, Donald Ramotar. During the visit, Maduro described the dispute as a relic of the colonial era and vowed to peacefully resolve the matter. (Guyana Times)

Canada-based Reunion Gold explores silicomanganese plant in TT


he Reunion Gold Corporation of Canada has retained Worley Parsons to “conduct a scoping-level study to assess the parameters relating to the possible development of a silico-manganese plant” to be located in Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, G Mining Services Ltd has been retained to combine the results of the Worley Parsons' scoping study with the results of a July 2013 pre-feasibility study on the production of manganese (Mn) concentrate from the Matthews Ridge Project located in northwest Guyana, South America. Reunion Gold has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Energy Corporation of TT setting out the terms under which the parties will collaborate to evaluate the potential development by Reunion of a silico-manganese plant in TT. “In addition to its proximity to Guyana, TT offers numerous benefits including competitive power costs, deep sea port facilities, dedicated areas for industrial projects and proximity to silico-manganese markets,” the company said in a release. The company hopes to release the results of a preliminary economic assessment of the combined studies, including various output scenarios, by the end of the first quarter of this year. Reunion Gold Corporation is a mineral exploration company engaged in the exploration and development of the Matthews Ridge manganese project located in the North West District of Guyana. The project consists of four prospecting licenses covering an area of 185 square kilometres in northwest Guyana, in

and around the former Matthews Ridge mine. In July 2013, the company announced a proven and probable reserve estimate of 26.3 million tonnes of manganese with an average grade of 14.2 per cent Mn. Manganese is the fourth largest metal consumed in the world, behind iron, aluminum and copper. It is a key component in steel and iron production. Reunion Gold said the MOU with the National Energy Corporation sets out terms under which the parties will collaborate to evaluate the potential development of a silicomanganese plant in TT. Following the release of the pre-feasibility study of the Matthews Ridge Project in July 2013, Reunion performed various desktop studies, including assessing the viability of reducing the output of the Matthews Ridge Project and converting the manganese concentrate into silicomanganese alloys. The company’s chairman David Fennell, said: “This is a significant development for the company. While Matthews Ridge as a standalone mining operation is an attractive investment opportunity, we believe that the construction of a silico-manganese plant in TT to be supplied by Matthews Ridge ore may potentially allow us to create a vertically integrated operation, which could become one of the world’s lowest cost producers of silico-manganese.” National Energy, a subsidiary of the stateowned National Gas Company (NGC) of TT Limited, is engaged in the promotion of new energybased industries and the provision and management of industrial estates, port and marine facilities to support industries in TT. (TT Guardian)

Jamaica bank improving electronic security after mass Target breach


ne of the largest financial service providers in Jamaica, the National Commercial Bank (NCB), is in the process of improving its electronic security arrangements in the aftermath of a mass breach of consumer credit card information at U.S. store Target. NCB’s Senior Assistant General Manager for Strategy, Group Marketing & Communications, Nadeen Mathews, says while the bank has always had se-

curity provisions, it is adding enhancements to those arrangements, in light of the recent development. “It is a global concern for all institutions and so the only thing that we can confirm today is that it is something that our operations and technology unit continually looks at. Pirates are very good at sending emails with fake websites or downloading Trojans on your machine that can compromise security irrespective of what is on the banking website.

She stressed that consumers have to play a part in ensuring that their information is safe as well, hence the bank would also be placing emphasis on a programme of educating the public to the threats to the security of personal information that might be encountered online. Last month, Target announced that several customers had been victims of data theft from software installed on machines used to swipe credit cards.



week ending January 30, 2014 |

TT’s AG in crime talks with Canada, UK officials


ritain and Canada are lending assistance to Trinidad and Tobago in its war on crime, endorsing, among other things, legislative measures for implementation of the death penalty, an increase in the number of criminal offences that can be tried without a jury and to allow witnesses to testify via video link, or anonymously. Following meetings with representatives of Britain and Canada, TT’s Attorney General Anand Ramlogan promised to bring a progres-

sive legislative agenda for 2014 with heavy emphasis on crime-fighting measures. Crime and improving the criminal justice system were on the agenda when British High Commissioner Arthur Snell and Canadian High Commissioner Gerard Latulippe met Ramlogan to discuss several matters of mutual interest, the AG’s Office said. They were accompanied by the director of the Crown Prosecution Service, International Division, Patrick Stevens; specialist prosecutor for the

TT’s Attorney General Anand Ramlogan meets Canadian High Commissioner Gerard Latulippe. (TT Newsday photo)

International Division from London, Andrew Stephens; and criminal justice adviser to TT, Moira Mac David. The release from the AG’s Office said: “The meeting focused on measures to improve the criminal justice system and the administration of justice. A wide range of issues were discussed, including the detection of crime, crime scene investigation, the use of technology in the fight against crime using CCTV cameras, digitalised recording of police statements, the abolition of jury trials and

anonymous witnesses.” Ramlogan said legislation, which targets problems in the criminal justice system, will be tabled in Parliament, including abolition of preliminary inquiries and the giving of evidence via video link or anonymously using oneway screens. He promised to continue the close relationship with the British and Canadian governments to ensure the fight against crime is successful and an efficient, modern and improved criminal justice system becomes a reality. (TT Guardian)

PM Stuart convinced Barbados can reverse current economic slump


rime Minister Freundel Stuart has reiterated his conviction that Barbados will get out of the economic slump it has fallen into over the past few months. “This is not the first occasion on which we’ve had to traverse this treacherous terrain. Between 1973 and 1975 on the occasion of the first oil crisis, Errol Barrow was prime minister and we faced one of these same economic downturns–unemployment in Barbados was 22.5 per cent in 1975 and inflation was running at 40 per cent,” Stuart said

Barbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

at the St. Luke Anglican Church, where members and supporters of the ruling Democratic

Labour Party (DLP) gathered for the Errol Barrow Memorial Church Service Sunday.

He told the congregants that while the country was facing some challenging times, “as Christians it is important that we rely not only on our work, but our faith”. The government has already indicated that it would retrench as many as 3,000 public servants as it seeks to reverse the ailing economy, and Prime Minister Stuart recalled that in the 1980s the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had to be called in with the country facing a fiscal deficit of nine per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and a

five-fold increase in the current account. “Thousands of people had to be laid off, but Barbadians got out of that. If we got out of that, we are going to get out of this,” he said. He said the IMF also had to lend support to Barbados in the early 1990s when the island had to deal with the global recession, recalling that the country held only two weeks of foreign reserves cover. He told the congregation that the standard for countries like Barbados is 12 weeks, and that at present the country has approxi-

mately 15 to 16 weeks of foreign reserve coverage. “The difference between those three recessions and this one is that whereas each of those recessions lasted for about two years almost, this one is five years and counting. “The wealthiest countries in the world are having the same difficulties that Barbados is having,” he said, adding “there are challenges related to growth in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy and all over the place.” (Excerpted from Caribbean News)

Privatisation of GuySuCo not on the cards – President Ramotar


here have been suggestions that the sugar company, in light of its continued failure to meet its targets should be privatised, but government said it will not, anytime soon, be selling off the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). “We have not reached the stage…and hopefully we would not reach there,” President Donald Ramotar told the media last Friday, at a press conference at the Office of the President in Georgetown. The president said that he is, however, not closing his mind to anything. “The most important thing is saving our industry and getting it back to make a big contribution to the development of the country,” he said. President Ramotar noted that the government has been making several interventions to get the once successful in-

dustry back to its striving status. He said the new 2013-2016 strategic plan supports the mechanisation and field conversion drive, and focus particularly on critical areas of the sugar company. In 2013, government advanced Gy$3.1 billion to the company to achieve the implementation of critical recapitalisation aspects of this plan. A new chief executive officer is soon to be installed as well as a new board. Government is also looking at correcting the deficiency at the Skeldon sugar factory, and is looking at bringing in more technical skills that will focus on both factory and field operations, President Ramotar said. Instead of privatisation, government is also prepared to lease more land to the farmers, an intervention it has employed with regards to the Uitvlugt es-

“We have been a labour intensive industry for a number of years, and this is a switch we have to make at this point in time to make the industry more efficient and to move it forward.”


Guyana's President Donald Ramotar said his government is interested in saving the Guyana Sugar Corporation, which has been going through a period of economic turmoil

tate. President Donald Ramotar noted that at Skeldon, new land is designed to be machinefriendly, while a lot of mechanisation conversion is taking

place at Enmore. “The question of competition for labour dictates that is a direction we have to go more and more into,” President Ramotar said.

The sugar company fell short of its target for 2013, with both first and second crop production amounting to less than 200,000 tonnes. The 2013-2016 strategic plan to turn around the sugar industry has been finalised and submitted to the parliamentary sectoral committee on economic services. Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy said the new strategic plan for the sugar sector has taken into consideration the new weather patterns, the way cane is transported from the field to the factory, and the way in which canes are fed to the factories. (Guyana Times)

Young girl charged for robbing schoolboy’s cell phone at knifepoint in Jamaica


young Jamaican woman accused of holding up a schoolboy and robbing him of his Alcatel cellular phone broke down in tears after her bail was revoked when she faced the Corporate Area

Resident Magistrate’s Court last Thursday. It is alleged that on January 10 about 5:40 pm on Charles Street in downtown Kingston, the accused and a man held up the complainant with knives

and robbed him of his phone. The accused, who appeared to be in her teens, reportedly held a knife at the complainant’s side and told him “Gimme you phone or mi kill you.”

But when she appeared in court last Thursday the accused denied the allegations. However she was remanded by Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey, who told her that she will a have to stay in custody

until her trial. “School children must be able to walk free so you have to stay right where you are,” Pusey said as the accused burst into uncontrollable tears. (Jamaica Observer)


News | week ending January 30, 2014

Guyana gov’t proceeds with Specialty Hospital project - preparatory works to resume soon


ealth Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran said preparatory work for the construction of Guyana’s multimillion-dollar Specialty Hospital is expected to resume soon. The health minister told Guyanese media that the Donald Ramotar administration is very passionate about having the hospital constructed and will work hard to ensure that this vision is fulfilled. Some Gy$34.4 million was approved by the National Assembly recently for the Specialty Hospital. “The ministry is in the process of getting

other things done, like proper site preparation. Surrendra company would have won the bid, so they have taken over the site officially and we hope that work will start being visible from now on,” Dr Ramsaran added. The ministry, he said, is in constant contact with engineers from both Surrendra Engineering and Vikab Engineering. Vikab Engineering was contracted to do the consultancy for the construction of the new hospital. Dr Ramsaran noted that a deadline cannot be fixed at this time, since the work was stalled for

a while and things will have to be re-aligned before such detail is provided. “We had a lot of adjustments, because of the ruckus, it was put on hold. It is now being discussed with our ministry and stakeholders…. So we have to wait and see what happens before we make any pronouncement on a deadline.” During the 2013 national budget debate, a Gy$1.25 billion provision for the controversial hospital was cut by the opposition. A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) had pointed to the government’s lack of dialogue on the opposition’s

The site of the multimillion-dollar Specialty Hospital

position that the formulation of the deal was not transparent. In August the same year, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said a consultancy contract was awarded to ensure gov-

ernment gets “value for money”. The construction of the hospital is part of an agreement between the government of Guyana and India, for Guyana to use US$18 million

through a line of credit to build the hospital. The hospital is being built to cater for complicated surgeries, ranging from heart operations, organ transplants to cosmetic surgery. (Guyana Times)

Dogs to sniff luggage, travellers at Piarco airport D ogs are to be used to sniff luggage and even travellers at airports in Trinidad and Tobago for illegal drugs, as the Ministry of National Security embarks on a drive to wipe out drug smuggling in the country. Minister of National Security Gary Griffith said the new measure will take effect soon at Piarco and Crown Point International Airports. Griffith said he has ordered an audit into the canine units of the protective services to determine how many dogs are available, how many are suitable for use, how many need to be retrained and

The TT government has announced plans for dogs to sniff luggage and even travellers at airports in the twin island republic. (TT Newsday file photo)

how many could be put to use and in which areas. His plan even includes placing more dogs in the Prisons Service to detect drugs, weapons and cellphones smuggled into prisons.

Griffith said there are dogs which are trained to detect not only drugs but weapons and cellphones, even if they are hidden in “peculiar places”. He said there are plans to purchase ad-

ditional dogs from the United Kingdom and the United States (U.S.) and to set up breeding centres and new facilities for the dogs. The move is part of measures to heighten security at airports and

seaports following the discovery of TT$640 million in cocaine smuggled into the U.S. in a container shipped from Trinidad. The cocaine was hidden in juice tins. S e n i o r Superintendent Irwin Hackshaw, head of the Mounted and K-9 Branch of TT Police Service (TTPS), welcomed Griffith’s decision to purchase additional dogs and to improve facilities for breeding and training. According to media reports, TT’s K-9 Branch has about 90 dogs, which are used at the airports, seaports and by other units of the TTPS. However, due to escalat-

ing crime, a recommendation was made to use dogs more in raids, at road blocks and during security operations at the ports of entry. There is to be special training for handlers and recruits in the Police Service. Prisons officers also said sniffer dogs placed at prisons will help to prevent smuggling of drugs and other illegal items. Prisons Commissioner Martin Martinez last Friday said the canine section in the prisons is in dire need of additional dogs and he awaits the purchase of more to strengthen the unit. (TT Newsday)

Pilot IT project for Caribbean to be implemented in Mobay


n Integrated Operation and Control Centre (IOCC) pilot project is to be implemented in the city of Montego Bay, St James, Jamaica.

The centre will comprise a monitoring room, complete with the latest in computer technology, to be manned by government experts in the areas of traffic, crime and disas-

ter management. “This is expected to enable local authorities to make more effective planning decisions and to enable effective and greater utilisation

of limited resources,” Jamaica’s Minister of Local Government and Community Development Noel Arscott, has explained. He was addressing a workshop of the St James Parish Council, held recently in Montego bay. The pilot will be implemented in three phases, with phase one concentrating on downtown Montego Bay, phase two on the Greater Montego Bay area, and phase three will entail expansion of the system. The IOCC project is a component of the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI), launched by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) in 2011, for cities with population between 100,000 and two million people. Arscott pointed out that the pilot project will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean, and expressed the hope that it

Jamaica’s Local Government Minister Noel Arscott (right) greets Charge d’Affairs, Korean Embassy, Kimo Lim (left), while Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, looks on. (JIS photo)

will provide a catalyst for the transformation of Montego Bay, and western Jamaica as a whole. “Today’s (last Friday) workshop is to provide feedback for the final report for the design of the IOCC to be submitted in February, and after that we expect to move to the implementation stage. We are going to lean heavily on the IDB to assist at that stage,” he said. “As Minister of

Local Government and Community Development, I will give my full support to the successful implementation of this project,” Arscott added. The minister pointed out that the IDB has sought and is receiving support from the Republic of Korea, with the Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements being engaged to design the IOCC. (JIS)

news week ending January 30, 2014



President Ramotar hails Yesu Persaud’s contributions to Guyana


resident Donald Ramotar, last Friday evening, lauded industrialist Yesu Persaud, who he said contributed significantly to the growth of the private sector from strength to strength and can be considered one of the pioneers of the local private sector.

Persaud retired in December last year from his position as chairman of the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) after serving the company for 48 years. Speaking at the reception at the New Thriving Events Centre, Camp and Lamaha streets, President

Ramotar spoke highly of Persaud’s contributions to not only the business community, but to the country’s social and economic development as well. He recalled that as DDL chairman, Persaud greatly helped the country to transition from the difficult years.

Invitees at the reception in honour of former Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) Chairman Yesu Persaud

President Donald Ramotar and Yesu Persaud make a toast at the appreciation ceremony while new DDL Chairman Komal Samaroo looks on

Persaud’s successor, Komal Samaroo noted that under the outstanding leadership of his predecessor, DDL has seen a tremendous transformation, whereby the distilling industry was used as a base to create a diversified group of companies. “He’s a phenomenal fighter; he fights for what he believes in and fights to protect what he builds… he dedicated a great portion of his life to build the company, he

has provided very outstanding, visionary leadership, and given opportunities to many young professionals in the company,” Samaroo said. He added that Persaud has never been afraid to take risks and venture out into uncharted waters. He explained that over the years, he has built out of a very traditional company, a very modern industry that is in keeping with the trends in the

world today. Persaud, in his remarks, said with determination and perseverance, DDL is now a company that is second to none in Guyana. “DDL is a shining star, there is nothing precluding it from moving forward.” The company now employs more than 1300 people, creating jobs both locally and abroad with distributors in Canada, United States of America and Europe. (GINA)

Barbados expects to earn millions in foreign exchange from animation industry


arbados says it expects to earn Bds$10 million by the second year of the development of an animation industry, which is part of the multibillion-dollar multimedia and entertainment sector. “To date, 24 persons have been assisted with training in animation [3D] and discussions with overseas companies to have such done in Barbados, is at an advanced staged. Our goal is to earn Bds$10 million in foreign exchange from this sub-sector

by year two,” Industry Minister Donville Inniss said at the fourth anniversary cocktail of the online publication Barbados TODAY last Thursday night. Inniss said that the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation was aggressively pursuing business in the animation industry and the Freundel Stuart government was committed to a rapid expansion of ICT based companies in Barbados. “To my mind, it is a low-hanging fruit which

we have talked too much about and not done enough for. I am afraid that this fruit will soon drop off the tree and be of no use to anyone here. The world would have passed us by,” he said.

Fair Trading Commission

Inniss also announced that the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) would soon be responsible for regulating all licensed telecommunications companies operating in Barbados. “Regulating the telecoms sector is critical as we develop a more level playing field, hold

service providers to account and address interrelationship issues that affect pricing. To this end, work is on the way to have the Fair Trading Commission be responsible for regulating the services provided by all licensed telecommunications companies.” He said the government was committed to reducing the cost of bandwidth to businesses and households in Barbados. “Over the last week, I have met with the heads of two of our major telecommunications provid-

TT seeks investors for tourism projects


nvestors are being sought for two major tourism projects in Trinidad being spearheaded by the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA)—an amusement park and family entertainment centre in Chaguaramas and an ecotourism resort on Chacachacare Island. InvesTT recently sent out proposals for investment in the two projects. The amusement park, which is estimated to cost US$1.5 million, is to be located within a water park compound and will be part of an extended pedestrian zone with facilities for shopping, play, entertainment, live performances, fun sports and dining. The site will also provide park-and-ride facilities. According to the proposal put out by InvesTT, the project is intended to fill a gap in amusement facilities in the country. There are no amusement parks on either Trinidad or Tobago.

A visitor enjoying a thrilling ride on the zipline at Macqueripe, Chaguaramas. (TT Guardian file photo)

Incentives being offered to investors include a tax exemption of up to seven years on gains or profits from the ap-

proved project; tax exemption on the sale of the project, villas or condos, which are part of the project; acceler-


ers on matters related to faster speed, more reliable service and a wider range of services in the sector.They will soon announce the details of their plans.” Inniss said the government was also reviewing its advertising policy to include more advertising business with online media. “My final point in terms of action from the government’s end is that in order for fairness and equity to prevail in our system, government agencies and corporations must rec-

Barbados’ Industry Minister Donville Inniss

ognize that this island no longer had two daily newspapers and, hence, the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars spent each year in placing ads must be shared between all media, including the online newspapers,” Inniss said. (Caribbean News)

-includes US$1.5 million amusement park in Chaguaramas

ated depreciation of equipment used in the project; capital allowance in respect of new projects or expansion of existing projects; carry-over from a tax exempt period, if any, of a loss arising out of the operation or renting of an approved tourism project; and customs duty at the reduced rate of ten per cent where a licence is obtained for importation of vehicles. Equity investors or joint venture partner are being sought. InvesTT said the ideal investor “must be able to access financing independently.” For the resort project on Chacachacare Island, the largest and most westerly of three islands situated off the Chaguaramas peninsula, the plan is to construct an eco-tourism resort. InvesTT said: “The property comprises 392.6 hectares of terrain including lush, tropical rainforest. The island is home to a natural salt-water pond and seven beaches which attract divers, campers and sea bathers alike. The main bay can accommodate sever-

al ocean liners simultaneously. The existing infrastructure includes a paved road, a docking facility, as well as a jetty.” Chacachacare at one time housed a leprosarium, as well as a base for U.S. soldiers. The remains of several antique structures including a hospital, doctors’ and nurses’ quarters, as well as a cemetery are still there. A lighthouse, built in 1896, is still in operation and affords visitors spectacular panoramic views. Investors will design, finance, build, operate and maintain the proposed facility through a lease of 30 years and the CDA has the full authority to grant an option renewal for a further 30 years. An important condition is preservation of the environment and the island’s historic sites. Prospective investors have been told that the advantages to investing in TT include a cost structure that is one of the most competitive in the Caribbean, including relatively low energy and utility costs. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)


feature | week ending January 30, 2014

- in support of Port Mourant Village project


he Toronto Chapter of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission (NJASM) has sponsored “An Evening of Hope 2,” a concert to be held at the Vedic Cultural Centre, 4345-14th Avenue in Markham, on Saturday, February 1, 2014. The concert is in aid of the Port Mourant Humanitarian Village Project. The event promises to be exciting with the appearances of recording artistes Geeta Bisram of New York and Sandhya Sugrim of New Jersey who will join hands with Toronto-based artistes for a grand performance. The show will also feature stand-up comedian Mark Trinidad, local Elvis, Robert Pooran, and a number of young and talented singers, dancers and musicians. Tickets are available at a cost of $20 each, in-

clusive of dinner. Funds generated will be set aside for phase three of the Port Mourant project. Situated at Lots 2126 Area Q, Ankerville, Port Mourant, Berbice in Guyana, the Port Mourant Humanitarian Mission Village (PMHMV) is the brainchild of the Humanitarian Mission of New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc. The facility, currently being established, caters for, among other things, construction of an Empowerment and Skills Development Centre that will provide disadvantaged persons with income-generating skills and the capacity to make a decent living afterwards. It is expected that the centre will be opened by April when the first batch of students would be enrolled. Pt. Dhanessar, an

The facility being established under the Port Mourant Humanitarian Village Project in Berbice, Guyana. (Photo: Contributed)

adviser to the project in Guyana said “When fully operational, the Empowerment and Skills Development Centre will offer training in a variety of skills, such as welding and fabrication; joinery and woodwork; sewing; information technology; food and nutrition; catering; hollow blocks production; literacy and basic electronics."

He added that the centre has already received a donation of 10 sewing machines and 40 classroom chairs from Food For the Poor Guyana Inc. However, the adviser is appealing for donations of other needed equipment. He explained that several overseas-based Guyanese, who hail from Port Mourant and surrounding villages, have

committed to sponsoring some of the programmes and to donate equipment as well as help to offset part of the teachers’ salaries. Pt Dhanessar is also expecting support from non-governmental organisations in Guyana for the project. He related that, "after acquiring the requisite skills, participants would be empowered to either establish their own businesses or seek employment through the Mission’s onsite employment arrangement. Graduates would be able to earn a living thereby

taking them out of the cycle of poverty." He further stated that, "The centre will be targeting primarily school dropouts, youths/adults, single parents and victims of gender-based violence, among others. Although based in Port Mourant, the centre will be accepting attendees from across Region Six." The project is being implemented in phases. Phase one, which entailed back filling of the land and construction of an eight-foot high, concrete fence was completed last August at a cost of Gy$5,318,528. Phase two---construction of the Empowerment and Skills Development Centre--started last October and is nearing completion. At the end of December, Gy$10,081,444 had already been spent on this aspect of the project. Phase three caters for a U-shaped, one-flat home for senior citizens, which is estimated to cost US$60,000 while phase four would be a building to offer a safe haven for victims of gender-based violence.

Facebook post brings many closer to centenarian in Jamaica


Mable Brown

everal persons converged at the home of Mable Elizabeth Brown in Jamaica recently, following a Facebook post that the woman was living in a deplorable condition. They all turned up to see for themselves where the 104-year-old woman lived. Others turned up to discredit claims that the elderly woman was not being cared for. Whatever the reasons were for being at Brown's humble abode, most persons left smiling after they met and interacted with the centenarian. According to Brown, she was born in Bamboo, St Ann, but as a young child after the death of her mother, she was sent to live with a woman in Lincoln, about 10 miles

out of Claremont. She returned to her hometown as an adult. Brown, who lives alone, said that she is still able to prepare her meals. She was however quick to point out that one of her favourites is Ramen noodles. Brown, who said she sometimes feels pain, told visitors that she was feeling well. Brown, who does not have any biological children as her son died as a baby, told Jamaican media that she took care of several children. Brown said that she is often assisted by community members. She however admitted to hungry days. The centenarian said that she sometimes goes to the shop to get her items. One shop operator said she always gave her the items free of cost even if she turned up with money. Brown, a strong believer in God, thinks that once she puts her trust in Him, He will take care of her. Married twice, although both husbands have died, Brown said it is her hope to die peacefully without suffering. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

feature week ending January 30, 2014


r Jamal Deen is a shining example of the talent and richness in educational and social groundings that the Caribbean and South American region has offered to Canada, and he is one of Canada’s most distinguished, honoured and recognized academics. When Deen was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) in June 2006, he became the first Guyanese to achieve this highest recognition for “Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peer-elected as the best in their field.”

Work and study

However, after six months in the lower Sixth Form, life changed. He took a government position so he could help to support his younger siblings. Concurrently, he successfully took three ‘A’ Levels while studying on his own. This allowed him to work and attend University of Guyana in the evenings. For Deen, life was not easy. However, he excelled in his academic studies as well as in his fulltime day job as a mathematics and science teacher at Indian’s Education Trust College (now called Richard Ishmael Secondary School). He graduated in 1978 with a double major in mathematics and physics and was the top ranked in both, and the


scientific and technological cooperation between Canada and other countries.

Awards and acknowledgments

Formative Years

Jamal Deen was born and raised in Coconut Walk, La Penitence. He is the fifth of eight children. He attained his primary school education at the St. Stephen’s Church of Scotland School and successfully passed the annual Common Entrance Examinations in 1967, winning a place at the prestigious Queen’s College– one of only two all-boys secondary schools at the time. At Queen’s, Deen excelled in his academic achievements and was a regular prize-winner. In Fourth Form, 1971, he successfully took the maximum four subjects at the GCE ‘O’ Level Examinations and added six subjects the following year, easily earning a spot in Sixth Form. At Queen’s, he played volleyball for the school, excelling at soccer and long distance running.

Deen (right) receiving the Humboldt Research Award in 2008

second ranked student overall in the university. These exceptional performances earned him the Chancellor’s Medal and the Dr Irving Adler Prize. Due to his outstanding performance in his undergraduate studies, he was appointed an instructor of Physics at UG. In his second year, in 1979, not only did he marry Meena (nee Khan), which he regards as one of his happiest moments (the others being the birth of their three sons), but he won the only FulbrightLaspau graduate scholarship for Guyanese. He completed his graduate studies in electrical engineering and applied physics at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, U.S. As a graduate student, in addition to being a Fulbright-Laspau Scholar, he was also an American Vacuum Society Scholar. In 1986, after completing his graduate studies and briefly working in the U.S., he immigrated to Canada with his wife Meena and their four–month-old son. He had accepted his dream job– that of a university professor at the-then newly founded School of Engineering Science, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. As before, these were challenging times for him to attract adequate funding to establish a high-quality graduate research program. Fortunately, because of the high ranking of the university’s engineering academic program, hard work and some good

luck, these initial barriers were successfully overcome. In fact, he was so successful in his research, teaching and service, he was promoted to the highest rank of ‘Full Professor’ in record time– six years after his appointment. During this time, his second and third sons were born.

Desire to help

Philanthropy comes easily for Deen. He is an active community volunteer. For five consecutive years, he served as a judge in the British Columbia Science fair competition. He volunteered to develop and teach a 10-week science/ engineering PhD, NASA, enrichment program at his children’s elementary school. Moving to McMaster in 1999, he continued his communi-

ty involvement by volunteering as a football coach in the West Hamilton Children’s Soccer League for four consecutive years while his youngest son played football. In addition, for some years, he and his family volunteered at a homeless shelter in Hamilton. Deen has also served the Caribbean, for six years, as an external examiner of the physics program at UWI, Trinidad. In addition, he has served as external examiner for doctoral theses in many developed and developing countries. Dr Deen’s research interests include nanoelectronics and optoelectronics and their emerging applications in health and environmental sciences. He has also given of his time to establish


For both his scientific and technological achievements, as well as his community involvement in the West Indies and India, he was awarded the Guyana Award (Academic Excellence) from the Guyana Awards Council, Canada (2008), the Technology Achievement Award (2009) from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), and the New Pioneers Science and Technology Award in 2012. During his career, he has won more than 50 awards and honours. He was an NSERC Senior Industrial Fellow and is a distinguished lecturer of the IEEE Electron Device Society for more than a decade. His awards and honours include the Thomas D. Callinan Award and the Electronics and Photonics Award from the Electrochemical Society; the Distinguished Researcher Award, Province of Ontario; a Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany; an IBM Faculty Award; the Eadie Medal from the Royal Society of Canada; the IEEE Canada Fessenden Silver Medal as well as the McNaughton Gold Medal - the highest award for engineers

in from IEEE Canada. IEEE is the largest professional society with 400,000 members around the globe. For his exceptional scholarly achievements, service contributions and exemplary professionalism, professor Deen was awarded honorary doctorates in engineering from University of Waterloo in 2011 and from Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain, in 2012. The scholar’s peers have elected him to the highest status of Fellow in an impressive nine national academies and professional societies, including the two highest recognitions for scholars and engineers in Canada: The RSC and The Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). His other Fellow awards are from The National Academy of Sciences India (NASI - Foreign); The Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE Foreign); The American Physical Society (APS); the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE); The Electrochemical Society (ECS); The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); and The Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC). In addition, he was elected an Honorary Member of the World Innovation Foundation (WIF)– the foundation’s highest honour. (Excerpted from Horizons 2013 magazine)

Deen with son Tariq and wife Meena at the McMaster Engineering Research Award event


feature |


or the second consecutive year, Jamaica-based hotel, Beaches Negril Resort and Spa has copped the coveted TripAdvisor® Travelers' Choice Award for the Top Hotel for Families in the Caribbean. Sister property, Beaches Turks and Caicos, walked away with the third place title. TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site, connecting real travellers who share advice and reviews on vacation destinations. It also links visitors to hotels, restaurants, attractions and other businesses in the hospitality

week ending January 30, 2014

industry. The TripAdvisor® Travelers' Choice Award is in its 12th year, and winners are determined based on the reviews and opinions of millions of travellers globally. The world's most outstanding properties were identified in the categories of Top Hotels, Bargain, B&Bs and Inns, Family, Luxury, Romance, and Small Hotels. "This is a wonderful achievement," stated Adrian Whitehead, general manager of Beaches Negril, upon learning of the milestone achievement. "We always strive to provide our guests with


f Austin Lyons (SuperBlue) wins this year’s Road March he will equal the record for wins—ten— held by the late Aldwyn Roberts (Lord Kitchener). He already holds the record for the most victories—seven—in the International Soca Monarch competition. The past year was very hectic for SuperBlue, especially as he was the 2013 Road March champion and joint International Power Soca Monarch (tied with Machel Montano).

the most high-quality and innovative products and amenities on the market. Beaches is also bolstered by a team committed to excellence. I am positive we can take it to another level and in doing so, highlight the Jamaica tourism industry as a powerful brand--a force to be reckoned with regionally and worldwide," he said. In 2013, the resort was also named among the TripAdvisor® Travelers' Choice awardees for Top 10 Best Family Resorts in the World and voted the #1 hotel for the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda, in the world-leading

Baptist’ in 1980, ‘Get Something and Wave’ in 1991, and being the first soca artiste to win at the Caribbean awards. But this year was something extra special. People wrote me off, but here I am, still bouncing.”

‘Fantastic Friday’

Contrary to popular belief, SuperBlue’s smash hit ‘Fantastic Friday’ was not inspired by Carnival. He revealed with a chuckle: “‘Fantastic Friday’ was actually inspired one day on the beach in

Beaches Negril…wins award for second straight year. (Jamaica Observer photo)

Travel + Leisure magazine's readers' survey. For 14 consecutive years, Beaches Resorts have held on to the World Travel Awards for World's Leading All-Inclusive Family

That is where the line ‘the bouncing start’ came from. Everything just flowed automatically. That was the work of God, ‘the true High Priest of Soca.’” He added, “My most fantastic performance for the year was the night of the final of Soca Monarch. That was thunderous; that was an earthquake. It was phenomenal. The lyrics of the song lived that night. Winning the Soca Monarch and scoring the biggest victory in the history of the Road March goes beyond imagination and description. All I can say is thank God, there is a God.” SuperBlue’s victories in the Soca Monarch and Road March competitions came like a fairy tale story for many of his fans, who wanted him to overcome his demons.

Good year

Austin “Superblue” Lyons and his adoring fans were rocking during an event in Trinidad last year. (TT Newsday file photo)

Reflecting on the year past, SuperBlue, 57, is undoubtedly experiencing a revival of his career. He said: “I got the blessings of Carnival. It was one of the biggest blessings I have had in 30 years. The high points of my career were ‘Soca

Carenage. I would go to the beach, four, five times a week. “So I was reflecting one day on the beach when I saw a bird land on a tree. The bird had one foot, but that bird didn’t give up. He just bounced and bounced on one foot then flew away.



arbadian-born superstar Rihanna wasn’t allowed to date until she was 16. The ‘Pour It Up’ hitmaker was banned from having a boyfriend until her late teens and her mother tried to dissuade her from getting involved with boys even then. She laughed: “I wasn’t allowed to date.

Resort Brand. Nestled on the world famous Negril seven-mile white sand beach, Beaches Negril has, among its offerings, adrenaline-packed unlimited land/water sports, a

Nowhere was there more pride in his achievements than his hometown of Point Fortin, where a street was named after him in honour of his 2013 achievements. Formerly Sylvester Street, Austin Lyons Avenue was unveiled on February 28 and the Point Fortin Borough Corporation also declared May 3 as SuperBlue Day. Another location named in his honour is the old Lions Club Play Park at Morrison Street, Mahaica, which will be called the Austin Lyons Children’s Play Park when it is completed. This Carnival, SuperBlue plans to produce a mas band. Other goals of SuperBlue include retaining the titles he won last year.

At 13 my mom would tell me, ‘You can have a boyfriend when you’re 16!’ And then at 16 she’d say, ‘I never said that–and as a matter of fact, it’s 40!’” However, the 25-year-old singer insisted that it was never an issue because no boys fancied her anyway. Recalling her awkward phase growing up in Barbados when she

Kids Kamp & Nursery as well as an interactive teen's programme, Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street and a Pirate's Island Water Theme Park. (Jamaica Observer)

Such was the pride and joy of SuperBlue’s hometown of Point Fortin, the Borough Corporation decided to name a street and a playground in his honour. (Tony Howell/TT Guardian photo)

Reflecting on the season as well, Charles “Charlo” Oliver, a member of SuperBlue’s management team, disclosed that the much loved artiste toured extensively through the year. He said: “In terms of tours, every month Super did at least one show in a Caribbean island---Jamaica, Barbados, St Vincent, St Lucia, St Kitts, Grenada and Antigua. We also did North America, performing twice in Toronto. Super performed at Caribana, Miami Carnival, Atlanta and, in New York in November. He also did countless shows locally.” (TT Guardian)

felt self-conscious about her flat chest and mosquito-bitten skin, she joked: “It was a horrible combination!” Now that the superstar is a household name, she is determined to give back to the world and, as the new face of MAC Viva Glam lipstick, is supporting MAC’s AIDS fund, which has so far raised US$300 mil-

lion to help combat HIV and AIDS. Rihanna explained in the new issue of Teen VOGUE magazine: “I’ve been around so many people who have been affected by HIV and AIDS. It’s my turn to spread awareness. Because when people don’t talk about this, they feel like it’s not happening.” (Antigua Observer)

feature week ending January 30, 2014


he University of Guyana (UG) recently celebrated 50 years as a historic milestone of academic development in Guyana. It was created by the People’s Progressive Party government in 1963 and was referred to as “Jagan’s night school”. In October 1963, UG began its operations with a batch of 164 students in temporary premises on loan from Queen's College. According to the university’s website, current enrolment at the Turkeyen Campus is in excess of 5,000 students pursuing more than 60 under-graduate and post-graduate programmes. To date, more than 15,000 students have graduated and gone on to successful careers both locally and internationally. At its inception, only general degree programmes were offered by the University, but from 1966, certificate and diploma level programmes were introduced. Programmes were at first confined to the Arts, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. However, in 1967, a Faculty of Education was established and this was followed by the establishment of the Faculties of Technology in 1969, Agriculture in 1977, and in 1981, the Faculty of Health Sciences, prior to the establishment of which programmes in Health Sciences were offered within the Faculty of Natural Sciences. A Forestry Unit was established in 1987. In 2002, the Faculty of

In the 1993-94 academic year, the Semester System was introduced in the Faculties of Education and Social Sciences. This system was introduced to the remaining faculties the following year. In 2005, the meritorious position of Distinguished Professor was instituted. Professor Clive Thomas is the sole holder of this distinction. In 2009, the first Emeritus Professors were installed. Despite the many challenges and setbacks over the years, UG has remained committed to

St Jago's list of graduates includes the late National Hero Norman Manley, who was schooled there briefly. (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)



Berbice Campus (UGBC)

One of the university’s most significant undertakings was the formation of the Berbice campus. This campus, which became operational in 2000, was established with the intention of making university education more accessible to Berbicians, who previously endured the inconvenience of travelling to the Turkeyen Campus to pursue university studies. In its early stages, the University of Guyana–Berbice Campus (UGBC) offered two-year undergraduate Certificate pro-

Entering UG

Agriculture was renamed the Faculty of Agriculture & Forestry. In 2003, the Faculties of Arts and Education merged to become the School of Education and Humanities. Within the past five years, a number of new programmes have been introduced. The University also certifies affiliated programmes. The health sector is the main beneficiary of this facility. The university occupied its present site at Turkeyen in October 1969. The tuition fee of Gy$100 per annum was abolished in 1974. However, in the 1994-95 academic year, the university introduced a Cost Recovery Programme. In 1975, participation in National Service was made a requirement

t Jago High School in Jamaica is currently celebrating its 270th year of existence this year. As the first activity in celebrating its 270th anniversary, students, staff and graduates of the school congregated at the St James Cathedral for a special thanksgiving service Monday. Past students also participated

Center for Information Technology at UG

for persons wishing to pursue programmes at the University; however, in 1994 approval was given by the Cabinet for the abolition of mandatory National Service for students at tertiary level education institutions.

implementing changes that would meet the needs of the nation and its people. This commitment has been demonstrated largely through the undertaking of expansionary projects.

University of Guyana –


gramme in Education (various options) and Diploma programmes in Accountancy, English, History, Marketing, Public Management and Social Work, Degree programmes were subsequently offered: the

in devotion at the school's M o n k Principal Sandra Swyer Street campus Watson, who Wednesday mornadded that “since very few instituing, with a fund-raising brunch set for February 2 tions can stand the test of time at the Caymanas Golf and Country Club. like St Jago has.” The celebrations will "It will defipeak in June at the St nitely give present students a Jago Past Students' Association All Batch sense of their own wonderful Reunion. Other major events potential," she in the celebratory added. calendar are Sports The Free Day on February 6, School of St Long Service and Awards Dinner on Jago de April 15 and Culture la Vega Fest in November. o p e n e d All are expected to in 1744, enjoy heightened int h a n k s to an endowterest and attendance from the school family. ment from Jamaica's “We really are lookL i e u t e n a n t The Free School of St Jago de la Vega opened in 1744. ing forward to enjoyGovernor, Colonel (Jamaica Observer photo) ing the milestone,” said Peter Beckford.

Degree in Agriculture and the Associate Degree in General Science (various options) were offered in the 2001 – 2002 academic year, and Degree in Public Management and Education as well as the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education were offered in the 20022003 academic year. The first graduation ceremony was held in November 2002 with a batch of 93 students.

University of Guyana Guild of Graduates Ontario

In the recently released book, “The University of GuyanaPerspectives on the Early History”, published by the University of Guyana Guild of Graduates Ontario (UGGGO) in celebration of UG’s 50th anniversary, it states in its preface that UG is accepted as national institution. “Its graduates are playing leading roles in the social, political and economic development of Guyana. Many, outside Guyana, have gained prominence in academia, the private sector and the public sector. From its nocturnal beginnings as an interloper on the premises of Queen’s College, it now occupies permanent residence at Turkeyen and spreading its wings to other parts of the country.” The book was written by individuals who have played leading roles in the early years of UG. It is history written by the makers of the history, each telling the story from his or her point of view. (Information from

Over 100 years after Beckford's passing in 1730, Francis Smith, the custos of St Catherine, left three thousand pounds to establish a school. That school, the Smith's Charity School, was opened in 1833 and Beckford and Smith's was born of a 1846 merger. In 1897, Archbishop Enos Nuttall founded the Cathedral High School for Girls. By 1956, the all-boys Beckford and Smith High School merged with Cathedral High to form today's St Jago High. St Jago's list of graduates includes the late National Hero Norman Manley, who was schooled there briefly, former Bermuda Premier Ewart Brown, retired Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe, World athletics champions Bert Cameron and Yohan Blake, Olympic champion Melaine Walker, Minister Without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for sport, Natalie Neita Headley, and Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, former Cabinet minister, Mike Henry. (Jamaica Observer)


feature | week ending January 30, 2014

“KNOWING” & “DOING” By Michael Phillips


arbados’ flag will be flown high over the weekend when a group from Barbados joins up with a Caribbean delegation in Hong Kong for the 2014 Cathay Pacific International New Year Night Parade. The full team of 27–which includes 12 steel pannists from Trinidad and Tobago, three costume revellers from St. Lucia and 11 dancers from Barbados–will be representing the region when the parade hits the road on January 31. The project, which was facilitated on the Caribbean end by Market Pro, was funded by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and KEPSTAR Caribbean Trade Company Ltd. Managing Director of Market Pro, Kamal Clarke, explained that he was approached “by someone in Hong Kong to basically pull together a Caribbean group which would showcase Carnival, Crop Over– the festivals as we know them in their fullest.” Adding that names like Giovanni St. Omer of St. Lucia were among the delegation, Clarke revealed that a steel pan group out of South Trinidad and a bodypaint artist also out of Trinidad, and at the peak of their Carnival season,

By Anu Dev

The Caribbean contingent includes 12 steel pannists from TT, three costume revellers from St. Lucia and 11 dancers from Barbados. (Nation News file photos)

would be making the trip along with the troupe of local dancers who were being outfitted by Power X Four. Stating that KEPSTAR is a business, which is set up to fuse the Caribbean and the Western world with Hong Kong, Clarke went on to say that things went rather quickly since the company’s initial communication in December. “After getting in touch with me through a local contact at the Caribbean Development Bank, it all came together pretty much overnight as I had to pull this whole thing together in three days. Leaning on the resources of people you have built relationships with over the years, made it hap-

pen,” he said. Clarke indicated that the entire team understood the importance of the trip and stated that it was a massive opportunity for Barbados to take its name even further. “This is really an opportunity for Barbados to shine and every year, hopefully, this could be something that we could add to our calendar and it can grow bigger and we could get funding and sponsorship to take it to another level. This year is a drop in the bucket to what it could be, because we are pretty much going compliments of KEPSTAR and the Hong Kong Tourism Board,” he said. Going on to say that the main focus at present was to make the best im-


s a teenager living in New York City during the 1970s, Clive Pringle discovered the conscious message of Bob Marley who became, and remains one of his biggest influences. Pringle, known in his native Negril as ‘Kubba’, started the Bob Marley Birthday Bash in that tourist town in 1991, two years after returning to Jamaica permanently. This year’s event takes place February 1-6 at his MXIII venue in Negril. Previously, the birthday bash was held over four days. Pringle says the expansion is a reflection of its growth and a renewed effort to rename Negril’s west end One Love Drive. Seven years ago, Pringle and fellow businessmen started the Negril Cluster to revive interest in one of their town’s most popular en-

The late Bob Marley. (Jamaica Observer photo)

claves. One Love Drive, they argue, would be a fitting name change. “We think it would be a better marketing strategy for the area, seeing that it attracts so many tourists,” said Pringle. The week of shows begins with Tribute Night, followed by Punky Reggae Party, a Rastafari Nyabinghi Presentation, Icons of Reggae, Bands Festival and the Bob Marley Birthday One Love

Celebration which concludes activities. Marcia Griffiths, Luciano, Kenyatta Hill, Hezron and The Gladiators featuring Droop Lion are some of the artistes on the show, which also has a Canadian flavour. Eight reggae acts from Canada comprise the ‘Canadian Contingency’ who are scheduled to perform throughout the week. Pringle says he migrated to the United

pression possible, Clarke said that with a showing of the finest quality, the possibilities for Barbados were endless. “In future years, there are people that do benefit from trade with China and Hong Kong and hopefully, we can work on that and we can also build some relationships while we are down there that could see them coming to Barbados for our summer festival. Hong Kong is one of the richest states in Asia and if we can tap in-to that market and have them to invest in our real estate and our various projects here in Barbados at a time when we need it most, it is definitely something that we would love,” he stated. (Excerpted from Barbados Advocate)

States in 1972. It was there that he discovered the teachings of black conscious leaders Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. He also tuned in to Marley who he discovered was much more than an entertainer. “Listening to him was like going to the drug store for a prescription for an ailment. Bob’s music is uplifting,” Pringle said. When he moved back to Jamaica, Pringle got into the leisure industry by establishing MXIII, which hosts a number of live shows. The inaugural Bob Marley Birthday Bash was headlined by the 'I Three', Marley’s harmony group, and deejay Tiger. This year, for the first time, the event is being sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board with the Jamaica Observer as co-sponsors.


“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do” – Leonardo da Vinci

ust before returning to Trinidad a little over a week ago, I caught a bug. It felt like the flu: you know – fever, cough, headache, aching muscles and tiredness. So I downed the usual over-thecounter medications and hunkered down to see it through. Lots of liquid and all that. Most of the students hadn’t arrived from the other islands, so I had the dorms practically to myself. I’d planned to move around a bit…spread my wings so to speak. The bug took care of that plan! But for the next couple of days the symptoms just got worse and I became increasingly weaker and lethargic. The cough became hacking. Now you have to have an idea of the layout of the dorms of the Mount Hope Medical School to know where I’m going with this. It’s not on the main campus among the other faculties at St Augustine, but as part of the Mount Hope Medical complex (it’s actually the Eric Williams Medical Sciences complex, but everyone refers to it as “Mount Hope”.) It’s one of the three tertiary hospitals in Trinidad. So it’s like I’m living right smack in the middle of a hospital. And I knew I ought to get some kind of medical attention since I wasn’t feeling any better. But I just couldn’t bring myself to walk over to the clinic or the emergency wings to get help. One of the senior lecturers of the medical school is a friend of my dad’s and he’d done my medicals when I entered the school. I knew the family well. He’s part of a nearby private hospital…but I didn’t call him. Eventually (well within a day) my mom flew over and dragged me around to the doctors and they did their tests and all the other diagnostics (in an amazingly fast time, I must say). My blood count was very low…hence my tiredness and listlessness. They also thought I might have dengue. Well two days later, the latter was nixed and they decided I just had a rather nasty viral infection…much worse than the seasonal flu. I’m still not fully recovered, but the question I pose to myself is, why didn’t I do what I knew had to be done to take care of the crisis I was going through? And the answer is that it’s most likely a form of procrastination, which I’d written about before. This is a very common habit with too many people…including myself. We know what is to be done in a situation and we still don’t do it – even when it’s as serious as an illness. It’s so widespread that it has its own name… the “knowing-doing gap”. My mom is flying back to Guyana, as I am writing this. And I’ve resolved to close this gap. My dad has always taught us that in Hindu epistemology (theory of knowledge) that “knowledge” is not just a cognitive (thinking) act… but become so only when it ends in action. “If you know by doing, there is no gap between what you know and what you do”. So if you’re like me (and there’s a lot of us out there…in fact we’re the majority) let’s do what we know has to be done before it becomes a crisis. So if you check up on me tomorrow, you’ll find me eating better to get my blood count up. And checking in with the doctors to see how I’m doing.



week ending January 30, 2014 |


hose partying at a Lower Parel nightspot last Friday saw Sussanne Roshan sauntering in with brother Zayed Khan and his wife Mallika. Since her break-up with Hrithik is still fresh in people's minds, guests were surprised when some ventured to ask her, "How are you?" and she responded saying, "I'm fine. I'm extremely happy." Sussanne appeared to be in a great mood as she took to the floor, dancing her heart out to the tunes of the EDM artiste playing there. Sources say she, Zayed, Mallika and friends partied till the wee hours of the morning. (TOI)


or Bollywood's current heartthrob Siddharth Malhotra, ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ is not just a film title. He actually believes in the dictum and says the best way to


uperstar Salman Khan said he was interested in larger-thanlife films and not in "small-scale"

ones. Salman, whose potboilers ‘Wanted’, ‘Dabangg’, ‘Bodyguard’, ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ did well at box-office, has also acted in films like ‘Phir Milenge’ among others. He will be doing a special song in his brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri's home production film ‘Oh Teri’. "As an actor, I don't want to do such kind of (small) films. If someone asks me to do such kind of films again, then I might do a guest appearance in it. These are beautiful films, but one will watch it on DVD or on TV, but not go to theatre," Salman said at the trailer


or over a year, Aamir Khan’s date diary has remained jampacked. Since 2012, he has been busy working on two films—‘Dhoom:3’ (D:3) and ‘P.K.’—and the second season of his TV show, ‘Satyamev Jayate’. Now, to unwind and take his mind off work, the actor is taking off alone, for a three-week holiday in Europe.


oday everyone knows her as the Jai Ho girl, but not so long ago, Daisy Shah was choreographer-actor Ganesh Acharya's muse and their rapport reportedly rocked his marriage. That was till she caught Salman's eye at a party, which she attended with Ganesh, and soon after landed the lead in ‘Jai Ho’. Today, she refuses to acknowledge her mentor. Ganesh admitted that he has

‘Girls like being chased’ - Siddharth Malhotra impress girls is to "chase them" and "make them laugh". "Laughter always works, compliments does being honest. Girls like it when you chase them. They like compliments. They like it when you use various means to get their attention," Siddharth told IANS in an interview. The mantra is to keep your women happy, said the actor. "I think for boys, if the girl laughs, it is a good thing. It means that the boy at least has a chance. All boys should try it in a relationship or friendship, keep your girls happy," he said. Directed by Vinil Mathew ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ also stars Parineeti Chopra and promises to be much more than a regular romantic comedy. "It is very high on content. It is a very intimate film. The characters are very different. I am playing a character who is stressed out, lost and sentimental. He meets this girl who is a bit cracked," he said. (TOI)

‘Farhan is spectacular’ - Kareena Kapoor


launch of ‘Oh Teri’. The actor said he was happy doing larger-than-life stuff. "I will continue to do such films", he added. (TOI)

A source close to Aamir revealed, “It has been a year-and-a-half since he last went on vacation. That’s why he is taking close to 20 days off this time. He had started feeling a bit overworked, and wanted to clear his mind before taking on any more work.” Although Aamir is known to work on only one film at a time, he had bent this rule last year. After wrapping up the shoot of ‘D:3’, he was occupied with the extensive promotions of the film. Following that, he completed a schedule of ‘P.K.’ and then started work on season two of his TV show. He also cohosted a success party for ‘D:3’ recently. The source added, “Aamir has not disclosed where he is going to go, but he will be in Europe. He plans to read some scripts and spend some time alone. He wants to come back refreshed as his TV show is slated to go on air around March.” The actor’s spokesperson confirmed the news. (TOI)

heard the rumours too. "Even my own group would tease me about her when she was with us. But Daisy and I were never in a relationship. I'm happily married," he asserted. But hadn't Ganesh gifted her a house and a car? "That's not true," he retorted. Clearly uncomfortable discussing Daisy he said, "Can we talk about something else? I'm not in touch with Daisy anymore." (TOI)

areena Kapoor Khan, who is set for a busy year ahead, is excited to be teaming up with Farhan Akhtar as a co-star for the first time. They are set to co-star in Dev Benegal’s ‘Bombay Samurai’. "I love Farhan as a director, but I think he’s a brilliant actor," said Kareena, adding that she has not gotten to watch his last release, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ (BMB; 2013) entirely, but she is full of praise for his acting in the parts that she has seen. "I think Farhan is spectacular and I’m certainly looking forward to working with him. I’ve worked with him as a director during ‘Don’ (2006), but I’m excited about working with him as an actor. I saw BMB in parts, and I genuinely believe that his was one of the finest performances in the industry so far. In fact, after watching it, Saif (Ali Khan, actor-husband) even messaged him." Asked about ‘Bombay Samurai’ and reports that she’ll be seen in a new onscreen avatar, Kareena replied that she doesn’t believe in the concept. "People like to write a lot of things, but that doesn’t have to be the reality. I don’t believe in reinvention. I’ve been


oung actor Varun Dhawan, who made his Bollywood debut with Alia Bhatt and Sidharth

around for too long now. If I like a story, I will do the movie, it’s as simple as that," said the actress. She explained that she signed up for the film because her role is fun, and she took a fancy to it. (TOI)

Malhotra in ‘Student Of the Year’, says the trio has discussed competition, but he believes their camaraderie goes beyond it. "We (Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and I) have discussed competition, we do discuss these things, but I think when you do your first film with someone, you form a bond and it's like (they are) family," Varun said. "You are just bonded for life. So you overlook that (competition) thing. I just have a lot of love in my heart for both of them," he added. In fact, he stated that Alia and Sidharth "were more nervous for me than I am right now (for my film ‘Main Tera Hero’)". "That's how the relationship is," added the son of filmmaker David Dhawan. Directed by Karan Johar, ‘Student Of The Year’, was released in 2012. It turned out to be a hit and set Alia, Sidharth and Varun's career on roll in the Hindi film industry. (TOI)


hollywood | week ending January 30, 2014

Kristen Stewart wants to shave head and get it tattooed


risten Stewart has revealed that she wants to shave off her head and get a tattoo, but added that she hasn't yet decided on what design she wants. The ‘On The Road’ actress has to keep her long brunette locks for parts in movies, but if she had her way she'd sport lots of crazy hairstyles and colours, and has vowed to cut it all off


oldie Hawn has revealed that she feels despair at seeing young stars such as Justin Bieber struggling with fame. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Oscar-winnng actress, who is the founder of The Hawn Foundation, which provides youth education programmes to improve academic results, claimed that it's heartbreaking seeing Bieber struggle and face different temptations to those she encountered, the Daily Express reported. While comparing Bieber's rapid rise to fame with her own, Hawn said that today's young generation of celebrities are self-medicating and that is the most dangerous thing for them. (TOI)

Keira Knightley gets rude when drunk


amela Anderson has asked Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a letter, to endorse a bill that would ban the sale of clothes made of animal fur. The bill, which has been endorsed by 40 lawmakers, is promoted by the Israel-based International Anti-Fur Coalition and would make Israel the first country in the world to impose a national fur clothing ban if it is passed, Fox News reported. Anderson, who is an animal rights activist, has said that the way animals suffer and die for fur, violates Jewish principles and Israel would set an "example of compassion for the rest of the world" by passing the bill. (TOI)


lack Swan’s star Natalie Portman has helped design a new luxury watch with Swiss luxury timepiece maker Richard Mille to benefit the Free the Children charity. The diamond-and-white gold, spider-inspired timepiece was unveiled at the SIHH fair in Geneva, Switzerland, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Only 20 Tourbillon RM 19-01 Natalie Portman watches will be produced and all proceeds will benefit the organization, for which the actress is an ambassador. The international charity works to inspire youth to become global citizens



ctress Keira Knightley feels that she is rude when she is under the influence of alcohol.

The 28-year-old admitted that she gets totally paranoid the next day after drinking and even aplogises to people whom she drank with the previous night, reported "Oh Christ, I'm always apologising for when I think I have been 'off' on a night out. The next day you suddenly think: 'Oh my god, I think I was really rude," Metro newspaper quoted Knightley as saying. Knightley, who was recently seen in ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’, has been a part of films like ‘Anna Karenina,’ ‘Never Let Me Go’ and ‘Bend It Like Beckham.’ (TOI)

Amanda Seyfried not willing to ditch pet dog for love


manda Seyfried has revealed that she would travel anywhere for the man of her dreams, as long as she could take her dog too. The ‘Lovelace’ actress, who is currently dating actor Justin Long, believes in true love and would be prepared to make many sacrifices for a guy, but she wouldn't ditch her pooch pal Finn for anyone. When asked if she'd move her life for love, she told France's Grazia magazine that she would even exile herself to the countryside and become a housewife, as long as she can bring along Finn. She said that if she had to, she

would give up her whole life, job, everything, to be with him, but at the same time, she hopes she would never have to make that choice because she loves her life the way it is. (TOI)

Huge age gap between Hollywood superstars and their girlfriends

through service learning programs in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada and supports child-focused development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (TOI)

Jennifer Aniston wants John Mayer and Katy Perry to 'start family together' ennifer Aniston has reportedly made peace with her former boyfriend John Mayer's intense love affair with Katy Perry and wants to see them start a family together. Sources revealed that the 44-yearold fiancé of Justin Theroux has remained friends with the 36-year-old American recording artist and likes their pairing a lot, Radar Online reported. Aniston broke up with Mayer in 2009 and has been dating Theroux since 2011, and the pair announced their engagement in 2012. (TOI)

one day. She told website that

if she wasn't an actor, she would definitely do things to her hair, like cut it more and dye it more. At some point, she said that she wants to do a total boy cut, completely--"not a pretty, girly version--like a straight up James Dean haircut". She added that she is definitely going to shave her head and get it tattooed before she dies. (TOI)


ohnny Depp reportedly got engaged to a young Amber Heard recently. His relationship with ‘The Rum Diary’ co-star has once again brought the 'agegap no bar' trend into the spotlight. However,most of Hollywood's hottest men are dating girls who are way younger than them. Johnny Depp & Amber Heard (Age gap - 22 years) Fiftyyear-old Johnny Depp is reportedly engaged to his 28-year-old actress girlfriend Amber Heard. Earlier, he was in a 14year relationship with Vanessa Paradis, who also happens to be 10 years his junior. Leonardo DiCaprio & Toni Garrn (Age gap - 18 years) A seri-

al modeliser, 39-year-old Caprio is currently dating German model Toni Garrn, who is 21 years old! The actor had also allegedly asked British model Cara Delevigne, 20, out, but the latter turned him down. Bradley Cooper & Suki Waterhouse (Age gap - 17 years) Thirty eight-yearold ‘Hangover’ star Bradley Cooper is dating 21-year-old British model Suki Waterhouse. Surprisingly, Bradley had turned singer Taylor Swift's date proposal down, since she was a serial dater. Paul Walker & Jasmine PilchardGosnell (Age gap - 17 years) The late ‘Fast & Furious’ Star was dating Jasmine Gosnell, who

was 17 years younger than him! The two dated for almost seven years and had met when she was just 16 and he was 33. Jason Statham & Rosie HuntingtonWhiteley (Age gap - 20 years) Forty sixyear-old action hero Jason Statham is dating 26-year-old supermodel Rosie HuntingtonWhiteley. Rumours of their engagement have been doing the rounds. Bruce Willis & Emma Heming (Age gap - 23 years) Demi Moore's former husband Bruce Willis, 58, is now married to model-actress Emma Heming, who is 35. Ironically, Demi was married to Ashton Kucther who was 15 years her junior. (TOI)

feature week ending January 30, 2014

By Bhisham Mohamed


ead singer of Shakti Strings Band, Pooran Seeraj was crowned Guyana’s Chutney Monarch just after midnight on Saturday at the Bath Settlement Community Centre ground when the final of the Culture, Youth, and Sport Ministryorganised National Chutney Competition was held. Seeraj with his song titled “Under the Maro” outshone his 15 rivals to dethrone the 2013 Chutney King Roger Hinds, popularly called “Young Bill Rogers”. The hometown boy has won himself a place in the semi-finals of the International Chutney Monarch contest, which is slated for February 1 in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Apart from the title, he also won a cash prize of Gy$600,000 and a tro-

Home boy Pooran Seeraj copped the Chutney Soca Monarchy just after midnight on Saturday at the Bath Settlement Community Centre ground in Guyana

phy. Coming in at second was former Chutney Queen Fiona Singh with “Blow”, while the third spot was awarded to the 2013 monarch with “Ge Me More Chutney” and the fourth spot went

to Uuvin “Waterflow” Sukho with “Leh Me Talk to You”. Sukho also copped the best newcomer prize. The runners up will receive cash prizes in the sum of Gy$450,000,

A section of the large audience at the event

Gy$250,000, and Gy$100,000 respectively. Moments after being crowned the new chutney king, an elated Seeraj told Guyanese media that this was the fifth time he has entered the competition, noting that this year he strategised a plan, which was well-executed. In gratitude, he explained that without the support of his sponsors, he would have not been on the stage doing what he likes to do–singing chutney music for his fans. He thanked his fans for the tremendous support he has received over the years, as well as some of the people who have financially contributed to his success, including Paul Chung and his employer, not forgetting the band members who have done a fantastic job.

Hard work


mid some of the worst weather conditions, Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism team has intensified promotional efforts throughout the United States, to reinforce the destination’s marketing message and incentivize travelers who are in search of a sunny escape. Capitalizing on record breaking frigid conditions that have plagued most of the U.S. in recent weeks, the team has developed a calendar packed with promotional activities in upcoming weeks. Last weekend, the U.S. tourism team joined over 150 exhibitors at the Philadelphia Enquirer Travel Show, the largest travel show in the state of Pennsylvania. Held on January 25 -26, Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product was rolled out

Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism team is busy promoting the twin island state in the United States

with flair, showcasing accommodations, cruise, yachting, land and sea adventures and weddings and honeymoon packages. Against a backdrop of

whiteout blizzard conditions, long lines of Pennsylvania residents looking to cope with artic blast conditions, ventured to the travel show in search of special offers to escape some



He said he had been hard at work for months with the intention of coming up with the best strategy to win the title. “I rehearsed my song before recording, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse then I went and record. That was it and it was over three months of hard work.” Now that he will be Guyana’s representative to the international chutney competition, he said he is ready to bring his best performance. “That was all in the plan also, because once I win this; I am going to Trinidad… So it was in the plan and I am ready for it…I am coming bigger in Trinidad, I’m coming bigger.” The young artiste said he will not let his country down and will be leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of the Trinidadians.

Each contestant undoubtedly brought their “A” game on competition night, but Seeraj won the judges’ hearts with his elaborate stage décor and outfit. His set took the form of an Indian wedding with the bride and groom sitting “under the maro” as their guests

Improved competition

This year’s competition was definitely improved from the previous years’ and was well-attended, especially by Berbicians and those who travelled from Georgetown in support of their favourite artistes. There were a few outstanding performances by several artistes who did not place. These performances included Steven Ramphal’s with “Indian Queen”, Bunty Singh’s “Meh Wife Quarrelling”, and Prince JP’s “Indian Drums”, which left the crowd agape. Backed by the Ishara Dancers with their little crafter pots on their hips, Prince JP told the story of an Indian fete and the sounds of the various drums at these events, complete with fireworks and confetti.

of the worst winter conditions forecast for this season. “We cultivated a strong marketing message by presenting show attendees with a range of offerings and special savings to help plan their sunny escape. With 365 beaches, a range of award-winning accommodations and attractions, we outlined a myriad of options to help lighten visitors’ moods and lift their spirits. With so many convenient airlift options from the United States to Antigua and Barbuda, our goal is to launch an aggressive marketing program during these extreme weather conditions to help propel bookings and capitalize on the untapped potential in this lucrative market,” said Derede Samuel-Whitlock, U.S. Director of Tourism in the United States.

Veteran chutney singer Harvey Gobin at the Bath Settlement ground on Saturday evening

danced to the chutney vibes in celebration. Among the judges for the competition were Rupert Singh; Chandini Rambalak; Jai Deo; Amar Ramassar; and Patricia Chase-Greene, as the chief judge.

The U.S. tourism team, joined by Rex Resorts and Sugar Ridge Resort, established a strong identity for the destination in promoting a number of “show only” special packages. The two-day Pennsylvania Travel Show attracted more than 10,000 consumers, travel professionals and media. During the next eight weeks, the U.S. team will hit the road to reinforce the destination’s presence at the NY Times Show and the Boston Globe Show, as well as adventure shows in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D. C., New Jersey and Connecticut. These are some of the areas identified as having with the highest concentration of wealth in the United States. (Antigua and Barbuda gov’t)


feature | week ending January 30, 2014


hen KI won the International Chutney Soca Monarch with ‘Single Forever’ in 2012, critics spoke highly of his potential as a future star, not just in the chutney arena, but as a soca singer as well. Since then, KI—whose real name Kris Veeshal Persad— has shown that his band JMC 3Veni is a force in the soca and chutney business. At his first solo concert in 2013, ‘I Am KI’, he demonstrated the ability to blend his talents as a bandleader, musician and singer. The concert featured Machel Montano, Drupatee and Neval Chatelal. KI was given the opportunity to be lead musician and producer of 3Veni. He used this experience to produce the band’s last five albums, and collaborated with Madmen Productions on the mas-

sive hit ‘In Front of Meh’ by Umi Marcano. Entering the Chutney Soca Monarch for the first time in 2010, KI placed fourth with the successful hit ‘Catch Meh Lovah’ (Sunita & Nadia). The 2011 Chutney Soca Monarch Competition saw him place third with his song ‘No More Rum Again’ with over 10,000 votes. He has since then became one of the most requested crossover performers at major festivals/carnivals worldwide. This Carnival, Persad will be entering the Chutney Soca Monarch competition. The songs he has released so far are ‘Professor Feter’, a collaboration with Nadia Batson and Lyrikal, and ‘Runaway’, a collaboration with Olatunji.

Veeshal Persad better known as KI. (TT Guardian photo)

in his father’s footsteps when he started playing the keyboard at the age of seven. At the age of eight, he won the inaugural Children of Mastana competition. He migrated to Toronto, Canada at nine. KI attended the El Socorro Hindu School. In Toronto, he attended the Academy for Technology in Toronto. KI relaxes with playing Fifa Soccer on his Playstation. In fact, 3Veni’s tour bus was modified so that KI could

play Fifa games to and from gigs. KI loves to cook most of all. He told TT media, “If I am not doing music or playing football, you will find me in the kitchen, always experimenting with something new or making one of my favourite dishes. My favourite foods include crab and callaloo, lasagna and oil down.” KI is also a bit of a movie buff and among his favourite flicks are ‘Coming to America’ and ‘Anchorman’. (TT Guardian)

Star of the Week

About KI

KI is the son of keyboardist, bandleader and producer Veerendra Persad, and followed


etermined and committed, Trisha Woodroffe, 25, has become one of Guyana’s star hockey athletes. Trisha started playing hockey at 14. Her passion for the sport was encouraged by her father, who is still very much involved in hockey and once represented Guyana. Trisha enjoys everything about the game, especially the high level of skills involved and challenges required. Investing a lot of her time and commitment, Trisha has been able to perfect her game, which has taken her to perform at international arenas. She has ventured to Trinidad, Barbados, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada, Puerto Rico and Argentina to showcase her hockey skills. Part of Guyana’s national hockey team, Trisha has been instrumental in helping her teammates cop numerous victories over the years. Regarding her future, the star athlete wants to continue competing at the highest level, once the opportunity presents itself. Her advice to youths is to be focused on their academic goals and, if involved in a sport, to ensure there is a balance.

sport week ending January 30, 2014



International matches may return to Albion ground in Guyana - after Gy$91 million upgrade By Avenash Ramzan


he Albion C o m m u n i t y Development Centre cricket ground in Guyana is enshrined in history as the venue where the first ever One Day International (ODI) to be played in the Caribbean was hosted. On March 16, 1977, Clive Lloyd’s West Indies side defeated an Asif Iqbal-led Pakistan team by four wickets to win that game, the first of six ODI games to be played at the venue. The last was on April 14, 1985, when West Indies thrashed New Zealand by 130 runs. Almost three decades have passed since that last game, but there is a high possibility of a return of international matches to the Ancient County, given the fact

that government is investing heavily into the infrastructure of the venue. On January 17 this year, works to install floodlights at the facility began, the first step toward ensuring the venue becomes an alternate to the Guyana National Stadium at Providence, East Bank Demerara, according to Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony. Speaking at a press briefing in the auditorium of the Albion Community Development Centre on Monday morning, Dr Anthony pointed out that the ultimate aim is to attract international matches, including Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) games, in the not too distant future. “When matches come, if this facility is devel-

Guyana's Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony (centre) makes a point at Monday’s breifing in the auditorium of the Albion Community Development Centre. Permanent Secretary Alfred King (third left) and other key stakeholders pay rapt attention (Photo: Avenash Ramzan)

oped to that [international] standard, then probably some of these matches can actually be hosted here and I think with the kind of cricketing public you have in Berbice, it will be a welcomed development,” the minister explained. Dr Anthony was quick to admit though that a lot more needs to be done to bring the facility up to the required standard. “It’s not a dream that cannot be fulfilled,” he emphasised.

He made reference to last year when the venue hosted the West Indies versus Bangladesh 50over game as part of initial efforts to bring more high profile games to the ground, and the county by extension. “We’re committed on the government’s side to keep constantly investing to make sure that this ground would reach at some point these international standards. So what you’re seeing here is a substantial commit-

ment from the government,” he pointed out. Minister Anthony also assured that the lighting towers would reach International Cricket Council (ICC) standards, as the same company that installed the floodlights at the Stadium– Mosco Lighting–will be doing the final installation later this year.


The design, procurement and supply of equipment by Mosco Lighting, which is al-

most 100 percent complete, the civil works, which is 95 percent complete, and the installation of the electrical components, which is five percent complete. Dr Anthony also highlighted that a floodlight cricket match will be hosted to commission the facility in March. The Guyana government has injected approximately Gy$91 million into the project. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

Kenyans claim Marathon titles in Trinidad

Medical personnel assist Kenya’s Leah Kigen as she hits the finish line at Sunday’s 33rd Annual TT International Marathon which ended at Whitehall in St Clair, Portof-Spain, Sunday. (Sean Nero/TT Guardian photo)


t was another Kenyan domination in the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon with Hilary Kimaiyo claiming the title among the men and Leah Kigen winning the women’s race which took place from the St Mary’s Junction in Freeport to the White

Hall in Port-of-Spain Sunday. Kimaiyo disposed of the large field to win in two hours, 23 minutes and 39 seconds ahead of another Kenyan Mark Chepes (2:24.09) with defending champ Juan Carlos Cardona of Colombia forced to settle for third

in 2:26.51. Kimaiyo was more than eight minutes shy of the course record (2:15.30), which was set by Pamenos Ballyntine of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Veteran Cantius Thomas was the first Trinidad and Tobago runner to cross the finish line in a time of 2:55.54 ahead of Dexter Kawhai (2:56.36). Former winner Curtis Cox was 10th (3:08.47). Meanwhile Leah Kigen was the first female to finish the 26.2 mile race. Kigen who claimed the win in the event last year, after the original winner Mary Akor was stripped of the title after being tested positive from drug use, clocked three

hours, 01 minute and 13 seconds. Kigen’s winning time was close to ten minutes slower than her 2013 effort (2:52.30). Canadian Karen Downey took the second spot (3:23.11) while Areita Martin of Jamaica was third (3:31.19). Wendy Shallow was the top local (3:50.08), as she defeated last year’s third place finisher Christine Regis (3:51.57). In spite of Kigen’s triumph, however, she was well off the course record of 2:43:17 which was set by Gitte Karlshoej of Denmark. After the race, Kigen said she was elated with her triumph and grateful for the overnight rains before the race. “I am feeling

good. It was nice because for the rain. I was expected to run 2:50 to 2:55, but it was hot and humid. Last year was more competitive because there was another Kenyan (in the race).” She explained that she ran alone for the first three mile mark and followed the male competitors. She said that because her training had been sidelined by injuries she could have done much better. Meanwhile, Tonya Nero won her third straight Trinidad and Tobago International Half Marathon at the Queen’s Park Savannah. Nero clocked 1 hour 20 minutes and 25 seconds (1:20.25) to finish the

13.1 mile race which ended in front of White Hall. The 25-year-old ran most of the race unchallenged and crossed the line more than 15 minutes ahead of another local Celine Lestrade (1:35.04) and Christina Laurent of Guadeloupe (135.32). Guyana’s Kelvin Johnson took the men’s half marathon in 1:15:17 and lead a 1-2 finish for his country as he beat compatriot and defending champion Lionel Dandrade into second (1:17.23). Elvis Turner (1:17.58) was the first local, taking third spot ahead of the Tobago Falcons team-mate Kade Sobers (1:20.05), who was second in 2013. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

Fraser-Pryce shines at Queens/Grace Jackson Meet in Jamaica


amaica’s triple Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce opened her season in style, easily winning the women's 60m open in 7.11 seconds at the Queen's/Grace Jackson Track and Field Meet at the National Stadium Saturday. Nesta Carter, the 100m World Championships bronze medallist also made a winning start blowing away the field in 6.52 seconds to highlight the 60th anniversary of the Queen's High School at this the 16th staging of the meet. Both Fraser-Pryce and Carter are using these races in preparation for the IAAF World Indoor Championships set for Poland in March.

Fraser-Pryce, with her usual bullet start, was never in danger and actually cruised home ahead of the powerful Carrie Russell, her MVP teammate, and Elain Thompson of UTech. Carter did likewise and won comfortably ahead of his MVP teammate Winston Barnes. Meanwhile, the region's fastest youngster, Zharnel Hughes of Kingston College (KC), made his long-awaited debut on local soil, winning his Class One 400m heat in a wonderful 48.80 seconds. The Carifta and Pan Am Junior 100m champion turned back Wolmer's Boys' Jaheel Hyde, the World Youth 110m hurdles champion, who did 49.16 seconds.

Triple Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (right) speeds to an easy victory in the women’s 60m open at the Queen’s/Grace Jackson Track and Field Meet at the National Stadium Saturday. At left is Magan Simmonds, of UTech. (Bryan Cummings/Jamaica Observer photo)

But the fastest time was done by the impressive-looking Nathon Allen

of St Jago, who clocked 47.96 seconds ahead of Jason Drake of Calabar

High in 48.66. KC's Karayme Bartley was third quickest with 48.76 seconds. KC's Donte Williams continued his good form, stopping the clock at 49.78 seconds in his heat. His teammate and Class Three record holder Nathaniel Bann was second-quickest with 49.95, with Calabar's Akeem Francis third fastest in 50.53 seconds. Calabar's Christopher Taylor cruised home in the Class Three 400m in 50.85, ahead of Javad Black of St Jago in 51.61 seconds. Edino Steele of Racers Track Club lowered the 400m men's open record of 46.90 to 46.75 seconds. Riker Hylton, also of Racers, was second-fastest, winning his heat in

47.74 seconds, with Josef Robertson of Cameron Blazer, third quickest in 47.86. MVP's Kaliese Spencer easily won the women's 400m open in 51.39 seconds ahead of teammates Anneisha McLaughlin in 52.77, and Christine Day with 53.66 seconds. Cameka Witter of St Andrew Technical High was quickest in the Class One girls 400m with 56.24 ahead of Shantae Green of Holmwood in 57.49. Ashley Williams of Holmwood captured the Class Two 400m in 56.66, which would have placed her a close second in Class One. Shanice Reid of St Jago was secondfastest in 58.19 seconds. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)


sport | week ending January 30, 2014

German to coach Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz until 2018


fter more than a month long of negotiations, with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Winfried Schäfer has agreed to a new contract which will see him resume duties, as the head coach of Jamaica's national senior team, until 2018. The German, who returned to his country for the Christmas holidays following the expiration of his initial four-month contract in November, was slated to arrive in Jamaican Tuesday. "Schäfer returns at two o'clock in Montego Bay on Condor Airlines directly from Germany to resume his job, as we have been able to reach an agreement," JFF President Captain Horace Burrell disclosed to Jamaican media earlier this week. Schäfer was originally appointed for a four-month period in an effort to rescue the country's ailing 2014 World

team in helping to reshape and restructure football going forward. It is not going to be business as usual." At the top of the list of the recommendations to be made by the technical committee is the appointment of a new technical director of the country's football programme---a post which has been vacant since July 2013 following the resignation of Alfredo Montesso.

International experience

Jamaica Football Federation President Captain Horace Burrell (at left) and Winfried Schäfer. (Jamaica Gleaner photo)

Cup campaign, but it proved too little too late as the Reggae Boyz finished at the bottom of the Hexagonal. To enhance the Reggae Boyz's chances of qualifying for Russia 2018, Schäfer's re-

turn is set to be followed by numerous changes. "There are going to be some changes, (such as) his assistants," Burrell shared. "Schäfer will be working alongside the JFF technical

The 64-year-old Schäfer has coached several German clubs, with his international coaching experience coming at the helm of the Thailand and Cameroon national teams. He led the latter to a victory in the 2002 African Nations Cup. But what has impressed Burrell most is his work ethic. "On one occasion, he drove from Montego Bay to Kingston to watch a game and then drove back down to Montego Bay the same evening to catch

a night match," Burrell recounted. "Such is the nature of the man in terms of his interest and enthusiasm, and having spent the Christmas with his family, I expect to see an even more energised Schäfer coming back." Schäfer was so keen on staying on as Jamaica's head coach that he went as far as seeking sponsorship in his own country, a venture which Burrell is still optimistic will bear fruit. "He is cognisant of the fact that Jamaica is not a rich country and he also believes in brand Jamaica," Burrell said. "He is a well-known football icon in Germany, so he proceeded to use his clout to get additional sponsorship from Germany. He spoke directly with two German sports goods manufacturers and, although not yet confirmed, it is looking good." (Excerpted from Jamaica Gleaner)

Baptiste doping hearing postponed T

he Disciplinary Committee hearing for a positive doping test by Trinidad’s national sprint queen KellyAnn Baptiste has been postponed to a date yet to be determined. This was announced Monday by Allan Baboolal, Secretary General, of the National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA). Baptiste, who entered the World Championships last year as one of TT’s brightest medal hopes, had to withdraw from the competition due to a positive drug test. It was a devastating blow to the for-

mer Louisiana State University student who had been flying the flag for TT's female athletes and in 2012 was named Sportswoman of the Year at numerous local awards. Her Disciplinary Committee hearing— subsequent to a test of her “B” sample—was scheduled to be held before the end of this month, but Baboolal revealed it has been shifted “indefinitely”. “That has been postponed indefinitely. I can’t say when it will be held,” Baboolal said Monday. Asked whether the result of Baptiste’s “B” sample has been determined, he said: “I can’t

tell you that. When we get all the info it will be made public in a press release or you can call back,” he concluded. Meanwhile, fellow sprinter Semoy Hackett, who also pulled out of the 2013 World Championships, is also awaiting her hearing for a positive doping test. Hackett, who had an adverse analytical finding for the banned substance methylhexaneamine in 2012 and was given a six-month retroactive ban, tested positive again for the same substance at a 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, in Iowa, in July, which re-

sulted in a provisional ban. The NAAA D i s c i p l i n a r y Committee, however, exonerated Hackett and allowed her to run at the 2013 National Championships where she earned selection for the World Championships in Moscow last year. The IAAF, though, has expressed disagreement with the decision by the NAAA to allow Hackett to lift the ban and appealed the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. That hearing is expected to take place towards the end of February. (TT Newsday)

TT’s national sprint queen Kelly-Ann Baptiste. (TT Guardian file photo)

International bodybuilding Pro athlete for Hugh Ross Classic 2014 in Guyana


he Hugh Ross Classic (HRC) organising committee has announced that International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro athlete Jeff ‘Classic’ Beckham will be the guest poser at the fourth edition of the Malta Supreme Hugh Ross Classic set for March 29 at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) in Guyana. HRC Chairman, renowned Guyanese and international athlete, Hugh Ross, has said that the 32-yearold Beckham was a Musclemania Pro and the two would have competed together in the past. “What we at the HRC are looking at is someone who is a phenom-

enal athlete and who we believe will do more than just appearing on stage, come the night of March 29. We are aiming to have Jeff here in Guyana a few days before the competition to interact with our athletes and to do some other things we will be tying up shortly,” Ross said. Beckham stands at 6’1 in height and currently packs 280 pounds on a very aesthetic frame. He became an IFBB Pro after winning the overall title at the NPC’s NY Team Universe in 2012. Fans and followers of the sport will be in for a treat, according to Ross, since Beckham is excited to make his debut trip to these shores. “I can assure all that Jeff Beckham will be

Jeff ‘Classic’ Beckham will be the guest poser at the fourth edition of the Malta Supreme Hugh Ross Classic set for March 29 in Guyana.

here not only to wow the crowd, but he is also a very friendly and a people person,” said Ross. Interaction with local athletes who will be competing has been going well, according to coordinator Lee Baptiste. “A number of forms would have been distributed to date and the response has been very encouraging. We are scheduled to pay a visit to Berbice this Saturday; we’ve met athletes in the city already and the interaction would be ongoing. We are also on the pulse with regard to Linden,” Lee explained. Other areas, including West Demerara, Baptiste disclosed, will be visited shortly as they seek to maximise participation at the event. There would be

three female categories of competition–Female Bodybuilding which will target athletes who are of a more muscular body type; Miss Figure which will be for athletes who are symmetrical and toned and the Miss Bikini contest will be for the softer and more feminine eye pleasing type of figure. The male categories are Bantamweight– up to 65kgs (143lbs), Lightweight–up to 70kgs (144-154lbs), Welterweight–up to 75kgs (155-165lbs), Light Middleweight–up to 80kgs (166-176lbs), Heavyweight (176 and over). The respective category winners will then compete in the overall when the winner will be crowned Mr HRC 2014. (Guyana Times)



week ending January 30, 2014 |

TT’s Warriors to oppose Iran


he Trinidad and Tobago football team, dubbed “the Soca Warriors”, will be heading to Brazil, not to compete in this year’s FIFA World Cup, but to face Iran in a friendly international at Sao Paolo on June 8. The game will take place at the Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo (scheduled to be completed by April 15), which will be hosting the World Cup Group A opening match between hosts Brazil and Croatia (on June 12). The Stephen Hartcoached TT outfit will only have four days to prepare for their matchup against Iran, as they are carded to face hosts Argentina in a friendly meeting on June 4 in La Plata. According to a media release from the TT Football Association (TTFA), this game arose after initial discussions between the local governing body, an international match agent and Iran coach Carlos Queiroz (the former Portugal, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Real

Guyanese batsman looking forward to stint in TT, Canada By Ravendra Madholall

F TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee. (TT Newsday file photo)

Madrid tactician and Manchester United assistant). “I think the match comes at a really good time and will be a fantastic opportunity for our current national senior team to experience playing such a game just mere days before the start of the World Cup and in the country where all the action will be taking place. I am excited by this and it will allow our country’s national flag to be flown in Brazil which is always a very proud moment,” said TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

ormer Guyana Under-19 batsman, Krishna Deosaran, is keen to make a big impression in Trinidad and Tobago from this week, representing Endeavours Sports Club, in the country’s limited-over competition. The elegant left-hander, who also captained Guyana at the regional under-15 level, stated that for the past eight consecutive years, he has enjoyed his game there and wants to do well in Canada again later this year. On his last visit (2013) to the North American continent, Deosaran played for Vikings Cricket Club in the Toronto and District Cricket Association Divisional competition and featured for East Coast Cricket Club in the Ontario Softball Cricket League tournament. “Definitely, I [am] looking to do well here

in Trinidad and Tobago; I have enjoyed my game over the years and want to perform to the best of my ability again; The cricket is hugely competitive and that has given me the confidence to play professionally with the aspiration of wearing Guyana’s colours at the highest level,” Deosaran commented via email. Deosaran, who plays for Lusignan Cricket Club in Guyana, noted that the conditions in TT and Canada are very challenging, but he is always willing to adapt quickly. “That is one of the biggest challenges as a cricketer, who willing to play any part of the world; the conditions sometime can be a discouraging factor, but I am never deterred by that, as I love playing the game; in Trinidad it is always warm, but Canada the weather can be very chilly,” the 25-year-old Deosaran related.

Former Guyana Under-19 batsman Krishna Deosaran

Having registered two centuries for Vikings Cricket Club during his four-year stint, Deosaran was also overwhelmed with his performances, and thanked the people who would have contributed to his success in various ways. In his final year for Guyana at the under-19 level, Deosaran compiled an attractive century (115) against Barbados at the former international venue, Bourda in

2006. He played a vital role in the batting department and Guyana eventually emerged as champion under the leadership of first-class batsman Steven Jacobs. Deosaran is now still anxious to represent Guyana at the senior level and believes consistency is of paramount importance. He mentioned that the opportunity to play in Canada and among a number of international cricketers, also gave him the assurance to don the golden arrow head colour. “Yes, I want to play for my country at the highest level again; I try to travel around to play competitive cricket and that is helping me to focus more; I played in Trinidad and Tobago before I come up to Canada; the cricket in both countries is always magnificent; so I am looking forward to make runs on a regular basis,” Deosaran said.

Confident Guyanese cricketers in TT for Super50 By Avenash Ramzan


yeing their 10th regional 50-over title, a confident bunch of senior Guyana cricketers departed their homeland Tuesday to compete in the West Indies Cricket Board’s NAGICO Super50 competition, which bowls off on Thursday. Led by the hardhitting all-rounder Christopher Barnwell, the 14 players, coach Esaun Crandon and manager Alvin Johnson left for Trinidad and Tobago-where all matches in the competition will be hosted-a fit and enthusiastic group, eager to swing into action on Friday against ICC Associate side Ireland in a day/night fixture at the Queen’s Park Oval from 13:50 hours.

Barnwell, speaking to the media prior to leaving Guyana, said the players are eagerly looking forward to winning the competition after last tasting success way back in 2005. The energetic cricketer is adamant that the last month of intense preparations will serve them well in Trinidad and Tobago as they are fully focussed on the task at hand. Apart from a rigorous training camp, the players were led through high-intensity sessions with Guyana Defence Force trainers, Patrick King and Carl Stephenson. L e g - s p i n n e r Devendra Bishoo, who dominated the Intercounty competition which was used to select the team, said he “feels

WICB supports new ICC ruling


he West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is projecting a one hundred percent increase in revenue over the next eight years, if new principles giving more control over cricket’s future to England, India and Australia are voted in.

The WICB has issued a statement backing the principles put forward on day one of the ICC executive Board meeting in Dubai, and said it had engaged in “extensive discussions” before making its decision. (Jamaica Observer)

Coach Esaun Crandon (right), Chairman of Selectors Rayon Griffith (left) and manager Alvin Johnson (second left) pose with part of the squad at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport moments before departure from Guyana on Tuesday. (Guyana Times photo)

very comfortable with his game at the moment,” and will be using the tournament to work his way back into the West Indies team. Ace batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan, who has been overlooked by the West Indies selectors of recent, said he is keen on helping Guyana win the tournament, but will also look to impress those in authority as he seeks to regain his spot on the regional side. Barnwell, Bishoo and Sarwan apart, the likes of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin, Veerasammy Permaul, Leon Johnson

and Royston Crandon have all represented the West Indies at the senior level and are expected to play crucial roles should Guyana land the title. Guyana’s 14-man squad reads: Robin Bacchus, Trevon Griffith, Leon Johnson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (vice-captain), Narsingh Deonarine, Christopher Barnwell (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Royston Crandon, Assad Fudadin, Anthony Bramble (w/k), Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton and Paul Wintz.

Live stream

Meanwhile, ESPN Caribbean will pres-

ent live, exclusive coverage of the tournament from January 30 until February 16. The matches held in Trinidad will air live from 13:50 hours (Eastern Caribbean Time) on the ESPN Caribbean and ESPN 2 Caribbean television networks and on ESPN Play ( – ESPN’s multiscreen live and on-demand broadband service. The competition is the West Indies Cricket Board’s premier limitedovers event. Defending champions, Windward Islands, head Zone A along with Jamaica, Guyana and foreign guests, Ireland.

Zone B consists of last year’s beaten finalist, Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), as well as the hosts, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Leeward Islands. Matches will be played at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Shaw Park in Tobago as the teams vie for the coveted Clive Lloyd Trophy, named after the revered batsman and former West Indies skipper. The top two teams will advance from each zone into the semi-finals. These will be held on February 12 and 13 with the finals slated for February 15. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

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


Talented Asque sisters set to volley for Jamaica W hen Jamaica's senior women's volley-

ball team take to the court in May in Canada for the final leg of the

World Championships play-offs, history could be created as well. The talented Asque sisters, Simone and Gillian, could be on the team, thus making it the first time in the history of Jamaica's volleyball, two sisters are playing at the same time. The Asques, who presently hold Jamaican, American and Canadian citizenships, chose to represent Jamaica at the behest of their mother Sandra Asque, who was born in Jamaica, as well as president of the Jamaica Volleyball

- at World Championships in Canada

Gilliam Asque (right) and Simone Asque. (Jamaica Observer file photos)

Association (JaVA), Steve Brown. Simone, who is 23 and is presently playing professionally in

Denmark, is a powerful left side hitter, while her 21-year-old sibling Gillian is described as the more versatile of the

two, because of her ability to play technique defence and middle blocker, and on either hitting side. They are expected in the island in late March to join up with other members of the national team for a weekend tournament and then at the end of April for a national training camp. The confirmation of these two players has come as a boost to the association, which is awaiting confirmation from at least three other top players to join forces with the local talents. (Jamaica Observer)

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