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CCTV for HDC estates in Trinidad Page 14




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WEEK ENDING August 22, 2013

Guyana commissions multimillion dollar bioethanol demonstration plant in Berbice See story on page 7

GuySuCo technician Sharma Dwarka (left) doing a demonstration in the presence of President Donald Ramotar (second left); Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy (second right); National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) Director Oudho Homenauth (third right) and others at the opening of the Gy$85 million bioethanol plant on Tuesday at the Albion sugar factory in Berbice, Guyana

PM Portia in China as Jamaica strengthens relations with Asian giant Page 2

WICB happy with success of Limacol CPL

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NEWS | week ending August 22, 2013

Amerindian groups urge PM Portia in China as Jamaica strengthens relations with Asian giant Guyana’s opposition to A support hydro project


e v e r a l Amerindian organisations in Guyana have called on the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to end its game of political football with the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project and to return to the discussion table with the government to make the project a reality. The call by the entities come ahead of the commencement of Amerindian Heritage Month and on the heels of stern condemnation from civil society organisations and other groups with respect to the opposition parties’ posture on the project. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, three of the Amerindian activist associations said that they strongly support the project as it would significantly aid national development.

National Toshaos Council Chairman Derrick John expressed the view that the nonsupport exhibited by the APNU has crippled the development of Guyana while stymieing efforts aimed at supporting initiatives that are good and environmentallyfriendly for the country. “If we were to pursue the LCDS (Low Carbon Development Strategy) and make Guyana a green economy, we feel the Amaila Falls play a big role in this.” He called on all stakeholders and political parties to be mature and put petty politics aside and work together in the best interest of the country. “Communities would have benefited from the access road by having better transportation service and job opportunities for communities.” M e a n w h i l e , National Amerindian

D e v e l o p m e n t Foundation (NADF) President Ashton Simon also expressed disappointment about the ruthless political axing of the Amaila project. He said the NADF is of the view that strategies by the combined opposition, the APNU and the Alliance For Change (AFC) are more centred on an ambition to cripple the development strategy of the government, and to demonstrate their existence as a power house. Simon said axing the project is another milestone in Guyana’s failure to politically mesh ideas and support a national project designed to propel its economic growth and be on par with other developed countries. The Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAMOG) President Peter Persaud said the project is not a political football, but a flagship project of Guyana’s LCDS where, upon its completion, the people of Guyana would have the benefits of cheap, reliable and clean power, and Guyana will be positioned on the threshold of economic growth and expansion. “Guyana’s peoples are terribly disappointed with APNU’s irresponsible behaviour,” he said. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

s Jamaica and China celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations, the small Caribbean island hopes to solidify strong existing ties while it builds on what it sees as outstanding trade opportunities with the economic giant from Asia. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller arrived in Beijing Tuesday for a five-day official visit to the communist country— a visit which Jamaica’s Ambassador to China Ralph Thomas described as “very important and significant” for Jamaica. The Chinese have rapidly expanded their economic footprint in Jamaica over the last decade, with billions of dollars in foreign direct investment to the island. Kingston is the Caribbean headquarters for China Harbour Engineering Company, which has been contracted to conduct major infrastructural projects in the country. Another huge Chinese investor, Complant, purchased three sugar factories and leased 30,000 hectares of cane-growing lands from the Jamaican government while committing to invest Ja$156 million in improvements in fields and factories over a four-year period. Simpson Miller was scheduled to meet with representatives of both companies Wednesday as part of a jam-packed itinerary that also includes meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. She is accompanied by a delegation, including Foreign Affairs Minister

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (right) is greeted by Assistant Foreign Minister, People’s Republic of China, Zheng Zeguang (left); and Jamaica’s Ambassador to China Ralph Thomas (JIS Photo)

AJ Nicholson; Water, Environment Minister Robert Pickersgill; as well as Dr Carlton Davis, special envoy and chief advisor. Business opportunities A small business delegation, including Jamaica Chamber of Commerce head Francis Kennedy, has also accompanied the prime minister to explore trade and investment opportunities with officials and business interests in China. The Jamaican Embassy in Beijing has arranged a match-making forum in collaboration with the China Council for International Investment Promotion, to link the business people from Jamaica with counterpart Chinese companies based on interests. “It’s a very strong signal that Jamaica is open for business and serious attention is being paid to this area of development with our largest trading partner,” Thomas said. “There are opportunities to export for the Jamaican private sector who are represented on this trip, and many will be looking to find better

ways to meet the needs,” Thomas said, suggesting that there is particularly a great opportunity for Jamaicans to expand the consumption of coffee in China. “Blue Mountain coffee is well known at this point. With over 1.4 billion [people], just a small portion of the market in China could be very significant for Jamaica,” the ambassador said. Thomas has been serving in China for less than a month. He replaced Courtenay Rattray, who was appointed Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He was reportedly personally selected by Simpson Miller in her mission to have an envoy there who fully understands economics and who can negotiate meaningful business deals for Jamaica. This is the prime minister’s first visit to China as head of government and follows bilateral talks with President Xi, who met with Caribbean Community leaders in Trinidad and Tobago in June. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


week ending August 22, 2013 |


Views | week ending August 22, 2013

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Social inclusion


he Caribbean joined the rest of the world in observing International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on August 9, 2013. The day is usually set aside by the United Nations to promote and endorse the rights enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). It also presents an opportunity to honour diverse indigenous cultures and recognise the achievements and valuable contributions of an estimated 370 million indigenous peoples worldwide. This year’s commemoration was observed under the theme, “Indigenous Peoples Building Alliances: Honouring Treaties, Agreements and other Constructive Arrangements”, which was inspired by the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, an educational advocacy campaign organised by the Haudenosaunee First Nation People to honour their first treaty concluded with Dutch immigrants in 1613. For the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), human development is not possible where discrimination, injustice, and social exclusion prevail, and where there is a lack of recognition that all groups bring value to society with their different worldviews. Therefore, expanding the rights, voices, participation and opportunities for indigenous peoples is essential, not only as objectives in their own right, but also crucial to any society that aims to generate the kind of inclusive development that will build communities that are more just, diverse and cohesive. Further, empowerment and meaningful participation of individuals and civil society in governance systems are necessary to tackle inequality and promote social inclusion. As pointed out by the UN, there is a general view that a key building block of good governance is empowerment, with enhanced and meaningful participation in decision-making processes, and that in particular, a focus should be placed on populations who may in fact lack access to power including indigenous peoples. The theme was quite fitting as in most parts of the world indigenous peoples are not given the kind of recognition they deserve. They are not included as part of national development efforts and in effect they are treated as ‘second class’ citizens. In some cases they face annihilation and are heavily discriminated against, killed, and forced to leave their lands. In Guyana, the Caricom country with the largest indigenous population, this is certainly not the case as the government there has put the necessary systems in place where indigenous peoples’ rights are protected fully. The constitution of Guyana, the supreme law of the land, and the Amerindian Act of 2006 provide the legal basis for the protection and promotion of indigenous people’s rights and their self-determination. Additionally, Amerindians in Guyana are provided with countless opportunities to progress and benefit from the national pie just like the rest of the population. For example, there is evidence to show that there have been tremendous improvements in the areas of education, health and infrastructural development over the past two decades. Presently, Amerindian people have access to services that were once denied to them or limited, and life is general is better for most of them. However, this is not to say that all is well or all the goals have been accomplished. There are still Amerindian communities that remain in vulnerable positions. Persons are still complaining that they do not have access to basic social services. For example, there is need for more health facilities and health professionals to provide quality care and treatment to persons; government still has much more work to do in terms of infrastructural development in these communities so that every day life for indigenous folks would become easier; and there is still need to explore additional ways and means of improving the economic fortunes of indigenous peoples. That said, Guyana has indeed come a far way and could in fact be used as a model by other nations with similar experiences. Amerindians can boast of the fact that they are included in every aspect of national development and their views are well respected and noted in the national conversations.

These two young ladies got the attention of Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar during her recent visit to east Port-of-Spain to update residents on her government’s move to tackle crime in the area. (FB photo)

Caribbean academic presents compelling case for reparation from Britain


leading Caribbean intellectual has presented a compelling argument of why Britain should pay to former colonies in the region, reparations for slavery and native genocide. Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders at their summit in Trinidad and Tobago in July agreed to the formation of the Commission that will be chaired by Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and include St Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. The regional countries have also engaged the services of a prominent British human rights law firm to assist in the matter. “We are focusing on Britain because Britain was the largest owners of slaves at Emancipation in the 1830s. The British made the most money out of slavery and the slave trade—they got the lion share. And, importantly, they knew how to convert slave profits into industrial profits,” said Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI). Speaking at a lecture Tuesday night on the title of his latest book, “Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide”, the academic detailed how the

British government and British citizens used slavery to enrich themselves. He further noted that while at Emancipation, reparations were paid to former slave owners, the slaves got nothing. Professor Beckles argued that the reparation monies stimulated the British economy for half a century after Emancipation, but “in the Caribbean, the islands were descended into poverty after Emancipation. “And in Britain, 50 years of growth because the compensation money was reinvested in the British economy and stimulated the economic development of the company,” he said, adding “the British government built this system (slavery), they created fiscal policies to manage it, they created financial systems, they legislated slavery, they administrated slavery, the government owned the slaves, and, importantly, the British government is the custodian of the wealth of the nation. “We believe that we now have to repair the damage and this is the final point. This is why now repartitions is important,” Professor Beckles said, noting that Caribbean governments were now spending up to 80 per cent of their expenditure on education and health. “After 300 hundred years of taking their labour, exploiting their labour and en-

riching themselves to build themselves into the most powerful nation on earth, they have left Caribbean peoples illiterate and unhealthy, which means that the governments today have to clean up illiteracy and clean up the illhealth.” Professor Beckles said that the British were good at keeping records and hence the wealth derived from slavery is traceable. He rebutted some of the arguments likely to be advanced by Britain as it resists paying reparations to the region. Professor Beckles spoke of how the exploitation of the region under slavery resulted in the underdevelopment of the region’s human resource, infrastructure, and economy. He noted that after 300 years of colonisation, when in 1962 the British left Jamaica at Independence, 80 per cent of the Caribbean nation’s people were functionally illiterate. Professor Beckles also spoke of the impact on the family, and mentioned the high rates of diabetes and hypertension in the region and the ways in which black people in the Caribbean and Africa respond to medicine for these conditions. “These are the kinds of things we speak about when we speak about reparations,” Professor Beckles said in reference to the vestiges of slavery and colonisation. (Excerpt from CMC)



week ending August 22, 2013 |

TCCF’s fundraiser draws massive support in Mississauga STORY AND PHOTO BY NADIA HUSSEIN


undreds turned out to Wildwood Park over the weekend to enjoy a picnic and at the same time support a worthy cause that would ultimately benefit scores of sick children from the Caribbean, who cannot afford vital medical treatment and which is not available in their homeland. Hosted by The Caribbean Children Foundation (TCCF), the 10th annual ‘Caribbean Flava Summa Lime’ on Saturday in Mississauga was organised that admission of only Cdn$5 was charged for those aged five and up with all proceeds being donated to the cause. Throughout the day, attendees were treated to entertainment from various performers. David Record, an internationally renowned Canadian rapper with Jamaican roots, was one of the singers who graced the stage. “I like to support the community,” said Record. This year marked the first time Record performed for the TCCF. Another singer at the event was Stanley Mann who brought along his chutney vibes. As well, the crowd enjoyed talent from the Maya Shakti Dance Company and Rajkumarie Academy of Dance. New to the event this year was a silent auction. Patrons bid on bountiful product baskets courtesy of companies such as Grace Kennedy and Mr. Goudas. TCCF is a Canadian charity that assists poor children from the Caribbean suffering from life-threatening ail-

Trinity from the Rajkumarie Academy of Dance entertained the crowd

ments for which no treatment is available in their home country. To date, TCCF has raised and paid out more than Cdn$1 million for the care of 56 children from various Caribbean countries such as Guyana, Trinidad, and Jamaica. An admirable fact about the foundation is that it’s managed entirely by volunteers, meaning there are no administrative costs. The charity will be celebrating its 13th anniversary with an Angel Gala on Saturday, September 28th at Empire Banquet Hall. Admission is Cdn$40. All are invited to come out and support.

6 | week ending August 22, 2013



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Guyana commissions multimillion dollar bioethanol demonstration plant in Berbice


uyana’s first bioethanol demonstration plant was commissioned by President Donald Ramotar and Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy at the Albion Sugar Factory on Tuesday. The Gy$85 million plant funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank-Japanese Special Fund for Sustainable Energy and Climate Change and the government of Guyana was developed through a technical cooperation. It was designed to fulfil three primary objectives: demonstrate the production of fuel grade ethanol locally, provide fuel for future demonstration of use of ethanol as a vehicle source, and develop the facility for training of local personnel in bio-fuel technologies. In delivering the feature address, President Ramotar said the plant signals the great potential that lies within the country’s energy sector. In wake of the many challenges faced by the sugar industry, the president remains a strong believer that it is the gateway to greater industries, as

he alluded to alternative sources of energy. “It has remained fundamentally the producer of raw sugar, but it has enormous potential, so we can produce many other things from the sugar industry. One of it is fuel,” he said. Bioethanol, like hydro power energy, is an alternative source of cheap and reliable energy, which is critical to the development of the country’s commercial sector. The usage of alternative energy also aids in the fight against climate change and global warming, the president stressed.

Energy policy

Dr Ramsammy said while Guyana has produced bioethanol before, it is the first time the country has produced almost pure bioethanol. “DDL and others have been producing ethanol at a purity of about 95 percent...but this plant is producing greater than 99 percent.” The bio-ethanol produced by the plant will be used in GuySuCo’s laboratories and industrial processes. Further, a small

number of vehicles from the sugar corporation and the agriculture ministry would begin using an E10 mixture – a 10 percent ethanol blend of gasoline.


The demonstration plant is a two-component system–the first produces hydrous ethanol (95 percent from molasses) and the second; anhydrous ethanol (99.9 percent) which uses membrane technology. These systems were designed by Green Bio of Porto Alegre in Brazil and the second by White Fox from Calgary, Canada. The plant will be run by GuySuCo technician Sharma Dwarka. “I do know that the Prime Minister’s Office has been working on the Transport Fuel Policy that includes at a minimal, an E10 formula in the future. The plant will allow us to do the feasibility study on the use of E10 in Guyana,” Minister Ramsammy reported. He said his ministry continues to push for an energy policy which has been long in the making. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Linden-Lethem road crucial to boosting Guyana’s trade – Dookhoo


he Linden-Lethem road is among the major stumbling blocks hindering trade with extra-regional partners, former Private Sector Commission Chairman Ramesh Dookhoo said at last week’s National Economic Forum. According to him, the road has the potential to “bring the entire South America to Guyana”. Improving the 454-kilometre stretch of road is among projects listed on the Priority Integration Projects Agenda of the South American Council of Infrastructure and Planning (COSIPLAN) of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). In addition to the deplorable state of the Linden-Lethem thoroughfare, Dookhoo said the Takutu Bridge was not designed to facilitate the transport of containers from Guyana to Brazil, asking the question, “Do you know that a container truck cannot cross the Takutu going to Brazil, but coming to Guyana it can?” Citing an example, he said NAMILCO exports

by the authorities in North America and these result in frustration and some have left the business entirely,” he complained.

Institutional constraints

Former Private Sector Commission Chairman Ramesh Dookhoo flour to Brazil; however, containers are forced to offload in Lethem before the goods are exported to Brazil, because of the aforementioned issue. Turning his attention to the drug trade in the country, he called for the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) to enhance its monitoring capacity at ports of exit, noting that the drug trade is affecting the commercial sector. “We have been profiled as a high-risk nation when it comes to exports, especially to North America. Legitimate exporters are sometimes profiled highly

While the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has done well in its interdiction efforts, the former PSC chairman underscored the importance of a pro-active Customs and Trade administration that put forward initiatives that facilitate greater trade between Guyana, the rest of South America and the Caribbean and North America. He explained that the clearance of goods out of Guyana is done in a slothful manner, resulting in a backlog. According to Dookhoo, the lone scanner available is one of the main contributing factors. “The single-window programme is now five years old but the bureaucracy continues. Too many systems remain manual and automation needs to take over quickly. We do not need a Gy$5 million project to submit customs documentation electronically,” he lamented. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

U.S. backs Guyana’s Amaila hydro project - urges all parties to work in country’s interest


n its strongest statement yet on Guyana’s Amaila Falls project, the United States government on Monday urged all political parties to come together in the national interest to support the investment “that will improve the lives of its people with less expensive and more reliable energy”. In an op-ed column, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana D Brent Hardt said the demise of this project is likely to diminish Guyana’s future attractiveness to international investors, and make future investments in the energy sector riskier and more costly. He prefaced his column by referencing the recently concluded investment conference organised by the Canadian high commissioner with the support of the U.S., EU, and UK diplomatic missions and an array of local private sector organisations and enterprises. He said at the conference, participants were able to examine both the investment opportunities available in Guyana and some of the obstacles investors face in pursuing opportunities in Guyana.

Political stability

“One of the most critical elements for investors is political stability and reliability over the term of an investment. They need to know that a project, once launched, will enjoy continuing support regardless of po-

U.S. Ambassador to Guyana D Brent Hardt

tential political shifts. “Such political stability and reliability requires political leadership that is willing to pursue policies that will advance long-term national interests, create new opportunities for people, and improve the standard of living for all,” Hardt said. According to him, over the past month, the apparent demise of the Amaila project had vividly demonstrated just how these issues can directly affect economic development and progress. “Sadly, the country’s political parties have thus far been unable to come together to support a project that offers all citizens–of all parties–the prospect of lower electricity rates and more reliable energy. The demise of this project is likely to diminish Guyana’s future attractiveness to international investors, and make future investments in the energy sector riskier and

more costly.” Hardt said while the window to prevent such an occurrence is small and closing fast, “we call on all political parties to come together in the national interest to support a project that all parties have long agreed is necessary to boost Guyana’s competitiveness and improve the lives of its people with less expensive and more reliable energy.” Since Sithe Global pulled out of the project last week, government had been trying all out to get the initiative back on stream. In its statement, Sithe Global had said that because the project was not supported by all three political parties, it cannot move forward, despite 16 years of work and over US$16 million of independent Sithe Global expenditures and more than US$15 million of government expenditures. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)


News | week ending August 22, 2013

Guyana’s Canada-supported mining Trinidad looking school begins first set of training at tougher anti-

gang laws



From left: GGMC’s acting commissioner Rickford Vieira, Guyana’s Natural Resources Minister Robert Persaud, Charge d’ Affaires of the Canadian High Commission in Guyana Daniel Joly and representative of the GGDMA William Woolford at the launch of the first mining training course (GINA photo)

he newly established Guyana Mining School and Training Centre Inc. has officially begun its first training programme being delivered by Canada’s College of the North Atlantic. The first batch includes 15 Guyanese who are being trained in courses relevant to the mining sector. A ceremony to launch the programme took place last week at the Guyana Forestry Commission in Georgetown. In his address at that event, Guyana’s Natural Resources Minister Robert Persaud stressed the importance of the school’s operations to provide skilled human resources for the booming industry. He explained that programmes would be implemented to boost the knowledge and performance of staff within various capacities and “help to take care of the gaps” in the mining sector.


He noted too that the school would ensure a well-rounded industry and set the natural resource sector down the path to operate within a modernised arena. Persaud added that building the human capacity in this regard will put Guyana in the position to be on par with the rest of the world in the near future. Persaud also promised that his ministry will continue to support the diploma and degrees being offered at the University of Guyana to augment the mining school’s programmes. “We will continue to partner…I don’t want the mining school to be seen as taking away from what we have, it is to bring some synergy,” he indicated. He explained that the school does not focus exclusively on gold, diamond and mineral mining but also caters for the country’s oil and gas sec-

tor, which possesses tremendous potential. Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) representative William Woolford said the group recognises that none of the technical institutes in Guyana provide training dedicated to the development of the small and medium-scale mining sector. He noted that, as such, these long overdue programmes are needed, particularly at these institutions. “We need immediate training for general managers of gold and mining operations to help operate and better process equipment,” he stressed. This, he further highlighted, will aid the recovery of more natural resources. Woolford added that training for the small and medium-scale mining sector is a priority for GGDMA. Acting commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Rickford Vieira pointed out that the

courses allow for more attention to be paid to education and research, helping various stakeholders in the sector to develop knowledge in their respective capacities. Meantime, Canadian High Commission Charge d’Affaires Daniel Joy underscored that skills development for job creation is vital for the future of the extractive industry. “As a leading mining country, with Canadian companies active in over 100 countries in the world, Canada recognises that we should play a role in promoting socially and environmentally responsible mining practices,” he stated. Participants in the training include miners, and field and technical staff within the mining sector. The course will cover areas such as confined space entry awareness, fall protection, and transportation of dangerous goods. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

TT’s Attorney General Anand Ramlogan (TT Guardian file photo)

rinidad and Tobago’s Attorney General Anand Ramlogan is reviewing anti-gang legislation with a view of strengthening it, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal said Tuesday. He made the comment during a site visit to road-paving works in Barrackpore, which falls within his Oropouche East constituency. At the time he was responding to questions on whether he felt the release of 12 suspected gang members in east Port-of-Spain was a repeat of what happened during the 2011 state of emergency, when more than 400 alleged gang members were released without charge because of a lack of evidence. “In this case I think about 112 persons were detained, about 50 to 40 per cent were released,” said Moonilal. “One trusts the police will have enough evidence and information to prosecute certain persons. About 50 persons or so may face prosecution.” He admitted that several issues would have influenced the police’s decision to the release the suspects. “It speaks of course to other issues of detection and the criminal offences, in particular the nature of those offences and the requirements of the prosecution to conduct a case,” he said.

“These are matters that, you know, we will continue to look at, but I am happy that at least 50 persons were, so the police believe they have sufficient evidence, working with the DPP, to undertake prosecution.” On threats of legal action by the 12 freed suspects, he said legal action was a right of all citizens who feel they were unjustly treated. However, he said the people who were arrested were well known to law enforcement officers and their sobriquets is “well-known suspects.” Alluding to the setting up of a police/army post at Duncan Street, he said there was a lot of gang-related violence in east Portof-Spain. “But I think we are undertaking a review of the gang legislation and the Attorney General will look at this matter to see how we can strengthen that law,” he said. “But in absence of that I am very happy that 50 to 60 of the persons they have held, they feel comfortable that they can prosecute.” Satisfied with the police efforts to arrest gang rivalry in the east Port-ofSpain area, Moonilal said he was hopeful that in the new session of Parliament more legislation and harsher penalties would be introduced to assist the police in the fight against crime. (TT Guardian)

National Hardware opens new store in Guyana


a t i o n a l Hardware has recently opened a new branch of their store on Water Street, Geogetown, Guyana. The new branch sells bathroom items such as sinks, toilets, bathtubs, tiles, chandeliers, faucet fixings and wall lamps, all at reasonable prices. The branch opened last Tuesday and the new location is more spacious, allowing customers to browse and

shop without feeling congested and bumping into each other. During an interview, Fazul Sattaur, the manager of the Water Street store, said since the opening of the bathroom section, many customers have visited and benefited from discounts, which he said will last until month-end. He said there are 10 to 15 per cent discounts on tiles storewide, five to 15 per cent off all oth-

er items and 50 per cent off all chandeliers. Sattaur noted that the store has a new division, which is referred to as the Flatpack depo. The department deals with the manufacturing of doors, windows and granite countertops. He went on to say that customers can order materials and receive them in three working days. The department also offers troweltex.

Inside the National Hardware store that was recently opened on Water Street



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Rohee elected PPP general secretary in Guyana


ong standing People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP) member Clement Rohee was unanimously elected to serve as the party’s fourth general secretary when it recently installed 35-member central committee met on Monday to renew its leadership team. Rohee won the committee’s support after incumbent secretary President Donald Ramotar declined reelection and backed his candidacy for the helm of the party, explaining that he was unable to bear the burden of managing the affairs of the country and the party simultaneously.


“I have every confidence that Comrade Rohee will do a good job. I have known him for most of my political life and we grew up in the PYO together. I know his ability...and I believe the PPP is in extremely ca-

Clement Rohee

Irfaan Ali

Gail Teixeira

Dr Frank Anthony

pable hands,” President Ramotar told reporters at the party’s Robb Street headquarters. He remains a member of the party’s central executive committee and will retain his member on every standing committee of the party as he is entitled to do. Ramotar was the party’s third general secretary and assumed the post in 1997. His predecessors are former Presidents Janet Jagan and Cheddi Jagan. Rohee joined the PPP in 1967 and was the par-

ty’s executive secretary until 1992 when he became the foreign affairs minister. Before that, Rohee was also the party’s international secretary and held other portfolios under the leadership of the Jagans. In his maiden address as the new PPP general secretary, Rohee said he was “humbled” by the decision of his comrades. He stressed that the task of managing the party was a “heavy responsibility”, which would require

the collective efforts of all of its leaders in moving forward. He also gave the undertaking to work assiduously towards restoring more vibrancy within the ranks of the party, while ensuring that the new policies are “implemented smoothly”. Asked whether he would be resigning or stepping down as home affairs minister, Rohee said “not in the immediate future”. However, there was no conflict of interest on this matter,

according to party officials.

New executive

The central committee also elected a new executive, which includes Donald Ramotar, Dr Roger Luncheon, Zulfikar Mustapha, Gail Teixeira, Alli Baksh, Bharrat Jagdeo, Bheri Ramsaran, Mohammed Irfaan Ali, Navin Chandarpal, Komal Chand, Robert Persaud, Dr Frank Anthony, Clinton Collymore, Pauline Sukhai, and Kellawan Lall.

Those persons who are not returning to the party’s executive committee for various reasons are Harripersaud Nokta; Janet Jagan (deceased); Reepu DamanPersaud (deceased); Ralph Ramkarran; and Ulric Ramanah. Three persons were also elected as candidate members. They are Shyam Nokta, Neil Kumar, and Dharamkumar Seeraj. A new secretariat was also established with Zulfikar Mustapha being re-elected as the executive and organising secretary. Clement Rohee will be responsible for membership, Kellawan Lall for propaganda, Komal Chand for trade unions, Hydar Ally for education, Seeraj for mass organisation, Gail Teixeira for international affairs, and Irfaan Ali for finance. Additionally, Lall was elected as the editor of the party’s organ, the ‘Thunder’. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

‘I know how to lead,’ says Holness Opposition, trade unions against 25 - welcomes contest for JLP percent transport fare increase in Jamaica leadership, but urges respect


xpressions of disappointment and uncertainty for the future coursed through the Corporate Area Monday, following the Jamaican government's announcement that public transportation fares will be increased by 25 percent as of next Sunday, August 25. This means a move from Ja$80 to Ja$100 for the government-run Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), as

operated by the JUTC. Concessionary fares will, however, remain at Ja$20 for the JUTC, but only under the condition that passengers use SMART cards. The main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has since rejected the increase, blaming poor management of JUTC for the hikes. JLP spokesman on transport, Karl Samuda, said that better management of key areas, such as the JUTC’s mainte-

are and take corrective action,” Samuda stated. The umbrella Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) was also seeking a meeting Wednesday with the ministry of finance to discuss the implications of the fare increase on public sector workers, claiming that with the wage freeze in place, the purchasing power of government-paid employees would be further eroded. General Secretary of the Union of Technical,

The Jamaica Labour Party’s Beverly Prince embraces the party and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness after taking the Cassia Park Division in a by-election on August 8, 2013. Holness has said that this JLP victory is indicative of the message voters want to send to the PNP-led government. (Jamaica Observer photo)


eader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness has made it clear that he will not back down from any challenge for the top post, but urges that such challenge be pursued with respect. "...Challenge is good. Challenge strengthens me and whoever would like to challenge, come, come!" dared Holness as he addressed party supporters at a South St James constituency conference at the Springfield Primary and Junior High in the parish. “You have heard some questions being asked internally, but let me say

this-the Jamaica Labour Party is 70 years old. We have learnt from our history and our history tells us that we must be united in whatever we do. In whatever challenges may come, we must be united. In whatever challenges that may incur, we must be respectful. I believe that the institutions of the party are strong enough to withstand any challenges," Holness argued. However, he emphasised that he will stoutly stand up against any attempt to bring the party into disrepute. In defence of his stewardship, Holness said that he was practising a

new kind of politics and "it takes a strong leader" to do what he did, to face the electorate and "tell them the reality". He was alluding to his warning during the campaign leading up to the 2011 General Elections, at which time he was prime minister, that Jamaicans were to prepare for the "bitter medicine" that would come if his party was re-elected. At the time, he was alluding to the difficult decisions that the government would have to make to save the country's economy from its downward spiral. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

As of Sunday, August 25, transportation fares in Jamaica will move from Ja$80 to Ja$100 for the government-run Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) as well as for route taxis. (Jamaica Observer photo)

well as for route taxis. The increase was announced by Dr Omar Davies at a press conference at the Maxfield Avenue offices of the ministry of transport, works and housing. Under the new structure, children under the age of 12, students in uniforms, disabled persons and pensioners will be required to pay half of the increased amount if travelling in vehicles other than those

nance department, could save the company millions and prevent the need for a fare adjustment. “Until the JUTC gets its act together; until they get that department in shape, I said then and I repeat now, they are unworthy of an increase. They need to do what I called for then: a complete review of the existing structure and see where the weaknesses

Administrative and Supervisory Personnel (UTASP), Patrice Ennis, is also questioning the increase in bus fares, saying it is time for the authorities to find alternative ways of dealing with the financial problems facing the stateagency. Public passenger bus and taxi fares in Jamaica were last increased in 2008. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


News | week ending August 22, 2013

Trinidad launches Guyana’s chiefof-staff promoted Praedial Larceny Squad to rear admiral T

Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Defence Board Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon shares a light moment with Delicia Best, the wife of army chief-of-staff and newlycommissioned Rear Admiral Gary Best in the presence of President Donald Ramotar


resident of Guyana and Commanderin-Chief of the armed forces Donald Ramotar has promoted Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff, Commodore Gary Best to the rank of rear admiral. Best is the first Guyanese to be promoted to rear admiral; a naval commissioned officer rank just above that of a commodore. He was bestowed with the badge of rank by head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon at the Office of the President on Monday, in the presence of his wife, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, senior GDF officials and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) parliamentarians Winston Felix and Joseph Harmon. In offering congratulatory remarks, President Ramotar said Rear Admiral Best has offered an exceptional service to Guyana by creating a safe haven for Guyanese and visitors. This, he said, has helped

the country to move forward with nation building and development of the economy. “Mr President, it is a distinct pleasure on my part to thank you for the confidence the government of Guyana has invested in me, over the past six years as the chief-of-staff,” Best said. According to him, he could not have done it without the support of his wife and the staff of the GDF, as he expressed optimism that others would follow his footsteps. “I trust that I will be setting a path for others to follow. So for me, this is a fulfillment for my years of service, and testimony of the confidence the government of Guyana has in me, also the confidence of my own officers in me to rise to this level,” he said. Rear Admiral Best has served the GDF for 33 years, with the last six years being as chiefof-staff. He is set to retire on September 17. Asked about the current state of GDF, the

newly-promoted rear admiral told the press that it is ready for transformation and modernisation. Since the commencement of the year, Best has been calling for a reformation in the policies governing the GDF. At the army’s conference in February, Best said in this current era, there should be a shift from the “conventional construct of territorial defence”, and a move towards “writing and defining of new missions for the Guyana Defence Force”. According to him, the GDF must modernise its strategies and systems, positing that no amount of sophisticated equipment could enable a more professional and progressive defence force if it is not done in a strategic manner. Best said there must be an increase in maritime and air resources allocated to the GDF. He also lamented the need for the repositioning of the force’s interior-based location. (Guyana Times)

Seven-year-old killed in jet ski accident, 5 others injured in Jamaica


even-year-old Tanoya Hyman of Christiana, Manchester, Jamaica, was killed in a jet ski accident in Ocho Rios, St Ann, over the weekend. The Constabulary Communication Network (CCN), the police information arm, reported that about 3:00 pm on Saturday, Hyman was playing in the sand at the Ocho Rios Bay Beach

with two of her family members when tragedy struck. Police report that a jet ski, which was being driven by a man, allegedly lost control and collided with the child, killing her on the spot. Police, Monday, did not provide further details on the case, but sources from the parish said a four-year-old child and five other per-

sons from the same family were also injured in the incident. Reports are that the four-year-old is still in hospital, but the extent of the injury is not known. Police reported that the operator of the jet ski was taken into custody. However, his identity is being withheld pending further investigations. (Jamaica Observer)

rinidad and Tobago’s Food P r o d u c t i o n Minister, Devant Maharaj, has announced the establishment of five stations to help combat praedial larceny that will be manned initially by a Praedial Larceny Squad (PLS). The squad, comprising 76 members of the Special Reserve Police (SRP), was launched Monday at a three-month induction training programme at the Prisons Training College, La Horquetta, Arima. The Squad consists of four sergeants, 12 corporals, and 60 constables. Maharaj, who delivered the address, said the stations will be located at Carlsen Field, Centeno, Felicity, Usine and Ste Madeleine. Plans are in motion, he said, to establish similar stations across the country. All stations will be opened on a 24-hour basis. The officers on the induction programme will be trained in report writing, arrests, care and custody of prisoners, trespass, and in the Praedial Larceny Act,

TT’s Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj (TT Guardian file photo)

2000. They will also be trained in the use of firearms. The training programme and establishment of the squad was a collaborative effort between the food production ministry, which will be responsible for the administration of the squad, and the national security ministry which will be responsible for training, recruiting and dealing with matters of performance and discipline. The launch of the squad was based on a pilot done in Carlsen Field. Maharaj said, “a small

band of rangers” were able to significantly impact and reduce criminal activity in the area. Stressing the importance of the need for such a squad, Maharaj said, “over the years the nature of praedial larceny has changed with incidents becoming more frequent, larger volumes of crops and livestock are stolen, and behaviour has become highly organised, and often violent. To help alleviate praedial larceny, he noted that the Agricultural Development Bank is offering loans for CCTV cameras for farm security at reduced interest rates. Noting that praedial larceny has far-reaching consequences on agricultural production, food security and sustainability, he said many farmers who are victims become disillusioned and abandon their farms. Appealing to consumers not to buy stolen crops, he said, “You must safeguard your health by buying from reputable vendors and suppliers.” (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

Bahamas defends decision to repatriate Cubans


he Bahamas government says there is “quite a lot of misinformation” regarding the detention and repatriation of migrants in the country and would not participate in any discussions with protesters in Miami. Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell in a statement said he would also hold the protesters responsible “if something should jeopardise the safety and security of our personnel and facilities in Florida. “They have engendered an atmosphere of hostility which has led to physical threats against our property there. The United States government has assured us that they take these threats seriously and will be acting appropriately to protect our people,” Mitchell said. His statement comes as media reportedly indicated that Nassau has repatriated 24 Cubans to their homeland despite reports that other countries, such as Panama, were willing to take them. Mitchell confirmed that 24 people, all Cuban

Bahamas Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell (The Bahamas Weekly Photo)

nationals, were repatriated to their home country on Friday, August 16, making a total of 64 for the year so far. He said there are 20 others who will be returned home shortly and that 275 Haitian migrants were returned to Haiti last week as well, making a total of 1848 repatriated so far this year. Meanwhile, a Florida lawmaker has branded as “spineless” and “immoral” The Bahamas’ decision to repatriate the Cubans. In a press statement posted on her website,

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the U.S. representative for Florida’s 27th congressional district, said, “It is unconscionable that the Bahamian authorities have decided to forcibly repatriate Cuban freedom-seekers back to their brutal oppressors under the Castro regime.” Ros-Lehtinen said the Bahamas government took this “misguided approach” despite the fact that Panama had offered to grant asylum to 19 Cuban nationals. (Excerpt from Antigua Observer)



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Amaila project economically viable - due diligence report


he Guyana government has reported that an early due diligence report on the Amaila Falls project has validated the project as economically profitable and beneficial to the country. In early June, the government consulted and shared with the joint opposition a number of key Amaila Fallsrelated project documents and reports. One report, titled “Economic and Financial Evaluation Study: Guyana Amaila Falls Project”, prepared by Mercados Energeticos Consultores and commissioned by the government in 2009, found that the Amaila Falls project would provide an economic rate of return of 33 percent to Guyana, reduce the Guyana Power and Light Company’s (GPL) average supply costs and bring structur-

al benefits to GPL.

Financial evaluation

In a release, government said in 2009, it retained Mercados Energeticos Consultores to perform an economic and financial evaluation of the Amaila Falls project. The study, conducted by an expert team of energy sector specialists, sought to evaluate the economic profitability of the Amaila project for GPL and ensure the supply of power would be consistent with GPL’s medium and long-term demand projections. “While the report’s conclusions date back to 2008 and 2009, the fundamentals of the economic profitability are only more pronounced today in a high-fuel cost environment. “The Mercados report evaluated the Amaila project against oil prices of US$75 a barrel. Fuel

prices today are significantly higher, translating into an average generation cost for GPL in excess of 19 U.S. cents per kwh. This cost is compared against Amaila Falls which would reduce the cost of generation to 11 U.S. cents, a 40 percent savings over the first 12 years, and falling to 5.6 U.S. cents in the next eight years of the concession, a 71 percent savings to today’s generation costs.”

Structural benefits

The report’s findings stated that the Amaila project would bring structural benefits to GPL, is the optimal low-cost generation solution and is economically profitable for Guyana were a key factor in assessing the merits of moving forward with the development of the Amaila transaction, and are only more relevant today than ever, the

China looking for Jamaican teachers


hina is looking to Jamaica to employ teachers of English Language. Jamaica’s Education Minister Ronald Thwaites says a private company has contacted the ministry to explore the prospects to getting trained teachers to China. Thwaites says the ministry is now trying to work out the details of the arrangement. According to him, annually China seeks about 100,000 teachers to teach English. The proposed deal comes at a time when the government has halted the hiring of new teachers in the system because of economic challenges. Noting that Jamaican

An artist’s impression of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Plant

government said. Despite numerous consultations with the joint opposition, access and availability of confidential information for many months and incontrovertible facts showing the economic benefits of the Amaila project, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) still denied the advantages of

teachers have excelled around the world, the education minister says the proposed deal with China is another great opportunity. The ministry of education in Jamaica has started to develop a database of trained unem-

ployed teachers. The database was initiated at a two-day job fair hosted by the ministry last week. According to the ministry, approximately 1,000 interviews were facilitated at the event. (Jamaica Gleaner)

business successfully. The professional team in Mercados Energéticos Consultores has played a fundamental role in the design and implementation of reforms in the energy sector in Latin American and Caribbean countries. It has also worked in Africa, Asia, and Europe. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Trinidadian schoolboys on quarter million dollar bail for sex assault


Trained teachers in Jamaica gather outside the ministry of education during a job fair in Kingston last week (Jamaica Gleaner photo)

cheaper and reliable hydropower to the people of Guyana. Mercados Energéticos Consultores is internationally recognised for its expertise in assisting governments in the design of policies for the energy sector, and in advising companies on how to identify the right strategies to conduct their

our students from the Barataria North Secondary School appeared in a Trinidad court Monday, accused of sexually assaulting a 15-yearold classmate during an incident at the school last year. The four teenagers, who were accompanied by their parents, were granted a total of TT$250,000 bail when they appeared before Magistrate Wendy Dougdeen-Bally in the Port-ofSpain Seventh Court. The teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stood silently with their heads bowed when the charges were being read. They were not called upon to plea to the charges, as they were laid indictably. Two of the students—a 15-yearold Form Five student from San Juan and a 17-year-old from Piarco—were each charged with committing grievous sexual assault on the schoolgirl, who is now 16. They were each granted TT$50,000 bail. Another 17-year-old from Barataria was slapped with two charges for having sexual intercourse with a girl between the ages of 14 and 16. The last schoolboy—a Form Four

student, aged 18, was charged with committing grievous sexual assault as well as an additional charge of indecent assault. These two boys were each granted TT$75,000 bail. The charges arose out of an incident at the school on May 15 last year. As part of the conditions of their bail, Dougdeen-Bally ordered the teenagers to report to the nearest police stations in their communities twice weekly. Police prosecutor Sgt Callister Charles asked Dougdeen-Bally to impose a further condition of preventing the teenagers from contacting the victim, via telephone or social networking sites, such as Facebook. Charles told the court the victim was transferred to another school after the alleged attack. Dougdeen-Bally agreed and ordered the teens to stay 100 metres away from the victim. The four were represented by attorneys Patrick Godson-Phillip and Shyline Barlow. The charges were laid by WPC St George of the Barataria Police Station. (TT Guardian)


News | week ending August 22, 2013

Jamaica’s unemployment now at 16.3 percent - latest STATIN report says more women than men unemployed


hairman of the Development Bank of Jamaica Joseph M Matalon says a strong microfinance industry is critical to reducing Jamaica's unemployment. Matalon, speaking Monday against the background of figures released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) that showed the unemployment rates in Jamaica at 16.3 percent, up to April, said that "the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship are the primary engine for economic growth and job creation in Jamaica and the region". STATIN figures showed that unemployment among youth, aged

14-24 years, rose to 38.5 in April 2013 from 34.1 percent in April 2012, a 4.1 percentage point increase. Observers said the figures were indicative of the despair being felt across the country by persons seeking work, despite the increase in the labour force recorded since last year. The announcement triggered a statement from Generation 2000 (G2K), the professional arm of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), that the figures were "a clear indication that the government's economic policy was failing.” G2K President Floyd Green said that the 16.3 per cent unemployment figure was the highest in

Women seem to be faltering badly in the competition for jobs in Jamaica

more than a decade "and even worse than when the country was faced with the global financial meltdown".

Women mostly unemployed

Women seem to be faltering badly in the competition for jobs. The survey showed that the number unemployed in April 2013 was 215,000, an increase 30,200 (16.3 percent), with 19,500 males added to the

group, and 20,700 females added since April last year. There was a 12.4 percent increase in the number of unemployed males and a 19.1 percent increase in the number of unemployed women. According to STATIN, unemployment among women for April 2013 stood at 21.3 percent compared to 12 percent for men.

STATIN said that the incremental increase in the unemployment rate was caused by an additional 38,900 (three percent) persons joining the labour force, but that only 8,700 of them were able to find jobs, adding 30,200 persons to the unemployment roll. The male labour force has increased by 15,600 (2.2 percent) and the female labour force by

23,000 (four percent). So, while the number of men in the labour force moved from 700,500 to 716,100, the number of women rose from 583,100 to 606,300. However, in terms of people finding jobs, the biggest increase was an area which attracts many more women than men clerks although the six percent increase to 100,900 was not quite enough to make a significant impact on the number of women seeking work. The grouping plant and machine, which mainly attracts men, had the largest decline, dropping from 62,000 persons to 57,000. In terms of percentage increase, "wholesale and retail, repair of motor vehicles and equipment", which include young people employed in wholesale/retail shops and in garages, jumped by 17,000 or 7.8 percent. However, manufacturing declined by 7,200 persons or 9.2 percent. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

Guyanese woman remanded to prison on trafficking in persons charge


he 24-year-old woman arrested for running a forced prostitution ring in the interior after the Guyana Women Miners Organisation rescued four teenage girls from her premises, was remanded on Monday on a trafficking in persons charge. It is alleged between March 14 and April 1 at Tiger Creek, Puruni, Ann Maria Carter engaged in trafficking in persons, that is, she recruited, transported and harboured a 17-year-old girl for sexual purposes. It is further alleged during the same period, Carter unlawfully assaulted the said teenager, causing her actual bodily harm, by punching her in the face and hitting her to the head. She pleaded not guilty to both charges read against her by Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Attorney Haymant K Ramdhani represented the defendant and told the court that she has an eight-year-old child and is the sole breadwinner for her family. He added that this is the second time his client has been charged with such an offence,

Ann Maria Carter being escorted out of the courthouse by a police officer

noting that she was granted bail in the sum of Gy$100,000 when she appeared at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court. Carter made her first appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on June 28 before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry after she was arrested. It was alleged between March 28 and April 22, she harboured girls for sexual exploitation. M a g i s t r a t e Sewnarine-Beharry transferred the matter to the Bartica Magistrate’s Court for July 5. Prosecutor Seon

Blackman objected to bail on the grounds of the nature of the offence, the punishment attached to such an offence and the fact that the defendant has matters of similar nature pending at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court. Magistrate Azore granted bail in the sum of Gy$50,000 for the assault causing actual bodily harm charge, before remanding the defendant on the trafficking in persons charge. The matter was transferred to Court One for September 18. (Guyana Times)



week ending August 22, 2013 |

CAL to review airfare after meeting with Guyana gov’t A mid allegations of abuse and exploitation as it relates to the exorbitant ticket prices levied on Guyanese passengers, Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) Chairman Philip Marshall said his company will rework its service and review its price structure. “We have to re-architect our service to the citizens of Guyana. Guyana is a very important market for us...servicing the combined needs of the government and the private sector is extremely important,” Marshall said shortly after a high-profile meeting at the tourism ministry in Georgetown, Guyana. Marshall, accompanied by Caribbean Airlines acting Chief Executive Officer Jagmohan Singh, Airport Manager Carl Stuart and Corporate Secretary Nalini Lalla met with Guyana’s acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali, Transport Minister Robeson Benn and Cheddi Jagan International Airport

Guyana’s acting Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali (in centre) flanked by Transport Minister Robeson Benn (right), Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) Chairman Philip Marshall, along with other CAL executives and members of the private sector

Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghir, along with executives of the private sector on Sunday ahead of the unveiling of a “crystallised agreement”. The board chairman said CAL will not only strengthen its communication base, but with increased knowledge about Guyana’s economic development and needs, the airline would incorporate needs of the country into it strategic plan. “We now can take this

into our strategic planning and development going forward to make sure our organisation is strengthened to meet and match your expectations of development,” he explained. Customer service, intransit process, and security checks of Guyanese passengers at Piarco International Airport, Caribbean Airlines’ capacity, airfare and its flag carrier status were the key issues placed on the

table during the meeting.


“The relationship between the government and Caribbean Airlines, I want to reaffirm is one that is positive, is one that is collaborative, is one that seeks to bring the best service and product to customers of CAL who, to a larger extent, are Guyanese,” Minister Ali told the press. He said Caribbean Airlines’ flag carrier status was extensively dis-

cussed, with Guyana detailing its expectations. “What it entails, what it means and how we can ensure that the flag carrier status works in the interest of all of us –CAL, the government, the wider region and the issue of customer service and pricing,” Ali noted. In less than two weeks, the acting tourism minister said a report compiling the agreements made between CAL and the government

of Guyana, will be unveiled, noting that it was in the process of being finalised. Within the agreement are the review of the price structure, improved customer service and added capacity. In an effort to meet the customers’ demand, the airline will increase its seating capacity by 30 percent during the upcoming Christmas season, as well as make “a commitment on the review of the price structure to come up with a medium kind of pricing that would benefit all customers”. The transport minister lobbied for the airline to capitalise on the opportunities that would be presented during the staging of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Private Sector Commission Chairman Ronald Webster and Public Relations Consultant Kit Nascimento were among private sector executives present. (Guyana Times)

New children’s hospital in Trinidad to stay on planned site after earthquake concerns discussed

TT’s Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan said they have been assured that the structure has been designed to withstand an earthquake (TT Newsday file photo)


ork the TT$1.5 billion Couva Children’s Hospital will be going ahead as Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan say they have been assured that the structure has been designed to withstand an earthquake. “The hospital will be going forward. Is just a matter of looking at whether we need to put anything extra in the hospital design itself,” said Khan. He spoke to reporters following a two-hour meeting at the Portof-Spain offices of the Housing Development Corporation on the hospital. Concerns had been

raised about the close proximity, about six metres, of the Preysal, Couva site to the earthquake-prone Central Range fault line. Khan said they had “intense discussions” by all groups including the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre, Urban Development Corporation of TT, Works Ministry engineers, consultant Geotechnical, as well as the Health Ministry. He noted that new information had been produced on the site. “We’ve all expressed concern about the structural integrity of what was brought before based on the UWI seismic group. However, it came out in the discussion that there was no desire or no

need to stop the building of the hospital. Our concern was the stability of the hospital in the event of a 7.0 earthquake magnitude as what occurred in Haiti and other places,” he said. He said Lloyd Lynch from the seismic unit indicated the stabilities of the structure and the desire for it to be stable and functional in the event of a severe disaster. “The group that designed the structure itself indicated that there were 1,700 piles in the hospital itself and 700 in the retaining walls which make it an extremely stable structure,” he said. Khan noted that they also discussed the need to have constant analysis of the health structures in the country in the event of a major earthquake and disaster. Moonilal said he was pleased that “in the gloomy possibility of a disaster the only building standing would be the (Couva) hospital”. He noted the importance of having the hospital in the close vicinity of the Point Lisas Industrial Estate in the case of a disaster. Moonilal reiterated that they were assured by the construction company that they had factored in the earthquakes

and the fault line in the design and planning. He noted meetings will be

ongoing not only on the construction issue, but also on the wider issue

of the provision of health services in the event of a disaster. (TT Newsday)


News | week ending August 22, 2013

‘Nothing free lasts forever’

Barbados’ PM defends new tuition policy B

arbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has defended the decision of his government to no longer pay tuition fees for nationals studying at the University of the West Indies (UWI), saying that free tertiary education was never intended to last forever. Stuart told legislators that his administration wanted nationals to understand that the new policy is being implemented in an effort to ensure the economic stability of the island. "The government is doing the best it could and people are simply being asked to contribute to their own development," Stuart said as

he made his contribution to the budget debate. He described the new tuition policy as "the most contentious of the budget measures". Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Chris Sinckler, in his 2013-14 budget presentation last Tuesday, said that effective 2014, Barbadian students pursuing studies at the university's three campuses will be required to pay their own tuition fees, while the government continues to fund economic costs. Sinckler said the tuition fees range from Bds$5, 625 to Bds$65,000 and that the new policy would reduce the transfer to UWI by an estimated Bds$42 million or

Barbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

US$21 million a year. "The government of Barbados recognises that access to education at all levels has been a key factor in the

success of Barbados as a society and an economy," Sinckler said, adding that the administration "remains committed to, and fully supportive

of, the continued growth and development of UWI Cave Hill and increased access to tertiary education for Barbadians". Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has criticised the policy, saying "education has done more for us as a country than bauxite has done for Jamaica. "Education has done more for us as a country than oil in gas for Trinidad. Education has done more for us as a country than gold and diamonds has done for Guyana, and I make bold to say so to the people of this country tonight because one of the reasons that we across parties have celebrated the fact that Barbados in the hu-

man development index is regarded a leading developing country in the world is because of the continuous investment in our people. "I am saying to you, sir, that this region, the Caribbean region, has the lowest tertiary education enrolment. We have a tertiary education deficit. Instead of seeing an expansion of students across the university system, we would be at risk now of seeing a reduction from Barbados.” She said that a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government would reverse the decision to charge tuition fees to university students. (Excerpt from CMC)

Jamaica to launch TV teaching channel CCTV for HDC estates in Trinidad


Jamaica’s Education Minister Ronald Thwaites (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

he ministry of education of Jamaica has plans to launch a television channel later this year, featuring lessons in subject areas where some schools do not have the necessary expertise. Making the announcement at a recent back-to-school ceremony held at the Alpart Sport Club in Nain, St Elizabeth Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said that the channel will be “entire-

ly devoted directly and through the cable to learning good instructions in Mathematics and English”. “This is the channel you must choose for yourselves, and for your children. You can watch the other things, but try your best to make sure that you are benefitting from the best teaching that we can give. Master teachers in the areas that you might not have readily available in your small school, you will be

able to get through this venture,” he told the audience of teachers, students and community leaders. Thwaites urged parents to get to know teachers from the start of the new school term, and maintain regular dialogue with them. He emphasised that the progress of children in school must be monitored by parents, and that discussions should be held between teachers and parents at least once per month. At the same time Thwaites challenged teachers to not just begin with the curriculum, but to ensure that they understood the children’s needs. “Make sure you know what their individual learning profiles are, make sure you know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Take the time to make up for whatever deficiency or challenge that they have,” he urged. (JIS)

ILP to fight all 131 local seats - Warner announces in Trinidad


haguanas West MP Jack Warner urged TT’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to call the local government elections (due by October), saying his Independent Liberal Party (ILP) would contest all seats in all corporations in Trinidad. He was addressing a lively and well-attended ILP rally at the recreation ground at Ojoe Road, Sangre Grande, on Saturday evening. While having previously said the ILP would target the corporations of Chaguanas, Tunapuna and Sangre Grande, on Saturday Warner expanded his horizons to say, “We decided to fight all 131 seats. Screening starts in two weeks.” Next Sunday the ILP would hold its Local Government Convention at Centre Pointe Mall, Chaguanas, said Warner, and next Saturday do a walk-

about in Laventille, and on August 27 hold a “green brigade” motorcade from Carenage to Port-of-Spain. Warner said the ILP is launching a free hotline, 8004ILP. “Any corruption you want to report, any question you want to ask, it is not costing you,” he said. Warner began by thanking the police for earlier ejecting two female hecklers from the rally, one dressed as a dancehall queen in an elaborate yellow afro-style wig. On the local polls, Warner said the government could postpone the election date but could not prevent their inevitable loss. Warner was unimpressed by rumours of reassignments of ministerial portfolios. “Don’t reshuffle your Cabinet. Fire them!” he urged PersadBissessar. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)


HDC apartment complex in Beverly Hills, Laventille, Trinidad (TT Newsday file photo)

rinidad and Tobago’s Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal said it is the intention of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to install Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) throughout HDC estates and more so in those that are considered crime hotspots. The minister was commenting on a joint police and army exercise conducted in the East Portof-Spain area Sunday, following a spate of murders last week. Moonilal said Sunday’s exercise followed several meetings involving the security services and the ministry of housing. “It is up to the police to handle the matter in the way they see fit but also within the law,” Moonilal said. “That’s one of the reasons why when I asked during the week what was happening, the police said they were compiling evidence and building a case against

persons who they believe to be involved in criminal activity. I take note and commend the police on the work they have done. It is work that is needed to rescue Port-of-Spain from the clutches of criminal elements that have run amok, particularly in the HDC estates.” Moonilal was speaking during a walkathon and health fair organised by the Hillcrest Gardens Homeowners’ Association. The organisation was formed last year to address the concerns of, and build stronger ties among, residents in the HDC’s Hillcrest Gardens located at Retrench Village, San Fernando. Moments after being told that his blood pressure was fine, he jokingly declared that it was clearly an indication that he was under no pressure in relation to his duties as a politician. He, however, resolved to address the issue of crime which has been plaguing cer-

tain communities under the purview of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) particularly in areas such as East Port-of-Spain and Maloney in east Trinidad. He said it is his hope that the initiative shown by the Hillcrest Gardens residents will spread to other HDC communities. “It is a brilliant example of community members working together for the benefit of the community. This is very important particularly for children to come out and learn about illnesses which may occur and how to avoid them with a healthy lifestyle.” Several non-governmental organisations partnered with the residents to provide services and education at no cost. These included the Red Cross, the Cancer Society, the South AIDS Support Committee, the Just Because Foundation and the Rape Crisis Society to name a few. (TT Newsday)



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Gov’t says more Jamaicans could be employed in Canada and U.S.


he Jamaican government says it is seeking to expand the overseas employment programme so that more nationals can benefit from employment opportunities in Canada and the United States. Labour and Social Security Minister, Derrick Kellier, said the move comes as the demand for skilled Jamaicans continue to grow in the two North American countries. He said the Canadian farm work programme should see a 10 to 15 percent growth this year.

“The same goes for the United States where we were down a couple years ago, but the numbers are creeping up again and we expect to see, based on new legislations that President Obama is trying to get through the Congress and the Senate, additional opportunities for us here in Jamaica, if that legislation is approved. So, there is going to be growth.” Kellier met with representatives of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to formalise agreements for flying

Jamaican workers to the U.S. and Canada. He pointed out that Canada, in particular, has a huge labour market that needs to be filled and that Jamaica is currently doing well in filling some of that demand, but “we can double the numbers in another three years”. He said the programme is of mutual benefit to the countries involved, as it provides work for Jamaicans, so that they can take care of their families as well as help to generate economic activity within the

U.S. and Canada. “So, it is a cross border win-win situation for both of us and hence we in Jamaica have something to protect and to uphold, to ensure that this programme runs smoothly and that it develops and expands for the benefit of all our citizens who have the ability to participate in it; and that the employers in North America can be satisfied that they get good quality workers to expand their business in a productive way.” Kellier noted that the government has put

in “a lot of effort to grow the programme,” and warned against any illegal activity that might compromise the programme. “We have put in a lot of resources to ensure the integrity of the programme at all levels. We want to ensure that we stand up to the highest level at scrutiny… We cannot afford to have persons travelling on the aircraft with illegal substances,” he said, adding that the overseas employment programme benefits the country immensely, through the

Jamaica’s Labour Minister Derrick Kellier

foreign exchange that is remitted. (Jamaica Observer)

Gouveia makes another push for strategy to market Guyana abroad


esort owner and prominent Guyanese businessman Captain Gerry Gouveia has made another appeal for the Guyana government to invest in marketing the country overseas. He also called for the establishment of a national marketing strategy to propel tourism in Guyana. A national marketing strategy has been long in the making, but due to non-support, it has not materialised. He said the time has come for a public-private partnership with the backing of the tourism

Captain Gerry Gouveia

ministry, which would result in the formation of a national marketing strategy. “So while we can deal with the security issues,

we can deal with the education issues, the number one issue for us is marketing and we urge the government to embrace a national marketing strategy.” According to Gouveia, the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) has already acquired the service of an expert who will aid the country in the formulation of the document that will promote tourism as an economic tool for development. With increased popularity, the private sector official said the tourism sector can now accel-

erate its action plan to draw people to Guyana to explore its pristine forest, breathtaking waterfalls, terrain, flora and fauna, and not forgetting the wide range of international events staged in the country annually. He said too that the local media should do more to promote the untold beauty that lies within the country. Supporting the notion of a tourism-driven economy is nothing strange to the Caribbean and the rest of the world, Gouveia said, as he called on all Guyanese

Barbados seeking bilateral trade agreement with Poland


arbados is seeking to finalise a bilateral trade and tax agreement with Poland. International Business Minister of Barbados Donville Inniss

there is scope for countries like Barbados and Poland to work together to expand investment in each other’s countries and we are satisfied that Barbados offers a good

Barbados’ International Business Minister Donville Inniss recently met with the Venezuelabased Polish Ambassador, Piotr Kaszuba

recently met with the Venezuela-based Polish Ambassador, Piotr Kaszuba to discuss a wide range of issues including ways to attract more Polish tourists to the Caribbean island. “Even though we may be miles apart and culturally different, the reality about it in today’s global village, (is that)

sweep of products for international investors who would wish to invest in Poland or for Polish investors who may wish to expand their reach beyond Poland or beyond Eastern Europe. “We are determined to make this happen, to make it successful in a very transparent manner that would bring us

benefits to each other, hence a Double Taxation Agreement between Poland and Barbados would be fruitful,” he added. Ambassador Kaszuba said Poland was “open to such an agreement, and was looking forward to exploring further investment opportunities between the two countries”. “After 17 years of diplomatic relations, it is time that we have something that we can rejoice about across the ocean, country to country.” Inniss said that Barbados “always welcome more Polish visitors to our shores. I know that you have a population of 40 million or so … If we could only get one tenth of that we would be very happy”. He said there have been talks over the years of air links, but Barbados really does not have any chartered flights out of Eastern Europe. “However, there are several airlines that fly here that fly to Poland …but I am sure that our Minister of Tourism and International Transport

will explore all opportunities to increase air lift out of Europe to make it a little easier for your people to travel to our island.” (Antigua Observer)

to promote Guyana as a tourism destination. “All over the Caribbean, they have been doing this for decades.” According to him, Guyana’s branding is non-existent due to the lack of an effective marketing strategy. He said the Low Carbon Development

Strategy (LCDS) has put Guyana on the world stage. The LCDS, an initiative by former President Bharrat Jagdeo, was designed to rake in financial support for the country’s contribution in the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)


News | week ending August 22, 2013

Guyana moves to improve business index ranking A

cting Tourism, Industry and C o m m e r c e Minister Irfaan Ali has announced that government is currently implementing a comprehensive action plan aimed at improving Guyana’s ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. Ali, who made the disclosure at the recent National Economic Forum (NEF), revealed that the administration has set itself a target to have Guyana move to at least number 80 within the next three years in 2015. “I’m sure with the enabling environment and the right frame of mind which puts country above self-opinion; we will definitely be able to

achieve this target,” the commerce minister said.

10-year strategic plan

He stated that staff at the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) has been doing an exceptional job in ensuring the programmes are implemented in a timely manner to improve Guyana’s competitiveness. Ali noted that the final document developed from a concept paper will be used as a 10-year strategic plan after subjection to general discussions among stakeholders. In planning the discussions, President Donald Ramotar issued specific instructions for all stakeholders to become involved, including

Guyana’s acting Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali

the parliamentary opposition, labour and the private sector.

Collective views

This is to ensure that the collective views and positions of all the ma-

jor thinkers in the different thematic areas are represented. According to Ali, 10 major themes were developed to be included in the final document aimed at improving Guyana’s competitiveness. These are agro-processing, aquaculture, aviation, energy, human resource and manpower planning, infrastructure, land use/development, manufacturing and standards, non-Caribbean trade and tourism. Guyana ranked 114 out of 185 countries on the 2013 World Bank’s Doing Business Index, maintaining its position from the previous year. In the 2011 report, Guyana was ranked 113. Should Guyana

improve its ranking, the country will join the league of other Caribbean economies such as Trinidad which ranked 69, Jamaica which ranked 90, and the Caribbean region which was given a ranking of 96. Ali detailed that this will assist Guyana in being identified by the World Bank as a “top reformer” which in turn would help to consolidate the existing attention Guyana is receiving from foreign investors. It will also signal to new potential investors, Guyana’s robustness as an emerging destination for business and investment. The action plan consists of more than 60 competitiveness and efficien-

cy-enhancing reforms, which will be implemented in a coordinated manner across 10 targeted policy areas. Work has already commenced under the Support for Competitiveness Programme (SCP) with major financial and technical support for the Deeds Registry, the SWAPS project under the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund and a feasibility study to introduce a coordinated automated processing system for construction permits under compete Caribbean. Tourism has been identified as one of the non-traditional sectors that are poised for exponential growth. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Kublalsingh sets up camp in Ambassador to U.S. concerned about Penal, continues protest over number of Jamaican deportations highway construction in Trinidad a m a i c a ’ s would continue to give


ndaunted and refusing to give up, environmentalist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh and members of his Highway Reroute Movement Sunday set up camp in Penal to “oversee” construction work on the Debe to Mon Desir portion of the Point Fortin highway in Trinidad. He said recommendations in the Dr James Armstrong report on the Debe to Mon Desir portion of the highway advised against the start of works along the Debe to Penal highway segment. Under an overcast sky with a steady drizzle of rain, a small group of activists cleared a small plot of land along Gopie Trace, Penal, and constructed a make- shift

camp, similar to that which had been demolished just over a year ago by former National Security Minister Jack Warner. The demolished tent was located on the M2 Ring Road. It was taken down by the Defence Force and police on June 27, 2012. Kublalsingh had been arrested and later released and sometime after he embarked on a hungerstrike outside the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair, to protest the construction of the Debe to Mon Desir portion of the Point Fortin highway. Kublalsingh told reporters Sunday that the new camp will serve a three-fold purpose, which would be to monitor

the State’s activities; to serve as a meeting place where residents would be informed about their rights regarding land acquisition and compensation and as a prayer centre. Kublalsingh said the group met with NIDCO officials almost three weeks ago and had been informed that construction works along the Debe to Penal highway segment would be started later in the year. He once again called on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to say whether she was “going to abide by the Armstrong report and await the decision of the court before doing any work between Debe and Mon Desir.” (Excerpt from TT Newsday)


Ambassador to the United States, Stephen Vascianne has expressed concern over the large number of Jamaicans being deported from the U.S. to Jamaica on a monthly basis. “Far too many Jamaicans are stepping on to the deportation train. Each month about 75 Jamaicans are sent home for indulging in unlawful activities,” he said. He told the over 800 Jamaicans and Friends of Jamaica who attended the Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation (JICF), Jamaica 51 Independence Ball at the Hylton Hotel, Manhattan, NY, on Saturday “that Jamaica believes that there are some problem(s) with the deportation system as in certain instances, persons are sent to Jamaica when in fact they have no earthly ties to the country”. “They may have come to the United States as children, live their lives there and now they are required to fend for themselves in unfamil-

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Stephen Vascianne(Jamaica Observer photo)

iar territory,” he said. Vascianne argued that the deportation system may actually be counter-productive to both Jamaica and the United States because it sets in place a loop for criminality. He pointed out that persons are sent to Jamaica with no means of economic survival and so they become more entrenched in criminality, which creates instability at home and sometimes this is exported back to the United States. Vascianne expressed the hope that the U.S.

thought to more humane and sympathetic consideration for persons who are to be deported for minor offenses. The ambassador urged Jamaicans in the diaspora to guide those Jamaicans inclined to become deviant, to live and work within the law. Meanwhile, in a message from United States President Barack Obama read by chairperson of the JICF, Mrs. Paulette Willoughby, he lauded the Jamaican community for the outstanding contribution made to the growth of the U.S. “Since America’s early days, men and women have come to our shores from every corner of the globe bringing their vibrant culture and important historical prospective by uniting those who trace their roots to Jamaica and celebrating Jamaica’s Independence, events like this reminds us of our countries legacy as a nation of immigrants and help ensure the diversity of our people remains one of the greatest strength.” (Jamaica Observer)

Man on bail after 10 years in St Lucian jail without trial - Canada-based charity pays bail


ugene St Romain, who spent the last 10 years in prison awaiting trial for the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl, has been released after a Canada-based charitable foundation raised the EC$60,000 funds needed to secure his bail. "The judge found that his constitutional rights had been breached for keeping him on remand for over nine years awaiting trial. "I am really happy that the judge agreed with me that my client should no longer be allowed to languish in

jail while the investigators got their act together," said attorney Martinus Francois, who has challenged the State on numerous occasions regarding his client's constitutional rights. The name of the Canadian foundation was not disclosed, but officials note that Romain is the first national to have been given bail on a murder charge. He will appear in court in December in relation to the death of his stepdaughter, Verlinda Joseph, whose body was found in a banana field in December 2002. (Jamaica Observer)



week ending August 22, 2013 |

International consultants revising Guyana’s teachers’ courses


s part of efforts to improve the delivery of education to teachers at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), the Guyana Improving Teachers Education Project (GITEP) has employed the services of international consultants to review existing courses and design new ones. This was revealed by GITEP Coordinator Tota Mangar. He also pointed out that these courses are a part of the Associate Degree in Education (ADE) programme at CPCE and the Bachelor of Arts degree in education (BEd) programme at the University of Guyana

(UG). He noted that this move is to aid in the emergence of more efficient and proficient teachers through better teaching courses. “A number of existing courses were reviewed and upgraded by consultants and a number of new courses were introduced,” Mangar noted. He highlighted that as a result of this, a number of new courses such as “Mathematical Thinking”, “Behavioural Analysis”, and “Ethics and Civic Life”, have recently been introduced as part of the curriculum for the ADE programme. “Similarly for the UG Bachelor’s in Education

programme, there are some new courses that are being designed and existing courses were reviewed.” “We also brought in a team from University of New Brunswick recently and they designed and implemented a management course for senior administrators at CPCE, the satellite centres, and School of Education and Humanities, so it’s a combination of things,” Mangar outlined. The GITEP coordinator believes the improved courses would allow for capacity building, as well as conducive teaching and learning environments. Meanwhile, the first

Guyana Improving Teachers Education Project (GITEP) Coordinator Tota Mangar

batch of CPCE ADE graduates is expected to make their entrance into the University of

Guyana when the new academic year begins later this month for the Bachelor’s in Education programme. The special ADE and BEd programmes were established by the education ministry in an effort to reduce the amount of time graduates of CPCE take to complete the BEd programme. “It’s called ‘2+ 2’. Two years associate degree, two years at the Bachelor’s in Education level,” the GITEP coordinator said. Prior to this, it would have taken graduates seven years to complete the programme, with trainee teachers having to go through the

Teachers’ Certificate programme, put in two years of work at a school, then engage in a oneyear certificate in education programme, before moving on to a four-year BEd programme. Mangar added, “I mean students have an option, they can stop at the ADE level and go back to the school system or they can continue their studies and hopefully, we expect all of them to take up that opportunity.” The education ministry’s aim is to ensure that every teacher who leaves the training college is able to deliver work of a high standard. (Guyana Times)

US$500 million expansion of St Thomas agri plant to benefit scores of Jamaicans


US$500-million planned expansion for Stanmark Processors Company Limited in Yallahs, St Thomas, Jamaica, is expected to bring significant economic benefits to this often forgotten parish, when the roll out is completed in another year and a half. Not only will the company be able to provide more jobs for residents, it will also serve as a sure market for hundreds of farmers, to include those who are now participating in the government initiated agro-parks. “Not only will it (expansion) employ far

Beverly Morgan, a supervisor at Stanmark Processors in Yallahs, St Thomas, oversees the canning process at the factory which is earmarked for a multimillion dollar expansion within the next year and a half. (Jamaica Observer photo)

more persons, but we will also be able to give back more to the parish,” Stanmark’s chairman, Canute Saddler told

Jamaica media recently. The plans will also include the relocation of the factory from its current site in the res-

Pensioner jumps to death off Gasparillo overpass in Trinidad


rinidadian police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 65-yearold Marabella pensioner who reportedly jumped off the Gasparillo highway overpass on Sunday morning. Balliram Jagroop’s relatives are also seeking an answer after he did the unthinkable. Jagroop’s mangled body landed on the highway at the Union Road overpass in Gasparillo, after he jumped. Police suspect it was suicide, his relatives, however, are not too sure. Relatives said the pensioner was a healthy man with no family or financial problems. Police said the incident took place at about 6:45am. At his First Street, Battoo Avenue, Marabella home Sunday, relatives were in a state of shock.

No one saw when he left home. Jagroop lived with his wife, daughter and grandchildren. His brother-in-law Kawal Maraj said he last saw Jagroop on Saturday night when he came and visited the family. He said Jagroop was in high spirits as usual. “We laughed and talked and he was happy. He did not appear like anything was bothering him, because whenever there is a problem, he speaks to us about it. He was in his usual jolly mood,” Maraj said. He said Jagroop did not have any financial, health or family problems that would lead him to commit suicide. “It is so strange, no one knows how we are feeling right now, we are puzzled. And the question I keep asking is why he would want to do this. Why?” he asked as he wept. Maraj, while there is

a suspicion that Jagroop committed suicide, said there were no witnesses. “So we don’t know for sure if he was pushed off the flyover. We don’t know what happened, only God knows and it hurts so much because I spoke to him last night (Saturday),” Maraj said. Police officers were able to contact family members as they found his (Jagroop’s) cell phone in his pants pocket. “I went and saw the body when police officers called us. And I saw him just lying there with his flesh showing and he was not moving,” a tearful Maraj said. Jagroop was described as a peaceful person. “He was the one always helping someone. If you had a problem, he was the person you could go to and he would always give good advice. I just don’t understand,” he said. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

idential area of South Haven, to five acres of land in nearby Albion. Additionally, the company, which exports the majority of its products to the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, is now looking to tap into both local and overseas markets with a soon-to-be developed line

of naturally brewed local ginger beer. “We have a massive development plan for the factory, which will see us re-equipping the facility to double the production by introducing a more sophisticated bottling line,” Saddler said. “We also plan to do juices from the fruits that go to waste each year, and these will be all natural as persons become more health conscious,” the Stanmark chairman said, adding that the company just received a large order for canned orange juice for export. Stanmark currently exports 99 percent or roughly US$5-million worth of its products each year. This includes canned ackee, callaloo, breadfruit, jerk seasoning, ketchup, pep-

per sauce, carrot juice, mango nectar, and fruit punch which are sold under the Stanmark and Island Sun brands. The factory also does processing for private companies. The expansion will also see the facility increasing its production for the export market to meet the high demand and talks have already begun for the company to do a public offering on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. The factory now provides employment to more than 100 people during the peak seasons, but it falls to about 40 in off-peak times. The raw material is sourced locally and as such, the factory also provides a stable income for small farmers. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


News | week ending August 22, 2013

Barbados gov’t proposes over Bds$500 million allocation for sugar revitalisation


he Barbados government’s expressed intentions to earmark over Bds$500 million for the revitalisation of the sugar industry has been met with great satisfaction by at least one businessman in the Rum Industry. Managing Director of Mount Gay Rum Distilleries Raphael Grisoni says that that move, coupled with greater consultations government says it is looking to have with the

pendent on imports and it would [be] advantageous for us...we will finally be able to compete with those... producers [who are] heavily subsidised. So if we have this little help... it would be fantastic,” Grisoni remarked. The Mount Gay Managing Director pointed to other serious issues which needed to be addressed if the rum industry was going to survive in the export market. Outside of having

as announced in the 2013 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals. Guatemala’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Luis Fernando Carrera Castro, gave this undertaking last Wednesday during a courtesy call with Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Maxine McClean. Noting Guatemala’s investments in the sugar industries of Mexico and Brazil, the ambassador described his country’s

TT aviation authority to establish airpark at Couva

T Barbados is looking to invest heavily to revive its sugar industry

local rum brands, could do wonders to assist Barbados better compete globally. Grisoni argued the rum industry was burdened with having to import a significant amount of its raw material and disclosed that Mount Gay had to import 70 percent of the molasses it needed for production from countries such as Guyana and those in Central America. “If the government is really looking seriously at improving the productivity...[in the industry]. For sure we would [become] less de-

to import, he lamented the burdensome electricity costs as well as the cost of labour which was also high when compared to some of the other islands. He said it was for these reasons that Mount Gay had had to pursue a strategy to reinvent themselves as a premium product.

Help from Guatemala

Barbados announced last week that Guatemala is willing to provide expert advice and personnel to assist the government with its proposal to restructure the sugar cane industry

sugar sector as “very modernised, utilising some of the most modern technologies in the Western Hemisphere and [it is] very well organised”. “It [the sugar industry] has tremendous investors, many of whom are leaders in the business community and we also have investments in other countries such as Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic and I think many of them would be more than happy to come to Barbados and share [their knowledge],” he told his Barbadian counterpart.

FedEx donated a Boeing 727 aircraft to the TT Civil Aviation Authority (TT Newsday photo)

here are plans to make Trinidad and Tobago the Caribbean’s leading General Aviation Centre by transforming the Camden Airfield in Couva into an airpark. During the donation ceremony of a Boeing 727 Aircraft at the Piarco International Airport last Friday, Trade Minister Vasant Bharath said the proposal is currently before Cabinet. “The General Aviation Industry is grossly underdeveloped in Trinidad and Tobago. The Camden Airpark (CAP) will leverage Trinidad’s unused Camden Airfield, along with targeted development projects, to propel Trinidad and Tobago forward to become the leading General Aviation centre in the Caribbean,” Bharath said. Within the next five years, Bharath said the Camden initiative should directly employ more than 200 people with “relatively highwage” jobs, produce

nearly US $25 million in direct output and nearly US $9 million in foreign exchange. Jobs for aviation specialists such as mechanics and pilots, support function operators such as fuelling, servicing personnel, and managerial positions, would be created in the Camden Airpark. The airpark would also encourage business developments. It would fuel small business and create “attractive job opportunities” in supporting sectors. “The Camden Airpark will be designed to be industry-promoting and self sustaining,” Bharath said. As well, the airpark would become Trinidad’s second centrally-located airport. “The airport would supplement transport links between Trinidad and Tobago and relieve traffic by offering an alternative to Piarco International Airport,” Bharath said. The Boeing 727, which was donated by FedEx, will be used to teach stu-

dents at the Trinidad and Tobago’s Civil Aviation Authority’s Aviation Training Academy. FedEx names all its planes after their employees’ children, and this one is called Natalie. As FedEx is updating their air fleet to be more fuel efficient and have lower emissions, they are donating their retired aircrafts for aviation training. This would be the sixth time they have donated their aircraft where countries like China, the U.S. and Canada have also received 727 donations. As most aviation schools use small aircrafts for lab times, and the curriculum would not always include information about bigger planes, the aviation students will learn about the mechanical aspects of a large aircraft. Last Friday was Natalie’s last flight. FedEx stipulated the aircraft would be used strictly for training purposes, and must never be flown again. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

Human trafficking ringleaders in DR linked to TT trade


he La Altagracia Province office of the prosecutor Tuesday announced the arrest of three alleged ringleaders of a human trafficking ring which recruited Dominican Republic women to work with bogus employment contracts in Trinidad and Tobago, where they were then forced into prostitution. According to reports in Dominican Today, Martin Ogando (Kinito), Daisy Mota (Daisy Mara) and Osiris Hernandez were

detained for alleged trafficking, and for allegedly charging RD$30,000 each on the promise of work, with the prospects allegedly being offered the chance of earning US$1,500 a month as waitresses in TT. Jonathan Baró, lead prosecutor of the Anti-Smuggling and Trafficking Department, said the months-long investigation jointly with La Altagracia province prosecutor Lucas Perez determined that eventually,

the women “were transported from the airport by an as yet unknown person, which took them to a brothel, stripping them of all their identity papers and forcing them into prostitution.” Hernandez, deported by Trinidadian authorities and arrested by Dominican authorities on Saturday, allegedly taxied the women from apartments to the brothel in Trinidad where they were exploited, the Dominican Today reported.



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Guyana to advance trade, bilateral talks with Venezuela during Maduro’s visit


uyana is looking to move beyond the new rice agreement in terms of trade relations with neighbouring Venezuela. Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett, in a recent comment, said while the rice agreement is working well, the government would be exploring the possibility of exporting other local products to the Spanish-speaking state. Speaking about the impending state visit of newly elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro later this month, Minister

Rodrigues-Birkett said: “Venezuela has been a very good friend to Guyana and this visit will strengthen those relations.” This will be Maduro’s first official visit to Guyana in his capacity as president. It will allow him and President Donald Ramotar to discuss not only bilateral issues, but regional and international issues as well. Among some of the bilateral issues that will be discussed is Guyana’s associate membership with MERCOSUR, of which Venezuela is the latest full member.

Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Additionally, discussions are also expected to be held on the PetroCaribe deal. Rodrigues-Birkett

said despite media reports, Venezuela has given no indication thus far, of any changes with regards to the PetroCaribe

deal. However, she stated that this is an appropriate time for Guyana and other members of PetroCaribe to review and take stock of what has been happening. “Guyana has been adhering to the PetroCaribe arrangement, more than many others I think… we have been supplying rice and we have been receiving oil, so in a way we have been repaying our debts,” Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said. Guyana has been benefitting significantly as a PetroCaribe member state. The PetroCaribe

programme, the brainchild of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. It was launched in June 2005. The PetroCaribe deal countries now consist of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Venezuela.

90 arrested as police crack- St Kitts-Nevis PM says same down on east Port-of-Spain sex marriage debate is not just for legislators


Police blocked off several streets in East Port-of-Spain Sunday morning during a seven-hour search for criminal elements, guns and drugs. (TT Newsday photo)


nder the cover of darkness, 300 heavily armed police officers accompanied by 100 soldiers, descended on the streets of East Port-of-Spain Sunday cordoning off several streets in what has been described as one of the largest manpower exercises in Trinidad for the year. The mission was to flush out criminal elements and seek out arms and ammunition, also drugs, believed to be hidden in Housing Development Corporation (HDC) apartments along those streets. As officers searched every single apartment along East Port-of-Spain, soldiers kept close watch ensuring their colleagues had full back-up. During the exercise, persons were jolted from their sleep by the sound of officers knocking on their doors, while others who were liming on stairwells looked on and subjected themselves to searches. For close to seven and a half hours, the 300 police officers, some using

K-9 dogs, searched several apartments while others even used metal detectors in an effort to ascertain if any arms and ammunition were buried under the ground in the areas being searched. Also during the search, the roofs of all the apartments were also checked for concealed arms and ammunition and drugs. At the end of the exercise, 90 persons were arrested, among them four women who were charged with possession of narcotics. Speaking to reporters during the exercise, ACP Glen Hackett said the persons were arrested for various offences including murder and they were handed over to the Homicide Bureau for further investigations. He said police arrested persons on outstanding warrants and suspicion of having committed serious offences inclusive of shootings and robberies and narcotics. Hackett said officers seized drugs but did not confiscate any firearms or ammunition.

“We are here to bring a level of confidence to the law-abiding citizens that the police [are]...willing to act on their behalf where they are perceived to be in jeopardy with respect to lawlessness,” he said. The exercise was welcomed by the hundreds of residents. However, others declared that the exercise may not have resulted in the arrests of the real perpetrators of crime in the area. One woman said after the prime minister visited last Friday along with the Police Commissioner and other top brass of the police and Defence Force, several of the gang leaders and members fled the crime-infested community and went into hiding. Residents believe they will return after the police presence is minimised in the area. Residents believe the police service needs to have soldiers heavily armed, patrol the streets round-the-clock and discard the idea of setting up a police/army post. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

he introduction of legislation allowing same sex marriage in St Kitts and Nevis is for national debate, especially among stakeholders and not just legislators. “I believe the church will want to have its say upon this particular matter. I believe the various groups that are pursuing the human rights of people in a vigorous way in the fundamentals of what people can do or what people cannot do and also looking at what governments can do to lend support to the debate,” said Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas in response to a caller during the weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister”. “I believe it will generate quite a bit of national debate. I believe we would be guided not only with what is happening in North America

Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Denzil Douglas

and in Europe, but to some extent what have been cultural norms in our own Caribbean society and in our own St Kitts and Nevis society. This is a fundamental question I believe that will definitely need to be brought to national debate at some time,” Douglas said. The St Kitts and Nevis leader has been one of the leading advocates in the Caribbean

region on the human rights of people, “especially those who are homosexuals, those who are gays, lesbians, I believe that they have a right.” He is of the view that the stigmatisation and the discrimination against homosexuals, those persons who are sex workers are matters of human rights that have to be discussed in the open at some stage. “As a country, we have been called upon to look at some of the existing laws that we have on our law books. The buggery law for example, we believe that the time has come for debate to take place in our country with regard to whether these laws which continue to perpetuate discrimination and stigmatisation against certain people,” Douglas told listeners. (Excerpt from CaribbeanNews)

20 feature Steady stream of visitors to Guyana’s booths at CARIFESTA in Suriname C | week ending August 22, 2013

ARIFESTA XI picked up speed on Saturday in Suriname with the start of the Grand Cultural Market where the participating countries set up booths in the literary, visual and culinary arts, and fashion displays. Guyana has the largest collection of booths. Other countries’ booths showcased displays of craft, fashion and literary works. Guyana’s largest booth–arts and craft –has on display mainly handmade products which include leather slippers, mats, bags, key rings, crochet, earrings and bangles, handbags, jewellery sets, ceramics, tie-dye material and information on Guyana’s tourism offerings. Guyana’s art and craft representative Denzil Hollingsworth

tie-dye and batik work. Guyana is featuring three artists which including the well-known Bernadette Persaud; emerging artist Akima McPherson and a young and promising student Shimuel Jones. The contingent also includes presentations from other artists, including the Main Street Art Group, Winslow Craig, Ivor Thom, Betsy Karim and artists from the University of Guyana and Guyana Women Artists’ Association.

Art displays

Guyanese artistes entertaining the audience at New Amsterdam, Suriname on Sunday

noted that there would be demonstrations of how Amerindian craft items are made. In this regard, she pointed out that most of the people who have since visited the booth are going after the handmade products. “Not many persons today are into handmade items, and that’s our niche market,” she said. Kim Gordon, who is attached to the Education Ministry’s Craft Production and Design Division, explained that some of the products in Guyana’s exhibition were made by students of the unit. They were able to produce the items while on attachment with the education ministry, which provided them with a stipend.

Good sales

She emphasised that patrons are not only viewing the displays, but are purchasing as well. “I am afraid that we might run out of some of these stocks…we could not bring all that we have at the department,” she said. Most of the patrons are going after the tiedye pieces and leather products. Gordon highlighted that there have been expressions of interest for two students from the Craft Production and Design Division to work on tiedye pieces and two others were requested by a designer to produce leather products. With regards to the visual arts, Philbert Gajadhar noted that Guyana is showcasing paintings, sculptures,

He mentioned that Bernadette Persaud was recently inducted into the Caribbean Hall of Fame for artists. Her collection on display entitled the “Green series” includes depictions of Guyana’s rainforest, the mysteries it exudes and the concept of Shiva with regards to life and death. M e a n w h i l e , McPherson’s pieces entitled “Walk with Me” and “Walk with Me 2” focus on the issues faced by women and girls and their decisions to step out of negative situations and move forward. Jones’ presentations are collectively titled “Continental Relations”, with each painting illustrating the cultural similarities among the Western and Northern regions of Africa and the Guianas of South America. Gajadhar explained that the visual arts exhibition ties in with several observances in Guyana namely the 250th anniversary of the Berbice Slave Rebellion, the 190th year of the Demerara Slave Revolt, the 175th anniversary of emancipation from slavery and the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the East Indians to Guyana. Apart from the cultural aspects of the event, patrons were entertained by performing artiste Peter Ram and witnessed fashion displays by the participating countries. Meanwhile, at Independence Square which was packed to capacity, the crowd was treated to a concert where Pastor Donnie McClurkin sang several of his hits. At the end of the concert, Surinamese President Desi Bouterse belted out one of McClurkin’s songs while greeting him. (Guyana Times)



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Guyanese among Mohawk College’s highest alumni awardees


dedicated and active community member of his home country, Guyana, Narine Dat Sookram’s obsession to serve people continued when he migrated to Kitchener in 1993. His effort has earned him Mohawk College’s Social Service Worker Award 2013, one of the highest awards offered by the college. Narine is the founder of the Active Vision Charity Association which seeks to promote Indo-Caribbean culture in Canada and help newcomers assimilate into a new society. He also hosts a weekly radio show, “Caribbean Spice” on 100.3 Sound FM Radio, Radio Waterloo, where he shares West Indian and Caribbean

music and culture with listeners. For his work in the community, Narine has received many accolades and awards including, being a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient and receiving the Waterloo Award this year, as well as the Kitchener Post’s “100 Years, 100 People: Here and Now” in 2012 and the Waterloo Region “40 under 40 Award” in 2010, among others. Below is a brief interview with Narine. MC and NS denote Mohawk College and Narine Sookram respectively. MC: What was the number one reason you chose to attend Mohawk? NS: Because the programme fits my schedule. MC: What one piece of advice you’ve received in

Narine Dat Sookram

the past has stuck with you to this day? NS: The one piece of advice that I have received that still stuck with me today is that having a post-secondary education will open up

more opportunities. MC: If you could go back in time, what one piece of advice would you give to yourself on the first day of college? NS: I am not expected to know everything on

my first day. MC: What three songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? NS: “Thriller” by Michael Jackson; “That’s The Way It Is” by Celine Deon; and “You Are Still The One” by Shania Twain. MC: When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? NS: I reflect on my own success because it helps to motivate me. MC: If you could invite any five people to a dinner party, who would they be? NS: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Dalai Lama, Pope Benedict. MC: If you could give advice to a new student thinking of entering your programme, what would it be?

NS: This social service worker programme will give them great satisfaction knowing that you are taking a programme that empowers people’s lives, meaning, you are giving a voice to the voiceless and are advocating for fairness to all. There is nothing more comparable in making a positive difference in someone’s life. MC: How has your education at Mohawk prepared and supported you throughout your career? NS: I am now job ready in doing what I am so much passionate about, social services, I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to work for Opportunities Waterloo Region as an education outreach programme coordinator. The opportunities are endless.

TT’s cricket heritage on display with Limacol CPL


he semifinals and finals of the Caribbean Premier League T20 take place this week at the Queen’s Park Oval, Portof-Spain, Trinidad. This gives cricket fans the opportunity to visit The Queen’s Park Cricket Club’s Cricket Heritage Museum, which houses an amazing collection of photos and memorabilia showcasing the history of the progress of cricket in TT and in the West Indies from just prior to

the turn of the 20th century. The museum at the iconic stadium offers a special experience of the game with fascinating displays, photographs, portraits, plaques and artifacts, among other items of interest. According to curator Stephen Almandoz, who is mainly responsible for the meticulous collection, acquisition and compilation of much of the material: “The museum offers visitors a veritable com-

bination of sporting history situated in a single location, acknowledged as one of the most comprehensive found anywhere in the world.” Among the historic artifacts is an autographed bat of the 1950 West Indies Team celebrating their first Test victory over England, which included the three famous “Ws”: Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Everton Weekes. Arguably the greatest

‘Jamzone 2013’ gets underway in Guyana


its and Jams Entertainment pulled off the much anticipated and well advertised Regional Night at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara last Friday evening with mixed reactions from various sections of the audience. While some claimed that the 2012 edition was much better, others thought that too many artistes performed on one night. Yet others felt that a late start affected the smooth running of the event, especially with respect to the performances. Kudos, however, must be given to the selectors who entertained the crowd until show time. Patrons turned up in their numbers to be a part of the event which kicks off the Summer Break 2013. A mega

concert is slated for Saturday, featuring international R&B singer, R Kelly. However, after the show got underway, the main act ‘Konshens’ dished out some exciting vibes, while Jory and Deejay Magnum engaged in a “sound clash”, as they entertained the crowd. After that, Malcolm Ferreira and Lisa Punch stirred things up with “Wickedeeee”. Ferriera was assisted by the powerful voice of Lisa Punch. Jackie Hanover did an excellent job when she performed a few of her hits. Trinidadian, Shal Marshal was the first regional act to perform, and he appeared to put the patrons in the right party mood with his popular tunes. The Karma Band,

led by Ravi B, yet again proved to be one of the best in the region, as the members entertained the crowd to the fullest, dishing out various genres of music, ranging from soca to dancehall. Busy Signal took over from where Karma left off and he also created the right atmosphere. The Jamaican artiste did not disappoint his fans. The main act of the evening was another Jamaican artiste, Konshens, who sang mostly snippets of his tunes. Despite this, his fans enjoyed his performance. After Konshens’ performance, the Antiguan Band performed. The crowd had a time of their lives as the band performed for close to 20 minutes. The group left their fans breathless as they dished out some of their well-known hits.

The Queen’s Park Cricket Club’s Cricket Heritage Museum in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad (TT Guardian photo)

batsman the world has ever seen, and Queen’s Park club member Brian Lara’s splendid record breaking performanc-

es are also prominently displayed in the special Brian Lara section. Showcased are the bats with which he blast-

ed 375 and 400 not out against England and 501 not out against Durham, all legendary in the world of cricket. (TT Guardian)


feature | week ending August 22, 2013

Guyanese cultural group thrills French Guiana audience I

ndus Voices and Dance Worqs, a local Indian cultural group in Guyana, delivered last week when they performed at “La Fete”, a cultural exhibition in French Guiana. The group, headed by founder Amar Ramessar, was selected to perform in the French South American country after the organisers there requested an Indian group from Guyana. The group left Guyana on August 7 and arrived at Saint-Laurent-duMaroni later that day. On the following day, Indus Voices and Dance Worqs created history as they were the first Indian group to perform at that part of the country. There were also the only international/regional group that performed at the event. The group gave a thrilling and mesmerising performance before a packed audience. The first item was an energetic Bhangra dance followed by two other dances done by Preiya Methuram, Padmini Abraham and Rena Ramessar.

Filmi hits

The group also performed several filmi hits. Amar Ramessar’s renditions of “Dagariya Chalo” and “Dholak Bajayea”; Seema Budram’s “Bholo Bhola” and “Radha On The Dance Floor”; Aditya Persaud’s “Pehli Nazar Mein” and Suraj Narayan’s

host a television programme called “Sangeetayatra” (a musical journey), which he used to propagate the music for two years.

Charitable work

The members of Indus Voices and Dance Worqs after their performance in French Guiana, along with the organisers (stooping in front)

“Satarangiya”, were performed with perfection. However, their performances could not have been executed without the musicians. With Avinash Roopchan on the bass guitar, Vishal Khellawan on the dholak, tabla and drums and Kamo Balac on the keyboard, they created a feisty backdrop against the magical voices of the singers. While the Indus Voices and Dance Worqs performance at the “La Fete” was successful,

the real reward came after the show when they were invited to perform at another event in French Guiana later this year. “Indus Voice” as it was named initially, was conceived by Amar Ramessar, who wanted to preserve the roots of Indian music. The idea came alive in 2009 with the help of three friends with the same agenda. Together, they created “Indus Voices”. Ramessar explained that the Indus Valley is the cradle of Indian music and

dance, and so his group is trying to promote traditional classical and semi-classical music. “Studying for years with the Indian Cultural Centre and when we perform classical pieces, you can actually see this curiosity and anxiety in people so I thought, through the knowledge I acquired over the years, that it would be a good thing to start propagating this kind of music,” he said. After the group was formed in 2009, Ramessar started to

In addition, the group was engaged in a lot of charity work and events across Guyana. They have also performed in Grenada where they were invited for a post-Diwali programme. He said when the group was invited to perform in French Guiana, they decided to incorporate dance in their repertoire, with the aim of expanding the group’s diversity. “The people in Indus Voices and Dance Worqs are very talented in their disciplines, our dancers, having been studying classical dance for a number of years and our musicians are some of Guyana’s best, and we are probably the only group in Guyana that does this kind of music.” Indus Voices and Dance Worqs made its debut in 2011 when the group participated and won the first Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) ‘Chowtal Competition’. Throughout the years, the group has been focusing on its ground work, and hosted it first production, “Raagas N Rythms” in March at the Theatre Guild. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Trinidad tassa boys pull off great show in U.K.


Tropical Powers Country Boys Tassa Group (TT Newsday photo)

n invitation from the popular Brouhaha International Festival, drummers of the Penal-based Tropical Powers Country Boys Tassa Group performed for thousands in Liverpool, U.K. recently. “Brouhaha” which is the French word for “excitement”,

is an annual event which features the talent of 23 countries in a carnival-like parade through the streets. ‘Country Boys’, led by Narine Bachu, thrilled the huge audience with the calypso and soca beat on the tassa drums at this event. “It was pure delight to see

people dancing and enjoying our drumming in England,” Narine said. Country Boys Tassa Group has been performing at this festival for the past four years. This show, which Narine describes as an exchange of culture, brings together scores of artistes from many coun-

tries under one roof for a “fiveday” show. “It is one of the most interesting shows in the world, with a lot of media attention as it goes over the Internet for worldwide viewing,” Narine said, adding that while other artistes are funded by respective countries, his tassa group had to source help from sponsors and well-wishers. He noted that drumming is a separate art from all the other musical art forms, and both tassa and African drumming are separate categories in the performing arts in TT. Narine outlined his recipe for success as sticking to traditional ‘‘hands’’ (beats) and ringing out sounds that are distinct. He said while it is good to entertain in the chutney, soca and calypso rhythms, in competition, drummers must delve into the traditional hands of Nagar, Tikora and Dingolay. He contracted former ‘Mastana Bahar’ winners, Amritam Shakti Dance Company, led by Vishal Pooran, to accompany his band. Narine also thanked their sponsors, Tropical Power Limited, for their support over the years. Like so many of the other genres of music, tassa has evolved through the years. Narine said his informa-

tion on tassa revealed that these drums were made more than 100 years ago from hollowed out tree trunks which were carved in the shape of a pot. It was then covered with goat’s skin and was beaten with cane sticks. The Country Boys Tassa Drummers is now preparing to perform in the Grenada Drum Festival later this month. This festival, held in Trivoli, St Andrews, showcases drummers from many of the Caribbean countries, with an emphasis on African drumming. At the 2011 festival, Country Boys received cash awards and a trophy for their efforts in the event. The tassa group has captured several top prizes in recent times. Their most recent win was in the 2011 ‘Republic Bank Tassa Taal’ competition. In the 28 years of this competition, Country Boys has taken the title on four occasions. The group is also the reigning Tassa Association of TT (TATT) champion. The other members of the Country Boys Tassa group include Deolal Baboolal, Rajindra Ramlogan and Ivan Sahatee. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Debating programme helps Jamaican students to resolve conflicts A pproximately 400 children from Ocho Rios, St Ann, Flanker in St James and Trench Town, Kingston, Jamaica, recently participated in a debate programme aimed at assisting students to better resolve conflicts. The Debate Mate Sandals Foundation Cup, now in its second staging, was first introduced to Jamaica by the United Kingdom (U.K.)-based Debate Mate. Following the success of the first staging of the programme in the Flanker and Trench Town communities last summer, the Sandals Foundation partnered with Debate Mate— contributing Ja$2.3 million to assist with expansion and the hosting of a national competition in August 2013. Having spent four weeks in 2012 working with youth, ages six to 20, at Boys' Town All-Age School and the Flanker Peace and Justice Centre, Debate Mate returned to Jamaica to

Members of the winning team, Team Movement from Ocho Rios, pose with the trophy at the finals of the debating competition in Jamaica (Jamaica Observer photo)

continue their work with these groups, as well as additional youngsters from schools and youth groups in St Ann, and St Mary. "We originally came to Jamaica due to the success of our U.K. programme with the Jamaican communities there, particularly in London," Scarlett McCabe, programme director of Debate Mate

Jamaica, said. Following a successful pre-pilot programme in April 2012, McCabe said the decision was taken to bring eight UK university mentors out to Flanker, and Trench Town. "I was leading that team and we had the most incredible experience that left us with no doubt that Jamaica and the Debate Mate programme

Queen’s Medal for Trinidadianborn cancer information specialist


rinidadian-born Suresh Rambaran left Trinidad and Tobago in 1972 to make a life for himself in the United Kingdom. His goals were simple: to further his education, broaden his knowledge and travel. He migrated to the U.K. to enrol with the National Health Service (NHS) when they were recruiting people from the Caribbean to train and work in the NHS. Noble ambitions for anyone, and courageous not only for someone young, but of East Indian descent from a humble village in Barrackpore, South Trinidad. Rambaran took this as an opportunity to further his education, little knowing where it would take him. Today, Rambaran is one of 12 nurses in the United Kingdom of African and Caribbean origin to be bestowed a Queen’s Medal Diamond Jubilee award for his work and contribution within the NHS and voluntary/charity sector. He received his award in July 2013 from TT’s Ambassador to the U.K. Garvin Nicholas. A Cancer Information Specialist (CIS), his area of specialisation being prostate cancer, Rambaran was the U.K.’s first Black and Ethnic Minority to be appointed as a CIS.

Cancer Equality

He is also the founding member and trust-

were a natural fit. We empower the young people that we work with, giving them the key skills that will help them re-engage in school and their community, and ultimately get a job," she said, adding that one of the most powerful successes of Debate Mate Jamaica is how well it helps with conflict resolution. This year, 12 representatives from Debate Mate worked with nearly 400 youth, teaching them life skills that will contribute to their overall development. The students have competed among themselves in their communities through a series of preliminary debates, with the winning teams competing in the finals at Ocho Rios High School on August 9. Heidi Clarke, director of programmes at the Sandals Foundation explained that the programme exposes youngsters in Jamaica to great role models and provides them with the tools to respond in a

constructive, non-violent way to life’s challenges. She is now hoping that the programme will become widespread in schools across the country. While debating is seen as a tool to help the students to resolve conflicts, McCabe admitted that one of the challenges is getting students to speak in a positive way. She, however, pointed out that the programme was a major success, having exceeded expectations. "We have been completely overwhelmed by how successful the programme has been. We can't believe that today there were 100 students who were sitting quietly, competing in a debate, working together on a team, being gracious losers, getting constructive feedback through their peers and coming together and supporting all the other teams even though they might not have won their debate," she said. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

Social activist launches children’s storybooks in Guyana

FLASHBACK: Suresh Rambaran receives an award for community service from TT’s Ambassador to the U.K. Garvin Nicholas last October (TT High Commission photo)

ee of the charity, Cancer Equality. It was while working with cancer patients of different ethnic backgrounds that Rambaran felt that hospitals and other health facilities should improve their service provisions, making them culturally appropriate and sensitive to the needs of the patients’ religions, customs and cultures. After seeing what cancer patients had to endure, and being a West Indian, Rambaran was determined to help cancer patients through the cracks of what he perceived as inadequate healthcare for minority groups. He created Cancer Equality to facilitate the delivery of services to hard to reach patients by taking their cultural needs into consideration. After training as a nurse at Birch Hill Hospital, Rochdale, Lancashire, Rambaran

moved to London where more West Indians were then living, and got a job at the prestigious Royal Marsden Hospital where, witnessing the plight of people diagnosed with cancer and how it affected them and their family, Rambaran decided to specialise in oncology (cancer care).

Giving back to TT

Rambaran has been utilising his expertise to help in TT over the years by providing cancer information booklets, giving awareness talks and television/radio interviews but feels that much more can be done to raise awareness of the cancer. Over the years, he has donated school books to the Rochard Douglas Road Presbyterian School in Barrackpore; cash to the Presbyterian church; clothes to the orphanage in central Trinidad and cancer booklets to the Radiotherapy Centre in St James. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

Social activist Sherlina Nageer autographing one of her books (Guyana Times photo)


ocial activist, Guyanese Sherlina Nageer last Wednesday launched two children’s books at the National Library in Georgetown, Guyana. The books were illustrated by local artist Nicole Bissoo-Williams and are set in and inspired by the Rupununi region of Guyana, the author said in a release. ‘‘Toco the Terrible’ tells the tale of a dog, who is bullied for years before he demonstrates great bravery and finds his life transformed. ‘Thumbelina and the Yarrow’, the other book, is a story about a young Amerindian girl and the redemptive power of friendship.’ Nageer said the stories are meant to educate and inspire, as well as share aspects of the indigenous way of life and the Rupununi environment with children and

adults who may not have had a chance to visit that part of Guyana. Speaking at the launch, Nageer said she believed it was important for children to see images they can recognise and relate to in literature. She spoke about searching for local stories for her nephews and niece who live overseas and not being able to find much, she was inspired to write these books after visiting the Rupununi. Bissoo-Williams, the artist, described the process of illustrating the books and encouraged children to interact with the stories by feeling free to colour the drawings in the books. Laura George, indigenous peoples’ activist with the Amerindian Peoples’ Association, applauded the publication of these two books and said her young daughters, who love to read, re-

ally enjoyed the stories, as they were able to relate to them. She was also happy with the positive depiction of the toshao, and said it was important for all Guyanese, including those who were not Amerindian or who lived on the coast, to better understand the way of life of indigenous people. Nageer hopes that all Guyanese children will read, enjoy, and gain something positive from her books. She also encouraged everyone present to tell their own stories as well, recognising that there are many talented Guyanese with compelling tales to share. Copies of the two books were donated to the National Library, as well as to the Red Thread Women’s Centre Community Library. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)


feature | week ending August 22, 2013

Six CSEC passes for hearing- Streaming impaired Trinidadian student in schools

By Anu Dev

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself” – John Dewey


Amir Andi-Abdoerrachman (left) in a scrabble exhibition match in 2011 (TT Guardian file photo)

mir AndiAbdoerrachman is an 18-year-old student from the Marabella South Secondary School who has proven hard work can triumph over any hardship. He was born without the ability to hear, but still passed six out of seven subjects with one distinction in his Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) this year. Amir’s mother, Sieudaye Andi-Abdoerrachman, said she was ecstatic about his results. She added that it was an emotional time, as Amir’s father, her husband Rachmanoedin, died in January this year after suffering a stroke. She said Amir’s ability to overcome the loss of his father and still excel in his examinations was admirable, and she was proud of him. Amir received a distinction in Technical Drawing, grade one in Building Technology, grade two in Integrated Science, and three grade three’s in Agriculture Science, Mathematics and Social Studies. When asked by his mother how he felt when he saw his results, Amir signed back excitedly “surprised and happy”. He told her that studying was difficult, but “all students would say that,” not only him because he was deaf. “He’s exceptional, he worked hard and sacrificed a lot,” Sieudaye gushed. She credited his success to his ability to understand things easily, saying as soon as he grasped a topic, he got it. Amir has applied to the University of TT to pursue Aapplied Engineering, as he has dreams of becoming a civil engineer like his father was. What is holding him back, however, is that he failed

Amir earned six passes, among them a distinction at the 2013 CSEC examinations (TT Newsday photo)

English A at the CSEC examination. Sieudaye said she was hopeful something could be worked out, as Amir communicated with his hands. She said her wish was that more provisions would be made for the hearing-impaired, including enlisting interpreters at various institutions to help with communication. “He needs someone to interpret for him, but interpreters are costly,” she said. Also, she is hoping for support from social welfare in the form of a disability grant. Since Sieudaye does not work, she depends on assistance from the government. Amir is also a Scrabble whiz, Sieudaye said, as he represented TT in Malaysia at the World Youth Scrabble Championship (WYSC) in December 2011, and then in another master’s tournament in Birmingham last year. “He walks into those competitions with confidence,” she


‘Exemplary student’ His principal, Sheldon Jodha, said Amir was an exceptional student who never let his impairment hold him back. “He was an exemplary student,” Jodha said. Being one of three hearingimpaired students at Marabella South, Jodha said they “fit in like everyone else”. And that’s the message Sieudaye wanted to send out. “They (people with a hearing disability) think they are not good enough. But I want to tell them they are just differently-abled. ‘You have to use sign, that’s all’.” She said that with the right support, which included encouragement and people who could use sign language, there was nothing a hearing-impaired person couldn’t do. “They need people to believe in them, and then they can do anything they want.” (Excerpt from TT Guardian)


eeing the (amazing) spike in the number of subjects the high-achievers wrote this year, I was particularly interested to see what exactly were the subjects written by these students. It was no surprise to discover that several wrote subjects across “streams”. I’ve had time to think long and hard about our system of streaming in our educational system in Guyana. I’ve always liked our system of streaming students into groups of subjects centred on an endeavour of life – like science or business – by fourth form. Some would say that forcing kids to choose a stream is tantamount to have them make career choices at that early age. That this just makes “education” all about training you to get a job later in life, when instead, you should want to learn, for learning’s sake. And it’s good to learn. I love to read, I love learning. But realistically, in the future, I’ll have to work, I’ll have to earn money. I’ll need to prepare myself as best as I could to be best equipped for whatever field I choose. It’s no good for me to just float around aimlessly with no sense of direction until ‘I find myself’. Picking a stream in fourth form and sticking to it gave me a sense of direction. And by the time I reached sixth form, I knew my choice of career would be the natural science stream. So to the parents of secondary school kids, I encourage you to have discussions with your kids about possible career paths so that by the time they reach fourth form they’ll have a general idea of what stream they’ll want to be in. The other day I realised (with a start!) that my parents have known me for over 17 years. Every day since the day I was born, they’ve been there to see me grow up, to see my personality unfold, to see my habits and preferences. So as parents, you’re in the best position to advise your child, to encourage them to realistically pursue career choices or streaming choices that they’ve always seemed partial to. I’ve always felt that it’s important to be well-read and not one-track. I did all three social sciences at CSEC, both because I was interested in them and also because I didn’t want to fall into the stereotype of doctors just being able to carry on conversations about medicine. But at the same time, it wasn’t necessary to stray so far out of my chosen field and do subjects that I’ll never really use, and still I was able to widen my knowledge base. So I’d like to encourage students, parents, and teachers to remember why we streamed kids in the first place – it gave us structure and order. Choose your stream, stick to it, and be the best in your stream and later, be the best at your career. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Choose a stream you like, choose subjects you like, things that seem important to you as a person, and it’ll be much easier to get through. In all aspects of life, when you do something just for the sake of doing it, it’s much duller than if it was something you cared about, or were passionate about. It’s never too late to start thinking about your future. Make your choices wisely; because we’re the children of Guyana, we’re the future of this great nation; especially the great majority of my fellow students who may not have done as well as they may have wanted.



week ending August 22, 2013 |

‘The Lunchbox’ wins at Madhuri Dixit introduces film fest in Amsterdam ‘dancercise’



he audience at the World Cinema Amsterdam Film Festival chose Indian director Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Lunchbox’ as the best film of the 2013 edition, according to reports from IANS. Co-produced by Anurag Kashyap and Guneet Monga, among others, the movie was awarded the World Cinema Amsterdam

Audience Award at the fest, which was held from August 7 – 18. According to the official website of the festival, the movie won with as many as 4,396 votes, followed by international films such as ‘Gloria’, ‘Songs of Redemption’, ‘Le Passe’ and ‘Het Geheim van Marienburg’. The film, which stars Indian actors

Irrfan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, will be release in the Netherlands on December 12. ‘The Lunchbox’ had also won Critics’ Week Viewers Choice Award at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival held earlier this year. In India, the movie will be released September 20. (Times of India)

adhuri Dixit Nene who had started an online dance academy for keen learners to master the art, has now come up with ‘dancercise’, a fusion of dance and exercise, according to TNN reports. A source said, “Staying fit is the mantra of today and it can be fun when you combine dance and exercise to stay in shape. The actress’ online dance academy will now have a new module, dancercise, a combination of dance and exercise, introducing a fun way of staying in shape.” Madhuri has incorpo-


aran Johar takes a step forward to end all rumours about Kareena and Hrithik back together


as an on-screen couple and transforms it in to a fact. He recently announced that the actors are a part of Dharma

he trailer of ‘Krrish 3’ is garnering stupendous response from viewers on YouTube. The promo has already crossed the 13 million mark on the social video website, according to IANS reports. Action-packed and laced with amazing special effects, ‘Krrish 3’ has even left behind two huge Hollywood blockbusters – ‘Thor’ and ‘The Avengers’. While ‘The Avengers’ promo was seen almost 6 million times on YouTube, ‘Thor’ had received more than 4 million views. Hrithik Roshan plays a superhero in this third film of the franchise which began with ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ in 2003, followed by ‘Krrish’ in 2006. Directed by Rakesh Roshan, ‘Krrish 3’ is slated for a November 4 release. (Bollywood Celebden)

gime will assure a great workout and help to tone your entire body. (Times of India)

Amrita Rao proud of performance in ‘Satyagraha’

Hrithik and Kareena for A love story ‘Shuddhi’ Production’s next project, ‘Shuddhi’ which will be directed by Karan Malhotra. The movie is said to be a reincarnation-based love story in a dramatic form and Karan Johar believes that both of the actors are best suited for the roles and that they will be able to create the chemistry required for the movie. The duo was last seen onscreen a decade back and are excited to be a part of this new venture. The shooting for the movie is yet to begin and once it starts, ‘Shuddhi’ is filed to release in October next year. (Bollywood Celebden)

rated her famous signature steps to make the exercise sessions more interesting and the re-

fter playing docile roles in ‘Ishq Vishk’, ‘Vivah’ and ‘Welcome to Sajjanpur’, actress Amrita Rao is gearing up to show her rebellious streak in Prakash Jha’s ‘Satyagraha’. Though, the 32-yearold actress is happy about her previous roles, Amrita says she is particularly “proud” of her performance in the upcoming political-thriller. “I have done a lot of

films which I am happy about, but this one (Satyagraha) I am proud of. As an actress it is a privilege to play someone representing the youth of our country. It is such a sensitive subject... It almost felt like I was living the angst of the youth. There were moments while shooting, where everyone felt frustrated seeing what is happening in our nation today,” Amrita told PTI. Amrita describes her

character in ‘Satyagraha’ as a morally upright and strong girl from a small town who represents the “aam aadmi”. ‘Satyagraha’ deals with the movement of the middle class against corruption. With a stellar star cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpai and Kareena Kapoor Khan. The movie is set to hit the theatres on August 30. (Times of India)

Amitabh and Rishi team up after 22 years


hey were part of the cast of ‘Delhi-6’; however, the duo didn’t have any scenes together. But Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor will face each other on the big screen after 22 years to play friends who have not spoken to each other for 25 years, in Sudhir Mishra’s ‘Mehrunissa’. The duo, who were last seen together in Shashi Kapoor-directed 1991 film ‘Ajooba’, will go through a period of re-

hearsals and workshops to play two hostile friends in Mishra’s film, according to IANS. According to a source close to the project: “The two friends, one a Muslim and the other a Hindu, fell out because they were both in love with the same girl. Now 25 years later, they will confront each other.” Mishra wants the two actors to get comfortable being uncomfortable with one another. “Bachchan saab and

Rishiji have to project the friction of two people, two friends who know one another so well that they can remain bonded even without talking for so many years,” added the source. Chitrangda Singh plays the girl they both love. But most of her scenes would be with the actors who play the young Amitabh and Rishi. Mishra will begin shooting the film in September. (Bollywood Celebden)


hollywood | week ending August 22, 2013

Big names among stars headed to Toronto film festival


ORONTO – Jennifer Aniston, Kate Winslet, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Hugh Jackman are among the A-listers heading to next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, a glitzy parade organisers touted Tuesday as ground zero for those seeking awards season glory. Festival organisers say this year’s star-packed guest list also includes Sandra Bullock, Marion Cotillard, Daniel Radcliffe, Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Wiig. The roster emerged as the final films were announced for the 11day movie marathon, bringing the final count to 288 features and 78 shorts bound for the fest. “I think that unquestionably Toronto is now positioned as one

of the key — if not the key — festivals for awards-season launch, so of course many of the stars will come to the festival as well as the major directors,” festival director

Piers Handling said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters. “They’ve looked at the track record of Toronto over the last 15, 20 years, which is very impressive. Many films go on to multiple nominations and we’ve had a track record of picking best picture as well as many of the best actors over the years.” Toronto has done particularly well in predicting awards success for foreign-language films, Handling added, noting that over the last 25 years, 24 of the Oscar winners in that category screened at TIFF. The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 to 15 and opens with the WikiLeaks drama ‘The Fifth Estate’. (Yahoo OMG!)

Steve Job’s partner criticises new Ashton Kutcher movie


teve Wozniak has criticised Ashton Kutcher’s latest movie ‘Jobs’, based on Apple founder Steve Jobs. ‘Jobs’, which stars Kutcher as the late Apple boss, has received mixed reviews from critics. Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, talked about the movie, saying, “I saw ‘Jobs’ tonight. I thought the acting throughout was good. I was attentive and entertained but not greatly enough to recommend the movie. I suspect a lot of what was wrong with the film came from Ashton’s own image of Jobs.” The tech innovator also addressed Kutcher’s recent claim that Wozniak was being paid to criticise ‘Jobs’, calling his statements “disingenuous and wrong”, reported Huffington Post. “These are examples of Ashton still being in character. I was turned off by the ‘Jobs’ script. But I still hoped for a great movie.” (Hindustan Times)

Hugh Jackman dismisses rumours of Lindsay Lohan multimillion dollar ‘Wolverine’ deal determined to H stay sober said. The actor is currently in Montreal shooting for next summer’s highly anticipated ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’. “I would never do that. I’ve never done that mainly because, for the fans and for me, each time I’ve gone around there’s been a really good reason to do it and I don’t know what that reason is from here. I’m in the middle of making this and I just promoted the other and I’m really happy with the way ‘The Wolverine’ came out,” he added. (Hindustan Times)

ugh Jackman has dismissed reports that he was being courted for a US$100 million deal for four more movies in the Wolverine franchise. The latest outing by Jackman’s clawed mutant is still running in theatres but the 44-year-old actor, who embarks on a strict diet and exercise regime to prepare for the role every time, said he would not go into that space without any good reason, reported Entertainment Weekly. “No it’s not true,” Jackman

Dick Van Dyke saved from burning car in LA


eteran actor Dick Van Dyke survived a car fire without apparent injury on Monday, after his Jaguar burst into flames on a Los Angeles area freeway. According to the California Highway Patrol, the 87-year-old actor, who is known for his television series the ‘Dick Van Dyke Show’, was driving near the suburb of Calabasas

when his car caught fire, reported.

The man who rescued him told the publication that he himself was driving along the 101 highway when he saw a car full of smoke on the side of the road and an elderly man hunched over at the wheel. The man said that he ran over and rescued the actor on time. The ‘Mary Poppins’ star’s wife later tweeted that her husband is “fine”. (Times of India)

Naomi Watts plays Princess Diana in new movie


rincess Diana’s life and death has probably been one of the most discussed in the media over the years. Gracing the cover of Vanity Fair’s September issue, Princess Di continues to live on as the people’s princess. The magazine pays a tribute to the late princess’ upcoming biopic simply titled ‘Diana’ starring Naomi Watts. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, the first full trailer for the film has been released. Diana’s trailer shows Watts as the much loved royal, mother of Prince William and Harry and the

lover of a certain cardiologist Dr Hasnat Khan. Rumoured to be Diana’s last true love, Khan met her a short two years before her tragic death. The trailer, that released recently, has brought the Aussie actress many compliments for her performance. “Watts, donning a blonde wig, exudes the grace and elegance the late princess was known for, portraying Diana during a tumultuous time in her life,” commends The Daily Beast. “Playing Princess Diana was the hardest thing I’ve done. I

wanted to try to embody her and get the essence of her,” Watts told the tabloid. The film is scheduled to open on September 20 in the U.K., just a few weeks after the 16th anniversary of Her Royalty’s death. (Hindustan Times)


ctress Lindsay Lohan says she feels “whole” after completing her stint at a rehabilitation centre recently. The 26-year-old was ordered a 90-day stay at the Cliffside Malibu

rehab centre for her alcohol addiction. She was discharged July 31. Lohan is keen on keeping herself sober now, reports Talking about her new life on Oprah Winfrey’s show ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’, Lohan said: “I feel whole again and I have such a desire to want to keep this feeling and stay this way, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes.” Lohan will also appear on an eight-part documentary on her life for Winfrey’s channel Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which will air next year. (Times of India)

Ex ‘Disney’ star dead at 29


merican actor Lee Thompson Young, best known for playing the titular character in Disney Channel series ‘The Famous Jett Jackson’, was found dead inside his Los Angeles home early Monday morning by police. He was 29. According to Entertainment Tonight, police have confirmed Young’s death. A dispatch had been sent to Young’s house on a welfare check after he did not make an appearance for work on the set of ‘Rizzoli and Isles’. Young has been playing Det. Barry Frost on the TNT’s buddy-cop series since 2010.

Authorities discovered his body after entering his house; he was pronounced dead on the scene, CBS reported. It is believed that Young died from a selfinflicted gunshot wound. (Times of India)



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Pomeroon student defies the odds, excels at CSEC in Guyana

Lisa is this year’s top hinterland scholarship student


rowing up as a child along the Pomeroon River presents many challenges as well as opportunities. Travelling to school is usually frenzied as children often travel far distances by boat, at the mercy of heavy rains or hot sunshine. Such travels also incur a financial burden on parents, many who are unable to meet the demands. These harsh realities sometimes force students to abandon their dreams of a quality education; but there

are those who eventually defy these odds. Like Lisa Maria Thakurdin, of Anna Regina Multilateral School (ARMS), who earned 13 grade ones and two grade twos at this year’s CSEC examinations. In addition to being one of the top five students at ARMS, which includes the country’s two best performers, Thakurdin of Jacklow, Pomeroon, a traditional rural farming area, is this year’s top CSEC hinterland scholarship student. She secured grade one

passes in Mathematics, English A, English B, Integrated Science, Social Studies, Human and Social Biology, Economics, EDPM, Agricultural Science, Office Administration, Principles of Business, Principles of Accounts and Physical Education. Her grade two subjects are Spanish and Information Technology. But while the sixteenyear-old now celebrates her success, her journey has not been relatively easy. Born Sept 13, 1996, Lisa is the eldest child of Calvin Thakurdin, a farmer, and Indera Thakurdin, a housewife; and big sister to brother, Ken. School experience When Lisa wrote the National Grade Six Assessment several years ago, she secured a spot at Queens College and placed 13th among Guyana’s best NGSA performers for that year. Her parents, however, decided that Lisa would attend ARMS in Essequibo. For Lisa, this meant hours of daily travelling

Lisa and her mom share a photo with Education Minister Priya Manikchand (MOE photo)

by river and road to get to school. However, she remained focused on her studies and continued to perform well throughout her school years, always securing the highest grade in her class. Coming up to CSEC, the experience became more challenging for Lisa. Already burdened by extra lessons, the SchoolBased Assessments (SBAs) and regular inclass assignments kept piling up. Lisa had to spend many hours late in the nights, sometimes way up into the morning,

to get the work done in time for submission. There is no electricity in the Pomeroon, and while Lisa was fortunate to have solar powered electricity, there are children who are not so lucky. They often resort to lanterns or battery-operated flashlights to do homework and study. Nevertheless, it was still a struggle for Lisa. “My mom had to wake me sometimes…. barely got to sleep. Sometimes I barely got three hours of sleep,” she reflected. Today though, her ef-

forts have paid off and she can advise other hinterland students to “… study hard, focus on your education and make the best of every opportunity.” With a passion for banking and finance, Lisa plans to further her studies in Economics at the University of Guyana. She has already been accepted to Republic Bank’s apprenticeship programme, and plans to pursue this opportunity in the meantime. (Excerpt from Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)


feature | week ending August 22, 2013

Actor Gerard Butler supports Jamaica Tallawahs in the Limacol CPL T

he excitement and fun of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League continues to appeal to Hollywood celebrities with officials announcing that actor Gerard Butler has taken an equity interest in the Jamaica Tallawahs team, and hopes to be supporting his team at the semi-final and final in Trinidad and Tobago. “My good friend Ajmal Khan has been telling me about the Limacol CPL and I’ve had the opportunity to watch some of the matches. It is obvious that this tournament is the home of the greatest party in sport so I wanted to get in on the fun,” said Butler. “Having said that, as a Scotsman I defi-

nitely have an appreciation for cricket and I also recognise that the LCPL is a great combination of sports and entertainment. I’m excited about joining the Jamaica Tallawahs franchise, and hopefully being a part of the team that wins the inaugural tournament.” Ajmal Khan, Chairman of Verus International and Founder of the Limacol CPL stated, “Celebrities owning sports teams is nothing new but to have two Hollywood actors taking a vested interest in cricket teams is quite novel. The Limacol CPL continues to attract that ‘star power’. I think it’s a testament to the quality of the tournament, the carnival party atmosphere,

Gerard Butler has taken an equity interest in the Jamaica Tallawahs team

the music, the entertainment, the fans, and the experience that only the Caribbean can

deliver. We’re just a few days away from the semi-finals and final but the interest in,

and desire to be a part of the Limacol CPL is still there because the tournament just keeps getting better with every game that’s played. I am excited to have my good friend Gerry come to the Limacol CPL to join the party.” “We are thrilled that Gerard has seen the enormous potential of the Limacol CPL and has taken an equity interest in the Jamaica Tallawahs,” said Limacol CPL Chief Executive Officer Damien O’Donohoe. “Now that the tournament has actually started, I think more people are realising its global appeal, and how it is an experience like no other. Celebrities such as Gerard further raise the profile of the

tournament, and expand the fan base to reach new markets. We look forward to seeing the many ways in which this partnership will benefit both Gerard and the LCPL,” he added. Butler’s next movie, ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’, comes out in 2014. He is best known for his roles in films such as ‘Olympus Has Fallen’, ‘300’, ‘Law Abiding Citizen’, ‘The Ugly Truth’, ‘P.S. I Love You’, and sports themed movies ‘Chasing Mavericks’ (surfing) and ‘Playing for Keeps’ (soccer). The inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League began on 30 July in Barbados, and concludes on 24 August in Trinidad. (CPL)

Star of the Week

Keesha Brownie


eet the beautiful Keesha Brownie, a Canadian comedian with Jamaican roots, who was born in Montreal, Quebec. She studied Theatre Performances at Humber College and currently works as an actor/comedian/model. She also did some studies in the field of real estate at the Second City Training Centre in Toronto. Brownie enjoys reading, writing and ‘prank calling .’



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Guyana cops overall squash title at Caribbean championships T

he Digicel Senior Caribbean Squash Championships concluded Saturday with Guyana winning the overall title while Barbados won the veterans’ title at the Georgetown Club squash courts. Guyana also copped the men’s and women’s team title. In the final set of men’s team matches Guyana beat Jamaica 4-1, Cayman Islands, who placed second in the men’s race, defeated Barbados 4-1 and Trinidad and Tobago got the better of OECS 3-2. For Guyana, Jamaal Callender defeated Julian Morrison 11-8,11-9,11-7, Jason Ray Khalil defeated Bruce Levy 11-5,11-5,11-9, Sunil Seth lost to Chris Binnie 119,6-11,1-11,6-11, Alex Arjoon beat Dane Schwier 3-11,117,11-5,11-6 and Richard Chin beat Bruce Burrowes 11-3,119,9-11,11-2. In the Cayman Islands/ Barbados matchup Julian Jervis beat Zaki Williams 11-

Action on the last day of the competition at Georgetown Club squash courts

1,11-4,11-7, Daniel Murphy lost to Stewart St John 118,6-11,7-11,11-8,10-12, Mark Chaloner beat Gavin Cumberbatch 11-3,11-4,114, Gabby Rabess beat Rhett

Cumberbatch 6-11,11-9,118,9-11,12-10 and Cameron Stafford beat Shawn Simpson 11-6,11-6,11 5. Paul De Verteuil of TT beat Jason Doyle 11-9, 5-11,11-

Bolt, Fraser-Pryce have repaired Jamaica's image, says local coach

7,11-5, his compatriot Chase Mc Quan beat Deion Anselm 11-8,11-4,11-9, and Kale Wilson beat Jules Snagg 115,11-8,11-5. Mandela Patrick lost to OECS’s Kevin Bailey 3-11,11-5,11-7,7-11,6-11 while Don Lee went down to Kevin Hannaway 5-11,9-11,8-11. On the distaff side, Guyana played Barbados and defeated them 4-1. Guyanese Ashley De Groot was the only casualty when she lost to Nadia Mc Carthy 4-11,11-9,11-8,3-11,7-11. However, Keisha Jeffrey beat Amanda Haywood 11-5,11-6,11-8, Nicolette Fernandes beat Karen Meakins 11-5,11-2,11-7, Mary Fung-A-Fat beat Gylla Mckenzie 11-7,11-6,11-7 and Ashley Khalil beat Alex Jordon 11-8,11-3,11-6. In the veterans’ game played on Saturday, Ayoni Bradshaw of Barbados defeated Janet Sairsingh of the Cayman Islands 11-5,11-6,211,11-9.

OECS also beat TT 3-2 in the men’s veteran category. OECS Winston Findley lost to Richard Hart 9-11, 8-11,411 while his countryman James Bentick rebounded to beat Peter Pirtheesingh 116,11-4,11-1. Keith Boyea lost by walkover to John Holley, Sherian Slater won by walkover and Monique Lovell won by walkover. Final team results: Men’s Winner: Guyana; Second: Cayman Islands; Third: Jamaica; Fourth: Trinidad and Tobago; Fifth: Barbados; Sixth: OECS. Women’s Team Winner: Guyana; Second: Barbados; Third: Jamaica. Veterans Winner: Barbados Second: Guyana; Third: OECS; Fourth: Trinidad and Tobago. Overall Team Winner: Guyana; Second: Barbados; Third: Jamaica; Fourth: Trinidad and Tobago; Fifth: OECS; Sixth: Cayman Islands. The championship was powered by Powerade and Smalta. (Guyana Times)

Bronze for TT Field Hockey Pan Am Champs


he gold medal performances of Usain Bolt and ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce at the just-concluded 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow have done a lot to repair the damage to Jamaica's image after three of the island's top athletes returned adverse analytical findings in drug tests prior to the games. That's the view of David Riley of Technique Lab Limited and current head coach of Excelsior High School. "The world wants Jamaica to do well, and I think they have done a great job in repairing it. I have not heard any talk about drugs and Jamaica in the same sentence, not even a slight comment, and I think there has been some amount of repair," Riley pointed out at the Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange. Jamaica and the world were rocked by news that Veronica Campbell Brown, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson returned positive tests just before the Championships. The revelation was made at the same time that American sprinter Tyson Gay also tested positive for a banned substance. In the days leading to the Championships, the news was dominated by stories about the findings, giving detractors of Jamaica's athletics programme much fodder. But at the

TT’s hockey team during a game against Brazil earlier on in the Pan American 2013 Men’s Field Hockey Championship in Brampton, Ontario


Head coach of Excelsior High School in Jamaica David Riley (Jamaica Observer photo)

Championships, Bolt, already dubbed a legend, underlined his dominance of the sprints, capturing the 100m and the 200m in 9.77 and 19.66 seconds, respectively, before anchoring Jamaica's 4x100m relay to gold in 37.36 seconds. Fraser-Pryce was just as impressive, winning the 100m by the widest of margins in a world-leading 10.71 seconds, stopping the clock at 22.17 seconds in the 200m to take gold and anchoring the 4x100m relay to a national record of 41.29 seconds. Fraser-Pryce also made history by becoming the first Jamaican woman sprinter to win both the individual events and the 4x100m relay at a World Championships. "I get the impression that the world likes Bolt," said Riley. "The world wants to see Bolt do well. The world needs

Bolt. The world let out a sigh of relief when they saw him go out there and do what the world wants him to do," added Riley, who led Wolmer's Boys' School to victory at the annual Boys' Championships in 2010. Meanwhile, Dr Paul Auden, a former Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association executive who specialises in sports medicine, interjected that Jamaica’s sprinting success has brought the USA within striking distance of the other countries on the medals table. "We are taking out America there, so everywhere you go they want us. A lot of Russians were wearing the black, green and gold of Jamaica. For the rest of the world, they see us as the country that can take on the mighty Americans,” he said. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

rinidad and Tobago defeated the United States three goals to one to capture the third spot for bronze in the Pan American 2013 Men’s Field Hockey Championship in Brampton, Ontario Saturday before a gathering of approximately 1,000 including enthusiastic nationals of the twin island republic. The team arrived in Canada late for the start of the championship but was fortunate that organisers rescheduled the programme to include the team in the playoffs. After winning two games, TT lost to Canada three-one. Coach Glen Francis described the match against Canada as an excellent game. “TT lost to Argentina eight nil. We have never beaten Chile by five goals to one in our lives. It is the first time and it’s the first time we were in a semi-finals over eight to ten years. We defeated Brazil five goals to two,” Francis recalled. The team includ-

ed Kwan Brown, Cogie Butler, Darren Cowie, Shaquille Daniel, Aidan DeGannes, Solomon Eccles, Kwesi Emmanuel, Gilkes Gillet, Marcus James, Wayne Leggerton, Stefan Mouttet, Kiel Murray, Michael O’Connor II, Mickell Pierre, Dwain Quan Chan, Andrey Rocke, Christopher Scipio and Akim Toussaint “In every single game our performance was excellent. Yes, we lost two games but the performance at the end of the day and a lot of people don’t understand as a coach it is not always about winning. You are not a championship team. It is about performance and this will give us more encouragement to work harder,” Francis told TT media. Meanwhile, Cindy Martin-Faustin, team manager said the team certainly could make use of a second pitch and proper equipment to clean and maintain it. “In Trinidad there is a lot of dust and a lot of sand because of where

our pitch is located— next to a football savannah. All that sand comes and settles on the turf and Trinidad has two weathers—rain and sun—so when the rain falls on that, you get the build up of moss. It’s dangerous play for some people; you could break your leg. So we definitely need another turf and we also need the right equipment, which we have already sourced, which will cost about TT$70,000 to TT$80,000,” she explained. The hockey fraternity is trying to work with TT’s ministry of sport and that is not an easy task. Aware of the fact that hockey is a minority sport with about 600 participants, it is relatively small compared to cricket and football. “Although we are a small fraternity, we are also first in the Caribbean in terms of hockey and we are ranked about 32, now coming out of this game we are going to be ranked somewhere about 28,” Martin-Faustin explained. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)


sport | week ending August 22, 2013

Dant Sports Club grabs its ninth Caribbean championship title in seven years cricketers

feeling Limacol CPL excitement in Canada

Members of Dant Sports Club pose for a photo after winning the match against Sunshine Sports Club in the Canadian Soft Ball cricket league knock-out championship earlier this month


n inspired spell of fast bowling from former Canadian national player Aftab Shamsudeen propelled Dant Sports Club to a scorching 48-run win over rival Sunshine Sports Club in the Canadian Soft Ball cricket league knockout championship played on August 10, 2013 in Brampton Ontario. Despite being the club with best batting line up in Canada, Dant only mustered a mere 113 all out in 19.5 overs. After winning the toss, Sunshine’s skipper Wesley “Bobby” Parasnauth invited Dant to take first strike. Dant suffered a vital blow when they lost their skipper, Muniram Karan, in the second over of the inning.

Sunshine’s pace bowler Anil Mahadeo then picked up the wicket of Farook Hussain for 19. Wally Baccus was also instrumental in claiming the wicket of Yadram “Lara” Bogh for 15 and Looknaught Ramsuchit, who was caught out at deep mid-wicket for (6). Looknaught’s departure brought to the crease former Guyana under-nineteen player, Riaz Kasim, who was very effective in putting together a half century stand for the fifth wicket with Aftab Shamsudeen before Shamsudeen was run out. Opening the bowling for Dant was Damodar Dasrath, who created history by bowling Bernard Kartick first ball of Sunshine’s reply. This set the tone for a stimulat-

WICB happy with success... “The combination of some of the best regional and international T20 players with the amazing carnival, party-like atmosphere for which the Caribbean is renowned has turned the eyes and ears of the world to our shores, and we could not be more pleased about that exposure”. The Limacol CPL is being broadcast on television in India, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean and the USA, reaching millions of viewers through such networks as ESPN3, Fox Sports, BT Sports and Sony. ESPN Caribbean also produces a weekly highlights show of the Tournament which airs on the ESPN Caribbean television network and online at ESPN Play. In addition, the Line and Length Radio Network offers live ball-by-ball commentary of all the matches which airs on 22 radio stations in the Englishspeaking Caribbean and reaches over 850,000+ listeners. The Limacol CPL has also developed a strong presence on social media networks Facebook and Twitter, with thousands of fans and followers keeping up to date on the latest

President of the West Indies Cricket Board Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron

news and match information from the six franchise teams. Celebrities such as actor Mark Wahlberg– part owner of the Barbados Tridents–and Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson–sponsor of the Antigua Hawksbills team– who tweet about the Tournament, have added to the interest. Cameron said that he is impressed by the hidden talent that is emerging as a result of the League. “Players like young Nicholas Pooran (TT Red Steel) and the likes of Rayad Emrit (Barbados Tridents), Sheldon Cotterell (Antigua Hawksbills) and Steven

ed spell of fast bowling from Shamsudeen. His first victim was former Guyana national player, Wazim Haslim, brilliantly caught behind by former Guyana national footballer Orin Oneal. Shamsudeen went onto to clean up the next five batsmen, claiming figures of 6 for 9. Dasrath then came back for his second spell in which he claimed another 2 wickets to finish with tidy figures of 3-10, while Kasim had 1-15. In the end, Sunshine stumbled to 65 all out, with extras being the top score of 30. At the presentation, businessman and owner of Dant Sports Club, Andrew Persaud was full of praise for his manager Zanil Jumrali, along with his players.

from back page

Jacobs (Guyana Amazon Warriors) to name a few, that may have flown under the radar or been overshadowed by the bigger names in the region, have now been given their time to shine, and they are indeed taking advantage of that opportunity. “I expect that the Limacol CPL will open many doors for these young men to play cricket all over the world and it’s satisfying to know that it all started with the LCPL.” Limacol CPL Chief Executive Officer Damien O’Donohoe agrees. “As the Governing Authority for cricket in the region, the WICB have shown great foresight and support in how they have partnered with us to develop the LCPL. While in our inaugural year of the Tournament we recognise we have a long way to go to build and achieve all our mutual goals, we are warmed by the reception that the WICB and all local territorial boards have provided throughout and the passion with which they have interacted with us concerning our future development programmes which we think will yield far reaching results for the sport in the region.” (WICB)

Travis Blyden walking off the field after scoring his century Photo and story by Ravendra Madholall


ven as they continue to dominate the sport in Canada, cricketers from the Caribbean have expressed great excitement with the ongoing Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament when when ends this weekend in Trinidad. “The tournament (is) fantastic so far and (although I am) not getting the opportunity to be at the ground in Guyana or Trinidad and Tobago, I am definitely enjoying it from North America, both on the Internet and television,” said Guyaneseborn Travis Blyden. Former West Indies player Keith Semple, who had been classified as an elegant batsman during his career for Guyana, was also sentimental and in strong support of the Amazon Warriors to win the tournament. “I think Guyana has a balanced team and they will do well. Yes, you have got four strong and good teams vying for the trophy but, I am confident my countrymen will come out on top,” Semple related to this newspaper, following the weekend matches of the Toronto and District Cricket Association Elite and Premier divisions at King City ground. Both cricketers were among several other Caribbean players who pulled off some impressive, individual performances during the matches in Toronto. Former Guyana under-19 captain Eugene Lafluer captured a five-wicket haul in the Premier League for Victoria Parks Cricket Club, while his compatriot Blyden chalked up another hundred (122*) for Civics Cricket Club. Trinidadian and former Canada off-spinner Abzal Dean and his fellow countryman Jason Patraj were in the wickets col-

umn for Brampton Masters Cricket Club and Vikings Cricket Club respectively in the Elite Division. Guyanese Soraine Durand also waltzed his way to an unbeaten 118 for Vikings while former Guyana and West Indies batsman Royston Crandon turned in with a fine all-round performance for Vikings, making 33 runs and picking up three wickets. The left-arm orthodox spinner Lafluer, spun web around Mississauga Ramblers batsmen to collect five wickets for four runs from his economical fourover spell. And in the other game, he snatched three wickets to help Victoria Park beat Lords by 17 runs. His team batted first and totalled up 179 all out with former Canada under-19 batsman Ryan Lall top-scoring with 61. Islanders Cricket Club had mixed fortunes on Saturday and Sunday. They lost to Brampton by a massive 182-run margin while they rebounded on Sunday to defeat Toronto Cricket Club by five wickets. Former Guyana and Canada fast bowler Eion katchay proved his batting capability by making a fighting 44 on Saturday while Shan Shadrose made 46 the following day. Meanwhile, Blyden, who has scored four centuries this year so far, expressed great delight with his form while he thanked the admirable support from former Guyana and West Indies batsman Semple, during his unforgettable innings. Semple, who captained Guyana at the highest level, was with him on 33, while fellow Guyanese Fredi Pestano chipped in with 30. Off-spinner Elton Baker, another Guyanese, grabbed four wickets for 19 runs from five overs when they bowled out the opposition.



week ending August 22, 2013 |

Guyanese Canadian, U.S. jockeys expected in Guyana Cup horse race meet this Sunday cricketers

promise better showing for Canada against Netherlands By Ravendra Madholall


Irshad Mohamed

he Guyana Cup organisers have spent this week fine-tuning preparations for what is anticipated to be a keenly contested meet at the Port Mourant Turf Club (PMTC). Set for August 25, the event, which is a collaborative effort of the PMTC and Jumbo Jet Auto Sales, will have more than Gy$30,000,000 dollars in cash and prizes up for grabs. Irshad Mohamed, a member of the organising team, told this publication on Saturday that all systems are in place for the seventh annual event, which is the highlight of the horse race calendar in Guyana. He informed this news outfit that the track at Port Mourant is in great condition and a number

Some of the trophies that will be up for grabs at the seventh annual Guyana Cup 2013

of horses based in that area of the country have been using the facility to practice for the highly-anticipated activity. Close to 100 of the country’s top horses are expected to participate in the nine-race card. This publication also understands that dozens of jockeys from Canada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S.A. and Barbados are expected to compete with their local counterparts when action gallops off at noon. The feature race is for horses classified B and Lower with a staggering Gy$7,000,000 prize package with Gy$3,500,000 and the Guyana Cup trophy for the winner over 1700m. The main supporting race is a 1600m event for three-year-old horses born and bred in Guyana

and the West Indies. A trophy and Gy$2,500,000 will be at stake during this race. The two-year-old 1000m event for West Indies-bred horses carries a top prize of Gy$1,500,000 and trophy, while the E Class and Lower 1400m event has a winning take of Gy$1,000,000 and trophy. Other races carded for the day include the F Class, G3 and Lower, H and Lower, I and Lower, an event for winner of the JKL events and another three-year-old event for Guyana-bred horses. Apart from the rivalry among the horses and jockeys, the organisers have put together an entertainment package catering for both adults and children. Musical entertainment will be provided by the ‘Slingerz’, while there will be several giveaways for patrons.

TT’s Jehue Gordon wants more success


o stopping Trinidad and Tobago’s Jehue Gordon as he seeks more success after his spectacular showing at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. The 21-year-old arrived in London Monday to compete in two more meets before he returns to TT in September. “I am looking forward to this. We have some commitments now in Europe that have been finalised and that I will be participating in,” said the 21-year-old Gordon. “There is still work to do on the track. I have to remain focused and therefore I am looking forward to this. Of course winning this means that people will be aware of me more, but that is just part of success, the important point is to keep focused and the team around me is making certain of that,” he added. His gold medal in the Men’s 400 metres hurdles final, propelled TT to joint 12th place on the medal table with Colombia, New Zealand, Croatia, Sweden, Ireland and Uganda. Host Russia made full use of home advantage and topped the table with 17 medals—seven gold, four silver and six bronze. USA was second with six gold med-

Jehue Gordon is a happy man posing with his gold medal during a ceremony in Moscow, Russia Saturday, a day after he won the men’s 400-metres hurdle race, and TT’s second victory at the World Championships in 16 years. (AP photo)

als, 14 silver and five bronze, 25 in total; while Jamaica was third, matching the Americans six gold

with two silver and a bronze to tally nine medals overall. Gordon last Friday stood on the medal rostrum, holding his hand to his heart and sang along as the national anthem of TT was played for only the second time in the history of these Championships, that started 30 years ago in 1983. Ato Boldon won TT’s first gold medal in 1997 with victory in the 200m. “It was just an unbelievable feeling being there to experience it. It was a dream of mine and the team with me and it felt so great and made me so very proud for everyone who has supported me,” Gordon said. “When the national anthem was being played, I felt as if, yes, this is for my country, this is for the people of TT and this is to show that we can achieve success with the work from local coaches, Dr Ian Hypolite and Edwin Skinner,” Gordon indicated. “I was a little nervous but just to receive the medal and to experience this makes me want to do more. This is great incentive to continue to learn and to continue to listen, and I hope that others in TT can use the success that we had in this event to inspire them as well,” said a focused Gordon. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)


Damodar Daesrath

leased with their selection again in Canada’s team for the four-day and one-day internationals against the Netherlands, Guyanese duo of Damodar Daesrath and Jeremy Gordon have promised better showing when the action starts this Thursday at the King City ground in Toronto. This will be the continuation of the International Cricket Council Intercontinental Cup matches. With recent defeats against United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the one-day and T20 versions, Gordon and Daesrath are both looking to make more significant contributions for their team this time around. In the four-day encounter against UAE at the same venue, Daesrath cracked a century (111), while the lively fast bowler Gordon nabbed an eight-wicket haul but the game ended in a stalemate. The limited-over format at a different venue was disappointing for both players as their team consequently suffered the indignity of consecutive losses. Over the weekend, Gordon and Daesrath had a run for the Brampton Master Cricket Club in the Toronto and District Cricket Association Elite competition, which both

players believe boosted their readiness. “I [am] ready to make an impact again for Canada,” Daesrath said, adding, “…coming out and playing in the domestic competition helped to boost my confidence tremendously ahead of this bigger game and hopefully we will create a huge impact on this occasion.” Gordon, like Daesrath, represented Guyana at the senior West Indies Cricket Board regional four-day and one-day tournament, and he is brimming with confidence to put in a better performance from Thursday. “Yes, I am looking forward to regain my form especially in the four-day format and make a contribution for my country; coming off from those defeats is quite disheartening but I am anxious and optimistic the guys will do well against the visitors in the longer version,” the 26-year-old Gordon stated. The right-arm quickie was fast and accurate on a docile pitch at King City but he lacked penetration in the 50-over and T20 games against the UAE combination. Gordon made his debut for Canada in 2011 at the Caribbean T20 tournament while he represented West Indies under-19 team, in 2006, before he migrated to North America.

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


WICB happy with success of Limacol CPL – President Cameron heartened by response to tournament


resident of the West Indies Cricket Board Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron said he is very pleased with the success of the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) T20 Tournament so far, and

impressed with the response the League has received both regionally and internationally. The WICB signed an agreement with LCPL with the goal of further developing and strengthening West Indies cricket by expanding the global

fan base as well as increasing the number of West Indian cricketers under regional retainer contracts, and showcasing the talent and beauty of the Caribbean internationally. Cameron says he believes these objec-

A packed stadium during a Limacol CPL match in Jamaica earlier this week (CPL photo)

tives are being met. “The support of the Limacol CPL by the West Indian fans has been overwhelming and this is evidenced by the sold out crowds at each and every

match so far. That says to me that the interest and passion for the game is still there, and it’s our responsibility to continue to nurture that love which is what the LCPL is all about,”

said Cameron. “In addition, the entire world has come to play through the global reach and appeal that the Tournament has achieved.

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Caribbean times international week ending august 22, 2013  

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