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WEEK ENDING September 5, 2013

Canada imposes new travel regulations on Jamaicans See story on page 2

Page 5 Qualfon’s multimillion dollar expansion in Guyana promises citizens 6000 new jobs

Beetham residents warns of more fiery protests in Trinidad Page 11

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar lifts a child at the Independence Day Military Parade at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Saturday, as Trinidad and Tobago observed its 51st anniversary of Independence. (FB photo)

- if there’s no action in shooting of 23-yr-old man


NEWS | week ending September 5, 2013

Canada imposes new travel regulations on Jamaicans E f f e c t i v e Wednesday, Jamaicans travelling to Canada for visits, work or study are required to provide their biometrics under new regulations enforced by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). According to the Canadian High Commission in Kingston, Jamaicans are required to give fingerprints and photographic data when they apply for visas and permits. "This new requirement will not only help protect the safety and security of Canadians while helping to facilitate legitimate travel, it will also protect prospective visitors by making it more difficult for others to forge, steal or use an applicant's identity to gain access to Canada. In the long run, the use of this information will make entry to Canada easier by providing a reliable tool to readily confirm a person's identity," the high commission said in a press release, Tuesday. "Applicants under the

age of 14 and over the age of 79 will not have to give their biometric information. Diplomats and government officials travelling on official business are also exempt," the release added. Other countries that are affected by the new regulations include Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Yemen. The high commission said border services officers at Canada's port of entries "will use the biometric information to confirm" the identity of individuals. 'The traveller may also have to give their fingerprints as part of the process to enter Canada," the high commission said. Applicants are required to go "in person" to a visa application centre to submit their ap-

The Canadian High Commission in Kingston, Jamaica. (Bryan Cummings/Jamaica Observer photo)

plications and give their fingerprints and have their photograph taken. "There is a biometric fee of Cdn$85, which includes applications services at the VAC. Family members who apply together for a visitor visa will pay a maximum fee of CdnD$170," the high commission explained. The use of biometrics, as an identity management tool, will bring Canada in line with many other countries that are now using, or preparing to use, bio-

metrics in immigration and border management. These include the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, countries in the European Union Schengen Zone, Japan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. In making the initial announcement last year, Canada's Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, emphasised that the

biometrics "will facilitate legitimate travel to Canada". He explained then that once an individual arrives in Canada, their biometric data will be checked to ensure that the individual who was approved to travel is in fact the same person who is entering Canada.

Canadian visas issued to Jamaicans

Last year, Canada issued a total of 22,217 visas, permits and extensions to Jamaicans. This was in addition to the

2,135 permanent resident visas that were "granted to applicants with Jamaica listed as source country", according to the high commission. The high commission disclosed that the majority of the 22,217 applications were processed in Kingston and included visitors, students and workers destined to Canada. "It includes around 6,500 Jamaican applicants who participated under the Canada Caribbean Seasonal Farm Worker Programme," the high commission said. Apart from Jamaica, the high commission in Kingston serves citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands and The Bahamas. Only recently, two visa application centres were opened in Kingston and Montego Bay to handle the increased applications. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

TT police kill two in ganja raid


ne day after Western Division police in Trinidad shot a killed a man during a drug bust along the North Coast Road in Diego Martin, Central Division police officers Tuesday shot and killed two men during an exchange of gunfire in a marijuana field in the Arena forests off Freeport. Officers later destroyed close to TT$5 million worth in marijuana in the forest. The two men were Tuesday night still un-

identified, but police sources said that one of the men is believed to have been from Rio Claro while the other is believed to be from Preysal. According to reports, at about 1.30 pm Tuesday a party of officers led by Supt Johnny Abraham and Insp Terrance Williams received information that a group of men were tending a marijuana field in the forest. The officers journeyed two miles into the forest and came across three men in the marijua-

na field. Two of the men were armed with shotguns. Supt Abraham later told TT media that when the officers challenged the men and ordered them to drop their weapons and surrender, the marijuana cultivators pointed their weapons at the officers and fired. The officers took cover and returned fire hitting two of the men while the third turned and fled through the forest. Up to press time, he remained at large. The two men were

later found nursing gunshot wounds. A wireless report was made and the National Security Helicopter Viper I arrived in minutes and the two bleeding suspects were airlifted out of the forests. They were then taken to a medical facility where they were pronounced dead on arrival. A shotgun and six rounds of ammunition were retrieved. Some 25,000 fully grown trees were uprooted and set alight. (TT Newsday)

Guyana’s police arrest 14 road-blocking Ituni protesters


six-day protest in Ituni, Region 10, Guyana, came to an abrupt end on Tuesday after 14 persons were arrested for blocking the roadway. The Linden-Kwakwani public road, which was blocked with huge logs in the vicinity of Ituni, was subsequently cleared by ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). Residents were protesting the deplorable state of the main access road. According to GPF Public Relations Officer Ivelaw Whittaker, 10 men and four women who were involved in the blocking of the roadway at Ituni were arrested. Additionally, with support from the public works ministry, a machine was used to remove the logs. A police constable was assaulted during efforts to arrest another man. Meanwhile, at

Kwakwani, several persons used coconut tree trunks to block the roadway at Kwakwani Waterfront around 08:00h, but the obstacles were also removed. “The Guyana Police Force has shown considerable restraint in this matter and wishes to reiterate its respect for the rights of all citizens to protest peacefully on issues of concern to them. The force has no objection to persons conducting peaceful protests, but when protests degenerate into unlawful acts, infringing on the rights of other citizens, the police will as a consequence have to take the appropriate action,” the police stated. Curth Murphy, a resident of Ituni, told the media that 20 persons were keeping watch at the road block on Tuesday around 04:30h when the police arrived

on the scene. When the police got there, five women were sleeping under a tent while the men were sitting on the logs. The protesters were instructed to return to their homes, but instead of following the instructions, they put up a resistance. “We refused to move. We told them that it was for a worthy cause and that is when they started to arrest us. They outnumbered us,” he said. The protest started last Thursday when residents of Kwakwani and Araoima joined their counterparts at Ituni to block the access road in the vicinity of the logging community. According to the residents, the road has been in a deplorable state for more than two years, but has deteriorated over the last month. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)


week ending September 5, 2013 |


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Invasion in the region


he world is agog at the U.S.’s posture on the Syrian civil war in which its direct intervention is only a matter of time. This is in the face of domestic and almost unanimous international disapproval and the parliamentary defeat of its ally Britain’s motion for authorisation to support the invasion. Some Caribbean states including Guyana have declared that international law be followed. While nations will always couch explanations for their actions in moral language, especially when they are acting in contravention of the stated international law, as is now the case, history has shown that they always act to protect or further their own interests, as they define those interest. In the Caribbean, we are approaching the 30th anniversary of the first and only direct invasion of the U.S. on a former British colony. The parallels to the Syrian case are instructive. This was Operation Urgent Fury, in which U.S. troops landed in Grenada on October 25, 1983, ostensibly to rescue American students at the offshore St George’s Medical School. But the question was actually one of U.S. strategic interest as defined by itself. Ever since the Panama Canal had been completed in 1914, the U.S. had declared the Caribbean islands of strategic importance, since they controlled the approach to the canal from the Atlantic Ocean. After Cuba announced its “communist” orientation and aligned itself with the U.S. Cold War enemy USSR after 1960, it became an “outlaw” state to the U.S. The latter deployed economic sanctions that are still in place, and declared it will not allow “another Cuba in the hemisphere”. When the New Jewel Movement (NJM), led by the socialist Maurice Bishop, staged a coup against the government of Grenada on March 13, 1979 and declared himself head of a People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG), the U.S. felt its strategic interests were threatened. It feared that Soviet use of the island would enable them to project tactical power over the entire Caribbean region. It saw an arc of Soviet influence extending from Cuba in the north to Grenada in the south. The internal conditions were that Eric Gairy, who had led Grenada to independence in 1974 after being premier since 1967, had become increasing dictatorial and ruled with the help of a private “mongoose army”. Bishop and the NJM claimed the polls of 1976, won by Gairy, were fraudulent and staged a coup. His new Marxist-Leninist government suspended the constitution, and immediately established close ties with Cuba, Nicaragua and other communist bloc countries. After being rebuffed by the U.S. for aid to build a new airport to increase its tourist trade, the NJM turned to its new ally Cuba, which promised skilled workers and road building equipment. The Cubans assisted the Grenada government with funds and hundreds of workers starting in 1981 and, gradually, with additional funds secured from friendly countries including some in Europe, the airport progressed. The U.S. claimed the airport was for military use and the Cubans were actually soldiers. The concerns expressed by U.S. president Jimmy Carter about developments in Grenada were intensified after the staunchly anti-communist Ronald Reagan became president in January 1981. When a serendipitous power struggle developed between Bishop and his deputy Bernard Coard in 1983 and led to the execution of the former, the U.S. saw an opportunity to resolve its security concerns and launched Operation Urgent Fury. During the fighting, 45 Grenadians, 25 Cubans, and 19 Americans were killed. Grenada had remained in the Commonwealth and even though Britain, under the leadership of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a close ally of Reagan, refused to sanction the invasion, the U.S. persuaded Caribbean leaders from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Jamaica and Barbados, which were ideologically closer to it, to invite the invasion. The rest, as they say, is history, which apparently is also going to be the case with Syria.

A group of young vibrant Amerindian youths during a dance performance on Sunday evening at the Sophia Exhibition Centre during the opening ceremony for Amerindian Heritage Month 2013 in Guyana (Guyana Times photo)

Caribbean academic urges united position on Syria


leading regional academic on Tuesday called on Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries to adopt a common position as it regards the ongoing situation in Syria. Professor of social and political change at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Brian Meeks, told Caribbean media that his advice to regional governments is that “they should do it together, they should consult each other (and) they should act multilaterally through their respective organisations, in particular, the Caribbean Community and whatever decisions are made, should be made on that foundation”. He said his own view is that Caribbean countries should stick close to the United Nations and the positions taken by the United Nations. “We should look after our own business, but we should also strongly oppose positions that encourage the notion of a warring policeman with arbitrary powers. What if you get it wrong as in the case of Iraq not very long ago in which there was supposed weapons of mass destruction, which were nonexistent? That is the danger and I think our governments should consider this and act together,” the professor stated. On Monday, the St Vincent

and the Grenadines government said it was “alarmed” at the recent allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and remained “deeply concerned with the spiralling humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves told a news conference that the island was also a party to other protocols banning the use of poisonous or other gases and bacterial methods of warfare. “As such we stand unambiguously with the civilised nations of the world in condemning any and all uses of such weapons as a gross violation of international war,” the prime minister stated. He added, “If a single example of the use of chemical weapons in Syria can be confirmed, St Vincent and the Grenadines call for a clear determination of the individuals involved in carrying out such heinous acts and for these individuals to be tried as war criminals and face the full weight of international law”. On Saturday, Guyana and Venezuela urged restraint on any impending military strike on Syria. President Donald Ramotar told a joint news conference with his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro that the UN experts should be allowed to complete their scientific anal-

ysis. “No action should be taken without the ratification of the United Nations Security Council. That’s our position,” the Guyanese head of state indicated. The UN’s team of chemical weapons inspectors has returned from the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria, to the UN headquarters at Hague in the Netherlands. According to reports, the team is now racing against the clock to complete the analysis, which is being executed at two unidentified laboratories in Europe. Maduro, on the other hand, said any attack will be criminal, noting that the solution to the problem is not to bombard and to kill more people in Syria. “The cruel logic because a government supposedly killed the citizens of its country, the logic is to launch an attack to kill more people and more citizens of that country?” Maduro asked. Meanwhile, citing St Lucia’s recent membership of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America), the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has called on the government to state its position in relation the ongoing conflict in Syria and the atrocities of the Syrian regime against its people.



week ending September 5, 2013 |

Qualfon’s multimillion dollar expansion in Guyana promises citizens 6000 new jobs


exican-based business process outsourcing (BPO) company, Qualfon, Wednesday morning turned the sod to build a new modern contact centre at Providence, East Bank Demerara in Guyana, a venture which is estimated to create 6000 jobs. Describing itself as a leading global BPO provider, Qualfon said the contact centre will be one of the largest campuses in the world, noting that the new state-of-the-art, multi-building campus will expand its capacity in Guyana and bring an estimated 6000 new jobs over the next five years. The new contact centre will bring jobs with opportunities in customer service, sales, technical support and management. Phase one of the construction is expected to be completed in 2014. In a curtain raiser statement, the company said it is proud to be investing in the future of Guyana. “Qualfon is making a major investment in Guyana, because it is a country that is well suited to serve the

An artist’s impression of the new Qualfon complex in Guyana

contact centre industry. Qualfon’s largest market is serving customers in the United States, and Guyana understands Americans. They speak the same native-English language and watch the same TV. In addition, they have a diverse and welcoming culture that is unique in the world,” said Qualfon Chief Executive Officer Mike Marrow. “That’s why we have decided to heavily invest in Guyana and build one of the largest contact centre campuses in the world.” The multi-building facility will be built near the Guyana National Stadium and will ac-

commodate 3500 seats. In addition to the initial contact centre, construction plans include an administration building as well as a second operation. The centre will also feature solar power panels and “green” building materials; an indoor/outdoor cafeteria; an interfaith chapel; an on-site waste water treatment facility; back-up generators; a water pond and landscaping and parking; and designated pickup and drop off areas. Qualfon has been operating in Georgetown since 2005 and said it is the largest private employer in the country. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

6 | week ending September 5, 2013

7 Several investors exploring opportunities for bio-fuel projects in Guyana T News

week ending September 5, 2013 |

- ANSA McAL ethanol project still on the table too

he Guyana government has denied reports that ANSA McAL has suspended altogether its proposed multimillion-dollar biofuel project, insisting that while the Trinidadian conglomerate has turned its back on the 40,000 hectares of land in the Canje Basin, the administration was still searching for suitable alternatives. ANSA McAL’s Chief Executive Officer Anthony Sabga III, during a recent interview in another section of the media, said a feasibility study conducted in the Canje Basin indicated that the soil was unsuitable for the US$300 million ethanol project and rainy conditions proved the area useless. However, Guyana’s Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy, said the ANSA McAL multimillion dollar proj-

ect is still on the table. He explained that the Trinidadian group of companies had requested a change of location from the Canje Basin to the Intermediate Savannah. According to Dr Ramsammy, a proposal was made in keeping with the recommended location, but this too was overturned by ANSA McAL. Though the company’s rejection has caused some delay in the materialisation of the project, the government remains optimistic that it will be able to meet the demands of the company. ANSA McAL requires a specific amount of land with special characteristics. “For example, a river port, this is quite an understandable request, I believe that it is still possible for us to accommodate ANSA McAL and so I am working closely with the ministry of natural resources and the en-

ANSA McAL CEO Anthony Sabga III

vironment to find a solution,” he posited. It was explained that the natural resources ministry is evaluating the geographical land mass in the Intermediate Savannah to determine whether the company’s specifics can be met. If the natural resources ministry comes up empty handed, only then ANSA McAL will have no other option than to scrap the project, the minister

Guyana’s Agriculture Minster Dr Leslie Ramsammy

said. Meanwhile, Dr Ramsammy said there is a high demand for land in the Canje Basin and the Intermediate Savannahs with investors collectively demanding more than two million hectares of land to facilitate large scale biomass production.

Foreign investors

From a batch of more than 15 foreign investors, the agriculture ministry

has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with four group investors, hence, paving the way for feasibility studies to be conducted in the Canje Basin and the Intermediate Savannah for the production of biofuel through the planting of sugar cane, palm and soya. A group of investors from Malaysia and China recently signed MoUs with the agriculture ministry. The agreement was inked approximately two weeks ago to determine whether the Canje Basin is suitable for the planting of palm trees. The group of investors is aiming to tap into the global market through the sale of palm oil to meet the growing demand. Additionally, a company out of India is currently conducting a feasibility study in another section of the Canje Basin to de-

termine the possibility of bio-ethanol production through the use of sugar cane. This company has also requested in excess of 50,000 hectares of land, but was granted a lease to occupy 12,000 hectares. Another group had put forward a proposal to utilise 50,000 hectares of land, but this time in the Intermediate Savannah for the production of agrofuel. However, this company was allotted 12,000 hectares of land at Ebini. More so, a Barbadian company, Santa Fe, is exploring the possibility of the large scale production of corn in the Intermediate Savannah to supply Guyana’s feed industry and produce agro-fuel. The company is using a 20- hectares plot of land to conduct it studies. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Guyana’s literature prize shortlist announced


he Guyana Prize for Literature Committee has announced its shortlist of winners for the prestigious awards billed for September 15 at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown. In a statement, the committee said the shortlists and winners were decided by a jury made up of distinguished judges, selected by the Guyana Prize Management Committee because of their outstanding credentials in the field of literature as literary critics, academics, literary editors, authors and creative writers.

Harold Bascom

Ian Mc Donald


Singh’s ‘The February 23rd Coup’, a fast-paced fictional account of an attempted coup by a group of disaffected Guyanese soldiers have been shortlisted. In the Best Book of Poetry category: Cassia Alphonso’s ‘Black Cake

For the Best Book of Fiction, Ruel Johnson’s ‘Collected Fictions’, a semi-autobiographical collection of short fiction that addresses racial and political tensions, relationships and displacement and Chaitram

Canadian engineering expert to conduct in-plant training in Guyana


he Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) in collaboration with the Canadian Executive Services Organisation (CESO) will shortly embark on an extensive training and sensitisation programme for medium to large scale manufacturing companies that have installed technical Programmable Logic Controlled (PLC) semi-automatic production systems in their plants. According to a GMSA release, CESO, and the Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) of Canada, are both arms of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). TFO/CESO is partnering with the GMSA to address a wide range of developmental issues in the local manufacturing and services sectors. In the organisation’s overview of the project, it was noted that maximum utilisation of automatic controls in PLC type equipment and machinery results in better quality and higher yields of products, improved in-plant safety, and significant reduction of down time.

From the GMSA’s perspective, there appears to be a dearth of skills in Guyana to optimise the high tech equipment, to successfully troubleshoot and to effect simple repairs. It was found that owing to a lack of knowledge of the full capacities of PLC-controlled equipment, some operators bypass the automated controls or do not use the equipment altogether. To address this shortcoming, the GMSA and CESO aim to provide the necessary in-house, on-site training to interested Guyanese companies through a highly specialised Canadian consultant and professional engineer, Andrew Sare, who has been working with PLCs in process industries in Canada, and elsewhere for more than 30 years. He is expected to arrive in Guyana on October 6 and will conduct a three-week in-plant surveys and on-site training for operators and engineers at companies which have expressed interest in having their equipment downtime dramatically reduced. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Mix’, a collection of evocative poems with a wellrealised creole voice; Ian McDonald’s ‘The Comfort of All Things’, an elegiac musings by a mature poet on aging and mortality; and Sasenarine Persaud’s ‘Lantana Strangling Ixora Complex’, a collection of introspective poems with a bitter edge, are on the shortlist. Harold Bascom’s “Deportee”, a screenplay for a crime thriller set in New York and Georgetown, involving deportation, narcotrafficking and corrup-

tion and Mosa Mathifa Telford’s “Sauda”, a morality tale about the need for understanding and forgiveness between mothers and daughters, and the difficulties of escaping from a legacy of self-contempt have been chosen for the best drama prize. For the Best First Book of Fiction, the committee said only one entry was shortlisted, and will therefore be declared the winner. In the Best First Book of Poetry, no work was considered suitable for a shortlist in this category.

The winners of the prize will be announced by the chairman of the jury at the Guyana Prize Awards ceremony to be held on September 15, at 19:00h at the Pegasus Hotel. The awards will be presented to the winners by President Donald Ramotar. Chair of the jury, Professor Jane Bryce will read the judges’ report.


The jury panel is made up of Professor Jane Bryce, Brendan de Caires, Dr Louis Regis, Professor Daizal Samad and Lori Shelbourn.


News | week ending September 5, 2013

Guyana gov’t pushes revival of Amerindian culture during heritage celebrations


resident Donald Ramotar and Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai on Sunday declared Amerindian Heritage Month 2013 opened in Guyana, amid much fanfare and a cultural extravaganza at the Amerindian Village, Sophia Exhibition Complex. Addressing hundreds of persons, some of whom were decked out in their traditional Amerindian outfits, Minister Sukhai recommitted the government of Guyana to supporting Amerindians in revitalising their cultural heritage. Through education, traditional knowledge, customs and cultural heritage will be sustained by wide-ranging initiatives, but Sukhai said the preservation of the indigenous cultures depends on the people. “I applaud the very few villages of Region

Nine, who continue to lead the way in sustaining their rich culture,” she noted. The attempts by other villages scattered across the hinterland and coastal regions cannot go unnoticed, the minister added, but greater effort is required. Preserving the cultural heritage of Amerindians is enshrined in the laws of Guyana, Sukhai said as she alluded to the Amerindian Act of 2006.

No complacency

She indicated that the indigenous community must not become complacent, but should push to make a contribution to national development. In painting a vivid picture, she said Amerindians must reflect on the life of Guyana’s first Amerindian parliamentarian, the late Stephen Campbell and former education minister, the late Desrey Fox,

The National Toshao Council presenting a handcrafted table to President Donald Ramotar

who made sterling contributions to the development of Amerindians and to the country by extension. The minister also urged Amerindians to guard against persons who seek to cause havoc and division within the indigenous community.

“It has become necessary to combat the elements among the Amerindian population who seek to divide, whose agenda is that of survival for a future and whose activities are based on misinforming on the various concerns affecting Amerindians.”

Sukhai advocated for Amerindian communities to take up their critical role in the implementation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), noting that the benefits are invaluable, however, she said the work is far from over.

Improvement in education

Meanwhile, President Ramotar observed that the quality of education offered to Amerindian communities has significantly improved since the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was voted into power in 1992. According to Ramotar, a quiet revolution has taken place in Amerindian communities, as they are now demanding more from the education system, as they come to grips with the importance of education in the transformation of their lives and communities. “When you go in Region Seven, Waramadong, in the Upper Mazaruni District, you find 700 students studying at secondary schools because people are recognising the important role that education plays in their development,” he highlighted. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Jamaica’s logistics hub project attracting TT moves to set up Rapid Response Unit other serious investment interests


amaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, is insisting that the proposed Goat Islands transshipment port is not the only aspect of the logistics hub for which the government has a firm investor. There have been comments in the media that the Goat Islands are the surest shot the country has of capitalising on the opportunities being created by the expansion of the Panama Canal. However, speaking on a radio programme in Jamaica Tuesday morning, Hylton insisted that there are investors in place with serious inter-

by next year


Great Goat Island from afar (Michael Gordon/Jamaica Observer photo)

ests in the other aspects of the project. However, Hylton was not able to say what would be the value of those investments or how soon the country could expect to see work begin on those other developments. He said at least one project is already before the Cabinet for approval.

The viability of the logistics hub project has been called into question in recent days following opposition to the use of the Goat Islands for development of a port on environmental grounds. However, Hylton has noted that the Goat Islands project is just a part of the larger logistics hub project.

The proposed logistics hub project comprises a proposed dry dock for Jackson Bay in Clarendon, a commodities bay at Cow Port, St Thomas, improvements to the port of Kingston, establishment of the Caymanas Economic Zone and the development of Vernamfield. (Jamaica Gleaner)

Jamaican gov’t allocates Ja$350 million to boost community tourism projects


he Jamaican government has allocated Ja$350 million towards the development of community tourism projects, as the ministry of tourism and entertainment continues its drive to encourage communities to improve their product and attract more visitors to the island. Speaking at a recent event, Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford, informed that 22 communities

have applied for consideration and projects are being appraised. Crawford said the aim is to develop a more strategic approach to community tourism that will position communities as attractions rather than attractors. He said the country, given its unique cultural and historical offerings, is ripe for such projects, and there is need to take advantage of the opportunity to boost the tourist numbers. He noted that great-

er emphasis will be placed on facilitating and encouraging visitors already in the island, to visit communities of interest and to experience firsthand, the way of life of ordinary Jamaicans. Crawford said efforts will be made to have dialogue with hoteliers to engage and encourage visitors to enhance their vacation experience by making a trip to a designated community event. He said it is easier and less expensive for visitors, already in

Jamaica, to visit these communities. “So persons who are already (in Jamaica) might want to visit Trench Town to see where Bob Marley came from. Communities will generate a list and if persons are interested in historical sites they can go look at our churches, if you’re interested in entertainment they can go look at that, if they’re interested in nature, gastronomy, food, they will have a community to go,” he added. (JIS)

he Trinidad and Tobago government hopes to have a pilot project for the proposed Rapid Response Unit implemented later this year or early next year. This is according to national security adviser to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Gary Griffith. He met with Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson for several hours Monday to firm up plans for the unit. In giving an example of how the unit would operate, Griffith said TT would be divided into specific regions and patrols vehicles would be assigned to those areas on a 24-hour basis. With a Global Positioning System (GPS), he said, the movement of each vehicle would be monitored. Systems also would be put into place to have telephone calls monitored and traced. Some 300 law enforcement officers from various arms of the security forces would be assigned to the unit, Griffith added. “We do not want to say at this time from what specific areas the officers will be, for example whether they will only be from the Police Service,” he said. On August 22, after hosting a joint meeting between government and opposition members to address the crime prob-

National security adviser to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Gary Griffith. (TT Guardian file photo)

lem, Persad-Bissessar said the unit would enable the police to be on patrol throughout the length and breadth of the country, but would focus on most crime-prone areas. That was not the first time the prime minister had announced the unit. Last May, she announced the implementation of the unit at a press conference. PersadBissessar said to staff the unit and to assist with increasing manpower in the Police Service, a specialised training programme for Special Reserve Police officers was initiated last June. The first batch of officers from the programme is expected to graduate this month. Griffith said the Rapid Response Unit was something “totally new” to TT and within ten minutes of a distress call, action would be taken. (TT Guardian)



week ending September 5, 2013 |

Jamaica’s Governor General ACTO hails Guyana’s policy receives second knighthood on Amerindian rights


Governor General Sir Patrick Allen (left) wears the insignia of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, after he was invested with the Order on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen by Professor Anthony Mellows (right), Lord Prior of the Order, at an investiture ceremony at King’s House on Monday. (Joseph Wellington photo)


amaica’s Governor General Sir Patrick Allen was Monday invested as a Knight of Grace of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, at an investiture ceremony held in the ballroom of King's House. Professor Anthony Mellows, Lord Prior of the Order, bestowed the honour in representation of Her Majesty The Queen. The Lord Prior congratulated the Governor General on behalf of the more than 400,000 members and staff of the Order of St John worldwide. He said that while receiving the recognition was an honour for Sir Patrick personally, it was more so an honour for him as Governor General, and therefore an honour for Jamaica. Professor Mellows also described the investiture ceremony held at King's House, rather than at Buckingham Palace, as being "so much more satisfying"

as it provided an opportunity for this special occasion to be witnessed and shared by many Jamaicans. He said the Order of St John was not an exclusive club, but one to which anyone could aspire, once the prescribed criteria are met. In his response, Sir Patrick expressed his sincere appreciation for the honour bestowed on him, adding that it was a humbling experience. "This act epitomises my life and objective to be of service to my fellowmen, my God, spending my whole life mending broken people. It has allowed me to recommit myself to that purpose," he said. "The Order of St John is a source of inspiration for all who are called to service, and a reminder to look beyond our immediate circumstance and focus on the needs of the less fortunate," added Sir Patrick. He reminded the audience that the Order of St John, and in partic-

ular the well known St John Ambulance, has been fully embraced by the people of Jamaica since 1899, noting that St John volunteers performed duties during the Second World War at both the refugee and detention camp at Mona, now the University of the West Indies, and also at the Kingston Public Hospital. The occasion was witnessed by approximately 200 specially invited guests, including Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and other representatives of the government; Chief Justice Zaila McCalla; acting President of the Court of Appeal Justice Hazel Harris; Contractor General Dirk Harrison; members of the diplomatic corps; uniformed groups, as well as the National Council of the St John Association in Jamaica, which is chaired by Earl Jarrett, Jamaica National Building Society general manager. (Jamaica Observer)

he Guyana government’s efforts at promoting the rights of the indigenous population have gained the recognition of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO), an international body aimed at the promotion of sustainable development of the Amazon Basin. According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) report, ACTO Executive Director, Ambassador Mauricio Dorfler, who addressed the ACTO

improvements that have been evident among the Amerindian communities in the remote areas of Guyana. Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai told the gathering about Guyana being among the few countries to craft legislation on indigenous rights long before the United Nations (UN) Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights was submitted for member countries’ approval. The protection of indigenous people’s rights and welfare has been giv-

ACTO Executive Director Ambassador Mauricio Dorfler speaking at the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation’s fifth high-level meeting at the Guyana International Conference Centre

fifth meeting of high authorities on indigenous affairs on Monday, made reference to the granting of indigenous lands, the promotion of higher education, health, access, culture, among others. “These are the experiences that can serve as a model not only for the indigenous people but also for the national development and identity,” Ambassador Dorfler said at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC). Policy initiatives by successive People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) governments have been credited to the

en primacy with the legal framework captured in the Amerindian Act of 2006, which Sukhai recommended as a model for other countries to examine. Reference was also made to major development projects targeting the country’s indigenous people, based on the consent agreement and priorities of the respective villages. Among them is the granting of land titles to about 90 per cent of the eligible communities, the creation of an Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) to sustain livelihood and economic via-

bility of villages, installation of 12,000 solar panel units to Amerindian households, the investment in modern schools and hospitals in the remote areas, and establishment of computer hubs in 150 villages to support the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) Project. “This initiative (OLPF) is intended to prepare indigenous people’s advancement towards a better life in this current period of advanced technological and information base,” Sukhai said. Access to education has improved significantly with the construction of schools equipped with dormitory, and the school feeding and uniform programmes. Additionally, the Hinterland Scholarship Programme and technical vocational training have provided Amerindian students with the avenue to for educational empowerment. A week-long National Toshaos Council (NTC) meeting each year provides an opportunity for village leaders to voice concerns to the president, government ministers and other officials. September is designated Amerindian Heritage month each year to showcase all aspects of the culture and development of the nation’s first people. This too, was hailed by Ambassador Dorfler. The ACTO HighLevel meeting coincides with the month-long activities that include an exhibition; homage to Stephen Campbell, the first Amerindian parliamentarian; visits to a designated heritage village; a pageant; and sports.

Early sitting for TT’s proportional representation bill debate - bill proposes more voter power


he Trinidad and Tobago government intends to start debate on the proportional representation bill in the Lower House on Friday— no matter how long debate runs—in order to debate it in the Senate next Tuesday, Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed said Monday. Parliament officials also said Monday that debate on the bill could start in the Senate next Tuesday even though the 2014 budget is being presented next Monday in the Lower House. Mohammed said it was

realistic to start debate on the bill on Friday morning. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last Thursday unveiled ground-breaking reform designed to bolster the power of voters in relation to the system of local government, ahead of this year’s elections— the date of which she confirmed as October 21. Addressing the postCabinet media briefing, the prime minister said Parliament will be convened Friday at 10.30 am for MPs to vote on a bill designed to introduce—for the first time ever—the concept or proportional representa-

tion to local politics. The Municipal C o r p o r a t i o n s (Amendment) Bill, 2013, proposes a new system for the selection of aldermen directly related to the proportions of votes cast. Currently, aldermen are not elected by voters, but rather hand-picked by the elected councillors. The proposed reform would see the aldermen not selected by councillors, but rather effectively voted in based on the proportion of votes cast for each party. Parties will supply the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC)—the elections ad-

ministrator—with advanced lists of candidates, separate from its councillor candidates, who will form part of a pool out of which the aldermen seats are allocated under the quota system to be used, which is formally called the Hare System. The election of councillors will remain as is under the first pastthe-post system, which sees the candidate with the greatest number of votes elected. Victorious parties would still hold in-built majorities on corporations, but there will be minority voices reflective of the support given to them by voters.

TT’s Communications Minister Jamal Mohammed (TT Newsday file photo)

“This measure is designed to empower our voters and enhance citizen participation in all elections,” the prime minister said. “Every vote will now count and no vote will ever be

wasted again in any local government election in this country because people may feel that their party does not have a chance to win in their district.” (Excerpt from TT Newsday)


News | week ending September 5, 2013

Jamaicans welcome Fire ravages Da Silva’s long-awaited opening House of Optics in Guyana of US$18 million Westmoreland bridge O


Jamaican officials cut the ribbon last Tuesday to officially open the Westmoreland bridge (Jamaica Observer photo)

he Westmoreland bridge in Jamaica located at Chovey, near Georgia, and which links the communities of Highgate, Bromley and Lewis Store to Annotto Bay and Kingston, was finally opened last Tuesday. It was built by China Harbour Construction under the JDIP project at a cost of US$18M, and stands the longest bridge in St Mary, spanning 180 metres over the Wag Water River. The structure was destroyed seven years ago by Hurricane Gustav and has been a major inconvenience to schoolchildren, the sick and elderly, taxi operators, small farmers ever since. People have had to, on occasion, wade waist-

deep in water in order to get to the other side of their own community, or travel great distances via Bellfield or Esher to get across. “The children will get home quicker (now) and get to school earlier and persons get to work earlier,” one resident said. “It will cut back on cost for parents to send children to school. We hope that the fare will be reduced as commuters were feeling the pinch of it because the roads on the other side were not good. Now that they have the shorter route they should charge less. The bridge is remarkable.” Another said: “This is a beautiful bridge and project and we are glad for it when we are go-

ing to Highgate we don’t have to use the other route [because] this is much shorter.” Levan Freeman, Mayor of Port Maria and Councillor for the Bellfield Division where the bridge is located said, “It has been a long wait and we appreciate what we see. We have gone through many trials and tribulations and in the long run the durability of this bridge will be worth what we have waited for. Many persons have suffered discomfort in terms of travelling, in going around the long way to get to the top of the hill at Clonmel or Lewis Store and to God be the glory, today we can celebrate the opening of this bridge.” (Jamaica Observer)

Minister orders food card probe in Trinidad


inister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh has launched an investigation into allegations of a Trinidad and Tobago food card racket at his ministry. Ramadharsingh ordered the investigation after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar expressed concern about claims by Independent Liberal Party (ILP) interim leader Jack Warner that some cards were being used to purchase food items for weddings and river limes. There are 40,000 permanent and 2,000 temporary card holders in the programme. The ministry gives out TT$410, TT$550 and TT$700 cards to families in distress and MPs can also access 50 temporary cards a month. “If in fact those things had occurred I would like to see the information for it.

TT’s Minister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh (TT Newsday file photo)

The only time that came to my attention is when I saw the allegations being made. No one seems to have any information on that...not even correspondence to that effect,” Ramadharsingh told TT media on Sunday. Since the allegations, Ramadharsingh said the department has been even more cautious.

“Everyone knows they have to be very careful in the way they dispense public funds,” he said. He promised to take action if any of his 174 food card officers and regional coordinators demonstrate errant behaviour. In the last 30 months, four employees of the TT food card department have been fired for different reasons. One employee was sacked shortly after Ramadharsingh was appointed minister, while three others were sent home last year. Approximately 2,000 families who depended on the food cards voluntarily returned their cards after improving their standard of living by finding sustainable jobs, Ramadharsingh said. He said 40,000 food card holders is “a reasonable figure” in a population of 1.3 million. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)

ne of Guyana’s oldest colonial buildings, which housed the Da Silvas House of Optics at 316 Middle Street, Georgetown, was severely damaged by fire on Sunday afternoon, leaving the owners counting their losses estimated to be in the millions. The fire reportedly started about 13:00h in the upper flat of the two-storey wooden structure and quickly spread to the other parts of the building. It was reported that the cause of the fire might have been an air conditioning unit that exploded in one of the rooms occupied by the owner’s wife. She was reportedly in one of the rooms while her one-year-old daughter and her sister-in-law were asleep in two other rooms. After the explosion, she raised an alarm and managed to get the two other persons to safety. The fam-

A section of the burning building on Sunday

ily did not get to salvage anything from the upper flat of the building but were able to save a few items from the lower flat after the fire was extinguished. Sections of the nextdoor Georgetown Public Hospital were also threatened by the blaze, but the well-coordinated firefighters prevented the fire from spreading. Tearful members of the Da Silva’s family stood in anguish as they witnessed the business being engulfed in flames. Former Georgetown Mayor and City Council

engineer Lloyd Alleyne, a close friend of the Da Silvas, explained that he received the call from a family member and rushed to the scene where he saw the entire upper flat of the building on fire. He explained that the building is made of pine wood which does not take too long to burn. He said that within five minutes of his arrival at the scene, the fire tenders arrived and quickly kicked their fire operation techniques into gear. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

The building after the fire was extinguished

Anglican Church in the Caribbean says no to same sex marriage


he head of the Anglican Church in St Kitts and Nevis, Archdeacon Valentine Hodge, has made it clear that the church does not support gay marriage, or condone a homosexual lifestyle. "I can only speak... on the behalf of the Anglican Church, which is the church in the province of the West Indies… at the moment we cannot marry in church two people of the same sex...We believe in indissoluble monogamous marriage that is something which should last for life…indissoluble...and we also believe that it is something between a man and a woman," the archdeacon said, speaking on WINN FM's Breakfast Show last Thursday. "We are not into same sex union in the prov-

ince in the Caribbean, although we find that the Episcopal and the Church of Canada have been very much into that, but we haven’t reached that stage as yet and I think that we [aren't] going to in the foreseeable future given our constitution of the province of the West Indies. We are really holding on to the biblical tradition and there are certain passages of scripture like Romans Chapter One... that very clearly [says] what’s enunciated in terms of marriage." The archdeacon said that the issue of the rights of homosexuals and lesbians was one of the law and theology. The archdeacon was commenting in the wake of a recent statement by the prime minister who, responding to

a caller to his radio programme, said that the introduction of same sex marriage legislation in St Kitts and Nevis was something that should be debated nationally. At his monthly press conference last Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas reiterated his position. "Let us be open minded about this matter, let this matter be discussed among our people, among the stakeholders. The government is not saying what its own views are at this time because the time has not yet come, but we are saying we support the fact that there should be open frank and honest discussions, because homosexuality is taking place,” he indicated. (Caribbean News)



week ending September 5, 2013 |

Guyana’s economy grew by 3.9 per cent at midyear - finance minister reports


uyana has recorded 3.9 per cent growth, with the non-sugar Gross Domestic Product growing by six per cent, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh reported last Friday night. As a result, he said the overall growth for the year is now projected at 4.8 per cent, while non-sugar growth is projected at 5.8 per cent. Briefing the media, Singh said gold declarations increased by 26.8 per cent to 234,498 ounces and export earnings amounted to US$300.8 million, an increase of

12.2 per cent over the corresponding period in 2012.


Rice production expanded by 25.1 per cent to 263,228 tonnes and export earnings amounted to US$83.3 million. The minister noted that the construction sector expanded by 6.6 per cent, reflecting strong public sector activity, combined with private housing construction and private sector construction activities. Additionally, Dr Singh said the financial and insurance service sector grew by 9.1 per

Guyana’s Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh

cent. However, he noted that sugar production contracted by 32.5 per cent to 48,038 tonnes, while inflation was contained to 0.2 per cent in

the first half of 2013. He said private sector credit expanded by 4.8 per cent to Gy$169.4 billion, with significant growth of 15.1 per cent in the manufacturing sector, 15 per cent in construction and engineering sector, 7.5 per cent in mining, and 7.4 per cent in real estate mortgages. Regarding expenditure, Dr Singh said of the Gy$28.7 billion budgeted for 2013 for the education sector, Gy$11.1 billion had been spent at the end of June. Some Gy$308.8 million was expended on

infrastructure investments. In the health sector, Gy$5.4 billion was expended during the first half of the year, Gy$78.3 million of which had been expended on infrastructure.


In the area of housing, Gy$1.1 billion was expended in the first half of the year. Approximately Gy$649.6 million was expended under the 2013 housing programme for the development of 2254 new house lots. Some 636 house lots were distributed and 1540 titles

were processed. In the electricity sector, Dr Singh said in the first six months of 2013, a total of Gy$1.7 billion was expended. In the area of information technology, Dr Singh said Gy$479.9 million has been expended midyear towards the commencement of works on 25 Long-Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) sites in areas including Lusignan, Enmore, Cane Grove, Vigilance, Melanie, Wales, Helena, Aurora, Suddie, and New Amsterdam. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Beetham residents warns of more fiery protests in Trinidad - if there’s no action in shooting of 23-yr-old man


fter two days of fiery protesting in Trinidad that entailed an aggressive standoff between protestors and the police and soldiers, Beetham residents Tuesday vowed to once more block all roads to Port-of-Spain, if no police officer is disciplined for Sunday’s shooting death of 23-year-old Christopher Greaves. “For now we will withhold our protests, but be warned, if we don’t see a police report soon on the incident, or a report from the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), then we are prepared to resume the same tactics,” a resident declared Tuesday. Residents said they had no regrets about their actions, when for two days they set fires on the eastbound lane of Beetham Highway and blocked the Priority Bus Route, even pelting stones and missiles as commuters and motorists passed by. On Sunday, it was re-

ported that two children were hurt when an object struck a passing car on the highway, when the violent protests erupted

children and teachers returned to schools after their two-month vacation. Traffic had to be di-

children among them, and youths challenged armed police, defying their orders to stop their protests prompting offi-

Sgt Drakes of the Guard and Emergency Branch is confronted by protesting Beetham Gardens residents in Trinidad on Monday. (TT Newsday)

after Greaves was shot and killed reportedly by police officer. Residents again disrupted traffic with burning debris on the major roadways, on Monday, when thousands more commuters were entering the capital city as

verted to the Eastern Main Road for most of Monday and many also used the Lady Young Road to get into and out of Port-of-Spain, causing gridlock on the roadways.


Many women, with

cers, with the backup of soldiers, to fire warning shots. No one was hurt, but residents said they would block the roads again, as they insisted that Greaves was unarmed when he was shot by police. “Look at this boy who

died, and then compare our behaviour to when other people are killed in the area. You think if he was a gangster, or a bad boy, or anything, we would be doing this? No. This boy did not deserve to be killed the way he was. Worse yet, even after the police shot him, they left him to suffer, unattended for about 30 minutes. How is that acceptable? If that had happened anywhere else, would it be so?” questioned a resident. The protests were their way of drawing attention to their demands for justice, residents declared. Some residents, however, did apologise for the disruption the country had to suffer due to the protests but felt they had “no other means” for their voices to be heard.

Make things worse

PCA chairperson Gillian Lucky urged Beetham residents against blocking roadways and conducting fi-

ery protests, as she told them such action could be harmful. Lucky met with Greaves’ relatives at Fifth Street, Beetham Gardens, assuring them the PCA would conduct a thorough investigation into his death. Greaves’ mother, Annette, said she understood and agreed with Lucky’s statements that the protests were wrong. Greaves was shot in his upper left back, according to pathologist Dr Hughvon des Vignes who conducted the autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre, St James Tuesday. PNM Laventille West MP NiLeung Hypolite also condemned the protests by the Beetham residents as unlawful. “That is wrong. That is against the law,” Hypolite said Tuesday. He also described the actions of security forces to deal with the residents as “an unfortunate situation.” (Excerpt from TT Newsday)


News | week ending September 5, 2013

Hundreds witness Independence parade in Trinidad


TT’s President Anthony Carmona during his inspection of the military parade on Saturday (FB photo)

undreds of citizens in Trinidad and Tobago turned out at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-ofSpain, early Saturday morning for the military parade in commemoration of TT’s 51st anniversary of Independence. The entire event came off with military precision. The gate to the public seating area opened at 5.30 am and the parade started at 7.30 am and ended at 9.15 am with the march off. President Anthony Carmona was greeted with applause and a fanfare of trumpets when he arrived at 8 am after his wife and children, for his first Independence parade since becoming the

country’s fifth president in March. Other dignitaries in attendance included Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her husband, Dr Gregory Bissessar, Chief Justice Ivor Archie and his wife, and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley and his wife, along with several members of the diplomatic corps, government ministers and opposition MPs. The detachments of the parade are divided in two contingents— armed and unarmed. Detachments from the Regiment, Coast Guard, Air Guard, Defence Force, Police Service and Cadet Force were led onto the parade ground by the band and corps of drums

of the TT Regiment and TT Prison Band. They were followed by unarmed detachments from the Fire Service, Prison Service, Special Reserve Police, Municipal Police, St John Ambulance Brigade and the TT Red Cross Society. After the inspection of the parade, spectators enjoyed the march past, fly past and drive past. At the end of the parade, the troops proceeded south onto Frederick Street, west onto Park Street, then to Tragarete Road towards Roxy Roundabout before heading to the Western Main Road and then to the Police Barracks on Long Circular Road. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)

Air travel remains a challenge for Guyana’s tourism industry


ourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) President Kit Nascimento said airlift in and out of the country remains a major challenge for the local tourism industry, which has been growing from strength to strength. In a recent interview, Nascimento said Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) is basically the only airline which is servicing the country, and this is not good enough. “CAL is a regional airline that flies internationally, it is not an internationally branded airline, we need an internationally-branded airline, not one, but many coming into this country.” The THAG president said he is aware that acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali is working tremendously on getting international airlines to operate in Guyana and

THAG President Kit Nascimento (Guyana Times file photo)

remains optimistic that the minister’s plans will be successful. Nascimento disclosed that he recently participated in the tourism ministry’s expositions in New York and Canada and hundreds of Guyanese there say they want to visit Guyana, but the prices for tickets to Guyana and back home are excessive. CAL had taken up the slack and added flights since the exit of EZjet last year and Delta’s exit earlier this year. However, during the summer, the

airlines drastically jacked up its prices, which received severe criticisms from government as well as travellers. This posed an obstacle for persons who wanted to travel to Guyana, as they could not afford the airfare. Meanwhile, he said THAG hopes to persuade a number of major corporate entities in Guyana to support the development of the country’s tourism industry. “When tourism flourishes, every corporate member in this country flourishes, tourism is a trade in which the entire economy and all the participation in the economy benefits, so we feel that major corporations in the country should be supportive of THAG.” THAG is private sector-led organisation, which has committed itself to the development of Guyana’s tourism industry by providing the highest quality of professional services. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Experts predict almost 20,000 youths leaving school may face unemployment in Jamaica


early half of the more than 40,000 young people in Jamaica who graduate high schools and universities this year may not find employment in the private sector, two stakeholder groups have predicted. The forecast by the Jamaica Employers' Federation (JEF) and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) comes as the economy continues its decline for a sixth consecutive quarter. "Most employers are either not hiring or not replacing people who are leaving," JEF President David Wan puts it simply. "So I don't expect any massive increase in employment by the private sector this year," he added.

Job generating initiatives

Wan underscored that a number of initiatives are being undertaken, but cautioned that they are not going to have an immediate impact. One of those initiatives, he said, is the proposed amendment to the Apprenticeship Act that seeks to expand the number of occupations that can go on the apprenticeship programme. "That will be some help, but a lot more needs to be done," the JEF president noted. Another factor that can change the employment outlook, according to executive director of

Jamaica Employers' Federation President David Wan (Jamaica Gleaner photo)

the PSOJ, Dennis Chung, is the country's performance in the next IMF test. Chung told Jamaican media Monday that passing the next IMF test will improve confidence and argued that this could embolden employers to start hiring while encouraging some persons to start their own businesses. "I think that companies will start to grow, and as the confidence returns and we pass the next IMF test, I think we will start seeing some robustness coming back to the economy," he reasoned. The gloomy outlook comes weeks after the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) reported that the country's unemployment rate rose to 16.3 per cent in April this year, a two percentage-point climb when compared to the corresponding period last year. STATIN's figures also

showed that unemployment among young people between the ages of 14 and 24 years old rose to 38.5 per cent in April this year, a 4.1 percentage-point increase from last April. The ministry of education's library revealed Monday that its latest data are for 2007, but Wan said last year approximately 38,000 students sought employment as new entrants to the job market. He said this is in contrast with the approximately 30,000 new jobs he claimed were created islandwide last year. "This year I expect it to be below that in terms of jobs created, except if the logistics hub can come into play quickly and give us some more jobs," he reasoned. "And if the ICT (information and communications technology) sector can ramp up quickly and give us more jobs," Wan said. But he concluded: "Where we are right now, I don't think we will do any better than last year." Despite this, the JEF president urged new graduates to look to the growth industries, particularly the ICT and the logistics and supply-chain sectors, for job opportunities. Chung also implored new graduates to continue sending out job applications or seek to establish their own ventures. (Excerpt from Jamaica Gleaner)



week ending September 5, 2013 |

Hatred must not triumph over brotherly relations – President Maduro says in relation to Guyana/Venezuela border issue


resident of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro, has called the age-old Essequibo border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela a colonial wound, as he pledged his country’s commitment to peacefully resolving the issue. President Maduro expressed these sentiments shortly after signing a joint declaration with President Donald Ramotar, recommitting to the search for a peaceful and practical settlement of the controversy in accordance with the Geneva Agreement of 1966. Under the Good Offices Process, Ramotar and Maduro agreed to reappoint good officer to the United Nations Secretary General, Professor Norman Girvan, for another term. Addressing the press at the Guyana I n t e r n a t i o n a l Conference Centre (GICC), Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, on his first state visit to Guyana on Saturday, the Venezuelan president said the Essequibo dispute “is not the responsibility of the independent nations of today”, responding to a question posed by the local press.

Legacy of colonialism

“This is first of all a legacy of colonialism, the British and the Spanish colonialism. Our two countries became independent, one in the 19th century and the second in the 20th century... it’s not the responsibil-

President Maduro said Guyana and Venezuela have chosen a path of truth and peace and will abide with international law. In the future, there may be difficult and complex situations to be ad dressed, he said, but noted that it will be handled in a civilised manner. “Although we will have different opinions that might generate tension, we will settle those problems and never again in the history of our country will we be dragged in the path of hatred, of racism,” the Venezuelan head of state President Donald Ramotar (left) and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro shake hands after signing the joint declaration reached by the two countries after their one-day discussion at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown on Saturday

ity of the independent nations,” Maduro said, speaking through an interpreter. Turning back the pages of history, Maduro said on February 17, 1966, the Geneva Agreement was signed by Venezuela and Guyana. The agreement paved the way for a mixed commission of Guyanese and Venezuelan representatives to be established with the primary objective of finding satisfactory solutions for the settlement of the controversy between the two countries. Venezuela had contended that the Arbitral Award of 1899 about the frontier between British Guiana and Venezuela is

null and void. The agreement also provided that no new claim or enlargement of an existing claim to territorial sovereignty in these territories (of Venezuela and British Guiana) shall be asserted while the agreement is in force, nor shall any claim whatsoever be asserted otherwise than in the mixed commission while that commission is in being. “In the Geneva treaty, they established a mechanism for the discussions and how to establish the limits, the borders with the term of four years until 1970, to settle the differences; however, those four years were not enough,” Maduro explained.

No layoff ‘crusade’, Barbados as temporary public PM maintains -workers being dismissed


arbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has assured that his government has not embarked on a “crusade” to lay off persons in the public sector. He was scheduled to meet with officials from the ministry of civil service on Tuesday to ensure that the wrong persons are not ending up with dismissal letters. Speaking to the media following a tour of the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre on Monday, he said, “What we are on a crusade to do, is to increase efficiency in the public sector, and I am aware that there have been some howls of protest from persons who got letters telling them their employment has come to an end. I am not sure why this has happened.” “Let’s be very frank– there are people in the public sector who are

Barbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

temporary employees. When I last checked the dictionary, temporary still meant ‘for the time being’. And if you are a temporary employee, clearly you have a letter that says you will be employed from one date to another, and when that date comes and your assignment has come to an end, it has come to an end,” the prime minister related.

“This happens whether we are in a situation such as we are in now in terms of trying to deal with debt or deficit issues, or whether we are in a period of prosperity. What I do not want though is for this period of dealing with debt and deficit issues to be so mishandled that people who should not be at the receiving end of letters of this kind, end up with them,” he asserted. “We are not in the business of creating turmoil in Barbadian households and keeping people in a state of emotional agitation. That is not the purpose at all. We have some challenges with which we are dealing; we have to deal with those challenges firmly. It is a question of firmness of grasp, clarity of course and certainty of port,” he further stated. (Barbados Advocate)

Brotherly relations

He stressed the importance of understanding the matter and added: “No one can raise the flag of hatred...we need to be brothers and sisters and the media should not foster hatred...and the opening of the old colonial wounds, hatred to ferment what? War? To ferment what? Division?”

indicated. President Ramotar echoed similar sentiments during a brief comment on the longstanding border dispute, emphasising that Venezuela and Guyana will continue to foster positive relations. “We are also determined to increase our cooperation, including our economic cooperation. We are also determined that this colonial issue and this cold war relic will not prevent us from trying to promote a friendly relationship,” Ramotar said. (Guyana Times)

14 News Guyana, Venezuela agree to direct air linkage T | week ending September 5, 2013

he foundation set by Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez for flourishing bilateral relations with Guyana was recognised by President Donald Ramotar and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, as the two leaders met in Georgetown on Saturday. Following their discussions, the heads of state signed a joint declaration, signalling their commitment to its content, which focused on strengthening and widening relations between the two countries. As part of the declaration, the two sides highlighted the greater thrust given to the United Nations

Good Offices Process since the appointment of good officer to the United Nations Secretary General, Professor Norman Girvan. The two leaders also received the report of the fifth meeting of the Guyana/Venezuela High-Level Bilateral Commission, which was held last Friday. It focused on political consultation; food and agriculture; air, land and sea transportation; energy; and education and culture. Speaking to media operatives from the two countries, Ramotar stated that the declaration signed strengthens the political will of the two countries to build on

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro addressing the Guyanese and Venezuelan delegations at the Guyana International Conference Centre on Saturday

their peaceful and fruitful relations.

Air linkages




strong relations in the rice and PetroCaribe arrangement, energy and now the agreements for connections by air and we’re also looking at maritime transport. All of which of course would have the great possibility of broadening our relationship,” Ramotar stated. The agreement to establish direct air linkages between the two countries will be made possible through CONVIASA airline, which will see some 70 passengers being transported at least twice weekly. The Venezuelan government also offered the government of Guyana, increased skills training

for technicians and flight operations inspectors. However, he said the two sides have recognised room for improvement in the relations that exist. Meanwhile, speaking through an interpreter, the Venezuelan leader also welcomed the discussions, highlighting that it covered core areas that will seek to fortify the ties that exist between the two neighbouring nations. Both presidents expressed satisfaction with the results of the talks held, but highlighted that it is now up to both teams to implement the agreements reached in the joint declaration signed. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Golconda to Debe stretch of TT$7 billion highway opens in Trinidad


ith the Golconda to Debe stretch now open in Trinidad, construction now moves full speed ahead to Mon Desir as the government presses on with building the TT$7.5 billion highway between San Fernando to Point Fortin. It took just five minutes, with little traffic, to drive from Golconda to Debe after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar cut the ribbon last Friday to open the first segment of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension project to Point Fortin in south west Trinidad. However, there would be a bottleneck for motorists on arrival at Debe if the traffic is unable to flow through Mon Desir,

Persad-Bissessar declared at a commissioning ceremony. “ It cost TT$126 million to construct the Golconda to Debe route, the first segment in the Point Fortin Highway project. However, the Mon Desir route has been strongly objected to by some residents and protesters of the Highway Reroute Movement, led by activist Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, who claim construction through the community would damage the environment, make it prone to flooding and destroy fertile land. Persad-Bissessar appealed to Kublalsingh and the protesters to consider “the greater good” and not their individual claims.

The Golconda to Debe route was built at a cost of TT$126 million (FB photo)

In attendance were members of her Cabinet, workers of Construtora OAS, the Brazilian contractor, and an enthusiastic group of persons who support the highway’s construction. The group greeted PersadBissessar carrying signs with such messages as:

“Build Debe to Mon Desir Now!”; “Prime Minister Build Debe to Mon Desir Next!” and “We Need Development in Debe to Mon Desir”. The prime minister, in response, noted, “There are those who are saying, ‘Do not build it’. We have to consider the greater

good and not the individual because there are thousands of people, of this country, who would benefit not just from this stage but from the other stages.” “While we consider and give respect to the rights of individual citizens, at times we have to

stop and pause and think for the greater good of the thousands who would benefit,” she continued, adding the benefits would include opening up of the southern region to business opportunities. Persad-Bissessar said the first section of the highway was built within budget and disclosed more than 75 families were relocated and 54 properties, including houses, were acquired by the State. She also sought to put to rest concerns that her administration was only engaged in developmental works in south Trinidad saying the Diego Martin Highway extension was almost completed. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

Jamaica’s Copyright Act to be strengthened - Minister Hylton


amaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, says that steps are being taken to strengthen the country’s Copyright Act and amendments will be reviewed by the Legislation Committee “in very short order”. The minister was addressing the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP) Open House Forum last Wednesday at the Knutsford Court Hotel, held under the theme ‘Understanding Copyright and Valuing the Rights of the Creators of Music’. According to Hylton, new regulations will be put into effect to assist Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) such as JACAP to be better able to represent the creative sector, while ensuring accountability and transparency in their op-

Jamaica’s Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

erations. The minister added that a non-voting government representative will be nominated to sit on the board of each CMO. “These regulations were created for the main purpose of allowing the monitoring of business practices and royalty distribution within the purview of the CMOs. Additionally, they will allow for the facilitation of good governance, ensuring efficient and trans-

parent management for members’ rights and funds,” Hylton said. While congratulating JACAP for staging the Open House Forum as part of their public relations activities, Hylton further stated that under the revised legislation CMOs will be required to partner with the Jamaica Intellectual Property Organisation (JIPO) in activities to raise Intellectual Property (IP) awareness, fight piracy and promote and IP respectful culture. Also speaking at the Open House Forum were JIPO executive director, Carol Simpson, Opposition spokesperson on Youth and Culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Karlene Salmon from the Broadcasting Commission, JACAP chairman W Paul Barclay and JACAP general manager, Lydia Rose. (Jamaica Observer)



week ending September 5, 2013 |

Jamaica in talks with Canadian hospital for acquisition of cancer treatment machines


amaica’s Health Minister Fenton Ferguson says that discussions are advanced with a leading Canadian hospital for the acquisition of equipment to improve cancer treatment in the island’s public health sector. He said that, during a recent visit to Canada, he was able to make "significant progress" with the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for the supply of two Linear Accelerator machines, which are used for radiotherapy treatment. “We are closer to achieving our objective of getting two Linear Accelerator machines. As it is now, we only have one in the private

sector, and we are moving to have two in the public sector," the minister said, while addressing last Friday's groundbreaking ceremony for expansion of the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital in St Ann. He stated that the acquisition of the machines "will take a tremendous burden off our cancer patients as the government was committed to reducing the cost of cancer treatment and care. "Cancer care remains a burden for individuals and families, and part of my mandate is to work to get cancer care down to a certain manageable level. There is a particular drug that is going at over Ja$200,000 per dose, and

Jamaica’s Health Minister Fenton Ferguson reports on developments in improving cancer treatment on the island, during the ground-breaking ceremony for the expansion of the St Ann Bay Regional Hospital in St Ann last Friday. (JIS photo)

for persons with breast cancer, you need 18 doses. We must find a way to

get those prices down," he stated. The minister said

that, even as he works on improving care, he also has to encourage Jamaicans to adopt healthier lifestyle choices to reduce cancers and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). "This is why I have been so steadfast in my arguments against smoking in specified public places. We are facing a debilitating problem where NCDs are concerned. High blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, respiratory diseases; these NCDs are responsible for over 70 per cent of deaths in Jamaica," he stated. "Tobacco exposure is the most serious factor for the NCDs. The ban on smoking in specified

Polygraph testing for TT’s police recruits


n estimated 700 applicants for the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service are expected to undergo polygraph tests before recruitment into the service. This was revealed last Friday by TT’s acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams following a graduation ceremony for the children who attended the Laventille Road Police Youth Club Vacation Camp. In responding to questions on the use of polygraph tests to help weed out rogue elements in the Police Service, Williams

said, “Well actually, right now I am arranging for 700 persons, applicants, to be polygraphed. But that isn’t a guarantee that we will get rid of the rogue elements. I don’t know if after they are recruited, they will turn out to be rogue elements. I have no guarantee. And while polygraph testing is a useful step to this end, it doesn’t give a guarantee.” Williams also said that while he was unaware of comments made by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan which suggested that the TT government was looking

Random mandatory testing

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

at random drug and lie detector tests for all police officers, he revealed that such practices were already taking place.

Ramlogan, speaking to reporters after a government delegation met with members of the main opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) last week to discuss ways of dealing with the crime situation in TT, said that he had raised “very forcefully the matter of mandatory drug testing for all police officers and mandatory polygraph testing for all police officers not only upon entry into the Police Service”. He said the tests would also be “intermittently and periodically”

public places will essentially lead to improvement in the quality of air we breathe, and over time, reduce the prevalence of NCDs, including respiratory illnesses and heart disease," he pointed out. The minister said that countries that have adopted anti-smoking legislation have started to see progress. He cited the case of Northern Ireland, which introduced legislation in 2004 and within two to three years, "they started to see less heart attacks, less strokes, and in general significant reduction in NCDs. So this is not just an anti-tobacco crusade; it is a pro-health crusade". (JIS)

- while AG suggests new measure to weed out ‘rogue cops’

and would in particular, include those police officers “serving in sensitive units in the Police Service. “I feel very strongly about this matter, I think it is important that we understand that despite our best efforts, the operational aspects of the Police Service will be compromised. If you have one bad apple it will spoil the whole bunch,” he said. The attorney general said that the random tests to ensure that police officers were not “leaking” information to criminals were “long

overdue”. “To this end I think random drug testing and polygraph testing, lie detector testing for police officers to ensure they are not leaking information or not in league with the criminals and undermining the efforts of the Police Service is an idea that is long overdue in Trinidad and Tobago,” Ramlogan said. Meanwhile, the country’s Police Social and Welfare Association (PSWA) has said that it welcomed the announcement by Ramlogan. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

Russian investment of US$50 million for St Kitts-Nevis


t Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas has welcomed the start of two projects on St Kitts South East Peninsula, which involve foreign direct investment of over US$50 million. The projects by Russian investors will see the construction of 50 two-bedroom villas as part of the US$37 million Ocean Grove Development and the Windswept Residence Club of nine villas at a cost of US$13 million. Ocean Grove Villas is a joint venture between the Christophe Harbour Development Company and the Canada-based Apex Capital Partners Corporation. “We look forward to the start-up of construction of your villas, which will be located so strategically next to the area of the Pavilion Beach Club. This project is also significant because it is the first major investment to be put together in St Kitts by a Russian group,” said

St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas

Douglas at the symbolic ground breaking ceremony. Douglas noted that St Kitts and Nevis is an international country and it is not by any accident that this investment comes at a time when his government is in the process of removing the requirement for an entry visa for Russian visitors. “We see Russia as a new and desirable market for both investors and visitors for our country, and you can be assured that my government will continue to take the necessary steps to improve the flow of trade and investment between our

two democratic countries,” said Douglas. He noted the risk of private investment promises not turning into real projects for the benefit of the people of St Kitts and Nevis, but noted that the ceremony was taking place within sight of an actual villa under as part of the Windswept Residence Club project. “I could not ask for better evidence that the project has actually commenced. I understand that the design and construction of these luxury villas will be of world-class quality,” said Douglas. He added that his government has a very solid reputation for encouraging private investment that is of good quality and compatible with the country’s development objectives, including the empowerment of nationals and the sustainability of the environment and culture. He said he was pleased to see progress being made at Christophe

Harbour, a development vision that is shared by his St Kitts-Nevis Labour

government and a project that continues to be an important component of

the Federation’s economic transformation strategy. (CaribbeanNews)


News | week ending September 5, 2013

Guyana gov’t mulls drafting new hydropower plan I

n the wake of the virtual collapse of the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project, the Guyana government last Thursday announced that with support from its international counterparts, it is toying with the idea of drafting a new hydropower initiative. Addressing a news conference at the Office of the President, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon said more stakeholders have withdrawn their support from the US$840 million hydropower project. “For all intents and purposes, that project, with that specific design is dead, whatever small

windows of opportunity that were mooted to exist appear less and less likely to be available to the stakeholders to resuscitate the project with its current design,” he explained. His comments come days after the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) announced that it had ceased work on its due diligence report on the project. However, Dr Luncheon said that the vision of establishing a hydropower plant in Guyana as an alternative source of energy is not dead. “Already interests have been expressed by multilateral and bilateral sources in redesigning a project

Head of the Presidential Secretariat in Guyana, Dr Roger Luncheon

that would utilise our hydropower potential specifically at Amaila Falls to keep our dream, our thrust for renewable energy playing a transfor-

mative role in the life and economy of Guyana,” Dr Luncheon said. He, however, declined to disclose the names of the agencies or countries that have signalled their interest in helping Guyana realise this dream. According to him, only when the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project is completely dead, would the names be disclosed. Last Wednesday, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh disclosed that the due diligence report on the Amaila Falls project had been abruptly halted. The A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) was highly criticised, with the

government stating that the coalition is a major contributor to the death of the project. According to the finance minister, the APNU was asked to give its support which would have paved the way for the IDB to complete its report on the hydropower project. “Having spent millions of dollars over many years, involving hundreds of experts; their views and expertise could have been used to resolve any issues the APNU would have had with this project. Instead the party chooses to prevent the IDB from completing its work without reason,” the finance minister said in a statement.

However, APNU said it will not take responsibility. “APNU agreement to any IDB proposal has never been stated as a precondition to any aspect of Amaila Falls hydro project,” the coalition’s chairman, David Granger said. He noted that the APNU had nothing to do with and did not influence the IDB’s decision on any matter in any way. Earlier in this month, Sithe Global, one of the major investors in the project and the developer, withdrew, claiming that the project needs the support of the three major political parties in the country. (Guyana Times)

Suriname’s Opposition seeks answers regarding arrest of Bouterse’s son


egislators of Suriname’s main opposition Nieuw Front faction are seeking clarification from President Desi Bouterse regarding his son’s arrest last Thursday by US law enforcement authorities. Dino Bouterse (40), travelling on a diplomatic passport, was arrested on a drugs and weapons charge, including cocaine trafficking, me-

dia reports have stated. Bouterse has been indicted for allegedly trafficking 10 kilos of cocaine to the US last July. He was arrested at the international airport in Panama City by local law enforcement authorities and subsequently handed over to US agents. Bouterse was scheduled to appear in a Manhattan federal court last Friday afternoon. The younger

Bouterse’s arrest came as his father was about to take over the pro tempore presidency of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) last Friday during the group’s seventh heads of government summit held in Paramaribo. Meanwhile, the Suriname government issued a statement regarding the matter. “According to information that has

Dino Bouterse was arrested last week on a drugs and weapons charge, media reports have stated

reached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the American Embassy in Suriname, Dino Bouterse was arrested in Panama. Meanwhile he has been transferred

to the American judicial authorities. The grounds for the arrest are unclear. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is following developments closely,” read the short state-

ment. Last Friday the opposition in parliament sent a letter to the president seeking clarification over the arrest. “Can the president confirm whether this information is true? Can the president disclose what Dino Bouterse was doing abroad and why he was travelling on a diplomatic passport,” the opposition asked in its letter to the head of state. Opposition legislator Asiskoemar Gajadien is even going a step further, calling for the resignation of President Bouterse. “In any normal democracy the president would step down over such a serious issue,” Gajadien told local media. (CaribbeanNews)

TT gov’t hires UK law firm as adviser on Clico


he Trinidad and Tobago government has hired London-based law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and a UK Investment adviser to determine what would happen to the TT$18.4 billion debt due to the government, as a result of the Clico bailout, Finance Minister Larry Howai said last Friday. “We have been using Freshfields, as well as a UK investment adviser. We gave them 45 days. They would have started either (last Thursday) or day before,” he said. On July 4, a letter of intent was submitted by CL Financial which proposes a framework based on certain agreements and an understanding of the essential terms that will settle the TT$18.4

TT’s Finance Minister Larry Howai (TT Newsday file photo)

billion debt due to the government as a result of the Clico bailout, and which will form part of a new shareholders’ agreement between the government and CLF. Asked how much it

would cost to hire the law firm and the UK investment adviser, Howai said his technical staff has been looking at it. Howai was speaking at a function at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, to celebrate TT$4 billion in the disbursement of dividends by National Enterprises Ltd over the last 11 years. Contacted for a comment, Peter Permell, chairman of the Clico Policyholders Group, last Friday said: “The CPG is therefore persuaded that this is approach is not only sagacious, but the responsible thing to do in the circumstances as we continue to keep a very close eye on this matter.” (TT Guardian)




TT Islamic institute to establish branch in Guyana


uyana’s Sunni Muslim School, M a d r a s a Nooranie, has formalised plans for the establishment of a branch of the Markaz Al Ihsaan Theological Institute of Higher Islamic Education of Trinidad and Tobago to be based at the famed Anna Catherina Islamic Complex (ACIC). The Madrasa Nooranie was established in September 2003 at the ACIC. The deal was confirmed by principal of the institute, maulana Dr Waffie Mohamed when he visited Guyana earlier last month. Markaz Al Ihsaan was established in 2000 as a theological institute to provide quality higher Islamic education from the fundamentals of Islam to the tertiary level. It also offers courses in some of the specialised areas of Islamic knowledge. It is committed to the dissemination of Islamic knowledge and in assisting in the cultivation of a refined life for every individual, based on Quranic guidance. Its courses are designed to help individuals to know, practice and preach true Islam. Markaz al Ihsaan recognises that many Muslim leaders, preachers and teachers do not have this kind of outlook of life; as a result, it has developed a band of competent, qualified teachers to carry out this mission in order to be able to pass on the legacy of Islam at

A Maulana Dr Waffie Mohamed

any level in the society. It offers three levels: a certificate programme (a one-year course designed to make the participants aware of all that is required to be an enlightened practising Muslim), a diploma programme (a one-year course opened to students who have successfully completed the certificate programme and prepare the participants to be able to present Islam at a national, meaningful and learned way to believers and non-believers alike) and an alim programme (a three-year course, which enables the participants to become qualified in Islamic theology, (aalim). In the areas of specialised subjects on contemporary issues, Markaz al Ihsaan offers special subjects to each student, such as comparative religion, public speaking, Islamic sociology, Quranic psychology, Quranic philosophy, leadership course and religious sects in Islam. Teachers from Trinidad and Tobago will travel to Guyana to conduct the classes. (Guyana Times)

29 re-appear for prostitution charges in Trinidad


n attorney from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has asked a San Fernando magistrate for time to review the files of 70 women who are charged with soliciting in Trinidad. Twenty-nine (29) of the women last Friday reappeared in the Fourth Court before Magistrate Indar Jagroo, on their respective charges. State attorney Shabana Shah told the magistrate that she received the files of the accused women last Wednesday, and wanted time to review the cases. She added that a total of about 70 similar files had been sent for legal opinion. She admitted that there were some “immigration issues” to handle.

Guyanese diplomat appointed to top UN post

The magistrate adjourned the case to October 4, when the trial is expected to begin. The women are nationals of Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Spanish-speaking interpreter Luz Marina Tapias De Copilah translated the hearing for them. In March, a total of 75 women appeared in court charged with soliciting. The charges against them alleged that at Classic Seamen Hotel (formerly Villa Capri) located at Elizabeth Street, Vistabella, they solicited passers-by for the purpose of prostitution. Since the initial hearing, five of the cases have been dismissed. (TT Newsday)

mbassador Noel Sinclair, who recently completed his tour of duty as Caribbean Community (Caricom) permanent observer to the United Nations (UN), on Monday, has assumed the function of deputy chef de cabinet to the president of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda. In this new role, Sinclair will be one of a small group of diplomatic and other personnel selected to work as close advisers to the president of the General Assembly. This appointment comes at a high point in the long and distinguished foreign service career of Ambassador Sinclair; a career that spans different continents and includes diplomatic postings and highlevel responsibilities in national, regional and international organisations. Sinclair is a former foreign affairs min-

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon greets Ambassador Noel Sinclair

istry director general and held diplomatic postings at the Guyana embassies in Washington and Caracas, and at the Guyana High Commission in New York, where he served as permanent representative of Guyana to the UN Mission. It is as part of this latter responsibility that he discharged duties

as president of the UN Security Council. He also acted as president of the United Nations Council for Namibia, promoting expanded recognition of the council by the international community as the legal administering body for the territory of Namibia, then under illegal occupation by South Africa. Immediately before becoming Caricom’s

permanent observer to the UN, he was special representative of the UN secretary general in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, where he presided over the peace talks and the weapons disposal process among the former antagonists in their 10-year civil war. Ambassador Sinclair also served as deputy permanent secretary of SELA (the Latin American Economic System) at its headquarters in Caracas. Sinclair’s appointment as deputy chef de cabinet to the president of the UN General Assembly provides him an opportunity to advise on decision-making for the effective management of the work of the assembly as it confronts its 167item agenda. This includes a number of items of special interest to Caricom states, including the third international conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to be held in Samoa in 2014. (Guyana Times)

Bigger operating theatre for St Ann's Bay Hospital in Jamaica


he St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital in Jamaica is to see another major development taking place soon, as the operating theatre at the facility will be expanded through a grant of Ja$140 million provided by the National Health Fund (NHF). Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson officially broke ground at the facility last Friday for work to begin. This new project for the hospital follows several other recent developments, which include an expansion of the women's medical ward Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, Dr Ferguson said that he believes regional hospitals should be centres of excellence and over a period of time, the St Ann's Bay Hospital must achieve that status. "I believe passionately that regional hospitals are the hospitals taking the brunt of referrals, and the hospitals that are the number one within a region must be of a particular quality, must represent systems of excellence, and must, overall, be a centre of excellence," Dr Ferguson said. This calendar year,

Dr Fenton Ferguson (third left) is joined by (from left) Everton Anderson, CEO of the National Health Fund; Member of Parliament for North East St Ann Shahine Robinson; Leon Gordon, chairman of the North East Regional Health Authority; Dr Peter Scarlett, consultant anesthesiologist St Ann's Bay Hospital; and Everald Samuels, project manager Frederick Rodriques and Associates, officially breaking ground for the expansion of the operating theatre at the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital. (Renae Dixon/Jamaica Observer)

over Ja$375 million has already been spent to improve infrastructure in the public health system, with the new project at the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital pushing that total to over Ja$500 million. The expansion of the operating theatre at the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital will see the institution having two additional theatre suites, staff lounge and consultants' offices with a sixbed recovery area, the minister revealed.

The first phase, which includes construction, electrical and plumbing work along with air conditioning, is expected to cost over Ja$59 million. Phase two, which involves the acquisition of surgical equipment and furniture, will run concurrently with phase one. Both phases, the minister said, are expected to be finished by this financial year, as the project is expected to last approximately 32 weeks. The expansion of the operating theatre is ex-

pected to reduce the time patients have to wait for elective surgery, usually six months to one year, Leo Garel, the hospital's chief executive oficer revealed. The facility will also be expected to better handle cases of emergency surgery. The St Ann's Bay Hospital is said to be experiencing an increase in the number of surgeries it has to perform, which makes it difficult to respond adequately to cases of emergency. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)




Guyanese lawmen get U.S. training in port security


Graduates of the course pose with U.S. officials and Guyana's Crime Chief Seelall Persaud

fficers of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) last Friday graduated from a five-day course on border security hosted under the U.S.-led Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). Through ongoing security cooperation under the CBSI programme, the United States and Guyana partnered to stage the International Passenger Interdiction Training (IPIT) course, which was held at the Police Training Centre on Camp and Young streets, Georgetown. The port security training course saw the participation of nine police officers, three CANU officers and a representative of the GRA. The trainings were conducted by two officials of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, who shared their best practices on processing passengers at ports of entry and practical exercises at airports. The course included

training on fraudulent documents, passenger targeting and analysis, interviewing techniques, smuggling and luggage examinations. Officials from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and Caribbean Airlines (CAL) also facilitated practical training at CJIA as part of the IPIT course. Speaking at the closing ceremony last Friday, U.S. embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Bryan Hunt, thanked the government of Guyana for hosting the training while applauding the participants for their commitment and dedication during the course. Hunt said that courses such as these are designed to steer the participants into working to develop their security tactics. He noted that since the implementation of this partnership four years ago, there has been considerable progress in areas such as narcotics trafficking to maintaining public security.

“I thank you for the work you do every day to assist in protecting our borders from criminal activities. I am confident that this training will enhance your ability to do your individual jobs and enhance regional cooperation,” Hunt told the participants. He noted that the U.S. remains committed to continuously work on security cooperation to help Guyana improve border and airport security. M e a n w h i l e , Guyana’s Deputy Police Commissioner and Crime Chief, Seelall Persaud, said that his country has benefited enormously from CBSI, adding that the government will continue to emulate the progress on these trainings and how they impact the security sector. The CBSI is a Caribbean-U.S. partnership that fulfills the commitment to deepen regional security cooperation launched by President Barack Obama at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Cuban family alleges abuse by Bahamian detention guards


Cuban family who arrived in Miami from a migrant detention center in the Bahamas has alleged that guards regularly beat some of the male inmates and sexually abused some of the women. The Democracy Movement, a Miami group that has been helping undocumented migrants detained in Nassau, said one of the women repatriated from the center to Cuba earlier this month was impregnated by a guard. Ramón Saúl Sánchez, Democracy Movement head, who greeted the family on their arrival, said a 24-year-old woman repatriated from Nassau to Havana last week reported that she was six months pregnant. The movement led a string of protests against the Bahamian government this summer after detainees at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre smuggled out cell phone images of inmates sewing

their lips together in protest and an alleged guard kicking prisoners, according to the Miami Herald. Randy Rodriguez, 31, his wife Misleidy Olivera, 30, and their two children were the first detainees to speak in person to reporters about conditions at the center after they arrived in Miami on a flight from Nassau. “That video is real, and after the video, came the beatings” by guards as punishment for the negative publicity, said Rodriguez. However, Bahamas' Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell has said the video is a fake and that the allegations are under investigation. “I wish to say that no one from the Bahamas government has admitted that there was any abuse of detainees by the Bahamas government,” he said in a statement. The Bahamas repatriated 24 Cubans to Havana on August 16 and another eight on August 21, including several of the alleged victims

Bahamas' Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell has said the allegations are under investigation (Bahamas Press photo)

of beatings and sexual abuse. The Miami Herald said another 18 undocumented Cubans detained in the Bahamas will be allowed to fly to Panama, which has agreed to issue them “territorial asylum” while they try to arrange onward trips to the United States. Marleine Bastien, Executive Director for Haitian Women of Miami, who joined Sánchez at the news conference, said for several years Haitians have also complained about how they were treated at the Carmichael Road center. (CMC)

Caribbean sex workers want recognition, retirement benefits


he Caribbean Sex Worker Coalition is calling on regional governments to give recognition to their work, so that they can be on par with other professions where labour conditions are just. In a statement following their August 28-30 annual meeting held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the coalition, a collective of sex worker-led civil society organisations and sex worker advocates, said sex work is serious work and must be given due recognition. The group said selling sex should not be a crime and practices and policies should not harm sex workers. “We have the same human rights and duties as all other people, and these

should be respected at all times; we value ourselves like everyone else in society, with equal rights and justice; our civil rights are being undermined, we are being victimised and living with abuse from the people who are supposed to help us,” the group said in a statement. According to the coalition, sex workers have a right to equal opportunity to work, healthcare, education, food and shelter, and retirement benefits. “We respect sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and gender equality as human rights; we value our family and children; we should be able to access effective social services without any fear, favour or compromise,” the coalition said.

According to them, violence, extortion and discrimination are meted out to sex workers regularly and many are subjected to arbitrary law, detention, police raiding and various kinds of injustices. The group said economic empowerment is important for sex workers’ stability, and as such, it is calling for an end to all discriminatory legal, social and religious practices that target sex workers, their families, partners, colleagues, clients and associates. The coalition also urged regional governments to respect and protect human and constitutional rights and create legislation, policies and practices which effectively protect these human rights.

Lightning kills sugar worker in Guyana


teenager died last Friday morning in Guyana after he was struck by lightning while working at the Wales Sugar Estate, West Bank Demerara (WBD). Seventeen-year-old Klein Roberts, commonly called “Pop Corn”, of Lot 35 Murphy Street, Good Intent, WBD died instantaneously after the lightning struck about 11:00h, according to reports. This newspaper understands that the lightning penetrated the safe-

ty helmet the former student of Good Intent Secondary was wearing at the time. His head was reportedly scorched and blood oozed from his eyes and ears. Roberts had been working with the estate for the past three weeks. Klincia Roberts, sister of the dead teen, stated that they received the dreadful news about 12:00h via a call to her step-father’s mobile phone. She said upon receiving the news, her

mother and step-father left for the estate where they were told that efforts are being made to bring out her brother’s body. She explained that they were told her brother was with other persons when the lightning struck. His body was brought out of the backdam on a boat and was taken to the West Demerara Regional Hospital. He leaves to mourn his parents and nine siblings. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)




Holness says ‘not scared of leadership challenge’


amaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Andrew Holness told supporters in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, over the weekend, that he is not afraid of the possibility of a challenge to his leadership of the party in November. "My view is that this is a part of the evolutionary development of a political party. It is nothing new, it is nothing to be afraid of," Holness told party supporters. The Opposition lead-

JLP Leader Andrew Holness (Jamaica Observer photo)

er was speaking at a divisional fund-raising dinner in the North West St Elizabeth constituency of JLP MP JC Hutchinson, who is said to be one of several members of Parliament supporting Holness in the likelihood of a challenge from former finance and public service minister, Audley Shaw, at the party's annual conference in November. Holness said that as people concerned about the development of

Jamaica, and who understand the importance of political parties in the process of development, he was certain that the party would manage the leadership challenge process in a way that would make it proud. Holness added that transition and development in the political process is inevitable and, as people grow older and new people join the party, change and progress is inevitable and indicative of what is happening

across the entire political landscape. "It so happen that it is happening in the Jamaica Labour Party first, and we must set the standard and set the example of how political transition is done," he stated. He said that in the leadership transition, younger people will emerge with new ideas, because the parties cannot continue with the old ways of doing things, especially if the old ways

have not yielded the results that they would have liked. "...So, we are not afraid of what is happening. We embrace what is happening, because it shows that there is growth and regeneration in the party, and that new people are going to emerge with new ideas, new vision and new ways of doing things that will improve the quality of life of our country," he said. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

APNU wants bigger gov’t subvention for University of Guyana


Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Chairman David Granger has urged the government to increase the much-needed subvention for the University of Guyana (UG) to avoid a hike in tuition fees. Granger said it is a fact that the fees paid by students of UG are not sufficient

to sustain the university. As such, UG had proposed a hike in fees, but not all students and members of the public are in agreement with this. Some students have complained that the expense would be beyond them and getting a diploma or degree is very important to secure a good paying job.

To this end, the APNU, during its weekly press briefing, suggested that government supply the increased subvention to address the financial issues that currently hamper the institution. During his address to the media, Granger urged that government move in this direction. The opposition leader said while it was neces-

sary for government to progress with other developmental projects, education must come first. “Yes, they are doing other projects in the country, developmental projects but education is important…subvention will be able to, in a drastic way, bring up to date the back dated courses… some of these courses need to be carefully re-

examined,” he added. This, he said, will remedy some of the major financial deficiencies of the university. According to him, this change will not only see better education being provided but skyrocketing grades and passes coming out of Guyana’s national university. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

APNU Chairman David Granger (Guyana Times photo)

TT’s integrity body probes ‘Rowley emails’


Chairman of TT’s Integrity Commission Ken Gordon has recused himself from this probe in light of a meeting at his Glencoe home on May 15 with Rowley on this same issue (TT Newsday file photo)

he Integrity Commission in Trinidad and Tobago has launched an investigation into the alleged email documents which Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley referred to on May 20 when he opened debate on a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar and the government in the House of Representatives. The commission also made it clear that it can conduct this investigation, even while the police continue their probe

into this same matter. The commission added that its chairman, Ken Gordon, has recused himself from this matter in light of a meeting at his Glencoe home on May 15 with Rowley on this same issue. In a statement last Friday, the commission announced that in accordance with its mandate under Section 33 (a) of the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA), it has begun an investigation to determine the authenticity of alleged electronic mails, which were provided to

it by former President George Maxwell Richards. The commission disclosed that it has had a response “from an international electronic mail service provider and is moving ahead with its investigation.” The commission said in June, it advised the population that based on public statements and matters raised relative to copies of electronic mails forwarded for authentication to Gordon by Richards, it sought advice from Senior Counsel as to

whether it could investigate those matters under the provisions of the Act. The commission said it was advised by Senior Counsel that it “indeed has the jurisdiction to consider and enquire matters where there have been breaches of the IPLA and where an offence has been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.” Saying it is public knowledge that the email documents are currently the subject of a police investigation,

which is being monitored by the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, the commission said it had the authority to determine whether it wishes to exercise its own jurisdiction under the Act to conduct its own investigations to determine whether “the purported emails disclose dishonest or corrupt conduct, conduct conducive to corruption or breaches of the Act on the part of persons who fall under the purview of the commission.” (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

Elderly persons becoming target for scammers in Barbados - Police


olice have warned Barbadians to be on the alert for a number of scams, targeting the elderly and using social media. In a statement to the media, Public Relations Officer for the Royal Barbados Police Force, Inspector David Welch, said that police are monitoring a trend that has been developing where retired elderly persons are being targeted by criminal elements. “These criminals are contacting the persons by telephone and pretending that the calls are from a relative residing overseas, and delivering hard luck stories and claims that they are in need of desperate assistance and need funds; or in some cases they

purport to be sending home items such as cars and will ask the retirees to pay over funds to persons to clear these items until they return.” “Without checking, the funds are paid to the fraudsters. Once the account of the victim (elderly) has been depleted, they move on to another. These scams and transactions are mostly done without the knowledge of other family members,” stated the release. Welch added that police are requesting that all persons to be aware of this scam and to note that these unscrupulous persons will change their methods. He also asked that family members monitor their elderly relatives’ activities. It was noted, “The

sums that have been taken were all large sums. So far police have arrested some of the known perpetrators involved and continue to seek other persons knowing to be involved.”

Social network scams

Meanwhile, police have also noted a trend in crimes being committed, using social networks in Barbados. Two persons have been arrested and charged jointly for cases of robbery: Rico Danny Kirton, 17 years, of Block 8B, Bonnetts, Brittons Hill, St. Michael; and Akeem Nathaniel Williams, 21 years of Fordes Road, Brittons Hill, St. Michael. They appeared in the District A Magistrate Court last week and were remand-

ed until September 25,




Barbados Advocate)




Emotions run high at TT’s 2013 National Awards

Chutney queen: left to right, Reema Carmona, wife of President Anthony Carmona, looks on as chutney queen Ramragee Prabhoo, a Hummingbird Medal Silver recipient, smiles for the audience with PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and Dr Gregory Bissessar.


he 2013 National Awards in Trinidad and Tobago took on a homely air, unlike the usual stolid aura of pomp and ceremony of past years, as recipients blew kisses at the audience, jogged with the prime minister and generally turned protocol upside down.

Dignitaries were embraced and put to pose with recipients for group photographs, as the awards ceremony had its first outing to San Fernando on Saturday evening. Held at the Sundarlal Popo Theatre, Southern Academy for the Performing Arts, (SAPA),

San Fernando, the event had a few emotional moments when several posthumous awards were received by sombre relatives from an almost equally emotional President Anthony Carmona. In presenting slain police officer, Hayden Dale Manwaring’s widow, Kim Manwaring,

Woman to woman: Dr Indrani Rampersad is congratulated by Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar for receiving the Gold medal award for the Development of Women.

with his award, President Carmona took both of her hands in his and spoke to her for several moments before presenting her with the Hummingbird Medal Bronze for gallantry. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar also embraced her. After the ceremony,

Mrs Manwaring, who wore an elegant black dress, declined to reveal to reporters the contents of both the president’s and prime minister’s conversations with her. However, she remembered her husband as a “great man” and admitted that receiving the award had been an emotional moment for her. Another poignant moment occurred when Barbara Kangaloo, mother of deceased Justice of Appeal, Wendell Neil Kangaloo, received the Chaconia Medal Gold on his behalf. Speaking later with reporters, Barbara Kangaloo admitted to feeling both sadness and pride on accepting the award for her deceased son. “I received the award on his behalf, posthumously. With a bit of sadness and a bit of pride because I feel very good seeing that the powers that be decided to give him this award for all his service to the country in the short years that we had him, so I am grateful,” she said. Meanwhile, Ansonia Torres, who received the Hummingbird Medal Gold for her grandfather, historian and journalist Louis B Homer, who died earlier in the week, also

admitted that she was on the verge of tears while accepting the award. Another outstanding personality was Hubert Peter “Flagman” Diaz, a retired police officer, who smartly outfitted in the national colours, quick marched to President Carmona to claim his award, the Hummingbird Medal Bronze. Another notable awardee was former Presentation College principal, Brother Michael Samuel, who taught President Carmona and who at first bowed to his former principal before embracing him and then pinning the Public Service Medal of Merit, Gold, on his lapel. Meanwhile, former politician, John Humphrey, who received the Chaconia Medal Gold, said he was “very happy”, noting that he had not been bothered at not having received an award previously. Two men who never dreamed of ever receiving an award, the Bansraj cousins, said they too were surprised at having been selected. Shiv Bansraj, who together with Ganesh, had dived into a river to rescue a motorist. Shiv said he had not even received an award while in school. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

For a fallen cop: President Anthony Carmona greets, Kim Manwaring, wife of Sgt Hayden Manwaring who was killed in the line of duty, and received a posthumous award, the Hummingbird Medal (bronze). (TT Newsday photos)




Anna Correia-Bevaun - a Guyanese artist inspired by her indigenous heritage

Artist Anna Correia-Bevaun


nspired by her indigenous heritage, Anna CorreiaBevaun has become one of Guyana’s most celebrated artists. She began her career in art in 1988 as a ceramist under the tutelage of her mother, the late renowned Guyanese artist Stephanie Correia. For years Anna explored ceramics as her principle medium. Wishing to explore new techniques, materials and approaches, she took

short courses in design, batik and discharge, Vedic art and watercolour. In 2007, Correia-Bevaun won both the second and third prizes in the National Watercolour Competition (Guyana). In 2009, she also won the first and second prizes in the National Watercolour Competition. In a recent interview, Correia-Bevaun disclosed that as a child she never had an inclination to become an artist, but being surrounded by art, because of her mother, she developed an enthusiasm for it. “My mother, who was from Pomeroon, introduced me to art, and eventually I developed a love for it. She was an extraordinary potter. She did thorough research on different types of clay in Guyana and due to this she was able to work effectively with them, and this she taught me. I never did art in school; instead I did Food and Nutrition. However, learning from my mother encouraged me to delve into art,” she recalled. Correia-Bevaun joined the Guyana Women Artists’ Association in 1995. She has held the positions of secretary,

vice president, and president of the association. Being with this group helped Correia-Bevaun to explore new art media. In 2003, she decided to learn pen and ink drawing. Later, she explored watercolour after being inspired by her mother’s work with the medium. Due to the artist’s diverse ethnic background, her paintings are not subject to one recurring image. She paints images of Amerindian hunters and certain traditions of the group. Women of various ethnicities are also part of her collections. Speaking on what inspires her, Correia-Bevaun explained, “I’m inspired by my environment. I paint what I see. Also, I have learnt a lot from my mother, who was an avid reader. I have also gathered a lot from fellow artists. Persons interested in artwork tend to ask what it is about or what inspired the painting, and listening to the explanations from my colleagues I was able to broaden my knowledge on art. I am fortunate to have worked with many veteran artists and was able to ap-

ply what I learnt from them into my work.” Correia-Bevaun comes from a line of creative and passionate ancestors who were very dedicated to their work. She is the granddaughter of the late Stephen Campbell,

Guyana’s Member

The artist enjoys painting women of different ethnicities

first indigenous of Parliament.

(Excerpt from Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

Rupununi group aims to become Guyana's first international indigenous band Thompson suggests that in promoting Amerindian musicians, a survey should be done to gather information on the number of musicians who are Amerindians and link them with music professional. These professionals can also share their experiences and encourage the bands. “We celebrate our Amerindian heritage through our music. We like to celebrate and show our culture and talent and enjoy this with all our Guyanese

A few of the Rupununi Rockers Band members


iming to become one of Guyana’s first international indigenous bands, the Rupununi Rockers Band is rocking their way to stardom. The band’s founder Erwin Thompson, who is also its keyboardist and singer, said that the Rupununi Rockers Band was founded on December 1, 2012. Initially, it was a one man band. Now it has several members, including Julio Nacimento, singer (Brazilian forro); Sandro Paulino, keyboardist (Brazilian forro); Shaunet Jonas, backup singer; Michelle Santos, singer (Brazilian forro); Henry Bernard, backup singer and Matthew James, singer. The band is located in Lethem and enjoys performing traditional, soca, reggae and Brazilian songs. They have performed in the town of Bomfin, which is located near the border of Brazil and Guyana. “We are an eclectic group of ar-

tistes. We have never attended any music school or any special training. All members learn and practice by ear sound. This makes us unique because we have blended our culture and experiences over the years to entertain our fans,” he noted. Thompson stated that the band members are from the Makushi and Wapishana tribes. “Being an Amerindian band, I guess as it is for some other bands in Guyana, we do face many challenges. Some are being able to purchase equipment. Our band only uses small keyboards. However, we are trying to raise funds to get modern equipment so that the band can perform better. We are also looking for assistance and sponsorship so that we can be exposed to different places and we can generate funds for the band to grow and be better,” he disclosed.

brothers and sisters. All band members work, but we make time during weekends to do practice sessions. We are very passionate about our music and we hope to one day become an international band,” Thompson indicated. Thompson and his band are currently preparing for the Amerindian Heritage Month celebrations, tweaking their keyboards and synchronizing their voices. (Excerpt from Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)




Toronto charity helps boost neonatal care in Guyana


uyana Help the Kids (GHTK), a registered Canadian charity, led by Guyanese-born doctor Narendra Singh, continues with its work in Toronto to improve neonatal care in Guyana. The charity continues to spearhead training of Guyanese pediatricians and nurses, having already invested in upgraded neonatal facilities and equipment in Guyana’s hospitals. A release from the charity noted that Dr Singh, Chief of Pediatrics at Humber River Regional Hospital, on a visit to the country of his birth four years ago, was dismayed to see the facilities and equipment that the neonatal unit of the local hospital had to deal with. Due to lack of incubators, some babies were being cared for in wooden boxes and there were no specialized staff. “They were good people, very well intentioned, but without proper training or equipment,” Dr Singh said, adding that “They were doing the very best they could, given the circumstances.” This led him to start a residency programme for physicians in Guyana to receive pediatric training.

Guyana’s Health Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran; Dr Narendra Singh and Guyanese-born overseas professional footballer Ryan Hinds (behind Dr Ramsaran) look on as First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar unveils the plaque at GPHC’s NICU with assistance from Dr Beverley Barnett of PAHO/WHO last year (Guyana Times file photo)

“By bringing specialists from University of Toronto, McMaster University and other universities in North America together with their Guyanese counterparts and the Guyanese government, Dr Singh was able to develop a sustainable training program that will increase the number of specialists in the country,” the release explained. Doctors give their time to travel to Guyana to teach. Once training was underway, Dr Singh sought to address the need for the correct technology and equipment. GHTK was formed to

help raise funds for the procurement of up-todate incubators, ventilators, monitors and other equipment.

Updated technology

As a result of GHTK’s efforts, the hospital in the nation’s capital Georgetown opened a new 24-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in 2012 and within its first year, infant mortality in the hospital reduced by 50 per cent. Another NICU opened in New Amsterdam in May 2013. Infants are now cared for using the same equipment as would be found in any NICU in

A section of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) within the Linden Hospital Complex in Guyana (Guyana Times file photo)

Canada. “It’s a good relationship,” Dr Singh noted. “The hospitals

provide the rooms, the oxygen and the AC. We provide the equipment,

and we train the doctors and nurses,” he related. GHTK’s program has now expanded to include neonatal nurse training in conjunction with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The first eleven nurses graduated from the programme in June and 20 more are expected to graduate next year. Also, this September will see the number of pediatricians in the country double from two to four, with eight more in training. GHTK has plans for more NICU’s around the country and also plans to start training technicians in the care of the specialized equipment. Technical experts from Humber River Regional hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Kids have volunteered to assist with this critical aspect of the program. As part of its ongoing fundraising efforts, GHTK is holding its annual dinner and dance on October 5, 2013 at the Woodbine Banquet Hall. The event will have a Vegas theme with gaming tables and will feature live music from the Triple Play Band, a release from the charity indicated.

Zoomers Association of TT in Canada pleased with family picnic event


he food was excellent and the sports stimulating, but the entertaining steel band music, staged by young Neil and Erin Sookdeo, won over the huge crowd when the Zoomers Association of Trinidad and Tobago in Canada (ZATTIC ) held its fourth annual family picnic recently at the Centennial Park. “Family fun and great times were enjoyed by the more than 350 persons who attended, some of them coming from as far north as Alliston and as far west as Welland,” a release from the organistaion stated. Many attendees were holidaying from

the Caribbean island and were delighted to be among their fellow country people living in Canada. The Consul General of Trinidad and Tobago Dr. Vidya Gyaan Tota Maharaj was on hand to meet and greet patrons. The entertainment included live steel band music from the Sookdeos, as well as chutney and soca vibes played by a popular DJ. “Attendees were treated with many original Trinidad and Tobago style goodies including the original "press" with shave ice, syrup and condensed milk. Patrons were also treated to free boiled corn, hamburger, hot

dogs and watermelon,” the release indicated. ZATTIC strives to bring the community together and encourages family involvement at the event. The organisation noted too that there were lots of children in attendance and youths, who volunteered to do face painting, adding to the day’s attraction for kids. President of ZATTIC, Reynold Ramdial, who emphasized the importance of having families together, said the aim is that the older generations “can pass on our traditions and get youths involved in community."

Kids enjoy a game during ZATTIC’s fourth annual family picnic held recently at the Centennial Park (Photos: Contributed)

The youths volunteered to do face painting and other fun activities with younger patrons




Cascadoo takes Canadian spoken word to Trinidad F rom August 12–16, the Cascadoo International Festival of Spoken Word took place in various areas of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The event was organised by Mtima Solwazi of the Roots (Reflection of Our Oral Tradition) Foundation. The festival featured both local and international spoken word performers and included workshops (called ‘panchayats’ by the festival organisers), open mic sessions, and poetry and music concerts. Many featured performers and workshop facilitators came from Vocal (Voices of Canadian Artists across Latitudes), a group of spoken word poets with Caribbean heritage.

Anthony Bansfield, a spoken word poet and performer based in Ottawa, Ontario Canada, explained that “there were three main ideas presented at the Spoken Word 101 workshop, which were engaging the audience, fluency and becoming the performer.” He added that, “We spoke about why we write and it’s primarily for the joy and the fulfillment of it. Writing is a re-creation. As a poet you work with things already in creation and try to put them together in a way that people enjoy.” Bansfield is the founder of the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and his record ‘Tales of the North Coast’ was nominated for a Canadian Urban

Music Award and a Harry Jerome award. Bansfield has performed in Canada, the Caribbean and the US, edited and contributed to the anthology ‘The Next Step’, which focused on writing by Montreal authors of African descent. Wendy Brathewaite is an awardwinning emcee/poet, playwright, screenwriter and hip hop artiste. She has performed at Manifesto Jamaica, the Urban Music Awards, on CBC Television and HBO Def Poetry Jam. She said, “It was an opportunity for us to explore working with youth and spoken word arts. The workshop included looking at models for engaging youth and how to explore your

‘Wild Gilbert’: 25 years later I

n the aftermath of arguably the most devastating natural disaster to hit Jamaica, Lloyd Lovindeer was inspired to write the song that became the biggest hit of his career. That song, ‘Wild Gilbert’, was released in late-September 1988, just days after the Category Five Hurricane, Gilbert, smashed the country, killing 45 persons and leaving hundreds homeless. "I was surprised that the song took off the way it did because at the time there were other Gilbert songs released before mine. But ‘Wild Gilbert’ was huge," Lovindeer, 65, recalled last week during an interview with

Lloyd Lovindeer (Jamaica Observer photo)

Jamaican media. ‘Wild Gilbert’ is one of the fastest-selling singles in Jamaica, reportedly selling over 200,000

copies. Lovindeer, a former Kingston College student, had a few minor hits prior to ‘Wild Gilbert’.

"’Babylon Boops,’ which came out in 1986, was my biggest hit up to that point. I also had other hits like ‘Don't Bend Down’ and ‘Man Shortage’," he said. ‘Babylon Boops’ was his response to deejay Super Cat's smash hit song ‘Boops’. Its impact was nothing compared to the runaway success of ‘Wild Gilbert’. Lovindeer vividly remembers what he was doing when the hurricane hit. "I was inside the house watching what was going on, on the outside, when the idea for the song hit me. My satellite dish was destroyed during the hurricane. It was an experience." He still resides in

Wendy Brathewaite (TT Guardian photo)

own creativity and take that to inspire other young people. It was also about building the next generation of writers.” (Excerpt from TT Guardian)

The song that blew Jamaica's mind

that house at Hope Road in St Andrew. ‘Wild Gilbert’ was recorded at Dynamic Sounds in Kingston with the Riddim Kings as backing band and Lovindeer as producer. The rib-tickling number gave Lovindeer a national profile and set the pace for followup hits like ‘Pocomania Day’, which he did with Chalice. Lovindeer was born in Kingston but moved to Ewarton, St Catherine shortly after his parents migrated to England. He returned to Kingston at age 12. After leaving KC, he got involved in music when he and friends formed the Fabulous Flames song-and-dance

group. Their first recording, done in 1971, was a cover of Neil Diamond's 'Holly Holy' produced by Clancy Eccles. After the Fabulous Flames split, Lovindeer moved to Canada, where he lived from 1976 to 1982. Back in Jamaica, he released ‘The Blinking Bus’, his first solo recording, on his TSOJ label. Lovindeer is busy completing ‘The Land of The One Love People’, a double album scheduled for release at the end of this month. It has collaborations with Judy Mowatt, Kip Rich, Goddy Goddy, Singing Melody, Tarrus Riley and Lady G. (Jamaica Observer)

TT’s Jehue Gordon set to receive handsome rewards for gold medal win Gordon’s mother, Marcella Woods thanked God first and foremost, and the TT government for the rewards (TT Newsday photo)


orld champion 400-metre hurdler Jehue Gordon has been rewarded with Trinidad and Tobago’s second highest honour, the Chaconia Gold, for his gold medal run at the 14th IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Moscow, Russia, on August 15. The 21-year-old is also expected to receive TT$800,000, a house, free travel aboard Caribbean Airlines, an annual bursary from the University of the West Indies (UWI), where he is a student, and a track

to be constructed at the St Augustine campus in his honour. TT’s Sport Minister Anil Roberts called Gordon, who is in London, England, on his cellphone to deliver the good news to the star athlete, in the presence of reporters at Abercromby Street, Port-ofSpain last week. Gordon expressed his thanks to the minister and the Cabinet and added that he cannot wait to return home. He has been in England since his historic run in Moscow, where he is preparing for his next race in the Brussels Diamond League Leg on September 6 before returning home on September 8. Roberts told reporters Cabinet approved the rewards earlier last week on his recommendation. “The house will be a middle-sized one to be approved by the Ministry of Housing, Land and Marine Affairs Dr Roodal Moonilal

Jehue Gordon has been rewarded with TT’s second highest honour, the Chaconia Gold, for his gold medal run at the 14th IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Moscow, Russia, on August 15. (AP photo)

while the UWI bursary is to cover housing, books, meals and transportation during his tenure at the university,” the minister said. Gordon is entering his final year and is pursuing a degree in Sports Management. Roberts also announced that Gordon’s coach, Dr Ian Hypolite, will also collect TT$200,000 and will be rec-

ommended for the Chaconia Silver medal at next year’s Independence Day award. “The recommendation for Dr Hypolite came in too late for this year’s award ceremony,” Roberts said. He also said the track to be constructed at UWI, St Augustine will be done by the Sports Company. A special ceremony is to be

arranged to present Gordon with his Chaconia Gold medal as his overseas engagement caused him to miss Saturday’s Independence Day National Awards ceremony in San Fernando. Gordon’s mother, Marcella Woods thanked God first and foremost, and the TT government for the rewards it has announced for him for having achieved TT’s second gold medal at a World Championship. About developing and naming a track after Gordon at the UWI campus, Woods said, “That would be lovely.” She is looking forward to his return home. Gordon visited colleges in Mississippi and other places in the United States, she said, to decide what to do. “He came back and he said, ‘Mommy, I am not going anywhere you know. I will stay right here in Trinidad to study and to train.” (Excerpt from TT Newsday)




115 students from Guyana’s reform school graduate from skills training programme

Proud of our boys

Some of the graduates

By Anu Dev



uyana’s Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry Permanent Secretary Alfred King has urged the New Opportunity Corps’ (NOC) second graduating class of the Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training Programme (YEST) to be of good service and contribute to Guyana’s development. Addressing the graduating students, King said the NOC provides students with valuable opportunities to change their lives, and they should be proud of their achievements, but must put their skills into practise. King said despite many difficulties, the NOC has managed to prevail as it continues to reform delinquent students to contribute positively to the country’s development. He said the challenges of the institution have been examined and re-

views were made in an effort to change the physical outlook of the NOC. Shedding some light on the ministry’s investments in the institution, King said some Gy$35 million was spent on improving the facilities as the ministry recognised that there is a lot of infrastructural works that need to be done. Quality programmes He said too that more needs to be done on quality programmes, and the ministry is looking to provide training and scholarships to staff and students. Some students are currently pursuing the diploma in sociology programme, and a library was established to keep the students meaning fully occupied. The permanent secretary commended the work of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the ministry for starting the reintegration into society programme. He said the programme has helped chil-

dren in the process of social rehabilitation, and the ministry is now focusing on drafting new laws as it relates to management of juvenile delinquents. Second chance Meanwhile, UNCIEF representative in Guyana, Marianne Flach reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to the NOC, noting the partnership has given the children a second chance to excel in life. Flach said the support has positively impacted the students and this bodes well for Guyana. NOC official David Sookram said on January 30, the institution commenced course two of the YEST programme; an initiative that provides youths with life skills, technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills. Sookram said the first course was launched at the NOC in 2011 and 63 students successfully completed training in the technical vocational education programme. The students were

trained in carpentry, welding and fabrication, electrical installations, agriculture science, handicrafts, sports and culture, information technology, catering and tailoring. Sookram said catering and agriculture science were two new courses introduced. He said the courses in the various subject areas commenced on January 30. Thirty females and 22 males entered the YEST programme where as 26 females and 37 males entered the introductory courses of the technical vocational education programme, amounting to a total of 115 graduating students. The NOC survives though solid partnership with a number of local and overseas-based organisations. These include EEREPAMI, UNICEF, Zara Holdings, the U.S. embassy through the SKYPE programme and the Agriculture Ministry. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Panorama book launched in TT


0th Golden Anniversary of Panorama’ is the latest publication of Pan Trinbago Inc TC. The 110 page “coffee table book” as the title implies is the history of Panorama through the years documented by contributors Selwyn Tarradath, Merle Albino-De Coteau, Dr Jeanine Remy, the late Ian “Teddy” Belgrave and Esmond King among others. Pages consist mainly of photographs and illustrations, many of them from private collections of Majorie Boothman and Commander Jack Williams. In addition, Steelpan tidbits, trivia, interviews with steelpan personalities and a bit of steelband history complete this edition. To quote, Keith Diaz, President, Pan Trinbago: ”This magazine appropriately dedicated to the celebration of fifty years of the Panorama competitions, is designed to remind the reader that the steelpan, born in this century, has gone through several stages of development, and in the process emerged to be a musical instrument of excellence…” Chapters include “How It All Began”, “How Panorama Got Its Name”, “The Panorama Syndrome”,

'50th Golden Anniversary of Panorama' captures the history of Panorama through the years

“Arrangeritis”, “The Steelband as a Community Phenomenon”, “A Perspective 50th Anniversary of Panorama”, and “The Digital Pan (Steelpan) Mobile App. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)


week ago, thinking about what this week’s article would be about, I decided it’ll be about the final of the in augural Limacol CPL. At the time, I had no doubt it would’ve been an article celebrating our team, the Guyana Amazon Warriors bringing home the trophy. (The trophy itself, I’m not too enamoured about... but that’s another story!) But this is still a celebratory article – it’s just a celebration of something else. The LCPL and our Warriors have given us much to celebrate. As a country, we can be proud of the way our team acquitted itself during the entire tournament. They gave us so much to cheer about throughout the tournament so that we could hold our heads high with pride. As a region, the Caribbean can be proud of the fact that we’ve pulled off such a major tournament flawlessly. The tournament has thrust so many young West Indian players into the limelight, where they can get the exposure and experience needed to flourish. It would be ludicrous for the WICB to not give players like Santokie a try-out on the West Indian team. This tournament was a welcome injection of life into West Indian cricket. And it probably came at a perfect time as well, since the well-established players on the team still have some prime years left to play. That should give them enough time to pass on to the new players some of the skills and tips that their years of experience have taught them. Then we’ll have that sense of continuity in the team instead of having to construct a team of completely new players six years from now. And while the tournament puts country against country with there being strong rivalry between competing countries, on another level it forces us to embrace players from other Caribbean countries as one of our own – the franchise system puts them on our team! I think I definitely cheered on Lendl Simmons as much as I cheered on Permaul. Although I still can’t fathom the logic behind sending out the Trinidadians high up the order in the final instead of potentially more capable batsmen. But we got to put our countries on display. We got to broadcast our Caribbean culture to the world. We got several nights of good fun and some nerve-wracking nights – I was in Trinidad for the semis and final. I still have my Guyana Amazon Warriors flag that I waved. I just might tack it onto my dorm room wall. It’s been a terrific tournament – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every game. So let’s wave our flags, raise our glasses (with passion fruit juice!) and lift our voices to cheer on our boys for the good job they did at the inaugural LCPL. I’ll never forget that overwhelming sense of pride I felt at that first game at the Providence Stadium. It’s really something. It’s indescribable, seeing those cricketers in front of you. And you even get that feeling for the players of the opposing team. It’s when you see players like Chris Gayle on the field in front of you that you realise exactly how much they mean to you. It’s when you’re about to faint at the sight of Dwayne Bravo that you realise how much West Indian cricket and cricketers mean to you. So all hail the Limacol CPL! All hail the Guyana Amazon Warriors!




Hrithik is one of our finest actors, says Kareena Kapoor


ctress Kareena Kapoor believes Hrithik Roshan, her co-star in the upcoming film 'Shuddhi', is one of the country's finest actors. "I am very excited about ‘Shuddhi’. We're both working together after such a long time. He is such a fine actor. He is one of the finest actors in our country," Kareena told the media. "I am looking forward to this film. We will start shooting from January 2014," she added. Kareena and Hrithik's pairing has been seen in movies ‘Yaadein’, ‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge!’, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ and ‘Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon’. ‘For Shuddhi’, they are teaming

up after a decade. The movie, directed by Karan Malhotra, is said to be an intense love story, which will be widely shot in Mumbai and Uttarakhand. (TOI)

‛Intimate scenes are easy to do’ - Parineeti Chopra


ctress Parineeti Chopra, who has worked with Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput, says she prefers to work with the new crop of actors rather than big stars. The 24-year-old actress said she has rejected few projects opposite some of Bollywood's biggest stars because the routine song-and-dance films did not excite her. Parineeti indicated that she is glad she made the right decisions at the right time and chose to

stay away from typical Bollywood pot-boilers. Asked about her approach to intimate scenes, she said, "As a girl I feel he is my actor, he is not my boyfriend or husband so you feel little awkward. It may sound philosophical, but when you shoot for it, the actor in front of you may seem like a wall, as intimate scenes becomes clinical." "When you are doing such scenes, the director keeps giving you instructions, either to look up, down, left, right, hold hands, so it is all

packed schedule, the shooting for the film will begin next year. Taurani is quite excited about his upcoming Shahid Kapoor starrer 'Phata Poster Nikla Hero'. Directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, the film also stars Ilena D'Cruz and releases on September 20. (TOI)

Alia Bhatt warns against her fake pictures on net


cessful actress, says it was her late father, who always wanted her to be a singer. The 31-year-old has already launched two international singles-‘In my city’ and ‘Exotic’. (TOI)

Anil Kapoor finds a new fan in Sridevi nil Kapoor, who is all set to make his small screen debut with ‘24’, has found a new fan even before the show has hit the screens. The actor, who has got the American franchise to India, has been getting lots of congratulatory messages from the industry. However, one person who has personally sent her wishes across is his sister-in-law, actress Sridevi. Sridevi, who had heard a lot about his new TV show, was looking forward to the promos hitting the screen. Anil knew about that and according to a source, arranged a special preview for his family. Ever since, Sridevi has been raving about how good Anil is in the show. Talk about family bonding! (TOI)

mechanical...there is no feeling to it. Intimate scenes are easy to do. Whenever I read a script I don't differentiate between a kissing scene or an emotional scene," she added. (TOI)


ctress Alia Bhatt has warned her fans against "random" pictures of her forthcoming film 'Highway', which are doing the rounds on internet. Alia, who made her debut with Karan Johar's 2012 movie ‘Student of the Year’, will star opposite Randeep Hooda in the

ollywood's multitalented star Priyanka Chopra admires international pop star/actress Beyonce Knowles for the balance that she has struck in personal and professional life. "I admire Beyonce a lot because she is an amazing performer and more than anything, she balances her personal and professional life very well," Priyanka said in Mumbai. "She has a child, and at the same time, her professional life also, which is amazing! That's the kind of a person I would like to be-who can balance both personal and professional life together," the Bollywood actress added. Priyanka, who is charting her own singing career after becoming a suc-


Katrina not to romance Salman in Prabhu Deva's film ctress Katrina Kaif has not been signed opposite superstar Salman Khan for Prabhu Deva's next film, the makers have said. After setting the cash registers ringing at the box office and starting a new wave of action with 'Wanted', Salman and choreographer-turned-director Prabhu Deva are teaming up for a film, to be produced by Tips. Rumours were doing the rounds that Prabhu Deva's film will bring Salman and Katrina back on screen again. "We have not signed Katrina for the film. We have not thought of who the leading lady will be opposite Salman. We are still working on the script. The story is not yet completed," Ramesh Taurani of Tips said. Salman and Katrina were last seen in 'Ek Tha Tiger'. Since Salman has a

Priyanka Chopra wants to balance life like Beyonce! B

Imtiaz Ali film. "There's some random image going around from ‘Highway’ that isn't authentic at all! That is not me or Randeep in that picture," Alia posted on Twitter. "Stills from the film will be out closer to the release probably. So please don't fall for these fake images," she added. (TOI)

Sushmita Sen to make a comeback this year


ctress Sushmita Sen is eyeing a comeback in Bollywood this year with a woman-oriented film. Though Sen has not signed any film yet, the former Miss Universe said she would love to do a female-oriented role like actress Sridevi in 'English Vinglish'. The 37-year-old, who was in Mumbai to inaugurate the first Kerala salon of accomplished hair and makeup expert Ambika Pillai, told reporters that she will make a comeback this year. The actress was last seen in 2010 film 'No Problem' and had taken a three

year break to spend time with her adopted daughters-Alisah and Renee. "For some years I celebrated with my children and have no regrets," she said. (TOI)

Aamir Khan goes to Australia to learn dancing


hile everyone is curious to know the agenda of Aamir Khan's secret trip to Australia, we have got some bits of information. The actor has gone to Australia to apparently take dance lessons. The perfectionist that he is, Aamir is taking a month's time to learn a unique dance form that will be a culmination of tap dancing as well as ballet. The actor, whose character has shades of

grey in ‘Dhoom 3’, plays a circus gymnast. His role required him to be perfect in this dance form and hence he thought of taking professional dancing classes for the same. Once Aamir is back from Australia in another 15 days, he will be shooting for a song that will require him to show his moves. With the perfectionist getting trained from the

best of the dancers, we are sure he will create a storm on screen. (TOI)




Scarlett Johansson Vin Diesel finds co-star sexy considering career in politics



carlett Johansson has revealed that she can consider pursuing a career in politics. The 'Match Point' star told Harper's Bazaar Magazine that though she thinks that a full political career seems like a stretch, she never limits the possibilities, reported. Johansson, who is the former wife of Ryan Reynolds, said that if she has more time, she might be able to get involved in politics as she never closes doors on things like that. (TOI)

Robert Pattinson worries about his looks


wilight" star Robert Pattinson has revealed that stardom has made him con-

scious to look good whenever he steps outside his home. The 27-year-old actor says he worries about his looks now as he knows he would get photographed everywhere he goes, reported Contactmusic. "It depends, sometimes. But I'm weird about my looks. Once you get photographed a lot it changes you. I remember when I first did 'Twilight' I didn't care about how I looked-there was less pressure," Pattinson said. "Now every time I appear somewhere, I think, 'I don't know how many more times I can do this.' Dressing up to go somewhere and be looked at-I get so nervous. Up until the second I have to leave, I'll get changed a million times," he added. (TOI)

Michael Douglas denies marriage 'crisis'


ichael Douglas has denied there is a ''crisis'' in his marriage to Catherine Zeta-Jones. The 68-year-old actor, who is currently promoting his new film 'Behind the Candelabra', insisted that his marriage is ''fine'' and they are simply having a ''temporary separation''. Talking to the press at the premiere of his new film he said: ''I have a crisis at home? No ...We, we are fine. My wife and I are, are fine.'' The pair, who wed in 2000 in a lavish ceremony at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel in New York City, were last photographed together in April and are reportedly receiving counselling in an attempt to save their relationship. Catherine appears to want to do all she can to make things work and maintain her 13 year marriage.

According to previous reports, the 'Red 2' star has admitted to friends she would do ''everything in my power'' to keep their family, which includes their children Dylan, 13, and Carys, 10, together. (TOI)

‘I have fashion regrets every day’ - Kelly Brook


ctress-model Kelly Brook says she regrets her fashion choices every day. The 33-year-old admits that she doesn't always dress immaculately because of her busy schedule, and ends up looking back at photographs of herself with regret, reports femalefirst. "I have regrets every day. I sometimes see pictures and think, 'Urgh, why did I put that on?' I'm a busy girl and I don't always have time to put a perfect outfit together," Brook said. She believes that good posture is the key to look good. "I wear a gorgeous dress, diamonds, a beautiful clutch and killer heels. Simple but chic. Be confident and work on your posture. That will make any outfit stand out," she added. (TOI)

ollywood actor-producer Vin Diesel, whose movie "Riddick" is releasing Friday, finds his co-star Katie Sackhoff "sexy". Sackhoff plays the role of Dahl, a sniper woman-turned-mercenary on the hunt for killing Diesel's character Riddick. Sackhoff is said to have done some stunning action scenes in the movie. "She came in guns blazing to play the role of Dahl, which I think is extremely sexy and formidable," Diesel said in a statement. Written and directed by David Twohy, "Riddick" is a dark actionpacked science fiction film, packed

with breathtaking battle sequences. PVR Pictures is releasing the movie in India in four languages-English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. (TOI)

Jolie stays at Anistons's favourite hotel


or an intimate break with actor-fiancé Brad Pitt, actress Angelina Jolie opted for the hotel, which is one of Jennifer Aniston's

favourites. The couple slipped unnoticed into the glamorous Sunset Tower hotel in Hollywood Aug 27, and checked into suite 1502, the same room where Aniston, Pitt's ex-wife, likes to stay, reports "Brad and Angelina usually stay at the Four Seasons or Hotel Bel Air for their assignations," a source said. "Brad usually handles all of the details, but this time it was Angelina who made the plans, and she specifically picked the very hotel and the very suite where Jennifer stays," the source added. (TOI)

Katie Price's marriage won't last, says ex-fiancèé


odel Katie Price's ex-fiancé, Leandro Penna, feels that her marriage to part-time stripper Kieran Hayler, won't last over a year. Penna was in relationship with Price for almost two years, before they decided to part ways in October 2012. She married Hayler in January this year. When asked about Price's marriage to Hayler, Penna told Heat magazine: "No. It won't last. I give it a year, tops." Price gave birth to her first child with Hayler last month. She also has three children from previous relationships, reports Penna says that during their relationship, she always wanted to have more children. "She told me so many times she wanted to marry me, but I didn't want to marry her. She always said she wanted a baby with me, but I didn't

want one," he said. "She was not someone I wanted to start a family with. Her life is a business and I don't want my life to be like that," he added. (TOI)

Rosie Huntington Whiteley on trial break from Jason Statham


osie HuntingtonWhiteley and Jason Statham are reportedly on a trial separation, as they seek to repair their relationship following "lots of arguments". A source told a UK publication that the pair is still in love with each other and are not making any official announcement, because they're still hoping that they can move past their problems by giving each other some space, Contactmusic reported. The insider said that they are taking some time out from each other

because there have been lots of arguments and they both need some individual time.

It is worth noting here that there's an almost 20 year age gap between the duo. (TOI)




Jamaican reggae artiste Fyrish woman is Guyana’s for America’s ‘The Voice’ latest centenarian



Jamaican recording artiste, Tessanne Chin (Jamaica Gleaner photo)

amaican recording artiste, Tessanne Chin, recently confirmed that she auditioned for the blockbuster vocal competition 'The Voice'. The show, which airs on NBC, aims to find the strongest vocalists across the country. The innovative format of the show includes four stages of competition: The first begins with the blind auditions, then the battle rounds, the knockouts and finally, the live performance shows. The new season of 'The Voice' will premiere on Monday, September 23 where we will see Tessanne's blind audi-

tion. A representative from Tessanne's camp told Jamaican media that the artiste will appear on the September 23 episode, but that they are unable to divulge any more information. Tessanne rose to fame in 2006 with the release of her single, ‘Hideaway’. The artiste followed up with her debut album ‘In Between Words’ in 2011. She has performed at several live shows, including The Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2006, the Deck cafe, The Port Royal Music festival, ABC Slim Traxx and her very own show "Arabian Night". (Excerpt from Jamaica Gleaner)

t is a rare occasion to be invited to celebrate someone’s 100th birthday. Sometimes there is hardly anything you can say to that person that they would not have heard before. Guyanese Olga Bernice Elgin, fondly called “Cousin Olga”, has lived to 100 years. On Saturday, she crossed that milestone, and as expected, was visited by numerous relatives. Sadly, she did not have her peers to share the joyous moment. They have all passed away. Cousin Olga, who lives at Fyrish on the Corentyne in Berbice, attributes her longevity to having had a loving and caring husband. Her husband passed away 35 years ago, and her eldest sister 30 years ago at age 80. Her childhood days were spent on the East Coast of Demerara. In the mid 1940s, while visiting her cousin at Fyrish, she was swept off her feet by a man, who soon after became her husband. Speaking of that romantic part of her life, Cousin Olga said, “He told my parents that he loves me and they agreed.” Soon, she was a married woman and had moved to Fyrish. Her husband was an engineer at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and village chairman for more than a decade. Their union brought forth four daughters, all of whom are alive, the eldest being 67 and the youngest 59. What does Cousin Olga eat? “I like dry food and soup. My mother used to make soup every Sunday

Still going strong! Olga Bernice Elgin at age 100

and I used to like it,” she said, noting that her favourite meat is beef. Her mother had lived to age 83. At age 100, she has been able to see her third generation and enjoys chatting with her great granddaughter, and when she is not doing that, she is following current affairs on the radio. Her sight is failing her so nowadays, she does not read. However, she still remembers the fun times she had growing up, and the hard times as she got older. “There was the war (World War II) and boats were not bringing food. We had to eat roast plantain and plenty cassava because we could not get flour.” According to her eldest daughter, Joyce, her mother was a great cook. “She was a very good baker,

making cakes and she would sew for us.” Cousin Olga did not take on outside jobs. “Her hands were filled with making our clothes and she would make straw hats for us and then later, cloth hats and I liked that because we got to wear the latest styles first.” Joyce added: “A good cook who never missed a birthday, she will make ice-cream for us on our birthdays, but we had to go and share to others before we were allowed to sit down and eat ours.” Cousin Olga is not able to go to church, but is still visited by the pastor who performs communion when he visits. With a smile as fresh as ever, she said God has blessed her to see 100 years. The latest centenarian was born on August 31, 1913. (Guyana Times)




A Journey to Success Defying naysayers, Iliana Edwards of a remote hinterland village in Guyana, realises her dreams of becoming a medical doctor

Iliana (front row extreme left) with other Guyanese doctors who recently graduated


liana Edwards, an indigenous Guyanese from Paruima village, Upper Mazaruni in Region Seven, attended Paruima Primary School before excelling in her examinations to earn a government scholarship to attend Central High School in Georgetown. After graduating with eight subjects at CSEC, Edwards worked for a year with USAID/Guyana HIV/AIDS Reduction and Prevention as a phlebotomist. Getting firsthand experience in the medical field would help her be more adept when studying medicine. “I applied for a government scholarship to study general medicine in Cuba. I had always wanted to become a doctor since I was a child, and I was happy when I was accepted to study in Cuba. I studied there for seven years. I was 18 when I left [Guyana]. In Cuba it was challenging, especially being placed to work shifts. Long days and nights I had to endure, but I did. The doctors were tough with us, but it paid off because it has helped me to work harder,” she recalled. The doctor revealed that when she received her

doctorate she was elated, and overwhelming emotions surged through her. The sacrifices she made were well worth it because she was able to accomplish what she had set out to do. “What has encouraged me to be determined is looking at other Amerindian women who have achieved a lot despite challenges. When I collected my doctorate I felt a sense of relief that all my work for the past seven years paid off. I would like to thank the government of Guyana for giving me this opportunity, the government of Cuba for allowing me to pursue my dream, and my friends, family and my cousin Aneesa, who has always supported me. Now I can’t wait to serve my Guyanese people,” she declared. Currently, Edwards said she is waiting to be placed at a hospital, which she hopes will happen soon. Specifically, she mentioned, she would like to work as a gynaecologist. Looking back at her journey, Edwards recalled she received comments from persons who doubted her abilities because of her ethnic background. However, she used those criticisms as motivation to achieve her goals which she did expertly.


Gail Rebeiro Twenty-year-old Gail Rebeiro of St. Ignatius, Central Rupununi, is a stunning Amerindian beauty of Guyana, who is unafraid of the spotlight. Last year she was crowned Region Nine’s Amerindian Heritage Month queen at the annual pageant held at the St Ignatius benab. With the crown, Rebeiro won the right to represent Region Nine at the National Amerindian Heritage Pageant. This year, once again, the newlycrowned Region Nine Miss Amerindian 2013 is expected to represent her region at the National Amerindian Pageant slated for September 29 at the National Culture Centre. With utmost confidence, the queen is ready to showcase her heritage to win the coveted crown. (Photo by Yimochi Melville)

Dr. Iliana Edwards happily displays her doctorate

Although Edwards has been exposed to different cultures, her indigenous heritage was never forsaken. She admires the unity in her village and enjoys being part of its activities. Edwards speaks the Arekuna language, although she is not fluent in it. Her mother, an Arekuna, and her father, an Akawaio, have always been her main supporters. She noted that they have repeatedly encouraged her to upkeep traditions, something she credits as her guide in becoming a doctor. “I would encourage youths who want to pursue the same goals I did, to study and ignore comments. Also don’t get distracted. I saw how some students got easily distracted, but keeping focused is vital. What also helped me to be focused is my Christian background. My prayers and those from friends and family helped me also. I urge all indigenous youths to challenge themselves and pursue their dreams,” she encouraged. (Excerpt from Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)




Bolt plans to retire after Rio 2016 -Sprinter wants a Commonwealth gold to complete his collection


he world’s fastest man Usain Bolt said Wednesday he wants to win more gold in Rio, set another world record in the 200 metres next year, and perhaps win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. "So far, (it) is after the Olympics in Rio," Bolt said of his retirement plans. "I think if I am in great shape, I'll go there and do what I have to do. I think it will be a good time to retire on top." Winning another three gold medals in Moscow last month made him the most decorated athlete in world championship history with eight gold and two silvers. He has six gold medals from the Olympics. "If I want to be among the greats of (Muhammad) Ali and Pele and all these guys, I have to continue dominating until I retire," Bolt said ahead of his final race this season in the 100 at Friday's Van Damme Memorial. Bolt won the 100, 200 and 4x100 re-

Usain Bolt (Jamaica Observer photo)

lay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and at last year's London Games. He won the same triple at the 2009 worlds before repeating that feat in Moscow last month. At 27, Bolt has the experience to know that a lax season midway between

Olympics can hurt him. In 2010, a soft entry into the year and subsequent injury cost him almost a full season. "I kind of didn't do much in the offseason and then got injured and had to start from scratch. So this season, I will not make that mistake again," Bolt

said. Like 2010, next season has no major championships, but Bolt is thinking of new goals for 2014. He already owns the 100 and 200 world records and shares the 4x100 with his Jamaican teammates. He acknowledges the 100 record of 9.58 seconds will be extremely tough to better, but he hopes to improve on the 19.19 he ran in the 200 in Berlin four years ago. "I have learned, I have mastered the art of running the turn," Bolt said of the 200. "So if I can stay injury free and be in good shape, then it is possible for me to definitely go after the world record." As a Jamaican, Bolt can compete in the Commonwealth Games, too, something he has yet to do. Next year, the event will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. "I have never been to Commonwealths and so it is always good to add to your collection of gold medals," Bolt said. (AP)

Emile Abraham crowned TT’s Independence cycling king


ational and Team Predator Carbon Repair rider, Emile Abraham, made up for a tough exit from last year’s Tour of Trinidad and Tobago Independence Cycling Classic when he was crowned overall champion of the 2013 edition after the final stage of rac-

ing Sunday. Even though Abraham finished fourth in the meet’s last leg, which pedalled to a stop at the Mucurapo Foreshore, the former national endurance champion remained atop the overall standings with his tournament haul of 42 points.

Team Foundation representative, Geron Williams, crossed the finish line first Sunday, but the Guyanese rider had to settle for runnerup position overall on 40 points. Team Predator’s Calixto Bello (USA) was third on 38 points while Bajan and Heatwave

Strong, healthy future for Windies cricket after Limacol CPL...


how we, as WICB, can benefit from the successful staging of the inaugural edition of the CPL. Q: Can you give an idea as to how the WICB will benefit from it in financial terms? A: The WICB stands to benefit directly from the CPL in two clearly defined areas. First, the WICB receives an annual licensing fee from the CPL for the rights to host the tournament. This fee will certainly contribute in a significant way towards the overall annual financial position of the WICB. Second, the WICB owns a stake of the CPL and once it becomes profitable, the WICB will receive a percentage of the profit share. There are also other areas where there will be significant indirect benefit. One of the most important areas in this regard is the CPL funding of 60 retainer contracts for regional players every year—which will allow a large group of players at the regional level to be able to give more professional attention to their cricketing careers. There will also be a number of development programmes that will be rolled out. Q:The league saw a very healthy employment opportunity for several past West Indies greats in the form of coaching or consultants’ role. What’s your take on this? A: The WICB unequivocally supports and commends any and every opportunity that allows our legendary former players to nurture new talent and to give back to the sport. This is something the WICB has recognised for several years now and we have endeavoured to engage a num-

ber of former players throughout West Indies cricket at various levels and in various capacities. Q: With the newer T20 leagues like the one in Sri Lanka folding up, the Bangladesh one and even IPL under some pressure, how does the CPL T20 plan to sustain itself on a long-term basis and run in a transparent fashion? A: When we structured the CPL, we were very deliberate in creating a tournament committee that is tasked with ensuring that the rules and regulations are upheld. The Most Hon PJ Patterson, a former prime minister of Jamaica and an internationally respected figure chairs that committee, and I have every confidence that they will continue to monitor the proceedings and to ensure that the CPL functions with integrity and transparency. I have also have listened to the comments and reviews of the players, commentators and administrators and they have been almost 100 per cent positive and encouraging. That in itself is a ringing endorsement of the CPL. Q: How hopeful are you about the emerging talents thrown up by the league like Nicholas Pooran or Sheldon Cotterell? A: We are pleased that the talents and skills of some of the younger players are gaining regional and international attention, but to those of us who have been involved in West Indies cricket through the years this is no surprise. This is simply the result of the developmental process, which we have been giving serious attention to in recent years. (Excerpt from Gulf News)

rider Jason Perryman (35) and TT’s Team Foundation cyclist Joshua Alexander (22) rounded off the top-five overall finishers. During the keenly contested race, Adam Alexander (Team Foundation) and Byron Anson (Team Petrotrin) broke away from the

bunch from as early as the first 20 kilometres of the race. The two stayed away until the peloton drew them back as they neared the Grand Bazaar intersection on their way heading back into Port-of-Spain. With a mad dash for the finish line, Williams pedalled valiantly to pip

Bajan Jamol Eastmon (Heatwave) and Joshua Alexander (Team Foundation) to the line. Akil Campbell was the pick of the Juniors on this stage, finishing just ahead of Joshua Kelly and Edwin Sutherland. The three juniors represented Rigtech Sonics.




Shewdas’ victory proves Guyana on par with rest of the world–minister Anthony By Avenash Ramzan


uyana’s Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony believes Gumendra Shewdas’ triumph at the World Junior and Sub-Junior Powerlifting Championships in Killeen, Texas, is a clear indication that Guyanese athletes are on par with their counterparts from other parts of the globe. He made the remark on Monday in the presence of Shewdas and his family and members of the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF), when the sport ministry hosted a luncheon at the New Thriving restaurant, to recognise the monumental achievement of the Berbice lifter at last week’s championships. The 18-year-old Shewdas, who has earned the alias ‘Golden Boy’, returned home with a gold medal in the 53kg

President Peter Green (left) and members of the GAPF and Guyana's Sport Minister Dr Anthony (fourth left), Permanent Secretary Alfred King (seventh right) share a moment with Gumendra Shewdas and his family (centre) during Monday’s luncheon at the New Thriving Restaurant in Guyana (Photo: Avenash Ramzan)

Class, in the process, becoming Guyana’s youngest world champion in any sport discipline.

Developmental programmes

Anthony said of his achievement: “We have seen that our athletes are on par with anything they have out there and that we can excel… and we must not let this kind of victory go to our heads; we have to continue practicing, we have to

think about our developmental programmes and our training programmes so that we can churn out more champions.” Shewdas, of Line Path, Skeldon, recorded 475.5kgs en route to winning the gold medal. His closest rival was U.S.A’s Dalton La Coe, who finished a distant second with a total of 425kg in the bench press, squat and deadlift. Shewdas’ success,

the minister noted, is enough evidence to prove Guyana’s status as a Caribbean powerhouse in powerlifting. Permanent Secretary in the Sport Ministry, Alfred King, argued that with such tremendous success by the country’s powerlifters, it is natural to attract the attention of the anti-doping bodies, and they must be cognisant of the dangers of such transgression.

Not surprised

Reflecting on his performance, Shewdas, who is also runner-up Junior Sportsman-of-the-Year 2012, said he had spent a lot of time training at the Total Fitness gym in Corentyne, under the guidance of Egbert Jackson, and was confident of taking the top podium spot. Shewdas’ best squat of 180kg and bench press of 90kg were be-

low La Coe’s 182.5kg (squat), 105kg (bench press) heading into the deadlifts, but a huge lift of 205kg on his second attempt thrust the Guyanese into the lead. With Shewdas holding the psychological advantage, La Coe could only muster a lift of 137.5kg and failed twice at 192.5kg. Russia’s Alexei Kulakov was third with a total of 412.5kg. Despite trailing going into the deadlifts, Shewdas said he was convinced he would emerge with the gold medal, as he had strong self-belief. Shewdas’ father Bhognarine Shewdas expressed his elation at his son’s performance, noting that it means a lot to his family. He noted that Gumendra has been in intense training all year, and his display in Texas is just reward for the hardwork he had put in. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

TT’s cyclist grabs World Series gold, silver


rinidad and Tobago Olympic cyclist, Njisane Phillip, bagged one gold and a silver medal on the final night of competition at the World Series of Bicycling event, WSB International Cycling Union (UCI) Madison Cup, which pedalled to a stop at the Valley Preferred Cycling Centre in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, USA, last Friday night. As early as event one, Phillip affirmed himself a spot on the highest tier of the podium by emerging victorious in the Pro Men Keirin final. Receiving the silver medal was Phillip’s South African rival Bernard Esterhuizen,

while Jamaica’s Marloe Rodam snatched bronze. American David Espinoza had to settle for fourth position. This win for Phillip proved crucial as he attained maximum UCI points toward his 2013/2014 World Cup qualification. Later in event nine, the men’s 2km Dash For Cash, Espinoza tasted sweet revenge as he claimed top honours while Phillip crossed the finish line in runner-up position. Rodman was again third and William Pestcoe fourth. In event three, the men’s 15km Scratch Race, Phillip’s compatriot Varun Maharaj, missed out on medalling as he finished fourth in

his lone individual performance. Receiving the top prize in this event was Zachary Kovalcik while Shane Archbold and Aaron Gate took silver and bronze medals respectively. The Rigtech Sonics duo of Phillip and Maharaj later paired for the 40- lap Preme Madison event, but they fell short of a medal with a fourth place performance. Even though the local team did not medal in this event, they were hailed by the American crowd for their gutsy effort after crashing, getting back on their bikes, winning a sprint lap, and still pocketing a prize of US$100 in this

event. And in the penultimate event, the men’s 120-lap madison, the duo once again had to settle for fourth spot overall. Winning this event was the pair of Bobby Lea/Jackie Simes while Aaron Gate/Shane Archbold and Eric Workowski/Zachary Kovalcik were runnersup and third respectively. Last Friday night’s racing brought to an end approximately two months of non-stop racing at the World Series of Bicycling event. Phillip and Maharaj will now direct their focus to a forthcoming UCI meet in Canada. (TT Newsday)

TT’s Olympic cyclist, Njisane Phillip (TT Newsday file photo)

Coach heaps praise on Jamaica’s under-21 netball team after bronze win


beron PittersonNattie, coach of Jamaica's Under-21 team, which captured bronze at this year's World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, has lauded the girls for their performance at the championships. "I am extremely proud of the ladies, because it was hard work from them," PittersonNattie said shortly after the team arrived home Monday at the Norman Manley International Airport.

"I have to give them kudos, and I have to thank them, because without their performance we wouldn't be smiling today," she said. The junior Sunshine Girls captured the bronze medal by defeating arch-rivals England 52-33 in the third-place play-off on Sunday. New Zealand won the gold medal by defeating defending champions Australia in the final. The Jamaicans were beaten by New Zealand in the semi-finals, but according to Pitterson-

Shanice Beckford (second right) is greeted by Antoinette Irons, second vice-president of the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA), and Andrew Wilson, a member of staff, on their arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport Monday. Shamera Sterling (left) and Thristina Harwood (right) look on (Winston Sill/Jamaica Gleaner photo)

Nattie, the girls tried their best. Pitterson-Nattie, who is also the coach of Jamaica's senior team, added that she gained a lot of knowledge from the championships and that it would help her with the national senior team. In addition, she said the tournament proved to be an eye-opener for the girls because they also learnt a lot from it. "I think this will help them to make the transition to the senior squad a lot easier and, hopefully, what they have learnt,

they will take it to the senior level, and so I am looking for good things from them," she said. M e a n w h i l e , Jamaica's captain, Vangelee Williams, who was one the most outstanding defenders at the tournament, said they were happy for the bronze medal. "We are very delighted," said Williams. "I think we did extremely well throughout the tournament despite us not getting the gold or silver medal." (Excerpt from Jamaica Gleaner)




TT beat Guyana by five wickets in Independence match By Ravendra Madholall


rinidad and Tobago defeated Guyana by five wickets on Saturday at the U of T Scarborough ground in the specially-arranged T20 match in Toronto as part of Trinidad and Tobago 51st Independence anniversary. Earlier, Guyana beat Jamaica, the other participating country, by a comprehensive 74-run margin at the same venue. In the final showdown, the Guyanese, led by former West Indies one-day player Royston Crandon, won the toss and without hesitation opted to take first strike on a responsive pitch. But they only tallied up an insufficient 98-9 at the expiration of 20 overs while Trinidad and Tobago, in reply, safely reached 99-5 off 16 overs. Former Guyana under-19 fast bowler and Canada player, Eion Katchay, proved his batting capability with an entertaining 34 decorated with three sixes and two fours, while small contributions came from Crandon (15), Gavin Singh (13) and Trevor Henry (12). Former Canada player and off-spinner, Jason Patraj, grabbed two wickets, for 15 runs from

Trinidad and Tobago cricket team strikes a pose with Dr. Vidhya Gyan Tota-Maharaj just after the game

his four overs. When TT’s combination batted, they began shakily losing two quick wickets but recovered and ultimately sealed the deal to spark wild celebrations among their teammates and fans. Colin Alfred led the way for TT with a responsible 34, which counted three fours and a maximum while Vishaul Mahadeo chipped in with 16. In the lone semi-fi-

nal, Guyana also won the toss and decided to take first strike. They galloped to 191-6 from the allotment of 20 overs with former Guyana under-19 batsman Krishna Deosaran slamming a cameo 66 including six sixes and two fours. Henry and Crandon made an impression with the bat, hitting 40 and 32 respectively as pacer Terrence Benjamin snatched two for 21 from three overs.

West Indies likely to play two Tests, three ODIs in India


day after BCCI announced a proposal to host West Indies in November for a series that had never been mentioned in the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, it appears that West Indies will play two Tests and three one-dayers in India. A BCCI official confirmed with ESPNcricinfo that West Indies are set to play “two Tests and three ODIs starting in the first week of November”. The final decision will be made once the tour, programme and fixtures committee finalises the dates in consultation with the West Indies Cricket Board. The itinerary of the tour is expected to be announced mid-September. If West Indies are to play two Tests and three ODIs after India’s home ODI series against Australia, which concludes on November 2, it would mean India cannot reach South Africa before November 30, for a series that was originally scheduled to begin on November 18 with a T20 against South African Invitation XI. Add to that the commencement of India’s tour to New Zealand on January 19, which was originally supposed to be the last day of the South Africa tour, which gets trimmed further. However, the official, who has been involved in negotiations with Cricket

South Africa ever since BCCI objected to the itinerary eight weeks ago, reiterated that the South Africa tour was not put off. “We understand we have a commitment and we want to tour South Africa, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t safeguard our players’ and board’s interests,” he said. With the BCCI adhering to the players’ demand of having “at least a week’s break” between the South African and New Zealand tours, it appears that India’s original South Africa tour of three Tests, seven ODIs and two Twenty20s will be pruned to two Tests, three ODIs and a solitary T20 and CSA may have no choice but to accept whatever BCCI offers. Players’ demands aside, the official also indicated that the ego problem that the BCCI representatives have had with their South African counterparts has been one of the hurdles while finalising the tour schedule. “Just because an FTP was announced many years ago doesn’t mean you should announce the tour itinerary without even consulting us,” the official said. With time running out for CSA to finalise their domestic season’s fixtures, it appears that the South Africa tour itinerary won’t be sealed till the CSA officials bow down to the pressure exerted by the most influential body in world cricket. (Cricinfo)

Benjamin returned with the bat to make 31 while Jeffrey Woolcock scored a rapid 30 for the reggae boys. Occasional off-spinner Crandon grabbed two wickets for 17 runs while former Guyana under-19 skipper Eugene Lafleur took

two wickets for 14 runs from four economical overs. Meanwhile, at the presentation ceremony, both teams received trophies, compliments of the TT Consulate in Toronto, while several individuals collect-

ed monetary awards for their performances throughout the day. Dr Vidhya Gyan Tota-Maharaj, Consul General for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Toronto, in her address, congratulated her country’s men for their victorious performance, and thanked the two countries for their participation. She further stated that it was true sportsmanship displayed by all the players, and expressed gratitude to the organizers for bringing out the day’s activities, which included a family fun-day. “I want to congratulate Trinidad and Tobago for being triumphant today (Saturday) and also my deepest gratitude to Guyana and Jamaica for their participation; it [is] a big occasion for Trinidad and Tobago and having these cricketers displaying true sportsmanship is also remarkable; I would also like to thank the organizers for putting this day together for having the families coming out too,” Tota-Maharaj stated.

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


Strong, healthy future for Windies cricket after Limacol CPL, says Cameron


he success of the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) T20 has renewed a fresh surge of optimism towards improving the health of West Indies cricket, financially and otherwise. It has brought back the crowds to cricket in the Caribbean, TV revenues have shown an increase—giving rise to hopes of a turnaround. No wonder then that Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron, president of the West Indies Cricket Board, is buoyant. In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Cameron dwells on a range of subjects— the success of the LCPL T20, its bearing on the region's

President of the West Indies Cricket Board Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

cricketing scenario and the

Nicholas Pooran

Veerasammy Permaul

rise of emerging talents. The following is an excerpt of the interview.

Q: How does the West Indies board plan to build on the success of the inaugural

CPL T20? A: Cameron: Firstly, we are most pleased with the success of the CPL. It builds on the Caribbean Twenty20 (2010-2013) in energising cricket throughout the region and getting the fans very excited about supporting regional teams. The WICB is currently discussing and examining ways and opportunities of leveraging the success of the CPL to the wider benefit of West Indies cricket, particularly with regard to regional tournaments and match attendance. There is much to analyse and study and understand

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