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THE BEACON OF TRUTH

www.caribbeantimesinternational.com

ISSUE NO. 59

CANADA EDITION

CN $1.00

WEEK ENDING July 18, 2013

Guyana’s hydro project closer to reality See story on page 2

Six TT cops to face trial for 2011 shooting deaths Page 8

Guyaneseborn doctor receives prestigious Canadian award Page 21

A group of Jamaicans on Monday marched along streets in Half-Way Tree, St. Andrew, to show their support for the ban on smoking in public places imposed by the government and which took effect this week. (JIS photo)

Jamaican police now seen as less corrupt – transparency study finds

page 5

Executive Director of Jamaica’s National Integrity Action (NIA) Professor Trevor Munroe


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NEWS

www.caribbeantimesinternational.com | week ending July 18, 2013

Guyana’s hydro project closer to reality - Guyanese to benefit from significantly lower electricity tariffs

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uyanese can expect a decrease in the overall tariff that they have to pay for electricity while enjoying an improved level of service from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc once the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project comes on stream in 2017. This is according the company’s chairman Winston Brassington who said that the project financing is in its final stages of approval. Brassington also serves as the technical team leader on the project, which promises to supply Guyanese with an improved supply of electricity with the use of clean energy generated from a renewable resource. Brassington said the project would result in GPL saving significantly since it currently costs the company between 18 and 20 U.S. cents per

Winston Brassington

kilowatt hour to generate electricity using heavy fuel oil, and 30 U.S. cents with the use of diesel.

Hydro power

With the advent of hydropower, this cost would be reduced significantly, seeing consumers benefiting from lower electricity bills while GPL would no longer need operating subsi-

dies from central government. Brassington explained too that the real cost inclusive of generation, losses, selling and distribution stood at approximately 40 U.S. cents per kWh. However, tariffs paid by customers are only 30 U.S. cents per kWh. “So our selling price today is subsidised. Last year, GPL lost about Gy$7 billion; we received Gy$6 billion in a subsidy from the government. This project will allow us to remove the subsidy and additionally will allow us to lower our tariffs to consumers,” Brassington indicated.

Inclusive discussions

“We really need this project,” he stressed, noting that “all parties have been involved in far reaching analysis of the risks associated with every level of the project implementation as this was critical to the overall execution of the project and its success.”

Electricity transmission

The GPL board chairman also noted that the project would see some 165 mega watts of electricity installed at the generation point, which would then be transmitted to Linden and Sophia. Brassington gave the overall cost of the project straight to the point when it enters into commercial operations at approximately US$840 million. It would also

see Guyana paying over a 20-year period, an average of US$100 million per annum, following which the country will own the project outright. This would result in saving of US$200 million, which would have gone to pay escalating and fluctuating fuel

“...competitive energy pricing is essential to attract new investment in the economy particular for diversification and value-added industries that will reduce dependence on the vagaries of commodity priced exports such as sugar, gold and bauxite,” the Private Sector Commission of Guyana stresses bills. So in rough terms, Guyana will pay approximately US$100 million per annum to save some US$200 million in fuel for over 1000gWh per annum from the hydro project.

Opposition support needed

Meanwhile, the Guyana government is lobbying the opposition

to support the hydro power project when a motion and bill come up for discussion and scrutiny on Thursday in the National Assembly. The motion and bill both deal with government’s financing of the project and protection of the land which has been set aside for the construction of the plant. The joint opposition have been dithering on their support of the Amaila Falls project. Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh said the project should come to a financial closure by the third quarter of this year. The Alliance For Change (AFC) had said in Parliament that it will support the Amaila Falls project only if the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) approves it. But, Dr Singh said these financial institutions will look to the Parliament and the national stakeholder community for a response, and questioned why there is not unequivocal support.

Private sector push for project

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) of Guyana also on Tuesday urged both government and opposition to work together to have the legislation passed. In a statement, the umbrella business grouping stressed “the critical importance of moving the Amaila Falls project forward as swiftly as possible, noting that “competitive ener-

PSC Chairman Ronald Webster

gy pricing is essential to attract new investment in the economy particular for diversification and value-added industries that will reduce dependence on the vagaries of commodity priced exports such as sugar, gold and bauxite.” The commission said with rising fossil fuel prices, less expensive, alternative renewable energy sources such as hydroelectricity is crucial to the survival of many businesses, especially those in the manufacturing sector where growth is stymied by existing energy prices. ‘ “We are appealing to all the parties responsible for the passage of the necessary legislation to have the national interest as a paramount priority,” the commission urged. The PSC said if the project does not go ahead this year, the cost of attempting it in the future would rise significantly and potential investors in other areas for major investment would be unwilling to take investment risks.


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EDITORIAL

Migration and development T

here was a low-profile meeting last week in Georgetown, Guyana, of the Caribbean Community/Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Caricom/ECLAC)-sponsored Caribbean Forum on Population, Migration and Development. Linking the issues of migration and development, they issued a raft of proposals titled “The Road Map for Population, Migration and Development beyond 2014”. They included a wide range of development goals: “to reduce poverty and inequality, promote and protect the rights of vulnerable groups, including older persons, adolescents and youth, and persons with disabilities; achieving gender equality, equity and empowerment of women; and achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.” But it is our belief that while the abovementioned issues are at the centre of so many other national development plans, there is not enough focus in a structured manner, on the last proposal which seemed to have been inserted almost as a throwaway line: “managing migration for development to maximise the benefits and reduce the negative impacts”. In the Caribbean, migration has been one of the primary responses by the populace in the face of economic hardships. In addition to the structural momentum that such a long historical response develops, the present downturn in the economies of several Caricom territories will certainly give it a new impetus. While there is a stubborn view that migration is a negative phenomenon – apart from the reduction in demands for a piece of a fixed pie – it has gradually dawned in policy circles that there are also many positives. However, for migration to become an effective tool for development in labour-sending countries such as the Caribbean, it is necessary to design the right complementary policies and programmes, including those relating to social protection. A few years ago, the then United Nations (UN) secretary general described international migration as a “positive force for development if buttressed by the right policies”. Migration has the potential to deliver many positive benefits for development and poverty reduction and contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and beyond. In an increasingly globalised and integrated world, it is not only capital among the three factors of production that has become fungible across borders: labour has always followed in capital’s wake – even though not in the same direction. As particular countries developed for whatever confluences of circumstances beyond capital infusion, people in search of a better life followed. The move abroad is invariably economically beneficial for most migrant workers and their families, even though their social and political situation might be problematical. However, it is now universally acknowledged that those migrants also have a great positive impact on their “home” economy – especially through remittances. Remittances to labour-exporting countries represent a key source of foreign exchange for the host government and, in addition, can provide valuable lifelines to recipient families and communities. Guyana alone receives about US$400 million annually, while the Caribbean as a whole – especially Haiti and Jamaica (US$2 billion each) which have much larger expatriate communities – receives billions. The combined flows make remittances larger than foreign direct investment flows and twice as large as official aid received by developing countries. Their impact is also more significant, since their distributive effects vary significantly. Remittances fundamentally differ from other financial flows in that they are based on social ties and networks of responsibility and affection. Remittances are a financial manifestation of a complex network of relationships that are established between migrants, their families, and communities of origin. In the Caribbean as a whole, for instance, anecdotal evidence suggests that much of the spurt in housing is assisted by remittances. On the other hand, there are unintended consequences, such as a “dependency syndrome” created in those who receive remittances especially and do not have an incentive to enter the workforce. The old “brain drain” dilemma posed by emigration can also be reversed by inducing expatriates to return with their skills, as exemplified in the ongoing “diaspora project”. Migration, we can conclude, is integrally linked to development.

Members of Bon Bassa Productions of Trinidad and Tobago perform a ‘tamboo bamboo’ routine during the drumology semifinals at the Prime Minister’s Best Village Folk Fair at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, earlier this month. (TT Guardian photo)

Caribbean stakeholders plan trade mission to China

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op private sector executives in the tourism and investment industries in collaboration with Caribbean governments, have accepted an invitation to participate in a 10-day trade mission to four cities in China. The trip is set for September 14 to 23 and is being planned by Peter Zhang and Li Li of the Chinese American Business Development Centre (CABDC). The trip comes on the heels of the Avalon Invest Caribbean Now Forum in New York City organised by U.S.-based Guyanese journalist Felicia Persaud, who serves as chief marketing officer of Hard Beat Communications.

Trade

CABDC has been leading trade missions for U.S. companies to China for the past 10 years while Hard Beat’s Invest Caribbean Now forum is in its third year. The planned trip to Beijing, Shannxi, Zhejiang and Guangdong comes on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinpings first visit to Trinidad during May where he pledged more than US$3 billion in loans to 10 Caribbean nations and Costa Rica on June 2. The 2013 Caribbean/ China Trade Mission is de-

signed to help Caribbean premiers, ministers of governments, investment agencies and C-level private sector business leaders, meet with top Chinese officials from varied ministries, such as tourism and finance. The tour would also facilitate engagements with C-level company executives, including from the China Import Export Bank, to promote direct in-country investment opportunities and company products and services. It is aimed at establishing strategic connections, strengthening existing relations, exploring opportunities for joint ventures, sourcing potential suppliers, extending friendships and creating relationships for return visits to the Caribbean region. The mission will provide Caribbean governments and business leaders with new access and close-up insight into the dynamic Chinese market, including its scale, diversity, and potential. By 2020, China will surpass the U.S. in middle-class consumption and as quickly China is emerging as a new market for Caribbean real estate and products like tourism, analysts have predicted. Li noted that the advantageous location of the

Caribbean in the centre of the Americas provides the advantage of easy access to markets in the North, South and Central America and serves as a bridge to the markets in Europe.

Acclaim

Citing statistics that said up to 100 million Chinese will be travelling abroad by 2015, Li said the time was ripe for the Caribbean to tap into this key demographic, especially since the Chinese consumer is industrious and has spending power and “the Caribbean has garnered critical acclaim as a mecca for tourism with significant investments in that and related sectors”. Persaud is encouraging Caribbean governments to do more to market the diverse investment stories of the region to the right people since the region is relevant. She stated that the Caribbean region remains relevant, since 11 nations have been listed in the top 100 “ease of doing business” survey when there were only seven for Latin America and eight for Africa. “We are relevant when eight nations in the Caribbean are ranked in the top 100 fastest growing economies globally compared to 10 for Latin America as of 2012…” Persaud had said.


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Jamaican police now seen as less corrupt – transparency study finds

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xecutive Director of the National Integrity Action (NIA) Professor Trevor Munroe says the police in Jamaica have made significant improvements in curbing corruption among its ranks. Speaking last week at a press briefing to explain the findings of a recent study by the Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer at the Alhambra Inn in Kingston, Munroe pointed out that even though the research has shown that the Jamaica Constabulary Force and politicians are perceived to be the most corrupt, the police have been on the mend for at least six years now. Both the constabulary and the island's political parties were given a score of 4.5 in the study, where one is the least corrupt. However, Munroe said the police have improved in their level of respect and confidence and have been at its greatest

since 2006. "There have been improvements that coincide with our own assessment and the number of officers who have been removed from the force due to corruption and violation of human rights," Munroe said. Since the advent of the Anti-Corruption Branch in 2007, more than 4,000 policemen and women have been booted from the constabulary. In the meantime, Munroe said the study showed that the Jamaica Defence Force, the Protestant church and the media were seen as the three least corrupt entities in the country. The media, he said, should be on its toes and keep shining the spotlight on corrupt public officials and state agencies in order to maintain the level of trust and confidence placed in it by the Jamaican people. "That level of trust and confidence may be lost if the media discontinue to express itself fearlessly and freely," he said.

This is the first time that Jamaica has been surveyed in the Global Corruption Barometer, which showed that bribery is rampant throughout the country as more than one in four persons have confessed to paying a bribe in the last 12 months. Bribery, the report said, was most common in public institutions. The survey also found that most Jamaicans thought the government was ineffective in fighting the scourge, and that two of every three people interviewed believed that personal contacts and relationships were the main factors driving the means to getting things done in the public service. Powerful groups were also seen by 54 per cent of those surveyed, as those who run the country from behind the scenes to suit their personal interests. The survey found, however, that most Jamaicans were ready to alter that status quo. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


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Bad weather blamed for plane Guyana, Brazil agree cost analysis incident in Guyana’s interior key for Linden-Lethem road

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round a dozen persons were on Monday morning injured in Guyana when an Air Services Limited Cessna Caravan plane crashed in the vicinity of the manganese company in Matthews Ridge, North West District. Some eight persons have been hospitalised. The injured persons, including the pilot of the aircraft, Feriel Ally, were air-dashed to the city by a Trans Guyana aircraft and taken to several private medical institutions in the city. The injured persons were identified as Esther Williams and her baby, Jonel Williams; Alona Massay; Naline Dellon; Wesley Johnson; Shellon Williams; Urmella Rajesh; and Dexter Benjamin. The other passengers were Lloyd Thomas, Christina Mangru, Clinton

The single-engine ASL aircraft minutes after crash landing

revealed that at the time of the crash, the airstrip was covered in heavy fog, which posed a challenge to the pilot in landing the aircraft. It reportedly circled three times and then disappeared. Transport Minister Robeson Benn said the accident occurred about 08: 00h in close proximity to the Matthews Ridge Airstrip. “Initial reports are that... even though,

One of the injured persons upon arrival at the Ogle airport on Monday

Campbell, Troy Henry, and Ulan Benjamin. According to reports, the aircraft was carrying 12 passengers at the time of the accident, which occurred about a quarter of a mile from the airstrip. Information reaching this newspaper also

the plane was cleared to land or had reports of fair weather in the area… the weather seemed to have closed in just before the plane was landing,” he told reporters. The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is investigating

the accident. An eyewitness, Dwayne Smith told reporters that he was at the airstrip waiting on the plane to go back to the city on the return trip. He said about 08:00h, he saw the aircraft approaching the airstrip, but, owing to the heavy fog, it circled about three times and then disappeared. At that point, Smith thought that the pilot had decided to return to Georgetown, but a few moments later, the person managing the operation at the facility received a phone call that the aircraft had crashed. Upon hearing this, Smith said they rushed to the scene only to see the wrecked single-engine aircraft among the bushes. “People were bleeding and crying out for pain, as public-spirited citizens assisted them out of the aircraft… the pilot was covered in blood, but they were quickly loaded into a vehicle owned by Krishna and taken to the Matthews Ridge hospital, which is approximately 10 minutes drive,” Smith said. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Guyana gov’t not ruling out privatising GuySuCo

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ollowing the recommendation from Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman Ronald Webster for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to privatise some sugar estates in an attempt to save the country’s ailing sugar industry, Guyana’s Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh said no option has been “ruled out”. Speaking at the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) weekly press conference at Freedom House on Monday, he stated that government will do everything in its power to ensure the “viability” and “profit.ability” of GuySuCo, underscoring that it has long main-

tained that the sugar industry is central to the economic life of the country. “To this end, we have made tremendous investments, we are exhorting a lot of pressure on the board and management …,” he noted. The minister disclosed that the government has been examining the troubled sugar industry very closely, adding that a number of alternative interventions also needed to be taken into account. He stated that government’s overall objective is to ensure GuySuCo thrives. Turning his attention to the company’s strategic plan, he noted that GuySuCo is feverishly

working on that document. “I expect that work is advanced and close to completion.” Recently, President Donald Ramotar disclosed that many of the challenges confronting the industry are beyond the control of the administration, pointing to the change in sugar prices and investments, which have not been as successful as expected, such as the Skeldon Modernisation Project. Ramotar reiterated calls for the resuscitation of the ailing sector, stating that consideration may be given to employing co-ops as a means of altering the fortunes of the sugar industry should the idea resonate well with stakeholders.

uyana and Brazil have agreed that improving the Linden-Lethem road is a priority bilateral project and a cost analysis of the initiative was critical with agreed terms of reference. This was decided when Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett and Brazilian External Relations Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota met on the sidelines of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) Summit in Montevideo, Uruguay last week. According to a statement from the foreign affairs ministry of Guyana, the ministers took note of the existing studies about improving the 454-kilometre stretch of road that links the capital of Guyana to Brazil. They remarked that the improvement of the road is one of the initiatives of the Priority Integration Projects Agenda of the South American Council of Infrastructure and Planning (COSIPLAN) of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). According to the statement, considering the common desire to move forward as soon as possible with the project of upgrading the road, the ministers highlighted the need to execute a cost analysis of the initiative, with agreed terms of reference. They also agreed that the successful completion of the appropriate analysis will provide conditions for starting the project. The ministers shared the view that once the road planning is under-

Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and Brazilian External Relations Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota following the signing of the joint declaration

way, activities could begin on planning of a deepwater port development. The ministers recalled the inauguration of the Takutu river bridge in September 2009 in the presence of then Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. They remarked that the bridge is the firstland link between the two countries and is a symbolic milestone of the strengthening bilateral ties.

Infrastructure projects

Additionally, they recognised the potential of the infrastructure projects to the integration of the two countries, with direct benefits for both populations, and expressed satisfaction with the results accomplished by the GuyanaBrazil Working Group on Infrastructure – created by the Memorandum of Understanding between the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana on Infrastructure Projects in Guyana (signed in Brasilia, on December 5,

2012). The foreign ministers noted that the working group on infrastructure achieved its objective of evaluating means to promote infrastructure projects in the fields of transportation and energy that would benefit both countries. The ministers also touched on the area of energy, recognising the benefits to Guyana’s economy of using its hydropower potential in order to both supply local demand for power and to commercialise surplus generated power, observing mutually advantageous conditions. “They noted that the relevant sections of both governments will expand the studies on the energy projects, following a timetable agreed to by the parties, for evaluation and possible development of hydropower plants and associated transmission lines, within the framework of the regional energy integration,” the statement said. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)


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implements Six TT cops to face trial Jamaica no smoking in public for 2011 shooting deaths places despite protest

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ix TT police officers, including an acting sergeant, Monday were committed to stand trial for the murders of Abigail Johnson, Alana Duncan and Kerron “Fingers” Eccles, all of whom were killed in a police encounter in 2011. Monday, Senior Princes Town Magistrate Debra Quintyne ruled that the prosecution, led by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC and Gilbert Peterson, SC, had made out a prima facie case against acting sergeant Khemraj Sahadeo and constables Renaldo Reviero, Glenn Singh, Roger Nicholas, Safraz Juman and Antonio Ramadin for the deaths of the three Moruga residents. Her ruling comes days before the second anniversary of the deaths of Johnson, Duncan and Eccles in Barrackpore on July 22, 2011. This is the first time in local history that six serving members of the TT Police Service will go on trial for murder. Quintyne, who overruled a no case submission by attorney Israel Khan SC, assisted by attorney Ulric

Angela Carty and Aleie Sydney outside the Princes Town Magistrates Court Monday, after a magistrate ruled that six police officers would stand trial for the murders of their relatives in Barrackpore in 2011. (TT Guardian photo)

Skerritt and instructed by attorney Celeste St Louis, told the officers they were committed to stand trial at the next sitting of the San Fernando Assizes. They appeared sombre as Quintyne delivered her near hour-long ruling, recounting the testimony of WPC Nicole Clement, who was initially jointly charged with the six officers for the murders, and other witnesses, includ-

ing ballistic and forensic experts. Clement turned State witness against her male colleagues. She was granted immunity after Gaspard dropped the murder charges against her. She now faces a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Clement was among 37 witnesses testifying in the matter which began before Quintyne last year. After Monday’s rul-

ing, relatives of Johnson, Duncan and Eccles said: “God don’t sleep.” On the opposite side, relatives of the officers left the courtroom in tears. Earlier, a woman police officer was also seen wiping away tears as Quintyne read the committal order to the six officers, all of whom are members of the San Fernando Robbery Squad. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)

he ban on smoking in public spaces of Jamaica came into effect Monday, with Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson declaring that government had no intention to reverse the decision, despite outcry from some quarters. "Let me make it clear that we will not reverse this decision because I believe it is the right decision for Jamaica. I stand by my position which I maintain is prohealth and not just antismoking," the minister said at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston, Monday. He also warned that the authorities will be tough on those who breach the ban, which falls under sections 14 and 15 of the Public Health Act. "The 'bly' thing not going work," the minister warned as he encouraged Jamaicans to familiarise themselves with the new rules over the next few months. A first offence will attract a fine of up to Ja$50,000 or a jail term of three months. Meanwhile, the minister again said suggestions to establish smoking areas in business places would not be entertained.

"My answer to that is absolutely not. We cannot allow the establishment of death chambers and this is what a room filled with people smoking would be," he emphasised. He said that under the law, businesses and other entities are legally required to post nosmoking signs at the front of their establishments and in other appropriates areas. He said entities would be given time to put the necessary systems in place as the regulations provide a sixmonth compliance time frame. Monday, representatives of several organisations took to the street in support of the ban. The marches were organised by the National Council on Drug Abuse, the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control and the Jamaica Cancer Society. Other members of the public also supported the move. "I am really in support of the move. I think it is something that should have been in place long ago," said Samantha Allen, who was seen in Cross Roads, St Andrew. (Jamaica Observer)

Guyana renews bilateral Antiguan MP threatens ties with France to sue Caribarena P

rime Minister Samuel Hinds and Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy, who is performing the duties of foreign affairs minister, joined French Ambassador to Guyana Joel Godeau Monday evening at the reception in honour of France’s National Day – La Fête Nationale (Bastille Day) on Sunday. Speaking at the event held at Duke Lodge, Kingston, Prime Minister Hinds, on behalf of the government and people of Guyana, extended best wishes to France. “In celebrating the country’s history, the government of Guyana wishes to applaud the accomplishments of the leading player in the development of the 21st century. The government has made contributions to Guyana in the economic programme and police cooperation,” Hinds said. He highlighted the relationship shared by the two nations over the years, especially France’s contri-

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Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, French Ambassador Joel Godeau, acting Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy and Major General of the French Guiana Armed Forces, Bernard Metz making a toast in observance of France’s National Day

butions to Guyana’s military, and welcomed the visit of the French army which has strengthened the bilateral relationship with regards to environment and security, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported. “I am confident that France will continue to make meaningful contributions to Guyana. We’re looking forward to strengthening that bi-

lateral relation,” Prime Minister Hinds stated. French Ambassador Godeau also spoke of the relationship between the two countries, and noted that France shares a common geographic space and environment with Guyana. The French diplomat highlighted the cooperation of the French and Guyanese police forces, and expressed satisfaction

in this regard. He added that the training sessions done by the French will be continuous, as more local police officers and firefighters will benefit. He lauded the two countries’ bilateral relationship which he hopes will deepen in the future. This celebration was also attended by French and Guyanese officials and citizens, as well as members of the diplomatic corps.

sot Michael, who recently won a lawsuit against Caribarena, is threatening to sue the online news agency again, over an alleged defamatory report, posted on its website. The report, published Tuesday, targets Antigua Labour Party (ALP) MP Michael, his mother Josette Michael and former prime minister Lester Bird, alleging their involvement in wrongdoing. When contacted Tuesday, Michael said his lawyers will file a writ in the High Court next week. He has retained the services of Queen’s Counsel James Guthrie, Elliot Mottley QC and John Fuller to take legal action against the news portal. Meantime, MP Bird denied any knowledge of the information posted on the site. “These scandals are clearly being concocted and therefore it’s an attempt to try and under-

mine the Labour Party and I don’t wish to do that … The reality is, that this is supposed to be a tape impugning people and I don’t think it is appropriate because you have no chance to respond to it and that is in fact clearly unacceptable,” MP Bird said. In March this year, MP Michael sued the operator of the website and newspaper Caribanrena Today, Ofer Shaked, for making defamatory statements in another online report. Shortly after the application was filed the businessman left the state. The court later delivered a “default” judgment in favour of MP Michael since Shaked failed to mount a defence. Caribarena has been operating a news website since 2008. The agency began publishing a newspaper late last year, but ceased printing in April due to financial challenges. (Antigua Observer)


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Iran’s president-elect calls for stronger ties with Guyana

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n response to a congratulatory message from Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar, Iran’s president-elect, Hassan Rohani, expressed his desire to expand regional and international cooperation between Iran and Guyana during his presidency. Rohani’s announcement of expanded ties with Guyana came after Guyanese presidential envoy George Hallaq’s visit to Tehran last week, where he personally delivered Ramotar’s congratulatory message to Rohani,

who recently won the Iranian general election. Hallaq delivered a written message from Ramotar to outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling for closer ties with Iran. Ahmadinejad said relations between Iran and Guyana will never be weakened or severed despite the long geographical distance between the two countries, according to the Iranian news agency, Fars. The Iranian president noted that the two countries “are on the same front”, and urged

officials from both countries to explore areas of cooperation. Ramotar visited Iran as part of former Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo’s official visit to Iran in 2010. At the end of that visit, Iran promised to map Guyana’s mineral resources, which came under heavy local and international criticism. This was followed by several visits from Iranian officials to Guyana, but the promise never materialised and there was speculation that Guyana caved in to

pressure and ended the project. But that has been dismissed by Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett. In related developments, Argentina’s state prosecutor Alberto Nisman has accused Iran of setting up “terror cells” in Guyana, but Guyana is awaiting specific facts to back up such allegations. “The Argentine government has not submitted in any official way that they have evidence of terror cells set

up here by the Iranians,” Guyana’s chief presidential spokesman Dr Roger Luncheon said. Dr Luncheon said Caricom also demands answers from Argentina. “Those disclosures were the first that had been brought to our attention, indirectly, because I know for a fact that the Argentine government and international bodies have not submitted to the government of Guyana in any official way that they have evidence or they have concerns about the setting up of terrorist

President-elect Hassan Rohani

cells by Iran in Guyana,” he added. (Caribbean News Now)

Ken Gordon asked to stay out of TT’s email probe T

he lawyer for Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar has written to Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon, calling on him to stay out of any commission probe of email allegations raised in Parliament back in May by opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley. In a six-page letter addressed to Gordon dated July 12, Israel Khan SC called on Gordon to recuse himself from any probe, citing the risk of, “the appearance of insidious political bias” were Gordon to preside over the probe, given the fact that Gordon hosted a secret meeting with Rowley

TT’s Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon (TT Newsday file photo)

at Gordon’s home, days

before Rowley called on

Gordon’s commission to investigate the emails. In the letter, copied to the commission’s new deputy chairman Justice Sebastian Ventour and newly-appointed commissioners Seunarine Jokhoo, Deonarine Jaggernauth and Dr Shelly-Anne Lalchan, Khan noted Rowley’s private meeting with Gordon. Khan further cited Gordon’s apparently unilateral decision to seek legal advice on the email matter prior to the formal appointment of a full Commission by President Anthony Carmona on July 2. “I have been instructed to formally request that you recuse your-

self from any investigation by the Integrity Commission into the authenticity of the ‘emails’ submitted by Dr Keith Rowley in this matter,” Khan wrote in the letter, obtained by TT media. “Several events have occurred since the alleged emails were first disclosed on May 20, 2013, which would lead the fair-minded, informed observer to question the independence of any investigation into this matter in which you are involved. My client is entitled to an independent and fair investigation not tainted or infected by the appearance of insidious political bias. “It is my respect-

ful view that your action and/or conduct in this matter would lead the fair-minded and informed observer (to conclude) that there was a real possibility that this matter would not be investigated and adjudicated upon by you impartially,” Khan wrote. “Justice must not only be done but must manifestly appear to be seen to be done. Your conduct and/or actions in this matter give rise to the perception and appearance of political bias,” the letter added. Khan has asked Gordon to reply to the letter by next Monday. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

Jamaican Parliamentarians urge public support for athletes - PM Portia defends integrity of JADCO

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he government of Jamaica and the opposition Tuesday teamed up in Parliament to encourage Jamaicans not to lose faith in the track and field athletes, despite a doping scandal which has attracted global attention. Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, who was making her first public response to the development since it broke three days ago, said that her government stood by all Jamaican athletes, despite news that five, including stars Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, have returned positive drug tests from samples taken at the recent National Senior Championship. She said that the country would continue to value the significant contributions of the athletes toward engender-

ing national pride. The prime minister, at the same time, reiterated the importance of integrity in sport, fair play and the maintenance of a dope-free sporting environment. "It seems to me [that] our athletes, who are participating in a strict liability environment, need to be more vigilant in protecting themselves from substances that could not only show up on WADA's (World Anti-Doping Agency) prohibited list, but could prove harmful to them," Simpson-Miller said. Opposition spokesperson on youth and sports, Olivia "Babsy" Grange, supported the call by the prime minister. "I am urging the public and the media to exercise some caution in how they approach the issue, and try to avoid the sensationalism and

the urge to be the first to carry information before getting all the facts," Grange said. "We must understand that Jamaica is currently under the microscope, globally, and our ascendancy in track and field means that the spotlight on our athletes will be exceptionally high, and the temptation to jump to negative conclusions without all the facts, very appealing," she added. Simpson-Miller, meanwhile, noted that Jamaica's testing programme is guided by WADA's international standard for testing, the Anti-Doping Sport Act 2008, the Jamaica Policy Against Doping in Sport 2005, and the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission's (JADCo) rules 2008, and complies with all the procedures and rules stipulated to ensure the validity of

(L-R) GRANGE... I am urging the public and the media to exercise some caution. SIMPSON- MILLER... urges Jamaicans to refrain from making judgements

the testing process. But, the prime minister said that the country has a lot more to do to safeguard integrity in sport and to protect Brand Jamaica. She said that the government intended to ramp up public education within high schools,

and commence the sensitisation programmes at the primary school level, as well as the programme for athlete support personnel to include coaches, trainers, teachers, parents and members of the general public. “I ask Jamaica to re-

frain, at this time, from making judgements and conclusion about what has been reported in the media. Let us not be disheartened. Let us continue to allow the results management process to run its course," she urged. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


10 News opposition leader wants Report on CAL crash in Guyana Guyana’s inquiry into maritime accidents to be submitted month-end O A www.caribbeantimesinternational.com | week ending July 18, 2013

lmost two years after a Boeing 737-800 aircraft belonging to Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) crash landed at Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), the final report on the crash is expected to be submitted by month-end. According to Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Director Zulfikar Mohammed at a recent press conference, there were some delays with respect to the investigations conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as it was engaged in other investigations. He praised the investigative team for the timely completion of the report, noting that an investigation into a plane crash in Jamaica, which occurred one year before the one in Guyana is still to be completed. He said that the investigations into the July 30, 2011 crash was completed in a short time compared to those for other major crashes. The aircraft, on the day of the accident overshot the runway, and stopped short of a ravine with its nose cone segment breaking off. The crash was deemed “a miracle landing” since all 163 people aboard, including the six crew

An aerial view of the crashed CAL aircraft (file photo)

members, survived. Weeks after the accident, the airline said the co-pilot had resigned and the captain of the aircraft was now employed in another department of the airline, pending the release of the official report. The injured persons were compensated after consultation with their insurance companies. There were also four lawsuits filed in the U.S. against CAL in connection with the incident. Officials had stated that the sums involved were in the vicinity of

several thousands of U.S. dollars. Preliminary findings by investigators on the crash suggested that there might have been an error on the part of the pilot, rather than mechanical or other system malfunction. It was later reported that the cockpit crew of Flight 523 reported no problems with the twin engine Boeing aircraft to air traffic controllers on approach. It is believed that the plane landed too fast and too far down the airstrip. Caribbean Airlines

Flight 523 overran runway six at the CJIA, and several of the passengers aboard were injured. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-8BK, had flown from the John F Kennedy Airport, New York to Georgetown, with a stopover at the Piarco International Airport, Port of Spain, Trinidad. After touching down on a rainy day, the plane crashed through the perimeter fence. The aircraft went over a road before stopping 100 metres away from the airstrip and breaking into two. (Guyana Times)

Lawyers challenge halt of TCL’s AGM

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awyers representing cement manufacturer Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) have filed a notice of appeal challenging the unprecedented halting of the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) by a High Court judge. One hour before the scheduled start of the AGM at 4.30 pm on Friday last, Justice David Harris granted an injunction to a group of 11 minority shareholders who sought to stop the meeting from taking place after the local cement manufacturer refused to include their nominees for the board of directors on the proxy. Lawyers for TCL intend to argue that Harris erred in law when he gave his unprecedented judicial order stopping, for the first time, an AGM from taking place. They intend to argue that the judge’s finding of fact that ten of the 11 shareholders agreed

One hour before the scheduled start of the AGM last Friday, Justice David Harris granted an injunction to a group of 11 minority shareholders who sought to stop the meeting from taking place

to the commencement of proceedings, and that Wilfred Espinet, the 11th, had established the necessary standing to make the application for the injunction under Section 122 of the Companies Act. They will also argue that the judge ought not to have considered Espinet’s application since he failed to disclose that out of 2.4 million shares under his control, two million were acquired only between April 29 and May 1. The 11 sharehold-

ers — Wilnet Holdings Ltd, Stephen Espinet, MASA Investments Ltd, Brimont Ltd, Kamal Ali, Alescon Readymix, Bourne Investment Inc, Tatil Life Assurance Ltd, Nicholas Development Ltd, Helen Bhagwansingh Ltd and Issa Nicholas Holdings - cumulatively hold 5.68 percent of the shareholding of TCL (an aggregate of 14,198,667 shares). The shareholders had submitted a proposal for the nomination of

certain persons for election as directors of TCL and requested that the proposal be included in the management circular proxy in accordance to Section 117(2) of the Companies Act. The proposed five nominees were Garth Chatoor, Emile Elias, Imtiaz Rahaman, Gregory Thompson and Kelvin Mootoo, all of whom agreed to be nominated to stand for election at TCL’s meeting. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

pposition leader David Granger has tabled a motion calling on the National Assembly of Guyana to ask the president to set up a commission of inquiry into maritime and riverine accidents. Granger’s motion is on the order paper for Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly. In its resolved clauses, Granger wants the National Assembly to declare its concern over the incidence of maritime and riverine incidents, especially those which result in the loss of human life; expresses its sympathy with the victims and to the families of the victims of maritime and riverine accidents and asserts the responsibility of the state to protect all of its citizens. He further moved that the National Assembly calls upon the president in accordance with the Commission of Inquiry Act, Chapter 19:03, to appoint a commission of inquiry to inquire into maritime and riverine incidents, which have occurred since January 1,

Opposition leader in Guyana David Granger

1999, to determine the extent of such incidents and to make recommendations for safe travel and the protection of life on Guyana’s waterways and coastal waters. According to Granger, it is apparent that riverine traffic is increasing in volume, composition and complexity; that there, is competing use of the waterways between riverine villagers who are obliged to reply on boats, sometimes canoes, corials and balahoos to go about their daily lives and other users including barges and tugs carrying commodities and other vessels involved in trade.

Reparations grouping concerned over Caricom’s approach to issue

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he Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition of Europe (PARCOE) has voiced concern about the approach being taken by the Caribbean Community (Caricom) in establishing national reparations committees. At the recently concluded Caricom heads of government conference in Trinidad, the leaders agreed to set up national reparations committees in each of the 15 member states as a first step toward tackling an issue that was previously ignored. While lauding the decision, PARCOE said “that the top down approach being taken to this issue will end up not achieving the reparations aspirations of the masses of Afrikan descendant and indigenous citizens in the Caribbean”. “In our humble opinion, this may not happen unless concerted efforts are made to enable the facilitation of constructive engagement, dialogue, debate and deliberation within and between civil society, non-governmental organisations and social movements across the respective Caribbean nations in the region to allow for the negotia-

tion of the best reparations common interest,” PARCOE said in an open letter to Caricom heads of government. PARCOE also voiced concern about the decision to enlist the services of law firm, Leigh Day & Co to provide a legal brief in order to present a case for reparations for Caribbean slavery and native genocide to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Heads of government on the final day of their 34th regular meeting agreed on follow-up action on the matter of reparations for native genocide and slavery. The meeting agreed to the establishment of a National Reparations Committee in each member state with the chair of each committee sitting on the Caricom Reparations Commission. The heads of government of Barbados (chair), St Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago will provide political oversight. The decisions were taken followed presentations by member states, led by St Vincent and the Grenadines, and their unanimous support of the road map.


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Guyana appoints first Seaga blames failed education ever commissioner system for Jamaica’s injustices of information

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Senior Counsel Charles Ramson receives his letter of appointment from President Donald Ramotar

ormer Attorney General of Guyana, Justice Charles Ramson was sworn in as commissioner of information at the Office of the President on Monday. Ramson took his oath before President Donald Ramotar, protocol officials and a gathering of media operatives. The former appellate court judge signed the contract signalling the beginning of his tenure and pledging to execute his functions without fear or favour and to preserve the Constitution. Speaking to the media subsequent to his appointment, Ramson noted that the post of commissioner is based upon the provisions of the Access to Information Act 2011. “Whatever the act says, I have to do and that will be faithfully done,” Ramson said.

He explained that his office will serve as the clearing house for all information requested by members of the public from public authorities which include government agencies, statutory bodies and companies owned or subscribed to by government. According to Ramson, his new position is a fairly large area of responsibility and carries with it onerous duties. “We haven’t had anything like this in Guyana or I believe the larger Caribbean,” he said. Ramson posited that there seems to be a certain amount of confusion about the Freedom of Information when in fact Guyana’s act is specifically referred to as the access to information; an access that will now only be given through his office. The statute on the ac-

cess to information has been so designed as to have a monitoring body for all types of requests from public agencies which would be required to submit information deemed accessible by Ramson. He pointed out that there are various categories of information including top secret, secret, confidential and general information. The newly-appointed commissioner revealed that such information can be accessed by any member of the public or individual domiciled in Guyana. Ramson noted that certain information became accessible as part of the public domain when the act was made enforceable by government. The National Assembly passed the Access to Information Bill on September 15, 2011 and former President Bharrat Jagdeo later accented to the bill, signing into effect its implementation and enforcement. The bill provides for access to information subject to a regime of exemptions and the appointment of a commissioner of information. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

ormer prime minister and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Edward Seaga, says Jamaica's failed education system is to be blamed for the injustices that permeate society. Seaga made the remark during his address to guests at the JLP's inaugural Founders Day lecture held to commemorate the party's 70th anniversary last week Monday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. According to Seaga, the number of 'uneducated' students graduating from schools each year far outweighs those who leave educated. "Every year, schools graduate twice as many students who are uneducated as those with an education. This is the wellspring of poverty, the source from which all injustice is derived, the splitting of the society into first and second-class citizens," he said. He argued that the constitutional rights of all citizens under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms were not being observed, as the educated and rich

Former prime minister and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party Edward Seaga (Jamaica Observer photo)

minority is seen as first class while the uneducated and poor majority is regarded as secondclass. "All men are equal under the law, says the Constitution. But, in practice, we ignore this precept honouring some as first-class citizens but ignoring the great majority as second-class," he said. "They lack education and the will to work, condemning themselves to the 70 per cent of the population [who] are dependent on others for help," he added.

He dismissed the notion that the uneducated majority is ignored because of their inability to make an effective contribution to nation building. "The building of the nation will rest on the 30 per cent who are more privileged but they are insufficient to give the nation growth," he stressed. The former prime minister urged the JLP delegates to remedy this problem and give all Jamaicans justice, using the fundamental Charter of Rights. (Jamaica Observer)

PM Portia wants more women involved in agriculture P

rime Minister Portia SimpsonMiller has urged Jamaican women to increase their participation and assertiveness in the economic development of their country. She issued the call in an address read by Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams, at the recent Supporting Economic Empowerment and Development in the Caribbean and Pacific (SEED CAP) forum at the Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay. Also urging more women to become involved in agriculture in particular, SimpsonMiller observed the link between gender, nutrition and food security, and poverty. "It is imperative that we design and implement strategies to increase the involvement of women in agriculture;

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller

to diversify their roles and to give greater recognition to their contribution to the sector," the prime minister said. Noting that women in the Caribbean and sister states of the Pacific islands, play important roles in household food security as income earners, nurturers and managers of natural resources, she said this is why women must play a pivotal role in the eradication of poverty, the elimination of food inse-

curity, and the promotion of proper nutrition. "As government and policy-makers it is critical that we provide the kind of legislative and policy framework and the kind of environment that facilitates the achievement of these goals," Simpson-Miller stated. She observed that women are excelling in important agricultural roles as veterinarians, farm managers and educators. (JIS)


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a r i b b e a n Community ( C a r i c o m ) Secretary General Irwin la Rocque Monday said the economies of developing countries were still reeling from the economic fallout that started in the developed world in 2008. La Rocque is part of a Caribbean delegation on the inaugural Caricom High-Level Ministerial Exchange Visit to Singapore. He told the Singaporean News Agency that a lot of financial decisions that were being taken at the G20 have reference to small states. “We need a voice to put forward our peculiar challenges, and what Singapore is doing, to facilitate that, is welcome,” he said, noting that “a lot of the economic fallout that took place in 2008 and 2009 started in the developed world, though the biggest impact has

been on the small economies”. Singapore’s Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said that economic and political ties between Singapore and Caricom were growing and had been invaluable in finding common ground on bilateral and global issues. A Caricom Secretariat statement outlining the highlights of the first day of the visit, noted that one of the key features between Singapore and Caricom is that all these nations are small states, and quoted Shanmugam as saying that “by working collectively, both sides have been able to present a louder voice on global issues in the international community”. It said that as a further boost to the ties with Caricom, Singapore has announced an enhanced package for Caribbean countries under the Singapore Cooperation

TT national garners support for contesting Miami mayoral elections

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iami mayoral candidate and Trinidad and Tobago national Jeffrey Benjamin says he is overwhelmed and humbled at the level of support he is receiving from TT nationals and the Caribbean. Benjamin, who was born in Arima is creating history in Miami as a Caribbean national contesting the post of mayor. He maintains that one of his main priorities is promoting the interests of Caribbean citizens in the United States and ensuring that there is a level playing field in Miami for TT businesses and nationals. Benjamin who visits TT regularly was there last June to meet with citizens and members of the business community. One of the goals of his administration will be to spread the benefits of investment to a greater number of businesses in Miami and TT, according to a campaign statement released earlier this month. Benjamin pointed to ongoing concerns that the economies of the Caribbean are in serious difficulties and must look for export markets out of the region. “My efforts therefore would be focused in goods, services and employment and are geared towards helping build both the economies of the US and the Caribbean through trade, exchanges in ecotourism, manufacturing

and foreign investments in clean energy,” he explained. “A strong trade relationship with Miami is likely to shield both economies from the worst impacts of the ongoing global instability, together we are likely to weather the crisis better than most others,” the statement said. Benjamin is building his campaign up with a stream of activities and events and on July 26, he will address the Young Democrats of Miami Dade as the city commemorates its 1896 inauguration. There are currently about 40,000 nationals of Trinidad and Tobago in Miami and Orlando, according to the campaign statement. Benjamin is encouraged by the support he is receiving from his supporters and citizens of TT. “I would like to thank you for believing in me. Your faith in my mission is what keeps me going. Every day I get e-mails and telephone calls from persons living in Trinidad and Tobago who want to be part of history and to all of you I say welcome. Trinidad and Tobago and my Caribbean upbringing have made me the person I am today, for that I am eternally grateful,” he said in the campaign statement. The election is scheduled on November 5. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)

The Caricom delegation at the Singapore exchange

Programme (SCP). The statement said “nearly 1,300 officials from these nations have benefitted so far, and more is in the pipeline over the next three years. “We will also give out a number of postgrad scholarships for Caricom officials admitted into Singapore universities. We will also explore how we can enhance our partnership with the Caricom Secretariat to

jointly organise capacitybuilding programmes,” Shanmugam said: The statement said that during the ministerial exchange, Singapore and Barbados signed the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement to facilitate greater trade and investment opportunities between the two sides. Barbados said an air services agreement between the two nations was also due to be signed

this week. Meanwhile, Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett is a part of the Caricom delegation currently in Singapore. The governments of Guyana and Singapore established diplomatic relations on September 19, 2002 and enjoy close collaboration at the international level in fora such as the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the

World Trade Organisation and the Non-Aligned Movement. In recent years, Guyana has benefited from several offers of training, particularly in the areas of aviation, agriculture and information technology from Singapore. The two countries are exploring enhanced cooperation in the areas of technical assistance and capacity building.


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CJIA expansion project in Guyana to continue despite budget cuts

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he Guyana government will continue with the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion Project, despite the severing of allocation in the 2013 budget set aside to fund part of the project. According to Works and Hydraulics Minister Robeson Benn, detail engineering works are being done with contractors and specialists working with his ministry, to refine the engineering aspect of the project. Benn stated that field and laboratory works are also being done, but the heavy earth moving and other works have

not started. “We are not stopping…we cannot stop doing the engineering refinements waiting on funds. We have to go ahead because we spent US$20 million on it already, which is about eight per cent of the cost. Either we let the money go down the line and forget about it. The question is whether Guyana needs this project or not,” he asserted. Despite not having the funds to continue the project, Benn said his ministry will continue to do what is necessary to keep the project going. He noted that works cannot be halted, especially

Guyana’s Works and Hydraulics Minister Robeson Benn

if funds are made available in the future. The minister admitted that

the budget cuts have caused a delay in works on the next phase of the project, noting that it has thrown a big spanner in the works. “We anticipate that we would have been starting the removal of the vegetation, the digging of the pegas. There is very soft soil going northward of the airport and it’s a tricky engineering work to be done,” he added. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), the contractor of the project, he said was expected to start some work in the meantime, but the budget cut

has caused the company to renege on its decision. Construction of the new airport terminal is expected to be completed within 32 months. The geotextile work for the terminal building and taxi ways and a 1000 metre runway extension so far, have been completed. Feasibility studies and evaluations were done. Meanwhile, residents occupying homes on the outside of the airport are still to be relocated. The housing and water ministry plans to relocate these squatters to Yarrowkabra, LindenSoesdyke Highway, where they hope to devel-

op into a housing scheme. Some Gy$250 million will be used to develop a new area for their relocation. There are close to 300 households that are currently dwelling on the outskirts of the CJIA. The CJIA Expansion Project also includes construction of a new terminal building, acquisition of eight boarding bridges, and installation of other state-of-the-art equipment, such as elevators, escalators, and x-ray scanners, using three-dimensional technology, along with flight information and security monitoring systems. (Guyana Times)

Security lax at Piarco - airport authority chairman

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eventeen months after the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) came up with a plan to correct security deficiencies at the Piarco International Airport, measures have not been put in place to minimise risks to passengers and

employees. The confirmation came from AATT’s chairman Gerald Hadeed who is on sick leave. Last Thursday, Hadeed admitted that most of the matters highlighted in the airport’s update of corrective action plan (security audit) dated February 17-20,

2012 were not addressed. “Nothing was done,” Hadeed said. He added that security matters at the airport was a worrying concern. “It is a worrying concern, not only to me, it should be a worrying concern to the government because the security at the airport is as lax as you could ever want it to be. It is something the government should take cognisance of and correct it, whether I am there or not.” The 22-page plan was devised by a security committee, comprising management of AATT and its security department. A copy of the plan which was leaked to TT media showed its find-

ings. The findings revealed that there were deficiencies in several areas, among them administrative and organisation, aviation security training, access control, passenger and cabin baggages, hold baggage, quality control and management to acts of unlawful interference. Under the headline “findings” it revealed that there were no formal process for the examination and certification of security personnel assigned to conduct screening of passengers and cabin baggage including on-the-job assessment; training records for security personnel not accurately maintained and up-to-date;

AATT’s chairman Gerald Hadeed (TT Guardian photo)

security personnel only received training upon joining the AATT and not thereafter; and there were no records to indicate that screening of-

ficers and screening supervisors successfully completed training in the detection of X-ray examination of the simulated dynamite bomb, simulated hand grenade, the encapsulated handguns and opaque test objects. It found too that boarding gate doors left opened and unattended while no aircraft operation were taking place; auditors were able to gain access into the sterile area from airside via doors on the jet-bridge, which were left unattended and unlocked after aircraft operations had ceased and; of 108 CCTV cameras, ten were nonfunctional. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)

Research shows chronic diseases are the leading cause of death in Barbados

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esearch conducted between 2002 and 2006 in Barbados

has shown that the major causes of death are heart attack, stroke and cancer which are all chronic diseases. The Barbados National Registry (BNR) announced at their lecture last Wednesday that Barbadians must pay close attention to their health to reduce the risk factors which can be modified. The Pan American Health Organisation states that more than two out of three deaths in the region are from non-communicable diseases, and in 2004 heart disease was the leading cause of death. It has also been found that the highest death rate from cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the Americas is the English Speaking Caribbean. “We started in July 2009 so the first eighteen months of the registry we had 529 heart attacks, an average of 352 a year more or less that works out to one heart attack

a day in Barbados,” said Angela Rose Director of the BNR. Unfortunately about half of the heart attack patients die before they actually reach the hospital which means that it is possible that persons are not aware of the signs of a heart attack, and they don’t manage to get to the hospital in time. In addition the average time the ambulance is able to get a patient to hospital is 26 minutes. However, it is unknown how soon after symptoms begin to show that the ambulance is actually called which impacts treatment and recovery. There have been 1143 strokes in the two years of data collection which work out to approximately two strokes a day. This means that in Barbados there are slightly more strokes than heart attacks. Rose lamented the fact that although almost 98% of stroke patients at

Barbadians have been warned to pay close attention to their health to reduce the risk factors which can be modified

the hospital receive a CT scan which is very good, at least one third of them do not get the scan until more than 24 hours after they had the stroke when it needs to be done within the first 30 minutes. “Either they are getting to the hospital very late, or they are arriving and are having a delay between arrival and getting the CT scan but we were able to highlight the need to improve this area. (Barbados Advocate)


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Jamaica’s opposition party serious about suspending relations with Caricom O pposition leader Andrew Holness says that the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) believes that Jamaica should consider suspending its relationship with the Caribbean Community (Caricom) until it sorts out current issues with the regional body. "There could be a suspension until we get our house in order, so that we can participate on equal footing with everyone," Holness told the Jamaica Observer at last week's Monday Exchange. The opposition leader, who was echoing the point made by his party's spokesman on foreign affairs and foreign trade, Dr Christopher Tufton at a Kingston Lion's Club meeting last week, said that it was an indication of the party's consistency on the posi-

tion. "We do not believe that Jamaica's interests are necessarily being fully served by Caricom, and that's not a statement from which we hide: We have made that statement before," Holness said defiantly, as he spoke to the editors and reporters on his party's 70th anniversary at the Observer's Beechwood Avenue office in Kingston. "We believe that a weak Jamaica does not make a strong Caricom; so, for Caricom to be strong, Jamaica has to be strong, and if it is that Jamaica is not being served by the relationship, then we need to examine it," Holness said. Senior spokesmen for the JLP have been promoting the idea of Jamaica temporarily pulling out of Caricom

to rethink its relationship with the regional body, for several months now. The call was first made by the party's spokesman on industry, commerce and energy, Gregory Mair; then its spokesman on transport and works, Karl Samuda; and more recently by Dr Tufton, who said that Jamaica's best bet in dealing with Caricom trading issues would be a temporary withdrawal. "This period would also be sufficient for a comprehensive examination to be done, to determine if Jamaica should leave Caricom in its current form and, instead, seek functional collaboration on matters of strategic, regional and international importance," Dr Tufton said. But, Holness went further last on Monday, identifying the Common

Opposition leader in Jamaica Andrew Holness (Jamaica Observer photo)

External Tariff (CET) as one of the land mines on

the path to a more co-operative attitude towards

the regional body. Holness also suggested that a widened area of trade co-operation, including closer ties with Latin American countries like Colombia and Venezuela, was envisaged by his party. He noted that Jamaica already has strong economic links with Venezuela, primarily through the PetroCaribe oil agreement, while pointing out that Jamaica could benefit immensely from improving its trade with Colombia, as well as Panama. "We don't want to appear anti-Caricom, but for Jamaica to advance, we have to look elsewhere. We have to be prepared not to become a consequence of this investment shift, but to be a beneficiary," Holness said. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

Guyanese elected secretary of Caribbean accountancy institute has also served as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) representative on the ICAC board since 2008. Meanwhile, Frank Myers, an assurance partner with KPMG Eastern Caribbean, was elected president of the regional accountancy body. Myers, who was first appointed to the ICAC Board in 2001, has been playing a key role in the development of the accountancy profession regionally and internationally. (Guyana Times)

Newly-elected ICAC President Frank Myers (right) with other newly-elected executive officers of the ICAC – Vice President Jasmine Davis (second left); Secretary Khalil Alli (left) and Treasurer Vintoria Bernard (second right)

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ormer Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana (ICAG) President Khalil Alli has been elected secretary of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC). Alli is a partner with the firm of Jack A Alli, Sons & Company and served as president of the local arm of the accounting institute from 2008 to 2011. Alli told Guyanese media on Tuesday that he was optimistic about the new post and looked forward to serving with pride and professionalism. The senior accountant noted that his task would be to promote the practice of sound accounting, while maintaining high-

ly professional and good work ethics in all territories. Alli said the ICAC is responsible for ensuring national chartered accounting institutes comply with international standards in accounting and auditing. “I will use the opportunity to maintain the already high standards of accounting carried out in Guyana and in ICAC member states, while pushing for more opportunities,” he stated. The accounting professional told reporters that while the board of the ICAC meets every four months, the executive who entails the secretary, the president, vice president and treasurer meets more reg-

ularly to carry out the main functions of the organisation. This is aimed at keeping the affairs of the institute in compliance with international standards and professionals, fully up to date with changes taking place. Alli qualified as a chartered accountant while working with the London headquarters of UK and global accounting powerhouse Pricewaterhouse Coopers. He studied economics at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the London School of Economics. He joined the ICAC Board as alternate director for Guyana in 2008 and has been a director since 2011. He


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More land for food, shelter – PM Kamla

Guyana’s business leaders urge major revamp of UG

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Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar, Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, left,Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj, second from left, and Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal, right, celebrate with ex-Caroni workers who got land leases at Centre PointeMall, Chaguanas last Friday. (TT Newsday photo)

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en years after over 20,000 persons lost their jobs with the closure of Caroni 1975 (Ltd), Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar last Friday sought to bring comfort to them when she promised more land for both housing and agricultural purposes. Highlighting the importance of food security to the nation’s development and stability, Persad-Bissessar said apart from the then People’s National Movement (PNM) government, displacing so many thousands of peolpe’s livelihood, the move to close Caroni also threatened the nation’s food security. Speaking at a ceremony at Centre Pointe

Mall in Chaguanas, where a total of 405 land leases were distributed to former Caroni (1975) Ltd workers, PersadBissessar said the closure of Caroni (1975) Ltd and the once thriving sugar industry, played a role in the country’s food import bill growing exponentially past the billion-dollar figure. She said last Friday’s distribution ceremony is important in that the land leases given to ex-Caroni workers could now be used to farm and contribute to the reduction of the nation’s food import bill. The distribution ceremony had as its theme, “Promised Land” and saw the distribution of 273 residential leases and 132 agricultural

leases. “It is the hope of this government that the recipients would commit themselves to produce more food and thus bring about a reduction in the food import bill,” PersadBissessar said. She noted the People’s Partnership government has in the three years that it is in power, already approved 2,953 agricultural leases and 1,363 residential, proof she said of her administration’s commitment to a balanced land use policy to satisfy housing demand and also food security. She then promised to give more state land to all former Caroni Ltd workers saying this is the mandate of the coalition government. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

Grenada PM wants ICT to unite Caribbean

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Grenada’s prime minister Dr Keith Mitchell

aribbean Community (Caricom) minister responsible for information and communication technology (ICT) Dr Keith Mitchell, the prime minister of Grenada, wants to use the new technological era to drive the region forward. He foresees it having a significant impact on the growth and development of the Caribbean. Mitchell highlighted the issue during his recent address at the 34th meeting of Caricom heads of government in Port of Spain, Trinidad. A former mathematics teacher

at Howard University in the United States, the Grenada leader is pushing for Caricom to transform itself from 15 sovereign states to a single ICT state, to complement the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME). Mitchell wants the more advanced (ICT) states to help those who are not at their level. He is of the view that there should not be roaming charges among Caricom states as is the case in the USA. “When you make a call you make a call. It should also be so in the Caribbean. That will help to do precisely this,” he told fellow leaders. Mitchell is pushing for a meeting with regional ICT ministers in St George’s to lay the ground work for the transformation to a single ICT state. He said that the idea has been warmly received by ICT ministers, and is positive that the meeting in Grenada will chart the way forward for ICT to play a meaningful role in the economic growth and development of the region. “We will take some of the major issues from the meeting in Grenada to the next heads of government meeting, and a number of other decisions that we have all agreed, are going to be crucial for the development of the region as a whole,” Mitchell said. (GIS)

rivate sector executives have reiterated a call for a transformation of the University of Guyana (UG) into a well-managed, well-financed, dynamic and professional institution. Representatives of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) last Tuesday met with UG Vice Chancellor Dr Jacob Opadeyi and expressed support for a complete overhaul of the tertiary institution. The business community articulated a desire to see the university recognised as a hub for national research and development in Guyana. The GCCI emphasised that the university should be transformed into a centre for producing a competent and qualified, skilled labour force, which meets the needs of Guyana’s rapidly evolving private sector. The chamber shared its competitiveness manifesto with the vice chancellor, and expressed a desire to work with the university to help to lower the barriers to competitiveness that are identified in the document. Dr Opadeyi discussed some of the initiatives being pursued by the university’s administration, and outlined some of the challenges currently facing the institution. The vice chancellor also proposed areas in which the institution can collaborate with the

UG Vice Chancellor Dr Jacob Opadeyi

private sector to enhance the university. Professor Opadeyi had long indicated a desire to work collaboratively with the private sector in developing the university since his appointment earlier this year. He noted that the university’s administration will be aggressively engaging private sector organisations and civil society in an effort to garner support for the institution’s development. Dr Opadeyi added that there was much work to be done to en-

hance the infrastructure and aesthetics at the university, adding that it was in dire need of financial resources. “We cannot rely on government alone, because this is a university of the world and we all have to do our part,” he said. Since his appointment, the professor has confirmed that all is not well with the country’s premier tertiary institution, but he has insisted that his energies will be channelled toward ensuring that the present state of affairs is remedied. In recent years, the university has been plagued by many problems including a staff shortage, unqualified lecturers, deplorable infrastructure, inadequate classroom space, and poor campus security. Students, staff, and unions have been repeatedly complaining about the state of the university and the lack of effort on the part of past administrations to deal with the pressing issues. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)


18 News Guyana deepens relations with South American counterparts P www.caribbeantimesinternational.com | week ending JuLY 18, 2013

resident Donald Ramotar said even though Guyana remains committed to the Caribbean Community (Caricom), it recognises the common aspiration to deepen integration with South American countries. Speaking at the 45th Summit of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) in Montevideo, Uruguay, where Guyana was accepted as an associate member of the organisation, Ramotar said the new-found partnership is another step in that direction. “It is my belief that the bridge between the South and the Caribbean is getting stronger as both Guyana and Suriname are members of Caricom, Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and now associate members of MERCOSUR. “Let me also underscore Mr President, (José Mujica) that this membership by Guyana is not just a mere indication of our interest in trade matters, even though I will be extremely pleased to

President Donald Ramotar and his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff at the MERCOSUR Summit in Montevideo, Uruguay

see an increase in mutually beneficial trade, but a political statement that Guyana, small as we are, recognises the importance of integration in all its forms for the upliftment of our people. For too long we have shared one continent yet knew little of each other as evidenced by this being my first visit to this beautiful country. Needless to say, I have had to travel north, and flew back over my country to get here.” President Ramotar also used the oppor-

tunity to condemn the way in which the aircraft taking Bolivian President Evo Morales home was forced to land in Vienna, Austria and then searched. “This outrageous act which, among other things, represents an erosion in international relations, must be condemned by all of us. I wish to express my solidarity with President Morales and the government and people of Bolivia and demand an apology from those re-

sponsible. Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and her counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela, last Thursday signed a framework agreement paving the way for Guyana to join MERCOSUR as an associate member. A Foreign Affairs Ministry release from Guyana stated that the initiative arose out of the decision taken by the Council of Ministers at the MERCOSUR summit held in Brasilia

in December 2012 to foster and strengthen the relationship between MERCOSUR and Guyana. Among the areas covered by the framework association agreement are: political, economic, trade, productive development, cultural and other cooperation issues. Following the signing of the agreement, Rodrigues-Birkett thanked her colleague foreign ministers for welcoming Guyana into the MERCOSUR family. “Separated by history and culture in the

past, Guyana has made a conscious decision to pursue its continental destiny and signing this agreement marks another step in this direction,” she said. She praised the work done by the outgoing chairman of MERCOSUR, foreign minister of Uruguay Luis Almagro, and the staff of the MERCOSUR Secretariat for completing the process in such a short space of time. Guyana applied for associate member status six months ago. (Guyana Times)

TT’s indigenous people wants gov’t to relocate Parliament

Carib Queen Jennifer Cassar, second from left, and President of the Santa Rosa First Peoples’ Indigenous Community, Ricardo Bharath-Hernandez, second from right, along with other members of the First People descendants, leave the Red House in Port-of-Spain, after performing a Purablaka ceremony to ‘appease’ the spirits of their ancestors, Saturday. (TT Newsday)

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embers of the Santa Rosa First Peoples’ Indigenous Community have asked the government of Trinidad and Tobago to consider relocating the seat of Parliament in Port-ofSpain as a mark of reverence to the remains of their ancestral spirits, says Carib Chief Ricardo Bharath-Hernandez. However, he said if this is not possible, some attempt should be made during the current reconstruction exercise to preserve the remains of the First People’s ancestors, at the site of the Red House, for descendants as well as members of the international community. Bharath-Hernandez expressed hope that the Red House could further be developed as a heritage site “for the remains that are found there.” “The bones must be dealt with in a special way,” he said. Bharath-Hernandez

was among a group of First Peoples’ descendants who performed what he called a “Purablaka” spiritual ceremony at the Red House, Saturday, “in the name of the departed.” He said the one-hour long ceremony marked the first phase of a twopart ritual, which is expected to be performed “more extensively” by a Shaman of High Priest of the community in October. BharathHernandez said the person is likely to be sourced from the mainlands of Venezuela or Suriname. Acknowledging that the government has been more sensitive to matters involving the indigenous peoples, the Carib Chief said, however, that the process of drawing greater national attention to their plight was “going slowly.” “It is not going at a pace we would like and deserve some more meaningful attention,” he said.

Bharath-Hernandez said the government has already given the First Peoples’ a 25-acre plot of land, along the Blanchisseuse Road, Arima, for the development of an indigenous Amerindian village. Saying that the land was being surveyed, Bharath-Hernandez said issues relating to comprehensive development plan and cost of the project, still needed to be addressed. “We do not want handouts from the government,” he said. “What we want is an industry so that the people can benefit from it. Not a little bit here and there.” When completed, Bharath-Hernandez said, the village will contain a cassava and craft factories. Tours are also expected to be conducted at the site. “All activities will be geared towards sustainable development,” he added. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)


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Trinidad gov’t loses Guyana looking to TT$600 million in revenue produce farine for export

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TT’s Finance Minister Larry Howai (TT Guardian)

he government of Trinidad and Tobago has lost TT$600 million in the non-collection of property tax over the last three years says Finance Minister Larry Howai. And now, he is considering bringing back the tax, if not in the 2014 budget, sometime thereafter. “Given what I am seeing, it’s probably unlikely that you would get any kind of property tax on residential properties because the length of time it will take to bring those up-to-date. So it is very unlikely that you would see any kind of land and building taxes at that level for a while,” the minister said. He added that, “but again, I want to put a cap on what I said because as we (government) go

through the discussions, if we come up with a possibility, we may certainly explore those. One could see something happening in the budget. At this stage, it is difficult for me to say with any degree of finality that anything could happen or not.” This was Howai’s response when asked if there were plans to bring back the tax in the 2014 budget. “It is very likely that somebody could come up with some bright idea of how they could do certain things. So I don’t want to discount any of those things. As we go through the next few weeks and we (government) carry on the discussions on the property tax, or what we are going to do, or how we are going to do it, if there is going to be one and if it

could be done, I probably would not want to go any further with that at this stage, until such time we firm up the arrangements and perhaps, we can then say something in this year’s budget.” Howai said his biggest hurdle was that the rules of the taxes first needed to be updated, as different properties carry different values. It may take as much as two years to get the rules updated as homes in each community have to be valuated. Failure to address the issue, Howai said, can result in the government facing possible judicial review from the public. The People’s Partnership in its 2010 manifesto had also promised to rescind the tax if voted into office. Howai said last year he assessed the overall position and was unable to proceed with the issue, but he has been trying to put measures in place to tax everyone on a consistent basis. One of Howai’s options was to deal with the tax on a phased basis. If the tax is imposed this year, Howai said citizens would not pay for the period 2010 to 2013. However Howai said before a decision is taken, there would be public consultation at all levels. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)

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he Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will be collaborating with the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Agriculture Ministry of Guyana to ensure greater yields and improved varieties of cassava. This is in an effort to boost production for the making of farine for export, as it has been attracting much attention in other Caribbean countries. During a recent media briefing, Guyana’s Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy said the locally produced commodity has been gaining popularity outside of Guyana’s shores and his ministry is placing added efforts to maintain its demand on the export market. “While Brazil for example produce their own farine, Guyana’s farine is becoming a niche market in Brazil… and is now getting attention in the Caribbean,” he pointed out. The minister pointed out that with the input of the FAO, there will an increased output on the part of producers. The agriculture minister pointed out that large scale cassava production is mostly concentrated on the East Bank

Guyana looking to boost cassava production as it seeks to produce farine for export

Demerara and noted that its export provides the opportunity for the semi-industrialisation of the commodity, moving it from just a way of subsistence living. In this regard, Dr Ramsammy said his ministry is building a factory to produce farine for export. “Presently, the production of farine is largely one on a manual basis, farmers cultivate their cassava, they clean it by hand… they use local Amerindian technology. However, we have over the last couple of years provided some level of technology by providing a grinder,” the minister pointed out. Meanwhile, the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) will also be giving technical support, alongside the FAO. In the past, government had collaborated with IICA to set up a fac-

tory, but it proved unsuccessful due to lack of planning. Further, the agriculture ministry is also looking to place more emphasis on the production and processing of turmeric in hinterland regions. Dr Ramsammy said the main challenge is having it transported to markets on the coast, since it is very expensive. As such, the ministry has purchased several semi-processors which will aid in reducing the weight of the commodity when transporting it. The semi-processors were bought from India and they are currently awaiting their arrival in Guyana. The first one will be stationed in the Hosororo village, Region One, while Regions Seven, Eight and Number 63, Corentyne, Berbice will also benefit from it for the processing of other spices. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Jamaican taxi operators to pay annual flat tax rate of Ja$55,000

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This will pull more persons under the tax net in Jamaica (Jamaica Observer)

he Jamaican government is moving to pull more operators of public passenger vehicles (PPV) into its tax net, through a soonto-be-implemented flat tax aimed at raking in approximately Ja$55,000 a year from each licensed operator. This could also pave the way for the muchtouted proposal for operators to be tax compliant before being allowed to renew their road licences. The ministry of transport, in a press statement last week, announced that an agreement had been reached with heads of the island's public transport associations

for the implementation of the tax, following months of discussion. Minister without portfolio in the Transport Ministry Dr Morais Guy said the programme to have cab operators tax compliant was indicative of the ministry's commitment to bringing order to the sector, while improving the welfare of operators who will now benefit from making National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and National Housing Trust (NHT) contributions. "This will pull more persons under the tax net because it is not about the amount of money, but it is the principle that everybody has to make a

contribution to the country," Guy told Jamaican media. According to Guy, the move will eventually result in the further formalisation of the public transportation sector as bus and taxi operators will ultimately contribute to statutory tax schemes such as income tax, education tax, NIS and NHT. But while some umbrella associations representing public transport operators have welcomed the move as beneficial to its members, the Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators (JATOO) has stoutly opposed the decision. When contacted last week, president of JATOO Louis Barton said JATOO would be consulting its closeto-7,000 members, who consist of individual operators as well as associations, to get their views on the proposed tax. "Any plans to introduce any flat tax on PPV operators will be rejected by the membership and also by

the majority of the public passenger transportation sector," Barton stated. In a release issued shortly after, JATOO argued that a flat tax on the public transportation sector was, at least, discriminatory as no other sector would be having this tax imposed on them.

President of the National Association of Taxi Operators (NATO), Deon Chance, said operators would have the option of either coming under the flat rate or to continuing to file their annual returns as they have been doing. According to Chance, some 50 per cent of the

more than 23,000 licensed operators are compliant with their annual returns and steps are being taken to ensure that others follow suit. Chance explained that operators would be required to pay Ja$1,100 per week or Ja$55,300 for the year. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


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Canada-based Guyanese singer Maiko Watson is inspired by life

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ward winning singer/songwriter Maiko Watson brings a fresh take on soul music. The Guyanese artiste’s sweet vibes have earned her numerous awards and this has motivated her to continue to up her game in the

since she and her sister did not have much extended family in Canada. “We clicked with our cousins immediately and were playing as if we had known each other our whole lives. It felt that way meeting all of our family in Guyana.

spotlight while still in her teens, beating out over four thousand young women to become a member of “Sugar Jones”, a girl group spawned from reality TV show “Popstars”. “Sugar Jones” debut album went platinum and had two top ten singles

Watson (left) performing on stage

music industry. Watson left Guyana when she was just a few months old. Growing up, as she continually learnt about her heritage she appreciated it even more. At age 13, she first returned to her homeland. She had many fond memories of meeting her cousins,

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he sixth edition of the Guyana Fashion Weekend (GFW) is set to take centre stage when it is launched on August 4 at the Herdmanston Lodge in an evening of jazz, fashion and art. The GFW 2013 designers and models will be introduced to the public in a special choreographed display put together by a very professional team. Food art at its best will be introduced by Kester Robinson, who attended Carnegie and was the first runner-up in ‘Cutting Style’ a few years ago at Duke Lodge. The culinary and visual arts will be a big part of GFW this year. The work of well-known Guyanese artist Merlene Ellis and the ceramic vase collection of young Andy Cummings will be exhibited. The launch promises to be an elegant affair in a creative atmosphere that will set the pace for the other GFW events to

It was a very warm and welcoming feeling,” she reminisced in an interview with Guyanese media. Watson has been singing for as long as she can remember. She began writing songs over instrumental music at age twelve. She earned her first moment in the

follow. The upc o m i n g GFW, slated for October 22-27, serves as part of the organisers’ ongoing commitment to effectively advance creativity and technology in the industry, while fortifying regional alliances in the pursuit of integrated systems by implementing international best practices. The GFW executive, which comprises dynamic and hard-working members, believes the fashion industry is an area of immense creative and financial potential, a vision endorsed by the

on the Canadian Charts. Subsequently, Watson won a radio contest and had the chance to write and produce her first solo album, which she released independently. The artiste said it was something she dreamt about for a long time.

“It came to the point where I realised that there was nothing else I wanted to do. I was in university but I couldn’t focus because music was always in the back of my mind. I was always writing, meeting with different producers, and trying to get my foot in the door. I decided to take a year off school to pursue music fulltime, and that’s when things really started happening for me,” she recalled. Her debut album, “Sweet Vibration” took home Best Urban Album at the breakout West Awards. Whether performing with a band or minimal instrumentation, her radiant sultry voice shines through-delivering a powerful, earthy, organic sound that sets her apart from the rest. Influenced by artists such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sade, David Bowie and Bjork, Watson fuses elements of disco, duwop, jazz and rock, creating a sense of nostalgia while remaining well ahead of her time. A dynamic performer who has been on the stage since elementary school, she puts her

Award-winning Guyana-born singer and songwriter Maiko Watson

heart and soul into every show and knows how to rock a crowd. Her music has continued to spread steadily across the globe, being featured on a number of blogs throughout North America, the UK, France, and has been widely downloaded via torrent. Highlights included being featured on BETs Soul Session, The Paul Miller Soul Show on BBC and CBC, as well as placing songs on Much Musics Degrassi and the UK-based Soul Unsigned: The 2010 Summer Session compilation. Watson has visited Guyana about three times, and has had the chance “to jam” with some of the musicians at the Sidewalk Cafe. She mentioned that she sings a lot of jazz music in Canada and “it was

nice to have the chance to play those standards in Guyana.” “Life inspires methe hardships and the triumphs. Everything. I take the everyday circumstances and try to make something beautiful out of them. What motivates me is making music that makes people feel good. That gives people comfort when dealing with life. My advice to the youths out there is if music is your dream, be prepared to work hard, because this industry is very competitive and challenging. If you have access to the internet, then try to get your music online,” she encouraged. Watson continues to write and perform and is currently working on her second solo album. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

government’s m a n date to promote economic diversification and encourage sustainable development initiatives. On this note, GFW begins the s e c o n d phase of its action plan, having charged itself back in 2007 with the mission of activating the fashion fraternity in Guyana, all in an effort, to identify the economic potential and viability of the local fashion industry. The new

objective is to continue developing the GFW by firstly transforming the event to a weeklong activity, to facilitate economic development, entrepreneurial opportunities, and fashion sector industrial growth. These goals would be pursued through activities aimed at increasing the visibility of fashion commerce, nurturing local talent, and creating new outlets for accessing intra-regional and international markets. The executive of this non-profit organisation is well-equipped to deliver efficient and professional leadership in the execution of its mission. The GFW will continue to provide the strategic and essential platform, pivotal in the branding of the unique Caribbean style, while creating opportunities for cross sector cooperation through corporate investment and partnerships.


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Dr Narendra Singh

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verseas-based Guyanese Dr Narendra Singh, a pioneer in paediatrics locally and internationally, has been awarded for his significant contributions in providing outstanding patient care. He has been awarded the Prix d’excellence/ Specialist of the Year, which was established to recognise Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in good standing, that have made significant contributions in providing outstanding patient care to their patients and the community in which they practice. The nominee must be a role model for excellence in patient care, and this is what Dr Singh has proven to be. Dr Singh is the chief of paediatrics at Humber River Hospital in Toronto and associate professor in Paediatrics at McMaster University. He also practices as a paediatric intensivist in Texas. He completed his paediatric residency at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, and continued his training in paediatric critical care at the Hospital for Sick Children and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The notable doctor has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and presentations. He is also the author of a practical reference book, “Manual of Pediatric Critical Care”. He has been the recipient of many teaching awards from the University of Western Ontario, and more recently from the University of Toronto. The doctor has developed and expanded the outpatient programme at Humber River Hospital to ensure that children in that community can

receive specialised care closer to home. Of note, Dr Singh is the founder and president of the charity, Guyana Help the Kids. The charity’s primary goal is to advance the health of children in Guyana through provision of needed technology and the education of health care providers. He is also the founder and volunteer programme director of the first paediatric postgraduate residency programme in Guyana. Speaking in a recent interview with Guyanese media, the paediatrician stated while working in paediatrics in Trinidad, he developed an interest in Neonatology, a subspecialty of paediatrics. His biggest success, he pointed out, has been helping to develop the neonatal and paediatric programme in Guyana and the founding of the Canadian registered charity, Guyana Help The Kids, which in another interview he disclosed came about after realising that while paediatric training was coming along, local technology was lagging behind. The charity began fundraising to purchase up to date equipment for neonatal and paediatric services that included IV pumps, warmers and incubators. He expressed his gratitude to local Guyanese doctor Madan Rambaran for his vision, and Michael Khan, chief executive officer of Georgetown Public Hospital, for his cooperation in the venture. Currently in Toronto, the doctor is working with his community hospital to improve access to general paediatrics and all of the paediatric subspecialties. In Guyana, he has been working with local health care providers to decrease the infant mortality through training of doctors and nurses and concurrently providing them with the necessary technology. The programme which begun last October, has so far seen some seven Guyanese doctors in training to become paediatricians. Speaking in an Ontario Medical Association Doctor Spotlight interview online, Dr Singh recalled that at a purely social trip back to Guyana, in which he discovered

that his childhood home was no longer there after being demolished, he toured the paediatric facilities of the public hospital and realised there was high mortality, and much improvement was needed for the facility. After meeting with local health care stakeholders that included the health ministry, hospital and the university, he offered his services and was asked to prepare a residency programme through the university, to train local physicians to become paediatricians. “I’m focused on helping Guyana to provide the best possible paediatric care it can. This will be done by the local doctors and nurses within a few years. I have been very impressed by

Dr Singh (front right) with Guyana’s Health Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran (front left) at the opening of the New Amsterdam Hospital NICU

the enthusiasm and dedication of the doctors

and nurses in Guyana,” he noted. (Excerpt from

Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)


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he best of Caribbean film is set to be shared with the world this summer through the 8th annual CaribbeanTales Toronto Film Showcase. The festival will showcase 10 feature-length and 20 short films in official competition, along with many others covering all genres and themes. The line-up of events, running August 17th to September 14th at both Harbourfront Centre and the Canadian National Exhibition, is supported by the government of Trinidad and Tobago. “The Consulate General is delighted to be a sponsor of an event that provides international exposure to the large reservoir of Caribbean talent within the film industry,” said Venessa Ramhit-Ramroop, representing Dr. Vidhya Gyan Tota-Maharaj, TT’s Consul General to Toronto. “We will continue to support CaribbeanTales’ drive to raise the international profile of Caribbean film, support the growth of a vibrant film and television industry, and promote the Caribbean as an ideal production location,” Ramhit-Ramroop added. The founder and CEO of the CaribbeanTales group of compa-

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ikas Khanna’s debut solo single ‘You Are My Love’, written and produced by Toronto-based songwriter Anand Ramnanan (born in Chaguanas) has been blowing up on Hindi radio stations since April. Ploughing a main-

nies, Frances Anne Solomon, said the Caribbean region is developing an infrastructure to tell its own stories. “The quality of work that is start-

Frances Anne Solomon, founder and CEO of the CaribbeanTales group of companies share a photo moment with Nicole Brooks, incubator co-manager

ing to come out of our region is extraordinary and it’s unique,” said Solomon, who is of Trinidadian descent. She went on to reveal that, “every year when I go to choose films for this festival, the quality has just leapt by like 3,

4, 500 per cent each and every year so it’s a very exciting movement to be a part of.” There are five centerpiece films this year, including ‘Kingston Paradise,’ which is produced by well-known Jamaican documentarian Mary Wells as the opening screening. The film is

Jamaican reggae artiste ‘Jah Cure’ for Japan shows next month ‘Caaprice’ takes over the mic rapping in english with the earnest declaration that we have to “let love rule.” In some respects pop music history could have drawn a line under notions of love sometime in the late 60s, but no, love appears to be

Chaguanas-born singer Vikas Khanna is doing well on the charts (TT Guardian photo)

stream Bollywood groove, the track overlays synths to a minimalist opening vocal line that builds, as pop songs tend to do, towards what seems to be an attempt at a soaring chorus. Sung in Hindi, (a lyric sheet was provided for a translation), there was nothing overly enlightening. The singer is telling the object of his desires that she is his love. It’s something we tend to hear in love songs. A rapper named

A poster advertising the opening film, ‘Kingston Paradise’

about a Jamaican street hustler who devises a daring but not so clever plan to steal a fancy sports car. Afterwards, things rapidly go downhill and he just might have to change in order to fulfill his dreams. The month will be about more than movies as a five-day incubator will provide networking opportunities and training for Caribbean filmmakers. “We have to understand that we must create our own industry,” said incubator co-manager Nicole Brooks. “We have to start realizing that our stories are valid, not only for ourselves but for the world and that we can be lucrative.” Furthermore, a Video On Demand channel called CaribbeanTales-TV will be unveiled on September 3 after a year in development. “This is like Caribbean Netflix,” said Solomon. “It’s a place where everybody in the world can go and find Caribbean films and pay money and watch them.” As Ramhit-Ramroop added, “This is what the Caribbean Tales Toronto Film Showcase is all about … bringing the best of the Caribbean to the world, and the interest of the world to the Caribbean.”

here for good. The track is produced by Albert Kussin who varnishes the track with that kind of pop-chart veneer sound that makes you feel you are viewing everything through a soft-focus camera lens and listening to the music through ear muffs. Khanna’s singing is polished, presumably as a result of his extensive live performances in Canada, America, Europe, India and the Caribbean. His most high-profile work up un-

til now was writing and singing the title track of short film ‘Shanti Baba Ram And The Dancers of Hope,’ which premiered on Canadian TV channel CBC in 2010. In 2012, he released his first music video ‘Ae Gulbadan’, a tribute to the legendary 1950s-60s Bollywood soundtrack recording artist Mohammed Rafi. While ‘You Are My’ Love is a pop song, Vikas also sings various genres of South Asian music including Bhangra, Folk, Qawwali, Ghazals and Bhajans. Ghazals are a form of poetic rhyming couplets derived from sixth century Arab verse. His latest single, however, is not an ancient form of poetic verse. It falls under the category ‘westernised Indian music.’ It retains its Indian origins mostly because it is sung in Hindi but the beat and instrumentation could come from anywhere in the world. It’s a track that would go down well played at an Indian wedding, or in a car driven at a leisurely pace towards a beach, or over the closing credits of a film in which a couple has broken up and then gotten back together several times. So, if you are planning on doing any of those things, this is definitely a song to have on your playlist. (TT Guardian)

Jamaican reggae artiste ‘Jah Cure’ (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

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amaican reggae artiste ‘Jah Cure’ is set to make his debut in Japan next month and he intends to use the opportunity to capture the hearts of the Japanese, known worldwide as lovers of quality reggae music. The soulful reggae singer who is now being managed by Robert Livingston of the Scikron/Big Yard label, has signed on to do a series of shows in the Japanese cities of Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Ibaraki, Okayama, and Yokohama between August 24 and September 8. "I am grateful for the opportunity. It's my first trip to Japan, a major market where reggae music is being played," he said shortly after picking up his Japanese visa. "There are no big music sales going on worldwide right now so we have to try to get some shows, getting into the people's hearts, minds and souls properly so we can live there and stay in there," he added. The entertainer, born Siccature Alcock, has had a steady stream of hits over the past few years that have helped build him a worldwide fan base. Songs like his 2005 hit ‘Longing For’, ‘What Will it Take’, ‘Love Is’, and ‘Call on Me’ have also won him a huge following of female fans who have been

emotionally ensnared by his soulful lyrics. These are the songs he says, that will endear him to his Japanese audience. "Whatever I have is what they are looking for, reggae music with soul", he said confidently. "We put a lot of emotion to our thing. It's my time to prove to Japan that 'The Cure' is here and I have a lot to say and some good things to deliver." Also among the songs that he believes will help him find success in Japan is his latest success ‘That Girl,’ a song that he said he wrote years ago but was waiting for the right time to release. "That song came into being before I met my wife (Kamila McDonald, a Jamaican television host and beauty queen). I had always been saying I live in a nice house and I have a nice car and I was saying I have everything else except a woman to call my own," he said. "And when I find her I am going to lock her down because she is going to be the only one to complete my life." He said he wrote the song and put it aside until he found the girl of his dreams. The song was released on iTunes in 2012 but the video was shot last year and released recently. (Jamaica Gleaner)


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Guyana Times journalist Film shot in TT double to represent Guyana at nominee at Canada awards Russian youth forum ‘H

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he Russian embassy in Guyana through collaborative efforts with Caricom and the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry has selected youth activist and Guyana Times reporter Umadevi Bux, as the first youth representative of Guyana to the International Youth Forum Seliger 2013 to be held in Moscow, Russia. According to Russian embassy Charge d’ Affaires PetrSizov, the move will hopefully bring about people to people diplomacy which is much needed in the rapid changing world. Bux will be taking the responsibility of representing Guyana along with other Caricom youths from Barbados, Antigua, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and St Kitts and Nevis. The young lady has been actively involved in numerous youth-base organisations and was also the first representative of Guyana to the United Nations Alliance of Civilisation (UNAOC) Summer School 2012 in Portugal as well as a delegate of the team that represented the University of Guyana at the Model General Assembly of

Umadevi Bux

the Organisation of American States (OAS) in Cochabamba, Bolivia. She has been a member of the University of Guyana International Relations Affairs Association, the National Students Movement (Core Committee) and National Youth Parliament during her studies at the University of Guyana. The youth activist has served as an executive member of the University of Guyana International Affairs Association in 2012 and as part of the coordinating team of the National Youth Parliament.

She has received an award as best analytical and reasoning debater/ speaker in her capacity as human services and social security minister at the National Youth Parliament 2011. The Seliger forum seeks to bring together young people to study and discuss issues in political science, economics, art, literature and culture with the aim of building an international community of young people based on the principles of peaceful coexistence, the promotion of personal and democratic liberties and recognition of cultural diversity.

ome Again’, the award-winning Canadian feature film shot in Trinidad and Tobago in 2012 has been nominated for yet another award. This time the film is up for Best Director (Sudz Sutherland) and Best Sound Editing at the prestigious Directors Guild of Canada Awards. Earlier in 2013, ‘Home Again’ was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress at the Canadian Screen Awards and took home the BAFTA Festival Choice Award at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. ‘Home Again’ was the top Canadian film for three consecutive weeks in Canada during its seven-week run and was the highest grossing ‘local’ film to date at Movietowne in Trinidad Home Again’ was the top Canadian and Tobago. film for three consecutive weeks in It stars Tatyana Ali, CCH Canada during its seven-week run Pounder, Jamaica’s Paul Campbell and Canadian stars screen-based industry. Lyriq Bent, Stephan James and FeFe The awards will be presented at the Dobson. The film employed over 1,000 annual Gala on October 26, 2013 at the local extras and near 200 local cast prestigious Royal York Hotel. Hosted and crew since 26 days out of a 30-day by multi-talented comedian, actor and schedule were filmed in Trinidad and musician Seán Cullen, 2013 marks the Tobago. 12th edition of the DGC Awards. The The film was written and produced evening will feature special surprise by Jennifer Holness also an award-win- guests and a nominees’ reception prior ning filmmaker and produced by Don to the Gala. Carmody who holds an Oscar for the "I am proud of the nominees and film ‘Chicago’. Trinidad and Tobago’s what their collective body of work award winning Producer-Director, brings to this country's industry as Lisa Wickham was the TT Supervising well as to the Guild as a whole," statProducer. ed Sturla Gunnarsson, President of the Selected from close to 200 submis- DGC. "It is an honour to be a part of sions, the nominees in 19 categories this organization and to lead the celrepresent a cross section of the indus- ebration of the best work created by try's outstanding talent working in the DGC members last year."

Jamaica growing eco-smart J amaica consumers are becoming increasingly energy conscious and are going after more eco-efficient electronic products. This is according to reports from Appliance Traders Limited (ATL), a leading supplier of residential, commercial, industrial and business equipment which has recently forayed into energy solutions. Product Manager for ATL Home Division Stacey Campbell told Jamaican media that an internal comparison of sales demands between 2008 and 2013 reflects an increase of 100 per cent in the company's range of products, mainly refrigerators and washers with inverter technology. For 2012-2013 alone, that increase was approximately 30 per cent, a doubling of the increase for the 2011-2012 period. The media requested the figures following the signing of an agreement at the ATL eco-store on Monday between ATL Automotive and Panasonic Latin America

for the outfitting of the former's Volkswagen and Audi showrooms with photovoltaic equipment that feature HIT technology. The technology is said to be more efficient than conventional crystalline silicon cells and is billed as 100 per cent emission free. "You'll find more persons, mainly homeowners coming in and asking for information about the range of Eco-smart appliances that we have to offer. Many of them start out small, by purchasing our energy efficient bulbs which allow them to save monthly on their electricity consumption. Then, they return and purchase our Eco-smart certification sealed refrigerators which come with inverter technology," Campbell told the media. One main reason for the increase, Campbell said is that customers can readily identify the company's eco-efficient electronic product lineup through its new ATL Eco-smart certification

seal. Much like the international trademark standard Energy-Star certification, the ATL Eco-Smart seal is affixed to electronics and ap-

"The cost of energy in Jamaica is significantly high and this is reflected in our consumers' utility bills. Inverter products are up to 60 per cent

reflected in the questions they ask upon entering the ATL stores, such as the recently opened eco store. "Customers come in

Eco-smart lightbulbs are among the energy efficient products on show at ATL in Jamaica (Jamaica Observer photo)

pliances that have been proven to meet international standards in energy efficiency. Inverter technology, Campbell explained, can save consumers significantly in energy consumption.

more efficient and this allows customers to save on energy and see immediate reductions on their bills," she said. Another proof of the growing eco-consciousness of the Jamaican consumer, Campbell said, is

and ask questions such as, 'How much can I save on a monthly basis?' 'What is the equivalent wattage of an LED to incandescent light bulbs?' and 'Can I sell back to the grid when I purchase a PV system?' she said.

That they do a lot of research and are more aware of the economic benefits of energy consumption, is also evident, she added. ATL is currently pushing the Panasonic brand of products which are designed with inverter and econavi technology. Inverter compressor air conditioning models, for example, can save up to 50 per cent on energy usage. Inverter refrigerators, meanwhile, are said to offer up to 40 per cent energy savings, while the econavi feature offers an additional 10 per cent. A promotional flyer from the store said the econavi refrigerator monitors the level of lighting and temperature in the room, when and how often the fridge doors are opened and the fridge's internal temperature. "It analyses and responds to this information to maintain cooling and avoid wasting energy," the flyer said. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


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Another series of ‘Guyana The power of the internet Classics’ launched

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Dr David Dabydeen handing over the collection of books to University of Guyana librarian Gwyneth George

he Caribbean Press Association, through the culture, youth and sport ministry of Guyana, last Wednesday evening launched another set of ‘Guyana Classics’, along with a collection of 20 other books by Guyanese authors. The books, which will be available at public and leading schools libraries, are from authors such as Jan Carew, Denis Williams, Wilson Harris, Edgar Mittelholzer, Ashley Anthony, and Cedric Castello among others. Included in the collection are speeches by Guyana’s past presidents Dr Cheddi and Janet Jagan, and Forbes Burnham. A limited number of books will also be available for purchase at Austin’s Book Services.

History and literature

Speaking at the event held at the Umana Yana,

Culture, Youth and Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony reiterated that the collection represents an important aspect of Guyana’s history and literature. He noted that through the books many people will rediscover the country’s history. “I urge everyone to make sure they get copies of the books, at least some, if you don’t want the whole collection.” Turning his attention to the Caribbean Press, he stated that within a short period of time, the press has been able to publish some 65 books, 38 of which belong to the ‘Guyana Classics’ series. Dr Anthony stated that the press has 40 books to be published over the next couple of years, adding that the Caribbean Press has inspired many people to want to write and be published. The minister undercrossed that the press has aided in forging

partnerships to produce better writers, making reference to workshops which has been held locally. “We are pleased that the press has come this far and thanks to all who support us to ensure the press remains vibrant and it continues to do its work.” Dr Anthony expressed pleasure that when there was the debate on funds to maintain the Caribbean Press in the Ninth Parliament, the Alliance For Change supported its funding. “I think sometimes we have to put aside the politics and focus and think about our country…institutions like the Caribbean Press… deserve all of our support, because it is truly a national institution geared for the publication of our people’s creativity,” Dr Anthony emphasised. Delivering the feature address at the event, Dr David Dabydeen, who

has been instrumental in setting up the Caribbean Press and editing its publications, said he is happy that there is now so much debate in Guyana about publishing. “Imagine people are fighting about books, they’re battling about books, that is wonderful and I’m really thankful to everyone who has been part of that discourse and I hope it continues.” He disclosed that the culture ministry, along with its stakeholders, will be developing the publishing house. Dr Dabydeen stated that phase one of the press, which involved academic scholars’ writing, is now completed.

New policies

In light of this, he said the Caribbean Press now has to evolve as it progresses and adopt new policies. “I can’t go on for too long… I really have to focus on my own writing… I have fulfilled the academic part of the press…the scholarly part of the press,” the Guyanese scholar said. Dr Dabydeen made mention of the book which was published by the culture minister’s daughter, Ashley, which prompted much talk about the press and its publishing preferences. “Her father is the minister but that’s her liability, not the liability of the press, we publish irrespective of who you are,” he asserted. ‘Guyana Classics’ are books on the history and culture of Guyana from 1596 to present day. (Guyana Times)

TT art master celebrated in UK

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n the year of the bicentenary of his birth, Michel Jean Cazabon’s life and art were celebrated at a reception at the historic Belmont House, UK earlier this month. The event, held under the patronage of the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission, UK, featured a viewing of Cazabon’s “Harris Collection” which was discovered at Belmont House by Trinidadian curator and conservationist Geoffrey MacLean. Cazabon, widely regarded as the first great painter of Trinidad and Tobago, is internationally lauded for his 19th century watercolour paintings which depicted the idyllic

landscapes and changing society of colonial Trinidad and Tobago. MacLean, who delivered the feature address, described the pivotal impact of Cazabon’s work in depicting the unique history and emerging identity of Trinidad and Tobago. MacLean detailed the 1999 discovery of the “Harris Collection” of 44 Cazabon paintings, which belonged to Trinidad and Tobago’s 11th governor, Lord Harris. The collection was found at his family home on the Belmont Estate. MacLean oversaw the restoration of these paintings, which is now a popular attraction at this historic site.

A lunch of Trinibagonian fare, sponsored by Wendel Clement of Campbell’s Framing and Art of South Kensington, was enjoyed by all on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Faversham, Kent. One of the highlights of the afternoon was a reading by award winning writer Lawrence Scott from his critically acclaimed novel ‘Light Falling on Bamboo’. Cazabon’s colourful life was the inspiration behind the book, which illustrates the tale of his struggle to navigate the complicated postemancipation period in Trinidad and Tobago. Garvin Nicholas, High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago to the United Kingdom,

expressed his pleasure that Cazabon’s work and life story was being celebrated and unveiled to an international audience. He stated, “It is said that artists exist to show us the world. In this regard, Michel Jean Cazabon was a masterful exemplar. Trinidad and Tobago has spawned many artists who continue Cazabon’s legacy of illustrating the identity of our people on canvas. These include Hugh Stollmeyer, Boscoe Holder, LeRoy Clarke and Jackie Hinkson, to name a few. I am continuously impressed by our art community’s high level of talent and the tremendous creativity emanating from our shores”. (TT Newsday)

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By Anu Dev

echnology is neither good nor bad, nor even neutral. Technology is one part of the complex of relationships that people form with each other and the world around them; it simply cannot be understood outside of that concept.” – Samuel Collins. In today’s world, to get a message heard halfway across the world you just need to tap at a couple of buttons without ever having to vibrate your vocal cords. It literally opened up whole new worlds: we can now reconnect with people we haven’t seen in years or connect with others we may never, ever see. But with every message we send, every picture we post, every thought we share with the world around us, we’re opening up ourselves to the world. And we’re creating impressions. We’re letting everyone in. We’re putting ourselves out there for the world to applaud us, appreciate us, to critique us, to judge us – and perchance to condemn us. And at every stage of our lives we’re at different stages of maturity – or immaturity. Every day, we (hopefully) grow a little, learn a little bit more and gain a bit more experience. So something I might feel confident about blithely posting on a social media site today, I might cringe with embarrassment about next year. Or some thoughtless comment I might have made for the world to see might offend my future boss, or co-workers. It’s a delicate balance trying to maintain links with the people around you without putting too much of yourself out there. It’s just too easy to share every detail of your life on the Internet. Tons of people are taking pictures of their food and sharing them on Instagram every second of the day. People are also posting insightful status updates such as “Eating roti”. Food photography seems extremely difficult. It’s definitely harder to get flattering lighting for a plate of curry than for a person’s profile. All of these things can be great for letting people know about what we’re doing every day, keeping everyone updated, but it probably should be used in moderation. It gets to be a bit much overwhelming even. Do you have to let everyone see what you’ve eaten every day? Do you have to tell everyone that you’ve just made a baloney sandwich? It’s getting so much easier to infringe on everyone’s personal space. Maybe you should send someone a message on Skype before you randomly call them. They could still be in their pyjamas or in the middle of something important. It’s a bit like stumbling into someone’s house and expecting them to entertain you with absolutely no warning. It’s a new world out there. With every software update, with every launch of some new social media platform, we have to adjust to this new way for us to share what’s going on with our lives. So before you open yourself to the world and share every titbit about your life, think about the number of people your message might actually be reaching. It’s probably a lot more than you originally envisioned. Censor yourself a little bit – not that you shouldn’t have freedom of speech, but you should probably be more aware of your “time and place and circumstances”. “Prudence” is a good watchword. The Internet is giving us great power, and with great power comes great responsibility, so use the Internet (and the power it give us) responsibly.


Bollywood

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Why John-Bipasha I guard my personal life didn’t remain friends? ferociously, says Priyanka Chopra

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ohn Abraham and Bipasha Basu have had a much-publicised split, which is common knowledge now. While Bipasha was open about John cheating on her while they were together, John has always been mum about their past. However, lot of time has passed since they separated and both seemed to have moved on in life. But it is strange that when most young couples these days, be it celebs or non-celebs, maintain healthy friendship even after splitting, these two haven't done the same. In fact, there have been rumours of both avoiding each other in public. It is heard that John,

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who walked in a restaurant bar recently, froze on seeing his ex. Apparently, Bipasha was sitting with her friends when John entered. Sources say that around the same time John got a call, but the hunk left the place on the pretext of bad network and nev-

er returned. "Their relationship was for about eight long years, and then they had a live in. Probably that is the reason for bitterness to be so bad and feelings so deep that they couldn't continue to be friends," TOI quoted a source as saying. (TOI)

hough Bollywood has a few actor-turned-singers, no one has made a mark in the west for their singing abilities the way Priyanka Chopra now has. She is a name people in the west are familiar with, as international singer, rapper and record producer Pitbull is featured in her second single, ‘Exotic’. However, Priyanka is now back in Bollywood. She was recently asked about her father’s recent death to which she replied, “it is a topic which is extremely personal for me. I guard my personal life and my family life ferociously. That’s the one part of me that I would always like to keep to myself and would like not to share with anyone.” When asked if she would be you open to the songs from her music album being used in any of her films, she

said, “my songs can be used in movies, I don’t mind that.” (Hindustan Times)

Saifeena shifting to new home in 2014

fore their marriage on October 16 last year. In fact, the sangeet ceremony was held on the terrace of their new abode. However,

‘Saifeena’ will shift out of their current residence and into the new one only in 2014, Indian media have reported. With both maintaining very tight shooting schedules, they hardly have time to supervise the interiors of their new apartment. One of the most respected interior designers in India has been hired to do up the place. But Saif also wants to be there when key decisions are being made. So, work has been progressing at a slower pace. (TOI)

two actresses were also heard making plans of

travelling to Sikkim for a vacation together. (TOI)

The woman behind Ranveer’s success

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ehind every successful man there is a woman, they say and it stands quite true for actor Ranveer Singh as well. The 28-year-old who is three-filmold in the industry and has four big films in his kitty, names none other than his manager for his success. "She is responsible for my success. She is my boss. I wake up in the morning as per her direction and do whatever she says. Her name is Susaine Rodriguez. She is the woman behind everything," said the actor at the success party of his recent release "Lootera". (TOI)

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aif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor did a puja in their new home, a stone's throw away from their current residence, be-

I have a man’s ego in a lot of Tabu, Manisha plan vacation together ways - Sonam Kapoor

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lthough she comes from a film family, Sonam Kapoor is determined to make her own identity without any help from her actorfilmmaker father Anil Kapoor as she feels that scope for growth under a banyan tree is bleak. "I feel there's very little that can grow under a banyan tree. So, I have tried to create my own path and I have very successfully done it - whether it's through my fashion or movies I choose,"

said the 28-year-old in a group interview. In her six years in the industry, with 11 films and hits like

"Raanjhanaa" to her credit, Sonam has avoided taking a piggy-back ride on her dad's strong shoulders. "Very thoughtfully I tried not to do much with my father. It's a very selfish decision, as I just wanted my own identity. So even when 'Aisha' was produced, my sister (Rhea) produced it. It was her first film. I never asked my father to do this for me. I think I have a man's ego in a lot of ways," she said. (TOI)

Sensuality is a part of human emotion - Shruti Haasan

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ctress Shruti Haasan, who plays a prostitute in her upcoming release "D-Day", shot some bold scenes with Arjun Rampal for the film. She asserts that sensuality is a key element of her character, and says it hasn't been used just for titillation. "I'm playing a prostitute in the film and sensuality is a key element. We've not done it for tit-

illation or unnecessary scandalising. The character is like that," the

27-year-old actress said in an interview. "If you do it in a wrong way, then the audience and actors both don't like it as the conviction is lost. It's very much integral to the character (in the film). As an actor, I feel we get to express all the emotions, and sensuality is a part of human emotion so it’s very important," she added. (TOI)

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hroughout her illness, while Manisha Koirala was in the US, one person constantly in touch with her was Tabu. And even after her return to Mumbai, Tabu went over to Manisha's home to spend time with her. Manya's infectious energy made Tabu very happy to see her friend in cheerful spirits. Apart from discussing gym routines and organic food shopping, the

Vidya Balan prefers being called a ‘humanist’, not an activist

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ctress Vidya Balan considers veteran actor Shabana Azmi as her "strongest inspiration" but herself prefers to be dubbed as a ‘hu-

manist’ rather than an activist. Besides her repertoire of several award-winning films like ‘Parineeta’, ‘Paa’ and ‘No One Killed Jessica’, Vidya's humanitarian efforts are wellknown. The National Award winner has been instrumental in campaigning for child nutrition and education and women's empowerment. She has been appointed by the Indian government as the brand ambassador in the drive to improve sanitary conditions in the country. "My work is an extension of my beliefs. I don't think I am an activist at all. I am an actor first and I try using that to leverage attention to some of the causes I am associated with. I think I am a humanist," said Vidya. (TOI)


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Does Ryan Reynolds believe in the supernatural?

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yan Reynold’s latest film ‘R.I.P.D.’ (which hits theaters this Friday) follows the story of a murdered cop who attempts to find his murderer after joining a team of undead police officers working for the ‘Rest in Peace Department’, but the star admits he doesn't actually believe in the afterlife, well, not completely, according to a E!News report. "I don't know, it's tough. I mean, I think

people can leave a lot

of energy behind when they're disturbed in some way and I think that can kind of surface in some particular way," Reynolds told E! News during the film's press junket. "I don't think that when I finally close my eyes to this crazy show, that I'm gonna step into something else as Ryan Reynolds in another form, I just think it just all circles back," E!News quoted Reynolds as saying. (E!Online)

Pitt enjoys booze-fuelled time under advice of Jolie

Demi Lovato not attracted to Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum

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hink you know everything about Demi Lovato? Well, think again. Because the 20-year-old beauty recently penned an article for ‘BuzzFeed’ appropriately titled, ‘16 Signs You're Becoming Demi Lovato’, in which she reveals her affinity for scrunchies, her obsession with Kelly Clarkson and the fact that she's not particularly attracted to Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum. Demi begins by revealing her favorite Disney princess is Cinderella before admitting she doesn't regularly swoon over Gosling or Tatum. “I'm not particularly in love with either one [Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum]. To me

they're still kind of pretty boys," she writes. "I just don't think they're just the most attractive men in the world. … I'm a really big fan of Mickey Mouse; he's provided me with a lot." (E!Online)

When privacy wasn’t an issue for Gomez

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rad Pitt reportedly enjoyed an alcohol-filled weekend in France and Italy after being suggested to take a break by fiancé Angelina Jolie. Jolie apparently wanted Pitt to relax after dealing with the stress of her recent double mastectomy. A source told the Sun that the 38-year-old actress figured that Pitt needed to let his hair down after a stressful few months, so she told him to go and have a boozy week with his mates and get it out of his system. The Hollywood hunk stayed at a house in southern France that's owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Pitt's vacation also included a three night-stay at George Clooney's luxury villa in Italy. In the past fortnight, he has also been on benders with U2's Bono and Larry Mullen. (TOI)

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inger-actress Selena Gomez says she was never too conscious about being in the public eye when she started dating during her teenage years. The 20-year-old has been popular since she

was 10, when she made her debut with children TV series "Barney and Friends". Later, she got into some high profile relations with singers Nick Jonas and Justin Bieber. However, maintaining secrecy about her re-

lations was never on her mind during her teens. "I can't be afraid to live my life. I had my first 'boyfriend' (Nick), which wasn't really a boyfriend, at 14, 15," Observer magazine quoted Gomez as saying. "You're young and you don't know how to be. You don't think, 'Now I have a boyfriend - let's keep it super-private and low key', because that's not what you're thinking about," she added. She said it was all about feeling the moment, rather than think about privacy. "You're thinking about, 'Oh my God, we're holding hands!' You're just thinking about stuff like that," she said. (TOI)

Hollywood’s most expensive breakups Oprah will be Lindsay’s mentor, says mum Dina Lohan

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s actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher fight over an $18 million divorce settlement, we take a look at breakups that broke more than just hearts Michael Jordan and Juanita Jordan A long courtship and a 17 year old romance ended in mutual divorce for this celebrity couple over 'irreconcilable differences'. Media had reported trouble brewing in the marriage when the couple started living separately. Juanita acquired $168 million — one-third of the NBA star's total fortune. The Jordans had had a whirlwind, 10 minute marriage ceremony in Nevada, Las

Vegas, in attendance of four guests. Jordan has recently remarried and has gotten a pre-nup signed this time, to protect his $650 million net worth. Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore Estimated at an approximate $400 million, the exact figure hasn't been let out on this split. Robyn Moore officially filed for divorce after Mel got into trouble with the law over drunken driving and also fathered a child with then-girlfriend Oksana Grigoriev. Robyn acquired over 50% of Mel's total networth of over $800 million. This has being cited as one of Hollywood's most expen-

sive divorces so far. Madonna and Guy Ritchie - Madonna's marriage with director Guy Ritchie lasted eight years during which Ritchie shifted his religious beliefs to Kabbalah inspired by Madonna. They split stating, they couldn't bear to live with the 'pretense' longer. The breakup was reported to have turned ugly, when both parties publicly started maligning each other. Madonna reportedly paid almost $90 million as spousal support which estimated 1/5th of her fortune. A r n o l d Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver - The Terminator star turned politician had been married for 25 years until he admitted to having flings with other women, following which his thenwife Maria Shriver filed for divorce and obtained more than half of Arnie's fortune. Their joint custody was estimated at $400 million, of which $100 million belonged to Shriver. She has reportedly received more than half of Schwarzenegger's share of the property in alimony. (TOI)

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indsay Lohan has signed on to work with Oprah Winfrey's network for a short reality series about her recovery - a move Dina Lohan says will surely work in helping the embattled actress rebuild her life. The 'Parent Trap' actress will also do an exclusive interview with Winfrey, the New York Daily News reported. Dina shared her excitement to E! News over the upcoming eightpart reality series about her daughter that Winfrey's OWN network is behind. The actress has been spending time in a rehab facility since May, participating in a 90-day court-ordered treat-

ment program for her drug and alcohol related issues. Lohan was ordered to rehab as part of a plea deal stemming from charges following a 2012 car accident. (TOI)

Cory Monteith was back on beer before death

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lee’ star Cory Monteith was spotted 'drinking alcohol' just days before he died, it has been revealed. The 31-year-old, who was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver on Saturday, was spotted drinking in the city a week ago, just three months after a stint in rehab, the Mirror reported. According to reports in the US, the late Canadian actor had three beers as he joked with friends. Pathologists were focusing on the actor's final weeks as his autopsy was carried out on Monday. (TOI)


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Guyana Parliament receives first volume of Burnham’s speeches

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he first of three volumes of speeches made by former President of Guyana Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham was on Monday handed over to Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman by the publication’s editor Professor David Dabydeen in the Committee Room of the Parliament Office, Brickdam, Georgetown. The publication is a result of Resolution Number 46 passed by the National Assembly on December 14, 2007. It was a resolution that came to the National Assembly, mandating the government to designate a state institution to be

responsible for historical research and documentation and to chronicle and archive all of the works of each president of Guyana for the benefit of future Guyanese generations. Speaker Trotman said that he was extremely happy to receive the first copy of the speeches and noted that he has read speeches made by Burnham, Dr Jagan and others, and was impressed with the level of decency and decorum displayed in the House during Burnham’s era. He said he hopes the volumes will be utilised by politicians, students and the wider public, claiming that like Dr Jagan,

Speaker of the National Assembly of Guyana , Raphael Trotman

Burnham played a vital role in the development, democratisa-

tion, and transformation of the country. Professor David Dabydeen, who in recent years, has been at the forefront of resuscitating Guyanese historic and literary heritage, explained that while he was only handing over a copy of the first volume, the second is currently on its way to Guyana while the third is in the process of being published. The books were published by the Caribbean Press and edited by Professor Dabydeen. The professor also noted that the first volume of speeches contained insights into the kinds of struggles that took place in Parliament before

Guyana became independent. He said only about 100 copies of the volumes were published and these are expected to be handed over to the Parliament and the diplomatic corp, but members of the public can access the speeches free of charge on the Caribbean Press website www.caribbeanpress.org. Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham (February 20, 1923– August 6, 1985) led Guyana from 1964 until his death, first as premier from 1964 to 1966, then as the prime minister from 1966 to 1980 and finally as president from 1980 to 1985.

Barbados museum - keeping history alive in modern times

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ocated adjacent to the Garrison Savannah is one of Barbados’ prominent historic landmarks and home to a large collection of the island’s rich cultural and natural heritage. The Barbados Museum and Historical Society (BMHS) has been headquartered at St. Ann’s Garrison since 1933 and houses some 500,000 artefacts, which range from the prehistoric era to the 21st century. A former British military prison construct-

‘keepers’ of Barbadian history, said “our mission is to collect, interpret, conserve and educate on issues and things that relate to natural history, the history and culture of the island. This mandate is ongoing…History happens every day, every minute and so our responsibility is to continue to collect the historical experience of Barbadians on the island and also in the diaspora. “Our entire activity and our focus is ensuring that Barbadians have the opportunity to en-

presenting history to present and future generations. In this regard, she suggested that the introduction of technology has played a vital role in the exposition of history, an issue which has captured the attention of local museum officials. “So, much of the information people garner now is coming from the internet, so part of our interest is doing more digitisation and making sure that we develop more resources for the web. We are also looking at our computerised

Barbados Museum and Historical Society’s Director, Alissandra Cummins

move its public education and awareness programmes well beyond the walls of its Garrison location. One of the more popular activities for locals and visitors alike is the Ole Time Excursion Bus Tours which are held on weekends.

Riding the Roslyn Bus is the main attraction for participants on the monthly historic tours (A.Skeete/BGIS photo)

ed in the early to mid1800s, the BMHS is, however, much more than a mausoleum to the country’s past, and a storage space for antiques and rare items. It is testimony to ‘the story of Barbados’, that is, the tales of countless people and events which have shaped and continue to influence presentday Barbados. Museum Director, Alissandra Cummins, in explaining the institution’s role as one of the

gage with their past and in turn, to help consolidate the future. Our purpose is to help new generations of Barbadians to better understand who they are by learning more about their past. By doing this, you help to shape national identity,” she remarked. However, Cummins noted that while the organisation was very much interested in the past, they were also looking ahead, that is, exploring new ways of

databases and making them more accessible, and in any exhibit development that we do, that we develop more interactivity. These will ensure there is more engagement of the experience beyond just reading and walking through… These are the types of things that people have come to expect because they are living in a different era,” Cummins pointed out. The 80-year-old institution has worked to

In addition, the BMHS hosts special hikes, an annual lecture series, a schools’ outreach programme, and various exhibitions throughout the year. One of the exhibits presently on display is ‘Whaling in Barbados’, which is open to the public. The

facilities at the museum have been expanded to include a larger air-conditioned gift shop, where locals and visitors may purchase memorabilia, books, photographs and artwork. Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison being designated a World Heritage Site in June 2011 has also provided a unique opportunity for the museum. Heritage sites are immensely popular worldwide, as visitors are showing a heightened interest in the culture and heritage of their destinations. The society has already started to realise some of the benefits of the inscription, particularly among locals who are curious to learn more about the rich and vibrant history of the Garrison area and the City of Bridgetown. (BGIS)


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Caribbean environment network empowering youth to be leaders T

he Caribbean Y o u t h Environment Network (CYEN), a nonprofit, civil society, charitable body, focuses its resources on empowering young people and their communities to develop programmes and or actions to address socioeconomic and environmental issues. The CYEN programme aims at addressing issues like poverty alleviation and youth employment, health and HIV/AIDS, climatic changes and global warming, impact of natural disasters/hazards, improvement in potable water, conservation and waste management and other natural resource management issues. Viewing youth as an important and critical development resource, CYEN is dedicated to developing strategies to engage and facilitate youth participation in the development process.

Boyer (third from left) with some members of CYEN Guyana team

It provides a youth environment and development network in the region responsible for creating an appropriate space for young people to participate in the design, development, implementation and promotion of new, progressive, equitable, innovative and sustainable environmental, economic and social development policies and programmes across the wider Caribbean. CYEN Guyana Public Relations Officer, Ruqayyah Boyer, speak-

ing with Guyanese media recently stated that the organisation has had enormous influence in the lives of young Guyanese. She pointed out that it has been formed locally, geared at empowering youths and their communities and to develop programmes and actions to address socioeconomic and environmental issues. The PRO said the organisation partners with more than twenty-nine organisations, and with more than three hun-

dred individual members across eighteen Caribbean territories, inclusive of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St, Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Affiliate diaspora members reside in Bermuda, Britain, Canada and the USA.

Boyer also mentioned that since its establishment in 1992, the network has coordinated or participated in a number of activities and projects at the national, regional and international levels. Significantly, the network has frequently sourced and financed short-term training scholarships for youths to attend leadership and other training courses. Beyond this, the network has been actively involved in advocacy, environmental education,

and public awareness programmes. CYEN frequently represents the position of Caribbean youth at regional and international meetings. For the year 2013, the entity hosted a career day exhibition at the University of Guyana; relaunched CYEN Guyana at the University of Guyana in March; conducted the first virtual TUNZA youth consultation on water cooperation; and in March month spearheaded the ‘Action Learning Network’ (ALN) hosted by the Volunteerism Support Platform. Boyer added that in April, CYEN conducted a workshop on intellectual property rights and environmental creations in Guyana and was also engaged in bird-watching activities in recognition of International Migratory Species Day. (Excerpt from Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

Star of the Week

Halima Khan G

uyanese Bollywood sensation Halima Khan has been crowned GT&T’s Jingle and Song Competition Bollywood segment star. Khan, a resident of West Bank Demerara, is a 28-yearold mother of two. She had previously signed up as a contestant of the competition but did not make it to the finals. Determined to make a comeback, Khan signed up this year with the goal of being crowned the winner firmly etched in her mind. The aim to make a name for herself helped her to be resilient and ultimately win the competition. Initially, Khan’s musical talent was honed while growing up singing in masjids and Qaseeda competitions. From the Qaseeda competitions, she was titled Melody Queen of Region Three. As she continued to develop herself musically, the singer showed unyielding determination to become one of Guyana’s top artistes and this she accomplished with ease. Currently a member of the DAX New Generation Band, Khan continues to share her melodies with her fans.


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Barbados tops Caribbean Karate Championship -Guyana places second

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uyana finished second behind hosts Barbados at the 10th Caribbean Karate Championship that was staged over the weekend at the Barbados Community College Gymnasium in Howell, St Michael. The team competed against Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. Members of the Guyana Karate College kept the Golden Arrowhead flying high; members of the GKC won the trophy for the best performance in the junior divisions, while Barbados won the senior divisions. The event, which is the premier activity in the Caribbean for Shotokan Karate, encompassed actions individual kumite (fighting) and kata (form), team enbu (demonstration), team bunkai (application) and team kata. Attending the opening ceremony and events were a number of senior International Karate

Daigaku officials, including the chairman and chief instructor, Kancho Frank Woon-a-Tai M.S., ninth degree black belt, deputy chief instructor Shihan, Dr Dexter Shim, eighth degree black belt, and Shihan Alice Bernstein, seventh degree black belt, among others. The Guyanese were led by excellent performances in the girls’ division by Hanna Farina, Rebecca and Rachel Ramlall, Tashana Wong, Alyssa Persaud, Alliyah Wong, Christy Dey, Mickelly Rahaman and Ashley Seeram. In the ladies’ category, Kerry Ramkumar, Claire Cheeks-Martelly, Nikita Clark and Jennifer Rameshwar copped gold, silver and bronze medals respectively, while in the boys’ division success came from Tyler Orderson, John McGrath, Antoine Herod, Yannick Rameshwar, Mark Wong and Michael Hing, Carlos Gonsalves, Desmond Fernandes and Otto Harris. In the male category, Eric Hing,

The Guyanese medallists pose with Sensei Jeffrey Wong (left, front row) and Kancho Frank Woon-a-Tai MS (right front row) after their success last weekend

Romel Rameshwar Mathew Hurry, Aubrey Bettencourt, Kenrick Cheeks, Medishari Ramdhani were triumphant. Senior instructor and vice chairman of the GKC, Sensei

Jeffrey Wong, expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance at the Caribbean Championships, saying they maintained the high standards of karate, particularly the younger karatekas whom he con-

siders to be the future of the college. He was pleased with the tenacity and the perseverance shown by the charges under him, overcoming a number of challenges. The team had to overcome jetlag after ar-

riving in Barbados mere hours before the championships. The team now looks forward to participating in the Guyana Cup karate tournament, slated for November in Georgetown.

Jamaica tops medals table with WYC 6 gold, 2 bronze ran a spectacular 13.13 seconds, just off the WYB 13.12 seconds to win the 110m hurdles. Martin Manley and Marvin Williams also ran World Youth Leading times to win the men’s 400m and 400m hurdles, respectively. Jamaica also landed bronze medals in the women’s 400m through Tiffany James and the

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Jamaica’s Michael O’Hara (second left) dips at the finish line to win the boys’ 200 metres ahead of Brazil’s Vitor Hugo Dos Santos (left) and Cuba’s Reynier Mena (second right) during the 8th IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday. (Jamaica Observer photo)

amaica ended their best-ever showing at an IAAF World Youth Championships with fireworks as they ran a World Youth best 1 minute 49.23 seconds to win the boys’ medley relays, the final event in Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday. With Michael O’Hara winning the 200m event, Jamaica added two more gold medals for a total of six, along with two bronze medals, to top the medals table at a global track and field championships for the first time. It was the first win by a Jamaica team in the boys’ medley relays, while O’Hara, who ran a personal best and World Youth leading 20.63 seconds, was winning the third gold in the 200m by

a Jamaican after Usain Bolt, who still holds the World Youth best 20.40 seconds set in Sherbrook, Canada, in 2003, and Ramone McKenzie in 2007 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Jamaica had won nine medals on two previous occasions, including two years ago in Lille, France, but this was the first time they were winning six gold medals and topping the table. Kenya finished second with 11 medals; four gold, three silver and four bronze. Ethiopia were next with three gold, three silver and two bronze; Australia also won three gold and a bronze, while the USA finished fifth overall with two gold, seven silver and eight bronze for a total of 17 medals,

the most by any country. Despite several setbacks before they even left the island, including delays that saw some athletes arriving in the European country two days before the start of the competition last Wednesday, the Jamaicans rose to the occasion with a series of spectacular performances. Yanique Thompson became the first female to go under 13 seconds in the 100m hurdles when she smashed the previous World Youth best by running 12.94 seconds to land the gold. Jaheel Hyde, who had temporarily abandoned the sprint hurdles for the 400m earlier this year, lowered his personal best three times and

men’s high jump with Christoffe Bryan. In every event, except the boys’ 200m Sunday, Jamaican athletes were setting new standards with medals in those events. Sunday, O’Hara, who was bitterly disappointed with a fourth place finish in the boys’ 100m final last Thursday after going into the championships

with double gold medal ambitions, beat Brazilian Vitor Hugo Dos Santos to the line in a new personal best 20.63 seconds. O’Hara’s time made him the third fastest Jamaican youth over the distance behind Bolt’s 20.40 seconds, and 20.58 seconds set by McKenzie at the 2007 CARIFTA Games. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


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Limacol CPL can produce Young Guyanese tops International new generation of players, Powerlifting sub-juniors rankings says Windies coach

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he man who masterminded West Indies’ triumph at last year’s Twenty20 World Cup says he has high hopes that the Limacol Caribbean Premier League can produce a generation of players ready for the demands of international cricket. Speaking during a recent media conference in Trinidad for the just concluded Tri-Nation Series, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson lauded the inaugural Twenty20 tournament, noting that it had the potential to develop the type of qualities integral to success at the highest level. “It will help our T20 cricket because you have seen that about eight or nine of our guys are IPL stars,” Gibson said. “Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine are all IPL superstars and we hope that the CPL, while producing more superstars, can produce people that can

get used to fierce competition,” he stated. The six players identified by Gibson are all regional franchise players for the Limacol CPL, which opens at Kensington Oval in

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

Barbados on July 30 with what is expected to be a spectacular opening ceremony, followed by the first game between Barbados Tridents and St Lucia Zouks. All told, 24 matches will be played across the six franchise countries of Barbados, Guyana, Antigua, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, before the tournament winds up at

Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad with the final on August 24. With an impressive array of regional and international stars decorating each side, heated rivalry is expected

throughout the Limacol CPL, and Gibson said this type of competition could only serve as a boost for West Indies cricket. “The one thing [I saw] watching the IPL this year is fierce competition. International sport is all about fierce competition, so hopefully the LCPL will produce more guys that are able to handle the pressure of that competition,” said Gibson. “Hopefully that is what the LCPL will do for West Indies cricket, as well as making a lot of [players] very comfortable financially.” Some of the biggest stars in international cricket – including Australian Ricky Ponting, Bangladeshi Shakibal Hasan, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor and Sri Lankan icon Muttiah Muralitharan – are among 90 players contracted to play in the CPL, with each franchise team comprising 15 players. (CPL)

TT rider elated with silver medal

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ational and Rigtech Sonics rider, Varun Maharaj continues to impress on the American endurance circuit, earning a silver medal on Saturday in the Men’s Omnium event at his first ever International Cycling Union (UCI) Grand Prix, at the Colorado Springs Velodrome. Maharaj was forced to endure two days of muscle-burning Omnium events and was pleased to have secured himself a spot on the US podium. The national rider concluded the opening day (last Friday) of racing tied on eight points with American Jake Duehring. However, the Duehring would get the

better of Maharaj on the second day to snatch the gold from the promising TT athlete. Speaking to Maharaj Sunday, the TT cyclists expressed pleasure with his most recent showing. “I feel good about my performance yesterday (Saturday). It would have felt better to win but it will come in due time. But to grab the runner-up spot in my first Grand Prix felt really great for me. My hard work is paying off.” Over the past two months, the national endurance rider has been training at the Valley Preferred Cycling Centre in Pennsylvania, under the expert tutelage of double-Olympic medallist, Erin Hartwell of

the US. The youngster admitted that his time in the US thus far has significantly boosted his athletic development. On Hartwell, Maharaj stated: “That guy is like a good luck charm. Any time I train with him I see great results. If I qualify for the World Cups, I’d really like for him to come with me as my coach or instructor.” Like Olympian Njisane Phillip, Team Drive Phase Sport athletes Quincy Aleaxander, Justin Roberts, Haseem McLean and Jovian Gomez, Maharaj is intent on contesting several other international meets in an effort to bag precious UCI points. (TT Newsday)

ighteen year-old strongman and recent Pan-American Guyanese gold medalist Gumendra Shewdas in the 53kg sub-junior class has made himself the favourite going into the World Sub-Juniors/ Juniors Championships from August 25 to September 1 in Killeen, Texas, U.S.A. The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) in its recently released lineup of sub-juniors competing for the world title has seven of the world’s best U-18 lifters listed with their best totals achieved within the last twelve months and Shewdas leads the list. Shewdass’ old total of 477kgs, posted in February, was bettered by his Pan-American total of 497.5kgs. It is being touted by the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) that if Shewdass keeps improving he will give Guyana its second world title. The feat was first achieved by Winston Stoby in the Masters category. In a release from the GAPF on Monday evening, it stated it has exhausted its funds on

Gumendra Shewdas

the Caribbean and PanAmerican Championships and therefore significant corporate financing is needed to make Shewdass’ participation at the meet a reality. Shewdass is in his last year as a sub-junior and can bring glory to Guyana and his hometown of Corriverton. His expenses have been tagged at US$1700 for airfare, meals, accommodation, competition and drug testing fees. Shewdass also became the second powerlifter from Guyana to be selected for the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA)/Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) whereabouts programmes requiring him to be on 24-hour no-

tice for international outof-competition/in-competition-testing. Randolph Morgan is the other powerlifter. Powerlifting remains the only sport discipline in the country whose athletes are on the WADA’s drug testing programme ADAMS. No lifter has been tested positive to date. World Sub-Juniors top lifters 1. Gumendras Shewdas GUYANA 477.5kgs - (Best total posted recently 497.5kgs) 2. Dalton La Coe USA 455.0kgs 3. Azamat Asultanov RUSSIA 442.5kgs 4. Kazuma Arai JAPAN 435.0kgs 5. Alexei Kulakov RUSSIA 432.5kgs 6. Tetsuharu Katsuta JAPAN 405.0kgs 7. Erick Aguilar ECUADOR 377.5kgs

Mullings, Binnie triumph at All Jamaica Squash Championships

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oung squash sensation Alyssa Mullings made history and blazing Chris Binnie continued his dominance as the 2013 All Jamaica Senior Squash Championships wrapped up over the weekend. Fourteen-year-old Mullings rewrote the record-books by becoming the youngest female to win the Senior title. The reigning All Jamaica and Caribbean Under-15 champion beat arch-rival Mary Mahfood 11/8, 11/3, 11/8, to reach the winner's circle. In claiming the top prize, Mullings erased the 26-year-old record previously held by squash queen Karen Anderson, who won her first title at 16. "I'm a bit surprised to have won," Mullings said. "The senior competition is much tougher than the juniors, but I have been putting in a lot of hard work and it's great to see it paying off." In the men's competition, top seed Chris Binnie blew through the field to take his third consecutive All Jamaica title and his fourth overall. Binnie, who currently competes on the professional squash tour, flew into the island to defend

Newly crowned All Jamaica Senior Squash Champions Alyssa Mullings (left) and Chris Binnie (right) pose with Julette Hosang, Hi-Lyte brand manager, after receiving their trophies following the finals of the championship, which was held on the weekend at the Liguanea Club. (Jamaica Observer photo)

his title. Throughout the competition, the effects of his rigorous training and high level play were evident, and Binnie needed just about half hour to beat Bruce Burrowes, 11/7, 11/1, 11/6 and put another notch on his belt. "It's always great to win a tournament, but it's particularly special to win the All Jamaica because it gives me a chance to stamp my authority on the game here at home," Binnie said. "I didn't take anything for granted coming into this competition. There were some tough matches and strong opponents, and I'm looking forward to coming back next year

to defend this title again," he added. In the Men's Division B the title went to David Mullings, while junior player Sarah Conway won the Ladies B Division. All Jamaica Under-15 boys champion Tahjay Lumley took the title in the Men's C Division, and Yasser Wright won the Men's D Division. Gerry Wight was the winner of the Over 40 Men's competition; while Noel McKrieth claimed the Over 50 Men's title. Record-breaker Alyssa Mullings was the most outstanding female, while her brother David Mullings was the most outstanding male. (Jamaica Observer)


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Powell, Simpson not under investigation despite failed drug tests

Asafa Powell (at left) and Sherone Simpson (Jamaica Observer file photos)

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edia reports that former world record holder Asafa Powell and his MVP teammate Sherone Simpson were under investigations by Italian police for breaches of the country’s anti-doping laws were Wednesday strongly denied by handlers of the athletes. When contacted, Tara Playfair-Scott, Powell’s publicist appeared surprised by the news. “Under investigations for what,” she responded. Playfair-Scott told Jamaican media that she spoke to the sprinter (Powell) earlier Wednesday and he had no contact with

the Italian police since Sunday. In response to a failed drug tests by Powell and Simpson, both of who are his clients, Paul Doyle had contacted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and initiated a raid on the room of Chris Xuereb the trainer he had hired to work with Powell. Xuereb was on Sunday detained briefly by police but was subsequently released and according to Doyle has since left the Italian town. Both Powell and Simpson failed drug tests at the JAAA National Senior Championships

after their samples returned traces of the banned ‘oxilofrine’ (methylsynephrine) following the respective 100m finals on June 21 at the National Stadium. The athlete’s representatives also shot down reports Tuesday that police had raided the rooms occupied by the athletes at the Lignano, Italy base MVP has used for years. Meanwhile, contrary to persistent rumors, multiple relay Jamaican gold medallist Nesta Carter has not failed a drugs test and is preparing for upcoming meets, including the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia next month, his agent Adrian Laidlaw told Jamaican media on Tuesday. Carter, who ran a season's best 9.87 seconds to win a 100m race in Madrid, Spain on Saturday, making him the fastest Jamaican man this year and second only to under fire American sprinter Tyson Gay, was linked in several international media houses with failed drugs tests starting on Sunday. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

Trinidad down Honduras to seal Gold Cup quarter-final place

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Kevin Molino (centre) celebrates his goal against Honduras

rinidad and Tobago clinched a place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals, defeating 10-man Honduras 2-0 on Monday at BBVA Compass Stadium. Kenwyne Jones and Kevin Molino scored second-half goals in the triumph. Despite the setback, the Hondurans still finished at the top of the Group B table with six points. Even though Trinidad and El Salvador finished level on points at four apiece and goal difference, the Caribbean side took second due to scoring more goals (4-3). With a spot in the knockout phase already assured, Honduras (2-

0-1) opted to rest regulars Andy Najar, Rony Martinez, Roger Rojas and goalkeeper Donis Escober against the Soca Warriors. Alajuelense striker Jerry Palacios saw his first action of the tournament. Trinidad also made changes of its own, presenting a more attack oriented team with Molino and Cornell Glenn being named in the starting eleven. Kenwyne Jones was handed the captain’s armband in place of Densill Theobold and took the responsibility to heart, playing with vigor and a sense of urgency. The Stoke City forward was in the thick of things as Trinidad

looked for an early goal. In the first 20 minutes Jones had two chances that went close, heading over the crossbar and shooting the other just wide of the target. His best opportunity came in 33rd minute, when he was in alone on advancing goalkeeper Kevin Hernandez, but failed to push the ball past him. Palacios thought his 29th minute volley had given Honduras the lead, but he was adjudged to be offside. The odds for Trinidad got even better in the 37th minute when Jose Velasquez was sent off for his tackle from behind on Cornell Glen, reducing Honduras to 10 men. Two minutes into the second half, the Soca Warriors took advantage of the extra man as they were awarded a penalty kick. Glen was pushed down in the penalty area and Jones stepped up to power the ensuing spot kick past Hernandez to give Trinidad a 1-0 lead. Molino doubled Trinidad’s advantage in the 66th minute, collecting a cross from Jones inside the six- yard box and placing past Hernandez. (CONCACAF)

Windies level series with 37-run win over Pakistan

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West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine receives his Man-of-the-Match award from Guyana’s Sport Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony

he crowd may not have been large as Sunday, but patrons certainly left the Guyana National Stadium on Tuesday afternoon dancing, waving and shouting the names of those who came in for much condemnation and criticism just 24 hours prior to the coin toss. After being bamboozled by Shahid Afridi’s allround heroics in the first ODI, crumbling for 98 and losing by a whopping 126 runs, the West Indies promised to bounce back, and that they did, beating Pakistan by 37 runs to level the series, which now heads to St Lucia for the remaining three games. When the home side lost Chris Gayle in the opening over to the towering Mohammad Irfan, a repeat of Sunday’s capitulation seemed in the making, but the mystery came back in Sunil Narine, who led a performance headlined by a Trinidad and Tobago quartet to give West Indies a morale boosting win. A target of 233 was always going to be tricky on a surface offering some

assistance to the bowlers, and when Pakistan were dismissed for 195 with 13 balls to spare, it proved that West Indies had put enough on the tins to reverse their for-

tunes in the series. The two teams now head to St Lucia for the remainder of the ODI series, with match three set for Friday. (Guyana Times)

Blake out World Champs

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nagging hamstring injury has forced defending World 100 metres champion Yohan Blake to withdraw from the August 10-18 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Agent Cubie Seegobin says that although Blake has made "vast improvement" since injuring the leg in April, he needs more time to fully recover. "This decision was

made after continual assessment and re-evaluations since his withdrawal from the Jamaican Senior Championships," Seegobin told skysports. com. "Yohan has made vast improvement, although the injury sustained in April of this year has prevented him from attaining the necessary fitness levels that we have grown accustomed to seeing in his competition performances."

Blake qualified for the August meet by winning the event at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Last year, Blake ran the 100 metres in 9.69 seconds, equalling United States sprinter Tyson Gay as the second-fastest man in history behind Usain Bolt. A fit Blake would have been one of the favourites for the gold medal in Moscow. (Jamaica Gleaner)


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

INTERNATIONAL WEEK ENDING JULY 18, 2013

Youngest player in Limacol CPL out to prove his worth

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ost 17-year-olds in Trinidad and Tobago are either preparing for, or hoping to soon celebrate the completion of A level exams; others are considering which university to attend, while some youngsters’ concept of forward planning consists of organising whatever fete is scheduled for Friday night. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas Pooran however, doesn’t have time to think about any of these things as he is too busy working on achieving some major career breakthroughs. One of these is representing his country’s team at the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League alongside cricket talents such as fellow Trinidadian Dwayne Bravo and franchise player Ross Taylor. “Any 17-year-old who has been given an opportunity such as this would grasp it with both hands and that’s

what I plan to do,” says the ambitious young wicketkeeper batsman. Truth be told, Pooran is always ready to make Trinidad and Tobago proud, whether it is playing against other West Indian players like Chris Gayle or his fellow countryman Kieron Pollard. The Limacol CPL is Pooran’s opportunity to make his mark on the cricket arena under the watchful eyes of people around the region and the world. Although he is the youngest player in the tournament, Pooran is no stranger to regional competition. He has represented his country in the Regional Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 competitions and was also a member of the Trinidad and Tobago school boys’ Under-18 squad which won the International School Cricket Premier League Twenty20 competition.

He also emerged from the 2012 Under-19 competition in Barbados as the leading glove man, snaring 14 dismissals in five matches during the three-day format. More importantly, Pooran announced his arrival on the senior stage earlier this year with a handsome unbeaten 33 on Regional Super50 debut for Trinidad and Tobago in a 14-run victory over Windward Islands, and while he had only meagre returns in his remaining three games, his promise remained evident. Pooran’s first opportunity to play will come on July 31 when the Red Steel face the Guyana Amazon Warriors at Providence Stadium. (CPL)

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Nicholas Pooran


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