Page 1

Documentary captures cultural revival among descendants of Caribbean natives and slaves Page 23 THE BEACON OF TRUTH



PM Portia calls for diaspora members to invest in Jamaica

CN $1.00

WEEK ENDING June 20, 2013

UN praises Guyana for halving hunger T

he United Nations bodies in Guyana have commended the government on its achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number one – to halve the proportion of hungry people. Guyana is among 38 countries which have met internationally-established targets in the fight against hunger, ahead of a 2015 deadline.

Within the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Guyana and St Vincent and the Grenadines are the only two member states which have satisfied the goal. Guyana’s progress was measured between 1990-92 and 2010-2012, against benchmarks established by the international community at the UN General Assembly in 2000. (See full story on page 5)

TT’s email probe…

Page 10 Minister of Foreign Affairs A.J. Nicholson (2nd left) cuts the ribbon to open the Diaspora Marketplace, a new feature at the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference 2013, which ended on Wednesday evening at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, Jamaica. Assisting Senator Nicholson (from right) are: State Minister in the Ministry of Industry Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams; Minister of Industry Anthony Hylton; Conference Co-ordinator, Lisa O’Gilvie and Chairman of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference Preparatory Committee Mr. Richard Powell. (JIS photo)

U.S. IT expert says it’s forgery

Page 11


NEWS | week ending June 20, 2013

Jamaica/TT joint working group ironing out CAL issues - Guyana, TT in talks about airline’s increased fares


joint working group is to examine the possibility and scope for dual branding for Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL). Jamaica’s Transport Minister, Dr Omar Davies met Tuesday with Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Investments, Vasant Bharath, to discuss a number of concerns in relation to the airline. A release from the transport ministry stated that the discussions dealt with CAL’s arrears to Jamaican entities, its Jamaican operations and employment policies. The Jamaican government had threatened to withdraw the Air Jamaica brand from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) following widespread reports that the carrier would be reducing the number of daily flights to Jamaica.

The ministry reported Tuesday that Dr Davies pointed out that the question of marketing and airlift were very important to Jamaica’s diaspora and the tourism sector and needed to be addressed. It was then agreed that the joint working group would be reconvened to address these issues and examine the possibility and scope for dual branding. It was also agreed that communication between the Jamaican and Trinidadian authorities would be strengthened to improve coordination and information flow for the future development of the airline. In relation to matters of union representation and the hiring of Jamaicans, Bharath committed to holding dialogue with his country’s national security minister to address the concerns.

The Jamaican government had threatened to withdraw the Air Jamaica brand from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines after widespread reports that the carrier would be reducing the number of daily flights to Jamaica

He reportedly indicated that the airline intended to further integrate Jamaican expertise into its operations and were looking to hire pilots and cabin crew. As it relates to CAL’s arrears, it was acknowledged that there have been significant improvements in payments since December, with a commitment made to pay outstanding sums by the end of June. Meanwhile, in light of the recent hike in CAL’s

airfares, the Guyana and Trinidad tourism ministries are currently engaged in discussions to iron out the issue. Recently, the Tourism Ministry in Guyana had issued a statement expressing disappointment with the recent increases in ticket prices. In the release to the media, Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali had said that the government is extremely dissatisfied with the random increases in prices for tickets.

He noted too that CAL’s position in the Guyana market should have been looked at from a responsible corporate perspective and not as an opportunity to collect profits as a result of the high demand in the Guyana market. Subsequent to this, Caribbean Times International sought a telephone interview with Caribbean Airlines communications head, Clint Williams who explained that low fares are always

available but it is simply a matter of booking early. He explained that the summer period is always peak season and by this time, most of the low fares are booked well in advance, so persons who wish to travel now are finding it difficult to secure reasonable prices. “With such demands, it’s difficult to get low airfares,” he stressed. Williams also said fares depend on persons’ destinations as well. He noted that persons who would have booked their tickets from last year or early this year are currently travelling at low prices. Williams said CAL had been urging persons to book their tickets early, since this is a frequent dilemma. He disclosed that securing low airfares is not only a problem being faced by Guyanese, but TT nationals as well. He said CAL always has its customers’ interests at heart. Caribbean Airlines had taken up the slack and added flights since the exit of EZjet last year and Delta earlier this year.

Mia Mottley criticises removal of Barbados top cop


pposition Leader in Barbados Mia Mottley has described as “unprece-

dented”, the manner in which the country’s Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin was sent on leave, pending his retirement in the public interest. Media reports said that the Police Service Commission (PSC) took the decision on Monday and has since named Assistant Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith to act as interim head of the police service. Dottin has not commented on the PSC decision. “In my view it is an assault on one of the key institutions that is required to protect our democracy and our people. It is disconcerting that the people of Barbados would learn of this development as an unsourced story on radio. “Both the prime minister and the attorney general have a duty to come urgently and explain to the people of Barbados no later than today (Tuesday) why the Commissioner has

Darwin Dottin (Nation News file photo)

been so shabbily treated after the Force was showered with praise only last week for a job well done,” she said in a statement. Dottin, 63, has been head of the police service in Barbados for the past nine months and Mottley said the announcement of his removal was unprecedented in the history of modern Barbados. “This is another aspect of the rapidly emerging Barbados with a type of leadership

to which we are not accustomed and which we cannot fathom.” Mottley said the planned national consultation on the economy, scheduled for June 27, should also be used to discuss “the alarming rate of decline at all levels and in all spheres in the country. “Bajans simply feel that Barbados today is on the wrong track and moving in the wrong direction,” she said in her statement. (CMC)


week ending June 20, 2013 |

Rowley’s ‘secret’ meeting stirs controversy in TT P

rime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar is asking whether Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley can be charged for misbehaviour in public office. She did so as she kicked off the election campaign in the Chaguanas West constituency on Monday night. Addressing supporters at Felicity, Persad-Bissessar declared that Nomination Day for the July 29 byelection would be July 8. She urged her troops to band together under the UNC’s logo and to not get distracted by the machinations of the PNM. Launching a scathing attack on Rowley, Persad-Bissessar said Rowley’s meeting with the head of the Integrity Commission, Ken Gordon, on May 15, was a violation of the commission’s rules. The meeting took place at Gordon’s home, five days before Rowley revealed 31 e-mails in Parliament which alleged wrongdoing on the part of Persad-Bissessar and two of her Cabinet ministers. However, PersadBissessar said this was

a ploy to embarrass the government. “Dr Rowley was reckless and has compromised the office of the chairman of the Integrity Commission,” the PM said. “He misled the chairman of the IC. He lured him into a trap. He misrepresented the nature of his business as something that was so urgent that it could not wait until the following morning. “He met with Gordon on May 15 and the motion of no-confidence debate did not start until May 20. This means that Dr Rowley had more than sufficient time to make a proper inquiry via a letter to the registrar of the Integrity Commission in accordance with the usual practice and procedure.” Saying this ‘secret’ meeting should not be taken lightly, PersadBissessar said: “This strikes at the very heart of our system of governance and the independence of our institutions in this country. I am of the view that the Opposition Leader acted improperly and in breach of established conventions.” She then

asked her supporters whether Rowley should not be charged for misconduct in public office. Meanwhile, Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal said the “secret” meeting might have been inappropriate, and even foolish, but it does not reach the level of misconduct in public office, according to the law. “It might reach the level of foolishness but not every foolish action amounts to a crime,” Seetahal said Tuesday in response to questions on the matter. Outlining, strictly from a criminal law perspective, the arguments for her position that the meeting did not amount to misconduct in public life, Seetahal began with a definition of such misconduct. “The proposed defendant must be a public official and be shown to have wilfully neglected to perform a duty. He must be shown to have wilfully misconducted himself and to such a degree to amount to an abuse of public trust.” Focusing on the ‘wilful misconduct’ aspect, Seetahal said: “He must be seen to deliberately do

something that is wrong, either knowing to be so, or with reckless indifference about whether it is wrong. So what did Rowley do? What did he do that was, in law, so wrong? Or was he so reckless he didn’t care if it was wrong? And if he

did wrong, was it to such a degree to amount to an abuse of public trust?” She said it might have been inappropriate for Rowley to meet Gordon at his home. Answering her own questions, Seetahal said, “From all that I’ve read

and heard, I think Dr Rowley and Mr Gordon exercised bad judgment. People might think he was careless but may not see it as something so wrong as to violate public trust. But their action does not seem to cross to ‘misconduct’.”


Views | week ending June 20, 2013

To contact: Caribbean Times International Unit 12, 680 Rexdale Blvd., Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario M9WOB5 Advertising: 647 990 7438/416 450 1672 Email:


CPL: It’s our time to shine


hat is expected to be cricket’s biggest showpiece – the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will bowl off next month, bringing tremendous economic and other benefits to Guyana and the region. The tournament replaces the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament and is somewhat patterned off the Indian Premier League (IPL) model of the game, where money is generated and some of it is pumped back into the development and expansion of the sport. The sheer magnitude of this event will help to strategically align Guyana, as the country will be featured in the extensive marketing and promotion of the CPL in the Caribbean and the wider world. Already, Guyana’s CPL franchise was acquired by the NEW GPC/Limacol and the other five franchise countries are soon expected to do same. The excitement is building and cricket-loving fans all over are looking forward to witnessing and participating in this massive event. There is also a huge Guyanese diaspora in the U.S., UK, Canada and other parts of the world who are eagerly awaiting this opportunity to return home to be part of this celebration. As pointed out by CPL Commercial Director Jamie Stewart, the CPL tournament could be used as a means of reconnecting with the Guyanese diaspora in the world, while re-establishing the Guyanese identity and the need for a rebirth of a new wave of celebrating “things Guyanese”. Additionally, one can only imagine the tremendous impact the CPL will have on Guyana’s economy and the economies of the region as a whole. It will stimulate growth, create jobs, and market Caribbean products and services to the rest of the world. Founder and Chairman of the CPL, Ajmal Khan, in detailing the massive economic benefits of the tournament, puts it nicely: “I have witnessed first-hand the resurgence and revitalisation of communities and even countries when new businesses and industries are introduced into their economies, particularly those with such global reach. I believe that the CPL will have a tremendous economic impact, not only for the six franchise countries, but also for the entire region. Benefits include international and regional travel to and around the Caribbean, hospitality, entertainment, transportation, and shopping. There will be significant advertising and marketing revenue, as we plan to make the CPL the biggest party on the planet, which will result in a significant boost in local employment opportunities surrounding the events.” Importantly, too, is that the CPL will provide a perfect opportunity to showcase not just Caribbean cricket, but our Caribbean lifestyle such as our dance, music, food, our flora and fauna, and our tourism potential in general. Guyana, in particular, has a unique tourism product to offer the world and this is our chance to package and market it the best way we can. In essence, the beauty of the various countries, our people, and their warmth will be on display for the world to see. Last week, CPL announced that a weekly television programme – CPLT20 TV – will be on air from this month, featuring the six franchise countries where the T20 cricket tournament will be played. The CPLT20 show will also take viewers to the various countries and look back at some historic cricketing moments that made each of the territories unique. Of significance too is that the CPL provides an opportunity for domestic cricketers to be exposed to the new concept of T20 league cricket. We are also pleased that players will now be able to earn a decent living from their participation in the tournament. From all indications, 60 players, comprising 10 from each franchise, will be the beneficiaries of CPL developmental contracts. The idea behind this is to impact the lives of the players by giving them the opportunity to earn a decent living while honing their skills. In exchange for that, players will be expected to go out into the communities and be ambassadors of cricket. They will go into schools and underprivileged areas and talk about CPL and other issues in order to motivate and spread positive messages to the younger generation. This is necessary as part of the overall development of the game in the region. It is certainly the Caribbean’s time to shine and it is our hope that all stakeholders will utilise every opportunity available to capitalise on the direct and indirect benefits that will flow as a result of hosting this event. Let’s create an impression that will be the envy of the cricketing world.

Apprentices of the GuySuCo Training Centre dancing on stage to the Indian song “Rang Hai Nasheela”, during the 65th Enmore Martyrs’ Day commemoration on Sunday in Guyana (Carl Croker photo)

Caribbean could cover all electricity needs using renewable resources – IDB report


atin America and the Caribbean’s renewable energy endowment is large enough to cover its projected 2050 electricity needs 22 times over, according to a new report commissioned by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB). The report, ‘Rethinking our Energy Future’, argues that lower prices and new technologies are making renewables a viable alternative. Solar, geothermal, wave, wind and biomass sources in this region could produce up to 80 petawatthours of electricity. One petawatt-hour is equivalent to one trillion kilowatt-hour, roughly three times the amount of electricity Mexico consumes in one year. At present, Latin America generates 1.3 petawatt-hour. By 2050, demand is expected to grow to between 2.5 to 3.5 petawatt-hours. The report addresses a series of myths surrounding renewable energies, noting that several of these alternative technologies have become price competitive with conventional technologies, offer good investment opportunities and should be taken into consideration by policymakers aiming to diversify their national energy matrixes, reduce fuel supply vulnerabilities and cut greenhouse gas emissions. “Though Latin America uses more renewable energy than any other region in the world, it faces difficult

choices as it seeks to generate the electricity it needs to grow without harming the environment,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “Renewables are becoming a viable and attractive option that needs to be explored.” The report was presented on June 18 in Bogotá at the Global Green Growth Forum Latin America and the Caribbean (3GF LAC) to leaders from government, business, finance, civil society and international organisations gathered at the invitation of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Danish Prime Minister Helle ThorningSchmidt, and Moreno. Public-private partnerships “With this study, we seek to promote concrete action and public-private partnerships, by putting into perspective the magnitude of available renewable sources, outlining their boarded benefits and illustrating policy options,” said Walter Vergara, head of the IDB’s Climate Change Division and lead author of the report. In 2012, global investments in alternative renewable technologies (solar, wind, geothermal, ocean, small-scale hydropower and advanced bio-energy) and traditional hydropower amounted to US$244 billion, of which Latin America represented a modest 5.4 per cent. To tap into its vast potential, the region must modernise its policy and

regulatory frameworks and scale up investments. While investments in renewable energy have been limited so far, the study argues that major new developments are underway in Latin America. Wind is the fastest growing non-traditional renewable source in the region. Mexico is the fifth largest producer of geothermal energy in the world and Colombia, Panama and Ecuador are exploring their own resources. Biomass, solar and wind are increasingly being used in Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina and Chile. The study concludes that, regardless how each country may shape its energy policy, increasing the penetration and use of non-traditional renewables makes sense for Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB supports programmes to improve energy efficiency, foster cross-border energy integration, and diversify the energy matrix by sustainably exploiting renewable and non-renewable energy sources. At present, the IDB is financing large-scale wind farms, solar power systems for rural areas, biofuel facilities that co-generate electricity and programmes to promote efficient lighting. It also supports retrofitting hydroelectric facilities with more efficient turbines and ensuring that new dams and natural gas projects meet stricter social and environmental standards.



week ending June 20, 2013 |

UN praises Guyana for halving hunger T

he United Nations’ bodies in Guyana have commended the government on its achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number one – to halve the proportion of hungry people. Guyana is among 38 countries which have met internationally-established targets in the fight against hunger, ahead of a 2015 deadline. Within the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Guyana and St Vincent and the Grenadines are the only two member states which have satisfied the goal. Guyana’s progress was measured between 1990-92 and 2010-2012, against benchmarks established by the international community at the UN General Assembly in 2000.

Ending hunger

In addition, they have also met the more stringent World Food Summit (WFS) goal, having reduced by half the absolute number of undernourished people between 1990-92 and

2010-2012. The WFS goal was set in 1996 when 180 nations met at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters in Rome to discuss ways to end hunger. On Sunday, Guyana and the other countries were honoured at a highlevel award ceremony at FAO headquarters in Rome in recognition of their achievement, during the week-long meeting of the FAO Conference, the organisation’s highest governing body. Receiving the award on Guyana’s behalf were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett. “Guyana’s outstanding achievement in meeting these targets has been, in no small measure, due to its commitment to investment in the agriculture sector as well as to regional food security,” the UN system in Guyana said in a statement. “FAO is pleased to have partnered with the government in its efforts

has achieved this target well ahead of 2015, there are still challenges in ensuring that all children, especially those in greatest need, are able to grow up healthy and well nourished. He stated that UNICEF remains committed to working in partnership with the government of Guyana to ensure that every child can receive the nutrition needed for a healthy and promising future.

Collaborative programmes

FAO representative in Guyana, Dr Lystra Fletcher-Paul

and will continue to work closely with them, and other development partners, to eradicate hunger and promote food and nutrition security, not only in the country, but also the wider Caribbean,” the FAO representative in Guyana, Dr Lystra Fletcher-Paul said. UNICEF Guyana

and Suriname representative Dr Suleiman Braimoh indicated that Guyana’s achievement of the MDG Goal One target is a significant step in positively impacting the lives of children, since a disproportionate share of the burden of poverty often falls on them. Although Guyana

Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation (PAHO/ WHO) Representative to Guyana Adrianus Vlugman stated that the organisation “is proud to have collaborated with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture to significantly improve the nutrition levels of especially the vulnerable groups, including children”. The collaborative programmes include the Grow More Food campaign to improve food security, the Basic Nutrition Programme, breast feeding support

strategies, and the national School Feeding Programme, especially the successful implementation of the St Ignatius School Farm. Vlugman affirmed that PAHO/WHO remain committed to continuous collaboration with the government in not only food security and nutrition, but also to address non-communicable diseases, strengthening of the health sector, combating infectious and vector-related diseases, and disaster preparedness and response. According to the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 report, the vast majority of the hungry, 852 million, live in developing countries – around 15 per cent of their population – while 16 million people are undernourished in developed countries. Globally, food insecurity today is largely conditioned by a lack of access to the resources or services needed by families to produce, purchase, or otherwise obtain enough nutritious food.


News | week ending June 20, 2013

Jamaican diaspora conference draws record numbers


Artist Jeffrey Perry creating a masterpiece in the ‘Things Jamaican’ display area of the conference (VisitJamaica photo)

he fifth biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference got underway in Montego Bay on Sunday, with a record 700 participants in attendance. These included local and overseas delegates, speakers, exhibitors and journalists. The record turnout was in keeping with the predictions of the ministry of foreign affairs and foreign trade that this year’s conference would be the biggest and best yet. Also, it is an endorsement of the efforts of the planning committee to transform the event, which has been recalibrated, re-packaged and re-branded, with a change in the event logo, and intensified marketing. State minister in the ministry, Arnaldo Brown, in his remarks at the opening ceremony, said there is no doubt that progress has been made since the first staging of the diaspora conference in 2004. He said the nation’s engagement with the diaspora is becoming more refined and better suited to its purpose. “With the increasing involvement of Jamaicans at home in projects initiated in the diaspora, we are moving closer to the type of framework, which the experts agree is the essence of a vibrant and effective diaspora/homeland partnership,” he stated. Brown said that having attended diaspora conferences in other countries, and having analysed other homeland/diaspora partnerships, he is of the view that Jamaica has all the essential elements for an extremely successful partnership with its diaspora. He expressed the view that the time is ripe to

provide more support to all aspects of the diaspora organisation, including an implementation process for recommendations put forward at the conference. “For this purpose, we propose to establish the diaspora implementation council, post conference,” he said. Brown stated that this “purposeful collaboration” will not make Jamaica a place that people will admire significantly more than they do now, but it will also make Jamaicans everywhere proud, while leaving a legacy for future generations. This year’s conference was held under the theme: ‘A Nation on a mission: Jamaica – Diaspora Partnership for Development’ and sought to build on the legacy of Jamaica50, by exploring defined opportunities for the diaspora to expand their business interest in Jamaica through increased trade and investment, large and small. It was particularly focused on trade and investment, as well as broadening the diaspora’s contribution to health and education. Member of Parliament Edmund Bartlett, who represented the leader of the opposition, Andrew Holness, at the opening ceremony, said that he believes the caucus is timely, as there is a need for “all hands to be on deck, and every shoulder to be put to the wheel”. “We must endeavour to harness the efforts of stakeholders near and far, forge enduring partnerships and build consensus, as we pursue actions in the present that will further propel our nation towards prosperity and the economic independence we desire,” he stated. (JIS)



week ending June 20, 2013 |

UG seals landmark cooperation pact with UK’s Lancashire University


s part of efforts to further strengthen and formalise collaboration between the University of Guyana (UG) and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Tuesday, with the aim of undertaking several new initiatives. The pact will see more opportunities for students of both universities as well as UG staff. The memorandum was signed at UG’s Education Lecture Theatre by UG Vice Chancellor, Dr Jacob Opadeyi and UCLan Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Dave Phoenix. It covers four key areas: a new UG/UCLan Centre for Biodiversity and Environment, a Climate Change International Conference in Guyana, staff development, and student exchange programmes.

Innovative model

The centre is anticipated to serve as a sus-

tainable and innovative model that will ensure future generations retain natural resources and benefit from them. The third International Conference on Social, Political and Technology Dimensions of Climate Change is expected to be held in September 2014 or 2015, and will draw many delegates to Guyana from around the world. The staff development programme will see UG staff being further educated at UCLan while lending their services to the university, so that when they return they will be highly qualified. The student exchange programme will see students from UG and UCLan travelling to the partner university to study and enhance their international experience. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Opadeyi said the Memorandum of Understanding will provide an outline that will

Jamaica to join Caribbean in banning smoking in public places

Jamaica’s Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson (Jamaica Observer file photo)


amaica intends on joining its Caribbean C o m m u n i t y (Caricom) partners in banning smoking in public areas and the workplace. So far, the legislation exists in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname and Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson, says he will be seeking the assistance of local and international partners, including the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), in the effort to reduce tobacco use in Jamaica. He said the Portia Simpson Miller administration is seeking to table the Tobacco Control Act, which will protect citizens from the harmful effects of tobacco smoking, by prohibiting its use in public areas and workplaces. “When it takes place, I will be calling upon PAHO and other institutions for support because we are up against a very

powerful industry and it is going to require allies, local and international, in going forward,” Ferguson said, adding that the government is determined to ban public smoking, even while the tobacco industry brings to the table, significant tax revenue for the country. “I heard their financial statements only a week ago… almost Ja$6.5 billion profit. But, whatever that might be, I am saying at the back-end, we are fighting to put in place a strategic plan (2013/2018) for non communicable diseases (NCDs). “When we come to recognise that it is costing the country some US$170 million annually to deal with the NCDs, it is very clear in my mind that we have a responsibility,” he added. Statistics from the 2008 Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey show that by the age of 16 years, 19 per cent of smokers had initiated the habit and 14.5 per cent smoke cigarettes, while 13.5 per cent admit to marijuana use. Figures provided by the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) reveal that approximately 80,000 young people across the world become addicted to tobacco each day and if trends continue, an estimated 250 million children and young people will die as a result of tobacco-related illnesses. (Jamaica Observer)

UG Vice Chancellor Dr Jacob Opadeyi and UCLan Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Dave Phoenix signing the MoU

guide the partnership which commenced several months ago. He expressed pleasure at the signing, adding that noteworthy plans have already been identified that should bear fruit within the next five years.

Landmark development

UG Pro Chancellor, Dr Prem Misir said he

believes that the partnership between the two universities will be a “sustainable landmark development” for Guyana. UCLan Dean, Dr Akintola Akintoye also stated that the initiative is important for the development of both universities and countries as

well. “We have had a lot of deliberations in the last few months... we have been looking forward to this opportunity to come in here and meet with our colleagues and to come with concrete agreements... in terms what we want to achieve and the kind of road map

in the way that we are going to go about that.” The person responsible for the key venture and one of the greatest benefactors of UG, UCLan Professor Dr Jaipaul Singh underscored that although he left his homeland 40 years ago, his heart has always been in Guyana. “I’ve always want to do something, especially when I come back and see young kids who want really good education.” Dr Singh disclosed that he desires to see solid post graduate research training in Guyana, noting that the resources are available in the country to do so. He said in light of the agreement, he hopes that after a few years, Guyana will set up its own graduate school, so Guyanese will not have to spend excessive money to go abroad, but will be able to do their post- graduate studies in their own country. (Guyana Times)

Grenada’s PM optimistic about new economy P rime minister of Grenada, Dr Keith Mitchell, is confident that the “new economy” being created by his New National Party (NNP) government will spur economic growth and development. Mitchell painted a picture of his government’s plans to transform the economy, which has been contracting over the past five years, as he spoke to fellow heads of the Eastern Caribbean at the 57th meeting of the OECS Authority, held recently in St John’s, Antigua. He said, that the “new economy” outlines clear strategy directions for pursuing economic stabilisation, growth and economic transformation. Improving the investment climate, improving the VAT system, stimulating the construction and manufacturing sectors, agriculture and fisheries development, energy development, trade and export development, the enhancement of information communications technology and the development of micro, small and medium size enterprises are the main areas being targeted in the new thrust. The government is confident that it has won

the trust of the people, who Mitchell indicated, will be very much involved in the birth of the “new economy”. “The emphasis is reducing the size of government. We have no choice, but at the same time allowing government to be an enabler, by promoting and developing an Institutional framework and incentives that promote economic growth and busi-

ness opportunities,” he pointed out. Mitchell told his fellow prime ministers and other dignitaries at the OECS Authority meeting, that his government is working assiduously to transform and build a robust economy, with emphasis on reducing high unemployment and spurring economic growth. Government officials are confident that

Dr Keith Mitchell (GIS photo)

the struggling economy will finally stabilise and grow by at least 1.5% in 2013. (GIS)


News | week ending June 20, 2013

PNM picks young farmer for Chaguanas West T

wenty-fouryear-old farmer Avanish Singh is the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) prospective candidate for the Chaguanas West byelection in Trinidad and Tobago. The Chaguanas West seat became vacant on May 10, after Jack Warner resigned as MP. This means the by-election had to take place before August 8. Warner also resigned as minister of national security and as UNC chairman on April 21. Monday afternoon at Balisier House, Singh and Krishna Ramkissoon were screened to be the prospective candidates. Singh, of Felicity, is the Youth and Policy Officer of the Section 34 Group. He is a University of the West Indies graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Agri-science and has a certificate of completion for participation in international work for the roll out of agricultural risk management on training material. His family boasts of the largest amount of farmers in the country and grows crops such as sweet potatoes and hot peppers. Singh addressed PNM supporters and approximately 40 members of the Section 34 Group, saying he was proud to represent the PNM on July 29. “I put myself up for this honourable insti-


Chaguanas farmer Avanish Singh celebrates Monday night with supporters after being selected as the People’s National Movement’s choice to contest the Chaguanas West by-election on July 29. (Andy Hypolite/TT Guardian photo)

tution of the PNM with the fundamentals to core which I will honour on July 29. On the 30th we bring home the Chaguanas West constituency. I will bring to you youth...not youth only with a passion but with purpose. It is an honour to be the people’s prospective candidate for the PNM and start the change this country is dying for. Let it be known the next prime minister is the honourable Dr Keith Christopher Rowley,” he said. “For those of you who are on the fence, who are undecided, open your eyes to the ails that you have been facing under

the current regime. I am the individual about to change that as the candidate and all of us shall be benefitting from our resources. Not just one or two in a cabal,” he said. PNM's party chairman Franklin Khan said Singh was an experienced farmer and prominent businessman in Chaguanas.

PM on by-election

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in her address Monday night during the UNC Monday Night Forum in Felicity, said the People’s Partnership had agreed to field only a UNC candidate for the seat. “Our party is yet to

decide on who will represent you in this election. There are many who are seeking the nomination, including your former MP. And as I have said before we will follow the party rules and its constitution to select your candidate,” PersadBissessar said. She said those wishing to contest this byelection should file their nominations in accordance with the UNC Constitution at the Rienzi Complex on or before Friday 21st June 2013, no later than 4 pm. She also said screening will take place during the week of June 24, 2013. (TT Guardian)

Barbados to raise unfair trading practice before COTED


arbados says it will raise with the Caribbean Community Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), a situation involving the production of beers in the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). I n d u s t r y , International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Minister, Donville Inniss, in an interview with the Advocate newspaper in Barbados, said that multinational corporations (MNCs) in the OECS were producing items and then benefitting from lower duties when those products enter the country. He said the beer industry in the sub-region was benefitting from lower duties because of a Caricom arrangement which gives special treatment to the OECS.

Arthur warns of threats to nation building in the Caribbean

Those countries are categorised as Less Developed Countries (LDCs) whereas Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, are classified as More Developed Countries (MDCs). Inniss said the companies manufacturing those beverages have pockets that are deeper than the main beverage company in Barbados and the matter would be brought to COTED, which handles trade disputes among Caricom countries. “We are currently gathering our information in Barbados to see how best we can address this,” he said, adding “we cannot have a situation where companies in Barbados with shallow pockets are being forced to compete on playing fields not levelled, with companies located in the LDCs.”

The beer industry in the sub-region is benefitting from lower duties because of a Caricom arrangement which gives special treatment to the OECS, says Barbados International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Minister, Donville Inniss

Inniss told the newspaper that this issue of MDCs and LDCs has to be looked at “where some goods coming from the MDCs like Barbados are attracting a higher tariff rate in the LDCs, whereas it is not the same with goods coming from the LDCs into Barbados. “What troubles me is unfair competition… and I intend to raise it at my first COTED meeting.” He said “whilst for example, you may say a

product manufactured in Barbados should attract a 70 per cent rate of duty going into a Caribbean island, and a similar product from another Caribbean island coming into Barbados attracts a duty of 20 per cent, you look behind it and see that the ownership of that Eastern Caribbean country is actually a MNC with deep pockets and not that is owned by OECS concerns, then that is a reason for concern.” (CMC)

Owen Arthur (Dominica News Online photo)

ormer Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur is warning of social disintegration within the Caribbean if new lifestyles and consumption patterns promoted through globalisation, are allowed to go unchecked. Arthur gave the warning in an address at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Independence of The Bahamas, saying that it could also affect nation building in the region. Speaking on the topic, “The Philosophy of Nation Building”, Arthur, who is currently an Opposition MP, said that globalisation had exposed the typical Caribbean nation not just to new technological forces, but also to new cultural influences which are already beginning to shape the nature of the society in which we live. “In this respect, a new culture of excessive individualism, the notion of no limits on social behaviour and the exposure of the Caribbean people to lifestyles and consumption habits that bear no relationship to our resource endowment are already taking root among us,” he stated. “Unchecked, they will lead to social disintegration that will make nation building more difficult to attain,” he reasoned. Arthur who served as prime minister of Barbados between 1994 and 2008, said that nation building in the Caribbean must rest on philosophical underpinnings that appreciate the importance of an appropriate enterprise culture. “For the great challenge that confronts the Caribbean is to create an environment conducive to the expansion of existing enterprises and the creation of new ones,” he told the function. He maintained that another related chal-

lenge is to create an environment where enterprises can last more than one generation. The Opposition MP believes that an even greater philosophical challenge is to champion small businesses of today in the hope and expectation that they will become the big businesses of tomorrow. “In considering the forces which can promote and sustain nation building in Caribbean societies, I would certainly put a premium on the development and enhancement of the social capital,” Arthur said. He pointed out that the evidence is now overwhelming that the stock of a society’s social capital – the norms, interpersonal trust, its social networks and organisations which are created when groups and organisations develop the capacity to work together for mutually productive gain – makes the decisive gain as to whether a society transforms positively or not. The Barbados MP insisted that sustained investment in enriching the quality of the social capital in areas such as education, training and health, is a related imperative of nation building. He said as well that another important aspect of the philosophy of nation building must be its articulation of appropriate concepts and tools of development that can be pressed into service in the successful transformation of the respective societies. He suggested that the core business of nation building in the Caribbean must be the business of development, since the respective countries have all embarked on their independent journey from the starting point as underdeveloped societies. (Excerpt from Barbados Advocate)



week ending June 20, 2013 |

No place for rogue cops in Guyana -President Ramotar warns


he Police Officers’ Training Centre in Guyana was on Monday commissioned at an elaborate ceremony, during which both President Donald Ramotar and Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee gave stern warnings to rogue elements of the force. The building, at Camp Road and Young Street, Georgetown, the site at one time of the office of Minister Rohee, was constructed at a cost of Gy$158.4 million. According to Citizens’ Security Programme coordinator Anil Ramnauth, the building will add capacity to the Guyana Police Force

and will be fully utilised to improve the services provided by the organisation. In his feature address, President Ramotar expressed the government’s gratitude to the Inter-American Development Bank for its support in developing the country. He noted that training has an important effect, especially in the security forces, which play an integral role in the country’s development.

Upholding the law

Ramotar added that while police carry out traditional roles, they are being handed more responsibilities. “Today’s demands,

modern-day demands, are very huge because of the rapid development in the science and technology… it means that while our police and security forces at large will have to continue the traditional role of enforcing the law and upholding the law and capturing criminals etc, there are more added to them because of the changing world.” The president noted that crime has become more sophisticated, hence police officers should be more disciplined in dealing with activities such as money laundering, as well as drug and human trafficking. He explained that for the force to have effective policing, it needs to build its relationship with the community so that society can have confidence in the police and see them as friends with whom they can work in order to get justice.

Increased effectiveness

The new Police Officers’ Training Centre in Guyana

Ramotar also talked about the morality of police officers, noting that society is traumatised every time they hear about an officer being involved in criminal

President Donald Ramotar unveils the plaque at the newly-commissioned Police Officers’ Training Centre in the presence of Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, IDB Representative Sophie Makonnen, acting Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell, Assistant Commissioner George Vyphuis, and another officer (Carl Croker photo)

activities. He also called on officers to increase their effectiveness and to be more diligent and efficient in their work, so that there will not be such a large number of cases being thrown out in court, hence allowing criminals to be freed as a result of poor investigative work. In his address at the ceremony, Minister Rohee said while the Home Affairs Ministry is elated to hand over the training centre to the Guyana Police Force, there are still some con-

cerns lingering. He noted that the centre will facilitate a wide range of training programmes and should be utilised to its maximum. The minister pointed out that there is no room for “rogue” police officers, so there will be a higher standard of training. He stated that the facility will also complement training received overseas, while disclosing that several such training programmes have been initiated and will last throughout the year. “This training cen-

tre has been constructed not, because training courses for officers are being conducted, but the conditions under which they are being conducted that were not conducive to the standard consistent with a modern police force,” stated Rohee, adding that “it is expected that with the quality of training to be provided at the centre, citizens of Guyana will feel the difference in the quality of service provided by the Guyana Police Force”. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Jamaica’s Canada diaspora urges more focus on health tourism


ealth tourism is one of the most important, yet overlooked areas that Jamaica needs to place greater focus on, says Phillip Mascoll, executive member of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation. "Four and a half million people in the diaspora is not a joke. Health tourism is a market we seriously need to tap into," Mascoll said during Gleaner Editors' Forum on 'Engaging the Diaspora for Growth', held last Friday at the newspaper's Kingston offices. "I certainly don't want to spend my twilight

years in the cold. I would much prefer to spend it in Negril or Ocho Rios, but there are things you need to put in place. The fundamental right of every Jamaican is personal security, which is a problem in this country. Old people 'fraid." Mascoll continued: "But when you reach 75 and you want somewhere to come and retire that is sunny, where you can see a doctor and there is a clinic, we have the capacity to put those things in place. And there are also people in the diaspora who will come here and build those places, once the crime has been dealt

with. Jamaicans will come any time, no matter what, but foreigners will not do that." Lending her support to the concern, Valarie Steele, president of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation, said expatriates were willing to walk miles with the Jamaican government to improve healthcare and develop health tourism. All they require is that the government walks that journey with them. "I can't think of a better place to recuperate from anything than Jamaica. As long as the bureaucracy does not prevent us from going forward, we are in it for

the long haul. Many of us no longer have a foot in the grave, we have a whole leg, so it behooves us to make sure that we help Jamaica to rise," said Steele. She said Jamaica's deal with the Sunnybrook Hospital in Canada is one such move, as it works to ensure that Jamaican hospitals reach their full potential to later move to engage in health tourism. "On an interesting note, a Jamaican doctor is behind the American Global MD Group, a consortium of about 50 doctors from North Carolina in the United States,

Executive member of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation Phillip Mascoll (Jamaica Gleaner photo)

which will be building Jamaica's five-star medical 200-room hospital in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, for wellness tourism," added Mark Thomas,

chairman of the diaspora marketing committee at JAMPRO, the Jamaican government's tourism and investment promotion agency. Arnaldo Brown, state minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said members of the diaspora were now also organising to invest US$200 million to build a health facility in Negril. Brown noted that at this year's conference, they would have also sought to bring other investors on board to tap into the global multibillion-dollar health tourism industry. (Excerpt from Jamaica Gleaner)

Antigua-Barbuda MP wins high court judgment against publisher


t Peter parliamentary representative, Asot Michael, has been awarded judgment by the high court in Antigua and Barbuda against Ofer Shaked and Caribarena Printing and Publishing, the publishers of the internet portal that operates under the name Caribarena. Shaked had claimed on the Caribarena website that he had been threatened by the sit-

St Peter parliamentary representative in Antigua and Barbuda Asot Michael ( photo)

ting member of parliament but he failed to provide any evidence of such threats, which had been strongly rejected by Michael as “malicious” and “spiteful”. Michael’s lawyers gave Shaked time to retract his false claims and to apologise publicly. But Shaked disappeared from Antigua and Barbuda with claims against him by creditors.

He also failed to file any defence against Michael’s case in the high court that Shaked had made false claims against him and had defamed him on the Caribarena website. The high court awarded judgment in Michael’s favour and is assessing the amount of damages that Shaked and Caribarena will have to pay to him. For his part, Michael

produced documentation showing that Shaked and Caribarena have been acting maliciously to defame him because he objected to Shaked’s offer to the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party to “put the UPP government out of office” for a fee of US$750,000. Michael welcomed the judgement of the high court and pointed out that “as part of his

retribution”, Shaked is continuing to post on Caribarena unsubstantiated, misleading and false claims about him in connection with a transaction with a Japanese firm IHI. Lawyers for Michael are now working on prosecution of Shaked and Caribarena in several jurisdictions around the world, in which Shaked has connections. (CaribbeanNews)


News | week ending June 20, 2013

PM Portia calls for diaspora members to invest in Jamaica P rime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, has called on members of the Jamaican diaspora to secure their share of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), noting that international partners have shown their confidence in the local economy by investing in mega projects. “Along with our diaspora, we need our international partners, and we will continue to invite foreign investments. Belgian-registered companies have invested in our transport sector; the French, in our road network infrastructure; the Spanish, in expanding our tourism industry, and the Chinese, in sugar cane manufacturing, bridges and other infrastructural developments. All these are welcome,” the prime minister told delegates at the

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (2nd left), greets Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade A.J. Nicholson as she arrives at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay on Sunday, June 16, for the opening ceremony of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference (JIS photo)

opening ceremony of the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference on June 16 at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort, in Montego Bay. “There is room and space for everyone to participate, and this confer-

ence is a clarion call to all Jamaicans, at home and abroad, to engage in Jamaica’s drive for growth. I hope you will grasp the opportunities, which will be presented at this conference for investments in business

and social projects,” she urged. The prime minister emphasised that the government is determined to put the diaspora at the heart of the growth and development agenda. Simpson Miller also called for the “regeneration” of ideas from the youth population in the diaspora. “We must not lose sight of the need to keep regenerating our diaspora movement with new ideas and the boundless energies of our youth. We must increase our outreach to the youth of our diaspora, and in so doing, build upon inspiring projects like the Diaspora Youth Connect, that is making a difference in inner-city communities like August Town, Trench Town, Mountain View, Tivoli Gardens, and Flanker,” she said.

Simpson Miller pointed out that the Joint Select Parliamentary Committee on Diaspora Affairs is another important instrument, which was designed to provide a direct channel to the corridors of decision making and should be utilised to greater effect. “Throughout the past ten years, there has been a progressive sensitisation of government departments and agencies on issues and services pertaining to the diaspora. To this end, Diaspora Units have been established in various agencies of government, notably in the ministry of health, Jamaica customs, and the trade board. In keeping with the new approach of this administration, JAMPRO has also designed a Diaspora Global Business Connect strategy, which will be

in execution mode at this conference,” the prime minister told the audience. She said that her recent involvement in the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Union, held in Ethiopia, caused her to be more “seized” of the global relevance of Jamaica in the world. “Jamaica must continue to solidify our relationship with Africa, and to explore and engage our diaspora on the continent. African countries are amongst the fastest growing economies in the world, and it is imperative that we continue to improve our relationship with these countries. Consequently, we recently appointed Mr. Carl Masters, as Special Envoy to the African Union, at the rank of Ambassador,” the prime minister said. (JIS)

Barbados looks to reform financing of healthcare

- gov’t to engage health insurance providers


he government of Barbados is looking to reform the financing of healthcare in the country, since according to Health Minister John Boyce, the state could not provide "all services to all people". “As a result,” he said the government “would be engaging providers of health insurance plans to discuss the way forward”. Speaking at the opening of Sagicor's two-day Hospital Showcase and Information Seminar entitled: ‘When Overseas Medical Treatment Becomes Necessary Finding the Best Quality and Most Affordable Care’ recently at the Hilton Barbados, the health minister said that the private sector had forged a niche in two vitally important areas -

the provision of healthcare insurance plans, and the delivery of healthcare services. He added that the move, globally, was towards a policy objective of universal health coverage. "The aim of universal health coverage is to ensure that all people obtain the health services they require without experiencing financial hardship when paying for them. In other words, people should not be plunged into poverty just to pay for healthcare. That defeats the spirit of the first Millennium Development Goal, which is to reduce poverty," he told the audience which included exhibitors from Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Canada and the United States representing hos-

pitals and facilities providing medical services and products. The minister lamented that there was not enough dialogue between the ministry of health and the plan providers. And, he noted that as a result, his ministry did not know the extent of the population that was covered by health insurance plans or their annual expenditure on healthcare. He pointed out that these issues must be addressed if the ministry of health was to meet Barbadians' demands for timely and appropriate services. Boyce stressed that the government would continue to provide an enabling environment that allowed private healthcare providers to operate in the interest of the wider so-

ciety. In this regard, he said the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) had been outsourcing dialysis services to the private sector to satisfy demand and noted that presently, there were 24 patients receiving treatment by private institutions at a cost of Bd$60, 000 per annum. He added, however, that the ministry maintained a very tight regime of inspection and monitoring in these private sector facilities. It was also pointed out that the government had no intention of reducing access to essential care at its state-owned facilities, but would continue to adequately resource its operations to meet the demands of the most vulnerable in society. "Within the param-

Barbados’ Health Minister John Boyce addressing the recent opening of Sagicor's twoday Hospital Showcase and Information Seminar at Hilton Barbados. (C.Pitt/BGIS photo)

eters of government's commitment to the provision of the best quality healthcare to the citizens of Barbados, is a scheme through which persons may be referred overseas for medical services, which are not available in Barbados. The Medical Aid Scheme has been in existence since 1987 and

is administered by the QEH. Each case is considered on its own merit and is initiated by a referral from a consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital confirming that the technology is not available in Barbados to treat the case," explained the health minister. (BGIS)

PPP/C congress to script mandate until next elections – Rohee


e o p l e ’ s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) executive member Clement Rohee said plans are progressing for the staging of the party’s 30th congress which will see the party making final decisions about its future and the remaining period ahead of the next general elections. The PPP/C’s 30th congress is expected to highlight the administration’s plans for the next three years, following deliberations

PPP/C executive member Clement Rohee

among party members

on critical issues which are affecting the party internally and it’s governance of the country. Rohee disclosed that while plans are on stream for the party’s congress, efforts continue at electing a new Central Committee which will be tasked with managing the affairs of the country’s oldest political party. “We are suppose to have congress every three years and it has been five years since we last held the meeting,

much has accumulated and among the key issues to be addressed is the party’s mandate for the next three years among other things,” Rohee said. The party’s 30th congress is set for Port Mourant, Corentyne. The committee has decided the venue for the congress will be the JC Chandisingh Secondary School from August 2 to 4. The school was the site for the 28th congress which was held in 2002.

Their congress will feature delegates from all across the country, including representatives from the party’s overseas chapters, the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) and the Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO). In addition to the participation of local and overseas party groups, the occasion will be graced by fraternal organisations such as the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union

(GAWU), the Guyana Agriculture Producers Association (GAPA), and the Guyana Rice Producers Association (GRPA). President Donald Ramotar, the key personality and the party’s general secretary, will preside over the congress where the Central Committee will be elected by the delegates. This is the first congress that Ramotar will be attending since being elected head of state. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)



week ending June 20, 2013 |

TT’s email probe…

U.S. IT expert says it’s forgery T

here are at least 77 signs – including several “fatal flaws”– constituting “overwhelming proof” that purported email documents disclosed in Parliament last month by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley are “a poorly constructed fraud” done by a “forger”, according to the report of U.S. computer forensics expert Jon Berryhill. The Berryhill report was commissioned by lawyers acting on behalf of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesar for the purposes of an ongoing police probe into the documents produced by Rowley in Parliament during his motion of noconfidence on May 20. It was submitted to the Police Service on June 10 and released in full Monday by lawyers acting on behalf of Persad-Bissessar at a media conference attended by Berryhill. The report finds “overwhelming proof” that the materials are not genuine emails and lists a total of 77 discrepancies which lead the author to this conclusion. “There can be no other conclusion, but that this document is a poorly-constructed fraud,” Berryhill states in the report. “The analysis of this document provided overwhelming proof of its fraudulent nature. There are many inconsistencies and question-

able points that by themselves would easily lead any analyst to the conclusion that none of the documents can be trusted. More importantly, there are several fatal flaws, which would remove any doubt or opinion from even the most skeptical analyst. What is left is simple fact.” Berryhill is a former officer in the US Air Force Reserve, Office of Special Investigations, and was a former US federal agent with formal training in computer security, data recovery, evidence handling and computer crime investigation. He runs his own computer forensics firm, Berryhill Computer Forensics. In the 29 purported messages on the documents, Berryhill identifies about 77 inconsistencies. These include signs of tampering such as: several hand-written corrections; evidence of cut and paste operations; evidence of selective editing; mis-matched days and dates; header inconsistencies; errors of header form; other invalid emails; and font changes betraying tampering. The expert notes that on one message the purported email address anan@gmail.con appears. Of this, he remarks, “This is simply a typo on the part of the forger. There is no ‘.con’ top level internet do-

Guyana, Rwanda share experiences to improve solid waste, forest management


t the invitation of the United Nations D e v e l o p m e n t Programme (UNDP), a team from Guyana headed by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud is currently participating in the “Rwanda Mission Convention”, which was organised by the UN body. Minister Persaud and the Guyana team, which includes Natural Resources and Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary Joslyn McKenzie; Protected Areas Commission Deputy Commissioner Denise Fraser; E-Government Guyana Project Manager Alexei Ramotar; and UNDP Resident Representative/UN Resident Coordinator Khadija Musa, held discussions with Rwandan

Natural Resources Minister Stanislas Kamanzi. Discussions were centred on Rwanda’s efforts to deal with the issue of solid waste management and sustainable forest management, as well as support for Rwanda in developing its now emerging mining sector. The possibilities of sharing mining technologies and other support were also explored. Notably, Rwanda’s progress in managing solid waste and enforcement of environmental regulations and even the banning of non-biodegradable materials were high on the agenda. In addition, the Guyana team paid respects to the victims of the 1994 genocide at the Rwanda Genocide Memorial Centre.

IT expert Jon Berryhill speaks during Monday’s media conference on the Section 34 email scandal at the Port-of-Spain office of Israel Khan, SC. (Photo Marcus Gozalves/TT Guardian photo)

main name. This is a fatal flaw. The data shown

in the abbreviated header is generated automat-

ically by the email client programme. It is impossible for this to be a valid email message.” In relation to one purported message, the expert notes, “in the body of the message the word ‘thought’ appears to have the ‘o’ written in by hand. This is a sign of tampering or editing.” Of another purported message, he says there are, “fatal faults and clear evidence of tampering or editing”. Of one line in a purported email, Berryhill says, “It is likely the document-creator simply copied and pasted this line in each of these instances.” Of font and line changes, he says, “This is a significant fatal flaw and is clear evidence of

tampering.” In his report, Berryhill noted that printed emails, as a general rule, are never worth the paper they are printed on. “It is simply too easy to generate a document that has the look of email or to take actual emails as a starting point and cut and paste and edit the contents to suit the creator’s desires,” he says. At a press conference Monday called by Persad-Bissessar’s attorney Israel Khan SC at Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, Berryhill stood by his report and challenged any other IT expert to bring a report contradicting his. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)


News | week ending June 20, 2013

Guyana’s health ministry arsonists convicted


olin Jones and his co-accused, Clayton Westford, were both found guilty on Monday of deliberately setting the health ministry building in Guyana on fire four years ago. The men will know the extent of their punishment on June 27. Between July 16 and 17, 2009 at Brickdam, the duo unlawfully and maliciously set fire to the health ministry, a conflagration that lit up the night skies in the wee hours and razed the building, along with an annex. Magistrate Judy Latchman, on June 11 at the Georgetown

Colin Jones

Magistrates’ Courts, found that a prima facie case was made out against Jones and Westford after a no-case

submission was made by Attorney Michael Somersaul, who is representing Westford. Jones, who had escaped from custody and was later recaptured, was unrepresented. On Monday, final arguments were made by the prosecution and the defence. Prosecutor Vishnu Hunt submitted that the state has proven its case beyond reasonable doubt, pointing to the oral confession of Jones and the written confession of Westford. The prosecution also cited case law that demonstrated persons could be convicted based solely on an oral or written confes-

sion, and asked that the court find both defendants guilty. Magistrate Latchman ruled that both men were guilty of the act, which local law enforcement authorities labelled domestic ‘terrorism’. The fire, believed to have been sparked by ‘channa bombs’, devoured decades-old records, vehicles, and several key divisions in a major blow to the health sector, raging for more than three hours amid a downpour. The Guyana Fire Service, in a valiant effort, managed to save the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and

- to be sentenced on June 27 other adjacent buildings. The health ministry building had housed the offices of the two health ministers, permanent secretary, chief medical officer and administrative staff; the registry; and the disease control, adolescent health, and tobacco control units; among others. Jones, in December 2011, was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment and fined for cultivating cannabis, illegal gun possession, and illegal ammunition possession. He was also arraigned on a number of other charges including discharging a loaded firearm, attempted

murder, and murder. The other five accused were charged jointly in the matter of setting fire to the Supreme Court, while some face the same charges with Jones. Previously, a case of attempted murder reportedly committed at the Brickdam Police Station during an alleged plot to cause mayhem at the Central Police Station was thrown over to the High Court. The court had found that a prima facie case had been made out against the men, causing them to stand trial at the next appropriate sitting of the Supreme Court.(Guyana Times)

TT Parliament gives green light to Dangerous Dog Bill


he Trinidad and Tobago Parliament has approved legislation resulting in owners of dangerous dogs, such as pitbulls, facing a 10year jail term and significant fine if the dog kills a person. Attorney General

Anand Ramlogan, who piloted the Dog Control Bill, 2013 on Monday, said owners of these dangerous dogs would also have to have an insurance policy of TT$250,000 or higher. Ramlogan said unlike the Dangerous Dogs Bill, which was passed

but never proclaimed, the new legislation espouses responsible ownership, rather than the elimination of dangerous dogs. The dogs will also have a microchip installed, allowing for tracing of the owners. Under the legislation, the owner of a dangerous dog which mauls anyone to death faces a 10 year jail term and a TT$200,000 fine. The bill, which seeks to provide for the control of all dogs, prevents any owner of any kind of dog from taking the animal to a restaurant, a place where food or beverages are sold or consumed by the public, commercial mall or shop. Ramlogan said the bill provides for the licensing of dangerous dogs, with owners pay-

Owners of dangerous dogs, such as pitbulls, in TT now face a 10-year jail term and significant fine if the dog kills a person

ing a TT$1,000 licensing fee for a dangerous dog or TT$1,500 for more than one dangerous dog. Anyone who keeps a dangerous dog which is not licensed would be fined TT$50,000. The bill describes dangerous dogs as the pitbull terrier or

any dog bred from the pitbull terrier; fila brasileiros or any dog bred from this type and Japanese Tosas, or any dog bred from this type. However, the bill covers all other breeds of dogs defined as ‘Class B’ but it does not provide for liability for

death or injury caused by ‘Class B’ dogs. Ramlogan said all the evidence showed that pitbulls were responsible for a disproportionate number of attacks on persons “with the most horrifying consequences”. Ramlogan said the dangerous dog must wear a collar with a metal label or badge which carries certain information. The owner must properly secure the premises, which must be inspected. The attorney general said a person who incites a dog to attack without cause is liable to a TT$25,000 fine in addition to other penalties, if the person is injured or killed. Guide dogs for the visually impaired and dogs in the service of the State are excluded from all the provisions of the new bill. (CMC)

Guyana: Former Anna Regina mayor passes on F ormer Anna Regina Mayor Etwaria Kumar has passed away. According to reports, she died at her residence at Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast around 03: 00h last Friday after suffering from chest pain. She was 70 years old. Kumar served as mayor of Anna Regina from 1990 to 1993. She also served as headmistress of the Anna Regina Multilateral School and was known as a very hardworking and dedicated person in the field of education.

Former Anna Regina Mayor Etwaria Kumar

At the time of her death, she was employed at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Anna Regina office. Kumar served on several developmental committees in the region. At the start of the Interim Management C o m m i t t e e / Business Community Stakeholders’ Town Day planning meeting in the town hall on Monday, members observed a minute of silence in respect of Kumar’s passing. Councillors also reflected on her life and works. (Guyana Times)



week ending June 20, 2013 |

Guyana, St Vincent get FAO’s prestigious hunger fight award


he Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations on Sunday formally recognised Guyana and 37 other countries for reducing hunger by half, well ahead of international targets for the year 2015. FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva presented the award to Prime Minister Samuel Hinds during a high-level ceremony attended by several heads of state. A total of 18 countries received diplomas for early achievement of targets under both Millennium Development Goal One (MDG1) — to halve the proportion of hungry people by 2015 — plus the more stringent World Food Summit (WFS) goal of halving the absolute number of hungry people by 2015. They are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Djibouti, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Venezuela and Vietnam. Twenty countries received diplomas for meeting the MDG1 target

alone. They are: Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, The Dominican Republic, Fiji, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Maldives, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Togo, and Uruguay. “To each and every one of you, I want to say that you are living proof that when societies decide to put an end to hunger, and when there is political commitment from governments, we can transform that will into concrete action and results,” Graziano da Silva told the countries’ representatives. “FAO is proud to work with all our member nations, developed and developing, to reach our common vision of a hunger-free and sustainable world,” he added.

Distinct honour

In accepting Guyana’s award, Prime Minister Hinds said it is a distinct honour for him, on behalf of President Donald Ramotar, to receive the special award in recognition of Guyana’s success in combating hunger and making outstanding progress in guaranteeing food security for citizens.

St Lucia’s PM says Cuba cutting back on assistance to Caribbean


he St Lucia government says several policy changes taking place in Cuba will severely affect Havana's contribution to the health sector of Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries. Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony, who recently ended a weeklong official visit to Cuba where he held talks with President Raul Castro and other senior government officials, said the changes have been brought about as a result of the worsening global economic climate. He said the changes will bring an end to Cuba's traditional support for the regional health sector. "Cuba, which once provided doctors free of charge to the rest of the world community, whether it be Africa, Latin America and even here in the Caribbean, has indicated that those services will no longer be for free. "The Cuban government has indicated that the export of these services has now become critical and crucial to their economic survival and while they are prepared to continue to make doctors available to the world, their assistance will be at

a cost," Anthony added. Cuba has traditionally enjoyed close diplomatic relations with Caricom and a number of Caribbean students have benefitted from scholarships to study in Havana. Prime Minister Anthony noted that there was a time when as many as 500 St Lucians were undergoing studies in Cuba, but the authorities there have signalled that while the country may continue to get scholarships, those will be significantly reduced. "We cannot now disagree with the decision of the Cuba government; Cuba has been too generous to us in the past for there to be any disagreement," Anthony said, adding that in terms of assistance to St Lucia, the cutback has already begun with 94 students now pursuing higher education in Cuba. "The St Lucia government is grateful for the generosity of the Cuban government and there is no ill will towards the implementation of their new policies. St Lucia cannot be an exception to imminent global change and is quite aware of the economic challenges facing many countries," he added. (Jamaica Observer)

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds receiving the FAO Achievement Award at the special awards ceremony

“We are pleased that the FAO has recognised Guyana as one of the nations to have met the anti-hunger targets. I wish to pay special tribute to the secretary general, Mr José Graziano da Silva and his staff and I thank them all for their support.” Hinds also expressed congratulations to those countries that have also made significant progress, and like Guyana,

have been awarded. “As Guyana accepts this award, I wish to acknowledge that food security is not a single issue; it is an interdependent and interconnected set of issues involving agriculture, energy, the environment, government policy, and, for developing countries like Guyana, our overall growth and development.” He told the FAO head that as proud as Guyana

was as a nation to be so highly honoured: “I believe that a special tribute must be paid to our women and women worldwide, on this occasion. Of course, the women who are among our farming communities will immediately come to mind. Praise for their production and marketing of farm produce is well known, greatly admired, and deserving of outstanding recognition. The women farmers of Guyana who produce vegetables, herbs and spices, root crops, whether on small plots, in kitchen gardens, or as workers on estates are well known to be hard-working and very skilled. “But I wish to give attention to the great task performed mostly by women – our mothers and grandmothers, wives and sisters, aunts and various relatives who provide the management of our households to ensure that

healthy and nutritious diets are provided to thousands of families, rural and urban, in our country.”

Continued investment in agriculture

The Guyanese prime minister said he was conscious that the job is not yet over. “Until we have eradicated poverty – utopian as this may sound – where every citizen has access to enough healthy food, our job would not be completed. The government of Guyana will, therefore, continue to invest in agriculture, expanding safety nets and social assistance programmes and enhancing income-generating activities for the rural and urban poor to improve the food situation of the country and ultimately the standard of living for our people,” he stated. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

14 News Guyana reviews safety, security of stockpiled firearms H | week ending June 20, 2013

ome Affairs M i n i s t e r Clement Rohee has reported that Guyana is working in the context of international cooperation with a United Nations body to address the question of stockpiling firearms and ammunition, and how to deal with over accumulation of those which are obsolete. The UN body, United Nations Office for Disarmament’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the

dations, but noted “in the context of best practices and your treaty obligations, you are expected to do your best to adhere to these principles to which you have signed on.”

Better management of arms

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee makes a point during the meeting with the officials of the United Nations Office for Disarmament’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Caribbean (UNILIREC) will guide Guyana on

how to dispense with firearms, as well as securing stockpiles in ways that are in keeping with certain international standards. Two experts from UNILIREC responded to an invitation from the Guyana government on this mission which has proved helpful to the country. Minister Rohee last Friday reported that senior programme officer of the Public Security Programme, UNILIREC, Juliet Solomon and technical advisor, Stockpile Management and Weapons Destruction, UNILIREC, Ian

Ruddock, have visited a number of stakeholders during their visit to Guyana conduct a baseline survey. “In three weeks’ time, after the visit, we will expect a report. Based on that report, we are expecting some recommendations which the government will study with a view to determining the extent to which we will implement those recommendations,” he stated. Pointing out that there are no sanctions involved if Guyana does not implement the UNILIREC recommen-

Minister Rohee stated that while this move by government is not necessarily a part of the security reform process, “it is part of bringing better management to our armouries, whether they are in the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force, municipalities or prisons, wherever there may be a stockpile of firearms. The idea is to bring a better system of management, utilisation, and disposal of those that have become technically obsolete,” he further stated. Solomon explained that the two-member team’s visit is in the context of a Caribbean assistance package. She reported that during the team’s visit, they have looked at a number of weapons’ facilities and met with officials of the police and defence forces and the Guyana Revenue

Authority (GRA).

Preventing theft of weapons

Focusing on the not so recent theft of AK47 rifles from the GDF which had raised serious concerns, Solomon said that UNILIREC can help to prevent this. “In terms of physically preventing theft, yes, we do an assessment of the actual facility and we can provide the physical assistance mentioned before such as the international standard padlocks for security stockpiles and the relevant training to have a system of checks and balances which will help to eliminate or alleviate those kinds of problems as well as training in the methods for securing stockpiles up to international standards,” she stated. The public perception that the weapons stockpile of both the GDF and the GPF are obsolete is a misconception, Minister Rohee stated. He explained that on an annual basis, he presents to Cabinet, requests from the GPF for the procurement of firearms and ammunition. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Jamaican gov’t moves to stop child labour


he Jamaica government says it is committed to the elimination of all forms of child labour in the country. “Our determination in this goal is unshakable and we will remain engaged with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the European Union, and other international and local partners in this endeavour,” said Labour and Social Security Minister Derrick Kellier. The ILO has defined child labour as a form of abuse and according to the ILO Minimum Age Convention of 1973, child labour also refers to any work done by children which is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to them and interferes with their education. The ILO estimates that children make up nearly 30 per cent of the world’s estimated 50 to 100 million domestic workers. The Child Care and Protection Act makes it an offence to employ a child under 13 years old. The law, however, makes an exception for children 13 to 15 years old to be

Jamaica’s Labour Minister Derrick Kellier (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

employed, but only under circumstances where they are allowed to do only light work. Kellier said that Jamaica will not condone “in any shape, size or form” the employment of children in hazardous work and that the authorities have increased their capacity to introduce, implement and enforce new legislation for this purpose. “(Our country) programmes, among other things, seek to strengthen the capacity of national and local authorities, social partners and civil society in the formulation, implementation and enforcement of policies to fight the scourge of child

labour,” he said. M e a n w h i l e , Chairman of the Advisory Board, TACKLE Project, Errol Miller, informed that approximately 16,000 children are involved in some form of economic activity in Jamaica. He noted that the figure is contained in a survey carried out by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica in 2002. The study revealed that the chief child labourers were street children, including market vendors, mainly in urban areas; commercial agricultural workers; urban formal sector workers, and domestic workers. (Excerpt from JIS)



week ending June 20, 2013 |

‘GuyExpo’ 2013 launched T

he 2013 edition of Guyana’s premier trade fair and exhibition, ‘GuyExpo’, was officially launched last Friday at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal with much pomp and ceremony. The occasion was witnessed by President Donald Ramotar, private sector officials and a number of stakeholders involved in preparation of the mega event. Acting Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali said the event will be hosted in partnership with the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA). He highlighted the fact that Guyana opens up access to market opportunities to some 33 countries, and as such, the country’s human resource talent must be of high standard to be competitive on the world market. “We have a natural

President Donald Ramotar strikes a pose with acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali (left), PSC Chairman Ronald Webster (right) and GMSA head Clinton Williams (second left), at the official launch of GuyExpo 2013 Friday evening at the Guyana International Conference Centre (Carl Croker photo)

base of human resource that can take us forward, that has the ability in terms of educational requirements to take us forward. It is how we innovatively use this human resource, this human capacity to further expand our economy,” Ali highlighted. He added: “We have trade agreements with almost all the countries that form part of this

market, yet we’ve not been able to capitalise on this advantage.We’ve not been able to capitalise on our geographic positioning.” The acting commerce minister informed business stakeholders present at the launch that “there is still over US$ 2.5 billion in unexplored potential for Caricom, especially in Cuba.” As such, he said the private sector

would need to reassess its target market in order to tap into this availability. He outlined aquaculture, forest products, mining, information and communication technology and sustainable energy as areas that Guyana can significantly benefit from economically. Ali also pointed out that according to the World Economic Report 2012/2013; Guyana is

among the best countries, noting that its financial and human resource capacities are intact. These, he said, are the two most important determinants for investment and competitiveness within a country. Ali noted that between 2006 and 2012, Guyana attracted Gy$1.326 billion in foreign direct investment and growth in credit to the private sector increased from Gy$30.6 billion in 2006 to Gy$82.2 billion in 2012. In this regard, he said, “the innovation that we speak of today must be the innovation that would lead to a strong tomorrow.” Meanwhile, President Donald Ramotar, delivering the feature address, reiterated the fact that “we must constantly develop our human resources”, noting that “human capital will help to take us into the direction we have to go”. He told stakeholders that “we have to move

away from being just producers of raw materials to more and more being producers of finished products.” Also speaking at the launch of GuyExpo 2013 was GMSA President Clinton Williams, whose organisation the ministry is collaborating with to stage the event. The event will be held under the theme “Advancing Productivity through Innovation, Modernisation and Expansion”. This year’s theme is consistent with Guyana’s successful macroeconomic strategy, prudent policy implementation and continuing efforts to expand opportunities for sustainable investments. The annual event to be hosted at the Sophia Exhibition Centre, Georgetown, is slated to take place from October 3 to 6 and is anticipated to attract an overwhelming response from Guyanese, as well as overseas visitors. (Guyana Times)

Rescued hiker tells of seven-day ordeal in Trinidad’s forest


urviving only on river water and prayers, Princes Town mother of three Bissoondaye Geeta Seenath had almost given up hope as she wandered through the Matura forest in Trinidad for seven days, encountering snakes and sleeping in complete darkness. Seenath, 47, was reported missing during an excursion to Salybia Beach on June 8. She was found alive in the Matura forest on Saturday. In the words of her husband Mohan, the 47-year-old woman’s prayers and sheer will to live brought a “sweet end to a sad story” as she was miraculously rescued

on Saturday by Matura resident Jerod Nelson. He said his wife, from whom he is estranged, “drank river water” to survive because she could not find any fruit trees. Seenath, of Chappel Street, Manahambre, Princes Town, went missing last Saturday during a hike to Rio Seco waterfall, Matura. She was among 40 people who went on an excursion to Salybia Beach. Thirteen of the 40 people decided to hike from the beach to the waterfall, which was nearby and Seenath decided to go along. However, she got separated from the group and wandered off the trail. She is now ward-

ed at the Sangre Grande District Hospital in stable condition. Speaking to TT media from her hospital bed Sunday, Seenath said it is a “miracle” she is alive. After the hike, others in the group realised Seenath was missing and a search was launched. Members of the Defence Force and Police Service combed the area. They called off the search after four days. Seenath said she was unable to move on the bed and was in pain, even as she recalled the ordeal she lived through in the forest. “It was like a miracle, every step I made I prayed. At nights I heard gospel, Hindu songs and

Jamaican singer files multi-million dollar lawsuit against attacker


he lead singer of the Grammy Award winning reggae group -‘Toots and the Maytals’ — has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against a 19-year-old man who threw a bottle at him during a concert in Virginia, United States, in May. The youth has been charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly threw the bottle on the stage while the group was performing at the Dominion Riverrock concert in Richmond, Virginia, hitting Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, 70, in the head. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Hibbert is seeking one million U.S. dollars in compensatory damages and US$20 million in punitive damages. Toots and the Maytals, known for classics such as "Pressure Drop", "Fine and Dandy," and "54-46" had asked

fans who may have evidence of the alleged crime to contact them. "Any fans who were present and who saw anything, please send this page ...with your contact info so our staff can reach out to you. Thank you," Toots & the Maytals wrote on their Facebook page. Organisers of the three-day festival, which combines sports, music and river life, said the concert was immediately stopped after Hibbert was hit, and spectators were asked to leave. In his lawsuit, Hibbert claims he suffered permanent scarring and was left disoriented and grievously injured in body and mind. He said he has also been unable to record, compose, or make public appearances. The lawsuit also claims that Hibbert lost a significant amount of income, as he had to cancel the rest of the tour. (Jamaica Observer)

prayers. I hold on to the mountain and made my way. I walked and I walked,” she said. She said before she got lost, others in the group were bathing in a river. “Some friends of mine were going. There were some foreigners there (by the river) so I followed them out and then I got lost. They were in front of me and I got lost from the rest of the group,” she said. Seenath said she climbed over hills and followed the path of a river. She said even as

Bissoondaye Geeta Seenath (TT Newsday photo)

she stood at the highest points on the hills, there was no civilisation to be seen.

“I tried to climb this hill to get away from the water and I fell down and hurt my knee. I stayed there whole night until the next morning. It had big crabs and little crabs there but they did not bite me...I went in the water and swim but I could only swim a little bit, I am not that good,” she said. Seenath said she had to survive on what was available. “I never saw one fruit tree and I had to drink the river water. I won’t go hiking again, never,” she said. (Excerpt from TT Guardian)

16 | week ending June 20, 2013



week ending June 20, 2013 |

No need for TT/Jamaica trade war, says Sir Ronald Sanders C onsultant and former Caribbean diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders says complaints by Jamaican manufacturers in the current trade dispute with TT should be taken seriously and dealt with “expeditiously and thoroughly”. “If their present concerns about competitive access to the Caricom market, including Trinidad and Tobago, can be addressed, perhaps the discussion can be taken to a higher level of how the factors of production can be integrated to sell joint Caricom goods and services in the global marketplace and so accelerate economic growth, increase foreign-

exchange revenues and expand employment for the region as a whole,” he said in a recently-published op-ed piece. Sir Ronald said TT should be concerned about Jamaica’s economic situation. He noted that TT is the most outstanding beneficiary of intra-Caricom trade. The value of its exports to Caricom in 2011 was US$2 billion, while the value of its Caricom imports was US$140.9 million. For that period, Jamaica was the biggest market for Caricom with imports valued at US$1 billion but the value of its exports to Caricom was US$67 million. “To be fair, manufac-

Sir Ronald Sanders

turers in Trinidad and Tobago are alert to the troubling financial circumstances of Jamaica. The majority of them want the Jamaican economy to improve so that Jamaica can continue to

purchase their manufactured goods,” he said. “For this reason, many of them are anxious to see the allegations in Jamaica against some Trinidad and Tobago products dealt

with and settled satisfactorily. “They also want the accusation that unfair non-tariff barriers are being applied by Trinidad and Tobago to some Jamaican products to be investigated and resolved.” Sir Ronald warned that if Jamaica “follows the call of the lemmings to withdraw from Caricom, it will do no more than go over the cliff”. He said: “Trinidad and Tobago’s advantage of being a significant oil and gas producer should be acknowledged for the reality it is, and further ways should be explored of how a portion of the revenues

earned by Trinidad and Tobago, through oil and gas sales to Caricom countries, might be utilised for concessionary loans or budget support for big importers of Caricom products such as Jamaica.” He said while neither TT nor Caricom can cure Jamaica’s current ills, they can be helpful in easing the burden through creative approaches worked out and implemented jointly with Jamaica. He suggested “a mix of innovative approaches which could include the deeper integration of the factors of production between Jamaica and several Caricom countries”. (TT Guardian)

Pomeroon coconut farmers Church group plans big anti-gay in Guyana secure deal march in Jamaica next Sunday with TT company



egion Two councillor and representative of farmers in the Lower Pomeroon, Vilma Da Silva has disclosed that farmers in Pomeroon, Guyana, will be supplying 50,000 litres of coconut water per month to a Trinidadian company. Da Silva made the announcement at a recent Regional Democratic Council (RDC) statutory meeting held in the RDC boardroom, Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast. The councillor, who is also a well known coconut farmer, said she managed to secure the markets from Trinidad and Tobago after rigorous negotiations. The councillor said she met with representatives from the company two weeks ago and shortly after, they sealed the deal. The pact will benefit some 200 farmers in the

Vilma Da Silva

Lower Pomeroon. The representative said the new market will encourage farmers in Pomeroon to expand coconut cultivation. The market, the councillor said, has given new hope to the fledgling coconut industry, as it will ensure its sustainability while providing more opportunities for employment. Da Silva is requesting

that the council installs two floodlights at the mouth of the Pomeroon River so as to guide captains of ships when navigating the channel to the river mouth. She said the lights will assist farmers who are harvesting coconut late in the evenings. DaSilva said the area is dark in the night and remains a challenge to farmers, especially during harvesting.

Caribbean petition seeking support for cervical cancer screening


he Healthy C a r i b b e a n Coalition (HCC) has launched a regional petition aimed at getting Caribbean governments to increase women's access to affordable cervical cancer screening. The HCC said nearly 100 per cent of all cervical cancer cases can be prevented if people accessed screening and the electronic petition is aimed at getting the Caribbean population to

pressure regional governments into action. HCC president Professor Trevor Hassell said the petition is not an adversarial initiative. "It is one in which we are providing a voice to the community to say this is a priority. Though you (the governments) are (acting), we would like you to do more." HCC is hoping to acquire at least five million signatures, hoping also that the level of response

will stir a certain level of action reflective of the signatures accumulated. "Civil society has tools in its toolbox - advocacy," said Hassell, noting that while there is a close relationship between civil society, the private sector and the government in tackling the epidemic of non-communicable diseases, these three components of society have to play their individual parts to slow this epidemic as well. (CMC)

he leadership of ‘Prayer 2000’ — a partnership prayer ministry — has called on all churches across Jamaica to participate in a 'peaceful prayer march' next Sunday, ahead of the hearing of an application challenging the constitutionality of the buggery law by the Supreme Court on June 25. The claim was filed by United States-based advocacy group AIDSFree World on behalf of Jamaican Javed Jaghai. The group is asking

Kingston at 2:00 pm. Meanwhile, churches from the parishes of St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St James, Trelawny, St Ann, and in western St Mary will gather on the grounds of the Trumpet Call Ministries Church in Montego Bay at 6:00 pm the same day. President of Prayer 2000, Rev Dr Naila L Ricketts, in an invitation circulated to churches last week, said the pending action marked a very serious crossroads in the

he contended. "It is a direct attack at the institution of marriage. This will open the way for homosexual curriculum to be taught to our children from an early age in our school system; that same sex relationships is "normal" and that it is a viable alternative for everyone," Rev Ricketts added. Noting that the voice of the church must be heard now, he said "the only way to stop our laws from being changed is for the church and the peo-

‘Prayer 2000’ has called on all churches across the island of Jamaica to participate in a “peaceful prayer march” next Sunday

the court to determine if the anti-sodomy law breaches rights guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms which was passed into law in 2011. The initiative, dubbed, "Jamaica Mercy Cry", will see churches from the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, Portland, St Thomas, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, and in Eastern St Mary, gathering outside the Houses of Parliament on Duke Street in downtown

nation's history. "Our constitutional rights to preach the truth of God's word is also threatened and, should the law be repealed, what you and I preached may be termed "hate speech" and will make us criminally liable before the courts in Jamaica," Rev Ricketts warned. "The removal of the buggery law may result in the legalisation of same-sex relationships and marriages, which would have far-reaching effects for us as a nation,"

ple to rise up in peaceful prayer to protest this direct attack on our freedom". Prayer 2000 was created and mandated to sufficiently raise the awareness of the need for prayer throughout the society in order to facilitate the transformation and revival of the country. The partnership includes a cross section of individuals from numerous denominations. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


News | week ending June 20, 2013

Guyana’s gold declaration Barbados no tax haven - Minister up by 16.9 per cent tells Canadian


Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud with GGMC officials and the newly trained mines officers

uyana’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud last Friday warned a new batch of mines officers attached to the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) against fraudulent activities. Persaud, addressing the 26 newly-trained officers at the Regency Suites Hotel, Hadfield Street, Georgetown, said while the gold mining industry has a lot of opportunities; it is often tarnished by illegal activities such as the alleged “shaking down”, unlawful mining operations and smuggling of gold. “We have taken a firm position on this, and we will ensure that when there is evidence, people face disciplinary

actions, including dismissal and we made this quite clear to the unions.” Nevertheless, he said the ministry through the GGMC will continue to work closely with officers to ensure that they maintain a high level of professionalism. He said the temptations will be great, but officers must ensure that those illegal mining activities and criminal offences are rooted out of the sector. “You may not even have to say anything or do anything, they will just come to you and you must be able to resist that type of temptation,” said Minister Persaud. He added that officers must work earnestly to impose the social and environmental standards laid out by the mines

commission. This, he said, is critical as the industry plays a leading role in the country’s economy. Amid the recent drop in gold prices, Minister Persaud said the declaration has increased by 16.9 per cent with 216,294 ounces for 2013 when compared to 184,928 ounces in 2012 over the same period. In addition to illegal mining operations and smuggling of gold, Minister Persaud condemned the brutal act of human trafficking and child labour. He encouraged the officers to report any case of trafficking and child labour to the police and social services. “What they do too is affect the mining sector as a whole, you can have the best mining practice,

you have the best technology and best environmental standards, but when you go to the camps and see the social behaviours there, it takes away from the good mining activity and it also harms the country’s image.” On a lighter tone, the natural resources minister advised the newly trained officers to keep abreast with the evolving technologies in the sector. He posited the ministry is audaciously working to incorporate technology in the industry to improve its recovery and simultaneously create diversity, not only in the gold mining sector, but the other mining industries as well. The officers were urged to acknowledge their certificates not only as a symbol of authority, but symbol of great responsibility to propel the industry. Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) President Patrick Harding applauded the officers for their successful completion of the programme. Through the programme, the GGMC has equipped the officers with the requisite knowledge and skills to function effectively in monitoring mining operations. (Guyana Times)

Caribbean, donors plan strategy to maintain HIV fight


epresentatives from the health and finance ministries of eight Caribbean countries joined civil society and international development partners in Kingston, Jamaica for two days of deliberations on ensuring the survival of their HIV programmes as donor funds dry up across the region. According to a Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Caribbean statement, the meeting was jointly hosted by its Regional Support Team and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It aimed to encourage Caribbean countries to improve the efficiency of their HIV programmes and develop sustainable results. The countries represented were Barbados, Belize, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. National AIDS Programme Secretariat head, Dr Shanti Singh represented Guyana at

the meeting. The Caribbean’s HIV response has achieved significant gains over the last decade. These include a sharp decline in new infections, significant reductions in transmission from mothers to children, dramatic declines in deaths due to AIDS, and access to lifesaving treatment for two of every three people who need it. At present, about two-thirds of HIV investments in the Caribbean as a whole come from international donors. However, as development partners prepare to reduce or withdraw support, the region must at the same time improve efficiencies, increase domestic investments, and make the case for sustained global partnerships. During last Wednesday’s opening ceremony, UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Support Team Director, Dr Ernest Massiah noted that since 2000 the region has received US$1.3 billion in external financing for HIV.

Massiah stressed that many Caribbean countries’ economic classifications by the World Bank as upper middle income and the global economic slowdown mean that there is now a very different funding context. “We have to look carefully at where we can make efficiencies, where we are spending more than we should to get certain results and where we must stop doing the things we are accustomed doing, because they are not having the impact we would like. We need to look at programmes with a critical eye on results and resources to make those decisions,” Massiah said.

Long- term sustainability

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Denise Herbol noted that regional collaborations and investments of the U.S. government and other partners are meant to help countries reach a point of long-term sustainability. “To us, country own-

ership in health is the end state where a nation’s efforts are led, implemented and eventually paid for by its government, communities, civil society, and private sector,” Herbol said, referencing a 2012 speech by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “To get there, a country’s political leaders must set priorities and develop national plans to accomplish them in concert with their citizens.” Jamaican Health Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson emphasised that while national and regional leaders aim for country ownership of their programmes “there has to be a reasonable transition period”. “We are willing to take country ownership but we are not there yet. It is my hope that Jamaica will continue to share best practices that would allow for the people of the region to be better prepared in dealing with their health issues and quality care,” Ferguson said. (Guyana Times)



Barbados’ International Business Minister Donville Inniss (BGIS Photo)

a r b a d o s International B u s i n e s s Minister, Donville Inniss, has sought to counteract negative comments that branded Barbados as a tax haven by reassuring Canadian investors that Barbados' actions are above board. In a message to approximately 100 Canadian company advisors and potential investors, Minister Inniss reiterated that the island was still a domicile of choice for international business. He made these comments during a recent promotional tour to Canada with the Barbados Investment Promotion Corporation, also known as Invest Barbados, when that organisation hosted an investment seminar at the Hyatt hotel in Toronto, Thursday, June 6. Mr. Inniss explained that he and his team had one on one meetings with tax advisors, company advisors, attorneys and accountants, in an effort to bring together interested investors to discuss what Barbados has to offer. "As one can appreciate the International Business and Financial Services Sector is key to this economy and current estimates are that we contribute almost $900 million a year to Barbados' economy...This is facilitated through the establishment of almost 4,000 companies in the International Business sector whether they are licensed under one of our pieces of legislation or whether they are regu-

lar Barbados companies that are doing international business," he said. Commenting that they went to Canada against the backdrop of increased public outcry and condemnation of jurisdictions around the world that offered low cost solutions to those doing international business, Minister Inniss lamented that it was extremely unfortunate that several public commentators considered Barbados a tax haven and in turn linked the country to jurisdictions that were really tax havens. He said: "We sought to convey that Barbados is by no means a tax haven and I think that is one message that we put out there very clearly. We also impressed upon them that we, as a country are serious about business based on the fact that we have excellent treaties that work, and work well. "We also emphasised that Barbados continues to be the preferred choice for Canadian investors seeking to have a true global reach, as we were able to showcase how using Barbadian structures have and will continue to benefit Canadian entities through their global expansion as well as through their domestic work." The minister also added that coming out of the trip, he expected to see an increase in investment coming Barbados' way from Canada, particularly for those who were seeking to expand their business globally. (BGIS)



week ending June 20, 2013 |

GT&T reiterates commitment to liberalisation in Guyana

- as it expands mobile network to hinterland


he Guyana T e l e p h o n e and Telegraph Company (GT&T) on Saturday commissioned another cellular site in the hinterland, re-emphasising that liberalisation remains a top priority as it is the only mechanism which will foster competitiveness in the telecommunication sector. The company’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Radha Krishna Sharma told the gathering at Aranaputa, North Rupununi on Saturday morning that the company has publicly stated that it welcomes liberalisation of the telecommunication sector as it is integral to the overall development of Guyana. “However, liberalisation needs to be done in an orderly, structured way; so phased that it reflects transparency and from our perspective, is a recognition of and respect for contractual rights and obligations,” the CEO said.

GT&T Chief Financial Officer Justin Nedd greets a Region Nine official in the presence of GT&T Chief Executive Officer Radha Krishna Sharma (centre), other company officials and dancers of the Surama Culture Group at the commissioning of the Aranaputa cellular site, Region Nine on Saturday

In addition, Sharma further stated that investors’ confidence can only be enhanced when the sanctity of contracts and legal agreements are respected. His comments came days after Digicel Guyana Inc CEO Gregory Dean expressed his optimism that the legislation will be passed for a free telecoms sector, before the 10th Parliament goes

into recess in 2013. Dean said Digicel was given a timetable of early August to see results and despite negotiations between government and GT&T on matters regarding the legislation, it did not conclude by the first quarter of this year as was expected, but the company is still buoyant. He also noted that it is his understanding that the discussions between

the two bodies are still ongoing, but he is unsure of the progress achieved thus far, since Digicel is involved to a limited extent. Sharma, speaking at the opening of the 350 foot mobile cellular service (tower) at Aranaputa Valley, said the launch will have a transformative effect on the lives of residents, noting that it is a historic undertaking

which will bond the community and the company forever. In his presentation, the CEO recognised that rural services are at the heart of successful agricultural and rural development, thus are essential to economic growth and poverty alleviation. It is behind that backdrop, he is hopeful that the advent of the mobile phone will stimulate a revolution in rural connectivity for small farmers and other small scale producers. “GT&T considers the Linden to Lethem corridor vital to Guyana’s current and future commercial and national development interests.” Sharma highlighted that along this corridor, the company has cellular sites at Wisroc, Mabura and now Aranaputa. There are also two sites at Lethem with works in the advanced stages at the Kurupukari crossing. These mobile deployments are the first stage

of a plan by the company in expanding its services to Guyanese. On this note, Sharma explained that the next phases will include green power solutions and broadband delivery, via erected sites, given the importance of data to ICT development and commerce. He said the new mobile cellular service will be of great benefit to the recently launched Mobile Money Guyana Limited. The concept of an electronic wallet, he added, will transform the way of doing business in remote and rural communities. The Aranaputa cell site, which serves Annai and its environs, will also boost the rural radio booths and is strategically erected to serve as a hub for North Rupununi in areas such as business, education and health, but more importantly expand access to the national communication network. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Jamaica to benefit from Canadian investments Fired TT NY consul


amaica and other Caribbean countries are to benefit from three new investments from Canada aimed at increasing private sector-led development and alleviating poverty in developing countries The announcement was made by Canada's Minister of International Cooperation Julian Fantino last week Tuesday during an address to the 19th annual Conférence de Montréal in Quebec. He said Canada is providing further support to help developing countries attract the investment they need to achieve sustainable economic growth. “The new investments Canada is making today demonstrate our continued leadership to help harness the power, resources, and innovation of the private sector for the benefit of the most vulnerable," said Minister Fantino. "This leads to better job opportunities, more investment, and more resources for improving productivity and well-being around the world." Minister Fantino highlighted Canada's leadership on encouraging more private sector-led development by

launching a new private sector Web page. This will be a one-stop shop to help the private sector learn how they can play a larger role in development and work better alongside the government of Canada to

"We are very grateful to our Canadian partners for becoming the first contributors to this facility," said Dr Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group. "With Canada's contribution to the facility, we

“Canada is supporting long-time friend Jamaica,” says Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation Julian Fantino

achieve common development goals. Canada will support the establishment of the World Bank Group's ConflictAffected and Fragile Economies Facility. The facility will provide insurance for private sector-led projects that help support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people's lives in countries where conflict and fragile economies make attracting investment difficult.

are addressing a market need and strengthening foreign investors' ability to help rebuild fragile economies, which creates good jobs and helps people lift themselves out of poverty." Minister Fantino indicated today that Canada stands ready to help Jamaica regain its economic stability. For example, Minister Fantino announced support to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to

provide technical assistance to the Caribbean, including Jamaica. The support will also assist the Middle East and North Africa. The support will build on Canada's international efforts to foster private sector-led investment and economic growth by helping developing countries strengthen the capacity of their national and regional public institutions to manage public finances better and promote financial sector stability. "Canada is a major contributor to IMF capacity building in developing countries," said Nemat Shafik, deputy managing director of the IMF. This invaluable support has helped countries in these regions develop stronger institutions and promote sustainable economic growth, which is essential to improve people's living standards." "Canada is supporting our long-time friend Jamaica by helping to create the right conditions and institutions to attract investment and create jobs, particularly for youth who are at risk of turning to crime," said Minister Fantino. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

staff get day in court


ight former employees of the Trinidad and Tobago Consulate in New York want monetary compensation for the loss of income following their termination on July 5, 2012. The group’s spokesperson, Susan Butcher-David, says it’s been “a struggle over the past year to pay rent and buy food. None of us has been able to get a new job. We’ve had to turn to relatives in TT for help to pay bills, but four of my former co-workers have been taken to court in NY by their landlords because they haven’t been able to pay their rent.” Describing their firing almost one year ago as “an injustice”, Butcher-David told TT media that things went from bad to worse at the Consulate, ending in their abrupt firing last July. “I started out in 2000 as a permanent employee, then about two years later clerical staff was put on two-year contracts. Then in January 2012, we were given sixmonth contracts with no sick leave and one week’s leave at the end of the contract.” “Next came the news

from Consul General Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam that we had to re-apply for our jobs, including sitting an exam we were never given proper information on. They claimed we failed it and so had to be terminated. How can you be expected to pass an exam you were never prepared for?” Butcher-David questioned. Although the group did as requested by TT’s Ambassador in Washington, Dr Neil Parsan, and wrote him individual letters about their terminations, they never heard back from him. Similar appeals for help were made to Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran but the group is yet to hear back from him. The group has sought legal advice from someone in New York who has written emails on their behalf to Parsan, as well as to the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), which has taken up their case in the local courts. Butcher-David said they have been given an October 29 date for their first hearing before the Industrial Court in Port-of-Spain. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)


feature | week ending June 20, 2013

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival 2013…

By Ravendra Madholall


ith a wealth of experience in the arena of costume design and parade, Trinidadian Michael Williams has promised great excitement at this year’s Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, which is set to commence on July 9 in Toronto. At the official launching and display of the ‘D’Regular Mas Camp’ on Sunday evening in Scarborough at the Santa Rosa Restaurant and Bar, Williams said his team is very anxious to put on a grand show as part of the highly anticipated carnival. The annual Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of West Indian music, cuisine, revelry, as well as visual and

performing arts and this year, the event will be marking its 46th anniversary. As preparations advance for the event, Williams is optimistic that the group of young and enthusiastic ladies who would be displaying his costumes, would thrill the carnival’s audience. He has been in this industry since 1975 after his migration to North America in 1970 and his longevity has given him the optimism that he and his dynamic team can make a huge impression in Toronto city next month. “We [are] all excited and ready to show the Carnival spectators that we have something special to offer them from July 9; these young and fabulous ladies are in a great mood to display

their talent and energy on the road,” Williams said. He explained that while some of the models are from different Caribbean territories, some of them were born in Canada but their parents hail from Caribbean countries and as such, they are familiar with the carnival culture. “As I said we have a good bunch of girls who understand the Caribbean vibes and culture; majority of them are modelling professionally or ambitious to be models, so I think this will be a good occasion for them to display their quality body and style on the stage,” Williams indicated. He reserved special thanks for major sponsor Stellarpoint of Whitby. Vice president of the business organistaion,

David Hooker, during his remarks, mentioned that he and his partners were extremely happy and elated to be on board. “This is the first time we are sponsoring D’Regular Mas Camp costume and we are definitely delighted to join them this year; yes, we have followed the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto for a number of years and what I have seen is remarkable, so we are glad to be a part of it now,” Hooker stated. Meanwhile, models, Libbv Stewart and Danielle Arscott, both of Jamaica, have expressed great confidence in doing well and making their promoter, Williams, proud along with their Caribbean family. “Definitely it will be a big moment for me and I am really anxious to go out there and perform

Two of the models pose for a photo during the launching of D’ Regular Mas Camp on Sunday evening

to the best of my ability; this is something I have dreamt about and now getting the opportunity to participate is an accomplishment for me,” 17-year-old Stewart said on Sunday night during the launching. She will be accompanied by Trinidadian Nickesha Walker, Keosha Ellis and Fayola Bernard

Yachts moored in the Essequibo River


t least 20 yachts are expected to grace Guyana’s waters come September in the first leg of the 10-day Nereid’s Rally. Guyana’s acting Tourism, Industry, and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali met with the organiser of the event, Davide Matelicani along with Kit Nascimento; representatives from the Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Revenue Authority,

the Tourism Ministry and the Guyana Tourism Authority. In his presentation, Matelicani announced that Guyana is the destination for the first leg of the rally and participants will stop at Bartica, after which a formal welcome awaits them at the Hurakabra River Resort, which is a partner in this event. Participants will have eight days to explore the delights of Guyana, taking part in some of the many tour offerings before the rally moves on to its final leg in French

Guiana. Matelicani noted too that the southern route is becoming more popular as a result of the change in weather patterns and more and more yachters are looking to escape the hurricane weather.

Ideal geographic location

“Guyana is ideal because of its geographic location and then there is the ease of coming to Guyana (customs clearance), this is a big selling point,” he stated. Among the issues dis-

cussed on Sunday were the need for an enhanced Coast Guard presence, expeditious immigration and customs processing, strengthened police presence, and the necessity of adequate infrastructure to host similar flotillas in the future. In this regard, Minister Ali pledged that the ministry will seek to ensure that all systems are in place to make the inaugural event a success by involving all of the stakeholders. He said too that the ministry’s aim is to use this event

and Guyanese Christine McAllister, among others who are expected to display their skills in the costume parade. During the threeweek Caribbean Carnival there will be a host of gala events including Calypso Monarch champions, steel pan show and other social events in Toronto.

to catapult the yacht industry in Guyana and to harness the influx of yachts to develop the necessary infrastructure to further support the industry. Minister Ali explained, “This is not a one-off event and the government of Guyana will ensure that we do what is necessary for this pioneering industry, and we welcome any involvement and support.” Meanwhile, all stakeholders present assured the minister that their agencies will work along with the organisers and the participants, to ensure that yachters have easy clearance, safe anchorage, and a secure environment. When the rally departs Guyana, another warm welcome awaits participants when they arrive at Saint Laurent du Maroni in French Guiana. Matelicani emphasised that such events provide opportunities for investment, job creation, and act as catalyst for the successful hosting of future events; he revealed too that registration for the 2014 rally is already underway, as this is intended to be an annual activity. The first set of yachters in the rally is expected to arrive on September, while the convoy is expected to depart for French Guiana on September 16. This upcoming event is being featured in major publications including the Caribbean Compass, the Boca, on Noonsite and online via blogs, information is also available on the website-



week ending June 20, 2013 |

cial media sites and ultimately branded to our resort partner. Reef Worlds is an underwater tourism development firm in the U.S. with a team of marine biologists, reefologists, as well as designers who have worked on the Hollywood blockbusters ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Avatar’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. It uses eco-friendly materials, which include local rock and ancient coral beds, in its made-to-order structures.


The decision to pursue projects in the Caribbean seems timely, given the region’s push to mitigate the effects of warming oceans, rising sea levels and the disappearance of certain marine species

roubled by what it describes as half-star waterfronts at several resorts around the world, including the Caribbean, ‘Reef Worlds’ has designed a plan that will see it pumping US$4.5 million into recreating marine habitats in the region. Mike Wallace, director of development at Reef Worlds, didn't reveal the names of the resorts with which it is seeking to partner on the project, but said it is currently in talks with "two well-known all-inclusive resort chains". He expects to have 10 to 15 on board by the time the building wraps up at the end of 2014. "Our team was shocked," Wallace said after reviewing the state of resort waterfronts. "We discovered five-star properties with half-star waterfronts. Zones beyond the high-tide mark where natural reefs, colourful fish, and habitats were, are essentially gone, replaced with some old tyres, turtle grass and dead coral, and this was a global phenomenon."

The plan, he told the Jamaica Observer from his office in California, is to identify resorts that have an ecological track record and good environmental stewardship and give them funds to create underwater worlds featuring snorkel trails, scuba-training sites, coral propagation, etc. The resorts, in turn, will mon-

will be different, as it will be directly tied into the resort's own footprint.

Investments in the Caribbean

His decision to pursue projects in the Caribbean seems time-

marine species. In 2008 the region launched the Caribbean Challenge Initiative with support from The Nature Conservancy and made commitments to conserve at least 20 per cent of their nearshore marine and coastal environments in national marine protected areas systems by 2020, and to create national conservation trust funds. A week-and-a-half ago a new phase of the challenge directed at accelerating conservation action and funding took effect when head of ‘Virgin Atlantic’ Richard Branson hosted Caribbean political

al bleaching," Wallace said. "Habitat loss is at the highest point it's ever been...Resorts spend millions of dollars on their landscaping but don't spend any on their waterfront garden...It's a US$20-billion enterprise and a lot of those tourists want to see colourful reef and fish." "To be at the head of what will soon become one of resort and development's key tourism offerings, is an exciting place to be. The fact is they have run out of land-based development space and have forgotten their waterfronts as a place of engagement and branding.

Eco-friendly drive

"The ultimate goal is to create a series of mini-marine development sites that also act as mass tourism aggregators on the resort's footprint. These sites also act as social media machines, allowing

Mike Wallace, director of development at Reef Worlds, said it is currently in talks with “two well-known all-inclusive resort chains”

Artists’ impressions of some of the underwater development that Reef Worlds proposes to build in the Caribbean. (PHOTOS: COURTESY OF REEF WORLDS)

etise the sites and put a percentage back into the development of environment tourism. He explained that each site

guests to interact and take their own pictures and videos underwater to be posted on so-

ly, given the region's push to mitigate the effects of warming oceans, rising sea levels and the disappearance of certain

and business leaders at a summit on Necker Island, his home in the British Virgin Islands. The Caribbean has 10 per cent of the world's coral reefs, 1,400 species of fish and marine mammals, and miles of mangrove forests, but they are increasingly under threat from events like over-fishing and coral bleaching.

Tourism impact

"The region accounts for 40 per cent of cor-

Most resort chains subcontract out even basic snorkelling to third parties. We're bringing that all back to 40 years ago when once-pristine reefs were as close to a Caribbean resort as a snorkel from the beach. "Colourful wildlife has not gone forever," he reassured. "It just needs the right habitat to come back. And we're building it, one iconic and unique site at a time.” (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

St Lucia bags ‘Best Island in the Caribbean’ award


t Lucia, home to the iconic twinpeaks The Pitons, a UNESCOdesignated World Heritage Site, has won another international accolade. The 238-square-mile island, billed “Simply Beautiful”, has been adjudged winner of “Best Island in the Caribbean” by the U.S.-based ‘Global Traveler’, a monthly magazine that focuses on business travellers and includes business and lifestyle travel interests. Global Traveler, which has a circulation of over 105,000 readers, launched the awards last year to recognize the best in leisure travel destinations, cruises, tour operators and resorts. In response to the latest award, St Lucia’s Director of Tourism Louis Lewis said: “This is a testament that

Saint Lucia is indeed a world class tourism destination and that the oneof-a-kind vacation experiences we deliver through our unique hotels and resorts, restaurants, sites and attractions and other soft adventure excursion partners, truly excites and lifts the senses of the thousands of visitors annually who grace our shores. “We are not in the business to try to win awards but whenever we do, we are happy for the recognition as it speaks volumes to the hard work, commitment and dedication on the part of thousands of our industry workers to ensure that our visitors enjoy their stay with us. “We are thankful to the readers of Global Traveler for taking the time to recognise our Simply Beautiful island,” Lewis added. (CaribbeanNews)

U.S.-based Global Traveler launched the awards last year to recognise the best in leisure travel destinations, cruises, tour operators and resorts. (Caribbean 360 website photo)


feature | week ending June 20, 2013


its and Jams Entertainment has finally released the dates for the hosting of Guyana’s biggest summer event. Jamzone Summer Break 2013 has been set for August 16-25, 2013. With the dates released, Guyanese abroad and those at home can make their summer plans and more so, finalise their travelling to be a part of the excitement. The event will be hosted over a 10-day period with many attractions and some exciting events. Being its 13th year, Jamzone has grown from a simple oneday beach event to a 10day affair with events ranging from the fanciest of Jazz Festivals to the biggest international concerts and the most attractive sporting events.

From the time of Jamzone’s introduction in 2001 to present, it underwent several evolutionary stages, but none was more significant than the facelift it received in 2009 when history was made in the Guyanese entertainment industry. Three consecutive days of Super Concerts were hosted at the Guyana National Stadium where the Caribbean’s most prolific artistes performed. Guyana partied non-stop for three full days. As the years rolled on, international acts were added to the roster of activities with the first being R&B Singer/ Songwriter Ne-Yo. Hits and Jams continued to bring the best international artistes and the years went

Karma’s Ravi ‘B’

Trey Songz


by. HJ has brought to Guyana R&B Singer/ Songwriter Trey Songz; Rapper/Songwriter Eve; and Hip Hop Recording Artist Rick Ross. This year, the entertainment group will not only maintain 10 days of activities but the excitement will be intensified with new additions. The string of events include the now annual Jazz Night and Fashion Show, Kids

Zone, the Miss Jamzone International Pageant; the Regional Night concert and International Night concert. Among initiatives added to this year’s schedule are a magnificent Ski Show; a Biker’s Fest event; Food/Local Night and a Football match between two big local teams. Those who are anxious for the headlining acts to be revealed will

have to wait a while longer as the Hits and Jams team is not quite ready to let the ‘cat out the bag’. However, it must be noted that the main act for this year’s International Night has been secured with the contacts signed. As usual, patrons can look forward to a top class artiste who has stormed the music scene. As it relates to the Regional Night concert,

Top disc jockey James Bond talks reggae in Canada


ompared to Toronto, the Jamaican community in Montreal is a small one. But according to a top disc jockey in that city, Quebec's largest city has quietly made strides as a leading reggae market in Canada. James Bond is host of ‘On The Reggae Jam’, a weekly show on the K103.7FM radio station. For three hours (9:00 to midnight), he plays the latest reggae hits as well as classics from the 1970s and old school dancehall of the 1980s. Bond (given name James Kornecook) was in Jamaica recently and spoke to the Jamaica Observer about the current state of reggae in Montreal. "There are several reggae scenes in Montreal. There is a French scene that Haitians and Quebecers attend and there is an English West Indian scene in another part of town," he said. "We also have communities from islands such as St Vincent, Grenada, Trinidad...all these cater specifically for these communities," he added. "There is a large African population that also loves reggae music." According to Bond, that cosmopolitan populace usually supports the Montreal International Reggae Festival which takes place in August. Throughout the year, big names including Sizzla, Beres Hammond, Konshens and Sanchez perform at club dates, but he says for all this favourable growth, Montreal is still a distant second to Toronto when it comes to reggae. "It is important to understand that the Montreal market is smaller than Toronto's. A show in Toronto may have four or five name brand artistes but in Montreal only one artiste will come," he explained. "The crowd is just not there to support too many big shows, and the promoter will not make back the money they invested." A graduate of McGill University, Bond says he has been listening to Jamaican music since the 1980s when he discovered Bob Marley. He was a

James Bond, host of ‘On The Reggae Jam’

selector for a Montreal sound system named Virgo before branching out on his own, spinning dancehall/reggae beats at house parties. Since 2003, he has hosted ‘On The Reggae Jam’ which caters mainly to the youth demographic. "I usually devote most shows to new music, I play Mavado, Konshens, Chronixx, Chris Martin to Kabaka Pyramid and Iba Mahr," he said. "I take it back from time to time with some classic dancehall and foundation music, playing artistes like Super Cat, Shabba, Josey Wales." Montreal is the epicentre of French Canada. A city with a thriving arts and culinary scene, it has become increasingly diverse in the last 20 years through immigration from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean. That diversity is reflected in the music, with hip hop and dancehall/reggae challenging rock as the sound of choice in Montreal. Bond notes listener feedback for ‘On The Reggae Jam’ proves the appreciation for Jamaican music is on the rise. "I have a great variety of listeners from all backgrounds. I receive requests from the ultra-knowledgeable fan who will ask for the very latest release or others calling in for tunes like ‘Murder She Wrote’ or ‘Night Nurse’," he said. (Jamaica Observer)

partyholics can anticipate outstanding singers and musicians who are sure to bring that Caribbean flare to the table. With several acts booked for this event, it will be an evening of Soca, Dancehall, Reggae and Chutney, sure to keep fans gyrating all through the night. Jamzone Summer Break is an annual entertainment festival which is held in Guyana during the month of August. It has been accredited by the Tourism Ministry as an annual calendar festival in Guyana which serves to provide both domestic and international tourists with wholesome entertainment during the local August holiday known internationally as the ‘summer’ vacation.

TT film for Belize Film Festival


ocal short film ‘Sweet TnT’ written and directed by Trinidadian Andre Johnson, has been selected for the 2013 Belize International Film Festival (BIFF), a major accolade for this filmmaker and Trinidad and Tobago, since the mission of this prestigious Film Festival is to “highlight culturally stimulating films to the Belizean audience.” The film will compete with 13 others from countries including the United States of America, Cuba, Ukraine, Poland, France, Australia, and Spain. ‘Sweet TnT’ was produced by The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (ttfc) and Johnson and was shot on location in several areas of Trinidad and Tobago. It was screened in 2011 at the Portobello Film Festival, London and The Antigua International Film Festival, Antigua and as part of Dark Tales from Paradise. ‘Sweet TnT’ was combined with Radica directed by Francis Escayg and The Midnite Affair directed by Ryan Khan to form ‘Dark Tales from Paradise’, which was the premier feature film to open the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival 2010. Johnson is a graduate of The University of the West Indies film programme with a double major in Film Production and Film Studies with honours. He

also holds an Associate Degree in Management Information Systems and aims to complete an MBA by 2014. He has worked behind and in front of the camera during his still active career in Trinidad and Tobago and New York City. Johnson has had cameo appearances in over two dozen theatrical, television and big screen films produced by Warner Brothers, HBO,

Bird’. Privately, Johnson has produced documentaries, commercials and other productions for The Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society, The Catholic Media Services (CAMSEL), EDULINK UWI, The UWI Film Programme and The Retraining Programme to name a few. Adding to his most recent achievements, is his fictional novel ‘The Moorish

‘Sweet TnT’ was shot on location in several areas of Trinidad and Tobago

Paramount Pictures and Universal TV to name a few. These productions include ‘Analyze That II’, ‘Shaft’, ‘Two Weeks Notice’, ‘Law and Order (SVU)’, ‘ER’, ‘Third Watch’ and ‘Sex and the City’ among others. His work behind the camera has also not gone unnoticed, as he has won acclaim respectively in 2008, 2009 and 2010 at festivals in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Toronto and Belize for an earlier film, ‘The Caged

Trilogy: Part One’ which was published in March 2013 and is available at, Barnes and Nobles and most major online book sites and in bookstores throughout the world. ‘The Moorish Trilogy’ is a fictitious account of the adventures of the character ‘Othello’ before the tragic pages of Shakespeare, and Johnson hopes the novel will soon be adapted for the big screen. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)



week ending June 20, 2013 |


Melissa ‘Vanilla’ Roberts

uyana’s three time road queen, Melissa ‘Vanilla’ Roberts was nominated in the 11th annual International Soca Awards as Best New Female Artist of the Year. The award ceremony is scheduled to be held at the Spice Basket, Beaulieu in Grenada on August 6. Roberts, who has been creating some stir in Guyana among her female soca artistes, is the only Guyanese performer who was

nominated this year. Reigning road March King, Adrian Dutchin and songstress Celeste David were past nominees but never copped the award. Vanilla is one of six nominees in the category going up against nominees from Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and St Kitts with her song ‘Piece Ah Me’ which was released last year. The soca song was produced by Burchmore Simon of Kross Kolor Records and Andy Armstrong of

Barbados. Among the nominees are Barbados international superstar and Grammy Award winner Rihanna, Wyclef Jean, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull and ISA nominated Def Jam recording artiste Trinidad James. Topping the awards listed nominees for 2013 with nine nominations is Trinidad and Tobago Power and Groovy Soca monarch Machel Montano with Lil Rick, Bunji Garlin, Destra and Rikki Jai receiving four nominations each. The Soca Awards Organisation (SAO) was founded in 2003 by Trinidad native entrepreneur Mr Colin ‘CJ’ Jackman and was created to bring recognition to the soca and calypso genres. The first award ceremony was held in 2003 and by 2006 it was registered and trademarked as the International Soca Awards (ISA). The ISA is the Caribbean’s version of the Grammy, Hip Hop, MTV and BET Awards and this year it is said to be the biggest yet, featuring 34 categories including five new ones. Voting ends August 2. You can cast your vote at Remember, you must vote in all the categories in order for your vote to be counted.

Documentary captures cultural revival among descendants of Caribbean natives and slaves


ward-winning documentary filmmaker Andrea Leland has just launched a crowd-funding campaign for her upcoming film ‘Yurumein’ (Homeland) -- a documentary about the revival of Garifuna culture on the island of St Vincent. Through her fiscal sponsor, the Centre for Independent Documentary, Leland is trying to raise US$20,000 by August 16 to complete post-production on the film. Leland is requesting help to finish graphics and animation, sound design and colour correction for the film. Any remaining funds will be used towards outreach and distribution efforts. When Leland began to film ‘Yurumein’, Garifuna culture had been all but lost on the island of St Vincent for the last two hundred years. The Garifuna people, descendants of the native Carib and Arawak people and West Africans, once lived freely on the island of St Vincent. Forced into hiding and exile by British colonial forces during the 18th century, St Vincent’s Garifuna descendants knew little of their ancestral language, rituals, dance, music or food.


successful career for musical prodigies in Trinidad and Tobago is possible, and the Heroes Foundation is taking the country’s talented youth as far as Europe to help make that dream a reality. Saturday, the nonprofit organisation sent two musicians, Sameer Alladin and Harley Robertson, to France and then Germany, as part of its first-ever International Music Mentorship Opportunity programme. At a function at Tatil, Port-of-Spain, last Friday, chairman of the foundation, Philip Julien, said Alladin and Robertson were selected as beneficiaries of a grant from the French Embassy, and were headed for “a musical mentorship opportunity of a lifetime”. Alladin, a violinist, and Robertson, a double bassist, were selected by

Chairman of Heroes Foundation Phillip Julien, left, and executive director Ann Marie Narine speak with beneficiaries of International Music Mentorship Opportunity Harley Robertson and Sameer Alladin, during a function at Tatil Building, Maraval Road, last Friday. (Roberto Codallo/TT Guardian photo)

a panel of international musicians, University of TT professors, and Maestro Kwame Ryan, an internationally renowned conductor from TT. The two will eventually join Ryan for a concert in Bordeaux, France

on June 22. Robertson, 29, who will do a master’s in music performance at Florida International University with a full scholarship, starting in August, said being selected to perform at the

international destination concert was humbling. “We get exposure to something that you wouldn’t normally find in Trinidad,” he said. “So I think being able to go to Bordeaux

While traditions may have been lost on St Vincent, Garifuna culture flourished in the exiled communities of Central America. In the film, Leland captures the efforts of St Vincent’s Garifuna-descended population to recover their cultural traditions by connecting with their brothers and sisters in the larger Garifuna Diaspora. Leland has worked with and filmed the Garifuna Diaspora for the past 20 years. Her 1998 documentary, ‘The Garifuna Journey’, focuses on the culture of the exiled Garifuna in Belize. It was used as supporting material in awarding the UNESCO Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity to the Garifuna in 2001. The idea behind ‘Yurumein’ came to Leland during a 2005

screening of The Garifuna Journey in St Vincent. Locals learned that where Garifuna culture had been suppressed on St Vincent, it flourished in the diaspora. The Garifuna community in St Vincent expressed a desire to reconnect with the larger diaspora, and Leland says, “The story of ‘Yurumein’ began that very day.” Leland has completed shooting the footage for ‘Yurumein’ in both St Vincent and Los Angeles. She is now in the critical stage of post-production. She hopes to raise the funds to complete the film and screen it at film festivals, community groups, classrooms and widely within the Garifuna Diaspora. Also in the works is an interactive website where Garifuna worldwide can upload their own video stories. (CaribbeanNews)

and experience a culture and see the obvious differences, but also the similarities, is quite encouraging.” Alladin, 22, agreed that being selected was encouraging for a classical musician. “Part of being a musician is to be exposed to professionals and be immersed in that kind of environment, so the opportunity to go there is phenomenal,” Alladin said. Alladin has dreams of becoming a conductor one day, and said the foundation had given him the chance to see professional conductors in action. “It’s truly a gift.” He has been accepted into the University of Bristol, where he will study for his master’s in musicology starting in October. The programme was in line with the foundation’s commitment to establishing projects that

inspire youth to be proactive and promote positive changes in their areas of influence, even in music. Robertson, who credited his parents for his success, encouraged others to take their talents all the way. “I’d like to encourage people to make the most of whatever skills they have, and really ensure they maximise all the opportunities provided to them,” he said. Two of their mentors from UTT were present for the ceremony, and said the decision to send Alladin and Robertson was no mistake. Jonathan Storer, a concert master at UTT and Alladin’s violin mentor, said the future conductor was always asking the right questions to improve his talent. “He’s actually one of the most focused individuals I’ve come across.” (Excerpt from TT Guardian)


feature | week ending June 20, 2013

A forum for young artists in Guyana

Yaphet Jackman presenting one of his poetic pieces


n order for young artists to sharpen their talents to follow in the footsteps of legendary Guyanese artists, platform and infrastructure must be provided. This has been the mandate of the Upscale Poetry Night and its television programme “Verses and Flow”. In an interview, Yaphet Jackman, a committee member of poetry night, stated that the Upscale Restaurant’s aim to showcase and highlight Guyana’s artistic talents resulted in establishing an event that did just so. Jackman said that Upscale Poetry Night has been in existence for 11 years and the “response has been exponential”. He has seen a significant increase in poets and audiences over the years. An aficionado of the arts, Jackman pointed out that the poetry night is a wholesome event with Guyanese content anyone can consume. “The Upscale Poetry Night is very organic. It starts with an “openmic” segment, where poets can share whatever they like.

“We have discovered very talented individuals through this segment. We’ve had many stalwarts of the arts such as Lady Hilda, Jerome Hope, Kojo McPherson, and famous poets such as Ian McDonald and David Dabydeen at Upscale Poetry Night. Initially, some thought the event was only for the elite group and intellectuals, but as it became more popular, this perception changed and we saw an influx of really talented artists at the event,” he recalled. Jackman himself benefitted from poetry night. As a young writer, Jackman kept his poems a secret. He loved being at poetry night which made him feel at home. Although he was not involved in any part of the event, Jackman knew it was something he wanted to be a part of. “At that time things were stagnant. The audience didn’t grow neither did it diminish. I left Guyana in 2007 for St. Vincent. “There I met with a friend who wanted to find something entertaining. I suggested po-

etry because the spoken word is cool. He told me that it was done before but doesn’t know what happened to it. I told him we can re- work it and see what happens. “We started our entertainment group, which exists in St. Vincent up to this day. We decided to expand this by including jazz and live art. When I saw the response over there I wanted to bring the idea to Guyana. “When I returned in 2008, I went straight back to poetry night because I missed it a lot, but sadly heard it wasn’t kept for months. I was told no one wanted to manage it. “That’s when I decided I will take up its man-

to new-age spoken word. As a result of a revamped poetry night, poets have become even more serious and are looking at ways to improve their performances and knowledge in the craft of writing poetically. Jackman is currently working assiduously in expanding the television programme and poetry night. He would like to see “Verses and Flow” being aired on other television stations. Right now it is only shown on TVG28 every Thursday and Sunday from 7: 30 p.m. Additionally, shows are being planned for the Theatre Guild, National

Notable poet Kamadyah Yisrael reciting one of her dramatic poems

agement. “Incorporating the ideas I had, poetry night in Guyana grew immensely,” Jackman reminisced. Initially, music, displays of local designers’ collections, dramatic pieces and live art were regular and anticipated features of poetry night. Poetry transitioned from its traditional structure

Culture Centre, and in various schools in all regions. Moreover, Jackman disclosed that his committee is currently planning a road show for Linden and Berbice. The focus is more on Berbice because of the wide viewership and popularity “Verses and Flow” enjoys there. (Excerpt from Guyana Times)

Former Miss Jamaica turns fashion designer


ello 1980. Goodbye 2013! That's the exact statement made by the 2013 Angelie Martin-Spencer-designed swimsuit collection. The designer showed off her pieces at the 13th staging of CFW last weekend at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Jamaica. Has this former Miss Jamaica and Observer columnist turned fashion designer? Indeed. MartinSpencer demonstrated her prowess at the machine with an 80sstyle fashion take on swimwear for the summer. The pieces comprised bandeau bras and highwaisted panties, but dared to be bold with vibrant dresses and beach shorts for men. No faulty stitch work was visible and no audience member appeared displeased.

Angelie Martin-Spencer at the end of the runway after her designs took centre stage (Jamaica Observer photo)

Following in the proverbial footsteps of her sister Arlene Martin, who is a famed fashion designer, seemed to have paid off. While Martin is known for her simple, elegant dresses, her sister has one up on her in the beachwear department. But the similar design sense of both sisters impressed on the CFW runway — clean lines with impeccable finish. By evening's end it was obvious that Martin-Spencer had designed a winning collection. When she entered the stage after her showcasing, the smiling faces, turning heads, nods of approval and roaring applause were ample evidence of that fact. More so, she was wearing one of her own designs — a yellow wide-winged flowy gown with gold accent earrings. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)


By Anu Dev

“I don’t believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously.” – Ray Bradbury


00. Triple figures. This is my 100th article! One of the reasons I got into writing was because I had so many opinions on things, and there were some issues that I thought just weren’t getting the attention they deserved. So why not write about them? And I love writing. It’s nice to have ideas and put them down on paper. And I’d like to think I’ve grown. I’ve changed: my opinions have altered, my interests have shifted. And it’s been quite a journey. I remember when I was excited to get to double figures; it was such a big deal for me. And somewhere between frantically trying to come up with a topic to write about and equally frantically trying to find the perfect quote to open with, I wasn’t sure I’d reach triple figures. If anything, this feels more like a Chanderpaul Test century than a T20 century – it’s been a slow but hopefully steady journey, rather than the glitzy T20 half-second ride to a century. And this milestone also coincides with another milestone – last Friday I wrote my last ever CAPE exam! And most importantly, it means that I’ve just written my last ever exam as a student of Queen’s College! We’re at the beginning of the end. High school is wrapping up. There’re just the final rites of passage to get out of the way – like graduation. But exams have been such a massive part of what school’s been about, so for us to have written our last ever high-school exam – it’s a big deal. Some of us celebrated the end of exams with a movie at the ‘Princess’. But it still hasn’t sunken in that we’re free. It still feels like I need to pick up my ‘Bio’ book and learn about neurones and synapses. I’m not quite sure when I’ll fully realise that it’s all over. It’s a bit like the end of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ when they destroy Sauron and everyone is all battle-scarred and worn out and Sam says, “Yes Mr Frodo. It’s over now.” Except I don’t have a loyal Hobbit tagging along with me everywhere I go. But otherwise, it feels exactly like we’re at that scene. Working through some of those math problems was equivalent to clambering into a volcano and defeating super-sized spiders. Identical, actually. But we’ve finished one chapter in our lives and we have this nice little “August” interlude before we have to begin the next chapter. I guess this is the time we’ll use to rest and recuperate before we go to war again in September. And I can get back to cooking. But it’s been an interesting two years. Getting used to going to the same school but with so many of the people that were always there since First Form not returning for Sixth Form, and with so many students from other schools coming in. Getting used to a Sixth Form System where we’re told going in that we’ll be expected to do 80 per cent of the work on our own, with the remaining 20 per cent being covered in school. It all gave me some new perspectives on things and as with most experiences, they helped me to grow a little bit more. And then of course, there’s been the experience of writing this column every week. It’s been wonderfully fun. So I’d like to say thank you to all of my readers. Thank you for not skipping my article and just reading the new ‘Ripley’s Believe it or not’. Thank you for taking the time to read the things I have to say.



week ending June 20, 2013 |

Shah Rukh voted India’s most popular father


ollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, a doting dad of Aryan and Suhana, has been voted India’s most popular father in a Father’s Day poll conducted by a website. He got more votes than megastar Amitabh

Bachchan, who has a daughter and a son, according to IANS news reports. The results of the poll, conducted among over 11,000 Indian women, by matrimonial site, were announced a day ahead of Father’s Day. Shah Rukh received 34.83 per cent votes, while Amitabh was chosen by 31.58 per cent of the women surveyed. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar took the third spot with 18.61 per cent. “The poll showcases some of the most successful Indian men whose love and dedication also make them popular fathers. This suggests that people are looking at celebrities as real people with real relationships,” Gourav Rakshit, Chief Operating Officer,, said. The poll also posed other questions to the respondents. Also, 44.85 per cent Indian women voted for Shah Rukh and his son Aryan as India’s most popular father-son duo. (Bollywood Celebden)

Ameesha Patel finds anti -hero role tough


meesha Patel turns into a ‘baddie’ for her forthcoming film ‘Shortcut Romeo’ and asserts it was challenging for her to play an anti-hero role, as it has drained her emotionally and physically, reported IANS. “Anti-hero role is always challenging. Like Shah Rukh Khan’s role in ‘Baazigar’ and ‘Darr’. Whenever you break a norm to do something, it

is always challenging,” Ameesha said in an interview with IANS. “To not do a typical heroine, to look sophisticated, rich, woman and beautiful despite being in a negative role is a tough job because you might cross the line and look like a vamp. “So, it was a physically and emotionally tiring film for me to do because of the dangerous dialogues, looks, manip-

ulative eyes – all this I haven’t done before,” added the 38 –year-old. ‘Shortcut Romeo’ also stars Puja Gupta and is slated to hit theatres June 21. (Bollywood Celebden)

Farah Khan returns home from hospital


horeographer-filmmaker Farah Khan is relieved on returning home, after spending 10 days in a hospital, IANS reporters revealed. She was admitted after she reportedly complained of high fever. “What a relief to be home after 10 days in hosp(ital)! Treatment still going on, but already feeling better with my family around. Bed rest for another week,” tweeted Farah. While in hospital, Farah, who is married to editor-turned-director Shirish Kunder and has triplets with him, sought “positive energy” from the concern and prayers she received from her fans and Twitterati. (Bollywood Celebden)

Emraan Hashmi to turn producer


mraan Hashmi is that rare star who prefers to maintain a low profile in spite of having so many hits under his belt. But now, the actor is branching out and including a new profile to his CV — that of a producer. This doesn’t mean that acting will take a back seat. “In the near future, I will be getting into production, or I may co-produce a film. I did get a lot of offers, but right now, I am too tied up with films in which I

have an acting part. Production takes a lot (of effort),” he says. The actor has his hands full for the year, as he has to finish three films — director Kunal Deshmukh’s ‘Shatir’, followed by Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor’s yet-untitled joint production, and Vikram Bhatt’s supernatural film, ‘Invisible’. Once he is done with these, he will start planning his production ventures. (Hindustan Times)


ctress Manisha Koirala, who has successfully battled ovarian cancer, maintained a vibrant and cheerful demeanour as she stepped out for a public function in New York recently, according to reports by IANS. The 42-year-old was seen wearing trousers, a white shirt, a casual white coat and a red hat. Manisha covered her head with a tiedup stole, and then further concealed it with the bright red hat -- and she not only looked elegant, she was also happier and healthier. Even her face and her smile reflected a unique glow as she interacted with several women in a green, open space. "I am free from cancer," Manisha said at the event, thanking all those who wished her recovery

during her tough time, according to a Nepalese channel, which operates from New York. Manisha, who carved her own niche in the Hindi film industry with films like ‘Bombay’, ‘1942: A Love Story’ and ‘Dil Se’, was initially admitted to Mumbai's Jaslok Hospital on

November 28 last year, after which she flew down to the U.S. for further treatment. She is expected to return to India towards the end of June, her manager Subroto Ghosh, told IANS, adding: "She is now fine, all hale and hearty." (Times of India)

AMTM (Animals Matter to Me) working on Bijlee, giving food etc, but she needs to get to a hospital. Authority help needed. Equipment to carry (sic)."

"A compassionate appeal to all animal lovers. Please come forward and extend all possible help. I just did. Will you?" he tweeted. The actor also put up photographs of Bijlee on his blog with details of the NGO where one can contribute in whatever way possible. Bijlee, a 58-year-old female elephant, belongs to a couple who used her to beg for alms, marriages and other auspicious occasions. (Times of India)


mitabh Bachchan has appealed to animal lovers to rescue the ailing elephant ‘Bijlee’ who had collapsed near Wockhardt Hospital in Mulund last week, according to IANS reports. In a series of tweets, the 70 year old said: "Attention! elephant Bijlee lying collapsed in Mulund, suburb of Mumbai...she needs cure...will authorities please extend all help." He further tweeted: "There is an NGO

Freida Pinto takes to social networking


fter becoming part of international cinema with plum projects like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Miral’ and ‘Immortals’, actress Freida Pinto has earned an impressive fan following. Now, she has decided to take to the world of social networking to connect with them. She was apprehensive about being active on the online medium, but she has now created a Facebook page and she has even gotten hooked to online photo-sharing and social networking service Instagram, a source close to the 28-year-old, told IANS reporters. The fact that she is “more expressive and likes having pictures to support her point of view” makes it even better, the source said. “Her experiences range from attending awards shows to being on film sets to attending high-end fashion events, charity-based events and concerts,” the source further divulged. Freida’s spokesperson confirmed

this development, and added that the actress plans on starting her online engagement in the coming week, while balancing her life as an actor and her charity work. The young and raring-to-go actress was recently in Ethiopia to bat for girl empowerment. (Bollywood Celebden)


hollywood | week ending June 20, 2013

Justin Bieber cleared Trespasser arrested at Rihanna’s house of hit and run


ustin Bieber has been cleared of being involved in a hit and run accident in Los Angeles. The 19-year-old singer was investigated and interviewed for a few hours after a photographer allegedly suffered minor injuries from being pinned against another car by the singer's white Ferrari on Monday night (17.06.13). A source told gossip website that the 'All Around The World' hit-maker was leaving the Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard at approximately 11:45 PM with his best friend, Lil Twist, when the photographer got pinned between his

moving Ferrari and a parked car. The source insisted that Justin motioned at the group of photographers snapping pictures

to move out of the way after he got behind the wheel of his super car, but when he drove away he appeared to pin one of them between his car and another parked vehicle. Justin did not stop to see whether the photographer was okay but told police that he did not know he had hit anyone. Police have now cleared the Canadian star of any wrongdoing and said the incident was the paparazzo's own fault because he was a pedestrian in the roadway. Law enforcement sources also said that the paparazzo was not seriously hurt. (Contactmusic)

paring to respond to the court, which will then decide whether to take up the case. Allibert says the book is entirely fiction and is about a character who looks just like Johansson, not Johansson herself. That character is enmeshed in a romance with another lookalike one modelled after film star Ryan Gosling. Johansson's French lawyer Vincent Toledano said in a statement to The Associated Press that Johansson is protesting the use of her

name and image for "mercantile" purposes, and accuses the book of invading her privacy. The publisher argues that the lawsuit "is contrary" to the idea of the book. The author "only says good things about" Johansson, Allibert said. (Times of India)

Scarlett Johansson sues over French book


ctress Scarlett Johansson is suing a French publishing house over a novel that uses her name and image and explores the challenges of being beautiful, according to reports from Associated Press. The JC Lattes publishing house said Friday that a lawsuit was filed last week about Gregoire Delacourt's book ‘The First Thing We Look At’. JC Lattes’ spokeswoman Emmanuelle Allibert says the publisher's lawyers are pre-


man was arrested for creeping around on Rihanna's roof on Monday night (17.06.13).

Bradley Cooper has ‘world’s sexiest hair’


radley Cooper has been chosen as the man with world's best hair by 2000 women. 'The Hangover' star topped the survey with almost half the votes, beating Ryan Gosling, who fetched only 20 per cent of the votes, the Sun reported. David Beckham landed at the third place with 17 per cent of votes, while Prince Harry could manage only 5 per cent, the poll conducted for hair brand ‘Fudge’, revealed. Most of the women who were surveyed, thought that hair longer than six inches was a turn-off and just seven per cent were eager to run their fingers through styles like that of Russell Brand. (Times of India)

Owen Wilson teams up with Jim Carrey for comedy

Seth Rogen’s new comedy shunned original ending


eth Rogen's comedy ‘This Is The End’ did not use its intended ending. The script was changed in order to accommodate a cameo from 90's pop stars ‘Backstreet Boys’ leading a sing-along dance to 'Everybody', their 1997 single. Director and co-writer Evan Goldberg said the idea had come from an off-the-cuff suggestion from his wife on how to make the ending more interesting. Seth Rogen,

who stars in the comedy, was determined to make the idea a reality. The Backstreet Boys cameo was not exactly what the writers had

planned, as the original ending was meant to feature Morgan Freeman, reviving his role as God in ‘Bruce Almighty’. Unfortunately, the actor had no interest in participating in the project. Rogen was then adamant the Backstreet Boys should play a part, especially as he said in an interview with ‘The Vulture’, he is "the appropriate age" to remember when "Backstreet Boys were kings". (Contactmusic)

Johnny Depp is almost blind in one eye


uperstar Johnny Depp has revealed he is almost blind in one eye. The 'Lone Ranger' star, who is rarely photographed without a pair of tinted glasses, said he is near-sighted in the other eye and that's why he relies heavily on prescription glasses, report-

ed Contactmusic. "Everything is just very, very blurry. I've never had proper vision,"

he said. The 50-year-old actor, who has two children Lily-Rose, 14, and Jack, 11, with his ex-girlfriend Vanessa Paradis, said he can only see a few inches from his face if he is playing a character that does not wear glasses or sunglasses. (Excerpt from Times of India)

Police were called to the 'Stay' singer's home in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles after private security guards reported they had detained a 26-year-old male trespasser on her property, shortly after 10 p.m. The man, who was adamant he did not know it was Rihanna's house, despite police finding a Google map of the area on his phone, was arrested and is still in custody, according to the Los Angeles Times newspaper. Rihanna was not home at the time of the incident as she is currently in the U.K. on her 'Diamonds' world tour. The 25-year-old Barbados native was previously forced to obtain a threeyear restraining order against obsessed fan Steveland Barrow in March, after he broke into the property next door, which he wrongly believed to be hers. (Contactmusic)


he two Hollywood funnymen will share top billing in a comedy that is currently untitled, but referred to in Hollywood as ‘Loomis Fargo’ after the true story of the

Loomis Fargo bank robbery, announces Owen Wilson, top-billed for ‘The Internship’, will be joining Jim Carrey in this picture by Jared Hess (‘Napoleon Dynamite’, ‘Nacho Libre’). It's about a disgruntled armoured car driver, working for a bank, who successfully steals $20m from its vault, only to find himself soon afterwards betrayed by his accomplices, penniless and on the lam in Mexico. This feature-length comedy will be produced by Relativity Media, which has yet to announce a shooting date. (Hindustan Times)

Neil Patrick Harris returns to Broadway


he four-time Tony Award host and former ‘Doogie Howser, M.D.’ actor will star on Broadway in the spring as the gender-bent rock chanteuse at the centre of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’, the cult musical that was made into a cult movie, according to reports by Associated Press. The rest of the creative team members, cast, dates and the theatre will be announced later. Written by John Cameron Mitchell and composer Stephen Trask, ‘Hedwig’ was an unlikely hit fashioned out of a strange story: a tale of obsession, glam rock, a botched sex-change operation and a quest for identity. Harris, the 40-year-old ‘How I Met Your Mother’ star, has been featured in three Broadway productions, including

‘Assassins’, ‘Proof’ and as the exuberant master of ceremonies in ‘Cabaret’. (Times of India)



week ending June 20, 2013 |

Guyana’s culture, youth and sport minister on balancing work and being a dad


uyana’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony explains how he connects with his children and the inspiration he received from his father. Guyana Times Sunday Magazine (GTSM): How many children do you have? Dr Anthony: I have two daughters: Jessica Asmita Anthony, 18 years old, and Ashley Vinaya Anthony, 14 years old. GTSM: When you were appointed as a government minister, how did you juggle time spent with your children and work? Dr Anthony: It is a challenge to balance work with family time. Fortunately for me, my family is very understanding. Shanti, my wife, and I have hectic schedules, nevertheless, we do set aside time to help the children with their studies and drop them off for their sports or cultural activities. Ashley is involved in

sports cycling and now she is into swimming. Jessica is more into dancing. Sometimes I think their engagements are as busy as ours. Yet we always find ways of spending quality time together. GTSM: As a father with teenage daughters, how are you able to get through to them concerning matters affecting them such as boyfriends or dating? Dr Anthony: We believe in open discussions, and our children know that if they have issues they can always discuss them with us. In the home, there are debates on various issues and they ensure that we know their opinions and perspectives. I think they have helped me to narrow the “generation gap” because they keep me up-to-date with the latest singers, songs, movies and fashion styles. This has also been useful in my work when dealing with young people. GTSM: Regarding

Dr Frank Anthony and his family

disciplining, how is this administered? Dr Anthony: We have had very few occasions where we had to discipline our children. Usually it takes the form of a discussion on the offending behaviour and

that we would not like to see a repetition. This has worked well. We are against hitting children, and we have never used this method to discipline them and I think, so far, they have done well. GTSM: What advice

do you always give to your children? Dr Anthony: I give them advice on many things. I think it is important that they are able to set goals and work to achieve them. That they should read widely, they

should be socially engaged; that they must be active in the community and be involved in sports. Generally, they should have a balanced and well-meaning life. GTSM: How did your father influence you? Dr Anthony: My father inspired me to do better than he did in life. His advice was that anything could be accomplished; anything can be achieved once you work hard enough for it. That stuck with me. GTSM: What’s your advice to fathers in fulfilling their role? Dr Anthony: You have to find time for your children; work with them and guide them to realise their full potential. Teach them the value of a good education. Teach them to have strong moral and ethical values. Teach them to have a passion for life. There is no better way to do this than by living the life you advocate…Let us continue to inspire our children. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

Sunbeam Children’s Home - changing lives despite challenges


o the average passer-by, there is nothing special about the appearance of the Sunbeam Children's Home in Jamaica. In fact, at first glance, the building, with dusty windows and pale-coloured walls, located at the side of a long unpaved dirt track in

The Sunbeam Children's Home, located on approximately five acres of land, caters to almost 40 boys, some of whom were abandoned by their family members. "The home was established for boys who were living in the streets of Jamaica. It is an institution founded on

Manager Desmond Whitley speaks about the achievements of the home last week

Nightingale Grove — a farming community in St Catherine — appears to be an old empty structure where not much is happening. A closer look at the facility, however, reveals that not only is there life budding behind the closed doors, but unknown to many, it is an institution that is quietly changing the lives of some of the most vulnerable and abused children in St Catherine.

Christian principles, and we are focused on making these boys into valuable young men when they leave and re-enter the general society," said Manager Desmond Whitley. The institution is sponsored by the Sunbeam Association for Mission (SAM) in Minnesota, United States of America, but Whitley said that, while the organisation continued to change lives, there

were a number of factors hindering the home from operating at its full potential. Topping the list is the lack of proper funding to the institution. "We are a private institution, so government funding is little. We rely on funding from private institutions, namely SAM, which is responsible for us. The funding does help as we cater to boys, each with a different problem," Whitley said. He said that to address this setback, overseas funding is used to purchase furniture and materials or the boys. A portion of the funds is also used to supply the boys with lunch money to attend school on a daily basis. He was determined that, although funding from government may be minimal, the organisation sees its effort as a ministry and was steadfast in its operations. Whitley also had concerns about the deplorable road condition that is causing serious health problems for the boys.

Success stories

"The road has been in that bad state for many years. As a result, some of our boys have developed sinusitis and have

Boys from the home at play. (Lionel Rookwood/Jamaica Observer photos)

had serious asthma attacks. Some have even developed lesions on their skin from the dust. At one point it was so bad that you could write your name [in the dust] all over the place," Whitley said. A smile, however, flashed across the face of the manager when he explained that, despite the challenge, the boys have managed to achieve outstanding academic performances over the years. "When we get these boys, most times their education is at basic school level. However, we have trained teachers and counsellors who plan and work with them to get them to an acceptable state," Whitley said.

Some of the boys, he said, have received excellent passes in the Grade Six Achievement Test and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations, while holding leadership positions at school. "We have boys who get passes to top schools like Kingston College and St George's College. Education is one of our top priorities," he added. Whitley said, too, that through its ministry, counselling and socialisation efforts, Sunbeam has managed to convert the boys to Christian lifestyles. Last week, during a visit to the home, a number of boys were seen walking proud-

ly from school to the boys' home, some displaying ‘prefect’ badges. According to a supervisor at the home, this was evidence of responsibility and good leadership skills. The supervisor added that, because of the level of discipline at the home, there was no need for high level security. "Our boys are leaders and they are responsible, they don't run away. Even if they do, they return within a day or even a few hours. We can trust them, and we allow them to walk on the roads. They are the ones who keep the gate keys," Whitley said, in a confident tone. (Jamaica Observer)


feature | week ending June 20, 2013

Significant scope seen for animation outsourcing in Jamaica


amaica’s large talent pool and its close geographical proximity to film and entertainment heavyweights in the U.S. have perfectly positioned the country to develop a strong animation sector that will have the potential to command a meaningful share of the multi-billion dollar global industry, according to Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) creative industries manager and film commissioner, Kim Marie Spence. Speaking ahead of the staging of the ‘Kingstoon’ animation conference and festival, which is scheduled to take place on June 20 and 21 at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Spence noted that Jamaica has the right attributes to establish itself as a quality provider of animation services to big markets such as the U.S. and Canada. “Recent interactions with representatives from major entertainment companies in the U.S. have confirmed that they consider Jamaica to be excellently positioned to assume a significant role in the provision of animation services and content based on our proximity, common language and cultural affinity,” stated Spence. She elaborated that among Jamaica’s advantages are its large English-speaking workforce, which is critical when working with English-

JAMPRO creative industries manager and film commissioner Kim Marie Spence (Jamaica Observer file photo)

speaking animated characters, lower production costs and the island’s well-established track record and global influence in the creative industries. According to data from the Overseas Examination Council, over 2,500 students passed art and design with grades one or two between 2008 and 2012. “These young people have the basic skills required to become world-class animators. When you consider older age groups or existing professionals in the field or allied industries, that number is easily tripled. The animation industry can provide a clear avenue to

develop raw local talent into highly skilled resources, which will generate many jobs for Jamaicans in the process,” said Spence. The global animation industry was valued at US$222.8 billion in 2012, with much of the animation outsourcing jobs going to countries like India, South Korea and the Philippines. Spence indicated that as the animation companies in these countries move up the valuechain and shift away from outsourcing to the development and production of their own content, a gap will be created for outsourcing services that countries like Jamaica can seek to fill. “The local animation industry is expanding and there are encouraging signs from existing ‘pure play’ studios, mixed companies and independent animators who are seeking to formalise the industry. Once the country is able to demonstrate its growth potential in this area through the establishment of more professional firms with improved production capacity, we will be able to attract the attention of more global players.” ‘Kingstoon’, which is being organised by the government of Jamaica in partnership with the World Bank, Canadian High Commission and JAMPRO, is geared towards raising local awareness of the emerging opportunities in animation, particularly

among the youth. The two-day event will also provide a platform for showcasing Jamaican and Caribbean talent and identifying key policy decisions needed to support the animation industry in Jamaica. ‘Kingstoon’ will feature panel discussions with local and international industry leaders, as well as an animation competition. Among the sponsors of the event are the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited (Flow), Jamaica Gleaner and LIME. JAMPRO’s involvement with ‘Kingstoon’ is the latest in a series of activities undertaken by the agency to catalyse the growth of the animation industry, which has been identified by the Jamaica Film Commission as part of its medium-term strategy to encourage non-traditional exports. In November 2011, JAMPRO sponsored and hosted ‘Animae Caribe Jamaica’, which featured workshops by experienced Hollywood animators James Parris and Kristin Solid. In December 2012, JAMPRO provided support to the Japanese embassy in hosting a lecture on manga – the printed cartoons that form the basis of many popular Japanese animated series. (JAMPRO)

Star of the Week


orn on October 4, 1987 in Trinidad and Tobago, Sathi Ganpat came to Canada with her family when she was two years old. She is the eldest of three children. After a short while going to school for nursing in Canada, Sathi says she came to the realisation that her passion laid elsewhere and she decided to discontinue studies in the medical field. Turning to her love for art, she ventured into setting up her own company, ‘Divine Beauty’, of which the name derives from Sathi’s love of the lotus flower and its symbolism. This young lady has finally found a passion in the make-up industry and has been a professional make-up artist for the past three years. Sathi recalls that she always loved make-up and would do it for friends and family all the time for their appearance at proms, birthdays and other events. She is currently based out of Mississauga with an in-home studio, but also travels to her clients. She hopes to open her own studio and run a full service beauty salon sometime in the near future. In the meantime, she works at a staffing/recruitment agency, Staffclick Personnel Inc. as a recruiting specialist/ payroll administrator. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, reading and spending time with her family.



week ending June 20, 2013 |

Young Chanderpaul returns from England with improved technique By Avenash Ramzan


ational FirstClass batsman Tagenarine Chanderpaul said he was able to tweak his technique while on a twomonth stint in England. This, he stated, was his biggest achievement on his maiden try out in English conditions. The 17-year-old son of West Indies batting stalwart, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, recently returned to Guyana from the United Kingdom where he had his first taste of those conditions. According to the young Chanderpaul, the experience was extremely vital to his cricket development. “It was a great experience; I was able to make some adjustments to my technique, especially against the ‘moving ball’. What I learnt the most is that you have to play very late, try not to

come on to the front foot too early, because the ball is always seaming due to the conditions,” he pointed out. ‘Brandon’, as he is commonly called, said the pitches in England are a complete contrast to those in the Caribbean, something he said he knew from the inception by just looking at cricket on television, but was very fortunate to experience it firsthand. “It was difficult at first to deal with the ball seaming around and doing weird stuff, but I adjusted well because I did some extra work in the nets and it paid off,” the teenager reflected. In what can only be described as a successful outing, the left-hander racked up 761 runs from 16 limited-over games for Stainsby Hall Cricket Club in the first division league. He was the leading runscorer for the club

Remarkable consistency

Tagenarine Chanderpaul (Guyana Times file photo)

by quite a distance, with Simon Torr being the

next highest with 505 runs from 15 games.

Chanderpaul provided remarkable consistency at the top of the order for the club, notching up four centuries and three fifties. He ended the stint with an excellent average of 76.1 and a solid strike rate of 72.22. His highest score was an unbeaten 110. According to Chanderpaul, he is now focused on making the Guyana Under-19 team for the upcoming regional competition. Young Tagenarine, earlier this year, made his First-Class debut against the Leeward Islands in Antigua in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Regional FourDay competition. He earned the national call-up after a string of consistent performances in the Guyana Cricket Board’s Inter-County one-day and four-day tournaments. In the one-day ver-

sion, the left-handed opener made the only century and a fifty, and also topped the batting charts with 170 runs in three innings at an average of 170. In the fourday Inter-County, he had scores of 52, three, 18, nine and one not out. During the regional four-day competition in March, Shivnarine and Tagenarine created history by becoming only the second father/son pair to appear in a First-Class match in the Caribbean. In September 1948, Lebrun Constantine made his final appearance in an important match for Trinidad and Tobago against Barbados in British Guiana at the age of 48 playing alongside his son Learie Constantine, who had just turned 21. After four FirstClass games, young Chanderpaul has amassed 176 runs with a highest score of 42.

Khan wins Guyanese batsman Ryan TT squash Ramdass slams double-century crown Toronto and District Cricket Association…

By Ravendra Madholall



Rhea Khan (TT Guardian file photo)

hea Khan captured her 18th national title in Trinidad and Tobago Saturday when she powered to victory in the Women’s Singles final on the final day of the National Senior Squash Championships at the Cascadia Club courts, St Ann’s. Khan showed class and outplayed Faith Gillezeau 3-0 in the somewhat one-sided final. In the opening set Khan produced an impressive 11-2 thrashing. Gillezeau showed some resistance in the second set but still fell 11-9 victim to Khan. The multiple national champion then sealed her 18th national crown with a dominant 11-3 display in the final set. In the Men’s Singles third place playoff, Julian Chin emerged the victor over the younger Patrick brother, Nkrumah. Chen fought valiantly to hold off a persistent Patrick 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4 to claim bronze. Additionally, Nikita Poon Kong snatched bronze in the Women’s division when she overcame Talia Abdool 3-0. (Excerpt from TT Newsday)

ormer West Indies and Guyana opening batsman Ryan Ramdass slammed a magnificent double-century (200*) for Classics Cricket Club (CCC) in a Brampton limited-over tournament on Sunday, while he scored a half-century for Islanders Cricket Club on Saturday at King City where action resumed in the 2013 Toronto District Cricket Association 50-over Elite competition. The right-hander cracked ten fours and four effortless sixes as his team whipped Brittinea Cricket Club by 65 runs. His side piled up a sufficient 298-7 off the 50-overs, while the opposition only scored 233 all out off 48 overs. In the Elite competition, Ramdass, who only featured in a solitary test and one-day internationals for West Indies, produced another fine batting display to lead Islanders Cricket Club to a thrilling four-run win. He made an even fifty to see Islanders posted a challenging 206-6 from the allocation of 50 overs with Vincentian Rodriques Thomas hitting an impressive 82. Canada’s national player, Jamaican Austin Codrington stroked a boundary-studded 82 to

put up a fight for Caribbean Limers, as his side agonisingly fell for 202 in the penultimate over. Guyanese leg-spinner Raakesh Goberdhan bowled with great accuracy on a docile pitch to pick up

spell of eight overs. On Sunday, several games were rained out but the action is scheduled to resume this Saturday and Sunday at various venues across the Greater Toronto Area, weather permitting.

Ryan Ramdass

Austin Codrington

three wickets for 23 runs from seven tidy overs for the victor. In the Premier League division, Victoria Park continued with their winning ways after humbling nemesis Vikings Cricket Club also at the King City ground on Saturday. Victoria Park batted first and scored 145 with Guyanese Shiv Persaud weighing in with 23. When the losers batted, there was no resistance from the batsmen as former Guyana under-19 captain Eugene Lafleur bagged two wickets merely for eight runs from an economical

Meanwhile, the West Indies batsman Ramdass told this publication just after the game on Sunday that he was ecstatic to be back in Canada and begin both the Toronto and Brampton competitions on a high note. “I [am] definitely delighted to return to Canada and started off things in a great manner; I just came up from Trinidad and Tobago where I scored a lot of runs and my aim now is to make runs on a consistent basis to regain my place on the Caribbean side soon,” Ramdass related. According to Ramdass,

he scored over 660 runs with three centuries and believes these performances will certainly impress the regional selectors. “I am mentally and physically fit as you can see that I am playing regularly and competitively over the past year since coming back from my injuries; cricket in Canada is fantastic especially playing with a number of the guys who have represented Guyana at various levels, so I am keen of making another good impact in North America,” Ramdass indicated. Defending Elite Champion Brampton Tranzac Masters Cricket Club skipper Damodar Daesrath expressed disappointments with the inclement weather after two games were abandoned. His team has won two of their four scheduled games, while Sunday’s washout left them in a state of dismay. “I think we just being a bit unfortunate; being the defending champion side and wanted to continue from where we left off last year is quiet disappointing; two of our games rained out while we won two convincingly and that really gives us some great confidence of retaining the title but we have to wait and see,” the former Guyana senior team captain stated.


sport | week ending June 20, 2013

Guyana’s female hockey team winless in Canada - but coach pleased with exposure By Ravendra Madholall


uyana’s female hockey team had a poor run after the completion of the Canadian national championships which concluded on Sunday at the Cassie Campbell Community Centre, Sandalwood, Toronto. However, head coach and manager Phillip Fernandes, relished the opportunity of the girls participating in the championships for the first time. The tournament was used as preparation ahead of this year’s Pan American Games. In their first encounter, the Guyanese were whipped 11-0 by the hosts’ national under-23 team, while in the second game they were humiliated 14-0 at the hands of British Columbia. Guyana showed improvement in the third and fourth matches against Alberta and Ontario respectively, losing 2-0 on both occasions, while they failed to make an impression in the playoff game ending in

the cellular position with no points. Notwithstanding the daunting margins of defeat, Fernandes felt the exposure for the girls is tremendously important for them as it is part of their quest for supremacy at this year’s Pan American championships, billed for Argentina in September. Fernandes acknowledged the fact the goalie was quite lethargic after regular custodian Alysa Xavier arrived late in North America due to her GCE ‘A’ Level exams. “I think we just missed out on a number of opportunities in all our games so far; conceding 11 and 14 goals really demonstrated the poor defence and certainly the absence of Alysa (Xavier), but we have to be thankful for the Hockey Federation up here for hosting us.” He continued: “The exposure is definitely wonderful and I think the girls have learnt a lot so far; the competition was stiff and we were playing against some international veterans, but it is

The Guyanese players and management team strike a pose before their final game on Sunday in Toronto

part of our preparations for Argentina later in the year.” Fernandes also mentioned that the limited use of an artificial turf, perhaps, was the biggest disadvantage for his troop since they played throughout the year in Guyana on grass and now had to adapt to the artificial surface. “It is going to be a big hindrance for us given the fact we don’t have an artificial track in Guyana and then coming and

CIOG applauds NEW GPC/ Limacol on acquisition of Guyana CPL T20 franchise


he Central Executive Council of the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) has extended unreserved congratulations to Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII) Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Dr Ranjisinghi Ramroop on the recent acquisition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 Franchise for Guyana. The Guyana franchise was acquired by NEW GPC/Limacol, a member of the QAII group of companies. “We hope this achievement will motivate you to aim higher in all your future goals,” said the CIOG in a letter to Dr Ramroop. “We wish you all the best in your future endeavours and success in both worlds.” The letter, signed by CIOG President Fazeel Ferouz, also quoted the Holy Prophet Muhammad, saying the “believer is that person who performs his tasks to the best of his ability”. CPL Chief Executive Officer Damien O’Donohoe signed the franchise agreement with Dr Ramroop on June 10, with just about seven weeks to go before the inaugural tournament kicks off. Headquartered in Guyana, NEW GPC has been operating for 90 years

and is the Caribbean’s oldest and largest pharmaceutical manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter cosmetics preparations and veterinary products of the highest quality. Guyana’s franchise players are West Indies player Sunil Narine and Pakistan player Mohammed Hafeez. They are joined by Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, James Franklin, Chris Barnwell, Martin Guptill, Krishmar Santokie, William Perkins, Steven Jacobs, Ronsford Beaton, Trevon Griffith, Narsingh Deonarine, and Veerasammy Permaul. Guyana is probably best known for its pristine Amazon rainforest, and so it is no surprise that Team Guyana will go by the moniker ‘Guyana Amazon Warriors’. The team logo was created using the shapes within the national flag to create arrows and represents the dynamism of the team and its warrior spirit. The tournament will start on July 30 in Barbados and concludes on August 24 in Trinidad. The four matches in Guyana will be played on July 31 and August 2 and 4 at the National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara.

compete with teams that are familiar with it, so I think that can contribute to our poor performances so far; it is imperative that we travel overseas prior to major tournaments to expose our players to competition on such a surface,” Fernandes divulged. According to Fernandes, his coach Rawl Davson put in some technical work since their arrival in Canada a week ago and the players showed great enthu-

siasm and commitment and maximised on the opportunity. Fernandes stated that with the absence of three senior players, the result certainly was affected. Sonia Jardine could not make the trip due to studies, while Vanessa Pires was ill and Cora Towler was not issued a visa. M e a n w h i l e , Fernandes reserved special thanks for two Canadian Guyanese personalities, Noel Danny

and Errol Campbell for making the trips around Canada possible. “They have been supportive since the commencement of the tournament in various ways,” Fernandes said, adding that the Guyanese community was also very generous. Meanwhile, the national Under-12 team was crowned champion after inflicting a 10-0 drubbing on British Columbia at the same venue.

Jamaica’s Michael O’Hara expects to run faster at World Youth Champs


fter his brilliant he clocked 10.39 secwork at the weekonds (1.0m/s wind) to beat end’s JAAA/Supreme Wassem Williams and Ventures National Junior Odane Bernard in the 100m Championships at the final, lowering his personNational Stadium in al best from 10.49 seconds Jamaica, Calabar High’s and looks set to become Michael O’Hara is full of conthe third Jamaican man to fidence for the Eighth IAAF win the 100m at the World World Youth Championships Youth Championships afto be held in Donetsk, ter Dexter Lee in 2007 in Ukraine, from July 10-14. Ostrava, Czech Republic, O’Hara ran a world youth and Odail Todd in 2011 in leading 10.39 seconds in the Lille, France. 100m and a joint world leadInterestingly, O’Hara ing 20.75. says his favourite event is “It was a good weekend,” the 110m hurdles where said O’Hara on Sunday, a his best time achieved in massive understatement, as March is 13.45 seconds, he lowered his previous perbut he will bypass that sonal bests in both events. event come World Youth O’Hara and Wolmer’s Championships. Girls’ Jonielle Smith won Looking back on his outUnder-18 sprint doubles at standing season, O’Hara Michael O’Hara (Jamaica Observer photo) the weekend’s two-day trials noted that with the excepafter a quick but heavy shower of tion of his bout of chicken pox and along with sprint hurdler Yanique Thompson, who lowered rain driven by fierce winds forced that kept him out of the Carifta her own world youth leading time a near hour-long break, O’Hara Games in The Bahamas, his seain the 100m hurdles to 13.23 sec- blew away a strong field in al- son has been a good one so far. onds, are expected to head the most still conditions of 0.1m/s O’Hara was a triple indilist of athletes, to be released lat- wind to equal the time set by vidual gold medallist at the Cuban Reynier Mena earlier this ISSA/GraceKennedy er this week. Boys’ O’Hara said he was not ex- month, beating his previous per- Championships in March, cappecting to have run so fast so sonal best 21.06 seconds set in turing the 100m in 10.56 secsoon, still three weeks from the March. onds; the 200m in a windaided He came off the bend in front 20.65 seconds, and the 110m hurstart of the competition. Asked if he was surprised by and ran away from the field, later dles in 13.45 seconds, amassing anything he did on the week- saying he had executed the race 27 points to win the overall boys’ end, O’Hara said: “The timing plan to perfection. champion and Class Two cham“The plan was to power the pion. was very surprising for me…the He also won the sprint dou200m time, I was expecting to first 30m and to maintain through run 21.00 seconds, but the field the straight,” he explained before ble at the Carifta Trials earlier, was very competitive and I had to adding: “I expect to run faster, but was unable to compete at the but that will come from training.” annual regional championships. dig in and pull through.” On Saturday’s first day (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer) On a cool Sunday afternoon,



week ending June 20, 2013 |

Ignatius wins historic Sambo Cameron describes bronze medal for Guyana talks with regional


uyana’s representative Paul Ignatius captured a bronze medal recently at the PanAmerican Sambo Championship in Panama. Guyana competed against 25 countries, including powerhouses USA, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Trinidad, Mexico and other experienced countries. However, Ignatius fought each opponent on merit before reaching the semi-final and capturing bronze on the final day. Ignatius praised his coach Carwyn Holland, who formed part of the twoman Guyana contingent, for introducing him to the sport of combat Sambo, which is an intense full-contact-sport. Holland, the first accredited Sambo instructor in Guyana, was excited over the podium finish and said the historical medal is proof of what he was ex-

PMs as crucial

Paul Ignatius

pressing recently. He had stated that Guyana can do well in the sport, which is rapidly growing and can possibly be the next Olympic sport.

‘Not a cheat’


nder fire, Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown has started the process of clearing her name following a failed drug test earlier this month after winning a 100m race at the National Stadium. Five days after news broke that the many-time Olympic and World Championships gold medallist returned a positive test at the Jamaica International Invitational, an IAAF World Challenge meet in Kingston on May 4, Campbell-Brown, the most accomplished Jamaican female sprinter,

Jamaican sprinter Veronica CampbellBrown (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

defended her name while apologising "for any embarrassment and or hurt this devastating news has caused". A release from her management team, On Track Management, headed by Claude Bryan, said: "Veronica is not a cheat, she has, via hard work and dedication, accomplished a record on the track, which is absolutely remarkable. Her faith, which rests not in device or creed, will see her through this dark period." The 31-year-old athlete's preparation to defend her 200m title at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, in August, has been interrupted, and she will almost certainly miss the biennial event. She will also miss the JAAA/ Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships, as she has been provisionally suspended until a hearing has been set up to give her the chance to clear her name. News of the failed drug test broke last Thursday evening and, just over 24 hours later, late Friday night, it was also heard that the 'B' sample that was tested in the presence of her representatives at the IAAF accredited labora-

VCB camp speaks out as star accepts provisional suspension

tory in Montreal, Canada, confirmed the finding of the 'A' sample. The release Tuesday said she would not be making any statements, but "while not accepting guilt of willfully taking a banned substance, she wholeheartedly apologises to her family, Jamaica, her sponsors, the governing body, the world athletics family, her supporters, as well as those she worked with in various non-athletic causes for any embarrassment and or hurt this devastating news has caused". The release came about an hour after the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) issued a release identifying Campbell-Brown as the athlete that failed the drug test and said she had "voluntarily withdrawn herself from competition and accepted the provisional suspension". JAAA President Dr Warren Blake also said that the JAAA, under instructions from the sport's world governing body, the International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF), would be setting up a disciplinary committee that will hear the case. When asked if that was unusual, Dr Blake said it was not, and pointed out that it was a JAAA-organised panel and not the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission (JADCo) that had heard the case involving World and Olympic women's 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce after she had returned a positive test for a powerful pain killer at a Diamond League meet in Shanghai, China, in 2010. Campbell-Brown has represented Jamaica at every level from the Carifta Games, through the Central American and Caribbean Games, Pan American Games, IAAF World Youth and IAAF World Juniors through to the Olympic Games and World Championships, and won her first Olympic medal, a silver in the 4x100m at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia, where as an 18-year-old high school student, she teamed up with her idol Merlene Ottey. Since then she has won back-toback gold medals in the 200m at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and 2008 in Beijing, China, and two bronze in the 100m in Athens and last year in London. She also won gold medals at the IAAF World Championships in the 100m in 2007 in Osaka, Japan, and 200m in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011, as well as back-to-back gold medals in the 60m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar, in 2010 and Istanbul, Turkey, last year. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves with WICB President Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron (WICB photo)


he President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron has described a series of meetings he has been having with Caribbean prime ministers as “crucial” to the development of the game in the region. Cameron’s comments follow his latest round of meetings in which talks were held with St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in Kingstown and Prime Minister

of Grenada Dr Keith Mitchell in St George’s. “These meetings are crucial in setting the framework with the political leaders of the region towards ensuring that they are fully briefed on all matters relating to the regional sport,” said Cameron, who was elected to the post in April. “It is critical that we at the West Indies Cricket Board keep the leaders of each of our countries informed with regard to our plans and programmes

and that they are aware of the challenges and difficulties which we face. It is also valuable to have their perspective on what they think are the issues regarding the sport,” noted President Cameron. President Cameron was accompanied by WICB Chief Executive Officer Michael Muirhead and Company Secretary Verlyn Faustin. “We shared thoughts, ideas and suggestions and at the next meeting of the Board, I will share with my team,” the WICB president said. “We value the inputs as we are strategically looking to reposition cricket.” Since being elected, President Cameron has either paid courtesy calls or met with Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson-Miller, President of Guyana Donald Ramotar, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Denzil Douglas and Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. President Cameron also met with Barbados’ Sports Minister Stephen Lashley. (CMC)

Narine stays ahead in ODI ranks


Sunil Narine (TT Newsday photo)

est Indies off spinner Sunil Narine maintained his number one position in the ODI bowling rankings following the first round of the ICC Champions Trophy in England. After taking five wickets in three games (Ave: 26.0, Econ: 4.81), Narine remained on 764 points, though distance was created between himself and Pakistani Saeed Ajmal, who dropped 27 points to 729 to join England’s Steven Finn

tied for second. Rising from seventh to fourth was Indian spinner “Sir” Ravendra Jadeja (718), who has taken nine wickets at 10.77 (Econ: 3.59) so far, while Finn’s new ball partner James Anderson (693) rounds out the top five. The next highest rated West Indian is Kemar Roach, who skipped three spots to 18th, followed by Ravi Rampaul (30th), Darren Sammy (37th) and Dwayne Bravo (55th). Among

the batsmen, Kieron Pollard stayed in 32nd while Chris Gayle moved up two spots to 34th. Further down the list are Darren Bravo (44th), the discarded pair of Andre Russell (54th) and Lendl Simmons (60th), Ramnaresh Sarwan (62nd), Marlon Samuels (66th), Johnson Charles (71st) and Darren Sammy (73rd). South Africans AB DeVilliers and Hashim Amla continued to occupy the top two spots while Indians Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are third and fourth, followed by England’s Jonathan Trott. The tournament’s leading runscorer Shikhar Dhawan rocketed up 163 places to 50th after hitting 264 runs in three innings. Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan is the world’s top allrounder, followed by Pakistan’s Mohammed Hafeez and Australian Shane Watson. Sammy is West Indies’ highest rated player in the category in 11th, followed by Andre Russell (12th), Dwayne Bravo (20th) and Kieron Pollard (28th). (TT Guardian)

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


Clive Lloyd lauds NEW GPC/ Limacol investment in CPL


ew Guyana Phamaceutical Corporation Incorporated (NEW GPC INC.), through its Limacol brand, broke new grounds last Monday when it became the franchise owner of the ‘Guyana Amazon Warriors’ team for the highly anticipated Caribbean Premier League (CPL). By doing so, the company became the first in the region to purchase a franchise ahead of the July 30 – August 24 league, which will feature six franchise-based

teams: Antigua and Barbuda Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Lucia Zouks and Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel. In an exclusive interview on matters pertaining to CPL, former West Indies captain and legendary cricketer, Clive Hubert Lloyd, was high in praise for NEW GPC INC/Limacol, noting that he feels a sense of satisfaction that individuals and entities are still keen on investing in West Indies cricket.

“Well it’s good to know that we’re breaking new grounds,” Lloyd told this publication. “It’s great to know that we still have people who are willing and able to invest in our cricket and I want to commend the owner of the Guyana franchise for that. I want to congratulate Dr. [Ranjisinghi] Ramroop and his group for the good job he has done and I wish him the very best for the tournament.” The final agreement with Dr Ramroop was signed last Monday in

Guyana with CPL officials. The announcement came hot on the heels of the recent selection of the new franchise-based teams that took place on June 5 in Jamaica. Headquartered in Guyana, NEW GPC INC. has been operating for 90 years and is the Caribbean’s oldest and largest pharmaceutical manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter cosmetics preparations and veterinary products of the highest quality. Dr Ramroop was very excited about what is to come as the new owner of the Guyana franchise. CPL Chief Executive Officer, Damien O’Donohoe, was also thrilled to have Dr Ramroop and NEW GPC INC/Limacol on board the inaugural edition of the six-franchise tournament.


Meanwhile, the 68-year-old Lloyd, who played 110 Tests and 87 ODIs for the West Indies between 1966 and 1985, is hopeful the hosting of CPL matches in

Clive Lloyd: “Great to know we still have people who are willing and able to invest in our cricket”

Guyana will attract fans in droves at the National Stadium, Providence. The West Indies’ most successful captain noted that Guyanese have been starved of cricket for some time, and he is encouraging the fans to witness the matches that will be hosted in Guyana. Guyana will host four games: Guyana Amazon Warriors versus Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel on July 31; Guyana Amazon Warriors versus Jamaica Tallawahs on August 2 and a double-header on August 4 featuring Antigua and Barbuda Hawksbills and Jamaica Tallawahs, and Guyana Amazon Warriors versus St Lucia Zouks. In assessing the teams, Lloyd said the Guyana Amazon Warriors franchise is “strong” with a good combination of players. Guyana’s franchise players are West Indian Sunil Narine and Pakistan player Mohammad Hafeez. They are joined by 13 other players who were

‘Not a cheat’

VCB camp speaks out as star accepts provisional suspension

drafted on June 5. They are Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, James Franklin, Christopher Barnwell, Martin Guptill, Krishmar Santokie, William Perkins, Steven Jacobs, Ronsford Beaton, Trevon Griffith, Narsingh Deonarine and Veerasammy Permaul.


The inaugural CPL will feature 24 matches at the Guyana National Stadium, the Kensington Oval in Barbados, the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia, Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua and Sabina Park in Jamaica. The opening game of the league will take place at the Kensington Oval, with host team Barbados Tridents playing St Lucia Zouks from 19:30h. The grand final will be staged at the Queen’s Park Oval on August 24 from 19:30h with the semi-finals fixed for the same venue on August 22 and 23.

See story on page 31

Caribbean Times International - (Canada Office) Unit 12, 680 Rexdale Blvd., Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario M9WOB5 email:,,

Caribbean Times International  

The beacon of truth

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you