UNICEF, Health Ministry launch cluster survey Nationwide coverage from the best news team in Guyana Issue No. 2083 guyanatimesgy.com
THE BEACON OF TRUTH
Guyana needs anticorruption strategy Thursday, March 27, 2014
– OAS urges strengthening of Audit Office’s fraud unit
See story on page 3
SWAT team charged to uphold human rights See story on page 17
$60 vat included
CANU gets P2 $92M to fight narco trade Businesswoman shot twice during P7 robbery
Govt ready P10 to account for EU funds – Ramsammy Jagdeo/Kissoon libel case
Judge allows defence to P12 amend case
Members of the newly-trained SWAT team, sporting their dashing grey uniforms, have been charged to uphold basic human rights in the discharge of their duties
Guyanese man found dead in trash can See story on page 17
Pensioner allegedly raped, murdered in home See story on page 13
P16 Rohee unaware who will be next top cop
Budget cuts case…
Chang erred in final ruling, Speaker claims in appeal P17
thursday, March 27, 2014| guyanatimesGY.com
CANU gets $92M to S4 Foundation tops up NAPS Food Bank fight narco trade
inance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh on Monday announced a whopping $19.5 billion under the public safety and security sector, the least of which has been allotted to the Custom Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU). This year, Dr Singh announced that the Guyana Fire Service will receive close to $1.1 billion, the Guyana Police Force, $7.447 billion, the Guyana Prison Service, $1.462 billion and CANU $92 million. For the past few years, CANU has reportedly received the same amount or less, but the drug enforcement unit has managed to seize more drugs that the other units that make up the Home Affairs Ministry’s taskforce. Despite receiving the least sum compared to the other agencies, CANU has managed to stay upbeat, diligently executing its mandate. Nevertheless, the agency depends significantly on resources from members of the taskforce in penetrating the drug corridors. While the amount might be considered insufficient, CANU has been performing creditably over the years. It has managed to put a dent in narcotics trafficking, particularly at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, which is considered a major transshipment point. The $92 million allotted
to CANU will be used strategically to dismantle drug trafficking, but the question is whether or not the amount allotted is adequate. The 2012 National Drug Report, compiled by the taskforce on Narcotics, Drugs and Illicit Weapons, stated that CANU had intercepted 103.66 kilograms of cocaine valued some $93 million and 111.564kg of cannabis (ganja) valued in excess of $20 million.
During this period, 33 cases were made out and 36 persons were charged. Further, the Guyana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) enforcement unit seized 561.78kg of cocaine, valued $504.9 million. Two persons have been charged in connection with this bust. In total, 151 people were charged for cocaine trafficking and/or consumption, in a total of 139 cases. With the near completion of the National Drug Strategy Master Plan (NDSMP) 2014-2018, the taskforce, moreso CANU, will be more equipped to combat drugs at the local, regional and international levels. In a recent comment, CANU head James Singh argued that while there has been no new National Drug Strategy Master Plan in “black and white”, the agency has been following all international guidelines.
Head of CANU James Singh
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee when contacted, said the final draft of the new National Drug Strategy Master Plan will be ready by this month-end. He disclosed that consultations were held with various stakeholders, including law enforcement units and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Once the master plan is finished, it will be sent to the Defence Board and Cabinet for approval. He said the document will empower the necessary agencies to tackle the drug trade head on, as it stipulates heavier penalties for those who are found guilty of trafficking narcotics. Since the previous drug master plan expired in 2009, there has been talk about crafting a new plan.
Imarah Radix of S4 Foundation (centre) hands over bootled water to Home-Based Care Coordinator Shevonne Benn. Also in photo (second from right) Food Bank Manager Somdatt Ramessar, Prevention Coordinator (far right) Jennifer Ganesh and members of the S4 Foundation
he Food Bank of the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) has benefitted from a tangible donation of water, from the Stella’s Sisterhood of Support and Service Foundation (S4 Foundation). The S4 Foundation, as it is commonly called, donated 25 cases of bottled water to the Food Bank. This donation was in observance of World Water Day, celebrated on March 22. The Food Bank provides a once monthly nutritional support to eligible people living with HIV and those co-infected with tuberculosis. The foundation which was established one year ago and located in Durban Street, Georgetown, helps women, men and children affected by the ills of society, such as domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking. Executive Director Imarah Radix said
HIV/AIDS and food security are issues that members of the foundation are very passionate about, hence the donation. Food Bank Manager Somdatt Ramessar said that the bottled water will go a long way in providing clean drinking water to persons living with and affected by HIV. He noted that the bank supports more than 1200 patients annually and comprise mainly of single parents, most of whom are women. Patients who receive support range from in and out of school youths, patients with large dependencies, drug addicts, homeless persons and persons co-infected with tuberculosis. In 2013, 42.6 per cent of patients receiving hampers were male while 57.4 per cent were females. Patients are screened by a physician to determine their eligibility to receive nutritional support. Once
placed on support, the person receives a hamper once per month for a period of six months. The patient is then screened a second time at the end of six months and if the physician is not satisfied with the improvements, the person is placed on further nutritional support. During 2012, a total of 1087 patients received 5000 food hampers while in 2013, 1202 patients received 3524 hampers. The annual average number of hampers per patient increased from two in 2007 when the Food Bank was established to three in 2013. The Food Bank receives steady support from the private sector, some in the form of nutrition and others, cash. Hampers are made accessible to patients in all regions of Guyana. Region Four accesses the most hampers since it is also the region with the largest number of patients.
thursDay, March 27, 2014| guyanatimesGY.com
The Demerara Harbour Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic on Thursday, March 27 from 14:30h-16:00h The Berbice River Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic on Thursday, March 27 from 13:55h-15:25h
WEATHER TODAY Weather: Thundery showers can be expected during the day with clear skies followed by light rain showers late in the evening over coastal regions and near inland locations. Temperatures are expected to range between 23 degrees and 27 degrees Celsius.
Wind: North easterly between zero and 6.25 metres per second. High Tide: 01:46h and 14:11h reaching maximum heights of 2.40 metres and 2.50 metres respectively. Low Tide: 07:42h and 80:11h reaching minimum heights of 0.81 metre and 0.66 metre respectively.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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Guyana needs anticorruption strategy – OAS urges strengthening of Audit Office’s fraud unit
he Organisation of American States (OAS) said Guyana should develop an anti-corruption strategy, which could include the establishment of specialised units in the police force and in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to root out alleged graft in the Government system. The body also spoke of the many incomplete investigations into state fraud and the authorities’ inability to prosecute alleged offenders of corruption. The call is contained in a menu of recommendations which form part of the OASanti-corruption watchdog, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the Follow-Up Mechanism for its Implementation (MESICIC) final report on Guyana. The report was submitted last Friday when Guyana underwent a review by the body in Washington, U.S.A. Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira represented Guyana at that forum. The committee’s recommendation also comes against the background of comments made by Auditor General Deodat Sharma when it conducted an onsite visit here last year. The OAS body, said Sharma, spoke about his department’s difficulties in prosecuting fraud and corruption in Guyana, which resulted in virtually no prosecution of fraud/corruption cases.
The Auditor General informed the committee that both the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Office of the DPP are overloaded with cases and that fraud/corruption cases compete with other serious crimes such as murder, sexual violence and robbery. The Auditor General also stated, according to the OAS report, that fraud cases are usually complex and therefore intimidating to those unfamiliar with the subject. He said access to bank account information would assist in the prosecution of fraud/corruption cases but the Audit Act of 2004 requires obtaining a warrant from a court in order to obtain such information. However, Sharma reported that some Magistrates require a criminal charge to have already been filed in order to issue such a warrant. “In light of the situation described above and in the absence of detailed information regarding the final outcome of the fraud/corruption cases investigated by the Audit Office, the committee believes [the Audit Office] should consider strengthening its ability to prosecute fraud/corruption cases, especially those of greater importance or complexity, whether due to the level of the Government official involved or the amount of
Auditor General Deodat Sharma
Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira
economic injury to the state,” the report stated. To this end, the committee believes Guyana would benefit from establishing an articulated anti-corruption strategy, which could include the establishment of specialised anti-corruption units in the GPF and in the Office of the DPP. Additionally, the committee reported that Sharma said that lack of staff and the geographic spread of the country have hampered the department’s ability to conduct special audits, particularly in the area of fraud at Government departments. But the OAS body believes that the office, especially its Forensic Audit Unit, could be further strengthened to increase its capacity in investigating and uncovering fraud and corruption in Guyana. Noting that Guyana has adopted measures intended to maintain and strengthen the Audit Office as an oversight body and has established a Serious Organised Crimes Unit (SOCU) with an interagency National Oversight Committee comprising a range of institutions, the body recommends that efforts be made to strengthen the Audit Office, especially its Forensic Audit Unit, by ensuring that it has the human, financial and technological resources necessary for the proper execution of its functions, bearing in mind the availability of resources.
Besides, the body said over the years 1995 to 2001, there were nine matters which are either being investigated by police or pending before the Supreme Court. It noted that in each case, the cases were based on apparent irregularities or suspected fraudulent acts perpetrated against the state. The estimated losses, which remain outstanding to date, were valued at $14.476 million. The department had still not recovered amounts totalling $962,074, which remains outstanding in relation to 44 employees overpaid during the years 2007 and 2011. According to the OAS body, from the information above, it observes that there seems to be an issue with the recovery of the amounts overpaid or fraudulently stolen from the state. It said too that it did not obtain complete information on the status of other cases of fraud, thefts, losses and overpayments other than that mentioned in the Auditor General’s Annual Report 2012.
The OAS’s recommendation stemmed from its perusal of the annual reports of the Auditor General, which provide information on fraud uncovered in the current and previous periods. In respect to the 2012 Annual Report, the Committee reported that there was also a loss of cash amounting to $206.379 million at the Accountant General’s Department Head Office. This fraud was uncovered where payments of arrears pension and gratuity were made to 61 inactive, deceased and fictitious pensioners. At the time of reporting, five persons were charged by the police and the matter is before the court.
Additionally, the body has recommended that the Audit Office publish on its website all accountability documents and reports prepared by the agency and presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), such as its three-year strategic plans and the annual updates thereof, as well as the independent auditor’s report to the members of PAC . The anti-corruption body also urged that the Audit Office website be improved, by advertising a specific hotline telephone number and/
or a (secure) hotline for complaints in electronic form from those interested in presenting reports, complaints or allegations of fraud or corruption. Additionally, it called on the office to provide guidance on the website on how to present useful reports, complaints or allegations and on how the interested person can follow-up on its status. The body also called for the promotion of awareness campaigns to educate the general public on how they can help the Audit Office in its functions, especially those of its Forensic Audit Unit, related to the uncovering and deterrence of fraud and corruption in Guyana; provide support and incentives to its current staff to pursue and attain professional accounting qualifications recognised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana; and/ or take these qualifications into consideration when selecting future staff are also recommendations made by the body.
It recommended greater efforts to ensure the Audit Office’s participation in the peer-review programme on audit quality assurance in the framework of the Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI) and for the continued strengthening of the internal audit departments in the various Government agencies and consider gradually increasing their staff. The OAS body further called on the Audit Office to prepare statistics on the amount ordered to be paid back to the state in cases of fraud, theft, losses and overpayments and the amounts actually recovered, in order to identify challenges and recommend corrective measures. “Prepare comprehensive statistics on the outcomes of disciplinary investigative proceedings within the Audit Office showing how many investigations are under way, how many have been shelved, and with respect to how many the statute of limitations have expired, in order to identify challenges and recommend corrective measures,” the OAS body urged.
thursday, March 27, 2014
Views Editor: Nigel Williams Tel: 225-5128, 231-0397, 226-9921, 226-2102, 223-7230 or 223-7231. Fax: 225-5134 Mailing address: 238 Camp & Quamina Streets, Georgetown Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Banking on education
he Government’s continued commitment towards the development of the education sector was displayed very graphically with the largest percentage of spending in Budget 2014 being allocated to developing the capabilities of Guyana’s future – its youths. Spending $32.8 billion or 15 per cent of the budget in this area, the Government cannot be accused of crafting an “elections” budget, since investment in education is only recouped in the medium to long term. But their decision to continue with the promise of Dr Cheddi Jagan, to focus on education, is indicative of the PPP/ C’s determination to give all Guyanese an equal opportunity to participate in the growth and development of the country. While the focus on economic growth via expansion of the Gross National Product (GNP) is a valuable tool for the policymakers, it is accepted that the metric can hide many sins – including that of unequal growth in different sections of the society. But with every child having an equal opportunity to educate themselves, there is a greater likelihood for a more level playing field being created in which the rewards of the economic growth can be distributed more equitably. Without that equality to hone their natural endowments, many would then be forced to continue in the impoverished social and economic environment in which they were born. With education, there is an opportunity to transcend these structural barriers. But while there might be equality in opportunity to gain an education, this does not necessarily guarantee an equality of outcome in the real world of work and employment. In this arena, personal qualities and attitudes matter as much as the “paper” qualifications. We raise this issue among another within the context of the massive spending this Government has undertaken over the last two decades. The Government will be allocating over $2.7 billion towards the improvement of school infrastructure, which is already in very good shape. There will be more monies spent on computers and other equipment to facilitate teaching. There will be the continuation of the school uniform project, as well as the school feeding programme. These are all necessary, but the question is whether they are sufficient. If we are to look at what the educational system has been delivering, we have to confess that the answer has to be “no”. While the Government has done yeoman service in securing funding for the sector, the results have not been commensurate with the amounts expended. At each level of the education system, be it nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary, while there are always the sterling achievements at examinations, of the top one per cent, this is statistically insignificant when compared with the remainder. The cliche of “the rising ride raises all shops” seems not to be applicable to the rising tide of money expended in the education sector. Interestingly enough, we do not believe that the less than stellar “bang for the buck” in this sector is for want of innovating. Almost annually, there are new programmes launched to improve performances. But there are two problems: a lack of focus on values and very little follow-up via management initiatives after programmes are launched to ensure that the intended goals are achieved. Take, for instance, the “Assessments” introduced over a decade ago in the Primary Levels at Grades Two and Four. There has never been any record of a single teacher being guided by these “Assessments” at the Primary level to rectify identified problems with the students’ performances, much less that at the Secondary Level in Grade Seven. In the meantime, the number of youths that are effectively being warehoused in the school system until they have to depart – but lacking in life skills, values or work ethic, increase exponentially. The poet Langston Hughes once warned: “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore – And then run? ... Or does it explode?”
A female mechanical student of the Government Technical Institute (GTI) demonstrates how the engine of a car works to a fellow students at the institution's Career Day Fair on Wednesday (Carl Croker photo)
Victimisation by the police Dear Editor, After being a victim of police harassment, I am now faced with the after-effects of exposing such behaviour. The police are well known to strike back with a method that has been employed and practised and known as victimisation. Victimisation has long been adopted by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and exercised against those that seek to highlight bad experiences with the police. Numerous citizens suffer from this atrocious act daily, while those in authority
seem unconcerned and condone this kind of behaviour. Also, citizens find it difficult to rely on those offices that are responsible to protect them, and are left to endure this distasteful practice. Action must be levelled against this type of behaviour by our officers in the GPF who vehemently abuse their authority for their own satisfaction and vindictiveness. Citizens have become vulnerable to victimisation since we are trapped under an abused system. Citizens are likely to be subjected to repeated victi-
misation, if not treated as a crime and dealt with accordingly. Unless our system has the means and provision to ensure this act is eradicated, citizens will remain fearful of their own safety from those that took the oath to protect and serve. Consistently, there has always been a low level of public satisfaction with the performance of the police. With continuous harassment and victimisation emanating from the force, citizens will continue to hold a bad perception of them unless steps are taken in the direction to
correct same. No doubt there are many genuinely suitable and good officers in the GPF, but there are also genuinely some square pegs in round holes. Only recently I have fallen victim to the harassment and victimisation by the police and it’s my hope that those in authority will recognise the plight we suffer as citizens and take steps to correct same, least the citizens of this land lose all confidence in the GPF. Sincerely, M Azimullah
Mayor should do something meaningful for the City Dear Editor, I read with disgust the utterances by the Mayor of Georgetown, Hamilton Green during an interview rejecting monies approved to clean up the huge piles of garbage around the city. There has been an age long cry about the lack of funding, and now that the Government has made a proposed allocation of $500 million to clean up the city, none other than the Mayor is saying that it is not necessary. Dam if you do, dam if you don’t. The Mayor is comfortable with the piles of garbage around the city. Is it that garbage is his comfort zone?
The Mayor is indeed suffering from the ‘rip van winkle’ syndrome, as he is not aware of the enormous piles of garbage that decorate the city on a daily basis. The current sanitation and health risk of the city falls solely at the feet of the Mayor, while playing old school PNC politics. I, among the thousands of Guyanese that traverse the city on a daily basis, am sickened and fed up with the state of the city and the lack of concern by the Mayor and City Council to address the nastiness that fills the city’s drains and streets is unbecoming. Notwithstanding, the
lackadaisical outlook of the Mayor and City Council to address the garbage calamity in the city, the effort of the government through the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and its campaign against littering is slowly catching on and will pick up speed when more litter bugs will be charged under the new Litter Regulations. This new piece of law introduced by the Ministry is most welcomed and is proving to be effective. I strongly believe that the Ministry and its regulatory agency – the Environmental Protection
Agency is heading in the right direction to create a sense of awareness among citizens then address enforcement. With this in mind, I would like to remind Mayor Hamilton Green that the City of Georgetown belongs to all the peoples of Guyana and it’s not a toy than can be used for political attention and gimmicks. As such, I would like to urge the Mayor to awake from his deep slumber and do something meaningful for the City for which he will be remembered. Sincerely, Shamshudeen Khan
thursday, March 27, 2014
You can send your letters with pictures to: Guyana Times, 238 Camp & Quamina Streets, Georgetown, Guyana or firstname.lastname@example.org
Former President served Navraatri is a period used to Guyana well and the worship the mother aspect of God country should be proud of it Dear Editor, The columnist Freddie Kissoon is as mysterious as those who would conduct a poll that suggests former President Bharrat Jagdeo is the one most favoured to be the PPP/C presidential candidate for the next general elections (Guyana Chronicle, March 20). It is ludicrous to believe that this poll was ever conducted at all. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that this poll is fabricated to cause mischief within the PPP/C. It will not succeed. Bharrat Jagdeo is barred by the Constitution of Guyana from ever becoming President again. Therefore, to invoke his name with others in a poll question to determine who is most favoured to be the PPP/C Presidential candidate for the next general election, clearly shows ignorance of the Constitution. And for anyone to suggest that this so-called poll was conducted by the combined Opposition, must be new to the world of politics. No opposition party or combined opposition would release the findings of an internal poll that clearly shows results unfavourable to them. Does anyone believe that Khemraj Ramjattan would agree to release the embarrassing findings of a poll that shows if a snap election is called now, his party, the AFC, would only secure seven percent of the votes, less than the undecided? I don’t think so. And would David Granger release the findings of a poll that gives APNU 37 percent of the votes compared to 46 percent for the PPP/C in an upcoming election? Is there a conspiracy among some to discredit the leadership ability of His Excellency Donald Ramotar? Quite possible, for politics is a dirty game.
But one thing is certain... the PPP/C Executive stands firmly behind the President, and so do I. Former President Bharrat Jagdeo demitted office since August 2011. He has served his country well and should be proud of it. He is committed to serve in an advisory position or as a roving ambassador undertaking special missions if asked to do so by our President. This is not a novel idea. All former Presidents of the United States serve their country in similar capacities if asked to do so by the current President, and Americans are not opposed to that. In fact, they expect former Presidents to do just that. Why then are some so focused on Jagdeo that they fail to see all the development taking place throughout the regions that are improving the lives of so many Guyanese? Freddie Kissoon is doing the work of the opposition. I often ask myself how can anyone hate so much, day after day after day? Isn’t there anything that this PPP/C Government has done since 1992 that would be appreciated by Freddie Kissoon? Yet he lives in a very big house in an affluent neighbourhood, has an income, drives a vehicle, and abuses the very freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution and protected by the same people he criticises: The President and Ministers of his Government. Surely, Kissoon is much better off today than under the notorious PNC regime that bankrupted the economy, making it impossible for him to achieve the level of success he now enjoys today under the PPP/C. Sincerely, Harry Gill
Editor’s Note The Guyana Times first published this results of the poll which was leaked (not released) to us by an Opposition insider who was piqued that Carl Greenidge was not mentioned. Scared that President Ramotar would call a snap election, they wanted to discern how firm was his support. For reasons best known to them they contrasted him with former President Jagdeo, who, as mentioned by the Guyana Times article, has steadfastly denied any intention of running for a "third term". What the information conclusively demonstrated is that President Ramotar's support has not only remained solid, but has come out stronger than in the last elections. This must have shocked them since the President still has time to buttress his support, or go to the polls immediately. Also, the opposition source that provided Guyana Times with the polling data, said that the Granger faction of the PNCR absolutely refused to place Carl Greenidge as a possible candidate on the poll. The two have been locked in a bitter battle for the control of the PNCR.
Dear Editor, The very sacred and most auspicious period of Nav-Raatri will commence on March 31. It also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. Navraatri is a period of nine days that we utilise to worship the mother aspect of God or Maha Shakti. Shakti literally means ‘energy’ or ‘power’, and the universe is an expression of this Divine Energy. During these nine days the Mother aspect of God in the forms of Durgaa, Lakshmi, and Saraswati is extolled and worshipped. Divine Energy operates in three planes, as Kriyaa Shakti or the Energy of action, as Ichhaa Shakti or the energy of Will and as Gyaan Shakti or the energy of Knowledge. Corresponding to these three major aspects of energy are the three Goddesses – Durgaa through whom the energy of Action operates; Lakshmi who is the embodiment of the energy of Will; and Saraswati who is predominated with the energy of Knowledge. The first three days are dedicated to Goddess Durgaa the destroyer. Anger, greed, hatred, violence, pride and other such gross sentiments are represented in Tantric literature as demons, and very interesting stories are
told about them. The demons once waged war against Goddess Durgaa, and assuming a Divine form, She rode a lion and destroyed them. During these three days when the Kriyaa Shakti is in predominance, we resolve with a positive will of the mind to destroy all negative emotions and rid ourselves of all demoniac vices such as uncleanliness, anger, passion, pride, jealousy, hatred, violence and all such evil propensities. One worships Goddess Durgaa on these days and imbibes her divine qualities. The second three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi the purifier. Having emptied oneself of all the evil qualities, one is to cultivate purifying thoughts and fill oneself with positive qualities such as patience, love, kindness, compassion, tranquillity, humility, onepointedness of the mind, non-violence, etc. During the worship of Lakshmi, the Ichhaa Shakti is in motion. During these three nights Lakshmi is worshipped not merely through a ritualistic process but by lifting one’s consciousness to the highest level of existence. The last three days are devoted to the worship of Goddess Saraswati – the bestower of Divine
Wisdom, and by whose grace the merging into Divine Consciousness becomes a reality. When the gross impurities are removed by Durgaa, and life is filled with divine qualities by the grace of Lakshmi, the last phase of spiritual movement is illumined by Goddess Saraswati. Goddess Saraswati is the very personification of Divine Consciousness. She bestows Divine Consciousness and Divine Wisdom upon her worshipper and leads them to final beatitude. Nav-Raatri is observed twice a year: once in the month of Chaitra (March-April) and then in Ashwin (SeptemberOctober). Let me encourage you to observe this sacred period with faith and confidence and you will be blessed by the Divine Mother. Do turn out to your respective mandirs and you can join us every evening at 18:30h at Radha Krishna Mandir, 196 Camp and Quamina streets for special Nav-Raatri Satsang. Jai Mata Di. Pandit Rudranauth Sharma General Secretary, Priest in Charge Radha Krishna Mandir
Agriculture Ministry never planned to commission Vet Lab on Friday Dear Editor, The Agriculture Ministry wishes to clarify a misleading article published on March 26 in the Kaieteur News under the headline, “US$2.5M Veterinary Lab scheduled to open Friday”. The Kaieteur News reporter solicited an update from Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy on the said project and was in-
formed that the Veterinary Laboratory located at Mon Repos will be completed on March 28. However, at no time was the reporter told that the facility will be commissioned/opened on March
The Agriculture Ministry therefore urges all journalists to be careful when writing articles and to stick to the facts of that matter which are related to them during any given
time. We look forward to the continued support by all media entities in the near future. Public Relations Unit, Agriculture Ministry
thursday, march 27, 2014
How does multitasking change Age of distraction: Why it’s crucial for the way children learn? (Part two) BY ANNIE MURPHY PAUL
During the first meeting of his courses, Rosen makes a practice of calling on a student who is busy with his phone. “I asked him, ‘What was on the slide I just showed to the class?’ The student always pulls a blank,” Rosen reports. “Young people have a wildly inflated idea of how many things they can attend to at once, and this demonstration helps drive the point home: If you’re paying attention to your phone, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in class.” Other professors have taken a more surreptitious approach, installing electronic spyware or planting human observers to record whether students are taking notes on their laptops or using them for other, unauthorised purposes. Such steps may seem excessive, even paranoid: After all, isn’t technology increasingly becoming an intentional part of classroom activities and homework assignments? Educators are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as social sites created just for schools, such as Edmodo, to communicate with students, take class polls, assign homework, and have students collaborate on projects. But researchers are concerned about the use of laptops, tablets, cellphones, and other technology for purposes quite apart from schoolwork. Now that these devices have been admitted into classrooms and study spaces, it has proven difficult to police the line between their approved and illicit use by students.
In the study involving spyware, for example, two professors of business administration at the University of Vermont found that “students engage in substantial multitasking behaviour with their laptops and have non course-related software applications open and active about 42 per cent of the time.” The professors, James Kraushaar and David Novak, obtained students’ permission before installing the monitoring software on their computers
student texting just 17 minutes into her very first class – the beginning of her law school career.)
Can the brain multitask?
Texting, emailing, and posting on Facebook and other social media sites are by far the most common digital activities students undertake while learning, according to Rosen. That’s a problem, because these operations are actually quite mentally complex, and they draw on the same mental
“Under most conditions, the brain simply cannot do two complex tasks at the same time. It can happen only when the two tasks are both very simple and when they don’t compete with each other for the same mental resources... But listening to a lecture while texting, or doing homework and being on Facebook – each of these tasks is very demanding, and each of them uses the same area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex.” – so, as in Rosen’s study, the students were engaging in flagrant multitasking even though they knew their actions were being recorded. Another study, carried out at St John’s University in New York, used human observers stationed at the back of the classroom to record the technological activities of law students. The spies reported that 58 per cent of second- and third-year law students who had laptops in class were using them for “non-class purposes” more than half the time. (Firstyear students were far more likely to use their computers for taking notes, although an observer did note one first-year
resources – using language, parsing meaning – demanded by schoolwork. David Meyer, a psychology Professor at the University of Michigan who’s studied the effects of divided attention on learning, takes a firm line on the brain’s ability to multitask: “Under most conditions, the brain simply cannot do two complex tasks at the same time. It can happen only when the two tasks are both very simple and when they don’t compete with each other for the same mental resources. An example would be folding laundry and listening to the weather report on the radio. That’s fine. But listening to a lecture while texting, or
doing homework and being on Facebook – each of these tasks is very demanding, and each of them uses the same area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex.” Young people think they can perform two challenging tasks at once, Meyer acknowledges, but “they are deluded,” he declares. It’s difficult for anyone to properly evaluate how well his or her own mental processes are operating, he points out, because most of these processes are unconscious. And, Meyer adds, “there’s nothing magical about the brains of so-called ‘digital natives’ that keeps them from suffering the inefficiencies of multitasking. They may like to do it, they may even be addicted to it, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s far better to focus on one task from start to finish.” Researchers have documented a cascade of negative outcomes that occurs when students multitask while doing schoolwork. First, the assignment takes longer to complete, because of the time spent on distracting activities and because, upon returning to the assignment, the student has to re-familiarise himself with the material. Second, the mental fatigue caused by repeatedly dropping and picking up a mental thread leads to more mistakes. The cognitive cost of such taskswitching is especially high when students alternate between tasks that call for different sets of expressive “rules” – the formal, precise language required for an English essay, for example, and the casual, friendly tone of an email to a friend. (blog.kqed.org)
students to learn to focus
(Continued from Wednesday) BY KATRINA SCHWARTZ
Perhaps the most well known study on concentration is a longitudinal study conducted with over 1000 children in New Zealand by Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi, psychology and neuroscience professors at Duke University. The study tested children born in 1972 and 1973 regularly for eight years, measuring their ability to pay attention and to ignore distractions. Then, the researchers tracked those same children down at the age of 32 to see how well they fared in life. The ability to concentrate was the strongest predictor of success. “This ability is more important than IQ or the socio economic status of the family you grew up in for determining career success, financial success and health,” Goleman said. That could be a problem for students in the U.S. who often seem addicted to their devices, unable to put them down for even a few moments. Teachers say students are unable to comprehend the
same texts that generations of students that came before them could master without problems, said Goleman. These are signs that educators may need to start paying attention to the act of attention itself. Digital natives may need help cultivating what was once an innate part of growing up. “It’s very important to ramp up the focus side of the equation,” Goleman said. He’s not naive about the role digital devices play in society today, but he does believe that without managing how devices affect children better they’ll never learn the attention skills they’ll need to succeed in the long term. “There’s a need now to teach children concentration abilities as part of the school curriculum,” Goleman said. “The more children and teens are natural focusers, the better able they’ll be to use the digital tool for what they have to get done and then to use it in ways that they enjoy.” Some argue that the current generation of students grew up with digital devices and are much better at multitasking than their parents. But the idea of multitasking is a myth, Goleman said. When people say they’re “multitasking,” what they are really doing is something called “continuous partial attention,” where the brain switches back and forth quickly between tasks. The problem is that as a student switches back and forth between homework and streaming through text messages, their ability to focus on either task erodes. That trend is less pronounced when the actions are routine, but it could have significant implications for how deeply a student understands a new concept. “If you have a big project, what you need to do every day is have a protected time so you can get work done,” Goleman said. For his part, when he’s writing a book, Goleman goes to his studio where there is no email, no phone, nothing to distract him. He’ll work for several hours and then spend designated time responding to people afterwards. “I don’t think the enemy is digital devices,” Goleman said. “What we need to do is be sure that the current generation of children has the attentional capacities that other generations had naturally before the distractions of digital devices. It’s about using the devices smartly but having the capacity to concentrate as you need to, when you want to.” (blog. kqed.org)
thursDay, march 27, 2014| guyanatimesGY.com
New Slovak Republic Businesswoman shot Ambassador accredited twice during robbery A
President Donald Ramotar accepting Letters of Credence from Ambassador of the Slovak Republic, Mila Cigan
ewly-appointed Slovak Republic Ambassador, Mila Cigan on Wednesday presented his Letters of Credence to President Donald Ramotar at the Office of the President, and reaffirmed his country’s dedication to deepen the cordial relationship that it shares with Guyana. In accepting and welcoming the newly-appointed ambassador, President Ramotar said the two countries have a lot of areas in common. “Areas such as mining and agriculture, both of which we can find areas of cooperation,” he said as he expressed optimism that the two countries would have even closer ties in the future.
Ambassador Cigan said he was privileged to be serving as his nation’s representative to Guyana, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported. “I’m honoured to be here to start work on a new chapter of relations between Slovak and Guyana,” he said, adding that he will continue efforts to develop the political, economic and cultural relationship between the two nations, and do his best to enhance future cooperation. Ambassador Cigan, previously served as his country’s ambassador to neighbouring Brazil. Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about
49,000 square kilometres (19,000 square miles). The country is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. The largest city is the capital, Bratislava, and the second largest is Košice. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union, the North American Treaty Organisation (NATO), the United Nations, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organistion (WTO), among others. In July 1992, Slovakia led by Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, declared itself a sovereign state.
Parfaite Harmonie businesswoman was on Wednesday shot twice during a brazen daylight robbery at her home by three men who went to her grocery shop under the pretext of purchasing a five-gallon bottle of distilled water. Ann Gravesande, 52, of Lot 301 Westminster, Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara, is nursing injuries to her right arm and right leg at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH). She is said to be in a stable condition. According to information received, the businesswoman was in her shop when one of the men suddenly appeared, requesting a bottle of water. As normal, the customer opened the grilled cage but took a long time to take out the bottle, and when Gravesande enquired the reason for the hold up, she was told that he was waiting on two of his workers. As she went about her business, two armed men invaded the woman’s property, demanding money and jewellery. They reportedly dragged the woman from the shop into the house in an effort to get money, but the woman put up a fight. After they realised that they could not have gotten the woman to release any money and jewellery, they took her into the yard and
shot her twice. Terrance Lall, a son of the injured woman stated that the incident occurred about 10:30h, when his mother was home alone.
He said after his mother was shot, the men went into the shop and collected an undisclosed sum of money before escaping in a waiting motor car. “They boarded a yellow wagon which was waiting for them. All we know it the registration number started with HC, but the numbers were not visible.” The son further stated that after his mother realised the men left, she walked to the bridge where she waved to a neighbour and collapsed. The neighbour, along with two others,
ran to the woman’s rescue. “They picked her up, put her in a car and drove to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where she was admitted,” the son said. Lall added that from information gathered from his mother, one of the men is known to his family, but she does not know the other two. The man, who pretended to be a customer, is of Indian descent while the two others are of African ancestry. The young man added that it is a norm for his mother to be at home alone as he is employed elsewhere. After receiving the news, he rushed to the hospital, where he saw his mother receiving treatment. The bullets, he added, were removed from her body. Police are continuing their investigations.
thursday, march 27, 2014| guyanatimesGY.com
No hope of retendering for Specialty Hospital contract – Dr Ramsaran
Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran
The hope of the Indian construction company Fedders Lloyd Corporation Limited to have the US$18 million contract retendered for the building of the Specialty Hospital has been dented
he hope of the Indian construction company Fedders Lloyd Corporation Limited to have the US$18 million contract retendered for the building of the Specialty Hospital has been dented, since according to Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, that process has long been completed. Addressing a recent report in another section of the media, the Health Minister said the contract for the construction of the hospital was already awarded to the Surendra Engineering Corporation and was clearly made known to the Fedders Lloyd Company, which made the lowest bid. He pointed out too that there is an appeal process that is known by the company. According to the newspaper report, the construction company is awaiting the reconvening of Parliament in an Indian state, where, according to the company, the contract award will be reviewed. The company hopes that after the review, the contract will be retendered in Guyana. Finance
Ramsaran in December of last year had requested a $34.4 million supplementary funding for the hospital. Although his request was not approved by the Opposition, the absence of A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP) Volda Lawrence during the voting period made it possible for the Minister to obtain the funds for the hospital. Dr Ramsaran told Guyana Times that the money was used for all the projects listed above; including the pile driving that is currently ongoing. Preparatory work on the construction of the multimillion-dollar hospital has since commenced and the Health Minister said that the Donald Ramotar Administration was very passionate about seeing the project to completion. During the 2013 budget debate, the $1.25 billion provision for the controversial hospital was cut by the combined Opposition, using their one-seat majority in the House. APNU had contended that the formulation
Minister, Dr Ashni Singh had announced on Monday a $910 million allocation to the hospital. Dr Ramsaran said the money will go toward further development of the site. He noted that Guyanese will not see any building being constructed anytime soon, since much emphasis is being placed on the pile driving to support for buildings or other structures. He said that there are several hundred piles on site, with just over one hundred already used to test for quality.
He noted that the geotechnical survey and the technical work stage have already been completed. And while the Surendra Engineering Corporation has been contracted for the project, another company, VICAP, is currently carrying on consultancy programmes. Since its inception, the Specialty Hospital has been under scrutiny by Guyana’s parliamentary Opposition. Health Minister, Dr Bheri
of the project was not transparent, a view that has been denied by the Government. The construction of the hospital is part of an agreement between the governments of Guyana and India, for Guyana to use US$18 million through a line of credit to build the hospital. The medial institution is being built to cater for complicated surgeries, ranging from heart operations, organ transplants to cosmetic surgery. Dr Singh in his budget presentation on Monday said efforts will continue to advance the construction of the hospital, which aims to deliver tertiary level healthcare not previously available to Guyanese.
Update on Clean and Green Guyana Project today
epresentatives from over 50 environmental groups and corporate entities are expected to attend a workshop organised by the Clean and Green Guyana Project today. The project is being held under the auspices of the Local Government Ministry’s Solid Waste Disposal Programme and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The initiative seeks to bring the groups up-to-date on the progress of the public awareness campaign. The event will be held in the Conference Room at Red House, Cheddi Jagan Research Centre, High Street, Kingston, Georgetown, from 10:00h12:00h. Public Affairs activist Jocelyn Dow will facilitate the session and there will be a special presentation by Aretha Forde of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry on the introduction of the new anti-littering laws.
Eyew tness The right to approve A
...is not to amend s the Opposition huddle around the just-presented Budget of Dr Ashni Singh like Macbeth’s witches, it’s no secret as to what’s brewing. They announced their intentions even before the Minister spoke: chops ahead!!! Now your Eyewitness has to ask: is this any way to run a country? How do you say you’ll chop if you haven’t even seen the proposed spending allocations? Of course, it could be the wankers have a mole in Dr Singh’s office and already were informed of the budget’s details. But we doubt it. What’s playing out here is nothing but naked arrogance and hubris. It didn’t matter what the Government proposed – it was still going to face the Opposition executioner’s axe. It’s like they have to prove their manhood. It’s all about the one-seat majority they received. Can you imagine what they’ll do if they ever get their grubby little paws on Executive power? A whole lot of people will have to begin writing their wills. It’s rather pathetic that so much ink’s being spilled to discuss and analyse the budget when so much of it’s going to go down the tube. What makes the Opposition’s promise on chopping so much more cynical is that they’re flagrantly giving the middle finger to the rule of law in this country. There’s been a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the breakdown of law and order here. Feral youths prowling the streets and snuffing out innocent lives willy-nilly and so on... But how’d you expect the folks in the trenches to do the right thing when you have the lawmakers of this country announcing in the very place where the laws are made they’ll break those laws? In Guyana, the Opposition accepts the Constitution is the highest law of the land. They haven’t disputed that... yet. They’ve also accepted that it’s up to the courts of the land to determine if the law’s being broken. And the courts have declared – in no uncertain terms – that it’s illegal for the Opposition to chop – or even to snip – the budget. The courts accepted that the Opposition had the power to “approve” the estimates on spending. But it ruled: “A power to approve does not imply a power to amend.” We wonder which part of that statement the Opposition doesn’t get. If they “amend” the budget estimates, then it’s no longer the Government’s but theirs. And this power to place charges on the Consolidated Fund via a budget or any other Bill is expressly forbidden by the Constitution. O judgment... thou art fled to savage beasts!! ...is not to cherry pick When it comes to the Opposition in Guyana, it’s always a case of half step forwards (at best) and three steps backwards. Here it is, we’ve taken over 33 years...that’s right, 33 years!... to get a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the death of Walter Rodney. We’re not surprised the PNC balked at participating after talking fat about “not being afraid”. But what does the WPA, the party for which Rodney died, do? Throw a spanner into the works that’s what. How could a Senior Counsel from Trinidad be seen as an agent of the Government, which selected him as a Commissioner, when all he did was to represent the state – not even the PPP – in a court matter? How come in 1996, when the then PPP/C Government appointed Doodnauth Singh as Special Prosecutor to bring back and try Gregory Smith, the WPA objected then? Doodnauth had represented the PPP/C in dozens of cases. For free, even. O judgement... thou art fled to savage beasts!! ...an invitation? APNU’s Greenidge thinks he has the right to amend the Minister’s invitations for consultations, to suit his whims and fancies. He may be out of a job and have all the time in the world on his hands. But the Minister has work to do on behalf of the people of Guyana.
thursDay, march 27, 2014| guyanatimesGY.com
t hursday, march 27, 2014
News Govt ready to account for EU funds – Dr Ramsammy A
g r i c u l t u r e Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy said he is willing to justify and verify the expenditure of the €110.1 million provided by the European Union (EU) to support the ailing sugar industry. The Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union (GAWU) on Tuesday called for clarity, stating that while the Government is contending that €110.1 million was provided to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) during the period 2005-2013, its records indicate that disbursements only commenced in 2007. The union is also of the opinion that all of the funds provided under the EU programme have not been allocated to the industry. “I am inviting GAWU to a meeting to discuss
Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy
the matter and clear up any misunderstanding that they might have. I am certain that GAWU will be satisfied that the Government of Guyana has surpassed sums from the EU as payments to GuySuCo,” Dr Ramsammy said on Wednesday.
According to the Government, it has transferred a total of US$195 million to GuySuCo over the period from 2005-2013 in support of its various restructuring and turnaround initiatives, supporting the amount injected by the EU. The Agriculture Minister also expressed disappointment that Opposition Leader David Granger and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP) Carl Greenidge have indicated their intention to vote against the $6 billion budgeted for GuySuCo. It will be quite an unfortunate situation if the Opposition goes ahead with its plans, Dr Ramsammy opined. According to him, the Opposition’s intention follows a series of actions to suppress the sugar industry. “Just a few weeks ago,
they expressed views that GuySuCo should be closed down. It was only after the backlash of sugar workers and other key stakeholders rejecting their proposal that they backpedalled and claimed that they were speaking of replacing sugar with ethanol,” he lamented. Indirect move The Minister is contending that any move by APNU to reject critical funding for GuySuCo is an indirect move to gradually close the sugar industry. “But we will resist such efforts and we will never allow the closure of sugar in Guyana. Yet sugar workers and other stakeholders must not be fooled. APNU’s intention is clear – they want to close sugar,” he added. Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh in announcing the $6 billion subsidy to GuySuCo said the funds should be seen as a provision to “help” the industry, which has been affected by mixed fortunes and a menu of unfortunate blows. He also said the help given to GuySuCo was testimony of the administration’s unswerving support for the sugar industry and its commitment to the sector’s long-term viability and profitability. “This commitment has manifested itself not in void rhetoric but in tangible support,” he told the National Assembly, while acknowledging the fact that 20,000 people and their families would benefit from the injection of funds into the sector. Singh reported to the Parliament that non-sugar Gross Domestic Product grew by 6.3 per cent in 2013. As expected, sugar production suffered a contraction of 14.4 per cent in 2013 to 186,770 tonnes of sugar. “The issues confronting the industry such as labour shortages and disruptions, irregular weather and managerial capacity constraints, are well known, and a more concerted effort is required to return the industry to a growth trajectory... with viability and profitability,” he stressed. Last year, Guyana’s sugar export accounted for 8.3 per cent of total exports valued at US$112.2 million. The industry, according to the Finance Minister, managed to contribute 3.9 per cent of the GDP for that year as the sector remains the largest employer.
Rum Jhaat like to choose behind
n life, people got all kinda choices. De Almighty One does allow people to choose one ting or de other depending on whah dem like or don’t like. Even when people choose de not so good tings in life, is dem own choice after all. Nowadays some people does choose the least of whah yuh expect, just like Rum Jhaat. A good while now Rum Jhaat choose to run when de pressure buss he pipe and de Pee-P-P choose to leff he behind. Ever since then Rum Jhaat can’t come out from behind. No wonder de other day he choose to run out and leff de budget behind. He thought Green Jah woulda run out behind he behind. But Green Jah end up leffin he behind wid no body behind. And talkin bout behind, Rum Jhaat is a man who does choose a lotta behind. In fact, some people seh he is more of a behind man than a in front man. But is only de people who does deh behind or in front gon know that fuh sure. Rum Jhaat deh behind No Gel Hughly to get in fronta de KFC. Rum Jhaat deh behind de Feathers people all de way in India fuh all kinda tings. Rum Jhaat end up behind in de same poll whah he help to run to know who gon be President. Plus Rum Jhaat always deh behind a bottle. And de other day, Rum Jhaat had want to haul a man behind. Now, Rum Jhaat is not even a Minister and he wanna haul a Minister behind. Imagine if Rum Jhaat become a Minister how much more people behind he gon wanna haul. But Rum Jhaat does also deh in front some times. He always in fronta de 7-owe-4 bar. Plus he always in fronta some body face whenever he in fronta bottle. And soon he gon wanna be in fronta de budget debate. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! But no matter how hard he try to deh in front, Rum Jhaat always deh behind. Especially when is some body behind.
Grumble gets three months behind bars for 10 charges
man who was slapped with 10 charges was sentenced to three months imprisonment on Wednesday after he appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Magistrate Geeta ChandanEdmond. Orland Grumble of Lot 227 Alexander Street, Lacytown, Georgetown, pleaded guilty to all the charges against him. It is alleged that on
March 13 in Alexander Village, Georgetown, the defendant unlawfully assaulted Kenrick Hodge. It is also alleged that Grumble on the same day at Regent Street, Georgetown, he made use of abusive language. The police allege that the accused resisted arrest and assaulted Police Constable 21146. More charges were read before Grumble minutes before he was sentenced.
Covent Garden man charged for threatening behaviour
orty-one-year-old auto mechanic, Vijay Naidu of Lot 127 Covent Garden, East Bank Demerara, on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to the charge against him in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts before Magistrate Faith Mc Gusty. It is alleged that on March 24, the defendant at Covent Garden behaved in a threatening matter towards Rondy Bradshaw. Defence Attorney Melvin
Duke told the court that his client and the virtual complainant (VC) have a long relationship. He went on to say that it was the VC in fact who is known to be constantly harassing the accused. Police Prosecutor Bharat Mangru had no objections to bail. Both the defendant and the VC were placed on a bond to keep the peace by the Magistrate. Bail was granted in the sum of $10,000. The matter will be recalled on June 2.
thursday, march 27, 2014
Caribbean Press to republish Egbert Martin’s Scriptology
UNICEF, Health Ministry launch cluster survey I the country’s limited resources to those most in need.” Guyana is poised to address the current data through the MICS. For children, this means that critical areas which need to be addressed can be identified and measures put in place to ensure that they are protected, have better access to quality healthcare and education, and make better life choices so that they will have a sustainable future as they grow into adults.
UNICEF’s Resident Coordinator in Guyana Marianne Plach addressing the gathering at the launch of the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey
he United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Health Ministry and the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday launched its Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). The initiative seeks to improve the lives of children across the country. The MICS is a household survey developed by UNICEF in response to the World Summit for Children, held in 1990, to measure progress towards an internationally agreed set of goals regarding children. Since the inception of MICS, four survey rounds have been completed (1995, 2000 and 2005-6 and 200910). The first round of MICS was conducted around 1995, and though Guyana did not participate, it was one of the 65 countries involved in the second round of global surveys conducted in 2000, and participated again in 2006. This has given the country, its decision-makers and donors, quality data that has started to map out development trends for the country. Speaking at the event, UNICEF Resident Coordinator in Guyana, Marianne Flach noted that while Guyana has either achieved or is well on course to achieving several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including those related to hunger, primary education, gender
equality and environmental sustainability – other goals are proving to be more elusive and costly to attain. Among these is the goal of reducing infant and maternal mortality. “While we have made significant progress in reducing under five mortality through better vaccination coverage and management of childhood illnesses, neonatal mortality remains a critical issue. Too many children still die from preventable causes within the first month of life. MICS can provide us with the data we need to identify these trends and plan effectively to address them,” she stated.
She further added that the MICS is an important monitoring tool for assessing the well-being of children, women and their families, stating: “For Guyana to continue making progress as a lower-middle income country, sound information on child rights indicators is crucial for formulating and revising national and sub-national policies, and for monitoring to ensure the country’s progress toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and other global commitments aimed at promoting the welfare of children. Gaps in data often impede Guyana’s efforts to formulate effective policies and programmes and can present a challenge when channelling
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud welcomed the survey on behalf of the Health Minister and related that the Government and the Health Ministry will seek to work on alleviating the hindrances of child development in Guyana after they would have been identified in the survey. The upcoming MICS will also provide an opportunity for the inclusion of new indicators, such as those on life satisfaction and subjective well-being, alcohol and tobacco use, men’s health, chronic diseases and access to media and technologies. MICS is now structured to offer more information than before about children and women, adolescents and young people, thereby making it one of the few surveys of its kind to capture such indepth disaggregated data on these groups. Through the leadership of the Bureau of Statistics, and with support from the Health Ministry, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) the United Nations Population Fund ( UNFPA), UNAIDS and other development partners, data collection will begin as soon as next week and is expected to be completed in full by August 2014. The agencies are calling on the general public to cooperate with their agents and to provide valid and reliable data in the survey. The survey will be taken to all 10 administrative regions in Guyana and is targeting an estimated 6000 households.
n observance of World Poetry Day 2014, the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry hosted an evening of international, regional and Guyanese poetry. The event held at the Umana Yana was well received by a sizable gathering. Many of the poems told tales of various life experiences In his remarks, Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Dr Frank Anthony noted that even though Guyana is observing the World Poetry Day late, the intention is still the same, and that is to celebrate poets and poetry.
Rich literary legacy
He emphasised that Guyana has a rich literary legacy. “We don’t have enough occasions when we can talk about this rich legacy that we have,” he said. In this regard, at every opportunity possible, people need to be made aware of this legacy and discuss what can be done to celebrate those things. Minister Anthony also spoke about renowned Guyanese poets such as Martin Carter, who is regarded as a national poet. He also recognised Egbert Martin, another Guyanese poet, who was described as one of the greatest Negro poets in history. The Minister lauded Martin’s work, noting that one of his books entitled Scriptology was missing for 100 years; however, the only existing copy has been located at Howard University. “This year through the Caribbean Press, we will be republishing Scriptology
Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Dr Frank Anthony
and we will be making it available to the Guyanese public,” the Minister said. It is anticipated that when the book becomes available, more Guyanese would be acquainted with Egbert Martin, who was acclaimed as the first major poet in Guyana and Caribbean.
The Minister recognised that over the years, the observance has been enriching because some of the poets recited poems in their original languages. Several of the poems that were recited were done in Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. However, the latter was done by a student of Queen's College and translated into English by a representative of the Embassy of the Federation of Brazil. “We ourselves we have been writing predominant-
ly in English but we have the indigenous languages… perhaps we should encourage people to write poems in these languages,” Minister Anthony highlighted. He explained that UNESCO started World Poetry Day on the premise of sustaining linguistic diversity. Minister Anthony noted that he has seen work done in several of the indigenous languages and the stories have also been collected but there are not many poems. The Minister made a call for such a collection to commence. In 1999, the United Nations made a decision to proclaim March 21 as World Poetry Day. One of the main objectives of the day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered language the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
12 news CJIA gets $6 billion to continue developmental agenda thursday, march 27, 2014 | guyanatimeSGY.com
technical assessment for alternative transport options, including the cost benefit analysis of a rail link to ultimately connect with the deep water harbour and container port on the Berbice River, will be completed. In addition, Guyana, he said has collaborated with the Surinamese Government for the construction of the fixed bridge over the Corentyne River. Resources are budgeted to upgrade the road
and commercial centres, and bridging the spatial divide between the populated coastal areas and the natural resource-rich hinterland communities with accessible transportation facilities and infrastructure, constantly preoccupy our development efforts,” he said.
Sea and river defence
Dr Singh said rising sea levels continue to threaten the already vulnerable coastland. “As we continue to utilise
frastructure. Critical works will be done in Regions Two through Seven. The mangrove restoration and replanting programme will continue with the planting of 50,000 mangrove seedlings, spartina grassing in selected areas, the construction of geotextile breakwater structures, and the hydrological restoration of Wellington Park mangrove site. “Looking ahead, Government will invest more than US$65 million over the next five years in infrastruc-
Government will invest more than US$65 million over the next five years in infrastructural works and coastal zone management systems
ome $6.6 billion has been budgeted for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) to meet its strategic goals this year, as Government seeks to push ahead with plans to modernise its premiere airport. In 2013, a total of $1.1 bil-
prove safety. Works will commence on the West Coast Demerara Road and will include pavement rehabilitation, pedestrian and cycle lanes in selected high traffic areas, and street lighting. The widening of the East Coast Highway will continue and road recon-
the improvement of rural, community and hinterland roads and for street lighting from Belle Vue to Patentia,” Dr Singh said. He said negotiations have The mangrove restoration and replanting programme will continue with the planting of 50,000 mangrove seedlings this year
Some $6.6 billion has been budgeted for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) to meet its strategic goals this year
lion was expended on the expansion and modernisation of the CJIA. Additionally, $67.2 million was disbursed for the maintenance of hinterland airstrips while $80 million was spent to procure an Automated Dependent Surveillance Broadcast to bring the precision and reliability of satellite based surveillance to national airspace. Delivering his 2014 budget presentation on Monday, the Minister said $682.6 million was spent for the docking of several ferry vessels, the acquisition of spares, and the rehabilitation of stellings. In 2013, Government invested $11.3 billion to continue the construction of the East Bank Demerara and East Coast Demerara fourlane highways, CJIA access road, rural, community and hinterland roads, additional street lighting, and the rehabilitation of the Demerara Harbour Bridge. In 2014, an amount of $13.7 billion is budgeted to improve roads and bridges network, of which $12.9 billion will be spent on roads and $844.2 million on bridges. The four-lane access road to the CJIA and the East Bank Demerara (EBD) fourlane highway are slated for completion this year and will alleviate much of the current traffic bottlenecks and im-
struction works for the upgrading from Better Hope to Belfield will commence. Construction of the Parika/ Ruby backdam roads will begin, thus opening up access to over 330 farming households and over 2000 acres of mixed crop farming. Engineering designs for the Canal Polder Numbers One and Two roads and feasibility studies and designs for the extension of the highway from Diamond to Timehri , EBD will be undertaken. On the East Bank Berbice, studies and designs will be completed and the complete reconstruction of six kilometres from Stanleytown to Everton and upgrade of 11.5 kilometres from Belle Vue to Light Town will commence.
Study to complete
“Also in 2014, we will complete a financial feasibility study for the construction of a bypass road from Ogle to Eccles which will open new areas for development and investment and create a second route to reduce the congestion for the East Bank Demerara traffic. This will constitute the first phase in the development of an alternative route to the CJIA, thereby linking our two international airports and opening up a new development corridor for the East Bank Demerara. An amount of $7.7 billion is allocated for
advanced substantially between the Brazilian and Guyanese technical working groups regarding the preparation of a design study for the construction of the Linden to Lethem Road. The
link from Springlands to Moleson Creek and to prepare the bridge terminal facility. Further, the feasibility study for the new Demerara Bridge has been completed, and Government has invited expressions of interest for a public-private partnership for its construction and budgeted $338 million for critical works to extend the life of the Demerara Harbour Bridge. The Minister said meeting the growing demand for reliable and efficient airlift and riverain transport services to enable easy, safe and cost effective movement of people and goods remains a Government priority. “The tasks of improving linkages with important international business
new and emerging technologies for the improvement and sustainability of the structural integrity of our sea and river defence infrastructures, we are simultaneously promoting experimental soft and hard interventions,” Minister Singh said. In 2013, the sum of $1.7 billion was disbursed for the improvement of sea and river defence infrastructure. Under the piloted interventions, bamboo brushwood dams, iron bamboo fences and rubber mound groynes were constructed to protect young mangrove seedlings from destruction and promote mangrove restoration. In 2014, the sum of $1.9 billion is budgeted to ensure the further strengthening of the sea and river defence in-
tural works and coastal zone management systems, which will benefit almost 90 per cent of our population. These interventions include construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of more than 80 kilometres of sea and river defence infrastructures, the implementation of an integrated shore zone management system that will enhance resilience to coastal and riverain hazards, and integrated flood risk preparedness strategies. To reduce the risk of flooding and loss of land, our policy is to foster better harmonisation among coastal zone and flood management stakeholders in close coordination with our national disaster management agency and strategy,” he said.
Pomeroon farmers battle parrot, flea invasion – asking for guns to keep the birds away
By Indrawattie Natram
mid bitter complaints from rice farmers on the Essequibo Coast about low paddy prices, Pomeroon fruit farmers are up in arms over a parrot and fly invasion of their carambola crops. Cash crop farmers who cultivate carambola in the Lower and Upper Pomeroon River are calling on the Region Two authorities to stave off the attack. According to reports, the pests have been wreaking havoc on the trees for the past month, and came at a time when they were blossoming. One Hackney Canal farmer, Boyan (only name given) explained that the parrots in flock would destroy the leaves and fruits of the trees. Another farmer from Upper Pomeroon, John Williams said the parrots seem bent on not allowing
A fruit destroyed by the marauding parrots
the trees to produce. Williams said the parrots usually inhabit the trees at nights and by morning, the fruits are destroyed, and this is not all. He said the birds appear fixed on making his life miserable as they would make loud and annoying chattering sounds, and as soon as he peeps at his window, they will fly way. Some farmers have been
using sling-shots and arrows and bows to stave off the birds, but they say this is not enough, contenting that guns will do a better job. And, on this note, they are calling on the Agriculture Ministry to support their case, with some saying that scaring away the parrots is not enough, as they should be killed and cooked. Region Two Vice
Chairman Vishnu Samaroo recently in his report to the Regional Democratic Council, acknowledged the parrot invasion, while calling for urgent counter measures. He said the mischief of the birds has invited swarms of fleas, feasting on the fruits destroyed by the parrots. According to Samaroo, a National Agriculture Research Extension Institute (NAREI) field officer visited several affected farmers and advised on how they should get rid of the fleas. Pomeroon farmers usually harvest thousands of carambola, which they vend at the Charity Market. The fruits are harvested manually by farmers. Some farmers preserve the fruit and use it for cake mix. Carambola cultivation is prevalent in the Pomeroon River and is a main source of livelihood for many there.
thurSday, march 27, 2014 | guyanatimesGY.com
Jagdeo/Kissoon libel case
Judge allows defence to amend case
igh Court Judge, Justice Brassington Reynolds on Wednesday granted the application for the defence in the Jagdeo/Kissoon libel case to amend its case to include additional evidence. This was done in the chambers of Justice Reynolds, where he delivered his decision before attorneys for the defence and plaintiff. Also present in chambers was columnist Freddie Kissoon, who was sued for over $10 million by former President Bharrat Jagdeo for alleged racist comments he made in one of his daily columns published in the Kaieteur News. The newspaper’s Editorin-Chief Adam Harris and Publisher Mohan "Glenn" Lall were also sued in the lawsuit. Kissoon is being represented by Attorney Nigel Hughes while Jagdeo is represented by Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos in association with Attorney Sase Gunraj. The application for fresh evidence to be added to the defence’s case was made after Senior Counsel De Santos objected to evidence given
specific evidence. In response, Hughes stated that the defence case is one of a plea of justification, and as such, witnesses are being called to testify on areas of public and social services where “ideological racism” was practised. The Senior Counsel then pointed out the defence does not
Former President Bharrat Jagdeo
by defence witness, Trade Unionist Lincoln Lewis, who was at the time saying that the former President had neglected several trade unions and the Critchlow Labour College. De Santos had told the court that there are no particulars of the allegations in the defence’s case that his client had practised “ideological racism” during his tenure as President. He further stated that there are no particulars of general assertions which give the defence right to lead
Kaieteur News columnist Fredrick Kissoon
have the right to produce witnesses but prove that the justifications rely on particulars and not assertions, as such Hughes was given time to present the particulars as requested by
De Santos. During the proceedings, the presiding judge had enquired from Hughes what relevance the Critchlow Labour College has with the whole issue of “ideological racism” to which the attorney responded saying that the principle beneficiaries of the school are predominantly of a certain ethnisity, linking it to the fact that the former President had cancelled subventions to the school. After several sessions of back and forth arguments with the last hearing held in chambers, on Wednesday after Justice Reynolds delivered his decision, Attorney Gunraj indicated that he would appeal the matter and requested leave to do so. Justice Reynolds subsequently granted the leave; however, Attorney Gunraj further requested that the trial be stayed until the appeal is heard and completed. He asked for six weeks and this was also granted by the presiding judge. When the appeal is completed, Lewis will return to the stand to continue his evidence in the trial.
Pensioner allegedly raped, murdered in home
Dead: Joyce Lewis
former staff of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council was on Wednesday morning found dead in the bedroom of her North Ruimveldt, Georgetown home. Joyce Lewis, 75, of Lot 3630 Christiani Street, North Ruimveldt, is suspected to have been robbed, raped and strangled. Relatives of the woman broke down as her body was being removed from her residence by undertakers. The woman’s lifeless body was discovered about 08:30h by a sister, who went to the house after she failed to make telephone contact with the woman. She was found lying on her back with her underwear to her knees and blood oozing from her mouth and nostrils. Her hands and feet were bound. There was a broken glass window at the back of the house, but due to the grill, it was impossible for the perpetrators to enter the premises. The police are working with the theory that the perpetrators may have gotten access into the house via a bedroom window in the up-
per flat of the house since there were several footprints on the white paint. The house was ransacked and a cutlass wrapped in a piece of cloth was also recovered by investigators at the house. When Guyana Times arrived at the scene, relative were barred from entering the yard as police ranks were conducting their investigations. A young man, Shane Willis told Guyana Times that one of the woman’s relatives contacted his mother and asked for him to check on the woman, claiming that they were not getting onto her via telephone. He said that as he arrived at the woman’s home, he saw the dead woman’s sister in the yard in a state of uneasiness. “When she saw me, she asked me to jump the fence as she was crying out ‘like they kill her,’”. Willis said as he jumped into the yard, he saw the cutlass wrapped in the cloth lying next to the door with a bunch of keys, and as such, he hurriedly made his way home and informed his mother, who in turn contacted the woman’s relatives.
The police were summoned and as they made their way into the house, they discovered the house ransacked and the woman’s body on the floor. “They tie up she hand and feet and blood de coming out she mouth and nose.” Yvonne (only name given), a close friend of Lewis stated that she last spoke to the woman after midnight on Tuesday and they had
The house in which Lewis’ body was discovered
plans to go shopping the following day. “She told me that one of her bulbs had blown and she had to get a new one so we decided to go shopping to get the bulb and water… I think people would have tampered with the bulb the previous night.”
The woman further added that she retired to bed, but upon waking on Wednesday morning, she tried to make contact with the woman on her telephone, but there was no answer. “This is unusual because as soon as the telephone rings, she would answer and if she sees a missed call, she would return the call. So I telephone a relative in the area to check on her and that was when the young man went across.” The friend said she telephoned the woman’s brother, who resides overseas and informed him about the situation. He is due to travel to the country this evening. A nephew of the dead woman said he was contacted on Wednesday morning and told of the unfortunate inci-
dent. While he was not sure what occurred, he explained that his aunt would have met her demise in a gruesome manner. Lewis normally lived alone and has no children. Two of her siblings live overseas while another live in Guyana. A neighbour told Guyana Times that of recent, there has been an escalation of robberies in the community, recalling that her house was broken into a few nights ago. The perpetrators took away several pieces of electrical equipment, including laptops and television sets. The neighbour also confirmed that Lewis’ home was burglarised a few weeks ago, but no one was arrested. The woman was described as a very quiet person. She worked in the registration office of the Mayor and City Council several years ago. Her husband who was a police inspector, passed away some years ago. Lewis leaves to mourn her three siblings. Her body was taken to the Lyken’s Funeral Home and is awaiting a post-mortem examination.
US$10M engineering design for Linden-Lethem Road
A section of the Linden to Lethem Road
n engineering design required for the critical Linden to Lethem Road will cost an estimated US$10 million, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds has disclosed. He said the Guyana and Brazil governments are yet to complete discussions on the financing of the critical project. A Joint Working Group established under the Guyana-Brazil Corporation Agreement had submitted the proposal. In December 2012, the Working Group on Infrastructure Projects was established following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries. But with this proposal being tabled, along with recommendations for feasibility studies to be conducted on hydropower development in the Upper and Middle Mazaruni, a Joint Commission chaired by Ambassador Elisabeth Harper would monitor the various activities. The commission was established in July 2013. Speaking at the National Communications Network (NCN) during a recent press conference, Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett said the redesigning and construction of the Linden to Lethem Road and the development of hydropower stations at Middle and Upper Mazaruni are interconnected. “It (the road) will cost a handsome sum and we at this point in time, we are not able to increase our debt,” she said but explained that if the hydropower development project is feasible, the road project will be accelerated. “So we will be able to get our road, get some energy, sell some energy, and get some revenue. So if we are able to do this the right way, have all of the negative impacts addressed, we would be in good shape,” an optimistic Rodrigues-Birkett said. Negotiations advanced In the 2014 budget presentation, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh said “negotiations have advanced substantially between the Brazilian and Guyanese technical working groups regarding the preparation of a design study for the construction of the Linden to Lethem Road”. Meanwhile, under the Public Works Ministry, $55.092 million has been set aside for Inter-American Bank (IDB) studies to be conducted on the Georgetown to Lethem Road. The ongoing project entails the provision for biodiversity study in the specified area.
The total biodiversity study costs $78.800 million; a project which is being financed by IDB loan grants. Prior to 2014, approximately $18.708 million was expended. In 2009, during the commissioning ceremony of the Takutu River Bridge, then Guyana and Brazil Presidents Bharrat Jagdeo and Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva said the full potential of Guyana-Brazil Trade and economic relations will not be realised if the road from Linden to Lethem is not developed. Deteriorating state Both Guyanese and Brazilian nationals have long bemoaned the deteriorating state of the Linden to Lethem Road, despite constant repairs by the Guyana Government. When the road is paved, it will significantly enhance the lives of Guyanese, particularly traders using the route. Such a move will also result in the reduction of transportation costs while stimulating increase trade and other economic opportunities. Due to the current state of the Linden to Lethem Road, a US$4 million Container Transshipment Terminal Project in Linden seemed to dim after commencing in 2009. This multimillion-dollar facility was expected to create a massive workforce in Linden. In February 2012, the construction of the US$4 million container transshipment terminal was put on hold owing to the deplorable condition of the Linden-Lethem Road. Lindeners remain hopeful that the road is upgraded in a timely manner to facilitate the influx of vehicles and containers from Brazil. The US$4 million Container Transshipment Terminal Project birthed after a team of business experts had conducted a fact finding mission in Brazilian cities of Boa Vista, Manaus and Belem in 2007. Based on studies conducted, the experts had concluded that the great potential lies between Guyana and Brazil, noting that Linden would have been an idea community to construct a terminal to facilitate the shipment of cargo. It was a welcome initiative, and the Guyana National Industrial Company (GNIC) through collaboration with the Linden Economic Advancement Programme (LEAP), the construction of the multimilliondollar project began in 2009, and by March 2010, the first phase was completed.
thursday, march 27, 2014
Venezuela opposition mayor gets one-year jail sentence over protests
enezuela’s top court has sentenced the mayor of the city of San Cristobal to a year in jail for failing to break up anti-Government protests, extending a crackdown of opposition leaders associated with nearly two months of demonstrations. The Supreme Court ruling issued late on Tuesday determined that Daniel Ceballos disobeyed an earlier court order that his administration remove barricades set up by protesters demanding the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro. Demonstrators since early February have routinely used debris and burning trash to block the streets of San Cristobal, a city in the western Andes region near Colombia. The protests began there early in the year with sporadic student demonstrations and it remains the city most affected by the unrest. Ceballos, who has condemned violence but openly supported the protests, was also stripped of his post. Opposition leaders say the recent actions are evidence that the country is sliding into a dictatorship that muzzles dissent and arbitrarily jails elected of-
Police officers inspect the national electoral headquarters after a fire, which was set by anti-Government protesters according to Government officials, in Maracaibo March 25
ficials. Maduro’s supporters say the measures are meant to restore public order in the face of demonstrations that have left dozens dead and limited free transit as part of efforts to destabilise the Government. The Supreme Court has also sentenced the Opposition mayor of the city of San Diego to 10 months in jail, stripping him of his post. Authorities in
February arrested Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez, who helped turn the protests into a nationwide movement. Congress this week stripped Opposition deputy Maria Corina Machado of her post in parliament on charges she had violated the constitution by speaking at the Organisation of American States with the backing of the Panamanian Government. (Reuters)
The Bahamas announces 24-member reparations committee
oreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell has appointed The Bahamas’ National Reparations Committee ahead of a formal push by Caricom heads to get reparations, debt cancellation, and an apology from former European colonisers. During a press conference at the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Monday, Mitchell announced that former Attorney General Alfred Sears and former member of parliament Philip Smith are co-chairs. Mitchell said he expects the committee to present its preliminary research and recommendations by June. He said the committee will carry out a wide public education campaign as it seeks to illustrate links between historic and modernday discrimination and out-
line racial discrimination resulting from slavery in areas of health, education, living conditions, property and land ownership, employment participation and migration. “I believe that the public discussion that will ensue... will be instructive and I think that is what the Government hopes in its essence takes place; that there is a national discussion and dialogue on this, which has been treated as a silent subject for too long,” Mitchell said. “And those of us who were raised in the 1950s and 1960s and saw the struggles pre-1967 in this country are somewhat astounded at how polite of a society we have become on this subject.” Sears and Smith attended a Caricom reparations commission meeting in Barbados in January. (Excerpt from Caribbean News Now)
Elderly woman mauled to death American, Canadians accused of laundering money in the C’bbean by three pit bulls
olice shot and killed three pit bulls on Tuesday after the dogs mauled to death an 83-year-old woman, who had gone into the yard of her home to check her mailbox in Tunapuna, east of Port of Spain. Police said that Sylvia Roberts was killed by the three pit bulls that belonged to her 43-year-old son, who had been at work. The dogs were unleashed in the secure compound of the home. The attack is likely to intensify debate in TT for the Government to ensure the proclamation of the Dog Control Amendment Act that has been passed in both houses of parliament. Earlier this week, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TTSPCA), Sita Kuruvilla, said she was concerned that at least 200 pit bulls had been abandoned over the past months as Government moved to enact the new legislation. In addition, she described as “fear-in-
Trinidad police said that Sylvia Roberts was killed by the three pit bulls that belong to her 43-year-old son, who had been at work
ducing” full-page advertisement by the Government in the daily newspapers calling for support of the legislation. “We were a bit concerned because we saw the full-page ad in the paper and it is basically seeking support for the Dog Control Act... it was pretty alarming....” she added.
(Excerpt from Caribbean360)
he United States Department of Justice (DoJ) says that an American and two Canadian citizens have been charged with using offshore accounts in the Caribbean to launder US$200,000. The DoJ said that Joshua Vandyk, a U.S. citizen, and Canadians Eric St-Cyr and Patrick Poulin were nabbed in an undercover sting operation. They were indicted for conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, the DoJ and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. The indictment alleges that Vandyk, StCyr and Poulin conspired to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership and control of property believed to be the proceeds of bank fraud. The DoJ said the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos-based defendants allegedly assisted undercover law enforcement agents, posing as U.S. clients, in laundering “purported criminal proceeds through an offshore structure designed to conceal the true identity of the proceeds’ owners. “Vandyk and St-Cyr invested the laun-
dered funds on the clients’ behalf and represented the funds would not be reported to the U.S. Government,” the statement said. The DoJ said the indictment was returned in the Eastern District of Virginia on March 6 and unsealed on March 12, when all three defendants were arrested in Miami, Florida. (Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)
St Lucia monitoring Barbados seeks removal of mandatory possible harmful effects death penalty for murder convictions of sulphur springs
ealth and environment authorities have launched a new network to monitor potentially harmful volcanic gases emitted from the Sulphur Springs in Soufrière, west of Castries. Led by the Seismic Research Centre of the St Augustine-based campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI-SRC), the primary objective of the project is to gain a better understanding of volcanic emissions or gases at the Soufrière volcano and the potential impact on environmental and human health. The project will specifically measure outputs of sulphur dioxide in the air and arsenic in water at two sites, namely the Sulphur Springs Park and the town of Soufrière. Residents and visitors have in the past raised concerns about
the volcanic gases and possible health effects and the authorities said the eight month project would also seek to build local capacity as members of the Soufrière Regional Development Foundation (SRDF) will be trained in the application of lowcost, low-technology monitoring techniques developed by the UWI Department of Chemistry. “The involvement of the community through the training is an important component of the project as it will improve and expand our capacity to provide volcanic monitoring of gases beyond the life of the project,” said Dr Erouscilla Joseph, volcanologist at the UWI-SRC and principal investigator on the project. (Excerpt from Antigua Observer)
he Barbados Government will seek to amend the Offences Against the Persons Act next month as it seeks to remove the mandatory death penalty imposed on people convicted of murder. Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite told reporters that he was aware that it would be a “battle” to remove the mandatory death
penalty, but stressed that the entire country will be engaged in dialogue on the issue, as Government prepares to take legislation before parliament. ““Barbadians generally feel that once you commit murder you should forfeit your lives, but that is until one of their family members is involved,” said Brathwaite, who is also the Home Affairs Minister.
But he said he hoped those views would change, following the expected public dialogue on the issue. “I know it will be a battle, but… I believe that it is a better path for the country,” he said, adding that Cabinet had agreed to the concept of parole, but that the necessary infrastructure needed to be in place before it is implemented. (Excerpt from Caribean360)
TT boy tells classmates of mother’s murder
male relative of 37-yearold Kaeisha Malino is assisting police with their investigation into her death. Malino was found dead at her home in San Juan Monday morning. An autopsy conducted on Tuesday said she was beaten and strangled. Around 10:30h on Monday, Malino’s father went to
the San Juan Police Station to report that his grandson had told him Kaeisha had been strangled at her home, and her body had been left in the building. She lived at Fidel Circular, Bourg Mulatresse, San Juan. Sergeants McMillan and Anslem Hosein and Corporal Seecharan went to the house and
found the body, which they said had several marks of violence. Police said the child went to school on Monday and was telling his classmates his mother had been killed by the relative. Malino’s killing has taken the murder toll to 108. The toll for the same period last year was 102.
15 Around the world thursday, march 27, 2014
India’s Congress targets ‘inclusive’ UN considers probe into Sri Lanka atrocities growth in election pitch
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (C), Chief of India’s ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi (R) and her son Rahul Gandhi, Vice President of the party, hold copies of their party’s election manifesto for the April/May general election in New Delhi, March 26
ndia’s ruling Congress party, facing a likely general election defeat, defended its economic track record over a decade in power and sought to woo voters with offers of further costly welfare measures. The party, controlled by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and its scion Rahul
Gandhi, is expected to lose due to public anger over graft scandals, high inflation and an economy growing at its slowest pace in a decade. Unveiling its election manifesto on Wednesday, the party said it would lift 800 million people – almost as many as have the
right to vote – into the middle class and raise gross domestic product (GDP) growth to eight per cent within three years. Appealing to its core constituency of poorer voters with a call for inclusive growth, Congress proposed new rights to include guaranteed access to health, pensions, housing and even “to entrepreneurship”. “Growth by itself is not sufficient,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told an event at which Congress President Sonia Gandhi made a rare public appearance in support of son Rahul’s leadership of the party’s flagging campaign. The 50-page policy document was long on policies to redistribute wealth with fewer proposals on how to generate it, reflecting a left-leaning heritage that predates independence in 1947. (Excerpt from Reuters)
ri Lanka faces renewed condemnation at the United Nations’ top human rights body, as a resolution for an international criminal investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by Government soldiers is being debated in Geneva. The debate has been denounced by Sri Lankan officials as “unwarranted interference” in the country’s internal affairs. On Wednesday, UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay presented a report on the issue to the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) before the debate started on a U.S.-led resolution demanding accountability for the deaths of thousands of ethnic Tamil civilians in the final stages of the country’s 26-year civil war. “Almost five years since the end of the conflict, it is important for the Human Rights Council to recall
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has already denounced an international probe as foreign interference and said Western nations were unfairly targeting him
the magnitude and gravity of the violations alleged to have been committed at that time by the Government and the LTTE” said Pillay to the council on Wednesday. She said that even though the Government established various mechanisms with the task to investigate past violations, “none have had the inde-
pendence to be effective or inspire confidence among victims and witnesses.” Government troops crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an armed separatist organisation known as the Tamil Tigers, in May 2009. The UN says the war may have claimed as many as 40,000 civilian lives in its final months. (Excerpt from Al Jazeera)
Zimbabwe court orders U.S. court convicts bin China to try former compensation for rape victim Laden’s son-in-law mining magnate and on terrorism charges his gang next week
imbabwe’s top court has ordered the state to pay compensation to a rape victim who was denied an abortion after she was attacked eight years ago. The court criticised police and medical workers for delays in helping the woman seek a termination of her pregnancy. Abortion is illegal in Zimbabwe, but may be permitted where the pregnancy is a result of rape or where it poses a threat to the woman’s life. The woman’s eight-yearold child is now going to school. The Supreme Court was scathing in its judgment, reports the BBC’s Brian Hungwe from the capital, Harare. It ruled that the mental anguish from the pregnancy was foreseeable and doctors should have recommended
emergency contraception – the so-called “morning-after pill” – within three days of the rape in 2006. The doctors instead referred the matter back to the police, contributing to delays which meant it was eventually too late to terminate the pregnancy. The Supreme Court referred the case to another court to determine the sum to be awarded in damages. The woman was also seeking US$42,000 (£25,000) in compensation to cover the costs of raising the child, but that claim was thrown out, the AFP news agency reports. The ruling was welcomed by the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, which initiated the litigation on behalf of the woman. (Excerpt from
U.S. court convicted former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law on Wednesday in connection with his role in producing propaganda videos aimed at luring new terrorist recruits in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The jury found Sulaiman Abu Ghaith – the highestranking al Qaeda figure to face charges on U.S. soil for the attacks – guilty on three charges: conspiracy to kill Americans, providing support to al Qaeda and conspiring to provide support to al Qaeda. Abu Ghaith had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The Kuwaiti imam testified during his
three-week-long trial that he complied with a request from bin Laden to record videos for use in recruiting new followers for suicide missions like those that saw 19 al Qaeda followers use hijacked planes to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. “The storm of airplanes will not stop,” Abu Ghaith was heard warning in an October 2001 video, which was played for the jury. Also shown to the jury were frames of a video made on September 12, 2001, that showed Abu Ghaith seated next to bin Laden and two other top al Qaeda leaders as they discussed the attacks. (Excerpt from France 24)
he trial of a Chinese former mining magnate and the “mafiastyle” gang he ran will begin in central China next week on charges including murder, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday. Liu Han, the former Chairman of Hanlong Mining, which attempted to take over Australia’s Sundance Resources Limited, led his gang on a crime spree for more than a decade, focused on China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, state media have said previously. The probe into Liu is one of the highest-profile cases against a private businessman since President Xi Jinping took power last
year, vowing to battle corruption. All 36 members of the gang will stand trial in a court in Hubei province on Monday, Xinhua said. “They are suspected of organising, leading and participating in the gang as well as intentional homicide,” the report cited a court statement as saying. “The gang, allegedly led by Liu Han and (his brother) Liu Wei, is the largest mafia-style criminal group to be tried in recent years in China.” The ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said last month that the Government would also be going after the officials who protected the gang.
(Excerpt from Reuters)
Flight MH370: 122 new objects spotted – Malaysia Minister German ‘bishop of bling’ resigns over A spending scandal further 122 objects potentially from the missing Malaysian plane have been identified by satellite, the country’s acting Transport Minister has said. The images, taken on March 23, showed objects up to 23 metres (75 feet) in length, Hishammuddin Hussein said. All aircraft taking part in Wednesday’s search have now left the area without identifying debris from the plane. Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board. The objects were found in satellite images from a 400-square-kilometre (km) area around 2557km (1588 miles) from Perth in Western
Australia, Hishammuddin said. He said that it was not possible to tell whether the potential objects were from the missing aircraft, but called them “another new lead that will help direct the search operation”. The images were supplied by French-based Airbus Defence and Space and were given to the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency on March 25, Hishammuddin said. The images were passed on to the Australian Rescue and Co-ordination Centre in Perth on Tuesday, he added. The latest images are the fourth known collection of satellite pictures showing possible debris in the south-
The images, given to the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency by Airbus, show several light-coloured objects
ern Indian Ocean. No pieces have yet been recovered in the search area, which has
now been split into an east and west section. (Excerpt from
ope Francis has formally accepted the resignation of a senior German Church leader suspended over his alleged lavish spending. The Vatican made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday. Bishop of Limburg FranzPeter Tebartz-van Elst has been accused of spending more than 31 million euros (£26 million) on renovating his official residence. The cleric, dubbed the “bishop of bling” by the media, offered to resign when the scandal broke last October. In response, Pope
Francis temporarily suspended Bishop Tebartzvan Elst and instructed a Church commission to investigate the matter. Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed his disapproval of senior clerics whose lifestyles seem too lavish. On Wednesday, the Vatican said the inquiry found that the senior cleric could no longer exercise his ministry. The Church called on the diocese of Limburg to accept the decision “with docility” and to work toward restoring a “climate of charity and reconciliation”. (Excerpt from BBC News)
thursday, march 27, 2014| guyanatimesGY.com
Rohee unaware who will be next top cop
WPA fumes at Ramotar’s non-response to concerns on Rodney commission
Outgoing Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell
President Donald Ramotar
WPA Chairman, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine
he Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has dubbed as “Shameful”, the non-response from President Donald Ramotar to a letter written to him about the contents of the Terms of Reference (ToR) being used in the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry (CoI). It has been three weeks now since the letter, signed by the WPA’S Chairman, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine and Executive Member, Professor Clive Thomas, was sent to the Head of State, outlining the party’s concerns over sections of the ToR. Dr Roopnaraine said while Office of the President has made no formal contact with the WPA, there have been reports in the media regarding Government’s feelings about their objections to the ToRs. “That is shameful,” he lamented.
presence of Trinidadianbased Guyanese Senior Counsel Seenath Jairam on the Commission. Jairam, the WPA noted, was the lead counsel representing the Government in the budget cut case of 2012 before acting Chief Justice, Ian Chang. It said that his presence on the Commission would cause a conflict of interest. The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) last week made a public statement, calling on the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and Working People’s Alliance (WPA) to cooperate with the CoI, which was set up to probe the death of the historian.
s Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell prepares to demit office, he is endorsing his incumbent, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud as the next top cop, but Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee on Wednesday said that he does not know who will fill the post. In an invited comment at the closing exercise of the SWAT training team at Eve Leary, Georgetown, Rohee said that before a new Police Commissioner is appointed, there must be consultation between President Donald
Ramotar and the Opposition Leader David Granger. To date, he added, the two men have not met on the matter. Unlike appointment of the Chief Justice and Chancellor of the Judiciary, the President is not required to agree with the Opposition Leader’s choice for Police Commissioner. Former Opposition Leader Robert Corbin had opposed the appointment of Henry Greene as the Police Chief, but then President Bharrat Jagdeo confirmed him as Commissioner. Recently, President Ramotar had promised that he would make an official announcement regarding the post of Police Commissioner. Until now, nothing has been said. He had said the extension of Commissioner Brumell’s tenure will last until the appropriate system is in place to appoint the new Commissioner. Brumell, whose term of office expired on February 8, remains on the job to facilitate a smooth transition for his successor. He is expected to leave by March 31. Granger has been
Crime Chief Seelall Persaud
on record as saying that Brumell should leave the office when the time comes. Brumell took up the substantive post of Police Commissioner in October last year, after acting in the position since December 19, 2011. Brumell has served the force for more than 36 years. The possibility also exists that Persaud will be appointed to act as Police Commissioner until the Police Service Commission is reconstituted. Media reports have suggested that Persaud was tipped as the next top cop.
The 50-year-old Persaud holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Management and a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Studies from the University of Guyana (UG). He also holds a Certificate Course for Senior Executives in National and International Security from Harvard University, U.S.A. He also did the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Standard Officers Course and investigating courses with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In less than five days, Brumell is expected to leave office as top cop but yet there has been no official announcement with respect to his replacement, but rather speculations. As a matter of fact, there is a retirement parade that is planned for Brumell on Friday at the Police Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary. The parade will be under the command of Assistant Police Commissioner Brian Joseph, assisted by Senior Superintendent Lyndon Alves.
Justice sector’s budget caters for New Land Court
new Land Court and also a new Magistrate’s Court at Sparendaam are on the cards this year, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh said in his $220 billion budget on Monday. During the presentation of the 2014 National Budget on Monday, Dr Singh disclosed that the administration has put aside $1.8 billion for the sector to continue its advancement. With the $1.8 billion allocation for the sector, there will be continued investments in infrastructural works as some $238.5 million will be directed towards the construction of a Land Court, a new Magistrate's Court at Sparendaam, the completion of the Number 51 Village Magistrate’s Court, the rehabilitation of court rooms at the High Court and maintenance of facilities nationwide. This year will also see works done in the modernisation of the country’s law documents. Already in February last, the requisite law revision order was gazetted; thus bringing into effect the newly amended and consolidated version of the Laws of Guyana. This was done in accordance with the Law Revision Act Chapter 2:02. Meanwhile, the courts will see several new practice directions drafted to support the new Rules of the High Court Civil Procedure. The new rules were implemented to simplify the commence-
ment of proceedings in court, allow citizens easier access to the court, and provide the mechanism for recourse to mediation. There will also be works done with the civil and criminal justice committees to intensify efforts to monitor and evaluate the performance of Magistrates’ and High Courts countrywide. A baseline report on the use of court resources is expected to be produced to aid the monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the courts, thereby ensuring more timely access to justice.
Voice recording systems
On the note of modernisation, this year will also see the voice recording systems being introduced for the first time in the court of the Chief Justice, Commercial Court and Court of Appeal. This initiative is expected to reduce the time taken to manually record and process cases. In February last, the National Assembly had unanimously passed the Recording of Court Proceedings Act legislation. This project will be tested in the three courts, first as a pilot project before it is extended to the other courts. The equipment was purchased with funds procured from the Inter American Development Bank (IDB). Last years, some $275.5 million was expended on works on the infrastructure within the sector. This included the construction
a $25 million Mediation Centre in New Amsterdam and several upgrade works at facilities such as Magistrates’ and High Courts. Some of the courts renovated were the Wales Magistrate's Court, West Bank Demerara; Leonora Magistrate's Court, West Coast Demerara, and the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. These infrastructural works were done under the Modernisation of the Justice Administration Project, which seeks to improve the physical and infrastructural capacity of the justice sector. Further, under this component of the project, new courts were constructed in Springlands, Whim, Canje, New Amsterdam, Sisters Village, Fort Wellington, Wales, Wismar, and Lethem, among other areas. The project also saw rehabilitation works conducted on the Court of Appeal and the High Court complexes of Berbice and Demerara. Also renovated were the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecution’s offices, both in Georgetown and New Amsterdam.
Strengthening of justice sector
As it relates to the strengthened efficiency of the justice sector, one civil and three criminal justice committees were established with the primary function to review the functioning of the justice system while monitoring and evaluating the performance of the
courts, and further make recommendations on how to improve effectiveness. A training session was done in January 2013 on the work of the committees for all stakeholders in the justice system. In addition, a Prosecutors Management Information System was installed and operated at the DPP’s Chambers to speed up the processing of criminal depositions. It was also reported that some 1000 cases were disposed of from the backlog of the court system. Government has taken a decision to increase the number of puisne judges from 12 to a whopping 20 to help reduce the backlog of cases. Prior to this increase, the Judicial System had met its complement of judges with the appointments of three judges in October 2012; however, the magistracy was and still is several magistrates short of its complement of 21. Additionally, persons within the judicial system had benefitted from several training programmes and workshops that were conducted throughout the year. Another stride recorded in the justice sector would be completion of the Guyana Law Reports for the period 1930 to 2007, along with the revision of the Laws of Guyana up to 2010. The revised copies of the country’s laws are now available in print for the first time in 34 years.
The WPA earlier this month, had raised concerns over paragraph four of the ToR, which it said “strays a considerable distance from the precisions of paragraph one”. Section four of the ToR tasks the Commission with “examining the facts and circumstances immediately prior, at the time of, and subsequent to the death of Dr Walter Rodney”. Dr Roopnaraine had questioned the time period defined in paragraph four (1st January 1978 to 31 December 1980) – qualifying it as being “immediately prior, at the time of, and subsequent to the death of Dr Rodney”. The party’s Chairman said that that section runs the risk of opening a Pandora’s Box that will guarantee an unwelcomed poisoning of the political environment. Questions were also raised about the granting of an absolute pardon to persons who may have been involved in the death of Dr Rodney. The letter said that “it would seem to have the Commission of Inquiry tiptoe in the direction of a Truth Commission, even while the Terms of Reference and the prevailing conditions fall far short of the complex requirements of a Truth Commission. Perhaps it is enough, at this stage and in our conditions, that it pins the flag of reconciliation on its mast.” The party had also expressed concerns over the
The PPP/C had stated that the decision to exclude the PNC and WPA in the formation of the Commission and the crafting of its ToRs was taken considering the request made by Dr Rodney widow, Patricia Rodney, who asked that the two political bodies not be involved by way of consultations. According to the letter, Mrs Rodney did not want the inquiry to become politicised. The PNCR has also warned that if the ToRs were not addressed, it may refuse to participate in the inquiry, which is expected to begin on April 22. The three-member Commission consisting of Chairman, Barbadian Queen’s Counsel, Sir Richard Cheltenham; Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline Samuels Brown; and Senior Counsel Jairam was set up on February 25 to probe the circumstances leading to the death of Dr Walter Rodney when a bomb exploded in the car in which he was sitting 34 years ago. Since their appointment, the Commissioners have had several meetings with stakeholders, including the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Defence Force and the Public Service Commission. During its recent visit to Guyana last week, the Commission had also met with members of APNU at its Hadfield Street office, Georgetown. The Commission has been calling for persons to present witness statements to the Secretariat, since according to Chairman Cheltenham, a certain amount of witnesses are required before the inquiry can commence.
thursday, march 27, 2014| guyanatimesGY.com
Budget cuts case
Chang erred in final ruling, Speaker claims in appeal S
peaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman has stated that acting Chief Justice Ian Chang has erred in his final ruling earlier this year on the 2012 budget cuts case filed by Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Anil Nandlall to block the National Assembly from cutting the national estimates presented by the Finance Minister. This was said in the notice of appeal document filed on February 25, by Trotman’s group of attorneys, led by Attorney Khemraj Ramjattan. The notice named Nandlall as the respondent. The document stated that Trotman is dissatisfied with the decision made by Chang on January 29. The Speaker noted that the persons who will be affected by the appeal are himself, Nandlall, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and Opposition Leader David Granger. In the appeal, Trotman is seeking the court to reserve and set aside the decision made by Chang and that the respondent pays the cost of the appeal and of the court. The appeal was filed primarily on six grounds. Firstly, it said that the judge erred when he ruled that the National Assembly, and its Committee of Supply, do not have legal and constitutional
authority to amend or reduce the Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure of Guyana for any given year. The second ground stated that Justice Chang erred when he ruled that Standing Orders, or rules of procedure of the National Assembly, which provide for the amendment and reduction of the Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure of Guyana are not procedural rules of law, nor are they written law, nor are they subsidiary legislation within the meaning of the Interpretation and General Clauses Act, such as can impact upon or have a significance on the purposeful construction of Article 218 of the Constitution.
Further, the third ground mentioned that the acting Chief Justice wrongly construed Articles 218 and 171 (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of Guyana, thereby resulting in a construction that effectively ousted the National Assembly’s right and power to amend or reduce the Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure of Guyana for purpose of charging the said estimates to the Consolidated Fund. Chang should have properly and purposefully construed the said articles ensuring a construction, which would have
House Speaker Raphael Trotman
Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang
resulted in the National Assembly possessing that ‘incidental’ power and right to amend or reduce the said estimates in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana. The fourth ground mentioned that the judge further erred and overreached when he ruled that the amendment and reduction of the Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure through the Committee of Supply, was an abrogation of the doctrine of separation of powers, unconstitutional, unlawful and void since such changes was encroaching on the function of the Executive as exercised by the Finance Minister. While the fifth ground mentioned that the judge also erred when he ruled that the Finance Minister
was at liberty to make advances/withdrawals from the Contingencies Fund pursuant to Article 220 of the Constitution for the purpose of restoring the funds as originally budgeted for in the said estimates of 2012.
Finally, the last ground said that Chang erred and overreached when he ruled that the court has a supervisory jurisdiction over the National Assembly and its Committee of Supply when the said National Assembly and its Committee of Supply proceeds upon the process of considering and deciding on the Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure and, thereafter, charging those said estimates to the Consolidated Fund. In January, Chang ruled that the parliamentary
SWAT team charged to uphold human rights
utgoing Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell has urged members of the newlytrained Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit to uphold basic human rights and not sully the image of the Guyana Police force as they discharge their duties. He made the comments as 27 ranks graduated from the SWAT training conducted by The Emergence Group (TEG).The unit is Guyana’s first SWAT Team. Urging the ranks to maintain selfdiscipline, Brumell said their new role requires commitment and adherence to basic human rights. “Nobody must speak of this unit of committing heinous things,” the Police Chief said. Brumell also warned the ranks to be prepared for hoaxes, saying that persons may want to “put something out to see how you will react”. He told the gathering that the unit will be called upon to respond to high-risk situations. Brumell expressed satisfaction in the accomplishment of the unit, which he said has worked extremely hard to be where it is today. He encouraged the officers to work at their best. “I knew when they started their physical, most of the times when I look, I see people pacing. I must say that
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee addressing the gathering at the Police Officers Training Centre on Wednesday
you have shown a great level of discipline, you appear to be well coordinated and I admire what I see.” He told team members that they must be the best at all times. “I want to thank you for staying, because someday something will arise.”
Meanwhile, at the simple ceremony, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee described the occasion as historic. He said members of the public have always been expecting much from the disciplined force; something he believes is normal. “It is ok for the population to have expectations. They are taxpayers; they have an
interest in law and order, in public safety and security. They may not be active players as you are, but because they are citizens of this country, they have a say in ensuring that the population is not in fear,” he told the group of smartly clad officers. It was behind that backdrop, Rohee said, that the SWAT unit was established. The team, he said, is being trained as an additional component within the Guyana Police Force. He said the challenges in Guyana are common knowledge, but noted that the criticisms often unleashed against the Police Force, are sometimes “unwarranted”. Rohee said while the force welcomes the criticism,
it would also appreciate and welcome recommendations. He said that any person that works within the security sector will always come under tremendous criticism. “It is precisely why, even before the SWAT Team was launched, there was so many things said about it. Many people, even those from the many lofty organisations did not welcome it,” He said. However, according to him, any programme which seeks to raise the prestige and reputation of the Police Force “must be welcomed”. Earlier this year, the batch of officers was introduced to Guyana when the training programme was launched at the centre. The establishment of the SWAT Unit was done through collaboration between the Government of Guyana and U.S.-based security and justice reform consultancy firm, TEG. In October last year, the contract finalising the agreement between the two entities was inked. At the launching ceremony, TEG’s representative Dennis Hays had said that Guyana should be proud of the group selected for the SWAT Team. He noted that the officers would positively impact the Police Force, pointing out that SWAT members undergo a continuous training process.
Opposition had no right to cut the national estimates presented by the Finance Minister and can only approve or disapprove the budget in its entirety or sections within. “The power of the National Assembly to approve (or not to approve) the Minister’s estimates simply means that the Assembly is conferred with a ‘gate keeping’ function by the Constitution and does not imply or involve a power to amend or to adjust the estimates presented by the Executive Minister”. The acting Chief Justice stated that if the Opposition were to cut the budget, then it would not be a final estimate from the Minster. “If the Assembly were permitted to cut the Minister’s estimates, the estimates, when cut, would necessarily become the estimates as fixed and determined by the Assembly and would cease being the Minister’s estimates,” Chang said in his 21page ruling. He further explained that powers given to the National Assembly to make cuts to the budgets, would “necessarily” mean that there will be no room for the Finance Minister to essay any amendments to the estimates to meet the concerns expressed during the debates, or in the Committee of Supply. “It is one thing to say
Attorney General Anil Nandlall
that the Assembly or the Committee of Supply can propose amendments to the estimates. It is quite another thing to say that the Assembly can itself effect those amendments to the estimates. If the Assembly itself were to effect amendments to the estimates, that would be an end to the matter and the issue of the Cabinet accepting or rejecting those amendments would not and cannot arise,” the written ruling stated. In April 2012, the combined parliamentary Opposition used its one-seat majority to slash $21.9 billion from the proposed $192.8 billion national budget, as such; the Government subsequently took to the court to block the National Assembly from cutting the budget.
Guyanese man found dead in trash can
he body of a New York-based Guyanese man was found inside a trash bag on a Far Rockaway beach Monday morning after the man’s mom grew worried and tracked his phone, New York cops said. The missing man, identified as 32-year-old Quynton Ross, was last seen on Sunday, cops said. His mother pinged his phone that night and ended up at the boardwalk. She did not find anything then, but returned in the morning to discover a bag containing bloody clothes, cops said.
The body of a missing Queen’s man was found in the area of Beach 40th Street between Edgemere Avenue and the boardwalk. “She’s taking it pretty hard,” said Ross’ uncle Patrice Jacobs, 43. “It was her only son.” He took his sister, Guliana Jacobs, to St John’s Episcopal Hospital because she was beside herself with grief. He said the family used the Find My Phone app to find Ross. Ross is a photographer and has a daughter with his girlfriend, he said. His body bore a number of bullet wounds. (NY Daily News)
thursday, march 27, 2014
thursDAY, march 11, 2010 | guyanatimesGY.com
By Bernice Bede Osol
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22Jan. 19) Take a second look at your commitments. It’s possible that you may have overlooked an important detail that will cost you emotionally or financially. Someone from your past will surface.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20Feb. 19) You have more to offer than you think. Your financial future will improve if you increase your knowledge. An important friendship will develop if you follow through with a joint venture.
Calvin and Hobbes
PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) Make time for love and romance. Plan a trip to a musical or sporting event. A shared interest in a charitable organisation will result in a rewarding friendship and long-term commitment.
CANCER (June 21July 22) The future looks bright. An investment opportunity should be considered. Staying active mentally and physically will keep you in top shape for the exciting times ahead. Participation will lead to good times.
LEO (July 23Aug. 22) Face up to your problems. The sooner you begin the process, the better you will feel. Keep your emotions under control and make strategic practical choices.
VIRGO (Aug. 23Sept. 22) Follow your intuition to discover an unusual way to improve your financial future. You should also take steps to resolve any health issues that have been concerning you.
(March 21-April 19)
(Sept. 23Oct. 23)
Your involvement in a charitable organisation will have unexpected benefits. In addition to helping others, you will make a new acquaintance who will play an important role in your future.
Do something to lift your spirits. A new look will lead to compliments. Plan a social event with people you find stimulating. Brainstorming could result in a profitable idea.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Your trusting nature could tempt others to try to take advantage of you. Make sure you read the fine print before agreeing to any new venture. Love is in the stars.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24Nov. 22) Dealing with past disappointments is the most critical step in moving forward. Your loved ones will offer support if you are receptive. Let go of negativity and focus on the good things.
Wednesday's solution GEMINI (May 21June 20) You will be on the losing end if you get involved in someone else’s argument. Reserve judgment, don’t meddle, and have the confidence in others to solve problems without your help. Focus on personal gains.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23Dec. 21) Remaining honest will be essential in all of your relationships. Success in financial matters will depend on diligence and patience. You will come out ahead if you take control.
Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray at Sony Open
Thursday, march 27, 2014
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orld number two Novak Djokovic beat defending champion Andy Murray in a high-quality Sony Open quarter-final. Djokovic, 26, won their first meeting since last July’s Wimbledon final 7-5 6-3 to end Murray’s reign in Miami. A poor call from the umpire saw the players in discussion at the net in the 12th game, before a rattled Murray dropped serve and berated the official. The defeat means Murray, 26, will slip from his his current ranking of sixth to eighth in the world next week. Djokovic goes on to face Roger Federer or Kei Nishikori in the last four, while Murray must focus on
Britain’s Davis Cup tie in Italy next month. He also hopes to replace his now former coach Ivan Lendl, who was watching from the stands in Miami, before the French Open begins at the end of May. Despite the defeat, the Scot played arguably his
best tennis since winning Wimbledon and undergoing back surgery in September. Djokovic proved too strong, however, serving superbly on his way to a ninth consecutive win as he looks to back up his victory in Indian Wells earlier this month. (BBC Sport)
Brazil will win World Cup with state-of-the-art base: Scolari
razil unveiled on Wednesday the stateof-the-art training center they will use during this year’s World Cup and manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said the facilities would help them win the tournament for a record sixth time. “The players here will have much more than they have at their clubs and they will want for nothing,” Scolari told reporters at the re-opening of the Granja Comary complex. “Now, the responsibility is ours,” added Scolari, who was the manager when Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002. “We need to play our role. And in playing our role we are going to do what everyone wants and become world champions.” The training center was opened 27 years ago and hundreds of Brazilian players have stayed there. But it was in need of repair and builders tore it down and built a modern new complex that Scolari and assistant manager Carlos Alberto
Granja Comary complex
Parreira said would be the envy of any European side. “Nothing I’ve ever seen before is like this here,” Parreira said. “We’ve started to win the World Cup off the field. You can’t win on the field if you don’t win off the field. When we win off the field that’s one hand on the trophy. Now it is up to us.” The old twin rooms which players shared have been transformed into 39 individual rooms, each with its own bathroom, king-size bed and big-screen TV.
The huge complex in the hills around 91 kilometers (57 miles) from Rio de Janeiro has swimming pools and jacuzzis, a cafeteria, a games room and an area where the players can host friends and family. There are also several full-sized pitches and indoor training facilities. The squad, due to be announced on May 7, will meet there on May 26 to prepare for the World Cup. Brazil’s first match is against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12.(Reuters)
Women’s World Twenty20, Sylhet
Classified England ease past India SCOREBOARD Ads E
$5+VAT per word Call: 226-9921
ngland responded to defeat in their opening match with a five-wicket win over India at the Women’s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. Sarah Taylor top scored for England with 28, before Heather Knight and Jenny Gunn took them over the line. England go on to face Bangladesh (28 March) and Sri Lanka (30 March) as they attempt to qualify for the semi-finals. (BBC Sport)
India Women Innings Raj c Beaumont b Elwiss 57 Mandhana c Gunn b Shrubsole 1 Kumari b Grundy 2 Pandey c Sciver b Gunn 2 Jain run out (Greenway) 0 Kaur c and b Gunn 0 Naidu c Edwards b Shrubsole 11 Goswami st S Taylor b Shrubsole 5 Dabir not out 7 Yadav c Greenway b Gunn 1 Sultana not out 0 Extras: (1nb 5w 0b 3lb) 9 Total: (9 wickets; 20 ovs) 95 Bowling: Shrubsole 4-1-6-3, Hazell 2-0-20-0, Grundy 4-019-1, Gunn 4-0-15-3, Sciver 3-0-17-0, Elwiss 3-0-15-1
England Women Innings S Taylor c and b Yadav Edwards c Pandey b Dabir Beaumont c Pandey b Dabir Greenway c Jain b Goswami Sciver run out (Dabir) Knight not out Gunn not out Extras (1nb 9w 0b 0lb) Total (5 wickets; 18.1 ovs) Bowling: Goswami 4-0-231, Pandey 1-0-7-0, Dabir 4-0-21-2, Sultana 4-0-140, Naidu 1.1-0-12-0, Yadav 3-0-12-1, Kaur 1-0-9-0
28 10 0 26 13 6 5 10 98
Thursday, march 27, 2014
Bajan centurions praise Virender Sehwag help of mentors hits ton to seal win MCC vs Durham, Champion County match, Abu Dhabi
wo young national cricketers emphasised the importance of support and mentorship, acknowledging the role of former Barbados captain Carlisle Best in their success against Trinidad and Tobago at Kensington Oval last weekend. When Ashley Nurse completed his maiden firstclass century on Saturday, a knock in which he remained unbeaten on 130, he acknowledged the contribution of Best, a former West Indies batsman and Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation commentator, by pointing his raised bat in the direction of the media centre. “I want to thank him for talking to me and Carlos through the innings,” Nurse
told MIDWEEKSPORT following the match in which he also captured six wickets and took four catches, including one off his own bowling. “It’s nice to see a legend in cricket in Barbados cheer you on and help you to keep focused. I raised my bat to him yesterday but I just want to make it official,” Nurse said. Carlos Brathwaite, who made 109 and with Nurse put on 190 runs for the eighth wicket, was also highly appreciative of the support offered by Best. “When I first came out to bat he was basically saying, be supportive of Shane (Dowrich), get through the evening and then he really came into full flow yesterday when we came back
out, myself and Shane. “After Shane got out he was even more vocal when Ashley came in. He basically told Ashley to play the supporting role for [me]. “After the start that Ashley had and the momentum that he had, then he quickly told me, well, you know it’s your time to support and he basically walked us through both of our innings, giving each one of us support from either end,” Brathwaite said of Best, who shouted his comments from the area just underneath the media centre, located at the southern end of the ground. Best, speaking after the comments from Nurse and Brathwaite, was deeply moved by the appreciation
shown by the two young cricketers. “It just shows that the right messaging system, the right message alerts are needed,” Best said. “It was not only about beating Trinidad and Tobago that I was thinking about, but helping players to manage their abilities which allow them to produce and achieve high performance targets,” Best explained. The former West Indies batsman said he had developed a batting psychology programme and a performance management system. “I am sure that I could be of use not only to the Barbados team, but also the West Indies team,” said Best. (Windiescricket.com)
Leeward Islands make ‘sweeping changes’
he Leeward Islands selectors have made what they are calling “sweeping changes” ahead of the team’s Regional Four-Day match against Windward Islands slated to bowl off Friday at the Grenada National Stadium. Four Antiguans – Sylvester “Bouncing” Joseph, Mali Richards, Justin Athanaze and Hayden Walsh Jr – along with Anguilla’s Lyndel Richardson have all been
dropped by the selection panel. Antiguan Orlando “Baby” Peters, Montserrat’s Quinton Boatswain and Jaison Peters, Nevis’ Javier Liburd and Anguilla’s Yannick Leonard replace the dropped players. Coach of the Leewards and former West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman, Ridley Jacobs, said consistency had been a major factor that played against the subregional team and hopes the
changes will turn their fortune around. “The last two games we played we didn’t really play particularly well, especially against Trinidad, and a few guys didn’t really perform the way that we as selectors think they ought to and we think that we have to give someone else an opportunity to prove their skills,” Jacobs said. “In our bowling at times we fell apart and I think that we need players to come
there and be consistent and put the ball in the right areas for a long period of time so that the captain can be more comfortable. “We need guys to bat and score runs because we haven’t been getting that consistently so we are looking at consistency in the team,” he added. Jacobs said that victory against Windwards over the weekend is necessary if Leeward Islands are to stay in the competition. (Windiescricket)
ndia’s Virender Sehwag condemned Durham to defeat in the county season curtainraiser in Abu Dhabi with a superb 88-ball century for the MCC. The 35-year-old hit 18 fours and a six in his 109 as the MCC cruised to 2254 to win by six wickets. He shared a fourthwicket stand of 105 with Nottinghamshire’s Samit Patel before falling to Jamie Harrison. Patel was 48 not out when a delivery from Harrison ran away for four byes to bring the match to an end. Sehwag last played international cricket just over a year ago, but showed he is still a batsman to be feared when in the mood by striking three fours in the day’s opening over from seamer Harrison. Although Mark Stoneman’s 115 on the third day had given Durham hope, their large-
ly inexperienced attack was unable to stem the flow of runs from the MCC captain. His half century took only 47 deliveries and by lunch he was only five runs short of three figures, England Test hopeful Scott Borthwick having taken the only wicket to fall during the first session when he claimed a return catch from Kent’s Daniel BellDrummond, who made 27. Sehwag’s hundred arrived shortly after the resumption with a second four in three balls off Harrison, but the bowler gained a small measure of revenge when he was caught by Paul Coughlin. Sri Lankan Prasanna Jayawardene made an unbeaten six after joining Patel for the final rites, before the game ended from the final ball of the day’s 31st over. MCC 282 & 225-4 beat Durham 248 & 257 by six wickets. (BBC Sport)
Coach Williams demands T&T improvement
rinidad and Tobago coach Kelvin Williams wants to see 100 per cent improvement from his players after their innings and 160-run loss to Barbados in their Regional Four-Day match at Kensington Oval which ended on Sunday. T&T went to Barbados last week full of confidence after convincing wins over the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands in
their previous games in Trinidad. But the trip was a disaster. Barbados, helped by a couple of dropped catches, scored 479 for eight declared after winning the toss and batting first. Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn and rightarm off-spinner Ashley Nurse then combined to dismiss T&T for 120 and 199. “In all departments, we
were very poor,” the coach said after returning to Trinidad a day early. In terms of his team’s batting, Williams said: “The application was not there. We just did not bat well and there were no demons to talk about. “It was Benn and Nurse that actually did the damage for Barbados,” he added. Benn took four for 31 and four for 66 while Nurse
had two for 27 and four for 64. Williams said that the T&T bowling did not look penetrative without the injured Akeal Hosein, but he still thought they were in the fight after day one of the contest. “On the first day, I thought we were competing when they were 243 for five at the close but then in a session and an hour on the second day, there were
21 fours and five sixes,” he explained. “We took the new ball early in the morning and got early wickets but then Ashley Nurse played a blinder,” the coach added. Nurse starred in a 190run partnership for the eighth wicket with allrounder Carlos Brathwaite (109) which took the game away from T&T. “We planned a lot for Barbados but during the
match the execution was poor,” Williams added. Looking ahead, the T&T coach said they will have to look at ways of making the bowling more penetrative. He also expects the players to raise the standard of their games for the clash against the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) starting on Friday at the Queen’s Park Oval.(Windiescricket)
Thursday, march 27, 2014
England v Sri Lanka, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong
Scotiabank/Pepsi Schools Football tourney
Officials No extra spin for Sri Lanka Football Arrested As N/A Multi
ri Lanka will resist the temptation the bolster their spin attack against England even though the opposition have a poor record against the turning ball. The conditions in Chittagong, which has offered help for quicker bowlers, will persuade Dinesh Chandimal to persist with the balance of attack that dispatched Netherlands for 39 and overcame South Africa. That does not mean Sri Lanka will be short of spin options as Chandimal has Ajantha Mendis, Sachithra Senanayake and Tillakaratne Dilshan to call on, but the two others in the squad, the experienced Rangana Herath and legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna, will remain on the bench despite England’s frailties against most forms of spin. “These wickets are totally different to Dhaka,” Chandimal said. “There was a lot of grass on the pitch in the last four or five games and there is a little bit of seam for the fast bowlers so we cannot go with more than two [specialist] spinners in these conditions.”
2-1 Canje Secondary
Yorker specialist Lasith Malinga
“All the players in the squad are fit but we have not yet taken a decision on the final eleven. We need to assess the conditions tomorrow night and then decide on our best 11.” Chandimal picked Lasith Malinga and his trademark selection of yorkers and slower balls as the key weapon against England but retained respect for what Stuart Broad’s team can offer even though they have only won one of their seven T20Is this year.
“He [Malinga] will come in and bowl at any time and take good wickets for us. The way he bowls it is difficult for anyone to hit sixes off him especially off the first ball. “England are a good T20 side and we have special game plans for them. We never underestimate England they have specialised T20 players like Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales. We have something up our sleeves.” (Cricinfo)
FICA tells players to shun BPL
he future of the Bangladesh Premier League as a reputable international tournament is now in serious doubt after FICA, the international players’ federation, advised against future participation because of prolonged nonpayment of fees. ESPNcricinfo understands many players are still awaiting full payment for the 2013 edition of the BPL, with FICA - the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations - now stating it has “no choice” but to “recommend players don’t participate.” FICA’s condemnation of BPL comes at a bad time for Bangladesh as it concentrates on staging a successful World Twenty20 tournament. “Whilst a few players have received full payments from their participation in the 2013 BPL, the vast majority haven’t and payments are now months overdue,” Paul Marsh, chairman of FICA, said. “This is a repeat of the issues we saw in 2012. “Unfortunately this is an outcome FICA predicted and we advised players prior to the tournament of our concerns. We were hoping the BPL would prove us wrong and deliver an event that addressed our concerns.
“It didn’t and going forward we are left with no choice but to recommend players don’t participate in an event that doesn’t respect players’ basic contractual rights.” The latest player chasing payment is Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan. He claims he has been paid only 21 per cent of the fee promised to him for representing Dhaka Gladiators. Although he was promised a second instalment immediately after the tournament, this payment never reached his bank account. The franchise owners insist they owe him nothing. The Bangladesh Cricket Board, who originally said they would act as guarantors in the event of non-pay-
ment issues in the BPL, are now claiming it is not their responsibility to pay the fees incurred by franchises. Sri Lanka Cricket have made representations to the BCB on Dilshan’s behalf, but to no avail. Tim May, the former chairman of FICA, had warned players against participating in the BPL as early as 2012 due to similar issues. The news comes just days after it emerged that several Chittagong Kings players - England’s Ravi Bopara, Netherlands’ Ryan ten Doeschate, West Indies’ Kevon Cooper, Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor and Surrey’s Jason Roy - had also complained to the BCB that they have not been paid. (Cricinfo)
unicipal constables attached to the New Amsterdam Town Council on Tuesday arrested two officials for the Berbice leg of the Scotiabank/Pepsi Schools Football Academy before the start of match two, resulting in a one hour delayed start. Coach/teacher Colin Bowery and Coach of New Amsterdam United Football Club Lennox Adams, were approached by two batonwaving constables and taken to the Town Hall. Town Hall officials were questioning the use of the Esplanade Park for the game between New Amsterdam Multilateral (NAMS) and Canje Secondary (CSS). The issue was quickly resolved and the under-15 children were allowed to use the park which belongs to the people of New Amsterdam.
The delay caused the game to commence at 16:30hrs ; by then, many of the players were tired and had difficulty concentrating on the job at hand. However ,Tavell Simpson standing in goal for NAMS made an excellent save in the 15th minute of play, but stepped outside the 18-yard box with the ball still in his hand. A free kick was awarded to CSS and striker Shane Hamilton took it. The shot flew over the defence wall created by NAMS and over the out- stretched hands of Simpson to find the far corner of the net to break the deadlock. One minute before the half- time whistle ,Nkomo Smith, who had already made several attempts to score but was prevented by Simpson, received a pass in
the 18-yard box and went around the defence with the ball before releasing his booth and the ball with great power to register the equalizer. In the second half as the players seemed more energized, striker Chad Henry was fouled by Aleem Bovell of CSS in the 18-yard box. Henry took the penalty shot and put NAMS in the lead for the first time in the 56th minute of play. CSS tried desperately to equalize, but NAMS were satisfied with a 2-1 victory. The Berbice leg of the competition will continue today when Vryman’s Erven Secondary (VESS) take on Tutorial Academy Secondary (TASS) at the Esplanade Park. That match is scheduled to commence at 15:30 hrs. (Andrew Carmichael)
Johnson promises more fire in IPL
itchell Johnson, the most fearsome fast bowler in world cricket at the moment, is ready for the IPL. And Johnson, bought by Kings XI Punjab for INR 6.5 crore ($1.4m), has issued a warning: he will continue to deliver the menacing spells that destroyed the confidence and mental composure of some of the best international batsmen in the last six months. With his aggression, extreme speed and accuracy, Johnson not only etched bruises and caused pain but also helped Australia regain the Ashes before overwhelming South Africa, the world’s No. 1 Test team, on their own turf. The fear factor he managed to create, Johnson agreed, is likely to help him gain a psychological edge in the IPL. “Definitely it is a psychological advantage based on the past six months of my performances,” Johnson said in a media call arranged by the franchise on Wednesday. “(I bowled) A lot of shortpitched bowling which was more effective on our bouncier wickets (in Australia and South Africa). But even on the last ODI series in India I definitely tried to bowl short-pitched deliveries. “I have often said I really do enjoy the challenges of Indian wickets. I find that you can still get good bounce and pace out of them and I noticed that during the last IPL last year. It wasn’t all just for the batsmen. I’m really excited playing on those wickets in India again and try and be intimidating as I have been in the last six months or so,” he said. Unfortunately for Johnson he was forced to miss the ongoing WT20 in Bangladesh due to a toe infection he picked up during the South Africa tour. The infection arose from a cut in his right big toe, a result of his marathon bowling spells during Australia’s 2-1 Test series win in South Africa. Johnson admitted the break came as a blessing after “a long summer which was quite draining” for him. “The toe is feeling much better. I had an infection that came from my toe, went into my foot and up my leg. But I got on top of it very quickly with some antibiotics. I have started training this week. I am feeling very good and I will be ready to go, ball one of the IPL,” Johnson said. During the time away from the cricket he was able do both strength training as well as technical stuff for which otherwise he would not have time for during a season. “I might
be as well prepared as I am going to be fit. I am going to be fresher. I am going to very keen because it is a new club and I would like to impress. Whatever are the responsibilities are there I am really excited about them. I know how to perform at my best and I am feeling at the top of my game so I just want to keep getting better as a player and try and bring some of the young guys with me and try and improve their game,” Johnson said. This would be Johnson’s second stint in the IPL after he made a spectacular debut with the Mumbai Indians last year, ending as joint third-best bowler with 24 wickets, and playing an influential hand in the franchise winnings its maiden title. So was he disappointed that he was not retained by Mumbai? Johnson was measured in his response. “[It was] a new auction.[A] Lot of players were in the auction pool this year and that made it very difficult for everyone. It would have been exciting to obviously go back there (Mumbai), but I am very happy with Kings XI Punjab,” Johnson said. (Cricinfo)
Thursday, march 27, 2014
Time for drastic changes in Guyana’s cricket
By Rajiv Bisnauth
s Guyana’s performance in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional four-day tournament becomes progressively dismal, it is time to call a spade a spade in Guyana’s cricket. A new direction, new focus and new personnel are needed quickly. The current tournament has shown in no uncertain manner that there is a lack of commitment in the field and at the crease among a number of the current crop of Guyanese players. With just 17 points from four matches, three defeats and a draw, Guyana are at the bottom of the points table and with just two games remaining, are no longer in contention for a place in the semi-finals. The Guyanese have shown major weaknesses in several areas of the game,
with their batting certainly below what is expected at this level. There can be no complaints about the weather in Guyana prior to the commencement of the tournament, while the fitness preparation was among the most intense for a national cricket
team in a long time. There is no shortage of talent in Guyana’s cricket, so the big question is: what has gone wrong and gone wrong so quickly? There are several different reasons for Guyana’s cricket decline, but the blame should be placed squarely at the feet of those who run the local game . Their failure to install proper structures and systems for cricket development could be seen as one of the main contributing factors. However, the power struggles and internal wrangling among board members, and the constant court battles can seen as the main reason adversely affecting the game and if structures and personnel are not changed, Guyana’s cricket will die a slow death. The cricket administrators seem not too serious about winning games, but more interested in scoring
“points”, including political ones, among their supporters; and it is time that cricket lovers clamour for change. However, this change depends on the Cricket Administration Bill which is before parliament. Judged from the current crop of administrators, one can conclude say that the game is being administered in “cowboy” fashion. Many say the players are not working enough on their game, but usually a player is as good or as bad as the system that produces him. The standard on the field is a
clear indication of the cricket system in Guyana and only a change of guard can change the fortunes of Guyana’s cricket. While changes are needed at the administrative level, it is also imperative that the coach take some of the blame for Guyana’s poor showing. Esaun Crandon, who rep-
Torginol Paints golf tourney set for Saturday
he annual Torginol Paints Medal Play golf tournament, sponsored by Continental Group of Companies, will be played on Saturday at the Lusignan Golf Course, East Coast Demerara. According to Vice-President of the Lusignan Golf Club, David Mohamed, it is expected to be another keenly contested tournament that will feature several previous winners, including last year’s champion Mark Lashley, 2012 winner Clifford Reis and 2011 champion, Fazil Haniff. However, eyes will be focused on the in-form Mohanlall “Santo” Dinnanuth, who won last weekend’s Best Gross Prize, parring the course. Chatterpaul “Chen Sing” Deo, winner of the Sanjay’s Jewellery partner tourney along with the in-form Joanne Deo last weekend, the Cummings brothers, Haresh Tiwari and Ravi Persaud are said to be on the roster, along with several other top players. Among them are Avinash Persaud, Alfred Mentore, Brian Hackett, Kassim Khan, Christine Sukhram, Maurice
LGC Vice-president David Mohamed is expected to be among the starters this weekend
Solomon, Joe Solomon, Robert Hanoman, Troy Cadogan, Carlos Adams, Kishan Bacchus, Muntaz Haniff, Munaff Arjune, Dave Mohamad, William Walker and Imran Khan. According to Mohamed, the Continental Group continues to be a regular sponsor and members of the club look forward to competing in Torginol tournaments. “We are expecting 40- plus players this weekend. This is great for us, it’s really good to see so many players are showing an interest in the sport,” he said. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers, best net, as well as nearest-to-the-pin, and best gross. Officials of Continental Group of Companies have been invited to present the prizes at the end of the tournament. Tee-off time is noon and the presentation of prizes is fixed for 17:00 hrs. Meanwhile, Club Captain Chatterpaul Deo said that tournaments in the coming weeks will be of top quality, as the ground is in excellent condition with the fairways offering lots of assistance.
Assad Fudadin is the only Guyanese batsman with 200 runs (249) and two 50s, but he has batted eight times and his six other innings have produced less than 100 runs. Wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble (192) and Tagenarine Chanderpaul (146) are the only other batsmen with over 115 runs in the tournament. Apart from Shivnarine Chanderpaul who missed the first two matches, Narsingh Deonarine is the team’s most experienced batsman but the talented left-hander has scored five ducks in the four
resented Guyana in 38 First Class matches, has struggled as National Coach. While Crandon’s cricket knowledge is sound, he seems incapable of adequately addressing the on-field problems facing Guyana’s cricket. With Guyana being embarrassed at the regional level in the last few seasons, and their performances having regressed since his appointment, it is time for Crandon to get some help from candidates such as Roger Harper, Reon King or Monty Lynch. On the other hand, while the administrators and team management have had their fair share of criticisms, the players themselves, especially the seniors, have been cause for public concern. Guyana’s bowling has been decent, if not destructive, this season; but the batting has been the team’s main let down.
matches so far. The Guyanese draw the bye for this weekend before travelling to Antigua for their next encounter against the Leeward Islands; and it is the hope that the selection panel, led by former national fast bowler Rayon Griffith, will take bold steps in ensuring that Guyana’s cricket takes a fresh direction.
Yadram to lead Demerara in U-15 InterCounty competition
ational U-15 opening batsman, Bhaskar Yadram, will skipper Demerara for the GCB/Igloo Ice Cream U-15 InterCounty Two-Day Competition, which will bowl off on Sunday March 30 at the Everest Cricket Club and Demerara Cricket Club grounds. The young Demerara team was involved in a two-day practice match on March 22-23, 2014 at the Demerara Cricket Club ground to further prepare them for the challenge. From a group of 26 players, the match saw Bhaskar Yadram’s XI playing Stephen Wilson XI. Batting first ,Yadram’s XI made 185 all out in 40.3 overs after Yadram compiled a half century (80), which included 10 boundaries. He got support from Sagar Hiathiramani (33) and Ashmead Nedd (23). Bowling for Wilson’s XI, Junior Phillips took 2-34, Ganesh Jitlall 2-23 and Wilson 2-20. Wilson’s XI didn’t shine with the bat as they did with the ball; they were bundled out for 102 in 44.2 overs, giving Yadram’s XI a lead of 83 runs. Christopher Campbell and Mark Ramsammy top-scored with 22 runs each. Among the wick-
ets were Mark Baptiste (3-12), Hiathiramani (2-11) and Nedd (223). Yadram’s XI then piled on 183 runs for eight wickets in their second innings, giving Wilson’s XI, a target of 266 for victory. Kurt Lovell led the way with 44 and got support from Yadram 35, Nedd (24), Joshua Persaud 24 and Hiathiramani (22). Kenchandra Hardyal was the best bowler for the Wilson-led XI claiming 2/18. Wilson’s XI were restricted to 122/7, 144 runs short of their target, when the umpires called of the match at 16:15 hrs. Alphius Bookie made 37, Mark Ramsammy (26) and Robin Williams (20). Ashmead Nedd grabbed 3/23 and Pradesh Balkisson 2/15. Demerara will go into the competition as the defending champions. The team reads: Bhaskar Yadram (Captain), Paul Thomas, Alphius Bookie, Joshua Persaud, Kurt Lovell, Ganesh Jitlall, Ramdeo Basdeo, Ashmead Nedd, Sagar Hiathiramani, Bojnarine Singh, Colin Barlow, Mark Baptise, Pradesh Balkisson and Anthony Antonio. The coach is Garvin Nedd and the Manager is Robert “Pacer” Adonis.
Thursday, march 27, 2014
Cricket Canada excited Trophy Stall sponsors about posibility of hosting trophies, medals for HRC Limacol CPL matches By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto rior to the inauguration of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (Limacol CPL) last year, Cricket Canada had begun negotiations with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to have the opening ceremony along with three first-round matches played in Toronto, Canada, this year. The second edition is scheduled to commence on July 5 and will run until August 10, with the semi-final and final games slated for St. Kitts and Nevis. President of Cricket Canada, Ravin Moorthy, stated that the decision has not been finalized; but he remains very optimistic the matches will be played here. Defending champion Jamaica (Tallawahs), runners-up Guyana (Amazon Warriors), Trinidad and Tobago (Red Steel), Barbados (Tridents), Antigua and Barbuda (Hawksbills) and St. Lucia (Zouks) are the teams that will be vying for supremacy again. The opening ceremony will be held at the Toronto Cricket Club ground in the city, while the other sanctioned venue, is King City (Maple Leaf), approximately 40 KM North of Toronto. “Since last year we have been working with the WICB to bring this league to this country; in the last six months, we have been dealing directly with the organisers
and with some good discussions, things have been good so far,” Moorthy declared. He continued: “I don’t want to divulge too much at the moment, but what I can say is that we have an understanding in principle and we are trying to bring that to a formal agreement so hopefully, we will have something concrete very soon.” Only several days ago, organisers from the Limacol CPL were in Toronto to be part of the negotiations and to look at the feasibility of these matches and an opening function. “They want to do it here and we want to accommodate them and that makes lots of sense for them to bring their product to a market that appreciates top-quality cricket and is home to nationals from cricket-playing nations
around the world,” Moorthy further commented. Meanwhile, if the agreement is signed, excitement galore is highly anticipated, as some of the world’s professional T20 cricketers will be on show. In the final last year at Queen’s Park Oval, Port-ofSpain, Trinidad, Jamaica Tallawahs humbled nemesis Guyana Amazon Warriors by an emphatic seven-wicket margin. Belligerent opener Chris Gayle led the way with an unbeaten man-of-thematch 47. Players from across the cricketing globe represented the various countries as guest players and some of those were Australian Ricky Ponting, Sri Lankans Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakarante Dilshan, Lasith Malinga, New Zealander James Franklin, South African Vernon Philander, Pakistani Mohammed Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal. Many may share the same view that once Canada is able to attract this segment of the Limacol CPL tournament, it will ultimately boost the country’s cricket tremendously. Over the past eight months, the national team has suffered the consequences of early eliminations at both the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 and 50over World Cup Qualifiers. The under-19 team, which participated in the recently concluded ICC 50-over World Cup in Dubai, also failed to make an impression.
‘Classic’ meets eager NGSS students
tudents of North Georgetown Secondary School (NGSS) were given a pleasant surprise on Wednesday, when IFBB Pro athlete Jeff “Classic” Beckham paid a visit to the school with his long-time friend, Hugh Ross. Beckham, the 32-year-old American, is here in Guyana for the first time as a guest poser at this Saturday’s fourth staging of the Hugh Ross Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness Show at the National Cultural Centre. The visit to NGSS was Beckham’s second to a school since his arrival. Immediately upon landing here on Monday, he made an appearance at the Chase’s Academy in Kingston, where students and teachers alike were in awe at his muscular and well-defined physique. At NGSS on Wednesday, both Beckham and Ross shared with the students a brief on their respective careers, while encouraging them to dream big, be disciplined and work hard for whatever careers they might be pursuing. Beckham told the gathering of his early life, noting
that he came from a singleparent home with his mother taking care of seven siblings, two boys and five girls. He told the pupils that he always had a temper and was sent for counselling at the age of 14. It was during those sessions that he was advised to take up exercising as a means of countering his temper and that was the beginning of a successful career in bodybuilding. Beckham also used the occasion to show the students how push-ups are done. The session went well, but had to end abruptly since the students had to sit an examination. Students and teachers also took the chance to ask a few questions as well as take some photographs with the strapping athlete. The fourth Hugh Ross Classic Body Building and Fitness Show is set for this Saturday at the National Cultural Centre with muscle flexing time being 19:00 hrs. Weigh-in time is 10:00 hrs on Saturday. Meanwhile, Beckham will be at Fitness Express, which specialises in health and fitness products for two hours
today (14:00-16:00 hrs). He would be available to answer questions on fitness and nutrition athletes or members of the public might have. Fans will also have the opportunity to take a photo with Beckham. Come Saturday, there will be three female categories: bodybuilding for females who are of a more muscular body type; Miss Figure for athletes who are symmetrical and toned and the Miss Bikini for the softer and more feminine eye -pleasing type of figure. The male categories are: Bantamweight- up to 65kgs (143lbs), Lightweightup to 70kgs (144-154lbs), Welterweightup to 75kgs (155-165lbs), Light Middleweight- up to 80kgs (166-176lbs), Heavyweight (80kgs and over). The respective category winners will then face off in the Overall battle to decide Mr. Hugh Ross Classic 2014. Mr. Hugh Ross Classic 2012, Kerwyn Clarke, will be defending his title and will face stiff challenges from a number of top athletes from the various gyms. Tickets are on sale at the National Cultural Centre at $1500 each. (Avenash Ramzan)
Manager of Trophy Stall, Devi Sunich, hands over the Overall Winner’s trophy to Hugh Ross
he Hugh Ross Classic (HRC) 2014 was given a major boost with the Trophy Stall agreeing to sponsor all the trophies and medals for Saturday’s bodybuilding and fitness show at the National Cultural Centre. At the company’s South Road and Bourda Street branch, Manager Devie Sunich, wife of proprietor Ramesh Sunich, handed
over the trophy for the overall winner to Chairman of the Hugh Ross Committee, Hugh Ross. She stated that Trophy Stall was pleased to be on board and had no hesitation in sponsoring all the trophies and medals. “We at the Trophy Stall are happy to be supporting one of the more prestigious bodybuilding shows in Guyana. We have been sup-
porting before and we have seen the kind of positive progress it has made over the years and we will continue to add our muscles to this event,” she remarked. Ross thanked Mr. and Mrs. Sunich for their continued confidence in the event, while assuring that come Saturday, it will be the biggest and most competitive event to date.
Quintyne spins Women to low-scoring win
est Indies Women swept aside host Bangladesh by 36 runs to win their second match in the ICC T20 World Cup at Sylhet Stadium here on Wednesday. Eighteen-year-old leg break bowler, Shaquana Quintyne, grabbed three wickets to inflict a top order submission that severely restricted the hosts who imploded for 79, on the hunt for 116 set by West Indies. Quintyne returned impressive figures of three wickets for five runs from three overs which included a maiden, and received support from Tremayne Smartt and Anisa Mohammed who picked up two for nine and two for 22 respectively. The teenager, who also scored 11 and was voted player-of-the-match, knocked back the stumps of two frontline batsmenopener Ayasha Rahman for 10 and Fargana Hogue for 2,to leave Bangladesh scrambling for momentum. But middle-order batsman Rumana Ahmed top scored with 26 to lead a fightback that injected a measure of stability into Bangladesh’s innings. In the process, Ahmed added 28 for the fifth wicket with Nuzhat Tasnia before another batting collapse ensued and the match swung
decisively in favour of the visitors. In the space of four balls Tasnia, who scored 6, was bowled by Anisa Mohammed, while Quintyne ended the reign of Ahmed
who was caught by Smartt. The Caribbean women asserted themselves ruthlessly by removing the last four wickets for just five runs to secure a comfortable win with 15 balls remaining.
SCOREBOARD West Indies Women Kycia Knight LBW Salma Khatun 0 S Quintyne b Fahima Khatun 11 Kyshona Knight LBW Fahima Khatun 11 D Dottin c Fahima Khatun b Khadija Tul Kubra 34 M Aguilleira*+ c Panna Ghosh b Rumana Ahmed 6 S King c Fahima Khatun b Khadija Tul Kubra 20 S Campbelle run out (Fahima Khatun) 7 A Mohammed run out (Jahanara Alam) 15 T Smartt c & b Salma Khatun 3 S Selman c Lata Mondal b Khadija Tul Kubra 1 S Daley not out 0 Total: (20 Overs) 115 Extras: (w 7) 7 Fall of Wickets: 1-0 (Kycia A Knight, 0.2 ov), 2-22 (Quintyne, 5.2 ov), 3-33 (Kyshona A Knight, 7.1 ov), 4-43 (Aguilleira, 10.4 ov), 5-83 (King, 15.2 ov), 6-89 (Dottin, 15.4 ov), 7-96 (Campbelle, 16.3 ov), 8-110 (Smartt, 18.6 ov), 9-115 (Mohammed, 19.5 ov), 10-115 (Selman, 19.6 ov). Bowling: Salma Khatun 4-1-11-2, Jahanara Alam 2-0-12-0, Fahima Khatun 4-0-27-2, Rumana Ahmed 4-0-23-1, Khadija Tul Kubra 4-024-3, Panna Ghosh 2-0-18-0.
Bangladesh Women (Target; 116) Ayasha Rahman b Quintyne 10 Sanjida Islam run out (Selman) 8 Salma Khatun* LBW Mohammed 17 Fargana Hoque LBW Quintyne 2 Rumana Ahmed c Smartt b Quintyne 26 Nuzhat Tasnia+ LBW Mohammed 6 Lata Mondal c Mohammed b Smartt 3 Panna Ghosh c Mohammed b Smartt 1 Fahima Khatun run out (Selman) 1 Jahanara Alam not out 2 Khadija Tul Kubra b Selman 0 Total: (17.3 Overs) 79 Extras: (b 1, w 2) 3 Fall of Wickets: 1-19 (Ayasha Rahman, 5.4 ov), 2-19 (Sanjida Islam, 6.2 ov), 3-28 (Fargana Hoque, 7.4 ov), 4-44 (Salma Khatun, 10.4 ov), 5-72 (Nuzhat Tasnia, 14.5 ov), 6-74 (Rumana Ahmed, 15.3 ov), 7-76 (Lata Mondal, 16.1 ov), 8-76 (Panna Ghosh, 16.3 ov), 9-79 (Fahima Khatun, 17.2 ov), 10-79 (Khadija Tul Kubra, 17.3 ov). Bowling: T Smartt 3-0-92, S Selman 3.3-0-13-1, S Daley 3-0-20-0, S Quintyne 3-1-5-3, A Mohammed 4-022-2, D Dottin 1-0-9-0.
Thursday, march 27, 2014
Sports is no longer our game, it’s our business
ICC World Twenty20: Windies Women 115,Bangladesh Women 79 all out; England Women 98-5,India Women 95-9; Tennis,Sony Open: N.Djokovic beat A.Murray 7-5 6-3
Cricket Canada excited ‘Classic’ meets eager about posibility of hosting NGSS students Limacol CPL matches See story on page
See story on page
Quintyne spins Women to low-scoring win See story on page
Jeff “Classic” Beckham and Hugh Ross observe closely as this student attempts some push-ups Shaquana Quintyne bowled a stifling spell of 3-1-5-3
Alpha United qualifies for CFU final leg
espite the treatment meted out to its players at the Caribbean Football Union’s (CFU) Club Championships held in Jamaica, Alpha “The Hammer” United emerged winners of group three and successfully qualified for the final leg of the Club Championship. Speaking at a press conference held at the Waterchris Hotel following their return, Club president Odinga Lumumba labelled the achievement as historic, despite the challenges. “Alpha United has been the only Guyanese club to achieve such [a] milestone,” Lumumba said.
Alpha United Coach Wayne Dover (third, left) makes a point during Wednesday’s press conference in the presence of club president Odinga Lumumba (centre),as Andrew Murray Jr (right)., Kithson Bain (second right), Gregory Richardson(left), Ronson Williams (second and Kirk Duckworth (third left), look on
He further stated that if Alpha were to win the next match against Haiti’s Valencia, they will be crowned Caribbean champions, a feat that has never been achieved by a Guyanese club. Alpha created history during the first leg by
winning both their games against Trinidad and Tobago champions,the Defence Force and Jamaica’s champions Harbour View. Lumumba added: “My understanding was that we had an outstanding tournament and that we will play
Haiti’s Valencia in the first game in the next round and if we win, we will automatically qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League. “If we lose, we will then play the loser of the other match between Jamaica’s
Waterhouse and Puerto Rico’s Bayamón FC” and if we win that match, we will also qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League” added Lumumba. Meanwhile, Lumumba said that he has lodged a formal complaint with the
Caribbean Football Union (CFU) about the treatment that was meted out to his charges and staff during the first leg. On the other hand, Head Coach Wayne Dover said the performances were definitely a team effort. “Overall it was a team effort, we played extremely well”. Dover said that the aim is to simply win the fixture and qualify for the Champions League. Alpha United will begin the final round of the CFU campaign against topranked side Valencia of Haiti on April 18th at a venue still to be announced.
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