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New nursery textbooks to be introduced in 2014 P7

Nationwide coverage from the best news team in Guyana Issue No. 1998


Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Ali pours cold water on AFC’s phone tapping grouse See story on page 9

See story on page 12

$60 vat included


Plan launched to reform P2 health sector Govt doing everything to combat TIP P3 – Webster

Body of man found in Demerara P8 River P10 New UG council more accountable – education minister

Ramotar blasts drugs wastage, shortage

Berbice ready to respond to flood threats P12 – RDC chairmen

See story on page 10

President Donald Ramotar engages Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, along with other officials of the ministry and former Chief Medical Officer and now Health Sector Development Programme Manager of Caricom, Dr Rudolph Cummings, following the launching of Health Vision 2020 at the Guyana International Conference Centre on Monday

Sophia lad Arson suspected electrocuted in Waterloo while fishing Street fire See story on page 7

See story on page 7

Engineers struggle to P13 seal Airy Hall conservancy breach

2 news

tuesDay, december 31, 2013 |

Plan launched to reform health sector


comprehensive plan to modernise the local health sector was on Monday unveiled at an elaborate ceremony at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal. Dubbed Health Vision 2020 – the plan is a national health strategy for Guyana for the period 2013-2020. The strategy aims to make persons resident in Guyana the healthiest people in the Caribbean and the Americas by the year 2020, officials said. The plan was launched by Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran; Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Shamdeo Persaud; and President Donald Ramotar. Dr Shamdeo presented a snapshot of the vision, which

he said is designed to modify health care and put the country’s health sector at an international level. The CMO noted that the vision caters for not only Guyanese but other nationalities living here. “The mission is to create an enabling framework for full participation in leadership and integrated health services to deliver quality, efficient and responsive health services and prevention measures also… and to improve the physical mental and social well-being of all the people of Guyana,” Persaud stated. The CMO explained that the Health Vision 2020 was developed based on a number of locally recognised declarations, including the United President Donald Ramotar receives a copy of Health Vision 2020 from CMO Dr Shamdeo Persaud, Health Minister Bheri Ramsaran and Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Leslie Cadogan

Nations Human Rights Declarations. He further stated that the objectives of the Health Vision 2020 are close to those of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He noted when the plan comes to an end in 2020, it is expected that Guyana be up to par with other Caribbean countries in terms of health care.

Better health care

President Donald Ramotar, in his feature address, highlighted the importance of the health sector to a country’s economy. He pointed out that while Guyana has come a long way in terms of health-care services, there was still much more to be done. Ramotar told the gathering that the government has invested billions to ensure quality healthcare services for the people of Guyana. “That gives you a better idea of our commitment to providing a better quality service for the people of our country and this is because of how important we see the health sector in the whole context of having a better quality of life. This sector has to play a very important role and I’m happy to see that central to the plan that you have and would implement is the question of preventative health care and that should always be the guiding principle,” the president stated. President Ramotar said that with this plan, focus will now be placed on providing service to people of Guyana which is second to none. Minister Ramsaran urged young doctors who were present at the launch to use the plan as a guide when practising medicine. He acknowledged all those who worked on creating Health Vision 2020 and those who will be monitoring the strategy to ensure that it is realised by its deadline. Also speaking at the launch was Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/ WHO) country representative, Zoila Fletcher-Payton, who said that Guyana is on its way to meet the New Millennium Goal established for 2015 and with the implementation of Health Vision 2020, its health care services will be up to standard. However, she noted that the vision needs the support of the government and society to be successful.



tuesDay, december 31, 2013|


The Demerara Harbour Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic on Tuesday, December 31 from 14:30h-16:00h The Berbice River Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic on Tuesday, December 31 from 15:25h-16:55h


Countrywide: Thundery showers are expected to prevail during the day and into the evening over coastal regions and near inland location. Temperatures are expected to range between 24 degrees and 27 degrees Celsius. Winds: Easterly between 2.22 and 2.5 metres per second.

High Tide: 03:25h and 15:42h reaching maximum heights of 2.59 metres and 2.79 metres respectively.

Low Tide: 09:14h and 21:47h reaching minimum heights of 0.61 metre and 0.38 metre respectively.

saturday, December 28, 2013


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Daily Millions

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By Alexis Rodney


mid an increase in reported cases of human trafficking here, Human Services and Social Security Minister Jenifer Webster has assured that government was using every available method to help combat the scourge. Over the years, government has not been receptive to some of the criticisms of its fight against human trafficking and has boasted of rigorous systems in place to combat the problem. At her end-of-year news conference at her Water Street office, Webster said so far for this year, $3.1 million has been expended to assist victims and their families. She added that every effort was made to include nongovernmental organisations (NGO), both locally and internationally, and other entities that have the total eradication of this debilitating social issue at heart. Webster said her ministry, through its “Counter Trafficking in Persons Unit”, has received a total of 11 reports of human trafficking for 2013. Four persons have been convicted, while another four are currently facing charges.

Training sessions

Monday, December 30, 2013


Govt doing everything to combat TIP – Webster



Draw De Line

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The minister pointed out that the ministry is seeking to ensure that women and children are protected. It is against this backdrop that numerous training sessions and sensitisation programmes were held across the country to equip persons with skills and knowledge to join in the fight to eliminate trafficking in persons (TIP). “We have also worked towards having persons in communities understand their roles in being able to identify at-risk persons to trafficking in persons and I think that is one of the areas where we have stepped up our approach,” Webster told reporters. She pointed out that major focus was placed on the hinterland communities, where the presence of TIP is very high. “We did have sessions in Regions One, Two, Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine, because we feel that we needed to do more work in our hinterland commu-

Human Services and Social Security Minister Jenifer Webster

nities because of increased activities in certain sectors, such as the mining sector.” Webster said that the ministry has been working closely with victims of TIP, seeking to assist them with “training opportunities to find work”. In its 2013 TIP report, the U.S. Department of State ranked Guyana on the Tier Two WatchList. In 2011, Guyana had moved from the Tier Two Watch List to Tier Two; however, it went back to the watch list in 2012 and 2013. The Tier Two Watch List encompasses countries whose governments do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance.

Stringent penalties

According to the report, Guyana’s government made no visible progress in holding human trafficking offenders in the country accountable during the reporting period, although the Combating Trafficking of Persons Act of 2005 prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties, ranging from three years to life imprisonment. The report said while there have been some efforts to protect victims, the lack of punishment for offenders creates an enabling environment for continued human trafficking. The majority of prosecutions initiated during the reporting period were dismissed, since witnesses usually declined to testify.

Close to the end of the reporting period, law enforcement and prosecutors were said to be gathering information to issue warrants for the arrest of suspected perpetrators and to initiate prosecution. According to the report, “The government reported no convictions of sex or labour trafficking offenders. The government did not report any investigations or prosecutions of government employees for complicity in trafficking-related offences during the reporting period.” However, the report highlighted that the government made efforts to protect victims during the reporting period by identifying and assisting them, but these efforts were hindered by the lack of accountability. The report suggested that the government enhance its efforts to hold trafficking offenders accountable by vigorously and suitably investigating and prosecuting them. It further proposed the government forge close partnerships with NGOs to develop standard operating procedures to guide and encourage frontline officials, including police, health, immigration, labour, mining, and forestry personnel in

the identification and protection of victims of forced labour and forced prostitution.

WoW programme

Meanwhile, Webster said single mothers across Guyana have been taking advantage of the Women of Worth (WoW) programme – an initiative of the ministry in collaboration with the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI). More than 1300 women have received loans and have expanded their businesses, with some 447 receiving training in areas such as garment construction, catering, information technology, and cosmetology. The minister was in high praise of the women who have been consistently taking loans. This, she said, was admirable. “Whilst we did have new applications for loans by single women, we saw that some of those who were recipients of loans prior became second and third term borrowers and this year we saw 22 of them which is quite commendable.” The revolutionary microcredit scheme gives women the opportunity to access collateral-free loans of $100,000-$200,000 for various business ventures, including poultry rearing.


tuesday, december 31, 2013

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:,


Mismatch diseases


he Caribbean’s history, including that of Guyana, reflects the increasingly radical shift in the diet of man from that of our ancestors, which had been practically constant for over a million years. We were colonised to produce sugar for Europe, where the product had been a rarity, brought from the East. Soon the Europeans were consuming millions of tons of the substance and went on to invent processes to extract sugar from beet, which poured millions of additional tons down their throats and any other country that could pay for it. In the last 50 years, high fructose corn syrup was invented and today is the “sugar” that gives the punch to practically all “soft drinks”. Each ounce of soda has the equivalent of one teaspoon of sugar: drinking the average eight-ounce glass of soda puts eight teaspoons of sugar into your blood. But sugar is not the only “new” food our body has had to deal with compared to say, our Palaeolithic cavemen foreparents. Just a cursory glance at our Christmas-laden tables would alert us of the changes that have occurred in the diet of modern man. In addition to the sugar-suffused foods, there are the fatimpregnated ones. Some, like cakes, have a surfeit of both. And there are consequences, which most of us ignore. There has been some awareness recently of the “obesity” epidemic that has exploded in the richer, developed countries and are now being exported to the poorer countries such as Guyana. We are proud of the “progress” represented by KFC and others in the “fast food” fraternity. But just last week, McDonalds had to pull an article from their employee magazine that expatiated on the dangers of the fast foods sold by the company. Obesity, however, is only one symptom of what is now being labelled “mismatch diseases”: the food we are consuming does not match the body that evolved over the last million years to deal with a whole range of different environments, foods and lifestyles. Type 2 diabetes is a perfect example but the “mismatch” is also at the base of acid reflux, acne, anxiety, asthma, certain cancers, depression, flat feet, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, lower back pain and osteoporosis. The change actually began when we shifted from being hunter-gatherers to cultivating and rearing our food. We evolved to crave sweet foods where today everybody loves sweet foods. But the diets of hunter-gatherers (or chimpanzees) were and are quite bland and unsweet. Most wild fruits are about as sweet as a carrot. Honey was practically the only sweet consumed by early man but was a rare, special treat. Processed sugar provides quick energy into the blood and onto the muscles but we don’t have the metabolism of early man. Our sedentary bodies are unable to cope with those kinds of levels of sugar, and the result is that we get sick. Stress also leads us to crave sweet and fatty “comfort” foods. The hormone that gets secreted when individuals are stressed is cortisol, which puts our body into a “fight or fright/flight” state – we become prepared for danger. And cortisol plays an important role because it releases sugar into the bloodstream so the caveman could have run from that sabre toothed tiger. But while the extra sugar makes us more alert, it also exacts a toll. Cortisol makes us want to bring in more energy to cope again, with those presumed “energetic” needs. So stress activates basic primal urges to eat calorie-rich foods, which are, of course, useful to cope with those kinds of situations, from an evolutionary perspective. But in our sedentary modern lives, there are not many lions to fight off, so the sugar levels in the blood tend to remain high (diabetes) or fats accumulate all over the body especially over the heart (obesity and coronary diseases).  This New Year, let us ease the food “mismatch”.

Airy Hall/Riverstown residents were forced to flee their homes after a huge breach of the conservancy dam remained unfixed and water swamped the communities (See story on page 13)

He woke us up in the morning – a tribute to Oswald Singh delivered at service held on December 28, St Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Chateau Margot, East Coast Demerara


e woke us up in the morning with the “Breakfast Show” during his more than a decade at National Communications Network (NCN) and endeared himself to thousands who turned their radios on at that time. These included one of the most ardent and consistent listeners to radio – Aunt Ruby, who is here today. But, more than that, he endeared himself to everyone at NCN as a humble and friendly colleague. In fact, he was more than these words describe him, for he was a mentor to those who sought his advice, and even sometimes when you didn’t seek it, but needed it anyway. Yet Oswald always had a way of advising that made you listen, and which made you appreciate his sincerity. Always friendly, always smiling, always in good spirits, always jovial. He always had a good word to say that made you feel comfortable. These are just a few of the many ways in which he could be described. And this permeated his on air presentations, for listeners would feel happy because he was happy to be in their homes or offices or vehicles. He loved broadcasting and he loved his cup of coffee. I often made a joke about this in the mornings – mornings I myself enjoyed even more because he was there. Yes, he always had a bit of humour to offer no matter what. Oswald even made a joke when describing (in one particular way) a female sports-

Oswald Singh

caster‘s manner of dress regardless of what she wore. Anyone else may have made her annoyed, but this was Oswald and no one got annoyed with Oswald, or if they did they wouldn’t or couldn’t show it. Edward Layne would tell you that Oswald referred to him as “the man from Agriculture Road, the road with the beehive”. To this day Eddie is still trying to find out where that beehive was. Was Eddie annoyed? No way, because it was Oswald, and that was Oswald. I also remember him introducing me at news time in the mornings in so many different ways. Was I annoyed? No way, because it was Oswald, and that was Oswald. What many may not know was that Oswald was an expert on cricket, or at least that was the impression he made. He did have a passion for the game and had many discussions about several aspects of it and, God

help the West Indies when they did badly – which is almost a habit with them. That was when you experienced the other side of Oswald – the angry and even inflamed side. Angry and inflamed, but still calm and soft spoken. When he named the best 11 to play for the West Indies, he would offer very salient and sensible reasons for his choice – quite often with that same anger. In fact, he often suggested that the selectors didn’t have a clue about the players – or at least they had less knowledge about them than he did. Sometimes, of course, you would disagree with him. In a discussion, however, he would respect your views while holding fast to his (whether right or wrong), as Eddie Layne would attest. Oswald was always very open and somewhat frank in his comments but, as I said, always calm. You see, he was never afraid to criticise, but always found a way to do so that was acceptable to those being criticised. In other words, he did it in a nice way. Nevertheless, he himself took advice without taking umbrage. Yes, he was good at giving, as well as receiving, constructive criticism. There was yet another side of Oswald Singh that impressed his colleagues. That was his wide knowledge of Indian movies and songs. He had learnt so much about Indian culture, music and practices that he was a source of enlightenment to broadcasters who of-

ten sought his knowledge in these matters. Name a movie and, more often than not, he would tell you the stars, the songs and the singers without hesitation. This was another passion of his that was an asset to colleagues on several occasions. Oswald joins the highest team of broadcasters who preceded him to God’s radio station above – including Pancho Carew, Christopher Deane, Bruiser Thomas, B L Crombie, Ayube Hamid, Matthew Allen, Sonny Mohamed, Bertie Chancellor, Ulita Anthony, Pat Cameron, Hugh Cholmondeley, and many others before them. On his final broadcast on NCN he played many tunes of farewell and was obviously moved to tears for he could barely speak on air. In fact, that programme would have been appropriate right now as he says his final farewell to us, or as we say ours to him. Guyana has lost a good son and a passionate broadcaster, who possessed enviable attributes and NCN has lost a great and well-loved colleague. He will be missed by all on both sides of the microphone, but his memory will linger for many years to come. On behalf of all at NCN, I offer deepest condolences to his family, loved ones and friends and say a fond farewell. May his soul rest in peace and rise in glory. Ron Robinson Broadcaster

tuesday, december 31, 2013


You can send your letters with pictures to: Guyana Times, 238 Camp & Quamina Streets, Georgetown, Guyana or

Ramjattan was disrespectful Negligence caused breach at Airy Hall to all Guyanese Dear Editor, I have been following, with much chagrin, the ongoing verbal war between what the nation perceives to be respectable public figures and the public pronouncements made regarding some very important national issues. In determining what is right and best, it is important that individuals and parties engage in rational deliberation, gathering and weighing evidence and considering appropriate values. Further, in all political debates, there needs to be a reorientation to find the public interest, not merely the provision of a platform for the expression of individual or party values. Having made this clear, I will now seek to bring clarity to my point, which is to state my total disgust at utterances by a leader of one of our political parties, and a presidential hopeful, Khemraj Ramjattan, and his total disrespect for the Guyanese

populace. Over the last few days, the media war between Ramjattan and Housing and Water Minister Irfaan Ali has escalated (some might dare to say continued) and insults and derogatory remarks have appeared in print, for an entire nation to bear witness to – men, women and children. We expect, as the electorate, to be held in some esteem, irrespective of the degree, and not have to open the dailies to bear witness to one politician saying to another “haul your ass”. Behind closed doors and in the security of the political fraternity these utterances may be acceptable, I cannot be certain. What I can say is that this is no acceptable way for any public figure to behave. What is worse is that this was part of a message passed down to an employee, a public servant, to pass on to the housing minister – all I can

say is this is further insult to injury on Ramjattan’s part. I further say to Ramjattan, “How dare you, sir?” I also express concern over the circumstances leading up to this rather rude retort. Ramjattan was invited to a press conference where his very public concerns regarding the distribution of lots along the East Bank of Demerara were to be addressed. I would think that this would be most pleasing to have all ambiguities put to rest. I would like to say that, irrespective of my political affiliation, like all Guyanese ought to, I demand that all politicians show some respect for the population and exercise self control in their public utterances. Additionally, I am calling on Ramjattan to issue an apology to all Guyanese, who are after all, the electorate. A very concerned citizen M Ince

Dear Editor, Residents and farmers on the whole have become disillusioned with the regional administration of Region Two, for as they put it, a demonstrated failure to be a militant organisation to protect their interests. The flooding of 200 acres of rice in the Airy Hall area by intermittent heavy rainfall which caused a breach of the Conservancy Dam was due to no maintenance and no proper monitoring on the part of the drainage and irrigation rangers. I would hasten to add that if the regional administration is to succeed in holding on to what little they have, it is clear that they must improve the performances of the drainage and irrigation sector. In this regard they will need a combination of several factors. The government will need skilled managers and dedicated workers. This is the administration we have had for the past 21 years. They can achieve success only if they

seek to understand the nature of national development and accept individual and collective responsibility for the work to be done. At present, the rice farmers can hardly escape the vagaries of the regional administration, in which there is no proper management. There is therefore need for intelligent and skilful policies to be implemented to facilitate the transition and restructuring process for the drainage and irrigation department. With breaches and flooding out of farmers’ crops, coupled with no maintenance of the Conservancy Dam and canal from Supenaam to Charity, it has never been more crucial for Essequibo farmers. They can no longer rely on the administration to help them decide when to sow or harvest. Rice farmers have argued, at several Rice Producers Association (RPA) forums and at different times, that economic and social progress is not sustainable, or

even possible, without proper management in the region. Indications are that the economy will slow down as a result of these floodings. We are already faced with price drops and revenue short falls due to man-made disasters in our region, emanating from flood conditions. The question is what the regional administration will do in dealing on a long-term basis with these regular flooding. This trend, which was non-uniform, has had more consequences for small rice farmers in the Airy Hall rice growing areas than others. It is clear what is responsible for the conservancy breach and there should be no excuses by the regional administration. It was reported a long time that there was overtopping of the main canal by the rice farmers without rainfall, but no one ever visited the area. Yours faithfully, Mohamed Khan

Ramjattan and “30 pieces of silver” Dear Editor, I observed with great alarm the furore generated in the press in respect of the demolition of a businessman’s fence on the East Coast of Demerara, which the government contends is constructed on state land. My research reveals that this land was owned by the government since 1972 and it is shown on several plans recorded at the Guyana Lands and Surveys Department (GLSD). I understand that

the businessman took the government to court, where the matter spent nearly two years. Two weeks ago, the acting Chief Justice Ian Chang dismissed the case, clearing the way for the demolition to take place. During those two years, the government had been unable to proceed with the expansion of the East Coast Demerara road. As a result, thousands of commuters are inconvenienced and discommoded. Millions of dollars in

labour are wasted as workers are delayed in traffic. The ultimate net effect is a dent on the national economy. After all, this roadway remains one of the nation’s main transportation arteries. Additionally, based upon information published in the press, the government is exposed to liabilities to the tune of millions of U.S. dollars, all because of a single individual. Unsurprisingly, the businessman’s lawyer is Khemraj

Ramjattan, the leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC). Once again, rather than stand on the side of the thousands of Guyanese who are affected, rather than stand on the side of national development, rather than stand in defence of state property, he

again stands on the side of the self-interest of his client, presumably, for “30 pieces of silver”. Once again the nation sees the quality, and calibre of persons who masquerade as political leaders aspiring for the throne. I remind

the people of Guyana of what my grandmother used to say: “Whah you see in broad daylight, nah wait fuh see in dark night”. Sincerely, Sundar Nauth


tuesday, december 31, 2013




uge progress has been made in many critical areas involving children’s health. Yet there is still important work to be

Education for every girl

The world has been captivated by the story of Pakistan-born Malala Yousafzai. In 2009, the Taliban banned girls from attending school in her region. When she was 11, Malala started a blog in which she wrote about life under Taliban rule and spoke passionately about continuing her own education despite the ban. A little over a year ago, when she was 15, Malala was attacked on her school bus by Taliban gunmen, who shot her in the head. Amazingly, she survived and recuperated in the UK, where she and her family are now based. Since then, Malala has become an even more prominent activist for girls’ education, speaking worldwide, including an appearance before the UN General Assembly on her 16th birthday. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, released a best-selling memoir (“I Am Malala”), and has become the face of a movement despite ongoing threats against her. Her activism is tied to Millennium Development Goals Two (“Achieve universal primary education”) and Three (“Eliminate gender disparity in primary and

done, and most of it doesn’t involve expensive new drugs or surgical procedures. Instead, it’s about the basics that most of us take for granted.

secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015”). While primary-school enrolment in developing countries has risen to 90 per cent, worldwide: 57 million children are not enrolled in school 122 million young people (ages 15 to 24) lack basic reading and writing skills; almost 61 per cent of these are females 799 million adults are illiterate, two thirds of whom are women Globally, about 122 million youth are illiterate. More than 60 per cent are female. In Malala’s homeland, fewer than half of Pakistani women are literate, the literacy rate in some rural areas is as low as seven per cent, and more than three million girls are not in school. The link to the cycle of poverty is clear. Girls who receive little or no education face limited job prospects, putting them at an increased risk of trafficking and sexual exploitation. They’re also more likely than educated girls to contract HIV/AIDS. Educated girls are better able to find good jobs, keeping themselves and, later, their own children out of poverty.

These are the final three issues that desperately need the world’s attention for the sake of children and their families.

Not surprisingly, Malala has inspired people around the world to help. Here are a few easy ways to pitch in:

Clean water for all

Every 21 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness. More than 3.4 million people die each year from water-related illness. 780 million people – about one in nine – lack access to clean water. More than twice that many, 2.5 billion, don’t have access to a toilet. The majority of illness is caused by faecal matter. Globally, more people have a cellphone than a toilet. An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person living in a slum in a developing country uses in a day. UNICEF reports that more than 5000 children under the age of five die each day because of diarrhoeal diseases, often contracted through drinking contaminated water or having no access to sanitation facilities, like bathrooms with flushable toilets. Again, the impact of this is felt keenly by children. In addition to water-related mortality, malnutrition at-

tributed to dirty water and poor sanitation and hygiene kills another 2350 children younger than five each day. In developing countries, the task of collecting water for the household usually falls to women and children (especially girls). Often, this means hours-long walks from the home to collect the

water, and may happen several times a day. This burden means the adults are not working at a paying job and the children are not in school. And, the water collected – often from streams and ponds rather than wells – is likely dirty. This cycle of disease, joblessness, and missed school makes the water crisis a major part of global poverty. Yet it could be one of the easiest factors to fix. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that it would cost US$11.3 billion per year for global clean water and sanitation — in comparison, Americans spend about US$450 billion each year to celebrate Christmas. Costs to build a new well start at less than US$3000. A well not only provides clean, safe water nearby, which allows women to work and girls to attend school, it also makes farming possible. Biosand water filtration systems for individual families cost less than US$100.

Wiping out polio

To many of us, polio is a distant memory — if we remember it at all. After all, since the polio vaccine was introduced in 1955, cases plummeted. Global immunisation was so successful that polio was about to join

smallpox as the only infectious diseases to have been wiped out. But in three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan — polio has never been wiped out. Nigerian cases have dropped 65 per cent this year and the rate of immunisation rose by 29 per cent. More problematic are vaccination efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan — in addition to trying to reach villages in remote locations, workers have encountered violence and resistance. The Taliban, claiming the vaccines are part of a Western plot against Muslims, have attacked and killed vaccination workers in both countries. Sixty cents is the cost of protecting one child from polio. Now, cases of polio have been reported in Syria, with health experts attributing missed vaccinations to the ongoing civil war (immunisation rates dropped from 90 per cent in 2010 to 68 per cent in 2012). Health officials are scrambling to get vaccines to Syrian children and others in the Middle East. The virus strain causing the Syrian outbreak has also been detected in sewers in Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. Polio basics. The poliovirus is highly contagious. It spreads through contact with the stool of an infected person and through droplets from a sneeze or cough. The poliovirus requires an unvaccinated host to survive — if there is no one to infect, the virus will die out. Polio mainly affects children younger than five. While it usually causes no symptoms, one in 200 infections leads to paralysis (usually in the legs), and up to five per cent of those who are paralysed die when the virus affects their breathing muscles. The lack of symptoms also means that an outbreak can go undetected until someone who’s infected does develop paralysis. The two forms of vaccine are oral polio vaccine (OPV) and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). Because it is not a shot, OPV is easy to administer and can be given by volunteers. The average cost of one dose of OPV is 60 cents. Polio cases in faraway countries might not seem like a global concern. But as long as polio is present anywhere, outbreaks are still a risk. In fact, health experts warn that Syrian refugees could unwittingly carry the virus to parts of Europe. Until the disease is finally wiped out, it is a threat to all. (



tuesday, december 31, 2013 |

Sophia lad electrocuted while fishing


oments after leaving his home to catch fish, an eight-yearold lad was Monday morning electrocuted after he came into contact with an illegal connection at Plum Park, Sophia, Georgetown. Joshua Regis, a pupil of the Enterprise Primary School, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital some time after 11:30h. According to reports, the lad, who loved fishing, was warned not to leave the house, but he left without his mother’s knowledge, with a bucket and fishing hook in his hands. He went to a nearby trench where he secured a hook, but slid in the mud during the process. In an attempt to stop his slide into the trench, he reportedly grabbed and held onto the live wire and was electrocuted.


Joshua’s distraught mother, Nicola Charles, explained that on Monday morning, she was lying in her bed when one of her daughters informed her that the lad was sneaking out to catch fish. She stopped him; at the same time, his father, Sean Regis, returned from work and gave the child a stern warning, but he eventually left while they were having an argument. She explained that the argument was about her spouse giving permission to another daughter to attend a wedding over the weekend and up to Monday morning,


Joshua Regis with some of his siblings in happier times

she had not returned. During the argument, Charles heard a sound and enquired from her other children about Joshua. That is when she was told her son was in a trench, lying motionless. She and her husband ran to the scene. From all indications, the child was already dead. The lad’s father, who spoke to Guyana Times at the Georgetown Public Hospital, explained that he had just returned home from work and upon entering the yard, he was told that Joshua “get shock”, contrary to his spouse’s account. He continued that initially he thought it was a joke, but after he saw his reputed wife running towards the young man, he realised that it was true. He said the moment he picked up the child, he knew that he was dead, but without hesitation he took a taxi and rushed him to the Georgetown Public Hospital. The frustrated man added that the area where his son met his demise is about

60 feet from their home, noting that his son was holding onto a telephone cable which was used to steal electricity. Several police ranks were at the house of the dead child, taking statements from his mother. They were also seen at the scene where the child met his unfortunate death.

Illegal connections

When Guyana Times visited the area, there were several illegal connections hanging from the lamp post near the spot where the child met his demise. Joshua is survived by his eight siblings and his parents. His body is at the Georgetown Hospital mortuary awaiting a post-mortem examination. Illegal connections are a major concern for the Guyana Power and Light (GPL). This has resulted in the deaths of several persons who came into contact with these connections. Sophia was listed as one of the areas with the most complaints.

856 Amerindian youths participate in apprenticeship programme


pproximately 856 youths participated in the Youth Apprenticeship Programme launched by the Amerindian Affairs Ministry earlier this year even as plans are being made to increase this number in the coming year to 2000. Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai made this disclosure on Monday when asked by Guyana Times for an update on the programme. Sukhai said that the programme has been of great benefit for Amerindian youths in the hinterland and is expected to expand to other communities in the coming year. The minister said the achievements made through this programme are exceptional and have seen more persons expressing an interest of getting involved. “They are contributing to village development. We have community service officers (CSOs), attached to various sectors… they are engaged at the village council level, project implementation,” Sukhai stated. The CSOs also provide leadership to the community councils and are involved in record keeping, mobilis-

New nursery textbooks to be introduced in 2014

chance of being employed, as against those in the hinterland region. However, Regions Two and 10 have indicated their interest, which the ministry is looking at and could possibly roll out the programme there to help many Amerindian youths who are seeking employment/training. The programme encourages youths to contribute to nation building and community development. It focuses on building skill sets and creating a mindset that will Amerindian Affairs Minister foster and encourage entrePauline Sukhai preneurship. ing communities, improving Amerindians youths are community infrastructure, given work stints through assist daily with monitoring the progamme, receive a solar units, building roads small stipend as CSOs, and and fixing water pipes, are placed on a six-month among several others. work attachment with eiWhile admitting that ther a private or public secthere is a high level of un- tor entity. employment in the hinterAfter the training and exland region, Sukhai said perience, it is left up to each that the programme is help- participant to decide ways in ing in a major way to bridge which they could contribute this gap. The ministry has not only to community dealso received requests from velopment, but to their indiAmerindian communities on vidual advancement as well. the coastal region. In addition to that, the Sukhai said that the ministry has requested from ministry is yet to examine all participants to state the requests, as it is felt their area of interest, so that youths in Amerindian as to group their skills and communities in the coast- make suitable jobs available al region stands a greater to them.

he Education Ministry will be introducing the Roraima Readers, a new series of textbooks for nursery schools, in 2014, Education Minister Priya Manickchand said. The new series of textbooks includes readers, work books, writing skills work books, flash cards, charts and assessments. Manickchand said that the books have been piloted since September this year and have so far received excellent reviews. In addition, the ministry is also in the process of writing text books under the title “Readers of English”, for primary school children. This initiative will help the government save millions of dollars, it would not have to purchase overseas texts. Government had come under heavy criticism when it resorted to buying photocopied textbooks. Following a court action, the books were removed from the shelves of a number of stores across the country. While the ministry has received a discount on

Education Minister Priya Manickchand

original textbooks from foreign publishers, the ministry could only afford to purchase a limited number of textbooks. The ministry had purchased five sets of textbooks for secondary school students at a cost of $50 million. While the ministry plans to continue purchasing texts from overseas, at least for the next two years, it is currently engaging Guyanese academic and specialist teach-

ers in compiling texts for the low school levels. The ministry has in the past produced texts for the primary level through support from international funding. The Education Ministry has been working to produces its own teaching materials, especially textbooks after it was found that it was too costly to purchase original textbooks for all levels of the education system.

Arson suspected in Waterloo Street fire


n early morning fire on Monday destroyed a Waterloo Street house and caused extensive damage to two other buildings. The fire started at Lot 161 Waterloo Street, Georgetown in the wee hours of Monday, reducing the two-storey wooden building to rubble. Persons in the neighbourhood suspect that it was the work of arsonists, claiming that there was no one in the house at the time of the fire and more so, there was no electricity being supplied to the building. An occupant of the second house stated that the decimated property was owned by someone named “Terry”, but he resides on the East Coast of Demerara; however, the compound was being used by his brother, “Doggy” as a mechanic shop.


At the scene, “Doggy” stated that the building was purposely set on fire. His brother explained that he was awakened about 04:00h on Monday morning by a loud explosion. When he peered through his veranda window, he saw smoke emanating from the wooden structure and immediately alerted his wife. He instructed her to contact the fire department and collect all the documents and he made his way to the lower flat to move the vehicles out of the yard. He added that after doing so, he went back into the house only to find out his wife was unable to make contact with the Guyana

The ruins of the house on Waterloo Street, Georgetown

Fire Service. The man stated that he then went to a neighbour’s home to telephone the fire service. As he attempted to make his way back into his house, the fire had engulfed the first building and had started to spread to his home and the doctor’s office. The heat was tremendous, scorching one of the vehicles. Surprisingly, the fence separating the burning building from his home was not destroyed, but his windows and walls were cracked and his ceiling, scorched owing to the heat. The PVC pipe fixtures of the home were all but destroyed. About 20 minutes after the fire started, firefighters arrived on the scene and did an excellent job in confining the fire to one location, eyewitnesses said. They said the firefighters were also efficient in saving the nearby buildings.

One of those affected, a medical doctor, who was assessing the damage to his rented office, stated that no one was in at the time and complimented the fire service for a job well done. One side of that building was severely burnt.


He, as well, suspects that the fire was purposely set and due to the dryness of the materials, the house ignited quite quickly. The police and fire officials are continuing their probe into the fire. This is the second case of suspected arson in as many days. On Sunday, the Shri Krishna Dharmic Mandir at Lot 7 Hydronie, East Bank Essequibo was set on fire by unknown persons in the area after they gained entry into the building by breaking a front window.

8 news

tuesday, december 31, 2013|

Man refused bail on forgery charges


uincy July was refused bail on Monday after he appeared before Magistrate Faith McGusty in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer three forgery related

charges. He was not required to plead to the charges which alleged that he gave a Republic Bank cheque for the sum of $295,450 to one Roopnarine Tiwari.

The accused told the court that he was asked by someone named Pauline to accept drinks on behalf of Top Brandz. He was given a company T-shirt and the cheque and instructed

to hand the cheque over to Tiwari after he had received the goods. Police Prosecutor Blackman objected to bail being granted to the defendant citing the seriousness and prevalence of the offence. He is to make another appearance in court on January 8, 2014.

67-year-old remanded for possession of unlicensed firearm


ixty-seven-year-old William Simon was remanded to prison on Monday after he made an appearance before Magistrate Faith McGusty in the Georgetown, Magistrates’ Courts. It is alleged that on Christmas day at One Mile Mahdia, North West District Simon had in his possession an unlicensed 12 gauge single barrel shot gun. Ranks from the Mahdia Police Station noticed Simon passing the police station with a salt bag on his back, while behaving in a suspicious manner. He was subsequently approached and a search was carried out. During the course of the search the police officers found the firearm in the salt bag. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and is to return to court on January 9, 2014.

Body of man found in Demerara River


he police are investigating the death of a man whose body was fished out of the Demerara River in the vicinity of the Transport and Harbour Wharf, Kingston on Monday. Up to press time, the deceased was unidentified. The dead man was clad in a purple vest with green lining and a pair of long khaki pants when he was found floating between two boats at the wharf. The body was spotted about 09:00h by an employee from the Public Works Ministry who had gone to the facility to inspect a generator and he immediately raised an alarm. The partially decomposed body was recovered and taken to the Lyken Funeral Home to await identification and a post-mortem examination.

Eyew tness Raising a ruckus...


...diplomatically? ndia’s in the midst of a diplomatic spat with the U.S. And, no, it’s not because it’s tilting towards Russia in any brewing Cold War. If the U.S. press is to be believed, it’s all about their country standing up for the principles on which it was founded. You know...the lowest will receive the same treatment as the highest!   At the centre of the uproar is a young, female Indian diplomat who was arrested by the New York police, stripped and had her “body cavities” searched  and probed thoroughly,  then thrown into   the clinker, along with the evening haul of the New York Police Department (NYPD)... the usual dregs from the streets. Her crime? Seems she brought a maid from India whom she paid less than what she evidently promised. She thus broke the U.S. law on minimum wages for the help.  India, in a turnaround from the usual supine position she usually adopts in the international arena, reacted immediately. She removed all the barriers that’d been placed on the approaches to the U.S. Consulate in New Delhi...exposing the U.S. diplomats to possible unimpeded mob attacks.  Protest notes were lodged with the consulate and the U.S. State Department. They even had their diplomat posted to its United Nations (UN) mission, where she would have enjoyed greater diplomatic immunity. Turns out that there was an information lag between India and its mission – the diplomat had already received such posting back in August. But with all the hullabaloo – dragging in the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh – the New York judicial system insisted they were not withdrawing the charges...they had to stand for “truth, justice and the American way”. Many Americans must’ve been happy to hear this. Forget maids. JP Morgan has just been fined billions for financial illegalities that plunged millions of Americans into poverty. But its Chief Executive Officer Jamie Daimon (annual salary – US$19 million) sent out Christmas cards with he and his family blithely knocking around tennis balls in his art-filled multimillion-dollar apartment. No strip searches for him...much less handcuffs and a trial. But there are two issues that cannot be swept under the rug: that of diplomatic immunity under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the other about the pay of diplomats from Third World countries stationed in developed countries. The first cannot be treated willy-nilly and the second must be understood within its context.  How could the Indian diplomat pay her maid a salary that would work out to be higher than the one she earned?  ...about a prophet It’s been said, evidently with much truth, that a prophet is not recognised in his own country.   Few would deny that the late, great Phillip Moore was a prophet. In fact, when he passed away last year, there was such a veritable “river of tears” shed, there were fears of our benighted mudland being flooded. Most of the tears rolled down the cheeks of what passes for the Georgetown “intelligentsia”. Turned out they were all crocodile tears. Our Berbice Times reported yesterday that the children and grandchildren of the great man bemoaned that none of the promises by that motley crown to honour Moore have been kept. There is no “Meditation Hall” or any building to house the works of the most authentic artiste Guyana has produced. It’s clear now that the promised monuments, like the one the same crowd promised to build at the Parade Ground to commemorate the 1823 Rebellion, were intended to commemorate the “promisers” rather than the “promisees”.   Seems it’s not only the White man that speaks with “forked tongue”! ...on representation Seems we weren’t paranoid when we thought the Ethnic Relations Committee (ERC) was doing everything in its powers to avoid dealing with ethnic relations. A new parliamentary committee only just agreed that the ERC should have ethnic representatives! You think? 



tuesday, december 31, 2013 |

Ali pours cold water on AFC’s phone tapping grouse – says Ramjattan is trying to deflect attention from his abusive conduct


ousing and Water Minister Irfaan Ali has poured cold water on complaints by Alliance For Change (AFC) leader Khemraj Ramjattan about the administration’s alleged involvement in phone tapping. At a press conference on Friday, Ali had upbraided the AFC executive for what he deemed abusive and disrespectful treatment of his secretary, who was simply inviting “him to a meeting to clarify issues surrounding media reports on the East Bank Demerara development project and the distribution of lands to private investors”. Ramjattan had told the secretary to tell the minister to “haul his ass”. On Monday, the AFC failed to address the substantive issue at hand, as well as the others raised by Ali at the press conference. Deflection Minister Ali debunked insinuations of phone tapping made by the AFC, accusing the party of engaging in “politics of deception, trickery and lies”. He said, as housing and water minister, he is unaware that government has instructed the tapping of Ramjattan’s phone or those belonging to the ministry. The minister said Ramjattan is clearly attempting to deflect from the main issue of being abusive, insultive and derogatory to a public servant. He said the issue of phone tapping has nothing to do with the subject matter. “And at no time did I suggest any thing about phone tapping. That is clear in my statement,” he said. Ali said the continuous dishonesty and lies by Ramjattan remain testament to the fact that he has no regard or respect for decency and he has no intentions of apologising to a public servant, who, in the execution of her duties, was met with abusive behav-

bal attack on an innocent public servant and the disrespect shown to a minister of government.

Housing and Water Minister Irfaan Ali

iour. “I, as minister of housing and water, will continue to condemn the actions of Ramjattan and call on him publicly to apologise to this very young public servant,” he said. Ali reiterated that the matter was essentially about the invitation sent to Ramjattan to come to a forum in the presence of the media to raise any concerns or questions he had in relation to the continuous housing development programme. Additionally, the AFC’s attempt to draw extraneous matters in relation to the wiretapping of phones, legality of the same and other security issues have not escaped my attention,” he said in a strongly worded statement to the media.

Scaremongering “It is on this note, that I wish to dismiss the AFC’s scaremongering, lack of political maturity and integrity. The party has shown that it lacks the ability to justify its public positions by advancing evidence and facts that could not stand the test of scrutiny. "The press statement by the AFC today also exposes its unwillingness to upbraid its members who hold high offices when their conduct is less than favourable and appropriate,” Ali said. When contacted by Guyana Times late Monday evening, Minister Ali

said that he is aware that Ramjattan has come in for heavy criticisms from the general public and his political colleagues for his ver-

Smokescreen The minister maintained that the AFC and Ramjattan were dodging the issue and seeking to create a smokescreen and red herring to distract the public from the real issues raised at his earlier press conference last Friday. “I want to reiterate my call for Ramjattan to issue an immediate apology for his lawless, loud, abusive, unprofessional, unethical, immoral and highly offensive abuse of a public servant. This is the only ethical and mor-

AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan

al thing that any human can do for such an abuse of power,” he said. The minister said that barring a lack of nerve on

the part of Ramjattan, he expects an apology, as it is the only right and moral thing to do in this case. He is refusing to buckle under any pressure from the AFC following their most recent attacks, explaining that Ramjattan and AFC know that their campaign of lies and misconception has been exposed. Minster Ali said it is unfortunate that the AFC does not find it necessary to advance evidence and facts to back their earlier statement on the East Bank Demerara housing development project, but now has resorted to scaremongering and even more lies to further achieve relevance.


tuesday, December 31, 2013


Ramotar blasts drugs wastage, shortage

Rum Jhaat always deh behind R

The Health Ministry’s 26,951 square metre Supply Chain Management Warehouse Complex at Diamond, East Bank Demerara to improve pharmaceutical management


resident Donald Ramotar has blasted the poor management of drug supplies in the public health sector, pointing to the large quantity of expired products that had to be dumped and the periodic shortage of medical supplies to hospitals. He noted that while the country has come a long way as it relates to health-care services, there are many drawbacks within the sector. Specifically, he mentioned the gratuitous drug wastage in which the Health Ministry indulges that has proven costly to the country’s economy. “I can’t imagine that we spend billions of dollars to buy the drugs to ensure that our people have access to resources, yet many times, when I go about the country, I am confronted with people telling me they have shortage of drugs,” he noted. Ramotar stressed that when there is a shortage, the government has to purchase emergency drugs and millions are being written off because expired drugs have to be dumped. “Now that is totally unacceptable!” the president pointed out. He said the Health Ministry

is an ancient institution and so by now, it should have better ways of managing its pharmaceutical supplies. “Don’t we have an idea of how things are used? How they should be purchased?…What is taking place, we have to correct it,” he exclaimed. The president continued that despite Guyana achieving some of the millennium development goals (MDGs) in different sectors, it is a poor country and cannot afford to be wasting money and its resources in such a manner. More careful The president asked those in the health sector to ponder on how much more could be done if these shortages were not prevalent. “Resources are not unlimited and there is a lot of need out there. I think more people should go out into the communities in the interior, into distant places, to have an appreciation of the needs that are there. I think they will be more careful with how they handle some of the government’s resources that are given to them,” he urged. The president’s concerns came

on the heels of constant criticism by the political opposition regarding the delayed process used to procure and distribute drugs countrywide, especially in interior locations. President Ramotar also touched on the disheartening topic of maternal deaths. He said the medical profession is one which IS strongly rooted in humanitarian convictions, and, as such, he finds it “unacceptable” when he hears of mothers dying. “The main thing we have to look at is when young people, when young women particularly die, it is a big loss for the country as a whole, for their own development and contributions that they make,” he said. The president acknowledged that every medical case is unique, but is of the view that the faster persons get medical attention, the healthier they should be. He then turned his attention to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which he noted is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in Guyana. “These are lifestyle diseases and this is where the ministry has to be more aggressive,” Ramotar stated, adding that a lot of money is spent to fight NCDs.

um Jhaat is a man who can’t keep he mouth shut. De other day he open he mouth yet again. He talk bout some body a**, but he sound like one. Wasn’t de first time either. One of he own neighbour seh is every day de man does mek he self one. Now he holler pun a lil gyal in de public service. And this is a man who seh he fightin fuh de public service. Is a natural ting if yuh tell some body some ting bout dem house, dem gon look at yuh own house before dem tell yuh back something in return. So that was Rum Jhaat intention. He talk bout some body else behind to bring attention to he own. Is not usual that people does want to bring attention to dem behind. Old people does call people like dem a real a**. So Rum Jhaat try it in a backhanded way. He use reverse psychology. He talk bout some body else own. It gotta be something with Rum Jhaat and tings that deh behind. Every ting fuh he got some ting to do wid behind. He behind No Gel Hugly in de party fuh de leadership. He behind a company in India fuh de Specialty Hospital. Now he behind a man who tek guvament land. Rum Jhaat always behind a bottle. He behind get drunk de other day at a cricket club bar and then he behind get stuck in de toilet bowl. Is dem boys who does dress like boys who had to come and tek out he behind. Actually was he face, but by then it had start to look like he behind. And talkin bout dem boys, is dem boys who decide not to leff down Rum Jhaat behind after dem tek he out. Dem boys had he behind all over GT de garbage town. Is when he wake up he realise he deh alone and no body deh behind! Just like he and de KFC. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! De whole of 2013 Rum Jhaat deh behind. Just wait and see in 2014 he gon deh more far behind!

New UG council more accountable – education minister


ducation Minister Priya Manickchand said the recently-installed University of Guyana Council is more accountable so far. Manickchand made this statement at an end-of-theyear press conference on Monday. She said there have been significant changes made to the operations of the University of Guyana, under the stewardship of the new university council and Vice Chancellor Dr Jacob Opadeyi, who has also been more accountable and transparent. Manickchand told media operatives that while the ministry has no direct supervision over the tertiary institution, it allocates

University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus

finance to the university to assist in its daily operations. “I do see from this year un-

der the stewardship of Dr Opadeyi; we see more frequent and prompt answers

to financial questions… the answers are not what we would want, but they are

frequent and prompt and they seem to know better what’s going on with their finances than they did before,” Manickchand stated. The education minister added that despite the ministry having no authority over UG, both institutions are in constant contact to ensure that the curriculum at the secondary level matches the entry level for the university. Asked whether government is in support of the increased tuition fees the intuition is proposing, Manickchand said various consultations are being undertaken and based on the results of these, a decision will be made. She said, “As to whether Cabinet has taken any decision on it… I

think Cabinet will be guided by what the council discovers with those consultations.” Major financial irregularities were unearthed at UG, Turkeyen Campus following a financial audit conducted by experts from the University of the West Indies (UWI). In addition to the financial discrepancies, the premier tertiary educational institution has incurred a debt of $482 million. Based on the reports submitted from the audit, Vice Chancellor Dr Jacob Opadeyi said the university’s accounting system had collapsed over the years, creating major financial loopholes. This led to the bursar and his assistant being sent home.

11 News

tuesday, dECember 31, 2013

Education Ministry scores seven PPP/C urges action to stem out of 10 in 2013 – Manickchand tide of domestic E violence P eople’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament, Dr Vindhya Persaud said the party has noted with a sense of sadness the great loss of lives resulting from domestic issues. Persaud said that these acts of violence result in broken homes and related trauma to surviving family members. She explained that in these instances, children face the brunt of it, adding that too often persons turn a blind eye to the children and they end up homeless.


The party took the opportunity to express its deepest condolences to the families who have lost a loved one to domestic abuse. Persaud further stated that the PPP/C is “even more concerned that the incidences of domestic violence continue”, despite the availability of educational material and support, which is accessible through the Human Services Ministry and non-governmental organisations. The PPP/C reiterated its call for “peaceful resolutions to domestic disputes”. Dr Persaud explained that “in doing so, religious organisations, community groups, village leaders, and all others who are in a position to assist will intensify their efforts” to citizens on the consequences of domestic abuse. The party believes that this is crucial in the national effort to stamp out domestic abuse. The MP stated that as a people, Guyanese should

Dr Vindhya Persaud

not forget the role alcohol abuse plays in domestic violence and amid the festivities of the season. She called on persons to be responsible in all the endof-year activities they engage in and urged them not to abuse alcohol, stating that Guyanese should “make 2014 a year where we do not do this and do not cause unnecessary suffering in homes”. Local law enforcement officers were urged to be responsive and not to treat any call for help as unimportant. Similarly, persons who feel they are trapped in domestic violence situations were also urged to find the courage to seek help, stand up for their rights, and bring the perpetrators to justice. Persaud said ever too often persons do not press charges in the courts, because they are afraid of what the outcome may be. Persons advocating to speak out against domestic violence were commended for the work they have been doing by the party.

ducation Minister Priya Manickchand said her ministry performed well in 2013 and the Donald Ramotar administration is hoping to achieve universal access to secondary education in Guyana by 2016. Manickchand made the comment during her end-of-year press conference held at Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Georgetown on Monday. The education minister said the universal access to secondary education goal will be made possible through the strong efforts undertaken by her ministry to improve access to education at all levels and improving the quality of education being delivered.

Secondary education “We intend to achieve universal secondary education before the first term of the Donald Ramotar administration ends. That means that students across the country that are of secondary age can access general secondary education,” Manickchand stated. The education minister opined that universal secondary education has been achieved in many regions but more work has to be done, particularly in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine. Guyana has already achieved universal primary education. Meanwhile, in reflecting on the achievements made in the sector in 2013, the minister said it would be difficult to single out which was the most outstanding.

Manichand believes that the work undertaken during the course of the year was remarkable, giving her ministry a rating of seven on a scale of 10.

Educational level This aside, the minister said two different studies were conducted to ascertain the educational level of pupils across the country at primary schools. “We created tests across the grade and administered those tests across the country, to determine where it is children are… regarding meeting international literacy standards,” Manickchand stated. The findings of the study in this regard, she said, will be made available in the early part of

2014, and will be used to improve the literacy level of students. The other study looked at the learning needs of pupils. This was done to determine their level of literacy, as well as to test whether the curriculum that is used to teach this level is relevant or needs a subtraction or addition. “We are going to publish that study shortly with a massive ad campaign that is going to inform parents what their children should know and how it is parents and guardians can teach those children, prior to them entering the formal education system.” A review of the social studies and science curriculum, particularly at the primary level will also be done, to ensure that all

of the lessons taught suits the various age groups. The ministry, she said will be placing greater focus on early childhood and special needs education and technical and vocational skills training. Capital works With almost all of their capital works completed, the ministry said it looks forward to improving its programmes and policies, ensuring that every child is given equal opportunity to an education. It was noted that while access to education is close to becoming a reality, the focus must now be placed on improving the quality of education being delivered and ways to improve the performance of students at all levels.

12 News

tuesday, December 31, 2013 |

Essequibians cry foul Berbice ready to respond to flood threats over egg price – drop in boulanger price leaves farmers in shambles


ven as the Christmas season comes to an end, the price for eggs on the Essequibo Coast remains high while that of egg plant, also known as boulanger, has dipped significantly. The drop in price for boulanger has been precipitated with the drop in demand for the commodity, forcing farmers to dump stocks which were not sold on the market. A parcel of three bou-

langers was being sold at $200 before the Christmas season but dropped by 50 per cent during the festive shopping. On the contrary, the price for eggs spiked from $1500 per tray to $2000 per tray during the heightened shopping period. “This holiday things bad with we vegetable farmers, we boulanger nah even sell, we have to take it home, give away or just throw it away, “Palo”, (only name given), The price for eggs remain high even as the holiday season comes to an end

A wheelbarrow of boulangers ready for the dump

one of the affected farmers, told Guyana Times. The farmer said while it is good to share during the Christmas season, he did it with some reluctance, pointing out that if he did not, they would have spoilt. He estimated his losses at $30,000, pointing out that he had to give away six bags of boulanger. Several other farmers,

who suffered the same fate as Palo, said this Christmas season was strange as housewives were less interested in boulanger compared to Christmases before. The bleak sales, they said have consigned them to a loss in investment, noting that it would be a struggle to get back on their feet to remain in business in the New Year.

Foreign-funded projects progressing smoothly – Croal


mid the row over the rejected US$13.1 million United States Agency for International Development (USAID) governance project, the Local Government Ministry announced on Monday that other internationally-funded projects are progressing smoothly. Despite a few hiccups during the initial stage, Local Government Ministry Permanent Secretary Collin Croal said the US$150,000 Empowerment Inclusion and Reconciliation Programme (YEIRP) will be completed by the second quarter of 2014 while the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED) funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has completed its mandate for 2013.

First component

Croal made the comment while speaking at the ministry’s end-of-year news conference. It was reported that the first component of the YEIRP initiative has been completed while the second component is near completion. The project is being implemented in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and 10. Croal said 30 young potential leaders completed training under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative on September 14. The leader completed courses in understanding government

– RDC chairmen

structures in Guyana, transformational leadership, advocacy and participation in policymaking, project development and implementation, conflict transformation and fostering peace, understanding human rights and strategies in community development.


Meanwhile, the second aspect of the project focuses on the use of social media and information communication technology (ICT) platform by young people to interact with policymakers and aid in the national decisionmaking. Already the ICT strategy paper has been developed and the six ICT hubs in the six regions have been identified. “The computers to be placed within these hubs have already been procured. Each of the hubs will have two computers,” the permanent secretary said, noting that through the programme, participants will be able to procure BlackBerry cellular phones at a reduced price from Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) while the telephone giant will provide free hotspots for the first six months. Meanwhile, by the end of January, the 30 participants are expected to complete their internships at the regional democratic councils (RDCs). Internship is currently ongoing in the identified regions. Before the project comes to a close, the

Local Government Permanent Secretary Collin Croal


youth leaders will execute regional projects to the tune of $1 million each. According to Croal, they have already identified possible projects. These initiatives will be placed on the table for discussion when the participants meet with officials from the Local Government Ministry on January 10. Meanwhile, the Local Government Ministry has been able to complete its 2013 mandate for the CARILED programme. CARILED is a six-year, Cdn$23.2 million programme funded by CIDA and executed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in conjunction with the Caribbean Forum of Local Government Ministers and the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities. It was formulated with the aim of stimulating sustainable local economic de-

velopment (LED) through the strengthening of competencies and capacities in local government or local agencies of central government in a number of Caribbean Common wealth countries. In Guyana, it is being implemented in Regions Two, Three, Four and Six. National Coordinator Dhanraj Singh is working closely with the four local economic development officers (LEDOs) to develop and strengthen local economic development planning and advisory committees.

Economic porfiles

The LEDOs will be stationed at regional offices situated in the four regions. They have already supplied the Local Government Ministry with local economic profiles for the identified regions. Croal said the ministry will be using the profiles to effectively plan and execute projects for the regions. Local economic profiles for each one of these regions have been developed and the ministry has received the information, and is using it to plan for the various regions. It is estimated that the project will support approximately 50 local governments/agencies to implement or facilitate LED initiatives with up to 500 micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) in seven countries. Guyana signed unto the programme in August, 2012.

Region Six Chairman David Armogan

Region Five Chairman Bindrabhan Bisnauth

he authorities in Berbice said all systems are in place to respond to any threat of floods, although farmers and households are already counting millions of dollars in losses in cash crops and articles. Region Six Chairman David Armogan said that his administration is working tirelessly to alleviate any impact of possible flooding in the region. “Currently, all the drainage pumps are operable and we have placed additional pumps where necessary with immediate effect,” he said. He also noted that all sluices are fully functional. Armogan disclosed that the flooding in Black Bush Polder is under control in some areas and the region continues to do all it can to drain excess water off the land. “However, if there is persistent rainfall over the next 24 hours, then is back to square one,” he said. Intense rains in recent days have resulted in swollen rivers, streams and creeks across Region Six and flooding has already created havoc for cash crop farmers, especially at Black Bush Polder, where farmers are already counting their losses amounting to millions of dollars. Armogan also revealed that apart from Black Bush, no other major flooding has been reported in Region Six, but the region continues to closely monitor the situation.

and Irrigation Association (NDIA),” he said. He stated that his administration has embarked on a rigorous programme to ensure all drainage and irrigation systems are fully functional. Bisnauth is calling on Region Five residents to desist from dumping their refuse in the waterways. The Region Five chairman said all sluices are cleared and functional and no cash or rice crop has been affected. “We have things under control and even if we have excessive rainfall as the minister mentioned, I doubt we will have flooding,” he posited.


Fully equipped Meanwhile, Region Five Chairman Bindrabhan Bisnauth said no flooding has been reported in the region and his administration is fully equipped to handle the heavy rainfall. “We have a few muddy conditions and submerged area but we are on top of it administratively and we have acquired the services of a few mini excavators from the National Drainage

Warning On Sunday, the Agriculture Ministry said heavy rains are expected in the next 24 hours and warned of possible flooding, particularly in the Berbice region. The statement said frequent showers were expected in the last 24 hours along the coastal regions, with heavy rainfall expected over Regions Five and Six. “Given high water levels in canals and saturated land, flooding conditions can result,” the release added. Areas for attention include Black Bush Polder and villages of Lower and Central Corentyne, Canal Polder, Pomeroon and a number of villages along the Essequibo. According to the ministry, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), regional officials and neighbourhood democratic councils are closely monitoring the situation. “We are cautioning residents, especially in low lying regions, to take precautionary measures against flooding. Please feel free to contact us on our hotline numbers 227-5049, 223-7291 and 643 4369 to report any flooding or breach,” the statement said.



tuesday, december 31, 2013 |

Engineers struggle to seal Airy Hall conservancy breach – residents flee homes as water level rises BY INDRAWATTIE NATRAM


cores of Airy Hall/ Riverstown residents were forced to flee their homes as a huge breach in the conservancy dam remains agape despite the region and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) mobilising equipment and people to seal it. All the work that was done on Sunday to partially shore up the breach was reduced to nought when intensity flow of water overnight again ripped open the covered area, leaving many yards under as much as eight inches of water. Workmen, machinery and volunteers are on site desperately trying to seal the breach. Region Two Vice Chairman Vishnu Samaroo, who visited the site on Monday, said efforts by workmen have failed thus

Workers continue to struggle to seal the breach

piles away and efforts are being made to drill them deeper. Two hydraulics are currently working in the area to fix the breach. Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud said Airy Hall is under severe threat. Persaud at a news conference on Monday

A rice field under water

far, but the region will continue to do all it can to fix the problem. Samaroo said huge stock piles of reinforcement were installed to seal the break in the conservancy dam but these were undone by the high water level in the conservancy. Engineers, rangers and overseers have come up with another plan to fix the situation since the first one failed. He explained that sand bags are now being placed at the area where the conservancy dam broke, to seal the breach. The regional vice chairman said the pressure from the high water level in the conservancy is forcing the

said the breach was sealed around 18:00h on Sunday, but hours after, it collapsed. “Unfortunately at around 03:00h Monday, there was another breach, undoing much of what we have done,” Persaud told reporters. Currently, the NDIA, the agriculture, public works and local government ministries are working to rectify the problem. “As we speak, four mini excavators were delivered to the Essequibo Coast this morning… the NDIA team is presently in Region Two providing technical advice, guidance and expertise necessary to seal the breach on the conservancy dam,” Persaud said.

Sand bags are now being used to help seal the breach

The heavy downpour over the past nine days has also resulted in flooding in Pomeroon and Charity. Black Push Polder is also experiencing a similar situation, but to a lesser extent. Persaud said the min-

istries and local organs are working earnestly to mitigate the situation. “I think one of the largest contributors to us being able to manage this situation and prevent flooding would have been government’s initiative to bring in some 28 mini excavators during the year 2013 and to deploy those excavators across the coastland regions of Guyana.” Some families who remain indoors are counting their losses due to the heavy flooding. Rice, poultry farmers, housewives have been affected as overflowing canals, trenches and drainage and irrigation structures are all sending water throughout the village. One resident, “Prano” (only name given), said she lost a few chickens due to the flooding. Many others

The Region Two authorities are hoping that the breach will be sealed by today

like Prano are forced to move kitchen appliances, household furniture and television sets to higher ground. Sankar Persaud, a rice farmer, said he is hoping the situation will return to nor-

malcy soon. Over 300 persons living within the Airy Hall/Riverstown districts are severely affected by the flooding.


tuesday, December 31, 2013


Another earthquake rocks Trinidad Ben Torchinsky, developer

Saturday’s quake was the third recorded in the Caribbean in as many days and followed two tremors that rattled Antigua and Nevis last week


n earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1 was felt in several parts of Trinidad on Saturday but there were no immediate

reports of injury or damage. The Seismic Unit of the University of the West Indies (UWI) said the quake occurred at 05:17h

(local time) and was felt in Diego Martin, Glencoe and Westmoorings. The unit said that the quake was located 10.55 north and 62.5 west and had a depth of 80 km. It said that the quake occurred west of Trinidad in the Gulf of Paria. This was the third earthquake recorded in the Caribbean in as many days. Earlier last week, the unit reported that two earthquakes had rattled Antigua and Nevis and both quakes had a magnitude of 3.6. There were no reports of damage in any of the islands. (Excerpt from Caribbean360)

Diaspora, region rally around devastated Eastern Caribbean islands

A St Vincent resident surveys his damaged home


he Caribbean diaspora and other countries in the region have begun relief efforts to assist the Eastern Caribbean islands of Dominica, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines to recover from widespread devastation caused by severe rains, flooding and high winds from a low level trough system that impacted the area on Christmas Eve and

Christmas Day. The high winds and torrential rains resulted in land slippage and overflowing rivers, causing a number of deaths, destruction and severe damage in the three islands. According to a report on Saturday by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), damage and needs assessment teams have been

deployed. Preliminary impact assessment and immediate needs have been identified and more detailed damage assessment reports will be forthcoming. CDEMA continues to be in contact with the affected islands and is providing technical advice in support of the needs assessment process. The regional response mechanism has been mobilised and the coordinating unit is liaising with Barbados, the sub-regional focal point of the central subregion in the coordination of relief efforts. Technical support personnel in engineering have been placed on standby through the University of the West Indies. The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology has placed a technical team on standby to address needs in the area of hydrological impact and needs assessment. (Excerpt from

Caribbean News Now)

Heatwave hits power in Buenos Aires

An intense and prolonged heatwave has hit Buenos Aires


ublic sector workers in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires have been told not to come to work on Monday in an effort to save electricity. The city has been experiencing power shortages as air conditioning use has soared as residents try to keep cool during a severe heatwave.

Some neighbourhoods have been without power for two weeks, with temperatures rising well over 35 degrees Celsius. Argentina’s ageing power grid has been struggling to keep up with demand. Public sector workers in the city were asked to stay at home all day Monday, while those in Buenos Aires

province were told to leave work at noon. On Sunday night, electricity demand reached a record high for a non-working day, as residents turned on fans and air conditioning units in an attempt to cool down homes. City officials held emergency meetings with federal officials on Sunday in an effort to coordinate assistance to those left without power for days. An estimated 11,000 people still had no electricity over the weekend. Hundreds of thousands had suffered power cuts over the preceding weeks. In some Buenos Aires neighbourhoods residents took to the streets in protest, banging pots and pans to demand that city officials do more to restore power supply to their areas. The heatwave is reported to be the worst to hit the city in 40 years. (Excerpt from BBC


of The Hyatt, passes at 87

Ben Torchinsky (seated) with former Prime Minister McKeeva Bush (right), who presented him with the Cayman Islands Medal of Honour


enjamin Torchinsky, engineer, entrepreneur and developer of the Grand Cayman Hyatt Britannia Resort, passed away in Miami on December 23. He was 87. A much-loved personage in Grand Cayman for decades, Ben, along with his wife Sarah who predeceased him in 2009, were

well known on the island, not only for the resort that they built, but also for their contributions, especially in the arts, and generosity to many causes and individuals. Although inveterate world travellers, they considered the Cayman Islands their home. Born on September 24, 1926 in Calgary, Alberta,

the son of Max and Rose Torchinsky, Ben’s affinity for engineering began in his youth when he took advantage of the many opportunities offered by his father’s used parts business for creative improvisation, like building a motorised bicycle from a washing machine engine. His career in civil engineering began with a stint as a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, where he was privileged to teach many returning veterans the principles of civil engineering and particularly the emerging field of soil mechanics, which was Ben’s passion. Teaching gave way to Ben’s desire to put geotechnical theories into practice. He began with Torchinsky Consulting, which soon morphed into Western Caissons, specialising in state-of-the-art geotechnical work in heavy foundations. (CaymanCompass)

Caribbean child brides worry UNFPA


pproximately 29 per cent of girls in the Caribbean were married before their 18th birthday, resulting in what representatives from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) feel is a human rights violation that needs to be urgently addressed by regional leaders. The issue was one of several raised when UNFPA officials met with government representatives, Caricom leaders, and youth advocacy groups earlier this month

in Trinidad and Tobago for a multi-stakeholder, highlevel consultation to discuss ways of reducing adolescent pregnancy in the Caribbean. “That’s an extraordinary figure; and when you look at that, it’s almost as if you are saying we want young women to be pregnant before they finish school, while it’s too dangerous to their health, while they are not able to take care of their children,” UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, Kate Gilmore, told the Jamaica Observer.

“It’s an extraordinary symptom of this lack of attention to the situation of young women. Once they are married, we think everything is okay, and it is not okay. They are not ready physically or socially,” she lamented. Executive director of the UNFPA and undersecretary general of the United Nations Babatunde Osotimehin noted that child brides were prevalent in certain sections of the world.

(Excerpt from Jamaica Observer)

Trinidad union claims PETROTRIN aware of source of oil spill

PETROTRIN, in its latest statement, said the clean-up operations were continuing and that “significant progress has been achieved”


he Oilfield Workers Union (OWTU) is accusing the state-owned oil company, PETROTRIN, of being aware of the source of the oil spill as the cleanup operations continue unabated in the south of the island. “All the clean-up operations would make no sense if the oil well is not killed,” OWTU President Ancel

Roget told a news conference. He said PETROTRIN was well aware of where the leak was occurring, contrary to what was being reported to the media. “For those of us who know the offshore drilling operation would know that once a leak is observed from casing conductor pipe that is as serious as can be because that is sub

sea. Therefore, the remedy for that is to kill the well. All of this was reported to PETROTRIN… No information subsequent to this was made available to the public or to the media.” Roget said that there was no oil spill containment infrastructure available at the platforms, which was in direct breach of health and safety codes, insisting that senior officials at PETROTRIN and the Energy Ministry should have been aware of that information and all efforts should be made to contain the leak. PETROTRIN has said it is unable to determine the source of the leak, which has spilled oil into the waters in the Gulf of Paria over the past seven days. The spills have affected residents in La Brea, south of here, and Roget described the situation there as a tragedy. (Excerpt from Caribbean360)

15 Around the world

tuesday, dECember 31, 2013

Al Jazeera demands Egypt Russia vows tough response to attacks release Cairo team

Conditions for journalists have become difficult since President Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow in July, rights groups say


l Jazeera has condemned the arrest of four of its journalists held by Egyptian authorities since Sunday night and demanded their immediate release. Award-winning Nairobibased correspondent Peter Greste, Al Jazeera English bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy, Cairo-based producer Baher Mohamed and cameraman Mohamed Fawzyre have been held in custody since their arrest by securi-

ty forces on Sunday evening. The arrests follow a period of sustained intimidation towards Al Jazeera staff, property and coverage since the military-orchestrated removal of President Mohamed Morsi in July. Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network’s spokesperson said of the latest arrests: “We condemn the arbitrary arrest of Al Jazeera English journalists working in Cairo and demand their immediate and uncondition-

al release. “Al Jazeera Media Network has been subject to harassment by Egyptian security forces which has arrested of our colleagues, confiscated our equipment and raided our offices despite that we are not officially banned from working there.” These arrests are part of what Reporters Without Borders has called growing hostility towards journalists in Egypt. There has also been a campaign against Al Jazeera in particular as the channel’s offices were raided in August and security forces seized equipment which has yet to be returned. Al Jazeera called on the Egyptian authorities to immediately release all its detained staff unconditionally along with their belongings and equipment. Greste is a veteran journalist who previously worked for Reuters, CNN and the BBC over the past two decades. (Excerpt from Al Jazeera)

U.S. announces six drone test sites

Enthusiasts making their own aircraft


he U.S. aviation regulator has announced the six states that will host sites for testing commercial use of drones. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) picked Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas

and Virginia. The sites are part of a programme to develop safety and operational rules for drones by the end of 2015. Hitherto mainly used by the military, the potential of drones is now being explored by everyone from real estate

agents to farmers or delivery services. The head of the FAA, Michael Huerta, said safety would be the priority as it considers approval for unleashing the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies. Pilots will be notified through routine announcements about where drones are being flown. The FAA said in a statement that its decision followed a 10-month process involving proposals from 24 states. The agency said it had considered geography, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, aviation experience and risk. (Excerpt from BBC News)

Colorado marijuana sales to start


There appears to be a shift in the United States in favour of relaxing marijuana laws, a topic that has dipped in and out of the national conversation for decades

olorado will begin allowing recreational marijuana sales on January 1 to anyone age 21 or over. Residents will be able to buy marijuana like alcohol – except the cannabis purchase is limited to an ounce, which is substantial enough to cost about US$200 or more. It is a big moment as Colorado will become the first state in the nation to open recreational pot stores and become the first place in the world where marijuana will be regulated from seed to sale. Pot, by the way, is the third most popular recreational drug in America, after alcohol and tobacco, according to the marijuana reform group NORML. (Excerpt from CNN)

A second deadly blast hits Russian city


nother suspected suicide bombing struck the southern Russian city of Volgograd on Monday, killing at least 14 people and further highlighting Russia’s security challenges as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics in less than six weeks. The explosion hit a trolleybus near a busy market during the morning rush

hour, a day after a blast at Volgograd’s main train station killed 17 people and wounded at least 35. Vladmir Markin, a spokesman for the country’s federal investigation agency, told the state-run news agency RIA Novosti that both explosions were terrorist attacks. “This strike, which was cynically planned for the

period of preparations for New Year’s celebrations, is one more attempt by terrorists to open a domestic front, sow panic and chaos, and trigger religious strife and conflicts in Russian society,” said a statement Monday by Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. “We will not back down and will continue our tough and consistent offensive” against terrorists, the ministry’s statement said, adding that such an enemy “can only be stopped by joint efforts” involving the international community. No one claimed responsibility for the Volgograd blasts, but they occurred several months after the leader of a Chechen separatist group pledged violence to disrupt the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics that begin on February 7. (Excerpt from CNN)

Lebanese army fires at Syrian aircraft after border raid


ebanon’s army fired anti-aircraft missiles at two Syrian helicopters that bombed a Lebanese border area, officials said. It is the first time Beirut has moved to prevent Syrian planes from violating its airspace since the Syrian conflict began. “In accordance with the orders of the army command, anti-aircraft guns were fired in the direction of Syrian

helicopters that bombed Khirbet Dawud near Arsal” near Lebanon’s border with Syria, the source told AFP on Monday. “It is the first time that the Lebanese army has used its anti-aircraft defence systems” to respond to repeated Syrian bombings along the border, the source added. There were no injuries in the Syrian raid and it was not clear whether the

Lebanese fire had hit the Syrian aircraft. Syrian regime forces have fired toward Lebanon in the past, trying to deter rebels from seeking cover in Lebanese border towns. Syrian warplanes and helicopters have also regularly carried out raids in the area around Arsal – a Sunni region where many support the Syrian uprising. (Excerpt from France24)

U.S. report predicts chaos in Afghanistan


rogress in Afghanistan over the past three years is likely to be seriously eroded by 2017 even if Western powers continue to support Kabul financially, the Washington Post has reported, citing an intelligence assessment. A new National Intelligence Estimate, which includes input from 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, predicts that the Taliban and other powerbrokers will increase their influence even if the United States leaves behind a few thousand troops and continues to fund authorities in Kabul, the Post said in its Sunday edition. U.S.-led NATO forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan after more than a decade of fighting the Taliban, but negotiations have stalled on a security accord that would allow some U.S. and NATO troops to stay after 2014. President Hamid Karzai first endorsed the deal, which lays out rules for U.S. troops, and would be the basis for other NATO forces,

Negotiations have stalled on a security accord that would allow some U.S. and NATO troops to stay after 2014

but later said it might not be signed until after the April election that will choose his successor. Signing the agreement is a precondition for the delivery of billions of dollars in Western aid for Afghanistan over the next years. The Post, citing officials who have seen the intelligence report, said that Afghanistan will like-

ly plunge into chaos if the security agreement is not signed. “In the absence of a continuing presence and continuing financial support,” the intelligence assessment “suggests the situation would deteriorate very rapidly,” a U.S. official familiar with the report told the Post, speaking on condition of anonymity. (Excerpt from Al Jazeera)


TUESday, DECember 31, 2013



Bharath: Investors can’t get enough of TT


rade Minister Vasant Bharath says investors cannot get enough of TT. He told guests at a Christmas dinner hosted by Debideen Manick, the Deputy Chaguanas Mayor at Cacandee Road, that during his recent visit to Indonesia he was part of a delegation that negotiated the historic WTO agreement for trade between lesser developed countries and developed nations.

“The second part of that visit was to the United Kingdom where the government of TT was looking to float a historic bond of US$500 million and investor confidence in the UK and Europe was so great that the bond was ten times oversubscribed,” Bharath said, adding that investors are excited about TT. “At the end of the day we could have sold as 20 times much bonds as we

did,” he said. The minister said these recent successes were the result of the work government is doing to remove the bureaucracy in doing business in TT. He said in the last 15 months TT has moved from 88th place in the world to 66th for ease of doing business. “That gives you an indication of the work we have been doing,” he said.

(Trinidad Guardian)

North America

Tanzania: Dar holiday shoppers overwhelm supermarkets


chumi supermarkets experienced customers’ boom this Christmas compared to the previous year, officials at the outlet say. The supermarket chain, said to be the cheapest outlet in the country, reported that most of the Christmas shoppers were attracted by the lowest prices offered compared to others. Uchumi’s Country Manager, Chris Lenana, said

since the beginning of this month, the outlet experienced an increase of about 1500 shoppers daily compared to last year. “If all days of the year were Christmas things could have been superb,” Lenana told the ‘Daily News’ a day before Christmas. The most bought items included Uchumi white bread that saw 2700 pieces sold at a promotion price of 900/- a loaf, instead of 1500/.

Other items that were hotcake during the month were carrot chapatti, Samsung electric cooker, Coca Cola, Kilimanjaro and Sayona bottling water. To deal with the influx of customers and reduction of travelling time to Nyerere Road, the chain plans to open three outlets in January at the City Centre, Sinza and Kijitonyama in Dar es Salaam. (allAfrica)

of about 58 per cent of its economic output. Persistent fears over the level of non-performing bad debt have affected perceptions of the world’s second-largest economy, as some worry whether the loans can be paid back. The figure is still less than half the debt burdens in Japan – the world’s thirdlargest economy – and Greece, but some analysts warn that China’s debt cannot continue to grow at this pace forever. “While China’s total gov-

ernment debt remains low by the OECD standards, the pace of the rise is still alarming,” said ANZ Bank economists Liu Li-Gang and Zhou Hao. “This national debt audit result could indicate that China’s local government debt almost doubled in about twoand-a-half years.” According to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, local governments took up 80 per cent of total bank lending in China at the end of 2010. (BBC News)

Wells Fargo agrees to US$541M Asia loan settlement China's local government debt surges by 70 per cent


ells Fargo and Company will pay a net US$541 million to Fannie Mae to settle claims over defective home loans, completing the government-controlled mortgage company’s efforts to have banks buy back troubled loans made before the financial crisis. Fannie Mae said on Monday it has reached settlements worth roughly US$6.5 billion over loan buybacks with eight banks, including Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest mortgage lender and fourth-largest bank by assets.

The settlements include a US$3.6 billion accord in January with Bank of America Corp over loans from that bank and the former Countrywide Financial Corp. Fannie Mae Chief Executive Timothy Mayopoulos was once general counsel at Bank of America. It also includes a US$968 million accord in July with Citigroup Inc. In the Wells Fargo settlement, the San Francisco-based bank will pay Fannie Mae US$541 million in cash after adjusting for credits from prior re-

purchases. Before adjustments, the settlement totalled US$591 million. The accord resolves substantially all repurchase claims against Wells Fargo over loans sold to Fannie Mae that were made before 2009. “We have closed out our legacy repurchase reviews with this agreement,” Mayopoulos said in a statement. “This agreement represents a fitting conclusion to our year of hard work to put legacy issues in the rear view mirror and begin 2014 focused on improving the future of housing finance.” (Reuters)



hina has local government debts of 17.7 trillion yuan (US$2.9 trillion), up 70 per cent from three years ago, according to an official report. China’s government asked the National Audit Office (NAO) in July to do a round-up of the debts outstanding at a local level. The report showed some local governments were using new loans to repay more than a fifth of their debt. China has a total government debt

France’s 75 per cent ‘millionaire Middle East Dubai property prices show tax’ to become law annual rise


rance’s controversial “millionaire tax” is set to become law, allowing the government to levy a 75 per cent tax on companies that pay salaries in excess of €1 million. The tax was approved by France’s constitutional council on Sunday after an earlier version was deemed unconstitutional last year. President François Hollande introduced the tax as a way to force the rich to help France shrink its massive budget deficit and sup-

port the sagging economy. It had originally been created as a tax on individuals, but was eventually shifted to a tax on companies paying high annual salaries. According to the constitutional council, employers must pay the levy on salaries exceeding €1 million (US$1.4 million) a year. The tax will apply for two years – 2013 and 2014 – and will not be allowed to surpass five per cent of a company’s annual revenue. Hollande has said the new tax is “symbolic” and designed

to make a political statement about economic fairness. The tax is not ultimately expected to be a big money-maker, with the French government estimating the tax will affect roughly 470 companies. “This tax was born in the heat of Hollande’s [2012] presidential campaign,” said James Shields, a professor of French politics at Aston University in the UK. “It’s only a tax for two years. It’s temporary. So yes, this is highly symbolic.” (CNN)

Market statistics Gold Prices – Guyana Gold Board

Cambio Rates

Fixed as at July 24, 2013 Calculated at 94% purity

Bank of Guyana Cur






















Indicators as on December 30, 2013 Live Spot Gold

USD Per Once












Last: 16504.29



1201.50 729.29 873.76

1204.50 730.44 873.14



1209.25 733.10 875.89

Price Silver


London Gold Fix

Dec 30

Indicators Crude Oil

1214.50 735.13 880.33 Changes: +25.88

Open: 16484.51


% YTD: 25.95

52Wk Hi: 16174.51

US$ per barrel

$112.18 USD per Ounce

$19.57 $1357.00

Change %

0.18 Change %

-0.51 -15.00


roperty prices in Dubai have risen by more than 22 per cent so far this year, according to the Sales Price Indices. The index, which aims to measure the average change in house prices in certain districts and communities in Dubai, showed real estate values in Dubai rose 2.44 percent in November compared to the previous month. On an annual basis, REIDIN said

prices have increased 22.4 per cent. Apartment sales prices registered an increase in November of 2.90 per cent month-on-month and were up by 24.5 per cent on an annual basis, the index showed. Villa sales prices registered an increase of 0.73 per cent compared to the previous month and were 14.9 per cent higher than in November 2012. The REIDIN rental index showed Dubai rents rose 1.33

per cent in November and were up by 16.6 per cent compared to the year-earlier period. Apartment rents showed an increase of 1.37 per cent month-on-month and 17.6 per cent year-on-year while villa rents rose by 1.11 per cent and 12.6 per cent respectively. In Abu Dhabi, the index showed prices rose by 1.96 per cent in November compared to October and were up by 19.70 per cent on an annual basis. (Arabianbusiness)

Investors' guide Eight must-know tips for acing an interview


he interview is a very important step in the job search process. To help make the interviewing process easier, we’ve compiled a list of must read guide of tips and best practices. These tips will help ensure a successful interview so you can land that dream job you want. Don’t go into your next interview unprepared. 1. Read up on the company When preparing for an interview you should always read up and do some research on the company before hand. Interviewers notice when you answer questions or discuss things in a context that is rel-

evant to them. You should make sure you clearly understand the company structure, their mission and value statements, and the products and services that they offer. This shows the interviewer not only that you made the effort to do your research, but also makes sure that you answer and ask questions in an appropriate context. 2. Understand the context Understanding the context around your interview is very important. Does the company need you? Are you just a name in the pile? What’s the job market like? This all has an impact on

the image you need to portray in an interview and the kind of leverage you have. If the company approached you and the labour pool for this job is limited, you have a relatively high degree of power. This company needs to sell you more than you need to sell yourself to them. If the labour pool is deep and you are one of 100 people applying for the same job with the same background you need to dazzle the interviewer. You need to make sure they remember your name and you highlight all your important skills. (Business Dictionary) TO BE CONTINUED

Business concept – Bitcoin % Change: +0.16 Low: 16467.87 52 Wk Lo: 12471.49

Created in 2009, it is a digital currency that is completely decentralised. Facilitates payments by using peer-to-peer technology and can be used on the Internet or in brick and mortar stores. It is considered a type of crypto-currency because it uses cryptography for security, making it extremely difficult to counterfeit.



tuesday, December 31, 2013 |

Haags Bosch Human Services Ministry unveils 2014 plans dumpsite being T jammed with refuse


espite not being completed, the US$20 million Haags Bosch Sanitation Landfill has received 50,000 tonnes of waste, more than what it was designed for on an annual basis. Junior Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker made this disclosure on Monday during a press conference at his Kingston Office. “During the year, approximately 110,000 tonnes of waste was received at the Haags Bosch facility and that represents a figure of 50,000 tonnes more,” he disclosed. According to Minister Whittaker, the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) funded project has seen positive developments for 2013, noting that additional garbage collection trucks have been procured and will be made available in January. However, when grilled by reporters, the junior local government minister admitted to the challenges being faced with regard to the construction of the facility. According to him, the Local Government Ministry has been in frequent contact with the contracting company BK Inc, encouraging its management to accelerate the pace at which the project is being executed. Cell one of the landfill should have been completed today, December 31. This is in accordance with the IDB extended deadline. However, it is unclear whether the 35,000 cubic tonnes of earth from cell number one has been completed or whether the pumps at the Leachate Pumping Station have been installed.

Bin distribution

Nevertheless, he said 485 of the 825 garbage collection bins procured under the IDB project have been distributed to neigbourhood development councils (NDCs) within Region Four. The remainder will be placed at public entities within Georgetown and along the Linden/Soesdyke Highway, but within the domains of Region Four. The Haags Bosch Sanitation Landfill located aback Eccles, East Coast Demerara, commenced operation in the latter part of 2011. It facilitates garbage disposal from Georgetown and 15 NDCs. Meanwhile, Local Government Ministry Permanent Secretary Collin Coral said that the Regional Solid Waste Management Programme is progressing, despite a few hiccups. He explained that in Region One, the initial contractor who was awarded

Junior Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker

the project, reneged and as a result, the project has been retendered. He is optimistic that the contract will be rewarded in January. Meanwhile, in Region Two, the solid waste project is flowing smoothly under the purview of Puran Brothers. “In fact, there are two solid waste management sites that have been developed at Lima as well as Charity,” he explained.

Not many complaints

In Region Three; however, the permanent secretary said while there were not many complaints regarding the collection of waste by Puran Brothers, there are a few challenges regarding the landfill site. Similarly in Region Five, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) had objected to the initial landfill site, resulting in new areas being identified. However, the Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval is pending. This project is expected to get going by the first quarter of 2014. Region Six has been divided into three areas; however, they are all being controlled by Advance Environment Solution. But like some regions, landfill sites are issues of concern. New Amsterdam is expected to soon benefit from the operationalisation of the Bellevve Landfill site, which is 90 per cent completed. Number Nauth Village Land Fill site will also be utilised for the storage of waste. General Sanitation Enterprise was awarded the Region Seven contract following the termination of the initial contract. “We do have one issue with the site, while the access to the landfill site has been developed, there is a swamp area to be cleared,” he explained. However, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) are working earnestly to address the problem. Meanwhile, in Region Eight, the ministry is awaiting approval for a new site since the initial site was utilised by miners.

he Human Services and Social Security Ministry has had a very successful year in 2013, and will continue its work in the new year towards ensuring Guyanese enjoy their rights, the Government Information Agency reported. Human Services and Social Security Minister Jenifer Webster at an endof-year press conference at the ministry on Monday, said the International Labour Organisation (ILO) TACKLE project will be continued by the government and the National Action Plan on Gender Based Violence will be completed. The ministry plans to make life for senior citizens much easier in 2014 through the provision of special training for health officials in the area of caring for the elderly. Better transport A lot of emphasis will be placed on the provision of better transport for senior citizens as they often complain of the minibuses not wanting to transport them. More attention will also be paid to senior citizen’s homes.

The Human Services and Social Security Ministry received the elegantly designed Mahaica Children’s Home from telecommunications company, Digicel Guyana in 2013 to boost its care and protection of children

The TACKLE programme, which ended in July 2013, was aimed at ensuring children remain in school, with the hope of reducing and, some day, eliminating school drop-outs and reducing, preventing and later eliminating child labour. The ILO funded project continued with two components until September. The ministry hopes to continue provision of transportation, nutritional support, numeracy and literacy

help, parenting workshops, and psychosocial support to students of Dora and Kuru Kuru along the SoesdykeLinden highway. About 360 children of the Kuru Kuru Nursery and Primary Schools and the Dora Secondary were the beneficiaries of the TACKLE project over the past two years. During a recent press conference, Labour Minister Dr Nanda Gopaul had stated that average attendance

at the schools, was between 40 and 50 per cent, but with the implementation of the programme, there was 100 per cent attendance. Domestic violence has been one of the ministry’s major focus areas in 2013, and this will continue in 2014 as it plans to work along with the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to create a special unit for victims. It will be a one stop centre where victims can report abuse.

BM Soat exceeded boundary by 7797 square feet from removing the encroaching structure,” he further explained. Minister Benn told the press that since 2007, his ministry has been issuing notices of violation to the proprietor of BM Soat, Bashir Mohamed, but to no avail. However, this year, Mohamed reportedly assured the Public Works Ministry that on Friday, December 27 the illegal erections would have been removed. But Mohamed reneged on his promise, forcing the ministry to take stern action.

Abuse of judicial process

Minister Robeson Benn indicating to reporters on a map where BM Soat has encroached on government reserves


mid allegations of victimisation, Public Works Minister Robeson Benn said BM Soat utilised an extra 7797 square feet of land beyond the lot given to the entity. “The land currently occupied by BM Soat exceeds the 57,934.80 square feet vested in him by the transport which he presented as evidence of ownership by 7797 square feet – specifically the northern boundary is exceeded by some 1306 square feet and the southern boundary by 6490 square feet,” Minister Benn explained during an emergency press conference

on Monday evening. On Friday, the Public Works Ministry demolished a fence and two concrete structures at BM Soat’s Auto Sales showroom at Success, East Coast Demerara. The move by the ministry prompted many questions, but on Monday the ministry said its action was just. “The ministry takes this opportunity to reiterate that the fence and other erections demolished by the ministry were on government reserves and the ministry was acting within the ambit of the law in the demolition and removal of same,” Benn said, while

speaking at his Kingston office.

Court orders

He put to rest allegations that the encroaching fence was dismantled despite a court order being served to prevent such, noting that it was during the process of demolition that the court order was brought to the attention of the ministry. “The action taken by the ministry earlier in the day was pursuant to an order of the Chief Justice discharging the conservatory order which previously prevented the ministry

“In view of the foregoing, the ministry views the resort to further action in the court as an attempt by Mohamed to abuse the judicial process and an affront to the government,” he said. According to the public works minister, the non-removal of the fence has cost the government $40 million, as it is currently stalling the ongoing road expansion project along the East Coast of Demerara. “The ministry finds alarming Mr Mohamed’s attitude of the disregard for the rights of surrounding land owners, while at the same he seeks of the court for alleged violations of his own. At the moment, he is embroiled in court proceedings with his neighbours to the west for encroaching on their land,” he added.


tuesday, december 31, 2013

thursDAY, march 11, 2010 |


By Bernice Bede Osol

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22Jan. 19) You will have extra discipline today, so you should be off to a good start. Make careful plans, and network with people who can be helpful. Don’t be afraid to go your own way.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20Feb. 19) Allow yourself to think big. Make a point of being social, and you will have a chance to meet someone who will help you reach your goals.

Calvin and Hobbes

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) Take a moment to reexamine your strategy before you head down the wrong path. Although you will have great stamina, your tendency will be to overdo things. Focus on efficiency.

CANCER (June 21July 22) With high energy and fervent spirits, you are prepared to enjoy the wonder of life. Although you face changes, this year promises to reward you for all your hard work and tough sacrifices.

LEO (July 23Aug. 22) Nothing can get in the way of having fun. It’s time to cut loose and celebrate the past and the future. Things are beginning to heat up in your life, so enjoy the sizzle.

VIRGO (Aug. 23Sept. 22) It’s best to take a rest today. Overdoing it will lead to setbacks. Don’t be misled by others. Use your intuition and make independent choices.





(March 21-April 19)

(Sept. 23Oct. 23)

Prepare to enjoy a spectacular event. Take the time to make everything perfect. It’s best to approach the new year with optimism. Be confident that you will do well.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) You may feel vulnerable, but a change in attitude is all that is needed to turn things around. Think carefully about what you want and what you need.

A shrewd change will help you follow your dreams. Make a New Year’s resolution that you will be able to uphold. It’s a busy time, and you should be at your best.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24Nov. 22) Acknowledging that you are reaching the end of a cycle will prepare you for the future. Make an effort to focus on your finances. Don’t repeat the cash flow crises you’ve experienced in the past.

Monday's solution GEMINI (May 21June 20) This will be a memorable time. Opportunities will be vast. You should be able to pick and choose from an array of options. The only rule is to follow through on your aims.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23Dec. 21) You’ll be able to charm others with ease. Attending events may lead to opportunities for romance. The new year will be a time of reinvention. Invest in your goals with an open mind.

news 19


2013 was beset with challenges – Minister Ganga Persaud

tuesday, december 31, 2013

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he Local Government Ministry and the local bodies under its purview; the neighbourhood democratic councils (NDCs), the regional democratic councils (RDCs), and the municipalities have experienced a year beset with challenges, but also some amount of positive development, Minister Ganga Persaud said. Government made available to the six municipalities a subvention of $65 million, of which Anna Regina received $9 million, and spent it on seven projects that focused primarily on the construction of concrete box culverts to assist in drainage in the agriculture region, desilting of 1500 rods of drain and rehabilitation and upgrading of roads.

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New Amsterdam received $10 million and procured a tractor for use in its road rehabilitation work. A significant amount of its subvention was also spent on road upgrades, and the clearing of drains. Rose Hall received $8 million and focused on the construction of concrete drains, on backfilling of streets and the maintenance of roads constructed under the Urban Development Programme (UDP.) Corriverton received $8 million as well, which was used to maintain culverts, bridges and to maintain their dumpsite. Linden received $10 million that was used on road upgrades and maintenance, rehabilitation of a pick-up that is used by the officers, the purchase of street lights for the Wismar area, the acquisition of a fogging machine and mist blowers, and the maintenance of drains and culverts. Georgetown received $20 million and has moved to acquire two trucks to as-

Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud

sist with solid waste collection and transportation. This process started late and the municipality is still at the procurement stage of acquiring the vehicles. It is expected that the trucks will be obtained in January 2014.

Other support

Government’s support to the municipalities is not limited to, or restricted to subventions. Linden received $9.4 million to help meet the cost associated with paying the revised minimum wages and salaries for staff for the period September to December 2013. The ministry also in 2013 played a significant role at the level of the Georgetown municipality in helping to maintain kokers, pumps, and in engaging communities in clean-up exercises. The ministry plans to, in 2014 deal with the illegal dumpsites that its officers have identified in the city. Another level of support has been on the training of municipal workers in several areas. For 2013, the six municipalities were expected to pull-in $2.8 billion in revenues; with the major-

ity expected to come from Georgetown $2.4 billion, and Rose Hall, $45.7 million. The municipalities, however, continued to do badly in that area, as the six municipalities combined, as of November 30, were only able to collect 52 per cent, with most spent on employment and other administrative costs. One of the ministry’s priorities in 2014 will be to continue to work with the municipalities to have them provide improved services and simultaneously to have residents pay their rates and taxes.


Government spent a large sum on the provision of market tarmacs and to rehabilitate markets, as it sees these infrastructures providing an important service to communities. The ministry worked to establish in all the markets and market tarmacs, market management committees, comprising representatives of the municipalities, RDC and vendors. The ministry also began working with the committees on the development of policies to guide the functions and operations of the markets and tarmacs. Government garnered a US$1 million Indian Brazil South Africa (IBSA) Fund that will be utilised to procure machinery and equipment for solid waste collection, transportation and disposal and to improve environmental conditions under which persons vend. The Mackenzie and New Amsterdam markets are among those targeted for some level of physical improvement; while approximately $55 million will go towards infrastructural improvement at the municipalities. Government also contin-

ued to work in 2013 with the municipalities and vendors to have 100 per cent occupancy of the tarmacs and markets, but this continues to be a challenge. It will continue its focus on this area in 2014, working in tandem with municipalities and residents of the communities that they serve.

Solid waste

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded Haags Bosch landfill continued to hold the ministry’s attention as during the year it was able to effect several improvements at the site, engaging the contractor BK International. Despite this, construction of the landfill continued to be behind schedule. Two trucks were procured for the site and an additional two will be acquired in January 2014. A compactor is also being procured. For 2013, 110,000 tonnes of waste was received at Haags Bosch; representing 50,000 pounds more than what was expected in 2013. The ministry was able to procure 825 garbage collection bins, 485 of which were already distributed to the 15 NDCs in Georgetown. The remainder will be placed in public entities around Georgetown and along the Linden-Soesdyke Highway. There was also the rollout of the public awareness programme on solid waste disposal and management. In this regard, several seminars targeting the 15 NDCs, municipalities, environmental and corporate groups were conducted in recognition that integral to the success of address solid waste management is the buy-in of the public. There was also the movement in the implementation of the Regional Solid Waste Programme in all the regions, except Region Four.

Hindus urge Scotland’s Muirfield golf course to allow women members


indus have asked Scotland’s Muirfield, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, to open membership to women also. Hindu leader Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada, said that women membership was long overdue and it would bring an end to 269 years of gender discrimination. “The menonly membership policy of Muirfield was highly inappropriate, immoral and archaic,” Zed said. Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that instead of being proud of its traditions, intransigent Muirfield should be ashamed and embarrassed of its exclusionist policy of barring women members. “The male-only membership

Hindu leader Rajan Zed

policy of Muirfield needed to go and right now. Clubs like Muirfield, who refuse to treat women as equal, should not be in business in 21st century Scotland and the world,” he said. He said that golf’s governing body, R&A, which organised the Open

Championship, golf’s oldest major, should not stage a tournament at Muirfield in the future unless it changed its men-only membership policy; and should strongly address this sexism and promote equality, instead of turning a blind eye to it. Zed, quoting scriptures, explained that ancient “Manusmriti” said: ‘“Where women are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will yield any fruit.”’


He indicated that the Church of Scotland and its Moderator Right Reverend Lorna Hood should also come out openly advocating treating women with equality and respect they deserved and persuading

Muirfield to allow women to become members. Women should not have to face such a struggle to gain acceptance at Muirfield, which seemed to have refused to progress with the society. Muirfield, one of the oldest and famous clubs in golf, hosting major championships, whose history went back to 1744, is used in rotation for The Open Championship. American professional golfer Jack Nicklaus has reportedly described Muirfield as the best golf course in Britain. It claims to be the oldest verifiable organised golf club in the world. Currently, women can play at Muirfield, located in Gullane (East Lothian) as guests or visitors but cannot become members.


tuesday, december 31, 2013

South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 5th day…

South Africa win to give Kallis perfect send-off S

outh Africa overpowered India by ten wickets in Jacques Kallis’ final Test to give one of the greatest of Test careers the perfect end. Kallis will retire satisfied at having been an integral part of a South Africa side who are the undisputed No. 1 in Tests, having lost just one of their previous 25 series stretching back to 2006. It was a wonderful summer day to sign off. A 40 per cent chance of rain was expected to be one of India’s allies on a day that was the biggest challenge for their young batting line-up. Instead, they were greeted by clear blue skies and pleasant sunshine. And their chances worsened dramatically within 15 minutes of the start of play, as Dale Steyn removed their two best batsmen, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, in a fierce spell of fast bowling. India managed to clear the deficit just before lunch, but South Africa had mopped up five wickets in the first session to put themselves on the verge of a series victory. Though it was the fifth day, the track was still reasonably good for batting, but only Ajinkya Rahane stuck it out with a hugely impressive 96 before becoming the last man out. A target of 58 proved little challenge to South

Ajinkya Rahane fought gallantly in India’s second innings, falling short of a hundred by four runs

Africa’s openers, who knocked it off in less than 12 overs to end a Durban ‘jinx’ that lasted since early 2008, with the home side failing to win four previous Tests. Earlier, Steyn struck a big blow on the first ball itself as he got a shortish delivery to rear up and had Kohli caught behind. Kohli

couldn’t believe the decision, as the ball had brushed his shoulder on the way through to the keeper but he was on his way. If Kohli couldn’t be faulted for his dismissal, very little blame could be attached to Pujara for his exit as well. Steyn produced the ball of the match - a quick deliv-

ery that angled in and then nipped away to beat Pujara’s attempt at keeping it out and clip the top of offstump. India were left shellshocked by that early burst as Steyn gave another reminder of why he remains the most lethal fast bowler around. Rohit Sharma had shouldered arms and lost his middle stump first ball in the first innings, but he fared better this time around. There was plenty of chat with a fired-up Steyn, who sledged him with lines like “I’ve got more runs than you this series,” and “You have done nothing in your career.” Rohit survived both Steyn’s spell and the verbals, but there was no redemption on a disappointing tour for him as he was caught lbw by a ripping incutter from Vernon Philander for 25. His Mumbai team-mate Rahane, though, has vastly enhanced his reputation on this series. After nearly two years with the Test squad without getting a proper look-in, he has finally got a couple of games on this challenging tour, and he has locked in his place with a bunch of gutsy knocks. There were an array of classic drives in his fighting innings, one of the highlights of which was a gentle straight drive for four off Steyn. Rahane’s defensive so-

Slingerz FC, Santos to contest GFA Banks Beer Cup final

The Santos players (in yellow) rue an own goal with put Slingerz FC through to the final


lingerz FC and Santos will contest the final of the third annual Georgetown Football Association (GFA) Banks Beer Cup after earning victories at the semi-finals on Sunday evening at the GFC ground, Bourda. The two teams will contest the final on New Year’s Day 2014 at the GCC ground, Bourda, where a new champion will be crowned since defending champions Camptown and inaugural winner Alpha

United were booted at the quarter-final stage. Slingerz FC didn’t have to do much, as Western Tigers were generous on the night, slipping in an own goal to hand the West Demerara side passage into the final. All Slingerz had to do after then was play defence, and that they did to keep their hopes alive of copping the four million dollars top prize. In the other game, Santos, through goals

from Anthony Abrams and Christoff Wensley edged the Guyana Defence Force 2-1. As was the case in 2012, the champion team will receive $4 million, while the runner-up, third and fourth placed finishers will collect $2.5 million, $1.5 million and 1$ million. A new addition to this year’s tournament was the monetary incentives for all the teams, including $250,000 each for the losing quarter-finalists, $150,000 each for those knocked out

at the second round and $100,000 each for teams booted at the first round. There will also be individual prizes for the Most Valuable Player, highest goal scorer, best goalkeeper and most discipline team. The most outstanding coach will pocket $100,000 cash. Each association also received 20 percent or a maximum of $250,000 as gate receipts after expenses from all games played in their jurisdiction.

lidity was on display as he kept out the hostile South African quicks, again showcasing his temperament. He also showed that he had that vital quality for a No. 6, the ability to bat with the tail as he and the lower order frustrated South Africa for more than an hour after lunch. He was marching towards a maiden Test century, going for his shots - including a seemingly effortless six over point off Philander - before he was bowled for 96. India’s chances had withered long before that. Robin Peterson stuck twice in an over - MS Dhoni chipped a catch to midwicket, to bring back the questions over his ability to bat in away Tests,

and Ravindra Jadeja holed out to long-off. India had slumped to 154-7. Zaheer Khan, unlike in recent innings, showed some application before falling to a carrom ball that rounded off a great day for Peterson. South Africa may be the winners, but India have had plenty to gain from the series as well. Widely expected to be thrashed 2-0 on this tour, they showed they could hold their own against the toughest team around. It is a certainly a massive step up from their two previous high-profile overseas series, which ended in disastrous 4-0 losses, something to cheer their fans despite the Durban defeat. (Cricinfo)

SCOREBOARD India 1st innings 334 South Africa 1st innings 500 India 2nd innings Dhawan c du Plessis b Peterson 19 Vijay c Smith b Philander 6 Pujara b Steyn 32 Kohli c AB de Villiers b Steyn 11 R Sharma lbw b Philander 25 Rahane b Philander 96 M Dhoni c&b Peterson 15 Jadeja c M Morkel b Peterson 8 Zaheer Khan lbw b Peterson 3 I Sharma c AB de Villiers b Steyn 1 M Shami not out 1 Extras: 0nb 2w 4b 0lb 6 Total: (all out; 86 overs) 223 Bowling: Steyn 21-8-47-

3, Philander 16-4-43-3, M Morkel 16-6-34-0, Peterson 24-3-74-4, Duminy 8-220-0, du Plessis 1-0-1-0 Fall of wickets: 8 (Vijay), 53 (Dhawan), 68 (Kohli), 71 (Pujara), 104 (Ro Sharma), 146 (Dhoni), 154 (Jadeja), 189 (Zaheer Khan), 206 (I Sharma), 223 (Rahane) South Africa 2nd innings Petersen not out 31 Smith not out 27 Extras: (1-w) 1 Total: (for no wicket; 11.4 overs) 59 Bowling: Shami 2-1-4-0, I Sharma 5-1-29-0, Jadeja 4-016-0, Ro Sharma 0.4-0-10-0

Schumacher “fighting for life” after ski accident


ichael Schumacher, the seven-time Formula 1 champion, is “fighting for his life” after a ski accident in the French Alps, his doctors say. The driver remains in a critical condition in hospital in Grenoble with head injuries suffered on Sunday morning at the resort of Meribel. “We cannot tell you what the outcome will be yet,” the team treating him told a news conference on Monday morning. His family are at his bedside. Schumacher underwent surgery on arrival at the University Hospital in Grenoble. He remains in a coma and the medical team treating him said that they are working “hour by hour”. “All we can do is wait,” they added. Prof Jean-Francois Payen told reporters that if Schumacher had not been wearing a protective helmet “he wouldn’t be here now”. “We had to operate urgently to release some pressure in his head,” the anaesthetist said. Neurosurgeon Stephan Chabardes said that a post-operative scan had shown “diffuse haemorrhagic lesions” on both sides of Schumacher’s brain. The doctors refused to comment on his prognosis. The 44-year-old German

was skiing off-piste with his teenage son when he fell and hit his head on a rock. Following the accident, Schumacher was evacuated to the hospital in the nearby town of Moutiers. Prof Chabardes said the driver was in an “agitated condition” on arrival in Moutiers and his neurological condition “deteriorated rapidly”. He was taken from Moutiers to the larger facility in Grenoble. Schumacher is being kept in a coma at a low temperature to facilitate his recovery, Prof Payen said. The medical team said that the driver’s relative youth and the fact that he was operated on without delay count in his favour. Tim Wall, who produces a snow conditions report for La Tania, a neighbouring village to Meribel, told the BBC that visibility was good in the area on Sunday. “There was about 20cm of snow late on Saturday and overnight. On Sunday morning the snow was very light and the skies were clear - perfect skiing conditions.” But despite this and a similar snowfall earlier in the week, off-piste snow cover was patchy, he said. “There have been quite high winds, so there are areas with good snow cover, but where it’s exposed there’s not much snow.” (BBC Sport)

tuesday, december 31, 2013


Despite hurdles, RHTY&SC records highly successful 2013


he Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (RHTY&SC) has described 2013 as highly successful, but at the same time, noted that the year presented the most problems and hurdles in the organisation’s 23-year history. Guyana’s leading youth and sports organisation completed a record-breaking 180 programmes/activities for the year, while its cricketers continue to make the club proud on and off the cricket field. Secretary/CEO of the club, Hilbert Foster, in a comprehensive review of the year, disclosed that the RHTY&SC was able to have another successful year due to the outstanding work and dedication of every club executives and members, including honourary patron Beverley Harper, president Keith Foster, treasurer Dawn Hicks, office staff Eon Hooper and Moonish Singh and executive member Allan Harry. The 180 programmes/ activities were completed under the sub-headings of sports, culture, youth development, coaching, awards, honour ceremony, religious, anti-drugs, community development, social, economic development and education.

On-field success

The RHTY&SC, during 2013 on the cricket field, won the Neal & Massy 50over Intermediate competition, the Namilco/Bakewell 20/20 Cup and NBS 40over second division tournament. The club was also the runner-up in the Carib Beer 20/20 Cup and reached the semi-finals of the Universal

Homraj played for the national Under-19 team with Pereira as the captain. Homraj scored a brilliant 103, his debut century versus the Windward Islands. Phaffiana Millington captained the national Under-19 team, while Shabita Gajnabi and Erica Lashley also played for the team. At the senior level, Assad Fudadin, Royston Crandon and Rajiv Ivan played for Guyana, while Millington, Shemaine Campbelle, Trishanie Cort, Erva Giddings and Melanie Henry played for the female senior national team. In addition to the national players, the following players also played at the Inter-county level either for Berbice or the President’s XI team- Joshua Gobin, Veeramootoo Senwasane, Jason Anderson, Arif Chan, Shailendra Shameer, Nikita Toney, Tessa Park, Eon Hooper, Clinton Pestano, Dominique Rikhi, Delbert Hicks and Jason Sinclair, while Shailendra Shameer played for Guyana versus Bangladesh Under-19 team. During the year, Campbelle became the first Guyanese and only the second West Indian to score an international century, while Assad Fudadin scored 140 for the West Indies “A” versus India.

Off-field work

Off the cricket field, the RHTY&SC hosted another successful cricket academy in July for 90 youths; held its 23rd annual awards ceremony where over $2.5 million worth of prizes were shared out and hosted 12 coaching clinics for its youth cricketers.

Winners of the Gregory Gaskin Memorial Berbice Sports Awards pose with representatives of Sentinel Security and RHTY&SC

less fortunate. They also promoted the “Say No to Drugs and Yes to Education” message. Among the major programmes/projects completed by the RHTY&SC in 2013 were the annual awards ceremony, annual magazine, cricket academy, Republic Bank summer camp, Maths evening classes for Secondary School students, anti-drugs billboard, Western Union junior cricketer ambassadors programme, Basil Butcher Trust Fund, Patricia Moniz Educational Trust Fund, Tribute to Heroes, Ansa McAl Trading’s Award of Excellence, Sentinel Security Berbice Sports Award, Scotia Bank Tribute to Teachers, E-Networks Tribute to Head Teachers, Mother-of-the-Year,

Rose Hall Town Gizmos & Gadgets first division team – winner of Namilco/Bakewell 20/20

DVD 20/20 and the Elizabeth Styles Under-19, 50-over. The club’s cricketers have also to date reached the quarter-finals of the Berbice Under-17 competition and the final of the Tenelec Inc. Under-15 tournament. On the field, Daniel Lewis and Brandon Prashad represented Guyana at the Under-17 level, while Shawn Pereira and Askay

Members of the club’s different cricket team RHT Farfan & Mendes Under-15, Bakewell Under-17 and second division, Pepsi Under-19 and Intermediate, Gizmos & Gadgets first division and Under-21 and the Metro Females completed a total of over 80 self-developmental programmes with the main aim of making positive differences in the lives of youths, the elderly and

Father-of-the-Year, Region Six Educational Awards Scheme, Berbice River Bridge Tribute to Retired Teachers Programme, Weekly feeding of the poor, monthly food hampers for senior citizens, musical television shows, hosting of Namilco/Bakewell 20/20, Teacher of the Term Award Scheme and the printing of educational posters. The club also distribut-

ed over $10 million worth of educational and hygiene kits, clothing, food items and footwear to less fortunate families in Berbice and in August donated close to $1 million worth of school bags and exercise books to students in Berbice. The club also assisted 32 cricket clubs and youth/ sports organisation in Berbice with over $2.5 million worth of sports equipment and other needed materials and assisted two children with funding for overseas medical expenses. In December, a massive Christmas programme was organised including a party for 500 children, senior citizens luncheon, sharing out of 300 hampers and 3000 toys.

Major role

2013 also saw the Club and its Secretary/ CEO Hilbert Foster playing a major role in reforming its founder group, the St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Youth Club and sponsoring a host of activities including essay and art competitions, youth get together, printing of monthly church leaflet, lunch for orphans, toys for all Catholic children in Berbice and obtaining a $175,000 musical set for the church. The RHTY&SC as it has done for the last six years also played a major role in raising millions of dollars in cricket sponsorship for the Berbice Cricket Board and also co-sponsored numerous programmes of the Board. The club also edited and produced the fifth cricket edition of the BCB cricket magazine. The RHTY&SC also co-sponsored or supported over 30 sporting events in Berbice that included football, volleyball, basketball, chess, table tennis, domino and softball. Foster also stated that the RHTY&SC was fortunate that it was still able to be successful in 2013 be-

cause it had its own internal problems to deal with, including the resignation of two officials, the high cost of maintaining a permanent office, the huge electric bills from Guyana Power and Light, the virtual non co-operation of the Rose Hall Town Council concerning the upkeep and security of the Area “H” ground, the indiscipline culture of some youths and the efforts of a few outside the club who seemed determined to destroy the club in an effort to gain power at the Berbice cricket level.

Main highlight

The main highlight for the RHTY&SC in 2013 was the fulfillment of a commitment made by president Donald Ramotar and Minister Dr. Frank Anthony to repair the old pavillion of the Area “H” ground. The club has projected a total of 200 programmes/activities for 2014 with special emphasis being placed on charity, education, anti-drugs, youth development and religious activities. The different cricket teams of the club would also undergo a radical restructuring with a view to get better results with the newly appointed cricket coach Winston Smith and office manager Moonish Singh being at the helm. Special emphasis would also be placed on the St. Francis Xavier Youth Club while with the reappointment of Hilbert Foster as the Berbice Cricket Board’s (BCB) Special Events Committee Chairman, the BCB would also benefit in a large way from the RHTY&SC. The club is very grateful to its numerous supporters, official sponsors and donors for their support during 2013 which enabled the RHTY&SC to maintain its status as Guyana’s leading youth and sports club. While the list is too

long to mention, the club would like to publicly acknowledge the contributions of president Donald Ramotar, Bakewell, DDL, Gizmos & Gadgets, Farfan & Mendes, Food for the Poor, Metro Office and Computer Supplies, Sterling Products Limited, GTM Group of Companies, Western Union, Banks DIH Limited, Ansa McAl Trading, Beharry Group of Companies, Berbice River Bridge, E-Networks, Namilco, GT&T, Republic Bank (Guy) Limited, Scotiabank, DTV-8, Busta, NCN, Radio’s Needy Children Fund, Bounty Farm Limited, Toucan Industries, Southland International, F&H Printing Establishment, H.A Snacks, Impressions, Trophy Stall, NEW GPC Inc., Universal DVD, Sentinel Security, Handin-Hand, Bissan’s Trading, A. Ally & Sons, Len’s Craft, TCL (Guy), Ricks & Sari Agro Industries Limited, Diamond Fire & General Insurance, Minister Jennifer Westford, King’s Jewellery, A.M. Khan, DeSinco Trading, Ming’s, Feroze Barakat, Bermudez, C.K Associates, John Lewis Styles, P&P Insurance Brokers, Starr Computers, Apex Insurance, Alfred Mentore, A.H & L Kissoon, Guyana Lottery Company, Basil Butcher, Cirkel Distributors, Dr. Ian Mc Donald, Marcel Crawford S.C, Mohamed Qualander and Vincent Alexander. The club would also like to express gratitude to the hundreds of others who donated financially or with clothing, educational materials and footwear among others. Special thanks are also extended to members of the national media, especially DTV-8, LRTVS CH10, TVG, NCN, Guyana Chronicle, Stabroek News, Kaieteur News and Guyana Times.


tuesday, december 31, 2013

coach Pollard says Slingerz Berbice underscores FC focussed on winning importance of

GBA’s support

Slingerz FC coach Charles Pollard giving advice to the players during a recent training session


o far so good, but we have a job to do still, which is to win on January 1.” That’s the proclomation of Charles “Lilly” Pollard, coach of the Slingerz Football Club who will take on Santos in the final of the third annual Georgetown Football Association (GFA) Banks Beer Knockout Cup on New Year’s Day. Slingerz got the better of Western Tigers 1-0, while Santos eased passed the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) 2-1 in a dramatic twist of events. From the initial stages, Slingerz FC were always a tournament favourite and

thus far, they’ve lived up to those expectations and the team is now one game away from claiming the competition’s $4 million first prize. However, pundits were hoping to see the ‘West Side’ team pair up against Alpha United, but fate had it planned others wise, since the ‘Hammers’ were ousted by the army and along came the tournament’s dark horses- Santos. The boys from Santos were never a contender in the initial stages, but their steady improvement has caught the attention of Pollard, the former national captain. “You can’t take a team

like that for granted because they have been playing well and improving in each game. We [Slingerz] will not be thinking that it’s a walk over for us because they didn’t buy their way through the tournament, they played,” Pollard reckoned. Pollard, once Guyana’s most feared defender, was keen to point out that Santos defence markers are national keeper Richard Reynolds and the club’s striker from Suriname. Meanwhile, asked if he’s comfortable with how his team is playing, Pollard opined that “right now our team got like one million coaches, but it’s all good be-

cause they [the fans] are showing interest in the team. But at the end of the day, it’s up to me and my coaching staff to put the best possible team on the pitch.” He added “We started off a little slow but I think it’s because we didn’t play any competitive football for like over two months and we’re not in the [GFF] premier league. But I like the way the team is playing right now. All the guys are focussed and are committing themselves to the team and want to win this tournament for a number of reasons.” This is Slingerz FC’s maiden stint in the tournament.

Baseball League bracing for busy 2014


he Guyana Basebell League (GBL) is bracing itself for a busy 2014, even as it comes off a challenging 2013 in which it was able to make some strides in the game of baseball/softball. This disclosure was made by president of the GBL, Robin Singh, during his New Year’s message to Guyanese, specifically those directly involved with the game. Below is the full text of the message. “Dear Guyana, baseball/ softball coaches, players, fans, sponsors, media and the general public, I would like to wish everyone a very happy New Year. On behalf of the whole Baseball Guyana organisation, I wish you all the best as we begin another journey of challenges, victories, lessons and changes in the year ahead. We thank our all volunteer staff and cadre of coaches for their tireless work in spreading the great game of baseball throughout the 10 regions of Guyana. This year has been a challenging one for Baseball Guyana, the introduction of a new game to our shores

During 2013 the Guyana Baseball League (GBL) was able to expand the game beyond Georgetown. Here, students of the Berbice High School strike a pose after a session conducted by the GBL

was never envisaged to be an easy task. 2013 was our year zero and we grew from an idea to a sport with over 700 school-aged participants; this is 200 in excess of our stated year one goal of 500. Our number of certified coaches now number 26 and we have only just begun. Such rapid growth comes with many challenges and a decision was made to support the growth of the game in Berbice at the expense of the others. The Caribbean Examinations Council’s decision to allow baseball as

an examination sport for the Physical Education certificate has been a significant one for our sport. The coming year will see us adding to the number of schools in both Berbice and Demerara with baseball coaching programmes. Our goal is to triple the number of children afforded the opportunity to play this affordable sport and our commitment to continuing coaching, umpiring and scoring education will see various seminars and workshops throughout 2014.

Our first official PONY league will be played during the period January to April and the winners of the 14 and under category are expected to compete in the PONY Caribbean Zone tournament in Puerto Rico, July 9-13. At the Board of Directors and management levels we continue to be committed to the development of the game for wider participation and awareness. We look forward to working with you and your children for a rewarding new year.”

Jeff Roberts

Steve Ninvalle

espite no great expectations at the start of 2013, boxing in Berbice had a successful year. That is according to coach of the Roberts Champions Boxing Gym (RCBG) and former twotime national boxing champion, Jeff Roberts. His comments came as he spoke to the media about boxing in Berbice during 2013. “For the last half of the year and the places that we went and the kids that we produce I think we did well.” Roberts was also high in his praise for president of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle, whom he said was very instrumental since he took office in the development of the sport in Berbice. Roberts said: “Amateur boxing in Berbice did very well this year, seeing that we had the three guys going to Peru that was a big step up because Berbice has not done that ever. Reaching to that level I think it was the greatest success.” Roberts added that despite only two of the three boxers “medalling” at the inaugural Junior South American Games in Peru he took the credit for all three. In August, flyweight Michael April (52kg), junior middleweight Travis Fraser (69kg) and bantamweight Joel Williamson (56kg) from Berbice, along with Tefon Greene (49kg) represented Guyana in Peru at the inaugural Junior South American Championships. “I took the credit because Pocket Rocket Gym was closed three months prior to the championships; I was training the boxers.” He said that the amateur boxers in Berbice have all benefitted from the four

boxing gyms in the county.   Roberts added that with the closure of all the other gyms, the active boxers in Berbice are attending the Roberts Champions Boxing Gym and have being performing well. “We have produced some junior champions this year, some Under-16 champions and next year 2014 I think we should be doing much better.” The coach is very appreciative for the assistance the gym has received from the GBA during the year. Special mention was made of the recent Fight Nite card in New Amsterdam for which the association provided the ring at no cost. Courts (Guyana) Limited, Hand-in-Hand Insurance, Berbice River Bridge and Giftland OfficeMax were all mentioned at making a significant contribution towards the success of boxing in Berbice during 2013. “I would like to see the GBA playing a more active role in the development of the sport in Berbice in 2014 and helping us with gear,” Roberts mentioned. He specified skipping ropes, mouth guards, hand raps and gloves. He also said he will welcome regular and timely visits by GBA officials during the next calendar year. This he said will show that the association has rural boxers at heart. “So hopefully with their input weather it is physical, spiritual or financial Berbice will be able to go forward, but we need them to come to Berbice every now and then.” “For the New Year, I expect to reach the sky because there will be lots of programmes in place and with the GBA’s help and everybody’s help I think we will do great in Berbice.”


tuesday, december 31, 2013


Electronics donates National cricketers NP tennis table to Ogle CC break training camp – head coach satisfied with first phase

Rayon Griffith

Esaun Crandon

By Rajiv Bisnauth

according to Griffith. Meanwhile, Crandon labelled the first phase training camp a success. He said much emphasis was placed on physical preparation of the players and disclosed that he is satisfied with the squad fitness level. “I am pleased with the first phase of preparations and I can say that the fitness level of everyone improved from when we began. The guys worked really hard and we hope that when they return they will continue to be fully focused,” Crandon, a former national medium-pace bowler, said. Crandon, who played 38 First-Class matches for Guyana, added that while the emphasis was on fitness, the squad also did some mental work, along with some technical sessions. The players shortlisted for possible selections on the Guyana team for the upcoming NAGICO Super50 and Regional Fourday tournaments commencing next month in Trinidad and Tobago are: Leon Johnson, Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Anthony Bramble, Robin


he national cricketers preparing for next year’s West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four-day and NAGICO Super50 tournaments ended the first phase of preparations on Monday when they broke camp for the New Year’s Day holiday. The selectors have named a provisional squad of 37 players. However, only thirty-three (33) members were part of the three-day training camp. All-rounders Narsingh Deonarine and Steven Jacobs, veteran middle-order batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and leftarm spinner Veerasammy Permaul were the members missing. The three-day training was conducted under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Esaun Crandon, Chairman of the Senior Selection Panel of the GCB, Rayon Griffith, and Berbice Cricket Board head coach, Julian Moore. The squad will resume training on January 3, and will run until January 25,

IOC “confident” Games will be safe


he International Olympic Committee president says he has confidence that Russian authorities will deliver a “safe and secure” Games in Sochi. Thomas Bach wrote to President Vladimir Putin to express condolences for the “despicable” attacks that struck Volgograd within 24 hours. Investigators say the attacks on a railway station and trolleybus, which killed at least 31 people, were linked. They struck just over a month before the Winter

Olympics begin. Volgograd was also targeted in October, when a suspected female suicide bomber killed six people in an attack on a bus. It is being widely assumed in Russia that the people who carried out the Volgograd bombings were involved in the Islamistinspired insurgency against Russian rule in the Caucasus republics of Chechnya and Dagestan, and that the target was the Games, says the BBC’s Moscow correspondent Daniel Sandford. (BBC Sport)

Bacchus, Assad Fudadin, Zaheer Mohamed, Royston Crandon, Christopher Barnwell, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Vishal Singh, Ronsford Beaton, Rajiv Ivan, Amir Khan, Trevon Griffith, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shaquille Williams, Jonathan Foo, Narsingh Deonarine, Steven Jacobs, Keon Joseph, Raun Johnson, Jason Sinclair, Paul Wintz, Anthony Adams, Rajendra Chandrika, Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Stoll, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Ryan Ramdass, Chris Pattadin, Royan Fredricks, Totaram Bishun and Collis Butts.

The Ogle Community Centre recently received a brand new tennis table, compliments of NP Electronics. The presentation was made during a simple ceremony at the club’s auditorium. In photo, Balkissoon (second left), a former junior Caribbean table tennis champion, representing Mike Vieira of NP Electronics, presents the table, racquets and balls to Ashmul Ali of the club. Sharing the moment are Senior Vice-president of the Guyana Table Tennis Association, Dr Pradeep K Balram (left), and a young member of the club. Vieira is also a veteran table tennis player, hence his desire to support the club in this regard.

monday, december 30, 2013


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


National cricketers break training camp – head coach satisfied with first phase

Trevon Griffith bats during Monday’s net session held at the Gandhi Youth Organization practice facility (Photos: Rajiv Bisnauth)


Robin Bacchus and Rajiv Ivan (backing camera) during practice

Slingerz FC, Santos to contest GFA Banks Beer Cup final

South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 5th day…

South Africa win to give Kallis perfect send-off

See story on page


See story on page


Part of the action between Santos and GDF (Photos: Carl Croker)

See story on page

Jacques Kallis’ Test career ended perfectly with a resounding victory over India

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