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"Think big, P18 think progress" – First Lady urges ICT participants at Melanie Damishana Nationwide coverage from the best news team in Guyana guyanatimesgy.com

THE BEACON OF TRUTH

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Issue No. 3496

30 homeless as fire destroys 4 Pike Street houses …leaving millions in losses Page 3

Sexual molestation, rape cases

Former BHS teacher to be charged – DPP

Page 7

Miner jailed for 30 years for Page 6 child rape

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WHAT'S INSIDE:

Region 3 P7 launches inaugural Agricultural and Commercial Expo

New scholarship website P19 launched

Alberttown man accuses Police of P8 bribery Bourda Market stallholders P9 protest against street vending

P19 Minister Harmon donates $50,000 to alma mater’s Steel Pan Orchestra

The United Kingdom launched its action plan for “Women, Peace and Security” on Wednesday evening at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Bel Air, Georgetown, which was attended by women from all walks of life. In photo, Women, Gender and Equality Commission Chairperson Indra Chandrapal shares a light moment with United Nations Resident Representative Mikiko Tanaka and other dignitaries

Security breach at Suddie Lock-ups

Prisoner flees through hole, avoids court appearance Page 18

P9 UG commissions new study room, offices


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thursDAY, march 8, 2018 | guyanatimesgy.com

Breaking gender barriers

Women continue to excel in aviation sector

A

s the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, the ladies in the aviation sector are observing International Women in Aviation Week, which began on March 5 and concludes on March 11. To commemorate this, the National Air Transport Association (NATA) is host-

ing a series of activities and, on Tuesday, had a panel discussion at the University of Guyana with the trailbreakers in the sector. The panel featured veteran pilots Annette ArjoonMartins; Captain Christine Marcus, who heads the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Drone Operations Unit; GCAA General Counsel Amanza Desir; Captain Claudia Brown and young engineer Devia Tamradhwaj. The Women in Aviation Week was launched in 2010 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first female pilot being issued with a commercial licence. According to ArjoonMartins, who also heads NATA, the panel discussion is just one aspect of the many activities they have planned. “The reason we chose the University of Guyana (for the discussion) is because

NATA President Annette Arjoon-Martins, GCAA General Counsel Amanza Desir, Devia Tamradhwaj, Captain Claudia Brown and Captain Christine Marcus

through the pioneering work of Ms Roxanne Reece, Ms Sharon Correira and Ms Alicia Trim for the first time the University of Guyana, as of January last, is now offering a Diploma in Aviation Management. We wanted to hold it here to attract students to become interested in the aviation industry,” she said. When asked about the

plans for advancing the interests of women in the sector, she said that they would be embarking on a mentorship programme. She added that the sector also needed more women explaining that the current women have been breaking all the barriers in what was typically a male-dominated industry. “We have several avenues to follow up on… we

will be holding sessions every three months and we will be doing school outreaches to guide students. The intention is to do (panel discussions) at least four times a year,” she explained. In relating her experience as a young engineer, Tamradhwaj said that at the Ogle Airport, there were only five female engineers and made the call for that to be bettered. She noted that females were more detail-oriented and as such, if they wanted to join the aeronautical engineering fraternity, then they should not be dissuaded. “We are doing many jobs that are conventionally a man’s job…we have a lot of

females that are taking up jobs that are traditionally a man’s job…,” she noted. “Women have to make an unusual amount of effort in order to be successful in most fields and if she is to fail, you will not hear she does not have what it takes, you will hear women don’t have what it takes… if we empower one another, we will reach much further, much faster,” Tamradhwaj said. Meanwhile, Marcus urged the women to take advantage of the emerging need for drones. She noted that drones were machines of the future and if women joined that industry, then it would be a ground-breaking path for them. “This (drones) brings new opportunities for everyone. Everyone especially women, women who otherwise have to break in to the aviation industry – a man’s world, break the social and cultural norms of the industry,” she said. Overall, the session saw the panellists being engaged by the women in the audience about the opportunities in the sector, while the men in attendance honoured them for breaking the barriers.

Many opportunities to capitalise on in oil sector – PSC

…states need for entrepreneurial skills to be revised Although there have been concerns over whether local companies would be able to tap into the benefits of the emerging oil and gas industry in Guyana, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has claimed that while there might not be much locally available technical capacity and expertise, there are avenues in which local companies could offer services to this new industry. PSC Chairman Eddie Boyer said that local entrepreneurs must understand that there was no substitute for what was required. As such, he said companies must develop the skill to understand what was required and adopt best practices to this new industry, if they were really going to benefit. While Boyer acknowledged the fact that there might be competition from neighbouring Trinidad, which is an oil and gas producer, he said given the expertise and knowledge available to local businesses, everyone could and would enjoy the fruits of the new world that was about to open up. “We need to learn about this industry as much as we can, in the little time that we have, to keep our en-

PSC Chairman Eddie Boyer

gine of growth purring. As a caution though, we should not invest blindly because of promises of prosperity but exercise due diligence and assess the investment risks,” he cautioned while addressing an oil and gas seminar held on Tuesday at Duke Lodge. The PSC Head said a lot has already been said about the sector, and while there were certain pros and cons, within it all there were mammoth opportunities for Guyanese as a whole. He, therefore, said that it was the duty of the PSC to ensure that members were aware of these opportunities. turn to page 6


news

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thursDAY, march 8, 2018 | guyanatimesgy.com

BRIDGE OPENINGS The Demerara Harbour Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic on: Thursday, March 8 – 09:30h-11:00h and Friday, March 9 – 10:30h-12:00h.

The Berbice Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic on:

30 homeless as fire destroys four Pike Street houses …leaving millions in losses

Thursday, March 8 – 08:20h-09:50h and Friday, March 9 – 09:35h-11:05h.

FERRY SCHEDULE Parika and Supenaam departure times - 05:00h, 11:00h and 16:00h daily

WEATHER TODAY

Light cloudy skies with sunny intervals can be expected throughout the better part of the day, with sunny intervals in the late afternoon hours. Partly cloudy skies are expected to return in the evening, with overall temperatures ranging between 20 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius. Hansraj Manbodh

Winds: East North-easterly to North-easterly between 2.68 metres and 6.70 metres.

By Lakhram Bhagirat

High Tide: 08:34h and 21:05h reaching maximum heights of 2.39 metres and 2.25 metres respectively.

Low Tide: 02:08h and 14:35h reaching minimum heights of 0.87 metre and 0.85 metre respectively.

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everal families were rudely awakened from their early morning slumber on Wednesday, as a fire raged through four houses in Pike Street, Kitty,

were awoken by the heat of the fire. “Around 2:30-3 o’clock I wake up hearing me neighbour hollering fire, fire and when I looked through the window I saw the fire by my neighbours. I wake up my husband and daughter and said let’s get out the house and we get panicked. My daughter picked up the phone first thing and called the fire tender, she didn’t get a good response but I said after we talk to the fire tender let we hustle and get of the house,” Savitri related. She said that they have been living at Lot 191 Pike Street for the past 10 years and according to their landlord, their house was not insured. She said it is tough to estimate the family’s losses since everything would have been acquired over a period of time.

Angela Erica Demonik’s gutted home

WednesDAY, MARCH 7, 2018

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Georgetown, razing three to the ground and destroyed another. Now scores of persons are homeless and counting millions of dollars in losses. According to the Police, they received reports of the fire sometime around 04:00h on Wednesday and preliminary investigations have so far revealed that the fire started at around 03:00h in the Lot 185 Pike Street apartment of Oswald Layne. The Police related that the buildings destroyed were located at Lot 185 and 191 Pike Street, explaining that each address had two house lots and one contained a building with seven apartments. The report stated that Layne woke up sometime around 03:15h to use the washroom and discovered his apartment filled with smoke. He subsequently raised an alarm as the fire began to engulf the entire wooden structure and subsequently spreading East and West destroying the other buildings. Fire tenders from Central, Campbellville, Alberttown and Ruimveldt Fire Stations all responded and were able to put out the blaze sometime around 05:00h. Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes was one of the first people on the scene and she took the victims to her home where they were offered breakfast, a bath and a change of clothing. When Guyana Times visited the scene, several investigators from the Fire Service were speaking to the victims amidst the still smouldering rubble. One couple, Savitri and Hansraj Manbodh related that they were asleep and

Raging fire

Meanwhile, 61-year-old Hansraj related that the fire started at their neighbour’s and quickly spread to the other buildings. “I had my car in the driveway and that was the first thing I had to get out of the yard. But by the time I tried to open the gate and get out the car to park on the road my building had already started

Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana School of Etiquette, Anthony Nestor making a donation to victim Angela Erica Demonik

catching so I attempted to go in back to retrieve anything I could have got but the furthest I could have reached was the door. Unfortunately that was it, I got some scorches,” he related. The man said he is of the

opinion that the fire may have been electrical in origin, owing to the fact that when his family evacuated their home they observed the wires on the pole sparking. turn to page 17


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guyanatimesgy.com

thursDAY, march 8, 2018

Views Editor: Tusika Martin News Hotline: 231-8063 Editorial: 231-0544, 223-7230, 223-7231, 225-7761 Marketing: 231-8064 Accounts: 225-6707 Mailing address: Queens Atlantic Investment Estate Industrial Site, Ruimveldt, Georgetown Email: news@guyanatimesgy.com, marketing@guyanatimesgy.com

Tariffs and Trump

U

S President Donald Trump surprised many who thought he could not surprise them any further, when he announced he was contemplating imposing 25 per cent tariffs on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum imports. But Canada is America’s biggest steel supplier (16 per cent) as well as aluminum (40 per cent) while the European Union (EU) and Mexico follow. While it may appear this is a fight between the developed countries, it is truly said when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. And Guyana is definitely “grass”, since for instance, our bauxite is refined into aluminum for which there is presently a glut, and tariffs will further exacerbate that situation. While the US is defending its move as addressing a “security threat” – which is allowed by present World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, the countries affected – such as the EU – have already announced they will retaliate. Meeting yesterday, the European Commission said it “stands ready to react proportionately and fully in line with the WTO rules in case the US measures are formalised and affect EU’s economic interests”. Rather than submit a case to the WTO’s Arbitral panel that adjudicates such matters, the EU will most likely invoke another WTO rule and define its actions as a “safeguard measure” which will permit them to issue counter-tariffs more quickly than a traditional WTO lawsuit. The latter becomes problematical since after the US blocked the appointment of new members of the panel and it is now at half its strength. Trump’s move threatens the entire edifice of the WTO which developed since 1995 to create a more level playing field for members in trade. Globalisation was built on free trade and increased communications and in picking up steam in the latter half of the 20th century, brought hundreds of millions out of poverty all across the globe but especially in Asia. It is the only hope for countries such as Guyana which has to be allowed to export or perish. Free trade was the 18th century economic proposition that insisted if each country focused on producing goods for which it had a “comparative advantage”, and then traded these goods with each other without imposing tariffs, every country will benefit in the end. While this appears self-evident, the more powerful countries always tried to game the system for their own benefit. Since the 19th century England, the US and then Germany used their manufacturing prowess to dominate world trade and were the most vehement proponents of free trade. Matters reached a head in the 1970s when the debt crisis in the Third World gave the IMF – controlled by the developed countries – the wherewithal to insist on the lowering of tariffs and financial controls. But the WTO developed into a formidable force under the aegis of the new “emerging economies” such as India and China to form a counterpoise to the developed countries’ hegemonic position. The rules on agriculture, for instance, were stacked against the poorer countries which had a comparative advantage in that area. From the beginning of the new millennium, the WTO Doha “Development” Round of negotiations was launched to bring some equity into the picture but the developed countries have derailed that initiative after their markets crashed in 2007. The greatest danger posed if a trade war develops would be to increase the WTO’s present ineffectualness. As such, trade may revert to the status quo ante when the big fishes will eat the little fishes. Trump appears willing to bring down the whole edifice of free trade to placate his blue collar base in the American “Rust Belt” – so called because of the loss of manufacturing jobs to the emerging economies. However, it has been proven since their own “Great Depression” that while tariffs may address some symptoms of job loss, ultimately it will fail because it does not address the structural problems. Like with our sugar industry in Guyana, governments will have to stimulate alternative value-added economic activities to absorb the jobless rather than imposing tariffs.

Representative of the Department of Education Region Four Welfare Department, Rhonda Monize presenting some items to an evident appreciative Melroy and Tena Pyle

The Time is Now (Part 1) Dear Editor, This year's International Women’s Day theme, “Time is now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives” could not be more apt as women’s activism globally is on the increase in sharp contrast to a slowing down on the advancement of the women's agenda. This slowing down or reversal is no more telling than here in Guyana.   After decades of activism, especially sustained by rural and working women for their right to vote, to work, equal access to health and education, to end discrimination against women and to end domestic and sexual violence, and to hold political office, we are witnessing our proud achievements as Guyanese women being rapidly undermined and reversed by the APNU/ AFC Government. The World Economic Forum 2017 Global Gender Gap Report concluded that:  “On current trends, the overall global gender gap can be closed in exactly 100 years across the 106 countries covered since the inception of the Report, compared to 83 years last year. The most challenging gender gaps remain in the economic and health spheres. Given the continued widening of the economic gender gap, it will now not be closed for another 217 years. However, the education–specific gender gap could be reduced to parity within the next 13 years. The political dimension currently holds the widest gender gap and is also the one exhibiting the most progress, despite a slow-

down in progress this year. It could be closed within 99 years. The health gender gap is larger than it stood in 2006.” Guyana, which was reported on for several years in the Global Gender Gap reports, was ranked number 66 of 145 countries in the 2015 Global Gender Gap Report with a ranking of 1 for both Educational Attainment and Health and Survival, and 37 for Political Empowerment and 124 for Economic Participation, its weakest area. Guyana, however, strangely is no longer included in the reports of 2016 and 2017. Of note is that of 125 achievements advertised by the APNU/AFC coalition Government for its second anniversary, not one related to the status of women, youth or children in our society. These omissions are most significant.  Despite the fact that the  APNU/AFC coalition Government inherited a healthy economy and an emerging middle-income, democratic nation,  we, in Guyana, have witnessed the regression in the economic participation and empowerment of women, and lack of concern of the APNU/AFC Government with its retrograde measures such as the practical abolition of the “Women of Worth” programme, and the “Single Parents Assistance Facility and the abolition of the “Cash Care Programme” for all children in school, the introduction of VAT on essential items and services that were designed to help the

poor and vulnerable, and the noticeable reduction of women’s presence and role in the political and public spheres. After two years of the APNU/AFC Government, the emerging trend in Guyana is clear, the Government is reversing the democratic gains, bit by bit, methodically; the decline in all sectors of the economy, increased poverty and hardships with 200 new taxes, reversals of the social programmes, including property rights through the housing programme, reversals of social safety nets for children and elderly, and of course, witch-hunting of political opponents to the Government. Since the APNU/AFC Coalition took office, we are witnessing at an alarming rate an open level of discrimination against women, most especially IndoGuyanese and Amerindian women, particularly in the public sector. Pre1992, Indo-Guyanese and Amerindian women held less than one per cent of the public service posts, now 26 years later, they have once again been reduced to a token presence. The composition of Government and State Boards in 2015, 2016 and 2017 has been overwhelmingly male-dominated, and, visibly dominated by one ethnic group. This reduction of women’s participation in decision-making, workforce and in the economy is telling and an indictment of the Government. This discriminatory trend is not only focused on women in high and se-

nior positions, but women also at the lower levels of the public service. Women who were in clerical and lower technical areas have been terminated as “suspect PPP supporters” because of their ethnicity or alleged political affiliation. The State-owned sugar industry is the largest single employer in the Public Sector. The closure of Wales Sugar Estate in December 2016 led to 1700 workers losing their jobs of which 300 were female (field and administration). With the closure of three more estates in December 2017, another 5000 workers have lost their jobs with more pending; of these, 2000 are females. Women in the sugar sector have become mere “collateral damage”. The multiplier effect of more than 2000 women in one sector losing their jobs coupled with their male counterparts is devastating at the individual, familial, community and national levels. In a small economy such as ours, their removal is irreparable, unless the Government takes corrective measures. Regrettably, the Government churns out a time-warped mantra of the 1970s of investing in making and selling plantain chips as an entrepreneurial opportunity! Surely, this cannot be the answer!  Sincerely, Gail Teixeira, MP; Priya Manickchand, MP; Gillian BurtonPersaud, MP; Pauline Sukhai, MP


guyanatimesgy.com

thursDAY, march 8, 2018

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You can send your letters with pictures to: Guyana Times, Queens Atlantic Investment Estate Industrial Site, Ruimveldt, Georgetown, Guyana or letters@guyanatimesgy.com

D Field residents being neglected Let’s celebrate our womenfolk Dear Editor, I am a native citizen of Guyana. I took the option to seek a happy and comfortable abode in my country. I am part of the electorate. I pay all relevant taxes and abide by the laws of Guyana to the best of my ability. My country allows me the privilege of making contributions to its development in many ways. One of those civic ways is identifying areas that can benefit from social, security, environmental and infrastructural improvement. A few months ago, I identified some problems in the South Turkeyen area. Almost immediately, to the credit of the Guyana Police Force, one of the issues relating to traffic chaos at the junction of upper Dennis Street, D Field South Turkeyen and UG access road was addressed. Since then, traffic ranks have maintained an active presence and the previously prevalent traffic lawlessness there has been almost eliminated. However, the issues of absent road lighting from that junction going South along D Field access road, untrimmed road parapets, and now emerging potholes continues

to be a haunt. Apparently, when street lighting was installed in the Pattensen/ South Turkeyen Area there was inequitable distribution. My conclusion is drawn from observations that some sections of the community have concentration of street lighting that can only be compared to a floodlit arena while other sections remain in the dark. Compounding that malady is the general attitude that no one seems to be accountable nor interested in the state of affairs there. This is reminiscent of unchecked contractual works under the past Administration, much to the disadvantage and disgust of citizens. I wrote the Public Infrastructure Ministry but there has been no forthcoming response nor action from that end. I also spoke to two City Councillors on separate occasions, one of whom promised to raise the matter at Council meeting. I do not know if the matter was ever raised, but there has been no remedial action over the past three months to suggest that City Hall is in the loop. Recently, a young cyclist was struck by a car on the D Field road after he

swerved from a new pothole. Fortunately, he sustained no injuries and apologised to the petrified car driver while frantically gathering himself from the fall. He lamented that his swerving was a belated reflex action, consequent to darkness of the road which severely limited his range of vision. There are several other experiences along that stretch of roadway, including some criminal activity. Reptiles have also joined in the action. One night I cited a huge caiman slowing gliding across that D Field road, from one parallel canal to the next. The reflection of the moonlight in its eyes alerted me to its movement. Only God knows what would have happened if a pedestrian had intersected its path at that time. When, as a citizen of this country, you see and address certain things yet nothing is done to correct them, it only creates apathy, disenchantment, and a sense of betrayal. I trust that the authorities will remember that that section of the city is still a part of their responsibility to serve. Regards, Orette Cutting

The real reasons for the President’s unilateral appointment are clearer now Dear Editor, I now understand why President David Granger deemed myself and 17 other qualified citizens as not “fit and proper” to sit in the GECOM Chair. Justice James Patterson (rtd), Granger’s unilateral pick for the office, revealed himself in a letter to the press (Kaieteur News, March 6, 2018) to be a person of low character, lacking in good manners, and devoid of all decorum and professional courtesies. It would be unbecoming of me or any decent person to repeat the words used by Patterson in what was a public assault on Auditor General Deodat Sharma’s person and professionalism. His pompous verbosity is revelatory and completely missed the intended mark of humiliating AG Sharma. Rather, Patterson humiliat-

ed himself. If Patterson were a private citizen, his noxious verbiage would be a matter for his friends and family to deal with. However, Granger has foisted him onto the Guyanese public as the most “fit and proper” person to hold the all-important position of the GECOM Chair. AG Sharma, in his contact with Patterson as a professional, probably assumed that Patterson would act with professionalism and that, as a senior member of the legal fraternity, would be most concerned about any financial improprieties uncovered by the State audit into GECOM’s accounts. He also probably assumed that Patterson would move to have such matters fully investigated in order to ensure the probity of the GECOM office. As all Guyana has dis-

covered through Patterson’s own words, AG Sharma’s assumptions were wrong. That Granger chose to place a man who has exposed himself as pompous, boorish, and unprofessional to oversee a vital national institution is revelatory in itself. As old people say, “Mouth open, story jump out” and if Patterson is Granger’s idea of what makes for a “fit and proper” person, then I am very happy to concede that I never did fit that bill. Sincerely, Ryhaan Shah

Dear Editor, Do we still need to devote an entire day to women? Haven’t we already achieved enough? Women don’t just vote – we are heads of government; we don’t just participate in the workforce – we are titans of industry. We are leading political movements and “having it all”. Globally, we’ve never had so many opportunities available to us. And yet, gender equality is still elusive. Despite all our strides as a global community, we are still woefully lagging behind on equal pay, equal representation in decision-making seats, and equal responsibility in the home. Women suffer disproportionately from intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and discriminatory labour practices. The majority of victims of human trafficking are women and girls. Women and girls make up 60 per cent of the global chronically hungry population. Seventy-five per cent of the world’s illiterate adults are women. And when unpaid work is counted alongside paid work, women, on average, work four more years than men during their lifetimes. At the same time, women are still more likely than men to live in poverty. International Women's Day (IWD) is an opportunity to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past and present all around the world. It is also an opportunity to look to future achievements and hold ourselves and our communities accountable to pressing for even greater progress.

Feminist foreign policy

I want to address the taboo “F” word – feminism. Too many people equate feminism with advocating for female superiority. Gender equality means just that – equality. Equality of rights, equality of access, equal pay for work of equal value. I am proud that my Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, says he is a feminist. When media questioned why he insisted that 50 per cent of his Cabinet be com-

prised of women, he replied, “Because it is 2015”. Last week, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, unveiled Canada’s first gender conscious budget, entitled "Equality + Growth, A Strong Middle Class.” It has undergone the most thorough gender-based analysis yet to be seen in a public budget in Canada because Minister Morneau understands that gender equality is not just about fairness; it’s our best chance at a prosperous future. This is a future we envision for everyone. Last year, our Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, MarieClaude Bibeau, launched our Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP). FIAP is a first for Canada, placing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at the heart of our development efforts – in Canada as well as globally. FIAP focuses on six interlinked areas: gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, human dignity, peace and security, inclusive governance, environment and climate action, and growth that works for everyone. It is rooted in the conviction that the best way to reduce poverty and build a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world is to empower women and girls.

#PressforProgress

The IWD theme for 2018 is #PressforProgress in honour of the growing global movement of advocacy and activism for gender equality. This isn’t just for the benefit of women. Studies have shown that the full and equal participation of women and girls in all aspects of social, economic and political life, the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, and women’s economic empowerment are all critical to peace-

ful, democratic, and economically prosperous societies. This is why I commend the efforts of the Government of Guyana, local civil society organisations and other key enablers in pushing for the protection and advancement of gender equality in Guyana. I fully agree with His Excellency, President David Granger that we can, we must and we will achieve gender equality. Every time the First Lady’s Office organises a vocational workshop for young teenage mothers, Guyana takes another step towards greater equality. When Guyana launched the Sexual Offences Court, Guyanese took a landmark stance against violence against women. The Social Protection Ministry’s entrepreneurship and micro-financing schemes are a boon to women’s economic empowerment, increasing their access to and control over their own livelihood. Although it will not happen overnight, we must continue to push for better standards, better policies, greater recognition and greater respect for women. We must press forward toward greater progress. I invite you to join us on March 10 to celebrate our collective achievements. We are organising a concert featuring Canadian Guyanese artist, Faith Amour, and an exhibition of some of us here in Guyana pushing for gender equality, including Government agencies, NGOs, and international organisations. Join us on March 10, 2018 at 15:00h–18:00h to #PressforProgress in the Promenade Gardens to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018. Sincerely, Lilian Chatterjee High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana


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news

thursDAY, march 8, 2018 | guyanatimesgy.com

Labour laws to be Miner jailed for 30 years strictly enforced for child rape

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ith the aim of enlightening the Labour Department of the struggles that domestic workers face in their working environment, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Red Thread held a special meeting with Minister within the Social Protection Ministry, Keith Scott on Tuesday. Some of the issues raised were sexual harassment, non-payment of wages, ill treatment of employees and non-compliance with labour laws. The Minister stated that Government’s policy is to have a stable industrial climate and operate within the realm of the law, highlighting that this is within the best interest of both the employer and employee. Minister Scott also noted that his department will continue to enforce strict compliance measures with employers for the protection of every worker’s rights. In stating that the Department of Labour must be respected and that the labour laws must be upheld, Minister Scott promised that all grievances put forward at the meeting would be addressed. He also took the time to applaud Red Thread for their involve-

O

Some of the persons present at the meeting

ment in the pertinent issue. “I applaud the work that Red Thread has been doing from its inception. It is an example that somebody can stand up, not only for women but generally for the disadvantaged and vulnerable in the society. For too long the disadvantaged and vulnerable did not have a voice and it is commendable to see organisations partnering with the Government to give recognition and support to those persons” he stated. Subsequently after the meeting concluded, a meeting was held with senior labour officials and labour officers. Issues that rose out of the Red Thread meeting were discussed, with the aim being to resolve and correct those issues. Another

objective of the meeting was to find resolutions on how to strengthen the relationship between workers, NGOs and the Government. Red thread is renowned for its service to women and children who have been exploited. Coordinator of the NGO, Karen de Souza, noted that the organisation is working to strengthen ties with the Government in order to establish the parameters in which her NGO could operate. De Souza stated that she welcomed the discourse with the Minister, where she was not only able to represent the workers but to also address other grievances. She is optimistic that the concerns highlighted will be effectively addressed in the near future.

ne week after he was found guilty of raping an eight-yearold girl on August 20, 2016, Collin Cummings was on Wednesday sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by Sexual Offences Court Judge, Simone Morris-Ramlall. The offender, who was a former gold miner from Wismar, Linden, professed his innocence as he was being led away to the prisoners’ holding cell. This came moments after Justice Morris-Ramlall observed that the nation’s children must be left alone. “All the time I have been saying that I am innocent, I don’t know what to say about this sentence,” Cummings told Guyana Times. He was unanimously found guilty of raping the young girl by a 12-member jury last week Wednesday after a few days of the trial. Before sentencing, his lawyer, Clyde Forde in his plea of mitigation stressed that Cummings left mining to take care of his ailing mother and that any long-term sentence would make an unpleasant stay for his client, stating that Cummings being fifty-five is a relatively old age. However, the eight-yearold victim’s statement was read out in court by Child Link Counselor Celeste Mullin who detailed the victim saying that she is afraid

Found guilty; Collin Cummings will be elderly before he sees the outside world again

of Cummings and that she should have never gone into his room to watch cartoons. “I was afraid and uncomfortable with what [he] did to me. I was scared of him and my life has not been the same,” the young girl pointed out. In a probation report read by Probation Officer Shaneila Wilson, Cummings was said to have hugged other females inappropriately. It was reported that the child’s hymen was absent when medical examination was conducted. As such, her parents wanted to see justice for her. Her mother claimed that her daughter would often draw sketches with teardrops with terms such as “ugly” and “stupid” which the parent said she would throw away.

Many opportunities to capitalise... He said, “I do not believe that we are lacking in opportunities to capitalise in this emerging industry, nor do we need to start from scratch. There are many sources of expertise out there, and just as we invest to expand our businesses, we need to become more informed on this industry, we have to get critical information so that we can make better business decisions.” Further, Boyer stressed the

need for entrepreneurial skills to be revised and addressed, because he said Guyana was too accustomed to doing business in a singular manner when an industry as large and as diverse as oil and gas would require a retooling of our energies. “We need to learn from countries that have been exposed to oil and gas and understand that there is a need for acquiring the expertise required to be competitive and successful. There

is the Local Content Policy and we need to make as much use of this as possible,” he added. The PSC official suggested that partnerships should be developed to collaborate with different skills sets, and to get up to speed with the skills sets that may be lacking. While noting that oil and gas operations were capital intensive and hence, out of reach for most of us financially as individuals, Boyer said collectively and through joint

ventures with local and international companies, everyone could benefit tremendously. “We need to master the technologies, and understand that if we are going to succeed, we must open our vision and grasp at the numerous opportunities which are available…The Local Content Policy, which we have heard so much about, must be beneficial to both parties, the suppliers of goods and services and the recipient of goods and

services,” he added. This seminar on Tuesday brought together the experience of an oil and gas expert, Cuneyt Tirmandi, a consultant of the Canadian Executive Service Organisation (CESO), with worldwide working experience, with many other notable oil and gas-related officials. With presentations from ExxonMobil and the Centre for Local Business Development, participants were informed of

Justice Morris-Ramlall in a detailed address stressed that the offender took away the girl’s innocence, adding that children are Guyana’s most valuable resource. The Judge noted that children who are victims of sexual abuse are scarred for life and that this prevents them from maximising their potential which in turn hinders the country’s development. “They should be respected and given toys and not be used as sex toys for the fulfilment of depraved adults,” the Judge stressed. In determining the sentence, she referenced the recent Child Care & Protection Agency (CCPA) statistics, whereby some 841 cases of child sexual abuse was recorded last year. She maintained that the court must play its part in sending a strong message to potential offenders. Justice Morris-Ramlall stated that the offender showed no remorse to the verdict even though his attorney asked for mercy. The Judge considered his age, the circumstances of the case and that he used his finger to commit the act. Cummings will have to serve 25 years before he is eligible for parole. By that time, he will be 80 years old. The State was represented by Seeta Bishundial, Orinthia Schmidt and Narrisa Leander.

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current operations, developments and plans for Guyana and also briefed on opportunities for the local Private Sector. To complement these presentations, the Natural Resources Ministry also made a presentation on “Opportunities for the Private Sector and the Role of the Private Sector in Securing and Maximising Local Content” with discussions centred on perspectives, concerns, and interest.


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Former BHS teacher to be charged – DPP

Region 3 launches inaugural Commercial and Agricultural Expo

Coen Jackson flanked by his legal team at a previous press conference

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he Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has recommended that former Bishops High School teacher, Coen Jackson, be charged with a sexual offence allegedly committed on a child. Jackson, a former Economics teacher at one of Guyana’s top senior secondary schools, is expected to be charged with engaging in sexual activity with a child by abusing his position of trust. Coen Jackson, an Economics teacher at one of Guyana’s top senior secondary schools, is expected to be charged with engaging in sexual activity with a child by abusing the position of trust. The DPP, Shalimar Hack, returned the case file earlier today with advice for charges to be laid, after months of back and forth between the Police and her office. The recommendation was made after Police conducted additional work based on the DPP’s request for copies of birth certificates and additional statements from a counselling agency that is dealing with the now 21-year-old complainant. According to sources in the legal fraterni-

ty, the disgraced teacher could be arraigned as soon as today in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. The charge, of which Jackson is accused of, is covered in the Sexual Offences Act of Guyana. According to the Act, a person who commits an offence under this section is liable, where the sexual activity included sexual penetration, on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life. In any other case, on summary conviction, to a fine of one million dollars and to imprisonment for five years. Jackson is being accused of abusing his position of trust as a teacher when he began grooming female students for sexual activities after they would have attained the age of 16 – the legal age of consent in Guyana. He has vehemently denied the accusations but did admit to having sexual relations with two former students who are now both in their early 20s. The embattled teacher recently got married to one of his former students who is said to be in her early 20s. According to him, their relationship has been ongoing for a number of years. The Police claim that

between December 2010 and May 2011 at D’Urban Street, Lodge, Georgetown, Jackson raped one of his students. The Education Ministry launched a full investigation into the allegations and upon completion, authorised the Police to begin conducting a criminal investigation. The Police’s investigation resulted in Jackson being arrest in December and subsequently released on $100,000 bail. It was a senior Government official who broke the news of the alleged sexual misconduct of Jackson on social media, and ever since, the story has catapulted resulting in a number of past students relating their experiences. The official, in a letter to the Chief Education Officer, detailed numerous reports he received from present and past students of the teacher, who allegedly sexualised his lessons, had inappropriate conversations with female students and engaged in multiple sexual relationships with female students. Jackson has retained the services of attorneys Jerome Khan, Priyanka Sookraj and Siand Dhurjan.

Some of the coordinators from the various sectors involved in the exhibition

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he Region Three (Essequibo IslandsWest Demerara) regional administration, in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday launched the first ever Regional Commercial and Agricultural Exhibition at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Three, under the theme “For a Good Life, Region Three in a Green Economy.” Present at the launch was the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Denis Jaikaran who stated that this is the region’s way of supporting the ‘Green Agenda’. “This region is an agriculture-based region but

we’re not only going to showcase only our agriculture sector. We’re trying to bring businesses, craftsmen who are trading their craft and we are going to make sure our schools are part of this exercise,” he stated. The Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO), Jennifer Ferriera-Dougall also explained that the expo was a long awaited project and other regions are welcomed to witness what the exhibition has to offer. The event will be hosted at the National Track and Field Centre at Leonora, West Coast Demerara, on April 21. A cultural show will commence the exhibition,

which will be followed by food, games and other activities. The exhibition will feature approximately 100 booths showcasing products, crops and livestock that are being produced by the region. Commercial businesses from the region will also showcase their services. The event has received support from the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and other stakeholders who wish to be a part of this venture, with the intention of promoting the agricultural sector of the region. Gates will be opened at 15:00h and there is an entrance fee of $300 for adults and $200 for children.


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IN THE COURTS

Bel Air resident on assault charges granted bail

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Bel Air, Georgetown father was on Wednesday arraigned before Magistrate Fabayo Azore in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to two charges of assault. The charges read that on March 4 at Duncan and Abary Streets, Bel Air, Timothy Chand physically assaulted

Crystal Christino, his common-law partner. A second charge read that Chand made use of abusive language towards Christino on the same night. Chand pleaded not guilty to both charges. The court was told that Chand and Christino had been in a common law relationship for approximately six years. The defence

claimed that Christino would leave for days with their child and returns whenever she wished. Also, it was alleged that on the night in question, the woman had beaten Chand leaving him with injuries to his head body and eyes. The sorrowful man begged for leniency from the Magistrate since he was supposed to receive station bail

on Sunday, noting that he already missed two days of work. He is said to be a manager at a Campbellville hotel. The prosecution offered no objection to bail, and as such, the man was placed on $25,000 bail for the assault charge and $10,000 bail for the abusive language charge, totalling $35,000.

Alberttown man accuses Police of bribery

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n Alberttown man on Wednesday implicated a Police Officer in the act of bribery when he made an appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. Navin Ali, 20, was arraigned for attempted robbery. The charge stated that on Thursday, March 1, 2018, Ali was in the company of oth-

ers when he attempted to rob Chan Beharry in Alberttown. Ali pleaded guilty, noting that he had an explanation. Ali related to Magistrate Fabayo Azore that he was ‘liming’ along with a few friends when they saw the officer approaching. He stated that one of his friends approached the officer asking him for a hundred dollars and

the officer replied “You want snatch this phone?” It was then that Ali allegedly told his friend that he should not bother the officer and they left the scene. Ali went on to explain that he saw Beharry again on Sunday and the officer asked him for some money. Ali allegedly gave the officer $5000, given that was all he had and the officer told

him that was not enough. Ali was subsequently arrested. After hearing Ali’s explanation, the Magistrate instructed that a not guilty plea be entered instead and that the allegation of bribery should be looked into by the Police. The man was given $25,000 bail and will return to court on April 4.

Trio arraigned after ‘buse out’ A trio was on Wednesday placed on bail for hurling verbal assaults at each other. In an earlier appearance, Sharon Jones, 60; and

Anastacia Lewis, 22, were arraigned before Magistrate Fabayo Azore for the use of abusive language against Amanda Jacobs, on March 3, 2018 at North Sophia,

Greater Georgetown. The duo pleaded not guilty to the charge and was placed on $5000 bail each. Later in the said courtroom, Amanda Jacobs, 30, of Da Silva Street, Kitty, Georgetown, appeared before the Magistrate, also be-

ing charged for the use of abusive language. The court heard that on the same day James made use of abusive language towards Jones and Lewis at North Sophia. Jacobs pleaded not guilty to the charge and was placed on $10,000 bail for the offence.

Teenager fined for theft

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n 18-year-old young man on Wednesday appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to answer to charges of theft. The particulars of the charge stated that Rilex Williams on March 4, 2018, at Princes Street, Georgetown, stole one motor lorry battery valued $34,000; the property of Carlos Cummings. The particulars of the charge stated that on March 4, Cummings, the Virtual Complainant was approaching his lorry bearing licence plates GMM 9729 when he noticed Williams along with

someone else under the vehicle. Before the man could reach the lorry, the duo fled. Upon checking under the vehicle, Cummings observed that the battery was missing. He then contacted the Police. Williams made no hesitation to plead guilty to the charge, stating that he was sorry. The teenager noted that he is from the interior and had no family in Georgetown. The young man was given the option of paying $25,000 bail or facing three months imprisonment.

Bourda man on bail for narco possession

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indon Moore, 39, of Robb Street, Bourda, Georgetown on Wednesday appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore to answer to charges of narcotic possession. The court heard that on March 2, 2018, at Bourda Market, Moore was found to be in possession of 0.6 grams of cocaine and 0.4 grams of cannabis. The visibly aggravated man pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Police prosecution did not object to bail, which resulted in the vendor being given $25,000 bail for each offence, totalling $50,000. He is expected to return to court on April 25.

Remembering…

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…Cheddi Jagan onday was the death anniversary of Dr Cheddi Jagan and the day was commemorated by many…but, if the truth be told, mostly from his side of the aisle. Sadly it’s another reminder of the entrenched divisions in our country. Time hasn’t healed the 1950s split of the national movement. What’s different about Dr Jagan? First, there’s the dualism in his early life, plucked as he was from his deep rural Port Mourant surroundings, to the elite postwar bastion of privilege that was Queen’s College in Georgetown. In the 1930s, class and colour were sharply coincident and young Jagan would’ve learnt many a lesson in local social distinctions, in addition to the ruralurban one. His departure for the US was also unusual since most of his contemporaries with professional aspirations would’ve moved on to the UK. It’s rather ironic that Jagan became a Marxist while studying in the US – the great bastion of capitalism! But maybe not really – since, as Marx predicted, the contradictions of capitalism are greatest in such locales. Especially living among the poor and powerless when Jim Crow still ruled the South where he was studying in a black University, Howard. Unlike the Guyanese immigrants from Berbice to the US – who would follow him from the seventies onwards – Jagan didn’t focus on accumulating money for “the house and car”, but on paying for his education. His perspective on life, therefore, was more dispassionate and he was deeply affected by the social and economic barriers to blacks and the poor. When 30 years later he would refer to blacks being at the bottom of the ladder, he was referring to his experiences from the thirties. But he was lynched by local blacks. When he returned to Guyana in 1943 with his even more radical Jewish wife, WWII was in full swing and the Americans had discovered Guyana with their creation and occupation of Atkinson Field – which is now Timehri. As a dentist, and his wife seen as “white” – Jagan could’ve easily followed the path of other colonial professionals and tried to climb up the social ladder by becoming an “honorary” white. But he did not. He rather identified with the toiling masses and had become deeply convinced their lot could only be improved with a radical change in politics. This radicalism would be provided by Marxism – which had penetrated even staid Oxford University in England where the future PM of T&T had just finished his PhD thesis, “Capitalism and Slavery” under that influence. Jagan’s undoing however was, unlike Williams, he moved from the ideas of Marx to the actions of Lenin. That was unacceptable to the powers that be. The Cold War had changed the equation. …or skewering Jagan The state-run Chronic ran a quite balanced review of Jagan in an editorial the other day, but then ended it with a rather enigmatic sentence: “His (Jagan’s) reach was national, but that did not prevent him from articulating and embodying the hope and aspirations of Indian Guyanese.” The question, of course, was if his “reach was national” what prevented “him from articulating and embodying the hopes and aspirations of” African Guyanese? And the answer, of course, is Forbes Burnham!! Jagan had laid the groundwork by mobilising the up-to-then disenfranchised poorer Indians and Africans via the PAC and getting elected to the Legislature in 1947. But when the about-to-be-launched PPP made room for the just returned Forbes Burnham, he demanded leadership or nothing. And split Africans from the PPP when he left. Some say Burnham was more “moderate” – they forget he was even more radical than Jagan in his pronouncements when he first returned! His “moderation” was purely opportunistic and tactical – as history proved. And split Guyana forever. …equity Sure contracts should be sacrosanct. But like all rules, there are exceptions. The renegotiation of the 1999 contract was our exception allowing Exxon to exceed the time specified for moving from exploration to production. Exxon should at least pay corporate taxes on their profits, rather than us. Readers are invited to send their comments by email to eye@guyanatimesgy.com


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UG commissions new study room, offices

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tudents of the University of Guyana’s Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry will now benefit from a new Study Room in addition to new offices which were on Wednesday morning officially opened. The expansion which cost some $30 million was approved follow complaints from a senior lecturer of the faculty. Approval was given in November last for the expansion on the building which now houses the Study Room and new offices. A number of lecturers of the faculty were reportedly without facility to carry out their duties and some 220 students of the said faculty were also without a study room. As such, following a number of discussions, a building committee was formed and the construction got underway. According to the Dean of the faculty, Owen Bovell, despite a

The new study room and office building

number of challenges faced while the construction was underway, he is pleased with the end result. “We are indeed grateful for the support that was given especially from the Vice Chancellor. We had a conversation when we felt as if the building would no longer come into creation. I had a word

with him and he was on the same page with me, he said no Dean Bovell, you must have this building. We worked and we got initiation of the process,” the Dean explained. He highlighted that the project was one which received tremendous support and commend-

ed the contractor for a “job well done”. According to Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, much more is to be celebrated other than the university’s expansion. “It is not only this that we are sitting and standing in (pointing to the floor of the faculty)… some of the challenges with constructional space adequacy, lecturer space adequacy, student engagement space adequacy, also mindful for some of the safety hazards, this extension involves enclosing the bottom there, it involves creating this patio, it involves creating a sanitary block, it involves creating a fire escape as safety is critical, instructional and student engagement space is critical” Griffith said in his remarks. He noted that the fortitude of the University is being celebrated in finding the money for the project. Griffith added that he was

embarrassed when he previously toured the faculty. “I have been embarrassed at so many of the elect at our University but I was especially embarrassed when I did a tour of the faculty to see the condition. So we have been fixing and facing other improvements first. Even the furniture of this faculty lounge was terrible so I have to reach into the Vice Chancellor’s fund to have it fixed,” Griffith revealed. The Agriculture’s Ministry Permanent Secretary, Delma Nedd noted that agriculture is one of Guyana’s main pillars which will pave the path towards our sustainable development. She added that the expansion at the faculty will provide several opportunities for the students which will “benefit the agriculture sector”. Following the remarks, the ribbon was cut thus officially opening doors to the new building.

Bourda Market stallholders protest against street vending S tallholders inside Bourda Market on Wednesday afternoon marched to City Hall as a sign of protest as they called for vendors plying their trade outside the market to be removed. According to the stallholders, some are forced to throw away their goods on a daily basis as a result of the lack of sales. This, the stallholders blame, on the vendors who ply their trade outside of the market, offering their goods at a cheaper cost. As such, the vendors who occupy stalls within Bourda Market are not getting many sales. The street vendors are reportedly only allowed to ply their trade within a fixed period, which stallholders

contend they are not adhering to. As a result, the vendors are complaining of paying for stalls inside which are not benefiting them. Rampaul Singh, a holder of multiples stalls in the market, revealed that he has been paying the Council of City Hall a large sum of money each month, alleging that stallholders are threatened if they fail to pay. When Guyana Times visited the market, Singh argued that without much sales, it is difficult for them to adhere to the Council. “I have been paying the Council x amount of money per month. If you do not pay within a certain time, they are threatening you to close you down. How can

Vendors protest

you make money when they have that large amount of people selling all day on Robb Street. People cannot even traverse that road with their cars to come and buy from us because they can’t reach. I have a truck that I have to use to bring goods to

Man released from hospital after house collapses

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labourer who was injured after the house he was working on reportedly collapsed, was released from hospital on Thursday. Agaffi Obermuller, a resident of Lot 15 Ogle, East Coast of Demerara (ECD) resides nearby to the collapsed building, which is also located in the same community. The 23-year-old father of one, who was appointed as a plumber, was working on the building when it suddenly collapsed. As such, he

Agaffi Obermuller

was pinned by a concrete beam. At that time of the building collapse, three oth-

er workers were present at the construction site; however, Obermuller was the only one who sustained injuries. The injured man was rescued from beneath the debris and taken to hospital where his injuries were treated. On Thursday, he was released and sent home. The Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) has since filed an investigation into the structural integrity of the building and the conditions which led to the collapse.

my stall and I cannot even pass in. Why are they having all these people here and even before the time that they should be here,” Singh decried. The vendors reportedly took their complaints to the Mayor and Town Clerk who promised to intervene but to date nothing has been done. They are even complaining of having to dwell in deplorable conditions as the municipal market is not be-

ing maintained. “The Mayor and the City Council is not doing anything. How much money has the Council collected from us and we have no water facility, it full of rats, it dirty, this is the condition that we have to sell under. I am paying almost $18,000 and they come telling us that they will be doing this and that but nothing, they are doing nothing!” Singh revealed in anger. According to Beverley Archer, another vendor, the Town Clerk promised an intervention since last year but to date, nothing has happened. The woman relayed “He said that he was going to look into it but we are here still punishing. We went there, had meeting with him and it’s still the same way. He recently passed and said that he will help and still we waiting”. The vendors are calling for urgent assistance since

according to them, their livelihoods are being threatened. “We normally pay $18,750 per month for a stall in the market and if you have an extension, then another fee has to be paid. We are now not making even the stall rent money and those with perishable goods have to throw away each day,” another vendor complained. “They should remove them because if they are there we can’t have a business here. We have stall rent to pay if we can’t pay they come to lock down our stall. They need to remove them and find an area for them to wholesale their goods,” the vendor protested. Guyana Times attempted to contact Town Clerk Royston King and Mayor Patricia Chase Green for a comment but these attempts proved futile.


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ral women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labour force. In its tribute on the occa-

the lands and plant seeds to feed nations, ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. Yet, on almost every measure of development, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women. For instance, less than 20 per cent of landholders worldwide are women, and while the global pay gap between men and women stand at 23 per cent, in rural areas, it can be as high as 40 per cent. They lack infrastructure and services, decent work and social protection, and are left more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Rural women and their organizations represent an enormous potential, and they are on the move to claim

sion, the United Nations has recognised that women in the agricultural labour force “till

their rights and improve their livelihoods and wellbeing. They are using innovative ag-

Women around the globe are celebrated on International Women’s Day

his year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women have captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change. International Women’s Day 2018 is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential. Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of ru-

ricultural methods, setting up successful businesses and acquiring new skills, pursuing their legal entitlements and running for office.” Transforming women’s lives On 8 March, activists around the world will join forces to seize the moment, celebrate, take action and transform women’s lives everywhere. The time is NOW. In his 2018 message, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, emphasised that now more than ever, the historical and structural inequalities that have allowed oppression and discrimination to flourish are being exposed like never before. “Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world. The activism and advocacy of generations of women has borne fruit. There are more girls in school than ever before; more women are doing paid work and in senior roles in the private sector, academia, politics and in international organizations, including the United Nations. Gender equality is enshrined in countless laws, and harmful practices like female genital mutilation and child marriage have been outlawed in many countries,” he stated. Further, he reiterated that Women’s empowerment is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda

for Sustainable Development. Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, he added, means progress for all women, everywhere. In his statement, Secretary General Guterres acknowledged that there is ample evidence which shows that investing in women is the most effective way to lift communities, companies, and even countries. He said, “At this crucial moment for wom-

en’s rights, it is time for men to stand with women, listen to them and learn from them. Transparency and accountability are essential if women are to reach their full potential and lift all of us, in our communities, societies and economies. I am proud to be part of this movement, and I hope it continues to resonate within the United Nations and around the world.”


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andace Phillips, of Arawak ancestry now finds herself living in Region 9 ( Upper Takatu, Upper Essequibo). Ms Phillips was born in Santa Rosa, Moruca but grew up in Georgetown, where she attended St. Margaret's Primary and Bishops' High School. During a recent interview with the Guyana Times, she explained that her work with Indigenous communities began in 2005. “This was an eye opener and provided such an insight into the way of life and rights based struggles of many communities across Guyana. I worked with the Amerindian Peoples' Association for several years as a Programme Assistant which afforded me to travel and more importantly to meet and work with some several strong indigenous advocates particularly women,” she ex-

plained. At this point, she recalled, female Toshaos were very few in number, however, Phillips was impressed watching women match wits with their male counterparts. She said, “This for me reinforces that a woman defines her place, not what society thinks she should be.” This stint, she added, redirected her path in life and motivated her to focus on bringing about change, in her own way. “I have recognised that we don’t always need to do big campaigns to bring change but by being firm in our position and advocating for those who may not have a voice. Your life is indeed your message to the world.” In 2013, she and her children relocated to Aishalton, in the deep South, where she became a member of the Aishalton Women's Group led by Dorothy

James, another influential woman of the in the South Rupununi. Candace then taught English Literature at the Aishalton Secondary School and became concerned about the opportunities available to both girls and boys. She said, “I do feel that in villages we need to encourage our youths to dream big, to believe that they can be more than teachers, nurses and miners. Of course, integral to this is the supporting infrastructure and institutions to enable their dreams to become reality.” Two years later, she moved to St. Ignatius and proceeded along a tourism path. “Currently, I am the coordinator for Visit Rupununi. I would say this has been my greatest achievement thus far, to bring a project from paper to reality, overcoming the various challenges along the way. This has Candace Phillips

been a period of personal and professional growth and goes to show that there is no challenge that a determined mind cannot overcome,” Candace declared. “I think I have been fortunate to have had my life touched by some strong and influential women. I looking round, strong girls and women do exist, the Rupununi has so many examples of these unsung “sheroes” making a difference in their villages.

will overcome whatever may come your way.”

Focus on men and boys

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Visit Rupununi Coordinator shared a strong message to women in rural communities; she said “For women living in rural communities, society

With regards to this year’s theme, Candace further explained that in as much as it is important to educate and empower girls and women, it is also critical that we pay attention to our boys and to do what is necessary to ensure that they recognise the changing role of women. She said, “They need to understand that an empowered woman is not to be disliked, rather she is to be embraced. It all comes down to what we as women teach our sons, if we can encourage a generation of boys to respect the empowered female then I say we would have brought about change.”

dictates that their role is one of homemaker. I have always believed that girls and women are far greater than this. Obstacles and challenges exist in every sphere of our lives, our role as women should be to seek solutions not merely to see the problems. Believe in your strength as a woman that you can overcome any hardship you may face. Regardless of how tough the road is chart your course, stay determined and you

She emphasised too that, as women, we need to inspire successive generations of girl, as they will be the ones who lead the charge in the future. “Inspire your daughters that the only limits that exist are the ones we place upon ourselves. I have two daughters and my message is clear to them, you can be anything your mind can conceive, just know that you will have to work very hard for it, but success will be yours.”

Overcoming obstacles


NEWS

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Man gets 9 years for sexually Education Ministry wants better working relationship with Region 1 parents assaulting 7-year-old girl

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ne day after showing intense emotion after being found guilty, Troy Jackson was on Wednesday sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment by Sexual Offences Court Judge Simone Morris-Ramlall. A 12-member jury, by 102, determined that Jackson was indeed the perpetrator of an indecent assault that occurred on October 20, 2016 in the county of Demerara. The charge detailed that Jackson placed his penis against the seven-year-old female victim’s genitals. In an impact statement read out by ChildLink Counsellor Celeste Mullin, the young victim stated that she was upset over what the offender did to her and that she was very sad at the time because she did not like it. She added that even though it only happened once, she did not want the same to ever happen again. “I hope Troy Jackson gets punished for what he did to me,” the victim expressed. Ibeli Kendall, a woman who knew the defendant from childhood, took that stand and testified to Jackson’s character, saying that he never created problems.

Troy Jackson will spend the next nine years behind bars

However, when questioned by lead Prosecutor Seeta Bishundial, the witness could not vouch for Jackson’s character while he lived in a community in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice). Jackson, 33, was originally a resident of Kitty, Georgetown and got married in February 2018. During his plea of mitigation, Jackson’s lawyer, Adrian Thompson, suggested that his client did not have a favourable childhood as his mother died while he was six and his father when he was 11. The court heard that Jackson only had a primary education and that he was seen as a person of “good charac-

30 homeless as fire... He added that the building, where the fire started, was poorly wired. He, like many other eyewitnesses and victims, lashed out at the Guyana Fire Service for their poor response. “The response of the Fire Service was very poor. To start with, the hostile answer that they gave on the phone, they were asking my daughter if she was serious. You should take every call as being serious,” he said. Hansraj further related that the first fire tender arrived approximately 30 minutes after they first called. When it arrived, it had no water and was unable to source any from the hydrants since they were not operational. The disgruntled man said two other tenders came without water as well. “One was a brand new one and the fittings were not working, the hose was not working. When the fourth one came and he saw what was happening, he had to go till across GDF (Base Camp Ayanganna), park over there and then they started to send the water through the hoses and that is where the water eventually came,” Hansraj related. “If they had come with water then they would have been able to contain the fire to one building alone and we all would not have to lose everything we had,” the man said while on the brink of tears. Nevertheless, he commended the firefighters for their effort. Another victim, Angela Erica Demonik, whose house was partly destroyed, related to Guyana Times that all her children’s school supplies were destroyed in the fire. She said Minister Broomes has reached out to her family and will be assisting in getting her three children to school

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amidst the confusion. The woman said she was stunned when she woke up to see her neighbour’s houses on fire. “I wake up and when I come out on the verandah I see me neighbour house on fire and then the children hear and them run out here. Right now I am just looking to make sure that I can send them to school because we lose everything and I am a single parent so it is hard,” the woman related.

Outreach

Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana School of Etiquette, Anthony Nestor said the organisation has reached out to Minister Broomes and has volunteered one of its houses for the family to occupy until they are able to rebuild. He also presented Demonik with school supplies for her children ages 17, 14 and 10 so that they can attend school as per normal. “Having spoken to the mother this morning, asking her what is the most important thing at this point in time and she indicate to us that her biggest concern would be that of the education of the children and sending back out to school since one of them has exams this week so we would have indicated to her that we would get those stuff for them to go school,” Nestor said. The Social Protection Ministry is said to be assessing the situation and will be providing supplies to the victims while a plan is being set in motion to provide alternative living arrangements. On Mashramani day, approximately 40 persons were rendered homeless when a fire ripped through their apartment complex at Plaisance, East Coast Demerara. An 82-year-old man was also burnt to death in the blaze.

ter” prior to the incident. On this basis, the Attorney appealed for mercy, but Justice Ramlall was of the view that Jackson could have expressed his own remorse to the court. She considered the breach of trust, age of the child and the prevalence of sexual offences in sentencing the defendant. The Judge, however, observed that penetration was not involved and based on the mitigation plea, subtracted one year from the maximum 10-year prison term. As such, Jackson’s sentence was nine years, but he would have to serve eight years before he was eligible for parole. Guyana Times understands that the defendant was a family friend of the victim’s relatives and had even lived with them at one point. Upon hearing the jury’s verdict on Tuesday, Jackson broke down in tears, but was much calmer at Wednesday’s sentencing. State Counsels Narissa Leander and Orinthia Schmidt assisted on the prosecution’s case.

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he Education Ministry hosted a town hall-style meeting in the community of Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini) on Tuesday so as to continue its journey towards ensuring equity across the education sector. The meeting was held at the Mabaruma Learning Resources Centre, and a number of parents from various villages gathered to gain insight into the Education Ministry’s agenda for improving the quality of education in Guyana. Present at the gathering was the Coordinator of the National Parent-Teachers Association (PTA), Nadia Hollingsworth, who stated that several studies revealed that exceptional results were obtained when there was cooperation and collaboration on education. As such, she reiterated that it was important for parents to be more ac-

Some of the persons who attended the town hall-style meeting

tive in their children’s educational development. “Without the parents’ involvement, the education process will have a disconnect and will hinder process,” the Coordinator explained. Hollingsworth later explained that although billions of dollars were being spent by the Ministry, the results were not so promising. She emphasised that the PTA should involve the

parents too and not only the teachers, adding that it was the parent’s duty to ensure that their children benefit from a proper education. Education Minister Nicolette Henry has been advocating a vision for closer relationships between the Ministry, parents and teachers to maximise the full potential of children.


18 News

thursDAY, march 8, 2018 | guyanatimesgy.com

“Think big, think progress” – First Lady urges ICT participants at Melanie Damishana

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irst Lady Sandra Granger on Tuesday urged participants in the first Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training programme in the Melanie Damishana community to “think big” and to use the training as a catalyst for a successful future. The programme, which is a collaborative effort between the Office of the First Lady and the Social Protection Ministry, will run for 13 weeks and cater for 30 participants. The launch was held at the Vigalstra Housing Cooperative Administrative Building, Melanie Damishana, East Coast Demerara (ECD). The First Lady, in her address, congratulated the participants for making the decision to acquire the skills needed to succeed in times of constant technological advancement. She also emphasised the importance of continuous training and the upgrading of their skills if they were to remain relevant and adapt effectively. “This workshop is unique in that it not only teaches you about ICT; it also helps

The programme is a collaborative effort between the Office of the First Lady and the Social Protection Ministry

to prepare you for the world of work. It includes modules on Sexual and Reproductive Health; Robotics, which was introduced into the programme last year and proved to be very popular with our young people. Once you adhere to the instructions of the facilitators, attend sessions punctually and participate fully in this workshop, you will have earned skills in ICT required to function in the modern environment,” she said. Chief facilitator Fitzroy

Younge, who provided a brief overview of the programme, noted that its objectives were to empower and educate the youths of the Melanie Damishana community and enhance the standard of living of marginalised youths through improved employability. “You have made an intelligent decision to improve the quality of your life and enhance your opportunities for development and your success. The skills that you will acquire over the next

Security breach at Suddie lock-ups

Prisoner flees through hole, avoids court appearance

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wenty-four-yearold Leon Price, of Onderneeming Sand Pit, Essequibo Coast, is on the run following an early-morning escape from the Suddie Police Station on Wednesday. The remand prisoner, who was on the run for three years before being nabbed in 2017, was set to make an appearance at Suddie Magistrate’s Court in connection with simple larceny and some three other offences. However, Price evaded his court hearing and slipped through securi-

Police are hunting fugitive and accused thief Leon Price

ty at the Police Station in dramatic fashion. A credible source confirmed that he made his way through a hole dug at the holding facility. Police said that an investigation has been launched to determine just how the remand prisoner escaped lawful custody. Investigators are working with a timeframe of 04:00h and 05:15h on Wednesday. It was in September last year that Price was charged with setting fire to the home of Daniel Stoll at Onderneeming Sand Pit. Up to press time, Price remained at large.

12 weeks will contribute not only to your area, but, by extension, to the development and progress of Guyana,” he said. Younge explained that the workshop would take the form of classroom discussions, illustrations and handouts that would be provided to every participant after each session to aid in their revision for the workshop’s final assessment. At the close of the programme, participants will graduate with a certificate that has been certified by the Board of Industrial Training. In an invited comment, participant Janasha Ostrum explained that her aspiration of becoming an architect and her general love of tech-

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cal national consultative meeting on migration as a means to better inform its position on the Global Compact talks. The UN has now taken a people-centred approach and stressed the need for international cooperation which Guyana fully supported. The Zero Draft document reflecting the outcome of the initial meeting will be up for a second round of negotiations next week from Monday, March 12 to Thursday, March 15. Six meetings are scheduled to be held until July this year when UN Member States are expected to adopt the GCM. Guyana is being represented at these talks by Head of the Diaspora Unit, Michael

Brotherson, and Director of the Multilateral and Global Affairs Department, Troy Torrington, both of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. In 2016, 193 UN Member States adopted the New York Declaration at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants. In adopting the Declaration, the Member States signalled their readiness to finalise a GCM that not only aligns with goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals, but also coordinates the efforts of each UN Member State, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN to protect and empower migrants through policies that ensure safe, orderly, and regular migration.

club in Georgetown and it has benefited me a lot,” he said. It is for this reason, Burnette said, that he decided to lend his support to the programme and decided to volunteer at this workshop. In addition to ICT training, the workshop will also provide instruction on basic office skills, numeracy and literacy training, sexual and reproductive health, communication skills, telephone ethics, microenterprise development and training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) robotics. This is the fifth ICT workshop that has been held to date since the programme started last year.

Haywood re-elected as New Amsterdam’s Mayor – Tucker booted from deputy post

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inifred Haywood was re-elected unopposed as Mayor of New Amsterdam when the Town Council held its mayoral elections in the Council’s chambers on Wednesday. Haywood, who was elected Mayor in 2017 when then Mayor Kirt Wynter resigned, was the only nominee for the post when the elections were held in the Council’s Chambers on Wednesday morning. Campton Grant was elected at the town’s new Deputy Mayor with more votes to replace his only rival George Tucker who was booted from the position. Both Mayor Haywood and the Deputy Mayor, promised to do better for the enhancement of the town while at the same time providing improved services for the citizens. The Mayor also expressed gratitude for

Mayor Winifred Haywood (seated) and some of the Councillors following the elections

the support shown by the Councillors in her re-election and noted that although the past months of being Mayor were challenging, the Council was able to push through with maturity, professionalism and respect for each other while addressing various issues affecting the town. “This is not an election to us; it’s just a meeting because our job never stops.”

Haywood noted. Although the Mayor has promised to do better for the township, she is also pleading with residents to abide by the laws and regulations of the Mayor and Town Council. The Deputy Mayor on the other hand acknowledged the Councilors for seeing the potential and ability in him to serve the citizens of New Amsterdam.

GDF to benefit from disaster response expertise of Mexican Army

Guyana supports UN W talks on migration uyana on Wednesday said it welcomed the recently-completed first round of talks on migration at United Nations headquarters. The initiative, which involves UN Member States, including Guyana, saw the completion of this first meeting as a step closer towards crafting a “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM)”. Guyana, whose Diaspora is as large as its internal population, recognises the loss of skilled and unskilled persons as a result of irregular movement of people and the lack of success of unilateral efforts to address these challenges. Also, prior to the ongoing discussions, Guyana held a lo-

nology motivated her to sign up for the workshop. “It’s going to benefit all of us here because, as First Lady said, it’s a bankable certificate; it will help you to get a job easier,” she said. Meanwhile, 18-yearold Emanuel Burnette, who graduated from the workshop when it was held in Buxton, credited the programme as being the catalyst behind him furthering his knowledge in the ICT field. “I was not really familiar with the basic things on a computer; I had never really used a computer before, but after this class it has made a difference in my life because after that, I graduated from the ICT class, I went to do information technology at a

ith an already strong defence cooperation programme with several bilateral partners, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) is now set to benefit from the expertise of the Mexican Army in the area of disaster response and management. This was confirmed Wednesday when President David Granger met with Mexico’s Ambassador to Guyana, Ivan Robero Sierra Medel. The meeting was held at State House. The Ambassador said that the move to strengthen military-to-military relations between the two countries came out of discussions at the Caricom-Mexico Summit, which was held in Belize in October 2017. Upon the invitation of the Mexican Army, two GDF officers are to be identified to be part of a fourmonth training programme, which is scheduled to commence later this month at the

National Defence College in Mexico City. The Mexican Army has over 50 years of experience and expertise, particularly in the area of disaster response, training from which the GDF can derive significant benefit. Ambassador Sierra Medel explained that in Mexico, the military has a comprehensive strategy consisting of six pillars to deal with natural disasters. These include: search and rescue, evacuation of atrisk communities, interaction with the population during a crisis, protection of families and securing communities, and these are the areas in which the two GDF officers will be trained. Expressing his appreciation to the Ambassador and the Mexican Government, President Granger said, “I see this as the start of a relationship that we will continue to build on and over time, we will be able to develop our

own disaster response capabilities.” Minister of State, Joseph Harmon; GDF Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West; acting Director General of the Civil Defence Commission, Colonel Kester Craig and several other senior officers of the Force were also present at the meeting. Guyana and Mexico established formal diplomatic ties on March 1, 1973. Since then, the two States have collaborated in a number of areas, particularly in the area of agriculture. Last year, Guyana exported 113 tonnes of paddy to Mexico. Additionally, eight Guyanese students received scholarships and were currently pursuing studies in various fields, including agriculture, water management, science (Master’s programme) and oil and gas. Mexico is also assisting Guyana with the resuscitation of its coconut industry.


NEWS

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thursDAY, march 8, 2018 | GUYANATIMESGY.COM

New scholarship website launched Minister Harmon donates $50,000 to alma mater’s Steel Pan Orchestra

Guests at the launching of the website

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he Department of Public Service on Wednesday launched a website designated for the administration and monitoring of all Government and donor scholarships. The website is being touted as a hallmark of transparency in the scholarship awarding process following accusations of corruption after it was discovered that Government awarded scholarships to Ministers and other senior functionaries. The website is expected to be online from Friday as the Department of Public Service’s Scholarship Division seeks to make the process of acquiring Government scholarships much easier with the introduction of 21st Century technology. The launching event was held at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) Smart Classroom in Kingston, Georgetown. Public Service Department Permanent Secretary Reginald Brotherson said that Government has awarded over 1300 scholarships in the past three years for students to study both overseas and locally. He added that the awarding of scholarships was part of Government’s commitment to bettering the lives of the Guyanese people. “The priority areas of training are geared to match the intellectual talent of all Guyanese, firstly taking heed to what is best in national interest and, therefore, expanding the pool of resources,” Brotherson said. “The establishment of this website will be a catalyst of transparency as it of-

fers its users a wide range of activities associated with the economy of time. Information sharing, better utilisation of resources, connectivity of scholarship offers, online registration, coordination of travel, linkages to funds, statutory reports for submissions, managing individual scholarships, meeting deadlines and personal data, access to other online services among others. Therefore, it will be an ongoing update of the website as a work in progress,” he added. The website was designed to make available easily accessible scholarships, training and job opportunities for prospective and current students as well as public servants. These programmes can be accessed through the website’s easily navigable interface. Prospective students will be able to register, save and submit their applications via the website while current and past recipients can access all forms necessary for the management of their scholarship. The website is being managed in real time and is being hosted on three different domains, thereby ensuring it never crashes. Dr Marcia Thomas, Head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at NCERD, facilitated a demonstration of how the website works and related that an all-Guyanese team built it. She added that it was also hosted on the Government’s e-Government network in addition to an outside host so as to ensure that it was always up and running. Additionally, the website also provides public servants with the necessary informa-

tion pertaining to professional training offered by the Department of Public Service. Meanwhile, Ministerial Adviser Vincent Alexander, who delivered the feature address on behalf of Public Service Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, said that the launching of the website was part of the Government’s mandate to provide “the good life”. Additionally, the Department’s Planning and Analysis Manager, Kandasia Kendall, said that they have been actively engaged in making training opportunities available to all Guyanese. “The Department of Public Service remains committed to providing training opportunities to Guyanese throughout the length and breadth. It is, therefore, through this backdrop that we need to make training opportunities available through this department accessible,” she said. “Guyanese are studying all over the world. We want our students to be able to connect with us faster and easier. Through the website, we will be able to better monitor our international students and ensure that they are in compliance with the terms and conditions of their scholarship. It is for this reason that we have integrated the resources necessary for all students to manage their scholarships online,” Kendall added. The website will make available scholarship opportunities rendered by the Government and donor organisations, and prospective awardees will be able to register and apply online. Government has been secretly expending millions of dollars for several of its Ministers to benefit from full-scholarship programmes. Education Minister Nicolette Henry and Junior Infrastructure Minister Annette Ferguson are among those who received millions of dollars to pursue their studies in the United States and the United Kingdom respectively. Henry is doing her PhD in Public Health to the tune of $3.36 million, while Ferguson benefited from a $3.38 million public policy management scholarship.

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inister of State Joseph Harmon on Wednesday made a donation of $50,000 to the West Demerara Secondary School’s Steel Pan Orchestra, which placed first in the Small Band category of the recently concluded Republic Bank Annual Panorama Competition, which coincides with the celebration of Guyana’s Republic Anniversary. Minister Harmon, who attended the institution as a secondary school student, said he was elated when he learnt of the school’s success at the competition. Handing over the cheque to the Headmaster of the school, Harry Narine, Minister Harmon said he is forever proud of the institution and decided to make the monetary contribution in an effort to improve the orchestra and enhance its competitive skills. Minister Harmon said, “When I heard that the band had actually won, I was very, very proud to know that this is a band that came from

tools and the opportunity to expand their minds and their horizons, regardless of where they may live in Guyana or their social or economic background... The starting point of education – learning to speak, to understand, and to respond

to data in all its shapes and forms and the development in each child the capacity to express her on his thoughts and feelings – begins with literacy, which, for the purpose of this exercise, encompasses literacy and numeracy.”

`Not A Blade of Grass’ along with other songs, which the school’s orchestra had performed during the competition. The Minister also took the time to interact with the students and teachers of the school, who were gathered in the schools compound and seemed elated by the Minister’s visit and donation to the school.

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n light of the ongoing fuss surrounding the growing oil and gas sector, the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) has seen it fit to host an essay completion for secondary school students with the theme being ‘The Reality of the Oil and Gas Industry in Guyana’. The competition will be divided into three categories; Forms 1-3, Forms 4-5 and Lower and Upper 6th Form. Each category will have its own sub-topic. Forms 1-3 will discuss ‘The oil industry in Guyana is a new one coming with only great advantages for the Guyanese people’, while Forms 4-5 will write on ‘Guyana faces potential environmental risks being exposed to offshore explorations therefore plans and

– First Lady says at opening of Region 6 Literacy Conference

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the school that I went to and so I thought that I would do something special for you and I trust that you will grow from strength to strength and that you can use this money to strength your skills and maybe move to the bigger category next time around.” During the visit, Minister Harmon was greeted by renditions of Dave Martin’s

GAWL launches oil themed essay competition

‘Literacy is the backbone of a child’s education’ n her keynote address at the opening of the Inaugural Literacy Conference, First Lady Sandra Granger says literacy is the backbone of a child’s education, which grants him or her the keys to future success. The Literacy Conference was held on Monday morning at the St Francis Community Developers Conference Centre in Port Mourant, Corentyne, Berbice. The Conference is being hosted by the Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Department of Education, with assistance from overseas-based Guyanese professors from the Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, Professor Ivor Barker and Dr Clinton Crawford, with the overall goal of improving literacy rates in the region. The First Lady said “Our children must be given the

Minister of State Joseph Harmon hands over the cheque to the Headmaster of the West Demerara Secondary School, Harry Narine

She also noted that improved literacy and education is essential to the development of Guyana; a vision that President David Granger had expressed even before taking office in 2015. “Just over five years ago, President Granger, in his charge to graduating students of the Cyril Potter College of Education, spoke about the creation of an ‘Education Nation’ – “one in which intelligence prevails over ignorance, cooperation over confrontation, and national integration over communal disintegration.” He recognises that the development of our country and the full participation of every citizen in that development must be driven by an educated citizenry,” First Lady Granger said. Turn to page 20

Attorneys Shellon Boyce, Beverly Bishop-Cheddi and Chandrawattie Persaud addressing GAWL’s press briefing

policies/strategies for emergency situations must be put in place. Lastly the Lower and Upper 6th forms will discuss ‘The presence of international oil companies in third world countries contributes to accelerated economic development without the need for stringent legal protective measures which would hinder much needed foreign investment and increased national revenue.’ Students are not required to attach their names to their essay; however, they will need an acknowledgement slip signed by the Headmistress of their respective schools. The essay has a 1500-2000 word limitation and entry forms can be uplifted at The Equity Chambers on Robb Street, Georgetown. The deadline is slated for April 13 and winners will be awarded trophies, books and electronics. The introduction of this essay competition is what leads to inquiries of the GAWL’s plans relating to women’s participation in the oil and gas sector. While noting that no individual focus will be placed on women’s involvement as yet, Attorney Chandrawattie Persaud disclosed that the Bar Association of Guyana is planning a discourse on the lucrative sector to assess oil and gas issues relative to the legal profession. This event

will be held on Friday March 9 and Saturday March 10. “No, we do not believe that the duplication of the activity (for women only) is necessary at this time,” she stated. However, Persaud noted that the Association hosts ‘continuing legal education’ and this will be the-go forum for when issues facing women in that sector need to be addressed. The GAWL also took the opportunity to extend International Women’s Day greetings to all Guyanese women. The statement prepared by the body’s President, Ramon Rookhum, noted that while it is a privilege to have such a celebration in women’s honour, there is still a lot that has to be done to ensure equality and safety of our women. “While we acknowledge that training is undertake and there is continued commitment to provide safe spaces for women to make reports of abuse at stations, there is still insufficiently serious action taken by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to provide victim support,” they stated. In their statement, the GAWL has committed to continue collaborations with governmental organisations and other agencies in order to provide bring justice for women and children across the country.


20 news

thursDAY, march 8, 2018 | guyanatimesgy.com

Kara Kara toll booth

10 inmates recaptured Linden administration to look into infractions after reportedly escaping from NOC D

espite the Kara Kara toll booth contributing tremendously to the overall economic status of the municipality of Linden, several "loopholes" have been uncovered. This is according to outgoing Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland, who noted that he has instructed the administration to investigate these loopholes at the toll booth, which was reactivated a little over a year ago to secure much-needed revenue. Holland, however, did not disclose what the loopholes were, but noted that there have been reports of infractions. "The toll booth has been coming along well except, I think, there are still loopholes. I am fully aware that there are still loopholes with the toll booth. Things that I would have asked the administration to tighten up on, so that Linden can have the full benefits of that toll

being in place. We're getting reports of infractions. We're getting reports of wrongdoing...," he told Guyana Times. While the outgoing Mayor did not divulge much of the alleged infractions, there are reports that there are several drivers of logging trucks and other motor vehicles which are required to pay tolls who refuse to take the route where the toll booth is located, and have instead opted to use road diversions to avoid paying the toll. There have also been reports of malpractices regarding the finances and operations at the toll booth. However, according to Holland, these reports are so far unverified. He has since noted the need for stricter monitoring. "...what I've done is ask the administration to look into these things and I believe, indeed, we need to do more to keep monitoring the toll booth as is the case with any financial

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Kara Kara toll booth

transactions and dealing. So, we would keep working on improving any loopholes that exist at the toll booth and any area of the Council.” In an effort to secure revenues for the municipality, which has a history of being cash-strapped, the recent Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) had made stringent moves to reactivate the Kara Kara toll booth in 2016. Since then, Holland said things have improved since revenues from the toll booth have con-

tributed to the Council's annual budget. He said, however, there was need for the stricter monitoring so that the community can reap the full benefits.

en minors who were being held at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) have reportedly been recaptured after escaping from the facility, according to unconfirmed reports. The incident is said to have occurred around 15:00h on Wednesday and efforts were reportedly being made by administrators to contact the escaped minors quietly since then. When contacted late Wednesday evening, G Division (Essequibo coast-Islands) Commander

Khali Pareshram said he was not made aware of any incident at the facility. “I do not have any information. I am not aware of such an incident,” the Commander said. Several calls to the telephone number for the administrator at the NOC, Mark Dover, went unanswered. However, when contact was finally made, the individual who answered said that this newspaper had the wrong number even though the voicemail attached to the phone number identified the owner as “Mark Dover”.

"Literacy is the backbone... Meanwhile, Region Six Regional Education Officer, Volika Jaikishun, expressed similar sentiments, adding that literacy can improve one’s quality of life. “Literacy is not only an important factor for economic development, but also it is necessary for one to function effectively in one’s community... Research has shown that persons who are literate are able to live better lives in society. I’m sure that this Conference is not only a developmental session for teachers, but also a form of motivation that can contribute to effective teaching in

the classroom,” she said. As part of the exercise, one teacher from every primary school in Region Six, one reading teacher from each secondary school, and transitional Grade Six teachers will undergo training to enhance their abilities in the teaching and supervision of literacy programmes. Region Six Regional Literacy Coordinator, Simone Dainty, said she hopes this Conference, which is held annually, will result in steady increases in the Grade Six Assessment pass rates in the years to come. Region Six received

From page 19

a 40 per cent pass rate in 2017’s National Grade Six Assessment, a six per cent increase from its 2016 scores. In addition, 150 teachers, regional literacy coordinators and former educators can expect to benefit from presentations on various literacy-based topics, including classroom monitoring, critical literacy and textual analysis, the use of technology in the classroom and the relevance of culture in the classroom. Mayor of New Amsterdam, Her Worship, Winifred Haywood also attended the event.


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oung Warriors Cricket Club (YWCC), Berbice and national Under 19 exciting opener Alex Algoo was the recipient of a cricket bat compliments of Mukesh Appiah. The handing over was done recently with Appiah stating that he follows the career of this young talented cricketer. He further stated that he is a keen follower of the game in the ancient county and will from time to time make contributions to develop the sport. Appiah wished Algoo well and is confident that he can follow the footsteps of his opening partner for the YWCC, now West Indies opener, Shimron Hetmyer. He added

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Alex Algoo (right) receives a bat and uniform from Mukesh Appiah in the presence of former national player Huvern Evans

Courts renews ties with Fitness Games C ourts Guyana Inc. remains committed in its support of healthy lifestyles, sports, and fitness in Guyana as they injected $300,000 into this year’s Kares Engineering Inc. Guyana Fitness Games which is scheduled to get underway this Sunday at the National Park. The simple handover ceremony which was held at the company’s Main Street branch was attended by Courts’ Digital Marketing Officer Roberta Ferguson and Organisers Jordana RamseyGonsalves and Noshavyah King. Ferguson stated that the company’s commitment shows since the entities have partnered for the third year; one which she anticipates will be better than the last. She went on to say that Courts is happy to see the growth and in-

Courts’ Digital Marketing Officer, Roberta Ferguson (left) hands over the sponsorship cheque to Jordana RamseyGonsalves and Noshavyah King on Wednesday

terest in the areas of health and fitness in Guyana and is elated to once again be associated with the event in their contribution to its success. King and Ramsey-Gonsalves were quite appreciative of the gesture and encouraged fans to attend and support the event. Fitness Challenge 2018 will see 34 turbo-charged gladiators battling for the prestigious title of ‘Guyana’s Fittest Man and Woman’. The ultimate test of fitness and athleticism, CrossFit-style challenge kicks off at 11:00h. Supporters are encouraged to get tickets early at Fitness Express (Sherriff Street) and Genesis Fitness (Girls Guide Pavilion). Tickets cost $1000. Children under ten will be admitted free.

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that this will only come with hard work, dedication and commitment. In response, Algoo thanked the sponsor for the bat and promised to make full use of it and do everyone proud, including Appiah. He even urged other youngsters to get involve in sports and stay away from idle and evil things. He said that our society is infested with crimes and drugs and the “oldheads” target teenagers in an effort to recruit them to ply their trade in criminal life. He called on his fellow youths to join any youth club/sports club in their area. Algoo promised to train hard and stay focus.

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oals kept coming as the Corona Futsal tournament continued and title favourites Bent Street light-up the National Gymnasium on Tuesday Evening, netting a remarking thirteen goals against Channel Nine Warriors. Ryan Hackett was the man with the arsenal with a scorching helmet-trick via two goals in the second followed by strikes in the 9th and 12th. Partner in crime was Job Caesar with a hattrick following goals in the 8th, 12th and 15th. Kelsey Benjamin (10th & 16th), Pernell Shultz (9th), Solomon Austin (4th), Andrew Murray Jr (11th) and Sheldon Profit (14th) also made their mark; Javier Cort found some respite for Channel 9 with a goal in the 13th. Tucville got their first 3 points next to their name by edging Kingston 3-2. Jamal Greaves in the 5th and 7th had quickly put Tucville ahead followed by Trevon Lythcot in the 9th; Kingston

Bent Street on the attack against Channel Nine Warriors on Tuesday evening at the National Gymnasium

responded with Simeon Emanuel (9th) and Nigel Denny (15th). Back Circle and Leopold Street had to share points after 10-goal thriller. Stephon McLean wasted little time in capitalising on anything lose netting in the 5th, 6th and 16th while support came from Josiah Charles (6th) and Arian Jones (12th). Leopold responded with Darren Benjamin (1st

& 7th), Eon Alleyne (17th), Okeenie Fraser (18th) and Tyrese Forde (14th) etching their names on the score sheet. West Front Road- Gold is Money stayed perfect by defeating Albouystown through the combination of Hubert (12th & 13th) and Jamal Pedro (16th); Moses Gittens (14th) netting the opposition’s lone goal. Sophia got their first

win by overcoming YMCA 4-3 due to brilliant strikes from Desmond Cotton (2nd, 5th, 20th) and Dwayne Love (10th); Shavane Seaforth (8th & 14th) and Frank Crandon (7th) score for YMCA. Showstoppers were stopped but still got a point by playing to 3-3 with Alpha Warriors. Opara Benjamin (4th & 8th) along with Delroy Fraser (6th) net-

ted for Warriors while Trayon Bobb (11th), Dexroy Adams (13th) and Jermaine Samuels (18th) brought the opposing response. The winning purse for teams is the $600,000 and the championship trophy while two Hero motor cycles will be awarded to the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the other to a lucky spectator at the finals on Easter Saturday (March 31). The tournament which is collaboration with NAMILCO Wheat Gem and Hero Motorcycle will continue tonight with six more matches. Tiger Bay play Mocha from 19:00h followed by Old Skool Ballers and Xtreme Campbellville from 19:50h. Future Stars then clash with New Market Street from 20:40h and Back Circle and Alexander Village from 21:30h. The final two matches of the night are Sparta Boss and Plaisance from 22:20h and Alpha Warriors and Tucville from 23:15h.


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GUYANATIMESgy.COM

thursDAY, march 8, 2018

New York Business Group invests heavily in BCB U-19 cricket

President of the Albion Cricket Club, Pastor Kandan hands over sponsorship to Berbice Cricket Board Vice President Albert Smith in the presence of cricketers and parents

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he New York Business Group consists of Seepersaud Charran of Ryan Trucking Service, Richard Mahase of Little Guyana Bake Shop, Jamel Mohammed of City Buyers Garment Factory, Sheik Hassan of West Chester Shairlift, Permaul Trading and Distribution and Ajit Mootoo, an ardent cricket fan have combined resources to invest over $700,000 for the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) under-19 tournament. On Monday last with the co-operation of the Albion Cricket Club they launched the 2nd Edition of the New York Business Group Under-19 Tournament. BCB President Hilbert Foster hailed the launching of the Under-19

Tournament as another red letter day in the history of Berbice Cricket. The New York Business Group Under-19 Tournament would be played on a One-Day Two-innings basis at the Group stages while the Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals shall be two-day affairs. The BCB Selection Committee would be looking closely at the first rounds of matches in order to select the best possible Berbice team for the upcoming Guyana Cricket Board Under-19 inter-county tournament. Foster also made special mention of Orvin Mangru for his hard work and dedication in securing the sponsorship. Mangru

of the Albion Cricket Club stated that the New York Business Group was delighted to be once again involved in Berbice Cricket. The Group, he stated first sponsored the tournament two years ago but due to the problems affecting Berbice Cricket, the tournament was delayed. He pledged on behalf of the sponsors that the tournament would be an annual event and disclosed that the entire investment would be far more than the announced $700,000 as outstanding performers would most likely receive cricket gears like bats, pads and gloves as incentives. Mangru expressed confidence in the current Berbice Cricket Board’s ability to organise the tournament

properly. The current defending Champions of the New York Business Group Under-19 Tournament is the Rose Hall Town Pepsi Under-19 Team which defeated Albion in the 2016 Finals. The Winning Team would receive $100,000 and a trophy valued $30,000 trophy, the Runner-up team $50 000.00 and a trophy to the value of $15 000. The player of the Match

in the final will carry home $15,000 and a trophy worth $10,000. The Best Bowler in the Finals, Best Batsman in the Finals, Best Overall Bowler, Best Overall Batsman and Best Overall Wicket Keeper will each receive a trophy to the value of $10,000. Among the teams expected to play are Upper Corentyne, Port Mourant, Rose Hall Town Pepsi ‘A’, Albion A, Albion B,

Rose Hall Town Pepsi ‘B’, Young Warriors, Rose Hall Canje, Tucber Park, Police, Blairmont, West Berbice, Bush Lot United, Tamarind Root and Big Star. Junior Cricketers can now look forward to playing the game at the Under-15, Under-17, Under-19, Under-21 levels in addition to Intermediate, Second Division, Inter-secondary Schools and First Division levels.

Jaguars’ CONCACAF qualifiers start September

Ian Greenwood

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he Guyana Golden Jaguars Football Team will open their Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)

Nations League qualifiers account when they go head to head with Barbados in September. That encounter will be followed by a clash against Turks and Caicos in October then match three will see Guyana taking on French Guiana. In March, 2019 the Golden Jaguars will wrap things up with a match against Belize. Technical Director of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Ian Greenwood said, “It’s a positive and competitive draw for the golden jaguars, we feel we have the ability to perform against each op-

position. We’re excited for our tough visit to French Guiana but feel we have the players to rise to this occasion and come out on top. Belize should be an interesting game but with home advantage and the support of a packed Stadium that will help us over the line.” Greenwood added, “The launch of the CONCACAF Nations League opens a consistent level of competitiveness to further develop the standard of international football in the region.”


thursDAY, march 8, 2018

guyanatimesgy.com

GCB/U-17 Inter-County Tournament 2018

Glasgow’s ton flattens U-15s

Seon Glasgow was adjudged Player of the Match for his brilliant 110 against the Select U-15 team at Bourda

…Demerara beat Essequibo by 65 runs

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efending champions, Berbice recorded a clinical 115-run victory over the national select under 15 team while Demerara fought back to defeat Essequibo in the opening round of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) under-17 inter-county tournament on Wednesday. At the GCC ground, Bourda, Berbice U-17 won the toss and elected to bat, posting a mammoth 267 for 9 from their allotted 50

overs. The winning total was built around a brilliant 110 from Seon Glasgow, a patient 50 from Nigel Deodat and an entertaining 35 from Fawaz Gafoor. In all, Glasgow counted five sixes and nine fours while Deodat hit two fours. Bowling for National Select Under-15, seamer Isai Throne was the most destructive, grabbing 3 for 30 while left-arm spinners Jonathon Rampersaud and Zachary Jodah took 2 for 50

and 2 for 36 respectively. Chandrapaul Ramraj also picked up one wicket. In reply, the National Select Under-15 were bowled out for 152 off 49 of their allotted 50 overs. Mavendra Dindyal topped scored with 32 off 71 balls. Revoldo Phillips supported well with 29. Bowling for Berbice, Saif Amoi grabbed 3 for 30, while Jevon Schultz and Deodat took 2 for 36 and 2 for 21 respectively.

GFF Mid-Season records 188 transfers

William Europe

Job Caesar

he Guyana Football Federation (GFF) released the Mid-Season Transfer list on Tuesday and it saw West Demerara Football Association (WDFA) recording the highest numbers of transfers from the accumulated total of 188. WDFA had a total of 49 transfers, followed by the Upper Demerara Football Association (40), Georgetown Football Association (30), Rupununi Football Association (19),

Berbice Football Association (3) and East Demerara Football Association (1). For the Elite Clubs Fruta Conquerors FC and Ann’s Grove FC had seven players each. Nicholai Andrews, Gregory Richardson, Tefon Daly, Simeon Moore, Miguel Rojas, Sunil Logan and Job Ceasar head to the Conquerors while LesCharles Critchlow, Dwight Peters, Gerald Sobers, Kevin Smith, Chavez John, William Europe and Justin Herod join Ann’s

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Grove FC. Ian Alves, GFF’s Competition Director, disclosed that the fans are already seeing the impact of the transfers in the Elite League. He said, “The mid-season transfer period has seen quite a number of player-movement among the Elite Clubs, which has contributed to a more competitive League. The fans are benefiting from the transfers, as clubs were able to bolster their performance, which is reflected on the pitch. This augurs well for the League, which is a platform, for the engagement of consistent football and for senior national team selection.” For the non-elite clubs, among the top three clubs with a high number of transfers were Pouderoyen FC (31) followed by Haynes-Winners Connection FC (11) and Beacons FC (10). The next transfer window is scheduled from the June 1 – July 31, 2018.

Over at the Lusignan ground, Demerara won the toss against Essequibo and elected to bat, posting 143 for 9 off their allotted 50 overs. Andre Seepersaud top scored with 42, Yeudisteer Persaud made 29 and Nyron Bissu 17. Bowling for Essequibo, Sylvian Williams and Sheldon Charles picked up 3 wickets for 19 and 21 runs respectively. Badesh Parsotam supported well with 2 for 7 while Azim Mohamed snared 1 for 26. In reply, Essequibo fell short by 65 runs when they were bundled out for 78 in 31 overs. Lance Roberts top scored with 13, Slyvan Williams made 12 and Ameer Singh 11 as the only three batsmen in double figures. B With the ball, Ameer Singh lead the way with 3 for 27 from 10 overs and was supported by Dwain Dick 2 for 8 and while Trevon Charles accounted for one

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victim. R o u n d two action on Friday will see Berbice taking on Demerara at Bourda while the National Select Under-15 team will be up against Essequibo at the Lusignan Community Centre ground. Both matches start at 09:30h.


thursDAY, march 8, 2018

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

guyanatimesgy.com

ICC/World Cup Qualifiers 2018

Windies take on struggling PNG After their 60-run win against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday, the Windies will take on Papua New Guinea (PNG), who have lost their two games to date. The game is being played at the Old Hararians which could once again be a run paradise. Against UAE, Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer blasted centuries while Jason Holder took a 5-for the former world champions who are looking to reach the final to qualify for the World Cup 2019 in England

GCB/U-17 Inter-County Tournament 2018

Glasgow’s ton flattens U-15s …Demerara beat Essequibo by 65 runs

Pg 23

Defending champions Berbice celebrate the dismissal of Jonathan Rampersaud, who was run out by wicketkeeper Mohabir Seeraj on Wednesday at Bourda (John Ramsingh photo)

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