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Guyanese designer creating stir in N.Y. fashion industry

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You can also read Guyana Times daily edition online at ISSUE NO. 183

week ending March 9, 2014

"Return 'home' and see for yourselves the level of progress" See story on pg 20

- Ramotar encourages Guyanese living in Florida

Guyana's Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett (fifth from left) and Barbados Foreign Minister Maxine McClean (third right), with Florida elected officials and members of the Consular Corps at the Guyana Nite Celebration. At left is Honorary Consul Roshanali


week ending March 9, 2014 |



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Ramotar, Granger yet to consult on Police Chief’s appointment


espite media reports that Crime Chief Seelall Persaud is tipped to replace Leroy Brumell as Police Commissioner, President Donald Ramotar has yet to consult with Opposition Leader David Granger as is constitutionally mandated. However, unlike the Chief Justice and Chancellor of the Judiciary appointments, the President is not required to agree with the Opposition Leader’s choice. Former Opposition Leader Robert Corbin had opposed the appointment of Henry Greene as the police chief, but then President Bharrat Jagdeo confirmed him as Commissioner, albeit two years after he was appointed to act. Speaking to Guyana Times International on Tuesday, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Vice Chairman, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said he and other coalition members are being guided by what was published in the press.

Stalemate continues: Govt says Opposition holding Anti-money Laundering Bill ‘hostage’

T Crime Chief Seelall Persaud

He said the head of state has not yet met with the leader of the opposition coalition to discuss the new appointment. He was also unable to say when the two leaders would meet. Last week, President Ramotar had promised that he would make an official announcement regarding the post of Police Commissioner. Until now, nothing has been said. However, sources close to this publication have revealed that Deputy Commissioner Seelall is expected to replace Commissioner Brumell, who will retire continued on page 19

he impasse on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) (AML/ CFT) Bill continued on Wednesday as parliamentarians yet again fail to reach a consensus on the vital legislation which would avoid the blackening of the country’s image internationally. According to Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC) Cecil Dhurjon has failed to complete the draft for the proposed amendments from the opposition parties. Dhurjon told the members that he was having some difficulty drafting the amendments for the bill because the amendments proposed are conflicting with the Principal Act of 2009. According to Nandlall, the meeting on Wednesday came to an abrupt end after

Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira

members of the AML/ CFT Special Select Committee failed to reach consensus regarding the meeting’s agenda. He said too that the committee was unable to consider seven sets of minutes from previous meetings, and pointed out that the amendment to increase the seizure of cash and jewellery in

excess of Gy$10 million suspected to be proceeds of money laundering may have to be revised to be compliant with the law and Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) guidelines. In an earlier statement, the Legal Affairs Minister related that Dhurjon would have studied the recommen-

dations and guidelines of the CFATF. He added that Dhurjon is having difficulties with the proposed amendments because of the many contradictions. “You have the APNU’s proposals are to delete certain parts of the Principal Act and simply insert the proposed amendments. You will have to look at the insertions to see the rippling effects it will have within the four concerns of the legislation.” On Tuesday, the government said its offer with relation to the fight against moneylaundering and the financing of terrorism is the most suitable possibility to avoid further sanctions being imposed on Guyana by CFATF or the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).


According to the government, the A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) proposed amendments to continued on page 8



week ending March 9, 2014 |

INTERNATIONAL To contact: Guyana Times International

New York Office 106-15 Sutphin Blvd, Jamaica NY 11435 Email: Tel no: 718-658-6804 Preferred method of contact via EMAIL Guyana Office Ruimveldt, Georgetown, Guyana. Tel no: (592) 227-0704, 227-0709. Fax (592) 225-8696, 227-0685 Email:


Development second chance


he update by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Carolyn RodriguesBirkett, on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Guyana and Brazil on proposed infrastructural development should serve as a timely reminder to our political leadership that they have to arrive at some sort of “terms of engagement” sooner rather than later. The gridlock over the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLCFT) Bill has exposed a debilitating partisanship resulting in our developmental drive stagnating. Every financial institution, from the World Bank to the Caribbean Development Bank, has pointed out the key role infrastructure played in the transformation of formerly poverty-stricken states such as China and India into burgeoning economic powerhouses. Our region was specifically identified as severely lagging in this regard but for Guyana, the lacuna is particularly extreme. The four projects identified in the MoU – an asphalted highway between Linden and Lethem, a hydro-power facility, transmission lines to conduct its generated power and a deep-water harbour – can definitely be game changers if they are brought to fruition. While one would have thought the benefits of these projects would be self-evident to even the most blinkered observer of the Guyanese scene, with the attitude adopted by the opposition on the AMLCFT Bill, it might be useful to spell them out. We boast that our country has 83,000 square miles of territory but in reality, for the most part we are as land deficient as any of our fellow West Indian territories. Ninety per cent of our population are strung along a one-mile deep, 200-mile long strip on the Atlantic Coast that makes us even more densely populated than Trinidad, with twice our population. The Linden-Lethem Highway, which would connect to the Linden-Georgetown Highway, would finally open up our country for settlement, much as the first railroad connecting the east and west coasts of the U.S.A. did for that country, 150 years ago. One can speculate at the transformative changes that would be wrought just from the transportation of goods from Northern Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean. This is being quantified before proceeding. But Guyanese would also be facilitated to settle along the Highway, with the knowledge that Georgetown or Lethem would be merely hours away. At the present the treacherous trail scares off all but the intrepid. While being a separate project, the deep water harbour, most likely in Berbice, is integrally linked with the Highway, since the raisin d’être for the latter would be the transhipment of Brazilian goods to ports in the Caribbean, the U.S., Canada and Europe. The handling and storage facilities to deal with these cargo would definitely provide a large economic boost to our economy. The financing of these two projects would most likely come from Brazil since they would be the ones that would benefit the most through savings generated by cutting in half the time for goods from Manaus to reach the North Atlantic. The benefits from a massive hydro-electric project in the Upper Mazaruni, has been well rehearsed during the debate on the smaller Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project (AFHEP), no less than by the opposition themselves. The distribution network was also an aspect of the smaller project but since Brazil, in the person of former President Lula da Silva, had indicated their willingness to purchase any excess electricity generated, this would be more extensive and not so incidentally deliver electricity to southern Guyana, including Lethem. Once again, it would be in Brazil’s interest to provide the funding for these projects or even to stand as guarantor to the China Development Bank or the China Ex-Imp Bank, which have indicated their interest in backing such projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. We hope the requested feasibility studies will be expedited. But even more critical would be the opposition stop being fetters to the development of our country.

Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony and other officials pose with the Queen’s Baton in Georgetown, as it journeyed through Guyana on its way to Glasgow, Scotland for the official opening of the Commonwealth Games later this year.

Foreign Minister says govt monitoring situation in Venezuela T

he political unrest in Venezuela has created quite a stir, but there is no plan by the government to bring Guyanese in the Spanish-speaking neighbouring country home, as they have made no such request. Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett in a recent interview told Guyana Times International that the government is monitoring the situation through its embassy in Caracas. Some 30,000 Guyanese are living in Venezuela, and their relatives in Guyana are concerned about their safety following weeks of opposition-led disturbance. A few days ago, sister Caribbean Community (Caricom) nation Trinidad and Tobago airlifted its citizens in Venezuela, including embassy staff through Caribbean Airlines (CAL). More than 50 persons have died in the massive political protests which started about two weeks ago. More than 500 persons have been charged and 50 have been jailed. Also, more than 150 persons have been injured. The protest action was organised by Maria Corina Machado and Leopoldo López, leaders of Venezuela’s opposition, with support from a number of student movements. According to reports, violation of civil rights, chronic scarcity of basic goods, and high levels of criminal violence are among the many reasons for the protests. The inflation rate for 2013 was tallied at 56.2 per cent and the scarcity index was near 20 per cent throughout 2013. Two Venezuelans in

Anti-government protests have quickly become a feature of daily life in some parts of Caracas (BBC photo)

Guyana, Anna Gomez and her 20-year-old daughter Lillian say thee feel the anguish of Venezuelans back home. They have been moving back and forth to Guyana for years. However, since coming here in early January, they have not set foot back to their home country. The truth is, they say, that they will not return until the “storm has passed”.

“Bed of roses”

Speaking with GTI on Thursday, they shared their glory days under the strict socialist ideologies of late President Hugo Chavez, contending that life then was considered “a bed of roses”, when compared to the current state of the country. The death of Hugo Chavez in March 2013 had opened the door to black market traders and major exploitation. According to Gomez, importers took the opportunity to “rip off the people of Venezuela”. “There was a little rumbling. The tension was grow-

ing; you couldn’t get a toilet paper. Flour which was supposed to be 16 Venezuelan Bolívar a pack was 100 Venezuelan Bolívar. Simple onions went up from 15 to 90 Venezuelan Bolivar, and so it was there… the tension was there and so I was not surprised when it erupted,” Gomez, speaking about the protest, said. On April 14, 2013, one month after the President died, his former Vice President Nicolás Maduro was declared winner of the general elections; a narrow victory over leader of the main opposition party Henrique Capriles. But soon after, things took a radical turn for the worst. Hearts were broken and tears flowed. The country was overcast with uncertainty and fear. The women explained that the problem was not in the victory of Maduro, but in the fact that the government does little or nothing to curb the exploitation carried out by the black marketers.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Foreign diplomats call again for local govt polls


he ABC countries, along with a number of civil society organizations in Guyana, have reiterated their call for the holding of local government elections this year. The opposition recently approved a bill for local government elections to be held by August 1, 2014, but People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee said while his party was ready for Local Government Elections, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was not. PPP-appointed commissioners of GECOM have advised the party that the commission has yet to establish boundaries and provide voter education about the new system, he revealed. “For instance, in Georgetown, there will be a mixture of first past the post and proportional representation. We get the distinct impression from our commissioners that it doesn’t seem that they are ready for local government elections,” he said. The polls have not been held since 1994. In a joint statement, the local embassies of United States of

America, Britain and Canada said a year ago, political party leaders, civil society, private sector representatives, and members of the diplomatic community expressed their hope that 2013 would be the year that Guyana moved to ensure its citizens benefit from strong and effective local governance.

Significant progress

The statement noted that while 2013 passed without local government elections being held, significant progress was made to set the stage for these historic elections in 2014. “Four bills establishing a reinvigorated framework for local governance were approved by the National Assembly and three received presidential assent. Together with the 2010 Local Authorities Act establishing the electoral framework for local elections, the legislative path to elections has been cleared,” said the statement. According to the organisations, in anticipation of local government elections, GECOM has intensified its preparations and expanded voter education outreach to familiarise people with the

GECOM can begin the statutory steps required by law to hold local government elections. By all accounts, GECOM is well prepared and poised to ensure free, fair, and transparent local elections whenever called upon by the government to do so,” the groups asserted. Throughout 2013, all political parties repeatedly expressed their eagerness for local government elections, their desire to make their case to the voters, and their interBritish High Commissioner Andrew Ayre est in competing in localities throughout the voting process. country. The Local As President Donald Government and Ramotar observed in Regional Development July, the polls are “badly Ministry has been hostneeded, because many of ing seminars and workthe problems we face are shops with stakeholders due to the fact that we to promote voter educadid not have local govtion. ernment elections”. Additionally, GECOM The People’s Chairman, Dr Steve Progressive Party/Civic Surujbally has stated (PPP/C); A Partnership that the Commission is for National Unity fully equipped and ready (APNU); and the Alliance to stage the elections. It For Change (AFC) have has already demarcated all begun campaigning the boundaries and conin many regions in anticstituencies in 69 of 71 ipation of these historic districts, and each diselections. trict has been targeted Guyana Times Editorial for voter education. All of this augurs well “Once a date for elecfor 2014 as the year of tions is announced, local government elec-

tions. Indeed, as the Guyana Times observed last July, “there is a dire need for local government elections to give citizens the opportunity to choose whom they wish to represent them at the local level”. As international development agencies have long recognised, the tangible benefits of local democracy go far beyond the act of casting a vote. Effective and efficient public administration coupled with healthy local governance can drive development efforts. Local government institutions bring government closer to the people, fostering greater inclusion, civic responsi-

bility, empowerment and participation. “We agree with the Times that ‘only when people have transparent and accountable institutions at all levels of government – national, regional, and local, will they have confidence in their future’,” the diplomatic release said. The Constitution affirms that “local government is a vital aspect of democracy” that should allow as many people as possible to participate actively “in the task of managing and developing the communities in which they live, and it mandates that local elections be held every three years”.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

needed to end HIV/AIDS discrimination Nandlall sues Kaieteur Action in Caribbean - UN Special Envoy News for Gy$30M “Z


ttorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall on Tuesday was successful in securing an injunction against Kaieteur News, restraining it from publishing any further defamatory contents against him as was allegedly done in two previous editions of its daily column “Dem boys seh”. The ex parte injunction was issued by acting Chief Justice Ian Chang on Tuesday pending additional court documents to be served. The affidavit named Editor Adam Harris, Publisher Glenn Lall and the National Media Publishing Company as respondents. In the affidavit filed by Nandlall’s group of attorneys, which include Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos, Sase Gunraj, Euclin Gomes and Ganesh Hira, the minister is claiming some Gy$30 million for the public embarrassment caused by the two articles. “The aforesaid libel was calculated to cause and did cause me great

Attorney General Anil Nandlall

public embarrassment, held me up to odium and ridicule and to disparage me as the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Member of Parliament, both nationally and internationally,” he said. The columns referred to by Nandlall were published on February 28 and March 2 titled “Tax Dollars Going to SleepIn” and “Ah Kneel Deh Pun A Hustle” respectively. The minister also stated in the court document that his attorney had written the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Adam Harris, instruct-

Kaieteur News publisher Glenn Lall

ing that a retraction be published within 24 hours and warned if not done, legal actions would be pursued. Nandlall added that he had spoken to Harris about retracting the articles and was told that it was published based upon the instructions of Lall; however, the Editor-in-Chief did promised that a retraction along with an apology would be published. He said too that he had spoken with Lall who also promised that a retraction would be done, but no such actions were taken.

e r o Discrimination Day” was marked for the first time on March 1, spearheaded by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The commemoration promotes everyone’s right to lead full and dignified lives regardless of what they look like, where they come from and who they love. According to a release, the global campaign underlines the fact that “we cannot combat HIV without addressing attitudes and the way people relate”. In the Caribbean, more than 100,000 persons living with HIV are on life-saving treatment. Since 2001, there has been a 54 per cent decline in AIDS-related deaths and a 49 per cent fall in new infections. But the ostracism and stigma faced by people living with HIV, men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgendered people and other key populations, continue to slow progress toward reducing new HIV infections and preventing AIDS-related deaths. “Notwithstanding the strides we have made in prevention and treat-

UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV to the Caribbean, Dr Edward Greene

ment, our attitudes, the way we treat one another and fear about being discriminated against continue to undermine our efforts,” said the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV to the Caribbean, Dr Edward Greene. People are less likely to get tested for HIV if they will be treated with scorn or derision by healthcare workers, friends, family members and their communities. Soon-to-be-released findings from public opinion surveys commissioned by the UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Support Team in several Caribbean countries show that the main reason people are discouraged from getting tested for HIV is their concern

about the stigma they would face if news of a positive result gets out. “We now know that early and full HIV treatment can both save lives and prevent new HIV infections. However, the fear of going to clinics for medicines and check-ups leads many people to delay starting treatment. Others stop taking their medicines because they become despondent about the discrimination they face.” The special envoy is spearheading the “Justice for All” initiative. Led by the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) and supported by UNAIDS, this series of country-level and regional dialogue will engage government, civil society, faith groups, the private sector and young people on how to build solidarity and tolerance for all people, regardless of race, class, gender or sexual orientation. Greene stressed that even as the dialogues and awareness-raising continue, governments have a responsibility to take practical measures to protect the rights of the most vulnerable and give them access to protection, health and justice.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Runway teen found U.S. wants Guyana to with crushed head extradite more drug lords

Dead teenager, Andre aka “Andy”


he body of a 14-yearold boy was found on Wednesday morning in a pool of blood along 20th Street, Foulis, East Coast Demerara, suspected to have been run over by a vehicle. The teenager, who has never been registered at the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC), has been identified as Andre or “Andy”, formerly of 726 Foulis. He had been living on the streets since earlier in the year. The teenager, who lost his mother when he was just two years old, lived with an aunt in 19th Street Foulis, but left after he was scolded about his behaviour. The lad was found

in front of a house where a Bobcat was parked overnight. It is suspected that the teenager might have been sleeping under the vehicle when it drove off, crushing his head in the process. The homeowner’s spouse has since been interrogated by the police following the gruesome discovery. Andre’s aunt, Ramrattie Ronie, explained that she was at home when she received the news of his death and in a panic she ran in the direction of a Rural Constable (RC) to lodge a complaint. When she approached him, the RC said he had already been informed of the incident and asked her to identify the body.


She went on to say that when she arrived on the scene, she saw “Andy” lying in the corner of the road. His brain, she added, was protruding out of his skull and into the cap he was wearing at the time. As she recounted the experience, she burst into tears, saying that she left after the body was removed from the scene. The distressed woman said the last time she saw the young man was on Tuesday evening about 17:00h when he visited her home for the first time in a long time. “When he come, I ask he if he wantcontinued on page 13


he United States government has acknowledged the strides Guyana has made in its drug fight, but is looking forward to tangible progress on investigations, prosecutions, extraditions, security sector, and port security capacity enhancement. It also said serious work needs to be done to engage atrisk communities and enforce laws against money laundering and financial crimes. The comments were contained in the U.S. 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR). The report is an annual publication by the Department of State to Congress prepared in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act. It describes the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade in Calendar Year 2013. Volume I covers drug and chemical control activities, while Volume II covers money laundering and financial crimes.

Law enforcement

In the report, the U.S. said efforts to increase law enforcement capabilities, protect borders and ports, strengthen workforce development, and promote anti-money laundering effectiveness directly address priority concerns shared by Guyana and it-

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

self. Washington said the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI)-funded programmes support Guyana’s maritime operations by providing interdiction assets, including riverine patrol boats delivered in December 2013 and relevant command and control systems, as well as associated logistical support and training. In 2013, the U.S. provided port and maritime training to Guyana’s Coast Guard. “Initiatives also target law enforcement professionalisation, and more effective narcotics investigations,” the report states, adding that by strengthening Guyana’s counternarcotics capabilities, the U.S. seeks to enhance interagency coordination and help

gather better intelligence on drug trafficking routes. “The United States would welcome increased levels of cooperation with the Government of Guyana to advance mutual interests against the threat of international drug trafficking,” the report continues. According to the U.S., Guyana is a transit country for cocaine destined for its shores, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and West Africa. Cocaine originating in Colombia is smuggled to Venezuela and onward to Guyana by sea or air. Smugglers also transit land borders with Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname. Cocaine is often concealed in legitimate commodities and smuggled via commercial maritime vessels, air transport, human couriers, or various postal methods. The U.S said too that the influence of narcotics trafficking is evident in the country’s political and criminal justice systems. “Traffickers are attracted by the country’s poorly monitored ports, remote airstrips, intricate river networks, porous land borders, and weak security sector capacity,” the report states. Additionally, the report states that Guyana has legislation in place that could enable a more effective response to the threat of drug trafficking.



week ending March 9, 2014|

Wanted: witnesses for Rodney Inquiry


he Commission appointed to inquire into the death of the late historian Dr Walter Rodney is seeking the assistance of the public to submit written statements on the decades-old crime. In a newspaper advertisement, the Commission’s Secretariat said that persons wishing to testify before the Commission are invited to submit their statements containing the nature and substance of their proposed evidence. Persons who wish to tender books, plans and documents are also invited to submit same. A three-member Commission was on Tuesday last sworn in at the Office of the President to investigate

the circumstances surrounding the death of the late co-founder of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr Rodney, who was killed when a bomb exploded in the car in which he was sitting 33 years ago. Barbadian Queen’s Counsel Richard Cheltenham has been appointed Chairman of the Commission by President Donald Ramotar. He will serve alongside Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline SamuelsBrown, and GuyaneseTrinidadian Senior Counsel Seenauth Jairam.

Terms of reference

Meanwhile, WPA executives met on Monday to discuss and address the terms of reference for the Walter Rodney

The late Dr Walter Rodney

Commission of Inquiry. Party leader, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said that although the alliance was never informed or invited to the appointment of the commissioners, its members still found it necessary to review the terms of ref-

WPA Leader, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine

erence. While he declined to disclose what exactly was discussed, he noted that all concerns raised will be communicated to President Donald Ramotar. Among the issues re-

viewed was that of persons being granted absolute pardon in respect of, or incidental to all acts or things done, including offences committed in connection to the death of Dr Rodney. Dr Roopnaraine said that the current procedures planned for the inquiry are far from what the WPA had in mind when the motion was first passed in the National Assembly in 2005. In that motion, he said, the WPA was able to craft compromises and amendments to ensure it received the unanimous support of the National Assembly. “The reason I raised it is because, at the time, I believe it was felt that the best way to establish the kind of Commission we want was through the widest possible consultation on the way forward and that has not happened in this Commission,” he said. The terms of reference will also examine the role, if any, which the

late Gregory Smith, then Sergeant of the Guyana Defence Force, (GDF) played in the death of Dr Rodney. And if so, to ascertain who may have counselled, procured, aided and or abetted him to do so, including facilitating his departure from Guyana after Dr Rodney’s death. It will also examine and report on earlier investigations and inquiries done into the death of the political leader. Dr Roopnaraine said the WPA will be rendering its full cooperation towards the completion of the work by the Commission. A day after their appointment last week, members of the Commission of Inquiry met with the secretariat and had fruitful discussions. The Commission’s Chairman Richard Cheltenham had revealed, however, that much work was yet to be done before the inquiry begins.

Stalemate continues: Govt says Opposition holding ... from pasge 3

the AML/CFT Act of 2009 can be subsequently tabled in the National Assembly, passed and assented to by President Donald Ramotar once the green light is given by CFATF. Teixeira, the chairperson of the select committee said the opposition is holding the bill “hostage.” She related that APNU on February 26 presented to President Ramotar a maximum situation, affirming clearly that the AML/ CFT (Amendment) Bill will not revisit the House if its proposed amendments are not included in the bill. She added that albeit the amendments are collectively presented in the National Assembly, the coalition said the President must assent to the non-assented bill that was passed in Parliament and currently awaits his signature On February 10, President Ramotar had recommended to APNU that the AML/ CFT (Amendment) Bill 2013 which was agreed on by all parties sitting on the Special Select Committee be sent to the House. He had further proposed that a joint bi-partisan com-

mittee be set up to examine the Fiscal Transfers Bill that lays unasserted before him. This proposal was, however, flat out refused by the APNU. The coalition’s amendments are opting to eliminate the powers of the Finance Minister to assign the director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and give it to a committee of the National Assembly. Initially, APNU has also proposed the seizure of cash over Gy$2 million, as well as jewellery by the police or customs once there is reasonable suspicion of money laundering, but has since increased this amount to Gy$10 million. The Alliance For Change (AFC) led by Khemraj Ramjattan from the inception of the committee in 2013 made it clear that it will not support the AML Bill until the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) was established, operationalised and budgetary provision made available, but during the February 26th meeting, it backed the coalition saying the amendments to the Principal Act must also be included in the bills.

You can send your letters with pictures to: Guyana Times International, Industrial Site Ruimveldt Georgetown, Guyana or


week ending March 9, 2014 |

PPP had long called for a Commission of Inquiry into Rodney’s death Dear Editor, The People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) welcomes the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the death of the late Dr Walter Rodney. This is indeed a commendable gesture on the part of the current administration. It should be recalled

that the PPP/C had long called for an independent commission to be set up to inquire into the circumstances which resulted in the death of Dr Rodney. Dr Rodney was killed on June 13, 1980 in a car bomb explosion. His death took place at a time when there was mass mobilisation

against the People’s National Congress (PNC) dictatorship. Rodney was a close friend and associate of Dr Cheddi Jagan and the PPP. Despite his academic brilliance, he was denied employment at the University of Guyana (UG) by the PNC-dominated UG Council.

He became the target of a brutal and oppressive regime which boasted about ‘its steel being sharper’ in an attempt to silence and intimidate the political opposition. During that period, several opposition members and activists were harassed and charged on trumped up charges.

Some were killed under mysterious circumstances. The PPP/C is pleased with the composition of the commission, which consists of reputable and experienced members of the legal community in the region. The PPP/C calls on the PNC and indeed all

Guyanese to cooperate fully with the work of the commission. The PPP/C is hopeful that findings of this commission, which is long overdue, will bring closure to a very painful and embarrassing episode in our national and political history. PPP/C Freedom House

Remembering a man of his time – Moses Dwarka Dear Editor, I refer to a recent letter to the editor published in your newspaper about former long distance runner Moses Dwarka. I thought the letter was very timely, and wanted to add a few of my own thoughts. On a regular day, before the dew was displaced by the scorching sun, Dwarka would leave barefooted impressions in a passage of a lone figure long gone, while his peers were still in deep slumber. He was not the tallest person, nor was he differ-

ent from any of the locals struggling in the colonial times of a sugar belt plantation. To many younger boys at the time, he was only a name, an uncle, a brother, a neighbour or a friend. At about 11 years old, I heard the name Moses, but it did not mean anything to me except of an older guy who was apparently a good runner. Understanding and making sense of concepts in reality came later when a friend and I were caught stealing ginips. Moses was visiting

at a nearby logie not far from the pay office in Vryheid’s Lust, the plantation where many of us were born before the exodus to Better Hope around 1950-1. We heard a voice shouting at us. My friend then shouted, “Moses, run.” My friend ran faster and I was still trying to come to terms with the concepts ‘runner’ and ‘Moses’, while at the same time trying to catch up with my runaway friend. Moses caught up with me in a few easy strides. I for one was out of breath, tearful and very fright-

ened. But Moses looked at me and, knowing my parents, was probably more bemused by the incident. He said, “Guh home an’ nah mek me ketch yu again.” On hindsight there might have been a message there! I have never forgotten him since, and indeed the concepts – ‘runner’ and ‘Moses’ – left an indelible impression and a story that I recall with laughter and amusement to this day. For a small chap, Moses was larger than life itself. He was well

known, not only for his ability, but for his simplicity and kindness. At six miles he was unstoppable. I recall the crowd at the Public Road lining the sides from Montrose all the way to Better Hope. In the 1950s and beyond, ‘road race’ was a big event, and it didn’t become any bigger when Moses was running. We all wanted to see our champ in action. From a distance the shouts reached us like a Mexican wave, “Moses in de lead”. And there he was, a slight relaxed

crouch, mouth opened, sweating and barefooted, his legs responding to the shouts and cries of the supportive and frenzied crowd. With a renewed lease of energy and burst of speed, he would leave his competitors in his wake, as they would fail to muster a challenge to the silver bullet in white vest and pants. What an individual. What a runner. What a countryman. Our hero. Our legend. Our ‘Better Hopean’. Sincerely, Ameer Ali

Findings of the NACTA survey on government ministers Dear Editor, People rate Ministers Anil Nandlall, Dr Ashni Singh, Irfaan Ali and Priya Manickchand as the leading ministers of government, according to the findings of an opinion survey conducted last week by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA). The same individuals, plus Gail Teixeira, are the leading parliamentary debaters on the government’s side, while veteran parliamentarians Moses Nagamootoo and Carl Greenidge were rated as the leading debaters on the opposition side. A sample was constructed of 450 voters to yield a demographically representative sample of the population (43 per cent Indians, 31 per cent Africans, 16 per cent Mixed, nine per cent Amerindians, and one per cent other races). The survey was conducted at random by several interviewers (in face to face contact) with many years of experience in survey interviewing. The results of the findings were analysed at a 95 per cent significance level and a statistical sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points was found, meaning the findings could vary in either direction by three per cent. Sampling results based on subgroups (such as Indians or Africans) have a larger sampling error of about five per cent. Asked if they are satisfied with the performance of the government, 42 per cent said yes, with 38 per cent saying no, and 20 per cent not offering a response. Asked who they would rate as the most effective Minister, Dr Ashni Singh (Finance) leads with 16 per cent; followed by Irfaan Ali (Housing and Water, Tourism) – 14

per cent; Anil Nandlall (Attorney General and Legal Affairs) – 13 per cent; Priya Manickchand (Education) – 10 per cent; Dr Frank Anthony (Culture, Youth and Sport) – eight per cent; Dr Leslie Ramsammy (Agriculture) – seven per cent; Dr Bheri Ramsaran (Health) – five per cent; Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett (Foreign Affairs) – four per cent; Robert Persaud (Natural Resources and Environment) – four per cent, and Dr Nanda Gopaul (Labour) – three percent, with the others trailing way behind. Asked who they would rate as the most effective debater in Parliament on the government’s side, Nandlall leads with 17 per cent, followed by Teixeira with 14 per cent, Dr Singh (12 per cent), Ali (12 per cent), Manickchand (nine per cent), Dr Ramsammy (six per cent), and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds (four per cent), with the others trailing behind. Asked who they would rate as the most effective debater on the opposition’s side, Moses Nagamootoo leads with 19 per cent, followed by Carl Greenidge – 14 per cent, Khemraj Ramjattan – 11 per cent, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine – 10 per cent, David Granger – eight per cent, Joe Harmon – five per cent, and Basil Williams – four per cent, with the others trailing behind. Asked if an election were called now, how they would vote, 46 per cent said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), 38 per cent said People’s National Congress (PNC)/A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), four per cent Alliance For Change (AFC), and less than one per cent other parties, with 11 per cent saying they were undecided. Respectfully submitted, Vishnu Bisram



week ending March 9, 2014 |

President says Chinese investors are welcome in Guyana


artnerships are indispensible to spurring Guyana to its fullest economic heights, and as such President Donald Ramotar on Friday extended a welcoming hand to all Chinese investors. The President was at the time addressing the opening of the Chineseowned Zhanghao Shipyard in Coverden, East Bank Demerara, and also the launch and

naming ceremony for a logging vessel christened Yhan Heng freighter. Also present were Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy and Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Zhang Limin. “I want to extend special greetings to the Chinese investors who have come here and to let them know that they are welcome in Guyana,” President Ramotar said.

China’s growth

The President noted that China has tremendous capabilities, evident by the tremendous progress that the country has made in just over three decades. China’s growth is also unmatched, when compared to equivalent countries in any part of the world, he said.

Infrastructure development

Infrastructure development is important to Guyana achieving its full potential, and to reach this height, the

President Donald Ramotar; Prime Minister Samuel Hinds; Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy and Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Zhang Limin with the owners of the Zhanghao Shipyard

country’s partnership with Chinese communities is extremely important and vital, he underscored. Construction on the

Zhanghao shipyard started in 2012, but it was not until late 2013 that construction began on the vessel that was meant to facilitate the

transport of logs from Kwakwani where the company owns a logging concession. continued on page 12

FIU filed one money laundering report since 2009- DPP


irector of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar AliHack said the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has filed only one report on suspicious money laundering transaction since the first Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act 2009 was passed. The DPP’s statement was contained in a letter in response to a Kaieteur News editorial over the weekend which claimed that some 800 reports were forwarded to the chamber, but nothing was done.

Kaieteur News falsehoood

“I wish to categorically state that more than 800 reports of suspicious transactions were NEVER forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, as was stated falsely in your editorial,” Ali-Hack said in her letter. She clarified that according to the Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 section 9 (4a), the FIU shall compile a report and send it to the competent authority, if having conducted its analysis, the FIU has reasonable grounds to suspect that the transaction involves money laundering, proceeds of crime, or terrorist financing. She said according to Section Two of the Act, “competent authority” means the Director of Public Prosecutions, and includes any person authorised by him in that behalf. “The only agen-

Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack

cy, therefore, that has a statutory duty to send a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions of suspicious transactions, once there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the transaction involves money laundering, proceeds of crime, or terrorist financing, is the FIU,” Ali-Hack asserted. She said since the Act came into force, the FIU has only sent one such report via letter dated December 21, 2011, from the Director of the FIU. “The DPP, by letter dated January 9, 2012, responded to the letter stating that the information contained in the report was insufficient and requested that documents and statements in support of the information in the report be provided to the DPP. To date, the DPP has not received any response,” AliHack said. “The DPP wishes to state that every report and/or file, which is received from any law enforcement agency is addressed, given appropriate and adequate attention and response in a timely manner,

Director of FIU Paul Geer

and not filed away. Any report of suspicious transactions under the Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 will receive this same attention and response as do all other reports and /or files we receive.” The restructuring of the FIU to make it more vibrant is one of the sticking points in the delayed passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill. The opposition A Partnership For National Unity has argued that the unit, which functions out of the Finance Ministry, is poorly staffed, which does not allow it to conduct proper investigations into allegations of money laundering. APNU parliamentarian Joseph Harmon had told this newspaper that the coalition had major issues with the establishment of the FIU. He said the opposition had some concerns with regard to Section Eight of the Bill under which the FIU was established. According to him, while continued on page 11



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Most of DFC recommendations implemented – David Ramnarine S ome 10 years after the Disciplined Forces Commission of Inquiry recommendations were made, the Guyana Police Force reports that it has successfully implemented most of them. On Friday, Assistant Police Commissioner David Ramnarine made a detailed presentation on the status of the recommendations as it relates to the police force. Though a majority of the 71 recommendations were implemented; some are a work in progress. However, a few recommendations have not been implemented by the force since they are not within its remit. The recommendations deal with strengthening excessive capabilities of the force and this is being done through various programmes. Ramnarine explained that the emergence group has conducted a series of training in several areas. Training was also received from the Brazil Federal Police, among several other agencies. Ramnarine, however, noted that there is a need for specialised training in specific areas, such as the handwriting and ballistic fields. “However, handwriting and ballistics training is currently inadequate, we don’t have much of that and the list of training needs has been submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, a comprehensive package, where all these various needs were indicated,” he stated, while adding that there are difficulties

friendly relationship between the force and citizens, which is a major issue in society, is another area being addressed with community-oriented policing training, station management committees, outreach programmes and “face the community” meetings.

Ethnic balance

Assistant Police Commissioner David Ramnarine during his presentation on Friday

in locating institutions which offers such training.

Ties with DPP

M e a n w h i l e , Ramnarine told reporters that despite issues in the past, the force has strengthened ties with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and is working along closely in areas of file transmission, which will be done electronically soon, and legal training between the two agencies. He continued that the disciplinary actions against officers who have neglected their duty were adopted while special efforts are placed on ensuring that 24 hour services are provided to citizens, especially in rural and hinterland areas. However, he noted that it should be taken into consideration that the force operates on a shift system with a 20 per cent staff shortage. On this note, he highlighted that recommendations with the need for increased career attractiveness are to be implemented by the Home Affairs Ministry and some by the govern-

FIU filed one money laundering... from page 10

the party is in support of the outlined prerequisites for the appointment of the FIU Director, which includes legal or financial experience, in addition to 10 years of relevant experience in the field of law, financing and accounting, the coalition wants to reduce the powers of the Finance Minister. Section Eight stipulates that “the minister responsible for finance shall appoint a person with expertise and experience in legal, financial, or administrative matters to be known as the Director of the Financial

Intelligence Unit to carry out the functions of the Financial Intelligence Unit in accordance with this act.” Additionally, it states that the FIU Director may only be removed from his office by the President of Guyana. “We have a problem where the Minister of Finance is responsible for appointment and what we are saying is all those responsibilities should be transferred to the National Assembly from a shortlist of persons submitted by the Minister – who would head and the composition of it as well,” Harmon said.

ment; hence, it is out of the force’s remit. “We have our rate of attrition; sometimes in a year you might recruit 500 persons but then you have 250 leave for various reasons. Then a key aspect of this whole thing is remuneration… no longer is it always going to be love for the job; it’s got be what’s in it for me,” he stated. Ramnarine added that the review of salary structure is another way of attracting personnel. On the issue of raising the minimum criteria for recruitment from a sound primary education to secondary; this has been adopted by the restructuring of the entrance examination. He noted that over the past few years, there have been an increased number of recruits in possession of higher qualifications. Recommendations dealing with the issues of improved behaviour, attitudes and interpretation of power have all been implemented, ac-

cording to Ramnarine. This, he noted, is being done through training which is more evident in the junior stages. Community-

The Assistant Police Commissioner also gave an update on recommendations which addresses the issue of ethnic balance in the force. This, he noted, has to be adopted with the decentralisation of the Felix Austin Training Centre, encouraging the

adoption of professionalism and an ethically balanced recruitment panel among other measures, such as social activities. Another issue the force is struggling with is firearm licences, and several recommendations on this issue have been adopted. This, he said, is being done with the implementation of the Firearm Licenses Board, through which the process of granting firearm licences is managed. He noted that for members of community policing groups with firearms, the police station will keep a record to monitor its usage.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Brutally stabbed wife slowly recovering


wenty-six-yearold Tamika MillerPatterson, a mother of one, is slowly recovering at the Georgetown Public Hospital after she was reportedly stabbed 27 times by her estranged husband at her home at Lot 18 Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara in the wee hours of Monday. After committing the act, her husband, Andrew Curtis Patterson, 32, of Lot 63 Lancaster Street, West Bank Demerara went to his rented apartment at Roraima Housing Scheme and committed suicide. He was found hanging from the rafters in the apartment around 05:00h. According to reports, Patterson got annoyed with his wife after she refused to answer a question that was posed to her. In a rage, he pulled out a knife and carried out the vicious attack, striking her all over her body. The woman reportedly managed to escape and ran towards a relative’s home nearby but collapsed. Patterson reportedly continued stabbing

house, in front of which she operates a food bar. Miller-Patterson was last seen attending to her customers about 22:00h on Sunday.

Crashing sound

Andrew Curtis Patterson and his wife, Tamika on their wedding day

her after she collapsed. The relative who lives nearby explained that about 03:45h on Monday, she was in her home when she heard loud screams. The woman said she ran outside and saw Patterson with a knife in his hand leaving the scene, and as she took a closer look, she recognised Miller-Patterson lying on the ground. The injured woman was picked up and

rushed to the West Demerara Regional Hospital, but, owing to the severity of her injuries, she was transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital where she was admitted. The relative, who asked to remain anonymous, said it was only recently that a Magistrate issued a restraining order against Patterson who was instructed not to visit his wife’s home,

but, in spite of this, she would allow him to visit, to spend time with their child. Guyana Times International was told that the couple used to live together, but, as a result of constant problems, Miller-Patterson moved back to her mother’s vacant house. According to her relative, on Sunday evening, Patterson was seen lurking around the woman’s

When contact was made with the dead man’s mother, Telle Patterson, she explained that she was in bed when she heard a crashing sound and thought that it was her husband who had fallen, since he was under the influence of alcohol. The devastated woman said she went to check, and saw her husband on the kitchen floor; he told her that he had stopped their son from “pushing a knife to his chest”. Upon inquiring further, she was told that her son had left the home with a knife in his hand. Soon after, she received a telephone call from one of her daughter-in-law’s relatives who informed her of the stabbing incident. The distraught woman stated that she immediately went to the young woman’s home where she saw her relatives and made further inquiries.

She then went to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where she saw her daughter-in-law covered in blood. She, along with a few other relatives, accompanied Miller-Patterson as she was being transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital. At the hospital, the woman recounted, several X-rays were taken of Miller-Patterson after which she was taken to the trauma room where she was being monitored. While at the hospital, Patterson’s mother was in constant contact with her daughter, inquiring about her son, but was told that he had not returned home. Soon after, she was approached by two young ladies and one of them informed her that her son was found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment. She then telephoned her daughter to verify the news, but was told that it was a rumour. A few minutes later, her daughter called, confirming the horrific news. Patterson is survived by his parents, three siblings, wife, and daughter.

UN calls for pro-family farming policies U

nited Nations S e c r e t a r y General Ban Ki-moon and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director General José Graziano da Silva on Wednesday appealed to governments to boost support to the world’s small-scale family farmers in order to win the fight against hunger. Ban said the International Year of Family Farming being celebrated in 2014 called “for commitments” in a message relayed by Graziano da Silva to the Global Forum and Expo on Family Farming in Budapest, Hungary. “Governments can empower family farmers, especially women and youth, by creating policies conducive to equitable and sustainable rural development,” Ban

Family farms account for more than 90 per cent of all farm holdings in a recent study of 93 countries

said. “This includes better infrastructure to reduce the amount of food lost after harvest when small-scale producers are unable to store, process, and transport their goods.” The UN Secretary General also encouraged public and private lenders to provide vital financial services such as credit and insurance.

Ban warned that smallscale family farmers are particularly vulnerable to climate change events such as extreme weather, droughts, and floods. In his address to the forum, Graziano da Silva echoed the UN Secretary General in urging governments to adopt explicitly pro-family farming policies. He underlined that family farmers,

fisherfolk, forest-dependent people, pastoralists, and traditional and indigenous communities are key for food security in most countries, but, at the same time, they are among the world’s most vulnerable populations. A recent study of 93 countries shows that family farms account for more than 90 per cent of all farm holdings, he told the forum.

Source of employment

Family farmers also manage most of the world’s farm land, including 63 per cent in Europe, he said. “Apart from producing a high proportion of the food we eat, family farmers are, by far, the biggest source of employment in the world,” the Director General stressed, adding that they are also the guardians of the world’s agro-biodiversity and

natural resources. Graziano da Silva underlined the importance of protecting family farmers from rising threats to their traditional access to land posed by insecurity and land grabbing. The Committee on World Food Security’s approved Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure as well as its Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investments currently being negotiated are of great importance to keep these threats in check, he said. “Large private sector investments in agriculture exist and will continue, whether we like it or not,” he explained. “So it is paramount that there is a common understanding on how to invest in ways that are sustainable and pro-

tect the rights of family farmers and poor communities.” Secretary General of Asian Farmers Association, Esther Penunia; President of the southern area of the artisanal section of the National Federation of Fisheries of Mauritania, Mohammed Ould Saleck; and President of the European Farmers Association, Gerd Sonnleitner were formally appointed as FAO Special Ambassadors on Family Farming at the forum. They join the other special ambassadors already nominated for the year: Ibrahima Coulibaly, President of the National Coordination of Peasant Organisations of Mali; and Mirna Cunningham, former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

President says Chinese investors are welcome in...

from page 10

The vessel, whose designers and engineers are Chinese, and its steel plates pre-formed in China as well, has the capacity to carry 200,000 tonnes of logs and six crew members and will take about four days from Kwakwani to the shipyard in Coverden,

laden with the logs. The vessel was constructed with efficiency and pace by the workers of the company with 95 per cent of the work being completed in just over three months.

Revitalising local sector

President Ramotar said the Zhanghao in-

vestment has the potential to revitalise the local ships and ports “For me, this is a really joyous occasion, because what we are seeing here is the expansion of our production capacity… this investment here will certainly help to stimulate a lot of other activities

and allow the use of our rivers to cheapen transportation cost,” he said. Prime Minister Hinds also expressed similar sentiments. He expressed hope that the Zhanghao investment would be the first in the journey of many leaps with regard to the open-

ing up of a niche for medium and small ship building enterprises in Guyana. Ambassador Limin, in addition to lauding the efficiency of the Zhanghao company workers in the construction of the vessel, also expressed gratitude

to the Government of Guyana, noting that the shipyard’s success would not have been possible without their cooperation. Ambassador Limin also said that Chinese have much more to offer Guyana once given the opportunity.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Runway teen found PAC slams Region One REO for contract overpayments with ... from page 7

ed anything to eat or so, but he tell me no and he went back through the back gate.” Ronie said after the death of Andre’s mother some 12 years ago, she took care of him, but as he grew older, he started to get “own way”. She explained that after she found a job, the lad would normally be left at home, and he started to indulge in smoking and drinking. “He use to feel that he get big and I does argue with he… one day I went to work and when I come home, the neighbours tell me that he pack and left the house.”The woman added that she subsequently went to the police station and made a report. She later learnt that he was staying with his sister in Beterverwagting, ECD and duly informed the police. The woman added that a few weeks later, a relative passed away and she attended the funeral where she saw the young man at the cemetery. She enquired about where he was residing and asked

him to return home, but he paid her no mind. In tears, the distraught aunt said her husband later saw the teen and had a chat with him, encouraging him to return home but to no avail. The devastated aunt is in a state of shock. She has since contacted one of his sisters who resides in Beterverwagting who will in turn inform his other two siblings in the United States of America. However, persons in the neighbourhood alleged that the lad was mistreated by his aunt. “She ah cry crocodile tears… is she put de boy out of the house… and now she ah cry,” one woman stated. She added that the teen would normally frequent the area asking residents for meals, but he never troubled anyone, explaining that if he wanted something, he asked for it. The body of the teenager was taken to the Lyken Funeral Home to await a postmortem examination.


he Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament slammed Regional Executive Officer (REO), Region One Nigel Fisher on Monday over millions of dollars released for incomplete projects, giving rise to the issue of accountability. From all indications, Fisher was unprepared for the meeting when he appeared before the PAC chaired by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament Carl Greenidge. Referencing to overpayments totalling Gy$1.079 million made to B Buddoo General Construction Services for the rehabilitation of the Regional Administration Office, Mabaruma, Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira asked why inspections were not done before the funds were released. “It is not just the overpayment, it is also the liquidated damages,” she lamented.

Legal action

The region had stated that it would be pursuing legal action to recover

the amount overpaid, but this response was deemed unacceptable by Teixeira, since the matter emanated out of the Auditor General Report for 2011. “So between 2011 – this document came out in 2012 – we are now in 2014, so you mean the region has not gone yet to take legal actions on this?” she asked. The PAC was informed that the Region One RDC has been unable to locate the contractor. It was explained that the regional administration wrote the contractor to recover the amount overpaid; however, the registered mail was returned. The region is now of the opinion that the contractor is no longer in business. “We cannot locate the contractor… the building that the company used is locked and we cannot find any of the directors of the company,” she said. But the PAC members did not buy this explanation. Teixeira opined that there was no alacrity in the matter that occurred since 2011. The Regional Executive Officer got into further

regions and the ministries are looking like they are not even going after these issues,” Teixeira stressed.

Incomplete project

Regional Executive Officer, Region One, Nigel Fisher

trouble when he told the PAC that the rehabilitation of the Regional Administration Office at Mabaruma was being completed using other funds from the 2013 Current Programme. According to him, the project has cost less since it is being executed via force contract. “What bothers us in the PAC, not just the opposition but the government too, that these things are happening and no one seems to be chasing after them. Even if you fail, even if you go to court and the case is thrown out… the

She further recommended that the engineer who signed off on the incomplete project be taken before the court. She said either the engineer takes responsibility for his action or the REO faces the music. “If the REOs are not prepared to point their fingers to those who approved the projects when they are not half way done, then someone else has to face the music,” she said. The PAC Chairman expressed similar disappointment. Greenidge said, “It has to be clear that the committee is completely dissatisfied with the treatment of this matter, what arose in the first instance and what appears to be is the absence of any meaningful action.” Greenidge gave the REO three months to resolve the matter, noting that it was an issue on the table since 2011 and brought to public light in 2012.

Japan signs US$2.9M development pact with Guyana root in Guyana. “I would also like to say that this is a further demonstration of Japan being a true friend to Guyana, as Japan has, over the years, provided quite a lot of resources to our dear country. You would remember the New Amsterdam Hospital, the Corriverton water supply project, Japan’s contribution to work in the water conservancy, and we have been benefiting from scholarships,” she told media operatives. Rodrigues-Birkett added that government would welcome the day Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and Japanese Ambassador Yoshimasa Tezuka at the signing ceremony on Monday, while another official looks on


US$2.9 million grant aid project agreement was on Monday morning inked between the Governments of Guyana and Japan in the boardroom of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The grant is intended to boost Guyana’s economic and social sectors. Monies will be available for lending to members of the private sector and will also be utilised for the importation of products such as civil engineering equipment and electric power machinery. Foreign Affairs

Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said the funding was a unique mechanism. She explained that while the private sector would be allowed to borrow funds, the repaid loans will be used by Government for the further development of Guyana. She pointed out that the project was a manifestation of the growing relationship between the nations. RodriguesBirkett said the countries have been developing in different areas over the years, and recalled the many Japanese-funded projects that have taken

when Guyana would be able to export its products and services to Japan, since there has been an increase in trade from Japan to Guyana. Currently, more than 90 per cent of vehicles in Guyana are imported from Japan, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said.

Bonds of friendship

Japan’s Ambassador to Guyana, Yoshimasa Tezuka said the Japanese Government considers the project an opportunity to strengthen the bonds of friendship and deepen the mutual understanding of the two

countries. Ambassador Tezuka said 2014 will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Jamaica, and Japan and Trinidad and Tobago. He said the Governments of Japan, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago will observe the historic event with celebrations in Japan and Caricom member countries. These activities, he declared, will enhance JapanCaricom relations in diverse fields such as culture, trade, and tourism.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Guyana’s economic freedom Police hunting for new has advanced – Washington- suspect in Paradise murder based think-tank


istorically, the Washingtonbased think tank, the Wall Street Journal/ Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom has always been critical of Guyana, failing to recognise the strides made in moving the economy forward. However, the organisation recently ranked Guyana the 121st freest country out of 178 countries with a score of 55.7, about two points higher than that of last year’s. Over the 20-year history of the index, Guyana has advanced its economic freedom score by 10 points. This overall increase has been achieved by enhancements in seven of the 10 economic freedoms, notably the management of public spending, freedom from corruption, and monetary freedom, the scores for which have improved by 10 points or more. The report which was released last month stated that this increase reflected notable score increases in control of government spending and investment freedom. According to the report, “Guyana slipped back into

Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh

economically repressed” status during the late 2000s but has risen out of that category since 2012 and recorded its highest score in eight years in the 2014 Index.” Guyana has been experiencing real growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately five per cent per annum for the past eight years as a direct result of the conducive policy framework that the government has put in place. Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh in a recent interview stated that economic performance in the last two years has not only seen GDP growth, which

is the universally accepted measure of economic performance in a country, but all of the correlators are evident as well. These include: strong inward foreign direct investment, continued growth in credit to the private sector, stable prices, low inflation rates, low interest rates which continue to trend downwards and other key macroeconomic fundamentals remaining on a favourable trajectory. Last month, the United Nations’ Annual World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report 2014 projected that Guyana and Haiti will take the lead in economic growth for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Caribbean-based financial institution, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) also projects that Guyana and Haiti will take the lead in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is the authoritative institution for assessing a country’s economic performance projected economic growth of six per cent for Guyana this year.


rime Chief Seelall Persaud on Monday disclosed that the boyfriend of Paradise murder victim Patricia “Catty” Young has been released from police custody and the police are searching for another suspect. He said the police are looking for a man whom they believe frequents the area and might have been involved in the murder. The police have not released the name of the suspect, but it is believed that he may be mentally ill. An autopsy performed on the body of the woman confirmed that she was strangled with her underwear, which was tied around her neck when her body was discovered. Samples were also collected from the body for further analysis to determine whether she was raped, as is suspected. The results are due in three weeks. The young woman, who was employed at Bettencourt eatery, D’Urban Street, Georgetown, was laid to rest on Monday afternoon. Young, formerly of Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, was found without underwear, her skirt pulled to her stomach, and the top and underwear she was wearing tied around her neck. Her boyfriend was taken into police custody, minutes after the gruesome discovery. According to information received, the teenager and her boyfriend had been living together for more than a year, a stone’s throw away from where her body was discovered. She reportedly left home

Dead: Patricia Young

on Sunday just after midday to join her friends in the city to witness the Mashramani Costume and Float Parade, but did not return home. After she did not return, her boyfriend inquired from her friends as to her whereabouts, but no one knew where she was. It was not until Tuesday that he reportedly found a slipper belonging to the young woman, and went straight to the Vigilance Police Station where he lodged a missing person’s report and told them about the slipper. The police reportedly accompanied the young man and relatives to the area where he found the slipper and, after a few minutes of searching, the teenager’s body was found under some dried bushes.


Rupununi toshaos to help monitor mining activities


team of toshaos and councillors from the South and South Central Districts of Rupununi last week met with Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Guyana Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud and his team in a meeting with toshaos of the Rupununi Geology and Minister Persaud should be implemented Mines Commission (GGMC) , and the encouraged the tosha- within the next three to Amerindian Affairs os and councillors of four weeks. Katoonarib, The Natural Ministry to inform and Shulinab, and Maruranau, Resources share information on de- Shea, and Environment Minister velopment plans for their Karaudaranau, Potarinau to commit to also recommended that communities. The toshaos and reporting all irregular all irregular activities councillors brought to activities to the relevant and cases of breaches of the attention of the min- ministries or agencies to the law be directed to the ister and team their enhance national secu- relevant ministries and plans on development, rity, while making their law enforcement agencies and also highlighted is- communities more se- through the Amerindian Affairs Ministry. The sues that affect their re- cure. He also pledged that visiting team was also spective communities, Government Information a training programme encouraged to utilise the Agency (GINA) report- will be designed and im- established mechanisms ed. Discussion centred on plemented by the GGMC such as the National mining, safe mining prac- and the EPA to accom- Toshaos Council (NTC); Democratic tices, adherence to laws modate and train desig- Regional (RDCs); and regulations, the en- nated community mem- Councils Peoples vironment, land manage- bers in Geographical Indigenous System Commission (IPC); and ment plan, monitoring of Information irregular activities, wa- (GIS), water quality test- the Amerindian Affairs ter quality testing, and ing and monitoring. This Ministry to further their programme, he stated, developmental goals. technical training.


week ending March 9, 2014|


week ending March 9, 2014 |



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Further investigations into baton rape Guyana, Norway to lead UN allegations ongoing – Crime Chief finance for development process


ssistant Police Commissioner and Crime Chief Seelall Persaud said further investigations into the Colwyn Harding baton-rape allegations are ongoing. Persaud told the Guyana Times International on Tuesday that he cannot say how long the investigations will last, as investigators conduct further probes into the matter based upon the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack. Ali-Hack had returned the file to the police for additional investigations to be conducted about a week ago. The crime chief told the media last Friday that the DPP had requested that statements from the witnesses be redone, and more importantly, the medical certificate from the St Joseph’s Mercy Hospital doctor who had examined Harding reviewed. It is still unclear if the medical certificate from Jamaica was presented to the DPP for review.

Accused officer

Persaud also disclosed that the officer implicated in the matter, who was placed under close arrest, returned to regular duty but at a different location. However, he did not give details as to which station the rank was

Colwyn Harding

reassigned. He pointed out that the constitutional 72hour detention period was up, and so the rank had to be released from close arrest. Harding, 23, of West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, accused the police constable who was stationed at the Timehri Police Station of using a baton to rape him in the presence of two other senior officers while he was in custody between November 15 and 18 last. The police, however, alleged that during his detention, Harding assaulted a peace officer and behaved disorderly and this resulted in him being charged for the offences. He made a court appearance on November 18, and was placed on Gy$50,000 bail. When the allegation was brought to light early in January, the

Office of Professional Responsibilities was tasked with investigating the matter. A final report was then handed over to Police Complaints Authority Chairman, Justice Cecil Kennard who found that there was no conclusive evidence of Harding being raped. However, Justice Kennard did recommend criminal charges of assault against two officers and disciplinary charges against several others. About two weeks ago, Harding’s attorney, Nigel Hughes had disclosed that his client had been examined by a medical expert, Dr Dalgleish Joseph at St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Guyana and doctors in Jamaica. He noted that the Guyanese doctor pointed to “active rectal mucosal bleeding on Mr Harding in the upper rectum”. The Jamaican doctors, who subsequently examined Harding, noted that his injuries were consistent with the findings of the local Guyanese expert. Harding spent 33 days at the Georgetown Public Hospital where doctors said he suffered a strangulated hernia and was discharged on January 20 after undergoing several surgeries.


he permanent representatives of Guyana and Norway have been appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly to lead a UN process on financing for development. Ambassador George Talbot of Guyana and his Norwegian counterpart, Ambassador Geir Pedersen, have been mandated to conduct inclusive and transparent inter-governmental consultations, with the participation of major institutional stakeholders, on all issues related to the forthcoming third international conference on financing for development, including the date, format, organisation and scope of the conference. The conference will likely be held in 2015. With the United Nations currently embarking on the elaboration of a post2015 development agenda as a successor to the Millennium Development Goals framework that has anchored the organisation’s work in development since 2000,

Ambassador Geir Pedersen

an agreement on the means of implementation, including on financing, will be critical to the efficacy and successful implementation of the new agenda. The financing for development conference is expected to provide a holistic framework for mobilising resources from a variety of sources and for the effective use of financing for the achievement of the sustainable development goals that will be at the core of the post-2015 development agenda. Public financing, including ODA, will remain a key component of global financing for development. The leveraging of financing

Ambassador George Talbot

from other sources, including new private sector investments, unlocking domestic resources, harnessing trade flows, and curbing illicit outflows will be among the important questions that the conference will address. The forthcoming conference will follow up and build on the Monterrey Consensus adopted at the International Conference on Financing for Development held in 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico, and the Doha Declaration which emanated from the 2008 Doha conference on the subject.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Canadian firms talk up mining prospects in Guyana


wo major Canadian mining firms operating in Guyana have spoken glowingly

about doing business in the country, emphasising that the economics of exploration and devel-

opment remains robust, with high-quality accessible ore and favourable production costs.

Guyanese High Commissioner to Canada, Harry Narine Nawbatt (left); Natural Resources and Environment Ministry official Bobby Gossai; Canadian High Commissioner, Dr Nicole Giles; and Labour Minister, Dr Nanda Gopaul

The comments were made at the 2014 Annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention, which concluded on Wednesday in Toronto, Canada. The meeting was held from March 2-5 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The well-attended “Guyana Day” seminar, held on the first day of the convention, heard briefings by Guyana Goldfields Inc and

Sandspring Resources Limited on the in-country on-the-ground operating environment in Guyana. Guyanese government officials and Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr Nicole Giles also made presentations prior to the break into a reception and networking segment. The event was organised by the Canadian High Commissioner’s office and coordinated by Canadian Trade Commissioner Nicole Johnson. The Guyana delegation was headed by Labour Minister, Dr Nanda Gopaul, accompanied by officials from the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, which share jurisdiction of the mining sector. Seminar participants heard that even with the pull back in gold prices from its highs in 2012 and uncertain fluctuations in commodity prices, the economics of exploration and development in Guyana remains robust, with high-quality accessible ore and favourable production costs. Guyana Goldfields reported average operating costs in the lower quartile range at US$527 per ounce, including royalties. The company, which employs some 800 people directly, says it will spend about US$238 million over the next 15 months to bring its Aurora plant to full commercial production. This will result in it becoming the largest goldmine in Guyana. S a n d s p r i n g Resources also spoke of previous infrastructure development for its Toroparu gold mining project. Miners in the area now benefit from Sandspring’s expansion of a local trail into a service road. The company foresees the proposed 60 megawatt (MW) hydropower plant on the Kurupung River, 50 ki-

lometres from its property, as a major potential benefit to Region Seven and a catalyst for further mining in the area.

Rapid growth

A mixed blessing of the rapid growth of the mining sector is that it has been drawing workers from other industries, said Minister Gopaul. The Labour Ministry has had to step up its training programmes for heavy-equipment operators as operators trained for the agricultural sector are siphoned off by the mining industry as quickly as they can be trained. In addition, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has established the Guyana Mining School and Training Centre, Dr Gopaul told the audience. With the assistance of Canada’s College of the North Atlantic and the Canadian Institute of Mining, work is underway to create an accredited curriculum for the training of Guyanese in the skills needed for both small-scale and large-scale mining operations. Minister Gopaul said work was also ongoing to improve transparency and reduce corruption. Key portions of the law were translated into Portuguese and Chinese for the benefit of international business partners and if the need arose, they would be provided in both English and French, the official languages of Canada.

Investment opportunities

Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr Nicole Giles noted that the number of Canadian firms capitalising on opportunities to invest in mining in Guyana is a reflection of the fact that Guyana is a country that welcomes foreign investment. Mining in general accounted for more than 20 per cent of Guyana’s GDP in 2013, more than double its percentage in 2006, with the contribution from gold mining itself more than tripling.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

from page 3

Ramotar, Granger yet to consult on Police... shortly. Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee was also unsure when the official announcement will be made. He had said the extension of Commissioner Brumell’s tenure will last until the appropriate system is in place to appoint the new Commissioner. Those systems include meeting with the opposition leader. Brumell, whose term of office expired on February 8, remains on the job to facilitate a smooth transition for his successor. He is expected to leave by mid-March. He took up the substantive post of Police Commissioner in October last year, after acting in the position since December 19, 2011. Brumell has served the force for more than 36 years. Granger has been on record as saying that Brumell should leave the office when the time comes. The 50-yearold Persaud holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Management and a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Studies from the University of Guyana (UG). He also holds a Certificate Course for Senior Executives in National and International Security from Harvard University. He completed the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Standard Officers Course and investigating courses at the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Guyana urged to address threats of wildlife smuggling


ith the recent announcement made by U.S. President Barack Obama of a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, officials from the U.S. embassy in Guyana are urging all Guyanese to work toward addressing the serious threat posed by the illegal practice. In commemoration of World Wildlife Day, the embassy held a simple ceremony at its Barrack Street, Kingston Office on Monday. Economic and Commercial Officer of the United States Embassy in Guyana Jeff Barrus said Guyana was among the richest countries on Earth in terms of biodiversity. He noted that the country’s wildlife has been long regarded a national treasure. “From the magnificent jaguar to giant anteaters and river otters to iconic birds like the scarlet macaw and toco toucan, Guyana’s abundance of unique wildlife sets it apart from much of the world,” he told the gathering of embassy staff and University of Guyana students. Criminal enterprise Wildlife trafficking is a multibillion-dollar criminal

Jaguars, the national animal of Guyana, are among the local fauna under threat

enterprise, Barrus revealed. He said the practice has shifted from a conservation concern to an acute security threat. “The increasing involvement of organised crime in poaching and wildlife trafficking promotes corruption, threatens the peace and security of fragile regions, strengthens illicit trade routes, destabilises economies and communities that depend on wildlife for their livelihoods, and contributes to the spread of disease,” he said. Barrus said that while the United States government has an important role to play in addressing the issue, it cannot

do the work alone. As one of the world’s major markets for wildlife and wildlife products, he said, the United States believes “that we must work with our partners around the globe if we are to find a global solution to this problem”.

Shared efforts

The U.S. representative promised that his country will continue to lead global efforts to protect the world’s iconic animals and preserve the planet’s natural beauty for future generations. He reminded the gathering that the combating of wildlife trafficking will require the shared understanding, commitment and efforts of the world’s govern-

ments, non-governmental organisations, civil society, and individuals. Last month, President Obama announced the National Strategy, which is aimed at strengthening enforcement and cooperation with partner countries to reduce the demand for illegally traded wildlife. The President in a letter on the strategy early last month wrote that trade is decimating iconic animal populations. “Today, because of the actions of poachers, species like elephants and rhinoceroses face the risk of significant decline or even extinction. But it does not have to be that way. We can take action to stop these illicit networks and ensure that our children have the chance to grow up in a world with and experience for themselves the wildlife we know and love,” he said. Wildlife has become the fourth-largest illicitly traded good in the world, generating US$19 billion annually. A spike in poaching and trafficking in recent years has pushed animals like the Black Rhino toward extinction and reportedly financed operations for the al Qaedalinked group Al- Shabaab in Somalia.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

"Return 'home' and see for yourselves the level of progress" - Ramotar encourages Guyanese living in Florida


ome 400 Guyanese gathered last Saturday in South Florida for an evening of cultural entertainment, traditional cuisine and congratulatory messages as they celebrated the 44th anniversary of their homeland becoming a Republic. The celebration, held at the Walter C Young Performing Arts Centre, was particularly special as the event was graced by Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett along with her Barbados counterpart, Senator Maxine Mc Clean. Following a sumptuous dinner of cook-up rice and curry and roti ‘washed down with good old Guyana El Dorado and XM rums’, patrons heard tributes paid to their homeland from a host of officials, including the Barbados Foreign Minister, Florida State representative Hazell Rogers, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Barrington Russell and Miramar Vice Mayor Alexandria Davis as well as the Consul General of St Lucia,

home to uphold our motto of ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny.’” In his message published in the souvenir journal, President Donald Ramotar said that becoming a Republic has “defined us as a nation and shaped our cultural identity as a people”.

Visit Guyana

Guyana’s president Donald Ramotar

Kent Hippolyte, Dean of the Caricom Consular Corps. The feature address was delivered by Minister RodriguesBirkett, who brought the audience up to date with developments in Guyana and with Guyana’s relationships with Caricom and with the U.S. In outlining developments in Guyana, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett, said: “I don’t believe there are any

differences among the parliamentary parties as to where we need to take Guyana. The difference is how we want to get there.” The Minister acknowledged the contributions which Guyanese in the diaspora make to their homeland and their sense of patriotism. “I wish to commend you for keeping the spirit of Guyana alive in Florida and for continuing to strive with us at

“I want to say to all that great things are happening in Guyana. You have to see it to believe it! I therefore want to encourage all the Guyanese who reside in Florida to come back home and see for yourself the progress that is being made and to examine how you can be an integral part of taking our country to even greater heights in the future,” the president said. The diverse cultural entertainment featured Terry Gajraj, Winston Duggin, Harold Caribbean, The Tempets, dance and drumming ensemble with roots from Buxton and The Jaya Devi Dance Company with dances by Shameeza Roshanali, Rehan Ally, Leena Ally, IIlcia Dow, Varuna Ramersaud

Singh, Ashley Dindial, Alana Resaul, Hannesa Ramnarine and Kayla Dean. The event was put together by a committee headed by Wesley Kirton and included Leslie Latchmansingh, Tina Beharry and Larry London. In welcoming guests to the event, Kirton explained that “this is not a fundraiser per se, but surplus funds from last year’s celebration helped finance the participation of a University of Guyana law student in an important workshop in Washington, DC as well as support the work of the Ruimveldt Children’s Aid Centre”. The event was sponsored by Laparkan Trading, CGX Energy Inc, Dipcon Engineering, MACORP, Seafreight Agencies, Caribbean Airlines, NEW Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (Limacol), Demerara Distillers, Hab International, Suriname Airways, Banks DIH Limited, Harry Rambarran and Family, Trans Caribbean Shipping and the Foreign Affairs and Tourism Ministries.

Govt awaiting Hardt’s return for LEAD project meeting


residential Adviser on Governance Gail Teixeira said the Government of Guyana is awaiting the return of U.S. Ambassador D Brent Hardt to fix a date to commence talks on the stalled US$1.2 million Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) governance project. Ambassador Hardt is currently out of Guyana on official duties. On February 13, Teixeira had said the Donald Ramotar Administration had agreed to meet with the U.S. during the week of February 17-21, but 18 days after that press conference at the Office of the President, the parties are yet to meet on the project. Last year, the government rejected the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project, claiming that it did not reflect its input. At the time, the Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon had explained that the proposal did not reflect the input of the Government of Guyana. Both the project and design were rejected. “The project that habitually and conventionally is an engagement between Guyana and its development partner

U.S. Ambassador D Brent Hardt

USAID, this one in 2012 departed from the convention. Firstly, we were presented with an agreement to sign, over which we had zero contribution. Secondly, when we officially got the design, there was considerable objection, as far as the administration was concerned,” Dr Luncheon explained at the time.

Civic engagement

The USAID LEAD project was being implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI), with the primary objective of supporting Guyanese stakeholder efforts to promote effective and responsive democratic institutions. It was also designed to strengthen the political and consensus-building process and skills through

programme components. The project aimed to, firstly, in a non-partisan manner, work jointly with all political parties in enhancing the functioning of the National Assembly as an effective, representative deliberative body. Secondly, it aimed to strengthen the National Assembly and boost citizens engagement with and understanding of Parliament, while motivating youths and women to be more engaged in political and civic processes. Finally, if implemented, the LEAD project will give much-needed support to civic and voter education efforts to support the implementation of local government reforms and local elections. IRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organisation that works to strengthen democratic political processes and institutions, support open elections, increase democratic governance, and increase the participation of marginalised groups in political and civic processes, including women and youth. It has conducted programmes in more than 100 countries and, along with its Women’s Democracy Network, is currently active in more than 80 countries.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Berbicians celebrate City Council officials trade barbs again mash their style

- Mayor claims 2014 budget deficit ‘deliberate’



eorgetown Mayor Hamilton Green on Monday admitted that the Gy$246.7 million shortfall in the Council’s Gy$2.5 billion 2014 budget was “deliberate” and predicated on certain conditions when it was presented to key stakeholders at City Hall. The budget presentation exercise was lacklustre for the most part and appeared not to have much focus or direction with respect to the objectives it hopes to achieve for the current financial year. Mayor Green, who endorsed the budget, explained that the Council agreed to the budget with the deficit because it is expected that municipal elections would be executed this year. He said that the Council also anticipated that the suite of legislation which was passed by the National Assembly that embodied a regime of local government reforms would also be signed into law this year.

One of the many colourful floats on display on Sunday

erbicians came out in their thousands on Sunday as they took to the streets to celebrate Mashramani, Berbice style. Revellers of all ages lined Main Street, New Amsterdam to get a glimpse of the eight spectacular bands that took part in this year’s parade. The bands assembled at Marks Bridge and then made their way along Main Street, accompanied by loud soca and dancehall music, as revellers and spectators alike gyrated to the booming sounds from the massive sound systems that accompanied each float. There was something for everyone as the bands showcased various aspects of Guyana’s rich folklore while sending positive messages as in the case of the Health Ministry float. Five floats participated in the event namely those of the Regional Democratic Council Region six, Education Ministry, Tourism Ministry, Health Ministry and a local contingent from

Fiscal transfers

A float designed by the Region’s Executive Office

New Amsterdam. By the time the bands finally made their way to Stelling Road, the sun had set but that did not stop patrons from continuing the party as there were several after-fetes in New Amsterdam and its environs planned. There were several overseas-based Guyanese who came back home just to be part of the Berbice Mash. “I am having the time of my life, this is what I needed to get me back to normal from that cold of North America”, said Natasha Singh, who was gyrat-

ing to soca. There were also several members of the Peace Corps and persons from Essequibo and Georgetown. The children were also treated as they enjoyed photo shoots with cartoon characters, face painting, bouncy castle and much more. Despite the limited number of floats, Berbicians expressed satisfaction with this year’s event as they look forward to a bigger and better Mash in 2015. Mashramani 2014 was celebrated under the theme “Cultural folkore, celebrating 44”.

Green said the deficit assumes that at least one of the bills passed would see direct fiscal transfers to the municipality, based on the size of its geographic location and population. This, according to Green, would see the Council garnering more resources to discharge its mandate. The Mayor spent much of his time decrying the state of affairs at the council and what he called the culture of “micromanagement” by the ruling People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Government. He contended that the government had no interest in working with the council to address the problems which are retarding the growth and overall development of the city. Green alluded to the

Town Clerk Carol Sooba

City Mayor Hamilton Green

many woes being encountered at the council as he again recorded his disapproval of the way the city is managed. In doing so, he consistently insulted the Town Clerk, citing several shortcomings which were akin to corruption and executive manipulation of the council’s bureaucracy. Town Clerk Carol Sooba appeared to be growing inpatient as the Mayor continued his verbal assault, moving from Prime Minister Samuel Hinds to junior Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker. The budget was presented by Finance Committee Chairman, Councillor Junior Garrette, who when questioned by this media house as to how the Council planned to finance the deficit, stated that the council is depending on assistance from Central Government. Garrette insisted that the government should increase the annual subvention to the council as he expressed hope that relations between two sides would improve. He lobbied for the council to be exempted from paying Value Added Tax (VAT) as he claimed that it was losing millions of dollars by having to remit all this money to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Garrette reported that as much as Gy$160 million could be saved if the threeyear negotiations on making the Council exempt from paying VAT conclude soon and on a positive note. The Councillor also called for the Government to designate a judge to deal with municipal matters in addition to the efforts being made at the level of the magistracy, explaining that the Council would then be able to go after and prosecute those who owe the city millions of dollars in rates and taxes. He brought up the issue of revaluation of properties in the city, stating that monies from this were also expected to flow into the Council’s coffer. He noted that discussions are continuing in this respect. Garrette said the Council is burdened as 61 per cent of rates and taxes collected go towards payment of wages and salaries, coupled with the fact that it owes the Guyana Power and Light Inc a whopping Gy$20 million. Additionally, he reported that the Council has not increased taxes over the last 16 years. There were no major announcements at the budget presentation but hope was expressed for things to get better sooner than later.

Health Ministry monitoring gastro illness in North West District


hief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Shamdeo Persaud said the Health Ministry is monitoring Port Kaituma and neighbouring communities closely even as residents continue to experience gastroenteritis symptoms. Dr Persaud confirmed that some residents within the North West District (NWD) have been experiencing vomiting and diarrhoea, but said the situation is not alarming. While declining to disclose statistical data, he said the surveillance system has not reflected a peak since the commencement of the year. “The epidemiologist

Times International. According to the CMO, medical personnel have been deployed to the Port Kaituma Regional Hospital to offer support, in an effort to keep the number of cases down.

Regular visits

Chief Medical Officer Dr Shamdeo Persaud

has not indicated anything out of the ordinary. While we are seeing a number of cases, they are within the expected amount,” he told Guyana

Health personnel also visit the NWD regularly, conducting inspections and simultaneously educating the public on good health practices. Dr Persaud said the Health Ministry has had concerns about the preparation of food and the quality of water used for consumption. These two areas can be linked to the vomiting and diarrhoea currently being experienced.

The CMO stated too that the multistakeholder committee which was formed in the first quarter of 2013 following a major gastroenteritis outbreak in Region One meets intermittently. The committee comprises the Local Government and Regional Development, Housing and Water and Natural Resources Ministries, the Civil Defence Commission, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the PanAmerican Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Alarming infection




more than 500 residents of Port Kaituma, Canal Bank, Citrus Grove and Oronoque were affected by the gastroenteritis outbreak. Three children died from the illness. Residents had consumed contaminated water from the river and a nearby well. It was also stated that the waterways were highly polluted with results showing high levels of E coli bacteria present. Studies done in the area indicated that the erection of latrines close to the river and the dumping of garbage in and along the river bank were the main contributing factors. Today, not much has changed in

this regard. The Health Ministry has warned Cabinet that a similar outbreak can unfold within the region for a third time due to complacency. Opposition Leader David Granger said too that another outbreak can hit the NWD. While the Health Ministry’s records show that three children might have died due to the illness between late January and March 2013, Granger contended that the figure was 10. The NWD was first affected by a gastroenteritis outbreak in 2010. At the time, seven persons died, with hundreds hospitalised.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Airport expansion project moving ahead as planned

President Donald Ramotar; Public Works Minister Robeson Benn, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and several engineers at Little Diamond, East Bank Demerara where workers are driving piles for the construction of a bridge


resident Donald Ramotar along with Public Works Minister Robeson Benn and Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and several engineers on Sunday inspected works ongoing on the East Bank Demerara four-lane road, and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project. The latter is expected to meet its August 2015 deadline as works are scheduled to commence on several aspects of the building during the course of this year. The East Bank four-lane expansion has a June deadline. President Ramotar inspected three segments of the East Bank road expansion at Mocha, Little Diamond and Diamond New Scheme, where works are in progress,

and expressed satisfaction with the works thus far. Speaking to the Government Information Agency (GINA) at the CJIA, President Ramotar stated that the new airport will bring Guyana up to world class standard, which is very important for the country. Meanwhile, Minister Benn explained that there were some delays with the East Bank expansion, due to several factors including inclement weather, supply of road material, and the removal of utilities. He noted that now that the weather has improved, works are progressing, and the latest completion date is June month-end. CJIA Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghir said the airport expansion project is moving as planned, and the contractor is currently car-

rying out excavation works at the end of the runway. Ghir further said that excavation and back filling works have started on a test section of 160m x 160m of the runway, which is about 10 per cent of the runway extension and that in itself, is about 70 per cent complete. “We anticipate that in a few months, we will begin the designs for the terminal building and start construction works on that building,” Ghir said. The US$150 million project is funded by the government of China through the Chinese Exim Bank. The expansion will cater for a new terminal building with eight boarding bridges, elevators and CCTV. The runway will be extended by 3500 feet, and there will be eight international parking positions.

Chancellor receives revised laws of Guyana


large component of the Modernisation of the Justice Administration Project has been the revision of the Laws of Guyana and on Friday, copies were presented to the InterAmerican Development Bank’s (IDB) representative Sophie Makonnen and acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh. Upon receipt of her copy from Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, Makonnen said she was pleased to see the results of this component of the project. The IDB, country representative added that it is her hope that the bank and the government can continue to work together. During the ceremony which was held at the Sleep Inn Hotel, copies of the compilation were on

Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Anil Nandlall presenting a copy of the revised Laws of Guyana to acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh

display to the gathering which consisted of several top ranking officials from the legal fraternity. Giving an overview of this component

of the project, Project Coordinator Justice Claudette Singh said the laws have been updated continued on page 24

Education ministry to host consultations on professional standards for teachers


ecognising that the continuous success of Guyana’s education system hinges upon the professionals who stand in the classroom every day, the Education Ministry has drafted a document that is intended to hold teachers to specific professional standards. In a release last week, the Ministry said Professional Standards for Teachers set expectations for achieving desired educational outcomes. These standards are not intended as a tool for punitive action. Rather they reflect professional consensus of what is desirable in the supervision, leadership and delivery of education. They also provide a framework that permits professionals to engage in self-assessment. These standards are aligned to Organisation of American States (OAS), Caricom and other international standards. Professional standards offer the profes-

Teachers’ performance

Education Minister Priya Manickchand

sional community specifications against which teachers are able to set goals for personal development and progress in the profession. The standards are multi-dimensional and give cognisance to the key props for learning to take place, namely: (a) a motivated and willing learner; (b) effective teaching and learning and, (c) an enabling environment.

Once implemented, the standards will serve as a tool to monitor and evaluate teachers’ performances in the classroom, knowledge of the subject (s) they teach, techniques used, level of commitment to the learners in their care, and effective management of diversity to promote inclusiveness in the learning process. The standards will also help teachers sharpen their professional skills and help them interact with parents and the community. Education Minister Priya Manickchand is keen on implementing the standards, as they will aid significantly in professionalising the teaching body. She believes strongly that all stakeholders should get the opportunity to contribute to the contents of the standards so that all can move forward together. Minister Manickchand will lead many of the scheduled consultations.

Caricom accredits first Botswana Ambassador


strong working relationship between Botswana and Caricom member states would go a long way to ensuring growth and a stronger voice on issues which concern them such as climate change, gender equality and the fight against terrorism and nuclear disarmament, Ambassador Bernadette Rathedi said recently. Ambassador Rathedi, who was accredited as the first plenipotentiary representative of Botswana to Caricom, underscored the need for “our countries and regions” to make greater efforts to work together and strengthen one another in advancing common concerns on the international scene. “There is, indeed, power in unity,” she told the audience at the Caricom Secretariat after she presented her letters of credence to Caricom Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. In his remarks, Ambassador LaRocque highlighted Botswana’s progressive establishment of formal relations with Caricom member states that began with Guyana in 1978. Botswana, he recalled, was one of few African countries with accredited diplomatic representatives to almost all Caricom member states. Those ties have been strengthened through

Botswana Ambassador to Caricom Bernadette Rathedi shares a toast with Caricom Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

shared membership in the Commonwealth, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the United Nations. The Secretary General pointed to the similarities between Botswana and Caricom member states such as their experiences with the global financial and economic crisis, the quest to diversify their economies, and economic activities being pursued such as tourism, agriculture and financial services.

Meaningful interlocutor

“As the community seeks to deepen ties with the African continent, through strengthened relations with individual states and sub-regions, Botswana presents itself as a meaningful interlocutor with Caricom states in this regard. Your position as the headquarters country for the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as well as a willingness in

seeking to strengthen relations at this time augurs well for our close collaboration. Indeed, the two communities face similar developmental challenges in the process of regional integration and cooperation,” he said. Ties between Caricom and SADC were also a point of reference for Ambassador Rathedi, who indicated that her country supported the continuing cooperation between the community and SADC and between the community and the African Union. Such collaboration, she said, would improve market access between the two regions; improve opportunities for trade and investment and people to people interaction. The new ambassador also relayed the gratitude of Botswana and the Southern African region for Caricom’s “invaluable contribution to the liberation struggle in our region”.

news week ending March 9, 2014

APNU to retable failed motion against Finance Minister Assembly. A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament Carl Greenidge had tabled the motions last year. In Greenidge’s motion, he noted that the 10th Parliament passed Resolution No 15 instructing Dr Singh to lay a report on the extra-budgetary agencies. Additionally, the Minister was required to direct all those extra-budgetary agencies with outstanding reports, including audit and financial reports, to pay all monies being held in the Consolidated Fund by June 30, 2012.

Privileges Committee


Speaker Raphael Trotman

pposition Leader David Granger on Friday said he was not satisfied with Speaker Raphael Trotman’s ruling on two motions brought against Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, as sufficient action was not taken. The Speaker on Thursday referred Dr Singh to the Privileges Committee, where he could be sanctioned if found in breach, after he found that a prima facie case had been made out that Minister Singh refused to comply with Resolution 15 of the National Assembly to submit a report on all extra-budgetary agencies, including the Guyana Development (Lotto) Fund. However, on the second motion that Dr Singh made an allegedly unauthorised release of Gy$217 million to the National Communications Network (NCN) and the Government Information Agency (GINA), Trotman said no case was made, although the matter was also referred to the Privileges Committee. At a media briefing at his coalition’s office, Opposition Leader Granger said the motion, which the Speaker described as somewhat vague, would be redrafted and retabled in the National

In his ruling, the Speaker said it was impossible to determine whether the Finance Minister’s non-compliance was deliberate or whether he misunderstood the resolution, passed on June 27, 2012, or had difficulty implementing it, without hearing from him. “All these questions will be considered by the Privileges Committee,” he declared. Although he referred the issue to the Privileges Committee, the Speaker made it clear that such a referral does not indicate that the Minister is guilty of any wrongdoing. With regard to the release of funds to NCN and GINA in 2013, Trotman said: “On the face of it, there are, in my considered opinion, insufficient facts to support the contention that the National Assembly issued a legitimate instruction or command to the Minister of Finance regarding the release of monies to NCN and GINA and further and most importantly, that instruction of command was disobeyed.” He said, before there can be a prima facie case for contempt, there has to be evidence of an instruction or a command. “Had the National Assembly passed a Resolution directing the Honourable Minister to act or omit to act, in certain definite and specific ways in relation to the monies for NCN and GINA, the position would have been different.”

PM Hinds in favour of giving every traffic cop a radar gun, breathalyser kit


rime Minister Samuel Hinds last Friday told a road safety conference that he would support any budget that gives every traffic officer a breathalyser kit and radar gun. The conference was recently held at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara. He said precautionary measures must always be taken to reduce traffic accidents in the country, noting that Guyanese must improve on the way they traverse the roads. Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee for his part bemoaned the negative impacts of road traffic accidents, especially in cases where lives have been lost or severe injuries sustained. Rohee told the audience that road fatalities affect Guyana’s human resource capacity, explaining that children and

he added.

Report defaulters

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds

teenagers have lost their lives on the country’s roadways, without being given the opportunity to realise their potential. These accident victims could have been the future scientists, educators, agriculturalists, politician or simply individuals who would have dedicated their energies toward nation-building,

The Home Affairs Minister championed the cause for all Guyanese to observe the traffic laws of Guyana, positing that defaulters must be reported at all times. Reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while texting or using a cellular phone or speeding should not be condoned. Meanwhile, following lengthy deliberations, road safety methodologies which will create public awareness were examined and adopted. The conference brought together primary and secondary students and teachers from across the country, in addition to leading members of the security forces, including Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell, Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle and Prisons Director Welton Trotz, among others.



Two killers maybe hanged in Trinidad A

reputed gang leader from Sawmill Avenue in Barataria and his partner may become the first two men to be hanged for several years in Trinidad and Tobago after they were denied leave by the Privy Council in London to appeal the local court of appeal affirmation of their murder convictions. In an order last Friday, UK Law Lords Mance, Sumption and Hughes, refused permission to Garvin “Beam” Sookram and Keron “Bellies” Lopez to appeal the order made by the Court of Appeal on April 20, 2011. The Law Lords said after considering the application and written submissions filed by the men’s attorneys and the State, they found no risk that a serious miscarriage of justice had occurred in their case. “The trial judge handled the trial and summing up with great care,” the Law Lords held. Justice Joan Charles presided over Sookram and Lopez’s trial while their appeals were heard by Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Justices of Appeal Paula Mae Weekes and Alice Yorke-Soo Hon.

FLASHBACK: Convicted murderer Garvin "Beam" Sookram, and Keron "Bellies" Lopez, being led through Sawmill Avenue during a visit of the Court to the crime scene in Barataria in 2009

Sookram, a reputed gang leader from Sawmill Avenue, Barataria and his partner Lopez, were convicted on March 2, 2009, of the murders of Kerwin “Richie” Hinds and Kerwin “Ox” Cyrus, on July 28, 2004, at Sawmill Avenue, Barataria. Hinds and Cyrus were ambushed in a track off Granado Street, Sawmill Avenue and shot several times. One man, Sean Quamina, managed to escape and went to the Morvant Police Station where he identified Sookram and Lopez days later as the two who killed Hinds and Cyrus.

Quamina was killed on February 2, 2011 in New York by a gunman who stormed his apartment at Lorraine Street in the Red Hook District and shot him in the head. Legal sources said Sookram and Lopez fell outside of the Pratt and Morgan guidelines for executions to take place since they were convicted in 2009. In the Pratt and Morgan judgment, the Judicial Committee held that to carry out executions of prisoners who spend more than five years on death row would amount to inhuman or degrading treatment. (TT Newsday)

24 News Crime on the high seas: Collusion between pirates and fishermen causing much worry T week ending March 9, 2014

he Chairman of a major fishing complex on the Corentyne, Berbice said that around 30 per cent of the fisherfolk who operate in the area were involved in piracy. He said because many of them are allowed to get away with the crime, the scourge of high seas piracy will continue. Number 66 Fishing Complex Chairman Parvinchandra Deodat, who also heads the Berbice Anti- Piracy Unit, made the comments in wake of a recent incident where known fishermen attacked their colleagues, but were later released by police after reportedly compensating their victim with some Gy$1 million. The incident has since sparked a major row in the industry, as several fishermen on the Upper Corentyne are furious. The incident fur-


ther strengthens the arguments by many that a number of the pirate attacks on the high seas are being carried out by fishermen. On February 17, about 20:30h, fishing vessel Sharmila, owned by Sharmila Khelai of 12 Lancaster Village, was attacked by the five men in another vessel OMI 3, property of Anilla “Dolly” Alfred, 48, of Number 67 Village. Four men who confessed to the crime were arrested, but were released, since the two parties settled the incident to the tune of Gy$1 million. The incident occurred in Surinamese waters. In interviews with several fisherfolk on the Upper Corentyne, this publication was told that there is growing frustration among persons in the fishing business. Deodat said he was fully aware of the incident,

Number 66 Fishing Complex Chairman Parvinchandra Deodat

and even though he cautioned both parties not to make any settlement, they still went ahead. He insisted that the men held for the alleged piracy and hijacking should have remained in custody and should be jailed for life, with the vessel used to carry out the attack seized by the state, regardless of

which territorial waters the incident occurred in. Deodat maintained his clean record regarding the fight against piracy in the Upper Corentyne. According to him, a Bill was passed in Parliament assented to by former President Bharrat Jagdeo in July 2008 stating that for any act of piracy, hijacking, or any other high sea offence, the culprit should be slapped with a life sentence. Information was that the owner of OMI 3 is related to an executive of the Number 66 Fishing Complex. It was reported that after receiving threats, the owner of Sharmila was forced to make the settlement. Deodat said no interference should have come from the executive. He said protocol should be observed and those who committed the offence should face the conse-

quences. Deodat also alleged that the two fishermen who were killed at Tain some time ago died because they recognised their attackers. He stated that fishermen from other fisheries have been able to infiltrate their system at Number 66 and commit the acts with the full cooperation of those in top positions.

Not involved

“The executive members of the Upper Corentyne Fishing Complex are not involved in piracy, but are only committed to fight this scourge. No matter what this act cannot be stopped completely, to my opinion when you analyse what triggers piracy, you will see one area as being greed, where fishermen become greedy and rob each other to get more finance,” Deodat said. Asked what might be

triggering this behaviour, he acknowledged that some fishermen’s expenses are high…” and therefore, when they are not able to make a profit due to circumstances, they then resort to robbing each other to manage their expenses. Some of them are honest and try to make a decent living, but the expenses become extreme, now especially with the rise in the price of fuel. We have been disconnected from GPL for a number years now, so the expense incurred are contributing to these illicit activities,” he posited. Meanwhile, regarding the settlement between the owners of OMI 3 and Sharmila, B Division Commander Brian Joseph said he has since sent the file to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice. (Taken from the Berbice Times)

Chancellor UG students snub arbitrary changes to education programme receives revised laws of... T

from page 22

h i r d - y e a r University of Guyana (UG) students are up in arms over several changes made to the Bachelor’s Degree in Education Programme, contending that they were made without their input The students have expressed strong reservation to repetitive courses, increased tuition and lengthened courses in the degree programme. University of Guyana Student Society President (UGSS) Richard Rambarran has described the changes as arbitrary. On Monday evening, dozens of students taking the programme protested outside of the School of Education and Humanities, Turkeyen Campus. They claimed that the two-year bachelor’s programme was increased by one year, which contains additional courses, including a summer course. In addition, the students claim that some of the new courses are repetitive courses, included in the Certificate of Education Programme. The degree programme was initially a four-year programme; however, as a prerequisite, students had to undergo a two-year Certificate of Education Programme before commencing the degree programme.

UGSS President Richard Rambarran

With this certificate programme, students were given an exemption of two years from the degree programme. In addition, the students are also protesting a Gy$36,000 hike in tuition fee; this they say is causing them great inconvenience. The initial fee was Gy$127,000 but was raised to Gy$172,750. Guyana Times International was told that changes to the programme were made by the Education Ministry as part of a plan to reform the education system. The plan involved the Education Ministry, UG and the Cyril Potter College of Education. The issue was brought to the attention of the UGSS on Monday last and a meeting was held subsequently between its president, Vice Chancellor, Dr

Jacob Opadeyi and four student representatives. However, another meeting has been scheduled for next Monday and will now include the Dean of the School of Education and Humanities.


Rambarran said it is unacceptable that the students were not consulted on the changes. “The change was made more than likely in the last academic year (2013/2014). It will have to be between that academic year,” he said. Rambarran noted that while this is the first batch of students affected by the issues raised, it will be the last as the contentious matters will be addressed. The UGSS president disclosed that in the meeting with Dr Opadeyi, the university’s failure to inform the students about

the tuition increase was taken into consideration. He said the UGSS will design a plan on how the payments can be made to ease the financial burden on the students. With regards to the repetitive courses, he added that the UG administration has been asked to review these, and make adjustments where necessary. Rambarran explained that from the discussion with the UG administration, he does not believe that the current programme will be reverted to the previous programme. However, he pointed out that he will try his best to see if the lengthened courses can be reduced by getting the extra courses placed within the regular semester. Dean of the Education Faculty Alim Hosein told this newspaper that he along with the university’s vice chancellor and student representatives will be meeting on Monday coming to address the issues. He noted that the UG administration is focused on the students’ welfare. Meanwhile, when contacted for a comment on the matter, the vice chancellor told this newspaper that it is being looked at, and would not say more on it.

as of December 2010, despite the many challenges faced in making this project a reality and success. “The protracted delay in the updating exercise was as a result of the gross underestimation of the subsidiary legislation involved with each set of the laws which now consists of 18 volumes of substantive and subsidiary legislation,” she said. This, Singh said, is a requirement under the Law Revision Act which states that every page of each volume should contain a reference to the Law Revision Order which authorises its inclusion in the laws.

Challenges faced

Speaking of some of the challenges the team faced in conducting the review, Singh noted that there were four attempts to have the laws revised, but each were unsuccessful. “Prior to this edition updated, there were attempts to have the law revised but all failed, but in 2007, a loan contract was signed with the IDB for this Modernisation of Justice Project and

initially it would have been updated as of 2006, but that eventually changed.” Meanwhile, Minister Nandlall expressed how pleased he was about this achievement for the judicial sector. “We are part of a historic exercise as Justice Singh pointed out, it has been a 35 – year hiatus in our law revision exercise and I would like to assure you that we will not wait another 34 years for this to happen.” To this end, the Minister said a Law Revision Commission has been established within the Legal Affairs Ministry and that commission will begin its work shortly. Employees have already been trained to ensure the continuous exercise of revising the Laws of Guyana. Pointing to several other projects, which have been done in keeping with improving the justice sector, the Minister spoke of new magistrates’ courts that have been built or refurbished, and living quarters for magistrates constructed in interior locations.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Fun, frolic as Lindeners celebrate Mash T

he streets of the mining town of Linden were the scene of fun, frolic and flamboyance as Lindeners celebrated the country’s 44th Republic Anniversary on Sunday. The annual float parade featuring a string of revellers decked out in colourful costumes, made its way from Purpleheart Street and the Five Corner area, Mackenzie, around midday, to the Washer Pond Road, across the Mackenzie-Wismar Bridge, to the Wismar shore, culminating at the Bayroc Community Centre Ground. The procession was led by the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry and the other floats including the Linden Technical Institute (LTI), which had an unusually small contingent compared to previous years; the President Youth Award Republic of Guyana (PYARG); and the Kuru Kuru College. Three popular sound

Lindeners in the mood during Mash celebrations in the mining town

One of the floats in Linden on Sunday

systems, Movements, Future Sounds and Supreme, kept the atmosphere alive as hundreds of onlookers lined the streets, many joining in with the revellers as the procession moved along the One Mile Public Road and made its way to the Bayroc Community Centre

Ground. This year’s Carib Soca Monarch Kwasi Ace, who made an appearance on one of the party trucks, had the crowds going with his winning tune “Still In The Game”. His performance was one of the biggest highlights of the float

parade. While some onlookers expressed disappointment at the limited turn-out of floats for this year’s float parade, others noted that it was good to be out and joining in the festivities. There was some disappointment on the part of onlookers with the Digicel Party Band, which was much anticipated and expected at the event, but was a noshow.

Fewer floats

“More partying less floats. I expected more out of it,” remarked one onlooker. Last year had more floats and

more people. This year, Linden Mash lame,” remarked another. Many were pre-occupied enjoying the music, food, drinks and fun activities. Amid the festivities, this newspaper caught up with Jimmy Hamilton along the One Mile Public Roadway at Wismar as the revellers were making their way through. Hamilton, one of the members of the Jaycees group, which started the organising of Mashramani activities in Linden in 1970, stood and watched the procession. A smile lit up his face when he was asked

how he felt returning to the community where Mashramani activities started 44 years ago. He indicated that it was encouraging to see young people in a happy mood. As the last of the revellers made their way to the final destination at the Bayroc Community Centre Ground at sundown, persons picnicked, while others interacted and converged along the ball field, while being entertained by music and activities for both children and adults. Adult parties were also held at several popular night spots.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Ryan and Maria victorious in “Race to the Alter”


he “Race to the Altar” concluded Friday evening with mixed emotions at the Roraima Duke Lodge, Duke Street, Kingston, Georgetown. Amid the tears and excitement, the journey ended with future couple Mr and Mrs Ryan and Maria Fletcher as the winners of an all inclusive wedding scheduled for later this month. The other participants of the competition walked away with several prizes, including discounts on items they would need for their wedding. At the finale on Friday evening, the couples were made to recite a poem or perform a skit that would be dedicated to their partner. The first couple to take to the podium was Denzil and Felicity. They explained that before they applied to be a part of the “Race to the Altar”, they were on the brink of going to the Guyana Post Office Corporation to make their union legal. The second couple, Pride and Kamini, approached the podium to much cheer, with Pride performing a rather sincere and heart rendering poem entitled “Race to the Altar” and Kamini re-

Unbroken promise

Roraima Group of Companies Inc Chairman, Captain Gerald Gouveia with future couple Mr and Mrs Ryan and Maria Fletcher

sponding with a song, confessing her love and pride in Pride. Subsequent to the winners being announced, the couple explained that if they did not win, it will not in any way diminish their love for each other. Kamini explained that as a couple, they like to keep certain things a mystery between them, but noted that as a result of the competition, she learned several things about Pride that she did not know, although they have been together for some 21 years.

In love

With their exit, entered couple number three, Nigel and Fareeda, who took to the stage belt-

ing out Whitney Houston’s “Judgment Day” and although they spoiled the song, their message was clear; they were in love and wanted to get married. When the winning couple of the competition was announced, Fareeda broke down in tears as she expressed her disappointment of not winning. However, Nigel contended that he has Fareeda, and no victory can match that. The fourth couple Ryan and Maria, who subsequently emerged as the winners of the coveted prize, took centre stage, thanking the management and staff of Roraima for affording them the opportunity of a lifetime.

Maria performed a song that she dedicated to Ryan, and although her vocal abilities left much to be desired, the message and emotion from the lyrics did not fail to relay her message. “I just want to say thank you for the many things you’ve done,” sang Maria as she explained her singing the song has been something she wanted to do for Ryan a long time now. From the onset of the ceremony, they were promoting themselves. The couple had paraded the floors approaching those gathered, urging their support.

The last couple to perform was Romel and Nazeema. They re-enacted the day that they heard about the competition, and made it clear from the onset, that regardless of the outcome of the competition, they will still marry. The competition, which started just over a few weeks ago, followed the five couples into their homes as the cameras took a peek into their lives. The couples were also taken on several trips, including one to Arrow Point Nature Resort and an overhead tour of the city. They were judged every step of the competition through several mediums, including Facebook and text messaging. Roraima Group of Companies Inc Chairman, Captain Gerald Gouveia

explained that all of the votes would have been tabulated and the persons with the most votes would have been named the winners of the competition. Gouveia also noted that Wedding Expo and the “Race to the Altar” competition are being used as a catalyst to promote wedding tourism in Guyana. “We want to make Guyana … a wedding destination … come to Guyana and get married!” the captain urged. Gouveia noted that all those who participated in the competition were winners, and disclosed that his team will be fine-tuning the competition next year. The winning couple will tie the knot on March 29 during the annual Wedding Expo.

“Race to the Altar” winners, future couple Mr and Mrs Ryan and Maria Fletcher interacting with other contestants of the competition


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week ending March 9, 2014 | guy




week ending March 9, 2014



doyenne of the international fashion industry, US-based Guyanese Sarah Bacchus enjoys transforming “raw fabric” into “beautiful clothing”, while being eco-friendly. Born in Grove, on the East Bank of Demerara, Bacchus migrated to the US at the age of 16. There, she was able to hone her skills in designing. “I was always fascinated by the idea of turning raw fabrics into beautiful clothing. Also, my mother was a seamstress. I bought fabrics with my allowance and she would cut the patterns and I would learn how to sew. It was such a rewarding feeling to sew some of my own clothing and being able to wear them,” she recalled during an interview with the Guyana Times Sunday Magazine. Moving to the US, Bacchus and her siblings were encouraged by their parents to pursue a career to better themselves. Although Bacchus aimed at achieving an accounting degree, it was never an area she was passionate about. She disclosed she did not follow through with her plans, but decided to start a career in the fashion field. She pursued studies, and graduated, at the Fashion

Sarah (right) on the catwalk in the US with a model displaying one of her designs

Institute of Technology in New York. “My first job in the fashion industry was an assistant designer for a company that supplied to Wal-Mart and Target, worldwide. Later, I worked as an associate designer for a company that had the only licence to manufacture cocktail dresses for Liz Claiborne. The latter company went into bankruptcy. Consequently, I was laid off and started my own business, 34-24-36, in 2010,” Bacchus

reminisced. Since opening her fashion business, Bacchus has launched five collection- the most recent being the Aurora Collection. Her inspiration comes from the old Hollywood glamour and pays homage to that era via her designs. “My fabric choice is important. I only use natural fibres because they keep the body cool in the warm months and warm in the cool months. We have been told that a positive

side effect of utilising natural fibres is being categorised as an eco-friendly brand. Most importantly, durability is a plus- making the pieces great for wearing year round. “While the old Hollywood glamour era inspires me to make clothing that evokes strength, confidence and sophistication, I sometimes allow myself to be carried away by the novelty fabrics I use. After all, the intention for 3424-36 is to use luxurious fab-

rics, colours, design lines for a perfect fit,” she pointed out. Bacchus is proud of her most recent fashion show at the New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Her Aurora Collection was well-received. The designer is already planning for another big event in April, which came about as a result of the NYFW. Apart from designing, Bacchus is a writer and host of the Xposed TV show. It is a production of Stealth Productions- owned by a USbased Guyanese. The show features musicians of all genres. Features also include silent heroes in the community, not just West Indian but all walks of life. The designer’s mission is to help her business to become more recognised and successful. Although it is currently a “small” fashion business, Bacchus hopes to provide lucrative jobs for those who share her passion for fashion. “My advice to young women is to be skeptical of things that do not make sense. Investigate for yourself. Stay true to your integrity and allow no one the privilege to change that. It is what makes you unique!” she encouraged. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)


week ending March 9, 2014 |

Star of the week


Kimberly Sattaur Model By Vahnu Manikchand


imberly Sattaur believes that with hard work and determination one is bound to excel at anything- especially making dreams come true. Currently, the 18-year-old is living one of her dreams, modeling, while pursuing another. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, she pointed out that she developed an interest in modelling since childhood. "I think I was 10 when our village had a fashion show organised by a youth group, which I was a part of so. From then on I was intrigued with the idea of modelling." Last year, at the behest of her friend, she joined a modeling agency, which provided many opportunities to grow within the modelling industry. Her first gig was being selected as a brand ambassador for Limacol during the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL). Being brand ambassador, she recalled, was exciting. Additionally, she got the opportunity to meet many dignitaries, while experiencing the hype of the game. "I don't really look at cricket. However, being there in person and witnessing it live was a great experience. Cheering before the massive crowd was exhilarating." Sattaur has worked in several other major events including the Guyana Fashion Weekend (GFW). She revealed it was a challenge keeping up with the fashion veterans at GFW, but with intense training she was able to pull it off. During this experience, she learnt that modeling takes a lot of discipline. “We have to walk the ramp and make it look effortless, but in real it’s a lot of work to master four to five routines for a show.” While she is passionate about modelling, and plans to expand her portfolio, Sattaur has a different career path. She is currently a final year Sixth Form student at St Rose’s High School studying Law. Sattaur’s interests also include criminal law and journalism. The young professional’s advice for youths, who are desirous of entering the modelling industry, is to never give up on their dreams and continue to work hard. "Nothing happens before its time. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. You're confined only to the walls you build for yourself, so don't be afraid to chase your dreams.”


onathan ‘Lil Red’ King burst onto the music scene in 2002 with finesse and energy more associated with celebrated entertainers. Immediately he was a ‘hot number’ and blazed a scorching trail which saw him entering the Junior Calypso Contest in that same year while he was still a student at the Redeemer Primary School. Born on 20 June, 1993, to talented soca temptress, Michelle ‘Big Red’ King, he had certainly possessed the fire of music in his veins from the very beginning. Quite naturally he followed in his mother’s footsteps and has been chalking up notable points on the musical charts since. King started singing at the tender age of ten. Since then, his vocal and performing talents have been known to leave his fans spellbound. While pursuing his secondary education at the Apex Academy, he joined hands with some of his colleagues and formed the hit song group, Real Hard Crew. While the group performed remarkably at several school concerts and other entertainment events, King’s mom paved the way for them to entertain at the 2009 Kross Kolor Records Annual School Show. They were well-received by the large audience. Unfortunately, the members of the music group decided to part ways. Consequently, King entered the ‘world of work’, specifically at Qualfon Inc. Three months into his stint there, he rocked the stage when he performed at the annual Qualfon Star Talent Competition. Before a panel of esteemed judges, the artiste wooed the hearts of those in attendance, eventually leaving the judges with no choice but to hand him the top spot in the competition. This accomplishment, of course, fuelled his musical fire and in 2012 he entered the Carib Soca Monarch with the riveting single, ‘Hold me Tight’. Later, King released a music video for the single. He made it to the final segment ahead of many seasoned campaigners, becoming a crowd favourite, although he did not place in the top three finalists. Working feverishly, he soon completed and produced his first mix-tape, which was also a major success. It was titled ‘Just Buss’. In 2013, he again entered the Carib Soca Monarch with another pulsating song titled, ‘Neva Stop’. Again he made it to the finals of the event, but did not win. The very talented artiste has also released, earlier this year, his debut album, ‘Just Buss’, consisting of hit singles ‘Who We Are’, ‘Hold Me Tight’, ‘Sugar Stick Wine’. He is currently signed with Vizion Sound Studios. Recently, King competed in the Carib Soca Monarch with ‘Who We Are’, but was unable to cop the winning title. However, the singer is not deterred. With raw, unbridled talent and powerful vocals, King is determined to follow his passion for music without letup. Visit Lil Red on Facebook to learn more about the artiste.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Ecclesiastical Stained Glass Windows bodily rising of Jesus into heaven). It was unveiled in 1912 in memory of one of St Andrew’s great ruling elders, Patrick Playfair Fairbain, who died in 1910. The year 2013 marks the 270th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana, having been founded on 15 October, 1743. Even though the church, located in New Amsterdam, was established in 1743, it was not until around 1752 that the first sanctu-


ary was built. John Mittelholzer served the church from 1878-1913. His legacy is memorialised by the famous stained glass window with a depiction of Jesus Christ praying in the garden immediately after the Last Supper before his conviction. This popular scene identifies this as the place of prayer as Gethsemane. Established in the 19th century, the Roman Catholic Church of Ascension, located in continued on page 35

A section of the stained window in St Andrew's Kirk church

ver the centuries, stained glass windows were used predominantly in churches throughout the world, but were also found in wealthy domestic settings and public buildings such as town halls. The purpose of stained glass windows in churches was both to enhance the beauty of their setting and to inform the viewer through narrative or

symbolism. In Guyana, this valuable aspect of our religious heritage remains intact but not many know, or want to know, of its history. Some of these ecclesiastical stained glass windows date back to the early 1800s. The 19th century Gothic Revival-style St Andrew’s Kirk, with the standard features such as a central nave

flanked on both sides by an aisle and tower with spire over the sanctuary, is reputedly the oldest ecclesiastical structure located in the city of Georgetown. It was officially opened for public worship on 27 September, 1818. Gracing the centre of the eastern wall, over the altar area, is a magnificent stainedglass window depicting the Ascension (the

Ebenezer Lutheran Church's stained glass window depicting Jesus Christ praying in the garden of Gethsemane



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Former Miss World Guyana cast in international films, commercials


iss World G u y a n a 2010, Aletha Shepherd is going to be very busy over the next couple of months. The UK-based Guyanese, a trained actress, has secured her second role in the second of two international short films. Interestingly, both films have a romantic component to them, one of them, ‘Broken Promises’, being a romantic drama and the other, ‘A Pod Piper’, being a romantic comedy. There must be something about her that is fitting for films with a romantic bent to them. Shepherd has been on a fast track ever since

her Los Angeles move adding to her impressive credits acquired back in Great Britain, where she appeared on a number of shows. Shepherd will play the lead in the film, ‘Broken Promises’, a dramatic story about love, ambition and timing. In the romantic comedy, ‘A Pod Piper’, Shepherd has a featured role. That film is about a young man who finds an iPod that has magical qualities over everyone who hears the music, except for the one person he wishes it would impact. A day after announcing her second casting, Shepherd disclosed she was also cast in a web

commercial for Zest soap. The spot was shot in Los Angeles just two weeks after the actress shot a promotional commercial for the national chain Bed, Bath and Beyond. "I am just happy to be staying busy," the actress said. "This is what I came over here for. So commercials, films, television, I love it all because it gives me a chance to get better every time." Already successful back in the UK, she appeared on a couple of popular television programmes over there. She is also an in-demand model and has done print campaigns for such

major brands as Pepsi, Nokia, Playstation and Mont Blanc. "All I can do is keep putting myself out there and doing the best I can when given the opportunity," Shepherd explained of this string of bookings. "I know there are ups and downs in a business like this so I am grateful to be on the upswing at the moment and will extend it as long as I can. But no matter what I will keep pushing forward." Shepherd is managed by Harris Management and is represented by Simon & How in the UK and HRi Talent. (First published on

Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School - Strengthening the aviation industry


eronautical engineer Colonel Charles Hutson believes “necessity is the mother of invention” and out of ‘necessity’ he co-founded the Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School. Since its conception, the school’s mission has been to provide lucrative opportunities within the aviation industry. Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School was conceived by Capt Malcolm Chan-a-Sue, an aviation pioneer, and

laid the foundation for aviation in Guyana and by so doing, opened up much of the country’s interior for the first time. “When I decided I was going to remain in Guyana to help pull together the aviation industry, there was a need to establish an Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO). To do so, one had to prepare a disposition, which outlines all the procedures that will govern everything in the AMO. As part of the AMO, a training institution is required and that is how

Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School is a non-governmental organisation committed to developing aircraft engineering skills and technical expertise essential to the development and safety of air transport within Guyana, the Caribbean community and the world at large. In 2006, the Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School was nominated as the school of Caricom by the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security

Aerial view of the Caribbean Aviation Maintenance Services Ltd hangar where the school is located

Hutson. It became operational in 1993. The school was named after the pioneers of aviation in Guyana - Art Williams (Arthur James Williams) and Harry Wendt (Herman Edgar Wendt). Both were pilot-mechanics who, in the early 1930s,

the school was established,” Hutson recalled in an interview with the Guyana Times Sunday Magazine. Located in the Caribbean Aviation M a i n t e n a n c e Services Ltd’s hangar, Ogle International Airport, the Art

Oversight System (CASSOS). In that same year, the school became the first tertiary institution in Caricom to have ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems Standards. The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards certified the school on 24 July, 2006.

Additionally, the school is accredited and certified by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, CASSOS, the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Suriname and the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority. The school is also approved under the rules and regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation Document 7192, Part D1. Hutson pointed out that the school’s policy is to ensure meeting the regulatory and statutory requirements of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, customer satisfaction, employee development, environmental protection and safe training practices. Growing up on the Great Troolie Island in the Essequibo River, three miles east of the mainland Essequibo Coast, Hutson reminisced being fascinated with the amphibian planes which would land there. “At a very tender age I expressed to my parents I wanted to become an engineer because of my fascination with planes and helicopters. I joined the aviation industry in 1961. I have studied helicopters in France. In the US, UK, Brazil and Canada, I studied engineering and various plane types,” he recalled. The engineer disclosed that he never attended high school, but went straight from primary school to the

Capt Malcolm Chan-a-Sue (left) and Col Charles Hutson

Government Technical Institute where he spent four years studying mechanical engineering. Hutson stated he was successful because of his extensive reading. Additionally, he credits his ruthless dedication, and never allowing anything to distract him, for his success. He revealed when he came to Georgetown, at the age of 15, he did not know how to ride a bicycle. Hutson counts himself fortunate because he received much needed help from various individuals - something he is very grateful for. “Part of my roots, and the background from which I came from, I was taught to extend help to those who need it. I never looked at self only and so I never thought about going abroad to pursue a career. I wanted to remain here to do my part in developing the industry and helping others to be successful in aviation. Being abroad, I observed how extremely bright Guyanese are - especially when they are provided with opportunities. That is why I wanted to provide the opportuni-

ties for persons to excel in the aviation field and that is why the school was started,” Hutson mentioned. Currently the head of training, Hutson stated that the school’s programme is very extensive and recognised internationally. This year, the school is celebrating its 21st anniversary. Recently, the institution collaborated with the University of Guyana for the establishment of a degree programme in aircraft maintenance engineering. After completing three years of theoretical and practical training at the Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School, the partners are planning to have students complete a degree programme at the university. “For youths, in any area of life, you need to decide what your passion is and pursue it. Don’t be selfish; share your knowledge with others. Most importantly, you must be disciplined,” Hutson urged. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)



week ending March 9, 2014 |


droit in glass blowing, Andrew Thom creates impressive artwork using nothing but his hands and a blowtorch. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Thom described himself as a “scientific and artistic glass blower”. He shapes molten glass, turning and blowing it into work of

art. “I describe myself as a scientific glass blower because I make test tubes, and artistic because I create various glass ornaments. I have been doing this for the past 24 years and enjoy every moment of it,” Thom pointed out. After high school, Thom attended the Government Technical

The finished swan he made in his workshop

Institute. He graduated from the institution but did not get a job. A neighbour noticed this and asked Thom if he would like to learn something different. Thom readily accepted. “That was when he introduced me to Mr Denny, a glass blower. He is now in the US and about 90 years old. Mr Denny was very instrumental in teaching me glass blowing techniques and helping me to excel in it. Also, when I became employed by the Institute of Applied Science and Technology, which has the largest glass blowing workshop in the country, I received further training and was able to develop my skills,” Thom recalled. Through a scholarship, Thom attended the Technical University of Nova Scotia in Canada, studying glass blowing. When he returned to Guyana, he registered his business, Creative Glass Works, in 1993. Unfortunately, the business was not established

Thom demonstrating glass blowing at last year's GuyExpo

because of lack of funding. “I never had the funding to do so or anyone willing to invest in it. I am doing the artistic aspect of it as a hobby.

The glass blower can also shape glass into names

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to showcase my talent in Antigua at the ‘Go-Invest- Guyana On Show’ exhibition and also at GuyExpo,” he mentioned. It is impressive to observe Thom at work. He artistically uses florescent tubes to make vases, animal-shaped ornaments, even write out names in glass. At his home, in a humble workshop, Thom fires up his blowtorch, during his leisure time, to create artistic ornaments. He recently made an elaborate glass tree for a client, and it was applauded as being distinct and artistic. Thom demonstrated for Sunday Magazine, in his workshop, how he makes a swan. He stretched and blew the supple glass until it took a swan-like shape. He

then mixed red food colouring in water and filled the ornament. Thom molded the glass expertly and effortlessly, creating a swan. It was a spell-bounding process. “I do make glass ornaments for clients and I am planning on establishing my business. I consider my talent a gift because it comes so easily to me. The tree I did for a client took me about two days to complete. Grateful to my neighbour and Mr Denny for helping me develop my talent, I am now willing to impart what I know to all those interested. If I get the funding or resources, I can start a glass blowing programme,” he declared. For more information on Thom’s work, call 6111782. (Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)

A music pioneer M

artha Ruby Holland (nee Nicholson), founder of the Ruby Holland School of Music in British Guiana, was an avid believer in music education and the arts. She believed that everyone possessed creative talent and spent her life providing artistic opportunities for students regardless of their age, social standing or financial means. Holland’s approach to teaching music (the piano) was unique and quite enriching. She offered her students a rich array of artistic experiences in performance, vocal pedagogy, piano

techniques, poetic interpretation and theatrical acting. Musical plays were always a part of the recital program. She was a caring and dedicated teacher who touched the lives of many in her community. One of her greatest gifts was the ability to bring out hidden talents in each of her students. Her teaching principles were patterned against the graded-curriculum guidelines of the Royal School of Music, London. In 1978, Holland migrated to Canada where she became affiliated with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and continued

to teach in her home studio until her retirement in 2001 at the age of 88. Holland believed that to nurture and encourage the arts is to also develop enlightenment of the human condition and ultimately the development of a well rounded life. Martha Ruby Holland died on 19 February, 2006, at the age of 92. In an effort to maintain the rich musical legacy inherited from their mother, Holland’s son, Loris Holland, and daughters, Alice Patrong and Elizabeth Fullington – each a graduate of the Ruby Holland School of Music

- established the Ruby Holland Scholarship in 2003 to assist students who cannot afford to pay for music lessons. Holland’s son, Loris, is an established Grammy Award Winning producer, arranger/composer and songwriter. The Ruby Holland Foundation for the Arts was created to continue Holland’s life work by providing opportunities for aspiring musicians/artists of all ages to pursue their studies in music and the arts through educational scholarship awards and grants. (First published on

The late Martha Ruby Holland



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The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

Cultural folklore By Petamber Persaud Part Two


u l t u r al Folklore; Celebrating 44” is the theme for Mashramani 2014 Guyana’s celebration of its Republic status attained on 23 February, 1970. Cultural folklore has forever captivated the imagination of Guyanese and non-Guyanese writers. Amerindian folklore is perhaps the first to be explored by writers. Here is a look at “Tales of Makonaima’s Children” by Henry Josiah. To get a clearer picture of the tales, it is useful to have an understanding of Makonaima family tree. Who was Makonaima? Makonaima, according to the glossary of the book, was “a mythical personality, one of the visitors to Earth from whom Amerindians are descended”. Makonaima’s twin brother was Pia. Their mother was called Roraima and their sisters were collectively called Pakaraimas. There was no mention of a father which indicated that in such a society, it was the matriarch who held sway. A grandfather is mentioned, his name was Kaie – full of wisdom and it was he who made the ultimate sacrifice to save his people. Also of note, “Tales of Makonaima’s Children” is a “creation story” and “how it happened story” not unlike the “just so stories” by Rudyard Kipling. It is quite entertaining how certain things acquired their names. One day, Makonaima and Pia were playing in their homeland, called the Place of the Sun, when Makonaima discovered a hole leading down on to Earth, which

was colourful with singing birds, mountains and many waters. Earth was different from the Place of the Sun which was a place of eternal brightness. The story goes that the boys let down a rope ladder and clambered down to Earth. After exploring and eating their fill of nuts and fruits, they discovered that the rope ladder had disappeared. They also discovered that other persons had come to Earth using ‘their’ ladder. Two of those persons were girls from their school: one named Mazaruni and the other, Cuyuni. Time went by but waiting for the rope ladder to be replaced was in vain. And there was no other way for them to return to the Place of the Sun. Time went by and the four were becoming wiser to the situation and older. Eventually, Makonaima married Mazaruni while Pia married Cuyuni. Over the years, there were many issues from those marriages; the children and grandchildren dispersed and populated the Earth. While all those things were happening, the stories of the children and grandchildren unfolded. One such story tells what happened when Makonaima grew tired of eating “sugary awara and buttery sawari”’ and craved for food cooked by fire. Because of the respect he commanded, Makonaima was able to persuade others to get for him fire from of bowl of Roraima Mountain. Eagle was first to go on this mission. Eagle failed, in the process, getting his feather singed and turning black all over. That was how ever since Eagle detested fire and cooked food. The next

“Tales of Makonaima’s Children” by Henry Josiah narrates how Kaieteur Falls got its name

was the Vulture who also failed; instead getting burnt black all over and to this day is still looking for the dead eagle and is attracted to anything dead. Jumbie-bird also failed and returned to his usual “business of seeing the shadows of those who have passed beyond death”. Finally a hunter named Akawaio was sent off. He discovered fire but in the process set fire to the whole of Guyana. Makonaima saved the situation by pouring rain down but fire from a crack in the mountain constantly came into contact the wa-

ter causing the mountain to be always shrouded in a mysterious mist. Other examples of the tales included a love story between handsome Arapaima and ugly Perai and the great sacrifice of Kaie who threw himself over the great falls Tuk as a sacrifice to save his people who were dying of starvation - and that is how Kaieteur Falls got its name. And finally, a story with a moralistic twist: In ‘The Day the Sky Fell Down’ by Henry Josiah, the trees were complaining how the birds were nesting in their fo-

liage preventing them from enjoying the sun and rain. The trees complained to Makonaima asking to be relieved of the duty of holding up the sky – the solution the trees posited was to let the sky fall. Makonaima who after long thought decided to teach the trees a lesson by sending away the birds and allowing part of the sky to fall in on certain parts of the land, crushing the trees. That is how Guyana got its plains and Rupununi savannahs. Henry Josiah in the preface of his book, “Tales of Makonaima’s

Ecclesiastical Stained Glass... New Amsterdam, came from humble beginnings in the year 1836. Although it faced many challenges, the church established a permanent structure that is still enjoyed today. This Roman-styled structure is 84ft by 28ft and supports a beautifully crafted ceiling. The church boasts 50 exquisite stained glass windows. The most notable stained glass window, which was donated and unveiled by

the Mendonca family on Christmas Eve in 1925, had replaced a painting done by Carrie Gomes depicting the ‘Ascension’ and was subsequently moved to the back of the altar. Sir Arthur Blomfield is credited with designing the St George’s Cathedral, reputedly the world’s tallest wooden building of its time. Of the most outstanding features of the building, the stained glass windows are

ranked among those which function as an energy saving mechanism that allows light into the building and also an admirable piece of art. In the sunlight, myriad of colours are reflected through stories of Jesus’ crucifixion and ascension, among others. Consisting of two rows of six windows, the east window was donated by the McConnell family. The plan for the St Peter’s Church, located

in Leguan, was done by colonial civil engineer John Frederick Bourne. The foundation stone for the present brick structure was laid in 1855. At the left of the north-western entrance stands a detached bell tower. The windows are pointed and are filled with handsome stained glass. Imported from London, the seven windows on the apse depict the life of St Peter. Those in the nave contain flowered quarrels

Children”, declared that he had taken the “liberty to recreate them [the stories] in such a way that the familiar and universal English language would breathe the spirit of the old... tongues... and reflect for the new generations those things of value in the old way of life now almost overrun by the new civilisation”. Further Josiah declared that he collected the stories for other reasons. The writer wished to share his joy and findings of the old “Carib costumes and cookery, arts and crafts, beliefs in magic and medicine, the cool cathedral atmosphere of the forests and the freedom of the wideopen savannah lands which we inherit” and to dig and discover and take “a long loving look at our roots”. Josiah succeeded in his objectives mainly because of the way he retold the stories emphasising the conquest of good over evil. And the adventures in these tales will resonate well especially with children. This collection of Amerindian folklore was first published in 1994 with a second edition in 2001, both by the now defunct Roraima Publishers. Illustrations were done by Kathy Thompson. Responses to this author should be sent to email: or call (592) 226-0065. What’s happening: Coming soon, the first reprint of “An Introduction to Guyanese Literature”. It will be available from the author at the above contacts, Austin’s Book Service (226-7350) and at the National Library (226-2690).

from page 32

and roses with rich borders. This church, with its lower tiled sanctuary, massive brick work and stained windows, testify to the artistry and craftsmanship of Guyanese builders. The All Saints Anglican Church was founded in 1839. The main section of the building is constructed of wood with gothic arched windows topped with a tower. Queen Victoria donated $750 for the purchase of a

painted glass window for the east end of the church. This stainedglass panel to the left depicts St George and the central panel represents Jesus in his ascended glory. The right side panel shows St Patrick. Reverend George Spencer described these windows as being one-ofa-kind in Guyana, and even the Caribbean. (Information by National Trust of Guyana)


fun time

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This week's Crossword

J k es

Creation or Evolution?

A child asked his father, "How were people born?" So his father said, "Adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on." The child then went to his mother, asked her the same question and she told him, "We were monkeys then we evolved to become like we are now." The child ran back to his father and said, "You lied to me!" His father replied, "No, your mom was talking about her side of the family."

Black and White

Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?" "Because white is the colour of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life." The child thought about this for a moment, then said, "So why is the groom wearing black?"

Two babies are sitting in their cribs…

Two babies are sitting in their cribs, when one baby asks the other, “Are you a little girl or a little boy?” The other baby shrugs. “I don’t know how to tell the difference.” “I do,” says the first baby. He carefully climbs out of his crib and into the other crib, then disappears beneath the blankets. After a few 
seconds, he resurfaces. “You’re a little girl, and I’m a little boy,” he says. “How can you tell?” “Easy. You’ve got pink booties, and I’ve got blue ones.”

Bosses say the darnedest things

This week's Puzzle

Here are actual comments bosses made to employees during their salary reviews: “I’ve got great news. You managed to avoid a salary decrease.” “No, we don’t promote family members first. It’s just coincidence.” “Before you came to my department, you were such a shining star—full of new ideas and enthusiasm. What happened to you?” “This is a salary review. Let’s not focus on the money.”

Memory problems

see solution on page 46

A 90-year-old couple were having problems with their memory, so they decided to go to their doctor to get checked out to make sure nothing was wrong with them. They explained to the doctor about the problems they were having with their memory. After checking the couple out, the doctor told them that they were in good health, however, the best thing to do was to start writing things down and make notes to help them to remember things. Later that night while watching television, the man got up from his chair and his wife asked, "Where are you going?" He replied, "To the kitchen." She asked, "Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?" He replied, "Sure honey." She then asked him, "Don't you think that you should write it down on a note so you can remember it?" He said, "No, I can remember that." She then said, "Well I would also like some chocolate syrup on top. You had better write that down because I know you'll forget that." He said, "I can remember that, you want a bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup." She replied, "Well I also would like whipped cream on top. I know you will forget that so you better write it down." Now irritated, he said, "I don't need to write that down! I can remember that." He then goes down stairs to the kitchen. After about 20 minutes he returned from the kitchen and handed her a plate of bacon and eggs. She stared at the plate for a moment and said angrily: "I TOLD you to write it down! You forgot my toast!"



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-Photographer Fidal Bassier believes it takes an artist to capture life through the lens

Bassier enjoys taking vibrant photos of Georgetown

Bassier's fetish is photographing birds


rofessional photographer Fidal Bassier enjoys capturing, through his camera lens, memorable moments in life. He considers photography as an art and believes that it requires an artist to capture beauty through the lens. “My interest in photography started when I was in Israel, at the Baha’i World Centre. The Baha’i gardens and building there are so beautiful. I enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture the amazing sunsets. After coming back to Guyana, I got busy with studies and then with marriage and starting a new life. I got back to photography in 2006 when my first daughter was born. I got my first camera and took as many photos of her as I could. Then I found myself taking the camera around with me and taking whatever I thought was interesting,” he re-

One of his most recent applauded photos taken during Mash 2014 celebrations

called in an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine. The ardent photographer is amazed at the technology that allows him to take a photo and see the results instantly, capturing a moment in time and saving it for generations to come.

Through photography, Bassier freely expresses himself and is able to share his outlook of the world with others. “It started off as a hobby, but later became my passion. Now, I'm lucky enough to be able to pursue it as a career. I love photographing people. I also enjoy telling a story, capturing an emotion or a moment in time through my camera. I ask myself what I am trying to capture, what the object is and the story I want to share,” Bassier pointed out. Bassier mentioned that he has seen amazing photographs taken with a basic camera. He was once told, and believes it to be true, that the “camera is just a tool and the photographer is the artist”. As a professional photographer, Bassier incorporates various techniques and styles so that he can always have something new to add to his work. “I am still learning the secret to ‘good’ photography. I read a really interesting quote from a late American photogra-

pher, Irving Penn, which I think sheds some light. He said: ‘A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is in a word effective,’” the photographer noted. Currently, Bassier feverishly works to develop himself as a photographer. He hopes to travel to different locations in Guyana to photograph people. Despite challenges in the photography business, Bassier is adamant in continuing to pursue his passion. “I think photographers have many challenges to overcome. From being able to maintain expensive equipment, to fair pricing of photographs and educating clients, to copyright laws that need to be updated to protect photographers' work. With patience and dedication, these challenges are slowly being overcome,” he declared. For more information on the photographer, visit 55 Photography on Facebook.



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any years ago, there was a little forest village on the bank of a wide river in southern Guyana. All of the inhabitants were very happy as they always reaped good crops from their gardens, and wild animals they hunted for meat were abundant in the forests on both sides of the river. In this forest village lived twelve teenage girls who always gathered in the evenings under a tall mora tree on the riverside to sing songs their mothers had taught them. After their singing, as the moon rose from beneath the horizon and the stars twinkled in the dark sky, the girls would stare in awe at these beautiful heavenly bodies. They became particularly interested in these attractive objects since there was a general belief in those days of long ago that anyone who touched a beautiful object would acquire some of its beauty. “The moon and the stars are so lovely,” said Neca, one of the girls in the group. “I wish we could touch them so we can acquire some of their

beauty, but they are so far away.” “We must find a way to touch them,” replied another girl in the group. “Maybe, we should climb to the top of the mountain, and from there we will be able to touch them.” So every evening after their singing session, they stared at the moon and the stars and contemplated various ways they could attempt to touch them. Of all the girls, Neca was more interested in touching the Moon, and

in the evening she spent long hours just staring at it as it moved slowly across the night sky. “I know what I will do,” she declared to her friends one evening. “I will climb to the top of this tall mora tree and try to touch the moon.” “Well, you may climb to the top of the tree, but I think we can touch the moon and the stars if we go to the top of the mountain,” one of her friends explained. This view seemed to be more popular, and all except Neca decided that they would

do exactly that. One night when the full moon was rising in the sky, Neca climbed to the top of the mora tree and stretched out her hands towards the shining orb. But, clearly, the moon was too far away for her to accomplish this feat. In great disappointment, she descended and tearfully went home to sleep. Meanwhile, that same night her friends walked through the forest to the high mountain some distance away from the village. After reaching the

peak, they stretched out their hands towards the moon and the stars, but they, too, failed to attain their objective. With long, sad faces, they wearily walked back home realising that they could never acquire the beauty of those distant objects. But Neca never gave up. The following night, when her friends had all gone to sleep, she walked along the river bank once again and stared at the big golden moon as it rose above the trees. Then she looked into the calm water of the river and there

she observed the moon’s glowing reflection. “Now, this is how I can touch the moon,” she reasoned. And with that, she plunged into the river and reached out to the reflection. But she soon disappeared beneath the deep still water and was never seen again. But the moon goddess did see Neca as she made that fateful plunge. “I truly pity her,” she sighed. “Neca always wanted to become more beautiful than ever, so I’ll ensure that people will admire that beauty for all times.” So, the moon goddess, from the depths of the river, brought up Neca’s body which she transformed into a large majestic pink water lily in the water near the river bank. From that day, people everywhere became fascinated with this most gorgeous flower growing beside its large circular lily pad. Today, that stately and attractive water lily is widely known as the Victoria Regia. (Taken from “Guyana Legends – Folktales of the Indigenous Amerindians” by Odeen Ishmael)

Travel & Tourism


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he Atta Rainforest Lodge is situated approximately 500 metres from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. The camp is completely surrounded by tropical rainforest which offers a complete immersion in the rainforest experience. The main building is open-sided with views across the gardens to the towering forest on all sides. This building houses a bar, dining area and kitchen. A feature of the lodge is its bar- Parrot-A-Fly Bar. The bar top is made from a huge slab of Wamaradan (Dicorynia guianensis), and it is believed this is the first commercial use of this wood in Guyana. The dining area is adjacent to the bar and encourages communal dining so that you can get to know your fellow adventurers. While at Atta, tourists can visit the Canopy Walkwaymorning or night. Additional visits are available outside scheduled trips. All visitors to the walkway are accompanied by the Canopy Walkway specialists. Apart from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, tourists can enjoy wildlife and bird-watching walks on the trails around the area. For those interested in botany, many of the trails have the key tree species marked. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home. For nature lovers, Atta Rainforest Lodge is an idyllic location. (Excerpted from

Accommodation surrounded by nature

Indulge in local drinks and cuisine at the bar

Enjoy a refreshing stroll on the Canopy Walkway

Serene sunset

Hammocks are available for those who prefer to sleep under the stars


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Times Notebook


n February 28, a road safety seminar sponsored by the National Road Safety Commission was held at the Convention Centre. We congratulate Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee on his fervent leadership and support for the Road Safety Committee’s work. Too many people die or become disabled on our roads and it is a national crisis. In 2007, Guyana recorded 207 road traffic deaths, including the deaths of 30 children. Between 2000 and 2012, more than 1500 people died on the roads of Guyana. In the last five

Road accidents

years, there have been encouraging signs that the number of road traffic deaths has reduced. Between 2000 and 2007, the number of traffic deaths varied between 158 and 207. Since 2007 to now, the number of traffic deaths has varied from 110 to 117. This is encouraging but hardly any reason to celebrate. More than 1.3 million deaths annually Indeed, the world has a problem. More than 1.3 million persons die because of road traffic accidents each year (3400 each day) in the world. More people die due to road traffic accident than of AIDS.

In addition, almost 50 million persons are injured every year because of traffic accidents. Further, about 2.5 million of those injured in traffic accidents become disabled for the rest of their lives. Road traffic accidents have become one of the major public health problems. Above all else, it is a developmental problem. Globally, 20 persons die of road traffic accidents for every 100,000 people. Africa has the biggest problem with a death rate of 24.1 for every 100,000 persons. The Americas record a death rate of about 16. Guyana’s road traffic

Sights such as this are becoming increasing familiar on our roadways

deaths are at a rate of about 16 per 100,000.

Most road traffic deaths occur in middleincome countries. These countries account for almost 80 per cent of all road traffic deaths, but only account for about 50 per cent of all vehicles in the world. Developed countries, which account for 48 per cent of all vehicles, only account for about eight per cent of the road traffic deaths in the world. Low-income countries, which account for only one per cent of the global volume of vehicles, account for more than 12 per cent of all road traffic deaths. In 2010, the United Nations (UN) declared 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action to Prevent Road Traffic Injuries. This is confirmation that globally, road traffic accidents have become recognised as a developmental barrier and a public health challenge.

Risk factors

Guyana is one of the 182 countries that signed on to this resolution. The World Health Organisation (WHO) since 2007 recognised road traffic accidents as a public health challenge. There are five risk factors identified as common around the world and countries, have agreed to take action around these five risk factors. The risk factors are speeding, drinking and driving, lack of helmets for cyclists and motorcyclists, non-use of seat belts, and non-use of child restraint mechanisms. Guyana has laws for these risk factors, but enforcement appears weak. Only 28 countries have laws to address all five risk factors. In terms of speeding, only 59 countries have laws to restrict speeding, but

half of these countries have weak enforcement of the laws. In terms of drinking and driving, 89 countries have laws to prevent this from happening. Yet, few of these countries effectively enforce the laws to prevent drinking and driving. Laws are good, but they must be enforced. Times Notebook urges the Home Affairs Minister to ensure that the laws to reduce risk factors, such as speeding, drinking and driving, non-use of seat belts, etc, are fully enforced. This will make him and the police unpopular. But this is about saving lives and preventing injuries.

National effort

Guyana has done well in spreading awareness and the effort to stop road accidents and deaths must become a national effort. Every school, teacher, religious leader, politician, and family must become part of the campaign to stop road accidents now. Road construction must cater for the volume of vehicles in our country. Roadways are often unsafe, as there are sharp curves and turns. If physical changes cannot be made for sharp curves, better signs must be prepared. The Road Safety Committee is elevating the matter of road traffic accidents into the national dialogue. It is a deserving subject. With the UN Decade of Action to prevent Road Traffic Injuries, Guyana can play a lead role in ensuring that we are one of the countries that reduce the burden of traffic accidents. Readers are invited to send their comments by email or Facebook to times.notebook@gmail. com.



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he was recently recognised as the leading young female chemist in Latin America and the Caribbean; holds two masters degrees and a doctorate; was named the Young Scientist of the Year in Jamaica in 2011; and has several other awards to boast about, but though noteworthy, Dr Simone Badal-McCreath believes her greatest achievement to date is having a good character. The 32-year-old believes she has her father and her Christian upbringing to thank for this

time at the University of Technology. Her primary interest now lies in screening Jamaican plant isolates that potentially hold properties to treat cancer which is among the leading causes of death in Jamaica. She is also working with a group of experts to create a novel Jamaican cancer cell line, since the Caucasian cell line is what is being mostly used for testing. Her work in cancer research has been documented in local and international publications and it was based on her achievement

Dr Badal-McCreath is an award-winning doctor

and feels her tenacity to be her best self has spilled over into her professional and academic life. Now in the middle of her research aimed at developing drugs to treat cancer, managing a lab and lecturing, she is penning her first book: ‘A woman's journey to success’. Dr Badal-McCreath has no doubt that her journey to becoming a top-ranked scientist was divinely ordained. Her intention throughout high school was to become a doctor, but then she was unable to do physics in CXC and decided to apply to do pure and applied sciences at the University of the West Indies (UWI) first in order to matriculate into medicine. However, she had a change of heart once she realised how much she loved bio-chemistry.

Cancer research

Currently, she is responsible for managing a recently completed cell culture lab at the UWI Natural Products Institute and also lectures part-

in these areas that she was nominated and selected as one of five women worldwide to receive the Elsevier Foundation Award for Early Career Scientists in the Developing World on February 15. The award is presented by the World Academy of Sciences and the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World to women representing five regions--Central and South Asia, East and South-East Asia and the Pacific, the Arab region, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, which Dr Badal-McCreath claimed. Although the lack of funding to finance research continues to be a roadblock in the journey to progress, Dr Badal-McCreath said she was elated at winning the award. "It is challenging in terms of the time and the tiredness, but when I won this award and I told my students, you should have seen their eyes, it brought so much motivation to

me," she said.


Other awards Dr Badal-McCreath has won over the years include the Scientific Research Council Young Scientist of the Year award for 2011 as well as the Luther G Speare Memorial Scholarship in 2010. This scholarship was used to undertake her PhD work in biochemistry entitled "Screening for anticancer and chemo-protective properties of natural and synthetic compounds" at UWI. Dr Badal-McCreath does not intend for her research to just stay in the lab. She hopes they will become commercial products and achieve the in-

tended results. As such, she spent a year at the London School of Commerce so she could achieve a master of business administration from the University of Wales. She also has a master of philosophy from UWI. Although she is focused on becoming a pioneer in cancer treatment, Dr BadalMcCreath finds that being a wife is one of her most fulfilling roles. She enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband of six years who is now completing his first degree in business at UWI. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

Dr Simone Badal-McCreath (Jamaica Observer photos)



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Antigua requests Caricom observers


ntigua and Barbuda has asked the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to send a mission to observe the general election likely to be held this month. The Baldwin Spencer administration, which is seeking a third consecutive term in office, has requested that the regional grouping mount a Caricom Electoral Observer Mission (CEOM) “when the date is announced and which is at least 21 days before the actual day of polls”.

Prime Minister Spencer has not yet named the date for the poll, but earlier told supporters of the United Progressive Party (UPP) to keep March 15 as an important date, hinting that the polls could come around that time. He later told Caribbean media that the reference to March 15 was intended to get people sensitised to the fact that an election was imminent “and in the planning process I just wanted to set the stage for the people of

Antigua and Barbuda to place certain dates in mind. The 15th of March is the date something will certainly happen in Antigua and Barbuda.” Spencer said he was confident that the electorate would return his United Progressive Party (UPP) back into office, saying “we believe we have kept faith with the people of Antigua and Barbuda and we have done the greatest good for the greatest number since we took office in 2004”. But Gaston Browne,

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer

who is leading the main opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) into the general election, told reporters that the UPP government had over the past few

- as it prepares for general elections

Antigua and Barbuda’s Opposition Leader Gaston Browne

years “actually dismantled the economy” and that the island had lost approximately 25 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP). “Today you have un-

employment in excess of 25 per cent and the poverty level in excess of 35 per cent. So in essence they have destroyed the country, and I think Antiguans and Barbudans are desirous of change and I believe they have every confidence that the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party will make a difference in their lives”. Browne said voters could look forward to a transformation of leadership as the new government seeks to revive an ailing economy. (CMC)

Canada cracks down on citizenship fraud A

s concerns heighten over the recall of former St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Deputy New York Consul General, Edson Augustus, the Canadian government has announced that it is cracking down on citizenship fraud. Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said he is reinforcing the government’s commitment to tackling citizenship fraud through measures

The Canadian government has announced that it is cracking down on citizenship fraud

proposed in Bill C-24, the “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act”.

“The government is cracking down on citizenship fraud by enforcing stronger penal-

ties for those who do not play by the rules,” said Alexander in a statement. “Changes to the Citizenship Act reinforce the value of citizenship and will help ensure new Canadians are fully prepared to participate in Canadian life and have a stronger attachment to our country,” he added. “Stronger penalties for those who commit citizenship fraud will protect the integrity of Canadian citizenship,” Alexander continued. “The government's changes to the Citizenship Act reinforce the message that Canadian citizenship is valued around the globe and will be afforded those who recognize that it comes with duties and rights, privileges and responsibilities.”

Citizenship matters

Under the new legislation, the Canadian government will have

the authority to develop regulations to designate a regulatory body whose members would be authorised to act as consultants on citizenship matters. “This change will help protect applicants and deter third-party fraud,” said the statement, adding that Bill C-24 “reinforces the value of citizenship by cracking down on fraud and ensuring Canadian citizenship is only offered to those who play by the rules.” The proposed measure includes stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (a maximum fine of Cdn$100,000 and/or five years in prison); expanding the grounds to bar an application for citizenship to include foreign criminality, “which will help improve program integrity”; and making it an offence for unauthorised individuals to “knowingly repre-

sent or advise a person on a citizenship application or hearing for a fee.” Alexander said “ongoing large-scale” fraud investigations conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have identified more than 3,000 citizens and 5,000 permanent residents linked to major investigations—a majority of them related to residence. In addition, he said nearly 2,000 individuals linked to the citizenship fraud investigations have withdrawn their applications. He said permanent residents who commit these acts will be barred from applying for citizenship. Kenny’s announcement had come amid what has been described as heightened fraudulent claims for asylum in Canada by Vincentians and other Caribbean nationals. (Excepted from CMC)


week ending March 9, 2014 |

health corner

Legal corner

What to know about Discitis Minimum debt to file for Bankruptcy? By Tisha Boston


iscitis is an inflammation of the vertebral disc space. This disease most commonly affects the lumbar region (the lower back), followed by the cervical spine, and then the thoracic region (the upper back). Severe back pain, refusal to walk, stand or sit up, limited bowel movement, difficulty when passing urine, numbness or tightness in the limbs, and fever with pain and swelling in the ankles, knees, and hip are all basic symptoms of the disease. This condition is common in adults, particularly men around the age of fifty, but studies have shown that it is most dominant in children. “Discitis.” Diagram. n.d. A Patient’s Guide to Back Pain in Children. Orthopediatrics. Web. 5 Mar. 2014. The cause of discitis may be from an infectious disorder. Infectious discitis is most likely to occur in less developed countries where pollution is prevalent. The most common organism that causes infection is staphylococcus aureus, which is present in the skin or respiratory tract. The infection does not always originate in the spine; it may be due to an infection that spread from another site in the body. Sometimes the infection can also begin in the nervous system and then attack muscles and structures in the lower back. Proper, early treatment is necessary to prevent infectious organisms from travelling through the bloodstream to the spine. In addition, discitis may also arise from a mechanical disorder, a developmental disorder or trauma. If it is due to a mechanical disorder, the condition may have resulted from a damaged ligament, joint or invertebral disc

in the spine. The best and easiest way to prevent this is to avoid lifting heavy objects and be cautious when bending, twisting or turning your body. If it is due to a developmental disorder, the condition may have resulted from a deformity in skeletal growth. Medical professionals recommend that surgery be performed during early childhood to prevent permanent disability. In relation to trauma, injury to the bone or soft tissues may cause the invertebral column to become unstable, leading to dislocations and disc fractures. Diagnosis can be done by having an internal evaluation of the spine. It is difficult to detect the disc infection at an early stage using plain radiographs; therefore, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is preferred. If one has the disease, the imaging results will show narrowing of the disc space between two vertebrae, and the disc and adjacent vertebrae will be hot on the scan. A n o t h e r method used is computed tomography (CT) scanning, which shows the destruction of endplates and bone with surrounding tissues, as well as the decrease in bone density. The microorganism causing the infection produces a gas on the CT scan. Treatment for discitis can be done conservatively or by spine surgery. Conservative treatment involves the use of antibiotics, rest, and a brace. The use of ice or heat treatment, exercise, and chiropractic treatment are strongly recommended as well. When the condition is more severe surgical treatment is needed to ensure spinal stability, remove the diseased tissue, and decompress neural structures. Nevertheless, with the correct use of antibiotics and the correct insertion of implants, full recovery is expected.

By Richard Kistnen, Esq.


have recently received a number of inquiries from persons interested in learning more about bankruptcy. One common question that has been asked repeatedly is whether there is a MINIMUM amount of debt required for a person (or entity) to file for bankruptcy. The answer is NO, there is no minimum amount of debt required for a person to be allowed to file for bankruptcy. Persons and entities may file for bankruptcy relief under chapters 7 and 11. You may think about chapter 7 as the “traditional bankruptcy,” wherein which you give up your interests in property (above and beyond what may be exempted and not part of the bankruptcy estate). A discharge is entered preventing the enforcement of claims entitled to discharge. Chapter 11 is what you may hear about in the bankruptcy filings of celebrities and large corporations –

plans of reorganization where creditors take a cut in their claims so as to allow the bankrupt debtor to reemerge from bankruptcy as a viable person or organization. With respect to the original question, there is no minimum amount of debt a person or organization must owe to file for bankruptcy relief. The question is whether the person or organization thinks filing for bankruptcy relief makes sense, after accounting for attorney’s fees and costs. Also, with chapters 7 and 11, there is no cap on the amount of debt a debtor may owe to be able to file. A trustee or party in interest, however, may want to know how a person’s or organization’s debts came to be so large. Persons (but not entities) may file for chapter 13 bankruptcy relief. This is a type of bankruptcy where a person with regular income proposes a plan to pay a portion of their debts over time, with any balance being discharged if applicable. Like the oth-

er two chapters of bankruptcy mentioned above, there is no minimum amount of debt required to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy (although some courts have ruled that a chapter 13 case that proposes just to pay attorney’s fees are impermissible). There are, however, caps on the amounts of debts to be able to file chapter 13 bankruptcy, based on whether the debts are secured or unsecured. Whether bankruptcy is right for you is determined by a number of factors which play together. The amount of debt; a person’s tolerance for collection calls, letters and lawsuits; whether they can pay an attorney; whether they are working. Not surprisingly, the best thing someone can do if they are even thinking about the idea of bankruptcy is to get in touch with an attorney early on and get informed. If you would like to speak with a lawyer, contact the Law Office of Richard Kistnen, (718) 738-2324,


week ending March 9, 2014 |


week ending March 9, 2014 |

The (WPA) Gnat …and APNU (the Elephant) Seems the WPA’s mightily displeased with APNU. In fact, in its own words, the WPA’s “disgusted” at the manner in which APNU’s taking the fight to the government on the AML/CFT Bill. As if precipitating international sanctions on Guyana isn’t enough! Clive Thomas ringingly declared to the membership of the WPA – all four of them: “Let us advance the cause of the Rodneyite masses!!! Let us not relent, but plan for the eventualities, which would flow from our principled position!!! Let us not forget we are on the correct side of history in our fight for a better future for all Guyanese!!!” Thomas seems to forget that his party has absolutely no following and only “got a squeeze” from APNU. The whole episode reminds us of a story your Eyewitness heard when he was a boy. “Once upon a time there was a gnat. His name was WPA, and he was known, because of his sensitivity, as WPA the Bright. WPA decided, after reflection upon his state, and for good and sufficient reasons, to move house. The place which he chose as eminently suitable was the ear of a certain elephant. All that remained to do was to make the move, and quite soon WPA had installed himself in the large and highly attractive

quarters. “Time passed. WPA reared several families of gnatlets, and he sent them out into the world. As the years rolled past, he knew the usual moments of tension and relaxation, the feelings of joy and sorrow, of questing and achievement which are the lot of the gnat wherever he may be found. “Naturally WPA hadn’t moved into the house without due ceremony and a regard for the proper observances. On the very first day, just before moving in, he had cried, at the top of his tiny voice, his decision. ‘Oh Elephant!’ he’d shouted, ‘Know that none other than I, WPA the Gnat, known as WPA the Bright, propose to make this place my abode. “As it is your ear, I am giving you the customary notice of my intention.’ The elephant had raised no objection. But WPA didn’t know the elephant hadn’t even heard him. Neither, for that matter, had his host felt the entry (or even the presence and absence) of the gnat and his various families. Not to labour the point unduly, he had no idea that gnats were there at all. …departure And when the time came when WPA the Bright decided, for what were to him compelling and important reasons, that he would move house again, he reflected that he must do so in accordance with

established and hallowed custom. He prepared himself for the formal declaration of his abandonment of the elephant’s ear. “Thus it was that, the decision finally and irrevocably taken and his words sufficiently rehearsed, WPA shouted once more into the elephant’s ear. He shouted once, and no answer came. He shouted again, and the elephant was still silent. The third time, gathering the whole strength of his voice in his determination to register his urgent yet eloquent words, he cried: ‘Oh Elephant! Know that I, the WPA the Bright Gnat, propose to leave my hearth and home, to quit my residence in this ear of yours where I have dwelt for so very long. And this is for a sufficient and significant reason which I am prepared to explain to you.’ …the end “Now finally the words of the gnat came to the hearing of the elephant, and the gnatcry penetrated. As the elephant pondered the words, WPA shouted: ‘What have you to say in answer to my news? What are your feelings about my departure?’ The elephant raised his great head and trumpeted a little. And this trumpeting contained the sense: ‘Go in peace – for in truth your going is of as much interest and significance to me as was your coming.’

De Headitor seh that Mook seh that Harmon seh


e headitor used to have to seh whah Burnt Ham want he fuh seh. De same headitor had to start sayin whah de Heights Man want he fuh seh. In dem times, de guvament does never have any ting fuh seh. So de headitor does have to find some ting fuh seh, and he used to mek up whah ever he used to seh. Old people seh de more tings change is de more dem remain de same. And people seh old people don’t tell lie, because indeed de more de headitor get old is de more he stay de same. Now de headitor does have to seh whah Mook Lall seh. But de Mook does stammer before he can seh whah ever he have to seh, except when he was beggin to get back he visa. So fuh de Mook to seh whah he want de headitor fuh seh is always tough fuh de Mook to seh. And that is not whah people alone seh. That is whah de headitor self seh. And that is whah a reporter who leff de Mook and seh de Mook beg he fuh go back seh. And that is no he seh, she seh and dem seh. That is whah de facts seh. And de facts ketch all of dem lyin both wid whah dem seh and wid whah dem seh dem never seh. De headitor seh that Mook Lall seh that Harmon seh whah de Kocheur News seh bout whah INews seh. But Fareeza seh that INews never seh whah Kocheur News seh that Harmon seh. And Harmon seh that he never seh whah de Kocheur News seh that he seh. But de headitor seh that de Mook seh that he could seh whah Harmon never seh. Finally, Robert seh that he does never tell Fareeza and INews whah fuh seh, and Fareeza seh she only seh whah people pun de road seh. And again, de Kocheur News get ketch sayin whah no body never seh. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! And de A-Gee seh that he had only want fuh hear whah de other driver had to seh. But de driver only seh three million and de A-Gee didn’t want fuh hear any ting more whah he had to seh.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

continued from last week Winslow Craig is an incredibly gifted sculptor whose major task “Discovery”, for his graduation from Burrowes School of Art, is an impeccable achievement boasting the formalities of European classical art. This trait has remained a hallmark of his work although he has moved on to create astonishing pieces in other materials including metal. At Burrowes School of Art, Craig had come under the tutelage of Cubanborn Josefa Tamayo, who has lived most of her life in Guyana tutoring in sculpture. Tamayo has added a more eclectic flavour to Guyanese sculpture, reflecting the Guyanese landscape and also her more European heritage. Her “The Vendor of Animals” shows her ability to remain consistent and true to form. The sculpture of Desmond Ali took form from his solid belief that art can be in the forefront of a freedom struggle, and from his contact with pre-Columbian art and artefacts. Having travelled most of South

'Whistling Wind II' Winslow Craig (2009)

America on foot, Ali came back revitalized and revolutionized his concept of content and form. His sculpture took on the appearance of high relief of rigid geometrical form and shape, which he defines as “flat in the

round” as exemplified by his “Patria Libre O Morir” (“Free Homeland or Death”). His involvement and observation of the political scene of the latter part of the 1970s greatly inspired the content of his work.

The mid 1980s saw the surfacing of an indigenous sculpture pushing to claim prominence among an already vibrant sculptural environment. The Lokono sculptor Oswald Hussein, who benefitted from acquaintance with the Burrowes School of Art, came from a rich cultural background of the indigenous peoples who, while they engaged in basket, canoe and pot making, were never seen as sculptors. Winning the sculpture prize in the National Visual Arts Competition with “Wassasekere” in 1989 and later in 1993 with “Wegelly”, Hussein became the model for a rich vein of indigenous sculptors such as Lynus Clenkian, Roaland Taylor, Foster Simon and Valentine Stoll, all with a desire to rekindle their cultural heritage, who dominated the art scene during the 1990s with their sculpture. Although it was the repatriation of Denis Williams’ painting “Human World” by public-spirited citizens in the 1950s that started the National

'The Batsman' Omawale Lumumba (n.d.)

Collection over half a century ago, the success story of sculpture in the National Collection can be equally matched to that of painting. This contribution has too often been overlooked and unrecognized, but sculptors, from Guyana's beginning, have made a profound contribution to the country’s art history. An endless regret is that many works have left these shores, vanished, or lack documentation this exhibition, although the largest of its type held thus far, is hardly complete. However, it includes a number of important works that have not, until now, been seen by a large public. Predominated by selftaught sculptors who

have developed entirely within these shores and pursued a discipline with absolute faith and sincerity, the journey of sculpture in Guyana and the National Collection has only just begun. In celebration of the 44th anniversary of Guyana being a Republic, an exhibition, showcasing sculptures from the National Collection housed at Castellani House on Vlissengen Road, was recently opened. The exhibition will continue until March 29. Admission is free. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday; the gallery is closed Sundays and holidays. (Text by Curator Ohene Koama)

CROSSWORD SOLUTION Main Street looking north (British Guiana)

City Hall buildings (British Guiana)

Botanical Gardens' entrance (British Guiana)


week ending March 9, 2014 |

A slice of cheese cake By Anu Dev


’m a big fan of cheesecake – whether it’s my Mom’s homemade cheesecake (well via Junior’s of Brooklyn recipe) or the slices I regularly buy for myself. I’m not that particular – graham cracker crust, sponge cake crust, whipped cream topping, cherry topping – I don’t mind whichever. Throw a slice my way and I’ll work my way through it. Luckily, the Rituals at Mount Hope is always well stocked with the requisite slices and a variety of toppings to meet my needs. I usually pick up a slice to reward myself, or as a little pick-meup when I’m not feeling that upbeat. Usually it’s to reward myself for surviving yet another long day and it actually manages to cheer me up quite a bit. In all honesty, I’m never out of what I think are very solid reasons for eating cheesecake. I think it’s important to reward ourselves every now and again even if it’s just with little things. I mean, it’s not that we should be constantly patting ourselves on the back for every single thing we do. But sometimes it’s nice to give ourselves a little treat for achieving our goals. How’d that sound? Told you I’m good at this! But seriously, setting goals and specific


deadlines for achieving those goals are important towards being efficient and organised so that the goals are realised. Especially for students, nearing the end of the semester when the teachers start to pile on those assignments. It gets really easy to lose track of what needs to be done. Taking the time to plan ahead for what needs to be done really saves time in the long run – especially if you’re a serial procrastinator like I am. I think the worst thing about procrastinating is the regret that comes after you hand in the assignment or write the exam, when you realise that you could have done so much better had you started earlier. It’s a feeling most people are familiar with, since unfortunately, most people are guilty of procrastination. But by managing your time better and setting goals and deadlines, you can avoid those last minute frantic all-nighters that are

most times rather counterproductive. Rewarding yourself for meeting your deadlines just might make you more amenable to trying harder to meet your goals every time. Those days where nothing seems to go your way and even the skies seem gloomy are the days when you should take some time to listen to a favourite song, look at a funny video, or eat your favourite food. It’s amazing the effect those little things can have in changing your mood. The last are called ‘comfort food’ for a very good reason! So what’s your slice of cheesecake? What’s your little thing that can brighten your day? Take some time out of your day or your week to reward yourself or to spoil yourself a little bit – sometimes you really deserve it! I’m back in Guyana for the long weekend to participate in our annual family Puja. I discovered that even though it’s not public holidays, everything shuts down in Trinidad for their Carnival bacchanalian revelries. Even medical school. Have an enjoyable week, and I hope all of you achieve whatever goals you’ve set yourselves this week! I’ll be scrounging around for some cheesecake.

Cricket in the jungle

uyanese love dem cricket. Dem lil bhai and lil gyal used to learn to play bat and ball in de street. But bat and ball coulda play any where, even inside yuh mummah and daady house. Any piece of wood coulda be a bat and any ting round coulda be a ball. And any piece of any ting or nutten coulda be a wicket. These days, no body sure if Guyana still got cricket, or ball and bat, or cricket in de jungle. That is why Dave Martins sing that song not too long ago. He know that all dem fellas at all dem cricket boards in Guyana woulda prefer de jungle style of cricket a long time before he sing that song.

After all, Guyana is a land of jungles. Just ask de Mayor-fuh-Life and de Pee-R-O to give yuh a tour of Jungle Hall and Jungle Town. De Pee-R-O, of course, can only ECHO whah de Mayor-fuh-Life want he fuh seh. As fuh cricket in de jungle, every ting comin to pass like prophecy. Right now is sheer bush growin pun de roof of a cricket buildin in de Essequibo. Now, how all that bush growin pun all that zinc whah deh so high is another question. Is either de bush in Essequibo can grow any where, or de zinc in Essequibo more fertile than de land whah GuySuCo usin to plant cane. Or it could also be

that so much mud deh in de cricket board that it now reach de roof. Dem fellas who runnin cricket in de Cinderella County can plant bush more than whah dem can run cricket, unless dem runnin cricket outta de county. GuySuCo can’t complainin bout workers. Just give dem cricket board fellas in Essequibo de wuk and problem solve. Dem could mek any ting grow any where. Ting-a-ling-a-ling… friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! Well, dem cricket fellas in de GeeC-B ain’t deh too far behind. Right now dem plantin sheer bush in Woolford Avenue, and dem start a long time ago pun de Bourda ground!

TT boasts safest Carnival ever


T’s National Security Minister Gary Griffith said Tuesday 2014 was one of the safest Carnivals ever and if the trend continued he would be the happiest minister alive. Griffith spoke with reporters as he toured the downtown Carnival areas Tuesday and he was accompanied by Ag Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, Chief of Defence Staff Kenrick Maharaj and other security officers. He said: “The success speaks for itself. What we have seen here is a first whereby, the forces have worked together; there has been proper collaboration, in no small part because of the National Operations Centre and you have seen the success. That is why I continue to ask all law-abiding citizens to continue to work with the law enforcement officials, provide them with that information and the success will follow.” He said the success did not just have to do with Carnival Monday and Tuesday, but rather throughout the entire season. He said every day law enforcement officials put their heads together, there was a plan done based on the threat assessment of the events, allinclusives and Carnival functions included. “We will continue along that line and it shows that we are in the right direction,” he stated. “Some people have actually complained. Some people were like they were hearing too many sirens and encountered too many road blocks but you can’t win,” he said. Griffith highlighted that there were plans to increase this. “This has been the safest Carnival in a very long time and if this continues…I would be the happiest minister alive,” he quipped. Meanwhile, at the Socadrome, Williams said there was a lot of cooperation from the public and masqueraders. “We’ve had a fantastic Carnival.”

Former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam with Harts presentation ‘Of Love & War’ cross the Queen’s Park Savannah stage during the parade of bands in Port-of-Spain Tuesday. (Shirley Bahadur/TT Guardian photo)

“Far more officers have been deployed this year. Hope that next year we can take it to another level,” he added. Griffith said the new Socadrome venue made it easier for police to get to different locations in a faster time. He promised that the 2015 Carnival will be better. He said there will be an immediate post mortem to look at what needs to be improved. He also voiced concerns about minors drinking alcohol in all-inclusive bands and at the possibility of banning glass bottles. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)



week ending March 9, 2014 |


ctress Juhi Chawla says she turned down a lot of big film offers at the peak of her career as she thought the industry would shut down without her. "When you were at your peak, you stop taking chances, you become indispensable and think that without you the industry will shut down as you are young and successful. You make foolish decisions. I did not do couple of films which then became blockbusters," Juhi said. The actress revealed that she had refused films like ‘Raja Hindustani’, ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’, ‘Judaai’ among others. "It is all in the past, so it is ok to talk about it and you learnt from it. I think most of them were two heroine projects, so I did not do it. I am responsible for Karisma Kapoor's stardom and she


rom being a model to turning a cerebral producer, John Abraham has come a long way in his life and career. On his recent trip to Ranchi, the actor talked about his passion for sports, his association with the Hockey India League, filmmaking and of course, his upcoming flicks. The fol-


doesn't know about it," she said. When asked if she regrets not doing those films, Juhi says, "At that time I was still working and I had project after project. Now when I look back, I can see that I was doing silly thing, but that was the phase I was in and you end up doing all these things (rejecting films)." The vivacious actress seems to be experimenting with roles now, but at the same time she plays it safe. (TOI)

lowing is an excerpt: How did you get associated with Hockey India League? I believe India doesn't really have a national sport as such. Hence, we must give our support to revive hockey. I'm very appreciative of the International Hockey Federation and its Indian counterpart for all their initiatives to attract talent. This time around I noticed that the crowd has surged as compared to last year. Another thing is that everyone is ready to hop on to the cricket bandwagon. But I feel hockey is a far more athletic and fast game, just like football. So, it becomes easier for me to support a game I can connect with. My team members are my friends and they consider me as one of them. Football, motorcycle racing and now hockey—what else do you like? I am a sports addict—be it football, hockey or motorcycle racing, I love them all. (TOI)


ctress Preity Zinta is happy to be in U.S. and will be attending the Spring Charity Ball. The Spring Charity Ball 2014 began in California, U.S., March 1 and will conclude Sunday. "Always excited to be in the U.S. even though the flight feels longer everytime. Hope I make it to the Spring Charity Ball without passing out," Preity posted on Twitter. The 39-year-old had earlier said that she feels "totally zonked" because of the jet lag and wished she was attending a Sleeping Beauty Ball. "Landed in California and it's pouring down rain. Now in SFO and (I) am totally zonked with the jet lag. Wish was attending a Sleeping Beauty Ball," she posted. (TOI)


amir Khan has rubbished reports of threat to his life in the wake of sensitive issues taken up by him during the first season of his television show 'Satyamev Jayate'. After Aamir

touched upon sensitive topics like female foeticide, medical malpractices and honour killing in 'Satyamev Jayate', he had apparently received several threats to stop highlighting such cases. There were reports

that Aamir had ordered a bullet proof car as some of the episodes of 'Satyamev Jayate 2' may throw light on governance and issues related to Lok Sabha elections 2014. "I have not got any

ilmmaker Karan Johar said that he likes onscreen kissing scenes as they ensure great box office openings. "I like watching kissing scenes on screen. I enjoy it. The new generation of actors don't shy away from it. Kissing brings good openings (at the box office) and it is a wonderful thing," Karan said at the trailer launch of movie ‘2 States’ earlier in the week. Alia Bhatt had her first on screen kiss with co-star Sidharth Malhotra in her debut film ‘Student Of The Year’ in 2012 and she has also locked lips with Arjun Kapoor for her forthcoming film ‘2 States’ which features three kissing scenes. (TOI)

‘I miss Denver’ - Madhuri Dixit-Nene


hen Madhuri Dixit-Nene shifted to India after spending almost a decade in the U.S., her husband and children were oblivious to her stardom in India. But, even though she came back to the world of greasepaint she grew up in and where she spent most of her years before tying the knot, Madhuri recently told Indian media that she misses the space and time she enjoyed in Denver. Speaking during the promotions of ‘Gulaab Gang’, she said, "It is a little chaotic in Mumbai, but I won't say that I don't enjoy it. I enjoy my work, I enjoy what I do and I enjoy being in the space where I can do all these wonderful things. Yes, I do miss the space in Denver, where I could take them to the park and play and all of that, but with all our limitations, we have our clubs in Mumbai or we put them into sports to make up for that. But I wish Mumbai had a little more open space."

Asked if Hollywood ever crossed her mind while she was in Denver, she said, "I went away from films because I wanted to have kids. So, it didn't matter if it was Bollywood or Hollywood. I just wanted to devote my time to my kids and enjoy that part of life because that was the big dream I had for myself.” (TOI)

Anil Kapoor signs daughter Sonam for new film


ctor-producer Anil Kapoor, who has bought the movie rights of author Anuja Chauhan's novel ‘Battle For Bittora’, is very excited about the project and says it will make for a fantastic film. "The way I got excited for my ‘24’ project (Indian adaptation of American TV series of like name), the same way I am very passionate and very excited about this film also," the 57-year-old told reporters. "I feel the content of the book will make a fantastic film," he added. ‘Battle For Bittora’ is a love story between two politicians who, despite being in love, are contesting against each other in the elections. The actor-producer has roped in his daughter Sonam Kapoor for the film, however, he didn't reveal anything about her role, saying “It is too early to talk about it". Anil has earlier produced ‘Badhaai

threats. I don't fear... threats. Do not go with the rumours. There is no threat to me," the actor said. The show anchored by Aamir, 48, started airing on television earlier this week. (TOI)

Ho Badhaai’, ‘Gandhi, My Father’ and ‘Aisha’ among others. (TOI)



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Gosling feels Hollywood dreams don't come true easily


ctor Ryan Gosling says those who harbour a dream to become big in Hollywood don't know whether it's a premonition or a delusion. The 33-year-old, who was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, left everything familiar behind to pursue his Hollywood dreams. "Everyone's left their family, their homes, their friends (and) their jobs, to pursue a dream, where they know that the percentage of them achieving that dream is never and they do it anyway," quoted Gosling as saying. "Everyone has shared the same dream and no one knows whether it's a premonition or a

delusion," he added. ‘The Notebook’ star admitted that luck plays a part in securing an audition and insisted nerves and fear of the competition can often get in the way. "You're lucky to get an audition. Then you get it, you get there (at the audition), you walk into a room full of guys that look just like you. You realise that you're not the only one that wore a cowboy hat. Then you can hear the other guy in the other room auditioning. Now you're thinking about not doing it like him as oppose to doing it the way you wanted to do it," Gosling said. (TOI)

Lea Michele walks around garden naked


ea Michele likes to walk around her garden naked. The ‘Glee’ star admits she feels confident in her own skin and doesn't mind looking at herself without any clothes on, but insisted she only strips in her own home. She said: ''I'm very comfortable with my own body. I come from Broadway--everybody's naked on Broadway. I like to think of myself as more granola. I'm not going to run around naked or anything like that unless I'm at my own home. Today, I walked into my

backyard and was standing out there naked for a while. Don't tell, my neighbours will freak out!'' Meanwhile, the 27-year-old singer is set to release her debut album, ‘Louder’, on March 17, and she admitted she originally wanted it to be ''pop-heavy,'' but after the death of her boyfriend Cory Monteith-who died from an accidental alcohol and drug overdose last year--she changed the genre and went for a more ''dramatic'' approach. (TOI)

Dalai Lama calls Hollywood a waste of time


he Dalai Lama isn't a fan of Hollywood. He made this amply clear in an interview to a website recently. When asked by the interviewer if he knew about the Academy Awards, he said he hasn't watched Hollywood movies in over 20 years, preferring instead to listen to radio.

"It's very bad for my eyes," said His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, adding, "And also, it's a waste of time!" "I think technology has really increased human ability," said the Buddhist teacher, who has 8.5 million followers online. "But technology cannot produce compassion," he added. (TOI)

Michael Douglas 'back together' with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones


ichael Douglas' mother has revealed that the actor is back together with his estranged wife Catherine Zeta-Jones. Diana Douglas told the Sun that the couple are together as they are both gentle people and not hysterical, and she knew they would work it out.

The 91-year-old added that Douglas and the ‘Side Effects’ star have always been very affectionate and easy with each other. The ‘Basic Instinct’ star and Jones, who announced their split in August 2013, were recently spotted holidaying together in Quebec and the Bahamas with their children. (TOI)



ctor Brad Pitt says he never thought he would win an

Oscar. The 50-year-old picked up the award as a producer for ‘12 Years a Slave’. "I don't know where I'm going to put it. I never thought I'd take one home, so I haven't thought that far in advance," Pitt told eonline. com. ‘12 Years a Slave’, a real life story of a man's fight for survival and freedom, won the best

film honour at the 86th Academy Awards. (TOI)

Uma Thurman says having a baby in forties is a 'stunning' experience


ma Thurman feels that having a baby in her forties is a "stunning" experience because one feels more mature and volatile. The Golden Globe award winner's pregnancy in forties left her astonished as many things seemed new to her again, Contactmusic reported. The 43-year-old actress said that one becomes a different person when you have a child in the early side of your child-bearing years. The ‘Nymphomaniac’ star further added that

having a child is like having one's heart get out of your ribcage and walking around the room. (TOI)

John Travolta tones down footwork in public


ctor John Travolta, popular for his footwork, says he "economises" his dancing on public platform. The 60-year-old has acted in dance-centric films like ‘Staying Alive’

and ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and admitted he tones down his moves in public, reported "I economise with my (dance) moves so, I don't have too much pressure on me," he said. (TOI)

Halle Berry doesn't want more children


Matthew McConaughey dedicates Oscar to God atthew McConaughey dedicated his Best Actor Oscar to God. The overjoyed star was delighted to accept the trophy for his role in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’---which saw him lose 50lbs to play A.I.D.S. patient Ron Woodroof---and kissed his wife and hugged fellow nominee Leonardo DiCaprio as he went to accept the award.

‘I never thought I'd win an Oscar’ – Brad Pitt

He said: ''First off I want to thank God, because he's the one I look up to, he's graced my life with opportunities which I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late [British actor] Charlie Laughton, who said, 'When you got God, you got a friend and that friend is you.'” (TOI)

alle Berry has revealed that she is not planning on having more kids now or ever. The 47-year-old actress, who added a son in October 2013 to her brood of two, said at an Oscar after-party that she is surprised she had the one she just had, and doubted that God will bless her again with another one, the Mirror reported. The former Bond girl added that she thinks she is done with kids. Berry, who had her

daughter Nahla in 1999, also revealed that she is adjusting to a whole new life all over again after having a new little baby again. (TOI)



week ending March 9, 2014 |

GTA awards Mash winners


he Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) closed their Mashramani table tennis tournament with a small awards ceremony on Tuesday at the National Gymnasium. Director of Sport Neil Kumar, who was present at the event, congratulated all of the players, noting that more table tennis needs to be played in schools. “I was pleased to see this much participation in the tournament and the schools should use the table tennis boards more. I want the GTTA to monitor it and once you know of schools in

The winners take time to pose with their trophies in the presence of GTTA President Godfrey Munroe (second right), Director of Sport Neil Kumar (third right) and Secretary of GTTA Linden Johnson (Photo: Treiston Joseph

need of boards, tell somebody so we can get them the boards. “This is your family, play together, keep together and Guyana will be proud of you,” Kumar

told the gathering, as he indicated that the government will play its role in developing the sport. Meanwhile, President of the GTTA Godfrey Munroe was pleased

with the tournament and urged the players to “keep engaged”, as more tournaments will be coming soon, both nationally and internationally. Some of the top per-

formers in the tournament included Chelsea Edghill, Shamar Britton, Nevaeh Clarkston, Elishaba Johnson, Khalil and Kayson Ninvalle. (Treiston Joseph)

TT’s Nicolas Pooran tops U-19 W Cup batting charts - Guyana’s Tagenarine Chanderpaul ranks high

2013 Junior Sportswoman of the Year Chelsea Edghill (left) receives one of her five trophies from Director of Sport Neil Kumar (Photo: Treiston Joseph)


number of West Indies players performed creditably at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which conclud-

ed on Saturday in the United Arab Emirates, as Nicolas Pooran, Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Ray Jordan all had memorable tournaments. West Indies made it to the quarterfinal stage, but lost to Australia by five wickets. Pooran, who announced himself to the world at the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) last July, scored a blazing century (143) in that match. The knock by left-handed Pooran was the highest score in the tournament. Pooran also ended the tournament as the fourth highest run scorer, making 303 runs at an average of 60.6 runs, which included two halfcenturies and a century. The achievements did not stop there for Pooran,

Nicolas Pooran

Tagenarine Chanderpaul finishing the competition with the most sixes (14),

two more than India’s Sanju Samson. A lot was expected from left-hander Chanderpaul, son of West Indian stalwart Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Young Chanderpaul finished right behind Pooran on the batting charts, scoring 293 runs at an average of 58.60 runs, which included two half-centuries and a century. West Indian fast bowler Jordan did some damage with the ball, taking 12 wickets to finish seventh on the bowling charts. Jordan had an economy rate of 4.29 runs per over. His best bowling figures came against Zimbabwe, when he grabbed 3/32 in 8.1 overs. (TT Guardian)



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Hemraj eager on cementing Jeffrey set to defend middle-order spot Berbice leg this Sunday – says consistency is the key By Rajiv Bisnauth


a t s m a n Chanderpaul Hemraj is considered one of region’s brightest prospects, and having earned a recall to the national First-Class squad, the left-hander is keen to cash in and cement his place in the Guyana side. The talented middle-order batsman and the in-form Tagnarine Chanderpaul have replaced the injured West Indies middle order batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan for Guyana’s second game in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four-day tournament from March 7-10. Guyana will take on Barbados at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara under lights from 15:00h daily.

Golden opportunity

However, the Everest Cricket Club (GCC) batsman, who played the last of his three First-Class matches against Jamaica at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, in April last year, said the recall represents a gold-

Chanderpaul Hemraj

en opportunity to secure a long-term role in the national side. An average of just 09.50 with a topscore of 29, the 20-year-old, Hemraj, whose career did not get off to the best of starts, with just 57 runs off six innings, told Guyana Times International Sport on Tuesday that “this is probably the best chance to resurrect his FirstClass career”. “I am back in the reckoning, and this time I am determined to make it count,” Hemraj said. Hemraj, who recently completed the first phase at the Sagicor High Performance Centre (HPC) at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus said,

“I worked very hard, both physically and on my game, while at the HPC, so I feel this is the best time to revive my career”. With both Chanderpaul and Sarwan out due to separate injuries, and judging from the present form displayed by the only fit 11 in Jamaica, where Guyana were beaten by seven wickets, Hemraj can find himself in the starting X1 lineup for Friday’s match. However, once given the opportunity, consistency is the watchword for the former West Indies under-19 batsman. “If I make the final X1, I want to grab this opportunity with both hands, I just want to score runs and be as consistent as possible,” Hemraj said. The Guyana squad for the second round reads: Christopher Barnwell (Captain), Sewnarine Chattergoon, Assad Fudadin, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Narsingh Deonarine, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Anthony Bramble, Amir Khan, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Keon Joseph and Vishaul Singh.


fter successfully staging the first leg on the West Demerara roadways on Sunday last, organisers of the Cheddi Jagan memorial cycling trilogy will take the event to the Ancient County of Berbice on Sunday, as has been the case for more than a decade and a half. This Sunday’s race will pedal off at 09:00h in front of Freedom House, New Amsterdam; proceed to Number 55 Village before returning to Port Mourant for the finish, a distance of 50 miles. The veterans, mountain bikers and females will turn at Hogg Style on the upward journey and finish at Port Mourant, while the senior and junior riders will do the full distance. The talented Raynauth Jeffrey of Team Coco (Guyana) is set to defend the senior title, having won last year’s event in a time of two hours, 13 minutes, 26 seconds (02h: 13m: 26s), while Raul Leal, who recently returned to competitive cycling after a horrific accident, is the defending champion of

Raynauth Jeffrey receiving his prize from Brian Tiwari of BK International

the junior race. The experienced Kennard Lovell won the veteran category last year, while Ozia McUally and Hazina Barrett were also winners on the day, copping the mountain bike and female divisions respectively. The first six finishers in the Open category and the top three in the junior, veteran, mountain bike and female will be rewarded, while eight prime prizes will be at stake. Meanwhile, Jeffrey has emerged as the top

rider of the event over the last two years under the points system that was introduced in 2012. In the six races in 2012 and 2013, Jeffrey accumulated 38 points, followed by Robin Persaud (30) and Orville Hinds (21). Under the points system, the first six finishers were given 10 points for a win; eight for second; six for third; four for fourth, three for fifth and two for sixth. According to Mohamed, Jeffrey will be presented with his prize on Sunday.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Courts pumps cash into NPCG Sports Festival


s part of their cooperate responsibility, appliance and furniture company, Courts (Guyana) Inc. has thrown its support behind this Sunday’s “Paralympic” sports festival, which is scheduled for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ground, commencing from 09:30h. The one-day event which is organised by the National Paralympics Committee of Guyana (NPCG) is for persons with all forms of disabilities. According to National Paralympics Committee of Guyana President Wilton Spencer, the inaugural event will see in excess of 250 athletes, participating in 32 events. Meanwhile, at a presentation ceremony at its Main Street branch on Tuesday,

Director of Marketing at Courts Molly Hassan (second left) presents the symbolic sponsorship cheque to Treasurer of the NPCG Anand Mangru. Sharing the moment are Courts Marketing Officer Trudy Abrahams (left), Courts Marketing Manager Pernell Cummings (right) and NPCG President Wilton Spencer (Photo: Carl Croker)

Director of Marketing at Courts Molly Hassan presented a cheque of Gy$742,248 to trea-

surer of the NPCG of Guyana Anand Mangru. The cash will serve

to offset the costs for Sunday’s highly anticipated event.


Speaking at the occasion, Hassan said that Courts is certainly delighted to be asso-

ciated with the event, adding that the company believes that persons with disabilities also play an important role in society. “Courts feels very strongly in supporting events of such nature, it’s part of the company’s corporate responsibility,” Hassan said. Hassan then took the opportunity to wish all the participants a good day whether they win or lose, adding that they are all leaders and winners in their own right. Spencer thanked the management and staff of the company for their input, noting that their support is vital for a successful event. The event was originally scheduled for last month, but was postponed due to inclement weather. (Rajiv Bisnauth)

Fernandes slips one place down WISPA ranking By Avenash Ramzan


uyana’s top squash player Nicolette Fernandes has slipped one place down the latest rankings issued by the World International Squash Players Association (WISPA). In the March 2014 release, the 30-yearold Fernandes was ranked 20, dropping one spot from the careerbest 19 she attained in February.

In January however, she slipped to 21 from the 19 she reached in October 2013 and maintained through to December. Consistent Since the start of October, Fernandes has competed in eight tournaments, and though her performance has not been spectacular by any stretch of imagination, she has done enough to maintain a presence among the top flight players.

The England-based Guyanese participated in the Carol Weymuller Open in the USA, the US Open and the China Open all in October; the Monte Carlo Classic in Monaco in November and the Hong Kong Open earlier this month. Fernandes failed to get past the first round in the Carol Weymuller Open and the US Open; made it to the qualifying final of the China Open, the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Classic

Nicolette Fernandes is now ranked #20 in the world

and was knocked out at the second round of the Hong Kong Open. In 2014, she has so far competed in the three tournaments: the Greenwich Open, the Winnipeg Winter Club Open and the Windy City Open. She made it to the quarter-finals of the Greenwich Open in January, the semi-finals of the Winnipeg Winter Club Open in February and the qualifying finals of the Windy City Open earlier this month. Her next assignment is the World Championship later this month in Malaysia. Fernandes’ first match will be against Rachael Grinham of Australia on March 15.

Remarkable turnaround Her




ranking is a remarkable turnaround for Fernandes, who only at the start of 2009 was rated a lowly 249 after a recurring knee injury had kept her out of competition for a protracted period of time. Since returning from injury however, Guyana’s most decorated squash player has been on the rise, significantly moving up the ranking with each passing competition. Such was her outstanding performance that at the end of 2009, Fernandes, who is based in England and is under the expert guidance of award-winning coach Carl Ince, had taken her ranking below 100, ending the year at 88. Ever since then, it has been a steady climb

up the ladder for the multiple Sportswomanof-the-Year, consistently racking up points and making her way up the WISPA leaderboard. In 2013, Fernandes played in 13 WSA World Tour/Series in seven countries, namely the United States of America, Malaysia, Ireland, England, China, Monaco and Hong Kong. In August last year, Fernandes returned home to claim her fifth Caribbean senior title, taking less than 30 minutes to dispose of Barbados’ Karen Meakins 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 in the final of the Caribbean Area Squash Association Senior Championships at the Georgetown Club, Camp Street.



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Barbados gov’t seeks major funding for stadium upgrade


he government of Barbados is looking to raise substantial funding to complete the upgrade of the National Stadium. Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley told the House of Assembly Tuesday that even after government had spent Bds$3.5 million last year fixing the track, it found that a “significant allocation of resources” was still required to finish the transformation. “We are committed… to developing a brand new ultra-modern stadium at the National Stadium at Waterford,” he said. “We have started the work in terms of putting together a detailed proposal, which I expect to take to the Cabinet so that that proposal can be made available to potential financiers and funding agencies, so that we can have the kind of facility that ought to have been in place for the 14 long years of growth that the Barbados Labour Party always boasts of.” According to Lashley, the former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government had contributed to the problems at the

Five wicket haul boosts Taylor’s confidence


Barbados’ Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley

Stadium because it had “totally neglected” the facility. “We have stands that have not been maintained,” he charged. “We have outfields that were left to rot and not cared for and, in fact, hardly any money of any major significance was put to the disposal of the National Sports Council in relation to upgrading and maintaining the National Stadium. We have now had to deal with that situation.” He added: “Only last year we spent about

Bds$3.5 million in developing a brand new international track at the National Stadium after we found a track laid by the Barbados Labour Party where the angles were wrong.” According to Lashley, the substructure on which the track was placed “had to be totally dug up” and a new foundation put down. Lashley made the comments when the House of Assembly debated two tourism-related bills. (Excerpted from Nation News)

erome Taylor, the Jamaican pacer who has returned to first class cricket after prolonged injury, says he is confident he can perform better than the effort that earned him a five wicket haul against Guyana. The 29-year-old Taylor, absent from cricket for over two and a half years due to a back injury, ended with five for 44 against Guyana in Jamaica’s first round WICB Regional FourDay game. His impressive bowling helped Jamaica to a seven wicket win over the Guyanese at Sabina Park on the final day of the match on Monday. “I am really happy at this present time, although I still think I can do better than whatever performance I come up with,” said Taylor, in an interview with local media. “It is a work in progress and at the end of the day I ended with five wickets, so I will just keep doing what I have to do,” he added. Set 88 for victory, the host easily reached their target with Nkrumah Bonner striking 38 and

Jerome Taylor

opener Horace Miller, 29. Taylor has so far taken 218 first-class wickets in 68 matches which includes 12 five-wicket hauls. “Being away from the game for such a long time and coming back with a performance such as this, I can’t complain,” said Taylor whose last appearance for the West Indies was in 2010. “Hopefully, the performances here will take

care of me getting back onto the regional team and if the selectors require my assistance in the West Indies set-up then I will grab it with both hands again”, he said. The Jamaican pacer has also represented Kings Punjab XI and the Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League (IPL), as well as the Stanford Superstars. (TT Guardian)


week ending March 9, 2014 |



week ending March 9, 2014 |

Queen’s baton ends Guyana tour at Aishalton


he Queen’s Baton ended its two-day tour of Guyana in the Amerindian settlement of Aishalton on Tuesday which is located in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, Region Nine. The Queen’s Baton, which has the Queen’s message encased inside for the Commonwealth Games set to begin in July, arrived to a brilliant reception and was greeted by the Toshoa of the village, along with lines of school children. The Queen’s Baton, in the form of a relay, made its way around the community, stopping at various check points. Along the way, those who participated in the relay were given the opportunity to view cultural activities, such as the hammock, cassava bread and drink making. They were also exposed to some learning of the native language, the making of other cassava products and wines, and saw the small zoo before ending the relay at the school. At the school, a well organised programme was held for the visiting Commonwealth Games team and President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) K A Juman Yassin. The community hopes to have representatives at the Commonwealth Games in the future. Yassin noted the quality of the programme and the grand welcome to the village, and urged the villagers to get more involved in sport, while also committing to help the community in this regard. Yassin told the gathering to focus more on long distance running, as they have done well in this area recently. He said he hopes to get coaches to do workshops in the future. The Queen’s Baton, which is on a tour to all 70 countries in the Commonwealth. A reception was held on Monday evening, with British High Commissioner Andrew Ayre, Yassin and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds in attendance. The baton will now be moving to the Caribbean islands.

This young girl was among many who shared in the relay of the Baton

GOA President K A Juman Yassin hands over the baton on its arrival at Aishalton

The Queen’s Baton is carried by a villager on horse back Nursery school students of the village perform a song at the reception

The Aishalton Toshao holds the Queen’s Baton

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

week ending March 9, 2014

Guyana to host WI/ NZ limited over games


nternational cricket is set to return to Guyana later this year when West Indies and New Zealand square off in three limited-over games at the National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara. Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Anand Sanasie, on Wednesday confirmed that the matches will be hosted at Providence, with two T20 Internationals set for June 28 and 29, while the first One-Day International will be played on July 2. “Yes, these games are confirmed for those dates and have been approved by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB),” Sanasie told this publication. Sanasie also highlighted that GCB will be doing its part to ensure the hosting of the games

Anand Sanasie

is successful. The three matches will be a precursor to the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) games, which will be hosted during the July 10 to August 16 period. The National Stadium has hosted six T20I games, all during the 2010 World Cup, which was hosted at venues across the

Caribbean. Both West Indies and New Zealand have an unbeaten record in T20Is at the venue, having won both their games at the World Cup. West Indies have defeated Ireland by 70 runs and England by eight wickets at the venue, while New Zealand have prevailed over Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, by two wickets and seven runs respectively. In the 13 ODIs hosted at the venue, West Indies have featured in eight, winning four and losing a similar number of games. New Zealand would have pleasant memories of the venue, having thrashed Ireland by 129 runs in their lone game there during the 2007 50-over World Cup. Incidentally, the upcoming series will provide the first opportunity that West Indies and

The last time New Zealand played a limited over game in Guyana was during the T20 World Cup in 2010

New Zealand will clash in any format at the venue. According to Sanasie, the series is part of a packed schedule the GCB has planned for the remainder of the year. The Limacol Under-15 two-day competition will take place from March 23-30 featuring Demerara, Berbice, Essequibo and

the GCB President’s XI, while GTM Under-19 Inter-county, threeday and 50-over tournaments will be hosted from April 23 to May 9. The Inter-county Under-17 50-over competition will be held from May 14-18, while the junior female 50over tourney will come off from May 21-25. The National T20 League is set to take

place in May/June, with a junior female goodwill tour slated for July 4-8. The Inter-county senior female 50-over competition is billed for July 9-12, while the Intercounty senior male 50over tournament is fixed for September 17-28 and the GT&T/Hand-inHand Inter-county senior male four-day will be hosted from October 24 to November 9.

Queen’s baton ends Guyana tour at Aishalton PAGE 55

Members of the Amerindian community of Aishalton welcome the Queen's Baton Guyana Times International - (Guyana Office) email:, Tel: (592) 227-0704, 227-0709, Fax: (592) 225-8696, 227-0685 (NY Office) email:, Tel: 718-658-6804 PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY GUYANA TIMES INTERNATIONAL INC.; AVAILABLE AT ALL MAJOR WEST INDIAN STORES.

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The Beacon of Truth