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You can also read Guyana Times daily edition online at ISSUE NO. 195

week ending June 8, 2014

“I am very sorry” - Ex House of Israel priest apologises for beating PNC opponents during ‘dark days’ See story on page 3

Off to Las Vegas!

TravelSpan flight attendants wing out for training Page 5

Joseph Hamilton

East Indian Arrival Day celebrations set for June 8 in NY Page 12

General Manager of TravelSpan Vanita Jagnarain (seated centre) with the 14 individuals who will wing out to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA to undergo training to become Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified flight attendants

Gov’t revokes several remigrants’ status Page 23


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


“I am very sorry” F

ormer Priest of the House of Israel, Joseph Hamilton on Thursday publicly apologised for the mass attacks he helped carry out on persons standing in opposition to the People’s National Congress (PNC) Government during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Hamilton, during his testimony to the Commission of Inquiry into the death of Dr Walter Rodney, had informed the commission that his participation in the cult movement had found him and other members being involved in violent acts against persons who opposed the Government of the day. He said the PNC had infiltrated the organisation through its leader David “Rabbi Washington” Hill, a fugitive from the United States who had found himself in Guyana during that period. Standing resolutely after his cross-examination before the three-member commission, Hamilton said he was sorry for all the pain he had inflicted on individuals during the time. “Over time I have worked politically with many of the Working People’s Alliance [WPA] members, but it is the first time I’m saying how profoundly sorry I am to engage in those activities in the specific period,” Hamilton, a former PNC exec-

WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

- Ex House of Israel priest apologises for beating PNC opponents during ‘dark days’

Former priest of the House of Israel, Joseph Hamilton

utive and now Parliamentary Secretary for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) said.

Profoundly sorry

“As we dwell on the WPA, I would say all other political parties that were harassed, terrorised, brutalised, armed, put in danger at the specific time. Any citizen whom we would have dealt with in this abusive and violent way. I would say to the Guyanese people at large, how profoundly sorry I am,” he told the Commission.


He revealed that he holds an interest in the lives of Guyana’s youth, having two sons himself, and that is also another reason for him stepping forward. “I wanted young people to get an opportunity to understand and so that in their sojourn, would ensure that this country of ours never return to that place”. He continued, “As much as you try, I would say respectfully, you would be unable to grasp the time.

“As I said, it is only those who lived the time will have a full understanding, an appreciation for the time. As I said only the oppressor, the oppressed and the victims, only they can only understand the time. Reading a book can only give you snippets.” He pointed out that he was quite aware of the consequences that his testimony would incur. He is, however, prepared to live with these consequences. Hamilton said he was now depending on the compassionate nature of the Guyanese public, to offer its sympathy and forgiveness. Hamilton’s testimony at the Commission, implicated former Leader of the PNC Reform Robert Corbin, alleging that he had been actively involved in the distribution of weapons to the House of Israel. Hamilton had also implicated then Government Minister Hamilton Green, noting that both he and Corbin were carrying out executive duties with the use of walkie-talkies at a massive rally in July 1979.


The revelations, however, did not sit well with the PNC leadership, as its lawyer at the inquiry, Basil Williams seemed enraged over the allegations which incriminated the two senior members of

the political party. Williams had suggested to Hamilton that the true reason for his testimony was to get back at the officials, whose fallingout with him had led him to leave the party. During his penance, Hamilton said: “I appear before the Commission, not on the House of Israel’s behalf, I have no such mandate to speak on the House of Israel’s behalf. I came here as Joseph Hamilton, Citizen, to speak to the Guyanese people. There was no coercion, there was no master, and there was no one who contacted me, indicated to me. It was all Joseph Hamilton who by his own conscience came to this Commission to speak the truth as I know it. Whatever is said adverse of me, it matters not because I would have done my bit, cleared my conscience, freed myself and let me say finally, Mr Chairman, like Dr Martin Luther King “Free at last, free at last, thank God, I am free at last”. Chairman of the Commission, Sir Richard Cheltenham congratulated Hamilton on his bold step. He noted that the promise laid out in the terms of reference about an absolute pardon is still in place and urged Guyanese to come forward with their statements, which may assist the Commission in reaching its objectives.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

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Global Renaissance Woman


he world is still mourning the loss of famed poet, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou who was found dead in her university apartment last week. For many who have been following her life and her extensive work in various fields, there could never be enough words to describe what her death means, not only to Americans, but citizens all over the world. Her work and her life story in general have inspired millions to not only better themselves but to help others achieve their own dreams and overcome their own adversities. Described as a Global Renaissance Woman, Maya Angelou was one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Born on April 4, 1928, in St Louis, Missouri, Angelou was raised in St Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture. As a teenager, Angelou’s love for the arts won her a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco’s Labour School. At 14, she dropped out to become San Francisco’s first African-American female cable car conductor. As a young single mother, she supported her son by working as a waitress and cook; however, her passion for music, dance, performance, and poetry would soon take centre stage. During her years abroad, Angelou read and studied voraciously, mastering several languages. While in Ghana, she met with Malcolm X and, in 1964, returned to America to help him build his new Organisation of African American Unity. Soon after Malcolm X’s assassination, Dr Martin Luther King Jr asked Angelou to serve as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King’s assassination, falling on her birthday in 1968, left her devastated. With the guidance of her friend, the novelist James Baldwin, she began work on the book ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’, which later received international acclaim and enormous popular success. The list of her published verse, non-fiction, and fiction now includes more than 30 bestselling titles. A trailblazer in film and television, Angelou wrote the screenplay and composed the score for the 1972 film “Georgia, Georgia”. Her script, the first by an African-American woman ever to be filmed, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Angelou has received over 50 honorary degrees and up until her death, she was a Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. Angelou’s words and actions will continue to stir our souls, energise our bodies, liberate our minds, and heal our hearts. When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Angelou wrote that “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn”. Paying tribute, U.S. President Barack Obama hailed her as “one of the brightest lights of our time–a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman”. Obama was quoted as saying that a childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking–“but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves.” He also presented her with the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Angelou also received the Presidential Medal for the Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008. And in 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama had the opportunity to present her with the Literary Arts Award at the BET Honours ceremony in Washington, DC. In the words of the U.S. First Lady; “Maya Angelou teaches us that it’s not enough merely to seek greatness for ourselves. We must help others discover the greatness within themselves. We need to reach down and reach out, and give back, and lift others the way Maya has lifted us.”

Chiefs Schiff and Cappelman and Rotary President Joe Iaboni pose with paintings done by patients of Queens Center for Progress at the Rotary Club of Jamaica (Queens) Annual Bar-B-Que and Fun Day held recently (Photo by Yogi Ramnarain)

PHAO urges countries to raise tobacco taxes to save lives


he Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) on Saturday called on countries to raise taxes on tobacco to encourage users to stop and to prevent other people from becoming addicted to tobacco. Saturday was designated “World No Tobacco Day.” According to PAHO, based on 2012 data, if all countries increased tobacco taxes by 50 per cent, they could reduce the number of smokers by 49 million within the next three years and ultimately save 11 million lives. Every six seconds, someone dies from using tobacco, which kills up to half its users. It also incurs considerable costs for families, businesses and governments. Treating tobacco related diseases like cancer and heart disease is expensive. And as tobacco related disease and death often strike people in the prime of their working lives, productivity and incomes fall. “Raising taxes on tobacco is the most effective way to reduce use and save lives,” says WHO Director General Margaret Chan. “Determined action on tobacco tax policy hits the industry where it hurts.”

Tobacco taxes in the Americas

In the Americas, several countries have made progress in implementing tobacco price and tax measures. Two countries of the region are being recognised in conjunction with this year’s World No Tobacco Day campaign. Panama is the winner of the WHO Director General’s Special Recognition for its enactment in 2009 of comprehensive tobacco control legislation, that not only increased tobacco taxes, but also earmarked the resulting revenues for tobacco control and other health related initiatives. Costa Rica is the winner of a World No Tobacco Day Regional Award for its passage of a comprehensive tobacco

WHO Director/General Margaret Chan

control law that increased tobacco taxes to 71.5 per cent of the final price to the consumer (with additional automatic increases each year). It too requires that all new revenue be allocated to tobacco control programmes and other health initiatives. Nevertheless, “much work needs to be done in the region, where few countries have met the recommended 75 per cent tax level on the final price of tobacco products recommended by PAHO and WHO”, said Adriana Blanco, PAHO/WHO advisor on tobacco control. “In many countries, tobacco prices remain low and affordable, especially for young people, which is of particular concern.”

The young, poor people

High prices have proven particularly effective in discouraging young people (who often have more limited incomes than older adults) from taking up smoking. They also encourage existing young smokers to either reduce their use of tobacco or quit altogether. “Price increases are two to three times more effective in reducing tobacco use among young people than among older adults,” says Douglas Bettcher, Director of the Department for Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases at WHO. “Tax policy can be divisive, but this is the tax rise everyone can support. As tobacco taxes go up, death and

disease go down.” WHO calculates that if all countries increased tobacco taxes by 50 per cent per pack, governments would earn an extra US$101 billion in global revenue. “These additional funds could – and should – be used to advance health and other social programmes,” adds Bettcher. Countries such as France and the Philippines have already seen the benefits of imposing high taxes on tobacco. Between the early 1990s and 2005, France tripled its inflation adjusted cigarette prices, and sales fell more than 50 per cent. A few years later, the number of young men dying from lung cancer in France began to decline. In the Philippines, one year after increasing taxes, the Government has collected more than the expected revenue and plans to spend 85 per cent of this on health services. Tobacco taxes Tobacco use is the world’s leading preventable cause of death. Tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers who die from breathing second-hand smoke. If no action is taken, tobacco will kill over eight million people yearly by 2030, more than 80 per cent of them living in low- and middle-income countries. Raising taxes on tobacco to help reduce tobacco consumption is a core element of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an international treaty that entered into force in 2005 and has been endorsed by 178 parties. Article Six of the WHO FCTC, Price and Tax Measures to Reduce the Demand for Tobacco, recognises that “price and tax measures are an effective and important means of reducing tobacco consumption by various segments of the population, in particular young persons”.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

TravelSpan says ready for competition - as another airline is set to begin operating Guyana – NY route


u y a n e s e owned airline TravelSpan is not intimidated by increasing competition and is confident nationals will continue to support the airline which they can consider their own. This is according to TravelSpan General Manager Vanita

three carriers plying the Georgetown-New York route with Dynamic Airlines set to launch its service in Guyana later this week. Jagnarain stressed that TravelSpan has been receiving good support from Guyanese travellers ever since its return to service to Guyana

Jagnarain stressed that TravelSpan has been receiving good support from Guyanese travellers ever since its return to service to Guyana in December. New scheduled flights from New York and Toronto are to be announced soon. Jagnarain at a press conference on Wednesday at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) where it was announced that TravelSpan will be sending 14 Guyanese to Las Vegas, Nevada to be trained as flight attendants. Caribbean Airlines, Fly Jamaica and TravelSpan are the

in December. New scheduled flights from New York and Toronto are to be announced soon. Jagnarain explained that the airline’s incoming and outgoing flights have been 80 to 90 per cent and 100 per cent filled for certain holidays such as Easter and Mashramani. “It goes to show that

TravelSpan General Manager Vanita Jagnarain

the people want an alternative carrier, nobody wants to stop in the other destinations. People want to go non-stop. So no, we don’t feel threatened because we know the Guyanese people will support the carrier.” The General Manager also made the point that TravelSpan is basically a

Guyanese carrier, since it is owned by a Guyanese although the company is US-based. “And especially now that they have these beautiful and talented young individuals working, why would they not want to support these young individuals?”


Fourteen of the 30 in-

dividuals set to join that crew after being shortlisted for training in Las Vegas were introduced to the media before winging out to the US to start their three-week training today (Thursday). The training will enable the participants to become certified flight attendants by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The final batch is expected to receive their training by the end of this month. TravelSpan declined to give a figure on the cost of the overseas training for the 30 individuals, only saying that the initiative was a costly one. On the question of preventing their flight attendants from being lured by other airlines once they are certified, Jagnarain noted that the flight attendants for other airlines are not based in Guyana. She also said she was “confident that these individuals are committed to TravelSpan and we have received their assurance that they are committed”. Notably making up the 14-member group

was former Miss Guyana Universe and Miss Guyana World Ruqayyah Boyer who told Guyana Times International that her new pursuit will help her to continue being an ambassador for Guyana. Three males are also part of the group, including Yannick December, who said he is keen on proving that males can also make good flight attendants. The airline said it received hundreds of applications from across the country and that those shortlisted hail from Bartica, Linden, Berbice and other areas. TravelSpan noted that this is not the first time it is training Guyanese to become FAA certified attendants, since it did so in 2007 before pulling out of Guyana in 2008. The airline returned in December with nonstop service between New York and Georgetown at a time when passengers were demanding an alternative carrier on the route after Delta pulled out and EZjet went out of business last year, following the demise of REDjet in 2012.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Anti-money Laundering Bill

“No Guyanese will be spared the impacts of blacklisting”

Eight new Air Traffic Controllers recruited

– Guyana’s Home Affairs Minister warns


Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh making his presentation at Tuesday night’s inaugural symposium at the ‘Red House’ in Georgetown to discuss the likely impacts of Guyana being blacklisted

he People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Tuesday evening hosted a symposium where members of the public were engaged on the current issue of the day, the repercussions of Guyana’s blacklisting as a result of the non-enactment of the critically important Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) (Amendment) Bill. Guyana was effectively blacklisted interna-

tionally last Thursday, following the announcement by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) that the country was referred to the international body, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The regional watchdog body’s review was in relation to the protection of the international financial system from money laundering and financing of terrorism risks, and the encouragement of greater compliance with standards.

The body made it clear that Guyana has AML/CFT deficiencies, and has not made sufficient progress in addressing these. CFATF also detailed countermeasures to be taken against the country by its members.


Among the main concerns raised by members of the public last evening at the Red House in Georgetown were the consequences that will be felt by the average

Guyanese man, woman and child. Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, who was among a panel that included Attorney-General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, and PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee, explained that no Guyanese will be spared the impacts of blacklisting. According to him, the price for goods and services, timely transactions in the banking sectors, remittances that many depend on, the local foreign exchange rates and even Guyana’s credit worthiness will be affected. “The typical question that the people of Guyana ask is why the party in Opposition in Parliament would try to present themselves as a responsible party and take such a destructive position?” Dr. Singh asked. He stressed the gravity of the consequences that are staring at continued on page 10


From left: Mrs. Francesca Wilson and Ms. Jennita Bhagwandin at the control position in the Timehri Control Tower.

fter two years of training, eight Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) have assumed their responsibilities at the control towers at Ogle International Airport (OIA) and at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). Zulficar Mohamed, Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), has stated that from reports received, he is impressed with the zest and professionalism demonstrated by the newest batch. “Air traffic control is a fast-paced job that requires an individual to be on alert to control and maintain safety of air traffic operating within our airspace. As such, the trainee ATCOs had to be proficient in the classroom as well as during their simulation training,

hence the reason for the two-year programme,” Mr. Mohamed stated. At the moment, GCAA has shortlisted in excess of 40 individuals to undergo aptitude testing, followed by interviews to begin the next training programme within the next few months. Furthermore, four seasoned ATCOs have completed the theoretical training and are now undergoing on-the-job training as part of the aviation watchdog’s move to promote them and increase the staff level of the Area Control Centre. According to Mr. Mohamed, GCAA’s aim is to increase the capability of the ATCOs. “These are the men and women who keep the aircraft and its passengers safe in our airspace, and we must continue to develop their skills,” he said.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

How the PNC rigged elections - witness testifies to voting multiple times


he Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday heard how the party of the late Forbes Burnham allegedly practised vote-rigging during elections, with a former executive of the People’s National Congress revealing that he and others were transported by bus to various polling stations to vote multiple times. Joseph Hamilton, a former priest of the House of Israel- a notorious religious cult allegedly used by the PNC back in the 1980s to beat up political opponents-testified that the Government then had frequently been involved in rigged elections. He said he could give evidence in this regard because he, along with other members of the House of Israel, were transported by bus to various polling stations around the country to vote, although they were legally required to do so only once. “The methodology of the PNC would make transportation available for persons involved in voting more than once”, he confirmed. Asked if there was no distinguishing marking for persons who had already voted, Hamilton pointed out that that was not an issue since it was PNC members who were managing the polling stations. Moreover, he confessed that the government was able to devise a plan to remove the stains from the voters’ fingers. He said too that he knew of persons who were not members of the House of Israel, who had also voted multiple times. Under cross-examination, Hamilton spoke of the role of the military in the alleged rigging of elections, making reference to the 1973 elections when two protesters were killed in Corentyne during attempts by soldiers to steal ballot boxes. It was on the evening of July 16, 1973 at the close of polling when members of the GDF stormed into the polling place and attempted to cart away ballot boxes to an undisclosed location. Scores of people, the vast majority of whom were known supporters of the PPP, had gathered in front of the polling station to protest against the removal of the ballot boxes by the military. The soldiers fired live bullets at the protesters, killing Bholanauth and Ramessar in the process. Back then, the count-

Former President and PNC Leader Forbes Burnham

ing of ballots was not done at the place of poll as is currently the case. All the boxes were taken under military escort to a central polling place. It was reported back then that invariably, ballots cast in favour of the PPP were replaced and stuffed by ballots in favour of the PNC. It was this knowledge and fear that the results of the elections would be changed in favour of the PNC that led to such large gatherings of people at polling stations at the end of polling. Under normal situations, eligible voters would cast their ballots and peacefully make their way home until the results were announced hours later. Meanwhile, Hamilton also under cross-examination, agreed that the government of the day had perpetrated corruption by giving lands to the House of Israel organization; the abuse of the Judiciary; direct suppression by violent means; the advancing of the concept of Party Paramountcy; and the suppression and non-investigation of serious crimes, including murder. He spoke of the 1980 Constitution Referendum and the public outcry that prevailed. At that point WPA Lawyer Christopher Ram explained that the country was looking forward to the constitutionally due general election in 1978. However, the government using its power had decided that the country was going to go through a referendum instead. Hamilton recalled that a large percentage of the population had opposed the move and had become agitated, since according to them it was oppressive and dictatorial. “And so there was agitation from what was considered as civil society”.

Hoyte changed things

Hamilton also spoke about the change in leadership of the PNC at the death of Burnham, not-

ing that his successor, Hugh Desmond Hoyte, had adopted a “no nonsense” approach to the House of Israel organisation, which according to him, had been weaned under the ruling government and had become “Burnham Church”, to many Guyanese, he noted. He noted that President Hoyte, taking over the reins of leadership, had indicated that he was going to expunge all persons who were seriously affecting the development of democracy at the time. It was under the Hoyte administration that Rabbi Washington was charged for his crimes, Hamilton related.



week ending June 8, 2014|

Guyana lashes out at WICB for ‘seeking to violate country’s sovereignty’


he Guyana government on Sunday expressed deep concern at the decision by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to relocate the 3rd Test Match with New Zealand and denied the governing body’s assertion that the recently passed Cricket Administration Bill would result in governmental interference in the management of the game. The government also accused the WICB of seeking to violate Guyana’s sovereignty. “It is hoped, that the arrogance and contempt assumed by the WICB, as it purports to give directions to a sovereign Government of

a CARICOM member state, is noted,” said the Ministry of Sport in a lengthy statement. The Antigua-based regional governing body has said that it decided to shift the West IndiesNew Zealand match after failing to convince President Donald Ramotar against assenting the Bill. “The WICB has serious reservations that the Cricket Administration Bill which was passed in the Guyana National Assembly thrusts the administration of cricket in Guyana from an independent body to the Government of Guyana. This, the WICB views as undesirable and inconsistent with

Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony

International Cricket Council tenet,” the body has stated. Following is the full text of the Statement issued by the Guyana gov-

ernment: The Government of Guyana notes with deep regret the decision of the West Indies Cricket Board to relocate the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand, from Guyana. We observe with even greater concern, certain assertions made by the WICB regarding this matter and we feel compelled to respond. On May 30Th 2014 at about 4.35pm, Mr. Dave Cameron, President of WICB, wrote to His Excellency, President Donald Ramotar, raising certain concerns in respect of the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill. In that letter, Mr. Cameron requested an opportunity to study the Bill and the Constitution, in order to be able to provide more detailed comments at a later stage. In the interim, he requested that the President not assent to the Bill until there is agreement in relation to the matters raised. The letter requested a response by 6 pm that day.

At or about 6.22 pm that day, the Honourable Minister of Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, responded. In a covering e-mail, the Minister explained that the President was out of Georgetown and that he was duly instructed to respond on the President's behalf. At 6.54 pm, the Minister received an email from Mr. Cameron, indicating that the response was "unacceptable" and that the response which he requires "must be done under the Seal of the President ". The email then informs that WICB will proceed with its decision to move the match. It is hoped, that the arrogance and contempt assumed by the WICB, as it purports

et in Guyana and to address the plethora of allegations of rigged and fraudulent elections, financial irregularities and lack of accountability in respect of cricket administration, inter alia, because of the absence of legal personification in its structure. This Bill does not, in any way whatsoever, allow or permit, directly or indirectly, Government's involvement in the administration of cricket in Guyana, save and except a singular instance, where the Minister is ascribed a function when the Act comes into operation. After that initiating act, the Minister's role disappears. Government, therefore, rejects all or any contention or insinua-

President of the WICB, Dave Cameron

to give directions to a sovereign Government of a CARICOM member state, is noted. That aside, the statement issued by the WICB was clearly structured to convey a very jaundiced impression of their exchanges with the Government on this matter. The Government of Guyana does not discount the fact that the West Indies Cricket Board maybe looking for a scapegoat in this matter, since their agents in Guyana were restrained by a Court Order from acting or holding themselves out as officers of the Guyana Cricket Board and as agents of the WICB. The net result being that WICB has no agents in Guyana to act on their behalf in relation to hosting of the Third Test between West Indies and New Zealand. One cannot help but wonder, whose interests the WICB really represents, is it that of cricket or some unknown vested agenda. This Bill which was found so offensive, seeks to bring transparency, accountability, and good governance to the administration of crick-

tion that this Bill presents an opportunity for Governmental intrusion into the administration of cricket in Guyana. It is recognized that these charges are emanating from a particular grouping and their sponsors who perceive this Bill as an end to their dominance over administration of cricket, and who many feel, are the architects of the chaos which the Bill is designed to arrest. The Government is not surprised by the chameleon outburst of the AFC. This is a party that masquerades as a prosecutor of accountability, transparency and good governance, concepts which form the very raison d'etre of this Bill. However, they withheld support from this Bill in the National Assembly having participated in the Parliamentary Select Committee that produced a consensus report. And have now joined forces with an extrinsic organ that is attempting to meddle in the internal affairs of our country and thwart our constitutionally enshrined law making process.”


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

WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

India has been very generous to Guyana with its scholarships programme Dear Editor, This reply is in reference to Mr Barrington Braithwaite’s attack on India published in another section of the press on May 20 on scholarships given to Guyanese; my response was not published by that very same paper. India has been very generous with its educational and other assistance to Guyana. Any attempt to criticise a kind India for aiding a poor Guyana is what Guyanese would call “nimakharamism”. Such ingratitude could offend the Indian Government leading to a reduction in aid. In general, the Indian Government has offered scholarships directly through the Guyana Government and at times, directly to individuals (with the Guyana Government having no discretion on award-

ees). During the period of the dictatorship, 1965 to 1992, few Indians, Chinese, Amerindians and Portuguese were recipients of Indian scholarships. The agents of the dictatorship decided on the recipients, and non-supporters of the PNC dictatorship were victimised. Myself and other Guyanese complained to Indian officials about discrimination meted out to Indo-Guyanese. Indian officials responded that they were helpless to alter the situation, because the Guyana Government makes the recommendations and the Indian Government had to abide by them. Following complaints from Indians, India offered another line of scholarships to Guyanese through which several Indians were selected to study in India. We lobbied the Indian

Government to increase the number of scholarships given directly to applicants, while not reducing those falling under the control of the Guyana Government. In fact, both types were increased. This has led to many Indians being recipients of scholarships to study in the land of their fore-parents. Following the restoration of democracy, it has been an even playing field with Guyanese of all ethnicities being chosen to study for free in India. When myself and other Indo-Guyanese got an opportunity to meet Indian officials (and we met Manmohan Singh as well as his predecessor Atal Vajpayee), we made the case for increased assistance to Guyana. Since 2000, financial assistance, under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and scholarships

to Guyana have increased with Guyanese of all ethnicities being beneficiaries. In general, donor countries determine the criteria for participation in a scholarship programme. An Embassy or a Consulate is a sovereign unit of a nation and in a host country can stipulate conditions for an academic scholarship. One cannot dictate to a country its criteria for giving foreign aid. In the US, for example, Government sponsors certain programmes and often stresses minorities will be given preference for certain programmes. In some countries, including the US, ethnicity as a criterion is not actually stated, but applicants from a particular ethnicity are given preference. In Guyana, for example, it was well-established and institu-

tionalised that while the ethnicity criteria was not publicly stated as a condition for selection for a programme or a ranking job, during the period of the dictatorship, preference was given to applicants of a particular race. Can Braithwaite tell us how many Portuguese, Chinese, Amerindians and Indians were selected for scholarships or Government training for academic advancement? India gives the most scholarships to Guyanese of all countries. India also gives the most scholarships to students in Africa; I studied in India and I travelled to India dozens of times encountering African students on Indian campuses studying as guests of the Indian Government. I also met numerous students from South America, Central America and Mexico in

India – thanks to the generosity of the Indian Government. Guyanese have also received scholarships to study in China and I met quite a number of South Americans and Africans in Beijing when I was there briefly as a visiting student during my doctoral studies in 1985 and in subsequent visits to China. Unlike Braithwaite, I wish to convey gratitude and appreciation to India and to the Chinese governments for being so kind to us. I urge the Indian Government to please increase the number of scholarships given to Guyanese. Thank you, Indian High Commission, for your generosity. I wish the countries of Africa can emulate India and China by providing financial assistance of this magnitude to Guyana. Yours truly, Vishnu Bisram

Political parties should come together Synthetic Track will see Guyana for the common good of the country hosting more competitions

Dear Editor, There has recently been a strong signal from the main Opposition party of its willingness to form a united Government with the ruling party. I sincerely believe that this may be the very thing that Guyana needs at this time – a Government which is seen to cater for all the various interests and has the support of our different groups, especially as these relate to racial and geographical location. It is clear that there can be no end to the squabbling over how the affairs of our country should be administered in the present political dispensation, and I am sure most patriotic, rightthinking and generousminded Guyanese will see the option of a united front as the best way forward. I strongly feel that both the President and the Opposition Leader are men of this ilk, and would certainly agree if they are convinced of their party being fairly treated in any coalition. It must now be obvious that any Government which would be able to hold its own in this country, and truly rule in the best interests of all sections of our society, must not only possess the capacity for so doing, but must also be accepted by all the major groups of its sincerity and ability to

succeed in this endeavour. Just so, no matter how capable or earnest each party feels about itself, none of the contenders acting alone will be able to maintain the peace and pace of development that is now urgently required for the recovery of our nation. To my mind then, the best solution to our political dilemma is that we resign ourselves to a unity of forces, albeit incongruent ones, and encourage the major parties to start adjusting their policies and mind-sets so as to be better able to fit in to such a coalition. Added to this, no Government that has a sizeable Opposition as we have can hope to fulfil its responsibilities as effectively as it needs to. From the lessons of history, men have now generally become distrustful of authority when they are not part of same. We all know of the stories, whether based on fact or fantasy, that are being constantly pedalled around of corruption in the highest echelons of the administration, and without doubt these must be the reaction of those aligned with the Opposition. A united Government would patently remove this circumstance. Another requirement of any Government in a democracy is one that is

evolving. We find that in each aspect of modern life the individual is being called upon to accept greater responsibility for participating in the functions of administration. This creates a structure in which each individual in this democratisation process has a bigger say in its management, and so the Government must be able and willing to capture the interest and involvement of the great majority of its citizens, as well as accept each individual’s right to share in the decisionmaking processes. We must agree that the present system does not lend itself to this being implemented, and we need to convince our people that their voice is being heard. I strongly feel that a coalition of the major forces in our country is still absolutely viable and the best way forward, and I would like to posit that the supporters of the two major parties should pressure their leaders to think more of the good of the country, and less of maintaining party power, and start the process of forming a united front. Otherwise, Guyana is doomed to this perpetual division and discord, resulting in more and more regression in our affairs and fragmentation of our society and nation. Yours sincerely, Roy Paul

The track at Leonora is in an advanced stage of construction

Dear Editor, The PPP/C extends congratulations for another landmark achievement, in the form of the state-of-the-art Synthetic Athletic Track at Leonora, West Coast Demerara. This is a fulfilment of a promise by the PPP/Civic in its manifesto. The PPP/C has always stated its firm commitment to the development and expansion of sport and the requisite facilities to help our sportsmen and women reach their full potential and continue to represent Guyana well internationally. This state-of-the-art facility will see Guyana hosting more international athletics competitions, which fit into the PPP/Civic Government’s ongoing efforts to promote another tourism product – sport tourism.

We are also heartened at the ongoing support of the Government to sporting organisations to establish more facilities for Guyana’s athletes, including the Guyana Karate College’s Dojo, The Athletics Association of Guyana Headquarters, hockey field, the Guyana Football Federation’s Goal project, just to list a few. We wish to state as a matter of public record that the successive PPP administrations have never shirked their responsibilities when it comes to the promotion of sports and support for our athletes. The evidence is in the public’s domain to show. Under the PPP/C, the Guyana National Stadium at providence was constructed; the Albion Sports Complex was refurbished and fit-

ted with flood lights, making it ideal for night cricket, football and other sporting events. It is under the PPP/Civic Government that hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in sport and sporting facilities. One would recall that prior to 1992, there were no proper sporting facilities in Guyana, the few cricket and football grounds stayed alive because of private associations’ investments. Since the PPP/Civic took office, the budgetary allocations for this sector, like every other, continuously increased every single year. The PPP/C recommits itself to continuously improving the landscape to help our athletes reach their full potential. Respectfully submitted, PPP/C, Freedom House



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Police to be tried on baton-rape saga T

he two police officers, Roslyn Tilbury and Devin Singh accused and charged for assaulting and causing actual bodily harm to Colwyn Harding made their second court appearance before Magistrate Leron Daly at the Providence Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning. Speaking to Guyana Times International via telephone, the defendants’ lawyer, Attorney Leslie

Sobers (he represented the number one accused Devin Singh in the absence of his lawyer), related that the Police Prosecutor assigned to the case, Sergeant Shelon Daniels informed the Court that she wished to recuse herself from prosecuting her colleagues. “The Prosecutor indicated to the court that she did not wish to prosecute the matter because she was asked to give some statements… so the chances

are that another person will be called to prosecute. And to ensure that there is no likelihood of biasness, it will be fair for her to not prosecute the matter,” Sobers said. Sobers disclosed too that Singh confided in him that he had felt threatened and fearful for his life and this prompted his jumping of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts fence after being released on bail on Tuesday. “It was reported to me by Mr Singh because I acted as his lawyer, as his lawyer was absent and the two are charged jointly on one charge; he mentioned that as he was about to emerge from the chute of the court, someone who was holding a camera to his face; that person drew a knife. Upon seeing that, he ran back into the chute, back up the steps and into the court before he made his way out of the court and was caught on camera by the media,” the attorney disclosed. Asked whether he believes Singh’s statement, Sobers stated that he was not there at the time and he can only believe what was related to him. “I don’t know whether what Mr Singh is saying is true or not. I was walking with my client coming down the stairs because females do not go through the chute and as we were leaving I saw the journalists running so I was left wondering what had happened, so I made it my duty to find out from Mr Singh what had transpired and that is what he disclosed to me. So I do not know what transpired,” he responded. The lawyer explained that the trial will commence on June 24 for the statements to be presented and the Prosecution has its work cut out, since he has requested that they make available to him all the witnesses’ state-

Colwyn Harding

ments which were submitted in the case so that they can be studied, including the statements of those persons who will not be called upon to testify. Tilbury and Singh were jointly charged with causing actual bodily harm, while Officer Singh was charged with common assault. Harding had alleged that he was raped by Singh with a condom-covered baton while he was in custody at the Timehri Police Station in November 2013. The officers will make their next court appearance at the Providence Magistrates’ Court on June 24 for the statements to be presented and examined.

“No Guyanese will be...

from page 6

Guyana. “These will bring the economy to its knees; we must reject this,” he said.


The AG, in responding to the possibility of successful dialogue, stressed that the admission by the Alliance For Change (AFC) and A

Partnership for National Unity (APNU) that the AML/CFT Bill can be passed within 72 and 48 hours, respectively, is an effective admission of the time wasting that characterised the delay in having the legislation enacted. He pointed out that their admission that the Bill can be passed in a matter of hours indicates that the Bill, which will be passed, is the Government’s Bill, which is not only CFATFcompliant, but also a Bill that was agreed to by all three parties since February this year, long before the deadline. “All the masquerading was a package of farce,” Nandlall said. The PPP General Secretary decried the actions of the combined Opposition as power grab mechanisms. “We have a special breed of political animals; a special breed of political species that is not found anywhere else in the Caribbean. These people believe in governing over ruins,” he said. Rohee referred to the fact that it is the same politicians that now represent APNU who formed part of the People’s

National Congress, the party that ran Guyana’s economy into the ground and presided over the worse economic period the country knew – a period that lasted almost three decades. He opined that the combined Opposition is seemingly intent on causing “economic and social chaos” that will ultimately destabilize the country – a situation they seem to expect to extract political advantage from. “The Government is working hard to get Guyana on the ‘White List,’” Rohee said, bemoaning the fact that these efforts are being thwarted by the combined Opposition. “There is a high degree of political cynicism, to the extent that it has become so corrosive that it is destructive…why do we want to pressure our people?” he asked. The GeneralSecretary questioned where Guyana will go, if history is allowed to repeat itself. “The country cannot stay at a standstill…the population is waiting for answers,” he said, adding that no Guyanese wants to go backward.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Draft Reparations report completed Ramotar explains non… will be sent to President Ramotar on June 21


ith two months to go before Guyana and other members of the Caribbean Community observe African Emancipation Day, Guyana Reparations Committee Chairman, Eric Phillips has since disclosed that the committee’s report has already been drafted and will be handed over to President Donald Ramotar on June 21. In an exclusive interview with Guyana Times International, Phillips in providing an update on the committee’s report which was supposed to have been completed by June 1, stated that the date was not an official deadline, but was one which was set by the committee to ensure that time was used efficiently. He assured that the committee is adhering to that deadline and will present the report no later than June 21. “We have completed our research, our analy-

Guyana Reparations Committee Chairman, Eric Phillips

sis and other important parts of the report. It has already been drafted and it is now with our experts in history. After this, we will have a public forum where the citizens can come and view the report, give their input and then it will be sent off to the Minister and the President,” Phillips related. After perusal by President Ramotar and the Minister, the report will then be sent to the Foreign Affairs Ministry

Miss Guyana-World visits her native Essequibo County


The new Miss Guyana World 2014, Rafieya Husain

ess than a week after being crowned Miss World Guyana, 22-year-old Rafieya Husain is already promoting her platform of domestic violence, and promises to build a shelter for abused victims in her native Essequibo County. On a recent visit to Region Two (Pomeroon/ Supenaam, she met with Regional Chairman Parmanand Persaud and Regional Executive Officer (REO) Sunil Singh and outlined her plans. Husain is presently trying to identify the land and, once that is secured, then construction of the building will commence. She intends to raise funds to help in the construction. The REO congratulated the Queen on her recent success which, ultimately, made the Region proud. Hence, the Administration will support her proposal. Husain said it is her desire to see that abused persons have somewhere

to go and are not forced to return to the situation from which they came. “Many times people are being abused, they speak out very well but have nowhere to go, which is sad…I want to stop this,” she said. Husain reiterated that the pageant exposed her to lots of experience and she is ready and confident to represent Guyana in London when the international pageant is staged in December. During her visit to Essequibo, Husain also met with staff of the Region Two Administration and participated in a lunch at the Mainstay Resort. She visited schools, as well, where many persons used the opportunity to take pictures. She received tokens from the Regional Chairman and REO and was accompanied on her trip to the Cinderella County by Executive Member of Miss World Guyana, Roger Gary.

and then subsequently off to Caricom, after which legal letters will be issued to countries compensation is being sought from. The Guyana Reparations Committee was established in September 2013 following the mandate of the 34th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, which was held in July 2013 in Trinidad and Tobago. During the meeting, it was agreed by Caricom governments that national committees on reparations should be established in member states. The aim was to establish a committee which would seek reconciliation between victims and beneficiaries, without having an actual confrontation. It seeks to restore equity in social relations, equality before the law and justice within the fabric of human diversity, which typifies humanity.

assent to bill for local gov’t polls by August


uyana’s President Donald Ramotar has refused to sign into law an opposition-approved amendment to one of the Local Government laws that would have seen Local Government elections held in another two months. Using their one-seat majority, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) earlier this year approved an amendment to the Local Authorities (Amendment) (Elections) Bill 2014 for the holding of local government polls on or before August 1, 2014. But President Ramotar on May 30 wrote House Speaker, Raphael Trotman informing that he was withholding his assent because the Guyana Elections Commission

President Donald Ramotar

has publicly declared that it is impractical to hold local government elections by that date. At the time the Bill was being debated, Local Government Minister, Norman Whittaker had told the House that December 1, 2014 appeared to be a more acceptable deadline to hold the long overdue polls. Local Government

Elections have not been held since 1994. A Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) source in March had ruled out the holding of the polls in August because that elections management body needs at least 180 days to conduct and complete verifying the eligibility of candidates in each of the 71 local authorities and printing separate ballots for each local authority because the candidates will be different. Usually, the commission needs at least 21 days before E-day to print the ballots overseas. Although a number of activities can run concurrently, the source had explained that GECOM would need sufficient time to train trainers who will in turn train presiding officers to polling clerks.

Police rank offers Gy100,000 to latest torture victim


fter taking it upon himself to pour methylated spirits on the hands of a 19-year-old boy and then setting them alight at the Sparendaam Police Station, the aberrant police officer got the father of the teen to sign a document for Gy$100,000, which was handed over to him. This publication was informed that the intention of the police officer was to induce the relatives of the young man to consider it as a form of compensation, thus persuading them from pursuing the matter in court. However, attorneyat-law Dexter Todd told the media, on Tuesday, that while money was handed over to the youth’s father, which he had to sign for, he was advised by his clients that the sum was merely to assist them with transportation arrangements. Todd made it clear that the money was never intended to be used as a form of settlement based on the briefing by his client. Moreover, the attorney asserted that the transportation assistance will not be used to deter his client from giving statements against the police rank fingered in the incident or those who had been witnesses. Speaking at the Burns Care Unit of the Georgetown Public

The tortured teen showing his bandaged hands while speaking to media operatives in the Burns Care Unit on Tuesday

Hospital on Tuesday morning, the lawyer said that as a former policeman himself, he is always saddened whenever he encounters cases of police excesses and brutality since he knows that no police officer who enjoys the job or understands their role as a law enforcer will ever act in such a manner. He said that since the police themselves initiated the investigation through the Police Office of Professional Responsibility, they will be allowed to do their job even as the victim and his relatives expect a speedy investigation and justice. Speaking with the youth who was burnt on his hands by the police, 19-year-old Junior Torrington of Eastville Housing Scheme, Annandale, East Coast Demerara, told this newspaper, at the

Georgetown Hospital, that he was locked up for three days at the Sparendaam Police Station. Asked how he ended up there, the teen related that he has a few

went to Plaisance to give them to a friend and while he was in that community he was arrested by the police. The young man, however, could not get to the point of explaining what led to his arrest since the nurses at the Burns Care Unit interrupted his interaction with the media at that point. This latest incident comes even as the police are working with several communities to forge a positive relationship with the youths. It comes up too just as two constables have been charged with assaulting Colwyn Harding late last year. Although the Sparendaam Police Station matter is engaging the attention of the Police

The father of Junior Thorrington as he attempted to evade the media on Tuesday

puppies and his grandmother with whom he lives instructed him to get them out of the yard since they were making her uncomfortable. He said that he then

Office for Professional Responsibility at present, this publication has been informed that none of the ranks reportedly involved has been placed under close arrest at this point.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Guyana lobbies for Karran to be appointed Deputy Head of OAS


uyana is to soon begin a fierce lobby for its current Ambassador to Costa Rica Bayney Karran to be given the nod by Caricom for the position of Assistant Secretary General (AGS) of the Organisation of American States (OAS) when the position becomes vacant next year. However, Karran will be up against Belize Ambassador to the US Nestor Menez, who has also expressed an interest in the post. Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said Guyana will be hoping that at the level of Caricom, there will be broad support for Karran’s candidacy as this is crucial for him to succeed. “If you have two candidates from Caricom, then it becomes much harder because the votes would be split… so we would be looking to lobby our counterparts to support our nominee,” Rodrigues-Birkett told Guyana Times International in an ex-

Belize Ambassador to the US Nestor Menez

clusive interview last week. Karran and Mendez are their countries’ representatives at the OAS, but the Guyanese has more years of experience at the hemispheric body, being appointed his country’s representative there since 2003. Mendez for his part was accredited in June 13, 2008. Mendez did graduate work at the Eliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He served as Counsellor of the Belize High Commission

in London from 1997 to 1999. Karran once served as Guyana’s Ambassador to the US. Prior to becoming a diplomat, Karran spent two decades working as an Attorney.

Seasoned diplomat

He received his first ambassadorship in 1997, serving as his country’s representative to Venezuela until 2003. During this span, he was also accredited as Ambassador to Chile and Colombia (19982003) as well as Ecuador (1999-2003).

OAS Ambassador Bayney Karran

Since 1997, he has been a delegate to ministerial and multilateral organisations, such as the Rio Group, the OAS, the Association of Caribbean States and the Latin American Economic System. In addition to his legal and diplomatic work, Karran has worked in the field of broadcasting, including stints as an announcer, operator and programme producer. He was Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation. Karran is fluent in both English

and Spanish. Current, OAS ASG Surinamese Albert Ramdin has served his two terms and would not be eligible to run again. While Ramdin has expressed an interest in the Secretary General position, his Government said it would not support his candidacy, but rather would give Guyana its vote. Based on the long established tradition, the top OAS position would normally go to Latin America, while the assistant goes to the

Caribbean. GTI was told that while some Caribbean countries have indicated their willingness to support Ramdin’s efforts for the top position, a better and perhaps more guaranteed vote would be on Karran. “Because of how things have been done over the years, its more than likely someone from Latin America will get the top position, so we would be better off supporting Karran for the number two spot,” a senior Government functionary commented. The de Ware Tijd of Suriname had reported last year that the Desi Bouterse Government will neither nominate nor support Ramdin for Secretary General of the OAS in 2015. Instead, it will support the Guyanese nominee for Assistant Secretary General. The newspaper quoted Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Lackin confirming this decision, adding that he has personally informed Ramdin of this.

East Indian Arrival Day Young people leaving agriculture celebrations set for June 8 in NY for gold mining – Baksh


By Vishnu Bisram


he Indo-Caribbean Federation will be celebrating its 29th Annual East Indian Arrival Day on June 8th 2014, at Smokey Park in Queens, New York. This year will commemorate 176 years of our fore-parents leaving the shores of India to seek a better life in the Caribbean. The festivities will pay tribute to our rich culture and heritage that our ancestors brought with them many years ago. They faced unimaginable hardships, but took comfort in the traditions and morals that were imparted to them. Many faced oppression,

but they held on to their faith and beliefs with steadfastness. Nothing could have stopped them from passing on the rich cultural heritage to their children. This process continued for generations and has survived through time and modernization of the IndoCaribbean community. Indo-Caribbean people are an integral part of America’s rich cultural diversity as they contribute to the economic, cultural and social life of the metro area in a significant way. This annual congregation represents many things, but most importantly it teaches us how rich and beautiful the

East Indian culture really is. From the hard work ethic, to the respect of the elderly, our ancestors have instilled great values that have lasted throughout time. One thing that is recognizable within the West Indian community is that we hold our culture in high regard. Prominent artistes will display their talent at the grand cultural show. The celebration will begin at 1:00 P.M and conclude at 7:00 P.M. Organizers are encouraging everyone to come out and cheer the artistes and most of all show appreciation for the contributions made by our ancestors.

inister within the Agriculture Ministry Alli Baksh said young people are gravitating to gold mining as they are not too interested in farm labour. According to Baksh, this is a major problem facing the agricultural sector today, noting that if it is not addressed, it will negatively impact the sector in the not so distant future. The Minister was at the time speaking at the Guyana Agricultural Producer’s Association (GAPA) Regional Conference, attended by scores of farmers on Friday, at the Anna Regina Town Council. The conference was held under the theme “Towards participatory agricultural programme development”. He said farmers are the backbone of the economy and they can look to the Government as a viable partner in development. Baksh said though there are vast areas of agricultural lands available, there are a shortage of skilled persons, pointing out that the shift to gold mining is a setback to agricul-

Minister within the Agriculture Ministry Alli Baksh

ture. He said the impact of the shortage is already being felt as there is a demand for some produce but the supply is not there. Baksh said GAPA has an important role to play in addressing this problem and to revive young people’s interest in agriculture. He encouraged persons to form themselves into groups and tap into the assistance being provided by GAPA. GAPA Regional Coordinator Laxmi

Jaikeshan said the nongovernmental organisation will be partnering with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to source small grants for several projects. She said assistance will be given to help farmers construct shade houses in Regions Two, Three, Five and Six. People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament Cornel Damon called on farmers to expand their production by making maximum use of the lands available to them. He also proposed that farmers pool their resources and acquire a processing facility to preserve their perishable crops and fruits. Region Two Chairman Parmanand Persaud welcomed the farmers to the conference, saying that their work cannot be underestimated as they feed the nation. He said Region Two farmers have been on top of their game, exporting natural juices to various Caribbean territories, and soon farmers will be tapping into the Trinidad market, supplying coconut water.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

The Night of Legends Concert set to create history in Guyana


he Night of Legends Concert promises to be a night to remember with artists like Eddy Grant, Terry Garaj, Mighty Rebel and Dave Martins, set to grace the stage on August 9 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence. The Guyana Festival Committee on Monday announced the more than 16 artistes who would be performing at the concert as part of the inaugural Guyana Festival – set to be the country’s showcase – during a launch at the Housing Ministry’s boardroom. Acting Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali stated that the four-hour concert will showcase everything Guyanese and will make history in Guyana. “It will be the renovation and revoking of the characteristics and personalities of what we ought to have as Guyanese. It is now time for all of us to embrace the opportunity of loving who we are, celebrating who we are, sharing who we are, and endearing others to be who we are,” the Minister stated. In brief remarks after

Seated: Guyana Festival Coordinator Tameca Sukhdeo Singh; Acting Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali; and Night of Legends Chairman Lennox Canterbury, surrounded by some of the artistes who will be performing at the Night of Legends Concert

the announcement, some of the artistes stated that they were very happy to be part of such an event and hoped that it continues. They noted that they were waiting for such an event to take place so that they can showcase their talent. Some of the other names that will be performing include Teddy Jones, Sash Persaud and Aubrey Mann. Guyana Festival Coordinator Tameca Sukhdeo Singh

and Chairman of the Night of Legends Concert Lennox Canterbury were also in attendance at the launch.


Meanwhile, the Minister was questioned by media operatives about the cost of the Guyana Festival, which will be held August 8-10 under the theme “Sound, Soul and Taste of Guyana”, but he said “if we worry about costs for the event, the event will

not happen”. He, however, noted that the Festival carries a lot of expenses and thus far the private sector has played a very big role, as 10 entities have already given the Ministry their commitment to the Festival, “which is a very good sign”. Ali also announced that they are collaborating with Fly Jamaica Airways for special packages for Jamaicans to come to Guyana for the

Festival. Around 20,000 Festival Passports are presently being printed and will be sold in countries around the world including the United States of America, Canada, and all Caribbean Countries. The Passports will be sold for Gy$3000 each at venues to be announced shortly. In respect to the Festival Coins which are being designed by Kings Jewellery World, production will begin shortly.

The family-oriented event will take the format of an exhibition during the daytime showcasing local craft, art, and culinary delights, in addition to celebrity and demonstration tents, with concerts in the evenings. There will also be a children’s playground. On Friday, August 8, the opening ceremony will feature an air show by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and will see a fusion of Guyanese cultural items comprising dramatic performances, poetry, and dance, etc. On Saturday, August 9, before the concert, games and various community competitions will be hosted in the day. The event will culminate with a culinary cook-off competition of traditional Guyanese foods, such as duck curry, pepper pot, cook-up, metemgee and black cake, followed by a grand concert aimed at promoting the next generation of Guyana’s musicians and developing new/young talent. Performing will be Jumo “Rubber Waist” Primo, Adrian Dutchin, Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts, and others.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Alleged baby kidnapper remanded

Accused kidnapper, Baitoon Hussain


47-year-old woman was on Monday remanded to prison when she appeared before Magistrate Rabindranauth Singh at the Whim Magistrate’s Court for kidnapping a nine-day-old baby on the Corentyne, close to two weeks ago. Baitoon Hussain called “Debbie” of Mahdia, Region Seven, who seemed emotionless when the charge was read to her, pleaded not guilty to stealing the child. The mother of three was charged under Chapter 18:01, Section

Ravikan Bistonauth with his son in the company of his wife Sandra Mclean

19 for ‘Child Stealing’. Police Prosecutor Sergeant Phillip Sheriff told the court that on May 24, with intent to deprive Sandra Mc Lean of her nine-day-old baby, Hussain took the child away. Attorney Rodwel Jagmohan, representing the accused, requested that Hussain be granted pre-trial liberty; however, Sheriff objected, stating the gravity and nature of the offence should

dictate that she be remanded. Sheriff argued that if granted bail, Hussain will not return to court. However, Jagmohan pleaded for reasonable bail. Magistrate Singh denied the accused bail and ordered that she return to court on June 16 when the Police are expected to present statements and a date for trial. Hussain was at home at Chesney Village,

Corentyne on Sunday with the baby boy when Police swooped down on the house and rescued the child. On May 24, Hussain, who allegedly identifying herself as “Bibi Khan”, befriended McLean under the guise that she had special interest in the child. She lured McLean to Rose Hall Town and later at the Port Mourant Market, where she disappeared with the infant. Amrita Persaud, a vendor, said that Hussain committed a cruel act. “I think what the woman did was bad, but I also believe that baby mother should have been more careful and not trust someone so quickly. I feel because she was in a position where she needed the help that also led to her trusting the woman, but it should not have been that way. That girl ‘Pinky’ was a target because the woman had a lot of information on her from before like going at the hospital and finding out about her and then returning when the baby was born.”

Former BK engineer collapses, dies on seawall

Former BK International Senior Engineer, Basdeo Singh Roopnauth


former senior engineer attached to BK International Construction Company collapsed and died while jogging along the Felicity Seawall, East Coast Demerara (ECD) on Saturday morning. Basdeo Singh Roopnauth, 55, of Lot 100 De Souza Street, Better Hope, ECD was discovered dead by his youngest daughter, Hemantini Roopnauth who went in search of her father after he did not return home.

The grieving daughter told Guyana Times International that her father left his home about 07:30h as he would customarily do for his morning exercise. She said after time elapsed and he did not return home, she went in search of him and found his body. At that point in time, she knew he was dead and immediately telephoned the Police who soon after arrived and took Roopnauth to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Initially, they suspected foul play, but a post-mortem performed on the dead man proved that he suffered cardiac arrest. Roopnauth studied civil engineering at the University of Guyana after which he worked with a number of companies, including BK International, as a senior engineer. After leaving that company, he worked as a private contractor. He leaves to mourn his wife, three children, four sisters, and his mother.



week ending June 8, 2014|

Studying in Russia a life changing experience C

ome, September 1, the five Guyanese students who have the privilege of fulfilling their academic dreams at the People’s Friendship University of Russia, will enter their third year. In September 2011, Patricia Anthony, Kiefer Bacchus, Tenesha LesFlores, Kollis Smith and Dendre McGarrell left for Russia, after the Bauxite Company of Guyana (BCGI) provided them with five scholarships to study at the People’s Friendship University in the fields of Economics, Mining Engineering and Geology. BCGI forms part of Russian aluminum company RUSAL, the largest alumina and aluminum producer in the world. Speaking to Guyana Times International from Moscow, Russia, Patricia Anthony, who is majoring in Economics, said within a few weeks, their second year will come to a close. “It is mandatory for us to do practical work in our different fields, so we will be venturing into that at the end of the semester,” she explained.


Studying away from home is not like a bed of roses as some may assume, the Economic student said. “Every year has its challenges, but we always overcome and we are ready for the next one!” Chronicling their stay in Russia, the 25-yearold said it continues to be a life changing experience. After travelling for more than 30 hours, Anthony recalled that they arrived in Moscow on September 27, 2011, minutes before the clock ticked 00:00. In Russia, they met six other Guyanese students, five of whom were on scholarships with the Guyana Government and also in their final year. However, the sixth person Taudgirdas Persaud had moved to Russia independently to study medicine. Unlike the others, Persaud was in his first year and became closely knitted with Anthony, Bacchus, LesFlores, Smith and McGarrell as they spent their first year learning the Russian language at the same university. “I found my first year to be amazing. Our language classes comprised of students from all different races, different countries, and different cultures, speaking different languages: Africans, Latinos, Arabic, and Asians and of course, we

member one old Russian woman gave me a thumb up when she tasted the pholorie,” Anthony recalled.


Some of the picnic attendees; this year was the biggest one! The picnic has become an event that everyone, not just the Guyanese, look forward to

had our little Caribbean community. The amazing thing was that we all could communicate with each other in one common language, Russian!” By September 2012, the Government of Guyana sponsored students had already returned home, leaving behind Anthony and her colleagues. At the time, Persaud’s younger brother Leonardas Persaud had arrived in Russia to study as well, but at another university. “Through the years, our studies have been our number one priority of course, but every now and then, we get together and do things that would give us a feel of Guyana,” Anthony told this publication.


On May 1, each year, they would host a Labour Day picnic in the forest behind their campus with their Caribbean friends, who hail from Jamaica, Antigua and St Vincent as the special invitees. “On our menu this year was pepperpot, roti and curry, cook-up and many, many more foods. The Jamaicans have a serious liking for the roti and curry. We also entertained them with a cricket and domino competition.” The Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia is also big on promoting cultural diversity, and as a result, every year an exhibition is held on the premises of the school’s main building. During this spectacular event, students from across the world are given an opportunity to display their rich culture to the Russian society. For the first time, the Guyanese group opted to participate and the experience was overwhelming. Many Russians were amused to hear about Guyana, for many of them had never heard of the country before.

The girls decided to make skirts using the colours of the flag. “I was up the entire night before trying to complete

those skirts and the next day we boldly wore our skirts which were as bright as the sun. Mittai and pholorie with mango

sour were sample foods which we prepared that morning to distribute to persons interested in tasting our food. I can re-

She added: “When given a chance to walk around the exhibition, it felt like travelling around the world. I got to experience a little bit of so many different cultures, all in one place. As a foreign student, experiences such as these make it all worth being away from friends and family. I have so much to share with them when I return to Guyana.” The five students who have been sponsored by RUSAL will return to Guyana in 2016, ready to serve the company and by extension the rest of Guyana. (svetlanam@


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Berbice campus needs more qualified teachers – Professor Samad


Former Director of UGBC, Professor Daizal Samad

he delivery of education at the University of Guyana Berbice Campus (UGBC) is on the decline due to the increasing number of under-qualified lecturers at the institution. This is the view shared by the UG Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) and former Director of UGBC, Professor Daizal Samad. Speaking with Guyana Times International, Professor Samad said the situation has deteriorated since he vacated the office in July 2013, explaining that “several qualified lecturers have packed their bags and left”. Dr Jerry Jailall, Dr Julie Jailall and Kemuel Gaffar were identified as some of the lecturers who have tendered their resignations since he demitted office. “In such a small place, if you have two doctors and one full professor leaving, the signs are not good at all. The loss is inestimable, but this seems to bother no one, except students and the UGSSA,” Dr Samad told this publication. According to him, persons with mere first-degree qualifications have been thrust into classrooms with students left to pay the ultimate price. He lamented too that

classes are often held off campus at the convenience of lecturers and outside of the legitimate timetable provided by the institution. The situation is further compounded when lecturers move to assign grades arbitrarily after failing to return assignments. “Examination questions are read out once and students have to scribble answers, then



The under-qualification of lecturers at the Tain Campus and by extension, the Turkeyen Campus resurfaced during a recent press conference with UGSSA and UG Workers Union (UGWU). UGSSA President, Dr Patsy Francis contended that lecturers at the Berbice Campus continue to

Dr Patsy Francis, UGSSA President

they exchange pieces of paper and mark each others’ work. We did this in primary school a few decades ago,” Professor Samad said as he continued to paint a picture of the poor standards that prevail at the tertiary institution. “UGSSA is on spot, this time around,” Dr Samad posited, noting that the situation is

Mother jailed in St. Vincent for burning sixyear-old son with iron INGSTOWN, ST.VINCENT: A Magistrate's court in St. Vincent has jailed a 23-year-old mother of four after she pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to her six-year-old son by burning him three times with an iron. Tashika Da Souza, who was given a oneyear jail sentence, told Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias that she did not know that the iron was hot when she pressed it against her son's left hand and abdomen. Chief Prosecutor Adolphus Delphelce described the act as "wick-

worse than one can imagine. “One wishes it were as simple as under-qualified people teaching outside of what they have for a first-degree.” According to the former UGBC Director, the situation was ameliorated in 2009 but the institution has returned to the pre-2008 period. “It is shameful, but I sense no shame at all in those who make decisions.”

ed, backward and barbaric". The court heard that Da Souza's son defecated on himself after she had readied him for school last Thursday. She then burnt him with the iron. Da Souza told the court she was sorry for what transpired, but she did not know the iron was still hot, since she had plugged it out a while before the incident. Da Souza is said to have attempted to hide the incident, but it was reported anonymously to the Questelles Police Station, triggering her arrest and subsequent charge. (Caribbean News)

teach outside of their areas of competence and have been teaching as many as seven courses. “It’s a disgrace! It is one university we have or are we giving the people in Berbice a lower quality of education? What is it we are doing?” In the past, lecturers from Turkeyen Campus travelled to Berbice to of-

fer their expertise but in an effort to cut cost, a decision was taken to discontinue this practice. The challenges facing the Berbice Campus will likely become mountainous, if the Government refuses to return to the

National Assembly for Supplementary Funding for the University of Guyana to the tune of Gy$450 million. The Vice Chancellor of the university, Dr Jacob Opadeyi has confirmed that poorly sub-

scribed programmes will be cut and the services of lecturers terminated, if the institution experiences a major shortfall in enrolment due to students’ inability to access loans for the academic year 2014/2015.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Money Caribbean youths want laundering bill greater say in decision making not likely to pass anytime soon


he passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill in the National Assembly is still in limbo, although the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has referred Guyana to its parent body, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for possible sanctions. On Monday, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee, speaking at the party’s weekly press conference at Freedom House, hinted that there is not likely to be any agreement on the passing of the bill soon, since Government is not prepared to grant the Alliance For Change (AFC) its wish for a Public Procurement Commission. The AFC in October of last year withheld its support for amendments to the AntiMoney Laundering and Countering the

Financing of Terrorism Act, since it wanted a Public Procurement Commission (PPC) established. The party also recently stated that the Bill could be passed within 72 hours if there was the political will to make it happen. “I don’t think that we are very near to finding a solution to the Public Procurement Commission. We have consistently made the point that there has to be no linkage between the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and any other Bill in the House of Assembly. This question of linkage is the invention of the AFC which we reject completely,” Rohee stated. According to the PPP General Secretary, each bill must be debated and solutions sought on its merits and demerits. “The question of linkage is non-acceptable as a negotiating ploy or as a deal breaker…”


Outgoing Chairman, Dr Ashni Singh and CDB President, Dr Warren Smith standing with some of VYBZING Guyana 2014 youths

ouths from across Guyana are advocating for greater inclusion in the decisionmaking process. During the closing ceremony of the 44th Meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank’s Board of Governors, VYBZING Guyana 2014 Youth Voices for Climate Change presented a declaration to the CDB President, Dr Warren Smith; Chairman, Dr Ashni Singh; Chairmanelect, Dr Denzil Douglas; and the Governors, among others. The declaration was presented after the youths had converged for three days at the Grand Coastal Hotel; days before the Board

of Governors Meeting commenced at the Guyana International Convention Centre. In a united voice, the youths championed the cause for them to be included in all aspects of deliberation, consultations, negotiations and policy-making on matters of sustainable development in Guyana. Acknowledging that Guyana has been swift in its actions to combat climate change, one of the four youths who presented the declaration, pointed out that the country has put into operation “The Office of Climate Change”, in addition to the establishment of the Low Carbon Development Strategy,

the brainchild of former President Bharrat Jagdeo. They posited that the challenges posed by climate change can be supported by regional partnerships and guided by the regional framework. In an effort to join the fight, the youths vowed to practise proper waste management by recycling and reusing their refuse. Additionally, they pledged to continuously promote energy and water conservation. “We encourage Government to promote and incentivise the use of clean, green and sustainable technology. Translate existing policies into community-based actions, facili-

tate behavioural change through the implementation of stronger educational and awarenessbased environmental activities and provide resources to vulnerable communities,” one of the four youths said. In addition to the declaration presented by the youths, CDB President, Dr Smith presented a laptop computer each to the Scout Association of Guyana, the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre, the Salvation Army and the National School of Theatre Arts and Drama. The distribution of laptops forms part of the CDB’s annual programme when the Governors meet.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Gov’t to crack down on illegal gold trading A

crackdown on illegal gold trading entities across the country with the assistance of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is one of the measures to be pursued immediately as Government seeks to increase the level of gold declarations. This follows a meeting on Wednesday at the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment with Minister Robert Persaud; Chairman of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB), Dr. Gobind Ganga; President and executives of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) and private dealers. The GGB data indicates that declarations are below the recorded level for the corresponding period for 2013. Approximately 136,240 ounces of gold were declared between January and April, while during the same period last year, some 151,758 ounces were declared. The GGDMA and licensed gold dealers were encouraged to support Government’s effort to increase gold declarations. According

the sub-office has become a real inconvenience to miners wishing to declare their production,” Harding had said.

Unregistered buyers

GGDMA President Patrick Harding (right) makes a point to Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud (second from right) during the meeting with the Guyana Gold Board and other stakeholders in the gold mining industry

to a press release from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, measures were discussed and agreed to improve the level of gold declarations.

Government remains uncompromising

It said other measures to be pursued immediately include public sensitization; proactive monitoring and enforce-

ment drive by the GGB regarding undeclared gold transactions; enhanced inter-agency coordination including law enforcement agencies and the Guyana Revenue Authority; stringent enforcement of reporting obligations by miners to be carried out by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC). The release further

stated that Minister Persaud emphasised that Government remains uncompromising in its efforts to ensure full compliance with the laws to deal with the issue of undeclared gold and reports of smuggling, and stakeholders have pledged their support for the measures to be taken. GGDMA President Patrick Harding recent-

ly indicated to Guyana Times International that the closure of the sub-office of the GGB in Bartica could be one of the reasons for the reported drop in the declaration of gold in the country. “That is just part of the reason and, while we always encourage our members to do the right thing, so that Government can get its royalties, the closure of

The GGB’s sub-office in Bartica was closed last month following allegations of staff tampering with gold bought from miners. It is believed that millions of dollars in diverted taxes and royalties were being lost due to the alleged scheme. The Natural Resources Ministry has since launched an investigation into the matter. Harding said Bartica is the hub of mining activities and closing the sub-office posed many problems for miners, including security concerns. He added that miners may feel the need to sell their gold to the closest buyer, rather than taking the risk of travelling all the way to Georgetown to declare it. It was noted, too, by Harding that it may be tempting for miners to sell their gold to unregistered buyers. “The registered buyers have to pay a two per cent tax and so their buying price would be lesser so as to recover that tax,” he said.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

India and the Caribbean: Separated by distance, connected by spirit


hough many Caribbean Indians today identify with their current nationality, their spiritual connection, notwithstanding the separation by distance, reverberates in India. Their culture is much celebrated, forming an integral part of the Caribbean’s rich cultural tapestry. On Saturday, Trinidad celebrated its “Indian Arrival Day”, much as Guyana had done on May 5. Indians were also shipped to Dutch speaking Suriname, French speaking Martinique and Guadeloupe, and the other islands of the British West Indies. The majority of the immigrants came from the then United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) and other North Indian states, as well as some Madras from the Tamil and Telugu-speaking regions of Southern India. The Indentureship system ended in 1917. Some 90 per cent of the immigrants who came were Hindus. When the first batch

of East Indians arrived in Guyana onboard the Whitby in 1838, they brought with them their various customs and traditions, foremost of which was their moral compass in life: their religion. Guyana Times International interviewed Swami Aksharananda on Television Guyana (TVG) Channel 28, who is the Principal of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) High School and Raviji Maharaj, Head of the Hindu Prachaar Kendra in Trinidad, to reflect on Hinduism in the Caribbean. Hinduism, it was observed, is one of the world’s oldest established religion and has survived the test of time, remaining ever relevant in a rapidly changing world. According to Swami Aksharananda, this unique trait, which had defied the ravages of time, suppression and misrepresentation, is rooted in the principles of religion, mainly its natural ability to adapt to changes, while simultaneously maintaining

ence to Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. S w a m i Aksharananda, who has visited India more than once, said the Hindu culture practised in the Caribbean, is almost identical to those in the Bhojpuri Belt of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Speaking about his first visit to India in 1970, he said, he was amazed at the similarities.

Stark similarities

Swami Aksharananda

contextuality. He pointed out that unlike other systems of belief that folded in the trauma of change, Hinduism, which is more than 2,500 years old, survived as it possesses the ability to change, transform and reinvent itself, much in a manner similar to how ‘Mother Nature’ changes to maintain balance.

Constantly evolving

This constantly evolving quality, he said, is governed by the Hindu

Trinity of Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer) and Mahesh (the Destroyer of Negative Qualities). Raviji, who along with Swami Aksharananda, were the first from the Caribbean to study Hinduism at the ancient Banaras Hindu University in India, supported the position, noting that for something to remain relevant, it has to be creative, sustained and free of negative tendencies. It was pointed out that, in Hinduism, the three functions are in consonance. He said this sums up the infiniteness, relevance, adaptability and continuity of the system of belief called Sanatan (eternal) Dharma (way of life). This is the spirit that has maintained the flame of Hinduism in the Caribbean, Swami Aksharananda said, making specific refer-

“On arriving at the villages, I couldn’t help but to remark on the stark similarities of so many things, the way people walk, the way people talk, the way they sat, the groups they had together; it was amazing to see the stark similarities and in the villages; we were not that strange as we were in the city.” Raviji said his visit to the motherland was a “call from within”. “In my case, I felt there was a natural yearning for connection with India. In any case, my grandfather always talked about going back to India, but my father never allowed him to go back,” he said. “That narrative was in the house, but the desire to fulfill a need I felt was the only reason I wanted to go to that spiritual land.” Speaking of his upbringing, Raviji, said his father,

who was a spiritual leader, instilled in him the values of community spirit, and though he was not a perfect individual in his younger days, he drew much of his inspiration from global peace icon Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and valiant Indian patriot Subhas Chandra Bose. He too recalled that his first journey to India was a nostalgic moment, not only for him, but all his fellow villagers in Trinidad. “When I was going to India, villagers came to the airport, it impacted the airport so much that when I went on the plane the air hostess (there must have been an empty space in First Class) asked me to come to First Class and must have thought I was some big Guru, and I said ‘no’! I’m just going to study, but villages emptied out because I was going to Indi,” he said. Speaking directly to these sentiments, Swami Aksharananda said: “India is never out of us, we might be out of India, but India is never out of us.”



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Guyana still awaiting word from TT – almost two months after Guyanese died tragically there


lmost two months after a Guyanese tourist died after he was reportedly refused medical attention from a Trinidad hospital, the Trinidadian authorities are yet to provide Guyana with a report on an investigation that was conducted into the allegations. Jeetindra Sookram, 35, died earlier this year while he was being transported to another medical facility after he was allegedly denied treatment at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Trinidad, because he was not a Trinidad national. According to Foreign

Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, her Trinidadian counterpart had promised to probe the matter and have a report presented to her; however, she has not received any such document to date. However, she pointed out that she did not miss what she called “off the cuff” comments made by the Trinidad Health Minister on the issue that medical insurance is needed upon entry into the country. Rodrigues-Birkett noted that she had raised the issue with Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque since it is counter to the Caricom Single Market

and Economy movement. “The issue there was emergency care and all of our countries subscribed that we would provide emergency care whether or not this is a skilled national…what took place was not congruent with what we had agreed as a region,” the Minister stated. The Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out that if it were a foreign national seeking medical attention in Guyana, a situation like what occurred in Trinadad would not have happened. She said that the person would have probably been treated before Guyanese patients. Sookram and his

wife, Vidya Baichu, were on a two-week holiday in Trinidad in April when the man took ill and began complaining about chest pain. Officials at the EWMSC said Sookram did undergo an electrocardiogram (ECG), which showed he had a heart attack; however, when the nurses went looking for him to administer treatment, he was nowhere to be found.

“Pink form”

North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Chairman, Dr Shehenaz Mohammed was reported to have said that the issue occurred out of confusion over “the pink

form”, a financial obligation statement to be signed on accessing emergency care. The woman had refuted reports that she was given documents to sign. “The things that the Minister is saying about me, it is not so. They didn’t give me anything to fill out. The Health Minister just take one side of the story. He just listened to the hospital to hear their side. I did not get any ‘pink form’ or anything to sign,” Baichu told the Trinidad Guardian. Baichu had initially told the Trinidadian Guardian that when she took her husband

to the hospital, “…I went in with him and they took him straight to the place where they took blood and did tests. When I went to register him now, they asked for ID and I gave them his passport. They told me he is not a Trinidadian resident and so all the services we would have to pay for it…. We asked them how much was the cost, they said they were not able to say, but whatever service they do we would have to pay for it.” This issue comes as the Caribbean Community is making headway in its free movement policy under the Caricom Single Market and Economy initiative.

Trinidad police probing execution Guyanese con-woman of young brothers in Morvant jailed for 10 years in UK

Trinidad’s Crime Scene Investigators search outside the Morvant home of brothers Jadel Holder and Jamal Braithwaite, for clues Monday (TT Guardian photo)


ORVANT, TRINIDAD: Police in Trinidad are searching for the gunmen who stormed into a house in Morvant and shot and killed, execution style, two brothers, including a nine-year-old on Sunday. Police said the gunmen entered the house and ordered the occupants, including nineyear-old Jadel Holder and his older brother, Jamal Brathwaite, 15, to lie on the ground before shooting them in the head. Police sources confirmed that Jadel is the country’s youngest person to be shot dead this year and the brothers’ execution has sent the murder toll for the year to 185. According to police reports, the boys were at their Petunia Avenue, Coconut Drive, Morvant home relaxing with their mother and neigh-

bour 16-year-old Glendel Alexander, when at about 3 pm, two gunmen entered the house. Their guns drawn, the men ordered the brothers, Alexander and the brothers’ mother to all lie face down on the floor. The men then stood over Jadel and Jamal and shot both of them once in the back of their heads. The brothers died instantly, while their mother watched on helplessly. Police sources told the media that Alexander, fearful that he too would be executed, jumped up from the floor and made a dash for the door while a gunshot rang out, with the bullet hitting him in the leg. As he fell, the gunmen left the house, clearly not interested in killing Alexander nor the dead brothers’ mother, whose identity police refused to reveal. A resident, who refused to give his name

out of fear, lamented the death of the nine-yearold saying people just don’t care who they kill whether man, woman or child. “Imagine in little Trinidad a nine-yearold is executed just so. What would a nine-yearold have done to deserve such a death?” Another neighbour said the brothers were known to be troublemakers to some but to their neighbours and those who were their friends, Jadel and Jamal were pleasant and polite youngsters who were no better or worse than other youths in the area. Police sources said no motive has been established for the double executions but they believe it was gang related based on the manner in which the two were killed. Police sources said that Jamal was well known to them. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)


Juliette D’Souza

Guyanese woman who posed as a witchdoctor to con a string of affluent victims out of almost £1 million has been jailed for 10 years after a Judge described her scam as the “worst case of confidence fraud” he had ever heard of. Juliette D’Souza masqueraded as a shaman for more than 12 years, convincing 11 of her middle class “clients” to hand over thousands of pounds to solve issues such as curing terminal illnesses or problems conceiving a baby. The 59-year-old, from Hampstead, an upmarket part of north London, told her victims the money was a “sacrifice” which

would be used as a spiritual offering and hung off a sacred tree in the Amazonian rainforest. Two other shamans in South America would perform rituals around the money before it was sent back and their problems would be resolved, she claimed. But in fact, she used the proceeds to fund an extravagant lifestyle including splashing out on £3000 designer handbags, holidays and a property portfolio. She told victims she was an orphan born on a plane with the amniotic sac over her face – a lucky symbol, but was in fact born Maryan Persaud in Guyana. Far from having a university education, she was a former

cleaner, receptionist and temp. Her trial at Blackfriars Crown Court in London heard wild claims, including that Princess Diana was on her client-list and how she warned the late Princess of Wales that she “would never see her sons again after she went to Paris”. Jurors heard the fake witchdoctor also boasted about treating Prince Andrew and Robert Redford, the actor, and to have cured Monty Python star John Cleese’s daughter of cancer. She also told clients her sister was a Personal Assistant to Prime Minister David Cameron. Jailing D’Souza, Judge Ian Karsten QC said she had cast a “spell” over her victims and persuaded them to hand over the money or they would face “terrifying” consequences. He told the court: “It is the worst case of confidence fraud I have ever had to deal with or indeed that I have ever heard of. “The most serious aspect of this case is that you wrecked the lives of a number of your victims and you have done it out of pure greed.” He said an aggravating feature was that she spent the money on “high living” in the UK and abroad, which included owning expensive cars, jewellery and antique furniture, and even keeping a pet monkey called Joey, which she kept in a cage at one of her Hampstead flats. continued on page 22



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Guyanese crushed by container truck in Canada


York Region family is devastated after hearing a beloved son, father, brother and husband was killed Friday in an early-morning industrial accident in Vaughan, Canada. Dead is Deodat Khemraj, 51, originally from Wakenaam. Khemraj of Markham, who drives for Mississauga Shipping Company IBL Transportation, was reportedly inspecting the container he was to pick up at a Doney Crescent Lot near Keele Street and Highway 7 about 07:00h Friday morning when he was crushed to death. The man’s father, who was at the accident scene, said he heard his son was crushed and there was blood all over the place. “They wouldn’t allow me to see him,” the father told yorkregion. com at the scene. “He was probably inspecting the trailer.” Other family mem-

The truck of Deodat Khemraj, 51, is seen in the background in a lot at Doney Road in Vaughan. Khemraj was killed in an industrial accident near Keele Street and Highway 7

bers soon arrived and were upset that they were not allowed to see the body that was out of sight, but only metres away. The victim’s brother, Herdat Khemraj, said he received a call about 07:30h about the accident. “Right now, we’re just lost for words. He has passed away. We don’t know what’s go-

ing on. Police officers are doing their part,” said Herdat Khemraj, 52. “I just got news there was an accident and that’s where it is right now. My mother is in shock, she can’t believe her son is gone.” Just after he finished speaking, a van arrived outside the gates of the company with the dead man’s mother and two of his

Aagman Restaurant celebrates first anniversary


President Donald Ramotar with some of the guests at the dinner anniversary

he exquisite Aagman Indian Restaurant last Friday completed its first year in operation, celebrating the milestone with a grand dinner. Aagman Restaurant opened on May 26, last year on Sheriff Street, Georgetown, providing Guyanese with a wide range of Indian cuisine. Upon arriving, guests were welcomed with warmth by employees, who escorted them to their seats. The men were temporarily separated from their female partners as the two groups spent hours conversing on common topics, as they were served light drinks and delicious Indian appetisers. However, some of the couples who persisted were placed together as

they relaxed, enjoying soothing music in the background. Most of the attendees were Indian businessmen with thriving businesses. President Donald Ramotar arrived at the event much to the anticipation of the other guests, joining Education Minister Priya Manickchand, who was already there. After some two hours mingling and chit-chatting around the room, a beautifully decorated cake was cut by Minister Manickchand and Managing Director of the Restaurant, Dr Raj Rishi Meena. In brief remarks, Meena told the gathering that he faced many challenges over the past year, but managed to overcome them with the support of his staff and customers.

He expressed gratitude to those who contributed to the business in the first year, noting that with their continued support, the restaurant will grow from “strength to strength”. President Ramotar congratulated Meena and his staff on reaching the important milestone, pointing out that the investment reflects the proprietor’s confidence in the economy. On a lighter note, he added that Guyana is multi-ethnic country and food plays a big part in defining its culture. “Food has added richly to the variety of our culture and that is the beauty of it,” he stated. After other brief addresses and photo-ops, the guests feasted on the delectable, authentic Indian dishes in buffet style.

sisters. One was heard crying, “Oh God, I just want to see the body, what he looks like, please”. But York Regional Police and the Coroner would not allow family members to see the man’s body. It was removed in a Police van about 10:30h and taken to the Centre for Forensic Sciences at Keele Street and

Highway 401. Details of what happened are still unclear. The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by the Labour Ministry. Ministry officials were on site investigating Khemraj’s truck and talking to company representatives. Company representatives at the scene had no comment.

A man who identified himself only as the owner of the company refused to provide a comment or his name. He was seen talking to Labour Ministry investigators and Police officers at the scene. The dead man’s wife and two children, a teenager aged 17 or 18, according to his grandfather, and another son about five or six years old, appeared shocked as they looked through the gates at the accident scene. They were silent as they stood amid relatives and were comforted by aunts and uncles. Like her sisters-in-law and father-in-law, the man’s wife wanted to see his body, but was denied from doing so. Herdat Khemraj said he will begin preparations for his younger brother’s funeral, saying it will be about a week before he can gather all the relatives of the extended family together for a service. (Cambridge Times)

Guyanese con-woman jailed... D’Souza persuaded people to part with sums of £30,000 or £40,000 at a time, telling them she had supernatural powers, before the cash was flown to Suriname to be hung from a magical tree. During her trial, the court heard how one woman was persuaded to have an abortion by D’Souza after she paid her £170,000 to help her get pregnant. The con woman told the victim, who cannot be named, that she should abort the child because it would be born seriously deformed. Another victim was the mother of a 10 -yearold boy with Down’s Syndrome who was tricked out of £42,000 when D’Souza claimed she could cure his behavioural problems. Ruth Fillingham paid £169,000 from 1998 to 2004 to ward off the evil spirit of her deceased brother, save her partner from a non-existent tumour and ensure her eye surgery would be a success – which was not. Her boyfriend, Geoff Wheeler, handed over £195,000 in the same period, the court heard. Much of the money was supposed to secure his job, but he was still made redundant. The court also heard Sylvia Eaves, an 83-year-old former opera singer, hoping to help her terminally ill sister and a friend suffering from cancer, handed over more than

£350,000. Outside court, Eaves, who was commended for her ability to put a “brave face” on events by the Judge, said she would be “a bit more careful” in future. “I agree with it [the sentence] because she won’t be doing it to anyone else but I just feel terribly sad that somebody so clever should resort to that,” she said. “I just feel terribly let down that she could behave like that but she couldn’t help it, obviously.” She said she lost “a lot of money” to D’Souza and joked otherwise she would be spending her retirement taking her friends to the Ritz. Her friend, Guy Oldman, who Eaves had known for 50 years, also became a victim, after she convinced him to pay D’Souza £57,000 to release nearly half a million pounds “held” by the taxman. But instead of taking it to South America, she went to Bond Street on shopping sprees, spending thousands on Hermes and Louis Vuitton handbags and Cartier jewellery. The elaborate hoax lasted for more than a decade, resulting in one of her clients losing her home and another left on the brink of suicide. Outside court, Keith Bender, an osteopath and former friend who referred many of his clients to D’Souza, ap-

from page 21

peared in tears after the judgement was read. “I am just absolutely shattered,” he said, “I am tired and not in a good state. I mean I am happy but it’s been such a long time — it brings it all back to you.” D’Souza was convicted of 23 counts of obtaining property by deception and fraud, relating to victims she targeted between January 1998 and June 2010. Judge took just an hour to convict D’Souza, who had previous convictions for dishonesty and deception, after a fourweek trial. The total amount she defrauded in relation to the charges on the indictment was £908,400, but on the evidence given by victims. the final sum was closer to £1 million. Karsten added: “You were telling people that you were a shaman, that is to say a spiritual healer in touch with the spiritual world. You told your victims that you had contacts with other shamans… and persuaded them that these were powerful figures who could exercise their power to solve the problems which they were concerned about. In each case you promised them that you would be able to resolve the problems by using your powers of communication with two shamans in Suriname, provided they paid a sacrifice.” (UK Telegraph)

news WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014



Rotary Club of Jamaica (Queens) Annual Bar-B-Que attracts huge turnout


he Rotary Club of Jamaica, Queens, New York, along with Queens Center for Progress, had a great turnout for their annual Bar-BQue. Attendees included many of New York's finest from the NYPD, including the Commanding Chief of Queens South, Dave Barerra and the respective Commanding Officers of many Precincts. Officers of the NYPD, the staff of QCP, and fellow Rotarians helped in preparing, cooking and serving food and drinks for all to enjoy. It was a fun time for everyone as there was entertainment being provided in various forms, including music and a well appreciated magic show. The barbeque was manned by NYPD who grilled through the day. A NYPD officer acted as the DJ and another as the magician. It truly was a magical day for Queens Center for Progress program participants. It was a great way to give back to those in need. Queens Center for Progress is made up of people working together to promote the independence of individuals with developmental disabilities. They play many different roles, but mainly focus on the same goals - providing services in education, therapy, job training and placement, day programs, housing, and many other support services to help those with developmental disabilities live and lead fulfilling lives. The organizers wish to thank all those persons who showed up to make this a productive day, including the President of the Rotary Club, Joe Iaboni. It could be recalled that Joe created this barbeque for the Adult Center twelve years ago. After giving out toys to our Children’s Center at Christmas, he asked if there was something that could be done for the adults - the annual barbeque and fund day was the result, which everyone now enjoys immensely. (Photos by Yogi Ramnarain)

Antigua hosting first phase of U.S.-led military exercise


T. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA: The first phase of the United States-led military exercise, code named “Exercise Tradewinds,” began in Antigua on Monday with Washington emphasising its importance to the safety of the countries within the region. “Tradewinds is vital to the nations of the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States in order to collaborate against common threats to our peoples and the way we live our lives, as well as to sharpen our collective responses to deal with humanitarian crises, natural disasters, and pandemics,” said General John Kelly, Commander of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). “The United States is one of many equal partners in the Caribbean, and SOUTHCOM is interested as much in human rights, developing deep and lasting partnerships across a large range of issues, diplomacy, economic development, and environmental matters, as contained in military topics. “Like the other nations participating in Tradewinds, we place a very high value on this training and the understanding and cooperation it fosters.” The exercise is being attended by an estimated 300 military and security

forces from Canada and several Caribbean countries, excluding St. Lucia. Last year, the United States suspended assistance to the Royal St Lucia Police as a result of allegations of serious human rights violations which occurred between 2010 and 2011. The allegations included claims of extra-judicial police slayings which the government is currently investigating with the help of a team of police officers from Jamaica. The first phase of the June 1-10 training exercise will focus primarily on maritime security and countering transnational organised criminal groups on the high seas, as well as training to improve the ability to respond to natural disasters and provide humanitarian relief. The exercise will provide realistic simulated disaster events to test the Antigua and Barbuda National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) as well as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). The second phase, will be held in the in the Dominican Republic, June 16-25. The exercise supports the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a regional security partnership between Caricom member states, the Dominican Republic, and the United States of America. (Antigua Observer)

Chief of Queens South, Dave Barerra, along with members of the NYPD and Rotary, who assisted in making the Bar-B-Que a success.

Patients of QCP enjoying the music and magic show

President and Director of Development of QCP, along with members of NYPD, providing assistance at the event

Gov’t revokes several remigrants’ status …after detecting evidence of fraud


he Foreign Affairs Ministry has been forced to revoke the re-migrant status of several persons under the Government-run Remigrant Programme as many were using the facility for bringing to Guyana all manner of luxury vehicles and other items under the scheme, but never really fully resettled in the country. The remigrant scheme is administered by the Foreign Affairs Ministry in conjunction with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA). The Ministry is responsible for determining and granting remigration status while the GRA administers the tax exemptions. Under the remigrant scheme, a Guyanese who is 18 years and above, who has been residing legally overseas for a minimum of five consecutive years and is now returning to Guyana, can benefit. Also, Guyanese students/graduates who have attended or are attending a training institution and residing overseas for a minimum of four years and are now returning to Guyana, can also benefit. Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett told Guyana Times International in an inter-

view that while she will not deem the programme a failure, she acknowledged that some persons had misused it and once this was detected, their re-migrant status was revoked. Currently, the Auditor General’s Office is conducting an investigation into a scam involving senior GRA officials and some re-migrants regarding the misuse of the scheme. Rodrigues-Birkett said that initially, the probe was to look into that specific aspect of the fraud, but she asked that it be widened to incorporate whether persons who applied and were granted re-migrant status, actually live in the country. The remigrant Diaspora programme seeks to create a framework for overseas-based Guyanese to come back and make meaningful contributions to their birth land.

Room for fraud

Meanwhile, asked whether she thinks the criteria required for qualification leave room for fraud, RodriguesBirkett said there is an easy way to scrutinise the system. “You would have noticed that a couple of re-migrants have taken us to court. We just check the departure and arrival at the airport

with Immigration and Customs. What has been happening is the Guyana Revenue Authority, they would normally run those checks and then they inform us that they have noticed John Jones who should be in Guyana has spent 29 months in the US and we are able to effect a revocation of the status. We have had several revocations… but we don’t publicise them,” the Minister said. On the issue of persons trying to scam the system, the Minister said the majority of people are honest people “but we have found some cases where people submitted fraudulent documents. In fact, right now, the Auditor General is doing an audit. I have asked him to do an audit of the entire system because we want to make sure that we encourage people who are interested in re-migrating to Guyana to make use of the facility, but at the same time, we want to make sure that we detect those persons who are trying to beat the system.” She added: “We check to see if you were living legally abroad for five years or more and do first run on documents to see what you want duty-free concession on, but it is not our respon-

Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett

sibility to grant that. We send what we discover to the GRA and they would make the final decision, but we have been working together, so if they pick up something, a vehicle document for example, we would use the embassy abroad and local commissioner to check it out. It is not to put a stigma on the remigrants; I would say it’s a minority of people who would try to beat the system.” She however, acknowledged that a number of the remigrants might be citizens in the country they came from and have sufficient ties that would require them to travel. The aim of the programme is to attract skilled nationals to return and develop the country and Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said so far, there have been a variety of people returning.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014


Jamaica: Sixty children murdered, 99 shot and injured in past 16 months

Queen's College to receive facelift

Queens College is known to produce some of Guyana’s and the region’s best students



Penda Honeyghan reads to children from Craig Town, Kingston who are participating in a mentorship programme managed by students of the AZ Preston Hall at University of the West Indies (Jamaica Observer photo)

AMAICA: Sixty children were murdered and 99 shot and injured by criminals between January 2013 and May 2014 in Jamaica, according to the latest data from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Statistics Department. Police report that, in the last two months alone, seven children between the ages of seven and 17 years were murdered, while one was shot and injured. The Police High Command, in response to the brutal attacks has issued a call on all Jamaicans to redouble their efforts to safeguard the nation’s youth. The police said they were also concerned about the number of

youths becoming involved in gun-related crimes, citing statistics to show that, for the period January 1, 2013 to May 25, 2014, some 44 children were charged with murder, 40 with shooting and 94 with breaches of the Firearms Act. “Police intelligence suggests that gangs continue to co-opt children in their criminal organisations to commit crimes," the Police High Command reported. "Children are routinely found to be armed with weapons of all kinds—knives, machetes, even cleverly made home-made firearms, which are believed to be supplied by criminal gangs," the police said. While the police continue to enforce the law

and employ policing strategies to dissuade young people from a life of crime, parents, caregivers and communities were being urged to care for children and to seek the assistance of the police, the Child Development Agency, or other appropriate authorities where necessary. The police also urged citizens to report any abuse of children or their involvement in crimes. "Children are too precious a resource for wellthinking Jamaicans to stand by and do nothing to help them. Now more than ever, Jamaicans must unite for change; it is our civic duty to care for and protect our children," the police said. (Jamaica Observer)

tudents, teachers, headteacher, and administrative staff of Guyana’s leading secondary school, Queen’s College (QC) will be the beneficiaries of several forthcoming enhancements. The enhancements are expected to significantly modify the overall function, appearance and learning environment of the school. This week, the executive body of the Parent Teacher Association, Board of Governors, headteacher, and Administrative Department of Queens College met with Education Minister Priya Manickchand to discuss these issues. At the meeting, QC representatives raised a number of issues. Among the list of issues mentioned were the insufficient numbers of teachers and furniture for staff, labs and classrooms. M i n i s t e r Manickchand committed to addressing these concerns fully and has also committed to, as far as possible, make every ef-

fort to ensure that the school has the requisite number of teachers and furnishings needed. The Minister, however, has asked the school in collaboration with the PTA to compile a comprehensive list of vacancies and furnishings needed. She has also committed to addressing as far as resources would allow, several other requests made by the school, which included repairs and painting to the buildings; improved plumbing to certain buildings; electrical works; restoration to the school’s playfield; and expansion works to include cafeteria and rooms that will be used for various events and club meetings. “Queens College is one of many schools listed for rehabilitation works and overall enhancement interventions this year as the Ministry continues to improve the delivery of education across the country. “The meeting is a fulfilment of the Ministry’s promise that any rehabilitation works will see the community being in-

formed of the scope of the works with the view to having quality outputs,” the release said. Queens College is known to produce some of Guyana’s and the region’s best scientists, lawyers, engineers, teachers, economists and persons in other professions. Recently, three students from the school – Cecil Cox, who topped the Caribbean in the Sciences in 2013; Benedict Sukra, and Lawrence Faria – were accepted into the region’s elite Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) at the University of the West Indies. SPISE is a four-week residential summer programme for Caribbean high school students who are gifted in Science and engineering. In the programme, students are immersed in university-level calculus, physics, biochemistry, entrepreneurship, Mandarin, one-Caribbean studies, and hands-on projects in robotics and electronics and computer programming.

Indian Arrival Day 2014 in Trinidad and Tobago


RINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Over 5,000 children, together with their teachers and parents joined dozens of temple groups in South Trinidad to celebrate Indian Arrival Day last Friday.

The State declared May 30 as a Public Holiday and the Maha Sabha and other cultural groups have accepted the month of May as Indian heritage month. During the past month, celebrations were held at all Hindu

institutions—schools, colleges, temples and social institutions. The form of the celebrations has been puja (worship to God) and recognition and honouring of the elderly in the community. Last Friday’s celebrations began at the

TT’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar returns the salute given to her by Cub Scouts during Indian Arrival Day celebrations at Parvati Girls' Hindu College, Debe last Friday

Five Opposition Senators were outfitted last week to mark Indian Arrival Day in TT. Standing from left are: Faris Al Rawi, Avinash Singh, Diane Baldeo Chadeesingh, Stuart Young, and Foster Cummings (TT Newsday photos)

headquarters of the Debe/Penal Regional Corporation, SS Erin Road, Debe, at 9.30 a.m. and the procession of thousands journeyed to the Parvati Girls Hindu College Grounds in Debe.

The procession was led by dancers, boys and girls scouts, pundits and teachers. Music was supplied by the Shiva Boys Hindu College Tassa Group and ‘The Big Truck’. At the Debe venue

important personalities of the area, together with Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar addressed the audience. Other organistaions in TT held their own activities to mark the occasion.

25 APNU in support of Public Private Partnership model News

WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

- but says ‘details’ must be transparent


inance point man of A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) Carl Greenidge says Government should absorb some of the debts incurred by private investors in the Berbice River Bridge so as to facilitate the lowering of the tolls. He said, too, that the party has no problem with the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model of development, noting that it is something that was explored when the People’s National Congress (PNC) was in power. Greenidge made the comments during an interview with this newspaper as he addressed the PPP model, through which the Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) and the Marriott Hotel project were executed. Greenidge said his party has no underlying issues with the PPP agreement that Guyana has adopted, but rather with the discriminatory practices surrounding its execution. Greenidge, who himself was Guyana’s Finance Minister during the PNC Government,

APNU's Financial Spokesman Carl Greenidge

said the Government at that time had been involved in examining PPP projects. “We have no problem with the (Amalia) Hydro Falls Project; in general, we don’t have a problem with Public Private Partnerships. We don’t have a problem with private investment; we have a problem with the details of the arrangement,” said Greenidge. He claimed that there is no arrangement of “consequence” carried out in Guyana by the Government, which

he claimed is a flaw. It has been disclosed that the Bridge Company had assets of Gy$8.9 billion of which Gy$400 million was invested by equity shareholders, with the remaining Gy$8.5 billion coming from interest bearing debts. These are 950 million Preference Shares with a return rate of 11 per cent and redeemable at increasing percentages after 15 years; Subordinated Loan Stock – Gy$1,250 million, repayable in 2026; Bonds Tranche 1 – Gy$3,050 million, at nine per cent maturing 2013; Bonds Tranche 2 – Gy$2,525 million, at 10 per cent maturing 2017; and Loans – Gy$450 million. As a result, the company has to pay over Gy$800 million annually in interest alone. Some commentators have suggested that the Government take over the Gy$8.5 billion debt and reduce the tolls by accepting lower or no interest on the loans. In effect, it was pointed out, the Berbice Bridge would be nationalised and the taxpayers of Guyana

Chairman of the PSC Ramesh Persaud says the issue brewing out of the motion passed by the parliamentary Opposition to reduce the Berbice River Bridge toll raises the question about sanctity of PPPs

would be subsidising the commuters of the bridge. Greenidge, however, concurred with the proposal for the Government to assume the debt. “What essentially we are saying is that if you take the private sector off some of the responsibilities, and take on part of that burden, then the burden of the toll could be spread over a longer period. “It could be borne in part by the taxpayers initially and the burden of those already faced by the difficulties can be ameliorated,” Greenidge said.


A PPP involves a contract between a public sector authority (govern-

ment or one of its arms) and a private party. The private party provides a public service or project and assumes substantial financial, technical and operational risk in the project. In most types of PPPs, the cost of using the service is borne exclusively by the users of the service and not by the taxpayer. In other types, capital investment is made by the private sector on the basis of a contract with Government to provide agreed services and the cost of providing the service is borne wholly or in part by the Government. Government contributions to a PPP may also be in kind, notably

the transfer of existing assets. In projects that are aimed at creating public goods like in the infrastructure sector, the Government may provide a capital subsidy in the form of a onetime grant, so as to make it more attractive to the private investors. In some other cases, the Government may support the project by providing revenue subsidies, including tax breaks, or by removing guaranteed annual revenues for a fixed time period. In the case of the Marriott, the Government built a sewer system and provided seed money in the form of a loan which is to be repaid.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Barbadians warned to brace Granger says key more economic woes questions on Dr Rodney’s for - following Moody’s latest downgrade death remain unanswered



pposition Leader David Granger is contending that key questions surrounding the death of political activist and co-founder of the Working People Alliance (WPA), Dr Walter Rodney are yet to be answered. At the time, Granger was addressing the media at his Hadfield Street Office, Georgetown on the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the death of Dr Rodney. Granger opined that thus far, witnesses have provided the Commission with “hear say” details, noting that the truth is yet to be unveiled. “I have never heard from any of the witnesses about how the device came to be designed and manufactured? How Dr Rodney came to be in possession with it? How he accepted an instruction to go and test an ordinary walkie-talkie in the dead of the night by the Georgetown Prison and none of the people who would have given evidence seem to have answered these questions?” Granger said as

Opposition Leader David Granger

The late Dr Walter Rodney

he defended his position. According to him, many of the witnesses gave extensive details on the political climate at the time and challenges they would have faced due to their association with the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), while omitting information on the circumstances supporting the death of the politician. Granger made it clear that the People’s National Congress (PNC) is not afraid to face the truth, stressing that the Commissioners should not draw their conclusions on “hear say details” but should

seek the truth. However, Granger has thus far shunned calls to appear before the Commission. Dr Rodney was killed on June 13, 1980 in the vicinity of the Camp Street Prison. He was sitting in his brother’s vehicle when an explosive device that was concealed in a walkie-talkie radio exploded in his lap. On June 13, 2013, the Government following a direct request from the Rodney Family announced the approval of the establishment of an International Commission of Inquiry into the assassination of Dr Rodney.

RIDGETOWN, BARBADOS: The main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Tuesday warned Barbadians to brace themselves for more economic problems after the U.S.-based ratings agency, Moody’s Investors Service, downgraded the Barbados’ government bond rating by three notches to B3 from Ba3, while maintaining its negative outlook on the island. “We cannot expect to continue to do the same things over and over and get different results. (Monday’s) further downgrade by Moody’s by a staggering 3 notches must jolt us into our true reality,” said BLP and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley. “We were warned that increasing our overall debt, especially our reliance on shortterm debt, will lead to a further downgrade. Yet the government continues recklessly to do so. Two weeks ago we increased the Local Loans Limit to Bds$4 billion and now today we are increasing the limit under the Special Loans Act by Bds$1 billion to Bds$2.5

Barbados’ Opposition Leader Mia Mottley (Nation News file photo)

billion. “We were warned that continued Central Bank financing of our fiscal deficit will put pressure on our exchange rate. Yet the Central Bank continues to do so. We were warned that increasing our fiscal deficit and missing our targets for fiscal consolidation will lead to a further downgrade. Yet the government continues unashamedly to do so,” Mottley highlighted. In a statement, Mottley said that the country was warned that declining foreign reserves would lead to a further downgrade. She said despite such a warning “the foreign reserves dangerously continue to decline in spite of the government’s borrowing to prop them up”.

Moody’s Investors Service said the threenotch downgrade reflects the reinforcement of negative fiscal trends given the increasing size of the country’s fiscal deficit, which exceeded 11 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2013/14, and “our expectation of continued challenges to fiscal consolidation”. Moody’s, which had previously downgraded the bond rating to Ba3 from Ba1 last December, also highlighted the increasing government debt ratios, projected at above 100 percent of GDP by fiscal year 2014/15, coupled with elevated short-term debt issuance and gross financing needs in excess of 30 percent of GDP in 2014 and 2015. (Excerpted from Barbados Today)


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Excitement building: Limacol CPL cheerleaders undergoing training


The lovely workshop participants in action

he Limacol C a r i b b e a n Premier League (LCPL) fever has started in Guyana with the recruitment of cheerleaders to entertain Guyanese cricket fanatics and ultimately the world. A three-day workshop concluded on Friday at the Pegasus Hotel at which more than 25 young, beautiful and energetic young ladies worked extremely hard with the hope of being selected to be a part of the cheerleading squad.

Gyrating to sweet soca music under the direction of Pixie Ducourdray out of Trinidad and Tobago, the participants were definitely having a grand time. Ducourdray told Guyana Times International that she was impressed with the tremendous talents of the Guyanese girls. This is the first of a series of training that she was contracted to conduct throughout the region, leading up to the commencement of the second LCPL tournament. She added that

over the past three days, the participants showcased determination, charm and discipline. “These girls are raw talent and I have enjoyed working with them over the past three days… I know they are full of potential and when I am gone, they will be in good hands… Clive Prowell will work with them twice a week to get the routine in order,” she related. Co-trainer Rehanna Ramdhani, also of Trinidad, was also impressed with the quali-

ties of participants. She noted that though it was three days of hard work, the participants did not put up resistance. Meanwhile, Digicel’s Public Relations Officer Vidya Sanichara said the company is happy to be one of the sponsors of the LCPL for the second time around. She said that LCPL gives unlimited excitement in the region and her company is looking forward to the same as was seen last year. With respect to the workshop, she said that Digicel Guyana is committed to having the best cheerleaders at the matches involving Guyana. She recalled that in 2013, cheerleaders from other countries were used in Guyana and thought it was time to correct the situation. The final selection of the cheerleading team was done on Friday evening and those selected will participate in additional training under the stewardship of Clive Prowell, twice a week at the Classique Dance Company Studio, Hadfield Street, Georgetown.

Canada-based company building largest solar project in Suriname


The US$14 million five mega watt project is being funded by Rosebel

ARAMARIBO, SURINAME: The Rosebel Gold Mine N.V, a joint venture between the Canadabased IAMGOLD and the Suriname government, says it expects to have operational by August next year, the largest solar project in the Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) country. The US$14 million five mega watt project is being funded by Rosebel and will be used at the company’s Brokopondo site, a grid-connected location. The project aims to reduce energy costs but increase the energy supply to allow Rosebel to exploit harder rock deposits. The first panel of the solar project has now been installed and

according to Ronald Halas, IMAGOLD’s Vice President, Commercial South America, the project should become operation by August 2014. “The Rosebel solar energy project is an excellent investment by Rosebel that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide additional power generating capacity in Suriname, and once again demonstrate the importance of the Brokopondo area for the generation of power in Suriname,” said Halas. The company stated that the project would also help it deliver on its commitments to minimise the impact of the company activities on the environment which include the generation of clean and sustainable electricity. (Caribbean News)



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


ward winning television and screen actor, Sean Patrick Thomas said a disciplined Guyanese upbringing definitely moulded him into the person he is today. “My family lived in Wilmington, Delaware where we were considered different in our neighbourhood because we were the only black people, who were Guyanese,” said Thomas, whose success brought him to the bright lights of Broadway in the role of Asagai in “A Raisin in the Sun”. This is the same play that got Thomas noticed at the University of Virginia, his alma mater where he was encouraged to take up acting by his drama teacher. “We have a great ensemble cast, and when I walk off the stage after the show, fans come up to me and say I enjoy your character, I relate to the role you play. That makes me feel good that I did my job well,” Thomas said of the role alongside Denzel Washington that ends June 15. He added, “Fans also say I enjoyed seeing you in the movie – “The Last Dance”, or on TV, and I

am glad to see you on the Broadway stage.” “This is very nice to hear,” added the American-born thespian. “Playing Asagai on Broadway is satisfying for me as an actor,” noted Thomas, who no doubt was born for this role in “A Raisin in the Sun”. He was nominated for an Image Award in 2009, for Outstanding Actor in a mini-series. Thomas said he never had the desire to become an Engineer like his father. “I was never a Math and Science guy. I did ok with B’s, but I was more enthusiastic about History and English. In an exclusive telephone interview from his New York location recently, Thomas recalled that his parents made education a top priority in his Guyanese household. His mother, Cheryl, a retired Financial Analyst, and father Carlton, an Engineer, who both worked for DuPont, celebrated with loud applause when “you brought home a good report card, a diploma from a graduating class, or an award”, the actor added.

Disciplined upbringing

Sean Patrick Thomas

“My father was very disciplined, very focused, and he took his job of being a dad seriously.” “There was never a day where I felt he wasn’t thinking about my siblings and me. He taught us how to improve our lives for adulthood,” said the actor, whose dance steps alongside actress Julia Styles in “Save The Last Dance” won him an MTV award for the breakout role. His dad, now de-

ceased, would have said, “Way to go, I am proud of you,” he said. An exceptionallytalented professional, Thomas is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, clinching the role of Detective Temple in TV’s The District. He also had parts in “Barber Shop 2”, “Conspiracy Theory”, “Reaper”, “Halloween Resurrection”, “Cruel Intentions” and “The Burrowers”.

The stage production of “Amen Corner” took him to Atlanta, under the direction of Kenny Leon, who directed him in “A Raisin in the Sun”. Thomas’ triumphant acting career has no doubt satisfied his mom, who wanted him to become a lawyer. “I am grateful that she didn’t resist that I wanted to do something else. She allowed me to try acting to see how it would play out.” Today, his mother could not be more proud of his success. But despite his enormous accomplishments, the illustrious actor says he stays close to his Guyanese relatives, even picking up his favourite Guyanese foods: roti and curry, tennis rolls and pepperpot, when he visits his aunt Lynn in Brooklyn. The 43-year-old intensely focused actor said, “It would be nice to receive an award for my work. But I act because I love doing it. I am satisfied just working to support my family, and becoming a better actor than I am today.” Evelyn Thomas, his aunt, said: “When I saw my nephew on the

Broadway stage, and heard his voice echo through the audience, I knew he had achieved greatness in entertainment. His performance was awesome,” she said, adding that Sean is a down-to-earth, loving dad. He is a phenomenal person. With his gorgeous wife, New Orleans native and actress Aonika Laurent at his side, the Fine Arts Master’s Degree graduate, says he plans on sharing his culture with his family during his second visit to Guyana. While there, the father of two would like to share his acting skill at the Theatre Guild Playhouse in Georgetown. But for now, Thomas, who no doubt will win the Tony Award, and an Academy Award in the future, is eager to play the role of black-super hero. “I would like to be on a good cable-TV series like ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Madmen’ or ‘House of Cards’, added the superstar. Playing the role of James Bond is also at the top of his list. (Caribbean Life)


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

health corner

Rip Current awareness By Tisha Boston


f you’re thinking about hitting the beach this summer, be mindful of rip currents. To truly understand rip currents, let’s first consider what they are not. Rip currents are not “undertows” or “riptides.” These are misleading terms used to describe a combination of being knocked down, pulled out, and submerged by water. In fact, according the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), rip currents are defined as channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. Therefore, a rip current will pull you out, not under water, as would an undertow. Sometimes rip currents may be difficult to identify, especially when they are very subtle. However, for the most part, rip currents are quite common at many surf beaches. According to the NOAA, they account for 80% of the rescues performed by surf beach life guards. In addition, they usually form at breaks in sandbars, and near structures such as groins, jetties and piers. Some signs to look out for when identifying a rip

current involve changes in water color, motion, incoming wave shape or breaking point. See below for a list of clues: •Channel of churning, choppy water. •Difference in water color. •Line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving away from shore. •Break in incoming wave. Photo of a rip current, courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility at Duck, NC. Not all rip currents are dangerous; some are too slow to be considered dangerous, moving at an average speed of one to two feet per second. However, they can quickly become dangerous, moving at an average speed of eight

feet per second. Such speed can kill even the strongest swimmer. In a case where you are caught in a rip current, here are some tips for escape offered by the NOAA: •Remain calm. •Don’t fight the current. •Swim in the direction following the shoreline. When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current i.e. toward shore. •If you cannot escape by swimming, float or calmly tread water. The strength of rip currents eventually weakens offshore and you can use this opportunity to then swim toward shore. •If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself (e.g. wave, yell).


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

By Matt Hallett


oming to research jaguars in the Kanuku Mountains, I had anticipated seeing some amazing things, but I don’t think that I was prepared for what I was going to experience when I travelled to Nappi Village in Region Nine to set camera traps in the nearby Maipaima area. Arriving in the village of Nappi alone is a surreal experience. Nestled at the foot of Nappi Mountain, it is one of the most scenic villages in Guyana. The thatch roofs of the homes contrast with the expanse of green forest, and the bare black rock of the mountains in the

Cascading Jordan Falls

background is breathtaking. As you look into the mountains, you can’t help but ponder the adventure ahead. Venturing into the forests of Maipaima is like venturing into the rain-

forests of your imagination. Entering the shade of the canopy, you are surrounded by giant 100-foot trees on every side. The Mora trees seem to be as wide at the base as they are tall. You stand at the

bottom dwarfed by the massive buttress roots, and as you strain back to follow the enormous trunk as it stretches towards the canopy top, you feel tiny. Almost as if you could relate to living in the world of an ant. In the canopy above you notice a shaking along branches. As you focus your eyes on the movement that has caught your attention, you see a black spider monkey spring across a six-foot gap between trees and effortlessly bound away 100 feet above. As you ponder the possibilities if you were to be able to bound hand over hand through the canopy, your ears are pierced by the harsh cackling of a group of scarlet macaws in a tree just behind you. As you follow the raucous calls with your eyes and move quietly and carefully along the forest floor, your eyes finally discover the bright red feathers that you were searching for. Although macaws and other parrots are commonly kept as pets in cities and towns all over the world, there is some-

thing about seeing these animals in their element, living wild and free, that connects you to a place. You move further along the forest floor under the spell of the forest around you, and come across an opening in the canopy – to be treated to the majestic harpy eagle souring overhead. This raptor is to the air above the canopy as the jaguar is to the forest floor. They reign supreme – the ultimate symbol of the wild heart of the jungle. Flying high with its massive wingspan, and looking to pluck monkeys from the trees with their impressive talons, the presence of nesting and soaring harpy eagles is a clear indication of the nature of Maipaima’s forests – large expanses of uninterrupted nature that stretch across the Kanuku Mountain range, sustaining some of the forests most impressive creatures. Moving along and thinking about the life in the canopy, a bright yellow flash on the forest floor catches your eye. You move stealthy and quietly to investigate and you see the brilliant bright yellow

resting serpent, you begin to notice another telltale sign of the activity of the forest that minds me why I have ventured into the Maipaima wilderness in the first place. Tracks can be seen all over the trail on the forest floor. Mammals are notoriously difficult to see in the forest, but they tell you that they are there with the tracks that they leave behind. In every direction you see paca (laba), red brocket deer, tapir and peccary tracks – further indication of the health and abundance of this forest. It is obvious that jaguars are plentiful in and around Maipaima, as their sign can also be seen not far behind the tracks of their abundant prey. Everywhere you look you see the print of that large round paw with four obvious toes and no claws showing jaguar claws are retractable and only reveal themselves when they need them. Following the abundant life in the Maipaima wilderness concludes with a hike to the immense and impressive Jordan Falls. The falls exist in a clearing that allows you

The bushmaster nestled between the leaves

stripes of a three-striped poison arrow frog contrasting against the moist black skin on its back. It snaps its legs and disappears into the leaf litter on the forest floor. Even the beautiful contrast of its electric colours can’t be seen against the leaf litter. The forest floor in Maipaima is alive as well. Millipedes move slowly and deliberately breaking down massive amounts of vegetation. The abundance of life moving everywhere around you is almost overwhelming. Suddenly, your eyes adjust and you notice potentially the most perfectly adapted resident of the forest floor. The bushmaster sits quietly and perfectly camouflaged against the leaf litter, resting and digesting its latest meal. As you move away slowly and quietly, trying not to disturb the

to see across vast stretches of green, almost reminding you of heads of broccoli that stretch to the horizon on every side. Contrasting with the open calm of the forest is the congestion of running water below your feet. Jordan Falls consist of a series of falls running down from the mountain and concluding in a large single drop that symbolizes the wild power of the Maipaima wilderness. Like the rest of the forest, it runs wild and free with a power that leaves you feeling that you have experienced something special in this world. It is places like this that leave a lasting impression and cause you to reflect what we value in this life. It’s an experience that I won’t forget. For more information, visit Rupununi Learners on Facebook.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Pressured W

By Anu Dev

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche


ut old Nietzsche would’ve known that most youths don’t actually need anyone to “instruct” them to go with the crowd. Peer pressure’s always been around. No one specifically is actively pressuring us: we just feel pressured because we think, “Everyone else is doing it, why shouldn’t I?” For some people, the desire to just fit in is really powerful and they can end up doing things that they really wouldn’t have liked doing if left to their own devices. And it’s not always huge things — like feeling pressured to use drugs — it can be things like choosing to only listen to the type of music your friends do, or to put off studying so you don’t look like you’re ‘trying too hard’ so you’ll be one of the ‘cool kids’. And it’s a slippery slope. What started off as just putting off homework becomes not doing homework at all, and then leads to skipping classes. And then who knows what? Slinking off to the Princess cinema to look at the latest X-Men while CXC’s have to be written? But the influences our peers have on us don’t always have to be negative. If we’re surrounded by classmates or co-workers with good work ethics, we could be influenced to adopt a similar work ethic. If we’re surrounded by people who are always striving to be better and to do better, we could be motivated to do as they do — to be better at whatever we want to be. And “better” doesn’t have to be slogging at books — how’d you think I got to improve my sweep shot? So maybe instead of surrounding ourselves with ‘slackers’, we need to choose our companions wisely, to choose people that can have a positive influence on us instead of those who might lead us down paths that might be bad for us. Meaning you’re not actualising the potential you’re born with. We call it “gunas”. And we should also try to be positive influences to the people around us. There are always people who will look to you as an example of what should be done — your son or daughter, a younger sibling, even a friend. Hey! Think of it — you’re not only being influenced — you’re also influencing others. You’re a subject with agency and all that jazz. So take the time to think about the type of person you want to be today, five years from now, and even 10 years from now. Then evaluate whether you’re that person now or if you’re even on the path to becoming that person. C’mon now…be honest. It’s nice to make plans and to decide that you’ll start working on being that person next week or tomorrow. But the truth is you have to start right away, or as soon as possible. It’s no wonder that tomorrow never comes for some of us, because every day we’ll keep saying tomorrow. Take a quiet moment to think about whether the things you do, or the things you want to do are things that you truly want or whether it’s what everybody else is doing. Don’t be afraid to flow against the tide, to be your own person, to captain your own destiny. Go out and find your own music, find your own sense of style and read whatever books you enjoy. There’s a whole world out there to experience, so why limit yourself to only what everybody else is doing? Start by picking friends that want to go in the same direction with you.

e send out kudos to all Guyanese women who are excelling locally and abroad. We recognise their hard work and determination in putting Guyana on the map. This week we feature two exemplary women who are paving the way for youths to follow. Lorna WelshmanNeblett has reached a pinnacle that few women of colour have attained in the fragrance industry. More than 20 years ago she launched Angel, the first Thierry Mugler perfume, in the US market. The fragrance has been flying off high-end shelves since. Born in Georgetown, Guyana, she is committed to her homeland and the Caribbean and seeks improved health care for women in the region through the Organization for Social Health and Advancement for Guyana and the Caribbean (OSHAG/C), a New York group that focuses on treatment, follow-up and cosmetic care for breast cancer patients. Welshman-Neblett’s career in the fragrance industry began in the late 1970s, when Elizabeth

Asha Blake

U.S.A., US arm of the Paris-based luxury cosmetics company. “What I enjoy most about working in the industry is seeing the happiness that a fragrance brings to a consumer. It is about the person who’s wearing the fragrance—for them to smell good and feel good at the same time,” she declares. Welshman-Neblett earned a bachelor’s degree at Washington Business Institute. She is a staunch advocate of community involvement, evidenced by her recognition from the City of New York and former New York City Council member Una Clarke. “I learned from an early age that working in a community and organizing with others is the best way for people to

In the audio booth for America Now News, which airs on Fox network

mer network anchor turned digital media mogul and media consultant to the stars! She was born in 1961 in Guyana, the daughter of an education specialist and a teacher. Blake was raised in Toronto and later in Minnesota, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University Of Minnesota School Of Journalism. A five-time Emmy award winner, Blake has served as a solo anchor for national network news programs, hosted syndicated daytime programming, and co-hosted a national talk show for NBC and ABC. Over the course of a successful 20year career in television journalism, Blake conducted thousands of live

Lorna E. Welshman-Neblett

Arden established a separate fragrance company with Chloe, Burberrys and others. WelshmanNeblett started working with Thierry Mugler Parfums (now a division of Clarins Fragrance Group) in 1993, presenting the brand to retailers, establishing a sales team and creating a strategy to bring Angel to the market. Energised by the creativity required to bring a fragrance to market and to develop appealing packaging and descriptors, she holds, fittingly, the title of senior manager of sales and marketing administration for Groupe Clarins

Welshman-Neblett, 2013 Influential Black Women in Business Award recipient

come together for a worthy cause,” she says. In 2013, she was honoured as one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journala black professional and small business magazine.

Asha Blake, Emmy Award Winning Journalist

Asha Blake is a for-

interviews, covered numerous high-profile court cases, and served as a medical reporter early in her career. Blake co-hosted the NBC national news program “Later Today” and ABC’s “World News Now”, “World News this Morning”, and “Good Morning America

Sunday”, in addition to reporting for ABC’s “World News Tonight” with Peter Jennings. Blake is coverage of breaking world events has put her in front of a number of world leaders, including Desmond Tutu, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Rosa Parks, Al Gore, as well as celebrities such as Jay Leno, Jude Law and Denzel Washington. Blake has hosted two nationally syndicated shows: “Smart Gardening” on PBS and “Life Moments”, the nationally syndicated daytime women’s reality program that celebrated great and unbelievable moments in the lives of every kind of women. Blake has also been actively involved with many charity organizations, including serving as a celebrity ambassador for UNICEF, volunteering for Make A Wish, and supporting Race For A Cure and Meals on Wheels. Following the 9/11 Attacks, Blake created and launched a public service website providing a free planning guide to help organize pertinent personal information in the event of an emergency. In 2010, Blake launched her powerhouse media company, Goldenheart Media. Headquartered in Asha’s hometown of Los Angeles, California, Goldenheart Media is a multimedia powerhouse company specializing in media relations, branding, corporate communications, and messaging and entertainment program development. She has been featured in magazines and newspapers including TIME, USA Weekend, INSTYLE Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Core Business, Ladies’ Home Journal and other media outlets. Blake is married to former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Mark Dusbabek and has a daughter, Sasha.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

An amazing creature teaches us about survival


here is a creature residing in the Rupununi region whose appearance is so strange, you would think it was something that was dreamed up in the imagination of a child. This creature has coarse, wildly growing hairs sticking up all over its body – its tail resembling something like a feather duster. It has a long, slender head that terminates at a tiny mouth with no teeth, but housing a two-foot long sticky tongue. The animal walks on the sides of its hands with a strange knuckle-walking gait, but can also stand up tall on its hind legs when threatened. It carries 4-inch long claws strong enough to tear through wood, walls and earth in search of prey, but can also be brandished

to the east. The brilliant colours of the landscape almost force you to squint as the bright sun makes the sky appear to be several different shades of blue, and the bright green of the savannah grasses provide a stark contrast against the dark volcanic rocks that litter the landscape. Just when you are trying to consume everything that is in front of you, you notice something very peculiar. What you thought was just another rock sitting still and silent in its place has suddenly begun to walk away. As you move closer, you realize that what you had previously considered a hard mineral

An infant that was rescued from a local dog's toothy grip in Yupukari

Yupukari villager, Jose George, getting a rare opportunity to shake hands

as weapons with which to fight off even the fiercest of predators. Lastly, it bears a contrasting colouration of black and white, with what even appears to be a racing stripe. In reality, while this animal may have the strangest of parts, put them all together and you find a species that is perfectly adapted to survival in its natural environment. This creature is the giant anteater. The giant anteater, scientific name Myrmecophaga tridactyla, is a relatively common sight in the savannahs and bush islands here in the land between Yupukari village and Karanambu Ranch. It isn’t until you come to the Rupununi and see a giant anteater for yourself that you begin to realize how all of its strange parts are actually amazing adaptations that help it to survive here. The first time you see an anteater, you may actually be caught off guard by its appearance, as you notice that what you thought was part of the landscape starts to move. Imagine scanning the Rupununi horizon on a bright sunny day. The flat, open landscape gives you the impression that the sky is enormous – larger than in other places you’ve been, even though you know that it is the same sky. You strain your eyes to take it all in, but you find that you cannot see it all without turning your head; but everywhere you turn there is more to see. The Rupununi is a panorama that knows nearly no bounds. The sea of grass would seem endless if they were not consumed by the rising crests of the Pakaraima Mountains to the west and the Kanuku



shaped by millions of years of weathering and geological processes is actually the untamed hair of an anteater. The stark contrast of the anteater’s counter shaded coat plays perfectly against a background of contrasting shapes and colours, causing you to scan your eyes right past this animal until it moved. You observe the anteater rambling across the open habitat with its odd gait, the result of walking on the sides of modified front claws. At first appearance, its movements and behaviour seem strange and erratic, but the more you watch it you realize the focused and calculated nature of its actions. As you watch, the strange looking animal moves its head back and forth, smelling the wind and scent trails on the ground, and you realize that its movements are being driven by a terrific sense of smell. Staying focused on the task and hand and paying no mind to the fact that it has an audience (if you are quiet and approach only to a comfortable distance), the anteater stops at a specific location that seems to have caught its interest. Tearing at the ground with those powerful front claws, it creates a small opening large enough to accommodate its slender nose. As you being to notice, ants would be pouring from the opening the anteater has created for itself and you observe the anteater lapping up tens or hundreds of ants at a time with its long, sticky tongue. It remains feeding at this one location for only a minute or so before moving off in pursuit of its next meal. You know that the anteater feeds on ants and termites, but what you may not know is that it must eat

tens of thousands of ants and termites each day in order to survive. So now you are left with the question of why does the anteater not stay longer at one location when there may be millions of ants or termites in a single colony? The anteater moves off from this first encounter is as much a mystery now as when you first identified it as a rock that was somehow moving across the landscape. In the end, you are left with the impression that you have had a special experience with one of the world’s truly amazing creatures. The anteater is the original steward of its environment. As I said earlier, anteaters must eat tens of thousands of ants and termites a day, yet it only feeds from a single site for a short time. Obviously, this is not to say that the anteater is making a conscious decision to manage the resources that it depends on for its survival; it is actually to avoid the bites from the soldier ants that make the anteater move away from its feeding sites. But it is in this interaction that we see the importance of maintaining a natural balance. The anteater doesn’t eat too many ants from each colony, thus avoiding the depletion of the resource, yet it eats enough ants that populations at each individual colony are maintained at levels that keep them from decimating local vegetation. At this level of interaction between predator and prey, the natural balance of the system remains intact. Unlike the anteater, humans are the one specie that can make a conscious impact on its environment. We are capable of evaluating our actions of today and preparing for what the future holds for tomorrow. While Guyana has shown a tremendous dedication to the environment as a country through the introduction of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and growing protected area program, it is still us as citizens that have the greatest potential to have a positive impact on the local, regional and global environment. This means that caring for our environment is the responsibility of everyone. You can make a difference through your everyday actions. Will you take a cue from the anteater and help to maintain the balance of the natural system? What will you do to contribute? For more information, visit Rupununi Learners on Facebook. (By Matt Hallett)

Veerasammy Permaul

eerasammy Permaul is a 22-year-old left-arm spinner who took up cricket in 2002. He made his first-class debut for Guyana in the 2006-07 Carib Beer Series and picked up four wickets against the Windward Islands and also scalped his first five-for against Jamaica in the KFC Cup one-day competition. Permaul has ambitions of playing for West Indies in the future and he is one step closer to attaining that dream as he is now the regular captain of the West Indies A team. The Albion-born spinner attended the Sagicor High Performance Centre in Barbados and has also represented the West Indies at the Under-19 level. Permaul, who also has an interest in teaching, has bagged 148 wickets from 44 first-class games matches at an average of 24.76 and 34 wickets from 26 limited-over matches at a miserly average of 22.11. He is also a capable lower-order batsman with a highest score of 66 in first-class cricket. Permaul continues to excel in his cricketing career and hopes to etch his name among the legends one day.


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

TT Consulate in New York engages Diaspora in Heritage Lecture Series

New beginnings… …at Tain? veryone’s unanimous that the UG Campus at Tain, in Berbice, is fast going downhill. If not already there. Even the new Vice Chancellor. They’re talking about “unqualified staff” and staff teaching “over their head” at Tain, but are studiously avoiding the elephant in the room. Isn’t the teaching quality just a symptom of the underlying problem, because Tain is structured as merely an appendage of Turkeyen? Let’s call a spade a spade. Berbice got a “campus” even though for years Berbicians had lobbied for their own “university”. For some unfathomable reason, the powers-that-be decided Berbice couldn’t be trusted with running their own university. UG at Turkeyen, which had demonstrated through the last two decades, that it was incapable of even running a “Lil ABC” class, was tasked with the responsibility. It wasn’t even a case of “one-eyed man, king in blind man country”. UG was a blind man in a oneeyed-man country. UG had been transformed from the bold experiment that Cheddi Jagan had launched back in 1963, with Sir Lancelot Hogben, into a retirement home for PNCites thrown out from Government in 1992. A retirement home where the inmates receive a hefty sinecure. To place Tain into their hands was to wave a red flag at a maddened bull. Right off the bat, Berbice was for all those rice farmers and cane cutters. Why in the world, would they need a University education? Pearls before swine didn’t even begin to describe the preposterous anomaly! So UG used Tain to expand their sinecure system. The UG lecturers – who never taught to begin with – now had to troll over to Tain to teach. They received duty-free cars for the bother. Eventually, there came along a native son, Daizal Samad, who finally had the guts (or naïveté) to tell the emperor that he was buck naked! Tain would better serve Berbice – and Guyana, of course – if it was autonomous. And it wasn’t just peculiar to Tain – all over the world, it was demonstrated that the centralised university trying to run multi-campus facilities just couldn’t deliver the goods. Apart from UG being absolutely dysfunctional, Berbice had its own needs and idiosyncrasies. But, of course, the mandarins of Turkeyen fought the idea of autonomy. Did you even meet a tenured sod who’d willingly jettison even a book, much less a department? So the moaning and groaning will continue – but the solution will be studiously avoided. FREE TAIN NOW!!! …for clay-brick factory? The much-criticised Government privatisation entity, NICIL, had announced that the Clay Brick factory over at Canal – with over 46 acres of surrounding land – is up for sale. This announcement brings up the “cut your nose, to spite your face” syndrome that’s most prevalent in the Opposition and the Opposition spit press. This clay brick factory is a huge structure. But it’s been lying empty ever since 1994 – two decades ago – when all the bricks were sold off for a song. It’d stopped making bricks long before. It had been one of the white elephants that the industrialist extraordinaire – Forbes Burnham – had launched. There had been the glass factory, the leather factory, the ceramic factory, the fabric factory and so on and so forth. So when the fabric factory – lying in ruins for God knows how many years – was privatised and the new private owner turned a sow’s ears into a purse, the green-eyed monster struck. Especially a particular newspaper gossip-mongering wanker. So the Eyewitness has a simple suggestion. Why doesn’t Mook Lall buy the Clay Brick Factory and become a billionaire. He can quadruple his special sweetie output prepared for the export market! …for Avi The poignant reunion of kidnapped Baby Avi and his young mother captured the imagination of all Guyana. There’s no love greater than that of a mother.



his week The F l a m i n g o Restaurant and Mantra Lounge in Queens hosted the first Heritage Lecture Series organized by the Consulate General of Trinidad and Tobago. The Consul General, Dr. Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam, welcomed the Trinidad and Tobago diaspora and other invited guests and thanked them for coming out in support of the Heritage Lecture Series. According to a press release from the Consul General’s office, Dr. Ramgoolam explained that the ongoing Heritage Lecture Series was introduced to strengthen the bond between the Trinidad and Tobago nationals and their home country. She said that these series are even more important for the second and third generation Diaspora since they help to convey the traditions of their forefathers, making them more

Mr. Ian Sahai, Mr. Joe Siewharack of the Melbourne NY Alliance Sports and Cultural Club, Mr. Joe Ibiano, President of Rotary International Club, Jamaica Branch, The Consulate General of Trinada & Tobago, Dr. Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam, New York City Councilman (District 32) Mr. Eric Ulrich, Professor Brinsley Samaroo, and Mr. Ganesh Sahai of the Flamingo Restaurant.

aware of the rich culture of their ancestral heritage. The feature speaker was Professor Brinsley Samaroo, eminent historian from Trinidad and Tobago and former lecturer of the University of the West Indies, who is currently attached to the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Professor Samaroo journeyed into the Indian experience

from the ports of India to the plains of Trinidad and Tobago, explaining in detail their cultural, religious and social practices. This was followed by a lively question and answer session. Among the guests were Mr. Erich Ulrich, New York City Councilman (District 32) and Mr. Joe Ibiano, President of Rotary International Club,

Jamaica Branch. The Consul General encouraged the crowd to keep up with the Consulate's events through social media. She also thanked Mr. Ganesh Sahai of the Flamingo Restaurant for hosting the event, as well as the Mr. Joe Siewharack of the Melbourne NY Alliance Sports and Cultural Club for mobilizing the Diaspora.

Simply the Truth


Social media

n old and true friend wrote and expressed concern about the invasiveness of these social media “tools” that are so popular these days. He lives in Virginia in the USA. Many of us have tried to avoid these tools. Frankly, most of us are somewhat timid of these new things, while many of us avoid the placing of ourselves so glaringly in the public eye for all to see. We wish our lives to remain private, not because we have things to hide but because we insist that there is a part of us that ought to remain outside of the public gaze. Social media like “Facebook,” “Twitter”, “LinkedIn” and so on are very useful. They keep us connected to the outside world, and they facilitate easy, efficient, and relatively cheap communication with those we know or like or love. Gone are the days when people separated from each other by oceans have to wait for weeks to get news by traditional post—letters written by hand, placed in envelopes, sealed, and postage stamp pasted on the right hand side of envelopes. Now, news is sent and received almost instantaneously. And we have the pleasure of actually seeing the person on our screens and actu-

ally hearing their voices. We get news of birth and deaths, marriages and divorces, successes and failures almost immediately. The emotional value of this is inestimable. And yet, my old friend in Virginia has a good point. Social media is invasive, since we put so much about ourselves out there for scrutiny by the curious and sometimes lecherous and predatory gaze of the public. Apart from the ease with which we expose ourselves, we need to ask WHY is it that we need to place ourselves under such scrutiny. First, we put up our pictures (and the pictures of our children!) with a certain innocence. In our innocence, we do not see what someone else may see: an unintentional seductiveness, and unintended invitation for unwanted attention. In our uncritical minds, we still think of pictures as belonging to private photo albums. The sophistication of the mind has not caught up with the advances in technology. Second, there is a part of all of us that needs to feel important, central, in focus. Most of us lead very ordinary lives. In fact, I have seen too many people who reduce human life to ingestion, digestion, material accumulation, and defe-

Professor Daizal Samad

cation. To relieve that reduction, we want to be on a screen —the computer screen becomes as the TV screen. We post up our pictures, unwittingly (and sometimes happily) accepting “compliments” from strangers who say: “Wow!” or “Beautiful” or “I want some of that!” Slowly, we begin to look forward to this type of attention. We want more and want more, more frequently. So we expose more and more of our outer and inner selves, with greater and greater frequency. We run the danger then of becoming exhibitionists while suffering the delusion that it is all photo-album private. Also, no one can really reach out and touch us on the Net, right? Wrong! Several children have committed suicide that have been traced to online bullying. Adults are not invulnerable either. To be candid, I

would never post or allow to have posted on these media sites a picture of my young daughter unless firm security protocols were in place. But even the US State Department could not help itself from being hacked. And neither could e-bay. That said, I know of well-meaning parents who have posted up pictures of young girl children, but who take extreme care to monitor who is looking, what comments are being made, and what is being conveyed. I know of more parents in Guyana who have no idea of the computer nor the Internet and nothing at all of the potential perils of social media. In our country, the great majority are still stumbling around exploring the ways to use computer technology. Even the young who appear to pick up quickly HOW to use the technology can seldom tell us how it works, and they seldom have the intellectual sophistication to recognise potential dangers. On the other hand, many of the older generation have the wisdom to know some of the ugly ways of the world, but have no idea of how to boot up a computer much less manipulate the mechanics of the technology.


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

This week's Crossword

J k es Tickets please

Three lawyers and three engineers were travelling by train to the same meeting. At the station, the lawyers each buy a ticket but the engineers buy just one. When asked why, the engineers coyly said "You'll see." They all board the train, the lawyers taking seats, but the three engineers all crowding into the bathroom. After the train has left, the conductor comes around and takes the lawyers tickets and knocks on the bathroom door and says, "Ticket Please." An arm stretches out from the bathroom and the conductor takes the proffered ticket. The lawyers were very impressed. On the return trip, the lawyers proposed to emulate the gearheads and bought only one ticket. To their amazement, the engineers bought no ticket at all. When asked, the engineers said, "You'll see." All board the train and the lawyers and engineers cram into separate bathrooms to await the conductor. After a few minutes, one of the gearheads emerges from the bathroom, goes over to the lawyers' bathroom, knocks on the door and says: "Ticket please."

Is Mr Smith there?

This week's Puzzle

A law firm receptionist answered the phone the morning after the firm's senior partner had passed away unexpectedly. "Is Mr Smith there?" asked the client on the phone. "I'm very sorry, but Mr Smith passed away last night," the receptionist answered. "Is Mr Smith there?" repeated the client. The receptionist was perplexed. "Perhaps you didn't understand me I'm afraid Mr. Smith passed away last night." "Is Mr Smith there?" asked the client again. "Ma'am, do you understand what I'm saying?� said the exasperated receptionist. "Mr Smith is DEAD!" "I understand you perfectly," the client sighed. "I just can't hear it often enough."

Famous sports quotes

New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season: "I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first." Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann 1996: "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh: "I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes."

Police emergency

see solution on page 46

This is the true story of George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi, who was going to bed when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the shed. George opened the door to go turn off the light but saw there were people in the shed in the process of stealing things. He immediately phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?" and George said no and explained the situation. Then they explained that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be there when available. George said, "Okay," hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again. "Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I've just shot them all." Then he hung up. Within five minutes three squad cars, an Armed Response unit, and an ambulance showed up. Of course, the police caught the burglars red-handed. One of the policemen said to George: "I thought you said that you'd shot them!" George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


uyana is proud that we hosted the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and that Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh served as the Bank’s Chairman for the last year. President of the CDB, Dr Warren Smith alluded to the need for the Caribbean to frontally reject fossil fuel-based energy and to embrace a new energy paradigm. He insisted that energy cost and reliability represent one of the greatest barriers confronting development in Caricom. More than 90 per cent of Caricom’s energy is fossil-fuel dependent. For two major reasons, Caricom countries must pursue a new dispensation and a new paradigm: one is purely economics and the other is environmental and climate change. Dependency on expensive fossil fuels is a foolish and unsustainable option. The worn-out generating plants now have placed an enormous burden on Caricom countries.

Economic suffocation

The high and volatile price of electricity is suffocating for our economies. Electricity prices in the Caribbean are among the highest in the world, and they fluctuate greatly with the global price of oil. The primary cause of the high cost of electricity is that

A new energy paradigm

A practical and wise choice is being politicised by persons and organisations that are bent on destroying Guyana’s chance of better lives for all of our people

most Caribbean countries use diesel and heavy fuel oil for electricity generation. Trinidad and Suriname at about six US cents per kilowatt hour are among the lowest cost and similar to charges in the USA. But Antigua at 42 US cents and other countries that pay more than 30 US cents pay tariffs that are unsustainable. Guyana’s tariff rates are at about 32 US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Oil has contributed much of the prosperity of the 20th Century, which can be labelled the “Age of Oil”. As much as oil has contributed to the prosperity of the world, it has also contributed to the agony of the world.

But while oil laid the foundation for unprecedented economic growth in the world, access to petroleum has factored into many of the modern era’s international conflicts, including the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991. It has shaped the geopolitics between and among Western economies, the Middle East and the rest of the developing world. For Guyana and her Caricom sister nations, except Trinidad and Suriname, while oil-based energy is important for our present development, its cost is prohibitive. Because of its prohibitive cost, oil-based energy is

“sucking the blood” out of the economy and prosperity of our countries today. Limitless alternative energy Outside of this also is the fact that oil-based energy systems contribute to Caricom’s carbon footprint. It is true Caricom’s carbon emission rate is low, but a substantial portion of our carbon footprint is from fuel. A new energy paradigm, forged by technological advances, resource and environmental constraints and socioeconomic demands, has emerged. This paradigm is based, not on a finite stock of fossil fuels, but on a virtually limitless flow of renewable energy – sun, wind, water, wood, the earth’s heat – and on the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen. Times Notebook predicts that by 2030, Caricom’s energy would be based on alternative forms of energy, with fossil fuelbased energy accounting for less than 20 per cent of the region’s energy. In Guyana, for example, hydroelectricity and solar energy can displace more than 90 per cent of fossil fuel-based energy by 2020. The same can be said for countries like Dominica, St Kitts, Grenada and others, which can develop geothermal energy – energy from the heat of the earth’s core. Guyana embraced the notion

of a new energy paradigm within our LCDS model of development, articulated since 2009. The investment to make the Amaila Falls Hydroelectricity Project is a concrete expression of our commitment to a new energy paradigm. More than anything else, Dr Smith’s call for a new energy paradigm in Caricom is an endorsement of Guyana’s energy strategy. Guyana’s Opposition political parties and anti-government commentators have combined to slow Guyana’s progress towards a new energy paradigm. A practical and wise choice is being politicised by persons and organisations that are bent on destroying Guyana’s chance of better lives for all of our people. Nations that anticipate and position themselves for the transition are likely to reap an array of social, economic and environmental benefits. Those who remain mired in the status quo will only prolong the fossil-fuel legacy of ecological instability and political insecurity, leaving them less prepared to face the challenges of the new millennium. Guyana has taken a bold stance and should be rapidly moving towards attaining a new energy paradigm; we will reap the benefit of social and economic prosperity.


Travel & Tourism

WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 | Spectacular view in Kurupung


urupung is located in the heart of the Mazaruni River area in the Pakaraima mountain range. It is known for its scenic beauty and vast, spectacular forest, and is filled with caves and is excellent for exploration. It is mainly a mining town, with an exploding population of coastlanders, Venezuelans and Brazilians. While the main business activity is mining, many visit the area to enjoy its lush nature. Life in Kurupung is quiet, with clean air and bountiful fruits and vegetables. (Photos by Nicholas Chuckasang) Cover photo: View of the mountain from the Mazaruni river

A flower found on the mountain

A scenic view of the Kumerau Falls

River rapids near Kumerau Falls


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


The designer (center) with models wearing his designs

ocal designer Nelsion Nurse recently launched his new collections at the Theatre Guild. His line will be showcased at Style Mission on 21 June at the Pegasus Hotel in aid of spreading awareness on Sickle Cell. His applauded collection Bold Instincts (black and White) is a business casual/ semi-formal collection for males and females. “Black and white are always used to symbolise strength and wisdom and Bold Instincts tells the story of the undying determination to reach one’s goals, whether it be the business oriented mother or the sophisticated guy,” the designer said in an interview with Guyana Times

Sunday Magazine. Nurse’s other collection, Euphoria (coloured), is described as “a hot Caribbean flavoured collection that goes from swimwear to evening gowns”. It is a comfortable and breezy collection that is perfect for any occasion.

“Euphoria brings the joy and beauty of the Caribbean together, with radiant colours perfect for anyone who wants to be different,” Nurse noted. For more information on this collection, call 226-3099. (Photos by Helio Phoeli)

Resolution calling on the Department for the Aging to ensure that Halal meals are available as part of the home delivered meals program. By Council Member Eric Ulrich


hereas, The federal government provides local agencies on aging with funding for nutritional programs for seniors through the Older Americans Act; and Whereas, The New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) contracts with non-profit organizations to operate nutrition programs offering seniors home delivered meals; and Whereas, In 2013, DFTA contractors delivered 4.25 million meals to seniors throughout the City, serving approximately 17,000 each day; and Whereas, According to DFTA, a number of home delivered meal providers offer specialized meals such as kosher meals and culturally relevant meals to those identifying as Chinese, Polish, and Korean; and Whereas, It is estimated that between 600,000 and one million Muslims live in New York City; and Whereas, Observant Muslims adhere to a Halal diet, consuming only approved foods that have been prepared in accordance with Islamic law; and Whereas, Currently, none of the 16 contractors currently participating in DFTA's home delivered meal program offer Halal meals; and Whereas, Free home delivered meals can help prevent disease, reduce the effects of chronic illnesses, promote socialization, and keep low-income seniors from going hungry; and Whereas, Offering culturally and religiously appropriate meals allows more seniors in the City's increasingly diverse aging population to benefit from the home delivered meals program; and Whereas, Many Muslim seniors would go hungry rather than go against their religious beliefs by eating non-halal meals; now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the Department for the Aging to ensure that Halal meals are available as part of the home delivered meals program.


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Arts & culture


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


ailing from the Pomeroon River, Everley Austin has been creating ceramic masterpieces for more than 43 years, incorporating his artistic flavour of colour and distinct designs. Of Warrau and African-Guyanese descent, 66-year-old Austin started making ceramics pieces from the early age of nine. He copied the designs from Chinese vases and used ordinary paint for the finish. The pieces were unfired: lathered water colour and a coat of lacquer were used. In a past interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Austin said that his mother provided scope for his creation by giving away his work, so there was always a space in the home for another piece. Born March 3, 1948, Austin noted: “Since from childhood I would create many ceramic pieces; it came naturally to me, and my mother would always encourage me. She kept giving away my ceramic work so that there is always room for more pieces, which motivated me to continue.” In 1969 he was exposed to finished ceramic pieces when he participated in an exhibition of clay and clay products. Then in 1970, after an interview for the entrance to the Pre Service Teachers’ Training College, he was recommended for a scholarship to study ceramics at the Royal College of Art in London. After training college, he continued to create his ceramic pieces and went back to the Pomeroon to continue teaching, but not for long. He was requested to return to Georgetown in 1973 to teach where he and several of his colleagues startedthe Sophia Centre for delinquents. He taught Art and Craft. Later, he became a part-time student of the Burrowes School of Art in 1975 and in 1976 was awarded a conditional scholarship to study fine arts at the Jamaica School of Art. At that school, Austin gradu-

Artist Everley Austin

ated with an Honour. Returning to Guyana, he graduated and commenced working at the Burrowes School of Art in 1980. In that year, he participated in an exhibition at the Jamaica Pegasus, and later that same year mounted a one-man show at the John Pear Tree Gallery Jamaica. From 1982 to 1990 he was the judge for Guyfesta Art and Craft Exhibitions. He was also a judge for the Children’s Mashramani Costume Competition for many years, and later became the Chief Judge. He was responsible for decorating the National Park for the Mashramani Anniversary celebrations. In 1992 and 1996 he took works from Guyana’s art collection to Trinidad for Carifesta, and in 1994 set up a special art exhibition for Her Majesty Queen’s Elizabeth’s visit to Guyana. This exhibition was later one of the first displayed at the National Art Gallery at the Castellani House. Austin was the first curator of Castellani House from 1994 to 1996, and was responsible for mounting the exhibits for the opening of the African Heritage Museum (then called the Museum of African Art and Ethnology) under Dr Denis Williams. In 2001, he migrat-

Small Mixing Bowl

ed to Botswana where he taught the general subject of art for two years. He returned to Guyana in 2006 and recommenced his teaching at the Burrowes School of Art. “When I’m sculpting I think of nature. Most of excitement is from glazing them, and when I create these too I think about the likes of people which sometimes motivate me to create extraordinary pieces. Clay is very exciting and easy to work for me because of being in it for many years,” Austin noted. For decades, Austin has been responsible for introducing the elements and practical methods of ceramic-making to scores of students in Guyana and elsewhere. For more information on the artist, contact Castellani House on 2250579.


Storage jar


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Times does change and people does change too


imes does change and people does change wid de times. That is why old people seh this time nah long time. It even gotta song that seh very de same ting. Every ting people do now used to be done a different way long ago, and it gon be done a different way next couple a years. De people who doin dem does change too. Nutten and no body does stay de same. Although it got some exceptions like wid people who does be House Slave fuh life, dem does still change in certain ways…like who was dem master long ago and who is dem master now. So it does all come back to de fact that nutten does remain de same fuh too long. Rum Jhaat don’t stay wid one bottle fuh too long at 7-owe-4. As fuh GT de garbage town, even wid two Town Clerks de s.ity don’t stay clean fuh long. And not even dem beauty queens who does look good fuh today and tomorrow does look good fuh too long. Just watch dem next year and yuh gon see fuh yuh self. Is only one beauty queen pun 69 does look de same way all de time. And in this case yuh can never be sure if de looks got any ting to do wid de number of de station. At least every body know that de 69 owner would never tek a 6 and turn it over fuh it look like a 9. But it musbe a good reason why de beauty queen choose 69 and not 6 to look fuh a piece a wuk. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! First of all, 6 way smaller than 69. And when yuh tink bout de owner fuh 6, he like turn over 6 to mek into a 9. And all dem people at 6, seh de owner like to turn over tings. Dem even seh that is why he end up in trouble, which might land he in a cold concrete room fuh 6 + 9 years!

Trinidad’s oldest indentured immigrant dies a day after celebrating 110th birthday


RINIDAD: Soogaree Jattan, Trinidad and Tobago’s oldest surviving indentured worker who turned 110 on Indian Arrival Day, last Friday, has died. Soogaree, who came to Trinidad from India in 1908 when she was just four years old, was pronounced dead at 4.10 pm Saturday at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex where she was warded for three days prior to her passing. Chief Executive Officer of the North Central Regional Health Authority Kumar Boodram confirmed her demise. He said he was in the ward when she “took her last breath”. On her birthday last Friday, Soogaree was visited by a few family members including her daughter Anandai Ramlagan. Genealogist Shamshu Deen, who has known Soogaree for over 25 years told TT media that he went to the hospital to see her Saturday, but was not allowed in the ward as the doctors were trying to resuscitate her. “I knew her for so long, I thought she would live forever. I used to boast about her and hold her up as an example. Now she is no longer there,” he said sadly. Deen said he met Soogaree’s great-grand-daughter at the hospital Saturday who told him that she had grandchildren. He said that means that Soogaree has great, great, great grandchildren.

Soogaree Jattan (TT Newsday photo)

“That is exceptional, as a researcher I have never met someone with great, great, great grandchildren, it’s a first for me,” he said. Deen said Soogaree never knew her exact date of birth so decided to celebrate her birthday on Indian Arrival Day.

Soogaree who was believed to be the oldest living person in Trinidad and Tobago, if not the Caribbean, was admitted to the Mt Hope hospital last Thursday. She was receiving oxygen and drips at the hospital and was being treated for fluid in her lungs. (TT Newsday)



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


n the late 19th century, the decision was made for the construction of a market that would stand the test of time in order to accommodate the increasing number of vendors in Georgetown; that market has survived to this very day. While little official information appears available about the history of Bourda Market, previous unofficial research relates that Bourda market was originally built in 1880, and was soon reconstructed in 1902 to accommodate a growing number of vendors and consumers. The market got its name from the famous colonial, Joseph Bourda, who was also the propri-

The Clock Tower

View of Bourda Market from the north-eastern corner

etor of the Vlissengen Plantation, and was one of the many colonials who found their final resting place in the Bourda cemetery which is opposite the market. A

place now neglected and overgrown with bush. The actual Bourda market borders on the north and south by Robb and Regent Streets respectively, and on the east and west by Orange Walk and Bourda Street. The market has a long history that goes back to the 1870s when mention was just made of the Bourda market in the City Council’s minutes book. The area in which the market is situated seems from very early in its history to have been where people gather to vend their produce on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. From this humble beginning the area later developed into a marketing centre.


A section of Bourda market interior

According to Schulder Griffith, who was Clerk of Markets at the time of the study, vendors who normally occupied the Stabroek area came down to the Bourda area to do business after the construction of the Stabroek market began. As early as 1878, a shed was erected to accommo-

date the increase of vendors that now occupied the Bourda area. The Bourda Market was declared a temporary market in 1880. The report of the City Council of 1881 asked the Council to decide whether to make the temporary structure which was the shed to become permanent. After three and a half years of existence, the shed had become unsafe and was therefore in need of much repair. The report added that if the market was to continue permanently it would be necessary to erect a more substantial building and fence it securely. The construction of Bourda Street and drains in the area was laid out in that same year. The 1882 estimate of the City Council shows that a sum of $651.80 was set aside for enclosing the Bourda market an area of 125 x 50 feet approximately. The estimate also includes erecting and painting the fence. In 1901, a plan was prepared of a “new iron market” for Bourda,

but due to the high prices for materials in that year, the decision was made to start construction in the following year. Provision was then made in the 1902 estimates for the construction of the new market.


The foundation stone of the Bourda market was laid on 12 December 1902 enclosing an area of 12,500 square feet, accommodating some 2,328 stalls. Bourda market, like Stabroek market, is enclosed with iron railing. It is a giant timber framed shed with three giant truss roves constructed of wood. A simple iron railed fence surrounds the entire structure. A clock tower was also constructed, which still exists though it is apparently not functioning. This tower is not an imposing structure like its more famous sister, Stabroek Market is - people using the areas can go by the market without really noticing the clock tower. The Bourda Market clock was built by W Potts and Sons Makers of England in 1902. The clock bell is of cast bronze and weighs approximately 500 pounds. Legend has it that this bell is a commemorative bell cast for the coronation of England’s King Edward in 1902. The market was later extended to include what was once called the Bourda Green. The

Bourda Green was paved with concrete, and vending was permitted in the 60s, but the area was later organized and improved by requiring vendors to build stalls so as to remove their produce from off the ground. Further improvements were made as the area was provided with electricity, and stalls had to be made secure to prevent people from sleeping in them since the area that housed the Green was not enclosed. The Bourda Green is a famous historic site because it was where the politicians in the 40s and 50s would gather to stage their political meetings. Many of them launched their political careers on that very ground. The vendors who occupied the Green were mostly from the East Coast of Demerara. The Green is now so filled to capacity that the Merriman’s Mall has to be used for the selling of farmer’s produce. The Bourda Market is a very popular market, and is always buzzing with activity on a daily basis. Almost anything can be purchased in this market without having to go anywhere else. While in need of repair, and in the shadow of the famous Stabroek Market, Bourda Market remains one of the most well-known and utilised traditional buildings in Georgetown.


Bourda Market, British Guiana



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

St. Barnabas Special School

127 years of helping children on the path to success


he St. Barnabas Special School has been consistent in its endeavour to help children with learning disabilities, equipping them with the necessary academic tools for a bright future. The school was established in the year 1887 as a gift from J Roberts Rea. The school had an enrolment of 312 children and catered for children in both the primary and post-primary divisions. There were also a patrol unit, scouts and guides, and young brigade unit attached to the school. Late and former President Hugh Desmond Hoyte was a pupil of this school.

who suffered a learning disability. The idea for a special school to cater for the needs of slow learners arose out of a concern by the Ministry of Education for the relatively large number of students who pass through the school system without even mastering the basic skills in reading and writing. This is a problem not only found in Guyana, but all parts of the world - even in the developed countries. Due to social environment, (psychological, and in some cases physical factors), such students cannot cope with the pace of the normal school system. Inevitably, they

Students with their trophies they won at the national science fair

In 1985, the school was changed from an all-age school to a ‘special’ school for students

experience continued failure, frustration and disappointment, and either dropout of school

Persaud (left) enjoying a light moment with some of the teachers

to join the ranks of the unemployed and street sellers, or simply drift through school until it is time to leave. This project (school) is an attempt to reverse this trend and to give students an opportunity to experience success, to learn at their own rate, and improve their self-concept. Additionally, this project was an attempt to make school life attractive and meaningful by providing stimulating activities, and by working in small groups. Each child is treated as an individual and works at his own pace. They can measure his success as he goes along. They do not have to compete nor have to work under the strain of (external) examination. At the end of the course, which will be for a three-year period, a few of the students have been able to re-enter the normal stream of

the secondary school to write external examinations, while others have pursued studies at vocational centres, the rest have been assisted to gain meaningful employment including self-employment. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, current headmistress Rebecca Persaud stated that the school has come a long way since its conception. It is now equipped with an IT lab with 15 computers, which previously had only three. “We are grateful to the Ministry of Education for this. The ministry has also aided us in completing the Home Economics department and gave us money to purchase items for our children to have the

practical experience of the subject. There are currently five teachers who are trained to work effectively with the children. We also have 37 students enrolled at present. The ministry sends these students to us. They are interviewed first and then sent to us. We offer classes up to Form Three and when the children are ready, after evaluation, they are sent off to mainstream secondary school or to the Guyana Technical Institute or Carnegie School of Home Economics or other similar institutions,” she outlined. Persaud noted that the children are more inclined to learn when using technological equipment, such as the computers. This, she

pointed out, is now used as a strategy to teach the children, which has resulted in students’ excelling academically. The headmistress hopes that more technological materials to aid the learning process for the students can be donated to the school. The school teaches nine subjects: Writing, Pastoral Care (Health and Family Life education), Visual Arts, English A, Mathematics, Home Economics, IT, Sports (indoor and outdoor), Craft. “We are thankful to the businesses, NGOs and parents who have been supporting us throughout the years. We are also thankful for the huge support from the Ministry of Education. We have many success stories of students who have gone on to excel in their studies and careers, this we are proud of. We recently were awarded trophies for our participation in the national science fair. Notably, our children were judged like every other student. And so we continue to excel and are determined to help our children on the path to success,” Persaud declared.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Saif plays peacemaker between Ranbir Kapoor finally commits to Katrina Kaif Karisma, Sunjay Kapoor


ollywood splits tend to be venomous but according to a source present in the judge's chamber on Saturday where Karisma Kapoor and Sunjay Kapoor signed their divorce papers, theirs could be "the ugliest".

The couple had longdrawn arguments while in family court but finally agreed on `divorce by mutual consent', thanks to some well-timed intervention from Karisma's brother-in-law Saif Ali Khan. The source told Mirror that had it not been for the actor, the

proceedings, which lasted six hours, might have ended in an impasse and the quarrelling couple may not have signed the divorce papers at all. The source revealed, "Karisma and Sunjay started hurling accusations at each other from the word go. The couple arrived at the Bandra family court at 11 am and by afternoon, things went out of hand." The scene became so ugly by 2.30 pm that it was assumed that the couple would get a date for another hearing. Seeing that matters were becoming worse, Saif, who was accompanied by wife Kareena Kapoor, decided to take charge. "He had a meeting with Lolo and then spoke to Sunjay too," the source revealed. (TOI)

Shruti Haasan buys house in Mumbai


hruti Haasan has finally bought a house in Mumbai. She will move into the two-bedroom apartment in Andheri later this month, and will have B-Town celebs like Imtiaz Ali and Prachi Desai as her new neighbours. For the actress, who had been staying in a rented apartment in Bandra, the security in the premises remains an important criteria. After a stalker incident last November, she clearly didn't want to take any chance. Sources say her father, actor Kamal Haasan, is quite pleased that his daughter has bought her own home in the city. (TOI)

‘I am secure about whatever I do’ - Sunil Shetty


ctor Sunil Shetty, who will be next seen in Anand Kumar's ‘Desi Kattey’, says he has accepted the generational change and is happy to see young talent in Bollywood do well. "I accept the change around me. I don't like to complain about this gener-

ation or the previous generation. I accept both success and failure and just focus on my work and if a film fails, I move on to a new movie," Shetty stated. "I am secure in whatever I do. I still live with my parents and meet my childhood friends. I have a social life," he added. The 52-year-old actor, who gave hits like ‘Mohra’, ‘Dhadkan’ and ‘Gopi Kishan’ in the '90s, will be seen playing the role of an army officer turned shooting coach in 'Desi Kattey'. Shetty's daughter Athiya Shetty is all set to make her debut in Salman Khan's production 'Hero' opposite Sooraj Pancholi while the actor hopes to launch his son later. (TOI)

‘No friends in the industry’ - Sonakshi Sinha


onakshi Sinha is a well-known actress in Bollywood, but she says she doesn't have any friends in the industry as she has not worked with actresses. "I don't think I have any friends in the industry. If you look at my films, I have done only solo roles and I have not worked with any other actresses in the films. So, I don't interact much with others. If at all we meet, we meet at award functions," said the ‘Dabangg’ star.

Asked if she would like to do a multi-starrer film, she said: "Why not? Of course, I would like to and my next film ‘Action Jackson’ is a multi-starrer film." (TOI)


he much speculated and most talked about couple in B-Town---Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor are finally coming out

of closet with a wedding date! According to reports in Indian media, before the couple flew to CapeTown for Ranbir's

ambitious new film ‘Jagga Jasoos’, their families met to fix the date for the wedding. The reports also suggested that the wedding may even be before year-end. The recent pictures floating on social media of Ranbir-Katrina being caught hand-in-hand is a clear indication that Ranbir has finally committed to this relationship. The sizzling chemistry between the two is quite evident, just like we saw it during their Spain holiday pictures. (TOI)

Priyanka Chopra sends legal notice to former boyfriend and manager


he inevitable has happened. In a bid to thwart the biopic of her former manager, Prakash Jaju, Priyanka Chopra has sent a legal notice to her ex-boyfriend Aseem Merchant, who is producing the film. The actress believes that the film will revolve around her personal and professional life and has sent a copy of the notice to Jaju too. The notice, sent by Priyanka's lawyer Anand Desai states: "Our client is shocked to note that while all the news articles mention the proposed film as your (Jaju's) biopic, the promotions largely refer to our client and inclusion of aspects of her and her family life rather than references to you.” It added, “…Our client calls upon you to withdraw all the publicity ma-

terial of the film with immediate effect, desist using or referring to any personal or confidential information about her and/or her family.” (TOI)

‘Aarav has got my sporting gene’ - Akshay Kumar


kshay Kumar’s father, late Hari Om Bhatia, was in the Indian army. So it doesn’t come as a surprise when the actor says that “discipline was the most important lesson” his dad ever taught him. Now a proud father himself, Akshay is inculcating the same principles in

his 11-year-old son, Aarav. “When I see how I’m bringing him up, I can literally hear my father’s voice in my own,” said Akshay, adding, “Twice a week, I do the same thing [that my father would do with me] with Aarav. I wake him up before the sun comes up and we go for a run on the beach before he leaves for school.” The Bollywood star has also been sending Aarav for karate lessons since he was three-years-old (he now has a brown belt first stripe). “Besides enjoying football and volleyball at school, he also loves gymnastics and parkour,” stated Akshay, who feels that Aarav “has definitely got my sporting gene”. (Hindustan Times)

Vivek Oberoi commemorates 'World No Tobacco Day'


ivek Oberoi along with BEST started the 'No Tobacco day' campaign to commemorate 'World No Tobacco Day' in Mumbai recently. Speaking at the event, the 37-year old actor said that it was his dream to make India Tobacco free, stating, "I am very happy to see that BEST has taken such a good initiative. I have been associated as a brand ambassador with 'World No Tobacco Day' from past 1213 years. This is not just a day but also a dream to make India Tobacco free". World No Tobacco Day 2014 seeks to educate the public with regard to the tobacco industry's harmful tactics and to alert smokers and potential smok-

ers on the most important preventable cause of death and disease in adults. (TOI)

Hollywood Jennifer Lawrence tops mostliked list of female stars


ennifer Lawrence claimed first position in the mostliked summer movie actresses list by TheWrap. com. According to People Magazine, the website ranked the stars by Q Score, a metric which is used in Hollywood to calculate how well does the audience respond

to celebrities, where the 23-year-old Oscar winning star beat actress Melissa McCarthy by just two points while, ‘Maleficent’ star Angelina Jolie ranked third. Meanwhile, 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' star Rosario Dawson was at the bottom of the list at 23. (TOI)

Helen Mirren glad she waited to wed


ame Helen Mirren doesn't think her marriage would have lasted if she had settled down earlier. The 68-year-old actress wed director Taylor Hackford in 1997 after 12 years together, and though they are incredibly happy and she sometimes regrets not meeting him when they were younger, she thinks their relationship is stronger

for it. She said: ''I used to say to Taylor, 'Oh why didn't we meet earlier?' But it's a really good thing, because we probably wouldn't be together now. I couldn't have dealt with him earlier on.'' The 'Queen' actress insists she has no regrets about never having had a child because her work has always come first. (TOI)

George Clooney to become a politician


eorge Clooney wants to launch a career in politics after marrying Amal Alamuddin. The 53-year-old actor, who is ru-

moured to be preparing to tie the knot with the British lawyer in September after getting engaged last month, is reportedly gearing up to take part in the next U.S. election. A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: ''He has big ambitions and aims to get into politics imminently. He wants to do more humanitarian work and hopes to join the Democrats' 2016 election campaign.'' The Oscar-winning producer and actor, who rallied for President Barack Obama ahead of the 2012 election and co-founded humanitarian aid organisation ‘Not On Our Watch’ with several friends, including Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, six years ago, believes Amal, 36, will help boost his chances of securing an official role in the next government. (TOI)

Lindsay Lohan to shift to London


indsay Lohan is reportedly house-hunting in London as she wants to make a fresh start outside the U.S. The ‘Mean Girls’ star, who recently documented her struggle to get her life and career back on track on her self-titled OWN series after her six stints in rehab, thinks it will be good for her career, reported femalefirst. "Lindsay's really enjoying being in the UK and has told her pals that she's staying here for good," The Sun newspaper quoted



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Justin Bieber apologises for racist joke in years-old video


ustin Bieber has apologised for a racist joke heard during a fiveyear-old video clip of the singer that was widely circulated online, calling the comment a "reckless and immature mistake." In the clip--which was originally

recorded when the singer was 15 but has recently surfaced by British tabloid newspaper The Sun on Sunday-the pop star is heard telling a joke with a racist punch line. It has since been posted on TMZ. Bieber is heard asking, "Why are black people afraid of chain saws?" He then answers his own query with a reference to the N-word. Bieber, through a representative, released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter addressing the matter: “As a kid, I didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt…Five years ago I made a reckless and immature mistake, and I'm grateful to those close to me who helped me learn those lessons as a young man. Once again…I'm sorry.”

Nicole Kidman 'proud' of her children with ex Tom Cruise


icole Kidman feels "proud" of her two children with former husband Tom Cruise for the adults they've become. While talking to the Australian Women's Weekly, the 46-year-old beauty, who is also a mother to two daughters with husband Keith Urban, said that both Isabella and Connor Cruise are kind and hardworking, and are doing brilliantly with the creative and artistic fields they have chosen, News. reported. Both Connor, who's a DJ, and Isabella, a student at Art School in

London, live in Los Angeles, and it is said the cause of their family rift is their dedication to Cruise's belief in Scientology. (TOI)

Angelina Jolie may quit acting post playing 'Cleopatra'


ngelina Jolie admitted that though she was working on a Cleopatra biopic, the project may be her last venture as an actress. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, the 38-year-old actress said that there were numerous ideas for the film and though it was complicated to get it right, they were getting close and the preparation would

certainly be huge, US Magazine reported. She added since the project was so big, she feels it to be one of those with which she can end her acting career in a great way. Jolie had recently confessed to an American Newspaper as well, saying that acting was her mother's choice for her, and she only realised in her mid-30's that she wanted to focus on other things. (TOI)

Tom Cruise's narrow escape as a child

A The news comes after the 27-year-old moved back to her native New York City from Los Angeles earlier this year. (TOI)

ctor Tom Cruise says that he narrowly escaped a serious injury during his childhood when he tried to emulate a stunt by Evel Knievel. The 51-year-old was a big fan of the stuntman and decided to recreate one of Knievel's famous canyon jumps, reported "I saw Evel Knievel jumping off a canyon and I lived on a steep hill so set up boards and trash cans to copy him. I was about eight years old and my sisters begged me not to do it, as I had been to the hospital a few times by this point," said Cruise. Cruise set up ramps so he could leap

over several trash cans on his pushbike, but his speedy descent down a steep hill and ended in disaster. When he careered into the bins and was left covered in blood on the sidewalk. (TOI)

Madonna's manager Guy Oseary, which made the pop star freeze Moore out of her life, reported "Ashton has flat-out stolen Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, as a friend from

Demi, and now Guy and Madge have mutually frozen Demi out of their lives," a source told "Ashton and Guy have become super close. They would often throw parties together be-

fore Mila Kunis found out she was expecting," added the source. Kutcher and Moore split up in 2011 and their divorce was finalised in 2013. (TOI)

a source as saying. "Lindsay has also started investigating getting acting work in London," added the source.

ctor Ashton Kutcher has reportedly destroyed ex-wife and actress Demi Moore's friendship with singer Madonna. Kutcher, 36, has got friendly with



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

TT’s Walcott, Lalonde Limacol CPL match struggle at Diamond League times confirmed



nited States: T r i n i d a d and Tobago Olympians Keshorn Walcott and Lalonde Gordon both struggled in their respective disciplines when the IAAF Diamond League continued in Eugene, Oregon, Saturday. Walcott, who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics, finished seventh in the men’s javelin event, this time with a 75.50m throw, a step back from his 83.94m meet-winning effort at the IAAF World Challenge, in Beijing, China, two weeks ago. Walcott started with two faults and his third attempt was not good enough to put him among the top six, who were given a further three throws. In the end, Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic won the event with an 83.75 throw, which put him on five points to remain the Diamond League javelin leader. Andreas Thorkildsen (80.52) and Dmitriy Tarabin (80.28) placed second and third, respectively. Meanwhile, Gordon, TT’s double bronze medalist, suffered bitter dis-

Keshorn Walcott

appointment after he was unable to finish the 400m dash after pulling up with an injury. Grenada’s Olympic champion Kirani James and Lashawn Merritt of the USA, who held the world leading mark, both crossed the line in 43.97 in a new world leading tie. Finishing third was Youssef Ahmed Masrahi of Saudi Arabia, who clocked 44.77. In other Diamond League results, Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills claimed the women’s 400m with a 50.40-second finish, ahead of USA’s Francena McCorory (50.53) and another Jamaican Stephanie

McPherson (50.63). Jamaica also came up big in the women’s 400m hurdles, via Kaliese Spencer who took her Diamond League points tally to six with win in a world leading time of 54.29. USA’s Kori Carter (55.22) and Tiffany Williams (55.97) finished well behind in second and third. In the men’s 110m (wind +0.8), Pascal MartinotLagarde of France placed first in a world leading 13.13 mark, and was followed by Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment (13.20) and USA’s David Oliver (13.21), in second and third, respectively. (TT Guardian)

he Limacol C a r i b b e a n Premier League (CPL) has unveiled the start times of the 37 games set to make up the Biggest Party in Sport. A mixture of morning, afternoon and evening fixtures will cater for all audiences across the Caribbean, and ensure that an ever increasing fan base around the globe will be able to catch all of the action from what is set to be an exhilarating six weeks of high octane T20 action. “We saw from last year’s tournament that

whatever time of day, the Caribbean people will come out to support the Limacol CPL and create the unique, energetic atmosphere that has made the competition famous,” said Damien O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer LCPL. “A high percentage of last year’s fans were families, so it makes sense for us to ensure they are catered for with earlier starts, in addition to local and global television audiences who are eager to follow the action ballby-ball. “The LCPL, which

thrilled sell-out crowds in six countries across the Caribbean in 2013, is once again looking to excite fans with high intensity T20 cricket for the 2014 tournament. “Grenada, known for its vibrant culture and hospitality, will serve as the opening venue to showcase the region’s most exciting domestic Twenty20 tournament. Global stars including Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Kevin Pietersen and Muttiah Muralitharan will take part in the ‘Biggest Party in Sport’,” he added.



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Trinidad: Marvin Oliver is Central Guyana names Commonwealth FC Player of the Year


Marvin Oliver leaps to head the ball during one of his Pro League performances (TT Guardian photo)

RINIDAD: Thirtyeight year-old midfielder Marvin Oliver was named Player of the Year when Digicel TT Pro League club, Central FC held its 2013/2014 season Dinner and Awards function at Super Industrial Services (SIS) Auditorium, Couva in Trinidad last Wednesday night. Oliver, who recently penned a two-year extension and turns 39 in August, beat top performers and Trinidad and Tobago internationals Willis Plaza, Rundell

Winchester and goalkeeper JanMichael Williams, and brothers Elton John and Jason Marcano to the award. But Oliver, who won similar awards at former clubs Caledonia AIA and San Juan Jabloteh, prefers to share his latest award with his Central teammates. “My teammates deserve to share the award with me,” said the classy midfielder, who in 2007 had won the Toyota/TT Pro League Player of the Year award. My name was called to receive the

award but I wouldn’t have been voted the top Central FC player if it wasn’t for the support of my teammates on and off the field. We worked as a team and they allowed me to strive and do what I do best,” he said. Oliver admitted however, that it was a tremendous accomplishment for him, especially at his age, and was again thankful for the support of his teammates and coaching staff. Twenty-year-old Tobagonian Winchester, whose deceptive speed caused problems for opposing teams and excited the league, grabbed three awards on the night. Winchester was named the Central FC’s “Young Player of the Year” and also walked away with the “Goal of the Season” and “Supporters’ Choice Goal of the Year. Plaza with 18 goals in 20 matches for the “Sharks” was a sensation since joining the club during the mid-season (December/ January) transfer window and picked up the club’s “Golden Boot” and “Most Offensive Player” awards. Toyota/TT Pro League 2006 “Player of the Year”, goalkeeper Williams, was awarded the “Most Defensive Player” accolade, ahead of top defenders Yohance Marshall and Elton John. John’s work however, didn’t go unnoticed, and he picked up the Supporters’ Player of the Year, while brother Marcano was chosen as the Players’ Player of the Year. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)


Winston George

Adam Harris

EORGETOWN, G U Y A N A : Guyana will be a part of the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games and has officially named its track team for the event set to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23 to August 3. The Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) has named a three-member team that will consist of all males namely Olympians Adam Harris and Winston George, along with South American under-23 bronze medalist Stephan James. World junior Silver

medalist Kadecia Baird who was shortlisted for the event opted not to attend due to the World Junior championships being around the same time, according to President of the AAG Aubrey Hutson. Harris will be featuring in the 100 metres while both George and James are expected to participate in both the 200 and 400 metres. All three of the members are overseas preparing for the meet with both Harris and George recording extremely good times in their latest competitions. (Guyana Times)


TT’s Sport Minister lobbies WICB for Narine’s inclusion


O R T - O F S P A I N , TRINIDAD: TT’s Sports Minister Anil Roberts has asked the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to reconsider their decision to rule off-spinner Sunil Narine ineligible for selection for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. Narine opted to stay behind in India to represent Kolkata Knight Riders in Monday’s Indian Premier League final against Kings XI Punjab, instead of returning to join the ongoing West Indies camp by the stipulated June 1 deadline. The WICB announced last Friday that Narine’s decision would rule him out of consideration for the threeTest series against New Zealand that bowls off on June 8 at Sabina Park in Jamaica. However, in a lengthy official letter to WICB president Dave Cameron, Roberts argued that Narine’s unavailability for the bulk of the ongoing preparation camp should not make him ineligible for

trade not for himself but for the people of the Caribbean who will turn

Sunil Narine (WICB photo)

selection. He said while he understood and agreed with the “country first policy”, Narine’s inclusion in no way compromised this principle. “I put it to you today that allowing Sunil Narine to participate in the final of the IPL on June as a West Indian, as a “Trinbagonian”, as an ambassador of Caribbean brilliance and then ensuring that he arrives at the West Indian

training camp post haste does not, will not, and cannot breach any of the tenets of your “country first policy,’” Roberts wrote. He added: “Mr Narine is not on holiday with his family, he is not shopping, and he is not viewing the NBA Playoffs. He is plying his professional trade in what stands as the epitome of international quality cricket in the world today. He is plying that

on their TV sets and tune in with 1.3 billion people across the globe to sup-

port the West Indian Sunil Narine.” (Antigua Observer)



WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Kevin O’Brien excited for Limacol CPL 2014

- hard-hitting Irishman returns to the TT Red Steel with high hopes


evin O’Brien is back for the Limacol Caribbean Premier League 2014 (LCPL) and he is coming with high expectations. After helping the Red Steel to reach the semi-finals in the inaugural season in 2013, he is aiming to go all the way this year. The 2014 edition of the LCPL will be back in just under six weeks when the Caribbean will once again light up for this thrilling party atmosphere across 30 exciting matches. “I am very excited to be back in the Caribbean and happy that the Red Steel resigned me,” the Dublinborn cricketer said. “As well as looking forward

to linking up with the Red Steel team again, I’m also looking forward to meeting the new players.” The LCPL will add two new locations to this season’s event with the Spice Isle, Grenada, hosting the opening games and St. Kitts and Nevis the closing round. Kevin (who also runs his own cricket academy based in Dublin) says: “CPL is going from strength to strength and the addition of new venues will definitely add to the brand image, so I am really excited to be a part of it, and I’m especially looking forward to the opening set of games in Grenada.”

Other changes this year include each team playing two more league games which the 2013 Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year thinks is great news; “It gives us (Red Steel) an opportunity to gel more and develop our team chemistry. I am familiar with some of the new players in the squad, like Jamshed, who I faced when we (Ireland) played Pakistan and also Kennar Lewis of Jamaica who I came across in the Nagico Super50 a few months ago.” On this year’s competition, O’Brien (who scored the fastest century in Cricket World Cup history) says: “The Tallawahs and Amazon

Kevin O’Brien

Warriors remain the favourites, but each team in this season’s CPL has at least two to three match- winners, so it is going to be interesting. Gayle, Russell, Narine, Santokie–these are just a few of the players who can make a huge impact this season, they’re all quality cricketers.” Kevin O’Brien will travel to the Caribbean in early July to meet with the team and begin preparation for CPL 2014. “I am with Surrey now in England, but on July 5th, I will head out to the Caribbean and join up with Red Steel. I can’t wait.” So it’s all eyes on the Irishman this year as the tournament gets under way in mid-July.

James faces uphill task TT women face Central Americans for spot in Italy to represent Guyana By Treiston Joseph


verseas-based sprinter Stephan James is facing difficult times on the road to representing Guyana at the Commonwealth Games set for July in Scotland. The talented sprinter, who will accompany Adam Harris and Winston George to the games as his teammates, recently clocked 46.15s in his 400 metres at the School Nationals in America but is unable to prepare for the games in the best of ways. “Training is coming good, but over here it’s tough because I’m not getting to train everyday but it’s coming good. All I can say is that it’s hard over here and it’s like I still live with my mother and father because I have to depend on them,” he told Guyana Times International Sport. When questioned on the reason for the tough period along with him being unable to train every day, the South American under-23 bronze medallist simply responded, “funds.” The heavily built sprinter is on a two -year scholarship at the ASA College in New York, U. S. A, James still depends on his parents in Guyana for financial aid for his daily support. While James noted that the Athletics

Members of the senior TT women’s volleyball team pose for a team photo before the start of the 2014 FIVB Women’s World Championship qualification tournament NORCECA Pool Q qualifiers held at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum, La Habana, Cuba earlier last month (TT Guardian file photo)

T Stephan James

Association of Guyana (AAG) does not help with his finances, James noted that he does not think that they are aware of the situation. However, James plans on representing Guyana well at the 20th edition of the games set for Glasgow, Scotland. “I’m feeling good and I want to take it step by step but I’m looking forward to running a fast time. “I am looking to hit a

low 45s and like I said; just taking everything step by step,” the burly sprinter noted. Further, James said that he was excited to be representing his country again and looks forward to doing great things for Guyana. The Commonwealth Games will begin on July 23 and will run until August 3 and some of the best athletes around the world will be taking to the track.

RINIDAD: TT’s senior women’s volleyball team will have almost three extra weeks to prepare for their hosting of the FIVB Women’s World Championship Fourth Round qualifiers to Italy after a decision was taken by NORCECA to push the competition dates back from June 2-9 to June 22-30. And when the fiveteam competition gets going at the Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Saith Park, Chaguanas, the KellyAnne Billingy-led “Calypso Spikers” will do battle with Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua after all five teams were secondplaced finishers in their respective Third Round groups from which the winners gained tickets to

the World Championship carded for Italy in September. In the five fourteam groups played, Canada clinched the top spot in Pool S by beating Mexico; Puerto Rico overwhelmed Costa Rica in their Pool R decider; USA topped Panama in Pool O; in Pool P, the Dominican Republic crushed Nicaragua and Cuba’s 14-year-old Melissa Vargas smashed her way through to win MVP honours and led her team to win the Pool Q final. It will be the second straight occasion that Billingy and her teammates will be competing in a Fourth Round playoffs for a World Championship spot after missing a place in Japan during the 2010 qualifiers.

It was the second win in the tournament for TT over Barbados while the locals also swept past Honduras and Anguilla in their round-robin matches. Earlier last month in Cuba, TT overcame Haiti and Curacao both in four-sets before losing to host Cuba, in their final round-robin match, and in the gold medal contest with a ticket to Italy at stake, both by 0–3 margins. The other teams to qualify for the Women’s event in Italy are Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Croatia, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, as well as hosts Italy, thus far. (TT Guardian)


Barbados replace Guyana as hosts of third Test


N T I G U A : Kensington Oval in Barbados will host the third Test of the upcoming series between West Indies and New Zealand. The match was pulled from the National Stadium in Guyana last weekend after the failure of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the government to reach agreement over the controversial Cricket Administration Bill.

According to the WICB, the Bill “thrusts the administration of cricket in Guyana from an independent body to the government of Guyana”. Government interference in cricket bodies is frowned on by cricket’s world governing body, the International Cricket Council. The Test match will be played over the same dates from June 26 to 30. “The WICB thanks

the Barbados Cricket Association and the government of Barbados for their commitment in ensuring that the match is successfully hosted following the rescheduling,” a WICB statement said Monday. The opening Test bowls off at Sabina Park in Jamaica from June 8-12 with the second Test scheduled for Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago from June 1620. (Jamaica Observer)

Jamaican Omar Walker lands triple in Canada


A N A D A : Jamaican Omar Walker landed his second triple to share riding honours with female jockey Jennifer Reid on the eight-race card at Assiniboia Downs racetrack in Canada last Saturday. He started his triple in the first race when he guided the Blair Millertrained 'Miss Bear' to victory over five-and-onehalf furlongs (on the dirt). Walker's fine form continued in the second race when he rode the 8-5 favourite 'Best Laid Plans' to victory in a six furlongs (On the dirt)

Jamaican Omar Walker (Jamaica Observer photo)

event over Conventional (Paul Nolan) and Knucklebuster (Renaldo Cumberbatch) in 1:05:40 minutes for trainer William Tourangeau. The Gary Danelson-

trained 'Ol'Steely Blue' then put the icing on the cake for the 31- year-old Walker in the fifth race, an Optional Claiming event for three-year-old upwards over six furlongs (on the dirt). It could have been a fourtimer for Walker but his mount, 'Summer Shadows', went down to 'With Justice' (Jennifer Reid) in the seventh race over five-and-one-half furlongs. Walker remained in fifth position in the jockeys' standing on eight wins, while Reid is in seventh position on four wins. (Jamaica Observer)

53 BT Sport to broadcast Limacol CPL in UK

WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

– two-year deal for exclusive rights to the ‘Biggest Party in Sport’


he Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has signed a two-year deal with UK sports broadcaster, BT Sport, to show exclusive live coverage of the tournament, known as the ‘Biggest Party in Sport’. BT Sport will show live coverage of all thirty Limacol CPL matches this year, with former England spinner Graeme Swann forming part of the commentary team. UK fans will be able to catch all of the live, highoctane action from one of the world’s most exciting T20 competitions, and each match will also be repeated in one-hour highlights shows throughout the tournament. Cricket fans will be able to tune in to watch Kevin Pietersen in action for the St Lucia Zouks, where he will line up alongside Glamorgan’s Darren Sammy, under the guidance of former England assistant coach Matthew Maynard. Other global stars taking part in the tour-

nament include Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Saeed Ajmal and Corey Anderson. BT Sport’s live TV coverage will commence on 11 July at 7pm (UK time) on BT Sport 2, with coverage of the opening clash between Guyana Amazon Warriors and Antigua Hawksbills in Grenada. Damien O’Donohoe, CEO, Limacol Caribbean Premier League, said: “We are delighted to partner with BT Sport who have quickly established themselves as a major player in sports media in the UK. The Limacol Caribbean Premier League was a huge success in its first year and we are now attracting the world’s best players such as Kevin Pietersen. We have big ambitions for the tournament going for-

ward.” Grant Best, senior executive channel producer, BT Sport, said: “We are delighted to continue enhancing and expanding our multi-sport line up by bringing fans not only one of the most exciting cricket tournaments globally, but also the eagerly-awaited return to the crease of Kevin Pietersen.” The Limacol CPL, which thrilled sell-out crowds in six countries across the Caribbean in 2013, is once again looking to excite fans with high intensity T20 cricket for the 2014 tournament. Grenada, known for its vibrant culture and hospitality, will serve as the opening venue to showcase the Region’s most exciting domestic Twenty20 tournament.


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |


WEEK ENDING June 8, 2014 |

Guyana Times International  
Guyana Times International  

The Beacon of Truth June 5th 2014