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Berbician wins Guyana’s chutney title Page 38

You can also read Guyana Times daily edition online at ISSUE NO. 178

week ending February 2, 2014

Gov’t encourages more investments in Linden See story on page 3

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Peace is essential for progress – President Ramotar President Donald Ramotar (centre) greeting Cuban President Raul Castro at the opening of the Mariel Container terminal in Cuba earlier this week. The event coincided with the opening of the CELAC Summit in Havana, Cuba. (GINA photo)


week ending February 2, 2014


NEWS week ending February 2, 2014



Gov’t encourages more investments in Linden


mall businesses in Linden have gotten a new lease on life after government finally appointed a seven-member board to run the affairs of the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN) on Wednesday. After being in existence for approximately four years, LEN, the successor to the Linden Economic Advancement Project (LEAP), was inaugurated at an official ceremony in the mining town. The board comprises Chairman Dunstan Barrow, Andrew Forsythe, Nolan Walton, Yolanda Hilliman, Tarachand Balgobin, Basil Jaipaul and Patrick Dublin. Valerie Patterson serves as coordinator. The inauguration took place inside the Region 10 Business Centre, Macaw conference room. It saw the attendance of Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh; Minister within the Finance Ministry Juan Edghill, Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon, Linden Interim Management Committee (IMC) Chairman Orrin Gordon and various stakeholders, among other special invitees. In his feature address, Dr Singh stated that it is the hope of government that the resuscitation and appointment of the new LEN board will bring a reinvigorated micro enterprise lending and small business environment in Linden,

Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and his junior counterpart, Juan Edghill pose with members of the LEN Board

from which members of the community will benefit. “I wish to assure you that government will remain committed to facilitating more inward investment in Linden. “The long-term prosperity of Linden will not only come from external investors…but will also come from economic diversification…from investment by Lindeners themselves.


“When LEAF (Linden Economic Advancement Fund (LEAF) which ended in 2009) was conceptualised, this was precisely its intention, investment in infrastructure; investment in institutional capacity, that is the building capacity in the business organisation; business incu-

bation… mentoring and encouraging small businesses to be established or to grow and expand their operations; and financing – micro credit, lending for business development… “Under LEAF, more than Gy$700 million was lent to Region 10 entrepreneurs, principally Linden. “In fact, 701 entrepreneurs, would have benefited, loans would have been granted, totalling in excess of Gy$736 million …as a means of encouraging and promoting growth of these small businesses,” he noted. Dr Singh further stated that the sectors were more varied and included agriculture; forestry; hospitality (small hotels, restaurants); manufac-

turing; mining; services; and vending. He stressed that the amount of money was not insignificant and the intention at the time was that it would serve as a revolving fund. The finance minister added that it was also intended that those who would have borrowed would either establish or expand their businesses.


“Bearing in mind, these were small business ideas conceptualised by entrepreneurs in Linden… good business ideas conceptualised by Linden entrepreneurs that was intended to generate profit, create jobs; in fact, by our account, by account of the LEAP office, these 701 loans with a value of Gy$736 mil-

lion would have created 3095 jobs,” he stated. The finance minister emphasised that the LEAP facility was intended to be selfsustainable, in that persons would continuously borrow and repay loans, thus graduating from the micro-credit sector into the formal banking system. This would make it easier for them to acquire loans from banks in an effort to expand their businesses, even at the international level. He pointed out that his ministry is convinced that micro enterprise and small business development is one of the most effective ways of improving lives and livelihood. continued on page 8



week ending February 2, 2014


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Presidential example


he 10th Parliament will go down in our history as the “Chopping” Parliament: nothing like the other specifically named “Long Parliament” of the 17th century. There is no sign of any political geniuses in the opposition benches, which have allowed their control of the National Assembly by a single seat to go to their heads. Rather than performing their constitutionally defined role to scrutinise the operations of the executive, they have embarked on a foolhardy mission to unilaterally extend their powers into the executive domain. They have, for instance, insisted on not merely providing proposals for spending via the budget, but on playing a role in crafting that budget. Even when the courts, to which the executive was forced to seek recourse after the opposition chopped funds from constitutionally created offices, pointed out that this was an exclusive power of the executive, they repeated their excisions. The result of this opposition parliamentary arrogance in arrogating all powers of the government to themselves has led to the government’s developmental programme being derailed. That programme had been designed to push the growth trajectory into another quantum level via the launching of several mega projects that would have provided employment for thousands and also initiate infrastructural innovations to remove several structural constraints to growth. It was mind-boggling that the opposition would use the threat of rescinding a contract between the government of Guyana and the contractor of the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project. In addition to Guyanese and foreign manufacturers being denied the opportunity to secure reliable and inexpensive electricity – the sine qua non of modern manufacturing – Guyana’s “political risk” factor was pushed into the stratosphere. If the insurance for such political risk before the threat was US$55 million, imagine what it will be when we attempt to secure new financing in the near future. But the country cannot be held to ransom in this fashion – a perpetual tug of war in the Parliament. However, all is not lost and the president of Guyana has just been given a clear signal as how to proceed when an executive’s development programme is being stymied by an opposition-controlled legislature. Guyana’s governance system has been called a “hybrid” one, since it combined features of the Westminster system handed down by the British and the presidential one exemplified by the U.S. We have looked generally at British precedents in examining our governance structures, but perhaps it is time we look at the U.S. – especially when the situation is analogous. In the last U.S. general elections, while President Obama won his re-election bid, his Democratic Party failed to secure control of the Congress, just as in Guyana. And also as in Guyana, the opposition Republican-controlled House attempted to stymie the president’s programme. In one case, the Republicans’ brinkmanship brought the entire government to a standstill because of their refusal to pass legislation on spending. President Obama, however, appears to have finally accepted that there is no reasoning with such implacable opposition. Fortunately for him, and America, the U.S. president can take some actions without legislative approval, through the issuance of “executive orders”. Earlier this week, President Obama bluntly informed the joint session of Congress: “I’m eager to work with all of you, but America does not stand still – and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.” Interestingly, the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly mandate “executive orders”, but they are rather inferred from other explicit duties of the executive. It is analogous to what the courts have articulated here: the executive has the power to execute its programme as articulated in its manifesto and they should go ahead to do so regardless of what the opposition-controlled legislature chops. As President Obama said, a country cannot stand still.

Bourda Market, downtown Georgetown, Guyana (Photo : John Greene)

EU continues to help region tackle natural disasters


he European Union (EU) has reaffirmed its commitment towards disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean, allocating 8.5 million euros to its Disaster Preparedness (DIPECHO) Action Plan. Up to the end of 2014, a total of 14 projects in 11 countries will work to reduce the region’s vulnerabilities in the face of natural hazards such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis, and to improve communities and authorities’ preparedness to respond to emergencies. Recent events like the low level trough system which left serious damage in the Eastern Caribbean, especially in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, are a reminder of the need to invest in interventions that can make a difference in determining whether or not a natural hazard becomes a disaster. The EU has also supported the emergency response in those countries with 300,000 euros. “Preparedness measures can be taken to reduce the impact of natural hazards. A community’s response to disasters depends on their preparation,” European Commission’s Department of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), Caribbean head of office Jocelyn Lance said. “DIPECHO projects help communities at risk to anticipate, face, adapt and to recover quickly from disasters. The fact that communities strengthen their capacities and modify their attitudes towards disasters can save lives,” Lance noted. An estimated 654,000 people will benefit from ongoing projects in Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominica, Saint

EU Ambassador Robert Kopecký

Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Relevance Disaster preparedness projects funded by ECHO have demonstrated their relevance and success to improve the response capacity of communities in the Caribbean. Testimonies from countries where these projects are carried out indicate so, after their improved response was tested in the last years by extreme phenomena such as tropical storm “Chantal” or “Hurricane Sandy”. In 2013, heavy rains and landslides caused by tropical storm “Chantal” in several Caribbean islands resulted in the activation of early warning systems installed in previous DIPECHO projects in The Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. The preparedness, the level of organisation and the necessary equipment (radios, shovels, loudspeakers, raincoats, etc) allowed the popula-

tion to be alert and to evacuate on time towards shelters rehabilitated in the framework of these projects. More positive experiences come from previous years. During the emergency caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the communities which had been part of DIPECHO projects responded quickly and effectively. In Jamaica and Cuba, having prepositioned stocks such as cooking, household and hygiene items enabled relief to address from the onset of the emergency the most pressing needs. In addition, local authorities responsible for disaster management in Jamaica and The Dominican Republic put in practice the data collection training sessions received in the framework of DIPECHO projects. According to their testimonies, these trainings were of great help to determine the extent of the damages caused by Sandy and to respond more adequately to the needs of the affected population.

news week ending February 2, 2014



Gov’t mulling ways to revive hydro power project


ith the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) signalling their intention to support the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project, government is analysing possible avenues that can be taken to resuscitate the US$800 million project. Before crumbling in 2013, the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project (AFHEP) was a private sector-led initiative, designed to be financed through the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) and China Development Bank (CDB) with equity from Sithe Global Inc and the government of Guyana. The China Railway First Group (CRFG) was identified for the construction of the facility.

Drawing board

Addressing a Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday, Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Chairman Winston Brassington said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration went back to the drawing board following the occurrences in the National Assembly

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds sitting beside GPL Chairman Winston Brassington (second left) and GPL Chief Executive Officer Bharat Dindyal at the parliamentary sectoral meeting

in August 2013, with the hope of resuscitating the project. According to Brassington, CDB has pledged to pump US$500 million into the materialisation of the project with the remaining committed as well. CDB has also indicated its willingness to pour more funds into the project to fill any gap. Sithe Global had pulled out of the project in August 2013, two days after the National Assembly failed to meet consensus on legislative arrangements deemed necessary to move the project forward. The company had already expended approximately US$16 million on preparatory work. On Wednesday, Brassington informed

the natural resources sectoral committee that the IDB’s due diligence report was incomplete when Sithe Global pulled out. The due diligence report was funded by Sithe Global. However, he disclosed that arrangements have been made to move the process forward, thereby having the report completed by the end of the first quarter. “There are two possible parts: one, a Chineseled part where they step up and fill the gap, and the other, which is depending on a lot of things happening, trying to see a way to get the existing partners to resuscitate the existing arrangement,” said Brassington. He said if at the end of the first quarter, options with existing part-

ners are not available, other investors are showing significant interest. “But recognising the sustainable level of work and level it has gone into preparing this project by the existing partners, they offer a better chance because anyone coming new would have to start afresh,” he explained. Brassington made it clear that a large percentage of the information on the Amaila Falls project is owned by Sithe Global, even though it is in the public domain. “It is not automatic; you just can’t take that, so there are those sorts of nuances that need to be considered,” he said.

IDB report




Parliament Joseph Harmon said the findings in the IDB report will determine whether the coalition will support the project, but expressed concerns over funding of the project by the U.S. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds explained that American executives holding positions at the IDB, the World Bank and/or the International Monetary Fund (IMF), or any multilateral financing institutions, have been instructed not to support large hydropower projects. He said this is a concern to the Guyana government, noting that the Amaila Falls project might not be an exception. “I think Amaila may be caught in that num-

ber and that is a new situation… a matter of concern to us,” he stated. Nevertheless, he said government is heartened with the opposition’s move to support the hydro project. The project was designed to be constructed where the Amaila and Kuribrong rivers meet. Electricity produced at the plant would have been delivered to Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, and its second largest town, Linden, by an electric transmission line. Government has always argued that the Amaila Falls project would produce reliable, affordable and clean energy. Sithe Global will own and operate the project for 20 years, after which, the project will be transferred to GPL for free, through a Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) arrangement. Based on studies, an estimated 20 per cent reduction in electricity tariffs would be experience when the Amaila Falls project becomes operational, with residential consumers saving approximately Gy$208.7 million monthly or Gy$2.5 billion annually.



week ending February 2, 2014


Court rules budget cuts unlawful - Ramjattan says he will appeal


early two years after government moved to the courts challenging the opposition cuts to the National Budget, acting Chief Justice Ian Chang on Wednesday delivered a final ruling, declaring that the National Assembly has no right to cut the national estimates presented by the finance minister and can only approve or disapprove the budget in its entirety or sections within. “The power of the National Assembly to approve (or not to approve) the minister’s estimates simply means that the assembly is conferred with a “gate-keeping” function by the Constitution and does not imply or involve a power to amend or to adjust the estimates presented by the executive minster,” ruled Chang. He stated that if the opposition were to cut the budget then it would not be a final estimate from the minister but “estimates as fixed and determined by the assembly”. In his 21-page ruling, he further explained that

there would be no room for the finance minister to essay any amendments to the estimates to meet the concerns expressed during the debates or in the Committee of Supply. “It is one thing to say that the assembly or the Committee of Supply can propose amendments to the estimates. It is quite another thing to say that the assembly can itself effect those amendments to the estimates. If the assembly itself were to effect amendments to the estimates, that would be an end to the matter and the issue of the Cabinet accepting or rejecting those amendments would not and cannot arise,” the written ruling stated.

Standing orders

Addressing another argument that was proffered by Speaker Raphael Trotman regarding standing orders empowering the House with the power to cut the budget, the acting chief justice pointed out that standing orders are not laws but guides to the business of the House. He noted that Section Nine of the Constitution, and not Article Nine

of the Constitution (a schedule to the said act), did not convert pre-existing standing orders from procedural rules of selfregulation into procedural rules of law. “The fact that any standing order can be repealed or amended by the assembly itself without the need for any repealing or amending legislative provision is a clear indication that standing orders are not written law.” In his ruling, Justice Chang noted that over the past year, the question of whether the National Assembly possessed the power to cut the budget, was not dealt with hence the cuts were repeated last year. “In the circumstances, the court sees it fit to declare that the National Assembly, through the Committee of Supply, has acted unconstitutionally in purporting to reduce or cut the estimates of expenditure of the minister of finance for the financial year 2012. The court sees it fit to further declare that the power of the National Assembly is limited to

giving or withholding its approval for the minister’s estimates when those estimates are laid before the assembly for its approval under Article 218 of the Constitution.” After the decision was handed down, Attorney General Anil Nandlall told reporters that he was happy with the judge’s ruling since it concurs with the position taken by government from the onset. Nandlall said he hoped this judgment will guide future treatments of budgets so that the same unfortunate and unconstitutional position will not reoccur.


“So those who feel they have a scissors, well, the scissors have been declared an unconstitutional instrument when it comes to cutting the budgets and I am personally happy, because as you know, I had been severely criticised when I first filed these proceedings,” he stated. Khemraj Ramjattan, who represented Speaker Trotman, expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision. He said they will be appealing the decision as he believes that the chief justice erred, since Guyana has

Attorney Khemraj Ramjattan speaking after the ruling

a Westminster-type parliament. “We can amend budget allocations, we can amend estimates and that is why in the Committee of Supply we do what we do. Each line item has to be approved and the yes vote and the no vote have to be made. “So what we were doing there merely, if we were to take the logical conclusion, would mean that we are simply being a rubber stamp of the executive branch and so there is no check and balance… we are going to settle it right up to the highest court because it is a matter that must be settled once and for all,” he stated. In signalling his disagreement on the status of the standing orders, Ramjattan said they clearly state that the National Assembly has the power to reduce the

budget. In April 2012, the combined parliamentary opposition used its oneseat majority to slash Gy$21.9 billion from the proposed Gy$192.8 billion national budget. The government subsequently took to the court to block the National Assembly from cutting the budget. In a preliminary ruling, Justice Chang said the opposition can only approve or disapprove of the budget in its entirety, and not make any changes; however, the opposition argued that the ruling is not binding or final and shaved off more than Gy$31.4 billion of the Gy$208.8 billion 2013 budget. The chaos deepened when the Speaker also proclaimed that the court had no oversight responsibility or powers over the legislature.

A mook and a crook all in one


he world got all kinda people. Guyana got all kinda people too. After all, Guyana is part of de world. But Guyana got de best combination of people in de world. This country got de best all in one mook and crook in de world. If de Guinness Book of World Records and Grammy Awards used to recognise mooks and crooks, Guyana woulda win this every year since 1994. That is when a crook and a mook show up at de same time pun Saffon Street coming from de market side. And dem was de same person. De crook run a man outta he own country from he own newspaper and tek every ting over from paper to press to people. De crook was accustom to runnin people outta de country anyway. But dem used to have to pay he fuh that. It was de first time de crook end up payin some body to run dem outta de country. But then again, whah he had promise to pay, he didn’t pay. Only crooks does do that and don’t end up wid four concrete walls around dem with a lil iron grill window at de top. Most people does focus on becomin one ting, or have one major goal in dem mind whah dem want to achieve in life. Every other ting does fall in behind. Is not a easy ting to be two people at de same time. Old people does call that two face. De doctors does call that split personality. But some people tek two face and mek it a lifestyle and a career. Yuh don’t even know yuh talkin to two people at de same time. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! But all crooks does have to operate like that. Dem does be one ting in de day and another ting in de night. People know whah de crook does do in de day. But ask de mook whah he does do when night come!

news week ending February 2, 2014


Soloman is a solo man

hop people does pack up shelf and put lil tings in one place and big tings in another place. Is de same wid big man and lil bhai. Dem must never be in de same place. Old people seh every ting must got a place and every body must know dem place. Soloman never learn that lesson in life. He ain’t look like he know he place. He tink he is a big man. Soloman also tink he is a tink man. He tink he can tink fuh de whole of Linden. That is a whole big town. Soloman musbe got a hole in he brains to tink that he can tink fuh de whole of a town. Soloman had a plan. Soloman had a plan to shut down Linden. But de plan look like a solo man plan. Soloman alone know de plan. He ain’t tell a soul de plan. He ain’t tell de Harding Man de plan. And he ain’t tell De Yonge Man de plan. And dem is two big man. Not Soloman. He only tell some of de press de plan. He tell de Kocheur de plan. After all, it got sheer kocheur down deh. Soloman tell de Stabber de plan. After all, de Stabber lookin to stab de guvament right in de back wid a big knife made in de U.S.A. Whah end up happenin is that de prezzi shut down Soloman. De prezzi went about he business. That was enough to shut down de man who seh he gon shut down a whole town. Instead, is Soloman who get shut up. He tink he had de balls to shut down de whole town. A doctor seh he had de balls, but not de brains. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! Is just like de Yarde Man who plan to shut down de whole of GT de garbage town de other day. But Yarde Man end up nearly gettin run outta he own yard. Some body seh he get run outta GT de garbage town too. And it wasn’t de garbage that run he out!



Guyana gov’t firm on ganja ban A mid calls for some limited legalisation of marijuana in Guyana, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee on Tuesday reaffirmed the government of Guyana’s zero-tolerance policy on all drugs that are deemed illicit, including marijuana. There has been a global debate regarding the legalisation of marijuana, with even United States President Barack Obama saying ganja was less dangerous than alcohol. Rohee made the comment as he launched the National Drug Report for 2012, compiled by the Task Force on Narcotic Drugs and Illicit Weapons, at his Brickdam Office. The report is produced annually by the Home Affairs Ministry through support from the task force, the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU); the Narcotic Branch of the Guyana Police Force; the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA); and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Multi-sectoral approach

It highlights the actions taken by the government through the various agencies to curb both the demand and supply of drugs. It also reviews policies and results achieved from a balanced, multisectoral approach in dealing with challenges of trafficking and substance abuse. Minister Rohee said that far too often, the constant fight against the drug trade is taken



Guyana’s Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee

for granted and due recognition is not given to the relevant agencies in the security sector who continue to wage war against drug cartels, and battle with this scourge on behalf of the government and people of Guyana. He lauded all the operatives from the various agencies and the task force for coordinating and combining those efforts. “This document shows the extent to which national efforts are being made in this direction,” the minister said. Recognising that this is a global fight, Guyana has been partnering with various countries and

He added that as a country, Guyana continues to be challenged by its own peculiarities, such as its extensive borders and limited resources (both human and otherwise) to effectively prevent the penetration of illegal drugs and firearms into the national territory. Meanwhile, coordinator of the task force, Major General (retired) Michael Atherly said drug abuse and illicit trafficking are global occurrences which indiscriminately affect individuals, families, and all segments of society. He noted that unfortunately, Guyana is located within the hub of the trans-shipment routes from the cocaine-producing countries in South America to the North American and European markets. According to the report, based on the seizures, cannabis and cocaine continue to be the two main types of illicit drugs trafficked and consumed locally. However, the confiscation of small quantities of ecstasy, heroin, and hashish over the past two years has been a new development. During 2012, CANU made seizures amounting to 103.66 kilograms (kg) of cocaine (with a value of Gy$93,600,000) and 111.564kg of cannabis (with a value of Gy$20,160,000). During this period, 33 cases were made out and 36 persons were charged.



week ending February 2, 2014


Preparatory work for Specialty Hospital to resume soon


The site of the multimillion-dollar Specialty Hospital

ealth Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran said preparatory work for the construction of the multimillion-dollar Specialty Hospital is expected to resume soon. The health minister told Guyana Times International that the Ramotar administration is very passionate about having the hospital constructed and will work hard to ensure that this vision is fulfilled. Some Gy$34.4 million was approved by the National Assembly recently for the Specialty Hospital. “The ministry is in the process of getting other things done, like proper site preparation. ‘Surrendra’ company would have won the bid, so they have taken over the site officially and we hope that work will start being visible from now

on,” Dr Ramsaran added. The ministry, he said, is in constant contact with engineers from both Surrendra Engineering and Vikab Engineering. Vikab Engineering was contracted to do the consultancy for the construction of the new hospital. Dr Ramsaran noted that a deadline cannot be fixed at this time, since the work was stalled for a while and things will have to be re-aligned before such detail is provided. “We had a lot of adjustments, because of the ruckus, it was put on hold. It is now being discussed with our ministry and stakeholders…. So we have to wait and see what happens before we make any pronouncement on a deadline.” During the 2013 national budget debate, a Gy$1.25 billion provision

for the controversial hospital was cut by the opposition. A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) had pointed to the government’s lack of dialogue on the opposition’s position that the formulation of the deal was not transparent. In August the same year, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said a consultancy contract was awarded to ensure government gets “value for money”. The construction of the hospital is part of an agreement between the government of Guyana and India, for Guyana to use US$18 million through a line of credit to build the hospital. The hospital is being built to cater for complicated surgeries, ranging from heart operations, organ transplants to cosmetic surgery.

Re-circulating T

…the rotten apples he minister of home affairs has obviously had it with the excuses from the police force brass on why the patent abuses by policemen aren’t being reduced but are actually rising. There are no excuses any more. The stations were run down, they’ve been all rebuilt. There was no transportation… there’re now official cars galore – in addition to duty-free cars for a whole lot of medium and top brass. There are new training schools in Berbice and Essequibo. And on top of it, there’ve been increased salaries. Now, this is a sore point… we all know that in absolute terms, the salaries of everybody here are very low when you compare them with our neighbouring countries’. And the police are no exception. But they took the jobs, no? There are some members of the police force in Guyana, as in most Third World countries, who’ve got the wrong attitude about the authority and powers conferred on them to “protect and serve” the people. The bad apples don’t see their jobs as “serving the people”, but as an opportunity to “fleece the people”. They want to live high off the hog… and rather than doing their jobs and waiting to get promoted and earn higher salaries, they take the quick and dirty route. Which Guyanese who drives a car or rides a bus hasn’t witnessed policemen shaking down drivers for a “raise”? If any official – including the minister – denies this, he’s gonna face a credibility gap. The police are perceived as bullies – with good reason because of the rotten apples – and they relish the role since it makes the fleecing easier. Well, it appears the police might’ve taken the next step in their depredations on the hapless populace in Berbice. There are allegations of some police ranks – in one of the new vehicles – doing some fleecing at gunpoint in that neck of the woods. But while the minister reacted with alacrity to demand action from the police top brass – remember he can only “recommend” in “operational” matters – the said top brass has moved the accused ranks out of the station – pending an investigation. But we can’t stop here. That attitudinal change for the police to see their role as to “serve and protect” must be inculcated. But the opposition has blocked the legislation on even the name change to reflect this! We hope the investigation is speedily and transparently conducted and action taken immediately. We need to start removing these bad apples – before the entire barrel becomes rotten. Surely, we haven’t reached that stage as yet, have we? …Power in cricket There’s a whole lot of people who’re bent out of shape because of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) flexing its muscles in its grab for power. They see a great deal of hypocrisy in this move because only so recently when India were cricketing minnows, the BCCI used to whine about not getting any respect from the English and Australian boards in the ICC. But the world does turn, doesn’t it… and so does the worm. It’s a sad but proven truth that abused children do become abusive parents. And it’s now clear that the same psychology operates with cricket boards. But the more expansive truth of the matter is that it’s all about power. And the money that India generates in cricket is being translated into power. Just as it is in other forms of power – including the political realm – expect the hegemonic BCCI to insist in getting its way while mouthing platitudes about acting “in the best interest of cricket”. Just like the U.S.’s LEAD programme, no? …keeping grass illegal Looks like we’ll be sticking to the straight and narrow when it comes to lighting up a spliff, according to the minister of home affairs. There was an old English king named Canute who said he’d roll back the tides, also. from page 3

Gov’t encourages more investments... LEN

He noted that LEN is not only about lending, but will also provide business incubation and business facilitation and advisory services which are very important. Lending for the purpose of small business development, he noted, is high on the LEN agenda. While there were a number of good borrowers under the LEAP initiative, Dr Singh stated that regrettably it is no secret that there were also a number of bad ones who were less enthusiastic about repayment of small business loans.

He also urged future and defaulting borrowers of loans to be responsible, so as to benefit from repeat loans and not deny others the same opportunity. “If you took a loan under LEAP and did not repay, you are denying yourself the opportunity to borrow again and the truth of the matter is that to the extent if the fund does not revolve, you are also denying your fellow Lindeners an opportunity to borrow themselves… the fund is dependent on repayment.

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

week ending February 2, 2014



Let us show some respect Guyana has been denied a for all religious people! world-class sports complex

Dear Editor, In another section of the press, Freddie Kissoon has bemoaned Guyanese Muslims (and Hindus) for not supporting a militant anti-People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) movement in Guyana aimed at toppling the legitimately elected government. As Freddie rightly pointed out, the then leaders of the Christian establishment opposed the Dr Cheddi Jagan government during the 1950s and 1960s because of the socialist views he espoused. During the People’s National Congress (PNC) ethnic dictatorship, all the religious groups supported the anti-dictatorial movement because they were all persecuted. Since 1992, Guyana has been a democracy and there are no violations of human rights. Thus, there is no need for religious groups to initiate or support anti-government protests like those of the 1980s when people were literally begging the Lord for relief from their sufferings from the dictatorship. In Guyana, parties enjoy political support largely based on ethnic, not religious affiliation. There is no direct religious involvement in politics. However, this does not mean that certain people do not speak out when there are egregious violations of political decency. Critiques are not made based on ethnic or religious affiliation but on righteous condemnation. There are no abuses of human rights under this government for one to condemn or ‘speak out’. So Freddie is wrong to castigate Indians for being ‘silent’ against the PPP/C. Whose rights have been violated? They spoke out against the PNC dic-

tatorship because their rights were violated – their franchise and right to food, cultural diet, etc were taken away from them. Today, Guyanese enjoy full freedom and to vote for any party. No one silences them as under the dictatorship. Has it dawned on Freddie that the reason Indians are not engaged in protest actions against the democratically elected government is because this is the only government that has not violated human rights in Guyana since 1953 and is the only government that allows unparalleled democratic freedoms. Freddie is not objective and fair in his commentary targeting Muslims. It is well known that sometimes, those who bemoan others for racism may themselves be ‘the racists’ – anti-Indian, for example. Recall Freddie repeatedly said he is ashamed to be an Indian. These people fail to take the biased plank out of their own eyes before complaining about the mote in others. Freddie’s bias is manifested in his commentary picking on Muslims (and at times Hindus) without justification. Freddie is married into a respected Muslim family. Is he not sensitive to this family about how he enjoys eating pork? Does he have no respect by writing about his odyssey ordering and or eating beef that is prohibited by Hindus, considering he comes from a Hindu background? What people do in their personal life and what they consume should not be in the public domain. Freddie’s eating habits is none of our business. Let us show some respect for all religious people! Yours truly, Vishnu Bisram

Bulkan, Palmer spreading misinformation about Guyana Dear Editor, Kindly permit me to respond to Part IV of Janette Bulkan and John Palmer’s critical review of the annual reports of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) submitted to Parliament and carried in another section of the press on January 30. Bulkan and Palmer’s main objective in their so-called reviewing of the GFC’s reports submitted to Parliament is to deliberately find fault and more so, to criticise the reports which currently have no basis. But the GFC is equipped with its own expertise to prepare its reports and does not need persons like Bulkan and Palmer to provide any public lecture on their annual report writing. Bulkan and Palmer are so far in their fourth series of reviewing the GFC’s reports and to date, have not come up with anything substantial – only an accumulation of worthless claims being mere figments of their own imagination to bamboozle the unsuspecting reading public. This is an indicator that Bulkan and Palmer are totally unable to professionally and technically analyse the GFC’s reports. But Palmer should know better as a British citizen how to conduct proper reviewing of reports in a sequential manner before they can become acceptable in the British parliament. However, he failed miserably to commence his reviewing from the period 19641992 and then move on to 2005-2012 in relation to Guyana. What Bulkan and Palmer can therefore do quickly is to lobby their People’s National Congress (PNC)/A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) coalition to move a motion in Parliament for the establishment of a special committee to review Guyana’s reports

from 1964-1992 and then move onwards. Certainly the PNC/APNU will identify both Bulkan and Palmer to serve on this committee, so as to produce an analysis or analyses of Guyana’s development performance for the periods mentioned. But the problem with Bulkan and Palmer is their reluctance to acknowledge that in Guyana, there has been social and economic progress from 1993 to present under the current government which did not happen from 1964-1992 under the illegal PNC government. Today, they are totally ashamed and making claims that Guyana has not changed for the betterment of Guyanese, hence their so-called reviewing of reports, particularly those of the GFC. My advice to Bulkan and Palmer is to return to Guyana and find out about its economic growth and inflation rates, the number of titled Amerindian communities and the annual increases of the wages and salaries of public servants, to name just a few. The reality is that Guyana is positioned for major social and economic transformations, where Bulkan and Palmer’s coalition, the PNC/APNC, is now calling for shared governance which was never offered to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) while being the government for 28 years. Bulkan and Palmer, however, continue to spread misleading and malicious information about Guyana even though they have been calling for the freedom of information act. What they need to do now is to call for laws for the prohibition of persons spreading misleading information and the prosecution of such persons. Yours sincerely, Peter Persaud

Dear Editor, The political opposition through it main mouthpiece, a local newspaper, have succeeded in denying Guyana’s aspiring sportsmen, women and all Guyanese a world-class sports complex in the heart of Georgetown. This leaves me to wonder, with what face they are now going to talk about youths and sport, youth empowerment, youth violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and other issues affecting youths. I guess it is with their usual straight and expressionless faces! This latest action by the opposition through that newspaper also means that the opposition now have no moral authority whatsoever to make any statement on behalf of Guyana’s youths. Any further attempt by the opposition as of now, to speak on behalf of Guyana’s youths would simply be a clear case of pure hypocrisy, speaking from both sides of their mouths. To the best of

my knowledge, neither Khemraj Ramjattan, David Granger nor any other opposition leader, who ever so often loves to play the ‘youth neglect’ card against the government, had any comment on the newspaper’s nasty and successful campaign against the project’s investor and his eventual withdrawal. This is a clear indication as to the opposition’s priority – grab power at any cost. Never mind the fact that the future of Guyana, the youths are being made to pay the price. Their narrow political objectives are far more important than the dreams and aspirations of Guyana’s youths, especially our young and aspiring sportsmen and women. This is how they intend to ensure that young Guyanese, especially young aspiring sportsmen and sportswomen realise their dreams and aspirations. This is how they expect Guyana to one day have its own Usain Bolt. It is my hope that

every Guyanese, especially the younger generation would finally see that the opposition’s words and actions are always in the opposite. The name of the game they are playing with the future of Guyana and its youths is called ‘power at any cost’. It is therefore, only logical that the opposition will now stop being hypocritical and permanently abstain from speaking on behalf of Guyanese youths, stop deceiving them and insulting their intelligence with rhetoric and lies about having their welfare at heart. Their actions have so far proved otherwise. After all, we all know that actions speak louder than words. Does the owner of that newspaper and the opposition have something better to offer our youths, now that they have succeeded in killing yet another multimillion dollar development project? Yours sincerely, Faruk Mohamed



week ending February 2, 2014


Seeraj calls for full investigation into “KNOWING” & “DOING” allegations against Berbice ranks

MP Dharamkumar Seeraj seated with (book in hand) said he spoke with victims of robberies who are willing to testify against the police officers


ember of Parliament Dharamkumar Seeraj is calling on the Guyana Police Force to launch a full investigation into the allegations by Corentyne residents that some police ranks have been involved in criminal activity in their villages. Speaking at a meeting organised by the po-

lice at the Number 48 Primary School building on Tuesday, the parliamentarian noted that the visit of Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell to the Corentyne is an indication that the spike in crime has caught the attention of the police. He said people in Berbice do not trust certain police officers.

“We have to nip this problem in the bud to ensure that it does not escalate,” he told the gathering. Seeraj said that the commissioner should not take the reports from the residents lightly. Earlier, the commissioner mentioned that some members of the community who were making allegations against the police were under the in-

fluence of alcohol. However, Seeraj noted that “where there is smoke, there is fire”. He said he had met with some of the residents and is convinced that there is some truth in some of the allegations against some members of the force. According to Seeraj, Sunday’s protest was as a result of several incidents in the community voicing their calls for change at the station. “There are reports of calls being made to the Number 51 Police Station and no one answering the phones.” He said most of the time this occurs when serious crimes are being committed. “There are reports that when you have petty crimes, the phone is answered and there is quick reaction.” Seeraj said he had also met with the Chamber of Commerce and received the same information from them.

TT seeks investors for tourism projects -includes US$1.5 million amusement park in Chaguaramas


nvestors are being sought for two major tourism projects in Trinidad being spearheaded by the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA)—an amusement park and family entertainment centre in Chaguaramas and an ecotourism resort on Chacachacare Island. InvesTT recently sent out proposals for investment in the two projects. The amusement park, which is estimated to cost US$1.5 million, is to be located within a water park compound and will be part of an extended pedestrian zone with facilities for shopping, play, entertainment, live performances, fun sports and dining. The site will also provide park-andride facilities. According to the proposal put out by InvesTT, the project is intended to fill a gap in amusement facilities in the country. There are no amusement parks on either Trinidad or Tobago.


Incentives being offered to investors include a tax exemption of up to seven years on gains or profits from the approved project; tax exemption on the sale of the project, villas or condos, which are part of the project; accelerated depreciation of equipment used in the proj-

A visitor enjoying a thrilling ride on the zipline at Macqueripe, Chaguaramas. (TT Guardian file photo)

ect; capital allowance in respect of new projects or expansion of existing projects; carry-over from a tax exempt period, if any, of a loss arising out of the operation or renting of an approved tourism project; and customs duty at the reduced rate of ten per cent where a licence is obtained for importation of vehicles. Equity investors or joint venture partner are being sought.

InvesTT said the ideal investor “must be able to access financing independently.” For the resort project on Chacachacare Island, the largest and most westerly of three islands situated off the Chaguaramas peninsula, the plan is to construct an eco-tourism resort. InvesTT said: “The property comprises 392.6 hectares of terrain including lush, tropical

rainforest. The island is home to a natural saltwater pond and seven beaches which attract divers, campers and sea bathers alike. The main bay can accommodate several ocean liners simultaneously. The existing infrastructure includes a paved road, a docking facility, as well as a jetty.” Chacachacare at one time housed a leprosarium, as well as a base for U.S. soldiers. The remains of several antique structures including a hospital, doctors’ and nurses’ quarters, as well as a cemetery are still there. A lighthouse, built in 1896, is still in operation and affords visitors spectacular panoramic views. Investors will design, finance, build, operate and maintain the proposed facility through a lease of 30 years and the CDA has the full authority to grant an option renewal for a further 30 years. An important condition is preservation of the environment and the island’s historic sites. Prospective investors have been told that the advantages to investing in TT include a cost structure that is one of the most competitive in the Caribbean, including relatively low energy and utility costs. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)


By Anu Dev

have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do” – Leonardo da Vinci Just before returning to Trinidad a little over a week ago, I caught a bug. It felt like the flu: you know – fever, cough, headache, aching muscles and tiredness. So I downed the usual over-thecounter medications and hunkered down to see it through. Lots of liquid and all that. Most of the students hadn’t arrived from the other islands so I had the dorms practically to myself. I’d planned to move around a bit…spread my wings so to speak. The bug took care of that plan! But for the next couple of days the symptoms just got worse and I became increasingly weaker and lethargic. The cough became hacking. Now you have to have an idea of the layout of the dorms of the Mount Hope Medical School to know where I’m going with this. It’s not on the main campus among the other faculties at St Augustine, but as part of the Mount Hope Medical complex (it’s actually the Eric Williams Medical Sciences complex but everyone refers to it as “Mount Hope”.) It’s one of the three tertiary hospitals in Trinidad. So it’s like I’m living right smack in the middle of a hospital. And I knew I ought to get some kind of medical attention since I wasn’t feeling any better. But I just couldn’t bring myself to walk over to the clinic or the emergency wings to get help. One of the senior lecturers of the medical school is a friend of my dad’s and he’d done my medicals when I entered the school. I knew the family well. He’s part of a nearby private hospital…but I didn’t call him. Eventually (well within a day) my mom flew over and dragged me around to the doctors and they did their tests and all the other diagnostics (in an amazingly fast time, I must say). My blood count was very low…hence my tiredness and listlessness. They also thought I might have dengue. Well two days later, the latter was nixed and they decided I just had a rather nasty viral infection…much worse than the seasonal flu. I’m still not fully recovered but the question I pose to myself is, why didn’t I do what I knew had to be done to take care of the crisis I was going through? And the answer is that it’s most likely a form of procrastination, which I’d written about before. This is a very common habit with too many people…including myself. We know what is to be done in a situation and we still don’t do it – even when it’s as serious as an illness. It’s so widespread that it has its own name… the “knowing-doing gap”. My mom was flying back to Guyana as I was writing this. And I’ve resolved to close this gap. My dad has always taught us that in Hindu epistemology (theory of knowledge) that “knowledge” is not just a cognitive (thinking) act…but become so only when it ends in action. “If you know by doing, there is no gap between what you know and what you do”. So if you’re like me (and there’s a lot of us out there…in fact we’re the majority) let’s do what we know has to be done before it becomes a crisis. So if you check up on me during the week, you’ll find me eating better to get my blood count up. And checking in with the doctors to see how I’m doing.

news week ending February 2, 2014



American University to roll out anti-suicide programme in Essequibo


n an effort to reduce the number of suicide cases in Guyana, the American University of Research will be embarking on an initiative to promote self-awareness as a solution. At a press conference on Tuesday, university president, Dr Eton Simon, explained that if persons are aware of their mental state, they can make a better choice than choosing the easy way out. “We are embarking on this initiative due to the urgent need for a solution to suicide in our country,” he said. Dr Simon said members of the university, along with other counsellors, will be sharing knowledge with individuals in interactive workshops over the next month so that they would process challenges in a more positive

way in various areas across Guyana. The first area targeted is Essequibo, as the most recent suicide case occurred there. “We chose this area first because of our observation on low self-esteem in that region in 2013,” he noted.


Dr Simon pointed out that a person’s environment can have a positive or negative impact on one’s life and decisions. Additionally, he explained that these workshops aim “…to educate people to shift their focus from suicide and focus on the bigger picture”. He noted that people have choices; however, they sometimes get caught up in the moment and react irrationally to life’s challenges.

American University of Research President, Dr Eton Simon

The university president explained that every person has a mind, and before one can act in a negative way, one will first think about it, “we are the source”.

Another police officer arrested for sodomising teen


ess than three weeks after several police ranks were transferred and one placed under close arrest following allegations of sexual assault, three others are now in hot water for allegedly committing a similar act on a teenager in Georgetown. The three ranks were placed under close arrest after allegations surfaced that they had sodomised a 16-year-old boy while he was in their custody at the Stabroek Police Outpost Sunday evening. According to information received, the teenager was arrested about 21:00h on Sunday and taken to the Stabroek Police Outpost where one rank in uniform and two others in plain clothes committed the act. The police in a release stated that investigations are being conducted into the report received on Tuesday. Information reaching Guyana Times International revealed that after the allegation was made, the teen was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital on Tuesday evening for a medical examination to confirm whether or not he was sexually molested. The teenager is believed to be a commercial sex worker. After being examined, the teenager was questioned by a social worker. A report is expected to be furnished to the police as early as today (Thursday). The teenager was recently released from the New Opportunity Corps

(NOC), Essequibo Coast, but while there he was reportedly scolded for his sexual misconduct. An aunt of the teenager told media operatives that her nephew would leave home late at night and would visit a popular spot on North Road where male sex workers assemble. She went on to say that after he did not return home on Sunday evening, she went in search of him and later found out that he was arrested for prostitution. She went to the Stabroek outpost, but when she arrived there, she was told that he had already been taken to Brickdam pending charges. The woman stated that when she arrived at Brickdam Police Station, she was not allowed to see her nephew. He was subsequently released, but did not tell her what had transpired. The relative said the incident was brought to her attention on Tuesday afternoon. She immediately took her nephew to the police station where she made a report and the teenager was sent to the Georgetown Public Hospital to be examined. This allegation comes just weeks after the Colwyn Harding story broke to much public outcry. Harding accused the ranks at the Timehri Police Station of sexual assault, saying the police used a baton. The matter was investigated by members of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and a report of the

findings is with the Police Complaints Authority chairman, former Chancellor of the Judiciary, Cecil Kennard. In an interview with this newspaper on Monday, Kennard said several recommendations have been made for disciplinary actions to be taken against the ranks, but there must be sufficient evidence before criminal charges are instituted. He is expected to give his recommendations by the end of the week and the file is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice.

Speaking from a psychotherapist’s point of view, he stated that everything starts in the mind and when persons are aware of that, they are better able to make rational decisions, looking at the bigger picture. Dr Simon said one of the major areas his team will be working extensively on is the root causes of suicide. Often times most people look for the easy way out, because they feel pressured by their circumstances. “While suicide may seem to be the way out for you who are going through your turmoil, it is NOT! There is always better, and you need to move away from that thinking and consider the consequences of your actions of which you’re thinking of,” he said. The psychotherapist ex-

plained that nothing is wrong with one’s mind in these situations, just the way in which it is being used. “Everything is about behaviour, the way one reacts to a situation.” The president noted that someone needs to take a stand against suicide, and with the launching of this initiative he hopes that both local and international partnerships will be made. The self-awareness workshops will seek to reduce the number of persons with low self-esteem and attempts to self-harm by the end of 2014. This initiative is sponsored exclusively by the American University of Research, an institute of research, analysis and consultancy. Its focus is to conduct scientific research studies on social issues to find the root causes.



week ending February 2, 2014


No date set for talks on U.S. democracy project N o date has been set for the United States/ Guyana talks on the stalled Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project, which has been mired in controversy, U.S. Ambassador D Brent Hardt has revealed. In an interview with Guyana Times International on Sunday, the U.S. ambassador said he was waiting on the Donald Ramotar administration to set a date for the meeting to discuss the way forward on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project, making it clear that he was ready for talks. In 2013, Guyana rejected the Gy$300 million USAID-funded project, contending that the project did not reflect the input of the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration. The local U.S. embassy had signalled its intention to go ahead with the project despite the rejection, setting off a firestorm of controversy. In recent days, Guyana and the U.S. agreed to meet about the controversial project, but when Presidential Adviser on Governance, Gail Teixeira was contacted on Tuesday for an update on the status of talks, she said: “I have

nothing to report.” According to Teixeira, President Donald Ramotar is not in Guyana and as such, she is unable to give further details. The president is currently attending the second summit of leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Havana, Cuba.

No change

However, on Friday, the president told reporters, “Things are more or less the same; we have not agreed with the project and we are saying that the project should be halted.” In a previous interview, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon had said that if discussions were held in a mature bilateral spirit, there was no reason the negotiations could not end in a bilateral agreement. The Private Sector Commission (PSC); the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI); and the opposition have been calling for the talks to begin. The private sector bodies had indicated their support for the objectives of the LEAD project, but emphasised that the government’s concerns should be addressed. The GCCI had said it

“believes that its implementation will strengthen political institutions and enhance citizen understanding of how individuals can engage in the larger civic and political discourse in their communities and throughout the country.” At the time, government said it will not move to the negotiating table under duress. The A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) had criticised the government for rejecting the project, contending that the PPP/C administration has allowed several international programmes to go downhill. APNU alluded to the Security Sector Reform Project with the United Kingdom, which collapsed in October 2009, following differences between the two countries. At the time, the then administration contended that the project came to an abrupt end after the UK was not given permission to execute a live firing exercise in the west of Guyana. But reports indicated that the project landed in hot water after the Guyana government objected to certain preconditions which were thought to include the stationing of foreign law enforcement professionals within the police force.

New Amsterdam hospital neonatal unit now operational

Staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the New Amsterdam Hospital in Guyana

Little Travis Lashley resting in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the New Amsterdam Hospital in Guyana


he multimilliondollar Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the New Amsterdam Hospital is now fully functional and the first baby was placed there on Tuesday. The coming on stream of the facility was made possible through an intensive four-day training of 30 health workers attached to the hospital, inclusive of doctors and nurses under the auspices of the Health Ministry and Guyana Help the Kids (GHTK). Speaking at the conclusion of the NICU care training programme last Friday, Dr Precious Sonia

Jensen, a paediatrician of Nationwide Childrens Hospital in the U.S., said the overall objective of the training is to reduce infant mortality in Guyana by implementing sustainable changes through education and technology. She said based on her overall assessment, the persons trained are now well-equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to fully execute their duties. “The reception of these physicians and nurses are exceptional, they have been really, really smart and incredibly impressive,” she claimed, while noting that the health

workers have definitely made tremendous strides regarding the effective care of premature babies. “I have extreme confidence that the trainees and the NICU at the facility can handle this effectively,” she posited. Meanwhile, New Amsterdam Medical Superintendent, Dr Vishyala Sharma thanked the facilitators for taking the time to train her staff, and assured that the knowledge imparted will be fully utlised. “Neonatal care and mortality is one of the key indicators of a hospital’s performance and we at the New Amsterdam Hospital try our utmost to keep that down at an acceptable standard and with this training, I am absolutely confident that we will continue to work to keep our statistics down,” she asserted. Little Travis Lashley, weighing approximately one kilogram, born to 18-year-old Sherry Hack of Williamsburg Village, Corentyne, was Tuesday morning placed in the NICU. The New Amsterdam Hospital’s NICU was formally commissioned in May 2013, but due to the necessity of training needed, it could not have been functional until now. The project is a joint venture between the government of Guyana and Canadian-based Guyanese paediatrician, Dr Narendra Singh, who initiated the NICU programme in Guyana.

Canadian expert to conduct risk management study in Guyana’s mining sector


uyana’s Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has secured the services of Canadian Executive Service Organisation Advisor William Oates to assist with the development of a policy framework on capital risk management for the gold mining sector. On Saturday, Oates made a presentation to stakeholders in the industry at the ministry’s Brickdam office. Oates shared some of options and how best the financial portfolio in the mining sector can be managed so as to ensure a much more structured sector. In 2013, gold output in Guyana reached a record production of over 481,000 ounces; however, it was not a very lucrative year for persons in the gold mining sector because of the tremen-

(GGDMA) and other ministry officials at the ministry’s Brickdam office. During brief remarks, Minister Persaud stated that the focus is to stay ahead in the gold market and plan ahead for the sector, and this involves the participation of stakeholders and producers who would be able to provide options and advice in terms of how the ministry and agencies can manage risk in the gold market.

Greater participation

Canadian Executive Service Organisation Adviser William Oates making a presentation on capital risk management for the gold mining sector. Guyana's Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud pays keen attention

dous fall in the price of the mineral. In this regard, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, along with the relevant agencies, has been seeking interventions through policy guidance and framework to ensure

that gold producers, dealers and other stakeholders do not feel the full effect of the price fluctuation, by trying to diversify the portfolio and have proper capital risk management for the resources they have invested. Natural Resources

and Environment Minister Robert Persaud recently met and had discussions with various consultants of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association

Minister Persaud reiterated that he expects greater participation of producers, as well as dealers because the intended output is to determine how best the sector can be managed, as well as the risks that come with it. Given the way in which the price of gold has been moving, Minister Persaud pointed out that there is an

urgency for all involved in the sector to pay adequate attention in terms of how to manage production which will enable them to see greater outcomes. Reports will be made available to the dealers, producers, the relevant stakeholders and the GGMA and GGDMA boards, to determine what aspects can be developed and what policies can be put in place. “The aim is to work with the dealers to see how best we can manage the situation…we look forward to the outcome with great anticipation,” Minister Persaud said. He added that while the intention is to look at gold, the ministry will also be focusing on diamonds to distinguish whether there are risk factors and how they can be addressed, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

news week ending February 2, 2014



House approves Gy$1.4B in supplementary provisions


he National Assembly last week approved the Supplementary Appropriation Bill of the sum of Gy$1.474 billion after a heated debate at the level of the Committee of Supply during the consideration of financial papers number four and five of 2013. After resolving into Committee of Supply, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh moved a motion for Financial Paper Number Four of 2013 – Supplementary Estimates for Advances made from the Contingencies Fund, totalling Gy$1,062,179,646 for the period November 6, 2013 to December 31, 2013 to be approved. In scrutinising item number one, in which Gy$276.307 million was provided as additional electricity subsidy to the Linden Electricity Company Incorporated (LECI) (LINMINE) and Kwakwani Utilities Inc under the Finance Ministry (Policy and Administration), A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP) Carl Greenidge called on the finance minister to justify the expenditure. From the Gy$276.307 million, LECI was allotted Gy$263 million while Kwakwani Utilities Inc received Gy$13.3 million. Meanwhile, Gy$69.345 million was approved under the Foreign Affairs Ministry for the development of foreign

Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh

policy. This included provision for assistance to Philippines following typhoon Haiyan, Somalia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Dominica.


The Local Government and Regional Development Ministry was placed under the microscope when the House was informed that a supplementary provision of Gy$24.2 million in item number three was used to aid a cleanup campaign in Georgetown and offset expenses at the Linden municipality. Again, Greenidge questioned the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) government on the urgency of the matter. In the absence of the Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud, junior Local Government Minister Norman

APNU MP Carl Greenidge

Whittaker explained that government had once again bailed out the Georgetown Mayor and City Council after it had indicated that it was incapable of cleaning up the city; hence, Gy$15 million was used to facilitate the cleanup campaign. The money was used to clean clogged drains, weed and remove overgrown vegetation and other solid waste in Dennis, Lamaha, Garnett and Alexander streets and Kitty. Similar activities were also executed in Laing Avenue, Russell, Sussex, Ketley and Howes streets, Punt Trench, Middle Road La Penitence and the market area. The listed areas are just a few of the many communities which benefitted from the cleanup campaign. Turning his attention to the remaining Gy$9.2 million, he said it used to “support the Linden municipality in meeting employment cost for the

last quarter of 2013”. Whittaker further explained that “consequent to the withdrawal or rescinding of the illegal toll, the Linden municipality found itself unable to meet the revised minimum wage requirement to pay staff during the final quarter of 2013”. It was added that the Local Government Ministry fulfill the need, following a written request by the Linden Mayor and Town Council (M&TC). The government-sponsored students benefitted from an additional Gy$50 million. This supplementary provision was provided under the Public Service Ministry.

Drainage and irrigation

Meanwhile, Gy$160 million was utilised for the execution of additional drainage and irrigation works under the Agriculture Ministry. Item Number Six, Agency/ Programme Code Number 31-311 in which Gy$121.897 million was expended to provide additional support to the Transport and Harbours Department was approved with ease. Meanwhile, under Section B, capital estimates on the Financial Paper Number Four of 2013, Gy$6.657 million was approved for the construction and extension of the washroom facilities at the Parliament Office. In a similar fashion,

Financial Paper Number Five of 2013 was put before the Committee of Supply by the finance minister for the approval of supplementary provision on capital estimates totalling Gy$412.780 million. From the sum, approximately Gy$257.519 million was used under the Agriculture Ministry for the provision of additional inflows specific to drainage and irrigation works, including control structures, gates, culverts, bridges, pump station and rehabilitation of channels and consultancy services.

Housing, water sectors

Meanwhile, in the housing and water sector, Gy$97.666 million was used to facilitate the Low Income Settlement Programme 11. It was explained that the money was used to upgrade roads, construct core homes and supply materials and labour for the construction of the houses under the hinterland pilot project. The final item on the financial paper was based on the Justice Improvement Programme. Under the Legal Affairs Ministry, the sum of Gy$57.595 million was utilised for the purchasing of furniture and equipment to enhance the institutional capacity of the Court of Appeal, Commercial Court, Director of Public Prosecution and other legal affairs offices.



week ending February 2, 2014


Berbicians call on gov’t to bring out soldiers to help fight crime C

entral Corentyne Chamber of C o m m e r c e (CCCC) President Lakha Rambrich said the upsurge of crime in Berbice, particularly Rose Hall Town, is cause for serious concern, and is calling on Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee to bring out soldiers to help solve the problem. Rambrich told Guyana Times International in a recent interview that despite

the lack of manpower in the police force, the authorities have no plausible excuse for the current situation. “Send some of those soldiers that we are paying and are sitting down as reserve,” he said, as he called for peace to return to the Corentyne. He also related that the recent spate of events is a major deterrent for current and prospective investors in the region.

The CCCC president further called on business owners to take additional security measures to protect their investments. On Saturday, a security guard at the Lucky Dollar store on the Corentyne was killed during a robbery. Rambrich’s call comes on the heels of Corentyne residents expressing a loss of confidence in law enforcement officials to carry out their duties.

Loss of life In a release, the chambers lamented the grave loss of life as a result of the upsurge in violent criminal activities in the region. On Sunday, Corentyne residents took to the streets in protest after some policemen were accused of robbing a grocery shop. Scores of residents blocked the public road to register their disgust with law enforcement

officials. The residents had claimed that some of the lawmen are responsible for some of the crimes being perpetrated. One resident had alleged that a police vehicle was used in one incident. The protest on Sunday almost escalated into a riot after an explosive was thrown at a police car even as they try to maintain some form of crowd control. Rohee had told jour-

nalists at a recent press conference that he had instructed Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell to transfer all the ranks stationed at the 51 Village Police Station. Minister Rohee also appealed to the force to change the perception the public have of them and work with communities to solve crimes. The police, he said do not know it all, and need the assistance of the public.

Guyana’s first petting zoo closer to reality


he Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, through the Protected Areas Commission, on Tuesday afternoon signed a Gy$32 million contract for the establishment of the country’s first petting zoo, the newest feature of the Guyana zoological park. The upgraded facility will give children and animal lovers an opportunity to access a “true rainforest experience”. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud said the zoological park is part of the three parks initiative, which seeks to develop a few popular public parks in the city. He said among the many concepts behind the upgrading of the zoo is the modernisation of the facility to serve the interest of the society. The initia-

Protected Areas Commissioner Damian Fernandes

An artist’s impression of the petting zoo, the first of its kind to be built in Guyana.

tive also seeks to ensure that due attention is given to environmental issues. “We have a popu-

lation that is quite aware and quite au fait with our rich biodiversity… and not everyone can go out

and have that rich rainforest experience. From a very early age, we bring our people and communi-

ty to this green richness of our country”. The work, which is expected to last between four and five months, will be executed by contractor Alvin Chowarmootoo.

Complete facility

P r o t e c t e d Areas Commission Commissioner Damian Fernandes said the new zoo will significantly strengthen the school-zoo educational programme, and will serve as a complete and effective facility for youth-focused education. Fernandes admitted that persons, when visiting the zoo, often complain about the absence of particular species of animals. While the zoo is in dire need of additional animal species, the commission is caught between a rock and a hard place. “You ask yourself a question, what do I do first, do I get the animal and put it in a cage and then wait for money to get a proper cage or do I build a proper cage and then get the animal and put it in?”

The commissioner added that the zoo is inundated with abandoned pets, adding strain on the already struggling facility. “There’s a constant flow of these animals into the zoo and we’re trying our best basically to function as a rescue centre for these animals.” He said he hoped proper systems could be put in place so that exhibits could be established for the animals of the zoo and others that might find themselves there. According to Fernandes, the new facility will be based on a roughly circular design with an all-weather walkway of paving stones around a semiaquatic space. The walkway will be open to a series of enclosures which will feature docile animals, allowing persons to interact with the animals. Because of the 2005 flood, the ground floor will be raised three feet higher, allowing for the quick draining of water, should there be excessive rainfall. The facility hopes to partner with volunteers from animal rights groups to assist in its day-to-day running, while raising awareness about the cruel treatment meted out to animals.

news week ending February 2, 2014



Guyana, Venezuela to meet soon on maritime issue all the points of the Joint Declaration of September 30, 2011, in Port-of-Spain. It was recognised that the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between the two countries remains an outstanding issue and the foreign ministers

Guyana's Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett

By Michael Younge


echnical teams appointed by the governments of Guyana and Venezuela are expected to meet shortly to discuss matters surrounding the recent maritime issue between the two nations. The issue arose after Venezuelan naval authorities had trailed and seized a ship that was conducting seismic work in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in October last year. The ship at the centre of the controversy was the MV Teknik Perdana, which along with its crew members, was released. Speaking with Guyana Times International during a recent interview, Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett disclosed that the two countries are in contact and are making all of the necessary arrangements to ensure that the work of the technical teams flow smoothly once

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elías Jaua

talks commence. She confirmed that no date has been set as yet for official dialogue to begin, but expressed hope that work would begin shortly. Rodrigues-Birkett said that she also remains optimistic that the discussions are going to be cordial and held in good faith, considering the importance of the issue at hand. Deadline The minister said the timeline of four months set for the meetings between the technical teams will expire sometime around the third week of February. “We have made it clear that we are ready and available to meet at any time. We understand the importance of resolving whatever differences we may have on this matter”, the minister said. Asked whether Guyana’s position has changed from the time it raised objections to the re-

action of Venezuela, she responded in the negative. Minister Birkett said that Guyana’s position is based on principle and grounded in international law. “We are standing on firm legal footing and we have done a thorough analysis of this matter,” she stated. “Guyana remains committed to the process,” she reiterated, praising the good relations the two nations have enjoyed over the past few years. Technical team The technical team will be meeting to examine the way forward on the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between Guyana and Venezuela. A joint statement from the two countries following a meeting between Rodrigues-Birkett and her Venezuelan counterpart Elías Jaua last year indicated that they ratified

agreed that such delimitation will require negotiations. Venezuela has for decades claimed two-thirds of Guyana’s territory as its own, arguing that the gold-rich region west of the Essequibo River was stolen

from it by an 1899 agreement with Britain and its then colony. The area is a fixture of 19th century maps of Gran Colombia, the short-lived republic revered by the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.


week ending February 2, 2014


NEWS week ending February 2, 2014

Fashion earns Trinidad and Tobago TT$25 million a year – PM Kamla


rinidad and Tobago’s fashion industry employs more than 11,000 persons either directly or indirectly and generates more than TT$25 million annually, according to Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar. Officially opening the signature “Vogue Italia Gala Event Under the Trees” at which ten local designers put their lines of clothing on stage at Hotel Normandie, St Ann’s on Sunday evening, PersadBissessar said, “Port-ofSpain is being positioned as a fashion district and the fashion capital of the Caribbean.” She described the locations between Frederick and Charlotte streets as the only cloth district in the Caribbean and listed the names of local designers synonymous with the highest quality of fashion, including more recently Anya Ayoung Chee, winner of Season 9 of the Project Runway Lifetime TV programme. The event, organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Creative Industries (CreativeTT) and held under the theme “Masquerade,” was done in partnership with the Italian version of the inter-

Wearing an outfit from the design house of CLD, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar walks the catwalk with leading stylist Peter Elias at Sunday’s Masquerade Gala produced by CreativeTT and held Under the Trees at the Normandie in St Ann’s Port-of-Spain. (Sean Nero/TT Guardian photo)

nationally renowned fashion magazine Vogue. CreativeTT’s partnership with Vogue Italia, Persad-Bissessar said, makes the point that the fashion sector still has tremendous potential to be explored. TT’s fashion talent being featured in the Spring/ Summer issue of Vogue Italia in May 2014 will present an excellent plat-

form for that potential, she said. Among those presenting their line of clothing, which ranged from fashionable tantalising bikinis, light and colourful casual wear to flowing evening gowns were Adrian Forester, Christian Boucaud, Claudia Pegus, CLD, Health Jones, James Hackett of the University of Trinidad and Tobago, J

Madison, Meiling, Noor, Peter Elias, and Rhion Romany. The event, which started at 8.15 pm, an hour and fifteen minutes late due to the late arrival of PersadBissessar, flowed without a hitch once it got started. Earlier, PersadBissessar attended the start of the Week of Prayer at the National Academy for the Performing Arts. No one appeared to be fazed by the late start as cocktails and drinks were in abundance. Scintillating pieces from the mas bands D’Crewe, Fantasy, Island People, K2K Alliance, Passion Carnival, Tribe and Yuma were also captivating. The event, PersadBissessar said, was one where talent, government policy, and a tradition of creative and innovative genius converge. She noted that the industry was tapping into the creative wealth of people as a means of diversifying the economy away from oil and gas. While CreativeTT was at the forefront of the drive to stimulate and facilitate the business and export activities to generate wealth, she said UTT is offering a first degree in fashion. (TT Newsday)



APNU concerned over president’s non-assent of bills


pposition Leader, retired Brigadier David Granger has called on President Donald Ramotar to assent to bills passed by the National Assembly, saying otherwise his party would have a hard time cooperating with the government in the House. In a statement, the chairman of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) recalled that, nearly two years ago, the president stated in his inaugural address to the 10th Parliament on February 10, 2012: “Indeed the make-up of this new Parliament dictates that we seek consensus and compromise, and we should resist the temptation to believe that any party can ride roughshod over another.” The opposition leader expressed his dismay that the president had decided not to assent to several bills – the Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2012; Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2013; Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2013; and Local Government

(Amendment) Bill 2012 – which were passed by the National Assembly. He said the president’s decision was contemptuous of the authority of the National Assembly and injurious to relations based on consensus and compromise between the executive and legislative branches of government, which the president’s inaugural address promised. Granger announced the decision of APNU, therefore, to withhold support for certain bills brought to the National Assembly by the executive until and unless the executive gives assurance that the bills already passed by the National Assembly will be assented to, or have their re-submission and passage facilitated in the National Assembly. He is also seeking to have the bills to which the president has already assented operationalised without delay. The opposition leader expressed his willingness to meet with the president as early as possible to discuss, in the spirit of consensus and compromise, the issues arising from its concerns.


week ending February 2, 2014


news week ending February 2, 2014



Revised M & CC budget GECOM still to appoint new CEO to be presented soon


ity Mayor Hamilton Green said the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is expected to receive a revised proposal for the 2014 annual budget soon. The revised budget is expected to be presented during the course of this week for the council’s approval. The budget was first presented to the council late last year by Finance Committee Chairman Junior Garrett and his team. The budget was compiled for Gy$2,055,467,116 for this year. The mayor described that budget as “unrealistic” and said it does not cater for the duties and responsibilities of the municipality. He said the budget also did not cater for the Ratings Appeals Panel to ensure citizens’ redress and to further reduce excuses for the nonpayment of taxes. However, Green said if all goes well, the revised budget will be debated further and passed on to the Local Government and Regional Development Ministry as early as this weekend, once approved by the council. The revised budget proposal will be presented to the local government

Georgetown Mayor Hamiltion Green

minister for his approval. The first budget was not approved by the council, as the finance committee did not take into consideration various issues. Among these are the upgrade and rehabilitation of all municipal departments and funds for the daily clean-up exercise of the city. They also looked at the council’s liabilities, making special reference to the M&CC’s huge Guyana Power and Light (GPL) deficit, among other expenses. It was reported that there were some issues between Town Clerk Carol Sooba and councillors. According to reports, Sooba has not attended any of the statutory meetings held by the M&CC over the past few months, after the budget was re-

jected. Mayor Green said protocol must be followed and the budget must be approved by the council, before it could be passed on to the ministry. Green has himself come under intense criticism for Georgetown’s garbage collection, the overall management of the City Council, and what appears to be internal political grandstanding over many decision-making processes.


lmost six months after Gocool Boodoo was let go as the chief elections officer (CEO), the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is still to appoint someone to fill this post. According to reports, the entire panel of commissioners is in the process of finalising plans to conduct interviews based on a shortlist it has come up with. However, there is no clear indication as to when this process will

be completed. The post remains a contest between now acting CEO Calvin Benn, who was previously deputy chief elections officer, and Keith Lowenfield, another senior GECOM staff. In response to reports that GECOM is sidelining Benn for the post, the commission’s public relations officer Vishnu Persaud denied this, explaining that the choice of CEO is collectively made by all commissioners.

According to reports, Lowenfield could get the support of the three opposition members of GECOM. A statutory meeting was held on Tuesday to discuss the appointment of a CEO. The post of chief elections officer became vacant after GECOM refused to renew the contract of Boodoo over concerns by the opposition about a computing mistake made in the allocation of seats in the 2011 elections.

20 NEWS PPP/C Linden branch opens T week ending February 2, 2014

he People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Region 10 Freedom House branch was last Saturday declared opened by President Donald Ramotar under intense security. At ‘Five-Corner’ situated at Mackenzie, Linden, a short distance away from the grand opening ceremony, scores of Lindeners equipped with placards peacefully picketed the president’s and his entourage’s visit to the mining community. “President how long more the people of Linden have to wait before they receive their television station,”; “You can’t get blood out of stone, Sam”; and “Beware of the PPP creeping in, remember the three that were killed”, were among the citations on the placards. Dedication Meanwhile at the opening ceremony, President Ramotar told the gathering that the PPP/C has always been fighting for the people of Guyana, as he pledged his party’s dedication to the nation. “This region has huge potential for tourism but we need to have the infrastructure in place,” he said. He said the Amaila Falls Hydro Power Project designed to reduce electricity costs across the country, with Region 10 Linden also standing to reap the benefits, was killed by the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and


At left: Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Housing Minister Irfaan Ali, President Donald Ramotar, Junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill and other top PPP/C officials assist a child in cutting the ribbon to officially open the party's Linden branch

the Alliance for Change (AFC). “The Amaila Falls Project would have created an enormous amount of jobs in our country and great stimulus for our economy, but they are not interested in that kind of development.” He added that when the Amaila Falls Project would have been completed, it would have removed the annual subsidy of Gy$2.5 billion given to Region 10 for the payment of electricity. He said the cost of electricity with the operation of the hydro plant, would have

been gradually reduced. Financial resources “We would have saved Gy$9 billion a year on subsidy for electricity for the whole country; with that Gy$9 billion, we would have solved many of the problems on the streets, of the drainage, of the garbage. We could have solved all of that.” He said too that Linden stands to benefit significantly with the enhancement of the Lethem/Linden Road, with increased traffic from nationals from neighbouring Brazil.

However, he warned the region against the likely impacts of shutting down the town. “I want to warn those who claim to have the interest of people at heart of some of the damage they are doing… people are reluctant because what happened here in blocking roads and bridges… don’t think that the Brazilians don’t have alternatives.” Turning his attention to the One Mile Primary School which was reduced to ashes during the 2012 Linden un-

rest, President Ramotar said the government remains committed to the rebuilding of the school. “We don’t burn schools, we build them, we don’t destroy infrastructures, we put them in place… it might be delayed but it will be built by this government.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds made it clear that the government has not peddled backwards on its promise to the people of Linden. It was explained that the Ramotar administration and the Region 10 Regional Democratic Council in the August 21, 2012 agreement, agreed not to increase electricity tariffs until the work of the technical and economical committees have been completed. Nevertheless, he called on Lindeners to conserve on electricity and adjust to changes. Also in attendance were the Housing and Water Minister Irfaan Ali, junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill, Sport Director Neil Kumar and other top PPP/C officials. As the event came to a closure and the ribbon was cut, police officers lined the front of the building to prevent any disruption of the proceedings due to the planned protest action by some residents. However, there were only a few scattered picketers who stood a short distance away to mark their dissatisfaction with the president’s visit.

NEWS week ending February 2, 2014

Core homes at Parfaite Harmonie formally handed over

Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar with assistance from a young lady helps a child to cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially hand over the core homes in the Westminster Phase One, La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Development area to beneficiaries. (Guyana Times photos)


he government in keeping with its pro-poor agenda, designed to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, on Saturday handed over several core homes in Westminster Phase One, La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Development, West Bank Demerara. During the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon, President Donald Ramotar said the Housing Ministryinitiative will be expanded this year. “We will be expanding this year on this initiative as it is one of the most important social facilities that we are doing because it gives a sense of security to the family and the children to do their studies. It helps that there is no landlord calling for rent. They can plan their lives better. We want to expand on this initiative in all the regions of the country and in the interior.” While interacting with the beneficiaries, the president expounded

on the benefits of these and other programmes, noting that they all aim to enable families to enjoy a better standard of living and have more disposable income available. “The core homes offer households an excellent opportunity to restructure their lifestyle,” he stated. Meanwhile, Housing and Water Minister Irfaan Ali explained that the core house pilot seeks to address occupancy and issues of affordability, through the construction of 400 cores homes across the country. “This is what the government wants to encourage, beneficiaries of core homes to maximise their savings as a result of this investment on your behalf, which in time will enable you to expand the home.”


He said too that the government has invested more than Gy$800,000 per household in the development of lots in

the Parfaite Harmonie Housing Development area. Ali emphasised too that the expansion of the housing programme is in keeping with the vision of the president as outlined in the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) 2011 manifesto. The 103 core homes were completed at an average cost of Gy$2,912,621 each, with individual beneficiaries contributing Gy$100,000 for the construction of their homes. Some 423 persons will be housed in the 103 homes. The Second Low Income Settlement Programme, which is funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) and which is currently being implemented by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), has as one of its components the implementation of pilot projects to address issues of affordability and sustainability in housing. Through this pilot programme, the government provides an alternative to affordable housing for low income earners. The core unit, designed by the CHPA, is a modest 330 square foot timber and concrete structure with no internal partition walls, except for the enclosed sanitary block comprising a toilet and shower. The unit, is elevated three feet from ground level and lends itself to easy expansion as the occupant is able to afford. It is outfitted with a basic kitchen sink and electrical wiring and plumbing.



Teen bandit shot dead in East Coast robbery


The crowd flocked the hearse as undertakers removed the body of the teenager

teenage bandit was on Wednesday shot dead, while two of his accomplices escaped during a brazen daylight robbery committed on E Evans and Son’s Variety Store and Bar at Lot 851 Fourth Street, Dazzel Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara. The bandit has since been identified as a 15-year-old of La Penitence, Georgetown who was recently fingered in a murder. He was reportedly shot at least six times by the businessman with his licensed .32 revolver. The men reportedly went to the business place under the pretext of shopping for groceries. One of the men enquired about the price for a bag of sugar while the other two scaled a fence separating the shop from the house and made their way into the upper flat of the building where they demanded cash and jewellery. Police stated that about 13:30h, the suspects, two armed with handguns and one with a pair of scissors, entered the grocery and liquor store of businessman Eon Evans. The men held up Evans’ son and took an

undisclosed sum of cash. “While one of the men remained with the son, the two others went upstairs where they held up Eon Evans and his wife who was tied up and placed in a bedroom,” the release added. Evans explained that the men also demanded that he hand over his gun, but he replied that he did not have one. The bandits then took Evans’ gold band and demanded cash.

Gun point

Evans explained that he told the bandits he did not have money in the upper flat and that all the money was downstairs. He added that one of them continued to hold him at gunpoint and took him into the shop. “As I enter the shop, I see another bandit with a gun to meh son head and he threatened to shoot if I don’t hand over the money… I seh ‘don’t shoot the youth man, just go in the box with the money and tek whatever you all want’…” The still visibly shaken businessman stated that after two of the bandits collected what they wanted, they left and he thought that the ordeal

was over. As he rushed back to the upper flat to check on his wife and baby, he was greeted by the third bandit who was holding a pair of scissors to his wife’s neck. “When I see this, I ask he what he still doing here and I tell he ‘look you two friends gone’… he still deh holding meh wife with the scissors and demanding money… so then I tell he again that he friends them gone and he should go as well…” Evans said as the bandit turned around to leave, he collected his gun and shot him. The teenager ran through the back door but collapsed and died. Evans noted that the other two were already on the road and he fired two shots at them, but they ran through the village discharging several rounds into the air. The police have since launched a manhunt for them. Evans, who is thankful for his life and those of his family, said all of the action was captured by the surveillance cameras mounted around the building. The surveillance footage is being reviewed by police ranks.

Ramotar lauds Yesu Persaud’s contribution to Guyana


resident Donald Ramotar, on Friday evening, lauded industrialist Yesu Persaud, who he said contributed significantly to the growth of the private sector from strength to strength and can be considered one of the pioneers of the local private sector. Persaud retired in December last year from his position as chairman of the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) after serving the company for 48 years. Speaking at the reception at the New Thriving Events Centre, Camp and Lamaha streets, President Ramotar spoke highly of Persaud’s

contributions to not only the business community, but to the country’s social and economic development as well. He recalled that as DDL chairman, Persaud greatly helped the country to transition from the difficult years. Persaud’s successor, Komal Samaroo noted that under the outstanding leadership of his predecessor, DDL has seen a tremendous transformation, whereby the distilling industry was used as a base to create a diversified group of companies. “He’s a phenomenal fighter; he fights for what he believes in and

President Donald Ramotar and Yesu Persaud make a toast at the appreciation ceremony while new DDL Chairman Komal Samaroo looks on

fights to protect what he builds… he dedicated a great portion of his life to build the company, he has provided very out-

standing, visionary leadership, and given opportunities to many young professionals in the company,” Samaroo said.

He added that Persaud has never been afraid to take risks and venture out into uncharted waters. He ex-

plained that over the years, he has built out of a very traditional company, a very modern industry that is in keeping with the trends in the world today. Persaud, in his remarks, said with determination and perseverance, DDL is now a company that is second to none in Guyana. “DDL is a shining star, there is nothing precluding it from moving forward.” The company now employs more than 1300 people, creating jobs both locally and abroad with distributors in Canada, United States of America and Europe. (GINA)



week ending February 2, 2014


Ramotar concerned over special select committee’s sloth


resident Donald Ramotar said he was upset with the sloth in the work of the special select committee in the National Assembly, in various matters of urgent public interest. The president raised this concern during a recent press conference, stating that the government has not been getting the cooperation it needs from the opposition. Ramotar said that the opposition parties seemed to be very reluctant or incapable of moving out of their “narrow political agendas”. He used the AntiMoney Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill as an example of the slothfulness being displayed by the opposition. According to him, these bills are beneficial to the country and will only help to build Guyana’s legislation and keep it in line with the region, thereby, ensuring there is no loopholes. “To me it is not a complicated thing, yet it was for six months in a select committee by the opposition that said they had concerns. Yet, they never raised a single concern in that period,” he added. The head of state said he had hoped that in

the new select committee, the opposition parties would have worked assiduously to have the bill passed, but from his reports, they are still using old delaying tactics to hinder progress. Ramotar noted that members of parliament who were sent to represent their parties at the special select committee cannot make decisions on their own and would have to consult with senior leaders of their parties before a decision is taken. “When we send people to a select committee, they are empowered to make decisions there,” the president noted. The president said he was in favour of having the press present at these meetings, but this decision will have to be made by the committee. However, he believes this will help to stop the ongoing blame game. He noted that some stakeholders have expressed interest, to him, to sitting in during these meeting and according to him, he will endorse a move in that direction. The president added that this will ensure that both government and the opposition are held accountable and the process is fasttracked so that development can continue.

Several soldiers receive on-thespot promotions – for successful Trans Guyana aircraft recovery mission


Chied-of-Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips (11th left) and members of the 31 Special Force Squadron

uyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff (CoS), Brigadier Mark Phillips on Friday awarded on-the-spot promotions and special incentives to eight ranks of the highly professional ‘31 Special Forces Squadron’, and another, from the force’s ‘G2 Branch’. According to a release, the ranks gained their promotions for exemplary performance and service with excellence. The eight 31 Special Forces Squadron were members of the search and rescue team responsible for locating and recovering the remains of the Trans Guyana pilot and baggage handler who died when the company’s Cessna aircraft crashed in the dense jungle at Olive Creek in the Mazaruni. In congratulatory remarks, CoS Phillips said the Special Forces team showed all Guyana that the GDF and its Special Forces were ready. “You have lived up to the Special Forces motto which was

crafted some 30-odd years ago. But it was not the Special Forces alone who were ready; the Air Corps were, as always, ready and relevant in being of service to Guyana and her citizens. The GDF will always be ready to deal with national situations,” he said. Appreciation “In getting the job done, the GDF persevered. You persevered. We will continue to do the best, the very best we can, with the little we have!” he added. “Today, it is about showing you our appreciation for your collective hard work.” The congratulations followed a brief outline by the chief-of-staff, of the sequence of events leading to the GDF’s involvement in the search and rescue. “I received a call from the president and commander-in-chief indicating that I should communicate with the subject minister for transport and that we put our resources to work.

Earlier, in introductory remarks, Deputy Chief-of-Staff Kemraj Persaud noted that “… it is not very often that we get a chance to do what we are trained to do, but when we do, we do it at the very best of our ability.” Those promoted from the Special Forces are: Acting Sergeant Jason Khan, who has been confirmed in his rank; Corporal Roland Williams, who is now a substantive sergeant; acting Corporal Darwin Archer, who has been confirmed in his rank; lance corporals Rock Watson and Kleon Chase, who are now substantive corporals; privates Timeon McPherson, Ronald Corlette and Alex Williams, who have been elevated in rank to substantive lance corporals and Private Michael Hamer, who is now an acting lance corporal. Substantive Corporal Robert Pyle of the G2 Branch was also elevated to the rank of acting sergeant.

Victims of Lusignan massacre remembered


he sorrowful event of January 26, 2008 has forever altered the lives of residents of Lusignan, on the East Coast of Demerara. Those who were directly affected through the loss of a loved one, grapple in constant trepidation and pray daily that such a tragedy would never see the light of day, in any part of the country, again. The pain was obvious and although six years have slowly passed by, the five families of the 11 slain victims have continued living their lives in silent grief. Clarence Thomas, 48, and his two children Ron, 11, and Vanessa, 12; Mohandai Gurdat, 32, and her two sons Seegobin Heeralall, four, and Seegopaul, 10; Seecharan Rooplall, 56, his wife Dhanrajie Ramsingh, 52, and their granddaughter Raywattie Ramsingh, 11; Shazam Mohammed, 22; and Shalem Baksh, 52, were all savagely mur-

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds cuts the ribbon to officially commission the arch in rememberance of the victims of the Lusignan massacre

dered in the wee hours of the morning on January 26, when gunmen armed with shotguns and AK47s stormed their homes. The now 11-year-old Roberto Thomas, who was dubbed the miracle baby, amazingly escaped death and is currently making preparations to write the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) in April.


The victims had all lived in close proximity and because of this; residents have erected a tow-

ering arch in their honour. Scores of residents gathered together in solemnity as tributes were paid at the “Evening of Remembrance”, organised by the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) on Sunday afternoon. Family members, along with residents, gathered around as Prime Minister Samuel Hinds cut the ribbon to commission the monument. Prime Minister Hinds, delivering the feature address, posited that the massacre may have been carried out

in retaliation by a gang from another East Coast village, whose members thought that they were being treated unfairly. However, he pointed out that in spite of the underlying issues, the fact remains that innocent lives were snuffed out. “One can’t avoid that feeling because these were all innocent people,” he told the gathering, as he urged all to embrace peace and love. Rajkumar Heeralall, father of the two slain children Seegobin and

A section of the gathering at the event

Seegopaul was almost brought to tears as master of ceremony Raymond Azeez read a letter that was written by the children to him, a few days before they were killed. “We miss you very, very much” they wrote with the help of their mother Mohandai Gurdat. He was living in Trinidad at the time. And that was the last words he saw from them. The country was thrown into a state of shock when news spread of the mass murder in the quiet village. Residents

were fast asleep when the group of gunmen carried out their murderous attack on the defenseless victims. The quiet village was transformed into a contentious arena as residents staged a number of protest actions, citing their grave disappointment in the country’s national security system following the attack. The attack was said to be carried out by former soldier-turned-criminal, Rondell “Fine man” Rawlins and members of his gang.

news week ending February 2, 2014



Peace is essential for progress – President Ramotar tells Latin American and Caribbean heads


embers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), on the final day of the 2nd Summit in Havana, Cuba, unanimously adopted a proclamation declaring the area a zone of peace. The proclamation reaffirms the commitment of member countries with the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations charter and International Law, and aware of the fact that prosperity and stability in the region contribute to international peace and security. The declaration is mindful that peace is a supreme asset and a legitimate aspiration of all peoples and that preserving peace is a substantial element of Latin America and Caribbean integration, and a principle and common value of CELAC. The declaration also reaffirms that

integration consolidates the vision of a fair international order based on the right to peace and a culture of peace, which excludes the use of force and non-legitimate means of defence, such as weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons in particular. President Donald Ramotar, who led Guyana’s delegation to the Summit, said he was very happy with the declaration and noted that while the idea is nothing new, it was always a big effort by the Region to declare itself as a zone of peace. He emphasised that differences must be settled through discussions. “It’s in all of the Region’s interest; moreover it is building on solidarity if we all commit ourselves to peaceful development. Without peace, you cannot have economic and social development. It

is necessary and for Latin America and the Caribbean to progress. Peace is essential,” he asserted In his address to the gathering of Heads on January 29, President Ramotar urged that CELAC, following the declaration, must not allow itself to lapse in calling for complete nuclear disarmament in the world. He stressed that the example set by the declaration must be used to push for the promotion of world peace. The declaration also recalled the decision of UNASUR Heads of State, consolidating South America as a zone of peace and cooperation; the establishment in 1986 of the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic and the commitment agreed in the declaration of the Summit of Unity of Latin America and the Caribbean on February

23, 2010 to promote the implementation of the region’s own mechanisms for peaceful conflict resolution. Further, the declaration reiterated the commitment to consolidate Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace in which differences between nations are peacefully settled through dialogue and negotiations or other means, fully consistent with International Law. At the CELAC 2nd Summit, the thirty-three member States declared the following:1. Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace based on respect for the principles and rules of International Law, including international instruments to which member States are party to 2. Permanent commitment to solve disputes through peaceful means with the aim of uprooting forever threat

or use of force in the region 3. The commitment of the States of the Region with their strict obligation not to intervene, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other State and observe the principles of national sovereignty, equal rights and self-determination of people 4. The commitment of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean to foster cooperation and friendly relations among themselves and with other nations irrespective of differences in their political, economic, and social systems or development levels; to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours 5. The commitment of the Latin America and Caribbean States to fully respect inalienable right of every State to choose its political, economic,

social and cultural system, as essential conditions to ensure peaceful coexistence among nations 6. The promotion in the region of a culture of peace based, inter alia, on the principles of the United Nations declaration on a Culture of Peace 7. The commitment of the States in the Region to guide themselves by this declaration in their international behaviour 8. The commitment of the States of the Region to continue promoting nuclear disarmament as a priority objective and to contribute with general and complete disarmament to foster the strengthening of confidence among nations. It urges the international community to fully respect the declaration in their relations with CELAC.

‘Whatever I have to do for Jamaica I will,’ says PM Portia


rime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says whatever she has to do for Jamaica to progress, she will do it, as long as she is not breaking any laws. Simpson Miller, who is wrapping up an official visit to Cuba this week, made the statement in response to criticisms about her many travels overseas. "So when they criticise me about travel, I can't pay attention to some of that. If you are a government and if no head in the world invites you, you must be a prime minister that nobody at all cares about. And nobody cares about your country," she said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer newspaper.

The prime minister also took a swipe at Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, saying it was not her fault that he was not invited overseas in the brief spell that he was head of government in 2011. Recalling her visit to China in August last year, she said: "Since I came back from China, a number of (Chinese) investors have come to Jamaica and met with ministers, and some ministers have been invited back to China, based on my visit to China, for discussions in other areas that we raised." She said that she did not accept every invitation to go overseas, but there were certain ones that she would not

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (right) is greeted by Cuban President Raul Castro (second left), on her arrival at the inaugural session of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held at the PABEXPO building in Havana, Cuba, from January 28 to 29. (JIS photo)

turn down, for example, Brussels, the European capital. "The EU is the largest contributor to develop-

ment programmes globally. The amount of programmes that the EU funds in Jamaica. When you criticise that now,

and the EU head hears that, what would he think? Sometimes we are destroying the very thing that we need. "It is not my fault that the present leader of Opposition, when he was prime minister, was not invited. But he never stayed there long enough to be invited. But the fact is that you can't have bilaterals if you always stay home...if heads invite you and say 'my colleague I'm asking that you visit'. We are inviting some too. I invited South Africa to our Independence celebrations and Goodluck Johnathan (of Nigeria), as well as several other African leaders to come. "Some of these that we feel we could develop areas of trade with, be-

cause their continent is very large. And a number of these countries are doing very well. I know, for example, that GraceKennedy is now in Ghana. We could be trading more with those countries. "You can't stay home and get certain things done. So when (UN Secretary General) Ban Ki-moon invites me to the UN, for example, I'm not to go? When he appoints me to the various things that the UN invites me to, you say no? "They can go on running up their mouths. Whatever I'm to do for Jamaica to progress I'm going to do it, as long as I'm not breaching any laws," Simpson Miller said. (Jamaica Observer)

Persaud denies allegations of sexual misconduct


ocal Government Minister Ganga Persaud has denied media reports that he had resigned owing to allegations of sexual misconduct. There have been a number of online news reports concerning the allegations, but Persaud in a release said he has noted with deep shock, “reports circulating particularly in the social media which tend to suggest and in some instances allege, expressly or by implication, that I had sexu-

Guyana’s Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud tendered his resignation last week. (Guyana Times file photo)

al intercourse of some sort with a minor”. “I wish to make it abundantly and unequivocally clear that I have had no sexual relations with any minor as is alleged or at all. Neither was such an allegation raised or discussed with me by His Excellency, President Donald Ramotar.” Persaud, who is slated to demit office on January 31, said the allegations are seriously libellous and are causing him and his family severe public humiliation,

embarrassment and trauma. “I hereby request that those circulating these false, malicious and libellous matters of and concerning me, cease forthwith. I have instructed my lawyers to proceed with litigation against every person, entity or company who continue to publish, or repeat the publication of these baseless, malicious and libellous allegations,” the statement concluded.



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Aviators want probe Dairy Queen opens first South findings into plane American outlet in Guyana crashes released By Michael Younge


aptain Gerry Gouveia said there was urgent need for the findings of various investigations into mishaps in the aviation sector to be released and made public as the cloud of secrecy that hovers over these cases is not helping the industry. Gouveia, the chief executive officer of Roraima Airways, is considered an expert as well as pioneer in the local aviation industry. He criticised the fact that stakeholders here could not gain access to the recommendations made at the end of probes into mishaps and incidents occurring involving flights that take off from the country’s second international airport at Ogle. Gouveia said something must be done by those in authority to correct this worrying trend as operators in the aviation sector need to learn from the mistakes made by others, so as to develop best practices and avoid them in the future. He did not understand the rationale behind keeping the findings under lock and key and away from key players within the industry, explaining that it is hindering the further development of an otherwise excellent aviation sector. “I don’t believe we are doing it as correctly as it should be done,” he said, referring to the probes. “When we are finished the investigations… the public and the professionals in the industry… should know every one of these findings so that we could correct, surgically what that problem was,” he insisted. Gouveia also lobbied for the findings to be published in the media so that they can be duly scrutinised, arguing that the challenges faced will continue unless the status quo changes.

Heightened surveillance

Captain Gouveia has welcomed the announcement by Transport and Hydraulics Minister Robeson Benn that government plans on heightening the surveillance of the sector following the recent string of mishaps. But in the same breath, he said the minister could be missing the bigger picture if the aforementioned issues are not addressed. He praised the level of professionalism and standards that are in place and operational at the Ogle International Airport, declaring that the pilots and

Staff of the newly-opened Dairy Queen outlet at Robb Street and Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown are all smiles at the grand opening on Saturday. The new outlet is the first Dairy Queen franchise in South America

C Captain Gerry Gouveia

other staff there are the best within the country and farther afield. The Roraima chief executive officer dismissed as false any notion that there is a lack of adequate safety and security standards in place at the airport which led to the many incidents over the past six months. He appeared to be saying at great length that while there was room for more to be done to improve the situation, there was a need for those criticising Ogle to accept the bare facts.

amex Restaurants Inc, the franchisee of Church’s Chicken, Mario’s Pizza, Quiznos and Juici Patties opened their fifth franchise, Dairy Queen from the U.S. on Saturday. Dairy Queen is one of the most popular chains of soft serve ice cream in the fast food indus-

try. Their opening in Guyana will be the company’s first store in South America. “The Dairy Queen system is proud to welcome Guyana into the DQ family and thrilled to be serving its fans our world-famous soft-serve treats. “At Dairy Queen, our mission is to create positive mem-

ories for all who touch DQ. Whether it is getting your favourite Blizzard Treat served upside down, or celebrating at home with a DQ cake, it is our vision to be your favourite treat destination. To do this, we are committed to worldwide growth so that our fans can easily enjoy their favourite DQ treats. Dairy Queen is the original soft serve ice cream retailer and it is today the largest ice cream chain in the world,” the company said in a release. Dairy Queen continues to be the gathering spot in many communities and cultures around the globe and Camex Restaurant Inc said it is excited to be sharing its heritage as it celebrates this special occasion in Guyana. Camex Restaurant Inc plans to open several Dairy Queen outlets across Guyana, including one at their new Vreed-en-Hoop location which is scheduled to open soon as well.

Women miners want govt to play bigger role in fighting TIP

Aviation safety

“With the number of flights we are doing, with the number of passengers we are moving, how many deaths have we had? How many incidents have we had? And if you look at those statistics you will find that Guyana sits at the top of the world in terms of aviation safety. Amongst the top countries in the world that pay very close attention to aviation safety,” he said. “People may say look all of us are entitled to our own opinion,” he said, but “we are not entitled to our own facts”. Captain Gouveia said there may be need for Guyana to consider establishing a body that is separate from its civil aviation authority to probe the few instances of accidents. He also suggested that that authority could be the subject of any probe if it is found that there was any failure on its part, including to diligently impose sanctions when operators were found lacking. He has also lobbied for the testing of pilots, and aviation personnel in general, for drugs and alcohol as a means of moving forward. He pointed out that pilots already undergo routine medical examinations and are engaging in constant refresher courses in their field.


GWMO President Simona Broomes and other members of the organisation

uyana continues to act in contradiction of the Combating of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Act of 2005, assented to by former President Bharrat Jagdeo on April 7, 2005. This is according to the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) 2013 Report released on Friday. The report was launched under the theme “GWMO: Lifting the veil on modern day slavery”, in observance of the organisation’s second anniversary. The Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2005 states that “trafficking in persons involves the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by means of threat or use of force or other means of coercion, or by abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability…” It also addresses the issue of commercial sexual exploitation, including but not limited

to pimping, pandering, procuring, and profiting from prostitution. But most importantly, it outlines the necessary systems to be instituted to safeguard TIP survivors; an area in which the women miners’ organisation said is lacking. The act stipulates that appropriate housing should be provided, in addition to psychological counselling, medical assistance, legal assistance, employment and education. “Other anti-TIP efforts stated in the legislation include protection for victims, education of the public, and the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offences. The minister of home affairs is expected to lead these efforts in conjunction with the minister of labour, human services and social security,” the GWMO said. But according to 2013 GWMO TIP Report, the reality is “eight years since the law was introduced,

survivors of trafficking in Guyana have been poorly treated”. In 2013, GWMO rescued 29 TIP victims, with 16 of those rescued being under the age of 18 years. But while the organisation is playing a leading role in the fight against human trafficking, it claims that the authorities are failing to accommodate survivors of trafficking. “The provisions outlined under the relevant legislation have not been delivered and no effort has been made to remove the stigma in the system against survivors.” It also accuses the ministries of home affairs, human services and education of failing TIP victims, pointing to what it describes as the callous treatment meted out to survivors by ranks of the Guyana Police Force. “Further, the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) to an extent has also failed our young victims of trafficking. The agency has

no structure in place to specifically meet the needs of survivors and this includes adequate housing and access to counselling,” the 2013 report stated. According to the organisation, the trend of placing victims of human trafficking into foster homes is not the best solution to the problem. It explained that TIP survivors tell different stories; hence, they should receive special treatment. GWMO argued that TIP survivors should be continuously counselled in a bid to rebuild their self-respect. The expensive period of investigation is also a concern of the women miners. They believe that while not compromising the integrity of the case, the police should accelerate the rate at which they investigate, paving the way for reports to be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for advice in a timely manner. The British High Commission and the U.S. embassy have offered financial support to victims to aid in their campaign against human trafficking. In fact, in 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recognised GWMO’s President Simona Broomes as one of the 2013 heroes in the fight against TIP.

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Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha celebrates 40th year with grand cultural show


he Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha celebrated its 40th year in existence with a grand cultural show last Sunday at the Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud Dharmic Sanskritik

Kendra, Prashad Nagar, Georgetown. The event was attended by hundreds of members, leaders of other religious bodies, along with several government officials including

acting president, Prime Minster Samuel Hinds. The packed programme included dances, songs, skits, and several presentations on the Sabha’s history. These performances

Acting president, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds at the Guyana HIndu Dharmic Sabha's 40th anniversary cultural show

A performance by the Essequibo Coast prant

were presented by members of the eight regional ‘prants’ within the Sabha. Along with celebrating the anniversary of the Sabha, the work and con-

tribution of its founder Reepu Daman Persaud were also recognised. In his remarks, Hinds noted that despite the difficult times in which the organisation was formed, it has managed to keep its doors open to all Guyana in its charity and cultural work. He added that the world is changing in many ways. “I think it is very important that our religious traditions and teachings have come down from our foreparents thousands of years ago which they have established amongst us,” he stated. He urged Hindus to be more aware of their culture, tradition and religion, to keep it alive. In his remarks, Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) President Fazeel Ferouz said this is a great milestone for the Sabha and they should celebrate to mark the triumph of the founders, who faced many struggles to form the organisation. The CIOG president said that his organisation has had a close relationship with the Sabha which dates back many years, to when persons were trying to manipulate society into divisions. He noted that all Guyanese will have to work together to ensure that there is no division among themselves so that the struggles of fighters such as the late Pandit Reepu do not go in vain. Other speakers included Guyana Central Arya Samaj President, Dr Vishwa Mahadeo, who urged persons to reflect on the life of Pandit

Reepu as they continue to carry on his legacy Indian High Commission First Secretary Tirath Singh commended the Sabha for promoting Indian culture, keeping it alive and vibrant in the multi-cultural Guyanese society. The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha came into existence on January 8, 1974. Since its establishment, the organisation has been the front runner in sustaining and promoting Hinduism, while realising its social responsibilities by getting involved in various projects. The establishment of the Dharmic Sanskritik Kendra, which was recently renamed after Pandit Reepu, saw trainings and classes being done in instrument playing, dancing, Sanskrit, pandit practice, cooking and youth programmes. The Sabha also built the Good Hope Crematorium, which is now being used by the public. It also established the Rama Krishna Dharmic Primary School, which has seen great success over years. The organisation has now undertaken to build a secondary school. In realising its social responsibilities, the Sabha has been engaged in raising awareness on topical social issues such as HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, illiteracy – hosting blood drives, among other activities. It is for this reason the organisation has undertaken to build the ‘Bal Nivas’, a shelter for abused mothers and children at Ankerville, Corentyne, Berbice.

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udacious, determined and fashion inclined, Schemel Patrick is a young philanthropist, writer and advocate who knows that hard work results in success. Born and raised in Phoenix Park on the West Bank of Demerara, Schemel, 26, attended

I have had the pleasure of interviewing five vibrant, determined, successful and inspiring young Guyanese for our covers Steve Douglas, Christopher Barnwell, Ruqayyah Boyer, Keisha Edwards and Rhona Fox, and many other featured personalities.” Additionally, she is

piling the Guyana Girl Guides Association’s newsletter and the Youth Challenge Guyana’s newsletter. She also wrote for online entertainment website, Guyanalive. In 2012, through writing for Guyanalive, she was spotted and asked to write for JayBlessed.

Schemel (right) donating gifts to a youth group

St. Stanislaus College (CXC and CAPE) and then went on to the University of Guyana where she graduated, with a degree (distinction) in public communication. She currently works as an advocacy and communications officer at the Society against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD). She is also a writer and co-founder of MagLYFE’, an online entertainment magazine. The magazine offers a unique platform for those who want to be updated with current trends, interact with other users and seek advice on issues affecting them. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Schemel explained the online mag: “MagLYFE” is really short for the ‘Mag’nificent LYFE’. We were officially launched on the 13 January 2013 and recently celebrated our first anniversary. Over the past year,

the co-director for Feed a Child for the Holidays, a private group dedicated to making a humanitarian effort to share in the spirit of Christmas. “I adore working with children, and seeing the smiles on their faces, at Christmas, is priceless. I believe in giving back and helping others,” she expressed. The philanthropist has also been a member of the Guyana Girl Guides Association (GGGA) for more than 14 years. She started as a guide and moved up the rank, becoming a ranger and a young leader. She serves as public relations coordinator for the association. “I am very honoured to work with girls and young women, especially as it relates to empowerment and helping them to develop their fullest potential. Because of my work in the GGGA I was able to attend the 33rd World Conference in South Africa,” she noted. Schemel’s writing career started with com-

com - a Caribbean gossip website based in the U.S. She has also written for Youth Media Guyana's Youth Access

newspaper, created the Guyana Anglican Youth Council's Youth Focus and very recently started working on the Diocese of Guyana's Anglican Focus. She mentioned writing is an excellent way for self-expression and helps her to unwind. “The most amazing thing about dreams is



that they can be made into Life. Dream it, believe it and achieve it! It is harder that it seems but nothing worth having comes easy. Work on your talents and skills, there’s a reason you’re passionate about a certain something. Keep the dream alive. Work on it, work for it, don’t let it

die. MagLYFE would be nothing if I’d allowed my dream to remain a dream. All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them,” is her encouragement to youths. Schemel plans to continue developing herself as a writer and helping her magazine succeed.



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Entrepreneur By Vahnu Manikchand


t the age of 19, most people are trying to figure out their goals, and those who have already figured that out are busy pursuing it. But for young Jenell Pierre, her aim now is to further expand her already thriving business. Pierre is the proprietor of BowJay, and designer of her own line of hair accessories, bow ties and bags. Closing in on three years, she began her business at the age of 17, when the idea came to her, after she made a hair-bow, out of boredom. "After I finished school, I was home, and one day, out of boredom, I decided to make two bows, because I love making things – I'm very creative. So when I was done, I showed them to one of my cousins in New York and she loved them and told me she would buy something like them. That was a light bulb moment for me. I thought it could actually be a business." After toying with the idea for a while, Pierre told her friends about it, and of course not everyone thought it could materialise. "People thought a bow business was not going to be successful but their scepticism was what drove me. I took the good and bad and made it work." After she started her business, one of her friends introduced her to an entrepreneurial group called Women Entrepreneurship Network where she was taught about the art of operating a business, and book keeping. Pierre started with just making hair bows; however she has since evolved, taking her business to new heights as she widens her scope both as a designer and entrepreneur. Currently she is a second year student at the University of Guyana where she is studying Business Management. "Going to UG has helped me to better manage my business, and I do a lot of research, which I think is very important because it opens you up to so many possibilities and ideas.” Now her focus this year is having her products available in stores. At the moment she takes orders online through her Facebook page ( or Jenell Pierre on Facebook). She also does custom designs to suit her customers. "People would come to me with ideas that I never thought about, but the challenge is what drives me to do better." Being a high flyer is nothing new to Pierre; even in school she used to top her studies while at the same time involved in any extra curricula activities she could join. She is the youngest in her family and has always had their support. “When I came up with the idea I told my mother and she was very supportive of it, however my father was a bit sceptical because he wanted me to get into medicine; but he came around after he realized that this is what I wanted.” Pierre is very contented with her business and how successful she has been in expanding it. “I’m doing what makes me happy and what makes others happy, and that’s all that matters. So I’m going to continue to do what I love and grow my business.” She said that being an entrepreneur this young has propelled her to be active and creative. “Youth is not a disadvantage…for all the young people out there, do what you love. It makes no sense being in an occupation and being unhappy. It’s also important to talk about your dream, that will help you to believe more in it .Get advice from people you might be directed on the right path; and most importantly, never give up on your dream.”

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How he became the first Guyanese elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada


r Jamal Deen is a shining example of the talent and richness in educational and social groundings that the Caribbean and South American region have offered to Canada, and he is one of Canada’s most distinguished, honoured and recognized academics. When Deen was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) in June 2006, he became the first Guyanese to achieve this highest recognition for “Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peerelected as the best in their field.”

Formative Years

Jamal Deen was born and raised in the Coconut Walk, La Penitence community of urban Georgetown. He is the fifth of eight children. Raised in a typical Muslim family environment, his parents, though not very educated, made many personal sacrifices to educate their children, and also instilled religious and cultural values in them. They demonstrated by example the importance of an extended family, respect for others, especially elders, and living cohesively and harmoniously in a small, diverse ethnic and religious community. Even

ing on his own. This allowed him to work and attend University of Guyana in the evenings. For Deen, life was not easy. However, he excelled in his academic studies as well as in his fulltime day job as a mathematics and science teacher at Indian’s Education Trust College (now called Richard Ishmael Secondary School). He graduated in 1978 with a double major in mathematics and physics and was the top ranked in both, and the second ranked student overall in the university. These exceptional performances earned him the Chancellor’s Medal and the Dr Irving Adler Prize. Due to his outstanding performance in his undergraduate studies, he was appointed an instructor of Physics at UG. In his second year, in 1979, not only did he marry Meena (nee Khan), (marriage he regards as one of his happiest moments) (the others being the birth of their three sons), but he won the only Fulbright-Laspau graduate scholarship for Guyanese. He completed his graduate studies in electrical engineering and applied physics at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, U.S.A. As a graduate student, in addition to being a Fulbright-Laspau Scholar, he was also an American Vacuum Society

Deen (right) receiving the Humboldt Research Award in 2008

Philanthropy comes easily for Deen. He is an active community volunteer. For five consecutive years, he served as a judge in the British Columbia Science fair competition. He volunteered to develop and teach a 10week science/engineering PhD, NASA, enrichment program at his children’s elementary school. Moving to McMaster in 1999, he continued his community involvement by volunteering as a football coach in the West Hamilton Children’s Soccer League for four consecutive years while his youngest son played footballer. In addition, for some years, he and his family volunteered at a homeless shelter in Hamilton. Deen has also served the Caribbean, for six years, as an external examiner of the physics program at UWI, Trinidad. In addition, he has served as external examiner for doctoral theses in many developed and developing countries. Dr Deen’s research interests include nano-electronics and optoelectronics and their emerging applications in health and environmental sciences. He has also given of his time to establish scientific and technological cooperation between Canada and other countries.

Awards and acknowledgments

Deen with son Tariq and wife Meena at the McMaster Engineering Research Award event

though they had extremely modest means, they maintained a welcoming open door to relatives, neighbours and friends, willingly sharing whatever they had. For Deen, these were long lasting impressions that helped to shape his character during his formative years and have remained with him throughout his life. The academic attained his primary school education at the St. Stephen’s Church of Scotland School and successfully passed the annual Common Entrance Examinations in 1967, winning a place at the prestigious Queen’s College– one of only two all-boys secondary schools at the time. At Queen’s, Deen excelled in his academic achievements and was a regular prizewinner. In Fourth Form, 1971, he successfully took the maximum four subjects at the GCE ‘O’ Level Examinations and added six subjects the following year, easily earning a spot in Sixth Form. At Queen’s, he played volleyball for the school, excelling at soccer and long distance running.

Work and study

However, after six months in lower Sixth Form, life changed. He took a government position so he could help to support his younger siblings. Concurrently, he successfully took three ‘A’ Levels while study-

Scholar. During his graduate student days, in addition to his rigorous academic work, he regularly played badminton and took up cycling. He also actively helped other foreign students settle into graduate student life at Case. In 1986, after completing his graduate studies and briefly working in the U.S., he immigrated to Canada with his wife Meena and their four–month-old son. He had accepted his dream job– that of a university professor at the-then newly founded School of Engineering Science, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. As before, these were challenging times for him to attract adequate funding to establish a high-quality graduate research program. Fortunately, because of the high ranking of the university’s engineering academic program, hard work and some good luck, these initial barriers were successfully overcome. In fact, he was so successful in his research, teaching and service, he was promoted to the highest rank of ‘Full Professor’ in record time– six years after his appointment. During this time, his second and third sons were born. Deen has continuously nurtured and supported his sons and raised the boys to be confident and autonomous. His sons are all now qualified academics in very important work fields.

Desire to help

For both his scientific and technological achievements, as well as his community involvement in the West Indies and India, he was awarded the Guyana Award (Academic Excellence) from the Guyana Awards Council, Canada (2008), the Technology Achievement Award (2009) from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), and the New Pioneers Science and Technology Award in 2012. During his career, he has won more than 50 awards and honours. He was an NSERC Senior Industrial Fellow and is a distinguished lecturer of the IEEE Electron Device Society for more than a decade. His awards and honours include the Thomas D. Callinan Award and the Electronics and Photonics Award from the Electrochemical Society; the Distinguished Researcher Award, Province of Ontario; a Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany; an IBM Faculty Award; the Eadie Medal from the Royal Society of Canada; the IEEE Canada Fessenden Silver Medal as well as the McNaughton Gold Medal - the highest award for engineers in from IEEE Canada. IEEE is the largest professional society with 400,000 members around the globe. For his exceptional scholarly achievements, service contributions and exemplary professionalism, professor Deen was awarded honorary doctorates in engineering from University of Waterloo in 2011 and from Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain in 2012. The scholar’s peers have elected him to the highest status of Fellow in an impressive nine national academies and professional societies, including the two highest recognitions for scholars and engineers in Canada: The RSC and The Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). His other Fellow awards are from The National Academy of Sciences India (NASI - Foreign); The Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE - Foreign); The American Physical Society (APS); the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE); The Electrochemical Society (ECS); The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); and The Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC). In addition, he was elected an Honorary Member of the World Innovation Foundation (WIF)– the foundation’s highest honour. (Source: Horizons 2013 magazine)



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he University of Guyana (UG) recently celebrated 50 years as a historic milestone of academic development in Guyana. UG was created by the People’s Progressive Party government in 1963 and was referred to as “Jagan’s night school”. In October 1963, UG began its operations with a batch of 164 students in temporary premises on loan from Queen's College. According to the university’s website, current enrolment at the Turkeyen Campus is in excess of 5,000 students pursuing more than 60 under-graduate and post-graduate programmes. To date, more than 15,000 students have graduated and gone on to successful careers both locally and internationally. At its inception, only general degree programmes were offered by the University, but from 1966, certificate and diploma level programmes were introduced. Programmes were at first confined to the Arts, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. However, in 1967, a Faculty of Education was established and this was followed by the establishment of the Faculties of Technology in 1969, Agriculture in 1977, and in 1981, the Faculty of Health Sciences, prior to the establishment of which programmes in Health Sciences were offered within the Faculty of Natural Sciences. A Forestry Unit was established in 1987. In 2002, the Faculty of Agriculture was renamed the Faculty of Agriculture & Forestry. In 2003, the Faculties of Arts and Education

The library

Entering UG

merged to become the School of Education and Humanities. Within the past five years, a number of new programmes have been introduced. The University also certifies affiliated programmes. The health sector is the main beneficiary of this facility. The university occupied its present site at Turkeyen in October 1969. The tuition fee of $100 per annum was abolished in 1974. However, in the 1994-95 academic year, the university introduced a Cost Recovery Programme. In 1975, participation in National Service was made a requirement for persons wishing to pursue programmes at the University; however, in 1994 approval was given by the Cabinet for the abolition of mandatory National Service for students at tertiary lev-

el education institutions. In the 1993-94 academic year the Semester System was introduced in the Faculties of Education and Social Sciences. This system was introduced to the remaining faculties the following year. In 2005, the meritorious position of Distinguished Professor was instituted. Professor Clive Thomas is the sole holder of this distinction. In 2009, the first Emeritus Professors were installed. Despite the many challenges and setbacks over the years, UG has remained committed to implementing changes that would meet the needs of the nation and its people. This commitment has been demonstrated largely through the undertaking of expansionary projects.

University of Guyana – Berbice Campus (UGBC)

One of the university’s most significant un-

sequently offered: the Degree in Agriculture and the Associate Degree in General Science (various options) were offered in the 2001 – 2002 academic year, and Degree in Public Management and Education as well as the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education were offered in the 20022003 academic year. The first graduation ceremony was held in November 2002 with a batch of 93 students. UGBC has played an elemental role in qualifying both Guyanese and foreign students, and with the assistance from the Turkeyen Campus, government and private organisations, alumni groups, and the Guyanese community, and continues to fulfil its obligation to produce intellectually competent men and women who will be of service to “the community, the nation and all mankind.”

University of Guyana Guild of Graduates Ontario

idence at Turkeyen and spreading its wings to other parts of the country.” The book was written by individuals who have played leading roles in the early years of UG. It is history written by the makers of the history, each telling the story from his or her point of view. It is currently on sale and available at UG.

Anniversary Celebrations

During its anniversary celebration, the university hosted a commemorative walk and breakfast from Queen’s College to the Turkeyen Campus. Guest speaker at the breakfast called ‘Food for Thought’ was former Guyana Ambassador, Head of the Foreign Service, and Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Samuel Rudolph “Rudy” Insanally. In his remarks at the event, Insanally said: “Fifty years in the life of any organisation is

Center for Information Technology

dertakings was the formation of the Berbice campus. This campus, which became operational in 2000, was established with the intention of making university education more accessible to Berbicians, who previously endured the inconvenience of travelling to the Turkeyen Campus to pursue university studies. In its early stages, the University of Guyana – Berbice Campus (UGBC) offered two-year undergraduate Certificate programme in Education (various options) and Diploma programmes in Accountancy, English, History, Marketing, Public Management and Social Work, Degree programmes were sub-

In the recently released book, “The University of GuyanaPerspectives on the Early History”, published by the University of Guyana Guild of Graduates Ontario (UGGGO) in celebration of UG’s 50th anniversary, it states in its preface that UG is accepted as national institution. “Its graduates are playing leading roles in the social, political and economic development of Guyana. Many, outside Guyana, have gained prominence in academia, the private sector and the public sector. From its nocturnal beginnings as an interloper on the premises of Queen’s College, it now occupies permanent res-

no mean achievementit is a confirmation of UG’s ability to endure and survive for the next 50 years and beyond. To its great credit, the University of Guyana continues to produce a great number of our citizens trained and able to take our country into the 21st century…” From its humble beginning in 1963, the University of Guyana is known as an established national institution which enjoys respectable academic accreditation worldwide and whose graduates have performed in a consistently high manner in every academic and professional community they have graced. (Information from

Feature week ending February 2, 2014




A small group of youths with a common love for inline skating is on a mission to put the sport on the local scene international level. We hope also that a skating rink/park can be provided for us and funding made available to help inline skating enter the international arena,” Hinds explained.

lthough not commonly known in Guyana, inline skating is a worldwide sport. The Guyana inline skating team, made up of energetic, dedicated and brave young skaters, have created a fledgling sport here. Inline skating, also known as ‘roller blading’ due to the popular brand of inline skates Rollerblade, dates back to the 1800s when the skates, designed to work like ice skates during periods of warm weather, were invented by Louis Legrange of France in 1849. Through many trials and errors, skating aficionados over the years have perfected the inline skates which are used today. Inline skates typically have two to five wheels, arranged in a single line. The in-line design allows for greater speed than roller skates and better manoeuvrability. The in-line wheels coupled with boots are designed for skating on various obstacles. Inline skating is practiced and performed using inline skates designed for race tracks, skate parks, urban areas, and off-road.


The Guyanese Group

In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, talented local inline skaters Delano Hinds, Avishkar Bissoon (Avi Braskow) and Kashie Shanghai explained how they developed a passion for the sport, and their plans for it to become a fully recognised and widely appreciated activity in Guyana. Shanghai, a skating stalwart, said to his knowledge, professional inline skating started over a decade ago. It was the same time he started to experiment with skating blades, and although his initial attempts – as with anyone learning about it for the first time – consisted of many falls, he was determined to keep at it. Now, he is popularly known for his Xtreme Rollers group. Inline skating is not just a sport for the skaters but a way to form lasting friendships. About seven years ago, Shanghai met up with Bissoon. Bissoon, under the tutelage of Shanghai, grabbed every opportunity to develop his skating skills. Bissoon disclosed that he became interested in the sport after observing his uncle’s passion for it. Bissoon now heads his own group, Braskow Sk8 Crew. Hinds, also an inline skater for many years, said initially he was afraid

Kashie (yellow shirt) jumping over his teammate at Biker Fest 2013

Xtreme Rollers

to try skating. But after numerous hours of practicing he finally was not falling anymore. He pointed out that those who want to try out inline skating must expect to fall, but should not allow that to deter them from keep on trying. The skaters say Xtreme Rollers and Braskow Sk8 Crew are the only two known inline skating groups in Guyana. The groups consist of more than 20 members each, including females who are just as extreme as the guys. The groups’ only major performance so far, was at last year’s Biker Fest show at the National Park. Hinds recalled the crowd went crazy with excitement when they saw the inline skaters’ stunts. “Even the professional bikers from the U.S., who were performing dangerous stunts, told us we were crazy when they saw us perform. People also approached us and asked if we were from the U.S. and when they learnt it

was local talents, they were amazed,” Shanghai revealed.

Adhering to traffic laws and road safety tips are a must with the groups, who can sometimes be found skating in traffic. Peter Doucet, professional inline skater, offers his tips, which have guided him over the years, on skating safely. “First and foremost watch your stride. Because of our push to the side, skaters take up more road than cyclists. That can make for close calls between cars and feet. Signal your turns. Before you make a turn, stand tall, look back and point in the direction of your turn. I find that drivers respond well to this and keep a safe distance. Use all your senses. Don't be a skate zombie. Keep actively aware of your surroundings. Look back. Look to the side. Look ahead. Always listen for approaching cars. Listening to music can enhance your workout. But take care. If the volume is high, you won't be able to hear what is happening around you. Keep the volume low enough that it doesn't dull your perception of traffic. So be proactive. When you hear a car approaching from behind, stand taller in

Jumping over three motorbikes(Never attempt certain manoeuvres without practicing with experienced skaters, and wear a safety helmet)

The inline skating groups have not performed since Biker Fest 2013. However, they hope to change this. Hinds revealed that the groups are currently working to get themselves formally registered with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. They hope inline skating will become as popular as cricket and other sports revered in Guyana. “We are very passionate about inline skating. We have invested years of perfecting our techniques and we are prepared to enter competitions. We also plan to coordinate a show like what we did at Biker Fest. We are trying to promote inline skating as much as we can because it is as serious as any other sport. There is a group like us in Trinidad who compete professionally. We hope to meet with that group to learn more about inline skating at an

your skates and shorten your push. If you are going downhill, stop pushing all together and roll. Pick your routes. Pick low-traffic routes at low-traffic times of the day. And have a backup plan. Always be seen. Wear bright coloured clothes. Be smart. It takes two to tango. Do your part to stay safe,” Doucet outlined. The Guyana inline skating groups’ mandate is to encourage youth and adult fitness and character development. As such, they welcome anyone who wants to learn more about inline skating, both amateurs and professionals. Inline skating has provided opportunities for skating enthusiasts to enjoy positive association, keep fit and strive for success. For more information on the group visit Guyana Inline on Facebook.


fun time

week ending February 2, 2014


This week's Crossword

J k es

Rearranging letters

Someone out there has too much spare time: -THE EARTHQUAKES: When you rearrange letters: THAT QUEER SHAKE - A DECIMAL POINT: When you rearrange letters: IM A DOT IN PLACE - SNOOZE ALARMS: When you rearrange letters: ALAS! NO MORE ZS - ELECTION RESULTS: When you rearrange letters: LIES – LET’S RECOUNT

the the the the

Just saying...

I know, when people see a cat’s litter box, they always say, “Oh, have you got a cat?” Just once I want to say, “No, it’s for company!” -You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn’t like me anyway. -Employment application blanks always ask ‘who is to be notified in case of an emergency.’ I think you should write, “A Good Doctor!”

More brain cramps

- “We’ve got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?” –Lee Iacocca, former Chrysler chairman - “We don’t necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people.” –Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) Instructor. - “Traditionally, most of Australia’s imports come from overseas.” –Keppel Enderbery, former Australian cabinet minister - “It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.” –Al Gore, former American vice president - China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese. – Former French President Charles De Gaulle - That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it. – A congressional candidate in Texas

This week's Puzzle

The world’s most famous question

(With answers by some of the world’s most famous thinkers) Q: Why did the chicken cross the road? Jerry Seinfeld: Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn’t anyone ever think to ask, “What was this chicken doing walking around all over the place, anyway?” Oliver Stone: The question is not, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Rather, it is, “Who was crossing the road at the same time, whom we overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing?” Darwin: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically dispositioned to cross roads. Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference. Granddad: In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

Churchill’s wit

Lady Astor to Winston Churchill: "If you were my husband I'd poison your tea." Churchill: "If you were my wife, I'd drink it." -To a well endowed woman who told him she had got up at dawn and driven a hundred miles to attend the unveiling of his bust in Richmond , Virginia: “Madam, I want you to know that I would be happy to reciprocate the honour.” -In a campaign he was told by a voter they would rather vote for the devil than him: “But in case your friend is not running, can I count on your support?” -To his opponent: “I can well understand the honourable member’s wishing to speak on. He needs the practice badly.”

see solution on page 46

Travel & Tourism week ending February 2, 2014


Travel to Micobie Elders say the original name for the village was “Maicopik”, named after a small lizard prevalent in the area

Section of Micobie The mining ground in Micobie

Students welcoming visitors at the village's benab

Houses in Micobie



icobie is situated about two miles downriver of the famous Tumatumari Falls found in the Potaro River, Region Eight. It is accessible by road via the Linden-Mabura road, Bartica- Potaro road or by aircraft to Mahdia then by road. It’s an approximately 10-hour road trip. The history of the village dates back to the 1800s, when a family broke away from a community that was settled at Kangaruma, in the area now called Princeville, a satellite village of Campbell town in the vicinity of Mahdia. It was customary that farming and hunting grounds were the key reasons for seeking “new lands” for a more comfortable livelihood, since in that era there was hardly any form of income-generating activities in comparison to today. The persons from Kangaruma have traced their genealogy to Chenapou and Kopinang. The Micobie community is made up of predominantly Patamona, considered relatives of the Akawaio, and indeed there are many similarities in language, diet, marriage rites and the practice of herbal medicine. Micobie has been in existence since the 1800s when the Denham Bridge was being constructed. In fact, the workers on the bridge, and some porknockers, patronized the small community by purchasing their cassava bread. As a result, it was given the name ‘Cassava Hill’. In the 1960s, when captains were being elected to govern their community, a Bennett, of Arawak descent, was elected, and he changed the name from Cassava Hill to New Foundout. Three of the village’s elders, Isaac Williams, Agnes Williams and Mr Roberts, explained that the original name for the village was “Maicopik”, named after a small lizard that is prevalent in the area. At a subsequent village meeting it was unanimously agreed that Cassava Hill/New Foundout eventually be given its rightful name Maicopik. The Official Gazette however, misspelled the term as “Micobie” and it has ever since been referred to as such. The satellite village of Micobie is El Paso, located on the right bank of the Potaro River below Tumatumari Falls. The Aleluya religion (an indigenous religion) was also practiced here until the Anglican Church was introduced. In Micobie, there is a primary school, and students qualifying for secondary level would attend the nearby Mahdia Secondary School. There is a spring, revered in the village, which provides potable water for its residents.



week ending February 2, 2014


Sukho also copped the best newcomer prize. The runners up will receive cash prizes in the sum of Gy$450,000, Gy$250,000, and Gy$100,000 respectively. Moments after being crowned, the new chutney king, an elated Seeraj told Guyanese media that this was the fifth time he has entered the competition, noting that this year he strategised a plan, which was well-executed. In gratitude, he explained that without

strategy to win the title. “I rehearsed my song before recording, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse then I went and record. That was it and it was over three months of hard work.” Now that he will be Guyana’s representative to the international chutney competition, he said he is ready to bring his best performance. “That was all in the plan also, because once I win this; I am going to Trinidad…So it was in the plan and I am ready

Home boy Pooran Seeraj copped the Chutney Soca Monarchy just after midnight on Saturday at the Bath Settlement Community Centre ground in Guyana By Bhisham Mohamed


ead singer of Shakti Strings Band, Pooran Seeraj, was crowned Guyana’s Chutney Monarch, just after midnight on Saturday, at the Bath Settlement Community Centre ground, when the final of the Culture, Youth, and Sport Ministry-organised National Chutney Competition was held. Seeraj with his song titled “Under the Maro” outshone his 15 rivals to dethrone the 2013

Chutney King Roger Hinds, popularly called “Young Bill Rogers”. The hometown boy has won himself a place in the semi-finals of the International Chutney Monarch contest, which is slated for February 1 in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Apart from the title, he also won a cash prize of Gy$600,000 and a trophy. Coming in at second was former Chutney Queen Fiona Singh, with “Blow”, while the third

A section of the large audience at the event

spot was awarded to the 2013 monarch with “Ge Me More Chutney” and the fourth spot went to Uuvin “Waterflow” Sukho with “Leh Me Talk to You”.

the support of his sponsors, he would have not been on the stage doing what he likes to do–singing chutney music for his fans. He thanked his fans for the tremendous support he has received over the years, as well as some of the people who have financially contributed to his success, including Paul Chung and his employer, not forgetting the band members who have done a fantastic job.

Hard work

He said he had been hard at work for months with the intention of coming up with the best

performances included Steven Ramphal’s with “Indian Queen”, Bunty Singh’s “Meh Wife Quarrelling”, and Prince JP’s “Indian Drums”, which left the crowd agape. Backed by the Ishara Dancers with their little crafter pots on their hips, Prince JP told the story of an Indian fete and the sounds of the various drums at these events, complete with fireworks and confetti. Each contestant undoubtedly brought their “A” game on competition night, but Seeraj won the judges’ hearts with his elaborate stage décor and outfit. His set took the form of an Indian wedding with the bride and groom sitting “under the maro” as their guests danced to the chutney vibes in celebration. Among the judges for the competition were Rupert Singh; Chandini Rambalak; Jai Deo; Amar Ramassar; and Patricia Chase-Greene, as the chief judge.

for it…I am coming bigger in Trinidad, I’m coming bigger.” The young artiste said he will not let his country down and will be leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of the Trinidadians.

Improved competition

This year’s competition was definitely improved from the previous years’ and was well-attended, especially by Berbicians and those who travelled from Georgetown in support of their favourite artistes. There were a few outstanding performances by several artistes who did not place. These

Veteran chutney singer Harvey Gobin at the Bath Settlement ground on Saturday evening

week ending February 2, 2014





week ending February 2, 2014


The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

Part III

By Petamber Persaud


ee More Poetry” was staged at the Theatre Guild on Sunday January 12, 2014, to mark the birth centenary of A. J. Seymour under the auspices of the National Library of Guyana. Seymour was born on January 12, 1914, in Georgetown, Guyana. This is not the first occasion that the library has undertaken the responsibility of celebrating the literature of Guyana by honouring literary luminaries who have contributed or are still contributing to the shaping

and development of Guyanese Literature. “See More Poetry” was an ambitious project guided to fruition by many authoritative and able hands in events coordination, theatrical arts and the literary arts. The list is long, but a few names are worthy of mention. Francis Quamina Farrier, the main coordinator, did a tremendous job mostly from afar using the modern form of electronic communication to interact with all concern and plan the programme proper. What Farrier did from afar (he returned to Guyana January 11 and was at the airport

when we were wrapping up final rehearsal) was streamlined during two rehearsals where seminal contributions were made by Dr Ian McDonald, Vanda Radzik and Ron Robinson among others working alongside staff of the library. “See More Poetry” was an exciting evocation of Seymour’s poetry in song, dance and recitation. As a fitting prelude to the evening’s event, a slide show paying tribute to a fallen chief, the Chief Librarian, Gillian Thompson, who died on Christmas Eve 2013, and to A. J. Seymour who died on Christmas

The programme then opened with a brief sketch of Seymour and the reading of the poem “Turn these pages” by Ian McDonald. This first act, though solemn, set the stage for the explosion of art to follow.

AJ Seymour (Jan 12, 1914 – Dec 25, 1989) “See More Poetry” was staged at the Theatre Guild to mark his birth centenary

Day 25 years ago.

Turn these pages, gently, dear, For in them you see the wistful marriage Of heart’s best blood to brain’s keen accuracy ....for in them lie precious things The pages that were turned portrayed the sustained interest in and appreciation of the life and work of Seymour. It would be remiss of me to exclude any of the items and any of the performers, for together they all add to what was indeed a consummate and successful tribute; so bear with me this listing: Prayer –Jennifer Thomas At Age Seventy-Five & Ageing - Francis Q. Farrier To the sea - Petamber Persaud A Melody and For Wilson and Martin – Dr Rupert Roopnaraine Sun is a Shapely Fire – Margaret Lawrence and Joan Cambridge War Calling - Ron Robinson The Making of a Slave & Song for Lulu Yaphet Jackman Race & I, Anancy – Ras Michael Name Poem – Lloyd Marshall Partnership Stephanie Bowry Sitira Gal – Joan Cambridge & Sweet Kendingo Beauty & Beauty is Not Enough - Sweet Kendingo A Poet’s Song & There Runs a Dream - Russel Lancaster Requiem for a Murdered Black – Joan Cambridge For my Father, I was a Boy,I Heard the Rooster Call - Joan Seymour Tomorrow Belongs to the People - Joan Seymour Elma in August & To The Family House Awaiting Repair and Quiet – Jacqueline de Weever Reading poetry in Havana - Derek Gomes. Bitter ballad Malcolm DeFreitas Sugar Nazim Hussain

Poem to Tagore – Vanda Radzik Gethsemane – Margaret Lawrence & National Dance Company Each poem was important to the show, but those performed by family members Joan Seymour and Jacqueline de Weever were reenergised with an emotive portrayal that connected with the audience. And the audience, a full house at Theatre Guild, did not want to let go of the moment, staying back long afterwards to interact and exchange thoughts on the experience. And what a splendid experience it was, especially the closing act where “Tomorrow Belongs to the People”, performed by the daughter of the poet, Joan Seymour, repeated a profound and far-reaching message that’s worth reiteration here. Tomorrow They will make a hammer to smash the slums And build the schools. Like a river, the people hold history in their hands And tomorrow belongs to them. “See More Poetry” was the first in a series of activities planned by the National Library to mark the occasion. The following day, a plaque was unveiled at lot 23 North Road Bourda – the house where Seymour lived. On Wednesday January 15, 2014, Seymour was inducted into the National Library Hall of Fame for the Literary Arts. The Hall of Fame event lent occasion to launch the National Library Distinguished Lecture Series, with a talk on Kyk-Over-Al delivered by Dr Jacqueline de Weever, at which time a presentation of reprinted editions of Kyk produced by The Caribbean Press was made to de Weever. Responses to this author telephone (592) 2260065 or email: What’s happening: • “An Introduction to Guyanese Literature” is now available from the above contacts, Austin’s Book Service and at the National Library.

Art & Culture week ending February 2, 2014



Shimuel Jones has painted, drawn and sculpted his way to becoming a notable Guyanese artist

'Six Races- One Root' (2013) was awarded third prize at the National Drawing Competition


The artist recalled being flogged by his mother for drawing on the walls in his home. He stated he drew every day, all day – and on everything. Notably, his ability to produce awardwinning pieces was inherited from his father, Kirk A. Jones, an artist for more than 30 years. Shimuel’s work is inspired by nature and humanity, and also from society and the presence of disunity among the races and cultures. “I did a painting called “Continental Relations” a while back,” he recalled. “Its visual appearance illustrates the relationship that is parallel among the eastern and western continents. In fact, that piece was shortlisted at the 2012 national art competition. I paint, draw and sculpt. I do almost everything in the field of art. I was exposed to nearly every aspect of art while I was doing my bachelors degree at the University of Guyana.” “I also love the Congo drums which I have been playing since I was 10,” he added. Employed as a cartoon animator at Brainstreet Learning, an online learn'Sincere Prayers' ing enterprise,

eferring to his talent as “God given”, Shimuel Jones believes he was born to be an artist. Shimuel, 23, attended Central High School where art was not offered as a CXC subject; nevertheless he excelled naturally and was determined to pursue studies in art. This passion was his propelling force to graduate from the University of Guyana with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. Now his love for art is clearly seen in his evocative paintings. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Shimuel said of his passion: “I always loved art. As I grew, so did my love for art; now it is a part of me.”

Artist Shimuel Jones

'Deeper Than the Colour of your Skin' (2013) was given the red ribbon of 'honourable mention' at the National Drawing Competition

Shimuel is happy that he gets to pursue his passion fulltime. Creating art comes naturally and is therapeutic to the artist. Fascinated by the human anatomy, Shimuel considers the human body as the “closest you can get to perfection.” As a student, he was interested in mastering this perfection, and it has since become his favourite reference when he is painting- whether it is painted in a realistic (portraits) or abstract manner. “As of late, through my paintings I communicate unity among the six races. The drawing “Six Races,

One Root”, which was awarded third place at the recently concluded National Drawing Competition, illustrates a similar idea,” he pointed out. Exhibiting his work has been instrumental in sharing his love for art. Shimuel was part of the National Art ExhibitionGuyana, Carifesta XI in Suriname, National Drawing Competition and Nola Hatterman art exhibition in Suriname, among others. Additionally, he exhibited in the U.S. at the Miss Universe pageant and in Indonesia for the Miss World pageant last year. He was awarded

third prize of a bronze medal and cheque for $50,000 for “Six Races, One Root’, executed in coloured ink. Shimuel had previously also won the Young Person’s Prize in 2008, and more recently was shortlisted in the final five in the painting category of the National Visual Arts Competition of 2012. Jones also received an Honourable Mention for his work “Deeper than the Colour of Your Skin”. Through his company, Extraordinary Designs, Shimuel creates banners, signs,

portraits, sculptures, illustration and other art related work. “In this field, like most career paths, it is imperative to keep up with its evolution, so that is one of my main goals – to educate myself continuously to keep up with its evolution. My advice for those who want to pursue art is to keep at it! Work towards becoming the best and you will be fine,” he declared. For more information on the artist, visit Extraordinary Designs on Facebook or call 6264667.



week ending February 2, 2014



onia Noel's designer collection, First Resort, launched late last year, created quite a stir recently when it graced the runway at the Barbados Music Fashion and Film Awards. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Noel said her caftan designs are very sophisticated, versatile and timeless and are suitable for all body types. The designer has done well with the collection as it is now available in Haiti, Suriname, Barbados, St Lucia and Tobago.

“I hope to add more locations very soon where my collection will be available. I am happy with the response to my first Resort Line and I feel good about the future of my brand,” Noel expressed. Today’s feature of Noel’s caftan designs was photographed by veteran Guyanese photographer Obrey James on the beautiful island of Barbados. The models are from Barbadian-based Guyanese Oral Welshman’s New Horizon Model Agency. For more information on the collection call 229-3099.



week ending February 2, 2014 |

- in support of Port Mourant Village project


he Toronto Chapter of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission (NJASM) has sponsored “An Evening of Hope 2,” a concert to be held at the Vedic Cultural Centre, 4345-14th Avenue in Markham, on Saturday, February 1, 2014. The concert is in aid of the Port Mourant Humanitarian Village Project. The event promises to be exciting with the appearances of recording artistes Geeta Bisram of New York and Sandhya Sugrim of New Jersey who will join hands with Toronto-based artistes for a grand performance. The show will also feature stand-up comedian Mark Trinidad, local Elvis, Robert Pooran, and a number of young and talented singers, dancers and musicians. Tickets are available at a cost of $20 each, inclusive of dinner. Funds generated will be set aside for phase three of the Port Mourant project. Situated at Lots 2126 Area Q, Ankerville, Port Mourant, Berbice in Guyana, the Port Mourant Humanitarian

The facility being established under the Port Mourant Humanitarian Village Project in Berbice, Guyana. (Photo: Contributed)

Mission Village (PMHMV) is the brainchild of the Humanitarian Mission of New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc. The facility, currently being established, caters for, among other things, construction of an Empowerment and Skills Development Centre that will provide disadvantaged persons with income-generating skills and the capacity to make a decent living afterwards. It is expected that the

centre will be opened by April when the first batch of students would be enrolled. Pt. Dhanessar, an adviser to the project in Guyana said “When fully operational, the Empowerment and Skills Development Centre will offer training in a variety of skills, such as welding and fabrication; joinery and woodwork; sewing; information technology; food and nutrition; catering; hollow blocks production; literacy and basic

electronics." He added that the centre has already received a donation of 10 sewing machines and 40 classroom chairs from Food For the Poor Guyana Inc. However, the adviser is appealing for donations of other needed equipment. He explained that several overseas-based Guyanese, who hail from Port Mourant and surrounding villages, have committed to sponsoring some of the programmes and to donate equipment

as well as help to offset part of the teachers’ salaries. Pt Dhanessar is also expecting support from non-governmental organisations in Guyana for the project. He related that, "after acquiring the requisite skills, participants would be empowered to either establish their own businesses or seek employment through the Mission’s onsite employment arrangement. Graduates would be able

to earn a living thereby taking them out of the cycle of poverty." He further stated that, "The centre will be targeting primarily school dropouts, youths/adults, single parents and victims of gender-based violence, among others. Although based in Port Mourant, the centre will be accepting attendees from across Region Six." The project is being implemented in phases. Phase one, which entailed back filling of the land and construction of an eight-foot high, concrete fence was completed last August at a cost of Gy$5,318,528. Phase two---construction of the Empowerment and Skills Development Centre--started last October and is nearing completion. At the end of December, Gy$10,081,444 had already been spent on this aspect of the project. Phase three caters for a U-shaped, one-flat home for senior citizens, which is estimated to cost US$60,000 while phase four would be a building to offer a safe haven for victims of gender-based violence.



week ending February 2, 2014


Star of the week


etermined and committed, Trisha Woodroffe, 25, has become one of Guyana’s star hockey athletes. Trisha started playing hockey at 14. Her passion for the sport was encouraged by her father, who is still very much involved in hockey and once represented Guyana. Trisha enjoys everything about the game, especially the high level of skills involved and challenges required. Investing a lot of her time and commitment, Trisha has been able to perfect her game, which has taken her to perform at international arenas. She has ventured to Trinidad, Barbados, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada, Puerto Rico and Argentina to showcase her hockey skills. Part of Guyana’s national hockey team, Trisha has been instrumental in helping her teammates cop numerous victories over the years. Regarding her future, the star athlete wants to continue competing at the highest level, once the opportunity presents itself. Her advice to youths is to be focused on their academic goals and, if involved in a sport, to ensure there is a balance.


week ending February 2, 2014

Drug abuse & the Limbic System


rug abuse is the habitual misuse of a substance i.e. an addictive or illegal drug that can lead to significant problems or distress. Drug abuse can then lead to drug addiction, a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite the harmful consequences. At this point the person has become dependent on the drug. In order to understand why drug abusers/ addicts seek more drugs, one must first try to understand how the brain works to propel this activity. Your brain is a communication center that shapes your thoughts, emotions, and behavior. It is even designed so that you are motivated to repeat certain activities that bring pleasure or reward such as eating, exercising, drug use, etc. The part of the brain that regulates this ability to feel pleasure is called the limbic system (reward system/pleasure center). The limbic system is also responsible for our perception of both positive and negative emotions, which accounts for the mood changes caused by many drugs. In order for the brain to send a message, a brain cell


Legal corner

health corner

By Tisha Boston


(neuron) releases a chemical (neurotransmitter) into the space between the two cells (the synapse). The neurotransmitter crosses the synapse and attaches itself to receptors on the receiving cell, resulting in the message being delivered. Drugs alter the way the brain works by affecting chemical neurotransmission. Some drugs,

pleasure. This overstimulation of the limbic system produces euphoric effects, the “high” sensation that drug abusers and addicts seek. As a result, they want to do it again and again. However, long-term use of these drugs forces the brain to lower the amounts of dopamine being produced in order to correct the balance. Now that

Image taken from the National Institute on Drug Abuse

like heroin, mimic the effects of natural neurotransmitters while others, like PCP (phencyclidine), block receptors whereby preventing the flow of messages. Finally, most drugs, like cocaine, overload the body with dopamine, releasing amounts far greater than food would do. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that sends the signal that causes satisfaction or

the dopamine levels are low, the person may feel flat and depressed, unable to enjoy the normal pleasures in life. Eventually, the person needs more of the drug to create the same “high” effect. This is known as tolerance. Fortunately, the brain can restore the right level of dopamine, but it may take days to months to do so, depending on the type of drug and the duration of abuse.

Could immigration reform be a unifying, bipartisan issue? By Richard Kistnen, Esq.


ith President Obama issuing his State of the Union address, it is expected that he will lay out an agenda to tackle issues by using his executive powers. News, however, has also bubbled up that Republicans will seek to push forward comprehensive immigration legislation. The reason: it is a midterm election year, and Republicans demonstrated poor voter support in the last election. Last year, the Senate, guided by a bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” drafted and passed legislation to comprehensively overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Some of the more striking changes included a path to citizenship for all illegal immigrants – both adult and children – and the issuance of more visas for workers, both skilled and non-skilled. That bill died in the House of Representatives, where conservative members criticized the legislation as providing “amnesty” to immigrants. As the next big issue had become the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as “Obamacare”), immigration took a seat on the backburner. Now that election time is back, some House Republicans are aiming to court the immigrant vote. A list of principles is planned to be discussed at a Republican retreat this month. Among the principles rumored to exist is to create a path to citizenship for children living in the United States illegally who were brought here by their parents (a group generally referred to as “Dreamers”). One rumored difference between the Republican Immigration Principles and the bill that was stalled in the House last year is that the Republican plan would create a path to legal status for adults living in the country illegally – but not to citizenship. Other interest groups, including business interests, are urging immigrant reform. They posit that the loss of talented and educated individuals, who were educated here, often return to their homeland because they cannot procure legal status. Moreover, business groups argue that the economic contribution by non-skilled workers with taxes, costs and fees would generate significant income. It appears that, finally, the issue is ripe for some kind of comprehensive immigration reform to be passed. With the current administration still dealing with the blow caused by the botched Obamacare rollout, Democrats would likely not get everything they request in legislation. If Republicans are offering a path to legal status to all illegal immigrants, it might be a worthwhile option to pursue and secure. If you need to speak with a lawyer, please call the Law Office of Richard Kistnen, (718) 738-2324.



week ending February 2, 2014


coast to the west of us. After a dinner cooked by one of the Warraus, we went to sleep in the bunks that were arranged around the cabin walls. I remember Mr. McTurk’s pyjamas – after all these years – they were of bright red flannel, to frighten away the mosquitoes, he said. The Warrau crew occupied another little cabin in the forecastle. About three o'clock in the morning I was awakened by a sensation of hundreds of tiny stinging spots all over my body. These were caused by the sandflies and mosquitoes which came to welcome us to our new home. As soon as daylight appeared we were almost deafened by the

from the eye of the traveller, except at the landings where the riverside forest had been cut down to permit the koker trenches reaching the river. By nine o'clock in the morning we arrived at Akawini, where a tributary of the same name joins the Pomeroon. At its mouth was the home of an old gentleman, Mr. Pierre, one of the Justices of the Peace for the District, who owned a large provision and coffee estate here. Across the river, just opposite, was Plantation Caledonia, a large coconut estate, at that time owned by Chung Yow, a Chinese gentleman. He had come from China, wore a long pigtail, and so followed the customs

screaming of the green parrots in the wild mangrove trees that lined the banks of the river. A small flock of scarlet ibis flew across overhead, and the morning sun shining on their plumage made them a very beautiful sight to behold. At seven o'clock we began sailing up the river, between two rows of level-topped mangrove trees that hid the coffee and provision farms

of his country that he arranged that on his death his body should be sent back to China, there to rest with the bones of his ancestors. His wish was subsequently carried out. And so, having reached the Pomeroon River, I bring this short tale to a close. Taken from the A.M.D.G. St. Stanislaus Magazine Association Section, Vol. 2; June 1944; No.1

A resort at the mouth of Akawini today By The Hon. Vincent Roth Part II (continued from January 12)


e now sailed past numbers of Portuguese Men-of-War – you know, those peculiar red and blue oval-shaped jelly fish about a foot long. You have probably seen them washed up on the beach at the Sea Wall where they appear as shapeless masses of jelly, but, when alive and sailing on top of the waves, they are very beautiful to look at, but not to touch. If you touch one you will

get stung. Shortly before dark we came to a headland called Cape Nassau and, on rounding this, we found ourselves in the Pomeroon River, which is only about half the width of the mouth of the Demerara. Here, sheltered from the seas by Cape Nassau, we anchored for the night. The rain that, driven by the wind all day, had thoroughly soaked the deck, compelling us to spend most of our time in the comfortable little cabin below, now held up, and the clouds turned a lovely pink colour as the

The Pomeroon River on the way to Akawini

sun sank below the dark

line of bush marking the

Preserving our heritage through pictures


Balata bleeders shooting rapids on the Cuyuni, British Guiana. Circa 1908

Feature week ending February 2, 2014


hen KI won the International Chutney Soca Monarch with ‘Single Forever’ in 2012, critics spoke highly of his potential as a future star, not just in the chutney arena, but as a soca singer as well. Since then, KI—whose real name Kris Veeshal Persad— has shown that his band JMC 3Veni is a force in the soca and chutney business. At his first solo concert in 2013, ‘I Am KI’, he demonstrated the ability to blend his talents as a bandleader, musician and singer. The concert featured Machel Montano, Drupatee and Neval Chatelal. KI was given the opportunity to be

lead musician and producer of 3Veni. He used this experience to produce the band’s last five albums, and collaborated with Madmen Productions on the massive hit ‘In Front of Meh’ by Umi Marcano. Entering the Chutney Soca Monarch for the first time in 2010, KI placed fourth with the successful hit ‘Catch Meh Lovah’ (Sunita & Nadia). The 2011 Chutney Soca Monarch Competition saw him place third with his song ‘No More Rum Again’ with over 10,000 votes. He has since then became one of the most requested crossover performers at major festivals/carnivals worldwide. This Carnival, Persad


will be entering the Chutney Soca Monarch competition. The songs he has released so far are ‘Professor Feter’, a collaboration with Nadia Batson and Lyrikal, and ‘Runaway’, a collaboration with Olatunji.

Veeshal Persad better known as KI. (TT Guardian photo)


About KI

KI is the son of keyboardist, bandleader and producer Veerendra Persad, and followed in his father’s footsteps when he started playing the keyboard at the age of seven. At the age of eight, he won the inaugural Children of Mastana competition. He migrated to Toronto, Canada at nine. KI attended the El Socorro Hindu School. In Toronto, he attended the

Academy for Technology in Toronto. KI relaxes with playing Fifa Soccer on his Playstation. In fact, 3Veni’s tour bus was modified so that KI could play Fifa games to and from gigs. KI loves to cook most of all. He told TT media, “If I am not doing music or playing football, you will find me in the kitchen, always experimenting with something new or making one of my favourite dishes. My favourite foods include crab and callaloo, lasagna and oil down.” KI is also a bit of a movie buff and among his favourite flicks are ‘Coming to America’ and ‘Anchorman’. (TT Guardian)

Caribbean group at Hong Kong exhibition to showcase Carnival, Crop Over festivals By Michael Phillips


arbados’ flag will be flown high over the weekend when a group from Barbados joins up with a Caribbean delegation in Hong Kong for the 2014 Cathay Pacific International New Year Night Parade. The full team of 27–which includes 12 steel pannists from Trinidad and Tobago, three costume

he was approached “by someone in Hong Kong to basically pull together a Caribbean group which would showcase Carnival, Crop Over– the festivals as we know them in their fullest.” Adding that names like Giovanni St. Omer of St. Lucia were among the delegation, Clarke revealed that a steel pan group out of South Trinidad and a body-

tial communication in December. “After getting in touch with me through a local contact at the Caribbean Development Bank, it all came together pretty much overnight as I had to pull this whole thing together in three days. Leaning on the resources of people you have built relationships with over the years, made it happen,” he said.

The Caribbean contingent include 12 steel pannists from TT, three costume revellers from St. Lucia and 11 dancers from Barbados. (Nation News file photos)

revellers from St. Lucia and 11 dancers from Barbados–will be representing the region when the parade hits the road on January 31. The project, which was facilitated on the Caribbean end by Market Pro, was funded by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and KEP-STAR Caribbean Trade Company Ltd. Managing Director of Market Pro, Kamal Clarke, explained that

paint artist also out of Trinidad, and at the peak of their Carnival season, would be making the trip along with the troupe of local dancers who were being outfitted by Power X Four. Stating that KEPSTAR is a business, which is set up to fuse the Caribbean and the Western world with Hong Kong, Clarke went on to say that things went rather quickly since the company’s ini-

Clarke indicated that the entire team understood the importance of the trip and stated that it was a massive opportunity for Barbados to take its name even further. “This is really an opportunity for Barbados to shine and every year, hopefully, this could be something that we could add to our calendar and it can grow bigger and we could get funding and sponsorship to take it to

another level. This year is a drop in the bucket to what it could be, because we are pretty much going compliments of KEPSTAR and the Hong Kong Tourism Board,” he said. Going on to say that the main focus at present was to make the best impression possible, Clarke said that with a show-

ing of the finest quality, the possibilities for Barbados were endless. “In future years, there are people that do benefit from trade with China and Hong Kong and hopefully, we can work on that and we can also build some relationships while we are down there that could see them coming to Barbados for our

summer festival. Hong Kong is one of the richest states in Asia and if we can tap in-to that market and have them to invest in our real estate and our various projects here in Barbados at a time when we need it most, it is definitely something that we would love,” he stated. (Excerpted from Barbados Advocate)



week ending February 2, 2014



or Bollywood's current heartthrob Siddharth Malhotra, ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ is not just a film title. He actually believes in the dictum and says the best way to

impress girls is to "chase them" and "make them laugh". "Laughter always works, compliments does being honest. Girls like it when you chase them. They like compliments. They like it when you use various means to get their attention," Siddharth told IANS in an interview. The mantra is to keep your women happy, said the actor. "I think for boys, if the girl laughs, it is a good thing. It means that the boy at least has a chance. All boys should try it in a relationship or friendship, keep your girls happy," he said. Directed by Vinil Mathew ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ also stars Parineeti Chopra and promises to be much more than a regular romantic comedy. "It is very high on content. It is a very intimate film. The characters are very different. I am playing a character who is stressed out, lost and sentimental. He meets this girl who is a bit cracked," he said. (TOI)

‘Farhan is spectacular’ - Kareena Kapoor


areena Kapoor Khan, who is set for a busy year ahead, is excited to be teaming up with Farhan Akhtar as a co-star for the first time. They are set to co-star in Dev Benegal’s ‘Bombay Samurai’. "I love Farhan as a director, but I think he’s a brilliant actor," said Kareena, adding that she has not gotten to watch his last release, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ (BMB; 2013) entirely, but she is full of praise for his acting in the parts that she has seen. "I think Farhan is spectacular and I’m certainly looking forward to working with him. I’ve worked with him as a director during ‘Don’ (2006), but I’m excited about working with him as an actor. I saw BMB in parts, and I genuinely believe that his was one of the finest performances in the industry so far. In fact, after watching it, Saif (Ali Khan, actor-husband) even messaged him." Asked about ‘Bombay Samurai’ and reports that she’ll be seen in a new onscreen avatar, Kareena replied that she doesn’t believe in the concept. "People like to write a lot of things, but that doesn’t have to be the reality. I don’t believe in reinvention. I’ve been


oung actor Varun Dhawan, who made his Bollywood debut with Alia Bhatt and Sidharth


hose partying at a Lower Parel nightspot last Friday saw Sussanne Roshan sauntering in with brother Zayed Khan and his wife Mallika. Since her break-up with Hrithik is still fresh in people's minds, guests were surprised when some ventured to ask her, "How are you?" and she responded saying, "I'm fine. I'm extremely happy." Sussanne appeared to be in a great mood as she took to the floor, dancing her heart out to the tunes of the EDM artiste playing there. Sources say she, Zayed, Mallika and friends partied till the wee hours of the morning. (TOI)


uperstar Salman Khan said he was interested in larger-thanlife films and not in "small-scale"

ones. Salman, whose potboilers ‘Wanted’, ‘Dabangg’, ‘Bodyguard’, ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ did well at box-office, has also acted in films like ‘Phir Milenge’ among others. He will be doing a special song in his brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri's home production film ‘Oh Teri’. "As an actor, I don't want to do such kind of (small) films. If someone asks me to do such kind of films again, then I might do a guest appearance in it. These are beautiful films, but one will watch it on DVD or on TV, but not go to theatre," Salman said at the trailer

around for too long now. If I like a story, I will do the movie, it’s as simple as that," said the actress. She explained that she signed up for the film because her role is fun, and she took a fancy to it. (TOI)

Malhotra in ‘Student Of the Year’, says the trio has discussed competition, but he believes their camaraderie goes beyond it. "We (Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and I) have discussed competition, we do discuss these things, but I think when you do your first film with someone, you form a bond and it's like (they are) family," Varun said. "You are just bonded for life. So you overlook that (competition) thing. I just have a lot of love in my heart for both of them," he added. In fact, he stated that Alia and Sidharth "were more nervous for me than I am right now (for my film ‘Main Tera Hero’)". "That's how the relationship is," added the son of filmmaker David Dhawan. Directed by Karan Johar, ‘Student Of The Year’, was released in 2012. It turned out to be a hit and set Alia, Sidharth and Varun's career on roll in the Hindi film industry. (TOI)


or over a year, Aamir Khan’s date diary has remained jampacked. Since 2012, he has been busy working on two films—‘Dhoom:3’ (D:3) and ‘P.K.’—and the second season of his TV show, ‘Satyamev Jayate’. Now, to unwind and take his mind off work, the actor is taking off alone, for a three-week holiday in Europe.


oday everyone knows her as the Jai Ho girl, but not so long ago, Daisy Shah was choreographer-actor Ganesh Acharya's muse and their rapport reportedly rocked his marriage. That was till she caught Salman's eye at a party, which she attended with Ganesh, and soon after landed the lead in ‘Jai Ho’. Today, she refuses to acknowledge her mentor. Ganesh admitted that he has

launch of ‘Oh Teri’. The actor said he was happy doing larger-than-life stuff. "I will continue to do such films", he added. (TOI)

A source close to Aamir revealed, “It has been a year-and-a-half since he last went on vacation. That’s why he is taking close to 20 days off this time. He had started feeling a bit overworked, and wanted to clear his mind before taking on any more work.” Although Aamir is known to work on only one film at a time, he had bent this rule last year. After wrapping up the shoot of ‘D:3’, he was occupied with the extensive promotions of the film. Following that, he completed a schedule of ‘P.K.’ and then started work on season two of his TV show. He also cohosted a success party for ‘D:3’ recently. The source added, “Aamir has not disclosed where he is going to go, but he will be in Europe. He plans to read some scripts and spend some time alone. He wants to come back refreshed as his TV show is slated to go on air around March.” The actor’s spokesperson confirmed the news. (TOI)

heard the rumours too. "Even my own group would tease me about her when she was with us. But Daisy and I were never in a relationship. I'm happily married," he asserted. But hadn't Ganesh gifted her a house and a car? "That's not true," he retorted. Clearly uncomfortable discussing Daisy he said, "Can we talk about something else? I'm not in touch with Daisy anymore." (TOI)

Hollywood Kristen Stewart wants to shave head and get it tattooed


risten Stewart has revealed that she wants to shave off her head and get a tattoo, but added that she hasn't yet decided on what design she wants. The ‘On The Road’ actress has to keep her long brunette locks for parts in movies, but if she had her way she'd sport lots of crazy hairstyles and colours, and has vowed to cut it all off

one day. She told website that

if she wasn't an actor, she would definitely do things to her hair, like cut it more and dye it more. At some point, she said that she wants to do a total boy cut, completely--"not a pretty, girly version--like a straight up James Dean haircut". She added that she is definitely going to shave her head and get it tattooed before she dies. (TOI)

Keira Knightley gets rude when drunk


ctress Keira Knightley feels that she is rude when she is under the influence of alcohol.

The 28-year-old admitted that she gets totally paranoid the next day after drinking and even aplogises to people whom she drank with the previous night, reported "Oh Christ, I'm always apologising for when I think I have been 'off' on a night out. The next day you suddenly think: 'Oh my god, I think I was really rude," Metro newspaper quoted Knightley as saying. Knightley, who was recently seen in ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’, has been a part of films like ‘Anna Karenina,’ ‘Never Let Me Go’ and ‘Bend It Like Beckham.’ (TOI)

week ending February 2, 2014

would give up her whole life, job, everything, to be with him, but at the same time, she hopes she would never have to make that choice because she loves her life the way it is. (TOI)

Huge age gap between Hollywood superstars and their girlfriends


ohnny Depp reportedly got engaged to a young Amber Heard recently. His relationship with ‘The Rum Diary’ co-star has once again brought the 'agegap no bar' trend into the spotlight. However,most of Hollywood's hottest men are dating girls who are way younger than them. Johnny Depp & Amber Heard (Age gap - 22 years) Fiftyyear-old Johnny Depp is reportedly engaged to his 28-year-old actress girlfriend Amber Heard. Earlier, he was in a 14year relationship with Vanessa Paradis, who also happens to be 10 years his junior. Leonardo DiCaprio & Toni Garrn (Age gap - 18 years) A seri-

al modeliser, 39-year-old Caprio is currently dating German model Toni Garrn, who is 21 years old! The actor had also allegedly asked British model Cara Delevigne, 20, out, but the latter turned him down. Bradley Cooper & Suki Waterhouse (Age gap - 17 years) Thirty eight-yearold ‘Hangover’ star Bradley Cooper is dating 21-year-old British model Suki Waterhouse. Surprisingly, Bradley had turned singer Taylor Swift's date proposal down, since she was a serial dater. Paul Walker & Jasmine PilchardGosnell (Age gap - 17 years) The late ‘Fast & Furious’ Star was dating Jasmine Gosnell, who

was 17 years younger than him! The two dated for almost seven years and had met when she was just 16 and he was 33. Jason Statham & Rosie HuntingtonWhiteley (Age gap - 20 years) Forty sixyear-old action hero Jason Statham is dating 26-year-old supermodel Rosie HuntingtonWhiteley. Rumours of their engagement have been doing the rounds. Bruce Willis & Emma Heming (Age gap - 23 years) Demi Moore's former husband Bruce Willis, 58, is now married to model-actress Emma Heming, who is 35. Ironically, Demi was married to Ashton Kucther who was 15 years her junior. (TOI)



oldie Hawn has revealed that she feels despair at seeing young stars such as Justin Bieber struggling with fame. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Oscar-winnng actress, who is the founder of The Hawn Foundation, which provides youth education programmes to improve academic results, claimed that it's heartbreaking seeing Bieber struggle and face different temptations to those she encountered, the Daily Express reported. While comparing Bieber's rapid rise to fame with her own, Hawn said that today's young generation of celebrities are self-medicating and that is the most dangerous thing for them. (TOI)


amela Anderson has asked Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a letter, to endorse a bill that would ban the sale of clothes made of animal fur. The bill, which has been endorsed by 40 lawmakers, is promoted by the Israel-based International Anti-Fur Coalition and would make Israel the first country in the world to impose a national fur clothing ban if it is passed, Fox News reported. Anderson, who is an animal rights activist, has said that the way animals suffer and die for fur, violates Jewish principles and Israel would set an "example of compassion for the rest of the world" by passing the bill. (TOI)


manda Seyfried has revealed that she would travel anywhere for the man of her dreams, as long as she could take her dog too. The ‘Lovelace’ actress, who is currently dating actor Justin Long, believes in true love and would be prepared to make many sacrifices for a guy, but she wouldn't ditch her pooch pal Finn for anyone. When asked if she'd move her life for love, she told France's Grazia magazine that she would even exile herself to the countryside and become a housewife, as long as she can bring along Finn. She said that if she had to, she



lack Swan’s star Natalie Portman has helped design a new luxury watch with Swiss luxury timepiece maker Richard Mille to benefit the Free the Children charity. The diamond-and-white gold, spider-inspired timepiece was unveiled at the SIHH fair in Geneva, Switzerland, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Only 20 Tourbillon RM 19-01 Natalie Portman watches will be produced and all proceeds will benefit the organization, for which the actress is an ambassador. The international charity works to inspire youth to become global citizens

through service learning programs in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada and supports child-focused development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (TOI)

Jennifer Aniston wants John Mayer and Katy Perry to 'start family together'


ennifer Aniston has reportedly made peace with her former boyfriend John Mayer's intense love affair with Katy Perry and wants to see them start a family together. Sources revealed that the 44-yearold fiancé of Justin Theroux has remained friends with the 36-year-old American recording artist and likes their pairing a lot, Radar Online reported. Aniston broke up with Mayer in 2009 and has been dating Theroux since 2011, and the pair announced their engagement in 2012. (TOI)



week ending February 2, 2014


International matches may return to Albion ground - after Gy$91 million upgrade By Avenash Ramzan


he Albion C o m m u n i t y Development Centre cricket ground in Guyana is enshrined in history as the venue where the first ever One Day International (ODI) to be played in the Caribbean was hosted. On March 16, 1977, Clive Lloyd’s West Indies side defeated an Asif Iqbal-led Pakistan team by four wickets to win that game, the first of six ODI games to be played at the venue. The last was on April 14, 1985, when West Indies thrashed New Zealand by 130 runs. Almost three decades have passed since that last game, but there is a high possibility of a return of international matches to the Ancient County, given the fact

that government is investing heavily into the infrastructure of the venue. On January 17 this year, works to install floodlights at the facility began, the first step toward ensuring the venue becomes an alternate to the Guyana National Stadium at Providence, East Bank Demerara, according to Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony. Speaking at a press briefing in the auditorium of the Albion Community Development Centre on Monday morning, Dr Anthony pointed out that the ultimate aim is to attract international matches, including Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) games, in the not too distant future. “When matches come, if this facility is devel-

Guyana's Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony (centre) makes a point at Monday’s breifing in the auditorium of the Albion Community Development Centre. Permanent Secretary Alfred King (third left) and other key stakeholders pay rapt attention (Photo: Avenash Ramzan)

oped to that [international] standard, then probably some of these matches can actually be hosted here and I think with the kind of cricketing public you have in Berbice, it will be a welcomed development,” the minister explained. Dr Anthony was quick to admit though that a lot more needs to be done to bring the facility up to the required standard. “It’s not a dream that cannot be fulfilled,” he emphasised.

He made reference to last year when the venue hosted the West Indies versus Bangladesh 50over game as part of initial efforts to bring more high profile games to the ground, and the county by extension. “We’re committed on the government’s side to keep constantly investing to make sure that this ground would reach at some point these international standards. So what you’re seeing here is a substantial commit-

ment from the government,” he pointed out. Minister Anthony also assured that the lighting towers would reach International Cricket Council (ICC) standards, as the same company that installed the floodlights at the Stadium– Mosco Lighting–will be doing the final installation later this year.


The design, procurement and supply of equipment by Mosco Lighting, which is al-

most 100 percent complete, the civil works, which is 95 percent complete, and the installation of the electrical components, which is five percent complete. Dr Anthony also highlighted that a floodlight cricket match will be hosted to commission the facility in March. The Guyana government has injected approximately Gy$91 million into the project. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

Fraser-Pryce shines at Queens/Grace Jackson Meet in Jamaica


amaica’s triple Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce opened her season in style, easily winning the women's 60m open in 7.11 seconds at the Queen's/Grace Jackson Track and Field

Meet at the National Stadium Saturday. Nesta Carter, the 100m World Championships bronze medallist also made a winning start blowing away the field in 6.52 seconds to highlight the

60th anniversary of the Queen's High School at this the 16th staging of the meet. Both Fraser-Pryce and Carter are using these races in preparation for the IAAF World Indoor Championships

Triple Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (right) speeds to an easy victory in the women’s 60m open at the Queen’s/Grace Jackson Track and Field Meet at the National Stadium Saturday. At left is Magan Simmonds, of UTech. (Bryan Cummings/Jamaica Observer photo)

set for Poland in March. Fraser-Pryce, with her usual bullet start, was never in danger and actually cruised home ahead of the powerful Carrie Russell, her MVP teammate, and Elain Thompson of UTech. Carter did likewise and won comfortably ahead of his MVP teammate Winston Barnes. Meanwhile, the region's fastest youngster, Zharnel Hughes of Kingston College (KC), made his long-awaited debut on local soil, winning his Class One 400m heat in a wonderful 48.80 seconds. The Carifta and Pan Am Junior 100m champion turned back Wolmer's Boys' Jaheel Hyde, the World Youth 110m hurdles champion, who did 49.16 seconds. But the fastest time was done by the im-

pressive-looking Nathon Allen of St Jago, who clocked 47.96 seconds ahead of Jason Drake of Calabar High in 48.66. KC's Karayme Bartley was third quickest with 48.76 seconds. KC's Donte Williams continued his good form, stopping the clock at 49.78 seconds in his heat. His teammate and Class Three record holder Nathaniel Bann was second-quickest with 49.95, with Calabar's Akeem Francis third fastest in 50.53 seconds. Calabar's Christopher Taylor cruised home in the Class Three 400m in 50.85, ahead of Javad Black of St Jago in 51.61 seconds. Edino Steele of Racers Track Club lowered the 400m men's open record of 46.90 to 46.75 seconds. Riker Hylton, also of Racers, was second-fast-

est, winning his heat in 47.74 seconds, with Josef Robertson of Cameron Blazer, third quickest in 47.86. MVP's Kaliese Spencer easily won the women's 400m open in 51.39 seconds ahead of teammates Anneisha McLaughlin in 52.77, and Christine Day with 53.66 seconds. Cameka Witter of St Andrew Technical High was quickest in the Class One girls 400m with 56.24 ahead of Shantae Green of Holmwood in 57.49. Ashley Williams of Holmwood captured the Class Two 400m in 56.66, which would have placed her a close second in Class One. Shanice Reid of St Jago was second-fastest in 58.19 seconds. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

SPort week ending February 2, 2014



German to coach Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz until 2018


fter more than a month long of negotiations, with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Winfried Schäfer has agreed to a new contract which will see him resume duties, as the head coach of Jamaica's national senior team, until 2018. The German, who returned to his country for the Christmas holidays following the expiration of his initial four-month contract in November, was slated to arrive in Jamaican Tuesday. "Schäfer returns at two o'clock in Montego Bay on Condor Airlines directly from Germany to resume his job, as we have been able to reach an agreement," JFF President Captain Horace Burrell disclosed to Jamaican media earlier this week. Schäfer was originally appointed for a four-month period in an effort to rescue the country's ailing 2014 World

Cup campaign, but it proved too little too late as the Reggae Boyz finished at the bottom of the Hexagonal. To enhance the Reggae Boyz's chances of qualifying for Russia 2018, Schäfer's return is set to be followed by numerous changes. "There are going to be some changes, (such as) his assistants," Burrell shared. "Schäfer will be working alongside the JFF technical team in helping to reshape and restructure football going forward. It is not going to be business as usual." At the top of the list of the recommendations to be made by the technical committee is the appointment of a new technical director of the country's football programme---a post which has been vacant since July 2013 following the resignation of Alfredo Montesso.

International experience




Jamaica Football Federation President Captain Horace Burrell (at left) and Winfried Schäfer. (Jamaica Gleaner photo)

has coached several German clubs, with his international coaching experience coming at the helm of the Thailand and Cameroon national teams. He led the latter to a victory in the 2002 African Nations

Cup. But what has impressed Burrell most is his work ethic. "On one occasion, he drove from Montego Bay to Kingston to watch a game and then drove back down to Montego Bay the same evening to catch

a night match," Burrell recounted. "Such is the nature of the man in terms of his interest and enthusiasm, and having spent the Christmas with his family, I expect to see an even more energised Schäfer coming back." Schäfer was so keen on staying on as Jamaica's head coach that he went as far as seeking sponsorship in his own country, a venture which Burrell is still optimistic will bear fruit. "He is cognisant of the fact that Jamaica is not a rich country and he also believes in brand Jamaica," Burrell said. "He is a well-known football icon in Germany, so he proceeded to use his clout to get additional sponsorship from Germany. He spoke directly with two German sports goods manufacturers and, although not yet confirmed, it is looking good." (Excerpted from Jamaica Gleaner)

International bodybuilding Pro athlete for Hugh Ross Classic 2014 in Guyana


he Hugh Ross Classic (HRC) organising committee has announced that International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro athlete Jeff ‘Classic’ Beckham will be the guest poser at the fourth edition of the Malta Supreme Hugh Ross Classic set for March 29 at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) in Guyana. HRC Chairman, renowned Guyanese and international athlete, Hugh Ross, has said that the 32-year-old Beckham was a Musclemania Pro and the two would have competed together in the past. “What we at the HRC are looking at is someone who is a phenomenal athlete and who we believe will do more than just appearing on stage, come the night of March 29. We are aiming to have Jeff here in Guyana a few days before the competition to interact

Fans and followers of the sport will be in for a treat, according to Ross, since Beckham is excited to make his debut trip to these shores. “I can assure all that Jeff Beckham will be here not only to wow the crowd, but he is also a very friendly and a people person,” said Ross. Interaction with local athletes who will be competing has been going well, according to coordinator Lee Baptiste. “A number of forms would have been distributed to date and the response has been very encouraging. We are

Jeff ‘Classic’ Beckham will be the guest poser at the fourth edition of the Malta Supreme Hugh Ross Classic set for March 29 in Guyana.

with our athletes and to do some other things we will be tying up shortly,” Ross said. Beckham stands at 6’1 in height and current-

ly packs 280 pounds on a very aesthetic frame. He became an IFBB Pro after winning the overall title at the NPC’s NY Team Universe in 2012.

TT’s Warriors to oppose Iran


he Trinidad and Tobago football team, dubbed “the Soca Warriors”, will be heading to Brazil, not to compete in this year’s FIFA World Cup, but to face Iran in a friendly international at Sao Paolo on June 8. The game will take place at the Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo (scheduled to be completed by April 15), which will be hosting the World Cup Group A opening match between hosts Brazil and Croatia (on June 12). The Stephen Hart-

coached TT outfit will only have four days to prepare for their matchup against Iran, as they are carded to face hosts Argentina in a friendly meeting on June 4 in La Plata. According to a media release from the TT Football Association (TTFA), this game arose after initial discussions between the local governing body, an international match agent and Iran coach Carlos Queiroz (the former Portugal, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Real Madrid tactician and Manchester

United assistant). “I think the match comes at a really good time and will be a fantastic opportunity for our current national senior team to experience playing such a game just mere days before the start of the World Cup and in the country where all the action will be taking place. I am excited by this and it will allow our country’s national flag to be flown in Brazil which is always a very proud moment,” said TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

scheduled to pay a visit to Berbice this Saturday; we’ve met athletes in the city already and the interaction would be ongoing. We are also on the pulse with regard to Linden,” Lee explained. Other areas, including West Demerara, Baptiste disclosed, will be visited shortly as they seek to maximise participation at the event. There would be three female categories of competition–Female Bodybuilding which will target athletes who are of a more muscular body type; Miss Figure which will be for athletes

who are symmetrical and toned and the Miss Bikini contest will be for the softer and more feminine eye pleasing type of figure. The male categories are Bantamweight– up to 65kgs (143lbs), Lightweight–up to 70kgs (144-154lbs), Welterweight–up to 75kgs (155-165lbs), Light Middleweight–up to 80kgs (166-176lbs), Heavyweight (176 and over). The respective category winners will then compete in the overall when the winner will be crowned Mr HRC 2014. (Guyana Times)



week ending February 2, 2014


Confident Guyanese cricketers in TT for Super50 By Avenash Ramzan


yeing their 10th regional 50-over title, a confident bunch of senior Guyana cricketers departed their homeland Tuesday to compete in the West Indies Cricket Board’s NAGICO Super50 competition, which bowls off on Thursday. Led by the hardhitting all-rounder Christopher Barnwell, the 14 players, coach Esaun Crandon and manager Alvin Johnson left for Trinidad and Tobago-where all matches in the competition will be hosted-a fit and enthusiastic group, eager to swing into action on Friday against ICC Associate side Ireland in a day/night fixture at the Queen’s Park Oval from 13:50 hours. Barnwell, speaking to the media prior to leaving Guyana, said the players are eagerly looking forward to winning the competition after last tasting success way back in 2005. The energetic cricketer is adamant that the last month of intense preparations will serve them well in Trinidad

and Tobago as they are fully focussed on the task at hand. Apart from a rigorous training camp, the players were led through high-intensity sessions with Guyana Defence Force trainers, Patrick King and Carl Stephenson. L e g - s p i n n e r Devendra Bishoo, who dominated the Intercounty competition which was used to select the team, said he “feels very comfortable with his game at the moment,” and will be using the tournament to work his way back into the West Indies team. Ace batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan, who has been overlooked by the West Indies selectors of recent, said he is keen on helping Guyana win the tournament, but will also look to impress those in authority as he seeks to regain his spot on the regional side. Barnwell, Bishoo and Sarwan apart, the likes of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin, Veerasammy Permaul, Leon Johnson and Royston Crandon have all represented the

Coach Esaun Crandon (right), Chairman of Selectors Rayon Griffith (left) and manager Alvin Johnson (second left) pose with part of the squad at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport moments before departure from Guyana on Tuesday. (Guyana Times photo)

West Indies at the senior level and are expected to play crucial roles should Guyana land the title. Guyana’s 14-man squad reads: Robin Bacchus, Trevon Griffith, Leon Johnson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (vice-captain), Narsingh Deonarine, Christopher Barnwell (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Royston Crandon, Assad Fudadin, Anthony Bramble (w/k), Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford

Beaton and Paul Wintz.

Live stream

Meanwhile, ESPN Caribbean will present live, exclusive coverage of the tournament from January 30 until February 16. The matches held in Trinidad will air live from 13:50 hours (Eastern Caribbean Time) on the ESPN Caribbean and ESPN 2 Caribbean television networks and on ESPN Play ( – ESPN’s multiscreen live and on-demand broad-

band service. The competition is the West Indies Cricket Board’s premier limitedovers event. Defending champions, Windward Islands, head Zone A along with Jamaica, Guyana and foreign guests, Ireland. Zone B consists of last year’s beaten finalist, Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), as well as the hosts, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Leeward Islands.

Matches will be played at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Shaw Park in Tobago as the teams vie for the coveted Clive Lloyd Trophy, named after the revered batsman and former West Indies skipper. The top two teams will advance from each zone into the semi-finals. These will be held on February 12 and 13 with the finals slated for February 15. (Excerpted from Guyana Times)

Guyanese batsman looking forward to stint in TT, Canada By Ravendra Madholall


ormer Guyana Under-19 batsman, Krishna Deosaran, is keen to make a big impression in Trinidad and Tobago from this week, representing Endeavours Sports Club, in the country’s limited-over competition. The elegant lefthander, who also captained Guyana at the regional under-15 level, stated that for the past eight consecutive years, he has enjoyed his game there and wants to do well in Canada again later this year. On his last vis-

it (2013) to the North American continent, Deosaran played for Vikings Cricket Club in the Toronto and District Cricket Association Divisional competition and featured for East Coast Cricket Club in the Ontario Softball Cricket League tournament. “Definitely, I [am] looking to do well here in Trinidad and Tobago; I have enjoyed my game over the years and want to perform to the best of my ability again; The cricket is hugely competitive and that has given me the confidence to play professionally with the aspiration of wearing Guyana’s colours at the

Former Guyana Under-19 batsman Krishna Deosaran

highest level,” Deosaran commented via email. Deosaran, who plays for Lusignan Cricket Club in Guyana, noted

that the conditions in TT and Canada are very challenging, but he is always willing to adapt quickly. “That is one of the biggest challenges as a cricketer, who willing to play any part of the world; the conditions sometime can be a discouraging factor, but I am never deterred by that, as I love playing the game; in Trinidad it is always warm, but Canada the weather can be very chilly,” the 25-year-old Deosaran related. Having registered two centuries for Vikings Cricket Club during his four-year stint, Deosaran

was also overwhelmed with his performances, and thanked the people who would have contributed to his success in various ways. In his final year for Guyana at the under-19 level, Deosaran compiled an attractive century (115) against Barbados at the former international venue, Bourda in 2006. He played a vital role in the batting department and Guyana eventually emerged as champion under the leadership of first-class batsman Steven Jacobs. Deosaran is now still anxious to represent Guyana at the senior level and believes con-

sistency is of paramount importance. He mentioned that the opportunity to play in Canada and among a number of international cricketers, also gave him the assurance to don the golden arrow head colour. “Yes, I want to play for my country at the highest level again; I try to travel around to play competitive cricket and that is helping me to focus more; I played in Trinidad and Tobago before I come up to Canada; the cricket in both countries is always magnificent; so I am looking forward to make runs on a regular basis,” Deosaran said.

Talented Asque sisters set to volley for Jamaica - at World Championships in Canada


hen Jamaica's senior women's volleyball team take to the court in May in Canada for the final leg of the World Championships play-offs, history could be created as well. The talented Asque sisters, Simone and Gillian, could be on the team, thus making it the first time in the history of Jamaica's volleyball,

two sisters are playing at the same time. The Asques, who presently hold Jamaican, American and Canadian citizenships, chose to represent Jamaica at the behest of their mother Sandra Asque, who was born in Jamaica, as well as president of the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JaVA), Steve Brown.

Simone, who is 23 and is presently playing professionally in Denmark, is a powerful left side hitter, while her 21-year-old sibling Gillian is described as the more versatile of the two, because of her ability to play technique defence and middle blocker, and on either hitting side. They are expected in the island in late March

to join up with other members of the national team for a weekend tournament and then at the end of April for a national training camp. The confirmation of these two players has come as a boost to the association, which is awaiting confirmation from at least three other top players to join forces with the local talents. (Jamaica Observer)

Gilliam Asque (right) and Simone Asque. (Jamaica Observer file photos)

Sport week ending February 2, 2014



Beach volleyball course underway in Guyana By Avenash Ramzan


e must start thinking beach volleyball” is the message president of the Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) Lennie Shuffler left with participants on Wednesday afternoon when a five-day beach volleyball course commenced at the Carifesta Sports Complex in Georgetown. Delivering feature remarks at the opening of the course, which is being conducted by beach volleyball experts from Brazil, Fernando Marques and Roberto Rodrigues, Shuffler said the activity is of paramount importance for a Category One country as Guyana. The long-serving GVF boss, who has racked up an astonishing 62 years as a national player and administrator, spoke glowingly of his federation’s ability to attract two instructors from the top volleyball nation in the world, Brazil. “It is really great to have these two Brazilians here; Brazil as we know is the leading volleyball nation in the world, and being a Category Five country

Spreading beach volleyball! From left: GVF president Lennie Shuffler, instructors Roberto Rodrigues and Fernando Marques of Brazil, and GVF vice-president John Flores (Photo: Avenash Ramzan) we can understand the level they’re at,” Shuffler pointed out. Scope for development Shuffler, who turns 75 next Wednesday, said there is scope for the development of beach volleyball in Guyana, since it is a “low cost” form of volleyball. “Two players, no foot-

wear and you can create your own beach for such games. We must start thinking beach volleyball, but we should also not disregard the traditional form. The FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) is keen on developing beach volleyball in Categories One and Two countries and

we should grab that opportunity,” Shuffler reiterated. Vice-president of the GVF, John Flores, who is coordinating the activity, said this is a follow-up to the initial course conducted by FIVB’s Instructor Mauro Hernandez of Venezuela with support from compatriots, Johan

Gutierres and Leonardo Ojeda, last June at the same venue. Last year’s course was in keeping with the direction suggested by the FIVB for Categories One and Two countries to develop beach, school and community volleyball. Flores indicated that upon completion of the

course, the participants will be qualified to pass on knowledge on the intricacies of beach volleyball to their respective jurisdictions as there will be both theoretical and practical sessions. Demanding schedule The GVF executives warned the participants to brace themselves for a “hectic and demanding schedule” as the instructors would be channelling a large volume of information for their consumption. Marques, in brief remarks prior to the start of the sessions on Wednesday, lauded the GVF for having an avid interest in the growth and development of beach volleyball. “We will try to stimulate you to think beach volleyball; to create your own methods, your own exercises and your own drills,” Marques said. The instructor cautioned the participants against being late, noting that such a transgression will not be tolerated. Sessions will also be hosted at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue. The course will wrap up on Sunday when the participants, who meet the criterion set by the instructors, are certified.

All-round Irfan helps Hong Kong to comfortable win -but fails to qualify for World Cup 2015 after finishing in third place in Super Sixes


rfan Ahmed’s allround effort helped Hong Kong register a three-wicket win over Papua New Guinea, in a Super Sixes clash of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2013-14, at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln on Thursday (January 30). Irfan scored an 82-ball 90 to help Hong Kong make short work of a 256-run target after returning impressive figures of 10-2-34-2. Irfan added 44 in 7.1 overs for the opening wicket with Waqas Barkat. After Barkat was caught off the right-arm pacer Willie Gavera for 24, Irfan added 56 for the second wicket with Jamie Atkinson (36), the Hong Kong captain before joining Mark Chapman for a 93-run partnership off 71 balls. He was bowled by the right-arm pacer Raymond Haoda in the 29th over but not before putting Hong Kong in a commanding position. Irfan’s knock contained five boundaries and four sixes. After Irfan’s depar-

ture, wickets fell at regular intervals, with Hong Kong slipping to 236 for 6. Chapman, however, carried on and almost saw his team through until he was run out by Lega Siaka in the 35th over. He departed for 64, with his 50-ball knock containing six boundaries and a six. With just 11 needed, Mark Wright and Haseeb Amjad completed the formalities to take Hong Kong to 259 for 7 in 36.1 overs. Hong Kong, though, misses out on a berth for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 after finishing in third place. Gavera claimed three wickets but was expensive, giving away 53 off his eight overs. Haoda’s 8.1 overs cost 69 runs, although he accounted for two wickets, while Charles Amini took the wicket of Atkinson. Earlier, PNG, after electing to bat first, was reduced to 35 for 3 after the completion of ten overs. Assad Vala and Geraint Jones

then stitched together a partnership of 70 runs to lead PNG’s recovery. After Vala was trapped in front by Wright for 57, Jones went on to add 96 more runs with

the wicketkeeper Jack Vare, Both perished in quick succession with the score reading 207 for 6 after 44 overs, but Mahuru Dai played a cameo of 26 off 14 balls

to boost PNG’s total to 255 for 8 after 50 overs. Haseeb Amjad took three wickets in ten overs, for Hong Kong, but conceded 70 runs in doing so. Tanwir Afzal,

who took two wickets, was economical, giving away just 33 runs off his quota, while Wright was responsible for removing Vala.


week ending February 2, 2014


Sport week ending February 2, 2014

UAE qualifies for World Cup 2015 - Namibia falls short of UAE's 263 by 36 runs in final Super Six fixture


nited Arab Emirates defeated Namibia by 36 runs at the Mainpower Oval in Rangiora on Thursday (January 30) in a Super Six match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2013-14. UAE was bowled out for 263 but restricted Namibia to 227 for 9 to top the table with eight points and book a place in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to be held in Australia and England. UAE will now make its second appearance at the World Cup, having played in the 1996 edition. Opting to bat first, UAE lost Salman Faris, caught behind off JJ Smit, in the second over of the day. Amjad Ali was then joined by Khurram Khan, the UAE captain, and the pair added 100 runs in 22.1 overs before Sarel Burger dismissed both before they could reach their half-centuries. Louis Klazinga caught Ali (46) while Xander Pitchers caught Khurram (49), before Rohan Mustafa too was sent back to the dressing room, becoming the first of Klazinga's five victims. With UAE in a spot of bother at 131 for 4, Shaiman Anwar and

Khurram Khan and Amjad Ali added 100 runs in 22.1 overs

Swapnil Patil, the wicketkeeper, got together to consolidate the innings before Anwar fell for 47. Vikrant Shetty and Patil added 38 runs before Klazinga accounted for Shetty, and Patil was caught and bowled off Christi Viljoen for 38. Klazinga then had Amjad Javed caught behind for 20. It was left to Kamran Shazad and Mohammad Naveed to add 24 runs in nine balls for the ninth wicket before Klazinga picked up the last two wickets to finish with career-best figures of 5 for 36. In reply, Namibia got off to a brisk start as Pitchers and LP van der Westhuizen added 35 runs for the opening stand before the pair fell to Amjad Javed in a space of five

runs. Burger, the Namibia captain, tried to rebuild the innings, adding 40 runs with Craig Williams before Khurram had Williams stumped for 15. In company of Nicolaas Scholtz, Burger then stitched a partnership of 53 runs – the highest of the innings – before Javed dismissed Scholtz for his third wicket. Gerrie Snyman joined Burger in the middle for a 36-run stand, but disaster struck when Manjula Guruge sent Burger back for 54. Snyman and Gerhard Erasmus made a case with a seventh-wicket stand of 46 runs but with the required runrate climbing up, the game slipped out of Namibia’s reach.



Robin Bacchus receives bat from NewGPC


obin Bacchus’ selection to the national senior squad has not gone unnoticed, at least not by the pharmaceutical company, NEW GPC INC. In another fine gesture towards the development of sport in Guyana, NEW GPC donated a new bat to Bacchus. The presentation was made during a simple ceremony last Friday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara prior to the national team final day/night warm-up game. NEW GPC Finance Manager Dwayne Lovell, challenged the talented Bacchus to maintain a high degree of discipline, excel in his cricket career and be a role model Bacchus is the lone new face selected in this year’s Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) 14-man squad to contest the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) NAGICO Super50 tournament in Trinidad and Tobago.

NEW GPC INC Finance Manager Dwayne Lovell (right) hands over new bat to Robin Bacchus

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

week ending February 2, 2014

Darren Bravo gives full support to Windies Under-19s at World Cup


fter a week-long camp at the High Performance Centre in Barbados the young Windies arrived in UAE on Wednesday morning where they will have another camp at the Emirates Palace Ground in Abu Dhabi. Bravo, who topped both the batting and bowling averages for the West Indies at the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia 2008, gave his full support to the class of 2014. Bravo scored 165 runs at an average of 55 and also took three wickets at an average of just seven with his swing bowling as West Indies played most of their matches in Kuala Lumpur. “It’s an exciting time in anyone’s career to be playing in an Under-19 World Cup. I totally enjoyed my time and I want to urge the West Indies team to pull out all the stops as they try to win the tournament,” Bravo said. “I was in the nets recently with two of the players – Jeremy Solozano and Nicolas Pooran and they were very focussed ready for the big tournament.” Remembering his time at that event, Bravo recalled: “We had a wonderful time in Malaysia. Our team was a strong one, but we didn’t manage to win the tournament. I remember the opening ceremony, where all the teams were present and where we got to meet a lot of our opponents and ‘talk cricket’ – I made some friends that day and we remain good friends still.” Since then, Bravo has gone on to achieve big things at the senior level as well, posting the highest score by a West Indies batsman when following on in a Test match (218 v New Zealand in the first Test at Dunedin) late last year. He said the ICC U19 CWC helped prepare him for the big stage. “It was a good eye-opener, and I was delighted to represent the West Indies for the first time. For most of my team-mates, it was the first time we were representing the people of our region,” Bravo said. “So we got to understand how much it meant to the people and also what our responsibilities are. Significantly, we learned to enjoy the game and be good ambassadors,” added the left-hander who was a member of the West Indies team which won the

West Indies batsman Darren Bravo has backed West Indies Under-19s to do very well in the upcoming ICC Under-19 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. World T20 back in 2012. This year’s ICC Under-19 World Cup will be a 16-day tournament with 48 matches played across seven venues. The Windies have been drawn alongside South Africa, Zimbabwe and Canada in Group C. Their opening preliminary match is against the Proteas on Friday, February 14 at the Dubai International Stadium. The second match is on Sunday, February 16 against Zimbabwe at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The third match is two days later against the Canadians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery Ground 1.

Stressing on the importance of the tournament for young cricketers, Bravo said: “The facilities in Malaysia were really good, as they usually are at an ICC U19 CWC. “That helped me and my team-mates then – the likes of Adrian Barath, Kieran Powell, Devon Thomas, Veerasammy Permaul and Nkrumah Bonner – who like myself have gone on to play for the West Indies senior team. “We had a great team-spirit, and were able to have a really enjoyable time, playing some good cricket and also getting to see a bit of the host nation,” added the 24-year-old.

T & T confirms participation in International Goodwill boxing By Avenash Ramzan


rinidad and Tobago on Wednesday afternoon became the fourth country to confirm participation in the upcoming International Goodwill boxing championship, organised by the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) in collaboration with the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA). Billed for February 14-16 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, the threeday event has attracted boxers from Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia. President of the GBA, Steve Ninvalle, stated that boxers from Barbados were also invited to compete, but they opted out since two competitions are billed around the same time on that island.

Steve Ninvalle The GBA boss indicated that each country was invited to produce a team of seven boxers, inclusive of one female to compete at the event. To date, Trinidad and Tobago is the only team to name a female boxer in the line-up. According to Ninvalle, the

Guyana team will be announced in the new week, and certainly female boxers who are currently in training will be part of that unit. Ninvalle further divulged that the GBA will be using the event as preparation for the country’s boxers who would be competing at the South American championship, which is slated for March in Chile. The Trinidad and Tobago contingent, which will arrive in Guyana on February 13, will comprise seven boxers and four officials, including a referee/judge. The twin-islanders will be led by manager Cecil Forde, coaches Reynold Cox and Floyd Trumpet and referee/ judge Codrington Joefield. The boxers are Chimere Taylor

(75kg), Akmal Stroude (52kg), Christian McDonald (56kg), Michael Alexander (60kg), Jean-Paul Cooper (64kg), Akiel Outram (69kg) and Aaron Prince (75kg). President of the St Lucia Boxing Association, David “Shakes” Christopher, will lead the St Lucia delegation that includes coach Conrad Fredericks, manager Brian McDonald, and boxers Arthur Nangillur (75kg), Ron Bastian (69kg) and Linden Micillen (64kg). The Jamaican team, which is also expected to arrive in Guyana on February 13, comprises head coach Carl Grant, coach Godfrey Collins, lightweight Patrick Sahadeo, light welterweight Anthony Clarke, welterweight Kestna Davis and middleweight Michael Gardner.

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Guyana Times International  

The Beacon of Truth Week Ending February 2, 2014

Guyana Times International  

The Beacon of Truth Week Ending February 2, 2014