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Revenue Page 23 body taking stronger action against remigrant fraudsters


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You can also read Guyana Times daily edition online at ISSUE NO. 182

Jagdeo slams ‘malicious’ reports in Kaieteur News, Stabroek News See story on page 13

Former President Bharrat Jagdeo

- says assertion of property ownership in Florida is a ‘blatant lie’

week ending March 2, 2014

Limacol CPL provided US$105.6 million boost in 2013


esearch carried out by Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM), University of the West Indies (UWI) has found that the 2013 Limacol Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 (CPLT20) tournament generated a combined impact of US$105.6 million across the region. Limacol CPL was launched last year to sell-out crowds, with over 250,000 spectators attending matches across Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and St Lucia. Global stars including Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Ricky Ponting and Muttiah Muralitharan took part in the tournament, dubbed the “Biggest Party in Sport”, where franchise team shareholders included Hollywood stars Mark Wahlberg and Gerard Butler. At a time when Caribbean nations have been keen to boost economic growth, Limacol CPL provided a much-needed stimulus. Twenty-six days of carnival-like entertainment, coupled with exciting cricket, generated a significant economic fillip to the host countries. (see full story on page 3)


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3 Limacol CPL provided US$105.6 million boost in 2013 R NEWS

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esearch carried out by Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM), University of the West Indies (UWI) has found that the 2013 Limacol Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 (CPLT20) tournament generated a combined impact of US$105.6 million across the region. Limacol CPL was launched last year to sell-out crowds, with over 250,000 spectators attending matches across Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and St Lucia. Global stars including Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Ricky Ponting and Muttiah Muralitharan took part in the tournament, dubbed the “Biggest Party in Sport”, where franchise team shareholders included Hollywood stars Mark Wahlberg and Gerard Butler. At a time when Caribbean nations have been keen to boost economic growth, Limacol CPL provided a muchneeded stimulus. Twenty-six days of carnival-like entertainment, coupled with exciting

University of the West Indies Professor Densil Williams

cricket, generated a significant economic fillip to the host countries. The report has established that last year’s tournament had widereaching benefits in the six host countries (Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and St Lucia) across eight different sectors: general services, transport and communication, government services, hotels and restaurants, manufacturing, health care and insurance, and the financial services sector. The competition is estimated to have boosted gross domestic product (GDP) by as much as 0.7 per cent in some countries, a tremendous boost given the fact that some countries hosted just three days of cricket.

“With the region still feeling the effects of the global financial crisis, (Limacol) CPL has been a real shot in the arm for the Caribbean,” UWI’s Professor Densil Williams said. “The tournament could trigger an even bigger revival, because as it grows and the brand becomes more recognised, we anticipate that the impact on the economies will be much greater.” The estimated total economic impact of Limacol CPL 2013 for each host country is as follows: Antigua, US$7.35 million; Barbados, US$9.1 million; Guyana, US$4 million; Jamaica, US$10.65 million; Trinidad, US$12.85 million, St Lucia US$7.3 million. An additional US$54 million

was raised by spending across all six countries. As well as providing a financial boost to the region, the competition has also helped to put domestic West Indian cricket back on the map, with the tournament televised across the globe, including U.S.A., India, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Hailed by supporters, players and administrators as an overwhelming success, the Limacol CPL is part of a bigger vision to develop the game of cricket in the region. To demonstrate the long-term development strategy, Limacol CPL granted 60 retainer contracts to local players, in addition to those that are already in existence at the West Indies Cricket

Board (WICB). “These findings back up what people have been telling us for months, that the (Limacol) CPL has been brilliant for the region,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Limacol CPL Damien O’Donohoe. “This year, we’re committed to building on our initial success, with more sold-out crowds, fantastic entertainment and a high standard of cricket.” CEO of WICB Michael Muirhead said the Limacol CPL tournament is “central to our vision of developing and reviving cricket in the region. Last year’s tournament not only put a smile back on the face of our domestic game, but this report shows that it also had a huge benefit for the

Caribbean in general,” he said. “I’ve played a lot of T20 cricket, and every competition claims to be the most fun, but (Limacol) CPL really is the ultimate party. With fans coming out in their hundreds of thousands, it’s great to hear that (Limacol) CPL has had such a positive economic impact on the region,” said last year’s winning captain of the Jamaica Tallawahs Chris Gayle. The Limacol CPL returns in July and August 2014 when the Jamaica Tallawahs will defend their title against the St Lucia Zouks, Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, Antigua Hawksbills, Guyana Amazon Warriors and Barbados Tridents.

Spectators at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence



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INTERNATIONAL To contact: Guyana Times International

New York Office 106-15 Sutphin Blvd, Jamaica NY 11435 Email: Tel no: 718-658-6804 Preferred method of contact via EMAIL Guyana Office Ruimveldt, Georgetown, Guyana. Tel no: (592) 227-0704, 227-0709. Fax (592) 225-8696, 227-0685 Email: President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar entering the National Park in Georgetown to view the costume and float parade on Mash Day (February 23). Also in picture is Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony


Becoming a Republic


s we recover from the Mash revelry after the long weekend, perchance we may turn our thoughts to what we can do to really make our republican dream of a selfreliant and self-assured people become real. Or of course, we may choose to begin planning for the next big bash, which we can market for tourists to watch how “the natives” cavort with great abandon. Much as the Trinidadians will be doing this coming weekend, with their Carnival extravaganza. But we should take note that even though one invited foreign economic “expert” has advised that the Caribbean should concentrate on tourism, because we have a comparative advantage in this area, the advice of even more eminent economic experts have done nothing to remove the developed countries – the present source of our tourists – from their economic crisis. So, he says, we should look towards China for tourists, since with the explosive growth of their economy, there are now hundreds of millions of Chinese in a position to jet across the world for a vacation. We would have thought, however, that the expert may have spared a thought as to why China was able to accomplish that astounding economic success, when at independence in the 1960s and 70s, every West Indian territory, including Guyana, was light years ahead of China by every economic, and social metric. And it was not a matter of size as some may reflexively retort, as we relapse into our habitual exculpatory mode. Singapore, which long ago spurted ahead of every other exBritish colony, is still far ahead of China and more to the point was smaller than even Trinidad but without any of the latter’s petroleum reserves. In fact, the Prime Minister of Singapore has explicitly compared his country’s success with the stagnation of the West Indies, especially Jamaica. What we want to suggest therefore is that while tourism should always be a source of income to any economy, it cannot be positioned as the linchpin of that economy. To do so would be to forever place the future of the Caribbean at the whims and fancies of the always fickle wealthy. As Singapore did 50 years ago, we have to look strategically ahead and plan how we can integrate ourselves into the global economy, not as producers of fun and frolic and certainly not of primary products such as sugar and timber. Our population is too minuscule to create our own markets and our productive capabilities are too small to compete in the manufacture of anything but niche products. Where we can compete is in the brave new world of information communication technology (ITC). The recent purchase of WhatsApp, a company with only 55 employees, by Facebook for US$19 billion, is an indication of the evolution of the capitalist mode of production, still the most efficient ever. Marx claimed that the value of products was based on the amount of labour that went into them, but that is not true. The value of something is whatever people will pay for it. If you have a product people want enough, you can get a high price. More than a decade ago, NY Times’ Thomas Friedman, referring to products such as computer chips, pointed out that the lighter the weight of the new exports, the more value was embedded. Today, the connectivity that WhatsApp delivers is totally weightless, but has more value than all the Caribbean Islands combined. The lesson for the Caribbean is to pursue even more assiduously the path signalled by former Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo, when he decided to initiate liberalisation in his telecoms sector, distribute 90,000 free Internet-ready laptops and bring in the infrastructure for total Internet connectivity. The education system must put its shoulder to the wheel to ensure that young Guyanese deliver us to this brave new ICT world.

American researchers found low education, low self esteem, frustration among major causes for suicide on Essequibo Coast


ow levels of education, low self-esteem and frustration were identified as some of the major factors contributing to the high incidence of suicide in Region Two, an American university-sponsored study has found. The university announced its findings of the research last week during a news conference. The research was part of the institution’s initiative to address mental health issues in Guyana. Focusing on the root causes of the issue, 11 psychology diploma students from the university and two professors departed on February 17 to conduct the survey in Region Two. The programme was initiated by American University of Research President, Dr Eton Simon, along with prominent psychologist and counsellor, Dr Yaswantie Beekhoo. The initiative was supported by Teaching Service Commission Chairman Leila Ramson, American University of Research Project Officer Jennel Williams and Guyana Professional Counselling Association Coordinator Zairol Neisha. The survey was done to collect information on some of the contributing factors to suicide, its effects and possible solutions to reduce this phenomenon. Dr Simon, speaking at the press conference, stated: “We believe that the first step in getting to the root cause of any situation is to first examine the contributing factors before determining a solution.

External circumstances

Based on the survey done, it was found, according to Dr Yaswantie Beekhoo, that the risk for suicide frequently occurs in combination with external circumstances. These included teens who are unable to cope with the challenges of adolescence, interpersonal losses, family violence, sexual orientation confusion, physical, sexual and emotional abuse and bullying.

It was also found that predisposing vulnerabilities such as mental disorders causes persons to commit and attempt suicide since they are not able to cope well with stress. She noted too that while there were 113 reported attempted suicides in the region, only 17 deaths were recorded. It was revealed that in 2013, 113 cases of attempted suicide were reported, 97 were treated, six died by hanging and 11 died by consumption of poisonous substances. Over the period 2009 to 2013, 498 cases of attempted suicides were reported, 406 were treated, 25 died from

esteem, frustration, poverty and a technological imbalance. This was seen in the case of a 16-year-old girl, who had attempted suicide after her cellphone was taken away by her mother. The level of education plays and integral role as persons not equipped with knowledge to deal with certain situations, and as such, act in the manner of the norm he or she sees taking place around them, the study found. The findings indicate that suicidal thoughts and behaviours are commonly found at an increased rate among individuals with major depressive disorders.

hanging and 67 died from consumption of poisonous substances. The researchers added that the main cause of these increases of suicide comes from lack of thinking on a rational level and overreaction to emotionally-tensed situations in the lives of the individuals, which relatives are often not privy to. In this scenario, there is no one to confide in, to seek advice, and as such, the individuals become overwhelmed and confused and unable to make a rational decision or choice except to follow the now common trend of taking one’s life. The team stated that based on the research carried out, the major contributing factors of the high suicide rate were found to be the level of education of the individuals, low self-

The university stated that they are one week away from officially launching their solution initiatives to combat the suicide scourge on the Essequibo coast, which would include selfdevelopment courses in life skills psychology for parents, students and teachers. It is expected that these courses will provide basic information regarding self-realisation. In addition, a youth movement will be launched in which survivors of suicide attempts will provide lectures and talk of their experiences in an attempt to highlight the truth of suicide. A help centre is also in the phase of construction to provide moral support, counselling and guidance, both over the phone, Internet and in person.

Solution initiatives


5 Canadian intercepted with cocaine in achar T

week ending March 2, 2014 |

wo weeks after a Guyanese woman and an American man attempted to sneak out cocaine in achar; a 41-year-old Canadian national was intercepted on Wednesday morning at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) trying to smuggle out the illicit substance in a similar manner. The woman was intercepted by members of the Customs AntiNarcotics Unit (CANU) as she was checking-in

on a Caribbean Airlines Flight, BW 525 destined for Canada about 05:00h. CANU head James Singh confirmed that the woman had seven kilos of cocaine stashed in several packets of achar. According to information received, while the woman’s suitcase was being scanned, a blackish substance in the achar was noticed, and taking into consideration the last incident, the suitcase was pulled and searched, leading

to the discovery of small packets containing the cocaine. Ranks informed the woman of their suspicions and she was escorted to the search area where she was interrogated. She was then taken to CANU headquarters where the cocaine was extracted and when weighed amounted to seven kilograms. Earlier in the month, Winston Blake, 78, who stayed at Meadowbrook, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown, was inter-

cepted with 9.6kg of cocaine while Guyanese, Sadika Odie, 38, of Kitty, Georgetown was intercepted with 10.45Kg of cocaine extracted from several packets of achar at the CJIA. This publication was told that upon the arrest of the couple, they told CANU ranks that someone had given them the achar to take for relatives of their friends. However, after closely inspecting the achar that was stored in zip lock bags, it was clear

that the perpetrators used brown scotch tape to wrap the cocaine in balls and then place them into the tamarind achar to make them look like seeds. Blake and Odie were outgoing passengers in a U.S.-bound BW 526 flight to John F Kennedy Airport. While their luggage was being scanned, the illegal substance was spotted and this prompted the ranks of the drug enforcement unit to question the man and woman.

During the interrogation, the achar was searched and the drug was found, but the couple denied having any knowledge about the cocaine and claimed that they were given it to drop off to relatives of their friends. A few names have been called and CANU is pursuing them. The duo were subsequently charged and remanded to prison for the offence of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.

Executed cambio dealer was shot twice – autopsy


athologist, Dr Vivikanand Brijmohan has confirmed that slain businessman Bridgelall “B Boy” Persaud of Eccles, East Bank Demerara was shot twice. The calibre of weapon was not determined since ballistic tests are still to be conducted on the two warheads recovered at the scene of the shooting. In addition, the cause of death was given as shock and haemorrhage due to multiple gunshot injuries. Police spokesman Ivelaw Whittaker told Guyana Times

International that a suspect was detained several hours after the shooting, but was subsequently released. He said the police are still to make an arrest and are working on several leads at their disposal. GTI understands that Persaud, on the morning of his death, was on his way to finalise a business deal. According to information reaching this newspaper, the man was carrying two separate bags, one with Gy$1 million and the other with an undisclosed sum. About a week ago,

Slain businessman Bridgelall Persaud

Persaud, 42, was gunned down in the vicinity of Builder’s Lumber Yard, Lombard Street,

Georgetown by two gunmen, who escaped with the bag containing Gy$1 million. According to information received, the man was in his blue Toyota Raum, and as he approached the truck park at Lombard Street, two men armed with handguns exited a white car that was parked some distance away, walked up to his vehicle and opened fire. At the time of the shooting, traffic was moving at a snail’s pace due to the frequent congestion in the area. One bullet reportedly struck

Persaud in the head while the other caught him in the abdomen. After shooting the businessman, one of the robbers reportedly reached into his car and removed the bag containing the money. They then made good their escape in a waiting vehicle which went through a cross street, then into Princes Street and disappeared. The businessman was rushed to the Georgetown Pubic Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Based on investigations, the police received

information that the two suspects disembarked a white motorcar and went in the direction of the businessman’s vehicle, during which they shot the back glass, causing it to shatter. They then went to the driver’s side of the car and discharged several rounds, shattering the windscreen. One of the bullets reported went through Persaud’s head. Police suspected that the man might have been trailed and was under surveillance by the gunmen for quite some time. Persaud was cremated on Wednesday.



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Body of woman found in cemetery T

he body of a teenage girl suspected to have been raped and strangled was found in the Paradise Cemetery, East Coast Demerara under a tree on Wednesday evening. The discovery was made about 17:30h. Patricia “Catty” Young, 19, formerly of Plaisance, East Coast Demerara was found with her underwear off; her skirt pulled to her stomach; and the top she was wearing tied around her neck. Her boyfriend whose name was given as “Jamal” was taken into police custody minutes after the gruesome discovery. According to information received, the teenager and her boyfriend have been living together for more than a year, a stone’s throw away from where her body was discovered. She reportedly left home on Sunday just after midday to join her friends in the city to witness the Mashramani Costume and Float Parade, but did not return home. Her boyfriend, after she did not show up, began inquiring of her friends as to her whereabouts, but no one knew

where she was. It was until Wednesday afternoon, he found a slipper belonging to the young woman and went straight to the Vigilance Police Station where he lodged a missing person’s report and told them about the slipper. The police reportedly accompanied the young man to the area where he found the slipper and after a few minutes of searching the area, the teenager’s body was found. Kwesi Young, the uncle of the dead teen told Guyana Times International that the young man went to his home on Wednesday and told him that his niece was missing. He said that they assisted in searching for the young woman, but came up empty-handed. The distraught uncle stated that after searching for a while, they decided to use the clue of the slipper and went to the burial ground where the woman’s partially decomposed body was discovered in what appeared to be a shallow grave under a tree.

Strong young lady

He is of the opinion that his niece was probably returning home late

Dead: Patricia 'Catty' Young

Sunday evening when the perpetrator(s) carried out the attack. He said that his niece was a strong young lady and felt that it had to be more than one person involved. He admitted that the young woman and the suspect would fight often, but does not believe he is capable of committing the act. “I cannot say if he was a part of it,” the uncle stated. Young added that his niece worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken, but left about a year ago and was employed at Bettencourt at the time of her demise. Patricia’s parents died in 1997 and she lived with her grandmother and relatives

in Plaisance before she moved to Paradise with Jamal. Persons in the area claimed that they did not hear any screams on the night the young lady met her death. A co-worker who was at the scene told GTI that she spoke with the teenager about 21:00h on Sunday via social media, WhatsApp. She recalled receiving a text from the young woman inquiring from her if she was going out, to meet her on Mash night, but she did not take up the offer. She said that Patricia was supposed to work on Monday morning, but

she did not turn up and she attempted to contact her, but the phone went to voicemail. The young lady, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that while at the office on Monday, several persons called to find out if Patricia was at work but she did not recognise the voices. However, she knew something was amiss when the teenager’s boyfriend turned up at the business place inquiring about her. The woman said that she questioned him thoroughly and all his answers were sincere. “We tried to call her phone

but it was the same thing… we called other friends but they did not see her,” she added. In tears, she added that she was at work when she got the devastating news and rushed to the scene. One resident said that the area is in dire need of street lights and the lack thereof might have contributed to the young woman’s demise. The woman’s body was taken to the Lyken’s Funeral Home and is awaiting a post-mortem examination. The former Plaisance Community High School student leaves to mourn her five siblings.

300,000 tons of rice expected in first harvest – Rice Board


uyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) General Manager Jagnarine Singh said some 300,000 tonnes of rice is expected to be produced in the first crop of this year. Singh, speaking with Guyana Times International in a recent interview, noted that over the years, the rice production in Guyana has continued to grow exponentially, due to the hard work of farmers over the years. The general manager said this year more land is being put under cultivation, pointing out that Guyana is set for another record-breaking year of production. Last year, the industry produced some 400,000 tonnes of rice, exporting to varying importers around the world. Singh said production this year is expect-

GRDB General Manager Jagnarine Singh

RPA General Secretary Dharamkumar Seeraj

in the water conservancy in their village. The breach had resulted in some 150 acres of rice cultivation being destroyed due to flooding. The farmers were also hit by a pest infestation, when some strange “green looking” worms invaded their fields. The “heart worm” pest, as it is being called, is stunting rice fields, which were replanted subsequent to the flood-

manager said given the increase in rice production, some amount of decrease in prices is expected on the local and international markets, citing the demand and supply theory. Regarding the operations of rice mills, Singh told GTI that so far only 40 plus mills have been licensed so far by the GRDB to operate. Last year, the GRDB registered some 72 mills. As part of the licensing system, mills are required to go through rigorous inspecting by both the rice board and the Guyana National Bureau of Standards. Meanwhile, Rice Producers Association General Secretary Dharamkumar Seeraj told this publication that harvesting has already commenced and is expected to last until August. He reported that over 220,000 acres of rice has already been harvested in Essequibo and some areas of Region Six. The RPA general secretary also noted that all licensed rice mills are in operation and readily accessible by farmers. In October 2013, the rice industry produced a record production, surpassing its 500,000 tonnes target.

Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) General Manager Jagnarine Singh said some 300,000 tonnes of rice is expected in the first crop of this year

ed to top 600,000 tonnes, 50,000 tonnes more than that what was previously expected. The target for the first crop is also 100,000 tonnes more than production achieved last year. The GRDB general manager said he is optimistic that the industry will achieve its target, despite some hiccups earlier in the year. Last month, Airy Hall rice farmers were affected by severe flooding following a massive breach

ing in January. This problem is being addressed. Singh said there are talks with other countries to buy rice from Guyana. These include African nations, England, Columbia and Caribbean territories such as Haiti, Belize and Jamaica.


He said despite the unrest in Venezuela, he is optimistic that the Guyana-Venezuela rice trade would not be affected. The GRDB general



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Commissioners probing Rodney’s death call for witnesses to come forward


three-member Commission was on Tuesday sworn in at the Office of the President to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the late cofounder of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr Walter Rodney, who was killed when a bomb exploded in the car in which he was sitting 33 years ago. Barbadian Queen’s Counsel Richard Cheltenham has been appointed Chairman of the Commission by President Donald Ramotar. He will serve alongside Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline Samuels- Brown, and Guyanese-Trinidadian Senior Counsel Seenauth Jairam. They took their oath before the Head of State and a few Cabinet members, including Attorney General Anil Nandlall. President Ramotar said the decision to establish the commission was taken, after family members of the late politician and historian approached him. He hopes the findings will put all suspicions to rest.

President Donald Ramotar and newly sworn-in Commissioners, Senior Counsel Seenath Jairam (left), Queen’s Counsel, Sir Richard Cheltenham and Queen’s Counsel, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown

Commission Chairman Cheltenham, addressing reporters, explained that he was unable at the time to determine when the inquiry will begin; however, some 100 witnesses are expected to testify before the Commission. “It is too early for me to indicate precisely when we will start, we have a long meet-

ing with the secretariat on Wednesday which was established since July last year, and they will advise on how ready they are in the process of evidence gathering and how many witness statements they have already prepared and if not, how soon they are likely to have enough prepared so we could start the inquiry”, he said.

Cheltenham said he was unaware of how long the inquiry will take, but he stressed that the sessions will be opened to the public. Now that the Commission has been established, Cheltenham hopes that those witnesses who have awaited its establishment will now come forward so that the process could be complet-

ed in a timely manner. There have been many calls by persons, both in and out of Guyana for the speedy establishment of the Commission of Inquiry. The announcement was first made last year by President Ramotar, while he addressed a Guyanese gathering in the United States. Subsequent to the swearing in, the Commissioners met with Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell; Chiefof-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Mark Phillips; and members of the Private Sector Commission (PSC). Dr Rodney was 39 years old when a bomb exploded in his lap on June 13, 1980. Reports are that an ex army sergeant, Gregory Smith, planted the bomb that killed the political leader. The then electronics expert, who was using the pseudonym Cyril Johnson, was accused of giving Rodney a walkie –talkie (in which the bomb was concealed) to test on Camp Street, Georgetown outside the metal fence of the

Georgetown Prison. It exploded on his lap while he was seated in the car driven by his brother Donald. The Guyana Defence Force had denied that Smith was a serving member of the army until a local paper published his photograph with him dressed in military clothing. Smith, who then fled to French Guiana, said he would have returned to Guyana for a trial or inquiry only if amnesty had been granted. However, France does not extradite persons to their native country where they possibly face the death penalty in the case of a conviction. Smith died 10 years ago. There have been claims also that Dr Rodney’s assassination was set up by the Forbes Burnham administration, which Rodney had strongly opposed. However, Burnham’s party, the People’s National Congress (PNC) had denied orchestrating the bomb blast. There have been widespread accusations and fingerpointing over the years, thus the call for the Commission of Inquiry.



week ending March 2, 2014|

Caricom lauds Canada as exemplary global development leader


aricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque last Wednesday commended Canada for its role as an exemplary global leader in development assistance. A m b a s s a d o r LaRocque was speaking during an accreditation ceremony where the newly-appointed Canadian Ambassador to Caricom, Dr Nicole Giles presented her credentials to him at the Caricom Secretariat, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown. A m b a s s a d o r LaRocque said Canada’s excellent example was evidenced in its ranking of eighth out of 67 donor countries and donor organisations on the 2013 Aid Transparency Index. “This is an indication of the support provided not only bilaterally but also through multilateral organisations that offer development assistance to developing countries such as Caricom member states,” LaRocque said. The secretary general further iterated that it was important for Caricom to continue

Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque accepts the letters of credence from newlyappointed Canadian Ambassador to Caricom, Dr Nicole Giles last Wednesday at the headquarters of the Caricom Secretariat, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown Guyana.

to foster and maintain meaningful relationships with like-minded states such as Canada, and every opportunity should be taken to nurture those relationships. He said one important aspect of that relationship was the negotiations of the Caricom/Canada Trade and Development

Agreement. “We seek a mutuallybeneficial arrangement, which takes full account of the differences in size and development between Caricom and Canada and which would support Caricom’s efforts to adjust to further liberalisation,” Secretary General LaRocque said. He also used the op-

portunity to highlight Canada’s involvement in providing support to the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

CIDA-funded activities

He said Caricom was also appreciative of other CIDA-funded activities which support the community through private sector development, strengthening regional economic infrastructure as well as reinforcing good governance, security, and justice sector reform. In her remarks, the Canadian ambassador said it was her wish to further solidify the Caricom/Canada relationship by building upon the strength of mutually-shared traditions and values, multilateral cooperation, robust trade and investment links, development cooperation, and close people-to-people ties. She said Canada’s economic partnerships with Caricom member states were robust and led by significant Canadian investment in the extractive, financial and energy sectors. “I look forward to augmenting the investment climate by facilitating increased flows

of Canadian investment into the region, and similarly, from the Caribbean to Canada,” she said. Regarding the Canada-Caricom Trade Agreement negotiations, Ambassador Giles said Canada was pursuing a high quality, ambitious free-trade model. She said it was essential for Canada that, as part of the agreement, labour and environment provisions would be negotiated. Speaking to a number of the challenges being faced by Caricom countries such as organised crime, drug trafficking, and the proliferation of arms, the ambassador said Canada remained committed to assisting and cooperating with the Caribbean on addressing these problems. She said this would be done by providing support on capacity building in the areas of countering illicit trafficking, crime prevention, and security and justice sector reforms.

PM Kamla heads TT delegation on state visit to China

TT’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar shares a light moment with Chinese government officials on Tuesday in Beijing. (Kamla Persad Bissessar FB photo)


hina has promised to deliver a Long Range Vessel (LRV) to the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, in the shortest possible time, after Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar Tuesday held talks with that country’s Premier Li Keqiang. “This is really good news,” Persad-Bissessar told TT media after she announced details of her discussion. The prime minister, who is on an official state visit to China—the first by a TT prime minister in the past 30 years—said she was able to convince Premier Li Keqiang, that the Coast Guard needs two vessels to lock down

TT’s borders in light of the increase in arms and narco trafficking. Persad-Bissessar led a TT delegation to bilateral talks with the Chinese Premier and top officials of the Chinese government at the Great Hall of the People in China’s capital Beijing Tuesday. Persad-Bissessar came to the table in Beijing with a list of proposals, hoping to convince her Chinese counterpart to assist. “We are here today to further the partnership we started 40 years ago. I am hoping that you could use your good office to drive these projects,” the prime minister

added. The TT delegation also includes Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran, Minister of Trade and Industry Vasant Bharath and Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs Kevin Ramnarine. Persad-Bissessar said she is aware that China is building two LRVs and pleaded with Li Keqiang to sell one, “in the shortest possible time.”


Both the governments of China and Trinidad and Tobago will sit down and deal with the financing aspect of the purchase. continued on page 11

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


week ending March 2, 2014 |

Opposition parties should do more for the citizens of Guyana Dear Editor, On the first day of 2014, I read all of the messages from the political parties, but what stood out for me was the message from Brigadier (retired) David Granger, leader of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Opposition Leader. Granger’s message was focused on 2014 being the “year for workers” and he spoke of the challenges workers faced in 2013 and his wish that in 2014 “we all work together towards providing a good life for all Guyanese”. As I reflected on Granger’s words and as a public servant myself, I could relate to some

of the challenges, that workers face – the need for better labour relations, better remuneration, more jobs, better working conditions, and improved social services. No doubt these were the very issues Granger and his coalition of parties in APNU campaigned on in 2011 and were successful for the first time in our country’s history to secure a combined opposition majority in Parliament. As a non-political person, I was concerned about how this would work, and whether the combined opposition – APNU and Alliance for Change (AFC) – would be able to put aside the political baggage of

the People’s National Congress (PNC) era and political bitterness to work with the government to “put Guyana first” and to really “champion workers’ rights”. Sadly, after two years of watching the charade in Parliament, and the rhetoric from the opposition politicians, I am very disillusioned about Guyana’s future. I ask myself, have APNU and AFC done enough work with the government to provide a good life for all Guyanese and to champion workers rights? In my view, the answer to this question is a disappointing “no”. I cannot help but ask Granger the following

questions: How can Granger talk about creating job opportunities for Guyanese when he and his party voted down projects such as the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project that will create employment for Guyanese? How can Granger talk about improving social services for Guyanese when he and his party voted down projects such as the Specialty Hospital, hinterland airstrips, and improving the Cheddi Jagan International Airport? How can Granger talk about caring for workers’ rights when he and his party deliberately and vindictively cut budgets

of key government entities such as the National Communications Network (NCN) and the Government Information Agency (GINA)? Spare a thought for those employees and their families! Did Granger think of what kind of Christmas they would have had? Didn’t he think that some of them may have been his supporters as well, or is it because they work for government, that this makes them all anti-opposition and pro-People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C)? For two successive years, we have seen the opposition parties spearhead the cutting of

Guyana’s budget. This is unprecedented in our country as we have become accustomed to the opposition lobbying for government to allocate more funds for development initiatives. We are approaching the 2014 budget; will it be a repeat of the cuts? Granger has been part of a party, the PNC, that took our country backward. Will history be repeating itself? Granger and his party will be judged not by the magnanimous speeches he makes at the beginning of the year, but by his actions thereafter. Only time will tell, the ball is in his court. Yours sincerely, Christopher Persaud

I was never promised any position by the PPP Dear Editor, I read a letter in another section of the press on February 23 under the headline, “Is Peter Persaud still the leader of The United Force?” I am not the leader of The United Force (TUF), but was identified and selected by the party’s executive committee to be its presidential candidate for the November 2011 general and regional elections. TUF is monitoring Guyana’s current political situation and is on the ground meeting with its members and supporters. Because of a court matter against the TUF in the run-up to the 2011 elections, the party had actually taken about three weeks to conduct elections campaigning in the length and breadth of Guyana. This resulted in our poor performance but nevertheless, the TUF was able to capture

two regional seats, in Regions Eight and Nine. TUF is quietly waiting for the right time to launch its public political campaign. The letter stated that the writer has been seeing many letters in the press written by me, and that I am always supporting everything that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) does. This is based on the indisputable fact that the PPP/C government, in my view, is superbly managing the social and economic affairs of Guyana, where there is sustained economic growth, despite global financial challenges. In this regard, I will definitely publicly condemn opposition parties and their agents who want Guyana to return to darkness and misery, as under the People’s National Congress (PNC) prior to 1992. And

I will contribute my energies to ensure that this never happens again. The letter also claimed that I did not get a position that I was promised, so I now have to write for my “supper”, and that I was “set up” by the PPP/C. I would like to inform the writer that I am no opportunist and was never promised any position by the PPP/C government. Also, I was not interested in any position and, further, I was never set up by the PPP/C. My presidential candidacy in the 2011 elections for the TUF was based on my own free will and I was chosen by TUF’s executive committee. Yes, I write against anti-government rubbish in the media and I am not paid by the PPP/C. The Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG) is a dynamic body and has a membership. We get

The smuggling of wildlife must be stopped

Dear Editor, Wildlife smuggling has been a crime that has required grave attention for quite some time. Several people have over the years been accused of committing this illegal act, but not much has ever been done to address the issue, nor were there ever serious consequences in place for those caught.

Many people fail to realise that the act of smuggling wildlife contributes to the extinction or depletion of a particular species. Additionally, they take the risk of not knowing whether they are aiding in the transfer of disease infected animals. Guyana has been blessed with a vast content of biodiversity that

not only represents our heritage, but also plays a role in promoting nature-based tourism and academic research. It is therefore important that proper protocols and consequences be put in place for those who threaten the continued existence of our wildlife species. Respectfully, Charessia Ford

calls from the hinterland Amerindian communities to address problems, concerns and grievances. At the moment, I am making preparations for a visit to the North West region where my pres-

ence is wanted in six Amerindian communities. Finally, I am a real person and everyone knows who Peter Persaud is and what my views are. Do we know

who is this writer and is he/she willing to reveal their true identity? It does not seem so as I believe this writer is using a pseudonym. Yours sincerely, Peter Persaud



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Jamaica to decriminalise ganja by year-end J

amaica will this year join a virtual tidal wave of countries across the globe in decriminalising ganja, forerunner to the establishment of a medicinal marijuana industry estimated to be worth billions of dollars. The undertaking was given to the

Jamaica’s Minister of Science and Technology Phillip Paulwell. (Jamaica Observer photo)

Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce (CCMRT) by Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Phillip Paulwell, according to one of the main taskforce leaders, Delano Seiveright. In a press statement Sunday, Seiveright said Paulwell, who is also the minister of science, technology, energy and mining, told members of the taskforce at a meeting last Thursday that “ganja will be decriminalised in Jamaica this year and emphasised that Jamaica cannot be allowed to be left behind on the issue”. “He also reiterated the multiple economic, social and cultural benefits that Jamaica stands to gain if the laws are adjusted sooner rather than later,” Seiveright said. He said the meeting held at the PCJ Auditorium in Kingston had agreed to the formal launch of the Future Ganja Growers Association next month to spearhead the establishment of a local ganja industry, which advocates swear will pump billions of dollars into the Jamaican economy. If Paulwell’s promise becomes reality—a strong possibility because of bipartisan support in the Parliament—Jamaica could be the first English speaking Caribbean country to decriminalise ganja and usher in a new era allowing Jamaicans to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes under State regulation. Legalisation or decriminalisation of the weed has been sweeping the globe, led by the United States where Colorado, followed by Washington, has demonstrated the earning power of marijuana. America’s tax take has already been put at an estimated US$100 million a year. Jamaica’s Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce comprises the Ganja Law Reform Coalition, the National Alliance for the Legalisation of Ganja and several members of civil society. The group is chaired by University of the West Indies, Mona Principal Professor Archibald McDonald. Other leading Ganja Law Reform advocates continued on page 11

Be a Leader


By Anu Dev

ast Sunday we celebrated Republic Day – the day we recognise that we govern ourselves, we’re not under the rule of a monarch and I’ve been thinking about leaders and leadership. What Shakespeare said about “greatness”, can be paraphrased for leaders: “Some are born leaders, some achieve leadership and some have leadership thrust upon them.” I’ve encountered a fair number of leaders from all three backgrounds, over the years and this year at Med School I’ve met even more. We have weekly PBL (Problem-Based Learning) sessions where we’re broken into small groups and everyone has to take a turn at leading the group discussions. So after a while, everyone gets a chance to be group leader and I found that most of them exemplified quite distinct leadership styles, approaches and qualities. A good leader is assertive yet approachable. During my early years at Queen’s College, I was always impressed with the prefects chosen. I was awed by these students who were all-rounded and carried themselves with decorum. These prefects welcomed us to speak to them freely, but by mutual understanding, there was a boundary we never crossed. These were the type of prefects I tried to emulate when I became Head Prefect in Upper Six. Another fundamental trait of leaders is that a true leader inspires others to achieve. And the best leaders do this not by telling – but by doing. The line from Portia in the Merchant of Venice has stuck with me: “I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.” It can be hard, but to be good leader, that’s absolutely necessary. A good leader can inspire dedication and great feats from followers, through leadership by example. Good leaders must show integrity since a leader can’t lead if he doesn’t have the trust of followers. Leaders must show honesty, well-controlled emotions (that’s right, no screaming your head off at your charges!). In our Professionalism Course, we’re constantly reminded about the importance of integrity – as doctors we’ll have to work along with other doctors, we’ll need the trust and support of the nurses and other members of our medical team to ensure that we care for our patients successfully. Leaders must also have high self-respect and selfesteem. After all, if a leader doesn’t respect himself / herself, how could they earn the respect of others? Yes, respect is earned, not demanded. Good leaders should have the respect of their subordinates and also give due respect to their subordinates. My tradition emphasises the need to delegate tasks and to groom new leaders for the future. In my estimation, this is a defining quality that all leaders should possess. That leader who tries to singlehandedly tackle all of the objectives and challenges of the group usually risks biting off more than they can chew and simultaneously demotivates the rest of the members. Leaders should also always be conscious that they can’t be the leader forever – there comes a time to step down and pass on the torch. New times demand new skills and new visions. One of the more over-looked qualities a leader should possess is a sense of humour! Humour can be an effective tool to energise persons and ease tension. More often than not, leaders choose the too-serious approach – a balance should be struck. In conclusion don’t believe that I’m only talking about leaders of countries and corporations. In every endeavour that we embark on in groups, there is the need for leaders. We never know when leadership may be thrust upon us: be prepared.


11 Private sector holds talks with commissioner of information T

week ending March 2, 2014 |

he Private Sector Commission (PSC) on Tuesday held talks with Commissioner of Information, Charles Ramson to seek clarity on the work of the body which will facilitate Guyana’s Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. According to a statement by Ramson’s office, he was able to establish that the Access to Information Act 2011 created a statutory partnership with the various organs of the State and its agencies, conferring upon members of the public, including nongovernmental agencies, such as the PSC, the right of access to information generated after July 2, 2013 when the act became operational. He said his office was made the “clearing house” for access to information where public authorities did not meet with the minimum of their obligations imposed on them to provide adequate responses to request for information. Upon conclusion of the fruitful meeting, Justice Ramson undertook to

Commissioner of Information Justice Charles Ramson meets with members of the Private Sector Commission

participate in outreach engagements to sensitise the public about their rights and operations of his office. In a recent interview with this newspaper, Ramson, a retired Appeal Court judge, said they have been making a lot of progress, but it takes time, because it is such a new dispensation. He said no request for information has yet been received by his office. The commissioner said nothing like this existed before and the min-

istries are not prevented from giving information to the public. Rather, the FOI Act, which was passed in September 2011, has added a next tier, where the commission is responsible for ensuring that those agencies deal fairly with requests from members of the public.

Statutory partnership

Justice Ramson told Guyana Times International he is of the belief that persons responsible for supplying the commission with in-

PM Kamla heads TT...

from page 8

Back in 2010, the People’s Partnership cancelled the then PNM-government’s deal with Scotland-based shipbuilding company British Aerospace Engineering (BAE), for acquisition of three offshore patrol vessels, at a cost of TT$1.5 billion. At a news conference Tuesday at his Port-ofSpain office, National Security Minister Gary Griffith was hesitant to speak on the Chinese LRV. “We need to ensure this is the right vessel and it would be difficult

for me to make a statement until we get further information. I have no intention to buy a vehicle and then find out it is the wrong thing. The Coast Guard bought six vessels which were not the type for our water. We got 12 interceptors which are now all down. This was actually imposed on the Coast Guard without their input,” Griffith said. Griffith said TT had a Maritime Security Plan which was not about just plying sources with assets, which would be of

Jamaica to decriminalise...

from page 10

sitting on the taskforce include Paul Chang and Paul Burke. The taskforce also reiterated that a compulsory condition of involvement in the growers association was agreement by members not to take any part, directly or indirectly, in the growing/cultivation of ganja until there is a legal and regulated framework in place. The association, according to the press statement, would “represent the best inter-

ests of the various stakeholders, giving primacy of place to the traditional ganja cultivator for a specified period”. It would lobby the Jamaican government for the establishment of “a properly-regulated cannabis industry in all aspects, cultivation, agro-processing, medicinal and its many and varied by-products”; and promote control, education and taxation “as important planks of a regulated cannabis industry”. (Jamaica Observer)

no use to the relevant authorities. The minister said the principle behind a LRV was based on the concept of pieces of a puzzle locked in to secure TT’s borders, but could not work without the intelligence of local law enforcement. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

formation are not aware of the statutory partner-

ship created by the act. He explained that the

President has the power to remove him from office based on the same laws that govern the removal of a judge from his seat. Basically, he can only be removed from office for wrongdoing or a legal conviction. It was further noted that the commission only received, a few days ago, a copy of an electronic disk for work to be done. However, this information was requested since August. Asked about whether there are provisions for educating the public about the work of the commission, Justice Ramson said the process has started and is likely to expand.



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Soloman says shortage of medical Guyana, Malaysia to further collaborate on forestry sector drugs affecting Region 10


he shortage of medical drugs at healthcare institutions and poor infrastructure works by some contractors are two major issues affecting Region 10, Chairman Sharma Solomon said. He said the health concern was discussed at the region’s last statutory meeting, noting that the absence of a proper ambulance in Linden continues to be a problem for residents. “The ambulances which were requested and are to be supplied by Beharry (company) are going to be weeks delayed. This is based on shipping problems. The region is very concerned and disappointed by that. We’ve also asked the administration to find ways of imposing penalties for the late supply of this very crucial piece of equipment,” he stated.


Solomon further stated that government has given Region 10 an ambulance procured by Ainlim, for use at the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC); however, to date, Solomon related that it has not been commissioned, despite being present in the region. He said the RDC is very disappointed as it is awaiting the availability of Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran to commission the ambulance. Solomon is calling on the minister to have the ambulance commissioned as soon as possible so that it can commence operations.

Region10 Chairman Sharma Solomon

The shortage of medical drugs at health institutions continue to be a major health concern in Region 10, the regional chairman said, noting that steps are being taken at the level of the RDC to improve healthcare delivery. He opined that more suppliers should be given an opportunity to supply medical drugs so that an adequate supply of drugs can be made available. Solomon also noted that the RDC is currently seeking assistance in upgrading healthcare delivery, more so in the areas of training and the enhancement of machinery/equipment. The upgrading of the trauma care room at the LHC is a priority of the RDC, he said. The deplorable condition of the Linden to Kwakwani Road, Solomon stated is also an issue for the RDC. He said the road continues to deteriorate, especially during the inclement weather and residents who ply the route continue to voice their concerns

to the RDC. “The region is very concerned that the road continues to not receive the attention that it deserves…. Interior road development is going to lead to the opening up of frontiers, which will allow for the expansion of different sectors, more so the agriculture and mining sectors, and also logging to a great extent. “We know that in having the Linden to Kwakwani Road properly done, in fact the region will continue as we did in our meeting with the Minister of Public Works, to suggest that every year five miles of properly asphalted road must be done and at the end of a certain amount of years, we would have a continuous well done road. The region continues to promote that initiative and remains very committed to ensuring that that road is done,” Solomon said.


He added: “People are very disappointed that to date, the Minister of Public Works and government who would have assured on September 5 (last)that residents would have received a very well done road by now, to date, that is not the case. “In fact, the road is worse, especially the stretch between the Coomacka Mines area. Residents are becoming very annoyed and I would like to express to the Minister of Public Works that it is important to have these works done as soon as possible.”

Caribbean officials being trained to resolve elections conflicts


enior officials from a selected number of election management bodies in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean are meeting in Durban, South Africa in a one-week training to explore ways of preventing, managing and resolving election-related disputes. The training programme, organised by the Commonwealth is being conducted jointly with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), a South Africa-based civil society organisation working to bring creative solutions to the challenges posed by conflict. “We must invest in the peaceful settlement of disputes, as the alternative has proven too costly,” said Commonwealth

Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma. Head of the Good Offices of the Commonwealth Secretary General Nita Yawanarajah said that election management bodies are critical in the electoral process and should be considered the first line of defence “to nip election-related disputes in the bud”. “Election management bodies are at the heart of the electoral process, and their close interaction with almost all the key stakeholders − from voters to candidates, civil society and political party structures –make them key institutions with the potential to help prevent election related conflicts,” Yawanarajah said. The training will cover topics such as analysing election-related

disputes, current and future trends in conflict, the role of the media in the electoral process, negotiation and mediation skills. The training in Durban is part of a series of such events in the Commonwealth to build the capacity of key institutions at the national level to prevent and manage disputes themselves. ACCORD founder and Executive Director Vasu Gounden said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Commonwealth in conducting this training. The Commonwealth, with its long tradition as a trusted institution in mediation of conflicts and observing elections, is best placed to distil good practices. We believe this training will provide that opportunity for the participants.”


Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud in discussion with members of the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) and the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC)

uyana and Malaysia are to collaborate and share experiences on the development of their forestry sectors, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said. A delegation from Guyana, led by Natural Resources and the Environment Minister Robert Persaud recently participated in a bilateral meeting in that country. Accompanying Persaud were the ministry’s forestry specialist Gavin Agard, and Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) Deputy Commissioner Tasreef Khan. The forestry sectors in both countries’ economies play an important role in national de-

velopment. To ensure that growth follows the correct trajectory, the Guyanese delegation participated in bilateral meetings with representatives from the government of Malaysia and senior executives from Samling Global Limited, which is the parent company of Barama Company Limited. Bilateral discussions were centred on cooperation between the governments of Malaysia and Guyana on several broad thematic areas related to sustainable forest management, and avenues for collaboration and capacity building such as monitoring deforestation particularly, within the mining sector. Extensive discussions with the Malaysian

Timber Certification Council (MTCC) and the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) related to the implementation of the European Union Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (EUFLEGT) have proven fruitful since Malaysian counterparts have gained extensive experience over the past decade since commencing formal negotiation. The Guyana delegation also witnessed several commercial forest activities such as a large-scale oil palm plantation and a stateof-the-art plywood factory, which will be further examined for technology and knowledge transfer for improved value added processing within Guyana’s forestry sector.

Too early to calculate risks of Venezuelan protests – Hinds


rime Minister Samuel Hinds said it might be a little too early for him to comment on what effects the current unrest in Venezuela will eventually have on the many agreements that country has with Guyana. Guyana and Venezuela are currently engaged in a few partnerships which seek to strengthen their economic and social sectors. The PetroCaribe agreement allows Guyana to pay 40 per cent of its bill within the first 90 days and repay the rest at one per cent interest over a period of 25 years. In 2005, former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez had given Guyana and several other Caribbean countries economic support. The head of the oil-producing powerhouse had offered the region oil at concessionary prices with, in Guyana’s case, oil supplies being paid for by paddy and rice. But with Chávez’s death in March last year and the Venezuelan economy declining, questions were raised as to whether the Nicolas

Maduro administration would be able to sustain the oil-for-rice deal. In May of last year, those concerns were addressed when Georgetown and Caracas signed on to an agreement that extended the rice facility. The two countries also signed another agreement to fight cross-border crimes, which had become prevalent, given Guyana’s inability to keep order in the country’s interior mining communities. Prime Minister Hinds said “that question does not arise just yet”, and “those who respect democracy would support the government that was democratically elected”.

Prepare for the worst – Sanders

Caribbean diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders, in a recent publication, had urged leaders of Caribbean countries that are members of the PetroCaribe Agreement to “begin preparing for the worst-case scenario and start thinking about buying oil at market prices”.. .He wrote, “This is especially important for the countries of the Eastern Caribbean that appear to have made lit-

tle provision for the possibility that the arrangement with Venezuela would end abruptly.” He said that the Nicolas Maduro government, which has been in power for the past 10 months, is facing one of its worst unrests over food and foreign currency shortages. He continued that there have been numerous calls for steps to be taken to reverse Venezuela’s economic decline. PetroCaribe accounts for 30 per cent of Venezuela’s production, Sanders revealed. Sanders predicted that countries that are benefiting from the deal will be required to increase their productivity and eventually pay the original price for oil. He said the effects will be strenuous on Guyana, which depends on fossil fuel. He noted that some of the monies Guyana receives under its rice-for-oil agreement with Venezuela are used to pay rice farmers. However, with the instability in Venezuela, the Guyana government and farmers should be nervous, as the situation “spells real trouble”.



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Jagdeo slams ‘malicious’ reports in Kaieteur News, Stabroek News - says assertion of property ownership in Florida is a ‘blatant lie’


ormer President Bharrat Jagdeo was discharged from hospital on Tuesday after receiving treatment in Miami, Florida for dengue fever and pneumonia. The former President is expected back in the country later this week Guyana Times International was reliably informed. Jagdeo initially began receiving treatment in Guyana and was advised by his medical team to seek further treatment in a recommended hospital overseas. The former President immediately agreed to go on the advice of his doctor. Jagdeo expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to the many persons who conveyed best wishes for his speedy recovery. The former President, however, said he has been taken by total surprise by what he termed “malicious and deliberate” misinformation about his illness, as well as about other person-

tends to pursue this matter further on his return to Guyana. “What is even more shocking is that this attack was being orchestrated and carried out on the former President even while he was undergoing treatment and recuperating in hospital,” one member of the medical team said. Jagdeo departed

Former President Bharrat Jagdeo

al matters, as reported in the Kaieteur News, Stabroek News, and some online media entities in Guyana. Jagdeo further described these reports as “insensitive, and irresponsible”, stating that they were clearly aimed as “personal attacks” on him by Kaieteur News and Stabroek News. Specifically, the Stabroek News reported that Jagdeo was staying at “his home” in Florida, while the Kaieteur News

speculated wildly about the costs for air travel. Speaking after being discharged, Jagdeo said the assertion of property ownership is not only false, but also a “total fabrication” and “blatant lie”. He asserted that at no time was he, nor is he currently, the owner of any property in Florida. This, he described, as yet another glaring personal attack aimed at damaging his credibility. Jagdeo said he in-

TT mulls border lockdown - amidst Venezuela’s unrest


rinidad and Tobago’s National Security Minister Gary Griffith has held talks with defence heads about TT’s borders as a result of the current unrest in Venezuela, which might cause people there to flee their homeland. Protests have been occurring in Venezuela since February 12. About ten people have been killed to date. Protests have continued into this week. Government and opposition supporters blame each other for the situation. Opposition groups have accused the state of media manipulation and the government has accused international media of fuelling tensions and Venezuelan private media of manipulating the news. On TT border security, Griffith noted that several years ago similar unrest in Haiti caused hundreds of people to flee to nearby Jamaica, illegally entering that country and causing tensions within the region. Griffith said: “We are looking at all matters where security for TT is concerned. I have met the Chief of

Defence Staff and other agencies on such matters that may arise out of the current situation.” He added so far there had not been any reports of people trying to flee to TT which is seven miles across the Gulf of Paria.

Airlift plan still on table

Monday, acting Foreign Affairs Minister Roodal Moonilal said his daily update from TT’s Caracas embassy confirmed things were calm in Venezuela. “We were informed there are two groups of TT workers in Venezuela’s oil and gas industry, totalling 30 people, and the companies they work for have contingency plans in case evacuation is necessary,” he added. Moonilal said government’s own contingency plan to airlift embassy and other TT nationals was still on the table at ministerial level. Caribbean Airlines communications manager Clint Williams noted that governmental authorities said on Sunday that in the event of the evacuation of TT staff at the Caracas embassy and other TT nationals is necessary, CAL would

be involved. “If it becomes necessary, we will support any initiative to assist the Caribbean people,” he said. Monday, Venezuelan national Ida Hernandez, who has lived in TT for over 20 years and has three children born in TT, said the last estimate of Venezuelans in TT was approximately 10,000, two years ago. She added: “But clearly by now it will be more.” (TT Guardian)

Guyana on Friday night and arrived in Miami, Florida early Saturday morning. Medical personnel informed this publication that Jagdeo responded well to treatment while he was in hospital. Jagdeo last month celebrated his 50th birthday. He recently returned from India where he rep-

resented Guyana and joined several high-level officials, including former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, at the opening of the 14th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) in the Indian capital, New Delhi, under the theme, “Attaining Energy, Water and Food Security for All”.



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Digicel cops Mash best band prize


Road March Queen Vanilla

igicel Guyana Inc for the seventh consecutive year has been declared the best float in the large category during Guyana’s 44th Republic Anniversary National Costume and Float Parade on Sunday, by the Mash Secretariat. The results were released on Tuesday by the Mash Committee and from all indications; they were definitely not a surprise especially to those who lined the streets of Georgetown to witness the parade, since it was evident that Digicel Guyana Inc had the largest, most uniformed, and well-decked out costume band. On the day of the

event, its public relations officer, Vidya Sanchara, was optimistic that the company would have copped the top prize. She said this year Digicel came out with the intention of copping the prize, while reiterating that it had close to 400 revellers. The pink and gold costumes and floats were designed by Olympia Small Sonaram and that in itself was a winning note. The telecommunications company also copped the first prize for the medium semi-costume band and the best male individual prize. Region Five and the Health Ministry tied for second place. Following closely behind was the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry in the full costume band segment. It was also adjudged the best non-commercial float. The Tourism Ministry copped top honours in the medium full-costume band category, while the Labour Ministry came in second and the Amerindian Affairs Ministry took the third spot. In the small band category, the Education Ministry came out victorious followed by

Digicel is the best Mash band for the seventh year in a row

GT Recyclers and the Local Government and Regional Development Ministry respectively. The People’s Progressive Party won the semi-costume large category and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) placed second. The Amerindian Affairs Ministry copped

both the king and queen titles, with the female individual title going to the Tourism Ministry. In the regional competitions, Region Three revelled their way to the top followed by Region Four and Region Six in second and third respectively. Region Five was the only entry in the small category band in the regional competition, thus

it was awarded the first place. Slingshot’s was the only animal-drawn float. For the individual pieces in the regional competition, the queen title went to Region Three, while Region Four was adjudged the king and also had the best male costume. Meanwhile, Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts copped the title of Road March

Queen with her tune “Yada Yada”. This is the fourth year she has copped the title. In 2007, she won with “Queen of the Band” while in 2008, she was victorious with “High” and in 2010, she copped the title with “Rude”. She has taken over the title from Adrian Dutchin who won it in 2013 with “Jook”.


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week ending March 2, 2014 |



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Regional tourism cooperation can be a “game changer” - top U.S. diplomat


he founder of one of the U.S.’s top economic think tanks has urged Caribbean nations to cooperate regionally in order to tap into the Chinese tourism market, in a way which he believes can be a “game changer” for the region’s economic fortunes. Dr Fred Bergsten, founder and director emeritus of the widely respected Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, said if a number of Caribbean countries could come together to offer “package trips” which would allow them to island hop throughout the region in a convenient way, this could be the key to capturing more of the booming market in Chinese tourists in particular. He added that, while developing a single market and economy in the region, as has been proposed but never fully realised, the possibility of Caribbean nations cooperating more closely with each other to pro-

mote certain sectors in which they have obvious comparative advantage, such as tourism, is more feasible and could yield huge returns. His comments echo some recently made by the Washington, DCbased Inter-American Development Bank, in which it suggested a study it undertook had shown that benefits would accrue to Caribbean nations, including The Bahamas, if they were to cooperate to subsidise and establish a “Brazil air bridge” that would launch direct service from the South American country into the region.

Generating arrivals

Once up and running, the collectively subsidised service could eventually become selfsustaining, the bank proposed, generating a significant new pool of arrivals from outside of traditional tourism markets. Meanwhile, noting that the tourism industries of Caribbean countries had suffered in recent years as the sector’s global landscape has be-

sustainable economic growth going forward.

Long-term growth

Dr Fred Bergsten

come more competitive and its regular source markets less economically dynamic, the IDB also pointed to China and a direct air link between The Bahamas and other Caribbean countries and the developing economic giant as having the potential to “reset [The Bahamas’] course for future economic growth”. Bergsten, currently the first visiting fellow at the Central Bank

of Barbados, where he is undertaking a six week sabbatical, made his comments about the Asian nation’s capacity to affect a tourism revolution in the Caribbean in response to a question from the audience at a Caribbean Economic Forum held at the Central Bank on Wednesday evening about how islands in the region can diversify as a means of achieving greater and more

The distinguished economist, a member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations, who once coordinated U.S. foreign economic policy in the White House as assistant for international economic affairs to Henry Kissinger, said that rather than diversifying into a variety of different economic sectors, he sees the key to long term sustainable growth for Caribbean countries as the ability to “do more of what you do best”. “If you are a small economy, you really do have to emphasise those few things you do best and try to make sure you do them really well. And really well means on a globally competitive basis. I see enormous opportunities for Barbados and other small island economies in the Caribbean. Small is beautiful. The fact that you are small means that if you got only a very tiny share of

such a huge market, it could be a game changer for your economy. “If the Caribbean countries can get together… to pool resources in a sector where you clearly do have comparative advantage… I do think that some of those principles are very important in developing your economic strategy. “And so if you can develop targeted strategies for increasing airlift from China to the Caribbean via either Europe or the West coast of the U.S.; if you could put together package deals where Chinese tourists could go for three days to Barbados, three days to Antigua, three days to Saint Lucia, etc, the same way Chinese tourists love to hop from Paris, to London, to Zurich, to Rome and see a few sites and go home and say they’ve done it, if you can put together what I think would be somewhat new creative devices of that type, you might be able to tap a huge new market,” said the economist. (Caribbean News Now)



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Political parties trade blame over crime situation T

he ruling People’s Progressive Party/ Civic

(PPP/C) and their longtime foe, the People’s National Congress

Reform (PNCR) on Tuesday traded blame on a series of past and

current crimes. PPP/C General Secretary Clement Rohee started the blame game when early in the day he called out leader of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) David Granger on statements he made regarding consultations on the 2014 budget. Rohee was at the time reading a statement at the party’s weekly press conference on Tuesday, during which he spoke about Granger’s meeting with senior military officials of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) earlier this month. Granger had pledged his support to the army on its budget allocations and to combat the fight against narco-trafficking in light of Guyana being linked to the Italian drug mafia. According to Rohee, the statements made by the opposition leader seem to be in contrast

APNU shadow home affairs minister Joseph Harmon

PPP/C General Secretary Clement Rohee

with the APNU’s refusal to engage government on consultations on the 2014 budget estimates.

The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) responding to Rohee, said his allegations are untrue. “The PNCR strongly condemns the statements that have been attributed to Clement Rohee…. It is a total fabrication that A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has ‘constantly’ attacked the Joint Services. What is true is our criticism of and lack of confidence in James Clement Rohee and his total incompetence and willful neglect of the security sector of this nation.” The PNCR also denied Rohee’s assertion regarding Granger’s involvement in hijacking ballot boxes and the death of two Guyanese during the 1973 general elections. In November 2011, Brigadier Granger had stated: “I was not the commander of the Guyana Defence Force (in 1973). I was not at the scene of any shooting. I never shot anyone.” Further, there was a Commission of Inquiry coordinated by the Honourable Justice Dhanessar Jhappan that looked into the shooting at Number 64 Village during the 1973 General Elections.”


“One is left to wonder whether the discussions with the army top brass is intended to be a back door attempt by Granger to preempt and influence the budgetary allocations to the army, having regard to his public utterances regarding his party’s support for the army’s allocation during the forthcoming budget debates,” he stated. The general secretary questioned the reason for the Opposition Leader meeting with senior army personnel under the pretext of national security concerns when his party, when in the National Assembly, he is desperately trying to undermine the efforts of the PPP/C administration to put legislative and administrative measures in place to protect the integrity of the country and its people. Rohee noted that given APNU’s constant attacks on the work of the Joint Services, Granger’s statements are all the more intriguing if not hollow. Rohee went on to accuse Granger, along with APNU shadow home affairs minister Joseph Harmon, of providing intelligence to the People’s National Congress (PNC) to oppress and suppress the political opposition during the Burnham-Hoyte era. The PPP/C general secretary, who is also the Home Affairs Minister, noted that in his talks with the military, he hopes that Granger articulated to the chiefof-staff his plans to address the fight against narco-trafficking, given his manifest lack of familiarity with the Joint Task Force’s activities and initiatives.


Gutter politics

The PNCR said it sees this type of “gutter politics by the PPP/C as an attempt to divert the attention of the people of Guyana from the party’s incompetence and lack of vision for this nation and the plight and struggles of the average working men and women of this nation”. It added: “The PNCR calls attention to the fact that while Rohee peddles his disinformation and propaganda, the vital security sector, which is his remit, cries out for competent leadership.”



week ending March 2, 2014 |

PM Hinds lauds arts, craft producers’ contribution to the economy


rime Minister Samuel Hinds has commended the Guyana Arts and Craft Producers Association for the growth they have achieved, but challenged greater movement towards contributing to Guyana’s economy. Prime Minister Hinds was addressing the association’s members on Friday at the Umana Yana at the closing ceremony and exhibition of a one-month training programme, whereby 12 members of the association benefited from the knowledge of two Canadian experts in leather craft production, Paul and Beverley Williams. The programme was facilitated through a very effective and mutually rewarding relationship with the Canadian Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) and the Canadian Executive Services Organisation (CESO). The relationship is among many that the association has been fostering over the years towards carrying out its mandate of supporting the craft and art producers throughout the

Members of the Guyana Arts and Craft Producers Association at the exhibition on Friday

10 administrative regions in terms of marketing, training and networking. The agreement with TFO dates back to 2011. The association itself was incorporated in 2008. “You have come a long way, but I want to encourage you to keep on going and advance even further,” Prime Minister Hinds said. He pointed out that Guyana looks to tourism to be an important growth sector in the economy and that the production of art and craft would be an important part in a growing tourism industry. He challenged the as-

sociation to recognise that they have to reach a point where they become a net provider of cash to Guyana’s economy. “We have to become a cash cow for the economy sometime because there are other areas which are calling for support and development also, and maybe sugar cannot carry the load it used to carry, bauxite cannot carry the load it used to; we are looking to other things. We need other things to start picking up the load that our traditional areas like sugar and bauxite could carry in the way it used to before,” he said. “TFO has changed

the lives of the Guyana Arts and Craft Producers

Association, the one thing with GACPA is that we need some hands on skills and that is what they did, they prepared us for the Caribbean market,” president of the association Denzil Hollingsworth said. “The techniques that Beverley and Paul brought to Guyana have changed the entire outlook of leather, that is making us ready to go into any market that we want to go into,” she said. CESO Programme Manager Beatriz

Munarriz said that the organisation’s support in the venture would not have been possible without the Canadian government’s assistance through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. She said that CESO believes strongly in the concept of partnership and expressed hope that the venture with the Guyana Arts and Craft Producers Association, in association with the Canadian Trade Facilitation Office, will be a successful one.

One of the leather craft exhibits on display



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Granger says Berbician gets 11 years for killing Integrity wife’s, mother’s lover Commission should be independent A


APNU Chairman David Granger

Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Chairman David Granger said his coalition would welcome the establishment of the much-needed Integrity Commission, once it was allowed the power to enforce and carry out the Provision of the Integrity act. Granger said APNU was concerned about external figures influencing independent bodies such as the Integrity Commission. “It’s not just a matter of ap-

pointing these institutions and agencies; it’s a matter of if they are autonomous. Yes we would like an Integrity Commission, but at the same time we want to make sure that the procedures of the appointment of that commission are transparent and when that commission is appointed, it is not under the thumb nail of the executive,” he told Guyana Times International. The Opposition Leader said there were many concerns about all continued on page 21

West Berbice Man was on Thursday jailed for 11 years after he pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter at the Berbice Assizes. Rakash Janack of Blairmont Settlement, West Bank Berbice was responsible for the death of Brentnol Isaacs on October 27, 2012 at Zorg-En-Hoop, Blairmont Settlement. In a probation report, Probation and Welfare Officer Odessa Semple told the court that efforts to contact the wife of the accused proved futile. “From investigations, it was revealed that the deceased shared an intimate relationship with the mother of the accused and the accused’s reputed wife.” Semple said the accused was described by his community members as hard working, quiet, soft spoken and a well mannered and willing individual. “His parents separated when he was two-years-old and he lived with his mother. He was forced to leave school at the age of eight years old due to severe financial difficulties. His mother was physically and verbally abused by his stepfather.” She said this forced the family to move to a home for battered women and children at Albion, where they stayed for five months. At age 18, he started cash crop farming. Semple told the court during her investigations that the deceased was described as a trou-

Rakash Janack

ble maker. In presenting the state’s case, prosecutor Attorney Renita Singh told the court that on October 27, 2012, Satwatie Sahadeo claimed that she and her reputed husband were at home at Blairmont when an apparent drunk Isaacs entered their yard armed with a piece of wood.

Verbal abuse

She said the man started to verbally abuse her and her husband. According to Singh, after the incident, Janack was arrested and he gave police a statement on October 29, in which he admitted to chopping Isaacs. Singh also explained that a post-mortem report revealed that

Issacs died from a gaping wound on the left hand and another to the chest. Justice Diana Insanally, in imposing sentence, said she took into consideration all the facts in the probation report, and the fact that the accused was remorseful. “However, it is a serious act which cost someone their life,” she said. The judge also expressed concern over the amended death penalty law, which stipulates that a person found guilty of murder must receive a sentence of no less than 15 years in prison. “If 15 years is the minimum for murder, why do we have persons receiving prison terms of 30, 35, 20, 25 years for the lesser count? I don’t understand. Why then do we have persons who are pleading guilty for the lesser offence receiving such high sentences? That is something we need to address. I would want to believe that a sentence for manslaughter should be less than that,” the judged remarked. Attorney Raymond Ali, who appeared for the accused, told the court that he is in agreement with the judge’s reasoning. Justice Diana Insanally imposed a sentence of 17 years, deducting the time for the mitigation, the time spent in prison before sentencing and two years for not wasting the court’s time. Janack will therefore spend 11 years in prison.



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Road safety takes centre stage Guyana civil society activist as national stakeholders meet cops Anthony Sabga award


he Home Affairs Ministry, in collaboration with the Guyana National Road Safety Council, will on Friday host a national conference on road safety under the theme “Road Safety with Your Life on the Line”. The conference, according to the Home Affairs Ministry, is scheduled to take place at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown from 09:00h to 16:00h. The conference aims to examine and adopt road safety methodologies, create public awareness, and develop a plan of action resulting from the National Strategy on Road Safety. The conference hopes to achieve these objectives by creating a platform for dialogue among national stakeholders. The one-day conference will consist of four workshop sessions, which will address such issues as the National Road Safety Strategy, public awareness, engineering and education. These workshops will provide stakeholders with the opportunity to offer solutions aimed at making our roadways safer. Earlier this year, road safety stakeholders

had agreed to implement an aggressive campaign to curtail the alarming rise in road accidents, with special emphasis on monitoring nightclubs and making better use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage. According to a Home Affairs Ministry release, in response to public outcry against road accidents, fatalities and traffic congestion, as well as its own concerns, a meeting was convened involving the Guyana National Road Safety Council, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Minibus Association, and the Ministry to discuss these matters and to come up with recommendations on the way forward.

Road accidents

The meeting was informed that the main causes for fatal accidents for 2013 was speeding, inattentiveness, and driving under the influence of alcohol. The main victims were pedestrians hit by private vehicles, driven by young people aged 16 to 24 and 25 to 33, between midday and evening hours and between evening hours and midnight on Sundays and Fridays. In this connection, the Ministry said it was agreed that with this information in hand, there

Granger says... the independent institutions. He reflected that APNU had long been lobbying for the appointment of an Ombudsman, and was thrilled when former Judge Winston Moore took office. The retired brigadier said the issue did not lie in the filling of the constitutional offices, but ensuring that they were independent. He stressed that the establishment of the commission, which has been non-functional for some time now, will be welcoming, since it should be able to carry out its responsibilities. “We don’t want to have an Integrity Commission without being empowered to carry out the functions of the Integrity Act,” he explained. The Integrity Commission, which is solely responsible for the accountability of persons holding public office, has been without a chairman for some time now and has reportedly been functioning on a skeletal system. Based on the Integrity Commission Act, the Commission’s staff should com-

from page 20

prise a Chairman, three Commissioners, a Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, an Accounts Clerk, a Clerical Officer, a Receptionist, an Office Assistant and a Cleaner. However, this publication understands that almost half of these positions are vacant. The Chairman of the Commission should be as qualified as a Puisne Judge of the High Court or any other fit and proper person appearing to the Head of State. He should be seen as experienced in areas of law and public administration. The Chairman and other members are appointed by the President after consultation with the Opposition Leader. The names of the Chairman and other members upon the establishment of the Commission and any change in membership must be published in the Gazette and in the daily newspapers. The Commission has the power to do anything for its proper performance and is not subjected to the direction or control of any person or other authority.

should be more targeted enforcement by the police force and education programmes by the Guyana National Road Safety Council. Special programmes are to be organised for young drivers in particular. The police force is to set realistic targets with a view to bringing down fatal accidents and road accidents in general. The meeting was informed that between 2010 and 2013, the Home Affairs Ministry procured and delivered to the force 18 breathalyser machines with printers and 400 mouthpieces, as well as 29 radar guns. Additionally, the meeting analysed several recommendations recently advanced by A Partnership for National Unity and found them agreeable and implementable in principle. “These recommendations were assigned to various stakeholders for further consideration as regard implementation, having regard to their respective capacities and competencies to do so,” the ministry said. It was further agreed that a National Conference on Road Safety will be convened early in the year bringing together all stakeholders in the campaign to uphold road safety throughout Guyana.


ead of the Red Thread organisation, Karen De Souza has copped the Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence for Public and Civic Contribution, the Trinidad Guardian has reported. De Souza, a women’s and children’s rights activist is the co-founder of Red Thread, an advocacy organisation which provides support, education, and advocacy for victims of rape and domestic and other forms of violence and for the lowest-waged sectors of women. De Souza and Red Thread also do research and have contributed to the drafting of laws and training for judicial officers to support protection of women and children and victims of human trafficking. They also participate in national, international and regional agency programmes on areas of interest, as well as take education directly to the people. In addition to De Souza, the Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence (ANSCAFE) has announced in the category of Arts and Letters, Professor Liam Teague is the winner and for Science and Technology,

Co-Founder of Red Thread Karen De Souza

Dr Richard Robertson of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Chairman of the Eminent Person’s Panel Michael Mansoor announced the names of the winners during a ceremony at ANSA McAL’s head office, Tatil Building, Maraval Road, Port of Spain. ANSCAFE is the English-speaking Caribbean’s leading recognition programme in arts, sciences, and public and civic work. The ANSA McAL Foundation launched this programme in October 2005. Up to 2010, the awards were made biennially but in 2011, ANSCAFE became an annual event. Since 2006, when the first laureates were named, several sets of laureates have been presented with prizes: in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011

and annually thereafter in ceremonies in the Trinidadian capital. Its goal is to recognise significant Caribbean achievement, and to encourage and support the pursuit of excellence by Caribbean people, for the benefit of the region. The ANSA McAL Foundation is convinced that talent needs to be sought out, brought to light, and encouraged. It is in this context that these awards were conceived. This is the first such recognition programme of its kind. It is privately funded, free of political and other influence, and offers tangible, significant benefit to the laureates. It is the most noteworthy philanthropic initiative by a Caribbean organisation in recent times. (Excerpt from Trinidad Guardian)

Caribbean countries to strengthen HIV programmes


Government and civil society representatives following their meeting to strengthen HIV programmes by making them more responsive to human rights

ast week government and civil society representatives from eight Caribbean countries finalised country-specific strategies to strengthen their HIV programmes by making them more responsive to human rights. During a three-day workshop hosted by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and supported by the Ford Foundation, country representatives discussed cultural, social and political barriers to eliminating stigma and discrimination and increasing access to social

justice. In the Caribbean, the HIV response has experienced remarkable progress. However, inequality and exclusion are hampering efforts to reduce new HIV infections and to increase the number of people on treatment. Stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV and key populations such as sexually active young people, men who have sex with men, transgendered people, sex workers, people who use drugs, homeless people and prisoners, remain a major obstacle to expanding access to HIV

services. It also hinders people’s ability to live full and productive lives of dignity. UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Support Team Director, Dr Ernest Massiah, said that the investments made in securing social justice in the context of HIV would positively impact other areas of Caribbean life. Participants from Barbados, The Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago explored practical ways to integrate human rights into their HIV respons-

es. They developed detailed plans to address a range of country-specific issues, including workplace discrimination, gender-based violence, discriminatory laws and prejudice in the healthcare, social security, law enforcement and judicial systems. UNAIDS Human Rights and Law Division Chief Susan Timberlake, explained that UNAIDS, other United Nations agencies and some global partners will support the countries to implement their national human rights and gender equality action plans.

22 News Shot teen to be flown to U.S. for treatment T week ending March 2, 2014 |

he 16-year-old Berbician who was shot last Thursday night is expected to travel to Miami, U.S.A. for treatment, family members have confirmed. Oumesh Ballram was shot in the abdomen during a robbery attempt at Number 69 Village, Corentyne, Berbice, last Thursday. He was rushed to the Skeldon Hospital then to the New Amsterdam Hospital before finally referred to the Georgetown Public Hospital for treatment, where it was revealed that the bullet hit him just below his heart and caused damage to his spine. According to his father, Dinesh Ballram,

doctors at the Georgtown Public Hospital have not performed any surgeries to remove the bullet. He related that they told him that his son had to be taken to the U.S. for treatment. The father disclosed that his son is conscious and doing well; however, he is only being fed liquids and fruits. Ballram explained that he cannot take his son to a private hospital because the travel documents are being prepared by the Georgetown Public Hospital through the Health Ministry.

Distraught father

The distraught father said that by Tuesday, he will know exactly how far the processing of the papers has gone when

he meets with a panel of doctors and the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Khan. Meanwhile, the cambio dealer pointed out that the police have since held a person, whom he alleged is the perpetrator, only to let him go on Gy$50,000 station bail. He stated that the lawmen even failed to inform him that someone was held; instead, he learnt from friends that the person was arrested but subsequently released. The man stressed that no identification parade was even held for suspect. “This country na get law… he get free and me son deh suffering there,” he vented. He noted that he was

Oumesh Ballram

busy with his injured son and did not get the time to check with the police on their investigations. However, Ballram remains adamant that the person held by the police is the same person who invaded his home and shot his son. He disclosed that the alleged robber, who hails

OAS calls for dialogue to resolve political crisis in Venezuela


The Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS), last week debated the current situation in Venezuela

he Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) last week debated the current situation in Venezuela and received a preliminary report on the recent visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to The Dominican Republic, during a regular meeting at the headquarters of the organisation in Washington, DC. During the meeting, several permanent representatives who expressed their concern over the acts of violence that have taken place in Venezuela in recent days, echoed the call for calm made by the OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, and urged the beginning of a dialogue between the opposition and the government, a position strongly advocated by the OAS secretary general. Secretary General Insulza appealed last Monday to “the responsibility of the government to avoid the use of force by police or related groups”, and called on

the opposition “to demonstrate peacefully, avoiding provocations”. In addition, the OAS leader emphasised the need for authorities to “respect the freedom of expression and for the media to be conscious of the influential role it plays at this political juncture”. The representatives of the U.S., Brazil, Peru, Canada, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Dominica, Argentina, Uruguay and Costa Rica, all took the floor during the debate, largely to read statements from their respective governments. The issue was brought up in “other business”, at the request of the U.S.

Purpose of visit

During the same regular meeting, the Permanent Council received a report with the preliminary observations of the IACHR, a product of its visit to The Dominican Republic at the beginning of December, “in response to an invitation from the

state”. “The purpose of the visit was to observe the situation as it pertains to the rights of nationality, identity, equality, nondiscrimination, as well as other rights and related issues,” and “to supervise the compliance with the commitments freely assumed by the state of The Dominican Republic in exercise of its sovereignty,” states the document. The preliminary observations presented at the meeting, whose final version will be presented shortly to the council, were read by IACHR Second Vice Chair and Country Rapporteur for The Dominican Republic, Rosa María Ortiz. As Commissioner Ortiz explained, her report was based on the press release and the annex to the press release published by IACHR on December 6, upon finishing its visit to the Caribbean country. During the visit of IACHR, a principal and autonomous organ of the OAS, a central role was played by

judgment 0168/2013 of The Dominican Constitutional Court, “whereby it gave a new interpretation as regards the acquisition of nationality by individuals born in the country to foreign parents in transit. Based on this interpretation, individuals who previously had been recognised as having Dominican nationality were denationalised,” states the document read by Ortiz. This situation particularly affects Haitian immigrants, adds the text. The delegation of The Dominican Republic, through Mayerlyn Cordero Diaz, alternate representative, took note of the preliminary observations of the IACHR and assured that “the government of The Dominican Republic reaffirms that no person holding Dominican nationality will be stripped of it”, and that Dominican President Danilo Medina will submit to Congress a law to address the situation of 24,392 people who were not declared with proper documentation.

from Number 68 Village, is a known criminal and was only recently released from prison. He added that the person was caught stealing and was beaten by residents. Ballram said that the incident has left his entire family in trauma since his other two children, ages 12 and 18, are scared to be alone in the house. The cambio dealer at Skeldon Market, who sometimes does airport trips, lost his wife to cancer a few years ago and now he is forced to stop the hire trips to be with his children.

Power outage

Around 20:00h on Thursday evening, there was power outage in

area and when electricity was restored, Dinesh went downstairs to switch over power from the inverter, leaving his two sons on the veranda while his daughter was in her room. Oumesh was told to turn on the main switch which was located next to the veranda door; however, before he could do so, he was confronted by a man armed with a firearm and was subsequently shot. Ballram fled for his life as several shots were fired at him. Nevertheless, after an alarm was raised, a minibus stopped and honked its horn, causing the gunman and his crew to panic and escape.

Time for Guyana to show political maturity


n February 23rd, 1970, Guyana declared itself a “Cooperative Republic”, loosening all connections with the British monarchy, and making way for a leadership that would be freely chosen by is people. The Governor General was replaced with a Head of State by a ceremonial President. Relations with neighbouring countries, once severed by a highhanded government were improved, and Guyana became a force in the Non-aligned Movement. Life prior to 1970 was less than comprehensive. The 1968 general elections allowed the then ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) to govern exclusively, winning some 30 seats from the overall 53. The remaining 23 seats were unequally shared between the budding People’s Progressive Party (PPP ) with 19 and the United Force (UF) with four. Many observers; however, had claimed that the elections were stained with manipulation and coercion by the ruling party. It is reported too, that the PPP and UF had formed part of Guyana’s political landscape, but were ignored as the then Prime Minister Linden Forbes Burnham converted the mechanism of state into “an instrument of the PNC”. But those days are long gone, and according to leaders of the two main political parties in Guyana, citizens, while hoping for improved lives, need to take stock and work towards the fulfilment of this and other objectives regarding the collective betterment of their country.

Major step



Brigadier (retired) David Granger has agreed that Guyana becoming a republic, 44 years ago, was a major step in its sovereignty, allowing it to display its political maturity. He said that Guyana has made significant strides in achieving its objectives, noting that the occasion was a significant constitutional event, which helped the country to achieve political growth. The establishment of a democratic presidency and systems of honours, he noted, are symbols of accomplishments in this regard. He said also that the country was able to set up its own Court of Appeal, and Local Government. Generally, progress was made. “We have made some economic strides also, in terms of developing a system of housing schemes for the working people and have been able to diversify our economy,” Granger told Guyana Times International on Friday. He, however, pointed out that the past 24 years have seen a massive eruption of events that require urgent attention. “We are trying to rectify those movements, for example, criminality has soared particularly narco trafficking; this did not exist 24 years ago.” He said that much still needs to be done in order to “fulfil the dreams of the people who brought us to republican status 44 years ago”. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, while expressing similar sentiments shared by the Opposition leader, said he hopes citizens of Guyana would be able to “learn continued on page 25

news week ending March 2, 2014



Revenue body taking stronger action against remigrant fraudsters


he Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has launched an investigation into suspected irregular and illegal transactions concerning vehicle concessions to remigrants. The GRA said the probe was prompted by intelligence it received. GRA Commissioner General Khurshid Sattaur said, “recently, it was reported to management that persons allegedly posing as remigrants are benefiting others who are supposedly financing highly illegal schemes to grant themselves with the concessions for various classes of luxury vehicles”. He said that it would appear from recent revelations that attempts are being made by disgraced elements, officers who would have been disciplined and taxpayers who would have been placed before the courts, to resort to undermining

the efforts made by management to address various areas of weakness in administrative controls and to exploit such weaknesses. Sattaur said that even though the agency may have appropriately dealt with the officers, who in some cases because of the severity of the offence, the agency would have had to part ways with; or in the case of taxpayers, prosecuted them for committing breaches in the law, they seem bent on criminal practises. “As a revenue collecting agency, it is to be expected that rouge elements, both within and without, would attempt to corrupt the system that protects against revenue leakages. In most cases these systems depend significantly on the integrity of the officers tasked with conducting various law enforcement activities and procedures,” the commissioner

GRA Commissioner General Khurshid Sattaur

general said.

Don’t be silent

He said notwithstanding measures being put in place to detect such schemes, “GRA wishes to remind the general public that they are an invaluable source of information in stamping out corrupt practices that may exist or appear to exist in any of its areas of operation. The GRA is once again considering

publishing the names of persons who have not reported to the agency as required on the basis of the issuing of the concessions, but is mindful that such a measure may play in the hands of criminal elements.”


The remigrant scheme of the government of Guyana is administered by the Foreign Affairs Ministry

in conjunction with the GRA. The ministry is responsible for determining and granting remigration status while the GRA administers the tax exemptions. Under the remigrant scheme, a Guyanese who is 18 years and above, who has been residing legally overseas for a minimum of five consecutive years and is now returning to Guyana, can benefit. Also, Guyanese student/graduate who has attended or is attending a training institution and residing overseas for a minimum of four years and is now returning to Guyana, can also benefit. Applications must be submitted in person to the remigration officer, Foreign Affairs Ministry, South Road, Georgetown, within the first three months of resettlement in order to establish remigrant status. Regarding documentation, the applicant is required to submit his/

her current passport which must be at least five years old. If the passport is less than five years old, then the previous passport must be submitted. In the case of students, evidence from the university, college or educational institution confirming the duration of the course of study or time spent at the institution must be submitted. Besides, documentary evidence of how the potential remigrant intends to earn a livelihood in Guyana to re-establish permanent stay; a statutory declaration, which must be prepared by a Justice of Peace or Commissioner of Oats to Affidavits in Guyana must also be presented. This must include the items for which exemptions are sought – for personal and domestic use – and are not for sale or exchange, and whether the remigrant has previously/never enjoyed tax exemptions.

North West residents affected Woman busted with over two by vomiting, diarrhoea


Several shacks with accompanying latrines along the river bank in Port Kaituma, North West District

ormer A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP) Richard Allen said the increasing cases of vomiting and diarrhoea at Port Kaituma, North West District are of grave concern. He said the gastroenteritis like symptoms have landed several persons, including children in the Port Kaituma Regional Hospital for the last two months. Approximately one year ago, more than 500 residents of Port Kaituma and neighbouring communities within the North West District fell ill with gastroenteritis. Three children reportedly died from the disease. Reports from the Health Ministry at the

time indicated that residents had consumed contaminated water from the river and a nearby well. It was also stated that the waterways were polluted with results showing the presence of a high level of E coli bacteria. According to Allen, the situation in Port Kaituma has remained the same, with piles of garbage along the river bank. Despite residents were warned against the construction of latrines in proximity of the river and upper hill, he said these structures can still be seen in almost all parts of the community. According to him, little is done for the people of Port Kaituma; hence, their standard of living remains very low. But Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran

told Guyana Times International that while there are recorded cases of vomiting and diarrhoea in the district, they have not reached an alarming state. Dr Ramsaran said the NWD, like the other regions, is being monitored frequently. But, he too expressed concerns about the existing latrines and open defecation which can pollute the river.


According to the Health Minister, Cabinet was recently informed that another outbreak struck Port Kaituma and communities such as Canal Bank, Citrus Grove and Oronoque, due to complacency. Opposition Leader David Granger said too that another outbreak can hit the NWD. While

the Health Ministry’s records show that three children might have died due to the disease between February and March 2013; Granger has contended that about 10 children died. In June 2013, APNU and the Alliance for Change (AFC) used their collectively one-seat majority in the National Assembly to pass a motion for the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate the gastroenteritis outbreak in Region One. However, the motion at the time was passed without the support of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C). Minister Ramsaran had argued that the government quickly responded to the outbreak, noting that the ministries of local government and regional development, housing and water and natural resources, with support from the Civil Defence Commission, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had given the Health Ministry unwavering support during this period. To date, the commission has not been established.

kilos of cocaine


woman was early Sunday morning busted with over two kilograms of cocaine at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). This was confirmed by head of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) James Singh, who said the suspect has been taken into custody while investigations are ongoing. According to reports reaching Guyana Times International, the woman was on her way to New York via an Air Jamaica flight when the bust was made just after midnight. Two weeks ago, CANU ranks discovered 20 kilograms of cocaine in achar during a scan. Two outgoing passengers destined for the John F Kennedy Airport, New York, were held and subsequently charged for trafficking in narcotics. Winston Blake, 77, and his Guyanese accomplice Sadika Neola Odie, 38, of Lot 186 Thomas Street, Kitty, Georgetown, pleaded not guilty to the charge and are currently on remand. This publication

was told that upon the arrest of the couple, they told ranks that someone had given them the achar as a present for persons in the U.S. The cocaine was wrapped in brown tape and shaped to mimic seeds in the tamarind achar. Blake was intercepted with 9.6kg, while Odie was intercepted with 10.45kg, GTI was informed. CANU Prosecutor Oswald Massiah had told the court that Odie, who the holder of a U.S. visa, is a well known traveller. He added that in a statement received, the defendant said she was offered the sum of US$10,000 to transport the substance, but was only given US$400 and the plane ticket which she accepted. The law enforcement agency has since sent out wanted bulletins for persons suspected to be involved. A bulletin was first sent out for Dawn Roberts, a shopkeeper of Lot 9, North Road, Bourda, Georgetown. Three days after, another bulletin was issued for Tarachandra Persaud of Republic Park, East Bank Demerara.



week ending March 2, 2014


Thousands flock Georgetown to celebrate Mash 2014 I n brilliant sunshine, Guyanese from all walks of life turned out in their numbers to witness the traditional costume and float parade as Guyana celebrated 44 years as a republic on Sunday, but evidently, they were disappointed with the number of floats that were showcased. The streets were packed to capacity with spectators and a large number of tourists in their colourful outfits, gyrating to sweet soca music. Some also took the opportunity to click photos of the bands as they slowly went through the streets. At every corner, there were food and drink bars, catering for the weary revellers. Then, there were the face painters, skillfully painting the faces and bodies of spectators who were desirous of having such done while some were also busy selling toys and other eye-catching items for children of all ages. Nevertheless, the parade kicked off after 10:30h from Church and Carmichael streets, Georgetown and traversed along the specified routes, where they were judged at strategic locations. During the parade, Trinidad soca music boomed through the speakers of elevated music systems on trucks, but as they approached the judging area,

A member of the Amerindian Affairs Ministry band showing off her dancing skills

they quickly switched gears and played a few Guyanese selections. There were some impressive floats which were created to perfection, notably Digicel “Arabian Night” designed by Olympia Small Sonaram, the Education Ministry looked fabulous in white while the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry also stood out among the rest. The Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry’s Band was accompanied by steel pan music and live performances by the Heat waves Band. Another float that was rocking and had an effect on the crowd was that of ANSA McAL under the Tropical Rhythm Brand. These floats were designed by Maxi Prince and were displayed by well known male and female characters, who

entertained the crowd fully. The Amerindian Affairs Ministry added some steam to the parade as its beautifully decked out revellers in a combination of colours did not hold back, but rather went down to the ground, proving to the Georgetown posse that they enjoy themselves just the same. The Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) was led by Alexi Ramotar and had a few hundred revellers who were drawn from several groups throughout the country.

Entertainment party trucks which attracted thousands, compliments of Deejay Ryan. Hits and Jams Entertainment supporters also took to the streets in their numbers, creating a storm as they blared some of the best soca selections,

which caused the old to get out of their seats and shake their fragile bodies. Banks DIH’s GT Beer revellers also turned out in their numbers and hit the streets in grand style, although they did not have a float. All in all, the day undoubtedly belonged to Digicel for their uniformity and most of all; they might have had the largest contingent on the road when it comes to full costume band. As they traverse the streets, hundreds of items were distributed, which saw the young, the old, and the not so old stretching and jumping to collect. The items range from umbrellas to bandanas and cups. This year, major companies including the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, ANSA McAL and Banks DIH which Guyanese

More revellers, less floats

No doubt, Guyana Mashramani is becoming like Trinidad’s Carnival, and this was evident on the roads: there were less floats, but rather a barrage of revellers in skimpy outfits. This was noted in the Pulse

Another of the interesting floats on display

are accustomed to see, did not participate in the mash tramp. Guyana Times International caught up with several ministers, including Education Minister Priya Manickchand, who led her ministry. She expressed excitement to be back on the road having a grand time. The Minister explained that her band comprised of over 300 revellers, who were all dressed in white, showcasing peace and unity in Guyana and the education system. She also posited that Guyana has come a long way in its 44 years a republic nation and she remains committed to further developing her ministry and ultimately the country in the years to come. Human Services and Social Security Minister Jennifer Webster was also delighted as she led her band. Webster said that Mashramani is a time to celebrate and that was exactly what her revellers did. Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Dr Frank Anthony was impressed with the turn out, stating that his band came out with their full complement this year and intends to emerge victorious in their category. The results of the 2014 Costume and Float Parade will be made known by the end of the week.

World peace is vital for development – president


ebruary 23 is a key date on the Rotary International Organisation’s calendar as it marks 109 years of the existence of an organisation whose motto is “Service above self” and which has several branches across Guyana. On Saturday, the New Amsterdam branch hosted a dinner to mark its anniversary and to promote “World understanding and peace”. Delivering the feature address, President Donald Ramotar said that just as how internal peace is vital for any nation’s development, world peace is also of tremendous importance. Recalling the effects of the two world wars, which resulted in millions of deaths, and destruction of property, the President said that it is only when someone visits war museums in some countries that a sense of the impact of such wars can be appreciated. The President re-

President Donald Ramotar addressing Rotarians in New Amsterdam at a dinner to mark Rotary International’s 109th anniversary

called the period of the “Cold War” and the present push by many nations to build their armaments, despite the fact that there are already enough weapons available to kill every person on the planet, several times over. According to the President, an even more dangerous situation is that of the increasing rise in poverty, internationally, “and that has

been a result of the grave inequality between countries and within countries”. The gap between the rich and poor, which is evident across the world, continues to grow and the upper one per cent of people in the developed world, handle 80 per cent of the world’s wealth, he noted. President Ramotar cited more figures to highlight the disparity in earnings in vari-

ous countries, which he said has created “relative poverty”. The call for a New Human Global Order made by the late President, Dr Cheddi Jagan, and since adopted by the United Nations, stemmed from his realisation of these issues, said the President, and many are now adopting ways to redistribute income, create opportunities for wealth

generation, and reduce inequalities in societies.

Social spending

The Guyana government, according to the President, is the only Caribbean government that spends 30 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the social sector and this is not only humanitarian, but also makes good economic sense. The richest countries, it was noted, are those

with a highly developed human capital and government is doing what it can to boost education and training opportunities to enhance the skills, lives and economic circumstances of all Guyanese. The President highlighted several countries and territories which are constantly in conflict such as Palestine and Israel, where the actions taken by the Israelis were soundly criticised. He also spoke about the need for all Guyanese to support the passage of anti-money laundering legislation, the failure of which could lead to Guyana being blacklisted internationally. Rotary is an international organisation whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Time for Guyana to show...

from page 22

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds

the lessons from our history and would get in step so that we would be able to realise our motto of becoming one people, one nation, one destiny”.

New leaf

He pointed out that Guyana’s 44 years of republicanism is also in sync with its 48 years as an independent nation. He continuously married the two occasions, noting that he sees no particular difference between them. The prime minister said the country should be “turning new leaves from these adolescent years to becoming matured”. Hinds stressed that the country, as an independent unit, has achieved much, however, more still needs to be done. The prime minister said that Guyana is

now at a time when closure must be made to the “chapter of winning and the opening of a new chapter of being independent”. Clarifying this point, he explained that much has been said by citizens about the days of colonialism; a system of leadership under which Guyana was subjected. However, each Guyanese has the ability to make things better for him, he said. “Before independence, we would say, look how the colonial master have us living. After that we have to say, look how we have ourselves living.” He explained that the lives lived by Guyanese are a mere reflection of how good each citizen is in producing goods and services for the benefit of

others. The prime minister contended that a better life for all can be had if every citizen perseveres. “I think that where we are now, we can have an improved life, if we are considerate and caring about each other and ourselves.” Asked if he thinks the objectives set out in 1970 were achieved, Prime Minister Hinds said that he chooses not to look at what people are proclaiming, but what has happened. He said he remains hopeful that Guyanese, especially those of the younger generation, would fully comprehend the importance of reflecting on the past and making wise choices that will improve their lives. He therefore urged all Guyanese to be responsible citizens and their brother’s keeper. Guyana, officially named the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is the only nation state of the Commonwealth of Nations on the mainland of South America. It lies north of the equator, in the tropics, and is located on the Atlantic Ocean. Guyana is bordered to the east by Suriname, to the south and south-west by Brazil and to the west by Venezuela.



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Legal experts say requirements to become a magistrate inadequate


mid criticisms of the local magistracy regarding the handling of a number of matters, Senior Council and former Attorney General Bernard De Santos has called for a review of requirements for persons sitting on the bench. Speaking with Guyana Times International, De Santos said the current requirements are inadequate. “Frankly, I don’t think it’s enough, they are virtually little children being appointed as magistrates,” said De Santos as he referred to the age of some of the sitting magistrates. Currently, persons must have a first degree and three years in legal practice to be considered for the post by the Judicial Service Commission. According to De Santos, persons wanting to become magistrates usually spend three years working at either the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) or the Office of the Attorney General before they are appointed to serve on the bench. He said law professionals who would have served at the Office of the DPP would have some experience in criminal law, but little or none in civil law. On the other hand, he

said those at the Office of the Attorney General would have a lot of experience in civil law but none in criminal law. Those in the latter situation, he explained are at a grave advantage when they go on to become magistrates because most of the courts in Guyana are criminal courts, with the exception of Courts Eight and Nine at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

Flirting with the law

“They only flirt with the criminal law, they don’t have the necessary experience to effectively sit on the bench as a magistrate,” De Santos observed. The practising attorney pointed out that some years back, he suggested to the serving chancellor at that time that prospective law professionals decide what branch of law they want to pursue before they embark on their law careers. This system, he explained, would allow for persons who want to become criminal magistrates, to be exposed to the work of a criminal magistrate, as a form of specialisation. Likewise, those who want to become state prosecutors would be trained in that area of law. The Senior Council also

Former Chief Magistrate K A Juman-Yassin

Senior Council Bernard De Santos

said that some reform is also needed at the level of government. He pointed out that a law that was passed in Parliament under the Burnham administration allowed for the salary of the Attorney General and Chancellor of the Judiciary to be the same. This, he said should not be, contending that the Chancellor of the Judiciary is superior to the Attorney General. Still on the issue of salaries, he said the packages that magistrates and judges receive are meagre, compared to what they could earn as an

attorney. “I don’t expect them to pay the high salaries like the other countries but they can do a lot better,” he said, noting that the government could enhance the salaries of magistrates by providing adequate allowances. De Santos believes that this move would persuade serving magistrates to stay on the bench, and attract more seasoned lawyers to the post. Former Chief Magistrate K A Juman-Yassin also contended that the salaries of magistrates are inadequate, and called for seasoned attorneys to serve on the bench.

He said some magistrates are appointed to the bench at a young age and have little experience handing cases involving criminals, and as such, are not fully knowledgeable regarding the thinking of these people. The former Chief Magistrate also noted that the influx of young magistrates can be attributed to the reluctance of more seasoned attorneys to become magistrates. Only recently, former Chancellor Cecil Kennard also decried the state of the local magistracy. Kennard said the appointment of too many young magistrates and judges to the bench can be blamed for the current backlog of cases and slothfulness of the justice system Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh has also spoken on the matter, pointing out that both magistrates and prosecutors must equip themselves with the requisite skills that will make them more effective in executing their duties. The acting chancellor had said that this is essential to ensure better legal services at the magisterial level, while calling for more training to be provided for other legal professionals as well.


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week ending March 2, 2014 | guy



Times Notebook

week ending March 2, 2014


n 1970, we were a very poor but proud nation with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of only about US$300 per capita. By 1990, we were a least developing country and one of the worst indebted nations on Earth with a poverty rate between 66 and 88 per cent. Our education and health systems became the worst in the Caribbean. Life expectancy at birth was no better in 1990 than it was in 1964. We were a dictatorship with rigged elections. Citizens were afraid to speak and there was no freedom in the land. We had two newspapers and one radio station. By 1990, we were the Caribbean’s laughing stock, gone from the “bread basket” to the “basket case” of the Caribbean. Yet, even then we could have celebrated our roles in establishing the Caribbean Community (Caricom); the Caribbean Festival of Arts (Carifesta); and Iwokrama, our gift to the world. Guyana was still our country. In 2014, on our 44th republic anniversary, we are a middle-income country, with a GDP of about US$3800 per capita, more than 10 times


Celebrating Guyana

President Donald Ramotar, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and heads of the Joint Services at the Republic Day flag-raising ceremony, as the Golden Arrowhead is hoisted

what it was in 1970. We have reduced our debt and we are among the better countries in the world for debt management. Our children more often than not top the Caribbean in regional examinations and we can do medical interventions such as dialysis, open heart and brain surgeries and kidney transplants.

Success story

We are a democracy and our people are protected by human rights commissions. Our indigenous people, by law and practice, have a right to their lands and a voice in our country. We have at least six functioning radio stations, four daily newspapers, about 30

television stations, and innumerable Internet media networks. Thousands of our people own their own businesses and hundreds of thousands of people live in their own homes. Our nation is building a compendium of success stories, as a country, as communities, and as individuals. Surely we can celebrate these successes without rancour and without prejudice. There must be times when we can put aside partisanship and sectionalism to celebrate genuine Guyanese success stories. We can celebrate that Guyana had the foresight and is in the forefront of trying to do something about

climate change. Dr Cheddi Jagan spoke eloquently of environmental degradation, former President Bharrat Jagdeo is a global champion and a tireless crusader, President Donald Ramotar has written about global warming since 1989, and Navin Chandarpal has made a career championing the global warming and climate change issue. We established the Environmental Protection Agency and developed a Low Carbon Development Strategy. When U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry recently declared that climate change is real and spoke of the disastrous impacts of climate change in developing countries and when Obama signed a Presidential Order to reduce carbon emissions from heavyduty trucks, they were following Guyana’s example. Guyana is an example around the world of managing and working its way out of a debt crisis. America can learn from us. We must build a nation of one people and one destiny, not divide our people into sections. Times Notebook despises the practice of so many com-

mentators of only highlighting negatives everyday in Guyana. Despicably, they even make up negatives or simply embellish them. Times Notebook is not urging us to ignore our many mistakes and blunders. Our garbage problem is a failure of government and of our people. There is no political party on the right side of this equation. Collective benefit When political parties incited our people to violence in 2012 in Linden and Agricola leading to injuries and death, it is not the Guyana we dreamt of when we fought for independence and became a republic. Parliamentarians must not be spared when they behave recklessly as they do in Parliament today. Celebrating our nation’s successes must not be a partisan matter. This must be our legacy – a nation that can work together for the collective benefit of all, a nation that avoids sectionalism and partisanship and forever commits never again to be suffocated by debt. We must be a nation able to celebrate our successes, even as we confront our failures – together as one people, one nation, one destiny!


week ending March 2, 2014 |

No Gel Rum Jhaat got them own plan


ost people does have a plan most of de time. Some people does plan to do good and some people does plan to do evil. From de time lil pickney get big, dem does plan. Dem does plan whah dem gon become, whah dem gon do in life, wheh dem gon live, and even who dem gon marry. Plus, it got some mummah and daady who does plan fuh dem pickney. Dem does plan from de day dem pickney born to de day dem gon dead, as if dem done know who gon dead first. And pickney better not fuhget that plan, otherwise is big rigmarole bout de plan. Even de guvament gotta plan. Right now dem plannin de budget. But de bigger plan whah dem wukkin on is how dem gon pass de budget. That is because de opposition got a plan too. Green Jah, Green Bridge, Will Yams, and Rum Jhaat done plan to cut de budget. Even de Speaker does speak like he got de same plan. And talkin bout Rum Jhaat, wid that plan in mind, Rum Jhaat had done plan to buy a scissors to cut de budget. But de See-J end up cuttin down Rum Jhaat plan to size. After that, Rum Jhaat end up wid another plan. Rum Jhaat like de new plan more because it done wukkin out better. De plan is to go to 7-Owe-4 seven days a week from seven o’ clock in de afternoon to four o’ clock in de mornin. That was why Rum Jhaat plan was not to go to any anti-money launderin meetin, much less budget meetin. According to Rum Jhaat, he done budget enough fuh 7-Owe-4 and that is de only budget meetin whah he like. And Rum Jhaat ain’t plan to cut that 7-Owe4 budget any time soon. If any ting, that budget gon increase wid every bottle. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! No Gel had a plan too. But he plan was to thief footage from de police, bribe a juror, tek Site Global money, and tek way a school buildin!


esorts World must rehire or find new jobs for the 175 workers it laid off recently without prior notice, who cooked and served at the buffet, says District leader Albert Baldeo. Baldeo says his office was informed that Resorts World just shut the buffet and let the workers go because it was losing money, although the price per buffet had increased to $40 a plate. “Whereas we are grateful that these workers were told that they will receive between one and five weeks of severance pay, along with a package that includes unused sick and vacation days for 2013 and 2014 and four months of family medical coverage, we demand to know how many have been rehired, in light of the fact that the casino assured the Hotel Trades Council-the union that represents these workers, that they will give opportunities to the laid off workers to apply for any open positions”. He added that his office has always worked with Resorts World as a job creator, and not a job killer, “and while we appreciate the fact that Resorts World has created many jobs and brought revenue that goes to public schools across the state, these local workers must be given jobs to feed their families as a priority”.

District Leader Albert Baldeo “Resorts World has brought phenomenal profits to its owners since it opened in Oct. 2011, with its state of the art electronic gambling, entertainment and food. It is a giant money making mill, right here in our own backyard. Our community has contributed to its growth. Its exponential expansion has, and will always affect our community-in both positive and negative ways. As a community advocate and District leader who serves the Ozone Park, South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill area, I again join forces with State Senators Joe Addabbo and James Sanders and call on Resorts World to give more jobs to our commu-

nity, and to rehire these suffering workers”. Baldeo said that Resorts World should, and can, do more. “Some of these applicants are regulars and are part of the loyal base of gamers who have helped Resorts World earn millions to date since its opening. Hiring policies and data must be made more open and accessible to all, more information about job vacancies and hires should be made public to the surrounding communities, and requirements like the one mandating “all applicants must apply on line” must be expanded, as it shuts out a large number of people who are not computer savvy,” he urged.



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hroughout history, there have been numerous Guyanese women, receiving many accolades for outstanding achievements, having shown that greatness can come from a small country. One such notable individual is Dame Sybil Theodora Phoenix. She was born in British Guiana and grew up in Georgetown. She and her fiancé, Joe Phoenix, moved to England in 1956 and married in June of that year. In 1972, she became the first black woman to receive an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth II. Phoenix initially refused to accept the honour unless the council gave her a property where she could house, feed and educate homeless young girls from the Borough of Lewisham. Phoenix is a legendary figure in her adopted home of Lewishan in South East London. In the early 1960s, she began providing foster care for unwanted children and, in 1977, founded a youth centre for teenagers. However, the centre was burned down by

Dame Sybil Phoenix during her early years of activism

The late Claudette Masdammer-Humprey

members of the rightwing extremist group, National Front. Phoenix vowed to rebuild. Four years later, in 1981, the Prince of Wales was present for the grand opening of the new center. Personally experiencing the harsh effects of racism, Phoenix was motivated to actively work against every kind of discrimination people suf-

of Action. In 1979, Phoenix and her husband founded the Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust, a supported housing project for single homeless young women. The trust was named in honour of her daughter who died in a car accident in 1974. The royal family continued to recognise Phoenix’s outstanding

fered solely because of their skin colour. She cofounded the Methodist and Ecumenical Leadership Racism Awareness Workshops, an organisation which offers racism awareness training programmes. She was also a leader in the New Cross Fire campaign, the post Brixton negotiations, and the famous Black Peoples Day

work. In 1987, Princess Margaret asked her to be Minister without Portfolio for Guyana. She received the Medal of Service Award for her dedication to Guyanese people in and out of the country. In 1996, she was made an Honorary Freeman (mayor) of the Borough of Lewisham, and in 1998 was awarded the Freedom of the City of

London. In 2008, Phoenix became an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Today, the 87-year-old is still going strong. Then there is Claudette Izel Humprey (nee Masdammer) - the first female to represent British Guiana at the Olympic Games. Claudette attended the St. Georges Anglican School and subsequently entered the Tutorial High School on an athletic scholarship. Her athletic ability was recognized by the Castello brothers, founders of Tutorial High school, during the annual public schools’ sports meeting. On account of her sprinting prowess, Claudette represented British Guiana at the 1956 Olympic Summer Games held in Melbourne, Australia, while still a student at Tutorial High School. The students were promised a day off based on Claudette’s performance. Unfortunately, Claudette failed to qualify for the finals. Nevertheless, the Tutorial student population, though disappointcontinued on page 33



week ending March 2, 2014 |

By Dmitri Allicock


attle, cowboys and horses, creeks, rivers, wooden bridges, swamps, rain, mosquitoes, jaguars and snakes are the ingredients for a great imaginative western movie. These can also be found in stories on the movement of herds of cattle on the infamous Rupununi Cattle Trail to the coastal marketplace of British Guiana. On the hoof, cattle were driven along a cattle trail that wended its way from Annai in the Rupununi savannahs through rough terrain to the Yawakuri savannah on the Berbice River, covering a distance of at

were non-existent, and construction through the forests and swamps was cost prohibitive. The New York Times Oct. 21, 1917 noted: “A reduction from 4 weeks to one on the time necessary to transport cattle from the interior of British Guiana to the coast will be affected by the construction of a cattle trail from the Annai Savannah on the Rupununi River to the Yawakuri Savannah on the Berbice River, a distance of 120 miles. A loan of $60,000 for the purpose has been authorized by the Combine Court of British Guiana accordingly to a report from the Consul George A Chamberlain, station

The jungle has reclaimed some parts of the trail

Entrance to the Rupununi Cattle Trail circa 1920 least 120 miles. At the end of the journey, the cattle were exhausted and wasted. In 1919, the trail was successfully completed and the first head of cattle was driven over it in 1920. A glance at the map of Guyana reveals that the 5000 square miles of the prime savannah lands of Rupununi is located in the isolated deep south- west of Guyana. In the early ranching period, there was no way to reach the Guyana coast with cattle and no market at all except in Brazil where demand was uncertain and values low. Transportation was a serious problem and waterfalls interfered with river transport. Highways and railways

in Georgetown. Work upon the trail is to begin at once and it should be ready for use early next year.” The publication further added: “There are at present about 35,000 heads of cattle in the savannah in the Rupununi district, and it is estimated that over 1000 head will be taken over the proposed trail yearly to the Berbice River, and hence transported to the coast for the local market and for export. It was further stated in the court that there was 150,000 head of cattle on the Brazilian ranches near the British Guiana border, and that transportation to the coast would be less expensive by this trail that at present by Manáos and oth-

er places where markets were available. This trail will also make access to the interior of the colony for other purposes much easier.” A1924 British Guiana report stated, “There are very extensive savannahs tracts in the far interior on which at present cattle are being raised. With the provision of the Rupununi Cattle Trail in 1920, it is possible that this region will become the important cattle-raising section of the colony. Horses are raised in some numbers on the plantations and farms of the coastland. There is, however, the possibility of considerable development in this undertaking when suitable opportunities offer for ready sale. The number

of cattle in the country in 1921 was estimated to be 122,886, the number of horses 1,762, sheep 20,602, and pigs 12,312.” The trail was the brainchild of pioneer, H.P.C. Melville, born1864, former commissioner of the Rupununi district who owned Dadanawa Ranch in the 1880s and felt that the construction of this trail could convey Brazilian cattle and horses to British Guiana’s coast and also as an outlet for the large and rapidly increasing herds of local cattle grazing on the savannah. The market to the Guyana coast was opened with the development of the cattle trail through the forest just at the end of World War I. The trail was very difficult to traverse, particularly in its early years because of the swamps and long distances without proper feed in the tropical jungles. Losses were extremely heavy and profits small, if there were any. Frequent attacks by jaguars, swimming the Essequibo, parasites and disease took a toll. This trail was somewhat improved in the preceding years and death losses were not as great but weight loss was severe

and only the strongest and most rugged cattle could hope to make the trek to the grasslands between Demerara and Berbice River. One branch of the historical cattle trail ended on the eastern shore of the Demerara River near the mouth of Arakawa CreekLinden today. A stelling was constructed and herds of “cattle were loaded onto the steamer and punts for transport to Georgetown. The trail supplied fresh beef to the local market of Upper Demerara and supplemented other local livestock.” Teams of workers and contractors, many from Upper Demerara, had the task of maintaining the trail free of bush, keeping wooden bridges safe and wire fencing along its path. This bush trail became an access into the heart of British Guiana, and traffic went both ways. During the depression years of the 1930s, cattle scarcely paid the cost of driving them to the market and ranching became a moderately profitable undertaking due to the more favourable markets during and after World War II. After the close of World War II the country was opened to air traffic. With

some aid from the colonial government, landing fields were developed and regular traffic by the then Guiana Airways Company was established. Regular shipments of beef from the Rupununi to Georgetown by air began on July 9, 1948. Despite the high cost of airlifting beef to coastal markets in some quantities, it succeeded due to low production cost. The war years and moment of prosperity for the arduous Rupununi Cattle Trail came to an end with the birth of air transport and in 1953 was permanently closed. Over the years parts of the cattle trail have been upgraded today into a fair weather track and serves as a road to Brazil, through the town of Linden, ending at Lethem. The jungle has reclaimed other parts of the trail. Iron pegs, which once marked the trail, can still be found buried in the dense growth. Rotting greenheart bridges were still present as late as 1982. Piling remnants of the loading dock alongside the Demerara can still be found today. And so went this one-of-akind Rupununi Cattle Trail into the annals of Guyana’s precious history.

Guyanese women who made ... from page 32

ed that they did not receive a day off, was proud of their fellow student. She competed in the 100 meters heats and finished in fifth place. At the ‘56 Olympic Games, no other female West Indian athlete attended/qualified for the premium sprinting events.

At the British West Indian Championship held in Guyana in 1959, Claudette was awarded a bronze medal for competing in the 100 meters and silver in the long jump. In 1960, Claudette became a student nurse at the Georgetown Hospital. She spent approximately one year

nursing before emigrating to England in 1961 to further her studies in nursing at Central Middlesex Hospital in London. There, Claudette met and married Winston Humphrey, a fellow Guyanese and Naval soldier in the British Navy in Southampton England. From that union they bore three chil-

dren. Wanting to become a midwife, she joined the St Mary’s clinic in Portsmouth, England. Her training, before she could take her finals in midwifery, required the delivery of 50 babies. Claudette fulfilled her requirements and passed her finals in 1979 as a midwife at Hyde

General Hospital. Claudette became the Sister in Charge of the Maternity Unit at Hyde General Hospital and delivered hundreds of babies up until her retirement in 2002. Sadly, she died on Nov. 13, 2013, at the age of 74, after bravely fighting an illness.



week ending March 2, 2014 |


rt lecturer and puppeteer, Michael Khan believes that children will destroy if they are not given the opportunity to create. That is why the Mashramani Children Art competition was conceptualised, to give children an outlet to create. The competition was initiated, by veteran artist Philbert Gajadhar and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, three years ago.

lore themes. This year I am the convener so it was my responsibility to overlook the proceedings. Mashramani has become, over the years, just a fete down the street. But the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony has placed a new impetus into the celebration catering for children. It is a different way of selfexpression instead of joining a Mash band to celebrate this national

Group of winners from various schools

Second place artwork in the age 13 to 15 category

The competition, which was opened to children aged four to 17 years, received more than 220 entries from across the country. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Khan stated that the entries were submitted by various schools from Regions Two, Four, Five and Six. The categories ranged from nursery to secondary school levels. This year, Patentia secondary and primary took away most of prizes. “The theme was folklore and the children really let their imagine spread in drawing folk-

Winning painting in the age 13 to 15 category

event. This competition was a vehicle for children to express their concepts of the significance of Mashramani,” Khan pointed out. The puppeteer, popularly known as Ole’ Man Papie, opined that if children are not given an opportunity to create, they will destroy. He further stated that the concept of the art competition is to give children the opportunity to create. “Creative children will become innovative adults. This year, I have seen great potential from the artwork submitted. I want to thank

the National Library’s staff for their support. I want to thank also the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Education. A special thanks to the teachers who encourage their students to participate. It is a memorable occasion for the children who received prizes for their work. It is something they will always remember. I recall when I was a boy I received a prize for an essay writing and that stayed with me. Teachers need to encourage and motivate children to participate in such competitions,” urged the arts lecturer.

At the National Library, an exhibition of the artwork submitted was recently held. There was also a prizegiving segment during the event. Azrelita Williams of Precious Jewels Nursery took the first prize of $25,000 in the drawing contest, while Leandra Marcus of Westfield Preparatory and Emanuel Lewis of JE Burnham Nursery placed second and third, winning cash prizes of $20,000 and $15,000 respectively. In the painting category, entries from Shiloh Allen and Josiah Singh, both of Alexander Village Nursery, were submitted. Allen, first place winner, received $25,000, while Singh received $20,000. Reya Arjoon of Patentia Primary proved her skills by taking away the winner’s prize. Azriel Williams of North Georgetown Primary placed second and Omadevi Sewdat of Leonora Primary placed third. Jonathan Ganga and Basmattie Parbu, both of Leonora Primary School, were the only entries for the painting in the age seven to nine category, with Ganga taking first place. The drawing age 10-12 category saw

This artwork was awarded first place in the craft and collage age 16 to 17 category

Shekinah Swami of Patentia Primary in first place, Jetendra Totaram of Number 56 Village Primary in second place, and Romel Lackhan of Parika Salem Secondary in third place. The painting, age

Hall Primary. Vanessa Raghubeer of Skeldon Line Path Secondary won herself the ‘Honourable Mention’ prize. Nick Beharry of Zeeburg Secondary, and Osamo Parie and Stephon Shivnauth of Patentia Primary took first, second and third place respectively in the drawing age 13-15 category. G u n a a n S h i v s h a n k a r , Ramanand Mangar and Tushad Mohabir, all of Patentia Secondary, submitted the first-, second- and third-place winning entries for the painting age 13-15 category. Romanand Mangar, Vidya Boodhoo and David Washington, all

First place winner in the craft and collage age 13 to 15 category

10-12 category, contest’s winning entries were Georina Dick of Graham’s Hall Primary, followed by Marie DeSouza of Parika Salem Secondary and Said Azeez of Graham’s

from Patentia Primary, dominated in the craft and collage (creative designs) category for the 13-15 age group, while the ‘Judge’s Prize’ was awarded to Melissa Wilson.



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The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

By Petamber Persaud Part One


u l t u r al Folklore; Celebrating 44” is the theme for Mashramani 2014, Guyana’s celebration of its Republic status attained on Feb. 23, 1970. Cultural folklore has forever captivated the imagination of the country’s writers. Additionally, it has captured the imagination of non-Guyanese writers who, in one way or the other, had experienced the intricacies of Guyana’s cultural patrimony as colonisers, missionaries, or adventurers. This article, in a series of three parts, will deal with some poetic contributions by Guyanese writers. Another article will look at the contribution by non-Guyanese writers. Finally, a third article will examine the relevancy of cultural folklore to the Guyanese psyche. Many of the motifs are familiar, some strange and others little known. So let’s start with the familiar and work our way into the esoteric. Let’s start at the beginning with the poem “El Dorado” by A. J. Seymour. The poem tells part of the story of the “City of Gold” which attracted the imagination of all European adventurers, resulting in the colonising of these parts and to sugar, slave, indentureship, independence, and republic. Juan Martinez, “who came on an expedition to find gold”, witnessed the following: That morning in


Guyanese artist Harold A. Bascom's drawing of the Baccoo

reverence priests had anointed him/With sacred and fragrant balsam, then had sprinkled/The dust of gold upon his gleaming skin/ He was the gilded one. (Italics) The “gilded one” was now prepared to make his sacrifice of “emeralds, pearls and gold... then casting his robe aside, the king descended/And washed from him the sacrificial gold.” This annual sacrifice was done in order to reclaim his loved ones from the lake. From El Dorado, we could move to our first nations. And back to Seymour in his “Legend of Kaieteur” which tells of discord among the first nations and about another sacrifice. Old Kaie, a great chief, sacrificed his life by going over the great falls to seek the will of Makonaima, the great spirit, in order to

bring peace to his people. Kaie then raised his tall/Huge bulk in the boat and towered over the fall/A cruciform over the flaming mist... But of Kaie’s body never showed a trace/He sat with Makonaima before his face. After the first nations, there were those who came by shipsPortuguese, Chinese, Africans, and Indians among others. They brought their own peculiar cultural folklore- Anancy, Ole Higue, Baccoo, Churile, Moongazer, Yemanji, Ogun, and Balgobin. Our first sample is “Ole Higue” by Wordsworth McAndrew. Ol' woman wid de wrinkled skin, Leh de ol' higue wuk begin.

Put on you fiery disguise, Ol' woman wid de weary eyes Shed you swizzly skin. Find de baby, lif de sheet, Mek de puncture wid you teet', Suck de baby dry. Whaxen! Whaxen! Whaxen! Plai! You gwine pay fo' you sins befo' you die. Lash she all across she head You suck me baby till um dead? Whaxen! Whaxen! Plai! You feel de manicole 'cross you hip? Beat she till blood start to drip. "Ow me God! You bruk me hip! Done now, nuh? Allyou done!" Is whuh you sayin' deh, you witch? Done? Look, allyou beat de bitch. Whaxen! Whaxen! Pladai! Plai! Die, you witch you. Die. Whaxen! Whaxen! Plai! “Moongaza” by Rooplall Monar is also written in creolese. Two a’clack ah manin Moonlight shine Daag bark Bow wow wow Fram de ole loco-line


Memba… Neighba Stella pick-

Dead blue in she belly Cause she see Moongaza Same night dem fowl cack crow Cook coo roo roo Memba watchman Djoko?

Drop. Stone dead. E mule tramp e Kick e Mash e Cause e tek shade foh Moongaza Me skin raise big! Ow Moongaza! Moon…Ga…za! Me picknie! Me picknie! O Gaad neighba, Lawd! Moongaza mouth wid blood. Wait! Don’t run away, there is more of the esoteric in “Maha Kali” by B. Ramsarran. I am designed to be a symbol of Terror though there are some who reckon Me differently I am Maha Kali ... Mother of the universe .. Shrouded with terrifying esoteric misunderstanding .. Do you know why many fear My worship? Of course, we must never diminish the voice of our women writers. Here are two pieces by Grace Nichols- first “Like Anansi” followed by “Yemanji”. I was the Ashanti spider Woman-keeper of dreams tenacious opalescent dark eyes unblinking then you came like Anansi... not at all what I was expecting “Yemanji” Mother of seas Goddess of rivers Mother of Shango Mother of the long breasts of milk and sorrow

Anancy is not alone. Here comes Balgobin to complement or counter Anancy in “Balgobin Khappah” by Sasenarine Persaud. Ehem – is me Khappah – Balgobin Khappah/...Well don’t/ ask me how abhi dhis come fuh get dhis nameyuh/know how abhi dhis West Indian staan, always giving/matti falsename but thankyuh thankyuh manijah/fuh dhis oppatunitee... When last you see a blue moon? Here is “Blue Moon” by Cyril Dabydeen. The moon turns blue, taking its life from everything around it it is flesh of the body it is the blood vessel it meets at the limits of heart and soul In closing this part of the article, it would be useful to quote from a poem titled “Tradition” by Laxhmie Kallicharan. Swirling oceans of tradition distilled as culture ferment into habit Responses to this author should be sent to email: or call (592) 226-0065. What’s happening: Coming soon, the first reprint of “An Introduction to Guyanese Literature”. It will be available from the author at the above contacts, Austin’s Book Service (226-7350) and at the National Library (226-2690).

Yaphet Jackman Special Projects Coordinator By Vahnu Manikchand


t a very young age, Yaphet Jackman realized that he was not one of the regular boys. Now 28, he is a Special Projects Coordinator. He explained that his current position came about just prior to the 9th anniversary of the Upscale Poetry Night. At the moment, he is busy working on a bigger projectlaunching his debut spoken-word album called “Ink Drops”. The album, which is being produced by Drew Thoven, is slated for release in August. Jackman identified legendary producer Noel Harlequin as his role model. Harlequin is credited for being Jackman’s inspiration and teaching him the pros and cons of video editing and filmmaking. In an attempt to hone his craft, Jackman visited several Caribbean countries gathering all the training he could get. He was successful in acquiring certification as a video editor. He said: “I realized that I had a vast amount of knowledge, but did not have any certification to show.” During his secondary school days at St. Joseph, Yaphet recalled he had always aspired to become a video editor. He said he was never one of the scholars at school but his grades were not bad either. “My grades were average,” he admitted. However,

he surprised his parents when he wrote CXC in 2001 and was successful. Jackman explained that he started working at the age of 13. At that time, he was employed with Spot Light Productions as a parttime cameraman. He added that by the time he had reached the age of 14 he had progressed to video editor. He described himself as an independent person who worked feverishly in achieving his goals. After completing CXC, Jackman went on to work at Giftland Officemax before venturing once more into the world of media at Guyenterprise. He explained that during his tenure at Guyenterprise he was a very young manager. At the age of 19, he was appointed to the senior position. He added that he moved on from Guyenterprise to work with the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company where he was a production manager on the company’s “We Linkin’” show. Although his job is “hectic”, Jackman is adamant on launching his debut album. In five years, he sees himself with a Masters in Film and operating his own film institution. He noted that Guyana has a lot of potential in the film industry but the resources are lacking in that area.


fun time

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This week's Crossword

J k es

Parental excuses

These are actual excuse notes from parents excusing their children from missing school (includes original spelling) Dear School: Please ekscuse John being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and also 33. Please excuse Roland from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip. Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday. Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

My feet

A three-year old put his shoes on by himself. His mother noticed the left was on the right foot. She said, "Son, your shoes are on the wrong feet." He looked up at her with a raised brow and said, "Don't kid me, Mom. I KNOW they're my feet."

Bible story

A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. He read, "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." His son asked, "What happened to the flea?"

The Hitchhiker

This week's Puzzle

A woman is driving home in Northern Arizona when she comes upon a Navajo woman hitchhiking. Because the trip has been long and quiet, she stops the car and the Navajo woman climbs in. During their small talk, the Navajo woman glances surreptitiously at a brown bag on the front seat between them. "If you're wondering what's in the bag," offers the woman, "it's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband." The Navajo woman is silent for a while, nods several times, and says, "Good trade!"

Army nurse training

During basic training for the Army Nurse Corps, we were required to spend one week in the field roughing it. It rained the entire week. We arose daily in our swampy tent, took a cold-water beauty bath from our helmets, donned our pistol belts and ponchos, and trudged through the mud to set up field hospitals. Obviously, our personal appearance frequently left much to be desired. The final blow to our feminine pride occurred while we waited in the mess line in the mud and rain. A young private came by with a camera and asked to take our picture. "It will prove to my girlfriend," he said, "that she has NO reason to be jealous!"


An oral surgeon was scheduled to extract four wisdom teeth from Jim, a high-school football player who had opted to be sedated for the procedure. As the intravenous anaesthesia was being administered, the doctor asked Jim how he was feeling. "Man," he replied, struggling to keep his eyes open, "I feel like I'm in English class."

Lost and found

see solution on page 46

A guy walks up to a beautiful woman in a shopping mall. "Excuse me," he says "But my wife and I got separated somewhere and I can't find her. Could you please help me?" "What do you need me to do?" asks the woman. "Just stand here and talk to me" the man replies. "How's that going to help?" she asks. "No idea really...but every time I talk to a beautiful woman like yourself, my wife appears out of nowhere!"



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A group of youths aiming to be a force of positive change in their community


he Enmore Youth Development Group is a nonprofitable organisation registered under the Ministry of Culture, Youths and Sports and attached to the President's Youth Award: Republic of Guyana programme. The group was founded on Sept. 11, 2013, by two dedicated professionals, who have a passion for youths and their development, Steve Datta and Romel Putulall. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, president of the group, Romel Putulall stated that the group’s aim is to “promote young individuals within society and to help develop good moral value in their lives.” The group’s motto is, “To see a positive change, we have to first ignite that change, be the change, and lead the change”. According to Putulall, after three months of activities, the group increased in numbers. The group was then headed by four other leaders Nicole Dumay, group’s secretary, Kaeron Singh, vice president, Shivraj Balkissoon, health adviser, Nikita Outar, environment adviser, Akeel Suliman, sports adviser. “These are all youths who are in the working field and studying and have the desire to see youths in the community develop. Too many youths have become addicted to drugs, alcohol, and the crime rate is prevalent among youths in various communities, so together as leaders our main objective in mind is to make a differ-

Dr. Frank Anthony (right) among those cheering during the ceremonial lighting of the first Christmas tree at Enmore

Group members at the Diwali motorcade in Enmore

of the year, the idea is to influence as much youths as possible,” explained Putulall. The Enmore Youth Development Group currently has 55 registered youths, from ages 14 and above, and welcomes all youths who want to make a positive change in their communities. “Personally giving back to the community makes me feel good, in terms of seeing that I have been able to influence a lot of youths. It makes me proud to see these ones become re-

sponsible individuals, contributing positively to their community and being leaders of change. I live with a policy in mind that youths are the future of tomorrow and so will work feverishly to help youths achieve as much as they can. As for the members of the group, they are happy to be involved, since there was never a group in the community like this one. Giving back to their community means a lot and so they work diligently in accomplishing the group’s goals,” expressed Putulall.

Youths actively engaging in self-development activities

ence. We want to be that change, since we are the future of tomorrow,” declared Putulall. In 2013, some activities which were undertaken by the group included holding a grand community Diwali motorcade in Enmore. Putulall disclosed it was the first time an event like that was held in the community. He was pleasantly surprised to see over 100 persons gathered together as a community to make the event a success. “For the Christmas celebration, we had a grand Christmas tree light-up. Youths worked in the rain, the hot sun, and even late hours in the night to get the tree completed before the holiday. Nevertheless, it was successfully completed. Persons in the community were astonished. It was beautifully dressed with the kind contributions from

the business community in Enmore. Notably, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony was present at the Christmas tree light-up,” recalled Putulall. A few group activities include a movie night, fun day, cookout, and group discussions on various topics ranging from music, relationships, and issues affecting teenagers. Putulall pointed out that the activities are geared at fostering lasting relationships between the youths. Aiming to improve the environment, the group’s proposed project is to plan a treeplanting exercise and garbage management programme. Cultural shows for various holidays would continue to be part of the group’s activities. Group members, who have excelled academically and want to give back to their community, would be offering free computer and CSEC classes. Future plans also include planning medical outreach programmes and more sport activities. “Through the group we have been able to influence a lot of youths. Those who would regularly be playing pools in rum shops became actively involved in the group and broke off from such activities. The idea about keeping youths off the streets has been achieved to a fair extent. By the end



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he Caribana™ Arts Group will be hosting its second annual ‘Caribana on Ice’ ice-skating party/lime on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square skating rink from 2pm–6pm. According to a release from the organisers, admission to the event is free and all are welcome to attend. “‘Caribana on Ice’ offers many different facets that Caribana™ Arts Group knows will be appreciated by Toronto’s general public,” the release added. “First off, this will essentially be an ice skating opportunity to skate to Caribbean Calypso/ Soca music,” the organisers highlighted, adding that “what Caribana™ Arts Group intends to do is to bring a focus solely on the vibrant songs originating from Caribbean carnival(s) artists.” The event will comprise a four-hour party/lime of vintage and new music from various Toronto-based Calypsonians and Soca artists, prominent musicians from various

Every ting mash up


Organisers of the upcoming ‘Caribana on Ice’ party

Caribbean islands, and the latest songs coming out of the 2014 Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. “Let’s face it; if these artists didn’t write and produce their catchy songs, we would have nothing to dance to on parade day. As such, Caribana Arts Group wants to acknowledge their efforts,” the release indicated. The upcoming event in Toronto will coincide with TT’s Carnival, the largest of such in the Caribbean and which culminates on March 3

and 4th. The unofficial launch of Caribana 2014 traditionally starts on the Easter weekend. “Finally, Caribana will be celebrating its 47th year in 2014 of continuous, cultural presentations in Toronto since its establishment by its founders in 1967. As such, there is a generation of children from the original participants of Caribana who grew up here, and know how to ice skate. Therefore, for its 2nd annual Calypso/Soca party/lime, Caribana™ Arts Group

encourages them to come out and ice skate,” the organisers urged. Caribana™ was asked to and participated at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics; an initiative of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, the Ontario Pavilion that featured the best that Ontario had to offer from a tourism perspective featuring nightly concerts, culinary experiences, films, technology, the arts, and performances by a representative troupe from Caribana.

uyana gotta history of mashin up every ting since de days of Burnt Ham. In dem not so long time days, Burnt Ham mash up de guvament and he mash up de people. He had try to mash up de Pee-P-Ptoo. When that didn’t happen, Burnt Ham mash up all de elections so that he coulda stay in power to mash up whah ever was still leff to mash up. So de mash up mentality deh round a long time now. Burnt Ham mash up de railway and bring in Tata buses. Tata buses get mash up. Burnt Ham bring in school buses to fetch dem school pickney. School buses get mash up too. Now de pullice tek a cue from that and dem mashin up all de brand new vehicles whah dem get. Dem so accustom to mashin that dem mash a fella all de way near de hairport and then mash another fella and mek he jump up high. Even whah suppose to be Republic Day get mash up. Nowadays every body just wanna mash up pun Republic Day. So de real reason fuh Mash Day get mash up. No wonder people wake up this morning and find every ting mash down. Green Ham look mash up and de whole of GT de garbage town look mash down. But Green Ham look mash up a long time now, ever since de Heights Man mash he down. De only ting ain’t mash down is de garbage. Instead, that buildin up. De Cee-FAT-Fella come and mash up Green Bridge and Rum Jhaat. Dem was de two who was mashin up from Harry Wrang to Harry Right bout some kinda money bill. That is why de Cee-FAT-Fella come in de Mash season. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! Even Gayle come back from injury and get mash up again. Then Hire Land come and mash up de Waste Indies, but Waste Indies mash dem back. Now de U-19 team get mash up. And de Women’s team get mash up too!


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Star of the week


isa Punch is a talented singer, songwriter, dancer and actress. By age 11, she was performing across the country and appearing on local TV shows. She joined her high school’s choir, where she was placed as the lead singer at just 12 years old. The songstress also joined the school’s dance group, representing her school in dramatic poetry and copping first place trophies at children’s Mashramani competitions. At the age of 14, Lisa entered the first ever reality show in Guyana called “Star Guyana”. The competition required contestants to display three talents- acting, singing and dancing. Lisa was the youngest contestant and won after performing a mesmerizing rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you”. Consequently, she was dubbed a “national song bird” and the “local Whitney”. In 2008, Lisa went on a hiatus from music to prepare for CSEC examinations. She gained 12 passes and was awarded the Student of Excellence Award at her high school. Subsequently, she decided it was time to get back to her music career and produced her hit singles, “Secret Admirer” and “My Inspiration”. “Secret Admirer” was a crossover track mixed with reggae and pop and “My Inspiration” landed on “Cellink Top 40 Countdown” and is an upbeat R&B love song. During her acting stint, Lisa won Best Actress for the play “The Concert” in 2008. She later won Best Supporting Actress for the play “Shadows”. Last year, she released her debut album, “The Evolution of Lisa Punch”. Lisa continues to feverishly pursue her music and acting careers and, one day, hopes to see her name on the international Billboard charts. Her advice for youths, who want to pursue a career in music, is to be focused and humble.

Dividing… D

…the Republic istinguished professor of history Dr Clem Seecharan, in his lecture commemorating our attainment of Republican status, advised we mustn’t sweep the discussion of relations between the different races/ethnic groups under the carpet. We couldn’t agree more. But it’s just as important not to encourage the discussants to gratuitously inject divisive elements into the conversation. We must use the discussion to encourage a common destiny and head off fissioning, such as unfolding in the Ukraine right now. This thought was prompted by a letter from a member of “The Cuffy 250 Committee”. They rightfully declared that Cuffy and his band of rebels launched the struggle that culminated in the independence of our country. But while declaring that Cuffy’s actions form a legacy for all Guyanese, they then specifically appropriated it for one section of our society: “The 1763 Revolt must become a constant symbol of resistance and overcoming in the hands and collective mind of African Guyanese.” To ensure there’s no doubt as to where they are coming from (or going to) they then connected Cuffy’s struggle with that of the “African” protesters at Linden in 2012. Now tell me in God’s name – how the heck can we ever get Cuffy to be a hero for all Guyanese when groups like this one, insist on expropriating it for one section? If our problem is that people keep talking about “me and you” rather than “us”, surely this exclusive thinking encourages division. The next thing we might hear is that since Berbice was a separate colony back in the days of Cuffy, he’s only an African Berbician hero. Or even more divisive by going “tribal” – that Cuffy was an Akan African Berbician hero. As we try to get our Republic on its feet, it’s disheartening that the political leaders don’t condemn this kind of divisive thinking. Because it was their fraternity that turned our diversity from an asset into a liability. Burnham wanted votes and interpreted every PPP action through “racial lens” to build his “constituents” after 1955. While your Eyewitness is no slavish follower of Marx, at least Jagan and later Rodney attempted to look through other lenses in interpreting our history. Anyhow, we hope that our citizens have seen through the futility of this kind of blinkered thinking. …the Judiciary The opposition’s been stridently attacking the Judiciary ever since the last election. It does not take a rocket scientist to see the correlation between the stridency of their attacks and the decisions by the courts against their high handed moves to take over the functions of the Executive. They’ve been bleating that the judges are sucking up to the government because the top guns are only “acting” so they’re scared stiff they won’t be confirmed if they go against the government. The opposition’s point being that the mouth is muzzled by the hands that feed it – and all that. If the said judges were to be confirmed, they’d be independent – and presumably, all judgements would go the way of the opposition. So imagine our surprise when the government decided to confirm the acting Jurists – and the opposition balked! It was obvious that the latter worthies just want to keep their cauldron boiling. This truth became even starker when it was just revealed that the opposition parties haven’t been consulting with the President to appoint one member of the Judicial Service Commission – which appoints the judges – nor two other JSC members via their control of the National Assembly. O Judgement! Thou are fled to brutish breasts! …the bar One partisan of Llewelyn John outlined his many qualifications for appointment as Senior Counsel. He neglected to mention as Home Affairs Minister and responsible for elections, John was complicit in Burnham’s first, seminal rigging.

travel & tourism


week ending March 2, 2014 |


journey along the Potaro River reveals scenic views of mountains, dense forest and stunning waterfalls. A tributary of Essequibo River, the source of the Potaro is in the Mount Ayanganna area of the Pakaraima Mountains in the North Rupununi savannahs. Majestic waterfalls are found on the Potaro River, most notable being Kaieteur and Tumatumari Falls. Below Kaieteur Falls are Amatuk and Waratuk Falls. In the 1930s, the Denham Suspension Bridge, also known as the Garraway Stream Bridge, was constructed over the Potaro River in an area known as Garraway Stream. The bridge remains as a beautiful feature of the Potaro. Located in forested terrain along the Potaro River, south of Kaieteur Falls, is Chenapau- a small Amerindian village. Upriver from Kaieteur, the Potaro plateau stretches out to the distant escarpment of the Pakaraima Mountains. (Photos by Marco Basir)

Potaro winding through dense forest

Stunning mountain scene Denham Bridge spreads over the Potaro River

Water gushing from Amatuk Falls into the Potaro



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o fashion statement is as loud as the splendour of bursting colours and bold patterns of tie-dye. Capturing the beauty of tie-dye in her recent collection, local designer Tracy Douglas lends a certain rainforest mystique to her colourations in her textile designs. “All the pieces I created are unique. I have been so motivated to tie-dye and paint for over 26 years because each garment always has its own character. After dyeing a piece I can’t wait for it to cure so I can see how it has turned out, it is such a thrill. Most pieces are created to be worn on either side or front to back. Creative souls should be able to quickly get dressed and look ‘funky fabulous’,” explained Douglas during an interview at the Guyana Fashion Week (GFW) 2013. The designer’s trendy tie-dye collection adds an effortless boho-inspired fun to any wardrobe. For more information on this collection, call 627-7063 or 654-1865. (Photos by Helio Phoeli)

Tracy (center) on the catwalk with models showcasing her designs


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week ending March 2, 2014 |

Scenes from Mashramani 2014 in Georgetown

The Amerindian Affairs Ministry's band ‘ready for the road’

This family relaxes under a tent, watching the floats pass by

Education Minister Priya Manickchand poses with a citizen just before her float takes off on the road

The Education Ministry's costume band giving the judges on Church Street a taste of their tramping skills

One of the many floats on the road on Sunday – this one was made out of recycled bottles

Guyanese of all ages viewing the float parade

A packed Irving Street on Sunday

Revellers making their way into the National Park


week ending March 2, 2014 |

Legal corner

By Richard Kistnen, Esq.


hen I receive calls and questions from people who want to know more about bankruptcy, they, invariably, will inquire what may happen to a car they own. Feeding this concern is the traditional notion that when someone files for bankruptcy protection, they will lose all of their property. If you have read any of my previous articles on bankruptcy, you would know by now that this is not accurate. When a person files for bankruptcy, there exist both state laws and federal laws that protect (or “exempt”) property from the bankruptcy estate. In other words, property that is properly exempted will not be liquidated in bankruptcy. Property above and beyond the exemptible amounts (“nonexempt property”) may be liquidated by a trustee to satisfy claims of creditors of the estate. The rationale is that the laws allow a debtor to keep enough property so as to not become a ward of the state, and that property above that amount is excessive. That excess property should be used to fairly pay creditors something. Motor vehicles are one of the types of property which the laws address. Under the New York State laws, $4,000.00 of equity in a motor vehicle may be exempted. Under the federal laws, $3,675.00 of equity in a motor vehicle may be exempted. (Equity represents the dollar amount of the value of the asset minus any liens against the car. If you own the car outright, the equity is the value of the car. If you have a loan against a car, the equity equals

the value of the car minus the amounts of any loans against the car.) Even if a car you own is more than the exemption amounts, you can talk to a trustee to either abandon selling the car (since the costs involved with sale might not make it worth it) or negotiate the difference in non-exemptible amount. If there is a loan against the car (usually provided for in a security agreement), filing for bankruptcy discharges your personal liability on the loan. That means that the creditor cannot sue you personally for the outstanding balance of the loan for the car. The creditor has two options: (1) repossess the car and sell it, and that will be the extent of their recoupment; (2) offer what is known as a “reaffirmation agreement” for the car (a reaffirmation agreement is a contract that, generally, renews the terms of the old contract. Reaffirmation agreements require court approval.) In my experience, many lenders will actually do neither, as long as you notify the lender of the bankruptcy and continue to make payments. If you are leasing a vehicle, you have the option to assume (continue) or reject the lease. Bankruptcy may be a good tool if you purchased a car that you can no longer afford, as it discharges personal liability and facilitates a seamless return of the vehicle to the lender. Bankruptcy, however, also lets you keep property, including a car, if it can be properly exempted. If you would like to speak to a lawyer about bankruptcy, please contact the Law Office of Richard Kistnen, Tel.: (718) 738-2324,

The forest and the trees


atiricus was ecstatic. As he’s confessed before, when he was a small boy, he’d always hoped to be a lawyer. Using all those fancy words, like “sine die”, and “sine qua non”; jumping up and shouting “incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial!!” (Young Satiricus had seen Perry Mason on TV) …and more to the point, earning the big bucks, had made lawyering his lodestar. Only his miserable grades at CSEC had stood in his way. So he’d done the next best thing – become a news hack where his editor could yell how “incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial” his articles were. But now hope beat anew in the breast of Satiricus. It didn’t matter he couldn’t make it through the door of the law school at UG – much less Hugh Wooding: anybody could now practise law! And not only ordinary law. Like finding out whether a fowl thief of his mother’s fowl also had rights over the fowl and so could not be charged for larceny – whether petty or grand. Now ordinary folks could even argue Constitutional Law! All you needed was to have an opinion on something and you could tell even Senior Counsels they are “incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial!” It helped too, if you were part of the Opposition. Take this lady Jam-it Bull-Can. For years Satiricus has seen her long – very long – letters in the press about our trees. Satiricus had never read any of them – there was only so many hours of the day, after all – but he’d figured she certainly knew a lot about trees. Satiricus had this mental image of Bull-Can always hugging one tree or another. Occasionally, however, Satiricus wondered if Bull-Can could see the forest for the trees. Not least because that’s tough when you’re clinging on to a trunk for dear life. But here it was Bull-Can had solved – just like that! – a legal conundrum that had divided Courts, the Attorney General, the Ex and Present -Speakers of Parliament and every lawyer in town! The legal issue had to do with a similar problem that’d confronted Hamlet hundreds of years ago: to cut or not to cut, that is the question. Like the little boy who told the Emperor he had no clothes, Bull-Can cut the legal Gordian knot by ruling “cut!” Why? Well… “Duh” she retorted: didn’t everyone see “the importance of the budget as the ultimate lever of control of the legislature over the executive in tripartite Jeffersonian government”. Now Satiricus hazily remembered from his news backgrounding grunge work that in the U.S., the Legislature has been explicitly given “the spending power”, and the same wasn’t true for Guyana. But what did poor, unlettered Satiricus know? He could only see the forest, not the trees.



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Sculptures from National Collection on show at Castellani House Part 1

'Fighting for Global Peace' Winslow Craig (1995-1996)


t is not surprising that almost all of the sculptures in the National Collection are made out of wood, arising from the fact that accessibility to material is a necessary criterion for artists and no doubt wood sufficed in this heavily-forested land. It is also evident that sculptures in the National Collection predominantly emulate the human figure, ranging from the representational to the abstract in all manner of expression. The oldest known Guyanese sculptor, Cedric Winter (1902-1974) is yet to be represented in the National Collection. The oldest-dated sculpture in the National Collection is “Spirit Guide” by the self- taught artist Philip Moore (1921-2012), referred to as the doyen of the Guyanese art world. This piece was carved in 1947, almost two decades after the first Guyanese art exhibition in 1929 during the colonial period. Moore, unlike many other artists, carved his niche from the onset, producing a body of work unmatched in the sculptural arena of Guyana. While infused with spiritual motivation and self-realization of his African ancestral homeland - a place where he never set foot - his sculpture embodies Guyanese mythology, folklore and creole culture. The grand exhibition in 1931, organized by Barbadian artist living in Guyana, Goldie White, nurtured an art group- the British Guiana Arts & Craft Society (BGACS). The group comprised of locals and foreigners and staged annual Christmas art exhibitions. The group eventually gave birth to the Guianese Art Group (GAG) in 1944. Philip Moore was among those exhibiting with the BGACS in the latter 1940s. The acclaimed “Father of Guyanese Art”, E. R. Burrowes, also of Barbadian heritage, left the BGACS and formed the Working Peoples Art Class (WPAC) in 1948 which existed for almost two de-

'Bondage' Linden Maxwell (1993)

cades until 1961. It was the first group of its kind that was structured in a way geared towards an art education process. During this time, the group members excelled, earning scholarships to Europe. It was this group that decided the future of Art in Guyana. While they were all painters, a few attempted sculpture, including E.R. Burrowes. Burrowes’ alabaster miniature sculpture “Pomona”, in the National Collection, is truly a treasure. Burrowes, after returning from his European scholarships pursuing studies in art, had developed his sculptural techniques to an extent that allowed him to execute large work such as the monument to the labour leader Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, executed in 1964. Two notable members from the WPAC, who earned scholarships, are Stanley Greaves and Denis Williams. Greaves, who majored in sculpture, on his return, pursued painting relentlessly to such a degree of unimaginable distinction that his sculpture almost became dormant. “Standing Figure”, also part of the National Collection, exemplifies the excellence which typifies both his sculptural and painterly work. Williams, who studied painting, later went on to broaden his area of studies when he pioneered the fields of archeology and anthropology in Guyana. Williams, however, continued the trend of art groupings when

h e founded the E.R. Burrowes School of Art in 1975, which still functions as a formal institution responsible for the output of outstanding sculptors. The self-taught sculptor Campton Paris, like Philip Moore, also enjoyed participating in the exhibitions of the BGACS during the 1940s. His sculptures, in the National collection, exemplified by his relief series of Caribbean writers, tell clearly of the interest in representational imagery which prevailed during his time especially among painters. Abstract art was not an option for him. Parris gave way to Gary Thomas, who won numerous national awards including the first prize for sculpture in the recent Guyana Visual Arts Competition (2012). Self- taught under the guidance of Denis Williams, Thomas came onto the scene during the exciting period that began at the end of the 1960’s and saw Guyana becoming a republic and the birth of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (Carifesta) in 1972. Using the human form as the basis for distortion and variation combined with the technique of ‘holing’ and a smooth finish, Thomas was able to create dynamic compositions and movement in wood. Many of his titles, such as “Retrogression”, were never extraordinary or superficial but rather simple reflections from his secular life. Among those influenced by Thomas is the remarkable Sealey family - father, four brothers, one sister and a brother-in-law of the third son Andrea Sealey. The largest known artist/sculpting family in Guyana, they are all completely self-taught except for the sister who went on to formal training at the Burrowes School of Art. Andrea Sealey's fortunate state, patronage by the late President Desmond Hoyte, sees his piece “Untitled” (Figures in Motion) becoming a part of the National Collection. Omowale Lumumba, a master of design in the neo-primitive style, worked alongside Gary Thomas. These artists seemed interested not in the perfect form but in the perfect distortion which penetrates through mere outward appearance to the essence. Simplification, narration, schematization and condensation are characteristics of their style and are frequently seen in the works of artists such as Ernest Van Dyke, Andrea Sealey

a n d J o h n Clowes, who came under their direct influence. Denis Williams referred to these sculptors as the “country boys” and dubbed them the “Village Movement”. Today, their style and technique echo in the work of artists like Ras lah and Marvin Phillips, who help to keep the movement alive on the Main Street avenue in Georgetown. Winston Strick, artist of the era of Gary Thomas and Omawale Lumumba, studied Architectural Drafting and Fine Arts in the U.S. He worked in a style that stressed a kind of illusionism rather than mass. His subjects range from simple dignified genre and figure studies to landscapes, all with an emphasis on abstraction. One revelation is his assemblage “Woman”, a result of his constant striving for innovation and originality in working with leather in a direction away from functional craft to that of fine craft with sculptural principles. The Burrowes School of Art was from the beginning based on the European model of formal training in the Visual Arts. In contrast to the earlier art groups and classes, this institution was integrated into the structured educational system of an independent country. With formal training in place, the output in sculpture became impeccable with such graduates as Ivor Thom, Colin Warde, Francis Ferreira and Winslow Craig, just to name a few. Ivor Thom, whose carved wooden sculpture “Pregnant Woman” in the National Collection is comparable to his later achievements in bronze, returned from scholarship in Cuba after studying bronze casting. He has since received commissions for public monuments in bronze - all cast within these shores. (TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK)


'Mighty Dread' Omawale Lumumba (1982)

'Massasekeree' Oswald Hussein (1989)



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Guyanese-born activist receives Canada’s national 'Caring Award'


arine Dat S o o k r a m , Founder of ACTIVE VISION Charity Association and host of the award-winning weekly community radio show, Caribbean Spice, has received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. The award recognises outstanding individuals who have volunteered their time to help others in creating a more intelligent and caring nation. The Lieutenant Governor, The Honourble David C. Onley, O Ont., presented the honour to Sookram and 21 other recipients at Queens Park, Toronto, Ontario last Wednesday February 19, 2014. “I am always honoured to be recognised, especially when it is from the mainstream,” Sookram said after receiving the award. “I never thought a small boy who grew up in one of the smallest villages in Berbice, Guyana, (would have made such) an impact. For me it was more prestigious to be amongst other heroic recipients who have one thing in common, and that is to maximise their potential to make Canada a better place,” he added. “This award is important to me because this tells me that the hard work that I have been doing for over two decades now is making an impact not only locally, but nationally. The good thing about this award is that it's mainstream and I am glad that I can be a role model for other West Indies,” Sookram further stated. Sookram recalled that his passion for volunteerism dates back to his days in Guyana at primary school, where he initiated a youth group in his community of Number 64 Village,

Mental processing


The Lieutenant Governor, The Honourble David C. Onley, O Ont. presenting the award to Narine Dat Sookram (Photo: Contributed)

Berbice, Corentyne. Reflecting on those earlier years, the Guyanese-Canadian said: “I have learned from a very educated priest, Pt. Dave Deonarine Chetram, who now resides in the USA. Another thing I could remember is that I used to give water to the school children, because we used to run a “cake shop” in Guyana which is popularly known as a “corner store” here in Canada. And these are all good values I try to carry up to this day, because I find it very fulfilling to give back”.

The award

The Caring Canadian Award encompasses traits such as compassion and engagement, qualities that are synonymous with Canadian character. It also aims to recognise and thank recipients for the contributions and positive impact they have had on the lives of others. The award was created in 1995, when the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc came to be Governor General and was determined to recognise selected individuals

who generously volunteer their time and effort to their fellow man while asking nothing in return. The award also aims to recognise individuals who have made unpaid, substantial and continued contributions to their community. The Caring Canadian Award itself is made up of a certificate and lapel pin that is appointed to recipients by the governor general or by lieutenant-governors, territorial commissioners, mayors or partner organisations. The award’s emblem is indicative of Canadians who unselfishly dedicate their time and energy to their fellow citizen. The maple leaf symbolises the spirit of Canadians; the heart depicts the open-heatedness of volunteers; and the outstretched hand symbolises limitless generosity. Sookram has always been engaged in his community, both in the Region of Waterloo and his homeland, Guyana. He has received over 100 awards/recognitions, including the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award in 2013.

Barbados wants speedy conclusion of air services agreement with China


he Barbados government says it wants a speedy conclusion for an air service agreement with China as it hopes to lure visitors and investors from that Asian country. A government statement providing details of a meeting between the island’s Ambassador-Designate to the People’s Republic of China, Dr. Chelston Brathwaite, quoted Prime Minister Stuart as saying that Barbados was in the development phase of its relationship with China and it was now necessary to familiarise the Chinese with this country in an effort to attract Chinese tourists and business people to these shores. Stuart acknowledged that the lo-

cal economy had become structurally integrated into the economies of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, insisted that there was a need to look in new directions and identified China and Latin America as two of the new paths to be followed. For his part, Brathwaite, who left Barbados on Sunday to take up his appointment in Beijing, noted that tourism, trade and business were key areas of interest, noting that 83 million Chinese tourists travelled annually, spending an estimated US$102 billion. The statement gave no indication when or if negotiations for an air service agreement between the two countries had started. (BGIS)

atiricus was relieved beyond belief. Here it was for all these years − more years that he liked to think about – he’d been beating up on himself for being such a dummkopf. It had surfaced as far back as nursery school when he just couldn’t count from one to two – after a whole year. It wasn’t much different for the rest of his school life. His mother had told him it wasn’t his fault. The nurse had dropped him on his head soon after he was born. But amazingly hope now beats anew in his breast. There it was in black and white in the yellow journalistic rag, the MuckrakerKN, that his problem was really “Mental Processing”!! And the report made sure Satiricus knew what was “mental processing”. This was “all things a person can do with their mind”. Right away, Satiricus knew this was some deep stuff. A person wasn’t just one person – he was many and that was why the article spoke of “their mind”. Satiricus, a good student in Sunday School, remembered that some people contained “multitudes”. So, Satiricus now knew, his problem wasn’t that he wasn’t smart or anything like that – he just wasn’t doing Mental Processing. The article had described how people committed suicide because they weren’t doing enough Mental Processing. So Satiricus figured if Mental Processing could solve the problem of suicide – it would be a cinch for his dumbness. And Satiricus was happy the article described just how he could get to do Mental Processing. There was a University right here in Guyana, that could teach Mental Processing. The name of the University was the Merican University of Research and it even had its own acronym – MUOR. Imagine that – pretty soon he’d be a graduate of MUOR and be able to argue with people like Mook Lall and CN Sharna. Satiricus was doubly impressed. All his life he had heard that universities did “research”. And as a reporter he’d heard people complain that UG didn’t do enough research. But imagine here was a university that did nothing but research!!! “Wow!!” thought Satiricus, “Imagine going to a university like that!” He’d be doing research all the time – and on Mental Processing. He wouldn’t have to study any books, or snotty subjects like maths and such stuff. All he had to do was throw back and do Mental Processing. Satiricus wondered if he could get a Masters Degree in Mental Processing if he concentrated all the time on Angelina Jolie. Or better yet, even a PhD if he just Mentally Processed her lips?



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Sunny Leone shoots in a snake-filled lake

‘My daughters weren't impressed by my six-pack abs’- Farhan


agini MMS-2’, the forthcoming horror-erotica film, contains a horrorpacked scene shot inside a lake. In fact, there is even a fleeting shot of the said scene in the film’s trailer. It appears at the point when Sunny's costar follows her to a lake hoping to make love to her. The lake was in Vasai on the outskirts of Mumbai, in a scary and quiet location. The said scene had to be shot at midnight when the water was cold, so as to get the desired effect. Sunny had to dip into the water to give her best shot,


ctor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, who worked out hard to get a perfect six-pack abs for his 2013 entertainer ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, says his two daughters were not so impressed with his beefed up physique. "Honestly, I don't think they (my

but was petrified because the lake was quite a walk from her vanity van. There was also talk of water snakes. The scene took an entire night to shoot and

Sunny fell ill the following day and developed a minor skin allergy. "I saw dead fish. The water was dirty," said Sunny. "I was scared as hell," she added. (TOI)

Sanjay Dutt does business while out on parole


ctor Sanjay Dutt, who is out on a parole, is making good use of his time out. He is thinking business and has apparently signed some of the best directors of the film industry to direct films helmed by his production house. A Mid-Day report stated that Prabhu Dheva has agreed to direct a film of Sanjay's production house. Even Rohit Shetty and Rajkumar Hirani too will be directing films helmed by actor's production house. All these projects

will commence from next year. Rohit Shetty's film for Sanjay Dutt's production house, as per the report, will go on the floors in 2016. It should also be pointed out that the actor ensured his business does

not suffer in his absence. Hence, he had asked his wife Maanayata to meet Prabhu Dheva and sign a deal with him. He has also finished work on ‘Hasmukh Pighal Gaya’, a film by debutante director, Sejal Shah. (TOI)

Sharmila Tagore, Soha Ali Khan champion women’s health and rights in India


n an effort to challenge deep-rooted social issues like child marriage, early pregnancies and sex selection in Indian society, mother-daughter duo Sharmila Tagore and Soha Ali Khan have come together to support a transmedia drama series. Titled ‘Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon’ (MKBKSH), it seeks to promote strong women characters and has the support of the Population Foundation of India (PFI). Marking the spirit of

International Women's Day, the series will premiere on March 8, 2014 on Doordarshan and will run every Saturday and Sunday at 7 pm. Speaking about this initiative, Soha said, "MKBKSH has the potential of being a catalyst for change---the amount of research that has gone in the preparation of this initiative is extraordinary! Real life stories have informed and guided Feroz and PFI in developing the scripts---they are the testimony that change is happening, it just needs to be amplified." At the launch in Mumbai, Sharmila Tagore said, "There is a silent revolution taking place in India---a revolution led by young girls and women who are beginning to realise their potential. MKBKSH captures this silent revolution. It portrays working women---health workers, school teachers, and others as confident fully capable of managing home and work, of serving society." (TOI)

Ranbir-Katrina to take a vacation in Sri Lanka


hile the media is abuzz about a split between Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, there are also reports that say that lovebirds are heading to Sri Lanka for a holiday. The couple was spotted holidaying in Spain last year. A Hindustan Times report has quoted a source close to the actress and said that Katrina and Ranbir have been trying to keep their shooting schedule in sync with each other. They have apparently planned their schedule in such a way that it makes it easy for both of them to drop in and meet each other on the sets. Though Katrina is shooting for ‘Bang Bang’ in Manali and Ranbir is shooting for ‘Bombay Velvet’ in Sri


the world's most luxurious cruises of USA- 'Spirit of Washington'. Both of them exchanged vows. Asad's elder brother Arshad Khattak was the best man and the host for the wedding. The Malik-Khan wedding festivities started a few weeks before the marriage. It took place away from the

Lanka, both have decided to take a break in Sri Lanka. Further to reports, the actress is reportedly getting a three-day break from her shooting and she will head to Sri Lanka to join Ranbir. Both of them will take a much-deserved break. This is not the first time that Katrina is visiting Ranbir on the sets of ‘Bombay Velvet’. The actress had allegedly visited him earlier too where news of her bonding with Anushka Sharma had also surfaced. (TOI)

Hrithik Roshan continues to stay married to his in-laws


t is often jested and suggested that in India, people do not marry the man or the woman alone. They end up marrying his/her family as well. That is precisely how it works in Bollywood too. And, of course, we must start with the latest example. Hrithik Roshan

separated from wife Sussanne last December, but he spent his birthday on January 10 in the company of his sister-in-law Farah Ali, her kids, and his own sons Hrehaan and Hridhaan. Over the Valentine's Day weekend, the lighteyed superstar, who flew to Mumbai to spend time

Veena Malik is now Mrs Asad Khan Khattak

eena Malik finally married Asad Bashir Khan Khattak in a closely guarded western ceremony with a few family friends. After the wedding ceremony was over, the bride and the groom came out for a photo op and posed for the photographers. The wedding took place on one of

children) were so impressed by my sixpack abs. I think what they found very entertaining was the running," Farhan told IANS. Recently, Farhan took part in racing events at his daughters' school, and he took the lead in all. His daughters Shakya and Akira were proud. "They really saw the effects of it when I ran in the apparent race. That was truly an exciting moment for them. Unfortunately, all the others were left far behind. So for them it was a nice moment of victory," said Farhan, who is married to celebrity hairstylist Adhuna Akhtar. (TOI)

media glare and without any of the couple's friends from the film industry. After their quiet wedding, the couple intends to send sweets to people from the industry. They have remained tight lipped about their post marriage plans, though Veena will take a sabbatical it seems. (TOI)

with his sons, apparently also spent quality time bonding with Sussanne's parents. Sussanne's mother, Zarine Khan and sister, Farah are both extremely hopeful of a reunion between "Duggu and Suzy". It is strange, that while Hrithik was spending time with Sussanne's parents on Valentine's, she was in New Delhi for a furniture show. Later, over the same weekend, she was reportedly spotted at a nightclub in the capital with some friends. The couple shows no signs of reconciliation; however, Hrithik continues to stay married to his in-laws. (TOI)



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Liam Neeson opens up about late wife Natasha Richardson's tragic death


he ‘Taken’ actor has opened up about the tragic death of the ‘Wild Child’ star following a freak skiing accident five years ago which left her brain dead, and has confessed that he still expects his wife to come walking in through the door in their New York house, the Mirror reported. During an interview with CBS's Anderson Cooper, the 61-year-old Irish actor said that even when he

arrived at a Canadian hospital to meet his deceased wife after her accident, who was on life support, he professed his love for her before taking the decision. He added that they had a pact to "pull the plug" in case either one of them fell into a vegetative state, but he allowed her to be on life support for a short period so that her family and friends could say a proper goodbye. (TOI)

Porn star reference to future wife irks Charlie Sheen


harlie Sheen is annoyed that everyone keeps referring to his future wife Brett Rossi as a porn

Alec Baldwin feels sorry for Shia LaBeouf


ctor Alec Baldwin "felt sorry" for his former Broadway co-star Shia LaBeouf when he heard that the troubled actor walked a red carpet with a paper bag over his head. LaBeouf, 27, wore a paper bag, which read "I am not famous anymore", at the premier of his film ‘Nymphomaniac’ during the Berlin International Film Festival. Baldwin fell out with LaBeouf while they were working on Broadway

play ‘Orphans’ in 2013 and the latter was subsequently fired from the

show. The 55-year-old still admits that he feels bad about his current troubles, reports In an article published in New York Magazine, Baldwin writes: "Shia LaBeouf went to a film screening recently and he wore a bag over his head and the bag says 'I Am Not Famous Anymore'. And there was truly a part of me that felt sorry for him, oddly enough." (TOI)

Reese Witherspoon embarrassed by her mother


star. A source was quoted as saying to a U.S. news website: "It's absolutely making Charlie crazy that the media keeps referring to Brett as a porn star, because she no longer is doing that. She recently graduated from nursing school. Furthermore, her stage name is Brett Rossi and her legal name is Scottine Ross. He wants people to refer to her as Scotti, which is the name she goes by in her personal life. Charlie has told his publicist to tell media outlets to stop calling her a porn star. It should be recalled that Sheen proposed to Rossi on Valentine's Day, but she is yet to officially separate from her husband Jonathan Ross. (TOI)

eese Witherspoon is embarrassed by her mother's Twitter account. The 37-year-old actress joined the social networking site last year and has admitted that her mother's presence on social media and her strange questions embarrass her. She said: “My mum texts me bizarre questions like, ‘What should I tweet? Should I get new head shots? Should I take acting classes?’” The ‘Mud’ star---who has children Ava, 14, and Deacon, 11, with her exhusband Ryan Phillippe and 17-monthold son Tennessee with her current spouse Jim Toth---claims she finds her mum's questions so bizarre because she's a medical professional and not an

actress. Speaking to ‘Tonight’ host Jimmy Fallon about her mother Betty Reese, she added: “…..And I'm like, 'Mom you're a pediatric nurse.' It's weird.” (TOI)

Carrie Underwood is 'ready' Nicolas Cage set to become to start a family


arrie Underwood has revealed that she thinks she

is ready to start a family with husband Mike Fisher.

The ‘Blown Away’ hitmaker said that she would love to spend the next decade raising kids, the Mirror reported. The country singer said that she neither wants a big family nor a small one and that she wants her 30s to be all about her family. Underwood added that when they have kids, it is going to be wonderful and Fisher is going to be the best dad ever, which will make the whole parent situation much better. (TOI)

‘Titanic's a huge part of my life’- Leonardo DiCaprio


eonardo DiCaprio has revealed that ‘Titanic’ is a huge part of his life. In an interview with CBS, the 39-year-old actor stated that people might think that he has a reaction to that film but the reality is, he is extremely proud of it and the movie really made him in control of his career, Us Magazine reported. DiCaprio starred alongside Kate Winslet in the James Cameron directed film. He also said that, back then, he had not wanted to win an Oscar for his role of Jack Dawson, as he was paralysed with fear that he'd have to go up on the stage to actually get up on the stage be-

cause someone had told him that the show was viewed by a billion people. (TOI)

granddad for first time


icolas Cage is set to become a grandfather for the first time, as his son Weston's wife is pregnant. Danielle Cage told Closer Weekly magazine that she was expecting a child during the Kasem Cares Foundation's First Annual Fundraiser in Beverly Hills on Saturday night. She revealed that it is a boy, and that she is very excited. Weston Cage told the publication that his father is thrilled about the news. (TOI)

‘I am scared of getting older’ - Jane Fonda


ctress Jane Fonda has revealed that she is afraid of getting older and dying. The 76-year-old actress wrote in her blog that in the last few weeks and months she cannot help from bursting into tears at both happy and sad occasions, reported Daily Express. "How come pretty things, kind deeds, sad stories, acts of courage, good news, someone's flax of insight, all get me crying or, at least, tearing up? I find my emotions are way more accessible than they were when I was younger and I've come to feel it has to do with age. "I have become so wonderfully, terribly aware of time, of how little of it I have left; how much of it is behind me, and everything becomes so precious. With age, I am able to appreciate the beauty in small things more than when I was younger perhaps because I pay

attention more. Maybe, without my being conscious of it, there’s the reality that in a few decades (if I'm lucky) I will be in the earth, fertilising some of the very things I look at now and tear up over," she wrote on her blog. (TOI)



week ending March 2, 2014 |

RHTY&SC congratulates Campbell on Sports-woman-of-the-Year award


he Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (RHTY&SC) have offered congratulations to West Indies female cricketer Shemaine Campbell, who was adjudged senior Sportswomanof-the-Year 2013 by a National Sports Commission (NSC) panel of judges. Below is the full text of the club’s statement: “Patron Beverley Harper, President Keith Foster and the management of the RHTY&SC would like to express heartfelt congratulations to our member, Shemaine Campbell, on her achievement of being named Sportswoman-of-theYear 2013 by the NSC.

The entire membership of the RHTY&SC are very proud of Shemaine and this represents another major award to be won by a member of Guyana’s leading youth and sport organisation and founder, the St Francis Community Developer. “Shemaine joined the RHTY&SC at the tender age of 13 and has worked very hard with discipline and dedication to fulfill her childhood dream of representing the West Indies at the highest level. “Along the way, Shemaine became the only Guyanese female to score a century at all levels – inter-club, inter-county and regional levels, and also cre-

Shemaine Campbell

ated history when last

year she became the

only Guyanese and only the second West Indian to score a One Day International (ODI) century. Shemaine also led the Rose Hall Town Metro Team to becoming national champions when the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) hosted the first and only national female cricket tournament in 2009. “Winning awards is nothing new to this outstanding role model cricketer, who in the past has won seven RHTY&SC Female Cricketer-of-the-Year awards and the Berbice Female Cricketer award on four occasions. She has also won the national junior sportswoman (runner-up) award for 2010. It must be

noted that in addition to Shemaine’s two national sports awards, the RHTY&SC’s Assad Fudadin also copped the runner-up Junior Sportsman award in 2000, while Secretary Hilbert Foster became the first and only club official to have ever won the National Sports Personality award, which he received for 2010. “The management and members of the RHTY&SC would like to assure the general public that this award would inspire all of us to work harder to make a positive difference in the lives of youths via sports and to uphold the high tradition we have set in the past.”

Contrasting victories for Agricola, Soesdyke Falcons


gricola Red Triangle made an exciting return to competitive football on the East Bank on Monday when they edged Grove Hi Tech 2-1 in the feature game of a double-header as play in the Stag Beer sponsored East Bank Football Association (EBFA) Division One League

continued at the Grove Playfield. Grove, also fielding a team in the Guyana Football Federation’s Premier League with provision for only their Under-21 players to be exposed at the East Bank level, went into the rubber a confident unit with much more playing hours under their belts

From left: Goalscorers Colin McLean, Ulatto Smith, Kelcey Benson and Roger Dey of Soesdyke Falcons

than the re-emerging Agricola side.

Keen tussle

However, on the field of play it was a different ball game as Agricola came out all guns firing, controlling the opening exchanges. Urged on by their supporters, scattered around the ground and even on nearby verandahs, Grove kept in the game and enjoyed a few good runs of their own. Agricola’s goalkeeper, Yohance Roberts was excellent between the uprights for his team. Grove’s captain, the experienced Domini Garnett was effectively shut out of the game by the Agricola team. The first half ended 0-0 but more pulsating play was reserved for the final half. Five minutes into the half Agricola eased into the lead from an excellent cross by Travis Welch in the 50th minute. The high ball looked like it was destined over the cross bar to the custodian Michael Matthews’ right. But to the surprise of

all, the ball dipped and entered the “V” on the far side; Agricola one, Grove nil. It was truly a surprise for Grove whose defense could not believe but certain delight for Agricola who kept the pressure up on the home team. That advantage was doubled in the 69th minute when Gordon Grant caught the Grove defense napping and the goalie beaten some way off his line. He kept his composure to dribble the lone defender before tapping the ball into the open nets; Agricola 2-0 up. The home team has a reputation for taking victory from the jaws of defeat and did show signs of a comeback but was not able to go all the way since time was not on their side. Joel Dick pulled one back for them to reduce the deficit in the 79th minute. As valiant as Grove’s efforts were to draw level and grab an equal share of the points, it was not to be, the game ending in favour of

Agricola which has now joined Timehri Panthers, Kuru Kururu Warriors and Soesdyke Falcons as the teams winning their opening matches.

Huge margin

Soesdyke Falcons however, registered the biggest margin of victory, a 6-0 thumping of the young but determined Herstelling Football Club. A double each off the boot of Colin McLean and Ulatto Smith guided Soesdyke to a comfortable three points for the win. McLean opened proceedings in the ninth minute and completed his tally in the 25th. Smith was on target in the 23rd and 57th minutes. Also inking their names on the score sheet were Kelcey Benson in the 26th minute and Roger Dey in the 60th minute. The young Herstelling unit got tougher as the game progressed, but were no match for the seasoned Soesdyke side. Another double-header is set for Sunday at the same venue.



week ending March 2, 2014 |

We will continue to strive for “Awo” nettles helmetexcellence, says Mathura trick on Slingerz FC debut


ice-President of the Ontario Softball Cricket League (OSCL) Terry Mathura said they will “continue to strive for excellence” as the start of the 2014 cricket season looms. Some 27 teams are expected to participate again and that is a huge encouragement for them given the fact that they have already set high standards to maintain a great softball league, not only in North America but elsewhere. He made this declaration on Friday during an exclusive interview with this writer and also expressed great optimism that this year will be another successful one for his league. Since the formation of the league in 1996, Mathura has been an active member. He was very excited to serve in the capacity as Vicepresident and also acknowledged the efforts his fellow executives put

Terry Mathura

in to complete another season which has been inspirational for this year’s competitions. “I want to say that we will strive for excellence for the betterment of softball cricket in Canada; I think we [are] very much organised and prepared again to see the games play in a competitive manner, but I know and I am confident my fellow executives will continue to work hard again,” the Guyanese related. It is not a disap-

pointment, but Mathura would have preferred an OSCL team heads off to the forthcoming Florida Softball Cup next month but finance is quite problematic. However, he is very optimistic a team will be participating in Guyana Cup this year. “We would have liked to see our team playing in the Florida Cup, New York tournament in July and of course the Guyana Cup, but sponsorship to offset the expenses is challenging at the moment, but we have put things in place at least for the Guyana trip later this year,” Mathura divulged. Reflecting on past years, Mathura was very satisfied with the progress made by the OSCL with the level of competition. The 25-over has now been cut to 15 overs, while the regular season is the 20-over. Excitement was very high with the introduction of the 10-over in 2013.

West Demerara leg of Jagan Memorial Cycling set for Sunday

Hassan Mohamed

Cheddi Jagan

ith the month of March just a matter of days away, organisers of the Cheddi Jagan three-stage memorial cycling event are busy laying the groundwork for the hosting of the annual activity. National cycling coach and chief organiser, Hassan Mohamed, on Tuesday informed the media that the West Demerara leg will be staged on Sunday, the Berbice leg on March 9 and the Essequibo road race on March 23. Sunday’s highly anticipated race will start in front of the Wales Police Station at 08:00 hours, proceed to Bushy Park, Parika, before returning to Schoonard, covering a distance of 50 miles. This is the sixth year the event would be held on the West Demerara roadways. The veteran, mountain bikers and female cyclists will turn at the Uitvlugt Community Centre on the upward journey and finish at

Schoonard. As usual, the first six finishers in the Open category, and the first three juniors, veterans and mountain bikers will be rewarded. Also, the first rider over the age of 60 to cross the line will be given a prize, while eight prime prizes will be at stake. The defending champions of the various categories are Robin Persud (Open), Montel Anthony (junior), Kennard Lovell (veteran), Ozia McUally (mountain bike) and Naomi Singh (female). Persaud’s winning time was one hour, 56 minutes, 44.24 seconds (01h: 56m: 44.24s). The race is being sponsored by Jiffi Auto Sales and Spares and representatives of the company, as well as executives of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) are expected to witness the race and assist in the presentation ceremony.



ational striker Anthony “Awo” Abrams netted a helmet-trick (four goals), while Clive DeNobrega and Devon Millington scored a goal apiece to help guide tournament host and defending champions Slingerz Football Club (FC) to a 6-1 victory over Bagotsville, when action in the second annual Stag Beer/West Mashramani Champions Cup continued at the Uitvlugt Community Centre ground. In the second clash of the night’s planned double-header Monday last, Uitvlugt walked away 3-0 winners over their rival nighbouring village, Stewartville. The win for the two teams means that they will clash with each other in Saturday’s semi-finals at the same venue. Abrams was signed to Slingerz FC from Alpha “The Hammer” United during the last transfer window, along with six other players to form a new look roster for the West Demerara Football Association (WDFA) number one club. Forming an alliance with Millington up front, it was obvious head coach Charles “Lilly” Pollard wanted to see how the two will mesh and his experiment paid off in the ninth minute when Abrams and his new found partner teamed up to score the game’s opening goal.

The sign says it all! Anthony “Awo” Abrams is all smiles after scoring four goals on debut for his new club Slingerz FC, who defeated Bagotsville 6-1

After receiving the assist from Abrams, Millington returned the favour eight minutes later as “Awo” scored his first goal since signing to the ‘West Side’ club to put the score 2-0. The score line doesn’t tell a true story of how hard Bagotsville fought off relentless attacks from Slingerz FC and they were able to counter in the 23rd minute and scored a beautiful goal from Delon Layne. Slingerz FC’s field setting fit that of a team which came out to press their opponents from the first whistle and with the Collin Nelson-led defence all sitting well into the Bagotsville half, Layne ran on to a perfectly placed pass and caught goal keeper Jason Cromwell off guard as the two sides ended the

first half 2-1. Something must have been said by Pollard to his troops during the half time break. Slingerz came out looking hungrier than in the first half and the combination of Millington and Abrams on top placed the Bagotsville team under extreme pressure. Abrams was able to score his second goal from the charity spot in the 52nd minute after Millington was brought down in the penalty area. His other two goals (62nd and 70th) both came from Millington assists. Meanwhile, the second game of the night lived up to all expectations, though it was Uitvlugt which booked a place in the semi-finals. An own goal in the fourth minute and a double from Charles Stoby in the eighth and 50th minutes ended a dominant performance from Uitvlugt as they now face the biggest challenge against the defending champions. The Slingerz FC/ Uitvlugt game will be the second game on Saturday with Den Amstel and Pouderoyen playing in the opening fixture from 18:30 hours. Apart from Stag Beer, Double Day Rentals, Nicola’s Bar, R&K Gas station, First Choice Waters and Two Brothers Service Station are the other sponsors on board so far.



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Simpson to know fate April 8 S

herone Simpson will have to wait until April 8 to know her fate after final submissions were presented to the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel Tuesday at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Lennox Gayle, chairman of the threemember tribunal, said based on the substantive documents put forward, they will need adequate time to peruse the submissions before making a verdict. "We have heard earlier from Mr Gordon for the respondent Miss Simpson, and we heard at length from Mr Robinson. Now it is for the panel to consider this vast evidence and information that have been presented to us over the past two months and to make

our decision," said the chairman, who is also an attorney. "Clearly, we are going to need some amount of time. We are still not in possession of all the transcripts, and so we will definitely need some time to peruse this information before us," he added. Simpson, 29, who failed a drug test last May for Oxilofrine, was not present at the hearing, and her attorney Kwame Gordon pleaded for leniency of six months or less based on mitigating circumstances. However, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) attorney Lackston Robinson suggested the maximum two-year sanction based on gross negligence on her part. The scheduled 10:00

Sherone Simpson. (Jamaica Observer photo)

am proceedings got going almost half an hour

late because of a fire drill at the Conference

Vincentian Rodrigo Thomas wants to play for Canada

Centre. Gordon then fired the first salvo. Gordon, with his assistant Danielle Chai at his side, noted that there was no dispute as his client had admitted to the doping violation, and accepted the provisional suspension from very early. "So we are aware of the fact that the only issue that is before this tribunal is what sanctions [are] to be applied," said Gordon. He made it clear that Simpson has been very transparent and cooperative, and hence they are asking for leniency. "We are submitting that the period of ineligibility, if any, should commence from when the athlete did the initial test. It's only fair, the athlete has not been performing. For

eight months she has not been employed. So in a way she has already received her punishment, and I ask you, Mr Chairman, and your panel, take that in mind," pleaded Gordon. "We are here to discipline an athlete, we are not here to end an athlete's career. This is a disciplinary hearing," said Gordon. "There is a lesson I learn from my senior counsel. He showed me a pencil when I had made an error as a young attorney, and he said what you noticed about the pencil. I had no idea what he meant. He said there was a rubber on top. It was by design because humans are bound to make errors. Turn around the pencil, erase your error and move on,” he added. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)

WIPA-WICB awards to be staged in Jamaica

By Ravendra Madholall


pener Rodrigo Thomas strongly believes in the fundamentals of batting and he has applied it at every appearance at the crease, already he has scored a double-century in Canada, while playing for Classic Cricket Club (CCC). Last year, the dashing left-hander fashioned an unbeaten 210 in the Etobicoke and District League 50-over tournament, and now he is anxious to play internationally for his adopted country. Since playing at the domestic level for Victors Cricket Club in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Thomas developed a great work ethic to train very hard because he is still philosophical that hard work and commitment will eventually pay off. He has done exceptionally well since moving permanently to North America in 2011 with two impressive centuries and five 50s added to his name. Now, he is hoping to play for Canada soon. “I want to play for Canada on the international scene; I love playing in Canada because the cricket here is of high standard and that is something that gives me the confidence of playing at the high-


WIPA president Wavell Hinds. (Nation News file photo)

est level; I scored lots of runs in the Etobicoke League and that also is a huge part for me,” Thomas said. He was chosen as the Most Valuable Player last year after he had accumulated over 800 runs with a healthy average of 67.88. He also picked up 21 wickets from 16 games with his gentle medium pace. He attributed his success to full concentration and continuous exercise. “I think once you want to perform you have to train hard and dedicate yourself to the game; I want to play for Canada and only consistent performances can take you up there; as I mentioned that the standard of cricket is excellent here having seen players coming from different parts of world to ply their trade, so I am

Rodrigo Thomas

indeed anxious to be in the national team soon,” the 23-year-old batsman indicated. Reflecting on his under-19 days when he represented his native country, Thomas recalled some magnificent innings with the bat in the Windward Islands domestic season. He also played in Dominica and Grenada and was described as one of the most outstanding batsmen. He is very thankful to his mother Rosemary Thomas, who was also an active member of a cricket team in the women’s local competition. Rodrigo highlighted that his mom spotted his talent and without hesitation encouraged him to take up the game seriously. He immediately responded by joining a club,

owned by former West Indies cricketer Michael Findlay. “My mom was very instrumental in the early part of my career especially in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; she was the one who told me to play the game hard and always take me to the grounds when she was playing, and I started to love the game more…so I am definitely thankful to her,” the right-arm bowler Thomas related. Thomas encouraged that other youths take inspiration and learn the game by watching international cricket. Some of the famous batsmen he admires are Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, Indian Gautam Gambhir, Englishman Kevin Pietersen and West Indian Chris Gayle.

he joint West Indies Players Association (WIPA)-West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) awards will take place in Jamaica this June, according to WIPA president Wavell Hinds. In a recent interview, Hinds, the former Jamaica and West Indies batsman, disclosed, “our annual awards will be in June this year. It will be (for) the First Test match against New Zealand in Jamaica.” Hinds continued, “we look forward to that, to celebrate our players and show our appreciation for their efforts on the field. Of course we’re not the number one team in the world, but we can’t get there without the players. So we have to show respect and make them understand that when they make the sacrifices to go far and about to represent our region, that we really appreciate it.” He added, “so we’re really looking forward to that awards ceremo-

ny and we look forward to celebrating our players. And it’s a joint venture between the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players Association.” Hinds also spoke about the recentlystaged NAGICO Super50 Cricket Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago. “I think it’s quite refreshing that we have managed to secure sponsorship for one of our regional tournaments,” said the 37-year-old, who also serves as the chairman of the Jamaican selection panel. “I think this should continue throughout all versions of the game. “Secondly, we want to welcome NAGICO and tell them thanks for this start. And most important is to make sure that the players understand their responsibilities and execute as they did in this tournament. There is always room for improvement,” he added. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Foska Oats recommits Former West Indies to Jamaica Tallawahs stars to be knighted


Jamaica Tallawahs, champions of the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in 2013

oska Oats has returned as sponsor of the Jamaica Tallawahs, champions of the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in 2013. Chairman of Caribbean Foods, the company that manufactures Foska Oats in Jamaica, John Ramson, said his company is "honoured" to be back on board. "The Caribbean Premier League was a resounding success. In usual fashion, Jamaicans supported their team wholeheartedly (and) Foska Oats was honoured to play such an integral role in

the process," he said. Foska Oats has a rich heritage of supporting the development of sport in Jamaica. The involvement ranges from grassroots sponsorship of community football events to local boxing bouts. The synergy between Foska Oats and sport is natural due to its health benefits. The carbohydrate content available in Foska Oats fuels athletes' high energy needs. Foska Oats is also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals and helps lower cholesterol. Senior brand manager, Tamii Brown said:

"We anticipate a second victory for Jamaica. The Foska Oats team is gearing up for another eventful season of fuelling our Jamaica Tallawahs," said Brown. In this regard, Foska Oats formalised their sponsorship agreement as principal sponsor with a brunch that was attended by CPL executive James Wynne, captain Chris Gayle and Foska Oats Brand Ambassador Andre Russell. The brunch was hosted at Chris Gayle's Triple Century Sports Bar in New Kingston on Monday. (Jamaica Observer)


Andy Roberts

hree West Indies cricket legends are to be knighted during the first One Day International (ODI) between England and the West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds on Friday, according to media reports from St John’s. Former fast bowlers Andy Roberts and Curtly Ambrose, and former Windies captain and batsman Richie Richardson will be knighted, the Antigua Observer reported Monday. Organisers planning the event have been tight-lipped, but the Observer quoted sources as saying that the Antigua and Barbuda cricket greats will be knighted during the lunch break by governor general Dame Louise Lake-Tack. Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Leader of the Opposition Antigua

Curtly Ambrose

Labour Party (ALP) Gaston Browne will also be in attendance. Roberts, the first Antiguan and Barbudan to represent the West Indies, made his debut against England in March of 1974. The bowler was part of the “quartet” of West Indian fast bowlers from the mid-seventies to the early eighties who had a devastating effect on opposition batsmen at both Test and One Day International levels. The other three bowlers were Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Colin Croft. Former West Indies captain and middle order batsman, Sir Viv Richards, arguably the finest batsman of his generation was knighted by the Antiguan government in 1999. (CMC)


week ending March 2, 2014 |



week ending March 2, 2014 |

Everest Cricket Club congratulates Khan

Assuria Invitational tennis tourney starts Friday

Amir Khan


he Everest Cricket Club has extended congratulations to leg-spinner Amir Khan, who was drafted in to the Guyana team for the Regional Four-day competition starting Friday. Khan replaced skipper Leon Johnson, who was forced out of the first round with an injury. The Guyanese will take on Jamaica in the opening round. Below is the full text of a message issued by the club on Wednesday. “The Everest Cricket Club congratulates Amir Khan for his call up to the Guyana Regional Four-day side as replacement for the injured Leon Johnson. Amir Khan, who plays for Everest first division team has grown and matured from the junior level, having

represented Demerara Under-15, Guyana Under-15, West Indies Under-15, Demerara Under-19, Guyana Under-19, West Indies Under-19, West Indies Under-19 World Cup, Guyana (2010/2011), Guyana Cricket Board’s President’s X1 (2011) and now Guyana Regional Four-day. “Amir won the cricketer-of-the-year at the Everest 2012 year-end awards ceremony; he is also among the selectees for the 2013 awards to he held on Friday. “The club is celebrating its 100th anniversary and has a rich history of producing great cricketers over the years and hopes that he continues in this same tradition and make us proud.”

Anthony Downes


he Guyana Tennis Association (GTA) will serve off its 2014 season with the second annual Assuria Insurance Invitational Classic. The competition, which was created in 2013, is the brainchild of the Surinamese Insurance Company under the management of Dick Wesenhagen, who, being an avid tennis player, made a commitment to sponsor the tournament on an annual basis. It will feature the top four players in each

Carol Humphrey of the main singles categories- Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles and Men’s Over-35 Singles. The format of the tournament for each category is round-robin. The tournament will be played at the Le Ressouvenir Tennis Club over three weekends- Thursdays to Sundays. It will serve off on Friday and end on March 16. In Ladies Open Singles, the top players are Carol Humphrey, Nicola Ramdyhan, Afruica Gentle and Jamaali Homer. In

Mens Open Singles, Anthony Downes, Leyland Leacock, Gavin Lewis and Daniel Lopes will battle for top honour. The Men’s Over-35 will be four-way battle among Godfrey Lowden, Carlos Adams, Harry Panday and Rudy Grant. According to a release from the GTA, Assuria Insurance, under the guidance of new General Manager Clyde Muntslag, has committed to ensuring that the annual tournament is again successful and that it brings out the

best in the players. “The tennis fraternity continues to be grateful for sponsorship of a tournament of such high calibre,” the GTA said. A grand opening ceremony will be held at the Le Ressouvenir Tennis Club at 17:30 hours on Friday February 28. The GTA added, “All players are asked to be present and tennis supporters around the country are asked to come out and support their favourite players and support the development of the sport.”

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

week ending March 2, 2014

Bangladesh win fourth Plate Championship title


angladesh defeated New Zealand by 77 runs to win their fourth Plate Championship title at the ICC U19 Cricket world Cup UAE 2014 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Opener Shadman Islam scored 97 and Litton Das contributed 79 as the two batsmen put on 124 runs for the second wicket to propel Bangladesh to 223 in 47 overs. Off-spinner Mosaddek Hossain then returned figures of 10-423-4 as New Zealand finished at 146 for nine after Brett Randell followed up his two for 22 with 51 not out. Bangladesh had previously won the Plate Championship in South Africa (1998), Bangladesh (2004) and New Zealand (2010). Shadman, who hit 13 fours in a 113-ball innings, finished with an impressive series aggregate of 406 runs. He leads

Watson 2-49) New Zealand 146-9, 50 overs (Brett Randell 51 not out, Shawn Hicks 23; Mosaddek Hossain 4-23, Nihaduzzaman 2-31)

5th/6th position play-off –

India beat West Indies by 46 runs at Sharjah Cricket Stadium India 340-8, 50 overs (Ankush Bains 74, Sanju Samson 67, Shreyas Iyer 66, Deepak Hooda 42, Vijay Zol 30; Gudakesh Motie 3-52, Preston McSween 2-74) West Indies 294-8, 50 overs (Tagenarine Chanderpaul 112, Nicolas Pooran 54, Tristan Coleman 45; Chama Milind 2-50)

Bangladesh won their fourth Plate Championship title by defeating New Zealand by 77 runs. Imam-ul-Haq of Pakistan by 36 runs, with South Africa captain Aiden Markram occupying third place with 304 runs. Both Imam and Markram will

feature in Saturday’s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2014 final which will be broadcast live by Star Sports. In the fifth/sixth posi-

CPL looks to Canada


he opening round of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament will be heading to Toronto, Canada, if the organisers have their way. According to a report in the TT Guardian, the organisers of the tournament Verus International are keen on staging the opening ceremony, as well as the first round of matches in Toronto. The newspaper reported that a source said the organisers are anxious to get cricket into the North American market so they are taking their product to that country in order to get the people excited. “At the end of the day this is big business, and after the successful opening last year, the organisers want to tap into the North American market. If they can get the clubs and cricket officials in Canada, excited about their product, then we may see a franchise coming out of Canada and playing in this league,” the source was quoted as saying. “This is a good move because it shows that the organisers are thinking about growing the league and not just sitting on their laurels after a successful first year.” It is understood that they were initially looking at Miami, but switched to Canada because of the early interest they are getting from that country. If they go through with this, the opening ceremony and three matches will be played in Canada. All the six franchises, Red Steel, Amazon Warriors, Hawksbills, Zouks, Tallawahs and Tridents will make the trip across and will each play one game. They return to the Caribbean for the rest of the tournament. This year’s tournament will be played from July 5 to August 8. The organisers are hoping the franchises will be able to attract top name cricketers. Currently the franchises are meeting with commercial manager of the CPL, Jamie Stewart who is making the rounds of the Caribbean. Last Friday, he was in TT meeting with the stakeholders and currently he is in Guyana, where he will meet with sponsors and officials of the Guyana Amazon Warriors—where he is expected to lay out Verus' plans for the new season.

7th/8th position play-off –

tion play-off match, India overcame Tagenarine Chanderpaul’s century to beat the West Indies by 46 runs at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Chanderpaul scored 112 from 136 balls with eight fours and a six as West Indies, chasing India’s mammoth 340 for eight, finished at 294 for eight. Chanderpaul finished the tournament with 293 runs with one century and two half-centuries. Earlier, Ankush Bains (74), Sanju Samson (67) and Shreyas Iyer (66) batted well to help India post the highest team total of the tournament. For the West Indies, Gudakesh Motie picked up three for 52 and Preston McSween bagged two for 74. Afghanistan, playing in their third World Cup, finished at an impressive seventh position after defeating Sri Lanka by five wickets at ICC Academy 2. This was Afghanistan’s second big victory in the tournament after it upset Australia by 36 runs. They had also come very close to beating the West Indies before the team

went down by nine runs. Usman Ghani took three for 21 and Sayed Shirzad bagged three for 33 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 114 in 34.3 overs. In turn, Afghanistan raced to victory in under 22 overs for the loss of five wickets with Ihsanullah scoring 37 not out. Zimbabwe finished 11th in the 16-team tournament when it defeated host the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 84 runs. On Friday, England and Australia will clash in the third/fourth position play-off at the ICC Academy 1. At the ICC Academy 2, Pakistan and South Africa will prepare for Saturday’s final and will hold their prematch media conferences at the ICC Headquarters at 1315 and 1330, respectively.

Scores in brief:

Plate Championship final –

Bangladesh beat New Zealand by 77 runs at Zayed Cricket Stadium Bangladesh 223 all out, 47 overs (Shadman Islam 97, Litton Das 75; Brett Randell 2-22, Dane

Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka by five wickets at ICC Academy 2 Sri Lanka 114 all out, 34.3 overs (Priyamal Perera 30, Usman Ghani 3-21, Sayed Shirzad 3-33) Afghanistan 118-5, 21.2 overs (Ihsanullah 37 not out, Hashmatullah Shaidi 34, Usman Ghani 27; Anuk Fernando 4-50)

11th/12th position play-off –

Zimbabwe beat UAE by 84 runs at Abu Dhabi Oval 1 Zimbabwe 205 all out, 50 overs (Luke Longwe 80, Shoun Handirisi 38, Kieron Geyle 27; Moaaz Qazi 3-35, Waruna Perera 2-28, Sajid Khan 2-33) UAE 121-9, 50 overs (Rohit Singh 30, Kieran Geyle 3-20, Herbert Chikomba 3-21)

Forthcoming matches:

Friday England v Australia (3rd/4th position playoff), ICC Academy 1 Saturday *Pakistan v South Africa (Super League final), Dubai International Cricket Stadium (match starts at 1200) *denotes broadcast matches

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