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Who will be Guyana’s Next Top Model? Page 19

You can also read Guyana Times daily edition online at ISSUE NO. 176

Private Sector urges re-engagement of U.S. democracy project Page 5

An aerial view of a section of Guyana's captial city, Georgetown

week ending January 19, 2014

Police under pressure over sexual torture allegations See stories on pages 3 & 10


week ending January 19, 2014 |

NEWS week ending January 19, 2014



Nothing can compensate for my suffering – sodomy victim


olwyn Harding, 23, who is the latest victim of police brutally, said he will never be comforted by any form of punishment meted out to the police officer who assaulted him. In an interview from his bed at the Georgetown Public Hospital, Harding told Guyana Times International that he is damaged. “I’ve been damaged, half ah me parts of me body gone… even self he (police officer) deh under close arrest, me ain’t see that in no way compensation because I deh in the hospital shackle to a bed. “I don’t get to move, I feeling the pain, I does get it most. I does cry when the day come not nobody else. Nobody else doesn’t feel, the hurt,” he said. Harding noted that his life has come to a standstill and could never return to the way it was before. “I don’t know how he operate like this, he hurt me and now I living in shame…I ga live in shame, not nobody else. “How I gone feel when everybody making laugh off ah me? I ga walk with this for the rest of me life, people gon talk about it. This never happen to nobody else

why it ga happen to me?” the young man asked.

ing the officer at the Providence Magistrate’s Court. He noted that he tried to tell persons about what transpired but no one believed him so he quietly went to prison where his health deteriorated.

In pain

He said that he is experiencing a lot of pain in his back and abdomen. Harding noted that he had to undergo two surgeries and is expected to do a third in three months’ time. The young man explained that the two surgeries so far were done to drain out a poisonous substance from his body and set back his damaged organs. He identified his perpetrator, noting that he does not know the officer but heard someone call him by a name (last name given). Harding stated that he went up to Timehri to stay with a cousin who recently gave birth a few days before the incident, and he never had any problem with anyone in the area. He said he cannot recall how many police officers were there at the time but noted that it was a packed vehicle that went to the house to inquire about a man known as “Ronnie Clarke”.


“They come to carry out a search and I ‘llow them cause I know them is police officers after


Colwyn Harding

them ain’t find nothing and I get to know that is the other man they looking for and them na find he too, they take out spite on me… “I ask he what gon happen to me and me girlfriend cause I know we didn’t do nothing. He turn and tell me he ga do a 72 hours for me to find out about me and I tell he do it cause I know I ain’t wanted or nothing like that,” he stated. The young man said during questioning, the police hit him on his head and he fell unconscious and woke up in the bathroom when the officer threw water on him. Too emotional to continue the sequence of events, he fast tracked to when he was taken to the Timehri Police Station and described the inhu-

mane conditions he was forced to endure. “(He) is a real ignorant officer cause he choke me and carry me down the lock up and throw me in a cell, nothing to lie down on, no card board nothing, bare cold concrete and inside de wet with water and I had to sleep right in there… one night, he come into wuk and beat me and buss up me head, left me unconscious in the lock-up. “That same boy Ronnie Clarke had to turn round and help me in the lock-ups, all them in the lock-up had to help,” he recalled. Harding explained that he, his girlfriend and two other females who were in the house at the time and they were arrested and falsely charged with assault-

He disclosed that he was at the Timehri lockups for five days and in prison for two weeks before he was taken to get proper medical treatment. “I take-in in prison and start get worse… I go in prison actually bruk up, my foot was swollen my hand was swollen… I start vomiting green and them prisoners start say ‘like this man gone dead in hay’ and they call for the officers them and then they take me down to the infirmary and send me the hospital. “I was to come back but they never bring me back and the medics giving me pain tablets every day. Then I take-in again and get admit to the infirmary and they left me there. “A night I get up and try to go to the toilet and I start vomiting and I fall down in the toilet and I start bleed and af-

ter they come and see blood all over the toilet, they decide to take me to the hospital. “When I come to the hospital and the doctor check me, he tell them that I ga do surgery right away,” Harding recounted. The young man said he did not tell his family members about the brutal ordeal he endured at the time because he was somewhat ashamed, but after he was hospitalised, he told his mother.


Harding said that what happened to him does not only affect him but his family as well. “I can’t get to be around me daughter, be around me sister. Me mother does cry, me mother getting fine. My family in stress and I ain’t like what they going through at all, I prefer me eye shut than letting them go through all this and stressing. “Everyday me mother ga stress fah me; I does feel proud me mother running up and down the hospital fah me because is one month now me mother running up and down trying she best with me and it is not nice,” an emotional Harding said.



week ending January 19, 2014 |

INTERNATIONAL To contact: Guyana Times International

New York Office 106-15 Sutphin Blvd, Jamaica NY 11435 Email: Tel no: 718-658-6804 Preferred method of contact via EMAIL Guyana Office Ruimveldt, Georgetown, Guyana. Tel no: (592) 227-0704, 227-0709. Fax (592) 225-8696, 227-0685 Email: Corporate executives and senior management personnel from Laparkan Trading operations across the Caribbean, and South and North America pose for a photograph during their strategic retreat from January 11-12 at the company's headquarters in Miami, Florida


Society must be concerned


he story about a 32-year-old mother, Indranie Oudit, who killed herself, allegedly in reaction to her son who also committed suicide a few weeks ago in Corentyne, Berbice, is perhaps one of the most tragic news events the local media here covered since the year began. Events such as these, remind us that there are many ills in the society which cannot be ignored. Many persons within our midst are facing some severe personal problems and they need help and guidance in dealing with these issues. Oudit committed suicide because she could not have coped with the loss of her 16-year-old son. Relatives say that the young man was involved with a girl for several months. However, their relationship ended abruptly and he subsequently drank poison because he could not handle the break up. The suicide cases referred to above are not the only ones to have occurred since the year began. From reports gathered, several persons have succumbed to suicide while others have recovered from suicide attempts and some are in the process of recovery. Only a few days ago, this newspaper reported that a 19-year-old University of Guyana (UG) student died after drinking poison, and two other teenagers are listed as critical at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, following separate suicide attempts. Is there an explanation for this? And what else could be done to prevent persons from taking their own lives at such a young age? Most of the persons committing suicide do so during their most productive years. It must be noted that Oudit was just 32 years old, while her son was just 16. At that stage in Oudit’s life, she should have been involved in building a career of her own and helping her children achieve their dreams by ensuring they are given a proper education and the right upbringing to face life’s challenges. That said, we are forced to ask the question – could there have been any intervention at the level of the religious community or even the ministry to prevent such a tragedy from happening, especially considering the fact that Oudit’s family has a history of committing suicide? For example, was counselling provided to the mother after she lost her son? All the warning signs were there. Addressing the issue of suicide is no easy task. It would require diligent and continuous work from all stakeholders. The family unit and the religious community must work hand in hand. The family is critical, because that is where every individual receives his/her first level of socialisation. That is where the value systems are first of all established. Similarly, while the role of the male as a father figure in the family is critical, in the absence of such, the second most important institution – the religious organisation – must step in. If the family becomes dysfunctional for some reason, as in the case of Oudit’s, the religious institution should provide a safety net that will seek to ensure that the value systems and the socialisation that are required for the development of boys into men and girls into women are present. The community needs to be fully involved if the behaviours, cultures and attitudes of individuals are to change for the better. Additionally, we cannot overstate the importance of having more in-depth research and analysis done in order to derive a better understanding of the causes – both psychological and sociological – of suicide. It is only when we are equipped with the necessary scientific evidence that we would be able to design more holistic and well thought-out suicide prevention programmes aimed at drastically reversing suicide rates in our country. The case of the Oudit family must serve as a reminder that there is need for serious introspection from all concerned, including state agencies, civil society actors, religious institutions and more importantly, the family unit. Surely, there must be something that could be done to reduce the high number of suicides we are currently seeing in Guyana. All of society must be concerned and work together to win this battle.

Dharmic Sabha to pay special attention to training


he Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha recently celebrated 40 years of existence and as the month-long celebrations continue; the organisation said special focus will be placed on training to preserve Hinduism and its art forms. Embarking on another year of dedicated service to the country, the Sabha will continue to expand the Dharmic family through its praants in Essequibo; Upper, Central, East and West Berbice; East and West Coast Demerara; and East Bank Demerara. Its goal is to maintain and strengthen relationships with all Hindu organisations and other religious bodies as it seeks to be helpful to all. The Sabha is committed to serving with distinction and is pleased to announce that this year it will offer free classes at its Kendra headquarters, Prashad Nagar, commencing this month. The classes include lessons in harmonium, tabla and dholak. These sessions will be conducted by teachers from India certified by an Indian Music Academy. The Sabha will also launch a comprehensive pandits’ programme in Hindi, conduct teachings on the Ramayan, Bhagavad Gita, counselling, public speaking, mantras and pujas, which will be taught by local and overseas instructors. In addition, there will be males and females classical and folk dance classes. Classes in Hindi will be taught by Sahadeo Heyland while Sanskrit and Gita classes will be imparted by another teacher.

Children’s Ramlila

The Sabha will also be launching the Children’s Ramlila dramatic presentations in April. The organisation also recognise the need to continue to build on the rich legacy bequeathed by Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud, the founder of the Sabha, and to maintain the Hindu value system, cultural norms, festivals and art forms,

so that it can be passed on to generations to come. Some of the outstanding works of the Sabha over the past 40 years include the Phagwah Mela and Bazaar, Chowtaal Samelaan, Holi Utsav, Deepavali Motorcade, Naya Zamana, Kala Utsav (Festival of Art) and Indian Arrival Day celebrations. In addition to the thousands trained since the Dharmic Kendra opened its

standing students across the country. The Sabha’s newest programme, “Voices against Child Abuse” which started in 2009, has today resulted in the construction of “Bal Nivas”, a home for children who are victims of abuse, in Ankerville, Berbice.

Training facility

It will also serve as a counselling and skills training facility in the drive to empower women and work with youth.

The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha celebrates 40 years of service to Guyanese, particularly the Hindu community

doors in 1991 as the first recognised Hindu Academy in the Caribbean by the Indian government, the Sabha has spared no efforts to offer training opportunities around the country to affiliated mandirs, and Kendras in Berbice and Essequibo.

Strong advocate

The Sabha has actively advocated against alcohol abuse, domestic violence and suicide and supports efforts in bringing awareness in the field of HIV/AIDS. Youths have played an integral role and have been trained as peer educators in all of these areas, and recently as educators in a new parenting programme. The Dharmic Naujawaan (the Sabha’s youth arm) has over the years been immersed in countrywide charity drives and blood donations and other youth programmes. Mahila Mandalee, the women’s arm has been engaged in a literacy campaign and annually presents bursaries to out-

The shelter has been primarily financed from concerts featuring legendary singers Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan. Construction of the shelter commenced in February 2013 and is ongoing. In celebrating 40 years of existence and the 176th anniversary of Indian Arrival in Guyana, the Sabha will be bringing back, by popular demand, the immensely talented Sonu Nigam and troupe to perform at the National Stadium on May 4. The organisation was launched on January 8, 1974 at the Shri Krishna Mandir, Campbelville, Geogetown when the Hindu community was in need of leadership. Founder, Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud’s visionary style and direction and the unswerving support of men and women throughout the length and breadth of Guyana contributed magnificently to the impressive track record of the Sabha.

news week ending January 19, 2014



Private Sector urges re-engagement of U.S. democracy project


ressure continues to mount for the government of Guyana and the U.S. embassy to return to the negotiating table to determine the way forward on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Leadership And Democracy Programme (LEAD). Despite being rejected by the Guyana government, the LEAD project is being implemented by the U.S. embassy, creating tension in the country. On Wednesday, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) called for Guyana and the U.S. to resume productive dialogue on the leadership programme, with the primary objective of arriving at a consensus on moving the project forward. Guyana had said that it will not negotiate under duress, making clear that it will not enter into negotiations with the U.S. if the project is being implemented. According to the GCCI, halting the project until the problem is resolved is not an unreasonable request, and

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) is also calling on the government and U.S. embassy to return to the negotiating table. However, PSC Chairman Ronald Webster declined divulging further details on the commission’s position, saying that it will be issuing a statement on Friday.

Govt position

Presidential Adviser on Governance, Gail Teixeira

should be considered by the U.S. embassy. However, the GCCI said it “fully supports and endorses the objectives of the LEAD project. The chamber believes that its implementation will strengthen political institutions and enhance citizens’ understanding of how individuals can engage in the larger civic and political discourse in their communities and throughout the country”. It was pointed out that the LEAD initiatives strives to strengthen the operations of the National Assembly by equipping parliamentarians with the requisite tools for the delivery of

M e a n w h i l e , Presidential Adviser

under duress. Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon had said the government was taking the necessary steps to formally provide the U.S. government with Guyana’s final position on the LEAD project; however, it remains unclear whether that response has been issued as government officials remain tight lipped. Guyana had received a

effective representation and policy formulation.

Most timely

“This is a most timely and welcomed project, considering the current parliamentary makeup and circumstances. In summary, the chamber sees the LEAD project as instrumental in meeting the need to foster an environment where compromise and cooperation in the country’s interests comprise the cornerstone of good policymaking.” Additionally, it underscored the importance of strong political and governance institutions in guaranteeing a stable political environment that leads to social and economic prosperity.

PSC Chairman Ronald Webster

on Governance, Gail Teixeira said “government’s position remains the same”, pointing out that the country will not engage the U.S. embassy

response from the U.S. following a list of inquiries. But Dr Luncheon said that the concerns raised by the government mere-

ly invited the authorities here to engage bilateral partners in the U.S. in discussion on the project and its design. Meanwhile, the opposition has thrown in its support for the project. APNU has expressed disappointment at the government’s move to reject the project. The multimillion-dollar project was designed to advance development in health, economic growth and democracy and governance. In addition to strengthening Guyana’s electoral process, the project would support the legislature in maximising the effectiveness of its existing website and other technology in the National Assembly. This may include live broadcasts of proceedings to better inform citizens, bringing the National Assembly closer to the public and encouraging greater public involvement. The project was also expected to build capacity within the political parties, support the holding of local government elections and women and youth political leadership.



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Health Ministry partners to send 11 children overseas for heart surgery


he Health Ministry will be sending 11 children with life-threatening cardiac problems to Dominica for surgery, as a result of a collaborative effort with the Calgary University and international nongovernmental organisation Baby Heart, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported. This decision was made after a team from Calgary University visited and conducted screening for cardiac related illnesses. The children were chosen from among many diagnosed during

this process, owing to the seriousness of their cases. Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, during a meeting with the children and their families, highlighted that the ministry, along with its two partners, will be financing the surgeries. He added that the ministry will aid the parents in obtaining their passports, but they will have to undergo the process of acquiring visas. He also acknowledged that representatives of the three organisations will be conducting postsurgery checks upon

Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran meets with children who will be undergoing surgery and their parents

the children’s return. Surgeries are expected

to begin on January 20. Meanwhile, the min-

ister highlighted that under a collaborative

programme between the ministry and the Calgary University within one year, eight physicians were trained. These doctors are now able to identify the cardiac conditions of local patients. Also working along with Dr Kishan Narine of Calgary University is Professor Debra Isaacs, both of whom have aided with cardiac issues in a great way, the minister said. Minister Ramsaran highlighted that they are also offering assistance in other areas such as the setting up of a chronic disease centre.

Too early to say what caused plane crash at Ogle – Mohammed


uyana Civil A v i a t i o n A u t h o r i t y (GCAA) Director Zulficar Mohammed on Sunday confirmed that the Cessna 206 aircraft that crashed during takeoff at the Ogle International Airport (OIA) on Saturday has been removed from the site and is being stored at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) hangar.

The aircraft that was flipped by heavy winds at the Ogle International Airport

He said the aircraft was examined by GCAA officials on Saturday, but it is too early to disclose what might have been the reason for the crash. The plane, he noted, will again be inspected and once all the questions would have been answered, a report will be made known to the public. As of now, with

206 registered to Fenix Airlines was given clearance by the OAI control tower to take off, but failed in its bid. This publication was also told that investigators are exploring the possibility that the aircraft might have been overladen when it took off. According to the airline’s Administration and Finance Manager Eddie Soolal, the pilot Raul Seecharran and passenger Zorena Alli were discharged from the Dr Balwant Singh Hospital, and pregnant Shenika Munroe remains a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital. Soolal added that the company is making sure that the patient received the best medical attention, pointing out that her health has not dete-

He also confirmed that the aircraft was fully insured by an insurance company in England and is also covered by Caricom Insurance Company in Guyana. Soolal said once the local insurance company investigates and sends its findings to the overseas company, it will in turn refund the airline. The finance manager also told GTI that he did not speak with the pilot to get a firsthand insight as to what might have gone wrong. “He was hospitalised so we didn’t want to push the issue… we know that he is traumatised.” The accident occurred about 09:30h while the aircraft, with registration number 8-RMML, was taking off

The Boeing 737-800 Caribbean Airlines plane that split in two after it crashed onto the Cheddi Jagan International Airport runway in July 2011

the little information at their disposal, no pronouncement will be made as to who have erred.


Mohammed said his team of investigators will meet with the pilot of the aircraft as they have not had the opportunity to speak with him. Guyana Times International understands that the Cessna



The official added that the company has not decided on compensation just yet, reiterating that the passengers involved did not receive serious injuries. However, he noted that with the aircraft now down, the company’s services to the interior will be affected.

from the western end of the runway. Soon after takeoff, the vehicle landed obliquely opposite the control tower, veered off the runway, flipped and ended up on its back. This is the first plane crash for 2014, but the GCAA has been conducting investigations into a number of mishaps during 2013.



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Suicide claims 82 lives on Essequibo Coast in 2013 S

uicide can no longer be considered a once in a while problem on the Essequibo Coast as Essequibians are increasingly taking their own lives. Records from the Suddie Hospital indicate that some 82 persons took their lives in 2013. Importantly, the recent trend has gained the attention of public officials, residents and the parents of the victims. People Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), Region Two Councillor Shanta Springer, who heads the Record Medical

Statistic Department at the Suddie Hospital, said she is appalled by the number of suicide cases on the Essequibo Coast. Springer said most of the victims consumed poisonous substances but others also drank kerosene and overdosed themselves on tablets. Based on media reports, the majority of the victims appear to be East Indians, with domestic violence being the main reason. Persons with chronic diseases were also among the victims.





all in need, and is urging affected persons to make full use of the facility. The regional councillor is also urging victims of domestic violence to seek help and report the matter to the police, and not to drop their cases against their abusers when it reaches the court.


PPP/C Region Two Councillor Shanta Springer

also an active Women Progressive Organisation (WPO) member, said the problem can be halted through effective counselling, and this service

is available at the House of Justice at Maria’s Lodge, Essequibo Coast. She said volunteers are readily available to offer free counselling to

The records indicate that the victims range from age 13 to 50 and involve both males and females, but the majority are females. Thus far in the year, there has been one suicide

attempt on the Essequibo Coast. Rico Persaud, 17, tried to kill himself after he was shunned by a girl he likes. On Sunday, Leo Rodriquez, 28, who killed his 16-year-old girlfriend, travelled up to the Essequibo Coast to take his own life. He was found dead at his mother’s residence, hanging from a tree in the backyard, after killing his teen lover and dumping her body in a trench at Kuru Kururu, along the Linden/ Soesdyke Highway, not far from her home.

Backer returns from overseas treatment on Friday


eputy Speaker and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament Debra Backer who was flown to the United States for medical treatment will return to Guyana on Friday. Details of her illness remain unknown at this time. Opposition Leader David Granger told Guyana Times International that Backer, who will miss the 67th sitting of the National Assembly of

the 10th Parliament of Guyana, has left the U.S. and is expected to stop over in Trinidad and Tobago before arriving in Guyana on Friday. Today, Backer was expected to move a motion for the second reading of The Married Persons (Property) Amendment Bill 2013”; however, it will be deferred given her absence. Collectively, APNU and the Alliance For Change (AFC) have more than four items on the order paper for today’s (Thursday) proceedings,

Deputy Speaker and APNU Member of Parliament Debra Backer

but Granger said the opposition will deal with matters as they arise in the House. He stressed that the opposition will pursue the order paper as it is printed by the National

Assembly, and “we will see what will happen on the floor”. In addition to the second reading of the Married Persons (Property) Amendment Bill 2013, under the private members’ business, AFC Member of Parliament Trevor Williams is expected to move a motion for the “Reintroduction of the Berbice River Ferry Service from New Amsterdam to Kwakwani,” in addition to the “Restoration of the Annual Subvention/

Grant to the Critchlow Labour College”. APNU’s Joseph Harmon is also slated to move a motion for the National Assembly in accordance with Standing Order Number 52 (1), grant leave for the introduction and first reading of the Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill 2013 and another motion regarding the reduction of tolls at the Berbice River Bridge. Meanwhile under government’s business, the Local Authorities (Elections) Amendment

Bill 2013, the Wildlife Import and Export Bill 2013, the Evidence (Amendment) Bill 2013, the Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2013, Summary Jurisdiction (Procedure) Amendment Bill 2013 and the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill 2012 are up for a second reading. Asked whether the government is concerned about a possible deadlock in the National Assembly today, Government’s Chief Whip Gail Teixeira said the business of the government will go on.



week ending January 19, 2014 |

AJ Seymore on National Library’s wall of fame L

ate Guyanese literary icon AJ Seymour was placed on the National Library’s wall of fame on Wednesday as the nation continues its celebration of his 100th birth anniversary. The Guyanese, poet and writer was a significant force in Caribbean literature. Edited volumes of the pioneering magazine he established and edited, Kyk-Over-Al, were presented to the library and his niece Dr Jacqueline de Weever. Speaking at the ceremony were Dr Ian McDonald, who took over the editing of the magazine upon Seymour’s death in 1989, and Professor David Dabydeen, editor of the Caribbean Press.


In his presentation, Dr McDonald, who represented Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, explained that the literary magazine was republished under the Guyana Classic series. “If ever a work deserved the name classic, Kyk-Over-Al does.” According to Dr McDonald, the magazine (named for the

tions for their father’s 100th birth anniversary, although not for lack of desire. The Kyk-Over-Al Classics are available at the National Library for reading and the public is invited to take some time and enjoy them. Additionally, Chief Librarian Emily King is encouraging parents to get involved by taking their children to the National Library and sharing this treasure with them.

AJ Seymour

National Library staff with A J Seymour’s daughter, Joan Seymour (second from left), his niece Dr Jacqueline de Weever, Chief Librarian Emily King, and writer and literary activist Petamber Persaud

early Dutch fort on the Essequibo River) was founded by Seymour in 1945 and edited by him until 1961. Kyk-OverAl published the work of significant Guyanese writers of the period — including Wilson Harris, Edgar Mittelholzer, Martin Carter, and Seymour himself, — as well as many writers from other territories of the Anglophone

Caribbean. Fiction, poetry, critical essays – KykOver-Al published them all, exploring the work of writers and shaping the emergent “West Indian” literature. Dr McDonald noted that within that crucial period when literature was undeveloped in Guyana and the West Indies, the “magazine was absolutely essential in the emergence of

nourishment of literature”. This has earned the magazine undying fame and it has taken on new life in this generation. The Caribbean Press in re-publishing Kyk-Over-Al issues as Guyana Classics volumes has played a tremendous role in keeping alive vibrant Guyanese literary treasures. Dr McDonald noted

Al Creighton have both written on about their appreciation. People in general should know where their heritage is, because sometimes in these parts of the world, we think we don’t have a literary heritage or a musical heritage that is talked about in the north.” Dr Weever stressed that Guyana and other countries do have a her-

January 2, 1914– December 25, 1989 Attended Queen’s College on a government junior scholarship in 1928 Married Elma Editha Bryce, a teacher, on July 31, 1937. They had three daughters and three sons. In 1933, he joined the British Guiana Civil Service, which he left in1962, for a post with the Caribbean Organisation, based in Puerto Rico. He returned to British Guiana in 1965, and worked with the Demerara Bauxite Company (Demba) until 1971. In 1972, he served as literary coordinator for the first

Dr Ian McDonald presenting a volume of the Kyk-Over-Al series to A J Seymour’s niece, Dr Jacqueline de Weever on behalf of Culture Minister, Dr Frank Anthony and Caribbean Press editor, Professor David Dabydeen

that there are more than 40 titles in the Guyana Classics series and in years to come, these will gradually find their way into the intellectual bloodstream of the nation and keep on refreshing and re-energising it, taking their place alongside the original 28 issues of Kyk-Over-Al.

Literary heritage

Dr Jacqueline de Weever also addressed the gathering, telling them that her instinct in speaking on KykOver-Al is coincidental with the thoughts of others. “Ian McDonald and

itage and people worldwide need to keep it alive. She explained that in doing so, young people and generations to come will benefit greatly. Joan Seymour, the daughter of the late poet, expressed her gratitude, noting that she was overwhelmed at the mere fact that after 25 years since the passing of her father, he is still being regarded and remembered as one of the greatest writers Guyana has seen. Seymour lamented the fact that her other siblings could not be part of all the celebra-

Caribbean Festival of Arts (Carifesta), held in Guyana; in 1973, he rejoined the civil service. He retired in 1979. In 1945, Seymour founded Kyk-Over-Al. Over a 16-year period until 1961, he published 28 issues. During this time, he also edited and published several anthologies. Starting in 1976, Seymour also wrote five volumes of autobiography. In 1984, with the help of poet and novelist Ian McDonald, Seymour revived Kyk-Over-Al.

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

week ending January 19, 2014



APNU again missing the point The U.S. embassy must discuss the governance project with Guyana gov’t

Dear Editor, I refuse to pay any attention to anything that leaders of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance For Change (AFC) are saying. They were enraged with the late 2013 crime spree, yet they were the ones who adamantly opposed the firearms amendment bill. This piece of legislation brought forward by the government was all about implementing tougher penalties for gunrunners. It was tabled by Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, but was not supported by the opposition because of a personal vendetta against the minister. It appears as if the opposition parties are continuously trying to find opportunities to lay blame on the ruling

party. This time, they are inciting that the recent accident that killed Chief Librarian Gillian Thompson was due to the lack of attention placed on the state of lawlessness on the roadways. In any country, it would be grossly unfair to say that the leaders of that country are to be held directly accountable for all inconveniences being caused. In fact, Guyana has hosted several road safety campaigns over the years and was at one point criticised for being so strict. There have been campaigns against drunk driving; there has been a significant increase in police presence on the roads and there has been awareness pertaining to the consequences for drivers who continuously breach traffic regulations.

It is always bothersome to understand why people choose to fabricate stories. The car which caused the accident was actually not evading police ranks, however, the driver is currently facing multiple charges and with time, justice will be served. The Guyana Police Force (GPF) stepped up and discredited the numerous claims and accusations that were being made. I commend the force for their good work, but we must keep in mind that it is not easy to grab hold of the many road rebels. It therefore means that instead of criticising, people should be more willing to help out by informing the relevant authorities of those guilty of traffic misconduct. Sincerely, Elton Myers

The Citizens are behind Sooba

Dear Editor, I refer to a recently published letter from the People’s National Congress (PNC)/A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) protesting against the confirmation of the appointment of Town Clerk of Georgetown Carol Sooba. Many citizens who yearn for our city to be run without corruption, without the disorderliness of street vending, without the massive garbage accumulation, and without the flooding causing business to contract, citizens including the old and sick to suffer terribly, house foundations to be weakened and people’s furniture and equipment to be damaged, citizens were utterly disgusted at the PNC/ APNU’s unwarranted protest. This PNC/APNU protest is unacceptable to the citizens of Georgetown: * The committee which interviewed the then acting town clerk for her appointment had little or no academic qualifications and were highly biased and should not have been permitted to perpetrate their injustice. The members of this interviewing committee had publicly and consistently attacked the acting town clerk to secretly take off the books. In no democratic country would such a biased, incompetent and prejudiced appointment committee be allowed to exist. * From its letter, the PNC/APNU seems to be completely ignorant

Carol Sooba

of the bases of personnel appointments. In appointing an officer, the following factors, among others, are taken into account: (a) Paper qualifications (b) Experience (c) Character and integrity (d) Work ethic (e) Length of time an officer has been acting in position (f) Success in performance PNC/APNU must remind itself that paper qualifications are only one of the several factors in assessing applications for employment. The acting town clerk scored almost 100 per cent in all the several criteria or factors, except paper qualifications, and this caused her to lead all others by a wide margin. Indeed, in the public service, if an officer acted in a higher position for six months, he automatically qualifies for the higher salary. And if he acts for one year, he automatically is confirmed in the appointment. Sooba had been acting for nearly two years. * In the less than two years the acting town clerk had been serving,

she carried out a revolution in City Hall. She has been successfully battling the endemic theft and corruption, though threatened with violence. She has succeeded in avoiding the rubbish contractors striking for lack of pay. City Hall workers are paid on time and do not have the constant threat of being laid off. The massive garbage accumulation in the city is being addressed with encouraging results. Revenues are being saved and earned for the first time in 20 years with the promise of financial stability in the face of constant abuse, threats and undermining by the old time Mayor and City Council (M&CC) mafs. * Sooba is within the tradition of the great town clerks Elmo Mayers and E A Adams, and is the fittest and most able town clerk for the last 20 years. Her appointment is well and truly within the laws and Constitution of Guyana and has been most democratically done. The citizens are behind Sooba since we want relief from the manmade sufferings imposed on us by the M&CC. We call upon PNC/APNU to be positive and constructive and, instead of attacking Sooba, to help to bring relief to the city, to call upon the M&CC and the government to clear the city drains and kokers, and to get the garbage build-up under control. Yours sincerely, PI Peters

Dear Editor, I read with sadness the story of the American democracy project, the government of Guyana, the U.S. embassy, and the opposition. My sadness is based on the fact that the United States and Guyana, much over 20 years now, have enjoyed very friendly and respectful relations, growing closer as the years went by. But now this democracy project confusion seems to be negating all these close relations and diplomatic gains won over the last 20 years, without any vital interest of either Guyana or the United States being involved. This is the queerest diplomatic history. This gauche situation could be remedied with quiet diplomacy. And the elements of this quiet diplomacy could be: (a) The government of Guyana must be prepared to speak with the U.S. embassy on the project. (b) The U.S. embassy has to meaningfully dis-

U.S. Ambassador to Guyana D Brent Hardt

cuss with the Guyana government the project document and to make adjustments to those parts of it which could arguably be not in consonance with the Guyana Constitution and its conventions. (c) The U.S. embassy has to use its diplomatic skills to exorcise the widespread perception that it has been manoeuvred into the opposition camp and also, if possible, to restrain opposition personnel from

bragging about the contacts and conversations they have had with the highest embassy officials. (d) The U.S. embassy could have consultations with the opposition, but these must be confabulations with the opposition and being manoeuvred into their camp. (e) The U.S. embassy must emphatically reiterate that it has and has had no intentions of interfering in Guyana’s internal affairs. This could be done immediately since it is standard diplomatic relations. (f) All parties in any way involved should only communicate to the media by way of media releases. This could avoid inadvertent or planned media misunderstandings. If this is done, the project could be saved, the diplomatic skills of no one would be impugned and GuyanaU.S. relations would be back on the rails in unruffled equilibrium. Yours sincerely, J J Forde



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Police under pressure over sexual torture allegations - victim sues police force for Gy$100M


he young man who was reportedly brutally sodomised with a baton by police a few weeks ago and is still in critical condition in the Georgetown Public Hospital is suing the Guyana Police Force for Gy$100 million in compensation. Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell revealed this while commenting on the issue. According to Brumell, he was contacted in December by the mother of the victim and he had immediately handed the matter over to A Division Commander George Vyphuis. However, when Guyana Times International contacted Vyphuis some days ago, he claimed to have no knowledge of the issue. Attempts on Wednesday to contact the commander were futile. The police are currently investigating the matter. In a release, Brumell further indicated that a particular officer’s name has been called several times, but others have

also been implicated. He said he does not think the officer should be interdicted until investigations are complete and if what he is hearing turns out to be true, the entire station should be transferred. Colwyn Harding had said he was brutally sodomised and beaten by a policeman at the Timehri Police Station over a period of three days before finally being taken for medical attention. Harding’s attorney, Nigel Hughes had said that the same officer who had violated his client was instructed to take him to the hospital, but instead he was taken to a rum shop, where the officer had drinks, leaving him locked in the vehicle. He was later taken back to police station and beaten to an unconscious state by the same officer. Hughes added that senior officers on duty were aware of what was transpiring but did nothing.

a witness in Harding’s case. According to reports, the lad was being held at the Timehri Police Station while Harding was there and has vital knowledge about what had transpired during the period that they were incarcerated. In what is being described as another twist to the ongoing saga involving Harding, Guyana Times International has learnt that his girlfriend was sentenced to two years imprisonment after she allegedly stole a TV set to raise cash for Harding’s bail. Alliance for Change (AFC) leader Khemraj Ramjattan said the couple were both arrested on November 15, 2013 and after she was released, the woman allegedly stole the item from her grandmother to post the bail for Harding. She is currently at the New Amsterdam Prison, after she pleaded guilty to the charge.

A 17-year-old has since been retained as

Other AFC members have since come forward

Material witness

Medical supplies

and are helping with donations for Harding. They are urging citizens who have access to medical supplies to come forward and provide the direly needed supplies, including colonoscopy bags. Meanwhile, A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) has since issued a press release denouncing the brutality that was meted out to Harding. It is also calling for an independent inquiry to be launched into the matter. They further demanded that the government institute what they termed “real reform” in the training of police ranks. Both the AFC and the APNU have previously publicly expressed their lack of confidence in Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee’s management of the security sector and much more importantly, the Guyana Police Force. They took this opportunity to reaffirm their position with regard to Minister Rohee.

AIB celebrates two years of service to Guyana


Prime Minister Samuel Hinds with the first group of graduates of the AIB MBA programme

he Australian Institute of Business (AIB) and Nations University (NU) will mark the twoyear anniversary of the delivery of the master’s of business administration (MBA) programme in Guyana. Nations University Director, Dr Brian O’Toole said, “Nations University has been delivering the AIB MBA for two years now and the programme is highly recognised by employers and students of Guyana. A few months ago, NU hosted its first AIB graduation ceremony which was a big suc-

cess.” The AIB Marketing Director Joel Abraham added: “The MBA is the world’s most popular post-graduate degree which is often seen as a passport to a management career. AIB’s 12 month MBA is tailormade for the busy professional and is successfully delivered all over the world. The programme allows professionals to work and study at the same time and apply their knowledge to the workplace immediately. AIB has stringent quality control procedures in place to ensure all

our teaching centres adhere to Australian standards and practices. All exams are set and marked in Australia and the course content is vetted by Australian academics and delivered in Guyana by an Australian-approved panel of lecturers.” The AIB MBA can be completed at NU within 12 to 15 months and is one of the most affordable MBA programmes available in Guyana. In 2013, the programme was ranked 10th internationally and third in Australia by the CEO Magazine (UK). AIB is a 25-year-old

Business School based in Australia, offering business degrees, undertaking research and providing consultancy services globally. AIB is committed to delivering courses which are workapplied, accelerated, accessible, affordable and fully accredited. For more information about the AIB MBA programme, interested persons are invited to attend a free MBA information session conducted by an AIB representative on Friday, January 24 at 18:00h at the Tower Hotel. For further details, call 22 54516 or 22 74623.



By Anu Dev

he new year is well and truly underway. Many of us marked the New Year with resolutions to change some of the things we weren’t quite happy with last year. Unfortunately, (but most likely) most of us haven’t managed to keep all of our resolutions. The mind is willing but the flesh is weak! I know I usually have the habit of being overly ambitious in my goals – planning to complete huge amounts of things in one day that realistically, I probably won’t be able to complete in a week. It’s like stacking the odds against you and setting yourself up to fail. I hereby resolve to ease up in this department! I know most schools have opened and homework’s being hurled at students from all angles. But it’s really not too late to sit down and methodically plan out how you want to use your time for the new semester. Better yet, for university students, the semester hasn’t even begun yet. We still have a couple more days to plan out our semester. If anything, our grades from the first semester that are slowly filtering out (osmosis?) should pretty much be enough motivation to spur us on to want to do better than last semester. For my high school readers, I know from (bitter?) experience, that in fifth form, being on this (wrong) side of January 1st, you’re kind of propelled faster and faster to your first exam date. Somewhere between the mounds of SBAs, past papers, and frantically trying to cover what’s left of the syllabus, time slips away. And before you know it, it’s the morning of your first exam. So take the time now, before you get swept away in the whirlwind of the days up ahead and plan, set goals, get more organised than you were last semester. It’s going to take some time, a lot of thinking, and a lot of self-evaluation to make sure your goals are realistically achievable. But it’ll be worth it, because a couple of months from now, you won’t be in a panic over not covering everything, or not working enough papers because you would have already covered those things according to your plan. Panic is probably one of the most dangerous emotions to have during exams. Your mind can literally go blank and you can find yourself unable to remember things like the names of the 20-something poems you covered for English B. Deep breaths and taking some time to collect your thoughts can prove to be incredibly helpful. It’s not for nothing panicked persons are advised to take a deep breath – it actually works! Oxygen getting to your brain and all that! Don’t let procrastination get the best of you this year. We’re all guilty of procrastination at some time or the other, some of us much more than others. And it’s usually the crushing regret afterwards, when we realise we could’ve done so much better (if only!!!) that brings us to our senses. So don’t end off 2014 with regrets, it’s early enough to make realistic goals. Stick to your goals and don’t give up on those resolutions just yet.

news week ending January 19, 2014



Nandlall raps Ramjattan over BM Soat matter the said order, making same incapable of enforcement.



Attorney General Anil Nandlall

ttorney General Anil Nandlall has expressed disquiet over a letter written by Alliance For Change (AFC) leader Khemraj Ramjattan in respect of the case filed by Bashir Mohamed against the chief works officer and him (Nandlall). The attorney general in a release said he remains mystified as to the reason the letter was written in the first place, noting that it concluded in the Court of Appeal by virtue of a Notice of Withdrawal and Discontinuance filed by Ramjattan, presumably, upon the instructions of his client. He said unfortunately, the letter contained some scandalous remarks and it behooves him to set the record straight. In the letter, Ramjattan contends that his client informed him that “The other side and myself worked out a settlement after days of negotiation.”


“Assuming, that Mr Ramjattan and his client had such a conversation, I believe that Mr Ramjattan’s client’s request for confidentiality would have ethically and legally prevented Mr Ramjattan from disclosing same, publicly. However, that is a matter for Mr Ramjattan and his client,” the attorney general said. He added: “For the record, I am unaware of any ‘settlement’ or that there were any ‘negotiations’ with anyone for and on behalf of the government of Guyana and Mr Ramjattan’s client. “I know Mr Ramjattan’s client, personally, as I was one of his attorneys-at-law when I was in private practice. “Mr Ramjattan’s client called me on, or about the second day of January 2014, and informed me that he is no longer desirous of pursuing the case; that he

will pull down his fence and reconstruct same in accordance with the boundaries, measurements and specifications put forward by the government. “I informed him to so instruct his lawyer as early as is reasonably possible and to request his lawyer to file the requisite legal documents to formally withdraw the proceedings,” Nandlall said. He added that on or about the fourth day of January, 2014, he contacted Ramjattan by phone and informed him of his client’s telephone conversation with him and drew to his attention the fact that he (Nandlall) was not yet in receipt of any Notice of Withdrawal and Discontinuance, which he may have filed.


“He informed me that he is unaware of his client’s intention to withdraw the proceedings. I immediately made contact with Mr Mohamed and informed him of the content of the conversation which I had with Mr Ramjattan. Mr Mohamed promised to make contact with Mr Ramjattan immediately. “Subsequently, Mr Ramjattan informed me that he was instructed by his client to withdraw the proceedings and that he will do so shortly. He eventually did so on the seventh of January, 2014. As far as I am aware, the aforesaid is all that transpired between the government of Guyana and Mr Bashir Mohamed in respect of this matter,” the attorney general said. He noted that he is at a loss in attempting to understand the relevance of the long recitation by Ramjattan of what transpired in court. Unfortunately, he chose to put that in the public domain but even more unfortunately, jaundiced the recitation

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan

with his own prejudices, Nandlall contended. He pointed out at the hearing which took place on December 27, 2013, the following arguments were advanced.


The court had no jurisdiction to make the order which was made and that it was the first duty of any court to satisfy itself that it has jurisdiction in any given cause or matter; the contention of Ramjattan, that a party must first purge his alleged contempt before being heard, is a position which has been departed from in many modern cases and is a rule that has extremely limited application and is not applicable to the case at hand; in any event, contempt proceedings must be properly filed and that there must be a finding of contempt by a court of competent jurisdiction properly moved for that purpose before the rule can be applied in any given case; and that it would be impossible

to establish contempt in this matter in so far as the Order of Court was never personally served on either defendants and no Penal Notice was endorsed on

These, Nandlall said, were contentions that are most elementary and could have been ruled upon immediately. However, the court ordered an affidavit to be filed. “Ramjattan’s assertion that the Ministry of Public Works is attempting to persuade transport holders not to pursue legal proceedings for compensations is speculative in the least and reckless and wrong, at worst. Certain statutory officers located within the Ministry of Public Works are endowed with statutory powers to demolish all

or any buildings, erections, structures and encumbrances that are on road reserves, government reserves or on state lands. “Those officers are advised to exercise those powers, whenever and wherever necessary. Of course, anyone aggrieved is free to approach the court to seek legal redress. Hopefully, they retain counsel of prudence who will advise them whether or not they have a good case, and if so, counsel will utilise the proper legal procedure in approaching the court and will not err as the chief justice ruled that Mr Ramjattan did in the case at hand,” the attorney general concluded.



week ending January 19, 2014 |

President urges Guyanese to take inspiration from the Holy Prophet


resident Donald Ramotar told Muslims on Tuesday that many of the ills that Prophet Muhammad confronted are still plaguing society today. Ramotar delivered addresses to mark the occasion of Youman Nabi at the Queenstown Masjid and the Peters’ Hall Masjid subsequently. “What he was fighting for was to end poverty, to give people dignity. He was fighting for justice and freedom. Today we look around the world, we see some of those same things existing, and therefore, we need to continue to work to eradicate them in our society,” he said. The president urged the gathering at both masjids to take inspiration from the example set by the holy prophet. He cited conflicts such

To swat

The call to prayer

tion where 30 per cent of the national budget goes to the social sector. “In that way, we believe we can distribute the wealth of society to the broadest amount of people we can find. Most of the 30 per cent goes to education, because we see education as the hook that can help people come out of poverty,” he said.

right here that only the rich now can go abroad and get,” he said. The head-of-state explained that government, however, has to create more wealth in order to satisfy all the demands of its people. He said this was one of the reasons government is seeking to invest in a hydropower station in Guyana and

Women proceed into the masjid

as that in Sudan, noting, “what the holy prophet was trying to do was show the oneness of humanity – despite the diversity of our culture and our ethnic backgrounds – but if you look around the place, you will see many of these wars and struggles that are taking place are covered by differences that are created by people.” He added, “In our country, we still have a lot to do, still have to fight to get our people out of poverty and the best way to do that is to try to help them to help themselves… we recognise that we have to do two things that are important; we have to create wealth in our country to satisfy the needs of our people, and we have to be able to distribute that wealth so that everyone benefits,” he said.

The president also pointed out that a significant amount goes towards improving healthcare and providing affordable housing. “Health is important for persons to really enjoy life and all that life has to offer. We must be healthy persons, and that is why we have been working very hard to expand health facilities and want to build a new specialty hospital so that those who cannot afford it can gain many services

urged the worshippers to work hand-in-hand with government in order to achieve this goal of having more wealth.

Message of peace

The Guyanese leader also noted that it is fitting that the prophet’s birthday be celebrated, since he brought forward one of the foremost religions into the world today. The head-of-state was joined by Housing and Water Minister Irfaan Ali at the Youman Nabi celebration at the Queenstown

Masjid, and later by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and government Member of Parliament Manzoor Nadir at the Peters’ Hall Masjid. Prime Minister Hinds, who made remarks, noted that the Prophet Muhammad’s message of peace and brotherhood is a message that is very relevant to Guyana. “We had significant improvement in our country over the last three decades, but I think that even with what we have today, which is not very much compared with other places, if we could be like the holy prophet demonstrated, we can be concerned, sympathetic and compassionate. If we can be respectful of all the creations of God, I think we can make a much better life, a much more enjoyable life for all here in Guyana.” He also challenged the worshippers to improve their situation. “It is a challenge put here by who created us, and the best way that we can show our appreciation for his creation is to improve on our circumstances,” he said. Youman Nabi is the observance of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, who is believed by Muslims to be a messenger and prophet of God. Muhammad is considered by Muslims as the last prophet sent by God for mankind and is the founder of Islam.

Social services

He noted that government has moved thus far in this direction, pointing out that Guyana is the only Caribbean na-

President Donald Ramotar is flanked by Minister Ali and Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) President Fazil Feroze as he enters the Queenstown Masjid

…or not to SWAT The opposition’s opposition to Rohee knows no bounds. That’s the only “reason” we can find for its rejection of the proposal for the Guyana Police Force finally constituting a Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) squad. We know it’s irrational…but then again, the opposition parties haven’t exactly distinguished themselves in the rationality sweepstakes, have they? Even Henry Jeffrey, who’s hoping to join them in their “Big Tent”, has had to hold his head in despair. But maybe “likes” and “dislikes” are inherently irrational and APNU/AFC just don’t like Rohee. We know Desmond Hoyte also saw red whenever Rohee’s name was mentioned. Is it a “class” thing, since Rohee makes no bones about (and actually flaunts) his origins as a Jagan’s protégé from the “streets”. You’d think they’d respect the fella more…based on the heights he’s scaled. But que sera, sera…and we return to the SWAT initiative. Back when Guyana was held hostage by gunmen holed up in Buxton – and policemen were being picked off like sitting ducks – there were loud cries for a SWAT team. Some advised the army should be thrown into the fray and a whole unit was dispatched to Buxton. But they decided to turn their guns into ploughshares and ended up “fraternising” with the criminals. And so we had the British actually working with the police to launch a SWAT unit. At the head of the GPF was Winston Felix, who’d received British training and was their fair-haired boy. And Felix agreed that Guyana needed a SWAT team. Money wasn’t the problem (British funding)…weapons weren’t the problem (British sourcing) …manpower wasn’t the problem (volunteers from the force)…training wasn’t the problem… (British trainers in short pants). But there was no SWAT. What happened? Felix happened, that’s what. While Felix sucked up to the British and “yes sir’d” them to death, he was PNC to the core. Him, Corbin and GDF Commander Collins were all YSM squaddies. And since the whole strategy for the armed assault on the state was a PNC creation (Hoyte: “The PPP only understands force!”) you couldn’t very well have a SWAT team, that (God forbid!) could actually challenge the criminals, could you? So the man who commiserated with his PNC contact Basil Williams about the Agricola Massacre (“Ow Bannuh!) quietly decommissioned the SWAT team. Did we really expect the PNC/APNU to support a new SWAT team, now that they parachuted Felix as their “security” maven in Parliament? Rohee’s the occasion for the war; seizing power by any means necessary is the cause. …for power Ariel Sharon, dubbed “the Butcher of Beirut”, after he had Christian militias massacre over 3000 Palestinians in a refugee camp in Lebanon, while his army locked off any escape routes, died after an eight-year coma. There IS a God. For us in Guyana, Sharon exemplifies the clear and present danger when military men assume civilian leadership of the state. In the 1950s and 1960s, Sharon led a band of “Israeli reprisal teams” that went into the Palestinian villages and randomly killed civilians every time there was an attack on Israel. This experience obviously instilled a very low regard for Palestinian lives and absolutely none for any rules of engagement. Neither in warfare or politics (which to Sharon were ultimately the same, anyway). So you had him facilitating the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, expelling Bedouins from the Negev Desert – not to mention refusing to accept the idea of Palestine. And now some will say he was a “peacemaker”? …a fly It has been said by folks far wiser than your Eyewitness, that you shouldn’t take a hammer to swat a fly on your friend’s head. So while we agree that folks can’t be encroaching on government’s reserves…we’d advise perhaps some gentler persuasion? And equal treatment for all transgressors.



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Jamaica's lobster stock in danger - top marine biologist suggests extension of closed season nine centimeters, which he believes could make a big difference for the future of Jamaica's lobster industry. Approving this increase in the minimum size could protect between 55 and 60 per cent of the spawning stock, compared to the 30-40 per cent it is estimat-


ed that the current size shelters. "The industry will die in a few years if we keep this small present size," Aiken warned. A recently concluded extensive five-anda-half month study of the industrial offshore Pedro Banks lobster fishery done on behalf of

the Fisheries Advisory Board is now in the hands of Kong. Though he was not at liberty to share details, Dr Aiken offered some insight into his findings. "While we've been concentrating on conch, the lobster resource has been languishing, and is taking a bit of a batter-

ing. It's not extinct, but it is not in as good shape as we thought. It needs some help, and we're hoping that Mr Kong, with the meagre resources he has, will be able to help us with the implementation of the size increase as well as extension of the close season." (Jamaica Gleaner)

Renowned marine scientist Dr Karl Aiken.

enowned marine scientist Dr Karl Aiken has advised Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries that he will be pressing for a one-month extension of the threemonth closed season for lobster which runs from April 1 to June 30 each year. "There is a lot of pressure on the lobster resources of the country, especially the stock that we used to have on Pedro Banks which is now much smaller. It's not about to disappear overnight, but it needs some help," he told Jamaican media last week. The notice given by Aiken comes against the background of a recent proposal made by act-

ing chief executive officer in the fisheries ministry, Andre Kong, for an extension of the 21day grace period, which would allow persons selling lobsters more time to dispose of their stock after the season closes. Under the law, no person shall---(a) catch and bring ashore or destroy any berried lobster; (b) catch and bring ashore, or destroy, any spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) or carapace (head) length of less than 7.62 centimetres (three inches).

Better conservation

But Aiken, a senior lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences, UWI Mona wants the minimum carapace length increased to

A fisherman shows off a female lobster with a tar spot, which indicates that it has mated and will soon lay eggs. (Jamaica Observer photos)



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Miner kills teen lover, then hangs self T

he body of a teenager was on Tuesday morning discovered in a trench aback the Kuru Kururu Soesdyke/Linden Highway with several marks of violence. The gruesome discovery of Rovena Cozier, 16, of Lot 717 Obama Street,

Kuru Kururu, Soesdyke/ Linden Highway, was made by her mother and sister about 06:30h, lying face down in the black water. After being pulled from the trench, it was discovered that the teenager sustained a gash to her throat and a cut to

her right wrist. Several pieces of her personal belongings, along with a bloodstained knife suspected to be the murder weapon were found in a track leading to the trench.


The main suspect, Leo Rodrigues has since

committed suicide. He was found hanging in his family’s backyard in Suddie by his mother, police confirmed. Rodrigues is said to be 28 years old and a father of one. He and Cozier were due to tie the knot in August. At the home of the dead teenager, her mother Shiveon Cozier explained that her daughter and Rodrigues left home about 18:00h on Monday evening with the intention of going to a nearby shop. She said after time elapsed, she made contact with her daughter who promised to return shortly, but this never happened. The aggrieved mother went on to say that she started to get an uneasy feeling and as she looked through the door, she saw her neighbour’s son, who informed her that he left the couple at the shop. “He tell me that they offer he a drink but he refused and come home… so I went back inside,” she explained. After time went by, she said that she took a shower and about 21:00h, she went in search of the couple, but there were no signs of them and, thinking that they probably went for a moonlight walk, she went home. About 22:30h, the woman stated that she went to bed but up to that time, they had not returned home. “I wake up like 02:00h and look outside to see if I see their footwear but there was none so I know that they did not come back home up to that time,” she said. According to her, this was the first time that

Now dead teenager Rovena Cozier with murder suspect Leo Rodrigues in happier times

the couple went out for such a long time. The mother said she went back to bed but her husband woke her up about 04:00h to enquire whether the teenager and her boyfriend had returned.


He asked her to make a check in the girl’s room, and when she did, it was empty. “I start to row… I start saying if they know de going out, then they shoulda call and say something… we nah know who to contact since he got family in Diamond, Timehri and Soesdyke… I say when the place get bright, I will go look for them,” he said. As the place got brighter, the woman and one of her daughters went in search of the couple. The woman explained that as they reached a distance, she saw a taxi heading in their direction and thought that it might be them, but instead, the car turned around. “I get a strange feeling so I told meh daughter, ‘let we go in the direction of the trench’…. As we reach closer, meh daughter ask me what they go do at behind there… but I tell she, let we go… When I walk, I see meh slippers, the one she left home with… we went lil more and we see she top… meh she oh God, is what he do with meh daughter… meh daughter went up lil bit more and see a knife with blood and she start scream that something terrible wrang with Rovena,” the mother said.

Floating body

She said she immediately sent for her husband and upon arrival, he recognised his daughter’s body floating in the trench. The teen’s mother said that Rodrigues only came out of the interior a while ago and she was

not aware of any misunderstanding between her daughter and Rodrigues. She recalled them going to Georgetown on Monday and after they returned home in the afternoon, they showered and went to the shop. They were acting normal and if they had a problem, they did not make it noticeable. She could not say if there was any reason the man would want her daughter dead. The mother said they subsequently made contact with the suspect’s personal driver who claimed that as he was dropping him off at Diamond, East Bank Demerara on Monday evening, he was indeed acting in a strange manner.


“The taxi driver tell we that as he was heading to Diamond, he wanted something to drink but after the driver suggested that they stop at the Kozy Nook, he said he didn’t want to go in the light… so it had to be that he had blood on he skin and he didn’t want anyone see him,” she said. The suspect and the now dead teen have been together for the past two years. He reportedly encouraged her to leave school. Guyana Times International understands that the teen’s parents did not agree with the relationship, but the teenager threatened to commit suicide if they objected. The teenager attended the Kuru Kururu Primary School and dropped out while she was in third form at the Supply Primary School. Her body was taken to Lyken’s Funeral Home awaiting a postmortem examination. She leaves to mourn her parents and four siblings.

news week ending January 19, 2014



Some 100 refugees seek TT asylum


round 100 persons are currently seeking asylum in Trinidad and Tobago. This was revealed by the Living Water Community, the organisation which is assisting the refugees in settling away from their respective homes to a new life in the Caribbean. The refugees are mainly from African countries. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who, when they arrive on the shores of Trinidad and Tobago, do not have the proper documentation to stay in the country, but for some reason or the other, are determined to stay. Some may be trying to escape strife and war in their country, some may have been displaced, while others were seeking economic opportunities to improve their way of life. But, when they overstay their welcome, Immigration steps in and most times they are sent to a detention centre, jail, or deported. They must meet certain requirements to gain refugee status, thus citizenship, in TT. Living Water Community assist citizens who were seeking asylum because their lives were in danger. To date there has

Interviews with those seeking asylum in TT are sent to the head office for the Caribbean region for UNHCR.

been more than 1,200, with about 100 at present.


“There are many people who come to this country for economic reasons, that does not come under our mandate. When people come to us they are interviewed for us to do a determination to see if their lives are really in danger and need protection,” said assistant community director of Living Water, Rosemary Scott. She said they did initial interviews, and further interviews were sent up to the Washington office, the head office for the Caribbean region for United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). She said despite the fact that TT had signed the convention to recognise and accept refugees,

there was no legislation in place. This meant that refugees seeking asylum had absolutely no rights in the country, she said. Scott related that they liaised with Immigration allowing them to at least have what was called an “order of supervision,” which entitled them protection while they were in TT and their case was being determined. “Once the case is determined that they are refugees, then by international law they should be protected in this country...again because there is no legislation in place very often we need to find a third country to resettle them,” Scott said.


Scott said refugees were not entitled to work, or have bank accounts, a driver’s licence or any documents. “If the proper legislation was in place then they would be entitled to all rights as any other citizen of this country,” Scott said. Living Water has been helping people seeking refugee asylum for over 20 years, and has helped over 1,000. She said people seeking their assistance were not boat loads of people,

but single families. Scott said ten years ago there was a big resurgence coming out of Africa (Ghana, Nigeria,

Sengal, Ivory Coast), but now there was a big influx coming from Cuba. “It’s not coming in

the hundreds or thousands, they are coming in a family or two,” she said. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)


week ending January 19, 2014




week ending January 19, 2014 |

Guyanese bats for countrymen at Delhi Indian diaspora conference


uyanese Ashook Ramsaran, president of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), made a passionate presentation at a plenary session of the 12th Annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), an Indian diaspora conference held in New Delhi, India from January 7-9. Ramsaran made several suggestions to the organisers of the PBD, which, if implemented, will benefit Guyana and Indo-Guyanese and the Indo-Caribbean diaspora. The concept of the Indian diaspora was partially the brainchild of Guyanese. It was discussed by prominent Indo-Guyanese American leaders, including Ravi Dev, Vishnu Bisram, and Dr Mahin Gosine, among others, at a planning session at City University of New York (CUNY) Doctoral Centre in New York in February 1987.


The discussions were initiated by Professor Brinsley Samaroo to

organise the Fourth Conference of Indians in the diaspora, focusing on Indo-Caribbean people. The concept of an Indian diaspora conclave in India was suggested by Guyanese Dharamdatt Sukhai, Ramesh Kalicharran, and Bisram, with Dr Mukhund Modi and Atal Behari Vajpayee – before he became prime minister – at an Indian restaurant in New York. The needs and benefits of a regular conference among people of Indian origin in India were discussed. After he became prime minister, Vajpayee appointed Ambassador LM Singhvi to head a committee to develop the concept of a diaspora conclave. The committee held several meetings with the diaspora including with Indo-Caribbean people in New York. Out of these meetings, a report was developed that was accepted by the Indian Cabinet to host the PBD that began in 2003. The conference is held from January 7-9 to coincide with the re-

Ela Gandhi and Ashook Ramsaran, two delegates at the New Delhi 12th Annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)

turn of Gandhi to India from South Africa. The PBD is held to bring the global Indian community to interact and discuss matters pertaining to their general and specific interests and concerns that will aid their

home countries as their communities.


In an interview, asked why he attends PBD, Ramsaran, who comes from Whim Village on the Corentyne, noted that, like others, he

comes to the annual PBD because it makes people feel connected. “I am able to meet so many influential people from around the world as well as from the Indian national and state governments. I can out-

line issues confronting the diaspora including those facing Guyanese and other Caribbean people. I can lobby for various forms of assistance on their behalf,” said Ramsaran. “We care about India and the global community. But we want meaningful dialogue on matters of our interest and our concern relating to India to be discussed and resolved as expeditiously as possible.” Ramsaran said GOPIO feels that, based on complaints, there is a need for improved consular services, including visas, passports and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards. Guyanese and most foreigners need a visa to travel to India. However, holders of a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card do not need a visa. He said he is seeking the input of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and Ministry of External Affairs (MOEA) for GOPIO’s global outreach to assist in updating the 2001 NonResident Indian (NRI)/ continued on page 18



week ending January 19, 2014


Tourism Ministry looking to woo more tourists to Guyana this year


he Tourism Ministry is projecting another record-breaking year in terms of tourist arrivals to Destination Guyana, projecting a 15 per cent increase. In 2013, an increase of 11.7 per cent was recorded. The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) will continue to record numbers from all major ports of entry including Moleson Creek, Lethem, and the Ogle and Cheddi Jagan International airports. According to a release, the ministry’s familiarisation trips are expected to attract more visitors. The “Fam” trip is proactive, cost effective and promotes the country, the ministry said.


Guyana is rapidly becoming a popular film and documentary destination. Numerous international broadcasting companies have shown interest in filming in the country. In 2013, the Discovery Channel filmed an entire season of the popular show “Gold Rush” and this

Hotel. They both have the potential to stimulate Guyana’s economy, simultaneously creating a myriad of job opportunities and employment, which in turn will generate revenue.

Opportune time

Acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali

year; there are plans for Alcon Films (producers of Twilight movies) to film part of a movie in Guyana. The ministry, along with the GTA will strengthen collaboration with the private sector to host signature events throughout the year. These include the highly successful Fort Island Dinner, Masharama, Guyana Trade and Tourism Expo in New York and Canada, Leguan Night, and the South Rupununi Safari. Guyana’s tourism sector is expected to be boosted significantly with the expansion of the CJIA and the Marriott

An expanded airport of the scale and magnitude intended is coming at an opportune time where nationals of other countries will be given the opportunity of frequenting Guyana. It is a relevant investment, and will attract major carriers which will ensure that the benefits will be significant to improving commerce in the country. Several major carriers have already expressed their intention to begin plying the Georgetown route and others are expected to increase their flights. The tourism sector’s efforts towards building a viable industry is one that is served by A-class services, and this was advanced in 2013 with the continuing construction of the Marriott, Guyana’s first five-star hotel. Work progressed rapidly, with the multi-

storey edifice’s main building structure, and the east podium being completed, while work has moved apace on the other sections. The hotel is scheduled to be completed in August this year. The GTA will continue to make available the Guyana tourism products information online through various means such as its websites, the social media and other available technologies. The Information Communication Technology (ICT) unit at the GTA will continue to focus on training, regulations, institutional strengthening, community development programmes, niche product development, and the continued development of standards, criteria or best practices for Guyana’s tourism products and services. Guyana has been dubbed “South America’s best kept secret” by the renowned National Geographic Traveller Magazine. The publication listed Guyana as one of the 21 must see places in 2014.

Guyanese bats for countrymen at... from page 17

PIO population census that was developed by the high-level commission headed by the late Ambassador Dr Singhvi. Ramsaran raised several issues at the conference at his plenary session that will benefit Guyana. One issue pertains to the implication of OIC and PIO cards and their expected merger into one for all people of Indian origin. He urged that the organisers of PBD consult with or seek input from GOPIO and or other leading international Indian organisations on relevant sessions impacting on the diaspora, as well as in the selection of speakers for future PBD events. Ramsaran also suggested more Indian government responsiveness and engagement on the NRI/PIO community’s needs. Ramsaran pledged GOPIO’s support for MOIA on surveys of Indian migration, second journeys, and remigration. He also urged Indian organisations to exercise more transparency and accountability in their affairs, as well as

responsible leadership and democratic succession. He said there should be inter-ethnic collaboration where Indians are settled so as to avoid isolation of Indian communities in multiethnic societies.


In Delhi, Ramsaran met Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of the Mahatma. Last October, Ela sent a message congratulating Guyanese organisers of the 18th Mahatma Gandhi Peace March in Richmond Hill, applauding their work to unite people. Ramsaran discussed with Gandhi on keys to peaceful existence in multiethnic societies like Guyana. Ramsaran said Gandhi reiterated her message of cooperation and collaboration with peace and harmony that are vital to those in multi-ethnic societies, including the Caribbean countries of Guyana, Trinidad and others which share significant populations of African and Indian origin, similar to South Africa. (Vishnu Bisram contributed to this article)

news week ending January 19, 2014



Who will be Guyana’s Next Top Model?


Which one of them will be Guyana’s Next Top Model?

everal young men and women have been shortlisted as the quest for Guyana’s Next Top Model kicks off. The models were on Saturday evening introduced to the media at the special launch party held at the Millennium Manor Hotel on Hadfield Street, Georgetown. The delegates were selected after auditions were done in Berbice, Demerara and Georgetown. The next step, however, is an audition to be held in Bartica which will see the selection of at least another five persons being added to the contestants’ list. The contestants will make a number of public appearances aimed at boosting their confidence and selfesteem.

The initiative is being promoted by private businesswomen, who think that this is an excellent event to stimulate the interest of the young people to get them involved in fashion and modelling. The next top model will be crowned after the contestants would have gone through rigorous routines in the form of fashion, designing and other events. This will take the shape of a reality show. As in any reality show, there will be eliminations as the event comes to a climax. The organisers, Yonette Bacchus and June Ann Ross are optimistic that the event will be one with a difference and will see the winner walking away with at least Gy$1million in

cash and prizes. The winners will also each gain

a one-year contract with the Millennium Manor Hotel that will see them becoming spokespersons for the entity and engaging in commercial and other opportunities. Since 2008, Guyana top models have emerged from Guyana’s Model Search which is an annual feature at the Guyana Fashion Week organised by Sonia Noel. Noel told Guyana Times International that she is not part of

the Guyana’s Next Top Model initiative, but is willing to offer any guidance if called upon. However, she stated that she will continue to focus her attention of her brand, Guyana Model Search. Noel is presently in Barbados where the Annual Barbados Music Awards are held. She will be an honoured guest as she is bestowed with a lifetime achievement award in fashion.

After her recent successes in Guyana, the Caribbean and further afield, Noel has been recognsied as a woman of worth and one who is dedicated in the promotion of young people and their talents. Meanwhile, auditions for the Guyana’s Next Top Model close next week and interesting persons are asked to make contact with the Millennium Manor Hotel.


week ending January 19, 2014




week ending January 19, 2014 |

Opposition behaved terribly in Heavy rains batter the House last year – Nandlall Pomeroon farms


egal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Anil Nandlall has described 2013 in the National Assembly as having one singular characteristic trend, that is, a relentless attempt by the opposition to trespass into the province of the executive. Speaking on the television programme, Roundtable, Minister Nandlall noted that though the Constitution has outlined the role and functions of the executive and the legislature, what is discernible since the opposition has had control of the legislature, is “a constant attempt to increase those functional responsibilities, to extend the powers and to extend the jurisdiction of the legislature way beyond that which is contemplated and provided for by the constitution.”

Budget cuts

He noted that this extension of the role of the legislature manifested itself when the opposition cut the 2013 budget despite the court ruling after the 2012 budget that the opposition in the National Assembly has no power to reduce expenditures put forward

No-confidence motion

Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Anil Nandlall

by the finance minister in the form of the national budget. The court also ruled that it was the role of the finance minister, being a delegate of the president to present those national estimates. Minister Nandlall said that “when the opposition cut, (the budget) they not only cut, but they put forward their own estimates of a Gy$1 in the instances where they have cut… and they passed those estimates. So in essence, not only have they performed an act of reduction of the estimates, which the constitution forbids them to do, but they have arrogated onto themselves, an executive function, which essentially is the presentation of the estimates”.

There is also the case of the opposition passing a no-confidence motion against Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, which the court and the Speaker of the House later ruled that they had no power to so do. The opposition also attempted to gag Minister Rohee from speaking in the National Assembly in an effort to censure him, for what they termed incompetent performance of his duties as minister. “Again if we refer to the Constitution we see that the minister of home affairs is an executive officer, he is a delegate of the president, appointed by the president, and the functions which he performs in the discharge of his ministerial responsibilities are executive functions. If he defaults, or if he is incompetent in the performance of those functional responsibilities, then it is the president who appointed him, who must recall his appointment or censure him. It is not open to the legislature to censure an executive officer in respect of the performance of his executive functions,” Minister Nandlall pointed out.


ersistent heavy rainfall between Monday night and Tuesday battered the Essequibo Coast, resulting in several acres of farmlands in the Upper and Lower Pomeroon River being inundated. Farmers living in the Lower Pomeroon areas of Try Best, Friendship, Hope Canal, Unity, Dredge Creek, Strong Hope, Kabakaburi and Siriki are adversely affected by the continuous rainfall. One Try Best watermelon farmer said he lost his entire crop due to the flooding. He was expecting to harvest his crop within a week; however, all the melons are watersoaked and will eventually rot. Another farmer, Narada Persaud from Hope Canal, Lower Pomeroon, said his five acres of pumpkins he was expecting to reap within a week has been destroyed. He estimated his losses in the thousands. Another farmer, Parsram Persaud, known as “Indal”, said his farm of some 500 avocado plants and several acres of cassava have been destroyed. The farmer was

A farmer surveys his water-logged crops

also affected a few weeks ago when a breach in the conservancy dam occurred. Farmers are of the view that the flooding is compounded by the water being released from the Tapakuma Lake through the Dawa Pump Station, into the Pomeroon River. However, Region Two Chairman Parmanand Persaud said the pump station was never opened to release water into the Pomeroon River. He was supported by Region Two Vice Chairman Vishnu Samaroo, who explained that the water overtopped the lake, “ran over” the conservancy dam and into the Pomeroon River. Farmers at Grant and Try Best are calling for the Cozier sluice channel

to be desilted in an effort to help discharge more water from the Pomeroon River into the Atlantic Ocean. They are also calling for the pump at Cozier to be operable so as to assist in drainage. A high-level government team headed by Region Two Chairman Parmanand Persaud recently visited the Lower Pomeroon River and spoke to several flood affected farmers. The team included Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) General Manager Jagnarine Singh, Regional Agriculture Officer Khemraj Khanhai, Engineer Jefaun Permansingh and Regional Democratic Council (RDC) councillor Vilma Da Silva.

Guyanese miners examine ways to remain profitable


mid falling gold prices and the drying up of capital for some miners, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has urged its members to invest in other commercial ventures as a means of guaranteeing financial security. Gold has dropped from US$1800 to US$1200. In an advisory in the Sunday newspapers, GGDMA offered nine recommendations that can protect miners from adverse situations in times of falling gold prices and simultaneously increase production. “Save, invest and diversify,” the GGDMA said. Additionally, the association said all categories of workers should be paid based on production and not on a fixed monthly rate. It was explained that the proposed measure will encourage cooperation at all levels as workers will keep the operation functional and profitable.


In an effort to foster growth and increase production levels, the GGDMA said miners should spend more time planning and set-

an excise tax of five per cent on imported fuel, explaining that fuel accounts for 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the production cost to miners.


GGDMA President Patrick Harding

GWMO President Simona Broomes

ting production targets, with emphasis placed on budgeting. Additionally, they were urged to sell all gold to the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) or authorised dealers and pay their Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Tributor’s Tax, which also includes deducting 10 per cent from workers’ wages. However, the organisation said, “We must request that there be a reduction in the unreasonable prices charged by certain transporters, fabricators and equipment and spare parts distributors. Their prices have gradually increased over the years as the price of gold had escalated, now that it is on the decline, we expect that they will also respond to

this changing tide by reducing their prices.” But Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) President Simona Broomes said current conditions within the industry do not allow many small and medium scale miners to implement some of the recommendations tabled by the GGDMA. According to Broomes, it is a “cold, very cold situation”, as the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry does little to relive miners of challenges faced. She alluded to a list of proposals that were made to the Natural Resources Ministry by the GGDMA in August 2013. At the time, the association had called for

Against the background of falling gold prices and the high prices of fuel, lubricants, spares and replacement parts, the association said the five per cent excise tax should be given on imported fuel from legitimate oil companies

in the Caribbean. But despite a lengthy justification, this proposal was overturned by the government.


“I deal with the reality,” she lamented, noting that now that the holiday season has ended, miners are experiencing difficulties starting up their operations. GWMO has a membership of 440 persons, Broomes told Guyana Times International,

Gold mining in the interior

noting that it will be increasing its fundraising activities to commence a revolving fund, to offer members loans in challenging times, thereby making financing easily accessible. Due to the fluctuating gold prices, a number of miners were forced to shut down their operations while commercial banks have repossessed more than 100 excavators due to a shortfall in payments by miners.



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Govt stresses need for multisectoral approach to curb suicide


nder pressure to do something about the spiralling suicide rate, Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran said a multisectoral approach is needed to tackle the social scourge. At the time the health minister was meeting with the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud and Guyana’s chief psychiatrist Bhiro Harry at his Brickdam Office, discussing the issue of “mental health”. A mere 15 days into the new year, about 20 persons have already committed suicide while several others are recovering after failed attempts. According to the health minister, suicide is not only a mental health problem, but a cultural issue as well.


Moving forward, he said, the Health Ministry will be working closely with the human services, education and home affairs ministries, along with non-governmental

Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran

organisations to reduce the instances of suicide. Persaud, for his part, said Guyana has a high suicide rate, noting that while many females attempt suicide, males are most times successful in executing the act. At this point in time, Dr Persaud said the ministry is strengthening the “Gate Keepers Programme” to build capacity among faithbased organisations, sport organisation, com-

mercial entities and support groups in communities countrywide, with major emphasis placed on suicide-prone communities. He said the ministry will continue to equip persons with the requisite skills and knowledge needed to identify depression and offer counselling to persons who are at risk of committing suicide. He said last year, the Gate Keepers

Programme focused on Regions Three and Six, in addition to communities along East Coast Demerara, positing that major emphasis was placed on males. The Gate Keepers Programme was established by former Health Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy. Currently, the Health Ministry is developing guidelines to suicide prevention with attention being given to reintegration of victims into society. Chief psychiatrist Harry said “suicide prevention is everybody’s business”, hence, all should play apart in reducing the number of cases in the country.

Indian Arrival Committee

M e a n w h i l e , the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) in a release on Sunday said it was “extremely perturbed over the incidents of suicide”. According to the IAC, suicide seems more prevalent in the East Berbice region over the past

DPP disposes of 109 cases in 2013


he Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) disclosed that 109 cases were completed during 2013. Of these, 95 cases engaged the court’s attention while 14 were nolle prosequi (not to go ahead) by the DPP. Seventy-one of these cases were from the Demerara Assizes, 14 from the Berbice Assizes and 10 from the Essequibo sessions. There were a total of 83 cases for murder, three for manslaughter, two rape cases, four cases of carnal knowledge, two attempts to commit murder cases and one case for incest. The DPP was successful in getting 36 convictions, but there were 45 acquittals along with 10 hung jury, one quashed committal, two aborted trials and one accused committed to the National Psychiatric Hospital for treatment. In another case, the accused was found to be fit to plea and was remanded back to prison to await trial. One matter is continuing during the January 2014 Assizes. The 14 matters nolle prosequi by the DPP was as a result of different reasons. One matter was nolle prosequi because the accused died while awaiting trial and

Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang

another one because the witnesses could not be found. The other 12 cases were nolle prosequi because the virtual complainants no longer wanted to proceed with the matters. In a separate matter, the DPP nolle prosequi the case against one of the murder accused since there was no evidence against him.

DPP’s appearance

Meanwhile, during 2013, the DPP appeared in 15 matters at the Court of Appeal; one was for the appeal against a guilty verdict in a murder case. This appeal was granted, resulting in the offence being reduced to manslaughter and the accused sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

In a second matter for an application for bail, the offence of attempted murder, the application was refused. There were three matters of appeal for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving. In one matter, the appeal was granted, but the court found that there was sufficient evidence to establish the offence of death by dangerous driving. In the second appeal, the conviction for causing death by dangerous driving was confirmed and the accused was sentenced to three years imprisonment. The appellant in the third case against the conviction for causing death by dangerous driving withdrew his application. In addition, there were two appeals by the state; one was to amend the appeal from a verdict of acquittal from a High Court murder trial and this was granted. The other matter was an appeal against an order made by a single judge in chambers in the Court of Appeal to prevent a magistrate from carrying out the directions of the DPP for a preliminary inquiry to be reopened and it was allowed.

Extension of time

The other eight mat-

ters were in relation to summary trials for indictable offences of which five were applications for extension of time because the applicants failed to file the notice of appeal within the statutory period. In the sixth matter, an application was granted for the appellant to lodge security. Another application was granted for the petitioner to lodge his passport within 48 hours of his return to the country. One application to appeal a matter for the offence of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking was refused. Also during that year, the full court of the High Court heard some 12 matters before acting Chief Justice Ian Chang sitting either with Justice William Ramlall, Justice Rishi Persaud, Justice James Bovell-Drakes, Justice Navindra Singh or Justice Brassington Reynolds. Five of these appeals were dismissed while four of them were allowed. One applicant was granted leave to lodge security for cost within seven days while one other application for extension of time was granted. One appeal was abandoned since the prisoner had served his sentenced.

University student Toneisha Edwards

weeks. “The IAC believes this warrants interventions of national magnitude and calls on the authorities to declare the current situation of suicide a national priority. “The IAC believes that despite some mechanisms to provide assistance, there has been a deficiency in this regard by public entities and private organisations,” the release said. Last Monday,

Toneisha Edwards, 19, a student of the University of Guyana, succumbed at the New Amsterdam Hospital after drinking gramoxone on Old Year’s Day. Two days later, Nandranie Oudit, 32, of Number 68 Village, Corentyne, Berbice, died at the Skeldon Public Hospital after ingesting a poisonous substance. She committed suicide five weeks after her 16-year-old son killed himself over a sour love affair. He was a third form student at the Tagore Memorial High School. Oudit’s father and sister had also committed suicide some years ago, reports indicate. On Saturday, 15-yearold Leah Grant, a student of the Brickdam Secondary School, died at the Georgetown Public Hospital after ingesting a poisonous substance at school on Friday. Several other persons have reportedly attempted to take their lives since the start of the year.

Sixteen-year-old pregnant for dad in Trinidad


father awaiting trial on three incest charges involving his 16-year-old daughter appeared in a Trinidad court last Thursday on another charge of having sex with the same child, who is now pregnant. Princes Town Senior Magistrate Debra Quintyne denied the 51-year-old father of five bail, as she questioned why the girl was allowed to stay in that environment. “Society is failing our children. She ought to have been removed from that environment,” the magistrate said. Legal officer for the Southern Police Division Ramdath Phillip, who is prosecuting the matter, said that issue was the subject of a separate inquiry. “She is placed back in the environment to suffer further abuse. That is heart-wrenching, that is a life destroyed,” Quintyne said. The father, a mason, was arrested last Wednesday night and charged by WPC Woods. The charge alleged that on a date unknown between September 1 and September 30, 2013, the father had sexual intercourse with a girl, 16 years of age, knowing her to be his blood relation. The offence allegedly took place at the father’s Barrackpore home.

He was not called upon to plead to the charge, which is strictly indictable. Objecting to bail, Phillip said the victim is the daughter of the accused and is 16 weeks pregnant. Citing Section 6 (2) of the Bail Act, Phillip said the accused had five pending matters, three for incest and two other sexual offences, which are before the High Court. Asked why he should be granted bail, the father said, “I did not do the crime which they said I did.” He told the magistrate that his daughter, whom he referred to as “the girl,” lived with her mother, but on October 1 her mother put her out. The father claimed that he, his son-in-law and three grandsons picked up his daughter after her mother told him to come for her. The mother was in court. After denying him bail, the magistrate asked the prosecutor to do his best to have the matter expedited. Phillip said the prosecution had eight witnesses and would be proceeding by way of paper committal. Advising the father of his right to apply to a judge in chambers for bail, the magistrate remanded him into custody until February 5. (TT Guardian)

news week ending January 19, 2014



Stakeholders stress importance of airport expansion project


dverse weather conditions continue to pose tremendous discomfort for travellers and it is a startling reminder of why the airport expansion project, especially a new terminal building, is vital. Public Works and Transport Minister Robeson Benn made this disclosure during a recent stakeholders meeting at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). “Passengers on Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) 0605, TravelSpan and Surinam Airways were wet and uncomfortable,

migration officers. A longer runway would have allowed for larger planes to land, likewise the passenger boarding bridges would have alleviated such discomfort experienced by the wet passengers, the minister pointed out.


However, the future of the project is in free fall because of the opposition’s refusal to approve funding. In 2011, the government of Guyana inked a US$150 million contract with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the transformational venture.

Transport Minister Robeson Benn and CJIA Chairman Ramesh Dookoo at the recent meeting with stakeholders

not go forward, there will be heavy liabilities, said CJIA Board Chairman Ramesh Dookhoo. US$20.7 million was approved by Parliament in

Passengers navigate their way to the Immigration Department at the CJIA on a rainy day

and another CAL aircraft had to return to Trinidad since it could not land,” he told the group that comprised of airline officials, cargo operators, customs and im-

In light of this, an appeal was made to stakeholders to “have their voices be heard on why the airport expansion is important for them”. And if the project does

2012 as mobilisation advance. “… discontinuing the project will not only affect passengers and the economy, but also the taxpayers as the government of Guyana will

have to pay compensation to the contractor for reneging on the agreement,” he pointed out. In addition, head of customs at the facility, Stanley Phillips, pointed to the long wait passengers experience in the baggage area. However, it was pointed out that due to the small, confined area and the burgeoning passenger arrival – it is virtually impossible to load luggage in a timely fashion. According to Dookhoo, the long waiting period of collecting luggage has been a thorny issue – one that he has experienced himself firsthand. “I have received a copious amount of complaints of persons having to wait 30 minutes or more to collect luggage, their second piece. It is unacceptable. Our passengers should not have to endure that,” he added.

New airlines

CJIA Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghir told stakeholders that the airport is currently in talks with a number of new airlines. In fact, he is optimistic that during the first quarter of 2014 – a new airline will announce its intention to ply the Guyana route. Over the past three months, CONVIASA, Fly Jamaica and TravelSpan commenced operations in Guyana, and according to Dookhoo, travellers have more choices and destinations to choose from. “I have recognised a shift of the interest of people from traditional North American route and the board is very excited about this,” he added. TravelSpan officials were also encouraged to exploit not only the Christmas season, but other scheduled flights as well. Another burning issue for some airlines' ex-

ecutives was the cost of fuel. However, Dookhoo assured them the government of Guyana will soon set up a state owned fuel farm that would reduce fuel cost significantly – making it more competitive and attractive to airlines.


“I know this is a constant battle, but I am encouraging stakeholders to be vigilant and to report all security matters to the [airport’s] CEO,” Dookhoo appealed to the group. His sentiments were echoed by Minister Robeson Benn, who acknowledged that “we have to be more responsive, intuitive to the issue of drugs passing through the airport. We have seen over the years that those perpetrating these acts have become very innovative and are using the most inconceivable method to try move drugs through our main ports of entry.”

OAS, UNAIDS sign pact to protect rights of HIV victims


he Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) whereby the two institutions commit to working in coordination on activities aimed at the promotion and protection of the human rights of people living with HIV/ AIDS, and implementation of prevention and education programmes in the region. At the signing ceremony, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza said the signing of the document takes place within the framework of the “Resolution on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights of People Vulnerable to or Living With or Affected by HIV”, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the hemi-

From left to right: OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé exchange documents following the signing

spheric organisation.

Plan of action

In this regard, he stressed the importance of designing a plan of action to support member states in the creation and development of public policies that promote access to HIV prevention, treatment and care. He added that “it is very important for us to work with you, the agency with the most experi-

ence in this area”. The secretary general also highlighted the progress made in the region in combating HIV/ AIDS, saying that “we have managed to work in breaking the curve of growth of infection, in improving in matters of treatment, making medicine cheaper and more available to more people.” He warned, however,

that despite this progress, many challenges remain, among which he highlighted are marginalisation and discrimination. “This is a very important issue for our region and we hope to develop strong programme in coordination with you,” he concluded. For his part, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said the agreement represents “a

commitment to our people so that, through the joint work of our organisations, we can bring hope and address the social drivers of this virus.” “HIV is not just a disease, it is related to security issues, social justice, distribution and access to opportunities, and above all it is a problem that confronts us with social vulnerability, because it is directly related to human rights,” explained the head of the UN agency. “This agreement will help us work closely to resolve these problems and work with the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission of Women, to advance our common desire to support the people who need the support of our institutions,” he added. The total number of people living with HIV/ AIDS in Latin America

and the Caribbean increased to 1.5 million in 2012, mostly due to the limited availability of the antiretroviral treatment, and in the Caribbean, the presence of HIV/AIDS in adults is near one per cent.


The resolution of the OAS General Assembly on which the agreement signed urged member states to continue their efforts in support of laws and public policies to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of people living with HIV/AIDS, and to increase prevention and treatment for pregnant women and mothers, including preventing mother-to-child transmission. The resolution also promotes greater involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS in decision-making and in the drafting of policies and programmes in response to the epidemic.



week ending January 19, 2014


World-recognized Kayaker leaves More firepower for TT’s cops Guyana’s shores after exciting visit - gov’t orders 2,500 9mm pistols


orld recognised kayaker Freya Hoffmeister departed Guyana’s shores last Thursday morning to continue her circumnavigation of South America. Only moments before her departure, the German business owner and athlete expressed excitement at the beginning of this leg of her journey. “This is the last leg of my circumnavigation of South America and I am going to start over after two months break at home over Christmas. I am ready to go and I am heading to Suriname, it will take six days to get to the border and then keep on going to French Guiana, Brazil, Uruguay and then to Buenos Aires,” she explained. With the tide in her favour, Hoffmeister made last minute preparations to her kayak and with the help of the Coast Guard officers, readied herself for the arduous journey ahead. As to her expectations, she was optimistic about what lay ahead and exuded the confidence befitting a career athlete. “My muscles are a bit stiff but it should be alright. I faced a lot of dangerous situations and I survived, thankfully I am still in one piece for the next leg of the journey.”


During her short stint in Georgetown, Hoffmeister was treated to a city tour, compliments of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA); she also thanked everyone including Cara Lodge for their assistance in providing accommodation and Germany Honorary Consul to Guyana Ben Ter Welle, for his unwavering support. Circumnavigating open-water crossings and hundreds of miles of sheer cliffs without any

landing zones for several days sometimes, Hoffmeister has mastered the art of dealing with tropical heat, cyclones and the challenges of obtaining drinking water and food – not to mention the physical toll of averaging upwards of 60 km per day. Having completed the second leg of her journey which she begun in Buenos Aires, Argentina, two years ago, she arrived in Guyana in November, where she was warmly welcomed by a team of Tourism Ministry officials, as well as Welle. The 49-year-old busi-

In 2009, she completed a solo circumnavigation of Australia unassisted, becoming the first woman and only the second person to do so. On August 30, 2011, she began her attempt to become the first person to solo circumnavigate the continent of South America, intending to complete the trip before her 50thbirthday. In 2007, she and Greg Stamer completed the fastest-ever sea kayak circumnavigation of Iceland. They did so in 33 days. Hoffmeister has made distinguishing marks in other sporting careers,

Freya Hoffmeister is all smiles as she contemplates the journey ahead

ness owner from Husum, North Germany is scheduled to set another world record. Hoffmeister was born on May 10, 1964 and is a German business owner and athlete, who holds several seakayaking endurance records. She started her journey in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was done in stages, commencing in Valparaiso, the main harbour just off Santiago de Chile eight months later. She then returned home for four months. She resumed her adventure in September 2012, paddling north past Venezuela, before ending the second 8000km leg in Georgetown, Guyana. She then took a break to return in January 2014.

First woman

given that she participated in 10 years of competitive gymnastics, five years of competitive body building and 10 years of skydiving with 1500 jumps. She was the first German female tandem pilot with 500 passenger jumps, and part of many huge record formations. Her most exotic place to skydive was over the North Pole, getting washed out of a Russian jet plane with 300 km, with a racing bike passenger strapped to her chest. The Tourism Ministry and the GTA said they are proud to have accommodated, facilitated and hosted this acclaimed athlete as she prepared for another record-breaking journey.

Six companies interested in setting up recycling plant


ocal Government and Regional Development Minister Ganga Persaud said the ministry has received six expressions of interest from firms that are willing to come on board with the government to establish Guyana’s first solid waste recycling plant. The minister said that these expressions of interest are at present at

the stage of evaluation, and the public will be informed on what decision is taken. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Local Government and Regional Development Minister and Natural Globe Incorporated on November 11, for the establishment of recycling plant in Region Four, however, in the wake of

certain revelations, government withdrew the MoU with the firm and the contract was later readvertised. The recycling investment is seeking to address the issue of solid waste management, as well as the construction of five transfer stations in Region Four, three on the East Coast of Demerara, and two on the East Bank Demerara.


An order has been placed for guns to upgrade TT’s current police stock. (TT Guardian file photo)

he Trinidad and Tobago government has approved an order of 2,500 9mm pistols to deal with the country’s runaway crime. According to an article in the Trinidad Guardian published Sunday, after several high-powered meetings, TT’s Minister of National Security Gary Griffith got approval to order the guns to upgrade the current police stock. The order, the article claimed, has already been placed. Griffith, at the meetings, steered clear of indicting former national security ministers, but did say the police force was ill-equipped to deal with the crime surge, and that the criminal element may be better armed than officers. To offset that inequality, Griffith said the guns were “an urgent necessity.”

In an interview, Griffith confirmed the order of 2,500 guns for the police force. On whether his predecessors failed to properly equip the police service, Griffith only said: “I am not getting into what they did or did not do. That is in the past as far as I am concerned. But yes, we have approved the order for the 2,500 guns.” He said that comes with special training and the establishment of an indoor shooting range for officers to practice. This weapon upgrade for the Police Service comes just days after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced an “all hands on deck” approach to dealing with the escalating murder rate. After a meeting with the National Security Council last week, Persad-Bissessar announced that no officer would be allowed on

leave and she recalled those who were on leave. The additional weaponry, the article reported, forms part of a holistic plan to fight crime in TT. At the meetings, several experts and government ministers discussed different ways to address the crime problem, with one such suggestion being a second State of Emergency. Griffith, in subsequent media interviews, said he did not rule out the possibility of another State of Emergency to curb the spiralling crime rate. The TT government called a State of Emergency back in August 2011 after a particularly bloody weekend left six dead. Now with over 24 murders since the start of the year, Griffith admitted to weighing his options to help combat the figures. (TT Guardian)

Deadline extended for Barbados layoffs


he Barbados government has extended by 18 days, the deadline for laying off public servants following talks with labour unions on Monday. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said the delay would allow the Ministry of the Civil Service to generate a list of names for those who would be retrenched as his administration seeks to turn around an ailing economy. He said the unions—the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW)—would be involved in the process. “We had set the 15th of January for the taking of the first bit of action. That date must now be vacated because of the challenges posed to the Ministry of the Civil Service in even generat-

Barbados’ Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. (Nations file photo)

ing the list to be affected,” Stuart said. “But we are certain now that by the end of this month, we should be able to deal with those issues definitively and finally and of course between now and the end of the month, the union will have an opportunity to further re-

port on those issues,” he added. Last month, the government announced the plan to cut public service jobs in a bid to save Bds$143 million. It said it would also institute a “strict programme of attrition” across the central public service, filling posts only where it is absolutely unavoidable, over the next five years, ending 2018-2019. The government said it intends to trim the service by 3,000 jobs and had hoped to begin laying off workers by January 15. Prime Minister Stuart said the layoffs would not include both breadwinners from the same household even as he insisted that the layoffs were unavoidable. He said a humane approach would be taken in preparing the list. (Barbados Advocate)

week ending January 19, 2014





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Stronger action to be taken against persons squatting on gov’t reserves


ublic Works Minister Robeson Benn has put errant persons on notice, declaring that all illegal structures on government’s reserves will be demolished. Speaking with Guyana Times International in a recent interview, Benn said “They either remove the stuff or we will come and move it,” noting that his ministry will be moving “aggressively”.

His comments came following the end of a seven-year conflict between the Public Works Ministry and BM Soat over illegal structures on public land at Success, East Coast Demerara. Proprietor of BM Soat Bhashir Mohamed through his lawyer, Khemraj Ramjattan on Monday, January 6 filed a Notice of withdrawal and discontinuation on the matter in the Court of Appeal.

Court decision

He had appealed a court decision made by acting Chief Justice Ian Chang, who squashed a conservatory order that prevented the Public Works Ministry from demolishing structures on government’s reserve. But with Mohamed’s most recent decision to abandoned the court matter and adhere to the Public Works Ministry’s stipulated boundary guidelines, Benn said

The fence at the BM Soat branch at Success, East Coast Demerara that was erected after the Public Works Ministry demolished the one on the government’s reserve

the coast is now clear for the continuation of the road expansion project on East Coast Demerara. As the expansion project progresses, all infrastructures that have surpassed the 1973 property boundary line would be cleared, paving the way for the completion of the project by the first quarter of 2014. Minister Benn indicated that warning notices were sent out to defaulters; however, Mohamed was the only individual who had taken the Public Works

Ministry to court, as he sought protection. In a press statement, the Public Works Ministry said “BM Soat’s intransigence in this matter severely delayed the much needed road widening works for up to two years and placed an enormous burden on taxpayers.” The non-removal of the fence has cost the Guyana government Gy$40 million.

New fence

“It is hoped that the turnaround in Mohamed’s attitude will be an object lesson for

all those who are illegally occupying government lands. Guyana’s development cannot be held hostage for the selfish interest of a select few,” the ministry said. When Guyana Times International visited the BM Soat Success branch, East Coast Demerara, on Saturday, BM Soat employees were in the process of constructing a new concrete fence in keeping with the 1973 property boundary line. Attempts to contract Mohamed, however, proved futile.

Surveillance cameras to be placed at markets in Guyana

Local Government and Regional Development Minister Ganga Persaud


ocal Government and Regional Development Minister Ganga Persaud said the ministry is moving to install surveillance cameras in municipalities and large markets. The cameras, he said will be under the control of the neighbourhood democratic councils. Persaud pointed out that cameras have already been installed at the Bartica Market, but did not give a timeframe when same will be done

at other markets and municipalities. Closed-circuit cameras are universally used in supermarkets, banks and other places where business is frequently conducted. The cameras would not only serve as a deterrent to criminal elements, but could also help the police in their investigations to crack down on illegal activities conducted in the markets. This initiative would be welcomed by stallholders as many of them have suffered at the hands of vandals. The cameras can also serve as an early alarm system in the instance of a fire. Market fires are not uncommon and have caused some businesses to suffer major losses in the past. Since the introduction of these cameras into the Bartica market, officials there have recorded a 100 per cent decrease in break and enter. In the past, the Bartica Market suffered at least two break-ins per week.


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Young Jamaican participates in three-day stint at Apollo Astronaut Space Academy in Florida


hile saying that he may have the time and attitude to change career paths and pursue becoming an astronaut, 25-year-old Dante Djokovic admitted that this step would require a 180-degree turn, and even then, he lacks the funding necessary. He, however, encourages anyone who wants to create space history for Jamaica to go for it. Djokovic, who has been a legal clerk with a law firm in Kingston since he graduated from Excelsior High School a few years ago, recently represented Jamaica on a three-day stint at Apollo Astronaut Space Academy (AASA) in Orlando, Florida. He describes the experience as "some part awesome, some part life-changing, and some part breathtaking". He was among more than 100 candidates who represented 60 different countries. "We bonded, we shared our cultures, and we joked around without


he Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) recently named the Caribbean, and, specifically, Antigua and Barbuda as one of its ten destinations to watch 2014. In it, the ABTA also noted it's “cautious optimism” for the 2014 tourism season. According to the report on UK tourists,

included in the eligible countries," Djokovic reflected, adding, "all you had to do was have your family and friends vote for you. Sure, why not," said Djokovic. "Plus it was close to my birthday so I just sent out a mes-

Dante Djokovic proudly represented Jamaica. (Jamaica Observer photos)

any conflict whatsoever."


"Then Axe came along and gave us the opportunity to do the impossible, to scratch off both titles on the list of the great things we have achieved as a country," Djokovic continued. "A chance to create history...someone had to do it and on July 1, 2013, I answered the call. And even though I didn't get to go to space in the end, and I won't say I'm not disappointed, but (we can) look at it as (if) we're halfway there," said Djokovic. He explained how he got to participate in the

a renewed interest in Caribbean resorts is encouraging," noted Antigua and Barbuda’s Tourism Minister John Maginley. "It's also encouraging to see a new airline, Thomas Cook, serving Antigua out of a new UK destination, Manchester. The airline is capable of bringing over 300 British tourists a week."

Antigua and Barbuda is anticipating more British tourists to the Caribbean this year. (A&B gov’t)

"nearly one in five (19%) consumers anticipate they will spend more on holidays next year." The report also noted that there is "renewed interest in Caribbean resorts" among British tourists. "To hear that many British tourists plan to spend more and have

Maginley continued, "The fact that we've also attracted the BEACHES resort which will add 400 new BEACHES rooms to our hotel stock and create thousands of jobs is a vote of confidence in the future of our tourism economy." "While I know that

programme that saw him shaking hands with Buzz Aldrin, one the first men to walk on the surface of the moon, being flown in a plane, visiting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), seeing rockets and shuttles being fitted together, and watching the launch of a satellite light up the evening sky.

Global competition

"I was at work one evening when I came across an article in a newspaper online stating that Axe Body Spray was keeping a global competition for a chance to go to space and Jamaica was

we certainly have to continue to work hard to create more jobs and opportunity for all people, this honour from the British Travel Agents and their words about British consumer spending is encouraging," the minister concluded. (Antigua & Barbuda government)

sage to everyone on my Facebook (page) to not get me any gift chances are I may not like, so just click on this link instead and vote for me." He was eventually selected to represent Jamaica.

"But if anyone or organisation out there wants to be a part of making Jamaica's space history, [they] can start be visiting http://xcor. com/flytospace," Djokovic offered. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)



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ontemporary fashion designer Tyrone Nelson’s focus is to bring the future fashion world into today’s reality with his unique and creative ideas. Nelson, a business management graduate from UWI at Cave Hill Barbados, is CEO and fashion designer of English Duck International Designs (EDID), which he established and created in Oct. 2006. He has modelled in numerous shows in Barbados, including the Barbados Fashion Week, and copped two titles in two male pageants: Mr Ebony 2006 Barbados and Face of Shabeau 2007. The designer has a diploma in fashion from the Barbados Community College, and rock-

eted into the fashion world, representing EDID at shows like Caribbean Fashion Week, Barbados Fashion Week, Style Week Jamaica, Red Run Way Fashion show in Trinidad & Tobago, Ester Barnes Fashion Show in Toronto Canada and others, and is presently turning heads on the fashion arena in the island of Bahamas where he currently resides. EDID has been moulded into one of the most futuristic and talked about designing houses around Guyana and the Caribbean. It has taken the opportunity to expand its services and expertise by becoming involved in coordinating and constructing wardrobe and pageants such as the Miss Guyana Talented Teen, Miss Freeport in Bahamas and Pointe-àPierre in Trinidad, among numerous others. Nelson has also

judged, trained and produced models for many pageants around the Caribbean. In 2011, the designer launched his all-male clothing line ‘Venom’. Seeing the response he received from fans motivated Nelson to challenge his creative ability to design and produce section and individual costumes for both children and adults for the Trinidad and Tobago carnival 2012. Many of these have won prices and have been featured in other carnivals and fashion platforms in Miami, Barbados, Grenada, Antigua, just to name a few. His recent collection, L'eau de style(French for “water in style”), was inspired by International Year of Water 2013, and highlights the kaleidoscope of colours of the sea, rivers, pond, lakes and oceans not only within the Caribbean but around the world. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, the designer explained the designs are predominantly white, and

fused with a touch of colour such as black, representing the black water lakes of Guyana, and red, which goes back to the biblical story of Moses parting the Red Sea. Nelson said too that the collection was detailed, using materials such as gold safety pins – used to represent the reflection of the ris- Designer Tyrone Nelson ing and setting of the sun collection also includes shoes, on waters. The colour code bags, umbrellas and hats. It cords on the fabric also repre- was my aim, when designsent features of the vast sea. ing this collection for Guyana The silver depicts the waves, Fashion Week 2013 (GFW), to blue and white symbolizes the enlighten the general public breathtaking illumination of of how we can visualize water blue waters of the Caribbean in the form of outstanding art, and the world, and the white creativity and fashion. Also I furs signify rough oceans, seas wanted to build appreciation and rivers. for different futuristic designs “This collection is creative being worn in today’s world,” and unique and I think that the designer outlined. is what makes it exceptional, Nelson is grateful to GFW’s memorable, and edgy. It is ap- CEO Sonia Noel for granting pealing to anyone who wants him the opportunity to showto have that distinct look. The case his brand. He disclosed it designs can be worn for for- was a treasured experience. mal or informal events such as For more information on weddings or to the beach. The the designer call 226-3099.



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ading through dirt, swamps and deep creeks in dense forest, searching and documenting Guyana’s rich biodiversity is what U.S. native Andrew Snyder lives for. Snyder is a PhD student studying patterns of evolution at the University of Mississippi, where his research focuses on patterns of evolution across Guiana Shield reptiles and amphibians. As an avid photographer, he tries to connect people with the unique organisms found in the ecosystems where he

ing work for a few summers in Cusuco National Park in Honduras and was approached by a friend of mine, Jake Bicknell, who has spent a lot of time in Guyana. He asked if I would be interested in coming to Guyana for a similar expedition like we were on in Honduras, and that really set the wheels in motion. I started a search for supervisors with Guiana Shield experience for graduate school, and before I knew it, Guyana’s rainforests soon became

Andrew, assisted by two teammates, holding the head of an anaconda (Photo by Mike Fulham)

works, and aid conservation efforts by raising awareness. In an interview with Guyana Time Sunday Magazine, Snyder talks about his research, his passion for the outdoors and the “questionable” species he has discovered. Sunday Magazine: What inspired you to get into such work? Andrew: For as long as I can re-

Possibly a 'derbidae'- a family of insects in the order Hemiptera also called 'the true bugs'. It is one of the largest and most diverse families of planthoppers.

member, this is what I have wanted to do. In fact, recently my mom uncovered some schoolwork I did when I was 7 on what I wanted to be when I grow up. My response was something along the lines of “exploring rainforests and taking pictures for National Geographic.” I had always been captivated by the outdoors and especially places that I couldn't reach just by venturing into the woods behind my house. As I grew older and was better educated about environmental issues, it only made sense to continue pursuing this career. Sunday Magazine: Why did you choose Guyana to conduct research? Andrew: I like to think of it as, I didn’t choose Guyana, but rather Guyana chose me. I was previously do-

a reality. Sunday Magazine: Is the research conducted through any organizations? Andrew: Some of the research that I have conducted in Guyana has been through organizations, while other has been solo; though all of the research contributes towards my PhD. Each summer for the last three years I have worked with the group Operation Wallacea, acting as the team’s herpetologist as well as the team’s onsite project manager to survey parts of the Iwokrama and the Pakaraima Mountains near Surama. During this past October and November, I led the reptile and amphibian surveys for an expedition put on by the World Wildlife Fund and Global Wildlife Conservation to scientifically unexplored regions of the south Rupununi. I’ve also spent time in the Kanuku Mountains, where I intend to return to this upcoming summer for more extensive surveys. I am certain I will be doing research in other areas of Guyana in the future as well. Whenever I am conducting research on my own, I am always joined by Amerindian locals who assist with pretty much every aspect of my fieldwork- cooking, fishing, research and so on. I’m always open to all of the help I can get! Sunday Magazine: What’s the focus of your research? Andrew: Broadly speaking, I aim to provide key biodiversity data about the areas where I do my research. Many places that I have been fortunate to visit have never before been surveyed for reptiles and amphibians. So while I am collecting samples the whole time to go towards my PhD research, I am also providing baseline species lists for each site I visit. For my PhD research, I am examin-

ing patterns of evolution across Guiana Shield reptiles and amphibians by reading the story written in their DNA. I am concentrating mostly on the Kanuku Mountains in southe r n Guyana and how their geographic isolation from the Guiana Highlands has led to unique diversification events of many of the species that call it home. Many species, especially certain reptiles and amphibians, have adapted and evolved to life specifically in the rainforest. I think it is unlikeTortoise beetle ly for species from Iwokrama adapted to is one of life away from Andrew's the rivers to be able 'questionable' to cross the surroundspecies ing savannah to neighbouring rainforest highland areas. Therefore, I think that what is found in the Kanuku’s may be genetically “unique”. By collecting samples throughout the Kanuku Mountains and neighbouring highland areas, I will be able to determine with these species whether they are still sharing their genes, as in migrating across the savannah and breeding. I am hoping with my research to confirm my suspicions, which would be important for conservation initiatives. The Kanuku Mountains are already a “protected area”, but we will be able to better understand exactly what lives there. If I do find that the Kanuku’s isolation has led to unique evolutionary events, then it would bring to light the attention that should be given to other isolated mountains throughout the world’s tropics. And on a side note, while doing this research I am also photographing everything I see. So in the meantime, I want to continue to share with the rest of the world just how incredible Guyana’s interior truly is. Sunday Magazine: What is done with the data collected? Andrew: The species data is incorporated into project reports about the different sites. During my research I also take specimens and tissue samples back to my lab at the University of Mississippi to examine the DNA. Afterwards, both data will go towards peer-reviewed publications. Sunday Magazine: What are some of your most interesting findings thus far? Andrew: This is hard for me to answer because I find everything that I come across interesting. I love everything about the rainforest, not just reptiles and amphibians; so around every single tree there is something that I personally find special. However before arriving for my first time to Guyana, I had certain target species that I have wanted to find in the wild since I was a little kid. Anacondas, horned frogs, emerald tree boas, Surinam toads, bushmasters, labarias and poison arrow frogs are just some of the many on this list, a list most people would probably call crazy. Well at this point I’m both happy and sad to say that I have found all of them.

Granted there are still so many species I haven’t seen yet, so every time I get to add new finds to the list I’m happy. Sunday Magazine: Have you found any new species? Andrew: At the moment I have a few species that I am working with that are ‘questionable’ to me. That is, they don’t quite meet the description of known species, but at the same time may not actually be something new. Superficially, the questionable ones look similar to known species, but the habitat I found it in is what raises questions (in rainforest as opposed to drier edge habitats). There is still so much to be learned about species living in the rainforest, and not just regarding new species, but those that have been ‘known’ for a long time. I am currently in the process of completing the necessary lab work to be able to say more confidently over the next few months whether any of these species are in fact new. Sunday Magazine: After your research is completed, what are your plans? Andrew: Guyana is a truly incredible place in so many different ways. From the food, the culture, the history and the people – to the habitats, the bio-

Doing what he loves- working with animals and, in this picture, with snakes

diversity, and the landscapes – Guyana has it all. At the moment I do not have the answer to your question. I will still continue to do similar research; I am just not sure exactly where and on what. I also plan to strongly pursue a career I’ve been developing on the side and that is as a photographer and journalist. I have been putting together a very large collection of special images that I have taken throughout Guyana that I eventually plan on putting towards a book, as well as continuing to do magazine articles about all things related to the tropics. The conservation of these places and animals are very important to me, so I want to help champion the cause both scientifically and photographically. (Photos by Andrew Snyder)

Reticulate plant hopper (Pterodictya reticularis) from Iwokrama



week ending January 19, 2014 |


eamwork was a notable feature of the Guyanese team of artistes and artisans from the Rupununi, at a recently concluded cultural festival held in Brazil. During January 3-4, artists, crafts and foods from Guyana, Venezuela and Brazil were on show at the ThreeNation Fronteira Cultural Festival held in the Brazil town of Pacaraima, near the border with Venezuela. The event, which is organised by Social Service of Commerce (SESC), a hugely successful Brazilian social enterprise, is in its third year and growing in popularity due to its unique collaborative nature to showcase the music, arts, crafts and foods from the three neighbouring nations in one location. The distinctive diversity of Guyanese culture was reflected in the variety of performances, foods and handicrafts on display and the harmony and team spirit among the Guyanese participants. Behi Barzegar, who is a development management consultant and enterprise development specialist in Lethem in Region Nine, informed Guyana Times Sunday

Women groups from Rupununi displaying handmade crafts and body products at the fair in Brazil

er Kavita Datt-Dawsta captivated the spectators with her sensational and high energy performance. Kavita, who is the only professional pharmacist in Rupununi in her formal

Goretti Luiz (right) collecting a plaque of participation on behalf of the Guyana team from the president of SESC

Magazine of the truly unifying occasion for the Guyanese team showcasing in Brazil. “There was a wonderful closeness of our team irrespective of race, age or gender. Everyone was Guyanese... Moreover, we were ‘Rupununian’ and it was very touching the way everyone supported each other,” she noted. Classical East Indian danc-

role, said she loved the opportunity to experience different cultures. “The exposure to Brazilian and Venezuelan art and culture blew my mind!” she added. Charismatic reggae artist Desmond Anthony Adams, also known as ‘Fine Man’, thrilled the audience with his stage banter as well as his music. Fine Man is the vocal-

ist for his band The Frontline Wailers and was supported by colleague Denise D’Aguiar. “This is a good event. We need more events like this that make people partake in loving vibes! And it is definitely more fun being in a mixed group because you learn from each other,” Adams expressed. Also popular with the crowd was the Venezuelan calypso band that charmed the audiences with the steel drum music and an extravaganza of costumed dancers and carnival atmosphere. Behi noted too that artisans from Guyana were by far the most professional, and attracted enormous interest due to the unique design, high quality and range of the craft work and traditional food items. Master craftsman George Tancredo from Nappi village, renowned for his amazing balata figures, sold out almost his entire stock. The colourful and intricately woven baskets by Sameria Williams of Rupununi Crafters attracted much attention, including that of the regional president of SESC, Airton Dias and his wife who purchased three of the largest pieces within minutes of arriving at Sameria’s stall. Dias was so impressed by the craft work he has asked the organisers to collaborate with the Guyanese coordinator for the event, and arrange for the Guyanese craft workers to hold training workshops in Boa Vista for their Brazilian counterparts. Also attending the festival were Veronica Farias of Medicines from Trees, Annai; Goretti Luiz from Shulinab Women’s Group; Kim Casimero from Helping

Hands nut processors in St. Ignatius, and Joan Baretto, jewellery maker also from St Ignatius. Most of the participants had sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language to get by, but additional interpretation services were provided by Lawrence Chung, a craft retailer from Lethem, and Denise D’Aguiar assigned to the group by SESC. Representatives from each country were invited on the stage to receive a commemorative gift from Dias. Goretti Luiz proudly collected the plaque on behalf of the Guyanese team. The organisers, SESC – RR (Serviço Social do Comércio em Roraima) provided transportation and accommodation for the participants from all three countries. According to the SESC-RR website, the festival aims to “bring together cultural diversities in the municipality of Pacaraima to people of the triple border, Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana. [The] event considers the plurality of peoples and strengthens

multi-national border identities facing the Latin American cultural scene.” Additionally, the event is described as “a space for the exchange and integration of the triple frontiers, where cultures… fuse constantly in an artistic mosaic.” It includes musical shows with local attractions and guests, performances of traditional cultural performances as well as reggae, Indian dance, photographic exhibition, regional cuisine and crafts. The festival was first publicized when a small delegation from SESC attended the Rupununi Expo, meeting stakeholders and potential participants on whom they based their selection of participants and coordinating services. At the same time, they used the opportunity to distribute posters and promotional materials to advertise the event. "The Cultural Frontiera, designed by the President of the SESC-RR, Airton Dias, aims to foster fresh dialogue and new concepts, stimulate the appreciation of culture between the peoples and, consequently, of the artists, therefore promotion, circulation, and dissemination of culture has been the objective of the SESC-RR, [in Brazil], as well as internationally" commented Carolina Andrade, Manager of the SESC CultureRR at the festival. In the course of 2 days, the SESC Cultural Fronteira shows hosted about 9,000 people, between the public resident of Pacaraima and tourists coming from Venezuela, in particular in the region of the Gran Sabana and in addition to those from Guyana. Manoel Rolla Vilas Boas, president of Canoe Collective Cultural Association who was present at the festival, praised the Guyanese team, “It was all beautiful. You were outstanding and were very successful. The event was super organized. I wish you all the success in the world and a wonderful 2014,” he extolled.

Artist George Tancredo and his balata craft animals

Travel & Tourism


week ending January 19, 2014 |

Rupununi research and conservation part of the highlights at Yupukari

Caiman House and Research Centre


t the edge of Yupukari village in the Central Rupununi is Caiman House Field Station, a combination guest-lodge and education centre focused on research and conservation projects along the nearby Rupununi River. The Field Station is the hub of several participatory development projects, including the introduction of classroom libraries in all three village schools and an internet-enabled public library. Visitors have many opportunities to observe- or become involved with- the projects at Caiman House. A popular night time excursion allows guests to observe caiman capture and assist in data collection while caiman are weighed, measured, sexed, and tagged. Visitors also have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople, including the furniture builders at Yupukari Crafters, a non-profit venture to create sustainable jobs and revenue for the village. Four modest but comfortable guestrooms are situated around a central lounge area in the lodge behind the research centre. A special ‘treehouse cabin’ sits atop the centre, while a hammock benab offers budget accommodation for visiting students. Guest rooms feature attached bathrooms with flush toilets and running water, comfortable beds, and three meals a day in the common dining area. Caiman House Field Station and the Guest House are powered 24hrs a day by a large solar array. Standard U.S. electrical outlets are located in all rooms so charging equipment is easy. The entire station is served by wireless internet access. Yupukari is reached by boat, an hour ride from Karanambu Ranch or three hours from Ginep Landing. Land transportation to Lethem takes approximately two and a half hour with good weather and road conditions. As with all parts of central Guyana, wildlife spotting and bird watching along the river is excellent, while day and night treks afford visitors ample opportunities to encounter Guyana's most vibrant and pristine natural habitats. For more information visit Rupununi Learners on Facebook. (Photos and info by Wilderness Explorers and Rupununi Learners) (Cover Photo : Reading is fun at the library)

Caiman House's front gates done by artist Combrencent Ernest

Lobby area in the guesthouse

One of the comfortable bedrooms

Relaxing seating area outside the guesthouse


fun time

week ending January 19, 2014 |

This week's Crossword

J k es


I was showing my kids an old rotary phone when my nine-year-old asked, “How did you text on it?” My 15-year-old daughter roared with laughter, until a thought occurred to her: “Wait, where did you store your contacts?”


My grandmother called to tell me she’d gotten an e-mail account. “Great,” I said. “Send me a message so I’ll have your e-mail address.” I waited and waited, but she never sent it. Several days later, an envelope arrived— Grandma had written her info on a piece of paper and mailed it to me.

Waste of time

My nine-year-old and I passed a store with a sign that read “Watch Batteries Installed—$5.” He seemed confused: “Who would pay to watch batteries installed?”

Math troubles

One of my fourth-grade students told me he had trouble with math. His explanation summed it up well: “The guy next to me always gets ten out of ten on his quizzes, and I get only ten out of four.”

Thanks – I think

I recently ran into an old student of mine, who said, “I always liked you. You never had favourites. You were mean to everyone.”

Missing dog

This week's Puzzle

An old farmer is inconsolable after his dog goes missing. He takes out an ad in the newspaper, but two weeks later, there’s still no sign of the mutt. “What did you write in the ad?” his wife asks. “‘Here, boy,’ ” he replies.

A chat with tom mabe

Forty-two-year-old comedian Tom Mabe was a prank prodigy, having executed his first when he was only eight. He had just made a snowman on the front lawn of his Louisville, Kentucky, home when he watched helplessly as teenagers in a car ran over it. He made another, with the same result. The third snowman he built was on a fire hydrant. “There I was with their wrecked car and water gushing out everywhere, and I acted like, ‘Gee, I didn’t think anyone would hit it with his car’,” he says. “I had to do something. I was just a little guy. So I came up with this kind of cowardly way of getting revenge.” Best gag you’ve pulled off: “One time there was a couple of homeless guys in front of a McDonald’s. I called the restaurant impersonating a policeman and pretended that the men were actually undercover cops. I persuaded the manager to bring them burgers and coffee.” Any pranks you regret pulling? “I once saw a dead deer by the side of the road. I ran back to my house, put on a Santa suit, and then I lay down beside the deer—just in time for a school bus to drive by. Freaked the kids right out.”

Second time around

Two hunters fly to Kenya, where they bag six gazelles. As the crew
is loading the small plane to return, the pilot says the aircraft can take only four gazelles back. “Last time, the pilot let us take all six, and he had the same plane as yours,” argues the first hunter. Reluctantly, the pilot gives in and takes off. But the little plane is too heavy, and it goes down. Climbing out of the wreckage, the second hunter turns to the other: “Any idea where we are?” The first replies, “I’d say we’re pretty close to where we crashed last time.” see solution on page 46



week ending January 19, 2014 |

The fund disbursed 617 loans valued at over Ja$200 million over the past five years. (JIS file photo)


amaica’s Self Start Fund (SSF) was established by the government in 1983 as an entity that provides loans to micro and small entrepreneurs and individuals, who are unable to access financing from traditional institutions. Since then, the fund has had many successes, but more notably, in the past five years, the fund disbursed 617 loans valued at over Ja$200 million, creating 2,144 jobs. This year, the fund is

projecting to lend more than Ja$100 million to the micro, small and medium enterprise sector for the 2014/15 period, leading to the creation of over 1,000 jobs. The fund’s General Manager Sezvin Hamilton explained that the SSF offers loans to persons involved in agriculture, trading, services and manufacturing-type businesses, up to a maximum of Ja$750,000. The interest rate is 23 per cent per annum.

“Our loan policy admits everyone or all persons doing business and in particular small and micro businesses…we interview them and provide them with an application form, which sets out quite a lot and require documents that they have to produce as proof that they are operating legitimate businesses,” Hamilton related.

Repayment terms

The repayment period, he highlighted does not usually exceed 24 months, and is dependent on the

loan terms. “We would look in terms of what the person is doing and how much they are borrowing, how much they can pay based on their financial projection, cash flow, financial statements and all relevant documents, so that we can determine with the customer, how much they can manage to pay and that will guide us as to how long we should make the loan,” Hamilton outlined. To further strengthen Jamaica’s micro, small and medium enterprise sector, the fund is currently embarking on a mission to rebrand and reposition itself, taking into account the evolving business environment and global trends. The entity is looking to strategically place itself in areas of great demand for micro-financing and is seeking to create innovative business products for small business owners, who wish to grow by providing various continued services for the Logistics Hub initiative. “The SSF is looking to engage its clients in training and putting together all that is necessary with

the assistance of entities like the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Companies Office of Jamaica and Bureau of Standards Jamaica, to ensure that they are grounded on the right path and are able to sustain their business and its longevity,” the general manager informed.

Product offering

On the issue of product offering, he said “we currently have one main product, but we realize that in order to attract our customers, we should have differentiated products, so we may create a JUS START Loan, a Continued Business Loan and others differentiated by interest rates and loan size.” As regards expansion of services across Jamaica, Hamilton stated that consideration is being given for the establishment of additional locations, as the fund currently operates from its Parkington and Yallahs branches in Kingston and St. Thomas, respectively. “We have been looking for new office locations as the idea is to get the money out there to the people where they find it convenient and where we can

General Manager at Jamaica’s Self Start Fund Sezvin Hamilton. (JIS photo)

monitor them effectively,” he noted. “The amount of money that SSF turns over is in the billions over the 30 years, and we have provided jobs for several thousands of persons as many of these entities and individuals, who borrow money from us, do employ persons,” the general manager proudly reported. He added, “So we have achievements in the amount of money we have turned over; how much we have actually lent; how many businesses we have provided funds for; how many have graduated and gone into the big leagues, and can now deal with formal banks.” (JIS)



week ending January 19, 2014 |


Dr. Sulan Fung

stellar achiever at a very young age and one of Guyana’s youngest dental surgeons, Dr. Sulan Fung aims to empower young women and spread awareness on her interest – maintaining a healthy mouth. Twenty-four-year-old Sulan began her scholastic career at Stella Maris Nursery at three years old. She later earned a place at Bishops’ High School where she received awards for best debater and best actress, along with elocution prizes. “I got prizes mostly in the line of literature and English – a talent I inherited from my mom.” Sulan said in an interview with Guyana Times

Sunday Magazine. She then graduated as the top performer at the high school. For her outstanding performance, Sulan received the Anne Blue Scholarship, along with many other awards. After graduating from high school, Sulan went on to further her studies at Queen’s College earning passes in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics at the London’s Edexcel and CAPE examinations. She was then able to attain a place at the University of Guyana’s School of Dentistry. After five years of intense studies, Sulan successfully graduated as a dental surgeon. “My passion for dentistry started as a child going to the dentist and being fascinated with the entire experience. I thought it was really interesting. I loved the ambience and never had a bad dental experience. As I grew older my dentist even encouraged me to get into dentistry,” she recalled. The importance of continuing dental education has driven Sulan to invest much time and effort to be a part of Dental XP and the International

Congress of Oral Implantologists. She is also a part-time lecturer at Texila American University School of Dentistry. Presently, she holds an associate position and practices general dentistry at a state-of-the-art dental clinic in Georgetown: Dr. SenGupta & Associates. Additionally, she is a radio personality hosting a regular dental awareness programme. She has also done dental outreach work in Santa Mission. Aside from dentistry, Sulan’s enjoys pageantry; more specifically the Mother and Daughter Pageant, which was founded by her mother Ingrid Fung, who is a notable educator. From a very young age Sulan was involved in the planning and coordinating of the pageant and holds, for two years now, the position of producer. Sulan is very creative and meticulous as she produces and directs the pageant. Even though her job demands most of her time, she manages to invest as much as she could in producing a memorable event for mothers and daughters and, ultimately, the en-

Using state-of-the-art dental equipment to care for her patients at Dr. SenGupta and Associates clinic

tire family. She said she is empowered to be successful from seeing her mother’s determination. Sulan added it is a natural drive to succeed in everything she does.

“My mom has been an excellent role model. My father died when I was just two years old, and my mom, as a single-parent, held the positions of a superb mother, father, friend and role model for

With her mother at a past Mother and Daughter Pageant

all her five children. I always try to exemplify her. Also, my four older brothers have been like a father figure in my life,” she disclosed. A drive to achieve even greater things, Sulan mentioned that her present focus is to perfect dentistry. She noted that being at Dr. SenGupta & Associates gives her the ideal scope to do so. The dentist’s ultimate tip, which she said we were taught at a very young age, is to brush twice daily and use dental floss. She urged persons not to wait on pain but to visit their dentists for a regular check up. Sulan’s aim in everything she does is to empower young women. “Young women need to know and believe what they want and work towards it. They also need to expose themselves to any means of education which will help them be well-rounded individuals.”(Guyana Times Sunday Magazine)



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Dance awards for Jamaica


'Antoinette Stines—founder/ artistic director of L'Acadco dance group--is planning to announce the creation of an awards ceremony aimed at recognising Jamaica's outstanding dancers and companies. "There are no awards ceremony for dancers in this country. There are competitions, but no awards ceremony," she told Jamaican media recently. "There are various awards for other professions such as the Actor Boy Awards for actors, but none for dancers. There's nothing to take care of the dancers." According to the artistic director, the occasion will be called the Jamaica Daance Awards. No launch date is yet set for that awards. "The reason why I chose the word 'Daance' is because we [Jamaicans] dance from a spiritual base, unlike other forms of dance," she explained. Stines said the winners of the various categories will not be chosen by her, but "by a select committee". "The first major meet-

L’Antoinette Stines, founder/artistic director of L’Acadco dance group. (Jamaica Observer photo)

ing will be held this month," she said. The dance categories include traditional, jazz, contemporary and dancehall. Other categories include choreography, costume and creative concept. The artistic director said the dancehall category winner will be selected by the judges, as well as by the public. Last year, the L'Acadco dance company celebrated its 30th anniversary with a two-week season at the Philip Sherlock Centre in St Andrew. The theme was 'Past, Present and Future' and boasted a diverse lineup of choreographers, all staging brand new pieces. (Jamaica Observer)

Shandell Roberts talks about her marriage to TT’s Sport Minister


o John Public he is Anil Roberts, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Sport, often perceived as rough, loud and outgoing. But to his new bride Shandell Roberts, formerly Nicholls, he is a soft, compassionate man with whom she fell in love. The deep affection she holds for Roberts was evident, as a smile erupted any and every time his name was mentioned. Questions such as how did you two meet? What attracted you to him? brought a slight blush to her face. There was familiarity and ease when the 21-year-old spoke of her 44-yearold husband, of just some weeks, with TT media last Friday at the Ministry of Sport, Abercromby Street, Portof-Spain. Many are puzzled about when and how the two met. “That is the question of the year,” she said laughing, when asked how she and Roberts met. For some it seemed like a whirlwind romance. Shandell said it was like any other

two people meeting and falling in love. Roberts, she said, was always a friend of the family. But on a fated evening in November 2012 the two met at a buddy walk for special needs children. Shandell’s brother, Daniel has Down’s Syndrome. “From that day, the meeting at the buddy walk, that was it. It was all downhill from here,” she related. Roberts, she said, made her feel very special during the courting process, sending roses almost every day, lunch dates, and being very supportive.

‘Your privacy is lost’

One-year-and-amonth later, the two were engaged. Roberts, she said, popped the question during a cricket match in St Lucia during the July/August vacation period last year. So it was little surprise that the couple’s December 31 wedding took place at the very spot he asked her to marry him. For Shandell, so far, married life has been bliss although she has been contending with the pub-

TT’s Sport Minister Anil Roberts and his wife Shandell Roberts. (TT Guardian photo)

lic demands on her prominent husband. She described being in the limelight as bittersweet. “I have never been one to like the spotlight, so it has been an interesting transition. I am very private and quite, and people who know Anil says he is quite the opposite...I was never a people person. Being with Anil broadened my horizon dealing with people. There are positives, but also negatives. “Your privacy is also lost now. It is a little hard transitioning to that, but at the end of the

day, when I am at home with Anil, it is happy and worth it. When you think about the times and love that we have for each other...,” she said. Although some think the age difference might hinder the couple, Anil being 23 years older than his wife, Shandell said it was a matter of maturity and that once couples were mature it could work. The University of the West Indies open campus student hopes to become a teacher soon. (Excerpted from TT Guardian)



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Inspired By Guyanese The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

By Petamber Persaud

‘De Tiga’ by Indrawati Flaks Part 2


t was a hot day and Tiger must have been sweating. He took off the helmet once again, bent forward and wiped his forehead on his sleeve. He scanned the field very quickly. The bowler smiled, shook his head and resigned himself to the wait. He was not going to let Tiger tax his patience. Camera shots around the field displayed fielders also smiling at Tiger’s antics.

Apparently they were accustomed to the ritual of delaying the game. I who was seeing Tiger at the crease for the first time was absolutely rattled. I could take it no more. I jumped up and screamed, “Tek de kissme-XXX bat an bat nah! All da XXXX style dat yuh mek, yuh keep back de whole game!” Once again Boogsie looked over at me with evil intention. I could see violent rage building in his eyes and I visualise my future at my parents’ if I did not keep my mouth shut. This time around I would be taken there by Boogsie and he

would inform them of our separation. I also envisioned the look of horror on my parents’ faces. Boogsie, however, kept his cool. “Listen,” he said, “Jus watch, don’t talk, just watch and yuh guh see how dis man does play de game.” Still holding his position at the bowling crease, the bowler combed his fingers through his hair and maintained his smile. He turned to look at one of the fielders close by and grinned. The fielder raised his eyebrows and shook his head. Apparently, they were all quite familiar with the ceremony. They stood

patiently as they did not want to appear flustered in the eyes of the spectators. Once again, Tiger took up the batting stance, hitting into the crease a few times with the bottom of his bat. He suddenly stood straight up, shook his shoulders and pulled his shirt at the shoulders. Like everything else he wore, the shirt seemed too big for him. Then, Tiger wiggled a little and fixed his groin pad. He wiggled his body again, took off his helmet and wiped his forehead on his sleeve. “Please god,” I murmured under my breath, “hope he ready now or me

guh get one constriction hay today.” Sneaking a sideway glance at Boogise, I observed a look of intense anticipation on his face. Tiger’s unusual ceremony did not jangle his nerves a bit. It was as though he was looking forward to the experience. An indication was given to the bowler by Tiger that he was ready to bat. The bowler walked some distance from the bowling crease and took off at great speed. At the rate he was running, there was no doubt he was a fast bowler and with his body frame and weight, he was going to send that ball hurtling over ninety miles per hour. Thinking of Tiger’s small stature, I knew the ball would definitely make an impact. I envisage Tiger’s body reeling from the contact and thrown over to the wicket keeper. That ordeal of waiting on Tiger to bat had surely goaded the bowler to deliberately send the ball towards Tiger with the intention to injure him. I would have done it. I cringed and contracted my entire body just waiting and hoping the ball would connect Tiger’s

bat and not his body. At least that would mitigate the impact. When the ball was released by the bowler, I heard a grunt of satisfaction as though he released all his pent up anger in the ball. My heart went out to the batsman thinking of the impending carnage. In the meanwhile, Tiger steadied his batting stance and the cameraperson took a close-up shot of the batsman again. Tiger’s dark, round eyes, focused, followed the ball with intense concentration; it seemed as though nothing could distract his absorption with the ball. Cringing still, I prayed, “God help ee hay today, dis bowler guh send Tiga in de hospital.” Like some other batsmen, Tiger did not move forward to confront the ball; he simply stood his ground and waited for the ball to approach him. I wanted to close my eyes for the expected impact, yet, I was anxious about the outcome. So, still bracing for the collision, I closed one eye in nervous excitement. Behold, as the ball careened towards Tiger, I had the most intriguing vision. continued on page 45



week ending January 19, 2014 |

By Tisha Boston


any of us spend a lot of time decorating our fingernails and toenails; however, the purpose of nails is not only for adornment. Our nails have very important functions as well, but before exploring these functions, let’s take a look at the basic parts of a nail. Note: Fingernails and toenails are made of keratin, a tough structural protein that hair is also composed of. Cells living at the base and side of the nail manufacture the keratin that produces nails and the cuticle is what helps to protect these cells. The most commonly known function of our nails is protection. Our nails act as a protective plate for soft tissues, cells, nerves, and blood vessels found underneath the nail. Another equally important function of the nail is sensation. Our fingertips have many nerve endings that allow us to receive information about the objects we touch. Even though there are no nerve endings in the nail itself, the nail still acts as a counterforce when the end of a finger touches an object, which then enhances the sensitivity of the fingertip. Nails provide great assistance in everyday life, for instance, their assistance in dexterity. Without fingernails, we would not be able to perform cer-

tain tasks that require precise delicate movements, such as those that involve picking up coins, toothpicks, pins, etc, from flat surfaces, and pulling out splinters. Nails also act as a tool in performing certain actions such as pinching, cutting, scraping and scratching. For doctors and other medical professionals, nails serve as indictors of internal disease. Many internal conditions and skin problems tend to show up in the nails. These warning signs help doctors to commence early treatment. Just like any other body part, it is important to keep our nails clean. Nails are a way of transmitting bacteria from person to person, which can then lead to illness and infection. Dirt and bacteria have a tendency to get trapped underneath the nails and the longer your nails are, the more dirt and bacteria they are able to host. This is the reason why frequent washing of hands with soap and water and regular trimming of nails with a nail clipper are strongly recommended. Overall, in addition to adornment, fingernails and toenails serve other purposes such as protection, dexterity, scratching, and as an indicator for internal illnesses. However, if left unattended, we put ourselves and others at a greater risk of infection and disease.Here is a table that shows a few nail abnormalities and their associated conditions.

42 feature ‘I’m feeling good’ – Sparrow T week ending January 19, 2014 |

he indomitable spirit that catapulted him to calypso supremacy still resides in the Mighty Sparrow (Dr Slinger Francisco) in his recovery effort from a diabetic coma that put him in hospital in Queen’s New York, last September. In a three-way telephone conversation with TT media that included founder of the Sunshine Awards Gilman Figaro last Friday night, the Birdie, now convalescing in a therapy facility in Brooklyn, and clearly in a jovial mood, sang, joked and gave the assurance that he is progressing steadily on the road to recovery. “Let my fans in Trinidad and Tobago know that the Calypso King of the World, the supreme serenader, the one-and-only Mighty Sparrow is feeling good, and ready to take on all comers in 2014,” he said with trademark bravado, before treating TT reporters to a verse and chorus of his 1992 classic ‘Man Will Survive’. He then informed that he will be appearing on a pro-

Gilman Figaro, left, and Sparrow in his room at the clinic in Brooklyn, New York, USA. (TT Guardian photo)

gramme to be staged at Melanie’s, an upscale restaurant/bar catering to West Indians, on Fulton Avenue, Brooklyn, this Saturday. “I am choosing my repertoire carefully for this event, as it will also be a form of thanksgiving to the Almighty for granting me an extension of life after all I have been

through the past months,” he said. Figaro, who has been a constant visitor to the bard at the facility, said Sparrow has never seemed depressed since coming out of the coma. “He always exhibits a very cheerful attitude, and is well loved and admired by the nursing staff there,” he said. Last week, Sparrow said: “They think I am strong enough for air travel and to return home. I plan to return home very early in February and I will be performing for Carnival at Tuco Kaiso House in the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain.” Sparrow has won the Carnival Road March competition eight times, has been crowned Calypso Monarch eleven times, and has a discography of more than 600 songs. Known for his distinct musical style, clever lyricism, ability to provoke thought with his social commentary, and make fans laugh with his humorous double entendre tales, he is, without a doubt, the Calypso King of the World. (TT Guardian)


By Vahnu Manikchand


here are some people who have to work most of their life before they can fulfil their dreams, but for young racer Sharina Khan, she began living her dreams even before becoming a teenager. At the age of 18, she is presently the only female motor car racer in Guyana. Khan had developed her passion for cars and racing since she was a child, and, with her father being a professional racer, this was her inspiration. Her journey began with her learning to drive, which she mastered at age nine. “I always had an interest in cars and so as fast as I could, I learn how to drive. I even learnt to drive stick gear before learning automatic.” She believes she inherited the skills and passion she possesses from her father. “I remember back then whenever my dad had to go race, I would warm up his car for him because I was small; I wasn’t allowed to go on the tracks so I would just drive the car around the village.” Khan’s first professional race was Endurance Race 2012 in which she participated with her father. She has since taken part in two other races and competed in her fourth recently. Khan also participated in a drag race. However, her most memorable race was the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship in November last at the South Dakota Circuit. "All my races were great, but that meet in November was more thrilling because it was my first time racing professionally at the circuit, and I was also featured in the magazine, so people were looking out for me so I couldn't camouflage myself; but this race was more competitive and enjoyable for me." For Khan, following in her father's footsteps was a bit of a challenge since her parents were a bit scared to let her get involved in such a sport. However, her father saw her potential and encouraged her to pursue her dream. Even though still not thrilled about her choice, her mother eventually put aside her fears and supported her. "My parents played an integral part in me living my dreams, especially my father. He initially wanted me to drive go-carts but I like cars; big machines; so I was adamant and he eventually gave in and began training me for track racing. He would take me to the circuit and have me drive then point out where I was weak and went wrong." However, being a professional racer so young and a female did not make this an easy journey for her. She faced sexism but overcame it. "A lot of people weren't sure that I could do it; when they found out a girl wanted to race, they were sceptical. The competition was stiff because the guys are very competitive amongst themselves, and so you can only imagine their reactions when a girl decided to compete alongside them. But I did it and will continue to do it because I love it." Khan had to push her way through with a lot of hard work and determination, which helped her to be living her dreams. She is advising young persons with dreams and ambitions to never let it fall apart no matter how big it. She particularly wants to tell young girls who are interested in racing to give it shot. "A lot of people didn't support my decision because it’s 'a guy sport' and dangerous, but I love it so I didn't give up. I did it, so can anyone else; besides I need some female company out there on the tracks."


week ending January 19, 2014 |

Star of the week

‘Prakz’ releases new single


rom a very early age Shamain Greaves knew music was her calling. Born June 3, 1992 in Georgetown, Shamain is the daughter of the lead singer of Frontline, a popular band based in Guyana. With her inherent talent, the signer draws her musical influences from reggae, R&B, soul and those unforgettable golden oldies. At age 3, Shamain moved to the US and by age 5 began attending Thomas G. Pullen, an arts magnet school located in Landover, Maryland. There Shamain studied the violin and joined the school orchestra where she would hone her skills and expand her musical influences until graduation. After Pullen she attended Suitland High School in Forestville, Maryland, where she continued to study the violin but began to sense a burning passion for singing. Her strong enthusiasm for singing took over her sophomore year when, through an internship programme called Hip-hop High, she found herself behind the microphone in Gudda Musik (GM) studios recording her very first song. Upon graduating from Suitland, Shamain signed to the GM label in 2010. The velvety-voiced singer/songwriter brings a unique element through her R&B music. She released her first project in May 2012- a mix-tape entitled “My Diary” which received rave reviews and more than 4,000 downloads in the first month. It is so easy to fall in love with this songbird’s sultry vocals which is why new fans are added to her list every day. Shamain was recently chosen as a candidate for the “Top DMV R&B Artists 2013”. Visit to cast your vote for Shamain. Voting remains open until Jan. 14.


uyanese-born artist, Prakz, recently released his first EMD single “Superstar” under the German Dance Label DMN Records. The single is compiled with 4 crazy remixes and available in over 300 online stores including iTunes, Spotify, Beatport, etc. Be sure to stay updated with the latest music from Prakz on Facebook at or by visiting his official website www.prakz. com



week ending January 19, 2014 |


m p o w e r i n g youths and providing resources for academic success are the aims of the Smythfield Drop-In Centre and Vryman’s Erven Centre in New Amsterdam, Berbice. The centres from an adolescent-and-youthfriendly space, and offer non-residential vocational training for youths. At Smythfield, groups of youths up to age 20 that come from surrounding areas participate in short programmes done in collaboration with nongovernmental organisations and other social organisations. The nature of these programmes requires no entry-level test; they are primarily practical courses done on a part-time basis. There are several organised social and cultural activities especially in the afternoons, on the weekends and during the school holiday period. At Vrymans Erven, six month courses are run for out-of-school youths in Information Technology and Garment Construction. The centres host the

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr Frank Anthony (front row in white shirt) and other officials with graduates at Smythfiled Drop-In Centre last year

Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training Programme (YEST) which became a unit under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport on January 1, 2000. The unit emerged from what was formerly the Guyana National Service, utilizing the resources available to combine skills training and entrepreneurship as one way of enhancing the employment potential

of young who have left the formal school system and need to be gainfully occupied. The programme offers continuing educational advancement to youths who participate in technical vocational skills in the area of Information Technology/ Office Administration for duration of six months. Students are then attached to an agency for a four-week period to-

wards the end of their training. They are also afforded the opportunity to go on an educational tour before the programme is finish. The programmes’ aim is to help youths become well-rounded individuals. As such cultural activities, sports, hikes and confidence building activities are part of the curriculum. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday

Magazine, Omeshwar Sirikishun, Culture, Youth and Sport Officer for Region Six and supervisor for the centres, said the objective of all training is primarily to prepare participants and/ or afford them a second opportunity particularly the out of school youths, for entry into other institutions of learning, employment in private or public sectors, and self-employment in

their communities. “Recognizing the need for the YEST programme to be expanded because of the regular drop-out of young people from the formal school system, particularly in Region Six, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, as part of its growing mandate to provide skills training for young people, took the challenge to introduce Information Technology/ Office Administration and Tailoring on March 6, 2008, at the Smythfield Drop-in Centre. The training is now executed at the Vryman’s Erven Training Centre. Cosmetology was included in the curriculum in February 2013,” Sirikishun outlined. The programme runs for a period of six month, and since its inception, 252 persons between the ages of 16–25 have successfully benefitted from the training. Presently, 55 students are on training and would graduate in January 2014. Noting the success of the programmes, Sirikishun mentioned 115 youths between continued on page 45


week ending January 19, 2014 |

from page 40

Tiger moved with such grace as he positioned to bat the ball that my eyes widened in awe at this point in time and I gaped at the television screen. Just before the ball made contact, Tiger swirled his body and raised his bat. At the swirl of his body, Tiger braced on his forward leg, twirled his bat a few degrees a fraction of a second before the ball connected with the bat. The ball was guided through a gap in the fielding positions and went for four runs. There was no indication of Tiger using physical force to move the ball. To my amazement, this unassuming batsman who looked as though he was going to go under when the ball connected, simply or should I say ‘scientifically’ guided the bat with no effort to channel the ball away from the wicket. In the process, Tiger scored four runs. Instead of his own strength, Tiger utilised the bowler’s force. Tears welled up in my eyes; I was simply flabbergasted. Boogise jumped up and shouted, “Yuh see!


from page 44

Berbice centres improving...

Avenues has express gratitude and thank to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport for affording them the opportunity to use the basketball court and all other recreational and education facilities available at the Smythfield Drop In Centre and Vrymans Erven Centre. Also the centres always welcome volunteers from government, NGOs and other social organizations.

Yuh see! Da is de man!” Boogise’s right arm shot up in the air, weaving his palm, swaying his body, imitating an Indian classical dancer. “Da is how de Tiga does bat. Da is de man style.” I became a fan after that captivating episode of Tiger at the batting crease. From that day, whenever Tiger graced the crease, Boogsie and I did our dance. Responses to this author telephone (592) 2260065 or email: What’s happening: • “An Introduction to Guyanese Literature” is now available from the above contacts, Austin’s Book Service and at the National Library. • C o m i n g Soon: Hall of Fame for the Literary Arts, Wednesday January 15, 2014. • See More Poetry at Theatre Guild on Sunday January 12, 2014, commemorating the birth centenary of A. J. Seymour under the auspices of the National Library.

YEST students’ participation in the Youth Policy Consultation 2013

the ages of 16-25 were trained in 2013 under YEST, during which students were exposed to practical and theoretical aspects of Information Technology, Office Administration and Cosmetology. The youth officer pointed out that assessments are done once a month to allow each student enough time to understand and practice the exercise given in the areas covered under the two components. Over the reporting period, students were exposed to a number of other activities such as work-

Peer educators at Vryman’s Erven Training Centre

shops, tours, and adventures that was organized and implemented by the Department of Culture, Youth and Sports in Region Six.

“The programmes are beneficial to youths because it provides them with an opportunity to earn a life skill. Youth, particularly from Angoy

We now look forward to a fruitful and blessed 2014,” Sirikishun declared.



week ending January 19, 2014 |

with Wakenaam and Hog Island, guards the eighteen-mile-wide estuary of the Essequibo River. Many years ago a sloop named "Dauntless" ran on a mudflat at low tide off Leguan Island, and, as she could not be floated free again, she was abandoned. Gradually the mud silted up around her hull, each high tide depositing more. Then some seeds drifted along and soon trees began to grow, and, lo, an island was formed. This grew rapidly as more mud was deposited by the tides until, a few years ago, it joined on to the neighbouring is-

By The Hon. Vincent Roth Part 1


his is the story of my first trip to the bush thirty-seven years ago. It was to the Pomeroon River and I travelled in the government sloop "Baridi" which was used by Mr Michael McTurk, C.M.G., who was commissioner for the Pomeroon and Essequibo rivers. There were no other district commissioners at the time and Mr McTurk was given the post because no one else had so much knowledge about the interior of British Guiana as he, and this knowledge was very useful to the government who gave him the "Baridi" in which he sailed all about the deep waters of the country on government business. The "Baridi" was a small vessel, not much bigger than the Pomeroon sloops you see today moored at the Market Stelling, but she was a much faster sailor than any other boat of her size, and faster than many much larger. You see she had been designed and built by Mr McTurk himself who had been a deep sea sailor in his youth and knew all about the sea. In those days there was no road to Pomeroon, nor did any steamers go there, so the only means of getting to that river from Georgetown was by sea

Today: Pomeroon River - Charity (Photo by Marco Farouk Basir; Panoramio)

in a sloop, or by a long and uncomfortable journey to Suddie by steamer, thence by buggy to Anna Regina, and thence in a tiny boat along the Anna Regina trench, across the Tapacooma Lake and through a network of creeks until, at length, the upper Pomeroon was reached. Well, it was a dull rainy morning on March 5th, 1907, when Mr McTurk called for my father and me at the Tower Hotel which used to be where the General Post Office is now, and took us in a cab to America Stelling. Anchored some distance from the wharf was the "Baridi", a trim little craft, painted grey, with a tall mast from which fluttered the

Blue Ensign, showing that she was a government craft. Going on board in the police boat, we found the crew to consist of four Warrau Indians who looked very funny in their blue sailor jumpers and little round caps. Pulling up the anchor and hoisting the great sail, we soon were gliding out to sea and, with our bows pointed to the northwest, settled down to a steady sail through the muddy waters of the coastal sea. As the wind was fairly steady the little boat did not pitch or roll too much, but the deck remained on a slope and the spray from the bows now and then blew over us. The flat coastline was not very interesting

- just a long, thin line of

Shoreline with sea defence at Leguan Island today

dark courida bush, broken here and there by the smoking chimney of a sugar estate of which there were still quite a few along the coast at that period. By ten o'clock we were off Dauntless Island which actually was an island then and not, as now, the northern portion of the great island of Leguan which,

land of Leguan, though for years subsequently it still was called Dauntless "Island." You can see it from the Sea Wall of an afternoon if you look carefully to the north-west. (TO BE CONTINUED) Taken from the A.M.D.G. St. Stanislaus Magazine Association Section, Vol. 2; June 1944; No.1


Main Street, Georgetown, Demerara, British Guiana (no date)

arts & Culture


week ending January 19, 2014 | Imaginative drawing in 2011


sing art as a catalyst of self-expression, young award-winning artist Courtney Mathium Douglas is well on his way to becoming known as one of Guyana’s most notable artistic minds. Born and raised in Bartica, Courtney obtained a Hinterland Scholarship (after graduating from secondary school as the Best Technical Student) to attend the E.R Burrowes School of Art in 2008. He graduated in 2011 with a diploma in Fine Arts and as Best Student in Painting, Drawing and Graphic Designs. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Courtney said, “Art is my life. Every kid has a dream, and my dream was to be an artist, and I didn’t give up on it and I will not give up on it. I keep going because every day we learn something new and I am willing to learn and be successful.” Presently, Courtney works part-time with local art group Bravo Arts, and is pursuing studies in the field of animation. He is the winner of the national coin design competition to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Indian Immigration in 2013. Additionally, he recently won the National Drawing Competition 2013 sponsored by Republic Bank. “I enjoy painting, drawing and graphic designs. My dad wanted to develop his artistic skills but never got the

Artist Courtney Douglas

opportunity to do so because of not having the resources. My dad’s story sparked my interest to get into art. I started to hone my talent from

through his art, which has earned him numerous awards. In art school, Courtney pointed out, he was told that his art needed to reflect something he loves, and since a child he loved cricket and so most of his work reflect some aspect of the game. “Apart from listening to music and swimming, I love cricket. I think it is a sport that brings different cultures together for one common goal,” the artist noted. For Courtney, his art journey was not an easy brushstroke. Once he lost all his possessions,


age 13. Throughout high school I won numerous art competitions. In my heart I felt I was fulfilling my dad’s dream,” he revealed. Courtney said art helps him to tell stories and send messages about pertinent societal issues. He also gets to express all his emotions

Courtney's award-winning commemorative coin in celebration of Indian Arrival Day 2013

including his cherished artworks, in a fire. Although his spirit was dampened, he found inner strength from the experience, learning that the only thing he needed to focus on was to better himself as an artist. “Now my focus is to keep perfecting my art because I hope to be-

come one day an international artist. As I continue my quest to become a professional animator, my goal each day is to do better than the day before,” he outlined. Through his art, Courtney would like to change the mentality of some who are bent on disunity instead of working together. He urged persons to work for each other rather than against. “Racial discrimination is preventing our country from progressing. The litter problem can only stop if everyone stops littering. In

order for something to change we must make the change first. We can pray how much we want but if we are calling on the Heavenly Father to help us we have to start helping ourselves first. Through my art I will keep sending positive messages and continue to let my light shine so that others will see and do the same. I always say, ‘Go where your heart leads you, play, run, lead and have fun doing it. Be the one to set new records’,” Courtney declared. In developing the art industry, Courtney

stated there is a need for more opportunities where artists can market their work to the wider world. P r e s e n t l y , Courtney’s work is being exhibited at the ongoing Ninth National Drawing Competition exhibition at Castellani House, Vlissengen Road. Gallery hours are 10:00 hours to 17:00 hours Monday to Friday and 14:00 hours to 18:00 hours on Saturday; the gallery is closed on Sundays and holidays. The exhibition continues until January 18. Admission is free.



week ending January 19, 2014


Celebrity parents reveal their new year resolutions AbRam, and he is trying to cut down on his smoking in order to be able to have a great body and also to be able to play football and hockey with his son Aryan and daughter Suhana. Meanwhile, the ‘Dhoom 3’ actor said that he is looking forward to welcoming his nephew Imran Khan's baby in their family. Bachchan said that even though he


elebrity parents in Bollywood, including Shahrukh khan, Aamir Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, have shed light on their new year resolutions as parents. Shahrukh told Parents India Magazine that he has vowed to stay extra fit for his six-month-old baby

doesn't believe in making new year resolutions, but as a parent he wants to give his daughter Aradhya a good education and good upbringing. While hot new mum-of-one Lara Dutta said that she is looking forward to discovering more and more about her baby girl Saira, Malaika Arora Khan added that she wants to spend more time with her son Arhaan by taking more holidays together. (TOI)

Privacy is the price for stardom, says Malaika


ctress-producer Malaika Arora Khan says actors don't have privacy as it is the price they have to pay for the fame they enjoy, and if they can't handle it, she suggests them to leave the field. "That goes with the territory and you are robbed of your privacy, but that's the price you pay. It's (media) pretty much like how it's in the west. The media was never in your face like they are now. It's part of your job. If you can't handle it, don't be here," Malaika told IANS. Her husband and actor-filmmaker Arbaaz Khan's take on media seems to be slightly different. Arbaaz, accompanied by family, was recently clicked by several photographers at the Mumbai airport, and he certainly didn't look excited as he told them to stop taking their pictures. (TOI)

Sushmita Sen gearing up for 2014 comeback

Raveena Tandon goes kayaking in Thailand


aveena Tandon was recently in Krabi, Thailand, on a vacation with husband Anil Thadani and kids. While the family were exploring interesting adventure sports, they came across kayaking. Raveena was initially hesitant, but she eventually gave in and tried it for the first time. "When I saw that my son, who is six, was gung-ho about doing it, I didn't want to look scared in front of him. So, to look like a cool mom, we went kayaking. Eventually, we even paddled up to a little island and had our own little picnic. Since it was a small island where we were the only ones, I felt like Robinson Crusoe," she said. (TOI)


ushmita Sen has lost weight and is gearing up for a comeback this year. The ‘Biwi No. 1’ actress said 2014 is

‘My dad is my hero’- Salman Khan

Amitabh Bachchan grateful to film fraternity


e g a s t a r A m i t a b h Bachchan, who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at a recent awards event, says he does not have any words

to thank the film industry for the grace and honour given to him. The 71-year-old was given the honour by veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha and filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

going to be her year. "I have been preparing actually since 2013. I know every time an actor loses weight or starts looking fitter or thinner, it is always for a reason. But this is me getting ready for the most fantastic time of my life in all aspects. Professionally and personally 2014 is going to be my year," the 38-year-old said at an art exhibition. Sushmita is eagerly awaiting the announcement of two projects, one of which goes on floors in July. "Professionally you are going to see me back this year for sure. We have two very nice announcements, hopefully they should happen soon," Sushmita said. "The filming for one of them begins in July and the rest of them is more of combining the entrepreneur side of me and the actor and the mum side of me, all of it together," she added. Sushmita is known for hits like ‘Main Hoon Na’, starring Shah Rukh Khan, and has two adopted daughtersRenee and Alisah. (TOI)

"The grace and honour with which colleagues and friends, and all those behind the scene workers, commemorate the 45 years of my existence in this wonderful world of films, can never have sufficient words to fill that immortal cup of gratitude," Amitabh posted on his blog. He said it was an "awkward moment" for him to go on stage and say a few words after receiving the award. "Perhaps it is easier for those that express, it certainly is not the most easiest for him that has to sit in not too great a distance, to listen and wait for that call from the stage to come up and get it! Get the reward," Big B posted. (TOI)


alman Khan has described his father as his real life

hero. The actor's father Salim Khan is a renowned Bollywood screenwriter, who is credited with writing the cult classic film ‘Sholay’ with Javed Akhtar. Speaking to The Times of India the ‘Jai Ho’ star said: "I am not that typical good guy. I want to drive my car, go to my party, have a good time and don't want to apologise for my position. "I don't want to spend s**tloads of money to create an aura that I am a humble man," he explained. "My dad is 80-yearsold, but even today he sits outside our house everyday and signs cheques to give away to the needy. He is a very straight man. He is very knowledgeable." Khan continued: "My

whole problem with my father while growing up was, why was he so right when I was so wrong. "I always wanted to prove him wrong even though I always knew he was right, till one day when I decided that I just would go by him. Even if he was wrong 49 times, I knew he would be right 51 times." Khan also credited the name change of his film from ‘Mental’ to ‘Jai Ho’ to his father. "My father had a problem with ‘Mental’ and rightly so, especially coming with me in just

the way I would be called out. In this day and age, if a guy is honest, noncorrupt and righteous, he is called mental, as being corrupt and getting corrupted has become a part of us. If a man is honest, we will say, 'don't go to him. He is mental'. "My dad then gave ‘Jai Ho’ which is a bigger and better title. So, the reason for changing it was that our father was not happy. Period. Full stop. He is our father. His experience is immense. Something he has written 40 years ago, Sholay, is still running and people are still going mad about it.” The actor portrays an ex-army veteran in the film, who challenges the might of a powerful politician on behalf of society's oppressed. Tabu, Daisy Shah and Om Puri also star in ‘Jai Ho’, which is scheduled for release on January 24. (Digital Spy)



week ending January 19, 2014 |

DiCaprio hears 'weird Nick Cannon keeps noises' in his house marriage to Mariah Carey


ctor Leonardo DiCaprio says he hears "weird noises" in his house at nights. However, he is sure it isn't haunted because he doesn't believe in ghosts. The 39-year-old actor said that the last time that he was "truly terrified" was when he was woken in the middle of the night by an odd sound coming from another room in his house, reports "My home makes weird noises at times and I have to get up in the middle of the night and check if there's somebody breaking in...I don't know, it's like creaking or something, it's weird ghost noises, but I don't believe in ghosts's like the wind or the way it was built," he said. His latest release was ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’. (TOI)

alive with lots of sex


ick Cannon has confessed that he and wife Mariah Carey keep their marriage alive with lots of sex. The couple also enjoy spending quality time together on vacation and had recently taken their twins to Aspen, Us magazine reported. The 33-year-old actor said that it was wonderful and they do that every year, by going away and have a nice little Winter Wonderland. (TOI)

Jennifer Lawrence almost lost diamond bling at Golden Globes Zac Efron doesn't object to sex on first date


ennifer Lawrence almost lost one of her diamond bracelets, as they fell off her hand at the Golden Globes 2014. It seems that the 23-year-old actress hadn't noticed that her extremely expensive piece of jewellery was missing as she continued talking to Ryan Seacrest, PVR Pictures reported. However, someone else did, and rushed over to scoop it up for Lawrence. (TOI)

‘I look better than at 25’ - Cameron Diaz


ameron Diaz loves her body and thinks you should love yours, too. "I don't want to look like I did when I was 25," the actress, 41, tells PEOPLE. "I like the way that I look now; better than when I was 25. I can't help that other people may be uncomfortable with that, but that's not my responsibility to make them feel okay with the fact that I'm getting older. I'm okay with it. I like it." In her new tome, The Body Book, Diaz opens up about her own struggles with food, her beliefs about beauty and her suggestions for getting healthy in the new year. "There's no such thing as anti-aging,"


ac Efron has confessed that he doesn't object to having sex on the first date, saying that sex is a beautiful thing. The 26-year-old actor told Glamour magazine that every single girl has something different and special about her, Us magazine reported. He added that if one finds someone who clicks with their vibe, fate brings people together. However, Efron admitted that the most important thing for him in a relationship is honesty and said that at

first, sometimes girls don't show their genuine personality. (TOI)

‘Life after 30 bliss’ - Julia Roberts


Diaz tells PEOPLE. "There's no such thing as turning back the hands of time, and it makes me crazy that we live in a society where that's sold to women–that we're supposed to believe that if we're getting older, we've failed somehow, that we have failed by not staying young."

"I wish that women would let other women age gracefully and allow them to get older and know that as we get older, we become wiser." When she was younger, Diaz struggled with acne, which she eventually connected to all of the fast food that she was eating. (People)

Streep finds Katie Holmes perfect for son


eteran actress Meryl Streep has reportedly hit it off well with Katie Holmes, and she believes the latter will be the perfect girlfriend for her son Henry Wolfe Gummer. The 64-year-old got on well with her ‘Giver’ co-star, who has seven-year-old daughter Suri with ex-husband Tom Cruise. When her new friend told her she was ready to find love again, Streep instantly thought of her son Henry Wolfe Gummer. "Katie and Meryl got on like a house on fire. Katie was quite open about wanting to have a man in her life again and Meryl decided to show her a picture of Henry," quoted a source as saying. (TOI)

ctress Julia Roberts says she had the best time since leaving her 20s behind. The 46-year-old says the last 16 years have been the best of her life, as she doesn't have the hang-ups that she had in her 20s, reports femalefirst. "On my 30th, every person I loved and adored in the world was with me. I was excited and could not understand the tone of doom about leaving my youth behind," she said. "Since then, my life has been bliss. If I knew that 30 was going to be so much fun, I would have done it at 22!" she added. Roberts got married to Daniel Moder in 2002 and they have nineyear-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and six-year-old Henry. (TOI)

Beyonce, Jay-Z rent out Miami Zoo for daughter's birthday


rincess Blue must have had a roaring good time! Queen Bey and Jay Z's only child Blue Ivy got the royal treatment when she turned 2 years old on Jan. 7. Her famous parents rented out Jungle Island, a wildlife park and botanical garden in Miami, Florida. During the fun and rainy outing, the birthday girl donned a green ensemble and sneakers. She also borrowed Beyonce's "Flawless" gold necklace (a nod to the feminist anthem of the same name on her titular fifth album) that the megastar, 32, posed with via Instagram on Dec. 30. The 44-year-old rapper went casual in an oversized sweatshirt, while the "XO" songstress dressed down in a "Surfboard" sweatshirt while swiping her chestnut locks back in a knit cap. Surfboard is a reference to Beyonce's raunchy-romanctic "Drunk In Love"

song, which features a rap from Jay Z himself. After the adventure, the trio headed to Joey's Italian Cafe for a bite to eat. The family sat at a large round table and ordered pizza. At one point, Jay Z even gave Blue a cell phone when she began to fuss, asking her to "say thank you" first. And she did! (US Magazine)



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Super50 squad well balanced – manager G

uyana’s squad for the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s NAGICO Super50 tournament is one of the most well-balanced units comprising the maximum number of match-winners, according to team manager Alvin Johnson, who feels it is the best chance for the Guyanese to bag their tenth coveted title. The squad will be led by West Indies Twenty20 all-rounder Christopher Barnwell and includes nine players who have represented the regional side in Tests, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20s. “We have an extremely well-balanced team and the best part is everyone seems to be in form,” Johnson said. Johnson believes the team has the advantage of having a strong batting line-up which will excel on batting friendly wickets. He said the team also has enough firepower in bowling to compete in the tournament. He also believes the team’s flexibility provided by the presence of batting and bowling allrounders will be a major asset in the tournament. Guyana has the ser-

Rayon Griffith

Ramnaresh Sarwan

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Shiek Mohamed

vices of the prolific Shivnarine Chanderpaul, former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, West Indies middle-order batsmen Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin, and West Indies A team batsman Leon Johnson in their line-up.

team is that they have a lot of bowling and batting all-rounders, which gives us a lot of options,” he said. The bowling also hinges around fast bowlers Ronsford Beaton and Wintz, while Anthony Bramble is the wicketkeeper.

The all-rounders include skipper Barnwell, Royston Crandon, and the likes of Devendra Bishoo, Veersammy Permaul and Paul Wintz. “Our batting looks very strong, and if the wickets suit the spinners, we have some quality spinners in the side, the likes of Bishoo and Permaul, who will exploit such conditions” Johnson said. “The good part of the

Former national Under-19 opener Robin Bacchus is the lone newcomer in the team, with fellow left-hander Trevon Griffith being the other opener in the squad. On the other hand, Johnson declared that he is satisfied with the team’s preparation to date. He applauded the Guyana Cricket Board in taking the initiative to have two fitness ex-

perts from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Patrick King and Carl Stephenson, as part of the squad rigorous training regime. “This is the ideal preparation for such a tournament,” Johnson said. “I think this team is a lot more mentally fit and united, while the presence of Shiv and Sars is also a positive input given their experience as West Indies players. I would say everyone is in high spirits and eager to get into action,” he concluded.

the announcement of the squad has led to the resignation of former national wicketkeeper/batsman Sheik Mohamed, who served as a member of the Senior Selection Panel. Mohamed is also questioning the selection criteria used to select the Super50 squad and the omission of all-rounder Zaheer Mohamed, legspinner Amir Khan and batsman Jonathon Foo. However, this publication tried to ascertain the criteria used by the selection panel, but Griffith did not divulge any information when asked on Monday. “The Guyana Cricket Board will send out a release,” Griffith said.




Meanwhile, following the announcement of the squad, Chairman of the Senior Selection Panel of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Rayon Griffith remains tightlipped on the criteria used to select the squad. While the 14-man squad is mixed with youth and experience,


The NAGICO Super50 competition will be held from January 30 to February 15 in Trinidad and Tobago, featuring Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and

Tobago, Jamaica, the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, the Combined Campuses and Colleges and ICC affiliate side Ireland. The Barnwell-led Guyana team will open its quest for honours against Ireland in a Zone A match on January 31. The other two teams in Zone A are Jamaica and defending One Day champions the Windward Islands. The Guyanese will then play Jamaica on February 4, before taking on the defending champions on February 7. When the action bowls off month-end, the Guyanese will be aiming for a 10th regional 50-over title, the last of which was achieved in 2005 when they defeated Barbados in near darkness in the final of the KFC Cup at the GCC ground, Bourda. Prior to that, Guyana reigned supreme in 1980, 1983, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2003. Guyana’s 14-man squad reads: Robin Bacchus, Trevon Griffith, Leon Johnson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (vice-captain), Narsingh Deonarine, Christopher Barnwell (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Royston Crandon, Assad Fudadin, Anthony Bramble (w/k), Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton and Paul Wintz.

AAG to roll out 2014 plans - Hutson says Road to Rio still a work in progress


resident of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Aubrey Hutson believes that 2014 will be a better year for athletics. “The essence of athletics is competition, we are going to have two national seniors this year to make up for 2013 but we are still working on the calendar, we are still to meet with the coaches to make sure they agree and approve of the calendar,” he said in a telephone interview with Guyana Times International Sport. “We have a lot of stuff planned; my word to the athletes would be to continue to train hard because the competitions are going to come. “There is going to be a lot of work this year and we are looking at beefing up our field events, especially after Inter Guiana Games (IGG) last year… so we are looking to see

Aubrey Hutson.

how best we can make the field events attractive,” Hutson told this publication. Jumping standards

He noted that jumping standards for the high jump are currently on the way to Guyana from the USA, while the AAG will be looking to modify the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) long jump pit. During the telephone interview, Hutson touched on the reason for the incomplete Road to

Rio plan for the Summer Olympics. “To put a plan out there in isolation is not what we want to do; we just don’t need to put a plan out because people want a plan, what we are doing right now is that we are going through the methodology of the plan. “We are looking at what we want to be achieved and pointing out who we believe can achieve them and get there, but it’s not a case that we are not working on something. “We want the plan to be firm and to last so that it can be tested every six months to find progress and make changes if we need to,” Hutson said. Meanwhile, as it is midway through the first month of 2014, the first competition of the AAG is slated for January 29 as a cross country event before heading into the developmental meets during February.



week ending January 19, 2014 |

TT’s Njisane Phillip discharged and in good spirits


fter enduring a challenging week of medical examinations and other tests at the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centre in Los Angeles, California, TT’s national cyclist, Njisane Phillip, was finally discharged from the specialist institution approximately 12.15am (TT time) Saturday morning. The cyclist, his mother Vere Marie Whiteman, step-father Phillip Whiteman, SporTT representative Nyssa Pierre, manager Peter Maharaj and his thousands of fans worldwide breathed a sigh of relief when Phillip calmly and comfortably strutted out of the clinic. Since January 3, the Rigtech Sonics rider had been hospitalised in California. Originally, it was suspected that

TT’s national cyclist Njisane Phillip

Phillip suffered common stomach pains, but it was then revealed two days later, that his kidneys were being compromised. And after conducting a series of tests throughout the past week, the multiple national champion underwent his final examination last Friday night. The cyclist has since been cleared to resume training and plans to

compete at the UCI Track World Championships in Colombia in March. Upon his release from the hospital, Phillip seemed overwhelmed. The 2012 Olympian and World Cup silver medallist said, “I have been given a second chance and have a new lease on life. When we were unsure what was happening, I could not believe that my cycling career may have been over. I cannot express how happy I am that I can still compete, and so soon. “I’m anxious to get back on the track and continue to make Trinidad and Tobago proud. The love and support I received from family, friends, fellow athletes and fans is something I would never forget. It is what drives me. Thank you all!” (TT Newsday)

Bolt to run in Ostrava Golden Spike in June


sain Bolt has confirmed his intention to compete again at the Golden Spike in Ostrava in June, organisers have said. However the Jamaican sprinter says he is still undecided whether to run the 100 or 200 metres on June 17. Bolt said earlier that his goal for this year was to break his own 200m, world record of 19.19 seconds. "Ostrava is a fast track when the weather is good,” Bolt said. “I look forward to

Usain Bolt. (Jamaica Observer file photo)

good weather and good performances in 2014". The six-time Olympic champion will race for

the seventh time at the meet, part of the IAAF World Challenge Series. (Jamaica Observer)

Bravo named TT captain despite poor record


lec Burns, Chairman of the Selection Committee, Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) last Friday confirmed that Dwayne Bravo will replace Denesh Ramdin as captain of the national 50 overs team for the Regional Super50 competition starting on January 30. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Queen’s Park Oval where NGC renewed their partnership with the TTCB for three more years. Asked to explain the rationale in handing over the reigns to Bravo, Burns said, “we thought it best to choose Bravo as captain and continue that process (syncing) with the West Indies team and Trinidad team,” he explained.

The former TT pacer further stated that by changing captain, it will “take the pressure off Denesh a bit and let him concentrate on his batting a bit more (which) will be the best thing for our team at this point in time,” he declared. But with Bravo having a poor record since replacing Darren Sammy as ODI captain of the Windies— failing to take the Windies past the group stage at the ICC Champions Trophy, not advancing to the final of the tri-nation series involving India and Sri Lanka, losing the five-match series against Pakistan 3-1, the threematch series against India 2-1 and drawing the recently concluded series vs New Zealand 2-2—Burns was questioned further wheth-

er the selectors took into consideration Bravo’s results while at the helm. Ramdin last year skippered TT to the Regional Super50 semi-finals with an impressive six-match winning streak in the round robin stage but it all unravelled against the Combined Campuses and Colleges where they were soundly beaten by 140 runs to exit the competition. TT squad: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Imran Khan Shannon Gabriel, Kevon Cooper, Yannick Ottley. Reserves: Derone Davis, Marlon Richards and Yannic Cariah. (TT Newsday)

Jamaica, France for Paris friendly

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz celebrating a goal against the United States in a World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium last year. (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)


amaica's Reggae Boyz will tackle 1998 World Cup football champions France in a friendly international on Sunday, June 8 at the Stade Pierre Maury in Lille, France. France, popularly called Les Bleus, will use the game to wrap up preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil which kicks off on June 12. Les Bleus will open their campaign against CONCACAF qualifiers Honduras on June 15 in Group E in the preliminary stage. Meanwhile, the Reggae Boyz, who failed to win a game and ended last in the CONCACAF World Cup final stage

last year, will look to rebuild the national senior team and brand Reggae Boyz. "This game will be extremely important in the federation's effort to rebuild the national senior team, and is part of my stated commitment to Jamaica's football programme," Captain Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation, stated via an e-mail release. "The game happened after negotiations and France chose to play Jamaica. This match would enhance brand Reggae Boyz," Burrell told Jamaican media when contacted Tuesday morning.

"One of the requirements is for us to field our strongest team, and we will do everything possible for that to happen," the JFF president disclosed. Meanwhile, when quizzed as to who will be in charge of the Reggae Boyz, Burrell said: "I will not comment on the coaching at this time. That will be dealt with in the next few days." The contract of coach Winfried Schäfer ended last October and is yet to be renewed. Jamaica made a historic first World Cup appearance at France 1998, but has failed to qualify for the finals since then. (Jamaica Gleaner)



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Shivnarine Chanderpaul still available for all formats


e may not be dashing as Viv Richards, imposing as Chris Gayle, flambouyant as Brian Lara or classy as Rahul Dravid. Yet, Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s dogged presence at the crease has frustrated many a bowlers the world over. His stats are mindboggling: 443 matches at the international level in a career nearing 20 years speak to his fortitude and desire to excel. A total of 20,340 runs at the highest level, inclusive of 40 centuries and 121 half-centuries, makes him a modern day giant and presently places him among the greats of the game. Only last month during the series against New Zealand, Chanderpaul became the seventh player in history, second West Indian and first Guyanese to pass 11,000 Test runs. Immediately after, he scored 122 not out- his 29th Test century- to draw level with

Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s last appearance in an ODI was during the 50-over World Cup in 2011.

the great Australian Sir Donald Bradman and remained second behind Brian Lara (34) as the West Indians with the most Test hundreds. While the “Tiger” continues to reel off the runs unabated in Test cricket, his One Day International (ODI) career was abruptly cut off after the 50-over World Cup in 2011 on

the premise that he was part of a band of “senior players” who simply did not hold their weight and were blamed by coach Ottis Gibson for the team’s departure from the tournament at the quarter-final stage. Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Kieron Pollard were also chastised for their showing- or lack there-

Strong field expected for TT marathon


new female champion will be crowned when the 32nd edition of the TT International Marathon runs off on January 26 at 5 am at Freeport, as last year’s winner Nigerian-born American

tendor Phillip Lagat of Kenya. Competitors have the option to begin the race at 3.30 am, to reduce the time running in the sun. At the launch of the event Tuesday at the Normandie Hotel,

WADA (World AntiDoping Agency)-trained personnel Andre Collins, who is going to do this for us.” The top finishers and two random athletes will be tested on race day by Collins and his staff.

Race Director, Francis Williams-Smith from left chats with TT International Marathon Chairman, Diane Henderson centre and Blue Waters, Brand Manager, Chantal Lefevre right during the launch of the TT International Marathon Tuesday at Normandie Hotel. (TT Guardian photo)

Mary Akor was banned last month by the US Anti-Doping Agency for failing a drug test. Akor, 37, who also won the UWI half marathon in October last year, is banned for two years after testing positive for Clenbuterol. As a result, Kenyan Leah Kigen, who competed last year, will be the favourite among the women. Other than top locals, athletes are expected from USA, Jamaica, Canada, Japan, Ethiopia and Brazil. Among the men, veteran local runner Curtis Cox will try to upset last year’s winner Juan Carlos Cardona Rios of Colombia and top con-

St Anns, race director Francis Williams-Smith, said that getting rid of drugs in sports is difficult. He stated: “As you know in the athletic fraternity and all sporting disciplines, the presence of drugs in performanceenhancing supplements is a big challenge.” Chairperson of the TT Marathon Committee, Diane Henderson, said because of the Mary Akor situation, efforts are being made to ensure fair competition. She said: “Out of the incident with Mary Akor, we decided to push and introduce in 2014 anti-doping, we are happy to say we have the

The half marathon will also be held on January 26, starting at 5.45 am. The half marathon will cover the second half of the marathon course, starting near to Walker Park, Caroni. Both the marathon and half marathon will finish at White Hall, around the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS). Petite TT runner Tonya Nero, is one of the favourites in the shorter version. The weekend’s activities will commence on January 25 with a schools relay at 3 pm around the QPS, followed by a 5k at 4 pm at the same venue. Both events will end at White Hall. (TT Guardian)

of- and while they have all regained selection to the team at some point, the left-handed Chanderpaul remains on the sidelines. It has been two years, 10 months since Chanderpaul last played an ODI, during which time he has remained fit and active to last five days of Test cricket and still produce heavily in

the most difficult of circumstances. Over the past two decades, the gritty middleorder batsman has risen to the demands of international cricket, and to this day, the desire and eagerness to prolong his ODI career are as strong as 1994 when, as a teenager, he walked out to face England on his Test debut at Bourda. “I’m still available for all formats,” Chanderpaul told Guyanese media recently. The 2008 ICC Cricketer-of-the-Year reiterated that he has never retired from limited overs cricket, and would want to scale similar heights in ODIs as he has done in Tests. “My desire has always been to score 10,000 runs in both forms- Tests and ODIsand while it’s a dream come through to get past 11,000 Test runs a few weeks ago, I still feel I can contribute in ODIs and I’m always

available for selection,” Chanderpaul explained. With 8,778 runs from 268 ODIs, Chanderpaul is the second highest runscorer for West Indies in the format behind Lara, who has notched up 10,348 runs from a record 299 games.


The NAGICO Super50 regional tournament is set to bowl off on January 30 and run until February 17 and Chanderpaul will be available to represent Guyana throughout the competition. He is also looking forward to the regional Four-day competition, which will follow, before heading off to honour his contractual obligations with English county side, Derbyshire. International engagements thereafter mean Chanderpaul is faced with a packed year of cricket, but unfazed by the hectic schedule, he is prepared to make a return to ODI cricket. (Guyana Times)

Local marksmen in training


Great Britain’s rifle shooting coach Ian Shaw (left), national captain Mahendra Persaud (center) and president of the GOA K A Juman Yassin, at Monday’s press conference (Photo: Rajiv Bisnauth)

ith the aim of assisting in the growth of rifle shooting locally and improving the abilities of the country’s riflemen, the Guyana National Rifle Association (GNRA) in partnership with the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), is presently conducting a two-week training stint for local marksmen. The training is being conducted by Great Britain’s rifle shooting coach, Ian Shaw, who on Monday said that he is pleased with the progress of the riflemen to date. The sessions, which will cover all areas including team building, are aimed at improving the overall game of the each individual, as well as Guyana’s rifle shooting team. “What we are looking to do is to look at in-

dividual performances of shooters and also look at the team as a whole and to address areas which need work that were already identified,” Shaw said on Monday at a press conference hosted by the GNRA at Olympic House on High Street, Georgetown. According to Shaw, the individuals are keen to learn which he said is very heartening for the success of the sport here. While Shaw did not go into the different techniques the marksmen are part of, he pointed out that the shooters went through their paces on the electronic Scatt Training System. This system, according to Shaw, analyses every element of what the shooters are doing and they’ve been looking at how they can make small improvements which overall would

make vast improvements over time. Speaking also at the press conference, president of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), K.A. Juman Yassin, said rifle shooting for Guyana will be a very important component at the Commonwealth Games. “We have been doing well in rifle shooting and [we] hope that with the input with Mr. Shaw that our team would be able to rise higher than what they have been doing,” Yassin said. Yassin is also looking forward for more cooperation from other members of the Great Britain rifle shooting team. Meanwhile, national captain Mahendra Persaud expressed profound gratitude to GOA for the making the training a reality. (Rajiv Bisnauth)


53 ‘I rely on Paul Doyle' - Powell did not tell coach about new supplements S week ending January 19, 2014

igning autographs for Italian police and driving squad cars aside, former 100-metre world record holder, Asafa Powell, testified Tuesday that he did not tell his former coach, Stephen Francis, about nine new supplements that he received from Canadian physical therapist Chris Xuereb because it was never a requirement. Powell, 31, also admitted that he failed to list the supplements which he had been taking for approximately three weeks to doping control officers because he simply could not remember their names, adding that he spent over six hours researching the products, which included Epiphany D1. The revelations were made during Tuesday’s opening sitting of the two-time World Championships 100m bronze medallist's hearing into the presence of the banned stimulant, oxilofrine in his system from last year's National Senior Championships at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Several tests have shown that the substance, oxilofrine, while not listed on the product label, is in fact present in Epiphany D1. Powell, who testified for over three and a half hours


Asafa Powell speaking with Danielle Chai, a member of his legal team, during Tuesday’s opening day of the Jamaica Anti-doping Disciplinary Panel hearing at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. (Jamaica Gleaner photo)

Tuesday, contradicted statements made by Francis that he had breached MVP Track Club rules by taking supplements that were not approved by him. Francis blasted Powell, his agent Paul Doyle, and another athlete, Sherone Simpson, who also tested positive for oxilofrine, ultimately leading to both athletes leaving the club. Francis had recommend-

ed the supplements Cell Tech, Nitro Tech, Megaman Sport and Vitamin C, which Powell said he was taking inconsistently for years before switching totally to Xuereb's regimen in the build-up to the National Championships. "I don't normally consult my coach. We have a very large club, and the coach (Stephen Francis) tends to a lot of athletes. I rely on Paul (Doyle), I trust him," Powell

said during cross-examination from Jamaica AntiDoping Commission attorney Lackston Robinson. While testifying during Simpson's hearing last week, Doyle had also laughed off the presence of any such club policy, stating: "To say that there was actually a rule would be laughable." Powell also contested suggestions that Francis disapproved of Xuereb's appoint-

ment by Doyle noting, "Coach (Francis) did not disapprove. Coach didn't seem to have a problem, he seemed excited to have Chris (Xuereb) there." ‘Don’t know the code’ However, when asked by Robinson if he was aware of the Word Anti-Doping Agency Code (WADA), Powell, who has been competing professionally since 2002, said: "I don't know the (WADA) code. I know there is a list that you are supposed to check. I don't know the code. I see the list when I am checking for something. I don't know the list off the top of my head." Simpson also gave a brief testimony Tuesday. Powell was supported by his parents, William and Cislyn Powell; brother, Donovan Powell; his publicist, Tara Playfair; along with friends Andre Hilton, Andre Palmer and Gary Gregg. Powell is being represented by Kwame Gordon and Danielle Chai. Earlier in his testimony Powell shared that he was allowed to drive a police car after he was interrogated in Italy and also that he was asked for autographs and pictures. (Excerpted from Jamaica Gleaner)


week ending January 19, 2014 |



week ending January 19, 2014 |

Meusa, Drayton GBA commences referees/ judges seminar dominate Trophy Stall chess tournament


e c e n t l y crowned senior national chess champion Wendell Meusa captured the first place trophy and cash prize among the seniors, while Anthony Drayton secured the top spot among the juniors at the end of the Trophy Stall one-day rapid chess tournament on Sunday at the Carifesta Sports Complex, Georgetown. As the year in chess began, the tournament saw some 20 top junior and senior chess players seeking to crush each other over the chessboard in a 20/20 format. Players were allotted 20 minutes in each of the seven rounds to force checkmate or their opponent’s resignation. Meusa suffered his only defeat to Kriskal Persaud of Berbice, who came in second. Hemraj Sanichar brought third, Alexander Duncan copped fourth and Glenford Corlette settled at fifth place to close off the winners’ group among the seniors. Among the juniors, Omar Britton Grant se-

cured the second spot followed by Ron Motilall third, Saeed Ali fourth, Davion Mars fifth and Carlos Petterson sixth. The best Under-16 player was Othneil Lewis of Queens College. The just concluded tournament would be the last being contested by Anthony Drayton as a junior player who, by virtue of age, would be playing in the senior category in future tournaments. The final point standing of the seniors after seven rounds read: Wendell Meusa (six), Kriskal Persaud (5.5), Hemraj Sanichar (five), Alexander Duncan (4.5) and Glenford Corlette (four). The scores of the top junior players read: Anthony Drayton (5.5) and Omar Britton Grant, Ron Motilall, Saeed Ali and Davion Mars (four each). Carlos Petterson accumulated three and a half points, while Othneil Lewis recorded two. The prizes were presented by Renuka Chattergoon, representative of the Trophy Stall.

Director of Sport Neil Kumar


xperienced International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and now AIBA accredited referee/judge, Trinidad’s James Beckles, on Wednesday commenced a five-day referees/judges seminar for local boxing officials at the Guyana Olympic Association headquarters on High Street, Georgetown. The seminar, which has been made possible by the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) with the support from Director of Sport, Neil Kumar, will conclude on Sunday with a closing ceremony at Olympic House. Kumar, in declaring the seminar open, said the initiative by the GBA is of utmost importance to the development of the sport in Guyana.

From left: AIBA accredited referee/judge, Trinidad’s James Beckles, Technical Director of the GBA, Terrence Poole, Director of Sport, Neil Kumar and president of GBA, Steve Ninvalle, at Wednesday’s official opening of the five-day referee/judges seminar (Photo: Rajiv Bisnauth)

“I want to congratulate GBA for organising this course because I think boxing is one of the better sport disciplines both at the amateur and professional levels,” Kumar said. He urged the participants to make full use of the seminar in order to become better referees and judges. Speaking also at the opening ceremony, president of GBA, Steve Ninvalle, informed that the seminar is geared towards improving the standard of refereeing and judging locally, and also to bring those officials up to speed with several changes made to the rules of the sport internationally. Ninvalle said that

Beckles has been of immense assistance to the development of local officials and his input is always welcome. He said that on his previous visit, Beckles had imparted valuable knowledge towards the improvement of local officials, adding that this seminar will be no different. “I would like to urge you the participants to take in all the information Mr. Beckles has to offer, it can only result in us becoming better referees/judges and in Guyana doing better at amateur boxing throughout the international arena,” the GBA president said. Beckles will deal extensively with the computerised scoring process

in an effort to acquaint his local counterparts on the intricacies of that aspect of their job. This is Beckles’ third visit to Guyana on a similar expedition, but this time he will be tasked with the role of briefing local officials of the changes in the sport following the decision of AIBA officials that boxers could retain their Olympics eligibility despite boxing professionally. Technical Director of the GBA, Terrence Poole, said the first three days of the seminar will be held at the Olympic House, while the final two days will be held at the Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis gym with the practical sessions.

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

week ending January 19, 2014

New Zealand v West Indies, 2nd T20, Wellington…


uke Ronchi played a second consecutive match-winning innings to not only win the Twenty20 series for New Zealand at the Westpac Stadium but also indicate that his flagging international career might have turned a corner. His 51 off 28 balls, a maiden T20 half-century scored at a similar pace to his blitz at Eden Park, and his 68run partnership with Ross Taylor revived a stumbling chase, ensuring West Indies could not make a late comeback to level the series, like they had in the ODIs.

Ronchi fifty seals series win New Zealand made a clean sweep of the two-match T20 series

Beach football facility commissioned in Linden B each football in Linden recently received a boost with the commissioning of a beach football facility at the Bayroc Sand Reserve’s Sports Club and Fitness Centre ground, Wismar. The venture was made possible after the Bayroc/Cool Runnings Beach football club was awarded a grant of Gy$1 million last year through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport’s community grounds development programme. The facility had been under construction since last October. The project saw the construction of the 50ft concrete bleacher, a 30ft concrete wall for advertising and signage and the laying of the sand pitch. It has the capacity to accommodate at least 300 spectators. President of the Cool Running football club, Rollin Tappin, who also worked along on the project, said the facility will certainly boost the growth and development of not only beach football, but also beach volleyball in the community. He noted that while it has been a challenging couple of years for the sport in Guyana, he is optimistic about the future of the game and is confident that the country will make its mark in the discipline internationally.

At a simple commissioning ceremony, Leslyn Boyce representing the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports declared the Bayroc beach football/volleyball facility open. In her feature address to the gathering, she apologised for the absence of Sport Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, and emphasised the ministry’s continued support towards the development of sport throughout Guyana. She also complimented the organising committee for completing the project. Also in attendance was Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon, who spoke of the sacrifice it took to complete such a project and a need to preserve the facility. Technical Development Officer of the Guyana Football Federation, Lyndon France, also gave brief remarks on behalf of the local governing body for football. Meanwhile, in the lone friendly match played in the evening, Cool Runnings needed kicks from the penalty mark to overcome the Coomacka Youths after regulation and extra time ended 4-4. Jermaine Grandison with two goals led the scorers, while Marmarlaque Davidson and Ron Fiedtkou scored one apiece for Cool Runnings, while Kerron Daw scored a double for Coomacka.

A fair-sized crowd gathered to witness the opening

The facility at Bayroc Sand Reserve

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