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You can also read Guyana Times daily edition online at ISSUE NO. 261

week ending September 20, 2015

Hughes lauds Guyanese Diaspora in NY for maintaining - several others injured cultural heritage

Tourism Minister Cathy Hughes

Page 24

See story on page 7

Smear campaign launched against former GuySuCo CEO - Attorney Page 26

Mahindra Sugrim, in front of the car he was driving on Wednesday evening, before it was crashed into.

Chanderpaul among four honoured by Caribbean Diaspora in NY Page 51


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

“Our mother will never be forgiven” …son of murdered block-maker says still trying to come to grip with father’s gruesome murder


wenty-one-year-old Oswald Jason Yaw, of Back Circle, East Ruimveldt, Georgetown, who admitted that he was offered Gy$1.7 million to kill 42-year old Herstelling, East Bank Demerara Joiner, Nathan Persaud is expected to make his court appearance today (Thursday) at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. His pay master, Beverly Persaud, who hired him to commit the heinous crime was already charged and remanded to prison. However, Yaw’s confession came moments after he was arrested by

Police ranks attached to the Major Crime Unit on Tuesday evening as he was about to enter his home. The Police claimed that they were staking out the man’s house for several days. The relatives of the dead man were the ones who provided the information to the Police about the man’s whereabouts after conducting their own investigations. Nevertheless, during the interrogation, the man also admitted that on the day of the gruesome murder, he lured Persaud into the house under the pretext of using

Oswald Jason Yaw was contracted to kill Nathan Persaud

Dead: Nathan Persaud

the washroom. While in the house, he told investigators that he attacked Persaud from behind but a fight ensured during which he collected a piece of clay brick and struck the man to his head. He then took a knife and stabbed the man at least twice which caused him to fall to the ground. He completed the job by using the hammer to bash in his head. He reportedly struck the man 20 times. He stated the murder was planned by the now dead man’s wife Beverly Persaud who offered to pay him Gy$100,000 weekly installments until the full amount of Gy$1.7 million was paid off. He took up the offer, claiming that he would have fi-

nally had enough money to visit his girlfriend in Antigua. Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum told Guyana Times International that the file is with the Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali Hack and her recommendation is expected early today (Thursday). He noted that once the advice is sought, they will waste no time to prosecute. Meanwhile, one of the sons of the dead man told this publication that after they would have received information about the killer’s whereabouts, they informed the Police. “We received a call from a friend telling us that the man was seen in the hammock… that was like 11 and we immediately alerted the Police but they arrived at the scene till after five”, the young man stated. On the other hand, the son stated that the Police would have also arrested his cousin (his mother’s niece) in connection with the murder. The young man stated that the young woman’s best friend is the girlfriend of the murder suspect. The murder suspect, he added, was seen

Pay master Beverly Persaud

by his younger brother visiting his mother’s home in Diamond, on the East Bank of Demerara. “My young brother would tell us that a man would visit the house in Diamond while he was staying with my mother but whenever he is around, the man and my mother and the niece would talk in codes and talk softly”. As such, he feels that his cousin knew something about the murder and hopes that the Police continue to interrogate her. The Police however, have confirmed that the young woman has already been released. In addition, the young man refuted claims that his father’s life was in danger. He argued that his father had a feeling that something was amiss

due to his ex-wife behaviour. “We tried to get him to leave the country, but he insisted that he has to stay to take care of us”, the young Persaud stated. At no point in time, did his father received death threats, he iterated. His father, he stated, has been laid to rest and they are still trying to come to grip with the reality of his death. His mother, the young man disclosed, will never be forgiven for taking away their father who was the backbone of the family. The 42-year-old man was found dead in his house on Thursday last in a pool of blood in the living room of his Lot 66 Herstelling New Housing Scheme home. An autopsy proved the he died as a result of blunt trauma to the head.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

INTERNATIONAL To contact: Guyana Times International

New York Office 106-15 Sutphin Blvd, Jamaica NY 11435 Email: Tel no: 718-658-6804 Fax no: 718-849-2286 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:


Economic decline will affect those at the bottom


he Guyanese economy has been on a downward spiral since the May 11 Election period, but unlike the recurrent trend, this “quasi” decline is prolonging, without any prospects of amelioration in the near future. Most analysts expect the downturn to become a full-blown decline, which is defined as two successive quarters of declining growth. We have completed one quarter. While those in the business sector expect some level of slowdown during the elections as it has always been in the country due to the heavy tensions that reign, what was not expected is this status quo where the economy seems to be hovering at a standstill. It appears as though this current administration either does not have the necessary expertise to chart a course for steady economic growth and development, or doesn’t have economic growth as a priority. Observers have wondered about who exactly is advising the Government in economic matters and they seem more interested in witch hunting. In the first case, then it could have handled the VenezuelaGuyana border controversy with much more tact and diplomacy, in order to avoid the loss of Guyana’s main rice export market. Now, the rice industry is stagnating, as the new harvest of rice farmers literally has no foreign export market. In addition, the Gy$23 billion promised by the Government to relieve the industry has now led to a confession that the money was for “shipping rice” – much to the frustration of the beleaguered rice farmers. On the Essequibo Coast for instance, where the main means of subsistence remains rice farming, the extent of the damage on the rice industry would be felt by hundreds of families who would be unable to obtain their regular income from crops. One large farmer was said to have committed suicide. The level of investments in the country is also at a high risk of collapsing. For instance in the gold mining sector, the world price of gold remains low, and the future of the industry remains uncertain due to the anaemic nature of reforms proposed by Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman. The promise to limit the investments of companies in the mining sector so that small scale, local investors may benefit, might be perceived to be hostile to national and international companies which are interested in large scale mining. There is also the question on whether or not small scale investments could compensate for the possible losses in the economy by the limitation of big companies. In the case of foreign investments, bilateral relations with habitual business partners might take a toll. In the area of green investments, and despite the Government’s promise of “a good life in a green economy”, to date there has been little or no sign of interest in pursuing Guyana’s biggest green initiative, the Low Carbon Development Strategy. Insofar as the LCDS stands, the Amaila Hydro Electric Project has been abandoned, representing the potential loss of US$80 million, almost half of the US$190 million of the revenues earned to date. Amerindians were the direct beneficiaries of a substantial amount of LCDS revenues, and stand to lose should the Government chose not to renew the agreement with Norway. Another instance where the economy is felt at the lower levels of society, is the decrease in consummation and investment by Guyanese, many of whom have lost their jobs, are affected by slow business, are compelled to leave the country due to escalating crimes or are simply unwilling to invest. The result is that the economy, though at this point it is affected by unfavourable Government policies, is also hindered by a lack of local direct and indirect investments, and a general reduction of consumerism. It is highly likely that speculations and projections of a dismal economy would force consumers to save rather than to spend, reducing the flow of capital in the country and stymieing the habitual 3 to 5% growth Guyana has enjoyed for the past 5 years. Au finale, while the positioning of the country in the race for regional development might most likely be reconfigured, Guyanese, who had grown accustomed to steady economic development and who, through their investments and evolution had learnt to rely on positive Government policies which contributed to a favourable socioeconomic framework for development, are the ones who will feel the negative effects of a stagnating economy the most. When investors, foreign and local alike, would have lost the necessary trust fostered over two decades with the Government of Guyana, it is highly unlikely that demoralised Guyanese alone would be able to lift up the economy.

The welcome ‘sign’ at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (Carl Croker photo)

Study finds pre-teens using illicit drugs in Guyana


study conducted in 2013 on the prevalence of drug use among secondary school students in Guyana has revealed an alarming trend showing that students as young as 12 years old are engaged in the use of both licit and illicit substances. The Secondary School Drug Prevalence Survey Project was done by the Organisation of American States (OAS) InterAmerican Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) in collaboration with the Government of Guyana. The study was undertaken in May and June of 2013. Some two years after the survey was conducted, the report was officially launched on Wednesday at the Cara Lodge, indicating that alcohol, cigarettes, inhalants and marijuana are the most commonly used drugs among the student population in Guyana. CICAD representative Tiffany Barry, during a review of the survey, disclosed that 1890 students from 28 schools participated in the study, with 92.5 per cent from public schools and 7.5 per cent from private schools. These students were from Grades 8, 10, 11 and Sixth Form. Some 43.8 per cent of the participants were between the ages of 11 and 14. Most of the participants in the survey were from schools in Georgetown, while the others were from the various Regions except Seven and Eight. The drugs categorised in the study are: Licit drugs – alcohol and tobacco; and illicit drugs – inhalants/solvents, marijuana, tranquilisers, ecstasy and cocaine. According to the CICAD representative, 19 per cent of the students have admitted using an illegal drug at least once in their lifetime, while 52 per cent said they have consumed alcohol. However, the findings showed that there is a higher prevalence of drug use among private school students. The following percentages of participants also admitted to using these other drugs once in their lifetime: 10.8 per cent of the participants admitted to having used inhalants/solvents; 16.8 per cent used tobac-

OAS Country Representative Jean Dormeus handing over a copy of the Secondary School Drug Prevalence Survey 2013 report to US Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Bryan Hunt

co; 6.6 per cent used marijuana: 3.2 per cent used tranquilisers; 1.6 per cent used ecstasy and 1.4 per cent used cocaine. Eighteen per cent of these students are from public school, while some 24.5 per cent are private school students. However, 7.6 per cent of the students said they have tried an illegal drug for the first time within the past year (dated from when the survey was done). More alarmingly, Barry outlined that students as young as 10 years, eight months are using inhalants, while those 12 and above were using substances such as alcohol, cocaine and marijuana. Most of the students said they usually get alcohol from shops, while marijuana and cocaine are acquired from friends and relatives. Moreover, marijuana was found to be the most accessible illegal drug, while cocaine was the least accessible.

Private school

The CICAD representative indicated that the data from the survey shows a trend of drug use being more prevalent among private school students. “Overall students are aware of the dangers of drug use as more than 50 per cent of them indicated that using any type of drug is very harmful to their health. Generally, students are not curious to try a drug even if given the opportunity – more than 80 per cent said no. Efforts need to be taken to reduce students’ access to drugs in public places such as sporting events and from being

able to purchase alcohol and cigarettes in shops,” Barry detailed in her presentation. This survey by CICAD has been replicated in 12 other Caribbean countries. On this note, another representative of CICAD, Pernell Clarke, gave a detailed comparative analysis of Guyana’s position at the regional level. He outlined that Guyana has been placed in the mid to lower end of the crisis when compared to other countries in the Region. Clarke pointed out that the most widely consumed substance across the Region was alcohol, which was followed by marijuana. However, he highlighted that binge drinking among Guyanese students is the most prevalent in comparison to the other countries. As it relates to illicit substances, marijuana remains the most widely used drug among secondary students in the Caribbean. Furthermore, the CICAD representative outlined that in order to tackle this worrisome and growing trend each country in the Region would have to design a response strategy of its own. “Every country has a unique pattern of use so you can’t have a one size, fix all approach to prevention… You have to customise your approach, depending on unique situation,” he stated. This is the third Secondary School Drug Prevalence Survey that CICAD has conducted in Guyana. The first was done in 2003 and another in 2007.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

No decision to close Uitvlugt Sugar Estate - Agri Minister


g r i c u l t u r e Minister Noel Holder has rejected reports that his Ministry had taken a decision to shut down the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate on the West Coast of Demerara. During a recent strike by cane cutters (cane harvesters) on the estate for compensation for “obstacles”, several of them had asserted that such a decision had in fact been made and that it was widely discussed on the Estate. Speaking with Guyana Times International from Canada on Wednesday, however, Holder said no such decision has been taken, explaining that the Agriculture Ministry was still awaiting a report from the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) before any decision on the future of the sugar industry was taken. That report is expected to be delivered shortly. It was, therefore, surmised that the cane cutters might have heard the claim or inferred it when the CoI visited the estate. The 11-member Commission was established in July with the aim of assessing the work

Special Forces recount difficulties in securing and transporting body of missing tourist

F Agriculture Minister Noel Holder

of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). In the report that is required to be submitted shortly, the Commission is expected to submit a 15-year plan that will move the industry forward by addressing key issues such as the lack of profitability, and production. This plan is expected to replace the revised version of the sugar industry’s 2013-2017 Strategic Plan. Under that plan, GuySuCo was expected to produce 350,000 tonnes of sugar by 2017. Questioned on a decision which was taken by the former Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy to accelerate mechanisation withcontinued on page 7

ifteen days after Gyaneshwarie “Laleta” Sivanand of Durban Backlands, Georgetown allegedly jumped off Kaieteur Falls, her battered and decomposing body was finally transported to Georgetown on Wednesday. The woman went missing on September 1 during a visit to the Kaieteur Falls National Park. The woman’s body was taken to the Lyken’s Funeral Home where it will await a post-mortem examination. Relatives of the dead woman have remained tightlipped. However, a member of the Special Forces told Guyana Times International that they spotted the body of the missing woman on Sunday after they were deployed to the area, based on a report that the body was sighted. He stated that upon locating the body, they attempted to use ropes and a helicopter to retrieve it but it was too risky taking into consideration the condition of the body. The officer stated that the eight-crew member team was forced to fetch

Dead: Gyaneshwarie “Laleta” Sivanand

the body to location that would have been safe enough for the helicopter to land. He stated that on the first day of the recovery mission, they secured the body in a body bag by which time, it was dark; hence they camped out for the night. On the second day, they fetched the body for close to six hours in rough terrain and ceased operation for the remaining of the night. On the third day, which was Tuesday, he stated that they took turns in carrying the body closer to the spot where it had to be collected. On Wednesday at about 11:30h, the body was collected and transported to the Ogle International

Airport. However, he explained that the body was severely damaged and was identified by the wristwatch on one of the hands. “Due to the current of the water, the body did not have on any clothes… so I am not sure how relatives stated that they identified her by the clothes she was wearing”, the official stated. Nevertheless, he stated that the crew worked tirelessly to get the body out to the city. “It was indeed an experience… and it was hard work”, he added. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Presidency via a release to the media announced the Kaieteur National Park (KNP)

has been re-opened as of Wednesday while noting that the woman’s body was retrieved and transported to the city. The body, which was first spotted by a KNP Ranger late Saturday afternoon, was found in a rocky area at the base of the Falls, which had previously been submerged by high water levels. On the afternoon of September 1, it was discovered that Sivanand, who had arrived at the KNP on an Air Services Limited flight, was missing after she left her group on the way back from touring the Falls. A search operation was immediately launched by the KNP Rangers. An expanded search was later led by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF), focusing on the base of the Falls and the surrounding gorge and trails, but no trace of the woman had been found at that time. The Ministry of the Presidency expressed its condolences to the family and friends of the deceased tourist during this difficult time.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Some Guyanese are Is Clive Thomas the best pick mistreated when travelling to head Guysuco?

Dear Editor, I wrote the following letter over a month ago and hesitated to have it published because I thought things would get better with airline services to Guyana. Actually, things have gotten worse. Over the years, I have heard and read about how Guyanese have been treated rather poorly on various airlines, namely Caribbean and Dynamic Airlines. I recently experienced this “commercial terrorism” onboard Caribbean Airlines. This “commercial terrorism” began in New York JFK airport in mid-July when I was booked to leave early in the morning only to find that the flight was delayed for eight hours. I was told along with my eighty-three year old mother that we would

be put on a direct flight to Guyana. We eventually got on to that flight but ended up in Trinidad and then on to Guyana. We were lied to. The “commercial terrorism” continued on the return flight BW 550 on August 2, 2015 from Guyana. All went well to Trinidad but one hour after arrival about fifty of us were told that the flight was cancelled and that we would be on the next flight the next day. We left alone for hours while “they” worked out what to do with us. There was limited communication other than the flight was cancelled because of “a lack of staff”. I believe however, that we were bumped off because we are Guyanese, the new “Haitians in the Caribbean”. Passing through customs was abusive and

disrespectful. One customs officer asked mockingly for my wife’s passport who is my eighty-three mother while one Caribbean airline agent upon hearing that remark cracked up so loud one could hear him a mile away. My “commercial terrorism” experience, however, speaks to a larger national problem. In age of globalization, most nation States have their own national airlines meet the needs of their citizens as well as to express basic pride. That Guyana does not have a national airline is a national embarrassment. More unsettling is that there is no indication that there will be one in the near future. I am not surprised. Sincerely, L o m a r s h Roopnarine

For consensus politics and a national unity Government Dear Editor, The APNU/AFC’s call to the PPP/C for a “national unity” Government indicates that the coalition does not have all the solutions to Guyana’s problems. Such an acceptance is conducive to creating mutual understanding, trust and respect which is what consensus politics is about. The PPP/C

and the APNU/AFC each needs to acknowledge that they alone do not independently have the solutions to Guyana’s problems. Hence, the APNU/ AFC needs strategic support and guidance from the PPP/C. And, the PPP/C needs strategic support and guidance from the APNU/AFC.

Some people are too wrapped up in their personal hatred to see the necessity of consensus politics whereby we have to work together to channel our energies towards moving Guyana forward. This is a Golden Opportunity that has been created. Sincerely, Sean Ori

Is the non-support of rice farmers a form of ethnic discrimination?

Dear Editor, The rice industry is one of the most important in Guyana. It provides affordable high quality food for the entire population and contributes to food security in our country and across the Caribbean. The rice industry, in fact, is a pillar of strength when it comes to Guyana’s economic development. Almost 50,000 persons directly depend on the rice industry for their livelihoods and another 50,000 depend in some way on the rice industry for a living. The industry is in the top 5 contributors to Guyana’s GDP and is the country’s top foreign currency earner. No industry contributes more to the reduction of poverty than the rice industry and it is by far the most important economic activity for rural Guyana. Yet farmers have been abandoned by the Government on the basis that they belong to the private sector. Farmers are owed about Gy$1 bil-

lion for the first crop of paddy and the current harvest obtains between Gy$1,500 to Gy$2,200 per bag. This is about 25 – 50% lower than what was obtained for the first crop. This debt to farmers adds to the difficulties due to the price for paddy. Yet the Government remains passive, and one wonders why it has adopted such a callous attitude towards rice farmers. The mining industry has received governmental support as it is an important industry to Guyana, but rice is no less important. Some argue that rice is even more important than the mining industry. Perhaps, the Government’s indifference is in part due to its hatred for the PPP and the perception that rice farmers are PPP supporters. Some also feel that since about 90% of rice farmers are East Indians, this is an open racial discriminatory move by the

PNC-led APNU/AFC. This type of ethnic discrimination occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. So far, the current situation of the rice industry reflects the ethnic leaning of the policies developed by this Government. Although this Government pretends to want social cohesion and national unity, and even went so far as to establish a Social Cohesion Ministry, it has shown remarkable insensitivity to the fact that more than 90% of those dismissed or forced to resign from the public service are Amerindians and East Indians, that more than 90% of the rice farmers are East Indians. All Guyanese lives matter. We are so vulgarly loud in talking about our Guyaneseness, as the Prime Minister particularly likes to do, but we seem impervious to the plight that Guyanese East Indians face in their own country. Dr Leslie Ramsammy

Dear Editor, The PNC-led coalition attack on former Guysuco CEO Dr Rajendra Singh because he is fighting back in court against the unlawful termination of his contract is most shameful. Everything he has done at Guysuco is now used to paint him as having acted against the sugar industry. Dr Clive Thomas, his successor, is not the right man for the job when he is alleged to have little business experience. By his placement he is misusing his power to run Guysuco whilst he sits on another commission to investigate the very corporation. In fact, this would enable him

to avoid being blamed for the Guysuco failure, while easily placing the blame on Dr Singh. One wonders which CEO would go public with unverifiable company information when he is in court? Guysuco doesn’t need a theorist and this flagrant case of conflict of interest should not be condoned by the local and international business community. After the government’s flagrant violation of the Berbice Bridge contract, it’s obvious that the PNC-led coalition is confused. I completely reject the nonsense being carried by the media regarding the adjudication of business contracts, espe-

Dr Clive Thomas

cially Dr Singh’s lawsuit. Justice under the PNC-led coalition died when the claims of rigged elections were refused a proper investigation by GECOM. It is hardly likely that this Government’s efforts to address the issues with which it is faced will amount to anything much. It is time for change and fresh national election. Federalism must come soon to get us out of this mess. Sultan Mohamed

Why no forensic audit for City Hall? Dear Editor, I have observed that this Government since it took Office in May, has effected a number of forensic audits and commissions of inquiry to investigate several State agencies and quite rightly so. However, it seems to have overlooked the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown for fiscal inspection, an agency accused over the last two decades for being culpable of every financial impropriety possible. One wonders whether this is an oversight or whether it is deliberate, bearing in mind that this municipal-

ity has been governed for the last twenty one years by the majority by Councillors that belong to the governing party. Whatever the reason, with the Local Government elections looming large, it is important for the Government to step in quickly, investigate these allegations and stop the Mayor and Councillors if necessary from destroying what is left of the Council. It would be a monumental mistake if the Government were to hand over the budgeted amount for the rehabilitation of Georgetown to this Council without conducting an audit.

Another area which must be inspected at City Hall, are the allegations of contracts being handed out left, right and center to friends and family, individuals, not companies but persons without any prior experience, without equipment, without technical knowledge. So far, it is public knowledge that the Deputy Mayor’s son was given a maintenance contract for the cemetery. The Communities Minister must ensure that the capital and resources of citizens are saved from wanton pilfering of taxpayers’ dollars. Sincerely, Sean Moniz

The media must dig deep into stories to give a clearer account of important issues and events Dear Editor, In a media landscape where there is an abundance of resources, the issue of the missing woman in Kaieteur Falls National Park, should have been more adequately covered by the media, both print and electronic. I could not see the story on most nightly newscasts or even followed the progress of the search. There were a few repetitive newspaper articles with similar details from the previous stories. The electronic media did not make use of simulation videos of the Falls and a possible jump; the print media did not make use of family accounts or even maps. The entire story lacked investigative journalism. Headlines

such as “Woman missing at a world- famous falls”, would have attracted millions of eyes worldwide since similar falls exist at Niagara, NY and Canada. Our journalists should have had a field day with such a human- interest story. There were no interviews of the woman’s relatives—we didn’t hear about any problem or issue she might have been going through prior to and during the trip, although she was crying during the trip, as some sections of the media revealed. We did not get enough information from the press, our gatekeepers of knowledge. I do not know if the media were allowed to accompany the army on the search, but again there

were no pictures from those searches. Doesn’t the army have a photography or media section? It isn’t every day that someone jumps from the Kaieteur Falls. The reportage of the story had several missing links and gaps. On Monday, the news broke that a woman’s body was spotted at the bottom of the Falls. I can only hope that some of our press members were allowed to travel to the search area to bring us first- hand information. The media must go deep into stories, especially those of such nature. Instead of just presenting the facts, we should start conducting more analysis. Sincerely, Leon Suseran

news 7

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Guyana Govt not moved by Venezuela’s suspension of appointment of Ambassador


uyana’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge has responded to the Venezuelan government’s decision to suspend the approval of the new Guyana Ambassador to Caracas. In a short statement on Thursday, Foreign Minister Greenidge vowed to continue speaking out against Venezuela’s illegal claim to the Essequibo region and Guyana’s oil rich maritime space. He said “I regret President Maduro’s fondness for broadcast diplo-

the process for the accreditation of the new Ambassador. Amidst the ongoing tensions between Guyana and Venezuela, the Venezuelan President ordered the suspension of the diplomatic appointment. The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry announced that the procedures for acceptance were ongoing, but were “frustrated” by recent statements made by Greenidge. Guyana’s Foreign Minister said the country is not discouraged by the move and said “the path of peace is the path

Marilyn Cheryl Miles

Venezuelan Ambassador Reina Margarita

macy which Guyana will not follow. Guyana will not be silent where its rights under law continue to be denied.” President Maduro had appeared in a television broadcast in Venezuela to announce his decision to halt

of law, and Guyana will continue to pursue it.” Career diplomat Cheryl Miles has been named to be Guyana’s new Ambassador to Venezuela. According to reports out of the Venezuelan

Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge

media, Mr. Maduro said that “due to the attacks, he ordered the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Delcy Rodríguez, to stop the process of accreditation requested by the Guyanese Government.” “It is nonsense to initiate the diplomatic way of regularization, the appointment and admission of ambassadors and suddenly go to the United States to launch attacks against Venezuela”, the Venezuelan Leader was quoted as saying. The Government of Venezuela under Maduro resurrected its decades old claim following the announcement of the discovery of oil, offshore Guyana within Guyana’s maritime area.

No decision to close Uitvlugt...

from page 5

Uitvlugt Sugar Estate

in the industry, Holder, in response, said though no decision has been made regarding the industry, manual labour was greatly preferred. “Mechanisation will reduce the economic benefit of the country, in the sense that labour is Guyanese, machines are not…machines work with fuel and fuel is foreign exchange; therefore the economic benefit will be less,” Holder explained.

He further added that “there is nothing better than clean cut cane, you cut the cane and there is no brick, no stone, no mud, nothing,” as against machines which “pick up all kinds of junk”. In 2014, the then Agriculture Minister had announced GuySuCo’s intention to accelerate its Mechanisation Programme to cushion the impact of a dwindling labour force. At

the time, 30 per cent of the 48, 000 hectares of fields had been mechanised. It was explained that sugar workers were downing their tools as they were capitalising on emerging commercial activities that are aiding in the transformation of Guyana’s economical landscape. Back in 1995, GuySuCo’s labour force stood at 24,000, but today it has dropped to below 18,000.

23-year-old driver dies following horrific accident


The Toyota Avensis which Sugrim was driving

wenty- three-year old Mahindra Sugrim died at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH) on Wednesday evening (September 16) after a speeding Toyota Tacoma truck slammed into his car on the West Bank of Demerara. Several persons were also injured in the accident. It is suspected that the driver of the Tacoma was allegedly racing with another truck when he crashed into a white car, before colliding head on with Sugrim, who was driving the Blue Toyota Avensis.

Sugrim’s car ended up in a nearby trench, where he remained pinned inside the vehicle, before being rescued by residents. This newspaper understands that the accident occurred at approximately 20:45 hrs and that Sugrim was heading to La Grange, West Bank Demerara, while the Tacoma was heading in the opposite direction. His cousin, Vijay Sugrim said that the now dead young man lived in Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara with his parents and younger sister. He was “spray paint-

er”, Vijay said. He further explained that his cousin was rushed to the WDRH, where he was conscious for a while, but could not speak; the young man sustained several broken limbs before dying at around 23:20 hrs. This publication understands that two Toyota Tacoma trucks were racing towards Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara from the direction of Wales, West Bank Demerara when one of them hit a car, lost control and slammed into another vehicle head on.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

All set for Berbice Expo this weekend T

he 2015 edition of the Berbice Expo, the premier trade show in the Ancient County, is expected to be declared open on Friday. Construction work on the Expo is almost complete as organisers gear up for Friday’s opening. The four-day event will be held under the theme “Fostering National Pride, Advancing

National Progress”. Coordinator of the event, Tajpaul Adjodhea said all plans were in place for the 10th annual Berbice Expo. He said the event, which was being held in collaboration with Government through the Business Ministry, will be the biggest Berbice Expo ever. Adjodhea, the President of the Central Corentyne

Chamber of Commerce (CCCC) – which is hosting the event, added that Guyana was currently going through a change and the Expo would reflect that. “A lot more has to be done in terms of our economic progress. We want the Berbice Expo and other trade fairs to be a catalyst to kick-start and advance economic progPreparations for the staging of this year’s Berbice Trade Expo are underway ahead of the official opening of the three day event on Friday

ress. As a Chamber, we don’t believe that economic progress should be confined to a few… This country can only grow if everyone moves in that direction,” he said. At the opening of the Expo, which President David Granger will officially declare open, Business Minister Dominique Gaskin and Tourism Minister Cathy Hughes are also expected to participate. Adjodhea highlighted that there was a need to nurture both small and large industries equally, since they both create

employment. “Equal opportunities are being offered to both groups at the Expo.” He noted this year visitors to the Expo will have the opportunity to see businesses from other Caribbean states showcasing what they do. Also several new exhibitors have already signalled their intention to be part of the event. These include Citizens Bank, Assuria Insurance Company, Fibre Tech, and JR Trading Company. “We will still have the regulars that persons are ac-

customed to like Digicel, Nand Persaud Rice Mills, the Guyana Sugar Corporation, Comfort Sleep, Banks DIH Ltd, ANSA McAL Trading, Edward Beharry Group of Companies, E-Networks, Republic Bank, Demerara Bank and the Berbice Bridge Company Inc and Alim Shaw.” Adjodhea added that Berbice Expo has always been touted as a family event. This year will be no exception with several new initiatives to be implemented including helicopters rides.

Govt remains mum on Jagdeo’s tax help offer – recovery of over Gy$25B in taxes remains in limbo


t is now two weeks since Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo offered the Government of Guyana assistance in recouping over Gy$25 billion in taxes owed by 10 companies to the State coffers and there was still no sign from the new Administration of its willingness to accept the offer. With the garganFormer Attorney General Anil Nandlall

tuan quantum of monies owing as unpaid taxes, it has to be concluded that these are companies with proportionate mega revenues. Jagdeo had made the offer while speaking at a press conference on September 9 following complaints from the new Attorney General Basil Williams that he was unable to properly acquaint himself with the ongoing matters because of the lack of all of the files. Although the Opposition Leader rejected the AG’s excuse, he said that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) was willing to make former Attorney General Anil Nandlall available to work with the Government to offer “institutional knowledge” about the ongoing tax cases in order to put it on

firm footing to be able to successfully fight the cases. “We will share all of the institutional memory that we have about those tax cases, because we don’t want the Government to lose those tax cases based on bad legal representation, because it will cause the treasury billions of dollars and us as taxpayers – people of this country. We want to share things with them, we want to work with them on this,” he had outlined. When contacted on Wednesday, Jagdeo said that no one from the Government had contacted the Party or him directly to accept the offer. He maintained that the PPP has no interest in simply going after businesses in general and was unwilling to be part of any crusade to target businesses unfairly. “We merely wanted to ensure that the Government had all of the information it needed to prosecute the small amount of cases that we had initiated action against,” Jagdeo said. In the meantime, former Attorney General Nandlall reiterated that he remained ready and willing to assist if necessary.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Guyana Gold Fields to continue US$250M investment M

ore than 500 Guyanese will be retrained as Guyana Gold Fields Incorporated commences its US$250 million operation in Aurora which has a mine life of 17 plus years, with Guyana in the line up to reap tremendous benefits. This announcement was made during the commissioning and gold pouring ceremony of Guyana Gold Fields Incorporated and Aurora Gold Mines Incorporated on Tuesday. The projected corporate income tax is estimated at US$509 million. Projected payroll taxes are estimated at US$67 million; and excise taxes, US$43 million. Further, as part of it mandate of being a good corporate citizen the company has also pledged to donate a school boat to aid in President David Granger’s drive to ensure that every school aged child is in school. In delivering the feature remarks at the ceremony, President Granger underscored the importance of an economically strong and well-managed mining industry. “This enterprise can become a successful mod-

pointed out that the gold mining industry is located mainly in these regions. “This industry has been the country’s largest foreign exchange earner for several years, with record breaking production in 2013. A sharp drop in world price for gold in 2014 precipitated a reduction in production, in declarations, and in earnings. Rising

President David Granger

el for large scale mining, and for sound environmental stewardship. It can become a matrix for our mineral driven economic renewal.” In congratulating Guyana Gold Fields, President Granger said the company is now positioned to intensify production, and by so doing, contribute to its own profitability, the prosperity of the nation and to all Guyanese. “As you know, through our Sovereign Wealth Fund, we will ensure that a little piece of what is poured today and what is poured over the coming years will remain in that fund for posterity. Guyanese children must not be poor again,” the President said. Even as he spoke

of his optimism for the company, President Granger stressed that his Government will be looking forward to the company’s respect for local labour and occupational safety laws. “We wish you all success, and today we commit our Government’s support, not only to you, but to the entire gold mining sector of our national economy,” President Granger said. Addressing the importance of the mining sector, President Granger said there is a link between the development of the hinterland, its people and the gold industry. Alluding to the fact that the hinterland region makes up three quarters of the country’s landmass, he

The ‘Good Life’ which Govt promised has evaporated before the eyes of farmers – PPP/C


s rice farmers throughout the country continue to struggle daily with uncertainty over their livelihood, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) said on Tuesday the “‘Good Life” which the governing coalition promised Guyanese has “evaporated before the eyes of the farmers”. Rice farmers are being offered a paltry Gy$1900 per bag of paddy, instead of the Gy$6000 to Gy$9000 promised during the election campaign. “The Granger Administration clearly hoodwinked rice farmers, like many other sectors, into believing that their promises were genuine. Rice accounts for more than 20 per cent of Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product, but more so it is the livelihood of thousands of citizens and as such, the Government must forthwith stop playing politics with this immensely important sector. Therefore, the PPP urges the Guyana Rice Producers Association (RPA) and rice farmers to intensify their struggle for their livelihood and that of their fami-

PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee

lies,” the Party posited. A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/ AFC) Government officials remain mum on the prevailing issue of low paddy prices, in spite of the campaign promises to ensure that the farmers receive substantial increases for their produce once this Administration took office. As a result of the passive stand that the coalition Government has taken on issues plaguing these rice farmers, the affected have been propelled into staging protests as a way of securing the attention of the relevant authorities. However, thus far

this has been to no avail. As such, the PPP/C has joined in solidarity with these rice farmers across Guyana who have been demanding that the present Administration fulfil the campaign promises of better paddy prices and other support for the industry. According to the Opposition Party, the Government must ensure that farmers receive a minimum of between Gy$3000 and Gy$3500 per bag of paddy which was the price range for the last crop. Guyana Times International understands that the PPP/C was urging the APNU/ AFC to make certain that the farmers receive all outstanding payments owed by the millers from the last crop and to immediately make available the Gy$23 billion promised by government. The Party is also calling on the Administration to ensure that markets are secured for the rice industry so as to fill the void created by the decision of Venezuela to halt purchasing rice from Guyana.

cost also resulted in the closure of several small operations and the loss of hundreds of jobs and a slowing in the growth in the economy.” However, even amid these challenges, the President said that the national economy will significantly be enhanced and the livelihood of hinterland residents and miners would be enriched if the indus-

try were to be placed on a surer economic foundation with better administrative controls. This, he said, would result in a more comprehensive and collaborative approach rather than the confrontation and recrimination, which Guyanese have become accustomed to between the state and the industry. (

Taxi driver sentenced to two weeks in prison for destroying ex’s passport


taxi driver was on Wednesday sentenced to two weeks in prison after he was found guilty by Magistrate Annette Singh in Court 11 of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts of a charge of damage of property. Gavin Major, 39, of 11 Charles Street, Charlestown, on June 29 at 11 Coconut Walk, Albouystown unlawfully damaged one Republic of Guyana passport valued at Gy$15,000, property of the Virtual Complainant (VC), Shaminka Thomas, his ex-girlfriend. The case was prosecuted by Police Prosecutor, Corporal Aduni Innis. During the trial, the court learnt

that the two individuals shared a two-year relationship during which they resided together at Coconut Walk. On the day in question, the VC was at home preparing to leave for a trip abroad when the defendant, who was no longer in a relationship with her, came to the house and an argument ensued. During the argument, there was an exchange of words during which the defendant accused the VC of going abroad to engage in drug peddling. He then went into her suitcase and removed her passport, which he tore to pieces. The matter was reported to the Police and the defendant was arrested and

charged. He was brought before the Court and the trial commenced on July 7. After reviewing all of the evidence and testimony during the trial, the Magistrate found the defendant guilty telling him that the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt his culpability. She then sentenced him to pay a fine of Gy$30,000 as well as two weeks in prison. In addition to that, she ordered him to compensate the VC for her loss. He was given two weeks to pay the fine and compensation; in lieu of which he would spend another two weeks’ imprisonment.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Mexico to help Guyana Caricom needs support, resources to address severity with digitisation of of climate change National Archives – teachers in Caricom to benefit from Mexican experts’ training


uyana will soon benefit from the digitisation of its National Archives with the help of Mexico and it is expected that this project will commence shortly. This is according to Mexico’s Ambassador to Guyana, Ivan Robero Sierra Medel, as he highlighted the achievements of the relationship that the Spanish-speaking nation has shared with this country over the years. During Mexico’s 205th anniversary celebration at the Marriott Hotel on Tuesday evening, in the presence of President David Granger, the Ambassador stated that his country has provided significant assistance to Guyana and more could be done. He posited that there was “huge” potential for a more dynamic engagement with the greater Caribbean, and Mexico had every intention of collaborating

with Guyana in order to broaden the political dialogue and improve economic exchanges. It is also expected that with Mexico’s assistance Guyana will ‘make strides’ in international development cooperation. Ambassador Medel further added that his country would be sending experts to provide training to secondary school teachers in various Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries. The gathering at the anniversary celebration was reminded that there has also been collaboration between the countries in areas such as agriculture and health.

Fundamental role

Meanwhile, President Granger commended Mexico’s support for the Region through the Caricom-Mexico cooperation programme as he stated that the Spanishspeaking country’s geopolitical role would be fundamental in addressing many challenges

faced by Caricom. The major challenges faced are in the areas of food security, climate change and transnational organised crime. “We wish, therefore, to urge Mexico to use its influence in the hemisphere and on the international stage to reject the use, or threat of the use of force between states, to promote development and to preserve the Caribbean as a zone of peace,” Guyana’s Head of State said. It was noted that despite the disparities in wealth and size, Mexico and Guyana share a number of similarities. Hence, there will be many opportunities that can be seized for collaboration. Guyana and the Spanish-speaking nation established bilateral relations in March 1973. These were further strengthened with the establishment of the Mexican Embassy in 2009. (


ecretary General of the Caribbean C o m m u n i t y (Caricom) Irwin LaRocque has stated that in order to address the brutal challenges of the effects of climate change and build resilience, there is need for more support and resources. According to a press release issued by the Caricom Secretariat on Tuesday, the country of Kazakhstan is seeking to assist Dominica in its recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Erika. Guyana Times International understands that Ambassador Konstantin Zhigalov also presented his credentials to Ambassador LaRocque, at the headquarters of the Caricom Secretariat, Turkeyen, Guyana. He is the Ambassador to the

Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque

Republic of Kazakhstan to Canada and Concurrent Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba, The Dominican Republic and Jamaica, and now the first Kazakhstan Ambassador to be accredited to Caricom. It was there that Ambassador Zhigalov expressed his country’s regrets at the loss

of life and property in Dominica and indicated Kazakhstan’s interest in rendering assistance. “Secretary General LaRocque, recently returned from a visit to the stricken island, cited the situation there along with the climatic events in Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines in 2013 as evidence of the devastating effects of climate change. He pointed out that the unusual patterns of rainfall in our Region were a manifestation of the phenomenon of climate changes,” the press statement said. This publication was told that in welcoming Kazakhstan’s first ever Ambassador to the Community, Secretary General LaRocque alluded to discussions held in New York between the Foreign Ministers of the continued on page 11

PPP/C calls out APNU/AFC on Local Govt polls …legislation will have to be further amended


overnment will now have to return to the National Assembly in the ‘wrong’ with regards to their precipitate announcement of Local Government Elections (LGE) being held this year, to seek a further extension of the date for holding the LGE. This is according to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) who deemed the situation as evidence of the “poor leadership and foresight” on the part of the Government. According to a press statement issued by the Opposition Party on Tuesday, with the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) disclosing that LGEs would not be possible on December 7, 2015, the Government will now have to return to the National Assembly to further amend the Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) Bill 2015 so that a new date for the election can be named. Guyana Times International was reminded that during the recent debate on the Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) Act 2015, the PPP/C advised that based on the time available, the elections were not possible for 2015. However, this advice, they said fell on deaf ears. “Minister of

Dr Steve Surujbally

Communities Ronald Bulkan in his usual illusory disposition declared that the election will and must be held by the end of 2015, which to our mind was merely a political gimmick to fulfil [A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change] APNU/AFC’s “first hundred days” commitment. One would recall in 2014, the APNU/AFC in Opposition, used its one-seat dictatorship in the National Assembly to amend the Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) Bill to provide for the holding of Local Government Elections by August 1, 2014, despite being advised from the PPP/C Administration that it was not possible,” the PPP/C stated. The Opposition

explained that in November, 2014, People’s National Congress Reform GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander, has stated that the Elections Commission had said it needed six months to ‘deal with elections.’ Guyana Times International was told that the calculation of these six months commence when the Administration says it wants LGE. “Based on Alexander’s calculations, Local Government Elections can be held in May of 2016. The PPP/C maintains its position that GECOM finalise the boundaries of each of the 71 NDC’s and to ensure that the electors in each of the legally demarcated NDC’s are properly registered to vote. In addition, there are certain non-assented bills that must be brought back to the National Assembly for passage,” the press release said. Guyana Times International was further told that the PPP/C categorically states that it is ready to contest these elections as provided for in the new laws. However, it has reiterated its position in relation to contesting any elections with Dr Steve Surujbally still ensconced as Chairman of GECOM.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

More jobs for the “boys”…

Several “party hacks” appointed to State media Boards dia under the previous Administration.

By Jillicia Pinder


rime Minister Moses Nagamootoo on Tuesday backpedalled on a promise he made to end the political interference in the management and administration of several of the country’s State media entities as he has appointed political party members to serve on the Boards of the National Communications Network (NCN) and the Guyana National Newspapers Limited (GNNL). Despite promising that State Media Boards would be free from “political hacks”, several members found on the coalition Government’s National List for the May 11 elections have managed to earn a spot on the State Boards, including Jean La Rose, who was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for GNNL, and Tabitha Sarabo. Patricia Woolford, who is a member of the People’s National Congress/A Partnership for National Unity (PNC/APNU), was also appointed to the Board. Ruel Johnson and Scheherazade Ishoof Khan, two open supporters of the APNU/Alliance For Change (AFC) coalition as well as Imran Khan, who is Director of Public Information at the Prime Minister’s Office

PPP’s reaction

The new Board of Directors of both entities with Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo

have been placed on both Boards. The Prime Minister had recently stated that members of the Board of Directors for the State Media entities would be “professionals” and they would bring to the fore, in Guyana, a “new approach to information and communication”. New Boards of Directors of State agencies NCN and GNNL were officially appointed on Tuesday during a ceremony at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Liliendaal. The other appointees for NCN’s Board of Directors include Karen Davis, Bert Wilkinson, Sohan Poonai and Director of Public Communications Mark Archer, who was a longtime Public Relations Officer (PRO) for President David Granger and APNU. For GNNL, the members are Bishwa

Caricom needs...

from page 10

Caricom and Kazakhstan last year in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. “He recalled that the Caricom Ministers had proposed that the two sides work together to develop projects in sustainable energy. In pointing out that the proposal should be followed upon quickly, Ambassador LaRocque said that form of energy will not only be powering our future development but will also be a means of safeguarding our very special but fragile natural environment. The Secretary General referred to the Community’s support for Kazakhstan to host EXPO 2017 which is to be held in that country’s capital Astana,” the release from Caricom further stated. It was noted that the theme for EXPO 2017 which is “Energy of the Future” is ‘most apt’ as it focuses on renewable energy. Guyana Times International was also told that Ambassador Zhigalov, in his remarks, stressed the importance of maintaining a high

level of engagement as he informed his country’s eagerness in assisting in the development of the renewable energy sector in the Region. “He said there was much that Kazakhstan can learn from the Region particularly in the development of its tourism product and cultural industries. The two sides signed an agreement for Kazakhstan to support the development of an Integrated Water Resource Management Policy (IWRMP) for Caricom and have almost concluded discussions on a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] to provide a better structure for future cooperation,” the press release added. This newspaper was told that a MoU between Caricom and the Government of Kazakhstan for the IWRMP was signed to the tune of US$250,000. This caters for the development of the water resource management plan for the Caribbean, inclusive of Guyana. (

Panday, the Chair who the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) claims was a known financier of the APNU/AFC elections campaign and relative of Khemraj Ramjattan; Dr Paloma Mohamed; Margaret Lawrence; Kojo McPherson; Dhanwanti Sukhdeo; Carolyn Walcott, and Colin



Nagamootoo reportedly had proposed that the State-owned media operate independently of Government. And privately-operated media houses be no longer subject to harassment, intimidation and threats of violence.

Nagamootoo had also mentioned that while the new Administration would make no attempt to curb the constitutional right of freedom of any media, including that of the State, it would not turn a blind eye to irresponsible, partisan information that had characterised some me-

The PPP in a statement said it was not surprised at the recently-named State Media Boards which are dominated by political appointees of the APNU/AFC Government, contrary to statements by Prime Minister Nagamootoo. “These two Boards are shallow on professionals and deep on political hacks,” the Opposition Party stated. The PPP noted that Nagamootoo had already backpedalled on his promise of “professionalising” the State media, when Beverly Alert, a candidate on the APNU/ AFC list, was appointed Head of the Government Information Agency.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Govt keen on imposing Region 10 eyeing new Regional flags on the shelter, skills population …despite widespread rejection centre


ommunities Minister Ronald Bulkan said Government was determined to see the regional flags initiative come to life despite the fact that a majority of the regions’ heads have already rejected the idea while protesting the lack of consultation with key stakeholders. During a brief telephone interview with this publication on Monday, Bulkan provided an update on the project, noting that the Ministry was still receiving feedback from the regional bodies. “We are still in the

Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan

consultative phase, we’ve invited feedback from throughout the regions and we are going to engage the Private Sector bodies,” he said. Asked

about his response to the concerns expressed by several Regional Chairmen about the flags, Bulkan pointed out that they did not raise those concerns with him. “They have not responded to be rejecting the suggestion,” he said, noting that if they had a problem with the flags, they should relate it to him so the issue could be worked out.


When prompted, Bulkan declined to provide details on the process to finally bestow upon each region its own flag. Several regional

heads have expressed concerns that the imposition of regional flags required amendments to legislation and, therefore, were hesitant about the proposal. “I don’t know if that is constitutional and I will not act until there is proper guidance provided on this because whatever happens must happen in confines of the law,” Region Two (Pomeroon- Supenaam) Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt had proffered. However, Bulkan assured that this initiative did not require any change in legislation.


Region 10 MP Valerie Patterson

egion 10 (Upper D e m e r a r a Berbice) through the Government of Guyana will be lobbying the international community for financial support for the construction of a shelter, a holding centre and a skills training centre. Speaking with Guyana Times International on Tuesday, Region 10 A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Member of Parliament Valerie Patterson disclosed that discussions were already held with Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence on the establishment of the three facilities, during which she offered her support. As a result, funding will also be secured from the Government and local organisations with the intention of having these facilities operational by 2016. “We have already identified an area for the construction of the shelter for victims of domestic violence, and a plan has already been designed,” Patterson said, noting too that currently the budget is being crafted. Patterson, who once served as the Chairperson of the Regional Welfare Committee and Women Affairs Committee, said the shelter for victims of domestic violence, particularly women and children, was the first of its kind for the region and would be built at a critical time. She explained that while there were only a few domestic related murders in the region in recent years, domestic violence in the form of physical abuse was on the rise. Given the lack of a shelter, Patterson explained that many victims of domestic violence, particu-

larly women, opt to stay in abusive relationships because, for them, there was no other alternative. “Even if the matter engages the attention of a probation officer, some abused women often return to their abusive partners because they have nowhere else to go or because of fear. When we encourage them to break the silence, they often ask us, ‘Where will we go?’ Another issue is that relatives often do not want to get involved because they themselves fear for their lives,” the MP explained. Patterson said the establishment of the shelter will definitely assist in the fight against domestic violence, noting that the “shelter will be a place of comfort, a safe haven and a place where counselling will be conducted”. In alluding to the holding centre for children, the MP said the project was initiated out of a discussion with religious leaders and the Magistrate presiding at the Linden Magistrate’s Court. “He has indicated that there is an increase in petty crimes being done by children, mainly boys between the ages of 9-14,” she said, adding that the juvenile offenders were often placed at either of the Police Stations or the Police Outpost, “not the most conducive place”. As such, the holding centre will be a place where children who would have had encounters with the law are kept for a specified period stipulated by the court. While in the care of the centre, they will receive counselling and the opportunity to reintegrate into society. The skills training centre will be erected in close proximity. (


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

75 tonnes of rice dispatched to storm-hit Dominica


Containers of rice being loaded on the wharf in Georgetown

ome Gy$8 million worth of white rice amounting to 75 tonnes was dispatched to the storm-struck island of Dominica as aid relief for residents who are currently struggling to survive. Additionally, a 40foot container of stockfeed is being shipped off to the country for the purpose of feeding the livestock there. State Minister Joseph Harmon, who visited the Guyana National Industrial Company Incorporated (GNIC) Wharf on Monday, where the shipment of rice was being loaded onto the vessel, expressed his delight over the joint effort between the Public Sector and the Private Sector in helping the country in need. “On behalf of the Government of Guyana, we are very pleased with this effort – a joint

effort by the Private Sector and the State in responding to the needs of the Dominican people after their recent disaster. I think that this kind of collaboration between the Private Sector and State Sector is important to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Guyana is a state to respond when there is a need,” he stated. Harmon pointed out that the initial target was 25 tonnes; however, owing to the overwhelming support, Guyana succeeded in tripling that amount. On that note, Harmon encouraged persons to support the effort. “If there are other persons who want to make similar contributions, they can make contact with Civil Defence Commission (CDC) who is the coordinating body,” he said. The eastern

Caribbean island of Dominica was hit by Tropical Storm Erika in late August and was again struck by another storm, Tropical Storm Grace a few days ago. More than 25 persons were reported to have died as a result of the storms while hundreds are said to be homeless. Earlier in September, Guyana’s Private Sector donated medical and pharmaceutical supplies, cleaning items, generators and an undisclosed quantity of cash to Dominica. Some of the donors included NEW GPC INC; Gaico Construction and General Services Inc; International Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA); National Hardware Limited; Demerara Tobacco Company (DEMTOCO) and CAMEX Ltd. (devinas@guyanatimesgy. com)

Crime Chief satisfied with progress made in solving crimes H ead of the C r i m i n a l Investigations Department (CID) of the Guyana Police Force Wendell Blanhum, has expressed his satisfaction with the exemplary work of his department as it relates to solving crimes in the country. Speaking with media operatives on Monday, the Crime Chief stated that he feels a deep sense of satisfaction with the performance of investigators within the CID but more specifically – the Major Crimes Investigation Unit, which he has full control of. Blanhum explained that many of the cases being solved were as a result of collaborations among the various departments within the Police Force. “Most of these high profile murders that you would have seen reported in the press, that Major Crimes Unit in collaboration with members of the other (Police) Division would have worked as a team,” he said. According to the

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum

CID head, collaboration is one of the things he has emphasised to investigators, adding that they need to work as a team and share intelligence if they want to effectively solve crimes. Furthermore, Blanhum pointed out that with increased public confidence, the Police is better able to filter information provided from the Police Divisions as well into the Major Crimes Unit. The Crime Chief further highlighted that there are a number of other factors that

contributes to the Police successes. He noted that the process is multifaceted. “I’ve mentioned before, one is our intelligence gathering capability. We have enhanced our capability; we have persons on the ground, and we have our intelligence operatives who are working beyond the normal call of duty,” Blanhum disclosed. He went on to outline that the Social Crime Prevention programme has also played a major role in boosting the Police’s capacity in solving crimes. The CID Head explained that in various communities, there is high visibility in terms of Police presence. He added too that more persons are cooperating with the Police and have been calling providing information to investigators on serious crimes that were committed. Moreover, the Crime Chief spoke about the investigator’s intelligence capability to determine when a crime has been staged as has been the continued on page 14


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Govt sounds warning to persons found with illegal weapons …after expiration of gun amnesty programme


he ongoing gun amnesty programme which commenced on September 1 and concludes on the last day of the month can possibly be extended depending on the response from the public as they continue to surrender illegal firearms and ammunition. This was according to Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, who was confident that persons would turn in unlicensed guns and ammunition as the amnesty period winds down. The Minister stated that so far, he was pleased with the response taking into consideration the number of guns and ammunition handed in. To date, 30 firearms and 1457 rounds of ammunition were collected at various

Police Divisions across the country. “All the guns and ammunition coming out in the hands of those who had them before and bringing them to the Police Station is indeed a big plus,” he posited. He explained that gun amnesty programmes were not done often, but they were about giving members of the public who have unlicensed firearms the opportunity to turn them in. The Minister also warned that if they did not take advantage of the amnesty programme, they would face the consequences provided by law. In most cases, the guns and ammunition collected during an amnesty are destroyed, but

Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud stated that once the ballistic experts give clearance that the guns were not used in any crime related activity, the Guyana Police Force can apply to the authorities to have them added to their stock. “We will be advised by our ballistic experts and we will provide a report for consideration by our policy makers,” he added. Tests, he noted, have already begun on the weapons and to date, none were linked to any crime. The Police Chief explained that once a gun has been linked to an offence, the Police can and would reopen an investigation into the particular matter. The Commissioner

further stated that those who would have surrendered their illegal weapons during the amnesty programme will have absolute immunity. The immunity, however, only relates to possession of firearms, but not the crime it might have been involved in. “If the firearm is linked to a particular crime is another story,” the Commissioner disclosed. Upon the announcement of the amnesty programme, former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee stated that the Government was wasting its time in this regard, as no success will be had from this crime fighting initiative. Public Security Minister Ramjattan

and reunited with the family. Thomas, who recently reported to this publication that her four granddaughters and daughter of Hyde Park, Timehri, East Bank Demerara, were miss-

ing, on Monday shared that the three older girls had returned home safely. Luana Higgins, nine; Leona Higgins, seven and Leanna Higgins, six, have reunited with the family while fourmonth-old Lisa Gocool

is still missing. Thomas said the three older girls were left with their mother’s friend in Unity, East Coast Demerara. She added that the friend shared that she was not aware that the children’s relatives were unaware of their location. The friend only realised what was going on when she saw media reports alleging that the children were missing. So she brought the children down to the Timehri Police Station, on Friday around 22:00h, where they were reunited with their family. The now grateful grandmother told this newspaper that she had since spoken to her daughter and “let her know what she had to know”. She disclosed that her daughter told her that she did not want anyone to know where she was going, as her reason for not leaving the children with relatives.

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan

Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud

had stated that the Government would accept all illegal weapons from individuals who hand them in, adding that these individuals would not face prosecution. While he had then said the Churches would be the depository for the weapons, this was changed to

the Police Stations being the locations for the activity, with the faithbased organisations overseeing. While he himself was a crusader for the initiative, Rohee said that international experience and advice from his consultants here have proven this idea to be troublesome.

Missing children reunited with family members


ust five days after Lynette Thomas, a distraught grandmother, pleaded with the general public to assist in her search to locate her granddaughters, three of the four girls have been located

From left: Luana, Leona and Leanna Higgins

Thomas stated that her daughter was “running behind a man” and she was either in Cayenne, French Guiana or Suriname with the youngest, Lisa. Thomas said her daughter did not state the date of her return. The three young ladies who are now under the care of their grandmother and aunt at Hyde Park, have missed the first two weeks of school, but were excited

to return to classes. They each told Guyana Times that they were okay with their mother’s friend, but were happy to be back with family. The grandmother also added that she was happy that three of her granddaughters were home, but was still worried about the youngest who remained with her mother in a foreign country. (

Crime Chief satisfied with progress... from page 13

case in a few incidents recently. Blanhum said he always tell investigators to go to a crime scene with an open mind and question everyone thoroughly before coming to any conclusion. “By questioning (these persons) thoroughly and putting certain scenarios to them, you’ll be able to ascertain

whether those crimes were staged or not,” the CID Head declared. In addition, Blanhum stated that this ability displayed by his investigators have been enhanced by a series of local and overseas training courses from some of the best law enforcement agencies.

New training

As a matter of fact, he noted that several investigating members of the various Police Divisions are currently undergoing a one-month training CID induction training course. These participants have two years experience and were performing general duties within their respective Divisions.

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |



WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Canada to help boost Guyana’s justice system

Father of 3 needs urgent heart surgery …relatives appeal for assistance from public


Members of the JES group, Canadian High Commission officials and Attorney General Basil Williams meeting

egal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Basil Williams has met with a team from the Vancouver-based Justice Education Society (JES) to discuss the two-year Government of Canada funded “Strengthening the Guyanese Criminal Justice System” (SGCJS) project. The Minister pointed out that the discussions were centred on the components of the Crime Scene Investigations and investigations by the Police in connection with obtaining evidence for a successful prosecution by the courts. In addition, the Minister alluded to the critical fact that training must be given to Magistrates and State Prosecutors as well as Police Prosecutors. The Attorney General

noted, “We have identified with the components in the programme that is being administered by the Justice Education Society and we believe it’s very relevant due to complaints such as lawyers taking advantage of Police Prosecutors.” JES International Programme Manager Evelyn Neaman said that activities would be commencing as early as next month, providing the necessary training supplies and equipment arrive in a timely manner. The range of the activities include: working with the Director of Public Prosecutions; helping the Police Prosecutors and providing the requisite training for Magistrates. Neaman is of the opinion that when the strong candidates can be trained from

Georgetown, it can create a ripple effect throughout the country, and in so doing, strengthen the justice system in its entirety. The International Programme Manger also pointed out that the media would play a vital role. She said, “There is a documentary for public viewing which will bring about greater awareness on the project and what it hopes to achieve, so the public can better understand what this project is so we can build better confidence in the justice system.” Similar projects of this nature have been conducted by the Justice Education Society. The Canadian NonGovernmental Organisation is set to invest US$750,000 for the development of Guyana’s Legal system.


Orin Sutton

he assistance of the public is again being sought as relatives of a 33-year-old man attempts to raise Gy$2 million for his surgery. Denisha Sutton is pleading with the general public for monetary donations for her 33year- old cousin, Orin Sutton who needs a

heart valve replacement surgery at the Caribbean Heart Institute. The procedure will cost an estimated Gy$2 million. The father of three who has had a heart defect for most of his life only recently became aware of his condition. His cousin shared that he took ill one day and family mem-

bers rushed him to the Linden Hospital Complex, which referred him to the Georgetown Public Hospital. Denisha mentioned that they had waited for an entire day and a night without any word from the hospital officials about her cousin’s condition. They then took him to the Woodlands Hospital, where they were referred to the Caribbean Heart Institute and they became aware of the severity of his condition and knew immediate help would be needed. The young woman stated that they have been slowly trying to raise the funds for the surgery, but whenever he falls ill, they have to rush him back to the hospital which then “sucks up” the money. The family says any form of assistance will be greatly appreciated, and those interested in making donations to the worthy cause can make contact with the relatives on telephone numbers 6652613 or 665-6343 or donations can be made to Account 218824440 at Citizens Bank.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Berbice rice farmers challenge AFC’s Ramayya to fulfill election promises the farmers and was told that they were not there to see him, but the new REO who was commencing his tenure and was marking it by neglecting


cores of irate rice farmers from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) on Monday picketed the office of the newly-appointed Regional Executive Officer (REO) Veerasammy Ramayya as they called on Government to pay attention to the plight of rice farmers in Guyana and to live up to the promises made during the lead-up to the May 11 General Elections. At his appointment, Ramayya had been described by Joseph Harmon, Minister of the Presidency as “quasi political” even though he was occupying a bureaucratic/technocratic office. The farmers held posters and called on the REO to come out of his office and meet with them. “Ramayya and [Khemraj] Ramjattan are liars”, “Ramayya fool

us and make we vote fo dem”, “Come out and face us now,” they shouted, raising posters which said, ‘Docta Ramayya pay up the Gy$6000 per bag you promise’. The farmers, who are being backed by the Rice Producers Association (RPA), are receiving less than half of what Ramayya had promised them several times while appearing on televised programmes during the campaign. The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/ AFC) coalition had promised that farmers would receive between Gy$6000 and Gy$9000 per bag of paddy during its campaign leading up to the May 11 poll. According to the rice farmers who operate in the Black Bush Polder, Crabwood Creek and other parts of the

Corentyne, the Gy$2300 they are currently receiving for the paddy they produced this crop cannot meet the expenses they have incurred. Speaking from the picket line, some farmers claimed that they owed financial lending institutions for tractors and combines as they noted that the money being offered to them could not cover those loan commitments. Ramayya, nine days before, said that he was accepting the job as REO in order to meet with the people of Region Six who he claimed the previous Administration had neglected. However, he did not go out to meet with the worried rice farmers. Regional Chairman David Armogan, who has an office in the same compound [RDC Compound Vrymen’s Erven, New Amsterdam], met with

them. Despite the noisy protest outside, Ramayya told the media that he was unaware of the picket demonstration. He

further said that he never promised rice farmers that under the APNU/ AFC Coalition, they would receive Gy$6000 per bag of paddy.

Introduction of Berbice watertaxis could see minibus operators facing declining revenues

Minibus operators who service the Georgetown-Berbice route have become apprehensive that they will begin to experience declining revenue


ith the Berbice river taxi service set to be reintroduced sometime in October to compete with the Berbice Bridge, minibus operators who service the Georgetown-Berbice route have become apprehensive that they will begin to experience declining revenue. This is according to Junior Public Infrastructure Minister Annette Ferguson who, during an interview with Guyana Times International, explained

that the bus operators have already expressed their views on the issue. “I was able to meet with the Minibus Association last week Thursday, and yes, they shared their concerns with us regarding the reintroduction of the speedboats, even though they are happy about it, they had their concerns,” she admitted. Asked if they were concerned that business would be taken away from them, Minister Ferguson replied in the

affirmative, “Yes, you can safely say so.” However, she noted that moves were afoot to ensure there was a level playing field between the two services which would now be made available to the people of Berbice. In fact, she noted that there was already a proposal to resolve the issue which she would submit to Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson for approval. However, she declined to disclose the proposal at this point continued on page 22


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Jamaican Govt, Opposition agree to CCJ debate in Senate K

INGSTON, JAMAICA: Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator AJ Nicholson, announced Friday that the controversial debate on the three bills concerning Jamaica's relationship with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will begin on October 16. There is no indication as to why the Government wants to go ahead with the debate at this time. Senator Nicholson said that the debate, on which both sides agreed to the timeline, will be of equal importance to the Independence Debate in 1962, which dealt with the proposal for a new Constitution for independent Jamaica. Senator Nicholson noted that the positive vote of at least 14 of

the 21 members of the Senate was required for one of the constitutional amendment bills included in the trio of legislation to be passed. "It is clear therefore that the power of the eight Opposition senators in this exercise looms large," he told his colleagues. He said that it would be the most far-reaching exercise to be undertaken by the Senate since the independence debate, which was concluded in January, 1962. "The initiative has to do with the relocation of our final Court of Appeal, from an institution, which has served us since the year 1833, and it concerns the journey to fully patriate that third arm or branch of Government, known as the judiciary," he told the Senate on Friday.

Duo remanded on drug trafficking charge

Alleged drug trafficker, Chrisell Browne

Alleged drug trafficker, Andre Pilgrim

wo persons were on Monday remanded to prison by Magistrate Ann McLennan when they appeared before her in Court Two of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged with trafficking in narcotics. Andre Sean Pilgrim, 43, a taxi driver of 83 Lamaha Street, Georgetown and Chrisell Browne, 26, a beautician of 32 Lamaha Park, Georgetown, pleaded not guilty to the charge. It is alleged that on Friday, September 11 at Timehri Public Road, East Bank Demerara, the two were found in possession of 12.314 kilograms of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. Pilgrim was represented by Attorney-atLaw Adrian Thompson and Browne was represented by Attorney-atLaw Mark Waldron, who both stated that their clients have no previous or pending matters and requested the release of statements. The two were arrested on Friday with a quantity of cocaine in

milk packets and within the false walls of a suitcase after a tip was received by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU). The latest interception strengthens international categorisation of Guyana as a trans-shipment point for drugs to the US and other northern locales. Browne was on her way to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) where she was due to board a Fly Jamaica flight destined for the John F Kennedy International Airport, New York. From all reports received, Browne, a frequent traveller, might have been under surveillance for some time. Meanwhile, the taxi driver is holding out that he was only hired to take Browne to the airport and knew nothing of the cocaine. Prosecutor Bharat Mangru requested additional time for the completion of the investigation. The matter was adjourned until October 9 for report and the duo was remanded to prison.


(L-R) MORRIS... visited New York. GOLDING... piloted Fishing Industry Bill. KNIGHT... had concerns about Bill

The bills to be debated are: An Act to Amend the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, which seeks to amend the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, to repeal provisions for appeals to the Privy Council, and exclude any appeals to the Privy Council insti-

tuted prior to implementation of the CCJ; An Act to make provisions for the implementation of the agreement establishing the CCJ, as both a court of original jurisdiction to determine cases involving the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and International trea-

ties, as well as a superior court of record with appellate jurisdiction; and, An Act to Amend the Constitution of Jamaica to repeal provisions relating to appeals to the Privy Council, and replace them with provisions establishing the CCJ as Jamaica's final court, which requires a

two-thirds majority in the Senate. The bills spent more than the required three months on the table of the House, after being laid in July 2012, and another three months after the conclusion of that debate in May. The Senate took second reading of the bills on May 22, ten days after it was passed in the House of Representatives. However, the Government did not seem anxious to have them debated immediately, due the constitutional make-up of the Senate, including eight Opposition members, which makes it impossible to obtain the required two-thirds majority necessary for the amendment without the support of at least one member of the Opposition. (Jamaica Observer)


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

APNU and AFC refuse to name sources of $millions spent on election campaign T he A Partnership for National Unity has refused to disclose the financiers of its extravagant 2015 General and Regional Elections even though the political coalition had promised full public disclosures on its campaign funds. It had said it would provide 60% of the funding of the coalition with the AFC, which reveals it had spent an incredible Gy$400M. This would make the total coalition spending at least Gy$1B. The PNC-led APNU has adopted this position despite having vigorously preached about the need for transparency and accountability. APNU General Secretary Joseph Harmon told Guyana Times International on Monday that the Party is willing to reveal the amount of money it utilised for campaign purposes but will not disclose where the money came from. Its partner in government, the Alliance For Change (AFC) already disclosed that it expended some Gy$400 million dollars for campaigning purposes. They too did

Opposition Leader and former President Bharrat Jagdeo

not disclose the name of their donors.


GECOM’s Chairman Dr Surujbally had told this publication that while GECOM has been pushing for campaign finance legislation there is only so much the body can do. He noted that the responsibility of passing the legislation lies in the hands of the National Assembly and they have taken no direct stance on the issue. GECOM’s Legal Officer Wanita Barker had also explained that the existing legislation governing the campaign financing is “really of no value.” According to the Legal officer, the current law is antiquated and in

GECOM Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally

AFC Treasurer Dominic Gaskin

APNU General Secretary Joseph Harmon

dire need of being amended given that it stipulates each party is expected to expend no more that G$25,000 on a single candidate. She also explained that it does not say when campaigning for elections should start so to ask for parties to submit financial records for any campaigning period would be a complicated task. According to Barker, the enforcement has to be detailed.

data released is accurate. “It does not make sense to just name a figure, they have to give details of the donors so then the public would know if you are speaking the truth then because, if someone doesn’t see his name on the list…then he can easily challenge it,” Jagdeo stated. He further reasoned that political parties could just, for the sake of politics, release figures, however, if the identity of their donors were released- then that would represent true transparency and accountability. On that note, Jagdeo said if APNU and AFC were prepared to list their donors then it would be groundbreaking and commendable. “However, if they are

not, then it is just a political gimmick,” he highlighted. Meanwhile, in another section of the media, AFC Treasurer Dominic Gaskin, in revealing the amount of monies spent by his Party for the May 11 General and Regional Elections; explained that they are still waiting on APNU to disclose their figures. When prompted, Minister Harmon said his Party is still in the process of calculating the net total. “Election campaigns are expensive things and therefore you, even after your campaign, there are expenses which need to be cleared and clarified. So in due course we will have a full, total disclosure of what has been

Jagdeo wants evidence

But, in an invited comment, Opposition Leader and former President Bharrat Jagdeo explained that campaign contribution figures without their sources would be completely useless as there will be no way whatsoever to verify whether the

the total debt,” he said. He further explained the reason why APNU will not reveal the identities of their donors is because of the fear of “consequences”. “You don’t ever do that…I think I did disclose that people like to be private and they are aware sometimes that there might be consequences in a small country like this if it is public,” Harmon said. But Harmon also adopted that position despite the concerns raised by sections of the society that several big businessmen pumped millions of dollars into the then opposition campaign with the understanding that they would get big contracts, kick backs and other gains if it won the elections. Leading up to the elections, both APNU and AFC pledged to make public the details surrounding the financing for their campaigns. In fact, based on reports, they had promised to make this information public by the first week in August but to date, no substantial information has been released regarding campaign financing.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Jagdeo presses for all MPs to declare assets …says he is prepared to subject himself to the same scrutiny


he A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government is still to accept the proposal made by former President and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to have all Members of Parliament (MPs) become part of a process which would see them declaring their overseas assets. Jagdeo had made the proposal at a time when Government itself had announced that it had established a Code of Conduct for all MPs. Against this backdrop, questions are being asked whether Government would accept the proposal of the former Guyanese leader. Speaking to Journalists last Tuesday, Jagdeo said he was prepared to work with Government to unveil MPs’ assets around the world. “Let’s put a huge penalty for those who lie or don’t submit accurate information or refuse to provide the information. We should table this, not to the Integrity

Members of Parliament in the National Assembly

Commission, but let’s pass a law to deposit these affidavits in the National Assembly so any member of the public can go in and check what assets we hold abroad. I am prepared to do that,” Jagdeo had declared. He added that he was prepared to subject himself to the same scrutiny. “In fact, I am advocating it; so I am not worried about a Christopher Ram and an Anand

Goolsarran. They discovered that I am living in Pradoville and how much I paid for the land. I see a big revelation about this. I’ve been living there for four years. I don’t think you could have any more things written about this or any more accusations levelled against me. We should do it, I am prepared to do this, but let us do it as every Member of Parliament across the board,” Jagdeo said.

“I’m also prepared to work with them on declaring that every Member of Parliament must clear for the past 10 years their payment of taxes for them to make public, so that anybody could walk over the road and check this.” Meanwhile, he had told Guyana Times International in an exclusive interview last month that the accusations of the APNU/AFC

Government with regard to the “Pradoville” situation were acts of desperation. “I think they are becoming a bit desperate. They are not focusing on the economy, not focusing on job creation, absolutely no initiative to create wealth…The reason Pradoville is thrown into the Asset Recovery Unit is because they don’t have anything more,” the former President said.

He pointed out that the issue of “Pradoville” has been in the newspapers and media long before the 2015 General and Regional Elections and since its establishment, he has already answered numerous questions publicly on his home there. The former President reiterated that this is the Government’s demonstration of a “witchhunt” and that the land price for “Pradoville” was comparable to what Government had been selling to developers. “They will now have to put the land sold to Burnham’s family, Burnham Estate, which is five acres of prime land in the Gardens, in the city. The land was given at zero cost and they didn’t pay a cent. We will see whether it was a corrupt act of the PPP concerning this land, this has to go to the Asset Recovery Unit as well,” he added. He said that he was unmoved by the probe as those carrying out the investigations will find nothing unusual or sinister about the project.

Republic Bank to expand its Nagamootoo’s petulant drama UWI branch in T&T continues

– hurls insults at Opposition Leader Jagdeo on Facebook


Officials from Republic Bank Limited and UWI at the sod turning ceremony

epublic Bank Limited and the University of the West Indies (UWI) recently turned the sod for the construction of a new and bigger branch at the University’s St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). The ceremony was held at the construction site, located on Circular Road, opposite the UWI St Augustine Campus. The bank is looking to expand the existing branch located on campus, as such construction is slated to commence in the near future with the aim of having the facility completed in 2016. Executive Director of Republic Bank, Derwin Howell, in sharing the inspiration behind the vi-

sion of the new Campus branch said, “It was in 1961, that we opened a small branch on campus… Over the course of the next five decades, our relationship with both the University and the community continued to grow and moved even beyond our commitment to provide signature financial products and services… we are always eager to do more, especially in novel, groundbreaking ways…both figuratively and literally.” This addition to the banking facility will be almost three times the size of the existing branch, and will focus on providing superior customer service to students and staff of the UWI Campus and the wider St Augustine

Community. In commemoration of the ceremony, St Augustine Campus’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Clement Sankat, presented a foundation stone for the Republic Bank UWI campus branch to the Chairman of Republic Bank, Ronald Harford. The unveiling of the stone between the two visionaries of this project cemented the newest partnership between Republic Bank and the University of the West Indies. Professor Sankat made the point that “it is through these types of partnerships (commercial as well as philanthropic), that Universities such as ours can continue to be

transformational and make a significant positive impact upon our collective development.” The UWI St Augustine Campus has entered into a landmark private sectoruniversity partnership with Republic Bank. Construction on prime land of the University is the first phase of a broader, more transformative partnership with the future development of a modern ‘Northern Plaza’ at the Campus entrance. This new-development is part of the Professor Sankat’s master-plan for the expansion of the UWI Campus, as it will create an innovative hub for the staff and students. (vahnum@


Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo

s the Opposition P e o p l e ’ s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) and the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government continue to spar over the latter’s proposed national unity talks, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has again criticised the Party and its leader Bharrat Jagdeo for its stance. The PPP/C had rejected the PM’s involvement, saying it would not engage with him. In response, on

Saturday, the Prime Minister on his Facebook page deemed the Opposition Leader a “loser” who was trying to sow mischief among the coalition partners, adding that he lacked “the imagination for this”. “…My comment is that Jagdeo cannot be the loser and chooser at the same time. This is OUR [unity talks] initiative and Jagdeo must not choose our [the Administration’s] negotiators…,” Nagamootoo said in his post. continued on page 23


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Diversion of Specialty Hospital funds

Govt yet to submit project proposal to India Exim Bank G overnment is yet to submit a project proposal to the India Exim Bank for the diversion of the remaining funds from the multimillion-dollar Specialty Hospital Project towards the improvement of the country’s primary health care services. Speaking to Guyana Times International, Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton disclosed that Government was able to acquire the approval of the Indian Government to divert some US$14 million from the project into primary health care. This will see modernisation and rehabilitation works being done at three major hospitals in the sector – the Bartica Hospital, the West Demerara Regional Hospital and the Suddie Hospital. However, before the work can commence, Government was informed that it needed to design a project proposal to be submitted to the Indian Government for

the funds to be released and plugged into this new project. According to Dr Norton, Government has since appointed consultants to conduct a study and an evaluation of the three projects. “We have started this and as soon as this process is completed, we will present the information to the Indian Government,” he stated. The Public Health Minister pointed out that he could not say when this process was expected to be completed, but noted that the proposal would be presented to the Indian Government early next year. Back in June, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition had announced that it would be scrapping the controversial Specialty Hospital Project and diverting the remaining US$14 million of the initial US$18 million into the primary health-care sector. However, the Indian Government had object-

ed to the redirection of the funds approved for the construction of a Specialty Hospital, insisting that the new Administration would have to request a new line of credit to carry those plans.

Available funds

Finance Minister Winston Jordan had previously explained to this newspaper that they were informed by Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, that this approach Government has taken was against the rules and procedures of the Exim Bank of India. “He said that we cannot use the funds from the Specialty Hospital Project for any other projects than what it was intended for, even if the project is in the same health sector. So now we have to close that line of credit and make a request for a new one to fund the primary health care improvements, which is of priority for us,” the Finance

Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton

Minister had stated. M e a n w h i l e , High Commissioner Mahalingham had indicated to Guyana Times International on several occasions that the funds were available for Guyana, noting that his Government was just awaiting the new project proposal from Guyana before releasing the funds. The previous People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration had entered into an

APNU/AFC allies say Govt betrayed rice farmers – shocked at silence of Agri Minister


Dr Turhane Doerga (left) and Chairman of the Rice Producers’ Action Committee (RPAC) Jinnah Rahman

ollowing Finance Minister Winston Jordan’s admission that the Gy$23 billion was never intended for rice farmers, the Rice Producers Association (RPA) Action Committee comprising Dr Turhane Doerga and Jinnah Rahman , who had staunchly supported the APNU/AFC coalition during the campaign, have responded saying that government’s position is “disappointing”, “devastating” and “confusing”. Following immense pressure from society and the massive protest staged by over 400 rice farmers from across the country for the release of the Gy$23 billion, Jordan finally, in an invited

comment to the Guyana Times International, said the money does not belong to the rice farmers though during his Budget presentation he had given the impression that the funds would go directly to the struggling farmers. However, after being silent for so long- allowing the rice farmers to believe that they would finally be relieved, Jordan’s revelation that the money had gone towards “shipping rice to Venezuela” has taken many by surprise- including the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change aligned RPA Action Committee. In an invited comment, Dr Doerga said he is extremely disap-

pointed and devastated to hear about these developments and that it appears that not even Government cares about the future of the rice farmer and the rice industry. “Apparently it appears that nobody cares what’s going to happen with the rice farmers,” he said. He alluded to the fact that never in the history of Guyana did such a large number of rice farmers travel all the way to Georgetown to stage a protest; concluding that the situation is clearly in a dreaded state for these farmers to go to this extreme for their voices and struggles to be heard. He added that it is

extremely worrying that even amid everything that is happening, the Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder- who is mandated to be responsible for the rice farmers has remained silent through it all. “You know what shocks me, is the silence of the Minister of Agriculture and therefore the AFC. It shocks me, I am completely lost. The mere fact that so many people came down tells you how bad it is… What is going to happen to the rice industry?” he pondered. Similarly, Rahman told this publication that the situation is rather confusing yet not a word is being uttered by the persons in charge. On Friday, the Finance Minister told this newspaper that his announcement of providing Gy$23 billion to the rice industry is not to pay farmers, but to assist in the shipment of rice to Venezuela. He still did not address the contention that the sum was not “real” nor exactly to which entities the Gy$23B was paid. The sum would represent payment for an entire year’s shipment of 200,000 tonnes of rice to Venezuela.

agreement with the Indian Government to construct the Specialty Hospital, with a line of credit granted by India to the tune of US$18 million. Some US$4 million has been already expended on certain preliminary works. The Specialty Hospital was aimed at catering for complicated surgeries, ranging from heart operations, organ transplants to cosmetic surgeries. In 2012, the contract was awarded to India-based company, Surendra Engineering Corporation Limited, who was tasked with designing and building the controversial facility. The current Administration, which was on the Opposition side of the House during the 10th Parliament, had heavily criticised the project. The coalition had even cut the Gy$1.25 billion that was budgeted for the Hospital in 2013. The PPP/C had only got Gy$34.4 million as supplementary funding for the Hospital

in the 10th Parliament because then coalition Member of Parliament (MP) Volda Lawrence was absent when the vote had been taken for the funds. However, citing instances of alleged fraud and delays, the Donald Ramotar Administration last year announced that it had terminated the contract of the company and subsequently filed a lawsuit against it for failing to honour its obligations. Government is yet to recover close to Gy$1 billion from the company. The previous Administration was hoping that the hospital would be a pull factor towards bringing tourists and overseasbased Guyanese back to Guyana, a means of “health tourism”. However, the new coalition Government said with the current state of affairs in the health sector, it was better that the construction of the Hospital be put on the backburner.

Introduction of Berbice water-taxis could... from page 18

in time. Meanwhile, Minister Ferguson explained that the reason the river taxis could not be implemented at this point was because the authorities are still trying to work on a pricing structure. Previously, the Minister disclosed that the Government would heavily subsidise the cost for the elderly and schoolchildren utilising the river taxis. “I had a meeting this morning (Monday) with a few Heads of Department…there are some little things we have to work out before the reintroduction of river taxis so…my estimation is that before the month comes to an end, we should have river taxis in place,” Ferguson related. The Minister had met with representatives from the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD); the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) and the Education Ministry. Furthermore, Ferguson said officials are considering having the transit points at the New Amsterdam Stelling and the Rosignol Stelling; however, the decision was yet to be finalised. Another possibility, she explained, is to have the boats travel from New Amsterdam to Blairmont. Thus far, there are four river taxi operators already onboard

but for the initial stage, Government would be utilising only two. “Based on discussion, it was suggested that two would be utilised for the moment and as traffic picks up, there would be need for the other speedboats,” she explained. Additionally, she pointed out that as time progressed and the demand for the service increased, Private Sector operators can come onboard. The decision to reintroduce river taxis was made following the impasse between Government and the Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) regarding the reduction in the bridge tolls. The situation is that the Government wants to forge ahead with the reduction of the tolls via the provision of a subsidy to the Bridge Company; however, the Company is contending that a reduction in the current fare structure could plunge it into bankruptcy if Government failed to honour the Toll Formula which stipulates that the fares be increased periodically so the Bridge Company could meet its financial obligations. Nonetheless, even as Government pushes for the river taxi services, it noted that it would continue negotiations with the Bridge Company with the aim of lowering the tolls.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Nagamootoo’s Hope Canal will not prevent petulant... flooding of entire East Coast from page 21

“I have fought for racial and national unity throughout my political life that now spans 53 years. In the national interest, my coalition team and I are ready to engage the PPP and are not sidetracked by the initial response. Those for unity must now take a stand! We are ready to embrace them,” the PM said. This move by the Prime Minister will not put him in the ‘good books’ of the PPP/C especially since the only reason the Opposition has rejected such talks is because PM Nagamootoo is slated to head the committee on the Administration’s side. Initially, Opposition Leader Jagdeo had publicly stated that his Party would always work towards the best interests of the citizens of Guyana and as such, would inevitably be having talks with the APNU/AFC Government to achieve this. Jagdeo pointed out that the Prime Minister has a ‘down sized’ role under this Administration and, therefore, did not have authority nor the legitimacy to make certain offers to the PPP/C. If Nagamootoo could not achieve an equitable

“unity” for his party within the new Government after an explicitly negotiated Cummingsburg Accord, the PPP reasoned, but he insisted he would accept whatever diminished role he received, how could he negotiate in good faith with the PPP that rejected him as their Presidential candidate? If these talks were headed by President David Granger himself or another senior member of the Government whom the Party deemed as ‘credible’ with enough authority, the PPP/C said it would not reject the talks. However, the PM said via his post that if the coalition had named the President to lead its team, the Opposition Leader “would have reacted the way he wickedly alleged during the elections campaign that Granger had blood on his hands!” Ironically, it appears as if the Prime Minister is of the opinion that he can now speak for the PPP/C and has the authority and credibility to say how the Party would react to such a move if it had been made, although the Opposition Leader has stated otherwise.


ontrary to persons’ beliefs that the establishment of the Hope/ Dochfour Canal along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) will alleviate flooding for a number of communities and villages, retired Major General Joe Singh recently stated that this was not so. He explained that while the Hope/Dochfour Canal alleviated flooding for farmers and villagers in Mahaica and Mahaicony, the rest of the East Coast cannot depend on it. “In the case of the Coast contrary to some popular belief the Hope Canal is not going to help the East Coast of Demerara. It will only provide stability for the 270 square miles of the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC). It is designed in such a way,” Singh said. He further stated that the country and the authorities in charge of drainage and flooding issues still encounter problems when it rains and there is a collection of water between the conservancy dam and the crown dam. Problems also occur when there is a col-

The Hope Canal

lection of water between the crown dam and the Railway Embankment Road, between the Railway Embankment Road and the East Coast Demerara Highway, and between the said highway and the seawalls. “So once you have an accumulation of water in those reservoirs unless you have enough culverts or conduits to move the water from those areas out to the Atlantic, you will get flooding. Buxton, for example, is the lowest area on that East Coast between here and Mahaica and it is always the last to drain. So

we need to disabuse our minds of the Hope Canal as the answer to the East Coast, because it is not.” He reiterated that the Hope/Dochfour Canal stabilises the EDWC and prevents the kind of flooding that happened in the Mahaica Creek and major flooding would badly affect the cash crop and rice farmers close to the area. Meanwhile, former Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran during the 2015 budget debates told the National Assembly that the said Canal was responsible for saving residents in

the area a lot of money and from encountering illnesses. He mentioned that the diseases and infections that usually accompany flooding situations did not affect residents around the Hope/Dochfour Canal because it prevented such flooding from occurring even while it was not fully operational. The Hope Canal project was deemed as one of the largest infrastructural projects in Guyana’s history and was executed under the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Administration.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

28 deaths in 15 months – Hughes lauds Guyanese Commission of Inquiry into Diaspora in NY for maintaining cultural heritage mining accidents reports

Tourism Minister Cathy Hughes with “Bob” the parrot and TV Weatherman Joey Stevens


ourism Minister Catherine Hughes, led a Guyanese contingent of travel professionals, hospitality and other service providers and representatives of the Guyana Marketing Corporation to the 14th Annual Guyana Folk Festival and Brooklyn Labour Day festivities last weekend. Minister Hughes and party arrived in New York on Friday September 4, 2015 and went directly to the traditional “Kwe Kwe” (Queh Queh) event at the St Stephen’s Lutheran Church Hall. She lauded the Guyana Cultural Association (GCA) for the effort they expend every year to maintain their cultural heritage and ensure that current Guyanese-Americans are continuously educated about their heritage.

“This is a good time to reflect on how far we’ve come, what we want to achieve in the near future, and the importance of maintaining our traditions and cultures,” the Minister said before she joined in the simulation of a traditional pre-wedding Kwe Kwe ceremony. The large gathering, which included other West Indians and Americans, was also briefed on the plans to celebrate Guyana’s Golden Jubilee in May 2016. The Minister took the opportunity to extend an unconditional invitation to everyone to visit Guyana and participate in these celebrations. The following day, the party attended the GCA’s Annual Literary Hang, an event that provides a platform for writ-

ers of every generation and any genre, published or not. This year’s rising writers included Liann Aris Henry, Tiffany Herod, Chaniece Allen, and Terrance Bobb. Adult writers present included Brenda Richards, Charles Liverpool, Valerie Coddett, Yvonne Sam, Rueben Freeman, Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont, Kimani Nehusi, Francis Quamina Farrier, Courtney Noel, Percy Haynes, Roy Brummell, Angela Massiah, Claudia Persaud, Lear Matthews, Ted Matthews, Kwesi Oginga, Ingrid Griffith, Maurice St. Pierre, and Alexander Betton Haynes. Luminary Dr Vibert Cambridge used the event to launch his new book Musical Life in Guyana. (Excerpt from GINA)


The CoI determined there was a pervading culture of laxness towards safety and that clear rules must be applied and enforced

he report of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into mining accidents was presented by Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) executive Colin Sparman at the association’s Annual General Meeting on Friday. The CoI was ordered by President David Granger after the death toll in the industry spiked in May when a Potaro mining pit collapsed and killed 10 miners. The miners were killed after the mining pit in which they were working caved in at Mowasi Backdam, Region Eight (PotaroSiparuni). It was reported that 17 miners were working when the incident occurred. Seven of the men made it out of the pit alive, but the remaining 10 were found during a three-day search-andrescue mission. The report highlighted that there have been,

over the last 15 months, 28 deaths, most coming from pitfall cave-ins. Sparman also shared that from 2012 to 2015, 62 miners, particularly young men, lost their lives on the job. He added that in most civilised societies, this would be considered scandalous and unacceptable. These accidents were said to be caused by neglect of safe mining practices, including shortcuts taken by workers, who sometimes treasured their finds over their own lives. Sparman added that the CoI determined there was a pervading culture of laxness towards to safety and that clear rules must be applied and enforced. “As the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) puts it, everyone is wired for gold and not for safety. A drastic change in culture involving education and sensitisation at

all levels – miners, operators, property owners and regulators, is required,” Sparman added. The report recommended that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) institute the proper framework in order to decrease the number of future accidents. Speaking of the emergency rescue system, Sparman stated that whenever an accident occurred, the available emergency mechanism – the search-and- rescue recovery was inadequate and would need proper definition and manning. He added that there was poor reporting of these accidents, and most times GGMC would act on a report heard or seen in parts of the media. The CoI was concluded in August and the report was with the Cabinet, according to reports.

Minister Lawrence says more family time needed to help curb suicide


s nations around the globe marked World Suicide Prevention Day 2015 last Thursday, Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence, along with Minister within the Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings,

joined with the Mibicuri Community Developers (MCD), to mark the day’s observances. Speaking at a forum held at the Black Bush Polder Secondary School, East Berbice, Region Six (East BerbiceCorentyne), Minister

Lawrence lamented the fact that family time is what is needed, as the nation strives to fully get a handle on the social scourge. She said “More time needs to be shared among families. Children need to be heard, listened to, not

Education is paramount

Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence addressing the gathering

A Section of the gatherting at the Suicide Prevention Day

shut out.” Minister Lawrence noted that a part of the Guyanese culture dictates that parents make the decisions and children have no option but to follow directives given; most times with their voices not being heard. The Minister also addressed the role of Teachers, emphasising that there is need for more professionalism. “Teachers need to stop discussing children in public. Stop forming cliques and discuss-

ing children as though they are not there, stop discussing the children in front of the class,” Lawrence chided. According to the Minister, Guyana is losing its most valuable resource – the human resource – through the number of lives lost annually to suicide. She called for the availability of more councillors and recreational facilities in communities so that those in need of interactive relationships can seek help.

Minister Lawrence also outlined a plan to educate community members who will eventually be able to assist those struggling with thoughts of suicide. Verma Jadunath, a representative of the MCD, pointed out that Region Six is known as the “suicide nest,” since it is the largest contributor to the suicide rate in the country. She added that information received from the region’s medical institution showed that within the past eight months and 10 days, there have been 37 suicide attempts of which two were successful. According to her, a survey conducted by the foundation in 2012 shows that there is no specific reason for these actions. However, non approval of relationships and easy access to chemicals were the two most common factors that influenced those who made attempts on their lives.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

PM’s authority has been “downsized” Hopkinson under APNU/AFC Govt – Rickey Singh appointed REO


he stark truth about the level of authority which has been granted to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo by the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is out in the open for all to see. In spite of the agreements between the Alliance For Change (AFC) and APNU which cemented the union of the two parties, the Prime Minister’s constitutional authority and influence has been ‘downsized’ under this new Administration. This is in sharp contrast to what prevailed under the presidencies of both Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham and Desmond Hoyte, as well as the general functions of a Caribbean Community (Caricom) Prime Minister. Caribbean Journalist Rickey Singh, in a letter to Guyana Times International on Friday, highlighted the fact that the portfolio allotted to AFC’s Nagamootoo is the responsibility for information with oversight pertaining to the Government Information Agency (GINA) and other Stateowned/operated communication agencies. “Ironically, these are portfolios he held way back in 1992 when he became an elected People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentarian…To the surprise of supporting ‘comrades’ and ‘friends’, Nagamootoo, a former Journalist and long standing Central Committee member of the PPP/C from which he had defected in Parliament along with Mr [Khemraj]

Ramjattan was left to be surprised about his promised powers and responsibilities as Prime Minister. The reality was a mirage,” the Journalist explained in the letter which exposed the full contents of the column he wrote which was not published by the Guyana Chronicle. Singh stated that as the Prime Minister perhaps unwisely made public in spirCaribbean Journalist Rickey Singh it of the so-called Currently the “Cummingsburg Accord” wanted em- President seems busily powerment for domes- engaged in the further tic national affairs, in- constitutional empowercluding chairing of ment of his former Army Cabinet meetings; mak- colleague, ex Guyana ing recommendations Defence Force Colonel for ministerial appoint- Joseph Harmon. This ments, as well as offer- leaves no doubt about ing recommendations the reality of a two-some for Ministries to be cre- power status quo-he and ated by the President. ‘comrade’ Joe,” Singh However, this never said. The Journalist’s letcame to pass. According to the ter further stated that veteran Caribbean with the “Granger-led Journalist, President coalition” and the deparDavid Granger is yet to ture of the former Prime under the make this a constitu- Minister tional reality for Prime PPP/C Administrations Minister Nagamootoo. over some 23 years, the “The core features of sharp contrast in portfowhat emerged as a so- lio responsibilities and called Cummingsburg influence with which Accord (named after the Minister Nagamootoo venue of the agreement) has as Prime Minister had provided for the reflects ‘quite an amaztraditional enormous ing down-sizing in the of Cabinetpowers of an Executive history President as Head of style Government in State as well as the con- Guyana’, if not the enstitutional responsibili- tire Caricom. To add insult to inties allotted to the Prime Minister – normally the jury, Prime Minister number two person in Nagamootoo has now come under public scruthe Guyana Cabinet.

tiny especially by the Indo-Guyanese for his recent passionate verbal outburst against former two-term President Bharrat Jagdeo in Parliament. The honourable Prime Minister seemed to have lost his control during that sitting when he lashed out at Jagdeo, who is now the Opposition Leader, castigating him as a “pompous, arrogant coolie”. The big surprise was that the first-time but quite learned Speaker, Dr Barton Scotland did not immediately, or since, reprimand Prime Minister Nagamootoo for such a slanderous verbal blast. This blast is in violation of the norms of civilised parliamentary debates,” Singh further noted. Meanwhile, the PPP/C has decided to pursue a plan of action to ensure what it deems “proper respect” for the rules and decorum of Parliament in view of claimed “recurring violations” by some Government Members of Parliament. Among these are senior Cabinet Ministers, inclusive of Prime Minister Nagamootoo. (

for Region 2


new Regional E x e c u t i v e Officer, Rupert Hopkinson, has joined the Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) administration as of Friday, September 11. Hopkinson who is the son of the first Regional Chairman of Region Two, Kenneth “Baggie” Hopkinson has pledged his support to move the region forward. According to the new REO, he is delighted to return to his homeland and county of Essequibo to serve the people. His main objective he noted will be to work with Regional Officials to lift the region as well as to foster unity among workers and the people. The 60-year-old who resided at Darthmouth village said that he attended the Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary. After finishing school, he was appointed as the Regional Information Officer. He then left the region to go further his studies at the Tuskegee University in New York where he did a management and economic course. He has Degrees in Science and Economics. He had at-

New Region Two REO Rupert Hopkinson

tained a Masters in the Agriculture Science and Economics from the Auburn University also in New York. Hopkinson said he is approaching the work with much enthusiasm. He was welcomed by the Region Two Chairman Daveanand Ramdatt and Regional Vice Chairman Nandranie Coonjah. The newly elected Chairman Ramdatt pledged his support to the REO in making Region Two one of the best regions in the country, while Coonjah said that she too looks forward in working with Hopkinson. Hopkinson replaced Sunil Singh.


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Attorney says smear campaign launched against former GuySuCo CEO


ttorney Sase Gunraj says that attempts are afoot to tarnish the character and good standing of his client, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Dr Rajendra Singh. In a release on Friday, Gunraj stated that certain sections of the media, aided and abetted by “certain” elements in the hierarchy of GuySuCo, have launched a vicious and libelous smear campaign against his client. He noted that even his successor, recently appointed Chairman of the Board, Professor Clive Thomas has joined the bandwagon. “It is obvious that

this campaign is intended to force my client to withdraw legal proceedings filed by him against GuySuCo regarding his contract of employment which guarantees him a five-year contract of service with GuySuCo,” the attorney-at-law outlined. Gunraj pointed out that his client’s contract was arrogantly and arbitrarily terminated. The Attorney further stated that the architects of this “vindictive design” have now exposed the Sugar Corporation to pay compensation to his client to the tune of several million Guyana dollars. Moreover, the Attorney stated that to date, GuySuCo has failed to file a defence to legal

Attorney Sase Gunraj

Former CEO of GuySuCo, Dr Rajendra Singh

proceedings filed by his client yet they have “the time and energy to engage in further encroachment of my client’s legal rights, thereby, exposing the Corporation to even

greater legal liabilities”. Gunraj detailed that one such libel was carried in a recent article by Kaieteur News’ edition of September 4, 2015, concerning the importation

of a used 2003 vehicle by Dr. Rajendra Singh, former CEO of the Guyana Sugar Corporation. The article states “extremely reliable sources have informed this newspaper that there is a provision within Dr Singh’s contract with GuySuCo which allows him to be exempt from duties for another vehicle. But this came with a condition”. According to Attorney Gunraj, Singh’s contract does not contain any such provision which requires the Board to make any request for exemption of duty. In fact, he explained that his client made a request to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) for certain duty free concessions, for which he was

contractually entitled. “He provided GRA with a copy of his contract which included the provision for duty exemption for the vehicle. Quoting the relevant sections of the laws governing the exemption from duty, the GRA then issued a letter to Dr Singh dated March 31, 2015 for the 12-yearold used vehicle to be exempted from duty,” Gunraj noted. The Attorney went on to say that the approval letter was copied to the Agriculture Minister and other relevant officers of the GRA. He further sought to clarify that Dr Singh has applied to GRA for permission to export the vehicle back to the USA.

Crum-Ewing murder case…

“Grey Boy” says he’s being made a “scapegoat”


egan “Grey Boy” Rodrigues on Friday made his second appearance in Court Two of Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts where he accused the court of making him a “scapegoat”. “I cyah understand the law in this country,” the defendant exclaimed in a fit of anger. The matter has been

transferred to Court Five for October 12 for statements. Rodrigues, 37, of River View, Ruimveldt, Georgetown, but who works as a miner in Suriname, had previously appeared in court at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to face a capital charge which stated that on

March 10, he murdered Courtney Crum-Ewing in Diamond, East Bank Demerara. Rodrigues was not required to plead to the offence but he had quite a lot to say about the charge against him. He denied murdering Crum-Ewing, stating that he did not wish anyone to see him as a murderer and said he was be-

ing framed. He previously told the court that when he was arrested, no one questioned him about the murder, but the Police held him on the basis of a gun that was allegedly found on his person. Rodrigues was first suspected to be the murderer when he was caught with a .32 Taurus pistol which ballistics proved was the weapon that killed the ex-soldier. He was charged with illegal possession of the incriminating pistol which had 14 matching rounds of ammunition.

Rodrigues had not been cooperating with Police and had been tightlipped about his alleged involvement in the murder. The defendant hah also, on his previous appearance in court, said that he was approached to kill Mark Benschop but he had gone to the Police with this information. This had been corroborated by Benschop himself when he disclosed that Gy$3 million was offered to Rodrigues to have him killed. After he would have been eliminated, the next alleged

hit was to be CrumEwing. Benschop had claimed that Rodrigues would have reported to the Police that he was paid for the two hits; however, contrary to his claims, the Police have no knowledge of such allegations. Crum-Ewing was gunned down on March 10 while encouraging residents of Diamond New Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara, to vote for the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change at the May 11 General and Regional Elections.

Govt strangling housing, construction sectors - says former Housing Minister


rivate developers’ investment is driven by confidence in the economy and the Government’s approach towards the housing sector, but from all indications; it appears as though the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) administration has no real direction in which it wants to take this sector – ultimately the country. This is according to former Housing Minister Irfaan Ali who has been observing with much alarm the current inactivity with respect to housing policies – most of which is to be blamed upon Government’s tepid general approach to the sector and lack of support projects to stimulate investment. “In my view, the policy approach to housing

Former Housing Minister Irfaan Ali

is not only regressive but lazy. The housing sector has to be driven by dynamic leadership,” Ali pointed out, hoping that Government immediately corrects its mistakes. Firstly, the former Minister advised that Government needs to shake off its slothful and uninspiring approach to the sector. “There is no excitement,” he highlighted, noting that private developers will not be attracted to a market that has not potential to grow.

“The market has to be stimulated, vibrant and generally project a positive outlook in terms of future value (FV) and net present value (NPV). For there to be a meeting of interest between the Government and Private Sector, the Government has to be seen as aggressive,” Ali explained. Secondly, he pointed out that Budget 2015 makes no provision for new infrastructural projects that would stimulate expenditure in the continued on page 28


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Public-Private Partnerships a winning tool – former President


ormer President Bharrat Jagdeo has again touted the benefits of PublicPrivate Partnership (PPP), noting that the mechanism will always remain a winning one for Guyana’s economy. The former Guyanese leader, who is now leader of the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), was speaking to Journalists on Tuesday, when the is-

sue of the Berbice Bridge came up for discussion. It was during this discussion that the former Head of State spoke of investments and PPPs, and how beneficial they are to the country. “I believe that PublicPrivate Partnerships are great investments and I think that more and more we should do this. We should create opportunities for this to happen. I would like to see,

Former President Bharrat Jagdeo

say the Marriott; why not sell shares in the Marriot to all Guyanese so that we all could own it. I think you can get, if you sell the shares, you may get more than the Gy$ 8 million equity or the Gy$12 million in equity that you need to raise to take to 100 per cent ownership.” According to Jagdeo, Government needs to create opportunities for persons so that their

money will not just sit in the commercial banks, but begin to be utilised in the public. “If you look at our manifesto, we said that we wanted to improve the intermediation of capital and expand the range of capital economic opportunities in the financial sector available to people. When you settle the country, you can move to higher levels of continued on page 28

Hurakabra Resort hosts 3rd Nereid’s Yacht Rally – Guyana has prime yachting destination potential

it on my own,” he said. Stollmeyer is the Manager and part-owner of Power Boats Inc in Chagauramas, Trinidad and Tobago. The company specialises in building yachts and powerboats.

Boat yard

Guyana journeys to become a full-blown yachting destination By Devina Samaroo


s Guyana journeys to become a full-blown yachting destination, some 18 vessels are expected to participate in the third Nereid’s Yacht Rally at the Hurakabra Resort in Region Seven (CuyuniMazaruni). Yachters journeyed from as far as New Zeeland, France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Russia and as close as French Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados to take part in this event. “Our country and this event really is a wonderful melting pot for people from all over the world,” Tourism Minister Cathy Hughes exclaimed, failing to conceal her excitement. For years, Guyana has been in talks of developing a marina at a prime location in the Essequibo where yachters can dock their ships and venture off on the shores to explore all the wonders of this small South American country, including the majestic Kaieteur Falls, the nature-friendly eco-resorts that line the Rupununi corridors and the hinterland regions, among others. Acknowledging the great successes of the rallies throughout the years, the Minister pledged her

commitment and determination towards finally realising a yachting marina in the Essequibo. “We definitely see that a marina in Guyana is an incredible place to have the possibility where yachters can come and have their boats docked and any basic mechanical or maintenance done right in Guyana. And of course, it is a tremendous opportunity for us to provide jobs for our people that live in this area,” she stated. Meanwhile, the yachters are expected to rally through the Caribbean where the grand sailing will come to an end in Saint Laurent, French Guiana. Nonetheless, many of the yachtsmen and yachtswomen expressed their desire to return to Guyana to continue their adventure of discovering more of this beautiful land.

Sailing on my own

The Guyana Times International met a remarkable woman who travelled all the way from the United Kingdom, by herself, in her yacht N’oublie Jamais (French for ‘Never Forget’). “Sailing on own, my gosh, I do a lot of sailing on my own. I sailed through the Mediterranean on my own; I did a fair amount in the Caribbean. I don’t chose to sail on my own,

but I find that if I don’t have the right persons onboard then it doesn’t work,” said Jean Petty. Petty has been sailing all alone for years and has experienced many amazing cultures however, she was truly amazed when she witnessed Guyana. “I joined the Nereid rally because I heard such wonderful things about Guyana…,” she stated, noting that indeed Guyana is a wonderful country with wonderful people. Petty, in an inspiring message, explained that just because you are a lady does not mean you cannot do things. “Too many people think that a woman doesn’t have the strength and the capabilities. It’s not about strength, it’s about finding an alternative to issues…If you can’t pull in sail, there’s another way of doing it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t,” she stated. Building Yachts The Guyana Times International also met a yachter from Trinidad and Tobago, Donald Stollmeyer, who occasionally enjoys building his own yachts. In fact, his most prime possession is the Ballerina Girl- the yacht he designed and crafted almost all by himself. “I hired two persons to help me, but I basically built

Moreover, Stollmeyer recognised that Guyana has a lot of potential of becoming a prime destination for yachters. “But we don’t want a country to remain with potential forever. We must activate that potential…have a focal point for them to come to,” he said. However, he noted that a marina

alone will not do. He recommended that Guyana also develop a boat yard where yachters can leave their boats since Guyana is safe from hurricanes. Meanwhile, at the official welcoming reception on Friday, owner of the Hurakabra Resort, Kit Nascimento, and his wife Gem Nascimento extended a warm welcome to the yachters. Welcoming remarks was also delivered by Region Seven Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford. David Matelicani, the mastermind who came up with the concept of

the rally, also delivered brief remarks. It was discovered that Matelicani actually ventured off to Guyana by accident and, had it not been for that misfortune, Guyana would have never realised its potential of unlocking that tourism aspect. Matelicani was actually sailing along the border of Venezuela when a storm struck and his yacht floated all the way into Guyana’s shores. There, he and the Nascimentos got to talking and the Nereid’s Rally was born. (devinas@guyanatimesgy. com)

28 news

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

PPP ups pressure on Govt to Crabwood Creek robbery: Husband and reduce Essequibo ferry fares two others remanded T

Khrisondat Jetoo organised the robbery against his wife


man who allegedly staged his own robbery after his wife filed for divorce was on Friday remanded to prison along with two others for robbing his wife. Khrisondat Jetoo, 41, of Crabwood Creek, Corentyne, and two others appeared before Magistrate Rabindranauth Singh at the Springlands Magistrate’s Court and was refused bail on two charges. He is accused of robbing Tejkumarie Jetoo along with others of Gy$590,000 in diamond jewellery, in excess of Gy$700,000 in gold jewellery, G$1 million and US$1900 on September 6, at Crabwood Creek. Jetoo is jointly charged with Matthew Gangaprashad also called “Abel”, age 24, of Number 77 Village, Corentyne and Satram Kushley, also called “Oracle”, age 21, of Lot 470 Bangladesh, Port Mourant. Gangaprashad is said to be a taxi driver and Kushley is a cane harvester. It is alleged that Jetoo staged the robbery and provided information on how the home could be broken into, in addition

to leaving doors open so that the bandits could gain entry. Jetoo was also charged with conspiracy to commit a robbery and was also refused bail on that charge. Police Prosecutor, Inspector Godfrey Playter told the court that during the robbery, the victim was beaten and had to seek medical attention. He also mentioned that during the robbery, a firearm was used; hence he requested that the court deny bail to all three accused, noting that if bail is granted it is likely that they will not return to court. Magistrate Singh told the defendants that they

received conflicting reports. It was also reported that Acting Commander of B Division (Berbice), Senior Superintendent Errol Watts speaking of the investigation said it revealed that the couple was going through a divorce and the husband organised the robbery against his wife. “But he never expected that they would have beaten him like that. He was beaten severely but he was hoping that he would have received a couple claps so that it would not look as though he set it up. He told us that he never expected the boys to be so ruthless.” The robbery hit head-

Matthew Gangaprashad

Satram Kushley

must return to court on September 28, and to ensure that they do, he remanded them to prison. The three accused were represented by Attorney Krisondat Persaud. It was reported in the media that Jetoo and his wife were at their Crabwood Creek home when it was invaded by five gunmen on Sunday. The bandits beat the couple and carted off in excess of Gy$5 million in cash and jewellery. Police in conducting their investigation interviewed Jetoo and

lines and remained there after information surfaced that the husband might have staged his own robbery during which he received a thrashing which he did not bargain for. The issue comes on the heels of a husband being placed before the court and remanded for the fatal shooting of his wife after initially claiming that she was shot by bandits but later allegedly confessed to shooting his wife and staging it as a robbery at their Number 45 Village, Corentyne home.

Govt strangling housing...

from page 26

sector. Further, Ali reminded that the five alternative bypasses linking Diamond to Eccles have been shelved, noting that this is another flawed action by the Government which signals its disinterest in the housing sector. Thirdly, Ali recognised that there is not a single strategic approach in catalysing the potential of linking transformative infrastructure with housing. He said the Government has built up so much negativity around these projects that they have now virtually eroded the injective benefit it has for

the economy. “An example of this was the marketing of Silica City as a spinoff of the New Airport and a transshipment hub that the Lethem Georgetown road link will create. A second example is the inability of the Government to reconcile with the vision of investing in the housing infrastructure for the new Ogle/ Cummings Lodge Area. So in essence, we will be building that new road link but delaying the supportive or secondary infrastructure that has the greatest potential to drive Private Sector activity,” the for-

mer Minister stated. Moreover, Ali admitted that the agreements with private investors must be adhered to but highlighted that if the Government’s negative approach is eroding confidence in the sector then more exposure in spending by the Private Sector can create greater national problems. He noted that most private developers operate on large over drafts or loans therefore if liquidity is used up in still assets or non productive assets then not only are the private investors but also the financial institutions exposed.

he People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) has joined the call for Government to pay equal attention to the people of Region Two (PomeroonSupenaam) and Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara). The residents of Essequibo and even those of Berbice have already registered their concern over Government’s particular focus on relieving the Berbicians of the burdensome bridge tolls while the people of Essequibo have to endure similarly expensive ferry tolls. Recognising this biased approach, the Party issued a press statement reminding that “there must be equitable distribution of resources and wealth across the country” and therefore, urged the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change (APNU/ AFC) Administration to start the process to reduce the ferry fares. In fact, the PPP/C explained that this task would be less complicated given that both ferries which travel the

Essequibo-Parika route are owned and operated by the State. Several Berbicians, including activist David Sooknauth and President of the Berbice Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) Rajnauth Ramroop, have already supported this cause – conceding that the ferry fares are indeed unreasonable. Recently, President of the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce (UCCC) Abraham Sooknauth also admitted that the current fares are expensive. However, he explained that the calls of neglect may be too premature, considering that nothing has actually been done for the Berbicians. He added that from a business perspective, Government should place its priority with Berbice since the plight of the farmers in that Region is more extreme than Essequibians. Sooknauth argued that farmers all the way from Black Bush Polder cannot compete with farmers from other regions, even those from Essequibo, due to the cur-

rent fare structure. Nonetheless, he conceded that Government should start looking at a long-term plan for the Essequibians as their prices too may be burdensome on some, if not all, the residents. Oversight committee Meanwhile, the PPP/C also supports the call for the establishment of an oversight committee made up of primarily residents in good standing of Region Two to oversee a total review of the operations of the two vessels, inclusive of their schedule. “This review must take into consideration the need to give priority at all times to vehicles transporting perishable items, as well as those transporting the sick, elderly and the disabled. “This review must also take into consideration allegations of favouritism, discrimination, bribery and corruption by persons employed at the Transport and Harbours Department levelled by those who utilise the ferries on a constant basis,” the Party said.

Public-Private Partnerships a winning tool – former...

from page 27

The Berbice Bridge

sophistication,” he said. He continued that Government also needed to provide more opportunities for persons to invest in development type activities where they would be able to get 10 and 20 per cent returns on their money, rather than the three per cent they receive from the bank. Jagdeo had earlier told Journalists that the gridlock between the new A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government and the Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) could be easily resolved, if the new Administration would sit

and work with everyone involved. Government and the privately-owned BBCI are currently at loggerheads, because the latter has refused to agree to a proposal the new Administration has laid out which would eventually see a reduction in the toll for the Berbice Bridge. Government has offered to subsidise the loss the Bridge would incur, should it reduce the toll for motor cars and minibuses by some Gy$300. However, the BBCI indicated that while it supports moves to make the Berbice crossing more affordable, it could go bankrupt if Government arbitrari-

ly moves ahead with the toll reduction without fully honouring the legally binding agreement between the Company and the Government to have tolls adjusted within specified timeframes. A PPP involves a contract between a public sector authority (Government or one of its arms) and a private party. The private party provides a public service or project and assumes substantial financial, technical and operational risk in the project. In most types of PPPs, the cost of using the service is borne exclusively by the users of the service and not by the taxpayer.

feature 29

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |


ome ten years ago, deaf persons in Guyana mainly faced a life in isolation, while persons without the disability remained essentially uniformed and unaware of their difficulties. Today, from a modest office on Norton Street, Wortmanville in Georgetown, chairman for the Guyana Council of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities and director of the Support Group for Deaf Persons, Leon Walcott, has seen first-hand the progress over the years, as well as the remaining – and new – constraints regarding deaf awareness in Guyana. Speaking with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Walcott says he is “very optimistic” with the progress that has been made for deaf awareness and education over the years, and is also optimistic that more will be made. What needs to be done now, he suggests, is to take this success to a higher level. He mentions the work of Sabine McIntosh, president of the Deaf Association of Guyana, who runs the Deaf Special Needs School in Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, as one example of the progress made and continuing to be made in the deaf community. McIntosh, he says, is using culture to promote and encourage deaf awareness and education through cultural activities such as dance and drama. She has held successful shows, presented by the disabled, over the past three years. Currently, though few sign language interpreters are available, they are often called upon at police stations or in the courts to lend support to deaf persons in terms of interpreting for them. This ensures deaf persons are provided with their right to adequate representation, regardless of the legal issue. While there is still a need for more deaf persons to access jobs, more deaf persons are employed than before and are income earners. The University of Guyana had also signalled its intention to cater for students with disabilities in its Disability Equality Policy plan; a goal Walcott is happy to lend support to. In addition, Walcott notes the more sensitive attitude among school-

2014, to focus instead on International Day for Persons with Disabilities, which is scheduled for year end and consists of a week of activities encompassing all forms of disabilities.

Stumbling block

Walcott in his mobilised wheelchair leading the group for Deaf Awareness Week 2010

children as well as among the general population, for the disabled. They are some of the groups the organisation has targeted over the years to educate about deaf awareness. “Things are being done, which is an improvement from…let’s say…10 years ago,” Walcott declares. He adds that since disabled organisations “don’t have to reinvent the wheel” the progress made in the 10 years has been quick, building on what others had already put down.


Walcott notes too that while there has been progress in many areas, in some areas that progress has been limited. He mentions for example that while deaf persons are being employed, promotions are less forthcoming. This he adds is usually as a result of their inability to communicate effectively with other staff because communication has to be done in sign language, and few or no other staff would have such an ability. In addition, while there is often an initial demand to learn sign language, persons, he says, view it as a “hobby” and learn the foundation stage but go no further. Often this is because there are no financial gains or economic benefits from learning sign language. As such, sign language users who are proficient in sign language are relatively few. Also, while more persons, including parents of deaf persons, have been exposed to deaf awareness programmes, many

are still not significantly more aware to change their attitudes towards the deaf. He cites this as an example of why awarenessraising activities need to continuous; something that he says is done, tragically, only in spurts. Funding for deaf awareness programmes may be provided for a few months then nothing for several years. “Parents need continuous assurance,” he maintains, something that is not possible when there is a lack of funding and few resources for ongoing awareness activities. “We need a lot of resources,” he states. “We need personnel, and we need money to train them.” But there is also a caveat with trained personnel, and it is linked to what he calls the “export of Guyana: the brain drain.” With a certificate proving training in special education fields, when these persons go to the Caribbean or western countries “…we’ve lost them…That is a fact…we have suffered from that,” he reveals, slowing shaking his head. Walcott also feels there is still a great need for raising more awareness as a public service from the media, government and private sector. He also reveals that due to a lack of funding, which usually comes from the local business community and individuals, The Support Group for Deaf Persons, of which he is its director, will not be organising its yearly Deaf

Awareness Week of activities, held at the end of September. However, the Guyana Deaf Mission Church, located near Vlissingen road, on Dhanraj Street, will have its usual rally and march, as well as a church service. The

church, which is run by Mary and Lawrence Hallahan, conducts sign language classes as well as church services in sign language. A bit discouraged with the lack of funding, the group this year decided, as they did in

For Walcott, the biggest stumbling block to more success for the deaf in Guyana is that there are too few persons who can communicate in sign language. If more people knew sign language “life would be much easier for deaf persons,” he states. Persons who regularly interact with the public should be competent in sign language to assist the deaf. Deaf persons need to have effective communication with government and private office and business staff when they interact with them. The police, nurses and the public service need to be more able to communicate with deaf persons without the need for the few sign language interpreters presently availcontinued on page 34

30 feature

By Lennox J Hernandez


t is generally accepted that the mainland of South America has been occupied by humans since 30,000 BCE, and that northern South America, including Guyana, has been occupied by indigenous peoples for more than 6,000 years. In what is called pre-Columbian times (before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the Europeans), the Arawak people, for example, inhabited the river basins of the Orinoco River and the north-

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

utilize materials readily available, and are a mixture of various types of thatched roof; walls of leaves, earth, saplings or, in more recent times, rough-sawn boards. The structure is usually of timber poles using the post-and-lintel structural system. While the coastal and forest peoples would use timber materials mainly, the savannah peoples of the Rupununi make much use of earth as a wall material.

Contemporary indigenous building

Indigenous buildings have their own aesthet-

ing the material so as to shed water away from the underside of the roof, and hence from the indoor space itself. It is a roofing method traditionally passed down from generation to generation, and numerous types are known, depending on the materials available and the tradition of the community. The major vegetation used by the indigenous peoples for roofing in Guyana includes the troolie palm, the cokerite palm and the dhalebanna leaf. This article will look at the dhalebanna

Several of the dried dhalibanna “roofing units” - exterior side shown here (St Cuthbert)

ern Amazon, living in “thatched huts, made of bent branches, covered in leafy boughs.” Over thousands of years, indigenous buildings would have evolved slowly, and a study of the contemporary building forms of the nine indigenous peoples in Guyana is now most desirable. Indigenous buildings

ics, especially the underside of the roof which, depending on the thatching used, display artistry comparable and sometimes better, than modern and western ceilings. Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as leaves, reeds, etc., which are plaited, and lay-

(Geonoma spp) type roofing, mainly from a study done by the writer at the Pakuri Lokono-Arawak Territory (St Cuthbert’s Mission, Mahaica River) some years ago. (See “Arawak Houses” in Encyclopaedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World, edited by Paul Oliver and published by Cambridge University Press.)

Interior of the gable end of the hall at the Sophia Indigenous Village, Georgetown, showing details of the construction of the dhalibanna “roofing units”

Dhalebanna (or dhalibanna) is a low growing palm found in swamps, which when used for roofing gives a distinctive look both externally and internally. The roof frame is made of round poles, usually wallaba, larger ones for the horizontal tie-beams and smaller ones for the sloping rafters. The dhalebanna leaves are sorted out and the best selected in preparation for plaiting into a number of what one may call a “roofing unit.” The roof is made up of a series of these dhalebanna “roofing units” placed, like roof tiles, in horizontal bands from the bottom (the eaves) up to the ridge, fixed to the rafters and overlapped adequately to ensure no rain penetration. The dhalebanna “roofing units” are made on the ground while the leaves are still green, as dry leaves are difficult to work with. Three other elements are required to make the roofing unit: a runner for hanging the leaves, a thin lath to hold

the leaves to the runner, and a vine for strapping the leaves to the runner and lath. The runner is of stripped and quartered manicole (a palm) over which the dhalebanna leaves are folded, each leaf overlapping the previous. A thin strip (lath) of the turu (or tooroo) palm is then placed against the leaves, pressing them to the covered manicole runner, and the three strapped with vines of another palm called mukru. These roofing units are then left to dry before they are fitted to the roof; this allows them to “fluff” out and give an impression of thickness. A roofing unit could be about 2 metres (6.5 ft.) or more, long. The dhalebanna “roofing units” are placed on the roof with the turu lath visible on the underside of the roof, giving distinctive thread-like bands running horizontally across the leaves when viewed from inside

the building. This decorative outcome of a construction technique is even more impressive when viewed in a circular building as in the case of the Umana Yana which was destroyed by fire in 2014. On the exterior of the roof the strips of the roofing units are not seen separately and the entire roof appears to be a single mass of dried leaves. Rectangular roofs may have separate roofs at the gable end forming a ventilation opening or the roofs may be neatly joined to form a hip roof; in the latter case the roof would have an opening at the ridge for ventilation. As mentioned before, indigenous buildings would have evolved over thousands of years. The present high level of sophistication of these roofs meets decorative, environmental, and constructional requirements, making them ideal for our warm-wet climate even in contemporary times.

The interior side of the dhalibanna “roofing unit:” overlapping green leaves are folded over the manicole runner with the turu lath fixed against them, all tied in place with mukru vines (St Cuthbert)

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |


32 feature


lsa Goveia’s 1956 publication, “A Study on the Historiography of the British West Indies to the End of the Nineteenth Century” is considered the “first substantial work” to study the writing of Caribbean history. She is celebrated as a pioneering Caribbean history research and teaching individual, and acclaimed for her “sensitivity to the racism of the time”: writing to provide a balanced appraisal of historical studies once

Goveia in her earlier years

usually conducted by whites only. Elsa Vesta Goveia was born April 12, 1925 in the former British Guiana, one of two daughters. Mixed with African and Portuguese heritage, she was described then as “coloured”. At the time when only a minority of nonwhites of the former colony could benefit from anything higher than an elementary education, Elsa won a scholarship to St Joseph’s High School, Convent of Mercy, in Georgetown, and matriculated with her Higher Level Certificate. She became the first woman to win the pres-

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

tigious and much coveted British Guiana Scholarship in 1944, (there were only two such awards available in the colony) and arrived in Britain to study history at University College and the Institute of Historical Research in London. She later won the Pollard Prize for English history while earning her BA First Class honours in 1948, the first West Indian to do so. While working for her PhD, she was appointed lecturer in 1950 at the University College of the West Indies (now known as UWI), and earned her doctorate in 1952. Her thesis, "Slave Society in the British Leeward Islands at the End of the Eighteenth Century", was eventually published in 1965. She rose to prominence as Professor of West Indian history in 1961 when she taught until her death. Mary Chamberlain, author of ‘Elsa Goveia: History and Nation’, writes that Sister Mary Noel Menezes (who was once a fellow student of Goveia) in her presentation, ‘The Intellectual Legacies of Elsa Goveia’, Proceedings of a Commemorative Symposium in Honour of Professors Elsa Goveia and Walter Rodney, 15 May 1985, University of Guyana, Turkeyen, Guyana. (History Gazette 66, March 1994, pp. 9–12) recalled Goveia “staggering under a large pile of books, as she passed our classroom en route to solitary study in the Sister Superior’s office. It was unusual for a girl to be swotting for Higher Levels and even more un-

Elsa Goveia (1925-1980)

usual for her to be reading history.” A chapter by Franklin W. Knight entitled, “A Caribbean quest for the muse of history” in the book “Becoming Historians”, edited by James M. Banner, Jr. and John R. Gillis, (University of Chicago Press, 2009) states that she was the first female professor in the history of British higher education. She was also the first female and West Indian to be awarded a chair, it adds. Goveia is described in the chapter by Knight, who was a former student of hers, as an “extraordinarily rigorous scholar, as well as an original thinker…” with “a beautifully modulated voice generously infused with equal proportions of contagious charm, engaging wit, and matchless erudition…” Goveia’s eventual publications include “A Study on the Historiography of the British West Indies to the End of the Nineteenth Century” (1956, reprinted 1980), which is considered a “landmark study in this field related to the West Indies.”; “Slave

Society in the British Leeward Islands at the End of the Eighteenth” (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965) pp. xii, 370, “The West Indian slave laws of the 18th century” (1970) with C. J. Bartlett and “An introduction to the Federation Day exhibition on aspects of the history of the West Indies”. Goveia’s historiography is considered a comprehensive survey and commentary of important pre-1900 books on the British West Indies, located at the University College of the West Indies and the Institute of Jamaica. In 1961 she began suffering from a “debilitating illness” that is said to have “severely limited her scholarly input”, resulting in no more publications after 1965, though her reputation as a renown historian and challenging teacher did not suffer. The illness would remain for the rest of her life. Elsa Goveia died March 18, 1980 in Jamaica at the age of 55. The Association of Caribbean Historians today sponsors the 'Elsa Goveia Book Prize', which is awarded every two years in recognition of research excellence in the field of Caribbean history. The University of West Indies also has a student prize in Goveia’s name for the best result in courses related to Caribbean history, and conducts an annual Elsa Goveia Memorial Lecture by the UWI Department of History, Mona Campus. April 7, 2015 marked its 31st annual presentation.

A prestigious occasion. From left to right: Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa-Deputy Principal of The UWI Mona, Dr Kathleen Monteith: Head, Department of History and Archaeology, Presenter Emeritus Professor Patrick Bryan: Department of History and Archaeology, Dr Swithin Wilmot: Dean Faculty of Humanities and Education and Emeritus Professor Sir Roy Augier at the 31st Annual Elsa Goveia Memorial Lecture

Jaundiced views…

…on “national unity” t’s been 4 months since the election. In that time one of the most partisan agendas in the history of this country was launched – but suddenly “national unity” is in the air! What’s this? The “stick and the carrot” approach? For sure there’s been a whole lotta “sticks” – in and out of Parliament. In Parliament the law’s been amended to have the Government retake leadership of the Committees they’d awarded to themselves when THEY were the Opposition. The PPPC Opposition is now expected to become a “rubber stamp”. Out of Parliament, to stymie the PPPC from having the influence it earned by winning 7 out of 10 regions, the Government’s gone back on its sanctimonious rhetoric of “non-politicisation” of bureaucratic appointments. It excused its selection of political REO’s by baptising them “quasi political”. There’s been wholesale firings at all levels of Government of persons that are arbitrarily defined as “PPP”. And now comes the “national unity” spiel – announced by Moses Nagamootoo, who’d walked out of the PPP because he didn’t get their Presidential Candidate nod. Which position, he maintained had been promised to him by Cheddi Jagan at a public meeting in the Rupununi. None of the dozens of persons also present heard the promise but that small detail never deterred Nagamootoo. So when Ramotar, who was his senior as General Secretary of the party was selected, he defected to the AFC. He sulked that the departing Predident Jagdeo didn’t pick him – ignoring that none of his erstwhile comrades could stand his empty bombast, and gave him the thumbs down. One of them was Ralph Ramkarran – who’d later stage his own disappearing act. So this week Ramkarran visits the issue of “national unity” and makes the claim that when Jagdeo said back in 2003 he was interested in national unity with the PNC, but that “trust” was needed, “This of course was a hoax, merely designed to placate the diplomatic community” that was pressuring Jagdeo. The question that arises, of course, is how does Ramkarran know the PNC-led APNU isn’t now “placating” the diplomatic community? But more importantly what’s happened since 2003 to show that Jagdeo wasn’t spot on to demand the need for “trust”? Slow fyaah…mo fyaah? The Buxton Uprisings? The “Bannuhs heading them off” on tape? The hogging of all power in Parliament? The ongoing witch hunt? Ramphal – a man who was there and should know – said that “national unity” was achieved in 1964 between PNC and UF. We know the size of the shaft the UF got then. Not nearly what the AFC’s getting in this incarnation of “national unity”. Ramkarran shouldn’t need a lamp to see in broad daylight. …on media freedom This fella Nagamootoo just doesn’t know when to chuck-in his hand. That’s an occupational hazard for folks with small egos (among other appurtenances) who feel that to admit they’re wrong or misguided or just plain stupid, would be infra dig. As if their empty posturings give them any dignity! Take Nagamootoo on the issue of Press Freedom. The Stabber – which by no stretch of the imagination can be said to be unfriendly to his Government – really skinned him up. They showed how when in Opposition, they viciously went after the PPP for “controlling” the state media in particular and wanting to do the same for the media, in general. And oleaginously simpered as to how they wouldn’t even HINT to the state media as to what they could carry. So when the Stabber asked politely as to why his volte face, he snapped “No comment!!” No comment on the virtues of a free press from the Czar of Information? …of school names The head of the Burnham Foundation wants to rename Presidents College – the “Burnham Learned Community President’s College.” When Burnham put his face on exercise books, Rodney said it scared schoolchildren from their schoolwork. Does Alexander want to destroy what’s left of Presidents College?


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WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

The Dutch West India Company T

he Dutch West India Company or West India Company (West-Indische Compagnie) was a Dutch trading company that, according to the Britannica encyclopaedia, was established in 1621 mainly to carry on economic warfare against Spain and Portugal by striking at their colonies in the West Indies and South America and on the west

than Microsoft, IBM, or General Motors today. It was one of the great international companies of its time. Its annual profits reached as high as 200 or 300 per cent. (In comparison, a strong stock today might return yearly profits of 20 or 30 per cent.) In the pursuit of profits, the Company traded commodities such as spices, sugar, and fur.

would grow into one of the greatest cities in the world. Seeing the gains of the Portuguese with sugar in Brazil, the Company captured the towns of Recife and Olinda in 1630 and later appointed Johan Maurits van Nassau governor-general of Brazil. When the Portuguese retook Dutch Brazil in 1654, the Dutch moved on to Surinam to set up sugar plantations there. While attaining its greatest success against the Portuguese in Brazil in the 1630s and ’40s, the company depleted its resources and thereafter declined in power.

Guyana legacies

Flag of the Dutch West India Company

coast of Africa. In North America, its charter was to establish colonies there in part to prevent the growth of rival empires. The company also established several colonies in the West Indies and Guyana between 1634 and 1648. According to, the Dutch West India Company was more powerful and successful

More significantly, it also took part in the slave trade, taking slaves from the west coast of Africa to the West Indies and South America. In North America, during the 1620s, the Company sent over some thirty families as colonists and workers. They called the new colony "New Amsterdam." Later renamed New York, it

When the Dutch first settled in Guyana in 1616, states Guyana, they established a trading post 25 kilometres upstream from the mouth of the Essequibo River. Other settlements followed, usually a few kilometres inland on the larger rivers. In 1621 the government of the Netherlands gave the-then newly formed Dutch West India Company complete control over the trading post on the Essequibo. This Dutch commercial concern administered the colony, known as Essequibo,

The West India House on the Herenmarkt in Amsterdam, headquarters of the WIC from 1623 to 1647

for more than 170 years. The Company established a second colony, on the Berbice River southeast of Essequibo, in 1627. Although under the general jurisdiction of this private group, the settlement, named Berbice, was governed separately. Demerara, situated between Essequibo and Berbice, was settled in 1741 and emerged in 1773 as a separate colony under direct control of the Dutch West India Company. One of the most significant Dutch legacies in Guyana was the method of land management.

Dutch created a coastal plain that remains one of Guyana's most productive plantation areas. The polder system entailed the use of a front dam, or facade, along the shorefront. This dam was supported by a back dam of the same length and two connecting side dams, which formed a rectangular tract of land known as a polder. The dams kept the salt water out, and fresh water was managed by a network of canals that provided drainage, irrigation, and a system of transportation. The labour for the ““polderization”” of Guyana's coast

Dartmouth History department, writes in his essay, “The WIC, The Dutch West India Company” that the military costs of its imperial infrastructure in the Western Hemisphere, political opposition from other Dutch merchants, and its failure to establish a trade monopoly in the Atlantic resulted in the liquidation of the original Company after its loss of Dutch Brazil and New Netherlands (near today’s New York). In 1674 a new and second WIC was formed, whose major task was not war, but focused instead on safeguarding Dutch

The storehouse of the Dutch West India Company in Rapenburg, Amsterdam Netherlands. It was built in 1642, and became the headquarters of the board in 1647 because of the company’s financial difficulties after the loss of Dutch Brazil.

Harvesting Rice, British Guiana (1924)

Tram Car on Middle Street, Georgetown, British Guiana (No date)

Settlement and agriculture initially were limited to a belt of land extending 50 to 150 kilometres upriver. The marshy coast flooded at high tide and did not appear conducive to European settlement. The prospect of large profits for tropical agricultural products, especially sugar, led to the reclamation of coastal lands in the second half of the 1700s. The Dutch were eminently suited to this task, having originated the polder system, a technique by which a tract of usable land is created by damming and then draining a water-covered area. Using this system, the

was provided by the Dutch colony's African slaves. As the agricultural productivity of the Dutch colonies increased, a labour shortage had emerged. The indigenous populations were poorly adapted for work on plantations, and many people died from diseases introduced by the Europeans. The Dutch West India Company turned to the importation of African slaves, who rapidly became a key element in the colonial economy.

The decline of the WIC of of

Gerard the

Koot University Massachusetts

trade and shipping in the Atlantic, the administration of its slave and gold forts in West Africa, the plantations on the north coast of South America and in the Caribbean, and its Caribbean trade centres. While it also continued its trading activities, its mounting debts and political pressure from other Dutch merchants interests forced the Company to give up its last trading monopoly in 1734 and it existed thereafter only as the governor and protector of Dutch colonies and trade in the Atlantic world. It was dissolved in 1794.

34 Feature

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

Legend, myth and fascinating stories By Petamber Persaud

ing and dancing.

“A Dictionary of Guyanese Amerindians (and other South American Native Terms) An A-Z Guide to their Anthropology, Cosmology, Culture, Exploration, History, Geography, Legend, Folklore and Myth” compiled and edited by Lal Balkaran

The origin of pain and suffering It is said that Yurokon went to a party with her child where she was served pepperpot that was extremely peppery. In order to ease the burning in her mouth, she went to drink water from a nearby creek. Returning, she discovered someone had thrown her child into the pot. Consequently, Yurokon put a curse on the tribe that would see the men hunting the hard way and the women having pain in childbirth, and their offspring suffering many diseases.

There are many endearing characteristics of the indigenous people of Guyana. Some of those features are captured in “A Dictionary of Guyanese Amerindians (and other South American Native Terms)” compiled and edited by Lal Balkaran. Most fascinating for me are the legend, folklore and myth, notwithstanding the other interesting features of the people. Here are a few samples: A creation story Amalivaca and his brother, Vochi, created the world according to Carib folklore. But the legend bears more on Amalivaca who was sent to earth to restore peace and harmony which was disrupted by their father while attempting to be like a human being sing-

The origin of fruits and vegetables ‘A tapir once found the mythical tree that bore a variety of fruits and vegetables’ on which he fattened himself while the Amerindians were starving. They tried but failed to uncover the secret of the tapir. However a forest spirit named Tamosi appeared and advised the people ‘to cut the tree down and distribute its parts to everyone who planted them from which spring cassava, sweet potatoes, corn, bananas, papayas and a variety of

Author Lal Balkaran

tropical fruits’.

How so stories

There are many entertaining “just/how so”, like how the frog comes to be croaking from the forks of trees; how alligator got its scale; how come birds got their colours; how come owl likes darkness, and how come kiskadee got the white bandage on its head. That’s about legend, folklore and myth of the Indigenous peoples – but what are the facts about these peoples? According to the introduction to the book: “Amerindian culture… is a process of accommodation with nature…they never hoard…nothing is wasted…their concern for ecology and the environment and the balance of nature is part of their

Stephen Campbell

belief system…ecology is woven seemingly into the fabric of their culture.” Other facts can be found in sections of the book marked “Time Chart of Amerindian Related Events” showing “chronologically all major Indian-related events in Guyana …from 18000BC right down to 2001 AD”; “Map of Guyana showing distribution of the current nine Amerindian Tribes” which are Akawaois, Arawaks, Arekunas, Caribs, Makushi, Patamona, Wai Wai, Wapishanas, and Warrau; “Map of Guyana showing distribution of some extinct Amerindian tribes”; “Amerindian villages in Guyana” numbering 131; “Amerindian population in Guyana between 1891 – 1968”. Some of those facts are substantiated through the profiles of men and women who contributed to the wellbeing of the indigenous people and the shaping of their way of life, such as Gravesande, Schomburgk brothers, Brett, Hilhouse, Waterton, Cary-Elwes, MacLintock, Peberdy, McKenna, Brett, Im Thurn, Roth, the Melvilles, Ogilvie, Hart, Stephen Campbell, John Bennett, Basil Rodrigues, Guy Marco,

Sister Mary N. Menezes, author of “British Policy towards the Amerindians in British Guiana, 1803-1873”

George Simon, Stephanie Correia, David Campbell and Jean La Rose, among others. There are many books attesting to the above facts, such as “British Policy Towards the Amerindians in British Guiana, 1803-1873” by Mary N. Menezes; “The Animism and Folklore of the Guiana Indians” by Walter Roth; ‘Canoe and Camp Life in British Guiana” by Barrington Brown; “Indian Notices” by William Hilhouse; “The Marches of El Dorado” by Michael Swan; “Wanderings in South America” by Charles Waterton and “Uncle Basil: An Arawak Biography” by Justin Greene-Roesel, among others. Under ‘expectations’, the compiler hoped that this work makes an ‘important contribution to global culture in general and …a greater understanding of Guyanese Amerindians’. Which brings us to the main reason for the making of this book – which is to serve as a guide to “[s]how the broad historical, anthropological and geographical setting of… indigenous peoples” and to “profile the events, people and issues that

George Simon

have shaped their lives over the years.” “A Dictionary of Guyanese Amerindians (and other South American Native Terms): An A-Z Guide to their Anthropology, Cosmology, Culture, Exploration, History, Geography, Legend, Folklore and Myth” compiled and edited by Lal Balkaran, did just what it set out to do and for this it is a commendable work. But too few indigenous people are highlighted against the overwhelming focus on non-indigenous people. The focus on the contribution of the non-indigenous people is not a bad fixation but there are many outstanding indigenous people who have since built on the contribution of others. And as such their names deserve mention. Responses to this author telephone (592) 2260065 or email: What’s happening: The Guyana Annual Magazine 2014-2015 issue in now available at Guyenterprise Ltd., Lance Gibbs and Irving Streets, Tel # 226-9874, the National Library, Austin’s Book Service and from yours truly.

Deaf Awareness: A continuing...

from page 29

able. Walcott feels that once these groups are involved there will be what he calls “a spin-off effect, or ripple effect”. If a friend of someone is a nurse, he suggests, and sees her communicating in sign language with a deaf person, there is the possibility that that person would be encouraged to also learn. To avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding, police need to be sensitive to deaf persons and taught sign language to help when communicating legal matters to the deaf, Walcott believes. Misunderstandings and frustration can result as neither can un-

Leon Walcott

derstand the other, which though resolved eventually, can traumatise a deaf individual.

Guyana statistics

According to ‘Sociolinguistic Profiles of Twenty-four Deaf Communities in the Americas’ by Elizabeth

Parks and Holly Williams, (SIL 2011) there are reported to be some 4,000 (Cholmondeley 2010, citing the 2000 census) to 8,000 (Hallahan and Hallahan 2010, suggesting the number of deaf persons using sign language) deaf persons in Guyana. Cholmondeley, they write, says that there was no sign language use in Guyana before 1980. Currently both Guyanese Sign Language (GSL) and American Sign Language (ASL) are being used here. Both Tracey Cholmondeley and the Hallahans are active among the deaf community in Guyana.

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WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

If you’re going to do something, then do it right

By Anu Dev

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” – C. S. Lewis


think I’ve heard the old adage, “If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it properly” thrown around probably a thousand times by now. But how many people do I see actually taking their own advice to do things properly? Not that many. But it’s difficult, I suppose. As Portia said in the Merchant of Venice, “I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.” It’s so easy to just phone it in and do a job half-way if you find that you can get by on that. And you’re even more inclined to do that if everybody else seems to be getting by doing the bare minimum as well. Why should you be the only one working hard? Where’s the motivation for you to do the job properly? And it happens a lot with people who are naturally pretty smart or good at what they do. They figure out very quickly that working at just half-speed, they can outperform most of their peers. And they end up doing just enough to keep ahead, never mind that they have the potential to do so much more. And that’s definitely a dangerous path to choose to travel. Because for people like that, when they’re then thrown into an environment where everyone else is just as good as they are, it’s quite a shock to the system. Especially if those people weren’t content to just kick back, and instead, kept pushing themselves and developed a stellar work ethic. And you should want to do well because you want to. It shouldn’t be for the sake of pleasing other people or making other people proud. It should be for you. Whatever work you do, it should be something you’re proud of. At the end of the day, you should be able to reflect and say, “I’ve done my best on this.” It’ll be worth so much more. I saw a picture on the “Humans of New York” page the other day, of a girl who said that she was always an overachiever, got accepted to Harvard, was then surrounded by people as smart as or smarter than her and her grades ended up falling. She said it was because she was no longer getting that external validation she had grown accustomed to. She eventually realized she had formed her entire identity around making people proud of her. She took some time off, learnt more about herself, learnt to cope with failure and that it’s okay to ask for help. She eventually went back and graduated. So that story had a happy ending! It really does feel nice to get praised for your work, to be singled out as the top of your class, or as the best employee. But it’s not healthy for someone else’s praise to be the goal. That should never be the goal, it sure is a nice by-product but the goal should be you getting the job done and having a result that you can be proud of. So, to repeat something you’ve all heard a million times, “If you’re going to do something, then do it right.”

Jamaican registered fishing boat found with decomposing bodies


RAND CAYMAN, C A Y M A N ISLANDS - The authorities have completed post mortems on two decomposing bodies that were found in a Jamaican registered fishing boat. However their identities have not been released as investigators say formal identification is pending from another jurisdiction. One of the men is believed to be between 25 and 40 years old while the other is thought to be over 50 years old. According to a report

in the Cayman media, the Coroner who was flown in to perform the post mortems, could not immediately determine the cause

of death, due to the advanced state of decomposition. The 28-foot boat was floating 13 miles south-

west of Little Cayman, when it was discovered last month by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Marine Unit. (CMC)

TT PM says: No job loss from merging ministries


O R T - O F S P A I N , TRINIDAD: New Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says no jobs will be lost due to the reduction from 33 ministries to 23 ministries, and the Ministry of Local Government will be removed as promised but on a phased basis. “I want to make it abundantly clear. No person...has lost his or her job as of today as a result of the compression of the public service into 23 ministries as opposed to 33,” he said. He was speaking on Saturday with the media following a retreat for the new Cabinet ministers held at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. The retreat took place from about 9.30am to 5pm. Rowley explained that for ministries that were not named as separate ministries “that block of public officers, public servants, contract officers — whoever they are — they now fall under only the existing ministries.” He continued: “All that is missing from them is the minister or the ministerial head that they used to know.” He pointed out, for example, that the former Ministry of Water Resources is now under the Ministry of Public Utilities and the minister (Ancil Antoine). “So every single area of Government activity sits within a ministry somewhere and there is a minister responsible,” he said. Rowley explained that the ministers will have one or more permanent secretaries “sitting on top of these blocks of people”. “So it is just a relocation of where they were. So this rumour of people having lost their jobs that’s just not true

New Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

at all. We just relocated and we removed 10 administrative heads as

ministers,” he said. He noted if he followed the template from

the previous administration he would have to appoint 10 more ministers but the 23 ministers have been allocated the responsibilities and the public servants associated with those other ministries. He said that the ministries, in terms of schedule and scope, are larger but the number of ministers are smaller “and they are expected to work harder” as they are responsible for a wider area.(TT Newsday)


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

This week's Crossword

This week's Puzzle

see solution on page 47


…with social cohesion ver since the new Government threw out its “social cohesion” bait, it seems to’ve confused most Guyanese – including its putative partners in the AFC. Part of the problem is the Government’s not sure at what level it should make its pitch. The “social” level? Meaning that should just get together and hang? And maybe sway with upraised arms to some smarmy music? But Guyanese do that all the time, don’t they? And they used to do it “till morning come” until some party-pooper Minister issued a Royal proclamation that henceforth no partying can go beyond 2 am. That’s been the biggest setback to “social cohesion” since bad breath. Adhesion precedes “cohesion” no? And by 2 am you’re barely getting into your groove to adhere to the object of your attention, since you entered the club at midnight, HOW THE HECK ARE YOU GOING TO INCREASE social cohesion this way? Economics is a part of the “social”, right? So maybe the Government’s hoping to increase economic cohesion? Well the Ministers in general – and the Minister of Amerindian Affairs in particular – sure picked a funny way (NOT “ha ha” funny) to increase social cohesion with their mass firings. So Amerindians are supposed to “cohere” by comforting the 10% of their workforce fired by their Minister? Political cohesion? Was it reverse psychology to take back control of the Committees so the present Opposition can’t enjoy what the Government did when they were the Opposition? Or to appoint Nagamootoo to head the negotiations with the PPP on “national unity”. That’s like appointing the Klu Klux Klan to negotiate with the British Government for Reparations for Africans? Nagamootoo HATES the fellas in the PPP! He’s convinced they did him wrong! Deprived him from running this country and having that fat pension (and benefits, let’s not forget the benefits!) that President Granger’s going to be collecting soon. And then again, how do you have “political cohesion” when the fella telling you to sign on the dotted line has been banished so far from the centre of power that he might’ve just as well be in…Well…Berbice! With Ramayya? And just when this Eyewitness thought the confusion over “social confusion” couldn’t get worse, up comes the President himself – who must’ve coined the term, no? – to tell the PPP not to worry about Nagamootoo with his call for “national unity”. The President implied this was too wide ranging and proposed that the PPP shouldn’t bother burdening themselves with “power sharing”. They should just help the Government with crime, sugar and rice. Areas they’re doing so well with. Ain’t this “social cohesion” thing a blast …on schools and postal codes This Eyewitness wonders what’s happened to the old PNC. This present lot seems to have jettisoned its institutional memory when they ditched Robert Corbin. OK. He knows that Granger was there back in the day…but then he was probably marching up and down in the sun that he missed all the goings on back at the Belfield Residence. When Burnham named the new Secondary School on East Coast “Presidents College” (after the Queens Board turned him down cold) he didn’t append his name on it for a very good reason. Through his 1980 Constitution and the rigging of elections, Burnham had made himself President FOR LIFE. Adding his name would’ve been redundant! Then there’s this call for the Post Office to introduce postal zip codes. Say what??!! Burnham did all of that back in the day. The Regional Codes was the preface to a seven digit code. Didn’t Dereck Bernard leave his notes with someone? …on venom The Health Ministry says it’s out of anti-venom. They should check with Nagamootoo. To counteract the venom for Jagdeo and the PPP that consumes his entire being, his body’s full of the stuff. Problem is, he’s also full of the other stuff. Nasty!!


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38 Feature

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |


he Education and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministries have collaborated to pay homage to late Father John Peter Bennett, who produced the Arawak-English dictionary, at the National Art Gallery, Castellani House, as the celebration of Amerindian Heritage Month. The tribute took the form of an exhibition of artwork by indigenous artists called the “Moving Circle”. In his remarks at the launch on Thursday, Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock said that Guyana’s indigenous people have made major contributions to the country’s development. He added that the talents that the country’s youngsters currently posses must be identified, so that the support and encouragement can be given, enabling them to achieve even greater excellence. The Indigenous Minister told upcoming artists that his Ministry would support their endeavours without discriminating against age. He also

A young student learns about art

stressed that art needed to be reintroduced into schools. Also speaking at the function, Education Minister Dr Roopnaraine assured the artist present of the support of the Education Ministry. Internationally acclaimed artist George Simon shared, at the event’s launch that after reading Father Bennett’s work, he thought that it would be ideal to pay homage to the man that produced the Arawak-English

dictionary, which was a “great contribution to preserve the Loko (Arawak) Culture”. He explained that this exhibition would be very interactive as some of the artists will be present to show how their pieces were created.

Early life

Bennett was born in Kabakaburi on November 30, 1914. He completed his formal schooling around the age of 12, but continued to read widely. After working as a catechist in Massara,

North Rupununi and as acting Head Teacher at St Monica, Pomeroon, Bennet attended Codrington College in Barbados from 19461949 to train for the priesthood. He was ordained as a priest later in 1949 and would serve as priest in several parts of Guyana: New Amsterdam, Port Mourant, Bartica, North Rupununi, Waramuri and other areas in the North West Region, and finally Kabakaburi and the entire Pomeroon parish.

In 1976, he was made a Canon of the Anglican Church. It was his contact with the various Amerindian peoples in the different villages he worked in that gave him the idea of starting his scholastic work on the Arawak Language. He noted that the Macushis of the North Rupununi, the Caribs of the Barama and Manawarin villages and the Warrus of Waramuri and Warapoka, for example, all spoke and sang in their respective languages. He realised that the church services did not have to be conducted in English. He also noted that in Kabakaburi, the use of the Arawak Language was rapidly disappearing. He started the Arawak dictionary in the late 1950s and received tremendous encouragement through correspondence from Jamaican lawyer, academic and politician, Richard Hart. They eventually met in 1992 after corresponding for more than 30 years. The first edition of

An Arawak-English Dictionary was published in 1989 and the second edition in 1994. Bennet was compiling an additional list of Loko words and their meanings which ended when he lost his sight in 1998. His other unpublished works include translations of some books of the Bible and Loko Stories, a collection of stories written in Arawak and English. Bennett passed away in November 2011 several days before his 97th birthday. He dedicated his life to serving in his vocation as priest, but he also made a tremendous effort helping to preserve and to advocate the preservation of the Arawak Language. Bennett continues to be an inspiration for many, especially his fellow indigenous brothers and sisters. Chair of Castellani House, Alim Hosein stated that February 2016 will mark 25 years for the “Moving Circle” of indigenous artists in Guyana. The exhibition concludes on September 30. (

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WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Your Guyana adventure


f you want to experience relaxed living and authentic wildlife along with adventure in an ever increasing stressful and artificial world, then Guyana is as natural as you can get. From its many old heritage buildings on the coast to its sprawling jungles and savannahs in its interior, nothing is left out from your adventure. You cannot come to Guyana without experiencing the remote and truly natural Kaieteur Falls, considered the world’s largest single drop falls by volume and height, or leave with-

A Harpy Eagle or “flying wolf” in the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve. The Guyana jungle is not for the faint-of-heart but its almost pristine state is perfect for bird watching

out visiting St George’s Cathedral, a historic icon of the capital city, arguably the world’s

tallest wooden building and just one of the many stately heritage buildings along the coast.

At the Baganara Resort beach. Quiet stretches of beach along Guyana’s many rivers and creeks take you from your hectic routine A jaguar walks near Karanambu Ranch, Rupununi. Known as the “Land of the Giants”, Guyana is home to some of the most powerful predators of the rainforest

Waiting for a bite. With Guyana’s many waters nurturing among the richest populations of fish in the world, it’s only natural for sports fishing to be a highlight of your trip

Encountering an anteater. The vast expanse of the Rupununi Savannahs allows for long horse rides through natural wildlife habitats

40 news

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Caroni plant shuts down after welding mishap - water crisis averted after accidental fire


O R T - O F S P A I N , TRINIDAD: Large swaths of Trinidad were left without a pipeborne water supply for most of on Monday following a mid-morning fire at the country’s main water treatment plant. According to reports, the fire at the Caroni Water Treatment Plant in Piarco started around 10.45 am when Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) employees were doing welding repairs to a section of the facility. Although no one was injured and the fire was quickly extinguished by fire officers from the Piarco Fire Station, operations at the plant, which services almost three quarters of WASA’s residential cus-

Fire Officers at the scene of the fire at WASA's Water Treatment Plant in Caroni. (Photo: Ralph Banwarie)

tomers, were immediately ceased. In a press release issued on Monday, the authority’s corporate communications manager Daniel Plenty said 80 per cent of repairs were

completed by 1.30 pm. At 4 pm, WASA said that electrical repairs had been completed ahead of schedule and the plant was restored to full operation as at 3.30 pm.

The areas affected included most of north-

west Trinidad from San Juan to St James, almost all of central Trinidad and Debe, Siparia, Penal and Fyzabad in south Trinidad. The TT media understands that schools and health centres in the affected areas were not so severely affected so as to force their early closure. A truck-borne water supply was also offered by WASA to assist customers who were most affected by Monday’s incident. Monday’s incident is the second time this year that the plant was shut down. In February, WASA was forced to

close the plant temporarily after its supply was contaminated by a petroleum-based substance. Meanwhile, WASA is advising customers in Carenage, Point Cumana and Glencoe that their water supply will be interrupted between 8 am and 4 pm on Tuesday. Plenty, in a press release issued hours before the fire at the Caroni plant, said the disruption to customers serviced by the Tucker Valley Pumping Station is to facilitate an interconnection at Guave Road, Chaguaramas. (TT Guardian)

Dominica hopeful after Lara’s visit

Former West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara, in the capacity as TT’s special envoy, is greeted on Monday by a Dominican national during his visit in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika which devastated the island on August 27, killing more than 30 people


O S E A U , DOMINICA— The Dominica Government on Monday welcomed the visit of the former West Indies test cricketer, Brian Charles Lara, as the special envoy of the TT Government, saying it signalled an intention of the new administration in Port-of-Spain to assist the island to recover from the battering

it received from Tropical Storm Erika last month. Lara arrived on Monday and held talks with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on how the new Keith Rowley administration could assist in the rehabilitation of the island after the storm on August 27 left more than 30 people dead and damage estimated at more than EC$600 million (One EC dollar = US$0.37 cents). “Clearly this is a huge decision on the part of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. With all of the challenges he has in Trinidad, being a new government, having to settle the new Cabinet, having to re-appoint boards…that he has decided that Dominica is one of his priorities and that alone for us is a huge gesture on his part,” said Skerrit. “And with Dr Rowley’s strong support for regional integration and for T&T providing the kind of guidance and leadership as a founding member of Caricom we have no doubt that Dr Rowley will provide that leadership and guidance for greater Caribbean integration.” Skerrit told reporters sending Lara to Dominica underscored Port-of-Spain’s desire to

assist his island “and we are really appreciative of the visit itself. “As I have been saying to the public we have received tremendous support from our regional and international partners…but the presence of individuals here is a source of hope, motivation and comfort for many who have been affected,” Skerrit said. Lara said that he had arrived with a message from Rowley indicating “we are family and when one family suffers, the other one does and we are here to help. “We stand in solidarity with the whole of Dominica during this really trying time. We understand and we know and recognise the displacement of people…we sympathise with their loss of lives and property...and I am really here to take something back to T&T and let my government know exactly the way that we should react and respond to the needs of Dominica.” Following the storm on August 27, T&T had made available Air Guard helicopters to assist in the rescue efforts after several villages were cut off and roads and bridges impassable. (CMC)

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e s i g n er Deborah Mathias’ artistic journey began when she took over her father’s advertising agency where she honed her graphic art skills as well as her marketing and customer relations talents. Rave Designs was later created mainly as a costume company which, to date has produced several prize winning bands at the annual Mashramani Parade. Mathias, of Rave Designs, last year presented a collection of hand-made jewellery as part of Sonia Noel’s Style Mission at the Pegasus Hotel. The collection, named “Aspire”, was created entirely from local semi-precious stones (quartz and agates). While some of the pieces were bold, others were sophisticated and elegant.

Designer Deborah Mathias

Most importantly, the entire collection showcased the beauty of our local semi-precious stones, natural seeds and coconut. The “Aspire” collection was very well received by the audience. Along with local semi-precious stones, coconut shells and

natural seeds, presently Rave Designs has expanded, and is also producing jewellery made from leather. Rave Designs is now setting its sights on the commercial and domestic décor market as it moves forward.

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42 Star of the week

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Alanzo Nicholas Greaves


wenty-four-year-old Alanzo Nicholas Greaves is the youngest of five children. Growing up in Garnett Street, Kitty in Georgetown, Greaves attended JE Burnham Nursery School then FE Pollard Primary School. He earned a place at Queenstown Secondary but later transferred to the Business School where he wrote CSEC. Though he experienced different sports events while growing up, cycling found a special place. He would successfully represent his school zone at the National School’s Championship during his primary level years. That gave him more confidence to begin his cycling career. Greaves has participated in several local competitions; his first professional achievements include wins at the National Three Stage in 2009 and the National Championship and the National Five Stage in 2007. He has since gone on to win both local and overseas events. Alanzo sees cycling as a sport that keeps one fit and gives one self-control, and advises youths to stay disciplined and be serious if they want to make a career cycling.

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arts & culture 43

Stanwyck Cromwell creates art work “from a cultural point of view” graduated with high honours in art and foreign language. He worked for several years as a graphic artist at the Guyana Lithographic Company, working alongside wellknown Guyanese artist Angold Thompson, before migrating to the 1970 at 22 years-old, in search of a career in art. Cromwell went on to earn a Bachelors of Arts degree in Applied Arts from Charter Oak State College, and a Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration on painting from the University of Hartford. He has lived and worked in Bloomfield, Connecticut for more than 40 years. Cromwell has been described as a contemporary visual artist and art educator. He creates works of art through “Folklores from Guyana (2)”Coloured Pencils (2006) “[Folklores] have been embedded in my subconscious, thus allowing me to create works of art, from a cultural point of view,” says Cromwell


tanwyck E. Cromwell was born 1948 in Georgetown with the artistic talents of both parents. This talent, he says, was nurtured by another noted Guyanese artist, who is also his cousin, Maurice C. Jacobs, who helped him develop that talent. Cromwell attended the former British Guiana Educational Trust High School, and

“Multi-Cultural man”. Cromwell notes that a kaleidoscope from exotic Guyana can be found in his art

painting, drawing and collages/assemblages, which have been exhibited throughout the U.S. Of his collages,created with old newspapers, tin and other everyday discarded items, he notes, “These discarded objects, reflect suffering, joy, and hope.” And of his paintings he says, “The images in my paintings are reflective of both my Caribbean heritage and African ancestry.” In an interview, Cromwell said that he has rich and abundant memories of Guyana that are referenced in his art. He noted too that there are “striking... physical and aesthetic distances between the cultures of Guyana and the United States of America”. Speaking to Hunter Editions he points out that his usage of the black-eye pea and other seeds are very frequent in his drawings and paintings: “The blackeye pea has dual meaning. It represents part of our national cuisine and cultural linkage to

The artist with his assemblage of “John Doe” (2005)

“Self Portrait With American Influences” Mixed media collage (2005)

Africa, and is also symbolic of the racial makeup of America.” (Photos

of artwork from www.

44 feature

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One Caribbean Voice


O R T - O F S P A I N , TRINIDAD: “...Wait, do I know you?” asked Simeon Sandiford, cracking a smile, his salt-andpepper hair and jovial laugh-lines the only visible signs of a man who is ageing very gracefully. Simeon Sandiford,

known by many simply as Sanch, is a veteran in the TT music business from a technical, recording and local business point of view. Sandiford is managing director of Sanch Electronix Ltd, and a voting member of The Recording Academy (for 25 years), a US organ-

isation of musicians, producers, recording engineers and other recording professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life for music and its makers. Sandiford spoke to the media in an interview last month at the International Conference and

Panorama (which took place August 4-9) on how we can improve TT’s music sector. A former student of St Mary’s College, Portof-Spain, Sandiford studied the sciences, maths, Latin, Greek and French at school, and went on to earn an MSc in Applied Physics

Simeon Sandiford shows his chart for One Caribbean Voice

at the University of the West Indies in 1975. Sandiford is also a lifetime member and distinguished alumni awardee of UWIAATT (2011). But Sandiford has eclectic interests: arts and culture, economic empowerment, education and science are just a few of his long-held causes. For decades now, he’s been a passionate advocate for TT music. Indeed, his business, Sanch Electronix, has as its mission statement: “To produce, promote and market the music of TT and related multimedia products and services within the global community.” Started in 1979, Sanch Electronix originally made loudspeaker

systems to supplement high-end imported audio equipment. But with the economic downturn of the mid-eighties, the company started selling indigenous cultural products, including music. In 1995, Sandiford started the Sanch CD label. More recently, the business has shifted emphasis to services, offering on-location and studio recording, mastering and mixing, editing, archive transference, audio restoration and CD replication. It also offers two ICT-derived products: the Pan in Education Business Model, and Pete the Panstick interactive software to teach music literacy through pan. (TT Guardian)

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |


46 news

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Jamaican MP awards Ja$15m in scholarships K INGSTON, JAMAICA: Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Morais Guy has awarded 83 scholarships valued at Ja$15 million to tertiary students in his St Mary Central constituency. Dr Guy, who is also minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, explained that the tertiary assistance programme begun under the former MP for the constituency, the late Horace Clarke, who sought private sector sponsorship to start the foundation. He commended the private sector for coming on board, as well as the National Youth Service which granted 10 scholarships

Scholarship recipients pose for a group photo with Member of Parliament Morais Guy. (Photo: Everard Owen)

valued at Ja$100,000 for students attending the College of Agriculture, Science and Education, Caribbean Maritime Institute and Northern Caribbean University.

He pointed out that a portion of the scholarships is from the Constituency Development Fund. "Education is a privilege, and there is a responsibility for those who

get this privilege to exploit it to its full potential," he said. Dr Guy urged the students to make use of the opportunity and to use it as a "means of serv-

ing the country when completed". He implored them not to burn their bridges behind them, but to remember where they are coming from. Beneficiary Alicia

Williams said the assistance helped her to accomplish her dream, having graduated from the University of the West Indies with first class honours and now presently enrolled in a Master's programme. Custos of St Mary and guest speaker at the event, Lieutenant Colonel Errol Johnson, also urged the awardees to cherish the education that they are getting. "Don't stop at the first degree, but be a specialist in your area of study as the nation needs your input. It is important how you react to the circumstances and don't get hard or soft by the troubles in life," he informed. (Jamaica Observer)

Chronixx gets six IRAWMA nods


INGSTON, JAMAICA: Chronixx, frontrunner of the rootsreggae revival, leads the nominees for the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) set for Broward Community College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on October 4. The conscious singer, who is known for songs such as Who

Knows, Behind Curtain and Smile Jamaica, has received six nominations. He is up for the Bob Marley Entertainer of the Year, Best Male Vocalist, Best Song -Who Knows, Best Album -- Dread and Terrible, Best Music Video -Who Knows and Most Cutural/ Educational Entertainer. His contemporary Protoje is also in the running with four nods

for Best Male Vocalist, Most Promising, Best Song -- Who Knows, and Best Music Video, also for Who Knows. Singer Etana also has been nominated for four IRAWMA trophies -- Bob Marley Entertainer of the Year, Best Female Vocalist, Best Song -- I Rise as well as the Marcus Garvey Humanitarian Award. Newcomer Dexta

Daps earns three nominations. His hugely popular track, 7/11, has been nominated for Best Song. He is also nominated for Best New Entertainer where he is up against Gully Bop, Kabaka Pyramid and Jesse Royal. His third nod comes in the category, Most Promising, where he competes with Omi, Protoje and Romain Virgo. Trophies are up for graps in 41 categories covering reggae, soca and other genres from the Caribbean and Africa. In the Best Dancehall Artiste (male), nominees are Demarco, Popcaan, Stylo G and Vybz Kartel. On the female side, nominees are Ishawna, Lady Saw, Spice and Tifa. The Best Male Vocalist category sees Chris Martin, Romain

Chronixx and Etana

Virgo and Tarrus Riley up against Protoje and Chronixx. The nominees for Best Female Vocalist are Alaine, Etana, Ikaya and Tessanne Chin. In addition to Chronixx's Dread and Terrible, those in the running for Best Album are: Strictly Roots from Morgan Heritage, Where We Come From by Popcaan, The Reggae Power from Sly and Robbie and Strictly the Best 50, the compilation from VP Records. Inner Circle, No-

Maddz, Raging Fyah, Steel Pulse and Third World are nominated for Most Outstanding Show Band/Group. In the Most Consistent Entertainer category, nominees are Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths, Richie Stephens, Sanchez and Yellow Man. This year, three Jamaican artistes -- AJ Brown, Ed Robinson and Pluto Shervington -will be inducted into the IRAWMA Hall of Fame. (Jamaica Observer)

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WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Sucked orange

A Triumph Of Contemporary Art


atiricus always knew that Guyanese had a way with words. They were so imaginative. In the 1960’s, just like that, they came up with “choke and rob” to describe what Americans mundanely called “muggings”. A “mugging” can be all sorts of things – even connected to the guzzling of Satiricus’ favourite beer. “But “choke-and rob”? No room for ambiguity there,” grinned Satiricus. “Just like with kick-down-the-door-bandits in the 80’s” and “slippery ochro” now.” Satiricus was mulling over the reaction of the Bourda vendors to Hammer Green’s toughlove edict to break down their stalls. One vendor moaned, “Hammie treating we like sucked orange. He suck we dry and den throw ‘way de skin.” Satiricus knew exactly what that vendor meant. He liked oranges – especially the ones from Canal. When Satiricus ate oranges, he would cut them in two and then suck all the juice from each half, until there was absolutely no more. Then he would dump the skin in the rubbish bin. Why not? He had no use for orange skin. But this is where the vendors didn’t understand Hammer Green. Hammer wasn’t Satiricus. He was a man of vision: he was a man who wanted to change Guyana. He wanted to get rid of all the blood suckers on Regent Street and make the poor (vendors) inherit the earth! He could see beyond the sweet juice of the orange. Sure he had used the vendors to do his dirty work. Sure they had been used as shock troops. They had marched that Syuba lady who didn’t realise Hammer was “El Jefe”, didn’t they? But that was also for the good of the vendors. Usually, they’d sit on their chairs in front of their stalls – just getting fat and unhealthy. Hammer was doing them a favour by making them march in the sun every now and them. And so it was with the breaking of their stalls; the vendors didn’t see the big picture. The Bourda vendors were obstructing just a bunch of old papers from the derelict old school. Nobody in there to be obstructed out of business. By forcing the vendors to move and not providing them with any alternative space, they would have to move to the more upscale locales in front of the new malls and so on. Where they could help make the lives of those uppity money-grubbing blood suckers hell. Even the skin of sucked oranges can be useful: they can make orange peel.



Jamaican jewellery designer Matthew 'Mateo' Harris

INGSTON,JAMAICA: SOOOO nice to know that we're not the only ones gushing about renowned Jamaican jewellery designer Matthew 'Mateo' Harris. Here's what French Vogue is saying.... The New York designer's graph-

ic installation earrings chime in time with the mobiles of Alexander Calder, a cherished inspiration. Calder's subtly balanced and enchanting airborne creations have been reinvented by the talented Mateo Harris, who has crafted mobile prisms from yellow gold, con-

tinuing the passion for architecture and graphics that also characterised his first collection, La Barre. Now, the artist brings out a triumph of contemporary art, as his collection chimes in time with the determined beat of the New Yorker. (Jamaica Observer)

Jamaica Gov't aims to cut crime by keeping children in school


INGSTON, J A M A I C A – Education Minister Ronald Thwaites has said that, based on statistics, if young people remain in school, their likelihood of getting involved in criminality reduces. “Minister Bunting has statistics to show that if a young person stays in school, even if they are not achieving passes – just staying in school – reduces by 40 per cent the likelihood that they are going to find themselves in a gang or in some criminal anti-social behaviour,” Thwaites told reporters. He said that 1.8 per cent of students between grades eight and 10 are dropping out of high schools in the Corporate Area. That figure is closer to three per cent in western Jamaica, the education minister said. Thwaites also stated that students’ names should not be removed from attendance registers based solely on the number of weeks for which they are absent. “It’s no longer a question of ‘oh, you’re not present, so after six weeks of absence we strike you from the record’; we are instructing principals, deans, guidance counsellors to go out and go after the children,” Thwaites declared. “We are also saying to the police, ‘we don’t want you to arrest parents or drape up the child, but you must come with us when we need, because

it needs the full authority of the State to ensure that education is not an option’,” he continued. “Education is in fact an absolute necessity for children between

the ages of four and 18, especially at those critical ages where we know the dropouts are likely to take place.” According to Thwaites, the Education

Ministry is also working on statistics for girls who have dropped out of school due to pregnancy, and finding out what is happening to them. (Jamaica Observer)

48 Hollywood

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Zoe Saldana to 'Positive' Sandra star in 'I Kill Giants' Bullock opens up about A Hollywood sexism


andra Bullock, who will be next seen in David Gordon's directorial 'Our Brand Is Crisis', recently opened up about how women are being paid in tinseltown. Addressing the media at the Toronto International Film Festival, the 51-year-old actress said that women still have a long way to go

in Hollywood, adding that she wanted to do the role that was originally developed for a man to do, People Magazine reports. The upcoming flick, which also stars Billy Bob Thornton, Zoe Kazan and Anthony Mackie, was premiered at Toronto film festival and will hit the U.S. theaters on Oct. 30, 2015. (TOI)

ctress Zoe Saldana has signed on for a key role in 'I Kill Giants', the upcoming film version of the graphic novel by Joe Kelly and

Britney Spears organises DJthemed birthday party for sons


op star Britney Spears held a DJ-themed joint birthday party for her two sons, Jayden, nine and Sean, 10, at the weekend. The Piece of Me hitmaker had time off from her Las Vegas residency to treat sons to a joint birthday celebration complete with a trip to an indoor skate park, reported E! Online. Captioning photographs of their special day, she wrote on Instagram, "Happy birthday to my boys - love you Jayden & Preston! "Thx @skatelab & #lindacohencakepops for making the day so special. (sic)" The group of around 40 guests, including the 33-year-old singer's ex-husband Kevin Federline, the boys' father, enjoyed the treat of a "party zone" at the skate park, a special room made available exclusively for them but still enjoyed what the entire venue had to offer. "They were cruising around and didn't just stay in the private room. Everyone had a blast." Linda Cohen, who personally

illustrator Ken Niimura. The story follows a young misfit girl named Barbara who grapples with monsters both real

Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' pushed to next year


designed the boys' cake and the other treats on offer, revealed the star was "super sweet", greeting all the boys' guests. "Britney's boys are total skater boys. While last year's party was totally skate-themed, this year the boys wanted a little bit of a DJtheme incorporated ...

"Words cannot describe how unbelievably thrilling it was to be able to help them create a fun and awesome skate party. As expected, (Britney) was super sweet and greeted all of her guests with a wide smile and a phenomenal hospitality," she said. (TOI)

Bruce Willis, Meloni, Bautista to star in 'Marauders'


ie Hard' star Bruce Willis, actor Christopher Meloni, and former professional mixed martial artist Dave Bautista are set to star in the action- thriller 'Marauders'. The film tells the story of an FBI agent who uncovers secrets kept by a bank owner (Willis) as he pursues a group of bank robbers who hand their stolen goods over to charity, reported Entertainment Weekly.

Directed by Steven C Miller, of Under the Bed fame, Maraunders is written by Michael Cody and Chris Sivertson. Lydia Hull, Tyler Olson, Christopher Bowen, and Danny A Abeckaser are also set for the film, which will kick off production later this month in Ohio. Willis, 60, will be next seen in comedy Rock the Kasbah, which also stars Bill Murray, Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson among others. (TOI)

Zayn Malik's raunchy route to woo Lily Allen


ormer One Direction star Zayn Malik has been sending raunchy photographs and text messages to singer Lily Allen to woo her. According to a source to The Sun newspaper, Allen is flattered by his gestures, reports "Zayn fancies Lily and has made that very clear. He has even sent

and imagined in her life, reported Deadline. The 37-year-old Guardians of the Galaxy star will play Mrs Molle, the school psychologist who helps Barbara through her struggles and forms a tight bond with her as a result. Saldana joins Madison Wolfe as Barbara, who was chosen for the role after a nationwide search of over 500 actresses. Anders Walter is directing the film which is written by Kelly. Filming is set to begin in early 2016. Saldana was recently seen in Infinitely Polar Bear opposite Mark Ruffalo, and will soon be seen in the upcoming 'Star Trek Beyond'. (TOI)

her X-rated pictures and raunchy texts which Lily has told quite a few people in her close circle about. She's flattered," a source said. Malik and Allen have met numerous times, including on a flight in 2013 and again at the 2014 BRIT Awards, but it is only now that he has tried to pursue her. However, the Air

balloon hitmaker Allen has been married to Sam Cooper since 2011 and the couple have two children, Ethel and Marnie. Meanwhile, Malik has been romantically linked to a string of female following his split from Perrie Edwards. He was also reportedly smitten by an Indianorigin Burberry model Neelam Gill. (TOI)

irector Oliver Stone's biographical political thriller about Edward Snowden, the former government contractor, who leaked classified information, has been pushed from its original Christmas release to 2016. The move bumps Snowden that stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley from this year's Oscar race. Sources say the film is not finished yet. Distributor Open Road Films has not yet determined the movies new release date, said The Hollywood Reporter. The development gives some breathing room to the Christmas Day frame, busy with five other wide releases - Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Concussion, Mark Wahlberg's comedy Daddy's Home, dramedy Joy and Point Break

featuring Jennifer Lawrence - as well asStar Wars: The Force Awakens, opening the previous week. Christmas Day also includes bows from Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight and new Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer drama The Revenant from Oscar-winner Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Snowden has been eagerly anticipated given that it is the first narrative feature to tackle the polarising figure, considered a hero by some and a traitor by others. The Snowden documentary Citizenfour won this year's best documentary Oscar. Kieran Fitzgerald and Stone wrote the screenplay. Wildbunch is selling international territories on Snowden at the Toronto Film Festival. A spokesperson for Open Road Films did not comment. (TOI)

Orlando Bloom sparks dating rumours with Chloe Bartoli


ctor Orlando Bloom and stylist Chloe Bartoli sparked romance rumours after they were photographed enjoying lunch together in Malibu. Both Bloom, 38, and Bartoli were spotted sporting casual outfits during September 9 outing, reported Ace Showbiz. Following their lunch date, the two were spotted together again as Bloom picked up coffee for two. Bartoli and her

twin sister reportedly are longtime friends of Bloom's former wife, supermodel Miranda Kerr. The actor himself has previously been romantically linked to Brazilian model Luisa Moraes. (TOI)

bollywood 49

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Akshay Kumar to help droughtstricken farmers from Marathwada


ollywood actor, Akshay Kumar, has taken an initiative to help drought-stricken farmers. Considering the worsening situation in the Marathwada region, Khiladi Kumar has pledged an amount of Rs 90 lakh for the families of drought affected farmers who've committed suicide. This amount will be disbursed over the period of next six months. As a part of the initiative, an amount of Rs 15 lakh will be given out on Tuesday in Beed district. Aurangabad range Inspector General of Police, Vishwas Nangre Patil, is coordinating the entire event scheduled at Beed district po-


lice headquarters at 6 pm. (TOI)

rithik Roshan is shooting for Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo Daro these days. The actor will be seen romancing debutant Pooja Hegde in the film. While not much is known about the period drama as of now, a report on states that the film will feature a passionate love making scene. Quoting a source, the report states the high-on-passion scene will be two and a half minutes long and will be shot in a cave. It even states that the scene will be far more passionate than Hrithik and Priyanka Chopra’s intimate scene in'Agneepath.' (TOI)


s Bollywood couple Kajol and Ajay Devgn's son Yug turned five on Sunday, the actress beamed with joy and said that it's a "happy and proud" moment for her, while Ajay was in awe with how fast the time flies. Kajol, who is busy in shooting for Rohit Shetty's upcoming film 'Dilwale,' took to Twitter to share: "Very happy and proud as Yug turns 5 today! Let's make sure every child has that chance." The Drishyam star Ajay Devgn also thanked his fans and followers for their "best wishes". "Time flies, Yug turns 5 today. Thanks every-


elhi is known for its energy and vibrancy. But a different side of the national capital was unfolded in front of Arjun Kapoor during his shooting schedule for "Ki and Ka". The actor says Delhi gets "a little still, a little dreamy and a little melancholy" during night.


one for your best wishes. #ProudDad," Ajay tweeted. The duo got married in 1999 and have two children together. The couple have shared the silver screen in movies like Ishq, Pyaar To

The actor shared his experience of witnessing the serene side of the city on Twitter. "Night shoot and you get to see a different side of Delhi...a little still, a little dreamy, a little melancholy...and lots of TRUCKS passing by," Arjun tweeted. Come morning, and

Hona Hi Tha and Raju Chacha. On the movie front, Kajol is gearing up for Dilwale, in which she is coming back on the silver screen opposite superstar Shah Rukh Khan. (TOI)

the Gunday actor came up with a way to ditch the morning blues as he shared a selfie with India Gate in the background. "Forget the morning blues...I got the morning PURPLE #Indiagate #sundayselfie #selfietohbantahai #KiandKa," he shared. R. Balki's Ki and Ka is a romantic film about two people with contrasting ideologies. While Arjun essays a progressive house husband, who lovingly supports his wife's ambitions, Kareena Kapoor Khan portrays a super ambitious career-oriented woman in the movie. The film is slated to hit the theatres next year. (TOI)

Konkana Sen Sharma and Ranvir Shorey announce separation


fter years of constant speculation and news of trouble looming large over their marriage, star couple Konkana Sen Sharma and Ranvir Shorey have decided to part ways. The couple announced their decision on Twitter. The couple have a fouryear old son named Haroon. Konkana

anishaa Mukerji has moved miles away from her personal relationship with Armaan Kohli and is concentrating fully on her acting career. Trade gup has it that the spunky actress' next has her playing a Pakistani woman in a social drama that revolves around terrorism, directed by South-based ad man, Eshwar Gunturu. Confirming the news, Tanishaa said, "It's a Hindi language film, which will feature a few American actors as well. I play the protagonist, who happens to be a Muslim woman." Tanishaa is slated to leave for the U.S. on a month-long schedule on September 18. The actress will be seen wearing the abaya, commonly worn by Islamic women and will sport a thick eye liner to look the part. (TOI)

tweeted, "Ranvir and I have mutually decided to separate, but continue to be friends and co-parent our son." (sic) Ranvir Shorey also tweeted, "Konkona and I have mutually decided to separate, but continue to be friends and co-parent our son. Will appreciate your support. Thank you." (TOI)


eteran actor Anupam Kher, who is of Kashmiri ethnicity, was presented a "Certificate of Recognition" by the California legislature for his dedicated efforts towards helping the community, which was displaced from the Kashmir valley due to militancy 25 years ago. Humbled by the recognition, the actor says that with the honour comes a sense of responsibility. "I feel honoured to get these recognitions in the US. But they also add to my sense of responsibility towards humankind," Anupam tweeted on Tuesday. The actor, who was touring the U.S. and Canada for his play "Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha", felt ennobled with the honour on September 12. The document read: "Certificate of Recognition presented to Anupam Kher in recognition as an agent for change, he is a champion in achieving gender equality, women's

right and a defender of human rights, representing the community of 500,000 Kashmiri Hindus displaced and dislodged, many whom immigrated to the United States." The "Baby" actor wrote alongside the photograph: "Thank you Assembly Member, California Legislature @rudysalasjr and @ kthusu for this most important recognition." Anupam, who has worked in a number of Indian as well international films like "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Bend It Like Beckham", has always voiced his opinion

about the struggle of the Kashmiri Pandits and how they can be assisted. He strongly reacted when director Vishal Bhardwaj dedicated his National Award win of "Haider" to Kashmiri Pandits, calling it a "fraudish thing to do". Meanwhile, the recognition is another feather in his cap as the actor was presented with the "Honoured Guest" award by the U.S. state of Texas for his contribution to cinema and art, and September 10 was declared as 'Anupam Kher Day' in Las Vegas. (TOI)

50 sport

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Elite League breathes life WICB hosts charity back into Slingerz FC match for Dominica


ith no competitive senior football being played since the 25th Kashif and Shanghai tournament in April, and a hefty monthly bill to ensure its existence, the West Demerara-based Slingerz Football Club was on the verge of being scrapped, according to General Manager, Colin Aaron. “We were deciding, based on how the football was going at this time- nothing was happening- that we have achieved everything and there is nothing more to go after. Running on a budget of over Gy$5 million a month for gaining nothing, he [owner Javed Ali] was thinking of pulling the plug on the club,” Aaron said on Wednesday. However, the Guyana Football Federation’s Stage Elite League came along, and the club, which is just two years old, but has won all of the tournaments entered, except the Namilco Football Classic, managed to fulfill all the requirements to gain entry into the League. According to Aaron, being afforded the opportunity to compete in the first-ever Elite League

Colin Aaron

in Guyana has brought the club back to life, and there is a renewed energy among the players and management. “It was a good gesture of the NC [Normalisation Committee] to come along with the Elite League that generated a new interest, a new energy into the club and the ownership, and we decide we will give it a go…not just a go, but we’re working very hard to win this first Elite League,” Aaron divulged. Slingerz FC will face perennial rivals Alpha United in the main game of a double-header on Friday evening when the Elite League gets cracking at the Leonora football facility. The match could potentially set the tone for the rest of the competition, as the two teams are considered

heavy favourites to lift the title. Earlier this week, Ali said he sees the Stag Elite League as “the window for the next level”, further stating “this is what my club was built for- to participate in the League and move on to the CFU and hopefully CONCACAF.” He pointed out, “If it wasn’t for the League, my club would’ve been out of football because we don’t have nowhere else to go and nothing more to win or to prove. We won almost everything, we had a chance to play in the Banks tournament we won it, we played in the Kashif and Shanghai and won that too and also we played the Mayor’s Cup and we won it after finishing runner-up the first year, so basically, everything for football we’ve won.” Apart from their already strong line-up Slingerz FC recently signed national Under-23 forward Domini Garnett from Caledonia AIA, along with St Vincent and the Grenadines national goalkeeper Winslow McDowall, and his compatriots defenders Jolanshoy McDowall and Keith James. (

…Yohan Blake, Brian Lara among celebrities to take part


INGSTON, Jamaica – The West Indies Cricket Board says it will donate all proceeds of a Twenty20 charity match to be played on Saturday, September 26, in Barbados to the Dominica Emergency Relief Fund. Admission is US$10 for adults and US$5 for children under the age of 12, with all money going directly to the Dominica Government to assist with recovery efforts in the island which suffered severe damage to property and loss of life from the passage of Tropical

Brian Lara

said Cameron. “West Indies cricket has brought the people of the Caribbean together like nothing else, so the WICB and our players are committed to do-

Yohan Blake

Storm Erika, and continues to be affected by seasonal heavy rainfall, WICB said in a release on Wednesday. President of the WICB Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron urged fans to attend and give generously at the upcoming charity match. “Like most people in the Caribbean, we’ve all seen the devastating effects of these weather systems on Dominica, and we got together and tried to determine what we could do to assist,”

ing our part to help in the face of disaster, as has occurred in Dominica.” The match which is being organised by the WICB in partnership with the University of the West Indies will feature a WICB President’s Invitational XI and the UWI Vice Chancellor’s Invitational XI. First ball at Kensington Oval is 7:00 pm. Each side is expected to field half-dozen current players from the West Indies team currently preparing for

next month’s Tour of Sri Lanka and a number of celebrity players. West Indies batting legend Brian Lara, Tobago-born international football star Dwight Yorke and Jamaican track star Yohan Blake are among the first celebrities to confirm their availability for the match. “We are grateful for the support of the UWI and the celebrities that have graciously agreed to take part,” said Cameron. “Using the power and contribution of cricket, so that the recovery efforts underway in Dominica can continue and life can steadily be restored to normal in the island is very crucial. “We hope West Indies fans will get behind the effort and help raise money for the Dominica Emergency Relief Fund to help the people and families who have lost their homes and, in some instances, their livelihoods.” Bucket collections will also be made around the stadium for the fixture which the organisers hope will attract a capacity crowd and electronic provisions will be in place to accept financial pledges. (Jamaica Observer)

TT sprinter inspires young athletes


O R T - O F S P A I N , TRINIDAD: Three-time Olympic medallist Richard Thompson says the opportunity to partner with sports drink manufacturer Gatorade to host Sunday’s inaugural sprinting camp in his name was a huge boast for his career. Some 100 emerging athletes from major clubs and schools across the country turned out for the Gatorade Richard Thompson Sprinting Camp held at the outfield at the Hasley Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain.

In a TT media interview the champion athlete cited the hunger he developed for new information about his sport just over two years ago, which guided him along the path to conceptualise and execute this clinic. In his view, it was part of his natural progression. “I know where my head was a couple years ago, how much knowledge I wanted; how hungry I was for knowledge; how hungry I was to get better; and I know these kids are no different from me. I know there are a lot of people who see people like (Usian) Bolt and Maurice Greene and

LaShawn Merritt and some of the top names and feel they want to be like them. This is my way of assisting them to achieve that dream and to achieve that goal, but having these camps and giving them insight into things that could allow them to be better on a daily basis, that could allow them to be better in competition. “And, who knows what this would lead to? If it’s as simple as them qualifying for Carifta Games and the regional meets; or going to a (foreign) university and docontinued on page 51

sport 51

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Badminton on the Sarwan rise, says Ramdhani K – Narayan Ramdhani to attend the Young Talents Camp in Colombia By Rajiv Bisnauth


resident of the Guyana B a d m i n t o n Association (GBA), Gokarn Ramdhani, feels that the sport continues to move in an upward direction, both locally and

selected from Guyana is definitely good news for the sport,” Ramdhani, who is also the Secretary General of the Caribbean Regional Badminton C o n f e d e r a t i o n (CAREBACO), said. He added, “The committee had to do a sur-

Narayan Ramdhani

internationally. Ramdhani comments came after Guyana’s top player Narayan Ramdhani was selected by the Pan American Badminton Federation Development Committee to attend a 10-day Young Talents Camp in Medellin, Colombia. “For a player to be

vey worldwide for the best young talents, and Narayan was picked, so it’s a clear indication that the international people recognise us, so badminton locally is definitely on the rise.” The camp, which will be conducted by Professor Qadafi Muamar of Indonesia, commenced

on Tuesday last and will conclude on September 25. As part of the programme, Narayan will also take part in the VI Colombia International Championships in the Men’s Singles category. Meanwhile, the younger Ramdhani has moved up the Junior World rankings from 491 to 269 after participating in three international tournaments. He participated in the Caribbean Regional Badminton C o n f e d e r a t i o n ( C A R E B A C O ) International Under-19 Championship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Pan American Junior Championships held in Tijunana, Mexico, and the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. His ranking will get higher, since three more international events remain for the year- the Colombian Open, the World Junior Championships and the Suriname International. (rajivb@guyanatimesgy. com)

pulls out

INGSTON, JAMAICA: Former West Indies Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has ruled himself out of playing for Jamaica Franchise for the upcoming regional professional cricket season. Sarwan, 35, had expressed an interest in representing the franchise, but Courtney Francis, the chief executive officer of the Jamaica Cricket Association, confirmed that the Guyanese-born middle-order batsman has since made an about turn. "The selectors would have had correspondence with players and Mr Sarwan's correspondence came through chairman of selectors Wavell Hinds. He (Hinds) informed me that he is in receipt of an email from Mr Sarwan expressing regret that he is unable to attend our trial matches and our training based on commitments that Mr Sarwan has in Guyana," Francis told the Jamaican media on Tuesday. It is understood that Sarwan's commitments are of a business nature. Francis explained that as per the franchise's guidelines, squad members are required to participate in physical assessments and trial matches. Had he been selected for Jamaica, Sarwan would have been expected to be paid on a game-by-game basis. The stylish right-hander has been dogged by fitness concerns throughout much of his senior career with the West Indies. He made his Test debut against Pakistan at Kensington Oval in Barbados in May 2000. The batsman played the last of his 87 Tests against India in Barbados in mid-2011. He averages 40.01 with the

Former West Indies Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan

bat and has a top score of 291 against England in 2009, also at Kensington Oval. Sarwan has scored 15 Test centuries. Meanwhile, the two non-Jamaican players contracted to represent Jamaica Franchise are Guyana's Trevon Griffiths and Kirk Edwards of Barbados. They are expected to join the squad by next month. The coaching staff, consisting of Head Coach Junior Bennett and his Assistant Coach Robert Samuels, and the national cricket selection panel, are set to oversee a total of six trial matches. The first was played last week. Another game is set to begin at Sabina Park Today. The second season of the Professional Cricket League (PCL) is scheduled to start November 6. The Jamaica Franchise for the PCL will likely be officially called Jamaica Scorpions. (Jamaica Observer)

TT sprinter inspires young ...

from page 50

Chanderpaul among four honoured by Caribbean Diaspora in New York By Avenash Ramzan


he Indo-Caribbean Alliance (ICA) on Sunday hosted its third annual gala under the nautical inspired theme “Unanchored” with several prominent individuals in different spheres of society being honoured for their contribution to their respective fields. The New York-based group catered for over 350 guests in the fivehour event, which was held at the World’s Fair Marina. Veteran Guyana and West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was among four persons, who were honoured at the ceremony. Chanderpaul, the Region’s most capped Test cricketer, copped the Icon Award, while television personality Lakshmee Singh was given a Community Impact Award, New York City Council Member Eric Ulrich was bestowed with the Civic Leadership Award, and businessman Dave Kadernauth of The Nest Restaurant received the Business Leadership Award. Chanderpaul said moments after receiving the accolade, “I’m hap-

Gatorade and Three time Olympic Silver Medalists Richard Thompson held a Sprinting Camp at Hasley Crawford Stadium Training Grounds, on Sunday. Thompson showed some of the campers different techniques including stretching, proper form and diet and sports nutrition. (Photo: Kristian De Silva)

Shivnarine Chanderpaul holds aloft the plaque he received on Sunday night

py to support the IndoCaribbean Alliance, and humbled to receive their highest award, the Icon Award. We want to see this organisation succeed in providing programmes for residents in New York City. Chanderpaul, a former Captain of the West Indies, was the first Indo-Caribbean player to appear in 100 Test matches. He has scored over 20,000 runs in in-

ternational cricket, and in 2008, was awarded the coveted prize of Cricketer-of-the-Year by the International Cricket Council. The mission is to unify and advance IndoCaribbean and South Asian interests by fostering joint and collaborative actions among different peoples, organisations and businesses. (

ing better. It may mean becoming professionals from secondary school, but which ever way we could assist and try to get people better, it’s important to us. I’m extremely glad to associated with something like that,” he said. “I think it’s very important that we focus on the young talent in TT. Keston Bledman and I have to have people continue to fly the flag when we decide that we are going to hang up our spikes. This is just part of the process-molding the young ones, giving insight into some of the things they may not be privy too or have any knowledge at all aboutincluding things like strengthen and conditioning.” Gregory Seale from Movement Mechanics

enlightened emerging athletes on the two previous areas of training as well as nutrition during Sunday’s session. Thompson lamented that because proper nutrition usually had no place in programmes designed by young athletes and their parents, but declared if they did not eat right to fuel their bodies the right way then the hard work they put in was null and void. Shane Cooper, meanwhile, an athlete development and sports performance specialist from Altis Performance Evolution brought his experience as an assistant sprint coach from a US-based educational facility to bear. Thompson said establishing himself as a brand synonymous with educating and nurturing in sport was cru-

cial for him. “It is something I’ve always wanted to do-to help kids out-because again every time I talk somewhere, every time I give a motivation speech, I talk about the impact that Ato Boldon had on me in primary school, coming into Newtown Boy’s...just his presence! This guy went to the same school as me, he is from the same country as me and here he is an Olympic medallist. Why can’t I do it too? “This camp was to give kids hope, by me not only sharing stories with them and motivating them, but allowing them to interact with me going through the exercises and drills and accelerations; the stuff that I do as a professional,” Thompson said. (TT Guardian)

52 sport

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Unstoppable New York Enforcers surged to Toronto Cup 1 open championship By Ravendra Madholall


O R O N T O , CANADA: This is not an assumption, but New York Enforcers would have received lavish accolades for some sterling batting, bowling and fielding performances at the epic Toronto Cup 1 whiteball softball tournament which concluded last Sunday at the University of Toronto ground, Scarborough Campus. They proved their invincibility from the beginning of the three-day mega softball event winning three preliminary round matches, a semifinal and then humbled Canada’s top team Dant Cricket Club in the final. Victorious skipper Anil Beharry spoke of his team’s feverish preparations for the Canadian trip and attributed the success to hard work and commitment by his players . In the Masters category, another team with a great reputation came to the fore, Our Own Sports Club defeated Guyana Floodlights ‘A’ side by five wickets at the same venue, which preceded the Open final. C a p t a i n Mahendranauth Parasnauth had the lux-

Skipper Anil Beharry of New York Enforcers, right, receives the winning trophy from Emma Sunich, daughter of Ramesh Sunich, sponsors all the trophies

ury of hitting the winning run with a superb pulled shot to mid-wicket boundary. All 13 participating teams in both categories assembled at Ellesmere facility, Scarborough Friday morning for the opening ceremony and President of the hosts Ontario Masters Softball Cricket Clubs (OMSCC), Jai Singh, expressed gratitude to them and welcomed everyone involved in such a historical cricket competition. New York Enforcers immediately stamped their authority beating

their fellow Americans (New York All-Stars) by a handsome 9-wicket margin while in the next round they got the better of rivals Dant by 2 wickets. In their last match of that segment, they disposed of Caribbean Sensation X1 by 6 wickets before their semi-final encounter with New York All-Stars ended in no-result. What had transpired in the final on Sunday was a manifestation of New York Enforcers extreme buoyancy and the great degree of con-

fidence featured in the tournament. Beharry won the toss and inserted Dant to take first strike. Dant only could have mustered 86 all out in the 18th over, courtesy of an incisive bowling display. In New York Enforcers’ innings, Vicecaptain Vickey Subkaran led the way with an undefeated 35 while the consistent Nyal Singh scored 15 not out. Anil Mahadeo finished with 2-20 from his four overs. Our Own Sports Club, like New York Enforcers, dominated

the first period of the tournament whipping OMSCC side by 63 runs in the opener while they beat New York Muslims Organisation by 6 wickets but engaged in a tight tussle with Guyana Floodlights ‘B’. At the presentation which took place after the game, Singh told the large gathering that he and his fellow executives and all who had played a part to make the tournament a success, were delighted to run off such a huge softball tournament. He thanked all the sponsors as well and the

touring teams for accepting the invitation. Gobin was named man-of-the-match for his batting effort while Beharry captured the Open final man-of-thematch trophy. Richard Driffield of Caribbean Sensation Masters took home the Most Valuable Player trophy having scored 178 runs inclusive of two half-centuries while Sookram took home the opening category one having tallied up 156 runs with a highest score of 49. They all received a gold bracelet each, compliments of Jay’s Jewellery. Kris Jagdeo of Tri-State Master, the America side, was the only batsman to have registered a century and he received a trophy, courtesy of Trophy Stall of Guyana. All trophies were sponsored by Ramesh Sunich of Trophy while the four finalists received medals, thanks to the OMSCC. The Open champion received US$3, 000 while Our Own pocketed US$2, 500. The other teams that took part in the Open were: GM Sports (Cricketers Cove/ Masters) and in the Masters was New York Softball Cricket League Legends.

Ajmal excluded from Pakistan's Guyanese Arjune, Allard spur Hawaiian Arctic to big Tests against England win in SCA Premier League K By Ravendra Madholall


O R O N T O , C A N A D A : Former Guyana and West Indies B team opener Krishna Arjune was in form here over the weekend playing for Hawaiian Arctic Cricket Club (HACC) in the Scarborough Cricket Association (SCA) 50over Premiere League tournament. The Arjune slammed a brilliant 132 which included 13 fours and a six, ensuring HACC reached a formidable 284 for six off the reduced 47 overs. The reduction was due to rain. Tim Reynold and Mathew Francis supported with 30 and 25 respectively. Opponents Toronto Smashers were dismissed for 204 in 39 overs, losing down by 80 runs. Left-arm fast medium bowler Zaheer Allard bagged five for 35 from 10 overs while former Guyana and West Indies all-rounder Royston Crandon claimed two for

Krishna Arjune

52 from his maximum 10 overs. The win was a welcome one for HACC who had suffered their second defeat for the season the previous weekend. HACC are aiming for a sixth consecutive championship, having won the SCA Premiere League for the past consecutive five seasons. The reigning champions will be back in action again this weekend when they oppose Highland Creek on Saturday at the Ashtonbee ground and on Sunday they play their last regular season game versus Scarborough Cricket

Club at the Ellesemere ground. Meanwhile, Arjune, the eldest brother of two from Unity in Guyana stated that he is currently enjoying his cricket in North America. His debut season for Brampton Masters Cricket Club in the Toronto and District Cricket Association has been excellent as well. “I am just enjoying my game in Canada; wonderful place to play the game and representing these teams is certainly a great privilege for me,” Arjune, who has so far featured in 40 first-class matches for Guyana in the West Indies Cricket Board regional 4-day tournament, declared. Arjune is plying his trade Canada for the past ten years and also plays competitive softball with Cricketers Cove in the Ontario Softball Cricket League Regular 20-over Season tournament. His prolific run in in all formats of the game is admirable.

A R A C H I , Pakistan -England will not have to face their 2012 tormentor Saeed Ajmal in next month's three-Test series against Pakistan, after the offspinner was left out of the 15-man squad announced on Wednesday. Ajmal, who turns 38 next month, has faced a tough time since returning to cricket from a fivemonth suspension after his bowling action was found to be illegal by the International Cricket Council last year. Since making his comeback with a remodelled action against Bangladesh in April, he has shown little of the form that brought him 24 wickets during Pakistan's 3-0 whitewash over then-world number one Test team England in the United Arab Emirates three years ago. He has also performed poorly for English county side Worcestershire, his 16 wickets this season coming at almost 56 apiece. Fast-rising legspinner Yasir Shah and

Saeed Ajmal

left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar have filled the void in the national team. The duo were instrumental in Pakistan's 2-0 win over Australia last year and 2-1 triumph in Sri Lanka this year. Chief selector Haroon Rasheed said Shah and Babar's form more than made up for the loss of Ajmal. "Presently, Shah and Babar are bowling outstandingly," Rasheed told AFP. "Ajmal has not been bowling as well with a remodelled action and I am sure both Babar and Shah will to a great extent fulfil the require-

ment." Head coach Waqar Younis said the veteran off-spinner faced a tough choice. "It's a great challenge for Ajmal to overcome the lack of bite in his new action and he has to decide about his future," Waqar said last week. "His recent bowling figures were not encouraging." All-rounder Fawad Alam, meanwhile, could end his five-year absence from Test cricket after being named in the squad for the Test series, which starts in Abu Dhabi on October 13. (AFP)

sport 53

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Bolt donates J$1.3m plus equipment to alma mater K i n g s t o n , Jamaica: Back in the Island after his triple gold medal – winning performance at the IAAF World Championships in

Beijing, China, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has come to the aid of his alma mater's sports programme with a donation of J$1.3 million plus sporting equipment and

supplies. The world 100m and 200m record holder jumped to the assistance of William Knibb Memorial High School after a number of its sports

World 100m and 200m record holder, Usain Bolt, jumped to the assistance of William Knibb Memorial High School after a number of its sports programmes were threatened due to financial constraints, adding 50 pairs of football boots, shin guards, 50 Usain Bolt-branded football and bibs to assist in their current Inter Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA)/FLOW DaCosta Cup campaign.

Falcons soar to new heights

- demolish Gladiators to win B Division title – Eastern American League


Champions! The victorious Falcons team members

he match was played at Bay Park on Sunday September 13 and what started out to be a thrilling game turned out to be an easy win for the Falcons. Falcons won the toss and put Gladiators to bat first. After an excellent start which at that point seemed to be an exciting match, they were all out for 116 runs in 34 overs. Habibola top scored with 27 and was supported by S. Shaw with 22. It was a stunning performance by the Falcons. The Gladiators who ranked 1st in the B Division were no match for the Falcons bowlers, with Shamsundar, Madramootu, Asgar and Homraj each picking up 2 wickets and Hemnaught 1. In reply, Falcons made a good start with Alvin and Khan as open-

ers. Askay Homraj top scored with 42, Batson with 37 and supported with 27 from Alvin. Falcons reach their target in only 22 overs and 8 wickets in hand. Final scores: Gladiators 116 all out in 34 overs; Falcons 119 for 2 in 22 overs The Falcons Team and Sponsor would like to thank all their supporters and well wishers who rallied with them throughout the tournament. Mr. Rudy Persaud, President of the Eastern American Cricket Association (EACA) would like to thank both teams in the A and B Divisions for playing a fantastic game. He would like to thank all the supporters who came out at the Cage and Bay Park to witness these exciting finals. The 20/20 season also starts this Sunday, September 20.

programmes were threatened due to financial constraints, adding 50 pairs of football boots, shin guards, 50 Usain Boltbranded football and bibs to assist in their current Inter Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA)/ FLOW DaCosta Cup campaign.

Bolt also donated cricket gears including bats, pads, clothing, gloves and balls, to assist in the school's Headley Cup cricket season, while the track and field team, has been receiving a yearly supply of gears from Bolt's sponsor PUMA since 2002, when

he was signed to the company. That arrangement was also secured upon the sprinter's request. "William Knibb played an integral role in the athlete that I am today so any time they call; or anything I can do to give back, I am more than happy," said Bolt. (Jamaica Gleaner)


WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

sport 55

WEEK ENDING September 20, 2015 |

Liberty Sports Club captures maiden EACA A Division Championship


iberty Sports Club dethroned two-time defending champions, Big Apple Cricket Club, to capture it’s maiden Eastern American Cricket Association 40-Overs title on Sunday, September 13th at the Baisley Cricket Cage. Andre Kirton turned in a magnificent batting performance, blasting 87 off 36 balls, which was supported by an all round bowling and fielding display, led by Terrence Madramootoo’s 4 wickets for 18 runs, to route BACC by 139 runs to claim the A Division championship. Overnight rain delayed the match by 30 minutes from the scheduled 11:00 AM start. BACC won the coin toss and with the intention to take advantage of the damp conditions opted to insert LSC to bat first. Early success of removing Romeno Deane (1) proved the decision at the toss worthwhile. Trevor Henry joined Francis Mendonca and added 41 for the 2nd wicket before Mendonca departed for 12. Henry who began the inning in a typical aggressive manner then stood helplessly to watch 3 more wickets fall. Sudesh Dhaniram (2), Trinson Carmichael (5) and Terrence Madramootoo (0)

The Liberty Sports Club has now moved on to the EACA T20 Competition which begins on September 20th.

left the score at 80 for 5 in the 22nd over. Skipper Danesh Deonarain joined Henry and the pair added 11 before Mark Gomes claimed the prize wicket of Henry, bowled for 44. This left LSC in very deep trouble at 91 for 6. Kirton immediately announced his presence in the middle. Mark Gomes had previously had figures of 5.1 overs, 1 maiden, 3 wickets for 8 runs. Kirton started his account hitting Gomes for 4 followed by a pair of maximums to take 17 off his 6th over. It would be Gome’s last over in the match.

Kirton raced to his half century, depositing four 4’s and launching 5 maximums out of the cage. Deonarain and Kirton would put on 115 runs for the 7th wicket to take LSC to 206 before Kirton mistimed a pull to short third man. By then Kirton had raced to 87 off just 36 balls and turned the game around single handedly. Deonarain departed in the next over for 33, Hemendra Ramdihal (7), Vijendra Singh (9) and Leon Mohabir (1*) rounded out the scorecard when LSC was bowled out for 225 in the 39th over. Mark Gomes 3 for

24, Dominique Rikki 2 for 31 and Telston Johnson, Adam Sanford, Zaheer Saffie and Kevin Darlington with one each accounted for the wickets for BACC. In reply BACC opened the chase with Richard Ramdeen and Dominique Rikki. Rikki lasted only three balls before the man of the day, Kirton, knocked over his stumps. The aggressive Ramdeen raced to 23 hitting 2 sixes and a four before Ramdihal had him caught at backward point by Carmichael. Tarrel Datt, batting at number 3 for BACC struggled to get

the ball off the pitch only managing 1 run off 19 balls before he was bowled by Ramdihal. Skipper, Saffie, and Travis Ross looked to patch things up with a 30 run partnership before a rain interruption forced the players off the field. The rain delayed the game enough to reduce the total required and overs to 219 runs off 37 overs using the Duckworth Lewis calculations. The resumption brought the key wicket of Saffie who mistimed a pull shot to Ramdihal at short mid-wicket. BACC at 57 for 3 before Saffie departed, lost 6 wickets for 10 runs

as the rampant men in blue suffocated the BACC batting. Madramootoo bowled Ross and Sanford for 12 and 0 respectively and had Hector stumped for 7 to take out the heart of the middle order. Trinson Carmichael kept the other end locked tight bowling Johnson for 1 while Leon Mohabir was sharp at point to run out Gomes. With the last pair of Shiv Ragubar (1*) and Kevin Darlington (1*) the rain returned again to wash out the remainder of play. The final result, LSC victorious by DuckworthLewis calculated 139 runs to claim the 2015 title. Bowling for LSC Madramootoo finished with 4 for 18, Ramdihal 2 for 8, Andre Kirton 1 for 11 and Trinson Carmichael 1 for 14. President of Eastern American Cricket Association Mr. Rudy wishes to thank all the well wishers and supporters who have been behind the team throughout the year and at the final. He said the team is looking forward for a great season next year. The BACC and LSC Teams would like to congratulate the EACA executive in staging another successful competition.

Guyana Times International  

The Beacon of Truth September 18th 2015

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