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Heightened security in place at CJIA after terror threats – Benn

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You can also read Guyana Times daily edition online at ISSUE NO. 180

week ending February 16, 2014

N.Y. drug mafia link: Guyana asks U.S. for info on local connections See story on page 3

Mash fever heats up in Guyana Get your costumes ready!


week ending February 16, 2014 |



week ending February 16, 2014 |

N.Y. drug mafia link: Guyana asks U.S. for info on local connections


n light of the revelations resulting from an undercover drug sting operation, which linked cocaine traffickers in Guyana to the Italian mafia in the United States of America, President Donald Ramotar on Wednesday said that he asked his Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee to seek international help to go after local connections. “I have directed the Minister of Home Affairs to write to the United States to ask them to give us the information that they probably have and to extend to them our commitment, our full cooperation to fighting these and bringing any of these to justice in our country. Guyana must not be a safe haven for any of these types of criminals,” Ramotar said while addressing a Guyana Defence Force event. The recent sting operation led to the arrest of almost two dozen people in the U.S. In an invited comment, Rohee told media operatives that he has not received a report on the matter

and is waiting on the law enforcement agencies to furnish him with the necessary report. He also expressed optimism about the recent drug sting operation, noting that whenever large volumes of cocaine are seized in any part of the world, the fight against drug trafficking advances. The minister is calling on the U.S. authorities to provide any available information to Guyanese law enforcement authorities, noting that if there are drug links to Guyana, the government will join them in dismantling the connections. M e a n w h i l e , Opposition Leader, retired Brigadier David Granger met with the hierarchy of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) on Wednesday morning and expressed concerns about the extremely grave reports linking Guyanese narco-traffickers, the Mexican drug cartels, and the Italian mafia. Granger as such is calling on the government to replace the National Drug Strategy Master Plan, which expired

reoccurrence of the deadly period.

APNU support for army

President Donald Ramotar

more than five years ago. And the Guyana government said it is awaiting a report from its security agencies on the issue. Moments after leaving Camp Ayanganna, Granger said the situation was one that required an immediate and forceful reaction from the government of Guyana. Granger explained that the meeting with the GDF top brass was to call attention to the gravity of the situation and to give support to the defence force in filling a void that was opened in the national anti-narcotics strategy. He added that the administration seems to be in no hurry to im-

plement a new National Drug Strategy Master Plan. “Everyone knew when it expired in 2009, it would have had to be replaced and there is no justification for waiting five years for a replacement,” Granger added. The opposition leader believes that the absence of the plan facilitates the continuation of the cocaine trade in Guyana. Granger recalled the 2000-2008 period when well-known international narco-traffickers brought in sophisticated weapons which allegedly led to the demise of several Guyanese in Buxton, Lusignan, and Bartica. He said he would not want to see a

The APNU leader has asked GDF Chief-ofStaff, Brigadier General Mark Phillips to indicate to the coalition through the National Assembly what assistance it can render to strengthen the technical arms of the army, particularly in the field of aviation, coastguard and land assets which can lead to the interdiction of narcotics coming into Guyana. Referencing an illegal airstrip that was built on the Corentyne a few years ago, Granger said the person who built the facility is walking free in Guyana. The opposition leader added that his coalition is aware that narcotics are entering Guyana by the planeloads, but unfortunately only the small couriers are intercepted. He noted that with the recent report in the international press that cocaine is leaving Guyana in large volumes in fish, pineapples, wood, and other products, APNU is calling on the GDF to employ its as-

sets to do what the Home Affairs Ministry seems incapable of doing. Granger said the army chief-of-staff promised to discuss the issue with senior ranks, while confirming that he has already taken guidance from the Disciplinary Forces Commission (DFC) which calls for the strengthening of the GDF’s technical arms (air and maritime).

Inadequate resources

Phillips also revealed that they are in the process of acquiring a number of vessels, but Granger noted that these are classified as insured patrols and are not capable of tracking down narco-traffickers and contraband dealers on the high seas. “He does not have sufficient assets to cover the entire land borders and internal part of the country,” the retired brigadier said. He added that the APNU is committed to supporting any legitimate actions or requests by the defence force in whatever measures are brought in the budget to bring an end to narcotrafficking in Guyana.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

INTERNATIONAL To contact: Guyana Times International

New York Office 106-15 Sutphin Blvd, Jamaica NY 11435 Email: Tel no: 718-658-6804 Preferred method of contact via EMAIL Guyana Office Ruimveldt, Georgetown, Guyana. Tel no: (592) 227-0704, 227-0709. Fax (592) 225-8696, 227-0685 Email:


Hot money


ven though the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) might be imposing sanctions on us for not complying with their directives on controlling our financial flows that might possibly be used for money laundering or the financing of terrorism, we are really in the backwaters of world finance when it comes to “real” money. And at this time it might just be a blessing. With the financial system of most countries liberalised during the last three decades, under the ministrations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its “Washington Consensus” free market fundamentalist approach, capital amounting to billions, and conceivably trillions, can now move quite seamlessly and at the click of a computer mouse between countries. The theory, of course, is that this is a good thing, since the money would be seeking greater yields and the latter would be a consequence of better economic performances. That was the theory. In practice, it bumped up against the urge to make profits through speculation and the attendant “animal spirits”, as John Maynard Keynes called it. In the 1990s, for instance, vast sums of money from western banks flowed into the booming economies of Far East Asia, including Malaysia, Korea and Thailand, etc. The economies boomed even more vigorously and everybody was happy. Until, that is, it appeared to some that the boom might be slowing down. The money suddenly changed direction and there was nothing most of the countries could do about it, since capital controls had been abandoned under the liberalisation mantra. The IMF, presumably formed to prevent the kind of meltdown that occurred, refused to intervene and a collapse ensued. While some countries in that region did in fact take an oath not to depend on the IMF, but to rather accumulate enough reserves to see them through bad patches, they and the rest of the liberalised world did not give enough weight to the effect policies of the U.S., which effectively issues the world’s reserve currency, can have. These policies, designed to steady its own economy, inevitably have repercussions on other economies. The EU is another strong determinant of financial flows that could cause boom or bust financial flows. This is especially true in those countries that have been dubbed “Emerging Economies” (EM) – such as China, India, Brazil, etc. After the financial meltdown in the U.S. and the EU in 2008, they both followed an “easy money” policy – especially the U.S. that in effect pumped vast amounts of money into the financial system. This policy of the U.S. Fed was known as “Quantitative Easing” (QE). This policy had two interrelated effects: it forced interest rates to the floor – effectively below zero in some instances – and so encouraged investments abroad into the emerging markets. All would have been well if the money had been directed into concrete productive investments, but as in the the previous East Asian fiasco, much of it was speculative. After a bit of clearing of its institutional throat, which sent strong signals that financial volatility was a certainty through manipulation of QE, the Fed in late 2013, declared it would “taper” or decrease the easy money QE policy. And in the last six weeks we have had what amounts to a repetition of the East Asian crisis in the EM. Cumulative outflows totalled $33.3 billion over the past 15 weeks, with China (-US$1.14 billion), India (-US$0.64 billion), Brazil (-US0.63 billion) and Russia (-US$0.60 billion) reporting the largest outflows just last week. While there has been a great deal of talk of the BRICS economies and other EMs “stumbling” recently, the role of the Fed with its “QE taper” has not received the attention it deserves as a partial cause of that weakness. The lesson for us in Guyana, for the day when our financial markets might attract “hot money”, is that we cannot ignore the need to have a judicious amount of capital controls. Even the IMF concedes this today.

Children of Rosignol Primary in Region Five performing 'Beautiful beginnings' in the fantasy section of the Children's Mashramani competition currently being held at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown.

Officials say poor parenting a contributory factor to crime


ead of The Men’s Affairs Bureau ,Diego Alphonso said much still needs to be done to tackle the growing incidents of youth involvement in crime; however, he offered no concrete solution to the scourge, but rather urged the repairing of the family structure. Youth involvement in crime the world over, for some time now, has been aiding in the continued deterioration of society, and parents, especially mothers are hurting. Close to two weeks ago, three teenage boys descended on the home of a Dazzell Housing Scheme, East Coast Demerara family and carried out a daring daylight robbery. In defence, the owner of the home whipped out his licensed firearm and shot 15-year-old Leon McCurdy of Kitty, killing him almost instantly. Late last year, 28-year-old Delon Hawker of Alness Village on the Corentyne lost his life after being shot by police. He was at the time attempting to elude ranks after he and another accomplice ransacked the home of a Dundee, Mahaicony family. Hawker had left his home to attend the R Kelly show in Georgetown. Alphonso said that the underlying issues are many. However, special attention needs to be given to parents and their method of “parenting”. “We believe in the whole issue of parenting and fatherhood, because what we are seeing in the young men could very well be a reflection of what is going on with the men that are already matured,” he told Guyana Times International in an exclusive interview recently. Alphonso posited that the problem is further compounded with the lack of positive

role models in the lives of the youth.

Role models

“If the young men do not have role models or persons they could emulate or if they are emulating the wrong role models in the men that already exist in terms of the fathers and the matured men, then it will be reflected in their behaviour.” He said that the organisation, recognising the urgency of the situation, has been working with young boys in both private and public schools, since, according to him, if change must take place, it must be with those who are young. “We initiated sessions with the New Opportunity Corps and secondary schools and we continue as well to have outreaches in the various communities because we try to connect with these boys. We constantly reach out to these young men and these are things that are ongoing,” he said. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Caribbean Human Development Report 2012 titled “Human Development and the Shift to Better Citizen Security”, organised crime and gangs are the source of major lethal violence in the region.


Youths are inherently vulnerable in the Caribbean development process. Youth violence is an important challenge, particularly in the form of street gangs, contributing to popular perceptions of increasing insecurity, the report stated. Inadequate and poor parenting, influence, high levels of unemployment, exposure to violence at home, in schools,

in communities and the wider society, poor or inadequate educational opportunities, and social exclusion have been pinpointed as the key contributing factors to youth gangs and violence across the Caribbean. Alphonso said while the organisation has not been able to “pinpoint any reason why that may be so”, it would be wise if special caution is exercised in the Afro-Guyanese community. Alphonso pointed out that no one individual or organisation can bring about the desired changes. It is his hope that entities, both private and public, work together. Meanwhile, Pastor Patrick Findlay, who also serves as the deputy permanent secretary within the Labour, Human Services and Social Security Ministry, said the situation is troubling. Young men, he said, are losing their lives and it needs to stop. Findlay expressed sentiments similar to Alphonso’s, pointing out that parents are partly to be blamed. He noted too that the situation is “just the tip of the iceberg”. “I am not surprised,” he said, adding “Yes, we are hurting, but I am not surprised… we have now a broken society perpetuated basically by parents who have not taken the time to learn the rudiments of parenting. We have marriages now where people are getting involved and they do not have the requisite knowledge.” Findlay said that the situation may appear hopeless, but it is not. “I don’t see it as a lost cause; I see it as an atmosphere where we have to, as religious leaders, become more involved in the lives of our young people. We just cannot wish for them to change because the kids are confused, we need to help.”



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Charles Ramson responds to critics


ommissioner of Information Charles Ramson said that while the opposition seemed to be concerned over his monthly income, he believed that he deserved way more. His comments come on the heels of a recent revelation that he earns a gross monthly income of Gy$1.2 million. Justice Ramson told Guyana Times International on Wednesday that he was not at all troubled by the comments made by opposition members, regarding his salary or the work of the commission. This is especially, since he believes that the salary is somewhat inadequate for the post and the work of the commission is likely to kick start soon. “It’s not very welcoming for people to be making remarks about

salary and allowances. In fact, I can claim to be underpaid. Because if I had remained the AG [Attorney General], my salary would have been much larger than it is now,” he said. The former legal affairs minister added that he does not receive benefits like a minister. Ramson noted that had he been in private practice as an attorney, he would have made way more than he is currently working for. He said he was called out of retirement to serve and he will do exactly that. In responding to a recent article that sought to bring him in line with the head of the e-governance project and son of the president, Alexi Ramotar, Ramson said, “I don’t think it’s fair to compare that young man’s expertise to the work I do.”

Commissioner of Information Charles Ramson

In providing an update on the work of the commission, Justice Ramson said: “Imperceptibly, we have been making a lot of progress, but it takes time, because it’s such a new dispensation.” No request for information is yet in receipt of the

commission. The commissioner said that nothing like this existed before and the ministries are not prevented from giving information to the public. Rather, the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, which was passed in September 2011, has added a next tier, where the commission is responsible for ensuring that those agencies deal fairly with requests from members of the public. Justice Ramson told Guyana Times International he is of the belief that persons responsible for supplying the commission with information are not aware of the statutory partnership created by the Act. He explained that the president has the power to remove him from office based on the same laws that govern the removal

of a judge from his seat. Basically, he can only be removed from office for wrongdoing or a legal conviction. It was further noted that the commission only received a few days ago, a copy of an electronic disk for work to be done. However, this information was requested since August. Asked about whether there are provisions for educating the public about the work of the commission, Justice Ramson said the process has started and is likely to expand. “Provision is made for that and I have the power to do so, but it must reach a stage where publication has been made in the Official Gazette and in a daily newspaper, so that the public can become aware that certain things are a prerequisite for an un-

derstanding of the act.” As it relates to the staffing of his office, Justice Ramson hinted that his two full-time employees may not be competent enough to carry out the job. He referred to a recent statement made by Guyanese Professor and Vice Chancellor of the University of West Indies Mona Campus (Jamaica), Nigel Harris, that students graduating from that university have not been able to apply themselves to the job. This, he said, is a problem being experienced here too. “Some of them are not functionally literate,” he added. Based on a request from Alliance For Change Member of Parliament Cathy Hughes, Ramson’s salary was revealed. The former AG was sworn in as commissioner of information on July 15, 2013.

Guyana ranked 67 out of 180 in press freedom index


uyana has been ranked 67 out of 180 countries in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index, released on Wednesday by Reporters without Borders. Last year, Guyana was ranked at 69 out

of 179. The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information and its protagonists. The ranking of some countries has also been affected by a tendency to interpret national se-

curity needs in an overly broad and abusive manner to the detriment of the right to inform and be informed. This trend constitutes a growing threat worldwide and is even endangering freedom of information in countries regarded as

democracies. Finland tops the index for the fourth year running, closely followed by the Netherlands and Norway, like last year. At the other end of the index, the last three positions are again held by Turkmenistan, North

Korea, and Eritrea, three countries where freedom of information is non-existent. According to the report, despite occasional turbulence in the past year, these countries continue to be news and information black holes and liv-

ing hells for the journalists who inhabit them.

Reference tool

This year’s index covers 180 countries, one more than last year. The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position continued on page 14



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Guyana’s aeronautical school looking to expand operations


he Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School is currently celebrating 21 years in operation and is pondering the idea of offering an airplanes 2 training programme, taking the institution and its students to the level of large turboprop and jet aircraft training. Currently, the school offers Licence Without Type Rating (LWTR) training which is done over a three-years ab-initio programme in aircraft engineering, for acquisition of licences in categories A, C, X or R via the airplanes 1 training programme. Additionally, modular training is done for persons with over three years’ experience in aviation. Art Williams and Harry Wendt A e r o n a u t i c a l Engineering School Executive Manager Nalini Chanderban said with support from FedEx and the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) (The school is a full member of FSF), the institution is seeking to acquire an airbus A310. It was explained that the acquisition of the A310 would pave the way for the school to offer airplanes

2 training which includes at least 240 hours of practical training inclusive of A checks and C checks, in addition to theoretical training. She said the FSF is assisting the school to acquire an aircraft that is no longer in use, noting that if an airbus A310 is donated to the school, there will be need for expansion and even establishing training classrooms and workshops at other locations such as the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). “There will be need for more premises, the airplane would not be able to come into Ogle so we might need to look at setting up operations at CJIA, where that aircraft can be housed and workshops set up,” she explained. In addition, Chanderban underscored the importance of having sufficient finance to offset such an initiative, asserting that a feasibility study will have to be done. “We would definitely have to get a solid financial foundation for such a venture.”

High demand

Although Guyana only has Category One Aircraft, the executive manager of the aeronau-

Students going through their paces in the workshop

tical engineering school pointed out that there is a high demand for engineers to be licensed to repair aircraft more than 5700kg. “I mean Guyana has small planes and our graduates fulfil the local job market, but there are still jobs are out there for the jets and advanced fly-by-wire aircraft.” Meanwhile, the school is collaborating with the University of Guyana for the establishment of a degree programme in aircraft maintenance engineering. After completing three years of theoretical and practical training at the Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School, the partners are planning to

have students complete a degree programme at the university. Technicalities regarding to the time span of the programme are currently being worked out. It is the intent of both the university and the engineering school that the programme will be on par with international programmes. The existing relationship between the two institutions involves a diploma in technology (aeronautical engineering). This arrangement in place allows for graduates of the aeronautical school to complete

a diploma in technology, (aeronautical engineering) at the faculty of technology and for a diploma in mechanical engineering. In 2006, the Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School was nominated as the school of Caricom by the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS).


Additionally, the school is accredited and certified by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), CASSOS, the

Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Suriname (CASAS) and the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA). The school is also approved under the rules and regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Document 7192, Part D1. “In 2006, we became the first tertiary institution in Caricom to have ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems Standards,” said a proud Chanderban. The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards certified the school on July 24, 2006. “That puts us on the global market, so we are not only training persons for an internationally recognised licence, but giving them quality training.” During the airplanes 1 training for the acquisition of LWTR, students are mandated to pass all theoretical subjects over a three-year period and simultaneously execute 2000 practical hours of on-the-job training.

Region 10 unveils plans for second annual ‘Mash Bash’


he Region 10 Mashramani planning committee is in the process of organising several cultural events, as part of the regional calendar of activities to mark the 44th Republican status of the country. The Region 10 Democratic Council (RDC) will be sending a 50-strong contingent to participate in the national costume and float parade in Georgetown on February 23. The second annual “Mash Bash”, a cultural event, is expected to be held in Linden on February 23, and will feature music, a costume float parade, and food, cultural and sporting activities. This event, according to planning committee member Maurice Butters, is aimed at giving Lindeners and other Region 10 residents who may not have the opportunity to travel to Georgetown for the national Mashramani celebration and float parade, a chance to participate in something significant. On the Mackenzie shore, the Mash Bash is expected to commence at Amelia’s Ward, while at Wismar, the festivities are scheduled to kick off at the Bayroc and Christianburg communi-

Linden Technical Institute’s costumed revelers mashing under the theme ‘Our Journey Our Legacy’ last year

ty centre grounds. In addition, there will be an east versus west Mashramani float competition, with floats depicting the essence of the Wismar and Mackenzie communities. The celebration will culminate at Co-op Crescent, Mackenzie. Additionally, members of the committee related that there will be a culture fest, along with sporting activities such as a domino competition, fishing, five-a-side football, and swimming. Novelty events will include egg-and-spoon races, a greasy pig competition, buns and drink eating competitions. Prizes will be up for grabs. For the artistically inclined, arts and crafts

will be featured at the Linden museum, in addition to cultural items like national songs and calypsos. The planning committee is calling on food handlers, business entities and stakeholders to come on board. The traditional flag raising ceremony will be held on February 22 at the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) ground. On February 25, an art competition, as well as a symposium, along with the singing of national songs and the celebrating of folklore will be held at the Egbert Benjamin Centre, Mackenzie. Among the other activities will be a jouvert on March 1, followed by a wet fete on March 28, and a Linden road parade on March 2.

7 Education Bill expected for parliament before month-end news

week ending February 16, 2014 |

10,000 abortions in TT each year – PNM Senator


NM Senator Faris Al Rawi Tuesday stated there are 10,000 cases of abortions and still births involving teenagers per year, as he called for tougher penalties to punish persons found guilty of selling intoxicating liquor to minors. “That is a societal issue we are all grappling with,” Al Rawi said, speaking during debate of the Miscellaneous Provisions (Licensing Committee) Bill, 2014. Asked where he got the figure from, the Senator said he got the information from Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan and Minister of Education Dr Tim Gopeesingh (who were not in the Senate Tuesday). Al Rawi called for a beefing-up of the laws banning the sale of alcohol to minors. Section 60 of the Liquor Licences Act makes it an offence for a person to sell “intoxicating liquour to a child under the age of eighteen years, whether for the child’s own use or not”. Under the current law, the penalty for this is a fine of TT$2,000 (first conviction) or TT$5,000 (second conviction) or

TT$7,500 (third conviction). A liquor licence is also suspended for a year. The legislation proposes to increase these fines to TT$7,500; TT$10,000 and TT$15,000 respectively. Additionally, a proprietor will be stripped of their liqour licence if they are found guilty of the offence for a third time. “There is currently no jail sentence for this offence and my proposal is that we add a jail sentence,” he said adding that, “We really ought to be looking at our children and their protection.” Al Rawi also critcised several aspects of the bill, including its set up of new lisencing committees–led by clerks of the peace– to do the work of magistrates. He said while the committees would comprise stakeholders such as members of local business groups, this would be a difficult matter because there could be competing claims from different interest groups in the same area. He also criticised the phrasing of a provision meant to penalise persons for failing to declare conflicts of interest. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

– after more than eight years of consultations


he long awaited Education Bill which will enable major reforms in the education sector will be tabled in the House before monthend, Education Minister Priya Manickchand said. The legislation when comes into force will repeal the current Education Act and allow the Education Ministry to adopt a more modern and hands-on approach to various issues impacting the sector. The bill, among other things seeks to address issues such as private schools licensing, requirements for persons to be employed as a teacher and students admission age at the nursery level. The legislation has benefited from a series of consultations hosted by the ministry and stakeholders include teachers, parents and owners of private school. In February 2013, Minister Manickchand had indicated that the bill would seek to change the mandatory admis-

Education Minister Priya Manickchand

sion age for students. As it stands, the current age for a child to be admitted in nursery school is three years, nine months. However, with the passage of this legislation, the age will be modified to three years, three months. Despite this level of education not being compulsory, most children in Guyana begin their academic education at this tender age. Presently, a child can enter a public nursery school at age three years if the child will be at least three years, nine

months by December of the year. Children who are born after March 31 are required to wait until September of the next year to commence formal education. However, before the new age requirement is instituted, the Education Ministry will be making the necessary preparations to facilitate the change, Minister Manickchand explained. The two-year education programme at the nursery level is intended to afford pupils a learning environment conducive to their physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development.

Teacher requirements

Currently, persons can be employed as acting teachers with three Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects at grades one to three at the general proficiency level. If persons do not have a grade three or higher in English Language, they must have grades one to three in five other

subjects. Acting teachers are usually employed in the Hinterland regions where there are severe difficulties in attracting qualified teachers to fill vacant posts. The new Education Bill will however modify the prerequisite requirements for persons desirous of becoming teachers. With regards to private schools, the bill will seek to bring them up to the standard of state institutions. Work on the Education Bill started under former Education Minister Henry Jeffrey, and after the 2006 elections, it continued under Minister Shaik Baksh, but was stuck at the attorney general chambers for a long time. When Manickchand assumed the education minister portfolio after the 2011 elections, she restarted the consultation, and after more than eight years of consultation, there is a promise to have the bill tabled in the House before monthend.



week ending February 16, 2014|

APNU MP Vanessa Kissoon was not informed of seating ‘rearrangements’ in House


Partnership for National Unity (APNU) did not inform long-standing parliamentarian Vanessa Kissoon, ahead of Monday’s sitting of the National Assembly that she was demoted and her seating arrangements changed within the coalition group. As a matter of fact, Kissoon confirmed being only informed upon her arrival at Parliament Buildings at noon. The news caught her off guard, it would appear. Speaking with Guyana Times International on Tuesday evening from her home in Linden, Region 10, Kissoon explained that no reasons were proffered by APNU’s Chief Whip Amna Ally or its Chairman David Granger for the decision to make her a backbencher. She said that she did not inquire either at that moment as it did not appear im-

portant to her as there were more pertinent matters to be addressed during Monday’s sitting which required her attention. Kissoon, who was appointed a Member of Parliament back in 2006 on the People’s National Congress Reform One Guyana (PNCR1G) platform, said that she was in the National Assembly to serve the people of Guyana and represent those who elected her in Region 10.


She does not believe that her placement within the group, would affect the quality of her representation nor her ability to articulate the need for good governance and reforms. “It matters not where I am seated. My voice will still be heard. I will still represent the Guyanese people. If you know me, I am here to serve and to sound my voice regard-

APNU MP Vanessa Kissoon

less of where I am. I am still a member of the Assembly and that’s important,” she said. Asked whether she had any problems with the leadership of the APNU which could have triggered the decision, Kissoon responded in the negative, explaining that even if there were problems, she was

“unaware”. “That question should be directed to those people who rearranged the seating which would be the chief whip and the opposition leader,” she insisted throughout the interview. Kissoon admitted, during the interview, that she was not certain about the protocols that would govern reassignments of seats in the APNU coalition. She opined that she was not aware either whether it was a decision that should have been communicated formally. Additionally, she explained that since the decision to make her a backbencher, Guyanese have been calling to inquire about the situation and the circumstances surrounding the decision. She denied having any knowledge whether her affiliations with other long-standing PNCR member Aubrey

Norton would have triggered the decision by the top brass of APNU. She also denied that she was ever disciplined or spoken to about her performance, which she opined, has been of a high standard in Parliament. A lot of women have also been expressing concern about the decision as well. Meanwhile, Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon expressed similar sentiments on the matter. He praised the contributions of Kissoon, but stopped short of saying that he was disappointed over the move. But while all of the other members of the APNU who were women appeared silent on the decision, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) member of Parliament Priya Manickchand expressed concern over Kissoon’s placement and apparent demotion.

House approves new constituency for ERC


he National Assembly on Monday evening cleared a motion to add a new representative group to the structure of the Ethnic Relations

Commission (ERC). Both sides of the House voted to have the motion passed and praised the work of the appointive committee, headed by Dr George

Norton. The new group will be referred to as Culture/Ethnic. Its three nominal representatives from the three main ethnic groups – Indian, African and Amerindian

– will be made from a list of nominees of 183 nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) working in ethnic and religious areas. The three nominees will be elected to serve on the ERC, through the National Assembly. The ERC had comprised representatives from seven different constituencies – the three main religions (Hinduism, Islam and Christianity); labour; the private sector; youth; and women affairs organisations. The number of commissioners for the ERC will now move from seven to 10. In presenting the motion to the House, Dr Norton said that the committee worked tirelessly to come to the conclusion that a new group should be added to the organisation’s structure. He said that committee was tasked with identifying, consulting and receiving nominations of appropriate bodies for the appointment of various members of the ERC. The committee was also tasked with recommending to the House, a consensual mechanism for the appointment of members of the ERC. The decision to create this new group was birthed from this. People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) frontbencher and Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, in his contribution, said the government supports the motion. Dr Ramsammy, who once served as a member of the appoint-

Appointive Committee head, Dr George Norton

ive committee, said that he was pleased with the progress made, especially since it opened up avenues for more NGOs to participate. However, he urged that the committee should work assiduously to meet with the organisations, to have their nominees and later have the new persons appointed. PPP/C Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, herself a former committee member, said she supported the change in the structure of the ERC. Teixeira noted that while the inclusion of many organisations was a great step, the fact that the committee also sought to add credible NGOs was an even greater achievement. She, too, urged the committee to work fast to have the persons nominated, so that the work of the ERC can continue. She believes that all the work put in to have the ERC operational is a move in the right direction. She added that she hoped that the 10th parliament would be differ-

PPP/C Chief Whip Gail Teixeira

ent from previous ones, pointing out that during the Eighth and Ninth parliaments, monies for the ERC were blocked. She also urged the committee chairman to ensure that the committee works to better other commissions such as the Women and Gender Equality Commission, Rights of the Child Commission, and the Local Government Commission. Alliance For Change (AFC) MP Valerie Garrido-Lowe, in her contribution, stated her party’s support for the motion. The AFC MP explained that the task of the committee was a tedious one. She explained that hundreds of letters were sent out to various NGOs, to ascertain whether they were active or not and to get feedback on the creation of the new Culture/Ethnic group. Garrido-Lowe said the response from most of the NGOs were slow, which contributed to the committee taking a lengthy time to complete its tasks.

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


week ending February 16, 2014 |

Congratulations to the president for his efforts at CELAC Summit Dear Editor, The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) would like to take this opportunity to congratulate President Donald Ramotar, who led Guyana’s delegation to the recently-concluded Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in Havana, Cuba. President Ramotar, who was one of the many heads of state from the 33 member countries to be present, represented Guyana with distinction and has once again ensured that this country continues to have a voice on the international scene and contributes meaningfully to the resolving of global issues. CELAC was created in December 2011 with the aim of deepening Latin American and Caribbean integration. This integration has always been foremost within the PPP/C, and the party has on numerous occasions advocated for such. Moreso, the theme under which the summit was held, “Eradication of hunger, poverty, and inequality in Latin America and Caribbean states”, is something which is synonymous and is the hallmark of the PPP/C’s thrust since its inception. Our party founder, Dr Cheddi Jagan, and all of its leaders, including President Ramotar, have vehemently pursued the

eradication of poverty, hunger, and inequality. This ingrained characteristic of the PPP/C is reflected through the billions of dollars which the PPP/C-led government continues to allocate in its budgets for the development of the social sectors and the improving of living standards for all. The testimony to these successes is overwhelming and is evident across the country. While there is inequality and abject poverty in the CELAC member states, the PPP/C administration, through the prudent management of its successive presidents, has been able to drastically reduce these societal ills, resulting in Guyana now been classified as a developing country, as against a bankrupt and highly indebted poor country as it were in the region in 1992. Then, it was classified as the second poorest nation in the western hemisphere – a classification which cast a shameful veil on all. While the PPP/C would be the first to admit that there is more to be done, today, all must be proud of the tremendous strides Guyana has made in improving the lives of all of its peoples. It would, therefore, be remiss if the party does not once again note the great disservice which the opposition has imposed on Guyanese by misusing its combined

one-seat majority in the National Assembly to scuttle the many transformative projects that the PPP/C-led administration has moved to realise, which would propel the nation’s development and by extension, eradicate poverty and hunger. The party will not relent in its push to move Guyana’s development forward and would ensure, through its work, that the nation does not return to the days of bankruptcy and despair. It is the party’s fervent hope that the opposition would come to the realisation of the harm it continues to cause the nation through its petty and vindictive politics. It is, therefore, heartening to note that Guyana’s participation at international for a, like CELAC, is a vindication of the valiant efforts of the PPP/C-led administrations since 1992 to rebuild this country’s image, which was one of shame and stigmatisation during the tenure of the opposition. Today, not only can Guyana boast of robust and meaningful participation in international fora, but of being able to take the lead in many of these events. Over the last few years, Guyana was chair of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR); chair of the board of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); host of the Summit of the

The visionary value of Gandhi, King and Mandela

Dear Editor, The great Mahatma Gandhi and his selfstyled disciples, Reverend, Dr Martin Luther King and our beloved ‘Madeba’ Nelson Mandela, all of whose ‘visions’ served to transform their respective societies, and eventually the world, were unique ‘visionaries’ and transformational leaders par excellence! There is no doubt about their self-less, almost ‘God-like’ image and contribution to humanity which live on forever in the minds of people all over the world. It is in that context that I was outraged when I became aware of a local advertisement by a company advertis-

ing “optical” supplies and services by using inappropriate metaphorical comparisons of their mundane, money-making ‘eye-correcting’ and ‘lens-crafting’ services with the immortal, virtually divine ‘visions’ of our three ‘prophets’, whose lifetime works enabled the world to see life dif-

ferently. This prostitution is blasphemous and should be roundly condemned in the same way we condemn those who recently ‘traded’ the Mandela name and image for cheap publicity and material gains. Sincerely, Nowrang Persaud

RIO Group; host of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting. And Guyana continues to be a leading voice on the global issue of climate change. The advocacy for the latter resulted in former President Bharrat Jagdeo being conferred with the “Champion of the Earth” award by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a vindication of the respect earned on the international scene. These positive developments were not by coincidence, but as a result of the hard work by the PPP/C administrations to not only place Guyana prominently internationally, but to ensure that its voice is heard. President Ramotar, while attending the CELAC Summit in Havana, signed the declaration which now designates Latin America and the Caribbean region as a “Zone of Peace”. The PPP/C has noted that during the president’s address, not only did he welcome the dec-

laration, but called on CELAC to let its voice be heard with regard to what he described as neo-colonialism and the oppression that exists in Palestine. The president was adamant that wherever colonialism is weakened, it helps the region in its own struggles. The PPP/C would also like to welcome the declaration making Latin America and the Caribbean a “Zone of Peace”, and once again congratulate President Ramotar for his efforts and that of his delegation, which included Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett and Housing and Water Minister, with responsibility for Tourism, Irfaan Ali for the successful representation in Havana. The party, while cognisant that CELAC is a young organisation, knows that its success will redound positively to Guyana and Guyanese. Further, in the context where the president used the opportunity at the CELAC Summit to highlight the

situation in Palestine, the party would like to reiterate its call for a peaceful political resolution to the situation in Syria through dialogues. The party also notes that while in Havana, President Ramotar was among the few heads of state and government who were invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Mariel Port Facility and to participate in the annual midnight march to celebrate the birth anniversary of Cuba’s national hero, Jose Marti. This is indicative of the strong and meaningful relations that exist between the government and people of Cuba and the government and people of Guyana. The PPP/C as a party has always enjoyed good relations with Cuba and continues to do so, and would also like to congratulate the government and people of Cuba for successfully hosting the summit. Respectfully submitted, PPP/C, Freedom House



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Lethem residents say no to electricity tariff hike


Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP) Sydney Allicock on Monday petitioned the National Assembly for the Lethem Power Company Inc to rescind its recent decision to hike electricity tariffs. In his request for the petition to be read for the first time in the National Assembly, Allicock said the increase comes at a time when the power company has been badly managing its resources. As he called for an investigation to be launched into the operations of the company, he contended there are cases of malpractices. He told the House that the people of Lethem and by extension, Region Nine are not shying away from their responsibility; however, they believe that the payments of electricity tariffs should be done in a strategic manner. Currently, an across the board structure is in place for all consumers in the region, but Allicock said this should not be the case, contending that there are great variations regard-

ing the incomes of residents. According to the APNU MP, different levels of payments should be made to meet the pockets of the poor. The company, he said, should strike a balance. Without any objections, the petition was read for the first time by Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs. According to the petition, the community of St Ignatius is required to pay electricity for the distribution of potable water to its residents. According to the petition, since 1995, the Lethem Power Company has continuously increased the electricity tariff over the years with residents respectfully accepting the increases, despite their economic difficulties. The last tariff structure was designed to give consumers the first 15kw free. However, consumption of an additional 30kw results in consumers paying Gy$45 per kWh while consumers who consume more are required to pay Gy$55 per kWh. However, in the first week of January, residents received a letter

from the power company indicating that they are now required to pay Gy$75 per kWh; effective January 1. This new tariff structure represents a 54.6 per cent increase. This increase comes although there has not been any dramatic increase in the cost of electricity.

No consultation

This move by the Lethem Power Company was considered disrespectful as residents were not consulted before the increase took effect. This imposition would put the residents of Lethem and neighbouring communities at a disadvantage. The petition, which was signed by more than 300 persons, called for the company to meet with residents to determine what is affordable and implement a system which reflects the various categories of consumers and their ability to pay. In response to the petition, Prime Minister Hinds said taking into consideration the potential of Lethem to develop, the government of Guyana directed a grant of approximately Gy$700 million to install a Moco

Moco Hydro in 1999. “When we established the company, we made it clear that the operations would be governed by the cost, the cost would be set that the operations including maintenance.” However, the Moco Moco Hydro suffered a massive failure due to landslide in 2004. “It is an unconscionable act,” the prime minister told the House, contending that the signatories of the petition might not have taken time to scrutinise the situation in its entirety. “All through the years our position has been that we will advance electrification in the hinterland, we will cover capital costs of all the operations, including maintenance.” Refuting claims that no consultation took place before the new tariffs were imposed; the prime minister stated that he visited Region Nine twice in 2009 to address residents on the increase and other issues. On both occasions, he said residents agreed that the increase was necessary and “It was accepted.”

Caribbean recorded significant increase in tourist arrivals last year – CTO


he Caribbean is anticipating at least a three per cent increase in tourist arrivals in 2014, after recording a significant increase in overall arrivals last year. The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) Chairperson, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, delivering the annual “State of the Industry Report” in New York on Monday, said with the global economic crisis expected to improve in 2014, the demand for travel will remain buoyant. “As a result, tourist arrivals to the Caribbean are expected to rise between two and three per cent in 2014,” she said, noting that it was ev-

ident that “the atmosphere of despair has lifted, and the Caribbean anticipates an improved performance in 2014”. “Clearly, we continue to face challenges; therefore, we can be neither cocky, complacent or overconfident. We have to fight to boost arrivals, both from the traditional markets and new and emerging markets. The figures suggest that South America has immense potential,” she said. Nicholson-Doty said cruise activity is also expected to pick up in 2014 with some of the new ships expected to be deployed in the region. “The CTO predicts that cruise passenger arrivals to the Caribbean will in-

CTO Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty said that with the global economic crisis expected to improve in 2014, the demand for travel will remain buoyant

crease by about three per cent in 2014,” she added. Nicholson-Doty said the regional tourist industry was showing signs of positive progress, adding “one of the

most powerful signs of this progress is the rise in estimated visitor spend, with expenditure growing quicker than visitor arrivals for the first time in three years” “We see this progress in the record number of overall arrivals in 2013. This progress is manifested in the rapid rise in the number of visitors from South America who are coming to the Caribbean in record numbers. You can tell there’s progress when a record number of Caribbean residents travelled within the region for touristic purposes, despite transportation challenges.” She said the strongest indicator of progress is the rate of visitor expenditure. (CMC)

PI nearing an end to biker’s murder


he alleged killer of the well known biker Kirk Davis appeared in court on Monday before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts for further proceedings of his preliminary inquiry (PI). Randy Jagdeo, 28, of Lot 159 Third Street,

Alexander Village, Georgetown was accused of shooting Kirk Davis, 30, at his Eccles, East Bank Demerara home on September 3, 2013. Ranks from the Guyana Police Force continued to testify against the accused as to what evidence was actually received and what they

did with the evidence they collected. One rank, who was deemed an expert on firearm and ammunition, gave evidence about what he did on the day in question. Jageo’s attorneys Mark Waldron and Roger Yearwood cross examined the witnesses after they were finished testifying so as to prove the innocence of

the accused. The preliminary inquiry continues because of the absence of other witnesses, but Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry noted that the PI will possibly end on the next appearance of the accused. The matter is adjourned for Feburary 27 at 10:00h.

Eating healthy


By Anu Dev

he first Friday of every February is designated “National Wear Red Day” in the U.S. Heart disease is actually the number one killer of women in America. Attention has been brought to this since 2003 by wearing red to raise awareness about heart disease. There are so many decisions we can all make (not just women) about our lifestyle to reduce our risk of developing heart disease. Things like checking your cholesterol levels regularly and getting in a bit of exercise can go a long way in keeping you healthy. This semester, for our first block (of courses), we’re covering digestion and metabolism – all the chemical reactions that goes on inside us to keep us alive. As a part of that, we’ve had to cover nutrition extensively. In addition to the “food” that comes to mind, our classes really emphasised how important the micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are, even though they’re required in much smaller quantities than rice and dhall – carbohydrates and proteins. Eating well is vital to staying healthy. And while that may sound like common sense, you might be surprised by how many people actually don’t eat that healthily. Eating well doesn’t just mean eating your three meals a day; it’s what you eat that’s really important. In primary school, I learnt about the different food groups, the food pyramid and the importance of a balanced diet. Remember “Go” food, “Glow” food? and “Grow” food?! And now I’m in med school learning even more about all of that. So one would assume that with all of this knowledge about how I should be eating, that I’ve been taking the time to plan and eat balanced meals. But in truth, it took a horrible flu, and my mother flying in and stocking my room with fresh fruits for me to finally start eating fruits regularly. And I’ve finally started taking my multivitamins again- some of those pictures on our lecture slides of what vitamindeficiencies can look like definitely scared me into keeping up with my vitamins. (Yes, Mom!) What we need to eat varies according to our gender, our age, our occupations and other such factors. So take the time to do some reading, or visit a nutritionist to discuss what nutrients are particularly important for you. Girls for example, need a lot of iron in their diet. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of the foods that you’re choosing to include in your diet for particular nutrients. Lots of people eat liver for its high iron content, but liver also has a really high cholesterol content and that’s not good for keeping your heart healthy. If you already have high cholesterol levels, it might be better for you to eat other iron-rich foods instead of liver. Technology is also quickly advancing to make it easier for us to stay healthy. There are so many fitness apps that keep track of your meals to let you know whether you’ve eaten enough of each particular nutrient. There are apps that you can use to keep track of whether you’re drinking enough water or not. Heart diseases are very serious. The heart is responsible for pumping blood all over your body. If the heart is affected, the rest of your body gets affected as well. Ease up on the fast food that’s flooding our shores, now that the U.S. has declared them unhealthy. Trinidad is one of the most obese societies in the world. They’ve had the fast food joints longer. So let’s all try to live better, healthier lives. There’s so much useful information at our fingertips via the Internet, that we really can’t cite ignorance as an excuse for not knowing what constitutes a balanced meal. Remember, prevention is better than cure.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Independent expert to examine delayed e-governance project – PM Hinds

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds


rime Minister Samuel Hinds on Monday disclosed that an independent third-party expert has been asked to examine the government’s ambitious US$32 million egovernance project and make recommendations for its satisfactory completion at the earliest time. Hinds’ comments were contained in his response to written questions from A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament Joseph Harmon on cost overruns related to the

APNU MP Joseph Harmon

E-Government Project and the resume and salary of the project manager, Alexei Ramotar, the son of President Donald Ramotar. He also informed the National Assembly that the project has not experienced “extensive delays,” as was being reported. “The E-Government Project unit aimed for an April 2014 completion date. However, this has been extended for August 2014,” the prime minister said in his written response. In January 2012, the WiMax and EVDO networks were changed to

E-Government Project Manager Alexei Ramotar

an LTE-Advanced network. This change allowed for a lower cost core network and the savings were used to move from 30 WiMax/EVDO sites to 54 LTE-Advanced sites, thus providing better high-speed coverage in major populated areas such as Linden, New Amsterdam, Georgetown, Anna Regina, and Port Mourant/Albion. Additionally, it allowed for the establishment of a new site at Lethem, but this resulted in two months of delays since additional site surveys and designs were carried out. It was

Rice industry pioneer Kayman Sankar dies Ida, West Coast of Demerara, and was the eldest of five siblings. He married his wife Seraji when he was 17 and she was a mere 13 years old. Their lasting union bore three children, two daughters and a son. The man leaves to mourn his 84-yearold wife, children, eight grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and many well-wishers.


Kayman Sankar

opular Essequibo businessman and rice farmer Kayman Sankar died on Tuesday evening after years of prolonged illness. His death was confirmed by his daughter Sattie Ramlall. Sankar was 87 years old at the time, and according to Ramlall, he passed away around 18:30h at his Hamilton Court, Essequibo Coast home. According to the grieving woman, her father had been bed-ridden due to old age; however, she did not divulge any further information on his condition. Ramlall said while her family is deeply saddened by her father’s death, it is something they knew would have

happened. “We are coming to grips with his passing, we knew this would happen eventually but it’s a little hard knowing now that he is actually gone,” she told Guyana Times International a few hours after his death. The woman said the family is holding on to their religious faith to guide them through, adding that the support of well-wishers has been overwhelming. Ramlall said that there could never be enough words to describe her father. She alluded to the fact that within hours of his death, condolences began pouring in from persons all across Guyana. Sankar was born in June 1924 at Cornelia

also pointed out that in October 2012, the LTE Tower foundation was designed by the Public Works Ministry and the contractor, Huawei. The creation of this design delayed the project by one month. “Additional delays stemmed from difficulty of procuring piles, adverse weather conditions, and the provision of electrical access to the sites. By no stretch of the imagination can these delays be considered extensive,” Prime Minister Hinds stated. Under the E-Government Project, the Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure necessary to

provide the government with the ability to provide better services to Guyanese is being built. The project aims to provide government-togovernment communication, government-to-citizen access to information and services, and government-to-business communication. A fibre-optic link will be created between Moleson Creek, Georgetown and Parika. Additionally, a fibre ring within Georgetown has been set up to allow for a more efficient communication system, while a high-speed microwave link will be installed between Moleson Creek, Georgetown and Charity and another between Linden and Georgetown.

The microwave network will be an active backup to the fibre network thereby making way for high-speed communication between government offices throughout the country. Responding to Harmon’s second question, the prime minister disclosed that Ramotar has a master’s in computer science from the University of Waterloo, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, graduating with a distinction from the University of Guyana, and “over a decade of work experience.” It was pointed out too that he was employed as the project manager in 2010 before his father became president.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Local Gov’t polls to be held by August 1 T

he long overdue Local Government Elections will now have to be staged by August 1 this year after the opposition used its one-seat majority in the National Assembly to amend a bill tabled by the executive, which originally sought a year-long postponement of the critical elections. The Local Authorities (Elections Amendment) Bill 2014 was tabled back in January by former Local Government and Regional Development Minister Ganga Persaud. It sought a postponement of the elections for members of the local democratic organs, scheduled to be held before December 1 this year. This would have been the 17th year that elections were postponed. Acting Local

Government Minister Norman Whittaker said the postponement was necessary to facilitate the ongoing preparatory work for the elections which were still incomplete. Whittaker argued that the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was committed to the hosting of these elections, which were critical towards returning democracy to local communities. He underscored the importance of these elections towards ensuring that the concerns of grassroots people are addressed across the length and breadth of the country, regardless of their political affiliation. He insisted that the ruling party has not been wasting any time in terms of working with

all the existing Regional Democratic Councils to address the burning concerns of citizens. He justified the ministry’s establishment of interim management committees (IMCs) in various communities after coming under severe criticism from members of the opposition who had accused the government of “watering down democracy” at the local level. Minister Whittaker rejected the notion that the ruling party was unwilling to host Local Government Elections because defeat awaited it or because it lacked political will to operationalise the suite of legislation, which was passed by parliament and assented to by President Donald Ramotar.


Acting Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker

He made a concerted attempt to upbraid the members of the opposition, particularly A Partnership for National Unity’s newly-promoted frontbencher Ronald Bulkan who had made several damning allegations against the government’s stewardship of the local government system.

Foreign object used to rape Harding – reports


he Colwyn Harding Support Group on Wednesday revealed that the results of two independent medical reports have indicated that there is now enough evidence that Colwyn Harding was indeed sodomised. His attorney, Nigel Hughes, told the media that the medical examinations reveal that Harding suffered from active rectal mucosa bleeding. This is an indication, according to those medical reports, that a foreign object was used to rape the 23-yearold man. Hughes said Harding was discharged on January 20 from the Georgetown Public Hospital after spending 23 days there. He was then taken to a private doctor at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital to be evaluated. He was admitted there to be treated for sepsis and fever. Harding later underwent three medical procedures: a right herniorraphy, a laparotomy and bowel resection, and a re-laparotomy and the creation of two ostomies. Harding’s attorney asserted that at no time during hospitalisation at Georgetown Public Hospital was Harding examined for injuries to the anus or rectum. Only two surgeons examined Harding thus. These are the local doctor at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital and another in Jamaica. Hughes said coming out of the independent report performed here, Harding not only suffered from active rectal mucosal

Attorney Nigel Hughes pointing out the severity of damage to Colwyn Harding's rectum to members of the media, using a diagram

bleeding, but also had an inflamed rectum.

Forensic examination

He left Guyana for further treatment in Jamaica on January 27 with his mother and a member of the support group. Harding was evaluated twice, with the last time being on February 5. He also underwent a forensic examination and was advised on the way forward. Hughes noted that the findings of the report from the Jamaican surgeon are consistent with findings of the local surgeon. The main finding of the Jamaican report was a narrowed distal sigmoid. It was reported that the surgeons were not able to go beyond a certain length given the severity of the injury. The surgeon in Jamaica also recommended further studies on Harding’s intestines, before he undergoes another surgery. Apart from the find-

ings, Hughes spoke to other issues, especially to do with a number of what he termed, “inconsistencies” in Georgetown Public Hospital records. These include: incorrect page numbering; missing details and chronological errors; differences in terminology to describe the original problem, for instance, hydrocele in one document and incarcerated hernia, in another document; a signature but no name of doctors written on the charts; and the absence of a referral note from the Medical Outpatient Department. On that note, Hughes said based on these inconsistencies both surgeons here and overseas questioned the validity and reliability of some pages in Harding’s medical chart. He said, “We await the submission of the requested medical records and the pathology reports for the

tests and partial intestines removed from Colwyn Harding by the Georgetown Public Hospital.” Hughes said the findings of both medical reports have been dispatched to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Bibi Shalimar Ali-Hack for her to consider possible charges to be instituted against the police officer involved. “The facts will speak for itself,” the attorney said. A lawsuit of Gy$100 million has been made out against the police. Attorney General Anil Nandlall has been written to by Hughes, to discuss the matter of damages. “This is an attempt to afford the authorities and the state a reasonable opportunity to embark on a serious discussion about the question of damages.” During the press conference, the abused man’s mother, Sharon Harding broke down in tears, as Hughes explained to media operatives the severity of damage to her son’s health. Harding is due for another surgery to repair the damage to his anus and intestine in another six to eight weeks, which is likely to be performed in Jamaica. The family, however, needs US$7500 to offset all of the expenses, including the entire cost of the surgery. Persons wishing to support Colwyn Harding and his family are, therefore, asked to contact Red Thread’s Director Karen DeSouza on telephone number 227-7010.

Bulkan made no bones in hurling allegations of mismanagement against the government while quoting a number of newspaper reports, which, he said, painted a grim picture of the state of affairs in specific regions where the ruling party was hard pressed to secure electoral support. Meanwhile, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said the Guyana Elections Commission was not prepared to host the elections and that this was an undisputed fact. He believed that the matter was simple and should not have evoked all of the controversy that it did in Parliament. Nandlall was adamant that while it is possible for the constitutional entity which is

responsible for the staging of the elections to host general elections if needs be this year, this was not the case for local and regional elections. He maintained that the PPP/C-nominated commissioners of the elections commission have all explained that it was not ready for the elections unless a number of undertakings occur. He gave a synopsis of the history and context under which a decision was made to postpone the elections constitutionally due since 1994. He did not waste any time in rebuffing any insinuation that the decisions to delay these elections were solely made by the ruling administration. The amendments were not supported by the government.

Shopkeeper wanted for cocaine in achar


CANU is seeking shopkeeper Dawn Roberts

he Customs AntiNarcotics Unit (CANU) has issued a wanted bulletin for the arrest of Dawn Roberts in connection with the large quantity of cocaine found in achar on Saturday at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). Anyone who has information on her whereabouts can contact CANU at 227-3507. Roberts’ address was given as 9 North Road, Bourda where she operates a shop. On Monday, the couple who were apprehended at the CJIA with the cocaine appeared before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry on a charge of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking. U.S. citizen Winston Blake, 77, and his Guyanese accomplice Sadika Neola Odie, 38, of Lot 186 Thomas Street, Kitty, Georgetown pleaded not guilty to the charge. The 20 kilograms of cocaine were discovered when anomalies were spotted during the scanning of the couple’s luggage raised red flags and

caused CANU ranks to question the outgoing passengers who were headed to the John F Kennedy Airport, New York on BW Flight 526. This publication was told that upon the arrest of the couple, they told ranks that someone had given them the achar as presents for persons in the U.S. The cocaine was wrapped in brown tape and shaped to mimic seeds in the tamarind achar. Blake was intercepted with 9.6kg, while Odie was intercepted with 10.45kg, Guyana Times International was informed. CANU Prosecutor Oswald Massiah said Odie has a U.S. visa, and is well known for travelling. He added that, in a statement received, the defendant said she was offered the sum of US$10,000 to transport the substance, but was only given US$400 and the plane ticket which she accepted. The couple were refused bail, and the case was transferred from the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to the Providence Magistrate’s Court for February 14.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

“I want to ensure that every Guyanese enjoy a good life” – APNU’s newest MP


pposition Leader David Granger said Medical Doctor Karen Cummings’ expertise and commitment will compensate for the absence of Debra Backer, who resigned as a parliamentarian after falling ill. Backer submitted her resignation to the National Assembly on Friday, February 7. “We are confident that even though the shoe of Debra John Backer is hard to fill, the expertise and the commitment of which we are aware will more than compensate.” Those were the words of the opposition leader as he welcomed Dr Cummings to the National Assembly as an A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP). “She comes with considerable experience in the medical field,” he added, noting too that Dr Cummings has done a lot of work on the East Coast of Demerara. He expressed optimism that, in a similar fashion, the medical doctor will contribute significantly to the National Assembly and by extension, the

front bencher Basil Williams was nominated and subsequently elected to fill the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly post left vacant by Backer. He was nominated by opposition Chief Whip Amna Ally and seconded by her colleague Dr Rupert Roopnaraine. Though loud heckling was heard from the government

Dr Karen Cummings being sworn in as an APNU Member of Parliament on Monday by Clerk of the House Sherlock Isaacs

people of Guyana. Dr Cummings, a longstanding member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), was sworn in as an APNU MP when the National Assembly convened on Monday. In accordance with Article 167 of the Constitution of Guyana, Dr Cummings took the oath in the National Assembly. Shortly after her installation, she expressed optimism that she would be able to make significant contributions to the National Assembly. “Well, I just thought

that I can make an input. I want good governance and I just want to ensure that Guyanese can enjoy a good life, at an individual level and at a national level,” Dr Cummings said.

Significant contributions

In welcoming the new MP, the Speaker of the House, Raphael Trotman posited that Backer would be greatly missed, noting that she has made significant contributions to the House and by extension, the people of Guyana. It is the hope of the National Assembly that Backer soon recov-

Suspects in Trevor Rose shooting granted bail


the House. Backbencher shadow local government minister Ronald Bulkan was promoted to the front row while Vanessa Kissoon has been placed on the back bench. Dr Cummings has replaced her in the middle row. On the government side of the House, Human Services Minister Jenifer Webster

Trevor Rose

he two suspects who were wanted in connection with the slaying of local fashion designer Trevor Rose were arrested over the weeks but they were granted bail on Tuesday evening, according to crime chief Seelall Persaud. Persaud did not give any details with respect to the granting of bail to the two men. After the lapse of the 72hour detention period, a decision was taken to allow the men to walk after they would have posed bail in an undisclosed sum. A police rank explained that if investigators had any substantial evidence against the men, they would not have hesitated to approach the chief

justice for an extension of the legal detention period. Rose, 32, of Lot 232 East Street, North Cummingsburg, Georgetown, was executed two Sundays ago when a lone gunman opened fire on the taxi in which he was travelling near the traffic lights at Eccles, East Bank Demerara. During the shooting, Troy Nieunkirk, 30, the taxi driver and the mother of Rose’s two-year-old son, Latoya Towler, 29, were also injured. Towler was reportedly shot to the buttocks while Nieunkirk sustained a gunshot wound to his left arm. It was reported that Rose, a father of eight, was heading into the Eccles Housing Scheme to drop off Towler and as they approached the traffic lights in the area, a heavily tinted motor car drove up alongside theirs and the driver taunted Nieunkirk about the way he was driving. The men began to argue, and the other driver exited his vehicle before opening fire. Rose was shot five times with a .9mm pistol. Nieunkirk managed to drive away and go straight to the Georgetown Public Hospital, but it was too late for Rose. Days after the shooting, an injured Nieunkirk recalled that Rose seemed to have known the man and instructed him to reverse the car during the argument. There were reports that his vehicle was trailed when it left the city. Attempts to get a comment from Towler proved futile. When contacted, she said she was traumatised and could not speak at this time.

ers from her illness. Trotman stated that on Monday he received a letter from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) stating that Dr Cummings would have been the replacement for Backer. Dr Cummings received a warm welcome from both sides of the House with loud applause as she took her seat. In addition to the leader of the opposition, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds also used the opportunity to welcome the new MP. Meanwhile, APNU

APNU’s Basil Williams is the new Deputy Speaker

side of the House, there was no other nomination, hence Williams was confirmed as the Deputy Speaker. Backer’s resignation also caused major shifts on the opposition side of

has been promoted to the front row, replacing the former Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud. It is unclear when the former local government minister will return to the House.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Ramotar boasts of Guyana’s religious diversity


Participants of the congress at the Guyana International Conference Centre at Lilendaal

ver 28 leaders representing Islamic cultural centres and associations from around the Caribbean and Latin America on Sunday evening, congregated at the Guyana International Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, to partic-

ipate in the launching ceremony of a three-day conference for Islamic leaders in the region. It was the first time for Guyana; the only English-speaking country in South America, to host the auspicious event. The conference has as its objectives the promo-

tion of the initiative of the two Holy Mosques in Dialogue between different faiths and cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean. President Donald Ramotar and his wife; Prime Minster Samuel Hinds; Culture Youth and Sport Minister, Dr Frank Anthony;

and Opposition Leader David Granger were among the officials present. Delivering the feature address to a packed audience of Muslim believers and other invitees, President Ramotar noted that Guyana is among the few countries in the region that is diverse in culture and religious practices. He said that the country’s three main religions have positively impacted the Guyanese population, pointing out that there is a special connection between culture and religion. “As we well know, religious belief and customs are popular components… religious beliefs and customs are an integral part of wholesomeness. Faith itself is not captured in isolation of culture. Faith exists between cultures,” the president said. He expressed delight over the Islamic body choosing Guyana as the host country for the conference; pointing out

that it will open new avenues for dialogue among leaders. Ramotar said the occasion can be used as an instrument to foster peace and solidarity among national leaders. Muslims comprise a mere 12 per cent of Guyana’s population, and according to Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) President Fazeel Ferouz, the organisation has been at the forefront in promoting religious harmony and dialogue among the different faith-based groups. He said he hoped that the congress would foster more passionate efforts to promote religious uni-

ing in the promotion of a culture of peace and justice based on the values of dialogue, mutual understanding and mutual respect, through its programmes, activities and strategies. He pointed out that ISESCO has been involved in building channels of cooperation with parties sharing common interests. This, he continued will help assist in countering all forms of incitement to hatred, racism, violence and terrorism. Addressing the theme of the conference, the director general explained that “This is in conformity with the relevant

ISESCO Director General, Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri addressing the conference

ty across the world. The Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) Director General, Dr Abdul-Aziz Othman Altwarjiri in his address outlined the organisation’s ties to regional and international bodies around the world. He said the organisation has been engag-

resolution of the Seven Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers, held in Algiers in December 2011, which commended and adopted the document ISESCO prepared on the initiative, and invited the organisation to increase its efforts to put into effect the initiative’s constructive proposals and implementation mechanisms.”

Guyana ranked 67 out...

from page 5

(29th). Cases of violence against journalists are rare in Belize, but

there were some problems: defamation suits involving demands for large amounts in damages, national security restrictions on the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes unfair management of broadcast frequencies. The 2014 index underscores the negative correlation between freedom of information and conflicts, both open conflicts and undeclared ones. In an unstable environment, the media become strategic targets for groups or individuals whose attempts to control news and information violate the guarantees enshrined in international law, in particular, article 19 of the International Covenant

on Civil and Political Rights, the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and the 1977 Protocols Additional 1 and 2 to the Geneva Conventions. “The World Press Freedom Index is a reference tool that is based on seven criteria: the level of abuses, the extent of pluralism, media independence, the environment and self-censorship, the legislative framework, transparency, and infrastructure,” said Reporters Without Borders Secretary General Christophe Deloire. “It makes governments face their responsibilities by providing civil society with an objective measure, and provides international bodies with a good governance indicator to guide their decisions.”



week ending February 16, 2014|

Heightened security in place at CJIA after terror threats – Benn


he Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) said on Monday there were only 13 cancellations of flights in and out of Guyana following a warning by the United States of “unconfirmed threat information” relating to its flights destined for America. “This is to confirm all our flights out of Guyana and into Guyana are operating on schedule. Our flight this morning to JFK Airport (New York) has already operated as scheduled,” said CAL Communication Manager Clint Williams. He said the airline was reminding the travelling public “that we do have in place all the necessary and appropriate security systems to address any issues being raised”. The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) had said on Sunday that it has “adopted the highest security posture to protect passengers, crew, aircraft and airport employees and to ensure the continued smooth and safe operations at the airport”. The CJIA said it was

urging passengers and other airport users to be on the “lookout for any suspicious activities or occurrences and report same to an airport security official”, adding that the heightened security alert would remain in place until the threat is

abundance of caution, the embassy advises all U.S. citizens in Guyana travelling on Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to the United States from Monday, February 10 through Wednesday, February 12, 2014, to make alternate travel

in scheduling for flights of Trinidad and Tobago to various Caribbean territories and North America. The CAL spokesman confirmed that the threat was received on Friday and the authorities in Trinidad,

been launched into the issue, which will see the involvement of the U.S., Trinidad, and Guyana. He said this was not the first time the airlines has received such a threat and while he did not want to speculate otherwise, he believes

no longer deemed valid. The U.S. embassy in Guyana, in an advisory posted on its website Sunday, said: “The embassy has received unconfirmed threat information relating to Caribbean Airlines flights destined for the United States departing on Monday, February 10, 2014. Out of an

arrangements.” Williams, during a telephone interview, said there might have been three to four ticket cancellations which probably resulted from persons wanting to extend their visits and then there were some who did not show up. Williams also added that there were no interruptions

Guyana, and the U.S. were immediately contacted resulting in a boost in security. The call, he said, originated out of Barbados and while he was not sure if it was a hoax or a ploy, the company has taken precautionary measures in order to keep its passengers safe. Williams said an investigation has

that in the business anything is possible, noting that Caribbean Airlines remains one of the trusted carriers in the Caribbean and farther afield. He reiterated, however, that passengers will be subjected to additional security checks, all in an effort to be on the safe side.

Heightened security

Transport Minister Robeson Benn said the telephone threat was made to the Caribbean Airline offices in Barbados and directed to BW Flight 584 travelling out of Guyana on Monday. Information reaching the minister revealed that the threat emanated from a Trinidadian who hung up immediately. Benn said that security personnel of Caribbean Airlines in Trinidad and in Guyana were alerted. As a result, strategic locations at the CJIA were screened and scrubbed to ensure that no sabotage occurred with respect to the targeted airline and any other flight that was scheduled to depart the country. The minister reported that as a result of the heightened security arrangements, the targeted flight was delayed, but landed successfully at Miami. Addressing the National Assembly, Benn said heightened security will remain in place for a number of days to ensure full protection.


week ending February 16, 2014 |



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Construction of One Mile Primary School in Linden to be completed by April 2015


tudents, parents, and teachers of the One Mile Primary School in Linden on Wednesday witnessed the turning of the sod signalling the commencement of the reconstruction of the school, which was burned down during the 2012 Linden upheaval. The school was destroyed by arson in August 2012 during a wave of violent protest action in the community over a government proposed increase in electricity tariffs. More than 800 students were displaced and had to be accommodated at three separate locations across the Linden community. The new state-of-theart facility will be built to the tune of Gy$170 million, and is expected to be completed by February 2015. Education Minister Priya Manickchand, Junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill, Chief Education Officer Olato Sam, Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon, and Region 10 Education Officer Marcia Paddy Andrews

The sod being turned by Education Minister Priya Manickchand in the presence of junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill, Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon, and other officials

were all present to witness the event. At a meeting held at the Wismar Hill Primary School, prior to the turning of the soil at the rebuild site, Manickchand reflected on a meeting held at the venue following the torching of the school.

New building

She said at the time, the ministry was extremely worried that

the affected students had become the victims of bad management. Nevertheless, she noted that it was aware that it was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the students received an education despite the circumstances. Owing to the structural damage to the old building, a new structure will be built. The minister indicated that

she did not know what would happen to the old structure which residents had attempted to rebuild through selfhelp. While she congratulated the efforts of residents, Manickchand noted that the risk was too great to continue rebuilding the structure. The contractor, she noted, is ready to commence the rebuilding process as soon as pos-

sible. Students are expected to be able to utilise the school at the beginning of the new school term in April of next year. Manickchand urged the gathering to pay keen attention to contractors and the manner in which the project is carried out. She added that a Facebook page was created so that persons can voice concerns, and encouraged all to be vigilant in ensuring that the school is constructed to quality standards. In his remarks, Solomon said it was indeed a proud moment for the people of Linden and the children of the community, more so, the 826 students. “The One Mile School is a school that is built on the rich history of what the people of Linden and Region 10 stand for, which is a school that was constructed through selfhelp. We know it is within that spirit that the residents of the One Mile, Half Mile extension would have ensured that they educated their pupils and children to appreciate the finer things that the school

would have progressively allowed for them to appreciate.


“… I’m grateful for that position adopted by the government, to ensure that all the pupils of the One Mile school can be housed at one time, under one unique structure,” the regional chairman said. Solomon noted that the school ranked second in terms of academic performances, and despite the challenges presented by the fire, the students remained resilient. He said he was certain that the contractors will ensure that the people of Region 10 receive quality work and the process will also be reflective of the amount of money spent. The regional chairman expressed hope that Lindeners will be employed as skilled personnel on the project, indicating that he was looking forward to government’s continued support. Solomon also thanked persons who had contributed to the attempt by Lindeners to rebuild the school through self-help.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

'Shelly G' storms into soca finals 2

009 soca queen Shellon “Shelly G” Garraway stormed into this year’s finals with an outstanding performance at the New Amsterdam Stelling Road Saturday night,

with her eye-catching outfit, which had many ogling. Forced to recreate the party atmosphere after “G Money” poured cold water on it with his lacklustre performance,

Vanilla belting out “Yada Yada”

leading 12 others into this year’s soca monarch billed for the National Park this weekend. Outperforming most of her competitors with her raunchy lyrics, Garraway also added spice to her performance

Garraway, who won the title back in 2009 with “Daggering”, stormed the stage to dish out her piece “Party Animal”. She had the crowd in the palm of her hands as she delivered to perfection. Her every move

was well executed, but she might have spent a little over her allotted five minutes. M e a n w h i l e , Berbicians turned out in their numbers to witness an evening of intense rivalry among the contenders in the 10th Annual Carib Soca Monarch, as they battled to secure a place into the finals. As flashing multicoloured lights beamed through the dark skies; music to its loudest; well decked women in the skimpiest outfits; artistes adding their final touches to their ensemble, the venue was all set for a fabulous evening. It was well known that one lesson was learnt and that was people in the ancient country come out late to party; thus, it would have severely thwarted a prompt start. The proposed starting time was 21:00h but by 22:00h, the crowd started to build up and soon after the members of the Heat Waves Band, namely Jackie Hanover, Calvin Burnette and Mark Batson created a carnival like atmosphere as they dished out several genre of music, ranging from soca to dance-

“Shelly G” performing to her best during the competition

hall and reggae. After a spectacular 45-minute performance from the Heat Waves Band, the rain drops started to trickle down, followed by heavy downpours, turning the atmosphere into a perfect night for a j’ouvert party for some. Others were seen scampering for cover wherever there was a shade, even if it meant under the stage. Due to the heavy downpour, the band members were forced to disconnect their equipment and store them under tarpaulins on standby. This did not stop the

deejays from heating things up with their excellent music selection. The night’s proceeding was emceed by well known dancer Leslyn Lashley. First to take to the stage was Clifton “Passion” Adolphus, belting out “Cost Of Living”, which was a little off key, but did not stop the crowd from having a good time. Another artiste Natoya London, appeared on stage and performed “Mass”, which from all indications did not impress the audience and the same thing could be said of the performance from Colbert

“Magga Man” Dublin, who sang “Log On Pon a Bumpa”. A hyped Roger “Roger B” Bowen performed “Love”, denouncing hate and crime, but with a touch of soca rhythm. He was followed by a stiff Kemmyanna “Kemmy” Garnette, who performed “Designated Winer” but did not do much justice to the song. However, the next performer, Orlando “Bones Man” Johashen was full of energy and undoubtedly had the audience enjoying every bit of it. continued on page 24



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Rohee says low confidence in police driven by personal experiences


ome Affairs M i n i s t e r Clement Rohee has said public confidence in the Guyana Police Force is influenced by people’s personal perception and their experiences. This, the minister told Guyana Times International in an exclusive interview, also stemmed from cases where persons made complaints and did not get satisfaction. “As you move around the country, you will hear views that expressed a lack of public confidence in the Guyana Police Force and I think this is coming from personal experiences or maybe an experience that has to do with a relative or family member… particularly if

the family is of the view that the investigations are not going in their satisfaction and they perceived slothfulness; they perceived connivance or collusion with the perpetrators.” Rohee added that these things might not be true, but people generally draw conclusions based on observations. He also stated that the perception is driven by sections of the media which drive fear in the public that crime is escalating, and the police are not in a position to bring it down. The minister however feels that there are variations with respect to public confidence, noting that on the other hand, there might be some people who have had excel-

lent experience with the police as their matter was effectively and thoroughly handled.

Effectiveness of the GPF

The minister said that there are several aspects when it comes to police effectiveness in fighting crime, noting that one has to look at the accumulated effects in bringing down the crime statistics. On that note, he referred to the Christmas season as an example, whereby the police have been very effective in controlling the crime situation. “This was mainly because there were tons of police ranks on the roads; the patrols were more intense; and there were joint services activities as well,” he added. Rohee stated that

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee

while persons are bashing the force for their ineffectiveness, there are crimes that are reported and those that are not, reiterating that it is difficult for the police to go after the ones that are not reported. The nonreporting of crime, he noted, is due to the fact that people remain quiet

and more so feel that if they do, it will not make a difference. On the other hand, they are those who will aggressively go after the police to get things done. With respect to effectiveness of the Guyana Police Force, Rohee said one has to look over a period of time to honestly answer that question as well looking at the trends to see whether the figures are coming down. The minister believes that the figures are up not because the police are not doing anything, but rather when the crime was perpetuated, the police were nowhere around. He is cognisant of the fact that there are certain categories of crime

that the police alone cannot handle, thus, a societal intervention must be sought, referring to disorderly murder and those stemming from domestic violence.

Lack of cooperation

He further stated that the Guyana Police Force is a massive organisation that comprises a large number of people, acknowledging that there will be one or two individuals who bring the organisation into disrepute by engaging in illegal activities. He made specific reference to the Colwyn Harding and another matter involving a teenager, pointing out that these allegations were presented as facts for political reasons by persons with mischievous intent.

EU plugs Gy$39.1M into Merundoi project E

uropean Union (EU) envoy Robert Kopecký and Merundoi Inc Executive Director Margaret Lawrence signed a grant contract to implement a project entitled, “Modelling and Reinforcement to Combat Domestic Violence’’.

subjected to the scourge of domestic violence, are particularly important and the Merundoi project seemed particularly appropriate in this regard. “We look forward to an effective implementation of the project as it complements the existing work on the ground

ing domestic violence locally. Lawrence said research shows that domestic violence crosses racial and socioeconomic lines with 31 women killed in 2012, 24 in 2013, and four in January 2014. The project will sensitise men and young boys

Ambassador Robert Kopecký and Executive Director of Merundoi Margaret Lawrence sign the grant contract

The grant comes to a total of 137,222 euros ($39.1 million) and is funded from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) 2012-2013 country allocation for Guyana, the EU said in a statement. “Not only does the EU advocate for better protection for victims of domestic violence, the EU also advocates for the eradication of domestic violence in all forms. The rights of vulnerable persons, especially those

initiated by the government of Guyana and other civil society partners,” said Kopecký The head of the EU delegation added that “on June 6, 2013, the EU adopted the European Protection Order (EPO) which will help to protect victims of crime and victims of violence, wherever they go in Europe: the protection will travel with the citizen”. The ambassador opined that the EPO could be looked at for best practices in combat-

to the effects of GenderBased Violence (GBV), encouraging them to adopt new behaviours; empower women and girls to identify all abuse and protect themselves; and facilitate general dialogue leading to behaviour change.


The overall objectives of the Merundoi Inc project are to sensitise men and young boys about the effects of GBV, and encourage them to adopt new attitudes, behaviours and practices that

will improve their lives; to educate young people about GBV as a preventive approach with education rooted in gender- and rights-based approaches; and to empower women to identify all forms of abuse and to take action to protect

themselves. The aforementioned activities will all be implemented primarily via the utilisation of entertainment and education (edutainment) to raise general awareness leading to raising questions and fostering dialogue

that will lead to attitude and behaviour changes. The EIDHR is a selfstanding financing instrument that provides assistance for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide, and in Guyana,

continued on page 20



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Martelly hails political dialogue in Haiti H

aitian President Michel Martelly, in an address to the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS), hailed the political dialogue taking place in his country, as its legislative and municipal elections near. In a protocolary meeting of the council convened in his honour, during which he was introduced by OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, and the Chair of the Permanent Council and Ambassador of The Dominican Republic, Pedro Vergés, President Martelly explained that, with the support of the Catholic Church, an “inter-Haitian and consensual dialogue is taking place”. He said it “will allow us to define a frame of reference for the consolidation of our achievements in terms of democratic governance and to ensure the predictability of our system for the regular holding of democratic and inclusive elections, necessary for political stability and the economic and social development of Haiti”. The ceremony was held in the Hall of the

Americas at the headquarters of the organisation in Washington, DC, in the presence of all the permanent representatives of the member countries of the OAS. “I am pleased by the progress made in the electoral process that will culminate with the election of the legislature and local authorities during 2014, strengthened by the adoption and publication of the electoral law and the law on the operation of political parties,” the president added.

Strategic vision

In his address, the Haitian leader expressed his support for the debate over the strategic vision of the OAS being held in the Permanent Council, the product of an initiative of the secretary general. “I would like to thank and congratulate the secretary general, José Miguel Insulza, for having started a reflection and a profound debate on the strategic vision of the OAS for the coming decades. It is a debate that should be promoted and encouraged,” he said. President Martelly also referred to the recent decision by the

Haitian President Michel Martelly

Constitutional Court of The Dominican Republic related to the citizenship of immigrants born in Dominican territory, the majority of whom are of Haitian descent. “I would like to thank the countries that joined forces to look for a solution, respectful of human rights, to this problem. For now, a process of dialogue is underway between Haiti and The Dominican Republic,” he said. The Haitian leader added that “in the context of these negotiations, The Dominican Republic has adopted a series of commitments that should allow us to find a successful solution, something we firmly desire. I invite all the countries of the OAS to

continue supporting this process and to maintain the same vigilance concerning human rights, so that there is not a single stateless person in the region.”


Martelly assured that his country is on the road to recovery from the devastating earthquake of January 2010, noting

that it celebrates 210 years of independence this year. He stressed that his government devotes 14 per cent of its budget to education – providing free education to 1.4 million children and restoring more than a thousand damaged schools while building 369 new ones. President Martelly noted his country’s closeness to the OAS, with which it will co-organise a meeting for investors in the middle of this year, and its commitment to host the general assembly of the organisation in 2015. “We hope to see you in Haiti in July 2014, during our meeting on investment and, in June 2015, during the 45th Regular Meeting of the OAS General Assembly,”

he said. Finally, the Haitian president expressed his solidarity with the country’s neighbours – Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, which suffered heavy and damaging floods in December. “You will agree with me that the vulnerability to natural disasters is common to almost all the small states of the Greater Caribbean,” he said. He added that this “is an issue that must continue to be addressed at a regional level, and that’s why I strongly appeal for the strengthening of regional and subregional structures and mechanisms for the prevention and management of risks and disasters.”

Gunmen invade mining firm in Georgetown


HFD Mining Supplies Inc which was invaded by gunmen

wo gunmen on Monday carried out a daring robbery on the HFD Mining Supplies Inc located at Forshaw and Oronoque streets, Queenstown, Georgetown, leaving staff members terrified as they carted off an undisclosed sum of cash and other items. According to information received, the two men went to the business under the pretext of conducting business, but, as they were

approached by an employee, they pulled out their guns and demanded cash. After they were told that the company did not keep money at the office, they turned on the employees and relieved them of their personal belongings and mobile phones. They also ransacked the business place fruitlessly searching for money. As they were leaving, they reportedly broke several valuable

items in the store. They also damaged the security cameras that were mounted in and out of the building. They left in a waiting motor car. HFD Mining Supplies Inc General Manager Stephon Dawson, when contacted, said he was in Trinidad heading to Guyana, but he received the distress call earlier in the day. During the telephone interview, Dawson emphasised that his company did not keep a large sum of money at the store for that very same reason. He was happy that none of his employees were injured, but noted they were still shaken by the ordeal. At the time of the incident, he said there were about five staff members whose mobile phones and personal items were taken away. Several surveillance cameras were destroyed by the men as they entered the business place. The general manager said the police were summoned and are investigating the robbery.

EU plugs Gy$39.1M into...

from page 19

it specifically aims at assisting civil society to become an effective force for political reform and the defence of human rights. Since 2010, the EU delegation in Guyana has launched regular calls for proposals under this thematic line and to date has provided grant financial assistance to a total of 22 beneficiaries, totalling approximately 1.4 mil-

lion euros (Gy$399 million). It is envisaged that the grant to Merundoi Inc will supplement the work already undertaken by other grant beneficiaries locally, and the organisation will be working over the next 24 months towards the effective roll-out of the activities foreseen under the intervention. Merundoi is an

Amerindian (Akawaio) word which means strength, stamina, courage, and hope. The organisation bearing that name is a non-governmental organisation, established in 2007, to work with its partners towards a Guyanese society where every child has the right to grow up in a safe and secure family and community.



week ending February 16, 2014 |



our Eyewitness knows he promised to get off this “Budget Cut Ruling” by the Chief Justice. There’s only so much people can take – on even the sexiest of topics. And we suspect that budget cuts aren’t that sexy to begin with, anyway. But the opposition posse is determined to fill the air with disinformation, which could have a serious blowback for all of us. So, here we go again. Granger insists that the National Assembly can make whatever rules for its operation that it so wishes. Meaning, of course, what its majority wishes – with the opposition being the said majority right now. And he points to an article of the Constitution that says just that. But rules have consequences, no? So we’ll ask Granger and crew a simple question that shouldn’t even tax their noggins too much – and we’ll even illustrate it for them to leave no ambiguity. “What if the rule allows a consequence that is prohibited by another act of the Constitution? One, say, that is illegal. Like directing the Sergeant at Arms to horsewhip any MP who curses in the hallowed chamber?” Now we hope no matter how Granger can’t stand Nagamootoo (and thinks he’s crass), surely he’ll agree that horsewhipping the fella for yelling at his grandson, “shut yuh so-andso mouth!!!” in Parliament is a bit over the top? But suppose it’s Carl’s call. We know Carl can be real mean, right, Granger? So who’s to stop this illegality (cruel and inhuman treatment) and depravity? Well, Dear Reader, this is where the courts come in – in this case, the Chief Justice. It’s the remit of the court (says the same Constitution) to decide whether the law (including the Constitution) is being flouted or not. Even when, as in this case, the disagreement is between two arms of government – the executive and the legislature. Even Burnham accepted that position, when one of his actions was ruled out of line by the courts. Burnham didn’t go around maligning the courts. He accepted the principle of what is called “judicial review”. Now Burnham, as we know, didn’t like to take “last licks” – so, using his fraudulent “two-thirds majority”, he changed the offending article of the Constitution. So, maybe the opposition, if they really believe in “Parliament uber alles”, should amend the Constitution to so declare. In the meantime, the courts are the arbiter of the Constitution. Story done!


But Granger wasn’t satisfied in rejecting the role of the courts to determine whether any person or institution’s actions will result in illegalities. He petulantly blurted out that the Chief Justice isn’t “omniscient”!! Well, who the heck ever said he was? And, of course, Justice Chang could be wrong. But then again, he could be right – which is what Granger refuses to accept. But it’s not just ironic that in making that statement, Granger’s actually saying that he, Granger, is omniscient – it’s downright frightening. Can you imagine such a person getting his hands on executive power? Whatever he says will have to be RIGHT!!! Or else! And this is the mindset that makes dictators click, isn’t it? Judges aren’t omniscient and for this reason we have “appeals”. There are “higher” judges who will review the decision. Granger knows this, because he has appealed the Chief Justice’s decision. So he’s only playing the fool – for the gallery. But as in everything in life, the buck has to stop somewhere, doesn’t it? When those soldiers shot the two men protecting the ballot boxes at Number 63 Village, the inquiry panel said it was OK, didn’t they? And Granger is on record with agreeing with them, no?


Granger claims some of his hysterics are due to the “powers” conferred on ministers of government by the AML/CFT Bill. But the AG has assured him that it’s at the request of the CFATF. Go complain to them.

“Declare every ounce of gold” Persaud warns miners N a t u r a l Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud on Saturday urged miners to declare every ounce of gold produced locally, as he warned against the smuggling of the mineral. “Last year was quite an interesting year, we had record high declaration and that is extremely good, and I want to salute our miners, and GGMC [Guyana Geology and Mines Commission] and all those who played a part… we all know that much more could have been declared. I want to challenge everyone, as we get into full production that we seek to declare every single ounce that is produced in this country, because we continuously receive reports within the Guyanese [community] and even our allies outside of Guyana about reports and allegation about smuggling, and I want to encourage all others [to use] whatever influence you have to ensure that every single ounce is declared, because that is how the people of Guyana benefit and also it would do the sector well,” Persaud told those gathered at an event to welcome new GGMC Chairman Clinton Williams. The event was held at Club 704, Lamaha Street, Georgetown. Persaud said the ap-

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud, and Natural Resources and Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary Joslyn Mackenzie with Guyana Gold Board President, Dr Gobin Persaud; GGMC Chairman Clinton Williams; GGMC Commissioner Rickford Vieira; and Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association head Patrick Harding

pointment of the new chairman as well as the GGMC Commissioner, Rickford Vieira should result in the continued advancement of the mining sector. “Our emphasis is on expanded growth, as well as diversification, because of the unstable and unpredictable nature of mineral commodities. We need to diversify, we need to ensure that the wide range of the potential resources that we have are fully developed, fully utilised, but also doing so in harmony with our environment, as well as our social obligation, and I am quite sure under his (Williams’) leadership, we will see continued emphasis on the policies and programmes that would promote and allow such growth,” the minister said.

Exploration activities

Persaud said this year the ministry will be encouraging much more prospecting and exploration activities in other minerals. “You know we had the setback in Muri [Brasil Ventures backing out], I was very disappointed in terms of the short-sightedness of some individuals and groupings, but we are going to move beyond that, and we are continuing to explore and develop whatever potential exists, because we cannot be the country talking about mining and we are only focusing on gold or bauxite or quarry, sand and diamond,” he said. In his address as new chairman, Williams noted that his role has been defined even before he came on board and that is to continue to make the industry significant in terms of its contribution to

the growth of Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP); foreign export earnings; and the stabilising of the economy. He said the GGMC is working on a number of interventions that it will soon introduce to the sector to make it more efficient. There was a 10 per cent increase in gold declaration in 2013, with a record 481,000 ounces declared, compared with 438,000 ounces in 2012. Export volume also increased by about six per cent, with 482,000 ounces being exported in 2013, as against 455,000 ounces in 2012. On the other hand, the price of gold plummeted by 27.2 per cent in 2013, losing about US$451 per ounce, from a high of US$1673.75 per ounce in January to about US$1204 at the end of December.

Trade Union body wants special tax waiver for persons with dependents


he Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) has discussed with Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh its vision for persons with more than one dependant to receive a waiver on Pay As You Earn (PAYE)/ Income Tax. The union’s general secretary Kenneth Joseph said the discussion was held during the recent budget meeting with the minister and his team. Joseph told Guyana Times International that this issue was discussed before, but FITUG thought it necessary to bring it back to the forefront, so that it could be looked at seriously. “This is not something we spoke about this year, but it’s something we’ve been talking about a lot,” he said. The FITUG general secretary noted that per-

sons with dependants could vary from adult children, to grandchildren, parents, and grandparents. He explained that in some cases, one person is the bread winner, with the responsibility to feed and shelter a large household. Joseph said he believes if the income tax is lowered for such an individual, it would give him or her more spending power and thereby assist more in meeting the household’s monthly expenses. FITUG, he said, has also urged the government to raise the threshold from Gy$50,000 to Gy$100,000. Joseph said when the threshold was introduced; the trade union movement recognised that productivity went down. He, therefore, believes that government should seek to restructure its tax system to

FITUG General Secretary Kenneth Joseph

enable the citizenry to lead productive and happy lives, thereby making more valuable contributions to the country’s overall development. He said FITUG also wants to see a reduction in the 16 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on local construction materials. During the talk with FITUG, the minister thanked the trade union movement for the constructive suggestions and recommendations it has made over the years

to informed government policy on a number of important issues. The minister also acknowledged the positions taken by FITUG on issues of national importance, including the condemnation of the budget cuts imposed by the opposition in previous years, which have since been ruled to be unconstitutional by acting Chief Justice Ian Chang. The government, he said, will continue to engage other stakeholders in the coming days and weeks as part of its ongoing efforts to receive the views of all parties on issues which will positively impact Guyana’s economic prosperity. Minister Singh said government will remain resolute in working with all stakeholders who share a common vision for economic growth and development of the country.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Guyana, T&T to finalise land/farming deal the twin island. Besides the 500,000 hectares that are under full cultivation, Guyana has 3.3 million hectares of potential agricultural land remaining.


Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy and his Trinidadian counterpart, Devant Maharaj


g r i c u l t u r e M i n i s t e r , Dr Leslie Ramsammy and Trinidad and Tobago’s Agriculture Minister, Devant Maharaj are scheduled to meet within two weeks to finalise an agreement that will see large-scale farming done in Guyana by investors from the twin-island republic. During an exclusive interview with Guyana Times International, Dr Ramsammy said while it has been agreed that 10,000 acres of land in the Canje Basin will be used by the Trinidadian investors, the Agriculture Department in Trinidad and Tobago and the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) are

working earnestly to finalise the first set of crops to be planted. The planting of corn, soya, cassava, and legumes as well as the rearing of fish and poultry are the activities the parties are considering at the moment. When the two parties have completed their work, the countries will finalise the logistics. The agriculture minister said the finalisation of this agreement will also pave the way for Guyanese farmers to easily access the Trinidad market. This has been an issue for some farmers in the past. In 2013, Guyana and Trinidad signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the release of land to investors and farmers of

The Trinidad and Tobago Agriculture Society, United Farmers Association, and the Trinidad and Tobago Cane Producers Association have objected to the MoU signed between Trinidad and Tobago. It was contended that the agreement would not put a dent in TT’s $4 billion food importation bill, as was claimed. But Dr Ramsammy said it was clearly a misunderstanding. “There were some objections by the farmers who thought that they still have land in Trinidad… but I think since then, the Ministry of Agriculture has had meetings with the farmers clarifying what is to be done.” He said Trinidadian investors are just being given the opportunity to invest in Guyana, noting that the Trinidadian government will continue to invest in small farmers in the twin island. “There was a feeling that Trinidad was abandoning agriculture in Trinidad to pursue agriculture in Guyana, but that is not the case.”

2m Euros grant fund available for local Guyanese businesses


cting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali has announced that under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), some two million euros in grant funds is available for local businesses to expand and raise the quality of services they offer. The minister, who was at the time speaking at a press briefing at his ministry’s South Road, Georgetown office, called on eligible businesspersons to apply and take advantage of the opportunity. The funds are made accessible to persons and companies who are already in businesses. These companies, the minister said, will have to match the amounts taken from the grant fund, dollar for dollar. Businesses eligible for the grant must meet the criteria, which includes being an individual or company legally registered and operating in a CARIFORUM member state. They must also be trading for at least two years and exporting or demonstrate their potential to export goods and services. The minister added that the progamme has immense scope for economic tourism companies. Grants awarded under the programme are at a minimum, $6000

Housing Minister Irfaan Ali

euros and a maximum, 30,000 euros. The period to execute the project may not exceed six months from the signing of the grant contract and no extensions will be granted to beneficiaries. All proposed project activities must be completed within the six-month period.

Companies eligible to apply

The types of companies eligible include equipment modernisation, food safety standard, research, development and innovation, advisory services, product and service development, training programmes, implementation of information technology solutions (example website, e-commerce and multimedia), market research and testing, packaging, design and intellectual property activities. Ali added that a number of other Caribbean

countries have already benefited immensely from the grant fund, including Barbados and Jamaica while in Guyana, only six companies have applied and benefitted. These companies included the Brass Aluminum and Cast Iron Foundry and TCL Guyana Limited. Businesses applying must meet the requirements which include financial and operational capacity and must be relevant to the scheme, that is, the objectives of the regional private sector development programme and the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme. The deadline for applications is March 7, at 16:30h. Applications must be submitted via the dedicated email address: on or before the stated deadline for the call for proposals. Private Sector Commission Chairman Ronald Webster said the project is one that is welcomed by the private sector and also echoed the call for businesspersons to take full advantage of the opportunity to expand their businesses. Tourism Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary Dhaneshwar Deonarine said persons or businesses desirous of applying or getting more information about the project can visit the Tourism Ministry.

Magazine aimed as inspiring young Guyanese launched


nspire Guyana”, a new magazine aimed at helping students to ascertain what they want to be by providing career information and professionals’ profiles, was launched on Saturday evening in Georgetown. “I never went overseas to live; I have a heart for the children of Guyana and I am committed to staying here and working with them, developing them,” those were the words of Captain Orlando Charles, the owner of the new magazine. Charles said the magazine is aimed at informing young people of the opportunities they would have available when they finish school. He said: “I realised, over the past 10 years, students are not sure of what they want to become, so I thought of ways of informing them.” Captain Charles continued that the initial idea was to produce a handout, but it grew and the idea for the magazine was con-

ceived. Tricia Azaire, production coordinator of the magazine, said after observing some of the career days held for students, they found that they left much to be desired, hence they identified the areas that were lacking. She said, “Students were very receptive to the idea, because, in retrospect, it would have been ideal for them to decide what subjects they were going to write at Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.” She further explained that the magazine has an interactive page whereby readers can provide feedback and give information on what they would like to see published in the magazine. Azaire further stated that the magazine will be published bi-monthly and would be available for the low cost of Gy$400. She added that they are looking to work with the ministries that conduct training pro-

“Inspire Guyana” Production Coordinator Tricia Azaire and owner Captain Orlando Charles unveil the magazine at the launch on Saturday evening at Queen’s College

grammes, so the magazines could be made available to their students also. “For people to aspire to greatness they need two things, which are access and opportunity, which we are looking to do,” she declared.

Culture, Youth, and Sport Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, who briefly addressed the gathering, said he sees the magazine as a way for youths to get role models, since it features personality profiles. “This magazine is aptly named “Inspire

Guyana”… it is an extremely good way for youths to get role models.” He added that he welcomes the initiative and his ministry looks forward to working with the team in their endeavour to enhance the

lives of Guyana’s youth. Also addressing the gathering was 2013 top CSEC student Zimeena Rasheed, who was also featured in the magazine. She noted that the magazine was an excellent initiative and an extremely great thing for its intended audience. “Young people will now be able to explore and choose from the opportunities offered to them in Guyana.” C a r i b b e a n Examinations Council (CXC) Senior Assistant Registrar Verieux Mourillon has endorsed the publication. Verieux said: “Inspire Guyana will connect the dots from the career information, the study path and meeting financial requirements to the continued building of a prosperous and peaceful Guyana.” The publisher noted that the magazine will be made available in schools next week and readers will also be given the opportunity to win prizes.

23 70 trained to detect fraudulent documents G news

week ending February 16, 2014

uyana is now better poised to counter the production and use of fraudulent documents as it has trained 70 persons and has received 200 fraudulent document detection kits. Last Friday, two batches of 35 persons each concluded training under the Fraudulent Document Detection Programme. At the Guyana Police Force Training Centre, Young and Camp streets, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee received the kits from Canadian High Commissioner, Dr Nicole Giles, courtesy of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). The kits consist of portable magnifiers and hand held black lights. Training, which started in October 2013, comprised theoretical sessions which were followed up by a four-day intense practical training from February 04 and concluded Friday. Officials from the Guyana Police Force, Customs and Immigration and the General Register Office all participated. Minister Rohee noted that this training programme must be seen

He expressed gratitude on behalf on the government towards the Canadian authorities, noting that the training will go a long way in enhancing Guyana’s fight against transnational crimes. Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell, who opened the training in October 2013, high-


assured that what was learnt would be implemented to the fullest extent in order to combat the use of fake documents. High Commissioner Giles noted that transnational criminal threats cannot be faced in isolation, but international threats need international attention. “It is for

of fraudulent documents, through the implementation of the Fraudulent Document Detection Programme.” Guyana now stands in a better position to restrict the use of falsified documents on a largescale basis, create a level of competency of on-thespot detection of fraudulent documents, and

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee receives two of the kits from Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr Nicole Giles

in context of the government’s fight against transnational organised crimes, and an effort in building capacity to be able to be part of the fight. He said that while fraudulent documents are not a new threat, the techniques used to develop them have become more modern and sophisticated, therefore the counter that is used in the fight against it should be developed in order to be effective.


The minister sees this training programme as a part of the effort to modernise the Guyana Police Force. “The training programme which has been offered by the Canadian authorities in this particular area is aimed at enhancing the awareness, efficiency and capacity of the persons that were trained to detect fraudulent documents,” the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported him as saying.

Some of the participants who completed the Fraudulent Document Detection Programme

lighted that the force was grateful for the opportunity presented to them by the CFLI, and

this reason Canada and Guyana have chosen to co-operate and tackle the threat posed by the use

improve the level of investigative skills in cases involving such documents.

Under pressure: APNU says 11th hour Calgary University AML amendments are not deliberate team in Guyana


pposition Leader David Granger said there is no need to send amendments made to the AntiMoney Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2013 to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). On Monday, President Ramotar wrote Granger, suggesting that the coalition’s amendments to the anti-money laundering bill be sent to the CFATF and the FATF for a determination on whether they are practical. Granger, however, has not responded to the president, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported. According to him, the AML select committee is competent enough to determine what will be in the best interest of Guyanese. Guyana should report to the CFATF and the FATF when the work of the committee is completed, he opined. The APNU leader

dispelled allegations now levelled against the coalition that it deliberately waited until the 11th hour to put forward its amendments. “It was not a deliberate delay.” Late Sunday night, APNU tabled three primary amendments which include the establishment of an AntiMoney Laundering Authority. Additionally, the amendments if approved will give the police and the customs authorities the power to seize large amounts of cash and jewellery anywhere, once there is reasonable suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing. Additionally, it gives the National Assembly the powers to appoint staffers of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). According to Granger, it was only on Sunday, the committee arrived at the pivotal point to make such amendments. It was explained that the opposition at the level of the committee was “going through the clauses” step by step. “We did not reach that stage

until Sunday night, it was not deliberate,” he maintained. Granger said too that the opposition was also awaiting key presentations from Christopher Ram, Clive Thomas, and the Bar Association. The delay in the passage of the bill has garnered the attention of the international community. Russian Ambassador to Guyana Nikolay Smirnov is among the diplomats who have written the opposition leader in concern. In a letter dated February 6, 2014, Smirnov called on Granger to take stock of the concerns raised by the people of Guyana and the developed world. The Russian ambassador said the AML bill has captured the attention of countries around the world. “The issue has been discussed at the G8 Summit at Lough Erne, United Kingdom in June 2013 and G20 Summit in St Petersburg, Russia in September 2013,” he reported. Since July 1, 2013, the Russian Federation

has been presiding at FATF, hence the country strongly upholds efforts of the organisation aimed at effective implementation of FATF standards, he said. On this ground, he encouraged the opposition leader to take the necessary steps to ensure the enactment of the outlined standards. “I have noted concerns expressed by the government of Guyana and various stakeholders, including the Private Sector Commission and the Georgetown Commerce, international experts about the lack of agreement in the Parliament on the passage of the proposed amendment on the AMLCFT Act.” It is the hope of the Russian ambassador that the opposition leader acts in the interest of Guyana’s development. Of recent, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and Caricom called on the National Assembly to pass the bill, explaining that the country is at risk of being further sanctioned by the CFATF and the FATF.

to discuss kidney transplant services


team of health care providers from the University of Calgary is on a visit to Guyana with a main focus on chronic kidney diseases and transplant services. The visiting team will be meeting with officials from the Health Ministry and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) to discuss the implementation of chronic kidney diseases and transplant services in Guyana. The team consists of highly qualified health practitioners. These include Serdar Yilmaz, MD, PhD, Southern Alberta Transplant Programme; Nairne Scott-Douglas MD PhD, medical director, Southern Alberta Renal; Judy Dean RN, clinical nurse, Educator, Southern Alberta Renal and Transplant Programme; Janice James RN, modality/peritoneal dialysis nurse clinician, Southern Alberta

Renal Programme; and Genevieve Mc Michael BSP, nephrology and transplant pharmacist, Southern Alberta Renal and Transplant Programme. A series of CMEs has also been organised through a collaborative effort between the GPHC, and the Institute of Health Science Education Department, that will be open to all doctors and other medical practitioners. The lectures will be held at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, and will focus on various topics surrounding chronic kidney diseases. The topics include patient at risk for chronic kidney diseases, kidney transplant, patient care in the 21 century, screening, and treatment of end stage kidney diseases and management of patients with the disease. The team will be in Guyana until February 20.



week ending February 16, 2014


Hire purchase APNU calls for judicial inquiry legislation coming soon into torture allegations Partnership For - draft in final stages National Unity


cting Tourism and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali said when the hire purchase legislation comes into effect, consumers will no longer be at the mercy of hire purchase schemes, noting that the current system that prevails is disadvantageous to consumers. Speaking at a recent press briefing at his ministry’s South Road, Georgetown office, the minister said, “we are working on having the hire purchase legislation laid in Parliament before the recess,” adding: “I know we have been having a lot of problems with the repossession in the automobile industry and now also with the gold miners… we have persons paying as much as 80 per cent and just because of the remainder not being paid they lose the items and the money they would have already paid.” Ali added that the bill is not only being drafted with the protection of the consumer in mind, but also that of the companies that offer hire purchase plans. Currently, consumers who would have failed to complete payments on products bought on hire purchase would have their items repos-

offer a network of protection to both parties, but more particularly the vulnerable hirer.”

Free to sell property

Attorney General Anil Nandlall

sessed by the stores, even though they have paid a large part of the sum owed. Meanwhile, Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall had disclosed that the hire purchase legislation is in its final stages. He explained that the bill is one of tremendous importance, since a key percentage of the populace uses such agreements to purchase automobiles, household appliances and furniture and can only claim ownership of their goods after they have paid the total value. The minister further stated that the bill is directed to protect a vast majority of Guyanese who remain vulnerable to hire purchase schemes. “These legislative interventions are all intended and designed to bring more balance to the relationship and to

One of the clauses in the proposed bill states that if at any point in time a hirer defaults in the payment of an installment, the owner is entitled to repossess the hired goods, forfeit all payments made and is free to sell to a third party. Hence, persons would no longer be charged after attempting to sell a vehicle or items bought on hire purchase. Zoning in on hire purchase agreements between auto dealers and consumers, the minister pointed out that although registration and licences of insurance are all issued in the name of the buyer, the lawful ownership of the motor vehicle remains with the auto dealer. Miners have long complained of great losses, saying that after paying more than 50 per cent of the value of the items, they are repossessed without regard for the sometimes unavoidable spontaneous hardships the industry faces. They pleaded for urgent interventions to bring some reprieve, principally for the small and medium scale miners.

Shelly G storms into...

from page 18

Following suit was Berbician Melissa “Vanilla” Roberts, who dished out “Yada Yada”. The crowd was a bit jaded with her performance, but after a little prompting, they switched gear into gyrating mode. Also creating some vibes was Jonathan “Lil Red” King with his tune “Who Are We?” which was seen as the best entry in the Carib Soca Monarch, but he did not perform to his fans’ expectations. He was followed by Timeka “Lady T” Sinclair, who exploded with energy and charm as she captivated the attention of the audience with “Hit The Road”. Many believed that her presentation might have been the best for the evening. Her fans turned up in their numbers and supported her to the fullest. Her performance undoubtedly gave her the edge over her competitors. Abigail ‘AJ’ James and Ernesta Nelson also performed well with Ernesta get-

ting the edge of James. They performed “What Can You Do With You Bumpa” and “Ridiculous Winning” respectively. As the competition winds down, National Communications Network’s (NCN) Quacy “Avalanche” Coates hit the stage with “Spartan”, which did not go down well with the audience due to the fact they could not have heard the words clearly. Levar “Ahzula” Gittens was also not too impressive as he appeared on stage in dark shades and a bandana tied around his head as he performed “De Bouncing Stop”. At last year’s competition, he performed “Same Thing”, a version of Bunge Garlin’s “Ready For The Road”. This year, with something saucier, Kwesi “Ace” Edmondson dished out “Still In The Game” and indeed from his performance, he has a right to say so. He was superb as he took to the stage as one of the favourites to win the competition.

The last two performances for the evening were from Compton “Mysterious” Boyce who did “Spin Them” and Ivelaw Maxwell who belted out “Iron Supplier”. Boyce’s performance was not too intriguing to the audience and Maxwell’s was totally out of it. His presentation was akin to a poet listlessly reciting a poem. This might have been the worst presentation for the evening. After 30 minutes of deliberation by the judges; the final 13 were announced by Lashley and Nigel Worrell of ANSA McAL. They include Shelly G, Passion, Roger B, Kemmy, Bones Man, Vanilla, Lil Red, Lady T, AJ, Avalanche, Ace and Mysterious. The 13 finalists will be competing for Gy$1.5 million on Saturday next and the chance to win the coveted title of Carib Soca Monarch 2014. The winner will represent Guyana at the International Soca Monarch in Trinidad and Tobago in 2015.


(APNU) leader, Brigadier (retired) David Granger is calling for an independent judicial inquiry into all reports of torture over the last seven years. Speaking at the party’s weekly press briefing on Friday, Granger made reference to several cases of alleged torture, including that of Twyon Thomas, who was arrested in 2007 on suspicion of involvement in the murder of People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) stalwart Ramnauth Bisram. The youngster was placed at the La Grange Police Station before he was sent to the Leonora Police Station where he was reportedly beaten and burnt. David Leander was also arrested in 2007 and was beaten to the extent that he was rendered incapable of independent mobility. Patrick Summer and Victor Jones were arrested by the police force and taken to different army bases where they were allegedly tortured. More recently, Colwyn Harding claimed

Opposition Leader David Granger

that he was baton-raped while incarcerated at the Timehri Police Station in November last year. Granger also noted that the government is mandated to take all necessary measures to prevent torture. “Guyana, as a signatory to the Convention on Torture, is obliged to take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction,” he said. Granger further pointed out that there is adequate evidence that the crime of torture has been committed, but not much has been done. “The APNU asserts that there is abundant evidence that the crime of torture has been com-

mitted repeatedly in Guyana. APNU reminds all defence and police force officers that torture is a crime of universal jurisdiction… there is no statute of limitations for such crimes under international law,” said Granger. The matter involving Harding had created much uproar, but an investigation into the matter indicated that the young man was not buggered. However, doubt still lingers as a critical piece of evidence, that is, a medical certificate was not presented in the report since one was not conducted on Harding, who failed to notify medical personnel until some weeks after the alleged incident took place.

Solid Waste Management Bill to retabled


he Local Government and Regional Development Ministry on Friday announced that the Solid Waste Management Bill is expected to be retabled at the next sitting of the House. According to acting Local Government Minister, Norman Whittaker, the draft Solid Waste Management Bill was taken to Cabinet on Tuesday last, where it was discussed and reviewed. He noted that comments made by Cabinet members were taken into consideration by the attorney general’s office. “We expect that it will be returned to Cabinet shortly and by next week, ought to be on the agenda for next Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly,” Whittaker stated. The acting local government minister disclosed that Finance Minster, Dr Ashni Singh has also asked to have a second look at the financial section of the bill. “We are very close to table that important piece of legislation,” he said. According to

Whittaker, this bill seeks to bring some order to the way solid waste is managed, primarily through the establishment of a Solid Waste Management Authority.


“The bill looks at enforcement of the very measures that it promulgates for dealing with solid waste, how we enforce. It looks also at the penalty for those who break the rules, the laws in terms of solid waste management,” he added. Whittaker noted that there are existing legislations which deal with bits and pieces of what the bill seeks to do. These include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Act, the Municipal and District Council Act and the Public Health Ordinance Act. “They all deal in some way, with some aspect of solid waste management, some aspect of how we deal with the environment, but for the first time, we will be having a piece of legislation that speaks specifically to the issue of solid waste management,” he added. The Solid Waste Management Bill was first presented to the

National Assembly in 2012; however, it was sent to the attorney general’s chambers early last year for further modification and clarification. Last December, former Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud had said that the ministry received the revised copy of the bill from the attorney general’s chambers and copies were sent to Opposition Leader David Granger, Alliance For Change leader Khemraj Ramjattan and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) shadow local government minister Ronald Bulkan. Persaud had explained that parliamentarians would review the document and offer their comments. This process, he noted, will assist in reducing the level of difficulties when passing the bill in the National Assembly. The bill seeks to establish a single authority at the national level which will enforce, make policies and decisions, review and analyse the entire solid waste management system in the country.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

New sugar production target set for 2014


new sugar production target has been set for the sugar industry, Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy said. The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) will be working to meet an annual target of 216,000 tonnes of sugar by year-end. Dr Ramsammy told Guyana Times International last Friday that despite the challenges which still prevail over the industry’s performance, GuySuCo is hoping to rake in a good year’s production.

The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) will be working to meet an annual target of 216,000 tonnes of sugar by year-end

Cultivation has been pushed back, based on the weather pattern experienced over the past few days. However, the

minister said cultivation is expected to start at Enmore during this weekend. Meanwhile, culti-

vation will commence next week at Wales, Skeldon and Uitvlugt while cultivation at Albion, Rose Hall/Canje

and Blairmont estates will begin the following week. He said that once good weather prevails throughout the year, it is likely that the production target could be met, or it could exceed that amount. GuySuCo late last year introduced a new five-year strategic plan aimed at improving its overall performance, thereby creating more opportunities for sustained growth and development for Guyana. The new GuySuCo strategic plan stipulates that there will be

a 100,000 tonne deduction in the estimated annual output, rather than what was outlined in the 2009 plan, which projected a yearly output of 450,000 tonnes. Sugar production in Guyana has been declining since 2005. During 2002 and 2004, production averaged 315,000 tonnes per year. The sugar industry is a pillar of the Guyanese economy, employing some 18,000 persons and accounting for a major proportion of the country’s annual foreign exchange earnings.

Engaging Green is an exercise in futility, says Whittaker


ocal Government and Regional Development Minister Norman Whittaker said the frequency with which he has had engagements with the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, has been reduced because he has found these actions to be “fruitless”. “For the most part, we are not making progress in terms of what we seek to achieve,” he said. The minister was responding to charges by the mayor and deputy mayor that he has been by-passing

the Mayor’s Office with regards to matters affecting the Town Council. Minister Whittaker explained that when he first came into the Local Government Ministry, as minister responsible for municipalities, he began to engage the municipality, the elected and appointed people, and the administrative staff to discuss council related issues, including how to correct defaults. The minister said that more often than not, these engagements were with the late Deputy

Acting Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker

City Mayor Hamilton Green

Mayor Robert Williams and the administrative staff. “Over time, Mr Williams died, and over-

time those who have replaced him have sought to use our engagements to advance a political agenda and to talk about

irrelevant happenings. That I was not concerned about and I think, the majority of residents in Georgetown were not concerned about, and so in the interest of exigency in dealing with the affairs of the city, and the residents who cry out for services, for which many of them pay, I have determined that it is better if I dealt with the chief executive officer of the council,” he said. “We spend one hour and the mayor tells me about some plan that was developed when I was still

in Region One…. I want to deal with the present and so because we have this difference; he is a historian and I am not, I find that I have to find other ways and means of getting the business of council and the expectations of the people met,” he added. In spite of the decision taken to engage the chief executive officer of the council, Minister Whittaker said he still, by the way of written and oral communication, also speaks with the Mayor and City Council.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Berbician cops Commonwealth Youth Worker Award B erbician and community worker Alex Foster has received his seventh international award when he copped the 2013 Commonwealth Youth Worker Award for the Caribbean region, joining other winners from Africa, Asia, the Pacific Region and the United Kingdom. Foster recently received the award in London. It was his third Commonwealth Youth Service Award, having previously won the award in 1993 and 1995. In addition to those awards, Foster also received an award from the Commonwealth for youth service in 1991, and in 1999 was selected from thousands of applicants the world over as the 60th most influential young social entrepreneur in the world. In 2006, Foster headed the St Francis Community Developers, which was named the most successful, sustainable and influential group in the Commonwealth. However, before these international awards, Foster was also recognised both in Guyana and the Caribbean. In 1989, he was the Caribbean

Alex Foster (extreme left) with other Commonwealth awardees in London

and Commonwealth Youth of the Year. The year before, the community worker received his first and only national award in Guyana, the Youth of the Year award. He said that it is quite unfortunate that most young males are blamed for not acting in a manner that is condu-

cive for their personal development and the development of their communities.

Lack of male role models

“Their role models from a very young age are females. If we look at the nursery schools, the teachers are females; in the primary schools, there are few male teachers; and in the secondary

schools, the male teachers are getting even fewer. In society, the male species seems to be endangered species as it relates to excellence. If we take a simple survey at the University of Guyana and all the higher learning institutions, the largest percentages of persons attending those institutions are fe-

males.” Young males, he added, hardly have role models. “It is therefore a privilege to ask males to join community development.” He said community development is no longer charitable work, but a force to be reckoned with. “It is a most prestigious career one can

choose.” According to him, Oprah Winfrey, the late Nelson Mandela and President Bill Clinton, all did community development work before moving on to another career. He said persons involved in community development have to love what they do. “You have to work 24 hours a day. Even in your sleep, you have to be thinking about it. If you are going to do this work, your vision must be very clear,” Foster said. Speaking of his accomplishments, the community worker noted that it is not the number of buildings built or amount of money acquired internationally for development of Berbice, but the differences he was able to make in people’s lives. He noted when he started community development, the biggest projects were the painting of road crossings, feeding groups and organising training workshops. “Today, in community development, when you are executing a project, not only is it impacting on the persons who are directly evolved in it but the entire community.”


week ending February 16, 2014 |


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week ending February 16, 2014 |

In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Rosenblatt stated that he was prompted to begin this new research project in Guyana because of his interest in how large predators and the humans who live with them are able to co-exist. He visited Guyana for the first time in 2011 and was captivated by the generosity and hospitality of the Guyanese people and the virtually untouched wilderness that Guyana has preserved so well. His colleague, Kalicharan, is a recent graduate of the

vealed that during this new phase of research, which will take place in February and early March, Kalicharan, himself and the Caiman House research team will use a stomach pumping procedure to flush the stomachs of a number of black caiman adults to find out what they eat in the Rupununi during the dry season. The researchers suspect that the black caiman are eating mainly fish, but they also likely eat mammals, birds, and reptiles. The study of black caiman stomach contents will enable the research team to actu-

ally quantify the proportions of different kinds of prey that make up the adult black caiman diet – at least over short time periods. The ultimate goal of the research is to learn about the diets of black caimans so that they, and the animal species they depend on for food, can be properly protected in the Rupununi, enabling Guyana’s freshwater ecosystems to remain healthy and thriving for the benefit of many future generations of Guyanese and foreign visitors. The researchers’ plans include studying

the diets of black caiman during the wet season as well as the dry season, and tracking the movements of black caiman using radio telemetry. Those who are interested in the black caiman research, both Guyanese and foreign visitors, are encouraged to contact the managing director of Caiman House, Fernando Li, with any questions or to schedule a visit to learn about and participate in the black caiman research project. For more information, visit Rupununi Learners on Facebook. (Photos by Rupununi Learners)

Adam preparing the work station for dietary investigations


lack caimans are charismatic and fascinating creatures because of their impressive size and cryptic nature. They are also an important species in many of Guyana’s freshwater ecosystems because they are the top predators. This means they eat different kinds of animals, and this helps to maintain the balance of nature. The research team at Caiman House in Yupukari, North Rupununi, have been studying black caimans since 2005 in an effort to better understand their behaviours and ecological roles in the Rupununi. The research team have caught, measured, tagged and released hundreds of black cai-


man to assess the size and health of the population, and they have studied black caiman nesting habits and preferred habitats. Now, Caiman House is proud to announce a new research, conducted with permission from the Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with Dr Adam Rosenblatt, an American scientist, and his local Guyanese counterpart, Leanna Kalicharan, who would teach the team new research techniques and expand the scope of the project. Rosenblatt, who received his PhD from Florida International University in Miami, has spent many years studying American alligators, close cousins of the black caiman.

Vineet Singh

resh out of India’s biggest singing competition, Saregamapa, Vineet Singh is preparing to perform in TT alongside Chutney Soca Monarch Raymond Ramnarine. Singh’s Bollywood romantic songs, ‘Tirat Meri Tu’ and ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ is now popular among the followers of Bollywood films in the western countries. The two singers will perform at the Guardian Group of Companies Everybody Loves Raymond on March 22 at the Centre-of- Excellence.

Preparing individual caiman for procedure

University of Guyana and an aspiring scientist who has previously worked with the Shedd Aquarium of Chicago, Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund in assessing fish biodiversity in the Rupununi. Rosenblatt re-

Raymond who is known for singing evergreen immortal hits from yesteryear, will team up with this star to do many of the love songs that was created in India. This annual event is produced by Rafi Mohammed and is known for attracting huge audiences each year. Mohammed said, “This is the time for Raymond to switch gears to presenting a concert that is traditional yet exciting with all the stage showmanship and singing skills associated with this heartthrob.” Singh joined the ranks of Bollywood playback singers, doing songs for the movies, 'Policegiri', 'Son Of Sardar', 'Milenge Milenge' and 'Khiladi 786'. His song ‘Hookar Bar’ is still considered the youth anthem of 2013. He is just 24 years old and started his singing career at the age of five. His mentor is Music Director Himesh Reshamiya. He is currently the lead singer for Himesh’s stage group. Singh has a unique singing voice that can be compared to India’s great Mohammed Rafi and Sonu Nigam. He has worked with the best music directors including Vishal and Shekar, Farah Khan, Adesh Srvastava and Shankar Mahadavan. (TT Newsday)



week ending February 16, 2014 |


ontinuing a legacy of spicing up foods, Shari Rodrigues is focused on creating a name for herself while immortalizing her late father’s passion for spices. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Shari said her late father was the owner of Guyana’s popular spice business, Ricks and Sari. Now, her aim is to continue that legacy by making the spice business her own. “I have my own line of spices, Spice It Up. I try not to create a competition with Ricks and Sari but to carry on the legacy my father left. Since I was small, I was always helping out at the factory or with the business. Now the business is managed by my stepmom and brothers. My stepmom is my inspiration because she was determined to keep our business going and even developed it over the years. She also motivated me to follow my dream of creating my own line of spices,” Shari

Spice girl, Shari Rodrigues

explained. The spice girl stated that her grandfather started the business selling coffee, curry powder and black pepper under a tree. The business flourished and moved from vending under a tree to a massive factory, which was eventually managed by Shari’s father. “Now I have my own factory in Canada, which my uncle helps me with. He has the big-

gest West Indian market in Canada, selling Jamaican-inspired spices and sauces. My uncle is my mentor, as I look to him on how to be a successful entrepreneur. I know my father is proud of me for carrying on the business,” she expressed. Shari was 18 when she lost her father. After his death she decided to migrate to the U.S., where she is a citizen, to explore career opportu-

nities available to her. At 21, she landed a job as a flight attendant, strictly for military flights. Although she enjoyed travelling the world, Shari’s love for Guyana made her quit her job to return to carry on her father’s business. “I was one of the passengers in the Caribbean Airlines plane which crashed in 2011. For some reason, I viewed it as a sign to stay in Guyana, and the experience really motivated me to follow my dreams. The crash happened in July 2011, and in August I started my spice business,” Shari recalled. The entrepreneur, who now has a food business and a line of spices, mentioned that achieving her goals required determination, dedication and resilience. “Yes I had certain props in life but that did not mean I had everything on a silver platter. I had to work really hard and tough it out to achieve my goals. Now I have a food business, op-

erated with my fiancé, and I am now revamping the labelling of my spices to get it on the international market. I also want to expand and prepare more health con-

A few of Shari's spices

scious meals especially for diabetics. I love the spice business, a passion my father shared, and now I am determined to carry on my family’s legacy,” she declared.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

Bob Marley (Feb. 8, 1945May 11, 1981)

Ras Saul

‘Redemption Song’ Part I

By Petamber Persaud

(Extract of a conversation with Ras Leon Saul and I-Mykal, Georgetown, Guyana, 2013. Ras Saul is a cultural activist, playwright and television presenter; I-Mykal is a musician.) PP Bob Marley is alive.... I-Mykal & Ras Leon Saul (in chorus) Jah Rastafari... PP It is said that he died on May 11, 1981... I-Mykal & Ras Leon Saul (in chorus) Bob lives... PP He was born on February 8, 1945, and it is said that he died on May 11, 1981. But many of us know that he lives in the mind and heart of the people in Guyana and in the Caribbean and in the mind and heart of people all over the world. The influence of his music is extensive and the impact is immeasurable


because of how he tackled issues of redemption and repatriation. Marley is known as the ambassador of reggae and Rastafari, taking the music and message to a worldwide audience. How was he able to transcend boundaries? I-Mykal Through the powers of music transforming people. When he speaks of people, he never meant one type of people he meant all people who are oppressed in one way or the other. His love for music was great and it was this love that connected to the people – you may not like what he says but it is the reality, you may not accept his message because it may be offensive to youbut fact is fact. PP It is said that you cannot keep a good man down; you can’t keep a good artist down. Ras Saul As an extension to answering that question [how was he able to reach a worldwide audience], I would want to say apart from destiny, and a divine plan for Bob, it had also

(Un)musical chairs


atiricus was, as usual, confused. After all, master strategist GrainJa, leader of WAPNU, PEENC and of the entire band of oppositionists, had just made some moves in the Law-Making-Body (LMB). Satiricus was quite aware that GrainJa had been suckled by the great Kabaka himself – and with that master strategist, nothing was what it seemed on the surface. Of course, all of the Kabaka’s moves had all backfired – but that was neither here nor there, thought Satiricus, when it came to his acolytes following his purple path. The important thing was that the Kabaka was a chess player, and by golly, GrainJa was going

to do with preparation on Bob’s part. Because, if he had not prepared himself to be excellent; if he had not prepared himself for excellence in his art form, he would not have gotten the opportunity when it presented itself. For example, when he went to England, and met Chris Blackwell of Island Records that connection clicked – the fact that he was ready and a system was in place to produce and distribute the music. One level was divine, the other was strictly commercial and those things helped Bob greatly to succeed.

- preparation do not always meet opportunity; what I mean is that there were big singers in Jamaica at the time like Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Jimmy Cliff and others, but their approach to the issues were different so they never really exploded like Bob. We need to look at it this way: that Bob’s purpose was to break through and the time was ripe the oppressive nature of the times gave Bob the breakthrough. There was self conviction, so he was singing for a causedespite the cost and consequence. That is what made Bob stand out.

PP I’d like us to focus for a while on something you [Ras Saul] said: when we fail to prepare, we also fail to grab the opportunity when it comes; we the artists, the artistes, the songwriters, the poets, ...we complain all the time over the absence of opportunities but we fail to prepare ourselves to take advantage of the opportunity when it comes.

PP What influenced Bob’s message?

I-Mykal I’d want to put it a different way

Ras Saul That influence came from within himself, a deep spirituality; not siding with white, not siding with black [referring to his black/white heritage] but siding with the spiritual. Timing is important. Bob developed through the years, but for me he took off about the time when His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia,

to move his players on the board. But Satiricus was struggling to figure out where Granger was going with the moves he’d made Monday night in the LMB. Here it was, he’d just lost a queen…and Debbie was not one iota less than that. Fast on her feet, cutting wit, astounding grasp of the rules of the LMB, versed in security matters and any other portfolio like foreign affairs thrown at her – why, everyone was looking to see who GrainJa would replace her with! But it became clear that GrainJa thought Debbie was irreplaceable when it came to filling even one of her roles. It would take multitudes. GrainJa would now himself take care of Debbie’s foreign affairs portfolio: the King would replace the Queen. But he’d be assisted by one of the court helpers – a female unknown named Sell Man. But Sell Man wouldn’t occupy the Queen’s seat in the front bench. That would be taken by Bull (sh*t) Can… but he wouldn’t be a queen. Debbie’s Queen role on the big throne would now be played by Base-ill, which everyone, including Satiricus, thought would’ve been filled by Omna Wally. Now Satiricus thought he understood GrainJa’s move here. Base-ill was from

mystic, departed this life and a spirit went into Bob ...soon after, he sang “Jah Lives”, and that to me was when-boom- he took off. He was doing music with a purpose, it was music to move a people forward... I-Mykal Positive...we must not forget there were people in Jamaica like Marcus Garvey and Leonard Howell who were instrumental in motivating Bob mentally; there were people on the forefront trying to make a difference... and Bob was moved... PP Literally moved by what was happening in Trench Town, celebrating the situation in the song “Trenchtown”... You [I-Mykal] mention Marcus Garvey and I know that Garvey, did not only talk the talk, he walked the talk by creating businesses to raise consciousness and the standard of living of his people... Ras Saul Marcus is seen as John the Baptist to Bob Marley. But back to his roots and his preparation – coming out of Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, growing up in the hills, within nature helped to balance

him when he went into the ghetto, Trench Town, Kingston, watching the degradation, deprivation and discrimination and the other injustices, all those things gave him a different outlook to life, telling him that he had to be working and singing on behalf of the people, to raise their consciousness... I-Mykal B o b took up their cause putting it in an art form... Ras Saul He used the vehicle to touch the masses – music, a universal language. Bob was a poet – he was sparse and yet voluminous; one line said so much.... PP “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!” (TO BE CONTINUED) Responses to this author telephone (592) 2260065 or email: What’s happening: • "An Introduction to Guyanese Literature" is now available from the author at the above contacts, Austin’s Book Service (226-7350) and at the National Library (226-2690).

the old PEENC and GrainJa needed to buy him off to fend off attacks from GreenBridge. But what about Omna? Weren’t women going to be miffed to have their ranks depleted, in this age of gender awareness? Satiricus brow became furrowed. Aha, thought Satiricus, that’s why the master strategist GrainJa had brought in that female doctor to fill Debbie MP spot!! What a master stroke! No one would realise that she was just a place-holder and didn’t bring any substance to the table!!! And more importantly, she’d be beholden to GrainJa, the King. His handmaiden, so to speak. And the strategist hadn’t even been finished with his moves. In the night of the long knives, he’d moved Kiss (too) Soon, who thought she could be Queen and had been acting up accordingly, back to being a pawn on the back bench. “That’ll teach her and Solo Man a lesson!” thought Satiricus. “For backing North Ton”. But while GrainJa was busy making his chess moves, he hadn’t realised GreenBridge and his supporters had checkmated him by making him the fall guy for FATF imposing sanctions on Guyana. He’d be losing corn and husk.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Farmer Ramotar tells his story By Indrawattie Natram


s a small boy growing farmer Roopan Ramotar aka "Fowl Cock" has always had a passion for farming. And, after spending some quality time on the farm with his parents, this passion grew and developed into a hobby. “Farming has always being my hobby, it is what we grew up from, and I will continue to develop farming – not as a way of earning income but as a way where people can adopt similar attitudes toward farming,” the 49-year-old Ramotar divulged in an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine on his farm. The farmer, who is also a popular contractor and businessman, said he was taught farming from his parents. He reminisced how his parents would teach him to farm and how, amazingly, the tiny seeds would blossom into fruit one day. He said the process of planting has always captured his attention and taught him many lessons in his life: " Once you plant you cannot starve, there must be something to eat," her stated. This passion for farming has prompted him to invest about US$1.5 million in his Pomeroon land. After travelling for almost one hour via the Pomeroon River, Ramotar introduced a team of government officers and reporters to a breathtaking, organized and magnificent farm of plantains, banana and non-traditional crops. The neat array of plants did not only catch the attention of the visi-

L-R: Regional Vice Chairman Vishnu Samaroo, Junior Minister of Agriculture Alli Baksh, Canadian volunteer Yvon Bertrand, farmer Roopan Ramotar and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture George Jervis during their visit to the farm

tors, but the uniqueness and the management of the farm was one to take notice of as well. Ramotar, who is the largest rice farmer on the Essequibo Coast, said he wanted to diversify from rice and to move into something that is more value added. The farmer said he couldn't have found a better, rich and fertile land than the 200 acres he had bought along the Pomeroon River. The farmer, contractor and saw miller said he had purchased the land for agricultural purposes five years ago, but only two years ago he realized his dream.


After clearing huge bushes of dense forest, Ramotar now inherits a lovely plot of 200 acres of land in the Hackney Canal Lower Pomeroon. He cultivates non tra-

ditional crops such as pumpkin, pepper, pear, oranges, cassava and tomatoes, plantains. At the back of the farm, small ponds were erected for aqua-culture. The farmer completed private drainage and irrigation works on the land, where he enjoys a smooth flow of water. The father of three said he has invested millions of dollars on the infrastructural aspect of his farm. At present, he has some two hundred acres of suckers on the land. The plantains harvest is being sold on both local and international markets. The established farmer said he is also planting coconut trees, and he is projecting within the next two years he can produce more than ten million water nuts with a target reaching forty coconuts per tree per month.

Plans for the farm

The farmer said that he is looking to make his produce value-added, noting that he is presently looking at opening a spanking new water coconut bottling facility. He said the company will be owned by himself and a friend, with whom he intends to make a partnership. The farmer explained that he is trying to eliminate water borne diseases, and is heading into a traditional way of farming, hence keeping proper records on a day to day basis. He explained it is his vision for his produce to go from the field into the factory, package or bottle then head for the market (local or international). He said he is presently providing employment for about 25 persons who work daily on his farm. The farmer said too

that since his farm is located along the beautiful Pomeroon River, he is also hoping to invest in a "canopy" walkway through it, where persons outside of Essequibo can visit and enjoy the scenery, and spend a day on the farm. Ramotar said he noticed too that the plantains on the lower market are selling cheaply, and as such he is not making much profit. However he is thinking of processing the plantain chips. The chips will be under the "Rooster" brand plantain chips.

Technical assistance

In developing his vision of processing the plantain produced on his farm into crisp plantain chips, Ramotar is presently getting technical assistance from two Canadian volunteers. The two specialists, John Mc Donald and

Yvon Bertrand, with some 34 years experience in food inspection and food processing, will help Ramotar make his dreams of the "Rooster" plantain chips a reality. The two volunteers are responsible for helping the farmer set up his factory, offer quality control ideas, as well as give necessary guidance, ensuring that the product meets international standards. Before the processing can actual begin. Ramotar said his farm has to be certified, making sure that only appropriate, “human-friendly” chemicals are used. Ramotar disclosed that the plantain chip venture would be managed by his wife Jackey Ramotar, assisted by other relatives. He has so far invested more than GUY$15 M to start the factory.


Ramotar's farm was recently visited by Alli Baksh, minister within the Ministry of Agriculture, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture George Jervis. Baksh, while visiting the farm, said he was impressed with the model of the farm, and encouraged large farmers to follow similar practices. Baksh said he is proud of the farmer, explaining that Ramotar’s farm is "dual purpose, in that it has different enterprises, ranging from non traditional farming to aqua culture.” Baksh called the farmer very innovative, and congratulated him from moving from "just farm produce" to value added.

Jamaica's Bob Marley Museum designated GRAMMY Museum affiliate


he GRAMMY Museum, last Thursday announced its first ever affiliate, the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, according to NBC Southern California. "As a GRAMMY Museum affiliate, the Bob Marley Museum will have access to Grammy Museum exhibitions, educational initiatives, research programme (s), internship opportunities, collaborative marketing and promotions, technical support for interactive displays and more," NBC Southern California reported last Friday. The news agency also said that more affiliates will be announced in coming months. According to, "the GRAMMY Museum ex-

plores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music; the creative process; the art and technology of the recording process; and the history of the GRAMMY Awards, the premier recognition of recorded music accomplishment." Located in downtown Los Angeles, the website says the museum is "four floors of cutting-edge exhibits, interactive experiences and films" which provide a "one-of-a-kind visitor experience—engaging, educational, celebratory and inspirational". The website also says that the GRAMMY Museum debuted in December 2008, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Grammy Awards. (Jamaica Observer)

The entrance to Bob Marley Museum in Kingston. (Photo:

caribbean news


week ending February 16, 2014 |

Trinidad’s Police using hightech cameras to monitor crime hotspots in east Port-of-Spain

A whiter shade… …of (Trini) pale Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Back in the day, a new rock band, calling themselves “Procol Harum”, burst onto the scene with a genre-bending single, “A whiter shade of pale”. Now don’t confuse Procol Harum with the group in Nigeria, Boko Haram, that’s been lopping people’s heads. That’s a band of a whole different colour. The song by Procol Harum was about a mermaid that was “a whiter shade of pale”; the music was set to Bach and the allusions were to Chaucer’s “A Miller’s Tale”. Trinidad, we all know, is a real “la la” land, but the story coming out of there is even stranger than that of Procol Harum. And it also has to do with colour. Last week, a former PNM Senator from their Upper House landed a real bombshell – at least to the ears of your Eyewitness, who’s always been told our politics here was “more racial”. Rather than being accused of exaggeration, we’ll give you the Express’ report of what a PNM bigwig told Senator Fitzgerald Hinds. “He said to me that he had just come from a meeting with a couple of other former ministers and some businessmen, and they were all ’round the lunch table and agreed that (PNM leader) Dr Rowley had done an excellent job as political leader for the PNM for the last three years… They thought he did a great job. And told me, shockingly that the only issue that came up in objection was that we had never had such a dark-skinned prime minister.” Now can you imagine something like this happening in Guyana? And don’t think Hinds was exaggerating. In his national newspaper column, eminent UWI political scientist and pollster Selwyn Ryan had written as follows: “Some of Dr Rowley’s critics claim, sotto voce, that he is a tad too ‘black’ for a country that is ethnically structured in the way that Trinidad and Tobago is. Trinidad being what it is, however, the view definitely exists both inside and outside the party that a paler face is required if the PNM is going to be regarded as being adequately diversified.” Then lo and behold, this week came the announcement that Rowley is being challenged for the PNM’s leadership by Penelope BecklesRobinson. She’s fair and lovely. Now you don’t think that’s also why Granger narrowly pipped Greenidge for the leadership of the PNC, do you? And here it is, your Eyewitness thought it was because Granger was a tad taller than Greenidge! …of telecoms competition We’re so happy that the parliamentary Special Select Committee on telecoms reform will be taking submissions from the public. Isn’t democracy great? Your Eyewitness is your typical consumer – not too technically savvy – but just raring at the bit to enjoy all those services his kin up in New York keep on flaunting whenever he calls. Especially those free minutes they collect with seeming abandon. And then there’s all those “plans” that they sign up for and get iPhones for each member of their family – including the kids – for a song. Literally – since your Eyewitness thinks when someone can get something he has to shell out $160,000 for, and they only pay 99 cents (OK??? that’s $200) that’s a lovely song. So your Eyewitness investigated what brought about such a happy state of affairs over in NY. It was because of COMPETITION!! With Verizon fighting AT&T and both of them fighting Sprint and a dozen aggressive smaller fishes, the prices just keep plummeting and the services just keep rising. And this is good. So your Eyewitness hereby makes his submission to the committee: Ensure there’s as much competition as you can in our telecoms arena.


he TT$2 million Duncan Street Police Post in Portof-Spain officially began functioning Monday, equipped with 36 hightech surveillance cameras monitoring citizens’ every move. According to an article in TT’s Express newspaper, the cameras, some bullet-proof, follow a moving object and keep the target in full view, allowing police to track the exact location of the offender in excess of a 200-metre span along Duncan and Nelson Streets in east Port-ofSpain. Sources told the newspaper that the cameras, which have been placed at strategic locations throughout the police post, are being fed footage from a mega rotating Thermal PTZ camera that is being dubbed the “monster” The Thermal PTZ was specifically selected for the high-risk crime-ridden area. TT’s acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams had once labelled the area the “most violent” in terms of the high murder rate.

Duncan and Nelson Streets in east Port-of-Spain were once labelled the ‘most violent.’ (TT Guardian file photo)

The newspaper reported that while the solar-lit police post, a project of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), was opened on October 17, 2013, the Police Service had requested additional specifications for the three-storey building before opening its doors to the public. Surveillance equipment has been installed on each level of the police post, including the dormitory, allowing officers to monitor the building

and surrounding areas. Surveillance equipment has also been placed in the offices of each superior officer, giving them a first-hand look of activities in the area. The police post is equipped with two bullet-proof rooms. A total of 138 murders have been recorded in the area over a fouryear period. And in a first of its kind, the police post is also equipped with a mediation and computer-

ised homework centre catering for children in the area. The homework centre is expected to be built in other police stations. Police stations are also expected to be built at Besson Street in Portof-Spain, Manzanilla, Maracas St Joseph, St Clair, Matelot and Matura. Two stations are to be constructed in Tobago at Old Grange and Roxborough.

Uproar in Jamaica’s Parliament - as PM Portia reveals Ja$117 million spent on overseas trips


nasty episode of name-calling, jeers and shouts of abuse characterised most of the approximately hour-long interlude during which Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller answered questions about her frequent overseas trips in the House of Representatives Tuesday. House Speaker Michael Peart fought to keep order during most of the period as Opposition Leader Andrew Holness posed some follow-up questions emanating from the 61-page document tabled by Simpson Miller with her answers to his original questions. There were only a few copies of the document available. The opposition had to make do with two copies, and the government members with probably two more. No copies were available for the press. The prime minister's answers said that full cost of overseas visits by members of her government, including junior ministers, was Ja$117.8 million. The cost of trips paid for by the Office of the Prime Minister was Ja$25 million for staff, and Ja$15 million for the prime minister alone on her 25 trips. Holness was greeted with laughter and derision when he rose to ask additional questions. Leader of Opposition Business Derrick Smith suggested that the Speaker ensure that the opposition leader was protected by the chair, but Peart said the jeers were not confined to one side.


When the opposition demanded that the government show the opposition leader some respect, junior minister Luther Buchanan said, "him doan deserve that yet". "No amount of noise and distraction is going to prevent me, or the members on this side from bringing out the truth about the operations of this government. So they can make as much noise as they want," Holness responded. "I take a stand on this side, that when the prime minister rises on her feet, and all my members here are aware of the stand I take, that the Office of the

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (left) and Leader Andrew Holness in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. (Jamaica Observer photo)

Prime Minister must be respected. I take that stand and I am not here begging respect from anyone," he added. Holness said that it was understood that prime ministers must travel, however, the debate was not about "whether or not prime ministers should travel, or are entitled to travel, but that when prime ministers travel they must report to Parliament". "And they must exercise the entitlement of travel with discretion and frugality," the opposition leader said. The most expensive trip listed by the prime minister's document was the Ja$6.5 million spent on a seven-day visit Ethiopia in May 2013 for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Organisation of African States (OAS)/African Union. But Holness came under some heavy bombardment from government members when he asked about the outcome of the expensive Addis Ababa trip. The prime minister said that she was surprised at the question being asked about an African nation. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)


fun time

week ending February 16, 2014 |

This week's Crossword

J k es

Lost chapter in Genesis

Adam had been moping around all day in the Garden of Eden, and God finally said, "Adam, what's up with all this moping?" Adam told God that he was lonely. God said He could fix that, no problem. In short order he could make a partner for Adam, and she would be called a "woman." God told Adam that the woman would collect his food, cook it for him, and care for all his needs and wants. She would also agree with all his decisions and not question his authority as head of the family. God also said that she would bear his offspring and and not bother him in the middle of the night if the kids woke up and started crying. She would never nag him and would admit when she was wrong. She would also freely give him love and passion whenever he needed it. Adam said, "Wow, that's a great partner! What is this woman-person going to cost me?" And God replied, "An arm and a leg." Adam thought for a minute and then asked, "What can I get for a rib?" And the rest is history.

Forgot the keys

An elderly man had dinner at a very nice restaurant. After he finished his wine, he went to the men’s room then walked out through the bar. It was a beautiful evening, so he decided to leave his car in the parking lot and walk home. When he arrived at his front door, he realized he didn’t have his keys, which were in his jacket pocket, which was still hanging in the restroom. He walked back to the restaurant and found his jacket in the men’s room, and realized he’d left his hat on the table. He strolled back to the dining room to retrieve his hat, and when he got to his table, his wife asked, “Is anything wrong? You took such a long time in there.”

This week's Puzzle

No school today...please!

As autumn approaches and summer vacation is over, a mother wakes up her son and says it's the first day of school, so get up and get ready. He says, “Mom, I don’t want to go back. Please don't make me. I hate school!” She says, “Don't be silly. It can't be that bad. I bet you can't even think of two reasons not to go.” He says, “Really, I mean it! All the kids hate me. And the teachers all think I'm stupid.” She says, “Well, those aren't really good reasons. Maybe you can try harder.” He says, “No, I don't want to go. Give me two good reasons I should.” She replies, “Well, first of all, you’re almost years 60 old. And second, you’re the principal.”

Funny quotes on "success"

Quitters never win, winners never quit. But those who never win and never quit are idiots. David Brent Behind every successful man stands an amazed woman. - Anonymous All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific. - Jane Wagner (also attributed to Lily Tomlin)

Thinking about the future

“Mom, Dad, sit down. I have something very important to tell you,” said Samantha, upon her return home from college after graduation. “I met a guy who lives near the college that I really like and we decided we are going to get married!” “Oh Samantha! I am so happy for you,” gushed her Mom giving her a big hug, “I hope you two will be really happy together! I can’t wait to meet him!” “Tell us more about him” said her Dad, “does he have any money?” “Oh Dad! Is that all you men ever think about? That was the first question he asked me about you too!” see solution on page 46


week ending February 16, 2014 |

Times Notebook

Guyana playing critical, positive role globally


imes Notebook thanks Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett for highlighting Guyana’s successes at the global level. Guyana has much to celebrate in its global role since independence, before and after 1992. Rodrigues-Birkett has excelled and has carried on in the rich tradition of some very effective foreign affairs ministers. She is the first woman, the youngest foreign affairs minister, and the first Amerindian to occupy such a position. She was on target for rebuking Aubrey Norton for ‘dissing’ Guyana a few days ago. Norton was merely discrediting Guyana’s achievements in foreign affairs in an awkward attempt to sell himself as a possible replacement for Debra Backer as a Member of Parliament (MP) for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). Members of APNU were trying to position themselves to gain the nod of the party to sit in Parliament to replace Backer, who was the foreign affairs shadow minister. When it comes to acknowledging Guyana’s successes as a country, we must put aside political


Global successes

We must not try to diminish our global successes as a nation. We can quarrel over ideas and implementation of our developmental plans, but surely we must be able to acknowledge success. Our influence on the global platform tells the story of a nation that is willing and able beyond its economic reality to play a role in global affairs. Just last week, former President Bharrat Jagdeo led a Guyanese team in Delhi, India, to participate in a forum outlining a “Global Framework for Energy, Water and Food Security”. Others at the forum included former Finnish President Tarja Halonen, former Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, and former British Deputy Prime Minister, Lord John Prescott. Why must our political affiliation dent our conscience or dim our vision so much that we cannot see the pivotal role Guyana is playing at such a global forum? It is downright unpatriotic, no matter which side of the political divide someone sits, to deny Guyana’s global influence in the response to

climate change. No country in the Caribbean and few developing countries anywhere come close to matching Guyana’s influence on the global platform in formulating an international response to climate change. Jagdeo is well recognised around the world because of his and Guyana’s influence on climate change. Our achievements in influencing the climate change global response is unmatched by any other foreign affairs achievement throughout our entire history. Every Guyanese should celebrate this fact. Norton is guilty of a stifled conscience, because of political bias, in not being able to concede that Guyana’s influence at the global level on climate change is at least equal to any other spectacular achievement we have had at the global level before 1992.

New Global Human Order

The United Nations (UN) has made late President Dr Cheddi Jagan’s New Global Human Order (NGHO), a formal global instrument for achieving equity among the peoples of the world. This is a distinction we must celebrate. It is in this context that we

must remember that Guyana played a significant role in the establishment of the Global Fund (GF) and Guyana represented Latin America and the Caribbean on the GF Board between 2007 and 2012. The GF has ensured that billions of dollars are available to fight HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Because of this fund, millions of people are living longer today. Further, President Donald Ramotar sits on the United Nations Education Group, which is tasked to ensure education for all around the world. Guyana has played an important role in the global fight against non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases. Guyana was a member of the steering committee to organise an NCD summit at the UN and to formulate the UN NCD Declaration in 2011. Guyana also played a role in chairing the Affordable Medicine Fund for Malaria (AMFM). This fund was able to provide expensive malaria medicines for millions around the world, particularly in Africa.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett

Our country also played a critical role in the formulation of the Montevideo Declaration 2013, an initiative that seeks to strengthen women, gender, and sexual equity. Times Notebook merely seeks to amplify what Guyana’s foreign affairs minister last week posited. There can be absolutely not an iota of doubt that Guyana has excelled as a nation when it comes to foreign policy. This is not only because of government’s policies or the role of the foreign affairs minister, but also because of the dedication and commitment of foreign affairs staff and ambassadors. Times Notebook thinks it’s time we ‘big-up’ Guyana at the global level. Readers are invited to send their comments by email or Facebook to times.notebook@


Caribbean News

week ending February 16, 2014 |

Porn addiction rising among youth in Jamaica


leading sexual health agency has expressed distress over what it says is a mounting addiction to pornography in the 12 to 14 age group in Jamaica. According to Chairman of the National Family Planning Board Dr Sandra Knight, the

addiction is increasing and more so among boys. "It's going up yearly. Teenagers are addicted to pornography and we know from research that pornography inhibits the proper development of certain parts of a child's brain to consolidate healthy relationships as

adults. So we are having even more problems there," Dr Knight told the Jamaica Observer Press Club last Thursday. She said that tackling the issue was even more complex, given the fact that there was fierce competition from so many different influ-

Dr Sandra Knight (left), Chairman of Jamaica's National Family Planning Board-Sexual Health Agency, addressing the Jamaica Observer Press Club last Thursday. Caught in a contemplative mood is Executive Director of the National Family Planning Board Sania Sutherland. (Joseph Wellington/Jamaica Observer photo)


Entertainment industry

"We are competing with other things that are happening but compete we must. In addition to us competing we have to reach out to the entertainment industry for example and say to them, look, what is it that you are doing? Look at the message you are putting out there," Dr Knight said. She also registered disgust with the productions of some female members of the entertainment industry. "I look at some of our female entertainers and I say look at how long and hard you have worked to be recognised and this

is the explicit sexual crap you are putting out there. You have the opportunity to positively influence the young people in Jamaica and you are spewing crap," she said. Commenting on a seeming trend whereby teens have been featured in locally-made sexually explicit 'videos' making the rounds on social media, she said that the activities that are now being shown in videos "have been happening a long time".


"It's not now, it's just that they are being recorded because everybody's phone now has a camera. I cannot imagine why a father having sex

with his daughter is putting that on camera," she said in reference to one of the most recent incidents where a father was reportedly filmed frolicking with his daughter and other underaged girls. "I am a little alarmed at how person's ability to discern between a right decision and a wrong decision is so diminished. It's troubling, it's very troubling," Dr Knight said. Addressing the issue Marion Scott, acting director of Outreach and Prevention with the Board, said that it has brought parenting to the forefront. "This is where parenting comes in, parents are not talking to their children about sex. They think if they don't talk about it, it won't happen, which is the complete opposite. If you don't talk about it, they are curious, they will get the information somewhere and it is often inappropriate or incorrect information from the wrong source. So we definitely have to work on the parents and the dialogue," she said, noting that sex is taboo in many households. (Excerpted from Jamaica Observer)



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Star of the week


resilient athlete, Gabriella Xavier is noted as one of the Guyana National Women's Hockey Team’s most instrumental players. The hockey star started playing at age 13. Growing up among friends and family who were already playing hockey, Gabriella was drawn to the sport. The 23-year-old loves everything about hockey, especially because it is a team sport and she can share every moment on the field with her teammates. To be a good athlete, Gabriella invests her time, effort and passion. Her hockey skills have helped her to compete in various countries, including Trinidad, Barbados, Canada, Brazil and Argentina. She plans to represent Guyana at the CAC games in Mexico later this year. Gabriella and her team are aiming to make it to the top two spots and to bring back home the winner’s trophy. While hockey is a significant part of her life, Gabriella knows that an education is equally important. She is currently completing a finance degree at the Florida International University in Miami. Her advice to youths is to have a balanced life, remain focused regardless of obstacles, and to never let anything get in the way of achieving their goals.



week ending February 16, 2014 |


emembering our African ancestors and their journey to redemption from slavery gives us a sense of self-identity and helps us to appreciate our roots. This is the aim of the African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA) as it hosts a series of events in celebration of Black History Month. February is Black History Month, which got started by a Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson, who also founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). In 1925, Woodson conceived and announced Negro History Week. The event was first cele-

brated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson and others like him believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. The goal of started Black History Month was to help raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization. This paved the way opening the door to many events, clubs and teachers demanding materials to instruct their pupils as well as scholars and philanthropists stepping forward to endorse the effort. Carter G. Woodson first coined Negro History Week in 1925

and was introduced as a full month by President Gerald R. Ford in 1976 and, upon Woodson's death in 1950, has continued to grow into a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the civil rights movement focused Americans of all colour on the subject of the con-

tributions of African Americans to our history and culture. ACDA’s series of events during this month include informative lectures, educational workshops and a food exhibition. The exhibition, which is

Folding, also called 'Djuka', stool from Suriname

being h e l d u n t i l February month-end, is currently hosted in the Akwaaba Centre, located in ACDA’S compound. The theme ‘Sankofa’ was chosen for the exhibition because of what the Sankofa bird represents. Sankofa is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa. It is expressed in the Akan language as se wo were fin a wosan kofa a enki which means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.” Visually and symbolically, Sankofa is expressed as a mythic bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg, symbolizing the future, in its mouth. Sankofa teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or been stripped of, can be reclaimed, revived, preserved and perpetuated. Collaborating with the African Heritage Museum, the exhibition has on display invaluable artefacts loaned from the museum and a

host of informative banners on African history. On Feb. 15, ACDA would be hosting an entrepreneurship workshop. The workshop, themed “Economic Empowerment”, will be followed by a film festival. Celebrations are scheduled to be held in the three counties, and plans are afoot for the hosting of a reparations conference that will include the PanAfrican movement and Rastafarian organisations. Additionally, ACDA plans to honour a few outstanding African Guyanese and prominent public personalities would be invited to speak about their contributions to their respective fields of work and Guyana as a whole. A good read this month is the recently released book by philanthropist, writer and poet Eric Phillips. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Phillips said his book, “Know Thyself A-Z”, is about self-knowledge and self-healing. “It is about rekindling the spirits of our ancestors, both known and unknown. It is about Sankofa. This book is also about remembrance. The book assists in the search of self, identify and seek a better understanding of African culture,” he explained. ACDA hopes that the celebrations planned will attract a wide cross-section of students, as well as those who are interested to learn about their history. For more information call 225-8420 or visit ACDA on Thomas Lands.

Artistic goblets



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Sparrow back home in TT


Nuff bottom start falling out


hen some body runnin around mekkin excuses, dem bound to run outta dem same excuses at some time. Old people seh, every day bucket a go good, but one day de bottom does fall out. And bucket bottom does only fall out when it got plenty weight. So it does fall out hard and spill every ting whah inside. But is a good ting that is de bucket bottom whah does fall out, and not de person bottom who mekkin de excuses. That woulda leff a lotta bottoms pun de road, not countin Green Ham, de mayor-fuh-life. And if Green Ham top is nevah a good sight, imagine how bad is de bottom. In any case, it look like nuff bottoms fall out at de *hitty kounce-il. And dem ain’t lookin like bucket bottoms. Dem bottoms at de kounce-il not only fall out in public, but dem also fall out wid one another. Every day is a different setta bottoms fallin out. That’s lotta bottoms in public! Soloman is another one who runnin outta excuses. Soloman believe he is de solo man to control de Linden people. He believe he is de solo man who open de town. That is why he tink he is de solo man who coulda shutdown de town. But it turn out that he was de solo man who was lookin fuh excuses de whole time after he shutdown plan get shot down. And wid Soloman runnin outta excuses, soon he bottom might fall out too. Just wait till he blow he top. Nuff a dem public servants does run outta excuses. Whenever any body tryin to get some ting done in a guvament office, who ain’t out to lunch deh pun de phone. And who ain’t deh pun de phone ain’t come to wuk. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! Even de Yarde Man run outta excuses fuh no body turnin up to join de protest. In fact, Yarde Man couldn’ta even find people, much less de excuse. So look out fuh he bottom fallin out too!

eputed calypso king of the world, the Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco), 78, returned home to Trinidad Monday, after being in a coma in New York, to do Carnival performances and visit his family. Singing his calypso, ‘Sparrow Dead’, he appeared in good spirits and health as he spoke with members of the media at a news conference at Piarco International Airport. Sparrow arrived on a Caribbean Airlines flight around 1 pm. His wife, Margaret, daughter, Karen and baby grandson were with him. He said he may perform at tents and at the Mas Camp Pub. “I am ready for whatever happens,” he added. Sparrow said he was also hoping to raise some funds to pay for expenses incurred over the past few months. Describing his illness, he said he was at death’s door. “I was in a coma and I come back. A coma is near death. I went through the wrong door and they send me back. They want to kill me now. When I was behaving bad, they didn’t want to kill me,” he joked. Sparrow said he can now walk and “dance a little bit” and was the happiest man alive. He said he was glad to be back home because there was no snow in Trinidad. New York has been hit by severe snow storms. “I ain’t able with the kind of snow they have up there,” he related. He added that he would return to New York just after Carnival to see his doctors and replenish his medication which he has to take

Calypso King of the world, Slinger Mighty Sparrow Francisco plays with his nine-month-old grandson, Kona Williams, in the VIP Lounge at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad Monday after he returned home from New York. Sparrow, now recovered from a stroke last year, is looking forward to the Carnival season. (Shirley Bahadur/TT Guardian photo)

twice a day. He said he believed he could perform around the schedule, since an alarm on his medicine kit tells him when it’s time to take it. After he came out of the coma at Queen’s Hospital in New York last September, Sparrow was taken to a therapy facility where he had been steadily recovering. Meanwhile, creative arts lecturer/director Rawle Gibbons of Canboulay Productions was on hand to welcome Sparrow. “We welcome the king, the bird, Dr Sparrow home. You know,

Birdie, prime ministers come and go, presidents come and go. But there is only one king—the monarch himself, Sparrow,” he said. He continued, “And Sparrow if you know the outpouring of love that has come out of this situation, out of this occasion for your return. Every appeal that we have made people have responded to.” Gibbons noted his company decided to do a series of five lecture performances in appreciation of Sparrow. (Excerpted from TT Guardian and TT Newsday)


Arts & Culture

week ending February 16, 2014 |

Narissa Shawh is revolutionizing henna art in Guyana


aking the ancient tradition of henna and transforming it into modern art is what Narissa Shawh excels in. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine , Narissa discusses what inspires her in creating beautiful henna art, and how she intends to use it for selfdevelopment. “While growing up, I always had a passion for arts and craft. My mother was a professional cake decorator, a florist, a seamstress, and a hairdresser too. So I guess it rubbed off on me a bit. Initially, I was never really into henna because I never saw anyone who did it really good. And if it was neat, it was done with stencil and not free-hand. Then I saw a really good henna design on a friend, who is also a henna artist, and I was surprised at how lovely it looked. I was expecting her to say it was done with stencil, but to my surprise she did it free-handed. That sparked my interest. I started out doing henna for

Decorative candles

friends and family just for the fun of it and at the same time used it as an opportunity to practice and perfect the art of henna designing. People who knew of my talents approached me to do henna for

so on. Then was when I decided to do it professionally,” she recalled. After honing her skills, the artist started her business, Narissa’s Henna Designs, last year.

Elegant henna design on hands clothing, wood, chair cushions, teacups and mugs – the Narissa also puts henna designs on clothing

Beautiful henna design on shopping bag

weddings, engagements and

Henna is her paint and her canvas ranges from candles to clothing. She not only designs hands but also creates beautiful handcrafted, bejewelled henna designs on candles, glassware,

possibilities are endless. A self-taught henna artist, Narissa now researches how she can perfect her talent, and emulates notable henna artists. “I always loved designing stuff. So since I taught myself to do henna, I applied the same techniques in designing various craft items as well. And I also got some ideas from other henna artists as well,

Henna designs on cups and glasses

which they themselves have ventured into. For me, inspiration can come from anywhere. If I see a fascinating pattern on a piece of fabric, on a building, or even everyday objects, I would imagine how it would look on someone’s hand. Sometimes I find myself browsing online for patterns done by henna artist in the industry and ideas bloom from there,” Narissa mentioned. Deeply passionate about her art, Narissa enjoys composing concepts to create a unique design. Moreover, her motivation comes from clients who commend her on creating quality and inventive work. Narissa has revolutionized henna art in Guyana. Now, she is focused on growing as an entrepreneur and an artist. “For my business right now, I am focused on getting the word out there since I only started a year ago. With that I expect my business to grow. I also have plans to widen the marketing of my craft items and to further grow the business and get recognized in the henna art industry in Guyana,” she declared. For more information, visit Narissa’s Henna Designs on Facebook.



week ending February 16, 2014 |


ince its conception, the Guyana Fashion Week (GFW) has provided a stage for local, regional and international designers to showcase their eclectic collections. A jewellery designer from Suriname, Warda Marica was one of the regional designers who graced GFW with style. For more than 10 years, the designer has been creating fashionable and classy jewellery. Her trademark is often a big statement piece

made of silver, finished with gemstones, stamps, plastic bags, or textiles – whatever inspires her. Warda’s most recent collection, ReCyle Ward, focuses on recycling waste materials into wearable art. Her ingenuity is shown in the way she transforms garbage into chic pieces. For her 2014 collection, she made beads from plastic bags. The collections of jewellery are handcrafted for both women and men, and were a highlight at GFW 2013.


week ending February 16, 2014 |


Dr Zulfikar Bux

Emergency Specialist By Vahnu Manikchand

His patriotism and genuine love for the field, for the care of people, are the fuel which burn the fire within Dr Zulfikar Bux. At 29, he is currently Guyana's first emergency specialist and head of the Emergency and Accident Ward at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, a job which he is very much passionate about. Growing up in West Berbice, Bux attended New Amsterdam Multilateral School. During those years he developed a love for cricket and eventually became the captain for the school's team. He initially decided to take up the game professionally; however his father, and destiny, had other plans for him. "My older brother was also a cricketer so I guess the game came naturally to me and so I wanted to become a professional cricketer. But Dad was not pleased, he said there is already one cricketer in the family and there is no need for another one. So he then pushed me to towards medicine; something which has been embedded in me but I didn't recognize it." When Bux was around 13 years, his neighbour took ill and subsequently died from low blood sugar since there were not a lot of medical professionals in the area. "Medical care then was not as great as it is now, and access was much more difficult. After my neighbour died I thought if there was someone who could have detected that his blood sugar was low then he would not have died. So from then on I’ve always wanted to help people,” he recalled. Then Bux’s family migrated when he was 17 years old. However, he decided to remain in Guyana to study medicine because of his commitment to help people. After writing CXC in 1999 at age 14, he went on to Sixth Form because he was too young to attend the University of Guyana (UG). He studied Pre-med Biology then went to UG to study Medicine which he completed in 2007,

Not even Bourda could bring de rain

D and at 23 years old became a certified doctor. He began working in the paediatrics department of the GPHC for a year but became too attached to the children, which was difficult, especially when they did not make it. “There was this one kid,” he recalled, “he was a leukaemia patient and spent most of his time in the unit. The first words he said were ‘Dr Bux’ so I was very close with him, but he didn’t make it. That basically broke me down and was the end point for me in paediatrics.” Bux’s next move was to the emergency ward, where he found his true calling in medicine. “In emergency medicine you actually get to do acute interventions and save lives, and you don’t get to see these patients back so it doesn’t really affect you much,” he revealed. He subsequently underwent training in emergency medicine and, after studying locally, regionally and overseas for about three years, he became Guyana’s first emergency medicine specialist. Bux’s vision now is to make emergency medicine services in Guyana second to none. His advice for young persons is to work hard. “Whatever you want to do, just work hard and be disciplined in what you do. There are a lot of distractions in society but you have to know what you want and direct yourself to that goal.”

e M-Owe-A and de High-dro Met people finally show dem face. Dem actually end up showin dem face long before de same rain whah dem seh woulda fall long before dem woulda had time to show dem face. By then, dem face end up long. When people get de first word, dem hustle home and lock up tight to wait fuh rain. But when de second one come middle night, a preacher man start to panic and start tinkin bout de days of Noah and de ark. Right after that, G-Pee-Hell had he in de dark. Another man wake up and call Minister Benn Down to beg fuh sand. Benn Down slam down de phone like a hammer, but not before he tell de man he don’t deal wid sand, and that he must call Bee Kay. That is when de man realise de minister still got stones, although he seh de other day he runnin outta stones. De M-Owe-A people seh that de weather is not a precise science, so dem could be wrong any time dem predict that rain gon fall. But judgin from de past, nutten whah dem seh don’t ever be precise. Is de same wrong talk whah goin on wid rice and sugar. De other day when de rain flood out de rice farmers, dem ain’t had no warnin from de M-Owe-A. And every time dem give sweet talk bout sugar, it does turn out bitter. In Guyana, de best way to predict rain is to plan fuh cricket at Bourda. But not even that might wuk any more, because wid de condition whah Brer Anansi and Nansi Dru got Bourda in, not even cricket could play deh. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! That is why Anansi and he friends does do only one ting at Bourda nowadays. And it ain’t got any ting to do wid bat and ball, although dem does bat and bowl a white ball fuh long hours! God know why he put de M-Owe-A and Bourda next to one another!


week ending February 16, 2014 |

health corner

What we see & how we see Many different parts of the eye help us to visualize our surroundings. Light he eyes are a part of the body’s passes through the eye in the following major sense organs. They allow order: cornea, pupil, lens, and then retius to see and interpret the world na. The cornea is a clear tissue covering around us because they contain recep- the front part of the eye. It is responsitors that receive impulses from the en- ble for bending or refracting the incomvironment. These impulses are relayed ing light. The pupil is the opening that to the nerves, which then takes the in- controls the amount of light entering formation to the brain for processing. the eye and this is regulated by the iris. This is why the eyes are also considered The iris is a circular band of muscles in part of the central nervous system. the eye that controls the size of the puWhen we look at people, animals, pil. It is also responsible for the color of objects, etc, what we see is called light, the eyes. Behind the pupil is the lens. a small part of an electromagnetic spec- The lens is made up of transparent tistrum. The electromagnetic spectrum is sue that bends and further focuses the the range of all possible frequencies of light on to the retina. The retina conelectromagnetic radiation and humans tains cells that respond to light; these only have detectors for wavelengths of are called photoreceptors. These phoenergy between 380 and 760 nanome- toreceptors convert light into electrical ters. Therefore, we cannot see other signals that travel to the brain through types of energy such as gamma rays, the optic nerve for further processing. only light. And thus, we are able to visualize the object. Other parts of the eye such as the macula, fovea, and vitreous gel have other responsibilities as well. The macula and fovea are responsible for sharp central vision, which is necessary for tasks that require detailed vision such as reading, distinguishing faces, driving, etc. On the other hand, vitreous gel, sometimes referred to as vitreous humor, is a jellylike fluid found at the back of the eye and it helps maintain the shape of the eye. Overall, what we see is light. Our eyes allow us to collect the Image of parts of the eye. Illustration. n.d. visual information, which is then Information for Healthy Vision. National Eye sent to the brain for interpretaInstitute. Web. 12 Feb. 2014. <https://www. tion.>. By Tisha Boston


Legal corner

Tax Refund time a good time to file for bankruptcy!


By Richard Kistnen, Esq.

t may be a little hard to believe, but if you have been thinking about filing for bankruptcy, the tax refund time might be one of the better times to file. Of the many things people tend to put off because of money concerns (going to the doctor, payments to credit cards, vacations, etc.), nothing feels easier to put off than a legal matter, especially a bankruptcy. I argue this might be in error for the following reasons. First, if you can accurately gauge how much you are expecting in refunds, you can plan using your exemptions appropriately to protect most, if not all, of the money you are expecting from tax refunds. Second, if you use tax refund monies towards legal fees, it likely will not draw ire from the trustee. Using tax refund monies on legitimate necessaries and services is acceptable, whereas luxury or questionable purchases often come under scrutiny. Finally, if you use tax refund monies to satisfy some claims of creditors at the expense of others, you may be engaging in preference payments. If you then file bankruptcy, your case may be subject to heightened scrutiny for those preferential payments (and even insider payments). The first reason – proper exemption planning – is crucial to filing for bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, you are allowed to keep some property, as defined by certain federal and state laws. Both sets of laws limit the amount of cash you can keep. As such, if you can accurately gauge how much in tax refunds you are expecting, you can play with the exemptions to maximize the amount protected. If you

are expecting a large refund, you would aim to (perhaps) use more of your exemptions towards the refund, and make other property (but possibly with little resale value) non-exempt. The second reason – towards legal fees and other necessaries – makes a case move that much smoother. Trustees want to know where tax refund monies go, and may, in some instances, ask for documentation of expenditures following receipt of tax refunds. If you use that money for something like the legal fees of the attorney filing your bankruptcy, it would rarely draw scrutiny from the trustee. If you start using the tax refund monies on other things, you should expect a trustee to demand an accounting of where those monies went. The third reason – avoidance of preference payments – is also critical to a smooth bankruptcy case. The Bankruptcy laws do not allow a debtor to make payments to “favored” creditors. That is, if you use tax return refund monies to pay down one credit card, and not another, you are making preferential payments. This may result in the trustee bringing a preference action to recover those monies, as well as greater scrutiny and demand of proof of more of your transactions. Ultimately, if you are thinking about bankruptcy, the most prudent thing to do is to speak with a bankruptcy attorney early. This is why I think now – the tax return refund period – is a good time to start planning, if not to file. It will make a case go much smoother, and give you greater peace of mind. If you would like to discuss bankruptcy, please call the Law Office of Richard Kistnen at (718) 738-2324.



week ending February 16, 2014 |


he National Trust on January 31 launched the second issue of its Heritage magazine in the Ballet Room of Cara Lodge in Georgetown. Delayed by a year due to time needed for research and difficulties in finding contributors, the magazine has been made a biennial edition. At the launch, which was attended by several government and diplomatic representatives among others, copies signed by the culture minister were presented to authors and officials in attendance. Audience members received their free copies. The magazine illustrates the diverse ethnicity of Guyana, with many of its features discussing various cultural and historical facets of the races that make up our country, written by several local and internationally renowned writers, researchers and experts in their respective fields.


Sister Mary Noel Menezes is an author of several historical publica-

play a role in creating the Guyanese language. Shammane Joseph is a historian and teacher who presents us with an account of the superstitions of descendants of murdered slaves on the Berbice River more than 200 years ago. Legend has it a haunted log floats along the river in her article, The Myth of the Seamaster. She also provides another essay on the little-known liberated Berbice Africans of 18411865.

Maritime history

Cover of the Heritage magazine published by the National Trust of Guyana

Guyana lecturer Dr Winston McGowan, also an admired historian and author, writes of the origins and consequences of the 1763 slave rebellion in Berbice, which included a Feb 27, 1763 rebellion, spurred on he writes, by the Kofi rebellion just four days earlier. Another well-known

The Chinese Immigrant Experience by Margery Kirkpatrick

tions, which have gone on to receive international acclaim, and is the recipient of several academic awards. Her short essay on the legacy and heritage of the PortugueseGuyanese also touches briefly on Jose Gomes D’Aguiar, who went on to begin the Banks DIH Guyanese and Caribbean conglomerate. The much respected historian and University of Guyana lecturer Tota C. Mangar, also an expert in his field who has published historical books and research papers, provides an essay on the 175year anniversary of East Indians in Guyana from its origins to its effects today. Emeritus Professor and former University of

UG’s Centre for Communication Studies also imparts the sentiments of several established and upcoming local theatre personalities regarding the development of their art after the reopening of the renovated Theatre Guild. Major General (ret’d) Joseph G Singh, in this the 250th anniversa-

Tota Mangar’s 175th anniversary of East Indian arrival

local writer, conservationist and businesswoman, Annette Arjoon-Martins looks at the Amerindian food staple cassava; its origins and its influence in their culture. This unique perspective into a familiar aspect of Amerindian life also includes descriptions of the cassava making process. Author and Chinese historian Margery Kirkpatrick then provides an intimate account of the Chinese immigrant experience in her all-toobrief essay that offers a tantalising glimpse of a time of turmoil so many thousands of miles away that helped shape the history of the Chinese in Guyana.


2014 issue are features exploring our historic landmarks that include monuments, buildings and infrastructure. National Trust chairman and University of Guyana lecturer in architecture, Lennox J Hernandez takes a look at the National Trust and its role in the preservation of historic buildings

Dr McGowan’s feature on the 1763 rebellion

Also included in the

and national monuments, revealing that to date the Trust has some 150 structures, sites and objects being considered for gazetting as national monuments. A special article looks at the Georgetown City Hall and its place among the 69 worldwide sites that have qualified for the 2014 World Monuments Watch list. From this list, sites around the world would be chosen for the World Monuments Fund which provides international recognition and access to its two-year services. Playwright and author Paloma Mohamed then focuses on the Theatre Guild and its contribution to the theatrical arts in Guyana. The director of

Buru creek near Surama.

Intangible Heritage

One of the aims of the Heritage magazine has been to highlight the tangible and intangible heritage of Guyana. This issue also offers articles illustrating our intangible heritage, such as the article by UG linguistics lecturer Alim

The Portuguese-Guyanese account by Sister Mary Noel Menezes

ry of the 1763 revolution, offers little-known insight into the canals that had first been handcleared and excavated by slaves, and this legacy in Guyana.


Looking further back in time in our heritage, articles by veteran local anthropologists and archaeologists include Jennifer Wishart’s brief feature on the late Dr Denis Williams’ research into the Guyana petroglyphs. George Simon brings us up-to-date on recent archaeological investigations of the middle Berbice River, and also provides the unique insight of a modern-day shaman to interpret new archaeological finds along the Buru

Hosein on Guyanese language, which considers the influences of colonisation and the society that

Historian Allyson Stoll, along with Rita Stoll, produces a condensed review of the vessels that once plied the busy Pomeroon River; their builders and boatbuilding traditions along the river. In the final account of the issue, another historian, Estherine Adams pens the details of the historic tragedy of the vessel Glory Hallelujah in Bartica more than three decades ago where seven persons, including four children, died. Several other features highlight Guyana’s diverse heritage and conservation efforts, along with a feature by Saskia Hart, who is an architect and also wife of current U.S. ambassador to Guyana Brent Hart. For the history and culture buff, the recent launch of issue number two by the National Trust of Guyana is a treat, and brimful of diverse information that reveals much of the research and knowledge that has been generously provided to create the historic magazine. If you would like a copy of the 2014 Heritage Magazine, which is free of cost, it can be uplifted from the National Trust, 94 Carmichael Street, Cummingsburg. With a limited number available, call 225-5071 for more information.


travel & tourism


week ending February 16, 2014 |


A spectacular view of the mountain

emotely located, Chi Chi is a nature-loversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; paradise of pristine forest, expansive rivers, multiple waterfalls during the rainy season, and towering almost straight rising mountains. The journey begins in Imabaimadai, Region Seven. A speed boat ride from Imbaimadai Landing, along the Mazaruni River gives an ideal view of Guyanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rich biodiversity. The ride is a scenic 45-minute trip to reach the foothills of Chi Chi Mountains, with occasional glimpses of sparsely populated and isolated communities along the way. Atop Chi Chi Mountain, a small airstrip connects the few Amerindian communities scattered over the mountain top with the outside world.

Breathtaking view of the mountain from a distance

Travel by boat along the river is usually the only way to travel

Rock cliffs rise high over the densely forested foothills of Chi Chi



week ending February 16, 2014 |

‘All is well between Salman and me’ - Sonakshi Sinha


ctress Anushka Sharma has remained in the news either for rumours of her lip surgery or her alleged relationship with cricketer Virat Kohli. However, focusing on the latter at the moment, the actress was reportedly snapped at the Mumbai airport after her quick trip to New Zealand. According to a news report in Mid-

Day, Anushka was snapped by their photographer at the Mumbai airport. The report further mentioned that Anushka had come back from New Zealand after spending time with her rumoured boyfriend and cricketer Virat. A few days back, a picture of Virat and a girl holding hands and walking on the streets of New Zealand were doing the rounds online. It was reportedly believed that the girl in question was Bollywood hottie Anushka. Virat has gone to New Zealand along with the rest of the Indian cricket team for a Test series. Virat and Anushka's alleged relationship was highlighted on the show ‘Koffee With Karan’ that was aired Sunday. Filmmaker and host Karan Johar was seen teasing Anushka and her 'boyfriend' Virat while the actress blushed. (TOI)


ed up with the rumours about her tiff with Khan brothers---Salman and Arbaaz, actress Sonakshi Sinha has cleared the air

and confirmed that nothing is wrong between them. If rumours are to be believed, Salman was miffed with the actress

when she refused to do two of his upcoming movies---‘Dolly ki Doli’ and ‘Kick’. Though Salman replaced Sonakshi later with Sonam Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandes, the relationship between them strained. However, Sonakshi has recently tweeted about her cordial relations with Salman. She tweeted, "Guys, pls dont take these miss malini type gossip mongers seriously...All is well with @arbaazskhan and @beingsalmankhan. keep calm :)" (TOI)

‘No secret to a successful Five Bollywood actresses marriage’- Ajay Devgn who never graduated dropout too. Aishwarya had always been an average student. She went to Jai Hind college for a year, but later switched to some other college to pursue architecture. Soon she was offered many high end modelling assignments and film offers. Thus she left her studies mid way to join the Bollywood bandwagon. Deepika Padukone:


areena Kapoor: Unlike the junior Nawab of Pataudi, Kareena had never been a bright student. From a very tender age, glamour and glitz impressed her more than anything else. One of the highest paid actresses of the decade, Kareena made her film debut at the age of 20. After studying commerce for two years at Mithibai Colege, Kareena later developed an interest towards law. She then enrolled at the Government Law College, but left it after the first year to join Bollywood. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: One of the

most beautiful faces in the world, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a college

She wanted to be a criminal psychologist and joined Jai Hind college in Mumbai. But modelling and beauty assignments came her way too soon.

While Deepika played a college girl in one of the highest earners of the year, ‘Ýeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, very few know that Deepika did not complete her graduation in real life. For Deeepika, Bollywood had always been her first calling. Deepika had joined Mount Carmel in Bangalore, but never completed her studies there. She also enrolled for a short term course in IGNOU for further studies, but could never complete it. Deepika, who has been tagged as the highest earner of Bollywood, definitely paid a huge price for reaching where she is today. Priyanka Chopra: One of the most sought after actresses of the decade, Priyanka never finished her graduation. The beauty queen has done her schooling from a number of places like USA and India.

Karisma Kapoor: One of the first to break the Kapoor stereotype, Karisma not only entered showbiz but also made it big there. Her passion and scintillating looks made her one of the most prominent stars of the 90s. However, very few of us are aware of the price she paid for this. Karisma allegedly dropped out of school soon after she entered sixth standard to pursue acting. Her first film was 'Prem Qaidi'and when she was just sixteen then. (TOI)


ctor Ajay Devgn, who has been married to actress Kajol for 15 years, says there is no secret mantra to a successful marriage. The couple tied the knot in 1999 and is parents to daughter Nysa and son Yug. "I think one just needs to be happy and keep the other person happy. There is no secret mantra to a successful marriage, you just have to give other person as much importance and respect all your life. One just has to believe in commitment and things go right," Ajay told Indian media. Ajay does not believe

Bollywood is a difficult place for marriages. "It happens everywhere not just in this in-

dustry. I think it depends on people to people (how they work towards marriage)," he added. (TOI)

‘Woman should have an identity beyond just the way she looks’ - Katrina


e it her flawless skin or well worked-out body, Katrina Kaif has always been known for her beauty. But the actress feels "there is more to beauty than just the physical appearance". "I feel it is important not to get overly obsessed and overly carried away with just the physical aspect. There is more to beauty than just the physical appearance. You are also a complete person, and a woman should have an identity beyond just the way she looks," Katrina told IANS. Media appearances and film shoots are regular in the actress’ life, which require her to look perfect at all times. This can be "tough", said Katrina. (TOI)

Arshad addicted to online shopping


ctor Arshad Warsi says he is an online shopping addict as he ordered 12 pairs of shoes from a shopping portal. "I am 100 percent convinced that I am a net shopping addict. I just received my order of 12 pairs of shoes that I don't need at all," the 45-yearold posted on Twitter Sunday. Arshad started 2014 with two movies ‘Mr Joe B. Carvalho’ and ‘Dedh Ishqiya’, and he will next be seen in ‘The Legend of Michael Mishra’. (TOI)



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Meg Ryan wanted to be a journalist


ctress Meg Ryan says she dreamt of becoming a journalist in her teens and turned to acting only to finance her college fees. The 52-year-old actress has hit films like ‘When Harry Met Sally’, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, ‘City of Angels’, ‘You've Got Mail’ and ‘Kate & Leopold’ to her credit, reported Contactmusic. "My main aim, at 18, was to become a journalist. I only started acting---in commercials---to pay my way through college in New York," Ryan said. (TOI)


picture of Ryan Gosling has been stamped onto a plush pillow. The 5-foot pillow, created by Caitie Noble, is being sold online for

73 dollars, reported. Noble said she created the pillow for anyone who wants to cuddle up to Ryan in bed. (TOI)

Julia Roberts's half‘I have no shame’ - Dakota Johnson sister left 'suicide note'


he 24-year-old, who will feature on the front page of Elle's latest issue, says her interest in the project is beyond the sexual intimacy between her character Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan's Christian Grey, reported "I don't have any problem doing anything. The secret is I have no shame," Johnson said. "Reading the book, I found myself more interested in the ways they were breaking each other down emotionally than the sex scenes. I think there's a part of a woman that wants to be the thing that breaks a man down," she added. In the cover photo, Johnson can be seen donning an embellished cottonblend coat with her lace sheer thighhighs peeking out, and in another one

she is showing some skin in a strapless brassiere top and a wool skirt. (TOI)


ulia Roberts' half-sister Nancy Motes, who died recently, left a suicide note, it has been revealed. The Los Angeles County Department of Coroner has confirmed

that the ‘Pretty Woman’ star's sibling left a suicide note at her Malibu residence where her body was discovered, however, they refused to reveal more, Us Weekly reported. Sources stated that Motes was found dead in a bathtub by her fiancé and several prescription and nonprescription drugs found at the scene. According to the Mirror, the 37-year-old daughter of Betty Lou and Michael Motes left a five-page suicide letter of which three pages were directed at her sister, one was to her mum and the other was an apology to her fiancé. Motes family had released a statement expressing their sadness over her death due to "an apparent drug overdose" and added that they are "both shocked and devastated". (TOI)

Miranda Kerr's family Nicolas Cage to shoot in Delhi? haven't seen her in a year


iranda Kerr's family, who have not seen the supermodel or her son Flynn in over a year, have made an emotional public plea for her to

come home. In a "love letter" from Kerr's mother Therese, father John, brother Matthew and nanna Ann, the clan used an episode of an Australian

docudrama series, ‘Family Confidential’, to expose cracks in their relationship with the catwalk star, the New York Post reported. Therese was sacked by her daughter in her role as the managing director of Miranda's Kora skincare range last year. Miranda's father John and nanna Ann both despair at the growing distance between the fashionista and their grandchild Flynn, now 3, who they fear is "missing out" on being close to his Australian family. (TOI)

Robin Wright says divorce was ‘devastating’


f everything goes well, Delhi could see Nicolas Cage shooting for a movie called ‘Saffron Skies’ in

‘I'm fat and happy’ - Channing Tatum


obin Wright admits her divorce from Sean Penn was ''devastating.'' The ‘House of Cards’ star, who recently got engaged to her boyfriend of two years, Ben Foster, revealed she and the ‘Milk’ star tried to save their marriage several times for their children, Dylan, 22, and Hopper, 20, before they finally split for good in 2010. The 47-year-old actress told the UK's Sunday Telegraph: ''Divorce in and of itself, and with children, is devastating. Worse than that. One of the reasons why we got back together and broke up so much was trying to keep the family together…and we did that for a long time.'' Robin, who has her new fiancé’s initial tattooed on her wrist and admitted she gets Botox, hinted that she and her 53-year-old ex-husband, who recently started dating Charlize Theron, are no longer on speaking terms. (TOI)

March-April. The crew will be in India in a couple of weeks, to do the groundwork. "Right now, permissions are being sought, and the best way to shoot is being discussed. Once the crew comes in, along with their line producer, things will begin to fall into place. They have slotted one month of recce, post which the shooting will begin," a source said. The movie is a cross-production of sorts, with a Bollywood star essaying the lead role of a hotshot NRI who discovers he's suffering from cancer, and then wants to come back to India, and discover his motherland on a bike, leading to a soul transformation. And the Hollywood star will be someone who influences how this NRI begins to think and view India. (TOI)


hink Channing Tatum, and you probably think of rippling muscles and his many topless scenes in ‘Magic Mike’. Well it turns out the actor thinks he has let himself go lately-and he doesn't care. "I'm very fat and happy right now," he told Ellen Degeneres on her talk show when she told him that every-

body wants to see him shirtless. "No, no. You definitely don't want that right now," he laughed. "Right now, what me and my wife [Jenna D e w a n Tatum] like to call it, I am very 'fappy'." But before you worry about never seeing Channing's rippling muscles again, fear not. He's only avoiding the gym temporarily, and for one very cute reason-he wants to spend time with his wife and adorable baby: "I've been working for two straight years, and now it's some really needed downtime with the family." (Glamour)



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Jumbo’s New Year’s “Sweet Stakes” set for Sunday


he Port Mourant Turf Club (PMTC) will come alive on Sunday when Jumbo Jet Auto Sales, in collaboration with the PMTC, stages what is being dubbed the New Year’s “Sweet Stakes” horse race meet. The one-day activity has already attracted over 100 of the country’s top thoroughbreds, which will be competing for millions of dollars in cash and trophies, beginning at noon. Seven highly anticipated races are carded for the day, with the feature D1 and Lower fetching the highest first prize of Gy$1 mil-

Horse racing action

lion. That race will be run over 1500 meters. The main supporting race is for 3-year-old Guyana and West Indies bred animals, competing at 1200 meters for a top prize of Gy$600,000. The winner of the 4-year-old Guyana and West Indies bred horses event (1500 meters) is guaranteed Gy$500,000, while the same cash prize is at stake for the champion horse in the E1 and Lower (1200 meters). Other races on the agenda are the G1 and Lower (1200 meters/ Gy$400,000 first prize), I and Lower (1000 me-

ters/Gy$250,000 first prize), and the I and Lower (1200 meters/ Gy$200,000 first prize). According to information emanating from the organising team, all systems are in place for a highly competitive day of racing, featuring the leading horses, jockeys and stables. Reports out of Berbice are that the track is in excellent condition and participating stables from that part of the country have been working tirelessly over the past few weeks to get their animals in top shape for Sunday’s highly anticipated showdown.

Busta Champion-of-Champions cricket tourney bowls off on Sunday


he 10th annual Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (RHTY&SC), Busta, Champion-ofChampions cricket tournament for the top cricket clubs in Berbice will bowl off on Saturday at four venues in the Ancient County. The tournament, hosted by the RHTY&SC and is sponsored by the Guyana Beverage Company under its Busta brand. The tournament will involve Upper Corentyne, RHT Gizmos

Hilbert Foster

Sewnarine Chattergoon

Cricket Club will be home to West Berbice; the Port Mourant Cricket

Delbert Hicks

Rajiv Ivan

& Gadgets, Albion, West Berbice, Young Warriors Universal DVD, Blairmont Community Centre, Port Mourant, Karibee Rice and Universal Solution Bermine. For Sunday’s games, Rose Hall Town Gizmos and Gadgets will host Upper Corentyne at the Area ‘H’ ground; Albion

Club will host a youthful Bermine Cricket Club, while Young Warriors Cricket Club will be the host for the clash between Blairmont. Meanwhile, secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the RHTY&SC Hilbert Foster said that all arrangements are in place for a highly successful tournament. “Despite the absence

of several top players, the tournament will definitely be of a high standard with the likes of former West Indies opening batsman Sewnarine Chattergoon, former national wicket keeper, Delbert Hicks, national middle-order batsman Rajiv Ivan,” Foster said. He added that several promising under-19 players will have the opportunity to perform at the first division level. The semifinals will be played on the February 22, while the date and the venue for the final will be announced later. The winner of the tournament will receive Gy$100,000 and a trophy, while the runner-up will take home Gy$50,000. The finals will also be broadcast live on NCN Radio. All matches start at 09.30h and teams will be outfitted in Busta T/ Shirts provided by the sponsors.

TT’s Jonathan Ramkissoon shines in Ontario


entre of Excellence Sea Hawks Swim Club athlete Jonathan Ramkissoon scored three personal best swims and won a silver medal at the Ontario University Short Course Swimming Championships on the weekend. The 18-year-old Trinidadian national record holder swam the 50, 100 and 200 metres breaststroke for his University of Waterloo Warriors and impressed with one silver and two fifth placed finishes. Firstly in the 200m breaststroke, Ramkissoon touched the wall in 2:17.11 to place fifth in the final. His previous personal best was 2:27.32. Also in the race was fellow TT national record holder University of Toronto athlete Ross Phillips who placed 12th in 2:22.62. He then mounted the prize rostrum in the 100 metre breaststroke in another personal best

Jonathan Ramkissoon, left, silver medal in the 100m breaststroke poses with gold medal winner Konrad Bald, centre, and Ian Blechta both of Mc Master University. (TT Guardian photo)

1:02.46 to win silver. Late last year, he achieved a 15-17 new national record of 1:03.39, but he has since progressed to the 18 and over category. Phillips was 11th in this event in 1:05.21. Ramkissoon's third personal best came in the 50 metre breaststroke where he touched the wall in 29.10 seconds to place fifth. His previous Pb was 29.63. Phillips earned seventh place in this event in 29.58. Ramkissoon left

Trinidad last July to train for the World Junior Swimming Championships, and then proceeded to compete in Dubai where he performed creditably. Immediately following Dubai he proceeded to the University of Waterloo to pursue a BSc in Mathematics. In November he was named his school's athlete of the week for his 1:03.39 100m breaststroke swim which was a 15-17 national record. (TT Guardian)



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Guyanese proudly flying country’s colours in U.S. golf championships


u y a n e s e C r i s e n d a t Guyadeen, originally from Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice, but who migrated to the U.S.A., has been playing golf for the past 14 years, proudly flying Guyana’s colours along the way. Guyadeen is a member of the West Indian American Golf Association (WIAGA), which is made up of Guyanese, Trinidadian and Barbadian golfers. He is also a member of the Golf Channel Amateur Tour (GCAT), having played in several tournaments at the club level. So far he has won the GOPIO Championship, the Memorial Yournament and the Phoneix Challenge Trophy. These wins were at the club level for 2013. At the GCAT tour level, Guyadeen played in the Palmer Flight, which

is for players whose handicap is 0-6 (some professional players are within that category). In the Golf Channel Tour, Guyadeen had six second place finishes. He was tied twice for first place, but lost in a sudden death play-off on one occasion. However, Guyadeen managed to win outright in the final GCAT New York/Long Island Championship two-day major by shooting even par the first day and +5 on the second day to beat the complete field in his flight, which consisted of players from Britain, U.S. and Denmark. Guyana took the first place for that tournament to climax the GCAT New York/ Long Island season for 2013. In 2014 so far, Guyadeen played at the GCAT U.S.A. national level, which is a major two-day tournament with golfers from all

Crisendat Guyadeen

over the United States, Britain, Canada and Germany, held at the TPC Sawgrass Open in Jacksonville, Florida– the home of the PGA Players Tournament. There, Guyadeen defeated the field with 77 on the second day to win, including sinking a massive 30-foot birdie on the 17th hole, the Island Green, which is considered the most feared par 3 in the world. This Island Green is about 30 feet in diameter and surrounded by water and golfers have to tee off from about 156 yards in heavy wind. With this win, Guyadeen has qualifed to play in the U.S.A. Nationals in September this year in TPC Scottsdale, Arizona. However his next tournament is the GCAT Florida Masters to be held in Orlando, Florida at the Magnolia and Palms Course–a two time PGA Championship

venue. Although Guyadeen has never played in Guyana, he recently made contact with a senior official of the Lusignan Golf Course to indicate his interest to start an academy of golf for children and teenagers who are interested in learning the game. Guyadeen said he would like to further represent Guyana at the Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) to be held in Argentina in 2015, if he is allowed to, given that Guyana is not a member of the LAAC. Guyadeen is urging that Guyana join the LAAC. “The formation of the LAAC is the best thing that could happen for golf in the Caribbean and Latin America–all aspiring golfers can make strides to get to that level where they can represent their country,” he said. (Guyana Times)

Former under 19 captain delighted with performance in TT


ince his migration to Trinidad and Tobago ten years ago, former Guyana Under-19 skipper Troy Cornelius has been very impressive, with a number of high scores, and he has expressed great delight with his performance at the club level. The left-hander stated that he wants to continue with his prolific scoring and his ambition is still to be a big contributor for Merry Boys Sports Club in the twin-island republic. Having chalked up over 15 centuries and countless 50s, the Essequibian also took the opportunity to express the view that the standard of cricket in Trinidad and Tobago is exceptional. He acknowledged the support of fellow team members, including West Indies international players Lendl Simmons and Reyad Emrit, saying this has always been an encouraging factor for Cornelius. Cornelius, who skippered Guyana at the regional youth tournament in 2001 at home, said he really admires the structure and system in place by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) and is there-

Former Guyana Under-19 skipper Troy Cornelius

fore not surprised by the large number of players plying their trade in that country on a regular basis. “I think the organisation of their cricket is fantastic and the structure definitely wonderful. Seeing other cricketers coming from different parts of the Caribbean and playing here professionally is not strange to me, because they want to play good cricket, and more importantly, they are paid well,” Cornelius explained. Reminiscing on his under-19 days and

his representation for Essequibo and Guyana, the 32-year-old occasional off-spinner stated it was a great honour to lead his country. In so doing, it is still history-making to be the first Essequibian to captain a Guyana team at the under-19 level. “It was a great honour to captain Guyana at the youth tournament. In my first year (2000), test player Narsingh Deonarine was the skipper, but taking up the responsibility the following year was a dream come true for me and I will always cherish that armband,” Cornelius declared. Quizzed on his involvement with the game, particularly off the field, Cornelius was more than happy to say that he wants to give back something to the game, specifically Essequibo, and by extension Guyana’s cricket overall. “Of course I will begin my coaching course soon, and that is an area I think is very important for the development of the game. So I will love to give back to cricket, espe-

cially my country, and Essequibo because there are lots of talented players, but they need proper guidance and help with the technical part of the game as well,” Cornelius, whose favourite cricketer was ex-Australia captain Steve Waugh, said.

Cornelius, who originally comes from Bartica, said he is still indebted to Vibert Johnson, a senior Essequibo inter-county and a former Guyana under-15 coach as well, while he also thanked Sherlock Atwell from Demerara Cricket Club

(DCC) for the steady improvement of his game at an early age. Cornelius played most his teenage cricket in Georgetown, representing DCC while he donned the national colours at the under-15 level as well.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

ICC U19 Cricket TT’s quarter-miler Gordon World Cup UAE runs leading 400M 2014 set to break broadcast records


ubai, United Arab Emirates - More cricket fans than ever before will be able to enjoy watching the most far-reaching and comprehensive coverage of an ICC U19 Cricket World Cup (ICC U19 CWC). The tenth edition of the tournament will be staged across seven venues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 14 February to 1 March, and the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) global broadcast partner Star Sports is stepping up its production, as it gets set to make history. Following on from its world-class production of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, Star Sports will produce 11 matches in High Definition (HD) – the most matches ever at an ICC U19 CWC. The event is set to reach an estimated audience of 1.3 billion, thanks to broadcast agreements secured by Star Sports. This includes the continued coverage by ICC broadcast partners, Fox Sports in Australia, Sky Sports in the United Kingdom, OSN across Middle East and North Africa, ESPN in North America & the Caribbean and Sky NZ in New Zealand. The Dubai International Cricket Stadium will be the main TV venue for the tournament while one match from the Sharjah Cricket Stadium will also be broadcast live. All televised matches will be covered using 14 cameras, including ball tracking and virtual graphics provided by Hawk-Eye. For the first-time in an ICC event, LED stumps will be used to provide the television viewers and spectators at the venue an enhanced experience. The

stumps and bails illuminate when the bails are dislodged, giving the broadcaster and the crowd a true indication of when a batsman is out. They will be used for the semi-finals and final only. The live broadcast will be complemented by a world-class commentary team, which includes Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjrekar, Damien Martyn, Danny Morrison, Jonty Rhodes, Wasim Akram and Alan Wilkins. The TV broadcast of the event will be a truly interactive one for fans, who can stay engaged through polls on the event website and via the social media using the hashtag #futurestars and #u19cwc. Fans can also stay updated on the event via the event website which will feature live scores of all the matches and video clips of the key moments from the televised matches. David Richardson, the ICC Chief Executive, said: “The expanded broadcast and digital reach of this edition of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup will ensure that more fans globally now have an opportunity to see the sport’s future stars in action.” Nitin Kukreja, Star Sports, said, “The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is a premier tournament which showcases cricket’s future super stars. We have mounted an unprecedented production and broadcast effort to take cricket aficionados even closer to the action than ever before. We are confident that cricket fans will enjoy introduction of LED stumps for the very first time in an ICC tournament which will further enhance the broadcast experience.”


Lalonde Gordon. (TT Guardian file photo)

ouble Olympic bronze medallist Lalonde Gordon signalled his intention for next month’s World Indoor Championships when he sped to a world leading time of 45.17 in the men’s 400m in winning the event at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston, USA on Saturday. Gordon completed the two lap indoor event in a new personal best time and also improved the previous world best time of 45.47 by compatriot Deon Lendore on February 1. Gordon finished 0.02 seconds short of Lendore’s national mark of 45.15 which was a massive improvement

of his previous best time of 46.43 from 2012. Gordon is now at 11th on the all-time indoor performance list just behind Lendore who is at tenth. The race is the second 400m for the 25- year-old who clocked 46.67 in his first 400m race for the year one week earlier. The New York-based Nike sponsored quarter-miler had double success in Boston taking the 200m in 20.70, the second fastest of the year. Earlier in the day, Lendore was also in fantastic form blazing to victory in the men’s 200m in 20.68 at the Aggie Invitational hosted by his Texas A&M University in College

Station, Texas. Lendore’s run equalled the world leading time held jointly by American Wallace Spearmon and Jamaica’s Jermaine Browne. The time is also a personal best for the Olympic bronze medallist and the 2010 World Junior bronze medallist. Shermund Allsop who was sixth behind Lendore in 21.22 also competed in the 60m, but was eliminated in the heats after he was 14th overall in 6.90. Gordon and Lendore’s performances stood out among several victories by TT athletes on the U.S. Collegiate circuit. Another Texas A and M/ TT student Wayne Davis 11, Jarrin Solomon and Steve Waithe also recorded wins. Davis sped to gold in the men’s 60m hurdles finals at the Aggies Invitational in 7.81 after topping the prelims in 7.85. The reigning NCAA Division One outdoor 110m hurdles champion was slower than his season’s best of 7.75, but recorded his third victory for the 2013 season. Jamol James was second in the men’s long jump with a personal best of 7.43. The 2010 World Junior bronze medallist was also sixth in the men’s 60m finals in 6.76. (Excerpted from TT Newsday)

Slingerz FC signs Anthony ‘Awo’ Abrams – club revamps roster for 2014 season


ust a year ago, one East Bank Essequibo businessman assembled some of the best football players in Guyana, with the aim of one day having the country’s number one team, and though that title still respectfully belongs to Alpha United, the Slingerz Football Club has enjoyed a fruitful inauguration into Guyana’s football arena. The pinnacle of the club’s accomplishments for 2013 was winning the prestigious Georgetown Football Association (GFA) Banks Beer Cup, following a 3-2 win over Santos in the finals. Added to that, the club’s only defeat since their registration under the West Demerara Football Association (WDFA) in February last came at the hands of Alpha United. The ‘Hammers’, owned by Odinga

Lumumba, who is also Presidential Adviser on Youth Empowerment, clinched a 1-0 win in the Mayor’s Cup finals, and then defeated the ‘West Side’ team 4-2 in the finals of the Goal for Gold tournament. They competed in five tournaments, winning three and finishing runner-up in two; a statistic that General Manager Colin ‘B L’ Aaron is happy about. “If you look back at football in Guyana, I don’t think there’s any other club which can boast that, in their first year, they were able to have that amount of success. So Slingerz FC is happy. We’re not satisfied because, in sports, everyone’s aim is to be the best at what they do and, as such, we will be going all out to ensure that happens” Aaron said. Looking ahead, the club made eight new

Anthony Abrams

signings, with the acquisition of national striker Anthony ‘Awo’ Abrams being the most notable. Abrams was acquired from Slingerz FC’s arch rivals Alpha United, and the ambidextrous striker, according the club’s general manager, will certainly be an asset to the team. “I think every coach will also love to have a player like ‘Awo’ on his side. He brings with him a wealth of experience.

You can’t find many forwards who have played for this country at every level. He came from a top club in the Caribbean, and so he knows what it means to play hard and to win titles,” said Aaron. Domanique Babb (Milerock), John Waldron (Silver Shattas), Deon Charter (Eagles United), Lennox Allicock (Vasco), Dextroy Adams (Young Achievers), Leroy Pedro (Western Tigers), and Jamal Harvey (Uitvlugt United) are the other new players who will now don the Slingerz uniform. “This is a team that we believe will be successful this season and will give us that competitive edge. We came out with a bang, and so the club and its players are always in a situation where we have to perform at our best, because that’s what persons are expecting of us. “We have an obliga-

tion to the people who support us. Things can only get better for us from this stage onwards” he said. Asked if the exit of former captain Dwain Jacobs is seen as a major blow to the team, Aaron said, “Jacobs is a great player and played an important role in us being in the position we’re in presently, but him leaving didn’t put a damper on us in anyway. The players all play specific roles and, as such, collectively, we were able to achieve some of our objectives for last year, but it is never about no one man getting things done. But we wish him well.” Slingerz FC will roll out their star-studded roster this Saturday, when the second Annual Stag Beer/West Side Mashramani Champions Cup kicks off at the Uitvlugt Community Center Ground, West Coast Demerara.

The defending champions will come up against Bagotsville in the opening encounter, while the home side and Stewartville will collide in the second of the evening’s fixed double-header in the knock-out tournament. The Slingerz roster is a follows: Michael Crandon, Trenton Lashley, Pierre Joseph, Tichard Joseph, Vurlon Mills (captain), Joshua Brown, Kimba Braithwaith, Olvis Mitchell, Quason McAully, Rondell Hutson, Les-Charles Critchlow, Simon Emmanuel, Colin Nelson, Jason Cromwell, Anthony Harding, Clive Nobrega, Domanique Babb, John Waldron, Deon Charter, Lennox Allicock, Dextroy Adams, Leroy Pedro, Anthony Abrams, Devon Millington and Jamal Harvey. Coach is Charles ‘Lilly’ Pollard.



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Guyana’s synthetic Former Windies under-19 cricketer elected CSCA president track to be ready for

Hemnarine Chattergoon By R avendra M adholall


is representation for Guyana and Canada has persistently given Hemnarine Chattergoon greater motivation to return something to the game. His dedication has paid off and he strongly recommends that young, aspiring cricketers train hard, which will make the game easier for them, both mentally and physically. Chattergoon was

recently elected President of the Canadian Softball Cricket Association (CSCA) and is already aiming for more success in 2014. He was the vice-president of the association for the past two consecutive years. He is an active player for Jaguar in the CSCA competition and also represents Vikings Cricket Club in the annual Toronto and District Cricket Association Elite League. During an exclusive interview with this publication on Monday from his Mississauga home in the Greater Toronto Area, the righthander noted that softball has grown tremendously over the years. He now wants to see the association pull off another good year, given the fact that 2013 had over 20 teams involved–a manifestation of the continued support and players’ will-

ingness to participate. “We at the CSCA will continue to work hard over the next 12 months; I know the cricket season [is[ very short in Canada, but it was wonderful to see the large number of players coming and playing on a regular basis,” Chattergoon stated. Sunshine Cricket Club emerged as champion last year and again a plethora of seasoned players featured, much to the delight of the association. Some of those players were Royston Crandon, Damodar Daesrath, Rajindra Chandrika, Krishna Deosaran, Wasim Haslim, Garvin Singh, Mahendranauth ‘Bobby’ Parasnauth and Troy Gobin, among others. “It was very pleasing to watch the players come out and be a part of the action; the guys wanted to play and they seemed to have also enjoyed themselves. That is one of our objectives again this year–to have players who can make a big contribution to the game,” the 36-year-old occasional off-spinner said.

Apart from Hemnarine and Sewnarine, Ramnarine and Harrynarine are also siblings and would have donned Guyana’s colours at the youth level. Hemnarine stated that “it was a great privilege” to represent his native country and then Canada, and that has inspired him to coach at the club level. Additionally, Hemnarine praised his fellow executives for their efforts last year and is very optimistic that they will return with the same level of solid commitment and dynamism. He feels the players and the association are keeping softball cricket on a steady growth and was very thankful to the sponsors, whose input he said must be recognised. M e a n w h i l e , Hemnarine plans to be in Guyana later this year to take part in the annual Guyana Cup softball Mini World Cup tournament, which is being run under the auspices of the Guyana Softball Floodlights Association.

use before year-end By Treiston Joseph


he Leonora synthetic track in Guyana is on its way to being functional by the third quarter of this year, said Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Sport Ministry Steve Ninvalle, following a visit to site on Saturday. After many delays, the rubber-based surface is completely laid, but will need a week of full sunshine for the colour and lane markings to be sprayed onto the black surface; by the German company BSW Regopul. In the meantime, developmental works around the site are moving at a pace the Sport Ministry is a bit peeved about. “One of the major developments is the construction of the eastern stands, I think it’s about 65-70 percent completed. “We are concerned with the pace that the contractor are going at, but nevertheless there is development, but development at a pace we are

not comfortable with, so every day we are urging them,” Ninvalle noted. Managing Director of Innovative Engineering Consultancy Services Deoraj Dalchand, who explained some of the work that has been ongoing, gave the new deadlines for specific sections of the track. “The stands (Eastern) are expected to be finished in March, the roads are expected to be done in April, the club house is expected to be finished in July, and overall we are looking at this project being functional, providing we can get the track laid and we get some good weather, probably in the third quarter of the year,” Dalchand said. Meanwhile, the ticketing boots are almost completed, according to Dalchand, while the base for all the field events has been installed. The material for the spraying and finishing of the synthetic surface is already in Guyana and waiting for the one week window to be completed.


week ending February 16, 2014 |



week ending February 16, 2014 |

Switzerland to face Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz in friendly matches


espite having failed in its bid to qualify for this summer's World Cup, Jamaica's senior men's national team is poised for a lot of action prior to football's biggest showpiece. The Reggae Boyz's latest confirmed opponent are FIFA eighth-ranked team and World Cup qualifiers Switzerland, with the game to be played on Friday, May 30 in that country's north-central city, Lucerne. Match time is set for 8:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. Jamaica time).

The match comes a mere nine days before the Winfried Schäfer-led Boyz tackle world number 20-ranked France at the Stade Pierre Maury in Lille, France. "It is now confirmed that the Reggae Boyz will take on another of the big European nations that have qualified for the World Cup in Brazil, and it is Switzerland," Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President, Captain Horace Burrell revealed to Jamaican media. "Switzerland will be play-

ing their full-strength team, as their players will be aiming to make the final cut for their World Cup squad. It is not easy to be able to get to play against these elite teams, but personal connections and the good relationships that I have developed over the years with my fellow presidents made it easier," he added. The 81st-ranked Reggae Boyz will have a busy March, during which they will face Caribbean neighbours Barbados (2nd) and Grenada (5th) in Bridgetown and St

George's, respectively. "We have been inactive for a while, and in keeping with Coach Schäfer and the JFF's vision to start our campaign now, we are getting in shape for the Caribbean Cup, which will be later this year (November)," Burrell commented. "It is very important for Jamaica to play against our Caribbean neighbours, as these are the countries we are going to play against in the Caribbean Cup, which will form the qualifier to the Gold

Jamaica Football Federation President, Captain Horace Burrell. (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

Cup," he indicated. (Jamaica Gleaner)

Barbados hosting World Dressage Challenge T he Barbados Equestrian Association rolls into high gear for the 2014 season by hosting the FEI World Dressage Challenge on February 25 and 26 at the Congo Road Equestrian Centre, St Philip. A Barbados team of three riders will be named prior to the competition, which is sponsored by BRC and Southern Palms Hotel. Their final scores will be entered in the World Dressage Challenge which consists of over 50 countries. There will also be individual placements for local riders at the international level. The two FEI international judges slated to visit Barbados for the Dressage Challenge are Anders Sucksdorff of Finland and Elke Ebert of Germany. Recently, Victoire Mandel of Austria, another FEI international judge, was in Barbados to help the riders prepare for the competition by conducting training clinics and judging two warm-up shows that were held at Congo Road and Whitehall Equestrian Centre, respectively. It was the first time a dressage event was staged at

Akoele Shorey on Galantino at Whitehall Equestrian Centre. (Nation News photo)

Whitehall, which is well known as a venue for showjumping. Roberta Foster, astride her beautiful mare ‘Chichic’ took the top score on both days among the FEI candi-

dates, with over 70 per cent in the medium test. Michelle Elliott and 'Vivaldi' were second on both days. Gina Hunte on ‘Man in Black’, and Akoele Shorey on her locally-bred stallion ‘Galantino’, also performed exceptionally well, each winning the highest Prix St George category over the two days. McKenzie Manning, one of Barbados’ leading junior dressage riders, shone in the elementary and preliminary children’s category with scores of over 69 per cent in each test over the two days on her handsome horse ‘Sisco’. Erin Stephany, a junior better known for her show jumping victories, took top honours in the preliminary test at the Congo Road show with an exceptional performance astride ‘Stella Blue’. The World Dressage Challenge is a qualifier for the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico in November. Shorey, Hunte and Foster are also hopefuls for that event. (Nation News)

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

Five Windies players sold in IPL auction week ending February 16, 2014


Sunil Narine

Chris Gayle

ANGALORE, India - Four West Indies cricketers have been retained to play for their respective franchises while another five have been purchased on the first day Wednesday of the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) player auctions. Dwayne Bravo has been retained by the Chennai Super Kings, Sunil Narine the Kolkata Knight riders, Kieron Pollard will continue to play for the Mumbai Indians while Chris Gayle has been retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Guyana’s synthetic track to be ready for use before year-end

Dwayne Bravo

Kieron Pollard

Sunrisers Hyderabad snapped up Darren Sammy, Dwayne Smith moves from Mumbai Indians to Chennai super kings (CSK), the Royal Challengers Bangalore bought Ravi Rampaul , Jason Holder has been recruited to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad while spinner Samuel Badree was a bargain buy for Chennai Super Kings. Overall, Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Karthik were the biggest buys on day one of the auctions, sold for US 2.25 million and US.2.01 million respectively.


Part of the black rubber surface, which is completely laid, and the stands under construction during Saturday’s visit to the Leonora site in Guyana (Treiston Joseph photo)

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