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National Assembly approves Gy$6B for sugar industry ...hours after workers protest

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Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy addressing those gathered outside of the National Assembly to lobby for parliamentary approval of the Gy$6B subvention budgeted for the sugar industry

week ending April 13, 2014

NY Mayor announces ‘Children's Cabinet’ to improve child safety Page 5 Professor Girvan’s passing is an immense loss to the Caribbean – President Ramotar

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Page 5 Professor Norman Girvan

Page 15 U.S. deports numerous Caribbean nationals for minor offences – report


week ending April 13, 2014 |



week ending April 13, 2014 |

National Assembly approves Gy$6B for sugar industry A

fter intense grilling by the combined parliamentary Opposition, the Gy$6 billion subvention for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) was approved by both sides on Wednesday evening as the National Assembly commenced consideration of the Gy$220 billion 2014 Budget Estimates. In addition, the House approved the entire Agriculture Ministry’s budget, but not before scrutinising the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA). Allocations to other agencies under the Ministry were also approved. These include the Guyana School of Agriculture, Guyana Livestock Development Authority, Guyana Rice Development Board, Guyana Marketing Corporation, and Hope Coconut Estate. Focusing on the troubled GuySuCo, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Vice Chairman, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, opened the floor, questioning Agriculture Minister,

Part of the massive crowd of demonstrators outside Parliament

Dr Leslie Ramsammy about the reconstruction of the GuySuCo Board of Directors and the criteria used to appoint the new members, as he believes there needs to be “serious reforms” within the industry at all levels of management. “We would like, really, some cast iron assurances about the industry… we want to be reassured, in relation to this Gy$6 billion subsidy, that we are presented here in the National Assembly with a credible programme for re-

suscitation and revitalisation of the industry,” he stated.

New board

In response, Minister Ramsammy pointed out that the new board is currently being appointed with the aim of having it functional by July 1. He noted that there have been several recommendations for members, and President Donald Ramotar is currently engaged in talks with those persons recommended. The Minister assured the Opposition that Government was look-

ing for persons who have the necessary knowledge and experience to resuscitate the drowning sugar industry. On the topic of mechanisation, Ramsammy highlighted that this process will not be displacing any jobs, adding instead that the labour pool will complement the process allowing the industry to meet its 2014 target. Alliance For Change (AFC) members also grilled the Agriculture Minister. Party Leader Khemraj Ramjattan,

along with Dr Veerasammy Ramayya and Moses Nagamootoo, questioned the gravity of the failure of the Skeldon Estate and Factory. Nagamootoo explained that every time the Government goes to the National Assembly for money, it is being granted; however, that does not stop them from saying that the Opposition is killing the industry. “What I am asking the Honourable Minister is to tell us what extent this industry is ailing

and how much it owes, because we cannot be accused of committing ethnic cleansing of Indian workers, while we are supplying money to the sugar industry to help those workers. We are concerned about those workers and their welfare that is why we give the bailouts, but we don’t know how deep the trouble is,” Nagamootoo stated. The Agriculture Minister disclosed to the House that of the Gy$6 billion allocated for sugar, Gy$1.1 billion will be directed towards mechanisation and cane production each, while Gy$2 billion will go towards factory upgrades and the remaining funds will be used to purchase equipment and improving the field infrastructure, which includes the transportation of cane from the fields to the factory. The Minister was also questioned about the NDIA, particularly with emphasis on the acquisition of equipment, construction of sluices, and even the finances for this agency.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

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Undermining Parliament


arliament is one of the key institutions of our system of governance. Nowadays, people seem to have forgotten the distinction and difference between an “institution” and an “organisation” and maybe because of that lapse of collective memory, there is not a greater public outcry in the steady undermining of the institution of Parliament by the Opposition. Even an elementary definition of “institution” such as provided by Wikipedia advises: “An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order governing the behaviour of a set of individuals within a given community… Institutions are identified with a social purpose, transcending individuals and intentions by mediating the rules that govern living behaviour.” Institutions, then are characterised by the rules or regime that govern the behaviour of the organisation (people) or the larger collective, as the case may be, towards fulfilling a “social purpose”. The rules, then, are larger than the individuals that occupy the institution for the moment and if those individuals desecrate those rules, they are destroying the institution’s capacity to achieve its social purpose. The “social purpose” of Parliament was to create an effective forum for the representatives of the country to deliberate on the affairs of the country to as to further the collective “good”. The rules of Parliament were designed so as to facilitate that deliberation. For instance, Members of Parliament (MP’s) cannot be sued for slander for words uttered during debates. This rule obviously allows the MP’s to “speak their minds” without fear or favour. On the other hand, there are also rules to ensure that the remarks by speakers do not get too “personal”, since this would lead to loss of objectivity as recipients of barbs seek to defend their “honour”. But what we are witnessing unfolding in Guyana’s Parliament traduces the rules of Parliament and insidiously undermines them. What are the undisputed facts? Education Minister Manickchand spontaneously made a retort alluding to a point made by an Opposition speaker. This falls under the rubric of “heckling”, which covered a wide list of insults, some of which were covered by the authoritative Erskine May: “pharisee, swine, jackass, hooligan, blackguard, cad, ruffian and insulting dog”. Since the Opposition member was speaking of “rapists”, Minister Manickchand’s repartee, which in the judgment of the Speaker unacceptably maligned a sitting member, was ruled out of order and an apology was demanded by him. However, the following day, when it was clarified that in point of fact the minister was referring to the aggrieved Opposition member’s father, who was before the courts charged with statutory rape, the Speaker withdrew his gag order. And this is where we arrive at the Opposition stepping over the boundaries of civilised parliamentary behaviour and threatening Guyana’s descent into anarchy. After the ruling by the Speaker, the minister attempted to deliver her comments on the budget but was prevented from doing so by the Opposition which precipitated a cacophony of noise by banging their desks. Rather than sanctioning the Opposition en bloc for denying the minister her fundamental guaranteed right to speech in Parliament, the Speaker adjourned the body for the weekend. We believe this was an error on the Speaker’s part, because just as he imposed a sanction when he thought the minister had violated a convention, he should have done the same when the Opposition broke an even graver rule on Parliament’s “social purpose”. Monday, the Opposition walked out of Parliament when the minister made her speech. This is their right but we wish to inform the Speaker that he is on the edge of a slippery slope. Soon he will have to decide whether he will allow the Opposition to go against the ruling of the courts, which forbade them from imposing cuts on the budget. This will not just undermine the institution of Parliament but the entire edifice of government that has been empowered by the Constitution to steer our ship of state. The Speaker should thread carefully.

Serene sunset at the Ireng River - a destination that will be visited during the upcoming eight-day, 600 mile, 12th Pakaraima Mountain Safari

Guyana, Venezuela to meet on border issue F

oreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett on Monday told the National Assembly during her budget debate presentation that she is expected to meet with her Venezuelan counterpart within the next two months to discuss the controversial issue of maritime boundaries. According to the Minister, she was supposed to meet with Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Elías Jaua; however, due to events arising in that country, the meeting was pushed back. Nevertheless, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett noted that her Venezuelan counterpart has indicated that they are working to arrange a meeting within the next two months during which the technical team from both countries will discuss maritime boundaries issues.

Exclusive Economic Zone

The meeting was prompted by an incident last year where a research vessel RC Teknik Perdana was intercepted by the Venezuela Navy, which claimed that it was in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). However, Guyana has maintained that the vessel was in its own EEZ since it was conducting a multi-beam survey of its seafloor. Continuing her budget presentation, the Foreign Affairs Minister went on to say that the Guyana-Venezuela relationship has remained strong in other areas, including the PetroCaribe arrangement under which Guyana continues to purchase oil from the neighbouring country. However, she noted that efforts are being undertaken to explore other markets to acquire oil. She added that the countries have enjoyed many benefits from trade. “Venezuela has remained a very good trade

Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett

partner and we want to preserve that relationship even as we look at other countries to sell our rice and purchase fuel, because our needs are expanding in terms of the fuel we need. With the development in Guyana and even as we explore for oil, we have to look at other parties for us to purchase oil from as well,” she said. The Minister highlighted the excellent relationship shared with other neighbouring countries such as Brazil and Suriname. With regard to Brazil, she stressed that the bilateral relationship is being strengthened through several cooperation programmes, with emphasis being placed more recently on major infrastructural projects. As it relates to Suriname, the Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out that since Guyana and Suriname are the only Caricom countries to share contiguous borders, it further strengthens the relationship between them. She noted that both Caricom countries are also members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and associate members of MERCOSUR. “It makes sense, therefore, for Guyana to develop the kinds of relations with the Republic of Suriname to not only ensure that the opportunities of such memberships are exploited, but also to create a

good link between those mechanisms and the other states of the Caribbean Community. We will use the geostrategic relationship with the Republic of Suriname to foster and nurture deeper relations with the abovementioned mechanism,” she noted. Meanwhile, in rebuttal to the Minister’s presentation, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Parliamentarian and Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, Africo Selman, said this year’s budget allocations of Gy$3.5 billion to the Foreign Affairs Ministry is inadequate to properly sustain the Ministry’s work of protecting Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. She noted that the implementation of a country’s foreign policy is primarily based on its obligation to foster and protect its national interests. “Guyana’s foreign policy objectives are grounded in safeguarding the country’s political sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she stated. Selman pointed out that the country seems to be lacking in protecting its sovereignty as she referred to the research vessel incident, adding that progress on that front was unsatisfactory, referencing the hosting of meetings between the two countries, since the incident in October last.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Professor Girvan’s passing is an immense loss to the Caribbean – President Ramotar

Professor Norman Girvan


uyana on Thursday mourned the passing of well-respected Caribbean integrationist and United Nations Good Officer in the border controversy with Venezuela, Professor Norman Girvan. “For Guyana, we valued the wisdom which he brought to the Good Offices Process as the Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary General,” said President Donald Ramotar in a statement. Girvan, 72, died in Cuba where he had been receiving treatment for paralysis due to fall while hiking in Dominica

three months ago. Foreign Minister, Carolyn RodriguesBirkett also praised Girvan’s work as the United Nations Secretary General’s Good Officer in finding a peaceful resolution to the border issue between the two South American countries. The President of Guyana said Girvan’s passing was an immense loss for the Caribbean and one that we will continue to feel for quite some time. “His writing and sharp analyses spanning a myriad of issues, demonstrated always a sincerity in contributing to solutions to the challenges of the economic and social development of the wider Caribbean. His vision for the region’s integration was driven by a profound desire for the peoples of the Caribbean Community to benefit from sustained socio-economic development in a single space,” he said. Professor Girvan was a former Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). He was also Professor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

NY Mayor announces ‘Children's Cabinet’ to improve child safety


ayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced the creation of the New York City Children’s Cabinet, a multi-agency initiative to bolster communication among city agencies and develop strategies for a holistic approach to a child’s safety and well-being. The plan to assemble a Children’s Cabinet came after the tragic death in January of 4-year-old Myls Dobson. It stems from the mayor’s belief that children at risk are served by multiple city agencies, and therefore the responsibility of keeping them safe and attending to their wellbeing should extend beyond the Administration of Children’s Services. The New York City Children’s Cabinet will be chaired by Richard Buery, the Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. The Cabinet will be composed of commissioners and directors from 20 different city agencies and mayoral offices, with subcommittees to be created at the discretion of members. The Cabinet will meet for the first time at the end of this month,

and will create a schedule for regular meetings and specific outcomes. “We are putting in place an all-hands-ondeck approach to enhance children’s overall well-being and prevent abuse, injury or death of vulnerable children and youth. We recognize that to protect our children and keep them safe, we need multi-agency, multi-sector strategies. I look forward to seeing the Children’s Cabinet deliver progress for families,” said Mayor de Blasio. The New York City Children’s Cabinet members are: Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI) Department of Correction (DOC) Department of Education (DOE) Office of the First Lady of New York City (FLONYC) Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Department of

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Homeless Services (DHS) Housing Authority (NYCHA) Human Resources Administration (HRA) Law Department, Family Court Division (Law) Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Mayor's Office of Operations (OPS) Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Parks & Recreation Department (Parks) Police Department (NYPD) Department of Probation (DOP)

Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) The Children’s Cabinet will provide a space for leaders of multiple city agencies to identify and analyze individual and common areas of work that impact children safety and create an action plan to become child-safety focused. Specifically, the Children’s Cabinet will: • Proactively create opportunities for early intervention and prevention • Strengthen partnerships across agencies to meet the needs of vulnerable children and families • Engage in collaborative problem solving and share and leverage each other’s resources • Enhance communication between and among agencies • Inform children’s policies and programs by utilizing linked administrative data from multiple agency systems. • Set protocols for access to information, resolving policy conflicts, engaging in joint training and program development and coordinating service delivery.

6 news Guyana’s IDB US$22M Citizens’ Security Programme ends T week ending April 13, 2014 |

he Home Affairs Ministry, the Guyana Police Force, and the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) on Monday brought their sevenyear Citizens’ Security Programme (CSP) to an end with the holding of an exit workshop at the Grand Coastal Inn, Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara, Guyana. Present were officials from the IDB, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, Acting Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud and other stakeholders. The programme was launched some seven years ago with the aim of affording citizens the opportunity to have an input in the welfare and development of the Police Force while developing themselves and their communities. The programme employed a multi-dimensional approach aimed at preventing, reducing, and fighting crime. It targeted disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Regions Four and Six, catering for capacity-building of the Police Force and the

A section of those gathered at the exit workshop of the CSP at the Grand Coastal Inn

Home Affairs Ministry and the Force’s modernisation. Rohee, speaking at the event, noted that even though the programme has ended, it was not the final chapter of the book, since it was filled with successes.

Reducing crime

He related that the programme was one of the many plans which were launched to reform the security sector. The objective of the programme was to enhance citizens’ security and co-existence by contributing to the reduction in levels of crime,

violence, and insecurity. Since its launch, a remarkable 308 instructors of the Guyana Police Force have been trained in crime investigation and detection, information management, recruitment training, case management, ethnic and human rights, and strengthening of internal and external accountability mechanisms, and a strategic plan has been developed. Additionally, some 1,000 youths have been trained in personal development, youth violence prevention and youth life skills, while

1,000 adults benefitted from training programmes on intimate partner violence prevention, youth violence prevention, and child abuse prevention. Several Crime Observatory systems have been developed and residents taught in various communities across the country; eight new crime strategies and an institutional modernisation plan have been im-

plemented. One hundred percent of the GPF has been trained in crime prevention, human rights protection, conflict resolution, handling domestic violence and child abuse; 12 police stations rehabilitated, with that of six currently in progress; a police training facility built; eight violence reduction programmes implemented; 20 socio-cognitive skills programmes implemented; and 61 percent of citizens in Regions Five and Six trained in anger management.

Second phase

The Citizens’ Security Programme was supported by the IDB, which provided financial support to the tune of US$19.8 million, while counterpart funding of US$2.2 million was provided by the Government of Guyana. Community Action Assistant Sydartha Anandjit noted that the

project was sub-divided into three stages. Stage one saw the training of school dropouts between the ages of 14 and 25 to have them acquire a skill which can make them employable or possibly lead to youth entrepreneurship among themselves. The skills taught included masonry, carpentry, cosmetology, and catering. Stage two saw community residents who wanted to become involved in the reformation process being given resources, training and guidance to upgrade several police stations and outposts around the country, to enable efficiency, with the third stage leading to the construction by the same citizens of a forensic lab at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown. The lab is slated to be opened later this year after which a second phase of the programme is expected to be launched.

Former TT minister denies sex allegation


ormer Trinidad People and Social Development minister Glenn Ramadharsingh Sunday night denied sex allegations levelled against him by a Central woman, saying they were baseless and without any merit. Ramadharsingh was responding to an article in which Patricia Singh claimed she had made an official police complaint that he forced her to perform sexual acts in order to fast track a Housing Development Corporation house for her family. In a brief response to the article Sunday night, Ramadharsingh “categorically and equivocally” denied all allegations made, saying the report was “misleading, baseless and without any merit whatsoever”. Ramadharsingh, who was sacked as a Cabinet minister last month for alleged abuse of a Caribbean Airlines flight attendant on a trip from Tobago to Trinidad, said because of the “gravity of the matter, and the personal hurt, pain and psychological suffering it has brought to me and my family, I have now referred this matter to my legal counsel/attorneys for their immediate attention”. He said he had given

Glenn Ramadharsingh

the legal team instructions “to take all necessary steps to stop the publication of any further article, electronic, printed, or otherwise, which may be injurious to my reputation, and in addition to restore my personal and that of my family's identity and reputation”. Several of Ramadharsingh’s colleagues refused comment when contacted Sunday. Former People’s National Movement senator and attorney Pennelope BecklesRobinson insisted Sunday night that Persad-Bissessar has questions to answer to the public in the wake of the allegation against the former minister. Beckles-Robinson said Persad-Bissessar must tell the nation if she was aware of the complaint, as alleged by Singh, since there was also the

claim that it may have influenced her firing of Ramadharsingh. “The information now coming to hand indicates that the prime minister was aware of that complaint,” BecklesRobinson said, noting that Singh alleged she had informed someone in the Office of the Prime Minister, an attorney, church elder and a former government minister of her complaint. She added that such complaint may not be singular either, since other Cabinet ministers may have such allegations against them. She said she expects “other persons will now come forward and indicate that they have made complaints to her (PM) before as it relates to other cabinet ministers and she had not acted on them.” Beckles-Robinson said the PM must also tell the nation if she initiated any investigation in the matter, adding she must make a categorical statement on the matter. Former national security minister Jack Warner said there was much more to be said, but insisted that six months ago the PM was made aware of all the allegations of misconduct against one of their colleagues but failed to act on it. (TT Guardian)



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Speaker sets up committee for easy review of estimates

Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman pronounced the way forward for the House and explained his take on the CJ’s budget cut ruling


new parliamentary sub-committee has been set up to review amendments made to the 2014 National Budget presented by Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh after House Speaker Raphael Trotman maintained his position that the National Assembly has the ability to axe the budget despite the High Court’s ruling. Presiding over the National Assembly on Wednesday, Trotman proposed eight recommendations for the consideration of the Estimates of Revenues and Expenditure for Financial Year 2014, amid controversies surrounding the January 29 ruling by the Acting Chief Justice, Ian Chan on budget cuts. In accordance with Standing Orders 72-75, the National Assembly was dissolved into the Committee of Supply to consider the estimates. However, a sub-committee comprising seven members was constituted with four members from the Opposition and three from the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), with the Speaker as the chairman. The committee has been established to examine proposals for amendments with the aim of arriving at consensus when necessary during the consideration of estimates. Earlier this year, the Acting Chief Justice ruled that the National Assembly’s move to cut the 2012 National Budget was unconstitutional, explaining that it does not have the power to cut the national estimates. The CJ ruled also that the Opposition can only approve or disapprove the budget in its entirety or sections within. But the Speaker told the House on Wednesday that “despite the views and opinions of the High Court, the decision does not, and indeed cannot, do harm to the National Assembly’s

procedures for treating with the Estimates of Expenditure.” National Assembly rules In justifying his position, Trotman pointed to Article 165(1) of the Constitution, which states “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the National Assembly may regulate its own procedure and may make rules for that purpose”. According to him, no court can infringe on the rights of the National Assembly, stressing that this right has been universally recognised and upheld even in the High Court of Guyana in the 1963 case of Jagan et al v Gajraj. “For this reason, I utterly reject the notion that the National Assembly can act unlawfully in the exercise of its functions,” Trotman said. Because of its intrinsic right, the House has promulgated its own rules and procedures commonly called “Standing Orders”. Trotman noted that these standing orders control the practices and procedures, including the review and approval of the Estimates of Expenditure. He made it clear that the National Assembly relies on Standing Orders 75 and 76 to guide the review and approval process of the estimates of expenditure, noting that these have been identified as legal instruments since the birth of the nation. While it is not difficult to understand the reason behind Chang’s ruling, the Speaker argued that there were a number of points of departure with his reasoning. “The principal disagreement with the Honourable Chief Justice’s observations is in the strong belief that it is for the National Assembly and the National Assembly alone to determine how it will handle any matter it is seized of.”

Guyana pulls out of mining confab


n protest over moves to incorporate the controversial ‘New River Triangle’ on Suriname’s map, Guyana has pulled out of the neighbouring country’s inaugural International Mining, Energy and Petroleum Conference and Exhibition (SURIMEP) set for June. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud made the disclosure during Friday’s budget debate in the National Assembly. He explained that through the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Guyana withdrew its participation. “They were circulating the documents and as part of the Suriname map, they had the New River Triangle included,”

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud

Persaud pointed out. “Mr Speaker, I point to that, because we have to constantly and consistently and stridently take a unified stance on our territory, also the development of our natural resources.” The first SURIMEP

is set to take place from June 17-19 under the theme “Utilising Suriname’s natural resources to underpin a sustainable economy”. It is being organised by the Natural Resources Ministry of Suriname in association with AME Trade Ltd. When Guyana gained its independence in 1966, it retained the same borders that the British had ruled over, but Suriname had claimed the forested region situated between the Kutari and New Rivers. To date the area remains disputed. The New River Triangle, as it is commonly known in Guyana, is about 6000 square miles. Guyana is basing its claims on maps printed of British Guiana in 1913 and 1924 which

placed the boundary between the two colonies along the deepest channel of the Corentyne River. In the early 1930s, this boundary was recognised by the Dutch. On the flip side of the coin, Suriname is arguing that the Corentyne River is a national river. Back in 1967, the then Government of Suriname said in a treaty signed between the Dutch and British in 1799, all of the territory west of the Corentyne River was ceded to the colony of Berbice and the border was the left bank of the Corentyne River from its source mouth. The neighbouring country is maintaining that Corentyne is a national river which lies within its territory and not a boundary river.



week ending April 13, 2014|

for TT couple charged 80 killed in road crashes Bail with raping daughter this year in Jamaica A


he National Road Safety Council (NRSC) says it will be stepping up its efforts to help reduce road fatalities and crashes, in light of a spike which has seen 80 deaths up to April 3. Thirty-five of the road deaths occurred in March, a 30 percent increase over February, according to a release Friday from the NRSC. The St Catherine North Police Division accounted for most fatalities with 10 deaths, followed by Westmoreland which accounted for eight. Manchester, St Andrew South and St Ann each accounted for five fatalities, while Clarendon recorded seven fatalities and St Andrew Central six. The 20 to 24 age group has accounted for the most deaths this year, followed by the 40 to 44 age group. In 2013, the age group 25 to 29 accounted for most of the road crash fatalities, the NRSC said. Speeding was cited as the main cause of 22 of the 80 deaths this year,

Jamaica Observer file photo shows a motor vehicle accident along one of the island’s road networks.

followed by 'pedestrian error' which accounted for 14 cases. Drivers who failed to keep left accounted for 11, while drivers who followed too closely; inattention of drivers; drivers overtaking improperly and swerving, each accounted for three fatal crashes. Twenty-six of the dead were pedestrians. "We are intensifying our efforts along with our various partner agencies to ensure road fatalities are kept under 240 this year. Already there are discussions taking place and measures to step up the public education campaign for pedestrians

are already in train," Dr Lucien Jones, vicechairman and convener of the NRSC said at a meeting of the council Thursday. Measures to be taken by the NRSC to help reduce crashes are: * Cancellation of licences of drivers with multiple outstanding traffic tickets; * Provision of additional resources for the Police Traffic Department; and * The repainting of pedestrian crossings and repairing of lights and signage across the island by the National Works Agency. (Jamaica Observer)

Trinidad woman and her husband who allegedly had sex with their teenage daughter over a four-year period were granted bail totalling TT$225,000 Monday. As a condition of their bail, the married couple has to stay 100 metres from the 18-year-old girl and have no contact with her. When the matter was called before Senior Magistrate Gillian David-Scotland in the Chaguanas Magistrates Court, members of the public, including the media, were asked to leave the court. The mother, a housewife, and father, an assistant supervisor, stood side-by- side as the magistrate read the charges to them. Both mother and daughter began crying during the proceedings. The mother and father are jointly charged with having sexual intercourse with the girl between January 1, 2010 and February 28, 2014. The mother was slapped with a separate charge of committing grievous sexual assault on her child on December 24, 2013. The girl, who lived with her parents and six other siblings, said her parents performed the sex acts on her at their home. It also is alleged a sex toy was used. The parents were arrested at their home on Friday after the girl made a report to the Chaguanas police. They were subsequently charged by WPC Mohan.

A TT couple charged with the rape of their 18-year-old daughter has been granted bail

Court prosecutor Sgt Shiva Boodoo did not object to bail. He said the teenager had moved out of the house and was living with her aunt. However, he said the girl complained that her brother had threatened her. When the brother was called before the magistrate he denied the allegation. Several relatives were at the court lending support to the parents. In an application for bail, the couple’s attorney Taradath Singh said they had no other matters in court. He said the father was responsible for the welfare of seven children and neither of them owned a valid T&T passport. The father was granted TT$100,000 bail, while the mother was granted TT$125,000 bail. The case was adjourned to May 5. (TT Guardian)

Four Antiguans awarded UWI scholarships


Antigua & Barbuda students at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus celebrate after being awarded several scholarships.

our Antiguan students have been awarded scholarships for their exceptional academic performance at UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados. The recipients were Blair Rose, Priscilla Whyte, Trevor Smith, and Latrishka Thomas. Rose and Whyte, final year accounting and finance students, received the CIBC FirstCaribbean Scholarship valued at US$2,500. Smith, also a final year accounting and finance student, received the Richard Cheltenham QC Scholarship worth BDS$3,500. Thomas, a first year student of sociology and psychology, is the recipient of the Sir Arthur Lewis Award which covers tuition and economic cost for up to three years. The awardees

were former students of the Antigua Girls High School, Jennings Secondary School, Antigua Grammar School and the Princess Margaret Secondary respectively, as well as the Antigua State College. Apart from their academic qualifications, the scholarship recipients hold executive positions in clubs and associations on campus. Rose is currently the president of the Antigua and Barbuda Student Association, Public Relations Officer of the Cave Hill Debating Society, and member of both the Rotaract Club of Cave Hill and Anglican Students at UWI. Whyte is currently the vice president of the Rotaract Club of Cave Hill and secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Student Association.

Smith currently holds the treasurer position in the Antigua & Barbuda Student Association and is also a student assistant at the school library, working up to 18 hours per week. Thomas was a worker in the past guild elections. Speaking of her award, Rose said: “I felt gratified … you’re actually getting a physical award, even though you do feel good in getting good grades. But to get an actual reward solidifies the good feeling you get after working hard, and it also gives encouragement to continue working hard.” The awardees are encouraging all incoming and current students to visit the university website and apply for as many scholarships as eligible. (Antigua Observer)

9 Guyana should establish Apologise and get on its own law school with the important matter of education You can send your letters with pictures to: Guyana Times International, Industrial Site Ruimveldt Georgetown, Guyana or

week ending April 13, 2014 |

University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus

Dear Editor, The ‘on-again offagain’ idea of a local law school is an idea whose time has long come. This has only been made absolutely clear and fiercely urgent with the advent of the “impasse” between the Government of Guyana and the Council for Legal Education (CLE). We have a most egregious situation here but one which offers us a unique opportunity and with it perhaps the chance of something great. This singular moment can impact generations to come of students in Guyana and in the Caribbean who enjoy our education at the University of Guyana. That being said I am currently a final year student reading for my Legum Baccalaureus (LLB), our last exams should conclude at the end of May 2014. What happens next is anybody’s guess since the current impasse seems only to escalate with time. I feel deeply ag-

grieved by the decision to suspend the 25 automatic placements at the Hugh Wooding Law School (HWLS). It would seem that the decision to do same was taken some time before the application process was opened. I cannot fathom the reason the CLE knowing that its own LLB programmes have more than enough students to satiate its HWLS quota still opened the application process for entry into HWLS delivering false hopes of admittance. The cost of applying, postage inclusive in addition to the cost for the entrance examination for persons who chose that option combined is above the domestic minimum wage. And what cost do we put on our present psychological frustrations? Our students engaged a process only to be told a short time later that both avenues of entry were no longer viable options. Presently, most if not all other av-

enues would be closed as well and so we are all but stranded. We were advised that the Eugene Depuch Law School in the Bahamas has spaces available but the fees are twice that of HWLS. I know I speak for many when I say that we do not have an extra US$20,000 per year knocking around for tuition and equal amount for yearly living expenses. The benefits of a local law school have been enumerated eloquently in our dailies’ editorials, articles and columns so I will not rehearse them here. Suffice to say that the psychological and physical frustrations of trying to make the grades for entry into law school and an opened, tedious, perhaps futile application process demand justice of their own. Additionally, there are perhaps thousands of students across Guyana with dreams of pursuing law who are presently at the high school level applying themselves to rigorous studies to get into the Department of Law, UG, in hopes of pursing the noble career of an Attorney-at-Law and who presently may themselves be in a quandary. The idea of a local law school is an idea whose time has come. Sherod Avery Duncan, Student-at-Law, Class of 2014 President, UGSS, 2009-2010

MPs were elected to demonstrate maturity, aptitude Dear Editor, I am certain that there are a great number of Guyanese who must be wondering why is it that the exchanges in our Parliament in any debate when a budget is being presented are so predictable in nature. The Opposition is heard to object to almost everything that the government proposes, and the reason is mostly not about the efficacy of whatever is being debated at the time, but that they will agree if certain other projects which they are advocating are brought on board by the government. We the people expect to hear compelling arguments on both sides of

the house on the validity of what initiatives are being proposed, and not the usual attempts of horsetrading that now seem to be the order of the day. Then there are these other interruptions of the proceedings that clutter up the whole process, which seem to us as if we are witnessing a class of teenagers squabbling about some gripe they face in school. Our Members of Parliament must realise that we have elected them to demonstrate more maturity and aptitude in crafting a joint budget that is geared towards the continued progress of our nation on all fronts, and there must be a spirit of give

and take in their deliberations in this all-important annual process that will determine how and what to pursue to effect this. This must not be seen as an occasion to gain political points, and I believe that they will be judged in this aspect more than what they actually accomplish. As a result we continue to witness feasible and essential projects being shelved, with the final outcome being the stagnation and, in some cases, regression of all that has been achieved by those who worked with a more cooperative spirit in the past. Yours sincerely, Roy Paul

Dear Editor, Education Minister Priya Manickchand needs to apologise to the offending former parliamentarian so that we can get on with the important business of education that the Minister is so enthusiastic to bring to a waiting people. We can ill afford the time wasting that the Opposition is well trained for – they are into the wasting of taxpayers’ money in an endless circus that this parliament has become – so apologise and let’s move on. In my humble opinion the Education Minister needs to make an apology to Mr Jaipaul Sharma for embarrassing him by exposing his father’s alleged deeds. I want the honourable Minister to put that in all the flowery language that the English Language affords and with all the finesse a trained attorney can muster. The Opposition asked for an apology and an apology they’ll get. They can’t tell her what to say in her apology or how to best craft her missive, but I warn you, be prepared for the onslaught when she makes her presentation. Then when it’s my turn to speak they will have to be silent and civil in their behaviour

when I will make mention of some serious matters of rape and sodomy. For the record this is an area that falls under the jurisdiction of the honourable Minister, that is the protection of the rights of the child, so, I will broaden the scope of my presentation to include acts of child molestation where young boys are concerned. It is a well known fact where grown men go around driving in heavily tinted windows soliciting sex from hapless street children. As the story goes one “prominent citizen” shot someone and wounded him when he failed to comply with his sexual desires. Yet another, he has a supermarket where most of his employees are “boys” and sure enough he prides himself in saying that he is landing jobs for the nation’s underprivileged youths. But talk to the “boys” there and you get the true picture of a perverted man who is known to having orgies with his male workers. This is the Guyana we live in. I had the privilege in raising this conversation with a devout PNC/ APNU devotee – mentioning names and all which I cannot do here – about the horrible skeletons they have in their cupboards. He was quick to re-

spond with names in Government circles with deviant behaviour also. Of one of the names he mentioned, I responded with the statement about where he learnt his sexual perversions. Further to it, the individual in question was 17 years old; so technically he cannot be called a paedophile. But, be that as it may all of them are in the same bracket none better than the other. You see, the Opposition is quick to point an accusing finger when it is someone on the Government side, but when it happens to be members of their own party they become fiercely defensive, rant, rave and demand apologies. They suddenly lose their minds and act stupid. They’ve asked for it and they will get it a real dirty discussion on closeted matters that should not have been exposed in the first place but seeing it is in the open let us take off our shoes and get down in the gutter… together. The English proverb says “those in glass houses must not throw stones” this is what the Opposition needs to know, but I’d rather put it in Guyanese creole “dem tory real dutty over deh oh.” Sincerely, Neil Adams

Continued growth in Guyana’s economy is reflective of good leadership Dear Editor, Guyana 2014 National Budget is definitely a people focused budget which is highly reflective of its theme “A better Guyana for all Guyanese”. The PPP/C administration is known to present people-centred budgets since 1993 anyway. The Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and his team ought to be congratulated for the preparation of Budget 2014 which realistically and in detail sets out the Government’s financial plans to achieve continued socio-economic growth for the year 2014. Our country’s 2014 Gy$220 Billion budget is therefore designed to ensure that Guyana’s economy grow by 5.6 per cent in 2014. But the continued growth of Guyana’s economy is highly reflective of ex-

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh

cellent management by the Government under the leadership of President Donald Ramotar. I am impressed and satisfied with the budgeting allocations given to the various sectors of our country which will certainly move Guyana forward. In fact, all

Guyanese will benefit from Budget 2014 and what I am most happy about is that the parents of public school children will be receiving an annual allowance and our pensioners will continue to receive pension increases. Yours sincerely, Peter Persaud



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Barbados is still a safe Jamaican gangsters using destination, says country's young boys in deadly feud tourism minister


Barbados’ Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy

his is the assurance given by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, who was responding to recent bouts in criminal activity on the island. “Those incidents are far and few in between. We don’t like to see it and I think we do an excellent job at preventing it and on those rare occasions that they occur, the Royal Barbados Police Force solves them fairly quickly, so we are a very safe place, visit and we need to continue push that fact when we market Barbados,” he said. He was at the time giving the media a brief update on the tourism season, noting that Barbados stands to benefit from a late Easter this year. It is actually the third week so that will help us in terms of more business particularly out of the United Kingdom which has

rebounded nicely. “Arrivals are still quite strong, like I said particularly the UK. We are having challenges in North America but we are working feverishly on that and overall the winter has been up on last year. Cruise has been through the season, doing extremely well,” he said. As it relates to low visitor spend from cruise passengers, he noted that concern is not new. “Cruise passengers stay much shorter periods and generally don’t leave the kind of spend that a long-stay person would. Having said that, where we have seen increases is in home porting and home porters are the ones that will do cruise and stay so you will still get some spend from them. I think that as we develop cruise we have to see ourselves as a home porting point and not simply as part of an itinerary,” he said. He assured that tourism officials will continue to focus on source markets where the spend tends to be greatest, such as continental Europe, Brazil and getting back into the UK “in a big way”. “We are conscious of the value added we want from tourism and to that extent we have succeeded in that regard.” “Because even thought the numbers were down in 2013 based on the evidence we have seen there was greater spend. So we are conscious of not only the activity in Bridgetown but generally commercial activity across Barbados and we would like to see it increase and that is what we have been focusing on in tourism, not just numbers but spend,” he said. (JH)


These men, some of the gunshot victims in the ongoing feud in West Kingston, Tuesday joined residents of the area to stage a protest, calling for an end to the ongoing violence. (Photo: Lionel Rookwood)

riminals locked in a bloody feud in West Kingston, Jamaica are using boys as young as 12 to carry out their deadly attacks in the area, the police have confirmed. “We have had reports that the men involved in this feud are using youth as young as 12, 13 and upwards to carry out these deadly attacks,” Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor told the Jamaica Observer, adding that the boy killers were fearless and had no respect for age or gender. The information was first passed to the Observer on Monday by a resident of Tivoli Gardens, one of the communities in the constituency. “The man dem who a do the killings nuh have nuh respect for law and order or people; dem even a use some young boys as young as 12 and over to carry out their attacks,” the resident said. According to the res-

ident, the latest victim of such an attack was Edward Black, a senior member of the community, who was gunned down in broad daylight along Chestnut Lane. On Monday, during an operation that resulted in the recovery of one firearm and several rounds of ammunition, Senior Superintendent McGregor pointed out that the attacks are not confined to one side. He also confirmed that the actions of the criminals have left members of the religious community in fear, especially after a Christian man was shot dead by gunmen when he told them that he was on Jesus’ side in response to their demand that he state which side he was supporting in the feud. Monday’s police operation was staged two days after a 12-year-old boy and a 28-year-old man were shot dead and 10 other people shot and injured by gunmen who

attacked a group of people in Denham Town. Since that incident last Friday night, the police have released the names of several suspects who are also believed to be involved in several other incidents in the area. Tuesday, police said nine persons on the list turned themselves over to the police. Police said they would also continue to maintain a presence in West Kingston as tensions are still high, especially in Tivoli Gardens where residents staged a protest and burned several T-shirts with the image of Member of Parliament Desmond McKenzie on Sunday. The residents accused McKenzie of taking sides in the ongoing feud. But the MP has dismissed the residents’ claim as nonsense, saying that his position was that every act of criminality committed in the constituency must be dealt with. (Jamaica Observer)

Anna Regina Town Day set for August


he much-anticipated Anna Regina Town Day is set for the month of August. This was confirmed by the Interim Management Committee of the Anna Regina Town Council. According to Chairman Toolsie Narine, the Committee is all set and is presently in preparation for the mega event. Narine said a meeting is scheduled with major stakeholders in an effort to solicit their input. He said this year’s Anna Regina Town Day will be much bigger than

Anna Regina IMC Chairman Toolsie Narine

last year’s, with many activities planned. In 2013, the Council celebrated the first-ev-

er Town Day and it was deemed a success. Narine said it drew thousands of persons together to celebrate the town’s achievements. A Councillor from the IMC also raised the idea for a massive clean-up campaign to be held in the town before the activity. Rajendra Prabhulall said the clean-up campaign will be done by the business community under the banner “Pick It Up Essequibo”. Anna Regina became a town on August 1, 1990. The first Mayor was the late Etwaria Kumar.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Jamaican government presents US$4.95 billion budget T he Jamaican government has presented a budget of Ja$539.35 billion (US$4.95 billion) for 2014/15, with Ja$404.654 billion earmarked for recurrent (housekeeping) expenses and Ja$134.698 billion for capital (development) spending. This represents an increase of Ja$39 billion over the revised estimates for 2013/14, which were tabled as the first supplementary estimates in February. Details of the projections are contained in the estimates of expenditure, which were tabled in the House of Representatives last Thursday by minister of finance and planning, Dr Peter Phillips. The ministry of finance and planning has been allocated the largest sum, with Ja$197.65

billion for recurrent expenses and Ja$102.3 billion for capital expenditure. A large portion of the sum will go towards meeting Jamaica’s debt obligations. The ministry of education gets the second largest sum, with Ja$78.29 billion for recurrent expenses and Ja$2.1 billion for capital spending. The ministry of national security has received Ja$47.17 billion for recurrent expenditure and Ja$3.20 billion for capital, while the ministry of health gets Ja$35.97 billion for recurrent expenses and Ja$903 million for capital projects. For the ministry of justice, Ja$4.62 billion has been allocated for recurrent and Ja$800 million for capital; Office of the Prime Minister, Ja$2.92 billion recur-

Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips. (Jamaica Gleaner file photo)

rent, Ja$1.65 billion capital; ministry of science, technology, energy and mining, Ja$4.46 billion recurrent, Ja$1.08 billion capital; and the ministry of transport, works and housing, Ja$3.36 billion recurrent and Ja$13.6 billion capital. Allocations to other ministries are: agriculture and fisheries, Ja$3.52 billion recur-

25 receive Jamaica’s ‘PM Youth Award for Excellence’


wenty-three outstanding young Jamaicans and two youth groups are the 2013 recipients of the Prime Minister’s Youth Awards for Excellence. The two youth groups are the ‘Youth Organisation for Upliftment’ and the ‘National Interschool Brigade’. The award ceremony was held on the east lawns of Jamaica House, Kingston, on April 6, under the theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaican Youth…the Courage of Perseverance’. Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, who was joined on stage by the Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, presented the awards. In her address to the large gathering, the prime minister said that she was inspired by the successes and achievements of the young awardees and nominees. “This evening, I celebrate your triumph and successes, and remind you of your awesome possibilities and potential,” she said. Simpson Miller noted that poverty, age, or health factors are not obstacles to the achievements of the nominees and awardees. “Those of you who have demonstrated that growing up materially poor does not mean that you are poor in ambition or courage, are living examples, and I commend you,” she said. Citing the goals of the National Development

Jamaica’s PM Portia Simpson Miller

Plan -- Vision 2030 Jamaica -- the prime minister said the nominees “serve as fitting examples of what we hope will be common place among our young people by 2030”. “In our awardees, we find some of the finest examples of what all our young people can become when they apply themselves with courage, discipline and dedication to the achievement of their God-given potential,” said Simpson Miller. Meanwhile, Hanna said that the 41 nominees only represented a “tiny fraction” of the large number of successful young people in Jamaica. “You are all symbols of hope and shining examples of what is possible when ambition meets determination. As your minister, I am proud to celebrate your achievement,” she said. Among the awardees was 18-year-old Javon Francis, who won a silver medal in the 4 x 400 relay at the 2013 World Championships in Russia, where he ran an

anchor leg of 44.00 seconds. Other recipients of the award who excelled in sports and other fields were: Martin Manley, Yvonne Foster, Yanique Thompson,Thristina Harwood, Everett Moseley, Nicholas Wright, Shoyea Gaye Grant, Abigail Allen, Kadeem Wilson, Christena Williams, Theo Smith, Kyisha “Kai” Newman, Farley Artwell, Gavin Samuels, John Powell, Tijani Christian, Amorkard Brown, Terral Christian, Kadesha Croney, Lamar Rowe, Seidg Rowe, and Jamilia Crooks. (JIS)

rent, Ja$2.36 billion capital; industry, investment and commerce, Ja$1.76 billion recurrent, Ja$3.8 million capital; water, land, environment and climate change, Ja$2.68 billion recurrent, Ja$279 million capital; foreign af-

fairs and foreign trade, Ja$3 billion recurrent, Ja$75 million capital; labour and social security, Ja$2.26 billion recurrent, Ja$5.5 billion capital; ministry of tourism and entertainment, Ja$1.53 billion for recurrent, Ja$14 million capital; ministry of youth and culture, Ja$3.64 billion recurrent, Ja$173 million capital; and ministry of local government and community development, Ja$8.8 billion recurrent, Ja$131 million capital. The Office of the Cabinet has received Ja$483 million for recurrent spending, and Ja$278.9 million for capital expenditure. The auditor general has received Ja$528.4 million recurrent;

Office of the Services Commissions, Ja$179.5 million recurrent; the governor-general and staff, Ja$170.31 million recurrent; Office of the Public Defender, Ja$75.4 million recurrent; Office of the Contractor General, Ja$229.18 million recurrent; Office of the Children’s Advocate, Ja$99.30 million recurrent; Houses of Parliament Ja$761.3 million recurrent; and Independent Commission of Investigations Ja$334.2 million. The standing finance committee of the house will consider the estimates of expenditure from April 8-10, and Phillips will open the Budget Debate on Thursday, April 17.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

No conviction for sex crimes in two years - Nandlall blames jury system, witnesses


here has not been a single conviction for sexual offences in Guyana since 2011 – a situation which Attorney General (AG) Anil Nandlall described as alarming and blamed the archaic jury system as well as reluctant witnesses for the problem. For the years 2012 and 2013, some 22 sexual offences cases were taken before the courts, but there has been no conviction. Instead, there have been a number of hung juries, witnesses failing to attend court and some victims deciding not to pursue the matter.

Review of jury system

It is against this background that the AG in his budget debate presentation announced that a complete examination of the jury system will be undertaken this year, noting that this compo-

nent of the criminal justice system has virtually remained untouched since its introduction to the legal system some 100 years ago. “By the sheer passage of time, it requires some examination with a view of effecting modern changes to it, which have already been long done in almost every Commonwealth jurisdiction that retains the institution of the jury.” The Attorney General said that the administration of criminal justice is a two-way street, noting that the State and by extension, the victims of crimes and their relatives are equally entitled to a fair trial as is the accused person. “That delicate balance must always remain intact. The jury system is an integral factor in this equation,” he said. Nandlall told

Attorney General Anil Nandlall

the House that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Constitutional Commission on Women and Gender Equality have met with him and many important civil society organisations. Given the statistics on the issue, Nandlall said in 2011, 16 sexual offences cases were completed. There were three guilty pleas; three cases were nolle prose-

qui because the Virtual Complainant (VC) gave a statement expressing a desire not to proceed with prosecution. There were seven not-guilty verdicts by the jury. However, in 2012, 10 sexual offences cases were completed. In two cases, there was a formal verdict of not guilty because the VC did not -attend court to testify, eight cases went to trial and in all eight cases

the jury returned a notguilty verdict. For 2013, 12 sexual offences cases were completed, eight of which the VC went to court and indicated that they were not willing to proceed with the trials. Those cases had to be discontinued by the DPP. Additionally, in one case, the VC could not be located, while three cases went to trial. In one of the three cases, there was a unanimous not guilty verdict and the remaining two cases there were hung juries. “Therefore in 2012 and 2013 there was not a single conviction for sexual offences in a total of 22 cases,” Nandlall lamented. The Attorney General said in an examination of the jury system, care will be exercised to ensure that there is no erosion of its principal objective,

which is affording the accused a trial by his peers. “The changes will include a review of the current jury pool with the objective of expanding it.” Nandlall said currently, the pool is quite limited and it has been historically confined to just a few entities from which jurors are drawn. Additionally, he said the qualifications of jurors will also be reviewed, noting that currently, they are linked to ownership of property, or earning capacity. Both of these qualifications Nandlall said in today’s society are archaic and irrelevant. In the process, the unanimity verdict in relation to capital offences and majority verdict in relation to non-capital offences of the jury which currently obtains will also be reviewed.

“Become the best soldier you can” – Witness protection, GDF Chief of Staff urges new recruits whistle-blower legislation coming soon


Army Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips and Commanding Officer Training Corps, Lieutenant Colonel Terry Benn with a platoon of recruits and training staff at Tacama

t was a resounding no-show of hands when Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips, asked assembled recruits of the GDF’s Basic Recruit Course (BRC) the question, “who wants to go home?” Brigadier Phillips was, at the time, addressing the recruits prior to formally declaring the course, the first for 2014, officially open. “You chose to be here,” he said, “We advertised, and you made that choice for a particular purpose.” Addressing their acknowledgement that their choice to become soldiers was driven by the need to develop themselves professionally, Phillips said, according to a report from the military. “We will continue to provide you with

opportunities, providing you stay the course. This is the first step. ” Alluding to the quotation “… a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step…” the Chief-of-Staff explained that the recruits’ first step was to successfully complete the BRC. Recounting his own experience while on training in Brazil some 30 years ago, he explained that it was about “sweating”, and hard training since, he and his colleagues had no intention of being seen as failures, upon their return to Guyana. Noting that the GDF is committed to making the recruits into worthy soldiers and better men, he emphasised that they had to grow up overnight. “I congratulate you on taking this

decision to join the GDF and to serve your country. But, you will have to grow up overnight! Your focus has to be on embracing fitness, obedience, loyalty, discipline and developing skills. Academic training is included in your basic training to enhance your overall capabilities. We will train you hard! “You will surely miss your loved ones and the familiar comfort of surroundings that you are accustomed to. You have to put those into the back of your mind for the 10 weeks that you will be in training. Your loved ones are looking forward to you passing this course and realising your dreams. Resist the temptation to run and focus on becoming the best soldier you can!” he stated.

The cadre of recruits currently totals 291, One hundred and ninetyeight recruits are being trained at the Colonel John Clarke Military School (CJCMS) at Tacama, while the other 93 are at the GDF Base Camp Seweyo on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway. Those being trained at Seweyo have been earmarked for posting to the technical units of the Force following their anticipated success. Following the formal opening of the course at both locations, Brigadier Phillips toured the training bases. During his tour of Base Camp Seweyo, a member of the mess staff, Private Marissa Gilkes gained on-the-spot promotion, to the rank of Acting Lance Corporal.


The High Court in Georgetown

mid calls for adequate protection of witnesses in criminal matters in Guyana, the Government on Monday announced that it will be tabling bills to deal with the issues this year. Protection for state witnesses in criminal matters has come into sharper focus following the collapse of several high profile murder cases owing to the lack of witnesses. Also the state’s decision to use a man who confessed to being in the “Fineman” gang that executed 11 people at Lusignan back in 2008 as a witness had also sparked debate in the public. Speaking during his budget debate presentation on Monday, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said Government will table approximately six

bills before the National Assembly for 2014; including the Justice Protection Bill and the Whistle-blowers Protection Bill. In addition, he said the administration will table the Juvenile Justice Bill, the Bail Act Bill, the Anti-gang Bill and the Deeds and Commercial Registries Authority Bill. It was explained that the Juvenile Justice Bill is being crafted to repeal the Juvenile Officer’s Act Chapter 10:03 and the Training Schools Act, Chapter 11:06. This bill is expected to clarify the law as it relates to juveniles who commit offences, combining all related laws in one accessible statutory instrument and regulating procedures and processes in that document. continued on page 14



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Kidnapped businessman found murdered in cemetery F oulis, East Coast Demerara (ECD) auto spares dealer Rajendra “Sunil” Singh, who was kidnapped last Saturday evening was on Wednesday morning found with his throat slit and a bullet wound to his head in the Le Repentir Cemetery. The discovery was made around 10:15h. Forty-year-old Singh, of Lot 15 Foulis, Enmore, was discovered with his hands tied behind his back with a piece of rope. A white cloth was also tied around his neck. Investigators confirmed that the man was strangled before his throat was slit and more so, they believed that he was tortured. Singh’s body bore several marks of violence, which indicated that he was severely beaten. The businessman was clad in a pair of black socks, a pair of short blue pants, and a blue t-shirt, with fresh bloodstains around his body. He was tied to an abbey tree. As the news spread about the discovery, several top-ranking police officers turned up at the

Dead businessman, Rajendra "Sunil" Singh

scene to confirm that it was indeed the kidnapped businessman who had been killed. After several failed attempts by ranks of A Division to verify his identity, ranks from C Division were called in. The businessman was positively identified by a tattoo on one of his arms by a close relative, who is also a police rank. A cousin of the dead man subsequently turned up at the scene, but there were no signs of the businessman’s immediate family. The area was cordoned off, as crime scene

officials conducted their investigations. Several pieces of evidence were collected and were taken for further analysis. His body was taken to the Lyken Funeral Home to await a post-mortem examination. Guyana Times International understands that the man’s body was discovered by a Mayor and City Council worker Jagnarine Parboo, who was at the time looking for a water source. He told media operatives that as he was looking around the area, he saw the man lying face down clad in a pair of short pants and a jersey. He added that he got scared and went to his boss’s office where he reported the incident. His boss, in turn, contacted the police who accompanied the man back to the scene. The man posited that he did not see much, since the police would have taken control of the area. This publication further learnt that the man might have been killed in the wee hours of Wednesday since his

body was still warm and the blood on his body was quite fresh. This newspaper understands that the kidnappers would have contacted the family on Tuesday morning, requesting that the Gy$25 million ransom be dropped off at a certain location. The kidnappers reportedly contacted the family a while later and gave an ultimatum of 12:00 noon on

Tuesday to deliver the money – a deadline the family did not meet. Police ranks at the scene said the kidnappers initially wanted to kidnap the businessman’s 13-year-old son, but, instead, they captured him. Since the kidnapping, the man’s wife and son have not been seen in public. Minutes after the kidnapping, the family was contacted and a ransom

of Gy$50 million was demanded for the businessman’s safe return. On Monday, the kidnappers had phoned the businessman’s wife, requesting Gy$25 million instead after the initial amount could not be raised. They also demanded that the family hand over the surveillance footage of the incident. In a release, police stated that they are investigating the incident.

Undertakers removing Singh’s body from the scene on Wednesday



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Essequibo students march against suicide Education, in collaboration with the Schools Welfare Unit, under the theme “Speak Up and Reach Out, Prevent Suicide”. The walk culminated in a forum in the auditorium of the Anna Regina Multilateral School, which featured songs, poems, and talks on suicide. Giving opening remarks was Region Two Education Officer


Baramdai Seepersaud, who said suicide is preventable. Addressing the audience of hundreds, Seepersaud said life is worth living and education is the key. “Suicide has been taking away too many valuable persons from society. Every child is important; be positive, build your self-esteem, think of your future. Life is good, live it, say yes to life, no to suicide!” she

Students brandish their placards during the anti-suicide walk

undreds of secondary and primary school students from throughout Region Two on Tuesday participated in an antisuicide walk. Armed with placards, the students demonstrated against the

prevalence of suicide in Essequibo, on the walk, which commenced from Jaigobin Supermarket square (Anna Regina) and ended at the Anna Regina Multilateral School in Cotton Field. “You are braver, stop suicide”; “Life is worth

living”; “Smile, let everyone know that you are stronger than yesterday”; “Education is the key”, “No to suicide, Yes to life” were among the messages. The walk was organised by the Region Two Department of

Students and officials at the anti-suicide forum at the Anna Regina Multilateral School

urged. The Education Officer said the key to prevention was recognising the warning signs and knowing what to do to get help. She said suicide threats should be taken seriously and immediate action should be taken. She cautioned children to be aware of warning signs and factors; to not keep secrets; to be calm, nonjudgmental, and talk directly about suicide. She also urged persons to speak with care and compassion, to encourage others to share their feelings, to never leave a suicidal person alone while encouraging them to voluntarily give up potentially harmful items, and to take the person to a hospital or mental health professional. Seepersaud noted that constant follow-ups should be made with persons who are thinking of suicide.

Witness protection, whistle-blower legislation coming... On the other hand, the Bail Act Bill seeks to provide for the release from custody of accused persons in criminal proceedings. The Anti-gang Bill proposes to provide for the prosecution of

persons who participate in gangs. Similarly the Justice Protection Bill is being designed to provide the necessary protection after serving as a witness. The Whistle-blowers

Protection Bill will also provide for the procedure by which individuals in both the private and public sector, may in the public interest disclose information that relates to irregular,

illegal or corrupt practices; to provide for the protection against victimisation of persons who make such disclosures. Meanwhile, the Deeds and Commercial Registries which also

fall under the ambit of the Legal Affairs Ministry will continue to undergo legislative changes. The Minister pointed out that the Deeds and Commercial Registries Authority Bill

from page 12

was assented to on May 31, 2013, Act Number Three of 2013. In 2013 the Deeds Registry raked in Gy$1 billion in revenues and this year’s projections are set at Gy$1.369 billion.



week ending April 13, 2014|

22-year-old drowns while trying to save colleague


Dead: Jemel Thompson

n outing at Blue Water Lake, Wismar, Linden turned tragic on Sunday afternoon after a Qualfon Call Centre employee drowned while trying to save a colleague. The dead man was identified as 22-year-old Jemel Thompson also called “JJ” and “Sexy” of Lot 129 Barr Street, Kitty, Georgetown. According to information received, the young man was in the company of workmates when he met his demise. This newspaper understands that Thompson might have seen one of his female colleagues going under the water and went to save her. He was reportedly pulled to safety, but he did not make it. However, his relatives are not buying into the stories told, thus, are calling on the police to facilitate a full probe into the issue. Marsha Thompson, the mother of the dead man, told Guyana Times International that her son left home on Sunday morning about 09:00h, without telling her where he was heading. The devastated mother explained that she was under the impression that Jemel was with his cousins at Regent Street, Georgetown, playing video games until she received a strange telephone call. “It was like four O’clock, two girls use his phone, pretending to be his girlfriend and call me and asking a set of strange questions… asking me if I know where JJ is… or who he left with… then they tell me that they have something to tell me and they will come by the next morning to tell me.”

She noted that it could not have been her son’s girlfriend since the young lady was at work.

Conflicting story

The woman said soon after, she received another call from a staff member of Qualfon, who told her that her son was pulled from the water in an unconscious state and they were transporting him to the Georgetown Public Hospital. Thompson added that she started to enquire as to what really occurred, but was told several conflicting stories. “I was told that he was going to save a young lady and instead he drown… then they tell me that they bring him to Georgetown but he never came…” However, she learnt that at least three bus loads of Qualfon workers went on an outing and her son was with them. This was not the first time that her son went with his colleagues on an outing but his mother is furious that he did not inform her. The aggrieved mother stated that her eldest daughter travelled to Linden on Monday morning, but was told that Thompson’s body was already transferred to Lyken’s Funeral Home. The police, she noted, have taken statements from staff members who were detained in the mining town. The former Government Technical Institute (GTI) student had recently told his mother that he wanted to continue his education. He has been working at the Qualfon Call Centre for the past three years. Jemel leaves to mourn his parents and three siblings.

U.S. deports numerous Caribbean nationals for minor offences – report


significant number of Caribbean nationals had been deported after committing minor infractions, including traffic violations, according to an analysis of internal U.S. Government records since President Barack Obama assumed office. The figures showed that two-thirds of the nearly two million deportation cases involved Caribbean and other immigrants. The study conducted by the New York Times found that 20 per cent, or about 394,000 of the cases involved immigrants convicted of serious crimes, including drug-related offenses. The paper said an ex-

amination of the Obama administration’s record shows how the disconnect evolved between the President’s stated goal of blunting what he called the harsh edge of immigration enforcement and the reality that has played out. Obama came to office promising comprehensive immigration reform, but lacking sufficient support, the administration took steps it portrayed as narrowing the focus of enforcement efforts on serious criminals. Yet the records show that the enforcement net actually grew, said the newspaper, adding that its analysis is based on Government data cover-

ing more than 3.2 million deportations over 10 years, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. According to the records, the largest increases were in deportations involving illegal immigrants, whose most serious offense was listed as a traffic violation, including driving under the influence. “For years, the Obama administration’s spin has been that they are simply deporting socalled ‘criminal aliens’, but the numbers speak for themselves,” said National Immigration Law Centre Executive Director Marielena Hincapié. “In truth, this admin-

istration, more than any other, has devastated immigrant communities across the country, tearing families away from loved ones, simply because they drove without a licence, or re-entered the country desperately trying to be reunited with their family members,” she added. But Obama administration officials say the deportations are a result of a decade in which the U.S. Congress has passed tougher immigration laws, increased funding for enforcement and stymied efforts to lay out a path to legal residency for the bulk of the nation’s 11.5 million illegal immigrants. (Caribbean360)


week ending April 13, 2014 |



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Roopnaraine willing to testify at Rodney Inquiry


eader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said he would freely participate in the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry (CoI), should he be approached by the Secretariat. However, the party leader has revealed that he has not yet received an invitation from any member of the Secretariat in this regard. Dr Roopnaraine, speaking with this publication on Monday, said his position remains the same, noting that party members are afforded free will to participate in the inquiry. When contacted, head of the Walter Rodney Secretariat Hugh Denbow said that witnesses are still approaching with their statements. Asked if any witnesses from the WPA have approached the secretariat, Denbow related that he could not say, since he is not fully aware of the party members. Recently, WPA Executive Member Tacuma Ogunseye when

The late Dr Walter Rodney

asked if he felt a sense of moral obligation to testify at the inquiry, had said that he would follow his party’s line. However, if he was forced by law, he may very well have to. The WPA had early last month, raised concerns over a number of issues regarding the inquiry and had written President Donald Ramotar on the matter. The President in his reply assured the party that there was no ulterior motive behind the inquiry. Ramotar had maintained that the decisions to establish the Commission and the drafting of the Terms of Reference (ToR) were made primarily by Rodney’s family members, particularly by his wife Patricia.

Sookram left hospital after heart test - report - wife gives different account of what happened


manager’s report from the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, said Guyanese national Jeetindra Sookram did undergo an electrocardiogram (ECG) which showed he had a heart attack. But when nurses were looking for him so he could be given further treatment, Sookram was nowhere to be found. Sookram, 35, died while en route to a private hospital last Thursday. North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Chairman, Dr Shehenaz Mohammed, who spoke to the Trinidad and Tobago (TT) Guardian about the report, said she believed the genesis of the problem arose out of confusion over “the pink form”, a financialobligation statement to be signed on accessing emergency care. She said the form had become unnecessary and agreed with Health Minister, Dr Fuad Khan, who gave instructions that the form must no longer be presented to

patients. “The CCTV footage showed the husband was immediately taken into triage during which the wife was asked to register him so that the hospital could create a file on the patient and have the necessary data,” Mohammed said. She said the “pink form” was given to Sookram’s wife Vidya Baichu and it appeared she had difficulty in interpreting it. “There is no audio on the footage so from what we have seen was the wife attempting to get assistance and it appeared she got frustrated and left. “The husband did undergo an ECG, which showed he got a heart attack and when they were looking for him he could not be located,” Mohammed said. She said when the hospital was turned into a public institution in 2005; it appeared it was done without any planning, as staff at the operational level seemed to be without guidance in terms of procedures. Mohammed said Baichu

Vidya Baichu

was expected to meet with hospital officials today (Thursday).


In a hastily called press conference at Jubilee Street, Aranguez, on Tuesday, Baichu said she was expected to return to Guyana on Wednesday, to make funeral arrangements for her husband. She said she had got assistance from the Guyanese consulate for her husband’s body to be flown back to their homeland. She said the main reason she called the press conference was to clear her name and deny Khan’s statements that

help had been offered to Sookram. “The things that the Minister is saying about me, it is not so. They didn’t give me anything to fill out. The Health Minister just take one side of the story. He just listened to the hospital to hear their side. I did not get any ‘pink form’ or anything to sign,” Baichu said. Asked whether any hospital officials had since contacted her, she said she received a call on Tuesday, but said she refused to speak over the phone. Baichu said she was willing to go to the hospital to give a statement but was unable to do so as she had several errands to do regarding arrangements for her husband’s body. Khan has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Sookram’s death. He also said pink forms were not necessary in emergency situations but were mandatory for chronic situations like cancer treatment. (Trinidad Guardian)



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Cocaine in pastries: Police issue wanted bulletin for city florist


n light of the recent discovery of cocaine in pastries at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Sunday evening, the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) issued a wanted bulletin for a well known florist in connection with the bust. Raul Anthony Chin, 38, Managing Director of Bouquet De Difference on Robb Street, Georgetown, is now a wanted man. The florist is wanted by CANU in connection with the recent discovery of the 7.5 kilograms of cocaine that was found in pastries.


A senior CANU offi-

cial told Guyana Times International that after the discovery; Chin was implicated in the racket, hence, the agency’s interest in making contact with him. He was subsequently asked to report to the CANU headquarters, but refused to do so. These business people have been using their businesses as a “sham” but truly, they are in the drug trade playing a significant role, a drug enforcement officer told Guyana Times International. With respect to the cocaine in pastries, Nicholas Harinanadan, 37, of Lot 603 Fort Ordinance, Canje

Raul Anthony Chin

Berbice, was so far charged for the offence. On the day in question, Harinanadan was an outgoing passenger on a Caribbean Airlines flight BW 526, where he checked in with two suitcases. While his suitcases

were being scanned, he was questioned about the content of his luggage by a CANU member on duty when he admitted that it contained clothing, pastries, food, seasoning and footwear. The prosecutor told the court that the man was further questioned if he had packed his suitcase himself, and he responded in the affirmative. However, with the consent of the businessman, the officer searched the baggage and more so, the pastries. It was during the search, two kilos of the illicit substance in pine tarts, 2.4 kilos in cheese rolls, 2.5 kilos in mithai and 570 grams of liquid

cocaine in the sole of a shoe were found.

Other cases

Meanwhile, in February, Tarachandra Persaud, a businessman of Republic Park, East Bank Demerara and Dawn Roberts, a cosmetologist of Lot 9, North Road, Bourda, Georgetown were fingered in the discovery of in excess of 20 kilograms of cocaine in tamarind achar at the CJIA. U.S. citizen Winston Blake, 77, and Sadika Neola Odie, 38, of Lot 186 Thomas Street, Kitty, Georgetown, have since been charged with possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.

The 20 kilograms of cocaine was discovered during the scanning of the couple’s luggage by CANU ranks. The duo were outgoing passengers destined for the John F Kennedy Airport, New York, on BW Flight 526. Blake was intercepted with 9.6kg, while Odie was intercepted with 10.45kg, GTI was informed. It was reported that Odie is the holder of a U.S. visa, and is a frequent traveller. She was offered the sum of US$10,000 to transport the substance, but was only given US$400 and the plane ticket, a deal she accepted.

Dhurjon working on third draft of anti-laundering bill – Teixeira


residential Adviser on Governance Gail Teixeira said the Special Select Committee on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2013 will meet once Chief Parliamentary Counsel (CPC) Cecil Dhurjon completes the reformulation of the third

draft of the Opposition’s amendments. Teixeira, who heads the committee, said the weekly meetings have been suspended to facilitate the 2014 Budget Debates, which commenced on March 31 as customary. However, she explained that members have agreed to meet once the CPC completes

his work on the drafted amendments. The Parliament Select Committee last met on March 25. It was during that meeting that A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Shadow Finance Minister Carl Greenidge made further adjustments to the coalition’s proposed amendments. At the previous

meeting, the draft amendments were looked at by the committee, but Greenidge asked for some time to reformulate the proposed amendments and submit such to the CPC. Government has since tagged the Opposition’s proposed amendments as problematic. But even when the CPC completes his work and the work of the special select committee comes to an end, there is still a major obstacle in way that can prevent the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill. Both the APNU and the Alliance For Change (AFC) have indicated that they will not support the bill if the Donald Ramotar admin-

Presidential Adviser on Governance Gail Teixeira

istration does not accede to their demands. The AFC remains firm on its position that the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) must be put into operation and equipped with the requisite human and financial resources

to ensure sustainability and effectiveness. But the alliance has also joined with the APNU in its call for President Ramotar to assent to key Opposition bills that were passed in the National Assembly, but were rejected by the President. President Ramotar has refused to assent to the Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2012; the Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2013; the Constitution ( A m e n d m e n t ) Bill 2013 and the Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2012, contending that based on the advice of the Attorney General Anil Nandlall, the bills are unconstitutional.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Manickchand, Ally clash over education gains E

d u c a t i o n Minister Priya Manickchand said some 710 children are set to enter the Nursery Education System this year; however, statistical data shows that an alarming number of them do not know their alphabet. The minister made the comments during her contribution to the budget debate. Her presentation was boycotted by the Opposition. The Education Minister explained that only 32 per cent of the 710 children set to enter the nursery system (at the age of three years six months) know their ABC and basic biographical information. But all hope is not lost, she noted, stating that under the 20142018 Strategic Plan, systems will be implemented to assist parents in helping their children when they are away from school. Manickchand told the House that the education sector has evolved significantly in Guyana due to consistent investment. Pointing to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), she boasts

Education Minister Priya Manickchand

about Guyana’s move from an overall pass rate of five per cent in 1992 to 66 per cent by 2010. She also alluded to the country copping five of the eight Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) awards in 2013. Yogeeta Persaud of Anna Regina Secondary School received the Overall Outstanding Achievement Award, while Rafena Mustapha of Saraswati Vidya Niketan was awarded for being the most outstanding student in the area of humanities. Cecil Cox of Queen’s

College walked away with the Most Outstanding in Sciences Award while Sasha Woodroffe, also of Queen’s College, was deemed the most outstanding student in business studies. The last award went to Zimeena Rasheed of Anna Regina Secondary for her outstanding performance in the technical vocational field.


Manickchand told the House that in the coming years Guyana will cop the remaining awards including the Most

APNU’s Chief Whip Amna Ally

Outstanding Candidate in Visual Arts and Most Outstanding Candidate in Short Story Writing. “With money comes growth. Growth means our children are doing better,” Minister Manickchand said, noting that Guyana’s children are being better prepared for the world of work. According to the Minister, the 2014 Budget comes at a pivotal time, noting that the Education Ministry will soon launch its Five Year Strategic Plan targeting both teachers and

students. “We want 50 per cent of our children reading at the Grade Four Level, we want to see universal secondary education…achieved in Guyana,” she said, providing a sneak peek of the plan. Manickchand told the House that the 2014 Budget will help the Education Ministry to achieve universal secondary education, pointing out that Region One will receive a significant boost in the transportation sector through the provision of boats and engines to ensure that

children are transported to school when necessary. Manickchand also refuted claims that within the education sector, teachers are migrating by the hundreds. She told the House this is contrary to the fact, noting that the Education Ministry is faced with a situation where teachers who have breached their contract with Government are now returning home. The Ministry is reportedly working to reintegrate these teachers back into the system. Meanwhile, at UG, US$10 million is being used to revise curriculums for 15 areas of study and renovate 14 buildings. Monies have also been made available to facilitate research activities.

Nothing new – Ally

APNU’s Chief Whip Amna Ally said, on the contrary, the new Education Strategic Plan 2014-2018 has nothing new for the education system. This year, Government budgeted Gy$2.9 billion for infrastructural development within the education sector, but Ally said there continued on page 21



week ending April 13, 2014 |

AFC says will cut allocations ‘Freeing up’ of telecoms sector for GINA, NCN, Amaila Falls will result in more opportunities


lliance For Change (AFC) Leader Khemraj Ramjattan said his party will not be approving budgetary allocations proposed to several agencies and projects, since he believes the money could be directed to the development of key sectors. Ramjattan told Guyana Times International that the AFC will not be approving funds to the National Communications Network (NCN), the Government Information Agency (GINA) and Amaila Falls Hydro Project. He also said the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion Project will not be getting approval, except for the runway extension aspect. “We believe that the runway needs to be expanded but I don’t see the need for all the exorbitant works,” he said. The AFC leader explained that it was only four years ago that the country’s main port of entry underwent major rehabilitation works. He noted that the arrival terminal is not in a bad state that so much money

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan

needs to be plugged into a makeover. Ramjattan pointed out that most of the incoming passengers are not tourists, but Guyanese who return for visits or other works and there are adequate accommodations in place to facilitate them. He continued that the money allocated to these agencies and projects would be better served if it is plugged into key productive sectors to keep them thriving.

Major work

The AFC leader said sectors such as rice, sugar and even irrigation are in much need of investments. He then directed his attention to the deplorable conditions of the roads and bridges specifically, naming

the Demerara Harbour Bridge, which he said is in dire need to be built over. Ramjattan explained that the money used to do all the regular repair works would be better invested to building a new bridge. He pointed out that persons travelling from West Demerara on a daily basis experience difficulties with the various inconveniences caused by the bridge. The AFC leader also noted that access to several interior locations needs major works to be done and money that should be directed to fix these major problems is wasted on unnecessary projects. “Any foreign person comes and hangs money in the air to do something, the Government just jumps at it,” he said. Ramjattan will be delivering his budget debate speech on Tuesday, which is expected to have more details on areas that his party thinks does not deserve any money. Over the last two years, there have been major cuts by the combined Opposition to the national budget presented by Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh.

for Guyanese consumers

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds

GT&T CEO Radha Khrishna Sharma

Digicel Guyana CEO Gregory Dean

rime Minister Samuel Hinds said he is hoping that the second draft of the Telecommunications Bill that is currently before a Special Select Committee in Parliament would be sorted out before the August, 2014 recess of the National Assembly. The Prime Minister, who is tasked with overlooking the Telecommunications Sector, told Guyana Times International recently, that the liberalisation of the sector would help to “free up” it for all Guyanese. “I know that this would be a good thing for all,” he said. Prime Minister Hinds moved the motions on the liberalisation of the sector late last year in the National Assembly. It is hoped that with its passage, the bill will see an end to the monopoly held by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T).

GT&T is Guyana’s premier telecommunications provider, coming into existence some 23 years ago. Chief Executive Officer Radha Khrishna Sharma had stated recently that the company was prepared for Government’s plans to liberalise the sector, pointing out that the company was looking forward to contributing to the refinement of the legislation. He categorically stated that there were tremendous opportunities within a “liberalised” sector. The move, he said, would afford the company the opportunity to speed up planning, to focus on business strategic decisions, which include capital allocations. Giant mobile phone company and rival Digicel had said also that it was looking forward to the early passage of the Telecommunications Bill, which, according to it, will help pave the way for the ending of the mo-

nopoly of the sector. GT&T currently has a monopoly on all landline and international services, which was supposed to expire after 20 years. T h e Telecommunications Bill had been on Parliament’s agenda since 2012, the Prime Minister reminded. The Telecommunications Bill 2011 allows for the establishment of the telecommunications agency as well as a regular, coordinated, open and competitive telecommunications sector. Having such a bill enacted would provide for an open, liberalised and competitive telecommunications sector that would be attractive to new entrants as well as investors, while sustaining the active players within the sector. Additionally, the bill would allow for amendments to be made to the Public Utilities Commission Act 1999.




week ending April 13, 2014 |

Guyana-born Dr Ivelaw Griffith is ninth president of Forth Valley University


uyanese born, Dr Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith will be formally inaugurated as the ninth President of Fort Valley State University in a ceremony at the institution on Friday. The event begins at 10:00h. According to a release, the scholar, political scientist and former Professor began his term on July 22, 2013 after being unanimously voted in by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on June 21, 2013. Forging a new period of progressiveness and bold academic initiatives, President Griffith’s vision is to create an institution not only of rigorous academic offerings, but also student-initiated research and scholarship, inclusiveness, cultural diversity and global connectivity and preparedness. Those goals are reflected in the theme for the inauguration: “Dreaming and Doing: A Vision for Excellence Engagement.” According to the re-

Dr Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith

lease, beyond the formality of the investiture ceremony, President Griffith’s week of inauguration activities is a moment of celebration, campus and community camaraderie and reflection. “It is an opportunity for the entire Fort Valley State family to pause and celebrate all that is unique and inspired about our esteemed institution. It also is a time to honour those ideals and standards that have guided the institution to its current place in time. And as the ceremonial garbs, medal-

lions and traditional phrases are conferred upon Fort Valley State’s new leader, it is joined by the continued casting of the hopes and dreams of those who have relied on FVSU’s life-changing purpose and inherent leadership role as an institution of higher learning since 1895,” the release stated. The inauguration ceremony itself will include a number of special features. Many members of Dr Griffith’s extended family will be in attendance. The platform party will include members of the Georgia Board of Regents and various other dignitaries from peer institutions, including Dr Cheryl Dozier, President of Savannah State University and Dr Marcia Keizs, President of York College. Dr Griffith was recently in Guyana as part of a U.S. Embassy initiative. He held talks with the Government, Opposition parties and also Members of Parliament.

Gov’t to present drug master plan soon – Rohee


ome Affairs M i n i s t e r Clement Rohee has announced that the Government will soon present its National Drug Strategy Master Plan (NDSMP) to the public. The final draft of the plan was slated to be completed by the end of March since consultations were held with the various stakeholders, including law enforcement units and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to have their input. Minister Rohee stated that the five-year plan will be revealed to the public, detailing how the Government intends to tackle the drug trade. Rohee made the comments at a graduation ceremony last Friday for 21 members of the Guyana Police Force and Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), who were trained in the sharing of best practices for the establishment of an interdiction unit, review of computer data analysis methodologies, interviewing techniques, and the conduct of seizure operations. He added that the formulation of such a plan required extensive consultations throughout the length and breadth of Guyana, noting that

gate at various points of entry, but more specifically at airports, thus, the interdiction course will allow the ranks to be more vigilant and must be able to apply what they have learnt in an effective manner. He nevertheless stated that he was pleased with the timely training course.

Transnational crimes

Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee

the course undertaken by the U.S. Government coincided with the Government’s policy. The Minister added that the training programme is testimony of the Government of Guyana’s commitment to continuously train law enforcement officers to develop in a specialised area. Rohee noted that the training is necessary, given the nature of organised crime. He said gangs are specialised in their respective field; hence, it is necessary for law enforcement officers to be up to speed and to be just as competent as their counterparts in other countries. “We must be able to identify people who are engaging in illegal activities…” He added that a large number of people congre-

The training programme was made possible through funding by the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative launched by U.S. President Barrack Obama at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009. Working together, the U.S., Guyana and other Caribbean nations are combating the drug trade and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security. Meanwhile, since the previous drug master plan expired in 2009, there has been much talk about the crafting of a new plan. Opposition Leader David Granger recently said the absence of a plan has created more avenues for drugs to enter and leave Guyana, making reference to an airstrip that was built in the Corentyne with the intention of trafficking drugs several years ago.

Ernest Elliot sworn in as parliamentarian


Newly-appointed APNU Parliamentarian Ernest Elliot being sworn in

eople’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) veteran Ernest Elliot returned to the National Assembly on Tuesday, this time under the colours of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) coalition. Elliot took the oath of the National Assembly before Speaker Raphael Trotman and members of the House. He is replacing former APNU member Jaipaul Sharma who resigned from his parliamentary post last week. The politician had served in the Ninth Parliament as Shadow Local Government Minister with responsibility for public works. He had also served on the Social Services Committee and Public Accounts Committee (PAC). He was subsequently taken off the main opposition’s constituency list as a Councillor on the Region Four Democratic Council, which he had served from 1985-2006. In an invited comment over the weekend, Elliot told Guyana Times International that

he was elated to be returning to the National Assembly. He noted that he will be joining his party’s fight to uproot corruption within Government and also press for the President to assent to the key local government bills. His predecessor, Sharma resigned last Thursday following comments made by Education Minister Priya Manickchand referring to sexual allegations against his father Chandra Narine Sharma. During her budget debate presentation last Tuesday, APNU Parliamentarian Volda Lawrence was talking about sexually abused victims when Manickchand heckled: “Ask APNU member Sharma”. This comment was deemed distasteful by Speaker of the House, Raphael Trotman, who then informed the Minister that until she apologises, she would not be allowed to speak during the debate. The Minister refused to do so, subsequently saying

on her Facebook page that if she did, then she would be betraying the victims of rape and paedophilia. “I cannot abandon them just to keep the National Assembly happy… Reprimanded I may be. Silenced, I am not,” she stated. The following Thursday, Trotman informed the House that he had reviewed the footage from the day of the incident and had concluded that Manickchand was not referring to Sharma in any way, since he himself said that the statement was directed to his father and not him, and as such, there was no need for any apology and he lifted the ban. APNU subsequently demanded an apology from the Minister, saying that it would not allow her to speak unless she apologises to Sharma. However, the fallout worsened after Sharma tendered his resignation the very day, saying that he did not want the situation to damage the party’s image or cause it to lose votes.

Manickchand, Ally... are many questions surrounding the expenditure of the Gy$2.7 billion in 2013. “In 2013, we had pupils of Santa Rosa Primary, for example, fetching water for use, cleaning school….we had children fetching wood in Kato and spending a lot of time out of the formal learning system,” Ally said. It was further pointed out that in Region Eight, Gy$438 million was budgeted for education; however, Chenapou and Toesnang schools

went without proper furniture. Additionally, the teachers’ quarters that house two VSOs from the UK do not have any furniture, toilet and bathroom facilities and light. According to Ally, Minister within the Finance Ministry, Bishop Juan Edghill’s pronouncement that Guyana has achieved 100 per cent universal secondary education is laughable, pointing out that while Information Technology labs have popped up around the country, they are useless

from page 19

without teachers and electricity. Turning her attention to tertiary education, she contended that the Gy$1.4 billion budgeted for the University’s campuses is ridiculous. “The University of Guyana can’t pay their electricity bills, doesn’t have proper chalk boards, has inadequate projectors and poor toilet facilities,” she pointed out, arguing that the Government is spending limited funds on the University and spending large sums on unimportant projects.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Rice is on sound footing - MP Seeraj Gov’t looking tells National Assembly at having more


o v e r n m e n t Member of Parliament (MP) and General Secretary of the Rice Producers Association (RPA) Dharamkumar Seeraj said the rice industry will surpass its production target this year. He made the comment during his budget debate presentation on Friday. Seeraj reiterated a position posited by Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy in the House on Wednesday that the Finance Minister was conservative in the 2014 target for the industry. “We going to lick it up, Mr Speaker… because the industry is on sound footing,” the MP said as he dismissed claims made during the debate, of the industry being short on policy. He questioned these claims on the basis of the increasing productivity. Seeraj noted that the industry, which is supposedly ‘short of policy’, has been able to move from a production of three tonnes per hectare in 1990 to 5.2 tonnes last season.

Government MP Dharamkumar Seeraj making his presentation during the budget debate

Also increasing is the acreage, with a movement from 51,368 hectares in 1990 to 170,833 hectares in 2013. “How can we say, we are short of policy? This shows clearly, Mr Speaker, that rice is on the upward movement. Since 2010, we been breaking records, and I want to join with Minister Ramsammy in telling Dr Ashni Singh

his projection in the budget is very conservative,” he said. He noted that the budget provision of Gy$500 million for the industry, which was criticised by A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) MP Keith Scott, during his presentation, would go directly towards supporting the industry’s competitiveness and resilience.

According to Seeraj, Scott was a bit confused as his colleagues Jennifer Wade and John Adams who, in their presentations spoke about rice and expressed the need for Government to give more support to the industry. He noted that it appeared that Scott was not listening to his party leader David Granger when he too recently made a pronouncement that his party would give whatever support it can to the rice industry. “Keith Scott should also join hands in ensuring that not only we concentrate on improving services for the urban dwellers, but also for the rural farmers, the farmers in Essequibo and in Black Bush Polder,” he said. Meanwhile, Seeraj also joined in the call of Government MP Carnel Damon for the establishment of a rice milling facility in Region Two. He said years ago, he had initiated talks with the farmers in that region with the intention to establish such a facility in Essequibo.

Guyana, Barbados hoping to strengthen ties N ewly-appointed non-resident Barbadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Robert Morris on Wednesday presented his Letters of Credence to President Donald Ramotar at the Office of the President. In accepting and welcoming the newly-appointed diplomat, President Ramotar said the two countries have had a friendly relationship since 1969 and he was happy that the relationship was still very much prosperous since the two countries have a lot of areas in common. “In all areas of importance, I hope that we can both find areas of cooperation,” he said as he expressed optimism that the two countries would have even closer ties in the future. The High Commissioner noted that Guyana and Barbados share a longstanding friendship characterised by shared vision, history, common desires and a determination to nurture Caribbean unity. He related that

President Donald Ramotar accepting the Letters of Credence from newlyappointed Barbados High Commissioner to Guyana Robert Morris

though the Caribbean community stands out as a beacon of friendships and aspirations; it is the bilateral relationship which ultimately provides the foundation of mutual understanding on which the regional integration movement is grounded. Among the two countries’ arrangements was the signing of the agreement for the deepening of bilateral cooperation in 2002, with the aim of deepening the relation-

ship between the two countries in the areas of trade, investment, marine affairs, tourism, air services, education, agriculture, sports, culture and youth affairs. The High Commissioner disclosed that he will work towards implementing those programmes and initiatives which were agreed upon. Barbados is a sovereign island state in the Lesser Antilles. It is 34 kilometres (21 miles) in length and up to 23 ki-

lometres (14 miles) in width, covering an area of 432 square kilometres (167 square miles). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres (62 miles) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; about 168 kilometres (104 miles) east of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and 400 kilometres (250 miles) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago.

specialist doctors, says Ramsaran


Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran

overnment will be reducing the number of scholarships for studies in medicine under the Cuban Scholarship Programme this year, Health Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran has said. According to Ramsaran, Guyana’s health sector is now saturated with medical doctors, hence the scaling down of the programme. Many young potential Guyanese doctors between the ages of 16 and 25 may not get the opportunity to capitalise on the Government of Guyana/Cuba Scholarship Programme. Each year, close to 500 students receive scholarships to study in Cuba; this year the figure will be reduced to about 250. When the programme first started, the health sector was understaffed with doctors and nurses, Ramsaran said “but now we have ample amount of specialised doctors in the health sector so there is not a need for so many scholarships this year”. He added that the main objective of the Ministry at the moment is to have these doctors specialise in specific fields such as kidney and heart transplant and plastic surgery. He further stated that the Ministry is working with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Public Service Commission with Cuban cooperation to finalise this year’s agreement. In 2013, a number of Cuba-trained doctors returned home to serve. A majority of those doctors were dispatched to public health centres and hospitals across the country. The Governments of Guyana/Cuba Specialist

Awards Scholarship Programme was established following a visit to the sister Caribbean state by then President Bharrat Jagdeo in 2001. President Jagdeo secured the scholarships in various disciplines, after meeting with the then President Fidel Castro. The scholarships are offered in Medicine, Engineering, T e c h n o l o g y , Telecommunications, Agriculture, Sport and Culture. The Government feels that there is need to place greater emphasis on specialised training in these areas, to enhance Guyana’s developmental thrust. The scholarships are advertised early in the year in the national newspapers and interested applicants are invited to submit completed application forms to the Office of the President. The President had specified that every batch of students must include Amerindians, since the scholarships are for all Guyanese students who qualify. Under the scholarship programme, the students sent by the Government of Guyana are given a stipend of Cdn$50 per month. They also have the guidance of a Students Affairs Officer in Cuba appointed by the Government. The students are expected to serve the Government for five years on their return. Many young people have become qualified for scholarships given improved performances at both the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level.

news week ending April 13, 2014

Gov’t awaits CLE’s decision on UG law students


ttorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall said the Government is awaiting a response from the Council of Legal Education (CLE) regarding the automatic entry of Guyanese students into the Huge Wooding Law School, Trinidad and Tobago. In a statement, Nandlall said the Government expects the response will be favourable to the Guyanese graduands. “Government remains ready, able and willing to work with the University of Guyana, the University of the West Indies, the Council of Legal Education and any other stakeholder to bring a speedy and longterm resolution to this matter.” At the recently concluded 25th Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) intersessional meeting in St Vincent and the Grenadines, President Donald Ramotar raised

St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves

the decision of the executive board of the CLE, made in February 2014 in Bridgetown, Barbados, which has serious implications for the access to the law schools and consequently admission to practice law by persons, other than graduates of the University of the West Indies (UWI), more particularly, graduates of the University of Guyana (UG). In essence, this decision of the council will jeopardise the automatic admission of LLB graduands from the University of Guyana into the Hugh Wooding

Law School, which existed under a UWI/ UG/ CLE Collaborative Agreement that guaranteed the top 25 UG graduands automatic entry to the law school. This agreement expired and has not been renewed for the year 2014. This matter was discussed at the aforementioned intersessional meeting of the heads and it was resolved that Caricom Chairman and St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, write to the CLE Chairman, conveying the views and the decision of the heads of Government on the matter. On March 31, Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves dispatched a letter to CLE’s Chairman, Jamaica’s Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline SamuelsBrowne. Nandlall said the Government is hoping for a favourable response as it awaits the response from the CLE.

CGX awaits outcome of court case with Repsol


he Canadian oil and gas exploration company (CGX) has said although the legal dispute between itself and rival oil company Repsol is ongoing, it feels strongly about the outcome of the case. CGX General Counsel and Secretary Michael Galego told Guyana Times International that the injunction against the company is still in place to prevent Repsol from farming out interest areas on the Georgetown/ Kanuku Block. Late last year, the company sought the assistance of Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp to reinterpret seismic data to delineate a new prospect on the Corentyne Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PPL). Galego said the company is still on schedule. However, he could not disclose when the process would be completed. Initially, the company had set an April 2014, deadline. In the short term, the company may likely require additional equity financing and may seek to widen its shareholder base with a view to longer farm out transactions to enhance shareholders’ value. The company had also

entered into a master data processing agreement with the Vector Seismic Data Processing for the reprocessing and merging of the seismic surveys relating to the Corentyne PPL. This exercise was also expected to be completed this month. The company had also last year entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Suriname-based oil company Teikoku, for rig sharing in the GuyanaSuriname basin. The two parties agreed to form a group with the objective of increasing negotiating power with a rig contractor. Galego said: “As you can appreciate, the cost of drilling an offshore well is very expensive but with six to eight wells being drilled in the Guyana-Suriname Basin over the next two years, we are well positioned to have some savings due to our membership in this rig sharing group.” He said that the two bodies would likely finalise the definitive agreement this month or the next. CGX Energy Inc had announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, CGX Resources Inc, had obtained an injunction order from

Guyana’s Commercial Court restraining Repsol Exploracion from proceeding with the 30 per cent farm-out of the Kanuku PPL to RWE Dea AG, pending the determination of arbitration proceedings.


The company announced the commencement of arbitration proceedings under the rules of the London Court of International Arbitration against Repsol in connection with the expiry of the PPL covering the Georgetown Block. CGX and Repsol were part of an association that owned the Georgetown Block PPL, which was operated by Repsol. CGX publicly announced on December 23 that it was proceeding with the arbitration against Repsol with respect to the Kanuku licence offshore Guyana. The company’s Chief Executive Officer Dewi Jones had announced last year that the company was pleased with the decision of the Commercial Court and had promised that it would continue to work towards protecting the interests of its shareholders by pursuing the claim against Repsol.



Packed agenda for this year’s Science Fair


Students of Abram Zuil Secondary School in Essequibo built a model of a plant that converts paddy husks into a wood-like product which was on display during the Region Two leg of the fair

he Education Ministry in keeping with its drive to improve science and technology education has rolled out a packed agenda for the National Science Fair 2014, to be held this month-end in Region Two. The fair provides an opportunity for students to bring science out of the classroom as they are given a challenge this year to use Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to create solutions for a problem facing their school or community. This initiative was taken from the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge competition that was held last year in the Caribbean.


This year’s science fair will be held under the theme “Science, Mathematics and Technology: Providing Solutions for the 21st century” at the Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary School from April 22 to 25.

During the fair, there will be exciting and educational activities planned for the students and teachers visiting the region. Tours will be arranged to Charity, a coconut oil factory, the market area, the New Opportunity Corp and Lake Mainstay. In addition, several workshops have been planned to cover various areas such as the use of the microscience kits; inquiry-based science and mathematics education for teachers and students, and mangrove awareness, which will be done in collaboration with the Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project. The fair is organised to popularise science, mathematics and technology in schools and society while at the same time encouraging them to focus on solving regional-based problems. It is also geared at building confidence in students to apply science and technology to bring about social and behavioural changes.

Further, the fair serves as a platform for students to discuss and display their exhibits as they work to foster regional integration. A national committee was set up to oversee the preparations for the fair, which is being coordinated through the office of the Assistant Chief Education Officer (Secondary). Regional science fairs were held in all 11 educational districts, over the past few weeks and the schools with the most outstanding projects were selected from each region to be a part of the fair. Additionally, 10 other agencies will also be participating in the fair. They are: the Guyana Police Force, the Region Two Department of Education, the Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project, the University of Guyana, Conservation International, Brass Aluminum and Cast Iron Foundry, the Geology and Mines Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Health Ministry.

Berbice Chamber of Commerce complains of goods smuggling at border


u t g o i n g President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce (BCC) Mark Roopnarine says that the smuggling of goods across the border is not only affecting Berbice business people but also “robbing” the economy of a whole lot of revenue. He maintained that smuggling of goods should not only be a concern of the BCC but also of the wider community

at large. While noting that he is satisfied with the work being done by the police and the antismuggling unit as the fight against smuggling intensifies in the ancient county, Roopnarine underscored the need for more work to be done in the fight against the illegal activity. He opined that as long as there is development, there will also be an increase in illegal activities. This phenom-

enon, however, he noted, can be curbed with work from not only the police but also businesses. “Once people are secure, once businesses are secure, there will be growth and development” said Roopnarine as he urged the businesses to take adequate security measures in the protection of their establishments. “It is not just the fight of the Guyana Police continued on page 25



week ending April 13, 2014


U.S. Ambassador hails work Linden Youth group making waves of Peace Corps volunteers


U.S. Ambassador D Brent Hardt with Heath Minister, Dr Bheri Ramsaran at a public function

.S. Ambassador D Brent Hardt has hailed the work of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Programme and Peace Corps volunteers as it joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Health Day 2014. The Ambassador in a release said the U.S. Embassy is pleased to be able to work in partnership with the Government and people of Guyana to strengthen the delivery of health services throughout the country. Working in partnership with the Health Ministry and a broad range of civil society organisations, U.S. Government agencies are supporting Guyana’s fight against HIV/AIDS as part of the PEPFAR, delivering medical supplies and services to remote

communities through the Humanitarian Assistance Programme, and strengthening community-based health programmes through the work of the Peace Corps volunteers. The combined efforts of the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defence, and Peace Corps have formed a robust and enduring partnership in the health sector with the Government and people of Guyana. Globally, health care is central to President Obama’s development agenda and is closely linked to other key priorities, including economic growth, food security, and climate change. The Obama administration is supporting efforts to create an AIDS-free

generation, end preventable child and maternal deaths, and accelerate progress toward a world safe from infectious diseases. Beyond the Peace Corps’ work on HIV/ AIDS education, many volunteers in Guyana work with health centres, local health nongovernmental organisations, and schools in hinterland and coastal areas to promote preventive health practices that contribute to increased overall positive health outcomes. Such practices include promotion of exercise and healthy living, addressing childhood illnesses, building service provider capacity, preventing and mitigating non-communicable diseases, developing life skills, promoting youth sexual and reproductive health, and preventing substance use and abuse.

From left to right: Members of the Experiment To Discover Hope Youth Group Niossi Alsopp, Kerry Langhorne, Ronnel Gonsalves and Natalia Jordan


he Experiment To Discover Hope Youth Group is currently one of the most talked about organisations in the Linden community. The 14-member, non-governmental organisation (NGO) is created and managed by youths. The group is headed by members Natalia Jordan, Ronnel Gonsalves, Kerry Langhorne and Niossi Alsopp. It was formed last March as part of an initiative by the Region 10, Democratic Council (RDC) and has since been making some meaningful contributions to the mining town. President of the group, Natalia Jordan said, “We’re creating re-

search centres at pilot communities within Linden. We started with Christianburg, Victory Valley and Wisroc. We’re putting computers and tablets into a few buildings and children can come in the afternoons to have their assignments done. They can even have lessons in the afternoons because we have books and libraries. People will come in to teach the children how to read, how to write. Even class sessions where they can learn how to sew or learn to make different things with their hands.” Last year, the group organised a successful youth forum, and according to Jordan, it is the hope to continue with another in August. They’ve also planned a fashion

show for the last quarter of the year, which is expected to include designers from Linden and Georgetown. The fashion show will be aimed at showcasing the talents of Linden youths, Jordan said. The group is involved in fund-raising activities and is also seeking sponsorship for more educational initiatives. The official launching of the group is expected to be later this month during the Linden Town Week activities. Jordan also stated that the aim of the group is to promote fun, educational and social initiatives for youths. Some of the plans executed by the group include the research centre and the youth forum.

Allicock bemoans ‘underdevelopment’ in Amerindian communities


Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP) Sidney Allicock said “Hand outs” by the ruling party are not enough, as he bemoaned underdevelopment in Region Nine and Amerindian villages across the country. Addressing the House on Friday during the budget debates, Allicock launched an attack on the Government, accusing it of manipulation and favouritism. According to Allicock, the Government is in the habit of consulting with Amerindian villages after initiating agreements with local and international companies on projects that can negatively affect their livelihoods. The recent agreement with a Brazilian consortium QG and OAS for the conduct of pre-feasibility and feasibility studies on the possible generation of hydropower in the Upper and Middle Mazaruni was cited as

APNU MP Sidney Allicock

an example. He argued that a better Guyana is a Guyana where all its citizens are meaningfully consulted and included in the decision-making process. But even during consultation, he said particular groups of people are targeted.

construction of a Gy$77.7 million Secondary School at Sand Creek in the South Central Rupununi and the recent purchase of two brand new FG Wilson 750 generators for the Lethem Power Company Incorporated. He told the House that this cannot be all. In the area of agriculture, the Regional Democratic Council of Region Nine has been requesting pertinent information in relation to the operations of the farm at Santa Fe. “The information

that was sent was irrelevant and when additional information was requested, the council was instructed to go to GoInvest,” he complained, telling the House that the concerns are legitimate. It was explained that residents are concerned with the chemicals used on the farm, especially during the rainy season which often lead to flooding. “Naturally, when the water starts to recede, it will flow into the nearby rivers, creeks and

ponds. We have no way of knowing the effects those chemicals can have on the flora and fauna of the area, especially on the aquatic life.” He is asking the question whether an Environment Impact Assessment was conducted. Turning his attention to the education sector, Allicock reported that a survey conducted by a Region Nine Councillor indicated that less than 0.5 people in Central Rupununi watch the Learning Channel.

According to him, the Government is spending hefty sums on programmes that are of no interest to the residents. Alluding to the multimillion Sand Creek Secondary School, Allicock said residents were never told that a school would have been built in that area. According to the APNU MP, residents of South Central Rupununi were promised that the school would have been built in the Shulinab Village also known as Macushi Village.

Human rights

Allicock, who hails from Region Nine, said the Government has been touting its own horn as it often alludes to the mega farm at Santa Fe in the North Rupununi, the establishment of the Learning Channel, the

APNU MP Sidney Allicock says Amerindian communities are suffering from underdevelopment



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Berbice Chamber ‘Enough not being done to address of Commerce... youth unemployment’ – Roopnaraine from page 23


President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce, Mark Roopnarine

Force and Government of Guyana but also that of businessmen” the outgoing president of the BCC said. On that note, Roopnarine related that while there are reports that members of the business faction and the Police Force are aware of whom the offenders are in the instances of smuggling, this was not the case. The President of the Chamber also related that communication between businesses and police officers is improving. He also maintained that contrary to reports, businessmen and police

officers are not afraid to take action but rather they lack the resources to pursue the offenders in such cases. “So much has to be done to fight crime” said Roopnarine. He further stated that the chamber of commerce has held several meetings with the Berbice Divisional Commander Brian Joseph which has been successful in that they have made consistent headway in how they will go about tackling the issue and providing sufficient security for business establishments in the ancient county.

Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP) and Vice Chairman, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said Government has failed to address the high level of unemployment and underemployment in the budget. Speaking during the budget debates last Thursday, Dr Roopnaraine said, “There is no evidence that the unemployment and underemployment issue is being seriously addressed, and there is no policy or programmatic attempt to confront it in the 2014 budget.” The APNU member said it seems as though Government is at a lost on how to create jobs, more so, how to stimulate the private sector in this regard. He pointed out that the Finance Minister managed to complete his presentation without even directly making any reference to the unemployment and what measures his administration intends to undertake to address the situation. Dr Roopnaraine stated that Government has

information technology sector,” Dr Roopnaraine stated.


APNU (MP) and Vice Chairman, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine

opted to answer the issue of unemployment by merely highlighting the various training programmes offered, adding that even though a few jobs are created through enterprising entrepreneurs, it is still not done in the magnitude required. He stressed that Government continues to bank on the only major project it started, that is, the Qualfon Call Centre. “Qualfon’s 6000 promised jobs in the business of process outsourcing is undoubtedly a big development in the

The APNU parliamentarian noted that the Government has failed miserably to attract investors, who would significantly transform the economy. “The danger of this straitjacket was evident in the fall in foreign exchange earnings in 2013. Sugar was down because of production problems, so too was the economic star gold because of the slide in world prices. Rice returns were up, but in essence, a set off against what Guyana would have spent purchasing oil. Bauxite and timber had unimpressive showings. There was no other co-star to share the stage, 22 uninterrupted years of PPP/C governance has failed to restructure and transform the pillars of the economy and there are dangers to each of the established sectors in the years ahead,” he mentioned.

Not forgotten

Meanwhile, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) MP Komal

Chand during his presentation said this year’s budget has focussed intensely on the social sector, while noting that the expenditure in this sector is probably Government’s clearest indication that the working and poor people have not been forgotten. The Government PM continued that the same success was seen in the water sector with new installation, modernisation and rehabilitation. “By 2006, Comrade Speaker, some 91 per cent of household in Guyana has access to safe drinking water, a significant increase as against 50 per cent in 1990, according to our Guyana Millennium Development Goals Report 2011,” he said. However, Chand expressed his disappointment that the Income Tax threshold was not adjusted. He expressed disappointment that the Tax Reform, which was decided upon some two years ago, had not been realised. The parliamentarian urged the Minister to get this in order by next year’s budget.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

U.S.-based Guyanese to receive top award


obin Dinnanauth, a U.S.-based Guyanese native, is slated to receive a Golden Rule Award from Ambassador Clyde Rivers, representative for the Interfaith PeaceBuilding Initiative to the United Nations in New York and the African Union. The nomination recognises Dinnanauth for his compassion toward humankind and his active efforts to empower

communities with trust, dignity and improved living conditions. Dinnanauth has been inspiring lives both locally and internationally through humanitarian leadership and creative initiatives such as “Josiah’s House of Hope for Children”. His outreach has become a model for impacting families and fostering successful community collaboration between corporate, gov-

ernment and non-profit organisations. “I believe that we can help people from all walks of life realise their dreams and live to their full potential, regardless of background or current situation. Everyone has the capacity to be more and go farther than they ever thought possible.” Dinnanauth is an educator, mentor, leader, pastor, entrepreneur, author of several books, and sought-after confer-

ence speaker. His past is rich with many compelling life experiences which give him a platform to address critical issues that affect an individual’s social and spiritual development. The Golden Rule International is affiliated with the Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative Organisation, Department of Public Information of United Nations, the African Union, the United

Nations and the United Religions Initiative (URI). It seeks out top achievers who live the Golden Rule in their everyday lives. This new global ethic has been embraced by 120 nations of the world and is being promoted globally by the leadership of the Golden Rule International Award, patron, current Ethiopian President Girma Wolde and Ambassador Mussie Hailu.

Robin Dinnanauth

Skeldon factory contributes to national grid – Ramsammy


g r i c u l t u r e Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy has condemned what he called misrepresentation of the facts by a section of the media and politicians on the Skeldon CoGeneration Plant. The Government has conceded that GuySuCo faces many difficulties and have performed below its targets for three straight years. “We have in particular conceded that Skeldon Sugar Factory has not met our expectations. But we have also stated very clearly that we are making progress in resolving the problems we have encountered in

the past several years. These problems resulted from several factors, including the ongoing challenges of climate change and price volatility for sugar.” He said in spite of the many challenges, GuySuCo has been able to address several of the problems and has made significant progress in addressing others. “We see difficult times still ahead, but we are confident that 2014 will be a year in which we return to a more positive way forward. In this regard, I would like to dispel the misinformation being spread from several quarters, particu-

Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy has refuted claims of the non-performance of the Skeldon Co-Generation plant

larly by APNU and AFC. It relates to the co-generation of energy by the Skeldon factory. During the budget debate and at other times, representatives of both APNU and AFC have declared that

GuySuCo’s Co-Gen Plant at Skeldon has produced zero energy for GPL’s national grid.” The Minister said the Co-Generation Plant at Skeldon generates both energy through turbine

(bagasse-based) generation and diesel generation. The energy generated is used for operation at the Skeldon Factory and is also fed into the national grid. He said in March, as

an example, the Skeldon Co-Generation Plant generated 9876 MWH energy. The bagassebased generator through the turbine was 5350 MWH of this amount or 54.2 per cent of the total energy generated. The diesel-based energy produced was 4526 MWH for March or 45.8 per cent. “The truth is that the Co-Gen Plant in Skeldon exported 5644 MWH energy to the GPL National Grid in March. Of this amount, 1410 MWH or 25 per cent was from the bagasse-based turbine generators. The rest, 4233 MWH was from the diesel-based generators,” he said.


week ending April 13, 2014 |



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Misir launches book on There is a boom in child porn in TT – NGO group HIV/AIDS in New York - Guyanese victims among those in TT trafficking ring


tigma and lack of knowledge about HIV & AIDS” was the topic of a compelling presentation by University of Guyana (UG) Pro-Chancellor, Professor Prem Misir, who launched his first health book in front of expatriates at the Consulate General of Guyana in New York City, recently. Misir, a Professor in Public Health at the University of Central Lancaster in England, said his interest in how the disease is transmitted and how stigma impacts awareness, peaked his interest and led him to publish this fundamental tool that will be used by health professionals, educators and policymakers throughout the Caribbean region. An author of eight books, Misir who has written extensively in peer reviewed journals, and was instrumental in gaining a grant from the CDC to study the pandemic, did a cross-sectional look at 379 high school students in urban Guyana and assessed their knowledge of the disease, and stigmarelated attitudes. “What is evident is that 40 per cent of the world’s incident rate is among adolescents,” said Misir, a former visiting Professor of the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. His findings show that people graduate from HIV to AIDS status in their twenties and noted that Guyana was not isolated in this regard since studies around the world also show that the incubation period is eight to 10 years.


“This is the reason it is very critical for youths in Guyana to be educated about the disease during their high


Professor Prem Misir

school years – a period when they are sexually active,” said Misir. The recently elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in England, named non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the National AIDS Programme Secretariat, and the Global Fund that are working to stem the spread of the disease through education and services. However, Misir, a consultant with Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation (PAHO/ WHO), pointed to stigma as a contributing factor and said the book aims to give agencies intervention knowledge to reduce the high rate of sexual behaviours among teens. Artistes In Direct Support (A.I.D.S.), a theatre production directed by advocate Desiree Edghill has been effective in motivating citizens to express themselves to combat the pandemic through plays, but more has to be done to reduce the numbers, said Misir.

child could be trafficked and still go home and sleep in his/ her bed every night, said Adrian Alexander, President of the Caribbean Umbrella Body for Restorative Behaviour (CURB). Alexander said there is a boom in child sex tourism in Trinidad and Tobago (TT). He revealed a side of human trafficking different from the Hollywood movie “Taken”, which is closer to home. Explaining how it works, he said, “The smartphone your child has, or even the laptop the Government gave him, is the portal through which this is being done.

Organised crime

“A foreigner can stay in his home or office and (through the Internet) have a child disrobe and perform sexual acts on himself or herself, perhaps even paying for it.” Alexander said that was linked to organised crime and told how he and CURB volunteers were threatened, followed and had their telephones monitored for their awareness campaign. He said, “There is a boom in child porn in TT. Videos are being done by children and circulated. “It’s not always a case of a badly behaved child. These young people could be victims of human trafficking. It’s happening in secondary and primary schools. The Education Ministry is aware there has been an increase in sexual activity among children at a younger age. It’s happening, it’s a reality. It’s not a figment of our imaginations.” He said under the act, transporting a person under 18 or recruiting him/her

for the purpose of making child pornography, is a crime. Alexander spoke to the Guardian as CURB, this week, launched a smart phone mobile app to assist in the prevention of human trafficking in TT and the Caribbean. CURB was part of a Cabinet-appointed multi-sectoral task force that helped shape the Trafficking in Persons Act proclaimed in January 2013. The International Organisation on Migration partnered with the Government to initiate the political action, which fell under the National Security Ministry. The 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report from the U.S. State Department identified TT as a source country for trafficked persons.


The report said unconfirmed findings of the National Security Ministry states victims of trafficking between June 2009 and August 2012 were 39 per cent Venezuelan, 31 per cent Colombian, eight per cent Guyanese and 22 per cent from The Dominican Republic. The app is titled “Trafficking in Trinbago” and educates users on the extent of human trafficking in the region and tells how to identify, prevent and report it. The online report said the CURB team uses links, downloads and videos within the app to help users recognise signs of the crime, reasons it might occur and how, including targeted information on work permits and due diligence specific to local youth, migrants and job-seekers. (Excerpt from Trinidad Guardian)


week ending APRIL 13, 2014 |



week ending April 13, 2014 |


ecently, the Deaf Association of Guyana (DAG), with sponsorship from Scotiabank, released its first ever booklet on sign language. This is the first of many beneficial plans DAG has in store for the deaf. All over the world deaf people use sign language to communicate with each other, talking about the same things hearing people talk about. Sign language follows different rules from spoken and written languages. Most importantly it conveys the essentials of a message through signs, eye contact, facial expression and body posture. For instance, asking, “Do you want something to drink?” may be signed just as “drink”. The ‘you’ is expressed through eye contact and the question through facial expression. With the release of ‘Start Signing’, persons can learn the basics of sign language and to better communicate with the deaf. In an interview with

A look of what the booklet contains

Guyana Times Sunday Magazine DAG’s member Sabine McIntosh said, “DAG wanted to do this for a long time because we get requests from parents who have deaf children and others who would like to communicate with the deaf. The booklet provides a basic vocabulary for the general public.” McIntosh added the booklet targets parents especially. She stated that when deaf children learn sign language in

school, parents are left behind. With this booklet, they can now expand their communication, beyond the mundane questions of hunger and sleep, and have meaningful conversations with their children. “This is a start in making sign language accessible for parents and the general public. The booklet is based on the American Sign Language (ASL), but we would like to invest in getting the Guyana Sign Language

(GSL) documentation going. We’re waiting on a great funder to start documenting GSL, which is very similar to ASL,” she noted. Notably, DAG has been a pioneer in caring for our deaf children. Recently, it sent the very first two deaf students to the Sophia Training Centre, who recently graduated from there. Additionally, the Board of Industrial Training will soon be facilitating some more of the deaf

The booklet, 'Start Signing'

students. “That is why the booklet is so important. Although [trained sign language instructors] are there to provide communication, the programmes’ lecturers can have an opportunity to learn about signing and be better able to com-

municate with deaf students,” McIntosh pointed out. This year, DAG plans to expand its programmes to include a quiz event, in addition to its regular hosting of visual and performing arts events, and estabcontinued on page 34



week ending April 13, 2014 |


o create her irresistible collection, ‘First Resort’, designer Sonia Noel has infused her signature latticing, kaftan silhouettes and versatile wraps. The chic collection has over 100 sophisticated and comfortable designs, which keeps expanding as more stylish pieces are added. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Noel stated that the collection depicts the easy, carefree, uninhibited nature of Caribbean lifestyle presented in breathing, eco-friendly, caressing textiles, which captures the attitude of comfort and leisure.

“These outfits are definitely perfect for a weekend at one of our beautiful resorts in Guyana, Bartica Regatta or Rodeo. These kaftan tops are made from cotton, chiffon and cotton jersey fabric, and can be worn as a swimsuit, cover-up or with shorts, skirts, leggings or jeans,” Noel explained. For this week’s photo shoot, the models are Umadevi Bux, Meleesa Payne, Raquel Thomas and Steffi Bynoe. This collection is presently available at Noel’s fashion studio located at 176 Barr Street, Kitty. Call 226-3099 for more information. (Photos by Shiv Dindyal)



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Times Notebook


eopards do not shed their spots. Dictators and bullies do not change their natural propensity to bully. This was in full display

The DNA of bullyism and dictatorship

in the National Assembly during the budget debate last week. The display by the MPs from APNU brought vivid memories of the days before 1992

when the then PNC-led Government used the full might of dictatorship to deny freedom and bully people. The behaviour of

APNU in the National Assembly this past week must serve as a reminder of what this nation rejected in 1992. When APNU prevented Education Minister Priya Manickchand from exercising her legitimate right to speak on the budget, it demonstrated in all its ugly forms the disrespect APNU has for rights and laws and it exposed its natural dictatorship inclination. The members were not even shy in bullying the Speaker of the National Assembly to adjourn the Parliament, without completing the day’s work. This is the DNA that APNU inherited from its parent, the PNC. We watched in anguish the true form of APNU – it exposed itself, not only as a bully, but APNU reminded everyone in Guyana that it is totally in the true likeness of its dictatorial past.

Bullying tactics

This is what is likely if APNU succeeds in becoming the Government of Guyana. In this 10th Parliament, we have seen constant and consistent bullying tactics and reminders of the dictatorial heredity of APNU. Remember it was the parent PNC which prevented Dr Cheddi Jagan from speaking in Parliament for years; they actually banned Cheddi from speaking and fulfilling his duty to the people he rep-

A scene from the 2014 budget debates in the National Assembly

resented in Parliament. Recall too how Ronald Gajraj, the then Home Affairs Minister, could not speak in the Seventh Parliament because of the rowdy behaviour from the then PNC Parliamentarians. Early in the Ninth Parliament, Health Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy was subjected to the same kind of intimidation. Early in the 10th Parliament, Minister Clement Rohee was prevented from speaking because APNU’s MPs would bang the table. Now it’s Manickchand’s turn. There are other examples of APNU’s bullying behaviour. On December 12 last year, APNU and AFC combined to shut off the voice of more than 5000 Guyanese citizens who wanted to petition Parliamentarians to pass the cricket bill. On November 7, 2013, the Private Sector Commission exercised its fundamental right to present a petition to the Parliament of Guyana, requesting MPs to promote the interest of the country by passing an amendment to the AntiMoney Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Bill. They were denied the right by the combined APNU-AFC wrecking band of politicians. APNU has used its place in Parliament to sabotage and stall Guyana’s development. Whether blocking the AML/CFT Amendment Bill, delaying the Marriott, stopping the expansion and modernisation of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, or driving away investors from the Amaila Falls Hydro Electricity Project, APNU, along with its spineless poodle, the AFC, continues to block development. But it also consistently reminds us all of its DNA blueprint, a party that simply cannot dis-

guise itself no matter how hard it tries to mask its true identity as a bully and dictator. Times Notebook is proud that a young Guyanese woman is Guyana’s Education Minister. She not only speaks on behalf of the PPP/C, the largest massbased political party in the history of Guyana, but she speaks for more than 180,000 children and their families and the thousands of teachers in Guyana. Never again She has a legal and a moral right to speak in the halls of the National Assembly. Those who seek to prevent her from speaking merely remind people of what we have rejected in free and fair elections and what we are determined never to allow again in Guyana. It is a fundamental development and rights issue that was correctly raised by APNU’s Volda Lawrence – the issue of children and sexual assault. In her seat, Minister Manickchand asked the member about a case languishing in court. It’s a major deficiency of Guyana’s legal system that the Minister was highlighting in her off-the-cuff remark. Under normal circumstances, a country should unite to end this travesty. There was no reason for the ruckus that followed. But APNU and its sidekick, the AFC, continues to seek out any reason, good or bad, real or fabricated, to disrupt and to bully our Parliament. No one is spared, not even the Speaker. Times Notebook thinks that our Parliament should be one where everyone sits quietly. But if we want to protest, we can leave the Chambers. Times Notebook says if you don’t want to listen to the Minister, leave the room. The nation is listening and watching.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Pursuing a passion for theatre

Dr Jean Small is a Caribbean Hall of Fame inductee on a mission to promote literacy through theatre


r Jean Small is a GuyaneseJamaican who graduated from the University of the West Indies in Foreign Languages – French, Spanish and Latin. Her profession all her life has been as an educator, which she passionately pursues. She was born in Guyana but has been living in Jamaica since 1954. Small has worked in Guyana, Trinidad, Nigeria, Australia and Jamaica as a French teacher at both secondary and university levels. Her love since school days has been theatre. She considers herself first as an actress and secondly as a director and playwright, using theatre tools as a vehicle for understanding life, language, culture and interpersonal relationships. As a foreign language lecturer, she uses theatre to teach French and Literature at the university level. Her publications include a series of textbooks in French and Spanish for schools; the play ‘A Black Woman’s Tale; and articles on the empowerment of theatre. Small has participated in theatre internationally and is the only person in Jamaica who uses theatre as a tool for teaching French and Literature. For 13 years, Small led a team of experts from across the Caribbean to formulate the curriculum in French and Spanish for the

Dr Jean Small

Caribbean Examinations Council. Notably, she participated in writing the syllabus for Theatre Arts for CXC. She was the External Examiner for Theatre at the Edna Manley College and External Examiner of French for the Joint Board of Teacher Education. The prolific educator has been decorated twice by the French government for distinguished teaching of French and Literature. (The first in 1985 with the Academic Palms at the level of Chevalier, and in June 2004 at the Level of Officer.) Small is presently retired from the University of the West Indies where she last headed the Philip Sherlock Centre For the Creative Arts. She is currently the Convenor of the Fine Arts Board of the University Council of Jamaica, member of the Alliance Française (an organisation that promotes French language and culture worldwide),

and past president of the Jamaica Association of French Teachers. In 2001, Small was inducted into the Caribbean Hall Of Fame in Jamaica. In 2003, Small joined the Toastmasters International, which is an organisation that sees communication and leadership as essential to personal and societal development. Through her performance in her club, the Dynamic Speakers, she gained the designation as Distinguished Toastmaster in 2012. In 2004, she placed third in the Jamaica National Speech Competition. In May 2005, she won the Jamaica National Humourous Speech Competition, and in November of the same year she won the Humourous Speech Competition held in St. Croix, which made Small the 2005 Caribbean Toastmasters Champion of Humourous Speeches. In 2006, she won the evaluation contest at the Area Level, and in 2007 she became the Caribbean Champion of Public Speaking. Additionally, her other awards include the Actor Boy Award (1995) for her performance in ‘Hot Flashes’, the Charlotte and Isidor Paiewonsky Prize for the Best First Publication of “Lament” - a poem dedicated to Prof Kamau Brathwaite in the Caribbean, and the choice of her play, ‘The Black Woman’s Tale’ as

the best Jamaican play in 1998, which she performed in France in French at the Theatre Gérard Phillipe. Small also writes short stories and is a storyteller. On 14 November 2006, she was chosen to perform as a storyteller with the internationally acclaimed storyteller, Gayle Ross, at the Edna Manley College. On October 2007, the United States Embassy invited Small to perform her winning speech entitled ‘Rain’ at the opening cocktail reception of the launching of the Chiefs of Mission HIV/ AIDS Conference in

translations into French of six of Mutabaruka’s poems, and the one for the performance of poetry by a group accompanied by drums and movement. Small is also the director of her own company, TALA (Theatre Arts Learning Aids), which promotes the use of theatre as a teaching tool. Through TALA, she teaches values and attitudes using the art of puppetry and storytelling. Her puppetry troupe is called Puppets For Peace, which presents puppet plays for children and workshops for early childhood educa-

Preparatory School. In 2010, Small was awarded the Bronze Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica for excellence in theatre. In that same year, she received the Life Award from the Jamaica Association of Dramatic Artists for over 50 years of contribution to theatre in the Caribbean, as well as a plaque from the Guyana for her outstanding contribution to theatre. In 2011, Small was awarded her Doctor of Philosophy for her thesis on creativity and the use of theatre techniques in teaching French Language and

Small manipulates two puppets during a puppet show in 2008

Jamaica. In the 2006, at the Tallawah Drama Competition held at the University of the West Indies, the French play Small entered won two awards: one for the script that she had written, which consisted of

tors and Sunday school teachers on the effective use of puppetry as a teaching tool. TALA offers a course in Public Speaking. Small also conducts drama classes with the children of the Portmore Missionary

Literature. Small is divorced and has one son, Seretse Small, who is an applauded guitarist and CEO of his own company Griot Music. (First published on

Star-studded line-up for Antigua’s Nautical Festival


mari Harrigan of Chosen Sounds has – with collaborators Neil Cochrane and Kevin Hosam – put together a star-studded line-up for the upcoming Nautical Festival in Antigua. Introduced last year as a Sailing Week after-after party at Abracadabra, Harrigan said, “It came off so well (as) a climax to the whole season,” it has been expanded into a two-day event. Fresh from ‘The Voice’ and more recently the White House, powerhouse Jamaican vocalist Tessanne Chin is in the mix, Reggae artistes Barrington Levy and Christopher Martin, and Jillionaire and Walshy Fire of Major Lazer. The latter, Harrigan said, “bend the genres of music …soca and dancehall with electronic” and, he added, “fill stadiums all over the world”. The events are scheduled for Friday, May 2, at Abracadabra and Saturday, May 3, at Splash. “Two days, one awesome experience,” Harrigan said. The May 2nd event is an all DJ affair, much like last year, with the likes of Jime, Miks, Merchy, and from Major Lazer, Walshy Fire. The following night, meanwhile, will be jampacked with talent, including, from Antigua, Kutting Edge, Jamal Gordon, Tian Winter, and ‘Logiq’; and the named regional and international artistes. ‘Logiq’ has been making moves on the local hiphop scene for 10 years or more and is currently making waves with international outfit Sweetbox, most recently the hot duet with Asher Otto, All 4 Love;

The Voice winner, Tessanne Chin of Jamaica, is booked to perform in Antigua during the Nautical Festival

and no doubt anticipation will be high as it always is for new music from popular soca star Tian Winter. Then there is Jamal, being groomed and managed by Dr Noel Howell for international success,

and the soulful combo Kutting Edge, which brings some steel pan to the stage. As was the case last year, when a companion CD of music with an international flavour by local artists set sail in the ASW post-season and the festival’s wake, fans can expect new music with featured artistes available as singles for download. In this digital age, these kinds of collaborations are not limited by geographic boundaries, Harrigan reminded, hinting that new music is in fact already in the works. A hot topic during our chat with Harrigan was Chin, who recently signed a major deal on the heels of her success as the first artiste from the Caribbean to use the top rated American show to cross over. They managed to get her for Nautical just before she became impossible to get, as she is likely to be in demand going forward. Harrigan, who described Chin as the Caribbean’s sweetheart, a reference no doubt to the way the Caribbean rallied behind her win and to the grace she demonstrated throughout the competition’s run and since, said since her last performance in Antigua during her Hideaway phase, “her voice and personality have matured so much”. The producer/promoter continues to prove that for his part, he has what it takes to put on quite the show, at least the promising line-up raises hopes that the two-night affair will deliver an entertaining time. And it’s his feeling that it will also add value to the season. (Antigua Observer)



week ending April 13, 2014 |


he Georgetown Solid Waste Management Programme (GSWMP) seeks to make significant improvements in solid waste management in Guyana. To achieve this, the Government of Guyana is implementing a programme with six interlinked components. The six components are: Component 1: Institutional strengthening and capacity building for solid waste management; Component 2: Community participation and public awareness programme; Component 3: Design, construction, operation of the Haags Bosch Sanitary Landfill; Component 4: Waste collection from participating NDCs; Component 5: Rehabilitation, expansion and closure of the Le Repentir landfill; Component 6: Treatment and disposal of healthcare and hazardous waste. The Clean and Green Guyana programme is part of the community participation and public awareness programme and is designed to create behavioural change in improper disposal of

Students being taught on composting waste. Funding for the six components include loans provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). Component 2 involves a community participation and public awareness campaign to provide information on relevant solid waste management issues to all stakeholders, including citizens, corporations, community groups, NGOs and other organisations, and to involve them in the major decision-making in solid waste management in Guyana by determining how the

changes will be implemented through this participatory approach. The Government of Guyana intends to win the commitment and co-operation of stakeholders in achieving the objective of the programme. The project influence area includes the capital city, Georgetown, and the surrounding 15 Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica). Its scope of work is to develop a comprehensive strategy of community participation and public awareness by undertaking a series of activities

Men working on a compost heap in Mocha Arcadia

that form part of a tried and proven methodology to raiseawareness and knowledge of solid waste management issues within the selected communities. In order to achieve its goals, the Clean and Green Guyana campaign is implementing two concurrent campaigns: a Behavior Change Communication (BCC) campaign among selected target audiences and an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign, which will be broader in scope, reaching a wider target audience with messages designed to increase awareness and knowledge as well as reinforcing the behaviour change efforts of smaller sub-populations. The strategy promotes new ways of managing waste as alternatives to dumping, littering and other improper methods of solid waste elimination. International experience demonstrates that this may be achieved by adhering to the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. In the Guyana context, focus is being placed on reducing the amount of waste created by promoting reus-

able containers, in order to reduce the volume of single-use plastic products, and promoting the separation and composting of organic waste at the household level. In order to support the use of fewer plastic bags and disposable containers, a branded re-usable bag will be provided to the public through major supermarkets throughout the project target area. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Project Coordinator Oliver Insanally stated that the public is encouraged to help the campaign by spreading its messages and by adopting the proper waste disposal methods that the campaign is encouraging. This should include placing waste in a receptacle and ensuring that it is collected by a waste disposal service and taken to the Haags Bosch Sanitary Landfill (and by not littering, dumping or burning waste). He added that communities can also compost their organic waste and turn this into a rich fertiliser, which can be used on plants. Citizens can also reduce the amount of waste they generate by re-us-

ing items when possible and cutting down on their use of plastics which take many decades to biodegrade and release toxins during this process or when they are burnt. “We particularly encourage citizens not to use plastic bags, plastic bottles and Styrofoam containers. When shopping, citizens can use a re-usable (cloth) bag instead of a plastic one,” he urged. Outlining the project’s future plans, Insanally said there will be a rollout of the national IEC campaign that will see the dissemination of TV and radio messages, brochures and posters all encouraging proper solid waste disposal practices. Additionally, major supermarkets will increase their efforts to encourage their shoppers to use a re-usable (cloth) bag instead of plastic bags. The community composting initiative, which has already started in two of the three pilot NDCs selected (in the Mocha-Arcadia and Good Success/Caledonia NDCs), will continue to spread in these areas and will begin shortly in the third selected pilot NDC of Reconnaissance/ Mon Repos.The campaign is also collaborating with the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) Unit of the Ministry of Education to produce three workbooks on solid waste management and five educational videos for use within the education system. There is much more happening with the project in realising its goals of a greener and cleaner Guyana. For more information visit Clean & Green Guyana on Facebook. from page 30

Deaf Association of Guyana unveils sign language booklet... lishing sign language programmes in all schools. Recently, the Tuschen Deaf Academy was opened to help deaf children in the West Coast area. According to McIntosh, the academy is a bottomhouse school, housed under the home of a parent of a deaf child. “This school, with funding from the British High Commission, is important because they don’t have facilities like that over there. Some of the students attending the academy have never been to school because of

their disability, and so we hope, with more funding, to open schools like this one countrywide,” she declared. DAG’s vision is that “members of the deaf community play a positive and integral role in national development” and are challenged by its mission “to help deaf youths achieve their full potential and to improve the socioeconomic well-being of members of the deaf community”. The association is a non-governmental organisation registered under

the Friendly Societies Act in 2010. DAG's network with members of the deaf community stretches across several regions. It works closely with special needs schools countrywide and is engaged in the visual and performing arts, education, sign language research, sports, among others. The booklet is currently being sold for GYD$500, money that will be invested in the expansion of DAG’s programmes. For more information call 225-4489 or 687-3597.

Students of the Diamond Special Needs School are happy with their newest hydroponics project


week ending April 13, 2014 |

Simply the Truth

Too ‘fraid … … a Norton ack in the days following the attempted army coup in his twin-island Republic, Eric Williams brought in Carl Hudson-Phillips to remove the rot that had overtaken the PNM and the Government. Carl moved with such vigour to clean house that, as the calypsonian Chalkdust crooned, even Eric became “fraid ah Carl”. In the PNC which is APNU, it is very clear that Granger ‘fraid a Norton. Your Eyewitness has pointed this out before… but it needs repeating now that the bell’s tolled once again. There’s been much ado made of the AFC poaching on PPP/C’s turf in Berbice and pilfering a couple of seats there to hurt the governing party. But since a seat is a seat no matter from whence it comes, APNU’s success in reducing both the PPP/ C’s and AFC’s support in the mining community of Linden was just as critical to the “open seat majority” the combined Opposition holds in Parliament. And no one, even Granger can dispute that the man responsible for that feat was Aubrey Norton. But when it came to handing out the parliamentary seats…in the immortal words of President Ramotar, Norton got “Larwaah”!!! That is, “wood”. Not “stick” – “wood”. The youth wing that’s close to Norton took umbrage at the dissing of Norton’s feats on behalf of the party. And what did THEY get? The Norton “Larwaah” treatment, that’s what. Did you notice the new nonentities speaking for PNC youths? All modulated in the “master’s voice”. Granger could’ve made amends when replacing Backer…but he dissed Norton once more for a new face, Dr Cummings. There’s no question Cummings clearly is on top of health…but does this mean Dr George Norton, whose presentation she embellished, is being replaced? It makes no sense to gild the Health lily, when Foreign Affairs remains orphaned. And now the cock has crowed thrice with the replacement of JFAP’s Jaipaul Sharma with another nonentity – this time a recycled one. Now the issue isn’t Norton per se. The latter’s bypassing is symptomatic of a dangerous development in the PNC by Granger. He’s filling the party with people having no independent support. Why? So these ciphers will be beholden to him and only him. We’ve seen him blanking the man who he fears more than Norton – Greenidge – from the secret poll designed to test his support against President Ramotar. And this isn’t just a matter for the PNC to worry about. If Granger has only “yes men” around him, like his lackey Harmon, then we’re confirming another dictator in the image of Burnham. So who from the PNC’s going to bell this cat? …ah Hinds Well, to give Jack his jacket, that inveterate scribbler Ms Maxwell has mustered the gumption to bell David Hinds for his recent effusion of racist incitement towards the PPP/C and the Police Force. At least this Opposition handmaiden recognises that if we have another racial conflagration in this land, there’ll be nothing left for whichever party inherits the Government. But armchair generals like Hinds, who’s secure in his sinecure in an American university, don’t give a hoot if the country goes up in smoke. All he’s concerned about is getting his ego stoked as the local Malcolm X: burn baby, burn!! Mark Benschop seems to have lost the appetite for the role now that he’s seeking elective office. (You’ve forgotten he’s running against Green for Mayor?) Your Eyewitness had already pointed out the fly in the ointment in Hinds’ thesis. It’s downright racially incendiary to claim that more African Guyanese youths are killed by police even though crimes are committed equally by Indian Guyanese. …ah Trotman’s ploy Some on the Government benches are taken by Trotman letting them win the BATTLE on Manickchand. They’ve forgotten that he’ll let the Opposition win the WAR on chopping the Budget. Trotman’s hero is the chess-playing Burnham.


Work study and internships T he idea of work-study at secondary schools is not new. The idea of internships in tertiary education is not new either. Both are very useful ideas. The basic idea is to give students some kind of experience in the workplace in order that their “book” learning be supplemented by hands-on or practical experience. There are all kinds of wisdom in this, of course. University of the West Indies just finished some big survey that told them what everyone else already knows. No wonder the Germanic ranking system has them so shamefully low. UG, of course, is the lowest ranked of any national university in the world. The first time I encountered our secondary school work-study programme in Guyana was in 2009, mere months after I returned home with all kinds of noble intentions to serve Guyana. The Education Minister was Shaik Baksh. The work-study programme still continues, to the credit of the Education Ministry under his successor. They seem to have worked it out: students are placed during that nerve-wracking period between having written the CXC and getting the results. The workstudy programme keeps these young people constructively occupied and exposes them to the world of work. Regular studies are not disrupted. I do not know, however, if we have designed a system to measure the effectiveness of the placements. If we don’t have a system to measure the effectiveness of the work-study programme, then we should have one designed. And if there is a system, it would be not a bad idea to let us know about it. On the other hand, the University of Guyana is quite another basket of rotting fish. In 2008, one month after I came back

By Professor Daizal Samad

to Guyana, I showed how this idea of internship can work—and a lot more too (almost 200 pages of concrete, implementable ideas to bring UG up to snuff). Regarding internships, the idea was that every single degree programme must have an internship element. This was free for Guyana! In the Sultanate of Oman (or many other places), I would have been paid a princely sum for this stuff. Not a word. Not even the suggestion of some action. In November 2008, I was ASKED to assume the position of Director of the Berbice Campus. I submitted again something called a Strategic Planning Engine. Nothing. Again, the point of internships is to give university students workplace experience. But at UG, it has become all perverted. In one course, students are commanded to go to this or that place for FOUR days for “internship”. They HAVE to spend 32 hours! Magical number that! Some students explained that they actually work for a living! And they are promptly told: “You do it or you fail!” “But what about my job?” some student asks. The lecktchur-

uh (or lecturer, in English) responds: “Tell your employers that you are sick!” So here is the situation: (i) I work for a living, but have to go for an internship in a single course that is meant to give me work experience. (ii) The “internship” may or may not have anything to do with the course. (iii) The “internship” goes for four days from 8-4, so I cannot go to my paid job that helps me pay my tuition and feed my family. (iv) I have other courses which mostly start at 16:00h, so I will be more than an hour late for each of the other courses. So I could fail them (read MORE money and time!). (v) But if I DON’T do as commanded, then I fail this course! Same buddup. (vi) I am told to lie to my paidjob employers. Things are tough these days, so they could easily fire me for absenteeism. And they should fire me for being a liar (even though I was instructed to lie). (vii) I pay tuition for this rubbish, and they will hike tuition I hear. (viii) I come UG to lose guana and cutlass! (ix) I have to pay even more than the Gy$50,000 per month I pay now for travel. (x) I can’t complain since I will be penalised and I will have to take time that I don’t have to make written complaints. This stuff happens when the classroom becomes a territory in which teaching is replaced by bullying. And decency and ethics are locked outside the gates, thrown like garbage on the roadside. I am confident that the “high authorities” at UG are clueless of any of this, of course. If they don’t know, why don’t they? Ah! Teaching and learning and scholarly excellence.

The Forker


atiricus was appalled. Here it was, the Joint Opposition Parliamentary Parties (JOPP) had conducted a poll to test the wind. A poll was better at testing the wind than pissing into it…with polls if it blew back at you, you could deny. Wasn’t so with pissing. Satiricus has firsthand experience with the latter. “It wasn’t pretty,” he thought ruefully. And JOPP up and blanked GreenBridge as a possible PNCEE…OK…OK…APANU, Presidential candidate. Now Satiricus wasn’t surprised that Baddam Harass over at the MuckrakerKN led the charge to twist the leaking of the poll. Hey! Baddam had been suckled at the feet of the mighty Kabaka himself! Twisted was his middle name. And the poll had left the fellas at CongDress Place with lots of mud on their face. But Jeez…surely missing the patent sidelining of the feistiest fellow in the fetid force called APANU…or PNCEE for that matter…was a tragedy? But Satiricus, an old hand in the newspaper business, knew that Baddam hadn’t really missed the GreenBridge omission. He just felt he could stir more mischief by twisting the poll results to drive a wedge between those fellas over at Liberty House. Ahhh…what fidelity to the PNC cause, by Harass. Said cause being the destruction of the PPEE, of course. “But back to GreenBridge,” thought Satiricus, “it really wasn’t fair to the man.” GreenBridge was the economic wizard who’d put Guyana on the world’s economic radar. Before him, Guyana was just another nondescript exthird world colony, muddling through. And then came Greenbridge. In short order he made Guyana’s economy

so decrepit and broken that we were “just above Haiti” in this hemisphere. Now, Satiricus knew that most folks thought that this was a bad thing. But GreenBridge explained there were at least two things that made being “just above Haiti” a good thing. First there was the matter of national heroes. Haiti’s L’Overture was famous all over. With Guyana being “just above Haiti”, people the world over would know about our Cuffy. That was brilliant, Satiricus thought at the time. And the second reason was even more brilliant. The developed countries wanted to look good, explained GreenBridge. And when they helped starving-guts country, that made them look good. So, since Guyana was made into a starving-guts country by GreenBridge and the PNCEE, the developed countries could help Guyana and look good! And this was why GreenBridge had boasted that Guyana was bankrupt when he signed that agreement with the International Mother Forker (IMF). Life had been unfair when the PNCEE had been voted out and GreenBridge hadn’t gotten the opportunity to oversee Guyana getting shafted by the IMF. And here Satiricus got all choked up. Now, here it was GrainJa and Rum Jhaat were sidelining GreenBridge in the poll. GreenBridge would’ve definitely come out on top. The masses of Guyanese were just dying to allow GreenBridge to bring Guyana to the notice of the IMF once again. Guyana was ready to be forked over, once again, wasn’t she?


fun time

week ending April 13, 2014 |

This week's Crossword

J k es

The price

In the hospital the relatives gathered in the waiting room, where their family member lay gravely ill. Finally, the doctor came in looking tired and sombre. "I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news," he said, as he surveyed the worried faces. "The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It's an experimental procedure, semi-risky and you will have to pay for the brain yourselves." The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a great length of time, someone asked, "Well, how much does a brain cost?" The doctor quickly responded, “$5,000 for a male brain, and $1,000 for a female brain." The moment turned awkward. Men in the room tried not to smile, avoiding eye contact with the women, but some actually smirked. A man, unable to control his curiosity, blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask, "Why is the male brain so much more?" The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and so to the entire group said, "It's just standard pricing procedure. We have to mark down the price of the female brains, because they've been used!"

Parental excuses

This week's Puzzle

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

My feet

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


A city slicker came upon two country folk balancing a long piece of lumber vertically on the ground, while a third fellow with a measuring tape climbed up on the lumber. “What are you doing?”, asked the urbanite. “We are trying to measure this piece of wood,” replied the country cousin. “Why not lay it down and measure it?,” asked the city fellow. Nope,” replied the country boy. “That won’t do it! We want the height, not the length!”

Shrinking clothes

see solution on page 46

Max went into the doctor’s office for his annual check-up, and the Doc asked if there was anything unusual he should know about. So Max told the Doc that his suit must have shrunk over the last year, because it didn’t fit when he went to get ready for a wedding recently. The Doc said, “Suits don’t shrink just sitting in a closet. You probably put on a few pounds.” “That’s just it, Doc, I know I haven’t gained a single pound since the last time I wore it.” “Well, then,” said Doc, “You must have a case of Furniture Disease.” “What in the world is Furniture Disease?” asked Max. “That’s when your chest starts sliding down into your drawers.”

Travel & tourism


week ending April 13, 2014 |

Enjoy a refreshing bath at the final destination- Orinduik Falls

Camp out at Ireng River

Breathtaking views, like this in the photo, are enjoyed throughout the Safari

Rough terrain along the journey

Adventurers are eagerly awaiting the upcoming eight-day, 600-mile, 12th Pakaraima Mountain Safari. This year’s safari is said to be the largest yet. Although 24 vehicles have registered, a convoy of 31 vehicles, including a truck, will undertake the over 600-mile journey starting on 12 April until 20 April. The Pakaraima Mountain Safari, dubbed an “adventure of a lifetime”, entails travelling via 4×4 vehicles across Regions Four, Eight, Nine and Ten, starting below sea level and reaching approximately 3,800 ft above sea level. The journey takes participants through rugged terrain and passing more than 25 Amerindian villages before reaching its destination, Orinduik Falls. (Photos copyright to Michael C Lam.

Amazing view of the Pakaraima Mountain Range


week ending April 13, 2014 |



week ending April 13, 2014 |

The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

2014 World Poetry Day By Petamber Persaud


orld Poetry Day 2014, celebrated in Guyana on 25 March, was an exhilarating experience, invoking various quotations on the subject, some springing readily to mind, others corrected by research, all adding to the euphoria. Perhaps the first quote that came to mind on that occasion was by Walt Whitman: “[T]o have great poets there must be great audiences too.” The audience for the occasion at the Umana Yana, Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana, was a ‘great’ one. It was a full house bubbling with vitality, a vitality feeding the performers fodder of encouragement and pride. The audience was a good one and for being good, it was well rewarded throughout the event with excellent poetry and performances. “Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people,” Adrian Mitchell. Well, well, well, almost all the poems performed resonated with almost all of the people, almost all of the time. For instance, “You have to be deaf to understand” performed by Shonette Belgrave, Erin Sullivan and Quincy Richards of the Deaf Association of Guyana. The miming, the sign language and the articulate gestures were

hilarious, but the message got home because the audience took up the chant at appropriate intervals, “You have to be deaf to understand.” “Me a wan country man”, by Ivor Thom, involved the audience, which wanted more of the dialect performance, a language enjoyed because of its colourful and racy pictures created, leaving Standard English way behind in elucidation and delivery of poetry for that particular audience. Another poem that had the audience going (making a stand for the rights of a woman to take her place in the world without being molested, violated and victimised) was “Hear me men” by Donna Sergeant of the National Library, pleading with men for respect. Although it was a floating theme for World Poetry Day 2014, the Guyana edition had a theme by default – women. This was evident from the first performance entitled “Woman” done by Genesia Samuels of Green Acres Primary. This was followed by “Ladies have some dignity” by Katyana George of the National Library, which begged the question, “Ain’t I a woman?” by Kezra Boyal and followed by “Phenomenal Woman”, performed by Nicola Moonsammy, Ayanna Waddell, Sonia Yarde, and written by Maya Angelou. A few lines would put that

Katyana George of the National Library reading a poem at the World Poetry Day event at Umana Yana

theme in perspective: Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. It's the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. It's in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. Now you understand Just why my head's not bowed.

I don't shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud There were other great performances, but a mere listing would diminish their worth so I would like to close as I started. Joseph Joubert stated, “You will not find poetry anywhere unless you bring some of it with you.” The audience came prepared and was not disappointed. World Poetry Day was originally set for 15 October. However, in 1999, UNECSO declared 21 March World Poetry Day. World Poetry Day has its genesis in one person, a woman, who not only knew of the power of poetry and has tasted its pleasures, but also wanted others to be a part of this sacred art. In 1936, Tessa Sweezy Webb started honouring poets of Ohio, USA. This vision soon caught the imagination of poetry lovers worldwide. By 1951, forty-one countries were celebrating the works of their poets. Webb used the third Saturday in October for her magnanimous work, but by 1951, October 15 was accepted as the ideal day to mark the occasion. UNESCO’s declaration of 21March as World Poetry Day was to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the

world and, as the UNESCO session declaring the day says to “give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements”. Responses to this author should be sent to or call (592) 226-0065. What’s happening: The 2013-2014 issue of ‘The Guyana Annual Magazine’ is now going into production. This issue is dedicated to A J Seymour and will focus on the increase interest in photography, the expanding arenas for cultural activities, what’s happening in the diaspora (GuyAspora) and will continue its role championing the cause of locally based emerging writers and of Guyanese writers in general, offering space and encouragement for their work. Also, World Book and Copyright Day will be commemorated by the National Library on 23 April. It is here: ‘Anthology of Contemporary Guyanese Verse: Volume 1’ published by The Caribbean Press, compiled by Petamber Persaud with an introduction by Dr Lynne Macedo, University of Warwick. The work of 21 writers is captured in this 164-page book. Standby to restart ‘The Journey’, an evening of literature.



week ending April 13, 2014 |


he Food For The Poor’s Angel of Hope programme’s mission is to help underprivileged children to reach their highest potential. In 1982, Ferdinand Mahfood received a Christmas present from his wife. It was a book called “Something More”, written by Catherine Marshall. As he turned the pages of the book, while on a flight to Chicago, Ferdy (as he is properly known) was moved by the writer’s call to serve God in a more intimate and committed way. He wanted to have a closer relationship with God and to experience

-Providing for underprivileged children

FFTP donating school supplies for children at Silver Hill the fullness of his love. A Jamaican by birth, Mahfood had inherited a successful import busi-

ness from his father and had eventually moved the business to Miami. Since boyhood, he had

given donations to the poor and continued to do so as his business flourished. In 1982, after re-

dedicating his life to God, he decided to use his business expertise to serve the poor. He has already seen the gut wrenching poverty in the slums of Jamaica, and he increased his donations to the poor in that country. But business expertise alone could not alleviate the suffering and poverty of millions in Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. So Mahfood became a beggar for the poor, combining his business expertise with the donations he received, to start a chain of giving that today

children, which the programme caters for, are attending school more regularly because they now have needed supplies. Additionally, their grades have improved. “Our Angel of Hope coordinator also makes regular visits to check up on the children’s progress. This information is then sent to our US donors. Although they are thousands of miles away, the donors keep tract of the children’s progress via the information sent from the coordinator,” Hamilton mentioned. Recently, 35 chil-

Distributing food supplies to families in Parika results in relief projects and programmes in more than two dozen countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Food For The Poor (FFTP) was established as a vehicle for Mahfood to give back to the world. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine FFTP’s Public Relations Officer Wayne Hamilton stated that the Angel of Hope programme started about ten years ago and provides for 250 children from eight homes across the country. “The programme is mainly sponsored by residents in the US who would normally send supplies and financial support for birthdays, Christmas parties, and our annual get-together and fun day where all the children meet up and interact. From the supplies we receive at Food For The Poor, we are able to provide clothing, food, toiletries, school supplies, and much more,” Hamilton explained. Noting the effectiveness of the programme, Hamilton pointed out the

dren from the orphanages were sent to Burrowes School of Art during their ‘summer’ holiday. This was a collaborative effort with the arts school. Consequently, FFTP hopes to expand its efforts to include scholarships, and providing opportunities for the children to succeed academically. FFTP would also like to collaborate with other entities, so that the children can be exposed to various academic areas. “Many have come forward to donate to our programme. We continue to urge local donors to donate food items, school supplies, clothing; anything that is suitable for the children. FFTP also provides home supplies and does infrastructural work on the orphanages. There is always a need for funding and we encourage the general public to help us so that we can help our underprivileged children,” Hamilton declared. For more information on this programme visit Food For The Poor on Facebook.


week ending April 13, 2014 |


week ending April 13, 2014 |

health corner

Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome By Tisha Boston


sperger’s syndrome, also known as Asperger’s disorder, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterised by social, behavioural, and communication difficulties. In the past, the American Psychiatric Association considered Asperger’s syndrome to be a separate mental disorder from autism. However, in 2013, the American Psychiatric Association replaced Asperger’s syndrome, autism, and other neurodevelopmental disorders under one diagnostic umbrella i.e., the autism spectrum disorder. Similar to other autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s syndrome begins during infancy or early childhood. What distinguishes it from other ASDs is that it is considered the mildest form of ASD. Individuals with this developmental disorder experience less severe symptoms compared to those individuals with autism and are often considered ‘high-functioning’ individuals with ASD. Another distinction between Asperger’s syndrome and other ASDs, specifically autism, is that there is no speech delay. In fact, the disorder is not often recognised before ages 5 or 6 because language development is normal. What’s different for these individuals with Asperger’s syndrome is their speech pattern. Their speech pattern is usually marked by lack of rhythm, inflection, and the ability to alter the volume of their voice to suit their surroundings. In addition, un-

like autistic individuals’ intentional withdrawal from society, individuals with Asperger’s disorder want to fit in to society and interact with others. Unfortunately, they just do not know how. For people with Asperger’s syndrome, their difficulty lies with proper social and communication skills. These include the inability to have a normal back and forth conversation, due to their obsessive interest in a subject matter; inability to understand conventional social rules and use of gestures; lack of empathy; lack of typical eye contact, facial expression, and body language; and trouble maintaining relationships. Other difficulties for people with Asperger’s syndrome involve fixated interests and repetitive behaviors. These include repetitive and routine use of objects or phrases, excessive interest in a particular subject, and stereotyped movements. Also, during development, children with this disorder experience delays in motor skills; they have poor coordination. This often makes them appear clumsy and unable to reach certain milestones as other kids that require large motor skills (e.g. pedaling a bike or catching a ball). Studies have concluded that for individuals with Asperger’s disorder, many of these difficulties continue into adulthood and that sometimes, these individuals develop additional psychiatric symptoms and disorders.

Arts & Culture


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Amanda Richards uses photography as a channel to capture the spirit of special moments as authentically as possible

'Kamuni Creek'


ecently, photography has become a recognised form of art in Guyana. Many photography competitions being held by various entities, including the Guyana Tourism Authority, encourage persons to explore their skills in the art form. The result? Photography has gone from mere point-andshoot to capturing life from an artistic point of view. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, photographer Amanda Richards explains her techniques in capturing life events and her advice for those who would like to follow in a similar path. Sunday Magazine: What sparked your interest in photography? Richards: Way back in 2009, my son had a school project that required pictures of wooden buildings in Georgetown. A search on the internet turned up very few usable photos, so we set off with a point-and-shoot camera and took our own. I decided to post these photos on a photo-sharing site, and the favourable responses encouraged me to continue posting. Today I have almost 8,000 photographs in my gallery on photos/arichards-gallery/. These photographs are in sets and albums, and collectively have received around 1,600,000 views and counting. Photographs of buildings, statues and monuments in Guyana are the most popular ones, and I guess that these are being used by students for assignments and for research purposes. Sunday Magazine: Is photography a hobby, passion or career? Richards: Photography is both a hobby and a passion, and I use it not only to record places and events, but as a channel for capturing the spirit and emotion of special moments as authentically as possible. Sunday Magazine: What do you like photographing? Richards: Depends on my mood and interest at the time. I love a challenge, and I'm always trying new

Amanda Richards techniques. I have done flowers, birds, animals, architecture, landscapes, portraits, events and lots of perspectives of things from unusual angles. I love taking photographs at big colourful events such as Mashramani and Children's Mashramani, as I am a big fan of vivid colour. I also love taking candid photos of young children. Sunday Magazine: What is your focus when photographing? Richards: I always try to plan ahead to make sure that I have the right equipment and that I have a basic idea of the right techniques that I need to get the shots I want. Then I'll go out and make it happen. You learn from your mistakes, so I'm not afraid to make them along the way. Sunday Magazine: What’s the secret to ‘good’ photography? Richards: Everyone has their own perspectives on what is a good photograph, and it often comes down to individual taste, but the basic requirements are good composition and focus. There are volumes that have been written on this subject, but most people are drawn to photos that have a subject that is in sharp focus and a scene with a story to tell. Sunday Magazine: Is good photography dependent on the camera or an artistic mind? Richards: Some of my earliest photographs using a simple point-and-shoot camera are still my favourites today. So I'd say that even though a good camera gives you more scope for creativity, you can still use whatever equipment you have successfully, once you get the focus and composition

right, and have the mindset to see photo opportunities everywhere. Sunday Magazine: Do you consider photography as an art? Richards: Photography is definitely an art, but one that can be learned. Anyone can use a camera, but it takes some practice and skill to effectively capture a moment in time. I learn something new every day. Sunday Magazine: Any projects you are currently working on? Richards: Right now I'm challenging myself to capture performers in motion at events under low light or variable light conditions without using the camera flash. If you've tried taking photos at dance recitals or late afternoon sporting events, you'll know that this is easier said than done. I've also just set up my own photo gallery/website at www. amanda-richards-guyana. com. I also have a bucket list of photographs that I would like to take some day, and I am constantly working on improving my skill level. I plan to seize opportunities as they

Winning entry from the last Guyana Tourism Authority competition – ‘Essequibo Sunrise’

arise to capture anything new and unique. Sunday Magazine: Have you received any awards for your photography? Richards: I have received prizes in several local competitions, organised by the Public Relations Department of Embassy of the United States of America; PAHO; the Guyana Tourism Authority; and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. I also consider the support and positive feedback from friends and family as the true reward for what I do. My

photographs have also been exhibited as a part of the last Visual Arts Competition, and I currently have two on show at the National Cultural Centre for the "Capture Guyana" competition and exhibition. Additionally, I showed five landscapes photographs at last year's "Kiss My Art" event organised by RED Entertainment. Internationally, my work has been exhibited at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (2009) and

the Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg in Cologne, Germany. Sunday Magazine: What is your advice for those who would like to pursue a career in photography? Richards: There's a quote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” To choose photography as a career, you have to first and foremost love the art form, and be prepared to put in long hours to be successful.



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Haitian Wyclef Jean to perform official anthem at FIFA World Cup final


orld renowned Haitian hiphop superstar, Wyclef Jean, alongside other global stars including music legend, Carlos Santana, will perform the 2014 Soccer World Cup official anthem at the closing ceremony of

a competition that is arguably the most watched live sporting event in the world. The world soccer governing body, known as FIFA, and Sony Music Entertainment announced over the weekend that the official an-

them of this year's World Cup was entitled "Dar um Jeito", in Portuguese, meaning in English “We Will Find a Way”, featuring Wyclef Jean, Carlos Santana, Swedish top DJ/producer Avicii and Brazilian Grammy award-winning singer,

The Greens in GT don’t like hard wuk


Haitian hip-hop artiste, Wyclef Jean

Alexandre Pires. "Despite the fact that I was born in a place where darkness at times steals the sunshine, where rain often turns to floods and children often cannot be found, I have always found a way to sing with joy....," Wyclef Jean said after the announcement. "Dar um Jeito is dedicated to all those searching for the light… knowing that they too, shall soon find a way," Jean added. The World Cup will take place in Brazil from June 12 to July 13, 2014, with the participation of 32 national sides that made it to the final phase, after a series of qualifying matches in different countries around the world.(Caribbean News Now)

ome people gettin life easy and some people gettin life hard. It got people who does wuk hard fuh a small livin and it got other people who does hardly wuk fuh a big livin. But big livin or small livin, some people like all de livin with no kinda wuk at all. De public servants is one setta people who don’t like any hard wuk, but dem like to live big. That was since in Burnt Ham days, but although Burnt Ham dead and gone, dem public servants ways ain’t dead and gone no way. It start wid dem Em-Pees who gettin big livin fuh little or no wuk. De budget debate does happen at de right time of de day when mosta dem ready fuh tek dem afternoon siesta. But somma dem does tek some damn long siestas and does only wake up when is time fuh eat, talk or bang pun de table. And wid that amounta sleepin whah does go on in Parliament, dem MPs musbe involved in a lotta bangin when dem should be sleepin, which explain de real reason why dem does be so sleepy when dem should be awake. Rum Jhaat might wake up when is time fuh use he scissors. Slypaul wake up and resign. Mannish Chand wake up and bawl fuh some ting, but Slypaul seh wasn’t he. De Speaker does nod off one and two time too. Last time he wake up he fuhget that he had ban Mannish Chand from talkin. Although she not a Em-Pee, another big one who gettin away wid big livin and no wuk is de Green Woman at de s*ity council. She definitely tek after she boss-fuh-life who is another big-livin not-wukkin Guyanese. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! Well, de Green Woman finally speak she mind and seh GT de garbage town don’t need a cleanup, although every body who pass thru GT gon seh de opposite. But de Green Woman don’t like no hard wuk. And de Green Man is de same.


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legal corner

New TV series to inspire An overview of Caribbean youth Guardianship

By Richard Kistnen, Esq.


uardianship, under Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law, provides an avenue for someone to petition for control of decision-making for the well-being of another. The well-being of another is broadly broken down into whether they can take care of their personal needs and whether they can take care of their financial needs. The guardianship case is one that can be costly, time-consuming and contested if different people have different ideas of how the “allegedly incapacitated person” should live. Sometimes, however, if these disputes cannot be resolved by and between family members and friends, a guardianship case is a necessary. The Article 81 Guardianship case takes places in Supreme Court. The parties involved are the Petitioner (the party making the request that the allegedly incapacitated person cannot care for themselves, either personal needs or financial needs); the allegedly incapacitated person (AIP); and the Court Evaluator. A Court Evaluator is an independent third-party commissioned by the Court to investigate the people and things involved in the AIP’s life, and to make recommendations to the Court about whether guardianship would help the AIP. Depending on circumstances, other parties, including the Department of Social Services, the Public Administrator, etc., may be made parties to the case. The purpose of the case is to de-

termine whether the AIP cannot meet his or her personal needs and financial needs. Generally, a totality of circumstances approach is taken, where the Court looks at what has transpired in the AIP’s life. Do they suffer from a physical condition that limits their ability to perform activities of daily living? Are they being financially abused by other people? Do they simply need help with cleaning a house or toileting? Are they abusing drugs or alcohol? A court looks into these and other questions to determine whether a guardian should be appointed. A big concern in a guardianship case is the limitations of independence and autonomy that come from having a guardian appointed. Although a person may still be able to function, documents have usually been delivered to doctors, banks, community groups, etc., advising that a guardian has been appointed for the AIP. Their ability to live freely and make choices becomes constrained. The need for a guardianship case may be mitigated if people engage in advanced life planning. This includes having a power of attorney, a health care proxy and a living will created before the need arises. In that way, if the time or need arises, people have already been appointed to make certain kinds of decisions. There is no need to spend time and money on a guardianship case. If you have questions about guardianship, or about life planning documents, please contact the Law Office of Richard Kistnen, (718) 7382324,

Caribbean Broadcasting Union President Shida Bolai


he belief is that the new ‘YouthINSPIRE’ television series to be aired from June, 2014, will inspire the region’s youth to either become positive or to be more positive, and to act to create positive changes in their islands. President of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), Shida Bolai told the Barbados Advocate at the Letter Agreement Signing Ceremony with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), held at UN House, “It [the series] will help them [the youth of the Caribbean] to take stock of where they are right now and know that they can start right now to make that difference, that positive difference in their lives.” She said, “I think it [YouthINSPIRE] will encourage positive peer

pressure because the youth, you have to remember, once they see themselves in a positive light, I think it has a ricocheting effect, because it encourages others to want to emulate them.” Bolai also proposed that through the programme, the region’s young people will recognise that they are not facing challenges alone in their territories. “Yes, because there is a commonality of the challenges that the youth face, not only at the regional and local level, internationally. We in the Caribbean, I think one of the positive things about CBU’s involvement is to be able to share those [their challenges] and let them know that these are the challenges,; [these] are real challenges that are experienced by their peers in the region as well, and how they deal with it is very important,” she stated. Therefore as the show is broadcasted and transmitted to the CBU’s total cable and broadcast viewership of 1.5 million with CaribVision available in 22 Caribbean markets, Bolai affirmed, “So the positive role models in this show, I think will go a long way to highlight that here (the Caribbean), there is a positive side.” Secretary General of the CBU Sonia Gill added that at present the show is approved for one season containing six to eight episodes, but she said to their partner UNDP, that they are “open to other seasons”. Additionally, the hosting of the series will see CBU working with students of the Barbados Community College (BCC)’s Mass Communication Department through an internship. (Barbados Advocate)



week ending April 13, 2014 | Castellani House has retained its architectural beauty


tanding proudly in spacious surroundings on Vlissengen Road, Castellani House, named in honour of its designer Cesar Castellani, houses Guyana’s most valuable art. Castellani House is one of the many outstanding buildings designed by Cesar Castellani. Construction began in 1879 and ended in 1882 as a residence for then government botanist George Samuel Jenman. Jenman was transferred from Jamaica to British Guiana to supervise the conversion of the area into a botanical garden as well as beautifying Georgetown through landscaping. After his death, Sir John Birchmore Harrison, the Director of Science and Agriculture became the building’s next resident. The last agriculture officer to live there was Gavin Kennard. The most notable resident was Forbes Burnham, former prime minister and president of Guyana. He resided there from December 1964 until his death in August 1985. During his residency, the building became popularly known as ‘The Residence’. The

Castellani House

-Safeguarding Guyana’s art history

current administration brought the building back to its original glory, making it available to house the National Art Collection. At an inaugural exhibition on 24 May 1993 it was officially named Castellani House.

tury architecture, as well as designing the Public Hospital in New Amsterdam. In 1872, Castellani joined the staff of the Public Works Department under Baron Hora Siccama, a colonial engineer. He

May 1993, the National Collection of Art could finally go on display to the public at a permanent site. The gallery possesses paintings and sculptures by eminent Guyanese artists such as Denis Williams, founder of the

came on as a draughtsman, and became very involved in various architectural projects in the city. The majority of his work in Georgetown includes the Sacred Heart Church (18721877) on Main Street, the Supreme Courts (1887), the Demerara Ice House (1882), Meadow Bank Church, and the Girls’ Orphanage. In 1873, he married a Guyanese and lived in Middle Street.

Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology in 1977, whose 1950 painting ‘Human World’ was the first piece purchased for the collection. It also features artist and art teacher Edward R. Burrowes, founder of the Burrowes School of Art in 1975, a painter and sculptor who taught many now famous Guyanese artists; and Philip Moore, creator of the famous 1763 monument and a series of tributes to Guyana's cricketers, among others. It was after the inauguration that the mission of the National Gallery, to house, display, research, document and preserve the National Collection, could begin. It was directed from 1993 by a committee of management headed by a chairman who was then former President of Guyana and First Lady, Janet Jagan, up to December 1997.

Castellani House original design by Cesar Castellani in 1882


The building is made from mainly timber, both local greenheart and imported pine, and originally had two floors only, which were ground and first, with high gable roofs. The main body of the house had a centrally-placed entrance tower on the west side, with galleries along the north and east sides at first floor level, and an open porch below the northern gallery. In its original form, Castellani House would have represented colonial architecture with its steep-pitched gable roofs, dormer windows, dominant front tower, twelve-paned Georgian sash window and Demerara windows. In 1965, Guyanese architect Hugh McGregor Reid also made additional alterations to produce the building which appears today. Pictures of the building over the years show how immensely the building

has been altered and extended, but it was able to keep its original splendour.

Cesar Castellani

Castellani, an Italiantrained Maltese architect, came to British Guiana in 1860 with a group of Italian priests, and was responsible for a variety of architectural works for a local Catholic church. According to researchers, he was an accomplished architect, his work reflecting solid professional training and familiarity with contemporary European architecture and architectural writings. He contributed vastly to Georgetown’s 19th cen-

The National Collection

The National Collection was founded in 1950; when the National Gallery of Art was inaugurated at Castellani House in

The collection itself, of some 700 pieces, includes 19th century colonial art and Guyanese art spanning the decades of the 20th century. The gallery’s acquisitions committee has actively sought out and purchased for the national collection, works from current exhibitions in Georgetown or from the gallery’s own contemporary (ground floor) galleries, where artists, upon application, can be allotted exhibition space and where, notably, Castellani House’s biennial competitions for Drawing and Watercolour are exhibited. All works purchased from such events are acquired solely for their artistic merit, that is, their qualities as excellent examples of contemporary art. All artwork made available to the National Collection, whether by purchase or donation, are examined by the management committee prior to a majority decision being taken on their acquisition into the collection. The important work of perpetuating the National Collection through the range and variety of work represented in this exhibition is fully funded by the Government of Guyana through the administration of the Office of the President from 1993 to 1997, and from 1998 by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The catalogue of the National Gallery includes paintings, sculptures, ceramics, prints and drawings by notable Guyanese and a few foreign artists.


Railway in British Guiana circa 1949



week ending April 13, 2014 |

CI, Iwokrama on board for Guyanese film C

onservation International (CI), in collaboration with Iwokrama Rainforest in Guyana, has partnered with the “Maira and the Jaguar People” Film Project with the aim of making it a reality. The film, written by Dr Michael Gilkes, a leading Guyanese filmmaker, writer, playwright, director, actor and professor, will be filmed on location close to and involving the Surama community and other virgin forested locations within that region in Guyana’s interior. It is the story of Maira, a young girl who loves birdsong, and her brother, Mairun, who dreams of being a hunter. As a result of a ter-

Conservation International Vice President, Dr David Singh, makes a donation of 12 copies of Graham Watkins' 'Rupununi – Rediscovering A Lost World' to Project Manager Madhoo-Nascimento

rifying encounter with a jaguar, they discover for themselves the practical wisdom behind the traditions and beliefs of their community and way of life. They learn to lis-

ten to what the Shaman calls “the advice of the birds” and understand that the jaguar holds a special place in the interconnected web of life and death in the rainforest: that there is a kind of

mutual respect between humans and jaguars, now a protected species in South America. In this film, the rainforest will be more than just a beautiful backdrop. The music of its

trees, waterfalls, rivers and birdsong will play a very important part in the story. Landscape is more than land. It is the most valuable resource for living. The rainforests are the lungs of the globe. So is the musical language of the Makushi tribe (with subtitles) which will also be featured. The project will, therefore, also help to promote the restoration and preservation of their language and cultural heritage, already in grave danger of being lost through the pull of the urban communities on their young people.

Surama to benefit directly

The Makushi people of Surama will benefit directly from the making of this film, both in terms of their close involvement

in the technical and casting areas of the production, but also because a replica of a Makushi village from the 1950s for the set for the film will be built and the structures will not be torn down after filming, but will remain in the care of the Makushi community. This was according to the Project Manager Gem Madhoo-Nascimento. A trail and bivouac for overnighting will be built at Kayanperu, to be developed as a heritage site. These structures could then be used as living or guest spaces for the community and their visitors, or serve as a museum site, for example. All these facilities will remain after the film team has left, for the use of the Makushi community.

Barbados’ ‘Joukanal’ set to explode


Revellers from this year’s ‘Joukanal’

he dust has not yet settled on the first ‘Joukanal Carnival’, but organisers are already talking about expanding. Chetwin Stewart, managing director of ‘Power X 4’ which took over the carnival usually

held by the University of the West Indies, told the SUNDAY SUN they were so blown away by the response to the ‘J’ouvert Party’ on Friday night and Saturday’s jump-up, that they are looking to expand it to include students from outside of

Barbados. “Since we’re having such a good response, we’re looking to turn this into the first ever Spring Break Carnival. We’re already talking to some of the hotels and stuff, in terms of putting up people and the airlines are willing to work with us as long as we get over 25 people booking a flight. So we’re looking to bring girls out of California, people from all over . . . not only the Caribbean,” Stewart explained. Social media will be the primary mode of getting the word out about the festival that is to be billed the ‘Joukanal

Green Jah and Rum Jhaat don’t stand up fuh nobody


Short Man man get vex one night in Parliament and decide fuh stand down because no body ain’t stand up fuh he. He try to get hard wid Mannish Chand, but he couldn’ta stand up fuh he self. De man so short, that even when he try to stand up fuh he self, Mannish Chand couldn’t a see, hear or feel he. Green Jah seh when people stand up fuh Short Man, he does look more short, so people does still can’t see he. But FLAPNU got plenty people who can’t stand up fuh dem self, much less stand up fuh other people. Green Bridge got problems standin up, just like Green Jah and Short Man. Short Man father See-Hen woulda stand up better than he even in he old age. Yuh woulda just had to pass round by one a dem school, give he a sun shades, and he woulda see all dem Hens. People in de FLAPNU seh Green Jah don’t stand up fuh no body these days. So de Short Man ain’t alone. De old soldier runnin all over de country to see how good he can stand up. But nutten he try ain’t wukkin. Green Jah finally decide to check how he poll can stand up by callin other people name. But he realise that other people poll standin up higher. Bis Ram had done tell every body that Jagdeo and Ramotar standin up higher than Green Jah and Green Bridge. Even when Green Jah join he poll wid other people poll, it ain’t standin up enough. De last time Green Jah and Poop Narine join up dem poll, it still wasn’t high like Ramotar and Big Sam poll. Ting-a-ling-a-ling…friend tell friend…mattie tell mattie! Green Jah now tinkin bout joinin wid Rum Jhaat poll. But when a You-G man do de test, Rum Jhaat and Green Jah poll still ain’t match Jagdeo and Ramotar. So Green Jah and Rum Jhaat got big problems wid dem poll, especially when dem have to stand up fuh people!

Spring Break Carnival’, Stewart said. Power X 4 is already planning to include some videos showing would-be revellers how to dance and ‘wuk-up’ Bajan style. “We’re going to throw some Spring Break parties. I’ve always been one to promote that Barbados

has some of the loveliest beaches in the world and we should do something on the beach that is why I did the beach at Kensington. But this time we’re looking to bring in a lot of young students and have a climax on the beach,” he said of the initial plans

that have been made. A time has not yet been identified and all Stewart would say is that the Joukanal Spring Break Carnival will be held earlier than this year’s inaugural event in order to tap into that large demographic. (Nation News)



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Salman Khan grows his own vegetables


ctress Kalki Koechlin spoke to NDTV about being sexually abused as a child, according to TNN reports. Kalki revealed that she didn't want to talk about it on a public platform. She said that a revelation like that just becomes like a "shocking headline" but somebody "who has gone through CSA (child sexual abuse) is not a headline." Without giving out details of her own experience, Kalki said, "The reason you haven't heard about it is that I don't like to talk about it. For me, it's not a one day headline, it's something that's a reality I have lived with for a long time. Many of us have gone through it and most of the people that I know, especially close friends of mine who are women, have gone through some form of CSA (child sexual abuse). It's just so out there, so much of it that I think it's not something that should be ignored." Earlier, Kalki spoke at a conference on child sexual abuse organised by actor Rahul Bose's NGO ‘H.E.A.L.’ Kalki, had made headlines some time

back for her spectacular monologue on Women's Day. Kalki has been one of the few celebrities who have been vocal about women's issues and had also starred in a satirical video about violence against women. Kalki was last seen in the film 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani'. (Times of India)

Waheeda Rehman 'not okay' with biopic


eteran actress Waheeda Rehman, who recently unveiled Nasreen Munni Kabir's book ‘Conversations with Waheeda Rehman’, says she is "not okay" if a film is made on her life. The 76-year-old has featured in several Bollywood classics like ‘Solvaa Saal’, ‘Pyasa’, ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’,

‘Bees Saal Baad’ and ‘Guide’, and she has regaled audiences with her graceful dancing skills over the years. Biopics are a new trend in the Hindi film industry. So, asked if she would be fine with a film on her journey, she said, "I am (over) 75. Now it's a long has to be made in four parts. But personally, I am not okay with it." "I am not fine with it and there is no reason (for it) as such." In the last decade itself, the actress featured in movies like ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Delhi-6’. Now she is happy away from the screen. "How much to work? We should give a chance to others as well. I don't miss anything...I am happy with myself. I travel a lot, read a lot, meet my friends, like to cook occasionally. I am satisfied with my life," said the veteran actress in an interaction at Sofitel, Mumbai. She recently launched ‘Conversations with Waheeda Rehman’, a longish interview exploring several aspects of her life and career. (Times of India)


he Mumbai Mirror recently reported how Salman Khan is off alcohol and cigarettes for the past three years (March 29, 2014). Now, it seems that the star has taken another step towards healthy living. A regular at Salman's Panvel retreat informed us how impressed he was after getting a tour of the farm. Revealed the source, "Salman has been growing potatoes, tomatoes and pump-

kins without using any kind of artificial fertilisers. He proudly feeds his guests dishes cooked with the vegetables grown in his kitchen garden." The star has turned to gardening as he believes that the vegetables in the market today are laced with chemicals and can trigger serious health problems. Healthy eating is the way to a healthy lifestyle, according to the new and improved Salman Khan. But if you are thinking that the actor intends to make a quick buck out of his fresh produce, then you are mistaken. The veggies are strictly for domestic use. "Much of what he grows is consumed at his Bandra home and in the farmhouse, with the surplus going to guests and other close friends," the source said. When contacted, Salman's father, Salim Khan confirmed the news. He said, "I've never seen Salman so passionate about anything. He's really given his heart and soul to the farm," while adding, "He loves spending time there, being at one with nature. And yes, we have no plans to sell the output commercially. It's just an initiative towards a healthy life." (Times of India)

Sunny Leone loves to cook


alling herself a typical Punjabi ‘kudi’, actor Sunny Leone, who was in Lucknow sometime back, says she loves food. Another thing that Sunny enjoys is cooking. "I cook a lot. Actually I cook all the unhealthy food at home. My husband Daniel is the one who does all the healthy cooking. When I am allowed to cook all the unhealthy food, I do. Actually when Daniel and I are together at home, we enjoy cooking together a lot. Our favourite is the

morning time when we can cook together and eat breakfast when it's nice and quiet. That's our time when it's just him and me and we sip our coffee and so it's our favourite meal of the day." And before she can continue further, Daniel decides to answer the question about how good a cook Sunny is. "She's not going to like my answer," getting punched by Sunny who screams, "Don't you remember my Thanksgiving dinner? I have to remind you of my cooking skills. How can you forget, it was so good and I made it all!" to which Daniel says, "Well, Thanksgiving is just about once in a year. But regularly what she makes well is eggs, instant pasta, instant noodles, omelet's, all stuff that we shouldn't be eating." “With Daniel around it's as if I have the food FBI behind me telling me what not to eat because I have to remain in shape and diet and work out. But as actors we have too remain slender and perhaps not look normal at times just to look attractive and suffer in return," she adds with a sigh. (Times of India)

Australian designer creates Honey Singh tries to emulate sari for Vidya Balan Pran in 'The Xpose'



ndian Rapper-composer Yo Yo Honey Singh, who is making his acting debut with the film ‘The Xpose’, says he has a small negative role in the movie and that he has tried to copy legendary actor Pran in it, according to IANS. "My role in this film is like a cameo, I am coming as a debutant actor. It's a very short role with only three to four scenes and it is a negative character," the 29-year-old said at the Miss India 2014 contest. "This film is based in the 1960s and I love the way Pran-ji used to act. So I have tried to do what he did," he said. Honey Singh says acting is the toughest of all performing arts. "I think acting is the most difficult one among all the performing arts. Writing songs, making music and singing is important to me and I do all three," he said. He wanted to have a brush with act-

ing. "You play someone you are not...So I wanted to learn it. Anant Mahadevan is a senior actor and filmmaker and Himesh (Reshammiya) asked me if I would do a small role and I said yes," Honey Singh said. ‘The Xpose’ stars composer-actor Himesh Reshammiya in the lead. It is a detective thriller, and besides some new faces, the film also stars Irrfan Khan. The movie will hit theatres May 23. (Times of India)

ctress Vidya Balan has become Bollywood's quintessential ambassador of the sari, and when an Australian designer was asked to create an ensemble for her, she couldn't think beyond the six-yard wonder either, according to IANS. As part of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2014, festival ambassador Vidya did a photoshoot with celebrated Australian designer Susan Dimasi. Dimasi presented Vidya in a special sari, the fabric of which was specially designed by her. The sari was the result of handweaving a textile with silk ribbon through a rubber net. The handwoven textile was exhibited at the prestigious Melbourne Now arts exhibition at the iconic National Gallery of Victoria and then draped on Vidya as a sari, said a statement. Apart from Dimasi, Akira Isogawa, a prominent contemporary designer, was given a chance to dress the acclaimed actress.

Isogawa, who has even dressed Cate Blanchett in the past, created a special dress for Vidya. It was a fusion of his Japanese roots and Australian chic. The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne runs from May 1 to May 11, screening over 45 films with over 30 Australian premieres. The festival will be opened by the legendary Amitabh Bachchan. (Times of India)



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Russian movie theatres fined for screening ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’


osses at movie theatres in Novosibirsk, Russia have been fined for screening Martin Scorsese's Oscar-nominated movie ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’, according to reports. Local officials accused the cinema owners of drug-use propaganda by showing the film and ordered them to pay the equivalent of $113,000, Contactmusic reported. The ruling follows a complaint from officers at Siberia's Federal Service for Narcotics Control, who felt that the movie "reflected a subculture of drug abusers" and idealised the use of illegal drugs, according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass. The film features Leonardo DiCaprio as real-life con artist, stockbroker and wild man Jordan Belfort and features scenes of debauchery, sex and drug-taking. DiCaprio was nominated for an Oscar for the film. (ANI)

MGM sues Universal over ‘James Bond’ knock-off


GM is looking to block the making of 'Section 6', a historical spy movie which is expected to depict the origins of MI6, the British intelligence agency founded during World War I. The studio has filed a lawsuit against Universal, claiming that the thriller is too similar to ‘James Bond’ story, reported Variety. The thriller has Joe Cornish ('Attack the Block') as the director and actors Jack O'Connell & Hugh Jackman eying the lead role. It will focus on MI6's

first director, Sir George Mansfield Cummings, who served as the inspiration for Bond's boss M. "This lawsuit concerns a motion picture project, in active development, featuring a daring, tuxedo-clad British secret agent, employed by His Majesty's Secret Service, with a 'license to kill', and a ‘00’ secret agent number on a mis-

sion to save England from the diabolical plot of a megalomaniacal villain," the lawsuit reads. "Most moviegoers would assume from that description alone that this lawsuit concerns the next James Bond picture. It does not." 'Section 6' is scripted by Aaron Berg. MGM and James Bond's producer Danjaq claim they tried to settle the dispute without involving a judge. They asked to see the screenplay to make sure it's not too similar to ‘007’, but Universal refused their request. (Times of India)

Mickey Rooney dies at 93 A

ctor Mickey Rooney, the pintsized screen dynamo of the 1930s and 1940s best known for his boy-next-door role in the Andy Hardy movies, died on Sunday at 93, the TMZ celebrity website reported. Rooney, who was one of the biggest box office stars of the movies' studio era, had been ill for some time, TMZ said. It did not give a cause of death and a spokesman was not immediately available for comment. Rooney, who spent almost his entire life in

show business, teamed up with Judy Garland in the 1939 movie mus-

Gerard Butler barred from doing stunts in 'Point Break' remake


erard Butler has been banned from performing heavy duty stunts in his upcoming remake of 1991 film 'Point Break', it has been revealed. Guinness World Record holder Garrett McNamara, who has surfed the largest wave ever, and Jeb Corliss, who famously leapt off the Eiffel Tower, have been brought on board to perform the 44-year-old ac-

tor's stunts, the Daily Star reported. But it seems like the producers want to elevate the thrill, and are going to bring in sports professionals as doubles for the film, which involves sky diving and surf riding exploits, considered risky even for professional stunt men. 'The Ugly Truth' star has been cast as Bodhi along with 24-year-old Luke Bracey, who'll be playing Utah. (ANI)

Hollywood celebs pay tribute to Peaches Geldof on Twitter

Anne Hathaway has a ‘daredevil side’


nne Hathaway has revealed that she enjoys doing her own stunts in the movies, since it brings out her "daredevil side". The 'Les Miserables' star told HELLO! Magazine that she was a real tomboy when she was a little girl and she grew up with two brothers and loved to climb trees and jump off things that were way too high for her. The 31-year-old actress added that she loves to do anything physical that excites her, although her mother wishes she doesn't. (ANI)

cial ‘Babes in Arms’. He also starred with Elizabeth Taylor in 1944's ‘National Velvet’, which launched Taylor's career. Rooney was best known for his role as Andy Hardy, the popular all-American teenager, which he portrayed in about 20 movies. Rooney was married eight times, the first time to screen beauty Ava Gardner. Asked once if he would marry all his eight wives again, he said, "Absolutely. I loved every one of them." (Times of India)


any Hollywood celebrities recently took to Twitter to pay tribute to late Peaches Geldof, the second daughter of Irish singer Bob Geldof, whose cause of death is not yet known, according to ANI reports. While Lily Allen said

that her thoughts were with the late TV personality's family, fellow singer Ellie Goulding wrote that even if you think you've got it all figured out, some things still can't be explained or understood. Colleen Rooney said that she couldn't believe

the news and Michelle Keegan asserted that she was devastated after hearing that Peaches had passed away. TV chef Jamie Oliver wrote that it was very sad to hear about the loss of Peaches aged 25 and sent his love to her whole family. Amongst the list of celebrities was Sharon Osbourne, who said that it is unimaginable what Peaches' family must be going through right now. Peaches leaves behind two young sons Astala Dylan Willow and Phaedra Bloom Forever. (ANI)

Russell Crowe Miranda Kerr feels 'lucky' to 'vows to stay single' have 'great dad' to son


ussell Crowe has revealed that he will remain single as he doesn't think it is fair on his two boys to see him with another woman. The 50-year-old actor asserted on the Graham Norton Show that he doesn't want his young sons to see him in another relationship with someone not their mother and it was not something he needed or wanted them to have to deal with at the moment, the Daily Express reported. The 'Noah' star said that he has the responsibility of his two boys and the actor doesn't want them to think anyone other than their mum was the most perfect woman in the world. (ANI)


iranda Kerr has admitted that estranged husband Orlando Bloom is a "great dad" to their 3-year-old son Flynn, and she feels lucky to have him in her life. During an appearance on 'Good Morning America', the 30-year-old Aussie model, who has split from the 37-year-old actor, said that it's really important to have two happy parents and they both are really happy now, E! Online reported. Meanwhile, Bloom too had acknowledged Kerr by thanking her for giving him the best gift ever, his son, while receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last week. (ANI)



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Limacol CPL 2014 teams finalised T

he line-ups for the six franchise teams participating in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014 have now been finalised following the live Draft event which took place last Thursday in Kingston, Jamaica. Hosted by Limacol CPL Cricket Operations Director, Michael Hall, and noted cricket pundit, Simon Crosskill, the Draft event saw representatives of each team – including the Limacol CPL team mentors, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Desmond Haynes, Courtney Walsh, Sir Andy Roberts and Gordon Greenidge – make their picks over 13 rounds based on sal-

ary bracket. In addi-

tion, each of the team



in live discussions with their franchise team colleagues and Captains on the other side of the world throughout the process, further ensuring that each franchise secured its ‘dream team’. Simon Crosskill said; “It was a pleasure to be a part of the Limacol CPL

Former West Indies quickies Sir Curtley Ambrose and Courtney Walsh share a light moment at the event held to finalise the Limacol CPL 2014 teams,in Kingston, Jamaica

player Draft event and I’m happy we could host it in Jamaica, the home of the reigning champions, the Jamaica Tallawahs. With the Draft complete, we can now look forward to all the drama, action and entertainment in July and August as the biggest party in sport returns.”

The Draft event was followed by a glamorous after party at Chris Gayle’s Triple Century Bar in New Kingston which saw cricket legends and Limacol CPL mentors, Desmond Haynes, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Sir Andy Roberts and Gordon Greenidge in attendance

– alongside Jamaica’s Minister for Sports, The Honourable Natalie Neita Headley, British High Commissioner to Jamaica, David Fitton and High Commissioner of India to Jamaica, Shri Pratap Singh. The full list of players is listed below by team and salary bracket (all figures are quoted in US$).



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Francis leads three other J’cans on top of IAAF list


ising Jamaican stars Javon Francis, Roxroy Cato, Fedrick Dacres, and Stephanie McPherson are currently on top of the IAAF list with world-leading performances four months into the new year. Francis, 19, lowered Usain Bolt's 400m high school record of 45.35 to 45.00 seconds flat which is the fastest time this year, just ahead of the Brazilian pair of Anderson Henrique (45.03) and Hugo de Sousa (45.09) done in Chile on March 14. Jamaica's Edino Steele with 45.44 seconds was listed as the eighth fastest with Allodin Fothergill 18th quickest, with 45.94 seconds. McPherson, 26, is the quickest among the women in the 400m with 51.23 seconds done in February, and is just ahead of another Jamaican Kaliese Spencer with 51.39 seconds. Young 20-year-old American Robin Reynolds clocked 51.57 last Friday to be third fastest. Anneisha McLaughlin (52.22) was sixth overall with Ristananna Tracey 12th on the list with 52.50. Jamaican schoolgirls Dawnalee Loney with 52.87 and Yanique McNeil with 52.88 are 25th and 26th, respectively. Cato, 27, stopped the clock

Jamaican star athlete Javon Francis is among the top performers on the IAAF list

at 48.67 seconds and has the world leading time in the men's 400m hurdles, while schoolboy sensation Jaheel Hyde's national junior record of 49.49 seconds placed him fourth on the list. Jeffrey Gibson (48.95) of the Bahamas and Eric Alejandro (49.12) of Puerto Rico are third and fourth overall. Former Calabar High



Leon Johnson

ne of five newcomers in the Guyana Amazon Warriors’ line-up for the upcoming Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL), batsman Leon Johnson, said it is something special to be selected in the league, moreso by his home country. The left-handed middle-order batsman, who played three One Day Internationals for the West Indies against Canada in August 2008, has joined the hardhitting New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, fast bowl-

er Ronsford Beaton, opening batsman Robin Bacchus and all-rounder Navin Stewart in the 15-member squad selected by the franchise at last Thursday’s draft in Jamaica. Speaking to Guyana Times Sport from Antigua where he is leading Guyana’s team in the sixth round West Indies Cricket Board’s Regional Four-day game against the Leeward Islands, the 26-year-old Johnson related his enthusiasm upon being selected for the league, which is set for July/ August at venues across

standout, Dacres is the only Jamaican on top in any field event, as his 66.75m is the leading mark in the men's discus throw done in Texas on March 29. Benn Harradine of Australia has the second best throw with 65.94m ahead of Cuba's Lois Martinez with 65.13m. Jamaica's Chad Wright (63.47m) and Jason Morgan (61.23m) are 10th and

19th overall. Meanwhile, other performances emanating from the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Championships have placed sprinters Christana Williams of Edwin Allen and Bog Walk's Javaughn Minzie in the top five of the 100m. The injury plagued Williams, 19, returned to top form and ran a blistering 11.19 seconds, and just missed Veronica Campbell Brown's Class One record of 11.13 seconds done in 2001. Williams' time placed her third on the list behind America's Joanna Atkins with 11.09 done last Friday and Australian Melissa Breen's 11.11 seconds in February. Aleen Bailey (11.29) and Wolmer's Jonielle Smith (11.32) done at Champs are eighth and 11th overall. Eighteen year-old Minzie's 10.16 second place finish at Champs placed him fifth behind 18-year-old American Travyon Bromell who has the two fastest times of 10.01 and 10.02 seconds done on March 28, and 29 in Texas. Kingston College's Anguillan Zharnel Hughes, who broke the Champs record with 10.12 seconds, was third overall ahead of his Racers

teammate Daniel Bailey of Antigua with 10.15 seconds. Former Wolmer's standout Odeen Skeen is 10th with 10.18 seconds done on March 22 in Texas. Minzie is also the fastest Jamaican over 200m to date with his 20.37 seconds placing him seventh overall behind Dedric Dukes of the USA with 19.97 seconds. Canadian Aaron Brown with 20.19 seconds was fastest ahead of American Brandon Byram with 20.27. Hughes' 20.32 done in the semi-final at Champs was fourth overall. Jamaica's Yohan Blake's 20.49 has him at 12th with 17-year-old St Jago student Martin Manley 15th with his 20.57 seconds. Odayne Richards, with a throw of 20.38m, is seventh on the shot put list behind American Ryan Crouser's 21.27 mark. Russia's Alexandr Lesnoi is second with 21.23m. Jamaicans Raymond Brown (20.17) and Ramone Baker ((19.82) are ninth and 13th overall. Wolmer's boys' Christoff Bryan's record breaking 2.23m placed him fifth in the high jump behind France's Mickael Hanany's 2.34m. (Jamaica Observer)

‘To be selected by my country is something special,’ says Guyana’s Leon Johnson the region. “Well, I’m very happy to have been selected. I was looking forward to gaining selection, but to be picked up by the franchise based in Guyana is something special,” the West Indies ‘A’ team player stated. Johnson reasoned that the Guyana Amazon Warriors have a “great combination” of players, and is optimistic the team will do well again. In the highly successful inaugural tournament in 2013, the Warriors finished runners-up to the Jamaica Tallawahs, losing the final by seven wickets at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. “The combination of the squad is great, since 10 players from last year’s runners-up side have been selected again,” Johnson opined. He added, “I think it’s a bit too early to be making assumptions on chances, but with the quality of players in the squad I’m optimistic about [us] doing well this year again.”

Second edition

Apart from the 15 players chosen by the six franchises at Thursday’s draft, four Under-19 players will be added to the squads and will be chosen by the respective territorial boards. The Limacol CPL, which was played in

front of sold- out crowds at all the venues in the Caribbean, will be hosted during July/August with Chris Gayle’s Jamaica Tallawahs set to defend their title against last-year runners-up Guyana Amazon Warriors, Antigua

Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, St Lucia Zouks and Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel. Guyana Amazon Warriors squad is: Sunil Narine, Mohammad Hafeez, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, Martin Guptill, Krishmar

Santokie, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton, Navin Stewart, Steven Jacobs, Leon Johnson, Robin Bacchus, Corey Anderson and Trevon Griffith. (Guyana Times)



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Jamaica’s Olympic Beaton says inclusion in Limacol CPL is good for his career prospects medallist Sherone By Rajiv Bisnauth


alented Guyana and West Indies ‘A’ team fast bowler, Ronsford Beaton, labelled his inclusion in the second edition of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League as great timing for his promising career. Beaton, who hails from the Village of Reliance on the Essequibo Coast, will be turning out for the Guyana Amazon Warriors and is among five newcomers in the Warriors’ line-up. The 21-year-old Central Essequibo pacer, who had pulled out from last year’s edition because of injury, has joined the aggressive New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson; Trinidad and Tobago fast-bowling all-rounder Navin Stewart; opening batsman Robin Bacchus; and middleorder batsman Leon Johnson, as the newcomers in the 15-member squad selected by the franchise at last Thursday’s draft in Jamaica. During an exclusive interview on Wednesday from the Windjammer Hotel, Beaton says he’s definitely looking forward to the Limacol CPL, and thinks it is a great prospect for his personal development. “It is definitely an advantage to be working with someone like Roger Harper and Curtly Ambrose; and with so many international players in the dressing room, the only thing you can do is learn, so I am really looking forward to that opportunity. “Definitely, I want to perform to the best of my ability and come out with a good economy rate and at the same time give the regional selectors something to work with,” Beaton explained. The Guyana franchise will be coached by former West Indies off-

spinner Roger Harper, with former West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose as his assistant. The Warriors will boast a strong team with the likes of New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, who is the Guyana franchise international star; Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez; and New Zealand opening batsman Martin Guptill, being the other two international stars. They will be joined by an array of regional stars including Trinidad and Tobago’s Navin

Stewart, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, West Indies franchise player Sunil Narine and Jamaican Krishmar Santokie. The other players selected in the Guyana franchise are Guyanese Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Steven Jacobs, Leon Johnson, Robin Bacchus and Trevon Griffith. Beaton says he believes the Warriors possess the ability to go all the way in the tournament. “I think we have a very good chance of winning this time around. We have a balanced side and I am just looking forward to really interacting with the other international guys and enjoying the cricket,” said Beaton. Beaton has always aspired to be a professional cricketer and the Limacol CPL has brought him another step closer to fulfilling his life-long dream. “From the time I knew myself I always wanted to play cricket. I want to play international cricket for the West Indies and become a very successful international cricketer,” he said. “It depends on how destiny goes. Sometimes you just don’t know. I will just continue to work hard, enjoy my cricket and take it step by step.” Apart from the 15 players chosen by the six franchises at Thursday’s draft, four Under-19 players will be added to the squads and will be chosen by the respective territorial boards. The Limacol CPL will be hosted during July-August with Chris Gayle’s Jamaica Tallawahs set to defend their title against last-year’s runners-up Guyana Amazon Warriors, Antigua Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, St Lucia Zouks and Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.

Simpson gets 18-month ban

Jamaica’s Olymic medallist Sherone Simpson


lympic 100m silver medallist Sherone Simpson on Tuesday received an 18 month ban following her positive drug test last June at the National Trials. Simpson will be eligible to compete in December 2014 as her suspension is calculated from the time she returned the positive test for oxilofrine at the Trials in June 2013. The supplement Epiphany D1 was identified as the product that triggered her adverse analytical finding. Simpson argued that she did thorough

research on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list. A hearing that should've lasted two days was extended as the Jamaica Antidoping Commission (JADCO) three-member disciplinary panel, comprising chairman Lennox Gayle, Dr Jephthah Ford, and former FIFA referee Peter Prendergast, awaited a report from a lab in Kentucky, USA, which Simpson’s defence said proved that the Epiphany D1 supplement contained the banned substance oxilofrine. (Jamaica Observer)

Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce expects exciting Commonwealth Games


he United States is not a part of the Commonwealth Games, but Jamaica's female sprint dynamo Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce believes there will be plenty of stiff opposition from other athletes looking to knock her off her perch as the world's current best. Fraser-Pryce is the back-to-back Olympic Games gold medallist with 100-metre victories in 2008 and 2012, and the first female to lay claim to the 100m, 200m and 60m World Championship titles at the same time. But the 27-year-old said the rival pair of Ivorian Murielle Ahoure, 26, and Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, 25, among others, are expected to push her to the hilt. "I know it will be one that is very difficult and hard because you have the African nations... Ahoure, Blessing

Jamaica’s sprint champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce holds The Queen’s Baton as the symbol of the Commonwealth Games passed through her childhood community of Waterhouse on Sunday. (PHOTO: MICHAEL GORDON)

Okagbare and a lot of athletes who are doing tremendously well and will be at the Commonwealth Games,"

the sprint great said during Sunday's tour of the Queen's Baton Relay through Waterhouse, the neighbourhood in which

she grew up. Fraser-Pryce, who has committed to compete at her first Commonwealth Games,

scheduled for Glasgow, Scotland, this summer, said holding the Baton was the start of things to come.

While declaring that she was not yet certain what events she will compete in, she explained that the recent win over 60 metres at the World Indoor Games in Sopot is an indication of how well her early season preparation has gone. She has personal best times of 6.98s in the 60m, 10.70s in the 100m and 22.09s in the 200m. Fraser-Pryce, a UNICEF ambassador, has been highlighting the importance of caring for children, as part of the organisation's partnership with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CFG). She said she wants to see how best she can use her image to positively influence young people. UNICEF has been active alongside the CFG in the journey of the Queen's Baton Relay -- a symbol of the Commonwealth Games -- across member countries. (Jamaica Observer)



week ending April 13, 2014 |

NSC annual badminton tourney concludes in Guyana ment, leaving Jonathan Mangra to occupy second and Omar Abdelbari and Noel Shewjattan to share third spot. Meanwhile, the Guyana Badminton Association has an-


The respective winners in the various categories proudly display their medals

he respective winners in the various categories of the National Sports Commission’s annual age group singles badminton tournament were recently rewarded for their efforts during the presentation ceremony held at Queen’s College, Georgetown, Guyana. In addressing the winners, president of the Guyana Badminton Association and national coach, Gokarn

Ramdhani, congratulated them on their achievements. He also encouraged the players to continue working hard on their game. Elan Rahaman, Vikash Mootoo and Omar Samad finished 1-2-3 in the Under-11 Boys’ competition, while Sarah Samad won the Under-11 Girls from Jayde DaSilva and Reanna Persaud. Elan Rahaman and Priyanna Ramdhani

were the Under-13 Boys and Girls champions respectively, while Hemraj Beharry won the Under-15 Boys and Priyanna Ramdhani took the Under-15 Girls title. Narayan Ramdhani emerged champion of the Under-17 Boys division, while his sister Priyanna won on the distaff side in the Under-17 category. Narayan Ramdhani also claimed top honours in the Under-19 seg-

nounced that it will be sending a team to the Suriname International Easter tournament during the Easter weekend. The Guyanese will participate in the Under-15 and Under-19

Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles, with some senior players competing in the Invitational Singles. At last year’s championships, the Guyanese copped eight medals.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

“Atwell has what it takes to be a world champion”

- says veteran trainer Maurice ‘Bizzy’ Boyce


eteran trainer Maurice ‘Bizzy’ Boyce is standing in Clive ‘The Punisher’ Atwell’s ‘corner’ for next month’s world title fight against Mexico’s Jhonny Gonzalez, declaring that the Guyanese is more than capable of wresting the WBC Featherwight belt from his opponent. Gonzalez, 32, is the current holder of the title, and Atwell, 25, has been pitted against him on May 24 in Mexico City. The fight was sealed by Atwell’s camp, Dog Pound, on Monday, thereby affording the Guyanese a golden opportunity of becoming the country’s next world champion. Boyce, a trainer with over 40 years of experience, believes the young Atwell has the ability to overcome Gonzalez, who has a tremendous record. “Atwell has the charisma and determination and he also has a good team. Atwell has what it takes to be world champion,” Boyce told this publication on Wednesday during an invited comment. Based on their records and experience however, one would definitely be tempted to give Gonzalez

Clive 'The Punisher' Atwell moments after defeating Venezuela’s Rafael Hernandez last year

the favourite tag, along with the fact that he will have home crowd support. The Mexican is vastly experienced with a total of 63 fights, 55 of which he has won with 47 knockouts and eight defeats. Atwell, by comparision, is now building what has been a fantastic career to date, with 12 wins (seven knockouts) and a draw from 13 trips to the ‘square jungle.’

But as far as Boyce is concerned, records will be inconsequential on fight night, as the winner will be have to be the one exhibiting superior skills and thinking. In backing his point, Boyce recalled that in 2002 former WBC Cruiserweight title holder, Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite, defied the superior record of Italy’s Vincenzo Cantatore,

knocking him out in round 10. Prior to that contest, Braithwaite was unbeaten after 17 fights with 12 knockouts, while Cantatore was resting on 27 wins and two losses. The experienced trainer, who has supervised the likes of Braithwaite, Andrew Murray and Anthony “The Pearl” Andrews, argued that while Gonzalez has a

far better record and more fights than Atwell, one must be congnisant of the frequency with which fights are hosted in Mexico, as compared to Guyana. “Like age, records are just a set of numbers. You have to realise there are fights almost every week in places like Mexico and Venezuela so these guys are always active and obviously their records will grow. In Guyana, we don’t have so many cards, so Atwell for example might just fight a maximum of three fights for a year,” Boyce reasoned. He continued, “But with that being said, it all boils down to how badly Atwell needs this belt. I think once he does the right things in training he will come out on top. He needs to do a lot of glove work and that will help him. I don’t think he should focus too much on road work because he could leave some of that energy on the road.”

Atwell confident

Meanwhile, Atwell has expressed confidence of toppling his Mexican opponent. He opined, “If I can condition the mind and

the body, I don’t see myself getting into any problems. I just need to do the basics. Boxing is basics, and using the mind to do the basics effectively.” The classy fighter, who has been a revelation since turning pro in January 2010 after losing just four of his 76 fights as an amateur, said he is not at all intimidated by Gonzalez’s outstanding record. “I’m not intimidated because it’s boxing; I come to win, you come to win! We both have two hands; we both have to fight according to the rules and regulations, so there is nothing intimidating about my opponent,” Atwell boasted. Interestingly, this will be Atwell’s first fight as a professional outside of Guyana, as all 13 bouts have been under the Guyana Boxing Board of Control’s (GBBC) Friday Night Fights boxing card. As of now, the prospective world champion will be utilising the Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis gym, named after Guyana’s first world champion, to get in shape for what is expected to be a gruelling showdown.



week ending April 13, 2014 |

Jamaica and St Lucia to meet in Commonwealth Games opener


amaica’s Sunshine Girls are due to start their campaign against Caribbean rivals St Lucia on the first day of netball competition at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland scheduled to run from July 23-August 3. The netball competition begins on July 24. Jamaica and St Lucia have been drawn in Pool ‘A’ with New

Zealand, Malawi, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Jamaica’s remaining matches are against Northern Ireland July 25, Scotland July 27, Malawi July 28 and New Zealand July 30. Pool ‘B’ comprises Caribbean teams Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados along with Australia, England, South Africa and Wales. (CMC)

Asafa gets 18-month ban


Asafa Powell

I N G S T O N , Jamaica – Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell was a short while ago slapped with an 18-month suspension for the use of

the banned s u b s t a n c e Oxilofrine. He will be eligible to resume competition in December 2014. Powell along with teammate and training partner Sherone Simpson tested positive for the drug at the Jamaica National trials in June 2013. The pair contended that the drug was contained in a supplement given to them by trainer Chris Xureb. Simpson also received an 18-month ban.

limacol CPL 2014

Guyana Amazon Warriors capable of winning - says manager


anager of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Omar Khan, believes the squad selected for the upcoming second edition of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League is capable of facing the challenges ahead, adding that the squad is a well-balanced unit comprising the maximum number of match-winners. Speaking to this Guyana Times Sport on Saturday from Trinidad and Tobago, Khan, who served in the same capacity in the inaugural tournament last year, said “I think the squad is well balanced, I think it’s a good squad in terms when you put it together, and it’s a squad capable of winning.” He added, “What we are looking to do is to continue the team building, and I thought to have a squad that understand and appreciate each other and that is why we retained most of the players from last year so to have some continuity. What I was impressed last year with is the team unity, togetherness among the guys and everybody respected each other and they play as professionals.” The former West Indies team manager also believes the team’s flexibility provided by the presence of batting and bowling allrounders will be a major asset in the tournament, singling out Corey Anderson as the foremost asset to the team. “He is a fabulous young player and a well established player as

Mohammad Hafeez

Martin Guptill

well, and he is willing to explore in the Caribbean,” Khan declared. The hard-hitting Anderson, who is among New Zealand’s top bracket T20 players, also bowls left-arm seam. He rose to prominence on New Year’s Day 2014 when he blasted the fastest ODI hundred off 36 balls against West Indies.

ers from last year’s tournament, namely Pakistan’s all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, New Zealander Martin Guptill, Trinidadians off-spinner Sunil Narine, opening batsman Lendl Simmons and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, Jamaican Krishmar Santokie and Guyanese Christopher Barnwell, Steven Jacobs, Veerasammy Permaul and Trevon Griffith. The newcomers are Guyanese Leon Johnson, Ronsford Beaton and Robin Bacchus and Trinidad and Tobago fast-bowling allrounder, Navin Stewart. Apart from the 15 players chosen by the six franchises at Thursday’s draft, four Under-19 players will be added to the squads and will be chosen by the respective territorial boards. This year’s tournament will commence on July 5 and end on August 10.


Further, according to Khan, the structure this year is different, whereas the team to win its respective league will automatically reach the final. “Unlike last year, we won our league but had to still play in the semi-final, so this time once you win the league you reach straight to the final,” Khan said. During the draft at Chris Gayle’s Triple Century Bar in Jamaica on Thursday, the Guyana Amazon Warriors retained the services of 10 play-

Guyana Times International  
Guyana Times International  

The Beacon of Truth Week Ending April 13, 2014